Friday, July 31, 2015

Jesus and Buddha and the Kids

Sometimes someone who should hold high office runs for office. If it looks like they have a snowball's chance, we kill them. I remember from the third grade that too many ants in the colony would cause the society to run amok and crumble. 

Now? Here we are. Perpetual war, i phones, America's Got Talent and social media. Sounds like the ranting of an old geezer, doesn't it?

The problem, as I see it, is that good guys like Einstein have ideas. Bad guys appropriate them out of greed. Societies fight with them for power with the earth and the innocent left on the sides of the battlefield as collateral damage. Ad nauseam.

Let's just get rid of them. Surely they don't represent us. Let's learn from the children, from history. Let's dance and let's sing. If you don't think you're a religious person, listen to some Little Richard.

Love. Seems easy.





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lucky Penny

Paint your walls purple. If you want to. Wear two hats at the same time. Who decided that it's fashionable to layer shirts but not hats? Whoever he is, he's not the boss of us. When the dust settles, we don't have to vote for one of those two. If enough of us won't study war, there won't be any war.

The right thing feels right. Love. Love hard. Try to waste a little. It can't be done. I love you.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.



Rock'n'Roll Homework

My friend, Robin, has opened a beautiful facility of higher learning for the rock'n'roll arts. In my day we had a transistor radio and scratchy 45's. Homework involved dreaming about the blonde in homeroom and breaking your own heart. If they were ever going to call you a genius, heroin might be involved. For most of us one or two brushes with cheap wine would suffice.

Gods still existed, still lived among us.  Elvis. Four Beatles. Bo Diddley. Buddy Holly. Gene Vincent.

We didn't walk anywhere in the snow. It was Florida.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Bubbles and Bars

When I began playing music there were venues for live rock'n'roll everywhere. Kids were happy to pay modest cover charges for an entire evening of music. Those kids grew up. Once they reached a legal age to consume alcohol everything changed. Everything that I cared about.

Suddenly beer was the draw and the music was incidental to the event.

To say that I'm spoiled is to understate my case.

My friends will tell you that I like beer. I certainly have nothing against bars. I'm just saying that God made jukeboxes for bars.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hold My Hand And Jump

Where do you suppose the songs come from? The art? We know more about the creation of the universe and the big bang than we do "Mr. Tambourine Man" or Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Weather comes from the disproportionate heating by the sun of the earth's atmosphere. Where did "Don't Be Cruel" come from?

Tell you what. I'll promise not to fight if you'll promise not to fight. Let's all promise. There you go- we just ended war. I can't believe it took this long.

Alright, now you can study love.



So Broke I Can't Pay Attention

Coincidence that my attention span tracks the average duration of a Little Richard 45? I sincerely doubt it. If you want to explain relativity to me, take your time. Long as you don't go past a minute and fifty four seconds. Special relativity? Now we're getting somewhere. Just keep it under 2:20. 

Sticks and stones, pal. I know about love and special love.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Barnyard Rock'n'Roll

Sometimes I wish I believed in heaven. There are so many folks that I have loved and I need to tell them again. So many friends that I might not have thanked for so many things. So many pets that I really need to hold and pet one more time.

As usual, I find myself hoping that I've got it wrong.

Meantime, there's loving and helping and holding and petting to be done here. I'm gonna hug and pet this dog and this cat til they get away from me. I might as well listen to some Sam Cooke while I'm at it.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Breakdown Avenue

Cue the soundtrack for happy. It has taken me some time now to figure out that you get rid of sad to make room for happy. Let others struggle with the loftier issues. Come to think of it, maybe there are no loftier issues.

You can lead a sad sack to joy but you can't make him giggle.

Put some Fats Domino on the turntable. Love like there's no tomorrow. Some day there won't be.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Last One Turn Out The Lights

Over the years, the decades that I've tried to make the music business and the world fit into my plans I realize that I was one of the last ones out of the South. I come from something that's pretty much gone. Maybe not Gone With The Wind. Maybe Gone Like The Wind. 

Racism exists. Heck, racism thrives. Idiots claim to revere flags like idiots everywhere. There's a certain brand of gentility, love and respect, though, that I remember and that I miss. I see it in cousins and I see it in loves from another time. My grandmother dealt in it exclusively. Elvis thought he moved past it. He didn't.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chuck Berry In The Ether

How often have you read about the radio getting some poor loser through the rough years. Well, not lately, I guess. Now we read about the lost souls finding ISIS on you tube and blowing something up. When I was a kid, though, and rock'n'roll was, too, we were there for each other.

There were so many nights when those black angels sang me to sleep.

Now, when I have the great good luck to go in to do a radio show, I do it with all the love and all the reverence in my heart. It's a lucky man who recognizes his good luck.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Don't Jump!

Uh oh. I feel one of those moments coming on where all of the light is seeping into my pupils, all of the sound is hammering that little anvil. All of the energy is knocking right now. At the heart, the brain. My pal, Hampton, would say, " It's on the roof of my mouth! It's on the palate!"

Pure energy is pure love. The scientists know that. In fact I think maybe Rebekah told me that. She's a scientist, you know.

If we could just all stay out of our own way...

Always give love all you've got. That's all you've got.



The Brightest Bulbs and the Sharpest Knives


Some fools just test well. Their good luck. Red sweaters with sleeves pushed up, though, that's the real deal. Some memories can't be written over, you know. The tilt-a-whirl slams your head back and everything gets etched on the cerebellum. Doesn't work for everyone.

Who says you can't stop progress? Probably those same morons who don't believe that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Don't gamble, love. Don't ever gamble.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Guns Don't Kill, Fans Don't Cool, Birds Don't Fly

What a boring world it would be if we all agreed on everything. Now everybody should love Little Richard. Everyone wants a chocolate covered cherry. Only a fool doesn't crave green Kool Aid, egg nog, key lime pie.

We "cult artists" have to be really, really grateful for our audience. In my case, really grateful. Rock break scissors. Jesus saves souls. I do what I do.

Sometimes you get it right in the seventh grade.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Still Not Right

Every time another high school reunion comes up I have to struggle to decide how I feel about it all. Not only was I never any part of any in crowd, I was never any part of any of it. Funny thing is, I never knew. My good luck. As usual. 

That time thing- I just don't get it. 

I love you.



Friday, July 17, 2015

Where Were You?

What about all the racial stereotypes that are valid? I mean, I've seen James Brown and I've seen Riverdance. I don't wanna be tacky here but I know who my heroes have always been. Presidents, rock'n'roll stars, baseball players. Oh sure, I've got the odd Don Garlits, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Carter and Donald O'Connor. On the other end of the spectrum, however, I'm weighed down with Duke Ellington, Willie Mays, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Little Richard and Barak Obama.

If that's not irreverent enough for you, let me go further. Gandhi and Buddha and Eleanor Roosevelt were fine but they were no match for Lassie, Trigger, Wolfgang, Angel, Jamaica and others, too numerous to list here.

Like most folks I like to think that I have no racial prejudice. Unlike most folks I hope that I don't have much species prejudice.

Oh, I'll never be president. Who am I kidding? I'll never get a date.



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Born Dead In New Mexico

Everybody changes the world. For the better and for the worse. There is always beautiful music out there. If you can't find anything on the radio that you like, go listen to something old. If you don't like the news today, read the old papers.

Seems to me that the best way to find love is to love. Don't be expecting anything in return. That's not really loving. 

Learn from the puppies and the kittens and the children. Don't pay too much attention to "the leaders."

They can tell us what to do but they can't make us do it. You know what's right. Do that.


Take Off Your Duds And Stay Awhile

Lately I've been re-running some of my older blogs. It's fun for me. Nobody sits around listening to his own records, reading his own writing.

I remember an interview with Chuck Berry that I read in some rock'n'roll magazine as a kid. He argued with the interviewer that he had not done anything new, had not invented anything. Louis Jordan had done it all way before he had come along. In fact, he insisted, he had only written three or four songs and merely re-worked them from time to time. I was convinced that my hero was one humble guy.

Well, of course, he's still my hero but once I got to know him it didn't take long to figure out that he's no humble guy. It doesn't take much of an ethnomusicologist to realize that he has written, for the most part, three or four songs.

It was only recently that it occurred to me that I've written fewer. Oh well.

The blogs? Love everybody, I sure am sad, isn't rock'n'roll grand, let's all take our clothes off and I love girls. Repeat.

For a breath of fresh air the topics are sometimes combined. You know, let's take our clothes off and love everybody. Or better, isn't rock'n'roll grand- let's take our clothes off.

You could say that my life is my art. It would be easier to just call me lazy. I am beginning to see the divine in everything around me. I've always known that it's there but I'm really starting to see it. 

You'll probably see this drivel in some altered form in a year or two. Love everybody.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Blues Street

Was anyone really born to sing the blues? How much do you know about fire? My pal, Rebekah, now there's soul. She possesses some of the secret of the universe. You know. Like green Kool Aid. 



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Boneyards and Junkyards

In the rearview mirror there's nothing but angry women. I check again and there are all the familiar smiles with all the love that got me to this point in life; all the dogs and cats who gave me all the love that they had.

Some day soon these will be someone's good old days. I hear Courtney Barnett and the Hummingbirds and Dawes on the radio and I can feel somebody's memories being made.

Oh, to touch a heart. It should be so easy. Never fall out of love, my sweet friend. Never fall out of love.



Saturday, July 11, 2015

Unravelling

Oh, yeah. The rock'n'roll. The conduit for all my lessons and I never knew it. Just like putting the dog's medicine in a dollop of peanut butter, huh? The secrets of the universe have been passed along to me through lust and drugs and Sunday school.

I don't know much but I know more than I did. The rings. The light. The aromas. The most special folks in the world have crossed my path. Maybe I should say the most special ones for me.

So Elvis crossed that path. Yeah, he did. It was through no doing of mine. I realize that now. Chuck Berry did, too. Jimi Hendrix and Gene Vincent and Doug Sahm, too.

It would be arrogant to refer to myself as "special." Either that or an indication that I'm intellectually challenged. Well, I'm special. Yeah, that's right, I'm special. Everyone is. Every living creature.

Here's pretty much what I know. White is the combination of all the visible frequencies of the color spectrum. Black, of course, is the void; the absence of all light. Love is the combination of all truth. Hate is the void, ignorance.

Einstein knew it. Gandhi knew it. You can tell everybody. Better yet you can just love.


Friday, July 10, 2015

People 1- Government 0

Suddenly it's not going the way it's supposed to go. Donald Trump is leading the pack. What a pack, too! We're not evolving so much as we're just squishing out from under the boot heels of an arrogant, oppressive ruling class.

The pundits blather non-stop on the financial crisis in Greece. They like to point out that if the citizens decide to pull out of the European Union, the country will have no choice but to merely print currency to keep afloat. Do they think that we don't notice that all countries do exactly that? Just what backs the currency in this grand country? Our good will and good credit. Now. Back to the clown car with Mr. Trump at the wheel. He goes bankrupt on a regular basis, then denies it. The folks seem to be liking his message if not his hair.

Who were the last ones to see that newspapers were through? Why, the newspapers! Who claimed that the music industry was merely transforming and updating? Why, Clive and the boys!

Unfortunately, the last crooks in the temple usually loot and raid before they skedaddle but it looks like they may have little to run off with other than that green paper with old dead white guys' picture on it.

What an exciting time to be alive.

I've got a hot market tip for you before I go: love. Yeah, that's the only true currency. Always has been.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Call Security

Growing up the idea of security for celebrities would have been ludicrous. I first found Elvis coming out the front door of his little cabin at Port Paradise, a little rustic resort in Crystal River. The sun was just coming up. I strolled up and we began chatting. He was too nice and too polite to walk away. When my grandmother made him a fresh coconut cake he didn't have it destroyed by a bomb squad. I read an interview in a movie magazine later where he raved about how good it had been.

Until 1961 the Yankees trained at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg. Hanging around with Yogi, Mick and the boys just seemed natural. Some of them were really nice. Some of them not so much. None of them rushed to limos with black windows.

When Big Daddy Don Garlits would pour the Clorox jug of nitromethane into the Moon tank of Swamp Rat III he would ask our help in pulling the long thing backwards to get her turned towards the strip out in the middle of the swamps out at Golden Triangle in Oldsmar.


I'm not saying my heroes were better than yours. Wait. Yes I am.




Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two Kinds Of Kind

Made the mistake of posting on Facebook a Bernie Sanders quote about hungry children in this country and the size of the elite's fortune. Honestly, I hadn't even noticed that it was something pushing Mr. Sanders. It was the sentiment regarding us as a society and our obligation to take care of the ones who need us that I was trying to promote.

Well, you would have thought that I had unleashed the socialist dogs on this grand country. God bless America! Let those starving infants pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or bootiestraps, like good ole Donald Trump did! Like the Koch brothers did. Like those patriotic Waltons did.

At first I began replying as fast as my short, stubby fingers could type.

Then I remembered three years back. Then seven. There are compassionate folks among us and there are the others. Preaching to those others continues the divide and feeds nobody.

Use your love wisely. Every now and then you may turn over a table or two in the temple but you don't have to make a habit of it.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

No Pulp

Most folks think they're smarter than other people. Clearly half of them have it wrong. Music that makes the hair on my arm stand up; puppies that lick my face; old men and women with a long life of love showing in cloudy eyes; the sound of a baby's hysterical laughter- that's what makes me happy. 

Competition? That's for the high jump. War? Why that was dumb and unfashionable when I was a kid.

Why don't you smart half reach down and help the rest of us see? This idea of green paper, printed by the ones who already have green paper, being the currency to determine who is important and who gets to the front of the line is ludicrous.

Ignore their wars. Do what makes you happy. Love. Share. Listen to Louis Armstrong.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Bipolar Rock'n'Roll


Sometimes I marvel at the very idea that the same Elvis who gave us "Good Rockin' Tonight" gave us "Old Shep," too. When one plays, I can't sit still. When the other one comes on, I cry my eyes out.

Somehow over the last decade or two my dark side has pushed the other one aside. Reminds me of my cat at 3:00 am every morning- "Look at me! Look at me!"

Well, the other one is back. It seems that the message shows up everywhere I look right now. If I'm to save the world, I need to use the right tools. Joy is what I've got. My writing is pretty much sixth grade poetry and I play guitar just like I did when I was twelve or thirteen. My singing is more inspired by Walter Brennan than Mario Lanza. Hey, it's the best I can do!

Oh, I'll still play the sad ones, the dark ones. I don't have any choice. It's the bulk of what I've got. From now on they may end with a pie in the face or showing you my underwear. Again.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Never Out Of Work

Looking back as I re-tell the same, tired old stories about the time that I was able to spend with Elvis, I realize now that he was aware of his real job in this world. He had already rocked and rolled. He was box office gold at the movies. He had been a soldier, marching and strutting around Texas and Germany, keeping the free world free. He was the most famous person on the planet.

Fame, fortune?

There was so much more to Elvis Aaron Presley. The burden of really knowing was obviously hard on this person we had come to recognize as the King.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Are My Roots Showing?

Right place at the right time? Maybe. Life does seem grand, though, doesn't it? Knowing that I have a better life than Elvis had seems curious. What do you get for the man who knows nothing?

Ha! I've had two pieces of key lime pie tonight.

Waste your love all over the place. All the ones who act like they don't want it? They're the ones who need it the most.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Burning Rubber

Never wanted to be famous. Needn't have worried. Didn't want to be rich. No problem.

On the other hand, Stirling Moss asked me to help push the birdcage Maserati out onto the track at Sebring. I did. I was assigned the job of holding Jimi's Marshall cabinets from the back in case he "whacked them" during the show. I've made nervous, backstage chitchat with Pops Staples, Jerry Garcia, Janis, Tom Waits and Donovan. I've argued and traded insults with John Fogarty. I've roomed with Doug Sahm and bought Lucinda a pizza. Elvis offered to teach me karate and Charlie Louvin offered me a sip of his coffee from a styrofoam cup. I've partied with the Coasters and been lectured by Dr. Diddley.

I've held a puppy in my arms taking his last, sweet breath and I've seen the northern tip of Scotland.

Holding Grandma's hand was the best thing that ever happened to me. I know about love.





Stories End

Cleaning up the kitchen last night, I broke a wine glass. Trying to catch it, I cut my wrist on a shard. I pulled the piece out and, before I could determine the severity of the cut, decided that this was to be my inglorious end. Home alone, except for Jamaica and Angel, I worried that it would look like a clumsy suicide. How undignified.

Turns out to be a superficial wound. A perfunctory concern.

I don't know whether to stop drinking, move to plastic cups or join a commune.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tools Of The Trade

Sometimes I can't believe a word I say. Oh, I don't lie much. I just seem to change my mind. You live for awhile, then you don't. You'll be known for the love you gave and the love you didn't.