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Sunday October 1, 2006

 

 

 

In the morning, I decided to offer up some "extra DVD's" I had to trade. Man - the response was overwhelming. It looks like I'll be getting some cool stuff out of the deal but it's still more immediate work than I was expecting.

Hmmmm....

The band got together today. I wish I could say it was a good rehearsal. The best I can say is that it was iffy. Our drummer's still hurt pretty badly and can't play like he should because of that. At least he's got an excuse. Frank and Joe were off more than usual and I was not immune either. I flubbed lyrics and just generally couldn't get everything within me or the band firing at once. I know that it's nothing more than a matter of us not physically playing together enough. We must do more. Of course, there's a musician's myth that says "bad rehearsal = good show". I still haven't seen evidence of it. I'll hope it's true.

And yes, we are now confirmed to play this show at Caledonia on Tuesday night.

 


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Saturday September 30, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I spent my day more or less vegging out. That also means I'm beginning to plot and plan. Any time I'm not busy and swamped with work, my brain (actively and passively) starts devising the next series of things that are going to keep me busy. So I need these days to get charged up for what's next.

To cap a day like this, we went to gorge in a most unhealthy fashion at Ryan's. We even sat "on the other side". We'll be back where we belong next time.


 

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Friday September 29, 2006
 

 

 

 

Yeah, yeah. This is the anniversary of when my Dad died in '03. It's something I'm working hard to ignore. I choose to remember everything from before that day in '03 and not the stuff that occurred as September turned to October. I refuse to acknowledge this date except in a cursory way. I'm going on with it even if I can't help but remember the timeline as I go through my day today.

I spent my day working a lot on this diary. I'm getting there. It's been so long since I've been caught up that it will be a cause for celebration when I finally get there. It may not mean much in the grand scheme of ANYTHING but it's important to me.

By the way, it looks like the pics from Wednesday have finally gone live at Wire Image (Thanks, Bridget). Click here to see 'em.

Oh yeah - we got invited to do a last minute show next Tuesday at Caledonia with a local group called The Blank Faces and a NYC band called The Station Myth. A year ago, we wouldn't have considered a Tuesday show (especially last minute). At this point, we're more or less starting over. I had to run it past the guys. I got all but one "yes" immediately. There's one hold out. Hopefully, we'll be able to confirm it and do it to just get the first "real" show with the new lineup out of the way.

 


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Thursday September 28, 2006

 

 

 

 


I don't know what my problem is today. I earned this tiredness but I also feel overly irritable. In fact, I'm on the edge of feeling violent, which I never am. It's weird. Unlike certain other people I know, I can keep a lid on it but it's not a good feeling.

On the other hand, Amanda had me set up for a check-up today with a doctor. Just like I had told her, there was no need. Everything's cool right now. In fact, I may be in the longest stretch of being okay in my life. It's been over a year since I've had any significant downtime for health. I did miss a show due to a sore throat but I felt okay for the most part. Of course, I lost a chunk of my editing time to sit and wait nearly 2 hours for (literally) about 3 minutes of the doc's time but at least it was good news.

Now back to the not so good. I got word from The Strokes camp that I'm not allowed to upload my pics of them to WireImage. They claim to love the shots but have a blanket policy against wire services (even though they have no photo agreement). Other photogs will post them to their services because they can. I won't because it's the right thing to do. They've asked me not to and I will honor it even though it would possibly be my biggest selling shoot of the year as decent live shots of The Strokes are hard to come by and I did get some good ones. They'll be up on ConcertShots eventually. It's one of those things where I get "punished" for doing the right thing. It's a test. I will pass. But it's still frustrating. My choice will pay off for me in another way. It always does.

To top it all, my internet service was screwed up today. After editing all the pics from last night, I started upping them only to have the speed slow down to nearly nothing. I had several errors, too. I uploaded from about 4 pm and when I went to sleep they were still going very, very slowly. I called the company who acknowledged that it was their fault. If it keeps up, I will be seeking a refund on some days. At that point, it was as slow as dial-up.

Maybe my irritable feeling today is due to the date. It was 3 years ago that I last spoke to my Dad. He died early on September 29th. Amanda offered to take tomorrow off. I told her "no". My Dad would've said "It's just another day". I never saw him take April 9th off. Besides, I hurt more every year on 9/28 because that's when something could've been done to save him. If he'd have just listened to me, he'd probably be out at a softball field tonight. Needless to say, I miss him dearly.

I may not feel his presence that much these days but I definitely feel his absence in every minute.


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Wednesday September 27, 2006

'Tis a night of The Zombies in Atlanta!

 

 


I spent my day in the usual way but the evening was special enough. I went out to check out Little Steven's Underground Garage A Go-Go at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta (Thanks for your help and direction, Brad.). Unfortunately, Amanda was busy so I had to make the trek alone. Frank had agreed to join me at the venue. When I got there, they had the place all decked out with '60s movies projecting on the walls and honest to God go-go dancers shaking away on the stage to the best of garage / power-pop and golden oldies. I found a nice seat in about the 4th row (behind the open part of the floor) and settled in for what would be a longer evening than I imagined. The Lizardmen started things out. They rocked suitably and fit the format perfectly. The .45s followed. It was more or less the same stuff but done extremely well. Even though I didn't know the bands, this was shaping up to be a solid night even before the "known quantities" took the stage. Sometime during the .45's set, Frank ambled in for the fun.

Next up was The Woggles. I noticed local notables Kurt Wood, Jeff Clark and Michael Guthrie right down front. But when Manfred and the rest of The Woggles started in, I didn't notice anything else. They positively killed. Their show was one of the best I've seen all year. It was short, sweet, to the point and full-on. Honestly, I can't testify to the power of the songs (I don't remember a single one) but the performance was ROCK-N-ROLL. Just watching them was getting me worked up.

I figured The Mooney Suzuki would up the level even more. I was wrong. The last couple of times I've seen them, they've put on some of the most intense rock shows that I've ever witnessed. Tonight would've impressed me if I didn't know what they were capable of. But I do. And they didn't live up to it tonight. Maybe it's the lineup. Only the guitarist / vocalist and lead guitarist are left. And while the new guys are perfectly competent and played well, they did NOT tear the place up like the others that I saw in their place. I was still glad to hear "In A Young Man's Mind", "Electric Sweat", "Oh Sweet Susannah" and a couple of quick blasts through their most recent album, including "Alive & Amplified". It was good to see 'em but it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe my hopes were just too high.

Next up, The Zombies.

Ahhhhh....how I've wanted to hear those songs live. How would they fare? Could they still pull it off? The answer is a qualified "yes." Colin Bluntstone's voice may be better than ever. Rod Argent's keyboard playing is still just over the edge (but in a way that you want it to be). The rest of the band is not what you pay to see but did fine. Jim Rodford (of The Kinks and original member of Argent) played bass and his son manned the drum kit. My only slight complaint is with guitarist Keith Airey (brother of former Ozzy Osbourne sideman Don). He was phenomenally talented but it should LITERALLY be a crime to put an Eddie Van Halen influenced, hammer-on laden, extended guitar solo into an otherwise dead-on version of "She's Not There." It just ain't right. Still, it was easy enough to overlook with the rest of the set list. They opened with "I Love You". Sadly, Frank had to leave to get back to Athens. He didn't even get to hear "Tell He No". That was borderline tragic.

"Hold Your Head Up" was cool enough but ohhhhh, the Odessey & Oracle stuff. As sweet as it was to hear, it was almost like a tree falling in the forest as I had no one to share it with. It might sound pathetic but it's true. I had crept up pretty close to the stage by this point but even surrounded by all these people, I felt alone. I thought of all the people that would've loved to have heard these songs. I could've given my ticket to them. The most likely candidate, Tom Bavis, probably wouldn't have taken the ticket (a shame). Jonathan Thompson might've been interested. Heck, even Joe Guerzo from Vinyl Strangers might've taken me up if I'd asked. Next time I will ask them. There I stood listening to "This Will Be Our Year" all alone. It definitely felt bittersweet. The nearly arbitrary chord changes of "Care Of Cell 44" wrapped around me and transported me to a time that I would never otherwise know. "A Rose For Emily" was pristine. Then the big one. Colin announced that they had been goofing off with a certain song at soundcheck and that some of the other bands on the bill said they should perform it. So for one of only a couple of times in the nearly 40 years since the song was recorded, they did "Beechwood Park". God, it sounded good. How could they NOT do this every night? Amazing. I kept looking to my left and right but I had no one to acknowledge and share in the wonder. Still, I was rooted. Just 'cause my friends are missing out doesn't mean I'm missing my chance. I grooved along to an extended version of "Time Of The Season" and tried to ignore the fact that I was alone. I tried to imagine that these were only for me and that's the way it was meant to be. I will admit that after the highs of the Odyssey stuff that the end was a slight anti-climax but it was still cool to hear the original version of "God Gave Rock & Roll To You" as well as a "magical" quiet version of the standard "Summertime" to wrap it up. It was about 12:30 when the show ended. I felt, as I often have lately, privileged. But it would've been so much better to be able to share the experience.

This diary is as close as I can get to that.


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Tuesday September 26, 2006

That there's my picture in the upper left. I took it at the first full shoot with my new camera back in Columbia at the 3 Rivers Music Festival in April.

 

 

 

 

 


Woo hoo! I opened up my mail today to see that I've gotten my first front cover of a major label CD EVER! Not only that, my name's right there on the back cover for all to see! So when this album comes out, be sure to at least look at my name on the stands in your local record store. I know you may not care but do it for me by proxy. I'm excited about it and you can guarantee that I'll be doing it when I go to the record store. So cool - my picture's on the front. It's just that the picture ain't of me. It's still pretty darn awesome. Strangely, I was just saying recently on these pages how much I wanted to have a pic on a big time live CD. Weird. Sometimes the "ask and ye shall receive" thing really does work! It comes out officially on October 10, but you can pre-order (or learn more about this rocking CD) by clicking here.

Today I noticed that one of my pics from the Hall of Fame has shown up on R.E.M.'s official site. And what do you know? Just as promised, my name was spelled right. After all this time in Athens, it's cool to be a lil' tiny bit of R.E.M.'s history. You know the drill if you wanna see it. Clickety-click.

Joe and I got together tonight to work on a few things in preparation for our show next week. We also took his song "Things Got Weird" and started chopping the bejeezus out of it. It's a great little song but it went on entirely too long. When we cut the solo down to just the creme de la creme and turned a secondary chorus into a one-time middle-8, it all started to gel. This is gonna be a good one! Right near the end, Frank came in so we played it for him. He liked the cheesy, brief harmony guitar solo interlude so much he started laughing. Joe seemed scared that meant that he hated it. Nope, Frank is simply pleased when we're crazy enough to do something that over-the-top (aka luxurious).

And I finally heard back about tomorrow. It looks like I will indeed be going out to see The Zombies, The Mooney Suzuki and some other cool rock at Little Steven's Underground Garage A Go-Go. I'm looking forward to it but I hate that Amanda can't be there. I hope the team that she's working with on these nights pays off or it'll be a sad loss!


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Monday September 25, 2006

 

 

 


"...And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking. Racing around to come up behind you again..."

These lyrics from Pink Floyd's "Time" are in my head nearly every Monday and, of course, I spent today as I do most Mondays. Trying to catch up.

Hmmmmm......

Someone must be hearing about us. When I was doing my monthly check online to see if we were showing up anywhere, I noticed us listed by Google at Pollstar. To my surprise, I followed the link and sure enough, we're there now! Unfortunately, we're apparently not on tour so I signed up to get updates because if we're on tour, I should probably know. Click here to see our tour dates and sign up to get updates sent directly to ya! It's cool to be up there with The Stones, The Who, McCartney and all of my other heroes! ROCK!

Click here for last week with Butch Walker, Aimee Mann, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Strokes, Stevie Nicks and the return of The Critical Darlings...

 


 

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