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Sunday, June 12, 2005


Did I mention the rain? No? That's because it had no bearing on the events at all for me. We got to day two about six pm, and headed over to the country stage for Darryl Worley. Good but not great, very trad musicianship - big fat guy with a tele, pedal steel, mondo, dobro... I could have lived without the 9/11 song. It's so easy for these guys to jump on the patriotism wagon and talk tough about kicking Bin Laden's ass, but nobody looks past that sort of gut reaction to look at the development of the diseased mind of terrorism, there's a reason why we were attacked, it wasn't for shits and giggles. Misguided maybe, but nonetheless.
Next we took in the Robert Randolph and Family Band. Holy Smokes! Rod - you are so the man! Imagine Hendrix meets Sly Stone with Pedal Steel being the focus/lead instrument. Simply jaw dropping amazing.
John Fogerty was next up, and I had sort of been ambivalent about seeing him, but man o man o schevitz! Not only does he still have his great voice and awsesome guitar chops, he seems to have come around to a happy place - enjoying palying the old tunes, and there are just so many. I relized something about half way in - during 'Looking out My Back Door'. It's really all about the groove, he could have been singing complete non-sense - practically was (Tambourines and Elephants....) - but when the crunk a chunk a chunk a hits, man that's the shit right there. I was seriously worried about Tom Fucking Petty's ability to follow Fogerty. I should not have been worried.
Tom Fucking Petty not only lived up to the over-hype I had built up, he surpassed my expectations, and he didn't play 'Breakdown' or 'The Waiting'. He didn't have to. Tom, like John Fogerty, has amassed such a vast catalog of hits that he can do what ever he wants at this point. He closed with 'Rainy Day Women' (fitting in so many ways), 'Carol', and 'Bo Didley Is A Gunslinger' - it was Bo's 80th birthday. One of the reasons Tom is so fucking cool is the fact that he has maintained the second greatest rock band of all time for over a quarter of a century. Mike Campbell gets singled out for a ton of well deserved credit, but hardly anybody ever mentions Benmont Tench. Bouncing from piano to organ to rhodes with ease, Benmont lends true american sounds to the Heartbreakers with help from the most unsung of the HBs, Scott Thurston. Scott joined in 91, and plays keys, guitar, harmonica, and sings amazing harmonies as well as filling in the Roy Orbison bits on the Wilburys stuff they do. The aqusition of Steve Ferrone on drums, replacing the near irreplaceble Stan Lynch, is a seriously major coup. Steve made his name playing for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kahn, Clapton, and the Average White Band. Steve's kick is where it needs to be every single time, and Tom proclaimed himself to be 'extremely fortunate' to have him aboard. Yes, Tom you are. Where is Stan anyway?
We got wet, we got drunk, and though everybody did not get stoned - I did, I had to - for Tom. It is certainly something to hear thousands of people singing 'Get to the point, let's roll another joint' at the top of their lungs. All for Tom.

Some stuff I forgot.....Robert Randolph was wearing a Shockey jersey, that's the New York Fucking Giants baby!
Chicks on boyfriend's shoulders who are flashing tits are welcome, and will not feel the rain of debris fall upon them. It is, after all, a show.

Randolph does kick some serious ass
Yes, it's amazing how a few beers and great music can make tropical depression rain go away. Oh yeah, young nubile women flashing their assets helps too.

Oh yeah, yeah... Terrorist attacked because they're assholes Jackson. No other excuses justify. Having said that, I'm not a fan of the easy tug on the heart string that some of these guys employ either. Rhyming Bin Laden with forgotten is fairly comical.
So people are just born that way? Assholes are created by their society, they don't come out the womb that way. As long as your kind of 'fuck it let's just kill them' attitude prevails, and we don't bother to ask why, then we are doomed to repeat the process over and over. It's not about justification, you can't seem to see that it's not about that, or apeasement, it's about growing and learning how to get along in a global community. I guess it's either too much effort for you, or it takes away your justification for your hawkishness. Don't forget who got attacked, or where the attack occured my friend, we don't want that to happen again, so we look for answers. You can't fight fire with fire. If you want to cure a disease, you look to the cause.
I think we've killed more of them than they killed in New York. We've certainly killed a lot more children. And for those who say "Well they use their own children as suicide bombers," I'm still sure we've killed more of their children than they have. In Iraq, and in Afghanistan, in the last 15 years.

Attacking the US is not at all hard to understand, if you stop and think for just ONE SECOND, as we essentially use a big chunk of the world to subsidize our standard of living. The fact that so many Americans can't understand why so many people hate them is unbelievable. Doesn't anyone remember hating the snobby, rich, know it all kid in high school who always had the best car, the best clothes, the wealthy daddy, and the biggest mouth? No? You really don't? People have killed for far less than religious and economic reasons. People have killed for being looked at funny.

There's no "excuse." There's no "justification." To say it's because they're "assholes" is utterly and completely meaningless. There were, however, "reasons" and "causes," and if we don't figure those out the next time will be worse.

I don't kill in the name of any religion or God, nor do I support any effort to do so. The terrorist do. They don't argue about it in formal or informal settings and live to argue another day like we do on this blog, or in the corridors of Washington DC. It's not our reckless consumer driven society that most irks them like you'd like to believe (Hell, as much as it may repulse you, it’s exactly that they want). I COMPLETELY understand why they hate us. It's ironic since it's for the same reason you so vilify the quote unquote "Religious Right". Their fanatical absolutist ideology and religious intolerance DOES NOT make room for even your "Dovish" rapprochements for understanding. They don't care about your opinion and would just assume lop your head off as you took a sip of beer for the mere act of doing so. You either don’t believe that this factor plays a major role in the violence being carried out, or you just want to believe that there is this parallel Middle East world where the only difference between the Jackson/Chris/Tony of the free world guys and the Jackson/Chris/Tony Middle East guys are the clothes we wear. I know you'd like to toss me into the pot with all the others that want to vilify the entirety of the Arab world and I won't let you. There are distinctions in this debate. If you want to fight for the right be secular, than I fight with you. If it's only to rail against the morons on the "Christian Right" (and quite large morons they are), and ask for understanding of the fascist Islamics that are blowing themselves up and keeping Iraqis from having the same rights as you do, then I have to ask that you take the time to think for one second. Religious driven imperialism is wrong no matter what religion it is. You’re asking for my tolerance and understand of Middle Eastern religious driven VIOLENCE, while being completely intolerant of domestic issues regarding religious driven policy. This is what befuddles about the “need to understand them” argument.

I read many Middle Eastern written blogs from both Iraq and Iran. It’s to a point that I read as many of them as I do “English” speaking blogs. That doesn’t make me Johnny Expert by any stretch, but I have yet to read one post or comment that asks the readers of the western world to better ‘understand” the repression the religious zealots who sit atop these oppressive regimes dole out. More so, they seem to be asking for help from the western world to help put an end to them.

The jealousy factor may loom in this debate, but I think the repression by the clerical and monarchial bodies that have kept the Arab people down are far more to blame. You or I couldn’t live in these societies without ending up dead, or perhaps fighting a resistance. Is the U.S. culpable by buying oil or other products cheaply from them, or otherwise having diplomatic ties with these nations? I’m sure you have many opinions on this, some I share/some I don’t, but I will say one thing for certain, there is no easy answer and it’s not an all or nothing approach (severe/isolate vs diplomacy). Either approach wholesale will have the same result: They’ll hate us.
I guess I just believe that killing in the name of money (our God in this country, whether we accept it or not) is as wrong as killing in the name of any ideology, like Islam, Christianity, or whatever.

The fact is that wars are about natural resources... politics is about control of natural resources, and religion is just another form of politics.

When the planes hit, they didn't hit a church or a bar, they hit an economic center (a plane flying into Yankee stadium woulda killed a lot more people but wouldn't have made quite the same statement).

I'm not saying that I agree with anyone lopping off my head for drinking a beer. Any ideology-driven war (and what war isn't?) is negative, simply because any war is negative, and all wars are driven by ideology. I never mentioned the word "tolerance," I said "understanding," in the sense of "comprehending." I wouldn't advocate tolerating anyone who kills.

Their religious intolerance is terrible, no question, I agree completely. Would they kill me if I lived there? Probably. But why?

It's pretty clear from the 1998 statement "Declaration on Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders," produced by Osama bin Laden and several other militant leaders, that some practioners of Islam believe that the US's occupation of the Arab peninsula is part of a plan to negate the influence of Islam, undermine the effects of the Muslim faith, and control the natural resources of Islamic nations. To them, this is religious intolerancy, and while their actions are crazy, their statements have a certain logic. Of course, the document violated lots of fundamental Muslim beliefs (even in Jihad, non-combatants are not to be killed). But it's clear that at least some Muslims feel that they are being abused and pushed aside for the sake of American ideology. Religion, money, whatever, it all comes down to people pushing each other around. I don't think anyone's religion should dictate anyone else's life, obviously. What I'm saying is that to the world of Islam we look like we're attacking them on religious grounds (because, as you've implied, religion and politics are one in the same in a country like Iraq).

I don't think the war in Iraq has helped the people. I think there must have been a better way. The fact that there are still bloggers in Iraq and Iran calling out for help, over a decade after the last war in Iraq, speaks volumes.

Well spoken and greatly appreciated response...

BTW, Exploring the same theme on a micro level... It took me a while to remeber all the details after waking up after Midtown Music Fest day two, but I recalled that Jackson intervened between me and some ponytailed dude who was rudely pushing his way through a very densely packed 10th row center spot for Tom F'ing Petty. He pushed my sister which generated a quick finger in his face and a threat not to do that again or suffer some serious Tony Alva reprisal. Jackson stepped in front of me like a baseball manager between a player and an umpire who had just made a bad third strike call, keeping things from escalating past any real point of concern. What was strange and worthy of mention is what happened next. First, a bunch of frat boy types standing in front of me, began plotting together and turned to let me know they had my back. One even pushed his way over to yell at the rude ponytailed guy himself. I tapped him out and let him know that it was cool and that I even though I appreciated his overture, that I didn't want mine or anyone's time ruined by a malay breaking out five minutes before Tom F'ing Petty took the stage and rocked our asses off.

The other noteworthy thing occured as a result of this minor fracus was that the rude ponytail dude must has figured the same thing because he decided to stop right where he was vs. pushing further up front. I even reached out to the guy to let him know "no hard feelings" before TFP started playing.

Now, I would have been quite embarassed to have awoken the next morning to realize that I'd gotten mixed up in a tussle like some highschool fight over who's cooler Ted Nugent or Aerosmith, and am glad leveler heads prevailed, and not that this was my motive at all, but I also might have kept ponytail dude from getting his ass severely kicked by others had his actions gone unchecked and he continued on his misguided journey to the promise land that is the front row.

Food for thought.

Next time on socio-political Savage Distortion... Chicks on shoulders: throw beer cans at them when they flip you off after asking them to get down so you can see vs. not throwing beer cans. Does exposing your breasts get you a pass or not.
Tony, I am glad you brought that up, and even gladder that you took it to heart. 'nuff said there. As for chicks on shoulders of dudes at shows, I though we were clear on that. No tits - let the beer cans rain down. Show tits - stay as long as you like. Women may not like this ruling, but they have the ability to do something about it, i.e. SHOW US YOUR TITS!
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