Last Dance with Mr. Petty

By on Oct 31, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m still coming down from the savory fumes set off at the Tom Petty Tribute show at NEC last Saturday night. It really was a remarkable show of devotion and love on the many, many faces in the sprawling crowd. And there were lots of different faces, for sure. Old ones, semi-old ones, feeling old ones. Even faces that faked trying not to be old ones. They were all gorgeous, all heartbroken, but still very much Heartbreakers. Young faces too, lots of them, teens and 20-somethings, huddled right up next to the battle worn Petty fans who’ve been singing “Here Comes My Girl” for 30 years. Scattered on the floor, sitting at an office desk, fannies to the wall, fifty-odd chairs occupied with plenty of revelry taking place backstage where the musicians loosened their throats, their yelps, their deepest timbers, as Walker Smith and “The Don” worked out...

Went Down Swingin’

By on Oct 9, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

Sorrow has won the day. And you can’t tell me it hasn’t. I’m filled with dread on this first Monday of October, simmering in a low-based depression for both the dead and the survivors of yet another terrorizing mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas at a country music festival. I can’t get out from under the misery. It’s getting harder, it seems, each week, to replenish my sympathies, though. Every ten days or so, I’m out in the front yard raising the American flag back up from half mast after a period of mourning. Then, a couple weeks later, there I am again, barefooted, dropping the stars and stripes to middle pole. Can’t keep track of the losses. The moment you start to focus on the lost souls in Texas drowned out by Harvey, some other motherless storm named Maria or Irma steals our compassions and breaks the backs of Puerto Ricans, Floridians and anybody else that got in the...

By on Sep 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

Ten years ago, my world changed. First, though, my heart broke because radio god, Howard Stern, was leaving the regular air waves for something called Sirius satellite radio. Mornings without Howard seemed unimaginable, a step backwards in life, hollow. Love him or hate him. He’s the Ali, Jordan and Gene Simmons of talk radio. The best in his game. Satellite radio sounded sketchy to me, though. I didn’t know much about home computers, let alone something you needed to rig up in your vehicle in order to get your daily dose of hilarity by the King and his crew. Unwilling to let go of Stern, I bought a satellite radio, paid the plan, and a tech at Best Buy wired my 97′ Honda Accord. Without missing a beat, Howard came out of the gate hot, and a decade later hasn’t let up on the gas, albeit working a much leaner schedule. Must be nice. After four hours of being...

Bonded Through the Music

By on Sep 18, 2017 in Blog |

Growing up, my brother, Mike, was mad about his music. He’d lock himself downstairs in the basement of our home for hours cranking Jackson Browne, Leo Sayer and a whole lot of James Taylor. We didn’t communicate much in those days, him a senior in high school, me, eight years younger, just a knot of nerves with nothing to say. But telepathy entered in through the music, and I grew as he grew because the music he played downstairs, because well, he didn’t hold back on the volume. Seemingly always there, before school and after, cutting through the gloom and good times in our home, the music Mike played reached me in ways that still influences me today. The simple beats, the heavy thinking wordplay, the triumphant hero leveled by a life less given. These songs filled me with a kind of beautiful sorrow that I wanted to drink in, feeding me in ways that didn’t require a textbook or...

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

By on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” So, we did. All the way to Woody Creek, Colorado on the weekend of Independence Day. Myself, my brother and a good friend flew to Denver, then drove three and a half hours through the Rockies, not in search of a parade, or a mountain, or even to witness a single firework flash through the star-studded skies. No, sir. Instead, we opted to stand in the kitchen of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s home at “Owl Farm” and drink good whisky while listening to his wife, Anita, and longtime friend, former Pitkin County Sheriff, Bob Braudis, tell hilarious and frightening tales of the famous writer’s fondness for firearms, how he loved to see his own byline, his struggles with aging and his fierce devotion to his readers. All this as we wandered his home freely, bathing in the spirit of the Good Doctor. If you’ve...

By on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

This years Market Days Festival is going to roar. Likely the biggest and best yet, for many reasons. Driving down Main Street these days, with the project complete, wherever my head turns, I’m looking at something new — a curb, a bench, a strip of paint, patch of grass, a store, a gleaming awning. All the colors blending perfectly downtown, day or night, without any modern gawkiness or traditional New England doom and gloom. Dare I say it? Concord is sexy again, shining from all points. Speaking of sexy, today I get to spend the day with Dusty Gray, the country rocker turned radio talker. Dusty and his good buddy, Brian O’Reilly, started a weekly radio show on WKXL about a year ago and called it “Strictly Local.” It airs Thursday nights at 6 pm. It’s a great show and Dusty puts as much into preparing a good segment as he does turning one of his songs...