Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why Men Can't Cry Out Loud!

Remember Gilligan’s Island? What a great show! That show was an intrinsic part of my childhood. I even first heard about the death of Elvis when they scrolled the news across the bottom of the screen during an episode. I watched it every day after school. My favorite episodes were;
1. The one where they did a musical version of Hamlet for the Hollywood producer, Harold H. Hecuba.
2. The one where the hunter comes to the island to hunt Gilligan.
3. The one with the rock group the Mosquitoes
4. The one with the Russian Cosmonauts
5. The one where Thurston and Lovey find out they’re broke (it wasn’t true; it was really Thurston Powell who was broke!)
As a kid, I never wondered why they couldn’t get off the island. I never wondered why the professor could make anything except a raft. Or how their clothes always looked clean and fresh, (Gilligan had a white hat, for crying out loud!). Or in a related point, how Thurston and Lovey and Ginger had plenty of extra clothes for a 3 hour tour. Or how Mary Ann was making all of those perfect pie crusts for Gilligan. When you think about it, the castaways make people on shows like Survivor look like chumps. They can’t even make fire, and the castaways had an entire village of really nice huts with hammocks and doors and everything!
After school we had; Gilligan’s Island, The Jefferson’s, Welcome Back Kotter, the Munster’s, Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle, Leave It To Beaver, Good Times & the Brady Bunch (and on Sunday morning, we had The Three Stooges before church!). I can remember getting home from school at 3:00 and turning on the TV (which by the way was the size of a microwave!) No remote! 4 channels! 2, 4, 5 & 8. 8 was the PBS channel so if that was on you were watching Sesame Street, the Electric Company and Zoom. No VCR’s or DVD players, no cable, no movie channels. With no remote, you pretty much left it on one channel and watched everything including the commercials (that’s how you found out about the Evel Knievel stunt bike action figure!). These days I don’t think I watch anything without my finger on the DVR’s fast-forward button! I just did a quick search and found that I can watch episodes of pretty much any show I want right now! My wife and I laugh about how you had to wait all year as a kid to see A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now my daughter can watch it in July if she wants to.
That was the good old days! I wonder what shows my daughter will remember, probably Hannah Montana. Oh well. At least she’s hip to Andy Griffith!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Possums and the Stimulus Package

Sometimes I get asked about what it’s like to live in Nashville, here’s a snapshot of an average day; Buff and I are running errands on Sunday. We stop at Best Buy to pick up a new hard drive and as I’m stopped in the parking lot, waiting on a car to back out of an extremely good spot (near the door, first row, you know the kind of spot you find and it just makes you want to stay all day!), a SUV is crowding behind me, trying to pass me on the INSIDE! In other words, between me and the space I’m waiting to turn into. I look in the rearview and it’s an older guy. I give him the ‘look’ and speak to him like you do when you’re driving, as though he can hear me, and I tell Buff, “That old guy’s trying to run over us! He looks like George Jones.” We get parked, get out and start to make our way to the front door. The SUV is now almost on the sidewalk right in front of the store!! (better spot than I got) Buff looks at the driver and says, “It is George Jones!” tag on the car was NOSHOW4!! If you have to get run over, it might as well be by a legend I always say. Just another day in Nashville.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Jonas Brothers Rock The Grammys!!

Surfing the “inter-web”, here’s my take on some current events; Prince’s new website is gonna be awesome! The Grammys never cease to amaze me with their ability to put the Blues in the “back of the bus” so to speak. I realize they had to fill some time after Chris Brown and Rihanna dropped out, but to have 2 icons like BB King and Buddy Guy there and give them a 30 second spot at the end of the obituary segment just seemed like crumbs! At least they had Al Green do his thing. Speaking of Chris Brown, he really screwed up! It’s never okay to hit a woman. Ever. Michael Phelps is more stupid than criminal, risking millions in endorsements, if he’s gonna smoke, do it at home. Or move to Amsterdam! Joaquin Phoenix…what the hell is going on? Check out this link;

Kenny Chesney tells Playboy Magazine that he is definitely NOT gay…riiiight. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, but being Kenny Chesney is unforgivable. Brett Favre retires! I saw this movie when Bill Murray made it. Listening to Pandora while I write this and I think Elmore James should’ve been able to trademark that lick. You know the one I mean. Some things just say everything that needs to be said.
Not to get too specific, but racist jokes aren’t funny even when everyone in the room seems to be the same race. Ignorance is ignorance, just ‘cause everybody seems to be agreeing with you it doesn’t make you less ignorant.
My coolest discovery from my trip to Memphis last weekend was that the most amazing time to walk around Beale Street is 7:30 am on Sunday morning. Just me and the street cleaners. Guitars never lie!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Springsteen attacks camera with crotch at Super Bowl!

This weekend we played a great gig at Darwin’s in Marietta GA. The highlight for me was seeing my friend and former band mate, Drew Wiseman. I’ve been thinking a lot about that band lately; Chris Kent, Derek Wiseman & Drew Wiseman. Along with Bobby Inman, they were my first real version of the SHB and truly a musical force of nature. Chris is still playing. Having played with Take 6 and Larry Carlton, he’s currently on the road with Lorrie Morgan. I think he and Derek occasionally play gigs together in and around Nashville. Drew moved from Nashville, where we were all based, to Marietta and it’s just a shame that we didn’t get to let more people hear how great they were. I was truly the weakest musician in that band and I’ve always preferred that, because that’s how you learn, grow and elevate. I just had to keep up! If you check out the tracks I’ve posted on MySpace, you’ll get a small idea of what we were up to in those days. That particular show (August 16, 1998 at 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill) was a record release party for my first record, “Messing With The Kid” and was being broadcast live on the radio. With a limited amount of time to play, we were playing the songs pretty straight. If, however, you were ever at one of our Nashville gigs, you know that the songs were just launching pads for some incredible jams. Sets could stretch to 4 hours! It was an incredible ride to be on. These weren’t rehearsed gigs, I was touring with Buddy Guy and the rest of the guys were gigging or doing day gigs and the only time we really even saw each other was maybe 30 minutes before the gig. A rehearsal might go something like this;
Me: “hey Derek, have you ever heard that Stevie Wonder song I Wish?”
Derek: “Sure”
And then we’d hit the stage and open with it. Everything was head cues and nods and those guys were such amazing talents that they smiled all the time and everything seemed effortless. I’ve been blessed to know and play with some incredible musicians in my career, but it’s only after time passes that I’ve realized how incredibly blessed I was to have those guys for my first band. This year marks my 20th year in the business, you’d think that kind of anniversary might merit some sort of special gig or something huh?...stay tuned!