Soo…thee occasion that sparked this fun collaboration (Isolation by JOY DIVISION covered live by HOUSE FANCY with vocals by P.E. Tottenham of THE VIMA TRESNA) with my friends from the band HOUSE FANCY was our mutual friend Greta Ribb’s invitation to play some live music with our current bands, or in whatever form any of us might have a notion to rock out…
See, what was approaching quite swiftly of course was Greta Ribb’s locally famous, yearly, long-running Hallowe’en Party/Freak Out, which Greta went all out for every year (and friends and hangers-on alike greatly anticipated as much they did Ribb’s equally perennial, oft celebrated New Year’s Eve Party—but I digress) utilizing the large converted barn/outbuilding/clam-rake smithy to facilitate live bands, deejaying, and, naturally, plenty of floor space for dancing.
Perfectly situated in a wooded, secluded part of her property, and both far enough from the main house and any pesky neighbors while still within the bounds of ‘civilization’ these New England Autumn revelries (ah! those glorious bonfires!) seemed to speak to something buried deep in our collective primal Yankee grey matter…
If memory serves I believe that was the last soirée held in that particular space & and on that particular property. I’m not really clear on the facts and/or the timing, but if I recall correctly their had been a fire (or fires?) that I know completely destroyed the oldest part of the structure, which may have been some sort of stable or barn in some lost, long gone era. Anyhow, whatever the sequence of events and the corresponding timeframe all I am certain of is this was the last shindig I ever attended at Greta’s old place.
Thanks Greta for your tireless enthusiasm, which continues to this day, for dreaming of, planning out, and graciously facilitating (despite the typical odds & hindrances involved) a perpetual forum—more like a neutral space for artistic possibility without judgement.
I know this has for some years now been something like a mission for you, but my words might suggest some form of preciousness in your personality; nothing could be farther from the truth. There is not the hint of pretension in whatever you set yourself to bring to life.
Strong agency, an embrace of and instinctive facility for humor; the power in the recognition of the absurd. Yet, equally adept you have become with bearing witness
to the brutality, the indifference that is potential for all life.
Okay! Enough of that. I just really wanted to say “Wow, Greta, nice job keeping up with these weekly open mics you’ve been hosting in your own house for––what?–-gotta be at least 3 years now! You’re crazy, lady. No. Not crazy (except in the sense that for me I could not wrap my brain around, nor ever enjoy the weekly occurrence of many people, most drunk & high, some on stronger, stranger, more novel substances. I take solace that the majority of the folks are known, trusted friends that truly appreciate what you provide for everyone.
Because on Cape Cod this is the only option. If you play off-beat, mutant, freak music. If the only art that speaks to you—the only art in kind you have any facility or desire to create promises you at best that breed of novel attention that always ends (quickly) in derision and alienation. At worst, well, what could worse? Indifference.
So, again, thanks. Thanks for graciously storing my amp and guitars for so long. I wish I could promise to fetch them directly, but…