Sunday, September 30, 2012

Who's Left?

Celebrating Jerry Lee Lewis' birthday is always a touch ironic for all of us who grew up worshiping at the keyboard altar of the Killer. Lunatic, madman, whatever you choose to call him, nobody denies that he's the real deal. But after all the decades of scandal involving dope and divorce, child brides, liquor, fights, feuds and rock'n'roll he's still with us. Wasn't he voted most likely to die young right after we lost Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper?

Yeah, Chuck Berry has a new record coming out. We don't hear much from Fats or Little Richard but they're still walking the planet.

My sense of loss sometimes overwhelms me when I start to think about my idols who have gone on. Some of them make some sort of sense to me. I thought that John Lennon's quote about Elvis dying when he went into the army was very honest and insightful. When John was killed it was surreal for me. It still is.

I was shaped by my heroes. For better or worse. I've had some good ones.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

During The Night

We're all afraid of the dark for some time. When do we begin to feel safe? Depends on lots of things I suppose. Why do we fear the end? Must be because we don't know much about it.

Ambitious types have always taken religions to manipulate the masses through their fears. Jesus and Buddha and all of the good guys have always brought us simple messages of peace and love and charity. Somehow it always becomes fear and war and revenge. You'll have a fine afterlife if you do as we say while you're here.

This is heaven. Here. Now. Is this it? Who knows? Don't let it slip away, though, waiting for the next lap. Love.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sad: The New Hip Thing?

The late King Of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin, once proclaimed, "You don't know what sad is 'til you listen to George Jones." It was meant as a compliment.

All the great blues guys have always maintained that you sing about your troubles to get rid of them. Me? I've got nothing to be sad about.

I've got my health and all of that stuff that they remind you of when you whine. I've got the best dog in the world. Well, she's not really very good by most standards but I love her like crazy. I do what I want. People are good to me. I live where I'll never starve or freeze.

Don't ever get good at sad. That's my advice today.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Learn It From The Animals

All you ever need to know about people you can learn from the dogs and cats in your lives. They're all about love. Except when they're afraid. If you don't have a pet at home rescue a stray today. It's a small step but if we're gonna save the world we have to take lots of small steps.

This doesn't have anything to do with saving the world. It's just a song that I had forgotten about. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Is It That I Do?

Seems vainglorius to quote myself but "My teachers never called me a poet and I never can get this guitar quite in tune."

I'm not much of a singer. Reviews often mention the fact that I talk as much as I sing. I don't hop to my feet to defend myself. My writer friends have always known that I'm no writer. Never claimed to be.

It fell upon me some time back to break the news to my wonderful friend, Rebekah Pulley, that she was, indeed, Rebekah Pulley. That's who she is. That's what she does. If you're called, you answer. You go. I never made much money. I never will. I hope she does. She can sing. She can play. She's a writer.

Doesn't matter, though. It's a blessing and a curse. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would love to tell you that I do this for you. That's not true. I would be content to think that I do it for me. That's not true, either. I do it because I have to. I always have. I always will.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

War And Truth

Aren't all wars built on lies? They disrespected us. They took our land. God is on our side. We have to slaughter them now over there before they come over here.

I've got news for the liars. God doesn't like war. The next time that "shock and awe" breaks out I hope that we all gather in loud bunches and chant,"Peace, peace, peace."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Not Guilty

Seems like I must be pure Freudian at heart. I suppose that I was fortunate enough to get through all developmental stages with my sexuality intact. I would be lying to you, however, if I told you that sex was not on my mind most of the time. I have a healthy interest in the well being of others and I've never felt stuck in any phase of growing up.

The best part for me is that I don't feel guilty about my sexual fixation. Heck, I don't even feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

All of you who know me are aware that all of this sex is just in my mind. It's not that I want it this way. It's just that I don't seem to run into other folks who share my interests. I don't like the idea of casual sex without affection and I disapprove of folks using others for any reason.

That has left me a lonely dreamer with a wild imagination more often than not. Oh, well.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

She Sold The Silver

Actively replacing the bad mojo in your soul with love and hope is a daunting task. I find that it's easy to absorb the negative spirit. Then it's easier still to blame the hurt that you're left with to explain away your thoughts and actions.

If you've ever been hurt the person who hurt you needs your forgiveness and understanding. The rewards are yours and they're free. Not easy but free.

Love hard, that's my advice.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

You're Great. Now Change.

By the time that I became familiar with the term, eccentric, I realized that I had always been considered eccentric. It took a long time to figure out that eccentricity goes in and out of fashion.

Sorta' like being Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Sometimes I'm a prize at the cocktail party. Usually not so much.

When I was in the seventh or eighth grade I received an anonymous letter explaining my social shortcomings in some detail. A group of the girls had gotten together and put together a detailed list of suggested changes for me. Started off okay. I was cute. Then we got right to the buts and the howevers.

Hot rods were out of style. My hair was too long. Girls didn't really want to talk about rock'n'roll. My clothes were not right and wrestling was boring, fake and stupid.

It's sad for me to admit that I've continued to get that kind of communication on a fairly regular basis from the women who have passed through my life.

Considering the overwhelming consensus I'm gonna have to say that I should have put a little effort into straightening up. It's probably too late now. I just have to hope that weird comes back around in time to save me again. I mean well.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Love While You Can

Some days don't you just wish that you could go back and do things over again? I'm not sure that I finished loving all the folks and all the animals who have crossed my path in this go 'round and are now gone. What I wouldn't give to tell Wolfgang that I love him one more time or to kiss my mom good night again.

Grandma is on my mind all the time and I'll always regret missing any time that I might have spent with her and didn't.

There's not much I can do about any of it except to love as hard as I can right now and tell the folks and the animals how I feel. I love you. I'm going to walk Jamaica.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romance Conquers Desire

You can choose to see the god in people or you can see the sad and beaten down side that shows in most everyone at one time or another. The beautiful mystery of life is always right there and no matter how many times you casually joke about the glass being half empty or half full. It's always going to be true. Peace is there if you want it. Love yourself and love your neighbor. Don't blame anyone else for any of your misfortunes.

Well, aren't we off to a fine start today. I love you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Best Medicine, The Best Drug

Trying to figure out the mire that I climb from it occurs to me that laughter has been missing from my daily existence for the better part of the last five years. Oh, I chuckle but I don't laugh 'til milk runs out of my nose. Not often enough.

I remember once when I was about ten or eleven years old and sneaking around the house with my cousin Jimmy in Birmingham. I say "sneaking" because it was the middle of the night and we were supposed to be tucked away in bed. Sorta' our idea of juvenile delinquency. Bad wasn't too bad in the Eisenhower years.

I always wanted to be clever and I always wanted to be dirty. I suppose I still do. In a sophisticated play on words, I whispered to Jimmy, "Hey, Jimmy. Donald Fuck."

Jimmy's three months older than I am, you understand, so his level of sophistication is way up there. He stared blankly at me for just a moment and responded, "So what. Mickey Piss."

Well, apparently he had blurted the magic word. We both peed and laughed and laughed and peed for what seemed to be a very long time. Judging from the mess that we had to mop up in the dark from the kitchen floor it was a very long time.

Okay. I'm not sophisticated or clever or dirty. I've got my joy back, though. Anybody wanna spend the night?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Far To Fall

What arrogance we display when we attempt to  tell others how to live. Shouldn't we be examples instead, living free, fair lives and doing the right thing because it's the right thing. No one needs to tell anyone else not to lie, cheat, steal or hurt. Either we learned all of that or figured it out as kids or we're not going to ever know it.

Same thing with our nations and our cultures. I suppose all empires start out with some benevolent ideas. We want their land and their resources. We'll give them our religions and our culture. It's never going to last and it's never going to work.

The temporarily conquered probably have their own deities who have already told them not to lie or cheat or steal or hurt. Those good guys seem to all share the same, simple messages.

So this time around we think that $4.00 a gallon gasoline is a good deal when it has been subsidized with the blood of our nation's sons and daughters and the wasted lives of untold numbers from other countries. We'll talk about the hate for us as a country with good intentions another time.

Pray for peace. Search for truth. Love.

Monday, September 17, 2012

No Heavy Lifting

Every path that has crossed mine has moved me further on my journey. That sounds like I've used people and I hope that's not the case. I do the best that I can and I try to stay true to the lessons that I learned from my grandmother. If I've hurt anyone along the way I suppose that it's better to think that maybe I may get a chance to make up for it rather than dwelling on my mistakes.

Then again, I would like to say here and now that I am truly sorry for any pain that I have caused anyone, ever. Let's study love.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if never having kids is the saddest part of my life or a true blessing in disguise. Oh, I've had a hand in raising some kids but there was always a wall to make sure that my influence was limited to some degree. I'm the end of a line and I think about that plenty.

One of the things that gets to me is that families hug. Even families that fight hug when things are okay. I don't have anyone to hug. That's just weird.

That's not me feeling sorry for myself. I love a lot of folks and a lot of people are really good to me. Really good.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How Much I Got Left?

All those songs about winding it up always fascinated me but always gave me the creeps, too. You know, September Song, Hello Young Lovers, all those. Bob Dylan took over the genre from Jimmy Durante about fifteen years ago with Not Dark Yet from his jaw dropper, Time Out Of Mind.

It's hard to consider another subject when that one hunts you down.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pretty Weather, Heavy Heart

Uh oh. Here comes the beautiful weather. When spring or fall roll around I tend to come down with the blues. Something about blue skies and that little snap in the air drags me down. I suppose I've known about it for some time now.

Here's a little clip of me and Rebekah singing "Talk Back Tremblin' Lips" at the Hideaway Cafe in St. Pete. Spencer and Brian shot it. Folks come up and tell me how pretty we sing together. Here's the secret: she sings pretty. I just sing. Anybody sounds good when she sings.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Golden Age

We usually expect something of a "Golden Age" following a big war. Art and culture flourish. Peace feels good. Prosperity is at hand since we're not wasting money killing people in the name of some religion. Education and technology make great leaps.

Now, as President Eisenhower warned, war is perpetual. It is this country's major industry and our chief export. Osama Bin Laden was evil. He told us clearly, however, why he was intent on destroying us. He said that we would be attacked for putting our soldiers on their sacred ground. He never mentioned hating our freedom. In fact, greedy scoundrels threw in with our own fanatics who thought they saw biblical prophecies in the middle east. A few corporations and shareholders and a few individuals and industries have made major fortunes from this go 'round.

Now we have no end to wars; no ticker tape parades, no VA college loans, no golden age. We have war. That war will be replaced by another until we stand up for peace. Relatively few of us actually fight in these wars and fewer will fight in the future as computers and drones do our killing for us. Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war. Let's have a golden age.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Best One Ever

Folks always ask me about the best rock'n'roll show that I ever saw. I'm sure it's because I boast so much about all of the great music that I've been around. You know, "When I was a kid there would be ten or twelve acts on a bill and all of them would just rip the place apart."

My answer is always the same, though. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters. They were on a bill with Sam Cooke, Little Willie John, LaVern Baker, and Marv Johnson. My mom took me. It was at the armory in Tampa.

The Midnighters had always been favorites of mine. I had loved Hank's record of the Twist before that piece of junk bubbled out of the mire of Philly. I had lots of Midnighters 45's on King and Federal and several albums.

The whole evening was magnificent and that's probably obvious but when Hank and the guys took the stage it nearly killed me. The level of joy was overwhelming. How they could dance those routines and keep up those harmonies is still a mystery to me. I knew they were doing something naughty, something dirty but I didn't know what. I still don't. You'll probably never catch me doing a set without a little blue. Maybe a lot. It's the direct influence of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters. It's not rock'n'roll without a little smut. You can quote me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


"Forever." Seems like such an arrogant term, doesn't it? I'll bet that if we pored through all that Einstein left us that we wouldn't find him using the concept very frequently.

For those of us with less horsepower in the cranium every little hurt, every romance gone wrong seems to take on a "forever" significance.

September 11, 2001 comes closer than most worldly events. That day changed all of us dramatically and significantly if not forever.

When will we ever learn that violence and hate will never be changed with violence and hate. We have the power of love at our disposal and we seldom move to that as our first alternative. The peaceful ones who pass through our history leave us the same simple, profound lessons. All you need is love. There are really no other messages. I love you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Open Up

Maybe I'm just a slow learner. It suddenly occurs to me that if you can just open up your heart, your mind will follow. If you can just open up your mind, your heart will follow.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another Great Depression

If love is the most powerful thing on the planet then I suppose that having none must be about the lowest deal going. Then again, I'm no expert.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Dipper

"Don't give the dipper to the nigger, son," the old guy drawled with no hint of shame or irony in his voice. We were taking a break from loading the watermelons down by the spring in the only shade available. After I had gulped a mouthful from the long handled tin cup I was handing it to the little kid squatting next to me. I was probably ten or eleven years old.

I have a really hard time understanding mean. I suppose that I can see where prejudice comes from and I recognize jealousy and envy. Hurting a person just for the sake of hurt baffles me. 

When I reminded  her that breaking up had come up before and that she had always come back and reassured me that she hadn't meant it and that I was the love of her life she responded, "Yeah, I can't believe that you've been this dumb for this long."

After this amount of time I ask myself why I dwell on this moment. Then I have to wonder why I can't seem to forget the dipper in the watermelon patch after most of a long lifetime. Without darkness there is no light.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Vote The Inch

Trying not to sweat the small stuff and I have to remind myself that there's nothing else. You live awhile and you die. Oh, yeah sure, some stuff happens in between. I suppose love is about all there is when it comes right down to it.

I don't want to bore you and I know I've told you this before but I love Jamaica. She's my dog and she's a good girl. Well, she's not really all that good but she is very lovable. I've told folks before that I loved them and it hasn't worked out too well; for me or them. I tell Jamaica so often that she takes it for granted. She's pretty cocky. Until it thunders.

We need more love and we should all be thinking about voting in the U.S. to get it. Seems to me that war is the opposite of love at the most basic level. I heard Billy Bragg say that in England folks were anxious to vote if there was an inch of difference between two candidates. We don't have a peace candidate. We never do. Maybe we never will. In the meantime, vote for that inch of difference. Take care of the love, yourself. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Heigh ho

Trying to drive the pain out of my heart. Working tonight. Best medicine I've found. I've been happy and I've been sad. Believe me, happy's better. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Drummer

I keep hearing that joy is back. I believe it is. We need a new version of "Happy Days Are Here Again."

Now, I'm a sap and I know it but I kept wiping tears from my eyes as I listened to Michelle Obama last night. Oh, I know that some D.C. hack wrote those lines for her but I believe that she truly loves that guy. I believe that if we stamp our feet and clap our hands that Tinkerbell will be alright, too. 

Of course I want good guys to win and I want light to whip darkness but I'm back to reaching beyond politics and the everyday grind. I'm tracking Moriarity here. Evil, be warned. I'm coming for you. Yeah, joy has returned and that means mine, too. Let's end war. Let's spread beauty and let's share love. People got ready! Here's the revolution.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Voices

Hey! You voices. I thought I told you to get out of Ronny Elliott's head. I don't know about the rest of you but I've not only grown accustomed to the voices that speak to me, I've actually come to enjoy their company. They're a lot more interesting than most of what I find on television. They're funny, too. Except for when they're sad.

Now that I have revealed every dark truth and now that there is no mystique I may have to abandon my blog. I hope I've told you the truth. I've certainly supplied my version. If I have new true stories later I'll be back. Maybe I'll remember something that I've left out.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Labor Day. I like the sound of it. Anything that brings us together, even temporarily, is okay with me. I suppose that if I'm Ronny Elliott for a living I don't really get the day off. I once wrote about my pal, Harry, that he "works for himself and calls the boss a jerk." Enjoy your day off.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Half Full

So I have a business proposition for my wealthiest friends, the ones that we have decided are one percent of our population. From the Revolution on, at least up to these last two, all of our wars have been financed with tax dollars. Now we have decided that perpetual war is healthy for our "economy." When we're not fighting commies to avoid a domino effect in southeast Asia, we're battling terrorists or drugs or invading small countries with oil under the earth because we don't like their dictator.

At the same time the folks who have accumulated most of the wealth have decided that they don't want to be burdened with taxes. Well, who can blame them?

Now if I want to get rid of war and they want to avoid taxes I think I see a deal to be made. Let's leave social programs intact. In fact, let's improve health benefits and education for all of our citizens. Let's patch up our infrastructure and let's clean up our planet. Since these fine young people that we have sent to our fine military academies won't have the jobs of their dreams open to them let's move them into leadership roles where they run our new programs to fix up the nation. Let's make General Eisenhower proud.

Haliburton's not gonna like this. Neither is GE. My first thought is, of course, so what. On the other hand I'm looking for win/win here so let's give them some more of their beloved tax breaks to invest in real research and development for alternative fuels and recycling technology and clean disposal of waste.

Let's build a real Mayberry.