After watching all of the amazing performances from this summer’s tour, I was totally blown away. We had so many impressive bands contending for the big London Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp prize. The votes poured in by the thousands and the competition was fierce. You are all truly Rock Stars and you officially have the fans to prove it!
Our London camp guest stars have weighed in with their decision and I am very proud to announce that a dynamic group from New Orleans called 'THE COSMO KIDS' is our grand prize winner. Congratulations!
Coming in a very close second was Boston showstopper's 'HEY NANCY!' who will each receive $2000 off RRFC London and a $1000 gift certificate good toward any 2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.
Our third place winner is a band of Baltimore rockers called 'ROADKILL' and they will each be awarded $1000 off RRFC London and a $500 gift certificate good toward any 2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.
Thanks again to all of our summer campers, and to everyone who voted, for making this such an exciting contest! If you are considering registering for Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in London, time and space is running out! Please call Zak or Samantha at 888-762-2263 if you have any questions or need help getting signed up. If you purchased a DVD from camp, orders will be shipping shortly.
I hope to see you on the other side of the pond!
Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp
Whew. Now we can at least put all that silliness behind us, hmm?
I really hope this is just a mock-up of a logo. Because the resemblence to David Fincher's movie is a little creepy.
If that logo remains, I'm gonna be half tempted to walk around Micro Center on launch day shouting, "C'mon Somerset....what's in the box?!?!?!?!" Don't open that box, David. "Wha-unh's in the booooooxxxxx?!?"
But only half.
There's construction of a new hotel in our neighborhood (right next to a day care-wtf?) and we think THAT may be the culprit this time since the strongest winds in the area are coming from my arse.
Thankfully we didn't fully restock our fridge and freezer. There's one mark in favor of Todd's laziness!Wooohooo.
In other news, I'm wholly unmotivated to take this post much further.
Another point for laziness.
*UPDATE* The power was on by the time I got home. Which is further evidence (in my mind) that it was caused by the construction crews and their lifesize Tonka toys.
So, anyway. We got our power back, and to celebrate, I'll give you the video that I actually thought Darrin referenced (why he would reference an old-school hip hop joint is anyone's guess, but I had hope anyway).
Luckily, my boss' jinxing aside, power stayed on (and was on when we left the house this morning. I got a GREAT night's sleep thanks to actually being able to use my CPAP machine, and Jen was happy about being able use her flat iron for picture day today (and she actually wore a dress!).
So, anywhoo...back to work. Tomorrow's gonna be a busy day. Meeting at the church in the morning, chainsaw party, grocery shopping, and quite probably beers and fire pit in the evening. All in all, a full Saturday planned (or not planned, as it were).
I don't really have anything new to post. We're still without power. And we still refuse to buy a generator. I'm still not getting any kind of decent sleep because of my dependency on a CPAP machine (which, unfortunately has it's own monkey called 'Alternating Current').
If you missed them, pix of the fun can be found here, video lives over here (and yes, felling that huge ass tree was fun, but not nearly as fun as using 'fell' as a verb).
Before I go too much further, I insist that you go HERE now. This is good stuff. The posts are funny as hell...the kids are as musically inclined as their rockstar father. It's VERY good stuff. I try to hit the CrabbyDad at least once a day for some comic relief and the subtle realization that my impending insanity is just part and parcel of being a father.
What's cracking me up about it, is the comments are nearly every bit as funny as the posts in most cases. In short, it just rocks. If you're still reading this instead of Crabby's, you're cheating yourself, because I'm going on not very good sleep and quite frankly, I'm not feeling very funny right now.
Alright then, back to my wrap (it's one of those new Tyson ones, and while I'm not normally a pesto fan, this turkey club thing is rather tasty).
Talk at ya later.
Here's hoping that the power comes on soon :-)
*UPDATE* According to the AEP Restoration Map, our power should be back tomorrow or Friday. Which is good news not just for me, but for my family and co-workers (who aren't used to seeing the 'not getting good sleep' Todd....who is quite nearly as priggish as the 'gone too long without eating' Todd).
On the upside, no one got hurt in our neighborhood. And...we had not gone to the store, so we didn't really lose much in the way of food (unlike one of our neighbors that just spent $1000 on a cow...yeah, a whole cow). Plus we have gas appliances. So we can still cook and still have hot water (definitely a bonus).
On the downside, I can't do any video editing...and with the DreamConference so close, that's stressing me out a teensie bit. Also, and this is the real pisser...I can't plug in my CPAP machine...which means I either stop breathing in the middle of the night, or snore like a banshee...or both.
So, the alternative has been for me to sleep on the couch while the rest of the house sleeps with their doors closed. A good solution for them, but our couch sucks for more than just a 2-3hour nap. It's definitely not a couch monster. So, I guess I know not to piss N- off, because I don't want to sleep on that couch unless I absolutely have to (which, until we get power, it seems I do).
So, yeah....you know how you see these videos on the news and you're like 'wow....hey-dumbass-instead of filming, ya ought to be seeking cover??' Yeah. I was THAT guy (the dumbass that ought to be seeking cover). It kind of hit home as the various assorted debris and pieces of house were flying around.
The first few clips are from Sunday when the wind was having its way with us and the last was from yesterday when my neighbor helped me fell a tree (look it up, it's proper grammar, I assure you). It was kind of exciting and scary. You never really realize how heavy those things are until you feel it start to move on its own and you realize that there's no way in hell you could stop it if it came for you. I also realized how lucky I was that it fell where it did...4 inches to the left would have taken out my entire back fence. So, yeah.
I'll be posting pix soon (because I'm hopeful that my power will be back on soon).
And with that, my duty is done and now off to do my doodie.
It's been a weird couple of days and I'll probably get around to updating more to that effect later.
Here's another idea for a short film that I haven't shot yet, but seems to me that someone has done something similar to it. In keeping with the topic, it's an IM transcript.
wonder if you could get away with a movie centered around IM
Sean H- says:
what do you mean?
even though you know who you're chatting with, it's still got the trappings of anonymity in that you can say things like "F**kburgers!" that you wouldn't say aloud
Sean H- says:
f**kburgers? that has a very American Pie feel to it
lol. yeah. there is that, I suppose.
f**kburgers with Creme Cheese
the only problem I can see with it is that it would be very tedious for the audience.
I was thinking along the lines of a silent movie.
where the only time you hear any dialog is when the characters are IMing.
Sean H- says:
you could have dialog boxes that looked like their IM screen
Sean H- says:
keeping it silent might be cool
it would be interesting to pull off....but i keep wondering how much of ourselves we're losing. like would we ever get to a society where some people just don't talk. They're just Texter.
And then you have the 'Tooths. Who just have the blue tooth headset surgically implanted. and that's the only way they talk.
Sean H- says:
it's almost ESP
and the TEXTERS can't interact with the 'TOOTHS
Sean H- says:
it could be a dark humor piece about the loss of human connection and how we now strive for anonimity
while simultaneously striving to be recognized as indiviuals.
Sean H- says:
you could then push forward years and show 2 people who meet face to face and can't communicate
reduced to avatars.
That's what happens on slow days. We shoot about a bajillion movie ideas back and forth (I think I've got most of them saved) and then we check our calendars (a.k.a. our lives) and realize that we can't just take 4 weeks off to go shoot these things. I've read of indie-filmmakers that do these 3 and4 hours shoots every weekend for like YEARS to get a movie made. I'm thinking that my own production schedule really is more along those lines (well, actually, I know that to be the case).
I'm thinking of killng the TZP Projects blog. I'm not posting to it. It's really easier for me to just keep all my shits in one bowl, so to speak. Yes, I know how lazy it sounds, but I'm thinking that other than Darrin, prolly no one reads that blog anyway. I know I don't. And I sure as heck don't update it on a regular basis. Hell at this point, I don't even update it on an irregular basis. So that's, as they say, that.
I'm getting back in touch with people from high school again thanks to the Facebook phenomena. I put up a Facebook page purely for the fact that we were going to have our fantasy football league on Facebook this season (we stuck with Fanball). But the upshot is...I'm reconnecting with people I haven't talked to since high school (and to be honest, some I never really talked to in high school...) It's kind of weird. The bullshit things that kept people in cliques really seem to go away when we're all married, with kids, and doing fairly adult-type-life things. There's more of a common ground and people that I thought were douches (and some that probably would have put me in that category) are now decent people. It's possible that if I interacted with them too much IRL, some of that bs would come back, but I'm not sure about that. A lot of people that I was kind of close to have moved out of Ohio anyway, so that experiment will have to wait.
The only anomaly is someone who added me as a friend that I have NO IDEA who the f*** they are. I'm still waiting to see how that one is going to play out. It's easy enough to drop friends on Facebook (at least I think it is). So, um. yeah.
This weekend is the weekend of the purging of the stuff that's been cluttering my shit up. If it goes as planned, that will be both a physical and mental thing (and quite possibly spiritual-I'm not ruling anything out at this point).
And I leave you with this. Chrissy sent it to me. Her and her husband Don came out to see me while I was doing that whole Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. They came to the L.A. show at the House of Blues on Sunset strip (no, I haven't quite gotten tired of saying that yet. Yes, I'm quite aware of my vacillating nature, thankyouverymuch).
So long and good night.
I DID watch the full version of the Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercial..and I have to say-those guys need to make a sit-com. Seriously. It was a GREAT way to start my morning. It's my new favorite show. Ian brought this up, but how sad is it to watch TV for the commercials? Very sad. Because the commercials have a higher production value, better acting and better writing than the shows that they interrupt. My other favorite series of commercials is the Geico ones where they have the celebrity spokespeople. It all came full circle at the Peter Frampton concert this summer when, during 'Do You Feel Like I Do?' he said (through the talk-box) "Do you have Geico insurance?.....I Don't......woobee woobee boo weebooo It wasn't part of the deal" Good times. Good times.
Spent a good hour last night working on "Still A Dream" for the upcoming Dream Conference. They want me to play guitar..and it's really my first time in a looooooong time of trying to figure a song out all on my own (no tab or chords to be found) and I'm very happy to say that I think I have the basic chord structure down and I can focus on the fiddly bits after a few more practice sessions. One thing that was WAY cool was the fact that I was able to use the Line 6. It has a jack to plug in your MP3 player or other audio source and then if you plug the headphones in, you're suddenly playing along with the song. It made it MUCH easier to hear what was going on and get close to figuring out the song. Also, it looks like it's going to be big-boy chords (so I definitely need to practice those)*.
My half of the garage is also on it's way to becoming a practice space thanks to Freecycle and to the garbage man. This weekend should see the rest of it cleaned up. I might even tackle the chud hole (storage area under the stairs) and try to organize some of the albums. We'll see.
I'm pretty sure sleeping in is on the list somewhere.
I need to start writing again. Sean and I are going to start working on the film/TV Pilot about the agoraphobic tech-support rep that may or may not be a spy. (When we talk about it, it sounds much funnier than it sounded just then, and nothing at all like Chuck).
I'm not a very good finisher, I've decided. I'm really good at starting things, getting people revved up about them and then, not seeing them through to fruition.
I probably need to work on th
*Big Boy Chords are barre chords and stuff that's not just the basic beach blanket bingo strum and hum chords that we all learn when we're starting to play.
Case in point, I keep thinking that the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp is behind me and that I'll be able to file it away in a nice little box somewhere and pull it back when and if I need it (like when work sucks or some shit like that).
And then I keep getting emails from the rockcampfolks about the upcoming London Camp and how every band that was in the On Tour thing has a chance to "win" and go to London for freezipzilchnada. And that's cool. And I'd pretty much come to the conclusion that I was gonna put my vote in (for Phoenix probably, because that was the most fun to me) and leave it at that. Not bug any of y'all to go out and vote because that requires really much more than I want to invest right now.
But they send this frickin' email out today. London Campers will get to go to a dinner/awards festival prior to the camp with Ozzy. And THEN later, they'll be going to QUEEN concert in Wembley Arena. Seriously? Add this to 18hours recording at Abbey Road (of covers AND an original AND we'll be given the source files so we can mix the tracks at home) and a gig at the Cavern Club and it's really about enough for me to need to change my drawers. Again.
But I keep telling myself that I am so clearly NOT their target demographic (meaning I don't just have $15,000 lying around). It's like Fantasy Island (remember that show?). You know each and every one of those motherhuffers that stepped off of that sea plane to shake Mr. Rourke's hand were loaded with more money than sense. And they always wound up getting what they wanted in a fantasy, but old Rourkie would throw some kind of twist in there to make them think 'fack...is this really what I wanted?'
And that's what this is like. I know that I'm in trouble with this one. I've already jumped too deep into the waters of thinking that there's a shot I'll be in one of the bands that will win. And that's bad. That's not reality. Not even close to reality. The reality is...there were 15 stops on the tour with anywhere from 4-8 (or more) bands in each city. So that's upwards of around 120 bands. The top three online vote getting bands are then presented to the counselors for the London show...and THEY pick the winning band (now I don't know what THAT is about at all). In short it's a clusterf**k. And to think that I even have a shot is completely unrealistic.
Meanwhile, I've got about a bajillion short film ideas that are nowhere close to getting done...shit in my house that needs done...stuff I gotta step up and do at work...recording/jamming that I want to do with my homeys...wtf am I doing stuck in this hole? Seriously. This is getting the point where it's pissing me off. And I'm sure I'm not the only one getting sick of it. N- has already had the 'just let it go' discussion with me and she's right.
She's usually always right.
I'm looking for the weekend now when I can just bury myself in all the other shit that needs to be done around here and get my focus back. Because clearly it's floating around somewhere....damn you all to hell Mr. Rourke.
Oh well. At least I get to wear shorts to work on Friday.
The Buckeyes are good for something at least.
In short, I'm not going to rush out to by a new iPod Nano any time soon (but I'm guessing my son will want one).
And that concludes today's completely random post.
So far, by far, this is my favorite shot from the whole trip. This was taken at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas by Andy's something (wife, friend, sister...not sure..I think he told me, but I forgot..but he's the other guitar player with the Les Paul Double Cut...very sweet rig). But to me it just captures the point of the whole trip. Up on stage rocking out. The campers (the rock stars were over stage right)...and more importanly-me :-) (yes, I'm well aware that vanity is a sin).
Not to mention it shows off the new slashie gweetar VERY well. Damn that thing shore is purdy.
(and yes, I know I said that there probably weren't going to be any more RRFC posts, but this pic was just so choice that I HAD to post it. I figured y'all would understand).
My car, just hit 104,400 miles. Not bad for a '96. Its foreign, so I figure I got another 3 or four years out of it. Because that'll be about the time our kids are driving...and everyone should have a 4-door, manual transmission, pos foreign car of asian descent as their first car. It's like the rules or something. And by that time, it'll be MY turn for a new car. At which time, we may get another Torrent, or whatever the current, sexy SUV is at the time.
Other than that...work is going fine. Actually, better than fine on most days. I'm also doing a lot of stuff at the church to get ready for the 2008 Dream Conference. And I'm trying to get Dad's company website all set up. I have to be honest, though. I'm not a web designer. I take the templates that come with the tools that the ISP gives me and I tweak them. Simple as that.
Well, I can't really think of much else that's been going on. Nathan, Mike, your DVDs will get mailed this week. Ian, Darrin-when we jamming? (of course I realize Ian, that you may be out of the loop and all seeing's how your spare time is occupied and what not. But yo, homeys, lemme know, mmmkay?).
Here's the dilemna. I really want Rofini's Pizza. And I think I can hook that up tonight, but my lunch today was going to be little microwave pizzas. eh, maybe it still will be. I'll hook up the Rofini's Thursday or Friday.
And that's all I got. Wasn't that fun boys and girls?
So, here's what's been stuck. Like a splinter that I didn't know was there. Which is to say, I knew something was there but didn't get that it was a splinter that needed to be removed before it festered.
Splinter discovered, festering avoided. But now I'm going to over-analyze the splinter for a while before I throw it in the trash because I'm wondering, how the f*** did it get there in the first place??
What do you think of when you hear the words 'Life Changing?'
Actually. F**k it. There's no point to this post. (and yet I'm gonna ramble on some more, feel free to cash your chips out now, if you want).
I found the splinter. It was 'what was so GREAT about RRFC that people compare it to the birth of their child?'
And clearly that's not a question I can answer. I was in four different bands in four different days in four different cities with people I didn't know. And we rocked out. Was it cool? Hell yeah. Did I enjoy it? You bet. Do I think I made some friends I'll keep in touch with and others that have already forgotten my name? Without a doubt.
Was there anyway it could compare to the birth of my daughter? F**k no. Is it going to have more of an impact on my life than heart surgery at age 25? Not a chance. Is it going to cause me to evaluate what's important in my life the way I did when I found out my dad was diagnosed with the big C in the prostate? Um...no. Or that my best friend has a terminal disease? Not even close.
Was it at all in any way shape or form better than three hours of jamming with Darrin and Ian the week before with pizza and awesomely funny (and somewhat disturbing British television shows)? I can say this with ALL honesty...no.
No it wasn't.
This post isn't likely to end up on any of the publicity pages on the rockcamp site. And I'm ok with that.
I'm not going to lie. I DO feel blessed to have won the contest. The friendships that I did make are priceless. The merch that I received was far superior to anything I've ever played (although it hasn't quite elevated my playing...not yet anyway). But I'm wrapping that in to one package....the contest. There were some things that I'll take away that were special moments but that's all they were...moments. Not a catalyst for me to re-structure my entire life.
(Sometimes I really think that I would have been better off with just the guitar and gift card :-) because clearly I'm not gushing about this the way the other testimonies did. I think I'm probably reading too much into it-what else is new)
I don't know that I consider it life changing. I think of it more as a handful of good memories, and pleasing anecdotes to pass on whilst rocking on the front porch at the retirement center.
And I guess that's the 'fantasy' part of it, isn't it? We say it as one word rockandrollfantasycamp, but the key is fantasy.
You see, that's why the jamming with Darrin and Ian was WAY better than anything that happened on the camp. Because it was REAL. It wasn't staged. None of us were pretending to be rockstars. We were being real...and it felt really effing good. And THOSE memories mean more to me than the Ozzy stories that Mark Hudson's probably told a hundred times to as many people or anything else that happened on the trip.
The one thing that I guess I really took away from it is that the people that are fake and going through the motions of liking you are the ones that will suck the life out of you if you let them. By giving myself over to frustration I lost something on that first day. And it put a little tinge of panic in the back of my mind for the whole trip that I am almost certain none of the other VIPs went through. And that's not to say 'poor me'...it's just to say that I realize that I'm just another guy. And I'm not in the same place in my life as some of these other people. And that's OK.
And that to get stuck in the fantasy of it all WOULD change my life...but not in the way that will be helpful as a father to my children...or a husband to my wife. It's the change that would get me stuck in the endless loop of 'What Ifs' (it's like the old BASIC days of the endless loop: 10 Print "Hello World"; 20 Goto 10).
I'm not going to ask any of you to go to the Rock Camp site and vote for any of the bands I was in. I don't want to have the emotional investment of trying to get in the top 3 for the selection process of the contest to go to the London camp. And this will in all likelihood be my last post for quite some time that references the rock and roll fantasy camp. Because it's time to move on. (I can almost hear the cheers now).
The Captain has just turned off the seatbelt sign, and I need to go pee.
The first two, at some point tend to spread to both eyes. Viral is the only one that Meds help (and usually has a goopy green discharge).
So, yeah, starting Friday, my left eye was looking fierce. Was it pink-eye? No. Couldn't be. I'd been rubbing my eye. I'm sure that was it. (I don't know why, but I friggin' HATE the thought of having pink eye).
I dealt with it Friday. By Saturday it looked bad (and my eyelid was crusted shut when I woke up). I opened it up with much coaxing from a warsh cloth. And then we headed off to Tommy's soccer game.
I called the doc first....she said they can't prescribe for pink eye over the phone anymore (bastards) so she suggested I go to an Urgent Care (at $75 for co-pay-no thanks).
So, I dealt with it. We had lunch after the game (Tommy's team won, he had a goal, there was much rejoicing-yay). And then back home.
I got some eyedrops and allergy meds later. And both REALLY seemed to help. So I'm thinking the version of the pink I have is either allergic or trauma (there's some scratch around my eye that I have NO IDEA how it got there).
So that's the plan for a while....eyedrops, washcloth, Zyrtec.
In other news, the studio is almost ready to roll again. And I think I'm gonna go back and start working on "Lardass."
I'm a bit heavy. And since I'm not likely to get Bill Murry as my platoon leader, the army's out. Plus there's that whole 'war' thing going on.
So, my thought was to start a movie project based on my journey in losing weight. And by losing weight, I mean getting back to a healthy weight that's not going to negate the heart surgery they did 11 years ago.
I figured if I was doing it as a documentary, I'd be more likely to stick with it. I could do the whole 'reality series' closet-cam testimonials. I'm not sure. It's still in the video journal stages right now (and by video journal I mean, that's what it WOULD be if I was actually filming anything).
I am mostly recovered from the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp and I'm finding that I really just don't want to talk about it anymore. It was awesome, there is no denying that there were some really amazing moments, but I can't get 'stuck' on the moments. One of the things I have issues with is letting stuff go. Not just the bad stuff, but I'm finding that it's also a problem to get stuck on the 'good stuff' too.
I read somewhere that 'The Devil lives in the Past and the Future. God lives in the Now' and to me that's been particularly true.
My daily prayer is to be able to live my life to my fullest potential in the now. The past is gone. And the future's not promised. Doesn't mean I can't remember the past fondly (or not at all), just means I have to let it go.
Interesting how the keys to happiness seem so simple, but it's sometimes so damn hard to put the key in the lock and open the door.
I blame the pink-eye.
It turns in to a session of me teaching him the right way to play "Stairway to Heaven", and starting to show him "Dust in the Wind" and it was cool.
and then...like 2 hours later, I start playing the "A Groove" (remember that one Darrin?) and Tommy seemed surprised that I wrote it (like 15 years ago it seems) and wanted me to teach it to him (and thanks to the Line6, I could go into the Flanger at precisely the right moment). So I showed it to him.
And then he started noodling around on his own playing a chord progression that was eerily familiar. I looked at him and asked him what song it was. He said it was just something he made up. I told him that I wrote a song called 'You Might Think' (like forever ago) and if he promised not to laugh at my vocals I'd play it. He did (promise, that is). I played it and actually surprised myself at how not-completely-sucky the vocals wound up being. Even Tommy was surprised that it was me singing (guess the old man's still got it (whatever THAT may be), huh?).
After that it went down hill as we marveled at John Bonham's playing on the 'Song Remains the Same' album.
But it's fun to have music (other than Guitar Hero and RockBand) being played in the house. Tommy wants to write a song with me and Jen and record it. He's turning 13 in October. And that's probably when the 'making music' bug hit me. Jen already has it.
And with the inexpensive bass I got from a co-worker ($30 for a Silvertone), the only thing we're missing is a drum kit (guess i'll have to play synth drums for now). I'm thinking that my half of the garage may just become the band space. We'll have to see how it all shakes down. I'm looking forward to my next kid free weekend. I think a 24hr. album might be in the works. And who knows, the next kidless weekend after THAT we could do the 48 movie!
Time for nyquil and beddy-bye. The boy's got a game in the morning that I need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for.
And don't forget....to give me back my black t-shirt
Sometimes I can be so petty. It's kind of amusing in a car up on blocks, used appliances on the collapsing front porch kind of way.
But I always assumed that it would be an arbitrary selection. Turns out it's only partially arbitrary.
I guess what they're gonna do, starting next week, is put up short clips of each band from each camp and then have an online vote (one vote per verified email address). And then the top three bands will be 'presented' to the Counselor-Rock-Gods from the London camp and THEY will pick the winning band. So, partial fan/friend vote...partial arbitrary selection.
And yes, it would be SO sweet to win...but it also strikes me as one of those things that I will wind up getting WAY emotionally invested in and then be on this really low slump if I don't get picked and I'm just not sure I want to put myself through that.
The really cool thing about winning the grand prize was that I didn't do anything. It wasn't expected. I didn't try out. It just happened. And that was one of the things that made it totally bitching.
And, I kinda feel, at this point, if the London thing is meant to be, it'll just happen, too. I just don't want to get so wrapped up in it. I mean, let's face it...we all know how I can get...and nobody wants that kind of dark-cloud funk.
If it happens, cool. If not, that's really cool, too. I've already been so blessed by the grand prize-US experience that my cup runneth over at this point. It's part of my life-lesson of being thankful for what I've received instead of always looking toward the horizon for the next green pasture. (and hell, it's only taken me 36 years to figure that out).
In other Rock-Related news....I wrote a song today. And by 'wrote a song' I mean that I wrote lyrics and hear a loose tonal structure in my head of how it's supposed to go. This is the first song that I've written in months...hell, maybe a year or more.
Something really struck me when I was at Mark Hudson's master class in L.A. He talked about John Lennon and how someone asked him about the meanings of some of the phrases in his songs and he said quite possibly the most brilliant thing I've ever heard. He said 'I supply the metaphor. It's up to you to provide the meaning.'
And that's kind of what was in the back of my mind as I wrote the lyrics this morning. Like there's a few different ways it can be taken and if I can pull it off on tape, it'll be a neat entrance back into 'Todd the Lyricist.' At the very least, it's the re-opening of a creative outlet that I've largely ignored for quite some time.
So, yeah. Today's a good day.
I LOVE Beef-n-Noodles night. Whomever invented the CrockPot is getting HIGH praises from me right about now.
(see....I CAN write a post that doesn't involve the Rock and Roll Fantasy camp) :-)
OH! That reminds me-I got the M-Audio AV30 Studio monitors set up last night. They sound SWEET. I still haven't done anything with the mic or the FastTrack USB or the 3 sets o'loops that came with the kit (but since the monitors are $99 by themselves and I got the whole kit for $99 (marked down from the Christmas price of $249 (which was marked down from the MSRP of $549)--GuitarCenter was just trying to get rid of them...which hey-fine by me), to me the rest of that stuff is just gravy at this point). It's nice to finally have some powered reference monitors in the studio...it's almost like the big time! Pretty soon I won't have ANY excuses for not recording songs (either my own, or the kids). Speaking of that- I need to remember to get Ye Old Four-Track set up for Jenyfer. The thing's about 1 year older than her, but I think she's ready to start learning the joys of multi-track recording to a stack of TDK D-90's. And it's a beast of a machine. So, definitely a good starter four-track for her and her band.
Alright, I've fecked off enough. I need to get back to work.
But in going back and looking over the 'crummy' things that happened with the trip--in the grand scheme of things, they really weren't THAT horrible. But I finally figured out what bugged me so much about it all.
It wasn't the fairy-tale version of the story. See, here's how the fairy-tale version went down (in my mind):
I got the email from LiveNation telling me to call them. I called. They told me I won. At this point (in my head), it should have gone down like this....
I get flown in to Phoenix. The limo driver meets me at the airport and takes me to the hotel. When I get to the hotel, someone from the RRFC crew is either there to meet me or calls me when I land. They congratulate me for winning and tell me how great it is to have me on the tour. They take me out to dinner (or tell me to order room service-it's on them). And then they lay down the details of how the rest of the tour is going to go. Then they say that someone's gonna be there at 8:whatever O'Clock to take me over to the Phoenix camp. And here's my per-diem....here's a t-shirt (or 12)...and we'll have a meet and greet with the band sometime on the first day..put out a press release about the contest winner...blah blah. In short, I wanted to be treated like the fairy tale prince. And maybe that's my fault for expecting all of that (it probably is).
The reality was...I got the email telling me to call them (LiveNation). I called. They told me I won.I get flown in to Phoenix. The limo driver meets me at the airport and takes me to the hotel (which isn't even the one that the rock camp/rock stars are staying at). I get checked in. I wait. I don't hear from anyone. I don't have anyone's phone numbers. I wait. I call the office numbers I have and leave panicked voicemail messages. I get hungry. I order room service (because I'm in a strange city and don't know any details of what's going on). I go to bed. I wake up. I still don't hear from anyone. I finally track someone down at the studios where we're rehearsing. I hop a cab over there. I get a name tag and get my shite settled in the room we're rehearsing in. I get little acknowledgement about the contest at all (because everyone else there paid a lot of money for the camp). I have to make a pain in the ass of myself before someone finally acknowledges that I'm supposed to actually be on the tour for the rest of the way. And from there, it's OK. I rock with Dave and Gilby...we rock the Marquee. Get on the bus...rock Vegas...blah blah. The rest is history (and fairly well documented by this point).
So, I guess what I'm cheesed about is that I never felt like I was getting treated as a 'rock star.' And isn't that the effing point of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp? That for a day, we can be on the same playing fields as these Rock Gods? Am I missing something? I shouldn't have had to be a pain in the ass to anyone there. I shouldn't have had to feel like I have to apologize for every question I have just because I didn't pay $10,000 to be there. And I shouldn't have to feel like I couldn't fully enjoy being the prize winner because it might make someone else who paid the full price feel bad and take away from their experience. What about my experiences as their friggin' contest winner?
I have to say that part of me not being able to roll with the punches very well when I got there was the fact that I felt like ass. I was feverish and sick for most of the trip (thank god for Day Quil and 5 hr. Energy Shots). And I was a little bummed that in every city, other people on the bus had family and friends meeting them at the shows to watch them rock out. I really wanted my wife and kids to see me up there on stage(no offense, Chrissy and Don-I was very happy to see you guys in L.A., esp. knowing what a pain it was for you guys to get there, but it wasn't the same:-)).
And, if it were not for Dave Ellefson and Gilby Clarke being such outstanding counselors-and really effin' decent people (not to mention the vibe of that first band-thanks Nathan and Mike-you helped more than you'll ever know), I really would have been looking for a way home after that first morning, contest be damned. I cannot stress enough how much they really made me feel welcome that first day.THEY made me feel like I was in a band with them. And THEY made me feel like the RockStar.
But it had a happy ending. I wound up racking up more positives than negatives on the whole trip. There are things that happened that would have NEVER happened in my life otherwise....if I live to be 100, I'd have never been in a situation to hear Mark Slaughter and Mark Hudson swap Ozzy stories while Chris Slade hands out the beers.
I was just thinking this morning that 'you know...it really didn't play out like a movie would have played out....but it DID play out just like a reality TV series would.' So, if I wind up being the bitchy fat guy on the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp show that comes out this fall, we'll know what's up.
I guess I was just hoping for the Fairy-Tale version, not the Reality TV version. I'm sick of reality TV.
I'm not sure what's going to happen yet with the video clips I took. I'm not even sure I'm gonna make my little movie. Because, lets be honest...it's gonna be a lot of pix and me doing a voice-over where I'm basically re-hashing the same things I've posted about in these blogs as of late. And who's THAT going to be interesting to? Yeah. exactly.
Could be I'm just still tired and when I'm fully recovered, I'll have a different perspective. I do know this....that I do want to start writing songs again. Even if they're just for me. Plus it'll be good to have something to fall back on if this whole 'movie' thing goes south. :-) So, Darrin and Ian....ya'll might be getting that 'Rock Emergency' call sometime in the near future.
Peace, and Rock On!
The link is here.
The pix that are up there are more of the 'public-y' type ones (not so much the ones of the hotel rooms or $25 cheeseburgers or anything like that).
I know that I've got some folks reading the blog that are visiting from the Glenn Hughes fan forum (hi guys) and some folks from the RRFC that pop in from time to time.
I don't care if you use the pix for your own personal use, but I would ask that you drop me a line if you decide to post them on a website or in any printed publications. I'm not going to tell you 'no,' I just want to know where my photos wind up :-)
All photos were taken with the Panasonic FS2. I took the Fuji, but I didn't wind up taking too many shots with it. I was actually very pleased with the Panasonic. And I was pleased with how the prints turned out, too. I also was surprised at the video that it took. It took it as Quicktime MOV files (And they look to be really high quality...I have to remember that because it had a large file size).
And that's all the news that's fit to print right now.
They're gonna take care of it. So now I'm gonna wind up getting the Live Concert DVDs from each of the 4 cities I played at on the Rock Camp Tour (Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and L.A.).
To me this re-emphasizes the human element of the Rock Camp crew. Sure, I'm not your typical camper (in a lot of ways), and sure I won the contest. But instead of being pissy about it, they found a way to reach that middle ground that makes everyone happy.
I just hope Zak sends me word if there's a stack of stuff I was supposed to get on the tour that's just sitting in a pile with my name on it (I'm sure there's not, but maybe they can see their way to throwing in a few of the Rock Camp guitar picks in the box with the DVDs :-)
David, if you're keeping score, your crew did it again.
- 8min. Freeform blues jam in Phoenix with Gilby Clarke, Dave Ellefson, Nathan, and Mike, and me on Harmonica (I have video of this)
- Getting plugged in by the guitar techs (thanks Talo and Keenan!) whilst getting ready to rock (in 4 different cities)
- Experiencing Kip Winger playing 'Communication Breakdown" (he really pulled it off!...I have some video of this, too)
- Seeing Glenn Hughes (And the rest of the RockGod Counselors) performing "Smoke on the Water" (I have a few seconds of this)
- Playing "Sweet Child O Mine" with Gilby Clarke
- Playing the Joint in Vegas (Hard Rock)
- Elliot Easton's Master Class
- Chris Slade's Master Class
- Mark Hudson's Master Class
- Being interviewed for a talk radio show (don't know if it ever made it to air or not)
- Playing the Fillmore to a sold out crowd
- Listening to Mark Slaughter and Mark Hudson swap Ozzy stories
- Playing the House of Blues in LA (again, Sold Out, from what they tell us)
- ALMOST being interviewed for local (LA) media
- Meeting David Fishof
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