Saturday, March 26, 2016

Questions for Henry Rollins on writing/reading

3/26/16 14:57 Listening to The Fall, The Real New Fall LP

I apologize since it appears the font below is not easy to read.  These were questions I posed to Henry Rollins via email the other night which I’d like to share with you.

Do you search for book stores in the cities you visit; the same way as record shops?
 ======== Not really. 
Can you please tell me what writers continue to inspire you? ======= Mostly I read journalists like Robert Fisk and historians like Eric Foner.
 
Do you re-read their work the same way as you would play, Zeppelin II?  In other words, what "works for you."  ====== Rarely. 
How many books do you read in a month?
=======0 to 2. At this point, I would rather write and do other work. 
Does F Scott, This Side of Paradise still resonate or Miller's Black Spring?  If not, which books have replaced them? ========== I have not read literature for a long time. 8 years or so. Writing has replaced a lot of my reading. 
What you are currently reading?
========= The Great War for Civilization by Fisk.
Henry


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wire - Pink Flag (Full Album)

Hey Kids, You Don't Need to Play Sports!

3/19/16 15:52 Home listening to MC5 and Wire: Pink Flag

Last night my son, Joseph Gerald Gordon proved he has more courage than most men I know.  To take the stage as a ninth grader, singing solo in front of the high school students, the jocks and the geeks and the artists, graduates and the good community of Port Jefferson Station would have paralyzed most of us.  But the choice of the song was a stark contrast to what most young men would have chosen.  Most men want to exhibit their maleness and strike up some interest from the young women.  That was me in my senior year of high school, playing U2’s now classic song, I will follow.  I did fairly well in my combat boots and was called Bono for the rest of the senior year.  Joe chose something completely different, a song by Lady Gaga.  

My son has more talent in his pinkie toe nail than I ever did.  His range is incredible, he’s comfortable on the stage and let me tell you readers…it brought a tear to my eye.  Actually, each time Joe sings I am so proud of him.  I’ve seen this child perform in our church, in choirs at school.  Recently, he sung in the all-county choir and last month in Boston he sang with a talented group of students, representing the East Coast.  He had to audition for both of those choirs. 

The last couple of weeks I have had meetings with clients and some have asked about my family.  When I mention my children, three girls and one boy – typically, the first question is what sports does your son play? Um, none.  There is a little awkward silence.  And some have asked, what sports do “they” play?  As if sports in the only choice a young person has, especially if the child is a boy.  You’re a boy, you play sports. Penis equates sports, who made this rule?  What else is there in their young lives? Is sports the only option?   

For many families their lives revolve around sports, church and school and some TV or time on their phones/computers where they play games.  This narrow mindset wear sports shorts all year long.  I see the men who are middle aged and have beer bellies. They’re obsessed with "their" teams as if that is the only thing in life.  They are able to recite stats from the games, standings and speak of the players as if they are family, unless they're traded.  

The parents for these budding star athletes travel long distances for games, strength and conditioning sessions, practices and tell them to “man up,” if they are injured and if the dare shed a tear or a cry is heard. Man up.  We did not have that shit in our house.  None of my children have had any real interest in sports.  Did I try to coax Joe into baseball?  Of course, I promised him toys he wanted, but watching my distracted son in the outfield - being more interested in the dandelions than the game was enough for me.  Especially for Joe.  He explained he had a fear of getting hit in the eye with the ball.  

Hold a second, building a supportive team either a cast in a play or a band or a robotic team is just as important as in sports.  You learn to adapt, working as a unit to achieve a goal.

I loved sports before I wanted to be Bono.  But there comes a time when we need to let our children go and discover their healthy joys.  I was not going to push any of my children into something they had no interest in. 

When we are in our element, maybe it’s on the court or at the plate or in front of an audience, we feel complete.  How often are we prodded into careers which made us miserable?  I can’t wait to see Joe develop his gifts and watch where it leads him.  He’s interested in college – actually in Emerson in Boston, but there is no pressure.  Ali and I want him to be happy and of course continue to make bold choices like being fearless and singing a Lady Gaga song in front of an audience.  Rather than fear controlling his life, he took the stage; the curtains parted and the spot light lit up my handsome boy.  And the audience cheered…
    

 Thank you for reading this.





Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Peter Case played his distinct tunes in New York City

3/8/16 Home 22:16

Peter Case released his first solo record was released back in 1986.  I still have it.   One of the songs from that album was nominated for a grammy award. I’ve followed his career from a distance.  I appreciated his musical style. Like many of you who are reading this, I was first introduced to Case through the Plimsouls hit, “A Million Miles Away.”  The song pulled you in and like a few of you; I ripped through my unique version with air guitar blasting the power chords.  Earlier, on Sunday I played Oliver in a little one on one rematch.  I beat him after coming back from 8 to 3, and beat my good friend 11 to 9.  I asked if he wanted to join Erik and I and he said he would.  I spelled out that the ticket was $15 with a two drink minimum, but I’ll drive.  After the game, I showered and picked him up and we drove into East Northport to get Erik.  I played KD Lang on the CD and he agreed her rich voice is similar to a former member of our church.   We picked up Erik and headed in.  There was more traffic than expected, but soon we were on Delancey and found a parking spot for the Charger.  We got some cash.  I bought a genuine knish from an old Jewish store that has been in its location for more than a hundred years, and we were off to get into the Rockwood Music Hall.  The main bar was empty.  There was a woman checking in the guests and I gave her my name, I was in.  Oliver and Erik forked over their cash while Peter Case stood at the bar, and was having a quiet conversation with a tall kid in a black leather coat.  We walked down some dark steps and into a dim room in the basement.  There was a man at the sound board, about 30 people sitting in chairs, small yellow electric candles flickered, red walls and wooden back drop.  I had to put my glasses on since it was so dim.  Peter Case took the stage.  He sat down and strummed and went right into a mixture of songs off his latest album HWY 62, Pelican Bay, Waiting on a Plane, Long Time Gone, Aint Gonna Worry No More and others.  Between the songs he had time to share his unique stories which glow in his songs.  At one point he complained about being on the road and was tired of driving. There were a few of us who would trade their banal lives to play gigs across the country.  Although the show was fairly short, a tight one hour set, and the venue was strict enforcing the allotted time. There was another band scheduled to hit the stage and who were already bringing in their instruments to the back of the room…a few minutes before Peter was finished.  After the set I helped carry one of his guitars back up the stairs.  There were a couple of us assisting Peter.  I bought a book of his as well as a copy of HWY 62 which he signed and of course asked the man to pose for a selfie.  After the gig we had dinner and a great conversation.  There is no such thing as a light conversation with Oliver, he pulls out a topic; whatever his curious nature leads him to probe.  And on the ride back to Long Island, Oliver watched the robust lights shining from the fading Manhattan, blessing the city out loud and grateful to be alive.  We listened to the CD three times and it was a good night for three fellas who came together from three different worlds.


Thank you for reading this.