Sunday, June 29, 2008


Y'know that bike I've been waiting for? The one I alluded to in my last post so aptly titled "hot fun in the summertime"? The one I've been surfing the net reading about until I got to know it as well as it's manufacturers, getting into the "bike groove" searching for pictures of vintage bikes like the ones I had throughout my childhood, looking for boss accessories to enhance my biking experience...Well - I don't have it. The store - which, by the way, initially made quite an impression on me with its knowledgeable and friendly staff, their "hey-I'm-almost-white, dude" black staffers, their stock of really gassy rides and spiffy bells, seats, carriers and all the other crap they could've talked me into buying - well they dropped the ball completely. Customer service: zero. I was waiting for delivery from another shop. I had to call to see if it came in, every day, for three days. Then I had to call, for two days, to see if it was assembled & ready for pick-up. Then I had to call, again for two days, to see if the paint job that was botched would a)reduce the price and if so, I was OK with that, or b)when Electra - YEAH THAT'S RIGHT ELECTRA BIKES THE MAKERS OF MY "TOWNIE 3" (in red) - would get another bike to them. They never - NEVER - made any effort during any of this. And to top it off, every time I was talking to them, they asked if I was calling about MY WIFE'S BIKE WHICH WAS SITTING IN THE GARAGE!!! Needless to say I had to "pull Mr. Prick out of the box", which I don't really like doing because the older I get the more comfortable I get doing that which actually makes me more un-comfortable but hey I'm keeping it real.


Anyway, Saturday night I'm out with my brother-in-law (etc. but that's not the point) and I tell him I'm getting a new bike (ahem), and he says, "yeah, I got one, too - ever hear of a "Townie"? I went wacky!

I hope it snows.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hot Fun In The Summertime

I am just so ... summerized! I feel summer every living moment of every day! Summer is running through my veins like a coppertone & lime drip! June is ending, so there's no turning back, summer is upon us. I'm going on a mini-vacation next week (big-ass one in the fall), which besides seeing family will spotlight rock & roll (much bitching and eye-rolling I'm sure), I'm waiting for the delivery of a brand-spankin' new bike (red!!!), I've re-activated my dj skills in my basement (and I'm rockin'!), and I still have things to look forward to:

- my first mojito of the summer
- my first grown-up cigar of the summer (not the tiparellos I usually smoke)
- my first swim of the summer
- my first shut-off notice of the summer

I could go on & on (well maybe not, I've done a lot already). Summer is such a wonderful time, it's funny how we fuss over what amounts to about two months time. But there are so many small rewards during this season:

- morning commutes without school buses or moms dropping Dylan and Bethany off at school
- corn on the cob
- mojitos
- shades
- some (some, mind) groovy tunes that make you wanna eat a popsicle on the sand
- icy cold red stripe (yes mon!)
- sandals & shorts & t-shirts & bare feet
- open windows & doors
- water becomes a major player
- sunstroke
- mojitos
- baseball (yeah, I dig it now & then)
- the freaks come out at night (like I'd know, mr. suburbia)
- mojitos

Gee it all sounds so wonderful! It's too bad people are losing their jobs left & right, and that gas prices are at an all-time high, and that we lose a little more of our human rights with each tick of the clock.

But at least it's SUMMER!

Monday, June 23, 2008

What Did I Tell You?

Now maybe you'll start taking me seriously.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I better start getting more readers & comments or Fido gets it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Soul Power

The title has nothing to do with this post (at this point); it's just that I was listening to "Double Barrel" by Dave Barker & Ansell Collins, a fantastic rocksteady scorcher from late 60s JA (did I squeeze in enough superlatives?), and one of Dave's toss-in remarks was "soul power!" So it hit - and stuck with - me.

Which reminds me: ever go to the "Roots Rock Reggae" website?

You can listen to classic reggae all day & nite, with no interruptions. And it's none of the present-day crap that is so damn dire & US (read hippity-hoppity)-influenced. So it's non-stop ska, rocksteady, dub, rockers, lovers rock ... turn it up loud & open a Red Stripe: it's HOT in here!

As the kids all know, summer has its own soundtrack, and it's all very feel-good. splashy-splashy and breezy-cool (daytime) or sticky-hot (darktime). I discount it the rest of the year, but as the weather warms up I (slightly) embrace that leisure-based playlist. I can even tolerate Brian Wilson's beachy crap. And, to be sure, Jamaican music is an absolute must in the summertime.

I don't wanna write anymore. I wanna wriggle my toes in the sand.

Friday, June 13, 2008

! ! ! ? ! ? ? ! ! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!

I love exclamation points! They make a common statement into something of world import! Just look at the following example:

Bless me father for I have sinned.
Bless me father for I have sinned!
And when you add italics & boldness, it really sings:
Bless me father for I have sinned !

YEAH!! That's what I'm talkin' about! Who is that speaking? Manson? OJ? Cheney? Bill O'Reilly? Me??? YOW!!!!!

I had noticed while deciding to post another rip-snorter that all of the titles of my June postings so far had exclamation points! As today's teens say, Exclamation points rule!

Now on the other side of the coin, there are so many people I come in contact with that talk in what I call upspeak. I don't know what the actual term for this is, maybe "non-committal class-based arrogance", but I think it was perpetrated by the media. It's probably been around forever, but I seem to remember it taking a very noticeable place in the queue of life back in the '80s, so we'll blame it on Thirtysomething.
I have a co-worker that is an incessant upspeaker. It goes a little something like this:

"I'll be right back? I'm going to the ladies room?"

Bitch, how the f%*k do I know?

When it's used in making a point, it takes on a very real "you're kinda stupid? so I'll tell you this in a non-threatening tone? and maybe it will seep into your 'I-don't-use-a-pda' psyche?"


"This needs to be reviewed for errors? Because Mr. Jones has an important meeting in an hour?"

it's like explaining to a child: "blah blah blah blah - oohhhh-kaaaay? and maybe you'll get a cookie, mmm-kaaaay?""

If you realize you're doing this, and now you're catching yourself & your shit is all off & you're cursing me, then my job is done!
Oh yeah, by the way: a word about that photo at the top? Yes, that one? Aren't they special!!!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hey Lookit Me! Eat My Royal Shorts!

Well, I'm going through another uninspired phase. Just give me a minute ...

Nope, not quite yet ...

Oh, alright, this seems kinda thin, and rather cheap shottish, but here goes:

If I see one more aging celeb with POINTED HAIR I'll learn how to pull a trigger. Yeah, I'm talking to YOU, Bono! I saw that hair on Travis' drummer in 1999! And those tinted glasses that you probably stole from your kid, act your age! And to top it off, his Gallic mug throwing peace signs with Africans, like he's Audrey Hepburn! Hate is a strong word, but on him it looks good!

And then there's Junior League millionaire-cum-Bono understudy Chris Martin from Coldplay, on the cover of Rolling Stone sporting the latest rockwear from Make Trade Fair clothiers. (it's a joke, don't wear your googler out)

And then I see a photo of Macca & Yoko front & center at a Stella McCartney fashion show. He of the boiled-egg puss, and her still flaunting those 40-long cans of hers like she's a Bond girl's granny. I can just imagine their conversation: "You know, Yoko, those are my daughter's creations you're gazing at" "You know, those are my creations you're gazing at". (actually, I had another snappy retort the likes of "those are my husband's creations you're living off of")

The cover of Interview Magazine: "Andy Is 80"! Yeah, and he's still relevant. Just goes to show you, start with stuff that's full of shit & you'll fit right in when everything dumbs down! (all kidding aside, I do admire him)

More Madge-Guy breakup rumors! Guess she's getting tired of him asking for an advance on his allowance all the time. (pay attention, Mariah...)

Who the f&#k is David Cross? Like I said, ...

Four of People's top five stories this week: "Jessica Alba has a baby girl"; "Tori Spelling has a baby girl"; "Angelina's twin pregnancy"; "Sarah Evans wants another baby". Question: what are you gonna do when those shoes go out of style?

Why am I even bothering with this stuff? I need a life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Corpses On Parade!

The number of famous people dying recently has been on the upswing. Of course there's Bo, who I spotlit in the previous post, and film cat Sydney Pollack, and the screamingly funny Harvey Korman, Yves St Laurent, Dick Martin of "Laugh-In" fame (how else might you know who I was talking about?) and Mel "yeah, I nailed Audrey Hepburn" Ferrer. But there's also Jimmy McGriff.

People occasionally confused Jimmy McGriff with Jimmy Smith; both were masters of the Hammond B3 organ, also they were childhood pals, but that wasn't the cause for confusion. It was the Jimmy/organ thing. This also happened with Lonnie 'Liston' Smith & 'Dr.' Lonnie Smith, also both jazzbos! And both keyboard players!! (while 'Liston' is strictly piano, the Dr. is strictly Hammond B3) (also I don't believe these last two were kidpals). True story: once in a record shop I inquired of the store manager about a certain lp by Charlie Parker, and she (who, by the way, was very VERY keen on the then-just-released lp "Boy" by U2 - haw haw haw!!) replied, "oh yeah, ol' Charlie Bird". And of course I immediately corrected her with "no, it's Charlie PARKER." She thought I was just being smarmy, but in actuality there IS a jazz guitarist named Charlie BYRD, and unless you spelled it out how would you know the difference in a conversation. They are NOWHERES NEAR similarityville. Just connected by the slightest thread of jazz-ism. (ps - Byrd is yawnsville IMHO, while Bird is god). Yeah, this is the same person that told a customer over the phone to come in & ask for her: "I'll be wearing black. I ALWAYS wear black." Whadda simp! So Jazz can be confusing, I guess.

So anyway, McGriff had a smokin' actual HIT with a two-part instro version of Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman" in about 1962. It is danceable, has a great beat, and just kicks right down the line. He also had another not-quite-so-big notable called "All About My Gal".

That was it for hits. He played with David "Fathead" Newman, Junior Parker, Buddy Rich, and even Dr Lonnie Smith!! He recorded a bunch of stuff that in recent years have become valuable to those who search out the rare groove/jazz breakbeat stuff from the 60s & 70s. Hey, it's groove-heavy B3, how can you go wrong?

So heaven must be a groovy place today, what with Bo Diddley's beat & Jimmy McGriff's groove, and Harvey Korman frugging in a dress at one of them Laugh-in type parties hosted by Dick Martin.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Go Bo Diddley!

Gauche plaid dinner jackets. Heavy horn-rimmed glasses. Rectangular guitars. Big lumbering Bo Diddley is gone at 79.

you shoulda heard just what I seen...

My first exposure to Bo Diddley was in 1959: "Say Man" was a "dozens" showdown between Bo & his maracas shaker Jerome Green. That was the only Bo Diddley single I owned until 1970, when I bought his first single "Bo Diddley"/"I'm A Man" at an electronics shop, just like in the old days (errata: that same night I saw The Who for the first and last time). And that summer I bought "Say Man Back Again" which unsuccessfully revisited the same format of the original.

you so ugly that the stork that brought you in the world oughta be arrested...

I was gonna rattle off all of the British Invasion groups that brought Bo to a new audience (beat group fans were not necessarily the same as "golden age" fans), but what do you care? Needless to say, a lot of people picked up on him. Maybe it was his basic "shave-and-a-haircut-2-bits" signature beat which he claimed was discovered by mistake when he tried to play the marching drumbeat of "Yellow Rose Of Texas".

I look like a farmer but I'm a lover...

He toured with The Clash in 1980. He made his own guitars. He was so bad he had not one but numerous songs named after himself - the aforementioned "Bo Diddley", "Hey! Bo Diddley", "Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger", "The Story Of Bo Diddley", "Diddley Daddy" (backed up by The Moonglows)... there are probably more. His backup guitarist was called "The Duchess", and she died a year or two ago. And Jerome went quite awhile back. So obviously I'm figuring they'll start up again soon.

I'm a roadrunner honey, and you can't keep up with me...

When they say "play that Bo Diddley beat..." everyone knows what that means. Another originator is gone.