Tag Archives: McSwells

She Bang

It’s a Monday and if you’re lucky enough to be employed you’re probably not happy about it. I remember when I was working, how I dreaded Mondays. Now all the days blend into one another and you can tell when it’s Monday when there are less people around. The usual downcast faces appear, coming in from the fog.

Just giving myself some poetic license.

It’s not foggy, but it has been rainy. I did go out a few times today, to the post office, to the Guitar Bar, the supermarket, as well as the bibliothèque twice.

Once to return Macbeth the DVD, the play and the Cliff Notes, the other time, just a few minutes ago to return Auntie Mame which I couldn’t watch since someone who may reside in Old Tappan might have scratched the disc. Right during the Christmas scene.

Jerry Herman would have pitched a fit! I need a little Christmas, right this very minute goddamn it! The candles are in the window and the spinet is in the shop but I’m sure we could use one of Bill’s keyboards.

I did get in return from the bibliothèque, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Never saw it but my curiosity was piqued when I saw that it was Brian Eno’s favorite movie. And Kubrick was a master filmmaker.

I have even put Eyes Wide Shut in my queue at the bibliothèque. I saw that in the theater but wasn’t that impressed, but it does deserve another look. I also caught a little bit of the ending of Rat Race this afternoon.

That was a date movie with Bill when we started going out. Silly little movie, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg and quite a few other people. It’s ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World’ for the 21st century just in case you thought this century was lacking one of those. We saw it when it came out in August 2001. It’s a goof.

Bill and I have been debating whether or not we’ve been together for 9 or 10 years. I say 9 and will be 10 in September. Bill says 10 now. We met in September 2000 you see.

And Thursday is the day we’re having Jim Mastro say those magic words for the sake of saying those magic words. The license office here in Hoboken needed a date and when I said July they said it had to be within 30 days.

So it’s just for the fact that we have to do it for the sake of the government.

I suppose in July, that is when we will actually have some vows written and said. I myself am leaning towards ‘A Whomp Bomp a Loo Bop, a Whomp Bam Boom’. I think it sums up our relationship quite nicely. I don’t know what Bill has to say on the matter or if he has anything to say regarding it.

I would like Maxwells to be the spot for our party. A Sunday afternoon, 12-4PM. Ideally it would be cool if Todd gave us the room for free. Cash bar out front, to discourage drunk driving and dancing, music and food in the back room.

That’s how I’m envisioning it. And I’m really hoping for it so much that I’ve written Maxwells instead of McSwells. I am going to have to talk to Todd soon, hat in hat and with humility.

And this just over the wire, Ricky Martin is out of the closet. Yes he’s admitted that he’s a fortunate homosexual. That’s nice. Can’t say I’m a fan of his music (though when he blew up the Grammys 12 years ago that was a thrill) but he certainly is someone easy on the eyes.

Well good luck to Ricky Martin, Salud!

Sorry Girls, He's Gay.

Sorry Girls, He's Gay.


Moving out in Hoboken. Police investigate.

Moving out in Hoboken. Police investigate.

I’ve Seen That Movie Too

This the second attempt at writing is underway. It’s been a day where things are a bit off. Bill rented a Zip Car since it’s the last day of the play Pecong and couldn’t find the key card which is usually in his wallet. I have have to confess my relief at not having anything to do with the missing card.

I did see the play last night, Pecong and it was an enjoyable show. Based on Medea and set in the West Indies. A few members of the audience did not know about Medea and so were surprised by the way things turned out.

A very good cast, wonderful lighting and an amusing and sometimes funny script kept the tragic events unfolding hidden from the eyes of the audience. Bill was a most able stage manager and from what I gathered was well regarded by the cast and crew. And it was a good turnout as well, nearly all the seats were filled.

Bill being the stage manager had to make sure everyone was out of the theater space since it gets used as a church on Sunday mornings. I mingled with the cast and crew and soon Bill and I were on a local 3 train downtown to 34th Street.

We walked through Penn Station and up to the street level. As we headed down the stairs to the Path train I spied some guy checking Bill out. When Bill tells me some guy is checking me out I continue on with my usual obliviousness. When I tell Bill the same thing, Bill scans the area.

It turns out he knew the other guy, a bloke named Richie from Bill’s old church. The stood and started chatting to each other as I turned and saw the 12:30 train about to leave the station. Of course by the time Bill was done the train had left the station and I didn’t have many kind words at all to say about Richie, though it wasn’t his fault.

I dreaded having to wait another hour for the next train but as we stood on the platform another train arrived about 15 minutes later. Not a comfortable ride though. For Bill and myself it was but a smallish woman and her oafish boyfriend sat next to Bill.

The smallish woman kept making faces at the size of Bill. I pointed it out to Bill and he didn’t care. As we left the train in Hoboken the woman was throwing knives with her eyes. Bill turned and started to say something but I advised him not to since the moment had passed.

And it was chilly as we walked home, Bill went to bed almost immediately and I followed soon thereafter. Finally I slept really well and probably would have continued sleeping if it weren’t for the fact that today was the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at McSwells.

And today the play scheduled was Macbeth, which happens to be my favorite Shakespeare play. I was up and out to get bagels and the paper and a little while after that I was walking up to McSwells. Bill had left and came back when he realized he couldn’t find his Zip Car key.

I would have helped him look for it but I was pressed for time and not one to favor being late.

On the way there I got a phone call from Lois who was wondering if I was coming. Most of the participants usually have brunch at McSwells, I eat at home. As I walked in there were Lois and five others eating brunch, not even close to being finished.

I sat in the fishbowl in the front room of McSwells and pulled out my notebook, waiting for the others to finish. They eventually joined in the fishbowl, Lois filling a bag with roles for the Scottish play.

As luck would have it, I pulled out the plum role of Macbeth. 685 lines. I also pulled out a few other roles since we only had five other readers and multiple parts are needed. I opted to read Macbeth in what I approximated to be a Scottish burr. By the end my throat was shot.

Still it was a fun time and once again I was glad that I did it. Next month I believe is The Tempest. Lois would love to have other readers to join in, no skills beside a reading comprehension is needed.

So if you find yourself in Hoboken on the last Sunday of the month and it’s around noon and you’re around McSwells, do stop in and join us. Extra copies are generally handy and you never know, you could be Prospero next month.

I just watched the BBC production of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company starring Ian McKellan and Judi Dench, and not for nothing, we had a better time this afternoon at McSwells.

The National Black Theater

The National Black Theater


3.28.10 Pecong vs Shakepeare reading 003
Bill and some cast members and a fan

Bill and some cast members and a fan


Today's Shakespeare readers

Today's Shakespeare readers


A nonplussed Macbeth

A nonplussed Macbeth

Oh and the head of the RC crutch feels that any connection of him to child rape is merely gossip.

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

Well I went outside today. After staying inside most of the day yesterday it was a treat. It wasn’t as cold as it was yesterday and it was actually bright and sunny. Last night I watched Led Zeppelin, downloaded a slew of tracks as well.

And I had forgotten that John Paul Jones, perhaps my favorite Zep was on Saturday Night Live as part of Them Crooked Vultures. Didn’t really care for them, but it’s a treat to see JPJ playing bass and having a good time, and despite what some people say, I do like Dave Grohl. Seems like a nice guy.

And while thinking of Led Zeppelin, I thought of a party I had thrown at my basement apartment at 1124 Willow. No real theme or reason for the party, just the idea of having a party. I knew a lot of people then, many people came, maybe 50.

Back then I used to say 100 people came but I was probably seeing double at the time. I was working for Murdoch Magazines at the time during the day and also working at McSwells at night.

The date was May 14, 1988 and I remember that since Julio and his buddy Damian came later in the night after attending the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden, where they saw a version of Led Zeppelin.

People did not come empty handed and we wound up keeping the beer cold in the bathroom, in an ice filled bathtub. The McSwells crew all came after the bar closed at 3:00AM, with more supplies and one or two bar flies/party crashers.

I remember Martin Kelly, after closing McSwells and coming over, telling me that when he walked through the door and down the hallway it looked like a certain friend of mine was eating powdered donuts from a bag, and I should be more careful that the police didn’t come.

I wasn’t worried about that since next door was a school and the apartment directly above was vacant. I did have the party crashers thrown out as well. I think either they or someone else stole someone’s jacket.

Another memory was some friends, Sean & Susan (?) doing ‘Da Butt’ by E.U. which was a hot song at the time, while my other friends laughed with them since they had it going on so well. Steve Fallon might have even made an appearance before the party ended at what I guess was about 5:30 or so.

The powdered donuts guy left Rand and myself a nice little mound of confectioners sugar which thrilled us some more for a while after that. It was a rousing success even though my answering machine was trashed, but then again, so most everyone was.

I did tried to duplicate the party again a few months later and it was not as successful but still a good time was had. I was psychedicized for that one as were a few other guests. Made changing records a major challenge.

One of the tripping guests who was tripping for the first time, the late Tony Sankitts, wound up feeling queasy and I set him up in my roommate’s empty room, where Tony threw up on the carpet. Pedro danced a dance called the rooftop in the back yard.

Like I said while it was a fun party, it wasn’t the event that the first party was. Couldn’t duplicate it I suppose. Last night I watched Saturday Night Live like I wrote about earlier. It was OK, could have been funnier.

The funniest sketch was towards the end, featuring a wedding reception and the former band of the bride’s father who were a hardcore band in the early 1980’s. Oh man it was classic.

I wasn’t really involved with the hardcore scene, I tended to listen to more melodic stuff. I think that’s when the music scene became fragmented, bands that were hardcore emerging and other bands with more tuneful songs which also fragmented into the silly new romantic crap of which hardcore was probably a rebellion against as well.

Became of a US vs UK thing as well. Still there were lots of interesting things happening with X, the Minutemen and REM as well as XTC, Elvis Costello and Talking Heads among others holding up the late 1970’s style, going forward for a spell.

I should write about the acid resurgence in the underground scene of the mid 80’s sometime. Just not this time.

Bill decided not to wear his sleep apnea mask last night which made him snore like he was playing a horn. I tried to fall asleep, pleading with him to at least give me 10 minutes to sleep then he could perhaps snore all he wanted, but he was unresponsive and asleep.

I decided to record him snoring and at one point, getting out of bed and uploading 5 recordings into the computer. Wound up with about 10 recordings overall. After the last recording, I said loudly ‘That’s a wrap’ which woke him up. I think when he woke up he jumped up and his head hit my hand holding the recorder.

This morning, I asked him if he slept well and he said he didn’t. He did ask, why did I hit him in the head last night and I swore I didn’t but he insisted that I did. Tonight I will crazy glue the sleep apnea mask to his face.

Hoboken scenes.

2.7.10 Hoboken 001

2.7.10 Hoboken 004

2.7.10 Hoboken 006

2.7.10 Hoboken 007

Pedro/Otisville

Pedro/Otisville

JOZ Colorize

Pedro Ramos- LOADED

Pedro Ramos- LOADED

looking up, looking ahead

looking up, looking ahead

Hole in My Shoe

Well here I am in the apartment, in front of the computer again. Tomorrow I start the new job. Yes I am anxious. How could I not be? After 7 months of not working, jumping back into the world of employment can be nerve wracking.

It’s not that bad though. I’m just nervous about waking up in time or rather on time. I’m sure it will be fine. A few friends have stated the same message, I will be fine, it will be fine. Bill started it last week, as he was kissing me goodbye in the morning while I was still in bed, that my days of freedom were winding down.

It should be an interesting scenario nonetheless. I haven’t decided what suit I am going to wear, but more than likely I will be wearing pinstripes. Still time to decide that.

Last night in case you didn’t notice, I’ve started animating the reading of the blog. At least yesterday’s entry, Beast of Burden. I started animating Ruby, My Dear but it was quite wordy so I stopped midway through, with the reader saying that it was Part One and if you want to hear Part Two, contact John Ozed.

No one wants to hear Part Two I guess, since I never heard from anyone. It’s inspired by Martha Keavney’s series, The Andromedans. I was up until almost 3:00 last night watching Now Voyager again while fine tuning the 2 animations I made last night. Didn’t get as much feedback as I had hoped, but like this blog, I will persevere and carry on regardless.

Last night before Now Voyager I watched Saturday Night Live. John Hamm was the host and he was funny in several bits, the Digital Short was pretty funny as well. Sergio!

Bill was sleeping in Atlantic City as I wrote yesterday.

He made it home safely this morning and went to bed. I headed up to the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at McSwells. Once again organized by Lois, this month we read The Taming of the Shrew. We started out with 7 readers, turned into 8 when someone showed up late.

Lois went all out, with many index cards with each different character spelled out. I wound up having about 9 speaking parts, most of them were only a few lines, other parts had lines throughout the play.

I used different voices again, I played Baptista with an effeminate lisp, Christopher Shy as a cockney, the merchant as a wise talking 1920’s character, the widow as a Python woman and the haberdasher with a cookie monster type voice.

There were a few other voices thrown in here and there, covering for Rand when his two characters wound up in a dialogue with each other. It was fun once again. The only thing is no one except for a few of us, heeded Lois’ instruction that we use our outdoor voices.

Mainly it was a couple of women who just used their everyday speaking voice which didn’t help when the noise of the restaurant got louder. That was a bit frustrating and I held off on requesting that they speak up.

Me & Rand

Me & Rand

1.31.10 Shakespeare Mxwls 012

1.31.10 Shakespeare Mxwls 013

Taming_of_the_shrew

Back to work tomorrow! Whee!

My Generation

Just got back a little while ago from McSwells with Bill. Lois DiLivio had organized an open reading of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. I was a bit apprehensive about it and suggested a few weeks ago that Lois choose a comedy rather than a drama.

But it was her doing and since she already posted what play we would be reading from she was averse to changing the selection. Perhaps next month. I don’t know who makes the decision on whether or not there would be a next month, but I would gladly participate if invited.

I portrayed 2 characters, Solanio, a friend to Antonio and Bassiano & also Old Gobbo, father to Lancelot. I surprised Bill and perhaps a few others when I read each character in a different voice. I surprised myself actually.

I’ve never participated in a reading like this though I have attended a few that Bill had either organized or participated in. All the roles were pulled out of a hat or rather a bag and some people found themselves playing characters that had dialogs between them.

That was weird and some tried different voices. Afterward, I suggested to Lois that perhaps if there is a conversation between 2 characters played by the same reader, perhaps the second lines should go to the person sitting to the left or the right of the initial character.

And perhaps for a fun twist, if the second reader says their lines in a different voice, then the person who originally had the lines, make them say it close to the way the secondary reader says. Does that make sense? It would also be a laugh.

And if that doesn’t work, helium should be introduced.

Lois did a commendable job organizing the whole thing, and Rand and Lisa with Rand’s sister Glenda as well as Jim and Diane and a guy named Steve with me & Bill all enjoyed ourselves. I wisely ate breakfast at home, skipping brunch which some had beforehand and others had to eat during the read.

There was some difficulty with ye olde English leading me to think but not suggest perhaps a more recent play, maybe George S. Kaufman? Even Oscar Wilde might be good. Obviously I am leaning towards comedy.

Considering that I spent a good part of the past 24 hours dealing with a most uncooperative toilet, I think leaning towards comedy isn’t such a bad thing. Beats shit, that’s for sure.

Finally after building up muscles in my arms via plunger usage a passage was created and things are flowing nicely in the porcelain world.

It was a pain and on the way up to McSwells I suggested that if he had to go, McSwells might be the best place to do it. I’m just glad it’s over with.

I also just found out that I’ll be attending a wake this week. My uncle, Joseph Powers passed away this morning. He was the last of my parents generation so now it’s down to the kids.

12.27.09 Merchant of Venice at Maxwells 005

Photo courtesy of Rand Hoppe

Photo courtesy of Rand Hoppe

Black Slacks

Well it’s a pretty cold Thursday. But I enjoyed it. Been an Ian Dury & the Blockheads day. Spent some time wandering around Hoboken and listening to New Boots and Panties on the iPod. Also downloaded a few rockabilly tracks and several disco tracks since if you’re on my gift list, burned CD’s is what you’ll be getting.

It’s been fun. Some Link Wray, Robert Gordon, Bill Justis, Eddie Cochran and Sweet Gene Vincent on the rockabilly side. France Joli, Alicia Bridges, KC & the Sunshine Band and the Trammps on the disco side.

All promising a good time, some songs that I heard the other night at the McSwells Christmas party, some songs that I last heard on WPIX-FM at the end of the 1970’s. I enjoyed playing them all, loud this afternoon.

Last night was quite nice. Warm and cozy. Bill made it home in time to catch the Simpsons episode which featured Lisa on a bus.

Bill is currently driving me crazy since he has a Droid now and is texting like mad while riding the 126 bus.

It was one of my favorite episodes it involved Homer and Lisa breaking into the Isis exhibit at the Springfield Museum. It’s all about taking stupid risks. One of my favorites.

Bill hoped that Lawn Hors d’œuvre would be on but it wasn’t. I decided to show him something that I recorded the other night, Voices of the People with Howard Zinn. Oh it was as good as expected, as powerful too. Bill definitely was into it. Several actors that he admires were in it, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Viggo Mortensen and Jasmine Guy to name but a few.

I recorded it, so it wound up being about 90 minutes rather than the 2 hours originally broadcast. Blip-verts! Bill went to bed soon after that and I of course stayed up and watched most of Craig Ferguson. I also started a Facebook group for Hoboken Daily News. An attempt to bolster their spirits since they’re a bit afraid now that 7 Eleven opened up across the street from them.

Slept soundly after that. Woke up and started the downloading. Walked around listening to Ian Dury, stopped by the Guitar Bar and picked up some mail from Jim for the post office. I was mailing some holiday cards so it was a nice thing to do.

I stopped by Hoboken Daily News and told the proprietor Andy about the Facebook group and he was thrilled even though he didn’t know what Facebook was. I took some more pictures and posted them to the Facebook group. Bought some CD’s at CVS for the burning I continue to do.

Came home and while burning some reggae CD’s for my nephew Earl I decided to watch Synecdoche, New York. It’s written by Charlie Kaufman who also wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Charlie Kaufman also directed. It’s really quite a movie.

Unnerving and unsettling and also very engrossing.

It’s funny, I’ve been told I look like Phillip Seymour Hoffman and since I also look like by brother Frank quite a bit, it’s safe to say that if A=B, and B=C, then A=C. The funny part and by funny I mean strange, was the fact that so much of the first part of the film reminded me of Frank and his current ailments.

Great cast including Catherine Keener, Dianne Weist, Samantha Morton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Michelle Williams to name but a few. I definitely intend on seeing it again there is a lot involved in watching it and I probably missed some of it since I was also burning CD’s. It has so many layers involved, I highly recommend it!

12.17.09 Hoboken Daily News 010

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…

Back Off Boogaloo

It was a humid day today, but maybe that was me. But when walking around Hoboken I saw people that weren’t bundled up, in fact I was relatively overdressed. A bit sweaty when I came home. I didn’t mind, it wasn’t raining and the temperature has been predicted to drop quite a bit.

Last night I went to the McSwells holiday party. I wasn’t invited per se, but I did go as Chris Repella’s chaperone and also as Roda’s guest. I didn’t really know what to expect since I hadn’t been to the McSwells holiday party in a long time, at least when I used to write it as Maxwells.

I don’t recall it starting at 9:00, maybe it started at 8:00. I DJ’d it a few times, Steve Fallon would make a run and brings back dozens of White Castle burgers. An occasional pot luck and an open bar with 2 irregular regulars behind the bar, one a high school teacher and the other part of the scene at the Elysian Cafe down the block.

It was always a good time, drinks flowing, people running upstairs to various apartments to sniff or smoke various things that couldn’t be done in public. Nobody got hurt, no fist fights, just a general good time.

The first time I went I did feel privileged to be there and had Rand as my guest. One time his sister showed up after seeing him and Rand had to tell her she couldn’t stay, she wasn’t invited. That was how exclusive it was, if exclusive was the right word.

Mainly it was all about the love for Steve Fallon and his family, from the workers and regulars. Last night it was a different scene, quite crowded and no open bar. That was a shocker. I had a couple of singles for tips but not enough for an actual drink, thinking that it would be a freebie.

I met up with Chris and we strolled up. Once inside, I saw Rand & Lisa chatting and it was crazy crowded in the front room as a two man band played some funk and soul classics. It was fun for me but for others it’s was the same bloody thing they’ve had the past four years.

I saw Roda and he is much loved there, or at least he was last night with various people among his co-workers saying and slurring how much they loved him. He is a loveable guy. I tried to get a Guinness but couldn’t get served though most everyone else around me at the bar seemed to have no problem.

I decided to leave, perhaps vanish and no one would notice, I hoped. But the coat rack was laden with winter coats and I couldn’t find my navy pea coat on a rack, mixed in with other coats, much the same color.

After about 10 minutes of searching, Lisa and Chris both saw what I was doing and asked where I was going. I said I was going to the ATM to get some cash and they both said forget about it, they’d buy me a beer.

So I stayed and had a beer. I was swept into the backroom where a DJ was playing some old and obscure 45’s of soul and garage songs. Lisa was on the floor dancing and Rand and I were holding up the wall when Chris grabbed me by the arm and soon had me dancing on the floor.

It was fun, Rand & Lisa, me & Chris, Todd Abramson and his wife, Gaylord Fields and his wife, and quite a few others all doing whatever frugs or watusi’s or foot stomping required. I wished it was Madison Time myself.

I was quite sweaty by then. Went out for a smoke with Roda and should have worn my coat, but got over it. More dancing in the front room to the two man band playing Brick House by the Commodores and Give It To Me Baby by Rick James.

It went on like that for a while. Finally Roda got me and asked if I wanted to take a walk so walk we did. A good walk, a bit gossipy and a bit fan boy, talking about the Dark Knight movie and how good it was. Also how McSwells had changed from people that showered daily (when I worked there) to guys that proudly did not.

Heard about one guy who used to be quite friendly, Chris Ward and no longer around in NJ, out west somewhere who treated Roda like crap, enough so that Roda had to threaten to belt him just to get out of his face.

Yep, Maxwells had changed into McSwells and apparently I got out at just the right time. And so did Steve Fallon. Who would want to deal with the ABC, the Health Inspector, taxes, Hoboken politics and various bands? After almost 20 years, that would be enough.

Still times being the way they are lately, if offered a job there I’d probably take it. But that won’t happen since Todd doesn’t like me very much.

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Blockheads

Well last night, or rather prior to last night I was fraught with anxiety which both my sister Annemarie and my brother Frank detected when they called me on the phone. I tried working through it on my own, having a hearty dinner and decided some music might be good to clear the decks.

I picked Sweeney Todd and got through the first 2 songs then I asked myself, ‘Is this supposed to make me feel better?’ It wasn’t working and went to the tried and true record that always gets me out of my blues, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, ‘Do It Yourself’. And it worked.

I got my stuff together, 2 iPods, cables for the iPods as well as AC cables and the new cables to connect to the soundboard. I checked a few times to make sure it wasn’t forgetting anything. It was pouring rain as I walked up to 14th Street and got some cash from the ATM, just in case I wanted a drink.

I initially thought I wasn’t going to have a drop, but then I thought ‘why the hell not?’ Also enjoyed a cigar on the way, walking under my big umbrella and took some pictures of various holidays lights with my cellphone which I sent to Facebook.

Got to McSwells as one of the bands were sound checking their way through Rock & Roll by Led Zeppelin. Carson was the sound man as expected and he was a pleasure to work with. Since they don’t employ DJ’s anymore at McSwells, they usually play CD’s between acts nowadays, there was no mixer so I was going to use 2 channels on the soundboard to switch back and forth from the iPods using volume control.

I went outside for a smoke while the sound checking continued and saw someone who looked familiar. I asked if he was Chris Butler and it was. I introduced myself as Frank’s brother and told him that Frank would not be coming but he told me to say hello.

Chris Butler was quite nice and I mentioned that I would be playing a song that he wrote later in the night, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. I do love that song and he said thanks and ran off.

I went inside and started playing, figuring that things would be delayed a while, starting off with Wah Wah by George Harrison.

Soon the first band came on, Tammy Faye Starlite featuring Miss Tammy Faye with assorted musicians that would appear later on in the evening. She was good, at least singing wise. Her between song patter was best described as crude. I suppose it was funny but lacked in sophistication and wit.

Ran into Rand who was by the bar and wound up hanging out with him through the night. Also saw Roger Johansen and it’s always good to see him. George Usher was next, he played an earnest set. I mainly know him as having lived in the same building as Jim and Meghan when they lived in Hoboken last.

The Individuals were next, Jim Mastro filling in on guitar playing with Glenn Morrow, Janet Wygal and Doug Wygal. I love watching Jim play, he certainly brings a spark to the proceedings. Then up came the Guitar Bar All Stars, various employees of my favorite shop.

They opened with Heroes by David Bowie which I had to then scratch off my playlist, then they played Dylan’s Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat and that made another song I had to cross off. But it was all in fun. In between acts I only had one or two songs to play, the changeover from band to band was that smooth and swift.

I did play Christmas Wrapping and a couple of guys came up to me saying that Chris Butler was right there as I was playing it. Yes, it was a thrilling moment. A few other guys came up to me throughout the night, telling me how much they liked the tunes I was playing, how it brought them back to the 1980’s-90’s when I last DJ’d at McSwells.

Sweet.

Up next was Elena & Boo, doing a nice country & western set of duets, guitar and banjo. While the bands were on I usually took a picture of who was playing, then ran out front and had a pint with Rand, timing it to be back in time, but just in case, I told Carson the sound guy which iPod was cued up.

The big surprise was Antietam. They were old friends from the Louisville contingent that Rand and I et al used to occasionally hang out with. It was great to see them again and they looked great and they sounded better than they ever did before, even covering a song written by Terry Karydes who the benefit was for. Melodies mean a lot!

Everyone’s favorite nice guy drummer Dennis Diken was up next with the Bell Sound and they were fun. Chris Butler was playing with them and much to my surprise, they covered Christmas Wrapping! It was a lovely surprise and I found myself singing along, spurred on by what was now a few pints of Guinness.

Next up were the Schramms which was the band that Terry Karydes played with back in the day. They rocked of course,, and of course I was getting rocked myself.

The wonderful Chris Repella made an appearance, just hanging out. She lives around the block from me. She’s another sweetheart. Then Kate Jacobs followed with her band and played a sweet set. Then closing the show was Freedy Johnston who opened with Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes.

All in all a very lovely evening. Guy Ewald was there, he was the guy I replaced when he gave up DJing, John, Toni and Mark from Speed the Plough were also there, asking about Frank and once again I gave the spiel.

Also spotted was the legendary and beloved Bill Ryan who hardly anyone sees these days and he was with Suzanne who used to be around a lot. She looked as great as ever and still one of the prettiest and sweetest people.

I actually saw her at the Library the other day, I was heading out and held the door for her as she was heading in. I descended the steps and thought, ‘Was that Suzanne?’ and lingered outside thinking she’d be back out. I asked if she was at the library and she said she was and thought basically the same thing about me.

I spoke with Dennis Diken who’s a really nice guy, and he remembered Frank of course, and also my brother Brian. He asked if there were any more of us, and I mentioned Annemarie but she’s in Northern California. Rand, Chris Repella and I just hung out by the front bar drinking more and more Guinness and having many laughs.

We almost closed the bar but there was a table of 6 people who came in late for some cocktails, so technically we weren’t the dirty stay outs. Once again, I had a much better time than I expected to have.

It’s nice when that happens.

Here’s the playlist from last night and pictures of all the bands….
Wah Wah- George Harrison
Cut it Out- The Go Betweens
Time to Pretend- MGMT
Joy to the World- The Fab Four
Winter of Love- Chris Stamey
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot- A Girl Called Eddy
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Husky Team
I’d Like You for Christmas (Ursula 1000 Remix)- Julie London
Love in the Year 3000- The B-52’s
Christmas Time is Here Again- The Beatles
Inspiration Information- Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas- The Staple Singers
2000 Miles- Pretenders
Purple Snowflakes- Marvin Gaye
Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Backing Track with Vocals) The Beach Boys
Two Weeks- Grizzly Bear
Jack the Ripper- Raybeats
Shakin’ All Over- The Yardbirds
Christmas Wrapping- Waitresses
A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)- The Flaming Lips
Marshmallow World- Darlene Love
Jump in the Fire- Harry Nilsson
Well Alright- Spoon
Lenin- Arcade Fire
Buzz- Pylon
Fairytale of New York- The Pogues
My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)- Regina Spektor

Tammy Faye Starlite

Tammy Faye Starlite

George Usher

George Usher

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Guitar Bar All Stars

The Guitar Bar All Stars

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Antietam!

Antietam!

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

The Schramms

The Schramms

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Freedy Johnston

Freedy Johnston

Eastern Standard

A rainy Sunday. It’s in the 40’s, or so they say. I was outside earlier when It wasn’t raining and when it wasn’t too cold. But from the constant downpour it just looks like it’s too wet to go outside. But outside I must go, later on around 5:00, for tonight is the night I will be DJing at McSwells for the first time in about 15 years.

I’m a bit apprehensive, a bit anxious. Not so much since it’s been 15 years, but more like it’s from I don’t want to upset anyone with what I play. I have an idea of what I’ll play. And it will probably the first time that I’ve DJ’d at McSwells where I didn’t get fucked up.

There’s 10 bands playing, one or two dropped off the original line up which is too bad since I always enjoy seeing Karen Kuhl. From the looks of the schedule, I should be selecting songs to play for 10 minutes between each act, but things being what they are and this being a rock and roll situation, who can really tell?

I ‘m sure it will be a good time. Starts at 6PM and should go to 11PM but you know these Rock & Rollers…

Last night was a good time for sure. My former boss Risotto and his partner GFunk threw a nicely sophisticated party at their place in Newport. It was a pleasant walk over to Newport from Hoboken, Bill hadn’t walked on the walkway that was opened a few months ago connecting Hoboken to the Newport area of Jersey City.

Bought a bottle of wine since it’s good form not to show up with one arm longer than the other. Had the wine in my shoulder bag as Bill and I strolled over enjoying cigars and made it to the 21st floor apartment.

Very nice space and as Risotto does things, a place for everything and for everything a place. It was the first time I had met Gregoire and he seemed like a nice enough fellow. Quite a mix of friends, all pleasant and interesting.

I had a few glasses of wine and Bill and I mingled. The food was excellent as was the wine. The view from Risotto’s apartment was interesting enough to look across and see other people in their apartments. Some parties going on, some other things going on as well.

It was a bit like Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, with me playing the Thelma Ritter role instead of James Stewart or Grace Kelly. Unfortunately after a few hours we needed to leave since Bill had to get up mighty early to drive a bus once again to Atlantic City.

But we had a good time with Risotto and GFunk and their guests and wished them all a happy and healthy holiday. Bill and I had another leisurely stroll back to Hoboken, where the bars were packed once again.

Bill was soon ready for bed, I stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live, not really paying much attention but from what I did pay attention it was merely OK. They are doing good by not letting the sketches run too long.

Bill was gone by the time I woke up and got the paper and some things for breakfast. And so far most of the day has been spent on the phone with Annemarie, my brother Frank and brave Ulysses. Ulysses called to see if I heard from Pedro who flew down to Puerto Rico last night for his father’s funeral. I hadn’t and didn’t expect to.

Annemarie was calling just to check in on a Sunday like we do, Frank called and told me he more than likely wasn’t going to show up at McSwells tonight.

Too much of a hassle with the rain and parking. I don’t expect my brother Brian to show either since the band he wants to see, Dennis Diken & the Bell Sound is only going to play for 20 minutes or so. He could always show up but with the weather is I doubt it.

I think the main thing that is making me nervous is the fact that I’ll be using iPods instead of vinyl or CD’s. Hopefully it will work out since I followed Carson the sound guy’s instructions and bought the cables he suggested.

So my fingers are crossed and I hope it will be a successful evening for Terry Karydes.

Due to the outing of Risotto, the pictures have been renamed and made even sexier since Risotto’s parole officers are freaking out. You should have come out earlier Risotto, But to each in their own time.

Ahh what the fuck.
bill 2

jot 4

bill 3

jot 5

12.12.09 essence of ridiculousness

Bill called and told me to break a leg with regards to my DJing tonight. He says I’ll be stupendous and that was nice to hear. Annemarie and Frank said the same, so I guess I had better be on top of my game!

This is Pop

Ah, had a good nap after going into the city and meeting Bill. I needed to get some cables for the DJ gig I’m doing at McSwells on Sunday. It’s a benefit for a local musician and a host of bands from the past are all playing.

When I first heard about while riding the bus during the summer I volunteered my services. And now the time has come. It hadn’t exactly been on the front burner until about a month ago when the guy who initially told me about it on the bus contacted me about it, suggesting that I play Grand Funk Railroad, Paul Revere & the Raiders and other groups like that.

Whether he was joking I couldn’t tell. It’s just as well for when this guy contacted me and asked if I was ready to DJ and I said sure. Jokingly I replied that what I was going to play was going to be amusing, entertaining and perhaps infuriating.

Almost instantly a reply was sent, berating me with the worry that it was a benefit I was going to be playing, and infuriating people was NOT the way to inspire people to give to help the ill musician pay her medical bills.

Once again, humor did not translate through email, much like I wasn’t sure if this guy was joking about playing Grand Funk Railroad for the benefit. I did speak with one of the people who is playing and they weren’t so much into doing the gig.

They didn’t know the musician and neither did I, though I probably did see the band the ill musician did play for at one time, but more than likely did not stick around for a full song since it wasn’t my type of music then and thought the band rather lackluster.

But I suppose my heart is in the right place. I won’t be getting fucked up like I used to back in the day when I would DJ at McSwells on a regular basis. I guess while the bands are playing I’ll be going outside having a smoke and listening for each of the bands to end their set.

The sound guy, Carson seemed nice enough when I met him last month so I guess I’ll find out how long each set will be and time my exits and entrances accordingly.

I am doing my best to promote the event, at least once a day I repost it on my Facebook page and Kirk Gardiner of the Hoboken Journal was nice enough to give it a blog on his blog.

I also have planned some things to play and since we’re slipping and sliding towards the holidays, I have a playlist of about 125 Christmas songs that I can draw from and alternate with the standard rock and roll fare that is probably expected.

So today I had to head into the city, braving the 24 degree weather with a most nasty wind chill factor. When I met with sound guy Carson I asked what I needed to use my iPods instead of vinyl or CD’s and he told me which type of cables to get.

After checking with Radio Shack as Carson suggested I decided to try Sam Ash. Bill said he would buy them since he would need them eventually for whatever projects he would have down the road. Bill called up a audio place down the street from where he worked and he said they would probably have what I needed. If not, they could make them for us.

I went a different route and contacted Sam Ash on 48th Street and they said they had them. So a custom made cable wouldn’t be needed and I thought it would be good to save Bill some money on that front. I met Bill on 43rd street and walked up to 48th street.

Times Square filled with tourists despite the shoot out last night outside the Marriott Marquis. We made our way to the DJ area and the salesman was most helpful. I actually hadn’t been to Sam Ash since my late friend Tony Sankitts was running the DJ department.

I bought 2 cables and headed out with Bill, back into the cold midtown air. We walked to Godiva chocolate where Bill is a regular and bought me some chocolates which was nice. I then walked him back to his office and I walked over to JR Cigars on Fifth Avenue and bought a couple of cigars that were incredibly cheap.

Came home exhausted, and took a nap which is where I started this thing tonight. I still have no idea what I will be playing on Sunday night, but then again I never did when I had a regular DJ gig at McSwells.

I was invited to their Christmas party on Monday night by Roda, but having been to one or two of those during the new regime, I probably won’t go. Too weird for and Rand is better with the current McSwells scene than I am anyway which is 180 degrees than how it was 20 years ago.

Galaxy-NJ-Musicians-evert

It’s funny, I can’t help but run into people who thing the guy who runs Hoboken411 is a jerk.

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.

Just Like Heaven

It’s a late entry tonight due to the fact that I was taking some office skills tests from the interview. I’ve been doing tutorials for Excel, Word, PowerPoint & a typing test for the past few days.

Finally felt comfortable enough with Excel which was my main sticking point. Word I was good at, Power Point I never used before and abandoned after being stuck on question 6 for about 20 minutes.

Bill was here, trying to to coach me during various parts but it was also during Lawn Hors d’œuvre followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm so I didn’t have his full attention. Surprisingly enough Excel wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not bad for learning it on the fly.

Bill did his best, but both of us were waylaid by Power Point. It was sort of like coming home after having fun outside on a Sunday and then having to do the homework which was put off a few times. But my frame of mind was best for it as the previous 24 hours were very good.

Last night I watched Adventureland which was mostly enjoyable. Nice refreshing look on the 1980’s. Some bits of that decade I remember and that was through the songs they used in the movie. One song in particular stood out, besides Rock Me, Amadeus.

Just Like Heaven by the Cure. I’ve liked the Cure, have one of their greatest hits collections and some of their vinyl somewhere. I remembered hearing Just Like Heaven over and over at McSwells when I was a bar back.

Hearing it last night was like hearing it for the first time and it sounded easy to play. I looked up the chords online and yes, it was quite easy to play. A E Bm D with the chorus of F#m G repeated and followed by a D & E. That’s it. I played it a few times last night and downloaded it since it wasn’t on the Staring At The Sea Greatest Hits compilation.

Saturday Night Live was alright, funny in parts. The Black Eyed Peas were OK. After that I wound up watching ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’ which was about how the Beatles were a major force in the cultural upheaval and eventual downfall of the Soviet Union.

Before I knew it it was 2:00. Bill was driving a bus back from Atlantic City so he wasn’t home and I missed his snoring/sleep apnea mask noises. Woke up around 9:00 this morning. Message from Bill that he was driving back to Atlantic City. Then another message that he wasn’t driving back to Atlantic City.

So he was getting the bagels after all. He came home and promptly went to bed while I ate breakfast and read the paper.

I decided to enjoy the nice day outside and called Julio who was napping. Called Rand and left a message. Walked around town, headed towards Pier A.

Up ahead I saw Tim, a 15 year old red headed guitar player who I saw a few weeks ago. He was doing some Dylan songs last time. This time he was also doing some Neil Young.

There was another guy who bummed a cigarette off me, Tariq. I saw Tariq playing the other day and he was a decent player as well. While Tim played Tariq and I talked about how good Tim was. People were throwing change and dollar bills into his guitar case.

Another guitar player showed up but I didn’t get his name. He sort of took over whatever was going on which was a bit of a drag. Stones, Skynyrd was the direction he was trying to go towards.

Earlier I mentioned to Tariq that I sort of play the guitar and he offered me his guitar. I begged off. He insisted and finally said, ‘Listen man, I gotta take a piss. You can hold the guitar for me, alright?’

So I did and sat next to Tim. I asked Tim if he knew any Cure songs and he asked which one. I said Just Like Heaven and he said it was one of his favorites. So we played that for a while.

Another guy joined us reading lyrics off his Blackberry to whatever was being played. As I sat and played I looked across the Hudson River and the city had turned green. The sun reflecting off the water was very impressive and I had to ask the others if they saw what I saw, that’s how impressive it was. They saw it too.

I found out that playing outside isn’t so bad after all and these guys were supportive which was something I wasn’t that used to regarding my guitar playing. I was even asked back and I told them I would bring my own guitar next time when the weather was nice.

Then I caught up with Julio and Superboy. They were on Washington Street and we strolled along. Alexander hung onto his rubber ball even when we made it to the park and he would climb the kiddie slide.

It’s funny to see Julio and Alexander together. It’s like Julio has his own Mini Me. A walk home with Alexander flying with Julio and I grabbing each of his hands and lifting, one, two three!

Tim the guitarist

Tim the guitarist

Tariq, Skynyrd guy, Tim

Tariq, Skynyrd guy, Tim

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 009

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 002

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 008

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 010

Ring Them Bells

Well it’s quite balmy out. It’s in the 70 degree range. On Washington Street hundreds of costumed children and their costumed parents are hitting up all the store owners for candy. They don’t go ringing bells in Hoboken.

In Weehawken, for the longest time (during the 11 years I lived there) the kids wouldn’t come to 127-129 Jane Street since my late landlady had a mean reputation. When she passed away that was when they finally started ringing the bell, after the crossing guard told them that it was safe to ring those bells.

It was initially startling to have the bell ringing every couple of minutes. But I indulged them with candy.

I myself haven’t gotten dressed up for Halloween for years. I think the last time was when I had a Darth Vader helmet that I bought for $40.00 in the 1980’s.

I went to the costume party at McSwells where I thought I stood out since my costume was mainly store bought, and everyone else seemed to have costumes they had made themselves.

The only costume that stands out in my memory was Steve Fallon dressed up as Mr. Peanut from Planter’s peanuts. Obviously it was a great costume if I’m remembering it 25 years later.

Last night there was a Halloween Karaoke at McSwells attended by Rand & Lisa and Lois & Fred. Roda was there too, managing the place. I didn’t go, wound up staying home. Bill came home and we had a good talk, then his phone rang and he was in the other room talking acting stuff with a playwright he is working with.

I just turned down the volume on the TV and played music until the news came on. Then I watched a documentary about the Beatles’ Love show in Las Vegas. That was actually very good and made me want to go to Vegas and see the show. That’s not going to happen at this moment in time though.

Then I watched another documentary on Joe Strummer, The Future is Unwritten. I had seen it before and it’s quite good and very sad, since Joe Strummer is no longer with us. I watched the whole thing, going to bed a little after 2:00.

As usual Bill was up before I was. He had me up for a while with his snoring. If I’m asleep first it’s no problem. But if I’m trying to sleep that’s when it gets difficult. I guess after an hour of trying to fall asleep, I feel asleep.

Bill went out and got bagels and the paper for me which was nice. I got myself out of bed and showered and tried to think of something to do.

Got a text from Rand asking how the computer was holding up and since you’re reading this you can tell that it’s holding up just fine. I asked him how McSwells was and he texted back ‘Twas OK’. I actually entertained the idea of going up to McSwells last night wearing the Mexican Mil Mascaras wrestling mask, but obviously I didn’t go.

I did go to the library this afternoon though. Picked up the Hoax, starring Richard Gere, based on from what I gather Clifford Irving and his fabricated biography of Howard Hughes. Also Rock N’ Rolla by Guy Ritchie. I figured since Snatch was an alright movie, this might be a good movie to watch tonight. Bill loved Snatch, but then again he is a sucker for a brogue.

Other than that, I’m rebuilding my music library, somewhat illicitly. I’ve always liked Who’s That Lady by the Isley Brothers of Teaneck NJ, but never got around to getting it. I remembering hearing it back in the day when FM radio wasn’t segregated.

You’d hear the Isley’s, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and lot’s of others mixed in. Nowadays I guess you don’t. I really couldn’t say since I don’t listen to the radio anymore.

I did download an excellent Kate Bush song, called Aerial. It’s really an interesting song and has birds chirping in it. I read somewhere a few months ago that when the writer would play the song, birds would flock to his window.

Now it’s getting too dark out, but I would like to see it happen sometime, just to see if it’s true. If it doesn’t happen I’ll still have a good song in my library thanks to Kate Bush.

No Clocks

Last night at Rand & Lisa’s with Lois and Fred. After telling Lois about the three hour nap the other day following lunch with Rand, Lois was so excited about the whole idea of taking a nap.

I suggested we swap places. I’ll take her job and she can have all the naps she wants.

It was a pleasant little get together, and though Rand said I wasn’t, I was the fifth wheel. Just a matter of fact. 2 couples, four people and me. I was fine with it, having been that wheel many, many times.

After a cocktail at Rand and Lisa’s we headed up towards McSwells, for one or two more. As we walked up I was frantically looking for my lighter so I could enjoy a quick smoke en route.

Lois was telling me about a project she was working on as a German art dealer. I patted my pockets, rifled through the pockets and finally gave up only to find the lighter in my hand.

The Bongos at McSwells. Scott and Andrea and Chaz and one or two faces from back then. Since Meghan Taylor was under the weather with the flu I didn’t go in the back. Really didn’t care.

20 years ago it would have been something to see the Bongos after breaking up in 1987. No it’s a day late and a dollar short. It was good to see Scott and Andrea again.

I’m sure they’re still living apart, Andrea living in Asbury Park and Scott living in the Jersey City Heights. Their kids were there Ed and Elmer. I don’t know if Chrissie made it, but it was otherwise, a Harbison family reunion.

It was good to see Chaz again as well. I came home a little buzzed after a couple of pints and sat down and wrote most of the above. Today was a gray day again. Rain expected most of the weekend, so it’s going to be an indoor weekend mostly.

I have from the library a 3 disc DVD set of the Dick Cavett show, Musical Guests. Sly & the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, Crosby & Stills, Janis Joplin, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and George Harrison.

Not as interesting as I had hoped. George Harrison is the most interesting for me of course. Jefferson Airplane were deadly dull. It’s fun to see the clips knowing the history of what was going on behind the scenes.

Sly and the fear and loathing that comes with excessive coke use, Janis not alive much longer after her visits on the Cavett show. George Harrison was in the midst of the ongoing Beatles break up that wouldn’t really be resolved until 1976.

In the last issue of Mojo, with Kraftwerk on the cover, there’s a review of yet another Beatles book. This one got my attention with the gossip and the juicy details and a good review.

It’s Called ‘You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the Beatles’. Apparently it wasn’t all lovey dovey (though that’s been dispelled).

Paul writing a note to John during the White Album sessions saying ‘You and your Jap tart think you’re so cool’ and also Paul secretly buying up shares of their publishing company Northern Songs.

They all come off badly. Ringo was a drunk, Paul really didn’t care that John was murdered. And George had his own problems with his constantly choosing the wrong manager who would steal money. He did that a few times. And John with his hang ups and problems.

It seems so gossipy I hope it gets released in the States. It’s been on the shelf in England for a few weeks already.

Last night on the Python documentary was all about the Life of Brian and how Graham Chapman finally sobered up.

Intergalactic

OK, I’m cheating. I am writing this the next day since it was too late last night and I just didn’t wanna. The cheating part will be when I post it under yesterday’s date. Yesterday was a slow day. Slow enough to warrant a nap.

And nap is what I did. After running errands, doing laundry and cleaning up the apartment some more. Heard from Rita, thanking me for her birthday card. Also heard from Earl, thanking me for the Beatles CD’s I gave him.

Since I bought myself the remasters I decided to give him my older copies. Heard from my brother Frank who was just checking in. Told him all about seeing Leon Russell the previous Sunday. He was off to his 40th High School reunion.

Nice that he goes to these things. I doubt if I would ever go to my 30th which would be next year. I learned my lesson at the 20th year reunion. I lived life for 20 years without seeing my former classmates and plan on continuing to do so without seeing them ever again.

I was invited to a Yahoo groups function in the city and was mostly wishy washy about going. When I woke up from the nap I was still wishy washy. But like the drone I used to be when I was working, I got out of bed and put on a suit and tie and got myself together.

I have been meaning to mention that now I feel really unemployed since I canceled my bus pass and since I don’t have a bus pass anymore I decided to take the Path train into the city. Plus at the hour of 6:00 it made more sense to do that rather than sit in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel.

I walked up to west 46th Street to the Ritz Bar where the function was taking place. It was similar to the Yahoo group parties I used to go to a few years ago. I met the guy who invited me, Gary from Los Angeles and he was quite happy to see me.

I almost didn’t go but Gary was glad that I did. Also met Rob who is someone I’ve chatted with a while ago. He used to live in Hillsdale, now he lives in Freehold. It was a nice group and it was definitely good for my ego. And it was a good networking opportunity.

I had a few Stella Artois and after an hour or two I was headed to Hoboken to have drinks with Rand & Lisa, to celebrate RoDa’s birthday. I had burned a few CD’s of Girl Talk, Air & Scritti Politti for RoDa. I’ve talked those groups up often enough that it made sense that RoDa should actually hear them.

I stood outside having a smoke when Bill ambled up. I told him about meeting up at McSwells and was surprised to have him show up. He likes RoDa too so it made sense.

Lois and Fred showed up with Rand and Lisa and we all sat at a table, munching on curly fries and having a few drinks. RoDa was actually working so he couldn’t sit with us the whole time but did hang for a few minutes here and there. It was a nice, sort of impromptu night.

For me, there was enough Stella Artois to not want to write last night, but here I am now, trying to make amends. So there.

The apartment next to the Ritz Bar.

The apartment next to the Ritz Bar.

Far Away Eyes

It’s quite a gray day again. When I woke this morning, the western half of the sky was dark and ominous. Now some blue peeks out. When I spoke to Julio the other day, he made a comment about me taking a nap.

I said to him that I don’t really take naps these days. In the past few days I’ve taken 3 naps. I suppose it could be the sudden drop in temperature, causing my lethargy. The lack of sunlight is also a factor I am sure.

And also Julio suggesting that I take naps when I haven’t probably influenced my taking of naps.

Did some running around, paying bills and whatnot. Also called my insurance company since the blood tests I had in August weren’t paid. Seems that Quest Diagnostics sent the paperwork to the wrong address. So I hope that gets taken care of. Also tried to check my bank account online but that was unavailable for the past 48 hours.

Watching some Glenn Beck on TV right now. Just for a morbid curiosity. He really plays to the elderly people sitting at home, having dinner at 5:00 (like I just did) and preying on their fears with an ‘Oh shucks’ attitude and forced indignation paired with the occasional crocodile tears.

He is quite like an asshole now and probably was one when he was doing coke and smoking weed all the time. Then he became a Moron. I mean, Mormon. I seem to always misspell that. But he’s gone and his words and seeds of fear with more than likely take root in the minds of his viewers.

And right now I am having problems with http://johnozed.com , establishing a database connection. This happens from time to time. Only usually after I’ve written something., not while I am writing. Such a cold message, Error establishing a database connection.

I have a web cam. Had it for a while. Finally hooked it up. Now Harpy has found me and we are in the midst of a web chat. I didn’t know I had a microphone on the cam but apparently he can hear me. I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t say anything bad.

Next week is a March on Washington. I thought about going and visiting Billie, but I think Billie would rather be out of town since there will be so many out of towners coming in. I asked Bill about it but he can’t go since he’s doing something for Amiri Baraka’s birthday.

It would seem like something perfect for the both of us to do, but that seems unlikely. I was also invited to Juan’s place in Trenton this weekend, an over night thing, Saturday into Sunday. No communication on that today.

Instead, I take naps.

I might take a walk up to McSwells as it’s Roda’s birthday tonight. I burned a few CD’s for him so it might happen. It might happen sooner rather than later since I still cannot establish a database connection. Benjamin Netanyahu can. He uses Word Press too.

Bah!

Still the idea of going to DC for such an event as the March on Washington weighs on my mind. I will have to call Billie about that this weekend. I’ve been bad with calling some people back the past week. I always think these people are sitting by their phone thinking, ‘Why hasn’t John called?’ but I know that isn’t the case.

Last week I tried calling Annemarie on the weekend like I always do, but their phone was messed up. I could hear them but they couldn’t hear me. I could hear the aggravation on the other end. That was what put me off calling other people. ‘What if they can’t hear me either? Wouldn’t they be aggravated too?’, I thought to myself.

So in a way it’s good that I never called, isn’t it?

And thanks to Rand my database connection to Word Press has been reconnected. Perhaps we will meet up for a Birthday drink with RoDa tonight.

A Million Miles Away

Right now I am watching Glenn Beck. I always wanted to see this car wreck of a show. Right now some puppet is calling Jimmy Carter an anti Semite. Really couldn’t take much of it, played Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel which is a nice palate cleanser.

I knew that Glenn Beck was an asshole, but wow, what a big asshole he is, or has.

Today has been an overcast day, gray clouds and considerably cooler. Autumnal weather. Got an email inviting me to see a taping of Spectacle with Elvis Costello at the Apollo Theater with Nick Lowe as a guest so I decided to invite my brother Brian, knowing that he would get a kick out of it. It’s next Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 and we have a plan.

Last night was a good night. Juan stopped by for a little while and just like old times he assumed his place on the couch, me in front of the computer and Bill, for a bit of a change was in front of his Mac doing some homework.

Juan and I watched the last three episodes of True Blood. He calls it goth, I don’t go for his bait. Also calls True Blood fans ‘Fang Bangers’. Still I resist the bait. It was good to see Juan, looking so handsome.

He’s invited me down to Trenton, what’s best for him would be a Monday. I just have to check which Monday that would be.

Been a quiet day today. Got a text from Casey Chasm, they were going to induce labor for Mrs. Chasm who is due to have her baby today. I hope everything will go as they hoped. They will make great parents I’m sure. I think life is working out just fine for them up in Vermont.

Tonight I might just watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I ordered it from the library and it came in yesterday. It’s the deluxe three disc set. The theatrical version, the ‘Special Edition’ which features the inside of the mother ship that looks like a parking garage and the director’s cut.

It’s from the Ridgewood library and it’s due back next week, so I had better get cracking. I’ve seen the first two versions and I’m not sure what the director’s cut will entail so maybe I will watch that.

I heard from the wonderful Jared Nickerson. He’s putting together a benefit for someone at McSwells in December and asked me to DJ for it.

I agreed to do it and I’m looking forward to it. Just bringing an iPod, no more lugging crates of records around. Not with my back. I’ll bring the Nano as a back up. Just another thing to look forward to.

Bill has class tonight, Juan is back in Trenton and I’m here with Close Encounters ready to go. A mellow night and I am fine with that. I have to gather a few of these entries and mail them up to my friend Jane up by Woodstock who has no internet.

That should give me a chance to go back and review the things I’ve written and send her the best, or what I think is the best. What do you think is the best? Any suggestions?

Lady Godiva’s Operation

Well this is a twist and a bit of a cheat. Writing about yesterday the day after. The cheat part is that I am going to post it for yesterday. Even though it’s now 12 hours since the day has passed, which also happens to have been my birthday.

Yes, I am now 47. No one is more surprised at that than I am.

The day was cloudy and drizzly and of course quite humid. The day started with Bill all dressed up heading out. I thought he had a call back or something, it turns out they were having a Super Saturday at his office.

Super Saturday is when college students come in to take a tour of the offices and learn about the company that they hope to work for when they get out of school. Wanker Banker used to have Super Saturdays also.

They get shown around, taken to a nice dinner and set up in a nice hotel. So for Bill it was an opportunity to get some rare overtime. Bill and I had plans to do something when he was free in the afternoon.

I got out of bed, found a bag of Godiva chocolate and a few premium cigars by my computer. Turning on the screen of my computer was a sweet message from Bill, flashing words in color, Happy Birthday Mi Amor.

Quite a nice thing to wake up to.

Better than coffee. But coffee was needed in any event. After a cuppa I headed out to get some bagels and the paper. Talked to Julio for the first time since his return on Tuesday. Every little detail that occurred was revealed.

A bit much especially since I only wanted to know if he wanted any bagels. Not enough coffee on my end made me shorten the call, especially since I was outside the store in the drizzle, and he and Stine didn’t want any bagels anyhow.

I came home, had a nice breakfast. Had some cookies and brownies that Annemarie made for me, opened birthday cards from Robert, my former boss, Connie and Rita. I heard from Bill who had a moment to check in and see what was up.

We talked about what to do in the afternoon. Gallery hopping seemed to be the plan. I also thought about a jaunt to Governor’s Island, but figured that since it was so wet out and Bill was dressed quite nicely that that probably wouldn’t be a good idea though Bill was game.

Heard from a few friends and family through phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook messages, all very nice. Had a fun chat with Karen Kuhl on the Path train and I met Bill at Tekserve on 23rd Street.

We walked over tot 10th Avenue and went into a few galleries there, me pointing out some Warhol pieces and some Keith Haring art as well. It was fun, but Bill was very tired and his knees were bothering him.

Not that he was complaining, he was doing this for my birthday.

We hit a few other galleries and after an hour or so we decided to head back to Hoboken. He was nodding off as we sat and rode back to Hoboken. Bill was very uncomfortable because of his knees and very quiet. We decided to head home so he could take a nap.

On the way home, I got a call from Rand offering to buy me a drink for my birthday. I told him that we were on the way home. Rand said he wanted to catch us before we climbed the four flights of steps to the apartment and were in for the night but I assured him that it was so Bill could have a nap before we went out for dinner.

So drinks after dinner was in order.

We headed out to Arthur’s Steakhouse around 7:30, outside the building, Julio hanging out of his window wishing me a happy birthday and commenting about how we always go to Arthur’s for special occasions. I was surprised to see him awake since he still is on Euro time.

Arthur’s was crowded and there were a few other birthdays last night. Steaks and Guinness and a nice slice of chocolate mousse cake with a candle in accompanied by Happy Birthday sung by the staff and a few customers clapping along.

Former NY Giant Carl Banks was having dinner at a table a few feet from us with a group of big guys.

We headed out after that, Bill and I enjoying cigars. We walked through the Italian festival along the river. Not too crowded since the weather was so damp.

Got to McSwells and finished out cigars before heading in. Rand and Lisa were there with Lois who was soon joined by her husband Fred. My niece Corinne joined us as well. She texted me to see what Bill and I were doing and I invited her to join us.

She looked as smashing as ever. She’s a sweetheart and she bought me a Guinness, one of several that I had last night. Gifts from Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred were greatly appreciated. Corinne’s friends showed up as well. I met some of them before at Cory’s barbecue for her graduation but by that time last night I couldn’t remember their names, I just smiled and shook their hands.

Soon they were off to a real club, ostensibly to hang out with people in their own age group with music they could dance to and boys they could flirt with. Us older folks didn’t stay much longer after that.

After all the Guinness and good times we parted ways at 9th and Bloomfield, making tentative plans for a night of Karaoke sometime in the future, perhaps for Rand’s birthday next month. Too tired to write, too drunk in any event, last night so here it is, now.

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I'm in there somewhere

I'm in there somewhere


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By me!

By me!


By me too!

By me too!


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If Wishes Were Horses

Today has been a more productive day than yesterday. I did the laundry, trying to do the wash while Bill got ready for his bus ride. Timing was a bit off, he needed to shower in between my white and color clothes cycles.

Soon he was off to hit the road, leaving me with the laundry hanging in the bathroom. Last night was a quiet night. Bill and I watched Let the Right One In, a Swedish vampire movie.

I would have preferred subtitles to the terrible dubbing. Casey Chasm said it was really good, but it was OK. Chris Repella, formerly of McSwells recommended it as well. Perhaps it was too much hype, leaving me somewhat whelmed.

Bill thought it would have been gruesome but it wasn’t really. I’d watch it again if it wasn’t dubbed. Casey Chasm was right last week about the ‘fuckitall’ though. Made a difference today.

Last night I did go out for a short walk and ran into another former McSwells employee, Larry Heineman. Larry has been the musical director of the Blue Men Group since the beginning.

It was a good talk, Larry telling me about his world travels and asking about various people from our mutual past. It was just a quick chat on the sidewalk, but I left feeling that Larry recognized me and seemed happy to see me, but didn’t know my name.

The reason I had gone out was that there was nothing in the apartment for Bill to eat so I offered to pick up his usual Subway sandwich. I called him from the store and he proceeded to tell me what he wanted on his sandwich.

Within a few seconds the guys behind the counter knew who I was talking to on the phone since Bill always gets the same thing several days a week. He greets them with a ‘Namaste’ and that’s how they refer to him. ‘Namaste’ means ‘Blessing’ in Hindi.

And with a Namaste from myself I was out the door, which is when I ran into Larry, who’s wife is named Nancy but I always think it’s Marianne.

Stayed up and watched TV with Bill. Billy Crystal and John Fogerty were the guests. After that I went to bed, leaving Bill to prepare for his bus drive today.

This morning I was up and out early enough to run some errands. It was weird though. It seemed most everywhere I went there was someone sneezing without covering their mouths. It was disgusting.

All within about 20 minutes. And with all the news about N1H1 Swine Flu it was alarming. At the supermarket, the cashier kept cleaning her hands with Purell. I told her to go easy on the Purell since it can reduce the body’s natural immune system.

She asked me how I knew that and I simply told her science.

Speaking of science, I read a terribly sad and infuriating article in the New Yorker about how the state of Texas executed an innocent man. The state said he committed arson, ultimately killing his 3 children.

He swore he was innocent and after years of appeals and pleas for clemency he was put to death by lethal injection.

The state of Texas rejected the scientific process that deduced how the fire started and spread in favor of folklore and 19th century thinking. So terribly sad.

What good is a death penalty when the risk of killing an innocent man can occur?

Nicotine & Gravy

I guess it’s Friday. It must have been. I had an appointment to get some blood drawn to check out my cholesterol levels. It was a painless procedure but of course I didn’t watch.

I got there early and was out even before my scheduled appointment was to begin. It was a Path train ride to Journal Square.

I had enough time to check out a soul cover band doing Ain’t Nobody by Rufus and an instrumental version of Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye for a lunchtime show on the plaza. I decided to take the Path train back to Pavonia/Newport where I checked out the Newport Mall.

Some Israeli woman was doing her best to hard sell me some hand softening lotion made from some Dead Sea salts. It was on sale, marked down from $80.00 a jar to $40.00 a jar.

I explained I was unemployed as she washed the Dead Sea salts from my hands. They were softer than before I guess, but I wasn’t such a soft touch myself.

I bought some shorts a shirt and some underwear, all on sale. And some dress socks, the ones I like. Thick and thin ribbed, over the calf. Now all I need is a job to wear them under my suits.

But that’s not going to kick in full gear until October. I’m looking but things are barren out there.

I did make it home minutes before the skies opened up and the rain fell in a deluge. It was like that for about 30 minutes before eventually stopping. The rain cleared out the hummus leaving things nice and cool.

Now it’s been raining intermittently about every half hour. Which makes it cool outside but you have to close the windows which makes it stuffy inside. Presently it’s cloudy and the sky is the color of orange sherbert over Jersey City Heights.

Last night was a walk to Sinatra Park where I met up with Rand & Lisa while Swingadelic played. I finally saw Swingadelic live and they were OK. Nothing to write home about.

Rand, Lisa and I strolled up the river towards 11th Street. I expected a crowd outside of McSwells since Mitch Easter was playing, but Roda came out and said there was probably 30 people in the back room.

I opted to just go home since it was so humid out and I was very sweaty. It’s too bad for Mitch Easter but then again I only really liked the Let’s Active EP that came out 26 years ago and excepting the album Cypress that came out a year later I have no idea what he’s been up to and I guess I didn’t care enough to have a look see.

I’ll never know if it was my loss or not.

Now it’s 7:40, Bill is taking a nap, asking me to wake him up in 3 hours which seems odd but he reckons that he’ll know then whether or not to keep on sleeping or wake up for an hour or so.

Don’t try to figure him out, I gave up years ago.

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The People Tree

Yes the days are blurring into each other lately. I’m pretty sure that today is Thor’s Day so we should all raise out hammers towards the sky and thank the son of one eyed Odin for the bounty of words that are in front of your mortal eyes as his goat led chariot flies in the sky.

Glad to have gotten that out of the way.

Last night was a very cool night. Full moon, Pier 13, good bands. The Fave, Karen Kuhl and Lloyd United played. Apparently according to the Lloyd United webpage, Las Vandelays played as well but I missed them.

The Fave are the offspring of Joe Della Fave, a Hoboken mayoral candidate in the 1980’s. They were OK. Next up was Karen Kuhl, formerly of Gutbank and Sexpod, who just keeps getting better and better. Bluesy almost.

Alice Genese played bass and sang back up. Karen was thrilled to see me and gave me a big hug after the show.

I love Karen, she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. So is Alice for that matter. Hard to believe but they’ve been playing together on and off for 20 years.

Lloyd United was a definite surprise. They reminded me of the Pogues somewhat. Irish drinking songs usually do the trick. I think I would see them again if given the chance.

I wonder if God Abramson ever booked them at McSwells. I have my doubts that they did but if anyone could set the record straight, I’d like to know.

I had a few beers. They were $4.00 a pop, not $2.00 which I thought for some reason, plus a buck when they passed the bucket.

I finally introduced myself to Rob La Rosa who was a McSwells regular back in the day. Always saw him, never spoke until last night, even though we have many mutual friends. Turns out he’s a nice guy and gets my jokes, which for me is always a plus.

Jared Nickerson also turned up. I actually ran into him on the bus the day before and he told me about it. He’s still playing bass. He used to be in Human Switchboard and JJ Jumpers as well as a few other bands that I can’t remember. He also went out with Ann Boyles back in the day.

Jared was there to see Karen play and then he split. Rand and Lisa were there as well and stayed to catch Lloyd United.

It was a beautiful night on the river. Tonight they’re having a reggae band, Skyrockers Reggae Band. I have no idea who or what they are, but I might check them out if and when I take a walk. I just hope it’s not the Legend album and only the Legend album.

It’s been an interesting day so far. I walked around Hoboken and sat on a bench by the river and continued to read, The Low Side of the Road, the Tom Waits unauthorized biography by Barney Hoskyns.

But as I sat there, the fact that I didn’t eat lunch started to wear me down so I came home and ate a late lunch/early dinner. I feel better now but it’s amazing how I crash when I skip a meal.

Congratulations to Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotamayor.

And Rest in Peace, Snoop. Pedro’s pal of 14 years.

Daft Punk is Playing at My House

Well I am back on my own computer, thanks to the good graces of Rand. He texted me around 1:15, suggesting I bring my computer over so at around 2:00 I did just that.

It was a nice visit with Rand and Lisa. Lisa spent most of the time caulking the bathtub which is another thing I should do. Rand hooked up my computer and after some razzle dazzle it was up and running once again.

We also listened to Daft Punk, and Goldfrapp as well as a Chemical Brothers compilation. I’ve known Rand since about 1982 I think. Or 1983.

I do know I spent New Years Eve with Rand and assorted other friends and woke up to watch Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel on a Nam June Paik special on PBS for that 1984 New Years Day. Woke up on the floor of Rand’s sisters apartment on Willow Avenue.

One of my first DJ experiences was that New Years Eve at Lois, Martha and Jane’s apartment on Garden Street. I first met Rand when I was driving for HBJ, from the warehouse in Saddle Brook NJ to the offices at 757 Third Avenue.

My job was to distribute interoffice mail and as I walked on the office floor I saw two guys about 100 feet away from me, acting like I did, or do. It turned out to be Rand and Jose who had just graduated from Colgate University a few months before.

Wound up having a conversation with them and when I found out they lived in Hoboken our fates were sealed. I had been going to McSwells and asked if they did too. They said they did every now and then but I think after our meeting they wound up going more often.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

As we got to know each other, Rand and I would drive into the city. I would do whatever it was I had to do at 757 Third Avenue, and then head down to St. Mark’s Place where we would visit St. Mark’s Sounds and St. Mark’s Comics directly across the street.

I had commercial plates by then and would park on the street with no problem. Before I had the commercial plates we would drive through Central Park, listening to music and getting red eyed. Many laughs would ensue of course which cannot be remembered all these years later.

Rand and Lisa make an excellent couple. A nice balance between the two. Lisa is Lady Gigglepuss to Rand’s El Jefe. That’s what I used to call them when I wrote about them in a previous entry on an old web page of Rand’s. That’s how that started.

And I am indebted to Rand for fixing my computer in just a few hours, all the while being as entertaining as he could be as well as getting the inspiration to caulk my bathtub.

Tonight I’m going to McSwells, have a drink with Rand hopefully, as well as Meghan and also seeing my brother Frank before he goes in to see the Feelies. And Bill might join us too!

Of course, thanks to Bill for letting me use his Mac while my computer was on the fritz.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Hymn for the Dudes

It’s Wednesday and once again it’s raining out. Well, not at this very moment but it’s been pouring then stopping then pouring again.

My plan to see Ian Hunter (featuring Mr. Nice Guy Jim Mastro) has been literally washed out. I signed up to receive a text from River to River which is the organization that puts on these shows, but no response regarding the show.

If you go to the River to River website it doesn’t say anything about the show being moved, canceled or rescheduled.

Many people have posted on how much rain is falling, but as of 17 minutes before show time, nothing. I was planning on meeting Meghan and her daughters at the show, but things being the way they are, I called a few times and left messages.

No response at all. Oh well.

I held up my end. Tomorrow, provided it doesn’t rain is another opportunity to see Jim Mastro and the Guitar Bar All Stars but no Ian Hunter. C’est la vie.

Today I was a bit busy. Running errands for myself. Since Bill, Juan and I are planning on going out on Friday night, I bought tickets for Blow Off. That’s what it’s called.

It’s a DJ thing with Rich Morel and Mr Happy Go Lucky himself, Bob Mould. That was sarcastic. Calling Jim Mastro ‘Mr. Wonderful’ is not sarcastic.

I remember hanging around Bob Mould at McSwells back in the day with Husker Du as well as during his solo stuff. Wouldn’t say he was a grump but not much fun to be around. He had too many demons I reckon.

Things were slow enough in the office that I hopped on a train to go to Chelsea and pick up the tickets at a charming establishment called The Nasty Pig. It was $10.00 cheaper if you bought the tickets in advance.

I asked for 3 tickets and of course the guy behind the counter didn’t have change. ‘There’s a deli around the corner so you could get change there’ said the twink.

I walked around the corner and wound up buying a bottle of seltzer, mocking the twink’s tone of voice to myself which brought me some enjoyment. Actually I sounded like Pedro making fun of me, which made me laugh to myself.

The twink was apologetic, but all I could think of was when I was in a similar position I made do with what I had, but then again I was never caught short when selling tickets for McSwells or whatever.

Now it is overcast and it looks like it will rain again. It’s too bad. I was hoping to make it to the show. Meghan did call this morning, she was getting me backstage so that would have been fun. But I made my mind up and now I’m home drying out and comfortable.

Whatever happened to my Rock and Roll? The sun is shining now, the show is probably going on as planned. I need TV but I got T Rex.

The show is in Tribeca. Bowie lives in Tribeca. Bowie and Ian Hunter are friends. Hmmm.

Love is Like Oxygen

Just got back from McSwells, a late posting. Only slightly inebriated though which isn’t so bad. Before I write anything else, Bill will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight. He’s going to be a Saudi King awarding Jimmy Fallon a medal much like a Saudi King gave a gold necklace to Barack Obama yesterday.

Who knows by the time I post this tonight Jimmy Fallon could have come and gone. Anyway kudos to Bill for landing the gig. I love that guy and I’m damn proud of him. Oh that inebriation…

It was a good visit to McSwells with Rand and our third mind, Susan Shed.

Rand and Susan and myself used to hang out quite a bit, sampling various jazz cigarettes back in the day. The three of us were generally in stitches, laughing hysterically, perhaps because we were actually funny, perhaps because we were all red eyed and jazzy.

Time went on, other interests and people entered our lives and suddenly we weren’t hanging out that much. But both Rand, Susan Shed and myself looked back from time to time and decided, why not meet up again and have a few giggles.

No significant others involved, no need to explain inside jokes. Other names came up, names like Bill, Lisa, Stan, Rita and of course Mr. Lovable, Steve Saporito.

Whatever feelings I might have felt for Steve ages ago are long gone and all I feel is admiration for the big lug. Susan had difficulty accepting that, but that’s her thing not mine. He’s a good guy after all, always was.

Emotions ran deep then, now not so much, if at all. He’s doing well and I’m happy for him.

Susan was herself and how could she be anyone else? Lot’s of laughs, rapid fire chatter. Some gossip about people who we don’t see anymore. Rand had his own gossip about similar people. I had no gossip.

Roda was managing and as always it was good to see him.

Juan is around this weekend and I’m thinking of a return visit to McSwells instead of hanging out here in the apartment. Ideally, a trip to Summerstage or rather the rock by Summerstage to listen to TV on the Radio and Dirty Projectors but right now the weather report is on and they’re talking about a lot of rain. So perhaps staying inside is the way to go.

As always we’ll have to play it by ear. And Juan’s input is important too so if he has an idea, any idea I wouldn’t be averse to it. He has dropped hints about going to the Eagle in the past so if he wants to do that then I guess I’m in.

Rand, Susan and myself all agreed to meet up again, once a month. No significant others. The chemistry is good for three. Any more could be a mistake. It was a good hang with Rand and Susan Shed.

We talked about what to do on July 4th and also discussed seeing Macca at the new Mets stadium. So far that makes Bill, Annemarie, Earl, Rita, Susan, Rand, Lisa and me. Brian and Frank and their spouses are still up in the air. Tickets go on sale June 15th.

I hope they have standing room on the field. That’s what I would going for. I doubt it would be the set up like when the Beatles played in 1965-66, stage at 2nd base, everyone in the stands. I guess it would be like the Who/Clash show in the 1980’s with everyone on the field.

Anyway that’s it. I’m beat. Got to get ready to watch Bill on Jimmy Fallon at 12:35 and here it is 11:35. An hour so be enough time to get ready.