CRUISIN’ THE MUSES: He did it his way

Max has left the building, following in the footsteps of Elvis and others — permanently.Max was a cat who lived his nine lives like an impresario. Sometimes cool, sometimes hot, he always had an attitude.The best way to describe him, inadequate as it seems, is to say he had panache beyond Elvis Presley, who left the building permanently decades back. And any other late cat you care to cite.He beat old blue eyes, who used to hang out up at the lake and in that Vegas place where things are reputed to stay after they happen. Max, like Frank Sinatra, did it his way. Always.He beat Django Reinhardt, whose mangled paw made guitar strings grip your heart. He beat Allen Ginsberg, whose “Howl” beat the Beats back in the day but couldn’t touch the fire and ice poetry that was Max.Max beat Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, Ernest Hemingway and Isak Dinesen, Jean Sibelius and W. A. Mozart, Bill Monroe and Patsy Cline, Woody Guthrie and Mae West. Max even beat the Bird, alias Charlie Parker, and Lady Day, alias Billie Holiday. Max Chicoine-Barrette, near age 18, loved Carson City since his arrival in 2008. He left the building for good, but this is no obituary. It’s a tribute.Long live the Maxster.• • •Here’s another cat, alive and well and worth spilling ink about. He is Greg Lorenzetti, who now cleans up well but once lived the more gritty life of a Bay Area guitar player.He did licks with Big Brother and the Holding Company, the band perhaps best known for work with rock/blues singer Janis Joplin. She also has left the building permanently. Greg now runs Lorenzetti’s Cleaning Service based in Dayton, which cleans commercial buildings, offices, medical facilities, warehouses, etc.Ask Greg if Joplin was as wild and crazy in private as she was as a public entertainer and he just rolls his eyes.Ask him to sing and he again rolls his eyes, saying hasn’t sung in years. But here’s betting he can still play some hot licks.• • •Enjoyed a chance this week to chat with Karen Abowd about an upcoming November function at Caf at Adele’s restaurant to benefit the Greenhouse Project. It provided a chance to apologize for a July gaffe by the guy who writes here. The Greenhouse Project was improperly identified in a story on Pablo Cruise playing at that mid-year benefit, which also was for the project. Though the Appeal ran a correction right after, it seems best to make mea culpas multiple. Thanks, Karen, for being so gracious about it. • John Barrette covers the arts, senior issues and health care. If you have a story or upcoming event that you want the public to know about, email him at or call 775-881-1213.


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