Monday, February 26, 2007

Henry the Human Fly

Rick - RIP

I had a dear old friend, Rick, who, back in the day, faced with “Clapton is God” plastered everywhere, coined a simple stalwart phrase:

”No one can cut Jeff Beck.”

Any long winded, drug fueled, battle of the axe wielders taking place in any of your garden variety black light lit, incense filled basements, would always end in great frustration for some stoned afficianado or another as Rick, always wearing a smile, would cheerfully wait for his moment, and declare:

”No one can cut Jeff Beck.”

I think there were more than a few compelling argume
nts in favor of Rick’s postulate, though at the time it seemed that Jimi Hendrix had been eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner on that Strat and while Mr. Beck truly was the ultimate prototype shredder, no one moved around an electric guitar with greater ease and intuition than Mr. Bold as Love.

Anyway, this isn’t intended to be one of my long winded entries. We went to the Kent Stage Sunday night in Kent Ohio, and saw a guy play an acoustic guitar and sing for an entire evening. I’ve seen this fellow three times now. The first, a little over 25 years ago in Poughkeepsie, NY at a club that burned down a few years later. He was playing his last tour with his wife, having broken up just as they were hitting the road. Stunning and stunningly sad.

I then saw him about 3 years ago at a c
lub in Cleveland that also, I believe, ceased to exist. This was with a band, playing mostly electric.

Three times now, and I can only write - and of course, you know how predictable I am:

Richard Thompson is very possibly the best guitarist in the world. You can argue in favor of someone else, but I really, truly, believe, chances are you'd be wrong here.

And back in high school, the first time Rick took me over to his house, he had a Fender stack in his room, a Gibson SG, and he stood there windmilling. No Les Paul? No black tee?
Hmmmmm. No one can cut....?

Take it from me:

"No one can cut Richard Thompson."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

He's baaaaack! - sorta -

I just took a hit from Princess Mombi as a ‘non-participant’ in Blogvalia.

It’s certainly true, and while she knows there are numerous reasons, about 98.5% of them valid, even by her definition, the simple fact remains that coming t
o this page has been leading to disappointment, if not despair, since the beginning of December.


When I was living in New York years ago, I was an owner in one of the early New York Rotisserie Baseball leagues. We had such luminaries as Bob Raissman who still writes for the Daily News, Kevin Monahan, current VP of Sports at NBC, Harry Spiro, brother of Cleveland’s DJ Dave Spiro, the guy responsible for all those INSANE Crazy Eddie commercials in t
he NY area, and a few other losers who have gone on to become people like… me. This was where I came to know and love the likes of Carlos Baerga, Jack Morris, Kirby Puckett, and a whole bunch of other non-Yankees for the first time in my life. It made Major League Baseball come to life as a league for me, and I loved it, but alas… as I became busier and busier in TV production, with not enough time to know if a trade was good or bad, struggling to find an available semi warm body to put on the roster when we (The Rubber City Rebels was the team name, btw) had a guy go on the disabled list, I soon came to a realization, and acted on it.

I resigned from the league for the betterment of the game.
So now:

Acting equally responsibly to the denizens of Greater Blogville, I felt I had to do the same these past few months. Now catch-up is just too daunting if I’m going to go into detail on all that’s been happening, knowing the WHY I haven’t been around hardly real blog material in and of itself, but I’ll give a quick review anyway:

The series I’ve been working on , “Leader of the Pack," now tentatively scheduled to start airing on HGTV mid April, tied me up both in Akron and NY, providing a creamy filling of 16 straight days in NY for production with a few quick trips, leading to Christmas, then between Christmas and New Years, and then for a couple weekends following, forming the crispy chocolaty wafers on either side. I’ll give details, pix and stories about this adventure when that’s ready to air.

Bloomberg’s Culture Wire ‘Muse’ has been ravenous for material, material that’s interesting, shot in interesting places and provides us with countless opportunities to work on stuff that isn’t cretinous. So there have been tons of shoots going on at the same time as the above series, continuing into the New Year, along with other shoots for other loyal and wonderful clients.

So in short, the TV biz has been taking up most of my time… along with the laundry.

Then compatriots Chris Butler, Debbie Smith and Rich Roberts joined Dolli, Deb’s sister Cindi, Blueskid Pat Sweeney, some lovely English blokes,The Riotous Brothers, a bunch o’ other delightfully diverse folks, and me, in Orlando, to celebrate Producr Deluxe and Engineer- to- the- Stars, Bruce Hensal’s 23rd berfday by partying, saluting, roasting, honoring and playing at ‘Brucapalooza.’Mister Palooza

Also joined by the the uber-interesting Joe Lala, fabulous percussionist and … look him up on, the 4 of us (Deb, Chris, Rich and me, that is) formed the band ‘Half Pig/Chi Cleveland,’ or... something like that. This was much fun, and a more detailed report may yet show up at when we get our next chance for updating.

Returning from sunny Florida found us in the middle of about 14” of snow, with much shoveling to be done, the return of the prodigal daughter as Gayle, husband Kris, and JUST OLD ENOUGH TO BE A COUPLE INCHES BEYOND 'SUPERBABY'GRANDAUGHTER ELLIOTT ROSE CARTER
returned to Akron after a few years in LA and a shorter period in Chicago. Much more on that will be seen on the Princess Mombi, No No Bad Dao and The Dolli Mama’s respective blogs, so I’ll not dig too deeply here at the moment.

So busy, busy, busy. I’m only doing this entry as it is because I can’t finish the taxes until a couple brokerage firms get their late assed remarkably disorganized documents to me, and I’m a little winded from all the above, thus finding myself having done payroll, sent off production sheets to my crew for tomorrow, turned down one shoot, have one load in the drier and another washing, thawing chicken for dinner (not a real kinetic job, but still…)
listening for 2 1/2 year old noise as I’m also babysitting, about to renew the company’s production insurance policy, begin to pay bills, and work up a tentative set list for our two upcoming gigs in New York (March 23,24. More on THAT later as well)… I thought I’d indulge myself for a minute.

So in that spirit… This just sat for a full day while I learned that there was an emergency 2 camera shoot that needed to be put together incredibly last minute. I guess I’ll post this while I await 3-7 important calls. Be back in a while. What “while” will turn out to be, I know not.