Friday, November 30, 2007

The Pick of Destiny

Well it looks like we're getting the band back together (insert joke here). I'd planned to put up a pic or two of me and the guys, and I probably will, but I pulled out my guitar tonight and tooled around for a while. I have this old dip can that I kept picks in in my guitar case. I spent several minutes just looking at them and playing a bit. A lot came rushing back to me. More than I can explain here. They are old. Like me.

These were my favorites. I was a tried and true Fender Thin man, the Fender Pink being my pick of choice, but I rotated in some heavies for the power chords of rock and to feel like Yngwie. The two on the bottom are interesting since the purple one is two feet thick and the other is made of steel... for heavy metal. Get it? I didn't use it much.Here are some of my professional guys picks. The two Journey/Neil Schon picks were obtained at the show. I was so close I could have hit him with his own pick. (thanks, Kyle, for scooping them up for me) . The Dann Huff pick was from a show they did in Nashville at the Ace of Clubs. We were just sitting at a table and it was there. A coup for me. I got the Steve Via pick at a clam bake and the Alex Lifeson either came from a private lesson with him or came in a deluxe edition DVD set. I forget.

Monday, November 26, 2007

R.I.P. -- Kevin DuBrow

So there I was... it was the summer of 1983. I had just finished my freshman year of high school and I had discovered that I was a metal head. Not the drug induced, beating up old ladies metal head, just the innocuous, parents not really worried type of head banger. I went to summer camp at Camp Pee Dee for the last time that year. Several of my friends were there... my "metal" friends, one of which being Buddy Williams. He had a new 'tape' of a band called Quiet Riot.

It was easily the most metal thing I had heard to date. An argument could be made that now it's laughable but at the time it was almost frightening. The cover had an insane guy on it who had obviously just broken out of an asylum and was coming to get me. Jason Vorhees mask... straight jacket... it was pretty dark. I loved what I heard. I remember thinking how cool I would be when I got my cassette of this masterpiece. The guitar was awesome and the lead singer, Kevin DuBrow, just wailed. What a great album and a great time in my life. I was coming of age. Finding myself. How was I to know that in just three short years, I'd be in college and hooked on REM and other alternative, acoustic rock.

I saw Quiet Riot a couple of years ago with my brother-in-law. It was the "Rock Never Stops" tour (ironic, isn't it). As we were leaving, Kevin and couple other guys were walking through the hall. I was within 10 feet of him. I didn't stop. Didn't yell out. Just said... "there he is". The 15 year old me would have lost his mind. Oh well, times change, people change.

Kevin DuBrow died yesterday at the ripe old age of 52. I don't know yet how but it makes me sad. Thank you, Kevin Dubrow, your music and spandex clad antics made me happy and I'll never forget it. Well... I'm off to iTunes get some Quiet Riot.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

We had a great Thanksgiving. We were all thankful for family and health. In celebration of this holiday, Uncle Kyle lovingly cuddled and then fried up the Thanksgiving Dog.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mulberry Street

I'm following in line with George's random pics in the "Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street" vain. Here's a truck I saw today. It's a Dodge. Doug's Dodge.

Thanksgiving Eve

I remember quite clearly the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 1990 when I was in Nashville. Most of us were going home for the weekend and George, Jolly and I left late, about 6 or 6:30 that night. We caravanned with George and myself in my car and Jolly in his. We took turns leading the way, always giving the “thumbs up” or “double pistols” sign as we passed one another. We stopped, as we always did, at Exit 417 on I-40 to gas up and I guess just to be there. That seemed to be a magic location while I was in Nashville.

The band White Heart had just put out their “Powerhouse” cd so we listened to that the whole way. I think Jolly didn’t know we had it and we gave it to him at the stop as a surprise. He quickly passed us with an “OK-rock on” hand gesture. I think about that when I hear the album and think of him.

We got into Columbia, waved goodbye to Jolly as he exited to his home and his world, and got to George’s home about 1:00 am. His dad, George the 2nd, known to most as ‘Buddy’, was waiting up for us. (I never called him Buddy but always wanted to) They asked me to spend the night since it had been a long trip but I had gotten my second wind and was ready to press on.

I pulled out about 1:30, I guess, and headed for Florence. Michael W. Smith had a Christmas CD out then that, at the time, I didn’t think much of but for some reason I thought why not pop it in. So there I was… on the last leg of a 9 hour trip, 2:00 am, wide awake and wide alive. I loved hearing the album as I drove and couldn’t get it loud enough. I even rolled down the windows a little to feel the cold air rush over me as the music seemed to usher in the Christmas season. I play it every year when we put our Christmas tree up. It always reminds me of that trip.

“Glory!” sang the angel chorus. “Glory!” echoed back the night.
Love has come to walk among us.Christ the Lord is born this night.

I got home about 3:00 am. Mom and Dad were asleep but left lights on for me and some food out. I quickly killed the food and the lights and quietly went upstairs to bed. I remember lying there feeling good… in my bed… in my room… home. My being wired from the driving soon gave way to sleep and the next thing I knew it was morning and my Mom was sitting on the edge of my bed hugging me. Maybe hiding a tear, I’m not sure. I said, “I’m home. She said, “I know. I’m glad”. “Me too”, I said. And I was.

Monday, November 19, 2007


(not the candidate, just the ad)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Walk to Remember

I took my son on a walk through the woods this morning. Just the two of us. Good times.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Education Scheducation

I found this of interest in the morning paper. It was an article about Clemson football and their big game tonight with Boston College. It spoke of seniors and their last home game and the journey they had. Linebacker Nick Watkins, shaking his signature locks, they reported, was focused upon:

“Watkins readily admits to a distain for the disruption education causes for a college football player, yet there’s a sense of pride in the fact that he survived the system and could walk away with a diploma in spite of himself.”

Disruption? Ok. So here’s a guy thats been a fine member of the Clemson football team (aka: the tigers). He’s done his job well from what I understand and will certainly look back on his college career with fondness. However, he hasn’t thought much of what he’s really gained during his time at the institution. One would say “why is youth wasted on the young” or “if I knew then what I know now”. Poor Nick.

I heard a guy on the radio say once “It’s hard to sell life insurance with a spider tattooed on your face”. I guess that about sums it up but I’m still sorry his learning something interfered with football. I hope he gets over it.

(P.S. Clemson just lost in dramatic fashion. Time to hit the books, Nick.)

Friday, November 16, 2007


Look at this jackass...

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Over most of my adult life, whenever I've been in a conversation about old TV shows that were great but never stood the test of time, I've usually mentioned "240-Robert". I've always been met with blinking eyes and the sound of crickets chirping. No one, and I mean no one, has ever remembered it. This has happened enough in my life, today in fact, that I've begun to think maybe I'm just crazy. I've never looked it up on the internet because frankly, I've never thought about doing so.

Well, the die is cast. A few keystrokes later and I've proven to the world (but mainly to me) that I'm not a loon. It was real. It happened. And I was there. Thank you, most wonderful internet and Superstu's website, for helping me live another day in sanity.

"240-Robert was a television show that originally aired in 1979 on ABC-TV. It featured the heroic rescues of the Emergency Services Detail of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. 240-Robert originally starred John Bennett Perry (Matthew Perry's father), Mark Harmon and Joanna Cassidy."


Happy Eleven Month B-Day, Sam!
You da proverbial man

Friday, November 9, 2007


Me and my buddy Kyle-o at a recent Korn concert.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pungent Words

My son said the most interesting thing to me this evening during his bath. We were talking about Christmas and how glad I was that he's here and so on and so forth and thus and so.

He said: "Baaaaa, Ba, Ba, Da, Da, Ack." And I thought... you know that just nails it. It's what we're all feeling but afraid to say. Not to put too strong a point on it, but it's time we realized this. He concluded his great lesson by crapping in the tub.