Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stir Occasionally

Cable news seems to be taking a toll on my emotional well being here lately. Not the news shows- the content. The bad kindergartners have taken over the classroom. The really bad ones. While they pull down their pants and threaten each other with nuclear annihilation, Mother Nature keeps getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Now the morning air is getting brisk and I can see a sky full of stars when I first go out in the morning. That always gives me the blues. If I knew why, I'd tell you.

The blues never seem to last. Nothing does.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Little Bang

Read more than you write. Listen more than you speak. Love without expectations. 

Why would you listen to me, a small fish in a small pond? Why not? I'm not selling anything. Sometimes you're happy and sometimes you're sad and that's just the way it goes. Always tell the truth but don't hurt anybody's feelings. Most of us don't ever get over hurt feelings.

How much you suppose they pay those guys who write fortunes for cookies? 

"What do you do?"

"Well, I once wrote hillbilly songs. Now I freelance fortunes for cookies."

Monday, September 18, 2017

Prayers and Poems

Call me a sentimental fool. No, really- call me a sentimental fool. I try as hard as I can to unlearn every grownup notion that has seeped into my repertoire of stupid adult tricks. I want to love everybody who needs my love and pet every dog and cat. I want to sit at the kids' table for holidays and I want to take a nap in front of a big fan. I need pajamas with feet and I want to lick the spoon when cookies are made. Of course I want cookies made often. 

I want someone to be there when I wake up from a bad dream. I need someone to remind me to share what I have and to hug me when I do.

Naked, of course, is naughty and I want to dance naked and I want to laugh. I want to laugh till milk runs out of my nose. Oh, I want everyone else to dance naked, too. I don't want to stay up too late. I need for someone to tell me that I'm a good boy.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

She Turned Over Once

Well sir, I wouldn't sell you a car that had three hundred thousand miles on it. I just wouldn't. Now, I suppose that some folks lie and claim that those zeroes represent just one trip around. It's easier to get away with that today, especially if the interior is clean. Spray some of that stuff from the auto supply place and it even smells "new," whatever that means. Oh, it may have some more life in it but, then again, it may not.

Patina is fashionable and I love the look of rust. Marble seems to take on character with cracks. Plaster walls, too. Persian rugs bore me to death until they get those paths worn into them.

New songs come on the radio and I'm thankful that folks still pour every bit of their soul into those three minutes. It seldom does to me what a scratchy old Beatles record does, though. 

Like the rest of the world, I can watch puppies and kittens on YouTube all day. Babies, too. When push comes to shove, nothing moves me like the love in the cloudy eyes of an old dog.

Old hearts that have been broken again and again and have turned over more than once probably have some use. They're not gonna use them in a transplant. I wonder if that Organ Donor thingee on your driver's license expires?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Land Of Plenty

There's plenty for everybody. There should be a heaven and it should be right here. There's enough money for you and everybody in your neighborhood. There are enough hospital beds for everyone ailing. What hillbilly evangelist lied to your cousin about Jesus being a socialist? Of course he was. Jewish, too. An Arab. 

Those radio waves don't belong to some government agency to sell off. That oil under the Gulf of Mexico doesn't belong to BP. Nobody asked me about selling any mineral rights.

Ol' Sam Walton may have worked hard to open a store and I'm glad that he did well. That doesn't mean that his great grandchildren should enslave a bunch of folks who live with no dreams of a future. For themselves or their offspring.

This world, this government, this culture censors folks like me. They marginalize us. Mock us. They can't arrest us. Not here. Not yet. I don't threaten revolution. Not with guns. I hate guns.

Oh, we have heroes. They just don't get on cable news very often.

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”  R. Buckminster Fuller

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rope Burn

It's a mean world out there. Terrorists, fascists, cheaters and worse. Realizing that the ones around me  have always considered me bohemian, beat, hippie pleases me and makes me proud, somehow. I've always skittered outside the ant farm.

As life rolls on and on it becomes obvious that it's not money that corrupts. It's not power, vanity or greed. It's all about genetics, isn't it? Evolution.

As I've shamelessly boasted here before, I was raised by women. Good women. Strong women. Sweet women. 

Oh, I've run across some mean women out there. You probably have, too. I've encountered more than my share of kind, gentle, thoughtful men, as well. A few of them have been president in my lifetime. Let me say that without the other two branches representing peace and love, not much gets done. 

Don't let me lead you down a blind alley blathering on about government. I don't have much use for government, personally. Same with the music business, the game of religion, philosophy, art or professional sports. 

My only role in this life would seem to be shouting, " The emperor has no clothes. I love you. Let's dance."

Hey, somebody's gotta do it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Seven or Eight?

You know what? All my joy is back. What I do depends on my heartache and depends on my joy. Maybe it takes a hurricane to wash away the blues. I don't know. 

Dogs don't much like snobs. I've about had my fill of 'em too. Everybody's special. Kindness still brings happiness. Remember- lie down with fascists and you get up with cooties.

Hey! "Up With Cooties!" I think I'll get to work on a new musical.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dark and Stormy

Sitting in the dark for awhile clears the mental sinuses. By the time the power came back my life view had dwindled to this:

You live for awhile, then you don't. If you're lucky, somebody, or something loves you.

Cable news would have me believe that there's more to it. There's not. I love you.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Waiting' and Hopin'

Sitting here waiting for a storm that is taking its sweet time gets me to thinking about the idea of staying safe. We're all just waiting to die, aren't we? I mean- I don't ski 'cause it's wet and cold and I can't afford to go. Sonny Bono's fate doesn't enter into it.

That knowledge of mortality, that's the drag. Evel Knievel would have been just another showoff trying to impress the girls without it. That's the only thing that keeps me off motorcycles altogether. I just wear the t-shirts. Same with surfing.

Somehow I suspect that Irma has folks in my little area thinking about the kinds of things that I do routinely. We're all crazy for the time being. I'm writing because I worry that I won't have access soon. Remember that I love you.

Water Proof

The joy of dogs just makes man's arrogance that much more appalling. Maybe my problem with people is knowing the potential. I'm not that interested in doing more. I'd just like to do better.

It's damp here but it's about to get a lot wetter.

Women and children first, mate. Women and children first.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Surges, Storm and Otherwise

They're all good days I suppose. That old dog and I are just sitting around waiting for a hurricane. It's hard to imagine but I'm pretty sure she knows how much I love her. I know I tell folks things that I shouldn't, things they don't want to hear. I'm doing my best to change that. Don't take any bar bets on me. What's that they paved the road to hell with?

A few hours sleep and I wake up to find that we're pretty much in the center of the projected path for landfill for Irma. Did I mention that she's back to a Category 5 hurricane?

Jamaica is nervous now even though it's eerily calm outside. Me? I'm feeling too lazy to take care of all the little chores that are necessary now. If I don't write for a bit it doesn't mean I don't love you.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Whoa! Waiting' For A Storm

The World Book Encyclopedia was my world wide web as I was growing up. My mom couldn't afford the luxury so I would sit for hours on the floor in the living room of our next-door neighbors, the Gunns. The Romanovs, sling psychrometers, the great pyramids and leprosy colonies in Hawaii. It all fascinated me. Still does. Lord knows I was never trying to learn anything.

My sex education consisted of ogling darker titties in National Geographic. 

My musical background came from records that my mom brought home for me. Wynonie Harris. Hank Williams. Johnny Standley. Nat King Cole. Fats Domino.

Sunday school supplied the important stuff. To this day I can't quote you much scripture but I know right from wrong. I don't really want to discuss my neighbor's wife. Thanks anyway.

When the head of the geography department asked why I was interested in a degree from his department the first thing that came to mind was The Whole Earth Catalog. Wrong answer. Too late. I dragged throngs of hippies through their program by the time I had my degree.

My politics were formed watching corruption and graft up close working for the government. I don't have much use for the government today.

My vocation- I write hillbilly songs. Nobody buys them and I brag about it.

Try to sit next to me at the dinner party. I'm socially awkward but we'll have a lot to talk about.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hillbilly Flair

If rock'n'roll was born in 1947, which I have insisted tongue in cheek for years, it looks like I'm gonna outlive it. Oh, I've wrung my hands and whined about the demise for years, heck- decades, but it seems to have passed away peacefully in its sleep with no obit in any of the major papers. 

Don't go writing me about how it will never die, blah, blah.

Hey, I'm the one who bellyaches about country club snoots asking, "What do you do?" while pumping my hand way too hard, gazing sincerely into my distrusting eyes. It has taken me this long to recognize that my entire self-image has centered on rock'n'roll.

Now I don't do anything. 

I suppose that as long as Little Richard and Fats and The Killer are alive we've got it on life support in some cosmic ICU. 

Don't think that I'm mourning here. I don't know about you but I got my gall darn money's worth.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Kudzu Wine and Cornbread

That pesky aggressive gene. It will surely be the end of mankind but must we take the planet down with us? Look around you. These are the folks that we allow to run things?

We need to move towards making war illegal. That is not complicated. The first step is to disincentivize arms manufacturers, men with small penises, folks who hear God telling them what to do and other rabble rousers.

We have the brightest minds working on technology under the guise of defense with weapons of destruction ultimately in the hands, small though they may be, of self-important blowhards.

It's 1:00 am. I should be worrying about a hurricane. If I'm gonna worry at all, that is. Here I sit, making a child-like list of perfectly obvious little rules based on what I learned in Sunday School.This ain't my first list.

By the way, God doesn't help with my lists. I may be naive but I'm no hypocrite.

If Caligula had possessed the bomb there would be no more history.

Things are broken. Let's fix them.

John Lennon said that he wasn't the only dreamer. We're all dreamers now, Johnny. We're all dreamers now.

She's Got New Brakes

A couple of simpletons seem to hold all humanity in their tiny hands. Fear is more fashionable than it has been since I was twelve. 

In fact, if you judge music by the radio and movies by box office returns at the multiplex theaters, culture may be scraping a new low.

Make your own music. Your own movies. Make your own love.

Sit still.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Now What?

Here I am, the dog that caught the car. Have I had everything I ever wanted? And then some. While I can't turn back the clock, I'm rich with memories. For a man with no aptitude and a bad attitude I've seen all of my dreams come true.

We're all dreamers now. We'll fight hate with love. As Lord Buckley said, "We'll fight bombs with humor."

It's never a straight road. You sit up front here with me. 

If we hate we look ridiculous. Like they do. Worship people. Don't ever give up. Ever. Would it embarrass you if I told you that I love you? It would, wouldn't it?

I love you.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

What Rhymes With Sucked?

Closing time and the two stumbled out of the tiny Wild Boar towards their car at the edge of the parking lot. Nebraska Avenue was just a two lane road this far north in Tampa at this time and it would have been hard to miss the stretched out body, face down, in the empty lot across the street. They both knew instinctively, immediately that it was Jack.

They couldn't leave him there. Well, they could but they wouldn't.

Jack Kerouac was a hefty two hundred pounds by this time. They managed to get him into the back seat and headed south towards Gandy bridge to get him home in St. Pete to Stella and Meme´re. Realizing that they couldn't just dump him off they pulled into his favorite White Castle once they got into St. Petersburg.

Perched on a counter stool between his two pals, Jack bounced off one, then the other.

The first edition of the St. Petersburg Times was already on the street and an older priest watched the spectacle over the edge of his paper. Recognizing an immediate need for salvation, the man of the cloth approached the rocking writer and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Have you known God?" the priest asked calmly.

Jack recognized at once the source of the inquiry and replied," No but I was almost sucked by Tennessee Williams once."


Friday, September 1, 2017

Rearview Radio Signals

Looking back, I should have paid more attention to the dogs in my life. Oh yeah, I should never have spent time with anybody who didn't want to spend time with me. I wish I had kissed more hands and held more doors open.

Worrying has definitely taken up too much of my time and my energy. Everything worked out just like it would have if I hadn't worried at all.

Friends with good intentions tell me that I should have been more discreet with my so called love life. If I had it to do over, and I don't, I would love harder. Wilder, with more abandon and less thought to outcome.

Maybe I should have written more in 3/4 time and ignored rhyme.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Six Degrees of Trump, Sir Doug, Sheriff Joe and Me

Give me enough time and I'm reasonably sure that I can produce evidence that Kevin Bacon is involved in here somewhere. In another time, another decade- heck, another century- the fledgling calling itself The Americana Music Association held its first "conference" in Lake Tahoe.

Finally a place for me! No longer an outcast, alone in the evil music industry...

Oh, wait...

Those folks never quite took me to heart either. For awhile my releases went to the Top 10 on their charts. First thing you know I've managed to alienate myself from this bunch, too.

I'm getting ahead of myself. I do that.

My roommate for the conference was Doug Sahm. You know, Sir Doug. One of the biggest thrills of my life, I gotta tell you. I had worked with him at a Star Spectacular in Clearwater in 1966 and I had been dragged to the Florida State Fair to see the Texas Tornados but we had never really known each other.

Well, sir, Doug was a talker. World class. I couldn't begin to catalog our conversations from that weekend. Some of the things that do come to mind:

Amos'n'Andy, Minor league baseball, Huey Meaux, Sienfeld, coffee, wrestling, Hank Penny...

I had to tell him about No Depression and the whole new alt country thing, which wasn't yet alt country. This king had a new throne and nobody had bothered to tell him.

One day at a picnic table he launched into his sad tale of leaving Texas. He had been set up by a crooked cop for a marijuana bust in Corpus Christi. Eventually, to avoid jail time he left for California with his family, his band and his record producer in the rearview mirror.

While he was spinning the yarn an aging hippie strolled up and Doug introduced me to the guy who had put him up and taken him in when he got there. I don't remember his name but he was a nice guy and a genuine character. We had these coincidences all weekend. I'll string them together for another day. This story, though, the Texas drug bust, turned around a notorious scoundrel that Doug kept referring to as "Sheriff Joe."

Joe Arpaio has been ruining lives going back to the mid-sixties. Maybe further back. 

Did I tell you that I once worked for the Russian mafia? Joe Ely told me about ten years ago. Long, long time ago. I never knew.

I've lived an exciting life. I just didn't know it at the time.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Faith Restored

Let me dry my eyes after bawling through the NBC Nightly News. The disaster in Texas brings together the best parts of humanity. Cajuns from Louisiana coming in with their monster trucks to rescue Texans, human and otherwise. First responders, including the National Guard, police, firemen and rescue workers of every stripe. Mexico offering all manner of love, hope and financial assistance. The Salvation Army, the Red Cross and high school football players. Nobody asking about the ethnicity or faith of any of the victims.

There's no way to find joy in the suffering but there's no way to miss the hope.

Fight with love.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Money and Soda

Nobody's passion lasts forever. Maybe broken hearts do. We're all Texans for the time being and Mother Nature knows all about unrequited love.

While hate is fashionable, show the world some love. Help make it so common that it's not fodder for local TV news. You know the stories-

Baby With No Credit Gets Medical Attention!

Stranger Holds Door Open For Old Lady!

Let the Nazis fight the Klan. Let's dance, let's love.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Don't Know Much Economy

Now, I spend my time, i.e. waste my time, preaching about radio, hot rods, rock'n'roll and broken hearts- usually mine. Why on earth would I put forth a rant about economics?

"What," you may ask, " does that down-and-outter know about finance, economics?"

Well, what do I know about anything? Has it stopped me from writing plays? Newspaper columns? Hillbilly songs? I would tinker with brain surgery if not for those pesky license requirements.

My credentials as a financial scribe are based on "The Emperor's New Clothes." In other words I'm not employed by Goldman Sachs... or the Trump administration.

Let's all agree right here that those nutty tax resisters have some things right. The fact that most of them eventually go mad in their mom's extra bedroom will keep us from putting any of them on the witness stand here. They do know this:

Power in this culture is based entirely on the control of green paper by the very ones who print the green paper.

No wonder that the government fears nuts like me who notice the absurdity of any such phenomena and have the audacity to write it here for my millions of readers! 

Oh, wait.

Long ago the haves figured out that the minions would have to be controlled, Voila! Religion. Patriotism. Overtime pay. Sports. War. Politics.

Print your own green paper. See what happens.

Now the financial pundits conclude that housing prices going up faster than worker pay is good for the economy. Really? Has anybody told the worker? The one who doesn't own a house?

They also know that nothing stops a roaring market like the threat of full employment. You don't say! Has anybody shared this information with the unemployed?

Am I a socialist?

Pretty sure that I'm just an old, white male who went to school with those vultures who play that game and always noticed that the emperor is naked. Look at that tiny little talleywhacker, will ya'!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Nose To The Grindstone

So here I sit. White. Male. American. Healthy. I was born in a post-war culture in a country where the tide was lifting most boats. A country that had just given the world jazz and rock'n'roll. A democracy that was promising a better day to the oppressed. A forty hour work week

I had no need for bootstraps.

Things change.

Rear view mirrors never meant much to me. Do I wish for a sweeter, gentler world? You bet. My ambition is to be. I do what I can with cowboy chords and love. Take what you need. Plenty more where that came from.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fragrance and Arrogance

Being right always seemed so important. Not so much these days. I've lost more friends and heroes in the last year or two than I have in all my life before.

Oh, I'm not complaining. That wouldn't be fair.

The sweetest folks in the world have graced my life. Nobody ever wanted to believe in heaven more than I do. Some of my friends are my heroes and some of my heroes are my friends. It's always been that way. 

The concept of "rich" is alien to me. I've always had more than I needed and there were times when I had nothing. "Famous" is even more foreign as a notion. When writers describe me as a cult artist, I know what that means. To tell you the truth I'm just always happy that they don't use "failure." Probably more accurate but it doesn't flow as well.

Pretty sure that I'm supposed to be full of regrets at this stage. I just can't work it out. Oh, I should have been kinder and I surely could have been more generous.

Did I mention that I wish I believed in reincarnation? 

I probably wouldn't do much differently. I'd just like another couple of laps.

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


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Three Queens And A Joker

If I knew now what I thought I knew then I'd still be in trouble. The world was black and white. Girls were sugar and spice and everything nice. Boys were snaps and snails and puppy dog tails. Then, Elvis.

I've struggled with all of it ever since.

A friend reminded me recently that I've always wanted to give away all that I own. Seems crazy. I'm not trying to buy love. I don't think I am. It wouldn't buy much.

The price of seeing the world through the poet's eyes is steep. I see way too much and I know far too little. I cry about things that I saw years ago. I can't list all that I've lost. It hurts too much.

The other side of the coin, of course, is the joy. Only local ordinances keep my pants on and that doesn't always work. If you're tired of me telling you that I love you, get in line.

Monday, August 21, 2017

You Don't Have To Cook

The full truth just is. You don't need me to preach peace and love to know what to do. Life's easy if you don't get in the way. All the odds will be played and everything will happen. 

Every thing.

Sometimes I can't tell the hillbilly music from the soul music. I suppose I can always tell the good from the bad.

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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fashion and Me

Several folks just stood around me and made fun of my haircut. It began with, "Oh, you got your hair cut," and quickly moved to, "Oh, wait. You did that. You cut your hair!"

The happy ending is that one of the bunch finally said, "You sure take it well." 

Honestly, the bad part, the worst part is the back. Well, there you go. I can't see the back. That's why it's so bad. 

Women in my life have done what they could with me. 

It's not that I don't care...

Yeah, I suppose it is. No wonder I take it well.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Do You Know Who I Am?

So I just read that happiness is the new rich. I guess I'm about the richest. Inner peace is the new success. Cheers! Health is the new wealth. Just put it on my tab. Kindness is the new cool. I'm trying. I'm trying. I was never good at cool but I've always tried to be kind.

There's peace and joy on the horizon and it's coming regardless of our patience.

Love hard. Harder,


Friday, August 18, 2017

I Don't Care About Forever Anymore

You don't love for them. You love for you. I know it sounds selfish but it's the opposite. Once my biggest worry was how to make the love stay. Looking back, my concern was assurance that I would never be abandoned.

Of course I always admired shiny paint, young women, fresh flowers.

At some point the regal beauty of rust and wrinkles became obvious. Records sound better to me now with the scratches where I remember them. Old dogs have the purest love in the world in those cloudy, tired eyes.

Every now and then I run across one of those articles that "reveal" the regrets of people on their deathbeds. I guess there are folks out there looking for quotes from final gasps. I always read them. They always make me feel good. I suppose that's the point.

1. They always wish they had lived a life more true to themselves.
Hey- I carry a pink, paper wallet!

2. They shouldn't have worked so hard.
I've played rock'n'roll for over half a century.

3. They regret not having expressed their feelings.
Now I have made folks feel uncomfortable expressing my feelings but I won't leave the planet with any big secrets. Here I am before the sun is up spilling my heart out to you. I told her that I love her.

4. They should have stayed in touch with friends. 
I play in a band with guys that I've worked with for fifty years. My pals from elementary school that I don't hang around with are dead.

5. They always seem to wish that they had allowed themselves to be happier.
Well, sir, I try to look at life like one of those old Disney cartoons where every character is some variation of Goofy and the soundtrack is from one of those laughing records from Mad Magazine. I do what I can.

I do love her.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Test Well

All my life I seem to have done well on standardized tests. All those things at the end of high school- I got scores that were close to perfect. Don't let me fool you into thinking that I'm smart. I did well on the subjects that I don't know anything about. Trigonometry. Calculus. 

I finish before pretty much everyone else, too. I'm pretty sure that's because I can't bear sitting there taking a test.

Somehow it all failed me in growing up. Oh, I've always been good at balancing a checkbook and my table manners are alright.

The important stuff, though, it's all been slow. I just don't take much seriously. You can dress me up but I'll soon be a mess. I want everything I see and then when I get it, I don't want it. I'll show off for attention and sometimes I cry when I'm left alone.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

True To Myself

So long adolescence. I never settled in very well. Current events demand my participation and the world seems to be on fire. While we teeter on the brink of nuclear war, that event has been pushed off of the front page by nazis and klansmen marching in Virginia.

Me? I remember when there were stars in the sky; when radio programmers played stuff they liked. Of course cocaine and whores and fifty dollar bills helped 'em like some of it. Can we just call them disc jockeys again?

Read the best book you can find. Not the old one. Not the new one. Read the best book you can find.

If some guy named Bob tells you what music is good and you have to pay Bob money, I'm not interested in anything you've got for me, thanks.

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Source

Queasy. It doesn't really take much. On the other hand, if real disaster hits I'm your guy. I'm fine until the last tourniquet is applied. Then I faint.

When culture curdles I seem to find a measure of hope. As disturbing as I find these times, I sense peace and love on the horizon. Oh, I fret that times may get worse before they get better. Hate has some real momentum out there and ignorance isn't going out of fashion without a tussle.

I don't have time for hate. You don't either.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Red Blood, Pink Diamonds, Blue Dreams

Maybe love's a mirror. Just a mirror. You can't really love completely until you can really love yourself.

I'm a slow learner. S-L-O-W. 

My mom told me that I was the smartest one in class. Pretty sure I wasn't. She told me that I was more handsome than Clark Gable. Rock Hudson. I needed glasses from the third grade but I'm not blind.

Here's what I know now. All I want is to be loved. You'd think I might work harder at being more lovable. As I look around at Donald J. Trump, Katy Tur, Lionel Richie, O.J. Simpson, the Dalai Lama, I realize that that's all any of us want.

Now I lay down my armor. I love all of us. We're pretty good, aren't we?


Friday, August 11, 2017

Let Me 'splain

There have been times I tried to fit in. I've shopped for clothes, applied for jobs, had my hair cut, attended church, married the girl, covered songs and voted the party line. I don't regret any of it. Well, maybe a marriage or two.

My producer, Phil Gernhard, always told us, "Pay attention. The fun is all about getting there. There's nothing special about a wall of gold records. It's all about watching that first one go up the charts. Hearing it on the radio for the first time."

Well, Phil blew his brains out a decade ago. He had several walls of gold records and marriages that he regretted. He was rich. Really rich.

Me? I never "got there." Not by any standards.

There was a time when my new records would go to the top ten on the Americana charts and I would hear them on the radio. They were never hits, though; never made any money.

I hope you don't read anything into that. I'm not whining. Maybe I'm boasting. It never quit being fun for me. Turns out I can't be managed. Produced. Guided.

Socially awkward? Yeah, those women hurt my feelings. I don't think they meant to. I'm pretty sure that they just assumed that I knew. Seems obvious now. Really obvious.

Well, now I've tried the patience of my friends. I'm good at that. I guess it seems that I'm begging for praise with my pitiful self deprecation, fishing for compliments.

Honestly, that's like looking for Trump's cunning political strategy when he gets out his phone.

Listen to me here- I'm alright with me. Oh, sure, I have impure thoughts from time to time. Okay. I frequently have impure thoughts. Alright, alright, I'm obsessed with smut. Nevertheless, I think I'm an okay guy. To me, everyone is special. Unique. Holy.

If I thought something was wrong, I'd cut my hair. I'd vote the party line.

I'm probably at my most socially awkward when I ramble in Sunday school talk.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

You can't make a silk purse.