Friday, September 10, 2010

The trials and tribulations of a musician with standards or shitty auditions I have known

For the umpteen-millionth time, I've been in New York City for ten years. I moved here with wide eyes, hopes and dreams the size of Madison Square Garden, and little more than the remotest clue on how to really make shit happen for myself. 


You know, a lot of kids move here from other parts of the country thinking that it's some hotbed of talent and ambition.....they think that the people who inhabit places like (sadly, the now-closed) CBGB's (for example) are all cooler than hell & going somewhere.


What you quickly realize, once you get here, and the cold reality nips at  your earlobes, is that there's just MORE of EVERYTHING.  Sure, there are a lot more talented, creative, cool people who know where they're going.  But, by the same token, there are also many, MANY more dipshits and dildorods who can't play (or sing or act or write or whathaveyou) their way out of a cardboard box....and most of them think that they're just fucking GREAT! 


That all being said, one has to start somewhere, so I immediately began getting my ass out there and jamming with anyone who seemed like they might be cool, fun, & interesting, and/or had something promising happening for them.  I would take the Subway train all over the place, full of hope that THIS was going to be the one that was going to result in something I'd always dreamed of.  What I found, more often than not, wasn't even in the same solar system.


I had my first "audition" (remember, when these so-called "auditions" happen, you're often "auditioning" them as much as they are you) about a week after I arrived here.  Hell, I hadn't even found a place to live yet (I was still crashing on a floor in Bay Ridge...thanks yet again, Alfredo!).  It was in some sweat box on Dekalb Ave in Brooklyn.  These guys (I won't mention what the band's name was, as I don't want to slander anyone....but the name sucked) described themselves as an old-school, melodic Rock N' Roll band, ala-Cheap Trick (one of my favorite bands), so....I went for it.


They were the kind of band that....well, they'd rehearse often, but it was always for ONE show at Arlene's Grocery, maybe ONCE a year.  Great.  And....they kept talking about how they knew some chick who worked at Atlantic Records who will "probably" show up.  Riiiiight.


Their music was ok....not great, but good enough for at the time.  I had a good vibe with the guitar player, which showed some promise.  In any case, they never called me back after that.


Years later, I became pretty good friends with that guitar player.  He told me they never called me back because the singer didn't think I was a good enough drummer.  Granted, my chops were rusty, and my playing was probably a bit loose.  You see, I'd just MOVED to NEW YORK CITY from the MIDWEST, which....takes some TIME and ENERGY, ahahahahahaha!!!!  But this same guitar player came to see a band I used to play in at the Pussycat Lounge (is that place still open?) WAY downtown.  After he saw that show, he called the said singer who dismissed my drumming skills, and left him a voicemail with three words: "YOU FUCKED UP!!!!"  Hahahahahaha!!!  (Thanks Kelly!).


This wouldn't have been the band for me anyway, really.  They were the kind of guys who, instead of going OUT there and playing gigs, and building a following and socializing and being cool & making it happen....they would constantly prepare for ONE fucking show that was always three months away, a 9PM slot at Arlene's on a Friday with a bunch of other bands they didn't know.....and yeah, this chick from Atlantic might go.  I always came from the school of thought that one learns the ropes of DOING something by DOING it!  You aren't going to learn how to satisfy a woman by doing the "five-knuckle shuffle" to porn every night....you know what I mean?  Relatively speaking, in terms of playing Rock N' Roll, that's what this band was doing, and they never got anywhere close to where I was to go.....and I'm not all the way there YET, either!  Hahahahahaha.  But the truth is, I think maybe a couple of these guys were scared.  Enough said.


Another time, I set up an audition for some "chick band" (which I didn't mind....I'm not sexist, for God's sake!  If PJ Harvey had called me up, I'd have died of a heart attack....by the way....Polly Jean....call me!  Hahahahaha).  They seemed to be smart enough, and....well, I think they had a residency at some place called the Orange Bear.  This didn't inspire confidence, exactly, but I figured, what the hell?  It would be free rehearsal for two hours for me (every time you play, it makes you better the NEXT time, you know?), and maybe I'd make some friends. 


So....I walked to the rehearsal studio, and was about to open the door....but I heard them playing music already.  They were playing Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide".....I felt my heart race....I mean, I like Fleetwood Mac, don't get me wrong but....I'm not fucking PLAYING it, or anything LIKE it.  So, I made what may have amounted to a chickenshit move: I BOLTED.  To my credit, I went straight to Ultra Sound & gave them 10 bucks to let me drum in one of their open rooms for an hour (I did this a LOT and it saved my ASS when I didn't have anything going on.  A drummer needs to drum, not only to keep his chops in shape, but in order to FEEL good).


A similar occurrence happened more recently....maybe five years ago, after I left one of my old bands, and was looking to start fresh.  I found some band who described themselves as being Motley Crue meets Bowie or some shit....oh, and they were being looked at by Universal (I've heard THAT more times than I care to divulge).  But, I figured, what the fuck, it's right down the street....let's fucking JAM!


Well, I showed up....opened up the door....and this one guy, the guitar player, looked pretty cool.  Had the long hair, black jeans, and Black Crowes-esque shirt.  Cool.  But this....SINGER guy...was quite a portly mammal....and he had an afro that looked like STEEL WOOL on the top of his head....and he was wearing ZUBAZ!!!!  Are you fucking KIDDING ME?!!!  I'm getting onstage with THIS guy?  And Uni are interested?  The pungent smell of BULLSHIT filled the room. 


I said something like, "Oh SHIT Man....I forgot, I gotta take a piss....I'll be RIGHT back....ok?!!"  I stifled a laugh, and wondered if they wondered why I would need to take my drumsticks with me to the bathroom.  And I did what any self-respecting, red-blooded American Rock N' Roller would do....I HAULED ASS!  Once downstairs, I called my girlfriend (at the time), and said, "Hey Baby.....the bad news is, there's no way in HELL I'm going to play with these dudes, so I split....the good news is, I'm coming home, and am wondering if you're hungry!"  Hahahahahahahaaha....


I know what some of you are thinking.  You're thinking that, maybe the music would have been great, and that I shouldn't have judged a book by its cover, right?  Wrong.  The way you look, just as the way you carry yourself, has a BIG effect on how you're perceived.  Call it superficial, and call it whatever else you'd like, but that's just the way it is.  Someone who is likely to do his or her best to look their best is very likely to play their best....or maybe they just needed a drummer who wore ZUBAZ!


There were many, many auditions I went on, and played (ie, I didn't split before touching the damn drums).  I tried out for Chubby Checker's band, and even got called back (I declined.  With all due respect, I didn't move here to do THAT).  Hell, I played with LOTS of people, some of which I'm still friends with to this day.  But, really, it took me at least six months before I found people to play with who were on the same page as me in the least.  But, I considered that to be a part of my initiation process, and I knew that with time, commitment, and perseverance, I'd finally get on track to where I needed to go.  And I did!


As Bon Scott once sang, "It's a long way to the top if you wanna Rock N' Roll!"

Thanks for reading!

Your good friend,


Marty E.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Best Little Kiss-Off in Texas...Or Was That a Blow-Off?

This past March, my band The Dirty Pearls played at South By Southwest in Austin, TX.  It was a week full of adventures, fun, and  Rock N' Roll. I had a great time playing Rock N' Roll and partying with my homeboys.  That's what we do!


But the funniest thing I remember about it happened the night we got there.


I was walking down the massively crowded street on my own after checking out some band somewhere...I was wearing my new (at the time) Chinese Police Hat, and was feeling pretty damn good about it.  While I was carefully considering just where the source of my next beer might be, a gaggle of DIPFUCKS walked by me. One of them had the panache to yell to me, "HEY, nice HAT ya fucking FAGGOT!!!"


I was stunned, not only that this cock mongrel had the insolence to imply that I was a homosexual, but by the fact that he was clearly an ignoramus for not recognizing a fucking cool hat when he saw one!  And, let me tell you, Gentle Reader, there was going to be RETRIBUTION!!!!



I turned around, and I BELLOWED after the whole lot of them, these immortal words that will make them think twice before ever again disparaging another Rock N' Roller (at a MUSIC FESTIVAL, no less). 


I screamed, "HEY!!!  If I'm such a FAGGOT, why don't you come on OVER here, and SUCK MY FUCKIN' DICK?!!!!!"


The blowhard in question then turned around, and said, "WHAT?!  WHAT WAS THAT?!!!"


I then pointed to my pelvic region with both hands, and answered, "I SAID, 'SUCK MY DICK!!!!' AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!"


Of course, the boys in shorts didn't attempt to intervene any further, and I walked away, very satisfied with myself!  And, I hit the drums even harder than I normally would at the gigs we played over the next couple of days.  Here is some footage:



Thanks for reading!


Marty E.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time to make an album....and this is the music that's going to inspire me while I do my part!!!

Tomorrow, the Dirty Pearls start pre-production on our debut album, with producer David Kahne.


We're planning on taking over the world with this shit, and I've been preparing for this since I was drumming along with Kiss Alive II on my bed for my brothers' girlfriends (most of which became wives).

So...it's time, now, to play the fucking drums as if my life depends on it....for it DOES.

Anyway, this is the music that I'm re-immersing myself in to make sure I'm as inspired as inhumanly possible and sticking with the spirit & the groove that I hold so dearly.  I'm not going to do much explaining about it....I mean, it's pretty self-explanatory, don't you think? 

#1. Led Zeppelin



#2. My Motown Favorites (The Four Tops, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye)








#3. My Not-Sung-Enough Heros (Jerry Nolan [New York Dolls/Heartbreakers] & Nicky Turner [Lord of the New Church])





#4. The Clash



#5. Aerosmith



#6. AC/DC



#7. The Rolling Stones



#8. Red Hot Chili Peppers



#9. Cheap Trick



#10. Guns N' Roses





I'm sure there are many others.  You know how I am!


Wish me luck!!!!


Thanks for reading!


Marty E.


PS-I forgot about Deep Purple....Ian Paice is one of the best ever!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

....it all started...and ended...with an ethnic condiment....

A few years back, when I was still living with....an ex of mine (don't ask)...we had woken up on a Saturday afternoon, very hungover and hungry.  For some asinine reason, it was decided that I should go around the corner to McDonald's, and procure for us a couple of combo meals  (which I don't do anymore...ever....fuck that shit). 

I ordered a Quarter-Pounder w/ Cheese (minus onions) meal for myself, and a Veggie Burger meal for what'shername.


So, I was waiting up front for my "food", like a civilized person does, when this substantially LARGE dude who's also waiting, next to his equally corpulent wife, turned to me, and said, "HEY!"


"Um....Hey?!"  was my reply.


"What's the NAME of that....ya know....that SAUCE....ya KNOW?!!!!"


"Um....I really don't know, Man....." I answered.


"Awww....Come ON, Man....it's that MEXICAN sauce....yaKNOWwhatIMEAN?!!!"


In a daze and royally hungover, I hadn't the foggiest notion of just what the hell this dude was TALKING about.


"No, Man....no shit, I REALLY don't KNOW....Man!"  Was my annoyed but politely expressed reply.


The dude, wearing an orange shirt with white stripes, brown cut-offs (or JORTS, as some people call them) and tenner shoes with Velcro on them, shook his head (as if I'm an idiot...I mean, HE was the one who couldn't think of what the fucking SAUCE was called, ok?) then got his "food", and he and his foodie-in-crime went and sat down.  

I was relieved.


A couple more minutes passed.  My "food" was finally ready.  I then went to grab ketchup and napkins and other-such shit.  When I turned around to head toward the door, the head of the Mexican Condiment Investigation Task Force was standing standing in my way.....and he uttered something indecipherable.....


"Heh?"  Was my incredulously annoyed response.


He repeated something I still couldn't understand...but it sounded vaguely like, "She's PORTLY!"  Right?


I made a face, and was just ABOUT to retort, "Well, you aren't exactly THIN YOURSELF, there, JACK!!!"  


But I didn't.....because just as I was ABOUT to say that, he bellowed it, and I understood....he finally figured out what the mystery sauce was, and was sharing this valuable bit of information with me....and it was....

"CHIPOTLE!!!!"

Thanks for reading, and have a kickass weekend!


Your good friend, 


Marty E.


PS-I have a fucking million of them!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A short and sweet statement from the bottom of my heart

Rock N' Roll (or what's passing for it these days) has been hijacked by Hip Hop, hipsters, and horseshit!


My band, the Dirty Pearls, are preparing to steal it back.


Mark my words.


Rehearsals/pre-production for our debut album with David Kahne start one week from today.


When we're through recording this fucker, get on board....or get your sweet ass out of the way!


Your good friend,


Marty E.

Monday, August 2, 2010

7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself About Her (And She Should Ask Herself About You) Before You Decide To Shack Up

Disclaimer #1:  I'm no expert on relationships....but what I certainly am is experienced.  My experiences have taught me well, and are the source of any authority (and good humor) that I write with here.  Case in point, I've been there, and I know what I'm talking about.


Disclaimer #2: I know that the title looks like I'm speaking strictly to the guys about the girls (or the gentlemen about the ladies or the dicks about the chicks), but, as you can see from what are in the parentheses in the title, I'm really speaking to anyone considering moving in with someone.  It's just that I'm an American Rock N' Rolling Man, so....that's the point of view from which I speak, that's all.


You understand, I'm sure, if you're even reading this. 


OK, here's the list.


#1.  How does her Mom treat her Dad?


Think about it.  Where does everyone learn things from, first-hand, and who had the most influence on forming a person's values and shaping their perspective on relationships?  The answer, much more often than not, is their PARENTS.  Now, granted, you really can't generalize things too much, but....if someone comes from a good, well-balanced upbringing (and I'm not talking about superficial, surface shit, like "Class Structure" or "Economics", I'm talking about relationships, love, and interaction), chances are that person will be well-balanced and adjusted as an adult.


However, if one comes from a household, where, say, the mother was the type who walked all over the father, a girl is going to learn something from that, and take that as an example of how to be, even if it's subconscious (and again, you can switch the gender roles to fit your situation, as I said in my disclaimers).


Now granted, you'll have relationships with people whose parents are divorced or they have a deceased parent, but these also are things that affect a person deeply, and are things to think about (but aren't necessarily deal-breakers). 


And, if you haven't even MET your significant-other's parents...well, you should put off playing "house" until you have.  Which leads me to .....


#2. How Long Have You Been Seeing Each Other?


I know how a lot of people are....I was this way too.  You get all infatuated right away, and want to get serious immediately and all that shit, because you're just SO in love, right?  Sure!  I did it!  Hell, some years back, I met and moved in with a girl all in one weekend!!!  Was that a good idea?  HELL to the Fucking-A NO!!!! 


The thing you have to remember is that when you move in with someone, you're not only living with the woman you're infatuated with, as romantic as the notion is.  You're sharing a living space with a warts-and-all (hopefully, only in a matter of speaking, hahaha), belching, farting, bitching, sneezing, coughing, jabbering, snoring human being (just as SHE is.  Like I said, I'm being fair).  She might be a slob....or a neat freak!  Hell, you might be a midget porn addict who listens to Peaches & Herb!  The point is, you need to make sure you know this person well enough in all of these contexts and settings before you're going to take a big, serious step like this, and that comes from dating someone for quite awhile and getting to KNOW that person for REAL.


#3. Does She Have Violent/Abusive Tendencies?


That means just that.  Does she hit you?  Is she verbally abusive?  Does it drive you INSANE, and start turning you into someone you don't want to be?  Well, if this is going on NOW, Jack, don't live under the same roof with her, because it's more-than-likely going to get worse and worse...and it's hard to escape from your own home, more or less.  

The fact of that matter is, by moving in with someone, you are placing a lot of faith and trust in her to love, protect, and take care of you (both men and women need that in a relationship).  Tainting this with any sort of violence or verbal abuse is the kind of shit that starts leading you down a dark road of resentment, leading to certain destruction and maybe worse.  You don't want to go there, do you?!  Never mind that any form of abusive behavior never called-for and completely unnecessary; it is going to affect all facets of your life in ways that might not even occur to you.


So, in summation, if this is going on-FORGET ABOUT IT!


#4. Is There Mutual Trust Between You?


This has to be a given.  If you decide to go out with your buddies and get shit-faced until 5 am-is she going to freak out and call you every 5 minutes, wondering what you're doing and who you're with?  And how about you?  How do you act when SHE wants to do her version of the same?  Are you the one who's possessive?  Furthermore, if there is a lack of trust between you, what is the source of that?  Does one person try to control the other's behavior when they're not around, and place unreasonable demands?   It's a recipe for disaster, and often, a prophecy that's self-fulfilled.


Often, the one who refuses to trust is the one who's less trustworthy... but, again, it's difficult to generalize.  But what's not difficult is to foresee that this sort of thing will most-likely get worse with the onset of cabin fever.


PS-If you feel like you have to snoop through her cellphone or computer, or if she feels she has to do this to you, your relationship is already fucked.  I don't care if you've been married for 50 years; violating someone's personal privacy is INEXCUSABLE!!!


#5. Do You Fight A Lot Already?


IF YOU DO....again, it's going to get worse if you move in together, not better.  

I'm not talking about the meaningless, often humorous bickering that goes on between people in just about any couple.  I'm talking about a situation in which every night out for a few beers turns into War of the Roses.  It's not fun.  And trust me, the two of you getting into confrontations about who's going to take out the fucking garbage, wash the dishes, and make the goddamn bed is not going to rectify the situation.  TRUST me.


#6.  Is She TOO Dependent On You?


On the other hand, sometimes a person can be too docile & depressive, and make you feel like you're her everything, ALL the time (and I'll remind you, again, I'm not being gender specific, in case you missed my now MANY disclaimers, hahahaha).  Can she get by on her own, and go about her day without constant contact (and for that matter, can you)?  I mean, if she's so codependent that she has to write you  life-changing text messages like, "I WONDER what I should EAT"....well, you might have something to think about.

 A person who is too dependent on the other is ALSO placing unreasonable demands on the other person.  This is a REAL drag, and not sexy in the least (and those of you who have been in this situation know EXACTLY what I mean).  And the more you give into it, the more you're going to be EXPECTED to give into it.....and you aren't doing ANYONE a favor by doing that.  Moving in together, in this case, is going to be just another form of emotional entrapment for you.  Don't do it.


#7. What's Going On Financially?


Does one of you have more money than the other, and a higher standard of living?  That is fine with some people, but will that situation cause stress?  By that, I mean, will the person on the higher end of the financial spectrum feel like he/she's pulling all the weight?  Will that put him/her on a power trip?  Or, will the person on the lower end of the spectrum feel like a complete loser, due to lack of funds?  Will he/she wallow in the relative convenience of the set-up?  These are questions you must ask yourselves, even though it may be the furthest thing from you minds.  

Why?  Because, from both sides, this is the sort of thing that plants the seeds of resentment....and resentment starts small, but it grows and grows, like Cancer.  It will eventually be a passion-killer, and will take your relationship with it.  Read that again, because this is the maybe the most important paragraph I've written here.


So, with THAT all being said.....


I think that about covers it.  I'm sure there are many other issues I didn't cover, but that's a damn good start.  Everyone has their issues....hell, there are probably 1,000,000 times as many issues in this world as there are human beings!


It's a wonder how anyone gets laid!


Anyway, good luck to you, and thanks for reading!


Marty E.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whatever happened to my Rock N' Roll....and my Easy Listening, for that matter?!!!!

I've spoken at length in the past about how, in the places that I hang out, most of the music that's played is Rock N' Roll/Pop Music from the 70's through the 90's, more or less, regardless of the age group of the bar patrons at that particular time and place.  It's strange how, in a bar full of people of different ages, from their early-20's to mid-40's, they all love the same music, whether it be Guns N' Roses, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, or whathaveyou.  I'll be dj-ing, and 22-year-old girls want me to play more Motley Crue and Depeche Mode....and they weren't even BORN yet when a lot of these bands' songs were originally released, for Christ's sake!


Which begs the question: is music itself becoming something archaic...something antiquated...something that's purely vintage in quality, like a really expensive red wine, or a roughed up pair of Beatle Boots?!!  

Is it nothing but pure nostalgia?  If so, that's sad.  Because that would imply that it's merely, as Leonard Cohen sang, "A shining artifact of the past."  FUCK that!  What about NOW?!


Day-in and day-out, I hear from people that they miss the sound of Loud Rock N' Roll, and they wonder where the hell it went.  And that is a REALLY good question.  I mean, seriously, I usually dj at least twice a week, in the dark Rock N' Roll dives in New York's East Village and Lower East Side, and the only modern bands I can think of that I play with any regularity are my band (the Dirty Pearls, if you live under a rock), my friends' bands, and....bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, A Perfect Circle, Queens of the Stone Age, HIM, etc.  Other than that, it's like, my favorite Rock N' Roll bands from the 60's, 70's, 80's, & 90's.  Go figure.  Am I part of the problem?  Is it a problem at all?


I know why it is.  Generally, nobody's buying recorded music anymore, so, no new bands are being marketed (or shoved down the American Public's throats) anymore.  The Music Industry and all its money basically disappeared up its own asshole, due to blind greed, and an overwhelming lack of quality in the music ("product") it generated. 

So, with few exceptions, in order for Rock N' Roll fans to get their rocks off when they go out, the classics have to suffice.  The funniest thing about is that younger Rock N' Roll fans were RAISED on that music by their PARENTS of all people.  So much for Rock N' Roll being "rebellious music."  But that's ok.  Hell, my band has parents bringing their kids to our shows, and for that matter, some people bringing their parents....and that's pretty cool, if you ask me.


But, someone needs to carry the torch for Rock N' Roll, and define the time we're in NOW, don't you think?  


These are open questions; ones of continuous discussion for some time in my case.


What do YOU think?


Thanks for your time!


Marty E.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"I said, 'EXCUSE ME!'" or "The Trials & Tribulations of Dealing with People with no Spacial Awareness or Social Intelligence": PART 1

If you're going to live in New York City, you have to adjust the the fact that there are over least 8 million people here (more, if you count commuters from the likes of New Jersey) eating, drinking, sleeping, traveling, and, most of all, LIVING on top of (and underneath) one another.  That's simply a fact of life here, and if you can't deal with it....there's plenty of space in Kansas, Dorothy!

That being said, I cannot overstate the importance of  being aware of your surroundings in this city....at all times, if possible.  Not only might this prevent you from getting hurt, killed, or ripped off....but it also increases your level of common courtesy, out and about in the world, which makes it easier for EVERYONE to live here, day to day.


At any given moment, you have your personal space, and other people have theirs.  When I'm out in the world, I want to get to where I'm going and do what I do, and I'd like to do that without your personal space intersecting with (with notable exceptions, hahahaha) or invading mine.  In order for that to happen, one must be alert, observant, and at least mildly empathetic (and this is even possible while blasting an Ipod in your ears if you're reasonably sharp.  Trust me).  I call it "Spacial Awareness".  I'm not sure if I made the term up or not....but who the hell cares?


The problem is that many, many people who cross my path don't have it at all....which surprises me, considering the amount of people who have been here for a lot longer than I have, many of which were born and raised here.

So, I'm going to describe some scenarios that happen to me, sometimes on a daily basis, in which people's lack of Spacial Awareness colors my day with various shades of red....from the mildly annoying to the astronomically infuriating!

My favorite one happens all the time.  For example, I will attempt to walk into a deli to buy myself an iced coffee and a newspaper, when, much to my chagrin, I find some jackoff standing in the doorway, in MY WAY, for no evident reason.  And, an even BIGGER mystery to me, is WHY the said JACKOFF won't MOVE!!!  So....what do I do?  Well, I'll look the pinwang in the EYE, and, in my deepest, gruffest voice (and those of you who know me know damn well how great I am at this), I bark, "EXCUSE me!!!"  More often than not, they get startled, and quickly scamper to the side, allowing me to squeeze through and get on with my day.  Each and every time, under my breath, I mutter, "That's a NICE way of saying, 'Get the FUCK out of my WAY!'"  This is always worth a chuckle or two if I have a friend with me, ahahahaha....


Another ignoramus whom I find particularly titillating, is the dipfuck who's walking 5-steps ahead of you on the sidewalk who, for no apparent reason, decides to suddenly stop in his tracks.  Consequently, the asshat in question comes damn close to wreaking havoc on the entire progression of pedestrian traffic on that particular block, when you come close to plowing right into him and toppling him and God knows who else, over like dominoes.  The best part?  If you do happen to run smack dab into the guy, or even brush against him a little, bit, the numbskull will look at YOU as if YOU did something wrong and were invading HIS personal space!!!  Tourists are famous for this move.  That's why some clever guy decided to give them THEIR OWN LANE.


There are other nincompoops that are similar to the "sidewalk stallers", but are possibly even more irritating.  Let's say I'm walking into the Subway Station, and there are perhaps 6 or 7 other people also doing so.  The train we all want to take is in the station, and about to leave, so everyone runs to try to make the train.  There's always at least ONE genius who, once he gets ON the train, suddenly, again, just STOPS in his TRACKS, right on the inside of the train doors.....once again, risking a human avalanche, or at least keeping those behind him from getting on the train before the doors close, and the train takes off.  And, what inspirational words to I have for the ASSCLOWN in question?  "Hey, Dude!  No WORRIES, Man!  None of US wanted to get on the train TOO, ya know?  We just wanted to accompany YOUR dumb ass to make sure YOU got on ok.  That's fucking AWESOME!!!"  Or something to that effect.  This particular dipshit has never prevented me from getting on the train, but he has afforded me many a chorus of laughs at his expense.  Hopefully, it was a lesson well-learned, but....sadly, probably not.  What a fucking idiot!


Speaking of Subway Trains....this maybe isn't THAT big of a deal...but you've seen this before, and it annoys me enough that I MUST remark on it.  I get on the train and it's a bit crowded.  The train is moving, and I always want to hold onto what ever pole or bars or whatever is put there to hold onto to prevent me from falling down (and don't even get me STARTED about the fucking multitudes of MORONS who DON'T use them and have almost "bitten it" right before my eyes).   Well, so I reach for the nearest pole (shut up, I know what you're thinking, but I have a much better joke coming up), and some complete Shit-For-Brains is LEANING on it.....which, not only isn't really maintaining much stability to the fool in question,  no one ELSE can use it to stabilize themselves either?  The best part?  99% of the time, the guy is leaning his ASS against it!  I've never actually said this, but one of these days, I'm going to: "Dude, listen....we can all tell by looking at you how badly you want a POLE in your ass....but can't you at least WAIT until you get OFF the fucking TRAIN?!!!   THANKS!!!!"  Ahahahahahahaha.....


I could go on....about people, who....when you're waiting in line, and the line moves, they just stay in one place, and refuse to MOVE the fuck UP....(try just walking past them....that usually wakes them up)....and many other people who lack common courtesy in every-day life, but I'm trying to keep this as short as I can, ok?


Now, stay the hell out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours!


Thanks for reading!


Marty E.


PS-On an unrelated note, there's another idiot that really burns me that I NEED to tell you about, right NOW....just to get it OFF my CHEST, ok?


I walk into the pizzeria, and get myself a slice....and I can't seem to find the seasonings!  The...black pepper...the RED pepper....and sometimes I want Parmesan fucking cheese, ok?  Where the hell ARE they?!!!  I look around....and some lardass is sitting at a table....and they're all there....suspiciously close to his PLATE.  "Hey Man.....I REALIZE that YOU are SO much more SPECIAL than the other 500 people who get a slice here EVERY fucking DAY.  I REALIZE that the SEASONINGS....the CONDIMENTS, if you will, are STRICTLY for YOUR use....hell, no one else would EVER even WANT to use THOSE!  We ALL REALIZE that YOUR three fucking dollars are GREENER than the REST of ours! But would you fucking MIND if I BORROWED them for a MINUTE?!!!"  I mean, seriously, why can't these crankjobs just sprinkle the shit on their slice up at the counter, as soon as they get it, and then SIT their ass down, and enjoy?!!  That's what those of us with good SENSE do!!!


OK....enough of my ranting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's a long way to the top of you wanna Rock N' Roll & eat too....Part 1: My Days as a Temp

When I moved my crazy ass to New York City 10 years ago, I really didn't have a plan whatsoever; no apartment, no job, no band, and I knew maybe four people here. All I had was a few earthly possessions, a few grand rolled up in my sock, and a committed determination to make something of myself.


The first things always being first, I knew that I was going to have to get a roof over my head (which I documented some of in a previous entry and will more in the future) and find a way to support myself and the fulfillment of my dreams.


My good friend Alfredo, who was kind enough to let me crash on his floor in Bay Ridge for a week or two while I got my sea legs, suggested that I apply at some Temp Agencies, like the ones advertised in the back of Backstage (a magazine for aspiring actors and actresses). So, I typed up a decent resume, and faxed it to about 10 of these places.


Within a few days, I'd had interviews with three of them, and made a good enough impression, I suppose, because I started getting work within a week or so.


Life is about pros and cons, as we all know.


The pros w/ making your way this were that the pay was relatively good, and most of the assignments lasted for weeks or months. If you were reliable, you could pay your rent and get by. The work itself wasn't difficult at all, and sometimes was all but nonexistent.


The cons? Tthe 9 to 5 work schedule wasn't exactly conducive to Rocking and/or Rolling, and....well, because I've always been a man to enjoy his late nights out, waking up and going to work was often....well, to put it as appropriately as I can, a fucking NIGHTMARE. Also, I wasn't allowed to show up for work in jeans, t-shirts, biker boots, long, loose hair, and jewelry....no fucking way. I had to tie my hair back, and put on a white dress shirt, dress pants (I drew the line at khakis though....fuck THAT shit) and black wingtip shoes. Yeah, I looked as fucking ridiculous as I felt.


But what made me feel even more ridiculous was the people I did the actual work for. Granted, my bosses at my first assignment, which was the New York branch of a French pharmaceutical company, were pretty cool, none judgmental, and took the time to realize that I was an intelligent guy who just happened to be a recent Midwestern transplant, struggling to make his way. But that lasted maybe about six weeks.


My next job was for some Chinese company, which again, did pharmaceuticals, if I remember correctly. I walked into that job, and without even saying hello, or even taking the time to introduce herself, some crusty old Chinese executive hag handed me 5 pamphlets of some sort, and coldly told me to make 10 copies of each. I felt like she was looking down her nose at me, and didn't respect me in the least. I was so pissed off and degraded, that I just about walked the fuck out....but, again, I needed the money, and had nowhere else to do so at the time, so...I made her fucking copies. Your welcome, Bitch!!!


The funniest place I worked at...(you're going to LOVE this)....was at a non-profit organization....of the Methodist Church....that sent missionaries around the world, evidently, to feed the hungry or whatever, and spread the word of God. Hell, even the Temp Agency I get that job through called them, "The God Squad." Holy FUCK, I wasn't a sore thumb in THAT place, as much as I was an amputated fucking leg. The first guy I worked for there was alright...but, he was looking for someone to be his "permanent" assistant...and didn't waste any time asking me if I was interested in doing that, and if I was a, "good Methodist." Um....no....and no. The second guy I worked for was way cooler...but, I remember one week, his secretary, whom I was helping out, told me that morning that I might not have a job there after the end of that day. Since I still had a big Excel project to finish, I told her that if I didn't get to stay for at least the rest of that week, that I was leaving immediately. I wound up staying for another two weeks. Hahahahahaha. But what I really hated about that place was the bitch who signed my time card every week, which, I might add, she did reluctantly. She clearly hated my guts; for what reason, I don't know....maybe it was my appearance! But for someone who ran a faith-based, humanitarian organization, that struck me as being rather odd.  Hell, I doubt that old battleaxe ever got laid in her LIFE!!!  She would bitch at me for working "too many hours" which was "too expensive", etc. I was thinking, "Look, bitch, no one is FORCING you to get temps to work here, ok?!" But I acted respectful because I needed the money....even though that old bag, of ALL people, had no right to look down her nose at me! It still kind of pisses me off to this day, hahahahaha. I should add that I got food poisoning from the spinach soup I had in the God Squad's cafeteria for lunch. That was a whole fuckload of fun!


I have a million stories like these.


That all being said, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to afford any drumsticks, beers, or to even EXIST here, I was going to have to bite the bullet. I wasn't working these jobs w/ aspirations of becoming the world's most asskicking office worker, for Christ's sake....I was doing it to support myself while working on my music , making myself known, and having as much fun as I could. I justified the shit that I had to put up with by telling myself that it was ALL for ROCK N' ROLL....and looking back, I was absolutely right. Life, especially in New York City, is about doing what you have to do to survive and get to where you need to be. If you work hard enough, and do what needs to be done (and if you're any good at what you do), you get your rewards, with a little luck....and a few stories to tell on top of it!


Thanks for reading!


Marty E.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A question of relationships, trust, and other random bullshit in the human condition

First off, what IS a "relationship", anyway?  


You hear it all the time...."I WANT a relationship."  "Are we IN a relationship?"  "I DON'T want a relationship....I HATE relationships!"  Etc.  That last one, you've probably heard me say a million times.


But, the fact of the matter is, if you hang out with someone more than once or twice, then there's something going on, ie, you're RELATING with each other.  The very NATURE of what, in fact, that relationship means might come into question, but....it's still a relationship.  The definition of the word "relationship", the way it's usually discussed, is widely taken out of context.  It's a little bit silly, of you ask me.  But, as much as I rag on relationships, the way most people define them....I think relationships, in terms of the way I look at them, are good.  Ok?


(Favorite David Lee Roth quote from the late 80's: "Old Van Halen makes you want to have a drink, dance, and fuck.  New Van Halen makes you want to have a milk shake, drive a Nissan, and have a RELATIONSHIP!"  Hahahahaha!!!)


That all being said, you also hear a lot of statements involving how important "trust" is in a relationship.  I think what most people mean when speaking in terms of "trust" is, exclusivity.  That's how most people roll, and that's fine....God bless, and good luck.  We all know how difficult that is in this town, but it can be done, if that's what you both want...with each other.


But, really....what is FAR more important to me than this "ownership" that people impose upon each other, is whether or not I can trust someone to be A GOOD FRIEND.  Can I trust someone with a secret, or to listen objectively to a problem I might have - even if they can't necessarily offer advice - but just to lend an ear or a shoulder?  Can I trust that person not to freak out with a vengeance over the slightest trouble, to pick their battles wisely, and to deal with problems rationally?  Can I trust that person to look for the best in me, and not always assume the worst, right off the bat? Can I trust someone to understand that my life is haphazard at best, and fucking insane, a lot of the time?  Can I trust someone to keep our "pillow talk" where it belongs, which is BETWEEN US? Can I trust someone to maintain some semblance of self-control, even when they're angry with me....so that they don't get unnecessarily cruel and hateful?  Can I go out for drinks with that person without it turning into some inane fight every time?  Can I trust a person to listen to me tell them about something really awesome that that happened to me, without them getting indignant or jealous?  

I hope that the answer to all these questions, from now on, is a resounding, "YES." 

I don't think that's asking too much....do you?

The Cure-"Trust"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My 5 favorite underrated Rock N' Roll drummers

#1. Jerry Nolan (New York Dolls, Heartbreakers, London Cowboys)

My most memorable hangover was back in my college days.  I woke up with a particularly nasty headache, immeasurable nausea, and a shitty disposition.  To make matters worse, I'd woken up far too early, and couldn't get back to sleep.  The TV was on, so I laid in a fetal position watching VH1....and for some reason, the New York Dolls came on, - I believe it was the video for "Lookin' For a Kiss".  I'd been a fan already, but I'd never seen any of their live clips.  I noticed the drummer, Jerry Nolan, in the back, pounding the holy FUCK out of his hot pink drum kit!  Wow!  It was almost as if Dave Grohl had gone glam and beamed himself back to the early 70's!

What I really love and relate to about Jerry's style is....the power and fury with which he played.  He pushed the beat in a way that really gave those songs a swift kick in the ASS (which might have something to do with the fact that he was a Gene Krupa freak)!  The raw adrenalin that he brought to his bands was really special, and really made him stand out.  That was probably why, when the Dolls were auditioning drummers to replace the tragically departed original Dolls drummer, Billy Murcia, Jerry beat such other New York drummers as Peter Criss (who went on to great success with Kiss, and whom Jerry taught how to play) and Marc Bell (who later became Marky Ramone). 

I listen to Jerry's drumming and watch a lot of his moves.  To put it simply, the guy's style had a lot of fire, class, and more than a little bit of fucking DANGER.  He was and always will be THE composite New York Rock N' Roll drummer, as far as I'm concerned.  He had a big effect on me.  Thanks Jerry!



 



Here's an article Jerry wrote for the Village Voice, not too long before his death.  It's a great read: http://www.divshare.com/download/2650863-2ff


#2. Nick Turner (Lords of the New Church, Barracudas)

I happened upon the Lords of the New Church when I was growing up by accident.  I ran into their 3rd album, Methods To Our Madness, in some cut-out bin in some "Mom and Pop" record store back home, before I'd even started listening to the bands their members had first made their names for themselves in (the Dead Boys, the Damned, Sham 69, and the Barracudas).  I took a look at the back cover, thought that they looked cool, and figured it was worth the 3 bucks to take the LP home and give it a spin.  I'm sure fucking glad I did.

Nick was another drummer, like Jerry Nolan, who really pushed that beat, loved to play hard & fast, and bring the music to a fever pitch.  This might have something to do with his background with the criminally-overlooked surf band, the Barracudas.  Another thing that impressed me about Turner was his use of the toms, giving a sort of tribal edge to certain parts of certain songs.  It's a dynamic that comes off as being very fucking intense and from left field, so to speak.  I do it quite a bit myself, and, I'm sure it's not coincidence.  Thanks, Nick!

I don't think Turner did any drumming after he left the Lords.  That's too bad, especially for me.  His style is instantly recognizable to my ears, and I'm sure I could identify his drumming, no matter who he was playing with.  There are few drummers I can say that about.










#3. Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche)


I'm by no means a fan of "Progressive Metal" music at all.  I think it usually consists of technocratic dweebs attending a wank fest.....displaying chops and meaningless drivel of the like.  That's not what Rock N' Roll is about, and I suspect the dudes who play this type of music get laid very rarely.

Queensryche were different, in that they executed their music with taste, spirit, and ingenuity.  And their driving force was sitting in the back, and his last name is ROCKENFIELD.

What I love about Scott's style is that he plays much more sparingly than most of his counterparts.  You see, SPACE is also a percussion instrument, and one that he uses extremely well.  He plays with power and authority, and makes a HUGE noise, but he doesn't overplay, especially with  the double kick, which I don't usually like anyway.  The result is really cool, creative drum parts, executed in such a way that makes the songs move and groove.

I spent years playing along the Rage for Order and Operation Mindcrime, and surely know every drum fill on both.  Obviously, he had a huge effect on how I play, even though he plays a completely different kind of music.  I see a lot of that.







#4. Mac McNeilly (The Jesus Lizard)

There was a time when I was OBSESSED with the Jesus Lizard.  I found their music to be extremely intense, powerful, and interesting.  They didn't have songs with "hooks", per se, and they simply weren't a "hits" kind of band.  What they did was something dark and imaginative and, at times, profane.  And I loved it, and still do. 

And pummeling it all into shape within an inch of dear life, was MAC!  The first song I ever heard of the Lizard's was "Boilermaker", the first song on the LIAR album.  He wasn't playing a straight-forward back beat on the 2's and 4's, with the rest of the band playing over it (although he does this on some songs, of course).  No.  He was doing a creative, almost poly rhythmic drum part that was centered around the guitar line....and, I might add, it was fucking BRUTAL!  I'd never heard anything like it.  It opened my mind up a lot of possibilities and creative approaches to different rhythmic qualities of songs that I hadn't considered before.  It helped me a lot, and still does....again, even though the music I'm helping make is way different from these guys.





 

#5. Boris Williams (The Cure)


Boris played with the Cure during, for my ears, their most fruitful years (from The Head on the Door through Wish), musically speaking, and anchored their best line-up.  And his presence is felt on all of those albums.  I think the guy is the most creative drummer of the entire genre (English Goth/Alternative). 

He is another drummer who often had an unorthodox approach to the regular, often creatively-stifling 4/4 time signature, often, again, playing around with different beats, often around the guitar lines, and often incorporating his toms and different odd percussion instruments into the beats. It really helped set the Cure apart from their contemporaries, and he deserves credit for his unique contributions to that, as far as I'm concerned.  He certainly inspired me to come up with some different ideas, and to figure out how to play his!

Another really cool thing about Boris's style was,  he would come up with this creative beat, and repeat it over and over, playing few drum fills, etc.  This sort of "cadence" approach to Rock N' Roll drumming isn't easy, because it required focus and discipline.  Trust me.

Here's a great interview with him back in his heyday: http://www.picturesofyou.us/90/boris-interview.htm







I could come up with many more.....and maybe I will.


Thanks for reading!


Marty E.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Clips from the Dirty Pearls taping for Little Steven's new Fuzztopia.com earlier this year.

This past March, The Dirty Pearls did a taping for Little Steven Van Zandt's new website, Fuzztopia.com, out at Soundwaves Studios in Union, NJ (whose staff are all great guys, and we appreciate their support).  Our good friend, Rich Russo from 101.9 RXP was there hanging out as well.

The clips just became available, and I thought I would share them.

We had a blast, as you can see from the clips.  But the much to our surprise, Little Steven actually took the time to come check us out.  After we played, he hung out with us, pose for pictures, and just shoot the shit for a little while.  He proved to be a very cool and gracious host, one that truly cares about great Rock N' Roll.  It was truly an honor.

There was plenty of beer to be consumed as well, and, as you know, we all love that!

I'm not going to ramble, but check out the clips!

Marty E.

PS. For best results, drag your mouse over the clip, once is starts, and turn the HD off.



THE DIRTY PEARLS "Caffeine and Gasoline" from Fuzztopia on Vimeo.




THE DIRTY PEARLS "Love Sick Love" from Fuzztopia on Vimeo.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Feeling the Rain of or Taking a Shine to my personal favorite Summertime songs

It's been a long time since I've written on this blog of mine, and suddenly, it's Summertime!  Things are good, there's a lot going on, and....well, I guess I'm going to talk about the music going through my head while it happens.....how the hell do you like that?


For me, Summer isn't really that different than any other season, save for the fact that I should probably get a goddamn air conditioner, and it's going to be too damn hot for most of my scarves, leather jackets, dark clothes, and boots (but, fuck it, I'm wearing the damn boots, and you'll NEVER see me wearing shorts unless you see me at the beach.....and most of you who are reading this will not.....ok?)


That being said, Summer is a great time, not only for fun in the sun and relaxing on the beach (which I do occasionally)....but for cool, killer nights on the town.....drinking beers on rooftops....taking the long way home on foot....Hefeweizen beers on the sidewalk (with lemons, not oranges, ok?)...gin & tonics....Central Park....barbecues....all that shit....it's fun.....


Anyway, these are my favorite songs that sort of.....convey the spirit of Summer, as I feel it, in my heart and mind.  It isn't all fun and games, but....it's real, and.....it's all GOOD!  Don't worry about the order....that could change in a matter of minutes.......


#1. Urge Overkill-"Sister Havana"


GOD I still LOVE Urge Overkill.  These guys were the first band of the so-called "Alternative Era" to....sort of exemplify and attitude of that, to me, said, (to their contamporaries), "Look, guys....I  understand that you're all PC and intelligent and all of that cool shit, but.....we can still PARTY OUR ASSES OFF, can't we?!!"   I thought so!


To me, UO were sort of....like Kiss/Cheap Trick meets Neil Diamond (and of course, their biggest hit was a cover of a Neil Diamond song, go figure).  It was definitely incongruous to a lot of the dismal, depressing output of a lot of 90's bands (not that I'm a real big fan of overly happy music, but you know what I mean).  They wore their UO-embossed medallions and their egos on their sleeves, and I thought it was great.  In a time when such things weren't fashionable, they made no bones about the fact that they wanted to be stars....and in my mind, they were.  I just wish the rest of the country had sort of caught on.....but my tastes and the tastes of the American Public have not always seen eye-to-eye.


No matter, this song was probably their most well-crafted and artfully-produced track.  It is packed with hooks (even in the fucking BRIDGE), has a huge chorus....I can't believe they didn't pack arenas with this! It epitomized the UO M.O. to a T (how do you like that?) and....it's fucking FUN!  The video mirrors that perfectly, don't you think?







There you go.....it makes sense now, doesn't it?




#2. The Barracudas-"Summer Fun"


I love surf music.  It's fun and laid back, but the rhythm of it is, at times, fucking relentless!  Which is the reason why I got into the Barracudas: their drummer, Nicky Turner, went on to play in one of my favorite post-punk/goth bands, the Lords of the New Church....and whose drumming I've always loved (more on that in a future entry on here!)


I don't need to do a lot of explaining here....just watch the damn video!





#3. Van Halen-"Panama"


There is, perhaps, no American Rock N' Roll band that, for my ears, represents an American Summer fucking Vacation than Van Halen with David Lee Roth.  Hell, I could have put this song at #1 on my chart here....and made the whole chart consist solely of Van Halen songs....but that would have been too damn predictable....and besides that....I'm doing this as I go along.....Summertime is about spontaneity, alright?


I remember being a little kid watching this video, with all the cars and motorcycles and women and beers and on-the-road hijinks, and I remember thinking to myself that THIS was the way to live.  Hell, I still DO think that, for that matter.  This video sort of.....represents my every hope and dream as much as any.  I haven't obtained them all yet, but....getting there is indeed half of the fun....so....lets get to getting there, shall we? Plus, who doesn't love women and cars? It's as American as apple pie....and, yup, there's a joke in there somewhere!!!







#4. The Thrills-"Deckchairs and Cigarettes"


This song is my favorite...."Fuck and forget about everything in the world and relax and if the world ends now, it's as good a time as any," kind of song.  This video clip is the best I could find.....but you should buy the album.  I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some of their songs would make the Beach Boys blush!


"....just don't change a thing...."


Beautiful!





#5. AC/DC-"Let There Be Rock"


Every time I hear this song, I think back to when I still lived in Minneapolis.....and I'd wake up hungover and alone on a Sunday afternoon in my little studio apartment downtown, next to I-94.....the fan blowing in my face....and I'd say to myself, "Screw THIS....I gotta get OUT of here!"  And I'd go out to my pick-up truck and start driving....with both windows down, and my shades pulled down tightly, to hide from the Sun that I was trying to catch up with....and more often than not, I'd put in AC/DC's If You Want Blood....You've Got It (Live) into the stereo.....and I'd drive all over the Twin Cities metro area, with no destination in mind....and I wouldn't come back until well after dark.


That is, until I didn't come back at all, but that's another story!


How BADASS is that opening riff?







That's what I thought too.


#6. The Cure-"Icing Sugar"


This song is a different animal altogether.  This is the sort of song I like to put on when I'm getting ready to go out, right before midnight.....and it's been so HOT, that it's practically raining inside your apartment, but.....there's a breeze easing in through the window.  It's telling you that something crazy and awesome is in the air and that it is about to become one hell of a night.....and to prepare......and take heed....don't wait up....





#7. The Beach Boys-"Surfer Girl"


....because I'd be a total asshole if I didn't have a fucking Beach Boys song on here, ok?!


And this song is awesome....







#8. The Cult-"Love Removal Machine"


This is another "beer-drinking in the bed of the pick-up truck in the woods" kinds of songs. Rick Rubin, as a producer, really helped these guys hit the nail on the head with this entire album. I mean, he basically took a post-punk/goth gang of brits and turned them into a down and dirty classic-Americana Rock N' Roll band (despite having them rip off fellow Brits the Rolling Stones and AC/DC, from down under, but....you get my point....hell, those bands took American Rock N' Roll and made it their own & threw it back at us, no?)


Anyway, the Cult delivered with power and grace on here, and I'll never stop loving this song....but this song never sounds better than it does when the heat is taking you over. You know exactly what I mean.







#9. Neil Young-"Thrasher"


This song holds a special place in my heart, for different reasons, most likely, than any other songs I'm mentioning here.


Back when I was in the Midwest, and knew I had to get out in order to....well, become what I am, and what I have yet to become....I did a lot of soul-searching and explored a lot of possibilities. For a minute, I thought I might go down to Phoenix and play with an awesome, tragic, glam/pop/rock band down there. It didn't work out. Then, there was an opportunity for me to play with a gritty, no-frills Punk N' Roll band in LA and hit the road with them immediately....and I was close to doing so. I was going to pack up my truck and make the drive out, living, what I refer to as the "Neil Young Dream"....which is sort of what his lyric (from this song), "I was just getting up, hit the road before it's light, tryin' to catch an hour on the sun". How great is that? Well, I sort of chickened out on that though, and....well, it was for the best (long story, but it wouldn't have been a good move for me at the time).


But I knew at that time that I had to act, to DO something. All of my friends were starting to get real jobs and real lives; they started getting married and having families. And God bless them, for that's what people DO, right? Hell, I'm sure glad MY parents did.


But, I had to do something else, and finally I did, and 10 years later, here I am.


But this song, to me, is sort of about....discovering that you're something different, than, perhaps, the world expects you to be. It's about realizing what your aspirations are, and the hard choices you have to make and the risks you have to take to get on the right track to fulfilling them. And the metaphors with which Neil illustrates this are really beautiful and picturesque....almost pastoral, in a matter of speaking. He spoke of his peers (supposedly, he was referring to Crosby, Stills, and Nash) "Hiding behind hay bales", "Lost in rock formations", "Or became park bench mutations"....while he "burned my credit card for feul" "Through the timeless gorge of changes, where sleeplessness awaits". Daunting stuff to be sure....and I sort of feel like, in my own way, I experienced that as well, in my own way. And the funny thing is, I was listening to this album and this song in particular when all that was going on. It's kind of crazy to listen to it today, and sort of feel the history of my relationship with a song like this. But I guess that could be said for a lot of them couldn't it?


Do you know what I mean?





#10. The Rolling Stones-"Little T&A"


I could have probably put just about any Stones album on here.


But....well, you know when your walking down the street, and you see a total babe with a no-nonsense walk, long legs, and a face full of attitude that has no time for you....and a killer body wrapped in just enough cotton to carry it?


Well, when I see that, this song starts reverberating through my mind....and what better song could be, really?





#11. Bananarama-"Cruel Summer"


I don't care what anyone says, I love this song.


It may be cheesy 80's pop, but....it carries the mood of the "Dog Days of Summer" and communicates it so well...yet, it still manages to make it kind of fun! It's undeniable, and very infectious.


Admit, it....you like it too!


The video has great images of a New York City I never got to experience.





#12. Billy Idol-"Hot in the City"


This song makes me smile every single time I hear it. I guess it's the lyric, "When a long-legged lovely walks by, you can see the look in her eye, then you know that it's HOT IN THE CITY TONIGHT!"


I know, deep stuff, right?


It doesn't hurt that this song is so TOTALLY about New York, either.


It's my favorite song to put on right after midnight when I dj at one of my Rock N' Roll haunts in NYC. It makes everyone dance and sing along, and hell, sometimes I do too.


Even though this song is 25-years-old, there's always a timeless sense of "Right Fucking Now" when that happens, and...to me, that's a big part of what Rock N' Roll is all about.





How about you?


#13. Janes Addiction-"Summertime Rolls"


This is another "forget it all" song....and I don't know how anyone could help but love it.


I mean, despite the sordid nature of Janes Addictions image, the lyrics of this song are a innocent as any I've ever heard. "Children...screaming TAG", "She says stop! I'm a girl", "Her nose is painted pepper Sunlight", her song says, "If you want a friend, feed any animal". I mean, you'd have to have icy slush going through your veins for those images not to evoke something within you, as far as I'm concerned.


There was no band like Janes Addiction.





#14. Guns N' Roses-"Reckless Life"


Just because.





#15. Ramones-"Rockaway Beach"


Because there's no other REAL New York City beach song.


No, Lou Reed's "Coney Island Baby" doesn't count! (I love that song, but it's not about the beach, ok?)







Thanks for reading!


Marty E.