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Cooper-Moore Remembers David S. Ware

Nov. 7, 1949-Oct. 18, 2012

David S. Ware

An IRS agent came to our house in Boston to interrogate us about why we had not paid Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam War excise tax on our phone bill. It only came to about 12 dollars, so we figured it wasn’t about collecting the tax but more about harassing and spying on us. The trench-coated interloper stood over the kitchen table as my wife and children and I ate our soybeans, rice and collard greens. But he kept turning around and looking toward David’s shut door. You see, DD (as his friends and family called him) would come home from driving his cab, and the first thing he’d do is put on Albert Ayler’s Bells before fixing his own dinner.

You could see that the agent was having a very difficult time of it, between our antiwar resistance rap and Albert blowing. Then David put on Ayler’s Ghosts LP and turned it up real loud. I think it was the “Holy Spirit” track that did it. The agent looked over at the door and got mad and burst out, “If you don’t want to pay your taxes, why don’t you just leave the country!?” That’s when he was asked to take his trench coat-, wingtip shoe-wearing self out of our house. Later, when I told David what had happened, never looking up, he chuckled, “Um hmm. I know, I know.”

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