Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Blues drumming legend and Valley fixture Chico Chism died Sunday, and last night I drove over to the memorial party at the Rhythm Room, where he pretty much held court and had the run of the place.

I didn't know Chico, per se, but I'd met him several times, seen countless shows with his band or where he was backing up somebody big, and he was always as gracious to strangers as he was his best friends.

So needless to say, the Rhythm Room was PACKED last night. People dancing, drinking and partying to Chico's memory. The band that was on stage while I was there was a conglomeration of musicians who might be called upon at any time to back Chico up when he felt like playing a gig. (See, in 2002 he had a stroke, which limited his ability to play. But every so often he'd get the inspiration and his pal Bob Corritore, who owns the Rhythm Room, had a list of giggers he could call from.) The band included FOUR guitar players, including a kid who couldn't have been 14 years old yet, who positively ripped up the joint. Good stuff.

My two best memories of Chico Chism are the first and last times I saw him. The first time, he was opening for and backing Bo Diddley at the Mason Jar around 1988. He was milling around with Bo in the bar before the show, and as they started to set things up, I heard Bo say, "Well, at least I know I got a good DRUMMER tonight!" (Chico and Bo went back to the '50s together in Chicago.) And he did.

Last time I saw him was last summer at an open mic in Scottsdale. It was a blues bar, and my stuff isn't exactly blues but I went there anyway. It was a pretty busy night; lots of musicians and audience. Sitting close to the stage, at the first table in the door, was Chico Chism, dressed to the nines as always, and despite health problems, looking pretty good. He was there with a friend who had a digital camera, and he was posing with people, I presumed, because THEY wanted a picture with Chico Chism.


I got up and did my stuff, made everybody laugh, then got off stage. At this point, Chico's friend comes to me says, "Chico wants a picture with you!" Sure enough, I walk over, and Chico shakes my hand and says, 'Let's get a picture!" And we did.

So somewhere out there is a digital photo of me and Chico Chism.

Sure wish I had it now.


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musical instruments

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Normally I don't share crap that gets sent to me by others, but this one's pretty funny if you haven't seen it before. I particularly like #5 and #17.

(Also, I have a feeling some of these aren't from little kids. This stuff gets scooted across the internet and I think various wise guys have contributed to this one, because some of them didn't look familiar.)

A first grade school teacher in Virginia had
twenty-five students in her class. She presented each
child in her classroom with the first half of a well
known proverb and asked them to come up with the
remainder of the proverb.

1. Don't change horses ..........................Until they stop

2. Strike while the.....................bug is close.

3. It's always darkest before............Daylight Saving Time.

4. Never underestimate the power of ...........Termites.

5. You can lead a horse to water but..... How?

6. Don't bite the hand that ........... Looks dirty.

7. No news is ....................Impossible.

8. A miss is as good as a ....................Mr.

9. You can't teach an old dog new ....... Math.

10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll ..........stink in the morning.

11. Love all, trust ...................... Me.

12. The pen is mightier than the................pigs.

13. An idle mind is.................the best way to relax.

14. Where there's smoke there's ............pollution.

15. Happy the bride who .................gets all the presents.

16. A penny saved is . .....................Not much

17. Two's company, three's ........... The Musketeers

18. Don't put off till tomorrow what........ You put on to go to bed.

19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and..... You
have to blow your nose.

20. There are none so blind as ..........Steve Wonder.

21. Children should be seen and not ..... Spanked or grounded.

22. If at first you don't succeed ..............get new batteries.

23. When the blind lead the blind ............... Get out of the way.

And the WINNER is!
24. Better late than..................... Pregnant.


JACUZZI UPDATE: Still not working. A guy from "Golden West Pools" (which causes no end of hilarity around our house, since on the Caller ID it comes up as "Golden West Poo") has been out three, coming on four times. Said he fixed it. We filled it. We turned on the power. Water shot all over the place and leaked out under the jacuzzi. Siphoned out the water. Called again. The next thrilling chapter occurs tomorrow!

If it doesn't work this time I may have to take drastic measures. Like, throw poo.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Rumor has it that Apple (the computer) and Apple (the Beatles) have buried the hatchet, and will announce as much in an ad on the Super Bowl.

Meaning? The Beatles are finally coming to iTunes and the modern era of downloading.

I'll believe it when I see it.


Played a GREAT gig at Mama Java's last Saturday. Sold a bunch of CDs, got a bunch of tips and walked out about a hundred bucks up. My voice even showed up for the most part.


Ever engaged in a naked group hug? Me neither.


A guy walks into a bar, stumbles over an eighth note and finds a place to rest.




Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Last Friday I played the 20th anniversary celebration at Fiddler's Dream. It was fun! I sold some CDs, everybody stayed (I was last), it was a full house and my voice, which was tinkering with a cold, stuck around long enough for me to finish.

Next morning, of course, I was croaking like Tom Waits chewing on hacksaw blades.

I went to a party that night, the theme was "Dress Like a Pirate!" They didn't say what KIND of pirate so I bought a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and jersey and showed up wearing that. Everybody liked it.

Sunday was no better for my voice, but it finally started showing itself again yesterday when I was so sick from whatever this was that I had to stay home.

I'm still a little rough but I should be FINE for my NEXT GIG (bugle, drum roll, please):

This Saturday, 8-10 at Mama Javas at 36th Street and Indian School Road!

You should all come if you can. If you can't, you should send someone who can. I always have a ball at MJs and it will be a good time.


The ongoing saga of my jacuzzi continues. We FINALLY had a guy come out to fix it over a week ago. Due to a variety of nearly comical oopses, he had to put off fixing it for a week. Then he showed up with what he THOUGHT were the correct parts, only to discover that the LAST time we had work done on it, the innards were replaced by DIFFERENT innards than he had, so....

...hopefully tomorrow he'll show up with the right parts. And the same cost estimate.

We'll keep you posted.


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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


We spent a few hours in the hot springs at Tonopah on Sunday with a bunch of friends. Then we headed over to the annual New Year's Party where we actually whooped it up way past midnight. And all because of the word "succulent." You see, one of the attendees was given a book called "Succulent Wild Woman," and one of the guys at the party, a tall, black gay fellow with a great voice, kept repeating the word "succulent" over and over with different inflections. You had to be there (indeed, most of the party attendees had gone home by this time) but it was extremely hilarious.


So they executed Saddam Hussein. I guess it goes to show you that some people will go to any lengths to prove the old adage that "Celebrity Deaths Come In Threes."


Speaking of which, I only saw James Brown in person once. He sang the Star Spangled Banner at a Suns game. WITH his background singers. It was a thrill.


Oh, and Gerald Ford? The first president I ever voted against. Thanks, Jerry!

Ford was the oldest living president ever. Followed by Reagan, then John Adams. I'm not sure who's next but they're long out of the running, unless Jimmy Carter sticks around another 15 years or so.

So who's left? Bush Sr., Carter, Clinton. Need to get more ex-presidents. Hurry up, 2008.


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