Time Takes A Cigarette

Have you ever considered how fragile time actually is? Not in the “your life is ticking away sense”, but in the concept that my watch is a few minutes different from yours and everyone else’s and thus very few folks actually have the correct time. So why we are living at the same time, some of us are actually either a few minutes in the future or a few minutes in the past.

Have found out recently that Ray Dafrico (Nightporters, Shades Of Shame, KTO, etc) actually works for the same company I do. His new band the Shanghai Gesture played Live at WREK this past Tuesday (2/5/08) and are worth a listen in the WREK 7 day archive at wrek.org

Cleaned out the spam tonight from incoming comments. Enjoyed what I assume is one claiming to be from the wrestler Chris Jericho. If it is actually Chris (who has lived in the ATL), welcome aboard.

Speaking of wrestling, Ric Flair has endorsed Huckabee while Hulk Hogan has put his stamp of approval on Obama. And here’s a link from Youtube to one of my all time favorite Gordon Solie calls : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN74RaW7UgA

“He’s hemorrhaging. Don’t move him.” Nearly twenty-seven years later and I still fondly recall this.


Lots of Jam and Stranglers to be played on Personality Crisis this upcoming Sunday. Working on getting Pere Ubu giveaways/possible interview regarding their upcoming performance at the Plaza Theatre.





Wir Sind Dann Helden

The Clash’s version of Pressure Drop that’s being used in a car commercial will probably be heard by more people than have ever heard their music. We are all Devo after all!

Ernie Johnson was the epitome of class the entire time he was an announcer for the Atlanta Braves. Understand that it was his inning to announce on April 8, 1974 when Henry Aaron became baseball’s current home run king, but he graciously stepped aside because Milo Hamilton had it in his contract that he was to announce Aaron’s at-bats as he approached the record. Milo Hamilton is in the baseball Hall Of Fame, partially because of that call which should have been Ernie’s. The ordinary hoi polloi can rectify that by voting for Ernie at www.baseballhalloffame.org. Vote once each day through 11/30/07 for Ernie. Please.

I Do The Traffic Light Rock, Stop & Go All Of The Time

Is there anything more wasteful going on in Atlanta right now than these idiotic lights they are placing at all freeway ramps to regulate incoming traffic? Are there really that many wrecks with merging traffic to justify the expense? And do you really expect the great drivers of Atlanta to obey these lights when they have difficulty with those on surface streets? How long til we have redlight cameras on the ramps?  It makes no sense to have them on some ramps (eg, the entrance from Savoy Drive/North Peachtree in Chamblee where there’s both a short taper and a need to merge fast as the right lane forces you to exit onto Peachtree Industrial southbound if you don’t merge fast enough.) Some light placements are also odd. The one on the entrance onto 575 south from Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw is well up the ramp (it’s quite a long ramp) just before you merge with 575. So you are then forced to almost drag race from the greenlight to get up the speed to merge into 55+ MPH traffic. Stupid.

In other stuff, a couple of more passings to note. The first is that of any sort of record store at Perimeter Mall. I have many memories of lingering around the record emporiums at Perimeter but can no longer as the FYE there has now closed. I bought my first record at that mall in 1976 (Wings Over America) but not at Franklin Music but at Rich’s. (Penney’s used to sell albums there as well.) Franklin gave way to Record Bar to Camelot to FYE. At some point Turtle’s opened and then became a Blockbuster Music and then Warehouse Music. Now, no more. Though Paul Stanley and Grace Slick are both soon appearing at an art gallery there!

Also noted this week is the passing of the gifted comedienne Alice Ghostley from cancer at the age of 81. Alice has always sort of been under the radar even though she appeared in blockbuster movies like Grease and was a regular on the TV show Designing Women. I first encountered her when my family went to one of those Theater Of The Stars productions in 1975 or 1976 where she was appearing with Paul Lynde (a worthy foil) in something or another which may have been called Stop, Thief, Stop. Anyway, she was a damn funny lady and you should do yourself a favor and seek out something with her in it.

Went by 688 the other day to see the building is finally being used (not torn down, thank goodness) as a medical clinic. So the place where all those musicians used all sorts of illicit drugs is now doling them out legitimately. and the place where I saw Chris Wood stick a hypodermic needle in his head now regularly features folks using those same type needles correctly.

Finally, here’s one from YouTube featuring a Today show report from the day after the Sex Pistols’ Great Southeast Music Hall appearance  with Jack Perkins, Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw all taking their shots at the band :


Haven’t confirmed it with Stan Satin, but I think Chris Wood is one of the punks lingering outside.


Mister Saturday Night Special

so it was a very interesting Saturday past (8/25/07). My sister decided fairly early in the day that she wanted to go see the Def Leppard/Styx/Foreigner show at  Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre. I thought she was gonna go with her friend since her husband is out of town but, nope, I got the nod to go instead. When I went to Publix to buy the tickets ($30.50 x 2 somehow equals $89 in Ticketmaster math), the lady behind the counter began telling how she saw Leppard on the Pyromania tour and the guy behind me spouted how lucky I was to be going. I was going to suggest they set up a date and go together but just ventured back into the heat with my too expensive tickets.

Before I dropped my mom off at my sister’s house to babysit, we went to Waffle House to eat. When we walked in, two of six booths were occupied, one was open and the other three were dirty. When we left, all six booths were dirty as our waitress, who disappeared after serving us, had informed the cook that she hadn’t waited on those tables and they “weren’t paying her to clean those tables.” I kinda think they were. Lord knows she certainly wasn’t going to get to wait on anyone else until she did clean them.

So my sister and I leave Duluth at about 6:15. We make good time through the city and get down near the Lakewood/Langford Parkway exit by about 7:10 (the show was a scheduled 7:00 start.) Whammo, the exits were packed full. Typical city of Atlanta traffic control (or non-control) means incoming show traffic moved at a standstill. When we get inside, it’s pushing 8:00 and not only have we missed Foreigner (no big deal since some schmo other than Lou Gramm is singing these days) but we barely get situated for Styx. Now I’ve only seen Styx without Dennis DeYoung (meaning not back then either) but they are still fairly enjoyable for what they are. And they played that Toys For Tots charity show back in 1977, alright. All of the set (outside of Too Much Time On My Hands) was from the albums The Grand Illusion & Pieces Of Eight. But it was hard to both see and hear Styx because a) the speakers situated on the roof of the covered seating were not turned on for Styx (meaning the lawn was only hearing the band from the stage PA which wasn’t very loud)  b) the video screens were also not used. I understand why Def Leppard didn’t want the video used but not allowing use of the speakers for slightly better sound comes off as just petty. They’ve been playing shows together so maybe there’s problems between the two bands, who knows.

Def Leppard were just sort of disappointing. After all the raving I did for the covers album they released last year, this was just a tepid not very rocking show. My sister noted that all of their songs tend to sound alike and as the set wore on the near capacity crowd began to dissipate. Not sure if the older crowd had to get home to babysitters or were just bored like me. The couple next to my sister didn’t seem to mind. This late forties-ish twosome were making out like it was the No Tell Motel. He was shirtless (and shouldn’t have been) but she didn’t mind, at one point licking his shoulder. Ewwwww.

Anyway. we left just before the set ended with Photograph, the one song I kinda wanted to see. When I got home I flicked by a show called Red Eye that Fox News airs at 2 AM. The show has a panel who comment on various news stories and items. On Saturdays they usually run repeats but last night I stopped on it when I recognized the countenance of Sir Johnny Rotten. Of course Johnny ran the show and nobody else could easily get a word in edgewise, but that’s ok. Two weird moments. One, they actually interviewed Johnny, which they don’t usually do with panelists. Secondly, they brought on the great wrestler Rey Mysterio Junior and interviewed him as well. In the process, you could hear Johnny literally perk up at the mention of lucha libre and he then saluted Rey for for his good work. John Lydon is familiar with lucha libre. Absolutely surreal.

Before I went to bed I watched most of a sort of documentary called “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” about the MPAA, ratings, and the people who make them. Will finish it in just a bit when I get home and may post a mini-review later.

One quick review is of a DVD called “This Is Southern Rock”. Besides seeing the shells of what’s left of bands like Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet, you get to see the completely different sounding guy ARS have gotten to replace Ronnie Hammond. There’s a vintage clip of Black Oak Arkansas (who I never much cared for) but little else to recommend here.

American Heavy Metal Weekend

so I watched the “cult classic” Heavy Metal Parking Lot courtesy of Netflix yesterday and wasn’t that impressed. When they said it was a favorite on the Nirvana tour bus I could only think that Kurt identified himself/his audience in the lunkheads going to see that Judas Priest show. Zebraman that hates punk is interesting, but the highlight for me is the guy in the DC 101 shirt that resembles a cross between Steve Perry and Chris Robinson, aka one ugly guy.

No I can’t really identify with the crowd going to see Priest that night (other than agreeing that they DO rock) but I did witness a couple of lunkhead moments myself back in the 80s at the few metal shows I did go see.

In 1985, Mike Mitten (RIP) and I ventured down to the Omni courtesy of comp tix to see AC/DC with opener Yngwie Malmsteen. Now, Mike liked his metal a bit more than me, but even he agreed that Yngwie was a douche so we waited until we figured he’d be about over before heading to the Omni. At that point, will call was located in the foyer at the Omni International/CNN Center. As we approached the window, the show had apparently just sold out as one of the workers was closing her booth. A drunken guy straight out of the parking lot documentary yelled very loudly “What’s that c*** doing?” He then proceeded to bang on the booth window and say “Hey, c***, what are you doing?” We got our tickets and went in and to this day one of the few things I remember about the show was that the entire row in front of us was teenage boys who were, for some reason, shirtless.

I also saw Metallica at the Omni back in 1989. At that time, virtually every show I saw there the security near the floor would hop on anybody that moved. Except at Metallica. The comp tix we got were just off the floor and sure enough a fight breaks out in my row. I’m still waiting for security to arrive.

A year before we got comp tix to see Dio and Megadeth at the half-house configuration of the Omni. I only decided to go because I read a review in either the NME or Melody Maker where they mentioned that at one point the guitarist “killed” a giant spider with lasers coming out of his guitar. So stupidly outlandish, I HAD to see it! I was one of the few however as had they moved everyone in the building to the floor, it still wouldn’t have been full. This is half-house, remember. Anyway, at some point I had to pee and stumbled in the dark to the men’s room. Now, with that small a crowd, you’d expect harmony. Nope, I pick the bathroom where two genii decide they’re gonna fight. and I barely survived that to just get back as the guitarist is finishing his lame overlong solo and killing the spider. Bad news all the way around.

Skip ahead around a decade to Lakewood and Ozzfest, the first time the reunited Black Sabbath play Atlanta. At one point, Ozzy bellows “Come on, you gotta get more fuckin’ crazy!” At this point (I’m on the lawn) I look to my left and folks have set the lawn ablaze. Ozzy, can you get “more fuckin’ crazy” than setting the venue on fire?

Anyway, those are my “parking lot” moments. Devo fans didn’t really “party” enough to get their own documentary so I couldn’t have filmed much at shows I went to…..

Unrelated note, I kinda like the Simpsons movie. Sappy predictable ending but good bits interspersed… 


Just a quickie

Listening to some music at work the other day and “Seventeen” by Foreigner came on (similar in content to Warrant (or whoever) that did “You’re Only Seventeen” that I frankly only know because of the commercial that used to run on TV for the Hair Metal album. You know, music a lot of folks liked in the late 80s/early 90s that “rocked” then but know they like it because it’s so cheesy.) anyway, it hit me that Foreigner (and Warrant, for that matter) were well old enough that they shouldn’t have been squiring teenage girls through song. How come, with the exception of “Stacy’s Mom” and “Mrs. Robinson”, you don’t hear these rock star types singing about older women. Especially with bands going on and on and on. Couldn’t Foreigner, these days, sing a song about a “girl” whose “Fifty-seven” and still be singing about a younger woman? or Warrant give us “She’s Only Forty-three”. It beats Iggy just singing songs about his dick (see the tepid recent Stooges album…)


Hairy Potheads

So i tried to go shopping at bookstores Friday night and was mildly successful. At one Barnes & Nobles I literally got three feet in the door before the chaos associated with all things Harry Potter hit in full force. As I reversed my way out, I ventured to two more stores in a non-Potter quest when it finally hit me how silly this phenomenon was and how much the music industry would, at this point in time, kill for anything remotely similar to it. As I saw twenty something year old Harry lookalikes smoking outside Borders (does Harry hit the cigs? I have no idea) I realized that in the old days when folks camped out for concert tickets or a new album release they didn’t do so dressed as their favorite artist. Sure a lot of Skynyrd fans sleeping in the Oz parking lot waiting for those Omni tickets to go on sale may have looked like Gary Rossington, but that’s just who they were, they weren’t making any special effort. And all of this for a book? I’m currently reading Pete Rose’s book (a Dollar Tree special complete with incorrect spelling of Rico Carty’s name!) but don’t expect me to look like Pete if I enjoy it.

Which leads me to these “role playing” kids who inhabit the Student Center Commons near WREK nearly every Saturday. Maybe it’s because I’ve never smoked pot, listened to a lot of Rush or Bauhaus and have never played Dungeons & Dragons, but I don’t get this either. I used to pretend I was Phil Esposito (or his brother Tony) when I was a kid, but I’d look a damn fool if I did that now.

And speaking of sports, here’s hoping the Braves truly honor Henry Aaron the next few days and give Mister Bonds absolutely nothing to hit…….

Sitting At The Metroplex…

Holy shit, it lives!!!

I drive by the site of the second (Marietta Street) Metroplex virtually every day going to and from work and while I don’t miss it as much as 688, it’s still one of those holes in my life I can never refill. At some point I’ll regurgitate a few more stories about the place but I’ll whet your appetite with two.

The first is late November of 1985, the second (and less impressive) Atlanta Dead Kennedys show. I parked down the street outside an African-American club called, I think, the Phoenix. I’ve always thought that was the only time I ever parked there but today decided I must have done it before that show because I felt ok about doing it. And the reason why I did it? To save the three bucks or so the guy charged for parking in the lot next to the ‘Plex. Needless to say, I rued my decision when I came back after the show to find it hade been towed. Save $3? Cost me probably about $100 to get it out. Plus, I had to find a ride home. My friend Todd couldn’t take me because he was going with Jello to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers show that was at 688 that night. (aside – the only words Jello Biafra probably ever heard me say was “They towed my fucking car”. That heartens me in some way.) Anyway, I drive by that place evryday as well. When I first started commuting to Centennial Tower I noticed the place had changed names to something Dance Club and had various country flags painted on it, leftover, I’m sure, from its proximity to Olympic festivities in 1996. Anyway, last night I looked over and they’d knocked the building down. One more old Atlanta structure gone to be replaced, probably, by a highrise of some sort.

The other Metrplex story I’ll regale you with today dates from 1986 or so, the first time Skinny Puppy played Atlanta (and the only time for several more years.) The end of their show seemed rather hokey at the time, with an “audience member” (aka band associate) pretending to shoot the lead singer (Ogre?) to death. It was actually sort of funny. Some guys from the band Flatbush were videotaping the show upstairs. As we knew the band would get a copy, we said loud enough to be on mic “At least Alice hung himself”. When some moron pulled this stunt for real on Dimebag Darrell, I could see why initially some audience members thought it might be part of the show. Bad life imitating bad art.

In the future I’ll bring up Arthur Davis getting clocked by a full beer can outside the club and other shenanigans that’ll make you think “damn…….”


Well they’ve inducted the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame again and I’ll (anon) have a non-timely piece on it. Figures. Anyway, my mom had a stretch in the hospital with pneumonia so I haven’t had any earth-shaking posts for you to salivate over. Until this one.

This post is dedicated to the Hall of Fame. But not that one. Vince McMahon’s WWE has a wrestling Hall of Fame that they have been inducting folks into for a few years, even letting the ordinary hoi polloi vote to determine a spot. So far this year they’ve announced the upcoming inductions of the American Dream, the son of a plumber, Mister Dusty Rhodes as well as one of a number of Kings to call Memphis home (not the Superstar Bill Dundee you oafs), Jerry The King Lawler. Both good selections. Rhodes was so over with kids of my generation he merits the spot and Lawler was always pretty ace in Memphis including his legendary angle with Andy Kaufman. But there’s a gaping hole in the WWE Hall of Fame. It can only belong to one man. The Dean of wrestling announcers, the unsurpassable Gordon Solie. Solie made you interested in what was going on whether it was a boring squash match or an in-depth interview. Gordon lent an intelligent, serious attitude to the announcing that allowed you an insight into what was purportedly going on. Hell, I learned what the carotid artery was well before my heart troubles courtesy of Gordon’s play by play. And the funny thing is, I’ve talked to a number of folks who aren’t exactly wrestling afficionados and even with their limited exposure to Solie they’ve said they realized what a talent he was. My personal fave was his description as Ted Dibiase was finally being helped after receiving multiple piledrivers from the Freebirds : “Don’t move him! He’s hemorrhaging!” So come on Vince, put Gordon Solie in your WWE Hall of Fame.  To paraphrase the late Freddie Miller, Gordon should “be therrrrrrrrre!” Below are some samples from Youtube of his Solieness :

(By the way, don’t bother with the book Gordon wrote back in the 1980s. Possibly the most boring wrestling associated book ever that features as much on his family’s holiday pool tournaments as it does in ring stories…..)

Here’s Gordon with JYD (nice angle with the Freebirds)


Announcing Bruiser Brody vs Wahoo McDaniel


The best, Ric Flair, vs Barry Windham


Calling Dusty Rhodes vs the Russian Bear, Ivan Koloff


with the immortal Harley Race analyzing his match with Dirty Dick Murdoch


trying to control the Fullers & Jimmy Golden as they narrate a Bob Armstrong beatdown


and trying to honestly put over  Tracy Smothers taking on a bear !



I’m Just A Heart & Soul Rock N Roll Junkie

(the above references Herman Brood, a Dutch musician I once saw open for the Kinks in Atlanta. One of the highlights of his band’s set was when one of the members screamed “Hello Alabama!” Brood did an interview with a local Atlanta TV station where he said that the one thing he wanted to do while in America was “sleep with Little Richard.” He may be best known in some circles for being the ex-husband of Nina Hagen as well as a 1979 US chart placement for his single “Saturday Night”. He passed away, I believe, in 2001.)

Another Valentine’s Day without a Valentine for me. Too many years like that for me. Sad to say my most vivid Valentine’s memory is from 25 years ago today when I saw a somewhat dodgy Atlanta band called Baby & The Pacifiers at their West Peachtree Club, the Bistro. Apparently the Bistro was owned/run by several different folks over the years and at one point in the 70s featured Jimmy Buffet’s band as the houseband. The Pacifiers had a college radio hit in Atlanta with their single “After You Jump” b/w “Planet Rangers”. I always had this feeling they thought themselves more important to the scene than they were (maybe that’s just me.) Though the Bistro was open for several years after I became “of drinking age”, I never again ventured in after that 1982 “teen” night show. (To be truthful, the only other show there that I was ever interested in seeing there was X’s Atlanta debut in 1981, but I weren’t old enough.) The major problem with the Bistro (other than always having the Pacifiers play) was it seemed that most bands that played there were a step down from the ones who played 688. Those type of bands later found a gigging home at Margaritaville, which I’ve just recently noted has been torn down.

Anyway, to any ladies viewing this site, tonight you are my Valentine. Hey, a generic message has gotta be better than a dreary Sunday night at the Bistro in 1982……..