nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, April 25, 2016

    eight years ago today i saw prince at coachella 

    coachellai went with the wild and lovely suzie from canada. we had met once before in toronto and she said omg its tony pierce and promptly twisted both of my nipples through my cubs shirt.

    i was press so i got vip and somehow we got another one for her. those were the days when wearing an indian headdress wasnt that big of a deal and before people could find Coachella sections at their local department store. you just wore fun things.

    that year their two biggest headliners were Prince and Roger Waters. Waters did Dark Side all the way through and had an inflatable pig that accidentally flew away into the night and landed in some guy’s pool.

    we partied with all these dudes from twitter and google and blogger and slept on the floor and drank and had a great time.

    i even wrote a review about the sports car that Nissan lent us. and included pics of Suzie for scale.

    suzie reminded me a lot of Linda from college: full of energy, definitely hippy sensibilities, and spent most of the time in her bikini.

    she called me a carebear, but i later found out she didnt mean it as a compliment.

    maybe the best moment was right after i took this picture we swung around behind us and noticed the singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler was sitting at a similar picnic table.

    suzie let out a scream and ran over to him. his posse didnt know what to do, but bikini girls can pretty much do whatever they want. so he smiled as suzie told him how much she loved him and how her mom got her into them and la la la.

    back then you didnt really take a lot of selfies with your phone. it wasnt a thing. you brought little “cameras” with you, or if you were fancy, big cameras.

    i was not fancy so mine was little.

    Joey Maloney was and still is very fancy so his was big, and not only that, but he had a photo pass so he took these pictures of many of the performers. i think he was doing it for LAist.

    i remember saying to myself, this will probably be my last Coachella because seriously how could it get any better than this?

    pretty sure i went about 4 more times since then.

  2. Sunday, April 17, 2016

    like many my age, Angus Young is my favorite guitarist 

    angus young caricature because i’m the luckiest man alive, i got to see the Back in Black tour when i was in high school.

    i was blown away.


    ive followed them ever since, ive seen them maybe 10 times since and loved them with all of my heart.

    the band has an amazing history and part of their uniqueness is, for whatever reason, they don’t play with other bands.

    angus has never laid down a solo for any other band.

    and brian johnson, only once, sang with another band live after he joined ac/dc, and that was with Billy Joel (!) onstage because billy wanted to do Shook Me All Night Long with the singer during one of his Madison Square Garden shows.

    brian also was on a Sting song once but that was so bizarre that even in a blog that says “nothing in here is true” dare i even mention it since the reader might think this whole thing is farcical.

    sadly it is not.

    yesterday AC/DC put out a cold-hearted press release wishing Johnson farewell. they said that it was due to doctors orders. they claim medical professionals said Brian could permanently lose his hearing if he continued to tour with the hard rock group that he has fronted since he did the impossible: fill the shoes of Bon Scott in 1980.

    not only did Brian take over for Bon, but his debut with AC/DC was Back in Black, one of the best selling records in the history of records which sold over 50 million units world wide.

    my interns are telling me Back in Black is the 2nd biggest record of all time next to Thriller.

    and then he fronted the group for 36 years, every record they made with brian sold millions of copies, every tour was a mammoth world wide arena filling moneymaker

    how do you say goodbye to your singer with a short press release after all of that?

    if angus wanted to do something he’d never done before (play with a new singer for a few gigs) did he really need to fire Brian to do it?

    adios brian ac/dcgranted, things are tough for Angus right now, his brother and long time co-writer and BFF malcolm has slipped into dementia and is close to death.

    AC/DC’s latest record Rock or Bust is the lowest selling album the band ever released. barely a half million units were sold in the US despite headlining Coachella last year and filling baseball stadiums around the nation.

    at 61 years old he doesnt fly around the stage as fast as he once did

    which must be depressing.

    but could it be as depressing as being kicked out of the band and replaced by a screeching Axl Rose who is clearly only doing it to a) bring attention to the Guns n Roses “reunion” tour b) avoid Slash c) distract himself from making the Guns show the best it can be.

    meanwhile Brian is saying he was kicked out. that as soon as he told the band what the doc said that they didn’t even listen to him when he told them that the doc wanted to figure out a way to work with the issue. all his stuff was shipped to his door and it was over.

    bye felicia.

    so i have mixed feelings about last night at coachella when during the guns n roses headlining performance they brought out angus for two songs.

    of course it’s great to see him and hear him and have him back in the desert where they rocked two, two-hour sets last year. and despite the fact that axl didn’t know parts of Whole Lotta Rosie, he did sound good.

    but it all felt like a royal F-U to loveable brian

    how am i supposed to like this, let a lone love it?

    and why wasn’t Slash allowed a solo?

    is angus losing his mind too?

    is angus not a nice guy?

    did malcolm balance him out and thats why we never heard or saw any of this?

    now i gotta buy Brians book from 2009 and see if there are any clues.

    i’ll have plenty of money because now i wont be buying any tickets to see ACDC with Axl fronting it

  3. Saturday, April 9, 2016

    it’s supposed to rain today but i wanna drive 

    eazy e tattoo compton nwalast night was fun but i got tired early and called it quits

    the last ride was a 17 year old girl i picked up at usc. her boyfriend goes there.

    she was pretty dismissive of the school, him, pretty much everything

    except for one thing.

    for some reason i always try to bring conversations to happy places

    and it didnt seem like ours had gotten there as i drove across town to hollywood via side streets at midnight

    so as she texted her friends quietly in the back

    i finally asked

    is coachella still cool?

    she stopped, looked up, and said, omg its the coolest thing ever. im going.

    i should have left it at that but when the silence returned i broke it foolishly with

    are there any bands youre excited about… like guns n roses..?

    she said oh god no. my dad would kill me but, uh no.

    sorry slash

  4. Saturday, January 16, 2016

    as you know i rarely have dreams 

    Taylor Swift but last night i did.

    and the guest star was Taylor Swift, who my mom does not like AT ALL.

    and we were talking and i had lots of questions and because i keep it real i told her that when i first heard “Shake It Off” i hated it and couldnt understand what was going on in her life that she felt like she had to make that song

    and her face scrunched up

    and i told her, it reminded me of the first time i visited LA. the year was 1984. i was here for the Rose Bowl to see Illinois play UCLA and – i’ll never forget – i was in the parking lot at the little outdoor mall in Marina Del Rey. they used to have an arcade there. now it’s a movie theater.

    and i was in the parking lot and the dj said, “and now get ready because we have something here that you wont believe, but it’s true, it’s the new song from Van Halen. you have to believe me that it’s really them, because this sounds like nothing youve ever heard before”

    and they played “Jump” and at first i was all, what the hell is wrong with eddie that he thinks he needs to put synthesizers in Van Halen of all things. and it was weird and poppy and it turned out to be their biggest hit of all. just like Shake it Off became your biggest hit of all.

    and taylor unscrunched her face and smiled and said some stuff that i couldnt hear BECAUSE DREAMS ARE RETARDED.

    and when i woke up i thought to myself, holy crap, taylor swift is going to do a surprise set at Coachella this year!

    thats what this dream “means”. thats why Coachella hired Calvin Harris. that’s why they dont care if Guns n Roses turns out to be terrible like they were when they opened for the Stones way back when at the Coliseum. taylor swift is gonna full on do a little show and of course it will be a surprise because if they booked her for realsies everyone would take shit about Coachella, but if she just la la la oh hi im here, whats this a mic, whats this my guitar? oh hi. heres a little song you might know

    and they do Shake it Off in the desert and then Bad Blood and all her mfing squad shows up and struts around

    and then Slash struts around

    it will be the biggest thing of all.

    weekend one only, naturally.

    and the only thing that could ruin this great plan is if i actually get tickets for weekend one, so to preserve this, i will just stay at home so all the kids can have their minds blown. youre welcome. ps f dreams.

  5. Friday, January 8, 2016

    i was totally ok with not going to Coachella this year 

    guns on sunsetuntil i saw this this morning driving down Sunset

    in fact i turned around to take a picture for you.

    why wasnt i going to Coachella? omg let me count the ways

    • im a million years old,
    • it cost a million dollars,
    • the kids who actually do go should be allowed to listen to their music unadulterated
    • beers cost a million dollars,
    • id rather see these bands play in clubs and arenas
    • Lord knows if Guns don’t kill each other they’ll play at the Hollywood Bowl at some point (which will also cost a million dollars, but i can take the subway there)
    • f lcd soundsystem who retired for like 1 second
    • f calvin harris
    • f the way they make you walk a million miles to get an uber

    but look at that billboard.

    it makes me wonder, will they come out on fire?

    will Buckethead join them onstage?

    will Tommy Stinson get to jam with Duff

    will Elton John show up for Don’t Cry?

    will Axl bring his crutches and american flag shorts?

    will they let poor Steven Adler play?

    and what about Izzy? The heart of those first few records. Will Izzy show up and make it a real reunion? i sorta want those answers and see it live, not through some webcast on my iPad mini as i uber the kids through Palm Desert.

    i would like to be welcomed to the jungle

    but still, im not so sure.


  6. Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    call me old fashioned but i think riots are good for society 

    11188345_10153243549973057_4972412283027859793_nright now baltimore is burning. people are looting. the mayor and the governor are pissed at CNN. people are stealing shoes and diapers and tp for their bungholes.

    bloods and crips are working together. people are setting fire to the soulless drug stores and then people are slitting the fire hoses with knives.

    this is exactly what should happen when too many black men get killed by too many white cops

    who, in this case, took a black dude, and threw him in the back of a police vehicle

    and gave him a “rough ride” where he was driven around without a seatbelt

    and died from the injuries.

    believe me when i tell you that i approve of any riot that you hold in my name if cops murder me.

    burn it all down. steal all the things. slash all the hoses.

    at some point the powers that be figure it out and things change.

    i type this because i saw it first hand in the 90s. the first viral video of my generation was rodney king getting beaten up by several cops.

    as soon as it was released to KTLA we all assumed the cops would go to jail. but when they werent, LA rioted for 40 days and 40 nights (give or take).

    and guess what, you dont hear about cops doing that much more here in LA. you see it from time to time but because no one wants riots, that ish gets stifled quick.

    “see you at the riots” is my favorite thing to whisper to a liquor store owner who gives me attitude nowadays and trust me it puts them in their place.

    everyone needs checks and balances and when things get unbalanced an angry mob usually wins.

    so yes im glad that baltimore is standing up to the bs

    and im also super glad that out of the haze little angels appear, like this little boy.

    and i hope he charged that dude $2.

    just like how they charged us all at Coachella

  7. Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    coachella is exhausting expensive eclectic electric 

    coachella 2015

    psychedelic nauseating uncomfortable unreal unnatural and absolutely beautiful

    you’ll see bands you’ve never seen before and’ll never see again even though you loved them

    you’ll pay $11 for a beer and tip $3 because the computer screen suggested it.

    it’ll be so warm you wont even need a flannel at 2am on your walk back to the traffic jam.

    but you will hit some out of the blue moments of clarity.

    inspirational insights.

    music should always be playing and at a festival it is.

    except when you need it most: on the long walk back to your ride.

    coachella should invite all of the best buskers to line the paths and sing songs to the kids

    songs of freedom.


    the kittens play it tough during the week and keep their distance for the most part

    but if i leave for a few days they get super affectionate and downright clingy on my arrival.



    i dont like drake but i did watch his performance at coachella

    it was inspiring because i saw my own failures in his and it was painful

    but it will help me be better at stuff which is good.

    one thing i learned was dress up when people pay you a wheelbarrow of money

    the other was always have a live band back you up when you can

    and the most important thing that jack white had that drake didnt was

    give the drummer some.

    this is hip hop, a descendant of r&b, which gave birth to rock.

    it is american music rooted in african american beats.

    the drums are everything.

    grateful dead was the whitest band ever and even they had two drummers

    drake is just not that interesting alone on a giant stage in the middle of the night


    get your crew on that stage too

    and let them shine.

  8. Sunday, April 19, 2015

    my nose is sniffling from the dust 


    but my soul is clear. there was a boat in the desert.


    spent a lot of time in the craft beer tent because it was shady and had craft beer

    they had these double the power beers that had twice the alcohol

    but they only gave them to you in little cups.

    for the low price of $11.

    so i stuck to the regular sized cups.


    my man paul, the secret weapon of the LA Times recently quit the paper for a start up.

    we ran into him at the grocery store on Thursday, turns out he’s renting a house near us

    so we said meet us at the craft beer tent at 4:20 and there he was with his bro and his friend.

    his bro wins for that beebs shirt


    behind the craft beer tent is this run down bar. my guess is the polo club uses it but they pull up the carpet when they know we’re arriving. or maybe they never use it. seems run down, but homey.

    decided this should be a pop-up Denny’s next year.

    breakfast served all day


    the best of the night was Jack White who shredded and stopped and preached and made everyone turn to their neighbor and say peace be with you.

    this was katie after it was all over.


    best invention: the phone chargers all over coachella


    last night we met some cool people from the LA Weekly, one of whom i’d met before, the famous hip hop writer Jeff Weiss.

    after i introduced myself  he was all, of course, tony pierce, i know you, ive read the busblog.

    made my night


    last night’s ac/dc was super good. they played all their hits and a few new ones, never once acknowledging us. playing at us, basically.

    i was super curious what the kids who had never seen them thought, but watching their smiles as we went home told me my answer.

    as Jack White said last night, music is sacred

    it has been a joy to share that bounty with these kids in this magical desert.

  9. Thursday, April 16, 2015

    we’re back in palm desert 


    these digs are so much better than my rancid air bnb from last week.

    in fact thats a sony xbr above the fireplace and a denon bose sound system

    we’re blasting nirvana through my bluetooth speaker because theres no mini to RCA cord

    design flaw


    rarely do i get to drink because im ubering

    but this weekend im not driving.

    thus, say hi to my delicious friends

  10. Monday, April 13, 2015

    challenge accepted 


    the more difficult things are, the better. it’s the only way to learn.

    last year i drove out to coachella weekend one and barely made $100. the place was swarming with uber drivers, all the most important roads were closed. i was staying in a beautiful house with cool people near the rock fest. and i went to sleep too early.

    and on top of it, i got there too late.

    so i left frustrated.


    this year i got a decent hotel the first night out in the boonies, and the lowest priced air bnb near palm springs (and, yep, you get what you pay for) for the other few days.

    i was completely focused on driving.

    no distractions.


    because of the law of murphy, when you’re set on that path

    obstacles will come out of the woodwork

    for the sole purpose in which to distract you.


    there was a time when i woulda jumped at the shiny flashy fun thing

    but you know what else is fun?


    creating a hypothesis, trying new things through experimentation

    and seeing it through to a conclusion


    one of my theories was that if you drove in the day and took a good nap around dinner time

    youd be able to drive until 5am, when most of the newbie drivers were sleeping.


    that plan worked perfectly.


    but because im human, i got cocky and thought i might give the picking up of the ppl at the show a shot

    and of course it didnt and i wasted three hours of what could have been a nice dinner followed by a peaceful sleep.

    lesson learned


    my hands hurt the first two days but i lathered them in icy hot and paid attention to how i was holding the wheel.

    just thumbs after a while on11128209_10153201144753057_1036196505_n the long stretches of the 10 freeway going back and forth

    back and forth

    from palm springs to indio and back.

    risky because if i just went half way i could possibly have gotten more rides or more rides west with passengers,

    but this year the experiment was to be ok with driving back empty.

    be patient.

    trust the system.

    because my air bnb was nothing to write home about, i was out of the bed early

    just the right time to pick up the people who were off to brunch

    or on their way to pick up makeup or hot dogs

    or chokers

    or flowers.

    i was there to pick them up. i was there to soak in their energy

    i was there to listen as they told me about their globetrotting lives which even if they werent from LA always seemed to have a story about LA, like this young lady who had never been there before so went to Venice and Beverly Hills and drank at the Chateau

    and then met me


    it was a long drive from indio to the ace hotel, pretty much the most westerly part of palm springs

    but that meant if you got someone, there was a good chance that they wanted to go to the most easterly part of the valley, coachella

    making for a $60 or more fare.

    something, even in the uber plus, i rarely would get.

    there was no uber plus at coachella, but that was fine, the rates were higher and the runs were longer. even if they just wanted to go halfway to pre-party it was still a bigger fare than youd get on a friday in one ride in LA


    then on saturday night, my last night, i took a nap from 7pm to 11pm, way longer than you should they say, but i was so tired.

    i woke up groggy, dicked around on my phone for an hour and finally motivated.

    drove over to the ace and picked up a latino man with a british accent and two very hot black girls.

    i hoped they wanted to go to the neon carnival which had started at 11pm and went till 5am, and they did. a very long drive.

    i asked the ladies what kind of music they wanted to hear.



    “hip hop!”

    ahhhh. old school or new school, i asked.

    new! they requested and i said, shade 45 and we were off.

    we talked about food, LA, how everything was behind gates in Palm Springs.

    it was a little difficult because the man was in the back with a very soft spoken woman

    and up front with me was the other woman who was less shy. or did the two in the back just want some alone time?

    it was hard to read.

    nearly an hour later we were there but the line to get in was long and the gentleman had received a text that the carnival was no longer fun.

    our plan was to pick up wristbands from them in the parking lot but the ladies were tired and just wanted to go back to palm springs. so we did. but first a stop at the del taco. and then to the AM/PM. and then back to their hotel where, to my surprise, he got the backseat girl’s number and asked me to drive him back to indio where his motel was.

    but first another stop at Del Taco because the fish tacos were so good.

    i knew the fare would be a record setter for me, so i bought the tacos for both of us.

    got to the bnb at 5am fully energized from breaking my record on such an interesting ride of mostly highway driving, packed my two bags, wrote a note on the fridge, and headed to LA.

    but first i pulled over about a half hour into the return, found a shady spot, and slept in the benz for the first time. for about three hours.

    right when it started to get hot.