Guys like me, we don't know how it feels,
Absentee even closing the deal,
But every player there's a payoff in the final reel,
But never with guys like me...
Perhaps it's just a coincidence. That's the likely explanation, and I'm not one to disagree with Hume's Fork. But it's interesting that, for several weeks, any time I tried to visit Aaron McGruder's "The Boondocks" Web site, I got a "not found" error. Then, in last month's Vitriol, I made a mention of that fact, and suddenly the site is back up. Maybe Ashcroft is backing off now that he knows someone is paying attention. Heh-heh-heh...!
Why are people so fscking rude aboard public transportation vehicles? Well, I'm sure it's got something to do with why they're so rude in general... but lately I'm noticing more and more how inconsiderately loud so many people are on the trains and buses. It's not usually too bad on the train I take in the morning, and I suppose the implication is that most of those people are businesspeople on their way to offices in Manhattan, and they're somehow more polite than the people with whom I share a bus ride, many of whom are working in retail, factories, and less-stuffy offices in Jersey. I can't fully accept that. But I do know that the decibel level on the 83 bus is uncomfortably high in the mornings due to a group who sit at the back and must be suffering from hearing loss despite not being of advanced ages. I have to blast music through my earbuds to drown them out, and I'm not always successful.
Not really sure what my point is. I suppose I'm just lamenting the decline of civility. It's not the first time I've addressed some aspect of this issue, and I'm certainly not the first person to do so. I just wish there were some way to change people's attitudes. I mean, I'm not wrong in feeling that everyone on a train or bus is entitled to a relatively quiet and peaceful ride... am I? Perhaps the problem lies with New Jersey Transit and its employees (and the other bus and train companies, too) for not listing and enforcing a set of common-sense regulations for passengers.
Anyway, enough about that... AA World Class had its Company picnic last Friday at Van Saun Park in Paramus, as we have for the past few years. The weather was nice (finally!), so I decided to bring my Danelectro guitar and the gig bag with the amp built-in and get some guitar-playin' time in. A lot of my co-workers expressed curiosity about the bag and the guitar; a few of them hadn't even realized that I play. But even most of the people who claimed they wanted to hear me play didn't bother coming around to listen when I did plug in and tune up. Oh, well. Fortunately, I don't write and play for them, but for myself.
Between playing in the park and working on recording "Hole in the Wall" for my album, I've built up a nice set of callouses on the fingers of my right hand again. The trick is to keep playing, and playing, to keep them there, otherwise... well, it just gets painful if you don't have callouses and you suddenly play hard for any real length of time. "Hole" is coming along pretty well, I think. It's a song I first conceived of back around 1990-91, and I wrote the intro poem (though I'm not sure I intended it to be part of the song at the time) and the fadeout ("And it HURTS!" "But it feels good...") then, but never finished the lyrics or came up with any real music. All I knew was that, in my head at least, it was a song that was missing from Pink Floyd's magnificent "The Wall," and I needed to make it sound like it would fit on that album.
The song is about a man who has built that Wall, who has locked himself away from anything that could hurt him, and who eventually realizes that the love he seeks requires lowering his defenses and exposing himself to the possibility of pain and loss. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, basically. Like many of my songs, there's a bit of me in there. I've always identified with Pink, the protagonist of "The Wall," a bit, and different women along my travels have pointed out with concern and dismay that I've put up walls of my own. The better among them have helped me pull some of those walls down...
I finally finished the lyrics to "Hole in the Wall" in 2001. I guess I couldn't accurately write about heartbreak and deliberately making onself vulnerable for the sake of love until I'd lived it. In 1991, I was too naïve to depict such soulful ideas. Of course, some would say that I wasn't quite ready in 2001, either. I started piecing together the music two weeks ago. It's not easy trying to duplicate the feel of not only a specific band but a specific album. You'll have to tell me what you think once I'm done.
Yesika, Luigui, and I saw "The Matrix Reloaded" on the IMAX screen in New York last weekend. Even the people who found fault with the storyline or the acting cannot fault the visuals in this movie, and WOW, did they kick ass on that large canvas. Lui and one of his other friends and I are going to see Metallica (and a few other bands in whom I'm not especially interested) next Tuesday, which should also be quite ass-kicking. I need to listen to "St. Anger," the new album, a few more times, but so far I like it, though not as much as "Master of Puppets" or "Load." No guitar solos! No wonder some fans are outraged... Heh-heh.
In addition to that show, I'll see Mart Rivas tomorrow night at CBGB, and Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and Dio towards the end of July. And Ringo Starr in early August. I'm taking in more music this year than in the past five! Now if only the Go-Gos would come to the East Coast...
I see you schmucks have no opinions whatsoever on what I should or
shouldn't call the album. Well, it does all come back to me in the end... I'm still
thinking that maybe Joey Ramone's Dead would be too dated at this point, but I'm not
certain what I'd like to use instead. Blond on Blonde? Flaming Panties? Shark
Sandwich? Live at Cleveland? C'mon, surely you've got some thoughts...
- A (firstname.lastname@example.org)