Archive for July, 2015

My One And Only Attempt At Fan Fic

July 29th, 2015

The four members of the rock band Queen converge for a meeting. FREDDIE is the singer, BRIAN plays lead guitar, JOHN plays bass guitar, and ROGER drums. FREDDIE appears to be leading the discussion.

 

FREDDIE: Now don’t forget tomorrow. We have to meet the Raccoon Lady at the train tracks at noon. Now we can’t be late or else. . .

 

BRIAN: (interrupting) Can we all wear our vests tomorrow?

 

FREDDIE: You can wear a vest if you want. I was going to wear a cape.

 

BRIAN: Don’t do that. Wear a vest, not a cape.

 

ROGER: We’re all wearing vests tomorrow, Fred. You’ll be left out.

 

FREDDIE: I don’t care if you wear them. That’s alright by me. But I don’t like how I look in a vest.

 

BRIAN: You used to wear them all the time in the 70’s!

 

FREDDIE: When did I ever wear a vest?

 

BRIAN: You did!

 

FREDDIE: I never did.

 

BRIAN:You did, you did, you did. “Bohemian Rhapsody” video. What was that you were wearing? That ugly white thing with the wings on the sleeves.

 

FREDDIE: Oh my god! First of all, that was part of a whole ensemble. (looks to John for help) I mean, have you ever seen me wear an actual vest? Besides formal occasions.

 

JOHN: (thinking) I don’t remember. (pause) Can we talk about the mum jeans, please?

 

ROGER: Good call! Gotta have mum jeans tomorrow.

 

BRIAN: No, no, no. No mum jeans. Not doing it. Forget it.

 

JOHN: But we’ve got to wear mum jeans!

 

ROGER: Everybody has to wear mum jeans and a vest tomorrow.

 

JOHN: It’s synergy.

 

BRIAN: Yes, yes to the vest. No to mum jeans. We all agree on the vest thing.

 

FREDDIE: I don’t agree. And I don’t know what the hell these mum jeans are supposed to be.

 

ROGER: You don’t know. . . oh, you wouldn’t, would you?

 

JOHN: No, he wouldn’t know.

 

FREDDIE: (feeling insecure) What do you mean?

 

ROGER: You don’t have any children.

 

JOHN: Ya, it’s a parent thing. Your mum buys you the jeans.

 

ROGER: No she doesn’t! Your wife buys them. . . I think she does.

 

JOHN: You don’t know.

 

ROGER: (thinking) No. I actually don’t know.

 

JOHN: You have no earthly idea, do you? How do you really think they get there?

 

ROGER: They just show up one day. They show up on the dresser. The wife says “Dear I forget to tell you there’s a new pair of jeans showed up for you to wear.” I never questioned it.

 

JOHN: You are daft. Everybody knows you get them from your mum when you start to have children of your own. It’s like an heirloom except you get new jeans.

 

ROGER: They can’t possibly do it like that.

 

JOHN: Yes, they can. It’s like a heirloom except you don’t pass the same pair down from generation to generation. Although you probably could if everybody in the family had the same measurements.

 

ROGER: My dad and I share the same length, but he’s more stout. Bigger waist. I’d have to gain weight to fit in them.

 

JOHN: Maybe you get some suspenders to hold ’em up. If the waist is bigger than they’ll really bunch up on you.

 

ROGER: I like that. And then I can wear a vest to cover the suspenders.

 

JOHN: Why not? I’ve done it a million times. Never onstage, of course.

 

ROGER: I just realized I’m not gonna be able to get a pair of my dad’s jeans on a day’s notice. He’ll want to know what I’m doing with them. “Gonna go to the train tracks and see the Raccoon Lady, dad.” He won’t understand.

 

FREDDIE: (to Brian) What are they fucking talking about?

 

BRIAN: (explaining) Mum jeans are just jean slacks that you wear high and they get all bunchy around the pelvic area.

 

FREDDIE: But why do they call them mum-

 

BRIAN: (interrupting) Don’t. Just don’t. Don’t even think about it. You wouldn’t wear them. Not your style.

 

FREDDIE: But neither are vests.

 

BRIAN: I’ll loan you a vest.

 

FREDDIE: That’s not the point! I’ve got vests. And you and I don’t even have the same body type.

 

BRIAN: Then just pick a vest. And you have arms! You have a torso. That’s all you need to wear a vest.

 

FREDDIE: I’m keenly aware of what it takes to wear a vest. Thank you.

 

JOHN: Where do we stand on all this? The vests and the mum jeans.

 

BRIAN: I don’t think we all need to wear the same type of vests. Whatever vest you like will be fine. We’d look stupid if we all wore the same kind.

 

FREDDIE: (curtly) Fine. I’ll wear a vest.

 

BRIAN: Thank you.

 

FREDDIE: John, can I borrow a pair of mum jeans?

 

JOHN: Absolutely.

 

BRIAN: No! Don’t do it.

 

FREDDIE: (to Brian) You’re not the boss of me.

 

BRIAN: You’re not going to like them, I promise.

 

ROGER: Why are you borrowing from John? I’ve got plenty of jeans you can wear.

 

FREDDIE: I’m looking at John and I can see we’re the same height. Probably about the same pant size. It’s nothing personal.

 

ROGER: Well, I take it quite personal.

 

FREDDIE: I will gladly wear anybody’s mum trousers if I don’t have to wear a vest.

 

BRIAN: I promise you you would rather wear a vest. If you had to choose between the two. . .

 

FREDDIE: Apparently it’s mandatory. I don’t get to choose.

 

BRIAN: (sarcastically) Oh, poor Fred. He doesn’t get to choose this one time.

 

FREDDIE: I’m not telling you what to do. I’m simply advocating that I do what I want to do.

 

JOHN: “Radio Ga Ga”.

 

FREDDIE: What about “Radio Ga Ga”?

 

JOHN: You wore a vest in that video, too.

 

FREDDIE: Again, a costume. I didn’t wear it in my personal life.

 

ROGER: It can’t be this difficult to figure out. Remember when we did the video for “I Want To Break Free” and I said we should dress up like scary looking women and nobody told said anything against it. In fact, everybody thought it was a good idea. As it turned out, not a good idea at all. But we didn’t fight about it like this.

 

BRIAN: Okay, let’s all agree once and for all that when we go to see the Raccoon Lady tomorrow at the train tracks, mum jeans and vest wear are voluntary. You can wear them if you so please and you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

 

JOHN: Works for me.

 

ROGER: Fine

 

FREDDIE: Excellent.

 

BRIAN: Except for vests.

 

FREDDIE: What about a cape?

 

BRIAN: No capes.

 

FREDDIE: You’re a cunt, you know that?

 

Breakthru

 

 

Venn Diagram Mania

July 27th, 2015

Do you know what a Venn diagram is? A Venn diagram is a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of different sets. For example, imagine the Venn diagram of Nazi sympathizers and St. Louis Cardinals fans. People who are the worst people on Earth. . . who also subscribe the ethos of National Socialism.

 

Now imagine the Venn diagram of show biz people and carnival folk. Pro wrestlers are in that diagram, and only pro wrestlers can fit in that diagram.

 

Here’s the thing about people. Very few of them you like, some others not so much but they’re not terrible. They just exist, and that’s the great majority of people. Then there are a few beings so atrocious you wouldn’t be able to leave them alone in your house without them burning it down and selling your children into slavery for drugs.

 

Pro wrestlers are much the same, except the percentage of degenerates is higher than in normal population. And that includes the wrestlers you see on TV every week. Not only will they burn your house down and trade your kids for drugs, they will talk about you like you are the asshole and not them, finding a way to justify their inexcusable behavior.

 

I am sitting here writing about this in light of the whole Hulk Hogan thing. I touched on it in the last blog. A few years ago I met him and fanboy’d in front of him. I did that even though I knew Hogan was a guy was a politician who struggled with the truth. A man who was weirdly obsessed with his own daughter, who couldn’t tell the truth about his own steroid use, a man in his fifties dressing like he did in his twenties, a man who thought a skullcap would distract from his baldness. . . and I still turned into a mushmouth ten-year-old in front of the guy.

 

If you do a Bing search for “wrestling sleaze” you will find links to stories that are horrible. Some of them are implausible but even if they are half-true, then pro wrestlers might be some of the worst people in the world (non-murderers division). A guy who got loaded and told autograph-seeking kids to fuck off. Another guy who got arrested and picked a scab on his head to start bleeding and claimed police brutality. So-and-so pimped his wife out to some of the other wrestlers. A tag team that stopped taking steroids and started taking rhesus monkey hormones. Such-and-such woke up to find a promoter standing over him masturbating. Oh, and the cuckolding. Very much cuckolding. If a wrestler released a book called “The Carny’s Guide To Sex”, it would have one page and cost $29.99

 

Wrestling, a staged performance, attracts people who compete against each other in real life for top billing and the best salary. Show business, a travesty where good people drown in vats of animal dung. Carnival folk, a low-grade class of people running a rigged system that will take you for all you have. These are the people who find it high comedy to shit in each other’s luggage.

 

I have a front row seat to a show in October, me who does not learn his lesson.

A Week In The Dark

July 25th, 2015

My computer fried up last Saturday. It has taken me a whole week to get a new one. While I waited, I re-read some old books and coped as best as I could with the sounds inside my head?

 

Did I hear voices? No. No no no no no. That would imply madness. I would hate for you to think I had gone crazy.

 

In my absence, professional blowhards and buffoons filled the air with noxious gas far greater than I ever could. Donald Trump, presidential candidate, managed to foul the air with his comments about Mexicans, war veterans and anything else he felt compelled to talk about. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan managed to lose his WWE gig after transcripts of his sex tape were released, his remarks about black people especially noted.

 

As a wrestling fan, I certainly looked up to the Hulkster back in the 1980s. His ability to matter three decades later is mystifying and depressing. He has a checkered history, most of it unflattering to anyone with a few brain cells. To waste anymore space on him is shooting fish in a barrel wrapped in a rebel flag.

 

Donald Trump is leading the polls amongst Republican nominees and that should terrify everyone. Remember in 2008 when John McCain was the Republican nominee and he picked Sarah Palin to run with him as vice-president, dooming his chances with voters who were afraid to have Palin within heart attack range of the office of President? This is far worse. Donald Trump is a far more embarrassing dunce than Sarah Palin could ever hope to be, and far less capable of shame and self-reflection.

 

Donald Trump’s career for the last three decades has to enforce a self-appointed status as richest and therefore smartest man in the room. He has marketed himself well, promoted the Trump brand even as it stands for nothing and sold his ability to give wisdom on how to achieve wealth and fame to those who seek it. Book deals, his severely unaccredited Trump University and hosting The Apprentice, in which millions of viewers are accustomed to watching him behind his large boardroom table flanked by family and other supplicants.

 

I am 37 years ago. For most of my life, Donald Trump has been a public figure. For years he has threatened a Presidential run and now has finally done it, indulging himself and any pressman who loves good quotes. If we’re lucky, he will fail to get the nomination. Perhaps instead of bemoaning his presence in the race, one of the 111 (estimated) Republican candidates will attempt to figure out exactly why Trump is leading in the polls and try to emulate whatever positive attributes Trump shows. Assuming there have to be some. If only Ted Cruz had a network reality show for ten years.

Not Really Enough, Is It?

July 17th, 2015

 

Here is a video of me performing “The Concept Of You”. It is a song I wrote and composed. Julie Roberts will record it for her next album and Shooter Jennings will produce it. This would not have happened if not for Jon Hensley, who died in his sleep away June 1st.

 

In that video I am wearing a scarf that Jon gave me. It is a scarf that went with his Manuel suit. After he died, his family looked in vain for it until they learned I had it. It was a gift from him to me but I returned it to them on the night this video was recorded, July 4th. They hosted a memorial tribute concert for Jon at the Merle Travis Center in Muhlenberg County. I wore it onstage, performed a short set then left it on the mic stand. It was a dash of showbiz on a very heartfelt, difficult night.

 

Incidentally, today the cause of Jon’s death has been released by the Bowling Green Police Department. Asphyxiation in his sleep from choking on food. No illegal drugs were found in his system. I should repeat that for the benefit of the haters: NO ILLEGAL DRUGS WERE FOUND IN HIS SYSTEM. He did not overdose on cocaine as has been suggested by at least one website and comments in Youtube videos and in Topix forums. For anyone who ever suggested he did, may your turds come to life and kiss you on the mouth. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

 

This doesn’t exactly make anyone feel better. Certainly not his parents, his sister or girlfriend. He’s still gone. He’s not coming back. It’s vindication when vindication should not have been necessary. The truth does not make his loved one miss him less.

 

I don’t want to end on a down note. Jon Hensley lived a couple of lifetimes in thirty-one short years. He stomped on the terra and he made many friends and defended them vigorously. He championed the little man and threw his support behind those who needed a second, third, five-hundredth chance in life or in music. He was a genuine badass and he had style. He was creative and fast-thinking. He was a man who had fifty best friends. I can say I was one of them, proudly.

DQ Reactionary

July 12th, 2015

I was at Dairy Queen this afternoon having a Blizzard. The DQ guy made it for me and held it upside down for a second before giving it to me. I didn’t know that was procedure. It’s part of the DQ Blizzard Test. If they hold it upside down and it slides out, they’ve made it wrong.

 

Anyhoo I was enjoying my Blizzard (TM) when I saw a guy walk in. I may have to put the word “guy” in quotes because the possibility exists that this guy, this very effeminate young man may be a transgendered male-to-female and there’s no reason to disrespect the kid by calling “him” a “guy”.

 

I would have forgotten all about the kid, and I say “kid” because the kid looked to be young and skinny. I associate the high metabolism of someone this skinny to mere youth. I would have forgotten about this femme, punk-rock-hair-dyed, mesh-shirt clad kid if it hadn’t been for another person in the DQ.

 

There was a man watching the kid. And I’m sure this was most definitely a man, unlike the first character I described. A father and a husband, enjoying frosty DQ treats with his wife and young children. He gave the kid a look of what I would term “aroused disgust”.

 

It’s also called WHY I DON’T KNOW WHETHER I WANT TO FIGHT ‘IM OR FUCK ‘IM?? But “aroused disgust” seems more polite.

 

It’s rare that you get to see that in person. You believe it exists in some people. You believe some homophobic people (especially men) have that internal battle. That latenly homophobic, yet homoerotic, therefore self-hating and other-hating war of the self. There are people who have that feeling and it’s rare that you can see that in person.

 

I watched the gears turn in this man’s head, as he looked at the kid, then looked back at his wife, then looked at the kid again and thought about his family life and then looked back at his wife and thought about escaping forever with an androgynous twink punk and then looked back at the kid with hate and shame in his heart and then hustled the family out of the DQ into the car home so he could put the kids to bed and hatefuck his wife while thinking about a illicit men’s bathroom experience he had before he got married. Why do you think he calls them “the glory days”?

 

I wonder why Kentucky Living magazine won’t hire me as a columnist?

I am A Battlefield

July 11th, 2015

Fire and ice.

Hope and despair.

 

Too much of one, not enough of the other. I am at home. It is here where I fight the battle. My home is a battlefield. I rarely clean up the battlefield, but I take out the trash regularly. I sit at home. I try to avoid the battle. Can’t it go on without me as a witness.

 

Actually, home is not the battlefield. I am the battlefield. My mind and body. Everything you see is a mark of that battle. The condition of everything I own, including myself. When you see me, you see that something has consumed me.

 

Or maybe you don’t see it. I just think you see it. How much of it is in my head and isn’t? Self-consciousness isn’t an accurate system. Caution: Objects In Mirror May Seem More (Or Less) Embarrassing Than They Really Are.

Recap

July 6th, 2015

The last three days have been a whirlwind.

 

Friday – a solo show in Louisville at the Cathouse

Saturday – a performance in Powderly at the Jon Hensley Tribute Concert

Sunday – the first time I practiced with TVH since April

 

Some notes from the weekend.

Even though we haven’t finished our sixth album, TVH has begun to map out the follow-up. In other words we talked about it.

I broke my GPS Saturday. I smashed it to bits. It lied to me. It kept spitting me out at dead ends off a gravel road. Finally I asked a local for help. This really should be what the GPS, Google maps, and Mapquest et al do for directions.

1. Get close to intended destination

2. Ask for directions from local

3. Repeat step 2 as necessary

After the concert, I got lost on the way home and added a half-hour to my trip. I must have driven through the Springfield Mystery Spot or Champaign, Illinois (whichever is further away).

 

I have truly buried the lede on this one. So much happened and I’m focusing on the small stuff. That’s a conscious decision. I want to keep the memories with me for a while before I share them.

 

I cried hard on Saturday. I played two songs at Jon’s tribute then walked off stage, through a door in the back and sobbed like the day I found out he died. It was ridiculous. I have tried not to be emotional about this or at least not that emotion. Anger, confusion and “WTF” have ran through my brain over the last month but not a lot of sorrow and tears.

 

I will carry this weekend with me for a long time. Some of the things I carry I will not share. That’s what treasure is all about.

Kill The Past

July 2nd, 2015

The Rolling Stones are touring in 2015. The Grateful Dead are reuniting for a concert series this summer. The Dukes Of Hazzard just got taken off reruns because it has a rebel flag on the car, and that show ended thirty years ago.

 

Why are we so hesitant to let go of the past? Why do we cling to it like Linus clings to his security blanket?

I just referenced a comic strip that ended in 2000 only because the creator died.

I just referenced a comic strip that ended in 2000 only because the creator died.

I’m not going to argue the merits of Peanuts, the Stones, the Dead, or any other old thing that is gone or still somehow carrying on. But when are we going to let go a little bit. I like Marc Bolan and T.Rex over Taylor Swift but that doesn’t make the present worse any more than it makes the past better.

 

History needs to be explored and learned from, not turned into a fetish. The Stones look like corpses left out in the sun and they’re charging an arm and a leg for tickets. They can do that because people are convinced they need to see them. They have been playing the same setlist the same way for thirty years, give or take a “Harlem Shuffle”, “Mixed Emotions”, “Love Is Strong” or whatever song was the hit from the latest album. If I were Keith Richards I wouldn’t even attempt to play guitar. I’d just stand onstage and smirk at the audience.

 

When are we going to sweep the deck and kill the past? When are we going to make our own new idols and totems and force them on our children when we get older? “Back in my day, we only had 4G phones when we wanted to take pictures of the stage. AND WE HAD TO DRIVE TO THE SHOW. None of this teleportin’ you kids get to do. We had to travel in real time.”