Before I got involved in doing chores at Trow-Rico, before
I discovered girls and pot and playing in bands, I had a great life
in the woods with my slingshot and BB gun. As soon as we got
up there, I'd be gone in the woods and fields. And never came
back till dinnertime. I was a mountain boy, barefoot and wild. I
walked through the woods, looked up at the trees, the birds, the
squirrels—it was my own private paradise. I'd tie a stick to a rope
and make a swing from any tree branch. I was brought up that
way, a wild child of the woods and ponds. But of course, nobody
believes that about me. They don't know what to think when I
say, "You know, I'm just a country boy."
No waves, no wind. If you go into a recording studio that's
soundproofed, something just feels wrong to your ears. Especially
when they close the door—that's sound deprivation; it's
anechoic, without echo, without sound. Not so in the woods. In
that silence I heard something else there, too.
I lost all that mystery when I was on drugs. Coming out of
that din I was able to feel my spiritual connection to the woods
again. Drugs will steal you like a crook; spirituality over, I could
no longer see the things I used to see in my peripheral vision. No
periphery, no visions.
I used to go up there and sit by myself and hear the wind
blow. As a kid, I'd come across places where the woodland creatures
lived. Tiny human creatures. I'd see mossy beds, cushions
of pine needle, nooks and crannies under the roots of upturned
trees, hollow logs. I'd look around for elves, because how could
it be that beautiful and strange and nobody live there! All of
this tweaked my imagination into such a state that I knew there
was something there besides me. If you could sleep on moss that
thick it would be bliss. I'd smell that green grass. I would see a
natural little grotto in the woods and say to myself, "That's where
their house must be."