Saturday, November 21, 2015

St. Marks Church And Saying Goodbye

This past summer I ran into writer Gillian McCain at a party she and Legs McNeil held for musician Michael DesBarres. Gillian reminded me that my late husband Paul Williams and I had performed at the St. Marks Church in the East Village back in 1993, and that it was she that had booked us! That church later played an important role in my grieving Paul's death and had a hand in the letting go of and saying goodbye to Paul's spirit the day after his passing.

Thank you Gillian for sending along these photos of that day in 1993. 

Paul Williams, Anna Kaye (age 12ish), Lenny Kaye. Lenny played a few of his own songs and backed me on a few. 

 Sound check and my Gibson w Lenny's extra amp. 

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From "The Midnight Hour" posted April 17, 2013: 

Alexander wasn't surprised his dad had passed, we talked about it over breakfast. "Sometimes I thought he was faking it," he said. What do you mean, I asked? "I just thought that maybe he would get better, that maybe he was just pretending to be getting worse".  I said I sort of understood that feeling. And told him when my mom died of cancer, when I was eight, that I'd made up a story, that I'd believed for years, that she had been an archaeologist on a mission to dig up old bones and ruins and had contracted Valley Fever. 

We walked by the St. Marks Church and saw that their would be a ceremony that night for Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, the night of Passover dinner. So we went. This felt right. We were staying right around the corner from the church where Paul and I had played a show together back in 1993, he reading from Rock and Roll: The 100 Best Singles and me singing songs that he'd inspired. Not to mention that this had been the venue for one of Lenny and Patti's first shows together, or the place many beloved beat poets had read their poetry aloud to deep listening ears. I love this place, St. Marks Church. And in the nights ceremony we washed one another's feet and drank wine and broke bread and sang some melodies and uttered some words. And through it all I felt Paul's spirit, his energi, his unbound self, rise and lift and move from that limited encasement called the human body. 
Deo pro vobis
What do you want Paul?  "..want to go up in the sky"
What do you mean? "Good music goes up"

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Paul and I had been together about a year and a half at this point.
This is how I look before a performance; anxiously waiting. This is how Paul looked most of the time.

A rather somber me with Lenny Kaye's delightful daughter Anna.