Performing undercover

1977. It was as if I was performing undercover. Opportunities galore, but a reticence on my part to be seen. I had developed a very shy nature wondering about the implications of Tim Buckley’s murder, and what it had to do with me. There were old ties to the intelligence business connected to my murdered father, as well as my telling CIA to kiss my 19 year old bootie in 1969 when their Chinese Mata Hari tried to recruit me for anti war moling. This could possibly involve everyone who played with me, if she was as vindictive as she was good looking, which I thought she might be. My paranoid thoughts seemed truer when another music partner was murdered; Peter Ivers, a major creative force in the New Wave music scene. The quote that stuck in my mind, that hindered me, spoken by the FBI undercover player on tour with us in 1972. “When Buddy picks up a gun, that’s when everybody goes to jail. ” Tim looked at him in bewilderment, at the vodka gimlet for breakfast piano player sitting across from him. His ultimatum had no bearing on the question that Tim had just asked the piano player, which was about himself. Tim knew this guy was FBI. We all did. He would tell us what was going to happen in the Watergate hearings before it happened. Tim had asked him a very simple question, “If I get political again, are you going to kill me like you did Jimi and Janice?” The piano player never answered that question.                                                                                                             excerpt: “History of the Groove.” Russell Buddy Helm ©2015

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