Next Heads Up
was a very attractive group close-up of everyone in the band, side by side and ear to ear. The
middlemost head was Rufus, grinning like a fiend. To his right, stage left, was Steen with the
two ends of his beard, which at that time were about two feet long, knotted tightly around Rufus’
neck. That put Steen’s face at a three-quarter profile while Rufy faced front. Steen’s lips were
about half an inch from Rufy’s jaw and he was pretending to be annoyed.
To the left and right, Davey and Ole each had hold of one of the ends of Steen’s beard, looking
slyly out of the frame as if ready to yank them tight. To balance it all, Murray Lin was tucked in
to Rufus’ immediate left, looking quizzical. I liked how their different colors and textures of hair
and skin showed up. Ultimately it became their biggest selling album; the cover won some kind
of award. Reviews use words like ‘classic’ and ‘landmark’, even though none of the songs was a
Steen snorted when I asked about that, after it was in the news feeds for Kapow. He said it was a
rip-off of the lort on Mount Rushmore. Naturally I had to look up that as well.
It’s the side of a hill with big white faces carved into it. Maybe it’s the way one of the heads was
set back from the others and others were facing at similar angles? I still don’t get it. None of
It was before I knew how serious those two were about one another. I thought that Rufus was
always going to have me and Patty, and fifty or so others of course, besides Steen.
If I had thought in symbolic terms, I would have known they were ‘tying the knot’ even then.
But back then, when Steen was gruff I let it drive me away. It’s an easy thing for Steen to do
when he wants some part of his life to remain a mystery.