Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why Is This Man Smiling?


This man is the new chairman of Ford Motor Company. He just picked up a check for 18.5 million dollars for signing his name. I wonder how the unemployed workers at the Hazelwood plant feel about this? Here is a suggestion for the big wigs at Ford. Design and build dependable cars that Americans actually want to buy. That might go a long way in getting your balance into the black. Other wise, no matter how much money you throw at your CEO, Toyota will still eat your lunch. Why? Their cars are smart looking, dependable and get a ton of gas mileage. Pretty easy if you ask me. But you didn't. Good luck with that, Ford. And you, too mister CEO.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Guitar Solos

How about some fun, huh? Seems it's been awhile. I was talking to a friend of mine and he brought us the fact that somewhere the Brits decided that the best guitar solo ever was David Gilmour's nasty, filthy solo in "Comfortably Numb" I couldn't argue, but then it got me thinking hmmmmm.....

My top twenty guitar solos* (in no particular order)....

"Still Got The Blues" by Gary Moore. This guys never got the respect he deserves. A monster guitar player that fronted Thin Lizzy for awhile and released "Still Got The Blues" in 1991. It was my favorite release that year.

"Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry. Could this have been the first guitar solo ever? This is the foundation and the blueprint for a rock song. Chuck ruled.

"Couldn't Stand The Weather" by Stevie Ray Vaughn. He was sloppy but very few played with the passion and downright fervor than this guy. Playing this song in a band was a real thrill for me, Steve Pecaro's version pales only slightly.

"Since I've Been Loving You" by Jimmy Page. I could have included "Stairway To Heaven" but that's too easy. This is Jimmy at his darkest, bluesiest and his best work (I think).

"Then Came The Last Days Of May" by Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult). This solo is just tasty and one of my all time favorites. Reminds me of high school and tokin in my late cousin's bedroom. (Sorry, Jess)

"Aqualung" by Martin Barre. Ian Anderson once said that this was the angriest piece of noise he had ever been a part of. This solo ranks with the best of all time. The high point of this legendary band.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by Eric Clapton (Beatles). Ever heard a guitar cry? Was Eric ever better than this? George knew what he was doing when he asked Eric to do this majestic piece of work.

"Kid Charlemagne" by Larry Carlton (Steely Dan). I could have picked "My Old School" or "Reeling In The Years" but as far as tasty, sweet and to the point, this solo by one of my favorite guitar players is as close to perfect as you can get.

"Jessica" By Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers).Is there such a thing as a happy solo? This song makes me smile whenever I hear it. Dickey may have done better solos ("Blue Sky") but I really like the feel of this.

"Comfortably Numb" by David Gilmour (Pink Floyd). Alan Parsons kind of ruined this for me when he told me it was different pieces put together but the whole finished product just kicks ass.

"Highway Star" by Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple). How many times have I played this on my air guitar and nailed it? Thousands. This was the best band in the world at this time.

"Can't You Hear Me Knockin'?" by Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) Keith was never higher...er, I mean better than this album. Sloppy, funky and right on.

"Sultans of Swing" by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). Still, to this day, I get goosebumps hearing this workout. The solo was way too short, this song should be two minutes longer.

"Savannah Woman" by Tommy Bolin. Another one that's way too short. He's just getting warmed up on this before the song fades out. Kind of a funky, flamenco flavor that reminds me of a hot Latino woman. Underrated and overlooked guitar player.

"Eruption" by Eddie Van Halen. 'nuff said.

"Hotel California" by Joe Walsh and Don Felder (The Eagles). More of a duet than a solo, but a classic song and it wouldn't have the power without this. Joe was a great addition to this band.

"Intro/Sweet Jane" by Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner (Lou Reed).Maybe one of the best live recordings ever. Another great duet. At this time, Lou Reed was a great live act and his band was a top notch, first rate outfit.

"All Along The Watchtower" Dave Mason and Jimi Hendrix. OK, I cheated. Dave Mason played acoustic guitar on the original and his version just smokes. Jimi's version was very understated and showed he had polish when he wanted to.

"Europa" by Carlos Santana. A six minute solo. After this song, you just want to say..."oh baby"

"Cause We've Ended As Lovers" by Jeff Beck. This makes me cry. What style and grace by one of the greatest players ever. "Blow by Blow" contains a ton of these great stylish solos.

"Summertime" by Dave Edmunds (Love Sculpture). Before Dave was a pop artist, he played wicked blues. Gershwin is still spinning in his grave.

Honorable mention "Goodbye To Love" by the Carpenters (shaddup!) Joey Peluso cooks on this. "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent, "Too Rolling Stoned" by Robin Trower, "Cliffs of Dover" by Eric Johnson, "The Thrill Is Gone" B. B. King, "Like A Hurricane", Neil Young, "Wire", U2. By popular demand, let's add these, too..."War Pigs", Toni Iommi (Black Sabbath), "Black Napkins" by Frank Zappa and "Still In Love With You" Brian Gorham (Thin Lizzy)
* Only one solo by a particular artist allowed, no jazz, hey, it's my list, make your own...

Yikes! Crikey, even!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Not again....


I hate hospitals...no really, I hate hospitals. The smell, the sounds. My dad died in a hospital 29 years ago yesterday. My mom died in a hospital. The smell makes me vomit. On Monday at 7:30am, I get cut on again. Shit. Apparently, I have a growth on the inside of my esophogus that needs to come out. Piss, damn, shit. The next thing you know I'll have more scars than this dude....

They may have to cut open my neck, fuck with my vocal chords (oh great) and remove it. Or just stick a long pair of scissors down my throat and cut it out. Whatever. This HAS to have been the worst friggin damn summer ever. Hopefully, it's just a growth and nothing more. The way this summer has been.....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steely Dan


I had a pair of lawn seats to the show, but I stopped by the box office to see if there was anything else avaiulable. The young lady at the window said "no, nothing really" and I went away knowing that at least I would get in. About 20 minutes later, she stopped by the van and said there was one seat left, third row center. Shit, I don't have a hundred bucks for a seat and I was reminded of the time when I was married to my first wife. I had 7 bucks in my pocket to last all week. I found an English import copy of "Blues Helping" by Love Sculpture at my favorite record store for seven bucks. Well, what to do...you guessed, I bought the album but didn't have any money left. It had been 13 years since Steely Dan played in St. Louis and I am pretty sure they won't be back. So, I did it. Bought the ticket and after the broadcast, went inside to get my seat. Wow, unbelievable, Micheal McDonald was close enough to spit on me. Now, I am not the greatest Micheal McDonald fan. I think he has pretty much mumbled his way to stardom and I think he wasn't the guy the Doobie Brothers needed at the time. Some of his stuff is OK and his Motown covers are pretty pedestrian. He can't hit the high notes anymore and I thought he was OK.
Steely Dan come out to the tune of "Bodhisatva" and immediately, it was apparent that these guys had surrounded themselves with a crackerjack band, especially the young buck on drums. But wouldn't you know, the way my summer has been, there were two couples on my left that had the women sitting next to each other. Yak yak yak yak. I finally said to the guy next to me, "Look, I am not trying to be a prick or anything, but, shit I paid a hundred bucks I didn't have after waiting 13 years, is this conversation really necessary?" He leaned over said something and then the ladies left while feeding me a dirty look. Cool. The guy on my right however, kept asking an unnamed person on the phone.."where are you?" and chatting with that person. When did a concert become a fucking sporting event? Shut the hell up, people and enjoy the music you are in the third frikkin row!!! Back to the show, perfection personified. The encore was "FM" and "My Old School" with Micheal McDonald joining them. They played my favorites "Aja", "Home At Last","I Got The News", "Kid Charlemagne" "Do It Again" with MM on lead vocals and a very interesting version of "Show Biz Kids" done to the tune of "Cold Sweat" that was weird but highly entertaining. No "Deacon Blues", no "Reeling In The Years" but overall, true excellence. It started raining towrds the end of the show and I immediately thought of my friend Sean who is probably a bigger fan than I having to endure the rain while listening to the tunes. Man, what a way to close out the summer. I have high hopes that fall will bring a change of luck. How I wish I would have played that Martin guitar I bought in 1980 more, I would be pretty good by now.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crikey, how ironic, Irwin dead

Steve Irwin 44, killed by animal. Spooked stingray did him in. I always liked his enthusiasm, energy and love for his job. If you are gonna go, it might as well be painless and at something you love. Left behind a wife and two kids. Bummer.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Questions...questions...


Why are drug companies advertising things that we can't buy without a prescription? Advodart is a prescription drug for enlarged prostrates. Of course, all over the commercial, there are pictures of water. Now, I ask you, if I had this condition, should I walk into my doctors office and say..."hey, doc, how bout a script for advodart, I saw it on TV?" Would he then say, ..."OK, sure..here ya go?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I am nor sure what drug company it's for, but why is there a bee promoting the product and why does that bee speak with a spanish accent? And why are the people in the commercial not real people, they look like characters out of Toy Story?
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Why have I had the same dream for over thirty years? The dream that starts with me being happy to be in a new radio station and the all hell breaks loose when I can't find the records (yep, they are still records) in time to make the next segue? I had it again last night.
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What ever happened to common ground in this country? Why is it that if I disagree with you on one point, you think I disagree with you on everything? How can a person be pro life but then again believe in the death penalty?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Why do I enjoy college football so much? Hell, these are my kids playing. My son knows Brady Quinn (QB at Notre Dame) and now, vicariously, I am a fan. Rooting for Notre Dame takes me back to the days of Ara Paseghian and the voice of Chris Schenkel and Lindsey Nelson.

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