Pasta, Gumbo, And Chops 5065

Marty, Enrico, and Jacque made a run to a grocery store to pick up the stuff for the meal tonight, which promised to be another feast. When they got back, Enrico got work while the rest of us relaxed. The sweet aroma of tomato sauce with herbs and spices filled the room and we all eagerly anticipated supper.

The two other suites did their thing, and it was a peaceful day until Charles walked by our suite with Barton and Brodowski. Our day was open, and the Frenchman could smell what was cooking. “It smells delicious,” he commented. “I sure hope so,” I replied. “We’re having pork chops,” he then said in an indifferent tone. “That sounds great, too,” I told him. “We should have a little pasta with our meal,” Charles continued. “I don’t have any pasta,” Brodowski replied. “Do you smell how great that smells,” Charles asked him. “Yes, Sir, but we’re having pork chops.” “Well, I want pasta.”

Rory then appeared.

“Charles, what the fuck you griping about this time,” he asked. “None of your business, now go away.” “I heard you, and it’s too bad what you want, now be appreciative and eat your pork chops like a good asshole.” “You little bastard, I ought to slap you!” “You ain’t my type.” “Filthy little creep!” “I think you’re related to Camille Agard, demanding that Brodowski cook you pasta. Well, that ain’t happening, Charlie, so deal with it, you diva dickbrain.” “Why you little bastard,” Charles bellowed as he stepped toward Rory. Brodowski intervened and told the Frenchman to pipe down. Jacque walked over to ask what was going on and Rory told him that his fellow Frenchman was demanding pasta. “I told him that he’s kin to Camille, which apparently pissed him off, but the truth hurts sometimes,” the bassist added. Jacque tried not to laugh as Charles wild eyes became utterly insane.

Kim then opened the door to his suite.

“I see Rory is causing more commotion,” he said. “Go sing Charles a song, he needs a little comforting,” Rory said. “I tell you, sometimes I want to explode,” Charles seethed. “Then jack off harder,” Rory replied, which caused Jacque and Brodowski to burst into laughter. “He’s not funny,” the Frenchman hollered. “Let’s end this conversation,” I suggested.

The sounds of someone singing “Born to be Wild” from inside Kim’s suite be heard.

“Who’s that,” I asked. “It must be Ray,” my brother replied. We all walked into the suite and found the old Cajun wailing away int the kitchen to the classic Steppenwolf tune. “Great song,” he declared. Ray’s growl certainly sounded cool and what he was cooking smelled awesome. “What’s for supper,” I asked. “Gumbo,” he replied. “Damn, that sounds scrumptious, too.” “Remember, I got stuffed pork chops,” Brodowski reminded us. “Stuffed chops, what kind of stuffing,” Rory asked. “Cornbread.” “And Charles is complaining, now I know he’s related to Camille.” “You little asshole!” “Born to be wiiild,” Ray sang with conviction.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

“Okay, cook enough, so we all can have a taste. Pasta, gumbo, and chops sounds like a feast if there ever was one,” I said. “Plus, we have salad, cabbage, green beans, fresh bread, and potatoes,” Lacy added. “Shit, let the orgy begin,” Rory yelled.

“Pure Scum” then came on the radio.

The crew cheered and we all pitched in with the cooking while Rory’s rocking tune blasted through the speakers.

Pasta, gumbo, and chops–only this crew could come up with something like that.

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Priceless Pics From The Wreckage 5064

I got, worked out and then took a shower before starting breakfast. I had eggs, sausage, bread, and pancake mix to work with, so I went to work. Enrico joined me in the kitchen and gave me a hand. I made a pot of coffee, which Jacque was waiting for an I poured the Frenchman a cup. “Okay, now get out of the kitchen,” I told him. “I’m not a walking disaster,” he spat out. “No, you’re fucking nuclear bomb.” Jacque scowled and stomped out of the room. Enrico tried not to laugh and continued to mix the batter. I merely shook my head and continued to cook.

Marty arrived with syrup and whipped cream for the pancakes. He also told me that he checked on the other two suites and said things are in good order. Kim and Jonah are sitting on the couch like scolded children while Ray does his thing. Naturally, Brodowski is in complete control of his suite, so we shouldn’t have a repeat of last night,” he said. “Good, it would seem impossible for that much incompetence to strike twice, but considering the dingleberries involved, you can’t rule it out entirely,” I replied.

Rory made his presence known when he asked when breakfast was served. I told him in a few minutes. He gave me a thumbs up and then asked Jacque how he was doing. “Good,” the Frenchman barked. “Excellent, I see someone poured your coffee for you.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “It means you don’t have a burnt weenie,” Rory replied in a chipper tone. “You little fucking bastard.” “We have a bib for Jacque,” Rory then asked. “I don’t need a bib!” “You’re right, you need a cage, but since they deem you fit to walk around, a bib might be in order.” “I want to fuck you up in the worst way.” “Breakfast is almost ready, so save it for later,” I interjected.

Yep, I’m on still on tour.

“That little bastard, he sent a picture of me last night to Lynette, and now she thinks I’m an idiot,” I heard Charles bellow from outside the hall. “Get back to the suite and eat your breakfast, Charles, there’s enough time today to deal with this,” Brodowski told him. “He’s an evil asshole!” “Charles, get back to the suite!” “He did the same thing to me,” I then heard Kim say. “Enough, now go eat.” “Now matter where you put him he’s a menace!” “Charles!” “My wife thinks I’m an incompetent cook.” “You are, now I’ve had enough,”  the ex-Seal growled. “That’s just great,” my brother hollered like a spoiled child.

Rory sat at the table wearing a grin.

“Rory, you’re a no good asshole,” Charles screamed as he was escorted back to his suite. Jacque suddenly burst into laughter, which got us doing the same. “You sent Lynette and Michelle pics of those two dingbats,” I asked. “I couldn’t resist, Scragg, I took one of Lacy and Barton, but shit, that’s normal for those two whack nuts,” Rory replied. Jacque laughed even harder.

Rory then pulled out his phone and showed the Frenchman the picture he took of him.

Jacque looked at it for a few seconds and then howled again. We all took a peek and did the same. Jacque piled on the pancakes on his plate and smothered them with butter, syrup, whipped cream. Renaud, still laughing, did the same. We all then dug in. “Look at this one of Scragg,” Rory then said. It was of me looking at my brother. The table erupted again as I stared at Kim with utter disdain. “Damn, I didn’t mean to give him that look, but it was so outrageous I couldn’t help it,” I said. Rory then showed pics of me giving Lacy, Barton, Charles, Jacque, and Jonah the same look, which brought more hilarity. “Wow, you’re calling me a dickhead without saying it,” Jacque said. “Probably,” I replied. We all laughed and continued our feast.

It was impossible not to laugh at the pictures and at Charles and Kim’s reaction to what Rory did, which was undeniably mean, but also hilarious. Last night was absurdly funny and something that only this crazy crew could pull.

So some priceless pics of the wreckage should have been taken and fortunately were.

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 4:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Montreal Culinary Massacre 5063

We checked into the hotel a little after one and then checked out the suites that accommodated six people and had a full kitchenette and a dining area that allowed us to prepare our own meals that appealed to all of us. We just had to decide who was going where.

I looked at the crew and saw that some of them looked a tad ragged and needed a break, so I suggested that Rory, Enrico, Marnell, Brodowski, Renaud, and I take one suite while the rest of the guys figure their own arrangements. Barton said that Marty and Dale could have private rooms, which delighted both men. Everyone else was grateful that they didn’t have to room with Rory, which didn’t hurt his feelings in the least. I picked the affable Italian because of his good disposition, and he had no problems with the arrangement. “Okay, let’s get situated,” I said.

The manager of the hotel came to the suite and told me that it was an honor to have us here and that we were welcome to some food from the kitchen. “It’s left over, and we often have to throw it away. We have chicken, salad, and a variety of vegetables that you’re welcome to it, Sir,” he told me. “Okay, we’ll pay for it,” I offered. “No, Sir, it’s extra that needs to be used or tossed.” “Excellent, I’ll send someone down to get it.” “No need, we’ll bring it up.” “You’re too much, Sir.” “We aim to please.”

Cool, chicken for supper.

Two guys from the kitchen staff brought up the food that was enough to feed a bunch. I took what my group needed and began to prepare supper. Marty arrived with some subs that would hold us over. After eating the sub, I prepared the chicken and laid out the veggies for supper. The prospect of a homecooked meal had us all grinning with anticipation and realizing how much we missed home.

I took a short nap and then began cooking supper. Enrico and Renaud pitched in while Rory, Marnell, and Brodowski provided moral support. We got it done, and the meal looked delicious when it was put on the table. We all took a seat at the dining table where I said grace, and then we dug in. Brodowski took a bite of the chicken and smiled. “Wow, this is the best bird I’ve ever tasted,” he declared. “Scragg can cook,” Rory added. “This sure beats eating out,” Marnell said. “Just like home,” Enrico commented. The crew became festive, and we laughed and told stories about the food we ate while growing up. Rory was surprised that Renaud was familiar with much of the disgusting food I like. “Germans also make us of every part of the pig,” he said. “Tomorrow, I can make pasta, Italian style,” Enrico offered. “You’re on” I replied.

I’m already hungry.

We cleaned up and then began to process of relaxing. We took a seat in the television room when we heard some commotion from across the hall. “What are those dickheads doing,” Rory asked. “Who knows,” I asked. When I heard someone scream that there was smoke, we got up and walked over.

I bet Kim is in the middle of all this.

I knocked on the door, and a disgruntled Cullen answered. “This sucks, Scragg,” he snarled. “What’s going on?” “Come in and look.” I walked into the suite to find my brother covered in grease and looking distraught. The smokey kitchen indicated that they had a culinary catastrophe and it was all I could do not to laugh. I looked at the burnt chicken on the table and chuckled, but when I saw the charred green beans, I howled. “What the fuck did you do,” I asked. “I tried,” Kim blubbered. I looked at Jonah, who was also covered in cooking debris and shook my head. “You help?” “Yes, Sir.” Rory walked into the kitchen and laughed. “Christ, look at those two whack nuts,” he said, referring to Kim and Jonah. “Shut up, Rory,” my brother screamed. Rory picked up a charred green bean and pretended it was a sword. “What the fuck,” he said. “You fucking asshole,” Kim bellowed. “I offered to cook, but Kim said he took a course and knew what he was doing,” Ray said. “He’s a whack nut, Ray, take over from now on,” Rory replied. “What cooking course did you take,” I asked. “Cooking for Modern Living,” my brother replied. I rolled my eyes and walked out of the kitchen.

I then heard screaming from down the hall.

I walked to the four-person suite where Barton, Lacy, Charles, and Jacque were creating a disaster of their own. Barton, dressed in boxers and a tee-shirt answered the door looking like a man in distress. “Scragg, we burned up dinner,” he said. “No shit,” I replied. In the kitchen, Lacy looked down where two chicken lay strewn on the floor. The pot with the beans was burning, and the salad was all over the kitchen table. “What the fuck happened here,” I asked him. “I tried to cook,” he replied. “Alright, this isn’t going to work.” “Scragg, we need someone who can cook,” Charles pleaded, stating the obvious. I then looked at the Frenchman dressed in boxers, argyles socks, and a stained tee-shirt. “Why are you dressed like that,” I asked. “I got my clothes soiled trying to help out,” he replied. “Charles, you need Lynette more than you know, in fact, right now, you may be the most pitiful thing on this Earth,” I hollered. Jacque then walked into the pour himself a cup of coffee, and when he did, he poured it on his crotch.

What the fuck?

“I just burned my dick,” he screamed. Rory walked into the suite and asked what happened. He looked the pitiful looking men and began laughing. Brodowski and Marnell then entered the room and scanned the situation in horror. “Why are you bent over, Jacque,” Rory asked. “He burned his dick with coffee,” Lacy said with a straight face. “What the fuck?” Rory began laughing hysterically, and it was all I could not to scream. Brodowski pulled me aside and said that he knows how to cook and that perhaps he should come down here and watch these guys. “Okay, we’ll take Jacque, I want to keep an eye on him, anyway,” I replied.

The kitchen staff made everything right and the both suites ate terrific meals. Ray was put in charge of meals, and Cullen forbid Kim and Jonah from stepping foot in the kitchen. Brodowski did the same for his new suite.

Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll be drama free at suppertime.

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Just A Bass 5062

Pete and his father, Fred, said they had a night they’ll never forget and thanked us for allowing them to get so close to the action. “I never dreamed I would ever get to see you guys play like this,” Pete said in a voice filled with excitement. “I’m glad you enjoyed the show,” I replied. “I’ve never seen a concert like that and probably won’t again, regardless of where I sit. You guys can play like I’ve never seen any band play,” Fred remarked. “Thank you, Sir, it’s what we do, and we try to give a great show everywhere we go.” “How’s the bass working for you,” Rory then asked Pete. “Great, it sounds as good as the high-end basses and has a nice feel. I’m happy, and I hope you are,” he replied. “You heard the old Silvertone in action tonight, it still sounds killer after all these years,” Rory declared.

As the father and son were escorted out the stadium by security. We all smiled as they gestured incessantly with their hands and laughed like giddy kids. “You guys made their night,” Jacque said. “It sure looks like it, and I’m mighty glad they enjoyed themselves.” “I can tell you they did. They were jumping up and down and carrying on like rabid fans. We were worried that Fred would hurt himself, but he said he never felt better. I’m not trying to sound hokey, but once the music started, they became closer and were like best buddies, which was nice to see. It’s easy to drift away from your parents as you get older, so to see a father and son reconnect was a special sight,” Renaud said. “Renaud is spot-on, we all saw it, and it was cool to witness,” Marnell added. “That is wonderful and something that will last longer than the concert,” I replied.

The father and son work together and therefore see a lot of each other, which undoubtedly causes stress. Fred is hard on his and is trying to prepare him to take over the business. Pete has dreams outside of the restaurant. It’s a classic father and son struggle. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but for one night they were father and son at a concert having a blast. Whatever happens, Fred will support his son, and Pete will be there for his father. I wonder if Pete will play Rory’s bass or save it as a keepsake. I know Rory would prefer

I wonder if Pete will play Rory’s bass or save it as a keepsake. I know Rory would prefer he jam away as would I, but we both know they may not happen. “That bass is going to be a family heirloom,” Charles told Rory, which bummed him out. “I hope not,” he replied. “You signed it, Rory, that should have told you what he was going to do with it,” Dale remarked. “Pete talked about showing it to his kids and Fred can’t wait to tell his grandkids about the time he met the Scragg Man and his band. Pete probably isn’t going to be a musician, so it doesn’t matter,” Charles said. “It’s just a bass and if brings Pete and his father closer, then hang it on the wall,” Rory replied.

Amen to that.

Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 3:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Unwilling Actor In The Theater Of The Absurd 5061

Enrico patted himself in the gut and said that the pounds are coming off him at a good clip. “It’s not like I didn’t need to drop some weight and this is as good a way as any,” he said. “Good, I’m glad you’re not eating like a Roman after the show,” I replied. “Kim said he’s dropping the weight, too.” “And he definitely needs it,” I remarked.

My brother joined us at the dinner table after I made that comment.

“What do I need,” he asked. “Nothing,” I replied. “I know you said something.” The rest of the crew joined us and asked my brother what he was griping about. “Is Kim being a diva,” Rory asked. “I was just asking what Scragg said about me.” “Enrico said that you’re losing weight,” I told my brother. “About time,” Rory added. “Shut up,” Kim snapped. “Those of us who sing have to be careful what we eat before the show,” Kim told Rory, who rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, maybe Barton should take up singing,” the bassist replied. “Fuck you,” the billionaire snarled. “Why do you find it necessary to stir up dissension,” Kim asked Rory. “I don’t, it’s you snowflakes who can’t handle the truth.” “You’re such an asshole.” ”

Yep, I’m on tour.

Barton’s phone went off, and he accidently put it on speaker, which meant we could hear Rene gripe about Elise not doing enough housework. “She thinks other people should do her work, but I told her that plenty of women have babies and still maintain a house,” Rene said in an insufferable tone. “You tell her, Rene while you sip tea and eat crumpets from your ivory tower,” Rory called out. “You little fucking bastard, I hate you!” “Hey Roxie, get your hand off Barton’s crotch,” Rory then said. “What!” “Yeah, we’re having all kinds of fun up here, so get lost, Rene.” “You fucking asshole, someone needs to choke you!” “I’m not into that, but your old man, well let’s just say.” “Daddy, I hate that no good fucking bastard!” “Rene, calm down.” “This is where Rene’s head turns around,” Rory continued. “Fuck you, Rory!” “Turn off the speaker, Barton,” I pleaded. “Hey Roxie, a little lower please.” “Daddy, who’s Roxie!” “It’s Rory being an asshole,” he replied in a harried voice. “Turn off the speaker,” I told the billionaire again. Elise then asked Rene what was going on and things got even crazier. “That fucking Rory is an asshole!” “Hey Elise, clean up the house and start pulling your weight,” Rory yelled. “Is that why you called Daddy!” “Yes, she said you’re a lazy gal who won’t do a goddamn thing.” “Fuck you, Rene, I knew you were starting shit.” “I tell ya, you sisters need to show more sisterly love.” “Shut up, Rory!” “For the last time, turn off the speaker,” I hollered at Barton, who was in a daze. “Roxie, a little lower,” Rory continued. “Who’s Roxie,” Elise bellowed. I got up and took the phone from the billionaire and told Rene that her father was busy. “There’s no Roxie, it’s Rory starting trouble. We’re about to eat, so call back in about an hour.” “I hate that fucker, Scragg, I hope he gets run over by a moose,” Rene shrieked. “Wonderful, have a nice day.” I clicked off and handed the phone back to Barton.

Sometimes I feel like I’m an unwilling actor in the theater of the absurd.

“That was cruel and unnecessary,” Kim told Rory, keeping the play going. “Let’s just eat,” I pleaded. “That was fun,” Rory declared. “Because you’re an asshole,” my brother scoffed. “Kim needs an enema to get that shit out of him, it’ll cause a brain drain, but in his case, that will be a good thing,” Rory fired back.

What the fuck?

 

 

 

Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canadian Throwdown 5060

The show was a throwdown from start to finish that shook the foundation of the Rogers Centre. The crowd kicked it off with the fantastic reception it gave the band and kept up the festive spirit with a zeal that was impressive. It was our first concert in Toronto, and they made sure they made us feel welcome.

Toronto rocks.

Ray, now a celebrity, stepped up to the challenge and showed off his sublime musical skills while displaying a flair for comedy. “It takes one lucky fool to end up onstage with these guys–oh wait, maybe I’m not so lucky,” he cracked. “Yep, I battled gators, cottonmouths, and chicken spiders. How do you think I learned to drive in reverse so fast,” he later quipped, keeping the crowd in stitches. Blazing fast, burning slow, rock steady, whatever the tempo, Ray can handle it with aplomb and make it sound unique, which makes him another weapon in an already loaded arsenal.  “Can you backup Cullen on this song,” I asked him when I wanted to do a gospel song that we discussed before coming onstage. Ray grinned and said he was ready. It’s that kind of musicianship and confidence that makes him a real plus.

We played over and were drenched in sweat by the time the lights went on. The crowd went home happy, and we had a grand time tonight. After showering up, we stood at the edge of the tunnel and stared out into the stadium. “It was a wild show tonight,” my brother remarked. “I agree, it was full-throttle,” I replied. “And we’ll do it again tomorrow.” “Yes, we will.” “The crowd was incredible,” Enrico then said. “They sure were, and that’s what you want to hear. You never know when or if you’ll get back here so give them something to remember,” I replied. “I’ll never forget this,” the Italian declared. “I hope not.” “What will I do when it’s over,” he then asked. “Go back to your wife and kids,” I told him. “Yeah, that’s right.” “They’re the most important thing in the world. All this is something you can tell your grandkids about, and hopefully, you’ll embark on a career of your own, but it’s always a business,” I said. “I know, Scragg, it’s just that it still seems unreal.” “Good, never lose that feeling because we’re all lucky shits to be here. I mean how can guys like us come up here and instigate a Canadian throwdown,” I asked. Enrico laughed and said that I made my point.

We then headed back to the hotel.

Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 4:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Swamp Wisdom 5059

The Canadian press with the help of a reporter from Lafayette, Louisiana, identified Pokey as Albin Foret, a fine accordion player, and all-around wild man. They also dug up some info on the Swamp Monsters who played swampy areas of Louisiana in the seventies and early eighties. The band’s trip to Canada was arranged by a Canadian named John London, a wealthy real-estate developer who was vacationing in the Lafayette area in the ’79 and fell in love with the band. All but two members of the band are dead and like Ray said, most died grisly deaths. A fourth member, Larry Abbes, a bass player, was killed in ’97 when he was impaled by a branch from a falling tree. Bruno Comeau, the drummer, burned up in a fire in ’85, and Claude Crawley, a keyboardist, drowned in a river after a night of drinking. The other surviving member, Joe Nimble, a great name, in this case, is living in Florida but is poor health.

The Swamp Monsters were a cursed band.

“Damn, Ray, it’s a shame that so many of your band mates met a shitty end,” I said. “Yep, they ran into some bad luck, but booze can make your luck turn bad in a hurry,” he replied. “That is true.” “I see the press is having a fun time with the interview yesterday. I reckon I came off as a backwoods bumpkin without a lick of sense, but that’s okay, I’m still here playing music and having the time of my life. If they want to laugh, then let them.” “It was funny, Ray,” I said. “I reckon it was, especially that idiot getting eaten by the gator. Shit, I couldn’t remember his name for anything. Oh well, I know all your guys’ names,” Ray declared. “That’s good, and I’m glad you’re having fun.” “You guys aren’t embarrassed, are ya,” Ray then asked. “Are you kidding, did you see what my brother did back in the day? Did you see what I did when I was young and stupid, and when I wasn’t so young and still stupid? Then, of course, there’s Rory’s escapades, so no, Ray, you still have a ways to go to catch up with us,” I replied.

We dinner at the hotel restaurant and laughed about the press Ray was generating. “It’s hard to beat gators and crazy cajuns,” Rory remarked. “Of course, four guys are dead,” he then added. “Yep, they weren’t the most responsible guys in the world,” Ray added. “I should be dead,” Rory then said. “You, I’m the one,” I declared. “Me, too,” Cullen chimed in. “Shit, I should be in the ground with those guys, but it wasn’t my time, nor, was it yours. The line from being here and being a dead asshole is thin, shit, sometimes you can’t see the thing. All those years of fucking up haven’t made me any smarter, I just now know what not to do, which is sometimes better than knowing what to do. If you don’t know what to do, then just stay home until you figure it out. Just make sure there ain’t no booze around, so you make a fucked up decision,” Ray said.

What Ray said was a tad convoluted, but he’s right.

Swamp wisdom is as good as any.

 

Published in: on March 21, 2017 at 6:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gator Ate Pokey 5058

The band did interviews with the Canadian press this morning that went well. Rory was still giddy over his Silvertone bass and gave the vultures an education about the instrument. Ray was another interesting interview as he regaled all of us with crazy tales of touring Canada back in the late seventies with the Swamp Monsters, a zydeco band that must have been something to hear. “Yep, we toured Toronto, Montreal, and everything in between. It was a blast, or at least I think it was. We got drunk a lot, so I’m not sure, but I imagine it was a good time,” he said. When one of the reporters asked what happened to the band, Ray shrugged and said that some of them died and some moved on. When asked how they died, Ray shrugged again and said the usual. “One burned up in a fire, another got drunk and drowned in the river, and one got eaten by a gator. The press thought he was kidding, but when Crazy Ray didn’t laugh, they looked at each other and then me. I told them I know nothing about this and to refer to the person in the know. “How is that usual,” one of the vultures asked. “You had to know those guys,” Ray replied. “Who was the guy eaten by the gator,” a reporter asked. “I forgot his full name, but they called him Pokey, which I reckon is appropriate ’cause he sure didn’t get away,” Ray cracked.

The expressions on the vultures’ faces were priceless.

We all wanted to know the particulars about Pokey’s untimely demise. Ray said that only thing he knew was that Pokey was fishing by the river when a big ol’ gator dragged him into the river and made a meal out of him. “He was mainly skin and bones, so he didn’t get a bellyful. Now if he had gotten any of us, then he would have been one stuffed critter. They found Pokey’s boot by the river bank, it was all chewed up, I reckon the gator had no taste for it. We got drunk and wrote a song about Ol’ Pokey, which won’t nice, but I think he would have appreciated it. “How did it go?” “All I remember is the first line, which went something like, “Gator ate Pokey ’cause he couldn’t run fast.” After that, its gets foggy.”

Needless to say, Ray was the hit of the interview, and it created a media buzz that made him an immediate sensation. I studied him throughout the interview to see if he was playing with the vultures and determined he was just being his crazy self. “Only we could find someone like him,” Cullen said of Ray. “You got that right.”

Ray fits right in.

 

Published in: on March 20, 2017 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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An Old Silvertone 5057

The crew wanted to get out, so we summoned our shuttle driver, Jeff, a college student studying to be an engineer. He was excited to be getting out and was full of energy. “Where to,” he asked. “Southern Sam’s,” I said. “Yes, Sir,” he replied. “Southern food in Canada,” Jonah asked incredulously. “You might be pleasantly surprised,” I told him. “What do they have,” Ray asked. “Catfish, which is good enough for me.” “Oh God,” the drummer gasped. “What?” “They’re monsters,” he said in horror. “They’re farm raised, and they’re delicious.” “They grow to the size of sharks,” Jonah continued. “You’ve been watching too much of that mess on cable.” “They have crawfish,” Ray asked. “Probably.” “They’re gross,” Jonah recoiled in disgust. “Let’s order the gay boy a plate of them,” Rory said. “Is there anything for me to eat?” “Yeah, frog legs, snakeheads, and gator balls,” Rory answered with a grin. “Rory!” “Yes, Jonah, there are things for you to eat,” I assured him. “Don’t listen to Rory, Jonah, he’s grossly immature,” my brother unfortunately commented, which delighted the bassist. “Yes, Kim is feeling the need to act like a grownup. I guess ex-disco Kings do become stuffy assholes,” Rory fired back. “Your tiresome, juvenile antics aren’t going to unnerve me today, Rory.” “I believe I was talking to that little faggot, Jonah, not the ex-vulture bore.” “Rory!” “You sound unnerved to me.” “Scragg!” “This isn’t elementary school, Kimmy.” “You little bastard!” “Wow, but if it were, you would get a paddled.”

Yep, I’m on tour.

We arrived at Southern Sam’s, a small joint that looked a little on the rough side. We walked inside, and the place looked like the barbecue joints back home. We took a seat in the corner, and a young waitress told us about the daily special, which was barbecue pork. I told her that I would have the catfish with collards and green beans. Ray ordered the same thing. The rest of the crew ordered either pork chops or chicken.

So far, so good.

The waitress brought us some hushpuppies, which made our day. We then chatted about the passing of Chuck Berry and doing a song of his in concert. I decided that “Johnny B. Goode” would be appropriate since it was the first song I learned in full. The rest of the band agreed and then Beck brought up the time he saw Bo Diddley and Jerry Lee Lewis in concert in Raleigh. “It makes me feel old, hell, I am old, but I can still see those guys playing with everything they had. I can still remember when stars would come to small towns and play. George Jones, Percy Sledge, Willie Nelson, Sam and Dave, Waylon Jennings, and a host of others all passed through Chippewa Falls. I guess I’m just an old man pining for his youth, but damn, they were some great times,” Beck recalled. “You’re right, you’re an old fuck completely out of touch with reality,” Rory said. The table laughed except for Kim, who wanted to take umbrage, but he was quickly overruled. “Those guys were legends, and Chuck Berry was the King of Rock. Beck, however, is an old bastard, but he, too, is fast becoming a legend for a taste in fashion,” Rory added. “Yeah,” I scoffed. “Beck Laughton, the dapper gent working the keyboards, is always good for a joke and lesson in fashion,” Rory read from his phone. “That was from a review from the second show in Detroit,” he added. “Goodness gracious, they’re just being kind, and how did we get from legends of rock and roll to Beck’s tawdry dress,” I asked. “Tawdry dress, why I’m deeply offended, Scragg,” the old pianist replied.

Fortunately, the waitress brought our food.

The catfish was delicious, and it reminded me of home. The joint had filled up, and I could feel eyes upon us. “Bad Man Junction” then came over the speakers in the restaurant, which made me chuckle. “Man, this is a great song,” Enrico declared. “The Ides of February” followed with “Back End of a Mule” proceeding it, which meant the first CD of “Two Sides” was playing. “I wish I could have played on this album,” Jonah said. “Well, Jonah, we’re glad you didn’t,” Rory replied. The drummer slightly cowered, which angered Kim. “You’re such an asshole,” he told the bassist. “Shit, it was bad enough with you on it,” Rory fired back. “That’s right, be combative for the sake of being combative.” “I’m just stating a harsh reality.” “Up yours.” “Hey, that’s my line.” “That’s right, make a crude joke,” my brother scoffed. “Okay, I did.” “You’re so immature.” “Hey look, that guy is holding up an old Silvertone,” Rory said, ignoring Kim.

Rory walked over to the restaurant employee who got his attention with the vintage instrument. Everyone’s eyes were on the bassist who smiled and took the instrument. “What year,” he asked the young man. “1959,” he replied. “The first year they made these things. Danelectro made them, and they’re sweet. You got an amp?” “Yes, Sir.” “Anyone mind if I test this thing,” Rory asked the now full restaurant. No one disapproved, and the young man named Peter brought out the amp and plugged it in. Rory tuned up the bass and then went to town. “Yeah,” he hollered as dazzled the patrons with his amazing skills. An older man walked out and looked on in disbelief. He then looked my way and then walked over to the table. “Are you who I think you are,” he asked. “Who do you think I am?” “The Scragg Man.” “Yep, that’s me.” “And that’s Rory Keating, I know it because that’s my son who idolizes him. I wonder where he went a few minutes ago, now I know.” “You own the place,” I asked. “Yes, Sir, Fred McLeish, I’ve owned this place for years. I live in the house in back and Pete often sneaks out to practice.” “How good is he,” I asked. “Petty good, he wants a better bass. He got that one from his uncle who never played it. I know it’s old, but he wants something a little more modern.”

I think Rory is going to make that happen.

After putting on a jaw-dropping clinic, Rory asked Pete about his other basses. “That’s all I have. I know it’s cool, but I need a newer one.” “How advanced are you?” “Not to, but I’m getting there. I played an Epi Thunderbird, but it got stolen, so I’m stuck with this.” “Tell you what, I have a Fender, not a top of the line, a 50’s Precision Bass that I carry on the road with me. I’ll swap with you. Pete wasted no time in accepting the offer. Rory then threw in a backstage view of one of the shows, which made the young man’s day. “You can bring your old man, too,” Rory said.

The crowd cheered, and Rory got his Silvertone while Pete got a newer bass and free show. Fred looked on and smiled. “You guys are something else,” he declared.

We then signed autographs and posed for pics.

 

Published in: on March 20, 2017 at 3:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Farewell To The King 5056

I turned in early last night and thus was an early riser this morning in Toronto. I walked down the hall to a lounge area and opened the newspaper to discover that Chuck Berry passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

The most important rock and roll pioneer of them all, Chuck Berry’s songs and their indelible licks are the foundation of the genre. The attitude and showmanship he brought to the stage also helped forge the music into the preferred style of the American youth. In short, Chuck Berry was a legend in every sense of the word. Generations of young guitarists mimicked his style and played his licks until they were part of the musical vocabulary. If there is one essential artist in rock and roll, it is Chuck Berry.

The first song I learned on guitar was “Johnny B. Goode” The second was, “Roll Over Beethoven” The third, “Maybellene”  I would learn many more, and all of them captured the essence of rock and roll. Chuck Berry knew what teenagers wanted to listen to and he wrote songs that plugged into their rebelliousness and stupidity, which made them glorious anthems of youth. Chuck Berry wasn’t the most technically accomplished guitarist, but his style is one of, if not the most distinctive in the history of rock and his passing is a sad day for music.

I walked back to the suite and sat on the bed. Kim turned over on his bed and looked at me. I told him about the Chuck Berry’s passing, and he solemnly hung his head. “I can’t tell you how many times I played, “Johnny B. Goode” “Rock and Roll Music” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” he said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of guitarists saying that today,” I replied. “I remember doing his “duck walk” while playing the solo to “Johnny B. Goode” I almost fell off the stage,” Kim said with a grin. “That must have been a sight,” I cracked. “Almost as much as the one-legged hop I did when I was playing “Rock and Roll Music,” my brother replied. We both laughed and I, too, recall pulling the same stunts with a little more flair than my brother, but I undoubtedly embarrassed myself. Kim and I continued to tell stories relating to Chuck Berry and his incredible music.

Goodbye, Chuck, you were the king of all this.

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 6:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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