Wednesday, November 30, 2005


A's to the Q's

Hey...a reprint of the interview I did with Jen at



Saturday, November 26, 2005


big changes around here anyone can comment...the reason you couldn't before? well, because i didn't know that i was in charge of that, or i would have let you all comment long's staggering how little i know.

turkey day was a fun wedding (hey Michelle & Ben!--thanks)...

day after turkey (or tofurky round here) was spent at G's folks....

what else? oh, the Danbury Shake have a site:

and will soon have mp3's up...

and are playing this Fri at J. King Netune's in Sunset Beach (see earlier post)...cheers


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


guitar porn tuesday...err...wednesday

Well, it's a day late...but it's my first guest gear...this time from Lee, who's a member of a Magnatone Amp group i belong to on yahoo...without further's his review of his Lyric 660 (which is like a Magnatone 260...)...Thanks, Lee:

Lyric Custom 660; Lyric Electronics;
Los Angeles, CA

Tube compliment:
3 - 12AX7
2 - 6CG7 (vibrato)
2 - 6L6GC
1 - 5U4GB

2 - Jensen Special Design (we are sure these are replacements for the original Oxfords) Frame codes: 220610 C12-R C8108

Control layout:
Channel 1- Treble/Bass/Loudness; mellow/normal switch; High gain input/low gain input
Channel 2- High gain input/Low gain input; normal/Bright switch; Loudness/Treble/Bass

Super Vibrato
Intensity control;
Speed control;
Foot switch jack;
Remote speaker jack

Anti-Hum (polarity) switch;
Standby-on/off switch;
Power on/off switch;
3 amp slo-blo fuse;
power lamp

I have photos in the photos section on the home site-(Labeled "Lyric Custom 660").

She sounds really great. JD (JD is John Davidson, who is one of the 2 techs who work on all of my amps. (JD is in San Antonio; the other is Terry Dobbs in Columbus, IN-Both are true Point-to-point, hand-wired, tube amp Wizards) tried her out with some Oxford speakers & raved about the way they sounded. If the sound was better than it is now, I am not sure I could handle it. The sound is nice & clean up to 50%, but after that she starts to really strut her JD says, "...Tone to the bone!". Channel 2 (non-vibrato channel) is a little brighter & louder than #1.

The vibrato is "Wunderbar!!!!"...most excellent!!! Really makes my guitars sound out of tune (due to the pitch shifting properties of the vibrato...LOL). I have plugged in one of my OE30 (335 style Washburn/Oscar Schmidt-Washburn 421/423 HB pickups), my '74 Strat & my Kent 821 - 12 string into it & they all sounded tremendous. The 50+ year old P-90's in my '53 Gold Top sound like they were made for each other.

As far as overall volume, it ain't a Twin Reverb (even a Pro), but it ought to be big enough for most clubs-especially with a good extension speaker cabinet. The 260/260A are both supposed to be rated @ 35 watts, so my guess is this is about the same.

I am very happy with the new addition to my "family".


Sunday, November 20, 2005


shh...we're recording

Hey's some pics from the newest project...a slow-developing, yet much talked about (between its participants, ant any rate) instrumental cd that i'm doing with Mark Andrea (of don't mean maybe and slight pieces fame)...recording two pieces today, to then send to Mark for overdubs...(and he's going to send some to me for overdubs and overflubs...a modern tech way o' workin) titled "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" and one, as yet, untitled...stay tuned for MP3's and details on where/how to order...

equipment notes, for gear geeks like '69 beat-to-shit Fender Telecaster (the only piece of gear i didn't pawn or sell for beer/drug money back in the bad old days) and my equally beat to shit, risen from the grave of amp death, PAC-AMP (i.e., a Magnatone 260)...w alking zombie of an amp...and an awesome sounding one...i should be playing it live on the 2nd (see earlier blog entry) with The Danbury Shakes, if you want to get up close and personal with the true tube vibrato glory of the Pac-Amp. Cheers


Saturday, November 19, 2005


sometimes guitar porn comes early!

i kind of hate folk art...i see it on the antiques roadshow and it, in general, looks like someone's crazy uncled painted something while wearing mittens and now it's worth a ton...HOWEVER,

this is a beauty...wish i could afford it (it's on ebay now)...but there's too many git fiddles around here as it is...

what is it? an early 60's Harmony Stratotone (AKA "The Other Strat")...great DeArmond pickups...killer tone...the ones with the block inlay necks sound and feel great...

they don't all look quite this cool, though...the link is below in case anyone wants to get me an X-mas present :)

Friday, November 18, 2005


The Danbury Shakes are playing!

Come see The Danbury Shakes in their very first performance...The Shakes are rob, gayle and steve...a 3 piece with a fuzzy, melodic garage Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Wilco and Pavement got together, and started playing really small places that didn't pay very well...with teh Santiago Steps and The Joshua Lanes...evening starts at 8PM...

12.2.05 (Friday)
j. king neptune's

17115 PCH in sunset beach (562.592.4878)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


car still so-so

Sorry for a lack of posts...not that anyone probably cares...but my car is back and forth to Mr. Lee's shop...argh. The fucking thing is only half-fixed, so i had a traumatic drive to work and home yesterday with no rear-view...lots of blinking lights and a borrowed jump-start charger that the mechanic loaned me (not a confidence-builder).

Stay tuned :)


Saturday, November 12, 2005


welcome to the neighborhood

some fuckers tried to steal my car last night...couldn't do it, so they left it in the alley (they rolled it back) after having ripped up the interior, tearing all my wiring harnesses, and smashing my cds...

so, for those keeping score, and if you're yardsaling today, I need:

"England's Newest Hitmakers"
The Autumn Defense's last Album
Dianosaur Jr's "You're Living All Over Me"
"Double Nickles on the Dime" (THEY STOLE MY MINUTEMEN!!!)

and a rear view mirror and a surf/beach parking pass (the bastards).

and how do i stop this blinking 'check engine' light?

Friday, November 11, 2005


yet another interview

my buddy Dave interviewed me over a series of weeks (one Q a day for a while), and was nice enough to send me the, for anyone who's interested...(PS...any errors are mine...spelling, and sooooo on)

Q: How many hours a week do you write? How many hours a week would you like to write? (a two-part question)

A: Depends on the week...can be as many as 50+ in a week, if i'm going

really well...and it can be zero...if i'm between things, if i'm busy with

work, or whatever... How many would i like to write: Hmmm. Tough one. Probably about as much as i do...though if i could work a little less, i would write more...or record more music...but i seem to get about a book a year done and that

seems to be pretty good...don't know if i could do it faster if i had more


Q: You said work keeps you from writing now. Do you consider being a novelist a job?

A: yes, being a novelist is a career, if not a job...most writers i know have

at least 2 careers...the writing and what pays for the time to write, if

that makes sense...

Q: Have you ever or do you now solely value lived experience as fodder for your writing?

A: nope, i value life for life and if i can use it for matereial, so much

the better...but i don't plan, say, to take out my own appendix so that i

can write about it...

Q: What changed the intensity of your focus and drive from your twenties

to your thirties (if it changed at all)?

A: intensity of focus from 20's to 30's is easy...quit drinking when i was 27

Q: Was there ever any point at which you wanted to quit writing?

A: seems to be something i do...

Q: When you begin putting together a story, how does it usually evolve

(e.g. from a single line, an outline, a character sketch)?

A: Usually from a sentence...which gives me a voice...which gets me thinking about who this person speaking might be...voice is everything to me...

Q: As the single line progresses into a voice, then into a character, do the

tools you use progress as well (meaning, do you move from the couch

to your desk, from a notepad to the computer)?

A: you're not bored with my stupid answers yet? i feel like i should be more

exciting...:) pretty much always write on a computer...BUT, before (and during) then...i write on notebooks...also, the insides of books (almost all of my paperbacks have the beginnings of stories on the front and back inside covers...)...napkins and such...i put all of the scrambled notes into a

drawer in my writing desk and every once in a while look through them for

ideas for what i'm working on.

Q: I remember the way your office was set up with your desk on one side of the room and your wife's on the other. Does this encourage a support system you guys have going? Who helps you through the hard times?

A: Gayle is my person i lean on in all things writing and otherwise...and i have a good circle of friends...

Q: Do you have somewhere you go or something you do when you want to empty your mind?

A: re: somewhere to go...i like going surfing or out to the desert to clear my

head...reading is always good...and i restore vintage tube amps, which is a great different way to think for me...can get lost for hours doing it...also, playing guitar...which i do a couple of hours every day...

Q: Do you contribute any sort of diet to your success--keeping your energy level high and head focused (e.g. I once read that Alice Sebold couldn't have written her novel without tapioca and coffee)?

A: diet? hmmm...i don't eat much during the day...or when i write...used to

smoke, but not .that's about it :)

Q: What role does your family play in your writing life (motivational, distraction, pain)?

A: folks are very general...nice, crazy folks...they let me kind of go my own path, so i've been lucky.

Q: You said you begin with voice. Do all your characters originate from voice or only your narrators?

A: The narrative voice, i think...the other characters sort of establish themselves...i had ideas, for instance, about this one character in the new book i just finished, and about 20 pages after he entered, i realized he was a totally different guy than i at first, i went back...if i allow them to talk to each other, i find stuff out...learning to listen to the words, as it were...

Q: As you've gotten better at listening to the words, do you make your editorial decisions on instinct? Or is listening more cultivating than just figuring out what to cut and revamp?

A: I think i've gotten better...but it's one of those lessons you (or i, at any rate) have to keep re-learning...the early drafts are always pretty bad...lots of fits and starts and cruddy writing...

Q: Do you ever listen to music when you write? Is there anything you've

learned as a musician that you've transported to writing?

A: always, pretty much, listen to music when i write...frequently what i'm listening to turns into what the character is listening to in the scene i'm, there's a clue for people who want to know what i listened to during More Than They Could listening...the music helps me enter that zen-space i need when i'm writing where i get very focused and tune out the rest of the world.... re: what playing music has taught me? hmmm...good one...i'd say, Listen and Don't Show Off. You are a tool, at service to a bigger whole (whether it be the song or the story...your job is to make it better, not show off how good you are...)...

Q: What about jobs?

A: wow...tons of shit jobs...lot of food and industrial painter...labor pool/day labor...a lot of dull jobs...copy cops in boston...they influenced my writing in that i got to meet a wide variety of folks...and i got a sense of what people have to do for money...which is important to me in my stories...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Sea Foam Green Guitar Porn...for Russ

Hey this, maybe?



Tuesday Guitar Porn

For today's entry, we take you in the way back machine to 1962...oh, sure, some minor shit went down...Gary Powers and his U2...Cuban missle crisis...the Celtics won another championship, while Wilt averaged 50 points a game...Gayle's uncle Buddy was boring someone, somewhere (it's a solid bet)...but, the truly important event was the introduction to the world to the futuristic greatness of:


which is actually just fiberglass, but that doesn't sound nearly as cool as "Resolglass," now does it. Check this one out:

1962 National (Made by Valco, in Chicago) "Map Shape" short scale Pocket Bass. Gumby headstock...klutson tuners...

how short is short-scale? Try 25 7/8"...almost guitar scale...

two great Valco single coil, one under the knob for volume, one as a pickup blender switch...

How does it play/sound? Amazing...the pocket basses are one of the great secrets on the vintage guitar/bass market...light, great tone, stays in tune...a wild instrument...

anyone want in on Guitar Porn? Send me an email at

with pic and a short description of your'll be fun...oddball instruments most welcome...

Monday, November 07, 2005


Dear Mr. Teriyaki

well, it's at Lee's Blog:

and Tod's Blog:

And all I can say is i was there and i wouldn't have believed it...but i heard odd, racist, stupid speech by Dean Koontz...these blogs give you the background...but it was truly a fucking time machine...

in any case, the Men of Mystery thing was really cool otherwise, and an event worth supporting. Mr. Koontz, on the other

Friday, November 04, 2005


guitar porn...the late edition (II)

hey folks...sorry...been tired and down and late and behind and, well, shit, guitar porn slipped through the, here is a link to a great piece by Michael Wright (aka The Different Strummer) on 'Domino' guitars from the '60's.

working ona new story (hadn't written a story in almost a year while working on the newest novel) seems i have forgotten how to write...bah

HEY...for those with nothing to do (and even those with something to do), Mr. Mike Watt is playing 2, count 'em 2 gigs tonight, one in our fair city of the LBC...check it out:

from Watt's annoucement:

again, on:

friday, november 4

at 9 pm:

_mike watt + the secondmen_

featuring the original secondmen
(pete mazich and jerry trebotic)
in a benefit for the san pedro skate park association
at la zona rosa #2
1331 s. pacific av.
san pedro, ca
(310) 547-4423

and at 11 pm:


helping some p.f.p. friends
(stephen perkins and peter distefano)
in a cranking raunch coltrane take
on a stooges point of view!
at di piazza's
5205 e. pacific coast highway
long beach, ca
(562) 498-2461

Tuesday, November 01, 2005



oh, sure...i've done some cool stuff...bands, books, starting a press that lost only a little money...a record label that actually made about 10 bucks so far...but my proudest moment may be contributing to the birth of "Jews Eating Pork."

Yes. I was there. In the beginning.

Pride. That's what I'm feeling.


Gummi Bear Porn!

Too cool...many thanks to the super cool Kathy Talley-Jones for finding this...

since i have the most pornographic (i think, anyway) sex scene with gummi bears, you knew i had to love this :) scroll down...see the porno bears on the right...lovin their poly selves...,dozen,67695,22.html

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