Sunday, June 30, 2013

Birthday Blog 2013

It's my birthday today.  I'm 61 years old.  I worked a rock & roll show today, serving as a roadie for Colin Gawel & The Lonely Bones, my good friend Colin's side-project band when Watershed is not taking the stage.  The appearance was at Comfest, a local Columbus hippie fete, that I have been attending since its inception in 1972.  In some capacity - roadie, performer, stage manager, etc. - I have participated in Comfest since 1978 when I first helped Romantic Noise bassist Greg Glasgow onto the stage after a forklift driver ran over his foot at his warehouse temp job the day before the gig.  (Ah, the glamorous rock & roll lifestyle.)

But that's not what this blog entry is about.

This blog entry is about my dad, traveling, hotels and growing old with rock & roll.

My dad was the greatest person I have ever known.  He died of a heart attack at the age of 56 when I was 17 years old, in April of my senior year of high school.  I myself am on my second cardiac pacemaker and have so far outlived him by five years, but only with the bonus benefits of technology.

My father gave me my whole world.  When I was 13 years old in 1965, dad started to get me into the rock & roll shows he worked as a ticket agent for Central Ticket Office, an early forerunner of what Ticket Master would become.  It was my father's nighttime job after his main occupation at Columbia Gas of Ohio.  My mom and dad both worked two jobs.  They were children of The Great Depression and carried to their graves a legacy and a fear of not knowing where their next dollar was coming from.

Dad saw how interested I was in rock & roll and started bringing me along with him to shows at Veteran's Memorial or the Lausche Building on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.  I was an incredibly shy, introverted child and I think the fact that I was willing to leave the shelter/womb of our house on the West Side to see a rock & roll show heartened my dad so much he'd have brought/driven/conveyed me anywhere, let alone the three or four miles it was from home to Vet's Memorial.

At first it was package shows like The Turtles with Neil Diamond and Every Mother's Son ("Come On Down To My Boat") opening; or Paul Revere & The Raiders with The Standells and Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs.  But then, as The Sixties got into full swing I saw Bob Dylan's first electric tour with The Band (when they were still called The Crackers), The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin & the Full-Tilt Boogie Band, Cream and, most crucially, The Who on November 1st, 1969.  (sidenote: Not one of those shows sold out the 3000-seat Veteran's Memorial.  Dad would bring me to the show, wait for the opening acts to start, then pull me a single unsold seat somewhere.  Advance sales to The Who show in 1969 were so slow that dad pulled me FOUR SEATS; one each for my best friend and our dates, a date I almost certainly would never have had but for the grace of my dad and of the rock & roll.)  (Tickets for that Who show, by the way, were $3.50.) 

Those shows, and rock & roll in general, quite literally gave me a reason for living.  (see blog entry The Bathtub, January 13th, 2012.)

Dad gave me other stuff: he instilled in me a love of traveling.  In 1962, when I was 10, a coupla years before The Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and Changed Everything, dad had started to take my older brother and I to Cleveland Browns football games.  This was in the Browns' heyday, when fullback Jim Brown was a true star of the National Football League and the Super Bowl hadn't been invented yet.  We would stay at the Sheraton Gibson Hotel right off Fountain Square.  The Sheraton Gibson, and hotels in general, became MAGICAL to me.  You could LIE IN BED and watch television.  You could TAKE SHOWERS.  (Our bathroom at home sported only a claw-foot bathtub.)  You could look out the 20th floor window and see all the lights of the city spread out under you.  I felt like a king.  (sidenote: When Pete Townshend's first solo album, Who Came First, was released in 1972 with a track called "Sheraton Gibson" I was BEYOND THRILLED that I had once occupied the same building, the same square footage, as my Number One Rock Hero of that time.) 

I remember very clearly one night in 1965 on the way home from Vet's, when dad was explaining the concept of touring to me, that musicians had to be on the road all the time.  I just looked at him wide-eyed and said, "You mean all these guys do is play guitars & drums in a different city every night and stay in hotels in between?"  I was incredulous.  I was dumbstruck.  Dad couldn't have possibly realized what he had just done.  He might just as well have stamped Unfit For A Normal Job Of Any Kind across my 13 year old forehead right at that very moment.

My dad never got to travel much; those trips to Cleveland, our family summer vacations to the likes of Cedar Point Amusement Park in Upper Sandusky, an annual autumn trip to South Bend, Indiana, to see a Notre Dame football game with his Columbia Gas buddies.  One time when I was 12 he took my sister and I to Florida.  It was my first time flying and I was so nervous I threw up on the plane.  I was such a miserable little kid.  Dad, I wish I could have been better for you.

When my father died I think I had a little nervous breakdown.  I can't really remember much of anything from April or May of that year, but by June 1970 when I graduated from Bishop Ready High School I had decided two things: 1) I was never ever going to have a job where I had to wear a suit & tie to work; and 2) I was going to travel and describe to dad all the things I saw.

It's my birthday today.  I'm 61 years old.  I accomplished the first goal by working in warehouses most of my adult life and discovering that bluejeans and a black t-shirt will get you through most days quite nicely.  On most of my vacations from work I traveled to see rock & roll bands; to Massachusetts, to Texas, to California, to a lotta points in between. 

I accomplished the second goal by becoming a rock & roll roadie in my 40's and crisscrossing the length & breadth of these United States (multiple times) with Watershed and Hamell On Trial.

Dad, you were with me every step of the way: every new sight out of every car, truck, bus, van & airplane window; every street of every city & town; every mile of every tour.  This blog is for you.  It's a happy birthday. 

© 2013 Ricki C.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The David Johansen Group "Frenchette" (Bonus Video Friday)

    (The June BVF concept is Songs You've Never Heard Before That You REALLY Need To Hear)

This is David Johansen and his first post-New York Dolls backing band, the Staten Island Boys, from German television show Musikladen, circa 1980.  (And how great was German Music Television?  If there is one thing I have learned from YouTube it is that between this and Rockpalast, the Germans made Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert look as silly & stupid as I suspected in my heart they were in their heyday.)  You are not obliged to watch the entire 27-plus minutes, but you should, it's a pretty great 27-plus minutes.  Today's required viewing is "Frenchette," starting at the 4:25 mark.  Enjoy........

inspirational verse; "Want you to come in my kitchen and not my kitchenette /
Want you to come in my dining room, not my dinette; nyet, nyet /
I can't get the kind of love, so let's just dance and I'll forget" - David Johansen, 1978

(by the way, for those of you scoring at home, that "nyet, nyet" is the greatest use
of the Russian language to express negative emotion EVER in the rock & roll idiom)

ps. Is that Watershed's mid-1990's Sony Music Corporation A&R representative Frankie LaRocka playing drums on this show?  Fuck yeah, it is.   

pps. For Ricki C.'s real-life encounter with David Johansen in 1979 at Columbus, Ohio's Agora Ballroom,  check out blog entry Exchanging Pleasantries with David Johansen, February 7th, 2012.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Robbs "Race With The Wind" (Bonus Video Friday)

(The June BVF concept is Songs You've Never Heard Before That You REALLY Need To Hear)

"Briefly; the guitars ring, the voices ache and the lyrics yearn.  The ache in the voices suggest
that the lights were never so bright as the guitars imply and that no one was
ever quite so innocent as those high harmonies might claim."
- Ariel Swartley, defining folk-rock in the Boston Phoenix, 1983

Since I was a child my favorite time of day has always been twilight.  And since I was 14 years old in 1966 there have been two genres of rock & roll - punk-rock and folk-rock - for which my love has never flagged, in which my interest has never waned.  (I guess this explains why my two favorite bands of the 21st century are The White Stripes and The Avett Brothers.)  And there's something about twilight and folk-rock that just go together in my brain.

Today's Bonus Video Friday is by The Robbs, one of countless pop & folk-rock bands that got singles out in the 1960's who never really got much radio airplay, who never had big hits.  (The liner notes to The Robbs CD say "Race With The Wind" only got to Number 103 on the Billboard Singles Chart, which begs the question, "How did I ever HEAR this song to fall in love with it as utterly as I did, and buy the single?")

I think the answer to those questions might be that the radio was just so different back then.  Songs could be massive hits in one part of the United States and totally unheard in others.  (The Nightcrawlers' "Little Black Egg" comes to mind, in that respect.)  There are hit songs as late as the 1970's that were huge hits in Ohio that my lovely wife Debbie, who grew up in suburban New Jersey, has never heard OF, let alone heard, and vice versa.  Everything about music and the radio has just become so homogenized as time goes on.

I also think The Robbs might have been featured on Where The Action Is, a Dick Clark-produced and hosted weekday television series that beamed out of California from 1965 to 1967.  I used to race home from school and sit transfixed by whoever was on that show every day of every week.  (Paul Revere & The Raiders, whom I loved beyond comprehension, were also regulars.)  (Disappointingly, I couldn't find a live version of this tune from Where The Action Is on YouTube, but then again, who would have been taping The Robbs on TV in 1966?)  (By that token, though, where do all those OTHER YouTube uploads come from?)

Anyway; as much as I loved The Dave Clark 5, The Kinks and The Who in 1966 (and I loved them A LOT), I loved bands like The Robbs, Lyme & Cybelle (of which Warren Zevon was half), and The Leaves equally as much.  I am now 60 years old.  I just might take a walk in the twilight and listen to some folk-rock tonight.

inspirational verse; "It seems like I have never known / A morning I could call my own /
A day when fate belonged to me / To command as I see fittin' /
That don't happen, but it's fun to think of / I'll race with the wind" - Dee Robb, 1966


(Following is a reprint of a blog entry from January 31st, 2012, back in the early days of
Growing Old With Rock & Roll.  I'm not running out of material, it just seemed to fit today's topic.) 

It's May 1966, I'm in eighth grade.  I’ve inherited my big sister’s transistor radio as a hand-me-down and it’s pretty much my constant companion.  (For those readers under 40, the transistor radio was the Walkman or the Discman or the iPod of its day. No headphones, though, you just had to press it up against your ear.)  It’s difficult for me to convey how shy I was at that point in time.  I was shy to the point of invisibility.  I STROVE for invisibility.  I clung to anonymity.  I was shy to the point of mental retardation.  You kinda had to be there.  I was a mess.

Anyway, during recess and lunch every day of eighth grade I would stand on the playground outside the cafeteria door with my back against the fence and listen to my transistor radio.  One fateful day a song called "Girl In Love" by an Ohio band called The Outsiders (their big hit was "Time Won’t Let Me") was playing when the four prettiest and most popular girls in my class walked by.  "Oh, I love this song!" one of them beamed, "Could you turn it up, please?" "Girl In Love" was the current slow dance favorite at the eighth grade dances at which I would blend seamlessly into the shadows of some dark corner.  (I HAD to see the bands.....)

I managed to turn the volume up and hold the radio at arm’s length while being otherwise paralyzed by this recognition of my existence.  When the song ended the girls started peppering me with questions: "Do you know who sings that song?"  "Is this your radio?"  "How much did it cost?"  "How many batteries does it take?"  "Do The Outsiders have any other songs?"  I swear to God I have no recollection of any of my answers.  I somehow managed to stammer out replies and the girls actually seemed interested in what I said.  When the interrogation (as I perceived it) was over one of them touched my arm and said, "Thanks for letting us listen, Richard."

This girl knew my name.

These girls were the four most popular girls in eighth grade.  They were true teenage royalty.  In the caste system endemic to American elementary school, probably to this day, I was one step above leper or one step below outcast, but no higher.  How could this girl possibly have known my name?  At the cafeteria door, they stopped, twirled, and one of them asked, "Will you be out here tomorrow?"  "I guess," I managed, my voice cracking.  They smiled and went into school.

That had to be the moment, the moment I made the connection.  The moment I realized that if I PLAYED music, encounters like that one could be repeated.  The moment that my universe opened up and a host of possible futures appeared on the horizon.

If I could just get a guitar.

© 2013 Ricki C.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Watershed "Suckerpunch" (Bonus Video Friday)

I'm thinking that "Suckerpunch" by local Columbus, Ohio, favorites (and my employers) Watershed neatly fits the June Bonus Video Friday Songs You've Never Heard Before That You REALLY Need To Hear concept because, other than 500 or so Superfans spread throughout the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, my hometown boys - Colin, Joe & Dave - remain largely unknown.  (You can, and in fact should, read all about it in bass player, co-lead singer & co-founder Joe Oestreich's book Hitless Wonder - A Life In Minor League Rock & Roll, published by Lyons Press - check Amazon.)

I inadvertently appear at the beginning of the video (roadies, unlike children, should ideally not be seen OR heard) because towards the end of Watershed shows Colin & Joe will occasionally take the mics way down front in order to be closer to the audience.  (When the mic cords are long enough, which on this night they were not, the guys will take the mics INTO the crowd and sing from there.)  My job is to return the mics to their original position when the bit is over and I thought that's what Colin wanted, when in fact he was just having trouble conveying to drummer Dave what the next song was supposed to be.  (By this point in Watershed shows the concept of a set list is out the window.)

Anyway, it's a cool little rock & roll video of a great little rock & roll song on a gorgeous Saturday night in the heartland.  (Our thanks go out to whoever Trainer 513 is, who recorded & posted this.  Isn't YouTube the greatest computer-related rock & roll invention ever?)

inspirational verse; "It's not what you say, it's what you DON'T say."
- Colin Gawel & Joe Oestreich, 2002

(Oh hell, let's just go for a BONUS Bonus Video Friday to give Colin equal lead singing time.)

inspirational verse; "Don't forget, they didn't knock you out /
You're just sittin' in the car, bleedin' from your mouth / But I've got a feeling, I've got a feeling /
Still got a feeling / The best is yet to come" - Colin Gawel & Joe Oestreich, 2005 

ps. There's five or six other videos posted by Trainer 513 from this 2013 Columbus Arts Festival show, all well worth watching.  Check 'em out when you've got a spare half-hour.

© 2013 Ricki C.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Love Distortion (a rock & roll novel in 12 chapters) - June

(I Love Distortion (a rock & roll novel in 12 chapters) appears monthly in
Growing Old With Rock & Roll; January to December, 2013)

I Love Distortion - chapter six 

"Well now, you can't love your wife
And your outside women's, too"
- Cream, 1968 (by way of Blind Joe Reynolds, 1929)

There were definite cinematic elements to the affair Nicole and I carried on that formed I Love Distortion.  The closest equivalent was probably that movie Valley Girl with Nicholas Cage that came out in 1983, about a punk rocker and a girl from the suburbs, except you've gotta picture the super-intelligent, brunette Amy Irving from that Richard Dreyfuss movie The Competition (1980) in Nicole's role, rather than perky blonde Deborah Foreman.  There was also a great 1978 made-for-TV movie directed by Ron Howard called Cotton Candy that pretty neatly mirrored our story.  (Cotton Candy has never come out on DVD, but I think you can check it out on YouTube.  It's pretty great.)

The most cinematic aspect of the story was that Melanie found out about Nicole and me and the affair ON OUR ANNIVERSARY.  Yes folks, exactly four years to the day we got married my wife was apparently searching through the back of my Fender Twin Reverb amplifier while I was at work (ostensibly "to try to think of something to buy me for our anniversary" as she explained later, a reasoning or story I never was able to quite work out, but couldn't exactly call her on at that moment) and found a myriad of letters & poems from Nicole.

Nicole and I had started writing to each other almost from the very beginning.  By the very nature of the relationship we really didn't talk much on the telephone, plus we both fancied ourselves poets & writers, so we wrote, ya know?  Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald had nothing on us.

The K-Mart I worked at has been out of business for decades, but if we broke in I bet I could show you the exact spot where I was standing when I caught sight of Melanie walking towards me.  She had that precise combination of livid, sad & vengeful look on her face that only the truly screwed-over can master or muster.  I knew the instant I saw her that the jig was somehow up.  I was talking to a female employee of the store who was not Nicole and I am grateful to this day that Melanie did not just start slapping the shit of that poor little innocent bystander girl.  The girl had started to turn and walk away even before Melanie said icily to her, "Could you excuse us for a moment, I need to have a word with my soon-to-be-EX-husband."  The associate, whose name I cannot remember, actually shot me a quick look as she exited the scene that eloquently communicated, "I am not at all sure what you have done, but you are DEAD FUCKED."  

The first words hissed out of Melanie's mouth were, "I am going to make sure you lose your job."  I was the receiving manager at that store, Nicole was an hourly toy department employee, the K-Mart Corporation had a VERY strict no-fraternization policy, and Melanie knew it.  I shot right back with, "If I lose this job I don't think we're going to be paying the rent from your crummy little florist job." and we were off to the races.

I told Melanie, "I'm off work in an hour, just go home and we'll talk about this there."  Tears were just starting as she turned away to leave and I remember thinking, "It's gonna be a LOOOONG anniversary."  I walked back to the warehouse where Jeffrey Jay (who I had gotten hired on at the store) was stacking pallets and I told him what had happened.  "Well Sean, you HAD to know this was going to happen someday.  How long did you think you were gonna be able to pull this off?"

That was an excellent question.  I'm not sure I had ever really given it that much thought.  One of my worst traits in this life is that I tend to LET things happen to me rather than MAKING things happen.  I'm better at reacting than acting.  Once I had made the decision to begin the affair and the band with Nicole, I had just started letting the chips fall where they may.  Regular readers of I Love Distortion may wonder how I had managed to pull off all of the extra-curricular Nicole activity for almost six months before Melanie happened upon the affair.  It was relatively simple: I had been in bands for as long as Melanie had known me.  As such, she was used to me being out of the house at all hours of the day & night for rehearsals and gigs.  And for the first three years, when Melanie and I were together dating, she was intensely interested in my band activities and shows.  But once we were married it was as if putting that ring on her finger signified the end of a journey, a quest, a contest.  She had won the game and now she didn't have to try anymore.  I don't think Melanie had attended a single gig in the four years since we got married.  Truthfully, there was a small part of me that believed Melanie had known about Nicole and the affair since maybe March and simply didn't care.  (I was wrong.)

Plus, the fact that Melanie desperately wanted children and I did not contributed mightily to the distance we had put between us in four short years.  You can say I was irresponsible and selfish in that stand, I prefer to think of myself as realistic.  I knew my limitations.  I chose to barely function as an adult at that point, I certainly was not prepared to become a father.  I had seen too many other musicians fall prey to that sort of deceptional thinking: They were now either out of music entirely, mired in jobs they hated and relationships they resented; or they continued playing, leaving resentful wives and neglected children behind in quiet, lonely homes.

When I got home at 5 o'clock that June afternoon Melanie and I fought for THREE STRAIGHT HOURS.  Every perceived slight, every unspoken criticism, every raw emotion that had passed between us in the last four years got trotted out, thrown in each other's faces and endlessly sliced, diced & dissected.  It was grueling.  It was excruciating.  It was exhausting.  I couldn't believe how far apart Melanie and I had grown in four short years.  And then, after three solid hours of emotional death, doom, terror & destruction - amazingly, inexplicably, uncomprehendingly - Melanie insisted that we still get dressed up and go out for the anniversary dinner we had planned before she found the letters that day.  I couldn't believe my ears.  I felt like I had been beaten to a pulp.  I'd had physical fights in the past, been punched out by guys where I felt less beat-up than I did right at that moment.  But I was not exactly in the position to say "No" right at that juncture, was I?

We went to dinner at what was to that point our favorite fancy restaurant up on Route 161 on the North Side (which I never once returned to after that night, believe me) and the shrimp dinner I ordered might just as well have been soot & ashes for as much as I enjoyed it.  After dinner Melanie decided she didn't want to go back home, so we got a hotel room by the freeway and settled back into the earlier fight, only now with quiet sadness replacing the earlier verbal yelling fireworks.  The only break I had caught in the entire amplifier discovery process was that the last letter Melanie had read from Nicole was one of the ones where we had tried to end things.  As far as Melanie knew the affair had ended weeks before.  It was a past tense to her.  "Did you make love to her?" Melanie asked, her averted eyes red from crying, lying in the half-light of that Holiday Inn.  "No, I didn't," I replied, and that was the only time the rest of the night I told the truth.  "Were you in love with her?" was Melanie's next question and my reply of "No, I wasn't." was by far my single biggest lie of the night.

Melanie and I both called in sick to work the next day and spent the afternoon at the movies.  By time we returned home the next evening I could tell Melanie was going to adopt an attitude that nothing had ever happened, no letters were ever found, that life was going to go on just as it had before.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I didn't get to talk to Nicole for the next three days.  Obviously she knew something was up when I didn't come to work and word had gotten around the store about Melanie coming in livid.  Plus she had talked to Jeffrey Jay; who was his usual vague, defensive, noncommittal bass-player self, so she got no useful information there.

We met at the game room of my apartment complex clubhouse.  I remember sitting on the edge of the pool table, holding both of Nicole's hands in mine, telling her what had transpired, her tears falling on our hands.  She was wearing an electric blue pantsuit I had never seen her wear before and never saw again afterward.  "So what happens to me now?" she asked quietly, her eyes downcast at the floor, not looking at me when I was done explaining.  Until that very moment I really didn't know.  I knew that what normally happened in those circumstances was that the husband cuts the girlfriend loose and goes sheepishly back to the missus, pleading eternally false fealty.  There's an Elliott Murphy song called "Caught Short In The Long Run" that contains the lines, "Romantics may run free in the darkness / But come the light, they're the first to kneel."  I could hear Elliott singing those lines very clearly in my head at that moment.  I never made things happen, I just let things happen.

"What happens to you now is that I love you and everything changes." I said, lifting Nicole's chin, looking into her usually shining eyes, her lashes wet now with tears.  I left Melanie the next weekend and got an apartment with Jeffrey Jay.  The beat goes on.

© 2013 Ricki C.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Elvis Costello & the Attractions "The Beat" (Bonus Video Friday)

(The Bonus Video Friday theme for June in Growing Old With Rock & Roll
will be Songs You've Never Heard Before That You REALLY Need to Hear.
This theme will be based on my hopelessly subjective estimation of what songs all
of the TOTAL strangers that visit this blog site might ever have heard in their lives.)

inspirational verse; "Oh, I don't wanna disease you / But I'm no good with the machinery /
Oh, I don't wanna freeze you / Stop looking at the scenery" - Elvis Costello, 1978

(ps. By the way; Elvis & the Attractions' entire 45-minute 1978 Rockpalast set
that this song was taken from is on YouTube, you really oughta watch it. 
That was one spark-spitting little rock & roll assemblage.)   

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ted Nugent Gets Winged By His Roadie

(This blog, in a slightly different form, was written for and originally appeared on
my good friend Colin Gawel's blogsite, which you should
definitely check out at your earliest opportunity, it's pretty great.)

In 1974 my day job was working in the warehouse of a Service Merchandise store on the West Side of Columbus, Ohio, unloading trucks.  I had brought my Stratocaster with me that day 'cause I was going to band practice straight from work.  The guy whose truck we were unloading was a long-haired over-the-road kid from Detroit and we got to talking when he asked who played guitar.

It turned out the guy had been a roadie for Ted Nugent when Ted was still in The Amboy Dukes.  Nugent used to do this stage routine where he would break a big-ass glass jar the roadies would place on a pedestal in front of his Marshall stack.  Ted would hit a high note, hold it and shatter the jar with his all-out bad-ass sonic rock attack.  I'd actually seen them do that bit at an outdoor festival a coupla years before somewhere outside Dayton.

Roadie-guy tells us, though, that at club shows where Nugent couldn't turn the amps up loud enough to actually shatter the jar without deafening the bar audience, it was his job to stand out of sight offstage and shoot out the glass with an air rifle when Ted hit his big dramatic note.

It went great for months, the guy told me, until one night he was higher than shit and when the Big Glass Shootout Moment came the roadie missed the jar and hit Nugent in the forearm of his fretting hand.  Ted yelped and stopped playing entirely (as well he should have, he HAD just gotten shot after all) and roadie-guy panicked, re-pumped the BB gun and shot out the jar in near-total silence now that the rest of the band had stopped the song when they saw blood running down Ted's arm.  There was a certain amount of jeering from the crowd at the duplicitous nature of the glass-break routine until the band could get cranked back up to complete the tune.  The Amboy Dukes finished the set and then it was off to the emergency room for Ted to get the BB dug out of his arm.

The truck driver concluded the story with an incredulous, "AND THEY FIRED ME!  I GOT FIRED FROM THE ROAD CREW THAT SAME NIGHT!"  "You're surprised at that?" I asked the guy, there in the receiving area of Service Merchandise.  "You shot your boss and ruined the band's big stage finale and you're pissed-off that you got fired?" 

"I only shot Nugent ONCE," the guy said, firing up a joint while walking back to the cab of his truck, "nobody ever talks about all the nights that things went okay."

I would like to state for the record that I have served as a roadie and/or a road manager since 1978 for a variety of acts - Willie Phoenix in 4 or 5 different incarnations, Watershed, Hamell On Trial, The Whiles, Colin Gawel & The Lonely Bones, among others - and never once have I shot any of my employers onstage.

© 2013 Ricki C.