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Monday, April 23, 2007


You don't need to go to New Orleans to enjoy this tasty sandwich, sure the real thing is most likely better, as 'real things' usually are, but don't deprive yourself, it's easy.

Go buy some cold cuts and a nice fresh baguette.

You'll also need some pickled veggies, Goya makes a jar of pickled veggies that's suitable. Dice up that shit with some green and black olives (pitted), pickled peppers, maybe some pickled red cabbage. Dice it all up and make a sort of pickled veggie salad, add some olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, some minced garlic and let it marinade for up to 24 hours.

Split the baguette down the middle sandwich style. Take the top and hollow out a bit of the loaf so you have a little boat type bread thing - fill that with the olive spread.

Pile on the cold cuts - I like Boar's Head Horseradish Sauce.



I've been working up a mix CD for Pappa Robbie of Rock bands copping Reggae. That CD turned into two. One strictly The Clash, and one with numerous other bands. The Clash had too much to offer to the conversation. They demand their own CD.

Track List:

'Guns of Brixton'
'White Man in Hammersmith Palais'
'Pressure Drop'
'The Equaliser'
'Ghetto Defendant'
'Junco Partner'
'The Call-Up'
'One More Dub'
'Armegideon Time'
'Let's Go Crazy'
'Washington Bullets'
'Rudy Can't Fail'
'Revolution Rock'

Strictly speaking the last four are Ska.

The Clash drenched themselves, immersed themselves, in Jamaican music, and much more reverently than any of their contemporaries who dabbled with the 2 and 4........right Gordon?

Yes Gordon, we're still angry. Joe Strummer died charging 20 bucks a ticket, how much are those Police tickets again Gordon?

Pappa, you're going to have to wait just a bit longer, as now I need to take my Clash records to the studio and make the CD from vinyl, you deserve the best representation, and nothing compares, really.


Smoke and Mirrors Myspace page has had a recent renaissance. Neil Young is our friend, and so is Ulrich Roth - can you say Uli is your friend?

And now, Joan Jett is our friend.

Nigel Tufnel is Chan's friend, maybe he'll be my friend too.....

Ahh, it's good to have friends.


After a year of putting our paper juice cartons (below) in our paper recycle bags, we got a ticket this morning, apparently they go with the plastic and metal recycle items, as I was informed by the Recycle Cop as she handed me the $25 ticket.

It's like a book by Douglass Addams; you visit a website, which sends you to another website, that sends you to a link where you can find a breakdown of what goes with what in what type of bag on what day.

Then they change it - how do you know, are we supposed to log on everyday?

These cartons are predominantly paper - but they go with bottles and cans......

It seems all the City has to do to raise some quick cash is slightly amend the rules and hand out the tickets.

Go ahead and bite the big apple, don't bite the maggots.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


You Got the Silver
Little T&A
I Wanna Hold You
Make No Mistake
Wicked As It Seems
Coming Down Again
Thru and Thru
You Win Again
Too Rude
Take It So Hard
Sleep Tonight
Locked Away
The Worst
Whip It Up
Before They Make Me Run
How I Wish

It was a 'Struggle', but I can't find a format 'Big Enough' to fit all of it.


In 1975, Vincent Furnier, aka Alice Cooper, split the band. For ten years Alice had fronted a band that at first was called The Spiders - a band formed by high school buddies in Arizona that re-located to L.A. in the late sixties. There they changed the name to Alice Cooper, and Vince took the name for his own as well. They gigged and offended as much as they entertained, which brought them to the attention of Frank Zappa who signed them to his Bizzare label and released two LPs, 'Pretties For You' and 'Easy Action'.

Sunny L.A. just wasn't the launching pad that they needed, so in 1969 they relocated to Detroit, home of the Stooges and the MC5, and a scene that was more appropriate for the band. On the strength of their performance at a Toronto festival they inked a deal with Warner Brothers, and were assigned newcomer Bob Ezrin as their producer, and the hits just poured out from classic LPs 'Love It To Death', 'Killer', 'School's Out', and 'Billion Dollar Babies'.

When the band got together for the recording of 1974's 'Muscle of Love' record, it was obvious to Bob Ezrin and manager Shep Gordon that the constant touring and recording schedule of the past four years had left them with a disfunctional band of alcoholics that were barely able to make a record. Session players were hired, the record got made, and then a decision was made to make a solo act out of Alice. The thought being one alcoholic was easier to deal with than five, and since he was the frontman, and had the name, Alice Cooper ceased to be a band, and became a man.

Bob got to work, brought in Tony Levin, Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner, and a host of other notable session guys, and in 1975 they released 'Welcome To My Nightmare'. Alice's desire to bring theater into rock was fully realized, and the record was perfect for the type of stage show Alice had always wanted. Alice Cooper Phase 3 had begun.

1976 brought us 'Goes To Hell', another great piece of concept theater rock recorded by the same team as 'Welcome To My Nightmare', now called the Hollywood Vampires.

The next year the team assembled, but Alice was in bad shape, and consequently 'Lace and Whiskey' falls short of the mark. A Vegas style tour followed that Alice barely remembers. His lifestyle had taken over. He was cracking up. A full-blown alcoholic, and unable to discern Vince from Alice.

In 1978 he checked himself into a looney bin. Betty Ford type clinics weren't the rage they are today, and Alice fully thought himself mad anyway.

His experience in the nut house became the fodder for his next record.

Since Bob's main client has gone batty on him, he had committed himself to work on Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' and wasn't available for what would become Alice's greatest miss - 'From the Inside'. Produced by David Foster, 'From the Inside' is a masterwork, part penned by Bernie Taupin, who can't remember the project due to his own struggle with the bottle.

This last record in Alice's 4th phase seems to have been lost in time, but it's point of view is singular in the Alice cannon. For the first- and only time he was dealing with reality, the subject matter actually happened, the cast of characters that appear throughout the song cycle were real people he observed on the inside.

There was a hit single - 'How You Gonna See Me Now', but the album didn't sell well, and during the time of Frampton, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac type sales, it was seen as a failure.

Alice soon relapsed, and began Phase 5. Punk had happened, and it had morphed into New Wave and Synth Pop - Alice had something to say about that.

1980's 'Flush the Fashion' began a string of records that featured Alice taking a new tack. It's hard to tell if he was embracing these new musical styles, or spoofing them, all I know is I bought these records, and I love them.

'Flush the Fashion', 'Special Forces', Zipper Catches Skin' and 'DaDa' (featuring the return of Ezrin), didn't sell well, and are difficult to find these days, but are well worth the effort, as this is the last Phase of Alice that is fresh and honest.

Sometime after 'Special Forces' Alice got sober for good, and in 1984, with the release of 'DaDa' Alice's contract at Warner Bros. was up.

He wasn't asked back.

The newly sober Alice moved to Arizona, picked up golf, and chilled for a couple years before staging a shameless comeback that featured a 'keeping up with the jonses' hair metal style band, and weak material.

Phase 6 - these are the records I didn't buy.

'Constrictor', ' and 'Raise Your Fist and Yell' were laughable, but oddly successful. On the Metal scene Alice was a God, worshipped by the likes of Slash and other contemporary rockers of the time. The kids showed up at the shows, and bought the records.

Then Alice committed the greatest crime of all - he sold out.

In 1989 he released 'Trash'. Largely written by others, the material was an obvious bandwagon hop. It's sad that he felt he had to compete with the very people who he had influenced during the 70's. It's also sad that 'Trash' featured the biggest hit Alice had had in ten years - 'Poison'.

I'm sure you remember the video.

He followed that up with 91's 'Hey Stoopid' (same crap), took some time off, played golf, appeared in 'Wayne's World', and then in 1994, he released 'The Last Temptation of Alice', a much improved record that predictably didn't sell.

Phase 7 - He's baaaack.

In 2000 Alice put out 'Brutal Planet' and hit the road with a band of youngsters that played the old Alice the way it was meant to be played. I saw that tour, as I would the next five. This period of Alice's recorded output shows him taking on the Trent Reznors and Al Jourgensens of the world, but done Alice style. It wasn't 1973 again by any means, but it sure beat the shit out of the eighties.

'Dragontown' followed, then 'The Eyes of Alice Cooper', and in 2005 'Dirty Diamonds' - a reasonably successful attempt to bring back the old Alice sound.

As I said, I went to see Alice every year, and the shows were amazing. Truly.

Maybe it was the golf.........

Monday, April 09, 2007


Smoke and Mirrors will be closed this coming weekend because Chris and I are going to L.A. to sit in on a reading of Chan Chandler's new musical, Slammer!

We've been working on demos for the show with Chan for almost two years now, some of the fruits of that labor are posted at the Slammer! MySpace page.

There's been a lot of sweat and love put into these tunes, and we're very excited to be given the chance to show off our work.

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Monday, April 02, 2007


As it's taking some time to sort through all the Keith tunes, and I know you're all waiting with baited breath for the results, I figured I'd introduce the band - the X-Pensive Winos that is, I'm fairly certain you know who the Stones are.

Sarah Dash; vocalist, one of the Bluebells from Patti Labelle and the Bluebells, as well as an artist in her own right.

Ivan Neville, keyboards, is a second generation Neville who has worked with his famous uncles as well as many other artists.

Waddy Wachte
l, guitarist, renown for his work with everybody in LA during the 70's, most notably Warren Zevon and Stevie Nicks.

Steve Jordan, drums, is a alum of the Late Night with Letterman band as well as Saturday Night Live. Steve is the shit.

Charlie Drayton, bass, is more well known for his drumming, but with Steve in the band, well, let's just say he's a great bassist.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I found some more.

There's a version of 'Love Is Strong' with Keith taking the lead vocal.

'Let it Rock' live with Rockpile.

A cover of Dylan's 'Girl From the North Country'

A duet with George Jones on 'Say It's Not You' from his Bradley Barn Sessions.

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