Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Torch In Torchered

Springtime. I love springtime. Springtime brings warmth, fresh air, sunshine, rain, taxes and fear of unemployment.

While I was full of myself, pretending to be relevant in a wanna-be, country tinged outfit by way of Ziggy Stardust, preening to my people in a town of 3,000, Tammy Wynette was making some of the most painful, but-get-out-of-my-way music, Nashville has ever known.
Jimmy McDonough's Tragic Country Queen makes me wish I'd paid more attention. Makes me wish I could have been there to help her through.
Linda Ronstadt could've been my Tammy. But by the beginning of the 80s, I was headed for the exit ramp.
Almost ten years later, I saw Lucinda Williams bring the house down at the Metro in Chicago with her self-titled, Rough Trade debut.
She could have been my Tammy too. But then she had to go and get happy.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Summer Of Love

I started out today thinking about the transformational effect the Thompson submachine gun had on the summer of 1933. But this was sidelined when I remembered what it felt like to be sitting at the bar. Then finding myself at the operating end of this gear, making this noise that appears to be matching up with these other people who are standing on the same piece of carpet.

It's like a miniature manufacturing process. You first don the appropriate clothing. Go to your machine and when everything is ready, hit the power button. Let it run a few minutes, then turn it off. Check to see if what squirted out was acceptable. Make any adjustments. Then hit the power button again. Repeat till break time. Burn a quick one and down some swill. Then back at 'er.

Discovering the joy of the end product can sometimes be determined by how long your shift is.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Drivin And Cryin

What can I do you out of today? Well, my cash most likely. But how about you do me out of that pesky nicotine habit I've been carting around. Or some of that crap I've got piled up in my barn. How about doin me out of that today?
On that long list of things I wish I were better at is being a wrench. I'd settle for being even a half-assed wrench. Sure I suck my gut in and thump my chest a little and strut around some after changing a tire or jump start a car. Sometimes during that 30 point oil change I'll sneek in a "While you're at it, could you maybe throw those wipers on there?" or "Could you check that right headlight? It's acting kinda funny."

I never saw my Dad elbow's out, tinkering under the hood while growing up. Except for maybe filling the wiper fluid thing. So of course I followed suit.

Was I too cool for auto shop in high school? My gearhead friends were'nt too cool for it.
These were the same guys who, usually in November, sold enough pot to afford a winter beater or drift-bucker as Rob Ter Veer called it. Which was really just a $300 dollar piece of dung that they only had to keep alive for 5 months so they could park their $1500 dollar piece of dung for the winter.

Now, if I think I may have a battery that needs a charge, I can count on buying a new one.
You take it in on the auto parts store tester and you're garaunteed a "She's deader than a doornail, hell, I could a told you that just by lookin at it!"

Yesterday I took a tire into a shop and the kid lathers up the sidewalls with something and gave it what he must have thought was a substantial going over. "Looks fine to me. They loose a pound or 2 every couple a weeks anyway so just keep an eye on it. And if you've got some errands to run for 20 or 30 minutes, I'll give it one more look after I'm done with this other car."

Wow. Nice! How often do you take your car in for anything without taking a loan out to pay for it? So I head back into town and after a half hour or so I call the shop and the kid says " Well, I've got some bad news, I found a nail." And I'm thinking, no shit Sherlock, what are the odds?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dino Danelli / Just Bitchin'

I'm grateful for recall. Not just for the sake of nostalgia, its really more about the button on the remote.
My remote control happy wife was controlling the remote last night, and let me say this, she would be equally happy watching the American Idol participants covering Bobby Goldsboro as she would The Stones. I'm reading in another room and I couldn't read loud enough. My ears perked only slightly when I heard Ed Sullivan announcing The Beatles, but was fairly certain I had seen that footage many times before, and wasn't about to stop doing what I was doing and get up off my lazy arse just to see it again. So I read on.

"Honey, you should check this out" my wife blurted. I'm taking this as an invitation to hang, but I was going through sections of old newspaper I'd saved because there was some good reason I'd saved them. I returned the volley, "Honey, I'm trying to throw things out, you know, I'm doing my part to help keep a tidy house." Not quite good enough for the bonus round, but a good score on some level non the less.

Then I heard Ed introduce The Animals. This, I have not seen. So I grabbed the crow bar reserved for intruders and pried me arse up from the bed just in time to catch The Rascals break into Good Lovin', and have never seen a more powerhouse drummer in my life...ever.
Energy, chops and over-the-top showmanship rolled into one.
Charlie Watts is a gentleman. Keith Moon was outrageous. But Dino Danelli is a Swiss army knife with a rocket attached.
Even my wife, whose eye for talent should not be underestimated, glanced over at me all wide- eyed, and with a touch of dramatic pause said, "whoa."

And I do think the young woman with the blond dreads should take it this year. Even though Taylor whats- his- name did the whole blues/blues rock thing, and for that reason, maybe that style won't float again but she definitly has the goods and the swagger. So good things will find her even if she doesn't win.
I'd like the damn remote now please.

Ed Sullivan's Rock&Roll Classics

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick And Dirty

As the story goes, McQueen was able to get Paramount Studios to underwrite the Silver Vase team trip to East Germany to represent America in the 1964
International Six Days Trials by hiring Cliff Coleman and Bud and Dave Ekins as bodyguards to accompany him while he attended the European movie premier of
Love With A Proper Stranger.

Bud Ekins is well known, not only for his motorcycle riding and racing prowess, but for his stints as a stunt double. And it is Ekins who was filmed jumping the fence in The Great Escape.

In the 50s and 60s, Steve McQueen's scooter of choice was often a Triumph. And it was a Triumph he rode during the '64 ISDT. It also appears his riding gear of choice was the Barbour International, or the Barbour Suit as it was called. An oil or wax coated jacket and pants. A range originally designed by Duncan Barbour, son of a son of, THE J. Barbour And Sons in the 1930s to help keep motorcycle riders dry. Leathers, if fit snug enough, were often worn underneath.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

the flower and THE NEANDERTHAL

When I think back to the days when I would attack my drums, attack being kind, I think about the nite-clubs in Muskegon and how badly I wanted to impress the guy who sat in who participated, in some way I can't recall, to the Happy Days theme.

So I proceeded to bash away in my typical When The Levee Breaks kinda style, thinking I'd show him some kind of Newaygo County thunder he ain't never heard. When we finished what ever it was we were playing, Mr. I Played On The Happy Days theme was headed off stage and I stood up to pay respect to, well, Mr. I Played On The Happy Days theme, and he kind of gave me a look with eyebrows in full union that said, "articulate much?"

I was crushed. I'm such a neanderthal. My brush with greatness...tainted.
But you know, once you start out with a heavy right foot, it's kinda tuff to reign her back in. And besides, it says on top of my cymbals, Heavy Crash.
The knuckles, they keep a draggin...

Friday, March 5, 2010


I gotta say that, I say, "I gotta say" a lot. But I gotta say, I'm really looking forward to
Tammy Wynette, Tragic Country Queen by Jimmy McDonough, to drop any day now. McDonough, if you remember, also penned Neil Young's biography, Shakey.
20 years ago, you wouldn't have gotten more than a "Yeah, so?" outta me. And I probably would've uttered the same about Dolly and Porter Wagoner. And I really don't have any explanation for why I'm now yearnin for the dixie dirt. But with George and Tammy, you just know they're packin some heat, together AND apart. I like my country with cajones and this should have 'em in spades.
I gotta say...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'd Like It In A Moccasin Please

It's kinda like this, you don't really NEED that $2000 Gretsch White Falcon re-issue, but you really, really want it. In fact, you could come up with a few solid arguments that could justify, at least in your mind, why exactly that's a sound investment.

I don't really NEED a pair of Massachusetts' made Alden, Indy boots and probably could not come up with any justification, at least quickly (quickly being the key here, you cannot hesitate while building your case), to warrant the purchase of said footwear.

I could, however, potentially pull off a 3 day disappearance, conveniently allowing myself to be found disheveled on a local park bench, feeding squirrels Cheerios from a sandwich bag, mumbling incoherently about vintage wingtips, an achy foot and the promise to no-one in particular that from now on, I shall only treat my feet to the best. Psychological exam not withstanding.


Monday, March 1, 2010

H.D.Lee 191-LB

This good for nothin old tractor jacket is exactly that, good for nothin. And if your woman is naggin at ya ta clean out the coat closet, like mine's naggin at me, I've got just the answer.
Just so happens the Ladies Auxiliary is about to host their annual rummage sale here at the high school gym.
Just contact Truman via his comments section here at the blog. Pack er up and send er on to me simple as that.
There, ya got ridda that crappy ol thing and got yer wife off yer back all in one feller swoop.
Oh, and by the by, all the better if she's a 44-long or an extra large...the jacket that is, He-He!
We grow 'em big here in Sheridan Township! No Honey, I didn't mean you! - Les Izmoore

This crappy ol' jacket from