Tag Archives: John Lennon

I’m Losing You

Once again, not much happened today and it was good. It’s been a day off today and I really don’t have much to write about and since today is the dreadful anniversary of John Lennon’s murder I thought I would republish an entry from 5 6 years ago. It’s a little all over the place but it is from the heart.

Old Dirt Road
Thursday, December 8th, 2005

I used to belong to a bowling league in 1980. Monday nights I’d bowl with the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich teams. I surprisingly was the captain of one. I had my own ball, shoes, and bag. The whole kit and kaboodle, wrist guard etc. I was all pretty much straight edge, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke weed. Smoked the butts though, but 25 years ago, a lot of other people did too.

I think I had a bowling average of about 142. That decreased when I started drinking and drugging. The fun increased, the sportsmanship didn’t. But that was a year or so later. I had some pretty good friends on the scene, Bill Wrice, Derry Pedovitch, John Carroll, Ida Sammartino. Ida was as old as my mother. This was her activity to get out of the house on her own. My mother did that at some point. I used to go with her and my brother, Brian on those Monday nights.

Mom and Brian eventually stopped bowling for HBJ. Mom stopped totally, and Brian bowled for the place where he was working then. I would play with various other kids while Mom and Brian bowled, that was around 1974. Elton was super big and John Lennon had a hit single with ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night’ featuring Elton on piano and vocals.

So 6 years later, I’m bowling at Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park. My friend Derry and I had an extracurricular job with HBJ. We had to clear out a warehouse in Moonachie. When we were going back to Saddle Brook after a days clearing out, we had the radio on, and John Lennon’s first single in 5 years had just came out. Perry and I were big Beatle fans. He liked Paul, I leaned towards John. I liked the name. We were excited because we heard that Cheap Trick was backing him up on his new record and that would probably sound amazing.

What we heard was not Cheap Trick. Not much of an edge. I liked it, but most of the other music that I had been listening to was edgy, and I expected the edgy John Lennon of the Beatles. Or even of the 70’s. But it was a new decade, and he had a new voice and I loved him even more for it.

I grew up in a house of music. My parents and my brothers and sister all loved music. I credit Frank, Annemarie and Brian for turning me onto some really cool things that bring memories in a cascading wave. Frank and Annemarie were more aware of things when the Beatles conquered the States. Brian was seven, and I was two. I was preoccupied with shoving objects up my nose.

One of my earliest musical memories is of being freaked out by the ending of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. I remember Frank playing the single to me in his room and then when the psychedelic ending came up, he turned out the lights. Freaked me the fuck out.

Eventually the 1970’s happened. I was growing up and finding my own kind of music. Elton, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Dickie Goodman, Curtis Mayfield, Carly Simon. The Beatles were working into my DNA. I liked the solo stuff. Paul’s ‘Band on the Run’ was the first album I ever bought with my own money. Couldn’t wrap my head around John’s records, but I dug his singles. 1973 is summed up for me by George’s ‘Give Me Love’ and Ringo’s ‘You’re Sixteen’, being driven to Lodi Summer Recreation by Sharon Iwanicki in her orange Volkswagen beetle.

In 1976 my brother Frank told me he was going to take me to see the fireworks for the Fourth of July on the Hudson River. The original plan was for my father to take all of us to the World Trade Center and see them from his office, but he heard the city would be overrun with gangs from out of ‘The Warriors’ or ‘Escape from New York’, or worse yet, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

So we celebrated the Bicentennial in Lodi. Frank and Elaine were going to Fort Lee. Turns out it was an adult party and I wasn’t allowed to go. So I went with Brian and his friend Eddie Austeri and tried watching the fireworks through the back window of Brian’s car on River Road in Cliffside Park. Not much to see there, move on.

The next day, Frank, (fried and hung over Frank), felt guilty and gave me a copy of ‘Abbey Road’. The doors were open again and I was enchanted. From ‘Come Together’ to ‘Her Majesty’ I was reborn as a Beatles fan. Both Frank and Annemarie had some records that they hadn’t played in a long time and I eventually incorporated into my record collection.

I started buying anything Beatles I could get my hands on that Frank and Annemarie didn’t have. I also found some old prints of the Beatles from 1964. My room was starting to become a shrine to the Fabs. I collected magazines, books, the solo records, posters. When I started working the collection of records, not just Beatles mind you, Punk and New Wave was coinciding.

Though I subscribed to the Punk ethos of everything old sucked, the Beatles were untouchable in that respect. John had retired by then though and after 1975 he took a well deserved break. I tried keeping in touch with him though.

For his Birthday, I’d send a card. Addressed as

John Lennon
New York City, N.Y.

And I’d always put a return address in the proper place so I would get it back if it wasn’t delivered. I never got any back. I would write and wish him a Happy Birthday or a Merry Christmas and let him know that if he was ever in Lodi, he could always stop by and hang out if he wanted to.

But I guess he was busy with the washing and the kid and all. He might have preferred Rochelle Park.

Derry and I eventually found out that it wasn’t Cheap Trick backing John on the single. We found out when we bought ‘Double Fantasy’. No mention of Rick Nielsen or Bun E. Carlos. I remember when I was shanghaied to the Mudd Club in November 1980 I heard the B-side to ‘Starting Over’, Yoko’s ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss’. So that’s where the edge was. In Yoko’s stuff. I never had a problem with Yoko. I saw her sing ‘Who Has Seen the Wind’ on the Mike Douglas Show and thought she was great.

I had gone to midnight showings of ‘Let It Be’ and whenever Yoko was on screen, people would hiss. I didn’t. I loved John and if he was happy with Yoko, then so was I. I was probably one of the dozens of people that played ‘Double Fantasy’ from start to finish. It was a good album, but nowhere near Talking Heads ‘Remain In Light’ or the B-52’s ‘Wild Planet’.

After bowling that Monday night in December, on my way home, I stopped off at the 711 and bought a copy of Playboy Magazine. Major interview with John and Yoko inside. I heard there were pictures of naked women in the magazine, but I don’t recall seeing any.

I got home and settled into my room while my parents were downstairs watching Monday Night Football.

I was laying on my bed, actually reading Playboy when my mother yelled upstairs, that Howard Cosell said that John Lennon was shot in New York. I figured, he had a gun and was cleaning it and shot himself in the foot. The Beatles still grabbed headlines, even caused Howard Cosell to say that John Lennon was shot cleaning his gun.

I didn’t really worry about it. I figured he lost his little piggy. I continued reading Playboy, reading John’s words.

My mother yelled upstairs a little while later. “Howard Cosell just said that John Lennon’s dead”. No way. Impossible. It’s not in my script. No, he’s going to live to be an old man. I will see him in concert. I will perhaps meet him. Perhaps he’ll show up in Lodi. Hey it could happen. Anything could happen. Anything but this.

This was wrong. I turned on the radio. Vin Scelsa was on, talking, and sounded like he was crying. What the fuck? People were calling in, crying. Beatles songs were playing. Lennon songs were playing. I sat next to the radio for a few hours waiting to hear that it was all a hoax. I was shaken, but still harbored the belief that it was for publicity.

Oh that crazy John and Yoko. What will they do next?

I woke up a few hours later and got ready for work. My mother listened to WNEW 1130AM. They played the songs she liked mainly, Sinatra, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Andy Williams. Today they were playing the Beatles. The newspapers were on the table, nasty headlines. John Lennon Shot. Pass the sugar.

I was gutted. Shock. I somehow got to work, but could barely function. I was driving a forklift then, picking orders. I preferred that to College. But I kept breaking down, having crying jags.

Little did I know that this would be the first of several truly horrible moments that would occur in my life.

I couldn’t stop crying. The dream of a Beatles reunion was dashed forever, but I just felt so bad for Yoko and Sean. A brutal murder on your own doorstep. I shut myself off from the world and just kept playing the Fabs and Lennon over and over.

A day or so later, my brother Frank was coming over for dinner. I heard him come in and started walking downstairs to see him. He looked up at me and asked how I was doing. Bam! Instant crying, all over again. My brother Brian had gotten quite tired of it and let into Frank for bringing up John Lennon’s death again. Like it was never going to be mentioned again.

The following Sunday, six days after John’s murder there was a vigil in Central Park by the band shell. Me and a few friends (Derry Pedovitch, Annie Carroll, Bill Wrice) caught the bus to the city and trekked up to the park. There were thousands of people. We walked by the Dakota and then into the park. There was a long moment of silence ended by the playing of ‘All You Need is Love’. Or maybe it was ‘Imagine’. I’m putting my money on the former.

The crowd dispersed, we straggled back to the Port Authority, to the bus and to our cars. I continued listening to Beatles/Lennon stuff for quite a few weeks.

In February 1981, Derry and I went to the Meadowlands Hilton for the Beatle-Fest. That was scary. Hundreds of people whose lives revolved around the Beatles. People that listen to the Beatles more than the Beatles did. “Let’s give a big cheer for John Lennon” Hurrah. Too corny for me. I, at least listened to other music. I loved the Beatles but I loved other things too. I think my grieving period ended that weekend.

I did become more active about Gun Control, and John’s message of love and peace is still needed today. I do miss John. I miss George too, and I miss a lot of people and I am grateful for the ones that are still here and aren’t hiding.

Give Peace a Chance

G’oo g’oo g’joob

I Can’t Believe I’m Losing You

Not much happened today and it was good. I’m tired, getting up early and all that doesn’t work well for me. I really don’t have much to write about and since today is the dreadful anniversary of John Lennon’s murder I thought I would republish an entry from 5 6 years ago. It’s a little all over the place but it is from the heart.

Old Dirt Road
Thursday, December 8th, 2005

I used to belong to a bowling league in 1980. Monday nights I’d bowl with the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich teams. I surprisingly was the captain of one. I had my own ball, shoes, and bag. The whole kit and kaboodle, wrist guard etc. I was all pretty much straight edge, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke weed. Smoked the butts though, but 25 years ago, a lot of other people did too.

I think I had a bowling average of about 142. That decreased when I started drinking and drugging. The fun increased, the sportsmanship didn’t. But that was a year or so later. I had some pretty good friends on the scene, Bill Wrice, Derry Pedovitch, John Carroll, Ida Sammartino. Ida was as old as my mother. This was her activity to get out of the house on her own. My mother did that at some point. I used to go with her and my brother, Brian on those Monday nights.

Mom and Brian eventually stopped bowling for HBJ. Mom stopped totally, and Brian bowled for the place where he was working then. I would play with various other kids while Mom and Brian bowled, that was around 1974. Elton was super big and John Lennon had a hit single with ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night’ featuring Elton on piano and vocals.

So 6 years later, I’m bowling at Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park. My friend Derry and I had an extracurricular job with HBJ. We had to clear out a warehouse in Moonachie. When we were going back to Saddle Brook after a days clearing out, we had the radio on, and John Lennon’s first single in 5 years had just came out. Derry and I were big Beatle fans. He liked Paul, I leaned towards John. I liked the name. We were excited because we heard that Cheap Trick was backing him up on his new record and that would probably sound amazing.

What we heard was not Cheap Trick. Not much of an edge. I liked it, but most of the other music that I had been listening to was edgy, and I expected the edgy John Lennon of the Beatles. Or even of the 70’s. But it was a new decade, and he had a new voice and I loved him even more for it.

I grew up in a house of music. My parents and my brothers and sister all loved music. I credit Frank, Annemarie and Brian for turning me onto some really cool things that bring memories in a cascading wave. Frank and Annemarie were more aware of things when the Beatles conquered the States. Brian was seven, and I was two- preoccupied with shoving objects up my nose.

One of my earliest musical memories is of being freaked out by the ending of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. I remember Frank playing the single to me in his room and then when the psychedelic ending came up, he turned out the lights. Freaked me the fuck out.

Eventually the 1970’s happened. I was growing up and finding my own kind of music. Elton, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Dickie Goodman, Curtis Mayfield, Carly Simon. The Beatles were working into my DNA. I liked the solo stuff. Paul’s ‘Band on the Run’ was the first album I ever bought with my own money. Couldn’t wrap my head around John’s records, but I dug his singles. 1973 is summed up for me by George’s ‘Give Me Love’ and Ringo’s ‘You’re Sixteen’, being driven to Lodi Summer Recreation by Sharon Iwanicki in her orange Volkswagen beetle.

In 1976 my brother Frank told me he was going to take me to see the fireworks for the Fourth of July on the Hudson River. The original plan was for my father to take all of us to the World Trade Center and see them from his office, but he heard the city would be overrun with gangs from out of ‘The Warriors’ or ‘Escape from New York’, or worse yet, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

So we celebrated the Bicentennial in Lodi. Frank and Elaine were going to Fort Lee. Turns out it was an adult party and I wasn’t allowed to go. So I went with Brian and his friend Eddie Austeri and tried watching the fireworks through the back window of Brian’s car on River Road in Cliffside Park. Not much to see there, move on in bumper to bumper traffic.

The next day, Frank, (fried and hung over Frank), felt guilty and gave me a copy of ‘Abbey Road’. The doors were open again and I was enchanted. From ‘Come Together’ to ‘Her Majesty’ I was reborn as a Beatles fan. Both Frank and Annemarie had some records that they hadn’t played in a long time that I eventually incorporated into my record collection.

I started buying anything Beatles I could get my hands on that Frank and Annemarie didn’t have. I also found some old prints of the Beatles from 1964. My room was starting to become a shrine to the Fabs. I collected magazines, books, the solo records, posters. When I started working, I started a serious collection of records, not just Beatles mind you, Punk and New Wave was happening and new fantastic things were coming out every week.

Though I subscribed to the Punk ethos of everything old sucked, the Beatles were untouchable in that respect. John had retired by then though and after 1975 he took a well deserved break. I tried keeping in touch with him though.

For his Birthday, I’d send a card. Addressed as

John Lennon
New York City, N.Y.

And I’d always put a return address in the proper place so I would get it back if it wasn’t delivered. I never got any back. I would write and wish him a Happy Birthday or a Merry Christmas and let him know that if he was ever in Lodi, he could always stop by and hang out if he wanted to.

But I guess he was busy with the washing and the kid and all. He might have preferred Rochelle Park.

Derry and I eventually found out that it wasn’t Cheap Trick backing John on the single. We found out when we bought ‘Double Fantasy’. No mention of Rick Nielsen or Bun E. Carlos. I remember when I was shanghaied to the Mudd Club in November 1980 I heard the B-side to ‘Starting Over’, Yoko’s ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss’. So that’s where the edge was. In Yoko’s stuff. I never had a problem with Yoko. I saw her sing ‘Who Has Seen the Wind’ on the Mike Douglas Show and thought she was great.

I had gone to midnight showings of ‘Let It Be’ and whenever Yoko was on screen, people would hiss. I didn’t. I loved John and if he was happy with Yoko, then so was I. I was probably one of the dozens of people that played ‘Double Fantasy’ from start to finish. It was a good album, but nowhere near Talking Heads ‘Remain In Light’ or the B-52’s ‘Wild Planet’.

After bowling that Monday night in December, on my way home, I stopped off at the 711 and bought a copy of Playboy Magazine. Major interview with John and Yoko inside. I heard there were pictures of naked women in the magazine, but I don’t recall seeing any.

I got home and settled into my room while my parents were downstairs watching Monday Night Football.

I was laying on my bed, actually reading Playboy when my mother yelled upstairs, that Howard Cosell said that John Lennon was shot in New York. I figured, he had a gun and was cleaning it and shot himself in the foot. The Beatles still grabbed headlines, even caused Howard Cosell to say that John Lennon was shot cleaning his gun.

I didn’t really worry about it. I figured he lost his little piggy. I continued reading Playboy, reading John’s words.

My mother yelled upstairs a little while later. “Howard Cosell just said that John Lennon’s dead”. No way. Impossible. It’s not in my script. No, he’s going to live to be an old man. I will see him in concert. I will perhaps meet him. Perhaps he’ll show up in Lodi. Hey it could happen. Anything could happen. Anything but this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gcdz1IRVoM

This was wrong. I turned on the radio. Vin Scelsa was on, talking, and sounded like he was crying. What the fuck? People were calling in, crying. Beatles songs were playing. Lennon songs were playing. I sat next to the radio for a few hours waiting to hear that it was all a hoax. I was shaken, but still harbored the belief that it was for publicity.

Oh that crazy John and Yoko. What will they do next?

I woke up a few hours later and got ready for work. My mother listened to WNEW 1130AM. They played the songs she liked mainly, Sinatra, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Andy Williams. Today they were playing the Beatles. The newspapers were on the table, nasty headlines. John Lennon Shot. Pass the sugar.

I was gutted. Shock. I somehow got to work, but could barely function. I was driving a forklift then, picking orders. I preferred that to College. But I kept breaking down, having crying jags.

Little did I know that this would be the first of several truly horrible moments that would occur in my life.

I couldn’t stop crying. The dream of a Beatles reunion was dashed forever, but I just felt so bad for Yoko and Sean. A brutal murder on your own doorstep. I shut myself off from the world and just kept playing the Fabs and Lennon over and over.

A day or so later, my brother Frank was coming over for dinner. I heard him come in and started walking downstairs to see him. He looked up at me and asked how I was doing. Bam! Instant crying, all over again. My brother Brian had gotten quite tired of it and let into Frank for bringing up John Lennon’s death again. Like it was never going to be mentioned again.

The following Sunday, six days after John’s murder there was a vigil in Central Park by the band shell. Me and a few friends (Derry Pedovitch, Annie Carroll, Bill Wrice) caught the bus to the city and trekked up to the park. There were thousands of people. We walked by the Dakota and then into the park. There was a long moment of silence ended by the playing of ‘All You Need is Love’. Or maybe it was ‘Imagine’. I’m putting my money on the former.

The crowd dispersed, we straggled back to the Port Authority, to the bus and to our cars. I continued listening to Beatles/Lennon stuff for quite a few weeks.

In February 1981, Derry and I went to the Meadowlands Hilton for the Beatle-Fest. That was scary. Hundreds of people whose lives revolved around the Beatles. People that listen to the Beatles more than the Beatles did. “Let’s give a big cheer for John Lennon” Hurrah. Too corny for me. I, at least listened to other music. I loved the Beatles but I loved other things too. I think my grieving period ended that weekend.

I did become more active about Gun Control, and John’s message of love and peace is still needed today. I do miss John. I miss George too, and I miss a lot of people and I am grateful for the ones that are still here and aren’t hiding.

Give Peace a Chance

G’oo g’oo g’joob


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gcdz1IRVoM

I’ll Cry Instead

The Beatles. John Lennon. Me. That’s what I hoped to write about today. I thought today was going to be an easy day. I did everything right, everything else was wrong. Last night I asked Bill to make sure I was up by 8:30 when he was supposed to be heading out.

I woke up before Bill did. No matter. I did my thing, shower, breakfast, coffee, email. Bill was super supportive before heading out, kissing me goodbye, telling me I am adorable and smart and things like that.

A few minutes later I headed out around 9:20. My barber Tony is back for a few days and I had hoped to see him for a haircut. But as I walked by someone was in his chair so I kept walking and picked up some dry cleaning instead.

Came back home and got dressed for work. Saw the 10:15 bus go by but had no worries since I was going for the 10:30 bus. A bus arrived at 10:55 and I asked the driver if this was the 10:30 bus. He said it wasn’t, they were late and it was behind the 10:50 bus.

Of course with one bus being late that meant the bus would be very crowded and it was. Luckily I phoned in and said I was going to be late. Don answered the phone and suggested that I take the train.

As if the trains run normally on weekends. In fact last night on the news they said all trains running this weekend will be running on a service schedule. Oh and they’re raising the fares to $2.50.

I made it to the shop a half hour late. No one minded. They were playing the Allman Brothers for some idiotic reason. The only reason to play the Allman Brothers in my book is a reason of idiocy.

The day proceeded without incident but the new guy, Bradley is really trying too hard to make friends with everyone and tried showing off his ‘dark humor’ by making jokes about John Lennon’s murder. Truly that is how to score points with me.

I did have a nice phone call with Annemarie for a few minutes. She seemed to be having a good day, so that was nice. After lunch, the usual jerk offs and vaginal slang came in today and I did my best ti minimize contact.

I was able to play selections by John Lennon and the Beatles which was nice. Some people complained and I did want to plug into the celebration of John Lennon’s life. I had wanted to see the documentary they were showing for free in Central Park and I had hoped that I would be able to attend, but working the joyous hours of retail made it impossible.

I left the store on time, after closing up the shop and made it to the terminal only to find a long line waiting for the bus. I was the absolute last person allowed on the 60 person capacity bus, unable to stand behind the white line, I hung on for dear life while the driver sped through the Lincoln Tunnel.

People eventually got off and other people got on the bus but hardly anyone made room for myself and the new people hanging on by a thread. Now I’m home, feeling beaten.

Happy 70th Birthday John Lennon.

In The Flesh

Thursday. Woke up when the alarm clock went off. Looked out the window and it looked foggy which was odd. Shuffled around the apartment then I wondered why I was up so early and went back to bed for another 45 minutes.

When I woke up again it was a full blown snow storm. That was a drag. I had to rally myself for the interview scheduled for 10:30. Thought about canceling the interview since I already had a job scheduled to start, but I got it together and headed out. It wasn’t too bad, just a wet sticky snow.

I forgot my umbrella and just trudged onwards towards the Path train. I was wearing a wide brimmed hat so that definitely helped with the snow. Got a seat on the train and got off at Ninth Street. It had stopped snowing in the city and the sidewalks weren’t slippery at all, just wet.

I was about 20 minutes early for the interview so I just stood outside and talked to Bill on the phone for a while. The place where I interviewed is diagonally across the street from Wolff Olins. I thought about stopping by then I thought again and asked why would I do that.

I headed upstairs to the the 10th floor at 225 Varick Street. Dismal building, even more dismal office where I waited. So this company would hire me and send me out to wherever or whatever company would require my services.

I sat and read the New Yorker from last month. Finally Tim McSorley cam out and got me, leading me into his office. He offered me a water or coffee and I politely refused. He went and got his own water, leaving me to sit there. His office was shambles, wires all over the floor. I guess it was an improvement, other people were in cubicles outside on the floor.

Nice guy though, a lot more pleasant than he was on the phone. Tim McSorley doesn’t give good phone. The interview didn’t last long since most of the questions were done over the phone.

I was out of there in about 20 minutes and headed over to a newsstand to see if they had Uncut magazine. Apparently it’s unavailable in the tri-state area. I walked over to the West 4th Street subway station and waited for the E train uptown to Lexington Avenue.

Made my way into the office, Greg Stevens wasn’t around. He was in earlier but I guess he went to the racquet club. I got his things together and waited for the movers. I did go out to pick up some lunch and got a phone call from the girl who works for Vivek.

Apparently the building management didn’t know Greg Stevens was moving out today even though I set the whole thing up last week. The left a message for Vivek and he called them. He was intentionally left out of the loop by yours truly and almost messed up all the plans I made.

I called the building manager reminding her that I called her yesterday but she was out. She mentioned that we wouldn’t need to reserve the freight elevator since there wasn’t that much to move. I got that taken care of and shortly after that, the movers came and packed things up, putting chairs under blankets and onto dollies.

Goodbye 800 Third Avenue.

I met them a little further up Third Avenue and they moved everything in with skill and speed. Greg was soon off to lunch with his brother but before he left he asked me about how much I was going to get at the new job, leaving me to believe that he was ‘fishing’, perhaps to hire me as his assistant. It would be nice to work for him, after all that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years.

But that all remains to be seen. I might bring it up again tomorrow when I help Greg Stevens unpack his office.

It was a busy day for sure and I am pretty tired. Feel like falling asleep now, at 6:30, but if I did I know I would be up at 11:00 and unable to fall asleep again. So I will stay awake. I know in a little while I will get my second wind.

JD Salinger is dead. I never read The Catcher in the Rye, because I didn’t have to. Most everyone had to read it in high school, but not me. And when I heard that that was the book John Lennon’s killer was reading at the time of the murder, I never wanted to read it, ever.

Innocent When You Dream

Back to ‘normal’ which is quite a relative term. In fact if I were to be called ‘normal’ I would take that as an insult. Been spending the day uploading videos from YouTube onto Facebook. Going from Dusty Springfield to the Pet Shop Boys to Electronic to New Order.

By then I was in the midst of doing laundry. Now the laundry hangs on racks and in the bathroom in the shower. Now I’ve gone to John Lennon to Yoko Ono to Marianne Faithfull to Tom Waits.

I spent some time last night arguing with a Lennon fan who was angry that Lennon’s assassin didn’t also kill Yoko Ono. That is truly fucked up. I put him in his place, telling him that he wasn’t too many steps from the assassin’s mindset.

How upset the assassin was because John Lennon didn’t live his life the way the assassin wanted him to. Which made the assassin think that he was actually John Lennon and had to destroy the real John Lennon in order to become him.

How sick is it that this ‘fan’ basically couldn’t wrap his pointy little head and accept that John wanted to live his life on his terms?

I remember before that dreadful December day in 1980, seeing a midnight showing of Let It Be and whenever Yoko would be on screen they would hiss and boo. I always liked Yoko ever since seeing her on the Mike Douglas Show singing Who Has Seen the Wind? Which I believe was the B-side to Instant Karma.

It’s troubling. This ‘fan’ also insisted that I used ‘sarcasm’ which he wrote was the lowest form of humor. I replied that I used satire, in the most Swiftian way, even going so far as to finish off saying it was ‘A Modest Proposal’.

Oh it’s a day’s work trying to enlighten some people. I loved John and if he loved Yoko that was fine with me. He was no saint and did fuck up in major ways, his treatment of his first wife Cynthia and absence from his son Julian’s life for long stretches. He was no god, no saint, just a man.

A very talented man who had been on top of the world most of his life. And to lose his life at the hands of a fan, well that was horrifying. I remember in February 1981 attending the BeatleFest and seeing all these people who only listened to the Beatles, even more than the Beatles did.

I was one of the few in attendance who actually listened to non Fab related stuff. But as my life goes on and I get a bit older, I find I have an affection for the Beatles music, it’s a comfort.

The other night I watched a documentary called “A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and Andy Warhol”. Danny Williams was a figure in the early days of the Factory and apparently one of Andy’s early boyfriends.

He also shot some of Andy’s first films,which are amazing. Some eerie footage of Henry Geldzahler in slight slow motion, looking like a smiling hyena demon.

Paul Morrissey is in the film as is Bridget Berlin and Billy Name. Morrissey seems quite bitter, and mentions that Andy didn’t know how to read which may be true since Andy was out of school a lot when he was growing up.

Danny Williams was squeezed out of the Factory scene when he received accolades in the press from the Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground tour and Andy wasn’t even mentioned in the review.

That upset Andy and the Factory denizens who made life hell for Danny who by that time was addicted to methamphetamine. In the fragile state that he was in, he visited his family up by Cape Cod and after dinner took a walk into the ocean and was never seen again.

Danny’s films were marked on the lead and found and identified only a few years ago by the Whitney Museum. Major differences between Danny’s camera work and Andy’s. Edited in the camera no less.

Which reminded me of Super 8 footage I shot when driving to Austin, TX back in the 1980’s. I edited in the camera as well, found it easier with the shot thought out as I went along. I even held a screening in my 201 Madison apartment, about 20 friends showed up and watched 3 reels of film lasting about 10 minutes.

I don’t have the film anymore, lost somewhere over the years after moving from apartment to apartment. But I still have the idea in my head and if someone wants to lend me a camera I’d be sure I can duplicate it or at least come to a close approximation. And instead of having people in my apartment, I’d post it on YouTube.

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You Must Be Good for Something

Plenty cold out today. I woke up at around 11:00. No shame in that. No need to get up earlier. Life was better, more comfortable and a lot warmer in bed. I’m sure the ones who have something to say about my waking up at 11:00 are the ones who had to get up earlier than that.

I don’t put them down for getting up so early so they should just keep quiet on the subject. I didn’t do much, didn’t go out for the bagels, didn’t get the paper. Bill was on his way back from Atlantic City. I did have the plan to head into the city and get a new calendar though.

I watched Live from Abbey Road. They featured the Hoosiers (not from Indiana), the Black Keys and Manu Chao. The Hoosiers, who I did not know of before were impressive, or at least the lead singer’s voice was impressive. Manu Chao I knew of and have one or two of their CD’s. They’re OK. I liked them more 10 years ago, Julio turned me onto them.

The Black Keys were a big disappointment. Too noisy, too metal. They seemed like nice guys though. They reminded me of bands that would play McSwells on a Thursday night. Nice enough to talk to but you’d want to leave the room if you could when they played.

Speaking of Thursday night bands from McSwells, the horrible Soundgarden has decided to get together. I guess the pretty boy front man’s solo career didn’t go as he had hoped, Chris Cornell. His last attempt was something done with Timbaland who usually has the golden touch. Not in this case though. Yes, I guess you can tell that I think Soundgarden sucks.

I also watched a documentary about Gay Muslims in the UK. Man, religion is so stupid and the world would be so much better if people would just stop believing in these idiotic myths.

I took the Path train in, and stopped by Guitar Bar and said Happy New Year to Jim Mastro.

The train wasn’t too crowded and I stood next to four Port Authority police officers. Read the New Yorker, finally made it into December so I’m making progress. Walked over to Barnes & Noble on Union Square. Very cold out but I heeded Bill when he came home complaining about how cold it was so I dressed in layers.

I decided to exchange the John Lennon biography that I had gotten since I read it already and found the music book section. I exchanged the Lennon bio for Revolution in the Head. Yes it’s a book that I’ve read before but it’s more of a reference book, with details on all the songs the Beatles had recorded.

I had a copy that I needed to order from the UK a few years ago and lent it to my brother Frank. I asked for it back but he said he didn’t have it. Whenever I read something about the Beatles, most of the time, Revolution in the Head gets mentioned.

I took it out of the library a few months ago but it was the first edition. This version has been updated in 2007, the third edition. So while I returned the Lennon bio which I’ve read before, I exchanged it for another book that I had read before. That is so me.

Could not find any Beatles calendars so I bought an Elvis Presley calendar which is so not me. I figured after reading a quite from John Lennon saying that Elvis changed everything for him, that if it weren’t for Elvis, there would be no Beatles.

I certainly can’t say I’m much of an Elvis Presley fan at all but I do like the Sun Sessions. When he still had balls.

Dracula’s Lament

Well I was all set to start writing about a half hour ago but I started playing So It Goes by Nick Lowe on guitar, then wound up playing Stereotypes by the Specials and then I went into Give A Little Bit by Supertramp and then finally found myself playing The True Wheel by Brian Eno and I was in heaven.

So many changes but so much fun to play. A welcome distraction. My callouses are coming along quite nicely and my index finger on the left hand isn’t as cramped as it had been. I haven’t been playing as much as I would have liked to but apparently not playing had served me well.

This evening from Bill: You know baby, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Me: Aw I agree baby, I feel the same way. I AM the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

Last night I went down to Julio’s apartment and hung out. Like old times, we had a bottle of wine and talked. Stine and Alexander are in Denmark and Julio is flying out there on Saturday, not coming back until next year. And by next year, I mean in a couple of weeks.

It was good last night, we talked about McSwells and how he doesn’t ever want to go there again. Not even for a drink, but of course I am always game to hoist a pint or two with Rand.

We also talked about seeing Macca at both Madison Square Garden and CitiField. He felt the Garden was more intimate but the sound and sightlines at CitiField were much better.

Julio also had 2 Christmas presents for me, which was an awfully nice surprise.

One was a biography on Paul McCartney that just came out. I had read the reviews and they were quite good. It’s by Peter Ames Carlin and not a puff piece. I don’t think I’ve ever read a McCartney bio, except for the authorized one by Barry Miles, Many Years from Now.

That was good, but Paul was directly involved in it. The one that Julio gave me last night mentions how Paul has been rewriting the past to suit his needs, like saying that he basically wrote In My Life. Julio hoped I didn’t have it and I didn’t.

He also hoped I didn’t have the other book, John Lennon : The Life by Phillip Norman. I didn’t have that either but I did take it out of the library earlier this year and read it. Julio was dismayed by that but also to be on the safe side, gave me gift receipts for both books.

I did take a walk to Barnes and Noble in Hoboken this afternoon looking to exchange the Lennon book, but they had a meager selection. I could go to another Barnes and Noble in the city and exchange it there, but it’s such a lovely picture of John on the cover and not wanting to disappoint Julio, I think I will end up keeping it.

But I may go into the city and just take a look see. There is that Beatles book scheduled to be released in June 2010, You Never Give Me Your Money but I don’t think I can or should wait that long.

I came upstairs and stayed up to watch Craig Ferguson’s 1000th broadcast. I’m really enjoying his show and last night was very funny. No Craig Ferguson, he had puppets instead, interviewing the guests and also had Jason Segal and Nathan Danforth with The Broken West featuring Ferguson’s Dracula puppet singing Dracula’s Lament from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

So sweet that I posted it on Facebook. Just something really nice and Jason Segal is cute too. And now I am posting it here too…

The Belldog

Well it’s been a lazy, good for nothing Friday. No, not really. Been busy. Did some laundry, went to the library, smoked a cigar on the stoop. That’s basically it. So that means, since I have nothing to write about, it’s time for the iTunes shuffle.

The Belldog- Brian Eno & Cluster from the album After the Heat. A good song by one of my favorite people teaming up with 2 German guys named Moebius & Roedelius. The UK Music press labeled the genre, Krautrock. A nice meditative and mechanical song. Hard to find. I had a cheap vinyl copy and sometime ago I found a download which I promptly downloaded.

Sad But True- Orbital My favorite Orbital track. Probably a great club track but how would I know? I dislike clubbing. I got this disc (Snivelisation) from Rand & Lisa and played a few tracks for Bill last night. He loved it but couldn’t find it on iTunes. Since I had the disc available, he uploaded that and saved some dough.

My Mummy’s Dead- John Lennon from Lennon Legend. No editing the list here. This is the last track from John Lennon- Plastic Ono Band. Of course the title betrays what a downer it is. Only 1:16 long which is more than enough time to move onto the next track.

Oddly enough, following the Walrus comes,

Egg Man- The Beastie Boys, from Paul’s Boutique. Paul’s Boutique is the Beastie Boys 2nd album and a step forward from Licensed to Ill, produced by the Dust Brothers. Great use of Bernard Hermann’s Psycho strings at the end. The actual boutique, once located on the Lower East Side has been gone for years and the cover is now unrecognizable. Hope Adam Yauch recovers soon enough.

The Part You Throw Away- Tom Waits, from Blood Money. Got this and the companion CD, Alice, from the Arcata contingent a few years ago. It’s a great pair of records, but not something I play too often. Very downbeat, Germanic cabaret feel.

I Got You (I Feel Good)- James Brown, from Live at the Apollo Volume 2. 29 seconds long, a very fast version used as a bridge between songs. I would have loved to have seen this show in 1967, but I doubt if my parents would have been so keen on going to Harlem to satisfy the whims of a 5 year old. It’s definitely a phenomenal record.

Dreaming- Blondie, from Blondie’s Greatest Hits. Another great song. Clem Burke is a fantastic drummer on this, but then again he’s always a fantastic drummer. He used to pop up at McSwells from time to time, just to have a drink. He’s an acquaintance of Chaz’ I believe. One of my favorite Blondie songs.

Come Together/Dear Prudence/Cry Baby Cry [Transition]- The Beatles, from the Love album. A good mash up courtesy of Giles Martin, George Martin’s son. Seems like it’s been more than a week since I saw Paul McCartney last Friday with Bill, Anne & Earl, Julio & Stine, but it’s true. And this is another disc that Anne got me a few years ago.

Simmer Down- The Wailers from the Bob Marley- Songs of Freedom boxed set. I love the early songs of the Wailers. So young and fresh with the ska. Easy to see where the 2 Tone bands got some inspiration. Fun to sing along and dance to, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Pretzel Logic- Steely Dan, from the album of the same name. Another great song and one of my favorite Steely Dan songs. Where did you get those shoes? Now Becker & Fagen are on tour, playing all their hits. No money in record sales these days, so they’re on the road, one night devoted to the Royal Scam, another night for Aja etc. I’m not going, too much money.

Hey Hey- Neil Young, from his Greatest Hits. Neil’s response to Punk Rock which was basically over by the time this came out. And Johnny Rotten didn’t die. It was Sid. This is the heavy version, not the acoustic. It did get airplay on the late lamented WPIX-FM back in the day.

That’s about it. I know how much you all like the shuffle reports.

Don’t know if I’ll post tomorrow, I may be in Otisville, if Pedro ever calls back.

Beautiful Boy

OK, so it’s Monday and it’s a soggy Monday. Nothing but rain. Much like yesterday. It’s supposed to rain every day except for Wednesday, at least that’s what the meteorologist says.

It’s funny, I’ll watch the news to get the weather, then when the weather comes on, I totally blank. I think it’s because of their voices. I hear the voice and I am a million miles away.

Since we have digital cable, I usually wind up rewinding a minute or two to get that five day forecast. That happened last night but I didn’t care since I would catch the weather on the Today show.

And the forecast was rain.

Last night I didn’t watch TV, just played music. I played music instead. Started out playing Bob Dylan’s latest, Together Through Life. I really like it. It’s a fast 45 minutes and quite good.

Then I listened to Jenny Lewis ‘Acid Tongue’ and that is quite good as well, perhaps even better than Bob Dylan. The last song on Acid Tongue is ‘Sing a Song for Them’ and it ended with a familiar string section that reminded me of Old Dirt Road by John Lennon off of Walls and Bridges so I played that.

That set me on a John Lennon kick, through most of his catalog, a few things from Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, the Acoustic album and the Lennon Anthology. I played Beautiful Boy, the studio version and the acoustic version.

Bill was home by that time and he really only knows Beautiful Boy through Mr. Holland’s Opus, one of Bill’s favorite movies. A few more Lennon songs, finishing up with ‘Sean’s Little Help’ where 5 year old Sean Lennon is singing ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ which provided a perfect closer with the Beatles version.

Then it was time for the news and for me to blank out on the weather. Bill had his sleep apnea mask on and I soon fell asleep next to him and his buzzing apparatus. I woke up a little before 8:00 this morning, surprised to see Bill still in bed.

I nudged him and asked if he was going to work and he said he was taking a day off. That through me off a bit but I recovered and found myself in the shower getting ready for work. Donned a suit and headed out into the rain.

Caught the bus and buried my face in the New York, reading about Rwanda. Made it to the office, a few people out today making it very quiet.

Quiet enough that I was able to catch a crosstown bus and walked over to Studio 54 to see if I can join the Roundabout Theater’s Usher Program for the latest production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

The guy in charge of that is a guy who sits in a chair all day with binders. I asked to sign up for the play but he told me it was all filled up for the season. So I signed up for the waiting list.

It’s probably not going to happen and if it does happen it will probably be on a date that is inconvenient for me. Oh well.

I came home from work, and got a letter from my bank.

Out of 4 illicit charges on my card, 2 were disputed in my favor. The other 2 which were the items that were actually shipped to me, according to the bank, seemed authorized.

So I was on the phone for an hour dealing with 2 different customer services.

One issue has been resolved after getting on ‘Mary Jo’s’ nerves, the other I will have to deal with tomorrow during daylight hours, as per ‘Vern’s’ suggestion.

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flip-wilson

Beefcake!

Beefcake!

Start to Move

Like Dinah Washington sang, What a Difference a Day Makes. Yesterday at this time, well, yesterday at this time I was just getting home. Now I’ve been home for almost an hour. Different characters today. Vivek was in the office when I came in, and he quickly left the stage to attend some meeting somewhere.

Greg Stevens made it in as did Tom Chin who was surprisingly understanding. A lot of the shit that I had to deal with regarding Vivek was quickly cleared up since he had the files. Greg Stevens and I talked quite a bit today and he mentioned that he thought Vivek might be bi-polar, or it could just be the stress of being a managing director in these dire economic times. Possibly both. Greg Stevens will now be out on Mondays and Fridays and more than likely will not be performing in the Sunday matinée.

Last night I was just frazzled by the days events. Watched Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Harpy called during Rachel Maddow and he was a garrulous as ever, a bit annoying at that. Not that he’s annoying, he’s generally amusing, but he kept stepping on my lines and if he was in front of me I would have throttled him.

That’s right, I would have throttled Harpy, in fact I had a ruler handy and could have throttled him to within an inch of his life. But instead I just let him go on and on and ended his phone chat on a relatively up note.

I did feel better watching Flight of the Conchords. Some Dewars helped too. I think Jemaine would make a better male prostitute than Brett. Went to bed at a decent hour and woke up with a feeling of dread.

So much so that every step I took from the bus terminal to the office was filled with me imagining a confrontation between Tom Chin and myself. I should have written the lines from the imaginary confrontation down, they were that good.

A few years ago when Bill and I were in a rough patch in our relationship and we were having a late night discussion about things in bed with the lights out. I was saying such profound lines and I felt then I should have been writing them down but I figured I would remember them the next morning which of course by then I had forgotten all the lines.

Tonight I took the Path train home and was able to finish the John Lennon biography by Phillip Norman. It was good and ended as sadly as I remembered. The epilogue was an interview with Sean Lennon who mentioned that when he was 5 years old he had no idea what was going on, why his house was filled with such dour people and where was his father, what were all these people doing outside the Dakota singing songs and crying?

He mentioned that it took him some time to actually listen to his father’s music both solo and with the Beatles and how jealous he was of the world who had known of his father a lot longer than he did for 5 years.

I’m just glad that today wasn’t so bad after all. And I did enjoy a Padron on the way to the train. The Lennon bio was a day late and cost me $0.20. Now it’s onto Sarah Vowell, The Wordy Shipmates.

krshna

Maggot Brain

It’s Sunday, back to school for some, back to the working week for me. Not so bad, just that I’ve gotten used to staying up until 1:30. Last night I was up till then watching Lost. After Broadcast News came the local news and then since Saturday Night Live was a repeat, I found Lost. Back to back repeats.

I didn’t mind those repeats since I do enjoy the show so much. Not enough to log onto the computer and play the webisodes or what have you. Same with Heroes. I enjoy that show as well but I don’t follow it off the television set.

It was pretty much a mellow evening all around. I went to the memorial service for Bill’s friend, then walked up to 33rd street from 10th street and First Avenue enjoying a cigar. Walking up to 33rd street almost guarantees a seat. Lot’s of people heading back to the suburbs clutching large bags of candy from the M&M Store in Times Square.

I buried my nose in the John Lennon biography. He and George and their wives were just dosed with LSD, so that was an interesting part that I’ve read about a dozen times already. Philip Norman does put a good spin on the whole situation. Lot’s of Aunt Mimi stories that I didn’t know previously.

Today was a quiet day. I watched the morning shows up to a point. Couldn’t take any more news about Israel invading Gaza. It’s a mess and it’s only going to be worse. I had started watching The Last Picture Show the other night and finished watching it this afternoon. It was a good movie. Sad that Sam Bottoms died a couple of weeks ago.

If only Peter Bogdanovich didn’t make my skin crawl. It certainly was a beautiful movie though. Excellent cinematography. I watched some of the extras, Making The Last Picture Show and there was big head Bogdanovich, Orson Welles this, Orson Welles that.

I wanted to take a walk to the post office and drop the DVD off in the mailbox, but Bogdanovich just wouldn’t shut up so I ejected it and threw it in the envelopes. As far as I know, Bogdanovich is still flapping his flanged lips in a pile of mail.

Also returned the Doris Kearns Goodwin book, A Team of Rivals. I didn’t think I would have the time to actually read it from start to finish and my ardor for Obama has cooled somewhat.

I still have to finish the Lennon bio and there’s also the Sarah Vowell book, The Wordy Shipmates which I need to start, but that’s a book I can probably read in a day, as if I have a day to sit and read a book from cover to cover.

Had an enjoyable walk around Hoboken this afternoon. Around Pier A and then back on Washington Street. As I walked up Washington Street I walked past the Karma Cafe, an Indian restaurant that I have eaten at a few times. I was surprised to see it closed since they usually have a buffet on weekend afternoons.

I guess it was closed since hardly anyone was around this weekend, but I looked closer to see if they had gone out of business. As I looked in, I saw a pair of legs on the floor. On closer inspection, I saw the legs connected to a body on the floor. I wasn’t sure what to do, if to do anything, so I took a picture.

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What would you think? A closed restaurant, kitchen help lying on the floor…

Then I called the Hoboken Police Department and explained what I saw. I stood nearby and waited for the police to arrive about 15 minutes later. I explained to the officer who looked in the vestibule next to the restaurant that I was the one who called.

He said he looked and didn’t see anyone. I told him to check the restaurant, not the vestibule. He did and saw a kitchen worker lying on the floor. The police man asked if I tapped on the window and I told him I hadn’t.

He did and also jimmied the door somewhat which made the kitchen worker stir proving that he was alive. The officer laughed and thanked me and I said I probably watch too much Lawn hors d’œuvre .

He said he was a Canapés man himself.

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Meeting Across the River

Saturday night. Things are getting back to what could only be described as relative normalcy. Last night was quiet. Juan was out gallivanting, Bill back in Stuyvesant Town.

I watched Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which was actually the first Charlie Chaplin film I had seen from start to finish. Also the first Chaplin film that I had seen where he actually speaks.

I never knew that he spoke in his later films and often wondered how long he would have done silent roles. Apparently in 1940 he was speaking in films. According to Wikipedia it was Chaplin’s first talking picture.

It was a daring movie that he made, since the US was at ‘peace’ with Germany at the time and it certainly pissed Hitler off which was an added bonus. A year later we were at war with the Axis powers.

After that I basically started reading a book that I had gotten from the library, John Lennon- The Life by Philip Norman. Supposed to be the best biography of Lennon so far. It is pretty good.

Philip Norman wrote an excellent biography on the Beatles in the 1980’s called Shout! The Lennon book was written with Yoko Ono’s blessing and she asked her son Sean and Paul McCartney to cooperate with the author, which they did.

But as luck would have it, once Yoko and Paul read the galleys they both did some furious backpedaling and denounced the book.

So far the only dodgy thing was John accidentally touching his mother’s breast and wondering what else he could get away with.

That would raise some eyebrows, but Yoko did give access to Lennon’s diaries and journals and as great a songwriter and musician Lennon was, he was also a flawed individual and he would probably be the first to admit it.

It’s a weighty tome and carried some heft as I had it in my shoulder bag and wandered around Manhattan en route to the Guggenheim Museum where I was meeting Bill and Meghan Taylor Mastro with Lily and Ruby, as well as Pat Paterson and his wife, the one and only Ann Boyles Paterson.

I do prefer going to art galleries instead of museums but the Guggenheim was on the agenda so it was off to the Upper East Side. Bill got there a minute or two before me and as we were waiting for the others Juan called wondering what was going on.

It was around 3:00 and he had just woken up. Nice life, which Juan has. I would have invited him along but this was the first I had heard from him since yesterday. He was cool with it, he had to go back to Trenton anyhow.

The Glen Ridge contingent arrived and soon we were inside the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. I’m always reminded of the roller skating joke from Hannah and Her Sisters regarding the rotunda of the Guggenheim.

After walking around being nonplussed at the exhibitions we were on the street again, $18.00 lighter in each of our wallets. We could have gone to the Bergen County History Museum and looked at the mastodon bones, that would have been cheaper.

I used to go there with Annemarie when I was growing up. It was cheap then, but could be about the same price as the Guggenheim nowadays.

We decided on a bus downtown so we would roll past the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Unfortunately it was stop and go traffic for about 40 blocks which screwed up my spine somewhat.

Still the company made all the difference and we had shared some truffles and other chocolates and had many laughs as well as taking snapshots of each other. Bill and I got off at 14th street, the others continued onto the West Village to meet up with Jim Mastro.

After parting ways with Bill I stopped by Farfetched to try to persuade Harpy to come with me to see Ann and Meghan but he just wanted to go home after working retail in a shop that’s taken quite a beating this holiday season.

Nothing that Farfetched has done, just that no one is buying anything anywhere these days.

So now I’m home, just had a nice dinner, watched a decent documentary on Groucho Marx and here I am sitting at Bill’s Mac and writing this.

What have YOU been up to?

Bill outside the Guggenheim Museum

Bill outside the Guggenheim Museum

Me outside the Guggenheim Museum on cellphone with Juan

Me outside the Guggenheim Museum on cellphone with Juan

Ruby, Meghan and Lily outside the Guggenheim Museum

Ruby, Meghan and Lily outside the Guggenheim Museum

Pat Paterson, Ann Boyles and Meghan outside the Guggenheim Museum

Pat Paterson, Ann Boyles and Meghan outside the Guggenheim Museum

Lily

Lily

Inside the Guggenheim

Inside the Guggenheim

What happened to Pinocchio?

What happened to Pinocchio?

122708-nyc-boyles-and-co-026

Ann & Me

Ann & Me

Meghan with her camera phone

Meghan with her camera phone

some words, between children

some words, between children

Super Mastro girls outside the Guggenheim Museum

Super Mastro girls outside the Guggenheim Museum

Kisses outside the Guggenheim Museum

Kisses outside the Guggenheim Museum

Awesome foursome on the bus

Awesome foursome on the bus

Ruby's patented pose

Ruby's patented pose

Harpy outside of Farfetched

Harpy outside of Farfetched

Me and Harpy

Me and Harpy

Like This

Yeah it’s another friggin’ Monday. Big effin deal. Actually I don’t mind since it seems I don’t hang out with anyone anymore, nor do I actually do anything anymore, it’s good to go out of the apartment and go and do something. The fact that I get paid for it makes it that much more bearable.

That’s right, it’s time for my bi-monthly ‘oh I am so lonely/oh I have no friends’ feeling. It’s also the same at work though. I used to have jobs where I had co-workers who became friends and we would go out and do things, have drinks, cigars whatever.

Not anymore. I don’t work with any friends. I work with 3 guys who wouldn’t want to hang out with me. It’s a class thing. They’re upper class and me, I’m not.

Who am I kidding? I do have friends, in fact one of them called me last night, Pedro. He was asking about the stalker known as Min Young Ahn.

He asked if I had any protection and I mentioned that I had a hammer in my bag. That gave him a laugh since if someone were to attack me, the first thing they would do is take my bag, not heed my request to wait a minute.

He suggested getting some pepper spray in case the stalker reappears. He did give me pepper spray about 10 years ago, but I gave it to Susan at Farfetched I think. I thought she needed it more hat I did. Hopefully she never had a reason to use it. As far as I know she didn’t.

Last night I watched The Incredible Hulk. It was alright. Watching CGI characters fight isn’t that interesting as it should I guess. You just know that wasn’t Tim Roth fighting Edward Norton on 125th Street in Harlem.

Nor was it actually 125th Street outside the Apollo Theater. I haven’t been up there in a while but I seriously doubt there are that many white people up there. It was better than Ang Lee’s version, but Ang Lee deserves an E for Effort.

Stan Lee made an appearance as someone who drank some bottled soda from Brazil that was infected with a drop of Bruce Banner’s blood.

I timed it almost perfectly and watched the news and went to bed after that. Woke up at 6:00, got ready for work. Almost made it out before the Today Show started but I was too late for that.

To my horror Matt Lauer was wearing a suit that was almost identical to mine. No time to change though and I was out the door.

Got to the office, found a few messages from the stalker on the voice mail. Wondering why don’t I marry her. She also called a few times during the day and I politely yet coldly told her to leave me the fuck alone, that she’s an idiot and leaving messages on my voice mail sometimes in another language is pretty stupid.

Wouldn’t it be a very sad thing if the stalker turned out to be my friend? As crazy as she is she does offer companionship and I bet I could get her to clean this apartment.

That was a weird thing to write 28 years to the day that John Lennon was assassinated by a stalker outside his apartment building.

Watching the Wheels

Well today was an alright day. No vendors, no real estate agents. The stock markets all around the world are doing poorly and no one knows what will happen next. The government has cut interest rates to no avail, other countries have done the same. Pakistan is thisclose to bankruptcy and that will affect us somehow, one way or another.

Last night was nice. Juan came by again. Always good to have him around. Bill and I talked about his situation with his mother. She’ll be staying with his cousin for the time being. Awfully nice for her to offer and I know Bill is grateful.

He’s doing all that he can and he’s doing the best job possible. He’s totally stressed though. If anyone could use a puff, it would be him. But he’s not one to pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side.

We watched the usual programs that get our blood pressure rising. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report provided some much needed levity but still, it isn’t enough. A little less than a month until the elections, and then hopefully I can laugh again.

Does anyone remember laughter?

Today is John Lennon’s birthday. He would have been 68. I would have loved to have met him, but then again I probably would have embarrassed myself. I listened to a few Lennon tracks today. My favorite John Lennon album is probably Walls and Bridges, his last album of his own material before he retired for five years.

The vinyl edition had a really fun flip cover where you can change John’s glasses and face over and over. Also had a nice booklet with lyrics and drawings from his childhood and an excerpt about the Lennon name from an Irish lineage book, that stated that no Lennons ever amounted to much. It was signed at the end, ‘Oh yeah?, John Lennon’.

It was things like that that made me love him. You have to feel bad for Paul McCartney though. If he had to deal with being compared to John while he was alive, after John’s death the legend loomed larger than ever before and still to this day grows and grows.

John was definitely a flawed individual, and it’s been said he had a violent streak which probably fueled the fire for peace in his life, realizing that what inside of him and peace would be the only way to take care of that.

It would have been nice if John was able to follow his plans, to visit England again, to go on tour again. More records, perhaps they would have been great, perhaps not. We’ll never know. It did mean that the Beatles would never get together again which could be seen as a heartbreak. Or a relief since you really can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

In any event he’s probably frolicking around the universe, met up with George and Stu and Brian Epstein and Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix, my mom, Jet and Zed and Abraham Lincoln. That’s how I see it. When you die your essence or soul goes out and becomes part of the ever expanding universe and life flows on within you and without you.

This video is relatively new (at least to me). It features Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick and Tony Levin from Peter Gabriel’s band and King Crimson. The track was rejected for the Double Fantasy album at the time and eventually resurfaced on the Lennon Box Set which is probably when the video was made with clips of John and his drawings sometimes interacting with the band.

Then there’s Well Well Well from John and Yoko at the One to One concert in 1972 at MSG

and here’s an oldie but goodie…

Telling Lies

Last night Tricky played a show at Irving Plaza. I told Roda about it, and he set about trying to get on the guest list. Yesterday he called and let me know. Unfortunately I had to be in early this morning so I could not go. I told him around noon. I found out a little before that, that one of our subtenants was having a meeting early enough for the need for me to be in and help out.

Roda understood the need to make some dosh, and I wished him a good evening. Around 10:00 I get some texts from Roda. CD info on Tricky’s latest, and the fact he had just taken a consonant or perhaps a vowel. I’m supportive and slightly envious and wish him a good time and an ecstatic trip.

A half hour later I get a phone call, a blast of overloaded digital white noise from Irving Plaza. It lasted 44 seconds before the line went out. Roda did get backstage and spoke with Tricky and mentioned Central Park from a few years ago. (Written as The Ghost in You last month) They wound up hanging out, Roda even going to the after party at a club nearby. Roda didn’t get home until 3:00AM. Yikes.

I went to bed after watching Cotton Hill’s bland speech. I have to say that Sarah Palin’s screeching was more rousing for those republicans. Most attack dogs do command attention after all. But once again I only listened slightly to McCrazy, paid more attention to an early birthday present from Annemarie and Co., John Lennon Rock ‘n’ Roll.

His covers record, which came out in 1975 and the last record before retirement. Of course it has a history. Lawsuits, Morris Levy and Phil Spector and May Pang, John and Apple/Capitol Records, contracts, car crashes, missing tapes. It’s all in there. It did ok, made the top ten in the US charts. It was said that he had run out of material, hence it being a covers album, but at the time it was a fashion to do fifties and sixties songs, like David Bowie did with Pin Ups.

Speaking of the Dame, I watched a YouTube clip of David on the Dick Cavett Show from 1975. Young Americans, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn. I had that as a cassette. Only liked the title song and Fame. Young Americans opened the tape and Fame ended it.

I guess I played those 2 songs so much that the rest of the tape was reverse, leaving me able to only play those two songs. I didn’t much like Bowie then except for those songs. The ‘cool’ kids liked Bowie and they were all smoking pot at age 12. I wasn’t ‘cool’, not for another 8 years.

I starting liking him when he started to lose some popularity with Low. He was getting too far out there and that’s where I got it. Still wasn’t too fond of Ziggy et al. I saw him on Broadway in The Elephant Man though in 1980 I believe.

Had 1st row seats and of course he was mesmerizing. The people behind us gave him flowers at the end of the show and he thought they were from me and my friends and thanked us so graciously.

A lot of years pass and I find myself working at Right Track Recording on west 48th Street. David is one of our clients. He was super nice and extremely personable. Just one of the guys, sitting across from my desk chatting about whatever it was like we were mates. I did feel a little bit like Karen Lynn Gorney from Saturday Night Fever.

Then I saw him a few weeks later at Madison Square Garden. I had never seen Bowie live and of course he was amazing though he shared the stage with Lou Reed, Robert Smith, Billy Corgan and Dave Grohl among others.

It was a birthday celebration with the guests covering a Bowie song and then duets with the Dame. A wonderful evening but not really a David Bowie show I guess. A special event nonetheless.

The next time I saw him at the studio, I had changed my perception of him. He wasn’t David Bowie anymore. After seeing him live, I saw him as DAVID BOWIE. It was an odd thing that I had to get over, since being star struck is a no no in the recording studio world.

He thought enough of me to autograph an advance cassette of the record he was working on, Earthling, which of course is one of my favorite Bowie records. Actually he gave me his copy of the cassette, then took it back saying that he ought to autograph it for me. Awfully nice. Asking for autographs is also frowned upon by the way.

Still have it, in fact if I turn my head, it’s within eyesight. He finished Earthling soon after that. He did ask my opinion since he heard I was a DJ, who would I recommend from the DJ world to remix a track or two? I drew a blank and told him I would get back to him in a few.

I called Rand and asked him since he was wise in the world of remixes. He threw out a few names, Josh Wink and a few others. I went back to David and told him who might be good and he basically didn’t like most of the names. I gave up.

It wasn’t until maybe a month later, did I realize that I could have probably suggested myself. He wasn’t going to ask me, but perhaps thought I might have the edge, the nerve, the cojones to promote myself.
But no, I didn’t.

D’oh.

Sniffy Dame(video pulled by EMI)

Croaking Lizard

Day something or other of the heat wave. Yes, it’s hot again and the question on everyone’s mind is, ‘Is it hot enough for ya?’ Still while walking through midtown Manhattan today I do see the occasional Asian Indian wearing long sleeved shirts. So for them- No, it isn’t hot enough.

Last night I watched Generation Kill which for me brought the early days of the current war home. I had heard about unarmored vehicles but last night watching the troops heading into Iraqi towns, you could see they were sitting ducks.

I still don’t see why they just don’t grab Donald Rumsfeld and strap him to the front of a jeep and let him catch the bullets. Stupid fucktard that he is. He’s been out of the limelight lately so that probably means he’s going to die soon.

Before I watched Generation Kill I watched a biopic on John Lennon called , ‘In His Life: The John Lennon Story’. It focused on the early years of John’s life, having to choose between living with his mother or father, the battles with his Aunt Mimi, his mother Julia’s death and of course meeting Paul McCartney and George Harrison. That’s as far as I got before switching over to Generation Kill.

After that I watched the Simpsons Movie which is still pretty funny. It’s aged well, after a year.

This morning was back to work. Three days off seemed longer, but that may be because I stayed indoors most of the weekend and napped quite a bit. Time crawls when you’re climbing the walls.

I played Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Reggae Greats album on the iPod walking to work. It’s a collection of ten songs that Lee Perry produced. I hadn’t heard it in a while and it is a fave. It brought back a few memories of how deeply immersed I was in Reggae for a number of years.

It was basically all I listened to. I have a deep love of Dub as well. Reggae and dub go hand in hand. I listened to Bob Marley in the 1980’s but didn’t buy anything except for the Legend collection and also Black Uhuru, Red. I did see the original Black Uhuru open up for King Sunny Ade at the Dr. Pepper music festival on the pier with a bunch of friends. I could swear that show lasted about six hours.

Somehow in the 1990’s I became totally infatuated with reggae. I was working at Skyline Studios and out on the street there were usually some Rastas hanging out selling weed. My friend Miriam was into reggae as much as I was, so I got a lot of music from her when we weren’t fighting. Usually the peace pipe brought us together.

I learned from Miriam about Gregory Issacs, Dennis Brown, Jacob ‘The Killer’ Miller, Burning Spear, U-Roy, I-Roy and Big Youth among others. The Rastas outside became friendly enough to invite inside. No work for them indoors. They were welcome until They Might Be Giants complained about feeling uneasy with the dreads hanging around my desk. Friggin’ nerds ruined it and I’ve never liked They Used to Mean Something to Someone ever again, though I didn’t much care for them beforehand.

True they had the run of the studio and at $2000 an hour they were entitled to having whomever they wanted around. I became good friends with a Rasta named Marcus and his brothers. They came from Guyana one by one. First Marcus, then Clarence, then Kenneth and finally the baby, Jamal.

Marcus was the oldest and lived in the States for a number of years. The other three came from the country and understanding them was a challenge. After hanging around with them for a few months I started to slip into a patois whenever I was talking to them.

It came quite naturally and raised eyebrows when I would talk to them on the phone. I’d hang up and whoever was around would ask what the hell it was I was talking about. I couldn’t really tell them.

Marcus was nice enough to lend me his giant sound system during my DJ’ing heydays. Two giant speakers, a mixer and amplifier and I was soon spinning classic selections at Johnny’s Bar in the Village on Wednesday nights. A small bar the size of a shoebox filled with my friends and Rastas on Wednesday nights. Too bad it only lasted a few weeks, but oh well.

I remember one night at McSwells, a drunken Joe Kindarotten (is there any other kind of Joe Kindarotten?) gave me a hard time about the homophobia in Reggae. I told Joe that the homophobia was more with Danehall Reggae which I didn’t like, I was more into Roots Reggae, which is a big difference.

I guess it was just a phase, my passion for Reggae a highly enjoyable phase. I resented Carly Simon’s brother, Peter who told me that my immersion into Reggae culture was a phase. Like he would know after publishing two photo journals about Reggae music. After countless shows, spliffs and late night laughs, Reggae stopped being in the forefront of my musical tastes.

It still is a music than enabled me to make friends, easier than Rock and Roll ever did. My love for Reggae is still there, it’s in my DNA and usually comes up during drug testing.

Under construction

The tying of the shoe

Bomb sniffing dogs at Grand Central

Too Much To Think About

Finally Friday arrives in all it’s glory. A bit cool outside as compared to previous Memorial Day weekends. Well at least as much as I can remember. Last night was last night, 4 pints of Guinness and I was done. A pleasant buzz definitely and a strong urge to have a cigarette, but I resisted. Alcohol and smoking seem to go hand in hand, and by seem, I mean that they belong together, at least in my squared circle.

Bill came home again last night, 4 nights in a row which was something he hadn’t done in a while since his father passed away. He came in midway through my watching a Classic Albums DVD of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. They usually show them on VH1 Classics, but this just came out and I thought it would be worthwhile to give it a go. It was interesting, entertaining and informative. Interviews with Dr. Arthur Janov, Jann Wenner, Klaus Voorman, Yoko and Ringo among others. Some video unseen by me before.

I enjoyed it, though I haven’t played Plastic Ono Band in a while. Just not necessarily the feel good-let’s dance record that one would play on a Friday night. I mean, if I heard someone playing it before going out on a weekend I’d be concerned. They had various engineers and studio people playing back tapes from the original sessions and it was cool to hear John Lennon’s voice unaccompanied. I explained to Bill that Lennon wasn’t too keen on the sound of his voice which is why it double tracked or touched by effects on most of his recordings.

Also gave Bill some back story on Lennon’s growing up without his parents, being raised by an Aunt, and having his mother killed by a drunken policeman driving a car just when John was reconnecting with his mother. Or so the story goes. Who really knows? All the players in the story are dead, John, his mother Julia and his Aunt Mimi. They also had a brief snippet, rather than a full snippet of Yoko’s accompanying record, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band which sounded like late 1970’s post punk which is what thrilled John after not recording for five years and sort of fired him up to start recording again.

I remember the hype surrounding John Lennon’s return. I’m sure there were a number of people like me who figured, John Lennon living in New York City, lot’s of interesting, cutting edge records coming out every week, he’s going to sound so fresh and exciting. The thing was it wasn’t really. I mean, Double Fantasy was ok, but it didn’t live up to my hopes, and why should it though? It’s his statement about life at 40, which looking back 5 years later at 40 makes me realize he was in a good spot after all. Me, being 18 in 1980 wanted some thrash and roll, skinny ties and all, now I’m more interested in chillin’ out. And that’s alright with me.

Today at work was Lydia’s last day. She was sweet enough to give me a gift, a photo book of her native country, Estonia. She was a real sweetheart, so pretty and definitely a help around the office. I’m certainly going to miss her and I know my workload will increase which is good, though I think they might realize their mistake in not getting a receptionist since I may be out on errands and they might actually have to do something physical. By they, I mean the people who decided not to get a receptionist, in case you hadn’t figured it out.

Here’s some snaps of Lydia, who’s real name is Linda. And some other various snaps.

told you she was pretty…

Sunlight on the photos

Hoboken Sunsets

Scientologists auditing

The end

and here’s something funner