BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife – A Look Inside Tale #2

The year is 1968. The hot rock & roll bands are the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Monkees, although I distinctly recall girls in my grade school class talking about how much they loved the Turtles. Why can I remember that bit of minutiae and not that garbage day is Tueday?

Anyway, I go back and forth. The Beatles are the greatest rock and roll band ever, right? Sure, we all have our favorite other non-Beatle bands. Mine include XTC, Squeeze, Cage the Elephant, Springsteen & the E Street Band, Wilco, Tame Impala, The Clash, Crowded House, and many others. And I’ll choose to listen to those bands over the Beatles more times than not. But still, the Beatles are tops, right? Right? Well, maybe not.

I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the Rolling Stones recently. They released this song earlier in 2020 around the start of the COVID quarantine.

It’s not a great song, but it’s certainly a good tune that sounds exactly like a Rolling Stones song should sound. They are still producing good new music after more than 50 years! And they’re not half dead like the Beatles. Sure, the Stones lost Brian Jones early on, and Bill Wyman has retired, but Mick & Keith are still going strong with Charlie Watts on drums and Ron Wood on guitar. I’m starting to give the nod to the Stones over the Beatles simply due to longevity.

So, what does this have to do with my book of short stories titled BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife, available on Amazon? Well, Tale #2 is titled “A Monkee to Die For,” and revolves around a Davy Jones promotional visit to a California record store. In the story, not only is Jones featured in an indirect way, but the Rolling Stones and Beatles also get mentions. My video excerpt in this post from Tale #2 involves a demonic being explaining to a 12 year old girl smitten by Davy Jones that the Rolling Stones may not be as icky as she thinks. Take a look and listen.

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He Could Have Used One

Gerry Marsdsen, front man and singer-songwriter for Gerry and the Pacemakers, passed away at age 78 from … heart problems. Is it just me, or does that seem to be super-ironic? It turns out he actually did have a pacemaker, but it was a heart infection that did him in.

At one point, Gerry and the Pacemakers rivaled the Beatles for popularity. Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you after all the nonsense I’ve delivered through this blog. But maybe you’ll believe a freakin’ knight. Take a look at what Sir Paul tweeted along with a great pic from the rock & roll history archives …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Special Old Music Edition

So this show came to town last night …


Again. It was here a couple months ago and sold out. Last night it sold out thanks to me and a couple friends being in the crowd. We were intrigued by the concept, but were glad our seats were by the emergency exit, just in case the show was a train wreck, and we did think that was a distinct possibility. I was especially skeptical of the inclusion of Jason Scheff who provided bass and vocals for Chicago in the 1980s when Chicago was cranking out sappy love songs.

Boy, was I wrong.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Black Keys Edition

Five years. I guess it could have been worse. It took Vampire Weekend six years to release new music. That’s right, this is the first new song from the Black Keys in five years. How did the Beatles crank out so many memorable albums in the span of just a few years? They were releasing albums less than one year apart. Good examples:

  • Rubber Soul – December, 1965
  • Revolver – August, 1966
  • Sgt. Pepper – June, 1967

That’s kind of crazy. They may have been just a bit more talented than Vampire Weekend and Black Keys combined. I know, the Vampires and Keys were busy with other stuff. Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys put out some very nice solo music. I can see that a solo album might take a year. But c’mon folks, make with the new music already. Are they so busy and tired because they have second jobs at night working the drive-thru at McDonald’s to make ends meet?

I guess times have changed and musicians don’t make their money off selling records with new songs like they used to. Now they make their money from touring. There is less incentive to make new music when you can tour and make mega-bucks playing old songs. Welcome to the digital age of music.

Speaking of the digital age of music, the new Black Keys tune Lo/Hi is available on YouTube …

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Don’t Seek The Music; Be The Music

Let me just start out by saying that the title of this blog makes no sense except that this post is about music and my quest to become one with music. You will only find out at the very end if I reached that lofty goal. I workshopped many alternate blog post titles, and they all sucked as much as this one, so what’s the point of even trying? It’s good enough (maybe too good?) for the likes of us.

Moving on, this is my longest blog post ever, and perhaps the longest ever in the history of blogging. I have no interest in checking, so let’s just take my vague hunch as gospel truth that this is a record-setting post. It is chock full of nonsensical words in a seemingly random order that would rival a Sean Spicer press conference, links to older posts (in a pathetic attempt to increase views), pictures, animated gifs and video links. If you are not up for a herculean, visually-stimulating blog post, bail out now. Warning, do not click the “Continue reading.”

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Summer Concert Review #1

My summer concert plans are a disaster so far. I entered the summer with grandiose plans to see about 10 performers, some old & some new. Those plans were quickly derailed, crashed and burned not unlike any weekend “to do” list I have ever made or any financial plans for retirement I have ever structured. The culprit? As always … an evil-doer using the alias of “family obligations” has been identified, arrested, tried & convicted for viciously murdering my summer concert plans.

I had wanted to kick-off my summer concert plans by seeing Lord Huron headline at a festival. They are an up & coming indie band that I really enjoy.

My oldest daughter gave me one of their CD’s. She would certainly want to see them. Nope, despite being a big fan, she had no interest. My friends had no interest since they typically cannot be enticed to a concert unless it is a Beatles reunion with an original line-up featuring both Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe. But of course I can count on being able to drag my wife to a concert that she has absolutely no interest in attending, right? Nope, those family obligations rise up in the form of a daughter’s dance recital rehearsal. I refused to be a total loser and attend a festival by myself (Yay, I am alone and festive!), so I succumbed to having my butt caressed by the couch monster at home.

Despite the lackluster start, I figured I could recover and get my concert plans back on track when I saw tickets still available to see Steely Dan, a old fave of mine that I have never seen. Once again, news of this concert opportunity spread among family and friends generated about as much interest as a Bay City Rollers reunion tour. Wait, what? Never mind, the Bay City Rollers are already reunited and touring.

Bay city rollers



Sigh! But I had an ace up my sleeve, a more casual friend who is a known Steely Dan fan, bordering on stalker. Once again the heinous family obligations rose up, this time from his side, requiring his attendance at an out-of-town family reunion.

Then doubt crept in. These dudes (major dudes for any Steely Dan fans) are old. Their vocals were never the best in their prime. What will they sound like now? I saw 2/3 of the formerly golden-throated warblers called America in concert a couple years ago, and if I could have found a pencil to puncture my eardrums, I would have. If America sounds so bad, how bad will Becker and Fagen sound? So I grabbed caution from the wind and passed, preferring to remember their original vinyl sound complete with scratches rather than their potentially scratchy voices of today.

At that point, I needed a new concert plan. What I came up with was a plan to see 5 concerts for ZERO dollars. That’s right, 5 FREE concerts. I’m not talking about money for gas, train fare, a Mott the Hoople Reunion Tour 2016 commemorative t-shirt, or overpriced hot dogs and beer. I’m just talking about admission … $0.00. I successfully launched that plan over the Independence Day holiday weekend.

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