Neat neat neat!

So a good friend put me onto this teewee channel I didn’t know about before, not having even turned the danged thing on in about three years or so: Tubi, which has a damned near miraculous cornucopia of documentaries chronicling the rise of the first-wave punk rock bands of the late 70s. Now, I’m finding it impossible to turn the dang thing off.

For those not previously into this sort of thing, that’s one of my all-time faves, a Brit punk outfit yclept the Damned, slashing ‘n’ burning their way through one of their classic tunes*, “New Rose.” Their Tubi doc is called The Damned—Don’t You Wish That We Were Deadand it is filled to brimming with some mighty toothsome stuff.

There’s a crap-ton of these things available on the Tubi channel, featuring bands from the Ramones to the Dead Boys to Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers to…well, you name it, they got it, pretty much. Here’s a latter-day version of “Neat Neat Neat” from 2009. See if that bassist doesn’t look a mite familiar to ya’s.

Yeppers, that there would indeed be the god-like Lemmy Kilmister, who stepped in to tour and record with the Damned for a spell after OG (Original Guitarist) Brian James had left the band and Captain Sensible had moved over from bass to guitar. As much as I’ve always loved the Damned, from back in 77 up until right this very minute, I never knew that Lemmy had filled in with ’em as bassist, a tidbit I gleaned from the documentary.

An additional nugget of fascinating Damned lore: the original-original guitarist (well, kinda-sorta) was Chrissie Hynde, who would go on to great fame with a little combo called the Pretenders. According to Ms Hynde herself, she had three rehearsals with the embryonic punk icons, after which “they never got back in touch with me, I don’t know why.” Ahh, but I do: not to put TOO fine a point on it, but Chrissie never was anything much to brag about as a lead guitarist; after the band had gotten James into the slot—who IS a good lead git-fiddlist, and very much so—the lads had no real use for Miss Hynde anymore.

A pretty comprehensive record of the Damned’s long and storied career is perusable here; it reads like a who’s-who of OG punk rockers from the UK, and encompasses pretty much the whole history of first-wave punkdom across the Pond.

Another Tubi documentary I’m very much looking forward to viewing covers one Stiv Bators and his band, the forever-notorious Dead Boys. These guys are another of my perennial faves; they actually played the old Milestone Club in Charlotte in, oh, 79 or thereabouts, maybe? To my undying regret, I missed that show thanks to what felt to me at the time as if it might turn out to be a fatal case of the Green Apple Strut, dammit.

I later heard that Bators had indeed performed one of his signature stage moves that night: he would wind his way-long mic cable around his neck three or four times, toss the rest up over a beam or rafter or whatever else was handy and looked to be sturdy enough to bear his weight (which couldn’t have been much more than a buck-twenty or so, the skinny little git), then pull up the slack until he was literally hanging himself by the neck from the ceiling several feet off the stage. Which, with the creaky, decrepit old Milestone, was an act of profoundest faith, believe you me.

Tragically, Bators died in 1990 after being clobbered by an errant taxicab in the streets of Paris. Somewhere around here I should still have a photo I clipped from Creem or Circus or some other one of several 70s rock and roll mags I devoured as sustenance for the soul back in my wayward youth, featuring Bators with his pre-Dead Boys band: a Mark 1-Mod 0 Longhair, Boots, ‘n’ Spandex agglomeration hailing from Stiv’s own home-base of Cleveland, calling themselves Frankenstein. As a preview of what was coming, that pic was about as off as off can possibly get. My own sudden artistic swerve from the comparatively sedate metal/hard-rock byway and into the punk fast-lane was every bit as aggressive and extreme as Stiv’s was.

Here’s a blast of some typical Dead Boys mayhem, from 1977 at the hallowed CBGBs.

Those were the days, my friends.

* NOTE: I originally had an early live clip of “Neat Neat Neat” in this space, but decided to swap it out for “New Rose” since I definitely wanted to include the  “Neat Neat Neat” with Lemmy in it, and didn’t see the point of having two versions of the same dang song up there.

Hey lawdy MAMA!

I’ve been stuck staring at this…ummm, story…ever since Ace first brought it up the other day.

Mum trolled as boobs ‘steal spotlight’ in ‘indecent’ dress at son’s birthday party
A mum claims her own cleavage “stole the spotlight” from her son’s birthday party.

Raquel Dicuru, 37, was throwing a party for her son’s seventh birthday last month while her sister-in-law filmed her lighting the candles on the cake.

It wasn’t until the mum, from Tonbridge, Kent, watched it back that she saw her purple sundress revealed much of her chest.

Happily, the comely (and hoo boy, is she ever that, as can be seen in the several other pics included with this bodacious article) Ms Dicuru has boucoup chestage to reveal, and it looks to be well worth the revealing, bless her perfectly proportioned, shapely heart.

Tig ol bitties!

Raquel’s riposte to the juiceless, withered old killjoys who took umbrage with the inadvertent display of her succulent fun-bags was spot on:

In response, Raquel has told her followers to “get a life”.

Attagirl, you tell ’em. I could be mistaken, I admit, but I can’t help but get the distinct feeling the bluenoses’ unsolicited critique just might have been motivated primarily by envy—the males, because they ain’t got anything like that waiting for ’em at home, and the females, because ditto. Certainly, it’s a pretty safe bet that young master Dicuru saw quite a lot of those tig ol’ bitties early on, or at least until he was weaned off of ’em—one assumes under extreme, kicking-and-screaming protest—and was therefore already quite familiar with the edifying spectacle anyway.

For some strange reason, this feel-good story puts me in mind of a certain RAB classic.

Now as it happens, among a crap-ton of other artists the Stray Cays covered that one early in their illustrious career, with Setzer tacking on one of the coolest verses yet written as a bonus:

Well, I’m smoking past the filter
And it’s burnin’ my lips
Yeah, I’m smokin’ past the filter
And it’s burnin’ my lips
My whole body is a-shakin’ right to my fingertips

Yep, you go on and try and tell me that ain’t just like mama used to make. Knowing Brian as I do, and I know him pretty well, he would be extremely gratified that I’d thought to include him in this particular post, and for all the right reasons too. A little extry rockabilly twangerrifickness for ya.

Lots and lots of excellent, obscure stuff on that album, but it’s that first tune I particularly wanted to call y’all’s attention to. If you’re into it, the fifth song—”Hot Rod Baby—is another one of my all-time faves. GONNA SUCK THIS CAT RIGHT UP MY PIPES…

Update! Yes, I know, I’m obsessing here, but can you blame me? Actually, I been mulling it over trying to come up with some conceivable downside for the kid here, seeing as how all those green-eyed bluenoses claim to be upset about how his hot MILF ruined his birthday for him by the heinous, hateful sin of letting ’em breathe without malice aforethought, and I confess I’m drawing a blank on that.

I mean, the child doesn’t look to be terribly upset in the two (2) pics he appears in in the article, as far as I can discern. And honestly, why would he be? Mama made the both of ’em famous the world over because a bunch of self-righteous Holy Joes got their panties in a bunch over nothing whatsoever.

Think of it: for the rest of his life, he gets to tell his buddies the funny story about that time he and his mom made the newspapers and got everybody all in a dither because, even pushing 40, she was still a sexy, eye-catching lass. He’ll be laughing over this tempest in a teapot from now on; he’ll consider Year 7 the greatest birthday party he ever did have. It’ll be a long, long time before he has to buy his own beer once he’s old enough to belly up to the bar for a pint of stout at his local pub with a story like this to recount.

And like I said earlier, it ain’t as if he didn’t already KNOW his mom was sporting a righteous shirt-full long before now; he didn’t just learn of it after every swingin’ Richard in once-Great Britain got all frothy and fizzy-lipped over it and pointed it out to all and sundry with great outrage and vexation. If there’s any real downside to be found here, for anybody at all except the aforementioned Holy Joe and Jane—who really ought to just shut their yaps and mind their own beeswax—be damned if I can find it.

Sick, boys!

One for my boy Big Country.



I’m thinking BCE might not have found that as amusing as I do a cpl-three days ago, when he was deep in the throes of I-wish-I-was-dead-itude. Now that he seems to be on the mend, though, hopefully he’ll get a small chuckle out of it.

Meanwhile, I also ran across a somewhat less recent live Social D vid, this one from all the way back in 1997. As it happens, the BPs opened for ’em on the CLT date of that tour, which took place at the long-since defunct and demolished Tremont Music Hall. After our set, we were hanging with a few buds of ours in our green room when Ness—with whom I had become good friends back when he spent a few months mastering their huge breakthrough release White Light White Heat White Trash in NYC—came crashing in to bitch at me about nobody having informed him we were the support act that night.

“Okay, well, you guys are doing support tomorrow night in Atlanta, right? And then the night after in Birmingham?” “Ummmm, no, Mike, we ain’t on either of those bills. It was just tonight, and we’re done with that already. Sorry, buddy.” He seemed to be genuinely upset at having missed us, even though he’d attended all of our shows at Rodeo Bar in NYC with my friend Kendra in tow over the months he was in residence in the Big Rotten Apple, so was presumably every bit as familiar with our act as we were our own selves.

This recording is old enough to include what to most Social D fans will always be thought of as the “classic” lineup of Ness, the late Dennis Danell, John Maurer, and a man who is probably the greatest punk rock drummer of them all, Chuck Biscuits. If I remember right, it was the first and biggest of several new-rock radio hits yielded up by White Light White Heat.



Biscuits, a real hard-hitter if ever there was one, got his start with the seminal Canadian punk outfit DOA, following that up with stints with California hardcore icons Black Flag and the Circle Jerks before landing in a little ol’ band called Danzig, a move engineered by producer Rick Rubin at the specific behest of Glenn Danzig himself.

Since I’ve put myself in mind of all that good ol’ punk stuff I used to love so much, might as well subject y’all to one of DOA’s best.



Hard to believe now that we were ever that young.

2

Hyeppeh Joomteemf ‘n’shit, yo!

So earlier on this most auspicious of several other Nigger Day! holidays we now have strewn carelessly about the calendar like junk vehicles, broken toys, and stolen bric-a-brac across the dead brown grass of a Darktown front lawn, the local classical-music station spent the afternoon highlighting the “contributions” to the orchestral music oeuvre (not so auspicious, actually) of Black Composers (if any).

I used that “if any” aside sarcastically, yes, but advisedly too. Because apparently, there are indeed a handful of uppity Neegrows who claim to be composers of symphonic music. After enduring a painfully wretched interlude of truly godawful sqwronk and blorgle, including one “composition” featuring a male singer for whom one couldn’t help but feel a certain measure of pity as the poor fellow tried manfully, but all in vain, to locate some semblance of melody somewhere in the unmusical, atonal mosquito repellent this alleged Black Composer™ dared to claim as his own. As I was desperately cramming bits of toilet paper, styrofoam packing material, asbestos swatches, and cigarette filters up against my eardrums to blunt the agony, I realized that, as a huge ST-TNG fan, I had heard this material before:



You guys may think I’m just being funny here, but I swear that’s what this crap sounded like. Seriously.

Which doesn’t mean that there are NO black classical-music composers worth lending an ear to, mind. I know of at least one: the great Justin Holland, a true-blue, gin-you-wine-article American Original of the classical guitar.

Justin Holland (July 26, 1819 – March 24, 1887) was an American classical guitarist, a music teacher, a community leader, a black man who worked with white people to help slaves on the Underground Railroad, and an activist for equal rights for African Americans.

Holland was known nationally, not only as a musician but also as a civil rights activist who worked in the same national circles as Frederick Douglass. His goal was to develop his personal growth, in order to stand as an example for others to see. As a teacher, he deliberately chose a “cautious and circumspect” bearing, keeping his relationships with students strictly professional. He chose work that was considered honorable and held high standards, and the professional respect that accompanied his position aided his civil rights goals.

A measure of his success in showcasing the admirable African American to the world came after he died, when he was given eulogies, by white people as well as African Americans, about his skill as a musician and his personal character.

…In 1845 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in the Western Reserve, where he worked on his dream of complete acceptance for African Americans by white Americans, with complete equality. Cleveland was another place where white people were sympathetic toward African Americans. He saw the area as a place that gave him the opportunity to work toward that goal. He consciously embraced education and assimilation as the best ways to overcome racial barriers and prejudices. He looked to European culture as a source of admirable standards (and hoped that middle-class Americans around him would associate him with those standards as well.) He spoke of his own music in terms of European excellence, teaching the “correct system” to fret the strings on the guitar, as done by “the best Masters of Europe.” He also wrote a 324-page treatise on subjects of moral reform.

The standout thing about Justin Holland is that, nearly unique among classical-guitar composers and performers, all of Holland’s work proudly bears a readily-identifiable Made In America™ stamp. To wit:



All of his stuff I’ve ever heard—and I’ve heard quite a bit over the years—is like this: lush, gorgeous, with all the Spanish or Italian influence sanded off to leave nothing but pure America the Beautiful shining through. If you listen close enough, you can hear the earliest stirrings of another distinctly American form in there: jazz.



Pretty, no? So here’s to ya, Justin Holland; God rest ye, and long may your beautiful music endure. You are a credit not just to your race, as they used to say, but to your art, and to your nation as well.

2

Trouble up the road

Twitter twats bite back.

Elon Musk Says Twitter Is ‘Resisting’ Terms of Deal, Threatens Termination
Elon Musk is accusing Twitter of “resisting and thwarting” his ability to obtain information about bot accounts on the social media website, saying that it’s a “breach” of the terms of their April deal.

Musk, the world’s richest person, sent a letter to the San Francisco-based firm on June 6.

“Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” the letter reads.

Several weeks ago, the Tesla CEO accused Twitter of allowing a significant number of automated or “bot” accounts on the platform and demanded that the company release that data to him.

In late April, Twitter’s board and Musk jointly announced that he would purchase the social media company for $44 billion and take it private. The deal could take months to finalize, and Musk has publicly stated that it’s not entirely confirmed that he’ll actually buy Twitter.

After the letter was released on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website, shares of Twitter dropped 1.5 percent.

“As Twitter’s prospective owner, Mr. Musk is clearly entitled to the requested data to enable him to prepare for transitioning Twitter’s business to his ownership and to facilitate his transaction financing,” the letter reads. “To do both, he must have a complete and accurate understanding of the very core of Twitter’s business model—its active user base.

“Musk is not required to explain his rationale for requesting the data, nor submit to the new conditions the company has attempted to impose on his contractual right to the requested data. At this point, Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover.”

Much as many of us would enjoy seeing this propaganda mill and the nefarious manipulators running the joint finally on the receiving end of the overdue bruisin’ they’ve long been a-cruisin’ for, the sole arbiter who will judge whether the project to bring Twatter into compliance with 1A standards is actually worth the effort, hassle, and expense required for final consummation of the current takeover agreement is none other than Elon Musk his own bad self. Of course, there are other avenues for dealing effectively with the likes of Twitter and their odious ilk available. But given how pricey ammo has gotten these days, we can only wish fair seas and following winds for Musk. For now, at least.

Explanation for my post title:



That there’s the jumpin’ and jukin’ 1991 cover version of an old Ike Turner-penned scorcher—originally recorded and released by the great Jackie Brenston, who gained everlasting renown for “Rocket 88“, which platter is generally acknowledged as the no-shit genesis of rock and roll—as reimagined by my longtime Nashville homeboys The Planet Rockers.

As it happens, and probably to the surprise of absolutely no one here, I not only have a history with the Planet Rockers, but with this specific song also.



If I recall correctly, which I do, we were playing under a drenching rain that night.

Update! Well, spank my ass and call me Shorty.

“Rocket 88” (originally stylized as Rocket “88”) is a rhythm and blues song that was first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, in March 1951. The recording was credited to “Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats”, who were actually Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm. The single reached number-one on the Billboard R&B chart.

As long as I’ve been aware of “Rocket 88” and its storied history, never did I have the vaguest clue that the record was actually done by Turner and his posse, not Brenston. Just goes to show that no dog is so old he can’t be taught a new trick once in a while, I reckon.

1

Everything louder than everything else

My title, of course, is one of the great Lemmy Kilmister’s most well-known lines, as well as the name of an album by Lemmy’s band. So I’m sure you can easily guess what I’m going to be embedding for this evening’s Tune Damage segment.

Mass shootings just one sign of the systemic collapse of western society… more hunger, violence, debt and destruction yet to come
We are watching the downfall of western civilization as we know it.

The rule of law is dead. Elections are rigged. Free speech is disallowed and a criminally corrupt government now runs an actual Ministry of Truth “disinformation” board. “Science” is a total fraud and the medical system is a murder system. Most of the youth refuse to work, and real-world skills are practically non-existent among those under the age of 30. The education system is run by pedophiles and groomers, Hollywood has gone all-in with satanic programming of children and the US military, under the leadership of woketard Pentagon officials, has become a pathetic shadow of its former self.

On top of all that, the dollar is collapsing in real world value, even as it rises against other currencies (temporarily). The Fed is trapped in an inescapable economic collapse scenario, and the housing bubble is in the process of bursting. Our “president” is a dementia patient who was installed in a rigged election, and our news media — if you can even call them that — are journo-terrorists who parrot CIA lies and corporate disinformation to invoke race wars and covid panic while pushing depopulation vaccines that are designed to exterminate humanity.

None of this is going to get resolved through sanity and reason. It’s all headed for collapse. And when I say “collapse,” I mean the total collapse of western civilization as we know it. This includes the collapse of Western Europe, which is also run by retarded lunatics who are wholly incapable of functioning in any sort of rational way whatsoever.

The West has lost the ability to reason. Logic no longer applies to anything, not science, medicine, journalism, elections, etc.

Oh, I assure you it still DOES apply, and always will. It’s just that most “Americans” have fully bought into the Left’s cherished delusion that logic, like reality itself, can be suspended completely at their capricious whim, then reinstated soon afterwards with no real harm done.

“Journalism” is now just parroting the lies of the corporations and deep state agenda-setters. “Elections” now simply means Democrats running vote-stuffing mules to achieve whatever number of faked votes is necessary to “win.” “Science” means rigging studies, censoring data and destroying the careers of scientific whistleblowers who dare to speak out and warn the world. “Medicine” is a process whereby hospitals and doctors gain financial wealth by murdering patients for profit. “Wall Street” is a Ponzi scheme propped up by seemingly endless money printing. The “gains” are ephemeral. Pension funds and retirement funds are ghosts, and they will collapse toward zero as the house of cards collapses.

Western countries like the USA manufacture almost nothing. We have virtually no domestic supply chain for steel, rare earth minerals, electronics or industrial chemicals and polymers. We are a nation that has abandoned industry and embraced “financialization,” which is the scam of creating make believe wealth by pretending to move numbers around on computer screens, creating derivatives and CDOs and “synthetic CDOs” and other incomprehensible financial instruments that ultimately produce nothing in the real world.

Meanwhile, as China is stockpiling grain in anticipation of a global food shortage — and India has just banned all exports of wheat in order to feed its own people — America continues to export corn, wheat, soy, millet and other agricultural products to China, helping make sure that China won’t starve even while America’s population faces mass famine this year (and next).

There is no longer anything resembling sanity or reason in America. The nation has lost its mind, and the oblivious masses are getting angry enough to start shooting each other with greater frequency. This should come as no surprise.

Believe me, it doesn’t. But odd as it may seem, it ain’t a bad thing, nevessarily. In fact, it’s abundantly clear by now that “shooting each other with greater frequency” is our only way out of this mess. To be specific: sane, sensible, normal Americans are gonna have to start shooting Leftards in job lots if they want their situation to improve. As the saying goes, you don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.

(Via WRSA and Bracken)

Update! Dang it, forgot the embed.



Why yes, of COURSE I have a great story about meeting and hanging out with Lemmy once. Ill have to tell ya all about it sometime.

Updated update! A 2009 live version so racy it has to go below the fold. Continue reading “Everything louder than everything else”

Dream come true

This lucky kid just got to live out a fantasy quietly treasured by every aspiring rocker who ever lived.

Teen drummer Kai Neukermans had counted off the beat for many songs before, his drum sticks leading into fierce covers of bands including Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age.

But this time it wasn’t his younger brother and a friend at guitar, bass and mike. Seated at the drum kit, the 18-year-old from Mill Valley stared back at none other than Eddie Vedder and the rest of popular grunge band Pearl Jam. Plus a crowd of fans in the nearly 20,000-seat Oakland Arena.

“Everybody this is Kai; Kai this is everybody!” frontman Vedder called out to the cheering crowd.

Four beats from Neukermans, and they were off. He had led them into an explosive rendition of “Mind Your Manners” from the group’s 2013 “Lightning Bolt” album. Vedder leaned over and screamed into the microphone, chugged from a bottle of red wine and pumped his fist as the audience sang along.

Spin back about 24 hours to get to the unlikely series of events that led this Tamalpais High School senior to share Friday night’s stage with one of the most steadfast bands still kicking from Seattle’s grunge movement.

Neukermans is not just any teen drummer; he’s one-third of the hard-charging teen rock group the Alive, a band “launched between surf and skate sessions in 2018,” as their web bio explains. They’ve played significant stages, from the BottleRock Napa Valley main stage to Lollapalooza Chile and Boardmasters in England. His 14-year-old brother, Manoa Neukermans, plays bass, and their friend Bastian Evans, 17, of Laguna Beach (Orange County) handles guitar and vocals.

Neukermans and his brother had just seen Pearl Jam perform in Los Angeles — the band was in town for a recording session. During Pearl Jam’s first show in Oakland on Thursday, Neukermans and his family started receiving text messages from friends watching the band perform. Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron wasn’t performing because he’d tested positive for the coronavirus.

Unbelievable. So we’ve now reached such an advanced stage of pussification that nothing more menacing than a positive test for this grotesquely overhyped malady is excuse enough to skive off work and stay safely home quaking in fear over your imminent demise from the Chinky Pox, eh?

Now, I have no wish to bring down The Jinx on our non-pussy readership by being impertinent about this silliness, mind. But I can’t help but wonder: would those weak-kneed Pearl Jam panic-ninnies have called off the show if the stand-in hadn’t been up to it for whatever reason? Would disappointed, screwed-over fans have received an expiditious, full refund of the exorbitant admission price they shelled out? It’s a dead cert they’ll have to eat the cost of gas, food, drinks, plus the staggeringly high cost of parking about a good half-hour’s trudge, maybe more, from the venue, no helping that.

But still. Does Pearl Jam feel any obligation to not let their fans down if they can possibly avoid doing so? Can they possibly be so naive, so profoundly gormless, that they do sincerely believe that a single positive test is adequate justification for abjuring that solemn obligation? Could the band make a plausible case for that, collectively or individually, to the fans with a straight face? WOULD they?

They pressed him to offer himself up as a replacement for Friday night’s show.

“It was a last-minute thing, and I didn’t think it was going to work out,” Neukermans said.

But he gave it a shot.

Neukermans had met Vedder’s daughter Olivia Vedder in 2018 at Ohana Fest, founded by her surf-loving father and held on the beach at Dana Point in Orange County. So Neukermans sent her a text. She responded that night and said she’d ask.

Friday morning Neukermans went to school. Around lunchtime he heard they wanted to see a video of him drumming.

Neukermans left school before his last two periods — with permission from his parents, Stefaan and Alexandre Neukermans — and drove down to Green Room Music in Pacifica. He put “Mind Your Manners” on repeat in a rehearsal room and started drumming. Over and over and over.

Okay, enough with the excerpting. If you’re at all interested in these momentous affairs, click on over for our thrilling conclusion.

1

Guitar heaven

Ed Driscoll reports from the Dallas International Guitar Festival, and if you’re at all into guitars, it’s pretty sweet stuff.

On Saturday, I attended the 2022 Dallas International Guitar Festival at the Dallas Market Hall, the second festival after a timeout in 2020 due to the pandemic lockdown. As I wrote last year at Instapundit, unlike the previous guitar shows in the DFW Metroplex, 2021’s show had a somewhat more low-key feel, lacking the large exhibits by the music industry heavy hitters such as Gibson and Fender. (In pre-pandemic times, a large trailer owned by Gibson would be displaying their newest and most impressive guitars, Fender usually had a large display, and Roland was showing off the latest effects in their Boss line as well.)

While Gibson and Fender were still absent in person, this time around it was nice to see a few bigger names back on display, such as…

Fender, Boss, Gretsch, Taylor, Eventide; Les Paul, Strat, Tele, Black Beauty—the names alone evoke an overwhelming nostalgia in me whose taste is bittersweet at best nowadays, seeing as how my hands have been utterly ruined by the curse of DePuytren’s Contracture, or Viking Disease. My left-hand ring and pinky fingers are curled tightly up against my palm and can’t be straightened, even by physical force; as I tell foks who ask, my once-agile fretting hand is useful mainly as a place to hang my keys, no more. The right hand is only a little bit behind, but well on its way. The sensation brought on by this condition is so intensely unpleasant it actually wakes me up at night sometimes. It’s fucking awful, is what it is.

All that aside, any halfway serious guitar slinger—by which I do NOT necessarily mean a professional musician who earns his daily bread wielding an axe onstage and/or in the studio—will enjoy Ed’s reportage tremendously. The photos alone will be enough to bring a tear of joy to your jaded eye, trust me. Although I must say the Les Paul pics run way heavy on the Tobacco and Honey Burst varieties—which, I can’t stand those ugly, dull-looking turdballs—and way light on Cherry Sunburst—which are my all-time faves. Examples:

Tobacco Burst: uglier’n homemade sin


Honey Burst: slightly more bearable

Purty!
Cherry Burst: a little bit of Heaven on Earth

Of course and as always, your mileage may etc on that. There’s no real shame in disagreeing with me; it just means your taste is in your ass, that’s all. I should maybe also mention the subspecies of the parent Tobacco and Cherry Burst finishes, such as Lemon and Tangerine. In fact, the Honey Burst model depicted above is actually a sub-category of Tobacco Burst its own bad self.

One last photo from Ed’s post to take home witcha.

TeleStrat.jpg

For the uninitiated, that two-headed beastie at Foreground Left flying Distressed White colors and decked out in its Sunday-best gold hardware is something of an odd duck: a double-necked Strat-style body, with the top half being pretty much the standard three-pickup Stratocaster deal. The bottom half, though, veers off in a decidedly different direction: one single-coil pickup, slightly beefier than those found on Strats, mounted on a steel plate way back by the bridge with the familiar, jaunty Telecaster tilt. It also sports the knurled steel volume/tone knobs and long-throw three-position pickup selector switch which typically adorn the Telecaster control panel.

TeleCP.png

Ahh, the precious memories. All well beyond my reach now, alas. As my Uncle Murray always insisted, with no little heat: Gettin’ old sucks. Wise man, Uncle Murray was.

1

Dwight! Buck! Bakersfield!

Buck Throckmorton displays his impeccable taste in music with a vid of Dwight Yoakam doing a too-short greatest-hits medley on the Grand Ole Opry stage. It is indeed some mighty fine stuff, gooder’n grits and redeye gravy. Unfortunately, though, Dwight somehow failed to include my own personal fave on the setlist, an instant classic called “The Distance Between You And Me.” Please allow me to rectify this oversight.



Buck thoughtfully tosses a little bonus verbiage into the mix.

THROCKMORTON’S FIRST LAW OF LIVE MUSIC: IF THERE’S AN UPRIGHT BASS IN THE BAND, IT’S PROBABLY GOING TO BE GOOD

Ain’t no arguing with that sentiment. Funny thing is, though, that ole Dwight chose to work with both a standup and a Fender bass in the video. I have no idea why; the only other time I can recall seeing anybody using two bass players onstage was when the Playboys opened for Little Richard in NYC: the experienced old road-dog Richard had been using since the late 60s pumping out those sweet licks in the old-school way over on Stage Left, and a much younger Young Turk thumping and popping and slapping some more contemporary Fo’ Da Peepuls funkitudeadelicalicity at Stage Right.

The setup seemed to work well enough to suit Richard’s purposes as the Architect of Rock and Roll, yes. But generally speaking, if you have the fat, round, full-throated sonic ooooomph!! of an upright making your point for you onstage, you have no need of the thinner, midrangey, somewhat nasal skrooonk! of an electric too. Next to a properly mic’ed and/or amplified standup, the electrical whippersnapper is just pointless and superfluous and really needs to get the hell off my lawn.

Plus, you’re padding the payroll unneccessarily by taking on a spare bass player you don’t need—paying for extra meals, extra booze, extra hotel rooms, and assorted other extra goods and services which personal experience tells me you damned well can’t afford.

Then there’s having to help your redundant bassman wrangle his gear into the band van…and believe you me, those Hugh Jass™ Ampeg 8×10 “refrigerator” cabs insisted on by every discerning bass player who has clawed his way up to the less-cramped stages and overly-muscled stagehands characteristic of the midsized-venue circuit are fucking HEAVY, no joke. Topped by an early-70s all-tube SVT head and we’re talking between three and four hundred pounds of bottom-end rumble to lug around, which adds up to some serious no-fun for all involved parties. Nothing else sounds better, or anything like as good. But nothing else is a bigger ass-ache to have to deal with night after night after night out on the road.

When you’re listening to the intoxicating sound an Ampeg SVT rig produces, you love that infernal beast more than the soft, sweet coo of your peacefully-slumbering child. When you’re trying to work your freshly-mangled hand out from under it, or you and three of your least-svelte buds are struggling to manhandle the thing up a staircase lengthy enough to accommodate the takeoff roll of an Antonov An 225 which leads up to the loft in which tonight’s venue is situated, there’s nothing and no one you’ve ever hated worse. Ask me how I know. Go ahead, I dare ya.

Remembering how Dwight Yoakam crashed the country music charts in the late 1980s with raw, retro-country gives me hope that there will someday be another Dwight emerge with a retro-sound that breaks the hold of bro-country/tailgate-rap on modern country music.

We can only hope so. Retro? Fine and dandy, I gots no nits to pick there, either. But what Dwight really was, was a living, loving tribute to the game-changing Bakersfield Sound pioneered by the legendary country artists Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Billy Mize, among others. Yoakam was personally close to and did a goodish bit of studio work with Owens, proudly acknowledging his Bakersfield affiliations with 1988’s chart-topping duet with his friend Buck, “Streets Of Bakersfield.” Owens had recorded the song back in 1973 his own self, which quickly died the death upon its release. As is remarkably common in country music, a wonderful backstory comes along with the song.

Homer Joy, the song’s writer, was approached in 1972 by representatives from Buck Owens’ studio in Bakersfield, California, about recording a “Hank Williams Sr. soundalike-album”. Joy initially refused, saying “I don’t want be like Hank, I just want to be me!” Eventually, he agreed to come in and record it, on the condition that he would also get to record some of his own songs as well. After the recording, however, the studio manager told Joy that he’d forgotten that the Buckaroos (Buck Owens’ band) were practicing for an upcoming tour, and that Joy would have to wait to record his original songs.

Refusing to back down, Joy would show up at the studio at 8 AM every morning, only to be told that the Buckaroos were busy and that he would still have to wait. One night, Joy decided to take a walk around downtown Bakersfield, only to have the brand-new cowboy boots he’d been wearing give him blisters all over his feet: “I barely made it back to the car, and on top of that, I was still upset about everything, and I went back to my hotel room and wrote ‘Streets of Bakersfield’.”

As usual, Joy went to the studio at 8 AM the following morning, and the studio manager, out of frustration, grabbed a guitar off of the wall and gave it to Joy, saying, “Sing me one of the songs that you’d record if we could get some time to record it.” As kind of an “in-your-face” gesture, Joy performed his eight-hour-old “Streets of Bakersfield”. Afterward, the studio producer went into the back of the studio, brought out Buck Owens, and had Joy play it again. Owens then said to the manager, “The Buckaroos have the day off, but you call them and tell them that we’re going to do a recording session on Homer this afternoon.”

Buck Owens released a recording of the song in 1973, and while that version wasn’t a major hit, the re-recording he did with Dwight Yoakam in 1988 (with slightly changed lyrics) reached #1 on the Billboard Country Music charts.

That 1988 revisit to the Number One spot was the first for Buck Owens since 1972. Here t’is:



Two things to look out for here: one, the brilliant, fluid guitar stylings of Yoakam’s longtime partner, producer, and behind-the-scenes mastermind, the seriously gifted Pete Anderson; and 2) the always-understated presence onstage of Flaco Jiminez, King of Tex-Mex accordion. When it comes to putting a smile on the faces of his audience, I can honestly say I’ve never been able to watch one of Flaco’s joyous, open-hearted performances without grinning like a mule eating briars.

Flaco got his first big break in the 60s when he landed a regular gig with Doug Sahm, a founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet (“She’s About A Mover,” featuring a pitch-perfect Vox organ hook from Augie Meyers). Flaco worked with Sahm for years, stepping out to bebop around on his own hook before eventually reuniting with Sahm in the Texas Tornadoes, also sharing stages with fellow music icons Augie Meyers and Freddie Fender.



Good stuff, no? Almost all of those guys are long gone; it saddens me to think that, after bringing so much happiness to so many people, they should be all but forgotten nowadays, fringe weirdos like myself being the ever-lonelier exceptions. I’ll leave you with one last nugget of “Behind The Music” trivia before signing off for the night.

The Cadillac with an upright bass strapped on top of it always brought me a smile in Dwight’s official video for “Guitars, Cadillacs.”

Didn’t bring very many of ’em to Elvis Presley’s original standup bass player, Bill Black. For Elvis, Bill, and Scotty Moore, the hitch-hiking bass wasn’t just a photo shoot, it was everyday life. The boys spent a good chunk of 1955 actually hauling Bill’s doghouse bass around on the roof of Elvis’s newly-acquired pink Caddy (don’t miss the incredibly rare pictures at the link!), which Bill didn’t like even a little bit—all the moreso since he had to hang his arm out the window and hold onto the neck of his fragile, expensive instrument so’s a sudden gust wouldn’t rip the bass up, up, and away, transmogrifying Bill’s pride and joy into so much kindling wood strewn across the Tennessee blacktop. Black disliked his admittedly unappealing circumstances enough as it was, the bitterness and envy at having been eclipsed by Elvis as the star of the show which would torment him for the rest of his abbreviated life already beginning to rankle*.

As you might well imagine, he was absolutely beside himself with rage whenever those April showers came their way.

*In Bill’s opinion, being rudely elbowed out of the spotlight and into supporting-player status was an entirely unfair and ill-considered error in judgment, a mistake which could only damage the combo’s career prospects. From practically the moment the ink had dried on Elvis’ signature on his contract with RCA, the label snootily announced that neither Scotty nor Bill’s presence would be required in the tracking room for the first RCA album. This insult would only intensify Bill’s rancor, the only real chnge in his hostile attitude from then on being the slow shifting of his anger onto Elvis himself, for not standing up like a man to support and defend his erstwhile bandmates. Bill was much older than Elvis, and he had come to regard the soon-to-be King of Rock and Roll as a wet-behind-the-ears kid, easy pickings for the wily, conniving big shots from up North in their chaffeured limos and their fancy suits. These interlopers had obviously seduced Elvis into cutting ties with those who truly cared about him and understood his music and ambitions far better than any damned Yankee ever could. Bill persuaded himself into believing that his primary concern was keeping watch over Elvis, fending off the ravening major-label wolves and looking out for Elvis’s best interests, over and above any conceit or careerist ambitions of his own.

Scotty, reliably affable and easygoing, shared Bill’s sense of betrayal and abandonment at the dastardly hands of a presumed friend who had proven false, only setting his anger and hurt aside after many years had passed and time had attenuated his youthful passions. The BP’s manager had gotten to know Scotty fairly well in the years after Elvis’s death, and says that for a long while there, just about the only conversation anybody could get out of Scotty Moore was “FUCK Elvis, the goddamned backstabbing phony” and such-like. Mostly, while he never had any of Bill’s overbearing, aggressive vanity, he still felt he had been ill-used badly enough to cherish his grudge against Elvis until only a few years before he died. Bill Black, on the other hand, carried his with him to the grave.

Testing, testing

Just signed up for a Rumble account, and thought I’d upload a couple of BP live-show vids I have just lying around the house and embed ’em here, just to see how this whole shebang works. Or, y’know, IF it works.



Huh, well how ’bout that, it DOES work. I’ve read here and there that Rumble is just about the best YouTube alternative currently available, so I felt obliged to give it a whirl.

On a roll update! Here, have another.



5

One for BCE

Just ’cause he brought this up:

It reminded me of the old Lone Ranger joke…

The Lone Ranger and Tonto are looking down the side of the mountain into the valley, which is teeming with ten thousand pissed off Apache. Lone Ranger looks over to Tonto and says “Looks like we’re in a tight spot old friend!”

To which Tonto looks at him and says “What’s this “we” shit Paleface?”

Heh. A pretty decent oldie-but-moldie that reminded me of this, from 1974…when I was all of, erm, uhhhhh…fourteen years old?!?

DAMN, but I’m old.



Yeppers, that little ditty was a solid AM radio hit in my youth, among many other off-the-wall and inexplicable novelty offerings. No need to thank me, Expat. Probably no reason to, either.

Are you are as impressed as I am?

No, not in the least.

800-Volt EV Charging: The Other Palliative for Range Anxiety
Taking 18 minutes to charge to 80 percent makes top-up pit stops suddenly more palatable

Not to anybody who remembers that the last time he gassed up his current ICE vehicle it didn’t take him even five minutes, it ain’t…and that was filling his tank completely, not stopping at 80% and then calling it a “top-up.” Not to even mention that said ICE vehicle cost him around thirty-forty grand to buy, considerably less than the hefty 56k-and-up tariff the little Green Weenie windup toys bring along for the ride.

“Range anxiety” has been a headline concern for electric vehicles. Some automakers keep trying to soothe it with ever-larger and heavier battery packs, so that consumers can go farther between charges.

The problem is that lithium-ion cells remain expensive, heavy, and in critically short supply around the world. And battery bulk alone, especially in monstrously powerful trucks, can be a short route to a relatively inefficient and prohibitively expensive EV.

The Hyundai Ioniq5 and Kia EV6 that I recently tested—a pair of wildly impressive, high-design EVs—take a different approach to solving range anxiety: an 800-volt battery architecture that delivers some of the fastest charging in the EV game, and unheard of at these price levels. These handsome crossover SUVs might not be able to cruise for 7 hours on the highway, like the 500-mile-range Lucid Air. But their ability to charge to 80 percent capacity in as little as 18 minutes shows how EVs might circumvent the problem of battery overkill and still be fully viable as interstate cruisers.

The Hyundai, especially, left fellow drivers doing double takes and whipping out phone cameras.

But not their checkbooks, one may have noticed. So far at least, the only proven way to move EVs off the showroom floor and into peoples’ garages is for goobermint to mitigate the heart-stopping sticker shock with a nice subsidy package—or, to put it more honestly, a bribe for swallowing the multitudinous downsides of these Loser Cruisers, at the government’s (taxpayer’s) expense. (HINT TO LIBTARDS: Having to resort to bribery to sell a products is NOT an indication of said product’s popularity with consumers. Quite the opposite, actually.) We won’t even go into the many other disincentives that add up to make EVs a very hard sell indeed. Like, say, the very real and serious risk that your shiny new EV strugglebuggy might explode and/or spontaneously burst into flames, taking down your house along with it.

TITLE BACKSTORY: Back in the middle/late 70s I had an interaction—an abbreviated one, for reasons which ought to soon be apparent—with the manager/salesman of one of CLT’s perennially cellar-dwelling music stores, the name of which I don’t remember. I had wandered in there out of sheer desperation in search of a pack of whatever semi-obscure guitar strings I was enamored of back then, kidding myself that I’d be more likely to find off-brand strings in an off-brand store—a hopeful hypothesis which the science would invalidate posthaste.

Music Store Dude’s idea about my quest for cheap but effective guitar strings did NOT concur with my own, oh no no. According to his professional Music Store Dude expertise, what I really wanted was a brand new, all-chipboard-no-tube, cheaply made, sounds like the worst cheap-beer-and-Indian-food morning-after diarrhea-dook you ever took smelled like, Peavey guitar amplifier. Having one of those crimes against rock and roll all plugged in and ready to befoul the air long before my entry into the shop had made the little bell hung over the door go “ding,” MSD leapt into Sell! Sell! Sell! mode, turned the offensive thing on, and began idly strumming the guitar he had been holding in his lap. After each chord, the guitar’s melodious tone curdled into a gnarly, muddy mess courtesy of that sorry-ass Peavey. Then Music Store Dude would beatifically roll his eyes Heavenward as he repeated the corny mantra that had clearly been drummed into him in the Salesmanship 101 course he had flunked out of in community college: Are you as impressed as I am? Are you as impressed as I am? ARE YOU AS IMPRESSED AS I AM?

There was but one answer to be made to this increasingly aggressive query, to which I immediately resorted in self-defense: I muttered, semi-sotto voce, something along the lines of Sorry, gotta go, I think I hear my friends at Reliable Music shouting for me. Which is where I kicked up my heels and hurried off to without further delay, and bought the stupid pack of strings that had so nearly brought a strange doom crashing down upon my head—Death by Shitty Guitar Tone. I should’ve just gone to Reliable in the first place. I don’t know why I hadn’t, but it was a mistake I would never make again. In every city I played in, I kept strictly to the music stores I was familiar with when I needed one, shunning all the weird-looking, down-at-heels ones as if they had leprosy.

Yeah, yeah, I know: Skynyrd used and endorsed Peavey amps, as did pretty much every other ’70s Southern rock hit factory you could name.

And so what? I’ve always been pretty sure the second part of “used and endorsed” explains the first adequately enough: those Southern rockers played ’em not so much because they liked ’em, but because they were being paid to look as if they did. Myself, I hated the damned shitburgers back then, and I still do now. But hey, if Peavey handed me a big enough wad of cash, I’d try my best to pretend I liked the useless boat anchors too.

Obligatory disclaimer/confession: I DID play a Peavey Bandit for a couple-three months in the earliest days of the BPs; it belonged to one of the guys I had originally conceptualized the band with, an old-school purist who just could not abide the Marshall JMP half-stack (ie, the King of Rock, long may he reign—one of the very best amps ever produced, by anybody) that was helping me work through my rage issues back then. I make no apology for my brief lapse into the Shame of the Peavey; after all, none of us is without his own skeletons in the closet, right?

The moral of the story? Never let yourself be taken in by a hustler (the gooberment) trying to pressure or swindle (or legislate) you into settling for an inferior solid-state counterfeit (EV) of the tube-driven (ICE) real deal. You’ll be throwing away your money (your money) in the end, it won’t work out as promised (your house will burn down), and the only one who will end up happy with the whole deal will be the salesman (goobermint).

Oh, one more point to be made: If your product is good enough you won’t even have to sell it, it will sell itself. In contrast to the Peavey band-endorsement hustle, do note that Jim Marshall kept strictly to his principle of not paying for artist endorsements, the lone exception—until 1991 and the release of Marshall’s JCM Slash signature-model amp—being Jimi Hendrix.

According to an old book I have chronicling the amazing history of James Marshall’s world-beating amps (Marshall, amusingly and ironically enough, was actually a drummer his own self, and had enjoyed some local fame playing jazz in London nightspots), their names partially explains the Hendrix exception. Jimi was introduced to Marshall at the small London music store and amp-repair shop James owned and ran—and where his iconic amps had originally been created, at the request of Pete Townsend, probably the most famous of several other shop hangarounds that would later become rock stars themselves—and was blown away by the coincidence of their names—James Marshall Hendrix, guitar god, and James NMI Marshall, immortal guitar-amp legend. The two became close friends, Jimi switched to Marshalls for good, and the rest is rock and roll history.

Some good stuff from the previously-linked article, for any gear-geeks that might be reading:

You’d think that a guitarist of Slash’s stature would have a warehouse full of amplifiers at his disposal. As it turns out, though, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist only has a handful of trusty heads, which were discontinued in 1989, and they’re all just about ready to be retired. “I’ve been using the same Marshall Jubilee heads at every gig and session since I got them in 1987,” says Slash. “A bunch of those got badly damaged at the riot we had in St. Louis in 1991. After that, I was really nervous about my amplifier situation because I knew that if anything happened to the Jubilees I had left, I would be totally screwed.”

It was in the aftermath of the riot (which was prompted by an abbreviated GNR set) that Slash and Marshall began discussions that would ultimately result in the limited-production JCM Slash. And while Marshall amps have been associated with many of rock’s legendary guitarists, this is the company’s first endorsement deal-not to mention its first signature model.

“I’m totally honored that Marshall is doing this,” says Slash. “I’m the first person ever to get a free amp from them-except for Jimi Hendrix. And from what I understand, the amps he had were just on loan.”

The new amplifier is an exact replica of the Silver Jubilee 2555. However, unlike the Jubilee, the JCM Slash boasts the guitarist’s “smoking snake” logo and comes complete with a pimpin’ snakeskin cover.

The all-tube, 100-watt head boasts a quartet of Russian EL34’s in its power section and a trio of ECC83’s driving its two-channel preamp. There’s also a handy, front-panel-mounted half-power switch that allows you to drop the amp down to a more manageable 50-watt triode mode perfect for smaller venues. Slash admits that even he runs his amps on half-power much of the time. “If you have a singer who’s sensitive to loud backlines like Axl is, having a half-power switch is a godsend. It’s the only I way I can get the power tubes to work as hard as I need them to.”

I got chills here. Honestly, reading stuff like this makes me miss playing more than just about anything else, it really does. Nothing sweeter or more satisfying than the spine-tingling yowl of a Model 1987 50-watt Plexi reissue firing a pair of Celestion G12T-75s, the rig I happily ran for many years. Never have I owned a setup I liked better than this one, and I’ve owned ’em all. I never liked GNR, but I do like Slash just fine. He’s an excellent player, and I envy him his guitar/amp setup.

Update! If you can’t bribe ’em, try extorting ’em.

Pete “Just Buy A Tesla” Buttigieg Buttplug (FIFY—M) Says To Get Used To Price Hikes Until We Have Energy Independence Based On Clean Energy
Just another reminder that the higher gas prices you are suffering under are intentional.

Ever since the Obama Administration, the left has made it their goal to make gas so unaffordable that the American people will dump the convenient and plentiful fossil fuels the entire global economy is based upon for “clean” energy sources.

Here’s Mayor Pete telling Americans that the beatings will continue until morale improves:

Here’s the thing to remember, even if all the oil we use in the USA were made in the USA, the price of it is still subject to powers and dynamics outside of the USA.

Which means, until we achieve a form of energy independence that is based on clean energy created here at home, American citizens will still be vulnerable to wild price hikes like we’re seeing right now.

Gay Mayor Pete and the Biden crew will never admit that gas prices were low under Trump and that it was because of his energy policy.

But now that Biden has made it impossible to drill in the US, then all of a sudden all the drilling in the world won’t help the United States. It’s a global market.

Forget the four years under Donald Trump, those never happened.

There’s nothing that can be done, except buying electric cars, building more windmills and solar panels, and keeping the serfs at home forever.

Never mind that Biden’s Energy Secretary even says that they are using the Ukraine crisis and rising oil prices to transition America off gas.

It’s all intentional. It’s meant to cause pain.

Yep, t’is. There must be some way we could return the favor and cause them some right back, don’tcha think? Gee, I wonder what it might be

OBEY update! When bribery and extortion have failed, you might then try a little judicious legislation removing the serfs’ ability to choose for themselves.

Last week, the current Democrat Governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee, signed a bill into law that aims to ban the sale of most non-electric vehicles in the state by 2030.

This legislation follows the lead of other deep-blue states like California and New York that recently announced bans on gas-powered vehicles in a move to end sales of these vehicles no later by 2035.
.
The Post Millennial reported that Inslee signed the “Move Ahead Washington” package into law stipulating that all publicly owned and privately owned “passenger and light duty vehicles 2030 model or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in the state” must be electric.

This legislation comes with a $16.9 billion price tag and will receive funds generated by taxes on gasoline.

Ummm, I believe I see a tiny little problem with this Supergenius!™ idea.

Inslee claimed that the package would help “combat climate change,” but the state of Washington will be reliant upon its residents and visitors continuing to fill their cars with gasoline in order to fund reach this green goal.

So here we are then, where every socialist tyranny eventually winds up: using the wealth only capitalism can create to fund their adolescent fantasies, feeding off the very host that sustains them until they’ve killed it.

1

The crowning accolade

Ronnie D gets another feather in his cap, courtesy of some legendary fellow denizens of the Sunshine State.

Johnny Van Zant, lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and his brother Donnie Van Zant created a song to celebrate freedom and Florida, thanking Governor Ron DeSantis for his leadership over the past few years.

As Governor DeSantis heads into a reelection campaign, he mentioned to Van Zant it would be great if they created a song for Florida in the same genre as their famous hit Sweet Home Alabama. The two brothers took the challenge and wrote and recorded “Sweet Florida.” It’s a catchy tune.

Governor DeSantis joined Johnny and Donnie Van Zant this morning on Fox & Friends to discuss.

Catchy it most certainly is, a stirring Southern rock anthem in the true old Skynyrd style. Dear departed big brother Ronnie would be damned proud of his junior siblings, I think. Sundance includes vid of DeSantis promoting the Skynyrd tribute on Fox, as you might expect. Meanwhile, have yourself a taste of the song itself.



As if all that weren’t enough rich, buttery goodness for even the greediest gourmet, the song has its very own website, here.

Yeah, we’re free down in Florida; our governor, he’s red, white, and blue. Hott-O-Mighty DAMN, but I love it. Big ol’ Southren-fried hat tip to Barry.

Update! Just watched it again, and the song not only has the same key signature—D Major—but the exact same 1-7-4 (D-C-A) primary chord progression as Sweet Home Allybammer does. God bless Florida, the South, the Van Zants, Ron DeSantis, and good ole Southern Rock.



Ahh, the 70s. What the hell, since we’re well down the rabbit hole at this point, let’s just dive a little deeper so’s I can share with y’all what always was my own personal favorite Skynyrd tune.



Smash ’em up-date! And the hits just keep on coming.

DeSantis broaches repeal of Disney World’s special self-governing status in Florida
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed on Thursday the suggestion of repealing a 55-year-old state law that allows Disney to effectively govern itself on the grounds of Walt Disney World, following the company’s public opposition to a controversial parental rights law in Florida.

“What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power,” DeSantis said during a press conference in West Palm Beach, Florida on Thursday.

DeSantis’s comments comes after Florida State Rep. Spencer Roach tweeted that he has met with legislators to discuss repealing the self-governing law in response to Disney’s recent actions.

“Yesterday was the 2nd meeting in a week w/fellow legislators to discuss a repeal of the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which allows Disney to act as its own government,” Roach tweeted. “If Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they should be regulated by Orange County.”

While I’m viscerally against any flexing of government muscle in the private sector just on general principle, it’s clear we’re way beyond the point where stubbornly standing on principle can help us much. This is a war we’re in here, and out-of-control Woke mega-corps who think to dictate to state governments what they may and may not do is a bridge too far for me. As DeSantis has said:

“This state is governed by the interest of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives,” DeSantis said. “They do not run this state. They do not control this state.”

Nor should they, nor should they be allowed to summarily act as if they do. With the announcement that “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts…” Disney declared war on the very concept of self-government. Fine then, motherfuckers. You want a war? You got one—with Ron The Knife as our commanding general. Let’s see how that works out for ya.

Disney’s wildly mistaken notion of what their “goal as a company” should be needs to be corrected, badly and most ricky-tick. DeSantis and his like-minded cohorts in FLA government just might be the perfect teachers to straighten Disney’s ass out but good, seems to me. It’s absolutely imperative that US corporate execs, whatever their employer’s field of endeavor, are reminded of the proper role, priorities, and boundaries of American businesses. Given their own outsized power, influence, and reach, this reminder must be firm, unequivocal—even painful, if that’s what’s required to force them back into their own lane again.

1

RIP

We mourn the untimely loss of one of the most pure-tee badass drummers I ever did hear tell of.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has passed away at the age of 50, according to a statement from the band.

A cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Whatever the cause turns out to have been, I’m mighty sorry to hear this news. Check out this great old (1998?!? That CAN’T be right) live footage, from some outdoor festival or other up in soggy Vancouver.



The above show marked my first exposure to Hawkins, who blew me away completely. He’s the only kind of drummer I ever really liked: laying down a solid, rock-steady rhythm, gangly arms and legs flailing wildly about, rivers of honest sweat flowing from the opening number; throwing his entire body into pounding those skins so danged hard the front five rows would be in pain from the bludgeoning for days after—in sum, a perfect marriage of flawless technique; originality, passion, and style; and just sheer, fangs-bared ferocity. Seeing him play, you almost had to feel sorry for those poor drum heads and sticks, so profound was their ordeal.

Dave Grohl is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist, a top-tier drummer, and a bona fide rock star his own self (Grohl, remember is the guy who propelled Nirvana to legendary status; the band spent years spinning their wheels and going nowhere until signing him on). As such, only a monster ass-kicker could ever play drums behind him, or would ever dare to attempt it. The Foo Fighters kept Taylor around for many a long year, which speaks volumes all by itself.

Fare thee well, Taylor Hawkins. You’ll surely be missed, and sorely. Your departure leaves your bandmates with some mighty big shoes to fill; I can’t say I envy them the task.

Update! Doubt me concerning Hawkins’ rabid-gorilla approach as a confirmed Brutalizer of Beat? Think I must be exaggerating the raw, impassioned fury of Taylor’s inimitable attack? Pick up the above vid at, say, 1:35 or so, watch that big tall drink of water slash and burn his way through the turnaround—this is but one of many examples, there are many more. After you do, come back and tell me you still feel that way.

Above their station

The Wokester punk-ass cockholsters dare to dream of cancelling Tchaikovsky now? SRSLY?!?

I see poor old Tchaikovsky is getting canceled by world-renowned ensembles such as the, er, Cardiff Philharmonic because he has stayed silent when he should have been noisily distancing himself from Vladimir Putin. As our friend Laura Rosen Cohen has pointed out, Peter Ilyich was quite the Ukrainophile: he used to summer there every year, just like many American politicians and money launderers. Nevertheless, his boots were on the ground far more often than Lindsey Graham’s: There are statues of Tchaikovsky and museums to him in at least two northern Ukrainian towns, as well as in Kiev.

So I thought, as compensation for disappointed Cardiff Phil customers, we’d have a little Tchaikovsky for our Sunday musical selection. Of course, ours is a department of songs, so you’ll have to suffer the great Russian with an American lyric – and, indeed, with a British lyric.

Our story begins in 1939. Well, actually, it begins in 1869. That’s when Tchaikovsky’s fellow composer Balakirev proposed Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a subject to young Pyotr Ilyitch. The resulting “fantasy-overture” uses the Bard’s characters and themes for a series of musical contrasts, starting with the reflective clarinet-and-bassoon melody representing the star-crossed lovers’ pal Friar Laurence, next a stormy passage for the feudin’ an’ a-fightin’ Montagues and Capulets, and then the famous soaring love theme…

As it happens, Pyotr Ilyich is a long-time favorite of mine, and the Fantasy Overture one of my favorites among his works, although I must point out that I like Tchaikosvky well enough that I can’t really think of any of them I find off-putting. The FO stands out in the Tchaikovsky catalog, with its strangely ominous and dark opening section:




Yep, we have ourselves another brilliant SteynMusic post here, folks. Incredibly, Mark missteps slightly with the next bit.

In the context of the full piece, it’s as if the composer is either too cool or too serious to let rip with the theme and blow the roof off.

Think so, do ya? Well, I don’t know what we’re to make of the thunderous close-out, then.




If that don’t blow your roof off but good, then I’d say you got yourself one hell of a stout roof. When Tchaikovsky’s signature drumroll begins its thunderous, crashing announcement of the final bars it’s some truly stirring stuff, and no mistake.

The story of What Happened Next takes some truly wild twists and turns from there, even by SteynMusic standards. Highly, HIGHLY recommended, people.

Hold onto your hats, folks

A significant departure—SIGNIFICANT—from our usual Embed-O-Phenia music-vid fare tonight, one which I’m betting a good many if not most (if not ALL) of you guys ain’t gonna much care for. Actually, it’s hardly my usual preference in musical styles either, to be charitable about it. But I was over at a friend’s house a few years back with a cpl-three others of my usual crew of reprobates, criminals, and ne’er do wells, when my boy Travis pulled this one up on the TeeWee and we all just busted a gut laughing at it.

Oh, and apropos of not much, the guy whose house our crew was chillaxin’ at was the domicile of my friend Phillip, who is a black dude. The below vid ain’t his usual musical cup of tea either, contrary to what someone given to making assumptions about the typical relationship between our darker-complected brethren and kinda-sorta rap like this usually is. Phil is a rock and roll/surf/punk-rock drummer, against all odds, and a damned good one at that. So much for stereotypes, eh?

ANYHOO. I’m posting this as a dedication to our friends over at GFZ (I never have figured out how to ascertain who’s posted what over there for some reason; if anybody wants to clue me in, I’m all ears), on account of this recent rip re: Five-Oh, Da Man, Johnny Law, Offisah Friendly, the Po-Po.

Two things can be true at the same time:

One: Without effective policing cities will dissolve into chaos, like in San Francisco and New York City, where mass looting, violent street assaults, and quality of life crimes have rendered those cities into shitholes.

Two: This is an obscenity.  There was absolutely no reason for a cop to attack a dog like that on the dog’s home porch.  That was vicious and unnecessary, and the officer should be punished for that.

This is the sort of shit that turns me against cops.

It’s not just possible but reasonable and  moral imperative to say “the Left’s ‘defund the police’ is bullshit but this here cop needs to be tossed out like the piece of shit that he is.”

Lots of ’em do, which doesn’t in any way disprove or gainsay my oft-repeated insistence that, having known and/or been related to more than a few LEOs myself over my whole damned life, there ARE still good cops around out there. Getting harder and harder to find, maybe. In fact, strike that: CERTAINLY. The white-hat cops I’ve known are all long since retired, and almost all of them swear that there’s no way in hell they’d take the job now, so far sideways have things gone since they worked as lawdogs. According to them, we’ve come a long way from “Protect And Serve,” in precisely the wrong direction. But the good ones haven’t all walked away, although the clot-shot mandate is going to see to it that they’ll be in the minority from here on out. And not just by a little bit, either.

On to the embed, which came to mind immediately when I read the GFZ post not because of the “Kilos in my bag” verse, but for the rousing (a-HENH!) chorus; trust me, it will be more than obvious why. Like I said, brace yourselves for something way, way, WAY out of the usual line here with this one. But I guar-on-tee you I’m gonna watch a little bit of it when I go retrieve the embed code from YewToob, and will laugh like hell when I do. So there. Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful.



Good while back I seem to recall reading someplace that, ironically enough, Stitches (a/k/a Phillip Nickolas Katsabanis) has a stepdad who either is or used to be a cop. Don’t know if that’s true or not, and I don’t care enough to go digging around to find out, but I deeply, deeply hope that it’s so. Because, funny as I think the above video is already, that would really put the cherry on top of the sundae for me.

Golden opportunity: JUMPED ALL OVER

I may attempt a post later on the closing arguments in the Rittenhouse Kangaroo-Court Show, or then again I may not. What I do want to get to right away is the golden opportunity emphasized below:

Richards (the defense attorney) has finally woken up. Although he’s still not the clearest-thinking or most articulate guy in the world, he is hitting most of the most important points.

He called the prosecution’s dishonest photo manipulation “Hocus pocus that’s out-of-focus.” Rekeita’s panel liked this. Pretty cornpone.

“Cornpone”? Au contraire, mon frere. In my own estimation, at least, which is that Richards may have been giving a wry, undercover shout-out that Ace didn’t pick up on.



The golden opportunity I’m talking about is the serendipitous chance to expand on last night’s “offend the Progtards to death, literally” post and, better yet, to toss a third post into this here hat too.

Y’all may or may not remember the story about some moronic Wokeist bint proposing in a NYT op-ed that the next candidate for erasure from Western cultural history her fellow mental defectives needed to consider setting their sights on was classic rock. As you would expect, my response to said fascist bint was then and ever shall be the usual resounding Not just no, but HELL no, amongst several other choice expletives, personal insults, and marrow-freezing threats of crippling bodily injury and/or death.

So essentially what we have with the above embedded vidya might be thought of as sort of a lather, rinse, repeat. Of which I got plenty more, and ain’t a-skeered to use ’em, either, for as long as it takes these meddlesome, dictatorial baglappers to either give up and go home, or else wind up shot in their fucking empty gourd by some fed-up-and-then-some Deep Purple fan like, say, myself, don’t care which. I say again: Now go ahead and try to tell me something else you think you’ll forbid me to do, Proggy shitstain.

1

No country (music) for old men

The Bellamy Brothers score big-time with an instant classic.



Seeing as how the song’s title is a play on the title of one of the best movies EVAR, plus a cameo from one of the last true country artists before the country music thing veered off the road completely and into the MOR pop-rock ditch, I ain’t finding anything not to like here. Background deets on this superlative tune:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music icons, the Bellamy Brothers and John Anderson, pair for a tribute to the genre’s past in “No Country Music For Old Men.” The video, shot by Derrek Kupish of dkupish productions, captures the Bellamys and Anderson lamenting on the loss of the old guard interspersed with shots of Nashville’s historic landmarks and murals honoring the legends lost.

“No Country Music For Old Men” was included on the Bellamy Brothers’ EP, Bucket List, released in July of 2020. Written by David Bellamy, the song was inspired by Kenny Rogers’ death. Bellamy explained, “Bucket List was meant to be light-hearted and up-tempo. We figured lockdown was depressing enough without lamenting more about hard times. Then Kenny Rogers passed away on March 20, and I wrote the song that night. It felt like in addition to the pandemic, there was a cloud over country music at that moment.”

According to David, he kept hearing Anderson’s voice in his head singing the lines, so he and Howard decided to invite their longtime friend to join them on the track. Anderson, who released Years, a similarly reflective project in 2020, shared, “I’ve known David and Howard for over 40 years. I have always been a fan and loved their music and their style.  It’s an honor to work with them and we always have a great time.”

When the stay-at-home orders took effect in March, the Bellamy Brothers and Anderson were on the road with Blake Shelton for his Friends And Heroes Tour. The Bellamys returned to their Florida homestead where their hit reality series “Honky Tonk Ranch” is filmed and started working on Bucket List. The EP featured five additional songs such as the lead single “Rednecks (Lookin’ for Paychecks),” a timely take on the current situation, and “Lay Low, Stay High,” which ties into their new partnership with the Florida-based medical marijuana company, Trulieve, on their flower product line Old Hippie Stash. Season two of “Honky Tonk Ranch” recently wrapped up on Circle and included footage from the Friends And Heroes Tour and appearances from several of the duo’s legendary friends. 

As for that Anderson cameo, you old dogs like myself might recall his first smash hit.



I remember thinking when I first heard this song back in the early ’80s that John Anderson had to be one of the very last Nashville phenoms who really, truly got what good old country sangin’ was supposed to be all about. He ain’t the handsome young rake he once was, of course, but that’s all right. As long as people like him and the Bellamys, bless their hearts, keep throwing us old farts a tasty bone now and then like the above, getting old and decrepit ain’t gonna be ALL bad. All of which justifies throwing another unforgettable Music City classic out here for y’all.



Is it just me, or are these interminable fucking YouTube ads becoming just INCREDIBLY obnoxious? Jeez-O-Pete. Extry-special thanks to our friends at GFZ for the Bellamy Bros steer.

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1

GOOD GAWD, Y’ALL!

Tonight’s Tune Damage embed is another beloved classic from my misspent youth.



Even in the eclectic, anything-goes era when it was released, Edwin Starr’s version of “War” managed to not sound quite like anything else on the radio at the time, a genuine standout. Mark-1, Mod-0 antiwar-shitlib sentiment lyrically, of course, but I never was bothered by that; Edwin Starr’s powerful, rock ’em-sock ’em, old-school-R&B vocal performance simply flattens all other considerations. Plus, this is Soul Train we’re talking about here, man—the real-deal original, the likes of which have never been equalled and will never be seen again. Taken altogether, there just ain’t no gainsaying this vid far as I’m concerned. The raw data:

Motown hitmakers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote this song. Starr began his career recording for Ric-Tic Records, a Detroit label that was a rival to Motown. In 1968, Motown bought Ric-Tic, which gave Starr access to their writers and producers.

This is a protest song about the Vietnam War, although it makes a broader statement of the need for harmony in our everyday lives.

“War” was one of the first Motown songs to make a political statement. The label had always been focused on making hit songs, but around this time Motown artists like The Temptations and Marvin Gaye started releasing songs with social commentary, many of which were written by Whitfield.

The Temptations were the first to record this; it was included on their 1970 album Psychedelic Shack. Motown had no intention of releasing it as a single, but many in the protest movement, especially college students, made it clear that the song would be a big hit if it was. Motown head Berry Gordy had other plans for The Temptations and didn’t want them associated with such a controversial song, so he had Starr record it and his version was released as a single. Starr didn’t have as big a fan base to offend.

This song has a very distinct tambourine part, played by percussionist Jack Ashford. He was one of the Motown Funk Brothers who played on the track; bass player Bob Babbitt and guitarist Dennis Coffey were also part of it.

Coffey came up with the psychedelic guitar sound Norman Whitfield used on “Cloud Nine” by The Temptations, which marked a musical shift for the label. In a Songfacts interview with Coffey, he said: “Norman wanted to change the sound of Motown, and I was the guy that helped him do it. He wanted to get into that protest and social consciousness stuff, so I did that fuzz tone thing up high on ‘War.'”

Starr added the interjections “good God y’all” and “absolutely nothing,” which became some of the most famous ad-libs in music history.

Starr won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Male Vocal for this song.

Starr died of a heart attack in 2003. He was 61.

Starr’s rendition was released in ’70, rocketing straight up to Number One and holding firm there for about a month. I was 10 years old myself and well remember what a monster hit “War” was; it was absolutely all over AM radio that summer, which in those glorious days was exactly where any artist and record label needed a new release to be if it was to ever have a hope of amounting to anything. As you might expect, I got the .45 from my uncle’s drugstore just as soon as I could get my hands on it. Wish I still had it, too; God only knows what it would be worth on eBay now.

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2

Hey brother, can you spare a Doobie (Brother)?

Was listening to something called the IHeartRadio ICONS Event earlier, which featured an interview and live performance by the Doobie Brothers as promo for the recently-released album LIBERTÉ. The first tune, “Better Days,” was pretty much MEH, or so I felt. But after a little more Q&A, the boys lit into this one, and…



Not bad a-tall for a buncha old geezers, no? A bit more MOR than I usually like ’em, but still…not bad.

3

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