When good times go bad

3 08 2011

It was a special event.  The kind you dress up for.  The kind, when you’re an adult, is less frequent because you don’t have proms, dances or any of this anymore.  So, when you do get to wear a little black dress, strappy black stilettos, and pearls … when you do get to carry a little black sequined purse … well, it’s something to get excited about.  It was this kind of event.  Fine dining and champagne followed by 3rd row seats (right beside the orchestra pit) for the Moody Blues at the Sanger in New Orleans.  The concert itself was not a dress event, mind you, but boasted the class of people who would dress for such an occasion and frankly if there’s even a hint at the opportunity to dress up, I’m all over it.  But, dressing up wasn’t the biggest issue.  Fine dining wasn’t the big issue (though one of the fastest ways to my heart). Wanting the night to be special wasn’t the biggest issue.  It was all about seeing a brilliant band playing with an orchestra in a beautiful, classic and personal setting that made it worth the anticipation.

I’m a huge concert goer, as you can plainly see from the likes of my page.  More commonly I attend such shows as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Ratt, Motley Crue, ZZ Top, and the like.  These types of shows are more frequent for one, and my taste is mostly based in that of rock and roll.  Though I do like a very wide variety of music, but most bands that I like do not tour.  Now, when I go to a good old fashioned rock show I expect good old fashioned rockers.  We’re all geared up in our best concert shirts, holey jeans and biker boots.  We’re ready for action.  We may get caught up in a brawl or have a draft beer spilled on us … and if we’re lucky that will be the worst of what lands on us.  But the Moody Blues is a very different scene.  You don’t expect Lynard Skynard fans at a Moody Blues show, but if they are there … those with diverse taste like myself … you expect them to act like me, or at least I do.  I expect that if someone has enough taste and intelligence to appreciate anything from Skynard to the Moody Blues then they know the very clear differences between songs like “Gimmie Three Steps” v/s “Tuesday Afternoon”.  Right?!? This would mean one would behave differently at a show boasting an orchestra in a beautiful theater v/s the behavior at a stadium filled with pot smoke and stacks of speakers.  But anyway…

Our group excitedly took our seats early enough to watch the orchestra practice.  We could actually read the sheet music from our seats.  It was so exciting.  This was our usual outing.  A group of 6 of us who are huge Moody Blues fans who get together and make a big night out of it each time they come.  This would be our third time to see them together over a 10 year span.  They don’t come often.  In fact this was about 12 years ago and I think they have only come to this area again once since then.  Anyway, we were all looking fancy and enjoying ourselves … anticipating the concert.  Now, please don’t think I’m judgmental or a snob … but I couldn’t help but be taken aback when the couple seated behind us arrived to take their seats.  They were both overweight and dressed in their best red neck rocker gear.  She was wearing a lovely Lynard Skynard T-shirt with the sides cut out so that is would hang slightly loose over her barreling bounds of pale white fat rolls, and clearly revealing her black lace bra from either side of the shirt.  She also boasted a tight, leather, mini-skirt with leather biker boots.  Her belly peered out from under her designer t-shirt, laying gently atop the waist of her skirt.  She struggled to squeeze into the theater seat probably as hard as she struggled to squeeze into that skirt.  Her date was a complementary match to her as he was also rather large, wearing a matching Skynard T, jeans and a blue jean vest with the sleeves cut off leaving frayed edges and a trucker hat (before that was the in thing to wear, mind you) that boasted a rebel flag.  Don’t get me wrong, their attire did not bother me nor did the fact that they were overweight.  Sure, they stuck out like sore thumbs, but appearance really means nothing to me.  It’s something I can look away from and not think twice about … which is exactly what I did.  I looked away and went back to anticipating a great show as our group discussed previous shows and took note of the playlist that we could clearly see.  As time passed, I couldn’t help but to overhear the couple behind us in their own chat about anticipation.  I’m not one to eavesdrop, well … not one to eavesdrop conversations that have nothing to do with me anyway (tee hee) but I couldn’t help but hear them as they excitedly discussed their most repulsive plan.  “No!” I cried in my mind “God help me, please let their plan fail miserably!” Now I know some of you crazy overly open minded people will say that I was being selfish or snobby for not wanting them to succeed … you may think I’m a prude, but seriously … I think there is a time and place for certain activities and sitting behind me at a Moody Blues concert is not the time or the place to have sex, which is exxxxxxxxxxactly what they were planning.  Oh how my stomach churned at the very thought of this unfolding.  You see, apparently, “Knight’s in White Satin” was a meaningful song to this couple and the whole purpose of them attending this concert was not to enjoy a beautiful musical event, but to make sweet love when the band preformed “Knights in White Satin.” They were not Moody Blues fans, they were just a couple with a plan to do something outrageous because it had a certain value to them and that was it! Period! Our group began to cringe as we all couldn’t help but hear their plan unfold in dirty, disgusting detail.  We all grumbled softly to each other, hoping they would change their minds about their public display of love during such a respectable event.

Of course, the show began without a hitch.  Fantastic as always, with the crowd in awe.  Our group was enthusiastically enjoying themselves, and whispering only a few comments here and there about how great the performance was.  Then, it happened … a song I once loved began to play.  I heard the couple shuffling into action behind us and cut my eyes to my buddy, Walt, seated beside me.  He shook his head and glanced at the floor.  As much as I struggled to continue to enjoy the performance, the sound of blubbering, sweaty fat smacking together with God awful moaning and groaning bellowed from behind … and an occasional thrust against the back of my seat throwing me forward.  It was unbearable.  Seriously unbearable! I don’t like the sound of anyone having sex …. Except, of course, myself! I don’t like it even more when I am at an event that I’ve paid quite a bit of money to enjoy … an event that I paid to listen to and enjoy … an event that I want to remember for being beautiful, not awful.   But it happened, none the less, and scarred me for life.  To this day, unfortunately, I can not hear “Knights in White Satin” without envisioning this hideous duo getting it on.  So, as a Moody Blues fan, people are often surprised when I say I don’t like “Knights in White Satin”.  “What?!?! How could you not like their biggest hit?!?!?!” They ask in shock.  Then I have to explain the painful story of when good times, like this, go bad … many laugh at my torrid tale, but if it were you who had to hear, smell and be consistently thrust forward in your seat by this revolting sexual act during such a beautiful song you too would no longer like the song.  (Trust me, the only thing worse than the sound of others having sex is the smell of others having sex!!)

Now I thought I would give you all a chuckle, and I know I’ve needed one because the news has been rather tragic lately where I live.  A topic I have chosen to avoid at this time here; the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you have interest in this topic, you can read what I have written here: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=48953274&blogId=533668062

But, in the meantime, I thought we’d have a little fun … so, Have you ever had a bad concert experience like this? I’ve been stepped on, puked on and such, but none of that really scared me quite like this.  Have you ever done anything like this? I’ve never had sex at a concert, maybe because I’m too consumed with the concert to be distracted by something as silly as sex.  Lol.  Have you ever been trapped in a situation where someone funky was having funky sex near you? Thank God this is the only time I’ve been in such a situation.  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my painful recollection of this life changing experience … LOL

And for those who don’t know the song, here you go…


“People misinterpret my passion for anger”

6 03 2011

Charlie Sheen was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He never had to worry about anything or want for anything.  He was given free reign at birth to do whatever he pleased.  Today, he blames his father (who basically gave him that silver spoon and freedom) for his wreck of a life.  Is that wrong? In some ways, not so much.  If you have lived your entire life doing as you please, no matter how bad it may be, and not suffered any real consequences then why not? Sure, this path of destruction began with the freedom of being a rich, spoiled, Hollywood son but in his adult life is his father really still to blame? Well, being so spoiled in his youth was the groundwork for not having to mature and deal with reality but how has he evaded reality in his adult life? He has done things many common men would still be sitting in a jail cell over, yet Charlie Sheen has never had to do so.  Our legal system has continued to polish the silver spoon forever planted in his mouth by continuing to allow him to avoid the consequences of his actions simply because he’s a rich celebrity who can afford to buy his way out of any situation he may find himself in.  His only real consequences have been that he is under the media microscope.  Is he crazy? Maybe not.  If I had such a silver spoon in my mouth and a microscope over my actions, perhaps I too would be beyond obnoxious.  It only seems logical.  Why are we so shocked? I’m not.  I love it.  I think he’s spitting in the faces of all the fools who enabled him.  He really is winning… at least for now.  Even though there are no legal consequences for his actions that we’ve really seen, I do believe there will be some health issues in his future.  There probably already are and we just don’t know it yet.  But, while we all sit back and enjoy the showing of Charlie’s melt down  there are bigger questions left unanswered.

For instance, why is this man’s moronic behavior headline news when so many other things are going on in this world that are far more worthy of our attention? Is this part of the media’s game as they work closely with our favorite Uncle Sam to distract us from real news?  Is Charlie Sheen’s decline really more important to our daily lives than the unraveling of the middle east, the raping of the middle class American or the push to continually feed racism? Is Charlie Sheen an optimal candidate for the destruction of his name because he was once on the front lines fighting against our government with his support of the 911 conspiracy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyKR2-A0KPU

Granted, the government didn’t drive him to the ultimate insanity that we are eating up daily but in all seriousness, he’s 1 in a million… a million egotistical addicts who think they are winning.  He’s really not that different than anyone else.  He got paid over a million per episode of “Two & ½ Men”.  Nearly 200 episodes have aired in 7 years.  That’s a butt load of cash.  Do you really think you’d be the same person you are today if you had that kind of cash? Seriously? Ok, well you can lie to me if you want but don’t lie to yourself.  Personally, I have a bit of a demanding nature and if I was worth over 200 million I think I’d be a raging bitch.  I probably wouldn’t do any of the hard drugs but I’d try like hell to keep up with my new friends in the Hollywood scene.  I guess I’d be drinking a lot of Starbucks Double Shots to stay up, maybe shooting up some B12 and such.  I’d be the healthy freak.  I can’t deny that if I got interviewed I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say some crazy shit like “I’m high on Susan Monti” because…well, frankly I would be.  I always like to joke and be sarcastic though, and having the world as my audience would probably fuel my fire beyond description.  Being obnoxious is fun, but us regular folks can’t get away with it the way a celebrity can.  Money really is a God.  With money comes freedom, power, immediate gratification, and so many things us regular folks can’t acquire.  I’m sure having millions upon millions of dollars is quite the high in itself and spending it any way you like is probably pretty addictive.

I’m only human.  I’m enjoying the Charlie Sheen show just as much as everyone else.  I’m in no position to judge anyone, especially if I’ve never been ‘in their shoes’.  I can say, in my current pair of shoes, what I’d do if I were worth millions and it would be sharing with everyone I love, traveling, raising awareness on the causes that matter most to me and donating to them, and more of that kind of stuff.  And, of course, having a good time all the time.  I can also honestly say, I’ve never wanted to be a celebrity.  Truly.  Now, of course I’d like to be rich but there’s only so much money you can spend in a lifetime and even though it can buy a lot of fabulous stuff, it can never buy true love.  I would be happy if I was in a financial position where I and those I love would never have to do without anything we needed.  My dream has always been to write a best seller and be known for that.  When that happens, then I will be winning.

Anyway, in all of my recent viewings of Charlie’s chattering I have to say my favorite quote is “People misinterpret my passion for anger”. Oh come on, who hasn’t felt that way?


Have a great Saturday night everyone & be as obnoxious as you can afford to be

The man with the horn

14 04 2010

Miles Davis played a crucial and major role in the development of jazz music since the 40’s.  He was the most famous jazz musician of his era as well as an outspoken critic and moderator of style in not only music but also attitude and fashion.  Davis was raised in an upper-middle-class African American home in St. Louis, Missouri and at the young age of 15 began playing trumpet semi-professionally with jazz bands in the area.  His father was so impressed, that he later sent young Miles to New York’s Julliard School of Music.  Shortly after his arrival in New York, Davis sought out a prominent role in the bebop movement playing in a quintet on the Savoy Sessions.  He dropped out of Julliard and played with notable jazz musicians including Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus.

Though Davis was not a virtuoso, he made up for his technical limitations through his strengths in ensemble for sound, unique phrasing, and a haunting, distinctive tone.  In the next few years, he would move away from the bebop sound and become more introspective.  This becomes clear on his 1949 release “Birth of the Cool”  when he advances from Savoy to Capitol recording.  Not only was his music transforming, but also his lifestyle.  Davis, like many jazz musicians, was lured into heroin use during this period.  During the next 10 years, Davis would release a total of 29 popular records including  “Porgy and Bess” and one of his more favored albums  “Kind of Blue”.  Fans and critics consider “Kind of Blue” as a definitive recording for this period of Davis’ life due to it’s great simplicity with chords as the basis for improvisation if favor of modal scales and tone centers.

During the next decade, Davis would join forces with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Geroge Benson (among other great musicians).  Davis would prove to be as influential to the 60’s jazz movement as he was to the 50’s.  He would continue to battle heroin addiction throughout the decade, but unlike his famous jazz counterparts who lost the battle (such as Charlie Parker and Billie Holliday) Davis would not battle the inner demons that seemed to go hand in hand with the addiction.  To define his addiction as a battle is almost blasphemous compared to most, but in fact more of a pass time used for inspiration in the case of Miles Davis.  By definition, Davis was only truly an addict for about 4-5 years of his 50 year career.  In the 60’s, Davis would release 12 more recordings closing the decade with his most historical recording,  “Bitches Brew”(my personal favorite), a two-LP set that would sell over 400,000 copies.  “Bitches Brew” is a reflection of Davis changing, recovering from the heroin period that he and fellow musicians were a part of … returning from one mental journey and moving into the next.  It was a retrospective album offering what can only be described is the most unique jazz album in the history of jazz.  A superb album for any music collector, and a must have.

To me, “Bitches Brew” is a stand alone record.  It seems to almost generate anxiety in some of the tone, stirring ones emotions deeply.  Yet, as intense as it is, it is equally beautiful.  Recorded in the era of artists like Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone on the rise, Davis incorporates what became known as fusion into this record.  He set out to meld rock/funk with cutting-edge studio effects to create a music of hauntingly original vision.  The music has no boundaries and a flow that is entrancing to say the least.  It’s refreshing and a complete pleasure to listen to.  For me, it sets a tone that relaxes me yet uplifts me at the same time.  I wish there were words to better portray this to you, but I recommend you see for yourself!

Following the release of “Bitches Brew”, Miles Davis finally accomplished a rock star level status with a huge following packing concert halls worldwide.  Due to the celebrity of Davis and his touring band, jazz rock fusion became a dominant new music genre.

In 1972, Davis was in a car accident that resulted in both of his legs being broken and marked the beginning of his growing reclusiveness.  During the 70’s he would release only 7 recordings, after 2 decades of working non-stop to record year round and pumping out numerous releases.  The recordings following his accident would offer reflections of “Bitches Brew” yet nothing truly comparable.

In the 80’s Davis’ music took a more commercial turn where he would experiment with hip-hop and also record music written by popular 80’s pop acts such as Cyndi Lauper and Scritti Politti.  Critics and fans felt the new stylings of Miles Davis were lukewarm at best, but he continued to surround himself with the young and upcoming artists of that era.  After a 30 year tenure with Columbia, in 1986 Davis switched to Warner Brothers and released “Tutu” (his 5th album release in the 80’s), which harkened back to his experimental sounds of the late 60’s but was once again unaccepted among critics.  Following “Tutu”, Davis would release 8 more recordings (2 live) before his death in 1991.

In 2006, Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Though, Davis was never considered a rock musician, his contribution to music history (which included heavy influence to rock & roll) earned him the induction.  An intricate piece to that honor was, of course, “Bitches Brew” which was highly acclaimed among the rock audience as well as jazz, funk and R&B.  However, that is but a small part of Davis’ legacy.

“The way you change and help music is by tryin’ to invent new ways to play.”
-Miles Davis

Up in the air

31 03 2010

As a child, I used to always refer to clouds as “mashed potatoes in the sky” because that’s how they looked to me.  As I type this, I’m flying above the mashed potatoes and I have to say they really still look like that to me.  But what a beautiful sight they are!  Back in those days of lying on the ground with my mother, dreaming up shapes together as we gazed up at the clouds I never would’ve dreamed it possible to be looking down on them.  That seems like such a long time ago, and then it seems like yesterday.  Now I’ve flown over them many times.

Flying is not really special to me.  I’d trade it to be lying on the ground imagining with my mother any day.  But it’s an easy way to get from point a to point b I suppose.  One of the main things I don’t like about flying is the fact that I feel like my ears are going to burst out of my skull.  Today, surprisingly, I didn’t experience this discomfort… which is shocking and the first time I haven’t faced this issue.

I’m flying to Houston for business.  In some ways I’m excited and in others not.  The learning experience is a positive thing, but I guess I get homesick pretty easily.  I’ll be locked up in a hotel without transportation when not in class.  Maybe not homesick as much as bored really, as it’s a short trip.

Work has provided me with this lap top I’m using, of course the internet access is blocked.  So, basically I can type this, save it and post it someday.  In a way I’m just typing to pass the time as I travel from a to b.  When I’m not typing I’m staring out the window at mashed potatoes and getting hungry.  My Dad makes the best mashed potatoes on Earth! I wish I had some right now.  Instead I get a bag of 10 pretzels and an ounce of juice, or so it all seems anyway.  If I don’t type or stare out the window I get to look at the skymall catalog and see all the things I’ve always wanted and needed and never knew existed until I find them there.  Such amazing items in skymall.  Usually, after about 15 minutes of browsing I get frustrated because I can’t afford any of it.  Seems like everything I’ve always wanted and needed but never knew existed is very expensive.  Go figure.

The lady next to me is downing vodka.  I’m way too chicken to drink on a flight.  It’s not the flying part, it’s the airport.  I can get lost in my neighborhood… so I have to be 101% in an airport.  Airports really stress me out.  They’re loud and crowded and confusing and stressful.  Thank God I don’t have a layover on this flight.  I paid $200 extra to avoid it.  Actually, my company paid $200 extra so I can avoid it.  I hope they don’t mind.

Well, there’s only about 30 minutes left on this flight.  I hope it goes quickly.  We’re at 36,000 feet.  My head is starting to ache.  I’ll take this brief moment to tell you another flight tale before I close… enjoy…

It was March of ’97.  I was traveling to Savannah, Georgia to visit a friend in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s a pretty big deal out there.  It was a small passenger jet, rather old and somewhat rickety, but I wasn’t concerned.  I’ve flown on worse, and I know when it’s my time … well, then it will just be my time.  So, I don’t really sweat flying too much.  We had boarded the semi-crowded plane.  It wasn’t packed, but somewhat stuffy because it was so small.  I was comfortably nestled in my seat beside the window … well, as comfortable as one can get on a plane anyway.  I was gazing out on the runway, ready for action.

The plane was still boarding, slowly.  My new neighbor was guided to the seat beside me.  He was nervous and sweating.  He wore a plaid button down shirt, half tucked in and half out … slightly sloppy … with oversized kahki polyesther slacks.  He had on very thick glasses that he was persistently pushing up his sweaty nose, sort of like a nervous habit.  His salt and pepper hair looked as though it needed a good washing.  He carried an old brief case and a thick paperback novel.  He sat on the aisle seat, placing his briefcase on the seat between us.  I nodded and then looked back to the runway, with this gut feeling that making conversation would be a huge mistake.  He fastened and un-fastened his seatbelt a number of times.  The plane was still boarding.  You know the process, you sit on a plane for a good 30 minutes before they even begin the spill about safety and such.  I glanced over at my nervous neighbor uncontrollably.  He was cracking open his novel with an intent expression.  “Good,” I thought to myself, “He doesn’t want to make conversation either.”  I watched him, even though I didn’t want to … I just couldn’t resist it.  He led his fingertip across each line of the novel at the speed of light, as if he was reading in fast forward.  He had completed the novel before the plane had even finished boarding.  “Interesting,” I thought to myself and gazed back out to the runway.  I’m not one to judge, but it quickly occurred to me I was sitting beside a real basket case.  For a moment he rocked back and fourth in his seat, he picked up the novel then placed it back on the seat between us on top of the brief case.  He pushed his glasses up his nose a couple of times as he stared down at his belongings.  I continued to fight the urge to watch this man, but I just couldn’t resist I tell you! I suppose 20 minutes had passed.  20 minutes since I had boarded the plane, acquired this neighbor, and watched him read a complete novel.

And then it happened … he carefully pulled the brief case from the seat and meticulously placed the novel back in it’s place between us.  I was, of course, dying to know what contents were in this briefcase.  I pretended not to care, shuffling through my purse but with my eyes cut to the right so that I could spy on his personal property.  (Get ready for this because you are not going to believe me, but…) When he opened his brief case it revealed 2 ziplock bags and some packages of mayonnaise … and this was the ONLY contents!  I kid you not! One ziplock held a single slice of bologna and the other held 2 slices of white bread.  So, my neighbor proceeded to make a sandwich as the final passengers boarded the plane and the safety show began.  As the stewardess explained seat belts, gas masks and emergency exits my neighbor shoveled down his sandwich even faster than he could read a novel.  The only thing he was able to do faster than eat that sandwich was, of course, puking it out all over the seat between us.  Yes, that’s right … he didn’t opt for the courtesy barf bag so delicately placed in the seat pocket in front of him … he chose to spew out a hardly digested bologna sandwich right between us.

“Prepare for takeoff” is announced.  I call to the stewardess and point at the disgusting mess beside me.  “Excuse me,” I plead, “Can I move to another seat?” She shakes her head with a thoughtful smile and leads me to another seat before take off.