Thursday, July 22, 2010


Last November I announced that I was taking a sabbatical from playing live music. The band I was in threw a retirement party for me. It was a great time. I've since then have sat in on occasion and filled in when they needed me to. The truth is that I just needed a break. I found myself tired all the time and had no time for my family or myself. A large part of it was because I also work weekends at my day job and then having to play at night til 2 in the morning just basically was wearing me out. I still miss playing at times and tho the money wasn't great, it was nice to have that extra bit of cash in my pocket from time to time.

Some of you probably wonder how one goes from playing live for most of his life to becoming a person who is rediscovering the remote in his living room. (Did you know you can order movies right from your remote? Frickin amazing) Anyway, the transition wasn't as hard as one might think. While yes, there were a lot of great moments, I think I'll miss the faces of people the most. The emotions of those connecting with whatever song we were playing, or the couple slow dancing and falling in love all over again. The power of music is truly an amazing thing. I have found that throughout my life, certain songs have gotten me through some rough times and lifted me up when I needed it. There are songs that, when I hear them on the radio, take me back to a special time or memory in my life, songs that always bring a smile to my face or in some cases a tear to my eye. I have always said that music is in my blood and I will play til I die. I will never quit. I think it's the same for all of you whether you are a musician or not. Music is in all of our blood. It is a part of our nature, part of who we are. Throughout the years, I have been fortunate enough to share what little talent I have with all of you. It has been my honor and privilege. Someday I may return to the stage, I don't know, could be sooner, could be later...I don't know that either. Right now, I am enjoying the time I spend with my lovely wife and family. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it some, but honestly, times have changed. While I no longer seek the fame and fortune that I did when in my early years...(tho the fortune would be nice lol) I find that family is more important to me and my time with them is more gratifying. I have changed my priorities and found that my family comes first and my love for performing has taken a back seat. I still tinker around a bit in my home studio for fun but have come to the realization that while reaching for the stars I had neglected to see the lights that were already surrounding me. Sometimes, and I'm not saying this is for everyone, you have to step back to realize that what you already have is more important and greater than what you think you need. I'm thankful that I did before it was too late.

In summary, I may play again someday and I know that when or if I do, I won't lose sight of what is important. Never take things for granted. But who am I to tell you this. Some lessons we have to learn on our own. As far as the transition goes. it wasn't hard because once I stepped back, I found all the other things that I had been missing in my life and they were all there waiting for me with open arms. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I entered a contest lol

I don't usually but I'm getting old and figured "what the hell"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's talk music

Just reflecting here on what music and done for me and my preferences. Not that it really matters. Just my perspective and yes I'm still sleepy. Starting out, I grew up with older brothers who had quite a bit of influence on what I listened to because they controlled the radio dial lol. My oldest brother moved out when I was about 8 so my other brother from the same mother, lol, who was in his teens during the 60's turned me on to the likes of the Grand Funk Railroad, Doors, Hendrix, Beatles, Zepplin,Who and bands like that. I guess you could say I was a rocker at a very early age. In the 60's, the music was very emotional. You had the peace movement going on, protests, threats of revolution, drug experimentation and all kinds of other things influencing music. People were stepping away from the politically correct mainstream sock hop type of music into the wailing and screaching of feedback and distortion. It was a cool time to grow up musically. I hit my teens in the early 70's full of emotion and dreams. One of the first major influences I had, had to be Alice Cooper. Dramatic, Dynamic, Sinister, Revolting, everything that your parents hated, right there in front of you. Cooper was one of the first rock bands to use theatrics. I was hooked and ever since then have leaned more towards bands that are theatrical in one way or another. Bands that move you emotionally per se. I started listening to more bands like Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, ELP and so on. I wasn't as likely to listen to Bob Seger of Steve Miller type bands. I needed more substance and emotion in my music. Not to take anything away from those bands. They were(are) great songwriters and deserve the fame they achieved.Basically, I grew to expect more out of my music than simple 3 chord songs with a bridge thrown in for good measure.Songs that had dynamics, not just loud and softer at times but emotionally dynamic. That's pretty much defined in what I listen to today. If you'd like some good examples of this type of music try these on your ears...Genesis - Suppers Ready, Alice cooper - The Ballad of Dwight Frye, Yes - Starship Trooper, David Bowie - Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed, Gentle Giant - Cogs in Cogs or the whole Three Friends album, Jeff Beck Live with Jan Hammer - Darkness in search of sun., Pink Floyd - Any album.

Moving on, it's seems that there's a lack or a void in music today. I guess it could just be me and what I'm listening to but it seems that if you have a really good band come out, the next 20 will sound just like them. I'm sure it's all marketing but still, there doesn't seem to be as much originality as there used to be. There are a few that stand out to me over the past decade or so but for the most part, they all seem to be the same in one aspect or another. They mainly thrash out a few chords and throw in the half step to make it cool or darker. I guess there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not talking about really heavy metal, as they are in a group all their own, I'm talking about the mainstream rock that's being played nowadays. Maybe it's just me getting old but music doesn't seem as intense as it used to be. There are a few exceptions to this and everyone has their own tastes and probably think I'm nuts and living in the past. I do like bands like Disturbed, Korn, Nickelback, Godsmack, Linkin Park and so on but it seems rare nowadays to hear a song and actually feel a part of that song. I remember back when I had this studio apartment, that was really tiny, and I had this stereo with ginormous speakers. I would pull out the hide a bed and prop the speakers on each side of me and listen to Pink Floyd's Meddle and I could feel the music go through me. Back in the 60's and 70's the new innovation was the discovery of stereo and people experimenting with it. Bands would actually write songs thinking of different ways to utilize this effect in their music. A great example would be Frankenstein...Edgar Winter. If you haven't listened to this with head phones on, you haven't really heard it. I will say that the quality and clarity of music is better today with all the technological advances over the past 40 years, but it just seems harder, or less appealing, to sit down with headphones and listen to a whole production these days. The last band to actually made me want to listen to them in that way was Queensryche. They brought back the theatrics in music for me. I'm not talking just about a stage performance. I'm talking about the whole package. If you listen to Operation Mindcrime from beginning to end, you can picture the story they are telling, you become part of it. Another band that has done that, althought the singer is evil, is King Diamond. His band is full of unbelievable musicians. I suppose I prefer concept albums, but that's not all I enjoy. I actually have a wide span of likes in music. Some songs that came to me with perfect timing were, Don't give up - Peter Gabriel, Take a Look at me Now - Phil Collins, Magnum Opus - Kansas, Eyes of a stranger - Queensyche, Black Sabbath N.I.B(strangse story on that one that I won't get into). On a quick note, I have heard a lot of new bands on myspace that are just incredible. There's a whole new generation of undiscovered music coming out that I'm really looking forward to. A couple examples would be Mary Magdalan, Reign IV and Stever. to just name a few.

Also , I need to mention Rush and Frank Zappa who were huge influences on me, but that's a whole different blog.

In closing I just want to say that there is no such thing as bad music. This is what works for me and I'm sure it's probably different than what works for you. I prefer music that makes you think or reflect or helps me get through whatever. Some people don't want to have to think and would rather drink a beer and scream out I Wanna Rock or some facsimile thereof. Nothing wrong with that either. Music is part of all of our lives, embrace it in whatever way works for you but embrace it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'll probably get audited after this repost but here goes

The Proposal"

When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.

Our government should not be immune from similar risks.

Therefore: Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Also reduce remaining staff by 25%.

Accomplish this over the next 8 years.. (two steps / two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.)

$97,175,000 for elimination of the above people's staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

$240,294 for the reduction in remai ning staff by 25%.

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion / yr)

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country?

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full p ay. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress.

Summary of opportunity:

$ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members.

$282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.

$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION just to start!)

Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benef its there is no telling how much we would save. Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term.

IF you are happy how the Congress spends our taxes, then just delete this message. IF you are NOT at all happy, then I assume you know what to do.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Chantix and dreams

I'm in the process of quitting smoking...or at least trying to, and my doctor prescribed Chantix. This is supposed to curb your appetite for nicotine from what I understand from the doctor. I've been smoking for a very long time so it doesn't seem to be helping, but I'm not giving up. I tried Zyban years ago and it only made me smoke more, tried the hypnotism and lit one up on my way out the door from the session. A former boss even offered me $500 to quit. Let's face it, I'm addicted, it's a way of life for me, be it a bad habit, I've been smoking for the better part of my life. I have managed to cut down quite considerably tho. I no longer smoke at work and have made a few other adjustments. Like I said, I won't quit trying to quit.
Back to the topic. Chantix. Since I've been taking this, I have been having the most vivid dreams. I haven't been able to remember my dreams in years. It's nice to have that back. So regardless if I'm able to quit or not, I would still like to keep taking the Chantix...I'm addicted to dreaming. LOL. I've had derams anywhere from jamming in a band with my favorite hockey player to taking my nerdy friends to a Rob Zombie like circus. What's really strange is that over the past few weeks I have somewhat been able to control them too. What happens is that for some reason I'll realize that I'm in a dream and start directing what I would like to happen. Talking about living in a fantasy world where you can do whatever you want, this is it. I know that I'll eventually have to stop taking the Chantix but hopefully I won't lose the dreams in the process.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I just may get naked!!!

Okay, you read the subject line and are probably asking yourself..."Self? Why is he going to get naked?" Well I'll tell you in a minute, but first there are a couple things that you need to know.

1. My band, Jamboozle, is playing at Uli's Haus of Rock this friday and saturday. If you don't know where that is and you live in the Lansing MI area, you probably need to get a life...just kidding. It's on South MLK blvd between Jolly and Cavanaugh.

2. If you were insulted by me telling you that you need to get a life, then you are probably cowaring behind your Michael Bolton album covers and crying "He insulted me" boo hoo hoo, Get a life. Seriously...get a life.

3. Thanks to those of you still left reading this. You obviously aren't wimps and like good heavy rock and roll. Please re-read 1 and make sure you show up to one of Lansings best rock shows in a bar where no cover is ever charged. That's right, you can see Jamboozle for free. No dolla no holla....$0 dinero blah blah blah.

4. If you were offended but read on anyway, I sincerely apologize. I really would like you to come to our show, I only ask that you don't cry during the slow songs Okay?

Well that about does it. Have a great day and see you this weekend.


p.s. I forgot to tell you why I just may get naked.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dear Uncle Sam

First of all, I would like to thank you for providing this great country that I live in where everyone is allowed to pursue the "American Dream" . Everyone has the right to succeed or fail, it is truly up to the individual and how hard they want their dreams to come true. I also want to thank you for providing us with a military of volunteers who will do what they must to protect family, friends and country without thinking twice about the sacrifice they are giving. I am truly proud of them.

What I am writing about has nothing to do with any of the above. I am writing to request that you bailout my family. I noticed that you seem to be giving out money to all sorts of businesses and would like my piece of the pie. First of all, you are bailing out lending institutions. I think I should get some of this bailout money because by the time I pay off my mortgage, with interest, I will have paid three times the value of my home. So if they are going to profit 200% and still need money, I should be entitled to some of that too. You are also considering bailing out the auto industry. While I agree somewhat, living in Michigan, that many jobs will be lost if you don't, I think that the greed shown by the auto industry needs to be addressed before you give them money. They have priced themselves right out of the market while the corporate bigwigs reap mega profits. Granted it goes back to the lending institutions who finance auto loans to where you pay almost double the value of the vehicle, still, I would like some of that bailout money too.
Overall, my measly lower middle class income gets taxed by federal, state and local governments, when I purchase anything, I have to pay taxes on that with money that has already been taxed, I have to pay taxes on property I already own, and if I die I have to pay taxes on that too. Not to mention how my 401k has been losing on a daily basis, but with all the regulations, I am not allowed to draw it out, I am only allowed to watch it decrease in value. So with all the greedy corporations getting bailouts while most of us Americans struggle to stay on ahead of the game, I would like to request a bailout for me and my family. Granted, we haven't done anything to deserve it, but that doesn't seem to be part of the criteria.


P.S. You should still have my address. It is the same as the one that you mailed all of the campaign promotions to. You know, the ones that said you want to help the American people.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where I stand

Okay, the elections are now past and whether your candidate won or not you have to be somewhat relieved. I grew so tired of all the commercials about how bad/evil the other guy was. Even my TV, tho not capable of feeling, seemed tired of all of it. In fact, the animal planet logo is burnt into the screen because, I believe while we were at work, it automatically turned to that channel to avoid political broadcasting. Anyway, so how are you all feeling? I have to admit, I wasn't overly happy with the results but President-elect Obama will be the new president and I will respect the President of my country, whether I agree with him or not. I have stated to a few friends that he won't get a free pass tho. There will be those watching his every move and criticizing him the whole time. That is fine and I am glad there are those out doing that. I only hope that people can do that without the viscious hateful rhetoric we heard over the past 8 years. There was so much hatred and disrespect. I was really embarrassed on how much someone could hate someone they don't even know. Call him hateful and cruel names, wish him dead and so on. I was embarrassed for the country. People on the far left or the far right can say some pretty hurtful things and unfortunately, they are the ones that the media will portray as the voice of America. Most americans don't have this hate in them. So I vow to try to support the coming administration but be it known, that when they screw up...and they will...I will be a strong voice pointing these things out and I hope you will too regardless of your party affiliation. I do promise not to be hateful, only sincere and work toward what I believe is best for this country. I am only one person and I have no political power, but I will be heard. You should be too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I'm not sure how authentic this email I received is. But whether or not this was written by Mr Letterman, it presents some valid points.

David Letterman wrote this; it's the David we
don't often see...

' As most of you know I am not a President
Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not
about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it
seems to hit the mark.

'The other day I was reading Newsweek
magazine and came across some Poll data I found
rather hard to believe. It must be true given
the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67
percent of Americans are unhappy with the
direction the country is headed and 69 percent of
the country is unhappy with the performance of
the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry
just ain't happy and want a change. So being the
k nuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What
are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and
running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week ?

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of
having air conditioning in the summer and heating
in the winter?

C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of
these unhappy folks have a job?

D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk
into a grocery store at any time and see more
food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our
cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the
Atlantic Ocean without having to present
identification papers as we move through each

F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean
and safe motels we would find along the way that
can provide temporary shelter?

G.. I guess having thousands of
restaurants with varying cuisine from around the
world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck
our car, emergency workers show up and provide
services to help all and even send a helicopter
to take you to the hospital.

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70
percent of Americans who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that
in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of
trained firefighters will appear in moments and
use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames,
thus saving you, your family, and your

K.. Or if, while at home watching one
of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or
prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun
and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you
and your family against attack or los s.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a
neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and
pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where
90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious,
social and political freedoms we enjoy that are
the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks

Fact is, we are the largest group of
ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever
seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet
has a great disdain for its citizens. They see
us for what we are. The most blessed people in
the world who do nothing but complain about what
we don't have, and what we hate about the country
instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the
president who took us into war and has no plan to
get us out? The president who has a measly 31
percent approval rating? Is this the same
president who guided the nation in the dark days
after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to
bring an economy out of recession? Could this
be the same guy who has been called every name in
the book for succeeding in keep ing all the
spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist
attacks? The commander in chief of an
all-volunteer army that is out there defending
you and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is
on the news or talk show? Did this news affect
you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't
take a look around for yourself and see all the
good things and be glad? Think about
it......are you upset at the President because he
actually caused you personal pain OR is it
because the 'Media' told you he was failing to
kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.
Make no mistake about it.

The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have
volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have

Died for your freedom. There is currently no
draft in this country. They didn't have to go.
They are able to refuse to go and end up with
either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than
honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a
''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few days in
the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment
in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?

Say what you want but I blame it on the
media. If it bleeds it leads and they
specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a
car crash with blood and guts How many will
watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The
media knows this and media outlets are for-profit
corporations. They offer what sells, and when
criticized, try to defend their actions by
'justifying' them in one way or another Just ask
why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J.
Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill
his wife, but if he did he would have done it
this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New
York Times for the bott om o f your bird cage.
Then start being grateful for all we have as a
country. There is exponentially more good than
bad. We are among the most blessed people on
Earth and should thank God several times a day,
or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With
hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud
slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up
the country from one end to another, and with the
threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we
sure this is a good time to take God out of the
Pledg e of Allegiance?'

David Letterman

Please keep this in circulation. There
are so many people who need to read this and grasp the truth of

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why are we here?

Sometimes when someone you know passes, you take the time to reflect on your own life. You may question, who you are or why you are here. For me the answer was somewhat simple. I've been entertaining people for over 30 years now. If someone smiled or had a good time because of the music we played it was all worth it. But if you look a little deeper, it's more than that. A lot of the reason I entertain was for myself as well. Whether it be for the love of music, or for the recognition or in some cases, the insecurities and need to be loved. I have been blessed with a gift that would be selfish of me not to share it with as many as I could. I'm not saying I'm a great musician, because I'm not. But sharing the music doesn't just stop there. It's sharing your thoughts, ideals, visions and most of all, who you are. To me, how I am off stage is just as important as who I am on stage. On stage is almost an alter-ego. A madman bent on destruction and anger. I pile drive my bass into the drumm risier, smash it with my hand and belt out dissonant vocal harmonies. Off stage I am totally different. The real me comes out and loves to socialize with my friends. I am generally in good spirits at all times. I am always happy to meet new people and make new friends. All the friends I've had through life and not only been dear to me but have helped me evolve and grow into the person I am today.

This brings me back to my title subject. Why are we here? My answer to that question is that we are here to learn and grow and to become better people to set examples for the next generation. To teach them and help them grow into better people until the time actually comes when the world is more accepting of each other and our differences whether they be race, religion or whatever. There's so much anger and hatred spewed out in the world, I just wish people could look within themselves and start the healing there first. I was once told that you have to love yourself before you can love another. I found this to be true and the same goes with trust. It was a long road for me before I found this out but it is true. I've learned to appreciate everyone whether we agree or not, I can respect their opinions and ideals. I don't have to like them but I will respect them. I learned that it's not about me anymore but more about us as a human race. Be good to your brothers and sisters no matter what walk of life you are in, and they most assuredly will be good to you.
You Are 87% Grown Up, 13% Kid
Your emotional maturity is fully developed, and you have an excellent grasp on your emotions. In fact, you are so emotionally mature - you should consider being a therapist!
How Emotionally Mature Are You?