Wednesday, April 29, 2009


A co-worker came in today and put a losing lottery ticket on my desk. It was one of these:

"Smell it," he says.

Damn thing smells like cinnamon candies!

Hopefully they won't do "Mother's Day Roses..."


Okay, if you haven't read the entry from a few days ago about "the CATCH," go read it then come back here.

Janice was cleaning out the garage today when she found...

...the Uniform!

Here it is in all of my ten-year-old glory, 41 years later:

But check this out: My wife is SO TINY, she could BUTTON THE SHIRT!

And yes, it was TIffany Coiffures. I wasn't kidding...


Monday, April 27, 2009


This story is over a year old, but I hadn't heard about it.

Paul Cole died.

You don't know Paul Cole? That's funny, because chances are you have a picture of him in your home, or you know someone who does...

You always wondered who that guy was, didn't you? Well, now you know.


I'm getting used to driving to Gilbert every day. Still don't like it but I'm getting used to it every day. Getting the hang of my job, too -- and I actually DO like it. Most of it. Except for that. And that thing there. But that? That's cool.


Sunday, April 26, 2009


...to be a part of the bi-monthly, continually-evolving show that is Romantasy Cabaret!

Last night's show was...how can I put this...FREAKING AMAZING. It was one of those great times doing live theatre (because that's really what it is) where the audience went from an oil painting to a frenzy in a little under three hours.

Those of us who do this show (and YOU can do it, too, if you have an act that works in a burlesque/vaudeville venue -- ask me how!) do it entirely for fun. If there are tips, we split 'em in a fair but certainly not even way (for example, if your act requires nudity -- holy CRAP there was a lot of that last night -- it would stand to reason that you might get a bit more for your trouble than, say, a man who performs a stand-up routine in a tux. But of course, tips only happen after the venue is paid, the security is paid, the media is paid, etc. etc.

So we do this for FUN!

I had a lot to do in the show last night. Jan and I had worked up a comedy bit concerning two spies which we debuted last night with a very uncooperative stage prop. But we survived. We also performed, for the second time, a bit we did in the last show; a short silent movie parody of the "YOU MUST PAY THE RENT! -- I CAN'T PAY THE RENT!" variety. It went over like gangbusters and got the oil painting laughing early.

I played a four-song set of music between the second and third act and most of the crowd stuck around to hear it, and I even got in on one of the classy stripper acts in the third act, where all the aforementioned nudity is (well, okay, most of the nudity this time; did I mention there was a LOT of nudity in this particular version of the show?), by playing her music for her. (I'm not going in to details because we might pull it out at a future show, and then you'd be there and know what was gonna happen.)

Everybody I talked to who came to see the show last night, and who had seen other performances, called this one the best ever. Even with an incredible number of backstage and on-stage unforeseen calamities, I believe they're right.

Congrats, one and all! Can't wait to do it again...


With all the stuff I had to do yesterday I missed the opportunity to see Michi Regier at Fiddler's Dream's Spring Festival. Michi's the greatest living fiddle player I personally know and she came down from Illinois to do the gig (and visit family I presume). She has a new CD that is simply AMAZING which you should now go to CDBaby.com and buy.

And while you're there, there's this guy named Tuerff who has two CDs you oughta have in your collection if you don't already...


Thursday, April 23, 2009


No, it's not a movie of my catch.

Last weekend, when the Indians beat the living daylights out of the New York Yankees two days in a row, with the ultimate humiliation being the 21-4 rout on Saturday, ESPN Radio's Freddie Coleman was left to talk about it on Sunday afternoon. He said, "Let me try and describe this game to you. Remember the Bugs Bunny Cartoon "Baseball Bugs?" He then played the conga music from this cartoon. It became a very funny recurring joke that day.

Here's the cartoon.


You ARE coming to Romantasy Cabaret at Club Red this Saturday, yes?


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I just figured I better get on here before they pull my blog card or something.

How ya been?



(Click this to make it big. Trust me, you wanna make it big.)


I have a LOT to do in this show. It's not exactly going to be the Tom Tuerff show, but I SHOW up a lot. Sometimes with ladies who SHOW a lot.


That reminds me, I gotta get a guitar case.


It is BASEBALL SEASON and I am happy. I love baseball. The older I get the more I find I love it for different reasons. Mostly, I like it now because it's very philosophical. I like to sit and watch a game and try to guess what the pitcher is going to throw, and whether the batter will even bother to swing at it. Often I'm right.

I was a terrible baseball player but it didn't matter. I was in Little League from the 4th through the 7th grade (except for the 5th grade when some kid threatened to beat me up if I joined his team). In the fourth grade I was living near Chicago, it was 1968, the entire city was reeling from the King/Kennedy assassinations, and by the end of the summer the hippies would be getting their heads pounded in at the Democratic convention.

But I didn't care. I was on a baseball team. A sponsored baseball team. ALL the teams had sponsors. Our team was (don't laugh -- okay, laugh your ass off; my mother still does) sponsored by "Tiffany Coiffures." Apparently Tiffany Coiffures, which I remember seeing once, was a hole in the wall that made a lot of money, because it was sponsoring our baseball team.

We weren't great. But we weren't awful. We ended up with a losing record but I remember it because it was the only year that lousy, baseball-playing me actually did anything on the field worth remembering.

I didn't play much. I was one of those guys who had to wait until it was obvious that the game was a blow-out.

So there we were, one summer night, getting totally waxed by Simoniz Car Wash, 12 -0 (yes, that was intentional) .
Last inning.

"Tuerff! Go play left field!"

So I'm standing out in left field, watching this happen: first kid strikes out. Second kid walks. Third kid walks (nobody pitches very well in the fourth grade.) Foruth kid gets a single (but nobody runs very well at this age either, so nobody scores), bases are loaded. Fifth kid (we pretty much knew the other team by name at this point, we'd seen them all so often in this game) strikes out.

So it's two out, bases loaded, and the proverbial "BEST HITTER ON THE TEAM," a guy who I remember to this day was named Jim Giblin, steps to the plate. Giblin simply didn't make outs. When he got wood on the ball, he put in Montana. He'd already done this twice already this evening.

One pitch.


Okay, now here's what I remember. Giblin hits a solid line drive RIGHT AT ME (keep in mind, I'm playing deep. The park was in Mount Prospect and I was standing somewhere in Arlington Heights). I took two steps forward, extended my glove and the ball
sailed into my glove.

That's what I remember. Apparently, this moderate fly out did not make much of an impression on me. The audience however, went completely batshit. TOTALLY BATSHIT. Standing ovation for catching a baseball. Even Jim Giblin came over to me as I was running in to the dugout and said, "Hey, man, NIIIICE catch!" Like he was dumbfounded or something.

My best friend Eddie Herndon, who was on my team, said "Nice Catch!" My coach said, "Nice Catch!"

A week later, when the little league sent out its newsletter with the box scores and capsule descriptions of all the games, our game's wrap-up included this sentence: "Outfielder TOM TUERFF made a fantastic catch to rob JIM GIBLIN of a home run."

Did I mention my dad was there? Watching?

As the years went by, every time my father told this story, my catch reached Olympic proportions. I ran three miles to catch this ball. I jumped in the sky. I swatted a bird out of the way, landed on a horse and rode the horse back into town, waving the baseball triumphantly in my mitt.

Look: I got to play that night. The object of Left Field is: if they hit it your way, catch the ball. He did. I took two steps (okay, maybe three) and caught the ball waist high in front of me. I preserved our 12-0 loss by being one of the three guys who struck out in the bottom of the inning.

I still have my uniform somewhere. My mother kept it all these years because a baseball jersey that says "Tiffany Coiffures" IS really funny.


Friday, April 10, 2009


A couple of years ago, a musical acquaintance of mine joined several other acquaintances of mine and departed on a month long tour of Germany. That’s right, Germans willingly listening to American Folk Music. It’s big over there.

This operation worked fairly well, except that from all reports, all the guys who’d toured together had pretty much had enough of each other once the tour was over. I can understand that.

However, about a year later, one of those guys asked me if I’d be interested in touring Germany. Having seen what had happened that last time, and not really savoring the idea of spending four weeks – let alone four HOURS – with a couple of the guys he was asking, I said no. Besides, I write funny stuff. English language humor don’t go over so well in Germany. Just ask Monty Python.

But it did put a little bug in me that is still bugging me to this day. I’ve never really been on a tour. Heck, I’ve never even booked a gig out of town that required more than two hours driving.

I’ve played open mics all over the place – Richmond, New Orleans, Portland and other places. But I was just thinking: where would be a good place to play out of town?

It would have to be a place where I know enough people to help generate a crowd.

Well, for one, there’s Tucson. But I tried that once and everything got screwed up. The posters I sent to the venue never arrived, everyone I actually knew in Tucson was out of town that weekend and while the coffeehouse where I played was very nice, it was kind of out of the way. Although everybody seemed to know about it.

Then, there’s Seattle. Through choice, fate, luck and the internet, I would venture to say that my wife and I know enough people in the Seattle area that, if they all brought friends, I could fill a small room. They’re people we know from all kinds of places and all kinds of reasons: college friends, post-college friends who moved, people we have something in common with via the internet, filkers (that’s sci-fi folk music people) and more.

Tucson and Seattle. That’s not much of a tour.

Which brings up another problem: Travel. A drive to Tucson I can handle. But paying my way to fly and stay in a hotel in Seattle would pretty much negate any kind of money I would make for entertaining my Washingtonian pals and their friends.

I’m thinking about looking into Western folk festivals for next year. Just one or two, provided this new job doesn’t fly away (or maybe BECAUSE the job flies away). I like performing and I’ve played in front of enough perfect strangers to know that I’m funny. True, it might not be touring, per se, but the change of scenery might do me –and my act – some good.


You may not like Facebook – and there are a whole bunch of things I don’t like about it – but I do have to say this. If you want to reunite with someone you used to know a long time ago, it’s not too hard to find them if they’re on Facebook.

I like catching up with people I used to know. It’s fun to see what happened to them, what they’re doing now and what their interests are.

Plus, if you have a good reason, you can get a few famous (or at least marginally famous) people to be your “friend.” For example, since I have an internet radio show (“Zappa Universe,” Every Sunday at 6 on radiofreephoenix.com, but then you KNOW that because you listen EVERY WEEK, even when it’s RERUNS like right now, don’t you?) about Frank Zappa, I have one former member of the Mothers of Invention on my list, and two other members of FZ’s 60s entourage.

Their occasional comments are always interesting.

All I can say is that even though it’s confusing as hell at first, and badly laid out, Facebook has some ups.


No gigs this weekend, but my lovely wife Jan is part of a huge dance show this weekend. I’d tell you about it but it’s sold out, so there you go.


Thunderstump, the best band that ever sprang 2/3 of its members from my loins, played another open mic Wednesday night and went over well. I played too and people actually shut up. That’s a good thing…really…


Sunday, April 05, 2009


Exhibit A, last night in New York City:


Exhibit B: Keeping with this theme, last night Jan and I attended the long-awaited nuptials of one Tom McClure and Melissa Billings, two old friends who had been putting off that ol' marriage thing for over 15 years (when you KNEW it was just a matter of time), and finally did the deed.

I can't remember the last time I saw so many people with such big smiles on their faces. Melissa is one big walking smile anyway, and she was smiling so much last night I would imagine when she woke up this morning, her face hurt.

Congratulations, you two.


Had dinner Friday night with most of the local Tuerff family (brother Pat had to work, unfortunately) and my Uncle Jim and Aunt Julie, who were visiting from Nashville. They are two of the most instantly likeable people on the planet; high school sweethearts who just knew they were gonna get married, and did after college. Jim is the last surviving Tuerff brother from my dad's generation. He was a "Catholic surprise," if you know what I mean, coming along when his siblings were 17 and 15 or so.
He's just attending his 50th high school reunion this year, to give you an idea.

Jim missed his calling as a stand-up comedian. You can tell he's a great public speaker because he has fine comedic timing.
Just amazing.


Today, we're off to rehearsal for our NEXT EXCITING ROMANTASY CABARET!


I always say this, but it's true: If you haven't seen this, DO. You'll have fun. You'll be amazed that a bunch of amateurs can put on a show this cool. It is worth every penny. And a few more.


Just got word I'm on the docket for the Flagstaff Folk Festival the last weekend in June. When I know exact times I'll let you know!


Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I managed to get through the day without being April fooled. But such has not always been the case.

Two years ago, allaboutjazz.com published this article.

In my defense, I was not the only person taken by this article. I only found out it was phony last summer, when somebody on a newsgroup recommended that I look at it again, "very closely."

It is VERY well done. The year after that, they did the "Paul Desmond Vocal Album." Yeah, I know, you have no idea why that's funny. Just trust me, it is.

This year, they announced the sale of "All About Jazz" to Smuckers, with a name change to "All About Jams."


Does anybody have a khaki colored trenchcoat or raincoat I can borrow? Swear to God. I need it quickly. Let me know.


If you are accustomed to reaching me at ttuerff@qwest.net, that address has changed to the more simple ttuerff@q.com. Please make a note!


Oh yeah -- I am once again gainfully employed. Life goes on.


If commercials are going to continue to use really good songs, then they need to start identifying the songs on the commercial. Your king has spoken. Make it so.


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