Tag Archives: Van Morrison

I Just Can’t Make It By Myself

I just got back from a nice supper with Julio, Stine and Superboy, Alexander. Quite nice, mainly appetizers that Stine made. She’s a great cook, and I eat just about anything she makes including artichoke spread which was super tasty and went well on bread.

Some chickpeas and some meat balls with a nice tomato sauce. And since I was there Alexander was compelled to put on a show and didn’t eat his food. Lots of running around and showing me his latest toys. I asked him how old he was and he told me 3, which I guess is OK since his birthday is next month and there was no reason to split hairs.

It was a nice visit after a day of running around. I paid a visit to see my friend Corey who I used to work with back in the 1990’s when I worked in the music business. Corey worked for a cartage company when I first met him. A cartage company is or was a company that rented out machines or instruments to various studios and sessions.

We hit it off and I eventually left the studio business and he went into the studio business working for Sony Studios with our mutual friend Miriam. And somehow we all wound up working at Arista Records in Suzanne Savage’s A&R Administration department, Corey worked in the legal field and we shared a space.

Now Corey is working for one of the last major labels which could vanish at any moment. I recommend he hang in there since things are still so dire out there in the real world. He’s also a grandfather, at the age of 40. It was a weird tale that he told and he still finds himself scratching his head at what happened. Not my story to tell but he is making the best of an interesting situation.

And then I wandered around midtown Manhattan for a spell, enough time spent to get color in my face which Julio remarked upon when he saw me.

Right now I am a bit distracted by Van Morrison. Specifically Moondance. I was planning on uploading a burned copy of that as well as Tupelo Honey but both come up with no titles, no info just the length of the song. It happens every now and then when I get burned CD’s from Arcata and I obsess over trying to figure out what song is what.

I don’t have that iPhone program (or an iPhone/Smartphone) where you just check a few seconds and with a few minutes you get the info that you might need. I’ve been using Amazon to check the track listing but now I find I can’t put the songs in the order that they were released in.

Still I am grateful for the songs and will figure out what is what eventually. I would probably be more proactive if it weren’t for the bottle of wine that Julio and I finished off. I am so not a drinker these days, it really doesn’t take much which is a good thing. All I want to do now is sleep.

And sleep I will- eventually, with the windows open a bit since the temperature was in the 70 degree range today. Back to work tomorrow and off again on Sunday. The head cheeses aren’t expected in this weekend so chances are I will not see Marcus or Calvin but there is always the outside chance.

I was a bit grumpy yesterday, mainly since it was jazz all day, but still I had the best sales of the staff, including the shark known as Calvin.

A real estate agent's photo.




I came thisclose to wearing the same thing.


Bill is off to Atlantic City, first time driving since January. He was a bit anxious since there has been a few bus accidents in the past week. I did my best to reassure him that he would be alright.

He Ain’t Give You None

Today has turned out to be quite a nice day. 62 degrees said the thermometer on Washington Street. A bit windy but that was OK by me. Had a nice walk around Hoboken, visited that socialist institution and dropped off some DVD’s.

One of the DVD’s, Sleeper- turned out to be unplayable thanks to some cracks in the center of the disc. I seem to be the one who discovers things wrong with the DVD’s at the bibliothèque. No one else seems to even after they return them.

Maybe they’re the ones who break the discs and don’t say anything for fear of having to buy a new one. I’ve never been accused and then again I’ve never broken a CD or DVD from the library.

Yesterday I took out Taking Woodstock and Hippie, a book by Barry Miles. I watched Taking Woodstock last night. It was cute, it was fun. Wasn’t the worst movie I saw and not the greatest Ang Lee movie but it wasn’t as bad as the critics made it out to be.

No footage from the Woodstock movie, but some of the same techniques were used. No music from the movie either, probably kept costs down. A version of Going Out to the Country which may or may not have been by Canned Heat was the only song I can remember being in the both movies.

I enjoyed it. Demitri Martin was good and I could have sworn Andy Samberg was in it, but it turned out to be Jonathan Groff. So it wasn’t by the book as some Woodstock memoirs would have it, but it was still enjoyable.

I didn’t watch the extras since I have quite an extensive waiting list at the bibliothèque and I needed a copy of The Scottish Play for this Sunday’s Open Reading of Shakespeare at McSwells this Sunday. I do like the Scottish Play, having read it in high school.

After the library I wandered over to the river and read the January 25 issue of the New Yorker. Man I am behind. Since I’m not commuting anymore I don’t read it as often as I did, I’ve fallen behind. And my behind might have gotten a bit bigger since I’m not walking all over Manhattan like I used to.

Been a gray and wet couple of months so I’ve mainly been inside. I hope to change that soon enough now that the weather is getting better.

Stopped by the local record store, Tunes just to see if there was anything special about the latest album by The Bird & the Bee, their tribute to Hall & Oates. They didn’t have it in stock, claiming they sold it out. I doubt if they even ordered it since it came out yesterday. They said it should be in on Friday.

Instead I was able to snag Bang Masters by Van Morrison. A collection of his tracks for Bang Records from 1967. It was a used copy at $2.99 and since it had T.B. Sheets on it, a song that I’ve been playing once a day lately I had to have it. It should make for a nice burned CD for someone in August.

I’ve also become friends with Chris Frantz and Pat Irwin on Facebook. Chris Frantz was the drummer for Talking Heads, as well as for the Tom Tom Club and married to one of my favorite bass players, Tina Weymouth.

And Pat Irwin was in the Raybeats on guitar, keys and saxophone and also played guitar and keys for the B-52’s. A nice guy, I met him by the rock outside of Summerstage a few years ago. Answered my questions about the Raybeats and the B-52’s.

Chris Frantz is supposed to be a nice guy as well. I saw him at a Television show at the Academy theater in the 1990’s but was too nervous to go up to him and say anything.

I guess Facebook is the way to go then.
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Add It Up

It’s now a Wednesday. Last night was quiet. Just watched TV. Bill came home from seeing his mother. He’s making a point to do that at least once a week. He’s also seeing his cousin and her family at that time so it works out well for everyone.

I was home, a bit tired, after getting ready with Greg Stevens on his move. Not hard work but the trucking back and forth wore me down. I watched TV, O & RM. Bill came home in time for Rachel. I had enough news at that point but Bill wanted to watch it so we did.

Then at 10:00 I put on the Heroes episode from Monday night. Still lacking in luster. And of course, the last minute or two was cut off. Sort of like, ‘And the murderer is…’ Stay tuned for the Jay Leno Show! It’s happened so often that it’s become a joke around here.

Bill was busy getting some things ready for his friend Rome Neal’s one man show about Thelonious Monk called Monk. I’ve seen it a few times. Bill has been Rome’s trusted stage manager for the show for a long time, but the next show is in Rochester and Bill can’t make it so he’s been transferring things to CD’s so Rome can take them on the road.

After the 11:00 news I put on a recording of Scrubs: Med School. It takes place after the original show with Turk and Dr. Cox as well as Bob Kelso and the Todd reprising their roles. JD & Eliot have made appearances before. It’s OK. Not totally in love with it, but then I haven’t been following it much. Bill didn’t know anything about it so it was a kick for him.

He went to bed after that, wearing the sleep apnea mask which was great. A nice night of sleep. Of course there was the weird dream involving an old friend of my Simon Paterson. He was a special friend. Had many late nights with him.

A strange relationship though. Haven’t seen him in years and I don’t think he’s seen me in years either. At one point in the dream he produces some powdery packets and offers them to me like back in the old days, but in the dream I was saying that I don’t do that sort of thing and that the glasses he was wearing made him look like Bobby Womack.

It was a dream that probably had references to another friend, no not that type of friend, just another party person from the McSwells days. I ran into him, known as Midday since that’s when he usually got out of bed.

We were both waiting for the bus and comparing our lives. He’s been married for 10 years, me and Bill will have been together for 10 years in September. He used to party in much the same way I did and just like me, he doesn’t anymore. That conversation probably popped into the dream.

This morning I was up and started making the coffee when the phone rang. It was Brenda from back in the Wanker Banker days. She saw via one of the social networks that I’m on that I have a job and asked how it was going. Surprisingly I was able to answer her questions coherently without any coffee.

She was at her job and couldn’t talk much so we ended the call with me promising to call her back, which I haven’t yet. Had some breakfast when the phone rang again, this time it was a follow up call after the phone interview from the other day.

Tomorrow I have a face to face interview. This time with some guy named Tom. It’s at 10:30 so after that in a suit & tie I will supervise Greg Stevens move. I of course got worked up about the interview. I always think that I have the job.

Then I realized that I do have a job lined up and if the interview doesn’t go well, well I still have that job on Monday. Saw Stine and Alexander on the way to the park. Walked them over and played with Alexander for a few minutes.

Stine looked great and Alexander was the boy wonder, climbing over everything and ignoring me. I did get a high five and when I left I said Bye Bye. Stine couldn’t get him to do the same but when I was 20 feet away I heard a Bye Bye. Then at 30 feet, then at 50 feet. Each time I turned around and saw Stine laughing as I waved back.

Spoke to Bill about the interview tomorrow, me making a big deal out of it. Spoke to my brother Brian which was really good. His eldest daughter is looking at college. Yikes! By the time I made it to Greg Stevens office he was off at the Racquetball Club.

I don’t think he plays racquetball though, just the gym and sauna. I packed some boxed and got other things ready for the move.

Spoke to Bill again and told him I realized I was making too big a deal out of the interview. Now I’m home, watching the Simpsons ‘Mr Scorpio!’ and that’s about it.

Rest in peace, Howard Zinn.

Basketball Jones

This is one of those moments in life where a joint would be most nice. But of course I am lacking in that department. What started as a fine day almost degenerated into crap and it wasn’t my fault. I do have to thank the makers of Xanax for taking a major edge off the trouble I found myself in this afternoon.

I suppose it’s true, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In that case, to quote AC/DC I’m on the Highway to Hell.

Last night was quite pleasant enough. Bill came home and we watched The Baroness of Jazz, about a woman, an heiress to the Rothschild fortune who left England and wound up being a major supporter of Thelonious Monk and a few others in that Jazz scene.

I recorded it since Bill has a connection to Thelonious Monk in some regard. Right now, my patience is sorely being tested by the sound card I guess on my computer.

Right now I’m trying to listen to some Kate Bush on iTunes, while also trying to upload the videos I shot of Bill tonight. Unfortunately with every keystroke on the computer the sound goes to shit.

Apparently I cannot do more than one thing on the computer without something going wrong. You get what you paid for I guess. Be ru-un-nni-i-i-nn-ggg u-u-u-p-p t-hhhhaaa-tttt hi-ll-ll is not how Kate Bush is supposed to sound. A 5:01 song gets stretched to 6 and change.

And the one clip I had shot of Bill was somehow turned into 2 clips, so I decided to add the sound check making it a 2:36 clip. I know I would be feeling a lot worse if it weren’t for the Xanax which is merely making me frustrated rather than angry.

Anyhow, The Baroness of Jazz was good and Bill really enjoyed it. After that, Bill and I watched Saturday Night Live. I generally enjoy the holiday episodes of Saturday Night Live. I often wondered if it was Lorne Michaels generosity that lets some truly strange sketches go on air.

I loved the digital short, it was hilarious and definitely weird. No more pajamas for me. Bill went to bed during Weekend Update, I stayed up to watch the rest. Muse were the musical guests and I thought they were alright.

Soon I went to bed as the snow continued falling. I woke up around 8:30, Bill was off to church for the first time in weeks, delivering the liturgy. I soon had my boots on, walked up to Washington Street where the bagel shop was empty. Yesterday the line was out onto the sidewalk.

In and out in under a minute, I made my way through sloppy streets to the supermarket. Cute cashier, reminded me of Karen Kuhl from Gutbank, 20 years ago.

The rest of the day was OK, until I responded to matters regarding Christmas presents. Where I planned and saved to get these presents I was left feeling foolish for getting these meager presents. Whatever good feeling I had was soon gone.

Bill was home by then and taking a nap, I had an early supper. That’s when I had the Xanax which couldn’t activate fast enough for my nerves. Eventually it did and talking to Bill about it certainly helped.

Things will have to be done differently and certain plans will be changed within the next five days. C’est la vie, that’s just the way that it goes.

Bill and I ran into Rand and Lisa as we walked to the Path train, good to see them. They wished Bill good luck with his singing. We also ran into Kathe Charas who is leaving New York and heading to Florida to help out some relatives. Glad to be able to see her on the day she was leaving though it was quite inadvertent.

We were set up nicely at the Garden, had dinner in the Press Room and Bill had a small dressing room. We had passes that allowed me to walk through the bowels of the Garden and shoot Bill’s sound check and the pass came in handy during the actual performance.

Unfortunately, someone bumped into me during the actual performance which left the video slightly disjointed. I posted it on YouTube as johnotoole99 as well on Facebook and also here.

Our singer

Our singer

'Just the facts, ma'am'

'Just the facts, ma'am'