The LUVeR CRew by Ken Cheetham

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LUVeR @ the Temescal Street Fair
Telegraph Avenue between 45th and 51st
North Oakland, California
Sunday, June 7, 2009

 


For a lot of years I did street performances where I sat on street corners. It looked like I was panhandling. Panhandling was an aspect of those performances. But at the core, I was making myself available to any possibilities that the human waves would wash my way. Actually I have been doing this all my life… Sitting, waiting, ready to jam with anyone who came by, stopped, and got sucked in. Having a booth at these summer festivals has taken this to a whole new level! Six hours of human waves connecting, inspiring, opening up possibilities. It was non stop! I won’t try to go into detail [see below]. But it was pure core!

DA BOYZ:

We were all ready shortly before noon, but people were already checking out the scene by around 11 or so ... Our first visitors were these three kids, probably around 10-12 ... they were starting to load up on CDs, and we had to lay down the law! One per! They were really cute. They had a hard time deciding on which CDs they wanted to take. But the youngest, a girl, really liked the title of the one she got: "The Happy Turtle".

Then there was a scattering of visitors to the booth ... Sam Sheats from Savante Garde came by ... other musicians and artists ... Stefan came by ... we were soon starving for lunch! Jen went to get the fried chicken sandwiches from Bakesale Betty's, which Stefan had raved about, and we had heard all sorts of rave reviews of ... They were just "ok". We were talking about how we would make them!

Then finally you guys arrived, and Frank got right up in front behind the table, ready for action! The rest of the day was a steady flow of people to the colorful, fun booth that was like a magnet for people ... it was really neat the wide variety of people that were there at the Fair ... It was amazing also how many musicians, artists, bands showed up at the booth, and Frank's Shaman's Den schedule filled up! It is always fun to be with Frank, Linda & Mikee interacting with folks ... Frank always has the line! It was neat too how Frank was communicating to people that the Temescal Arts Center was threatened ... a lot of people knew about the Center. It has been a fixture there for years, and it seemed like most people get the dynamics at play ... a yuppie condo opening up across the street from an artists space ... It was also amazing to hear how inspiring, in a lot of different ways, that LUVeR and Frank are to people. How people "get it"! The young guy who came by and said that he tells his fellow artists/friends about Frank as an example of how they should not be discouraged from doing whatever they want to do ... the young black woman, an artist inspired by Frank's paintings ... There were so many moments like this that just piled one on top of the other ... overlapping! You could feel that the booth really filled a need. It wasn't trying to sell anyone anything ... Frank was just there to connect with people ... and you could walk away with a CD and other free stuff, and a sense of possibilities! Really really amazing ... And it was really fun how much kids loved the booth too ...

At the point when Linda turned to us and asked if we wanted to take a walk around and check out the other booths in the fair was right when we were starting to talk about needing some medicinal assistance to aid us in making it through the rest of the day. The nights of short sleep, and the firewood delivery were taking their toll!! Alexi mentioned the Scharfenberger dark chocolate mocha "freddo" "extra bold" that they had at Peet's, which seemed like it was just what the doctor ordered ... We made that our first stop, and then toured the fair. It was really fun to people watch, and there were a few neat booths ... but we wanted to get back to where the action was! We had heard a guy who stopped by from a local band mention that they had played at a space called Smokey's Tangle, which actually had a booth right down from ours, and so we stopped in and talked to them, found out that they are an art gallery, but also do music events ... Later, the guy from the Tangle came by the LUVeR booth, and had a good time discussing with Tomek how to handle the people in the condo who were making noise complaints about the Temescal Arts Center. Tomek suggested that they could be sedated daily!

One young guy stopped by and said that the booth was what he had been looking for all day at the Fair, and he finally found it! It felt like a lot of folks had that experience ... Altering reality!

It was hard to break it down, as always, at the end of the fair. We didn't really start until a quarter after 6, after the fair had officially ended, and only then really because there was a flood threatening all the stuff from the gutter! People were still coming by, and picking up fliers and talking to Frank ... And all day, people were sifting through the free boxes at the back side of the booth, where they also got to see the backside of Mikee's backdrop, where the farting naked lady was on full display. We heard comments throughout the day from back there!

JEN:

We got the tables set up and all the swag laid out. Decorations and t-shirts went up and the booth looked great! So fun and colourful. Corey set up the camera and we were all set. People had already been coming up and getting cds. We handed out a lot of luver flyers, and also told people about the weekly performance series, handing out those flyers as well. Stephan came by a couple of times. He raved about the fried chicken sandwiches at Bakesale Betty's. Also talked about how he got poison oak recently. He was having a good time. So were we! The people watching was so much fun! Telling people about the cds and everything.

When we got hungry I went to Bakesale Betty's to get us 3 of the chicken sandwiches. The line up was huge but moving quickly. They were really pumping out the sandwiches. When we ate them at the booth, they were ok but nothing spectacular. I walked back and saw some neat things, but nothing that really made me want to stop and take a closer look except for some colourful handmade hoodies. I saw our booth among all the others and it really stood out. The festival was packed and we were handing out a lot of flyers. Many of the cds were gone already. We had plenty of Bell the Cat, Happy Turtle and Sons of Skip left though. You guys arrived and Frank sat right up front.

The next few hours were really amazing with all the people that came up and saw what we were doing. Was cool to see what caught their eye on the tables. A lot of people were attracted to the sign. They would walk by slowly checking it out or stop and take a closer look, and then when Linda waved a flyer at them they came over! They really wanted to. When we told them Frank started the station 10 years ago they would smile at him and thank him. It was really great! Non stop. There were a lot of musicians who were possible Shaman's Den guests. One guy said that he was waiting for us, that this was what he wanted at the festival when up until now all he saw were clothes for sale. People loved getting the free stuff. One girl from Ohio said that she would spread the word because people there were hungry for this kind of thing. LUVeR is so great because anyone can tune in from anywhere, so even though we're local, people who are not local can still experience it when they get home! It is such a great channel. I love being a part of this, and this comes out of us being together. It is really incredible. And people get that. They feel that and they love it too. So many people thanked Frank for doing what he's doing. And he does a lot! There's luver, but then there's also the performances, the poetry, the writing, the painting, the Shaman's Den, the jams... Blows people's minds! We had a great time!!

Tomek had come by several times. Was great when he was there talking to another musician who we gave a performance flyer to. At the end of the day he talked to Frank and Linda about another performance that Frank could be a part of. Many people knew about the harassment Temescal Arts Center was getting with noise complaints from the condo, and a couple of those people said that they would bring it up to certain people or at certain meetings. Someone also said they heard about what was going on at BTV. We got a couple of cds from musicians already, and many others said that they would send their stuff in. Some djs were told about doing a show for Luver so it would be great if they followed up on that. Around 6 the crowds started to dwindle. It was time to pack up. Just in time too, as the drain in the sidewalk behind us started to drain water into our booth. We got everything down and put away.

In Freedom,
Frank Moore

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