Sunday February 5, 2006




I spoke to Grandma again today. I'm happy to say that while she's still having some trouble, she's doing much better. Things could be so much easier...

But then they could be so much worse, I guess.

You know, the band should be rehearsing today. But it's Mike's turn to be horribly sick this weekend. Frank had it a couple of weeks ago. So far, I've missed it hitting me, I'm happy to say (knock on wood).

Today, I couldn't resist sharing some of the highlights of that Who show that I watched yesterday. I played a chunk of it for Amanda. I don't know that she had as much appreciation as I did but hey, I'm a geek. I COULD be into football and the Super Bowl. You tell me what would be more difficult to deal with! I don't care anything about football. I didn't even know who was playing until Amanda's mom called to tell me I should put it on to see The Stones at the half-time show. It was alright. It was The Stones. I was glad they did one of the new tunes. And "Rough Justice" was a great choice.

I also watched some of the KISS 1979 Media Collection DVD that I have now. I've always wanted to watch the hilarious interview with all four original members (less than 2 months before the last appearance) where Ace and Peter keep punching holes in Gene's mythology. Ace is hysterical, even if he is drunk. It's hard to explain just how funny it is unless you see it. It just goes to show that sometimes talent is not nearly as important as chemistry. And they had chemistry in spades (and Aces). And Ace had plenty of chemistry running through his blood stream, too!




Saturday February 4, 2006








Today was one of Amanda's and my many, many anniversaries. I wish it could've been better but things were conspiring. First off, I didn't feel well. I haven't been sleeping lately despite the fact that I'm not really going out. I don't have a good excuse but it's a fact. And it's affecting me. Amanda had an audition today in Atlanta also. So she was gone most of the day. I bided my time watching a Who DVD that I got in the mail. It was the best full length Who show I've ever seen. It was from November 1975 in Houston, TX. Pro-shot, soundboard sound. I'd never seen Keith Moon so prominently featured and it adds a lot to the intensity of the show. Keith not only introduces some songs and regularly interrupts the other members but he actually even sings a couple. I saw Pete do a jump kick that I'd like to master. I tried it and nearly pulled a muscle. It would've been hilarious if it didn't hurt so much. So you can laugh at me for me. Okay? Clearly, I need a lil' more stretching before attempting that.

Amanda and I did get to go out to Johnny Carrino's for a decent dinner. It's been a while since we've been there. I just wish I'd felt better and been able to enjoy it more. I certainly couldn't complain about the lack of good company, though. Once we got home, we got sidetracked with trying to figure out recent issues and problems. So the evening wasn't nearly as pleasant as it should've been. We did stay up to watch Saturday Night Live. That's the first time we've done that in forever also. You know what? It was actually really funny. Steve Martin was the host and Prince was the musical guest. Steve was wonderfully absurd and Prince was (at least for the first song) the Prince that's a hero of mine. He premiered a song called "Fury" that was a rocker. It's been a long time since he's just cut loose on the guitar. All I could think was THAT'S HOW I WANT TO SOUND. I was blown away. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can go here. There's a link to the footage up at right now. If you want to hear and see the footage, go soon. You can bet that Prince'll have it pulled before long! I can't wait for the new album now! It's good to have some new music to be excited about. I thought his last, Musicology, was incredibly overrated. And I'm a big fan. If this new track is any indication, he may just be the comeback story of '06. And this time, he'll deserve it. Now if he could only get back to writing choruses... Of course, Prince being Prince, he couldn't just leave you satisfied and wanting more. He also did a second song that was BO-RING and featured a chick name Tamar (I think) doing most of the singing. But for a moment, he touched the spark again.





Friday February 3, 2006



So what year is this anyway? Boats are sinking and killing hundreds. Churches are burning in Alabama. I don't get it.

I got some good vibes sent my way, though. I got another email that made my day. That's 2 reconnects from the South Carolina days in one week. Today, Troy Buckelew emailed me to thank me for a signed copy of my Nowhere Society album back in the day. To those of you who don't know, I started recording "albums" as early as I could. This was the second of them. Of course, now, I'd call these demos but back then, they were IT. I learned enough from those early recordings to get me through just about anything now. It's funny. He mentioned "Everyday", "Tomorrow When I Rise" and "Reason" as favorites. The first 2 of those were written in high school. We still do "Everyday" once in a while but I haven't thought about "Tomorrow When I Rise" in years. And I'd forgotten "Reason," too. That one's just a short little acoustic outro piece. Maybe I'll have to toss that in as an intro somewhere. I'm always looking for ways to enhance that there conceptual continuity thing. It does some good to know that my earliest music is still remembered. I'm even more surprised that it's still listened to! So thanks, Troy for making contact!

I got Concert Shots updated today, too. But not in the usual way as I haven't shot anything new. Instead, I got the Google ads up in a way that I find acceptable. I put a tower ad up on the right of the page and a search engine at the bottom. Actually, I really like the search engine as you can choose to just search the Concert Shots site. Try it out. It's cool to be able to access just what you're looking for from all the thousands of pics and hundreds of pages of info that I have up there. As for the ads themselves, I wish they'd put in some photo ads instead of just those text ones but hey, at least they're relatively on topic.

I also put up a link to grab an mp3 of the Drive-By Truckers new single "February 14". If you want some free music, grab it at Concert Shots!

And it looks like Concert Shots is beginning to smoke again. Considering how little time I've had to spend with it, that's pretty surprising. I checked my stats today since I was working on it. The verdict?

1,331,834 at Concert Shots in the last 4 days...




Thursday February 2, 2006

"Legendary" Athenian record producer John Keane casts a spell over the students at UGA...


My day today was centered around another lecture at UGA. I so enjoyed Dave Barbe's last week. And I'm so lucky to be invited to sit in for things like this. It's so informative and hands on. I wonder how much those students are paying for the same info that I'm gleaning at my own leisure. I may have been complaining more than usual lately but I still know that I'm a very lucky person. And I'm thankful for having such opportunities present themselves to me almost daily. It's about time I started taking advantage of 'em some more!

John's lecture wasn't nearly as dynamic as Barbe's but it was still worth hearing. His example of his work on Michael Houser's final solo album was a great lesson on exactly what a producer does. Of course, I'm already WELL aware of what a producer does and have, in fact, taken on the role myself on more than one occasion. Still, there's always more to learn...especially when your teacher's as great as the ones that I'm lucky enough to hear from. He also gave some great lessons in promotion, publicity and surviving in an indie-centric world...



Wednesday February 1, 2006






Hmmm....this is going to sound like a sore loser talking but I'm going to say it anyway. Especially since it's entirely possible that it's the truth. I don't know. I'm not one who can make that distinction in this case, although I don't THINK it is.

The Bon Jovi Have A Nice Gig contest for Greenville announced the five finalists for the opportunity to open for Bon Jovi next week. Now, since it's supposed to be for truly local acts, I didn't really expect that we'd win it. But I was hopeful. After all, friends of ours (Beyond Tomorrow) did the honors in Atlanta. Of course, I know that even if we had heard about that contest in time to enter, those guys would've beaten us in the audience vote (they've got an amazing base). But back to tthe Greenville one. I've got to say that when I went to the WROQ website and saw that we weren't in the 5 finalists, I was certainly disappointed but not surprised. What did surprise me was when I heard what DID make the cut. I won't say anything flat out about 'em as I'd like to support indies as much as possible but just go to the site and check 'em out for yourself. EEK! I can only assume that we were disqualified because we're an Athens band. To make it worse, there's also a similar contest for Bon Jovi's appearance in Gwinnett, GA (about 45 miles from here) but they're only accepting COVER bands. How offensive is that? Oh well. We tried. We'll keep trying. It's really that simple. We ain't going anywhere just yet...

I'm glad to report that my Grandmother's doing much better. Just one day's worth of real food gave her the strength to get out. She also managed to get in to the doctor's office. She's got several things that are definitely wrong and has to go for a bunch more tests over the next little while. But she's stronger. As I said, what a difference a day makes. The right one day can sustain you for weeks...sometimes years. If you can help someone else have a good day, do it. Why wouldn't you?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Flagpole finally used some of my Rolling Stones photos in this week's issue along with my review / preview article. Unfortunately, they only used 2 of the pics online. The hard copy has a pic of each of the official members. It looks killer and I find it hard to believe that I took those pics. If you want to read it, click here.



Tuesday January 31, 2006





Benji to the rescue!

Yep, it looks like my brother has come through where so many others have failed. I called over to check on my Grandmother around lunch time. He was there and had picked up a great meal for her that was also enough for dinner. Good. Maybe she'll be able to get some strength back now. And I can remember that there are a few people left that I can call family and who can be depended on. There's about a handful of 'em. Sometimes it's easy to forget the good when so much bad is running rampant. Thanks, Benji, for reminding me.

Even better, when I called back in the afternoon, Benji's wife April was checking up on her. What a difference a day makes...

And it's good too because I can't sit around being comforting tonight. I had to drive out to Winder where my Aunt Brenda is working this week. I'm finalizing the sale of the last bit of my Dad's property to her. I know he'd be proud that I managed to save it AND keep it in his family. Honestly, I'm so stressed out right now that I just feel bad. Still, Amanda and I got out there and signed stuff over. Then Brenda took us out to dinner at the local Golden Corral. I ate WAY more than I should've. And on the way home, I listened to some of my Dad's favorite songs that just happened to come up in my random rotation of music. It felt like a positive and reaffirming sign.

When I got back home, I had an email from the former Jenny Mooneyhan. She was a friend about a million years ago. I haven't heard or seen from her since I moved from South Carolina. I'm not quite sure how she stumbled across our music but she did. And then she took it upon herself to get in touch with some positive words. And I needed 'em right about then. So thanks, Jenny.




Monday January 30, 2006

Coretta Scott King at the Atlanta Heroes Awards last spring.


Well, I started today with bad news. Coretta Scott King has died. Obviously, I know who her husband was. I'm aware of the legacy, the tragedy and the struggle that she and her husband and children went through. I, however, have a different frame of personal reference. Last spring, Amanda and I attended a a GRAMMY sponsored event in Atlanta called the Atlanta Heroes Awards. The final honoree was Mrs. King. Janet Jackson introduced her, then she gave a typically inspiring speech and (what?) Michael Bolton sang a couple of songs for her. Pre-show, I photographed Mrs. King with a couple of her children (including MLK III). The picture you seee on the left is my personal favorite that I took of her. It's amazing to me how so few moments in the presence of someone can take root and make you feel connected. I'm even more in awe with I think of all the lives she touched with a moment here and a moment there. Sure, she will always be known as Mrs. King first and foremost but in a way, that's a shame. She did so much on her own. Since April of '68, she has been the guiding force and the focus of "the dream". She wore it well. She will be missed. I feel incredibly lucky that Amanda had a couple of moments with her both as an icon and as a human (just ask Amanda about the latter).

My day was the usual Monday...catching up. It seems that I've taken to updating my diary all week with notes, then updating the whole thing early the following week. I don't know if that's the most efficient way of doing it but that's what's happening now. I'm still kind of drifting ... emotionally and professionally. I'm trying to find my feet again. It happens to me from time to time but this instance seems to be taking longer than usual.

It hasn't helped with the situations concerning my Mom's and my Grandmother's health. At least my Mom has a network of caring people around her. So while I'm worried about her, I don't have to wonder if she's getting to eat or if she can get to the hospital if she needs to. I went on enough about my inhuman relatives (I can't call 'em family) last week so I won't do it today. But when I call Grandma to check in and she's sick, hungry and alone, it hurts me. She's got a fever. She doesn't have the strength to cook or go get food. She's tried to call several people who either can't or won't be reached. And they haven't been returning calls. It just makes me wonder about people. I know life gets hectic (believe me, I know) but how people can just turn their backs is beyond me. I sat on the phone listening to my Grandmother lament for 2 hours tonight. How do I answer her when she asks me why nobody cares with her heart breaking? I can't defend them and say they do when they so clearly won't. All I can tell her is that as long as I'm around, I'll do everything that I can to help...and being 200 miles away, sometimes that just isn't enough.

Click here for last week with David Barbe and more relentless rambles...