Sunday June 13, 2004



This turned out to be an editing pics day. It got super confusing. After being advised to do so, I uploaded my pics from the night before to WireImage. I was so proud when they were accepted and put up. It's a long story but suffice it to say the joy didn't last and you won't see those pics up there.

Other than that, Amanda and I did the around the house things. She finished some work that had been nagging at her and we again went out and spent too much for dinner. It must stop now!

Watched a couple of Twilight Zones in the evening. Not a bad day or night.




Saturday June 12, 2004

Here's one of my shots of the reunited Van Halen in Greensboro, NC during their first concert together in the better part of a decade!




Today is not even today I'm so tired! I got in this morning at around 4. Luckily, the Van Halen reunion show was one of the best of the year. Just to hear Eddie churning out "Unchained" again was incredible. Sammy even did the Dave songs justice for a change. I was surprised that "Right Now" was the personal highlight for me. They showed clips of the video while they played it. I'd forgotten how effective that thing was. On top of that, they updated some parts of it to reflect ol' GW's reign of ignorance and the new Iraq war. Some of the old parts were even infinitely more powerful. "Right now your government is doing things you think only other governments do" seemed much more compelling than ten plus years ago. One hit harder than everything else combined. When it showed a grave stone and said "Right now it's cold where someone you love is", I almost lost it. It took everything to regain my composure. It felt like a punch in the chest. It was almost cathartic. Thankfully, I got to go back to being a kid again for "Panama" and the like. I knew the show would be pretty cool but I had no idea it would be like this. It was worth it.

Today is also anniversary day for me and Amanda. It's been officially 10, 354 years (approximately). We were too tired to be too festive but we did make it out for a nice dinner at Shoki.




Friday June 11, 2004



Good morning, friends.

I don't have much time to write. I've got to get ready to go on a 10-hour round trip journey to photograph the opening night of the Van Halen reunion tour in Greensboro, NC tonight. Luckily, I did get some sleep last night. Good thing - 'cause it ain't happenin' tonight!

Since I don't really have anything to say and the day's too young to have done anything, I want to post this. A friend of mine named Jenn Bryant (cool person extraordinaire and Drive-By Truckers webmistress among other various and sundry things) sent me this piece written by a friend of hers for Twangzine. While I've never had the drug demons interfere in my life and don't understand what it's like to be an addict, I've got to say that the rest of what Jeff says below about Ronnie, Ray & Cash couldn't have hit more home. It'll be pretty obvious why.

"Last night I dreamed of my dead father. It's been a year of people dying. I
guess that what happens when you get older, the people around you start
dropping like flies.

The news has been full of Ronald Reagan's death. I felt bad for his family,
but didn't have any opinion on his politics. I don't consider myself and
Democrat or a Republican, in fact I hate both parties about equally. But the
law says there is no room in the middle, you are either a right wing
conservative or a left wing liberal. I've been so busy trying to stay alive
most of my life that politics was just a luxury I just couldn't afford. My
honest opinion was it didn't matter who was in the White House, because
regardless of their political affiliation, they really didn't give a shit
about me or mine and were way more concerned with figuring out a way to
assfuck me so that they could increase their own powerbase and lining their
own pockets.

I spend a lot of time behind the wheel with my day job and as a result I
listen to a lot of talk radio. I swap between NPR and AM Talk. Earlier this
week Rush was talking about Reagan and AIDS. He said something about Reagan
providing alot of money for AIDS research and that the Left's main problem
was that Reagan wouldn't use his bully pulpit to advance the Homosexual
Agenda. WHat the fuck is the Homosexual Agenda? Do they want us to all
redecorate our houses? Rush said something about the Left's claim that AIDS
was going to become a heterosexual disease had proved false. I wanted to kick
the radio right thru the dash.

I don't know where I fit into the demographics that matter. I served 20
years in the Navy and left with a 70% disability rating. I am a recovering
drug addict of 19 years. I support a family of four on about 40K a year. I
am a member of the vast right wing or maybe that's the vast left wing,
media, but seeing as how I primarily write about music, my political views
have nothing to do with my writing career.

But most of my friends are members of the fringe element, musicians and
fellow recovering drug addicts, like Rush. We've lost a bunch of them to
AIDS. There was a pharmacist named Bob who played harmonica. In 1986 we rode
the City of New Orleans from Chicago to New Orleans and played train songs
all the way. He and his wife were recovering heroin addicts who died of
AIDS, as did their little girl. She wasn't an addict, a homosexual, or from
Africa. She was just a little girl.

Here in North Carolina the Republicans are all over the radio promising to
uphold good solid moral Christian values. But just the good CHristian
Values, they ain't talking about the whoring and stealing that so many
preachers around here have been caught doing as of late. The primary
Christian Value here seems to be getting rid of Mexicans and keeping the
queers from getting married. Mexicans are making it hard to order a Big Mac
and them faggots are trying to undermine the true meaning of marriage which
seems to be alimony since over 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce.
My opinion is if gay people want the legal right to lose half their shit,
fuck it, let them.

The Democrats keep sending me letters begging for money. John Kerry says he
needs my cash so that he can stop the evil Republicans and he's a veteran
just like me. Except he's flying around on an airplane and his wife has as
much money as the Pope and my wife is in bed 20 hours a day with Fibre
Milaga, and they ain't calling him twice a day wanting to know when the
mortgage is going to get paid or threatening to repossess his piece of shit
minivan. And the Democrats like to remind me of all the great legislation
they have passed like NAFTA which caused all the shitty textile jobs here in
North Carolina to move to Mexico so that we could all enjoy Unemployment,
Food Stamps and Welfare.

Ray Charles died yesterday. The news said it was from liver disease. I'd be
willing to bet that it was from Cirrosis and Hepatitus C. Ray was a heroin
addict for a while. Hep C is transferred from dirty needles. A lot of my
friends are dying from it. A lot of times it won't show up for 10-20 years.
Mac, a friend in NC has been clean 22 years and he is dying from it. The
Interferon treatments didn't work. Hep C is going to kill more addicts than
AIDS did.

Yesterday, I heard someone talking about putting Ronald Reagan's face on the
$10 bill. My opinion is fuck him, he never dd anything for me. I'm more
upset by the deaths of my father, my grandmother, Jack Emerson, Johnny Cash,
and Ray Charles. Put Ray Charles face on a $10 bill. Ray did a whole lot
more for me that any dead, or for that matter living, President ever did for
me. Ray Charles and Johnny Cash gave me hope. I could commiserate with their
pain. They had been places I had been. They got above it. They spoke of
faith without preaching. Cash and Charles brought people together, they
didn't divide them. Even though both were drug addicts, they gave more than
they took. They made this world a better place by being here, by sharing a
part of themselves with us. They didn't point fingers at other people to
take the focus off their own frailties. Both men took responsibility for
their lives. They lived hard, and loved hard. I'd much rather my child grew
up to be a Ray Charles or Johnny Cash, than to be a President."

Jeff Wall
n.p. Drive By Truckers - The Living Bubba

Now - off to the VH circus!



Thursday June 10, 2004

Here's Tom cutting loose at our GATH show last night!

I'm so sleepy. Yep, it's back to this. And I have a ridiculous weekend ahead. I hope I can manage. I don't know how I will.

All that's up today is getting the show review from last night up. I haven't done much else. The server keeps crashing so it's taken all day to get it done.

Oh - and I just heard about Ray Charles. My world just got a bit darker. I had to miss him last time he came through town. I guess that means I'll never see him, eh? Isn't that the way it works? That's hard to believe. This planet needs some new legends. We're losing too many.

For the full review of last night and a few pics, click here!

For a few more pics, click here!



Wednesday June 9, 2004


Well, it's another hectic day. I'm trying to find a replacement for me for this week's On The Bricks (as it looks like I'm going to NC to shoot Van Halen's tour opener), get ready for the show tonight at the Theatre and update Concert Shots. By the way, today one of my Courtney Love pics is up at Pollstar. Checkity check it out.

Here's the listing for tonight's show that's in today's Flagpole.

Drawing equally on '80s power-pop and earlier stuff like the Kinks, frontman Chris McKay has a sharp lyrical turn for every melodic offering of his two bandmates. (Chris Hassiotis - Flagpole Magazine, Athens, GA)"

I like that blurb.

Full report on the show tomorrow!



Tuesday June 8, 2004


I'm getting caught up a little at a time. Today I got the pics ready to go for the Concert Shots update. I still have to write a Fleetwood Mac review before I post it all but it's coming. Maybe tomorrow? The end of the week? It's gotta happen sometime.

I also had to get another kit together, do a flyer template, buy a new capo (a nice shiny red one) for tomorrow's "Goodbye Tuesday", put together and send out a disc to Mad Booking of last weeks On The Bricks pics.

I also found time to go buy Gene Simmons' new solo CD Asshole. I can honestly say it's the best thing KISS related since at least Revenge and maybe even since '78 or so. The rocks rock harder and the ballads go deeper. If he'd only not used loops on a couple of them, it'd really be amazing. If you'd like to get a taste (albeit not a representative one), you can see his first video from the CD by clicking HERE. It's a cover of Prodigy's "Firestarter." Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction plays guitar. It's mildly interesting but I prefer the rest of the disc.

Oh - my most amusing moment today came in email form. Josh from JOMO Entertainment sent me an email saying (and I quote), "Even if you guys suck, you still all look cool on stage. Those are nice shirts!" He then apologized for missing the show and let me know that he was going to try and swing by tomorrow for the big honkin' GATH gig.

To all of those who've emailed me that I haven't gotten back to, I'll try to hit you tomorrow. It really has been crazy! Thanks for understanding.




Monday June 7, 2004  

Ahhh...another week. Last week was a big one for me. So big, in fact, that I'm way behind on EVERYTHING. Just updating this site took the better part of today. Plus, a thunderstorm rolled up and caused me to lose over an hour of work time. Isn't it always the way?

On The Bricks has put up a slew of my pictures of Train, Liz Phair, Graham Colton and Gavin DeGraw from the opening night of the series. If you wanna see them, just go to On The Bricks and look for the May 28 gallery!

I'm hoping to make it out to trivia tonight. Maybe drum up a little bizness for Wednesday night's show!

I've updated LIVE SHOTS, THE BAND and (of course) there's a FULL REPORT on the June 5 Critical Darlings show and they all feature lots of new pics taken by Amanda. Just click the blues, baby.

Click here for last week's entries!