If you’ve ever read anything by Charles Bukowski, you no doubt remember the feeling you had the first time you came across his work. For better or worse, Bukowski is one of those authors who you don’t easily forget or ignore. Very few people are ambivalent about him.
It started as a short story about being on the road in a punk band, Sonny Vincent and The Extreme, back in 1980 and 81. One day I looked at it and thought, “I wonder what it would be like if I expanded this thing to cover my entire music career?” and now here I am, 106,000 words later, trying to beat the thing into submission.
The NSA “PRISM” outcry that is threatening to take over the Internet is pretty funny, considering the NSA exists for the sole purpose of listening to everything, and that is exactly what it has done for the past 60 years.
I guess no one cared in the past because it was only their telephone calls, telegrams, telexes and radio broadcasts being scanned. Now that it’s important shit like your Tweets, well, that’s not okay!
I’ve been considering running a month-long promotion to give away electronic versions of my books. I figure the typical person who would dig what I’m doing here might also be a book collector, so giving away the Kindle or iPad versions could spur some sales of the real things. You know, the ink on paper ones.
Offering the freebies is easy enough, but how to do it? I’m posting here, but since the blog has only recently been reanimated, readership is still pretty low. I could post on Google+, my favorite online doohickey (and I will), but what if I want to know more about the people who take me up on the offer (and be able to offer them stuff again, later)?
There was a purist school of thought in rock and roll in the 70s that said, no synthesizers! In fact, I think Queen even printed that on the back of their albums: No synthesizers!
But the fact is, musicians love new technology and are always looking for ways to change the sound their instruments make. There isn’t much difference between holding the rubber end of a toilet plunger over the end of your trumpet and sticking a whammy bar on your Stratocaster.
I was reading an article this morning about the author who was tasked by Jackie and Robert Kennedy to write about John Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. It’s an interesting article, but the thing that got me was something that was unrelated to the book.
If you look at the famous photo of Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as president on board Air Force One, you can see little spots of JFK’s blood on Jackie’s pink Chanel suit. White house advisors wanted her to change into a clean white dress before the swearing in, but she said, “No. Let them see what they’ve done.”
It occurred to me this morning how to solve all the problems in the Middle East.
People are angry over there, as you know. They blow themselves up, hack body parts off each other, drive jet airliners into buildings and generally shuffle around in an angry, aimless cloud of perpetual dust and confusion. They are surly, mean and fearless, and you don’t want to cross them on a good day, let alone when they haven’t had whatever narcotic they favor in a few days. It’s a brutal scene, and I think I know why.
I did learn something from Jackson – no, not how to moonwalk – but rather this very important lesson: if you call yourself something, everyone will eventually quote it as fact. In Jackson’s case, it was the laughable and grandiose “King of Pop” title. One day his management started telling journalists to refer to him that way, and they did. Now in news stories of his death you read things like, “Known as the King of Pop…”
Sony Music, Warner, EMI, Columbia Pictures, et al continue their assault on the Pirate Bay in particular and file sharing in general with a short-sightedness that is awe inspiring. They are obviously confused and frightened, clinging to their 20th century model of thievery and exploitation while the world shifts beneath their feet. I know they can’t see the changes because they are too busy looking to the sky for the falling pennies, but you would think that they could feel it.
I love the music of Bob Marley and The Wailers. A lot of people do. But the reggae music of the mid to late 1970s actually changed my life, as it knocked me off the musical axis I was spinning on and shot me into an entirely new direction (and 2000 miles across the country). But yes, it would seem that everyone loves Bob Marley. Soul rebel, natural mystic.
Lately I have been listening to The Wailers music from a period that I had previously neglected, the late 1960s/early 1970s – pre-Island Records. There are literally hundreds of tracks recorded during this period, and many songs that became well known later in The Wailers career were first recorded during this time.
I got sick at the beginning of the year and a nasty infection decided to set up a permanent home in my chest. It is improving somewhat now, but only after two rounds of Azithromycin.
I don’t usually take antibiotics, and I sure as hell don’t go to the doctor for a cold, but this has been something else entirely. I think it comes from outer space. So I was open to taking whatever any doctor wanted to shove in front of me