Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In sad news, the inventor of the TV remote, Eugene Polley, passed at 96; they’re trying to find someone to get up and say a few words at his funeral, but nobody will get off of their lazy, fat ass to do it.

California is $8 billion in debt. Now when we have earthquakes the state is going to charge us each a $100 ground-based massage fee.

A Babe Ruth Yankee road jersey sold for $4.4 million; it makes the perfect Father’s day gift for that dad who wants to contract the clap from a 1920’s hooker.

A fourth masseur has accused John Travolta of sexual harassment ; not to go into details, but they’re claiming Travolta tried to do to them what “Battleship Earth” did to the studio that produced it.

Since you asked:
Just saw what a lot of the past “American Idol” top finishers are up to, and a lot have washed out of the music business. Good idea of how tough the rock star business really is. After combing through tens of thousands of contestants and painfully whittling it down to the most talented, they still produce a record that bombs and the label drops them.

Some of these people were just flat out idiots. Sanjaya fired six managers. Now he is a New York bartender sharing an apartment with three other dudes.While still trying to convince people he is not gay.

Clearly a few of them said they wanted to be rock stars but didn’t want to have to go to the trouble of recording songs in a studio and supporting the record with a tour. Really? What did you think being a rock star curtailed? Just getting the groupies and the checks?

It is a whole lot harder to be a record producer than it sounds. Glyn Johns - who also produced Led Zeppelin - had to be sold over and over again on the Eagles by David Geffen because he frankly didn't think they were any good.  

At the Gallery bar in Aspen, where he first saw them along with everyone else, Frey's voice microphone and guitar amp were tuned way up over everyone else drowning them out and he just repeated bad covers of B.B. King and Muddy Waters songs. All rhythm guitar and Frey's-then nasal-sounding voice. No sweet high singing notes from Randy Meisner nor his awesome lead bass, no lead guitar from Leadon and no velvet sandpaper from Henley's voice, just very unflashy back-beat drumming. 

When Johns got them in the studio he could see how great their harmonies were. The first song of their own the Eagles could play? On one of their many peyote trips out to Joshua Tree National park in search of musical inspiration, they passed these rock formations used in countless cowboy movies, so Bernie Leadon wanted to write power chords that sounded like the music the Westerns played when the Indians attacked from above.  

Frey and Henley wanted to write a nasty gotchya F.U. beyatches "Won't they be sorry" lyrical letter sticking it to to the hot women hanging out at the Troubador who wouldn't go out with them because they were skinny hippies who didn't have any money. 

Thus "Witchy Woman" was born.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

At Camp David, President Obama and the entire G8 watched the finals of Chelsea Vs. Beyern, Munich for the European Championship. (Chelsea won) Really? Watching soccer, Barach? That is not going to help those first gay president rumors.

A California woman burned her legs and crotch when she claims two rocks she collected from the beach and put into her pockets burst into flames. Asked about the exploded neck massager next to her copy of “50 Shades of Grey,” the woman had no comment.
In Northern California, police found a man unconscious in the bushes a full week after his car accident. As horrific as this sounds, it could have been worse. He could have been inside a Red Robin restaurant during a six-year-old birthday party.

Tide has a product out called “Tide Washing Machine Cleaner.” Do we need this? If there is one thing that doesn’t need to be washed, I would think it would be a washing machine. What’s next? A vacuum to vacuum your vacuum cleaner.

The Chicago Cubs were swept by their cross-town rivals, the Chicago White Sox, in a three game series at Wrigley Field. This makes this the most embarrassing thing to happen to the Cubs all season. Until next weekend when they’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by Memorial Day.


Since you asked:
Having read the lion’s share of David Crosby, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Don Felder and now Greg Allman’s bios, I have come to this conclusion:

Being a rock star is just like any other job. Provided that job allowed severe on-the-job drug and alcohol abuse, paid for luxury travel, gave free food, threw parties with beautiful and sexually willing women, brought you the screaming adoration of 50,000 people and paid you millions of dollars.

Most of my friends and I went to college and got jobs. That is where you learn things like phone etiquette, dressing well, proper behavior in meetings, how to make and keep clients happy, how to appear to be professional and on time. In short, how to get things done and live like a grown up.

Rock stars never learn anything about any of those things because they don’t have to.

Imagine you said; “Screw college, I am going to be a musician or actor.”

If you have a ton of talent you can scrape by for many years giving music lessons and playing small clubs. Most will have to supplement their income waiting tables or driving a cab.

Then comes age 21-22. Your high school friends are graduating from college and getting real jobs. Some are getting married and having children. You are bouncing from crashing on one couch to another and or sleeping in a car.

This is the time of their lives that rock stars look back at with the most affection.

By this time music scenes have a way of condensing the people with marketable talent together. That is how Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young got together, the Eagles.

The big change is signing with a record label. What I didn’t realize is that is not the end game. Many talented artists sign with a label, but their first album bombs. Like Don Henley’s band “Shilo” and they are dropped. What we call fired.

Despite what whining rock stars say, record labels will do anything for their artists to get them to come up with a hit album or single. Booze, drugs, women, fancy cars, clothes homes, you name it. Sure, they signed crappy deals where these were paid for by their end of the record profits, but they get it.

But if their album doesn’t sell? Adios, rude, egotistical, unprofessional, under-educated selfish a-holes.

Rock stars call this intense creativity-stifling record executive and business manager-induced pressure.

The rest of us call it making a living.

But the agents and record companies were swindlers. David Geffen positioned himself as the agent and their record company owner. The definition of a conflict of interest. Just because you take a chance and sign an act, that does not entitle you to freely dip into their portion of the record sales.

Imagine a lawyer says he wants to be your lawyer. He wants to be your lawyer so he wines and dines you and sends you to tropical islands. How nice to feel that important. And isn't free stuff great?

Then you find out he paid for all of it with your savings as well as paying himself - again out of your savings - a hefty salary the whole time? Not so nice anymore, is it?

Saw a clip of the Rolling Stones right backstage right before they went out on stage somewhere in the US. This was circa 1975 when it just did not get any bigger than the Stones. When I was in high school, your status went up if you knew somebody who went to a Stones concert.

Will never forget when I got tickets to Led Zeppelin in 1975. I was a junior in high school and I went to the concert with two of the cooler kids in our high school because they were in a real band.

In high school you get branded with labels, and I was fine with mine as a “straight” football jock. When word got out I went to this cool concert with those cool guys, in the hallway the next week I got double and triple looks.

But I digress.

So there is Keith, Mick, Charlie, the wildly underrated guitarist, Mick Taylor, and Bill Wyman milling about killing time before they are announced.

The conversation was shockingly normal:

“How do you feel?”

“Is it still raining outside?”

“That is a cool shirt, where did you get it?”

“Can I get some Gatorade?”

“Got a light?”

Not sure what I thought the conversation would be like – maybe chanting some secret Satanic chant that only rock stars know that allows them to play great – but they sounded just like my old band before going up to play before 75 people in a dive bar.

Bill Wyman – the biggest lady hound of all the Stones, once tabulating over one thousand in one year – even more than Mick and Mick was legendary – looked and sounded like a guy about to go play soccer at a company picnic.


Monday, May 21, 2012

This is what a sweet, but sad dog looks like. Our Wrigley.

The Obama administration has ordered unilateral laws to stop prison rape; finally some good news for John Edwards

Former President Bush went out on a limb and predicted the campaign will come down to election day. Wow, next thing you know he’ll go crazy and predict the winner will be the guy with the most votes

The trial of John Edwards is going to the jury. In these polarizing political times it is nice when we, as a nation, can coalesce on a topic: send that sleaze bag John Edwards to federal pound-the-new-guy’s butt prison.

A new study claims people who eat more organic food may be more arrogant and snotty. “That is silly, Vegans are such fun and easy-going people,” said nobody.

In a somewhat shocking move, Joshua Ledet was voted off “American Idol.” Phillip Phillips is still on, or as we dyslexics call him: Phillips Phillip. So nice they named him twice.

Since you asked:
Make no mistake, I make a lot of mistakes. It is my fault we have been shackled with rap and Madonna for thirty years because that is when I said neither one will ever last.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been as wrong as I have been about how much our dog Wrigley loved our recently-passed Kasey. Wrigley is so pig-headed I thought he would adjust to and like being the only dog.

We didn’t let Wrigley see Kasey when she passed and that was a major mistake. Dogs, as it turns out, need closure too.

For two solid weeks after Kasey passed, Wrigley searched all over for her, that was how sure he was she would show up. From the second he woke up to when he went to bed, he was looking for Miss monkey pants Kasey.

Then one day he stopped looking.

He lay down and he looked ill. His eyes, mouth, tail and ears were all drooping with sorrow.

Everyday around three he sits facing Kasey’s outdoor cot and cries/yelps for her with genuine tears staining his cheeks/muzzle. He seems certain if he keeps it up, Kasey will find her way back home.

Imagine if your mother, beloved sister, best and only friend were to suddenly disappear. That is what happened to our big boy, Wrigley.

Although he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, Wrigley did not like it when we petted Kasey. He would stick his nose to move your hand away. We thought it was because he was jealous of Kasey.

Nope. He didn’t like us petting on his Kasey. He was jealous of us. He didn’t want us touching his Mom/sister.

We have tried everything we know to help Wrigley. He is a total indoor dog now. He cannot stand to be alone for more than a couple of hours. We, all three of us, take him on multiple walks. We cuddle with him a lot.

If someone had told me a year ago that a dog could get so depressed, I would have made the universal finger-twirling gesture for crazy. Same thing if you told me a dog could cry.

Now I know both are painfully true.

Wrigley turned ten this year. He has bad hip dysplasia in his right hip (As I write, Wrigley is lying on the spot where Kasey was put to sleep) 99.9% of me hopes Wrigley will be here with us this time next year.

.1 % of me hopes he is not, for his sake.