friday fives – light traffic reading


What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen while in traffic?

Driving on the highway/freeway in Florida about ten years ago.  We are going freeway speeds… about 60 or 70.  Looked to the right, and saw a lady in a sedan reading a paperback.  Driving… and had a paperback book braced against the steering wheel.  Found this photo on google, but it replicates the idea.  Imagine looking over and seeing this guy pacing you at 60 mph.


Add ‘ing’ to the end of a movie title, what is the movie about now?

Spinal Tapping – a movie about groupie sex for back surgeons

What is the funniest name you have actually heard used in the real world?

Saw this today, on caller ID at work.   True story.  Donkey Love.  Not sure which name was first and last… but either way it is pure gold, Jerry.

What is something that you absolutely hate waiting for?

The meds to kick in

What game did you have an unhealthy addiction with at one point?

10×10 game on my cell phone… a kind of reverse tetris



Dennis Wilson caused Charlie Manson

Strong statements, I know.  Lemme ‘splain.


Dennis Wilson, in my eyes, created the monster that is Charlie Manson.  You may or may not know that Charlie’s goal in life wasn’t to be the greatest psycho of all time.  Charlie was a musician, and took that very very very seriously.  Charlie wanted to be a folk rock star.  Charlie was hanging around SoCal trying to get his songs heard, published… etc.  This is all harmless so far.  Charlie meets Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.  This wasn’t a ‘nice to meet you’ at a cocktail party.  Charlie and his girls moved in with Dennis.  They partied and recorded together.  Dennis thinks Charlie is a genius, and true musical talent.  Problem was… Dennis was the only one who saw that. Dennis brought a Charlie song to the Beach Boys and it was released and very successful.  Fun thing was, Dennis changed the lyrics and took all the credit for the tune. Charlie no likey that.

“We actually recorded that song,” the Beach Boys’ Mike Love says in the excerpt. “I was never told the origins of the song. As far as I knew, Dennis had written it.”

The song theft enraged Manson, who threatened Wilson and at one point left a bullet on the drummer’s bed. “I gave Dennis Wilson a bullet, didn’t I? I gave him a bullet because he changed the words to my song,” Manson told Diane Sawyer in an infamous interview.

It’s important to note, Dennis Wilson was mostly a drunken asshole who was lucky enough to be born adjacent to Brian Wilson.  Also, a stunningly handsome dude.  I am not sure why I felt compelled to add that… but just look at the guy.

So.. Charlie finds Dennis… a couple of narcissistic aholes.  Dennis thinks Charlie is a really good musician and his songs are worthy.  Fact is, that is likely true… we’ll never know.  Remember, before Hitler tried to take over the world… he was just an artist who wanted to go to art school. He was a pretty good artist, too.  Dennis thinks Charlie is so great, he introduces him to Terry Melcher.  Terry Melcher was THE hit maker of the era.  You have heard of Phil Spector?  Terry was that level.


Charlie, meet Terry.  Terry, meet Charlie.   Charlie is the next big star.  Charlie?  Dennis is going to make you the star I think you are.  Charlie, Terry Melcher here is going to give you a recording contract.  Charlie, soon… everyone will know your name.

This is all Dennis Wilson’s fault.  Not maliciously, mind you.  Really, most of these folks are just victims of circumstance.  This is why Charlie didn’t try and murder Dennis.  Charlie went to murder Terry Melcher.

Keep in mind, Dennis let Charlie (and his hot and pliable harem) live with him.  For some reason,  though, Terry Melcher isn’t bullish on Charlie.  It could be the music wasn’t that great… it could be because Charlie was already batshit crazy.  Terry walks away from promises (says Charlie… anyway) for a recording deal.   Charlie FLIPS.  Charlie sends 4 folks to Melcher’s house to ‘kill everyone in site’…   and they do.  Thing is, Terry Melcher didn’t live there anymore.  Susan Tate and Roman Polanski did.

Next night, Charlie sends another four to murder everyone in a different mansion. Why?  My theory is to cover up the first murder, so it looked random (and then wouldn’t be possibly tied to Terry Melcher/Charlie Manson connection).  This may sound extreme… but there is precedent.  Remember the Tylenol poisonings?  That all came from a guy who poisoned his wife… and then poisoned a bunch of other people to make it look random.

The ‘race war of Helter Skelter’ Charlie sold everyone on?  Don’t think he believed it, himself, for a second.

I truly think the entire Manson murder spree was simply Charlie trying to get revenge on Terry Melcher for reneging on his recording contract promise.  You can, and should, blame all of this on the late Dennis Wilson.  Oh, and Charlie.

*** why am I talking about this now?  Well, there are 2 Charlie Manson movies on the horizon as I write this in Aug 2017.  Tarantino is doing one, about Charlie.  And there is one starting filming this summer about Dennis Wilson during this era.

Friday Fives – quit yer job


If you could quit your job and pursue your hobby full-time with financial security, what hobby would you pursue?

Writing.  I enjoy all writing.  Obviously, I prefer the kind of writing where I can inject my opinions, perspective, and humor.  However, I think I would even enjoy mindless drivel like writing for People magazine.  I mean, as a full time job?  Yeah, writing is great.  I do it anyway… why not get paid?

If you enjoy my writing, and I truly hope you do… here is some more.  There is this site we are on right now, of course –  I also have a site that is just my music writing.  Quite pleased with myself, that url is Maybe I am  Get it?  On social and popular culture issues, I pretty much am confident that I am Correct.  Music, though, is subjective… so why be a dick about it?  I also used to write for Blogcritics, and have done a good little bit writing for various guitar magazines.

Oh, there is also my newest endeavor – Remember the 27.  This is a website specifically dedicated to looking at the phenom of rock stars dying at 27.  I assume you have heard of it… a freaky disproportionate amount of rock stars die at age 27.  It goes back to the 60s, with Brian Jones, PigPen, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse… and on and on.  Oh… how about this, the original 27 club member – bluesman extraordinare >   Robert Johnson

What’s a hobby others have taken up that just baffles you?

Golf.  I am neither for it, nor against it.  I just don’t get it.

What was your’s father’s hobby? Is it relevant now?

Running.  No.  In fact, one of my favorite HST books (and the last long form book he ever wrote) is about running.  At the time, 1980, it was a hip new odd trend.  So… Rolling Stone sent Hunter to Hawaii too look at this phenomenon.  Side note – this very book is where I took my pen name, Lono, from.

What is your mother’s hobby? Is it relevant now?

tennis.  Yeah, still being played.  That sport is not lost on me, I think it’s terrific.  In fact, in case you are curious just exactly how incredibly Caucasian I am… when I was young… mom sent me to tennis camp at the nearby country club.  I don’t thinks that was so much to teach me strength and sportsmanship… but just to get me the hell out of the house during summer.   Well played, mother.  Well played.

What do you imagine your favorite superhero or celebrity’s favorite hobby is?  

Eddie Vedder?  I think we can safely assume he spends more time than he cares to admit googling me.


Friday Fives – Whodunnit?


The great questions that plague mankind.  Bonus complication, only one word answers… except you may expound on one (of your choice)

Did Oswald act alone to kill President Kennedy?


Did President Trump knowingly collude with Russia for assistance with his election?


Was Tony killed in the last episode of the Sopranos?


Did OJ kill his ex wife?

super yes

Amelia Earhart – captured, or crashed?


Now, I will choose the least obvious to expound on… Amelia.  Here is the thing, she wasn’t instrument rated, she was ‘VFR’.  How the hell do you expect to cross the Earth without knowing how to read instruments?  What do you do in the dark?  She wasn’t alone, see.  She had a navigator who did stuff like measure azimuth’s of the sun’s arc to see which direction they were heading.  Also, at night, like an old timey pirate… they navigated by the stars.  Tough to do when you are in a windowless enclosed tin can.

PLUS… some new information surfaced a few years ago.  I am not talking about this photograph, as it has since been debunked.  They found some old press footage of her taking off on her last big leg.  A news team captured something no one had noticed for 60 years… something tiny breaks off the back of her plane as she is taking off.  We now know it was likely her antenna.  Being a visual flight rules person, your antenna is everything.  I know over the Western half of the US, airplanes fly by getting the AM signal of KOA radio.   At night, and only at night, AM radio waves travel thousands of miles.

So, I think they got lost over the ocean and sadly dropped into the water right around daybreak… never to be found.  See, we don’t have any good intel on her last spots.  Since her antenna was broken… we don’t think she knew where they were, either.  Let me close with this – what she did was an epic leap forward in all of aviation… and especially for women-folk.  However, not knowing how to read instruments kinda sets women stereotypes back a bit.  I mean… come on!  You are going to fly across the Earth and you don’t know how to work the dials?  That is embarrassing, and dangerous.  In that sense… we are common.  I, too, do not know how to fly by IFR (instrument flight rules)… or VFR (visual flight rules).

Friday Fives – rock star deaths

guitar mandala

Another rock star died today, and by his own hand… again.  It’s time to have the talk.  The big talk.  The one your dad was supposed to have with you when you were 12… but he was afraid to.  So, instead he just told your mom that you two had ‘the talk’ and just bought you a Penthouse from that 7-11 over at 44th & Camelback?  You know, ‘scary Larry worked there overnights?’  Dude was LEGEND, and would sell ciggies and Mickey’s Big Mouth beers to anyone as long as there were no other customers in the store.

Or… am I being too specific?  So let’s just finally have that ‘talk’.  The ‘talk’ about rock stars dying.

ok, let’s get into it, shall we?


Kurt Cobain – do you think Courtney was involved?

No.  I wouldn’t put it past her, though.  I would not be surprised if we found out she was involved.  In this specific situation, though, I think it was all him.  Totally doesn’t mean she wasn’t planning that very second to have him killed.  It’s like the joke my pal Jeff told me about Kennedy’s killing.  There were so many people out for him:  the mob, the Cubans, the Republican hawks who didn’t want him to draw down Vietnam.  So, his point is more ‘who wasn’t trying to kill Kennedy that day?”

Here is the thing, I am kinda obsessed with Courtney.  I am in love her with, and reviled by her.  I have written about her a lot, and I will admit to you I also have a nude photo of her on my phone which is just fantastic.  She defines the term ‘hot mess’, and I also call her lovingly ‘the original Charlie Sheen’.

Is the ’27 Club’ a real thing, or just a perfect example of confirmation bias?

Yes, it’s a real thing.  Now, let me clarify… I am not saying more rock stars die at 27 than normal people.  No.  What I am saying is that when it comes to rock stars dying… there is overwhelming numbers that show it happens at 27 years old.  Believe it or not, I have a whole web site just about this.  I have been fascinated by this since high school.  That was 25 years ago, and it keeps happening.  I never could find a good site that just focused on this phenomenon.  Plus, I truly believe I know more about rock music that most folks alive… so who better than me to tackle it.

It’s called ‘Remember the 27’.  It’s cool, you should check it out if you are a music person.  I take a look at what I consider the top 5 reasons why this might be happening… and then drill down on each one.

What’s your favorite rock star death?  I know that’s a sick question… let me rephrase it ‘what is the most interesting death… to you’?

Brian Jones (from the Rolling Stones)… his death was listed as ‘death by misadventure’.  You don’t know the name, which is a shame.  He wrote their best early stuff – Paint it Black, Ruby Tuesday, Mother’s Little Helper.  He drowned, and everything about it is suspicious… but we’ll likely never know… since it was prolly 50 years ago.  His sacrifice may have been worth it, though… as we have the term ‘death by misadventure‘ in the lexicon now.

What rock star death hit you the hardest?

Initially, as in “I just can’t believe that happened.  I am still waiting for someone to tell him it was a mistake” – Chris Cornell.  Over a lifetime, though, Jerry Garcia.  Thing is, I wasn’t that impacted when it first happened because I was mad at him.  We saw them on their last tour, and it was terrible.  So terrible we walked out, which I had never done at a Dead show before.  Basically, when it happened, I wasn’t even a tiny bit surprised.  However, the sadness has compounded over the years.  I think he was the greatest guitarist we had.

Who is the rock star that you are most surprised isn’t dead?  Difficulty challenge – other than Keith Richards.  Don’t be so obvious, man!

Courtney.  She doesn’t just love drugs, she seems to have a lot of emotional and narcissistic tendencies.  I would bet her mentality about drugs is that they kill weaker people.  She also seems to possess all kinds of impulse control problems.  When she goes, it will be like Weiland.  We won’t be surprised… except for maybe how she lasted as long as she did.  I am pre-mourning her death in anticipation of the inevitable.

also, honorary mention on the ‘how is he still alive’ definitely goes to Slash.


Friday Fives – bookish edition


 How many of you still read books for entertainment?

I do still read, constantly.  However, I just can’t find time to read a book. I still consume books… daily.  These days, I do it all through audiobooks.  I prattle on about that here.  I read something a few years ago that always sticks with me.  The average American household has less than 5 books in it, and one of those is the bible.

What is that one book you just could NOT put down while you were reading it?

Kathy Griffin’s ‘Official Book Club Selection’.  Also gotta mention Springsteen’s autobiography.  Not just a page turner, but incredibly well written.

Btw, I don’t really read books for ‘entertainment’.  More for relaxation.

What book are you currently reading listening to?

Waging Heavy Peace – Neil Young

What book absolutely blew your mind?

 Lamb – the Gospel of Christ according to Biff, his childhood pal.  This book just blew my mind.  So incredibly super really great.  Mind you, I am not just un-religious… but pretty militantly anti-religion.  I was raised Catholic, though. I would also like to tell you about a near ‘religious experience’ I had with this book.  I was alone in a car for many hours on Christmas day reading it (just by chance) on zero sleep for several days.

This book also turned me on to the amazingness that is author Christopher Moore.  Since this book, I have gone on to read many of his.  Again, I prattle on and on about my love for this guy on my books page.  Just hope over here and do a control F on his name.


Probably how well written that Springsteen book was.  You see how he is the voice of a generation.  I can barely think of my favorite writers who write that well.  He spend 7 years on it, and used no ghostwriter.  No ghostwriter is INCREDIBLE.   All rock memoirs are written with ghostwriters, usually the very impressive Anthony Bozza.  Rock stars don’t generally have the time or attention span or literary capability to do that.  The ghostwriter thing is perfect.  A dude hangs out with you for about a year.  He asks you pointed questions, and you tell him anecdotes.  They put it together for you.  Not the Boss.

Generally speaking, every famous person who has written a book uses a ghostwriter.

If you died today and the last text you received was written on your tomb stone, what would it say?

mostly done



ew… that is actually pretty perfect.  and… kinda creepy out of context of the conversation  Props to the Arizona Monkey Boy for that gem!  In case you don’t remember, we kinda made the Az Monkey Boy famous here.  As a bonus, we have his answers to this week’s five right below.

*** can I point something significant out here?  I just realized I went through an ENTIRE post about books (not my questions, either.  all from my editor) and I never once mentioned Alice in Wonderland.  That is a breakthrough!

Friday Fives – trust edition


What do you never trust?

On political ad campaigns… for propositions and such… I don’t trust the side with the most and nicest commercials.  It is simple math.  The side with the most money to spend on an issue is never going to be the side working for the consumer.

What or who do you always trust?

Consumer reports.  Didn’t I just write a thing on that?  Crap, I didn’t.  they are AMAZING.  They are a non profit, they don’t have ANY ads in their magazines.  They purchase outright everything they test.  Even cars… they don’t take cars from manufacturers.  They go to car lots with cash, anonymously, to buy the cars they test.  They don’t let companies use their ratings for endorsements.  It’s like $30 a year, and I get that much value out of EVERY single issue.

know who is out there fighting to keep you safe on the road?  Not the government!  AAA, and Consumer Reports.  Remember those little SUVS that were rolling over in the 80s?  and the Ford Exploders rolling over in the 90s?  Remember Pintos asploding?  Yeah, that was Consumer Reports.  Oh, and they get sued, a LOT.  Companies no likey when you explain their product will fucking kill you.  Guess what?  Consumer Reports has never lost a lawsuit ONCE.

What are some basic mechanics of a car everyone should know?

Glad you asked!  Since I work for AAA, I feel uniquely qualified to answer this.  I don’t think you should be issued a license until you can jump a battery and change a tire.  You would be amazed to know how few people can do that.

I would say less than half of the males under 40 either know how to, or care to, change their tires.  Now, I know its sexist to only point out men.  ANYONE who drives should know how to change a tire and jump a battery.  If you are a man, though… come on!  Don’t you feel an obligation to be manly, and save the day?  I shouldn’t bitch, the wussification of the American male pays my bills.  Ironically, pay for my (rather manly) truck.  Ok, speaking of that… those tires are HUGE.  I have to admit I would prolluy call AAA if I blew a tire on the side of the road.  Thing is, I could change it if I wanted to.  Why are you snickering?  I am fortunate, though, I buy these tires.  Never had a single flat tire in 15 years of running this tire.   and yes, I realize I just jinxed myself, stop tittering.  Stop the tittering AND the snickering.  I work for AAA, I get this shit free.  It would take me about an hour to do with our guys can do in 5 minutes.  You should see it, they are like NASCAR pit crews… its a thing of beauty.  Why don’t you have AAA?  It’s $75, and that gets you 4 tows/service calls a year.

ok. I accept that whole rant got a little preachy.  I apologize.  I ain’t deleting any of it, but I just read that last paragraph and I come off like a dick.  I’m not, I swear.  You are!

sorry, just been informed by my editor that last comment didn’t help.  What a dick!  valuable asset to the team.  (ed note:  he forgot he gave me his passwords.  What a dick!)

What is an odd mechanical/DYI skill you have that has become a life long superhero skill

Stereos.  I can wire anything up to anything, and I have all the cables and attachments for the last 30 years to do it.  Do you want your 15 year old receiver wired up to your new speakers, and your 5 year old blu ray player?  I can do that.  Need your microwave to run in surround sound, using your fridge as the subwoofer?  I can probably do that.

I have a collection of antiquated stereo equipment and connectors and cables that look like Radio Shack threw up in my basement.

What are the biggest product Scams?

I worry about all these pharma drug commercials… where they tell you what you have and the drug you need.  “Ask your Doctor about Fuqitol® today.”  And then they list all the shit in that drug that may kill you.  I don’t think this stuff should be advertised direct to consumers.  This is the doctor’s job.  These ads aren’t going anywhere, either.  Apparently, it is about 25% of television’s ad budget buys.  They rely on this jive.  Btw, your T is ALL fucked up!  You don’t have ‘Low T’, you got no T.  Your T left for Vegas with 2 hookers.  What kind of man are you, anyway.  You need Lono brand dick crème®… stat!

See, ‘low T’ isn’t really a thing. It’s called aging, and it’s natural.  You are supposed to be crazy jacked up on testosterone when you are 18, and not when you are 60.  This is why the military takes 18 year olds, and not 60 year olds.


I love you, have a great weekend.  I appreciate this outlet, and you reading.