7/10/2012 – Tales from the Clubhouse – vol XI

Tales from the shillelagh clubhouse – vol XI

Just back from a few days on the highways. Delaware and Maryland to be precise. I didn’t have my guitar so I was jonesing a little. And the hotel didn’t have a piano. For my music fix I just listened to Joe Strummer and Clash records while I was trying to sleep. That may seem incongruous, but I find stuff like “White Riot” and “London’s Burning” quite relaxing after a long day sweating in triple degree heat. “Heat Index” as 115 on Saturday. I don’t know what a heat index is but it sure felt like 115. I was so desperate for relief that I slipped into a nearby bar and bought a Yuengling pint for $3.50. I should have broken the glass over the smug bartender’s head. $3.50 for a pint of Yuengling? I felt like burning the place down when I left. I left soon mind you, since I only had a $10 bill on me. You do the math. But for the descendant of coal miners to be pillaged on my homegrown brew in a place filled with Baltimore Raven fans drinking Natural Light like it was wine from a cherished vault was galling to say the least. I was in a pretty shitty mood until I found a “More Cowbell” t-shirt in a nearby store. When I remembered that Blue Oyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman actually produced the Clash’s 2nd album (which sucked balls by the way), I started to get my wits back. At least things were moving in a circular direction. If you can’t go forward, at least don’t go backwards.

Heard a few musicians. There was a guitar/fiddle player duo who played “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and then that red solo cup song….back to back. Apparently they didn’t realize that’s like following “My Generation” with the theme from the Monkees. It was pretty dreadful stuff all around. Lots of drunk people getting way too much sun and calling out for “Margaritaville” the way rednecks used to scream for “Freebird”. And if I’m forced to sit through one more faux hippie warbling through “For What It’s Worth” I swear I might morph into Charles Starkweather. I took a drive and saw that Bret Michaels was coming to town next week, along with one of the Jersey Shore cast members. They weren’t coming to the same place mind you….but knowing both were planning visits made me extra glad I was only in town for 4 days.

Two things stuck with me. Both boardwalk sightings. One was a guy in a wheelchair. Maybe 50 years old. Wearing a big floppy hat. Playing his guitar with a little sound system mounted on his chair. Busking for tips. He was going through CCR tunes. “Down on the Corner”. “Proud Mary”. My man was rocking the place. I dropped a few notes in the bucket and took it all in for a while. The spirit of rock and roll right in front of you. What are you gonna do? Go buy an ice cream? No way man. You hang out and learn.

Which is what I was doing when we were rudely interrupted by a pack of nut jobs walking down the boardwalk playing bongos and guitars and chanting about hell….being led by a guy in a floppy hat dragging a cross behind him. Jesus, get it? The vision was marred somewhat by the wheel affixed to the bottom of the cross…so Jesus didn’t have to struggle too much in the heat. Or maybe just a boardwalk ordinance. Anyway….they ruined my private concert, and for the first time in my life I wanted to kick the shit out of Jesus Christ. I know that doesn’t sound good but I don’t care. Go try walking on water asshole. You ruined a great rock and roll moment.

Maybe my sacrilege cost me…..’cause next time I went in the water I got drilled by a rogue wave and lost my prescription sunglasses to the Atlantic. Oh well. My feeling remains the same. If I see that guy crossing the street somewhere I’m gonna run over him, then put the car in reverse and make sure he’s not still twitching. Besides, Jesus never wore a floppy hat. At least not that I’m aware of.

Closer to the home front, the video for “If I Only Knew” is being filmed this Friday in Chicago. We should have a cut of it by next week. Can’t wait to see what Bruce comes up with. He’s a pretty inventive guy.

It’s good to be home. See you on the road.

Wait…that sounds weird….

In a bit..



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