Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"You say all that you believe is a state of mind.... "(Rain Parade, Monogroove)

I've met some colorful characters in my time, but there is no one like Rin.

Rin Lennon is the first musician I met when I moved to LA. I got to Van Nuys in June, and in July, I was on stage at Paladino's with Monogroove.

Psychedelic and a little bit crazy, Monogroove has gone through time and band members without flinching. Forget Cher and cockroaches, when the world ends, Rin's still gonna be there with her pink Jay Turner singing 'No use in Lyin'.

Rin believed in me from jump, probably more than I did. I was nervous about my guitar skills, and the first gig out, she had me playing rhythm, singing, shaking a tambourine, and doing an impromptu harmonica line- and I don't play harmonica. She not only allowed my songs to be part of the set list, she insisted on it, and we classically opened with an old song of mine, Defend.

Her life story is amazing. I won't describe it here, because it is hers to tell, when and if she decides to, and I hope it makes her tons of money someday. But she's had it hard, and she's come out on the other side like NOBODY I've ever heard of or seen. Suffice it to say she has been an inspiration to me and anyone who has been on the receiving end of her gruff and fierce love.

Rin lives in South Central because she can. 5'0", if she's a foot, her wild red hair giving her maybe an extra half inch, she bounds bravely down the streets as if she's on the yellow brick road to Oz. With biceps the size of eggplants from drumming and lifting heavy animals, she is the first person I'd want with me in a bar fight. And I'd rather have a fist fight with ANY man I know rather than take on Rin.

It can be daunting- and off-putting- when you first meet this bullet of energy and grossly inappropriate humor. But talk to her for 10 minutes. Look past the vulgarity and the chain-smoking and the bravado, and there is one of the most loyal, loving, humble people I've ever been blessed to know.

She works during the day as a vet tech, and her house is always bursting with an often comic menagerie of convalescing critters. When I met her, 9 cats and 2 dogs appeared and disappeared into every room. Over the years, there has been innumerably more.

She takes in the animals that need more care than their owners can provide or abandoned animals who are left at the hospital. She feeds them, gives them medicines, loves them, names them, and treats them like family.

I think Rin always saw me as a big kitten. She taught me, watched over me, fought with me, and ultimately let me go to forge my own path, even when it was hard for her to watch me leave.

But of all the people that I've hard to part ways with professionally, no one has stood by me like Rin. We've stayed in touch, and it always makes me happy to see her face and hear her uniquely Rin greeting: "Top of the food chain, motherfucker!"

She is truly someone who knows what it means to be a friend. Some night, if you're feeling groovy, you might catch her and Monogroove belting out Rain Parade or Chloe somewhere in Hollywood. As long as there's a peace sign stitched to her purple corduroy pants, Rin Lennon will be on the scene.


Rin's VIP House (very important pets)

donation button

No comments: