Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Did you see Steve Bartman out there? No? Good. For a second I thought we were in trouble*."

The Chicago Cubs are down 2-1 in the World Series to the Cleveland Indians. The good news for the Cubs is that Chicago Bear QB, Jay Cutler, has been cleared to play. And he won’t be playing for the Cubs.

A drunk-driving Texas A&M student crashed into the back of a parked police car while taking a nude selfie. She is fine and is studying for her final in Kardashian 101. 

And why is Pee Wee Herman reporting from the World Series? Huh? Sorry. Ken Rosenthal.

*For the record, Steve Bartman had nothing to do with losing that series. There was another game to go. 

A survey of college students showed most could not identify Joe Biden or Ronald Reagan, but they all could identify Kim Kardashian. The name of the survey is “We’re So Screwed.” 

Since you asked:

Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” strikes again.

To paraphrase, they suggest you eliminate the word that as much as you can until you can’t. The example:

“He felt that his big nose was a distraction.”

Remove that and it becomes, “He felt his big nose . . . “

How Come Rock and Roll Stars Never Sing About Their Rich Parents?

Nobody, especially me, is calling me a journalist. Nobody is calling me neither Woodward nor Bernstein. Hell, they’re not even calling me Bernwood. Although that would be cool. 

But even guys like me who write penis jokes and Paris Hilton jokes - no, they are not always connected - can accidentally stumble on a discovery now and then. 

In my fascination/obsession with the music scene in California in the late Sixties, I have discovered a hidden secret that runs right straight through the heartbeat of the rock and roll catalyst that was the Echo Park/Malibu/Laurel Canyon/Topanga Canyon/Sunset Blvd. 1968-1980 music mecca: 

Rich parents.

On paper all you had to do was listen to the lyrics of Byrds song “So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star.” and show up on Sunset Blvd in 1968 and you would instantly become rich and famous. 

But as great bands like Crazy Horse and Little Feet and the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco and the geniuses that were Lowell George and Graham Parsons were can attest, it was not nearly that easy. 

One of the written laws of rock and roll success is having a distant father. Rich parents are often uninvolved parents. 

Rock critics hate rich rock stars. So rock stars play down their wealth before and after success. Generally rock critics are punk rock fans. They were ostracized weirdos in high school who have decided to champion being losers. And losers hate winners. That is why rock critics and the Dude from “The Big Lebowski” hate the Eagles. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Dude. But the Dude is nothing if he isn’t a world class loser. 

Rock critics hate bands that are popular like the Eagles and Led Zeppelin. The music critic thinking goes, I am a genius, most people are stupid, if most people like a band, like the Eagles, than the Eagles are be bad. 

Only with artists is the title “Starving” considered a badge of honor. Have you ever heard of a starving lawyer? Or a starving architect? 

Wealth was considered an evil in the Sixties. It was counter to the counter culture. Wealth was something to hide and be embarrassed about and ashamed of. The thinking was the big war machine in Vietnam was caused by the rich republicans and they might not have been wrong. 

But like most professions in the entertainment industry, acting, singing, dancing and comedy, they take at least ten years to have a chance at big success and that is just the people who stick with it. 

So who makes it through those tough and lean ten years? Rich kids. 

It is not a coincidence that the rock stars who died of drug overdoses died at 26/27. Mama Cass, Jimi, Janis, Graham, Jim. Most quit high school to become rock stars at 17 and then they finally made it ten years later, they had money to spend on too many drugs. 

Graham Parson's mom was rich as the heir of a Georgia/Florida citrus magnate and Graham had a hefty trust fund that allowed him to buy drugs and booze, expensive clothes and quit all of the bands he was in including, "The Byrds", and "The Flying Burrito Brothers."

Jackson Browne’s parents inherited a rich hippy haven called the Abbey San Encino in the-then nice area of Highland Park built by Jackson’s grandfather who was an immigrant from Germany. He built it himself before he went into California politics and got rich. Jackson’s parents were mysteriously generous supporters of hippy artists and Jackson was one of them. They also had homes in the city of Orange by the hills. 

Jackson did live in a cheap apartment in Echo Park but he could afford to support Glenn Frey and JD Souther also living there who were, at the time, genuine starving artists. 

Randy Newman’s father was an Oscar winning song writer from a wealthy family. Jim Morrison’s father was a rear Admiral living in a mansion in Coronado. James Taylor’s father was a doctor who came from old East Coast money. David Crosby’s father was an Oscar winning cinematographer who had extremely wealthy parents on both sides. Crosby was a Santa Barbara brat. Crosby, always the annoying artist,  got kicked out of more private schools than anyone can name.

One of the stalwarts of the L.A. music scene and a good friend of all the Eagles was Ned Doheny. Doheny as in the filthy oil rich Doheny family. Owners of Doheny beach and such. J. Paul Getty-like rich. 

Linda Ronstadt’s family was a filthy-rich machinist manufacturer - whatever the hell that is - in Tucson Arizona. Stevie Nicks also came from a rich Arizona family. 

Although a world class abusive a-hole, the Beach Boy’s Wilson brother’s father, Murry Wilson, was a legitimate song writer who also owned a successful machine building business - whatever that is - and banked-rolled their career.  Yes, the Wilson brothers grew up in a modest Orange County suburb, but that was because their well-to-do father was cheap as hell. 

Mick Jagger’s dad was a well-read teacher/economist. Bob Dylan’s parents were devout Jews living in Minnesota, and his biography is suspiciously vague about what they did for a living, but, given the nice suburb where Bob grew up, we can assume they had plenty of money. 

Many of England’s rock legends attended art schools, Clapton, Lennon, Jagger, Townsend and it takes money to go to art school. It takes money to buy guitars and amps for teenagers. Most rock and roll stars grew up taking piano lessons. They had a piano in the house and could afford lessons. Money.

Rock stars love to tell stories about how broke they were. But almost all of them had a soft landing waiting for them back home if they did not make it. 

Most California-based rock and roll stars are rebels who ran away from home and it takes money to be a rebel. Go ahead. Look in the Jobs Wanted section of the want ads under rebel. Not many listings. 

There were some serious rock stars who came from poverty like Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Keith Richards. So it is probably no accident they made it big when they were young. They had to.

But even with all of his talent and success, Bruce said he did not feel comfortable buying a new car until he was 31. And that was after being on the cover of “Time” and “Newsweek” for “Born to Run.”

Most of the Eagles came from truly modest means, but Glenn Frey, RIP. Frey loved to talk about growing up in hard-scrabble Detroit, but his dad was a big shot at General Motors. Frey grew up taking piano lessons and lived out at places with street names called 18 Mile Road which is where the Detroit rich folks owned farms. 

Yes, Frey was broke as old grandma when he got to LA, but he quickly acquired a need for private planes, limos and hotel suites and personal assistants quite naturally. And tons and tons of blow. 

Don Henley said he had three gold albums and $4,000 in the bank before the album “One of These Nights” really broke the Eagles wide open. The Rolling Stones were deeply in debt when they made “Exile on Main Street.” They had to live in France to avoid paying taxes in England. Hell, even George Harrison had to borrow money to finance Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian.”  

The people who do well by the record industry are the bands who fail. The record company pays a fortune to get their first album recorded. And when it bombs, they are done and record company is out of all that money. Where the record company recoups that money is with the acts who make it. 

One out of ten bands record companies sign make it. That sounds generous, but the one-out-of-ten band that makes it earns them millions of times their initial investment. 

The bands who hit it big are ripped off the most. Those bands have to pay back all of the recording costs and tour expenses. And most of them do not own their publishing rights. The songs they wrote they do not own. The bands make pennies per album. 

Unless bands had a pit bull manager, like physical opposites tiny Irving Azoff of the Eagles and the giant Peter Grant of Led Zeppelin, the record companies and concert promoters cheated the crap out of bands.  (Led Zeppelin was so huge in the Seventies, when they toured, the concert promoter and venue lost money. But having had Led Zeppelin appear there paid off later with more bookings due to pure prestige) 

So the record company screams and cries and lies about how much successful bands are losing money. On paper. Meanwhile the record executive lives in a mansion in Bel Air and he supports two girlfriends on the side up in Santa Barbara and down in San Diego. (Several of my neighbors in my first hip/singles apartment building in San Diego were hot wannabe actresses who were being put up by their Hollywood studio executive boyfriends. A $40,000 sports car and a $1,500  a month in 1987 was nothing to them) 

When successful bands did sue their record companies and got what was due to them, namely the Led Zeppelin, Eagles and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Guns and Roses, they were dumbfounded at how much money started rolling in. Look at how rich Tower Records was. Until they went broke. 

Tom Petty said that a 28-year-old male getting a check for $250,000 is just a recipe for disaster. 

Not sure how the economics of entertainment work, but Steve Martin, also from a well-off Orange County family,  spent ten years sleeping on couches and living in girlfriends apartments. Even when he wrote for “Sonny and Cher” and the “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” he was broke. Then his albums broke and suddenly he was collecting valuable works of art and living in Malibu.

Lenny Kravitz’s parents were rich. Slash’s parents were rich. Tommy Lee’s parents were rich. 

Love the story Slash tells of Guns and Roses finally getting booked to play a friend of a friend's dad's bar in Portland for $100. They hitchhiked from Hollywood up to Portland lugging their amps and guitars and drums in the rain. When they finally got there and played, they were so bad, the bar owner refused to pay them.  

Two years later, Axel Rose had his own therapist, masseuse and voice coach sitting next to him on their private plane. 

The lone Eagle who should be the relatively most broke, Bernie Leadon, who quit before “Hotel California” lives on a huge ranch in Nashville and has a side hobby collecting trains. Not model trains. Not a toy train kids ride on. Real trains.  

There are two sides of the American economy. On the side you want to be on is the one I saw when I peered into the celebrity casino at the Palms Casino Resort. It was closed, but there was a blackjack table with a minimum bet of $25,000. That was the minimum bet. They said the the usual bet was $100,000. 

Five minutes later at a gas station less than a half mile away, when I went to buy a bottle of water and sunflower seeds for the drive to San Diego, the cashier/owner lost his freaking Apu mind at my audacity at asking him to break a $100. 

How both scenarios are even possible in the same country, let alone 600 yards away, is hard to fathom. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Happy Birthday to Caitlyn Jenner who is 67. Or two-years-old, depending on how you’re counting. 

Lady Gaga said she does not mind if fans grab her butt when she crowd surfs. She does draw the line at anyone pulling a “Trump.”

The 2-5 Jacksonville Jaguars lost 36-22 to the 4-4 Tennessee Titans in a game that was not remotely as close as the score indicated. 24-3 at halftime, Deion Sanders, who used to play entire games on defense without tackling anyone, admonished the Jaguars for their lack of effort. That is like having Chris Christie criticizing your nutritional habits.

A drunk-driving Texas A&M student was arrested after she crashed into the back of a parked police car while taking a nude selfie. Remember folks, she is in college and she can vote.

Paris Hilton has made four times more money from her inheritance than Donald Trump has from his. And Paris has huge hands. 

Starbucks is going to open 1,000 higher end coffee shops called Reserve. This is for those people who feel that a regular Starbucks just is not douche-y enough.

Brooklyn Nets, Jeremy Lin, is donating $1 mil. to Harvard - his alma mater - to restore their decrepit gym. Harvard’s Endowment fund is over $32 billion. Donating money to Harvard is like sending Google a set of encyclopedia. 

Newt Gingrich accused “Fox News” Megyn Kelly with being fascinated with sex over public policy. There is actually a scientific name for someone who is more fascinated with sex than public policy. They’re called humans.

In South Carolina, a woman was accused of defrauding her sorority of $235,000 and was sentenced to six months in prison. Can you imagine a cute little sorority girl having to go to a scary women’s prison? I’m sorry. Got lost there. What were we talking about? 

A drunk-driving Texas A&M student was arrested after she crashed into the back of a parked police car while taking a nude selfie. The good news is she is fine and is now an honorary Kardashian. 

It is the one year anniversary of the death of the father of Botox, Dr. Arnie Klein, who was 70. And to be candid, Arnie still looks fantastic. 

A drunk-driving Texas A&M student was arrested after she crashed into the back of a parked police car while taking a nude selfie. The good news is she is fine and back at her sorority, Eta Lotta Guys. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

After blowing out his knee in just the fifth game of the season, Kyle Schwarber was 2-3 with a walk and 2 RBI’s in the second game Cubs win of the World Series. All that was missing was his hitting the lights and causing fireworks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

When she started as campaign manager for Trump, Kellyanne Conway looked like a perky yoga teacher. Now she looks like a poster for the evils of meth. 

Scientists have discovered an insect that has four penises. They gave it the Latin name Justinus Bieberus. 


For Halloween, Donald Trump masks are outselling Hillary Clinton masks by 10%. The Donald Trump masks are just the Michael Myers from “Halloween” masks painted orange.

Denver Bronco, De-Marcus Ware, came home from playing “Monday Night Football” to discover his house was robbed. Gosh, I wonder how the thieves knew he wasn’t home?

Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star was destroyed by vandals with a sledge hammer. They treated Trump’s star like Trump treats his publicist. 

Police have issued an APB for Rosie O’Donnell. 

May I suggest Donald Trump name his upcoming network BBC?  Bankrupt Before Commissioned. 

In game 2 of the World Series, the Chicago Cubs will face Cleveland Indians pitcher, Trevor Bauer, who recently cut his pinky on a drone. Bauer’s October ERA is a high 5.06. No word if the drone cut to the bone and will dethrone the lone chance for Bauer to atone for how badly he’s thrown. 

In game 2 of the World Series, the Chicago Cubs will face Cleveland Indians pitcher, Trevor Bauer, who recently cut his pinky on a drone. Basically the same injury that caused Babe Ruth to be traded from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees in 1919.

Defending Donald Trump’s sexual assault allegations, Newt Gingrich accused “Fox News” Megyn Kelly of being obsessed with sex. This from Newt, a guy on his third marriage whose affairs ended his first two, the second wife served her divorce papers on her cancer hospital bed. 

Insiders say Donald Trump is morose and defeated. Even that thing on his head has rolled over and is playing dead. 

Since you asked:

During the NLCS against the Dodgers, they cut to Tom Verducci who said, 

"The Cubs are five outs from the World Series."

Now, I am a fan of the Verdooch, but when he risked an announcer's jinx with a reference to the unfortunate Bartman calamity? I could have scrotum punted that guy. 

By the way, the Cubs need to make things right with Steve Bartman. So do us fans. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A new study of the brain shows that lying gets easier over time. It’s called the “The Trump Campaign.”

Apple announced iPhone sales have slumped. Which is surprising. You’d think they would be scorching Samsung.

Big night for Cleveland sports. The Indians beat the Cubs in the first game of the World Series, 6-0. The Cavaliers got their championship rings and a win. And the Browns had a good turnout for quarterback tryouts. 

The good news is a Georgia teenager woke from a coma fluent in Spanish which he wasn’t before. The bad news is Donald Trump wants to deport him.

On Friday, a cyber attack brought down much of the Internet including Twitter, Amazon and Netflix. It was so bad, Hillary Clinton’s emails erased themselves.

The season premiere of “The Walking Dead” was wild. Spoiler alert, the bad guy, Negan, treated two of the regular characters like Donald Trump treats a publicist. 

Negan, treated two of the regular characters like Larry King treats a diaper. 

There is a new bike lock that releases a stench that makes the bike thief sick. To give you an idea, the scent it releases actually smells worse than the bike seat. 

The 11th woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual harassment is Jessica Drake, a  porn star who turned down Trump’s $10,000 offer for sex. A porn star turned down $10,000 for sex. Apparently Trump’s problem with women isn’t cured with Tic Tacs. 

Kim Kardashian is taking a break from “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” How do you quit a job that pays you $10 mil a year just to exist? That is like quitting being a porn star because of sexual harassment. 

A youth football team was kicked out of its league in Rhode Island when they snuck a grown man into their lineup. Man, Johnny Manziel cannot catch a break. 

Since you asked quickzervations:

What is the over-under on when Michael Moore will announce he is transitioning to Michelle Moore?

The fun starts after November 8th when all the dirt on Trump comes out from the people on his campaign staff.

My prediction is, in two years, Donald Trump will have to sell out to a savior buyer just to remain the titular head of the Trump Organization. And Melania will divorce his ass. Eventually? A Gatsbyesque funeral. 

If it was possible to die of smugness, we would have lost Bill “Still dicking bimbos” Clinton years ago. 

The amazing lesson from Donald Trump? You can graduate from Penn and have tall buildings with your name on them while being stupid as shit.

Whatever age, “I talk to my dog when I walk him and I don’t care who hears it” is, that is what I am.

Hey, Danny Glover, does it count if I only have PBA during Chicago Cubs games? (Asking for a friend) 

Do the hip women announce their periods by saying they have Flo from Progressive? 

OK, Cubs, their ace was on fire and so was Perez. No big deal. No go do that voodoo that you do so well. 

Best line by somebody on Twitter: "Why are we surprised? Trump won't accept the results of his hairline. "

Monday, October 24, 2016

"The pureness of riding a wave comes from sliding across the water and that creates flow and that flow lends itself to rhythm. "

 — Dave Kalama.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” 

― Norman Maclean

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Terry Tate Makes America Great

I wrote this on February 9th, 2016:

Donald Trump has to have more ghosts in his closet than Ebenezer Scrooge could imagine. 

Oh, it is a ponderous chain.