Sunday, October 27, 2013


We hardly know where to start with this one.

I said “we” even though it’s just me, because... well, haven’t you heard that you’re not supposed to start a piece o’writing with “I”? Yeah, Henry David Thoreau hadn’t heard that either... or... i-ther.

I’m tryin’ to follow “the rules” here, but I admit that I ain’t no good at it, and I axe you to forgive me transgressions.

This is going to be a mixed up, shook up, semi-stream o’unconsciousness, kinda spontaneous-like blog bit o’product reviews... which reminds me that I got Dylan singin’ next to me and a glass o’sherry within arm’s reach, and the third band I ever paid money to see play live-in-concert was Mink DeVille. That was 1977, my senior year in high school. The year before, I had seen Styx (my favorite band) open for Journey at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. My second “professional” concert (again at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium) saw Mink DeVille opening for Styx (my favorite band).

All these years later, I realize that (the millionaires) Styx stunk, and that (the poor) Mink DeVille was a far better band. Sorry, blokes, but sometimes the crap also rises (to the top). Proof of my confident heterosexuality is the fact that I can publicly admit to having loved Styx back in 1976 / ’77. But I was a mere boy then, a lad of 16. And although I went out and bought Mink DeVille’s ‘Cabretta’ album right after their concert, it would be years before I’d come to realize that they were way cooler than Styx ever was.

If you’re already familiar with Mink DeVille, chances are it’s because of their version of the song ‘CADILLAC WALK’, which I definitely dug and do dig:

Pretty good, right? Lean, clean, and mean. But by far my favorite Mink DeVille song was always ‘SHE’S SO TOUGH’. I used to crank that “up to eleven” in my bedroom and practice my Air Guitar. I absolutely loved (and still absolutely love) the “hiccup” in the rhythm guitar line! And note the orange, black, and wee bit of green on the album cover below. How Halloweenie, eh?...

In my last blog bit and its comment section, I related to all y’all how a woman stood me up for ‘The Retro Theatre’ showing of the movie ‘FALLING DOWN’. The dumb blonde orange has since contacted me via Email, apologized profusely, and said that she didn’t meet me at the theatre only because she was “under the knife” – having forgotten until the last minute that she had scheduled an appointment with her doctor for ‘Breast Augmentation’ surgery.

What could I say? Naturally, I forgave her (it was the ONLY excuse for standing me up that I would have accepted) and, like any other guy would have, I then asked her, “So... what are you doing ten minutes from now?”
We later caught another showing of ‘Falling Down’ and laughed ourselves silly. (Not really; it’s a drama, but there are several humorous scenes.) If you’ve never seen that 1993 movie, you’ve missed some great lines like... “You forgot the briefcase!” and “I’ll give you something to fix” and “Now you’re going to die wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?” (It’s that “How does it feel?” that prompted me to play Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’.)
A few scenes from ‘Falling Down’ were filmed at L.A.’s famous Venice Beach.
And so shortly after watching the movie again for the godzillionth time, I was inspired to pour a beer (that never takes much arm-twisting) and dig out my old 1992 compilation compact disc ‘SPIRIT OF VENICE, CALIFORNIA. But first, let’s yak beer:
Below is the first beer I ever opened with my new, unique bottle opener (a gift from a good friend), which I then poured into my Dogwood design TERVIS TUMBLER, customized with a “Wastin’ Away Again In... Margaritaville” patch. I don’t care what Nappy says, Tervis Tumblers keep my beer colder longer and I LOVE them for that!
That’s ‘DAYTIME ALE’, a limited-time offering from the Lagunitas Brewing Company and now one of my favorite IPA’s. It’s only 4.65% alcohol, so you can drink plenty of it, and it has a very bold, unusual, up-front flavor for something I would consider to be a “light” beer. And best of all, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t have to be daytime to drink it; it goes down very well not only for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner, too! Get it while you can. Pour it in your Tervis Tumbler. Drink it down. Pour another. Drink it down. Repeat as necessary until all your troubles are gone.
Another brew I tried fairly recently (but before I owned this new, unique bottle opener) is Boulder Beer Company’s ‘KINDA BLUE’. It’s a “blueberry wheat beer”. Now I do NOT like “flavored” beers. As I told 4-B Old Soul (Bryan of the blog ‘A Beer For The Shower’), I only like “beer-flavored beer”. But since I do love the taste of blueberries, I figured I’d give this one one shot, since I was able to buy just a single bottle of it at a reasonable price.

First sip: “Hey, that’s not bad; kinda light and refreshing.”
Second sip: “Wow! Surprisingly decent for a fruit-flavored beer.”
Third sip: “I may have to mention this one to Brother Beer Boy Bryan.”
Fourth sip: “Ugh. I’m tired of this flavor. Never again!”

There you have it... a beer review in four sips.
However, I will say that I love the ‘Kinda Blue’ label. Notice the blueberry notes emanating from the trumpet? It’s obviously a reference to the Jazz classic ‘KIND OF BLUE’ by Miles Davis, considered by many to be the best, most influential and best-selling Jazz record ever made. I certainly dig it, but my favorite Davis album is ‘PORGY AND BESS’ by miles and miles.
OK, so where were we? Oh, yeah... ‘SPIRIT OF VENICE, CALIFORNIA (A Collection Of Venice Street Musicians). Back in ’92, someone got the idea to record a bunch of the street musicians on Venice Beach, along with snippets of sounds like boardwalk chatter, children playing on the beach, the Pacific Ocean waves crashing near the lifeguard station at Rose Avenue, etc. The compilation includes songs representing a wide array of genres from Rock, Pop, Blues, Folk, Gospel, Reggae, Rap, and there’s even a traditional Russian song. Surprisingly, of the 13 full-length musical tracks, I genuinely like 11 of them (this compilation album goes “up to eleven”), making this, for me, much more than just a novelty souvenir reminder of my Venice Beach years. You can find the album at the great website CD BABY:
ROCK: ‘Flim Flam’; ‘I’ve Been Searching’
POP: ‘Groovy Little Things’
BLUES: ‘Scarlet May’; ‘Don’t Come Here Running’; ‘Don’t Tell Me What To Do’
FOLK: ‘Under The Shade Of A Black Palm Tree’
GOSPEL: ‘I’m Listening’
REGGAE: ‘Eclipse My Soul’; ‘Rhythm Of The World’
RAP:Venice Beat’
CHEECH AND CHONG MEET SIMON AND GARFUNKEL MEET BOBS WATSON MARLEY: ‘On The Road To Your Life’ [That was the closest classification I could come up with.]

From a second story, a post office building
Stands a friend of mine, a letter in her left hand
Looking down on the circles of town
And wondering why it’s not at her command

Some of us are shattered
Others worn and tattered
That’s the way life always seems to be
But you might find me
Somewhere in Venice
Under the shade of a black palm tree
~ Peter Demian
‘Under The Shade Of A Black Palm Tree’

I know just what he’s talking about in that song. In Venice, just two blocks East of the beach, there used to be a post office which overlooked a roundabout (or rotary, or “traffic circle”).

Well, that’s enough product reviews for one blog bit. But if you’d like me to review anything else for you (or even review YOU), send six box tops, a self-addressed stamped envelope and your vital measurements to:

Review THIS!
P.O. Box Eleventy eleven
Grand Central Station
Nude York, Nude York

Send before midnight tonight and receive as our special gift to you, absolutely free, a genuine ‘Little Orphan Annie’ secret agent decoder ring that pulls in the Moon, the stars, the planets, and the satellites and the space men. If you want to jitter jive... Buster Brown, ‘Fanny Mae’! [See? I told you this bit was semi-stream o’unconsciousness.]

On behalf of myself and Bess Gilberto, my tigress of a girlfriend with the new, surgically plumped up “pumpkins”, I wish all y’all a...

~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


  1. I used to like Styx a lot. Of course that was before my Homosexual Conversion Therapy Treatments became successful.......JUST KIDDING! But really "Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto"!! Loved that album.

    To my recollection this is the first Mink DeVille that I ever recall having heard. Different than what expected, but then again I don't guess I know what I expected. They kind of have a Velvet Underground sound to the music, but I'm probably thinking that because Lou Reed just died.

    Anyway, I'm due for another viewing of Falling Down. I keep looking at it on my DVD shelf when movie night comes around for my wife and I. It is indeed a great movie and has some excellent lines in it.

    I always take out of town visitors to Venice Beach so they can see one of the reasons California will be falling soon as a judgement of God. I don't frequent the place on my own, but I'm always somewhat fascinated and disturbed by the place.

    Since I drink about 4 beers in a busy month and other months go without, I'm not much good as a beer reviewer.

    I'm gearing up for my Friday BOTB post. Already have my clue ridden posts ready for Mon and Wed, but I don't think I'll be doing another series. Though I am tempted. I think this time I've been way too obvious with my song clues. If somebody doesn't guess the song by Friday they must not be reading my posts.

    Check out my interview with viral blogger Liza Long
    Tossing It Out

  2. MR. BOIDMAN ~

    First, my congratulations on the successful Homosexual Conversion Therapy Treatments! Back in "the day", I loved Styx - they were my very favorite band even when hardly anyone knew who they were. Then my musical tastes changed and I came to think of Styx as almost personifying everything I hated about Corporate / Arena Rock and formulaic playing and songwriting.

    And that's without even mentioning Dennis DeYoung's high-pitched "girlie" crooning. "Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me, lads!" Oh, sheesh! Someone please just bash my ears in with a roofing hammer!

    I'm a little surprised you'd never heard Mink DeVille before. They never had any hits, but 'CADILLAC WALK' got a little FM airplay back in the day (in L.A., anyway), and I think it may have been used in a movie or two.

    I used to like Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, but I grew out of them, too. But I remember driving through the desert one morning, sun's just coming up, and I had their live album playing in the car's cassette deck. It was such a strange combination of sight and sound that I never forgot it. And I believe that was in 1980.

    I probably watch 'FALLING DOWN' at least once a year. I didn't even mention another one of the great lines... mainly because it's not really a line, but just a single word: "FIVE!"

    Yeah, Venice Beach, man, there's nothing else quite like it, and the words "fascinating" and "disturbing" are perfect for describing it. The best place I've ever found for "people watching", if one doesn't mind that some of the people don't exactly look like "people".

    'BOTB': Well, if your clues are more "obvious" this time around, then I will almost certainly know what's coming, because I think I've figured out the others beforehand. (As I said previously, I wasn't sure if the last one was going to be 'Respect' or 'Respect Yourself', but I was sure it would be one or the other.)

    See ya on November 1st, Lee.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  3. I confess that I still like some Styx music. For instance, The Best of Times is one I really like. Heck, I still love 80s music and it is King of repeating a verse to death.

    I know that this wasn't the main point of your blog post BUT I love Tervis Tumblers. That is all we drink out of here. They are fantastic. I wouldn't go back to any other glass. You don't even need coasters. Fabulous!!!

    1. ROBIN ~
      Well, since there really WASN'T any "main point" to this blog bit, everything is fair game for commenting on.

      This blog bit was more like two rounds of buckshot fired by a man in the midst of suffering an epileptic seizure. There was no target aimed at and probably nothing even accidentally hit. But occasionally I just feel like unlocking the doggy door and letting the mind go out, curious to see where it might wander.

      And you're right, TERVIS TUMBLERS need no coasters and no deodorant. Being double-walled, they don't sweat.

      ~ Stephen

  4. Boy, you're all over the map with this post, aren't ya? The two things I related to the most are your references to Dylan and the Doors. Two of my favorites.

    As for the special tumbler to keep your beer cold? As I've mentioned before, I don't drink the stuff, but from what my family and friends have shown me, I'd have to day say if your beer's in danger of getting warm... you're not drinking it fast enough!

    Sorry for the short comment. Now that we're back home, I'm playing a major game of catch-up.

    1. SUSAN ~
      Yep, I was flyin' all over the map... and without mind-altering drugs, I tells ya! Just say "No!" to drugs... and "Yes!" to beer.

      Thanks for checking in. The Doors, Dylan... it's a "D" thang, ain't it? How about Donovan? (Nah... just say "No!" to Donovan, too.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  5. Oh boy, Mr. McCarthy your semi stream of semi-consciousness has really out done itself this time. I gotta say you hang out with some strange women. But, I do like the look of Bess the Tigress, before the pumpkin plumping, of course. She’s very…ORANGE. Looks like a real winner to me.

    Never heard of Mink DeVille, but being a genuine Midwest farmer’s daughter or something like that, I wouldn’t know or relate to all of that crazy California stuff. I have been to Venice Beach early one morning. It was so crazy… (Now you’re supposed to ask – ‘how crazy was it?’) That I wouldn’t want to be there on a Saturday night. Seems like the kind of place where a girl could get her pumpkins smashed.

    Thanks for the beer recommends, but as you know I’m strictly a wino, or is that supposed to vino, kind of gal – oh well, whatever. I do like that ‘blueberry label’; it looks kind of delicious all by itself.

    One last thing; please don’t let Muddy read in the bathroom anymore. Don’t you know that will grow hair on his paws?

    1. FAE ~

      >>... I wouldn’t want to be there on a Saturday night. Seems like the kind of place where a girl could get her pumpkins smashed.

      Ha!-Ha! No doubt, no doubt. (Although when she was just starting out, Rickie Lee Jones played Venice Beach regularly at night. Of course, she also probably got her pumpkins smashed regularly as well. Heck, I think ALL OF HER was smashed regularly.)

      >>... please don’t let Muddy read in the bathroom anymore. Don’t you know that will grow hair on his paws?

      Yeah, and make him blind, too!

      I'm glad you caught that. I needed to prop him up for that photo and could think of no better books to use than those. They really are fun to read.

      Yak Later...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Speaking of Ricky Lee; she's still haunting my YouTube selections in my computer. No matter how many times I go there, or how many time I preview something else, she's always there first with 'The Returns'. I still can't figure out what the message might be.

    3. Wow! That's weird!

      Is it Marty?
      Maybe it's meant for YOU more than for me.

      Well, anyway, I sure hope you like the song at least. It would be awful to be haunted by a song you really didn't like.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      POSTSCRIPT: Hmmm... I just now had a thought: I wonder if that song has ever been covered by another singer. You get my BOTB drift? ...Or if not that one, maybe some other one that she wrote.

    4. Interesting thought. I'll have to check it out. It started when you directed me there. I too thought it was more for me than you, but now I don't know. We'll see about BOTB.

    5. Oh I almost forgot - yeah, I've come to like the song and it probably won't come up soon
      In my BOTB, because the next 4 or 5 are already planned out. Friday's is actually already written - very unlike me.

    6. Part 2:

      FAE ~
      I can't imagine that anyone ever covered 'The Returns', but her great ballad 'COMPANY' is one that I can easily imagine someone else covering.

      Rickie Lee Jones belongs in the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame if for no other reason than 'THE LAST CHANCE TEXACO'. In my not-at-all-humble-opinion, that is the best song ever written by a female songwriter, and it has the best automotive imagery ever penned by female OR male. It comes from her first album which is easily one of the best debut albums of all time.

      Did I ever tell you I met Rickie Lee Jones once? And I saw her perform live in the early '80s, but she wasn't as good as she was HERE: RICKIE LEE JONES PERFORMING ‘YOUNG BLOOD’ IN 1979. This band was as tight as a drum and as loose as me on the juice! And Rickie seemed to be flying on her new celebrity status (and maybe something else, too).

      Despite the poor picture quality, I gotta say she was seriously smokin' here, and this must have been one hell of a great concert! When I saw her at The Universal, she was a lot more sedate than she is here.

      And check out the comment someone left at YouTube 2 years ago:

      donnchadh mcgrath
      2 years ago
      now i know what prince meant about the girl in the raspberry Beret . G*d damn this girl is hot. Mr tom waits is one lucky cat.

      Yeah, well, Tom dumped her, and some of her second album, 'Pirates', is about the heartbreak she experienced after that breakup with Waits.

      For a couple of years, Rickie Lee was one tremendous singer / songwriter! I still own her first two recordings on CD.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    7. Damn!!! I just watched that video again and it gave me goosebumps! THAT is what a live musical performance is supposed to be like but rarely, Rarely, RARELY ever is!

      And that song contains a favorite bit o'lyric for me:

      Find a block where your people can find you
      Keep a third eye watching behind you
      You never know when you're making a memory
      They will wish they were here together again, someday

      Ooh, I understand that so well. Great songwriting, Rickie!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    8. OK, I watched the video and agree...'that's what a live performance should be'. You had never told me before that you met her in person. I also watches/listened to the live performance (from the innagural Farm Aid) of 'Last Chance Texaco' another great performance although different. Again, I agree...some amazing poetry there.

      About that verse you quoted...I can relate.

    9. Now I'm convinced. 'the Returns' it's for you, probably from Marty. You are WAY ti connected here...down to 'the funny little hat'.

    10. Part 1:

      FAE ~
      Sorry it took me so long to get back here but... you know me.


      First, you’ll need to fasten your seatbelt because this is going to be a bumpy ride. Usually when I write, I try to organize some sort of outline in my mind that will allow my words to flow fairly well from one idea into another. But in trying to make sense of all these connections that were made randomly at different times over a long-ish period, it will be impossible for me to keep this from being a roller coaster ride that will have several ups and downs and hairpin turns. You may need to read all this twice because it’s undoubtedly going to seem somewhat disjointed even though it makes sense.

      Also, I want to admit upfront that some of these “connections” may be mere coincidences, where I have read too much into it once I realized that there were some VERY REAL Spiritual connections or patterns existing here. So, accept what seems reasonable and feels Spiritually valid and you can discard the rest. I KNOW that some of these connections ARE REAL(!), and perhaps even all of them are. But some may be merely coincidences that only SEEM to fit the pattern that developed.

      One last element to the Introduction before I start in...

      As you know, this “thing” began months ago when I first directed you to the song ‘THE RETURNS’ by Rickie Lee Jones. From that time and for months thereafter (according to you), your computer was sort of “abducted” and constantly redirected to that song. Well, we both KNOW that was something “real” because it had happened TWICE before. (Think: LINDA HALEY taking control of your computer twice [two witnesses] and coming to us as the “peacemaker”. And then later, Linda overriding my blog’s approved layout and linking her old blog to my blog to make certain I knew it had truly been SHE “what done it”.) That’s evidence too improbable to dismiss or ignore.

      So, I accept that some genuine “contact” was being made here. And since it endured for at least a couple of months, I think it’s a fair assumption to say that there may have been many other “contacts” or “connections” all along over these past couple months. I believe I have uncovered a couple of them that I did not recognize at the time but can now see. There may have been many more that went over both of our heads. But... what I’m saying is that, if I attempt to connect-some-dots from seemingly random past events of the last couple months, I don’t think we should assume that they can’t really be in reference to this “Big Picture” – that they weren’t “clues” all along. Maybe they simply couldn’t be identified until enough of the jigsaw puzzle picture became evident on 10/29/2013. Maybe yes, maybe no, but please keep an open mind to the idea.

      Continued Below...

    11. Part 2:


      It was so long ago that I told you the story about Marty, Rickie Lee Jones and ‘THE RETURNS’ that I can no longer remember just what details I may have related and which I may have left out. (I can’t even recall WHY I mentioned it to you in the first place.) So here is the story again, to refresh your memory and maybe fill in a few bits of info I left out the first time. Along the way, I’m going to interject some of these connections that I suddenly started making here as of our exchange on 10/29/2013:

      The year, I’m not sure of, but I’ll say circa 1983 - two years after the release of ‘Pirates’ by Rickie Lee Jones. One night, Marty and I went for a walk to the Palisades Park from his apartment. We just kind of strolled through the park, looked out at the ocean below, I suppose, and then started heading back to his apartment.

      I can still remember that we were walking on the South side of the street, probably Montana Ave. or Idaho Ave., and hadn’t gone more than about a block or two East of Palisades Park when Marty – who had his Walkman with him – suddenly clamped the headphones on me and probably said something like, “Listen to this”. He had the Rickie Lee Jones ‘Pirates’ cassette playing on the Walkman, and the song he wanted me to hear, which had just begun playing, was ‘THE RETURNS’.

      After it was done playing, I handed the headphones back to him, and being a little confused about his purpose, I said, “What about it?” The thing is, I had turned Marty onto Rickie Lee Jones and that album and he knew I had heard the song many times before, so I didn’t “get” why he suddenly wanted me to hear it on our walk back to his place.

      I think my casual dismissal of his act kind of hurt his feelings a little bit. And I suppose he answered by saying something like, “It’s something to think about (or believe in)” or something along those lines. Bottom line is he was just sharing a moment with me, and reminding me that we would get our good “returns” someday.

      It was just a small little episode and yet I’ve remembered it all these years, and sometimes on Marty’s birthday and/or death date, I play that song (along with others) in his honor. Of course Marty was killed by a car thief at a young age and never did get his “returns”. That may be part of why the scene is still so vivid in my mind; also because I inadvertently hurt his feelings a little bit over his kind gesture to me.

      Everything sort of “came together” with THIS 10/27/2013 blog bit [MIXED UP, SHOOK UP PRODUCT REVIEWS (Or, PASSEL O’FLUFFS ‘N’ McSTUFFS)] and with our comment section exchange. This blog bit was the catalyst that brought it all together and suddenly we both “got it” at the same time, with the “stupid little hat” connections, etc. But I think there may have been clues in an even earlier blog bit.

      On Tuesday, October 1st, I posted ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ #5 (Or, ‘NAT VS. VAN VS. D'MODE’). That was the one where I used the song ‘ROUTE 66’. I already had ‘Route 66’ on my future BOTB list but I wasn’t really intending to get to it for quite some time. But when Sheboyganboy Six sent me a link to that video for the Depeche Mode version of the song (as I explained in the comment section there) I became so excited about doing a 3-way BOTB that I impulsively bumped ‘Route 66’ up to BOTB #5.

      What did ‘Route 66’ do? It connected Chicago to Los Angeles. Uh... where were you born? Chicago. Where was I born? Los Angeles. In the Depeche Mode ‘Route 66’ video we see a woman seemingly walking from Chicago to L.A. along Route 66. Where was Rickie Lee Jones born? Chicago. Where did she meet Sal Bernardi? Venice Beach in Los Angeles. (Wait for it... Sal Bernardi is another character who definitely figures into this story and I will explain how tomorrow morning over coffee.) How about if we “pretend” the woman in the Depeche Mode video represents Rickie Lee Jones going from Chicago to L.A., just for “kicks”?

      Continued Below...

    12. Part 3:

      In my ‘Route 66’ BOTB #5 blog bit, I included a photograph with the following caption: “WILL ROGERS HIGHWAY Dedication Plaque: No, That's Not Me; And, Yes, That Blue Strip Beyond The Fence Is The Pacific Ocean.”

      Interestingly, when Marty clamped the headphones on me to hear Rickie’s ‘THE RETURNS’, he and I were no more than a couple blocks from that very ‘Will Rogers Highway Dedication Plaque’. Also, when you recently told me that you had never seen a photo of Marty’s face other than a profile, I immediately got a mental image of a photograph I had taken of him once, full face, where he was sitting atop a very old cannon. Guess where that cannon is located. The Southern most end of Palisades Park, right where the famous Santa Monica Pier sign arches over the pier entrance. Again though, Palisades Park, and only a few blocks from where Route 66 came to its Western end.

      Was my impulsive decision to bump up ‘ROUTE 66’ in my BOTB series really just a coincidence? Or had I unknowingly been “inspired” to do so by someone other than Sheboyganboy and by the cool video he introduced me to?

      Now, in this comment section, you remarked to me:

      “I have been to Venice Beach early one morning. It was so crazy… (Now you’re supposed to ask – ‘how crazy was it?’) That I wouldn’t want to be there on a Saturday night. Seems like the kind of place where a girl could get her pumpkins smashed.”

      It was THAT part of your comment that inspired me to introduce Rickie Lee Jones into the dialogue (scroll back up to see how that happened). In yakking about Rickie Lee, I also posted a link to the video of a song and said that a favorite lyric of mine from that song is this:

      Keep a third eye watching behind you
      You never know when you're making a memory
      They will wish they were here together again, someday

      ~ Rickie Lee Jones
      ‘Young Blood’

      Keep a third eye (sometimes referred to as “the spiritual eye”) watching behind you; you never know when you’re making a memory? In other words(?)... Remember the ‘RETURNS’ headphone incident that occurred near the Will Rogers ‘Route 66’ plaque, and remember the BOTB ‘Route 66’ blog bit? Got it, Marty!

      [*FAE* ~ This is the point where I paused to watch the movie ‘Stormy Weather’. But just as I was about to put the movie into the DVD player, I was humming Rickie’s song ‘Young Blood’ to myself when a new thought occurred to me, and this is it: In this comment section, I felt inspired to say to DiscConnected... “Did you watch the video I linked to in my comment above? My two favorite moments: When she sings "Three in the back row" and points up to the people in the back row. ...” FAE, who are the “THREE in the back row”? How about you, me and Marty? OK, I admit that’s pretty tenuous and might be too much of a stretch but... it’s worth at least a little consideration seeing as how many other connections there are.]

      Continued Below...

    13. Part 4:

      Alright, now I’m going to take you back to our meeting at TRT for the movie ‘FALLING DOWN’. Remember how I said to look for me in the Theatre, and that in honor (or dishonor) of Jacques Cousteau I’d be the guy wearing the beret? Then later I felt ABSOLUTELY COMPELLED to say it again only this time to say I’d be wearing “the raspberry beret”. But I could not find anywhere to insert that statement, so at the very end I just sort of tacked it on as a final, out-of-place remark. I HAD to say that but I didn’t know why. Especially surprising considering I have NEVER liked Prince and his music and the only song I can even stand to listen to without changing the station is ‘Little Red Corvette’. But, at the end, I was practically FORCED to say that I’d be “wearing the raspberry beret”.

      Now I’ll remind you that the morning after seeing ‘FALLING DOWN’ for the first time, you sent me a text. It was 10/24/2013, 9:20 AM, and here’s what you wrote: “Still no Internet – going into pool – radio playing Raspberry Beret – Ha! Movie was really good, even better than I expected. Go figure! Your rep is intact.”

      Three days later, I posted this blog bit in which I stated that one of my very favorite lines from ‘Falling Down’ is: “Now you’re going to die wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?”

      But... I had not yet connected the “stupid little hat” to the “raspberry beret”. That didn’t happen until I posted the link to the Rickie Lee Jones (RLJ) song ‘YOUNG BLOOD’. While listening to the song, I scrolled down through the comments until I came to THIS one:

      donnchadh mcgrath
      2 years ago
      now i know what prince meant about the girl in the raspberry Beret . G*d damn this girl is hot. Mr tom waits is one lucky cat.

      Well, if Prince was referring to RLJ (and maybe he was), that’s news to me. But, if you check out the cover of Rickie’s first album, she is indeed wearing a “raspberry beret”:

      Now, let’s take a look at that guy’s name (keeping in mind the Biblical “two witnesses” concept). He goes by donnchadh mcgrath. There’s a “Mc”, which makes you think of? McCarthy? Which makes you think of me? And there’s a “Don”. And the person who turned me onto Christ and The Bible and indirectly led me to certainty about the ‘New World Order’ conspiracy was named what? Don.

      Now, we ain’t done with the beret yet, and we ain’t done with the “two witnesses” concept yet either. But I’m done for the night and will finish this tomorrow, when I will bring SigToo into the picture (in a way) and return to the beret and address Sal Bernardi and the “doggy door” way this blog bit was composed and suggest another few “connections” that strike me as being more than “coincidental”.

      Yak Again Tomorrow, FAE...

      ~ Stephen

    14. Part 5:

      Marty has been on my mind lately for a variety of reasons. For example, my friend SigToo wrote me recently and suggested that I fill in some of the missing credits on my IMDB page. Honestly, I had given fleeting thought to that myself quite some time ago but then sorta dismissed it. For one thing, I thought: Who would care about whether or not a nobody like me had a few more little credits on his IMDB page? Secondly, I am more interested in adding a missing credit to Marty’s IMDB page. I know that the performance he gave in a Christmas video special is missing from his page, and about a year and a half ago, I even contacted his parents and asked if they’d mind if I submitted the missing credit. They didn’t even know Marty had an IMDB page. That’s not hard to believe, because I didn’t know I had one either until I discovered it quite by accident while doing some research into Marty’s career for an old ‘Stuffs’ blog bit.

      Anyway, his parents gave me permission but I STILL haven’t gotten around to adding the missing credit to his page. (You know me.) But when Sig wrote me recently about my IMDB page, it brought Marty to the forefront of my mind again.

      OK, now lets go back to the beret – or, the “stupid little hat” – and bring Sal Bernardi into the picture...

      After the revelation about the “raspberry beret” – me HAVING TO SAY IT and you hearing it the next day playing on the radio, and then my connecting it to a favorite line in ‘Falling Down’, which I wrote in this blog bit (“Now you’re going to die wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?”), I was soon after hit with one of those “Spiritual Sledgehammer” revelations:

      Naturally, I was thinking about the song ‘THE RETURNS’ which comes from RLJ’s ‘PIRATES’ album, and that’s when the Sledgehammer fell on my mind and I was stunned and slack-jawed. After Tom Waits left RLJ, she had a love affair with a fellow songwriter / musician named Sal Bernardi, whom she had known earlier (maybe even before she met Waits) and she may have had a fling with him earlier too, I wouldn’t know.

      At any rate, there were quite a few references to her failed love affair with Tom Waits in the ‘Pirates’ album which she collaborated on with her friend Sal Bernardi. He played on the album and they co-wrote the song ‘Traces Of The Western Slopes’ together. I remembered that there was a picture of RLJ and Bernardi together on the album’s record sleeve. I also knew something else REALLY RELEVANT about that photograph, so I got online and found it, and copied it, and posted it in the blog bit above this one [Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - UNTITLED BLOG BIT #1 (Or, FIRST NUMBERED BLOG BIT WITHOUT A TITLE)].

      Continued Below...

    15. Part 6:

      Go to that blog bit and you will see the black and white photograph; RLJ is wearing a hat with a feather in it and she is leaning on the shoulder of Sal Bernardi whose face is seen in profile. Here is something I have NEVER told ANYONE before (I don’t believe I ever even mentioned it to Marty way back then), but from the time I first bought the ‘Pirates’ LP in 1981, I always, Always, ALWAYS thought that picture of Sal Bernardi looked an awful lot like Marty. Seriously, that is pretty darned close to what Marty looked like from the side view. Now... look at what Bernardi has on his head in that photo. A BERET! A “stupid little hat”.

      So, in a sense, the ‘Pirates’ album, which includes the song ‘THE RETURNS’, also includes a photograph of “Marty” wearing a beret! That’s TOO MUCH!

      When I suddenly got hit over the head with that Spiritual Sledgehammer, I decided to do a little more research into the RLJ / Sal Bernardi connection. The following paragraph comes from Wikipedia:

      Jones relocated to New York City after her split from Tom Waits, and soon set up home with a fellow musician, Sal Bernardi from New Jersey, whom she had met in Venice, California in the mid-1970s, writing in their apartment in Greenwich Village. Bernardi, who had been referenced in the lyrics to "Weasel and the White Boys Cool" from her debut, was to become a frequent collaborator with Jones, and they composed the epic eight-minute suite "Traces of the Western Slopes" together.

      We’re going to briefly return to Bernardi, but first I want to tell ya about how I composed this particular blog bit (which “coincidentally”[?] includes references to and a photograph of Venice Beach).

      My first idea was to write this blog bit and include a bunch of “products” that I would review or comment on, but it was initially meant to flow along in a logical kind of order. But after writing the first paragraph, I realized there was NO WAY I could tie all these things together in some natural way. So I deleted the first paragraph and started over with a new approach. I decided this would just be a wildly “mixed up” semi-stream of consciousness piece, because I didn’t see any other way of composing it logically. Or as I expressed it in my comment to Robin: “...occasionally I just feel like unlocking the doggy door and letting the mind go out, curious to see where it might wander.”

      Continued Below...

    16. Part 7:

      I knew SOME of the products I would include before I started the writing, but I was open to any other ideas that might come to me while I was actually in the process of typing this in a free-form manner. When I thought about how “mixed up” this thing was going to be, that reminded me of the Mink DeVille song “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl”, which I had not heard or even thought about for years. So I opened the piece by stating, “This is going to be a mixed up, shook up, semi-stream o’unconsciousness, kinda spontaneous-like blog bit o’product reviews...”

      And originally I included the video for ‘Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl’ but later decided to just link to it at YouTube and post the video for ‘She’s So Tough’ instead. But THAT’S how Mink DeVille (whom most people have never even heard of) found its way into this blog bit. But the main point I’m making is that I REALLY DID NOT KNOW completely where I was going with this blog bit and I just kinda did some “free association” thinking as I was typing it. So... my mind was DEFINITELY OPEN to being influenced by unseen Spiritual forces.

      Now, back to Sal Bernardi. When I started researching his association with RLJ, I came across an article that RLJ herself had written and posted on her own website:

      ‘The Story Of How I Met Sal Bernardi’ by Rickie Lee Jones

      And imagine my surprise when I got to the final paragraph and found THIS:

      So this is Sal Bernardi, from Lodi New Jersey, pardner and friend, a cowboy in red-tinted glasses and a beret. well, a flying cowboy. A great harmonica player and guitar player full of lovely melodies. He's kind of a kinks/zombies singer. Liked the rollling stones more than the Beatles. He's co-written with Willie DeVille, and Buzz, and others I think.

      There’s that “stupid little hat”, the “beret”, again. And WILLIE DeVILLE?! Ah-ha! No wonder Willie’s band Mink DeVille found its way into this blog bit. Way too many “coincidences” here!

      Continued Below...

    17. Part 8:

      Now let’s look at the lyrics to the song ‘THE RETURNS’, because that seems to contain the message Marty wants me to absorb:

      After all, there are such things and these are the things
      Who'll turn your memories back into dreams again
      Oh, it's all flying and waving for you to keep trying
      You're so close, so close
      All the returns, one of these days
      One of these days, one of these days
      One of these days

      Well, “so close, so close” – two witnesses?
      And the line about turning my “memories back into dreams again” makes my eyes well up a little bit. There’s the memory of Marty clamping his headphones on me to hear ‘The Returns’, and the dreams we shared back then of “making it” in the movie industry, and...

      I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to take from this. Am I “so close” to leaving “this world”? Marty DEFINITELY had some sort of premonition that he was going to die soon, because a couple weeks before he was killed, he insisted that his Mom listen to him when he told her who was supposed to get which of his belongings after he was gone. (He wanted me to have his photography equipment, which I DO have to this day.)

      Maybe he’s telling me that my time is coming soon too? If so, that introduces some other possible “clues”. You remember how you kept telling me when I took this new job that you felt strongly I wouldn’t have to work the “graveyard” shift for very long? But you were thinking that I’d get moved to the day or swing shift soon. Now I’m thinking that it’s more likely that I just won’t be doing this job for very long.

      Maybe I’ll quit it soon. Or maybe I’ll be leaving “this world” soon, maybe that’s “so close, so close”?

      Where I’m working, there’s a woman who has an apartment on the third floor (three in the back row?) and hanging on the wall just outside her front door is that ‘CAT SIGN’ which I took a picture of and posted on UNTITLED BLOG BIT #1 (Or, FIRST NUMBERED BLOG BIT WITHOUT A TITLE). It says “HANG TOUGH... IT’LL BE OVER SOON”. The VERY FIRST time I saw it, I got the distinct impression that it was there for ME! Not that the woman hung it there for me (we’ve never even met; she doesn’t know I exist), but that I was SUPPOSED to pay attention to it and take it to heart.

      I saw it a couple times while passing by, and each time I strongly felt that I was supposed to “believe it”. But I thought maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part and I was letting my imagination get away with me. But the third time I saw it (three in the back row?) I suddenly, for the FIRST TIME, noticed that across from the Cat Sign, on the wall on the OTHER SIDE of her front door she has a cross hanging [also seen on UNTITLED BLOG BIT #1 (Or, FIRST NUMBERED BLOG BIT WITHOUT A TITLE)]. Right then, I took it as “a sign from God” and considered it the “second witness” to what I was thinking / believing about the Cat Sign message.

      So I’m “hanging tough”, hoping that “it’ll be over soon”. But in what way will it end?... Hmmm... I dunno. And WHAT is it that Marty is really trying to convey to me through you?

      And that leaves us with one final riddle:
      The laugh followed by the message, "YOU CONVINCE GEORGE BAILEY!"

      I’d be willing to bet that this too was Marty, but I’m not sure of the meaning. However, a few days after you related it to me, I was driving home when it suddenly dawned on me how much I really do feel like George Bailey. In the last several years, some persons very close to me, in my immediate circle, I feel, have kind of taken advantage of my good nature. And as a result, the things I would want have sort of been brushed aside so that they could have what they wanted. I wish I could say I was as gracious about it as George Bailey was, but truthfully, I’m not as good a person as you probably think I am, and I do feel somewhat resentful about what has happened.

      Not much I can do about it now though except “hang tough” and just keep hoping that “it’ll be over soon”.

      Well, that’s all I have.
      ~The End~

      -- Stephen

  6. FAE expressed concern for her pumpkins. My only comment on this whole diarrhetic stream is that, as a manly sort, I LIKE Smashing Pumpkins. I also like Styx, though not as well as I used to (my favorite band). I'm SURE you don't like Smashing Pumpkins... do ya?

    Probably no need to ever dispute the divide again, huh?

  7. SIXBRO ~

    >>... I'm SURE you don't like Smashing Pumpkins... do ya?

    I don't know. Are we talking about the band or about... "pumpkins", as in... I mean... yeah, I like pumpkins. Not necessarily "smashing" them but... maybe "mashing" 'em.

    >>... Probably no need to ever dispute the divide again, huh?

    Well, let's see: Did you like the Mink DeVille song 'SHE'S SO TOUGH'? If you did, there's maybe hope. If you didn't... then just fuhgeddaboudit, because the Divide will never be bridged.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: How about movies? Tell me you really, really like 'FALLING DOWN'.

  8. Yes, I LOVED Falling Down. And at this moment I am watching the "parrot " episode of Frasier ("Let's leave these two alone... I sense a real battle of wits shaping up here.")

    I'd heard the name Mink Deville before but never listened to him. I liked the Mink Deville song. I didn't LOVE it, but I did like it, so I listened to several more songs on Youtube. I liked "Cadillac Walk" really well... a lot more than "She's So Tough." He sounds like Elvis Costello singing the blues with a bit of Springsteen quality thrown in. I'd vote for him with my money.

    The Smashing Pun-kins reference was capitalized, so I was referring to the band, but double-entendre-ing it with FAEs meaning. I was CERTAIN you liked "smashing pumpkins!" Or Mashing them, as a masher.


      I dig the Dire Straits song 'Once Upon A Time In The West', and it includes this line that I've always loved:

      "Even the hero gets a bullet in the chest."

      I love, Love, LOVE 'Falling Down' too!
      One famous movie character yelled, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

      But the BETTER movie character actually put that sentiment into ACTION. And that's our man "D-Fens" in 'Falling Down'.

      I was watching it last week and Xie was watching it with me until he had to go to bed, because of school the next day. (But I made sure he stayed up long enough to see the "I'll give you something to fix" scene.) I watched the rest of the movie alone.

      But the next night, Xie and I picked it up from his "bedtime" the night before, and I watched the second half again, that next night.

      I think it was a new cinematic experience for that 13-year-old boy. When the "hero" got "a bullet in the chest", Xie said, "He's faking." I answered, "Nope. He's not."

      I'm sure it was the first time it entered his young mind that sometimes "even the hero gets a bullet in the chest" and not every story ends in victory for the protagonist. Just like in real life, as I can attest.

      Anyway... I know that episode of 'Frasier'. Heck, I know EVERY episode of 'Frasier'. Nuttin' on TV ever made me laugh louder or more often.

      Mink DeVille... I never liked them enough to buy more than just that first album, 'Cabretta', but the songs that I dug on that record I REALLY dug!

      #1, without any question, was 'SHE'S SO TOUGH' - damn! I still love it, and I still can't listen to that "hiccup" in the rhythm guitar without breaking out and plugging in my own Air Guitar and playing along.

      #2 for me was always 'CADILLAC WALK', which is very, very quotable... and I'm sure I've probably quoted it a few times over the years on my blogs.

      Mink DeVille is one of those bands that are hard to categorize even though you KNOW you're hearing something vaguely familiar.

      They definitely had a Spanish Harlem, New York vibe and look. And the sound was like old R&B mixed with a little early Rolling Stones at their rawest, and some early Punk Rock attitude.

      Yeah, basically, that was it... Take early Rolling Stones rhythm and cut out the English shit; mix in some Hispanic Mafia, the Brooklyn Bridge, some black leather and Sex Pistols attitude (bringing us full circle to that English shit again) and some Brylcreem for the pompadour and there you have it: Mink DeVille.

      Glad you liked 'Cadillac Walk'.

      There's still a little (Brylcreem) dab of musical hope for us yet.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Addendum:

      When I first conceived of this Product Review blog bit, it was so "mixed up and shook up" that my mind automatically reminded me of the Mink DeVille song 'Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl' - even though that wasn't really one of my favorite songs from their 'Cabretta' album back "in the day".

      However, as I've already stated, my favorite of all their songs is 'She's So Tough', followed by the quotable 'Cadillac Walk'.

      But if I were to mention a 3rd place finisher, it would be 'GUNSLINGER', which I think would appeal to a Sixgun man such as yerself:

      At one point in the song, you can hear Willy DeVille call out to "Louie!" He's referring to the guitarist, Louis X. Erlanger, who if I recall correctly (and maybe I don't, since 1977 was a LONG TIME AGO), was credited on the 'Cabretta' album simply as "Louis X". Pretty damn cool, no? Way cooler than "Sting" or "Bono"head.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal Amerixan Underground'

  9. FAE and SIX ~
    I have to go to bed right NOW! I work another graveyard shift beginning at 10 tonight. If I wake up in time, I will respond before work, otherwise I will reply to both of youz tomorrow.

    But... FAE... you are correct... the message is for ME, and undoubtedly from Marty. The whole hat thing (and more, which I will explain next time) gives it away. SO FREAKIN' WEIRD, SISTER! The message was waiting all along for TODAY, 10/29/2013, to be revealed. Rickie, the raspberry beret, the stupid little hat, and the... "Mc". Wow! I'm, like, blown away (even though this weird "Spirit" stuffs has happened to me many times before).

    You, FAE, are a GOOD "messenger"!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. Man, where to start.

    I'm late to the party because I actually wanted to sit down and watch Falling Down again. The last time I saw that was in the 90s, and I had nearly forgotten about it. I had also forgotten about the D-FENS license plate. What a hell of a movie, and a firm reminder that I am definitely not economically viable.

    And now, some of my own personal favorite quotes.

    Beth: The police are here.
    Bill: Did you know, Beth, that in some South American countries it's still legal to kill your wife if she insults you?

    Seedy Guy in Park: That's a hell of a way to treat a vet, man.
    Bill: You're an animal doctor?

    Bill: How are you enjoying your meal?
    (customer vomits)
    Bill: I think we have a critic here. I don't think she likes the special sauce, Rick.

    I just love that entire fast food scene as a whole. Sad that it's still so timely and so relevant. 20 years later and we still can't make a burger that doesn't look like a cow patty smushed between 2 month-old pancakes.

    Things like that make me understand why you're a vegamatarian.

    That's a great beer bottle opener, by the way. My special beer bottle opener is a big, old-timey skeleton key that I got to commemorate the new book. It doesn't even look like an opener, but the metal circle at the top is perfectly shaped to crack open a brew. Really adds to the experience. Or maybe that's just how I justify impending alcoholism.

    Oh, and quit rubbing in that damn DayTime ale! I went to the big, big, BIG liquor warehouse. You know, the Guinness World Record biggest liquor warehouse ever? And they didn't have it either. Dogtown is a decent substitute, but come on.

    Your reaction to Kinda Blue sounds like mine. It's probably the best fruity flavored beer I've ever had. With that said, I still can't drink an entire bottle without getting sick of it and passing it off to the wife (who, of course, loves it).

    In the end, Kinda Blue is only Kinda Tasty.


    1. Part 1:

      4-B OLD SOUL ~

      Do you realize that you are keeping me from composing my BATTLE OF THE BANDS post for tomorrow (or, "today" in 7 minutes from now)?

      Aww, that's OK. My fault. I've been procrastinating (aka "drinking beer") all day. I'll get 'er done on the correct date, even if it doesn't go up at 12:01 AM like I'd planned.

      This ‘BOTB’ is going to be a good one though. I originally planned to post it as 'BOTB #8' (eight is a very spiritual number, even more spiritual than eleven... which some amplifiers go up to, or so I’ve heard).

      But then I realized that this next 'BOTB' (i.e., #7) fell on "All Saints Day", so I had to bump my song up to #7 because it relates to a beautiful, wonderful lady whom I could have married "once upon a time".

      It's too late to do much work on 'BOTB #7' tonight, so I will have to put it together tomorrow (which is one minute from NOW), but I don't have to appear at work until 8 PM tomorrow, so I will have time.


      >>... I'm late to the party because I actually wanted to sit down and watch Falling Down again.

      Man, that is GREAT COMMITMENT to your blog readings!

      >>... What a hell of a movie

      ABSOLUTELY! There are so many subjects touched on in that movie – some even ignored to this day – and I don’t want to get into all that. But it’s a great movie and it’s amazing to me that it ever got made in the P.C. mainstream arena, because it DEFINITELY alludes to some very taboo topics that are “not to be discussed or even mentioned” even TODAY in 2013!

      ‘FALLING DOWN’ would definitely make my “MUST-SEE” short list!

      Continued Below...

    2. Part 2:

      >>... And now, some of my own personal favorite quotes.

      The movie is almost just one great scene after another and one could pretty much cite the entire screenplay when yakking about “favorite quotes”. Did you ever see the movie ‘NETWORK’? If not, you should. I would say that ‘FALLING DOWN’ could almost be described as the sequel to ‘Network’. And oddly enough, Robert Duvall was also in ‘Network’ (although I consider Duvall to be one of the most overrated actors ever).

      However, ‘FALLING DOWN’ is the story of what happens to a man after he becomes inspired by “Howard Beale” (in ‘NETWORK’). And one of the major characters in ‘Network’ is played by William Holden, who is one of my all-time very, very favorite actors (who then cancels out Duvall’s appearance), so I REALLY think you should see the movie ‘Network’, if you haven’t already.

      You’ve heard the expression “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”? Well, it comes from “Howard Beale” in ‘Network’.

      Bill: How are you enjoying your meal?
      (customer vomits)
      Bill: I think we have a critic here. I don't think she likes the special sauce, Rick.

      Yeah, that was great! And the way Rick – an obnoxious smart-ass – turned into a mute bowl of mush as soon as D-Fens extracted a gun from his bag. Ha! There’s an old saying: “A well-armed society is a polite society.”

      I also love the phone booth scene. That phone booth was DEFINITELY “out-of-order” when D-Fens got done with it!

      ‘FALLING DOWN’ was released to the theatres shortly after I moved from Los Angeles to Prescott, Airheadzona. I saw it one weekend in a Prescott theatre, and that next Monday I went to work and told all my coworkers: “If you want to know why I moved here from L.A., go downtown and see the movie ‘FALLING DOWN’.”

      The only other “artistic” rendering of L.A. in the 1990s that captures the “real” Angeleno life (second best after ‘Falling Down’) is the song ‘HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH TO LIVE IN L.A.?’ by Waylon Jennings. You can undoubtedly find that at YouTube if you want to. (I still own it on compact disc.) In late 1992, when I moved from L.A. to Airheadzona, THAT had become my personal theme song!

      Continued Below...

    3. Part 3:

      >>... Oh, and quit rubbing in that damn DayTime ale!

      Sorry to do this to ya, Bro, but I’m about to rub it in even WORSE.

      A couple hours ago, when I knew we’d get no more “Trick-Or-Treaters”, I walked four or “fie” [think: Korean store owner in ‘Falling Down’] blocks down to the local mom-n-pop liquor store to buy a six-pack. I figured on getting BIG SKY IPA, because I knew they stocked it. But I was amazed to see Lagunitas DAYTIME ALE there, and that’s what I bought.

      I mean, we’re talking about a typical mom-n-pop liquor store like you’d find on any corner in any city in America, but they carry DAYTIME ALE, BIG SKY IPA, DOGFISH HEAD 60 MINUTE IPA, and Four Peaks’ HOP KNOT. And that’s really not uncommon here in Phoenix. I’ve always believed “Airheadzona” was backwards but, apparently, when it comes to brews, it’s ahead of Colorado.

      Some months ago, I was at the website ‘RATE BEER’ and reading the reviews for Four Peaks’ HOP KNOT. Some woman wrote (and I’m paraphrasing)...

      This is a fairly good beer, but here in Colorado we are spoiled by so many great craft beer breweries that this one simply can’t measure up.

      And that just goes to show why we men should NEVER trust women when it comes to something as important as beer!

      I do agree that Colorado has some good breweries. In fact, I think the Western states are WAY AHEAD of the Eastern states when it comes to craft beer. By Western states, I’m mostly thinking of California, Oregon, Airheadzona, Colorado, Montana (because of BIG SKY), and maybe even Utah.

      And I’ll tell you this: As much as I hate to give Airheadzona credit for ANYTHING, this state does produce PONDEROSA IPA and HOP KNOT, which Nappy and I BOTH have on our Top Ten Beers lists.

      The only Colorado beer that’s on my Top Ten list is ODELL IPA; Nappy has that one as well as Boulder’s MOJO on his Top Ten list. But BOTH of us rate Four Peaks’ HOP KNOT higher than Odell or Mojo.

      So, according to OUR taste buds and damaged livers, that Colorado woman didn’t know doo-doo ‘bout brew-brew.

      And speaking of beer, THE GREAT PUMPKIN beer experiment has come to a sad ending. I tried 3 pumpkin brews and 2 of them got “In-Sink-Eratored”. Sh-eee-it! I wouldn’t even pour Mickey’s Big Mouth or ACME LITE down the drain. That tells you how bad I thought those pumpkin beers were!

      >>... Your reaction to Kinda Blue sounds like mine. It's probably the best fruity flavored beer I've ever had. ... I still can't drink an entire bottle without getting sick of it

      My thought EXACTLY! I would say it IS the best fruit-flavored beer I’ve ever had. And I would also say that four sips of it is enough, and then I’m crying out again for “beer-flavored beer!”

      Bryan, man, if I weren’t so convinced that the NSA is monitoring my blog comments, I would actually mail you a six-pack of DAYTIME ALE.

      If we reach a point where Lagunitas ‘SUCKS’ is available here but not there, I promise that I really WILL mail some to you. [I’m serious about that, Bro. No! REALLY! F**k Uncle Sam and the stupid Jackass he rode in on! I will send you some ‘SUCKS’. ...Uh... I mean that in a strictly “John Wayne Way”, of course!]

      ~ Stephen

    4. Man, that is GREAT COMMITMENT to your blog readings!

      It's not just commitment (though I do like knowing what I'm talking about) but it stirred up some great memories from my childhood. I know, how screwed up sounding is that? But I first saw this movie with my parents when I was probably no more than 12-13 years old, and we all enjoyed it. And we talked about it after. It made for a great conversation. Imagine how many people can say that now? You wouldn't believe how hard it was to track this movie down. God forbid some kid see this now and "get inspired" to go postal, right?

      So it was a pleasure to track down an old movie that, by all rights, probably should have never gotten the green light to be made (not in this PC world of ours) and revisit it. There was so much I missed as a kid, so it was nice to see it through adult eyes.

      Did you ever see the movie ‘NETWORK’?

      I have not, but consider that put on my 'to-see' list this week. So far so good with these movie recommendations of yours.

      So, according to OUR taste buds and damaged livers, that Colorado woman didn’t know doo-doo ‘bout brew-brew.

      Even as a Coloradoan I've got to agree with you. I'd say it might be considered a top craft beer state in terms of selling the most brands of craft beer, but it definitely doesn't produce the best. I've been to a ton of great local breweries. The Fort Collins brewery, Oskar Blues (Dale's Pale Ale), Left Hand, New Belgium, etc. But none of their beers are in my top ten. Hell, with the exception of Left Hand, none of the aforementioned breweries would even be in my top fifty.

      So I have no idea what that woman was smoking. Maybe she's one of those ladies that prefers to "ride the silver bullet" and likes her water beer-flavored.

      Man, you even found Daytime at a Mom n' Pop shop? You know, I went to the OTHER big, big liquor store in the area and they don't have it either. And not like they're sold out; they don't even have a space for it. According to the Lagunitas website...


      I don't know exactly what that means, but apparently it means "so limited we aren't even shipping any to Colorado."

      If that's the case, I may have to bribe you into mailing me a pack. I can send you eighty fie cents. I'd send you eighty five, but they don't have Vs in China.


    5. Part 1:

      4-B OLD SOUL ~

      >>... You wouldn't believe how hard it was to track this movie down. God forbid some kid see this now and "get inspired" to go postal, right?

      Well, we can always hope. As long as they select the correct targets, I’m all for it.

      >>... an old movie that, by all rights, probably should have never gotten the green light to be made (not in this PC world of ours)

      That’s probably even more true than you realize. There are a couple of things merely alluded to in that movie [the Family Court system and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)] that are BEYOND Politically Incorrect!

      Please let me know what you think of ‘NETWORK’. (Sometimes even a little truth slips out of Hollywood.)

      >>... The Fort Collins brewery, Oskar Blues (Dale's Pale Ale), Left Hand, New Belgium, etc. But none of their beers are in my top ten. Hell, with the exception of Left Hand, none of the aforementioned breweries would even be in my top fifty.

      Agreed. However, you do have Odells Brewery which produces some World Class beers (their IPA is on my Top Ten list as well as Nappy’s) and you also have Boulder Beer Company which puts out some very good brews. Nappy has ‘Mojo IPA’ on his Top Ten list. I don’t have it quite that high, but I think it’s very good and I would NEVER hesitate to buy it. (Great label, too.) I’ve had a couple other ‘Boulder’ brews that I’ve liked quite well, such as ‘Flashback’ and one or two more.

      ‘DAYTIME ALE’ -- According to the Lagunitas website... AVAILABILITY: SUPER LIMITED. I don't know exactly what that means, but apparently it means "so limited we aren't even shipping any to Colorado."

      Yeah, apparently so. But buck up little boozer...

      ...The other day I went to my local big, Big, BIG liquor warehouse and I bought some beers for a friend of mine who has heard me speak of them but hasn’t tried them for one reason or another.

      I got him two bottles of DAYTIME ALE, two cans of HOP KNOT (which I have on my Top Ten list and Nappy has at #1 on his version of that same list).

      I would describe DAYTIME as “a watered-down version of ‘SUCKS’, or ‘SUCKS Lite’”, which sounds bad but is actually better than the top o’ the line beer of most other breweries. And the ABV is so low you can drink it until the cows come home staggering and YOU still won’t be!

      I also got him a can of PONDEROSA IPA from Prescott, Airheadzona (home of Billy Jack) and a bottle of Firestone Walker UNION JACK IPA. Every one of these beers are on my Top Ten Beers list, but I think a few of them might be too hoppy / too bitter for my friend. But we won’t know that until he tries them (very cold to start with!)

      I sent a beer-related thing to my friend STUART once before and I hope I’ll be going to the right place when I show up there with this big box full o’ beer.

      Continued Below...

    6. Part 2:

      >>... I can send you eighty fie cents.

      It’s eighty-fie cents in KOREA, man – not China! To quote The Great Man hisself: “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

      Of course, they “BORROWED” my idea and my title. I don’t have a problem with that because it’s not like they stole money from me. I will be a “working stiff” until I die, I’m sure of that. So it’s not like they “BORROWED” a concept from me that was going to make me a godzillionaire, but, hell, they could have at least credited me as the source of their inspiration!

      Anyway, to quote Elvis Costello: “I’m not ANGRY(!) anymore.”

      But I can just imagine their surprise when BIG SKY IPA won the “Blind Beer Taste Test” in their “Brew Battle” (there’s something awful familiar sounding about those titles…) despite the fact that BIG SKY IPA is not a commonly mentioned beer and only gets an 86 consensus rating at Beer Advocate:

      Go there, and you’ll even see that one of the latest comments is from “them”, advertising their “Brew Battle” (in which BIG SKY beat out some better known brands). I can imagine what “they” were thinking afterwards:


      Alright, everything except that final sentence, 4-B.
      But check it out: Brew Battles - IPA (Blind Beer Taste Test)

      Incidentally, the next “Graveyard” Shift I work (Friday, 8 PM to Saturday, 6 AM), I will begin reading this new book I just received titled ‘THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT’ by Bryan Pedas and Brandon Meyers. (Very cool that their photo on the back cover shows them with bottles of BIG SKY IPA!)

      However, I am going to skip the first 76 pages and begin reading on page 77 because I used a 30% Discount Coupon to buy the book and as a result, I don’t feel I have a right to read the first 76 of the 256 pages.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      ‘Loyal American Underground’

    7. I finally snagged Network and will watch it in the next few days. I need a good movie and an opportunity to sprawl out on the couch with a cold beer after the past week. Maybe our mutual friend Stuart will lend me one of his fancy new beers.

      Speaking of which, I must say a huge preemptive 'thank you'. After the weekend I had some new beers are definitely what I could use. God certainly works in mysterious ways and often through our friends without even knowing, wouldn't you say? I (don't think) you knew it was my birthday, and you certainly didn't know my last week has been crap.

      I thought I'd save my spiel about Miami for here so I don't clutter up the new blog bit. Trust me, I'd always imagined pastel painted buildings along the shoreline as well. In fact, we stayed in one of those buildings. And it was awful.

      It took 7 hours for them to get us a room because they screwed up, but they didn't really care. We were just brushed aside and told to wait. When we finally got it, the room's wifi didn't work, it had no hot or even warm water, but oh did it have ants galore. Ants, just crawling everywhere.

      We walked and drove all over in an attempt to explore, and everything is overpriced. Parking is $20-30, plates are anywhere from $30-60 for food that I can cook better myself, and if you don't check prices, beers can be as much as $20-30 for a single bottle of Bud Light, which is all they have. No one drinks craft beer in Miami. All tabs automatically include a 20% tip so servers can be assholes and not pay attention to you, because, well, who cares? They're getting their 20% anyway. So no one there that serves you is nice. No one.

      You want to walk on the beach and enjoy it? That won't happen, either. Not unless you want to be hounded by homeless people who want to make you some stupid sculpture out of palm fronds or make bets or show you card tricks that you surely can afford because you're a rich tourist, and if you can't then you're a thoughtless prick.

      Basically, you can't just walk by yourself or sit by yourself and relax and enjoy the beauty of the scenery because someone is ALWAYS in your face trying to sell you something or take your money. It's all they care about.

      Basically, Miami is the place that fake people go to buy pretend happiness. Nothing is unique, nothing is above 'okay,' and everything is overpriced. And it was amazing, because all around me, everyone was having such a fun time. They loved every second of it. Every dollar of it. And here I was in my hotel room, feeling emotionally and spiritually crushed, seemingly the only person in the city in misery. And what's more, what a first world problem, right? I feel like a jerk for being miserable while on a vacation that most people would kill for.

      I was supposed to stay until Monday, but I couldn't take it, so I switched my flight to that very night. Drove straight to the airport, hopped on an airplane, and flew back to Colorado on a redeye flight on my birthday. My actual birthday, November 9th at 9:14 PM I spent in an airplane 1 hour outside of Florida. So at least I didn't have to celebrate my actual birthday in that hellhole. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

      So thanks again, beer brother, truly, for some much needed genuine happiness after a weekend of misery.

      It could be worse, though. At least some beer guys aren't stealing my titles and my reviews in a "Blind Beer Taste Test." I wonder what they'll say after they've run out of old Stuffs posts to go through...?

      This may have been "before your time" over at our site, but did you ever see our blog bit where someone tried to plagiarize us?


      (With The Good 'Ol' Soul') ~

      Curious to see what you think of 'Network'. I think you'll like it. (Keep yer tinfoil hat on while viewing and see if you don't think someone's kinda letting a little kitten outta the bag.)

      If you talk to Stuart before I do, tell him that I'll start driving that golden elixir his way on Wed. or Thurs. of this week.

      OK, now I'm "REALLY" SERIOUS! Thanks for the lowdown on Miami! I'm NEVER going there... seriously. You truly saved me from what WAS a possible future massive disappointment. Any beers you can wrangle from Stuart is a small price to pay for that valuable (honest) travel brochure.

      No, I did not know it was your birthday until I read it on your blog yesterday. (Now I'm really glad I didn't drink that 'Ponderosa IPA' when I was giving some A-list consideration to it. (Make sure you get that one from Stuart!)

      >>... I'd always imagined pastel painted buildings along the shoreline as well. In fact, we stayed in one of those buildings. And it was awful.

      Well, at least you weren't in Cuba.

      >>... but oh did it have ants galore. Ants, just crawling everywhere.

      Well, at least they weren't hobo spiders.

      >>... I feel like a jerk for being miserable while on a vacation that most people would kill for.

      Well, at least you didn't KILL for it.

      Don't you just hate those jackasses who always say, "Well, at least it wasn't..."? Always looking for the "silver lining" in a pile of horse manure? I know I do.

      >>... beers can be as much as $20-30 for a single bottle of Bud Light, which is all they have.

      That was un-friggin'-believable! Consider my future trip to Miami... CANCELLED!!!

      >>... on a redeye flight on my birthday. My actual birthday, November 9th at 9:14 PM I spent in an airplane 1 hour outside of Florida.

      Man, to quote from the movie 'Airplane': "What a pisser!"

      Hey, but guess what! I was born at 9:12 PM on August 8th. Except for the differences in year, month, day, and time, we have the SAME birthday. What a weird coincidence, eh?

      >>... It could be worse, though. At least some beer guys aren't stealing my titles and my reviews in a "Blind Beer Taste Test."

      Yeah, at least it wasn't THAT!

      Truthfully, your situation was MUCH worse! Me getting "ripped off" isn't actually costing me any money, like your getting "ripped off" did you!

      I'm toying with the idea of leaving a comment on their IPA 'Blind Beer Taste Test' video saying that the least they could have done was credit my blog for the inspiration. I dunno... maybe some night when I've had one too many beers.

      >>... I wonder what they'll say after they've run out of old Stuffs [nay, F-FFF - they were "product reviews, after all] posts to go through...?

      Probably switch to 'Blind Wine Taste Tests'.

      >>... did you ever see our blog bit where someone tried to plagiarize us?

      Actually, I think I recall you referring to it once but wasn't sure what it was all about. Care to send a link? I'd love to check it out. (Ya know, Beer Bro, it's proof that we're onto "somethin' good" when B-list minds plagiarize us. "Tell me somethin' GOOD! Tell me that you like it, YEAH!")

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      POSTSCRIPT: When I get finished with "The Graveyard Shift", I'll have a question for ya. But, so far, I am DAMNED IMPRESSED! And all my co-workers are laughing about the title - they "get" the connection.

    9. Just finished watching Network and man, what a hoot. My tin foil hat is already on and ready. I loved the mention of Saudi money coming and going. The petrodollar. The omnipotent figure proclaiming that there are no 'sides,' only the one system that rules them all.

      Very rarely do old movies surprise me, but this one surprised me. Not just because of that, but Howard Beale saying right out the gate on air that he was going to kill himself (and of course no one paying him any mind) or him just being gunned down at the end, on the spot.

      I can't believe I missed this one and had never heard of it before. Another great recommendation indeed.

      And while there are a lot of good lines, too many to quote, I think these two from Max Schumacher in particular made me laugh out loud the most, when Howard gave his first tirade and everyone in the booth was trying to stop him.

      Max, on the phone: Yeah, Tom, what is it? (pause) He's saying that life is bullshit. And it is. So what are you screaming about?


      Intern: Mr. Hackett's trying to get through to you.

      Max: Tell Mr. Hackett to go fuck himself.


      Thanks again for the recommendation.

      Well, at least you weren't in Cuba.

      No, but I did go to Little Cuba, which was advertised as "a cute, authentic chunk of Cuban culture and shopping."

      Thought it was mostly "a tiny shithole neighborhood where I would not have stopped my rental car for any longer than the blink of a stoplight." AKA more overpriced food ($20 per plate in Little Cuba, still?) and an old, rundown town with no places *I* would want to shop.

      Really, though, thanks for letting me gripe. I'm going to put up a post tomorrow about my experience at the hotel and keep it focused around that so people don't think I'm being whiny, but it was good to get that out.

      Oh, and here's our impostor post. Our traffic leech wannabes have since stopped posting and even changed the name of their crappy product after the hate comments/mail they got.

      POST: Looking forward to hearing what you think about The Graveyard Shift (and your question), and this will mean more at the end, but I have to say this. Though you may work the graveyard shift, don't be Leonard.

    10. Part 1:

      4-B OLD SOUL ~
      Pleased to have been able to provide you with a place to vent. We ALL need that from time to time.

      I re-read your blog bit about the 'Beer IN The Shower' frauds. "Re-read" because I didn't get more than about a paragraph into it before I realized I had seen it before, when it first went up.

      In fact, I was one of the many who left a comment (and a pretty good comment too, if I may say so mydamnself).

      Also, I'm glad you found 'NETWORK' worth your time. I was sure you would.

      Favorite quotes? Well, I gotta go with the ones I included when I posted a blog bit about 'NETWORK' back in 2009. Below are some excerpts from that blog bit:

      Most noteworthy was Arthur Jenson (Ned Beatty) dressing down Howard Beale:

      "You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance!

      "You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, Yen, Rubles, Pounds, and Shekels.

      "It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

      Continued Below...

    11. Part 2:

      "You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

      "What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state — Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business.

      "The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality — one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused."

      Hokey-Smoke! Other than that nonsense about “no oppression or brutality” and “a common profit” and “all men holding a share of stock”, that is one of the best descriptions of the New World Order mentality that I’ve encountered. The New World Order is really of the Elite, by the Elite, and for the Elite (who are primarily represented by international banking) and when it is finally instituted in its “totalitarian totality”, it will make a hell of Earth – as if Earth isn’t wretched enough already.

      And coincidentally Max Schumacher’s (William Holden) dressing down of Diana Christensen (Dunaway) is not a bad representation of how I think of these Elite people who work behind the scenes in bringing us the satanic New World Order:

      "You are … indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality. War, murder, death are all the same to you as bottles of beer. The daily business of life is a corrupt comedy. … You are madness, virulent madness, and everything you touch dies with you. Well, not me. Not while I can still feel pleasure and pain and love. … I feel lousy about the pain that I've caused... I feel guilty and conscience-stricken, and all of those things you think sentimental, but which my generation calls simple human decency."

      ... Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay is filled with disgust and rage. His disgust, I share 24/7; the rage, I experience when sober. So, for the benefit of those around me, I try not to make a habit of sobriety.

      "I need a cold mojito."

      4-B - Ha! - I hate to admit it but every once in awhile when I re-read something I wrote long ago and have since forgotten, I make myself laugh. And those closing four sentences made me laugh when I re-read them about ten minutes ago.

      Looking forward to tomorrow's 'Beer For The Shower', Beer Brother.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  11. Just barging in on The Rickie Lee discussion...

    I saw her last June (at the same place we saw Booker T...same row but the end seat on the other side). It was acoustic, and while I did not mind that as much as you might Stephen (mostly acoustic guitar, some piano), she was downright DEPRESSING.

    Last night I listened to Ronnie Spector tell the story of all that Phil Spector did to her in their marriage, and Ronnie was still more upbeat than Rickie Lee was, and Rickie was without a whole lot of tragedy in her life.

    A great songwriter but one DARK soul. Sad.

    She played "Last Chance Texaco" and "Saturday Afternoons In 1963" so I left happy.


    1. LC ~
      Funny comment, man! (I'm referring to your comparison of RLJ to Ronnie Spector.)

      Actually, I wouldn't have minded a whole set of just acoustic guitar, but ONLY if there was also a band behind her. If it was nothing but her on stage with acoustic guitar and piano, I would have gotten bored.

      I can't remember when I finally gave up on Rickie Lee Jones, but I bought a lot of her records first. I think maybe 'Flying Cowboys' or something like that, was the last one I purchased. I know I also had her live album too - not sure now if that came before or after 'Flying Cowboys'.

      For two albums though, she was freakin' GREAT! Back in the day, I liked 'Pirates' better than the debut, but now I prefer the first one. Nevertheless, those are both "must-have" CDs!

      'The Last Chance Texaco' was just a totally amazing piece of songwriting. One could build an entire screenplay around that one song. When it comes to lyrics, I would put that song in the Top Ten, right in the same "company" with Dylan and Waits. Lyrically, it's even better than ANYTHING Warren Zevon ever wrote, and you KNOW how I feel about some of Zevon's zongs!

      Did you watch the video I linked to in my comment above? My two favorite moments:

      When she sings "Three in the back row" and points up to the people in the back row.

      And then there's a point in the video where we have a close-up shot of her face and she's looking up at the audience with this incredibly joyful and satisfied expression and I can almost read her mind: "Wow! All these people paid money to come here and see me sing. I've MADE IT!"

      It's just fantastic, and it makes me feel happy for her. I can imagine myself feeling that same emotion... had I ever actually "made it".

      Thanks for stopping by here.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. LC ~
      I'm back. I just went and watched that RLJ video again 3 times in a row - boom, Boom, BOOM!

      One of the best performances of a song I've ever seen... only wish I could have been there in person for it.

      Now... how f**kin' big is that saxophone player? He'd make "the big man" look like a shrimp! Put me in bar with that Saxman and I might start a fight but... NOT WITH HIM!

      And it took a lot of confidence on Rickie's part to even take the stage next to a man that size, because she's hardly even noticeable in the shots where you see both of them at the same time. But then Rickie damn sure did NOT lack confidence. That debut album just oooooooozes confidence! (That's one of the things that astounds me about it. No "first time" singer EVER broke onto the scene so flamboyantly. She's just... "I'll sing these songs any damn way I please. I'll let it all hang out and you WILL like it and buy my next album, too!" And she was RIGHT! I bought a bunch of them, always hoping she'd find that early groove again, but she never did.)

      Also, that whole band is friggin' outstanding! That is one funky bunch! And the Saxman has that great King Curtis style of playing that just knocks me out. What a concert that must have been!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    3. Actually, I wouldn't have minded a whole set of just acoustic guitar, but ONLY if there was also a band behind her. If it was nothing but her on stage with acoustic guitar and piano, I would have gotten bored.

      Thought I'd step in at this point. One of my all time favorite concerts was on Easter eve in Toronto. It was in a large lecture hall at some university there. I went to see Murray McLauchlin (if you are unfamiliar with him I totally understand). When we arrived I was totally bummed to see that there was only a grand piano and a guitar on stage. No extensive sound equipment, drum kit, or signs of other instruments. For the next couple of hours it was just Murray on his own. He blew me away with his performance. The intimacy of the concert in this room that probably held maybe 200 people was great. Afterwards I was somewhat glad that there was no band because it gave me a new appreciation for an artist I'd been listening to for a while always picturing a band playing behind him.

      Just thought I'd add that story.

      . Lee
      A Faraway View


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