Tag Archives: Jane Scarpantoni

I Only Said

I went out. On a Friday night. Not much to anyone really but I hardly ever go out these days. I took my time getting it together, not 100% sure if I was going out. I told Rand about it and he seemed ambivalent and then yesterday he told me he was staying in. No bother, I readied myself and was soon on the street. In the back of my mind I kept trying to talk myself out of going but as that was going on, I continued walking, one step after another and I enjoyed a cigar as I walked to the Path train.

Crossing Hudson Street, a jogger ran past me and instead of the usual complaint or look of disdain, the jogger said, ‘Even though I am running, that smells nice’ and I smiled at her as she kept on running. With Halloween on Wednesday this year and with the possibility that it might be canceled, there were a lot of people all going out in costume, headed to parties and bars. I of course was not one of them. I lucked out and when I got to the Path train, I was the last one on before the doors closed and found a seat.

The show was nice, it was certainly good to see Jane again and it was over within an hour. We were able to catch up only for a few minutes before Jane had to leave with the band to store their instruments. She couldn’t hang out today either since it was rehearsal before another gig tonight. Still, I was glad to spend whatever time I could get with her since I hadn’t seen her in a few years. I walked back across the East Village, to the Path train which departed as soon as I got to the turnstile.

It was a brief wait and I was back on the mainland in no time. Plenty of parties and party goers on the street since it was Halloween weekend. I watched some TV before heading off to bed, sleeping uneasily once again since Bill was not around.

I woke up with the alarm clock this morning and set about starting my day. I entered my name for a chance to attend a listening party for the latest Brian Eno release and the other day I found out I made the cut. I had a Plus One and since Bill was driving I asked Chaz to come with me. Chaz has taken me to things like this in the past and it was good to take him along this time. Notoriously we went to a god awful early screening of Howard the Duck in the 1980’s.

Since I wanted this to be a surprise I told him we were going to see the restored version of Howard the Duck. Chaz and I met up in Hoboken and took the bus in. We walked up Ninth Avenue to the Church of All Nations, where the listening party was going on. We were probably fourth and fifth in line. We sat in the church, in chairs not pews, perhaps because it was a Lutheran church, no gold, no glitz, no glamor.

The music started at 1:00 and it was nice chill out music, like the music that Brian Eno has been doing lately. Apparently it’s one piece in four sections. The type of music that would be played in Weehawken late at night, just hanging out and talking with William and Julio. The other people attending took it so seriously, sitting eyes closed. I mentioned to Chaz afterwards that if I closed my eyes I would likely be fast asleep in no time. The new release is called ‘Lux’ and I’ve been saying that he named it after the late lead singer of the Cramps.

75 minutes later it was over. It was pleasant and I will probably buy it when it comes out. Chaz and I walked around Columbus Circle, hoping to see the installation at the Columbus statue but not wanting to wait 30 minutes, we moved on with Chaz telling stories about meeting Marc Bolan here, David Bowie there. Chaz has been an active fan since the early 1970’s and has seen a lot of shows and acts and has the ticket stubs to each and every show as well as set lists for all of the above.

A walk to the Path train once again, this time quite crowded. I got off in Hoboken and Chaz continued to Jersey City. That’s basically the day. Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again, the Frankenstorm approaches. I haven’t been to the supermarket but from what I heard the shelves have been wiped out. I may still go to see what I can get though we do have enough, one can’t be too sure.

Chris Stamey, Andriana Markano & Jane Scarpantoni


10 Taking Tiger Mountain

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.

Good Times, Bad Times

Yes, yes another late post. Yes I know, but I have a good excuse. I just got back from a really good party, one of the best parties I’d been to in a while. Bill was with me, as was Rand and Lisa, and Lois. It was at John and Donna Hamilton’s apartment in Chelsea, a surprise party for John which turns out wasn’t that much of a surprise.

John and Donna’s wonderful boys were there of course, Jasper and Henry. Jane Scarpantoni was there and it’s always great to see her, and Steve Saporito was there as well. It was fun to see Steve after all this time, seeing him fleetingly last May at the Wire concert at South Street Seaport was nice, but this was a chance to reconnect and it went well.

He’s still a good guy, whatever crazy feeling there were are all water under the bridge. Dave from Tiny Lights, John and Donna’s old band was there as well.

It turned into a hootenanny of sorts, started out with Bill at the piano. He started with Knocks Me Off My feet by Stevie Wonder, then I Believe In You & Me by the Four Tops and then Picture In A Frame by Tom Waits, all songs that go straight to my ever lovin’ heart. Then John brought out his 1953 Gibson guitar. Beautiful thing it is.

Songs started pouring forth. Bob Bert, drummer extraordinaire was there and soon he was playing a snare and bass drum, hi hat and cymbal, Bill on piano, Dave on a cello picking out bass notes and occasionally scraping the bow, and Rand on a trombone belonging to Jasper.

We were all singing Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, a wide range of songs most of us grew up listening to and knew by heart. You Can’t Always Get What You Want inspired a dueling Jagger situation with Lois and myself competing, back of hands on hips, shaking index fingers in front of each other.

Oh it was a blast, followed by Honky Tonk Women. I really haven’t had that good a time in a while. Just connecting with friends from over a couple of decades, and singing and rinking wine. Nary a bad or harsh word was said about anyone. All very comfy and cozy.

John and Donna’s boys are something else. Jasper the oldest did the artwork for his father’s book and Henry at age 5 wrote 2 books himself. We had a little chat about the books, one was titled the Spy Family and it was a nice bound book with story and art by the author. These 2 boys, brought up by such loving and creative parents, the world will be at their feet soon enough.

Bob Bert eventually left and I had the nerve to pick up the brushes and played some drums accompanying John and Dave on a few songs, my personal highlight was getting the drum fills right on Ticket to Ride. That was a high water mark in my life that I probably wouldn’t have done if Bob was still there.

He’s a real drummer, I’m just a geezer who wanted to give it a go. I think I did well, I certainly fished around for feedback on my playing and it was generally good feedback.

I even had a chance to play John’s guitar, rumored to cost $10,000. I did my best on that throwing off Maybe I’m Amazed as well as Kansas City or maybe it was For You Blue. I was playing Kansas City, Lois was singing For You Blue.

Then as things quited down I tried to figure out how to play Hallelujah, the Rufus Wainwright version of the Leonard Cohen song. Didn’t get far on that, but that was ok.

And as all good parties go, it had to end. Around 8:00 it was time to go, Donna had to get Henry ready for bed, Jane had to get back to Woodstock and Rand, Lisa, Lois and myself back to Hoboken.

I told John and Donna a few times that I couldn’t remember such a good party like theirs and I wasn’t lying. It was a blast for all concerned, a welcome respite from life’s troubles.

Here are some pics. More on Facebook.

Rand. Lois. Lisa.

Rand. Lois. Lisa.

Greg, Richard (?) Bill, Bob Bert

Greg, Richard (?) Bill, Bob Bert

JOhn Hamilton in one of several attempts to blow out the candles on his birthday cake

JOhn Hamilton in one of several attempts to blow out the candles on his birthday cake

John, Donna, Dave, Jane and Bill

John, Donna, Dave, Jane and Bill

Lisa, Me, Lois and Jane

Lisa, Me, Lois and Jane