nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, May 29, 2017

    Memorial Day: another great thing black folk gave to America 

    1865 was a heavy year for the USA.

    on April 9th, Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S Grant in Appomattox, ending the Civil War

    it took a little while for soldiers to really get it that the war was over. and in some ways it wasn’t.

    case in point: five days after Lee surrendered, Honest Abe was shot in the head while watching a damn play.

    but by May most of the soldiers had packed up and made it back home to pick up the pieces.

    A troop called the 21st United States Colored Infantry made it back to their home in Charleston, South Carolina. They found it in ruins. It was so bad most of the white folk had left and there were only about 10,000 black people still there – a third of them children.

    But when the troops came home there was a huge parade of all the townspeople, preachers, and Union prisoners. The Rebels had turned the local race track into a prison. A horrible prison where over 250 soldiers died.

    The first order of business that first day in May was to rebury the war dead, many of whom were white soldiers, into proper graves, surrounded by flowers and beauty.

    That’s right: the first Memorial Day was started by newly freed black soldiers and their families honoring the fallen white Union soldiers who helped free them.

  2. Friday, January 17, 2014

    twenty years ago today i was living with Greg from the Villans and Whalen from Tsar 

    northridge quake

    but at the time they were both trying to be in a band together and it wasnt really working out.

    in college, in a land of great musicians, in a peninsula of a million bands, greg was the best lead guitarist

    he also wrote some funny ass songs, and painted, and ruled.

    jeff, in that same land, wrote the best songs, and dated the girl who most resembled a prettier Uma Thurman

    so after college they naturally moved to LA, like many of us did, in order to follow their dream, in their case it was rock.

    i was not following my dream. my dream was to be in the music business but i was driving a company car around the valley

    teaching salesmen how to sell better, and failing miserably.

    miserable is actually a good word because Greg Jeff and I were pouty little bachelors living in Atwater Village.

    we had found a 3 bdr house on Glenhurst, just blocks away from where the Beastie Boys were recording Ill Communication

    “Glendale Blvd., thats the one!”

    the three bad brothers you know so well were doing far better than the three bad roommates.

    greg even made an art school film called the three bad roommates where my character punches his in the gut

    1484272_10152562510251040_1039197651_nbecause he had borrowed my appetite for destruction cd and had not returned it.

    it was really just a great excuse for him to use slow motion while spitting out kool aid.

    their was hella tension in the house because we were in the post-Isla Vista hangover, and their band wasnt really working

    then in the middle of the night, 4:20am i think, i heard and felt what seemed like a slap on the side of the house

    like a bigass slap from the hollywood sign.

    i shook, opened one eye, closed the eye, and went back to sleep.

    minutes later i heard an AM radio and greg and jeff panicking.

    soon they knocked and opened my door and said Earthquake! the powers out. your book case fell over!

    i asked “is the house on fire?”

    they said, “no.”

    so i said, “i’m gonna stay sleep then.”

    which boggled their minds for some reason. and when i woke up a few hours later the power had been restored and they were watching LA freak out on the tv.

    one line we heard over and over those few days was “and now from Chopper Two we have Stu Mandel. Stu, how are things from where you are?”

    what made this earthquake unlike any that i had experienced was there were hella aftershocks.

    the first one came that first night. it felt like a school of whales swimming underneath our street.

    you could hear it rumble as it approached you and it got louder and louder and then your house wiggled in the most unnatural way.

    and then you could hear it roll past.

    sometimes there were just big smacks on the side of your house. it was unnerving. especially at night.

    the best part about this house was it had a rock room basement. which was the reason we rented the home.

    because there were already tensions, the weirdness of the aftershocks only made things worse.

    so i got behind the drums one night right before we were gonna strangle each other and tapped out a little Native American rain dance beat

    fuckyou earthquake, fuckyou earthquake… i chanted as i beat the toms.

    jeff plucked the open bass string fuckyou earthquake fuckyou earthquake he sang into his mic

    and when greg powerchorded to the beat Chopper One was born and we played off the mojo and made it ours.

    if we were gonna die we were gonna do it with rocking a soundtrack of defiance.

    after a half hour we started playing nirvana, the velvets, van halen, bruce springsteen, and any other song we all could play instantly

    my favorite was the romantics’ what i like about you. pretty much the opposite of fuckyou earthquake.

    about a month later we threw a party, introduced chopper one to the world, and only got together one more time,

    my 30th birthday in frisco.

    thats pretty much what i remember of the northridge earthquake: it created Chopper One.

  3. Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    ten years ago i was writing Stiff but i didnt know it 

    and rock oni was in hell

    on my way home i saw a sign that said Customer Service

    i never saw this sign before and i followed the arrow to a long line.

    after about an hour i made it to the front of the line and said hello to the woman who said hello back at me.

    yes, hi. i was wondering where i can find pants. i have no pants.

    you can find pants at the store.

    she rang a bell.


    no no. please i have a few more questions. i heard that on new year’s day we can be re-judged.

    dont believe your dreams. you didnt follow or believe them on Earth, Hell shouldnt be any different.

    yes, but i shouldnt be here. i wasnt all that bad. plus i loved the Lord.

    do you want to fill out a complaint?

    may i?


    she rang a bell again.


    just a few more questions, please. im new here.

    you didnt take the orientation yet?

    no. what orientation?

    you need to go to the Welcome Center and tell them youre new.

    will they give me pants?

    no. you get pants at the store. they will also have shirts for you there too.

    when will i get pants?

    pardon me?

    i am trying to be nice here and i am getting no satisfaction.

    what sort of satisfaction were you looking for?

    i dont know. doesnt the squeaky wheel get the grease?

    she pulled a chain and a bucket of hot grease dumped on me.

    it was hot.

    and greasy.

    she rang a bell.


  4. Monday, April 9, 2012