Buddy Miles was singing, “My Mind is going through those changes”

excerpt: “History of the Groove” Russell Buddy Helm ©2014 all rights reserved

1970. I came to, flat on my back. I opened my eyes and looked up at a circle of people staring down at me; a worst case scenario nightmare. It’s real? Buddy Miles was playing loud and live just a few feet in front of where I had just passed out. He was singing, “My mind is going through those changes.” and the band was pumping. We were at the Jai Alai Fronton in Miami on a hot and humid night. I was wearing a leather shirt; a dumb thing to do in Miami. Its hot. Someone had given me a cup of what I thought was coca cola as we went on the stage, I drank it deeply and the next thing I knew I was unconscious. I had dropped like a stone.
“Everything’s OK.” I heard Buddy Miles say to the concerned audience as I tried to move. “Somebody just had too much to drink.”
I was helped off the stage and got to a chair in a dressing room backstage. Charmaine, the Miami FM underground DJ sat with me, holding my hand. I had no idea what had just happened. She didn’t either. Whoever had dosed me was gone. Strange things had been happening to me for awhile and I was trying not to get paranoid but this was scary. I went to see a heart specialist the next day. Everything checked out fine. I got my medical deferment selective service card in the mail from the draft board the next day. It was weird. I wasn’t going to Viet Nam but there was freaky shit happening to me here, in Coconut Grove. I had a suspicion that it had something to do with me telling the CIA to fuck off, but I had no way of being sure. Six months earlier, I was delivered to Washington DC without telling me what it was about. I didn’t even know I was the guest of CIA until I arrived in Georgetown, driven up by my “college girlfriend”. She was older, hot, and had picked me up at University of South Florida in Tampa, in a theater arts course. I had no idea that she had an agenda planned for me. They wanted me to be a drummer for the CIA; go undercover in the antiwar movement and fink on the activists. That did not appeal to me at all, even though I had wanted to follow in my deceased father’s footsteps in the intelligence game when I was younger. But by the time the Viet Nam war was raging in our living rooms, I decided it was not a good idea. Besides music was beckoning to me. Mother had encouraged my creativity, but had also kept me in a state of apprehension about what, I was never quite sure.

excerpt: “History of the Groove” Russell Buddy Helm ©2014 all rights reserved

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