Tag Archives: Andy Peters

Heart of Gold

It’s a cool Saturday night. Been an alright kind of day. Somewhat busy with things like laundry. Last night wasn’t anything special. Which was fine. It had been an up and down kid of week and I’m glad it’s over. Whatever happened, happened.

It’s all in the past. It was good to have Bill around. He’s so supportive, I can only hope I am that way for him. He claims I’m so easy to love. That’s something that throws me for a loop. I’m grateful though. With the way things have been lately, I would have said I was difficult to love.

But I’m not going to disagree and I usually keep my mouth shut when he says that I’m so easy to love.

We watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent which made up for the fact that we missed the episode broadcast last night. It was a good one, with Chris Noth as the main detective and Julianne Nicholson, about a closeted fireman who was murdered. Bill and I had seen it a few times and I didn’t mind much, it was that good an episode.

Bill ordered a new sleep apnea mask which was a size too small which was upsetting for both of us. I convinced him to open the package a few hours before bedtime which is when he noticed it was too small. Better to find out then, rather than right before he was going to sleep.

So Bill had to use the old mask which by the time I went to sleep last night was making sounds like a muted trombone. That wasn’t so bad to fall asleep to. It certainly was better than his snoring.

Bill was up and active by the time I got out of bed. He also bought bagels and the paper for me. He was cleaning up while I ate breakfast. After that I did some laundry. Decided to head out this afternoon, with my guitar.

Since last Sunday was the dipping of my toe in the waters of busking and the fact that today was a nice day weather-wise, it seemed like the thing to do. Bill was getting ready for a nap when I was getting ready, and when I told him my plans, he was very excited.

He’s driving down to Atlantic City again and won’t be back until the morning.

I got some guitar chords together, written on post its as well as sheets of chords that I’ve downloaded over the years. The Smiths, some Rolling Stones. An Elton John song, Hercules and a song by The Roches, Losing You. The Roches song was too delicate for outside and perhaps too obscure.

When you’re busking you have to play songs that people recognize.

I stopped by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Jim Mastro and he was also excited that I was out playing the guitar. I walked over to the spot by Pier A where Tim and Tariq were playing last Sunday and there they were again.

They were happy to see me and liked the sound of my guitar playing. Did what I could with regards to playing with Tim. Tariq fancies himself more of a percussionist, but Tim knows a lot of songs so I just tried to follow him as he played.

Tim had a buddy of his hanging out and had been playing a while. His fingers were getting cold so he split. He made a couple of dollars. Tariq was off talking to someone and a guy named Richard came up and started playing Tariq’s guitar.

Richard taught me some Blues chords structure and I have to admit that I didn’t really know that much about the blues. Richard reassured me, telling me not to worry, most blues songs are only three chords and I wound up playing a three chord blues for about 15 minutes.

Obviously my fingers weren’t bothering me too much. It was fun to play and I was out there for a couple of hours which was the longest I’ve played guitar for a long time. Another week, playing outside in the fresh air.

Richard split and Tariq and I walked up Washington Street, he was headed to his studio and I was off to McSwells. Andy Peters, Super nice guy and ace sound engineer was in town for the Feelies show tonight. They’re performing their first album Crazy Rhythms tonight. I needed to find out about the set up for when I DJ there next month on the 13th, for a benefit.

It was a brief visit. The Feelies were getting ready to sound check for their sold out show. Met the sound guy Carson and he will be doing the sound for the benefit. I just have to buy a cable since I’m not lugging around CD’s or vinyl. It’s all in the iPods.

On the way home I had the Elton John song Hercules in my head so I walked by my apartment building and sat in Church Square Park for a little while playing some more in the evening. I’m getting back into playing guitar and that’s pretty exciting. Practice practice practice!

I might even go to Tariq’s studio and jam with him and his friends tomorrow afternoon. I’ll let you know.

My Boyfriend

I’ve been showing restraint lately. When commenting on various websites or even Facebook, I start to write, then I think, ‘Is this worth it? Do I want to continue this line of thought and further antagonize people?’ Then I realize that I don’t.

Case in point, on Facebook, Andy Peters, former sound man at McSwells, now in Arizona commented on how can anyone take John McCain seriously especially with economic matters, then mentions the Keating Five. Good on Andy.

I commented, ‘Gerroff my lawn you kids!’ and then someone mentioned that it’s time for McCain to retire, calling him a war hero. I was about to write, ‘How is McCain a war hero? Former POW, yes, but war hero?’ That’s when I stopped and decided not to add to the comments.

Just didn’t feel that adding my two cents was worth it. I’ve even stopped commenting so much on the tabloid websites. I still do it from time to time but overall I don’t do it as much as I used to. A lot of people are dumb and stooping down to their level doesn’t do my back any justice.

I just watched a report on Michelle Obama in London and I couldn’t help but smile at how she has the British enthralled, as well as most of the world. She just seems so down to earth. What a lovely couple she and Barack are. A strong unit.

Today was not as busy as it’s been lately. I spoke with both my brothers, Brian and Frank. It was good to speak with both of them. Brian is buying an iTunes gift card for Frank since Frank was able to help Brian and Karen out and chauffeur their son around the other day.

Brian wanted to know if Frank had an iPod and I know he does since I gave him my old iPod a few years ago, fully loaded. I hope he still has it.

I ran an errand this morning and after that wound up in Syms buying two new Ben Sherman skinny ties on sale. Tomorrow I’m going to the United Nations. An old friend, Jon Fried from the Cucumbers is involved with a group called Sing Out SOS which has to do with autism.

He invited me, and since I work only a few blocks from the UN, I accepted. It’s after work and I wanted to look bangin’ hence the new ties. I haven’t been to the UN or at least inside the UN since the 1960’s I think.

I haven’t seen Jon Fried in about five years. Last time was at Rutgers University where my niece Meghan was running the NJ Folk Festival. Jon’s wife Deena Shoskes was performing at it and they were nice enough to give Bill and I a ride back to the train station. That was different than the last time they gave me a ride home.

It was in the 1990’s and I ran into them at the Knitting Factory where my dear friend Jane Scarpantoni was playing. It was a bit late and I was downtown. I knew they were headed back to NJ and I might have asked Deena who said no. Then I asked Jon who said, ‘of course’.

Oh what an uncomfortable ride that was. Deena in the back seat shooting daggers with her eyes at me with such intensity it was palpable. To her credit, it was one of the rare moments where they were able to be away from their sons and here am I, the big goof in the front seat cutting into some heavy petting and necking I guess.

For the ride to the train station, Bill and I were in the back seat doing some heavy petting and necking.

Raised Eyebrows

Well it was a fun time last night. I left here after posting and I hardly ever go out, much less on a Monday night. I walked up Washington Street towards McSwells enjoying the evening and listening to Girl Talk. I downloaded one continuous track so if I want to get to a certain mix, I have to remember the time in the track and shuffle the cursor to the proper point. I got to McSwells a little after 8:00.

Saw Rob Norris and Frank Giannini having dinner with 2 friends of theirs. They waved to me through the window as I walked and I stopped by their table and said hello. No sign of brother Frank who’s almost always late. Looking for parking could be a chore so his being tardy was easily forgiven. I got myself a Stella Artois and sat in the lounge area where the big stupid kettles used to be. People were meeting up with friends and family, I sat there eagle eyed for Frank.

As I stepped out for a smoke, I ran into Ira Kaplan in the restaurant, who mentioned my letter in Mojo Magazine from a month or so ago. It seems he was on tour and reading the magazine and laughed when he saw my letter from Hoboken. We chatted for a few minutes, then he went to catch up with other people I headed outside. Andy Peters, former sound man at McSwells back in the day followed me out.

Andy is such a sweetheart. He always was. We caught up on what we were each doing. He took my picture, so I took his. Andy is married, lives in Phoenix and just became a dad 3 weeks ago. His wife, who is so understanding, let him come back east to do the sound at McSwells as well as the big Battery Park show.

Andy has always been a nice guy, back in 1991 he would offer to drive me back to Lodi when I was living with my father for those three agonizing months. He didn’t live anywhere near Lodi. He just couldn’t stand to see me ride into the city to get a bus out of the city. I’ll never forget that.

Jim DeRogatis was there. He writes about music for the Chicago Sun Times. He was with his wife. Jim Testa of Jersey Beat was there and so was Mike Carlucci, formerly of Winter Hours. Mike used to be my guitar teacher, so if any one should be blamed for my guitar playing, talk to him.

Frank showed up and we were chatting in a corner when all of a sudden I was accosted by Meghan Taylor Mastro, still the funniest woman alive.

I love her so much as most everyone who comes in contact with her does. Her husband, my pal, Jim Mastro was there of course. Richard Barone too. It seemed every time I would turn around, another face from the past was there in my line of vision.

I said hello to Brenda and Stan from the Feelies who were both warm and happy to see me. Frank was doing well, holding his own and mingling with various people, no need for me to hover in case he gets stuck on something. It’s the worrier in me I guess. Just keeping an eye on him.

I talked to Georgia Hubley, drummer for Yo La Tengo and also Ira’s wife. I congratulated them for being part of Girl Talk’s latest. They heard about it, but haven’t heard it. Ira mentioned he talked to his publisher about any infringement but it seems Greg Gillis knows the ins and outs of free use and copyrights.

I told Ira and Georgia not to sweat it, they now have street cred. We had a good chuckle about that and I reassured him that he might not get songwriting credit per se, but the fact that Yo La Tengo was mentioned in the 4 star Rolling Stone review should be credit enough. Plus now the kids might know who Yo La Tengo is.

The Feelies soon came on, Frank was in the crowd, Meghan, Jim and myself hung near the back. I saw Bob Lawton who I hadn’t seen in ages, just waved to each other as he walked by. Barre Duryea was road manager for the Feelies and he too mentioned my letter in Mojo. It wasn’t too crowded as it was an invitation only show.

I found myself standing next to an older woman who turned out to be Brenda’s mother. She was very proud of her daughter playing bass and mentioned that it seems the Feelies might have some more life in them yet. I told her she had every reason to be proud of Brenda and that the Feelies got better when she joined. Alice Genese was there as well and she always looks good and it’s always good to see her. Scott Harbison too, not drinking even.

I was being snarky throughout the show, telling Meghan that the Feelies were masters of the slow fade out as they slowly faded out. It was a good show and a really fun time. Jim and Meghan and Frank and myself left at the same time, walking down Washington Street parting ways at Eighth, me walking Frank to his car and directing him out of a tight parking spot.

It was so good that I’m going to check them out on the Fourth of July with Sonic Youth.

The Feelies then

From left, Anton Fier, Bill Million, Glenn Mercer and Keith DeNunzio

The Feelies now (from the NY Times)

From left, Dave Weckerman, Brenda Sauter, Stan Demeski, Glenn Mercer and Bill Million.

Andy Peters, sound man extraordinaire

Meghan and Jim

Me and Meghan

Mercer and Million

Away by Albert Rossington

Raised Eyebrows by goggles2

Paint it Black by Albert Rossington

Excellent article in the New York Times today, cut n’ paste:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/arts/music/01feel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin