nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, June 18, 2016

    keith richards exuding magic all over the page 

    keith richards 1963
    im finally reading the keith richards autobio “life”. actually johnny depp is reading it to me via audible.  you miss details when youre driving around LA listening to johnny read the words of the stone, you daydream and think, “did johnny really know what he was in for? this book is loooong. is he tired? did he get paid a million bucks or did he do it for free?”

    but then a passage like this comes to you and you hope you remember to make note of it. so heres the note: keith is incredible.

    we are on page 108 when Keith, talking about 1963, the time right before the stones blew up, writes:

    There you have it. That was all we listened to at the time. Just American blues or rhythm and blues or country blues. Every waking hour of every day was just sitting in front of the speakers, trying to figure out how these blues were made. Chicago blues hit us right between the eyes. And as long as we were all together, we could pretend to be black men. We soaked up the music, but it didn’t change the colour of our skin. Some even went whiter. Brian Jones was a blond Elmore James from Cheltenham. And why not? You can come from anywhere and be any colour. We didn’t want to make money. We despised money, we despised cleanliness, we just wanted to be black motherfuckers. Fortunately we got plucked out of that. But that was the school; that’s where the band was born.

    The early days of the magic art of guitar weaving started then. You realise what you can do playing guitar with another guy, and what the two of you can do is to the power of ten, and then you add other people. There’s something beautifully friendly and elevating about a bunch of guys playing music together. This wonderful little world that is unassailable. It’s really teamwork, one guy supporting the others, and it’s all for one purpose, and there’s no flies in the ointment, for a while. And nobody conducting: it’s all up to you. It’s really jazz: that’s the big secret. Rock’n’roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat. So we sat there in the cold, dissecting tracks for as long as the meter held out. A new Bo Diddley record goes under the surgical knife. Have you got that wah-wah? What were the drums playing, how hard were they playing . . . what were the maracas doing? One of the first lessons I learnt with guitar playing was that none of these guys were actually playing straight chords. There’s a throw-in, a flick-back. Nothing’s ever a straight major. It’s an amalgamation, a mangling and a dangling and a tangling thing. There is no “properly”. There’s just how you feel about it. Feel your way around it. It’s a dirty world down here.

    Mostly I’ve found, playing instruments, that I actually want to be playing something that should be played by another instrument. I find myself trying to play horn lines all the time on the guitar. When I was learning how to do these songs, I learnt there is often one note doing something that makes the whole thing work. It’s usually a suspended chord. It’s not a full chord, it’s a mixture of chords, which I love to use to this day. If you’re playing a straight chord, whatever comes next should have something else in it. If it’s an A chord, a hint of D. Or if it’s a song with a different feeling, if it’s an A chord, a hint of G should come in somewhere, which makes a 7th, which then can lead you on. Readers who wish to can skip Keef’s Guitar Workshop, but I’m passing on the simple secrets anyway, which led to the open-chord riffs of later years — the Jack Flash and Gimme Shelter ones.

    stones 1963There are some people looking to play guitar. There’s other people looking for a sound. I was looking for a sound when Brian and I were rehearsing in Edith Grove. Something easily done by three or four guys and you wouldn’t be missing any instruments or sound on it. I just followed the bosses. A lot of those blues players of the mid-Fifties — Albert King and B. B. King — were single-note players. T-Bone Walker was one of the first to use the double-string thing — to use two strings instead of one, and Chuck got a lot out of T-Bone.

    Musically impossible, but it works. The notes clash, they jangle. You’re pulling two strings at once and you’re putting them in a position where actually their knickers are pulled up. You’ve always got something ringing against the note or the harmony. The reason that cats started to play like that was economics — to eliminate the need for a horn section.

    Brian and I, we had the Jimmy Reed stuff down. When we were really hunkering down and working, working, Mick obviously felt a little bit out of it. Also he was away at the London School of Economics for much of the day to start with. He couldn’t play anything. That’s why he picked up on the harp and the maracas. Brian had picked up the harmonica very quickly at first, and I think Mick didn’t want to be left behind. I wouldn’t be surprised if from the beginning it wasn’t just from being in competition with Brian. And Mick turned out to be the most amazing harp player. I’d put him up there with the best in the world, on a good night. Everything else we know he can do — he’s a great showman — but, to a musician, Mick Jagger is a great harp player. I find it hard to listen to him without awe. His harp playing is the one place where you don’t hear any calculation.

    I say: “Why don’t you sing like that?” He says they’re totally different things. But they’re not — they’re both blowing air out of your gob.

    It was a mania. Benedictines had nothing on us. Anybody that strayed from the nest to get laid, or try to get laid, was a traitor. You were supposed to spend all your waking hours studying Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson. That was your gig. Every other moment taken away from it was a sin. It was that kind of atmosphere, that kind of attitude that we lived with. The women around were really quite peripheral. The drive in the band was amazing among Mick, Brian and myself. It was incessant study. Not really in the academic sense of it: it was to get the feel of it.

    And then I think we realised, like any young guys, that blues are not learnt in a monastery. You’ve got to go out there and get your heart broke and then come back and then you can sing the blues. Preferably several times. At that time, we were taking it on a purely musical level, forgetting that these guys were singing about shit. First you’ve got to get in the shit. And then you can maybe come back and sing it.

  2. Monday, May 23, 2016

    why do old people hate beyonce? 

    beyonce formation

    in my weird universe Beyonce is Queen. thats how it is on my social media, in the web sites i read, and the young people i know.

    when i drive if one of her songs comes on, especially the newer ones, everyone will hush up and sing along.

    last week she sold out the 100,000 seat Rose Bowl, by her damn self, to support a record that had just come out a few weeks previous. The average ticket price was about $100 and the good seats were much more.

    before the Rose Bowl concert went off,  she announced a future engagement at the more intimate 50,000 seat Dodger Stadium in September where face value ticket prices on the field range from $500 – $2,000. if you want to sit at the tippy-top of the baseball stadium tickets are a mere $109 before Ticketmaster et all get their cut.

    beyonce poolpeople admire her beauty, singing, dancing, style, lyrics, husband, child, marriage, career, and most importantly the way she handles herself in times of every day real life drama.

    people, other than those who wrote in last week to complain that the LA Times, that is. and what really irked them was the paper put one of their stories about her on the OMG front page.

    Chuck from Huntington Beach said “I love newspapers.  I have been a subscriber of The Times since 1972.  I am not a subscriber of the National Enquirer, but it is beginning to seem that way.  I know all print media are struggling to stay afloat, but come on, guys.  There has to be some actual news you could put on Page 1.”

    Jeff in Eagle Rock wrote, “Does an unusually gushy article about Beyoncé deserve to be on the front page of The Times when another story about her is on Page 1 of Calendar?”

    There was Carole down in San Diego who complained, “Really, Beyoncé is front page news? And we wonder why someone like Donald Trump could be a leading candidate for president. By any chance, have you seen the movie ‘Idiocracy’?”

    And of course Marty in Whittier who asked, “Is it just me or is anyone else getting weary of Beyoncé?”

    if I was the LA Times, I’d write an op-ed defending its coverage and educating it’s whining readership why they, like the ticket buying public of this country and the world, appreciate her.

    beyonce formationperhaps they can get into the fact that it’s rare for a black woman on a solo tour to be able to command such a huge audience that cuts across race, gender, and age. perhaps they can show pictures of attendees of the enormous Rose Bowl audience crying. Maybe it should be written by a choreographer who can explain that while many female stars like Brittany Spears or Rihanna or Taylor Swift pose real nice, Queen Bey is dancing in dozen of numbers in ways we haven’t seen since Tina Turner.

    there’s a reason they keep inviting her back to the Super Bowl. there’s a reason HBO allowed her what amounted to an infomercial last month to air her groundbreaking Lemonade long-form video. there’s a reason she can put her album on the fledgling Tidal and everyone will rush to the streaming service to hear what she has to say.

    it is because for many many many who don’t usually have a voice in papers like the LA Times or even in LA, she is their Streisand, their Elvis, their Beatles. and there is no way in hell that Marty in Whittier would have bitched that the paper gave The King too much ink if he ever sold out the Rose Bowl.

    so he should probably STFU about The Queen getting hers.

    or better yet, perhaps they should OMG listen to what she’s singing about and realize that she’s just not singing to girls, women, black, brown, gay and straight people, she’s singing to and for everyone. and that’s why everyone, pretty much, adore her. including your local rag.

  3. Saturday, May 21, 2016

    fuck radio, fuck mtv for abandoning us all 

    fuck ticketmaster fuck the dh fuck cancer

    but one thing they can never take from us

    even when they cant figure out a way to strip all the art from it

    in their tireless attempt to suck all the money out of it

    is rock and roll.

    a guitar and a voice.

    there is a spirit that comes straight down from heaven into us all

    people have different words for it

    and at its roots it is love.

    and it manifests in that contagious chorus

    that is so natural at it’s heart

    which is why it heals us there

    so we can then take on what needs to get done.

    rock on little girl

    and rock on florence and the machine.

  4. Monday, April 4, 2016

    saw elvis costello play at the ace in downtown 

    elvis costelloseen elvis play maybe 8-10 times? but never saw a show at the remodeled united artists theater and mama mia is that place killer

    i originally bought a pair of tickets the day they went on sale, but they were terrible and no one jumped out and said take me take me so i sold them saturday and bought a single ticket in the third row balcony

    took a lyft over. driver was indian. super nice guy but horrible driver. says he lives deep in the inland empire but he always gets one ride that takes him into LA and then hes stuck here.

    so he drives around until he gets to downtown and then hopes some asian guy wants to go to san gabriel, but he can also get unlucky and a tourist wants to go to the beach

    he said he wasnt going to risk his luck and said as soon as he dropped me off he was heading home.

    elvis had a big fake tv behind him. most of the show it was just him solo with one of his dozen guitars. he played on the piano a little too.

    i gotta say, as much as i love him, i always thought that he was a weak instrumentalist but after this show im glad to say i was wrong wrong wrong. he was perfectly good all by himself on guitar or piano and added with his incredible vocal range it was quite a treat.

    wisely he brought opening act Megan and Rebecca Lovell of the Larkin Poe to accompany on a generous amount of numbers. one was on mandolin played like a rhythm guitar the other on a type of lap steel that emitted some haunting leads

    their background singing were lovely and it spiced up the presentation a tad harking back memories of when Prince played with those twins a few years back

    the best moments were when Elvis moved away from the mic and the amplifiers and just sang to the crowd within the perfectly acoustic 90 year old theater

    everyone hushed up as one of the finest songwriters with one of the best voices

    cried out to the full house

    who loved every second of it.

    that starkness, intimateness, that Jungian throwback to the campfire or the cliffside

    it was so raw so natural and the type of thing you can only do with a great song

    elvis played like four encores, many with the girls

    i ran into broome, brendon and kpcc’s alex cohen.

    the couple in front of me couldnt stop talking or moving. i know it was a concert, but come on.

    afterwards i avoided the mob scene of ubers and the one taco stand, walked a few blocks. weather was perfect. like a summer night. found an empty taco truck got two tacos and ate them right there.

    took a lyft home. mexican guy. he complained how someone wiped his hotdog fingers with ketchup all over his seats and how another lady spilled her red bull and lyft wouldnt pay.

    i said, no food or drinks in the ride, g. and he looked at me like i was an a martian.

  5. Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    i used to think i was gonna marry a black girl 

    bingthen i thought i would marry an asian girl

    then a white girl

    then a latina

    now i think i’ll marry whoever is the nicest to me.

    over the last two days ive been driving as much uber as i possibly can because they have this cash bonus if you do 75 trips.

    little do they tell you its impossible to do 75 trips if everyone else in LA is trying to get 75 trips

    so in a twisted way its genius of uber because we’re running around like crazy

    giving people $4 rides in our mercedeses

    on one hand it makes you feel like quitting the whole thing at the end of the week

    and on the other hand you meet all these super cool people who you wouldnta normally met because

    you wouldnta been out at 11pm looking for annnnnnyone to ping you.

    got this smelly chef tonight.

    then got this korean kid who said korea is cool if youre a party animal but not if youre chill

    then got these two beautiful saudi ladies with incredible clothes.

    then got a lady with leather pants who quietly farted and it smelled like burning hair.

    then got this dude who was super cool, and then a lady who wanted to talk about Bowie

    but the best was a young record producer with crazy hair

    it was my longest trip and he told me to relax

    that rock n roll is coming back

    via skye ferra

    tame impala

    and haim.

    and i was all, toss some guitar solos in there

    please and thank you.

  6. Wednesday, March 9, 2016

    who i would replace Brian Johnson with 

    The-Darkness-Justin-HawkinsLong time AC/DC crooner, Brian Johnson, has been told by doctors that if he continues fronting the hard rock group he will go deaf.

    Instead of retiring, now that his brother Malcolm Young is back home due to dementia, and his drummer Phil Rudd can’t leave Australia due to bizarre criminal allegations, lead guitarist/atraction Angus Young seemingly still wants to travel the world blowing the roof off the mother.

    So here’s who I think should be the next singer of my favorite rock group

    10. Glen Danzig – he’s probably a little too heavy for AC/DC but maybe that gruff could add a little edge to the aging group

    9. Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) – this dude was born to front a real rock band. Don’t get me wrong, I think The Darkness is incredible. But because it’s sooooo derivative of 80s hair metal groups, many think they’re a joke. I believe. Justin is one of the few that could hit the high notes and the idea of a triple guitar attack on numbers like “Shoot to Thrill” or “Bad Boy Boogie” is fascinating.

    2014-12-27-AndrewW.K.byJonathanThorpe2013APPROVED8. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) – there aren’t many singers who could add even more power to AC/DC anthems. Bruce could. And he could fly the damn plane.

    7. Kid Rock – If there is any complaint about the dynamics of AC/DC music it’s that it’s one dimensional. Kid Rock could add a layer of Southern rock and warmth that hasn’t been there since Bon Scott died in 1980. Imagine what he could add with piano on tunes like “Have A Drink On Me” and “The Jack”.  And what about harmonica on “It’s a Long Way to the Top” instead of bagpipe?

    6. Andrew W.K. – The only downside of Andrew W.K. leading AC/DC is he’d be so great at it that kids would think that he wrote all the songs. And his energy might kill Angus.

    5.  Ad Rock & Mike D. – Everyone loved the original mashup of Aerosmith and Run DMC. What if you were treated to a night led by the remaining members of Beastie Boys with the live accompaniment of AC/DC on songs that maybe might include some new freestyle verses.

    4. Kim Gordon – Some say Joan Jett is the perfect female singer/guitarist to front AC/DC but I’d rather have Kim Gordon who would give a spookier take on “She’s Got Balls” and “Inject The Venom”.

    3.  Jack Black – It would be the funniest AC/DC show you’ve ever seen, that’s for sure.

    2.  Jack White – It would be the sexiest AC/DC show you’ve ever seen and the dual lead guitar duals would be legendary.

    1. Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine) – hopefully they’d play a half hour of Rage tunes as an encore.

    Zack de la Rocha

  7. Monday, January 11, 2016

    my best friend will never be lou reed 


    and i’ll never produce “Walk on the Wild Side” for him


    i’ll never be the coolest dude in a photo when the other two are from the Stones and the Who

    The Outtakes of David Bowie's Iconic _Heroes_ Album Cover Shoot (6)

    i’ll never always have the perfect expression on my face


    my second wife will not be a super hot somalian super model who stays out of the news


    i’ll never wear clothes that makes my eye patch seem like the obvious perfect accessory


    i’ll never write “Fame” with John Lennon


    i’ll never write “Under Pressure” with Freddie Mercury


    i’ll never look menacingly ice cold in my mug shot with one blue eye and one brown eye


    when i take my baby out on a stroll i’ll never look ridiculously amazing


    but i do hope to shake hands with iggy pop in red square one day

    david bowie gif

    so thank you david bowie for the inspiration!

  8. Thursday, December 31, 2015

    saw Motley Crue play their second to last show ever last night 

    motorhead fan at motley crue

    i first saw them in high school at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom well before that lucky ticketholder was even born.

    it was the first concert that i ever went to where i saw someone puke from being too drunk

    last night was a different affair. i saw people of all ages. dads brought their kids and the kids were fascinated.

    motley crue fire

    theres something about blasts of fire so big and hot that you can feel it all through the arena.

    the music was Motely Crue’s greatest hits with a couple of covers (Smoking in the Boys Room, Anarchy in the UK)

    it was hoped that there might be a Motorhead cover since they are both Sunset Strip icons

    but this is a show thats been around the world, their farewell show, it was polished, on point, and locked.

    not really any room for improv.


    Tommy has to drum on a rollercoaster and spin around a few times

    no time to play Ace of Spades.

    i kid, but really two things: a motorhead mention, at least, was appropo

    and Tommy’s drum solo, was incredible

    one of the great things about Crue was they were real rock stars.

    Tommy had a sex tape, Vince had a sex tape, there was drugs, arrests,

    which means only one thing:

    fucking better be a killer drum solo at the rock show


    like the new Star Wars, the second to last Crue show was safe, familiar, and not loud enough.

    the lights were pretty, we were thankful for the dancing girls,

    Mick Mars, who has looked 64, shredded on guitar, and did this Eruption thing that was purely satanic

    and their grand finale was a spectacle of fire and more fire and things burning that made us think

    should that really be on fire too?

    and then fireworks

    take a bow motley crue

    of all the bands that i rocked out to in high school,

    never did i think that it would be Motley Crue who would sell out

    two nights at Staples, 34 years into their career, to say adios.

    but they represented the spirit of the hair metal era righteously

    and are ending it on fire.

    they’re not going away sad

    they’re just going away


  9. Thursday, December 3, 2015

    the night stp won sxsw 

    scott weiland at sxsw

    the last time i went to texas to see the greatest show on earth, south by southwest,

    where over 1,000 bands rock in every nook and cranny of downtown austin over four days

    the year was 2010 and the unlikely quartet of stone temple pilots beat all the other bands.

    they had reunited, were preparing to drop a self titled album,

    and put on an entirely delightful 75-minute show of hits and new tunes

    at the 4,400 seat Austin Music Hall.

    i was shocked.

    just as i am tonight to hear that their singer, scott weiland died tonight.

    i shouldnt have been shocked about either:

    stp has way more hits than theyre given credit for

    and scott weiland has been a wild gentleman for quite a while.

    but still, im sad tonight.

  10. Friday, November 6, 2015

    am i jealous that blake shelton is dating gwen stefani? 

    gwen and blakeno. i mean what am i gonna do with freaking gwen stefani.

    but i want her with someone thats more of her peer. and if not her peer, someone who will take her music to the next level.

    prince, for example.

    why isnt gwen with prince?

    funny thing about prince. recently boy george quipped that he once slept with prince.

    but then he took it back and said he was referring to a prince poster that he had on his wall.

    thats not the funny thing. the funny thing is heres a guy who wears some fantastic clothes, but also some very feminine clothes.

    he also likes to wear heels.

    on his first album he’s wearing lingerie.

    and yet you have never heard of a man say that he ever fooled around with prince.

    in a weird way hes the most feminine straight dude of all time.

    thats who should be with gwen stefani, the princess grace of pop.

    they should be together, prince should buy a castle in california and be the funkiest step dad ever.

    do i have to do everything on this planet?

    blake should go back to driving his pickup truck to the ace hardware and pretend that hes this businessman or some shit.

    he has no business with gwen.