Friday Fives – more music edition

  1. What album is the first you can remember purchasing yourself

easy, this one   It not only had ALL the hits, but that is very cool album cover.  It was a $59, which to me is cheap on he big internet of

  1. What concert stands out in your mind as the best you’ve ever seen?

Well, it isn’t what you would think.  See, I have seen everyone live.  I am sure I have told you that, but it’s pertinent.  I have seen folks that simply don’t tour.  Van Morrison, Page & Plant, Tom Waits, Don McClean, Moby, Richie Havens, Jethro Tull, Nirvana, Timothy Leary & G Gordon Liddy, the Police… it goes on and on.  Now, every dip you know will tell you that Pink Floyd was the best show they ever saw.  Of course, I saw them too.  It was boring as well.  Just David Gilmour playing the obvious hits pitch perfect.  BORING.

One of the best shows I saw was recently, within the last year.  It was in a horrible downpour.  The entire power grid went out for hours.  No music, no lights, nothing.  The band could have, and should have, left.  They didn’t, though.  The singer came out by himself and sat at the edge of the stage in the rain and darkness.  He sat there with an acoustic guitar and did a sing along in the dark of ALL his hits.  We all (20,000) sang along.

That band was touring on 3 new albums, along with a double album of broadway hits.  That is what they played with the power.  When it went dark, Billy Joe came out and did ‘time of your life, when sept ends, when I come around, basketcase… etc”.  All great hits from 20 years ago.  He knew we paid and he wasn’t leaving until we got some kind of concert.  That is a g*damn class act.

  1. What concert stands out in your mind as the worst you’ve ever seen?

Probably Jethro Tull about 25 years ago.  It kinda wasn’t their fault.  First off, the singers live voice is shot.  it’s really bad, and has been for almost 30 years.  He just can’t sing.  So, there was that disappointment.  Then, apparently, he got sick.  So, he played half a show and they left.  no refunds, no apologies.  No thanks! ******

  1. If you could create your dream band, what musicians would you choose? (they can be live or dead, it’s a dream band)

super easy.  Original Guns line up in their day, sometime during or just after Lies and Appetite.  Tried to see them in Phx back then but Axl bailed on four separate concerts day of.  Locked himself in his hotel room and refused to come out and play.  I don’t think they ever made it onstage in Phx, AZ for about five years.  We called them Guns and Noshows.

Axl was SO known for this that when Guns played with Metallica a few years later, promoter Barry Fey was wise to Axl’s bs.  So, when Axl tried to sneak out of Red Rocks that night and ditch their set… Barry Fey pulled a gunn on him and ordered him back on stage.  During that same tour, Axl pulled the same crap in several other cities and called major deadly riots.   See, when you ditch a club with 300 people… no biggie.  Axl did this to stadiums with 25,000 people… a lot.  Not just those venue, but some of those cities were destroyed because of Axl.  Remember, at Woodstock they planned for 5,0000 people.  That is the food and porta potties they had the resources and electricity.  500,000 showed up.  No food, no bathrooms, horrible rainly weather the whole time, dangerous and poisonous acid going aound.  It literally became a Federal emergency.  Everyone lived, and had the time of their lives.  Know now?  No axl

He also, as you may know, still show up to every show at least 3 hours late.  So, you go to see Guns.  It’s a weeknight, mind you.  The opening band plays 8 to 9 pm.  Headliner comes on and 10 pm.  the new Guns won’t come out until at least 1 am .  So, maybe you will get home at 4 am… on your school night.

the worst part is I still LOVE Axl’s early voice, and I regard him as one of the great rock stars of all time.  Appetite for Destruction is the best rock album ever.  Problem is, Axl is the biggest dick in all of rock.  He fired his entire band (the guys who wrote the songs, mind you.  He is a singer, he doesn’t write) and then if he does show up it is 3 to 4 hours late.


**** to be fair to Jethro Tull, they have made one of the coolest moments in rock.  So, they get a pass.  In the 70s they were playing Red Rocks.  The show got WAY over sold.  People broke in, and it became a riot.  Helicopters descended on Red Rocks and dropped tear gas.  So, did Jethro Tull run for their lives?  No.  Ian Anderson stayed out there on stage during all of this.  He let everyone know what was happening, and why.  he also promised as soon as they safely cleared some gate crashers out and got rid of the helicopters that they would stay and play a full show.  So, my experience isn’t indicative of them.

The story, one of the most famous in all of rock history, is told pretty well here.  It’s a good and quick read.

**** ppsss > another band I failed to mention both this week and last week as an AMAZING live band.  I swear you won’t believe me unless you have seen them, but I swear it’s true.  This band was better than Page and Plant.  Better than BB King.  Hell, these guys were better than all of them – the Canadian pop band Barenaked Ladies.  Fact!


Friday Fives – fate and deities and ghosts and Bono and all that – edition

Do you believe in luck, fate or a higher being?

Yes, yes, and no.  That may be wishy washy, and contradictory.  It’s like how I feel about ghosts.  I don’t necessarily believe in them, but I positively don’t NOT believe in them.  Did that make sense?  If I had to choose, I would err on the side that there are ghosts.  Here is my logic; Einstein said energy can be neither created not destroyed.  The human body is ALL electrical.  Everything that happens to keep you alive is electricity based.  The matrix had an insightful twist on it, that we are just batteries.  There is some truth to that.

Plus, full disclosure, I have had some mild ghost experiences in the past.  Why are we talking about ghosts?  That wasn’t the question at all.

As for a higher being, I am an atheist.  NOT an agnostic.  I know there are a million arguments how there could be no atheists.  I do not believe in a magical, cogent higher power.  Here is the thing, though.  I wish I did.  I would love to believe in heaven.

My buddy Mike made an incredibly insightful point about atheists in a Facebook discussion a few years ago. It sounds flippant at first.  He said “for you to say there is no god acknowledges a god.”  Get it?  He is saying that for me to say “there is no god” means I am at least acknowledging the concept of god.  It’s truly thoughtful, and to that I say this.  I understand your concept of god very well.  So, I am speaking to that.

You may say “how could you look at a puppy or the grand canyon and not see a higher power?”  Easy, I see science and evolution.  It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.  In fact, I appreciate it more than you.  You just think this is god’a magic paintbrush, whereas I see thousands of years of all these things happening to create this perfect moment.

Are you in control of your own destiny or someone else pulling the strings of your life?

Geesh, we are getting heavy today.  I have a dog dying on me this very minute and you are getting all philosophical on me.  I do believe I am in control of my own destiny.  I also acknowledge that outside things beyond my control impact that.  I believe it is called the ‘Butterfly effect’.  That how a butterfly flaps its wings on the other side of the Earth could impact me.  I could go much more into my thoughts on that if you would like, but I feel you understand me.  Oh.. it is also called ‘Indra’s Net’ by Hindu’s.  That concept is like a spider web that shows anything touched anywhere impacts everything else.  See the pic above. That is maybe why I am so fascinated by Mandalas.  They are my connection to myself, and everything else out there.

What are your lucky charms if you own any?

I have this necklace I am wearing that I call my lucky necklace.  However, that is absurd.  I don’t feel bad or good things have happened as a result of my possessing it.  However, I still make sure I have it every day when I leave the house.  It is a rune of my birthday month from the Mayan calendar… or some such nonsense.  It is my physical connection to Mexico, which is my spiritual happy place

Is the world really just a stage and are we merely actors on that stage?

No.  What kind of stupid shit is that?  That is some twilight zone thinking.  I get that we are small on scale, and our lives will be ultimately insignificant… but I don’t believe there is some grand puppet master directing things – be it god, or society, or the Pentaverette.

Describe what happened on your “luckiest” day (positive or negative).

Just two days ago I had a seriously amazing and epic day.  I was in San Francisco, which made it awesome to start out.  San Fran is such a cool city.  One of the great cities of the world.  I was at a business conference with my wife, and they had the street shut down for performances.  Huey Lewis was playing all his hits right there in front of me.  That awesome twist is that everyone he was supposed to be playing for was in business conferences.  So, it was just me and a couple hundred other people.  I took this pic with my phone.  Shows you how close I was.


So, that was pretty great.  Always appreciated Huey.  He makes great music and always seemed like a decent and regular guy.  Plus, his 80’s album ‘Sports’ still holds the record for most number 1 singles on an album.  Wrap your head around that.  Most #1 singles from a single studio album isn’t Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.

So, after seeing Huey (and already feeling like I am having the best day ever) I run into Bono.  I am in a huge ass conference room the size of a football field with all these tech companies pimping their wares.  I enjoyed it.  I noticed a disproportionate amount of excitement out of the corner of my eye… so I investigate.  I pride myself on this kind of situational awareness.  It’s how I got bum rushed by Sen John Kerry and his goons once.  That is another story.

So, I see a few people gathering around and taking pictures of someone.  Who could it be?  Huey Lewis?  Sean Penn?  Billie Joe Armstrong?  They were all there for the conference.  It was Bono.  Thee Bono.  That Bono.  He wasn’t at a booth, or anything like that.  He was just walking around as a participate.  He has no crew, no entourage, and no body guards.  Just this lady.  I take a pic of him taking a pic with someone.  Then, he walks right by me.  Do I leave him alone?  I don’t want to be a stalker ahole, but when will I get this chance again?

bono and some lady

So, I tap him on the shoulder and ask if I can take a picture.  He smiles and TAKES my phone.  He takes two selfies of us together, one even at a cool and arty angle.  Those pics are below.  That is me***, with Bono.*

me and Bono 2013

So, I am walking on air.  Truly, this has been one of the great and fun days of all time…. And this was just two days ago.  That night, we have tickets to go see Green Day and Blondie for free.  That concert was so amazing I wrote about it here, on my music site**.  I also got free food all day from the conference.  Here is what made it bonus fun.  It wasn’t even my conference, it was the wifey’s.  I was just glomming on for the free hotel room in San Francisco.  But, I work for a major major tech company, so I was able to weasel a pass to all the events.

* turns out it probably wasn’t Bono.  Just some weirdo he cruises around and soaks up the adulation the world has for Bono.  Thing is, I am a big fan of U2.  Seen them four times.  I have also met a lot of rock stars.  There was no reason to believe this wasn’t Bono.  I mean, intuitively – yes.  Why the hell would Bono be cruising around a tech sales conference?  Why wouldn’t he have body guards?  I am telling, though, this guy looked 100% like Bono.  It was still a great day, but I am a little sad that maybe it wasn’t Bono after all.

** that piece isn’t up yet.  it is written, and I am editing it. I should have it up some time today.  update to the update – that piece is up now.

*** this is the first time in ten years, and over a thousand posts, that I have ever posted a picture of myself.  I am pretty cagey about that stuff.  You will also never find my real name anywhere on here.