Tag Archives: Tariq

I Saw the Light- Todd Rundgren

A snowy and rainy day in Hoboken. And it’s been a lazy day. Last night I was active for a bit, I actually went out and walked the streets of Hoboken. It was a good night for it, much better than now. Last night I walked up to Maxwell’s. I wanted to see RoDa and give him a photograph and CD I had burned for him. I would have stayed at Maxwell’s but it was crazy crowded with a sold out show by Deer Tick. In total I was probably at Maxwell’s for about five minutes before hitting the streets once more.

I was home about an hour after leaving. Not much going on and since I didn’t want to deal with the crowds at Maxwell’s and there was no one that I knew besides RoDa I went home. RoDa was quite busy with the crowd. I did run into Tariq on the street, busking in 32 degree weather. Once again he tried to get me to play his guitar and once again I begged off. I did sing Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, a song that I taught Tariq earlier in the summer and for which he is most grateful.

Can’t say my singing caused any dollars to drop into Tariq’s guitar case, but I could say that money was not taken out of the case. Then again it was too cold for anyone to stand around and appreciate Tariq’s playing or my warbling. I made it home safe and sound and sweaty. That’s a problem with me lately. I sweat a lot. By the time I get to where I am going I am usually wearing a t-shirt drenched in sweat and for that I try to have an extra under shirt to change into if I get the chance, and a bag to carry the sweaty under shirt.

Not much happening at home, just watching the TV or at least having it on for background noise. I picked up a few movies, for Bill’s viewing mainly. I picked up The Music Never Stopped, which Bill and I discussed a few weeks ago about how music can get through to people who have had some sort of brain injury or brain attack. I had picked that up from the bibliothèque before and also picked up a DVD I requested, Prick Up Your Ears, a movie that I saw with Steve Saporito back in the days when I carried a torch for Steve Saporito.

It’s about Joe Orton and his boyfriend Kenneth Halliwell. I knew it was directed by Stephen Frears but didn’t know it was written by Alan Bennett who also wrote The History Boys and The Madness of George III (which had to be called The Madness of King George in the US since audiences might wonder if this was the third part and wondered if there was a Part I & II). I watched a bit of The History Boys on cable yesterday, remembering how much fun it is, how clever and ultimately bittersweet it ends.

Tonight Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City. He didn’t quite make it last night with his bus breaking down on the Garden State Parkway, the passengers transferred to another bus. Bill of course had to stay with his broken bus and wound up back in Wally World. Tonight, another broken down bus. This time it was before the parkway and on the cold, wet streets of Bergen County. I’ll be receiving updates throughout the night so I won’t worry too much. Still some worrying will be involved.

No posting tomorrow on Sunday and once again with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I might not post until Wednesday, but we’ll see about that.

So Happy New Year! 2013 should be an improvement I hope!

Tariq on the street busking, 32° weather, 8:30PM

Tariq on the street busking, 32° weather, 8:30PM


Rusty box o'tools

Rusty box o’tools


That moon

That moon


IMG_20121228_204142
♫ If I was a sculptor, but then again- NO! ♪

♫ If I was a sculptor, but then again- NO! ♪




Rolling Stones – Happy

I Need A Silent Night

It’s a Friday and so far so good. Last night did not go so well. Fell asleep for about an hour or so then I woke up with the Everly Brothers singing Cathy’s Clown in my head. I did the right thing and got out of bed around 3:00 and surfed the net for a while before heading back to sleep for a few more hours. That went well, then Bill kissed me goodbye as he was headed off to the gym and then work at 6:00 then I woke up again for a little while before I was able to sleep again.

I did have a plan today. I had been corresponding with Payless since my sneakers started to fall apart soon after I bought them, but they were still wearable and they matched the chip on my shoulder. About a week after that they fell into further disrepair and I stopped wearing them. Of course I did not have the receipt but according to customer service that would be no problem. So I trooped over a couple of miles to the Newport Mall, Airwalks in my bag. I called customer service once again to make sure it was OK that I didn’t have the receipt.

And it was OK. I walked in and stood by an empty register. Just then a manager appeared and I told her my tale of woe. She understood and directed me to get a new pair if I wanted to or get store credit. I opted for the new Airwalks and after a quick and easy transaction, I was walking back to Hoboken. It was quite hot too, dense heat and a cloudless sky. I came home and took off the work boots and put on the new sneakers. Then after a few minutes I headed out again.

Busking was on the agenda for today and it had been a number of days since I last busked. I found a decent spot under a tree and set about playing some songs, A Hard Day’s Night, Walk on By, and Hateful by the Clash. It was going well. Tariq even showed up and was enjoying my playing as he was cocktailing. He is a good player and has the cojones to play on Washington Street at night, where he probably makes good money. I opt for the waterfront and the adoration of toddlers and change.

Tariq mentioned how much he enjoyed what I used to do, which was some improvisations. I play a few chords and sing about the people walking by in front of me. The color of their clothes, what’s on their t-shirts, the fact that some people look serious (but when they hear me singing about them they smile). I also sing about students from Stevens Tech and the amount of backpacks they carry to the trains and also sing about the nannies pushing strollers. So I did it again and had Tariq doubled over in laughter.

The funny thing is I am more comfortable doing that improve thing when there is a friendly face around and Tariq had the friendly face. If I had the nerve to do it without anyone around I would but since that rarely happens I rarely do it. Plus, when I do such a thing the people smile or smirk and just hurry along. They don’t linger and they don’t dig for change. But today turned out to be a good day, things went well and the toddlers showed up so happy to dance and clap along as I play. And you know that can’t be bad.


I Made It Through The Rain

Yes another blasé blah kid of day. It’s totally hummus out. I just got back from some busking. I couldn’t do it yesterday since it was raining on and off most of the day and plus my usual spot was closed off for the Mumford and Sons show. Last night’s blog came pretty easily. I can get fired up and the words start pouring out. It took me longer to post the photographs than it was to come up with words. I thought it was a good posting and judging by the comments, no one else did. So it goes.

I met Rand and Lisa by Pier A. Not actually on Pier A since that is where the concert was and it was a ticketed show and since no one I knew had tickets, I knew I would see someone outside the event. It was good to see them, and it was good to get outside since I was cooped up most of the day. I listened to Nirvana as I walked over, specifically In Bloom since that song had been playing in my head most of the day. I also enjoyed a nice cigar and stood away from most people during the show.

As I got nearer to the concert the one song I knew by Mumford and Sons was being performed, Little Lion Man. The first time I heard the song was the first time I saw them on Letterman. I liked it and sought it out immediately. It still is the only song I could identify by them and I figured it would be their big finale but there it was being performed in the middle of their set. They were entertaining but it was not enough for Lisa, Rand and myself to stand there and watch.

So we walked from Pier A winding up on Pier C. It was a gorgeous evening especially after all the rain that fell previously. Unfortunately Pier C closes at 9:30 so we were only there for about 20 minutes before being booted out. The three of us walked out back into the streets, Mumford and Sons still carrying on. Our interest had faded and we all wanted to go home, especially Lisa since she actually had to work yesterday. I’m sure Rand worked too, but Lisa has a straight up 9 to 5 job dealing with people so she won the award.

We walked through Stevens Park where I saw Tariq hanging out on a bench with some street guys. I also saw Tariq earlier in the day when I was out and about and was within a foot of him but he was too far gone and wrapped up in a conversation so I just kept on truckin’. I did ask Tariq when we were walking through the park if he would be out today and he said he would be. I came home, Bill was watching the Olympics and I just did my usual thing as Bill readied himself for bed.

Once again it was a difficult night of sleep despite staying up later than usual. It made for getting out of bed this morning a bit difficult but I managed. I got some things done and eventually I went outside into a beautiful afternoon with my guitar for some busking. I spied Tariq wandering around with someone but I just kept to myself. Eventually Tariq sauntered up alone and asked if he could play too. I couldn’t say no and we strummed together, eventually making $6.00 which I split 50/50. He kept drinking from a bottle in his pocket and kept to himself but since the money didn’t appear in the case until he showed up, it was only right to split it with him.

So that’s about it. Off to a rent control meeting at a nearby church. Hoboken renters are fighting off developers who are trying to get rid of rent control in Hoboken. A friend of my brother who lives in town has organized it and since I support it, being a renter, it would be in my best interest to attend.

near the show





062 – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man

Day Dreaming

Well first off, it’s a lot cooler today than it was yesterday. Somewhere in the 70 degree range. Nice. Not too hot, pretty cool. The weather people kept talking about rain, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I can see ominous clouds approaching from the west. It’s now supposed to rain tonight. I’m not going anywhere. I never do anyhow.

Yesterday was an accomplishment, going out and seeing the Hoboken Memorial Day parade. Once I’m in, I’m in.

I did go out and play guitar for a while this afternoon by the river. Tariq showed up so I sang. Why can’t I sing when I’m alone? I sang Hercules by Elton and also Make the World Go Away by Eddy Arnold.

It was a good day and I enjoyed playing. Made some pocket change thanks to two generous teenagers. I only played guitar for about an hour and a half.

Walked back with Tariq, he was off to his studio. I needed a haircut. Hair was getting thick and the heat yesterday made it feel like I was wearing a hat. Tony was in at Mr. L’s despite usually having Thursday and Friday off.

The other barber, Louie (Mr. L himself) was on vacation in Italy. I walked in, and Tony was free having just had a nap. He did a good job as usual.

We talked about cigars and the new job with my new role in a male version of The Mystery of Marie Rogêt. Oddly enough, Marie Rogêt’s body was found floating in the Hudson River just off the Hoboken coast.

It was way before my time in Hoboken so don’t look at me.

Now it is thundering and raining with the occasional flash of lightning.

Had a good phone call from an old friend and ex-roommate Kevin. He actually called after Lost on Sunday night and after talking then I told him I would call him during the week. So I called today.

He’s out in Pennsylvania living his life to the best of his ability. It was good to talk to him. He’s a good guy. I don’t think I would live with him again and I’m sure he feels the same way about me.

We talked about various friends of ours, mainly people we hadn’t seen in a while. He’s someone who should definitely have a blog. He’s still quite opinionated and also very funny. I would read it daily.

He sometimes reads this here blog so maybe he should get to it. He knows a lot about my online life. Maybe too much. Then again, it’s all out there for the world to see.

I ran some errands for Bill, dropping off his laundry and dry cleaning and then picking it all up later in the day. I also did my own laundry which of course is hanging in the kitchen and bathroom and now with the rain, should be dry by Saturday or Sunday.

That’s about it on this end. Playing guitar, laundry and errands. Another day closer to being employed. And that’s a very good thing.
seen on Eighth Avenue

seen on Eighth Avenue



For No One

Well it’s been a special day for me. I am quite glad. Susquehanna here I come, right back where I started from! Yes indeed. Broad Street, where the broads are is in the future. Not my future perhaps. But the future nonetheless.

I was offered a job and I took it. Leaving Sally in the alley. I’m quite happy. Not so much for the money but the incentives and whatnot should make up for it.

Suckling at the teat of the United States, though refreshing and I admit a bit kinky, hasn’t been the roll in the hay as they might say in Bala Cynwyd.

I’m sure to know all about Bala Cynwyd down the line once Susquehanna Investment Group shows me it’s spread sheets, at which I excel.

It was a comedy today. I decided to take the subway rather than sweat my was to the offices and found a rest room to freshen up in since I was early enough.

I decided to use some paper towels to mop myself up and in so doing cut my hand. I didn’t think it was so bad but then it started to bleed. I was trying to tie my tie and in so doing the back of my hand rubbed against my shirt leaving smears of blood.

That couldn’t look good. And the tie was a mess and needed to be tied. There I was in the mens room muttering ‘fucking hell’ loud enough for the stall set to hear. I didn’t care, I was bleedin bleeding.

So I wound up using water to rinse out the blood stains and eventually did tie my tie. In the interview, we sat, we talked, me with suit buttoned up to cover the blood.

I was offered the position we talked about last week and I played coy.

Actually I played Koi, doing my bit of the interview like a fish, my hands flapping on the side of my face, gill like, and my mouth making ‘O’ shapes, resembling a fish. They loved it and I believe my jumping into the pond is what set me apart from the other applicants.

A nice walk to Times Square was in order where I saw Bill who was positively ecstatic about the job offer. So ecstatic that we walked over to Godiva and he bought me a bag of dark chocolate truffles. Yum.

Not exactly fish food but celebratory in any event. Rode back to Hoboken on the Path train and getting off in the Hoboken station, who do I see heading into the city, but Tariq. Twice in two days.

He was off to Washington Square and I was headed to the rest room. I wished him good luck busking in the park and I continued on my way.

Stopped by the Guitar Bar where I told Jim Mastro and he too was quite happy on the job offer. Texted Brian, Julio, Harpy and Pedro. They responded in order, Great news!, Great!, Hooray and ‘LOVE IT! You’re the man Son Son.

I don’t know why, but Pedro always calls me Son Son despite the fact that I’m a few years older than him.

So all in all it’s been a good day, the weather has been gorgeous. Already I’ve gotten the ‘welcome to the family’ email from the Susquehanna Sallies. It’s been a good day, wouldn’t you say?

That's my Bill

That's my Bill


10.20.10 555JOT 003

For Emma

Once again it’s been a day unlike any other. I’ve written that before, but not today. The day has been a bit odd. But of course there’s a back history which could be related to the oddness.

First off, when I wrote what I wrote on Monday I was hurt and bitter and on top of all that, resentful. My only recourse it seemed to me was to write about.

Let’s face it, my day is so dull that I will write about anything that seems worthwhile. Or not worthwhile actually.

Mike Neutron told me about some recording studio that 2 friends of mine had been in, and hearing it from Mike and not the friends, to not be asked to participate hurt me somewhat.

I didn’t do anything harsh except for writing and for once I didn’t name names or use pseudonyms. I waited for the other shoe to drop, thinking that one of the two would have read what I wrote and tell the other.

Some feedback perhaps, but nothing was forthcoming. Texts that were sent over the past few days have gone without any replies. Still, it stings a bit. I spoke with Bill about it and he was understanding and suggested letting some time pass.

So what if the plan to be used as a radio announcer for a CD has fallen by the wayside? It wouldn’t be the first time they’d made plans and asked me to participate. Next time I shouldn’t be so eager to join in, I should just remain aloof and noncommittal.

It’s just that I have this free time which might not last for long.

It’s been yet another cloudy and gray day and I sat by the river, enjoying a cigar and reading the newspaper. That’s where I spoke with Bill on the phone.

I walked along the waterfront and saw Tariq was back. I hadn’t seen him in about a month, and I have to admit I was a bit worried.

He knows some unsavory types and I hoped nothing happened to him. It turned out he’s been busy and playing in the city and dealing with the situation at the Monroe Center in Hoboken where he and his girlfriend have studio space. The center is bankrupt and has been on thin ice for a number of years.

It was good to see him and once again he handed me his guitar and asked me to play. So I played Shame Shame Shame by Shirley and Company which brought him way back to the 1970’s.

He loved it and sang back up. I sang since I don’t sing when I am by myself. Then I played Love Shack by the B-52’s and he was really happy. He went off for a spell and I sat and strummed his guitar.

When he came back, he had a fifth of vodka tucked in his jacket and when I said I was going home to eat lunch he begged me to do another song. This time I sang Instant Karma and a little bit of Hi Hi Hi.

Tariq asked me to play (Love is Like a) Heatwave but I didn’t know all the chords. I almost brought my songbooks with me when I was leaving my apartment earlier but opted not to since I wasn’t bringing my guitar and in one of those notebooks were the chords to Heatwave.

Someone he knows, very high strung, tie dyed shirt, leather vest and dungarees rolled up to his shins and perhaps a bit wired stopped by and asked Tariq something. Tariq didn’t have the answer the guy wanted to hear and the guy wouldn’t give Tariq a cigarette and spun on his heel and jumped into his pick up truck and drove off fast.

I started some guitar improv again and Tariq loved it, so much so he would stomp his feet and laugh in tears. Apparently I have a skill. Just singing about people heading home from work, or after shopping or just pushing baby strollers around.

The people like it, Tariq loves it and I can’t seem to do it unless someone I know is sitting nearby. I must have done that for about 20 minutes or so. I even sang about people smoking cigarettes and in the song I’d ask them to give Tariq a cigarette since no one else would.

Tariq insists that I have a gift and I should exploit it. After that I gave the guitar back to Tariq and we talked a bit when I see the tie dyed wired guy come riding up to Tariq on a skateboard eyeballing me and angrily asking Tariq if I was a cop.

Twice he asked and twice he was told no I wasn’t a cop.

Tie dyed wired guy was very upset since his friend or his father was beaten up by a female police officer the other night and this guy wants to go beat up some cops. Whatever good feeling that existed around me and Tariq was gone when this guy tore off on his skateboard looking for information on his friend/father. Mood killer he was.

Ominous clouds rolled in, Tariq was now pretty much drunk and I was still hungry.

A friend who watches us play some times stopped by asking what we were doing on a Wednesday afternoon. Seems that he had been looking for us on Sundays. I wasn’t out there on Sunday and Tariq has been busy elsewhere.

The friend did remember that he owed me 50¢ for a bet we made when we last saw each other. I forgot but he didn’t. The bet was over the fact that Albert Hammond wrote It Never Rains in Southern California, and he is the father of one of the Strokes.

Nice of him to remember and I walked home, once step ahead of the drizzle with 50¢ more than I had when I left.

Lost was very good last night. Final episode, this Sunday at 7PM. I guess it will be a four hour broadcast with recaps and whatnot.
5.19.10
tariq 5.19.10
10.19.10 002
10.19.10 003

Touching Me, Touching You

Just woke up from a nap. Set the cellphone alarm for an hour, only a half hour was needed. I did try to sleep some more but my mind wasn’t having it.

Woke up thinking of Maggie Alexandre. She was the inhuman resources director at Wanker Banker. She claimed to be at the Human Be-In in San Francisco during the summer of love back in 1967 but I have my doubts about that.

The thing that stuck in my mind was the fact that she was responsible for the hiring of some rotten lying conniving office manager and when it was revealed that the person she hired was such a beast the only thing old Maggie could do is try to get me fired.

I know it’s old news but for some reason the hunchbacked crone known as Maggie Alexandre seeped into my consciousness like so much ergot fungi. Maybe it’s because she reminds me of the natural gas spokeswoman for the energy today website.

Today has been an alright day. Went and played guitar for a few hours by the river. Tariq was there, after a few cocktails. It was a bit chilly and he claimed to have been strumming since around 11:30. I didn’t show up until 2:00 and by that time he wasn’t strumming much.

He did try to follow me on a few songs but gave up after a couple of strums and spaced out a bit. He did offer to show me how to play some grunge, and I knew what he meant when he said grunge.

Pearl Jam. A soulless band full of testosterone. I put my foot down and instead played Twist & Shout. He’s getting into the habit of repeating stories that he told me a few days previously and when I tell him he told me that already he merely says, ‘Oh yeah, I forgot that I saw you.’

Still he’s a nice guy. He likes to drink and always has an eye out for the ladles.

It was a bit cooler than it’s been the past week and a lot breezier. I stretched my arms and fingers and neck before and during playing but it was a might bit too chilly. Tariq also talked about building up a set list for playing on the street.

He’s been busking longer than I have and always brings up his friend Steve as a human jukebox. He plays with Steve at Central Park South and Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel where they supposedly make good money playing for the tourists.

Steve is also the guy I saw playing with Tariq singing Melissa by the Allman Brothers a few weeks ago. That is when I realized that I didn’t want to play the songs that everyone else plays. I’d rather play Instant Karma and Love Shack.

In the back of my mind I see myself playing at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue. Perhaps if the weather gets warmer and I am still looking for work, that is what I’ll do. I actually envisioned that a year or so ago, before I ever started playing my guitar outside.

This week promises to be a better week weather wise and will provide some opportunities to go out and play by the river once again.

Last night I watched all of the first season of Tales of the City. Still as charming as I remembered. I put in the first disc of More Tales of the City. It was a bit of a let down.

Some cast members did not return and the ones that replaced the originals in my eyes didn’t make the cut. I only watched the first episode of the second set so maybe it gets better. I think

Bill wants to check it out so I’ll hang onto it for as long as I can.
JOTTTTTTTTTT

Touch

It’s a bit cooler out today. Not necessarily attitude wise but temperature wise. As in degrees, meaning °. Gray skies, supposed to rain the next couple of days.

I took Tales of the City on DVD from the bibliothèque. In a strange way, I was hoping to use this blog the way Armistead Maupin used his San Francisco newspaper column to create the characters of Barbary Lane.

I loved the mini series when it was on PBS. I was living on Jane Street in Weehawken when it was originally broadcast. Such happy times on occasion there and I sometimes thought that there was the potential for the Jane Street residents to live a life akin to Tales from the City.

We were interesting enough and creative enough. The landlady’s daughter working for Penthouse magazine, her undiagnosed Autistic brother being a mail room drone downtown somewhere. There was me and William, he being super creative, me working in the music studios and People magazine.

Could have been something. But I moved out (after 11 years) and within a year later William, his brother Chaz and Chaz wife Kathe, all tossed out when the landlords, Ms Penthouse and Mr Autistic decided to sell without even offering it to William or Chaz who would have bought it.

I could still write about that place, and with the passage of time I could make it a semi fictional account which would have been my original modus operandi.

I did wander around Hoboken for a while and ran in Tariq who did not win the lottery. Living his life the way he sees fit, the temperatures were in the 60-70° range, today being around 50° he decides to come out.

I showed him 2 new songs, Instant Karma and Don’t Play that Song and he was impressed. But it was cold and he wound up walking me towards the library before he headed off to his girlfriend’s studio.

Tonight I plan on going to Maxwells (yes Maxwells. I am being nice) to see Chris Repella’s band Glass Trees. They played last month in Jersey City, but Maxwells is so much closer.

And they’re going on between 9:30 and 10:00 so that means I will be home at a decent hour. Plus I’ve never seen Chris play, even though she’s been in a few East Village/Pyramid Club bands. So it should be nice to get out and about.

Tomorrow is Record Store Day so go out and pay your local record store a visit. I went to Tunes this week where I bought the Pretenders The Isle of View CD for $1.99. Sort of The Pretenders Unplugged.

And tomorrow I am planning on going to Thompson Street to see the Budos Band play a set at a local record store,.Generation Records which I think is between West 3rd and Bleecker St at 2:00PM. Of course it will depend on the weather.

For now, for me, it’s all about the laundry.

Bill is driving to Atlantic City this weekend, so he’s happy and I’m happy. So it’s all good.

Instant Karma

What a difference a day makes. 24 little hours. Yesterday I went out to play guitar and it didn’t go as well as usual. Just couldn’t connect. Everything was a bit off with my playing.

Frustrated was the operative word. After 90 minutes I gave up and came home.

Today I was out for over 2 hours and it went well. I was very comfortable playing ‘Don’t Play That Song’ by Aretha Franklin. Mainly the verses, not so much the break. Would have been fun if there was someone to sing with but there wasn’t.

No sign of Tariq this week either. Guess he won the lottery. Shirley Jackson anyone?

I also played Instant Karma and Blue Moon of Kentucky. I was a hit with a few toddlers and made myself a buck. Also made the acquaintance of the drunken Angel who tried to accompany me on harmonica. He insisted he was more of a drummer and had only been playing the harmonica for a month now.

Quite a few men walking around smoking cigars too.

And Bill’s mood had greatly improved from the night before. He came home and said he was feeling a lot better than the previous evening. He was much more pleasant to be around. Things had definitely turned around for him somewhat. We all have our days like that. I know I have.

He was puttering about while I watched Modern Family & Cougartown. He asked me to record Ugly Betty while he went and worked on his computer. I asked that he didn’t beat up the Mac like he did the other night.

And Ugly Betty was sweet. A nice series finale. All loose ends tied up. Betty was a stunner with her braces off and everyone made nice at the end. Sad to see it go, even I lost interest when ABC moved the around over and over.

When I realized it was going to end I made sure to catch the remaining episodes. Justin coming out of the closet was sweet last week, incredibly well done, funny and touching. Of course the week before I applauded when he kissed Austin, the boy he liked.

Betty moved on, taking a job in London. She didn’t make it with Daniel, but he did follow her to London, leaving Mode magazine in the hands of Wilhelmina. It all ended happily ever after. Bill was up late doing whatever it was he was doing.

He went to sleep and wore his sleep apnea mask which while nice was making the sound of mewling kittens. The air escaping through the gel seal between his face and the mask. Kept me up and I even pleaded with him to take the mask off.

After a half hour I finally fell asleep. He was gone this morning, leaving me with a good bye kiss. He called earlier, I think he figured out that I wasn’t about to call him. Not going to take the chance of him having a bad day at work.

Plus I really didn’t have anything to say, so that would be a waste of time for the both of us. Just playing it safe.
4.13.10 Hoboken folks 003
4.13.10 Hoboken folks 005
4.13.10 Hoboken folks 006
4.13.10 Hoboken folks 009
guitar

pre haircut

pre haircut

Help Me, Rhonda

It’s summer. It’s April 7. It reached 82 degrees today. Craziness abounds. Yesterday was quite warm as well. Bananas. Bananas I tell you. Last night I sat on the stoop and had a cigar. Talked to Harpy for a bit. Talked to my pal Claymore as well.

Just killing time before I went back upstairs in time to watch Lost. I will be glad when it’s over. 5 episodes left. Last night was all about Desmond and a barrow in the marketplace. Midway through I got a call from Pedro. Normally I would resent the caller and not take the call but he’s been going through some hard times and felt I should take the call.

He thinks I’m one of the smartest people he knows and really respects my opinion. So I had to be there for him. He’s a great friend though and even if he thought I was an idiot I would be there for him, though it wouldn’t be nice of him to think I was an idiot. He’s called me up twice the past 2 nights, stressed out. Too much drama and since it’s not mine I won’t write about it here.

I caught up with Lost after pausing it for about 25 minutes. I recorded Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent for Bill since he was rehearsing with Tom his drummer pal, the guy who witnessed the civil union thingy last Saturday. Last weeks episode was good and last night was the exit of Vincent D’onofrio. Haven’t seen it yet. I also spent some time learning how to play Walk on By, Help Me Rhonda, Going Down to Liverpool and Don’t Worry Baby.

Today was a beautiful day and I made it out to the river after emailing my resume to a few more job listings. No drunkards to be seen and Tariq wasn’t around. I applied sun block and found a nice spot to play. Karen Kuhl and her friend Christine walked by. Karen was surprised to see me out playing. She asked me to play something for her and I played Walk on By. Then Tariq showed up while I was playing Walk on By and he liked it.

He mentioned how he was out at an open mike last night and was a bit hungover. He wanted to play Melissa by the Allman Brothers and I said no. I explained that I didn’t want to play the same songs everyone else plays and I wasn’t interested in playing hippie songs like Melissa. I think he was a bit put off since he mentioned that he was a hippie.

I said that was why I didn’t want to play in Washington Square Park. Too many squares playing the same old crap. To cheer him up we played Love Shack while some guy played Tariq’s drum, which Tariq usually carries around.

Tariq loves that song and once again remarked on how he has to learn it. I told him to put it on the list of songs to learn to play. Then I surprised him and myself by doing some guitar improv. Same three chords with different people walking by and different comments. I made Tariq laugh and he said I made his day.

He was off to the city and asked me to come along but I opted to stay in Hoboken. He was off and a few minutes later Rand stopped by on the way to the Path train. I was in the middle of playing Don’t Worry Baby and then played Walk on By for him. All in all I was out there for 3 hours again, just playing singing and having a good time.
4.7.10 hoboken 003

A Well Respected Man

Well I was a bit crabby yesterday. The disheveled drunkards can do that to you. On my way home I got a text message from Rand who was telling me about his buddy Karl having an art opening last night at Maxwells.

Yes that’s right, I wrote Maxwells.

I was weary, and merely replied ‘Sweet’. Rand invited me and I couldn’t say yes or no. I came upstairs and wrote over 1000 words and felt a bit better, and less bitter. Bill came home as I ate a turkey sandwich.

He was pretty tired. I continued writing and thought about going to the art opening. Last time I went it was pretty crowded and all I could do was think about how the art openings at Maxwells were so much more fun 20 years ago. Free beer and wine and familiar faces made the difference.

Bill went to take a nap and asked me to wake him up in a few hours. I mentioned that I was probably going out. Though his body was tired, his mind was racing and was unable to nap so he wandered around the apartment.

By the time I was done writing and posting entry 1601 I had decided to head out. As I walked down the stairs I texted Rand and told him I was on the way.

Got to Maxwells and it was crowded and loud but I enjoyed Karl’s artwork. Very comic book style, a lot of fun. Talked to Rand and Mike C and Mike’s girlfriend Sarah who was very sweet. I talked about busking and music and made Sarah giggle a bit.

Chris Repella showed up and bought some artwork. I thanked her once again for the photographs of the civil union thingamajig on Saturday. She joined Rand and Mike and Sarah as well as Lisa, Rand’s wife. I spotted Todd and told him I needed to talk to him.

Todd and I used to butt heads back in the day. We went out side and I told Todd about the civil union and asked if he would let me use the back room for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in the summer. To my delight he said yes.

I thanked him profusely and offered an invitation to join us. He asked that I send him an email today to remind him to keep the date booked for us. Quite nice. I called Bill and told him the good news and also called Annemarie.

After Maxwells I walked home with Chris Repella, walking with Mike C and Sarah. Chris and I sat in front of her building just talking about music. Mainly about the Kinks and how she doesn’t like the Beatles. Chris went off to either the supermarket or to Starbucks to see her daughter and I came home and invited about 120 Facebook friends to the summer Civil Union event.

Then I remembered that not all of my friends are on Facebook or even online so I text messaged about 20 more friends about it. I know that not all of the invitees will be able to make it, so I’m not worried about too many people.

Anyway if it gets too crowded there could be a nice back and forth between the front and back room at Maxwells.

A few trays of pasta and salad, paper plates and plastic utensils on the back bar and if you want a drink, you’ll have to pay for it in the front bar.

Today was a good day for busking. Yesterday while playing I spent too much time in the sun and my nose was bit red. Bill mentioned that this morning while kissing me good bye. So today I applied the sun block and wound up playing in the shade.

Today’s songs were Lola, Sunny Afternoon, I Should Have Known Better and You Can’t Do That, as well as the toddler’s favorite, The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I even sang today. Loudly and to the sky. Tariq joined me. Couldn’t keep up though. Not good with the sevenths still.

I indulged Tariq somewhat and we played Hotel California. Then the guy who sat next to me on Sunday showed up and it turns out Tariq knew him. The guy asked how to pass a screening for alcohol and I said the best way to pass the test is to not drink.

Tariq went off to buy some beer and asked me to watch his guitar again. I did and played my guitar while ignoring the guy to the best of my ability. Tariq came back with some beer and I took that as my opportunity to leave, saying that I had to bounce.

Sorry if this was a little disjointed tonight, but there were a few phone calls going on while I wrote. Perhaps I should shut off the phone while I write.

But still it was Jane who called who was thrilled to hear about the party and she said she will be there this summer, as will be Connie who plans on buying a new dress for the occasion. And Harpy who will probably show up naked.
FLOWERS

In the Pines

Another day. Another Wednesday. Right now, the sun is shining. It hasn’t rained today. At least not since I’ve been awake. It was a pleasure to get out of the apartment without an umbrella. Last night was a monsoon though.

I stayed in and watched Lost which while good, was not as good as the previous week which was all about Richard Alpert and not Baba Ram Dass. It was enjoyable. I think Jack will become Jacob and Locke will be the Smoke Monster.

It certainly isn’t a comfortable show, not that it ever was, but with Sayid being an automaton, Sawyer double dealing, Kate hanging with the wrong crew, the Professor & Mary Ann getting it on, it seems a bit much.

6 more episodes left so I guess things should bet getting tied up soon enough. I did read somewhere, the Jacob and the Smoke Monster could be Cain & Abel. Or Thor & Loki. Or some other mythological characters.

After that instead of watching what I’ve usually been watching I watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent. That was odd since Bill wasn’t around when it started at 10PM. It was one of the last episodes with Katheryn Erbe and Vincent D’onofrio.

Quite a surprising turn of events as well. I’d love to write about them here but I don’t want to be a spoiler. For once. Bill came home when there was 15 minutes left. Surprisingly though, Bill did not know that D’onofrio and Erbe would only be on for a few episodes this season, then it’s adios for them.

Off to bed for Bill and I joined him after watching Craig Ferguson. It was cold last night and I had to turn on the heater. We’ve been trying to keep things down. Slept better once it warmed up.

Bill was adorable as he kissed me good bye. I think he asked me what I was doing and all I could say was ‘sleeping’. In other words, ‘I love you but you had better leave me alone right now.’ I did get up a short while later and though the skies were gray I knew it would get better.

I walked around Hoboken, stopped by the Guitar Bar and made some arrangements with Jim to officiate the vows that we will do, more than likely on Saturday morning. In the Guitar Bar. I don’t have anything written and I don’t know if Bill does.

If need be I will have to wing it. Perhaps a belt of Irish whiskey will loosen my tongue beforehand. I could be like my Grandfather and just pour it in my coffee in the morning. Bill’s friend Tom will be our witness and maybe Tom’s wife.

After the Guitar Bar I walked along the riverfront and ran into Tariq, who was playing guitar. We talked for a while, and when he ran off to the bathroom I played his guitar, strumming quick versions of Please Please Me, All My Loving and So It Goes. Tariq was impressed.

I told him since tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day I might bring my guitar out there. He was going to be busking in Central Park with his pal, Steve who was the guy who was singing Sweet Melissa a few weeks ago. They make good money at 59th and Fifth.

Nice tourist spot and with the salt & pepper musicians, the Euro tourists will more than likely drop some cash on them.

I also heard from Pedro today. Always good to hear from him. He was complaining about his hillbilly neighbors and the fact that since he’s been on disability he has cabin fever. I thought I had it bad, but at least I’m in an area where if I needed to or wanted to I could head into the city for whatever.

He’s out there in the sticks and with the weather being what it was the past week or so, he was climbing the walls. So he’s going back to Riker’s Island just to get out of the house.

I think I figured out that when I see guys going home in the mid-afternoon, dressed in a suit & tie, they;re probably coming back from an interview.

Tariq

Tariq


Construction, a few building down the street

Construction, a few building down the street


I Turn My Camera On

OK, So far it’s been an OK day. Been somewhat busy too.

Didn’t sleep well last night. Bill has had a head full if allergies and the poor thing has been having difficulty breathing. He thought the sleep apnea mask would do the trick but it didn’t. Made things worse actually.

I’ve been drinking a lot of juice lately, for the past couple of months and all day all night I’ve been drinking it. I think the sugar in the juices has been keeping me up and no allowing for a good night’s sleep so I’m back to water. Nothing but water.

Maybe some coffee in the morning but for the rest of the day- water. And so far so good. I didn’t come to that conclusion until last night as I lay in bed next to Bill. Stuffy, stuffy Bill.

Finally as I was drifting off to sleep, Bill let out a violent sneeze. Violent and loud enough for me to exclaim, ‘Jesus Christ!’ Woke my ass up and wasn’t able to fall back asleep until later.

I do think that having less sugar in my juices might help me sleep well tonight. It’s an experiment you see, and I am the subject.

Last night was as mellow as all the previous March nights, before sleeping. Bill was off at the play, I was here, exactly where I am now, wearing different clothes.

Watched Olbermann with Laurence O’Donnell subbing for ol’ Keith who is off grieving for his father. Watched Modern Family which was pretty funny. A good show to catch. As is Cougartown which is created by Bill Lawrence of Scrubs fame.

Snappy dialogue and situations and both show don’t have laugh tracks which is, in my book, great. If you liked Scrubs you’ll probably like Cougartown, which features that dancing girl from the Bruce Springsteen video.

So today I headed into the city. I needed some new headphones for my iPod. The ones I got a year ago are kaput. J&R had a sale so I headed towards the Path train. Walked by the waterfront where I saw Tariq.

He was out playing guitar and we chatted for a bit. Told him last week about young Tim getting hit by a car, happy to tell him today that the kid was alright. Tariq has these open houses at the Monroe Center in Hoboken and had one last Sunday which I why he wasn’t on the waterfront.

He’s always inviting me to jam with him in fact he said I should have came back with my guitar and jammed on the Allman Brothers with the Bear Hippie guy he was jamming with.

Tariq also showed me how to play Sweet Melissa but I have to confess I’m really not at all interested in playing any Allman Brothers. I do have some punk principles. On the other hand I just played Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter Paul and Mary so go figure that one out.

I suppose I have no problems with pop music, it’s just southern boogie bands that I seem to abhor.

I made it into the city and walked over to J&R where I found the headphones on sale. Ear buds actually. Sennheiser, volume control on the wire which comes in handy. Walked over to city hall park where I wrestled with the packaging, feeling a bit like Larry David.

On the iPod I played TB Sheets, two versions, one by Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker’s version. Not for nothing, but I like Van’s version more. John Lee’s version is definitely good, but the audience talks throughout.

Took the Path to the Newport Mall where I walked through Macy’s. Looked at the men’s suits and felt no suit lust like I used to. Not very good suits anyway. Saw a nice Ben Sherman shirt on sale for 20.00 but it wasn’t my size and I’d wind up looking like a dissolute Robert Plant at Madison Square Garden circa 1973.

Does anyone remember laughter?

Walked to Payless shoes since they usually have good deals on Airwalk sneakers and my current sneakers are looking a bit worn. Still comfortable but it won’t be long till a hole appears. Didn’t see anything I liked so I walked out and walked into a Lens Crafters which of course was all about the hard sell, not really understanding the concept of browsing.

They’re really on you like white on rice. It was off-putting so I walked out of there and wound up walking back to Hoboken on the river walk. It was a nice cool day and glad to have gotten out and done something different, going out and about.

Listened to Spoon who are one of my favorite American bands. I know, I’m late coming to that conclusion.

Good think I put curtains up. Or is it?

Good think I put curtains up. Or is it?


Hoboken from Jersey City

Hoboken from Jersey City


3.25.10 Huhboken 006
3.25.10 Huhboken 008
Photo-0052
Yoo Hoo

Yoo Hoo

Darlin’

Well it certainly has been an interesting 24 hours. I’ve been busy. I made it up to the Park Theater, riding with the proletariat in the mass transportation system here, this time using a bus. Got to Union City with enough time to treat myself to a Hamburger Deluxe and a chocolate milk shake at the Four Star Diner.

Had enough time for a cigar before the show. Hanging around outside the Park Theater on 32nd street. Meghan and Ruby were in traffic en route. I few sidelong glances from some father’s walking by wondering who this bloke was, smoking a cigar outside the theater.

I was glad I didn’t wear my raincoat. Humming Aqualung might have been a mistake though. Meghan and Ruby and 2 of Ruby’s friends showed up soon enough and we all headed into the theater. Meghan knew the sidelong glancing fathers and introduced me to them, causing them some relief.

They in turn whistled Locomotive Breath.

We found some good seats and soon Jim Mastro as well as Frank Giannini and his son sitting behind us. The Street Corner Mourners were as excellent as I had hoped, Tim having a mandolin strap malfunction seemed like it was all part of the show.

Six songs were their set, all covers, all nicely played. Lily has an incredible voice. If she keeps it up, in ten years she will sound amazing. The Street Corner Mourners are so inspiring. After their set Meghan, Ruby and the friends saw Frank Giannini and his son off and went across the street to the Four Start Diner.

I had a coffee and a slice of cake while everyone else had entrees. It was a fun group, we were served by Mo, short for Maureen who looked a it like Shirley Stoller. They all went back to the theater, I decided to walk back home to Hoboken.

I enjoyed a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700 and listened to The Beatles, Revolver on the iPod. I walked down Palisade Avenue past Jane Street where I used to live. It was an enjoyable walk. I timed the cigar walk perfectly and finished it by the time I had gotten to my building in Hoboken.

I came upstairs and set about uploading the videos I had shot. It wasn’t exactly happening on my PC so I did the work on Bill’s Mac. I checked my Facebook messages and there was a message from Ruby.

Little did I know that after the show, Tim, the ace guitarist/Banjo & mandolin player was hit by a car outside the theater. Some driver had run a red light. Tim had done a flip over the car. The driver stopped, the police came and shut down that section of 32nd Street and it was decided that Tim go to the hospital in an ambulance.

They ran an MRI and had him overnight in the hospital to be on the safe side. Some short term memory loss but other than that he’s fine. Apparently 16 year old boys can bounce back like that. I hope he can still play his instruments.

All that walking from Union City to Hoboken had me tired but I think that last cup of coffee with Meghan and the girls kept me up while I tried to sleep. It wasn’t easy but I eventually did fall asleep.

Bill was soon in bed after coming home from Pecong, the play he’s been working on. He has a mouth apparatus which he wears with the sleep apnea mask. Still he snores and I wake him to let him know he’s snoring.

He says ‘Well you snore too you know. How do you know it isn’t you?’ I groggily try to explain that the sound was coming from his side of the bed.

I was up and out around 9:30, bagels and the paper. I got bagels for Stine & Alexander. Julio answered the door with Alexander on his shoulder as Julio was singing a lullaby to the baby. It was yet another beautiful day, the temperature was up to 73 degrees.

I walked around Hoboken a few times this afternoon, even taking my guitar out and playing along the river walk. I had seen Tariq earlier, playing a drum alongside an older hippie guy playing Melissa by the Allman Brothers.

I definitely could not get into it so later when I brought my guitar out I was about a quarter mile up the river walk. They were making some money but I didn’t feel up for that, not as confident as I was last summer and this being the first time out for me this year, I just played with the guitar case closed and didn’t do much singing.

I played for about 90 minutes until my right arm locked up a bit. I tried shaking it out but decided I had played long enough. I played Please Please Me, She’s A Woman, Love Shack, Surrender, Wild Horses, Maybe I’m Amazed and Kansas City among a few other songs.

Then I came home and finished an animation I had also been working on this afternoon.

I wrote over 800 words, shot and uploaded 6 video clips, created an animation and played guitar in public for 90 minutes. It’s been a creative day, and a good day at that.



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.