Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson...

The Dynamic Duo- Batman and his partner, boy-wonder Robin Protect Gotham City from Evil N'er Do Wells such as Penguin and the Joker

The 'Ambiguous' Duo-Admiral J.T. Kirk, and his long time companion Mr. Spock, Protect the Universe from Klingon Imperialism and spread the Federation's Creed of Democratic Self-Determinism.

The Dogmatic Duo-Jesse 'Hymie-Towne' Jackson and not so reverend "Nappy' Al Sharpton Protect America from Wrinkly ol' Bigoted Radio DJ's, Rapin' LaCrosse playing student athletes, and will pretty much come a running like ants from under a log, when ever a cause presents itself, as long as it keeps their useless old asses in the limelight.
Shoooooow me the Money!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Okay, I changed my mind. This is the best thing on the intronet I've seen all week. The Who have never sounded better. Youtube to the rescue again. God, I'm so ashamed.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Salad Days:If you believe there's a Rock n' Roll Heaven...

Bigfoot Chester's Future retitement home, Cootersville Alabama

I felt a great disturbance in the force today, as Obi Won used to say to me all the time. I never knew what the hell he meant either. In any case, today, dear readers, I found out in the news that, after complications from a fall at his New York home, beloved author and pivotal influence to my adolescence, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died. So it goes. Coincidentally, or maybe not, today is also the birthday of erstwhile teen-idol and Partridge David Cassidy. My calculations make him at about 57. I was also reading a concert revue in the Globe the other day, waxing nostalgic about Iggy Pop and a current tour featuring the Igster and some of the original Stooges at the Orpheum in Boston. Turns out ol' Iggy is over 60 years old himself. Jesus fuckin' bejeepers: Iggy Pop over 60! What the hell! When did that happen? And why is he still out there yelling and a'smearing peanut butter on himself, moshing in the mosh-pit, with kids young enough to be his grandchildren, on that bad hip of his? Man, this kind of stuff gets a me to thinking. Thinking about my own mortality. Thinking of what's left to do and what's been left undone. Got me to thinking about the old Salad Days again, and all the great rock shows I've seen over the years and all the great shows that got away. I had a pretty good run for a while there. So since I've already bored the starch out of my wife with these stories at least a hundred times, I guess it's up to you, faithful readers of SBL#178, to absorb the brunt of my nostalgic ruminations. So, here they are: the top 5 rock n" roll highs and rock n" roll lows from the arhives of Bigfoot Chester's pre-dementia memory bank. In no particular order, I offer up the following excerps from Rock History:

High- Only a Lad: Backstage with Oingo Boingo and Squeeze:

The Orpheum Theatre in Boston some time in the mid-80's. Me and my old buddy Duayne Sherman scored some tickets from this guy named Roman from Oingo Boingo's label. We called Roman from the Dunkin Donuts in Saugus on the way into town. He say,' do you want to meet the band'? We says, 'sure, why the hell not'. So we got to meet Roman and the entourage at Legal Seafood, a very chi-chi eatery in Fannual Hall. So I'm there sitting next to Danny Elfman, chit-chatting about his new project, soundtracking a Rodney Dangerfield movie or something. Very nice. So we finish eating and are invited to sit in for their soundcheck. We thoroughly enjoy the check and also a great set by Boingo, before the main act comes on, one of my personal favorites,Squeeze. Gifford, Tillbrook, Carrack et al play a sensational set and we are invited by Roman to come back stage and schmooze with the band. So imagine me, long haired leaping gnome back stage drinking Heinekin, talking shit with Jules Holland, ace piano palyer and seemingly one hell of a nice guy. I went home that night with two souvenirs: Oingo Boingo's setlist and one hell of a case of heart burn from the salmon I had at Legal Seafood. What a night.
Low-Missing the Stones 1981:
Back in the 70's, the Stones were the greatest show on earth. I mean if Jesus came back he wouldn't have been a hotter ticket. Even in 1981, when I first dipped my toes into college life, they were still pretty cool. Not like now, when the old buggers look like Dame Judy Dench and the fucking Golden Girls. In 1981, they were still cool: on the bubble, but still cool. Anyway, amazingly, though I'd been to many big rock shows already, I had yet to see the Stones. Alas, by the time I got to my bank, rounded up my ol' buddy Spot, raced to Augusta to the nearest Ticketron outlet in my 1974 Mercury Monterray, and got a speeding ticket, we found ourselves 6 people short in line. As the ticket window slowly close, so also disappeared my hope of ever seeing the Stones while they were still cool. Well, at least we'll always have that Super Bowl Half time.
High-Warren Zevon at Merril Hall Auditorium:
Me and ol' Spot, together again. We were a bit earlty to the show and were low on cash, so instead of hopping bars until show time, we decuided to get our seats ahead of time. We must have been really early, because when we went through the gate, there was nobody there. So we leave our tickets on the counter and find our spots, balcony Center. Not bad. Turns out I was privey to another big sound check. Spot gets bored and starts snooping around backstage. He comes running back and tells me he found Zevon's dressing room and heard him talking. So we both go back and prepare to hound the poor bastard. But halfway there, we meet the Zevon entourage coming on-stage to finish the soundcheck and test Mr. Zevon's mic. As he passes by us Mr. Zevon points to the balcony in the stately old theatre and says 'Seat Mr. Lincoln over there'. The security guys subsequently tell us to return to our seats until show time. We enjoy a great show and 'his hair was perfect'.
Low-The Big Easy:
New Orleans, right around Mardi Gras. Hurricanes, Gumbo and the French Quarter. Possibly one the most classic bars in the world, Tchoupitoulas', in the eclectically seedy warehouse district. What could be a better backdrop for an epic night of music, right? Who was playing that night? The Radiators? The Neville Brothers? Stevie Ray Vaughan? No, friends, it was 'That Petrol Emotion'. Who? That's right, 'That Petrol Emotion'. I finished my beer and went back to the hotel.
High-Johnny B. Goode:
Living Legend Chuck Berry at the Pit, Orono Maine. I was back in high school and somehow my parents gave me the nod to take my 74 Merc, the Deathmobile to a real live 'concert'. Probably didn't hurt that it was Chuck, one of my dad's favorites. Anyhow, me and the usual list of suspect, including the infamous Hazelton Bros. twisted the night away to the boogie woogie strains of the Architect of Rock n' Roll himself. At the last encore, Ol' Chuck invited a number of front-stagers to come up on the stage and dance with band. So there I am, not more than 3 feet from the wrinkly old bastard, while he did the Duck-Walk. Claaaaasic.
Low-Smokin' in the Boys Room, Rockland Maine:
You all rmember the 70's hit Smoking in the Boy's Room by Brownville Station, right, also covered by some hair band in the 80's, Motley Crue, I think. Well me and this little band I was in, Strange Brew, was playing in Rockland Maine, home of the North Atlantic Blues Festival. Well no, we weren't actually playing at the Fest, but since a lot of the actual musicians were staying at the Tradewinds Hotel, where we were playing, there were a lot of 'celebrities' in the audience. So anyway, this dude comes up to us at break and asks if we would like to do a set with Cub Coda, founder of Brownville Staion, 'you know, Smokin' in the Boy's Room'. We says sure, it sounds like a blast to jam with a real live musician. This could be our big break. Turned out, not only was the guy a no-talent, but he was the biggest, most pompous ass I had ever jammed with. I shouldn't be telling you this, because, evidentally he croaked a couple of years back, and I shouldn't speak ill of the dead. But hey, Kurt Vonnegut also croaked. So it goes.
High-Gabba Gabba Hey at the Living Room:
The Living Room, back in the 80's, was the hottest night club in Rhode Island short of The Station. The Ramones were the greatest rock n' roll band to ever lay down three chords and a cloud of dust. Jane's Addiction was the most pertinent up and coming Alt-band on the scene. A recipe for success. You bet. Undoubtedly the best show I've ever been to. As the Mow-hawked, noes-bloodied dude I smashed into in the Mosh pit so eloquently summarized the scene, a la Keanu Reeves, 'Whow dude'!
Low-Make mine a Tuborg-Jame Taylor at Tanglewood:
As previosly written in 'Salad Days: Me and Meryl Streep and James Taylor and Barely Spraged', I hadn't always been the biggest James Taylor fan, though I've since grown to be. At the time, though, after seeing shows like aforementioned Ramones at the Living Room, JT at the ultra-mellow Tanglewood scene seemed like a notch or two lower on the coolness scale. To make matters worse, I found my self waiting in a long beer line before the show. Well, let me retrace: it was cool that I could buy beer at least. Bu who should be in line with me waiting for a brew than Academy Award winning actress Meryl Streep. The coolness level plummeted precipitously. Anyhow, it turns out we bought the same brand of beer, Tuborg Gold, and, like me, her favorite movie of all time was Repo Man. Who'd a thunk? I thoroughly enjoyed the show, as well as my brush with fame a la Streep, but that's between you and me, 'kay?
High-Dont'cha be no Baaad Boy:
Pine Top Perkins is a still legendary blues pianist, a pivotal influence on both Blues and Rock n' roll. He played with many legendary front men, most notably Muddy Waters. His recordings read like a living history of Blues music and his live shows are legendary. The thing about old blues musicians, though, is, that after a while they get a little kooky. Though the night I saw him play at the Tradewinds in Rockland was epic, the highlight of the show came during a break. Being blues groupies, me and my friends sought out and clustered around ol' Pinetop and sought to shoot the shit and benefit from his greatness. Ol' Pinetop, on the other hand, just wanted to have him a drink or two and catch a buzz before he went back onn. He also, it seemed, wanted to hit on all the members of our party, men and women alike. As I was bringing ol' Pinetop another round, I see him rubbing his pelvis up against my buddy ol Tom, saying, 'dont'cha be no baaaad boy. You ain't no baaad boy are you'. No shit. 'Uh, Mr. Perkins, it's time to go back on'.
Low-Iggy at the Channel, mid-80's:
Iggy Pop always represented the seedy underbelly of Rock. The Channel always represented the seedy underbelly of Boston Rock clubs. Iggy was also riding a wave of popularity from his big hit 'Cold Metal'. The Channel was one short subway ride from where I was living at the time. Iggy would subsequently use the recordings from this gig to make a live record. The Boston Globe decribed the show in such epocryphal terms as 'tour de force' and 'juggernaut' .
Only an asshole would miss a show like that, right? Well call me an asshole, because I missed it. Not because my Mom was sick in the hospital. Not because I had to be at the birth of my first child. No, just because I didn't feel like going out that night. When I die and go to the Pearly Gates, and they ask me if there's one thing I would go back and change, it would be that I would have gone to see Iggy Pop that night. You know why? Because now he's over 60. And he's got a bad hip. And one of these days, I'll pick up the Globe and read that Iggy Pop has died in his Detroit Mich. home after complications from a fall. Just like Kurt Vonnegut.
So it goes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy F'in Easter...

Here you go, you Pagan bastards. This video warms the Cockles of my heart, stone cold as it may be:

Sunday, April 08, 2007

That reminds me of another one...

I was at this cocktail party a few years back down in Boston. Famed MIT Professor Noam Chomsky was there. He comes up to a group of us talking and asks a friend of mine, 'what's your I.Q.'? My friend says, 'about 160'. 'Good', he says, 'I can talk Quantum Physics with you'. He turns to me and says, well what's your I.Q.'? I sez', 'it's about 120, I recon' '. 'Good', he says, ' I can talk World Geography with you'. He turns to the dude to our right and asks what his I.Q. was and the dude says, 'uh, about 75 or 80, I guess, why'? So Chomsky thinks real hard for a second and sez' to the guy,

'uh... Go Yankees' !

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Joke of the Week:Canadian Idol Edition

Submiteed by my Canadian Humour Dept. Editor, 2D
A Newfoundland couple, both well into their 80s, go to a sex therapist's office. The doctor asks, "What can I do for you?" The man says, "Will you watch us have sexual intercourse?" The doctor raises both eyebrows, but he is so amazed that such an elderly couple is asking for sexual advice that he agrees. When the couple finishes, the doctor says, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way you have intercourse. He thanks them for coming, he wishes them good luck, charges them $50 and says goodbye. The next week, however, the couple returns and asks the sex therapist to watch them have sexual intercourse again. The sex therapist is a bit puzzled, but agrees. This happens several weeks in a row. The couple makes an appointment, has intercourse with no problems, pays the doctor, then leaves. Finally, after 5 or 6 weeks of this routine, the doctor says, "I'm sorry, but I have to ask. Just what are you trying to find out?" The old man says, "We're not trying to find out anything. She's married and we can't go to her house. I'm married and we can't go to my house. The Holiday Inn charges $98. The Hilton charges $139. We do it here for $50, and I get $43 back from Blue Cross."


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Salad Days Volume 14: A Three Hour Tour...

It was the best of times, it was the best of time, as old Chas. Dickens used to say to me all the time. It was, as usual, sometime int he mid-late 80's, and me in my natural prime, was living the life of Riley, since he was out of town. I was currently on temporary hiatus from my paying gig as stage hand on Uncle Frank's Rolling Thunder Revue and General Construction Company. I was enjoying the summer and, at the time, work seemed to be an inconvenience I temporarily could live without. My Ol' Uncle Frank was somehow stoic enough to plow on without me, and was taking the show on the road once again in the greater Chesapeake Bay, in East Bal'more. As Frank was want to do back in those days, he spent a good deal of week-end time cruising the boatyards trying to find that nautical gem of gems to take back to Maine with him. Fortunately, for the purpose of the story, on one of his weekend trips he found a lovely old wooden yacht: a 1957 Broadwater I think it was, 40 some feet long and just about as broad in the beam as a bull Elephant. It was a marvel of marine design and had spiffy bright work, tique decks and all. The price was impossible for Frank to pass up and before he had a chance to think it through, he had it bought straight out. Fair enough. Now how to get it home to Maine from Maryland was the question. Frank was currently in the process of building a Women's Clothing store in Gaithersburg, and was extremely busy bribing building inspectors and hiding illegal labourers and stuff. There was no way he could find the time to transport this behometh home.

That's where yours truly enters the scene. I was at the time, currently unengaged, as I said. I was enjoying some time at my summer retreat of East Mosquitoville with some family and esteemed cronies, licking salt and sucking lemons, contemplating the concept of doing this indefinitely, when the call comes in from Frank explaining his dilemna. A team meeting was immediately called and as all good ideas are generated from beer, we make sure plenty is on hand. In Vino et Veritas, as it were. My neighbor, Tom Hart, of the Hart seed fortune, erstwhile Navy Pilot and crack Welder, is the first to come up with what seems like such an obvious idea: the boat is too big and decrepit to transport by trailer. Why don't we drive it up to Maine by water? 'Brilliant', we says, 'except we've never driven a boat that big Tom and nobody knows how to read charts'. Tom says, 'no problem, I know how to read charts. All's I need is a crew'. Well, it just so happened my cousin I-Dog was up for the week visiting. He was young and able, and wasn't scared of dying yet. He was in. Then there was this kid with I-Dog named 'Plain Doughnut Bill' who was at least a warm body. He said he'd go. So of course I was in like Flynn, not wanting to miss the certain disaster that would ensue when Ol' Tom agreed to captain this dilapitated vessel, sight unseen, up the Inter-Coastal Waterway. Before we could think it through, it was agreed. We would transport the vessel by sea. ' A three hour tour..'

So somehow we make it to Kent Island Marina one fine Summer day on the mighty Chesapeake. All of us festooned in our duffels, baseball hats and cut off shorts, cases of brew under our arms, ready for Freddy. Frank gives the captain a quick run down of the craft, and after about an hour or so, the 'Bon Honny' was ready for her christening voyage. I will let my following entries as ship's First Mate narrate how the journy commenced. 'Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...'

Day One: Kent Island- '...a tale of a fateful trip...' Well, as it turns out, 'Plain Doughnut Bill' is not actually a friend of Ian's. He's just a guy who lives near Ian, and is one of those guys who somehow gets himself invited to places by just hanging around being a pain in the ass. Ian told in me in confidence in the rest area men's room that's he's a first class weiner and an intolerable 'Dead-Head'. Well, that explains all his Dead cassettes and the bag of weed. Anyhow, we had to wait an hour and a half for the tide to lower so we could port the bridge leaving the Marina. Couldn't wait, jumped the gun, snapped of the radio antenna and scraped the roof of the bridge. Thank goodness Frank was already gone. Everyone relativelty sober so far. Nearly swamped at sunset by a very large Oil Tanker. By the time Tom noticed it, we were already plowing through its wake, shaking the Fuck out of the boat and soundly spilling my beer. Found a marshy bog to anchor in ner the head of the Bay. Crucified by the Fucking Mosquitos all night.

Day Two: New Jersey somewhere- Had to stop already to pick up more beer. Boy, the salty sea air makes a man thirsty. It turns out 'Plain Doughnut Bill' IS an intolerahble pain in the ass. Fuckin guy keeps singing 'Fire, fire on th Mouuuuuuntain' over and fuckin' over again. Tom and Ian are getting a bit impatient with him, but we are all enjoying the trip, as long as the beer holds out. Somewhere near Atlantic City a channel collapsed and the boat totally lodged up on a big-assed mud bank. We had to literally get out and push the boat while Tom, the captain navigated up there like a king. I don't think the bastard can actually read charts; I think he's faking. I wonder if there's such a thing as seas leeches.

Day Three: Long Island Sound- 'The weather started getting rough...' Well, this is great. The rudder is broken on this old beast. Were stranded out in the middle of nowhere, with no way to steer. Tom comes up with a solution: We rip out the galley table. I hold on to Ian's belt, hanging him over the port side. He holds the table, I hold him. The boat goes along, listing to starboard for a few thousand yards, then, on signal, Ian stabs the table into the water bringing us back a'port a while. We go on like this most of the morning, until a Lobster boat comes and tows us into the nearsest marina. As we're waiting, we pass through a giant school of Jelly Fishes, and Bill amuses himself by trying to snag them with the Zebco fishing rod he brought with him. 'Fire, fire on the mouuuuntain'. Dipshit.

Day Four: New York City- Well, $120 later, Tom bought and repaired the part, a rudder pin or some shit, and we're back under way. Pass into the harbour in the late afternoon, and it's splendid. Never seen a busier harbour, except maybe Annapolis, but that didn't count since they were mostly little sail boats. Dodged major cargo ships and got to see the Long Island Ferry. Ian and I had our picture taken in front of the Statue of Liberty wearing our Beer-Serving baseball helmets. Classic. Passed up the East Side of Manhatten, through a piece of water called Hell's Gate, or some shit. Sounds promising. Boy, you'd have to pay me serious walking around money to swim in this harbour. Talk about pollution. Beer supply getting seriously low. Meet Frank in Hartford tomorrow.

Day Five: Connecticutt River/Wethersfield- 'If not for the courage of the fearless crew...' 'Well, good news, bad news. Good news is Frank, Gene La Francois and some boys met us at the Wethersfield Marina and re-stocked us with the essentials: banjo strings, flour, gunpowder, vaseline, beer, more beer , swisher sweets, etc. We will be good to go for the remainder of the trip. Bad news was that Frank also dropped off his soon to be erstwhile girlfriend, B.B. LaPinch, who wanted to enjoy the rest of the trip with us. Now, I've never really bought into the sailor myth that a women on board a ship was bad luck. However, in this case, I was willin to entertain the notion. The sooner that she became ol' Frank's ex-girlfriend was not soon enough for me. Or that's how it felt at the time. Maybe it was just because I was tired of Plain-doughnut Bill singing Dead tunes ad infinitum. Besides, how could luck get anty worse?

Day Six: Open Ocean- I discovered what 'Sea Swell' are. Sea swells are what you call big mountains of water, maybe ten or twenty feet high, that slowly and painfully ebb and flow, sickeningly, over and over, until you feel like barfing. You know that feeling you get when you get to the top of the stairs at night in the dark, and accidentally step into thin air? Or when you drive over the crest of a hill too fast and your stomach jumps in your throat? Well, extend that over a whole day and that's what sea swells feel like. One second I'm looking at the Coast of Rhode Island, the next I'm looking at hills of water. Nice. My only solace is that Frankme's honey is hanging over the port side, greener than a fern, ready to barf.

Day Seven: Cape Cod Canal- 'The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert Isle...' We pass through Canal uneventfully. Get to the North shore near sunset, but seas too rough to travel for our craft.

Day Eight: Cape Cop Canal- Seas too rough to travel, have to wait until tomorrow. Frank's woman is getting greener. 'Fire, fire on the Mountaiiin'.

Day Nine: Cape Cod Canal- Fuck it. I've had it. I'm getting a Cape Cod Bus Lines shuttle back to Boston ASAP. I knew having a Dame on board was bad luck. Ian, Tom I'm sorry. Bill, B.B. sy-o-fuckin-a-ra!

Day Ten, Eleven: Boston- Spend the weekend at the Ames Plow Tavern and then catch a Greyhound to Bangor, Maine. Arrive at 10:30pm, a bit hungover, worse for wear and tear, laughing to myself.

Day Twelve: Bangor, Maine- Meet the crew at the Municipal Marina. Frank's woman is gone, but Tom's best buddy Barry has taken my place as First Mate. What the fuck, over? Any way, I'll be God-Damned, they made it. Frank got his beautiful 40 something foot, tique decked Broadwater up to Maine safely, and nobody got killed. I guess Tom could read charts after all.

I calle Frank later that week, and he got me back on thae road working, so I could re-raise some of the money I spent on the trip. He asked me how things went and I answered honestly, 'Fuckin' Great'. Hey nobody got killed, Frank got his boat, and I got a chance to learn how to read charts, though I never did. As I hopped into the company van, getting ready to go back on the road, thinking over my last couple of weeks, I said to myself, literally out loud, 'shit man, to think I could have been working'.

Writtren Drunk to be read drunk.
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