Monthly Archives: October 2012
Happy Halloween! I will use this day to bring to you a tale of unspeakable horror, a tale of a creature so gruesome that it can only come from a child’s imagination…and this comes from my 10 year old little monster’s imagination.
Every year on Halloween Night a monster comes to the world. People say he looks like a turtle but they haven’t seen what he looks like, but I have. He looks like a tiny dinosaur with a yellow shell. It is called a Cravasaur. The reason people can’t see it is because it turns invisible when in the open. The Cravasaur hides in its victim’s candy bags and eats the candy when it is thrown in. The Cravasaur has eight victims a day, I have not been one yet. It only comes to kids that crave candy and loves the warmness of the candy bag. The Cravasaur is a creature that comes from the past to eat candy that fills him up for the rest of the year. It is a fascinating creature.
copyright 2012 – Connor
Now for some spooooky videos……
And the only scary movie you need to watch on Halloween…and it was the start of my Jamie Lee Curtis infatuation.
I have to admit I am old enough to look back at driving around listening to 8-tracks with nostalgia (sort of). Endless hours of driving up and down the drag in West Texas, windows rolled down, arm out the window and blasting heavy rock. The only criteria that my friends and I had for the music was that it had to ‘rock’ and sound cool coming out of our car. Jesus, we played some good stuff and some total crap. Led Zeppelin (II), AC/DC (Back in Black), Riot (Narita) and our main go-to 8-track was The Who Live at Leeds. Shit, I loved that album and it sounded so good blasting in the car at ‘look at me’ volumes.
I think the first Who album I ever bought was Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy (I still have that record to this day). It was a compilation of singles and hits. I bought it because it contained My Generation and Pinball Wizard, but it was the songs I had never heard before that really caught my ear…Substitute, Pictures of Lily, I’m a Boy, Legal Matter. It was a real solid collection and it started me on the path to more Who records…it was a gateway album so to speak.
Tommy was magical, Quadrophenia baffled me, Who’s Next was majestic and beautiful, The Who By Numbers was mature and I thought they were all great.
Reading interviews with Pete Townshend were heady and hedonistic. You never knew which Townshend you would get, but whichever one showed up it was always a good interview. He would bad mouth his band-mates with no regard of the consequences. Or he would talk a concept of an upcoming project that would always seem to go over my head.
I bought the albums, Who Are You, Face Dances and It’s Hard as soon as they were released. Each album had moments of brilliance, but they didn’t captivate me as those earlier works. I still listen to those early albums today and they hold up very well. Live at Leeds is still one hell of a bombastic blast. When I found out the Pete was writing is autobiography, entitled Who I Am, is was looking forward to the read.
The story of Pete Townshend is written in a traditional linear storyline, no jumping back and forth in time for Pete. I guess I am a total sucker for rock biographies. I love reading about events that I have read about time and time again. But I also love a writer that can weave a spell with their prose. Pete goes about writing about his life just a little bit too factual. Maybe because of all the lengthy interviews he has given to major publications over the last 40 years that the details of the book just seem like old news. I wish he would have spent a few more pages espousing more on his relationship with the other members of the Who or his sublime solo albums Empty Glass and All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes. But that is just my own personal wants.
There are plenty of sordid personal tidbits to keep one interested in the narrative…being sexually abused as a child, torrid road tales, adultery, alcoholism and which boat he bought and when he bought it (what is up with rock stars and vehicles?)…but something is missing. The book just reads a little robotic, too matter of fact. The book is missing warmth.
It is safe to say Pete Townshend is a musical genius. He also comes across as arrogant, egotistical and cold. And that is okay…the guy played guitar on Live At Leeds.
Rated – 3 Stars out of 5
With the announcement of a new Eels album today (Wonderful, Glorious due out February 5th, 2013) it seems like a good idea to offer a song from one of my favorite bands.
On a hot July night in 1992 I went into an even hotter club in Sacramento to see the Rollins Band perform. The club was called The Amazon. It was an all ages dance club that had a jungle theme…banyan trees painted on the wall and a hot humid interior. The minute I made it in I broke into a sweat. It was a small club with some risers along the wall and disco lights hanging from the ceiling. Security was tough getting into the club and I remember a slow moving line to get in even though I was late and the opening band was already on stage. I caught the last couple of songs from TOOL and told myself to check them out as soon as I could.
The Rollins Band were their normal hard rocking selves. I remember a couple of stage divers and that someone stole something off the guitar player’s amp and Rollins asking for it to be returned to no avail. My neighbor at the time, Steve, worked security for the show and I remember Rollins talking about good security and bad security…Rollins was happy with Steve as he just watched the stage and let the kids cut loose. After the show Steve let me hang back as the crowd was ushered out and I got a chance to talk to Rollins about seeing Black Flag in Lubbock 10 years earlier. To my surprise he remembered the name of both venues that they played. I ended the quick conversation with telling Henry that it was good to see him again.
Steve gave me these photographs, but I don’t know who took them. So a big thank you to the unknown photographer…
Jazz. I am sad to say it is not a genre of music I am very familiar with. Oh, I know the big boys…Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Monk…but after that I am pretty lost. When I ran across this book I had only vaguely heard the name Art Pepper (I knew he was a horn player but that was it) and I am not sure why I even decided to read it. I am glad I stumbled across it. This book is riveting. Laurie Pepper (Art’s third wife) wrote it out from hours of audio interviews with Art and various people in his life…and what an amazing life it was. Art Pepper may have out Bukowskied Bukowski.
Everyone knows a person (be it a older relative or co-worker or spouse) that talks straight without regard for political correctness or a regard of your perception about them. Art Pepper is one of those people. From his sad childhood, to his life as a touring musician, to heroin addiction, to life as a petty thief, to multiple prison sentences, to living in a cult, to musical rebirth and finally cocaine addiction…this book hides nothing and it does not try to gloss over the ugliness Art created by his compulsions and addictions. It is all laid bare in this book. There is a hard to read passage in the book where Art recalls forcing himself on a woman whom said no to his advances…let’s call it what it is…he raped a girl.
Art’s life is tragic and pathetic. Take this passage where he describes his thoughts after using heroin for the first time…I said, “This is it. This is the only answer for me. If this is what it takes, then this is what I’m going to do, whatever dues I have to pay…” And I knew that I would get busted and I knew that I would go to prison and that I wouldn’t be weak; I wouldn’t be an informer like all the phonies, the no-account, the nonreal, the zero people that roam around, the scum that slither out from under rocks, the people that destroy music, that destroyed this country, that destroy the world, the rotten, fucking, lousy people that for their own little ends – the black power people, the sickening, stinking motherfuckers that play on the fact that they’re black, and all this fucking shit that happened later on – the rotten, no-account, filthy women that have no feeling for anything; they have no love for anyone; they don’t know what love is; they are shallow hulls of nothingness – the whole group of rotten people that have nothing to offer, that are nothing, never will be anything, were never intended to be anything. All I can say is, at that moment I saw that I’d found peace of mind.
Or this as he describes his feelings after taking part in a burglary…I was really strung out but I was just so happy. We’re driving along, and Frank opens the box and says, “Wow!” I look over and I see that there’s just stacks of money. I felt so happy. I had never felt any elation like that before.. It was a feeling of power, a feeling of accomplishment, I really felt like a man. I don’t think I’ve ever been so satisfied with anything I’ve done. I looked at the people on the streets and I thought, “They ain’t nothin’ compared to me! I’m a giant! King Pepper! King Arthur! Mr. Jazz! Mr. Everything!”
His life’s story is one deserving to be made into a movie. Done right it could be a compelling piece of dark cinema. The book is an amazing read. I recommend this book if you like biographies that walk on the dark side of the road. 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
The book is light on insight on Art’s music. The subject is hardly ever touched on. After I finished the book I wanted to hear what Art Pepper sounded like. I ran into a new vinyl disc at a local record store called Neon Art, Volume One on the Omnivore Record label. Two tracks on the record, Red Car (17 minutes) and Blues for Blanche (18 minutes), and I was very impressed with his playing. I am not a jazz expert, but I enjoyed what I heard. Omnivore will be releasing two more volumes in the series all on colored vinyl.
Laurie Pepper runs a website dedicated to Art’s music where you can purchase unreleased music and listen to some free tracks. Click over to Widows Taste Music to explore more.
Check out this documentary on Art. It shows the musical genius of Art and the madness of the same man.
In my post about seeing Black Flag in Lubbock, Texas I mentioned that I got stuff signed by the band…a Rollins book, the setlist and a promotional photo that I had snagged off the wall of the club. When I originally went to post the article I scanned what I had but could not locate that promo photo. I ran across it recently and here it is. An old artifact from twenty-seven years ago…feels like yesterday and so long ago at the same time.
If you missed the original post you can read it by clicking here.