This week, I'm going to be much more direct and to the point (read: short). "Why?" you may ask. Well, it's because I'M GOING TO FUCKING DISNEY WORLD! Not right now, but I do have to do laundry so I can pack. I've never been and missed a couple chances growing up as we were not able to afford the trip back then. Plus, I wasn't really in the mood for all the kids and whatnot being a brooding, serious teenager. But, seeing as I'm now a grown-ass man who STILL has not been to any Disney property, I think the time has come to check this one off the old list; such that there were such a list in existence. What else would be on my all-time, do at least once in my lifetime list? Hmm...
The "Fuck Death" List (aka things I should probably do before I die)
#1. See Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden - DONE
You might notice that this superseded "have sex" and I mean it, hard. I grew up on Bruce, worshipped at the Sacred Church of Springsteen, studied at the Springsteen Technical Institute (or STI, as we called it... wait... Shit!), did my Master's Thesis (aka MY ALBUM "IN MY YOUTH, I'M GETTING OLD...") on Springsteen in the modern "throwback" era, finally sold my "best live performer in the world" stock in the past few years (sorry, Kanye's "Pablo" tour sealed the overtaking of the #1 spot for Mr. West), and have purchased so many copies of "Born to Run" over the years (on cassette, then CD, then enhanced CD, then vinyl, then CD/DVD box set, then remastered vinyl) that I finally just decided to get "Born to Run" tattooed on my arm to remind me for the rest of my life how impactful that album (and Bruce) truly is. There's nothing in my life (apart from my brother, sister and mother) that isn't a direct result of my love for that album. It sounds like hyperbole, but (perhaps unfortunately) it is closer to an understatement, seeing as it not only gave me many things in life, but life itself; after saving it on more than occasion (long story, kind of. Well, more weird and sad, I guess). Anyways, I wanted to see the best in the best place to see, well, almost anything, MSG. Knocked this one off the list over ten years ago ("Magic" tour, my third Bruce show overall) but the memories never fade, baby...
#2. Have sex - DONE
Also, one I knocked off the list about ten years ago. I actually did not have sex until I was out of High School. I made a decision early that I did not want to be stuck in fucking Horicon, WI any longer than I had to be. Most of my friends were quite a bit older than me. Each one was out of High School and had stuck around almost entirely because they "fell in love" (such that that can happen in High School) with a girl. "The easiest way to fall in love with a girl is to sleep with her," is what I was told. OK, simple enough. No sex, no falling in love, nothing to stop me from leaving Horicon and then Wisconsin when I wanted to. Needless to say, within weeks of being out of High School and moving to Madison, WI I checked this one off the list. Almost made me not want to leave Wisconsin (didn't know what I was missing...), but "Born to Run" and Woody Guthrie's "Bound for Glory" book wouldn't let me stay for anything. Plus, while I was in San Francisco for a month getting settled so she could then join me, that girl started fucking someone else... So, that made the decision a little easier as well.
#3A. Move to New York City - DONE
#3B. Play folk music at the Gaslight - n/a
#3C. Play folk music at the Cafe Wha? - DONE
OK, so I had to compromise, albeit only a little, on this one. After a few more months in San Francisco and a quick 9 months in Seattle, it was time. I had to go New York. I couldn't wait any longer. After all, Bob Dylan was signed and making albums at age 22 and I was soon turning 20. Time waits for no man. So, I missed the Gaslight by almost 40 years BUT the Wha? was still going strong. BUT, shit! They have a house band (who are fucking unbelievably amazing, by the way) and rarely host any other music. This could be a problem...
Maybe I'll tell the full story one day, but needless to say I got my buddy Jon (the crazy talented man WHO CAN BE FOUND HERE) and I a spot on an up-and-coming industry talent show night. Let's just say it was not the type of music they were hoping for. No, we weren't supposed to be there anyways, but two guys in boots with acoustic guitars, songs about "rambling" and more harmonica solos than you can shake a stick at, didn't go over well. To Jon's credit, he was good enough to warrant a meeting with the gal (who was affiliated with Sony) who ran the show. I was given no such meeting. Neither Jon nor I had the $10K she wanted to "mentor" us into the business anyways. But needless to say, for one night, and one night only, the Cafe Wha? was filled with folk music in all its glory... And to everyone's dismay...
Anyhow, HERE IS THE VIDEO EVIDENCE (not sure why I decided to play in open D tuning.. Sorry for the flubbed chord as I only learned this song in that key the week of).
#4. Make a Rock N' Roll Record and Release it on Vinyl - DONE
Did that shit, BUY IT HERE. Didn't realize how much of a hassle it is to record to tape and master to vinyl, but Ed Brooks is a genius and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Figured if Ed could make R.E.M. sound good, I'd be OK. Just kidding, but Ed is the best Mastering technician in all the land. Still can't believe he's worked on my albums. I'm truly a blessed man to have done what I've done in my life.
#5. Get a "Thriller" Jacket and honor my second biggest hero, Michael Jackson - DONE
Done and done. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. I will always have the scar on my hand from the injury sustained while rehearsing my shitty versions of "Thriller" moves for this video. I can show it to you if I ever meet you and you give a shit. Some of my earliest memories are of "reenacting" Michael's "Thriller," "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Smooth Criminal," etc. Michael was my hero until I learned of Bruce, then he was my second hero; until I learned of Kanye, who was my #3 favorite hero until I finally bumped him above Bob Dylan. Michael settles in at #4 on my all-time list, which, coincidentally, is my favorite number (Brett Favre anyone?). So, he's got that going for him, which is nice...
Well, this list could go on forever, so I'll skip to the part that relates to the intro:
#27. Go to Disney World - Almost Done
Later this week muthafuckers.
(dictated but not read)