Archive for May, 2010


I’ve been thinking about a few people lately. Not that I don’t always think about many people, but the ones on my mind a lot for the past two weeks or so are radio legend Hal Jackson (I was his like, “valet”,  briefly in 1984 while working at his radio station, WBLS-FM), the approaching anniversary of a former lady friend suddenly dumping me last June 12th, and Chaka Khan.  Listening to an old diary tape from when I went to the Blue Note, New York City, in 1992 to do an interview with her. I pen another chapter to my memoir; I came upon this song, which she performed during her set.  I never really knew the name of this funky classic until today when I researched it. Although I own copious vinyl from those days (it might be I have it only on a 45rpm!), I  have decided to post it as a “feel-good” Chaka mini-concert to take you away. Envision it happening in the spacious yard behind the house, as you and I try to forget the everyday cares of trying to “make it” for the vacation you are going to be on. 
I think that with the natural disasters, man-made disasters and financial strains of the day, everyone is ready for a “time-out” via this Memorial Day Weekend and going forward.  Just escape – one way or the other.  Here’s to your grillin’ and not being rained-out, wherever you are. 
Enjoy this performance by my friend, Ms. Khan and my Juneteenth pick-hitt, with love.

(find out how that interview went when my  radio memoir book is published – hopefully soon – and more.) Cheers.

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Allow me to introduce you to my “Town Car” :       You cannot find another picture of one like it on “google” – I tried – found it was a Pierce Arrow “limited edition”  via “ask.com”, back when it was my best Christmas present of all times at age sixteen! Who knew?? (surely not my parents!) It was only rivaled by the Schwinn “Continental” at the time.  I’ve upgraded many parts since I got it and it still is always there willing to give me a ride whenever I want to – which is more than I can say for some people I know! I’m glad I picked it. I always hear excuses from friends, acquaintances and associates about why this or that physical activity “isn’t for [them]” as they continue to bemoan their weight gains.  No need to argue about that; to each his or her own.  Recently was “National Ride Your Bike To Work Day” or some such nonsense.  I still want to know who is the official designator of National Days.  Is there such a commissioner?  I want that gig! LOL     There are many ways to keep in-shape.  Riding your bicycle doesn’t require you to wait for somebody else to join you in order to do it, the equipment is relatively cheap after the initial investment as long as you maintain it and keep it clean, save an occasional flat tire or inner tube replacement and the fashions, with mandatory helmet and gloves/pads available can make you look stylish and be comfortable – if a man, especially in the groin area – while doing a fun activity at ground-level and covering the cardio/aerobic/muscle strengthening aspects of your workouts. If you have Asthma, it is great for your lungs! As cycling goes, so does life. You’ve got to grind up hills steadily. Remember to “get the negative”. Meaning let the up-stroke pull as the down-stroke pushes, In order to get into a rhythm. Then soon you will spy the crest; Not as obvious as in life, When you get there the reward begins. Enjoy the coast, which can be such a mph rush; Hold on tight, tuck down for less wind resistance, Feel the daredevil in you. Next, pray for a flat stretch soon, knowing that other hills are just around the bend; Allowing you to once again practice grinding up all over again. I rode my bike l-o-n-g today; Maybe the longest this year. Weekend rains in succession, Curtailing my weekly riding sessions. Bringing my total miles fewer than last year. I could hardly walk after the cool-down and shower! Cranky “hammies”* the problem; Getting out of my car in the Kroger parking lot, I just walked s-l-o-w-l-y towards the store; Old-man style like a late-fiftysomething cyclist slightly out of practice. I shocked them for sure although I know that they enjoyed the ride. Seeing things from the 10-speed perspective is up-close. A slow grind up some hills is the challenge as in life; The reward is those speedy down hills on the other side when things go well. So keep riding, and keep grinding to your health mentally and physically. Hey! You did it as a child without thinking about it; Why shouldn’t you continue to do it as an adult?  Don’t wait for anybody but yourself!

*the hamstring muscle located on the back of your thigh. return to cycling ride

Pickhitt: April 12, 2015 after almost three years due the unsettlement of my life and homelessness, I just completed my first, short return to cycling ride.  Refreshing and reassuring physically and mentally.  Thanks to Phil, the former NYC Fireman, for the encouragement!

One of the “baaddest” slow jams I ever heard Frankie Crocker introduce on WBLS-FM radio through the years of the “hey-day” of Urban radio whe the mix was superb and the tempos changed succinctly. This is a late-spring (or whenever you play it for your betrothed) “Valentine” song.

“Tonight’s the night we will share, turn off the lights come close to me,Tell me I’m all,  you’ll ever need…”
Major Props to Kieth Washington – whatever happened to him? Maybe all of those women at the end of this video kidnapped him and made him their slave “and he was never heard from again…” ? lol
Comment and tell me.

’nuff Said.

In my next life,

If there IS such a thing,

I want to be a Pimp!

I’ve seemingly screwed THIS life up so far, though not as bad off as some;

So I might as well get paid for others to screw the next go round,

That is if I don’t come back as a FISH.

In my next life, I want to be a Pimp.

Funny word: “pimp”

One of those that kinda sounds like what it IS;

“Pump” is like that;

“Pump that Hoe, baby!” LOL

OK, back to my next life as a Pimp…

I could slap the Hoes around,

They would get me free “get high” on-demand,

Of course, if I wanted to sex the most beautiful one,

I could do that too anytime, and keep her with natural teeth as the finest in my harem.

They would even then have to still pay ME for the personal favor!

In my next life I want to be a Pimp;

Because maybe I’d own a Cadillac;

Most likely a Lincoln Continental Mark whatever though.

ebay_172250823045_1

My wardrobe would be Superfly!  super

Only rivaled by those of Drag Queens’.

I’d talk smooth smack to “da Man” too.

If busted, be bailed-out by my Honeys in no time;

Struttin’ out and proud of my “record” as a Pimp.

 In my next life, I’m gonna be a Pimp!

Ahh, who am I fooling?

I’d probably be too nice a pimp,

Like I am “too nice” in this life so far.

The bitches and Hoes would likely slap ME around!

They’d take their money back,

Or never even fork-it-over in the first place!

Giving me a lot of sassy lip in the process.

The drugs they’d give me would be so stepped-on,

I would only get a toxic buzz.

While under the influence, their boyfriends would steal my Pimpmobile,

And the transvestites likely would rob my “vines” ahead of the next Drag Show.

rupaul-10-dollar-bill

 But it still might be more fun than this life currently that I live. 

At least temporarily I would roll in mucho dough, if in my next life I am a Pimp.

More unabated oil in Gulf [these modern-day oil barons “have gotten away with too much for too long” a colleague told me yesterday]; a future “ocean” without fish, edible or otherwise, long time air pollution which led to changes in our climates; too many gadgets and devices leading to  less sleep and increased distraction (especially while driving our vehicles – people who “text” while driving are road hazards no matter how “good” you think you are) and slower reactions to what is basic and true to our interpersonal relationships and species as a whole.   All of this makes me want to write traditional letters on PAPER even more and opt out of Facebook (it is useless, ISFAICS).  I still value my LAND line more that the mobile celly device. We were a better ilk without all of this “instant communication” and until we can scramble and unscramble our bodily molecules in order to transport ourselves aka the Star Trek “transporter room”, I’m feeling it all less and less.

Human technology enthusiasts and inventors are increasingly advancing the Robots and machines who will make Man obsolete by the next century at this rate. Convenience is ONE thing, Big Brother intrusion is totally another.  “Sheepole” is a phrase I read the other day on The Scholarly Kitchen’s blog comment page, 17

and describes those among us who just follow blindly every trend, fad or gadget like the zombies in “Night Of The Living Dead”.  “A ‘fembot’ might be nice,” I think to myself on these lonely bachelor nights, “but I worry that ‘it’s’ robotic vagina might short-circuit and trap my real penis in a love-lock that I might have to call the electronic EMS to embarrassingly extricate my chewed member from!”

I’m glad I didn’t become the classroom teacher I thought I’d be while in college, because I’d want to punch a kid’s lights out if another cell phone went off while I’m trying to articulate the cleverness of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  Yes I’ve heard all the arguments by (especially) mothers who now can keep in  constant contact with their young uns, but I always come back the “one” : didn’t my generation and those prior to survive without an electronic leash pressed to the ear?  I offer that we became more independent and stronger for the lack thereof as well – but nobody wants to hear that, it is all about convenience, convenience, convenience!!  And these modern parents still  worry about them just as much if not  more because of the play-by-play factor, so what is the advantage? Arrggh!  In yester year, some things were better left to play themselves out unbeknownst to our parents when we got home.  C’mon, I know you can “testify!”

I am increasingly having that “this the beginning of the end of the world” conversation with people.  Have you had it?  If not, well I am glad you stopped-by for a wake-up call as at the rate things are desintergrating both naturally and having been advanced by “man”, I doubt things will be tolerable for Human Beings one-hundred years from now, few real people outside of government and chilly corporations will have jobs, making me glad I will not be around for the torture – I  already am allergic to enough stuff as it IS!  I could continue, but not now; why beat a dead transistor…or circuit board…or whatever they used yesterday before it became obsolete and  smaller today, to death?

 pickhitt: Relationships are still better enhanced by telephone communication rather than emails whether the distance is short or long; I will admit that Skype makes me feel like one of The Jetsons and is a great “next best thing to being there” innovation. D-Uh??

Bet our old friend, Amoco, wishes they never sold out to British Petroleum now! LOL I just came across this and must share it with you my beloved reader wherever you are.  I grew up watching this show on (I think) New York City’s  CBS television station, Channel 2.   Thinking about the oil gushing recklessly from the bed of the Gulf of Mexico going on almost a month, I keep thinking that now is when we need a “Superman” because as the old TV show and comic strip would announce, “This is a job for Superman!”  he could fly down to the bottom and fuse the oil geyser with his super strength.  I lieu of that, we could use Lloyd Bridges in his role as the scuba diving “Mike Nelson” to take on the task…or not.  It’s probably too deep for such a mission.

First the unforgettable and dynamic theme intro/close:

Ha Ha Haaa! We can’t even GET that type of  ‘”innocent” musical drama  as a theme song anymore on television!  Sea Hunt is classic TV, and so when you watch a Beau Bridges or Oscar-winning Jeff Bridges movie these days, please know that their Pops, Lloyd Bridges, is the one who trained them into greatness insofar as we mortals know.

And now a clip from the show that reminds me of someone I love, especially when she asks, “What U doing?” as she would text me out of the blue sometimes, much to my delight. (Exotic-tongued foreign women always omit the present indicative when speaking English) LOL

Pickhitt: Here’s to fantasy/reality, and of course I am being very facetious about this unbelievable environmental disaster.  In times like this…we need a superhero, or at least the memories of a simpler time when we could read paper comic books about them saving the world from the ruthlessly greedy barons.

LenaHorne-SongsByBurkeVanHeusen.jpg image by millerwindy

I figure since there is such a plethora of Lena Horne posts, that I will chime-in  to drop science on how I came to know Lena after my Dad won her albums as part of an RCA Records collection and “brand new RCA COLOR TV” ( back when they had vacuum tubes inside) on “The Price Is Right” back in 1962.  Therefore, I offer you some friendly cheerfulness via my vinyl Lena Horne tribute.  Here is an album cover that is amongst the ones he won. 

 My Aunts and Uncles’ conversations at family gatherings, always mentioned that Lena was “passing” [for a white woman] sometimes [ light-skinned blacks did that back then to gain acceptance in the general market ] and yet, there was a grudging respect and envy of her by my Aunts, especially.  According to Lena’s daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, her mother never tried to do that, but was often a frustrated forerunner of the movement to equality as she tried to navigate her career while staying true to herself and the mentoring of Paul Robeson.  My most recent memory is when she shook my hand and autographed my program for the 1994 Impact Radio Music Convention in Atlantic City shortly after she was on the dais introducing radio icon Hal Jackson at the radio Legends Dinner – in fact I have her lovely voice on one of my “on-location diary” tapes from that evening.  I promptly gave that autographed piece to my Mum – who doesn’t really know where it is now – and which most likely was destroyed in a house fire back there where I grew up,  in 2000.   Here is another my Dad won in the collection:

 Nevertheless, I was Sooo surprised and thrilled to meet and talk to her garcious presence one-on-one as if she was a member of the family,  on my older family’s behalf that evening at the convention!

Annd here’s another cover of a great Lena album my family has:

Ms. Horne was always a beautiful and classy lady and performer/advocate for civil rights and equality for Black Americans when there was none and even  she  was ushered through the back door to perform in front of predominately Caucasian audiences.  I am glad it outraged her, inspiring her to achieve change, and current “stars” like Whitney Houston (who I used to admire with a crush) would serve themselves well to mold their images in Lena’s likeness.  Here is her house which still stands near my parents’ house in St. Albans, Queens :

And so NOW…again, “for something completely different” and upon whose beautiful and progressive shoulders many performers who are “darker than blue” stand …I reviewed Heather Johnson‘s CD  for the dance music web column several weeks back, and it is my Mid-May 2010 gift to you, on behalf of Ms. Horne. 

I always know a smash when after reviewing it, I keep playing it weeks and months later while outside on my front porch in “chill/research/study mode”. 

You’ll probably come back to this track a few times until you are hooked – it’s alright; it is infectious!  “May I have this dance?”

Whether you are old enough to  recall the day the Fab Four touched-down at the newly named John F. Kennedy airport in Queens, New York City (in glorious black and white TV) on their way to The Ed Sullivan Theater

or joined, as I was mid-set while watching this band, by a kid half-my age who was totally into them or not, you will awesomely dig “FAB”!

It was a rainy night in “[Georgia – Brook Benton]” aka this time,  Nashville, as record-breaking (pun INtended, lol) flood waters accumulated nearby, unbeknownst to we who were about to be taken back through the time tunnel by FAB, an aggregation who succinctly sings the Beatles catalog. By the time it was over, some might have indeed needed a “Yellow Submarine” to get back home safely!

            They begin with a precise Ed Sullivan  introduction on pre-recorded audio, and then “Bam!” right into “All My Lovin’.”    As I peeked over my shoulder at the TV that showed flooded interstate highways and unmoored schoolhouse trailers floating upon it, all in attendance were enthralled with the accuracy with which FAB authentically represented the former Quarrymen’s catalog of hit music.

They deftly segued between short tunes like “From Me To You”, a very authentic-sounding  “Thank You Girl”; “Get Back” featuring drummer Tim Buppert singing while he precisely plays the skins, as we wondered at the bar, “how does he DO that??”  Mark, sitting next to me commented, “Tim is Nashville’s Phil Collins” LOL

From that they jumped into  into “Taxman” (the new anthem of the Tea Party movement, by the way), “Help!”, and “Paperback Writer” (me – thanks!)  Impressive energy in that most of The Beatles hits were less than three-minutes long, and FAB kept them comin’!

The venue, Third and Lindsley, is very  intimate and multi-leveled; the band played underneath a cozy overhead fan to loving catcalls from the mostly female mezzanine, and those of us down front on the main level.  It is very interesting covering “cover bands” especially when they are so tight as FAB is and damn GOOD!  Heretofore I would not have used the term “cover band”, but it seems to be acceptable here in Nashville amongst the musical performance crowd – to me they are just a group  recreating The Beatles hits to the max, all in the exact same key, with every quirky note down pat.  This was especially true for Alison Prestwood, the lady version of Paul McCartney ( maybe channeling “Linda”?) on bass.  In-fact, I was so very impressed that the guitar she played looked just like Paul’s!  Alison chimed-in precisely on time, every time. Major Kudos to her stage presence and showwomanship making the fabulous FAB Four now = five! LOL

There were plenty of sing along moments this night as they moved through the whole ‘Hard Day’s Night” album down to the last precise chord and vocal, into and instrumental bridge that led us to “today its you Birthday!”; “Eleanor Rigby” which held a special significant personal moment since that is my former “Back To The USSR” g/f’s name and my secret nickname for her. That was also was a jam-boogie episode for the audience, and it was about that time that I again detected the ambiance and din of 3rd & Lindsley amidst the irony of the wierd weather updates on the bar tele over my right shoulder. 

A particularly cool intro was when they paused let the audience know that a “BMW had its lights on in the parking lot” and then segued right into “(baby you can) Drive My Car (beep, beep, Yeah!)”.  Yes, intentional or not, I caught that!! LOL

The FAB are: Ted Hewett on lead guitar, John Foster on rhythm guitar, Bill Roberts on keyboards, David Kent using all the little percussive tools, including tambourine and wooden hand-clap blocks and “loud sticks” on their rendition of “Revolution” that evolved the Beatles’ sound and on vocals;  the aforementioned Alison Prestwood impersonating succinctly Paul McCartney, and of course Tim Buppert on the “kit’ and vocals.  I played a little game, trying to imagine which of these players fashioned themselves as which particular Beatle member.  I came up with the equation that it takes at least three of these cats to sound like one John Lennon at times, especially on the classic “All We Need Is Love”, and it works.

Throughout it was obvious that the assemblage was having fun doing what they do, and they made me miss my drum kit and trumpet that I sold and trashed in favor of playing turntables over time, as well as tossing my original Capitol Records Beatle 45rpms from the mid-sixties  during our militant  “f-the white-boy music” phase.  [A totally different post]. FAB isn’t just another band playing Beatles’ music, they recreate it, appropriately-timed cowbells and all!

Meanwhile, a lady at the bar tried to “Cougar” me thinking I was younger than she is. “Psyche!!” LOL   I  just “Saw Her Standing There” (blocking my view) while taking notes for this write-up and since FAB never played “Please Please Me”, there was no deal to be struck. “Whew!”

Their only lame moment this night was on the finale, “She Loves You”, I guess because they expended so much energy on all of the previous songs.  My only disappointment was that they didn’t perform my all-time Beatle fave and the first 45rpm I ever bought by the Beatles,  “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.

So, “Do you Want To Know A Secret”? I hope that you get to enjoy and relive the magic with FAB very soon at a music venue near your place to free yourself of any “Misery”.

Alright…that was amusing, but now it’s time to stop.  Not funny now;  It doesn’t need to rain anymore until JUNE ( and  that may be too soon) in the center of Tennessee; whoever you are, stop doing your rain dance; bring back the drought! LOL  Just when I had transplanted my tomato plant seedlings from the indoor pot to my outdoor planter “box” as my former g/f used to call it, here comes precipitation like I’ve never seen since I’ve visited Nashville during the past decade – or anywhere for that matter – to probably wash them away. “Nice.”  It was like, “can it rain any harder?”  The answer was “Yes!, Gladly!” from Mother Nature. 

 Good thing I stay atop a hill!  Drove down to get supplies last night, turned right and noticed what I thought was a traffic accident at first.  As I drove closer to my next left turn,  there just past the “fairgrounds” a big swimming pool had formed with cars in it.  In nine years, never seen  that  before.  At just over a mile from our driveway, there was debris in the street near the Coca Cola plant and we were diverted into Berry Hill via detour.  It looked like bricks or cement chunks were in the roadway or may that little bridge over the usually trickling creek had somehow come undone.  No tall building from which “bricks” could fall there.  Today, coming over the tracks from the other direction, that dip in the road was now a swimming pool as well…with a police car standing vigil over a car that had traversed too far into it and now I could only see its hood.  Even Kroger was closed on Sunday!!  Kroger only closes on Christmas, and maybe one other holiday in the Autumn, if then!! And even the tobacco/beer/lottery stores manned by the Middle Eastern guys were shuttered, and they are open ALL the time!

Here is a link to a collage of flood photos downtown, only three miles north of where I stay:  http://nashville.bizjournals.com/nashville/afterhours/12531.html?b=1272254400

I saw telephone poles that had snapped and trees down.  The local electric company crews were out and about; very few “civilian” drivers were.  Every dip in the road is now a basin of H2O.  I was up pretty late last (Saturday) night, but must have dreamt through the windy histrionics.  “Was there a small tornado?” I thought, as I drove past the cemetary parallel to the interstate 440.  My condolences to those related to any who perished during this weather, and it was reall “smart” of that eighteen wheeler driver to plow through the flooded highway and create a “wake” of waves that made those stranded cars – some with people in them – bob up and down like little buoys or toy cars in the bathtub.  Geez…

Until a week ago I DJ’d at a bar right next to this place in the video above!  Jah love for true!!

The only benefit of all this flooding was that those nuisance  freight trains apparently stopped running Saturday night into all the day Sunday, May 2, 2010 and that sound we didn’t hear was the sweetest music our ears could not hear – no rumbling, shaking, heavy crashing sounds or morosely moaning/wailing horns at the crossings as I guess it even flooded down in the railroad track gully!  That’s what they get for not having passenger rail service in Nashville, so there CSX!   Maybe Nashville has sunk a bit over the past decade – or nature is getting more and more extreme due to the changes that humans have caused to the atmosphere and climates.  Good thing my Parisian landscaper, “Moe De Lawn” visited before sunset Friday afternoon – I’m sure he is still stuck in “the middle” and will be needed again by the week’s end.  “Mayday” indeed.  As I write this, it is errily still and saturated outside…no wind…just the still of the soggy Nashville night.

I was a Cub and a Boy Scout.  Troop 109,  in the mid 1960s.  I saw on NBC where the Boy Scouts of today are offering a merit “belt loop”(or whatever they changed the name of a merit badge  to) in Video Games.

So  before I go and choose-up a game of Major League Baseball or Derek Jeter Baseball on my old Playstation 2, I wanted to point out the pros and cons of this latest update to Scouting tradition, and possibly the end of boyhood as I knew it, here we go:

PRO: “a video games merit accomplishment is riding a trend that is real for the kids of today; Giving more skill in things you like to do; to give a Scout a chance to try out new activities, so that you can find new things you really like…

Con: Increases “tenderfootedness”; Bad for the legacy of Scouting as being something you do out of doors; learning how to tie various knots; camping in tents without electricity (which I think everybody should experience); marching in the Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day parades in uniform with your troop or “den”; showing-off your uniform to the neighborhood; learning how to play an instrument so that you can play it in the parade; the scouting Handbook – which will have to be rewritten with a video gaming chapter right after the “Merit Badge Program Chapter 24” In my handbook.

CubScoutUniform

While talking with my Mum on the tele about her church, she commented about how the congregation has changed with the neighborhood’s demographics, and mentioned how when she brought me to join the Cub Scout troop, the other mothers “took it down to the basement” LOL  In other words, they didn’t want to integrate the troop.  Being that as it was, and that is a totally different post,  it reminded me that the church was the home base for our Scouting troop back in the days , which I had forgotten.

My core says this is yet another example of the “dumbing-down of America”, and maybe a visit to the Merit Badge Counselor (page 421 of my Handbook) is in order.

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