Saturday, November 11, 2017

"It Might Get Loud"

Even a blind squirrel find a nut every now and again, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Vladimir Putin’s name is trending on Twitter. Please tell me he sexually harassed Melania Trump.

Richard Dryfuss’s son, Harry, claims Kevin Spacey groped him when he was 18. And Richard Dreyfuss has been accused of exposing himself to a female writer. On the count of three, Hollywood, everyone get your hands out of someone else’s pants. One, two, three.

Oh, come on Louis CK. Really? 

Since you asked:

Do want to hear one of the great ironies of music? Muzak, yes, the only form of music hated more than disco, gave us arguably the greatest band in rock and roll.

Just saw, for the third time, the great guitar legend documentary, “It Might Get Loud.” (It is available on Netflix) Amazing stuff. In terms of talent, I rank Jimmy Page alone in first with the Edge and Jack White neck-and-neck for second. 

The Edge is the most technically savvy in terms of using technology for his advantage. He once built an electric guitar from scratch as a 14-year old. He wants the gear to give him every advantage it can.

Jack White is the opposite. If it was up to Jack White, all music would be performed into and listened to on two rusty Campbell’s soup cans attached to a dirty string. 

Jimmy Page is a gentleman in the middle. He did invent the two-neck rock guitar (It had only existed in country music as a combo banjo/guitar) for “Stairway to Heaven.” 

But how did Muzak give us the greatest rock band? At about age 17, Jimmy Page was happily the most successful guitarist at London’s Olympic Studios performing on “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball.” 

After almost dying of the flu from coming out of steamy bars and into the freezing equipment truck to play in a band at bars, young Jimmy found the studio work guitar heaven.

And then the studio started recording Muzak and Jimmy could not take it. He quit and started the Yardbirds and then Led Zeppelin. 

The best part was watching these three great musicians turn into doe-eyed fans of each other’s work. 

Having played in bands and watching rock documentaries, it is surprising to me how little fundamental music theory enters into things. Yes, they all know the keys, chords and basic timing terms. Very few rock stars read music. They don’t need to with the invention of recording equipment. It is all about the ear.

There is no technical music term for the scratchy sound on the guitar on “Satisfaction.” No way to write down the haunting echo of the drums on "When the Levee Breaks." 

In fact, music terms are about as important to rock stars as driving directions are to Indy 500 racers. “Go fast, turn left, turn left again, turn left again, keep doing that for 500 miles.”

As a harmonica player who needs to have the right key harmonica for each different song, it surprised and delighted me that almost all rock bands set lists list the key the song is in up top. (Most rock songs are in one key. Noted exception, "Layla." 

In my experiences in music, bands, comedy and writing, you will always run into scared little nerd stiffs, or experts, as they call themselves, who insist on breaking everything down into cold hard equations. The fact is, most of what is good in life lives outside of the equations. 

Whoa. May have just wrote something good there. You know what they say: Even a blind squirrel find a nut now and again. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Alabama Senate candidate, Roy Moore, is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. What does Moore think he’s doing? Running for Senator of Hollywood?

First Harvey Weinstein and Now Louis C.K. No wonder it’s hard to make it big in Hollywood. The thought of ever being seen masturbating would embarrass most people to death.

It turns out the exiting Twitter employee who shut down Donald Trump’s Twitter account was in customer support. He declined comment because he is busy working on his Nobel Peace Prize speech. 

In Kansas City, a police interrogation had to be terminated due to the criminal’s excessive flatulence, so they let him go. Finally some good news for Harvey Weinstein.

A 23-year-old Ohio substitute teacher, Madeline Marx, is charged with having sex with two male high school students and sending nude pictures. She claims it was all part of the class curriculum: Making it In Weinstein’s Hollywood. 

Comedian Louis CK responded to the five sexual harassment accusations by admitting they were true. He did not lie. Well, there goes his political career. 

Donald Trump’s approval rating with African Americans is 4%. African Americans like Kid Rock more than Trump. 

A poll claims 82% of Donald Trump’s voters said, if given another chance, they would vote for Trump again. 50% however, were undergoing concussion protocol.

Since you asked:

Saw a special on “Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge” on HBO.  The problem with “Rolling Stone”? Like their founder, Jann Wenner, "RS" have always been effete snobs trying to disguise themselves as rebels. 

They trashed Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton’s “Layla,” and despised the Eagles. In fact, they despised the entire Los Angeles music scene, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. 

The “RS” writers were punk rock fans. Being a punk rock fan required a level of such intense pseudo-intellectuality that your brain had to be able to override your ears to say horrible music was great for the purpose of appearing hip and edgy. 

Let me just say anyone who was a devoted punk music fan was and probably still is an asshole. Case in point? Anthony Bourdain. Punk music was a way for people who were rejected by society to feel better about themselves. In punk rock, being ugly and awful was cool.

With the notable exception of great three great writers Cameron Crowe, Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O’ Rourke, “Rolling Stone” writers were punk-rock-loving assholes. This was a reflection of their coked-up prissy founder, Jann Wenner’s, desire to always put down whatever was popular.

Jann Wenner was the bullied fat kid with the bow-tie and the sweater vest who was able to take his angry hot-tears of endless childhood rejection and turn them into a successful magazine. Wenner’s editorial goal was to take his fellow losers and turn them into heroes.

That is why “Rolling Stone” adored quirky misfits Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Andy Warhol and despised genuine A-dogs like Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Don Henley. And female A-dogs like Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks. They, Henley, Bruce, Eric and Plant, Nicks and Ronstadt, were the jocks of the rock world. Smith, Warhol and Dylan were the ones the jocks left hanging in their lockers.

In the end, “Rolling Stone” just turned into a shameless advertising swine-whore selling out to yuppie commercialism almost as blatantly as “Esquire” and “Playboy.” 

Many years ago, when I was doing stand-up at the La Jolla Comedy Store, I was asked to showcase for Mitzi Shore. During my set, in the back of the room I heard this obnoxiously loud frog voice in a Long Island accent almost yell, 

“He’s just another Louis CK.”

It was Mitzi. 

Each time Donald Trump goes off-script, it reminds me of the time I was 16 and tried to impress my driver’s license examiner by doing donuts in the DMV parking lot.

My "Life is Good" sticker on my car is looking a bit tattered and frayed. Hopefully I can replace it soon.

Among the many things that are so deeply depressing about the Weinstein/Louis CK harassment allegations is how seedy and unseemly the sex was. 

Yes, I imagined there was a ton of unfairly manipulated coercing of coupling for professional leverage and threats by powerful men instead of sex for love, but at least it could have been done in a creative and sexy Hollywood way. 

On a canopy bed by the infinity pool with billowing curtains in a Coldwater Canyon home with a 360 view of Los Angeles and the near distant moonlit ocean. With fountains of champagne involving two or three Victoria Secret models joining in. And lots of baby oil.  And strawberries.

Well, maybe not baby oil and strawberries...

Not jerking off into a potted plant in the banquet room of a crowded restaurant or yanking it out of your jeans in a dingy dressing room of a Des Moines Chuckle Barn or a Boise Komedy Klub. 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

We had us a blast of optimism, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Donald Trump attended a Chinese opera. Afterwards, Trump needed to be treated for an ADHD flare-up.

On this date in 1839, the first selfie was taken. It was taken for a before-and-after photo of Cher’s first facelift.

Donald Trump’s approval rating with African Americans is 4%. African Americans like the Country Music Awards more than Trump.

A poll claims 82% of Donald Trump’s voters said, if given another chance, they would vote for Trump again. 50% however, were undergoing concussion protocol.

A “New York Times” article claims 5 women accuse comedian, Louis C.K. of sexual harassment. Apparently C.K. stands for Cosby Kinship. 

A “New York Times” article claims 5 women accuse comedian, Louis C.K., of sexual harassment. “Five? Just five? That is so cute,” said Bill Cosby.

There was an awkward moment in China when they pointed out the factory where Donald Trump’s ties were made and Trump said, “I thought all ties were made in Thailand.” 

Since you asked:

Cannot get enough of CNN today. Bickering over a lousy congressional budget plan encased in commercials about the most depressing and debilitating old-age illnesses. 

Love me some Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style.” Three of my problems are affect and effect, further and farther and less and fewer.

Farther you can measure with a tape measure, further is more philosophical.

Less is an amount, fewer is a number. With fewer decibels we will have less noise. 

Affect is a verb and effect is a noun. Usually. Effect as a noun means result. Affect as a verb is to influence. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Five years ago, this is AC with our little Christmas Wally

The ACLU has slammed Taylor Swift for suing a critic blogger. On the count of three, let’s all say what we’re thinking. One, two, three: 

Taylor Swift is a bitch. 

Wait. What did you say?

When I moved to New York, these were my New York Marathon yearly goals:

This year I am going to run in the New York Marathon.

This year I am going to go up to Central Park and run and then watch the finish of the New York Marathon.

This year I am going to go for a run after I watch the New York Marathon on TV.

This year I am going to watch the New York Marathon on TV.

Did anyone find out who won the New York Marathon? 

The woman bicyclist in the picture flipping off Donald Trump’s motorcade was fired from her job. She was the publicist for Anger Management Inc.

It was awkward when they asked Donald Trump Jr. if he knew his meeting with the Russian attorney was quid pro quo. Donald Jr. said, “Not sure. I never joined a fraternity.” 

The woman bicyclist in the picture flipping off Donald Trump’s motorcade was fired from her job. She was the publicist for “Up With People.” 

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis pitted John F. Kennedy against Nikita Khruhschev. This missile crisis pits Donald Trump against Kim Jong Un. It’s like Spassky V. Fischer compared to Beevis Vs. Butthead.

November is National Impotence Month to raise awareness of impotence. “Oh. We’re aware. We’re aware as hell,” said women.

Like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey has entered  sex-rehab clinic in Arizona. Not sure why all the sex-rehab clinics are in Arizona. It’s dry so they have a lot of lotion and I just got it.

Shalane Flanagan became the first US woman to win the New York Marathon since 1977. Even Barack Obama said, “Oh come on, she had to have been born in Kenya.” 

Predicted to go to the playoffs, the New York Giants are 1-7. To give you an idea how bad it is, Anthony Weiner is saying the Giants are having a bad year.

Predicted to go to the playoffs, the New York Giants are 1-7. To give you an idea how bad a year the Giants are having, Harvey Weinstein just bought a pair of Jets boxers.


The Russian attorney claimed she offered Donald Trump Jr. a quid pro quo, or this-for-that deal. Sadly, it did not work because Donald Trump Jr. thought quid pro quo was a type of sushi. “I’ll have the salmon roe and the quid pro quo.”

Sunday, November 05, 2017

(Masterchef) Most Emotional Elimination | Gordon Ramsey helps a contesta...

We got no waffle juice, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

OJ Simpson said Caitlyn Jenner will live longer because women live longer than men. Well, maybe women who weren’t once married to OJ.

A Chicago man shot himself in the penis after he robbed a hotdog stand. With a crime like this, there simply are no wieners. 

Since you asked:

When I am busy with some mindless task, like washing dishes, right when I am about to feel bored, my mind automatically wanders to people my age I’ve lost. The wonderfully eccentric old-soul and great friend, Chuck Packer; my Sigma Chi fraternity big and little brothers, Tim Chambers and Phil Mittledorf; Katie Madden, the tall, raven-haired, blue-eyed Irish beauty everyone in high school was in love with and her affable husband, Dave Harvey. My beloved evil and better twin, cousin Jack and Dale Estabrook, an athlete who defied gravity only to die by a cruel twist of gravity’s fate. 

And then I think how much they are missed and how much they would love to be with us, even if only to be rinsing out a glass or wiping off a plate.

Cloying Eighties songs we used to love - and don’t try and deny it -  like “Hungry Eyes,” “Died in Your Arms,” “Believe it or Not,” “You Make My Dreams,” and especially “Walking on Sunshine,” are now just punchlines to intentionally corny commercials. 

Went for my first attempt at a jog in a couple of years. It was both awesome and awful. The awful was a confusing combination of being too heavy, out-of-shape and older. But I can do something about the first two.

Now my legs have that wonderful just-perfectly-sore feeling. Sore enough to remind you you worked out well without being too painful. 

We have two huge problems: psychos with automatic guns and Muslim terrorists. And if you and your politics think only one is a problem? You’re part of the problem.

NFL Touchdown dance? Players form a circle with the goalpost in the center. They pretend to walk and text and all bump into the goalpost at the same time. 

Wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which gets filled up first. Of course, with a wish, you don't have poop in your hand. And why would you want to poop in your hand? 

How about wish in one hand and then fill the other with tequila? At least your hand would be sterilized from having poop in it. And you could drink the tequila that did not spill out. On second thought, don't drink the poopy tequila. Pour the tequila into the wish hand instead. And just forget about pooping in your hand altogether. That is just a bad idea. 

I've given us all a lot to think about.