Monday, August 5, 2013

The Stories Behind My Songs

Every song has a story behind it and when you write songs as fucked up as mine, they sometimes have pretty good stories behind them. One of my main goals as a song writer has always been to push social boundaries and to show that many of the things that people take very seriously,like the devil for example are,in fact,completely ridiculous. Here are the stories behind all of the songs that appear on my albums The Hippie Bum and Sex at the Zoo with introductions explaining when and how they were recorded.

THE HIPPIE BUM--- I wrote all of the songs that would appear on The Hippie Bum when I was in my late teens and early twenties hitchhiking around the country, living in squats and playing music on the street every day. Most of the songs were written on Pearl St. in Boulder Colorado, 6th St. in Austin Texas, and Decatur St. in New Orleans. Playing street music is what made the whole thing come together. You only have ten seconds to get the attention of someone walking by on the street so every word out of your mouth has to be some kind of hook. I discovered that outrageous humor was a great way to kill two birds with one stone in that you could horribly offend the conservative couple walking by while at the same time delighting the teenagers walking behind them. It was this dichotomy that provided the inspiration for my entire song writing approach. I would test out new songs on the street kids in town and if they laughed I knew I had a winner.

I recorded The Hippie Bum at Minimum Wage Studios in New Orleans in 2002 and started selling it in 2003. Over time I've sold about 7000 copies right out of my guitar case. The album, which was engineered by Lance Koehler, was recorded over 2 days and mixed on the third. I played all of the instruments on the tracks with the exception of “Going to the Cave” on which Lance Koehler played percussion and Ray Bong played percussion and drum synth. I produced the album with lots of input from Lance and Ray. I think I preform some of the songs better now but 10 years latter I'm still happy with how the album stands up.

The Poop Eating Gnomes--- To give you an impression of how warped my perceptions are, I actually wrote this song to impress a girl. Needless to say I was way off. She was driving her van from Connecticut to the West Coast on a winding route and meandering path, smelling the flowers along the way. We hooked up in New Orleans (I had known her for years) and we decided that I would join her for the trip. We went through Austin, where I made 300$ playing on 6th street at the South By South West music festival. We went through New Mexico and Arizona and the Grand Canyon and all that shit. Round about the time we got to Utah things were looking pretty grim for our relationship. My money was running out and she made it perfectly clear that she wasn't pulling any dead weight. She went “ice queen” on me pretty quick and within a day or two was no longer laughing at my jokes. The death knell. One day in Moab while she was off hiking in the red rocks I wrote The Poop Eating Gnomes as a way to try and win back her affections. To make a long story short, it didn't work and it was a moot point because the next day we got pulled over by the pigs, I was arrested for marijuana possession and paraphernalia, did fifty days in Buncombe County Jail, and we never saw or heard from each other again. One interesting point is that there was a lot of argument in the studio about whether or not this should be the first song on the album. Lance and Ray both thought that the (slightly) more commercial “I Love Being A Homeless Bum” should lead but I stood firm. I wanted the first track to be in your face, “Poop Eating Gnomes. Deal with it.”. Maybe I'd have sold 8000 if I'd have listened to them.

I Love Being a Homeless Bum--- One of my most requested songs, I wrote the chorus in Renaissance Square in Austin and then wrote the rest a year later in Jackson Square in New Orleans. Something about Squares gets me going I guess. The truth is that, at the time I wrote it, I didn't really love being a homeless bum much at all. I was more or less constantly depressed and I wrote this song as a way to try and cheer myself up. Now all these years later I'm still homeless and I actually do kind of love it. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself but what difference does it make? Over the years I have, at times, lived in apartments and houses and sometimes people (mostly gutter punks) have questioned whether I'm homeless enough for the song to be sincere. Apparently I have to live in a ditch the rest of my life to remain authentic. By way of reassuring the skeptical all I can say is that if you can't by listening to my songs tell that I know what I'm talking about, maybe you're the one who's not homeless enough.

 New Orleans City Jail--- The truth is, the original name of this song was “Buncombe County Jail”. Remember how I told you I got jacked by the pigs for possession and did fifty days jail? They take “the weed” seriously in Utah. It was the longest time I have ever been locked up, but it was in some ways the most fun because of the unbelievably creative and intelligent class of criminals they had in there. In our cell block there was a guy who invented board games for us to play on construction paper, a Buddhist who had "painted" a giant ohm symbol on the ceiling of his cell in toothpaste, a secretly gay guy who made collages out of fashion magazines which were much cooler than you might think, a guy who made hooch out of juice drinks, and me. The Buddhist was actually in for going into an open court session with a fake bomb. He was looking at 5 years. We wound up spending Easter in there and the secretly gay guy hid plastic eggs that the guards had given us all over the cell block. We went and hunted for the eggs then he dressed as Arial from the Little Mermaid using a big laundry bag for a tail and spent a good hour singing songs from the movie as we all drank jail house swill. It was quite a spectacle. It was in that environment that I wrote down the words to what would become “New Orleans City Jail”. I made up the music on my guitar the day I was released. When I go from town to town I learn the name of their jail and just put it in the song. The concept is universal. While I was in I also wrote a reggae song call “It's All Bad”. I might get around to recording it one day.

Crazy Rachel--- One of my personal favorites, this song has traditionally been quite popular with girls named Rachel. If you've hung out for any length of time in the dank underbelly of New Orleans, you've probably met, or possibly been attacked by, Crazy Rachel at one point or another. Rachel is totally unpredictable. The first time I met her she was friendly and engaging and we talked for several hours down by the river. The next time I met her she threw a full can of beer at my head. The night I wrote the song, I was walking through Jackson Square and saw a bunch of punks gathered around watching a fight. When I got up close I saw that Rachel had a big punk guy pinned to the ground, gripping him in a merciless choke hold. His face was turning red and you could tell he was about to pass out. Rachel was laughing like a mad scientist and kept screaming in the guy's ear, “Kinda hurts to breath doesn't it? KINDA HURTS TO BREATH DOESN'T IT?”. The punks thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen and I had to admit it was pretty choice. I went home and wrote the song figuring that if anyone deserved a song it was her. The album got around and eventually Rachel got a copy and heard the song. Now whenever she sees me she makes me play it for her but pretends she doesn't like it. She comes up and says in her most menacing voice, “Play that song you wrote about me, fuckin' asshole.”
I play it for her and she says, “I sang the lyrics to my daughter and it made her cry.”
“Well, I guess there's no higher praise than that.”, I replied.
She stalks off after calling me an asshole again but I know that deep down she secretly loves the song because she hasn't attacked me in years. I kinda miss it.

I Love the Devil--- My big hit. “I Love the Devil” came from several different inspirations. First of all I was making fun of Pantera. I've always thought that big, tattooed white guys playing heavy metal was hilarious and Pantera always seemed to me like the most unintentionally funny band of all time. All the devil noises in the middle are my take on Phil Anselmo's vocal delivery.  As for the lyrics, it's basically me saying all the most evil stuff I can think of. When I first started playing the song it was completely free form. The part about sacrificing babies was always in there but other than that it changed every time. It wasn't until I got into the studio and was just about to record my vocal that I took a sheet of paper and wrote down the words that would be in the song from then on out. In a way, it used to have more energy when it was improvised but what can you do? The other main idea behind the song was to write a catchy song about the devil that people could sing along to as opposed to most songs about the devil which are so fast and loud that you can't even tell what they're saying. When I'm in the right mood this is still my favorite song to play.

The Burning Bush--- Originally, this song was written on keyboard and was meant to have a more up tempo rock vibe but for some reason I decided to slow it down for the album and play it on guitar. This is one of the rare instances of my having vague, hard to interpret song lyrics. There is no way anyone would ever guess from listening to it that this song is about a girl who shot fire out of her vagina as a circus routine. She was part of a troop that was pretty big in the New Orleans underground in the early two thousands and all of their acts had something to do with their genitals. One would hang a six pack of beer from hooks in her labia, one would shove a power drill up his wang, one gargled his own piss and, most inspiring to me, one shot fire out of her vagina. What a perfect symbol! I wasn't really in love with the girl, I just thought she was super hot and had a great act. Hilariously, her boyfriend was kind of pissed when he heard the song and gave me  some shit about it, kind of jokingly but kind of not. I told him, “Look dude, if your girlfriend shoots fire out of her vagina and you let someone else beat you to writing a song about it, that's on you.”

Kinky Sex With You--- I wrote this one when I was 17 making it the earliest composition on the album.   Frankly, I think it shows, though it has had it's share of fans over the years. The impetus for this song was this friend of mine who had a super hot girlfriend and a super hot sister, both of whom I would have liked to have had kinky sex with. I had the first few lines of the song but couldn't think of anywhere to go with it. One day while riding on the bus to my job doing political polls on the telephone it hit me that the song didn't have to be about the guy's girlfriend and sister but could be about the concept of kinky sex in general. I made up the rest of the words in my head right there on the bus and played it on guitar when I got home that night. That was an important early lesson in letting a song go where it wants to instead of forcing it to be something it's not. Kind of a crude song but not bad for a beginner. The gutter punk girls liked it.

Glue Head Girlfriend--- This was one of the first songs I wrote on keyboard after learning to play. I bought a super cheep wind organ, which is kind of like an electric accordion laid out in keyboard form, for thirty bucks at an antique shop on Decatur St.. I was working at a mask shop there making and selling Italian style leather masks for this big, fat, drug addict guy who would dress in Hawaiian shirts and ride around the French Quarter on an electric scooter. He was pretty lax with his managerial duties and for several months I lived in his mask shop having crazy parties every night. I brought the wind organ to the shop and wrote songs late, after people had gone home. “Glue Head Girlfriend” started as an homage to this gutter punk girl that would huff paint and glue down by the river. She always silver paint on her face because metallic paints supposedly give you a better buzz. For some reason this girl fell in love with me and would try to get close to me at parties and stuff. I wasn't attracted to her and resisted her advances but when I got the song idea I knew I had to follow it through to it's logical conclusion. I've never been able to write a good song about love when I was actually in love because they all come out too cheesy and sentimental. To really nail a love song you have to be emotionally detached. This, along with “The Burning Bush” is the only song that survived the mask shop period as most of them were just too fucked up and over the line. One title that got axed was “I Want to Have Sex With Your Wife” after I noticed the chilling effect it would have on whatever group I played it for. Some of the songs I won't even talk about. I was still testing the waters of how far I could or should go.

Going to the Cave---  This is my favorite recording on the album and one of my favorites to play. It was a more collaborative effort than most of the others in that it was co-written with Ray Bong, with Lance Koehler providing much in the way of production and musical expertise. Ray and I had discussed the concepts behind the song for weeks, like moving to a cave, taking your dog and a shotgun in order to escape from society and become self sufficient in preparation for the apocalypse as a metaphor for social alienation, and talked about writing a song based on the ideas. We batted it around at jam sessions but nothing much came of it until one night when we went to go see the jam band moe. at the Howlin' Wolf. After the show Ray raved on and on about how great the performance was but I hadn't enjoyed it. I felt that they jammed directionlessly in ways that were totally irrelevant to the “song” they were supposedly playing, not incorporating it tastefully as a good jam band would. We were both pretty drunk and the argument got heated. When he finally dropped me off at the flop house I went upstairs determined to prove that I knew what I was talking about and that he was full of shit. I plugged in my four-track recorder and started laying down keyboard tracks and writing down lyrics. By the time the sun came up I had the song finished. Most of the time I have to be feeling happy to write a decent song but this is a rare occasion when a pretty good one was motivated by revenge.

Draft Dodger Rag--- I included this song by Phil Ochs on my album partly because I love the song but also because I wanted to show that my music was based on the folk musical tradition and not some bullshit like “Weird Al” Yankovic” or Tenacious D. Back when all the other kids were grinding away on Slayer riffs I was learning Bob Dylan and (old) Leonard Cohen songs on my acoustic guitar. I always loved Phil Ochs because of his beautiful, classic voice, his dexterous guitar picking and his bitingly clever hatred of the man. Unfortunately, Phil killed himself in 1976 at the age of 36, but I and lots of other people still sing his songs and struggle to play them half as good as he did.

Beautiful Hippie Princess--- This one's another collaboration, written with Brian Aurther back when I was 19 living on the streets of New Orleans. I've always been fascinated by hippie girls and blown away by how beautiful they are. Brian felt the same way, and the day we wrote “Beautiful Hippie Princess” we had met a particularly beautiful one at a homebum feed down at the gravel lot. Her street name was something ridiculous like “Piranha”. We went down to the river and drank malt liquor while trading verses back and forth and pretty soon we had the song. I can't remember who wrote each individual line but I can say for sure I came up the music because I've always been into the whole country-folk vibe. I've since played the song for many hippie girls and the response has been largely positive.

Money For Drugs--- This song was the bread and butter of my street act for years. If you've walked down Decatur at any point between 2001 and 2008 you've probably heard me play it in person. One day it just popped into existence while I was busking and I immediately started making mad bank. I would play this song over and over as people were walking by and if someone tipped me a dollar I would offer to play them one of my “real” songs and then they would usually buy an album or at least tip me another buck or two. I thought I had found my life's work until Katrina fucked up my hustle in 2005. After the hurricane I kept at it for a few more years but, for me at least, it would never be the same in terms of money. During festivals pre-Katrina, I would have impromptu parties form around me on the sidewalk and everyone would be sing along and contribute to the energy of the scene which made it fun and easy to make living. For some reason that stopped happening after the hurricane and people started being much tighter with their cash. I still look back on it as the highlight of my career because it was so organic and seemed to speak to the true purpose of street culture. After a while it got to be a drag trying to compete with the new t-shirt shops popping up every day and the horrible canned “Zydeco” music they pump out at maximum volume. It didn't help to realize that most of the yuppie tourists didn't know the difference between real culture and fake culture and didn't really care besides. From what I understand the scene has since come back in full force so maybe I'll go back one day and play on Decatur for old times sake.

Hip Hop Medley--- Obviously, I didn't write the words to this one, I just took some rap songs and “white-boyed” them up for comedic effect. I assumed a lot of black people walking by on the street would think it was hilarious and it turned out I was right. The fact that so many rap songs are inherently funny made it pretty easy to crank this one out once I got the basic idea. I would bet that other comedy musicians have “written” similar songs because there are few things funnier than a white dude trying to be “gangsta”.

They're Red Hot--- The reason this song is on the album is that Ray Bong was there while I was recording it, yelling out the names of songs between takes. I kept telling him to be quite, that I already knew what songs I wanted to do, but he wouldn't listen. So here is my rudimentary take on a song popularized by Robert Johnson in which I mess up the words and skip most of the song because I didn't really know it. What the hell, it makes a fine coda. Having said that, it was good to have Ray there to bounce ideas off of even if I almost never followed his advice.

SEX AT THE ZOO--- The songs that would comprise Sex at the Zoo were written between 2001 and 2006, right in the heart of George Bush's reign as President. I can remember reading the paper in those days and seething with rage at whatever stupid bullshit he was doing or saying that day. I actually canceled my subscription because it was making me so angry all the time. The album was recorded at Sound Mike's studio in Houston Tx, and unlike the first one, it was a bit of a slog. Sound Mike and I had some different ideas about how the album should sound and working it out was a bit of a struggle. It's unquestionable, though, that he made certain tracks much better than they would have been otherwise. This album differs from my first in that I got other musicians to play a lot of the tracks. Eric “Lief” Moore played drums, bass and lead guitar on most of the tracks and Olivia Dvorack sang on several and played kazoo on Sex at the Zoo. I played all the rhythm guitar, keyboards, and banjo and played bass on I Just Want Your Booty. The main argument I had with Mike was about the layering of the vocals. I thought it should be minimal but he kind of went nuts with. It really worked on some songs though so credit where credit is due.

I don't think my song writing approach changed much between my first album and this one. I guess maybe the songs are a bit more structured. An interesting bit of trivia is that, although obscene by many standards, there are no curse words on the entire album. How that happened I have no idea.

Let's Get the Baby High--- I wrote this song to honor the birth of my favorite drug dealer's first child. I was wracking my brain trying to think of something tasteful and appropriate when it occurred to me to combine his work and his family life. This was one of those songs where I knew it would go over the line for some people and asked myself several times while writing it, “Is it OK to sing about this? Is it OK to sing about getting babies high?”. As I expected the answer was “No” for some people. I usually like offending people with my music but only for the right reasons, when I intend to. It irritates me when people get offended by this song because it is so transparently farcical. I mean, of course you shouldn't really get a baby high. It's a joke. Anyone that needs me to tell them that was going to fuck up their kids anyway. At any rate, plenty of parents, including the ones I wrote it for, have told me they like the song. I really like Olivia's backing vocals on this one and the keyboard sound we got using a fairly cheep little Korg which is why I had it lead the album. Also because you can't tell how fucked up the song is until you get to the chorus.

Laura's Bush--- This is one of my only overtly political songs. Like I said, I was very unhappy about George W. and I knew I would eventually have to write some kind of song about him. Before he got elected I had never been that interested in politics. I followed the elections and all but it was W. who really got me paying attention which is probably true for a lot of people my age. I don't remember exactly when I got the idea for this song but I remember that for a long time before I wrote it I was telling people how bad I wanted to sleep with Bush's wife (and daughters) just to fuck with him. The guitar riff is something I had been playing for years and improvising over so I finally put it in a proper song. My favorite part is the breakdown in the middle where I name all the different parts of the White House Laura and I are gonna do “it” in. My dream was that one day, somehow, W. would hear the song himself and be super offended by it. Offended, but somehow unable to track me down. I really like this one but the problem with it, and most political material, is that it gets dated quickly. It's simply not as poignant now that Bush is no longer in office. Singing about banging Michelle Obama just wouldn't be the same.

Sex at the Zoo--- This one came out of a visit to the Audubon Zoo. I wish I could tell you that I got kicked out for breaking into the primate house and slapping the old man meat on an orangutan but, in reality, I only fantasized about it.  A simple little call and response number, once I came up with the premise all I had to do was think of which zoo animals it would be funniest to have sex with and the song wrote itself. It just seamed so obvious. Sex is funny, animals are funny, sex with animals is fucking hilarious, so sex with exotic zoo animals must surely be the funniest thing ever. This was one of those songs where I couldn't believe I was the only person to ever think of it. How could it be? It was always floating out there in the aether, just waiting for someone as warped as me to channel it into reality. This was one example of Mike's vocal layering technique being used to good effect and, as a result, this is my favorite recording on the album.

The Stink--- I usually start out with the lyrics to a song but with this one I had the music for a while before I put words to it. Also, this is a rare instance of me writing a song in a minor key.(A)  In my head I imagine it being sung by the evil sounding guy who sings in the Grinch cartoon. Some people have told me they don't like the song because it about stinking and stinking is, like, gross. Well, ya know, life is gross. Lots of modern music is about pretty people who don't stink singing about how great they are and I want to be the antithesis of that. Anyway, it's artistic license, I don't really stink all that bad.

Anal Butt Love--- I don't want to cop out here but I honestly can't remember writing this song. Frankly it's surprising that this is the only one. A funny thing about it is that when I do my show in bars sometimes people come up and ask me afterward if I'm gay because of the last verse. I mean, after all the crazy shit I sing about (sex with animals, purposely contracting STDs, poop eating gnomes, etc.) the question in their minds is, “Are you gay?” Believe it or not, listening to it now I'm pretty sure it was inspired by Willie Nelson's version of the gospel song, “I Couldn't Believe It Was True”. There are several songs on Sex at the Zoo, and this is one, where I feel the addition of the female vocal adds a whole new level humor and/or weirdness.

I Just Want Your Booty--- This is one of the two songs on the album that I played all the instruments on and one of the only songs I've ever written on an electric guitar. For this one the music and the lyrics came all at once and just meshed together immediately. I was playing around with a wah pedal and came up with the riff, and the words just seemed to suggest themselves. The song is meant to be ironic, you can't just have someones booty after all, but people have a tendency to take it at face value which irritates me. One film maker guy made a video for the song full of stereotypical, sexist cliches which I was so embarrassed by that I completely disowned the project. Lot's of shots of girls dancing in hot outfits and shit like that. If I was to do a video of the song, it would consist only of shot after shot of girl's booties, one after another until they become hypnotic and stopped meaning anything sexual, as a comment on the ridiculousness of  objectification. I don't know, maybe I'm misjudging the material, but I know I'm not misjudging the video which is why it's not included in this package. I do like the song, though, and like to think it has a bit of a Prince vibe.

Smokin' Crack--- I wish I could say that I am the white boy that loves smoking crack but I actually wrote this one about a friend of mine and changed it to first person for convenience sake. The guy's name was Phoenix. He would hustle all day making palm frond roses in the French Quarter and then go blow his wad on crack every night. I went with him to his crack house one time and smoked with him as kind of a “National Geographic” experience. The thing about Phoenix was that he was such a happy go lucky, positive dude. He was always in a good mood. He loved hustling roses on the street and he loved smoking crack as much as anyone has ever loved anything. It was infectious, which is why I had to write the song. At the risk of sounding immodest, I have to say I think this is the best song I've ever written. It's hard for me to imagine someone doing a better job with the subject matter. When I was writing it my neighbor told me that he heard me playing in his room and that I kept having to stop because I was laughing so hard. That's usually a good sign.

Horse Cop---  Anyone who knows me knows I hate authority and that I fucking despise the police. It's hard to imagine anyone who's spent much time on the streets of New Orleans thinks too highly of them. You got your car patrol cops, your foot patrol cops, your undercover cops, your bike cops and, last but not least, you got your horse cops. I've always felt it was especially evil for them to co-opt unsuspecting animals into their sick war against humanity. I came up with “Horse Cop” during Jazz Fest one year when it seemed like they were just everywhere. Once I realized that “swine” rhymed with “equine” I knew I was on to something. Some people have asked me why I didn't sing the song myself on the album, but in fact, I'm singing the whole time. My vocal is a very subtle whisper in the background behind Olivia's lead. It's easy to hear if you know to listen for it. I just thought this song would be a good opportunity to showcase Olivia's amazing vocal range. I want to say that although the words “fag” and “dike” appear in this song, I'm not homophobic or anti-gay in any way. I included those words only because I felt police would be offended by them. I'll admit it's kind of questionable and that if I was writing the song now I might think of some alternative but believe I will let the song stand as it is. I would argue that those words are funny in this particular context.

Crabs and Pubic Lice--- “Crabs and Pubic Lice” was, like “The Stink”, my attempt to write the exact opposite kind of song that guys usually write to try and impress girls. Go to any open mic. and you'll see tons of dudes passionately performing tunes designed, in they're minds at least, to portray themselves as sensitive guys with lots of attractive qualities. My idea was to write a song that any girl would be repulsed by, and by virtue of reverse psychology, attracted to. My theory turned out to be correct because from the first time I started playing the song in Jackson Square I could tell lots of girls were amused by it. This is another song that benefits greatly from the added dynamic of a female vocal and I think Olivia sounds particularly good on it.

VaticaN.A.M.B.L.A--- Yeah, ya know, I just can't get over the whole “Catholic priests molesting children” thing. It strikes me as a significant detail. Lots of people have laughingly told me how this song is “just wrong” over the years but I don't see it that way at all. Convincing people you're some kind of liaison between them and the creator of the universe and using that position to indulge your bizarre and perverted sex fantasies is “just wrong”. Scathing ridicule of such people in the form of a catchy song is right on the money. These guys don't even have to pay taxes and I'm supposed to spare their feelings regarding their widely known, barely repressed pedophilia? Give me a break. They should be kicked out of their parishes and tarred and feathered on national television. For a while I was thinking of writing a musical about the subject and might still if I can come up with a good story. My favorite part the song is the thing about eating meat on Friday.

You Don't Suck Blood, You Just Suck--- Ah, the Vampire scene of late 90's early 2000's New Orleans. The whole French Quarter was overrun with prosthetic fang wearing kids with spooky contact lenses and black clothes they had bought at Gargoyle's. Kids who lived on the street would save up the money they panhandled and buy 400$ shoes that went up to their chins. To me this seemed like total insanity. In my view, the main thing that separated Vampire kids from Goths (whom the Vampire kids felt greatly superior to) is that Goths had a sense of humor about how ridiculous they were whereas Vampires took themselves quite seriously. They would walk by me with their noses turned up to the sky. It was only a matter of time before I wrote this song to irritate them and irritate them it did. I was “threatened” by butt-hurt Vampires on more than one occasion. I put “threatened” in quotation marks because these Vampire kids were possible the biggest dorks I've ever seen in my life. Their idea of a threat was to say, “This is your first warning. You only get 3.”. Three warnings?!?! You got to be shitting me! The guys that hang outside Port Authority they were not. I wrote the song on the acoustic guitar and that version is kind of folk-country, but for the album I used a cheesy pre-sequenced keyboard line as a way to make fun of the horrible dance music they listened to. And you gotta love the title.

Well that's it. I've got lots of other songs but those are the only ones I've managed to record. If you've read this far you must be a true fan so thank you for your interest in my work. I honestly believe that I have the coolest fans in world.


  1. Man, we have alot in common. I dropped acid for the first time at a Dylan and The Dead show at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, in 1988; I was just turned 19 years old and ate $20 worth all at once - crazy! That trip lasted for over 24 hours! I ate 3 hits of crazy-ass acid at a punk show in San Diego on New Years Eve (I think in 92'/93') and was 5051'd while standing in front of the Nordstrum's store in Horton Plaza buck-ass naked! Now THAT'S a funny story . . . I've had some shit happen here in Houston you probably wouldn't even believe. I was locked up in County (yes, in County) for 32 months; I spent 45 days in the MHMRA ward and another few weeks in the Maximum Security Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Vernon, Texas. I was there with that basketball player from Baylor, the one who killed his roommate, and the mother who cut off her children's arms, and the former beauty queen (Miss Texas) who stabbed her ex-boyfriend 27 times. Truth be told, I left there wondering who was crazier, the inmates or the freaks running the place! I wrote a brief poem/ramble about it called, DeathSong Warrior: It's a Long Way Home; you might relate . . .

  2. DeathSong Warrior

    Every day spent waiting for the other foot to fall; each moment, uphill and into the wind, redefining time. Dream, enlightenment, madness, filter dependent manifestations of Will suspended between truth and illusion; one Source field energies subtly integrated yet varied by the presence of noise. I can tell you a story with respect to all three: locked up, a concrete box, thirty feet to a side, filled with psychoses of every order; a cold, dark, winter in a sane man’s soul. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    I met the guy in holding with dilated pupils, the taste of bloody fear rocking me a lullaby. “I’m tripping my ass off,” he said. He hung himself by the fire light that night – fecal matter everywhere. Suffering no delusions, I cut myself just to feel the animus – the rage of life previously denied – bringing light to the ebony heart of doom. Meanwhile, inspired by the interference, the schizophrenic was holding six conversations all at once – five with himself, one with a fellow schizophrenic – a symphonic cacophony improvised yet full of profound melody. Michael, called up from the bowels of a thorazine freeze, asks, “Wanna play some bones?” “Dude, you couldn’t play bones if your momma slapped the white outta your mouth,” I replied. He laughed and sank back into the freeze, the photo, a nudie shot of his girl, free to flee, floats to the ground. I pick up the picture and return to the symphony. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    Out of oblivion this cat we all call Scrappy attacks me with a plastic spoon screaming something about peckerwoods stealing his soul. Scrappy doesn’t know, there are no true peckerwoods anymore – maybe never were. In the world of time you’re either dark or light; only in the realm beyond time, where myth, dream, madness share root, does the cross, the yin/yang, the Linga/Yoni, bear truth. Although sickly thin, Scrappy eats food others throw in the trash; I don’t understand at the time but my own bleak future is beckoning. Five hundred push-ups later and he’s still stabbing my worn out mind. You call me peckerwood one more time and I’m gonna make you eat that spoon . . . Scrappy. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    The symphony, reaching a frenetic pitch, calls up the daily ritual. The priestess with her tray of dope serves up voluntary communion. Awakened, the Rastafarian rejects bread and blood but masturbates for the fifth time – homage to the queen. Subsisting on pickled jalapeƱos, the Rastafarian shits acidified water constantly, blackened drawers screaming a rank tale of unmanaged misery. Every time the concrete box, filled with dark, dank, doom, smelters in the spent spunk spawned by unmitigated self-sex and becomes nearly unbearable. Nichols, the heroin infused, self-medicated bi-polar, tells me a hood tale. The Rastafarian comes from wealth – Houston Symphony and corporate law; ruined his life smoking wet, otherwise known as formaldehyde or embalming fluid – a relative of PCP (angeldust). Angeldust . . ? He flew too close to the Sun. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

  3. Forty-five days in this mad house will make a sane man sorry and a sick man sicker. I rode the bus to the hospital in Vernon, Texas; not a place where you go to get well but, rather, a playground majoring in small-town pimpin’ and surrealist performance art. There can be no doubt the cuckoo flew the coop in Vernon, Texas. Most every “patient” accused of murder; mommas killing babies, babies killing mommas. Former beauty queen stabbed her boyfriend 27 times and tries to talk to me about God. Rage, barely suppressed, colors her cheeks rosy. She doesn’t like what I have to say about God. I told her, “Just because I sit cross-legged on the mushroom cap doesn’t mean my own nymphomania is in remission. Stab me 27 times and I’ll love you forever.” If you’re not spooked yet just wait until we finish. Some dreams aren’t meant to survive. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    Those in “charge,” Dr. Black and the Doctors Freidman, state-sanctioned pimps dealing bread and blood, are themselves invertebrate whores. Determined to serve the sanctioning state, they desecrate the holy ground, serving up pressure induced fracturization yielding medicated lobotomy – mind freeze addiction to the bread and blood. Delusional disorder? I suffer no delusions regarding Dr. Black and the Doctors Freidman: cockroaches wallowing in their own scatological hell; well-trained primates armed with fecal projectiles they lob at truth determined aggressors; hoarding dragons guarding the bright, shiny, lie for they know not why; Deathstar Stormtroopers dealing a living death – the list is endless – in the end simply mythic forces serving the tyrant, Status Quo, keeper of darkness, illusion, and dysfunctional madness. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    My own initiation to the charnel ground of psychiatric warfare is welcomed. Not one accustomed to baptism by fire, I come prepared. Knowledge gleaned from well-read and better understood tomes about societal misuse of psychiatric “treatment” serves me well. The enemy, unimaginative, deals a straight deck of corrupt attempts: induced paranoia; tests loaded with essay questions confined to bi-valent answers; manufactured and unsupported drug histories; in the end all plays on fear, fear, fear. My own mental technologies ground me in time beyond time where there is no paranoia, no drug history, and certainly no fear. After brief battle the Deathstar Stormtroopers succumb to their own fear and deal an empty, fabricated fraud rather than living death. I can’t help but wonder how many others have gone before and, not as prepared, fallen prey. Take eat – flesh – take drink – blood – it’s all dope and prune juice to me. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    They finally came and took the guy down from the fire light. He’s only been there a week. You would think someone cared but this is Harris County, Texas, birthplace of the death penalty as Pop Art; screen-prints of electric chairs fill the void between here and Huntsville. I finally beat Alejandro at dominoes. I think he put a contract out on me, old school Syndicate that he is. I guess I’ll find out . . . if Scrappy doesn’t get me first. DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home.

    Peckerwood dreams don’t become me but, boy, I love the sound of Rusted Shut after 45 days in the putrid bowels of hell. I start to hear visions of Man as the Bastard so I try to grind away the world. Steel brushes grinding the pick-up mics – broken guitar – a feedback highway all the way to Summerland. I end up in Port Arthur, Texas, birthplace of the tornado construct. Monuments to the hurricane on Gulfway Drive, pictures of the burnt out church, Baptist, clear testaments to the Presence, an inspiration for my own tornado – DeathSong Warrior: It’s a Long Way Home. It may be a small world but it’s still a long way home. Are we there yet? Truth is . . . we’ve never really left. The upper limit of stability . . . effortlessly obtained.

  4. You know, Crazy Rachel sounds like the feminine version of Don Walsh . . .