Friday, April 15, 2016

Sun Ra Dreams: Unknown LPs

It's 3:25 am. I was just woken from a Sun Ra dream. I'm sure if you're a fan like me that you've had them too. There's so much myth, legend, mystery and imagination in Sun Ra land that dreams just come with the territory.

I was wandering a city alone, in despair. Something terrible had just happened in my personal life. The city, though it didn't really look like it, was Seattle. A familiar neighborhood I've visited in my dreams before. I know there's a record store around here, sometimes I can find it, sometimes I can't. I find it, and end up in the basement immediately - the forgotten, fringe treasures. There are millions of fluorescent lit records down here, and as if by attraction or perception, I immediately find the Sun Ra LP section. There's about 50-60 albums in the cardboard box - all beautiful and varied vintage covers on different labels and in different styles. I start flipping through them. Other than "Interstellar Low Ways" I've never seen any of the cover designs in waking reality, but in my dream they are all familiar to me. Exciting, but still known. Until I flip to the back of the stack and see something I've never seen - in dream or awake. I speak an expletive in amazement. There's 2 copies of this album - both have cryptic handwriting on small labels instead of prices, so they must be more rare and expensive than I can afford - I'm assuming over $1,000 usd. The album is released under the name Sun Ra and was recorded in the 50s on the MGM label. The title is "The Garden," and it is an instrumental soundtrack to Disney's "The Lion King." (Yes, I know it wasn't a Disney property back then.) I imagine that the earthy primal space funk of the "Angels and Demons at Play/Nubians of Plutonia" records would be a perfect match for the subject matter. The cover is an abstract impressionistic pastel illustration of a lion in the jungle in blue, green, purple, and gold. A search of Google on my phone shows that this LP is out-of-print and has never been reissued, other than a bootleg CD from Europe sourced from a needle drop of the LP. I hold the record in my hand, flip it over and start to inspect the titles and liner notes as a group of school kids comes down a nearby hall. I look up, my cat jumps on my back, and I awake.

Tell me about your Sun Ra dreams in the comments section below...

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