The Gasser
 

The scene of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca.
He's a soldier for Ferdinand The First of Spain
and he was sent to the new world after bullion
and he flipped.

And he said, "In order to know what it means to have nothing
you must have NOTHING!"
And that's what he had in spades.

Through the story he gave me the knowledge of the healing of the hand.
And I want ya to dig it deeply. (Get your feet up)

Just to straighten it out a little bit for you, he met an Indian chief.
He was starving to death, they were starving to death.

He said, they thought he was a white god,
so they said, "We'll be very happy to help you
if you'll straighten out the chief's boy friend who's havin' a little trouble.
He's sittin' at death's door with his back to the street and,
you know, just turn him around."

So he didn't know anything about making an appeal,
but he fell back on those knees and he made a connection that shook the peninsula.

I'm tellin' ya. Ha! He moved 'em.

Well, here's the way it goes down in hip.

Now you heard about Vasco de Gama, "The Island Bumper."

He was a history cat with a big fast press agent.
They say, "De Gama bump island number one." Boom. "Put it in the book."
"De Gama bump island number two." Boom. "Put it in the book."

But there was another cat jumpin' at the same time
that had a lean press agent that cut this first cat to shreds.
And they call him Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, "The Gasser."

And he was a warrior stud for Ferdinand The First of Spain.

And Ferdinand The First of spain was a ballin' king.
He like to see the juice drinkin' and the good time goin'
and the chicks jumpin' and he's carryin' on cat on the top.

He's the kind of stud that stick his wig out of the castle window in the early bright
and say, "Look at Princess Lebidee this morning.
She looks pretty cute, don't you dig?"
He say, "Give that chick another castle."

Say, "We ain't got no more castles, Your Majesty."

He say, "Build her one! Don't stand there like an idjit!"

As a consequence he was a little short of cash.

So it was Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Gasser's, misfortune
to go with a square captain on a three ship convoy.
Ran into a short tilt on the far side and, brrttt,
blew the whole gig on a beach in Florida in fifteen hundred and ten.

And Florida in fifteen hundred and ten was Crocodile City.
You couldn't sit stoop or squat they snap, snap, snappin' all over the place.
And every bug in the jungle is dive bombin' these cats,
and the ones that ain't dive bombin' 'em is hitch hikin' rides on 'em,
and they're beat, bent, flapped, trapped, and de-gigged.

Case you don't know what that means, it means "No job."
That's a pretty bad thing you know that, don't ya.

It was Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Gasser,
a buddy cat and the Moor, and the parrot.
And the parrot had the best go of the whole lick.
He had that feather overcoat.
The other poor studs didn't even have a Union Oil map
but they went stompin' down the beach.
They didn't know where they was goin', but they knew where they was wasn't it.

So to show you how hung up they was:
They stomped all over Texas,
then they turned around and stomped all the way to North Dakota
in fifteen hundred and ten,
and then they turned around and stomped all the way to Mexico City.

And when they got to Mexico City Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Gasser,
sat down to knock a note on King Ferdinand The First
to hip him where he's been goofin' all this time.

Only took him eight years.

Little Sunday afternoon flip, you know.

So he says, "Your Majesty," ( he's writin' in the letter )
He says, "I've suffered from pavement rash."
He says, "I've been billed, willed, and twilled."
He said, "I've been flung, wanged, and loonged."
He said, "I've been hung up, and jacked up, and framed up, and backed up.
I've been stacked up, and macked up, and racked up."

"But," he said, "I never dug no jazz like this last riff you put me on."

He said, "My buddy cats and me was in such a sad bind
we were breathin' in staccato to keep the pilot light lit."

He said just about ready to give up the whole gig and they ran into an Indian village.

Gasser say, "Well, I'll go in here and sound the chief
and get a couple of buckets of acorns."
Say, "We might not find out where we is but we're liable to find out how we is.
That'll help a little bit."

No sooner got that out than here come the chief.

Say, "Ah, me see you. You big god, me know. You come big ship.
You got white wing. He go sky. Good you come. You got good miracle wig.
Me got buddy cat. He have a little trouble, seventeen crocodile.
Okay. You good. You miracle wig. You got big wing. You fix him up.
Put him on his feet. We give you a couple of buckets of acorns
maybe two or three squaw. Okay?"

He ain't even slipped the cata Nabisco up to now.

And the cat that he's askin' to get straightened out is in a very delicate condition indeed.
He's not on the razor's edge.
He's on the hone of the scone.

But they didn't call him Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Gasser, for nothin'.

He fell down on his knees and he said,
"Lord. This is Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Gasser, soundin' it to you, Lord.
No use in lookin' for me in the book. You won't find me there, Lord.
I've been blowin' for King Ferdinand The First in another part of the field."

He said, "I know that you're busy.
I see your switchboard is lit up with calls all over the world.
'Help me here,' 'Straighten me this,' 'Do that,' 'Do that.'"

He said, "I wouldn't be soundin' you out now, Lord,
if I wasn't in such a serious bind, Lord.
But if you do me this little favor, Lord, and straighten out the chief's buddy cat, Lord,
though I never blowed a note for you before in my life, Lord, you got yourself a boy!"

And he looked around in the corner of his eyes
(I had a tough run up that ladder, didn't I )
He looked around in the corner of his eyes
and saw the man he was praying for stand up and say "What time do we eat?"

And he blew about two hundred beautiful miracles right across the land.

There was even one stud on the rug for four days.
Put the gasser on him. Brrttt. Blew him up.

This is history. Dig this jazz. And it's beautiful jazz.

And Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Gasser, said at the end of the letter,
he said, right at the end of this letter, he said,
"Your Majesty, I'm hip that you're a great swingin' king, with a fat book."

And he said, "I want to knock a page on it."

He said,

"I found out on this expedition that
there is a great power within
that when used in beauty and immaculate purity
can cure and heal and cause miracles."

And he said,

"When you use it it spreads like a magic garden.
And when you do not use it it recedes from you."

-- Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, "The Gasser"

Fifteen hundred and leapin' ten.

 

From Buckley's Best, World Pacific Records

Transcribed by EARL RIVERS