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January 8 & 9, 2008 Wilda Martson Theatre, Anchorage, Alaska
Moonalice poster by Chris Shaw
According to Moonalice legend, Anchorage was the northern outpost of the Pacific hemp trade in the late 18th century. Apparently there is an untold chapter of Captain James Cook’s third voyage of exploration, during which the good captain sailed north from Tahiti to Alaska. He came up the inlet to what is now Anchorage and dropped anchor. What the history books don’t reveal is whether Captain Cook sold a major cargo of Tahitian hemp to the natives he met in Anchorage … or whether the captain sampled some of the cargo. We believe the evidence suggests that both are correct. Why? Captain Cook, who was the finest seaman and mapmaker of his generation, mistook the inlet (which is salt water) for a river (which is fresh). Moonalice legend suggests that the captain had to be buzzed to make a mistake like that. Then Captain Cook went to Hawaii, where a different group of natives killed him for reasons that remain shrouded in the fog of history. We’ll leave exploration of that part of the legend until the band goes to Hawaii.
The band’s first gig of 2008 was in a theater attached to Anchorage’s city library. It was a beautiful winter evening almost all day long. The sun came up around 10:30 in the morning and set around 4pm. Talk about rock ‘n’ roll hours!
According to Moonalice legend, January 9 was an historic day for the tribe. History shows that on January 9, 1793, a Frenchman named Jean-Pierre Blanchard attempted the first hot air balloon launch in America. The event occurred in Philadelphia and it was an A-list party. In attendance were President George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Henry Clay and Paul Revere, among others. The day was a huge success, as Blanchard took off, floated a mile in the air and then fifteen miles downwind, landing in New Jersey.
It has been widely reported that prior to Jean-Pierre’s take-off, President Washington passed something to the would-be balloonist. The history books suggest that Washington gave Blanchard a note to show people he met upon landing, just in case they thought he was from outer space. That didn’t sound credible to us, so we consulted Moonalice legend. Naturally, we found the full story.
Anyone who has seen the movie National Treasure knows that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, et al were members of the Masons. What they don’t know is that these patriots were also members of the Moonalice tribe. Washington was an enormously successful hemp farmer in Virginia, and well known for the quality of his product. Moonalice legend reveals that what Washington gave Blanchard was a tightly rolled hemp product. He was reported to have said, “Yo Jean-Pierre! If you’re going to be a mile high, you might as well be eight miles high! Happy landings!!”