Thursday, April 30, 2009

Caveat Emptor...

Com’on, admit it, you’ve had the very same moment of weakness. Everything you see and hear tells you not to do it. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. You just have that sliver of optimistic gut feeling that perhaps everybody else was just missing the magic and if they simply stopped, closed their eyes, and took a deep breath it would all make sense and beauty would be revealed. You? Well you would be credited with discovering the most overlooked diamond in the rough the world has ever seen.

As you humble readers may recall (all three of you), I read the pinnacle rock bio of Led Zeppelin “Hammer of the Gods” not too long ago. You remember the post…

Me: Great story of this gigantic force of rock music. Don’t like all their work, but a great deal is simply mind blowing. Deserving of their place in the pantheons of rock history.

Jackson: Plant sucks, Page is sloppy.

Misanthrope: Yeah, what he said.

Anyhoodle, During the long dry spell of output following Bonzo’s death, the surviving Zep’s really struggled to figure out what they wanted to do next. For Jimmy Page, consuming metric tons of heroin didn’t help his quest any. There were many attempts on Jimmy’s behalf to get together with Robert in any of Jimmy’s bazillion studio’s spread out all over the United Kingdom to do some song writing, but Robert was having none of that. Jimmy had been a working musician for most of his life and ALWAYS worked in collaborative situations no matter if it was session work, The Yardbirds, or Zep. He simply didn’t do well on his own.

So, after being turned down by Plant yet again and in an act of creative desperation (or defiance depending on who you ask), Page dialed up another formidable blonde front man, fellow countrymen David Coverdale.

Before you all make the obligatory stinky cheese grip of your nose, remember Coverdale’s resume goes far deeper than supermodels crawling on the hoods of cars. He capably fronted Deep Purple in the early/mid 70’s and made some decent records with Whitesnake before MTV and greed ruined it all. Just admit it, the dude’s got the pipes. Yes, his mop of blonde hair, and stage poses harkened back to old Zep shows, but I can grant him his right to pay homage to an idol of his. Okay… So he sounds a bit like the guy too (I’d say much better really).

Coverdale must have pissed his pants after what I’m sure must have been many hang ups before the realization hit that this was no crank: “Hello mate, this is Jimmy Page… you wanna come down to my place and have a go at a couple of these songs?” Coverdale: “Who is this? Nigel? Fuck off and quit calling me, I’m in the midst of being beat up by my girlfriend”.

You’ve got Jimmy Page with arm loads of material backed up since Zep grinded to a halt, and a more than capable singer who is currently in the charts everywhere. Something great is about to be put to tape, right? I mean com’on?!

I should have known when I got an e-mail from Amazon that said: “This album is no longer in print, please check our used offerings for this title”. Okay, let’s take a look… Another sign telling me to wave off: There are hundreds of copies available from used resellers and the price range on the first thirty listed is .01 to .50 cents (NO! They’ve all got to be wrong). I pull the trigger and order the disc for .50 cents plus $2.50 shipping and am careful not to tell anybody about it. I pray that I get home and grab it at the door before my wife see’s what I’ve done. "Have you ordered porn online?!" (opens package) "Oh no Tony, this is much worse!" I grabbed my disc and this morning dropped it into the player for the ride in sure that vindication would be mine.

Well... Jimmy Page would have done himself (and the rest of us) a favor by forgetting Plant's and Coverdale's number and ringed up John Paul Jones instead. JPJ's the song crafter of that lot anyway. He's the one who molded Pages riffs into songs. No, everybody wasn’t missing anything. There would be no diamond in the rough discovery. No defensible “They don’t know what they’re talking about” moment. Just eleven songs of poop. Into the rack it goes filed under "P" perhaps never to see the light of day again.

Hmmm, wait a minute, who’s birthday is coming up next…?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dance! Cuts rip your pants...

This video is awesome for two reasons (sorry, it's unable to be embedded): One, it's Eric B. and Rakim rattling off one of the greatest hip hop jams of all time. Two, there's a cameo by Paul Borghese my co-star in "Fright House". I'm sure he's got it listed on his resume as a starring role.

BTW, The title of this post is also fitting for two reasons: One it's a portion of the lyrics to the track. Two, I ripped my pants when I got into work this morning and so far have successfully avoided being clowned for it.

Take that you suckers...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Little bit better than it used to be?

My kid is big into animals right now. I mean, every thought she has, awake or asleep, is about animals. I’m in awe at the veracity of her search for as much knowledge as she can get her sponge like brain on. She’ll watch one of the gazillion on demand cable shows available on Animal Planet, History Channel, National Geographic Channel, etc… and once credits roll, she immediately gets on one of the computers and starts searching for stuff on line.

She’s been nose deep in dinosaurs of late and as it is with her hereditary chattiness, asks quite a few questions about one thing or another since she is aware of my own fascination with dinosaurs.

This weekend as she read aloud from one of her many dinosaur books, I decided that she was ready to see the Steven Spielberg film ‘Jurassic Park’. I know the movie is light fare ala ‘E.T.’, but it’s a great movie for what it is. I absolutely love the book for all of the Ian Malcolm chaos theory stuff, but those discussions will come much further down the road for Mini Alva and me. For now, it’s all about seeing dinosaurs mix it up with people. So it was last night that we sat down after dinner, turned the volume up on the surround system, and watched ‘Jurassic Park’. Needless to say, Mini Alva loved it! She went to bed right after it finished and I fully expected to have her wander in during the night all scared from bad dreams, but my brave trooper proved me wrong and slept in past 9:30!!! I’m sure there are many questions she’s got for me and I can’t wait to answer them all.

I did have a thought this morning that gave me pause though… When I was a kid and first being exposed to the majesty and mystery of the dinosaurs, I spent many a night conjuring in my mind the world as it was 64 million years ago. I’d stare at photos and try to imagine what these gigantic creatures looked like moving around and coexisting with each other. These thoughts would occasionally wake me out of nightmares starring tyrannosaurs’ mauling some poor herbivore. It was a rare and splendid period in my adolescence when I actually enjoyed reading. The best animated look we got of dinosaurs was the wholly ridiculous claymation dreck of “Land of the Lost” on Saturday mornings and it never really got any better than that.

For Mini Alva, this is not the case of course. At seven, she has been to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC (experiencing the actual scope and size of dinosaurs) and five weeks later watched a strikingly realistic depiction of these beasts chasing and EATING people! I can’t help but think I’ve cheated her, even if it’s just a little bit, of a chance to conjure her own ideas of what life was like in the Jurassic period by handing it to her on a silver platter. On the other hand, if my dad had actually come home one night when I was her age with a movie like ‘Jurassic Park’ he’d have been more a hero than I already thought he was.

So, I don’t know. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My Birthday: An After Action Report or, How you know your family cares little for you…

Well, I’ve been so busy at work that I’ve not been able to blog and socialize on these here internets for awhile. I thought I might catch you up and how I made out for my birthday.

My brother and I have been gifting world class crap CD’s to each other for years now. He stung me good a few years back with a Joey Lawrence disc, but I fired a shot that clearly knocked him down when I came across a Fabio disc that I’m to understand he has in heavy rotation all time much to the chagrin of his wife.

Well, my folks thought they were being clever and original by jumping on this bandwagon last week. So as I tore the wrapping paper away on my first gift, this beauty was revealed from my Dad:

Nice. Except the jokes on him since he actually paid money to see the Capt. And his large mouth Mrs. Back in 1980. I think he made my sisters go too. Notice the price tag has this debut album marked down to $3.99. That’s $3.98 too much.

Next was this from my mother…

This is a five song EP of some stinky doo doo. It was over priced at $2.99 too. I know I caused her her great pain in my youth, but I swear I thought all was forgiven six years ago when I gave her a grandchild. I guess I thought wrong.

My brother has been calling each day for the last week asking if the gift he ordered for me had arrived yet. “Nothing yet” I told him Sunday. I had to travel to Indianapolis Monday but, upon my return last night this was waiting for me:

Yes, the very book I blogged about below which I discovered at Dr. Zibb’s place.

All I can say is… IT’S ON BUDDY BOY!!! As the Lord Humungous once said, “I promise you, newbody, newbody gits eowta here alive”.