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Eyrie up!

Despite having promised to get Friday’s Substack post up yesterday, I was too overcome by general ennui and despair to even bother reading any of my daily blog-stops, let alone futz about with my own. So I took a nice, relaxing day off yesterday instead. Turned out, yesterday was a perfect day for it: grey, overcast, with thunderstorms, it was a day tailor-made for lazing about in bed, reading some excellent WW2 fiction and listening to the classical-music station on the raygeeo.

So that’s just what I did; I accomplished not one worthwhile thing all day long, excepting the big ol’ pot of my patented-recipe chili I whipped up mid-afternoon. The secret ingredient, the unheralded key to making good chili, might come as a surprise to some of you: a cup of strong, black coffee poured into the bouillabaisse early in the process. That’s a trick I picked up from a girfriend who was an actual by-God chef, who back in the 80s taught me all about how to properly cook, for reals. Works great too, even though I know it sounds sorta odd.

At any rate, the Friday Sunday Eyrie, Stairway to…well, it definitely ain’t Heaven, delves into how the acoustic-guitar intro to Led Zep’s “Stairway To Heaven” came to be known as “the forbidden riff” among guitarists of a certain stripe, and why. Anybody who’s endured a Saturday afternoon at any major music-store chain, with the mob of teenage wannabe-Stevie Vai’s exhibiting their ferocious chops for the only audience they’ll ever have, is sure to appreciate it, whether you’re a player yourself or not. A taste:

GOD, but it was literally painful; Sam Ash on any given Saturday was a special corner of Hell for any working guitarist, believe you me. So much so that, whenever I could manage it, I’d put off stopping in to grab another case of D’Addario Jazz Rocks and/or a gross of Dunlop Tortex picks until Monday or Tuesday. Wasn’t always possible, of course, but boy, did I ever try. I tried hard.

My lifelong friend Tim Conard, one of the finest Fender P-bassists I ever did know, actually landed a job at Ash years ago; he lasted about three months before bowing out due to the awful torture represented by those interminable Sam Ash Saturday sessions. First cpl-three times I walked in when Tim was pulling a shift, he’d breeze up to say hi with a broad smile on his mug. After those halcyon early days, though, he’d have that blank, thousand-yard-stare not unfamiliar to combat vets, staggering like one of the undead. The transformation from friendly, happy-go-lucky fella to shambolic, groaning zombie was something to see, it really was.

By the time I started frequenting Sam Ash as a serious player, The Forbidden Riff had long since faded from the hack’s lexicon, supplanted by more contemporary—and infinitely more annoyinghair-farmer metal, duuuude! My own gripe with “Stairway” was more personal, operating as it did on a slightly different plane. It was the same with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” actually. For one thing, I’d heard those damned chestnuts plenty enough times already on classic rock radio, til I was sick unto death of both of them, regardless of how much I always liked Zep and Skynyrd.

You probably are too by now, I’d bet.

Lots more fun schtuff at the link, of course and as usual. You know what you must do, Glasshoppa.

Unrelated addendum: Yes, I know that Billy’s “Outlaw Intrepid Reporter” blog is down. No worries though, really. It can hardly come as any kind of shock, being as OIR dwelt under the Goolag censorship umbrella; for any non-shitlib blogger resident on the loathsome Blogspot, it’s not a matter of if but when. The Man himself says:


If’n I had any luck this week…got both my bleggs blown out…’service violations’

Did I unknowingly piss on a Mummy’s Tomb or accidentally desecrate a Native American Graveyard? I swear man all I can do is laugh at this point… it’s fucking recockulas

It is indeed.

4 thoughts on “Eyrie up!

  1. I’m amazed I’ve escaped the Eye Of Sauron.

    Lately, backing it up doesn’t work due to Goolag “network issues”.

    When BCE gets a new addy, I’m sure we’ll all know about it and spread it at quicktime march.

  2. Well, sounds better. Perhaps the current problem is less bad than I feared.

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