Saturday, December 30, 2006

We Were Sitting Around

Playing, smoking cigarettes, and somebody asked me what I thought about Saddam Hussien's execution. I started vamping my guitar in A minor.

I let Blind Willie McTell do my talking for me. . .

(spoken) This one's for you Saddam

Little Jesse was a gambler, night and day
He used crooked cards and dice
Sinful guy, good hearted but had no soul
Heart was hard and cold like ice

Jesse was a wild reckless gambler
Won a gang of change
Although' a many gambler's heart he led in pain
Began to spend a-loose his money
Began to be blue, sad and all alone
His heart had even turned to stone
What broke Jesse's heart while he was blue and all alone
Sweet Lorena packed up and gone
Policemens up and shot my friend Jesse down

Boys I gots to die today
He had a gang of crapshooters and gamblers at his bedside
Here are the words he had to say
Guess I ought to know
Exactly how I wants to go
(spoken)How you wanna go, Jesse?

Eight crapshooters to be my pallbearers
Let 'em be veiled down in black
I want nine men going to the graveyard, Bubba
And eight men comin' back

I want a gang of gamblers gathered 'round my coffin-side
Crooked card printed on my hearse
Don't say the crapshooters'll never grieve over me
My life been a doggone curse

Send poker players to the graveyard
Dig my grave with the ace of spades
I want twelve polices in my funeral march
High sheriff playin' blackjack, lead the parade

I want the judge and solic'ter who jailed me 14 times
Put a pair of dice in my shoes (then what?)
Let a deck of cards be my tombstone
I got the dyin' crapshooter's blues

Sixteen real good crapshooters
Sixteen bootleggers to sing a song
Sixteen racket men gamblin'
Couple tend bar while I'm rollin' along
He wanted 22 womens outta the Hampton Hotel,
26 off-a South Bell
29 women outta North Atlanta,
Know little Jesse didn't pass out so swell

His head was achin', heart was thumpin'
Little Jesse went to hell bouncin' and jumpin'
Folks, don't be standin' around ole Jesse cryin'
He wants everybody to do the Charleston
(shouted)whilst he dyin'
One foot up, a toenail dragging
Throw my buddy Jesse in the
(shout some more)HooDoo Wagon

Come here mama with that can of booze
The dyin crapshooter's, leavin' the world
The dyin' crapshooter's, goin' down slow
With the dyin' crapshooter's blues

Can't say I'll miss Saddam. I'll never miss him as much as I miss the Bill of Rights and the other things we used to think were protected by the Constitution.

Happy New Year.

We won't have a lot of peace and stuff, but if we keep the old blues songs alive at least we can go down swinging and singing.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Since I'll be Working

The lot of a musician is that most folk's holidays, celebrations, ceremonies, and the like, are another day at the office for me. I'll be mostly on the road back and forth to California for a "command" performance New Year's Eve. One of the reasons I got the gig is that I do the Robbie Burn's version of Auld Lang Syne (not the Jacobite). It's a song with noble sentiments. Guy Lombardo should be flogged in hell for what he did to it. It can be done with the backing of the harp (my version) although, a piper, just makes it nice.

Burns told his publisher that he had written this song, tune and all, down from the singing of an old highlander, he was certain that it had never been published or documented. Without any further ado, I give you

Auld Lang Syne (1788)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
We've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne!

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
Bra' seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
Bra' seas between us, braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude willie-waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a right gude willie-waught
For auld lang syne.

(if you are having trouble with the Scots dialect here's a translation kindly posted)
I likes my Burns like I liked my whiskey. Straight.
Best wishes to all for the coming year.

Big Brass Blog

Friday Random Ten

Well, we're winding down the holidays. I'm leaving tomorrow to go for a command performance in California. A New Year's gig. Frankly, even when I was still drinking things like New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's didn't appeal to me all that much. Too many rookies out there muddling up the playing field for us pros. I'm dropping mom back off at her house. Don't get me wrong. I do love my mother. Totally. It's just that for the last month, with the holidays, an increased work schedule, a combination of many things, I've had somebody right in front of me needing to be dealt with in one way or another for about six weeks. This doesn't work well for me. I need time alone, time to myself, like other people need sleep. I'm looking forward to actually getting some of that next month. Whew!

Now, on to the Random Ten:

Wind That Shakes the Barley - - - Bedlam Abbey
Dream a Little Dream of Me - - - Nat "King" Cole Trio
Sixteen Tons - - - Merle Travis
Tipitina - - - Professor Longhair
Pinegrove Blues - - - Sonny Landreath
Spanish Moss - - - Doug Kershaw
Gumboots - - - Paul Simon
These Four Walls - - - Shawn Colvin (from the cd Kona sent me THANKS BRO!)
Make Up Your Mind - - - Lovin' Spoonfull
Sharon - - - David Bromberg

Bonus track

Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down - - - Martin Simpson

What's on ya'll's playlists?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bush, The Decider, Decides Stuff in Crawford

Today is the big ass information super duper push and surge to end all . . . oh, fuck it.

Bush doesn't care. He doesn't even get that there will be five or six more American deaths a day while he waits for an appropriate "news cycle" to spin around in which he is going to release his words from the mountaintop of decidering and reveal that:


I find no reason for any hope at all for the man, or the country while he's still around.

If they want to talk doing the Agnew on Cheney, then going after Bush hammer and tongs, I'm there. Otherwise, I got horses to feed.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gerald Ford, dead at 93

Former President Gerald Ford Dies
The Associated Press

Tuesday 26 December 2006

Los Angeles - Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon's scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America's history, has died, his wife, Betty, said Tuesday. He was 93.

"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Mrs. Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office in Rancho Mirage. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."

The statement did not say where Ford died or list a cause of death. Ford had battled pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments - including an angioplasty - in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

He was the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93. Ford had been living at his desert home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 130 miles east of Los Angeles.

Ford was an accidental president, Nixon's hand-picked successor, a man of much political experience who had never run on a national ticket. He was as open and straight-forward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial.

He took office minutes after Nixon flew off into exile and declared "our long national nightmare is over." But he revived the debate a month later by granting Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president. That single act, it was widely believed, cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976, but it won praise in later years as a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on.

The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the U.S. during his presidency with the fall of Saigon in April 1975. In a speech as the end neared, Ford said: "Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned." Evoking Abraham Lincoln, he said it was time to "look forward to an agenda for the future, to unify, to bind up the nation's wounds."

Ford also earned a place in the history books as the first unelected vice president, chosen by Nixon to replace Spiro Agnew who also was forced from office by scandal.

He was in the White House only 895 days, but changed it more than it changed him.

Even after two women tried separately to kill him, the presidency of Jerry Ford remained open and plain.

Not imperial. Not reclusive. And, of greatest satisfaction to a nation numbed by Watergate, not dishonest.

Even to millions of Americans who had voted two years earlier for Richard Nixon, the transition to Ford's leadership was one of the most welcomed in the history of the democratic process - despite the fact that it occurred without an election.

After the Watergate ordeal, Americans liked their new president - and first lady Betty, whose candor charmed the country.

They liked her for speaking openly about problems of young people, including her own daughter; they admired her for not hiding that she had a mastectomy - in fact, her example caused thousands of women to seek breast examinations.

And she remained one of the country's most admired women even after the Fords left the White House when she was hospitalized in 1978 and admitted to having become addicted to drugs and alcohol she took for painful arthritis and a pinched nerve in her neck. Four years later she founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, a substance abuse facility next to Eisenhower Medical Center.

Ford slowed down in recent years. He had been hospitalized in August 2000 when he suffered one or more small strokes while attending the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

The following year, he joined former presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton at a memorial service in Washington three days after the Sept. 11 attacks. In June 2004, the four men and their wives joined again at a funeral service in Washington for former President Reagan. But in November 2004, Ford was unable to join the other former presidents at the dedication of the Clinton presidential library in Little Rock, Ark.

In January, Ford was hospitalized with pneumonia for 12 days. He wasn't seen in public until April 23, when President Bush was in town and paid a visit to the Ford home. Bush, Ford and Betty posed for photographers outside the residence before going inside for a private get-together.

The intensely private couple declined reporter interview requests and were rarely seen outside their home in Rancho Mirage's gated Thunderbird Estates, other than to attend worship services at the nearby St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert.

and i was NEVER able to think about him without thinking about Chevy Chase doing pratfalls.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Jurrasic Pork Hits One Out of the Park

It's a Blunderful Life

This guy was one of my biggest inspirations on getting into blogging. On my best days I try to be partly as good as he is when he's average.

This is His. Best. Ever.

Since Most of You Got It Right Anyway

Yes, the Rogaine's a lie. I even have used how I look to get past the velvet rope at a hollywood club. We went through the V.I.P. corridor (not because of me but because of who I was with), the muscle dude at the rope put out his arm (which was the size of my waist) and said "Got any I.D.?"

My hair was grey, past my shoulders, bald on top, I was wearing wire rim glasses. I took a hundred dollar bill out of my pocket and said

"I'm Benjamin Fucking Franklin."

He said "Cool Benjy, you were always my favorite."

Jamie, We Hardly Knew Ye. . .

But, what we did know, we loved, warts and all. You were the hardest working man in the business. You started to sing and lives were changed. Goodnight my friend. Sweet goodnight.


A Christmas Morning Warning

WARNING: If your brother, is your neighbor, and a musician, you should be very nice to him all year. Otherwise, this is what your child will see Christmas Morning. Of course, if you're very clever, like my sister, you'll see that and immediately tell the child, "You can leave that set up here at Uncle Stevie's house and practice drums when you come over to play the piano."

(curses, foiled again!)


Sunday, December 24, 2006

random flickr blogging 12/25

Karl Rove's protege Mistress Sin-Dee models the new prison gaurd uniforms for the private Halliburton camp that is reserved for Republicans caught and convicted, he remarked "Hey, they said Hard time!"

Magical Mystery Meme

Five little short takes about me. One is false.

1. When I was in a Naval Hospital in San Diego, recovering from wounds I was specifically visited by Richard Nixon. He had given me a decoration a few months before. He also read the casualty lists every day. Even on a weekend at the Western White House in San Clemente. One Sunday morning he was doing just that and remembered my name. He, without fanfare, without any notice other than his usual traveling detail drove down to Balboa Park and when I came to, sitting there next to my bed was the President of the United States, watching football. He patted my hand, told me I was "a good boy," and we just stayed there, watching and talking football until the game was over. He told me as he was leaving "Thank you for your courage. You and those boys like you are what will always save this country when we need you." Then he was gone. I did notice that I was treated a lot better by the hospital staff from that moment on.

2. I took Miles Davis to my second grade class for "Show and Tell." My Da was holding down bass duty for the western states portion of his club tour. He couldn't get a decent hotel where we lived. I asked him to come by the school. He did. He brought his trumpet and played "Mary Had a Little Lamb." We sang along. The kids weren't nearly cool enough to know how special it was. But I did.

3. I use Rogaine, and have gone to great lengths to try to halt the process of balding. I'm vain enough to have tried things like hairpeices (which once you go grey are more of a give away than a hiding measure), and have considered surgical replacement.

4. I had a brief, torrid affair with a famous actress who was sentenced to AA meetings by the court. A regular meeting of mine was one that was "off the books" as far as its time and location. This is so that people in the entertainment industry could pretend that they have some small measure of anonymity during their recovery process. She was a newcomer. I wasn't. It was something that I've only done once (screwing newcomers is frowned upon in the recovery community). If you saw her and had a chance you'd have done it too. We're both still sober, but I know that I did something very selfish that was no help at all to her recovery.

5. Even though I am an admitted atheist I have witnessed things done by some of the "medicine men" on the rez that defy all rational explanation. They just know things that can't be known by science or mortals. I admit that there isn't an explanation for what they have done and trust that science will someday catch up to them, at which point there won't be any "paranormal" or "supernatural" implications about what they are capable of doing. It will just be normal and natural.

Pick out the lie. Leave your guess in comments. I'll cop to the winner sometime next week.

Tag yourself if you feel like it. My oldest daughter says that this one is pretty fucking easy.

You Mean Like Democrats?

This was emailed to me this morning by my Republican Uncle. Funny how not very much has really changed. It reminds me of the old Will Rogers line: "I'm not a member of an organized political party, I'm a Democrat."

These guys have a short time only to grow some teeth and learn how to use them.