December 30, 2010
Well another year is in the books. It was a tough one for the Knobs. If you are on our mailing list Rick sent out a mailer about what went on. Our you can go to our Facebook page, where PJ chronicled the year.
The one real bright spot was the positive feedback we got on our CD Daydrinkin'. After I listened to the rough mixes, I was ready to pull the plug on the project and start over. Dave Hanner convinced me not to, saying he thought it was good. Well he must have been right, because I can honestly say we have gotten more positive feedback on this one, than any of the others. So I guess you never really know.
Another thing happened that affected our band this year, I turned 60. Alot of people tell me age is just a number. Well let me tell you 60 is a big number. When I was 21, I thought someone who was 60 had one foot in the grave and the other on a bananna peel. For me at least it has been a time for real reflection. Looking back on the way I have lived my life. and how I have treated other people, and how I have treated my body. Gotta tell you it's not all sunshine and lollipops. However I think what I learned will help me live the next 20 years(hopefully) as a better person. I think people who say age is only a number, are half right. There is really no way to get around the physical realities of age. Diet, exercise, detox, botox, liposuction, nip and tuck are just temporary fixes.
Eventually the body gives up. The only thing that is constant, and that you can control in this life is between your ears. That's right gang your mind. I have struggled with the reality of living the rest of my life making music in smoke filled bars to a bunch of drunk people who mostly don't care(hey I said mostly). Then you know what? Something happened. I heard Johnny B. Goode. I still get as excited today as I did when I first heard it 46+ years ago, and I thought there are alot worse ways to spend the last part of your life. My docter recently told me, "John, I know in your mind your 21 years old, but that 21 year old is living in a 60 year old body." I thought that's true, but as long as I'm still 21 in my head I'll be OK. I just have to take it down a couple clicks. So just like the guy in the Dylan Thomas poem, I'm not going gentile into that good night. I'm going kicin', screamin', rockin 'n' rollin'.
It Was 30 Years Ago Today
December 8, 2010
The proximity of Pearl Harbor Day, and the assination of John Lennon never really occured to me until I woke up this morning. Not even yesterday when I was going on my final rant about Iraq.
You know I would be remiss if I didn't comment in some manner, given how the Beatles really changed my life. John Lennon was everything I wanted to be before I knew that's what I wanted to be. A great songwriter: his was the driving force behind the early pop masterpieces that thrust the Beatles onto the world stage. The early stuff was primarily John with a little help from Paul. A great singer: Listen to his vocals on "Money" "Rock'n'Roll Music" "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and the intro to "Mr. Moonlight" very few white guys could match these performances. Ironically enough one of the guys who could was Paul MacCartney. Finally a world class smartass: His comment at the Royal Command Performance about the people in the cheap seats clapping their hands, and the royals ratteling their jewelry is brilliant. John Lennon always questioned authority, and the status quo. He could have been a quiet rich guy, but he chose a different path. The Nixon adminstration, espiacially J. Edgar Hoover feared him and his influence on the youth of America. He knew what we all suspected: almost all politics is bullshit, unfortunately that hasn't changed much, if at all. He also knew that giving peace a chance didn't make for good business. Again this kind of thinking is dangerous to the money boys. Finally he once said if it wasn't for Elvis there would be no Beatles. Well on a infinitely smaller scale, if it wasn't for John Lennon there would be no Beatles, and if it wasn't for the Beatles there would be no Knobs, and I know one thing for sure, I would have probably missed out on the joy of playing rock'n'roll music, for all these years.
What Have We Learned Part III
December 7, 2010
Hey now, it's been awhile, but I haven't forgotten about Iraq, and what we learned. I've been waiting for the right time to post this final installation. Well today is the perfect day: Pearl Harbor Day. 69 years ago today the Japanese launched a sneak attack against the USA. FDR essentially told the Japs, "You want somma this?, Well come get it!, and by the way Adolf, we got some for you too!" You know what happened? Guys lined up to fight for what they believed in. Look at news reels from 1941. Recruitment centers were overwhelmed. There was a SHARED SACRIFICE! by the people of the US. Poor boys, rich boys, pro athletes, movie stars, you name it, they were there, and Uncle Sam gave a helping hand for those who didn't quite get it, it was called the Draft. Now let's flash forward to March 2003. George the younger starts a war, and the induction centers were like ghost towns, you could hear the crickets, watch the tumbleweeds blow by. It reminded of a poster from the 60's that said, What if there was a war, and nobody came? Well there was a war, and nobody came. No problem. We will just keep using the poor bastards that were already there, and we'll just hire us some soldiers. That's right gang, we'll get us some "military contractors" Actually when did they stop becoming mercenaries, and start becoming"contractors"? Again just like the illegal alien who cuts your grass, and cleans your house, because they're cheap, and you're lazy. We hired people to do our military dirty work. There is one glaring difference. The mercenaries are making alot more than our soldiers, and that's the real crime here.
Where is all of this going you ask? Well here it is. The thing I learned most about Iraq was this: America has lost it's stomach for a fight! We seem to have lost the sense of personal scrifice for the sake of the whole. I have asked alot of kids in their 20's and 30's what they thought of the war in Iraq, and to a person, they were all for it.(even the girls) Of coures when I asked if they had any plans of enlisting, or doing anything to help the war effort. The stock answer was,"We support the troops". Nice. Saying you support the troops is like saying you are for world peace, or Puppies are cute. It pretty much means nothing, without some actions. Anyway that's what I learned from Iraq. Just remember most great civilizations implode. To paraphrase the great Pogo we have met the enemy, and it isn't the muslims, it's us.
What Have We Learned Part II
September 10, 2010
There was alot to learn from the War in Iraq. I guess the the first thing was what happened to our Intel? How could they have been soooo wrong about the WMDs? Well before you lose you faith in American intelligence gathering ability know this: there was alot of intel to suggest the opposite of what the admininstration told us. They just chose to ignore it. And you thought cherrypicking was confined to basketball.
The second thing we learned was how eager most politicians were to blindly follow a president into war. Where was the individual responsibility of our elected officials to ferret out ALL the intel before going over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings drunk on war kool-aid? You know what really makes you think? Two of the most famous congressional wing nuts Ron Paul on the right, and Dennis Kucinich on the left, voted against going to war. That should make you think alittle.
Well I think number three would be the famous Dick Cheney quote, "We will be greeted as liberators" Apparently someone forgot to tell about 20% of the Iraqii that. As bad as our administration, and certain media outlets tried to potray Saddam as the devil incarnate(he was a bad man), He still had a substantial power base in Iraq. What in the world would make anyone think the Saddam loyalists would just lay down and put flowers in the GIs rifles? If you can find it on you tube there is a speech Dick Cheney made in 1991 after the first Gulf war, when he was the Secretary Of Defence. He makes compelling arguments to why we shouldn't have gone into Iraq after bitch slapping Saddam out of Kuwait. In that speech he outlined all the things that could go wrong with an American invasion. He could have made a fortune on the Psychic friends hot line, because every thing he said in 1991 came true in 2003. What the F=== happened?
Well that's enough for now. The final installment comes next week.
What Have We Learned Part I
September 1, 2010
Last night BHO announced the end of combat operations in Iraq. It took 7 1/2 years to "save" Iraq. In the 40"s it took less than 4 years to save the world. It appears to me that maybe Iraq didn't want to be saved as badly as the world did. That's for another blog.
Let's recap: 4400+ brave and loyal Americans DEAD, almost 32,000 wounded, countless post traumatic stress syndrome time bombs waiting to explode on their families and society in general. 705 billion, and counting, that's billion with a capital B, spent. BTW all this money was borrowed from foreign countries. There was and is no war tax. So when politicians rail on about about spending and mortgaging our kids future. Remember this: the Iraq war was the downpayment on the future. Oddly enough the Bush tax cuts for the rich would have paid for the war. However since the rich don't fight wars, why should they have to pay for them? Does anyone remember Paul Wolfiwitz(bad spelling) He was a playa'
in the Bush white house, and one of the archetects(sp) of the Iraq war. This ass clown said the war would pay for itself, and you thought Dick Cheney was delusional. There is some good news, and it's this Iraqui oil production has returned to pre-war production levels, AND there is alot of speculation that production will rival that great American cash cow Saudi Arabia. They are so important to America that George Bush the younger had to hold hands with one of their Kings to assure him the greenbacks were still comin'. BTW why was Saddam such all of a sudden such a bad guy? The chemical and biological he had, were all supplied to him by "patriotic" USof A companies when he was fighting Iran(the new Iraq) Given the current level of Islamophobia in America I'm surprised this guy isn't considered our friend. Who has killed more muslims than he did? Anyway that's the end of part one. So I'm giving you all a chance to tee off on me. There is more comin'.
May 16, 2010
The Knobs long time soundman Dave Baughman is leaving the band and moving to Georgia to start a new job. Most of you know Dave is Rick's brother, and Derek's uncle, and a long time memeber of the Baughman sound empire. I'm embarrased to say I can't even remember how long Dave has run sound for us. It seems as if there was never a time when he wasn't there. Any one who has ever been in a band knows how crucial the sound mans roll is. The sound man can make or break you. Especially frustrating for him is trying to please the various band members who all think they know how it should sound. Dave always handled this with grace and the patience of Job. No matter what problem we encountered Dave never panicked, or lost his cool. He was always a gentleman. Dave, you were like a brother to me, and I along with the rest of the members of the Knob family will miss you. We wish you nothing but the best on your new journey.
Am I My Brother's Keeper?
March 30, 2010
That question is as relevant now as it was when it was first asked by the God of Abraham to Cain in the Garden of Eden. I think the way you answer that question goes a long way towards the way you view the current Health Care Reform Bill. Can you call yourself a Christian and be against taking care of your fellow man? Especially since we are the ONLY industrialized country on the planet that doesn't have some form of public health care? Again, I understand why the AWD(Average White Dude) is angry about paying for people who;"Can't cover their own asses" who wouldn't be? The reality is you're already paying for them in the form of emergency room services and gov't health cards. There are alot of reasons I think HRC is good for the AWD.
Again more questions. Should a person lose everything they have worked for, because they can't pay for the care they need? Especially in a country that has been blessed the way we have been in America. Why should an insurance executive decide the point a child with cancer becomes "unprofitable"?Don't let anyone kid you insurance companies aren't on your side. Ask anyone who needs any kind of special care. According to the World Health Organization, America is # 1 in the cost of Health Care, and #37 in the quality of Health Care. Prescription drugs are more expensive in America than any where else in the world. So much for supply and demand in the "Free Market" That's because health execs care more about profits than people. If you believe the statistics somewhere between 30 and 40 THOUSAND people die each year due to lack of health care. That's 10 9/11's a year, and nothing is done, and this is a "Christian Nation" I don't want to belabor this point, but I have a close personal friend whose 4 year old son died from lymphoma. If there is something in this life more heartwrenching than this experience, I don't want to see it. He is still paying on it more than five years later. I asked him him why he does this, and he told me he doesn't want to lose his house. Again who endorses this level of extortion? These are some of the reasons I think HRC is good for the AWD. It protects the people who are least able to fight the system. It also protects your children from "pre-existing conditons" It will help keep you from losing everything due to a catastrophic illness.
Look I know we need things like tort reform, and having more choice in how we purchase insurance. Personally, I would like to see the single payer system. It works in most of the free world no matter how strongly the insurance lobby rails against it. I know this is going to be expensive. This could be the largest tax increase in the history of America. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill is less expensive than the cost of doing nothing. Actually if you believe what they say the bill will start paying for itself in about 10 years. I believe that. I have been buying health insurance since 1974(that's not made up) I have seen the escalating costs. So believe me the taxes won't be as bad as the escalation of insurance costs. Unfortunately it's the lesser of 2 evils. The HRC bill has a pretty good chance to succeed. It's virtually identical to the "RomneyCare" bill in Mass. which initially was unpopular, but now has a 60-70% approval rate. One last question: What does it cost to live in a civilized and compassionate society?
Probably more than we currently pay. HRC is now the law. So , DRJ and Leather Gina the next time you're outside, take a deep breath, and look up into the sky, and you will notice something: It ISN'T falling. Peace and Love!
Am I The Only One Who Remembered
March 21, 2010
Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. I found it odd that the war which was waged to insure our "freedom" from Jihadists,terrorists, and the great paper tiger Sadam Huessein(if that's how you spell it) with his "weapons of mass destruction" was given so little coverage. Now I can understand why the "left leaning" main stream media didn't respond, but what happened to all the chicken hawks on the right in general, and specifically the Fox comedy channel. Where was George Bush, and Dick Cheney? Two men war mongers who never saw a moment of combat, but saw fit to send thosands of men and women, and boys and girls to their deaths on the Great Crusade to "Insure Our Freedom" Stangely quiet I think. Other than frantically re-writing history to lessen their culpability, and enhance their images, there was nothing. Well Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, I didn't forget, and I don't think any of the families of those who were sacrificed did either. Sacrificed so contol of Iraq's natural resources could remain in the hands of American and British business interests. Now GW we both know THAT was the real "Mission Accomplished" To quote the late John Lennon," Oh how do you sleep at night"
The Year In Review Part Duex
January 3, 2010
Hey, Hey, Hey 2009 has gone away. I wanted to wait until the Hahntown gig was over to write the second installment of the Knobs year in review(at least the way I saw it)
Hahntown was great, and we started this year the same way we started last year: kickin' ass, takin' names, and winnin' fans. The band was firing on all cylinders, and the combination of alcohol, and an incessant rock'n'roll beat finally got them in the back room dancin'. The no smoking thing combined with the new DUI laws are killing live music, but somehow we continue rolling along.
Now before I go any further, guess what Tammy got for Christmas. A riding crop, a RIDING CROP! indeed! Isn't that a fancy name for a whip? Tammy is there anything we need to know?
Well the year started with Lois and our band parting company. She was finally able to devote all her time and attention to her band the Bailers. Lois made a great contribution to the Knobs vocal sound. She will be singing on our new CD.
Well then we decided not to try and find another singer. The other band members were going to cover the parts. This was starting to come together pretty well, and then in April, Phil passed. After the shock and sorrow subsided, we started to rebuild the band. As I said Derek came on board, but there was something that was still missing. Not only was Phil a great drummer, he was also a very good harmony singer.
Well as fate would have it, we lucked out once again, when Phil's son PJ agreed to come on board. It's really funny how things work out, because PJ is probably the only guy who could fill this role. Not only is he an excellent vocalist, but he brings a newer, and more elevated energy to the Knobs. He also plays guitar, so that provides an interesting new area to explore.
Finally we will be releasing a new CD this year. Phil did the drumming on it, and hopefully PJ and Derek will be involved at some level. Any way we are looking to a 2010 filled with Rock"n"Roll.
The Year In Review Part One
December 24, 2009
Well let me start off by saying Merry Christmas, and Happy whatever ever path your spiritual beliefs take you on. I also would like to thank our families, friends, and fans. Without you guys, as I have said before, we would be nothing.
This has been a year of great personal, and band changes. After an extremely protracted courtship, Jan and I were married in September. I guess she never figured out thta not only could she do so much better than me, she also deserves so much better than me. So please nobody tell her.
In April our beloved drummer, Phil, crossed over to the other side. I still have a hard time accepting this. I loved talking about music with Phil almost as much as I loved jamming with him. One of our favorite conversations was about how vastly superior the Isley Bros. version of "Twist And Shout"(BTW The original) was to the Beatles version, and this is the song where the Beatles "borrowed" what was to become their trademark "woos" Phil had that kind of pop music historicle perspective. Alot of you out there probably never heard the Isley Bros. version of "Twist And Shout"
There were times I thought Phil's passing would be the end of our band. As luck would have it Derek agreed to returned. Believe me when I tell you this: He's the only guy who could have succeded Phil. Playing music(especially in this band) is so much more than hitting the notes. It's all about the spirit of the music. Phil had that spirit, Derek has that spirit. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are blessed to have Derek back.
Just Plain Jokes
October 15, 2009
Alot of people including Jimmy Sinclair have asked me, and been wondering how the "Nashville Thingy" went. Well it didn't go very well for the Knobs. We didn't even crack the top eight for best political song. All I can say is WTF! Now I guess there is some honor in making the finals out of 52,000 entries, but after I did some investigation, I'm starting to believe this organization is about as unbiased as Fox news, so please allow me to have my Kanye West moment. The winner in our category was "Danger, Danger" by Janis Ian. Janis is a famous and accomplished songwriter who has been around for over 40 years, so I can kind of understand it, but the song wasn't that good. This is where it really starts to smell. The second place song was "Clinton Got A Blowjob" by Eric Swartz. Eric is a comedian, and the song is pretty funny, but you really got to question the political relevance of a joke that's over ten years old. Well it doesn't really get much better. Although it seems that most of the winners performed at the ceremony. BTW when we were asked to perform, we had to cover all of our own expenses, AND purchase tickets to the event. I'm starting to think these awards were kind of like the participation trophies that little kids, who have a minimal amount of skill, recieve for just showing up. There wasn't one song that had the power, and relevance of "Two Americas" I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Practically all awards shows kinda go this way, and if you don't believe me, just ask Kanye. So before you all start accusing me of crying "sour grapes" I agree it is sour grapes, but that's the way I roll baby! Anyway, I still want to thank the people at "Just Plain Folks" for the nomination
Biddlefest XX(the big one)
September 20, 2009
Well Biddlefest XX is in the books. I can honestly say this was the best Biddlefest ever. For all you BF vets out there I know this is a huge statement, but that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. It probably was the most successful in terms of attendance numbers, and dollars. The weather gods were smiling on us. The level of band performances was probably the highest we have ever had. The audience participation was off the charts. When you add all of it up you gotta admit I make a pretty strong argument.
So next year BF will enter it's third decade, it's THIRD DECADE! Think about that. I saw people there who were children when Jimmy and I started this. Little kids, and now they are adults bringing their children. That is an extremely humbling experience, and it also reminds me how old I am.
You know in twenty years, there has been one common denominator, and that is the fans. The people who lay down their hard earned money to have some beer, have some fun, and be entertained. I would like to thank all of them. Actually there is another common denominator, and that is the people who work to make the event what it is. The stuff no one sees. For example the women of Biddle cleaning up after midnight last night. No one is paid. All of the musicians, bartenders, servers, and organizers donate their time to help the Biddle club survive. That is the essence of Biddlefest. People working together to achieve a goal. Sensing they are part of something larger than themselves. That's what makes it great. That's what makes it a success year in and year out.
One last thing, it was great to see the return of the "Prodigal Son" Jimmy Sinclair. Jimmy and I started this 20 years ago, and it has evolved into having a life of it's own, and that's what we always wanted. No one individual, or band is larger than Biddlefest, and that was always the goal.
So hopefully we will see you all next year, and maybe we'll try something new for our third decade..... well probably not!
July 29, 2009
I saved this thank you for last. I want to thank Phil Falcocchio. When I initially played the demos for Phil, he looked at me smiled, and said Yeah! and proceeded to tell me we were doing the right thing, and he was behind it 100% If you think I'm political, you should have spent 10 minutes talking politics and the war with Phil. At least he had some credibility. He served in the army, and spent 13 months in Vietnam. Unlike a lot of the current know-it-alls, (myself included) and politicians he could give you a soldiers perspective. If it wasn't for Phil "Two Americas" would probably have taken a slightly different tone. If that was his only influence it would have been enough, but listen to his drumming. He hit those drums like a man possesed. His fill at the 4:23 mark of "Two Americas" is as good as anything I've ever heard. I still can't believe he's gone.
Who Da Thunk It
July 29, 2009
The Knobs song "Two Americas" was nominated by the grass roots organization "Just Plain Folks" as a finalist in the Political Song of the year category for 2008. Wooooo! Apparently this is the largest organization of it's kind in the world, if not the entire galaxy. Now I know this isn't the Grammys, or the American Music Awards, or even the top ten play list from the juke box at the Korner Tavern, but it really IS an honor, and we're very thankful to be in with some of the industry heavy weights who are involved with this group. There were over 350,000 entries for the various categories, so that's a pretty big deal. The ceremonies are being held in Nashville. Friday the 28th of August is at B.B. Kings in Nashville, and Saturday the 29th of August is at the WildHorse Saloon in Nashville. These places, especially the WildHorse are the scene of a lot of live shows broadcast on the national country music cable channels. We were invited to play, but regrettably we were unable to get it together to do the gig.(this only adds to our mystique) I'm told Gretchen Wilson is closing the show. Also on hand to play is The Amazing Rhythm Aces(Russell Smith is still with them, he's cool) So as you can see this isn't bad for a band that never plays more than 10 miles for ground zero Irwin. If we win I'm not sure what we're getting, but hopefully it will be a gift certificate for free lap dances from the gentleman's club of our choosing. So hopefully something good will come from this. Well we want to thank everyone who has inquired about this award. We'd also like to thank everyone who continues to support our band, and who support our various endeavors. Lastly I personally would like to thank Steve, Rick, Tammy, and Lois. Without their contributions the song would never have turned out the way it did. Finally I'd like to thank Dave Hanner, his vision and production gave the song it's power, and edge. Yeah who da thunk it, the Knobs nominated for anything?
May 25, 2009
This time every year we gather as a nation to remember all the people who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. We also honor the men and women who currently serve. No matter what your politics, you have to admire all the folks who have, and continue to put theirselves in harm's way for their beliefs. These people are the real hero's. The one's who put their asses on the line, and continue to do the dirty work of the moron's on top, for little or less money. The average dudes and dudettes, who just want a safe and secure place to make a living and raise a family. Hear's something you may not have known, but our drummer, and brother, Phil was a Vietnam Vet. If you want to know what makes America great, hang out with some combat vets. It's an eyeopener. These guys are the heart and soul of this great land. Remember unlike alot of countries, our soldiers take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and not the president. Isn't that the way it should be?
The Last Waltz
April 15, 2009
I learned something very important about Phil in the wake of his untimely passing. and it's this: Had Phil never touched a drumstick, he still would have been a great man. This became evident almost instantly, by the the outpouring of love and support that I experienced at the visitation. However if there was any doubt, it was erased when PJ and Angie delivered their eulogies. They were different, but at the same time both were hearwrenching and inspirational. Their words were actually a blueprint on not only being a father, but being a man. We can all learn from their words.
On a musical note, I'd like to thank everyone in the local musical community who responded with calls and e-mails. I heard from guys I haven't talked to in many, many years. Lois was right when she said local musicians are more than just friends, we're a "Brotherhood"
I want to add one more thing, that was verbalized by one of Phil's oldest friends and bandmates, Rich McConnell. He said two things that bear repeating one: Phil's high level of drumming made the guys he performed with better musicians than they were(espically in my case) Two: Phil WAS a great harmony singer. Although he didn't play an instrument that had notes, he could hear the harmonys. This is hard enough to do even if you know the notes. This says alot about his feel for music.
I've read the key to staying young, is never to lose the "inner child" Although Phil was 62 according to his wife Audrey."he still played like he was 17" that pretty much saysit all. Phil, we love you, and we will miss you, but we rejoice in the fact that your real journey is just beginning.
The Beat Goes On
April 5, 2009
I'm not going to try to comment on Phil's life. I will let that to people who knew him better, and whose skills to verbalize, far exceed my puny efforts to reduce a persons life to a few paragraphs.
I will comment on the Phil I knew. Phil the drummer, no Phil the musician. Make no mistake about it, he WAS a musician in every sense of the word.
I first became aware of Phil when I was 14 years old, and starting to play in rock'n'roll bands. Believe me at the age of 18 he was already a legend, and "The Man" when it came to drumming. He could play anything, and any style, better than anybody. When I first saw him play, I thought, I hope I can be in a band with him someday. It only took about 40 years, but it finally happened. I guess being a pest finally paid off. There were times when I thought he was going to give me the old W.C. Fields line "Get away boy, you bother me"
Phil was without a doubt the most coveted of all the local drummers. He ended in the Knobs because in his words,"This is the most FUN I've ever had playing." When Phil joined us, our band went to a whole different level. When I say this I mean no disrespect to the other drummers we have worked with, because we have worked with some excellent drummers.
Phil made us a rock'n'roll band. We were a rock band before him. He taught us how to ROLL! That's something that's missing in alot of bands nowadays. Phil knew how to roll. It's sooo simple, yet so difficult. The fluidity of his style was overwhelming to me. This guy could perculate. Obviously I could go on and on, but i will leave you with my favorite Phil story.
We were playing at the old Polish Club(a truly great joint) Anyway Phil stopped in to see us(as I said before I was always bugging him about the knobs) Then I asked him to sit in with us, and he agreed. Well I told Rick and Steve that they were in for a treat. We called him up. You gotta understand Phil was a very unassuming guy, he was short and gray and looked like a little old Italian guy.
Well he came walkin' up no, actually Phil didn't walk, I noticed he glided, kinda like a rythmic shuffle. That's probably why he was so good at rolling on the drums. Anyway I saw some people look at him like "who the f*** is this old guy. Even Rick and Steve looked like they had doubts. I was probably the only person in that room who knew what was coming. We kicked into Johnny B. Goode, and literally tore the roof off the place. People were going crazy, they even started dancin' on the shuffle board table. At that moment we were as good as any four piece guitar band has been, or will ever be. That was his first moment being a Knob, thank the good lord it wasn't his last. That's why I loved, and will miss, and will be eternally greatful to Phil. He helped me fulfill a life long dream, and that was to be in a great rock'n'roll band. As I said we will continue, but he will never be replaced.
Phil I can't wait till we rock'n'roll again.
The Last Word
January 7, 2009
First off: Wally and DRJ thanks for the kind words. We really considered releasing "Two Americas" as two different CDs. because I had some other songs that would have fit in the formats. I talked to Dave Hanner and the other Knobs about it. We decided to release it as is. First off we felt the non-political songs were strong enough to carry the project. Second we were tired of the recording process. Finally we thought the songs stood on their own, and was as good as we could do, in terms of singing, playing, and production. As I have said ad nauseum, I stand behind that decision. I, and we as a band made a statement. We didn't shroud it in metaphors, or obtuse and confusing language. We put it in your face, and let the chips fall where they may. The non-political songs were also a statement: That stuff is also who we are.
You know my major dissapointment was with the local media. "Lonley At The Bottom" was embraced by local critics. We got a lot of real positive reviews, and responses. When I sent out "Two Americas" we got nothin', nada, niente, nyet. Only the sounds of tumbleweeds blowin' by, and crickets chirping. Not one person had the balls to say this sucks, and here's why. As for my friends who are fellow musicians, the response was only slightly better. I know some of them were afraid of offending their audiences(like any of them have a significant amout of fans). Privately they said one thing, but publically they distanced themselves from it. I guess it's really true the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference, and that's what we experienced the most. All you have to do is look at the results of the last two election cycles to see that alot of people aren't happy with the direction the country has taken. "Two Americas" comments on that. Why it wasn't embraced by the supposed"main stream liberal media" is beyond me. All I really know is we have plenty of CDs left, and I'll give you a great price on them.(Maybe we can do a Bogo two for the price of one) and this isn't going to stop the Knobs. We are currently working on the follow up. We have a working title, but I'm not sayin' anything yet. Hopefully we will continue to piss some people off.
What Have We Learned
December 31, 2008
Well 2008 is almost in the books, and what have we learned? Personally I learned alot this year.
1. I learned that not many people cared about what some old rock'n'roll guy and his friends had to say about the state of the nation. "Two Americas" was met with a resounding round of indifference. I liked the CD and concept alot, I thought it was a pretty fair assesment of the state of the union in 2008.(look at what happened in the economy) Maybe it was too much reality for most people. Hell my fiance says she can't stand to listen to the political songs, and she's supposed to love me. In the final analysis I would still do it. Somebody once said as an artist if you're not pissin' someone off, you're not doin' your job.
2. There isn't anybody in the public, or private sector who has any idea what the f*** is going on with the economy. At least if they are they're not telling anybody. It's hard for me to believe that of all the pundits, and experts no one saw this coming. Actually a few did, but they were shouted down by all the "free market" disciples. It's pretty simple really don't spend more than you make. There is no free lunch. Learn to delay gratification. Yeah it's simple, but not easy. We're drunk on excess, which is OK, if you can afford it. Unfortunately most of us can't. The Gov't doesn't really tell you that, and the lending institutions won't tell you that. I think the morning after from this drunk is gonna be painful. As my mom used to say Ish Kabbibel.
3. A black man can be elected president of this great land. Honestly I never saw this coming. I voted for him, but I really believed the Bradley effect would do him in. Well I was mistaken, not only did he win, but he received more votes than any candidate in the history of presidential elections. This also made me realize that like it or not we are a nation of diversity, much like the turn of the 20th century. So we all better get used to it.
4. We all know about faith and hope, but something happened to me in 2008 that really taught me the value of tolerance, and forgiveness. Faith and hope are kind of individual choices, but tolerance, along with forgiveness, is what you extend to your fellow man. Often times tolerance means subverting your ego. That's a big one for most of us. The country is in trouble, and if we all don't learn tolerance, and forgiveness, it's gonna be a hard ride.
5. Last, but not least, I re-learned what a joy it is to be able to make music.
Happy New Year from all of us here in Knobland
Th-th-th-th That's All Folks!
November 2, 2008
When we started the election thread in mid- September, I would have never guessed it would have taken on a life of it's own, the way it has. I can't wait for the election to come, so we can see what America is really thinking. I'm not sure how these guys do it. This process has been going on for two years. We've only been doing this since the middle of Sept. and I can tell you I'm pretty much out of gas.
I'd like to thank eveyone who had something to say, and actually took the time and effort to write it down and submit it to the web site. Personally, I would have liked to have heard a little more from the MCain-Palin supporters, however I think DRJ and Gina carried the water admirably. So thanks to all.
There are many so called experts who say this is the most important presidential election since the election of 1932. That election occured during the height of the great depression. It was about following the current path(Hoover like McCain said the economy is fundamentally sound), or changing direction. It was Roosevelt who said,"All we have to fear is fear itself." The differences in the two messages said it all. The differences in Obama's and McCain's message also says it all. It about the status quo verses the leap of faith. The Buddhists instruct this way: Jump and the net will appear. So when you close the curtain and before you pull the lever ask yourself this question. Do you like the current path this great land is on? It pretty much all comes down to that. When you answer that question, then the choice is obvious.
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
For those of you who think your vote doesn't count, remember the 2000 presidential election was decided by less than 600 votes. Your vote matters, and is important. So as I have said before vote early and often. Although I have a feeling all of this isn't over. What do you think?
The Silent Scream
October 29, 2008
This is the third and last installment of why I think AWD's go against their best interest and vote republican.
It's the pro-life movement. I saved this for for last, because there's no real way to make light of a woman's decision to have an abortion. In many ways this is the only issue(of the three welfare, guns, ans abortion) that makes sense to me, and that what makes it the most difficult to see through. There is no such thing as a good abortion, no matter what the circumstances. It's a potentially dangerous proceedure, not to mention the moral implications. The real issue is this: Is it a woman's right to do what she wants with her body?(Not really since prostitution is illegal) See what I mean? You really can't simplify this issue. I'll let the moral and legal ramifications of this issue to others. I will address how the repubs use it as a tool of fear and distraction. Repubs use this issue to show you "God is on their side" because God is pro-life, and if you're against their agenda, then you must be against God(who ever he or she is) If you are pro-choice then that means you're probably having a latte with the prince of darkness himself. It's the politics of fear, distraction, and divisiveness. You really can't legislate morality, which is why ideas like prohibition, the war on drugs, and (are all you great white hunters listening?) gun control just don't work.
However there are alot of things you can legislate(suspension of habeas corpus, torture, warrantless wiretaps, domestic spying, etc, and that's just the beginning) The repubs use the abortion issue(consciously,or sub-consciously) to try and and change the make up of the supreme court. I know this much, right or wrong, when abortions were illegal, it was a more dangerous time for women(unfortunately I'm old enough to remember those days) One reason is, abortions were still performed, but only people with money could afford the "safe" ones. If you couldn't afford a good one, then you were really rollin' the dice. What I really don't understand is why the people who are pro-choice are anti-welfare, because the reality is alot of women who are forced to have children, end up on welfare. Those children have a higher than average chance of being institutionalized a portion of their adult life, or even worse, continue the cycle of poverty, ignorance, and welfare. You see the repubs want the children to enter this world, they just don't want to be responsible for them, or take care of them once the're here. BTW how many pro-lifers do you know that have adopted an unwanted child? I didn't think so. OK peeps this distaction(abortion) isn't designed to have you take your eye off of your wallet. It's designed for you to take your eye off of your rights. The next president will likely get 2 Supreme Court nominees. This is reason enough to vote Democratic. So vote early and often!
Gimme Back My Bullets
October 25, 2008
Reason number 2 that AWDs vote against their best interest. The 2nd amendment. You know the one that gives the AWD the right to keep and bear arms. The original idea was the colonists didn't want the govt to raise an army to enslave AWDs. That was a pretty good idea 230 years ago. Given most of the world was ruled by tyrants. In 2008 I'm not sure you can make that case, but I digress. Personally I'm against gun control, not on moral grounds(y'all thought I was a liberal, libertarian maybe). I'm against it because I don't think it works, or will ever work. Plus there are alot of good gun laws that are on record that simply aren't enforced. As I write this I know some one will bring up an example of a country like England that has gun control and the murder rate is low. My only response is I just don't think it will work here due to the nature of the AWD, and the cultural differences in the two countries. In America we're all about violence and vengence sad but true. Plus I think it's irrelevant. If the govt wants you they will come and get you, simply because they have more and better arms than the AWD. If you don't believe that just ask Randy Weaver, or the folks at the Branch Dividian compound at Waco.
As I told DRJ the dems don't want your guns. There is nothing in the platform to even suggest they want to do anything about current firearm laws. Now there are some on the fringe that make noise, but it will not happen, I repeat it will not happen.The repubs using misrepresentation and half truths make the AWD think otherwise. The old tactics of fear, and misdirection. And voila(that's french baby) you have taken your eye off of your wallet. Which is what the repubs are really interested in. If you think they care about rights, just look at what they did to the 4th amendment.(read it, and think about warrentless wiretaps) but that's for another time. Awd's unite, stand up, and to paraphrase Pete Townsend, "Don't Get Fooled Again"
Back To The Future
October 14, 2008
I'm off the politcs today, and I want to tell you all about something that happened to me last week end. I went to my 40th high school reunion(Ouch!) Somebody once said that you can never go home again. So I was naturally apprehensive(not really, I figured it would be great either way it went) Well let me tell you that not only can you go home again, but you can do it, and have fun. Often in life a pre-conceived expectation hardly ever measures up to the actual outcome of the event. I can honestly say that in this case the event was much greater than the expectation, and in all honesty(although I tried not to) I set the bar pretty high in my mind. It was great seeing people (in some cases after 40years) That you shared your youth with. It was much greater than I ever thought it would, or could be.Time stood still for a moment, and we were young again. Now we didn't look young, it was better than that, we felt young. The illusion of youth was as they say: Priceless 40years of life and responsibility evaporated for a couple nights. I guess it all comes down to the last verse in a version of "The Boxer" on a Paul Simon live album
"Oh the years are going by me, they rock on evenly
I am older than I once was, but younger than I'll be
That's not unusual, not it isn't strange
After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same, after CHANGES, WE ARE MORE OR LESS THE SAME" That verse summed the whole week-end up. I guess some time you have to go back to go forward.
Here Come Da Judge
October 4, 2008
In my continuing effort to get you all to vote with the Dems. This is the first of three installments of why ave. white guys vote for the Red Republicans.
I'll start with the big one. WELFARE!
That's right! Ave. people are incensed that somebody's gettin somethin' for nothin'(DRJ & Co. are you feelin' me?) I own a small construction business, and hang out in dive bars, so I know something about this. I hear it evertday, so I know of whence I speak(YWCM, do you like the use of whence?)
Unfortunately the welfare system has a color, and it's Black. This is what makes it such an easy target. The reality is there are alot more white trash warriors on welfare than there are black fo'k, but no one wants to hate someone who is the same color that they are. To be totally honest the welfare system as it exists today is a joke. EOE, Quota's, Minority participation, and that other thing that I can't think of now have all out lived there usefulness, because there are too many easy ways to get around them. The real question is this: If we are a Christian Nation, then it follows that we are our brother's keepers(It's in the Old Testament in Genisis, so don't give me the New Testament baloney) Now at what level do we provide for the young, old, sick, diabled, and crazy citizens? I don't know the answer to that question, but I got to believe as a nation of God Fearin', Bible Thumpin' Gun Totin", moralists we should be doin' something. The real question is what? AWD(average white dudes) are ok with corp. welfare and tax breaks, beacuse "It creates jobs" That kinda worked in the past, but AWD's have you noticed the jobs it creates are no longer in the Land of the Free. Have you noticed that India, China, and Iraq are all gettin' richer while the value of your hard eaned dollar keeps goin' down? That's the result of corp. welfare. At least most of the jobs social welfare creates stay in America. Look I know it's easy to hate people that don't work, because they make me want to puke, and it's easy to blame a party that in the past has taken most of the responsibilty for this particular problem, but don't vote against you're best interest because some crack whore is drinkin' a beer on your tax money. The whole complextion of the global market has changed the way we as a nation shold be helping corp. America. The issues now are much larger than that. The Red Repubs. count on that so you'll take your eye off the ball. In this case your wallet, because that's what they want. They could care less about rights(there are other amendments beside the second one) and care even less about the amount of wealth that's leavin' the country. Red, white, and blue are important, but only if they can make it turn into green. Try to see beyond the prejudice. You already know what you're gettin' with McCain.( acontinued exodus of wealth out of the country) Obama deserves a chance. No matter what you believe, he can't possibly screw it up worse the a continuation of Bush's policies will. Vote Obama you owe it to yourself.
Next Page >>
Jim B (DRJ)
September 21, 2008
(The Dems don't want your guns) You're one gear jammin' son of Uncle Sam. who like myself is "a full time hardworkin' daddy, and a part time rock'n'roll fool"(the Dems don't want your guns) and here's why you should vote for BHO(the annointed one, for all of you who drink the Glenn Beck kool-aid)
1. Unless you have a huge stock portfolio, or a private fortune, and only drive truck for something to do, reasons 1.and 2. that I gave Gina don't directly affect guys like you and me and most Americans. Some business taxes may go up, but depending on how they are structured, a smart business owner probably will find a way to avoid them. The reality is taxes will decrease for the average American. Under the BHO tax plan.
2. The policies of the Bush administration simply do not help the average guy. He did give us all a check this year but it was a pittance compared to the tax breaks the energy companies received. Also we got the stimulus check because the administration finally realized the economy was goin' down the shitter. BTW did you know that the cos. doing business in Iraq(KBR, Halliburton,Blackwater etc.) Aren't even registered in the USofA, and pay NO federal income tax on the money they make in Iraq, which comes out of yours and y collective pockets. That's a pretty sweet deal, and that's what known as de-regulation. The current banking mess that you and I are paying for is a direct result of de-regulation. De-Regulation is the cornerstone of the Republican economic policy. In fairness Bush didn't raise your taxes. At least IF taxes ARE raised we as Americans can do our best to try and avoid paying them. What he(his administration) did was was far more cruel. They devalued the currency. While we were asleep the value of the dollar decreased. Jim, he fucked us and hard I might add. Not even a kiss. The reason gas hovers at $4.00 a gallon is not because demand has increased that dramatically, it's because the dollar is worth less. That's econ 101, and there's not a single thing that a hard workin' guy like you can do about it. Unless you can make money at a greater rate than the devaluation of the currency, which the 3-5% at the top have been able to do. Especially if you vote for McCain, because his policies are identical to to policies of Bush, which got us in this mess.(the dems don't want your guns)
I have just scratched the surface. There will be more to come.Remember one thing BHO and the Democrats DO NOT want your guns!