By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo courtesy of Jack GrimshawJack Grimshaw is a fortysomething resident of Lake Forest (via Manchester, England) and computer-parts salesman (via an editorship at National Enquirer) and an amateur vocalist from way back (like, since he was eight years old and singing in a British boarding-school choir) who has written lyrics for an anti-El Toro Airport anthem to the tune of an all-but-forgotten song by long-dead Jim Croce.
A friend who met Grimshaw for coffee recalls that Grimshaw introduced the song—"Them International Airport Blues," to the tune of Jim Croce's "Working at the Carwash Blues"—and began singing it. In the coffeehouse. At their table. Without accompaniment.
"And without breaking eye contact," my friend says, "as if singing to another man over a cup of coffee were the most natural thing in the world. Make sure you say he has a lovely voice, very nicely aged and mellow."
But so discomfited was my friend by Grimshaw's impromptu, a cappella, solo coffeehouse concert, that he—my friend—couldn't quite remember the words. Here they are:Well, I just love the life in Orange County, It's got everything that you could need. But I keep hearing 'bout a ludicrous proposal. It's a plan that's based on power and greed. They wanna stick us with the noise, The stink and pollution of planes, Screamin' by us in endless queues. Now I got them massively distressin', Home-value depressin', International Airport Blues! Well, we've all had enough of just being railroaded, Jerked around and plain ignored. We're tired of being Silva'd, Smithed and Coaded. Let's get the Gang of Three kicked off the board! They're just a rich man's stooges, a trio of Scrooges, Spouting special interest views, Causin' massively distressin', Home-value depressin', George Argyros Airport blues! We made it crystal clear with Measure F Just how we felt about this whole affair 'Cause those nice folks near John Wayne Have said again and again, They want us all to share in their pain. Well, there's no leeway, not on any freeway, To build an LAX right here. It's a permanent rush hour, an Orange Crush hour, That lasts damn near the whole day long. So, come on, help push the boat out 'Cause we need a big vote out To make El Toro yesterday's news. Yeah, I got those massively distressin', Home-value depressin', International Airport Blues! So, come on, help push the boat out 'Cause we need a big vote out To make El Toro yesterday's news. Yeah, I got those massively distressin', Home-value depressin', International Airport Blues! Yeah, I got those massively distressin', Home-value depressin', International Airport Blues!
Scary? Well, he hopes so, anyway.
Grimshaw has also just finished collaborating on Night of the Witch's Brew: Songs to Chill and Thrill, a CD-and-book collection of rock & roll songs meant to scare the crap out of (and a lesson or two into) young children. Grimshaw wrote the lyrics to music by Patrick Bolen, an all-but-forgotten member of the long-dead Pure Prairie League.
"Patrick and I got together on the project about two years ago and then forgot about it," says Grimshaw. "But Patrick's manager sent copies around, and some record companies have shown interest—including the kids division of Rhino Records. So now we're among the 10 million people in Southern California who think we have a project that's hot shit but have to wait for a phone call from that special somebody who wants to take up an option."
It's not unlike the long wait to see what's going to become of the former Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro. Not completely unlike that, anyway.
"Well," Grimshaw allows, "they are both kind of nerve-racking."
Grimshaw doesn't have any plans to record "Them International Airport Blues."
"But Patrick says he might try to work up a karaoke track," Grimshaw says, "so that other people can sing it."