Gimme Back My Bullets

Still a little hazy from the family get-together last weekend but not so much so that I don’t remember this outstanding performance by Cheap Trick as they covered Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Back My Bullets” during an AXS TV (“One More the Fans”) airing of various and tremendously talented performers doing Skynyrd tunes. While the other bands did their songs by the numbers (and sounded awesome doing it) Robin Zander and Cheap Trick topped that by bringing me back to that era just by NOT playing by the numbers and attacking the song with sheer attitude. Given that Cheap Trick and Skynyrd were contemporaries in the seventies, maybe my new “it takes one to know one” theory applies. Here’s a copy of that performance…

 

Jimmy

Heat Wave

Given the ridiculously fiery temperatures here in Philly lately, I thought I’d cool us all off with a little humor ala Rodney Dangerfield and Henny Youngman…

It’s so hot I demanded to have my tonsils re-inserted just for the ice cream.

It’s so hot that the local wildlife formed a committee demanding access to my air conditioning. (To their credit, they made a strong, well thought-out concession by begrudgingly yet willingly use the toilet while simultaneously promising not to pee in my barbecue grill for the next 3 months. In return, I receive a year’s supply of acorns but I hadda agree to flush the aforementioned toilet insomuch as the little varmints can’t reach the flapper. Man did I get the better end of that deal!)

Speaking of wildlife, the owl outside my window went from saying “who” to saying “what the f#&k?”.

A local chef told me that the lobsters are now voluntarily jumping into the pot.

It’s so hot that even South America is making fun of us. (Hey, at least we’ve never had to resort to eating our shoelaces, man.) Actually and having said it, I think I’ll book a flight to Africa just to cool off for a week.

It’s so hot that I suddenly got the hallucination that Donald Trump is president.

Now should the power suddenly cut out, here’s a few vital steps that will need to be taken…

  1. Open the windows as to let as much fresh air as possible in.
  2. Fill your bathtub with fresh water before you lose that option too.
  3. Go looting.  There’s a reason why we’re the greatest country in the world and we didn’t earn that distinction by sitting around being pansy-asses. (Anybody up for two hundred rolls of paper towels?)

As if things weren’t bad enough, I think that I finally figured the connection from David Bowie back down to Iggy Pop and the Stooges thru The Velvet Underground.  They don’t sing.  These bands vocalize their lyrics thru the spoken word or at least a sing-song version of it.   To prove my point I’ll ask you to listen to Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing”, Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” and Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” which I, being a benevolent host, have conveniently supplied below…

 

I think the cool thing is that only took me 50 years to catch up with this concept.

Jimmy

Here We Go Again

In writing 15+ pieces, I’ve learned alot about myself…

  1. Based on the hit statistics for this blog, I’ve gotta be the most boring, least entertaining writer in history.  Chuck’s better and more consice but even he’s having trouble to help this site find an audience.
  2. That I can now statistically prove my status as a borderline dunce has only inspired me to up my game so as to gain the immortal rank of “dazzling idiot”.  A goal that I can assure you I take seriously. So here’s some more buffoonery for those of you that somehow managed to keep reading to this point…

Anthony Bourdain died this past week. The man was a hero to me in his irreverance for common social standards and in regards to his approach to the food and travel world. His ability and desire to introduce, invite, explain and ultimately unite the viewers/readers into his adventures made him different. There’s just nobody like him and what Chuck might call someone who “pushes it forward”. In my mind, there are three great modern writers, Mike Royko, Hunter Thompson and Dave Barry.  I added Tony to my list some time ago and regret not saying so before.

As low as my standards might be, I usually stay away from poop comedy but I couldn’t help noticing the talking box in my morning commercials that explains how you can achieve colonoscopy-like results by simply sitting down on the toilet and mailing  your “sample” to ’em.  Having gone thru a colonoscopy this sounds like an award-winning idea to me with some important qualifications:

  1. If I understand the process correctly, you poop as usual and then have to somehow fish out your poop sample (tweezers?, gardening shovel?), bag it, tag it and then send it out thru the mail to the intended destination.
  2. Whoever’s on the receiving end of the sample-mailing has my undying respect.  How would like to hear this while your munching on your morning bagel when someone yells out, “Hey Ralph! I have 40 boxes of s#*t for ya today!” and know they’re being literal? I assume the recipients have to don biohazard suits while thinking “what happened to my career and biology degree?” but yet accept more of a paycheck than the average bear might get.  (Well deserved in my opinion.)
  3. I can’t dispense medical advice insomuch as I’m not a physician but colon cancer is serious. I CAN encourage all readers to consult their doctor about this topic.

We all have common fears like mine whether it be rattlesnakes, ticks, standing in waist-deep water on a beach in Cape Cod where Great White sharks are known to inhabit while somebody on the beach might realize they have to suddenly go into red-alert mode like the girl in “Jaws” if they spot an unusually large dorsal fin (or any other dorsal fin for that matter) cutting thru the surface, Nazi air raids, the moon suddenly and inexplicably ramming into planet earth, etc…

I DO NOT like telling people what to do on this blog but I’ll say this. Live like Anthony Bourdain.

Fearlessly.

Jimmy

 

Doctor, Doctor, Tell Me the News

I recently received a jury summons whereby I gotta report to the local county to serve as a juror.  Luckily I also gotta document from my neurologist stating that I’m “unfit” for such duty and therefore must be exempted for such a task. The note from my doctor was put in such nice, polite terms that I started feeling like some kinda wuss.

I’dda much preferred a more intense, raplike version of the note whereby sayin’ “MY PATIENT AIN’T DOIN’ NO S#&T LIKE DAT!!! HE BE A SUFFERIN’ MOTHERF@%&ER AND DON’T NEED TO BE F*%^IN’ AROUND WIT NO MOTHERF&**ERS LIKE YOU!! THE NEXT TIME YOU FIGURE ON SENDIN’ SOME JURY SUMMONS TO MY PATIENT JUST WRITE IT, EAT IT AND THEN SHOOT IT OUTTA YO ASS!!

Moving right along, Chuck stopped over for a visit on Sunday so’s we’d indulge in a buncha food that’s bad for ya, watch the golf tournament and root for our favorite players.  A few beers later, it occurred to us that we’d wanna keep an eye on player Jon Rahm and cheer for him to snap a club in half (which he almost did), cast the now divided club into the gallery and subsequently be brought up on assault and battery charges.  Didn’t happen, but hey, the season is still young.

I dunno why but we’re regularly gettin’ hits from China.  If their spyin’ on us to gain more knowledge of the American intellect then they’re wasting their time.  Otherwise, I say “Welcome!”, it’s beyond cool to have friends from the other side of the world.

Short post today but keep readin’ and thanks for doin’ it.  Ya never know what we’ll say next.

Jimmy

Catchin’ Up (Or Down)

I damn near got myself into a traffic collision today because I was driving at the blazing speed of 8mph (It’d be interesting to get pulled over for this one with the cop asking “Do u have ANY idea of how fast you were going? Me: I dunno, seven?”) which caused me to spin out on my downhill right turn comin’ off a stop sign.  You may be asking yourself, “Jimmy why r u boring us with a story about an accident that never happened?”  I’ll tell you why.  I hadda semi-trailer boss/teacher who instructed me at one point to assume that everyone else on the road is an idiot and therefore can’t be trusted. Normally solid advice but in this case the person driving the oncoming vehicle was going slowly enough as well and also had the wherewithal to swerve around me. I wish I knew who that was cuz I wanna buy ’em a steak dinner.

Chuck’s column about Daoud Shaw was so well written and poignant that I recommend every visitor read it. We call it “One in a Million”

Moving right along, I actually watched the Oscar awards in hopes that someone would say something bat s@%t crazy. Didn’t work out that way but it was amusing that some very low-level celebrity tried to steal Frances McDormand’s “Best Actress” award for 2017.  The guy got busted for it and is now up on felony theft charges.  This reminds me of a story from a few years ago where Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel had his Super Bowl rings stolen from his home. Why would anybody do this considering they’re now involved in a felony grand larceny?  Yes, I’ve heard of international thieves who steal valuable diamonds, ancient treasures and artistic masterpieces before but who can they show them to? Who can they sell them to? What satisfaction can be gotten that’s worth the risk of a 12 year prison term?

I was confronted recently with clamshell packaging almost resulting in a wound you’d normally associate with a mountain climber’s fall or suicide attempter (NO DAMMIT! I was just trying to open a package!!) Why can’t they make these things easier to deal with?

Luckily, all the news isn’t negative insomuch as I just learned about a new phenomonon called “Drunken Shopping” (Thank you God) which apparently involves people getting blasted, buying a bunch of stuff they don’t want or isn’t the right size or color when they eventually sober up and then humbly bring the object back the next day demanding a refund as tho it was the store’s fault. If anyone’s looking for a candidate for a new Olympic sport I believe we’ve just hit gold here.

Imagine the announcers play-calling: “Ilsa from Poland has exhibited exquisite form here with her irrational demands for a refund putting the Polish team solidly in the lead!!”

“Juanita from Guatemala has just gone down in aisle ten!!! She looked like she had control of her shopping cart but we’ll hafta go to Paula down on the field for her take on this stunning development!!!”

(Paula) It doesn’t look good here, Jim. Stumbling in a sideways fashion is bad enough but a full-on falldown will take her and her team out of medal contention.”

“Here comes Team USA!!! The sweater choices and sizes have been solid and sensible so far but OH NO!!! Megan just puked on one of the garments costing them valuable style points!!”

I swear to God that I could do this all day.

Thanks for reading and do be sure to hit Mamemagazine.com for great content about music, comedy and current events.

Oh yes.

Jimmy

 

 

One In A Million

Daoud Shaw. An Appreciation. I first had the pleasure of meeting Daoud back in the spring of 2000. I was in a Philly area band called Third Level and we decided that we wanted to record our first (and only) album entitled, “Altered Horizons”. Our guitarist had a friend who had recorded at this little studio out in Andorra on the edge of Philly. So after a couple of introductory phone calls and e-mails, we set up our first recording session. Prior to recording, I did a little research on the owner/producer of this little studio called Radioactive Productions. The guy’s name was Daoud Shaw. I didn’t know the name, but the resume leaped off the page. He played with Van Morrison, he was the original drummer in the SNL band, he toured with Etta James (and by extension, the Rolling Stones), he was in the Jerry Garcia Band and on and on and on it went. I can fully admit this now. I was unbelievably, off the charts intimidated at the prospect of recording with this guy and a little worried that he might be an egotistical jerk. Then I met him. I have never been more wrong about anything in my entire life. Daoud was as genuine and as kind and as sweet a person as I have ever known.  We all immediately felt right at home. Literally. We were in his home. He was always so welcoming. That studio was so comfortable and Daoud was the main reason why.

Over the next 6 years, we recorded a number of projects with Daoud. My favorite times in the studio were the times in between takes. When we would all just talk. Daoud would offer (almost always correctly) advice on how to make the song better or different or more appealing. We would be sitting there like little kids asking him about all of the famous people he had met and worked with. There was never and I mean NEVER, a hint of “Look at me and who I know” about Daoud. He was so incredibly humble and so incredibly sweet. Instead of hearing wild stories about Mick and Keith, we would hear fantastic little stories about him going out cymbal shopping with Charlie Watts. Or about the days up in Woodstock, NY when he was recording the “His Band And The Street Choir” album with Van Morrison. Or about when he recorded a ton of TV commercial jingles out in LA.  I learned SO much about the recording process from Daoud. Playing music is an art. Recording music is a science. And Daoud was a mad scientist in that little studio. He helped us create things we never thought possible. I remember one late Friday night where we had laid down an acoustic track that just featured vocals and acoustic guitar. We all agreed that something else was needed. That something was Daoud. He (again, 100% correctly) suggested some light percussion. Well, when you’re in the presence of one of the world’s greatest percussionists, it would be foolish not to at least ask him to play. He didn’t want to. Not out of ego or anything like that. “This is your project”, he kept gently telling us. It might have been the late hour, or maybe he was just tired of us all whining at him, but he finally agreed. He played the shakers and the triangle and, best of all, he let me run the board. I was in heaven. I got to watch the master at work (he played brilliantly) and I got to be the apprentice to the mad scientist. It’s a cherished memory that will stay with me forever.

I think the thing I loved most about knowing Daoud laid beyond the studio. He was, at his core and in his soul, a wonderful, peaceful, funny, beautiful person. During breaks, we would hang outside of his house and just talk. And laugh. Lots of laughter. We wouldn’t talk about music. Just about life. He was so fascinating to listen to. I think I enjoyed those times outside more than when we were inside recording. Daoud was a uniquely special person. I fought back tears this morning when I learned of his passing. But for as long as I’m allowed to stay on this earth, I will be eternally happy that our paths crossed and that I got to know Daoud as well as I did and that I got to consider him a friend.

Rest in Peace, my friend. And Make A Joyful Noise.

Chuck

Random Thoughts Part II

True story.  35 years ago I hadda supermarket job stocking shelves when one day while I was stacking canned green beans a guy comes along claiming he was the original Jolly Green Giant.  His wife/significant other reassured me that this was true but I wasn’t buying it although I nodded at ’em as though I was.  Can u blame me? How many people do u come across in life who claim to be the f#%@ing Jolly Green Giant???

Secondly, we’ve hadda few hits from Canada recently and I feel the need to give ’em a shout-out.  Yep, the next time anyone in the U.S. decides to call u a bunch of backwoods, syrup-slurpin, seal clubbin’ yahoos, rest assured I’ve got yer back.  Despite the many complex and almost desperate issues going on with the Mexican border these days it’s reassuring to know that NO ONE (not even Donald Trump) is planning to build a wall between the USA and Canada.  Why u ask?  The Canucks would rather freeze to death than associate with us and recipricuosly Americans aren’t that much interested in our northern neighbor seeing as we can freeze OUR asses off just fine in New Hampshire, Montana and Alaska when necessary.

The New England Patriots have suddenly decided to get all spooky again. NEVER count out Tom Brady. The Pats/Raiders and Eagles/Cowboys games are gonna be good watching this weekend.

Just a few thoughts and until next time keep a cold one in the cooler for me.

Jimmy