Lonesome EJ had played every game the Neil Young Center had thrown at him in the 18 months he'd been there. He was there as the result of his being declared "Traditionally Unsound" after he had performed Spancil Hill on his harmonica through a Crate amp turned all the way up, at a benefit for the group Hearing-Impaired Vegetarians for Riper Melons.The cards had been stacked against him from the start of the trial,where he had declared his strongest Folk Influences to be Steve Earle,John Popper and Roger Daltry.
But this was the toughest treatment so far - 48 consecutive hours of Burl Ives. He found himself longing for the tremolo of Glen Yarborough,a thought that would have been abhorrent to him a few weeks ago. Some of the Peter, Paul and Mary sessions had been rough, The Limelighters Re-education Program had been quite nasty,but as Ives swung into "I want to soar through the air with my rear end on fire like the tail of the Comet Kahoutek",LEJ felt himself nearing the breaking point.
It was then the music scratched to a halt,and the padded door swung open. Two Young Center Thugs entered,then stood guard by the open door.Lonesome EJ smelled the cigar before the florid face of Colonel Rick bobbed in."Holy Shit!Did..Did ya liberate the friggin' place,Colonel?" LEJ stammered."No,Cowboy.Just you.Sign the paper and get your stuff." LEJ blinked his eyes.Was it all part of the treatment? Was Colonel Rick going to jump into Oh Danny Boy at the last second? He scanned the agreement that the Colonel held out to him."Iran? Colonel we got no business..." Rick spat a fragment of tobacco at the wall."Your harps are already on the chopper,LEJ." LEJ started to sign,then paused,giving the Colonel a look he seemed to comprehend."Yeah,LEJ,don't sweat it.You'll be amplified.Three 1200 Watt Marshalls and a bullet mike.Loud as ya wanna go." Lonesome EJ scrawled his name."Here's yer paper,Colonel Rick." He turned to the Young Center attendants as he strutted through the door and said in a loud voice "you boys shoulda been at Newport when Dylan pugged in...blew the dust off all of them freakin' folk mummies!"...and then he was gone.