MY PERSONAL MUSIC-RELATED WEBLOG OF NEWS IN CYBERSPACE
Rest In Peace, George B Gibson, Jr. - 11/14/09
Yep - that's me; front page news - click on the pic to read
more namedropper updates from earlier '04/'05/'06/'07/'08 updates further down this page
May 1, 2004 - The Syracuse project is over early, and I'm heading to Homosassa, Florida to help my folks a bit. Mom had mini-strokes 4 weeks ago, and they could use a hand for awhile. Who knows where I'll end up playing again, but keep watching this site for updates!
Aug. 28/Sept 3, 2004 - Well, that was an interesting month. After driving back and forth on I-75 to help batten down the hatches for both Ginny in Naples and my folks here in Homosassa on Fri. the 13th (of August), Hurricane Charley decides to swerve right in the middle and severely messes with so many musical compadres and friends in the Pt Charlotte/Ft Myers Beach area. I still haven't heard from old Deacon's Den (VT) buddy Justin Adams who was in first-hit Punta Gorda, but all the others I was worried about are OK. And just OK. Dave and Dale Moore got SLAMMED, and I went down a week after to help a little in their reconstruction. I couldn't believe what I saw! Paul Cottrell, Scott and Audrey at DigiMuse where I recorded Bits and Pieces, Rick Robinson on Ft Myers Beach - among many others - had VERY close calls. It was so scary not being able to get through, thinking the worst when seeing the images on TV. and NOW we got another one heading our way! FRANCES looks like she's gonna give my area a couple of days worth of strong winds and rain, just as my real older brother Bill pulls in from Texas for a couple of days! Could be worse, but Geez! Just heard from OLD Ed Potter today again, former road mgr. of Carey Rush Band over in Daytona - they still have power out from Charley, and he's moving back to NH. I feel the same way. Florida's oppressive heat, low pay, and ridiculously corrupt government has taken it's toll on me, too. Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
UPDATE 5.2 - Sept. 7, 2004
Well, this sucks. FRANCES has left the building - barely. Two days on a generator, trying to fix and restart it at 5:30 am in the midst of the storm. Trees down. Flooding (we have a moat now). We're told it'll take a month for the water to recede. Mosquitoes will soon be a-breeding all over. Getting soaked 5 times in one day trying to keep the generator gassed and oiled and happy. No stores open nor gas pumps working. Brother Bill and Barb just left, then had to turn around and come back because of no gas up through the state, plus the storm was going in their direction to Georgia. Got some family business out of the way, but not exactly smooth sailing ahead. Mom's upset 'cause TV has been off for 3 days. Mentally exhausted - emotionally drained - financially strapped - yay. New biz is just starting - hoping it takes off soon and steady. This area is a bit ravaged right now, so that isn't good for business. Am missing certain people very very much. Miss playing music. Not able to keep the Bimini's offer for Mondays on Marco. I'm doing some pretty creative cooking with a pantry of canned goods, though. My heart goes out to those who have gotten it much worse in the past month. Hurricanes really blow. (Sorry - had to) Now the spiders and hoardes of fire ants are trying to get in the house. Heard from a lot of you - Donnie Perkins, Jim Hollis, Angelo Mullen from Davis Bros/Fatback, Gary Savoie, Ed Potter, John "Goober" Goodhue, Gardner Berry from StoneCross, Dave Albro in Nashville, the Murphys, Joe "Hayes" Stagner, Pete Porter, Sarasota Bluesman Al Fuller, my first fiancee Colette, and more - thanks - you're all an inspiration. Hope the next Update is much more "up", and powered by real electricity. LOL. Keep smiling, folks - could be worse.
UPDATE 5.3 - Sept. 10
EEEK! Hurrican Ivan is now heading directly for us with 145+ mph winds. Tuesday morning should be interesting. I'm circling the wagons - got the folks getting important papers together this morning, and coming up with an evacuation plan. Hopefully, Ivan might change course a bit and leave all us West Coasters alone in the midst of rebuilding. We got dairy and produce back in to the stores here yesterday. But there isn't a generator, a chainsaw, or a gas can to be found for sale locally. My left foot and right hand are swollen from fire ant bites and my poor stepdad has been crawling around the eaves where I can't fit, trying to rig emergency wiring.We still don't have garbage pickup, nor TV. Just good ol' Country Western on the radio. I worry for my many compadres in the Keys - if a Cat 5 strikes there, it's gonna be more devastating than you can imagine. They're already under evac notice, and it won't hit there for 2 more days. And I know our house won't stand up to a direct hit, but we may have to stay. Good luck to all that Hurricane Ivan threatens - hope to see you soon.
UPDATE 5.4 - Sept. 22
FINALLY heard from VT/Marco bud Justin Adams. He was in Punta Gorda when Charley hit. He's OK - he sends his love to all. Like most of those from there and most of us who saw it firsthand - he's still very emotional and feeling for those who didn't make it or lost everything. Hurricane Ivan missed us, but slammed the Panhandle. I'm sure you saw it on TV. Our "moat" has finally receded and we're having some trees taken down as a preventative measure. The mosquitoes and tadpoles are still having fun in the standing waters, but their days are coming.
*UPDATE #6 - October 2, 2004*
Yay. More flooding from Jeanne, but not as bad as Frances. LOTS of mini-toads for the egrets and the ibis to feed on. Lots of mosquitoes and flies too. Car is covered with love bug remnants. 4 hurricanes in 5 weeks! I LOVE FLORIDA!
*NOVEMBER '04 UPDATE*
Thanks to Brian Clow, I see that my ol' hometown of Claremont, NH is being used for the movie "Live Free Or Die" by writers from SEINFELD. Should be interesting to see backgrounds and people that I know. I've seen quite a few from JUMANJI to James Bond to TRUE LIES to SWEETHEARTS DANCE; movies that I was around or saw being made. Ah, Kismet. LOL.
Been covering for ol' buddy Duncan Wheeler while he mends and heals from back surgery. I had to drive 7 hrs/480 miles every Friday, but it's been worth it. The gig at Bayside is wonderful - 4 star food, nice mega-rich people, great staff and managers, and a gorgeous view. Dunc is returning to Fridays there on the 12th. I start a longterm Sunday afternoon slot there starting Nov. 14th. I may have to think twice about the miles and other negatives about Naples. My heart isn't there anymore. But ol' friend Capt Mike Davey and the lovely Deb showed up at a (Nov 5) Bayside performance on a very cool and breezy night. I had a crabcake and the Snapper Picatta, by the way. Was held up in a traffic jam on I-75 for half an hour - good ol' snowbirds - they're baaaack! Then old friends from Claremont/Newport (Fred and Nance Guilmette) showed up on Sunday (14th) with Minnesota friends Ron and Jan. Scott and Jenny and Jen and John and Jimmy the Mgr. Guy and all the rest there still taking VERY good care of me. I'm so blessed to know so many good people.
Had a wonderful reunion with Jim "Herb" Smith, from Rockestra/CRB daze gone by. We hadn't seen each other in 24 years, but it was like we never sobered up. What a great guy - been through so much since back then, and is still top of his form in uber-electronics and intellect. This guy was one of the all-time best audio experts on the road, then designed hush-hush ultra toys for the Defense Dept. - lol. He wrote me he'd be doing a convention thang in Palm Harbor, and I drove down to hang for a few hours. So glad I did. He's bringing the family down next month and we hope to get together again, probably at the Bayside in Naples.
I've been hearing from a few folks that Naples radio talk show host Guy James has been quoting me on his show. LOL. Marco's Paul Ferguson and Pt Charlotte's David J Moore are still doing great solo gigs all over SW Florida and making lots of people happy, esp. their wives! Paul's going in next month (Dec.) for surgery to implant a painkiller pump to give him small doses of oxycontin daily to help alleviate his longtime severe chronic back pain. He's still holding the fort at the Snook Inn every Mon/Tues night, as he has for years! Best of luck, my brother!
My gorgeous and long-lost "twin sister" Penny Wu just wrote me! We had so much fun in the old Savannah days. She's doing great in Colorado, still with the Forest Service as Outdoor Recreation Planner, happy and fulfilled. She reminded me of a night when we had been doing tequilas all day at our gig and then drove 80 miles to go dancing to the Sandra Wright Band, and then I got stopped by a VT State Trooper on the way back for going through a stop sign, and talked my way out of a DUI. Phew.
Longtime hero Jimmy "OXO" Carter made me misty recently. He emailed me and told me a friend of his had seen me play last year on the VT tour, and that Jimmy was "proud to say he knew me" - lol. That means so much coming from one of the pre-eminent showmen of New England for 3 decades. Wow.
A few years back, I donated an old poster and concert program from Aerosmith's EARLY days to a guy that was the official Aerosmith Archivist and looking to start the Boston Rock n Roll Museum. Well, he called recently, and is now bigtime affiliated/partnered with one of my fave sites - www.dirtywater.com, a site dedicated to the Boston-area music scene from the 60s up. Plus, he's going to be opening the actual Boston Museum of Rock n Roll at the Somerville Armory sometime soon! I'm actually gonna be mentioned! His name is JR Robinson, and he called while ol' buddy George Gibson was at his house in NH. They made my day, as they always do. George is hand-picking gigs these days, but if you get the opportunity, do not deny yourself. A great blues frontman and picker-extraordinaire.
2003 Comedy Centrals' Comic of the Year Stephen
Lynch. He's got a new DVD out
that is hilariously sick, and is available from his website
or on TV. He's gonna be in Florida next month for two dates with the really
funny Mitch Hedberg (Pete Porter's fave), and I'm gonna try to go see them.
Saturday, 12/11 Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL - Sunday, 12/12 Tampa Bay
Peforming Arts Center
For tickets and other info, go to: http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/852492
Maria Doyle Kennedy, the black-haired girl singer in the movie "The Commitments", just emailed me - she's doing a bunch of double-headers in Ireland with friends doing all-acoustic shows. She's so funny.
An interesting local news story - it actually made national news and the Daily Show awhile back. The next town over from me, Inverness, just hosted the 2004 Cooter Festival this month. They were assaulted by Bible-thumpers of all kinds that feared the element that a festival named after a "sexual organ of the female body" would draw. I guess I'm not up on all the nicknames like I thought I was. Never heard "cooter" used as slang for my favorite edible orifice, but ya learn something new every day! Speaking of the Daily Show - host Jon Stewart should get a Nobel for his righteous attack on Tucker Carlson and the media crap like "Crossfire" et al that just teach shouting and ill-mannered debating and get nothing accomplished or resolved.
Please cut-and-paste this next link into your Favorites List and click on the pretty pink banner every day. Each time you do, a woman somewhere gets a FREE Breast Cancer mammogram, so it's a great thing to do. Thanks. http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CTDSites
My first time back on Marco in a lonnnng time on Nov. 18th was great! I always love doing the "gazebo concerts", and this was the best yet. BIG time thanks to Carol from Florida Outfitters for booking me, and telling me of the politics. Phenomenal sound system: the new BOSE "stick" system provided for me by ol' buddy Sir CW Colt (a BOSE/Jack Daniels rep and fantastic songwriter/performer, not to mention the Official Minstrel of the Conch Republic), a beautiful night, great surprises by Linda Deppen and Bill Snyder (owner of Bimini's), CW and another 20 yr friend Beth Gerhardstein (now blond and always beautiful - lol) gave me their CDs. I actually was passed a phone number from an admirer in the audience! <sigh> Not bad for soon-to-be-50! Ran into some old neighbors and caught up on all the latest gossip on the Island.
*DECEMBER '04 UPDATE*
Thanks to Ray, the owner of Little Bar in Goodland, for the wealth of funny emails lately. Ditto to old friend Bill Koetting from Marco (bassist for the Wildflowers). Two wonderful sickos right there.
Joe "Hayes" Stagner called and is doing great. The kids are getting older and into everything, but he's smiling so much.
Talented Ft Myers Beach musician Frank Thompson had a close call in a car accident near Miami recently. He needs further oral surgery and will be gigless for awhile. The local heroes like Dave Moore, Royce Allgood and many other great musicians, are having an "Appreciation Day" for him at Beach Pierside/Ft Myers Beach on Sunday, the 5th of Dec., and raising a few bucks to help with the mortgage. Be there or be square. I'm gonna try to stop by early (noonish to 1pm) on my way to Bayside in Naples.
Heard from drummer Tom Jellison from One Eye Open. They're revamped - out with the old, in with the new. They still have the gorgeous and talented Emily Musty fronting, but added the strong bassist/vocalist Eric Stone and a new keyboard player and opted to go Doc-less. Good move. And Tom and Stacey may be visiting me at Bayside later this month.
I'm actually going to be 50 on Jan.2. If I had known I was gonna live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. LOL. I'm playing that day (Sunday Jan 2, 5-8pm) at the Bayside rooftop cafe, should you be in the Naples area. Directions on front page of this site.
And for those ladies fearing that Santa may think of them as "Naughty" - Bless you.
*JANUARY '05 UPDATE* HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
Well - hope y'all had great Holidays. From the 11th of December on, it was actually pretty cold for Florida (made it down to the 30s at night three times here) - cold enough for me to get cancelled on my Sunday rooftop gig in Naples on the 12th (and missed seeing ol' drummer buddy from One Eye Open Tom Jellison - damn) as well as the following two weekends! We in northern Florida awoke to a heavy frost on the ground on Dec. 27th.
A BIG time thanks to the crew at the Snook Inn - made my birthday a wonderful thing, and made me feel very welcome after being gone for so long. Thanks to Kimbo and Brian (the proud new daddy and the same to Austin) for the tequila on my b-day, and the gig on the 3rd was very nice. Great weather, and people really paying attention to the new "Kottkeisms". LOL. The owners were great, the walleye was very tasty, ran into some old friends, and I got to see a recouping Paul Ferguson just before I left to come back.
Heard from some great people around the Holidaze - Click and Joanie Horning, Vic and Dianne Barden, Jim "Herb" Smith, Matt and Lynn Tinker, Dave and Dale Moore, Dusty and Linda Durst, Bill Koetting, Carl Thurston from the Minuteman Cafe, Chris from Imp Designs, WNTK Radio Talk Show Host George Russell, Disneyworld Tech/ex-RnR Tech Paul "Beard" Malaney, Ginny Atchison, her awesome daughter Annalee Thralls, Fred and Nancy Guilmette, the always scrumptious Mindy O'Dell, the long-lost "former" Peggy Hollingsworth, Pete Heimlich, Colette, Sue Sisino, Jamie Gratkowski, Don and Irene, Rick Davis, my favorite lady crime fighter/office manager Marci, my favorite Citrus Memorial nurse Brenda, fabulous entertainer Hector, my favorite Ocala hairdresser Barbara Terry, former Unity NH inhabitant and now Homosassa neighbor Phyllis, owner of Bimini's Restaurant Bill Snyder, singer-songwriter Paul Cottrell, Jim Jonson, "still alive" Rick Robinson, best buddy/vocal coach Cher Mitchell Aubin, Brian Clow, Gary Savoie, Ed Potter, Roy Brown from 8084, best friend/best man/trainer of world-champion kickboxer Jason Bonaccorsi/Microsoft evangelist Joe "Hayes" Stagner, actress/singer Maria Doyle Kennedy, Comedy Central's Comedian of the Year 2002 Stephen Lynch; and great birthday e-cards from Matt and Lynn Tinker, Joann Greco, and Capt. Mike Davey and Debbie. Just bunches of ya! I am blessed.
For those who have been asking - Mom is getting much worse as far as short-term memory and confusion goes. It's getting to be difficult to coordinate the household duties so she doesn't feel left out, but it's going to be time soon to really take charge of the shopping and cooking, etc. But I also have to deal with my stepdad giving in to her, and denial on all sides, and the general absurdity of the situation. I may need to move out for several good reasons, but it's so difficult to weigh the aspects and be fair to all. Hope you never have to go thru this. It's not easy trying to come up with good dinners without using cheeses, onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, etc. I have to severely overcook angel-hair pasta so it's not "rubbery", but at least I got them liking satay sauces as long as I make it mild enough. Eeek. Now you know why I drive down to Naples to play every Sunday and have things like crab cakes and Snapper Picatta. Can't wait to eat Chef Ed Ryder's great food at Bimini's again soon when I hit Marco on the weekends thru Season.
The "Appreciation Day" for Frank Thompson at Beach Pierside/Ft Myers Beach on Dec. 5th was a rousing success, according to Professional Good Guy Dave Moore. I couldn't find a parking spot for 45 minutes, so I had to defer and head to my Naples gig! They raised over $3500 to help Frank and his lady pay some bills while they recoup from a nasty car accident.
I wasn't able to make the Stephen Lynch/Mitch Hedberg Florida double-header comedy shows as hoped, but Stephen said they were jammed and a lot of fun! They will be continuing to tour together for awhile. Stephen visited his folks for Xmas, then hit the road again. He's up for Comedy Central's 3rd Annual Standup Showdown, so please go here and vote for him. The Top 10 episodes of "Comedy Central Presents...", inc. Stephen's, are re-airing Jan. 30 on Comedy Central. Please go online and vote for him - a sick individual.
Paul Ferguson is recovering from his operation, where they installed an internal pump into his abdomen to give him his needed meds in a more efficient fashion. He emailed me on Dec. 14th, saying it had been a year since Saddam was pulled out of that hole, and Paul couldn't remember if Saddam saw his shadow or not. LOL. He and Shari just got back from Canada for the holidays.
I'm back playing at the World Famous SNOOK INN on Marco Island this month. Jan. 3,24,31 - all Monday afternoon gigs from 1:30-5:30pm at the outdoor Chickee Hut stage. I'll be there for some dates in Feb/March/April as well. Been a long time. Dave Moore's also doing some rare gigs that far down there this season, too.
Did I mention GEICO rules?
Did I mention that AOL really, REALLY SUCKS?
Heard from buddy drummer Jeff Costello. He's been recording and playing his ass off with Joey, per usual. Number One act on Killington!
Heard from Kathy Savric, bartender at the Little Bar on Goodland. She and hubby Pete are doing just fine.
Pete Merrigan is picking up a good amount of gigs in the St. Pete area. He and Melinda plan on staying through May, at least.
Got together with old Carey Rush Band road manager Ed Potter Dec. 14 down in Brooksville, FL. Great seeing Ed, but wish it was for happier reasons. We were visiting fellow Upper Valley party animal Gary Moody, who was suffering from various awful forms of cancer. Gary succumbed three days later on Dec. 17th, just after midnight.
Just got another email from Maria Doyle Kennedy, the black-haired girl singer in the movie "The Commitments". She's releasing a CD of the all-acoustic shows she's been doing in Ireland. Some fun and surprising covers on there. Been trying to talk her into doing some shows on this side of the pond, but she has no plans for the near future to come to America.
Bill Koetting, bassist for them Wildflowers on Marco Island, sends the best (and sickest) jokes!
Got interviewed via a half-hour phone call by my old hometown newspaper (Eagle-Times in Claremont, NH) for a Sunday article on me being one of their New Year's Babies. Reporter Dan Bustard did the Dec. 26 full-page feature article on me, with old pics, etc. (click here for original 1955 front page) That follows an article written in the local Homosassa Beacon on me at the beginning of December. flick flick. Got quite a few emails from people that saw the Eagle-Times article - Brian Clow and others said it was great. I'll have my webmaster post a snippet when I can.
Heard from the craziest lighting director I ever knew, Gary Roundy (Gary's Light Show). Originally from VT, and was on the 80s circuit with various bands. He's now in Tennessee working for CNN. After he stopped doing the band circuit, he did a DJ solo gig, and used all his light show which takes hours to set-up. LOL.
Would also like to welcome my new webmaster - click here for pic - he may be cheap, but he's......OK, he's just cheap.
~FEBRUARY '05 UPDATE~
I'll be doing every Saturday afternoon (1:30-5:30pm) in February at the World Famous Snook Inn Chickee Bar, as well as my usual Bayside Sunday gig (5-8pm). Which means I have the bandroom to myself every weekend. Hehehehe. But watch out if you're driving on 75 near Naples - it's turning into a speed-trap. They got me for $205! OUCH! Ginny Atchison said she also got falsely ticketed in Naples, recently. Not cool.
Rick Davis is cramming in the gigs up there in VT. He's been doing a lot of Ascutney/Sunapee/Killington, doubles per usual. Can't believe it was 20 years ago Jan. 6 that we hit the Florida Keys as the Rick Davis Band (click for pic), and tore it up for a few months before I stayed in the Keys and started the solo at Faro Blanco/Holiday Isle. Some great memories there, and some really good stories of serious debauchery and partying. Drummer Jeff Kangas hasn't STOPPED partying! LOL.
Just found out that old buddy Dan Mulberry died last year. We had been out of touch for a few years, and I didn't know he was sick. One night in early '85, burly Dan walked into the old Sea Fox Lounge in Key West where I was playing with Rick Davis, introduced himself by telling me we had the exact same birthday (to the hour - he had found out thru Dusty and Linda Durst) and invited me and my buddy WAIL95 rockjock Stu Shaw to his party that night, a Key West soiree for songwriters. That's where I got "silly" from the Rumplemintz and the Thai stick and the Keys' Snow Boulders, and nearly (a) beat up an asshole misogynist by the name of Jimmy Buffett, (b) almost passed out on a couch leaning on the late great Shel Silverstein (click here for pic), and (c) almost beat up another guy who was making fun of me (Dan's Manager and housemate). Dan made sure I didn't crack my head on the toilet as I practiced my Technicolor Yawns, and we became good friends. I used to sit in with him at Rick's or the Bull, trying to understand what he was saying with that gruff "voice" of his. LOL. But he wrote great tunes - some for Johnny Cash and others. Rock on, wild man.
Got to hang with ex-Rockestra/Masque/CRB audio engineer extraordinaire Jim "Herb" Smith and his wife Wendy recently (Jan. 9) at Bayside. They popped down from Sarasota to visit. Always a pleasure to hang with my little brutha Jim, and finally got to meet Wendy. We had a real nice time, and they finally got to see my solo act, such as it is these days. LOL. Jim is still traveling for months at a time keeping the big a/v designers and convention companies running efficiently.
Marco's Mike Martin has gigs aplenty in the Marco/Naples areas. Was glad to help him get started in that area, when he first got back into playing. Plus, he bought a BUNCH of my old gear. LOL. Mike tried to get me to fill-in for him on Marco in March, but I was unable.
The lovely Mindy O'Dell says I was a topic of discussion at the new branch-off of Hanover's 5 Olde Nugget Alley that recently opened in S. Royalton VT. Owners Spike and Tom are great buddies from years back. Mindy and hubby Scott used to promote some big gigs, and always showed up at my local gigs in the Upper Valley when they could.
More "cold" days in the middle of January. Daytime highs of 60+°, lows at night in the 30s. I know - the northerners don't want to hear it, but it's enough to cancel gigs and worry the crop growers down here. I love it - I found myself smiling last year when the whole month of January was below zero in VT/NH, and I was out in it. There's nothing like cold weather for sleeping, snugglin', etc. Just not for playing guitar outdoors.
Speaking of cold weather - had an hour-long phone call from Pete Porter up there in White River Jct., VT. He's doing fine - set a new alltime VT record with this year's deer he got with his bow. The wolves are fine, Donna's fine, the garage is coming along. Pete offered me a job working with him if I was to get up there real soon. LOL. He's been hangin' with some talented and cool Native Americans.
Comedy Central's Comic of the Year 2002 Stephen Lynch wrote again-he's involved with the RedCross in raising money for the tsunami victims, and hoping y'all will vote for him as the top Comedy Central Presents program of the year. He's currently #5. His new DVD is absolutely hilarious, and available on his website, as well as anywhere sick DVDs are sold (Amazon, etc.). His tour with Mitch Hedberg is doing great business.
Got a surprise email from ol' buddy Shelley Poisson, managing partner at Magee's in Claremont, NH. She used to be a manager at the ol' Wood Shed in Springfield VT, where a lot of my brain cells and body fluids were last seen in the 70s/80s. A good friend and excellent human. Plus, she could blackmail me BAD if I'm not nice to her. LOL.
Got an interesting offer from talk radio WNTK star George Russell, who's starting to get national attention. He wants me to do some production work for him - parodies, voice-overs, etc. Could be fun - might expand. I heard from WNTK station owner Bob Vinikoor about meeting to discuss a news position, as well. Also chatted with St. Pete's Pete Merrigan, who used to be on George's New London NH radio show. Pete says ex-duo partner Pete Shackett is alive and well, but retired from the music business. Smart guy. LOL. Pete and Pete were the first acoustic duo I ever knew (1975), and were an inspiration in the fun and talent they shared. Mr. Merrigan had the usual grounded advice for me on a couple of things, and even told me of the new bumper sticker "WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB?" lol. One of the nicer, more spiritual homo sapiens I know. I heard Pete was surprised at a St Pete gig recently by the brother-in-law to our favorite Minuteman Cafe owner Carl Thurston. It's called "Minuteman" in honor of Carl's sex life, I think. Well....so I hear. Carl is battling the Big C right now, but it's looking to be in his favor at this point. Early detection is a wonderful thang. Carl and I became great friends when he was Commander of the Newport NH VFW and I was running Shooter's, and we haven't quit picking on each other since. Playing at the Minuteman on my winter tour last year was great fun - good food, fun crowds that lined up after the last song to get their CDs signed, and some real inventive heckling. We all wish you the best, brother! Speaking of good humans, Click and Joanie Horning have offered me safe haven at their Sunapee area cottage should I decide to move to that locale to pursue any and all NH possibilities.
Was watching the recent remake of the movie "Manchurian Candidate" with Denzel and Meryl, and the "evil doctor" is none other than English singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock, whom I got to hang with on Tortola BVI a few years back. He's a talented and funny guy, but I wasn't expecting to see him in a Hollywood movie! LOL.
Heard from guitarist/nutcase/buddy Michael Colburn from the Upper Valley. He said his band Far Cry is on hold. I know the bassist Eric is playing with my buddy Tom Jellison in One Eye Open. Don't know what the lovely and talented Mary Ferland will do. Mike is leaning towards getting some originals on tape, and still has visions of owning an island bar someday where we can play and retire.
Longtime Marco Island buddy, Kentucky horsewoman Linda Deppen, is sending great jokes and nice thoughts. Great to be corresponding with her again after missing her face for a few years. Linda was an early-on friend on Marco, and owned a gift shop where my ex-wife Amy worked (click here for recent pic of Amy). (click here for pic of my new girlfriend) Yeahhhh - that's the ticket. <grin>
Also sending jokes and riddles is the crazy managing partner of Bimini's on Marco - Bill Snyder. A wonderful wit and a warm heart.
NH buddy/guitarist Tim White called on the 16th. He's planning on coming down to Hell, I mean...Florida, in March and informed me it doesn't look like Jimi Bell will be down playing in Daytona this year. Tim's perusing a possible band situation with drummer/vocalist Bobby Gagnier.
Kathy Canady, my favorite afternoon bartender from the world famous Snook Inn on Marco observed her birthday, per usual, on Jan. 10. Always a pleasure to know, having met 20 years ago this coming July, when I first got booked on Marco by my late manager Johnny "The Greek" Trepas and started playing at the old Marco Bay Resort for the fantastic Chas Rosetti. Incredible times, great memories.
ol' 5th grade classmate/Enfield NH buddy/fellow musician/circle breathing instructor Donna Packard is doing fine and dandy up there in the Portsmouth NH area. Sending interesting emails of note all the time. So glad we were able to get together a couple of times last year when I was doing the VT tour. Donna just slimmed her work schedule down a bit to relax some. Stay warm, girl.
Professional Good Guy Dave Moore called and told me that our old buddy Rick Robinson, as well as fellow FMB musician/guitarist extraordinaire Brenda B (Breininger), are both very ill. A very successful benefit for Brenda was held Jan. 16 at FMB featuring the Oysters and some other top talent. Best wishes to both Rick and Brenda - two fun, warm, extremely talented people. Damn. A LOT of us "lifers" are showing some ill-effects of the RoadLife these days - bad food and other lifestyle choices are catching up with us quicker than we thought they would. Dave hit the NAMM show in California mid-January - he's an endorser for REMO, among other things. He was hangin' with Spencer Davis, "Skunk" Baxter, Dennis Chambers, our old buddy Stet Howland, Dan Ackroyd, and even had a quick exchange with Stevie Wonder!
Marco musician Paul Ferguson is still slowly recouping from his operation to implant a pump to infuse his meds, but looked great when I saw him at the Snook on the 24th. Still has a gig schedule that is busier than most. Paul said that he was expecting the World Class Rascal Turk Coury to show up soon, having gotten a call from him. I went over to Goodland Jan. 30 after my Bayside gig and jammed with Paul for a few, and left a message on Turk's answering machine. Sorry to hear that his estranged wife died recently after a long illness. I first met Turk in '85 when I was with Rick Davis in the Keys, and I believe every story I have ever heard about him! And there are PLENTY of stories. A real International Music Legend. Turk used to call me up on his stage to do a "couple of tunes" while he went out and showed some lady his van for an hour, then we'd party 'til 5am at the Driftwood in Marathon, then he'd drop me off at Faro Blanco, coming back to get me at 7:30am to go fishing all day and start the cycle over again. LOL. And he's 15-20 yrs. our senior! Then there was the time in Mexico.....
Drove down Jan. 15th to Spring Hill, FL to see OLD (haha) CRB road manager/bus driver/followspot operator Ed Potter bowl in a "seniors" tourney, and hang for a while. Got to talk with Carey Rush Band manager/audio engineer/Elvis impersonator Barry G Seaver on the phone while I was there. Ed says he and Darlene are gonna stay in Florida because their mortgage is so low, but has a "I LOVE VERMONT" bumper sticker on his car.
*MARCH '05 UPDATE*
Some real sad notes to start - my buddy Chris Whateley (IMP DESIGNS) lost his Mom Pam Hall on the 5th of February. I was glad to call her a friend - a very nice lady. She asked me if I ever had a "bad" day, because I was always so "up" and happy whenever I spoke to her on the phone. I'm having one now.
And the very talented and connected Merle Kilgore died on the 6th. Among MANY accomplishments in his life, Merle co-wrote "Ring of Fire" with June Carter (Cash) and was manager/best friend/opening act to Hank Jr. most of his life. I met/chatted with Merle twice in my life - the first time when I was around 10 yrs old hanging around Hank's Cheatin' Hearts Band (click for pic - yes, that's Bocephus in the middle) whenever they played in New England, and once when I was in the opening acts for Hank outside of Key West in 1988. A constantly amused and gracious gentleman who remembered details and people like you wouldn't believe.
But to truly mark the end of an era in my life - my "Uncle" and one of my mentors, Big Joe Burrell (click for pic), died Feb. 2. Big thanks to Jim Hollis, as always, for thinking of me. To sit at the dinner table on numerous occasions and hear Joe and Lady Eve reminisce and bicker about the big stars they knew and toured with was a lesson in life/music/business/Love all rolled into one. Big Joe played with everyone from Count Basie to Little Richard to BB King to Trey Anastasio (Joe played at Trey's wedding) and PHISH! He did 25 years with Burlington VT guitarman Paul Asbell and the Unknown Blues Band. I had met him in the late 70s, when he first played at the famous Whitcomb Annual Jazz Cookouts. He'd show up fashionably late, with a young white college girl carrying his sax case for him. LOL. Always dressed to the nines and stately. Then after Don Whitcomb died in '91, Joe and my "mom" Lady Eve became very tight.
The first time I ever played with him, he called me onto his stage in the middle of a set and told me "This is a medium shuffle in C - you take the first chorus and lead the band through, and bring it down for my vocal - you'll know what I mean". I counted the tune, the jazz band came right in behind me (Bill Wightman's WightLights), and I played as mature and as sweet a clean BB/Larry Carlton-inspired ripoff as my Strat/DynaComp/Classic50-410 would muster. It came to the end of my "intro solo", and Joe didn't come right in singing like he was supposed to - he just stood there staring at me. The jazz band continued to "comp" - staying right on one chord at low volume and waiting for Joe to "enter", looking at each other and at me - the audience kinda wondering what was going on - and I began to sweat bullets, thinking all kinds of bad thoughts. Big Joe pointed at me and said over the microphone with a big smile - "Exactly", and finally went into the song. My "mom", Lady Eve, was grinning from ear to ear. After the show, Joe says "Someday, we're going to be in a band together." I had the audacity to say "Joe - you're 70 years old - could it be soon?" He looked at me through those big glasses, wearing his signature dark blue suit, puffed on his pipe, and smiled. He and Lady Eve both cackled as they got into her big white Cadillac and left.
Joe brought me into his inner circle a little more every time I saw him after that. He called me his "nephew" - he called everybody by a special name just for them. A new lesson in music and/or Life every time he spoke. BB King even immediately put a memorium on his own website a day after Joe died. Here's some links to news stories and articles about Joe.
Jim Hollis also wrote of the passing of singer Sammi Smith, and of playing his first intimate "bar" gig in months in Newport NH, and not enjoying it. I can relate. The horrid smell of cigarette smoke permeating your hair, your clothes, your guitar, your gear, etc. is not a wonderful reminder of a fun night. He's been doing concerts and rooms where he's been nowhere near the acridity, and had gotten spoiled to clean air. I lose my voice very quickly if I'm around cig smoke, because I'm so used to outdoor gigs these days where I can breathe deep and replenish the oxygen I need to sing properly (well, "properly" - lol). I smoked heavily for 20 years - quit 14 years ago - and I wish people could understand once and for all what they are doing to themselves and OTHERS by smoking cigarettes. Kisses are SO much better without the smell and after-taste of poison. LOL. OK - I'm done preaching.
Heard from 4 of the ol' ROCKESTRA guys this month! Dave Albro (click for pic), up there in Nashville, wrote to congratulate me again on being "sick". LOL. Drummer Stet Howland, now on the worldwide road with bad boys W.A.S.P., wrote to say he's no longer involved with NY based Carnival of Souls, but is kickin' it big in Europe with Blackie and the boyz. He's getting married in November to the mega-lovely Christina, and is planning on getting the RUN 21 (click for pic) long-awaited CD done with Dug Blair and my hero and mentor Oxo (Jimmy Carter) very soon. Former ROCKESTRA SoundMan Extraordinaire Jim "Herb" Smith also visited me again at the Bayside rooftop gig on the 13th of Feb., with lovely Wendy. A sheer pleasure to know. Ginny Atchison and Annalee Thralls also came up that night and gave me a pre-Valentines Day Hershey Kiss. ROCKESTRA's lead singer Jim Jonson (click for pic) had a featured concert in MA on the 23rd, showcasing new material from his new CD. Jim filled in for me last year at the Bayside while I did the New England winter thang. Check out www.jimjonson.com for more info on him and his CD.
Also heard from songwriting journalist buddy Don Perkins. He's trying to decide which form of journalism he wants to pursue at this point, having done most of them very well. He's also been doing some rare gigs with ol' Upper Valley underground favorite band BOOMER SELLERS.
My brutha-in-life Joe "Hayes" Stagner (click for pic) called on the 3rd. He was in the midst of pneumonia, but still training kickboxing champs-to-be, and teaching anti-hacking around the country for Bill Gates/Microsoft. He always excels at anything he picks up - if he ever starts practicing the guitar Jill got him, I'll have to shoot him. The girls are doing great, Jill's recovering from her recent surgery, and life ain't so bad. Joe was invaluable to me in finding out that AOL lies, is spying on me/their customers, and has many intrinsic problems. For those of you that use AOL - hope you're not still paying the $23/month - they offer the same unlimited features for $14.95, but don't tell you. Not to mention every site I visit, every email, IM, etc. is recorded by them. Grrrr.
StoneCross/MamaKicks/Four-Sticks mega-talent Gardner Berry wrote me a quick note. We were reminiscing about the late Pat Mulroy. Still can't find StoneCross drummer Mike Mulroy, email-wise, but still trying.
Vast Ed Vadas and various venerable versions of the Fabulous Heavyweights are still doing the Blues in a Righteous Way while the smell of barbecue is in the air up in the Massachusetts area. The Real Deal.
Got to hang with Dave and Dale Moore for a day or two. Stayed at their house in Pt Charlotte on the way home from Naples, and put in a day of painting again with Dave. The house (and area) are looking much better after last years' Hurricane Charley ruined everyone's life for a time. The Moore's have done great things to their interior - new tile, paint, and furniture have really spiffed it up. The cats are ecstatic! If it wasn't for corrupt contractors and insurance company red tape, life would be dang near perfect for them. Not the cats - Dave and Dale. Dave's still the real deal - a talented drummer/guitarist/vocalist doing a solo act in a most entertaining way. Check him out as usual at www.davidmooremusic.com. He layed down some basic tracks on a Rick Rehnquist original recently at Scott Gould's fantastic DigiMuse Studio in Pt Charlotte, where I recorded my last CD.
I'm almost tempted to ask for a moment of silence here - Rachael Ray (Food Network star - click here for pic) is newly engaged to a musician. <sniff> Sure - he may be young, rich, slim, nice, and "other" things - but what's he got that I haven't got? Don't answer that.
Looks like a whole bunch of my ol' buddies from the Upper Valley area are possibly gonna try to put a band together. It's now rumored that Tim White and Bobby Gagnier, as previously reported here, are gonna team up. And they're gonna team up with my brutha from anutha mutha, Mike "MC Hammerhead" Colburn and fellow Far Cryer Bart. On bass is looking to be the ubiquitous Doug Bashaw, who used to play with SHINE among MANY other bands over the years. Could be interesting.
My first fianceé, waaaaay back when I was 24, sent me a recent pic. Been getting a lot of them lately from all kinds of old friends and bandmates and ex's, etc. Hmmmm. Anyway - nice pic, Colette, thanks. She also warned me about the scam on older guys, where a naked woman comes up at a traffic light and pretends to wash the windshield while her co-horts steal stuff out of the backseat, but it was too late. They got me on both Friday AND Saturday. Couldn't find them on Sunday.
Heard from ex-Fraank Band, Davis Bros., and now FATBACK bassist extraordinaire Angelo Mullen. He mentioned how he got a huge kick outa going to see Big Joe, and all these young cats would be up there jammin', blowing fast Coltrane note blizzards, and Joe would just play two notes, but the PERFECT two notes - full of soul and taste and timing. LOL. He was a lot of fun - and is going to be sorely missed.
Paul "Beard" Malaney's still doing great in DisneyWorld.
Jimi Bell's website gets better and better. He's mentioned in both the Ozzy bio and the Black Sabbath bio!
Paul Ferguson wrote, mentioning the passing also of jazzy Hammond B-3 pioneer Jimmy Smith. A true icon to most keyboard players, and many of the rest of us. Paul's not bad, either. LOL. Paul also wrote a scathingly true email on the State of Entertainment today. People don't realize what it takes, or what has happened, in the life of an entertainer these days.
I am so happy to say that I heard from the incredible talent and human John Bartus, former Mayor from Marathon in the Florida Keys. Lotsa stories from the old days. Great songwriter and entertainer and politician and multi-instrumentalist and radio show host and newspaper journalist and recording studio owner and producer. Check out his new website, and marvel in the glow. A true inspiration in so many departments, John may be focusing some energy in the Nashville area before too long.
Did you know that YOKO ONO turned 72 on Feb. 18? Good thing her voice is as good as ever, huh?
FLASH EDITORIALS FOR MARCH - A bald-due-to-chemo cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge knocking the socks off the Grammys with "Piece of My Heart" and the scream that gave goosebumps to the whole auditorium. Wow. Bonnie Raitt's dad John passed away. A Broadway icon. Hunter S. Thompson - gonzo journalism personified self-immolates as we knew he would, but the body of work is astounding. "President" Bush still fooling half this country (but not the World) by applying patriotic names to the worst programs in history in all departments of government. Every one of his implementations across the board (appointments, foreign policies, environmental suicide, the "$1.7 Billion" war that is now over $200 Billion and quickly rising (and unnecessary), etc.) is gonna come back and bite us hard for generations to come. A deeply sarcastic "thank you" to those that help put him and his corrupt crapola cronies in power, foolishly believing anything that they say.
Thanks to Dave Surbi on Marco Island for use of his great house/pool/garage/cats - all to myself. A good and very deranged friend for nearly 20 years now.
The lovely Scott and Mindy O'Dell from the Upper Valley are gonna be very close to here in March. We exchanged numbers and are gonna get together and go fishing. Haven't seen them since Marco 3 years ago.
For those of you who have asked - my Mom is still very confused, but in fair spirits. Things have gotten a bit more tense since she re-broke her wrist last week, and is miserable about it. But the family is getting matters arranged so I can relocate and resume my slow-motion car wreck called Life. Hehehe. It's boiling down to two offers/areas - SW Florida again, and/or NH again.
Reminder: since this was a hurried Update due to Big Joe passing, and other events, don't forget to peruse the Feb. Update further down the page for more "news". And keep watching - a BIG move is about to happen!
Former classmate/bandmate Dwain D.C. Hathaway is kicking butt in California. One of his tunes is being shopped to Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and there is a good amount of interest. He may be getting a second home in Nashville next year. Dang - so many of my ol' compadrés are navigating towards Nashville.
Well, the Oscars™ were blasé despite the changes in format. Chris Rock's opening was good, but he wimped out so bad the rest of the show. Robin Williams blew him away. Very predictable winners. Counting Crows sounded like crap with Adam looking like Sideshow Blob (no, that's not a typo). Thank goodness for Salma Hayek.
I need to rant further about the State Of Celebrity - ENOUGH of Jennifer Lopez, Puff Doody, Joan and Melissa Rivers looking like Aliens and trashing those that are far better looking and far more talented than them, Don Imus just being bitter and not intelligent, Dennis Miller being TOO intelligent and bitter for his (and our) own good, FOX (or FAUX) News pretending it's anything other than myopic opinions, and Paula Abdul pretending she's a singer worthy of judging anybody else. She's not - if my ol' buddy/drummer Mitch Marcoulier had testified in her trial a few years ago about what he knew/did with a Synclavier on her recordings, the world would realize that she is all electronically contrived (as are many other "singers" today) and not really Talented. And would Ashley Simpson please sit down and stay there? I had to laugh when she got booed at the Super Bowl. Another "no talent" wasting our time, when there are so many really multi-talented people that aren't related to somebody going unnoticed. <sigh> I am a firm believer that MTV has ruined and forever changed the way many perceive "talent". So sad. Real Talent is usually required for longevity, thank goodness. P.T. Barnum was wiser than most. And could the pairing of Bridgitte Neilson and Flava Flav be a better argument for Forced Sterilization? Maybe even Euthanasia? Should you have any opinions, pro or con to mine, write and I will post them or you can just post them in my Guestbook.
Got to see old friend John Hackett (and the lovely Marge) at his estate in Goodland on the 26th. John's doing great with his painting and has constructed a studio-of-sorts to jam with his friends. After hanging with them for awhile, we all popped in at the Little Bar. I got to see owner Ray and manager Mark, and dear ladies Kathy Savric and the multi-talented Tara. Tara's going to invite me to her next gallery showing - she's a talented and award-winning artist and sculptor, as well as a true blue friend. Jeff Hilt was performing, getting the crowd going with his midioke versions of Neil Diamond and others.
Heard from Bryce Chicoine, owner of BCM Studios in NH and a good man that has been involved with many of my early musical endeavors. So good to know all is well with him, Melody (his lovely wife) and their two girls.
Got a great email from Cher Mitchell Aubin, my buddy and vocal coach. She brought me up to date on local happenings in the NH music scene, and she was thrilled to see my "little brother" Aaron Whitcomb kicking it out with his new band Fatal Skye. Cher's recovering from pneumonia, which makes her gigs with Club Soda a bit difficult, but she is always the trooper.
Above all, let's hope and pray that 9 yr old Homosassa neighbor Jessica Lunsford comes home soon.
*APRIL '05 UPDATE*
Home Again (see paragraph #2)
For those that had been following the heart-breaking saga in Homosassa about the missing little 9 yr old girl Jessica Lunsford, thanks for all the emails and support. Her body was found in the early hours of March 19, after the killer had confessed three weeks after her disappearance while sitting in a jail in Georgia. I'm so saddened by what has happened to a simple unassuming father trying to be a great single parent, and was fortunate to see his strength first-hand. Many of us volunteered to search the area, and were constantly inspired by Mark's spirit. Sheriff Jeff Dawsy once again proves himself to be a truly caring man and fine human being. Her funerals were exceptional - the private one a mile form my house on Friday, the 25th, and the public one in Crystal River on the 26th. That was attended by around 1000 people, and they ended it by releasing about 100 multi-colored balloons. Her dad Mark asked everybody to get better laws passed in tracking and prosecuting known sex offenders, and to love kids like there's no tomorrow. Good advice on both.
Been emailing back and forth with Professional Good Guy MC Hammerhead Mike Colburn. He's been rehearsing with some créme de la créme guyz like Bobby Gagnier, Tim White, Doug Bashaw, and former Far Cry multi-talent Bart M. - as previously reported here last month. Mike's also just opened the New England doors bigtime for me, getting me both a gainful day job at NH's #1 hospital starting April 4th and a house in the Upper Valley to call "home" for awhile, allowing me to move back to NH and pursue some dreams. So, it's pack up and move 1300 miles (again), and get resettled. I leave behind some truly great friends and some beautiful scenery (of all kinds), but I'm tired of Florida and it's time to go back "home". I've got the folks set-up pretty well with neighbors and social services, so I can go with a clear conscience. I may be producing/hosting a cable-access TV show at Dartmouth's CATV8 in the foreseeable future, and may also do some voiceover/parody production for WNTK political motormouth George Russell on his talk radio show. Looking very much forward to seeing old friends, eating great food, and teaching a couple of lessons in R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to a couple of ex-"pals". Hehehehe. I'm jonesing so much to hear ol' pros/buds like George Burl Gibson, Jim Hollis, Justin Jaymes, and Click Horning do what they do best. And they do it better than most. I've already been contacted about some choice gigs, including Carl Thurston's very fun Minuteman Café in Alstead's Sunday Concert Series.
Just got another email from Maria Doyle Kennedy - most of you may know her as the black-haired girl backup singer from the movie "The Commitments". She's doing a short tour of Switzerland, Spain, and one date in Italy. Then, it's NEW ALBUM TIME. LOL. She's been spending all her creative juices on her family, but has decided to concentrate on a new original CD after her all-acoustic CD is done in Dublin soon. Talented and beautiful lady.
Had a long phone call from Pete Porter. I hope to have the time to trade some guitar lessons in exchange for him teaching me more cane fighting techniques. The man is a consummate master of so much Martial Arts knowledge and history, and a true mind-blowing inspiration when you see him demonstrate something. He taught me some awesome cane (yes, the walking stick for old people) self-defense moves back in the early 80s, and I've always wanted to further my ability with it. He's sick of ice and snow, and can't wait to get his Ferrari out.
David J. Moore just bought a 3 pickup Gibson Night Hawk from Brenda B - he says he's "in Love". LOL. He's been looking for a good gig axe as his Steinbergers don't hold up to the S Florida weather very well. Between acidic sweat, salt air and water, and sand - most axes can take a severe beating if you're one of the "outdoor" guys like us. I had hoped to spend some more quality time with Chip and Dale - I mean, Dave and Dale - before heading North, but at least I stopped by and hung with Dave for an hour. Brenda is doing better, and getting ready for her "final" operation to get back in shape.
Just had lunch with Scott and Mindy O'Dell from Randolph, VT on March 14. They used to throw some of the best HUGE outdoor gigs in the Upper Valley. We had a ball talking about old times and weight gains. LOL. They're down visiting in Yankeetown FL close-by to my folks, and looking around for future homesites. Mindy quit cigs two years ago, and is trying to get Scott to now. Nicotine is a tough mistress to give up, but one that painfully kills you if you don't.
On March 22nd, FOGHAT guitarist Rod Price died at his home in Wilton, NH. He was one of those that oozed memorable solos - I can hear them just by thinking of the song. "Slow Ride", Fool For The City", etc. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him when FOGHAT was recording their "live" album at Sharon VT's short-lived uber-studio SUNTREADER. Old buddy/pianist Joe Peters took me up there one day, and I got to go back and hang a few times because Jon and Jerice, the owners, knew I was "hungry". Rod Price was a nice, unassuming monster on slide guitar, and a real historian of the blues. His passing follows FOGHAT's singer "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, who died a few years ago from kidney cancer. What a kick-ass band!
My other brother, Joe "Hayes" Stagner called on the 25th. We're gonna try to put together an Internet radio show or shows, and develop them to the point where satellite radio like XM or Sirius might be interested. Could be VERY interesting. I've got some great broadcast experts in New England that will be glad to help.
Got to see Ginny Atchison and her daughter Annalee Thralls at my last Bayside gig on the 20th. Anna is growing up so fast. I was really missing her due to all the emotions surrounding the Jessica Lunsford kidnapping/murder, so I was ecstatic to see her for a few minutes. Gonna try to fly her up to NH next year so she can experience snow.
*MAY 2005 UPDATE*
A WHOLE NEW WORLD TURNS OLD AGAIN...NO, WAIT....AN OLD...
Well - drove the 1375 miles from Homosassa to Enfield on March 29th into March 30th. Arrived 6:30am after 20 and a half hours in the car. Later that night, Mike C and I had a Ramunto's pizza in Hanover, and visited owner Tom Leonard at 5 Olde Nugget Alley as a surprise. Passed my physical with slightly elevated blood pressure, and started setting up my bedroom with wireless broadband and a brand spankin' new mattress and springs. I took Mike (Colburn - guitarist for Far Cry, etc. and my benefactor here) down to meet Denny and Patty Coleman at Musicians Junkyard in Windsor on Sat., the 2nd of April. Played thru a most incredible sounding HURRICANE amp made in Sarasota Florida (right?) and checked out Denny's new-soon-to-be-released pedal design, similar to his astounding Junkyard Screamer, but with different tonal and pronounced overdrive characterisitics. More to come on that. Mike's house in Enfield is great - it's high atop Whaleback Mtn/Methodist Hill 1.8 miles from Interstate 89. Privacy and AWESOME multi-mountain views for hundreds of miles.
Been hearing and running into a few old friends. Had dinner here at Mike's house with the beautiful singer Mary Ferland, as well as Mike and Bart M from Far Cry. Then ran into Mary's beautiful sister, recent penpal Maggie Ferland, the next day at the hospital (DHMC). I work with a great crew at DHMC, and a lot of them are musicians. Ran into the talented John "Duck" Sullivan there - he just had his first child at 50-something, and is very proud and happy. Also ran into old pal, artist Cindy Wahrlich there. We're emailing now, and will have a lunch together when we can. She informed me that Robb McNally, guitarist from Rocktober, etc., passed away two years ago in Utah. Have also run into ol' buddy Lynn Tinker, as well as super-mechanic Don Plante, who is now a nurse at DHMC. Also surprised "sister" and former EMA secretary Dora White. Hadn't seen her in many years. She said my other "sister" Lorraine is still around and doing well. Saw ol' buddy Tom LeBrun - security to the stars. He has worked with Whitney, Aerosmith, NKOTB, etc. and also teaches powerlifting and fighting when not travelling the world. Tom, Pete Porter and I used to go around to local schools giving demos. It was a blast. Got a phone call from Colette, which was a surprise - hadn't talked with her in a long time, other than emails. Got welcoming emails from uber-bassist Angelo Mullen, L.A. producer/songwriter Mitch Marcoulier, Jim "Herb" Smith, an awesome e-card from Ginny Atchison and Annalee Thralls, Peter Heimlich, Snook Inn bartender Kathy Canady, the O'Dells, Donnie Perkins, Donna Packard, Ed Vadas, Tom Jellison, Boston Rock n Roll Museum's JR Robinson, my soul-sister Jo Greco, Dwain DC Hathaway, Bryce Chicoine, and Florida Fiddle Champ/multi-talented J. Robert among others. Sent a condolence to comic Stephen Lynch, whose tourmate, the hilarious Mitch Hedburg, died recently. He was Pete Porter's new fave comic. Speaking of Pete, we've been playing musical tag but will be getting together very soon. I gotta drive his Ferrari.
Called my stepdad Bob on his birthday April 6th. 81 yrs old. He's doing good. Said Mom found the rings she thought had been stolen. That's good. Brother Bill says she's pretty mixed up in phone conversations these days with him. But the neighbors and social services are nearby, and the folks are happy. Mom's really happy about my "new job helping people" and having great benefits and health insurance. LOL. The job is awesome, and allows me plenty of time (after intense training) to pursue gigs and recording. Carl Thurston wants me at Minuteman Café as soon as possible for the Sunday Concert series.
CW Colt is flying high - he's recording 4 CDs at once, with assist from the venerable Sonny Landreth! CW is a fixture in the Keys and SW FL coastal especially, but has a big following on the road for corporations. He was kind enough to provide the amazing new 7 ft stick columns BOSE system for a gazebo concert I did on Marco a few months ago, and the sound was the best I have ever heard myself sound. Stereo (two complete stick systems and 4 subs) and so full. Check CW's site out for much more info. (see Links Page)
Oh, My Goodness. I just took Mike Hammerhead Colburn, roomie and benefactor, to the Incredible Peyton Place restaurant, now in Orford, NH. Mike knows how to cook, and he just kept emanating orgasmic sounds of food being savored. We had the Sunday Brunch, but will return for many more dinners. Jim and Heidi Peyton are dear people, and I've been lucky enough to know then for years. Every iota of the gourmet level food is homemade from scratch. The Mimosa is made with fresh-squeezed OJ. The eclectic menu is very rounded, inviting yet unique. Not a meat-and-potatoes kinda place, but they have 'em. It's the jewel of a restaurant that you take people to impress them with gastronomical delights. The house/tavern is circa late 1700s, and absolutely oozing with character. And phenomenal aromas. Heidi even called that night, saying some real nice things and inviting me to dine with them personally soon.
Well, it's mid April - spittin' snow - temps in the 30s at night. I love it! LOL.
FLASH FORWARD - now it's May 1st. Got to jam with Jim Hollis, Rich Hughes, Will Michaels, Perry Atkinson, Ken Aldrich from TRACKS, Mike Benoit and others on Apr. 28th at the Salt Hill Pub on Lebanon Common. Too much fun. Richie and I hadn't played together since the CRB daze of '80-'84! Jim Hollis is one of the best singers in New England - what am amazing musical talent and friend. Gonna try to at least sit-in if not co-host several Thursday nights in the future.
Mike and I stopped by to see ol' buddy and vocal coach Cher Aubin that afternoon. She's doing great, singing and hosting and DJing - oh, my! One of her personal vocal students is winning national awards, and may be the Next Big Thing! Cher did wonders for me in that department years back.
Heard from ol' bandleader Rick Davis - he wanted me to fill in with his son on drums and Rick and I switching bass/guitars like the old days. But it wasn't in my stars that weekend - hope to do it soon, though - always like jamming with Rick. Been hearing horror stories about old drummer Jeff Kangas.
I hear rumor that old bandmates Brian Clow and Tim "Squeege" Perras are jammin' again. More to come - possible reunions aplenty! LOL. They were the rhythm section for quite a few bands in the 70s circuit, and beyond.
The multi-talented David J Moore called and filled me in on the Moore Birthday excursion to Vegas. I'm glad to say Dave says the FMB area musicians who were so sick are doing better. Both Rick Robinson and Brenda B are hitting stages again. Paul Ferguson wrote and told me how the Marco Island scene is tightening - the Snook Inn is cutting back drastically this time of year, among others.
Fred and Nancy Guilmette are back in the Newport NH area after spending half their year at their house in Naples FL. They're readying their Loon Lake campground for the summer months. My benefactor Mike says it's a great facility (he played there several times in Far Cry) and we've been invited to visit and to play.
*JUNE 2005 UPDATE*
Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and head of the Christian Broadcasting Network, appeared on ABC's ''This Week'' this month and criticized the federal courts. Robertson said, ''The gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.''
It's actually people like Pat Robertson that are eroding the country. I'm tired of these egomaniacal self-serving televangelists who are getting rich and powerful by fooling the weak into thinking they speak for their God. Any televangelist (and all the fake "healers" - and they're ALL fake!) is doing little more than pushing a personal agenda and stealing money from the trusting. They do not personally subscribe to the beauty or Truth within most teachings, but warp and twist scripture to suit their own needs and political beliefs. None of them adhere to the tenets of the Bible - the Ten Commandments. There is a separation of church and state in this country for a good and just reason - there are MANY religions, and who's to say which is "right", if any of them! "Freedom of Religion" - sound familiar? And that also means Freedom to NOT worship without penalty. For a dangerous bullshit artist like Pat Robertson to incite anybody against any politician or judge or TV show or cartoon that doesn't appeal to them is downright dangerous. When the fringe psychotics hear these hypocritical fools, they gather even more hatred and "reasoning" to carry out assassinations and such. Judging from their actions, the Christian Right is neither truly Christian nor right.
OK - enough of that. Hi, everybody. The job at the hospital is going great. I really love so many aspects of it. I'm starting to work on new tunes for the solo act, and may start playing out before long. Getting the opportunity to jam with old buddies here and there. On May 19th, got to jam with ol' CRB bassist Richie Hughes and mega-talent Jim Hollis at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon again at their Open Mic. This time, I played drums while Mike wailed on his PRS. Too much fun. Ol' bandmate Justin Jaymes played there on the 27th. Mike and his buddy Dave and I went down. Justin was in fine voice, and had the crowd all night. At one point, I went up and did a little instrumental break on his open-tuning guitar while he replaced a string on his standard tuning acoustic, then we jammed a couple. The Irish band The Saw Doctors popped their heads in as they were leaving the Opera House after their concert while we were doing this. LOL.
Been hearing from quite a few - Fred and Nancy Guilmette are under way with their Loon Lake Campground. Click and Joanie Horning are doing just fine. Heard from Dwain Hathaway's sister Grace. She's doing great. Ed Vada's new website is very entertaining - catch it at www.edvadasblues.com.
Been sending some future vocalists to Cher Aubin for tweaking. She's the best locally to refine and protect a singer's voice. Go see her band Club Soda appearing locally occasionally to see if she can sing. LOL.
Heard from infamous local "agent" Bill Henne. He wants to pay me $125 (plus meal) for 3 and a half hours at Brown's Tavern/Mt Ascutney. LOL. Some people/things never change - they just get worse. Too bad. There is no need for cheap middlemen in this day and age. The musicians and club owners all benefit from direct contact and negotiation because they can get a true feel for the other, and can usually become "family", which benefits everybody! When a team pulls together and gives the patron a little respect and wow-factor, they are always successful.
More to come later. I plan on seeing a bunch of musicians soon, and will give in-depth reports. Love to all.
*JULY 2005 UPDATE*
Happy 4th of July!!!!
Hi, everybody - here we are again. Ah, summer in NH. It's been either really hot and humid, or really rainy, or really cool. But the scenery is gorgeous. This time of year, there are so many outdoor concerts in harbors and on mountains and little town gazebos. It's just a wonderful time to enjoy music and Life. There is a buzzing scene for original music, jam bands, and all styles to find a major audience these days locally. The powers-that-be seem to be all old friends at this point, and they are going out of their way to provide for a seemingly ravenous public. I was even recently at St. Gaudens estate and museum in Cornish - something I highly recommend to both the artistic and the romantic. They have started their concert series picnics on the lawn of this fabulous estate with live string quartets, etc. playing classical and chamber music on a Sunday afternoon. <sigh>
I just found out that Ronnie Riviezzo died last Dec. 7, 2004 just shy of his 52nd birthday. Read his obit at work just by accident. He told me two years ago (click here for pic), when he found me in Syracuse online after 20+ years, that he was battling a severe cancer but was in Arizona getting the best help. He loved this website, and signed my guestbook, too. He called me last year and said that he had been handed a restaurant in Reno to run, and wanted me involved. I emailed him back, but never got an answer. Ronnie was a sleepy-eyed ladies man. Damn, could he get gorgeous women. And he was the first drummer/singer I played with that knew what I was about, and had enough talent to inspire me to dig in deeper and learn more about music. And wear rock star clothes. LOL. He wasn't very good when drugged out, but none of us are. LOL. His obit says "he worked as a chef at resorts in Maine, New York, Florida, Nevada, Alaska. He was best known for setting up and running a NYC soup kitchen that fed victims and workers in the aftermath of the World Trade Center catastrophe on Sept. 11, 2001. An accomplished musician, at one time he was the drummer in a Sunapee band that was a precursor to Aerosmith." Rock on, Ronnie.....
Mike and I went down to Sunapee Harbor on June 25th to see Click Horning play. We were very surprised to see his lovely wife Joanie playing bass with him, and playing it exceptionally well. Click also had Randy Richards playing keys. They sounded great. After a short visit to the Horning cottage, we ended up following them to a reunion gig in Sutton. Well, that turned out to be a huge town party, a benefit for Musterfield Farm, which is a gorgeous historic site. Several bands, inc. the reunion of Night Kitchen, whom I used to fill-in with. I got to play 5 songs with the Click Horning Band, which was very enjoyable - next time, I may even learn the songs! LOL. It was so great to run into the guys in Night Kitchen - we had so much fun playing together when I filled-in for mega-guitarist and engineer/producer buddy Gerry Putnam in '94. Check out my Links page for his website for CedarHouse Sound.
The venerable Jim Hollis, Richie Hughes, and I are throwing around ideas for a vet jam night at some local club. There are SO many monster players around here that have no venue to mingle. No amateurs, no karaoke singers - you have to have been a professional road dog to play. This may be very interesting. I'll keep you updated.
Maria Doyle Kennedy, the black-haired girl singer from the movie "The Commitments", wrote me about her summer tour of Irish, Czech, and Slovakian castles! LOL. She's doing great - has a lot of new CD material to release.
It's Official - I'm coming off vacation finally and playing for a big outdoor wingding at Minuteman Cafe in beautiful downtown Alstead! Carl Thurston talked me into it, and it's gonna be July 24th. My performance will be non-stop 6-8pm. Carl's gonna have seafood, corn-on-the-cob, and all sorts of great food cookin' starting at 5pm.
Buddy Tom Jellison from One Eye Open is getting married again the second week of August - why do I keep hearing "Another One Bites The Dust"? LOL. He wrote to ask me to jam with his band at the wedding reception. I'll play on a stage with their lead singer Emily Musty (click for website) anytime. LOL.
Mike and I went down to Sunapee Harbor again July 2 to hang with the rockin' Bluesman James Montgomery. He was awesome per usual. While watching him, we ran into some great old friends - first, I ran into the former Patty Wilson, now married to music journalist Michael Witthaus. I read his great music columns/reviews in the Eagle-Times when I was living with my folks last year. He and I actually hung around a bit back when he was known as "Song Fontaine" on WECM with Bob Rivers and Zip Zipfeld, among others - back in the late 70s-early 80s. We had a nice snack and cocktails with them at the Anchorage, where I was also accosted by the infamous local boat dealer Stew Brown and Marilyn. I spoke with Anchorage/Eagle Tavern owner Jeff Follansbee about some possible sponsorship of our aforementioned vet jam nights. He loves the idea. Mike Witthaus and I are definitely gonna network on some music blogs and some future entertainment-related things. Also ran into impresario Bill Wightman (Wightsteeple Productions) who is a major force behind the Sunapee concerts and jazz in that area. Awesome day!
The 3rd of July was spent on Killington at the Beatles Celebration. A fine time on a beautiful day on a fabulous location. Imagine hangin' with Joey Leone, Tommy Read, John Sullivan, Jimmy Hollis, the Bobby Darling Show, and Frank Barnes hisself pickin' on me from stage! the Bobby D Show was hilarious - they opened with a slammin' GERMAN version of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"! Joey Leone was hosting a video display of his personal collection of Beatle video and film that was rare and amazing. I saw moments I had only heard about, like John (and Yoko's) appearance with Frank Zappa. The Beatles still give me goosebumps. I'm sunburned on one side of my face and arms from watching the stage, but I'm happy. LOL.
Randy Richards, keyboardist for the Click Horning Band, has started the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse, which is a Friday night performance venue in Sunapee Harbor across from the Anchorage at Woody's Restaurant. Randy did a similar thing in Washington state that is still going 11 years later! He emailed and invited me to play there in September. I'll keep ya posted. A small intimate room, where people really listen and appreciate the performer.
Have heard from all kinds of great folks - Ginny Atchison is thinking about moving from Naples to Dunedin Florida. Annalee graduated with one B and the rest A's (and may come up to visit me next winter)! Rick Shotwell is alive and well, and playing national pro tournament softball, when not being a great Human Resource for Daytona Community College in FL. Ol' bandmates from the 60s-70s Brian Clow and Tim "Squeege" Perras are playing in a band called Special Delivery. Doing the local circuit and having a ball. Mike and I went to see the Rock Bottom Band, with our DHMC workplace buddy Jim Murray in it on bass. VERY good country-rock band. Northern NH folkie Pete Heimlich is doing well. Had a visit here on the mountain from folkie Steve Taylor, who has "been there" on both coasts when folk music was huge and exploding. Great guy, and fellow DHMC transpo as well. Also ran into Pete McCusker at the hospital. He's a GREAT drummer, who played in a lot of the good local bands, most with Goober, when I was young. He also toured and recorded with Renegade in the 70s-80s. Gonna put that boy to work soon! LOL. The gorgeous and talented singer Mary Ferland is battling some mid-life obstacles, and gaining her strength to do so. She sounds great on the phone. We gotta get her in another band - far too talented and fun to be sitting home. LOL. Been hearing from southern buddies like Paul Ferguson, David J Moore, Bill "BK" Koetting, and Little Bar owner Ray Bozicnik, as well as my brother-in-arms Justin Adams. More and more tell me they're moving North again. The future may indeed be bright! LOL.
*AUGUST 2005 UPDATE*
Everybody wang chung tonight. Been hearing from a lot of you - always a pleasure.
Heard from Paul "Beard" Malaney down there in Disneyworld. He took some time and traced all but one member of the two versions of the supergroup that NE agent Ed "Wain" Malhoit put together in the late 70s, TEASER. John "Zipcode" Zuccala is still unaccounted for, but Paul tracked down everybody else, mostly married and settled in Canada. The second version featured my bud Jimi Bell (click for website) on guitar.
John "Goober" Goodhue and his lovely wife Linda and their 3 dogs are still in Tucson. He and two friends have started a multimedia company that may just take off bigtime. He deserves it. We were recently reminiscing via emails about the early days. Goober taught me some of my first rock songs on guitar. One of Goob's partners in the 70s/80s, my high school best buddy and owner of Mirkwood Engineering International, Gary Savoie, is now in Romania on a two year project. He writes he's learning the languages and working with the locals.
Heard from my favorite Kentuckian Linda Deppen. She's doing just fine down there on Marco Island, still.
Had a GREAT time playing at the Minuteman Cafe's big annual BBQ! Carl Thurston and Diane really worked hard to put on a heck of a good time on July 24th. Carl's daughter was there - she just became the director at David's House, an incredible facility right next to my hospital for kids with cancer and their families. Mike Colburn came down with me, and Tim White and Joe "Hayes" Stagner showed up. It was Hayes' b-day. So great to see him - had been far too long. Bill and Kathy Devon were there - Kathy and I worked together at Shooter's years ago. One fine lady! So I got to wail for the first time in months, and sold a few CDs. The 12-string was thunderous, thanks to Mike letting me use one of his Mackie subwoofers. Yeah!
There's a bunch of us old veteran musical types that want to get together and do a special Christmas concert at the hospital. We're starting to coordinate that now. Should be a hoot. So far, we have Rock Bottom bassist Jim Murray, folk artist/fingerpicking stylist Steve Taylor, rockin' Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn, up-and-coming guitarist Chad Gibbs, and myself. More are interested - I'll keep ya posted. The plan is to feature each of us with a tune of our picking, then do a medley of acapella Christmas carols.
Ran into Tom Perron at the hospital - he came down to the Transpo office to surprise me! Tom was pianist John Lovejoy's drummer, and we used to play at Camp Coniston with former Broadway music conductor Scott Sanders in the ol' high school days. Tom's the kind of guy where we can just stand there and smile at each other, knowing all the good times we had. LOL. He now works with the DHART team, which is the famous helicopter rescue/transport team we have at the hospital.
Heard from Special Delivery guitarist Dave Lafoe. I've known his musical family through the old Whitcomb Music Ctr. since I was a kid.
Per usual, I keep running into a myriad of old friends at the hospital. Among the recent ones, my little buddy from the old Strawberries record store Sheri Greene (and her fiance Ramon), former classmate Rondi Boccia (fighting off brain and lung cancer and other crap, but strong and funny still), Gin Murphy's sister Sue Tibbals (hadn't seen her in many a moon), my 8th grade shop teacher Jon Orvis, artist/buddy Cindy Wahrlich, and ex-Claremont mayor Charles Puksta among many others. I never know who I'm going to see or transport.
Joey Leone was just at the Montreal Jazz Festival, featured as a demo clinician for Eastwood guitars. He was a huge hit, and was approached by Jim Marshall (owner/inventor of the Marshall amps used by most guitar gods!) himself. Joey's been a Marshall/Korg endorsee for awhile, and was asked to do more. He's kickin' so much butt these days! Nobody works harder or practices more than Joey! The NUMBER ONE act on Killington (and many other places). He's doing a few select gigs at the Lookout,so check schedules or his website for the summer months.
Went down to the Eagle Tavern in Newport on Wed. July 20th to see Master bluesman George Gibson play. Guitar George - he knows all the chords. LOL. He was doing a very entertaining duo with Reid Trevaskis on bass. George is one of those guys that can stay on-stage for 4 hrs. and keep you entertained without taking a break. I hate him! Hope to jam with him very soon.
Ginny Atchison got stuck in heavy traffic on the way back from picking up my favorite 11-year old wunderkind Annalee Thralls, but at least they got to see the shuttle launch. Ginny stopped by the Spring Hill, FL area to check on real estate. That's about 20 minutes from my folks. It's also where my soul sistah Jo Greco, daughter of jazz pianist and singer Buddy Greco, lives.
My brother Bill Rush emailed me, saying Mom is out of rehab for her broken hip and wrist. They're doing OK. Bill and his wife Barb are about to take a looooong drive to see family on vacation.
*SEPT. 2005 UPDATE*
Stayed overnight on Killington on August 5th to see the venerable Joey Leone play acoustic 6 and 12 strings with bassist Tommy Read at the Lookout. What a great time! Awesome music, awesome guitar licks, awesome company. Joey said some really nice things about me to the crowd - he and I have to jam soon! Ran into Hubie, mgr. from the Santa Fe on Killington where I played two winters ago, also enjoying Joey. Also ran into ol' bandmate/leader Rick Davis in the parking lot of the Grist Mill. He was going in to do his one-man-band thang, but we couldn't hang - had to get to Joey's gig. Joey told me that Santa Fe Steakhouse bartender extraordinaire Annie Sullivan (who's ex-husband Michael Oakland is the samba guitarist for Marco Island buddy J Robert - small world, huh?) was in a horrific car accident vs. a moose two months ago in VT on the way home from the Santa Fe. She's hurt pretty bad, but expected to pull through. Wishing you the very best, Annie! Joey is headlining a benefit at the Lakehouse in Bomaseen, VT on Sept 11 (Sunday) at 7:30pm.
Also got to stop by and pay a surprise visit with the Hornings (the talented and wonderful Click and Joanie) that weekend, as well.
Speaking of J Robert, he wrote that the diesel engine on his awesome sailboat finally quit after many years of service, but he was granted permission by wife Debra to get a new one for his birthday. I've been cordially invited to sail with J on my next trip to Marco, which is always a blast. Check out his website for pics and more info on him and his sailboat.
Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn and I went down to the cozy Eagle Tavern in Newport Wed., August 10 to hear the best voice in the Upper Valley, Jim Hollis. What a fun night! Jim is sooooo good, and we had never heard his version of the far-overplayed Don McLean hit "American Pie" - which nearly put Mike and I into convulsions. Funniest thing I have heard in years! Jim, Mike and I were talking about putting a 60s kinda pop band together for occasional fun - I'll keep ya posted - and Jim wants in on the hospital Christmas Concert, all from an idea from Rock Bottom bassist Jim Murray. Mr. Hollis also put me in touch with an old hero of mine, Margot Copeland, out in Arizona. I emailed her, and she flipped. A talented and inspiring person, that Margot!
Wasn't able to play at Bill and Kathy Devon's annual picnic on August 20th as a surprise to a lot of area people that used to either work at or go to Shooter's Lounge in Newport back around 1990. The weather was sucky, and the venue was outdoors. The Dynamic Duo of Click and Joanie Horning called later on the night of the 20th to invite me to play with them at a musician's party on the 21st. I was hoping to go to the Cornish Fair on the 21st to see ol' buddy Tom "T-Bone" Stankus, who was appearing there with his renowned children's show. But again, inclement weather won, and I attended neither - dammit! T-Bone was a good pal in the 80s at the Kelsey's Faro Blanco Resort where he and I held a weird song battle onstage that they still talk about, and is best known for his many years as a staple on Dr. Demento, with his tunes Existential Blues (pts one and two), and his version of K-Mart Blues!.
Got a nice email from my buddy Tara O'Neill (click for website), artist extraordinaire from Goodland, Florida. She's my favorite Sat. night bartender from the world famous Little Bar on Goodland. She's also an award-winning artist and sculptor - click on her name to see her website.
Heard from my favorite Floridian Chef, Ed "Wait For It" Ryder. Ed was slated to compete in the Olympics as a swimmer to beat when the USA decided to boycott them that year. He STILL holds a record in Florida from the 80s! <sigh> But Ed put himself into being a great chef, and taught me a lot when I had the opportunity to work with him for a year when he was the Executive Chef at Bimini's on Marco Island. A great friend and talented man. He is now the Head Chef for the flagship of the Dan Marino chain of restaurants in South Miami, but looking for that rainbow. Speaking of Marco chefs, also heard from Jack Bowden. He was formerly the chef at Kretch's, but is now at Verdi's. He and the lovely missus used to come into Bimini's on Sundays and pick on me royally a few years back. Another talented and funny guy - great surprise to hear from him.
Been getting the usual sick emails from Marco Island's Wildflowers' bassist Bill "BK" Koetting and one-man-band Paul Ferguson on Marco Island, as well as the lovely and funny Linda Deppen. Also wished best buddy David J Moore a Happy Anniversary on the one year mark (Aug. Friday the 13th, 2004) since Hurricane Charley nearly took their lives and DID take a third of their house in Pt Charlotte. He was IMing from Ft Myers Beach entertainer/icon Rick Robinson's home. Rick's still beating the odds healthwise, which is a great thang.
Got a nice response to a joke email from one of my oldest buddies on Marco Island, realtor Bob Sheehan. Bob and the late Bud Pfifer used to put up with me introducing them as BnB Entertainment, my management team! LOL. Ah, the old days at Marco Bay Resort were just too much fun, and so very profitable. I've got some great pics and video from there, where Hollywood, TV, and rock stars like Richie Blackmore from Deep Purple used to come see me. Speaking of Deep Purple, they have had the incredible Steve Morse playing guitar for them off and on for years now, since asswipe Richie left them for the (hopefully) final time. Steve started in a band called Dixie Dregs. Any musician within the sound of my voice - rent the Dixie Dregs Live At Montreaux Jazz Festival '78 DVD. WOW!!! It's available thru Netflix. Thanks to Downtown Dave Fuchs, I was lucky enough to watch Steve from about 20 feet away a few years ago, when he did a tour with Jorma Kaukonen from Hot Tuna/Jefferson Airplane and jazz great Kenny Burrell. Steve was cool in showing us his pedal board, and was a great guy.
Got a nice long phone call from my bestest buddy, 11 year old actress Annalee Thralls, and her awesome mom Ginny Atchison. It was sooooooo good to hear their voices. Anna's actually playing TUBA in the school band! Ginny's gonna try to fly the two of them up here to Mike's Mountain around next New Years - Anna's never seen snow! Ginny's looking at property in Spring Hill, FL - 20 minutes from my folks, and home of other Soul Sistah Jo Greco!
Between hosting Karaoke, DJ-ing, singing for Club Soda, teaching vocal students, and doing an Internet radio show, my Claremont soul sister Cher Mitchell (Mrs. Ron Aubin) is flat-out BUSY!!! I emailed her to see if I could recruit her voice for the Christmas concert some of us hospital folks are putting on at the hospital. Of course, Cher's ready to jump in! We're also hoping to bring in the talented and beauteous Mary Ferland, too!
Heard from Capt. Mike Davey down there in Isles of Capri Florida. He and Deb are just fine, having had her kids around for 3 weeks. He tells me ol' buddy John Hobbs is in Sarasota about to get his hands on the first batch of special water bottles for joggers, something he designed around 7-8 years ago, and patented soon after.
Fred and Nancy Guilmette have officially sold their Loon Lake Campground in Newport, NH, and are heading to their house in Naples, FL come Fall to live year-round.
The ever-talented Gardner Berry (ye olde STONECROSS Band, Mama Kicks, Four Sticks Zep tribute) and I were just emailing back and forth about Father Paul Aube, the NH priest recently defrocked by the Pope for some equal-opportunity molestations. The "Father" was hangin' around in the old days, helping young rockers get loans and gear, etc. Gardner is still kickin' ass, I'm glad to say. His voice is better than ever, and he's older than me!
Got a long late-night phone call from Dave "Bones" Pedersen on Aug. 17th. We had a ball remembering our better times, and some of the escapades we had. We played music and welded in a sweatshop and partied together way back in the mid 70s, and then he moved to Boston and was a big part of the music scene there for years. He's toured the country many times over, and is now living in Austin Texas, nowadays doing tours with the rockin' Sons of Hercules. He's gonna try to come up and visit soon. I'll keep ya posted.
According to Jim "Herb" Smith, our buddy the former Rockestra/Hired Gun, etc. lead guitarist Dave Albro is on tour with the LeAnn Rimes Band right now as their guitar tech. Dave's living in Nashville these days, as previously documented here in Updates. One very talented Fine Guy, that Dave! And he does it with sheep, I hear.
One of my former bassists, Brian Clow, has put together a website for his new band Special Delivery. I gotta check them out soon - two of my favorite nutcases on one stage.
Gary Savoie wrote an extended email detailing his latest exploits. He's in Romania doing humanitarian work with the locals for a couple of years. Trying to fit in, and not get bogged down emotionally working with the many AIDS-afflicted children, and the debilitating floods, etc. Trying to make a difference.
Found an old buddy online, masterful guitarist and banjo man Gary Skillings. This guy and I have many of the same influences and friends, and I was around and very happy to be invited to the sessions when he was recording an album in the late 80s at BCM Studios. Click on his name, choose one of three files to listen to, and turn up the volume - that's Gary playing award-winning banjo with one of his endeavors, the Marcy Hill Band. A naturally and abundantly gifted friend.
Played back in Hanover, NH - home of Dartmouth College - for the first time in almost 10 years on Aug. 26th. A great restaurant called Molly's Balloon that's been there for years. Fun and easy gig - two hours - 9-11pm on a Friday night! Mike came with me, and Chad Gibbs, Gene Paige, John Higgins, and Jim Murray (and his wife) showed up from the hospital. I can't recommend this place enough - great food, great crew (Missy rocks!), great management (Shane and Ben - you rule!), great time. Next date there is Sept. 9, and I'm hearing some pals like Jim Hollis, Mike "FarCry" Colburn, and other pros may show up and possibly jam.
To end the
month of August in a fine fashion, bassist Eric
Stone stopped by Mike's
Mountain for a visit. He brought me up to speed on how a bunch of people are
doing, and he is still having a ball playing with my buddies, the recently
and the fabulous Emily Musty
Glad all my Florida family and friends missed any damage from Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 26th, but New Orleans and several other places and thousands of people will never be the same. More next month.
.....and now for something completely different.
I just can't help myself, but I have to vent (this is, after all, MY website - lol). I am so tired of politics being the worst and the lowest they have ever been. But even more inciting to me are the absolute and powerful fakes in televangelism that are not only supporting the truly evil politics, but trying to use their power to make many conform to THEIR idea of what the World should be. Not God's plan, if you are a believer, but THEIRS. And the weak are blindly following because they hear only what they want to hear, not the whole message. VERY dangerous folks, folks.
Another great month for televangelist Pat Robertson, huh? That guy just can't stop himself from showing his true colors - a misogynistic (he-man woman-hater) bigoted fake, a lying opportunistic rich powerful hawkish friend/supporter of George W, who claims to hear from God. LOL. Really? Who would Jesus bomb? Does your God believe in assassination, too, Pat? Just proves once again that the Christian Right is neither Christian nor Right. He flat-out plans to say something, gets noticed, then lies and say he (a) didn't say that) and/or (b) got misquoted. Bullshit. We saw the video, Pat - remember the cameras? You said - you meant it - you still want Chavez assassinated (and probably a lot of other people including Americans), you piece of crap.
This isn't about Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians, etc. - it's about being good Americans to one another. Being spiritual is a great way to be - helping your fellow neighbors unselfishly for the good of all. My nature just doesn't allow me to believe in an all-powerful invisible being nor a happy place where all the dead can be with all their favorite people-family-pets, but I love and now try to follow the basic tenets of the Bible. I think true spirituality begins and ends in one's self. But being a proven liar or a child molester or interceding in our Government in or under the name of a god (and only ONE "brand" of diety at that!) ought to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. There is a just and intelligent reason for separation of church and state, and it should be fortified, not lessened. Zealots of ANY religion are obviously and proveably dangerous to the sanctity and the peace of the World. The same should be said for the leaders of religions trying to hide what their minions are doing to our children (and that goes all the way to the Pope). They dare talk about Truth. Look at what these American elected fools are trying to do now - limiting valuable needed research because some of them interpret a book a certain way and do not scientifically endorse the needed research (the only way to understand and evolve - did the Bible shown us the way to beat polio, etc.? We need unified scientists of any and all faiths to come together, not hold somebody back because of their beliefs - duh). These dangerously stunted elected officials make others pay for their ridiculous myopic "vision", not caring for those that do not think like them? Is that what God would want? Is that the American way? Isn't it strange how those that believe their religion will heal a child without medicines get prosecuted by the same "religious" government when their children die from the lack of professional scientific care? And then fools get involved trying to "save" those that are scientifically unsaveable. We are guaranteed the right to worship who or what we please, and we can also choose not to believe; just don't re-write or interpret the laws of this once great nation to reflect on anything that's not good for ALL. The Christian Faith (or any other) should not be allowed to intercede into government or law at all; look how blind Faith is now allowing liars and fools to rule and conquer, and they are proveably ruining the planet. Pollution is at an all time high, and the Middle Class is disappearing. Try to buy a first house close to your job now.
If you wanna believe in God, Allah, Mohammed, Buddha, L Ron Hubbard, etc. that's your right - just as it is my right to live hand-in-hand with freedom of choice, unencumbered by what Christians or Muslims or Tom Cruise think I should do. When it comes to somebody's life, mind your own business unless asked - you probably don't know the whole story. When it comes to things like abortion, mind your own uterus (especially if one doesn't HAVE a uterus. LOL - why are MEN still telling WOMEN how to live their lives?). Nobody - including our government - should have the right to tell someone what to do with their body or life, unless it totally infringes on the health or endangers the well-being of all others. In other words, if you have to smoke cigarettes, you should have the right to, in your own space. But have respect and don't feel you have the right to inflict the awful smell and airborne disease on people that don't smoke, in any public place.
Bushes, Frist, DeLay, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Robertson, Falwell and his "Moral Majority", Santorum et al - they are all f**king hypocrites! Follow the money trail - look who's families and friends are making BILLIONS from this awful mistake in Iraq. "Intelligent Design" to be "taught" in our schools, indeed. We now know "history" has been "modified" in text books over the years to reflect those in power and hide the awful behavior of some of our greatest heroes of our early years. So now, we have to teach our children beliefs with no facts based on ancient parables instead of scientific findings and reality, because our children can't handle the Truth. Instead of digging for facts and answers and cures, they should just believe "this is the way it is, and you should act thusly".
If there is a God, I'm pretty sure She/He doesn't want ANY of these condescending asswipes anywhere near. Unless it's to keep watch on them and protect the rest of us. But that's not happening either, is it? LOL.
And finally - from Law.com - your tax dollars at work:
When FBI supervisors in Miami met with new interim U.S.
Attorney Alex Acosta last month (July '05), they wondered what the top
enforcement priority for Acosta and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would be.
Would it be terrorism? Organized crime? Narcotics trafficking? Immigration? Or maybe public corruption?
The agents were stunned to learn that a top prosecutorial priority of Acosta and the Department of Justice was none of the above. Instead, Acosta told them, it's obscenity. Not pornography involving children, but pornographic material featuring consenting adults.
Yep - your tax dollars at work - thanks to all those that think limiting issues like Free Speech and other Personal Freedoms will solve this country's problems. Thanks to all of those that STILL think Bush is right, and thanks to those that voted for him. The absolute worst presidency in the history of the United States. Our new slogan -
"Ignore the people, Up the People, Screw the People"
If you have an intelligent opposing view, I'll listen. Thanks.
*OCTOBER 2005 UPDATE*
The following is excerpted from Aug, 31, 2005 article in Der Spiegel - take the time to read this and understand the gist of what it says:
A year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to study how New Orleans could be protected from a catastrophic hurricane, but the Bush administration ordered that the research not be undertaken. After a flood killed six people in 1995, Congress created the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, in which the Corps of Engineers strengthened and renovated levees and pumping stations. In early 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a report stating that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S., including a terrorist attack on New York City. But by 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war.
In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding
requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for
holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent.
Additional cuts at the beginning of this year (for a total reduction in funding
of 44.2 percent since 2001) forced the New Orleans district of the Corps to
impose a hiring freeze. The Senate had debated adding funds for fixing New
Orleans' levees, but it was too late.
The Bush administration's policy of turning over wetlands to developers almost certainly also contributed to the heightened level of the storm surge. In 1990, a federal task force began restoring lost wetlands surrounding New Orleans. Every two miles of wetland between the Crescent City and the Gulf reduces a surge by half a foot. Bush had promised "no net loss" of wetlands, a policy launched by his father's administration and bolstered by President Clinton. But he reversed his approach in 2003, unleashing the developers. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency then announced they could no longer protect wetlands unless they were somehow related to interstate commerce.
In response to this potential crisis, four leading environmental groups conducted a joint expert study, concluding in 2004 that without wetlands protection New Orleans could be devastated by an ordinary, much less a Category 4 or 5, hurricane. "There's no way to describe how mindless a policy that is when it comes to wetlands protection," said one of the report's authors. The chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality dismissed the study as "highly questionable," and boasted, "Everybody loves what we're doing."
"My administration's climate change policy will be science based," President Bush declared in June 2001.
But in 2002,
when the Environmental Protection Agency submitted a study on global warming to
the United Nations reflecting its expert research, Bush derided it as "a
report put out by a bureaucracy," and excised the climate change assessment
from the agency's annual report. The next year, when the EPA issued its first
comprehensive "Report on the Environment," stating, "Climate
change has global consequences for human health and the environment," the
White House simply demanded removal of the line and all similar conclusions. At
the G-8 meeting in Scotland this year, Bush successfully stymied any common
action on global warming. Scientists, meanwhile, have continued to accumulate
impressive data on the rising temperature of the oceans, which has produced more
In February 2004, 60 of the nation's leading scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, warned in a statement, "Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking": "Successful application of science has played a large part in the policies that have made the United States of America the world's most powerful nation and its citizens increasingly prosperous and healthy ... Indeed, this principle has long been adhered to by presidents and administrations of both parties in forming and implementing policies. The administration of George W. Bush has, however, disregarded this principle ... The distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends must cease." Bush completely ignored this statement.
In the two weeks preceding the storm in the Gulf, the trumping of science by ideology and expertise by special interests accelerated. The Federal Drug Administration announced that it was postponing sale of the morning-after contraceptive pill, despite overwhelming scientific evidence of its safety and its approval by the FDA's scientific advisory board. The United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa accused the Bush administration of responsibility for a condom shortage in Uganda -- the result of the administration's evangelical Christian agenda of "abstinence." When the chief of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the Justice Department was ordered by the White House to delete its study that African-Americans and other minorities are subject to racial profiling in police traffic stops and he refused to buckle under, he was forced out of his job. When the Army Corps of Engineers' chief contracting oversight analyst objected to a $7 billion no-bid contract awarded for work in Iraq to Halliburton (the firm at which Vice President Cheney was formerly CEO), she was demoted despite her superior professional ratings. At the National Park Service, a former Cheney aide, a political appointee lacking professional background, drew up a plan to overturn past environmental practices and prohibit any mention of evolution while allowing sale of religious materials through the Park Service.
OK - I'M DONE - NOW BACK TO HAPPY THOUGHTS
BIG thanks to two people - journalist/reviewer Michael Witthaus and the ever-talented Jim Hollis - for very nice promos on my Sept. 9 appearance at Molly's. I heard Michael wrote me up as the Friday Pick of the Week in his weekly newspaper column, and Jim Hollis wrote the following in his weekly newsletter:
It's an absolute thrill to be appreciated by such luminaries!
Went back down to the cozy Eagle Tavern in Newport NH Sept. 7th to see the aforementioned Jim rock the house. I just can't say enough - this guy is the Real Deal and I'm proud to call him a friend. He and his lovely Cin even got involved with the local Shaw's supermarket for aiding victims of Katrina recently. A good Human, and a talented Mo-fo.
Jimmy (and the lovely wife Cin) then came and saw me on my Sept. 9th appearance at Molly's (click for webpage). A fun night! He and Mike Colburn were harmonizing with me on "We Just Disagree", and so many great people showed up to support Live Music. Click and Joanie Horning, Chad Gibbs, Mike Colburn, Vic and Diane Barden, several DHMC Transpo buddies, several nurses from DHMC, and more were there. Marc Milowski, the owner of Molly's (as well as Lui Lui and Jesse's) stayed the whole night and was so gracious and supportive. As usual, the managers Shane and Ben were phenomenal. Jim Hollis is also gonna appear there soon - I'll give ya the date(s) when I know them.
My 7th grade sweetie, Rondi Boccia, lost her battle with cancers on Sept. 4th. She and her family owned and operated Boccia's Italian Market on the square in Claremont for many years. I wrote her a poem when we were in 7th grade - these are the first two lines - "Rondi, with an original outlook - hand in hand we walk along. Not knowing what Life has to offer - not knowing for how long." Speaking of the big C, one of my sweetest friends on Marco Island, Linda Deppen, successfully went uner the knife on the 14th to remove a tumor, and I had some basal cell removed on the 13th with another surgery on the 28th. Isn't getting old grand?
Keys-based singer/songwriter and Marathon Mayor (and Personal friend/hero o'
mine) John Bartus
has just announced that ALL of his proceeds from CD sales at his CDBaby.com
website will be donated to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast.
From now until at least October 1, 2005, 100% of all money that John would have
collected from sales of his "Keys Disease" and "Live From The
Florida Keys" online CD sales will go directly to the American Red Cross to
help storm victims in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
To help out, just go to www.johnbartus.com, click on the "Buy The CD - ClickHere" graphic, and choose one or both CDs. Enjoy some Florida Keys music, and help out Katrina victims at the same time.
The lovely and talented and very hard-working Ginny Atchison just got back from taking her awesome daughter Annalee Thralls to Disney/Epcot. Ginny says FEMA refused several airboats and supplie shipments from the Naples area, but has plenty of money to have lots of paid employees in the rich and exclusive Naples area trying to change flood plain maps that don't need that attention. Naples/Marco Island areas were used by Native Americans for centuries as safe haven from storms. <sigh>
Getting colder up here on the mountain. Been seeing temps in the 40s semi-regularly at night now. The leaves are just starting to change colors - I'll try to post a pic when they do. Beautiful area.
Heard from bestest buddy Dave Moore down In Pt Charlotte. What a talent! He's getting ready to record a new CD with some new audio toys. I've been invited to play some guitar on the new project. Thanks, Dave!
Joey Leone wrote that the benefit for Annie Sullivan went very well. Wish I coulda been there.
Had a wonderful 45 minute phone call on the 17th from Ginny Atchison, down there in Naples FL. She called to help with a computer problem I was having, and we ended up covering almost everything that's happened since last we spoke.
Got a surprise email from Kimbo, one of the great crew at the world famous Snook Inn on Marco Island. She said my CD was a hit with 4 drunken women driving back from Key West recently. Kim's been a great friend and a source of smiles for me for quite a few years now.
Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn, buddy and benefactor of yours truly, had a jam with his ol' bandmates from Far Cry here on Mikey's Mountain on Sunday, Sept. 18th. Bart, Mark, Eric, Mike and Mary were rockin' - it was fun to hear them, because I wasn't around at their peak. They had fun, and may even do some local gigs when their schedules coincide.
Heard from Comedy Central's 2002 Comic of the Year Stephen Lynch the night of the 18th. He's got a new CD (The Craig Machine) releasing Oct. 4, a tour starting in NYC on Oct. 6, and will be starring in the Broadway show "The Wedding Singer", first in Seattle (Jan. '06) then on Broadway in March '06. He's looking for a bunch of us "comedy" guys that network to help him set up a cooperative effort. Similar to my New England Performers Co-op of the mid 90s, but on a grander scale, of course. Always glad to help Stephen and anybody that's hungry and serious, in any way I can.
Both Stephen and my favorite Irish actress/songwriter/singer Maria Doyle Kennedy (from the movie "The Committments") recently posted to my guestbook here. Check them out.
Rent the DVD of Little Feat playing at Rockpalast in Germany, a video live performance from the late 70s. It is great quality, and shows how the late genius founder/songwriter Lowell George is sorely missed. His singing and slide playing are just a joy to witness close up.
Arlo Guthrie just posted this to a bunch of us musical networking hippie-types: if you wanna take the "City of New Orleans" from Chicago to New Orleans, and raise some money and bring some musical supplies, contact his office at Rising Son Records, 10741 US Highway 1, Sebastian, FL 32958. (772) 589 1774 or email train2NO@risingson.com. Thanks for thinking of me, BK! What a trip that'll be!
Wow - just got word that my great friends (and first believers in me doing a solo act when I worked at their Key Of Sea Music Store in the FL Keys in the mid-80s) Dusty and Linda Durst are heading to live in Athens, Georgia! They're building a house, and should be settled in around Jan/Feb '06. Dusty is on the crew for the Hooters Pro Racing Team, and is living large enjoying one of the many things he does better than most. Linda is staying behind for now to sell the house, and facilitate the big move.
Another friend of the Dursts is the World Infamous Turk Coury. I've spoken about his incredible escapades on this page before - and how I lived to tell about them. Professional Nice Guy Paul Ferguson just told me that Turk has bladder cancer, and is getting treatment in FL, but is prepared. Like Paul and I said - Turk has lived more Life in two weeks than most do in two decades. I'll be in touch with him soon, and will keep y'all that know this phenomenonal man posted.
Sep 23 1950
Congress passes the McCarran Act, also known as The Internal Security Act of 1950, overriding Harry Truman's veto. The act provides for severe restrictions on civil liberties, suspension of free speech, and placing of undesirable Americans in concentration camps. The act has never been repealed.
Got an email from Ed Vadas, leader of the Fabulous Heavyweights - stars of stage, screen (The Money Pit), and delis/laundromats - and he's concerned about the dwindling of audiences. I have touched on that here before - please go out and support Live Music when you can. I know it's getting difficult as we get older, and the prices of everything are heading way North, but Live Music is something that should never go away. Ed just turned 61 on the 26th, and still knows more about the blues and music biz in general than most players I know. He said some wonderful things about me on his website's Links page - of course, my webmistress quoted him immediately on my front page. LOL.
And while I'm getting misty - my biggest hero in my musical life, Jimmy "Oxo" Carter (Sass, Jimmy Carter Show, Run21), writes on Sept. 26 and says he wants to do a duo gig or two with me ASAP! I'm gonna try to set that up, and will post it here when it's confirmed. My friends know what a thrill that is just to be asked, and what a night that will be! I'm all goosebumps.
Played again at Molly's on the 30th. Dave and Deb Bocash made it in, as did jazz impresario Bill Wightman, producer/guitar master Gerry Putnam (see Cedar House link on my Links Page), drummer/nice guy Dana Flewelling, and the rookie Transpo lady Amber, among others. It was one of those gigs - the Hanover Street Fair was going on right outside, the band American Hi-Fi (click for website - great guys - they were being entertained by Mike both before and after their show) was playing thru major P.A. literally right outside, the crowd was watching the Sox play right over my shoulder, and Mike's truck blew clutch AND brakes before we made it 100 ft. out of the parking lot, ending the night with a $34 cab ride home. LOL. Got held over for another night, tho. And American Hi-Fi sat in the back of the room before their concert outside, then they came back in and sat right in front of me after. Details next month!
Safavian... Wasn't this the crowd that was going to
"restore honor and integrity" to Washington? If this
is what integrity looks like, let's bring back Oval
Office blow jobs."
*NOV. 2005 UPDATE*
Well, Oct. threw some curves. Southern NH experienced some of the worst flooding in state history, with many displaced. My old drummer Tim "Squeege" Perras lost quite a bit when the place he had just moved into days before was flooded. Quite a few others I know were affected. Roy Brown, bassist for 8084 and leader of Vehicle, emailed me before I had heard anything on TV, and sent some close-up pictures of the damage to Rt. 123 in Alstead.
Heard from versatile drum monster Jeff Costello, who lives in Surry, NH. They had a "flood party" and Jeff played my CD. He said they were laughing, so maybe I'll market the comedy CD as "disaster relief". Nah. But Jeff didn't get hit, but had friends like mine in the Keene area that had to evacuate. Paul Ferguson once wisely said to me that every Paradise has it's price.
Went to see our Transpo brethren Steven G Taylor In Concert on Thurs., Oct. 6th in Enfield. He filled Whitney Hall with his powerful voice, and turned his nervousness to his benefit with the crowd.
Got a nice phone call from Marco entertainer Duncan Wheeler. Duncan lost his Dad recently, but is doing well. Still playing those SWFL gigs where the dolphin are swimming, and the food is flowing.
Also got a call from David J Moore, checking in on me. He's also happily ensconced in the SWFL music scene.
Heard from Gardner Berry (Stonecross, Mama Kicks, Four Sticks) AND from Justin Jaymes, telling me how they've been jamming lately at gigs in the Lakes Region of NH.
Played Sunapee Harbor as part of the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse Concert Series on Oct. 21st. What a night - we had a nice haddock meal, then singer/songwriter Click Horning came in to visit before he got up and introduced me at 7pm. Others in the audience were friends/classmates Don Underwood and his wife Deb, ol' Canam boss Roger Filion and his wife (hadn't seen them in nearly 30 yrs), my aunt Kathryn Ross, Click and his wife Joanie, Click's keyboardist/Coffeehouse Founder Randy Richards, singer Steven G Taylor, ex-Coca-Cola exec Mike Leavitt, Nancy Guilmette (soon to be moving full-time to FL with Fred) with Jackie, and many more. Paul and Holly of Woody's Restaurant allow the music to happen there, and were wonderful hosts. It's fun to play a coffeehouse where people are very quiet and listen to everything you do and say. Stopped by the Horning cottage on the way home to visit with Click and Joanie some more.
Was supposed to play Molly's in Hanover again on Sat. the 22nd as part of Dartmouth College Homecoming Week, but had to cancel due to a quick flu thang. Then, woke up the morning of the 22nd to two inches of snow on the ground, and 32° weather. It's not a hurricane, but it's still intrusive. LOL.
Had my throat surgery on the 25th. I'm glad to say that all is well there.
Then, woke up to 5" of wet snow on the 26th. LOL. Thank goodness there was a new South Park that night to help me laugh. Then we went to see the spectacular Jim Hollis play his first gig at Molly's on Thursday, the 27th. Had a great time.
***DEC. 2005 UPDATE***
Well, Nov. started off well. Ran into talk radio biggie George Russell, and he wants me to be on his show again soon. We may end up doing some production as threatened a while ago. LOL. I also spent a nice afternoon logging on Mike's Mountain with Steven G Taylor, the folkie buddy.
I also got to meet Everett Woodman - a 90 yr old man that was the President of Colby College at one time, and was the first to bring Ravi Shankar to the Northeast. Incredible man with phenomenal stories - such is my lot at DHMC.
On Sunday the 6th, both Joey Leone and Jim Hollis called about the Grist Mill on Killington being under great new management. Joey's trying to hook Jim and I up with some dates - I used to play there for many years off and on.
Heard from David J Moore - he was jammin' with Iron Butterfly/Captain Beyond bassist Lee Dorman last week at the studio where I recorded "Bits and Pieces". Damn - wish I coulda been there again for that one. It's always fun and good players at those Scott Gould-hosted jams. David also did a gig with John Mellencamp's guitarist (first 4 albums) Larry Crane. Larry compared David to Kenny Aronoff, and had a large expletive complimenting David's prowess. LOL.
Jimmy "Oxo" Carter called me on the 12th - just as his old drummer Stet Howland (Rockestra, RUN21, WASP) was getting married in FL!. Jimmy wants to do some duo work with me soon - I can't believe I'll finally get to play with him. It's gonna be Hanover or Burlington. Mike and I were going up to Burlington on the 19th to see Jimmy with "Mr. French", playing with 8084 and Quadra, but didn't make it.
Got a nice email from the lovely and talented Emily Musty. She's doing one last jazz gig with David Newsam, and several more band gigs with One Eye Open, then she's moving to LA to pursue her dreams in music and film after the first of the year. Her final gig in the area will be New Years Eve with One Eye Open, at the Coyote Club in Claremont NH. One Eye Open bassist Eric Stone is also leaving at that time and joining my last band, Last Kid Picked, at that time.
Been getting nice holiday emails from y'all. Ed Vadas, Al Fuller, Angelo Mullen, Rick "Shooter" Shotwell, my relatives, Ol' neighbor/classmate Debra (Lafayette) Ball, among others. Nancy and Fred Guilmette made it safely back to Naples, FL. They experienced no damage from the hurricanes while they were up here for the summer - that's good.
Ginny Atchison and Capt. Mike Davey told me how bad some of the damage is/was in the Naples/Isles of Capri areas. Mike called me on the 16th and let me know our mutual buddy John Hobbs is finally showing his invention at big conventions, etc. It's been years since John set out to get his runner's water bottle (that's an over-simplification in description on my part) on the market.
Got a lengthy "catch-up" email from Gary Savoie. He's been in Romania trying to make some sense of the Peace Corps, but has finally disassociated himself and is staying to help on his own for awhile. Typical bureaucratic blunder-producers in charge. <sigh> Gary has a penchant for getting himself deported - lol - but this time, he was up against a few that think threatening the locals will get things done (in the PEACE Corps - lol).
Been reading Tiffany Yates' column in the Naples Daily News about what my buddies are doing around Marco. She is a believer in real music (not background tracks or karaoke singing wannabes - lol), and has a weekly column reviewing the scene there. Fascinating reading.
Decided not to do the New Years Eve gig, for those that have noticed the missing banner ad on here. Carl is cool with it - it gives him time to get the new place really tight, and the same with me and my "new show". Wait til you hear me in '06. But also you owe it to yourself - do you realize that some of the finest talent in the country is local? Go see Joey Leone at Killington sometime this winter, I dare ya! The same could be said for Jim Hollis, and has been said here before. These guys are the real deal - no bs - work hard for their money - love music themselves - ready to kick yo ass kinda guys. I got a feelin' there may be a coupla "summit meetings" between several hotshots this winter up there. heheheheh
Go to Jimmy Hollis' website guestbook here, and laugh aloud at the two entries from our buddy out West, the veritable Margot Copeland, under the pseudonyms of Maxix Bhwatanian and Clemsig Nutbust. Too funny! Thought I'd pee myself.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL
~HAPPY NEW YEAR 2006~
I sincerely hope y'all had a truly nice holiday season. December was a little anxious - waiting and waiting and waiting for the grant, procured through the always generous Colburn Foundation for the Musically Insane. Then waiting and waiting and waiting for the gear to get here, and getting it up and running smooth. Add to that frigid weather, snow squalls, no snow tires on the Camry (until the third week of Dec. - lol), and the usual holiday traffic and daze. Mike's truck having problems. My transmission slipping first thing in the frigid morning because it misses Florida. My 12-string breaking just before a gig (Dec. 3rd), and needing replacement. THEN finding out some of the best and coolest techs from the hospital came to see me after I left that gig with my broken guitar. <sniff>
My most missed little buddy down in Naples, 11 yr old Annalee Thralls, is switching to fulltime at-home Virtual Classroom this month (January). Her Mom, the ever-patient and non-stop Ginny Atchison, is getting everything in order for her, per usual. Ann has to drop the tuba for now, tho - now she's considering guitar. Hmmmm. LOL.
Talked with my famous Rock n Roll Mom on her birthday Dec. 5th. She was very lucid and up - we had a nice conversation. All seems well. My brother Bill emails from Texas that all is well down there, too.
Ran into ol' Studio 27 GM Jeff Pierce while shopping in Lebanon on the 8th. Good to see him - he's done it all, too - he's managed everything from clubs to bands, and has the road miles to prove it.
Old bass player Brian Clow has been suffering some strange infection - it was actually life-threatening at one point, but he's on the mend.
I was very sad hearing about Richard Pryor's death on the morning of the 10th. Another giant gone.
Despite my bad luck the last two times at Molly's, they want to commit to a longterm schedule of at least a couple of times a month. I love the place - the management and crew are tops, and the food is great and cheap. The locations and views are prime, and the owners are some of the truly nicest people you'll ever meet. Plus, it's a two hour gig.
Speaking of which, thanks to Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn for adeptly sitting in with me at Molly's on the 16th. The day started with a 55mph wind here on the mountain, but ended nicely. Slow night on Main St, though.
Paul Ferguson wrote and said that Guy James, a talented and wise progressive radio talk show host in SW Florida, was dropped because he's "too controversial" for the present political climate. GRRRRRR.
I was also watching Paul performing at the Snook Inn on Marco Island via their new webcam. LOL. I have watched ol' buddies Tim Crandall and Duncan Wheeler on there, as well. It's kinda surreal to be 1607 miles away, and watching them and the Snook Crew whom I love, in much warmer weather than I have here. LOL.
The World Famous Entertainer and Bon Vivant Turk Coury called me 11pm on the 11th. He's been successfully battling bladder cancer lately, and was well enough to laugh like crazy with me for 45 minutes on the phone from his son's in FL. We were reminiscing about everybody: Driftwood Cheryl, Tony the Tiger, Freddie Bye, and and many other characters from the Florida Keys in the '80s. Turk sounded great. Here's to his being around many more years.
Another Marco performer, Duncan Wheeler, called me on the 17th to tell me how he runs his Bose™, and to bring me up to date with the local action there. Duncan ran topnotch clubs in Texas before I met him as a bartender at the Snook Inn in the early 80s, and he morphed into actually being the performer finally a few years ago. And he still looks like he's 30. I hate him.
All kinds of nice emails and cards and phone calls. Thanks, folks.
A Hearty Thanks to the staff (Patrick the prez, and his head tech Chris) of VSM.net, my hosting company down on Marco Island. They worked long and hard on Christmas Day to fix some snafus with this here website. I swear Chris musta put in 48 hrs. straight trying to rearrange settings properly. Greatly Appreciated.
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to a bunch of folks for bringing together the new system, which has inspired the living bejeezus outa me to write and rehearse, etc. BIG thanks as usual to Mike Colburn for getting the ball rolling, and to the awesome CW Colt who begat Laura Mooers at BOSE® who begat all the freebies, Liz Hellinger at audiopile.net (A P Distributing) for the awesome cases, Randy McFarland at Sigler Music for the fantastic new headset system, Bill Woelfer and Nancy Trojanowski for the sweet new Ovation. All the aforementioned are responsible for me having the most incredible sounding system I have ever heard in my whole career. Period. Let me know what you think next time you hear me. But I gotta tell ya - Musician's Friend really dropped the ball on a big order, and I found out similar stories abound. I've been affiliated with them for 5 yrs, and they really surprised and maddened me with their inattention to detail. They did try to make it up to me, but I do not recommend them anymore - it was that bad. You'll note I've taken all their links off this site. SameDayMusic.com came through like super-troopers on fire. Great prices, and fast service.
I'd like to thank the awesome Guthrie Thomas, Man of the World, for his artisanship with guitar picks (the Very Best). He also has his own line of premium guitar strings - check out his link off the Links Page (GT Strings). GT has been there - hangin' with Hoyt Axton, Ringo Starr, and many many more of the Historic Greats. Many albums and cigarettes later, he's indeed a Wise Man. If you are starting out in this business, check out his website and his wisdom. I love chatting with this guy.
And to John DeGange, frontman for Last Kid Picked, who keeps me (and other pros) happy about their guitars with his expert set-up and repair abilities.
And finally - to those that have been pestering me to revive my electric lead guitar playing, come see the new gear/tunes. I split the night between acoustic/electric 12-string processed thru a TC Electronic M-One-XL, and my #1 Strat™ played through a VOX ToneLabSE floorboard. The laptop's midi files played thru my Cakewalk 9.0/Roland JV-1010 module sound phenomenal thanks to the new BOSE® - a stereo field and dynamic projection unheard of before now. Seriously, I have never heard a better sound system than what I am using right now. Ever. And anybody that hears it instantly says the same thing. Hehehehehehe.
Jan. 14th will be my first show (at Molly's - 9pm to 11pm) with the new toys and the new tunes. Please stop by.
This is going to be a very good year for my music.
~ February '06 EDITION ~
They keep talking about drafting a
Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we
just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it
worked for over 200 years, and besides - we're not using it anymore.
Started the New Year off peacefully - staying home and working on my gear while watching Dick Clark and trying to understand most of what he was saying.
My b-day on the 2nd was pretty nice - I had my coffee, then put my pedalboard together. Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn did a great job of woodworking to help the cause. Mike had the day off, so we went to Applebee's (the only bad thing of the day - RUN if you get a waiter named "Andrew"), then went to hang with Rick Davis at his studio/home in Ascutney, VT. A pleasant surprise was Rick's brother Davey Davis showing up to record. Davey is a book all to himself - a wonderful guy and songwriter. Rick presented Mike and I with all kinds of rarities that we have long coveted, and offered some studio time in the future. Sweeeeet. It was so good to see them both - I hope to play with Rick again soon - we made some great music together in the latter '80s. In fact, he lent me videos of us playing together in '84-'85, and I've been laughing my ass off watching that version of "me"! My hair was bigger than my waist!
Heard from Glen Schweitzer of the Jalapeño Brothers. He and I share the same b-day, so I wished him a good one. He's down in FL right now, but may venture to VT for awhile...or NC....or...... Another great road lifer having a b-day in January is the inimitable HECTOR. Also, best buddy Gary Savoie over there in Romania. Not to mention good ol' Eddie Potter in FL, my OLD road manager. Hehehehe
Was still waiting on half of the new gear to get here the first week of Jan. (no thanks to Musicians Friend), so I could have it ready for my Jan. 14th gig at Molly's. A lot of musicians said they were coming out to see/hear me, and I had some major work to do dialing in the perfect sounds and some major programming hell, not to mention wiring hell. Finally got most everything up and running the weekend of the 7th/8th. Did I mention that they have really improved the already wonderful Rock N Roller multi-cart? It's lighter, easier to use, and looks even more durable. YAYYYYY
Watched David J Moore Live on the Snookcam on the 4th. He sounded great - it's so surreal to watch my buddies playing 1607 miles away, in a tropical setting, live on the internet. <sigh>
Jim "Herb" Smith emailed me that he is the latest proud convert to VOX amplification with his new AD50. They really are blowing me away as far as modeling amps go. My AD120VT was the best amp I ever had! And now I'm using the ToneLabSE, which is kinda like having it all in a floorboard. Straight to the BOSE in wunduhful steweo. Hehehehehe.
Had a nice long chat on the 11th with Barry G Seaver, ex-manager/sound man for the Carey Rush Band in the early 80s. He's doing great. That very same night, I had a long IM session with Dave Albro down in Nashville, about high-end headset mics and Vox in general, not to mention his collection of guitars and his latest Ibanez acquisition.
Playing at Molly's on the 14th was fun, but nerve-racking. LOL. The first gig with an all new system that requires some set-up time, plus a plethora of surprise attendees. I haven't got all my signature effects dialed in yet, but the system definitely impresses all who hear and see it. Among the surprises was Scott Savioli and his lovely wife Cathie. Scott and I met way back, and I've seen him at more local gigs all over VT/NH in the past ten years than anybody! Plus, Mike soon realized that Scott used to work at the hospital, and Small World Syndrome was enjoyed by all.
Just as I sit down to eat, I get a phone call from Chris Eggleston, whom I hadn't spoken with in at least 8 years! She saw my name in a local paper she never usually read, and called to say HI. We had lunch the following Monday - it's so good to see her, and we email a lot now.
Then, while I'm setting up, Tom Willis walks up and surprises the living daylights outta me! Tom was the drummer for the Ceremonial Jams of yesteryear, and it had been sooooo long since we've seen each other. I was also happy to see Jim and Gary from the NH Rock Bottom Band, coming in on a night off. Lori and Beth from Transpo, and people from Boston and as far away as Florida that came to see me! Then Mike and I got the thrill of driving back home in a blizzard. Ah, New England.
Got to see ol' buddy from Key West, Terry Cassidy, via Snookcam. He was up on Marco playing the weekend of the 13/14th, and I tuned in to catch him. Awesome human, great Martin picker, great banjo slammer, and fantastic fisherman. Perhaps they'll reverse the process and put a screen onstage there so I can video a performance down to them. Yeah, right.
Talk Radio host George "G-Rex" Russell has moved to a bigger market in Connecticut. Just happened to open a newspaper the other day and saw that. It was fun doing the show with him during the '04-05 tour.
Talked to Pete Porter on the phone on the 16th. He not only survived a serious operation, but broke records and moved quicker than anybody had previously. He also made friends with people in the x-ray department at Alice Peck Day, too.
The very talented and sick Stephen Lynch emailed me on the 19th telling about doing the Wedding Singer at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. He's there from Jan 31 until Feb 19th, then it looks like Broadway for Stephen! Very cool - he deserves it.
Also on the 19th, we lost Wilson Pickett. The Man WAS Soul.
Heard from Joe Britz down there in Big Pine Key, between Marathon and Key West. He owns Coconuts, a great little bar/package store that has live entertainment. Joe has played with some of the Keys' better musicians for quite a few years.
David J Moore called twice on Jan. 25th - on his way TO his gig and on his way BACK! LOL. And I even got to WATCH him do some of the gig on the Snookcam! I like watching kittens, too. Dave was playing Tuesday night, after flying back from CA Monday night, after attending NAMM. John DeGange also attended NAMM, per usual.
Heard from Rick Davis on the 26th. We're still alive in the splendor that was TRACKS, thanks to Rick lending us a very rare copy of the original album set. Unreal - talk about ahead of their time?
Got to meet and hang with Billy Shaw at the hospital a couple of times while caring for his son Myles. He's the owner/engineer of Soundesign recording studio, who have a client list ranging from almost ALL of Ken Burns' PBS stuff to The Simpsons to NRBQ to Jonathan Edwards or Sun Ra! Great guy - I'm gonna tour his studio soon, and perhaps light up the dials.
David Moore emailed on the 30th, revealing he's been recording with, and MAY tour with, Mr Blue Velvet hisself - Bobby Vinton! First I had heard of it - Dave knows I get all weepy - but maybe he can pull some good thangs outa this. He sure deserves it.
Naples, FL's Hardest Working Mom Ginny Atchison says her wunderkind daughter (and my bestest buddy) Annalee Thralls, is doing excellent. Two awesome people. Ginny writes:
Anna is doing great in homeschool...getting A's and staying caught up. She's taking Math, World Cultures and Geography through Virtual School. We are still waiting for a spot in Science, Language Arts and Reading...so I have to find other programs for those right now...We had a teleconference with the kid who wrote Eragon - he sold the trilogy and it's going to be a movie soon as well as a video game. He was homeschooled...very cool guy, now Anna is writing a book. Tomorrow we are off to the Imaginarium in Fort Myers, turns out they have a homeschool program for Science classes! She also starting ice skating soon with a group of other homeschoolers.
The ever lovely and talented Joey Leone is now adding "reviewer" to his lengthy resumé - check out his first official review for MyRareGuitars.com here - http://www.myrareguitars.com/joeysays1vintagegibsonfender.html. Of course, Joey has had reviews and rants and raves and pics and info on his website for a loooong time - check it out at www.joeyleone.com
Coupla gigs to mention here for February - I'm playing at Molly's on the 9th (Thursday, 8-10pm), a special appearance. And I'm doing the full-tilt one-man-band new show on Sat., Feb. 18th (8-12pm) at the new Minuteman Café in Westmoreland, NH (near Keene).
Well - lol - I listened to "President" Bush and his absurd bullshit State of Disgrace speech. It's sad when speechwriters keep half of the country in the dark about facts and reality, and this administration keeps steamrolling along as the WORST administration to ever "lead" this Great Country by confusing with simple catch phrases. And I didn't need Hillary saying the same - I knew Bush was the worst a long time ago. Not ONE good thing has been done by these asses - it's so corrupt that it can't change, seemingly. He'll leave his fingerprint on the Supreme Court for decades, which will unfold as we go along. But Bush has screwed up everything he and his ilk touch - education is abysmal, Social Security is doing fine without him, he hasn't "found" family friend Bin Laden yet, has he? How about FEMA - you really ought to do some research and see where the money goes, esp. since Katrina. It is a disgrace, and the fault belongs to Bush, period. Almost 5 years now since 9/11, and we've diffused most efforts to waste time on Hussein, whose "evil" factor is comparatively benign. Just because Saddam threatened Daddy Bush, our country is again open to further attacks from an existing and REAL enemy. But oil and billions are at stake for some very rich people, so the speechwriters just appeal to America's "patriotism" and hide reality. And I'm not very happy with Democrats, either.
But I have music, great friends, and a lot to live for right now. Love is elusive, but Happiness isn't. I love you all - please support Live Music.
~ MARCH '06 UPDATE ~
To announce that there must be no criticism of
the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not
only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
(1918) -- Theodore Roosevelt
Heard from several associates at the beginning of February, all trying to help me facilitate my new system to it's ultimate potential. I have been fine-tuning, pulling new gear I didn't like (not very happy with the high-tech headset that Countryman makes, nor the new Shure system) and re-using some favorite older gear (my AKG headset and my YAMAHA EMP100 vocal effects), rearranging my racks several times, reprogramming my new TC Electronic effects for my Ovation, and programming the new VOX ToneLabSE floorboard for the Strat™, and re-using and rackmounting my old vocal effects device (YAMAHA EMP100) which better suited my voice then trying to get the TC to do things it didn't like to do, and re-mixing all my midi files for the new system. Not to mention auditioning all those preset EQ programs in the BOSE™ preamps, trying to find the perfect settings for all the components that are run through it. PHEW! But the results are already boggling! Wait til you hear me after a couple of months of gigs and practicing under my belt.
Had a fantastic dinner party at the Savioli house in Hartland, VT on the 4th. Got to hang after and jam a bit with Cathie's son Scott, who is learning guitar quite quickly from ol' buddy Wally Wysk, a very fine player. The Elder Scott showed me some great home video of Duke Robillard/Roomful of Blues horn players/rhythm section/et al. Hope to go down to MA soon with the Saviolis to hear and perhaps jam with some of these cats. They are fabulous!
Then - of course - just as I'm getting great results on most fronts, I realize my #1 Strat™ is pretty badly out of whack, intonation-wise. As I'm adjusting the Floyd Rose™ tailpiece, I strip several key components FAR too easily. Dang junky stuff. So Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn lends me his little-used Strat™, a nice dark purple USA-made. Sounds good, but the neck pickup doesn't work. Pete Porter lent me his '72 reissue thinline Tele™ that he got from Joey Leone™, as a back-up. Small world, isn't it? It's a sweet guitar, and I'm gonna have some fun, but now I realize I'm gonna have to buy one soon. The Tele Thinline fits every song I do! Pete also got himself a sweet Alvarez acoustic from Denny and Patty at Musicians Junkyard recently, too. But it's back to re-programming and re-mounting and readjusting the EQs on the presets AND the BOSE™, not to mention replacing the tailpiece on my #1 right away. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Got a surprise email from Chris Foster on Feb. 6th. He's in the Kansas City, MO area these days, winning big music contests and having fun. Chris was the guy who got me into the Tommy Bahama's chain in SWFL (where Judge Judy, Jennifer Lopez, and other celebs used to come to eat and listen and dance), and he also founded CODA, which was all about protecting the local musicians in that area from laws and ridiculous noise ordinances and corrupt city officials. Chris accomplished a lot during the time I knew him in Naples, and moved on a couple of years ago for his family. He may come to the New England area for concert appearances, so we're gonna try to coordinate a get-together.
Well - I hate to say it - but the Rolling Stones should maybe think about retirement. I got emails from quite a few (esp. Jim Hollis), not to mention what most of the newscasters after the Super Bowl said. Mick and the boys were terrible, the absolute worst I have ever heard them. True - whoever was directing or perhaps mixing sound for the half-time show was the wrong choice - that person should've been better utilized sweeping the parking lot - they should perhaps stick to having people direct/mix sound that actually have done it before - but the Stones flat-out sucked. Pretty good game, tho. Then I'm reading the Don Perkins article in the Spectator the following week and he says how he enjoyed them! So, of course, shy me gets right on the comp and fires off a series of emails to Don about the Stones, and he, of course, fires right back! LOL. He wants to see it again, but he was just happy to see a band from our generation still going. Yeah, but not very well. LOL. But Don did mention doing that feature article on me for the Spectator again.
And while I'm at it - maybe Don Imus could take a hint and retire right along with the Stones. He's not funny anymore - just really bitter, uninformed, and boring. And Bo Dietl should not be allowed any further celebrity - the man is an extreme ass. At least something interesting happens on Howard Stern's show - that can't be said for 95% of Imus'.
On a really sad note - my good friend Kevin "Kenny" Davis passed away on Feb. 4th due to liver ailments. Old pal Pat Bartley mentioned it at work, and then I saw the huge obit in the paper. He was a truly nice guy - tall, stocky, gentle, and handsome - a good singer and bass player, who never had anything bad to say about anybody. Cher just emailed me and told me that his sister Judy was set to donate her liver this week, but his body gave out. I knew him from 7th grade on, and we almost played together on several occasions. He also was Cher's roommate for years, and we'd see each other whenever I got to hang over there. Whenever we chatted after that, he always brought up the story about "Caprice and her husband"; I'll tell ya later - lol. He surprised me a couple of years ago, and emailed and called me just to catch up. Rock on, Kevin. You'll be missed by everybody that ever met you.
David J Moore, musician and human extraordinaire, called late on the 8th, coming back from a gig at the Snook on Marco. He is being actively courted by Bobby Vinton and his team. They want Dave to run the show (the pre-recorded aspect) and play the drums for Bobby on tours. Bobby Vinton actually walked up to Dave onstage at Sharkey's recently, shook his hand and said Dave sang better than him! Dave's doing his homework just in case it comes together.
Got a nice phone call from Rick Davis on the 9th. Catching up on the latest. I'm gonna try to get down to his place soon and do some recording.
Molly's on the 9th was nice! It was the first night out with the one-man-band format implemented later in the evening. A FRIGID night, for sure - but fun. I got a late start due to some diners that weren't music lovers, but the Porters, Barry Seaver, Mary Ferland, Chad Gibbs, and the Saviolis showed up. Mary, Chad and I are all past and present vocal students of Cher's - lol. Mike and I had some great food, and Leigh and the rest took very good care of us. The owner Mark was his usual great self, and I look forward to being back in April for three gigs.
Marco Island Times columnist Tiffany Yates did a really nice piece on my buddy BK's bluegrass band, the Wildflowers, appearance at Goodland's Little Bar on Feb. 4th. Here's a link to the story - http://www.naplesnews.com/accounts/register/8c960dd7e1575affbc2f141788de6d1e/ First of all - BK (Bill Koetting) is a jewel of a human. He sends the BEST jokes (which I usually redistribute to my northern buds), and the Wildflowers are great to be around. The Little Bar is one of my favorite places in the world - a true locals hangout - small, smokey, but full of characters on either side of the bar. Especially the owner, Ray. LOL. Ray has a standing offer for me to play there whenever I am around, and I always do. I'm still featured on their entertainment page, too.
I was very surprised to see Bob Leitgeb had signed my guestbook. Hadn't heard from him in many a year! A very tasty guitarist, a good singer. Bob definitely is one of those characters that you tell stories to your grandkids about. When they're old enough. LOL. Man, I got a bunch of memories of that guy. We've IMd a few times now, back and forth.
Tried to make it out to see Matt McCabe, pianist for Duke Robillard/Roomful of Blues on Sat., the 11th, but didn't make it out of the house. Was busy working on gear and forgot how time can fly. Matt came and saw me at Molly's a couple of times back - he's friends with Scott Savioli. Scott wants me to join in at a big party he's gonna have for his 50th, with most of the Roomful of Blues cats. Be glad to!
I was also asked about playing another surprise party for a big-name radio personality and seller of MILLIONS of copies of his recordings. That won't be until the summer, but it looks like it might be a real good time!
And speaking of big-name radio personalities, Seattle's Bob Rivers got international attention again with his Aerosmith parody, Cheney's Got A Gun, which I emailed to a lot of you. THEN, I get the email that Bob partnered with TOONEDIN (the political cartoonists/animators) and the result is too funny! Click here to see it. Bob is also available via Internet now - they're streaming his morning show - just go to www.bobrivers.com and click on LISTEN LIVE. He is one of, if not THE, best parodist in the country. Bob's Twisted Christmas line of CDs have sold millions!
Dave Moore called again on the 16th - he's not gonna do the touring with Bobby Vinton. It just doesn't pay enough to warrant Dave changing his existing happy lifestyle, so it's a no-go. But he counts Bobby Vinton and his entire family as new fans!
Took Mike in to work on the 17th, and came home to practice for the big Minuteman Café debut on the 18th. Within a half hour, we had a twister up here on the mountain. We were told there would be powerful winds, but these took a bunch of shingles off the roof, took the hot tub cover to new places, uprooted a tree right next to the driveway, blew a window out of Mike's truck cap, and rearranged the landscaping slightly. Didn't lose power, so I still got to practice all afternoon. LOL. Mike had to have roofers come up on the 18th to patch the roof until he can get it redone. The news showed we were not alone.
It was still very windy and extremely cold (the lowest temp of the winter - well below zero!) as we headed out to play at the new Minuteman Café in Westmoreland, NH on the 18th. BRRRRRRRR
Yoko Ono turned 73 on the 18th - damn ye, modern medicine!
Well, wasn't the new Minuteman Café fun on the 18th? Hell, yeah! I can't believe that place - I have coveted that place forever - it has always been my fantasy to buy it and turn it into a house, with gorgeous land and views and landscaping aplenty! Carl and Diane and the crew were great, and a few surprise visits were especially surprising due to the weather! There was a blackout in the vicinity, plus it was FRIGID, so a lot of people weren't thinking about going out. But Tim White came with a bunch, Don and Debbie Underwood showed up with another couple, Bill and Kathy Devon showed up, and Lynn and Chris were there, with Chris running around snapping pics, like usual. LOL. I was able to crank up the system a bit, and all who heard it HEARD IT! LOL. I'm still dialing it in, but I blew away the guys that came up to jam with Mike on the 19th. I was set-up to practice and they wanted to hear it, so I did a little of everything. They actually applauded me, and Mike was chiming in "That's my roomie!" - lol.
Got together with aforementioned drummer/great pal Tom Willis on Sat., the 25th for lunch. Caught him up-to-date via videos of my career highlights while the blizzard started raging outside. Tom, among other things, is an expert builder of muzzle-loaders. I want to try that this coming summer.
Mike had the jam crew here later that evening, blazing some southern rock and classic rock licks into the rafters. Fire (and snow) on the mountain. But no keyboard player.
I end the month just as it started - rearranging all my new gear into different cases, and re-wiring eveything, and building a new pedalboard in the new case lid, and remixing and tweaking new midi files and mixing them down to MD along with additional vocal and instrument parts and putting a new bridge on my #1 Strat™ and resetting the intonation and string height and tension and pickup height, and tweaking the 12-string's TC effects to awesome standard and tweaking the Vox programs and tweaking the Yamaha's vocal effects to a new clarity and.....<phew> Good thing I enjoy putting these systems together so they are the most efficient they can be. Now all I have to do is wheel in two large trunk/cases, set up the Bose, plug them in, and I'm ready to rock in approximately 10 minutes. One case has all the mixing board and cabling and effects and wirelesses and power conditioners and minidisc recorder and storage with the aforementioned mega-pedalboard (over 36 buttons on the floor) built in. The other has the entire Bose system and my guitars!
Ed Vadas (Fabulous Heavyweights) is still going, like a REALLY BIG Energizer bunny. He's teaching the Blues to all that listen, and is doing so while going thru health and depression problems. He's still one of my all-time favorite sounding boards, and a true traditionalist and historian when it comes to da Bluez. There is a TV show going around the MA circuit featuring Ed, and his travails. Catch it if you can.
So now comes a month of hardcore rehearsing, like I haven't done in years. I'm gonna surprise many with the song selection, the style change, the energy level, and the sheer sonic quality unlike anything they have EVER heard from one flamin' guitar picker. Make sure if you are within the sound of my voice that you come to Molly's on one or more of the three BIG nights I'm gonna be doing there in April. This summer, I'm gonna be rockin' the Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor, an old favorite newly sold to old friends Glenn and Karlie Shaw! I can't wait to see and feel what they bring to that place. No doubt the Aerosmith boyz will be droppin' by, too!
~ APRIL '06 UPDATE ~
Heard from several of y'all - started the month of March sicker than I have been in many a year! One day of dual explosions - two days of rib recovery and hydration. LOL. OMG - that was nooooo fun. Spent the following weekend resting and working on my new rack. I finished mounting the pedalboard on the 4th, just as Mike had the boys over for some jammin'. Rick Davis and one of his sons, Collin, stopped by on Sunday night, the 5th. Collin videoed whilest Dad Rick interviewed me about my new system, and I demoed a tune or two, even harmonizing with Rick on a Beatles tune! It might still be online at www.rickdavismusic.com/careyrush.wmv - 22 minutes of bad hair Carey, fresh from puking, demoing his system.
Mike caught the flu and proved it on Tuesday the 7th while I worked.
Heard from Glenn and Karlie Shaw, old friends and new owners of the famous Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor! They want me to play there once a month thru season and beyond, and I'd be glad to. I've always had fun there, and they are the bestest people. Should prove to be VERY interesting!
Spent the whole day on Monday the 13th practicing and creating a set and mixing it to MiniDisc. Long and tedious process in mixing and arranging/rearranging the midi files in Cakewalk, so nobody had better accuse me of being a karaoke singer! LOL. I still have to export the tracks to my multitrack digital recorder, so I can layer some vocal harmonies and effects onto the midi tracks. Then mix back to 2-track MiniDisc, and use that result as my band.
Sent the mahvelous Ginny Atchison a nice e-card for her birthday on the 18th. She's still trying to sell the house in Naples, but the market has softened considerably. Annalee's still doing very well in virtual school.
Mike had the boys down jammin' that same evening.
Chatted with Pete Porter on the 19th. He's putting together another Super Tele - I haven't seen it yet, but will next time when he comes over to see my gear.
Spent the whole day on Monday the 20th doing virtually the same thing as the previous week. Putting together another full set, and remixing it before adding additional vocals etc. next time. Fine-tuning the guitar tones after switching gauge of strings again.
Did I mention that JustStrings.com ROCKS?
I haven't found any better - price or service. Sorry Jimmy, but these guys are the Champs!
Did I mention that cigarette smoke SUCKS? Gardner Berry (STONECROSS, Mama Kicks, FourSticks, etc.) is working with Clean Air Works For NH to get HB1177 passed Thursday, April 6th. As G-Man writes: "If you care at all about the entertainers, bartenders, waitresses, managers and bouncers, who for years have had to make a living in a smoky environment, or if you're a customer and/or fan who week after week goes home reeking of second hand smoke, please take a few moments and write to as many Senators as you can." Those yellow/brown stains on our gear and EVERYTHING else is a carcinogenic oil, folks. It's time. Even the Bahamas just passed anti-smoking. It amazes me that some of the smartest people I know won't quit. It was the harshest mistress I ever had, but thank goodness and Amy, I haven't smoked in 16 years!
Did I mention that AOL is the WORST?
Got a surprise phone message from Mitch Marcoulier out there in LA. He's still running into my old CRB drummer Bruce Stoddard II out in Arizona. Mitch is still trying to get his long-awaited CD released - he's got some of the cream-of-the-crop LA session cats on it, and I can't wait to see/hear the thang! Paula Abdul would not have made it to American Idol if Mitch hadn't made her sound "good" on her records. LOL. A talented friend.
I can't wait to play Molly's on April 14th! I just learned Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds' "Don't Pull Your Love Out On Me Baby", Tower of Power's "What Is Hip", a jammin' Miles Davis tune "Allblues", some Supertramp, Jimi's "Wind Cries Mary", I revamped Delbert's "Maybe Someday Baby", "Wicked Game", "Bell Bottom Blues", some more Beatles - all kinds of fun stuff. Mike is scheduling me a lot of time off at the hospital so I can stay home and really get the tunes together and get the multitrack recording needed with them done properly for the debut at Molly's on the 14th.
Buck Owens, who sang "American Music" (his description), died on the 25th in his hometown since 1960 - Bakersfield, CA. He and his guitarist Don Rich, especially, were a HUGE influence on me and my playing style as a youngster. They reinvented and redefined the country sound when Buck became known and sought-after for his use of a Telecaster in Country music. It was vogue back then to be playing big jazz boxes with a mellow-to-Scotty Moore (Elvis' guitarist) tone. Along came Buck, and then Don, on their jangly trebly Teles. It was pure ecstasy! LOL. Our neighbor and longtime Claremont Postal Carrier Bob Curtis turned me on to Buck the very same day I held my first Strat (Bob's '57 candy apple red Strat), when I was around 6-7. Buck's 15-20 Number One Hits on the radio were from the early-60s to the early-70s, when the irreplaceable Don Rich was killed on his motorcycle in 1974. Tunes like "I Got A Tiger By The Tail", "Together Again", "Act Naturally", "Waiting In Your Welfare Line", "Excuse Me (I think I've got a heartache)", and the one I dare any guitarist to do note-for-note, "Buckaroo" - an instrumental that sounds deceptively simple. Don Rich's jangly treble-rich and clean as a whistle Telecaster (and very good fiddle) was every bit as much a Buck Owens signature as Buck's drawling adenoidinal gliss of a voice. Nevermind Hee Haw; Buck was one of the biggest influences on music for a couple of decades (Dwight Yoakam, esp. - not to mention the Beatles covering "Act Naturally", BR-549, etc.), and his generosity and rebel ways will be missed. His humble closing statement that I learned when I was 6-7: "It takes people like you to make people like me". Buy Live At Carnegie Hall - close your eyes and imagine five guys in rhinestone suits (Buck, Don, Doyle Holly, Tom Brumley, and Willy Cantu) playing like a wildfire, executing perfect dynamics and tightness and having a ball. Thanks, Buck
Gary Savoie emailed me about his trip through India. Another place where one can retire with little more than Social Security, and live like a King. IF you don't mind the open sewers, horrible conditions, bigotry, and typical squalor. Gary did say he liked it there, though.
Once again, this website has been the conduit for a voice-from-long-ago to find me. LOL. THIS time, I got an email from the first girl I ever took to the movies! We're talking 7th grade here, folks! She moved away soon after (hopefully not due to me), and I've often wondered where she was. Well, now I know! Thanks, Jeanne Trudel - it was great to hear from you!
Lots more practicing before my debut on the 14th. Hope you can come and see me soon.
Got this email on the 28th, from songwriter/buddy Ron Cole - "Hello again Mr. Rush....I thought you might get a kick out of the fact that the version of my song "Bob's Blues" that we recorded at Bryce's back in the late 80s is getting airplay on WESR in Virginia on a music show on Thursday nights. They really like it, and the DJ comments on the "impressive" lead guitar breaks. See ya....Ron Cole"
Well, March is going out like a Lamb up here. It's 30s at night, but will be nearly 70° this Friday, the last day of March! Mud Season is upon us!
Got a quick email from the phenomenal Joey Leone. He's heading to Toronto shortly, but has an "exciting recording project" he has to tell me about in person. I've invited Joey up to the mountain to hear my new stuff, and will let you know the Big News when I find out. Joey has finally been "discovered" the past couple of years, even tho he has a solid past in the biz since he started. But he now endorses some great guitars and amps, and is still climbing. See, practice does pay off!
Update: Bush and his "administration" STILL haven't done anything
right in over 5 years, except those resigning. Country and World worsening daily
under his "watch". Perhaps they should make a DVD for him like they
did about Katrina, and he could see just how bad he's doing. Unreal. Total
incompetence (1: not legally qualified
2: inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose
3a: lacking the qualities needed for effective action 3b: unable to function properly). Clinton was SO much better in every way. As was EVERY other past presidency, for that matter - lol. Wanna debate? You'd better get some real facts from some place other than Faux News and Rush Limburger. Try Library of Congress, the Congressional record, etc., and hang your head for believing and helping Bush's people. The Bush record shows his disdain for most people that aren't as fortunate as the few. Instead of being a real leader and a real American President, he just tries to placate all the time - he surrounds himself with positive, pro-leaning audiences, while really screwing us SO bad financially for decades to come for NOTHING. It's maddening. He hasn't proffered ANYTHING that is useful for you or me in the whole time he's been in office. Almost $300 BILLION later, we still don't have Bin Laden, the most dangerous man in the world. But we're still paying for getting a pipsqueak that was about as dangerous as Bush, Sr. in a boxing match and allowing HIM to run his own "trial"!. Bush personally ruined every corporation he touched before office, bankrupting or closing any corporation he was on the board of, or owned. Check it out - it's public record. Yet the minions blindly followed, listening to his catch words like religion, patriotism, and honor, "stay the course" indeed - and allowed him to become the "screw the People; except those that got me here" guy he is. And they still applaud his "loyalty" values.
I wish you the best, until we see each other again.
~ MAY '06 UPDATE ~
Heard from Ed Vadas (Fabulous Heavyweights), Bryce Chicoine (BCM Studios-doing sound and playing bass again for the talented Darrell Boyle), Angelo Mullen (uber-bassist for Fraank, Davis Bros., Fatback), Joey Leone™ (that's a respectful ™ joke, BTW - Joey is becoming HUGE, biz-wise), Richie Hughes (CRB, BarSinister, music teacher), Tom Jellison (drummer, OneEyeOpen), Jim Murray (bassist, NH Rock Bottom Band), Stephen Lynch (ComedyCentral star, now on Broadway), Deb Underwood, Rick Shotwell (Shooter!), Scott Savioli, Jimbo Hollis (the uber-talented), and former classmate Elaine Rosen Groundwater, among several others. Many say they're gonna attend Molly's debut or the subsequent shows. Very cool. Ed Vadas reminds me not to forget the Talent Button on my pedalboard.
Also heard from several that are sad that the anti-smoking bill (HB1177) didn't pass (one vote) in NH like it did in every other New England state. Thank goodness that nearly 60% of restaurants and bars choose to ban smoking independantly. Jim Hollis and Gardner Berry, especially, were very vocal and helpful in their support. Jim related how he once got a Dunkin Donut muffin that was handled by a smoker, and went to bite it when he smelled that disgusting smell. That's bad enough, but the "need" by smokers to have the "right" to infect us with incarcinogens in public places is maddening. All non-smoking singers I know need at least a day to recover from singing in a smoking environment. It's way past time to call it as it really is, folks - deadly. If you saw the patients that are smokers at the hospital, gasping for each breath, you'd think twice.
For those of you that aren't too happy with the present government, and for those of you that didn't receive this link from me in email - ENJOY! http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/georgie.htm
Didja know that Vermont now has a SEVENTH township that has called for Bush's impeachment? His "credibilty" is said to have gotten him elected - so much for his credibility these days, huh? Most recently is the fact that he came out against leaks in the past - saying he'd fire anybody that did because of the American Way, Patriotism, Honor et al (it's on video, folks)- and we now find in court testimonies his past staff and Cheney and possibly Bush himself actually authorized the leaks surrounding the Plame outing to gum up the opposition views to the needless war. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, and nearly anybody connected, have done their best to debase the Constitution, ignore the Bill of Rights, and ruin the World in almost every way, and only for their personal profit. They'll bring down the price of gas if we allow them to drill in Alaska. I am ashamed of this "administration" (and a few Dems, too), and I am ashamed of those that STILL don't see it or admit. I am tired of political correctness dictating the color of humor, and the dumbing of America. There is nothing wrong with being conservative or liberal, religious or not, but why not look for the common middle ground. The Happy Medium is where we need to be, with corruption a thing of the past. Yeah, right. LOL. I'm afraid this presidency has ruined things for this lifetime. Of the People, For the People, By the People indeed.
Mighty Jim Hollis stopped up on the mountain here on April 7th to check out my rehearsal. He was duly impressed with the sound, and my library. He gave me two great DVDs to watch - the making of Dark Side of the Moon, and the making of Aja by Steely Dan. Jim just may work up a couple of my poppier midi files with me for those occasions when he's around my venue on a night off. And we may also work up a killah version of "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby"! He loved my mp3 of the Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham version. I really enjoy the instrumental voice that Jimmy is lucky enough to have. And I mean Hollis. Jimmy called later and said I renewed his drive towards using some quality background tracks. He joined the service I use, and downloaded hundreds of tunes within days! When one can't find suitable talent locally, there is nothing wrong with personally tweaked accompaniment, if used right. Hopefully, I will do it right.
Pete Porter stopped up on the 9th to hear some stuff, and pick up his wonderful '72 reissue Tele that used to belong to Joey Leone. I'll miss that baby! He was duly-impressed with the mega-system, as were Mike and I at Pete's latest batch of sake. LOL. Wheeee!
Well, the debut at Molly's was a little wobbly, but I made it. LOL. Huge thanks to Mike for all the help, and to especially Jim Hollis and Ken Aldrich for attending! I really respect both of them, and it meant a lot. Ken, who knows possibly every song ever written, couldn't believe the diversity - I'd go from Santana to Geo. Benson, then Beatles to Miles Davis! LOL. One of my best and oldest friends, Leo Beaudry, also showed up - Leo and I have so much history. Ditto for Barry Seaver and one of his sons - Lucas. Big thanks to Shane, the manager at Molly's - he was so helpful and didn't tell me to turn down once! Too bad they're thinking about discontinuing live music now that ASCAP/BMI is asking for licensing fees. That is one of the hidden costs of having live music that few know about. It's a sliding scale depending on room size, seating, type of music and hours performed, etc. It CAN get costly, but it's all about making sure songwriters get paid, so I support it.
Been hearing from ol' area icon Pete Merrigan. He and Melinda spend most of the year in the St Pete area of FLA these days, but he's coming up for some summer gigs locally. He may play at Molly's, IF they decide to continue Live Music.
My management wanted to use the new pic (photo credit: Chris Carver) on the front page of this site and on my posters, although I think I look like a 50 yr old Beany (of Beany and Cecil, a great cartoon back in.....oh, nevermind), minus the propeller cap. I love the graphics and stuff, tho.
World Class Human Being David J Moore celebrated another hatchday on April 24th. A talented and wonderful guy!
Heard from ol' Deacon's Den/Marco Island buddy Justin Adams. He informed me he had our ol' buddy Kate Kerry from Saco/Biddeford down there visiting him! She's the best.
Über-guitarist Joey Leone just got back from Toronto, where he was recording sound samples of Eastman Guitars for their ads. Joey is gonna be kicking butt on Killington all summer, playing at my old stomping grounds, the Grist Mill, on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. I'll be there!
The very talented Jim Hollis informed me that he found out two days before he was supposed to play at the North End Pub in New London that they'd had gone belly-up, but hadn't let anybody know. Rose and Jeff Follansbee also owned the Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor, and still own the Eagle Tavern in Newport. Not good, although we hear the Follansbees are trying to avoid bankruptcy, so we can't hate them. I hope people realize how tough it is to be a pro musician these days - huge gas prices, fewer venues, frequent closings, some venues expect you to do every style of music there is, etc.
Speaking of the Anchorage - my summer series starts there on May 13th, and yes - that's Steve Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith in front of the Anchorage door in the pic below!
I got booked for an outdoor concert at Sunapee Harbor on Aug. 12th, 5-7pm. It's called the Flanders Stage Concert Series. I LOVE playing those, and hadn't in about 8-10 years now. I most likely will be doing the 12 string show, but that may change. Beautiful setting, and great people, with the occasional Aerosmith sighting. LOL.
Rock Bottom bassist Jim Murray is the proud new owner of a gorgeous Guild 12-string. I hope to play it soon. LOL.
I just heard from a babe cruising the Keys that Holiday Isle in Islamorada, my #1 gig in the Keys since '85, is being sold for $98 MILLION! However, it is being turned into high-price condos. <sigh> That resort has been Party Central for so many for quite a few years. I first played there with Rick Davis, then became one of the house entertainers, literally living on campus there for many months under the management of the late Johnny "The Greek" Trepas. I had appearances with Heartbreaker, Cowboy Jazz, Capt. Boogie, Maynard Ferguson, and TINY TIM, among others. Major music videos and TV shows and movies were shot there while I was around, too. That'll make the other area bars/resorts very happy.
I'd like to depart the usual here, and give my profound condolensces to Steve and Cheryl Taylor for the loss of the wonderful boxer Lana, their dog of many years. Lana was famous - almost any vet in New England knew of her prowess at hunting porcupine. She spent a day behind Mike's here a few months ago while Steve and I did some clearing - she was supervising. She also made the newspaper about that same time, waiting in the truck while Steve unloaded gear to play a rare concert in Enfield last October. Great photo! That night, as Steve took the stage, she ambled up and circled around him several times before taking her position at his feet - onstage the whole concert! The crowd loved it! But Lana was really old, and although she did her best to last forever, she couldn't.
My Molly's gig on the 28th was the first time I wore a ponytail in 8 years! My latest midlife crisis is currently growing my hair long again - we shall see. I returned to Molly's on the 28th. The Underwoods, the Filions, the Saviolis, Rick Davis and Maggie, Leigh, Andrea Mikol from the hospital - the place was busy! I didn't take a break for the whole two hours, so I didn't get a chance to chat much with any of them. I had to cancel the 29th, but they want me back. We shall see - they're supposedly ending live entertainment before June.
Enjoy yoursleves this Summer. Be safe.
~ june 2006 UPDATE ~
Well, May started out with an epidemic at the hospital. They had a mounting number of pertussis outbreaks - also known as whooping cough. Many of us were innoculated, because we deal with young babies and children, for which pertussis is very dangerous. It really escalated fast - we saw people in our dept. test positive. Can't wait to see what fun Bird Flu might be.
Great Guy H. Jim "Herb" Smith, former FOH tech for many inc. me, just
had major knee surgery again on the 3rd. He writes: My knee
surgery today went OK…the doc was quite pleased with himself afterward (or
maybe that was the janitor… hard to tell from under anesthesia…) I
was told my knee should be better than it was before surgery…as they found
lots of gunk inside (alongside the cheese doodles, duct-tape and aluminum foil)
Spoke with Click Horning on the 3rd, after getting a message from his wife Rockin' Joanie about a Sunapee Coffeehouse gig in June. The venue has changed to the lovely Knowlton House, still directly in the harbor. That makes a total of THREE venues I'll be playing this summer, right in Sunapee Harbor. Can't wait to see some old friends there, and hopefully make a bunch of new ones!
Gary Savoie is heading to Budapest, and then Vienna.
Joey Leone is up at Killington a lot, in pre-production on his upcoming recording project. He's gonna start the Grist Mill Friday night/Sunday afternoon Summer gigs soon.
What a day May 5th was - a gorgeous early summer day, and I had the day off. Took a drive down to Windsor, VT to visit MUSICIANS JUNKYARD. Denny and Patty arrived soon after me, and I had a great time catching up with them both. I was able to spend some time wiith Denny's latest invention, the GUITAR-B-QUE pedal. SWEEEEET tones! Played a few guitars. Then looked up to see my old friend Danny Lyn - the first Jamaican musician I ever knew, from my teens! Danny leads the reggae band SAYLYN, and appears at the reggae festivals/nightclubs throughout New England. Danny and I had jammed when I was a teenager, and used to come into Whitcomb's Music Ctr. all the time when I worked there. We caught each other up on news, and had a great chat and some smiles!
Then, when I got home, I got a surprise phone call from drummer extraordinaire Jeff Kangas, from the ol' Rick Davis Band daze. I don't think Jeff has stopped partying since then! LOL. He's in N. Carolina, but may fly in on some business soon. I'm not quite sure - it's a little hard to understand him. Wow.
Michael "Hammering Pain" Colburn jammed here with the boyz on Sat. the 6th, while suffering severe pains from an abcessed tooth. No fun, but after he was done wailing on the PRS I made him forget the pain for a few minutes by playing the DVD of the Hellecasters Live in Germany! It doesn't get much better than that!
Stephen Lynch wrote me on the 9th: Lynch here, and it’s been a little crazy for me lately. I've gotten a lot of emails asking about a new CD or when I'll be back on the road, but the answer to both of those questions is: Maybe next year. LOL. He's getting great reviews in his role as The Wedding Singer on Broadway!
My ex-transpo buddy Jim Murray, bassist for the NH Rock Bottom Band, wrote that they were just voted Band of the Year by the NHCMA (NH Country Music Association)! That's a pretty big deal, and they deserve it.
Got a surprise phone call from ol' road manager/followspot operator/bus driver Ed Potter on the evening of the 11th. He's still in Daytona.
Had another phone chat on the morning of the 13th with Jeff Kangas - he's now gonna come up in June. We're gonna try to do some recording with Rick Davis while he's around. Jeff was courting me for a year-long gig in Czechoslovakia, too.
Played my first official Summer gig (in MY mind - lol) at the new Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor on the 13th. Now owned and operated by the awesome team of Glenn and Karlie Shaw, who have been friends of mine for years. 'Twas a cold and rainy day/night - very few ventured out. But George Gibson surprised me by heckling me from the back of the room shortly after I started playing - I love that guy! What a monster talent, and I'm always thrilled when cats of his stature come to see me. I'll be back there on June 3rd, and the next week - I'll be doing an Unplugged night for the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse Concert Series on Thursday night, June 8th. An intimate atmosphere in a beautiful BedNBreakfast house right in the harbor. Hosted by wonderful, warm lovers of music. The last time I played for them, I was introduced by one of my early local heroes, Click Horning, and I hope he'll do me the honor again.
Speaking of rain, you non-NH readers may have heard that we experienced the worst flooding in 70 years up here! Southern parts of NH and Massachusetts are having big troubles.
Heard from the hardest-working single Mom in SW FL - Ginny. The house still isn't selling yet, as the market has slowed a LOT. But Annalee is doing great, and enjoying her virtual classroom, and skating. Next up for Annalee is guitar lessons! Can't wait to jam with her someday. Ginny asked if I'm sporting a ponytail - lol. Yes, but it's not long enough to call a "ponytail" yet - more like a rabbit's ass, but it's getting there. I miss Ginny and Annalee - They're the best!
Most of the end of the month was screwed up by me having major muscle pulls and nerve pinching in my right hip/spine area. OUCH. Slowly getting it back, but it's gonna be awhile.
Haven't had much of a chance to practice this month, but am definitely leaning towards a one-man-blues-band motif. I seem to have the most fun and best response to that, so I'm gonna try to refine, define, and go with it.
And should there be any readers of this that think the Dixie Chicks deserve the crap they have received the past 3 years, please email me. I'd really like to hear your "reasoning" as this is still America, and despite the present administration - we still have rights. Not to mention their new CD is selling in BIG numbers despite certain politically run radio stations boycotting the Chicks. So sad.
We end this month with a Happy Birthday to Mike Colburn, my benefactor/boss/bestest buddy.
~ july 2006 UPDATE ~
Sweet, petite, awreet, once-local singer Emily Musty emailed me some updates recently. She's now living around West Hollywood CA, and chasing the dream. Even waking up in some great parts on TV and film! She's got small parts in up-coming movies like Spiderman 3, Norbit (with Eddie Murphy) and The Holiday (with Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black). She's also been on shows like Medium, Entourage, Boston Legal, Alias, Invasion, Pepper Dennis and Cold Case. Pretty cool, huh?
Got a surprise email from Linda Maxwell, former lead singer from Gypsy Amber - a 70s rock band that spewed forth some great talents! I got her in touch with some old band chums like Dave Albro and Jim "Herb" Smith, and am waiting to hear who they uncovered. Linda's still kicking in a premiere Boston function band called The Exciters.
Good ol' BK (Bill Koetting) down there on Marco has gotten some great (and well-deserved) publicity lately, with two of the best local columnists paying him some Respects and props. Bill is one of the great Humans - very talented but very warm. And sick. lol
My summer appearance at the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse concert series on June 8th was a true epiphany for me! For the first time in my 30+ year career, I sat in front of a record crowd with no mics, amps, speakers, bells or whistles. Just my 12-string and me, and my bottles of Evian and my lyrics book. The crowd listening to every nuance I can coax. Following my stories, and actually getting my jokes. <sigh> It is a volunteer-driven endeavor founded by Randy Richards, keyboardist with my buddy Click Horning. The community loves it, and it has been given new life at Knowlton House, a spectacular B&B right there in the Harbor! I'd like to profoundly thank all the volunteers and staff - it really opened my eyes, and awoke a spark in me that will continue for a long time.
Well, the model for Animal House - Dartmouth's own ALPHA DELTA (for real) - was raided by the Feds on Friday the 9th! It has made ALL the national news networks, and there's some kinda hush-hush involved. LOL. Blutarsky Lives!
OK - enough rain, already.
Picked up Mike at the hospital on the 19th, and was hammered by blinding rain and hail on the way home! I swore it was gonna come though my windshield, but we made it.
Camee, the Princess of Transpo, celebrated her 19th birthday on the 20th. She truly brightens each day we work together, and is pretty happy these days with a young man named Chad. Mike hired 3 newbies and they are all wonderful. Too bad we have to put up with a couple of the old-timers who are so scummy, bu their time is coming. LOL.
Mike had his first rehearsal with Dan D and The Burning Love on the evening of the 20th. They're a good but fairly new Elvis show based out of Claremont, and Mike used to be in an Elvis show in his younger daze. Could be fun and profitable for the Mikester.
Been getting emails from all kinds of high school classmates - seems a lot wanna have a BIG party for our 35th reunion. Some good ideas are already flying.
GREAT and funny article on my buddy Ed Vadas of Fabulous Heavyweights fame. It is strange to know some of my contemporaries and I are post-50 and going through life changes that we never planned on. LOL. Here's the link:
Mike and I stopped over to the Anchorage to have some supper on the 24th, and were surprised to see the band EverAfter setting up. Mark and Debbie from the first inception of Last Kid Picked started that band, and we got to chat a bit. Also, we got to pick on owners Glenn and Karlie, which is always fun.
Also on the 25th, Mike "James Burton" Colburn traveled down to Carl Thurston's Minuteman Cafe in Westmoreland NH to perform his first gig with the Elvis tribute band Dan D and The Burning Love at a benefit for David's House. The weather held out, and the crowd loved it!
One paragraph back, I spoke of the Line6 Variax, a modeling guitar extraordinaire. Well, I awoke on the 27th to an email offering me a factory deal on their new model, the 600. Seeing how they offered me a deal nobody could refuse, I didn't. LOL. Watch for it at my gigs from now on.
I went down to Ascutney VT on the evening of the 27th to rehearse a bit with Rick Davis and Rock Bottom drummer Gary. We're gonna play a clambake at Hawk Mtn Resort on July 1st, followed the next weekend by playing a private b-day party for Seattle's No. 1 mega-radio personality Bob Rivers (of the American Comedy Network and CBS Radio) at Ascutney Mtn Resort. John "Goober" and Linda Goodhue are flying in from Tucson - I haven't seen them in 16 years! Playing with Rick is a lot of fun - we really rocked the FL Keys in the mid-80s.
Gary's Rock Bottom bassist, Jim Murray - former Transpo - is trying a wireless headset system that I bought with the new sys, but don't use. It is definitely "high-tech".
I got a phone call from Juanita Wilson on the 28th - her husband Larry Wilson died on June 8th. They, in cahoots with Carl Thurston, threw some AWESOME town parties in Alstead NH years ago. Hundreds would show up, and I took turns for years headlining. I saw Larry at the hospital, and he was proudly bragging about me as he was wheelchaired past. I will always be able to picture Larry's smile. Juanita wants me to play a party on Sept. 9th that Larry wanted to throw - I'll keep ya posted.
Jim Hollis called twice on the 28th - we chatted verily about all kinds of stuff. The man is so funny - I seldom laugh so hard as when we chat, or I hear his version of "American Pie" (and it's not at all dirty, just much "shorter" - lol).
July/August are gonna be fun - got some nice gigs, a new room to play in my old hometown, and I am planning to take my buddy Cariker to meet and hear Joey Leone on Killington. She's heard about him, but has never seen Joey in action - a true artiste doing it right and real. Cariker is one of the best at DHMC, a marathon runner, a conservation -minded activist in the past, and a really nice Human Being. Several other nurses and techs from DHMC said they'd LOVE to see me when I open at the new gig in Claremont (Bistro Nouveau on Washington St. on July 28th)- again, I'll keep ya posted. Keep watching my front page for banner announcements of gigs - rare as they are these days!
Joey Leone's latest column for Rare Guitars is about the best amps for the money. You can read it here - http://myrareguitars.com/bestampsforthebucks.html
Joey is truly passionate about guitar tones. Go see him and find out for yourself. Among his endorsements is Eastwood guitars. They are making some wonderful axes, from the bizarre to the sublime. And the deals are phenomenal - a great sounding fun axe, with great hardshell case, with an Eastwood-design pedal of your choice, and free shipping! Their model that emulates a LP Special with soapbars is $399, with all the above! Wow!
Called the one-and-only Annalee Thralls on her birthday on the 30th. My littlest buddy is now 12 years old, and doing great.
Hope your Summer is going well.
~AUGUST '06 UPDATE~
Well, July was another rainy month, dammit. Altho I love rainy days, it is a pain when you occasionally need to leave the sanctity of your bedroom. LOL.
Played a nice outdoor gig on July 1st with old friend/bandleader Rick Davis. His brother Davey also sang with us, as did Davey's son Tad, who is one of Joe Perry's caretakers on his new Woodstock farm/estate. The day was great until the ride home. LOL. I was driving on gorgeous and winding Rt. 100A, which is a favorite. I turned onto Rt 4 to head home, and was immediately pulled over by a Windsor County Sheriff for going a bit over the limit. Imagine my surprise to find out that VT requires all drivers to have insurance, something NH does not. Even if you're from out of state. Well, my car was impounded, I was given a ride into Woodstock VT to arrange a $118 tow, and sat around the police station for 90 minutes, reflecting. LOL.
I heard from the ex-Executive Chef of Bimini's on Marco Island, the venerable Ed Ryder. He's accepted a huge position with an up-and-coming restaurant chain, and is opening a store back on Marco! He offered me a position, but I must decline. I can't afford to live there anymore - few can. But Ed is doing well, and I will definitely visit him as soon as I can.
Got my Line6 Variax 600 on July 5th - what an axe! It truly is a tool, because it can sound like virtually every guitar I've ever coveted, plus some phenomenal acoustic guitar models, inc. 12-strings, sitar, dobro, and banjo! And it plays like a vintage Strat. Too cool. I'm now using it exclusively for all my live one-man-band shows.
Played at the famous Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor on the 7th. Good food, and good times. Back there on August 4th, and doing my long-awaited outdoor concert on Flanders Stage on Aug. 12th.
My soul sistah Lori Agan from Transpo had some hip surgery, and I went in to visit her while she was in the hospital. She was doing great already, as she is a strong one! She is sorely missed at work, but we're in constant touch, with me keeping her updated on the gossipy details. Hurry back, lady!
Joey Leone's latest column in Rare Guitars is a hoot. Paste this link and check it out! http://myrareguitars.com/tooloud.html
Heard from Roy Brown, ex-band leader of VEHICLE and present bassist for 8084. They're looking for a new lead singer, with the recent departure of original singer Randy. Roy and I were shooting emails back and forth about some of the better ones we've known, and where they might be.
Having far too much fun at the hospital. I love the job anyway, but when I get to work with beautiful fun ladies like Camee, Ericka, Kim, Amber, Lori - not to mention nurses and aides like Cariker, Jordan, Soupy, Wanda, April, et al - it oughta be illegal. Probably is.
Went in on a day off to hand-deliver a CD to Tom Burns, who works on 5W at DHMC with Cariker a lot. He was surprised! They're gonna try to come see me play soon. Can't wait.
Played at Bistro Nouveau in my hometown of Claremont, NH on the 28th. First time in, but thanks to the ever-present rain, I had to set-up inside with minimum gear, and few wanted to venture out in the storm. BUT - what a place! Awesome food from scratch, and Doug and Isabel were very warm and accommodating to me. Mike came with me, and we had a great dinner. Friends Deb and Don Underwood, as well as Tim White and his lady, did make it. Saw a few Park Avenue friends as well.
On the 29th, I filled in for Mike with the Elvis tribute show, Dad D and The Burning Love. What a blast, even tho I had to cram their entire show the morning of the gig in 3 hours in my bedroom! We played in a smallish room at SooNipi Lodge on a very humid day, and the sound company didn't show. 8 of us onstage. They made me feel very welcome and comfortable, tho. Check out their website at www.ddburninglove.com. Dan (Elvis) is a great natural talent, and the vocals from him and the 3 backup singers (Karen, Stacey, and Ed - The Inspirations) bring real goosebumps - listen to Amazing Grace on their website. And Karen's frivolity and scoopneck white top kept us all awake! It's not often I've been onstage with women as tall as me (or taller, in Karen's case!) - lol. Dan - Marty - Ed - Karen - Stacey - Todd- Rick: YOU ROCK!!!
Sunday the 30th was a beautiful day (off), and I needed a fix - I went up to Killington to hang and enjoy the #1 act there (and many other places), the unstoppable Joey Leone. I started the day with a nice latte from Dunkin Donuts, and chatted with Jim Hollis on the phone about our respective weekend gigs. He played on the Mt Washington Cruise Ship the night before, and found my bestest buddy/ vocal instructor Cher Aubin's band Club Soda playing onboard as well, on another deck (it's a rather large boat). Cher went to see Jimmy on her break, and got there just as he was doing his hilarious version of American Pie! They traded "Carey stories", and all was well on a record-breaking night on the cruise. Then Mike and I went out for our usual cheap Sunday Chinese lunch buffet (his turn to pay), and did a little shopping. Upon arrival back home, it was time for some serious lounging before heading up to the Mountain to enjoy Joey. He was doing the electric trio - Chop Shop - with new drummer Sparky (who is great), and bassist extraordinaire Tom Read. Joey was alternating between a Les Paul, a Custom Shop Tele, and a gorgeous '65 Gibson Trini Lopez model. Truly inspiring, and Joey dedicated the whole night to me. Catch him as soon as you can.
Heard from Rockestra singer Jim Jonson - drummer profundo Stet Howland (W.A.S.P./Run21/Rockestra/Impelliteri/etc.) is jamming with Jim and his new band in Mass. this weekend.
The biggest news this month is a probable two-day reunion of the Davis Bros. Garage Band! I was lucky enough to be on the official notification list, and have been hearing from some of them concerning the gig. This is a big deal, as they were a very big influence on me, and I was almost a member. I'll keep you posted - it looks like it may happen in October. I've heard from Rick Davis, Skip Truman, and Lane Gibson - they're trying to figure logistics, but it's looking good! Tyler Plotske, one of the best rock drummers I ever saw, will be there! I've got a lot of history with that band - this is gonna be fun.
~SEPT. '06 UPDATE~
Well, well, well - greetings to all the twistos and twistettes that peruse my humble offerings here each month. The month of August started rather intensely - I found a small lump that wasn't supposed to be on one of two bigger lumps I own that I'm fond of. Within two days, the amazing staff of DHMC had me smiling again. I'm fine. More tests to come (no pun intended), but no Big C there. Thanks to all that contacted me - I love you bunches.
Aug. 2 had me perusing a local newspaper at work, and spotting the obituary of former bassist Steve Spicer. He had died June 12th, but none of us knew. Lots of history with that guy; I've known him since I was 8. And within a day, just by coincidence, our old drummer Tom Willis emails me to say Hi. I told him about Steve, and we reminisced a bit. Steve not only was the bassist for several of my very early projects and cellar-bands, he gave me rides to auditions and concerts, like when I auditioned with Angelo Mullen and the FRAANK Band or saw Martin Mull open for the Mahavishnu Orchestra. We met when we were both model car builders as kids. He showed me how to detail the engines so they looked more real.
Official Minstrel of the Conch Republic C.W. Colt (click for site) IMd me from South Florida for a long chat on the 4th. He's doing great - TV commercials and a great new tune about the Atocha, among many recent successes. He's still a touring performer for Jack Daniels, a rep for BOSE (he's where I got mine), and has a lot of CDs of fun, swinging tropical music.
Professional Good Guy and Extraordinaire Musician Type David J Moore enjoyed VIP seats to the Steely Dan/Michael McDonald show in Tampa on the 10th. He said it was just mind-blowing. I went with him a few years ago to see the Dan, first to a fan club member's house outside of Tampa for some incredible memorabilia, then the concert.
The gig I was really looking forward to, and was really hoping Mother Nature would allow (and she did in aces) - my only outdoor concert of the year, on the 12th at Flanders Concert Series in Sunapee Harbor, was a fantastic time! A LOT of hospital people were there, as well as best buddy Joe "Hayes" Stagner, Mike, my brother Aaron Whitcomb, ol' buddy Dave Leavitt, Chuck from the NHGMC, Don and Deb Underwood, etc. etc. etc. A GORGEOUS breezy day, right on the waterfront. BIG thanks to Joel Delude for booking me, and for being so great to deal with.
Went with Mike "why me" Colburn down to W. Lebanon so he could play a double header outdoor concert with Dan D and The Burning Love on the 19th. That's the Elvis Aloha From Hawaii Tribute Band I filled in with last month. Ed Leavitt, the leader/arranger of the Inspirations, asked me if I'd play with them again that night at the full show, and I did. Mike and I had a ball switching off guitar leads all night. The crowd put up their umbrellas when it started to rain, but didn't leave! Fortunately, the rain stopped quickly.
Wed., the 23rd, was the last day for summer Transpo temps Tucker, James, and Ericka. The 3 of them were an awesome addition to the team, and they will be missed. I went in on a day off and enjoyed the goodbye feast, as well as having an absolute ball shadowing Ericka and some of Mike's A-Team (Lori and Princess Camee) as they were working throughout the afternoon. See the new pics on my Photo Page.
The very next day - Thursday, the 24th, saw the leaving of buddy Cariker Cunningham from DHMC. She is happily moving on to a desk job in Boston, but will be greatly missed on 5W at DHMC by all that came to know her. I'm gonna miss seeing that smile most mornings when I round that corner on my powerwalk.
Been getting emails all month concerning the much-anticipated DAVIS BROS. GARAGE BAND (click for '74 pic) reunion. It is official - Oct. 13/14 at Shenanigans in WRJ, VT. Nobby and I haven't had a trade-off since the 80s! I've gotten emails from Rick, Lane, Skip and Angelo this month - this is gonna be fun. Dug Bashaw is providing sound and lights, with several "guest" operators. Good buddy Paul "Beard" Malaney (click for pic), former NE roaddog and present DisneyWorld specialist, wrote on the 25th. He's gonna try to make it up for the DBGB reunion - he also saw Tree and Jo Davies in Orlando on one of their rare visits to the States from their home in Anguilla. Poolie Man also sent some great old pics of Spoonfeather and DBGB. LOL.
Got a email from Pete Merrigan (click for website) this month about getting cancelled at one local venue because he was playing another local venue the previous night. Most people don't realize what a hardship it is to be a pro musician these days. Cost of gas and upkeep, the rapidly decreasing number of venues to play within reasonable distance, the still-allow-smoking rooms, patrons thinking soloists/bands are happy to let them sing like karaoke night does, etc. But the venues need to realize it's not only or always up to the musicians to pull the crowd in - the audience aren't going out like they used to, and putting a two inch ad in a newspaper isn't gonna necessarily pack the joint. It's also the Economy, no matter what the politicians say. Local Entertainment should be the Icing On The Cake that contributes by drawing some fans, but more importantly keeps more patrons around longer. But that alone doesn't guarantee a successful night for the owners pockets, anyway, fer cripes sake. Don't forget - we musicians aren't making any more (and frequently less) than we did 20 years ago. I gotta respect the guys that have supported families and bought houses on musician wages. Heck - I just got cancelled due to "double-booking" at the Anchorage! Funny, tho - my name is in all the advertising!
Pete also brought up the spectre of "networking" and helping each other out. I had to snicker at that a bit, as I've thrown some gigs Pete's way over the years, esp. when I was manning the phones as the non-profit (trust me) New England Performers Co-op a few years ago, unpaid. I helped open some major new doors for quite a few good people - Justin Jaymes, George Gibson, Peter Heimlich, Click Horning, Annie Law, etc. all will gladly attest to that. JUST BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAD TO DO IT AND NOBODY WAS. But Pete doesn't link to my site (although I have linked to his since it's inception) for some reason, and rarely has thrown much my way unless he's down-to-the-wire in getting a replacement. I'm not angry, nor bitter about it; I don't need fulltime gigs right now. I consider Pete a friend and am a fan of his songwriting, despite the Buffett covers. <wink> I just mention it in the spirit of "don't wait until sh*t happens to you"..... Heck, I'll even show Pete how to get all that spamming off his guestbook.
Check www.algorhythms.net and www.localrhythms.net, both profoundly done by my friend, music columnist/radio personality Michael Witthaus. He really gives you a sense of what it is to be in the audience at most of the local (and some non-local) venues, seeing most of the local (and non-local - lol) music scene in action. He and Patty go EVERYWHERE there is quality music, new and old, most any style. HIGHLY recommended! It'll help you make up your mind about spending your entertainment dollar wisely.
Oh, goody - Paris Hilton has an album out. Shoot me.
Aug. 27th marked that 16 years have passed since Stevie Ray Vaughn took his last helicopter ride. He is still among the greatest, and is greatly missed. And his brother Jimmy STILL hasn't come up with one solo that excites me. But for those of us missing SRV - check out John Mayer's trio - some pretty good stuff going on there, and you can hear the massive influence of SRV and Jimi in John's playing.
Got a nice email from Cariker, and an IM with James on the 28th. They're missed at the hospital already, along with Tucker and Ericka. Also got a nice email from Rick "Shooter" Shotwell, former owner of Christy's Table/Shooter's Lounge, which I managed for him. I caught him up-to-date recently, and he wrote back with some funny insights and remembrances.
Aug. 29th is the anniversary of the Beatles' last concert performance, at Candlestick Park in '66. Not counting the rooftop "reunion". Right, Jimmy?
It's also the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. At least there are thousands of unused and costly trailers in the South just in case we get hit this year. Wait - won't they be destroyed this next time? Sept. 11 anniversary is coming up, too - do you feel safer? I don't - I feel betrayed. Worst "Presidency" in the history of America - bar none. Sorry, but facts is facts. Cheney is the most evil politician I have ever seen, and all the rest are liars. I'm so tired of this polarization - I wish there was one party, and they HAD to work fast and only in the best interest of our country (not just theirs). I'm done. lol
I'm in profound need of hearing George Berl Gibson soon. He is such a player - the real deal, and such a pro, and such a riot, and such a friend! And I wanna hear the dulcet tones of the hardest working and most bestest solo up here - the venerable but left-handed Jim Hollis. And while we're talking PRO - I mourn the recent passing of Maynard Ferguson. I was fortunate enough to be around him for a few days in the Keys, and he hit 'em high and hard every night! I have a thank-you letter from him that I will cherish.
~OCT. '06 UPDATE~
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. (1918) -- Theodore Roosevelt
Well, Sept. was an interesting month. The beginning of my favorite time of year. Colorful trees and cold nights.
High School buddy Dwain D.C. Hathaway observed a birthday on Sept. 3rd. He's out in California living, writing, and recording, and producing - oh, my!
Had my court case (the lack of insurance on July 4th) dismissed on the 5th. The prosecutor and the judge both swept me thru early, 15 minutes before court time, and were all smiles and handshakes.
Played for Wilson Party #1 on the 9th. It was held at one of Larry's daughters' new estate in Alstead. To get there, I had to drive along Rt 123, which was ravaged by the great flood last year. I couldn't believe what I saw - a lot of landmarks I knew are gone - missing. The landscape looks like the moon in a lot of previously busy areas. Unreal. But the party was nice - great people and hospitality, celebrating the Life and Times of our departed Larry Wilson. Cut a bit short for me by rain, but the feast continued. It was great to be able to hang with Larry's widow Juanita and the girls, plus Carl Thurston and Diane stopped by for a nice visit, too.
Blood tests, doctor appointments, and my being put on meds for high blood pressure and high cholesterol figured heavily in Sept., too. Pretty light-headed from the meds, but not dangerously so. I guess Youth is over, huh?
The Bluesman / Blues Historian and personal friend o' mine Ed Vadas (from Fabulous Heavyweights fame-click for website) had another birthday on the 26th. He was followed in celebration two daze later by the venerable and ridiculously talented Jimbo Hollis on the 28th. Two straight-talking, immensely talented, and profoundly loyal friends.
But what would a month be without some form of bad luck? On the 29th, I took Mike down to the DMV in Concord to get his license back after three years without it. Just as we were leaving and looking for THE place to eat lunch, my car stalled. And wouldn't start. On a very busy bridge in the city. At noon. A $145 tow to the local Toyota dealer, and rental of a Chevy HHR to get us home. My car is in limbo until at least Tuesday in Concord, as I am inundated with more tests come Monday, after my first day of dispatch training on Sunday, the 1st of Oct. Not to mention a full week of usual Transpo work with meetings added, some early shifts, more training, and few days off for awhile.
Due to the lack of vehicle, and a nice case of yuk, I wasn't able to attend Wilson Party #2 on the 30th.
The B I G news is still the reunion of DavisBrothersGarageBand on Oct. 14th. SO many are coming - I keep hearing all kinds of stories and reservations and stuff! SO many people that I haven't seen in 20 years should be showing up for this one, and I may be in the middle of it.
And here's hoping that despite the Bush administration's best efforts to ruin the world, we can survive long enough to see them all hopefully prosecuted and convicted for their lawlessness, and all good people can enjoy some Peace
NOV. '06 UPDATE
Carey/guitar, Bill Dworske/ timbales, Rick Davis/ guitar, Jeff Davis/ congas,
TYLER PLOTZKE/ drums (obscured), Skip Truman/bass, Lane Gibson/keys
The B I G news for October was the reunion of Davis Bros. Garage Band after over 20 years - WOW! So many stories - so many old friends - so many great laughs - so many goosebump moments onstage! Club owner Naomi was sooo helpful and accomodating - it was so good to see her again. She gave me the grand tour of the whole place early Friday afternoon - I used to play there in days gone by.
Friday night was the loose jam night - Rick Davis bringing up several different bunches of local pros and old friends and family. I got to play the majority of the night. Picture this - as the crowd comes in (two hours early-both nights), they're treated to a mix of videos from '77-'82/'86 on a huge projection screen in front of the large dance floor, ending with the screen rising and the band kicking in LIVE! Fantastic memories flash one after another of just how GREAT these guys were! These videos are available for sale by contacting Rick Davis thru www.rickdavismusic.com, by the way, as will the DVD/CD from this reunion as soon as Ken Egeland/Rick have them edited. I saw some of the raw footage at Rick's, and it's great. So isn't the old video from '77 to '82, with some of their '86 reunions in there, too. The sound quality is wonderful!
From the wizardry of manic keyboardist Joe Peters (whom I've known for around 35 years) and the very talented Dave Abair, to the Red House of the oft mentioned here Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn, to the percussion wall of Bill Dworske/Jeff Davis/Tyler James Plotzke/Brad Gibson, it was HUGE. One of Rick's sons got up and did a great hop-hop twist in the middle of a jam. I can't believe I got to play with Tyler - I used to learn so much and be so envious when watching him in the old days; his solo, featuring a flaming gong and flaming mallets, was sheer sonic showbiz at it's best! He was Colorado/VT's answer to Carl Palmer from Emerson/Lake/Palmer. And I got to not only play with him this time around, but become fast and furious (and good) friends with him! We will be recording together, and he thinks around Spring! Check out my guestbook to see the warmth I felt from this brotherhood of professionals.
Rick Davis.guitar, Brad Gibson/drums, Angelo Mullen/bass
The Official Reunion on Sat. night was amazing. Standing room only - Various members getting applause just walking in the door or thru the crowd to the stage! They went in chronological order of band members, starting with the original band from Colorado, through the longest running version, but not the latter version due to Nobby and Frank not being able to attend. And also missing was one-time short-lived girl singer Kim Page.
To hear Lane Gibson on keys - a Hammond and two synths - not to mention his always tasteful Tele licks and smooth vocals - brought back so many memories, too. Skip Truman and Angelo Mullen - two fantastic and charismatic bassists extraordinaire. Rick Davis leading the pack with a grin the size of Texas all night - the boy had been practicing! A good deal of the old tunes from their album, esp. Looking For the Money - I got downright misty so many times! Brad Gibson and Tyler both playing drums at the same time on many tunes. Wow. Former founding members Jeff Davis, Davey Davis, Bill Dworske up there jamming and singing - it was wonderful. To have their phenomenal soundman Doug Phoenix getting "that" mix again later on Sat. night. The sorely missed Nobby Reed (more about him in a minute), Frank Barnes, and lightmen extraordinaire Brad Bear Ingalls and Flash Gordon couldn't be there for various reasons, but were there in spirit.
All the guys from the amazing FRAANK band, most of SPOONFEATHER, some of BETTER DAYS, Bill Blaine from STONECROSS, still gorgeous Angela Blair from SHOPPERZ (with my bud JIMI BELL), Dorien Schull from SUGAR, his wife Kathy-secretary from the Ed Malhoit Agency, Jason Farrell from EMA, EMA himself, multitalented old friend Doug Bashaw, drummer Bobby Gagnier, Mark from FOREPLAY, André Marquera from 8084; on and on and on! Songwriter/occasional musician Donnie Perkins wrote two nice articles, before and after, for the Spectator (click for .pdf article). Jimmy McCarthy and his wife were able to join me at my table both nights - he was there for so many of us all those years ago - always a good time. Former manager of Studio 27, Jeff Pierce and his wife, also joined me both nights, as did Mike Colburn - he got there later on Sat. after his very successful Newport Opera House gig with Dan D and the Burning Love, the Elvis tribute I've told you about. The awesome Paul "Beard" Malaney - ALWAYS mentioned here - connected and coordinated with so many of the artistes and flew up from DisneyWorld in Orlando to attend - he brought so many together. What an awesome guy! Rick Davis gave Paul and I a LOT of credit for networking like crazy.
The aftermath - so many renewed friendships and contacts. Tyler's planning to fly here from California this Spring and do a CD with me, Rick and Skip at Rick's home studio! I can't believe the sound of that! It's impossible to put into words how I feel being asked to do something real with them - any of those guys. And it'll be great to work with Rick again. And to hear that Skip Truman voice and solid bass. WOW
Now - as if that were not enough - the occasion had me emailing again with the "Reverend", Nobby Reed. Since the final version of DBGB, Nobby has ultimately wound up being recognized as the Number One Bluesman in VT! He's got lots of CDs, and is doing very well. He ended up calling me on the morning of the 24th - he's invited me to jam with him at his concert at MIDDLE EARTH in Bradford VT on Nov. 17th! Oh, boy - we are gonna wail. Nobby and I were instantly simpatico when we met in '80 - we always enjoyed bringing more out of each other when jamming - that's fun for us, and a lot of fun to watch. LOL. He's the nicest human being, and a real deal soul. And that Soul comes out in every note he either sings or plays.
AND - Rick Davis is formulating with Naomi from SHENANIGANS for us to possibly be a House Band. We're playing there again, with many of the guys from "Friday Night", inc. Skip, on Nov. 25th! If we get it rolling, this could be the showcase I've been wanting since I got back - bringing in all the old pros to jam with a hot nucleus band - featuring people like Angie Blair, Jimmy Carter, Nobby, etc. WHEEEEEE! Naomi is also interested in having Jim Hollis and I do some acoustic Thursday nights. We're gonna go pow-wow sometime soon.
Professional Great Guy David J Moore is gonna need some RnR shortly - he's doing gigs all over the central west coast of Florida as the only solo act drummer around, flying down for two nights at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in Key West to play with a band, then returning to his home area for two nights of gigs before leaving on a cruise with the lovely wife Dale. PHEW
Benefactor/buddy/banker/landlord/etc. Mike "HammerThis" Colburn got some RnR - he headed out to Arizona for 8 days to relax and party with buddy Dave. He got back on the 28th, just after the big storm of 50mph winds and rain from 7am to 7pm, with power going out for hours. I went for a ride and saw a lot of trees down all over the area. It was so yucky I didn't make it to Transpo sistah Lori Agan's Halloween party.
Called my buddy, the wonderful songwriter Click Horning, on his birthday on the 21st. Got to chat with him and his wife Joanie for awhile.
Talked with the amazing and hardest-working-single Mom I've ever known, Ginny Atchison, on the 22nd. She and her awesome daughter, my bestest little 12 year old buddy Annalee Thralls, are doing fine down there in Naples, FLA. Anna's still getting great grades with her home study program, and involved with some more acting and work groups. They're trying to arrange coming up to my neck of the woods in January. Anna's never seen snow - LOL. Can't wait to see them both!
Talk about an appropriate "ending" - on Oct. 31st, I got my first colonoscopy. I tried to make it through this hole paragraph without any dirty cracks squirting out, butt it's not easy. I do not recommend the night-before prep, though. OMG. Apple juice never tasted so good.
Had an IM chat with Gary Savoie in Romania. He's gonna be coming home to Claremont by April, says he. And is bringing a future bride with him.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE VOTE DEMOCRAT, unless it's an honest good Republican that never was like (or never did like) Bush/Cheney/et al. We got some fixing to do before it's too late. Obama is looking very interesting (and more interested). Hmmmm
If you haven't seen my video of the Scissor Sister's tune "I don't feel like dancing", check this out - you'll have to admit I'm in pretty good shape:
The BIG news for November - another reunion, of sorts. DBGB founder Rick Davis, whom I toured with in the mid 80s, asked me to be in Davis Bros. Garage Band 2! I can't believe I'm actually playing with him and bassist/vocalist/drummer extraordinaire Skip Truman and other consummate pros in a real band! More about that later.
November also started off with 2" of snow. Wet, heavy snow. But it didn't stay long - it was gone within a few days. But it was pretty to see, and a reminder of what's to be.
On Nov. 7, my buddy and phenomenal entertainer Joey Leone performed a webcast for Eastwood guitars. Jimmy Hollis called twice that night to remind me, but neither Mike nor I could get the streaming broadcast to work here on the mountain. But a bunch of snippets are available to view here - click on any of them to watch a Real Deal in action playing in Toronto with his awesome trio of Tommy and Sparky. Joey is involved with so many promotions and endorsements this year - the only "local" I know to receive a new Escalade from Miller Auto group and another SUV to use then raffle off, not to mention having Eastwood Guitars, Korg, Marshall amps, and VOX behind him, etc. And he deserves every bit - he's the hardest working musician I've ever had the pleasure to call a friend.
On Nov. 17th, I had the privilege of sharing a stage with VT's #1 bluesman, Rev. Nobby Reed! We hadn't seen each other in nearly 20 years, but it was instant family once again. He brought his ace trio to the Middle Earth Music Hall in Bradford, VT, and commanded the room from the first note. The trio is very tight and musical, and quite suited to feature Nobby's command of guitar, effects, and singing with all the Soul he can muster. I got to jam a bunch o'tunes with them, as well as a young master of the harmonica. I was joined at my table by Mike "Hammerons" Colburn, and the talented DBGB sound tech, Doug Phoenix. A really fun night. We're gonna do it again in January. Check Nobby's site for date.
Had a 5pm rehearsal at Rick Davis' Ascutney cabin on the 19th. It was the first time in a long time I had been able to play with drummer Andy Hanscom, whom I had suggested for the role to Rick. And did he ever do me proud! A rock solid and dynamic young man. Rick's brother Jeff on bass. Much was accomplished.
My actual blood brother Bill Rush called from Texas on the 23rd to wish me Happy Thanksgiving. We had a great conversation, catching each other up on news. I also called my bestest 12-yr old buddy Annalee down in Naples, FL, and had a wonderful chat with her and her mother Ginny. I miss them a lot, and it still looks like they're gonna be able to visit in January. Anna has never seen snow, and thinks 60° is cold - hehehehe.
Had another rehearsal on Nov. 24 at Rick's cabin, this time with Skip Truman himself on bass, powerhouse Andy Hanscom on drums, and manic keyboardist Joe Peters. Jamaican reggaeman Danny Lyn, whom I've known for over 35 years, was also there with his 18 yr old son on drums. He was great! They stuck around to see us wail, and wail we did! Andy's young son jammed, and Rick's lovely lady Marilyn was the hostess with the mostest!
The actual debut of DBGB2 was the following night, Nov. 25th. We were joined by the Gary Hubbard Band, all old friends and talented guys. So good to hear old friend and neighbor Jeff Yurek on drums and vocals, Lockwood "Pooh" Sprague on Tele doing his sweet passing tone licks, Gary's awesome trumpet/guitar/keys/vocals, Jeff Davis on bass and percussion. Wow. There was a speedbump in Saylyn showing up, expecting to use full band and full gear. Because of their 45 minute set-up, they were only able to do two songs, and some people left before we came back for our second show. But rock we did, and there was still a good crowd. Rick has pronounced me Stage Manager now, so nothing like that will happen again - hopefully - lol.
Brian Clow, bassist from my old band days in the 70s, was around. So wasn't the wonderfully talented and gorgeous Angie Blair, again! We're gonna feature her in the near future - a phenomenal fronting vocalist that once ruled New England in SHOPPERZ with my buddy, hard rockin' guitar phenomena JIMI BELL! About half of Dan D and the Burning Love were there (inc. my best friend Mike "HammerDown" Colburn, who rocked us with two tunes), as well as many other local music stars. Fledgling songwriter Rhonda Cutting got up and did one of her songs. But the thrill of the night was drummer Andy Hanscom's 13-yr old son getting up and doing Pink Cadillac with us! HE ROCKED! He has a lot of his dad's way on the drums, which is a very good thing!
After a couple of days to recuperate, I drove down to Rick's cabin for a biz meeting. We have decided to go full-speed-ahead with this project, and are in negotiations to micro-manage Shenanigan's and provide a stage to a lot of people that need one. Especially us! LOL.
MAMAKICKS, Manchester NH's rockin' band of pros fronted by former STONECROSSer Gardner Berry and his awesome wife, fronted a benefit for a slain Manchester policeman. They had special guests like Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau from BOSTON (the band - lol), John Popper from BLUES TRAVELLER, and many others. It was a fantastic turnout, and they raised a lot of bucks to help the family of the slain man. There are YouTube videos available here.
November was a month of surprise emails from old friends, too! From kudos from pros like Dave Abair-Joey Leone-Ed Leavitt and others, to long-missing friend Amy Weaver, or as Hayes calls her: the gorgeous blond in the black Corvette, from my Keys daze in the 80s! Ed Leavitt, arranger/leader of the Inspirations vocal trio for Dan D and the Burning Love, was especially supportive. It is so nice to hear real warm genuine words of praise from real pros! We're gonna get them all up in the near future to join us onstage.
I also heard from ol' buddy Naples FL Crime Scene Detective Ray Erickson. He emailed to wish me Happy Holidays, and it brought about a flood of good memories. He's the one that really got me involved in handgunning in '88, and his family warmly took me in whenever I was around. A true blue brutha!
More surprise emails - heard from former DMHC's Cariker Cunningham and Ericka Lee. They're both doing great: Cariker's loving Boston (the city - lol) and her new desk job, and Ericka's kicking butt at college. Both are so missed - their smiles used to light up the halls of the hospital (see Pic Page), and were absolute pleasures to work with. Can't blame them for not being there anymore, however - the politics at the hospital are driving the good ones away in droves, and it's so sad. It's amazing how a couple of scum can ruin a department. "Old World" doesn't mean doing as little as possible so others have to carry you, Mr. Sluggles. (Slugs leave a slime trail - seemed appropriate) The times, they are a-changin'.
And right at the deadline for this update - 11:30pm on the 30th - I get a phone message from the craziest road dog I've ever had the pleasure to call a brutha - TURK COURY. I met Turk while on tour with Rick Davis in the Keys in '85, and we became close. Turk has more fun and does more in a year than most of us hope for in a lifetime. Truly. Turk's been seen on rooftops singing in Cancun, and teaching Eskimos how to entertain, and showing many ladies his van. LOL. He's battling kidney C, but the man will live on, one way or another. I emailed back and forth with our mutual brutha, Paul Ferguson down there on Marco Island, and Paul caught me up on all things Turk. Paul also mentioned that Marco's Myles Loud had a close call during a recent back operation, but pulled through and is recuping. Myles has an amazing voice, and is one of those that are really "incomparable" - a bigtime Las Vegas-style show. Thank goodness he doesn't play guitar anymore - lol. He was badass at that, too.
Thanks to those that realize the country was being ruined by the present "administration" (the absolute worst in history), and are doing/did something about it. It's way beyond time for everybody in all parties to work together, and resume the original dream of "of the People, for the People, by the People". For too many years now, it's been "screw the People" - we're too stupid collectively to realize. Get your facts from places like the Congressional Record, and not from radio idiots and TV shows. Unless, of course, it's the Daily Show with Jon Stewart - that's pretty darn close to absolute Truth. Would somebody please silence Rush Limbaugh, Faux "News", Matt Drudge, James Dobson, Falwell et al, and do the world a favor? There is a place for Conservatives: it's right next to Liberals, accomplishing things for All. There is no place for power-mad fanatics in politics or religions (or workplaces) - they ruin it for everybody. And the separation of church and state is needed more than ever. We gotta get along, but we don't need to be told how to live and govern based on ONE group's beliefs. That is not what America was founded on.
No matter what your religion or beliefs may be - I sincerely wish you all a very Happy Holiday season, and may the coming year bring us all continued happiness. But much more prosperity - lol. I have so much to be thankful for. Peace
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007 (Jan. '07 update)
Well, wasn't that an interesting year?
The month of December started off blistery - high winds and lightning. Rick Davis and I eating at the new Imperial chinese buffet in Claremont, while making a game plan to present to Naomi, owner of Shenanigan's. Checking the lounge at the Imperial for future gig possibility. Mike "HammerThis" Colburn recording with da band at André Marquera's studio in northern VT for Dan D and the Burning Love's CD of original tunes.
My Rock n Roll Mom celebrated her birthday on the 4th as usual. I had a nice short chat with her.
Had a flurry of emails with Gardner Berry, formerly of STONECROSS (et al) and now MAMAKICKS, about a possible reunion of STONECROSS. Gardner's present band, with his talented wife Lisa, is constantly having stars like BOSTON guys, or JOURNEY guys, or JOHN POPPER show up and jam. I'll let you know if we get them or FOX to agree to a reunion.
Got a smidgen of snow and ice on the 7th. And that was the dreaded black ice, which is very dangerous. The drive home from work was fun - lol.
Surprised Skip Truman with a Happy B-day email on the 11th.
Booked a Sunapee Community Coffeehouse solo acoustic concert gig for Jan. 19th. It's now being hosted at the Deli in the Harbor, and I really look forward to doing it again. No microphones, no speakers, no stereo reverbs and echoes - just me and a 12-string trying to communicate to a nice bunch of listeners for two hours. Scary, but rewarding.
Mike went back to the studio on the 16th to nail some guitar parts.
Ericka Lee called me on the morning of the 17th - having need for some conversation on her long trip home from RI. I helped her get lost around Gloucester nicely.
Professional Good Guy Paul "Beard" Malaney celebrated 10 years with DisneyWorld!
Ol' Buddy George Berl Gibson also called on the 17th - he's still the Real Deal, and performing every Wed. at André's at Sunapee Circle. He's such a joy and inspiration to watch in action; I'm gonna go down and jam with him as soon as I can.
I received the first batch of my Official Carey Lee Rush first-class stamps on the 18th. Won't sending letters be so much more fun now! They're available - just ask.
My Mom fell on the 21st and fractured her 82 yr old hip, requiring hospitalization over the Holidays. My brother Bill and aunt Natalie are keeping me in the loop.
Rick Davis and I got our contracts for becoming the house entertainment at Shenanigan's on the 22nd! Starting Jan. 31st, Rick hosts karaoke on Wed. nights, I play solo/feature a local songwriter on Thursdays, we play country rock on Friday nights with a cast of several, and then perform as DAVIS BROS GARAGE BAND 2 nearly every Sat., occasionally taking the night off for RIOT ACT and CONNIPTION FITS to pop in. More to come on that venture.
Had a mellow and quiet Christmas Day, before driving down for a nice dinner and meeting with Rick and Marilyn.
Played at the Sitting Bull at Okemo Mtn. on the 27th. Rick and I had Andy Hanscom on drums, and the amazing Scott Campbell on fiddle/violin. Rick's brother Jeff popping in for some bass and congas. It was snowing, people were skiing, and it was fun! I hadn't done a ski lodge gig in years. And after I got home, DAVE MOORE called and filled me in on all the West Coast Florida news!
4 inches of snow magically appeared on the 30th - a very pretty sight, but a bit of a damper on driving.
The lovely vocalist Mary Ferland came up to visit Mike on the 31st, as I got an email from Skip Truman wishing me a Happy B-Day a coupla days early. Very nice of him, tho - as were all the e-cards from several of you.
Heard from the amazing Ginny Atchison - she and Annalee are still rockin'! Anna's doing great in Virtual School, and we're still trying to arrange them coming up this winter to see snow. I also heard from Susie O'Brien on Marco, Amy Weaver in Ocala, Jo Greco in Spring Hill, Linda Deppen on Marco - they're all fine and dandy, as are the many others who took the time to email. I'm blessed to have so many nice people in my life!
As we speak, the Cream of the Crop are already rockin' Killington - both Joey Leone and Jim Hollis are already blowing people away up there at the Grist Mill. See them soon!
I was very saddened to see that one of the local heroes died this month. Johnny Carton, Claremont's best guitarist from the 60's band The Acoustics. He gave lessons at Whitcomb's for years, early on. An incredible technician who could play jazz or the Beatles with equal aplomb. The last time I ran into Pete McCusker, he told me that Johnny was suffering from a long bout of cancer, and it won. A gentle master.
Now as I look ahead, I have regained quite a lot of my "fever" to rock again. I look forward to jelling with the musicians we're gonna play with at Shenanigan's, and getting a real powerful sound down. Rick and I and the rotating cast of nuts all seem to be on the same page, musically. Looks like drummer extraordinaire JEFF COSTELLO may be in the mix, too. ANDY's already booked by several top area pros, so we're fortunate to have JEFF along for the fun. SKIP is driving up to make at least 2-4 gigs a month, and we may even get ANGELO MULLEN and ANGIE BLAIR jammin' with us soon (KJ's Place in N Springfield, VT on Jan. 12th)! Not to mention a revolving door of New England pros from the good ol' daze of circuit rockers. Rick and I also intend to network with all the similar-minded pros locally to give them a showcase they might not have had otherwise. It's all good.
Until next we speak - may you have a prosperous and truly joyous New Year. And may we see each others' smiles closeup soon.
FEBRUARY '07 UPDATE
(THIS is gonna be fun!)
Got iced in at the start of January - It was a frigid month, with a very untimely warm weekend in the middle.
Worked the night shift at the hospital mostly. 3-11pm. Good fun bunch that aren't afraid of work, and don't whine and backstab like several of the older day crew.
Rick Davis and I were constantly emailing and calling ideas and info in preparation of getting DAVIS BROS GARAGE BAND 2 off and running. Had several rehearsals to prep for a rare bar gig - KJ's Place in N Springfield VT. It was FUN! We had a good crowd, and were joined by the very talented ANGELO MULLEN and ANGIE BLAIR HOFFMAN. Angelo is one of the best bassists I've had the pleasure to know in my career, and he didn't disappoint - lol. And ANGIE sang GREAT! It had been so long since she had played with a band, but you wouldn't know it by the way she rocked! Still gorgeous, too!
We had a nice breakfast at Rick's cabin after the gig, with Rick's lady Marilyn being the as-always hostess with the mostest.
Transpo Pro Adam Densmore bade us farewell, as he moves into the LNA Training Program at DHMC. DENZ is a good man, and will be missed.
Had a business meeting with the SHENANIGAN's manager Nicole on the 13th, with owner Naomi on speakerphone while recovering from surgery. Smooth.
Mid-month brought sleet and a nasty throat bug which made me cancel my Coffeehouse Concert on the 19th. Joanie and Click Horning called to make sure I was alright, as did some other fans. Very touching.
Finally saw "An Inconvenient Truth" on the 20th - I highly recommend everybody seeing this Al Gore slide show - very informative, and very well done!
Got to work on the 24th to be told an "old friend" was down in the cancer ward and wanting to see me. It turned out to be famous Killington drummer Don Gray, who has played with all the best Killington acts for 30 years. He's a fighter, though.
Heard from VEHICLE frontman/8084 bassist ROY BROWN. He's putting together a new band, and wanted to know who was available. 8084 is still on hiatus, searching for the perfect lead singer to continue the band.
Professional Good Guy and Entertainer Extraordinaire DAVID J MOORE called and wrote. He just got back from the Winter NAMM show in California, where he got to hang with a lot of biggies, like Todd Rundgren pictured here.
My old school chum/fellow Barnstormer/fellow entertainer Dwain D.C. Hathaway has the Number 1 tune on a Internet website.
Sunday morning the 28th found Mike and I installing his Mackie gear at Shenanigan's for us to rent for the duration of our house band status there. We set it up, then I went to work. I was back there bright and early on Monday morning, getting my gear in, and set up. New drummer (and old buddy) JEFF COSTELLO brought his drums and percussion, Rick and his brother Jeff showed up, and we rehearsed for a while. Angie Blair Hoffman stopped by for hugs and good wishes.
I was there again early Tuesday, and completely reset the stage setup before Rick got there. I had some ideas overnight, so had to try them. Rick and I also took down most of the club's lights, and are gonna fix as many as we can, and use a few for our shows. I then stayed around and redid my humongous pedalboard, and got some nice wishes from some musicians and bartenders as they passed through. Had a chat with mgr. Nicole; she's given her notice so she can be more of a fulltime Mom.
My favorite singer, Jim Hollis, called on the morning of the 31st, and said he'd meet me at Shenanigan's. He did, and I showed him what we were doing. As we left to get some lunch, Davey Davis showed up, so we went back inside and got him set up to rehearse. His brother Rick finally showed up (lol), and they got down to doing some tunes of Davey's - very unique and good stuff. Kitchen Mgr. Shawn brought out some great soup for Jimmy and I so we wouldn't starve. I left for awhile, but went back to work on lights, and Rick got set up for hosting karaoke that night.
Then, early evening of Jan. 31, as I was working on our gear, I was offered the job as club manager - more next month.
~MARCH '07 UPDATE~
Well, that was an interesting month. I decided to stop playing solo on Thursday nights at Shenanigans right away. It's a matter of personal choice - I'm bored with playing solo right now, plus the club's patrons aren't really suited for solos - they wanna hear Mustang Sally all night. LOL. Plus they went and advertised it as an Open Mike, which I never agreed to (and would never - lol). It's still listed as that on the club website, in fact.
We've been very fortunate and happy to include VT award-winning fiddler (and multi-instrumentalist) SCOTT CAMPBELL on our Friday country-rock nights. He's a monster player and great guy, and always brings his lovely and fun wife SHARI to the gig! LOL. He and I have had some fun moments trading off solos while playing behind the back, behind the neck, etc.
My old Studio 27 compadré and ex-Road Manager Barry G. Seaver called and met me at the gig on the 2nd! Always good to see that guy.
Had a nice phone conversation with my favorite Floridian Single Mom GINNY ATCHISON on the 4th. All is well down there - her awesome daughter ANNALEE is still kickin' booty in home schooling, and GINNY's still working her butt off to sell the house, etc.
Ran into my version of the "girl-next-door" on the 8th while doing rounds at the hospital. JILL CURTIS was there visiting her mother Claire, and I hadn't seen her mom is 40 years! She recognized me right away!
Most of the middle of the month towards the end, I was very sick from a bad cold. Went right into Bronchitis, and put me in bed for a week.
Played at Okemo, at the Sitting Bull Lounge at the baselodge, on the 20th. It was the power trio of RICK DAVIS, powerhouse drummer ANDY HANSCOM, and myself. Great crowd, and lotsa fun. But when I got home later that night, there was a phone message from ANDY - he was in jail because his "girlfriend" was angry with him and made up an assault charge. Anybody that knows ANDY knows better!
Had several IMs and emails from CW COLT about his new venture, online concerts! He's broadcasting from his website, the link to which is available on my Links Page. Check it out - he's the Real Deal.
I rented the video "Shut Up And Sing" from the Dixie Chicks on the 28th - I highly recommend it to those that are interested in Free Speech, and just how stupid and mean the Far Right and their politics are. Granted, Natalie isn't shy about her feelings, but why should she be? She was/is right, and Bush IS a disgrace to the whole world. The ending to the video is great - she comes full-circle.
I am not gonna be the manager at Shenanigans. I reported the possibility last month, but the deal just isn't right. As fickle as the business is anyway, I can't improve things that need attention with gloves on, or my hands tied. LOL. The "same old thing" isn't working there, and the owners just aren't interested in major changes, so...... We're gonna continue playing there until told otherwise, tho.
Lots of hours at the hospital, and I'm going through some legal issues concerning some cutthroat co-workers. But those that know me know I'm a fighter, and I ain't gonna back down from idiots trying to ruin everything for those of us that actually like to work there. The Mental Midget Mafia that has been allowed to prosper is scared and pissed, but their time is hopefully over now that there is a new sheriff in town. Sure hope so. But at least our supervisor Mike (my benefactor and landlord as you know from past postings) is being realized as a Powerful Force there. Nobody does it better!
JOEY LEONE's signature edition Eastwood guitar is awesome! Ain't she pretty? And talk about quality components and a fantastically low price! As always, JOEY does it right! I'm hoping for a personal tour of the baby soon.
APR. '07 UPDATE
Ahhhhh, Spring! The time of the year when a man's thoughts turn to.........mush.
March wasn't too scary. The weather was predictably unpredictable - very cold but not much snow despite two "blizzards". Icy conditions more than snowy, although the winds have been HOWLING all winter, causing pretty good drifting after a storm. I don't think there's been a day up here without 30-40mph windgusts for many months! Guess ANNALEE and I aren't gonna be making snow angels again this year.
We started the month with one of the afore-mentioned blizzards. But we had a surprising amount of people come out to hear us at Shenanigans that whole weekend!
Heard from the fastest left-handed guitar player in Rock - JIMI BELL - on the 4th. He just got back from a two-month US/European tour with HOUSE OF LORDS. Check this amazing player at JIMIBELL.COM - I dare you! Star of stages around the world, been in movies with Michael J Fox and Joan Jett, played for OZZY, etc. He and I met when he was 16, and played in bands together for several years. He says he wants to come up and hang one of these weekends soon.
On the 7th, the courts reached a verdict on that bastard Covey, who raped/killed Jessica Lunsford 3 years ago in Homosassa. He was found guilty, and sentenced to death. Let's hope there is no stay in his execution. I still get choked up thinking about Mark Lunsford (Jessica's dad) when we were all searching for Jessica, and his grief before and after finding her. But for a avg. Joe redneck cracker, he's sure gotten some laws changed.
I got an email from Johnny Lynch on the 7th, too! I hadn't heard from him since he stopped by a gig in northern VT back around '93 to help with my car which was overheating as I left a gig. I've known him since he was in the Secrets so many years ago, through a lot of his musical reincarnations. We ran into him playing the Pier House in Key West back around '85, then I ran into him up here in New England on the road doing a solo act like I was in the early '90s. A good and talented man - it was good to touch base and we will now keep in touch. He told me he found out about this site from Michael Veitch, a very talented songwriter and outspoken politician, who was also in the Secrets so many years ago. LOL. I love how many from the old circuit days are in touch with me through here, and finding out that even more that I don't know about are checking me out, too.
The 9th sucked - two New England music stars killed themselves. The first was Maine's BILL CHINOOK, whom I ran into all the time in the 80-90s at the truckstops early in the morning. Ah, the stories I could tell about the stories he could tell. He was Maine's answer to Bruce Springsteen - a very talented and well-known powerhouse of a show. He had grown up (musically) playing the Jersey areas with Springsteen and those kinda acts, and was a songwriter of talent from the gate. BILL had severe health issues pop up, and couldn't take the pain anymore.
Then, we found out BRAD DELP had died. THE Voice of the 70s - "More Than A Feeling" and "Smokin'" and "Long Time" and "Amanda". Then we found out it was suicide. BRAD was the purest most versatile and exquisite vocalist rock music has ever known, in my humble opinion. His range was just astounding - I have never heard ANYBODY come close to the total package his voice was. Just search YouTube.com for some amazing video of Brad with BOSTON, as well as with BEATLEJUICE. Wow. BOSTON was gearing up for an '07 tour, and he was still having fun - most recently appearing at the Manchester NH benefit for a slain policeman hosted by MAMAKICKS/STONECROSS buddy GARDNER BERRY a couple of months ago.
Got to see old drummer JEFF KANGAS at "rehearsal" on the 10th. It had been since the 80s!
Mike was rehearsing here with his old band FAR CRY, with Mary Ferland and the boys - Mike, Bart, Jim and Mark. They reunited for a wedding reception, and it was great to hear them again - they can rock!
We were cancelled on the 15th due to another "blizzard". But it was 'country night", so no big deal. LOL.
It was GINNY ATCHISON's birthday on the 18th! The hardest-working single Mom I ever knew. She is an inspiration, a fantastic mother to my bestest buddy ANNALEE THRALLS, and one of the best friends I've ever known. She's still trying to sell her house in Naples, but the market is definitely soft - Ginny's already knocked $300K off the original asking price from 3 years ago!
Went down with Mike on the 20th to bring some of our gear home for our two-week vacation. Two of his Mackie subs were missing. I emailed the band HEXEREI that had been playing there for a private party, and Mike got them back the next night. I unloaded my shotgun; the band was very cool and apologetic to Mike about the mistake.
I also heard from some great friends and fellow players like 8084's ROY BROWN, Missourian songwriter buddy CHRIS FOSTER, VT's Number One Bluesman NOBBY (The Reverend) REED, Davis Bros keyboardist/guitarist LANE GIBSON, movie star/blues historian/FABULOUS HEAVYWEIGHTer ED VADAS, the best solo act singer in New England JIM HOLLIS, and my favorite vocal coach and longtime best buddy CHER AUBIN. She's still showing them how it's done in lessons and on the road with CLUB SODA BAND. She and hubby RON are the best! They did pop in on one of our "country nights", but I didn't get to chat with them much.
Had the last weekend (Fri/Sat) of March off from playing, so I got together with longtime buddy PETE PORTER (see Pics Page). It was a nice (altho windy) day, so we decided to take the FERRARI out (see below). We had a great lunch at Benning St., then Pete let me take the 308GTS for a nice long day spin along Route 14 outa W. Hartford. Too much fun! I was smiling the whole way, despite crunching 4th to 3rd a few times. People just stare when you drive by. Went back to Pete's and talked guitar for an hour or so until the lovely DONNA got home from shopping the outlets in Tilton NH.
Well, as we forge ahead into Spring up here in the mountains - let's get out and support the live musicians that support each other. Phone calls are flying about possible supergroups coming together for some shows, and I'm having a ball playing lead guitar again. It's a tough biz, and some good bands are falling by the side of the Road recently, including Mike's Elvis tribute Dan D and the Burning Love. But when one door closes, another one opens. Stay tuned and in tune.
MAY 2007 UPDATE
FINALLY getting around to doing the Update this month - been pretty busy enjoying the first Rites of Spring! But let's go back to the beginning of April, and see what was going on then.
Ah, blizzards - we've seen a few late in the year, but these were more of little pests than storms. LOL.
I pulled out of the Shenanigans house band deal due to a few compelling reasons. Too bad - it had promise, but the parties in charge didn't come through, and after a flurry of emails from all the players.....it was over.
One of Killington's icons left this Earth on the 9th - DON E. GRAY succombed to the liver cancer that wouldn't let go. He had beaten back disease before, but not this time. I visited with him/transported him at the hospital a couple of months ago, and he told me he wasn't winning this, but was still wanting to get together and play sometime. Wish we could. The Killington community held a New Orleans style funeral procession for DON on the 22nd. A classy exit for a classy guy. Paste this into your browser to see DON's last gig with longtime partner pianomaster FRANK CHASE, from last Feb. - kinda sad, but DON doing what DON did so very well - complimenting the other guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30OnubCm0Vk
Professional musician/Good Guy DAVID J MOORE called on the 11th. He's planning on making a CD of his most-requested cover tunes, and wants me to play guitar long-distance on it. Thanks to Technology, he can email me the tracks, and I can work on them and record them on my computer and send them back. He can then master them at Scott Gould's studio (where I did my CD), and voilá!
Then we had the blizzard, followed a week later by a Nor'Easter! Ahh, Spring.
DAVID J MOORE celebrated a birthday (his - lol) on the 24th. That same day, I was surprised to find buddy/folk singer STEVEN G TAYLOR admitted to the hospital with a broken back! He exploded L1 in his back in a fall at his home, and is lucky to be walking. He has to wear the turtle shell brace for months, and is miserable. But he gets to play another day.
Got emails from two bigtime Official Stars this month - both STEPEHEN LYNCH (Comedy Central comedian/Broadway star) and MARIA DOYLE KENNEDY (black-haired girl singer from the movie The Commitments) wrote a couple of times, catching me up. Read their guestbook entries on here so you can be informed, as well.
Heard from a few "missing-in-action" folks from the old daze. Former TEASER lightman BRIAN KOPPENHAVER emailed me. He was also connected to the SECRETS guys, and we always ran into each other somewhere on the road. I smell another reunion of several old circuit nuts again soon!
PAUL 'BEARD' MALANEY is still doing great at DisneyWorld in Orlando, and is going to vacation in Morocco/maybe Paris this summer.
ROY BROWN let me know that stringed-instrument genius GARY SKILLINGS was looking for me. I contacted him, and was able to get him back in touch with some past players. I love doing that.
An old friend from the 80s Marco Island days, PEGGY, emailed me a response to one of my joke emails. She's still happily ensconced in Missouri, and doing well. A fine friend and Human Being; we used to have so much fun back on Marco when she was with Dapper Dan. Thanks, Peg!
Also heard from the lovely and beautiful AMY WEAVER, formerly of the Keys. She may head down to the Keys in August for a visit.
CHRIS FOSTER, former songwriter/performer/advocate from Naples, emailed that one of his original tunes was being considered by the American Idol folks. He ended up tying for 21st place, but that's better than thousands of others. It really is a beautiful song, too.
The end of the month brought a joyous reunion of sorts. The Minneapolis-based band HEARTBREAKER that used to play Holiday Isle during Spring Break in the 80-90s is still going strong! I found them online, and guitarist JIMMY COUGHLIN and I fired back and forth for a couple of days, catching each other up on 20 years of news. LOL. They were so much fun to hang and jam with back then - and they were the only other band (like STONECROSS) to have the huge Sunn Magna board with the joystick effects sends! Run VERY brilliantly by Lars, might I add. When they're not doing high-end appearances of their own, they're the band for TOTO singer Fergie Fredricksen, and have recorded for PRINCE. Check out their website www.heartbreakerband.com and see these studs in action - hope we run into each other on the road again, someday soon.
And may I mention one more thought - I AM SOOOOOOO SICK OF THIS WAR BEING POLITICAL - IT IS BECAUSE OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION BEING COMPLETELY INEPT AT ANYTHING OTHER THAN FILLING THE POCKETS OF THEIR FRIENDS, BUT THE DESIRE TO PULL OUT ISN'T JUST THE DEMOCRATS, IT'S ANY SENSIBLE AND SENSIBLY AWARE AMERICAN. THE THREATS TO OUR SAFETY AREN'T IN IRAQ - THEY'RE IN SYRIA, PAKISTAN, EGYPT, AND AFGHANISTAN - AS WELL AS OUR OWN WHITE HOUSE. THE SUNNIS AND THE SHIITES HAVE BEEN FIGHTING EACH OTHER FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, BUT BUSH MAKES IT SOUND LIKE THEY'RE NOW AIMING AT US. AND I'D RATHER NOT HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL BUSH ET AL ARE OUT OF OFFICE TO START USING THE CONSTITUTION, THE BILL OF RIGHTS, THE PRIVACY ACT, AND THE FEW JUST LAWS AGAIN. THERE IS NO ARGUMENT AND THERE IS PLENTY OF PROOF - THIS IS THE WORST ADMINISTRATION - AND THAT INCUDES ALL THEIR APPOINTEES - IN HISTORY. UNLESS YOU ARE VERY RICH, NOTHING THIS BUNCH OF CONS IN CHARGE HAS DONE WHILE IN POWER IS TO OUR BENEFIT. Indeed, in the view of the rest of the world and over half of this country, this bunch has been at least selfish if not wholly cataclysmic to the world. Please, no more Repubs vs. Dems, Conservatives vs. Libs. How about everybody we select to represent actually represent us, not Big Business, etc., and find the common grounds to do the best for our citizens FIRST. We're all Americans - liberal and democrat and conservative and christian and muslim are not dirty words, and one party isn't any more satanic than the other. Well,.....I have to admit - the Republican Party is seemingly in power for being dirty fighters, not for being the better humans. I think we CAN and SHOULD handle the Truth, and go back to being a model for the World, not a joke or a hated people for the World to surpass. I know so many Republicans that are great and fun people, but they blindly follow anything "conservative", as if other parties don't care about the same things. History has shown - the best things get done when it's middle-ground; moderation and malleability win the race. For all of us. America.
JUNE '07 UPDATE
"I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C and D. Just who do they think they are, and from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today, I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism." That was Barry Goldwater. Ah, the Good Ol' Days.
Well - the weather has been consistent - consistently baaaad! Cool and damp - dank, as my grandparents used to say.
Not that much happened - had to get the ol' car fixed (valve cover gasket); did get a call from ED POTTER, my old CAREY RUSH BAND bus driver/followspot op/road mgr. now down there in Daytona. He's hurtin' - his son MARCEL told me there's a big operation in Ed's future - they're not quite sure what's going on yet. I'll keep ya posted, and I wish my brother the best.
Heard from my old partner onstage in the SAVANNAH's aprés-ski daze of the 90s - PENNY WU! She's doing great being a Mom and still working for the Forestry Dept. in Colorado. Nice!
Ran into old classmate Phil Winans at the hospital. He was in visiting Eric Von Baltzer, another classmate. He mentioned getting me to play a reunion or something. That's be a hoot - playing for my old classmates - hehehehe.
Work, work, work - not that I'm complaining. I put on a lot of miles every day, but love the job. Mike left on vacation on the 19th, hitting Orlando and Phoenix and Vegas for two weeks. He deserved it, by cracky.
ED LEAVITT, former vocal arranger/rhythm guitarist/vocalist for DAN D and the BURNING LOVE has approached me about possibly doing a country-rock band with him, and most of the old Elvis tribute band, inc. the backup singers who were wonderful. He's got a lot of original tunes, and I'm gonna go down next week and have a rehearsal/meeting and see what transpires. I'll letcha know next month.
Everybody else is doing great - I'll add some more to this shortly, inc. something about my old Hartford days.
courtesy of my soul sistah JO GRECO (retired roaddog / daughter of Buddy Greco) down there in FL:
BBest Bush T-Shirts
1) (On an infant's shirt): ALREADY SMARTER THAN BUSH
2) 1/20/09 : END OF AN ERROR!
3) THAT'S OK - I WASN'T USING MY CIVIL LIBERTIES ANYWAY
4) LET'S FIX DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY FIRST
5) BUSH. LIKE A ROCK. ONLY DUMBER.
6) YOU CAN'T BE PRO-WAR AND PRO-LIFE AT THE SAME TIME
7) IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU'RE NOT THE PRESIDENT
8) BUSH SUPPORTERS: EMBARRASSED YET?
9) GEORGE BUSH - CREATING THE TERRORISTS OUR KIDS WILL HAVE TO FIGHT
10) IMPEACHMENT: IT'S NOT JUST FOR BJs ANYMORE
11) AMERICA: ONE NATION, UNDER SURVEILLANCE
12) THEY CALL HIM "W" SO HE CAN SPELL IT
13) WHICH GOD DO YOU KILL FOR?
14) JAIL TO THE CHIEF!
15) WHO WOULD JESUS TORTURE?
16) NO, SERIOUSLY, WHY DID WE INVADE?
17) BUSH: GOD'S WAY OF SHOWING INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS CRAP
18) BAD PRESIDENT - NO BANANA.
19) WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO'S FLUENT IN AT LEAST ONE LANGUAGE
20) WE'RE MAKING ENEMIES FASTER THAN WE CAN KILL THEM
21) RICH MAN'S WAR; POOR MAN'S BLOOD
22) IS IT VIETNAM YET?
23) BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE, EITHER
24) WHERE ARE WE GOING? AND WHY ARE WE IN THIS HAND BASKET?
25) IF YOU ELECTED HIM - YOU DESERVE HIM
26) IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST
27) DUBYA: YOUR DAD SHOULDA PULLED OUT, TOO
28) WHEN BUSH TOOK OFFICE, GAS WAS $1.46/GALLON!
JULY '07 UPDATE
A Gallup poll last month put Congress' approval rating at 29 percent, which ties it with the President and puts both exactly two points behind AIDS in terms of popularity. This raises the question: Why does America loathe its elected officials so much?
Forgetting that whole “war” thing for a minute, you could make the argument that it's because most members of Congress are arrogant pricks who would rather toss Rosie O'Donnell's salad after a summer hike than do anything remotely kind, thoughtful or constructive for America. Cracked.com has singled out five of the most stubborn, abrasive, inconsiderate pricks on Capitol Hill that you should be keeping your eye on: http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=2130&pageid=1
I agree with all of this: http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?g=8dd25465-1b2b-49e5-81ff-003005828d82&f=00&fg=email
Well, June was another month. LOL. The weather was a little better - actually had a couple of "summer" days where it was hot and humid. The rest of the time - nice cool breezes and little rain. Rather enjoyable, I think.
The month started with a surprise phone call from my adopted little brother AARON WHITCOMB. He's looking to do something serious musically, and wanted a little help in his search. He's become a very talented man, and his awesome parents (the very missed Don and Eve Whitcomb) would be so proud of him.
Back around '85, when I first arrived on Marco Island, I was "adopted" by several of the locals at the old Marco Bay Resort chickee bar, where I performed. Two of the crazier ones were Bud Pfifer and Bob Sheehan, who became "B&B Management" and were my ersatz managers whenever I was in town. They'd suggest the order of my songs, and take me for boat trips with people they thought were right for me to know. LOL. We lost Bud years ago, but the lovely Kentucky horsewoman LINDA DEPPEN just informed we've lost Bob Sheehan, too. He died after bouts of several kinds over the years, on June 5th. I'll miss Bob - through all the blustery stuff, he was a good friend.
For years, I've been looking online for something about blueswoman LISA BRESLIN, whom I played/lived with for a short time in '75. She turned me onto a lot of different music, and tried her damndest to warn and educate me about being a NH boy in the Big City of Hartford CT. Well, I just found she has a new website - www.lisabreslin.com, as well as a couple of MySpace sites, for her music to be heard and for her to network. I signed her guestbook, and am now waiting for her to check her site and see my surprise note - it's been 31 years! I was surprised to see by her pics that she's gotten older - hehehehe.
My stepfather BOB NOYES called on the 10th. I guess he and my Mom are slowly planning to move into an assisted living facility before too long. My brother BILL and I are trying to get the details.
One very bad cloud over the hospital job this month: a wonderful nurse whom we deal with all the time, Carmen, was brutally attacked. You may have heard about it on the news - it's been nationally reported, being so horrific. She had recently moved back to the area, and was divorcing her recent husband from CA. He has been jobless and abusive, so she was moving on. She had just started dating a fellow nurse, my buddy TIM WHITE, and things were improving for both of them. The soon-to-be-ex heard about this, parked his car down the street at 2:30am, and broke into the house with rope, tape, a baseball bat, and some special industrial lye. He hit one of the young daughters, and took Carmen and barricaded the two of them into her bedroom. He broke her eye socket and elbow with the bat, then proceeded to pour the industrial lye (a powerful acid) on Carmen's head. The daughters called 911, and police were there quickly, but the acid had taken it's toll. Carmen is in a Boston hospital - communicating with toe and finger movement. Her eyes, nose, and ears were basically burned off by the lye, but they're hoping transplants will work.
I'm becoming involved with a committee to raise money for Carmen through a benefit. Several of her fellow workers are chairing the event, and I'm trying to coordinate a music show for the fest.
I was contacted by the Sunapee Coffeehouse people - they've booked me to do an Unplugged Concert there in Oct. - I will remind you!
I had a nice meeting with folk singer STEVEN TAYLOR and his lovely wife CHERYL here about doing some concerts together. That'd be fun - STEVE's got a huge voice, and we'd have fun.
I'm looking forward to my July 14th concert in Sunapee Harbor - LOTS of people are saying they're attending this year.
Had my annual checkup on the 21st - my cholesterol is much improved, but they have to spike my dosage for my blood pressure meds. Still a bit high. Doctor thinks I'm in great shape, tho.
Got to hike part of the Appalachian Trail on the 23rd. Did the short Velvet Rocks portion with old friend CARIKER CUNNINGHAM, her dog Peanut, and friend ADINA. CARIKER used to be one of our favorite LNAs on 5W, til she moved into an administrative job in Boston months ago. 'Twas a gorgeous cool day, and I actually kept up with the marathon runner and her party. LOL.
We ended the month with my bestest little buddy's b-day: ANNALEE THRALLS celebrated her 13th year on this planet! I miss her and her Mom a lot. Two awesome ladies so far away.
AUG. '07 UPDATE
Well, July was actually an interesting month, compared to some of recent memory. I have been putting in a good deal of time at the hospital; going in early every day to warm up the legs and visit a little. Been trying to formulate ideas and plans for a Carmen Benefit, but it's not easy finding some volunteers to help. I can't do it all myself, so I may just perform for a smaller dinner or something. Carmen is holding on; she's had many skin grafts, and is fighting infection so far. Her body was burned by the industrial lye very badly, and it will take a long time before anybody knows much. So sad.
My buddy-since-middle school daze, Gary Savoie, had a nice little cookout at his Claremont house on the 8th. He recently returned from a couple of years in Romania, trying to show the Peace Corp how it's done.
Had some wicked storms through the middle of the month. It's been a long time since I've experienced a good electrical storm.
Ran into Dave Shroeder at the hospital on the 11th. His brother was the inventor of the chorus pedal for guitarists (and digital tuning), and his sister was one of the most gorgeous ladies I ever knew. Dave used to be a first-choice bassist/vocalist, but suffered an accident and became a paraplegic. Good to see him, tho, and he always has such nice things to say about me to his family and friends.
Well, the much-awaited Sunapee Harbor concert on the 14th was fantastic! A gorgeous day, LOTS of hospital people (and others), and many surprises. Old pal Chuck Hill, baritone from the NHGMC, was there with two other friends. My bestest brutha, Joe "Hayes" Stagner, rode up on his new Harley. I had Mike "Hammerhead" Colburn driving the FAR CRY tour bus and jammin', and also had Scotty Johnson from DHMC's PACU unit playing some percussion. 'Twas magical.
Among surprises, STONECROSS/MAMAKICKS/FOUR-STICKS keyboardist/singer GARDNER BERRY showed up to hang for a little while! I hadn't seen him in 20 years, other than some emails back and forth. The very talented NH songwriter CLICK HORNING and his lovely wife JOANIE stopped by. Also, old PKA karate student and musician SVEND ERIK FILBY also popped by for a visit. He wants me to help him with a website dedicated to the old New England music scene.
There is a picture and a short video snippet on my front page of this website from the Sunapee fun. I'd like to thank CHUCK HILL for shooting them, and GINNY ATCHISON (as always) for taking time from her amazingly busy schedule and converting the format and helping me put it on my site. She is the Best!
Florida Fiddling Champ/Floribbean Entertainer (and friend since the 80s) J ROBERT, celebrated getting older on the 21st. He's still on Marco - the hardest working musical entity as always.
Heard from Orlando Disney multi-talent PAUL "BEARD" MALANEY. He found ol' tech/roadie BUDDY BROWNING, whom I haven't seen in 27 years! BUDDY is a great guy and probably reading this, so BUDDY -- I love ya! I may even actually call you someday. PAUL also just got back from Morocco with some great stories. He says many from the old daze are reading this update every month!
Old bassist BRIAN CLOW wrote to say he's having some problems with Hep C and his pancreas. My thoughts go out to him in his journey.
Go to http://www.myrareguitars.com/EastwoodVideos/JLSignature_jl.wmv for a sweet video of buddy JOEY LEONE demoing his fantastic new signature Eastwood guitar. I want one!
JIM HOLLIS is still playing as well as anybody can, but has started managing a local music store on Mondays. JIM is getting as burned out as I am, and needs a little time away from the biz, I fear.
I took a patient to a cat scan last week and realized it was old classmate Wendy Stone. Well, she didn't make it. She was a fun lady in jr. high/high school; never took any shit and wasn't afraid to give it back to anybody, but was also a nice lady.
Despite many emails asking me to attend and telling me how to get there, I managed to miss Shenanigans bartender KRISTI WHITE's big BBQ party. Sorry, kiddo - sometimes there aren't enough hours in a day.
Well - I'm gonna end this month's update with a statement: after I put together my dream team band for Carmen's Benefit (whenever that may be), I realized it may be possible to do the occasional gig with some of these monsters. I'm selling off my BOSE gear and my USA Strat to whittle my cards down and pay back Mike some. But I got my electric gear, and it WAILS, so when people like ANGELO MULLEN tell me they wanna play with me for the concert, it makes me all verklempt. I have an Unplugged Concert Series appearance in Oct., solo with just the twelve string. Then, I may do a few pickup gigs with a trio or quartet. I got so excited playing lead electric guitar again with Davis Bros., that it may inspire me to enter the final phase of my musical career, good as it's been so far. I'll keep ya posted.
SEPT. '07 UPDATE
Ran into old friends the Hagans (Paul and Charlene) at the hospital on the 3rd, the same day old friend Jay Bacon died there. Lots of sadness there. But it was good to see the Hagans, and I hope to get together with them socially someday soon.
Jim Hollis told me that our old hero/buddy MARGOT COPELAND had a close call healthwise. Had it not been for Jimmy's wife Cindy pushing him to call 911 after Jim heard Margot take a fall while speaking to her on the phone, we might have lost another contemporary. I'll try to update more next month.
My dear friend, the lovely AMY WEAVER, returned from her trip to the Keys, and sent me some pics. I'm jealous - I would LOVE to visit down there again soon.
The hardest working single Mom I've ever known, the wonderful GINNY ATCHISON, has had a recent media battle over the Collier Cty School Board's corruptive practices. She nailed them, with facts and sources beyond reproach. Of course, the local South Florida God Squads started making threats and phone calls due to their inabilty to slip their inept candidate right thru without fanfare (or ability), but they're messing with a winner. And GINNY's daughter ANNALEE (my bestest buddy) is doing wonderfully in Virtual School. I'm so proud of them.
Same old crapola at work, regrettably. While I love the job, I hate the politics. And it's gonna become something I can't deal with anymore pretty soon, I fear. The vast minority scum of the department, a bunch of fake losers who have gotten very adept at using the system and the weaknesses of our "leader", are still enjoying their childish and unscrupulous ways. They've been trying to get me fired for 2 years now. It seems more and more that this might not change. They were scared enough by recent meetings with our new overseer to make them increase/better their response times on jobs (somewhat - one of the nicer ones still took 22 minutes to respond to a dispatch last week - a 5 minute walk, at best), but nothing else has changed. There are still lies about good people, good management, and honest employees going around. They still have their secret little rest spots where they can hide and plot while on jobs, making the rest of us work harder/faster to make up for their laziness. They still canvas and recruit newer or younger workers with charm, and turn them against those of us that actually care as much as we can. I'm "mean" because I've been blacklisted by these losers and won't pretend they deserve any respect. One of them is a rumored pedophile who lies so badly about his "genius" IQ (he's wrong about 70% of the time - lol), and he gives some of the worst advice I've ever heard. I mean, who listens to financial advice from a loser that had his own car recently repossessed. The other is a charming backwoods obese red-faced little cracker who adds his lies to stories to ruin reps, and sits back and watches his effects for amusement. You know the type - he's got keys and cards to everything, knows everybody's business, and gets "deals". He backstabs everybody sooner or later, including those young dispatchers who are scared of him, and think he's a friend. He isn't. They try to convince the younger and the náive to blindly follow them and slow down and have "fun", and they still have enough "power" so that most good employees won't complain nor report anything they do wrong. I will - they don't scare me, and I'll return fire til I'm fired or promoted. LOL. It's a prestigious hospital, and it's all about patient safety and representing a department we can be proud of. These two should realize - sooner or later, they're gonna run into me off property where they're not protected, and may not like what they hear. heheheh
Been getting phone messages from one of my early hero drummers, Tyler James Plotske, out there in California. He's chasing the art of sobriety, and sounding very good in the messages. It was a thrill and a pleasure to play with him after so many years at the Davis Bros Garage Band reunion last Fall.
I've been approached by two former members of NHCMA's #1 award-winning country band, NH ROCK BOTTOM BAND, to put together a 3-4 piece oldies band with them, focusing on Beatles, etc. We had a nice lunch meeting at the Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor on Sunday the 26th to that subject. We get together for a jam over the weekend of Sept. 9, and I'll keep ya informed of the progress.
Went up to ol' buddy Grandmaster Pete Porter's house on the 19th for a morning of guitars, karate; and after, we put away a bottle of Pete's homemade orange sake that he had been saving for me! 'Twas a good time, and Pete has made me an offer of teaching me so I can get my Black Belt under him, finally. It doesn't get any better or more prestigious than that! If I can free up the time on Monday nights, I'm gonna take him up on the offer.
On the 23rd, I was in early as usual, walking and chatting. I noticed a crowd forming by the Main Entrance, so went to check on it. I found out Hillary Clinton was coming in, so I positioned myself where I thought she might go by. Well, she did - and I got a chance to not only meet her and shake her hand, but got to chat with her for a moment! I searched the papers for a picture of "Hillary and the Hippie", but to no avail.
The month ended with a visit from Mike "Hammerfist" Colburn's best buddy Dave for a week. Dave is in transition, and stopped by for some RnR.
OCT. '07 UPDATE
"Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini (and he oughta know)
Well, that was a nice, cool September. Great nights for sleeping, not too much rain, and the leaves are getting very colorful.
Attended my first Safety committee meeting at the hospital on the 5th. I was warmly received, which was very nice, seeing how one woman on the committee was the one who recently stopped me from including the patient towers in my warmup walk. LOL. But these members don't really hear the dirt from the actual floor happenings, and they're now getting that from me. I look forward to the next meeting soon, and hope to make some difference.
On the immediate down side, I found out my old road buddy TIM CRANDALL passed away on Sept. 6, down on Marco. They say massive heart attack; I've heard possible overdose. He had been a prescription drug and Jaegermeister poster child for over a decade now, so his body had to shut down sooner than later. I helped the Naples Daily News staff with some emailed details, and Tiffany the "island hopper" wrote a nice article on him. However, nothing was said about his problems, and several of us wish they had - perhaps helping somebody else. And that's what TRUTH is supposed to do - help deal with healing through reality and closure. So stop the whiny nasty anonymous emails complaining about me mentioning the reality of Tim's dark cloud - we all have them to some degree - but his sadly got out of control and I suspect ruined his last few years. I don't suppose the complainer(s) (I think it's just one, tho - same wordings in two "different" anonymous emails - lol) ever said or asked anything to Tim's face about concern - I did. He wasn't happy - ask any of his real friends.
TIM and I first met when he took over J ROBERT's afternoon slot at the SNOOK INN in the mid/late 80s. I did the evening spot, and we became fast friends. I had the opportunity in '92 or so to jam with him at the WOBBLY BARN while we were both in VT playing the aprés-ski gigs. Then we jammed at the AMERICA's RISING benefit concert on Marco following 9/11. But upon my return to the island in '98, I saw a sad version of my former friend. He was guarded, sweaty, paranoid, weakened musically (altho still entertaining-his weak drum machine, awesome MOOG bass pedals, and "mouth noises"), and was burning bridges. He was breaking into friends' houses if he knew them to have narcotic prescriptions. He was consuming SO much Jaegermeister on top of all that, having three before starting a gig, and many more during and after. I know of several who tried to intervene, but to no avail. So sad. I've heard from many of his peers and fans as well as the newspapers, wanting to know anything I might have heard. It's been great to hear from old friends like DUNCAN WHEELER, KATHY CANADY, BILL HAGUE, and several old fans who saw my references in the paper. R.I.P., TIM - you're missed.
Professional Good Guy and Entertainer Extraordinaire DAVID J MOORE called on the eve of the 13th! Catching me up on the latest SW Florida news. He's doing great - gonna start production on his CD of cover tunes to sell the touristas shortly. He's sold over 5000 copies of his CD that I got the privilege of playing on years ago (OLD NEWS link on this here website, by golly).
Ran into old buddy and former road manager ANDY COURCHESNE at the hospital on the 14th. What a great guy - I hope to get together someday and chat at length.
Got to finally jam with JIM MURRAY and GARY LITTLEPAGE on the 19th, at Jim's house in Plainfield. 'Twas fun, but I had a bit o' wine before hand at a lunch, and I'm not used to that. Hehehe. I didn't knock anything over, tho.
Heard from MIKE SOPHER, formerly of southern NH, who I met with a bunch of crazed snowmobilers at a gig in Lancaster NH many years ago. He's doing very well as always, and just wanted to say HI. I appreciate that - it's great to hear from so many people all the time - it reminds me that I've had some fun in this life, and have been blessed with scores of true friends.
I was unable to play for the grand opening of pal TIM WHITE's new bed and breakfast down there in the Alstead area. He went thru the wringer to get me to agree to do it in the first place, but Mother Nature and her little viruses made sure I couldn't. I was actually looking forward to using the big BOSE system one more time, but...alas....it was not to be.
The best blues frontman in NH, GEORGE GIBSON, called on the 22nd. I miss hangin' and playin' with George - he's such a good guitarist, and can keep an audience enthralled for 4 straight hours without a break. A pleasure to call a friend - we always get all agitated and blustery when we get going. LOL. He's another one who's barely playing due to the state of things these days.
Had a nasty cold that following week, but got a nice email from PENNY WU, who used to do the SAVANNAH's shows with me years ago. She's coming to VT (from Colorado) to visit the second week in Oct., and we're gonna get together for lunch or something. She may even attend my unplugged coffeehouse concert in Sunapee Harbor on the 12th! Can't wait to see my twin sister - it's been over 10 years!
http://www.myrareguitars.com/EastwoodVideos/joey_wendell_talk.wmv That link will bring you to a video of two road dogs who obviously love what they do - JOEY LEONE AND WENDALL FERGUSON. Enjoy, if you have the time. JOEY's kicking ass as always up on Killington, and everywhere else they play.
PETE PORTER, 9th dan karate Grandmaster and great bud since '71, is hurting. Getting old is Hell, I tell ya! His back is screwed up, on top of leg probs. Geez. Hope he heals well and fast, so we can punch/kick some more real soon. He's also got some cool guitars.
BRIAN CLOW, former bassist of mine from my teens and early 20s, wrote to say he's battling liver cancer. He's battled severe illness early in his life, too, so winning is no stranger to him. Best of luck, Brian.
I'm not gonna get political this month, as I am tired of watching these lying asses ruin us and bleed us dry for the benefit of their friends. The "war" is costing us a billion dollars a day, and for nothing. This administration hasn't done ONE thing well or for the people, 'cept screw us every possible way. C'mon, LOTTO. LOL.
NOV. '07 UPDATE
First of all, hope you just had a Happy Halloween. Ahh, the time of the year where the weird turn pro! I feel a certain comfort in that.
Well, Oct. seemed to be Musician Month at the hospital. I saw far too many guys I know in there for various serious ailments. A wonderful older lady from the Sunapee area, Pat Keller, who has always supported live music, and knows many of us by name, was in a coma when I left Friday. Ron Gobin and Geary Lee, a couple of musical guys from my past, were there. Folk singer and good friend Steven Taylor was in there as a patient, having both knees replaced (this time). Old high-school street buddy Rick Hess. Bassist DAVE SCHROEDER from my early days, now a paraplegic from a high steel accident. On and on.
Performed for the Sunapee Coffeehouse Concert Series on the 12th. 'Twas a dark and stormy night (and cold), and the venue isn't the best for seating. Founder RANDY RICHARDS hosted/introduced for me, and told me they were trying to find a more suitable location. But the small crowd were mostly old friends and musicians, and I was roasted by several in between tunes and stories. My longtime vocal coach and bestest lady friend CHER MITCHELL AUBIN, was there - with hubby RON, and she was telling Carey stories to the crowd, too. It was so good to see her - she's usually sooooo busy - and she told me she was gonna take much more time off nowadays. She wants to enjoy her life with RON, and who can blame her.
Old buddy TIM WHITE popped up to Mike's Mountain for a demo of my BOSE super system, and bought them for cash on the spot! He's gonna use them at his new B&B, the General Amos Shepard B&B in Alstead, NH. Highly recommended, by the way - gorgeous place in a gorgeous area!
The BIG news of the month (as far as I'm concerned) is a surprise email from JOE "Cosmic Joe" CARON! He was THE guitarist for the JIMMY CARTER SHOW oh so many years ago, and I last saw him playing with F SHARP just before I moved to the Keys in '85. Joe was such an inspiration, and the talk of the circuit for years for his stage antics and guitar playing. He said he happened to search for my name, and up popped this site. He's gonna catch me up in the near furture, and we hope to get together soon around the Rhode Island area, where he is nowadays.
Heard from my brother Bill, who was heading to Homosassa to watch over Mom while our stepdad BOB has his gall bladder out. Also heard from my aunt NATALIE HOWE down there in Titusville. Everybody seems to be just dandy.
We've had a few nights with the temperature down in the 20s! hehehehe
Ran into Jill and Bobby Curtis while they were visiting their mother CLAIRE while she's in for surgery. Their father BOB CURTIS taught me how to play the guitar. JILL was the Girl Next Door who I had a crush on, and BOBBY and I were the neighborhood terrors.
I lost most of my emails saved on AOL, as well as all of my Link collection from over the years, due to AOL crashing on an update. So I finally deleted every bit of AOL crap from my hard drive (and that takes awhile), and am adjusting to Life without it. But I've been so frustrated over the years, esp. lately, that AOL just had to go sooner or later. I just wish I hadn't lost so much info and archives. I'm still using it for email, so don't stop writing.
Heard from STEPHEN LYNCH, who's working on his second COMEDY CENTRAL special to air soon.
My best to DOUG JOHNSON and the family of GLORIA JOHNSON, who left us on Nov. 3 after a 10-year battle with breast cancer. More on her next month - a seriously talented singer with a sexy stage presence who performed with us last year at Shenanigans. Her voice those nights was just phenomenal - everybody in the place just has to turn and watch when she hit the stage. Damn. Here's a pic of her and Scotty at a gig.
My love to all - may we have some good holidays, and be able to afford the gas to visit one another a bit. Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving season, and we'll chat soon.
DEC. '07 UPDATE
Ahhh - Winter arriveth! As I write, it is a balmy 20 degrees, and there is about an inch of snow on the ground. The drive home from work last night was fun - cars and trucks off the road or just pulled over or just stopped in a lane, because underneath the slight bit o' snow was a layer of glare ice. But the ol' Camry didn't have a bit of trouble.
Started the month of November by hearing from two great former New England guys - PAUL 'BEARD' MALANEY, and JUSTIN ADAMS. Both are doing just fine - Paul at DisneyWorld down in FLA, and Justin now out there in California working for the SPCA of Monterey County. Justin and I are gonna try to hook up next year when he comes to VT for a reunion. We were agreeing that a reunion on Marco Island wouldn't have too many of the old crew there - far too many aren't with us anymore. Many of the rest have moved.
My blood brother BILL caught me up on his visit with the folks. He went to Homosassa to watch over Mom til our stepdad Bob was out of the hospital from having his gall bladder removed. All seems well on both fronts there, too.
On Nov. 16th, I got an email from PETE SHACKETT, former musical partner of PETE MERRIGAN (among other musical endeavors in years past). He's still in the St. Pete area, but not playing unless he wants to. Sounds familiar. But it was great to hear from him - a genuinely nice man, and talented to boot!
J. ROBERT emailed to catch me up. His recent record release on Marco went well, and he's enjoying Life as usual. Go to www.JRobert.net and search around a bit - he's a very talented man. Can't believe it's been 20 years since he and I held court at the world famous SNOOK INN as their house entertainers.
GLENN SHAW, old friend and new owner of the ANCHORAGE in Sunapee Harbor (with his lovely wife Karlie), which is where AEROSMITH and others started, emailed and asked if I might be interested in playing on Thursday nights there next "season". Now that it's a non-smoking bar, I would love to give it a go. Ya gotta love them Shaws.
Went up to Killington on the 17th with my friend Janice to see what was happening, and we saw that JOEY LEONE was actually playing that night at OUTBACK pizza. We decide to stick around, and were warmly welcomed when JOEY and TOMMY READ got there to play. We hung for a long and excitingly energetic rock set from them, with JOEY bouncing from a Tele to a Strat to a Les Paul to an Eastwood thru VOX and MARSHALL amps (he's an endorsee of both) - starting with a surf medley and banging out some serious Zep licks. And just before they started, a guy walks over and introduces himself - it was fellow SAVANNAH'S performing alumni ANDY SCOTT, whom I hadn't seen in at least 10 years! ANDY was one of the performers that I networked with thru the New England Performers Co-op I started years ago. He sat with us, and we had a ball. ANDY's doing a few dates at the GRIST MILL, so check out him and JOEY if you get a chance.
Stepdad BOB and my mom EVELYN called on the 26th, in answer to my Thanksgiving phone message. Was good to hear their voices. Mom is sounding good and happy, but kept asking the same questions several times. Brother BILL also said that - she still can remember facts from 40 years ago, but has a hard time with recent events, and remembering anything for a couple of minutes.
Been having some fun days and nights at the hospital, despite the usual politics. I constantly run into somebody from my past, or someone that remembers me from bands, etc. I love the feeling of bringing smiles to those that really need one. I'm a bit concerned over mounting bills and such, and am trying to figure my game plan to rid myself of debts. It's tough, as things are getting more and more expensive. I feel for all those that are losing their houses and such all over this country. Let's hope the next president can do something right for a change, instead of all the wrong moves we've seen in the last 7 years. Gee - I wonder if our votes will ever be honestly counted next time - they weren't last time. Check out PINK's new song DEAR MR PRESIDENT - in one word - awesome.
Well - I sincerely hope y'all have a great and wonderful Christmas season. Stay warm and safe. See ya next month.
JAN. '08 UPDATE
Isn't that sweet? A little wish from me to you for the holiday spirit. Click on the pic for even more close-up spirit.
Well, (notice how I almost always start with that?) December was a gray month, in several ways. Weather-wise. Lost some friends. The month started with C.W.COLT IMing me that his occasional percussionist Red had died. Then that night at 6pm, I noticed the sky out my window flashing while I was on my computer. I look out to see our driveway and road lined with firetrucks and various emergency vehicles! I walk outside - in the freezing cold - to see our wonderful neighbor and friend Louis' house consumed in smoke and flames! Poor guy - a single 65 yr old parent of two kids, works hard and does a great job with them. Several, inc. Mike, have donated much to see him rebuild soon.
The next day, I get surprise emails from dear old friend SUE PLANTE, still alive and well. We fired furiously back and forth for a couple of days til we were caught up. SUE and I worked at the famous ol' MIDDLE ST. PUB in Claremont NH many moons ago. I'd love to find SUZI HENTSCHEL from those days, as well as a couple of others. Great people, and great bartenders! lol
Then the snow came. Even one called a Nor'Easter. And it was (fairly) good.
The rest of the month was fairly the same - lots of work at the hospital, and doing my own studies on equipment we use for my place on the Safety Committee. Constantly running into old friends there, and quite a few of them as patients. One of my old street buddies, from the 60s on the streets of Claremont - RICK HESS - had been in and out of DHMC for awhile, but his final visit turned out to be just that. His lovely wife SANDY, who also works at DHMC, is such a sweetheart, and I hope she can come back soon.
SKIP TRUMAN celebrated a birthday on Dec. 11. Happy Birthday, Skipper!
Doctor's appointments, safety meetings, Christmas parties, lots and lots of snacks on every floor, nook, and cranny of the DHMC. Some great caroling. Much warm and fuzzies. Mike's friend Dave staying here for a few days.
The bestest bud in the world, DAVID J. MOORE, called me on Christmas Day! Caught me up on the west Florida musical happenings.
I believe Monseur DAVE ALBRO celebrated something resembling a birthday on the 26th, if I remember correctly. Dave, let me know - the old cells aren't what they used to be.
Then, the balance. A minor leg injury, talking with Mom on the phone and she's asking me the same 3 questions for 20 minutes. And a tiny but tough lady from the ol' STUDIO 27 daze, who was such a handful back then, named CATHY LANGLOIS, dies just after Christmas. Cathy and I had gone from me throwing her out of the nightclub on several occasions to being great and warm friends. Whenever I played in the area, she was there, rocking. I had heard from her also-sick aunt that she was very sick, but....
Heard from former Davis Bros. drummer extraordinaire TYLER JAMES PLOTZKE (see pic). He's been giving drum clinics at Guitar Center™ locations in California, and making plans for coming back this way perhaps next year (or late this year), and us doing a CD project together! You Rock, Ty!
I ended the month by taking the very deserving and patient MIKE "SUSHI" COLBURN to Claremont's Imperial House buffet. I mean, this place has a BUFFET. When a Chinese buffet includes things like sweet potato with marshmallows, you gotta love it! 'Twas great! Then we settled in for a safe and quiet New Years weekend. COOOOOOLD weather, so we hunker down and watch movies and relax, recharging the batteries for work. Then me having a nice, quiet 53rd b-day, with some great surprises! Several nurses and techs making me brownies (Thank you, Jill - I love Cat Scan!) and other sundries. It was so sweet. Thanks to you all. Til next month, keep smiling.
FEB. '08 UPDATE
Ahhhh, Winter. The month of January started as it usually does; with me getting older. Many wonderful emails and calls - thank you. Ginny gave me a subscription to PASTE magazine, which I had never heard of. For those in the music biz, check it out. Lots of great articles, and a CD of new music every month! Thanks, Gin!
When I wasn't celebrating wildly (yeah, right), I was ramping up my research for the DHMC Safety Committee I'm on. I find myself having to move slowly and gently, something I'm not used to doing. LOL. These dept. heads don't seem to appreciate a livewire, so slow and steady wins the race. I guess. But things are improving. I ended up helping the hospital's head of safety teach his BIRT class, which is a definite feather in my cap.
Jan. 7th once again found my old Road Mgr. ED POTTER getting older, but not in good health. Between his brain tumor, the stroke, and several other things happening all at once, he wasn't able to enjoy like he should down there in Daytona. But he wrote me to enjoy my life, so he's still kicking. Best of luck, my friend.
Heard from many throughout the month - TYLER PLOTZKE out in California, Sarasota Bluesman AL FULLER, JIM "Herb" SMITH, AMY WEAVER, DAVID J MOORE, CHER, PAUL MALANEY, HAYES. All are well, and doing great things. My penpal STEPHEN LYNCH had a new special on COMEDY CENTRAL which was very funny! See his signings in my guestbook, and please vote for him on the supplied link.
Talk is being bandied about concerning several possible reunions of bands, and I'll keep ya posted.
I've been plagued recently by my 5 year old DELL PC acting strangely, and due to fear of losing very valuable info and files, I opted to get a new laptop. One I can use for all my daily stuff, plus store all my files on, plus use as my mobile office at work. After much bs and promises on the part of BEST BUY, I finagled an incredible deal out of them on an HP DV6736NR, which should suffice. lol. It has a 250G hard drive, 4G of RAM, dual-core (AMD TURION dual 2.0s!), widescreen monitor, built-in WIFI, and I'm keeping AOL off it completely, so there should be little go wrong. I'm trying to decide between FIREFOX and the new Intel-compatible SAFARI as my browser-of-choice. I have to interface my CAKEWALK/SONAR to the sound module somehow, but I'm betting there's an easy way. Built-in cam, too. Dangerous.
I did get my PC to update enough to watch David J Moore (and others) performing at the SNOOK INN on Marco Island, using the SNOOK's webcams. Saw old friends DUNCAN WHEELER and PAUL FERGUSON, as well as BILLY BRIDGER and others. Go to www.snookinn.com and click on webcam 1 or 2 - 1 shows the stage, and 2 shows the upper deck overlooking the "Marco river" as the boats go by. It's rather surreal to watch friends in shorts playing tropically themed music 1700 miles away, as I watch from a blizzard-pounded house on a mountain in NH.
Jan. 28th, I go into work early and am told by the dispatcher that "a friend of mine is in the ED". I run up to ask the receptionist, and run into DONNA PORTER (Pete's wife) as she arrives. She asks me if I'm there to see Pete. We go to his "room" in the ED (Green ENT), and there's my buddy lying on a stretcher! He was experiencing some weird chest pains (sound familiar?), and his secretary at his church job called 911. He was/is fine - it seems to be the same muscular-related thing I had happen to me awhile back.
So between the car inspection and registration, hospital business, friends-in-need, and new toys - it was a fairly busy month. I'm waiting to hear more from the Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor about doing Thursday nights there this season. The Sunapee Coffeehouse Concert series filled out so fast this year that I wasn't able to book any, but was courted for next year's booking. I'm looking forward to jamming with some different (for me) musicians this year - some of whom (like jazz drummer MARCUS COPENING) work at DHMC.
RIP - Doug Bashaw
(Thanks, Matt - Soundtown Music)
Doug died after he crashed his motorcycle coming off exit 19 on 89 on Tues, Aug 5, 2008, heading to Soundtown Music. Doug was a well-known multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in many NE bands over the last 25 years. I have lots of stories about him. Rest in Peace, my friend - we'll miss your jokes and that smile.
Till maybe next month - enjoy every sandwich! (credit: Warren Zevon)
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