Nothing Fails like Success

 

Stephen R. Covey said it. I can sum it up in one word.  Pagers.  Or if you need another example; Video cassette recorders.

But this conversation is about MUSIC. Being a musician from the age of 6, I’ve followed every new trend that was introduced.  I’ve listened to everything from the blues sung in the cotton fields of Mississippi, to German Thrash Metal and Neo-Classical.

In 1956, the genres of blues, rock and country had a serendipitous collision with a guy named Elvis Presley at the wheel. More important than Elvis was a guy named Sam Phillips.  He’s the father of Rock and Roll.  Sam was a recording engineer that loved recording music.  All sorts of music.  He even went into the Oklahoma State Prison to record a quartet of black inmates that could sing.

You all know the story of Buddy Holly and the Beatles, if not, I’ve written a few articles on the History of Rock and Roll. Just use the search button.  I want to take a very close look at the British invasion as I believe it was the British I hold responsible for a mongrel genre called “Classic Rock”.  What Elvis and Buddy Holly, even Chuck Berry and Little Richard were singing is now called “Roots Rock”.  As in “The beginning or foundation of Rock and Roll”.  It was this blend of Blues and country that gave us the musical ideas for The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

If you look at the first albums of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many of the legends, they were all covering Robert Johnson blues songs, in fact the first recording the Beatles did as a demo was “That’ll be the day”. (Buddy Holly)

But the longer a Genre is bastardized, the more abundant it becomes. It’s hard to write a Rock song that doesn’t fall into the washed out category of classic rock.  For those musicians that scored hits in the 70s and into the 80s, they saturated the Genre until it was a cup of worms.   Frankly Classic Rock was pushed to the point of decadence.  In the 90s, grunge came in like a cruise missile and bands that were in the top 10 on the charts were losing their contracts.  Labels were catching direct flights from LAX to SeaTac airport and were signing bands they hadn’t even seen. (Just heard about) “There’s gold in them there hills”.

So what happened to the stable artists that could be relied on for a Platinum album? They were told not to let the door hit them in the ass.  One hair band artist from L.A. that belonged to a Spandex/Aquanet band that still had an album on the charts (Falling like a meteorite) was reported as saying he couldn’t get a job at Tower Records.

This article is about a very legitimate Classic Rock artist that was shown the door because of a change in the music industry. He was the first “Victim” of the music channel MTV.  In 1980, MTV was basically the only game in town.  MTV made and MTV took away.  It had that much influence. Up until 1984 MTV videos supported music released by the artist.  (Until the “Rock Me Tonight” Video by Billy Squier).

Before MTV, most music videos where live recordings, or even studio recordings of bands or singers performing. Then they became little movies and the song became nothing more than a soundtrack.   Before MTV, you heard the song on the radio and you made your own movie in your head.

Before MTV, Billy Squier had two Albums that would have made any record company fight over. “Don’t Say No” and “Emotions in Motion” were both double platinum.  Squier had 28 hits songs that charted.  Then he was forced, perhaps coerced to release the “Rock me tonight” video.  Rock me tonight was a hit on the radio .  The video was a hit, but more of a left hook that took Squier down, career and all.

Fast forward 24 years. Billy Squier in a recent interview said He listened to his first Album that didn’t chart.  “Tell the Truth” (1993) was the 3rd album after the atrocious video that soiled the mind of concert goers and 12″ vinyl buyers.  1993 was the height of the “Grunge” movement in Seattle and Squier was told that Capitol records was not going to support the album.  No ads in rock magazines. No MTV interviews, don’t let the door……..

Squier said after decades he listened to “Tell the Truth” and he had such verve as to say that he put on The Beatles’ “Revolver”, Led Zeppelin’s “2nd album” then “Tell the Truth”. He then said: “I felt that “Tell the Truth” stood up well next to those Iconic Rock Albums.

“In short, “I agree”.

In Squier’s defense, I had been given a copy of the cassette back in 1993. I remember playing it a lot.  But “Revolver”? Zeppelin’s II”?  Is he crazy?  So I went on Amazon and bought a copy of “Tell the Truth”.  I had forgotten how good this album is.

There is not a thing wrong with this album. I won’t review it as I don’t do album reviews.  I will say this: “Had Kurt Cobain not been discovered in an obscure club in Seattle; I believe this album would have charted in the top 10.

If I can use an analogy? Billy, this is one of the best radio pagers ever made.

On a deeper note; be thankful for what you have or had. Life is too short for regrets.  I’ve been saying for the last 30 years, if the Beatles were an unknown band in Liverpool playing the music they wrote.  Songs we call classics such as “Strawberry Fields” or “Yesterday”; they would never see a record contract. However; if they made the most dreadful “dissonant” unheard of noise and talked trash about a politician, added 16 bars of hate, I’m sure it would go viral.

This is one of my favorite songs on the Album.

 

 

 

SPORTS vs. ART

                 Vai  The Catch

 

You cannot, I repeat, you cannot compare Sports to the Arts. You cannot make art a sport.  Some sports may have artistic moments such as Ichiro Suzuki climbing the right field fence at Safeco Field in 2005 to rob an Anaheim Angel of a homerun.  It was a thing of beauty to watch Dwight Clark make “The Catch” for a game winning touchdown when he came down in the end zone with a Joe Montana pass.

Ichiro

These are rare moments. You don’t go to a sporting even to see a “thing of art”.

 

Music on the other hand appeals for reasons that need not or cannot be explained. I like Wagner, but then again so did Hitler.  Why?  I couldn’t tell you.  Many people hate Wagner.  The arts are about taste.  Taste is subjective.  Catching a ball before it hits the ground is objective.  (Even with instant replay).

Martin

There’s a scene in Steve Martin’s “L.A. Story” where he’s in the L.A. museum of fine arts and his friend is taking video of him roller skating past classics. Steve Martin’s character calls it art, his friend calls it wasting time.  Then comes the line.  Steve Martin says: “History will decide”.

 

The reason the public enjoys confusing sports and art is because both have a creator such as the players, musicians or the Artist, and both have people that watch or appreciate.

 

You commonly hear ignorant music fans and to a degree art and acting fans say: “Steve Vai is the greatest guitarist in the world. You can keep your B.B. King”.  I’m here to say that both are at the top of their game and the art they produce is equally pleasing.

 

There’s a saying in music: “If you enter a battle of the bands you’ve already lost”.

 

In sports you often hear: “He pitched a masterpiece”. No he didn’t.  He pitched strikes and 8 other guys made great plays behind him.  Was Willie Mays a better center fielder than Mookie Wilson?  Objectively; YES!  There is little room for subjectivity in Sports.  Sports often (excluding Tennis, swimming and golf) teaches us a good lesson about teamwork.  Teamwork is an essential part of our work and family life.  There are life lessons that can be learned from sports.

 

Art is about self-expression. Be it an orchestra or a 3 piece rock-a-Billy band, it’s about self-expression and touching the viewer or listener in a way that sports cannot

HAUNTED POPULARITY

Paranormal

At the turn of the century, the most popular websites on the internet were pornographic websites followed by UFO websites. One of the highest rated TV shows was Bill Byrnes’ UFO Hunters. (One of the first of many “Hunter” reality shows)

At the same time UFO Hunters was undergoing scrutiny from the black ops division of the Bush Administration, Paranormal state was a fledgling show that introduced America to the world of ghost hunting. As UFOs disappeared on the small screen; shows about Hauntings flourished.  The show had a plot of 2 roto-rooter employees that investigated hauntings in their spare time. Soon viewers became familiar with terms like “Intelligent Hauntings” vs. “Residual Hauntings”. The show jumped the Shark when the co-host Grant Wilson left the show.

In the ratings, Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters were having their lunch digested by three Ghost Hunters from Las Vegas. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin started out as a low budget investigation group that got a huge bump when they took a Camera crew from Reno NV on a documentary with them to Goldfield and Virginia City.

The threesome created a show called “Ghost Adventures”. In the beginning it was quaint and much of the entertainment came from the characters of the three hosts as they were not afraid of ghosts, yet the executive producer is frightened of clowns and snakes.

Nobody has done a convincing job of “debunking” the video that was shot by the Reno News crew as they recorded video of rocks being thrown at the hunters as well as what appears to be a “Full Bodied Apparition” aka “A GHOST”. The documentary can be seen on line. The show blossomed as they began to introduce new gadgets to contact with those in the afterlife. In one touching episode, the inventor of the “MELmeter” connects with his recently deceased teenage daughter “MELlissa” who communicates from the “other side”. Melissa died in a car accident and the crew attends an afterlife birthday party.

Now everybody seems to own a digital Olympus voice recorder. I’m sure sales of FLIR cameras have gone up as well (Forward looking Infra-Red).

As ratings grew with the interest in ghosts; this opened the door for Psychics and stories about hauntings.

I asked myself while watching an episode of Paranormal witness: “Why do we find scary shows so interesting”? The answer is as old as Bela Lugosi’s Movies. Besides the fact that physical death is something we all have in common and perhaps want to know more about what happens after the last heartbeat; I think the emotion of fear leads us to expect a childhood relief we felt when our mom came to our rescue to remind us that it is just a movie. I think people drink alcohol because when we cried, we found comfort in the bottle. But fear brings back the emotion that someone was there to protect you.

That’s it.
It’s an infantile back flash. It’s the same reason women who grow up getting beat by their father will eventually marry a man who will physically abuse her. Sad but true. A lot of your actions can be traced back to your childhood.

Attorney-Client Privilege & Doctor-Patient Privilege “BEWARE”

Gavel1

In short, if an attorney has information that would free a convicted suspect he can’t mention it. The innocent defendant will rot in prison. Such was the case with William Macumber in 1974 when he was allegedly framed by his wife while going through an ugly divorce.

Yet if you go to your family doctor and say you would rather die than live with tubes coming out of your body, fear your physician as you may return home, only to be greeted by the Police and escorted against your will for a mental evaluation.

William Macumber

William Macumber

 The murder of a couple on a “Lover’s Lane” in Arizona north of Scottsdale happened in 1962. The case went cold until Macumber’s wife went to her boss in the Scottsdale P.D. and said (In the middle of an ugly divorce) that he (Macumber) had confessed to her of being the killer of the couple in 1962. This event happened in 1974 just weeks after Macumber’s wife had taken a class on forensics and how to lift prints. To add insult to injury, the evidence was not locked up and anyone with a badge could have tampered with the evidence.

One other piece of evidence Macumber’s defense had was a young girl who claimed to have known who committed the crime. She said it was a guy named Ernesto or Ernie Salazar. No such person could be found. In 1967, five years after the murders in the desert, a drifter named Ernesto Valenzuela was charged with a similar homicide. He told his lawyer, Thomas O’Toole that he had also killed the couple in the desert in 1962.

Thomas O’Toole was fresh out of law school at the time and just beginning a career with the Federal Public Defender’s Office. He thought when he saw the Macumber case: “They have the wrong guy”. But because of attorney-client privilege, he was not allowed to mention the confession and Valenzuela died in prison taking the truth with him.

Apparently, attorney-client privilege extends beyond the grave. 11 years later, O’Toole, no longer a public attorney was a judge and couldn’t shake the ghost of Ernesto Valenzuela. Judge O’Toole contacted the Justice Project and gave them the info he had on the confession of his late client. In 2012, the Justice project had all of the evidence they needed to present their case to the Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer for a Clemency hearing. Brewer rejected Macumber’s release twice. Later in 2012, Macumber agreed to plead guilty to 2nd degree murder and was released on time served. Talk about political wrangling to avoid a major wrongful imprisonment suit. So William Macumber spent 37 years in prison for something he didn’t do.

*Note! I have taken an oath never to plead guilty to something I am innocent of. Even if they promise me a new Ferrari. Never confess to guilt if you are not guilty. The D.A. will use money to get you to “plead out”. If you are accused of beating your wife and you have never laid a hand on your wife, you are given a choice to fight it in court costing you every penny you’ll ever earn for the rest of your life, OR you can plead guilty and take an anger management class and lose your 2nd amendment right for 10 years. Although you and God know that you are innocent, you will have that guilty plea follow you through life like an albatross. Do not do it.

Let’s continue:

Not surprising, the story doesn’t end there. 5 months later Macumber was back in prison for sexual assault accusations by younger members of Macumber’s own family. I can only wonder; Is this the spouse still trying to keep her ex-husband behind bars or does prolonged incarceration create the criminal? Macumber plead not guilty of the sex assaults but was found guilty at trial and is serving 4 years for sexual assault on a minor.

 Sarti

 David Sarti

 David Sarti’s only crime was trusting his doctor. Just as we have attorney-client privilege, we are also supposed to have doctor-patient privilege. (With a caveat). The doctor has the discretion/power to deem his patient mentally defective and a danger to himself. If this happens, you lose your 2nd amendment right and can be detained in a mental institute as long as medical professionals see fit. No judge, no jury and no public defendant. You also become an interest of the F.B.I. as long as you live.

Sadly Sarti had appeared on National Geographic’s television series “Doomsday Preppers”. Sarti is a boisterous somewhat loudmouth that likes to exaggerate and he did so in front of the wrong doctor. His cardiologist Andre C. Olivier said there was nothing wrong with his heart, but they could put tubes in him to help him breathe. I’m not sure what procedure Dr. Olivier was referring to. I can’t see why he would recommend a tracheostomy for obesity. Neither lungs were collapsed so I can’t see chest tubes being inserted in Sarti’s plural cavity. Perhaps his cardiologist was using fear to get Mr. Sarti to lose weight. I do not know what Olivier’s reasoning was. But Sarti made a statement that was not very well thought out. He said something to the effect that he would rather die than have tubes hanging out of him. Dr. Olivier took this as a confession of suicidal tendencies and ordered Sarti to go to the Emergency Room.

Let’s Stop right here. Sarti’s doctor asked Sarti if he was suicidal and Sarti replied: “No I’m a Christian and my religious faith prohibits suicide”. That should have been the end of the conversation.

Regardless; when Sarti refused to go to the Emergency Room and went home; Law enforcement officers were waiting for Mr. Sarti and took him to the E.R. against his will.

 Where is the privacy called Physician-patient privilege?

The horror in the Sarti story is not so much what happened to David Sarti. (At least he’s not in prison serving a life sentence) But what has happened to all of us as a result of this? I seriously encourage you to no longer speak freely to your doctor without thinking about the unintended consequences. You MUST consider every sentence and your choice of words that you use when you are in the privacy of your doctor regardless of the Doctor-Patient privilege. I do not think it would be a good Idea to continue to see a doctor you do not have a good relationship with. I would not make an issue of it either. I would silently quit seeing your doctor and search for another doctor.

In both of these examples of privacy, the principle was used to keep an innocent man in jail, and to send an innocent man to a mental institution.  The words of a former, late President keep haunting me.

Reagan

“The most terrifying words in the English language are:  I’m from the government and I’m here to help. ~ President Ronald Reagan.

 

 

No Face Book Day 10

FB1

I thought I would be writing more on my blog since I left Social Media, and I must admit, Social Media gives you that false feeling that there is always SOMEONE there for you anytime of the day or night.  But I guess I got more email addresses than I realized before I left.  So I’ve been able to share info, just via email.

I will admit that Facebook makes it easier to communicate with your friends and semi-friends and even your not so real friends.  Again, there in lays the problem.  If you didn’t have to go through a conduit that is monitored by the alphabets, it would be a nice Idea.  But sadly, Obama has ruined that for America.  Well, Obama and the Islamic Jihadists.

I have 4 days before my account is officially deactivated.  OR that’s the threat that they leave you with.  And I have considered returning covertly and only keeping in touch with really close friends.  Everyday when I log on to my computer, I get a Birthday notice.  Unfortunately, If they’re not on my email list, “Oh well”.

What have I been doing instead of spending time on Facebook?  I’ve been learning how to dig a well.  I didn’t realize how efficient digging a well could be.  Back in the old days, people lived near fresh water.  Then people found that ground water could be pumped up and wells were invented.  It’s certainly not something that takes a rocket scientist, but it’s also not like De-winterizing your house either.

I don’t miss the drama on Facebook.  In fact, I miss the camaraderie. You have to realize that although it seemed fun, they were people that you have no Idea of who they are and I’m not saying that in a conspiracy way.  You could be talking to someone that is tracking your IP address and narrowing down where you live.  The friendlier they are, the more likely you are to expose information you shouldn’t.

In short, I don’t think I’ll be returning to the Book in the next 4 days.  Life is short.  Do something in the real world not the Cyber world.

MY HIATUS

Darren Einstein

During the first half of the year, I found myself writing 2 articles a day.  I was a writing fool.  Sadly what I found attracted the most “hits” were articles with the word “Fuck” in it.  For example I wrote an article entitled “Where the fuck am I”.  I was getting a lot of traffic from a site that is connected to Fox news.  So, my love for writing became a job.

I had to get away from writing and I had to start doing it again.  Perhaps I’ve been going through a transition.  Writing is a form of escapism.   I’ve lived a some what good yet shitty life.  I was asked to write a small essay about my life for a counselor that I went to see and it printed out at 134 pages. (Or there about) She said I was a good writer and couldn’t put it down.  I guess that’s good and bad.

My inspiration for writing so prolifically was that I found last December that Greg Gutfeld whom I would “Copy” or “CC” my stuff to; started using my jokes on “The Five”.  (An hour long show on Fox News Channel which rivals “The View” only it has 4 conservatives and one lovable yet obnoxious liberal)  So It was fun to write an article and see if Mr. Gutfeld used it on National Television.  I was a “Ghost writer”.

I never wanted to be a writer.  I am by nature, a guitarist.  According to the Editor of the Wave Magazine, I am a “Guitar god”.  But I know a lot about politics, having grown up next door to a congressman, and I have a pretty good knowledge of the Holy Bible. (Mostly as a result of having a somewhat good yet shitty life)  I was forced to attend church as a child. (And an extremist one at that) and I also found solace in church after I got divorced.  I have an incredible diverse set of career tools.  I assisted in surgery for most of my livelihood. I was in the Navy as a Corpsman or “medic” in case you’re like Obama and cannot pronounce the word Corpsman.  (It’s pronounced Kor-mun not Korps-men).  But I digress.

Nothing will change your view on life quicker than being broke and divorced.  It’s almost like the Domino effect. I found that being a Hermit and exercising daily was the best thing I could do.  I also, as previously stated, took solace in the church.  So religion and personal development became my 2 most common interests (next to raising two sons).  Going through the Clinton years got me interested again in politics again.

I did get to play music again.  An important aspect of my life that was put on hiatus while trying to be the husband my ex wanted me to be.  Shame on me. Again I digress.  Before I know it, this article will be 134 pages if I do not stay focused which is why I write.

I started a blog in 2005 because it was the thing for musicians to do.  I could tell people where I was playing as well as get my feelings out.  It was Therapy.  But I couldn’t write for the sake of giving Greg Gutfeld material and I felt betrayed when I wrote really good serious articles on life and divorce that didn’t get published at the “Red Eye” site.  So I haven’t written since August.

I will be focusing on the 4 L’s in life that my late mentor “Stephen R. Covey” wrote on.  He said that man needs to do 4 things.  Live (put a roof over your head and food in your stomach) Learn (Get educated) Love (Show concern for someone else’s best interest) and finally, Leave a legacy. (Whether it’s Officer Darren Wilson or Albert Einstein, or your cantankerous Uncle that pisses everyone off at family get-togethers yet only shows up for the food)

 

In short……………. I’m back

AFTER YOU DIE

AND BEFORE YOU’RE BORN

LIght

There exists a place void of “space-time” as Einstein would call it.

James Foley, Jim Foley, Medill alum, Libya, prisoner

 

I’ve been gathering my thoughts after the decapitation of the young and brave journalist James Foley at the evil hands of some psychotic extremist who is probably just mad at his father and hasn’t grown up yet.  From what Mr. Foley’s brother said, he thought James volunteered to go first as a human sacrifice.

 Eclipse

But where is James NOW?  We know his body is probably still being abused in Syria but James is alive in the cosmos somewhere.  The question is where.  I know that the energy that is used to power the human body can easily power a city for a week.  If you don’t believe me, go into a “clean” room where they work on microchips.  Besides wearing “non-static” clean suits, they wear shoe covers and in some cases, bracelets that ground the technicians so they’re body’s static electricity doesn’t fry a whole board.  Yes, the human soul is the main stay of human life.  The body is simply a meat Jacket.

stang

I’ve looked upon the body as a random rental car that you’re stuck with during your incarnate existence.  I have a feeling that your rental body and mission could be determined by your previous rental excursions.  (That’s just my belief) You don’t get to pick the color, the body style, and in some cases, (like rental cars) you get a car that is going to have problems.  But unlike the nice people at Hertz, (sarcasm alert) you can’t return it.  But once the car runs out of gas or becomes un-drivable or uninhabitable; it’s time to visit the rental counter.

 Hertz1

I’ve rented easily over a hundred cars and I’ve driven them in some strange places like Peoria IL, Ft. Myers FLA, Manchester CN and even Misquamicut Beach R.I. (I had to work my Brain too damn hard to remember that place).   But I had a mission when driving my rental car at each of those places.  Some places were enjoyable, like playing in San Antonio.  It will always have a “special place” in my heart.  It was a huge stage and the audience was packed with blondes by Clorox.  I also played in a little place called Rheinlander WI.  Not much to talk about but the people loved it.  My analogy is, I tried to get better with each visit and I had little control over where I played.  Most of the time I tried to get a white Mustang convertible. But sometimes I had to drive a Black Crown Victoria and sometimes I had to drive a Blue Toyota.

 carscrushed

Regardless of the make, model or location these cars all have one thing in common now (with the exception of the last couple of Camaros I’ve rented) is that all the rentals of the past are in scrap heaps somewhere.  They’re flat pancakes waiting to be turned into toasters.  Using application; I would think that my current rental will be land fill along the California coast (somewhere).  Like all of the other rental cars I’ve driven, they were only needed to get me to and from my mission.

 

Sometimes when I can’t sleep or am not tired I visit www.NDERF.org  and read about people who have died and been resuscitated.  In the most recent batch of testimonies, they all had one theme in common.  It was so ubiquitous that it inspired this article.  A majority of them claimed that they were told: “You can’t stay, you still have things to do”.  I wondered what that was all about.  Were they being returned for their edification or were they needed back in the incarnate realm to help someone else?  God works in mysterious ways”!

 

If you use the analogy of the rental car, you realize that if you can’t return the rental car, you need to take good care of it if you want it to get you back to the rental counter.  When I look back at the many Mustangs I rented from Hertz, I cannot remember one from the other.  I do remember where I drove them and what my purpose was, but arriving in a White Mustang was never my purpose to be where I was going.  Looking back on the performances I gave, I think it even goes deeper than the performances.  I think, (Keyword) that when I get this rental back to the counter, I’ll be asked a series of questions such as how did this trip change you?  I don’t know what I am here to learn but I feel that my existence here is no accident.  Is my “Life Experience” the only way of improving my spiritual being”?  I don’t think my parents had me, I think I chose them; and yes Rick Derringer, I think you did ask to be born!

 JF1

James Foley’s early death was not in vain.  He exposed evil to the world.  I don’t know if they told him this at the rental counter when they gave him the keys to his rental and told him which model he was taking.  If we are pre-destined in this life then James Foley is what is referred to as a “Brave Soul”.  On this play ground called earth, James showed all the other kids on the playground the bully on the monkey bars.

Well done

If we think of the real James Foley as being the electrical source (soul/spirit) that operates the rental meat Jacket, then James is back home receiving his: “Well done, faithful servant”.

TERMITES           Gateway-to-Hell Flames of Hell

 

To ISIS, be warned that the wrath of God (and others) are coming for you.  Instead of receiving a: “Well done”, you will be told: “Keep moving” and sent to the scrap yard along with your rental.  Perhaps you will make a better toaster. Perhaps you will be reincarnated as the termite pest that you are. I do not know.  I’ve only read that: “Vengeance is Mine”. (Thus sayeth the Lord).

Lambo

From my readings of the Bible, when we come home, we get to pick our rentals only we get the pink slips so they’re not rentals and they’re not rental meat jackets.  They’re spiritual bodies that do not run out of gas or break down.

The key (no pun intended) is that you need to know how to drive it!

ROCK AND ROLL

Green Ace_edited-2

Before there was Justin and Gaga, before there was Queen, before there were the Stray Cats and Brian Setzer, there were the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and a band called the Dave Clark Five .  Dave Clark, the Drummer, didn’t even know how to play drums he just wanted to get in on this new thing that started in the 50’s.  I’m pretty sure Rock and Roll was officially born in 1956.

 

1952 was a Very Good Year

Sun

706 Union Ave. Memphis TN

In 1952, a recording engineer from Memphis Tennessee named Sam Phillips opened a small hole in the wall called “Sun Records”.  Sam had mobile recording equipment so he could record events away from the studio.  One place Sam visited was the Tennessee State Penitentiary to record a black do-wop group called the “Prisonaires”.  Their song “Walking in the Rain” became a hit for Sun Records.  Sam was one of the first Caucasians to record what was called at the time: “Race Music”.  Three of Sam’s first big contracts were B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Rufus Thomas.

4__-Sun  sam_phillips_372x280

It’s an unknown fact that the first Rock and Roll recording was recorded at Sun Studios by a band called Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.  An interesting note that might have created the rock sound by a literal accident was the Bass speaker on the record.  While driving to the studio, the Bass speaker bounced and tore in the car.  When it was plugged in, it had a distorted sound.  Sam recorded the song “Rocket 88” (Which is generally agreed as the first Rock and roll song ever recorded) has that torn Bass speaker doing the bass line.  Another point of interest is the keyboardist, he would later have hits in the 60s with a young lady named Tina Turner.  Yes that’s Ike Turner on Keys.

 

 

This started an “Underground” movement in America.  Teens would listen to Sam’s late night broadcasts of “Race Music” because, well, Black artists would sing about Sex, drugs, prison and stuff that was completely unacceptable in 1950 America.  Songs like Billy Ward & The Dominoes recording of “Sixty minute man” was about foreplay, Sex and Orgasm.

 little_richard

However; in 1947 a 15 year old piano player out of Macon Georgia got a job playing with a band traveling what was common referred to as the “Chitlan” Circuit. (I had to add that word to my dictionary) But eventually, the charismatic Richard Wayne Penniman would form his own band and eventually break through the color barrier.  It’s rumored that RCA had to hire a song writer to “edit” Little Richard’s” lyrics so they could be played on A.M. radio.  To quote Little Richard: “Good Lordy, Tutti Fruttie was a filthy song”.  As much as I think Little Richard was the TRUE KING OF ROCK, he was a victim of racial discrimination. Many white households would never allow black race music on the turn table.

ENTER THE WHITE MUSICIAN

Elvisgold

 

“Naw, you just another white boy rippin’ off our music”.

(Willie Brown to Eugene Martone in the Movie Crossroads, 1986)  Willie Brown was referring to the “King” of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.  Again, another mistake that evolved into a gajillion dollar industry.  In 1953, a young Elvis Presley came from Tupelo to Memphis to record a record for his mother’s birthday.  Sam Phillip’s secretary was so impressed by the voice of the young Presley that she kept his name on a 3 X 5 index card.  A year later, as Phillips was in search of new “White” talent to sing “Race” music, he brought Elvis Presley in to do Race “Standards” like Hound dog, and other underground hits that were performed by black artists.  Elvis along with Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Black on Bass would record “Heartbreak Hotel” which when released in 1956 started Elvis “Mania”.

MOTOWN

Black Musicians felt scorned as Sam Phillips whose business was saved by the likes of black prison artists, had made the transition that made race music, rock music.  This could explain why we saw a northern migration of very talented black artist relocate to Michigan.  Detroit, the motor city, had a studio called “Music City USA” which was owned by a black entrepreneur named Barry Gordy.  His label “Motown” would change the music black musicians were producing and for the most part, became a reliable bet for investors of the music industry.  While Rock was recovering from the loss of Buddy Holly and being forced to endure awful Elvis movies, talents like Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and yes little Michael Jackson of the Jackson five would find stardom now that black music was being welcomed in white America.

 holly Hollycrickets

Around the same time in Lubbock Texas, another white musician that was a fan of Elvis, was playing country music at the local roller Rink and performing on Saturday nights on radio.  He had a show called “The Holley Hay ride”.  Buddy Holley, later to be known as Buddy Holly (No e) was a combination of Elvis, and Sam Phillips.  But Buddy took the concept of rock music one step further.  Buddy produced and wrote his own music.  Elvis was just the Artist.  Someone else wrote the music and someone else produced the song and orchestrated the musicians.  Buddy was the first to do this all by himself.

 

1959 THE YEAR ROCK AND ROLL DIED

In February of 1959, a plane crash in Iowa took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.  Ironically, the late Waylon Jennings, who was supposed to be on that plane instead of Ritchie Valens, said: “Rock & Roll, Country & Western and Rhythm and Blues are only one beat apart”.  In 1960 Elvis would be drafted into the Army. Elvis in an interview after he had finished his movie contract said that: “Rock music was a combination of Gospel and Rhythm and Blues”.  The two WHITE influences on Rock and Roll were gone.  When Elvis finished his tour of duty, his manager Tom Parker had signed Elvis to a Movie Contract that would taint the music industry.  Hollywood saw Rock and Roll as a venue for rebellious teenagers that wanted to worship attractive singers or artists that gave them an Identity that differed from their parents.  After all, isn’t that what being young is all about?  So after the original rockers stopped making rock, Hollywood flooded the radio with the likes of “Pat Boone”, “Fabian”, “Frankie Avalon” and the somewhat talented Ricky Nelson.  The early 60s left a vacuum which was filled with the mourning of a popular President assassinated in Dallas, scenes on the nightly news of Race Riots in Alabama, and a new war we were getting deeper into in a strange place called Vietnam.

Avalon Nelson

 Holly who died in 1959, had sky rocketed to fame with 12 hit songs.  Songs from “That’ll be the day, to “Not Fade Away” as well as “True Love ways”, the list goes on. But one thing Buddy did that Elvis didn’t was tour England.  Why didn’t Elvis tour England?  His manager Colonel Tom Parker was afraid of flying.  England had been playing a type of music called “Skiffle”.  It was a type of bluegrass music.  When they heard this new sound coming from America, Brits would try their hardest to make connections with music importers.  So naturally, Buddy Holly, who toured the U.K. before he died, had made more of an impression on English artists.  One of them being John Lennon.

Beatles

The first demo recording done by John and Paul (The Quarrymen)was “That’ll be the day”. The Beatles named their band in honor of “The Crickets”.  (Buddy Holly’s band)

beatlessullivan

The Beatles for a short while, continued the music of their mentors, Holly and Little Richard.  The signature early Beatle scream “Wooooo” was adopted from Little Richard.  Then the Beatles found their own sound in the Fields of Strawberries and Psychedelic music dominated Rock music, then in attempt to make Rock legitimate, Progressive bands like Yes and Emerson Lake and Palmer would use Rock instruments to approach classical music. Rock after the 1970s became known as “Root Rock”.  Bands like Foghat and the Georgia Satellites kept the spirit of Memphis alive for a while.  And that brings us back to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

NO PITY FOR SUICIDE

DB 

Shepherd Smith of Fox News is not the first person to call suicide a cowardly act.  From the survivors point of view; it’s like taking your ball and going home.  On the other hand, I wonder how many Congressional medals of Honor have been awarded posthumously to the brave Marine that threw his body on a grenade to keep the rest of his squad from being killed by shrapnel.  So those who can’t cope with the pressures of life are cowards, and those who “Take one for the team” are heroes.  The difference is one is a sacrifice for the greater good and the other is an inability to deal with the greater “whatever”.

 

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES  

 

When a person gets to the point of saying “screw it all”; all they can see is the pain that they are trying to escape.  They think they’re a loser because they might not be able to afford a new IPhone for their child because they just got laid off.  But what will happen when you cut your wrist and little Billy comes home from school and finds his deceased father on the couch and his blood soaked through the carpet?  Do you think that image is ever going to leave little Billy’s memory?  I know what it’s like to have to move a dead body.  I couldn’t kill myself because I wouldn’t want to be a burden on the EMTs let alone the poor person who found me.  They have to roll the body to one side and slide a body bag under half the body, then roll the other side up to put the other half of the body in the bag.  Sometimes (for those who need to go out using drama and a gun) they have to gather what’s left of your head and keep it with the body.  I just couldn’t do it.

 

A lot of people truly are cowards that go out by using someone else.  For example “Suicide by cop”.  If you walk into a police station with a weapon drawn and you get taken out; you’ve put the guilt of your death on the cop who dropped you.  Or let’s say you get dramatic and you take a hostage. (That’s sure to get a sniper’s attention) You’ve ruined the life of the sniper and the hostage (Not to mention those who were around the scene at the time of the shooting).

Some people take others with them. 

 

A lot of people think that driving into an oncoming MAC truck is an easy way out.  What about the truck driver?  He’s going to slam the brakes on and possibly rupture his spleen. He might even flatten the Prius that was behind you.

 

Then there’s the insurance.  Most life insurances do not cover suicide.  So you’ve just left a huge financial mess for your beloved survivors to deal with.  But the troubled mind doesn’t think of that and if they do; it only makes them feel like more of a loser.

 

I was shocked when people thought the pilot of the Malaysian 777 flight that disappeared committed suicide taking 300 people with him.  That’s not only suicide but homicide.  What bothers me is that we, as a culture, have become so desensitized to the horror of murder that we don’t see it for the terrible “sin” that it truly is.  We are all related to one another.  What happens to one, in some way affects us all.  The television stations have no problems showing dead humans on the tube.  In the past the FCC would never allow it.  Now with You Tube you can go on the net and watch human decapitations.  Just as watching pornography takes the beauty and romance out of sex, seeing a life being taken takes a bit of the value and respect out of living.

 

Everything happens for a reason.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  I believe we are all given the gift of free will and a brain.  How we choose to use it will reflect on where we end up 100 years from now.  I’m not claiming that good people will have it better than bad people.  But what we do in the here and now has consequences.  Yes Sir Newton, for every action there is a reaction or even worse; a chain reaction.

 

Suicide answers nothing but causes a lot of pain and grief for those whom you didn’t intend to inflict it on.  It’s my belief that God will reward you for allowing Him to use you.  If you use your free will to “check out” before your time, I would be afraid of the consequences in the next place.

EVERYTHING HAS A CONSEQUENCE.

 

The oxygen you breathe turns to Carbon Dioxide.   That casual sarcastic insult can change a peaceful person into a potential killer.  Taking your own life is killing something that may or may not belong to you.  If the consequence is not served in this realm of reality, fear the possibility of the consequence in the future spiritual realm.

 

EBAY FOR DUMMIES

EBAY

Understand that EBAY can be an addiction is the same genre as gambling.  The key to gambling is knowing how much you are absolutely willing to lose then walk away. (Take it from a person who lives in Nevada).  The same strategy goes for EBAY.  The only difference is that on EBAY, they have one of a kind items you can’t find down at the local Wal-Mart.  Sometimes EBAY has that perfect Part for a 1968 Jaguar.  Still, you need to know how much is too much.

THE .99 cent opening Bid

Let’s start with the .99 cent opening bid.  This is one of the greatest auctions but you need to exercise patience.  Fools will come in and bid 5.00 on an item that you feel is worth 45.00.  Now if everybody plays the game right, nobody will bid until the last minute of the auction.  This is when you need to know how much you’re willing to pay.  If the someone else has bid and driven the price from .99 to 5.00, then you know he or she has bid 5.01 or more.  So in the last minute (Or last 11 seconds) you bid 45.00 hoping the other bidders only bid 25.01 and you get it for 26.01. (By the way, never lose a bid over a penny.  Always bid XX.01  or what ever your lucky number is.  Many will bid 25.01 so bid XX.02  you get the Idea.  Now if two bidders have bid the price up to around 40.00 at the close of the auction.  You have to decide how much you really want this and are willing to pay for it.

*NOTE: It’s very easy to let your ego allow you to spend way too much for the 45.00 Jaguar floor mat.  If one bidder has the attitude that nobody is going to out bid him and bids 100.00 for the 45.00 part, (Thinking that he doesn’t care if someone bids 50.00) and you bid 100.01 for the same 45.00 part.  You just bought yourself a floor mat for 100.00.  Congratulations.

On the other hand if this is the only one you’ve seen ever on EBAY, and all of the numbers check out, feel free to be a little more liberal with your bid at 11 seconds left.

How much am I willing to pay? 

I advise people never to bid on something unless they have a track record of what they sell for.  NOT WHAT PEOPLE ARE ASKING.  You hear that all the time on Pawn Stars: “Well I’ve seen them on line for 250.00″.  But did it sell for that price?  Probably not. (You don’t know how many times I see people asking 279.00 for something I just paid 89.00 for.  I laugh and say they’re F’n crazy)

I recently used my knowledge of what things sell for to wait out a seller.  He had an Item that I knew was rare, but he was asking about 50.00 too much for it.  (Or that I was willing to pay).  I PM’d  him and said, I’m willing to go 130.00 plus 10.00 shipping.  He was asking 179.95 plus 20 shipping.  I knew that if one of these came up for .99 cents, the bidding would get to about 100.00 and the real collectors that knew how rare it was, would put in there final bid at 130 – 140.  I use to sell these items and I knew what they went for (not counting the stupid people) I told myself that as a rule they would go for 120.00 but being since it was rare, I would go as high as 140 out the door.  So I waited as he kept relisting this Item.  I felt that a serious collector might have bout this when he finally lowered the price to 130 plus 20 shipping.  150 was still 10 more than I wanted to pay.  So after he relisted it the 6th or 7th time; I sent him another offer of 140 out the door.  By now, he’s lost a considerable amount of money by relisting it.  He was eager to relist it at 130 plus 10 shipping.  He was happy, I was happy and hopefully it will arrive in one piece.

On Items that frequently are listed, you need to see what the final sell price is and never exceed it.  I said to the seller of the Item above that if I paid him his price, someone wood list one for .99 cents and the bidders would take it up to what I wanted to pay.  But do your home work and see what the item is selling for before you bid or BUY IT NOW.

KNOWING THE NUMBERS

The opening bid or buy it now price is the number most people look at.  But there are other numbers that are even more important.

1. Shipping.  Some scumbags will give you a low buy it now price and hope you don’t look at the insane shipping and handling price.  If the shipping is way out of line, you don’t want to do business with that seller.  Also, if you don’t look at the cost of shipping until check out, you may find that the 45.00 floor mats are going to cost you 90.00 when you throw in the 45.00 shipping.  All of a sudden, Napa parts doesn’t look so bad.

2. Area Code.  What I really mean is location.  China has developed a bad reputations for sending you the wrong size, then putting the responsibility on you to send it back.  The only problems I’ve had as a buyer on EBAY have been from mainland China.  If the seller looks like they are from China but have an L.A. or Toronto address, it’s really important that you check the next number. (BTW, I’ve had good luck with western Europe. (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the U.K.) But even when buying from overseas, I don’t buy expensive items.

3. Seller’s Feedback Score.  This is a very important number.  No matter how sweet the deal looks, if the seller has less than 98.5 positive feedback, READ HIS NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.  I use to sell and got tagged with a negative from a scammer that EBAY sided with.  Which is why I no longer sell on EBAY.  So again, it depends on how bad you need the item.  If the seller was left a negative feedback and the buyer said: “Seller is Jerk, avoid at all cost”, you can ignore those 90% of the time.  Those are usually answered by the seller with something like : “Buyer can send the item back if not happy”.  The more immature the buyer sounds, the more I will trust the seller.  What I do look for are Immature comments from the seller.  Things like: “Buyer is a jerk and I’ve blocked him”.  Or: “Buyer is a loser that can’t read English”.  When the seller is unprofessional in their comments and try to make you think the buyer is psychotic, it’s usually the seller you need to look out for.  I’ve actually paid more for something because the seller’s comments were unprofessional and immature.

4. Doesn’t take Paypal.  I don’t think Paypal is the greatest institution in the world, but if you’re going to play on EBAY, you’re playing Russian Roulette if you do a transaction without going through a 3rd party that will refund your money.  That’s the only thing they’re really good for.  Plus, it’s much harder to rip off your I.D. by going through Paypal.  Sure they may get the Credit card or account number linked to Paypal, but if you’re smart, you won’t keep much money in that account.

EBAY IS AN ADDICTION

Check out this Weird Al Video called “EBAY:

You have no Idea how true this Weird Al video is.

One last bit of advice.  Feel free to talk to the seller before you buy.  Ask a lot of questions.  AND if you how much an Item sells for, and they RARELY COME UP FOR AUCTION.  If the opening bid is .99 cents and you know they sell for over $200.00, Tell the sell right away that you’ll give him or her $200.00 if they take it down and do a special private Buy it now Auction for you.  It works almost every time.  Sure one may come up down the road a few bucks cheaper, but if you know in your heart it’s worth $200.00, give it to them.  I bought my favorite piece to my collection that way.  I’ve seen them for 199.00 and I think an opening price of 149,00 but in the end, it could have been 300.00.  I would also say that if you are a collector of anything, if you watch the sell prices, you’ll see that EBAY is just like the stock market or Real Estate.  If you collect Franklin Mint plates, you’ll see how certain plates hold their value while others drop or climb.

Know what they sell for and Know what you’re willing to pay.  That’s the Key.

(And avoid bad sellers at all costs)