Friday, April 7, 2017

STEVE THE HAWK HARNADEK TRIBUTE: DENNIS THOMPSON


REPOSTED FROM 2009

I just heard on Monday of the passing of  Steve “The Hawk” Harnadek. A friend caught the write up in the Detroit  Free Press Obits section on Monday July 27th, and called me about it.

This  is a sad day for me. Steve was my best friend during the early MC5  days. We would slip out of the MC5 house on tens of occasions to have  some good fun. Just the two of us, but sometimes Michael would go with  us. We especially loved going to the Stooges house for fun and games. We  had to get out of the MC5’s band house at times just to get away.

So  today I got hit with the concept of the shifting sands of personal  priorities. I was feeling a bit angry that morning and afraid. Afraid of  losing my father.

Boy, you can plan for the day, like a  to-do list, or whatever, but indeed, you cannot plan for outcomes. No  matter your intentions, be they good, bad, or indifferent, the  capricious vector of random chance will lead the way of your day.

Everyone I know and work with was kind of depressed and feeling blue this day. Strange…

Never  fails. If your expectations are rigid and inflexible, you will  experience pain when they do not arise as you planned. Better to stay  loose, rolling with life’s punches. The level of your inner peace and  serenity is in direct proportion to your level of expectation.  A man in  the pursuit of peace will always expect the unexpected. At all times.

Ever  prepared for that dismaying phone call, or that unannounced visit from a  relative or friend, or bad news such as a good friend passing away.   Steve was an essential part of our crew. He constantly kept me laughing  to the point of tears. He had great little quips like “Strictly weird”,  and “O-mind”, (meaning a person was totally out of it smashed.)

He  watched our backs like a bodyguard. He worked his ass off. He was a joy  to be with. I will miss him dearly.  Our crew consisted of the Five,  John Sinclair, our manager, Steve and two or three road men. Last but  not least, Jessie Crawford, (our Spiritual Advisor). Actually, he was  really our great friend and all around helper and made us laugh all the  time. His main gig was to introduce the band on stage.  “Brother’s and  sisters, the time has come for each and everyone of you to decide if you  are going to be the problem or the solution, It takes five seconds,  etc…”

After introducing the band we would run on stage  to a huge roar from the crowd and then Jessie would run and get behind  me and the drums. I would break 10 to 20 sticks per show, (to drummers,  they were 2B size) and Jess would hand another stick to me the instant I  broke one. Thanks Jessie wherever you are. So, like today, we had a  10/12 man gang.

Here is a good Steve, Wayne & Dennis story.  It was in the rolling hills of San Francisco Marin County  where we were staying a few days at the famous Dr. Timothy Leary’s  home. “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” was his mantra. He passed away in  1996. He was gracious enough to put us up while we were on tour there. Sorry we drove you and your wife nuts Doc.

The  three of us were in a rented Mustang and we were high on multiple  choice drugs headed back to the Doc’s house from a night of mischief on  the town. We were driving on a twisting two lane road populated with all  these expensive homes. I was in the back seat and we were all laughing  and joking around.
Then I get this goofy idea. “Hey  Steve.” (he was driving and I was in the back seat) “You gotta sing  “Mary Had A Little Lamb” in falsetto and I’m gonna put my hands over  your eyes and Wayne will tell you how to turn.” Insanity a-go-go right?

So  he starts singing “Mary had a little lamb…” in this high pitched,  squeaky falsetto voice and would get in a couple words and then he  started to laugh hysterically. I took my hands off his eyes and shouted,  “C’mon man! Get it right!”

So we do it again and he  almost made it through the whole tune, and then he drove straight off  the road. The next thing was “KABOOM!!!” We were parked 30 feet below  the road we were on in this guy’s garden! Fortunately we landed square  on all four wheels. BABOOM!! CRASH!!!

The guy comes  runnin’ out and says “What the f**k is going on here!” “I’m calling the  police!” he screamed. We were stunned for a minute but the LSD was so  good we all started to laugh again. Talk about crazy…

Well,  the cops come and we bullsh*tted our way out of any type of ticket. We  sobered up enough to put on the dog. We were very good at this type of  instant changing. Actually I think we were all changelings.

We  told him the car’s lights went out and we couldn’t see for a few  seconds and before we could stop we went over the cliff. We all acted  shook up and scared.

We told him who we were, (The MC5) and  dutifully put him on the guest list plus two for the ballroom show the  next night. The officer called a tow truck for us. The  poor guy’s garden was totally ruined, and he threatened to sue us. He  never did. I think we gave him a hundred bucks. We made it back to Dr.  Leary’s house in one piece and laughed a long time about our adventure.

This was my Steve.

So,  be on guard incessantly. Just calmly at the ready. Let your will try  and control the day. Any day. You will pay. Trust this. There are costs  attached to everything. The less you cling to this  material world, and the less addicted you are to sensual, emotional and  physical instant gratification, the freer you will be. Anger needs to be  tamed. Anger needs to be recognized, and addressed. The same with fear.  Fear of all bents and persuasions.

These two menacing  and all pervasive human antagonists are always poised backstage to come  to the fore, and lead your show. Anger turned inward creates depression. We  really need to understand ourselves and our personal relation to fear  and anger. Let your imagination be your guide. Taking an in-depth honest  approach to your demons gives you the power to see a hell of a lot more  clearly than to assume all is well. It is not. Not one of us alive is  not in some way struggling with these two ogres.

Listen  to yourself. Quiet down and rest your thoughts with some silence each  day. Upon awakening, tell yourself the day is going to be a good day no  matter what happens. Practice this continuously on a daily basis. You  will be amazed at how the bare practicing of letting anger and fear go,  will smooth the rough edges and balm your inner soul.

Some  will say this is the age of sedation. Doctors in this country are very  quick to provide a prescription drug to relax you, alleviate your  sadness, your depression. Do cats and dogs need Prozac? Do cows need  Zoloft? Do birds require a minimum of 1000 milligrams of Oxycontin to  get through their extremely busy day of all that flying and food  foraging? You can answer that one. The older I get, the less I presume  to know. But I can tell you this, drugs and alcohol are not the  solution. They are a symptom of the problem.

Simplification.

Emerson said it best. “Simplify, simplify, simplify!” Oh, what divine wisdom he befell. Hell, it’s just too simple to be true.
MGT

Steven  ‘Hawk” Harnadek, 61, passed away July 19, 2009, at St. Joseph Mercy  Hospital. Cremation arrangements entrusted to J. Gilbert Purse Funeral  Home, Adrian.

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