Tag Archives: Rand Hoppe

I Need You- Tim McGraw

Wow. Just got home from a fine afternoon spent with Rand Hoppe. It wasn’t anything planned but rather a spur of the moment thing. I slept a little later than usual this morning and once awake and out of bed I went about doing my morning routines. After showering and breakfast, as usual I found myself parked in front of the computer. After a spell of feeding the trolls I got a phone call from Rand. He wanted to know if I would be interested in heading into the city to shoot some video in front of the building where Jack Kirby was born.

I hadn’t hung out with Rand, mano y mano in a while and I haven’t been to the Lower East Side since 2006 I believe, so I was game. Rand was off to Journal Square, to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew his license and the plan was to meet at 1:00 in Hoboken by the Path train. I had enough time to go to the really big supermarket and get some groceries so that is what I did. I was home by noon and after putting things away I was back in front of the computer.

Rand was stuck in the black hole of the DMV and texted me that things were not going as easily as he had hoped. I suggested meeting at 2:00 or if he would rather, doing this tomorrow. Spontaneity was the key and Rand wanted to go with the flow so we just moved meeting up to 2:00 which was just fine. And instead of meeting in Hoboken, we would meet at Ninth Street and Sixth Avenue. I was fine with that and when I found myself on the Path train, opted to go one stop further so I wouldn’t be standing around and waiting for Rand.

I walked the extra blocks and found Rand waiting outside. He was there about 10 minutes so it wasn’t that bad. We walked and caught the F train to Delancey Street. Rand was feeling peckish so we got some lunch beforehand at Tiny’s Giant. Rand had the veggie burger and I had a BLT. After that it was over to 147 Essex Street where Jack Kirby was born. It turns out the storefront of the building is vacant and Rand thinks it would be the best place where the Jack Kirby Museum should be. It is, really.

We shot some video, people walking by in the frame, behind the camera. It wasn’t too long and Rand seemed satisfied with the amount we shot. I suppose I will hear more about it once he sees the footage shot. Perhaps we will shoot some more. I lit a cigar in Kirby’s memory (and also satisfied my own wanting of a cigar) and we strolled around some more, to the spot where Kirby moved to on Suffolk Street, to where Rand and Wolf Knapp and I saw KonK back in the day, to where Rand bought his horn rimmed glasses.

The Lower East Side had a few memories for us. A nice stroll back up to the East Village, stopping into a head shop to check out vaporizers (I want one), walking past the Goth crap store that occupies the space where Farfetched was. It had been a great afternoon and it wasn’t over yet. Rand went into Forbidden Planet (which had moved) and I stayed outside smoking a cigar. Then a walk to the Path at 14th Street where Rand got on the train and sat opposite me and I took about 30 photographs of Rand much to the confusion of the other passengers.

Back in Hoboken, we saw Chris and Dave at the Farmers Market before heading up Washington Street. Rand suggested pints and I couldn’t refuse, not wanting the good feeling to end. We wound up at Mikie Squared, a tavern I pass by often but never stopped by. We sat outside and rank about four pints apiece of Yuengling which at $2.00 a pint could not be passed by. Stories were told, stories revised, rewritten. I mentioned knowing Rand since 1982 and he said 1984 but in hindsight it had to be 1983 at least.

It was a great day spent with Rand, much like days in the past, wandering around Soho and the East Village, hitting Sohozat and Saint Mark’s Sounds among other places. Sohozat is long gone and I was saddened to see Sounds shuttered as we walked past. Now I am buzzed, bought food this morning, not in the mood for cooking it so sandwiches it will be for dinner. I look forward to more wandering around with Rand, in fact there is a plan to go out to NJ on Thursday. We shall see, plans need to be finalized. I do plan on documenting the excursion if and when it happens.

$2.00 pints of Yuengling is quite agreeable.

Rand in front of the Kirby birthplace

Me in front of the Kirby birthplace

03 Living Too Late

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.
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