the ballad of one hung glove

by mike tamburo

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about

I will do my best to make a long story short. I wrote these pieces after a very wild tour in 2006. My traveling companion, her dog and I drove across the country and back in 35 days. As if 32 shows in 35 days was not a wild enough experience, things started going south in our relationship. Perhaps the Buick Century was not big enough for both of our egos. I am not going to speculate any further than that.

The last week of the trip was a killer. Even if we were getting along it would have been a doozey. We had to make it across the country in 6 days, playing shows each night - Seattle to Providence . We drove from Portland to Seattle and played a show. We got back in our car and started driving to Missoula. At some point I woke my companion up and asked her to drive. I was greeted by some negativity and decided to just try to sleep a bit and drive later.

I awoke, took the dog for a walk and then started on our trek again. Somewhere in Idaho I stopped to pee and was attacked by a swarm of yellow jacket wasps. I told my companion about the attack to which I got the reply, “Good, I put a curse on you and I am connected to the insect world. I told them to sting you. You are going to have all sorts of shit come at you now. You should not have pissed me off. You threw away my owl feathers and you woke me up!”

Why would she send the bees on me, I wondered. This was anger like I had never known.

We arrived in Missoula and I felt like I was dying. I don’t know if it was the bee stings or the curse. I felt like I had made the biggest mistake of my life going on this tour. We played the show, got back in the car and headed for Minneapolis. Somewhere in North Dakota, my companion took ill and accused me of psychically poisoning her. I honestly did no such thing. I am pretty sure it was food poisoning from some goat milk that had been in the car a few days. I left her vomiting in a church parking lot and headed to the nearest town to find some rice to absorb the toxins. We canceled and un-canceled our show twice. I told my companion I wanted to leave her in Minneapolis. She begged me to go on. We got to our show 30 minutes late. The dog ran away while I was walking him. I found him running in the middle of traffic. I was terrified I would come back to my companion with a dead dog. Fortunately, I found him. I played the show. We got back in the car. My companion’s sickness prevailed and I drove from Minneapolis to Toronto myself. I had not slept in days.

We arrived in Toronto late and learned we had to find a different place to sleep because of the dog. My companion freaked. I ended up paying for a hotel somewhere between Toronto and Montreal. The next morning I looked out and saw my companion doing a feather ceremony in the hotel parking lot. I told her I was glad she found her feathers. We played in Montreal to no one, got back in the car and drove to Providence.

We got in early and had time to kill. We went our separate ways. The curse was in full effect. I was drained. I stumbled around Providence and somehow found myself in front of a sign advertising psychic readings and palm readings. I entered the building. As soon as I walked in, the psychic said something like “Oh my, you are in a terrible state. Someone has put a curse on you. Why on earth would anyone do this to you?” She grabbed my hand, said I was still very close to this person and that I had to have the curse removed immediately or it could be terminal. I was almost relieved to hear that I was not losing my mind. I gave her $60 and she placed me in the center of the room with a circle of candles around me. She lit 2 long candles and started smacking me on the neck with them. She told me it would clear out the demons and the curse. Then she went to the corner and came back with a white glove that was covered in rhinestones. She filled the glove with some flowers and herbs and told me to put it on. “This glove will protect you. It was worn by Michael Jackson. You should wear this for the rest of the day and put it above your bed when you sleep. In the morning your curse will be gone.”

Upon hearing that this was supposedly Michael Jackson’s glove, I felt like I had been ripped off. Almost as if the psychic knew what I was thinking. She said, “I know this sounds fantastic, but it is true. Do not lose faith, I shall heal you. Just wear the glove.”

I wore Michael Jackson’s glove during my show that night. I played well, said goodbye to my traveling companion and went on my way. I hung the glove above my bed and I finally got some sleep. The next afternoon I woke up and felt great, just like the psychic had said I would.

credits

released September 4, 2009

mike tamburo - guitar, hammered dulcimer, vocals, effects. recorded live

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mike tamburo Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's Mike Tamburo (Brother Ong) is a multi- instrumentalist, who plays hammered dulcimer, shahi baaja, gong, guitar, autoharp, swarmandal and a slew of effects. He is greatly inspired by American folk and minimalist music traditions as well as Indian classical music. ... more

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