Fast break. I just caught some of the NCAA Final Four in the Man Cave so I am somewhat familiar with the basketball lingo. It’s a damp and cold and windy Saturday night. Things have quieted down somewhat. It has been a busy day, working alongside with Zack & Bradley and we all got along quite nicely.
That is a nice change of pace considering I left in such a state on Thursday evening, a mood that only got worse as I headed home. No, it’s been alright today. I suppose it is the company one keeps, though of course I have no say regarding who I am working with. Sales have been pretty good today, I hit my goal and then some and just a few hundred behind Bradley in sales. A decent end to March.
Right now, the Clash, Sandinista is playing. Specifically The Crooked Beat which is the name of a wonderful mixtape I made in the 1990’s. That mixtape got me about a month of free Guinness at a spot that Julio & I used to hang out at. Then I told my friend Pedro about it and it became Pedro’s spot, with Pedro going a lot more than I ever did.
Bradley just split for the evening, leaving me alone in the cigar shack. I don’t mind the solitude. I had a friend named Kevin McBean who loved the Crooked Beat mixtape, so much so that he told me all the time, over and over.
Kevin McBean stopped being my friend when I told him in 2002 that Bill had gotten me a ring for my birthday, that I was in a committed relationship. You see, Kevin McBean never knew I was gay until that moment and he didn’t like it very much. So I guess the old adage is true, he probably wasn’t your friend to begin with.
I should never have re-written his resume when he somehow got into Right Track looking for a job and handed in a resume that looked like it was written on tissue paper. I felt bad for him so I fixed it up. He never got the job but we did become friends. Then I came out and he moved to another planet as far as I am concerned.
Bill is driving to Atlantic City again tonight. He drove last night. I saw him for a few minutes this morning as I was getting ready to leave and as he was getting ready to go to sleep. Not much is planned for me after work tonight (is there ever anything planned?). I am working tomorrow with Jerry Vale and Thomas and off again on Monday.
Bradley and Zack saw the schedule change that Thomas mentioned in the voice mail and both of them agreed that it would not be a good idea for me to work 5 days straight. And it would have actually been 6 days if it weren’t for Bradley revamping the schedule. I guess I hear about Thomas’ take on it tomorrow.
05 My Wife and My Dead Wife
It’s another scorcher, this being a Saturday. Last night was hotter, yesterday was hotter. I watched Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. A very good documentary on the former John Mellor. Those who knew the Clash story knew that Joe’s father was in the civil service in England, Joe was born in Ankara, Turkey. Being middle class didn’t help with one’s punk credentials in England at least.
It was done similar to the Beatles Anthology, and what they did regarding John Lennon being dead. They used countless interviews to tell Joe Strummer’s story. It wasn’t all favorable. Joe dicked some people in his life and they tell their side of the story. Joe regretted some his his actions, like kicking Mick Jones out of the Clash.
The documentary was filmed around campfires, in London, Los Angeles and New York as well as other places. Mick Jones was indoors though. No campfires for him. Topper Headon, excellent drummer kicked out for being a junkie, tells of living skint while hearing Rock The Casbah playing somewhere. Joe also slept with Topper’s girlfriend, as well as other girlfriends of various people.
It was Topper’s song, Rock The Casbah. I’m sure he gets royalties, since by the time of Sandinista, all the songs were credited to the Clash, rather than Strummer/Jones, or Simonon. Not much Paul Simonon in the documentary. Thats something that keeps bands together, songwriting royalties, U2 does it. Everyone shares in the money. Joe Strummer was also upset that Rock The Casbah was being used as a soundtrack to the first Gulf War.
Songwriting breaks up bands usually. It caused stress in Talking Heads. The band would jam and David Byrne would write the lyrics and get all the songwriting royalties. Eventually they changed it to Lyrics by Byrne, Music by Talking Heads.
But the Clash dissolved, and forget about the Cut the Crap Clash, they barely got a mention. It’s a very good documentary directed by Julien Temple who made The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and The Filth and The Fury about the Sex Pistols. Worth watching if you’re a Clash fan. Some of the footage is also from Dick Rude’s excellent documentary on Joe, called Let’s Rock Again. Also worth watching.
Manager Bernie Rhodes comes off badly. He hated Mick Jones and Topper Headon and set about working Joe and Paul against Mick after Topper got the boot.
I started watching the extras on the dvd, Mick Jones getting fucked up as he tells the story of the Clash over a few hours. Really a spliff too far. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I started to look like Mick Jones so I wound up asleep in my air conditioned bedroom by 11:15.
Didn’t sleep too well. Pillows went bad. Sometimes they just get uncomfortable. Since I was off yesterday I bought the papers instead of reading them online and saw a sale at the Newport Mall on pillows. That was my plan for the day. Make it to the mall. I walked by Mr. L, my barber and at 8:30 there were guys waiting for a haircut.
Not being one to wait, I got some bagels and the papers and came home for breakfast. An hour later I was out on the street, more guys getting haircuts. It’s so hot out that a lot of guys are getting shorn today. So I headed to the train station, walking in the shade and hopped on the light rail to the Newport Mall.
I was there before most of the stores were open. Bought some pillows on sale, bought some nice Airwalk sandals at Payless for $15.00, and microfiber underwear marked for clearance at Macy’s. I can’t wear cotton underwear anymore. I find it uncomfortable, and microfiber is more comfortable but seems hard to find. I found it though.
Made it back to the light rail, back to Hoboken where it was still too busy to get a haircut. Came home, had a bagel and decided to take a nap with the new pillows. It was a much needed nap. Had a dream that my brother Brian was calling me to tell me he had some really good acid.
I slept for 2 hours, air conditioned and happy. It felt like the nap made up for the uneasy sleep of the night before. I finally felt on track. Went out to try to get a haircut again, but still, no luck. Bought groceries and talked to Annemarie while I shopped in the air conditioned supermarket.
Mr. L’s closes at 5:00 on Saturday so I went down at 4:45. My barber, Tony was finishing up for the day. The other barber told me that I was next in line 3 times. This time I was staying. Just as well since I was Tony’s last customer. I told him to cut it all off. He knew better than to listen to me. I just got a nice close cropped haircut. Not a crew cut, more like a suedehead, and it feels great.
Scrubs is on, so I must be writing. It’s Tuesday, not such a bad day. Things are slow going for me at work, but it’s cool. I did get the bonus but a chunk of it went to Bill’s father’s funeral cost. What could I do? Bill was stressed, looking for money and I had some coming my way. I was able to take care of that and gave him the money hoping that I would get it back when he would be able to pay it. I’m not going to go crazy over that. I bought Nick Lowe’s Jesus of Cool the other day after the parade. In the UK it was known as Jesus of Cool, but here in the US it had to be called Pure Pop For Now People. I must have been on a kick, since the next day I bought Blondie Eat To The Beat, and a Madness single, Michael Caine.
All three were as good as I remembered, but didn’t give me the thrill I once got, but that was about 30 years ago. Things that thrilled me 30 years ago, just don’t cut it like they used to these days. I’m sure you can relate, if you’re over 30 at least. Last night was very mellow. Mellow enough for me to go to bed before 11:00. Not much on TV, I watched some more of the Clash Live: Revolution Rock which was cool. Even picked up the bass and tried to figure out some Paul Simonon bass lines. That also set the stage for me to play Big Audio Dynamite on the way to work this morning.
I also read some more of Hotel California. Manson is on the fringes of the scene, Buffalo Springfield broke up, Stills is a jerk, Gene Clark of the Byrds is slowly losing his mind and Jackson Browne is still a cute teenager. That’s where I’m at on that. My brother Frank recommended the book to my sister Annemarie much to her chagrin. I thought that was interesting, that he had read the book. Very similar to me writing about listening to the Electric Light Orchestra and Harpy commenting that he was listening to them at the same time, and it happened once again with Harpy, me writing about watching The Namesake, when he was watching it himself. Can somethings can be too much in sync?
Now it’s Tuesday night, not planning on doing much. Had a turkey sandwich for dinner which was filling. Not a Dagwood sandwich, but better than what I had for lunch when I was growing up. Some turkey, some mayonnaise on white bread, and it usually wound up in the bottom of my book bag to be tossed at the end of the week. Did I eat lunch in grammar school? I remember some dodgy Chinese lunches, every few months, sponsored by the school. Some Chop Suey which was really horrible and put me off eating Chinese food. Still not too keen on Chinese food to this day and I haven’t eaten Chop Suey since. I’d be so screwed should I find myself over in Asia. Maybe I just haven’t found the right place.
Here’s a funny video sent to me from Betty Colatrella.
Watching Revolution Rock: The Clash Live, something that was on PBS over the weekend. It was part if a pledge drive and of course that means it’s interrupted with pleas for donations. They have some hipsters on, hipsters from Long Island since this is PBS on the Guyland. But the thing that struck me were the personalities saying what their favorite Clash album is, how did they get into them, why do they like them.
It’s interesting for me, because in the late seventies it didn’t seem like many people my age were into The Clash or punk / new wave, and here, are my age group saying they loved London Calling. I know in my high school years I was cut off from a lot and didn’t have many friends outside of school. Didn’t really bloom socially until I started working. I thought it funny that these personalities don’t look like they’ve ever liked the Clash, except for maybe Rock The Casbah.
Then again, the way I look most of the time, professionally at least, I don’t look like a Clash fan. It’s a shame I never got it together to see the Clash, I always figured they would be around and our paths would cross one day. I got the short end of the stick on that one. I did meet Mick Jones which was a very big deal to me. And Paul Simonon was a better bass player than I realized.
Now it’s a day later. I slept well last night, difficult to wake up though. Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones didn’t do it. I kept on sleeping. Got up in time to remember I had a dental appointment at NYU Dental School. I wished I didn’t have to go but then again I wished I had good teeth. Or in my case, good gums. But I don’t and this is what I have to do. I had rescheduled an appointment from two weeks ago for today and on my calendar I thought it was for 1:15. In reality it was for 2:00. I wrote 1:15 as the time I had to leave the office, but instead thanks to my miscalculation I left at 12:30. Didn’t realize the wrong time until I got to the school.
I was ok with it though, I was reading Hotel California about how Jackson Browne was desired by a few in Warhol’s circle, after he ran from Nico crying, how David Crosby was a real jerk and he and Cass Eliott dabbled in heroin in Laurel Canyon. It’s fun it’s gossipy and the shit hasn’t even hit the fan yet. Joni and Neil have just moved on the scene, David Geffen pushing everyone around while squiring Laura Nyro, stuff like that.
Sometimes when I go to the dentist I just get really drowsy and feel like I could just fall asleep in a minute. Maybe it’s the stress, maybe it’s Lite FM. It happened once before a few years ago when I fell asleep while they were working on me for a few minutes, long enough to feel totally refreshed. I thought that was funny.
But today was not about going under the knife. This was more about measuring the space between the teeth and the gums and it doesn’t look good. Next week is a cleaning and from there it will all begin. I do think the price will be reasonable and will have a payment plan while I file the insurance paperwork myself. It was over in about an hour, pricking my gums with some pointy thing. Melissa Goodman was my dentist studying to be a periodontist. She was nice enough. I could probably beat up her father.
Walked to the Path train down 23rd street, past the student artists at the School of Visual Arts. I used to know a few graduates from there, or at least students. I occasionally wonder where they are now. I don’t see any of their artwork anywhere. Maybe they gave up and joined the workforce. My sister in law, Elaine had a successful angiogram which is definite good news.
That’s about it for now. Just taking it easy. Anything else, I will let you know., so deal with it, yo. Oh and Snoop got shot dead on the penultimate episode of the Wire, Marlo and his crew behind bars, and McNulty’s house of cards is crumbling despite the indictments from his shady dealings in the name of the law, which could all fall apart thanks to Kima telling the chief what McNulty has been up to.
Oh, one more thing. Bats are dying in record numbers in the northeast. Some type of fungus has been found on their noses as they hibernate for the winter. This is not good, not just for the bats. The ecosystem is fucked. Frogs, Bees all gone missing, and now Bats are dropping dead. This summer, we might be saying ‘Hello insect invasion’.