Friday, January 31, 2003

I applaud Bill Edwards for being a gun owner, teaching gun safety, and not falling into the tired old trap of having to define himself as a conservative or NRA guy. Guns are still a problem in this country and it does need to be talked about. Hope everyone doesn't get so involved compensating for their manhood with their guns that they can't even have a reasonable dialog about it.

Here's my fundamental problem with the Iraq thing: how does this constitute "protecting our freedom" as we've heard so much? Is Iraq on the verge of overthrowing the US? I don't think so. This idea that we must have war in order to avoid war reminds me of the famous caption in one of my history books, where the general from vietnam is justifying that "we had to burn this village in order to save it." The evidence that Iraq is harboring terroists is flimsy at best. I heard Rummy last month say something to the effect that there's no time to wait for proof. Is Saddam likely to allow rogue terrorists into his country? If you were a terrorist, wouldn't Iraq be the last damn place on your list of countries to be?

As to the notion of fighting back, Al Qaeda attacked us, not Iraq. Is this transference? We can't get Osama, so we'll get these other guys instead. The terrorists are the major threat. There is no doubt they would use awful weapons against us. The fight against terrorism must be more than weapons and missiles and soldiers, however. This is very much a battle of the minds. The Iraq invasion will create more terrorists against us, and that is more dangerous than the poison gas stockpile itself. Dangerous weapons are available in nearly every country. Part of the effort against terrorism means defying their worst expectations of us and forming a real worldwide coalition dedicated to the principles of the sanctity of life.

Poison gas. If we’re so worried about him using it, what better way to guarantee it than storming the gates. Iraq knows good and well that one move like that and it is blown off the radar. Gone. Iraq has been deterred from using these weapons, but now we risk pushing them to use these weapons. By contrast, Al Qaeda terrorists are not deterrable in the classic sense and have much stronger connections to other countries, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Yes, Saddam is a tyrant. Democracy would be better. But can we seriously go in, remove Saddam, and set up a government like our own for their people? Democracies must be for the people, by the people. I don’t see it as our place to form their governing system by military overthrow. It is for the Iraqi people to form their own democracy, and in that effort we should do whatever we can to help, but it is not for us to decide. What happened to “humble” foreign policy? So again, how does any of this relate to protecting our freedom? Why role the dice on Armageddon when there is no clear reason to do so? Clearly an Armageddon type of situation will likely result from reaping the whirlwind of terrorism. A unilateral invasion of a nation in the middle east fosters the climate of terrorism. We become “the man” keeping them down.

In the face of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, some disturbing elements come to contrast. Iraq is oil-rich, and North Korea isn't. Saddam tried to kill poppy Bush and Kim Jong-il didn’t. North Korea is 6 months away from nuclear weapons and Iraq isn't. We need to do better than this. I’m praying to Rick’s dressed-up black Jesus right now that the majority of voters don’t vote for Bush in 2004. Oh yeah, I forgot, that doesn’t matter...

here is another

Whew. Frank's letter was amazing. One of the worst things for me about growing up in a strict, religiously fundamentalist home (and i could go on and on here) was those weird comics, which I think is what you're talking about Chris (and I didn't know you went to Tri-Cities Christian) where people become demon possessed and all kinds of invasive "witnessing" goes on. The art is really terrifying and incredibly well done---disturbing. I would spend nights unable to sleep, worried demons would inhabit me when I was a kid. It was so incredibly unhealthy, and not only unChristian (those comics) but Satanic and inhumane. So much fear mongering from the religious right. Some people just don't get a metaphor, and, as a result, become inhabited by the very evil they preach against..

By the way Marcel, Dave says "Hi!"

Since we are posting our favorite sites heres one of mine.

more people have been killed by ted kennedy's car than my gun

Damn, Marcel Yoda is here. He should remember Joe Godsey, anyway, here's my two cents:

Well spoken Tad.

And as a side note, where is it written that gun owners must be conservative? I own guns, enjoy shooting them, believe in not only the second amendment but the rest of the constitution as well and have no trouble calling myself liberal. Heck, I have helped teach gun safety for the NRA, without actually being a member. Here's is something fun to do; point out to an NRA memeber that signing an NRA petition is a form of gun registration as it gives the government a list of gun owners...... it makes the paranoia grow like kudzu on a warm spring day..............

Marcel, I was eating a taco at the time.

Fellow bloggers,

It's been fun reading today's posts. I miss seeing all you guys.

I'd like to put a little (and I stress the word "little" here) historical perspective on a couple of the issues that have been raised. These are not statements of opinion. I'll get to those later.

I'll start with Brook's memory of a mild night at Melubro. It reminded me that the turn of many centuries has been accompanied by a sense of apocolysm, usually fermented by religious hardliners. Somehow, they got it in their timetable that each turn would mark cataclysmic events, which they hoped would bring them closer to the diety. Revivalist sentiment was always strong for the years proceeding each '00 -- conservatives worked to control the social agendas, and many blind souls were made to see. All the better to weight down the collection plates. And of course, nothing truly Apocolyptic ever happened (in the Biblical sense, anyway).

We were all fortunate enough to grow up in the late 20th century, where the rapid rise of technology met squarely the predictible return of the revivalists -- and we got bonus points for the Millenium. From the world wars and the Holocaust to the cold war, we've been building toward something like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think Brook's question about the dominant myth is appropriate, but the other possible factors she brought up are resonant as well. While the thought of an "Armageddon" may sound hopeless and ridiculous to many of us on the blog, such moments have been greatly desired by many others. Those on the religious right, trained for goosestep behind Republican administrations that have cowtowed to its fringe, believe George Bush is the right man for this era, and would not even consider his possible role as antichrist (I slipped into opinion mode there). People frustrated by the presidential election and those the administration chose to lead key departments (justice, defense) may fall into another category Brook mentioned, "maybe nothing matters and whatever Bush Jr. does, there ain't shit we can do about it." (Which reminds me, did any of you notice that for this State of the Union Address, John Ashcroft was the cabinet member squirreled away in a discreet location? If I were a praying man, I would have gotten down on my knees and begged that the Capital would not be attacked Tuesday night, because we really haven't seen shit).

I read Frank's letter with a lot of interest. A couple quick thoughts on it: First, the U.S. Patriot Act has a built-in sunset clause, and we should all keep an eye on that date (I can't remember it off the cuff) and plan to make sure our leaders do, as well. Constitutional crises have been around for every major American war since the Revolution. My personal choice for the hall of shame is the Japanese interment camps, though on second thought, the Trail of Tears was way fucked up, too. So far, the closest we've come to that since Sept. 11 is racial profiling of Muslim churches, a feat recently accomplished by the FBI. The Pentagon's attempt for passage of the Total Information Control bill(or something so-1984 like that), appears to be in trouble now, with bipartisan worries about its infringement on Americans' privacy. House Speaker Dennis Hastert himself has said he doubts it will survive. Good for him. That's not to say that Justice won't try an end-around.

Frank also made interesting points about how the administration has discouraged dissent. The good news on that is that Bush used it during the midterm elections to fight Democratic candidates who had sided with him on both international and domestic issues. The general election survivors are now pissed, realizing they were had by Karl Rove and the boys. Seeing that they still have enough votes to not only prevent 60-40 passage of key Bush legislation, but also override vetos, they are acting as though they have balls, vowing not to play with Georgie any more. And with primaries in sight, potential Democratic candidates appear willing to break step with the predominant rhetoric and hit Bush in what is for now his weakest spot, international affairs. This is a president who for years has prided himself on tackling one issue at a time, and now he is faced with at least five that should resonate in the campaigns. It will be interesting to see how he handles them.

But all that is down the road. Now we have Dubya increasingly talking loud and carrying the big stick. In one sense, there is good reason for it. America's traditionally opportunistic approach to foreign policy in the last century created many enemies who at last found a charismatic and financially able leader in Osama bin Ladin. (By the way, whatever happened to that guy?) Our coddling of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war also helped create and feed a beast. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any doubt that he is dangerous to us. Now the question becomes, how do we deal with the mess we've made? What we have done for a decade now is remain basically at war with Iraq, patrolling the no-fly zones and engaging Iraqi aircraft and land stations on a regular basis. This guy wouldn't dare go beyond his borders at this point. He knows it would be career suicide, and even he knows he's got a pretty good thing going for himself these days -- he's well protected by bodyguards, can fuck or kill anything he wants in his own borders, and makes money selling oil on the black market. The issue that Bush brought up the other night -- accusing Saddam of making nice with al-Qaeda, is frightening if true. So the game goes on -- rush in without international support, and the already troubled economy tanks further, more lives are lost, Israel takes at least a couple hits from ballistic missiles loaded with chemical weapons (Patriot missiles did not work the first time around), and extremists around the world find yet another reason to hate our fucking guts. Go in with international support -- and that's a bigger problem than the last time around, because the administration's unilateralist leanings have alienated us from just about everyone except Tony Blair -- and most of the downside still comes our way. Do we prefer our pancakes with elephant shit or donkey shit?

I don't really think we're looking at Armegeddon or anything close. But something wicked is definitely going to happen, and we'll never really know jack-shit about the people who will suffer the most. It is definitely time to reasses our diplomatic position with the big Middle-Eastern oil producers, particularly in Saudi Arabia, whose leaders have for years played the game of "pay off the Imams and let them run the schools and teach propaganda," in exchange for the shieks' security and continued financial dominance.

Let's all hope we can find some visionary leaders we can vote for, guys who don't screw the pooch so badly in the general election campaigns (sorry, Mr. Gore) that they leave themselves open to the kind of unbelievable monkey business that took place in Florida, or subject to having their potential voters taken away from them by unelectable third-party candidates.


Rick, I don't think that the blogger was up and running at that time. If it was, oh well. What were you doing???

WOW. Where were were y'all when President Clinton ordered the bombing of Belgrade, which led to a regime change in Serbia?

Was Milosevich a direct threat to the United States?

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Here's a relevant JC story...
I forget the occasion, but there was a party at the old apartment at Meleubro. There was a bunch of people on the balcony -- Eric Youngquist, Sindy Byrd, Liz Turnbull, Lynn Youngquist, Paul Eckleman... too many to remember. It must have been 1988. It was a mild JC night, drinking Tequilla and cavorting over Roan Street, discussing all kinds of crazy stuff when someone asked if we thought we'd ever see Armageddon. To my utter surprise, most on the balcony answered in the affirmative. as in, we would be the generation that stood watch as is all went up in flames. only one of us had the excuse of a fundamentalist upbringing. the rest -- we just believed it. took it for granted, even.

so what gives? is this part of our collective psyche? do you fellow bloggers feel this way? is it bracing for the worst so anything less than Armageddon will seem like a life well-lived? or have we just absorbed the dominant myth to the point of embracing the thought of going out with a big bang? maybe every generation thinks they are the last in line. but doesn't that seem hopeless and ridiculous?

maybe our generation had a vision. maybe the intuition was right. maybe nothing matters and whatever Bush Jr. does, there ain't shit we can do about it. but, all things being equal -- isn't it better to be a thorn in the ass of Armageddon, rather than an accomplice?

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." -- Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials (

Pronunciation: 'sär-"ka-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan thwar&s- to cut
Date: 1550
1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2 a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b : the use or language of sarcasm


War is a terrible thing, but it is not the most terrible of all.  The idea that nothing is worth fighting for is the worst of all.  The goal of war is to ensure peace.  If we did not stand up and fight for what we believe in, then we would surely be overrun and our freedoms would be taken away.   There are genuinely evil people in the world.  If these people are not dealt with, then they will take over.  They do not care about being nice, keeping peace, or what others think.  They take pleasure in seeing others suffer.  If war is inevitable, people will die.  That happens in war.  Iraqi's are currently being tortured and killed for the simple reason that they expressed their opinion.  This is one of our most treasured freedoms, but we would not have this freedom is we did not have the freedom to keep and bear arms.
However, if you feel the need to support Saddam's dictatorship, then by all means go ahead and protest against America, while you still have the right to.

Those commercials are sponsored by a group called Win Without War. There's also a Susan Saradon spot which features a former ambassador to Iraq. You can see them here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Old bands from the early early scene:

Blind Joe Godsey

The Castrol Brothers

Big Jim Mahoney and the Sweetwater Texas Boys

In response to the state of the union and war---a Methodist bishop in Nashville created an anti-war commercial with actress Janine Gerafolo (am spelling her name all wrong, but I think she's really cool). Anyhow, it'll only be aired in Washington and N.Y. darn. the 776th here in e-town has been deployed and leaves tomorrow---big parade at 8 a.m.

There's another show I can try to bludgeon my vcr into taping! Thanks for the heads up, Bobby!

To my surprise, The Pleztones’ set from December 27 was aired on Charter last night at 8:00 p.m. I guess now they will re-run the show at the same time as usual; Friday at 11:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. I watched the first couple of songs while on break from class last night. Everything looked and sounded good. Donna watched most of it, between getting the kid ready for bed. She said something weird happened with the sound by the end, where the film and sound became off sync. I wonder if it will run that way again on Friday and Sunday or if it will be fixed.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

in honor of the state of the union address i have posted some video i shot at the war protest last october in dc.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Chris, Thanks for the Tim Paretti photos. There's a guy who could make his bones picking in any American city, yet he chooses Abingdon, Va. What a twisted masochist, and an incredible musician and songwriter. It looks like those Tim photos might have come from a Clear show. Clear -- another band as yet unmentioned on the blog, also wiped their bee-hinds with the so-called auteurs of the so-called jam band scene. Right before them, Tim had the Electric String Band, with Dave Seay (!).

Those pics remind me of my favorite Tim Paretti story. He was one of my groomsmen, and as such supped with us at the rehearsal dinner. My then-3-year-old nephew, Dylan, got a look at Tim and began laughing pretty much non-stop until he just got too tired to make a laughing sound. My Dad told me later that he asked Dylan why he had laughed so hard at Tim, and Dylan said, "He has a tail!" Said tail would be the extry-long goatee you see dangling from Paretti's chin in the photos.

I concur on the Shazam.
Best $5 spent thus far on music this year.
They got another $20 bucks out of me on CD purchases.
Listening to Godspeed The Shazam at the moment.

I thought they said Feb. 28th. No date posted on their web site.
Took some shots of the band...will post them (if any turned out OK).

And next time for The Shazam is, I believe, Feb. 20th, also at the Casbah.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Anybody who missed seeing The Shazam Friday should make plans to see them next time. I had forgotten how much fun it is to hear a band for the first time at a live show like that.

Barb, would that be the 12, or the 14.5 volt model?

The 1991 horse head. I remember seeing that thing at Mike's apartment. It was dark out, and, yep, definitely a horse head. What the hell?

Love those pictures of Tim Peretti. What an anomaly he is. Saw him a couple weekends ago at a Darden Smith show at Down Home.

Went to see the Shazam and became bored. Couldn't hear the words. Sorry everyone. There was a real blonde guy/chick playing, and Tom and I kept debating if the human was male or female, but anyway he/she had a great haircut. I've decided to get my hair cut like that guy/chick this week---70's shag, lots of layers, Joan Jettish. I'll probably have to use lots of Bed Head to make it look right. Don't know why the band bored me. I'm so into compilations these days. I make a lot of tapes with a lot of stuff mixed together---lately Lauryn Hill, Greg Brown, Aimee Mann, J.J. Cale, World Party, Beastie Boys, Breeders, Buddy Guy. The same sound for too long just makes me want to sleep. Maybe I should have stuck it out longer.

Actually, I believe it's "The Black & Decker Pecker Wrecker"

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Tony, the letters were intended as an aid to those readers unable to express themselves due to shyness or illiteracy. If one wishes to write a heading that specifically includes New York Art Fags, to the exclusion of Hillbilly Art Fags, Artsie Mountain Folk, and Transplanted Hillbilly Art Fags by way of Chicago, then of course that would be to writers discrestion.

As to my spelling of Skynyrd, I stand by the creative impulse that caused me to write in colloquialisms, much the same as Faulkner, Lee, or Twain.

Are you sure you are not upset that you were not named a hottie??

James....That would be Black & Decker

Friday, January 24, 2003

who makes the noisiest blowjob?

I want to thank Scott Pleasent for his support on the all important “Lynyrd Skynyrd must be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” issue. I have recently learned that Scott has been on the soap box about this issue for well over a year now, long before I took up the flag. Due to his early support, and after consultation with Kurt and Julie,,,, well actual consultation on this did not take place you understand but I am pretty sure they would agree with me here,,,,,and due to Scott giving me a subscription to his fine E-Zine, the committee has decided to confer upon Scott Pleasent the title of “Hottie” and with it all the rights, benefits, and privileges thereof. Scott, you must always remember to use your power for good, not evil, as with great power goes great responsibility. (Also you should avoid contact with kryptonite, garlic, and the color yellow,,,,it’s all in the manual)

Now many of you may be saying to yourselves, “Gee Bill, I would love to help, but what can I, a poor hard working (insert profession here) do to make a difference?” Well, you could write a letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee and demand that this oversight be corrected. Their address again is:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104

Not good with words? Feel free to cut and paste one of the following sample letters:

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Committee

A grave oversight has taken place in the nomination process for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Surely it could not be the intention of the committee to overlook the contributions of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Based on the published criteria for inclusion, Lynyrd Skynyrd should have been inducted on first ballot. In addition to their voluminous sale of lp’s, their music has inspired two generations of southern musicians, and influenced so many of the leading performers of our time. Further it should be noted that Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote and performed songs about racial harmony, gun control, and the harm of drug abuse, often against the grain of their times and fan base.”

or if you prefer a more direct approach you could cut and paste the following:

“Dear Ass Clowns and Art Fags.

What are you? Fucking stupid? I guess if a band has not never earned a living selling ass in Mannha,,,Manth,,,,Manhatt,,,,New fucking York, then they don’t belong in the rock and roll hall of fame. Well that is just fucking stupid. Lynard Skynard kicks the living shit out of all those new york art faggot bands. Heres a question for ya:

Q: Why did the southern man drive 800 miles to new york city?

A: Cause somebody needs thier ass kicked for not haveing Lynard Skynard in the fucking rock and roll hall of fame.”

Thank you all for your kind and prompt attention. I know that together we can make a difference!

Eeewww, severed heads. True story. Mike Hilliard lived on the Old Jonesborough Highway, circa 1991. One day he said, "I need you to look at something in the back yard, and tell me if it is what I think it is." Just at the edge of the parking lot, in some weeds, was the head of a horse. It wasn't gross, nothing runny or bloody or partially eaten or mutilated, just kind of dry and shrivelled up and THERE. It was late fall, pretty cold, and the head wasn't breaking down very fast, but it was for-a-fact real. Nobody could come up with ANY explanation, not even one involving aliens. Then one day it just disappeared. It was there for about a week after discovery, then just vanished. Lots of people saw it. We mulled over calling the authorities but never did. No one ever came around asking questions, so presumably nobody else called, either. So that leaves us with not only who put it there, but also who took it away.

My favorite Tad Dickens story does not involve the Johnson City Scene,,, it involves Tad, A tuba player (a neurotic bunch in thier own right), A slaughtered Goat's head, A Sullivan South Chorus director, and the Kingsport Police Department tracking and studying occult based satanic crime in Kingsport as a result..........(I think they still do!)

Thursday, January 23, 2003

speaking of drummers -- we all have drummer stories, don't we?

my favorite drummer story of the moment is Mark Ryalls at the Library in Knoxville. he had a difficult evening, with his stool falling off the back of the way-too-small drum riser the good folks at the Library had recently built. toward the end of the nite -- after falling off the back of the riser for the last time -- he picked up his throne (stool, whatever) and threw it at full pissed-off-drummer-velocity into the audience. it's a wonder no one had to be rushed to the emergency room. it's a wonder they ever booked the nightmares again. god, i hated that place. every time i went there it seemed like some lite-beer-drinking-frat-boy wanting to start some shit with the fucked-up-hippie-chicks.

i'm trying to think of a good Tad Dickens story. Tad's more of a constant phenomena than a series of stories -- such an awesome drummer. The whole nightmares saga going from Mark to Tad as drummers, probably bears some reflection. the drummers had such a strong influence on the band, which i think really says something about the gestalt of what the nightmares were. neither drummer was better because they are both the fucking greatest... just so different. one metal and the other mathematical. both are such aggressive, stylistic musicians! such a joy to see perform.

the Deadbeats were a great band. i don't know if we've mentioned them in the Hall of Fame thread. they were post-Nightmares. Brian, John, Tad and the incredible Tim Paretti -- 1991, 92, 93, maybe. I have a video that Keith Smith shot of the Deadbeats at the Offshore Cafe that will peel your eyelids off. "Shameless" is the word that comes to mind. this was the jam band from FUCKING hell. not any of that wimpyass phish jamming bullshit. these guys wanted your fucking attention and weren't going to stop until they got it. not if it took ALL NITE -- a 20 minute version of Orange Blossom Special -- "did i hear someone ask for a 20 minute rocket trip to bluesville? lets go!" you have to be heavily committed to the project to go 20 minutes on OBS. your audience has to be mighty forgiving for 20 minutes of OBS -- but there we were on that sweaty, beer soaked astroturf, hanging on every note. i am so ashamed, but better for it. what a great band!

never thought I'd say this, but i miss the Offshore! what a great club. that place had the best atmosphere. tiny, ambitious, in a very cool downtown spot. served great food and beer. i have nothing but great memories of the Offshore.

as i remember the Deadbeats played their final gig at Richard A's -- or whatever name it was operating under at the time (Legends? Fat Mo's Sports Palace?). and the audience was incredible! the place was packed with people who "got it" about this band and were there for the duration -- 20 minute Orange Blossom Specials and all. such love in the room!

if you've never seen the Shazam, you are in for a real treat. i love everything about this band, but my very favorite part is Scott, the drummer. he has such great style. keith moon would nod (off) approvingly.


Yes I did tape it. My VCR is mono though. Will be taping again on Friday night and/or Sunday.

I plan on going to the Shazam show Friday night.


Wednesday, January 22, 2003

p.s. How do I post without having the word (edit) in purple at the end? Sorry.

Barbara, it was James Carville who made the crack about putting hollywood types in the coal mines at $6.30 an hour and see how they'd fare. Carville is interesting even when he's not speaking, because he looks like he could actually be a reptile.

It appears that CBS has put its new hillbillies thing on hold for now, due to a rural advocacy group out of West Virginia, the center for rural strategies, or something like that. The advocates put huge ads in the LA, Chicago and New York dailies, decrying what it said was the network's latest attempt to perpetuate the Appalachian stereotype. I'd just love to see what CBS would actually do with the thing, especially if it wound up using some crafty country people who "played the hillbilly" to fool the execs into hiring them for the show, then took it and ran in Beverly Hills.

When I lived in LA, there wasn't a day that passed in which I wasn't hit on for some spare change. I never passed through Beverly Hills without seeing some rags-clothed homeless guy parked on a bench next to a fabulous house. I would love to see a reality show in which greedy fuck Pat Robertson was placed in that situation. He could live in the carboard box city out by the train station, if gentrifiers haven't destroyed it by now. Better yet, I'd love to see the greedy fuck forced to participate in snake handling in northeast Alabama.

If ripping on Robertson sounds tired to any of you, I direct you to Palast is an American expatriate doing his work now for the British lefty press. Robertson gets more evil with each passing year. I watched the 700 Club the other night, and there he was, telling the faithful that their contributions could go to the far East, where it could get young women out of prostitution and buy them sewing machines and lessons. I can't decide which is worse, the whorehouse or the sweatshop. Robertson has made his decision, though. As he spoke, a photo of an attractive, hopeful-looking Asian woman flashed on the screen. But enough of that shit. OK, one more thing: Maybe he could be on a reality show in which he's a prison bitch at a high-security prison in Southern California. Trent Lott could be on that show too, and Jim Bakker could visit them to offer support and prayers. "We'll get through this with god's help," Bakker would tell them. "Just remember, when you lick the spoon, really lick it good. Get lots of saliva on there. Don't ask why. You'll thank me later." Ex-University of Mississippi cheerleader Lott would always have to wear a miniskirt for the rec yard ball games. Rah Rah!

I'd love to see a reality show in which Karl Rove attends university and gets an actual education, with his double-major and minors selected by the viewers. Then after graduation, the only job he can get is as a busboy, where he becomes addicted to cool-whip cans and is fired. He joins Robertson in either (and here's another online audience vote) the box city or prison.

I could do this all day, but I'd make you crazy.


Can't take credit for "moon floss." Unless, er...well, I can't even remember ever seeing that. Was it really stringy toilet paper? I remember writing something I was terribly pleased with in the bathroom in the restaurant part of the Pub. I sacrified an entire scarlet lipstick to accomplish this, but what the hell it was is totally gone. Why do I have this little stump of a memory? Nobody answer that. I remember someone had written "Kurt Hagardorn is sexy as hell" in the bathroom at the Down Home and the "y" in "sexy" had that jr. high curly-que on it. I was miffed at Kurt (this was a LONG time ago, probably '86 or '87) because in an early morning hours food fight at Perkins he had flung cranberry sauce on my white shirt, so I wrote underneath, "More sexy than cranberry sauce." I don't know exactly how that satisfied my urge for retribution, but it did. It also involved my resentment of that "y" and the ball point pen it was written in. Just a polaroid moment for you.

Other mistaken graffiti identity: There was a bench on campus near the Sherrod Library, that around fall of '85 sported the messages "Respect individuality" and "ETSU is soooo standard." I had yet to meet Brook and ascribed this, tragically, to Gretchen...oops, last name gone now. She was in my sculpture class. I heard she got yanked from school for buying pot with a check and writing "drugs" in the memo line. My question is, who the fuck cashed that bad boy? And then there was the peace sign atop the smoke stack at the physical plant, courtesy of Rodney Webb. When they sand-blasted it off, he climbed back up and put a red square there. They couldn't figure that out, so they left it. It was really scary, he said, because the little iron pegs you climbed up there on weren't cemented in and you could pull them out quite easily just by getting the edge of your shoe hung on them. He didn't discover this until he was so far up it was pointless to turn around. Well, I appreciated the effort. When Martin had that Peugeot he had masking tape on the rear window in the shape of a cross, with "Jesus" written on it one way and "Elvis" the other. I was walking down Pine Street when somebody hit Martin and the car in the intersection of Pine and Soutwest Ave. Martin was badly traumatized by the whole thing. I barely knew him at the time but I waited with him til the cops came 'cause I felt so bad for him. I knew they were going to try to give him shit because of the highly decorated and expressive nature of that car, and I just thought that was a damn shame. That may have been the first time I actually ever conversed with him.

I'd like to see Trent Lott living in an L.A. ghetto working at McDonald's, while we're dreamin'. And Jerry Falwell trying to push his politics in one of those cowboy gay bars in Des Moines----and getting it up the ass instead. Oooh, don't get me started.

Man, there used to be great graffiti in the girls bathroom at Down home, but now, it's all so mundane and typical. though i did see something written above the toilet paper that read, "moon floss", and I thought, that had to be Lisa Williams who wrote that. but I could be wrong.

RE the real beverly hillbillies -- i think there *could* be something interesting in the take on econimc class. i mean, people from the mountains are usually so unflappable in terms of getting stars in their eyes. it's one of my favorite east tenn qualities. but the first Beverly Hillbillies covered this pretty well and the nature of reality tv is to set people up to fail and then snicker at the fallout. i hope this doesn't happen. i hope that something sublime and beautiful comes from this study of mountain people, because the opportunity is certainly there. wouldn't it be more interesting to do a take on Survivor in which teams of Los Angeles movers and shakers come to East Tennessee and compete to survive on east tennessee wages, deprived of Starbucks and Neiman Marcus.

On TV recently someone was talking to some West Virginia mountain 'types' about the possibility of this Beverly Hillbillies knock off show and one of them said "Screw that, I'd like to see 'em bring four of those Hollywood fat cats to West Virginia, stick 'em in a coal mine and see how well they survive"

Here's my idea for a Nashville based (turning the tables) reality show: Send 15 Nashvillians into a grocery store without their fucking cell phones and see how long it takes them to freak out from lack of loud useless personal announcements.

I am officially old and bitter (not necessarily in that order)

Don't want to start a stampede, but I have located a tape source. Also, I have made a work-around for my VCR's problem, so I should have a copy after the show airs again Friday night. So I think you're covered, Kurtiss.

Dunno, the joke sounds pretty old and tired to me. I feel certain the executives would have their own ideas about what "mountain values" are and want to show only those which underline their view of what's "funny" (read: stereotypical.) Maybe it's just me, but I don't see an opportunity here to subvert the dominant paradigm the rest of America has about us. Mainstream tv has such a narrow view of what's funny, and it's all about beating horses that have mostly been dead for decades. Rightly or wrongly, the belief seems to prevail that it's the lowest common denominator that counts with the advertisers, witness the programming that we have.

In a related incident, Plez and I were eating sushi at Cafe 1-Eleven not too long ago, and a taping was going on for some "hillbilly" "reality" show, featuring a toothless family in overalls, doing take after take of "spontaneous" reactions like,"Goddamn! Yew mean it ain't been cooked ATALL?" and other brilliant, witty, fresh from the farm observations. Once and for all, let me put the lie to this hype that these shows are not scripted or rehearsed. We saw it. At least until we turned our backs around to the cameras, so they couldn't have our gorgeous mugs for free background scenery.

Hey Allan,
Did you tape the Plez/Nightmare show on the TV? We're supposed to get a copy from the cable company, but just in case I was wondering if someone taped it.

Snatches of Pink had a good album called "Send in the clowns". It had a song I really liked called "Travis". I saw them at the Highlander, with the rack tom/beer holder Gary mentioned. I asked them to play Travis, and they pretty much couldn't get through it, they being so very, very, drunk.

If I was in JC Friday, I'd go see The Shazam. They are he-men of rock that make me feel like a leetle girl in comparison.

Dirty, Dirty, Hippie.

hey guys cbs is looking at doing a show on the real beverly hillbillies ,,, i have spoken to one of the porducers and he assures me they want someone with hiogh self esteem who can have fun with all the weirdos in the land of fruits and nuts .. i think it would be good to show off some strong mt values .. we are funny look at big tom and Ralfe Stanley and the album they did "o brother" i aint ashamed of him heck he makes me proud .. it seems to me the people who want to victumize us un's are the yankee lib's and the like ... there is a JC family on ABC "my life is a sitcom" to be aired soon on the ABC family channel .. so this relates to JC stories i suppose ,, i just thought this would be a good subject for ya'll to sound off on ? or not ...

...or notepad for you M$ windoze guys and gals.

hey you guys... here's an admin thing.

Blog has been down for a day because it didn't like a "special character" (end of file) in on the of the posts. if you are using an external app to compose you probably don't even know it is inserting special characters into your post. So, if you don't use the Blogger interface to compose your posts, use a "simple text" editor like your email program, or Stickies, or Simple Text.


Alan, my understanding is it's the same show on those subsequent nights. I hope so, because my VCR disobeyed me and now all I have is STATIC.

Also, y'all, cool band alert: The Shazam at the Casbah this Friday. Yes sirs. Git yer butts out there.

Al maki who is a close personal friend of mine,,, tells me i need to get
some stuff from you to get on the blog ,, my name on is ( blog
page,,,,, dinks world )and dink the greek is my user name i think anyway but
if you want to give me a new one its ok ...dink shackleford is my real name
I'm sure several will rem me as i may still owe them $...

for my first post if you would be so kind or let me know what i need to do

hi ya'll ... i was the drunk cripple who lived at buc ct ...ETSU ,,Pol sci minor and history major.. and i picked up a masters in city management .. boring i know .. but it got me a job so what the heck ..I was also a was a TKE the beer drink club and sort of anti frat... but most important i was a brian and
was and still am a nightmare fan .. i jumped out of my chair once at a show to gator
and they stoped the music cause everyone thought i was having a fit ... i
was just doing the worm when i open my eyes and all were standing around
looking at me ... i think it was at that hotel beside I-81 on the right as
you take the roam st , exit .. hey hey da blues is allright ..i was also the cripple killer with a chain saw one halloween and won a 1st prize at the down home....... good to see ..and good to see so many old names from the past ,,,there certainly was a music movement in the 80's there sort like in Athens GA. only more rock-a - billy ...true to our roots. glad to see bill edwards still alive would have bet money against that one and
scott plez for that matter .hey boz goober says hey.... i thought we allready had a rock and roll
museum .. the bathroom wall at the downhome .... I rem " I'm a lawnmowerman "on the wall there

i ride my lawnmower past my school
I'm a lawnmowerman
all the kids think I'm cool
I'm a lawnmower man
I'm a lawnmower man

what a writer ........what were other great words of wisdom from that wall
anyone rem ?

Did anyone else see the Brian & the Nightmares show on Homemade Jam (Comcast ch 13) last night?

My 3 year old son and I danced in the living room while we watched it.

It was a well produced hour long show (with only one commercial interruption!)

It included an interview with Brian interspersed between songs from the first set of the Friday 12/27/02 show.

They didn't edit out the between songs banter which I thought was cool.

According to their schedule, it will be repeated on Friday at 11pm and Sunday at 2pm. Is this correct?
What I mean is, do they repeat the Tuesday show on Friday and Sunday as well or is it going to be a different band playing
on Friday and Sunday?

Tuesday, January 21, 2003


Great story about Snatches' drummer, Sara Romweber (sister of Flat Duo Jets' Dexter Romweber)... When Snatches of Pink played the revitalized Pub Outback, I was up in one of the side balconies watching the show, and we (whomever I was with... maybe David Guffey?) realized that her drum set's rack tom had no top head on it. But, it did have a bottom head, and she used that tom as a cooler of sorts, keeping her beer in it.

Anybody remember when the Pleztones and Buck Fifty played a halloween show at the relocated Quarterbacks and the Pleztones guys went in costume as Buck Fifty? That was a hoot.

ahhhh -- the Normaltones!

here's a couple:

The Clintons from Knoxville.
Snatches of Pink -- they played drunk and had the girl drummer from Lets Active.

The Beads--featured Dave King, Mike Nowells, John Barto.

I remember Curious George.

There was a band called Curious George that played JC circa 1989. They were from Kentucky, and played a sort of ska flavored type of bar rock. I never saw 'em, but I heard some live tapes.

I'm willing to bet that many of you would agree that 63 Eyes was one of the most ass-kicking bands to visit JC, and I was wondering if anybody had a copy of their cassette only release "I"m not me but I play me on TV". Mark Ryalls has a copy of "Look in for Mothmen", which is good, but this is much better. I just have a demo tape with some songs from Mothmen. I'd love to hear that tape.

I'm coming into Johnson City next Monday, the 27th. I'm mixing a new song with Keith Smith. So I'll be around for 3 or 4 days, at Ditty's house.

I totally forgot Sex Police played Johnson City. Of course, their drummer Jody later was the drummer for gumption (with Kurt and myself). I actually still have a Sex Police T-shirt that glows in the dark. I remember The Killbilly's, too, although I think there are a dozen bands with that name. :)

Thanks for posting those flyers/calendars, Chris. Just seeing them brought back memories!

The Killbillys?

Did anybody say Sex Police?

What was the name of that band that Michelle Goebel had a cousin in, from Lexington or somewhere...Curious George? (Lonesome Charlie? Mike the Steamshovel? Sam, Bangs and Moonshine? Everyone Poops, more like it.)

Monday, January 20, 2003

Saturday we (Drew, Ann & Josh & I) were in a bar down the street here seeing The Shazam and Ann recognized this guy as being from 'Fun Girls from Mt.Pilot'- which is funny because I think they were all guys in drag- (he said No, there were only women in that band but later admitted to being in the band). Ann turned to me to see if I recognized him- I didn't- he looked like an EXTRA short Richard Marx- we mentioned something about Johnson City and he said that he had fond memories of JC- that he used to play there with 'Rednecks In Pain'.(add them to the list) Drew chimed in and realized they had played with Stinky Finger at some point and then the guy was talking about The Highlander. Such a small world.

Also: The Hellion Shoeshine Riders (James, Drew & Russ) I also remember the one-time only appearance at the Casbah of Three Fat Guys Smoking. quote from Drew - "3 Fat Guys Smoking was me, Danny, and Russ. Danny french inhaled, Russ blew a smoke ring, and I stuck a cig in my nose and inhaled, and exhaled through my mouth. Some mullet tried to sell us pot while we were onstage. How could I forget?"

What's up, people?

I can't help but weigh in on the Skynerd thing, albeit a couple days late. I tried early Sunday morning, but it wouldn't take. Maybe the Southern Rock gods were intervening. Anyway ...

I love Skynerd. I probably ragged 'em as hard as anybody, but that's only because I had to play some of their songs hundreds of times in honky tonks and lounges. I'm over it now, and can once again listen to "Gimme Three Steps" without thinking of a certain nameless grandmother dancing around in circles, drooling and unaware she still existed in the Split Rail on the Bristol Highway, back when it was a 2-lane. Previous dissertations on this blog were outstanding, by the way.

One night in winter 1984, my underage ass was sitting on a drum stool in the Kingsport Ramada Inn when the guitar player, "Long Haired Country Boy" Jay Wood, staggered up, incredibly drunk off natural light and whiskey, and called out "Freebird." We had never played it before, but the rest of us were also drunk enough not to care, so it began. The drink had killed the Jay's hearing, so he slurred into the most out-of-key version imaginable. The steel slide against the neck of his SG revealed an utter lack of intonation, and his 50-watt Peavey was turned to 10. His voice, OK when he was sober, took on a pitch-poor whine that I was sure would shake Ronnie Van Zandt from his grave and draw him from Gainsboro all the way to Kingsport to deliver an ass-whupping from the beyond. But there are no such things as ghosts. I wasn't sure whether to laugh, pass out or protect myself with my crash cymbal. In the end, I decided to look at the 7 or 8 fuckers still left in the room -- three others had left by the time he went into the second verse. They watched and listened intently, seemingly unaware of the train wreck they were witnessing. It was 17 minutes of the most perverse, ear-grinding cacophony I've ever heard, if you don't count the Rude Street Peters, and it included every tweedly-tweedly-tweedly-tweedly etc. he could offer at the end, albeit about a half-step flat except for the couple times he seemed to sway to his right and actually hit a correct note.

When it was over, he put on his burgundy Member's Only jacket, stumbled outside to his Maverick, and drove off into the moonlight, the perfect coda to a night of song and frolic.

A couple of quick notes before I go. First, to Brook: Cameron Crowe is not the devil. I've seen Crowe's work, and if he were the devil, it would be much better. Second, to all who are wondering what this blog is, has been, will be: All of the proceeding are probably on target, but I see it as a good hangout, like the bars and houses where we used to meet back when we were all in Johnson City. Now we're spread out all over the place, with a few brave souls remaining in the tri, and this is about the best way to get that good old information and bullshit exchange without ringing up phone bills that force us to file for chapter 13. There are pictures, too. I like pictures.

Tad Dickens

oh my god chris! don't stop! more pics!

Hey Rick.

Wonder what Saddam cuts off for that?

Well, I feel so comforted, though probably inappropriately, that serious dialogue has gone on on this blog that I wasn't involved in! After bearing my soul on this thing, I'm glad to see others express passion about stuff here so that I don’t feel so alone. I think that should be the purpose of this tool of expression, and I could philosophize on and on about that as others have. We aren't just memorializing, because there is no pure memorial, but also redefining stuff at the same time. I think that’s not only inevitable, but necessary. Personally, I have no desire whatsoever to return to 1989 and who I was then--a confused individual racked by insecurity. Though I still struggle, I actually now have moments of peace and clarity that are increasing all the time. And I’m SO glad.

What happened in the J.C. scene---all those bands emerging at once in a deadend town, was a testament to miracles that occur in the midst of entropy, but here I move into a philosphy of grace which is best kept in check.

So---Rick Milhorn--don’t quit blogging! And Scott---what’s this about waiting a month to blog again? What? Remember, when I first started posting here I threatened to quit due to “inevitable ‘misunderstandings’ that are often a natural part of human interaction”, but I’m still here because I trusted that I could be myself here and still have my boundaries about me. So no one leave. Emily Dickinson would be saddened.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Never mind.

"By the way, that last picture Rick posted of himself was a little over the top…."

Its not me but I supose it would be better to be on top,......right Bobby?

Q - Why did the Siamese twins go to England?
A - So the other one could drive.

Two cannibals are eating a clown, The first cannibal says to the second “Hey, does this taste funny to you?”

Q: What's a Yankee?

A: Same as a quicky only done alone.

Told at my bar last night by an innocent young blond girl. LOL!

Oh.....The Titans go to Oakland and....

A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "Hey, fella', why the long face?"

A three legged dog walks into a saloon and says "I'm looking for the man that shot my Pa."

Vova Nova? Did someone say Vova Nova? Hadn't looked at the blog in a while, sorry. That was one cool band. They gave me a 4 song demo tape that I've recently converted to digital. I don't have any web space to post the MP3s for everyone but I'd be happy to e-mail 'em to anyone interested.

Two snowmen are standing in a yard. One says to the other, "Do you smell carrots?"

Buncha hot chickens talking on a ferris wheel. That’s a classic. Gonna hold that in the memory banks for a while. I thought Plez’s words on what it means to memorialize a past “scene” were very thoughtful and well said; couldn’t possibly add anything to that. I was just listening to some Plez. 1973 is one of my current favorite songs of his. I may be affected since my kid is going on 6 years old. For those who haven’t heard it, 1973 is a nostalgic song about being 6 years old again. Makes me think; what was I doing when I was 6? Carter was elected President, I was moving around from place to place a lot. Totally clueless; I was a coke-bottled-glasses wearing brick-head (and I ain’t no rocket scientist now). I can barely remember anything though. One of my few memories from then was a time in 1st grade when I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom. Instead of going to the bathroom, I just walked out of the school and headed down the road. Miles later, a stranger picked me up way down a country road and eventually figured out how to contact my folks. Mostly though, my clearest memories begin at college, I only vaguely remember being in high school, except for all the skateboarding.

Anyway, I ran across a funny comment about Jimi Hendrix. This came from cartoonist Peter Bagge who wrote an essay about the EMP (Experience the Music Project) rock museum in Seattle. I remembered this article amid reading the recent posts of memorializing scenes and rock hall of fame and stuff. While Bagge was generally favorable about the project, here is his general comment about Hendrix: “I hate Jimi Hendrix. Not that I disagree with his fans' claims of his originality, imagination, performing skills, etc., all of which I readily acknowledge. But the guy sang like he had a mouth full of marbles, and his whole hippie-dippie VooDoo Love God sexual persona always made me cringe, it's so embarrassing.” Pretty funny I thought. The whole article is available along with some funny cartoons at

By the way, that last picture Rick posted of himself was a little over the top….

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Let's not forget that "Almost Famous" is the second script based on the early carreer of Cameron Crowe. The first was... (Drum roll goes here) ......... "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," which by the way was first a piece of crap as a book. I read it while working at the bar in 1982 at South West Depot, which was later to be called Richard A's.

Few of us remember South West Depot, but it is where I first met Bruce, Brian, Ralph Dosser, and I beleive T. Cecil. Beer was $1.25 a pitcher at happy hour, which would have been a bargain had the beer not been Falstaff (unless something else was cheaper by the keg.)

Kudos to Rick for exposing the softer side of the arab world........

Kurt, have you considered switching your cat's food to a more pleasing scent,, or getting that pussy off of your face?

Come back Plez, Come back......... She didn't mean it, she didn't know what she was saying..... Come back Plez.......

I certainly didn't mean to crack the whip on the Plez. Keep that piehole wide open. Blog loves piehole.

When I came to JC all there was to do, was play pinball at Quarterbacks, and drink "free beer" at the Italian Pizza Pub (whose main attraction was a wide screen TV with a poster of a kitten taped to it).

Then Open Hoot started getting bands. We didn't care if they were good or not -- they were BANDS! Within a year, many of those bands became pretty good, and a market developed for music. The scene.

I guess when I heard "the scene is dead," from one of my all-time favorite songwriters, I heard surrender. I hate surrender almost as much as I hate Cameron (John *used* to be my favorite Beatle) Crowe. It's irrational. Like my obsession with those chicken rotisseries in Krogers. I imagine that the baked chickens are chatting, riding on their hot little ferris wheel. I'm completely amused just thinking about it. Totally irrational.

Think I'll just sit here and think about those chickens for a while.

Is a cat's urinary tract health important?

my cat's breath smells like cat food....

Here's some world politics for ya to think about.....

By the way Skynard never did a cover of Killed by Death did they? Final Curtain did.....

Morning folks,

I like to think of myself (as I cant think of anyone else) as being every bit as edgy as I was back in the day. I now have the resources to impliment my plan for global domination. We all grew up, well most of us did anyway. Sure there were giants in "those days" but there are still some amongst us now. I don't want to be the guy that has to rely on past glory to live his life, I dont want to scream Goddamitt! I used to be somebody. I am somebody now and goddess willing I will continue to be somebody in the future because I have went forth and spred my seed and am now cultivating the next "scene " members with a reverence of the past and a willingness to try new things now that we're past that pok'emon thing. Or i could just be talking out my ass........

Friday, January 17, 2003


Things do change with the tellin', but you have to keep grape juice bottled up for awhile to make wine. Tee hee. Does wine violate the spirit of the grape, or represent it in a more potent form? Arrrrrrrrg. Couple of points: I for one wasn't making any statements about museum-worthiness, I was just trying to fucking REMEMBER, period. Nonetheless, I do see the similarity in that we are collecting stuff primarily from another era, one that has to be dead or else it would still be the same era as now. I think we do all have the sense that something's gone, and we can say THAT without saying that nothing now is interesting or that today's a complete void. More interesting, though, is the question of whether or not our 20something selves would've seen this endevour as silly. I'm inclined to say that yes indeed, we might have skittered away from it claiming something like inherent goofiness in the project. We might have blogged about something, but not about ourselves. I think as a whole we were extremely documentation-phobic, which is why there's a need to put the blog to its current (obstensible but forgiving) purpose. I see that phobia as really a kind of self-consciousness, the exact kind of inability to take ourselves seriously enough to feel like all this stuff is worth documenting that I was talking about in the my very first post. I see that rearing its head still in a tiny way here; I just think that's an interesting finding. Almost a determination to seek self-effacement, in stark opposition to the All-American quest for noise and lights and un-earned kudos and big paychecks and 15 mins. of the f-word.

What?? "Everyone in JC simultaneously climaxed in 1988" ???? Why do I never get invited to parties like that??? Seriously Brook, why did you have to go and silence Plez? He was one of my most vocal supporters in my fight to bring justice to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I face an up hill battle in this most noble quest. And to think we were going to promote him to Hottie status.......

Well, I didn't mean it like THAT, honestly. I didn't think of how that all might sound to our co-publishers Lisa and Brook. And in life in general, I think none of us has peaked at all. If I really thought I'd live the best of my LIFE already, I would feel pretty cheated. It's just that the scene thing that we're supposed to tell stories about is pretty much over and that telling stories about it here is pretty much like telling any story about anything anywhere. The telling of it tends to change what the thing was. Allan seemed to be saying that really a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a stupid thing to have because it's not really the best people who played the music anyway and because it sort of violates the spirit of rock anyway. And my point is that ANY kind of remembrance thing of any type violates the spirit of the thing you're remembering. Changes it anyway. It's just inevitable. So my point was that a RNR Hall of Fame is no dumber than our informal JC Hall of Fame here, which I find NOT dumb in the least. I find it the very essence of being human, to want to record and memorialize things. And that's one of the best things about people. We work really hard sometimes to keep good things alive. And, yeah, I didn't really like Almost Famous, either. That was just an example, and probably not such a good one.

Once again: most of us are neither dead nor irrelevant as individuals. Our little "scene" is dead. That's what I was getting at. I didn't write that very carefully this morning. Methinks the Blog is definitely doing its good work. Most definitely. Ok, I promised earlier to be quiet for a month. See you mid February, fellow JC Bloggers. In the meantime, write some good stories!

gee Scott, you make it sound like everyone in JC simultaneously climaxed in 1988, and now we are all sitting back enjoying a cig before we lower ourselves into our coffin.

I'm not offended by anything you wrote, I agree that our days of youth are gonedaddygone, but I do think you're reading too much "purpose" into the blog.

Blog has no purpose. It is a blank sheet of paper made possible because of a group of renegade software developers (Pyra). I remember being 19 and 20 wanting more than anything to be able to publish something people would read and want to participate in. Could we have published something easily -- so inclusive -- so CHEAP, in 1988? Hell no! We can share stories and yak all nite long, because of people full of piss and vinegar created Blogger. History books tell the "history" of the committees who pay for them. We can tell any history we want. I think it's pretty damn revolutionary and that's something I would have approved of very much as a 19-year-old.

and YES, the music industry "regulates" the rock out of rock -- always has, always will. The music industry could care fucking less about the music. But, until Ashcroft says otherwise, it's still up to people to decide for themselves what interests them musically. If it's Ethnic Hillbilly Garage Rock, or Happy Valley Power Pop, or Lo-Fi Singer/Songwriter concept albums, then the market can either recognize that or not. Their loss if they don't. Bloggers who have shared their thoughts about these bands shouldn't feel they are any more pathetically living in the past than anyone who has ever discussed Bach or Miles Davis at a cocktail party. No one ever says, "sure that Bach was a great composer, but what is he doing now?"

So, don't be so hard on the scene, man. :)

as an aside... the only reason we have movies like Almost Famous, is that no one had the balls to tell Cameron Crowe to take his big talentless ass on a long fucking vacation and quit stinking up the multi-plex with his insufferable whining. He's the fucking devil.

Has anyone received their Gumption CD yet? I mailed 'em Tuesday.



Eloquently said as usual. Please don't shut your pie hole for a month. This is fun.

"I used to be full of piss and vinegar, but now I'm only full of piss." - I can't remember who said/wrote this.

Where are the renegades now? Anyone? Anyone?

ps - havent' seen "Attack of the Clones" - yet. :-)

-- Allan

Good point, Allan, on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I mean, it's a bogus idea to begin with, of course. Rock and roll should resist that kind of enshrinement. But since it's there, I mean, c'mon, how can Skynyrd not be in it? I think a lot of the Johnson City bands were better than or at least as good as a lot of the stuff that might be enshrined there. But part of a hall of fame is that it's a hall of FAME, not necessarily a hall of GREATNESS. Let's think of Emily Dickinson, who published only 6 or 7 poems in her life. Right after she died, no one would've had any reason to put her in any poetry hall of fame--because she wasn't famous. But now she is, and no one would keep her out of a poetry hall of fame, were one ever to be built.

Halls of fame are for dead people and for people who are no longer really relevant but still alive. That, no offense, is the whole purpose of the Blog, as I see it: to keep alive in our memories something that's basically dead. Something is memorialized. Of course, it also changes in the process of being memorialized. But that's ok, too. We all know that the historical markers at battlefields don't really tell the TRUTH. Rock and roll itself is more or less dead. That's why we have movies like Almost Famous and so forth that try to memorialize some little aspect of something that was unusual and great and worth remember. Sure, the music industry has regulated all the rock out of rock. There's no more renegade computer software developers, either. And the dot com revolution is over. And the hippie movement is over. And the civil rights push is dead. But the successors of all of those owe a great debt to the true originators. Thus, I went to see a Zeppelin cover act the other night that sounded so much like Zep that I'm sure they played it live better than Zep themselves ever did. And some people join the Society For Creative Anachronisms. And no matter how much you know it's gonna suck, you know you're gonna fork over 8 bucks for the next episode in the Star Wars series.

And the Johnson City music scene we all remember so fondly is over, too, even though music in this town still continues. But notice what people have been doing lately here? They've been basically coming up with a Hall of Fame, haven't they? All those lists of bands there were from here and played here at one time or another--what're those if not our own little Hall of Fame? If we were all still full of "piss and vinegar" (the old saying) as we were back then, we'd see no need for the Blog history. But now we do. I'm sure if any of us at age 19 or 20 could have time travelled and seen the Blog, we would say this whole thing was kinda silly.

But we don't say that now. So, yes, the RNR Hall of Fame is silly from the perspective of a real rock and roller. But that's not who it's for.

Also, no offense taken, but of course I knew the capital of Alabama. That was rhetorical.

Gosh, I'm one wordy guy. Forgive, fellow bloggers, and I promise to keep my mouth shut for a month now.



Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama.

Without a doubt, Lynrd Skynrd deserve their props in the annals of Rock N' Rolldom.

If that is to be enshrined in a cheezy institution like the RnR museum, well so be it.

I find it ironic that RnR (and what EXACTLY defines RnR music?), is/was a phenomenon embraced by disenfranchised youths across the country and the world, is now an establishment unto its self.

The RnR museum should change its name to The American Museum of Popular and Profitable Music Since the Latter Half of the 20th Century as Recognized by the Recording Industry and Dubious Music Critics.

Have you talked to Danny about getting a copy of the board tapes?

Have you heard about getting a copy of the video?

Thursday, January 16, 2003

damn Plez, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel!!! Just an aside, Skynrd was not even from Alabama, they were from Florida, so I think they were saying butt out to everyone who judges another.... But thanks for your support on this issue, you are truly a Johnson City treasure. Kurt and I will be meeting shortly to determine if we can elevate you to "Hottie" status!! That address again is:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104

Yo and hey, y'all:

Um, I can't let the Skynyrd discussion go by without adding my opinion. It is a JOKE that those guys aren't in the rock and roll hall of fame. I mean, that is a JOKE! And I have to add that I actually like Skynyrd. I don't like them DESPITE their crowd or EVEN THOUGH they've become nothing more than a tribute to themselves lately. I love those guys for exactly what they are, and I always have. On the subject of "Sweet Home Alabama," I must add that, having lived in Alabama for almost a decade, that song was requested at every show I ever did down there. No one ever asked for "Freebird," not once, in Alabama, but damn they sure love "Sweet Home" down there. In the beginning, I just played it because, well, that's the kind of gigs there were to play in Auburn and Waverly and Loachapoaka, Alabama. Play what they wanna hear, you know? And why not?

But after playing it a bunch and noticing what absolute joy the people took in that song, I started thinking about it more seriously. And, when you think about it, that song is like saying "I can talk about my mother, but you can't talk about my mother." And I think we can all understand why people feel THAT way, can't we? That verse about the Governor? It really says, "In Birmingham, they love the Governor." Well, Birmingham is not the capital of Alabama, is it? It doesn't represent all of Alabama, either. It's just the biggest city in the state. That's all. Birmingham was governed by a succession of famously racist pig mayors. They put MLK in jail for a night just for parading without a permit. The next line in the song is, "Now, we all did what we could do." My interpretation? The white moderates and white liberals might have disagreed with Gov. Wallace, sure enough, but that doesn't mean they could prevent his dumb ass from standing in the door of the U of A to prevent the first black student from entering the University. Next line? "Watergate does not bother me." I love that one. Nixon? A bloody idiot from California. True enough. Still, unlike Neill Young, I don't get all moral on you and write a song called "Western Man" to accuse everybody from the Left Coast of government corruption. I just say, "Daggone, that dang ol' Nixon was a daggone idjut, daggone." Last line of that verse? "Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth!" Plez says, Skynyrd got it right there. No matter who you are, you've got things in your past you ain't all that proud of. No matter where you live, you share a history which includes some awful stuff. We all do. If your conscience isn't bothering you, by gosh it's because you ain't thinking hard enough.

So, come off it, Neill Young. I gotta say, the more I sang that song in Alabama, the more I sang it with outright conviction and purpose. I'm not gonna mention any names, but I had a friend up here in J.C. who came right flat out and said he would NEVER visit me in Auburn because it was in Alabama, and he counted it as a point of pride that he had never set foot in that Godawful backward medieval state. When even Tennesseans can get this kinda crud into their head, imagine how a Canuck (ha!) like Neill Young could be convinced that there are still roving lynch mobs in Alabama.

I think that's what they were saying. Basically: "Judge not what ye have not seen." And God bless Skynyrd for saying it. God bless Skynyrd in general. Forgive me for taking up this much space in Johnson City Stories to blabber on about something so unrelated to JC. But in a way, it is. I mean, think about it, when the GEORGIA SATELLITES, who themselves traded on their image as being form backwater Georgia, referred to us a JOHNSON STATION and said on MTV that we were the worst town they ever gigged in, we were all most righteously pissed. I was. I mean, I was a little.

I used to say I wasn't going to the RNR Hall of Fame until they put AC/DC in there. Well, AC/DC goes in this year. But I revise my ultimatum now: I AIN'T GOING TILL SKYNYRD GETS AN INVITE AND THAT'S FINAL!

another band -- City of Lindas

this is a great story from Tony Black. he emailed it to me for posting. without further adieu, Mr. Black...

query aimed at james arwood. should we tell the one about the night outside QB's part2, Paul Stanley(?) was playing a set of 60-70's covers inside the bar, we were standing outside shootingtheshitfantastic. You had been explaining to some VI coeds how it is that music played with a lefthanded guitar DOESNOT come out backwards AND, its not any more difficult to produce notes or chords. A tall and giacometti-slender young lady walked by and some chainsmoking rednecks cousins(not us) oogled her. Earl-cousin one said "she's so damn thin you could use her as a toothpick." Earl-cousin two laughed so hard his mouth opened and revealed, surprise, very few teeth with which to exorcise striations of cooked or raw flesh from between, for example. At which point we looked at each other and snickered our college-matriculating hilljack snickers. when suddenly paul stanley(what was his real name? who cares) appeared and was trying to get you into a fight (you were trying on your gandhi-as-hockey-goalie-face because you didnt want to lose you drinking and dart throwing privileges). i remember playing the UN peace broker role(maddie albright in frayed cords and flannel shirt). Standing between you two(not U2 or any cover bands) and saying "ignore him james, cause you'll go to jail and he will STILL look like paul stanley" at which point he lunged, or fainted? in your general direction. in a reflexive motion i picked him up by his neck and dropped him to the pavement? a crowd stirred, tie-dyed boys ran inside for back up. bouncers appeared and we heard a car door slam out on walnut street in a westerly direction. we all sighed in deep amusement as the slightly wounded(the back of his shirt had soaked up anonymous random spittle). Cool hair sensation rode off into the 2am smoggy glow of our humble burg, the the athensga of the middlin' appalachians. ?  we laughed so hard we vomited to satisfy bill edwards sick and twisted whims? thats when jack kerouac walked in and...thats all i got to say about that.?

Not true Allan, I once yelled "Play Free Bird" at a J.C. Orchestra performance. I think I, or someone else, yelled "Play Free Bird" to every band listed on the blog in the last few days. Pile of Cabbage actually played it. Poorly I might add.

One mo' band:

Vova Nova

Kurt: regarding skynrd - all true. unfortunately, people remember them for a song that disses Neil Young and proclaims they luv the guvna (Wallace). And being the inspiration for the annoying screams for "FREEBIRD" at every non-orchestral concert in the free world (and then some).

Kurt: One of my favorite memories is of sitting in someone's yard on Highland Ave while you guys practiced in the basement of the house next door (the end of the street near Watauga, not Tennessee--can't remember whose house it was you were usin') and hearing you play Skynrd's "I Know a little".--- i know a little 'bout it. i know a little 'bout love, and baby you can guess the rest.---- Was me and Sarah Cummins and Debby Patten, I think. Nice memory.

David, I don't recall 24-7 Spyz in JC. But, we definately saw them in Knoxville at Planet Earth and then went skating at the Knoxville ditch the next day.

I totally remember Fearless Iranians from Hell. I'd forgotten all about them and the Violets both.

So fellow Hottie Bill Edwards touched on one of my best rants nobody wants to hear. which is as follows: though Skynrd has many redneck fans, they not only did anti drug songs (That smell) anti handgun songs (Saturday Night Special), but also anti violence songs. The narrator in the song "Gimme three steps", when confronted with someone who wants to fight, only asks for 3 steps to run away from the scene before violence is committed. They also have a song (Curtis Low) in which Van Zandt sings the praises of a hero and role model of his, a BLACK man named Curtis Low).
How many other bands can list such a left wing liberal stance on so many issues?

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

David, I saw 'em once, at the Pub. It's in my journal.

Looking at the names of all these bands that came through JC does tend to get the ol' grey matter churnin'. Anybody remember Obituary from Salem, Oregon? They were northwest grunge before most of America knew where Seattle is. How about The Violets? They had this cool song about how much they hate the Grateful Dead. I think it was called "I Hate the Grateful Dead." I probably have a tape of that laying in a box somewhere.

Hey Gary, remember Fearless Iranians from Hell? I remember we were all hot to go see them because they had been in "Thrasher" magazine. I remember the first time The Heydays played the Highlander. There were about 12 people there but we were all just blown away by them. They played a set and everyone was going nuts and asking for more. They got back up on stage and said, "Uh... That's all the songs we know. We could do the same set over if you want." And then the second time they played there, there was at least a decent crowd but while they were there, their house got demolished by a hurricane.

Did 24-7 Spyz play JC? I remember seeing them in Knoxville. Gary and I trekked down there in "The Loaf" for that show. Remember "The Loaf" Gary?

Wow. I never thought memory lane would be this long a walk. Shoulda stayed in shape.


WAHOO!!!!!!! FREEBIRD!!!!!!!!!

Dear Hearts and Gentle Readers, I ask that you take your time to hear of a grave injustice that needs correction, and I hope you will lend your time and talent to doing so. So that once again America can be the land of opportunity for all, including rednecks.

According to it’s website, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a repository of the musicians and people who have shaped our craft . Performers are inducted base on the following criteria:

“Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”

By this standard, artists ranging from Chuck Berry to Chet Atkins, from Bill Halley to the Talking Heads, have been inducted. Notably absent are the penultimate Southern Rock Band, Lynard Skynard. By the standard presented by the Hall of Fame, Skynard has been eligible for induction for at least 6 years, and their absence is an insult to all southerners, redneck or otherwise.

Now, let me take a moment to say I am not a Lynard Skynard fan. I would not pay to see them, and you could not pay me to go see them, unless a real hottie like Kurt Hagadorn was opening for the show. Never the less, it seems asinine that a band that sold a gazillion records, has a legion of fans, and raised a genre of rock and roll to national, nay world attention, is not in the Hall of Fame.

Ironically Skynard represents the Wrong Way Corrigan’s of the Rock and Roll world. They did anti drug and alcohol songs, as well as a pro gun control song, yet the mean average of their visible fan base is a dope smoking, gun toting alcoholic....but I digress.

Please write to the induction committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and demand that they correct this oversight. Their address is:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104

Thank you for your time and attention. You may now return to listing band names.

Best not to ask, sometimes!

I just realized that I think I confused LaBrea Stompers with Hillbilly Frankenstein.... Maybe HF is what the more recent band by that dude was named. No sure... too much caffeine in the system today.

How about "Cages"... bwaa ha ha ha. Anyone remember them? I think during their "residency" at the Pub several of us (Dan Street, Russ, myself, maybe others) decided to get duded up rather sarcastically in heavy metal outfits. I was wearing this godawful outfit that Danny had pieced together for me. It was like some gold glittery shirt, and black pants that had lace up the sides of both legs. I remember Russ was dressed in a more biker/metal outfit. But, anyway, we go trucking down to the Pub, and are being all ironic and such, and I run into someone I went to high school with. So, here I am dressed up like a complete goober, and this fellow says, "hey gary, how's it going?" without ever batting an eye on my outfit.

I never figured out if he thought I was really into it or if he just chose to ignore it....

I didn't know about the David Barbe/Bob Mould connection. I'm a huge Bob Mould fan. Wishing Well is a song I listen to at least once a week. was also a big Husker Du fan, thanks to Martin. Didn't know there was a J.C. connnection in there. And we can't forget::-----Hootie and the Blowfish from their Highlander days. Oooh boy. Please, no one flog me for reminding them of that one.

Cricket Machine...... that's a hoot. I remember once on the Highlander calendar Drew (I think) or someone had written "Real Exciting Men" and "Reemed Every Midnight," both in reference to that band's affinity for sounding a whole lot like REM :)

I remember a group called So Inclined played JC a few times, but I think I might've been the only person who liked them. There was also Dresden 45 a punk-rocky kinda group who I think played the Highlander a few times. Clockhammer was from Nashville (and their drummer later went on to play with Uncle Tupelo and Wilco. David Barbe's Monsterland played the revitalized Pub Outback (post Highlander-era) less than a year before he went on to form Sugar with Bob Mould.

How about Hillbilly Frankenstein! Remember that guy's antics with the glow stick juice and jacket with xmas lights all over it... and a bass player so drunk she could barely stand up? I believe the singer guy is still active here in atlanta in a few groups.

Funny you'd mention that. I was so taken with that bass-playing beauty, I got in the van with them and went back to Huntsville for a week. By the way- - how's everyone doing in here? I never have the time to write. Even at this moment my boss is giving me the evil eye. Seeing all your smiling faces at the "gig" made my whole year. Love to all - --Marky

Dave from the Paralyzers is still at it here in Atlanta with a band called the Blacktop Rockets. They're just as rockin'.

Good lord at these lists... so many bands I'd forgotten. Memories flooding back. Trip To Argentina were great. 11:59. Jeez. did Dillon Fence actually play JC? Smokin' Dave!!! I have two of their records on vinyl, too!

And Another:

Toby Jugg Band!!!!

Thought of another one:

Phil Dirt and the Dozers

Velvet Elvis

Kudos to the Paralyzers as well.
63 Eyes had to be the LOUDEST band I ever heard.
Anybody mention Dillion Fence (sp?)
One Armed Jimmy and the Blasting Caps (not really)

one more band I remember;

Trip to Argentina

They played the Highlander, and were from Huntsville Alabama. They had a chick bassist who looked sort of like a female equivalent of Mark Ryalls, and did a great song about Jimi Hendrix which I think was called "Rainbow Bridge" or something. I still have their demo tape. That song still rocks.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

not necessarily JC bands:

the Pedestrians
Catfish Special
Steady Eddy
Mother's Little Helper (todd andrews' late nite highlander jam band)
Wild Promise (becky chrisman's boyfriend's band)
Sage (guy from sage now plays with ryan adams and had an unfortunate, televised DUI in nashville)

Kevin and Joe Garber project called "Pit Crew"
Cricket Machine
not from the day, but worth a mention: 50 Ft. Womyn

My memory has just been jump-started!!! Many of them I already remembered, but geez, Brook FREAK CIRCUS!!! I once adored Kevin Hurley because he reminded me of the kid in Harold and Maude for some reason. And Walk the West! I think I vaguely remember the James Woody project. Lightnin' Charlie was a huge favorite of mine. Who were the Trailer Park Picassos? What a great name. and Morpheus--who were they? I know those names.

Beat Yer Mutha!

Jack Manhattan Trio

btw -- Freak Circus poobah, Kevin Hurley has a thing call Solar Coaster. What a great name for a band! and the music is waaaay good too. here's a link:

The Lonely Bulls?

The Woggles
Man's Ruin

The Shazam!!



Walk the West? Flat Duo Jets?


Pile of Cabbage

Anybody remember that James Woody project called, I believe, "Blackbone?"

63 eyes is still doing stuff. here's a link to some great music files!

I think 63 Eyes was just Mark and that guy Todd...Burge? and somebody else; anyway, when I saw them, Donnie was not part of the outfit. I had a tape made off the sound board at the Pub that was probably my favorite thing ever. "I couldn't look at your face any more so I memorized your ashtray," "self-inflicted head full of lead," etc., fuckin' genius. I knew Brook would remember all those band names 'cause of all those Highlander calendars she did for that dork of an owner. They had a contractual dispute (he tried to welsh out of paying her) so Brook, reasonably, made a move to take her delicious and well-thought-out artwork back. This guy sought to act wise and he NAILS the entire stack of calendars to the BAR. That's ok, 'cause Brook whips out her trusty zippo and that's right, TORCHES 'em on the bar. I think that was the last time he got uppity with Ms. Hines.

One more: 24-7 Spyz

Here's more from JC: -- i can't stop myself!
the Paperboys
Texas Vampires
Bootleg Grifters
the Watch
Firehouse Harrision
Floyd Eats Mayberry
Alex Ogburn
John Barto
Dark Career
Trailer Park Picassos
Aurora Cosmic Phenomena
Dead End (or was it The Other End?)
Do It Now Foundation

Fab Motion!

the Paralyzers have my vote for one of the best bands from elsewhere. wish i had a recording!

i'm not remember all the good bands from knoxville. having a brain block. i think one was called Clockhammer.

There's also all the JC bands like
Pinky Slim
Punchin' Judy
Hellion Shoeshine Writers
Plain Truth
Red Roosters
every incarnation of Bleu Jackson (the Nightsweats, the High Fevers , etc.)
Lightnin Charlie
Little Chicago (my all time fave blooz band)

here's another obscure JC visitor, the Escape Goats!

wow -- a band brain dump!

LaBrea Stompers
the Veldt
the Dusters
Grandsons of the Pioneers (still love their CDs)
House of Large Sizes
Two Small Bodies
the Claimstakers
Smokin Dave and the Premo Dopes
Teenage Love
the STDs
Bad Livers
Royal Court of China
Future Neighbors
Valentine Saloon
Jason and the Scorchers
Geogia Satellites (the thought they were in Johnson Station, dorks)
the Judybats

Lisa: Enjoyed the story a lot! Gary or anyone: Was 63 Eyes the band Donnie and his cousin, Mark, had? I can't remember. I remember seeing Uncle Green a couple times. and the Paralyzers too.

Lisa: That story illustrates a huge difference between you and I: I WOULD NOT get out on that roof unless I was tring to escape the telephone where as you would not get on the roof without the telephone. Bravo! Bravo! I still cannot believe that we made it home that night. I left a large chunk of my brain on Market Street.

Oooo.. I just remembered two more:

Five-Eight (who are still together in Athens!)

I was thinking on the train home from work yesterday of all the bands I saw travelling through JC back in the late-80s and first year or so of the 90s. Here are some of the ones that came through that I thought were rocking good times...

Uncle Green
63 Eyes
Follow For Now
The Heydays
The Paralyzers
Chapter Two (who probably cancelled more shows than they played... but I've got the vinyl of one of their albums!)

I know there are many more, but those are the ones that pop into my head at this point. Add to the list! Did The Pressure Boys every play in JC? I want to say yes, but I can't recall.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Loss o' vision...sightlessness...blinded by the light. We had been at the Great White House on Roan less than a month when Kurt, as mentioned before, decided he needed a haircut. At this particular moment, his chosen method of payment was not cash, but something more...ah, mind-expanding. Feeling cramped economically and professionally always seems to generate the desire to expand in whatever other directions are available, and this time was no exception. This desire would lead, later on that same evening, to seeing a thousand-petalled lotus, trying to climb out on the roof but not being able to manage it because the phone wouldn't reach that far (I probably owe my life to being born pre-cordless) and Barbara spending hours entertaining me with light-refracting objects. Not to mention a holy pilgrimage the next morning to that center of all true pilgrimage, Shoney's, where we shared the breakfast bar with an entire boys' soccer team. This led to the coining of the phrase "18-man shit." As in, "I feel like I need to take an 18-man shit." But all that came later. Much later.

First this desire for expansion, for unfurling, for growth that we could afford on our budgets led to words like, "A half? Should we each take a half, or a whole? Let's just take a half first," followed by, "Shit. That's not doin' nothin'. Let's take the other halves," followed almost IMMEDIATELY by, "Oh My Fucking God!! This stuff is kicking my ASS! AND WE JUST TOOK THE OTHER HALVES!"

It would bear mention that neither of us scared particularly easily. Nor did we tend to do things half-assedly. However, the remote prospect of doubling our current state of disintegration was still recognizable as a genuine emergency. A hasty inventory revealed to us a pharmacopoeia completely devoid of anything with sedative properties and very poor planning on our part. Speed-dialing to our favorite line of supply produced no answer. Apparently we needed to notify people to stay home on Friday nights to accommodate our unscheduled fuck-ups. A desperate call to a less favored, more sketchy, dank, windowless basement place produced a "Yeah, come on over." OK, we figured if we ran like hell we could just get there and back, and it would be worth it. But lo, when we got there, they didn't actually HAVE what we came for, so we just had to SIT AND WAIT. And try to remember how to count money when the time came.

For indeed we were in denial of our fucked-upness, at least as far as OTHERS were concerned, for in no way were we prepared reside the majority of this evening around people who were not us. Therefore, no good appearing to invite babysitting. And we had nothing left to share, which was why we were in the state we were in, but that would've hardly seemed plausible. Vague notions of having to turn my pockets inside out led to unwelcome thoughts about other, more personal recesses. Just what kind of a crowd had we fallen in with, here?

Consternation changed to abject horror when the source for this unworthy secondary person turned out to be none other than our friend that we had called first but couldn't get hold of. Imagine trying to explain this to her without insulting the other one, the one we were now dependent on for our survival, who was now almost certainly going to charge us an inflated rate. Imagine trying to deal with this sober. Imagine trying to deal with it NOT. In one fell swoop we had managed to offend and alienate a pair of people it was better not to alienate and offend. Then there was the fun of watching them deal with each other, each producing her own pair of scales, fairly BRISTLING with professional politeness. "It's not that I don't TRUST understand," etc. Oh, the horror, the horror...

About that time I decided I just couldn't stand to see any more of this, so my eyes shut down. Completely, totally, and thoroughly. Granted, I couldn't have described my surroundings with any great deal of accuracy, but now I saw NOTHING. Let me say it again. NOTH. ING.

It wasn't dark in there, inside my so-called skull, but there was no input from outside. I thought at first my eyes were shut, then after much blinking and widening them as far as possible, I held my hand out in front of my face and felt of it with my other hand, trying to pick out any suggestion of a hand shape, waving it to see if the motion might be the least bit discernible as a disruption of the light that I knew had been on in the room and probably still was. Imagine what this looked like to my cohorts. Add to this some stupefied mumbling to the effect of, "Where did it go? Where did it go?" and yep, there was nothin' wrong with me! Perhaps it could've been slightly worse if I had started shouting, "I'm on fire! I'm on fire!" Perhaps.

But since I couldn't see, I couldn't count money, so I left the whole mess for Barbara to sort out. (Thank you, Barbara.) Somehow my usefulness as a talker was also affected. I mean, if I couldn't see what was going on, how could I know what to say? That whole concept of listening and paying attention seemed like something from a long time ago. I was just a protean lump of ribonucleic goo sitting on the edge of swamp somewhere, that through a little fold of space happened to coincide with this moment in this place...ugh.

When it was time to go, things started to come back gradually, and I fluffed a pseudopod out, then another and another and I re-coagulated into Barbara's car, the blue Citation that was as close to noble beasthood as anything that ever came out of Detroit. Was driving a good idea? Probably not, but one thing was clear: we had to get away from there that instant. All told, our chances were probably better of crossing the Nefud Desert with a lame camel and a half a canteen of rotgut. I remember heading down West Market with Barbara howling something like, "Go ahead, take me to jail, or kill me, just please don't shine that fuckin' light in my EYES!" At once profoundly funny and profoundly sad, thinking about animals that get squished on the roads. I mean, their last thoughts have got to be almost identical, don't you think? Then we were laughing like maniacs. Or hyenas, maybe. Louder than sirens. And the evening was still YOUNG, my children.

Watauga turned into the longest road ever built. Every so often another 200 yards or so would just SHOOT out in front of us, like a telescope. We were shrieking in unison, "Did you SEE that? How can it fucking DO that? Look, there it went AGAIN!" Every inch of progress we made down it, it was yanking back away from us, exponentially. And it was doing it ON PURPOSE. It was taunting us. It knew how badly we wanted to get back to sanctity of the Pink Room and it was grinning evilly. It did not have to let us go. That the Mental Health Center was located on this road did not inspire confidence in us, either.

Do I remember getting home? Not really. Did I kiss the ground? Probably. Does the phrase "18-man shit" still crack me up? Absolutely.

randy pomeroy is a big fat idiot.

just needed to get that off my chest.

Well, James, a copy of "No Higher Art" rests safe in my clutches, awaiting the day of digitization. Which theoretically I have a computer that's able to do, buuuuuuuuuuuut...I'm having a strike. Btw, that Andyboy vid is beautiful, check it out. I think I wasn't around for those other two events. BUT, I remember the fireflies night...I think. Anyway, there was a party at D&B's place on Pine, and the people across the street were FRAT BOYS, from the House of Pike, no less, whatever the hell that signifies. We had darkened the inside of the apartment and they were shining FLASHLIGHTS at us through the windows, trying to see what we were doing. We all crouched down below the level of the windowsills and watched the beams play around the room, not saying anything, just looking at each other and holding our breath. That Adrian Belew song about the dolphins and whales laughing delight in the deep blue night and having no place to hide from the people of earth was playing. I think I had a nervous breakdown of some kind. All that stuff happened that night after I had figured out that I was the Queen of Heaven. This was in June of...'90, yes, '90. Many months before Brook, Barbara, Jael and Drew had gone to Florida for spring break. I wasn't in school anymore, I had a wretched teaching job, so wasn't able to go. By all accounts it was a marvelous journey of great spiritual significance. Brook came home bouncing with joy. Each of the three ladies had managed to figure out, through a process too dangerous to describe here, which aspect of the divine feminine was hers to personify. Barbara was Venus, Brook was Artemis and Jael was Persephone. Shit, I thought, there's nothing good left for ME. That I wasn't there seemed like the most awful twist of fate ever. What's more, the next day they had found the grooviest glow-in-the-dark crucifixes imaginable, which they had acquired in honor of the ascension. I saluted the achievement as felicitously as any luckless misfit like myself could. Brook went back to unpacking merrily, and Barbara handed me a grooviest possible glow-in-the-dark crucifix and said, "We got you one, too." Now all these many months later, it occured to me that the world was always divided into three realms, heaven and hell and in the middle, earth, and that love was everywhere and could not be confined to just one realm. What this meant was that heaven was vacant, so I decided to move in. There was something appropriate about Jael and I being opposite poles that probably made more sense in those days; besides, blue was my favorite shade of hair dye. And regardless of the drama, nobody got harpooned by a frat boy that night, or any night thereafter.