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Friday, October 29, 2004


'The Buck Stops Here' said the sign on his desk. The ultimate declaration of ultimate responsibility. Guiliani says we shouldn't balme G.W. for the missing explosives, that it was the troops fault. Now who's insulting the troops? When the failed attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran went down in flames under Carter's watch the buck stopped with him, it cost him the election, but he never said it was the troops fault. We all know it's a hard job, but if you want the post, you have to accept the resposibility. You wanted to be a 'War President' George, so be a man, take the heat. Rudy, you sicken me with this type of talk.


My lifelong obsession; in Cheech and Chong's 'Nice Dreams', Tommy Chong declares his wish for a house with a guitar in every room, I always wanted a room full of guitars. They say if you want something bad enough you'll get it, and I have. I have a roomfull of guitars. They aren't all mine, but alot are. As a child in school I would draw them. I bought endless guitar magazines, learned the makes and models, and fantasized about playing them. My parents bought me my first guitar when I was twelve, in 1978. It was out of the Sears catalog, and cost eighty dollars. Glee is the only word that describes how I felt holding that (sorry Mom and Dad, I mean no offense, thank you a thousand times) peice of crap. On that peice of crap I learned the rudiments; 'Smoke On The Water', 'Cat Scratch Fever', 'Iron Man', and of course 'I Wanna Be Sedated'. That guitar was destined to be smashed Paul Stanley style on my parents brick patio in our back yard at West Point, but not until after I had replaced it with an Ibanez Iceman in 1983. I wish I still had that Iceman, it was charcoal grey, the action needed work, but I could easily fix that today, alas I sold it after I bought my next guitar. Tony Alva and I both got our Telecasters the same year, 1986. Since Tony is left handed, it was a bit more of an effort for him to get his. One day at the U of M, Tony got a call from Pat 'Mr. L Smart' Wilson who was at Manny's on 48th in Manhattan saying that Elliott Easton was there trying out left handed Tele's and there were six of them. Tony mangaed to get on the horn with Manny's and secured his before Elliott got done dicking around, and recieved his left handed tobaccoburst Fender Telecaster a few days later. I got mine in cherry red, off the rack at whatever guitaralopolis was on Georgia avenue above the beltway back in '86. That year the Stones released 'Dirty Work' and in the video for "One Hit To The Body' Keith was playing a cherry red Tele, and I had to have me mine. Tony and I were very pleased with ouselves, we couldn't put them down for fear it was all a dream. I love my red Tele. It got me through alot of years. It's been beat up, taken apart, reassembled, and beat up some more, yet it stays in tune and plays wonderfully to this day. Around the time that I moved from Maryland to Connecticut I somehow became the owner of the Gagliano, or the Gagleeano, or the Gagmewithaspoono. A cheap acoustic that had been owned by a man called D.T., and not because those were his initials, was passed around our crew and I ended up with it. It had neck issues, bent tuning pegs, but had this magical quality when you put a mic on it, it opened up, became another entity. Over the years, due to it's proximity to the sticker obsessed Pat Wilson, it had gained a host of stickers, most notably some Flintsones stickers from a cereal box, and a few 'Take With Food', and 'May Cause Drowsiness' stickers for good measure. In 1994 it got one last sticker from Rob Kendall. Rob, back in his communist days, used to hang with the radical student crowd. One day after attending a militant lesbian rally, Rob came home with two stickers that declared: "I Fuck To Come, Not To Concieve". One went on the Gagleeano, and one went on the 'Peace Chicken' (don't ask). Also, just prior to moving to Connecticut, I obtained for one hundred dollars (in goods, not cash) a Harmony Rocket, which I really need to get fixed up, it's up-keep has been quite lacking, to my shame. Those three guitar got me through until 1997, when my band Sex Circus Star started gigging around NYC. When your set is forty-five minutes, and that includes set up and break down, you need a few inexpensive guitars that you don't have to worry about in the mad rush. I also used to jump aroud alot and bash my guitars about, so when Epiphone issued a Les Paul Jr. for $169.00, I bough two. One dark red single cutaway, one black double cut away. The red one is by far the beter of the two, and next to my Tele, it's my favorite. I use the black one these days for the Keith 5-string tuning. Also around that same time I inherited a Fender Stratocaster from my friend Jason. Jason, you can't have it back now, it's been seven years, it's mine dammit! I might add that it stays in tune and plays wonderfully as well, thanks Leo! In recent years I have purchased two more guitars. My experience with the Epiphone Jr.'s was so good that I decided to buy a couple more of their Gibson copies. I bough a Firebird, which I have found to be very Tele-esque, and an Explorer, so I could finally have the double humbucking action. The Explorer is a fine guitar, it gets used often by both myself and clients at our studio. The Firebird is at home in Nyack, ostensibly so I'll play more, hanging out with Andy Rock's Les Paul and Stratocasters.

I read Stephen King's 'The Gunslinger', the first of seven novels in the Dark Tower series years ago, and I started but didn't finish the second and third books ('The Drawing Of The Three', 'The Wastelands') for whatever reason. I had problems getting into the story knowing that I'd have to wait for many years to be able to read them all. Stephen King himself had doubts that he'd ever finish the series. Well he finally did, 'The Dark Tower', book seven, the last chapter is availabvle now in stores. I figured now would be a good time to go back and start over, read them all in one shot. I still had my old paperback copy of 'The Gunslinger', and I borrowed 'The Drawing Of The Three' from Andy Rock, but when it came time for 'The Wastelands', Andy's copy of that had gone awol. I remembered that I had started it, so I checked my bookcase, and though I no longer had a copy of that, I did happen upon my copy of Stanley Booth's 'Dance With The Devil' (also published as 'True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones'). I decided to read it, and then get back to the Dark Tower. What struck me was that the books had a similar tone. Mainly a sense of prevailing doom, but it seems that either writer could have written either book. I have had the Booth book for years, eighteen in fact. Damn. How did we get this old? Anyway, it bears the scars of those years, on the cover (the slip cover having been discarded immediately, which is my habit) are the initials of the author, S.B. At the time of purchase I was living with Pat 'Mr. L. Smart' Wilson, who had a curious jelousy of my relationship with books, so written (in pencil) below the initials in scrabble fashion are the words 'Stupid Book' and 'Salamander Balls', but the finishing touch, a mark of brilliance on his part, in his decoration of my prized Stones book is a rubber sticker of Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka on the back cover. I suppose at the time I was probably a bit put out by his vandalism of my property, but now I value it all the more for them. As I read the Booth book, for which must be the fourth time, what strikes me is how the Stones' attitudes toward race were dual in nature, much like the Gunslinger in King's Dark Tower series. The Gunslinger is a good man who does bad things, a man certainly damned, who is set on saving the world from evil. The Stones did everything they could to kick start the failing careers of black artists such as Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina, Bukka White, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, Peter Tosh, the list is endless, but they are still capable of racist attitudes; "that's where the spades live" and "maybe we can get some sort of black person to play percussion" are not words of endearment to the black community, but yet the Stones were absolutely enamored of the black artists, and their culture. Things have come a long way since 1969, and we still have a ways to go, but I think, in their way, the Stones have contributed positively toward race relations in this country. As for the Gunslinger, I don't know how his story ends yet, but Eddie and Odetta are doing their thing, just like me and my Baby.


Buffalo over Arizona
Tennessee over Cincinatti
Green Bay over Washington
Jacksonville over Houston
Atlanta over Denver
Pittsburg over New England (That's right)
Chicago over San Francisco
Philly over Baltimore
Dallas over Detroit
Indianapolis over Kansas City
Giants over Vikings
Seattle over Carolina
Oakland over san Diego
Jets over Miami (my hammie)

I've been doing so poorly the last couple of weeks, it's getting tougher, so much mediocrity (the first five match-ups), but hey....GO JETS!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Back at the beginning of the football season I predicted that Green Bay would have a good year, that Brett would go out a winner. Well it hasn't been a banner year for the cheesheads, but Brett still has a chance to make it a memorable season, and go out on a high note.

"Since the Redskins became the Redskins in 1933, the result of the team's final home game before the presidential election has correctly predicted the White House winner. If the Redskins win, the incumbent party wins. If they lose, the incumbent party is ousted."- Sports Illustrated

The fate of our nation is in your hands this sunday Brett. Do us all a favor and beat the Skins. Mom, I urge you to pray for the Redskins to loose, I know they are your team, but it's for the greater good. This is a rebuilding year for them anyway. Hue, this is a big one as you know, if you've got a foam cheese hat, I suggest you don it, now, don't wait til sunday, the effect might be cumulative. I will be watching, I'll be in DC, and I will be praying.


380 - the number of TONS of plastic explosive gone missing in Iraq.
60,000 - the number of missing absentee ballots in - you guessed it - Florida.
5,000,000,000,000 - (five trillion) the national debt in dollars.
1,111 - the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq. (1,251 total coalition fatalities, that's 140 to 1,111, some coalition.)
5 - the number of days until the election


Since the Gotam Gal linked to it, I checked it out. I'm not a big Eminem fan, but I do think that in the Hip Hop world, Mr. Mathers is an innovator. I am still a little uncomfortable with having him on my side, as it were, with the election and such. I do appreciate the fact that he may be able to influence some folks to vote, folks who probably won't, or at least haven't in the past, and that's always a good thing. The video istelf is cool I guess, I mean any rap video without booty and bling is refreshing, although I rather like the booty. There are some effective moments; "This is Bin Laden/Look at him noddin", and when the soldier gets sent BACK to Iraq he says "Fuck Bush". That moment is destined for contraversy, but it speaks to a very telling notion, that there are soldiers, many soldiers who do not like the job the President has done, and like less the consequences that they have to face for his actions. I grew up in the military, and I know that the GOP counts on the military vote. Historically it has been overwhelmingly in favor of the Republicans, because Democrats are famous for cutting defense spending, and that means housing, jobs, and health care for soldiers, not just guns. Things are different this time, Eminem knows it, I know it, my Dad knows it. I wonder if George knows.


MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Republicans are criticizing a Wisconsin get-out-the-vote campaign involving public school students, saying Democrats are exploiting the students for political gain. Young people in the program organized by the Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund take time from regular classes to go door to door in minority neighborhoods and areas with historically low voter turnout, urging people to cast ballots.

It's that simple, they don't want minorities and poor people to vote. Why? Because when they do, it's not for the GOP. It's a highly undemocratic attitude, and I dare say a slap in the face of the same faces they've been slapping for years. Comes a time folks, what are YOU going to do? Slap back, vote Kerry.


If Kerry is smart he won't let Bruce talk, let him sing, bring him out for photo ops, but if Bruce goes into one of his "When I was growing up...." raps like he does at his shows, everybody in attendance will either fall asleep or simply become too bummed out to vote.


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (AP) -- A man who said he threw a live electrical wire into his wife's bath hoping a near-death experience would save their marriage was convicted of attempted first-degree intentional homicide Wednesday.


It seems we have lost another legend. You may not have heard of John Peel, but he has been an influence upon you, Howard might be King Of All Media, and Murray The K might have been the fifth Beatle (his claim, not theirs), but John Peel was a true radio maverick, and a giant among his peers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


We're six days away from history. So I ask what do you want? Do you want your freedoms chisled away by fascists? Do you want the war to continue to be mismanaged by an inept business man? Do you want faith based (biased) politics? Do you want to slow down the progress of medical science? Do you want large corporations to grow more powerful, while your voice goes unheard? Do you want the destruction of our natural enviroment to go unchecked? Do you want spiraling national debt? If you do, make sure you vote for George W. Bush, and don't forget about the House and the Senate, you can vote to send more close minded jerks to Washington on that level as well.
If, however, you don't want those things, and would like to vote for someone with conscience, and conviction, someone who will fight these evils, then I implore you to vote for Senator John F. Kerry, I know I am.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


David Byrne once said something to the effect that lyrics simply serve to make people listen to a song for longer than they would otherwise, this may or may not be true, but I know that if I don't like the lyric I won't like the song. A truly well crafted lyric serves the song with it's relationship to the melody, tempo, and rhythm, any wit and skillful turn of phrase is icing on the cake. To that end, I believe the best complete lyric (entire song) would be Bob Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice (It's Alright)'. There's an endless litany (is that redundant) of greats, and I fully expect to hear about it later, but I'll drop a few more; The Band's 'It Makes No Difference' comes to mind as does Elvis Costello's 'Watching The Detectives'. There are no absolutes here, because much of it comes down to taste, but I will say that there are three all time best couplets or phrases.
3) "Baby Baby Baby, Oh Baby Baby" - 'Superstar', The Carpenters (written by Bonnie of Bonnie and Delaney)
2) "My baby does the hanky panky" - 'Hanky Panky' - Tommy James
1) "Jesus rides beside me, never buys any smokes" - 'Can't Hardly Wait' - Paul Westerberg (Replacements)


In the early days of recording, all music was live. A band would set up and play, and somebody would record it. Sometimes this would take place at an actual public performance, sometimes in a studio, but in essence it was live. During the late fifties, engineers and artists (including but not limited to Les Paul and Buddy Holly) began to experiment with multi track recording. Enter the sixties, the Beatles, and multi track tape machines. During this period, the live record became a sort of easy answer for record companies and musicians. Cheap novelty product for the record companies, and an escape route for musicians looking to fulfill unwanted recording contracts with said companies. The first truly great live Rock record was one of the latter. In 1969 the Stones had one record left on their contract with London/Decca. The financial terms of the existing contract were undesireable, they wanted more money for the next record they would write, so they gave the company a live record. In '69 the Stones were touring again for the first time in three years, during that time improvements to live sound production had been made, and the Stones, being trailblazers, brought a state of the art mixing console on tour with them, they recorded some shows, most notably their two night stint at Madison Square Garden, culled from these shows came 'Get Yer Ya Ya's Out'. Concieved as an album of convienience, it became a legendary classic album because it showcases what their records did not, a truly great live band doing what it does best, play. Forget the hits, check out 'Carol', one of two Chuck Berry numbers included on the record, 'Midnight Rambler' and 'Love In Vain' their Robert Johnson cover. By the early seventies a number of bands took the lesson to heart and released live albums to showcase their live act. Grand Funk Railroad's 'Live Album' certainly delivers the message, you can feel the power of a full tilt rock band caught in the act so to speak. The Grateful Dead's 'Europe 72' is not only a great live record, it's the best thing they ever did. In 1975, Kiss, not satisfied by their efforts to capture their esscence in the studio, released 'Alive', the record that put them in the charts on the wings of 'Rock and Roll All Night'. In 1976, Peter Frampton released his megagazillion selling 'Frampton Comes Alive', and although he is credited for making the record companies realise the potential windfall in live records, it was Kiss 'Alive' that was the first live record to spawn a hit single. Never one to be schooled in his own school, Ted Nugent gave us 'Double Live Gonzo' in 1978. Culled from two years of incessant touring, 'Gonzo' features an alarmingly wide range of tunes from the Motor City Madman. From the feeback laced 'Hibernation' to the cascade of 'Great White Buffalo' Ted burns through his catalog with the intensity for which he has been known ever since. I always loved his foul mouthed raps as my mother can attest. 'Anybody wants to get mellow can turn around and get the fuck out of here' Damn skippy. That same year saw the release of 'At Budokan' by Cheap Trick. Much the same as Kiss and Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick's first three records didn't sell as well as desired, in a last ditch effort 'At Budokan' was thrown together from tapes never intended for release. It's a good thing they did release them, because 'At Budokan' was the album that saved Cheap Trick. It has recently been re-released with all the songs from the show, and it's just so smoking. 'Downed', 'Southern Girls, 'Big Eyes' 'Can't Hold On', hell every song that got cut from the original deserves it's day in the sun. Also in 1978 Thin Lizzy put out their infamous 'Live And Dangerous' LP. Unable to capitalize on the success of 1976's 'Jailbreak' album due to bad luck, bad habits, and bad bar room behavior, this live record reasserted their prescence on the Rock scene. Tony Visconti, who produced the album, is on record as saying that the only thing live about that record are the drum tracks, and that everything else was retracked in the studio. I think he's exaggerating some, but not much. The next year came my own personal favorite live record, UFO's 'Stranger In The Night'. It doesn't get any better kids. This is the real deal. Nobody has ever topped that record. If all I could ever listen to for the rest of my life was the live version of 'Rock Bottom', I'd get by. 'One For The Road' documents the Kinks during the peak of their Arista years. Recorded in '79 on their 'Low Budget' tour, 'One For The Road' contains amped up versions of their Brittish Invasion era hits (You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night), a smattering of notable hits from the seventies (Lola, Celluloid Heroes) and almost all of the 'Low Budget' record. There is an attending video to this record, and though I've tried, I can't seem to find a copy. The only other exceptional live record that I can think of is Tom Petty's 'Pack Up The Plantation'. Recorded in 1986 on his 'Southern Accents' tour, 'Pack Up The Plantation' is also a great movie as well. I have never seen or heard a better recorded document to a live band experience. The song 'Southern Accents' stands out as well as 'Rebels' and the audience sing a long version of 'Breakdown'. I know I've forgotten something, and I hope somebody fills me in, but I want to make clear that in no way does The Who's 'Live At Leeds' belong in the same company with the formentioned albums. It's almost as poorly recorded as the Stones 'Got Live If You Want It', which is abysmally recorded.

Okay, already I've thought of an omission, Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'One More From The Road' from 1976 definately deserves notable mention of merit. 'Freebird' anyone?

Monday, October 25, 2004


In 1978, Kiss made a horrific blunder in overestimating the marketplace's desire for more Kiss product. In order to keep peace within the band, and ostensibly to sell four times the amount of product, each member of Kiss put together a solo record. Released simultaneously with uniform packaging, the albums sat in the stores. They shipped a million of each, and were stuck with a buttload of product ready for the cut out bins. The biggest reason for this, in my opinion, is that Kiss was a sum of parts, stronger in union. Peter Criss' effort is most notably the worst. This record is so bad, I have never owned a copy, never. Not even for 'the collection' would I pay money for this poor excuse for smooth seventies jazz rock, it just sucks. Paul Stanley's is barely any better, 'Love In Chains' and 'Move On' being the standout tracks. Most of it is over romanticised balladeering however, and I can't remember the last time I pulled it out for a spin. Gene Simmons' effort is commendable. It should be, he used every high octane session player he could get, along with Joe Perry, Rick Neilson, and Jeff Baxter. The material is fairly decent as well. Gene is probably the most consistant songwriter in the group, and I have always enjoyed his solo record. 'Living In Sin', with guest appearance by Cher is always fun, and I'll never forget watching those kids on American Bandstand trying to dance to 'Radioactive', but my favorite track is the deeply disturbing rendition of 'When You Wish Upon a Star'. Lastly, we have the cream of the crop. If Gene thinks Ace 'did nothing', well what about this record here Gene? Ace Frehley's solo record simply rocks. More so, it kicks major ass. I have worn out multiple copies of it. 'Ozone', 'Snowblind', and 'Wiped Out' are odes to Ace's favorite passtime, getting totally wasted on anything he can find. This in esscence is where Gene's problems with Ace lie. Ace is a fuck up. But, and this is one of the biggest buts there is, he is the man. Check out 'I'm In Need Of Love', 'Rip It Out', and 'Fractured Mirror'. The proof is indeed in the pudding, and this particular brand rips. So much so, that it is the only Kiss album (the word Kiss appears on the upper right hand side of all four releases) that Andy Rock will let me bring into his room.


Alice Cooper spent a good amount of 1978 in a mental facility in Connecticut seeking treatment for alcohol induced insanity. Betty Ford had yet to open the doors of her clinic, and the proliferation of rehabs had not started in earnest. Alice, losing his mind, checked himself into a booby hatch. The result is this great record from 1979. The case of Bud by day, quart of whiskey by night lifestyle had caught up with him, as it would Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for this record with Alice while he (Bernie) was still a full fledged drunk. Bernie doesn't remember the project, but he did a good job. This is one of my favorite Alice records because it's such a departure. Alice had always used writing partners, weather it was Michael Bruce, Bob Ezrin, or Dick Wagner, but this is the one and only colaboration with the esteemed Mr. Taupin. Alice also took a break from Bob Ezrin, who had produced every Alice record since 1971's 'Love It To Death', in favor of David Foster, noted pianist, and producer (see Karate Kid soundtrack, he he he), so it's no wonder that the record has a Broadway feel. It still rocks however, but it tells a story too, and a good one. Tony Alva and I always dug 'The Quiet Room', 'Jackknife Johnny', and the title track. 'Serious' is great rocker with one of the best lines in rockdom:

'All of my life was a laugh and a joke
A drink and a smoke
And then I passed out on the floor
Again and again and again
I took that serious'

I always thought that this record should be brought to Broadway. It has all the goods. Tunes, story, characters. It's also Alice's swan song as far as big production session guy type records, he would spent the early eighties pushin' the punk/new wave version of Alice (whick I love) and the late eighties making bad heavy metal, before regrouping and putting out some slamming stuff in recent years.
Kudos to Alice for being the consumate performer, his politics suck however.


Okay, I promise I'll stop it with the Paul Westerberg and Replacements (for a while), but I just gotta get this last one in. One of the coolest things about seeing Paul on his solo tour was the singalong. For the last half hour of the show, he brings up thirty or so audience members and has a sing-along. It's so calssy a move. He knows you know the lyrics to 'Here Comes A Regular' and he's more than happy to have you belt it out with him. My good friend Clarkie was fortunate enough to be one of the folks onstage at the Warsaw show, and I know for a fact she has been sleeping much better since.


Is anyone surprised that Ashlee Simpson was caught using pre-recorded tapes during her appearance on SNL? I'm not. What bothers me is that the masses believe these kids can actually sing. I wonder what Avril sounds like without Auto-Tune? All these marketed faces are simply that, product, and nothing more. Turn off the TV, and go see a band.


Okay first and foremost, Go Jets! You may be thinking I'm askew, didn't they lose? Yes and no. They kept the nations top team scoreless in the second half, limited to one touchdown and two feild goals over all, and they beat the spread. 6-1 doesn't suck, and it seems that the Pats are beatable, next time Bill, next time. Herm, you da man. I am not. I did horrible. Jacksonville beat Indy (nice), San Diego beat Carolina (snore), Detroit beat the Giants (ouch), Miami beat St Loius (one is better than none), Kansas City massacred Atlanta (who knew), Arizona beat Seattle (what?), and lookie here Hue, Green Bay with the big win over Dallas, nice! Why do the undefeated teams have to be in the same divisions as the New York teams? Why? Why, oh God why? It seems that McNabb and Brady are still in good health, I need to call Tanya Harding. Again.


I'm tired of people telling me it's bad to vote against Bush, that I should be voting for somebody. This is just more spin. I'll put it this way, you're stuck on a deserted island, there's only two things to eat; poison berries, and snake. Am I a fool to choose the snake, which I'm not particularly fond of, but I know won't kill me? I'm all over the snake, thank you. Jason has a great post on poison berries today, but those of you who are into poison berries won't listen to reason, you've already been poisoned.

Friday, October 22, 2004


I enjoy blogging for various reasons, not the least of which is my oversized sense of self worth, but one of the best things that has happened since I started blogging is being introduced to Hue B. Mooksuki. Hue happened upon my blog, and in it he found a like minded cyber pal, and I likewise. When I began blogging in earnest I was giving it to G.W. on a daily basis, anything I could dig up to throw in his smug mug. Of late I have tired of it, tired of the pundits, and tired of playing into their game. Hue, however, has not, and I commend him on his recent rant on Sean Hannity. Here's a guy that I would not even think twice about kicking straight in the sac, and then kicking him again while he was writhing upon the pavement. When I was in Georgia an old friend of mine mentioned she listened to Hannity regularly. I cannot begin to describe the depth of my dissapointment. Even for comic value, well it just goes way beyond what can be considered decent moral behavior. Anyway, Hue gives it to the bastard fairly regular, so check it out...I Hate Huezine!


Atlanta over Kansas City
Tampa Bay over Chicago
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
Carolina over San Diego
Minnesota over Tennessee
Dallas over Green Bay (sorry Hue)
Seattle over Arizona (70 year old Jerry Rice will make his Seattle debut with 574 receptions for 6,000 yards)
Baltimore over Buffalo
Giants over Detroit
Philly over Cleveland
St. Louis over Miami
Jets over Pats (no I'm not high, G.W. asked Jesus and then called me)
New Orleans over Oakland
Cincinnatti over Denver


George Vitray, who's been helping Chris and I with our Brain Shivers Record, has his website up and running. Chris helped George and his brother James with the launch. There's alot to check out, including samples of music he's woked on. One of which is our Santiago, dedicated to those wacky Chilean Happy Boy fans.


I greatly exaggerated the demise of Genereation Records. It is still there on Thompson Street below Washington Square. Much to my relief I might add. I bought so much of my collection there. I'm still mourning Venus Records (formerly on St. Marks) and Second Coming (formerly on Sullivan Street). The Nazareth record was found and purchased by my wonderful Girlfriend, without whom I'd be lost, and still looking for that Nazareth record. She found it at a store near her job in Rockville Md. This points to Chris' assumption that the reason I can't find any gems at the stores here is because I've already cleaned them out. So I apologise to Generation Records, and to any record enthusiast that I may have given a heart palpatation.


Andy Rock, Devon, and THE GUY have been sequestered in Andy's room the past few weeks listening to 'Van Halen II' over and over. After much discussion it was decided by them (not me) that it is the best VH record. I don't disagree, it's just hard to make such a statement. Tony Alva has maintaned in the past that 'Fair Warning' is his favorite, and I always countered with 'Women And Children First', but sitting with the guys and really listening to the record, it has the best riffs. 'DOA', 'Lighting Up The Sky', undeniable riffage. It's hard to say which of the first four is the best, but not hard to say that anything after 'Fair Warning' falls a little flat. 'Hot For Teacher' just can't compare to ANYTHING on this record, so until somebody forces me into declaring otherwise, I'll go wth Andy and the guys for now. By the way Tony, 'Women In Love' is right up your alley, it's pushing your range a little, but I think we'd get awesome results. That's awesome in the hot dog sense, not the God and the universe sense.

'All these crazy women
ah just one more crazy night
but one night is all we're given
so baby leave me alone
or maybe you can stay the night'


Back in the very early eighties, my good friend Pat Wilson and I would sneak off to listen to records that our METAL freinds would have disaproved of. On that short list we had the first B-52's record, any Ramones record (we had them all) and of course Gang Of Four's 'Entertainment' album. I must credit Pat's brother Mike, who brought that record home from college, along with Saxon 'Strong Arm of the Law' and the eponymous Angelwitch record (this last one is another I am desperately trying to find, long out of print, I'm afraid I'm as doomed as the band itself). The Gang of Four record, however, stands out as the most original music I haver ever heard, before or since. From the first note, Pat and I were aghast at the guitar playing. How could anybody do that - on purpose! IT WAS SO OUT THERE! In time we began to see the genius, and became enthralled by this record. From start to finish. We were so impressed, that by the time we were seniors at our high school, we were secure enough in our METALNESS to do a fake rock video for 'I Found That Esscence Rare'. Not quite as funny as Pat's 'Shout At The Devil' video, but nonetheless a fitting tribute to how a new wave band, mostly unknown in our circles, became a huge influence on a couple of METALHEADS in upstate New York. I do find that esscence rare, and it is what I look for. That first B-52's record is a classic as well, and deserves it's own blog (there's a moon in the sky, and it's called the moon).


I've never been, but I wish I was there last night for this gig - Bob Mould, Paul Westerberg, and Golden Smog among others. I've been thinking about Minneapolis alot lately, unfortunately not the Twins. I watched Purple Rain two days ago, for the first time in what seems like fifteen years. Still holds up, bad acting, decent story, but man those concert sequences. I get chills when he does that "Do you want him, or do you want me, cuz I want you..." thing in 'The Beautiful Ones'. What an exceptional performer. Guys like him are thin on the ground. Motzart, Zappa, Prince.... Eddie Van Halen could have ranked among them, but that whole hollywood coke and booze thing screwed him up but good, now he's a lost cause. Back to Minneapolis though. I bought a CD copy of "Please To Meet Me" after my brother blogged 'Alex Chilton'. I figured I needed to have it at my disposal. I was always a 'Skyway'/'Can't Hardly Wait' guy, but I rediscovered 'Nevermind', which is currently blowing my mind. It's sort of the logical extension of 'Unsatisfied', so I'm happy about that. Anyway, I'm overdue for a trip to that particular musical mecca. Keep me posted Hue, next time Bob M. and Paul W. share a stage, we need to be there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


On the way back from Giants Stadium on Sunday my brother threw the Franz Ferdinand cd in the mobile spin machine. I had heard the single 'Take Me Out' before, but it didn't hit until that ride in the minivan - Franz Ferdinand have copped the feel of the King God of all post punk/new wave albums. I'm talking of course about the 'Entertainment' album by Gang of Four. Everybody, and I mean everybody, cites that album as being a prime influence. U2, REM, Husker Du, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Me, You...(well maybe not you). And it's not just a little bit, every song I heard had that Andy Gill guitar all over it. Am I the only one who hears it? I scoped Bob Mould's blog, found an interview with Andy Gill, but neither party mention this Franz Ferdinand record. Now don't get me wrong. I like it. I like it alot, but it's more of the same - Strokes, Hives, et al - derivative. It was cool to see young guys doing Iggy and Mick and whatnot, but isn't it time to start coming up with the next thing? I'm a realist. I know the Stones thing came from something else, as did the Ramones and every other 'new' thing, but I'd like to see something really fresh for a change. Am I asking too much? Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is.


I can't remember which album I traded with my brother Rod to get this record, but it was well worth it. This album is so full of surprises I don't know where to start. Let's try track one; Sammy Hagar's 'Heavy Metal' is probably the best thing he has ever done, some would say the first Montrose record is the best thing he has done, and I'd be inclined to agree if it wasn't for this kicking track. 'Hearbeat' and 'Radar Rider' are very good songs by a promising but destined to obscurity band called Riggs. I bought their debut album on the strength of these songs, and well it just didn't happen for them. DEVO is not known for their covers, but they do them exceptionally well. On this record they do 'Workin' In A Coal Mine' and it just might be the best song on this record if it wasn't followed by the monsterous 'Veteran Of Psychic Wars' by Blue Oyster Cult. Eric Bloom was such a huge fan of the magazine (Heavy Metal), that he offered to score the entire movie, Asylum (the record company) wanted to give their artists some slots (we'll get to that soon enough) an they picked this one (If anybody cares they can buy Blue Oyster Cult's 'Fire Of An Unknown Origin', where all of Bloom's movie inspired compositions ended up). Vetran Of Phsychic Wars' is a classic:

"You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars
I've been living on the edge so long, where the winds of limbo roar
And I'm young enough to look at, and far too old to see
All the scars are on the inside
I'm not sure that there's anything left of me"

A strange thing happens next on this record. At the time, 1981, Cheap Trick was starting to fade. Their latest release 'All Shook Up' was the first in a long line of poor efforts, but the two songs they offer on this soundtrack are two of the best songs they ever produced. 'Reach Out' and 'You Must Be Dreaming' are just incredible songs played with the intensity that their eighties output lacked.
I'm a big Steely Dan fan, but why on earth would you put a Donald Fagen song on album called Heavy Metal? Can anyone explain why this song (True Companion) is on here? I can see why Stevie Nick's 'Blue Lamp' is included, she, and former Eagle Don Felder, were Asylum acts, and more impotantly, Irv Azoff represented acts. You see alot of Asylum/Azoff associates on soundtracks from this time period. Take a look at the soundtrack for 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High'. This is however where the album begins to veer off-course, not completely however. Nazareth chimes in with 'Crazy (Suitable Case For Treatment)', not their best, but not bad. Grand Funk (minus the Railroad) gives us 'Queen Bee' which is as pleasant and derivative as it sounds. Certainly Black Sabbath's (with Dio) 'Mob Rules' is a standout track, as it would be anywhere, and it's a different mix from the one that appears on their album of the same name. Lastly, 'Prefabricated' by Trust. Trust was a bad French Heavy Metal act (I know, redundancy alert) who's footnote in history besides being on this soundtrack, is that Clive Burr, the excellent original drummer for Iron Maiden quit the upwardly mobile Maiden to join...a french heavy metal band. ouch. There is one song left that I have not referred to, by name or artist, and that is because it's the song that can't be named. Any mid eighties prom attendee will appreciate the sentiment.


Over the years I have manged to amass a collection of vinyl that threatens 1,200 volumes. I'm afraid, however, that the days of finding a diamond in the rough are over. There used to be four used vinyl dealers in the four block area south west of Washington Square Park in New York City. Now there are two, and one is Bleeker Bob's, where I will only go if I've exhausted every other avenue. Bob charges an arm and a leg and a lung for any vinyl in good condition. The other is Bleecker Street Records, who assumed the collection that was housed by Generation Records before they shut down (same ownewrship). I went there Saturday, and was disapointed. There's nothing left. The bins are full of crap that nobody will ever buy, meanwhile the Bowie, Neil, Zappa, Velvets, ect... bins were empty. It seems all the good stuff is gone. Thankfully I was able to get most of what I'm interested in over the past fifteen years. There are a few exceptions, and one is Nazareth 'Playing The Game'. I need this record to complete my set, if anybody can help. I was able to pick up a Black Oak Arkansas record, the Tommy Bolin solo record, Crack The Sky's first record, and the Firefall album with 'Mexico' on it (it's the same one that has "you are the lover that I've always dreamed of..."). Slim pickin's. I was psyched about the Tommy Bolin record, but when Andy Rock and I dropped it for a spin, it just wasn't great. Certainly no Jeff Beck 'Blow By Blow' which I was sort of hoping it would be. More of a Whitford/St. Holmes type deal. Sounds good on paper.


I didn't get around to doing my picks, and I'm bummed because I probably would have done well. I did go see the Jets on Sunday with my brother, my nephew, and my Girl. It seemed that Gang Green was in a funk for the first half, and when they finally did get into gear, they did just enough to win. I find it hard to put it all on the lack of Santana Moss. Clearly something was missing, and they best find it for next weeks fray with the Pats.


When I was in Atlanta I picked up a copy of the Gene Simmons biography, 'Kiss And Make Up' that Tony Alva had on the shelf. I admire Gene for his vision, but was sad to see that he felt obligated to refer to a sexual liason on every page. It reads something like this: "We went on tour, I had sex, Ace did nothing." His constant abuse of Ace, who has abused himself enough at this point, was too much for me. To Gene I say; take a look at your back catalog, see which albums are still selling, then tell me Ace did nothing you big fat wig wearing passable at best bass playing salesman. On the way to the airport I stopped and picked up the new Anthony Keidis bio, 'Scar Tissue'. Oh boy. In Gene's book there's a tryst on every page, in Anthony's it's a syringe. I commend Mr. Keidis on his candor, and his humilty, and find it hard to believe anyone could live through that kind of abuse. Mr. Keidis had help with his book, and it's a better read for it. Gene obviously thought he could go it alone, and it reads at about the seventh grade level. I recomend 'Scar Tissue' to anyone who has or has had a relationship with an addict. It is the best insight into the psyche of the disease I have come across, and without getting preachy, Anthony deals a straight hand on the topic of successful recovery.


If I can help it, and I may not because I plan on flying to Atlanta quite a bit, I will avoid flying Delta in the future. They use this hair-brained system for seating, Zones. If you pay more you get a lower zone number, and board earlier. It does not, however affect where you sit. So 'zone one' could include passengers all over the plane. This makes for haphazzard and lengthy seating. What ever happened to back to front seating? I don't mind waiting, I just hate waiting on line with a hundred other people while bag-draggers shove their ungainly luggage in the overhead baggage compartments, taking up all the room, and leaving us 'zone eights' squat. I was also inconvienienced when a second Edward Wilson boarded and was given the same seat assignment. I was there first, but I had to get up and let 'Ed 2' sit (because he was travelling with a friend) while they 'found' me a seat on a fully booked flight.

Thursday, October 14, 2004



I've been here a week and I'm heading back to New York today. My thoughts? If you're going to vote, don't do so on the basis of somebody's 'slopey shoulders'. Beer and politics is a bad mix. 95% of the campaign coverage has come from assholes, why can't we just let the candidates speak for themselves and leave it at that? ( I saw a woman on some TV program say that there was only one candidate who can lead on education....and she was talking about Bush!) There is nothing wrong with being into God, just as long as no possesive articles are put in front of Him (Our God, My God....) I've decided to route for the Astro's (Jeter is the best baseball player playing today, but dammit I'm so sick of the Yankees). Green Bay cannot win withouit a running game or defense, hell nobody can win without those things. I'm 35 of 58 if anybody's counting. People can agree to disagree. I'd move to Atlanta if it wasn't surrounded by Georgia. I miss my Girl, I'm goin' home.

Monday, October 11, 2004



Is another blogger, and we have it. My partner in audio, Chris Pace, has started a blog. I'm not sure if this is an effort to get me to shut up about mine or not, but he does have quite a bit to say. For audio engineers, songwriters, musicians, and anyone who has spent alot of time in a room with no windows.



The recording session at Grey Cat Sound went extremely well. Tony Alva's studio is a great place to make records. Chris and I had great time, and will be back soon. We recorded nine songs in five hours. Most of the credit goes to the band, part of the Life Teen organization, who were extremely professional and prepared. Nothing beats a well rehearsed band. And they rocked! I don't have much experience with christian rock, but if this band is indicative of the genre, then I guess Jesus digs a good rock groove. The differences were that we bagan the session at 8 AM, and the bands communal moment before tracking was prayer, not sharing a joint. I've been quite critical of organized religion in my blogs, but I must say that nobody tried to influence my belief system in any way, and they were very nice, happy, and well adjusted people despite thier passion for christ. Whatever get's you through the night.



First off, in my defense, I made these picks at 7:30 am in about three minutes.
I'm 6 of 13. We'll see how Green Bay does. As of now I'm 35 of 57. Both New York teams won, so I'm happy regardless. Can somebody please break Tom Brady's leg?

Saturday, October 09, 2004



Cleveland over Pittsburg
New England over Miami
Giants over Dallas
New Orleans over Tampa Bay
Jacksonville over San Diego
Carolina over Denver
Baltimore over Washington
Atlanta over Detroit
Minnesota over Houston
Inianapolis over Oakland
Jets over Bills
Arizona over San Francisco
Seattle over St. Louis
Green Bay over Tennessee

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


If there's one thing guaranteed to warp the minds of our nations youth, it's simulated puppet sex. That's one thing we just can't abide!

This is just too ridiculous.


CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) -- A U.S. Senate candidate who said recently that homosexuals should not be teaching in South Carolina's public schools has added another group to his list of poor role models for children -- pregnant women with live-in boyfriends.

Jim DeMint is the name, fascism's the game. We know what's next. I get the feeling that Jim would only be comfortable with straight white protestants. Considering the state of South Carolina's educational system, I don't think it's wise to start limiting the already poor availability of competent teachers.


Rush Limbaugh is a pig, an idiot, and a big fat jerk, and I'd love nothing more then to see him crash and burn. Having said that, I think his civil rights are being violated. I will not only defend his right to privacy concerning his medical records, but his right to throw his life away abusing pain killers, if he so chooses. Having your dirty laundry aired for public view may be the price of fame, but I think the prosecutors down in Florida are getting a little out of hand on this one. Maybe they should spend more time looking into Jeb's closet, they might find some interesting stuff there.


Reading the comments on Jarvis' blog made me think about this great song by Rush. The optimum line here is 'and they're quite convinced they're right'.

The Trees

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.


Rodney Dangerfield died yesterday, he was 82. Here's a man who lived the dream. Rodney, I'll miss you. Maybe now you'll get some respect. I know I'm renting Caddyshack and Back To School tonight. "Oh you teach English, would you like to help me straighten out my Longfellow?"


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a final report to be made public Wednesday, investigators will conclude that Saddam Hussein didn't possess stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Hey Kerry, here's some more fuel, this time use it!


Howard, I wish you well. I guess I have some time to sign up for Sirius. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? Just make sure you bring Arty with you when you go. I for one can't wait to hear a 'real' Stern show, unfettered by government restraint. I guess in this day and age, one must pay for free speech. We can all thank the religious right for that, and I guess Ronnie Reggae for opening the door to those nut jobs. You may have been 'the great communicator' but your legacy has altered communication in this country for the worse. Thanks.


Fred and I went to Radio City to see Wilco last night. I had never seen them before, and though I had been exposed to Wilco, I wouldn't have called myself a fan. I am now. Wilco plays American Music. To be more specific, one could label them Alt Country, a genre they helped put on the map, but I hate labels and genres. On Fred's post he goes into more detail about the show, and the set list. I was knocked out by the sound (here he goes again...). Radio City is known as one of the greatest sounding rooms in the world, and Wilco are a perfect fit. Loud enough to rock, but not too loud as to ignore what the designers of this fantastic room had in mind. That's what I don't like about Irving Plaza, the room sounds shitty, and to make up for it, they just pump up the volume, bad sound engineering. Whoever was working the Wilco show last night knew what they were doing. I could talk to my brother without shouting, but at the same time you could hear everything in the mix perfectly. So Radio City get's an 'A+' for sound, and seating too, because there's not a bad seat in the house. Those who are vertically challenged can have a tough time at shows, but at Radio City everybody can see the stage. Now let's talk about the bar. Why can't these venues get reasonable staff behind the bar? The object is to sell MORE beer by stepping up the pace a bit. The attitude of the bar staff at Radio City last night was the same as you might find at the counter at McDonalds, complete apathy bordering on obstrufication. Radio City get's a 'F' on that score. All in all, it was a great show, and I was happy to have some time with my brother.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


If you were from England and were between the ages of twelve and twenty-four in 1972, you could not have been able to avoid exposure to T.Rex. Marc Bolan was everywhere, except in the U.S. Not for lack of trying though, americans just didn't get it I guess. "Bang a Gong" did manage to climb the charts, and I'm sure a good amount of americans were into T.Rex, but for the main part, T.Rextacy was largley an english phenomenon. In the late sixties, Marc Bolan and bongo player Steve Peregrine Took were clubbing around London under the name Tyranasaurus Rex to little success, but notable interest. A blend of folk and Tolkien inspired fantasy, Tyranasaurus Rex had limited commercial appeal. But appeal enough to lure producer Tony Visconti. From 1968 to 1970 Visconti produced 'My People Were Fair And Had Stars In Their Hair', 'Prophet's Seers and Sages', "Beard Of Stars', and 'T.Rex" The 'T.Rex" album marks the turning point from mystical folk to electric rock. The single 'Ride A White Swan' jumped up the UK charts, and a star was born (finally). It was at this time that Marc started to put a proper band together, dismissing Took, and replacing him with Mickey Finn, as well as adding the vocal talents of Zappa's Flo and Eddie to the mix. On the next record, 'Electric Warror' this transformation was completed with the addition of bassist and drummer Steve Curry and Bill Legend. The recording of Electric Warrior was a task in itself due to that fact that the band was now constantly touring in support of another hit single 'Hot Love'. Recorded in New York, LA, and London, 'Electric Warrior' was the breakthrough record that Marc had been so desperate for. Featuring the smash hit 'Bang a Gong (Get It On)' Electric Warrior went straight to number one in Engalnd, and managed to climb up the U.S. charts as well.

"This is the definitive T.Rex album. If you must own only one, buy this one."--Tony Visconti

The story, however does not end there. Marc Bolan and T.Rex went on to record two more stunning albums. 1972's The Slider, and 1973's Tanx. All three of these records are amazing. They define an era. The Slider would be my pick for the 'if you must only own one' award, but hey, Tony's the man. Sadly, Marc's star was on the decline by 1974's Zinc Alloy. Lost in overexposure, marc commited the common crime of believing his own hype. He gained weight, became reclusive, and though not confirmed, it is alleged that he fell victim to drug dependancy as well. Even sadder, in 1977 during the midst of a comeback, with a prime-time TV show in production, Marc died in a car crash on September 16th, 1977.

For more info on Marc Bolan/T.Rex

For more info on Tony Visconti


"Saddam Hussein will help us achieve the peace we all want."--- George W. Bush

Sounds awful, right? That's because it's taken out of context. This is how the Bush administartion has been playing the game. The actual quote is:

"Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell. America and the world are safer for it. We continue to pursue our policy of disrupting those who proliferate weapons of mass destruction. Libya has disarmed. The A.Q. Khan network has been brought to justice. And, as well, we're pursuing a strategy of freedom around the world, because I understand free nations will reject terror. Free nations will answer the hopes and aspirations of their people. Free nations will help us achieve the peace we all want."

"People out there listening know what I believe. And that's this ideology of hate." --- George W. Bush

But in fact:

"People out there listening know what I believe. And that's how best it is to keep the peace. This nation of ours has got a solemn duty to defeat this ideology of hate."

This is alot of fun. I bet they pay somebody an awful lot of cash to sit and sift through Kerry's transcripts and come up with this shit. The only way to know what somebody actually says, is to hear them say it. Pay attention tonight to what Jonathan Edwards actually says, and then compare it to what the good folks at Camp Bush say he said. C'mon, it'll be fun.


Chris and I are taking a trip to Atlanta to record a band that Tony Alva is producing at his studio, Grey Cat Sound, located in the suburbs of Atlanta. Isn't most of Atlanta located in the suburbs of Atlanta? Anyway, we are looking forward to the experience of trying to get our killer drum sound in a different room. Tony and I began our recording carreers together back in the mid eighties at Coal Mine Sound (West Point, NY) cutting our teeth on analog tape. We've done some sessions with Tony at our studio, Smoke And Mirrors (Williamsburg, Bkln), but I haven't done an all out full band recording with Tony since 1989. It will be fun, and hard work. Doubtless saturday will be the toughest day, not only because that's the first day of proper tracking, but also because Tony won't be able to watch all the college football games.


During an appearance in Ohio late last week, Bush [said]: "When our country is in danger, it is not the job of the president to take an international poll; it's to defend our country," he said. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice also questioned Kerry's comments. "I heard Senator Kerry say that there was some kind of 'global test' that you ought to be able to pass to support preemption, and I don't understand what that means," Rice told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."
"I don't understand 'proving to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons,' " she said.---CNN

I guess when our country is in danger the best thing to do is sit tight a while, talk tough a bit, then wait six weeks to do anything about it. Certainly during those six weeks, the President could 'sound out' some allies about how they stand on the issue, and I'm certain the current administration did exactly that. So why condemn Kerry for saying he would do exactly what Bush did. As for Condoleeza, admiting that you don't understand a very simple concept does not make me feel safe with you as National Secutity Advisor. I can understand, however, how you might have trouble hearing correctly with your head up your ass.


Okay, so I got another one wrong. Good. I'd much rather see KC do well. I hate that stupid purple wearing team from Baltimore, pretenders! That does me bring me down from my projected 11-3 to a decent 10-4. For the season, 29-44. Still doing well, could do better, probably worse. Hey, and aren't ravens black? Isn't that why Edgar Allen was so taken by them? I mean if Atlanta already had the black thing and the bird thing, couldn't that fraudulent team down in Baltimore have come up with something else? How about red roosters? The Baltimore Roosters. Works for me, but I'd still hate them for not being the Colts, while I hate the Colts for not being in Baltimore. I sound like a grumpy old man....'When I was young we had Colts in Baltimore..."

Monday, October 04, 2004


Originally I was going to post this as a 'Gulty Pleasure' but I feel no guilt here. Now, I'm talking about the Original London Cast recording, not the awful Motion Picture fiasco. I use to listen to this record between sides of Iron maiden and the Scorpions back in the early eighties. I just love it. I wish I knew who played guitar on this record because there's some smokin' playin' goin' down here. What I do know is the Jesus (Ian Gillan of Deep Purple) and Judas (Murray Head of 'One Night In Bankok') deliver astounding vocal performances. Murray Head's vocal on the 'I Don't Know How To Love Him' Reprise is simply the most emotional vocal performance I know of (other than anything by Mavis Satples). Released in 1970, it was a UK number one LP. I have seen many performances of this stage classic, but nothing compares to this recording. It quite possibly could be the only thing to keep Andrew Lloyd Webber from eternal damnation. The Jesus character is written a little whiny, whereas Judas comes off total bad ass. If I were to stage it, I'd make my Jesus a Elvis, give him some balls.


I couldn't decide which record I liked more, so I'm gonna do a twofer. In 1972, after four years of trying to break it in the biz, on March 26th, after a gig in Zurich, Mott The Hoople called it quits. Lack of record sales, bad management, and general depression had taken it's toll despite the burgeoning scene in London. The problem was David Bowie wouldn't let them quit. He convinced them to reform, and on the stregth of his recent success (Space Oddity/Changes) he convinced CBS to sign them, and not only produced their next record (All The Young Dudes) he wrote them a hit song-'All The Young Dudes' (this just prior to producing 'Transformer' for Lou Reed). The record starts of with a cover of Lou Reed's 'Sweet Jane', most likely prompted by Bowie, a huge Lou fan, needless to say, the song rocks. Along with the title track and the Lou cover, this album is a start to finish, five star, masterpiece. "Sucker', 'Jerkin' Crocus' and 'One of the Boys' offer up the standard Mott fare of the time, rock and roll licks and rock and roll riffs, with smarmy lyrics about smarmy english men with Gibson Guitars. Ian Hunter is the english Bob Dylan, and he comes through time and again on this record. 'Sea Diver' is a beautiful melencholy ballad, and the Mick Ralphs penned 'Ready For Love' would end up a hit for Bad Company when he and Paul Rodgers threw their considerable talents together the next year. I'm not sure why Mick left the Mott, there have been stories of unproffesional behavior however. The next album features his replacement, the very talented and suitable fit; Ariel Bender (whtever happened to Ariel Bender?....great name). Released the next year (1973), 'Mott' is almost as good an offering as 'Dudes'. 'All The Way From Memphis', 'Drivin' Sister', and 'I Wish I Was Your Mother' are all fantastic tracks, but it's 'The Ballad of Mott The Hoople (March 26th 1972 Zurich) that get's me weepin'. It's just such a great song, and it really gives you insight to the mindset of Ian Hunter. I can't get enough of these records, and if you're not a collector, and want to see what the lack of hype is about, check out their awesome anthology: 'All The Young Dudes: The Anthology'. It's only Rock and Roll, and I like it.


The Line 6 Pod has been around for a few years and has been selling like hot-cakes. George Vitray has one, so does Tony Alva, and Pat 'Mr. L Smart' Wilson. Basically it's every amp you'd ever want in a small football shaped box, ready to run direct into your board. It's versatility is without question, the question is, what's better, the Pod or the amp it's emulating. Andy Rock and Goerge Vitray had a debate about this on saturday, a debate I stayed out of because I wanted them to shut up and get on with the task at hand, namely laying in some awesome guitar tracks. Now both George and Andy know that a tube amplifier with a good mic on it will always sound better, Rock music needs air. At some point you need a speaker to push the air around, it's essential. Well, almost. George's take on this is that you can sit down in the control room with a guitar player and just dial in sound until you find what you're looking for. You save quite a bit of time by not having to set up a bunch of amps and mics, and in the studio, time is money in it's most absolute. At times George is willing to sacrifice some air, or character, for convenience. Andy's point is that he already has the sound he wants; his Les Paul through a Marshall with everything set at 10. I'm of both minds. Nine out of ten times, I know the amp I want, and have it; Fender Deluxe, Fender Bandmaster, or Marshall. There are times however that I will use the Pod. On occasion I might want a Vox AC30 sound, or a Roland Jazz Chorus, and if that's the case, I'll use the Pod, but this is always in the overdub satge. I would never use the Pod for a main giuitar track. Another occasion to use the Pod is when you are recording a live take with multiple musicians as we did this weekend. We wanted to keep the drums as clear of bleed as possible. Our live room is small, and in most live situations, you end up with guitar all over the drum tracks. Not, however, if you use the Pod. We tracked guitar, bass, and drums live, but the bass and guitar were going direct, no bleed. We re-amped the bass, and tonight we'll re-track the guitar with a 'real' amp. We'll retian the live feel of the take, and not have to sacrifice seperation. That is where the Pod is indespensable, because the players want to hear a reasonable facsimile of what the guitar will end up sounding like (in the headphones) as they are doing it. With the Pod, everybody can be made happy. Andy will never use one, and that's fine, Andy will never need to, he has a special relationship with his instrument and his tone, he knows what he wants, and it takes less than five minutes to set it up. In the end, the Pod is a great tool, the Marshall is a great amp.


First Off I'd like to say that I've spent the better part of twenty years convinced that Led Zeppelin was over rated. This stems from two things: Robert Plant is just way too effeminate on stage, and his lyrics at times are just plain bad (Dancin' Days, Ramble On...). It seems I'm always reading about his testosterone levels, I see no eveidence of anything resembling machismo from Plant. And secondly, when I was a teenager, Led Zeppelin was hugely popular with the Trans Am and muscle shirt crowd (hard guys) at my semi-rural high school. In short, Zeppelin was just not cool. Having said that; I love Led Zeppelin III. I always have. My brother Rod got it for me for christams '79, and I listened to it endlessly that year (along with RUSH '2112', Nazareth 'Hair Of The Dog', and Ted Nugent 'Double Live Gonzo'). What's great about this record is the departure from the formula set by Zeppelin I and II. The first two records were essentially 'live' blues jams, and although they finally nailed that appraoch with 'Since I've Been Loving You' on Zeppelin III, they spend the majority of the record exploring acoustic textures, and more exotic and folk styles of writing and performing. 'That's The Way' (my all time fave), 'Tangerine', 'Freinds', and 'Celebration Day' bring a freshness to the Zeppelin that's unmatched in my opinion, with the exception of 'Battle Of Evermore' on the fourth record. During the past twenty years as I was poo-pooing the Zeppelin thing to anyone who would listen, I was often heard saying that I would prefer to listen to John Bohnam play the drums by himself. Now, I admit that's a gross overstatement. Bonham is/was/and always shall be king-god behing the kit, but, and I'm saying this for the first time here people, Jimmy Page is deservant of all the accolades he gets ("the guitarist I like is Jimmy Page"-Mike D). Although Page is often a bit sloppy, it's not due to lack of talent, it's because he has no fear, he just goes for it, and if he mis-frets here and there, well then that's all just part of the game for him. John Paul Jones is probably the most underated rock musician of his time, and Jimmy and Robert would do well to remember his monsterous contribuition the next time they reasssemble. Via the bass, keyboards, and exotic stringed instruments, he layed down the tapestry uopn which they froliced. So, yeah, Zepplein is cool, they do rock, but 'III' is where its' at.


A few years back my good friend Paul Raff got married, and he gave rather eccentric gifts to the members of his wedding party. Mine was a 'life size' (it's actually a bit smaller) bust of Ace Frehley. We keep Ace in our live room at the studio where he sits on a perch doling out the POWER TO ROCK. Many of our clients comment on Ace, but none more so than Mike from Microdot, who inserted odes to Ace in his lyrics during our session yesterday. I hope those lines make the cut, and Mike has assured me they will. Ace had his hands (he doesn't have any) full this weekend, for much ROCK was laid down. We spent saturday with Andy Rock (true rock) and Rob Machold (Microdot) laying down a live take of 'In The Flesh' for our Pink Floyd The Wall tribute (Due Nov. 30, not the 25th as previously posted). It rocked. Andy went on to lay down some solo's, some reverent to Mr. Gilmour, some less so, but it was a fruitful session, and all involved should be proud. Sunday we had Microdot in, and they laid out four songs, which we are going to augment tonight. George Vitray, who's producing these sessions, will then take the project over to his studio, VIA SKYWAY, for mixing. Chris and I have been blessed by our relationship with George, he has taught us invaluable lessons about recording, and mixing records. He also introduced us to Rob Machold, without whom we'd still be creating loops for drum parts. Thanks George, we love you, and your television.


I'm 10 out of fourteen with one to go. I'm fairly confident that Baltimore will put me at 11-3 for the week. If so, that will put me at 30 for 43. Jeez, I'm pretty good at this. Sorry, Rod, to have put you through that, but I figured that the Green Bay defense would give it up in the end, but in true Giants style, we just took out the QB instead. I'm surprised by Oakland's lame showing against Houston, and the same goes for New Orleans/Arizona. I was able to actually catch some of both the Jets and the Giants games thanks to George Vitray at Via Skyway who actually has a television in his studio, but more on that later.

Friday, October 01, 2004


In 1976 Joe Walsh joined the Eagles just in time to record their masterpeice, Hotel California. After the massively successful tour for that album Joe took some time to record his fourth solo album 'But Seriously Now Folks...'. It's clear upon listening that Joe had hit his stride as well. This album never gets old. The production is top notch, and the material is his best offering, including the Eagles and the James Gang. My favorite song on the record is 'Tomorrow', Joe's ode to procrastination:

"I'm gonna spend the rest of today
Makin' a list of things to do
But I'll do 'em all tomorrow
It can wait until tomorrow"

Most people are familiar with the hit off this record; 'Life's Been Good'- Joe's ode to rock stardom. What blows my mind about this song is that it's so well arranged that you don't notice that it clocks in at 8:57. This is one difficult feat to manage in any era of rock. In fact when the song wraps up, you get that feeling you sometimes get with a good song; that you don't want it to end yet. The whole second side of this record is a testament to an artist's vision, two instrumentals followed by a nine minute single. There's just nothing like that in rock music today.
I just love Joe, if I could invite one celebrity to dinner, it would be Joe....or Ringo.


Almost forgot.

Pittsburg beats Cincinatti
New England beats Buffalo
Oakland beats Houston
Washington beats Cleveland
New Orleans beats Arizona
Jets beat Miami
St. Louis beats San Francisco
Indinapolis beats Jacksonville
Giants beat Green Bay (sorry Hue, wait, no I'm not)
Philly beats Chicago
Atlanta beats Carolina (tough call)
Denver beats Tampa Bay (who cares)
San Diego beats Tennessee (tough call)
Baltimore beats Kansas City (I hope I'm wrong)

That's it folks. This time monday.... Jets 3-0!!!!!


I frequently blog about music that I enjoy, and it's usually Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, or Punk, but I do have a fondness for melody. In fact my tastes in hard music tend toward the melodic; Iron Maiden with Paul Dianno over Bruce Dickenson for an example. That is not to say my tastes are limited to those genres, and to that end I'm going to wave my ass in the wind here with this astonishing and potentailly embrrassing admission. 'Guilty' the title track to the Barry Gibb produced Barbara Streisand record is one of my all time favorites. This song is a virtual jackpot of melody, and I often pull it out and drop it on the turntable after a couple of whiskey's and let the melodies wash over me. I literally tear up, wondering if I could ever produce such gorgeous music. In 1978 there was no evil greater to me than the brothers Gibb, but alas I've grown...and that's another blog.


When the Clash were the 'only band that matters', I was fifteen and mostly interested in Heavy Metal. I came around however. Over the years the Clash crept in. The first record that I heard was The Clash, thier 1977 debut. My friend Alex Mans used to play it endlessly in the Road Crew Mobile Unit. I remember liking 'Hate and War', but not buying the record. My brother Rod had at least the first three records (The Clash, Give 'Em Enough Rope' and 'London Calling) and it was the last of these that did the trick. Although 'Give 'em Enough Rope' was produced by Blue Oyster Cult's man behing the board-Sandy Pearlman, and had a decisive Heavy Metal edge to the sound (much to Mick Jones' joy, and Joe Strummer's dismay), it was the songs that sealed the deal, and the songs on 'London Calling', specifically the first three cuts-'London Calling', 'Brand New Cadillac', and 'Jimmy Jazz'- sold me big time. I have gone back and purchased all the Clash albums including the 'Black Market Clash' ep, and I love them all. What's most notable about the Clash is their infusion of musical styles into the Punk framework. This sort of genre assimilation came to light on 'London Calling', but evidence of it was there from the start. London DJ and filmaker Don Letts helped turn the Clash boys onto reggae, and the quest for musical experimentation-led by Strummer-continued to supply the band with fresh material. 1981's 'Sandinista' is the apex of this quest. A triple record set-unheard of in the marketplace-provided fans with more music than they could handle. I love the record, and it is extremely diverse, but it's not for everybody. I would say that 'Washington Bullets' is one of my all time favorite songs, and Mick Jones provides some great rock tunes; 'Somebody Got Murdered' and 'Police On My Back'. For all intents and purposes here, the Story of the Clash ends with 1982's 'Combat Rock'. The only Clash record to make a profit, 'Combat Rock' features the mega hits: 'Rock The Casbah' and 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go', and thrust them into the mainsteam, and eventually disfunction. Mick quit, Joe and Paul put out a lame record (Cut The Crap), went on a 'busking' tour, and finally called it quits in 1984. There's far too much to say about the Clash, and I haven't the time, so you can get the DVD 'Westway To The World' and get the story straight from Mick, Joe, Paul and Topper, or you can buy the book 'Return Of The Last Gang In Town' and read about such colorful characters as Bernie Rhodes (manager) and Guy Stevens (producer of London Calling). Or you can just get out the albums and feel important again.

"Midnight to six man
For the first time from Jamaica
Dillinger and Leroy Smart
Delroy Wilson, your cool operator

Ken Boothe for UK pop reggae
With backing bands sound systems
And if they've got anything to say
There's many black ears here to listen

But it was Four Tops all night with encores from stage right
Charging from the bass knives to the treble
But onstage they ain't got no roots rock rebel
Onstage they ain't got no...roots rock rebel

Dress back jump back this is a bluebeat attack
'Cos it won't get you anywhere
Fooling with your guns
The British Army is waiting out there
An' it weighs fifteen hundred tons

White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up Robin Hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution

Punk rockers in the UK
They won't notice anyway
They're all too busy fighting
For a good place under the lighting

The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got Burton suits, ha you think it's funny
Turning rebellion into money

All over people changing their votes
Along with their overcoats
If Adolf Hitler flew in today
They'd send a limousine anyway

I'm the all night drug-prowling wolf
Who looks so sick in the sun
I'm the white man in the Palais
Just lookin' for fun

I'm only
Looking for fun"-- 'White Man In Hammersmith", The Clash- (Strummer/Jones)


"It was just before dawn
One miserable morning in black 'forty-four'.
When the Forward Commander was told to sit tight
When he asked that his men be withdrawn.
And the Generals gave thanks
As the other ranks
Held back the enemy tanks for a while.
And the Anzio Bridgehead was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives.

And kind old King George
Sent Mother a note
When he heard that father was gone.
It was, I recall, in the form of a scroll,
With gold leaf and all.
And I found it one day
In a drawer of old photographs, hidden away.
And my eyes still grow damp
To remember His Majesty
Signed with his own rubber stamp.

It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free.
And no one survived
From the Royal Fusiliers Company C.
They were all left behind,
Most of them dead,
The rest of them dying.
And that's how the High Command took my Daddy from me."
-Roger Waters

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