Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wild hair scratching

Well, I scratched that wild hair over the weekend. I bought a vintage 1971 BSA Thunderbolt motorcycle. It's an awesome bike, and I plan on restoring it to mint condition slowly. Right now, I'm putting new tires, a battery, a chain and all the things necessary to make it road-worthy. It's a beautiful bike. I drove down to Merritt Island, FL to pick it up over the weekend. It was a long drive (and the subject of countless stories to come). Sixteen hours one-way, only to wait an hour and travel home. I left Friday night around 6 p.m. and stopped in Dalton, GA around 1 a.m. I slept a total of 4 hours, then got on the road again. I arrived at the seller's house around 4 p.m. Saturday and waited about an hour for him to get off work. Around 6 p.m., I was on the road again with the bike in the back of the soon-to-be-ex's truck (a story there, as well - she's currently accusing me of "stealing" her truck, never mind that I asked her to use it and she said "yes"). Anyway, I stopped for the night around midnight, then got up at 5 a.m. and started the trek toward home. I was making damned good time until, just outside of Nashville, I hit a traffic jam. Two hours later, I made it out of the traffic jam and was on the road again. I arrived back in Carbondale around 5:30 p.m., tired as hell. But, it was worth it. Just look at the bike. She's a relic from a better, lost time....just like her new owner.

Hopefully, I'll be riding her soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

All dead, all dead...an homage to two lost rock soldiers

Right this moment, I'm listening to a scarce recording of the now-deceased Brad Delp. What a great voice! The average person doesn't know the name, but the DAMNED SURE know the voice!!!! He was one of the best vocalists of the 70's. He sang so many classic songs - "More than a feeling," "Long Time", "man I used to be," "Amanda", etc..... The list goes on and on. Of course, Brad Delp was the lead singer of Boston, the band. Their first album went multi-platinum, as did the follow-up. It's a shame Tom Scholtz didn't pursue the band further after that. It's a shame Delp didn't have an awesome solo career with many, many hits. He did do the Barry Goudreau solo album (Goudreau was the "other" guitarist in Boston, and his solo album is, in my opinion, the unofficial 3rd Boston album) which yield a moderate AOR hit, "Dreams". Close to a decade later, Goudreau and Delp form a new band (probably tired of waiting on Tom Scholz to record a new "Boston" album, I reckon) called "RTZ" or "Return to Zero." That album yielded yet another mild AOR hit, "Face the Music". Great song, great album....I highly recommend hunting down a copy.

Anyway, Delp's voice was awesome. If there was any justice in the world, he died a millionaire. I doubt justice was served.

Another recent death that bothered me was Billy Thorpe. Unlike Delp, most Americans have probably never heard Thorpe's voice. He was, however, huge in his native Australia, and he had a couple small hits in America with the classic sci-fi songs, "Children of the Sun" and "East of Eden's Gate". Some people might even remember a song about getting laid called "In My Room."

Both men died within a week of the other. Sadly, you didn't hear it on CNN, people didn't have midnight vigils for them...but I hope they died happy.

They deserve that much for making so many happy with their music.

R.I.P. Brad Delp and Billy Thorpe...that Rock n' Roll Heaven band just gained two awesome members.

More thoughts on Captain America and the American Way

I've been pondering the death of Captain America. It's something that hasn't left my mind over the past few days. Of course, there are those of you out there who'll say: "He's just a fictional character, get over it!" Of course, you're right. Sort of. He is a fictional character, but he also represented something that is, sadly, fading from our world - decency.

Recently, I bought the new John (Cougar) Mellencamp album, "Freedom's Road". It's good stuff, and typical Mellencamp small-townism. I recommend the album highly. There's a line in one of the songs that goes: "I like my heroes to be honest and brave..." Well, Captain America was all that. Also recently, I was talking to a local comic book dealer about the latest Superman movie and its impact on the comic business. He said it didn't have much impact at all because Superman is too "nice" a superhero. People today want "edgy" superheroes. Marvel comics, on that note, is talking about bringing out an "edgier" Captain America, sort like what they did with Batman a few years ago when Bane broke the Caped Crusader's back. A superhero named Azarael stepped in until Bruce Wayne could get back up to snuff. Needless to say, Azarael was meaner and more brutal that Batman and, thankfully, Batman fans said "Hell no."

Let's hope the same is true with Captain America.

I hope so. He was the quintessential America....brave and strong and Patriotic in the "real" sense of the word. Let's not pervert his legacy by making him vicious.

There's enough of that out there in the world already.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Is Nothing Sacred?

Back in the late 60's/early 70's, when I was a wee lad, my favorite comic book character wasn't Batman or Superman.....it was Captain America. I loved Cap when he ran with The Falcon, and bought every issue (a small feat....considering how dirt poor we were). Captain America was my hero. Occasionally, over the past three decades, I've revisited ol' Cap and read an adventure or two, but life took me in directions where comic books didn't follow. It was so much easier to buy comics when they were in Garwood's storefront window, tempting me to purchase them. A supermarket rack isn't nearly as enticing.

I found out today (I've been pretty busy lately) that Captain America was killed by a sniper in the latest issue of the comic. I've had a hard time of things lately, but this was a gut-shot I didn't need. It seems nothing is sacred these days, my friends. This makes me very sad.


Saturday, March 3, 2007


Good evening. I figured I'd best put up a new blog entry, considering it's been over a week already since the last one. Time just seems to get away from me these days. Too much to do and too little time to do it. We're in the final preparation stages of Lawrence Santoro's book, JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE, and I'll be sending it off to the printer on Wednesday of this week at the latest. I still haven't printed TALES FROM THE CELLAR. I was having some trouble with the polyester plates I bought and got new ones. Hopefully, that'll solve the problem and I start printing that little puppy tomorrow. Brad Moore, www.inthehouseofthedrawingmaster.com did the cover and, once again, he did a wonderful job. Brad's a Carbondale artist whose work is known internationally. He's also a friend.

Just wanted to keep you up to date. I'll report more when there's more to report.