Category Archives: Music & Entertainment

Guns in America

I started putting this music video together and it became disturbing. Looking all these murderers in the face, editing there expressions. But even though this project gave me the creeps I felt it was important. In light of all the gun violence currently going on in America, people need to stand up and demand better gun control.

So why does someone need to carry around a loaded, concealed weapon? Is it there god given right?

The only reason to carry a loaded gun is to shoot, and possibly kill someone.
And I don’t think God wanted people to take matters in there own hands…

We need to learn from all this violence that guns have a place in society, but not on the chest of anyone who wants one.

That’s my opinion.. Give peace a chance.

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Music & Entertainment


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Van Halen….Divide and Conquer

Diver Down

Van Halen is back and, some would say, better than ever. They have rejuvenated a dead hard rock scene…pumped life into a morbid tour circuit and given me and many millions of others hope that rock and roll will not die…nor fade away.

Gone are the days when relevant rock and roll bands would visit your hometown in a monthly procession. This week Ozzy, next week BOC, next month Iron Maiden!!!!!! It used to be that way. Now all the bands sound the same, and have about as much energy as a new episode of Glee! I love American Idol, but is it a good thing they are suggesting one contestant could be the next Justin Beiber??? Do we need that? No, we do not. We also need no more rock bands who viciously bang there heads while playing music fit for the daily elevator ride to your cubicle!! But if Van Halen is poised to save rock and roll and inspire a new generation of rockers, did it have a hand in the current downturn and are they cleaning up a mess they helped create, so to speak?

The Van Hagar Legacy

Overtime I became a Van Hagar fan. During the late 80’s till mid 90’s he was a good fit. Van Halen went from raw dream metal to polished hit song writers. Hagar had the pipes to hang with Eddie….if not the song writting creativity, even so, all us fans still clamored for the day Diamond Dave would return. That would be the day VH would start playing the songs it left behind…and the energy would return.

I browsed through the Van Hagar albums the other night, and to my surprise I found that although it was good music it didnt do it for me anymore. What it had in polish and pop, it lacked in energy and fun. Van Halen was a super pop band at that time and Hagars clean powerful lyrics hit the spot, but left one feeling empty and looking for more. So it may be that Van Halen helped commercialize hard rock.

We must sell our souls to save rock and roll

Now it is up to a group of 50 year old men to save rock and roll from the tasteless misery it has become. A sludge of formula driven bands with no messages and good haircuts. Young rockers should watch Van Halen kick ass across America and then the World…they should learn from them because VH did it there way, they took risks. That’s what being a true artist is. Stand up for something and be yourself. The formula does not work anymore. Rock and roll is not about playing it safe and being part of the crowd, that is pop music. Rock and roll is about breaking the rules, and having attitude and the goods to back it up. It is time to save rock and roll and fuck the formula. Van Halen will lead the way…..please stand up!

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Music & Entertainment


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Top Kat: new video with old twist

Ok, I made a music video about my cat….but the song was originally written by Crash Palace way back in 1989…Chris Hickman wrote the words. I changed it quite a bit, but the inspiration was from my past….hope you enjoy it, and hope it makes you smile!


Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Music & Entertainment


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Van Halen is back; old but as bad as ever!

I have not kept up with the news of VH. So many disappointments over the years. I actually stumbled on their new video, was stunned they played at Cafe Wha?, and couldn’t believe they have a new album on the way.

As I wrote about in an earlier blog, VH was my favorite band growing up, they where bigger than life. They was the end all in hard rock….but they ended…so to speak

But now they are back…and who was I to doubt how good they could be. There new song “Tattoo” shows that they are still the best in the biz. It is a great song, and the video is great as well. What makes this song so good is the pre-chorus, one of the best I have ever heard…

Whats more the dynamic duo of Eddie Van Halen and Diamond Dave is back together….it’s like a high powered version of Mick and Keith…’s good to have them back!

Last thing, sorry to Sammy, I liked you in the band, but you aint no Diamond Dave…..

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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Music & Entertainment


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Crash Palace tribute Rock Video

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Music & Entertainment, Uncategorized


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Music & Lyrics…Hugh Grant I am not…

I recently started playing the drums again…while doing this I have become obsessed with Apple Garage Band. My own home studio!

This is my first attempt at a Music Video. With a little help from Garage Band, I added my drums, lyrics and photographs…OK, I am no Bob Marley or John Lennon, or even Hugh Grant from Music & Lyrics, but it is fun!

The montage is from Jakarta and Yogjakarta..Enjoy


Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Music & Entertainment


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Iron Maiden, an old friend in a new place!

Maiden looking over Jakarta

I was walking the narrow, busy streets of Kemang South Jakarta a few days after our arrival. My main concern was for our personal safety: motorbikes whizzed close by, Bajaj’s puttered smoke in our face, foul smelling puddles awaited my footsteps. Jakarta is an amazing place, never boring, never asleep and full of surprises, and in this Brave New World …to my surprise, I found an old friend.

A Bajaj in Kemang

I couldn’t believe it….Iron Maiden in Jakarta!

It was like I ran into one of my old best buds on those crazy narrow streets. It was very comforting. My wife asked me if I wanted to go to the concert. Well, hell ya! It would be my 3rd Iron Maiden Show. But I didn’t know anyone who would go with me, and I really am not comfortable getting around this huge city yet. I have been a Maiden fan since junior high school. I am amazed that they are still one of the top touring rock bands in the world. I also am amazed that they are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!! A true crime!

Maiden on Kemang street corner

In 1983, my obsession with Iron Maiden started with the video “Flight of Icarus” off the album Piece of Mind. My friend Franky had seen them a year before when they were touring with Judas Priest. Franky told me they were the shit, and now I was a believer. Flight of Icarus was the first song in my life I couldn’t get enough of. I bought the album and fully immersed myself in Maiden. Iron F@#*ing Maiden!

That August my best bud Doug and I got tickets to see Maiden at the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. We met our other best bud Big Steve at the show. The Civic Center has one big open floor with bleachers in the back. Iron Maiden was probably one of the biggest shows that venue would ever host. The place was alive with electricity and busting at the seems. Amazingly, that night they had folding chairs set up on the floor. This would soon turn out to be a big mistake, as me, Big Steve, Doug and 5000 other fans would make sure of!

Big Steve was big, 6 foot 6 at age 15. So to make a long story short, Big Steve had a better view than everyone else. No worries, we all stood up as Maiden came on stage. Soon, people started to stand on the seats of the folding chairs…Big Steve was the last up. But that wasn’t good enough, next thing you know, people are straddling the tops of the chairs, one foot on the top of the backrest below and the other on the one behind. We actually had to hold each other up. As the band rocked the audience swayed and everyone went with the flow, screaming, head banging, all the time surfing 5 feet above the ground on the tip top of those cheap folding chairs. Every so often someone would fall off and take a tumble to the ground, quickly recover and get hoisted back up again…rock on! Needless to say it was one of the best Rock Concerts I had ever seen, and I have seen a few!

1983 Iron Maiden Tour

Big Steve, Doug and I where hooked. We decided to go see Maiden a month later at Madison Square Garden in NYC. I called my Mother and she picked up tickets for us (yes, that’s how I rolled back then, before the internet). We bought beer, had a great time, and went to the show. The funny thing is, Maiden’s Stage looked small in the cavernous Garden, even though it had seemed so massive back in Poughkeepsie. Fact of the matter is, Maiden was not yet the giant band they were to become. The show was good, but not great. Apparently we had witnessed something special back in August at the Civic Center. Something I will never forget.

That is why Iron Maiden made me feel more at home in Jakarta, some old friends made sure I didn’t feel like a ….Stranger in a Strange land.



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On the Road with Van Halen…I mean Crash Palace!

Crash Palace 1989: Me, Porto, Doug and T Hall

My buddies and I formed the Hard Rock band Crash Palace in 1985. We thought we would be the next Van Halen. So, just like Van Halen we tossed out our best friend and lead Singer: Stickman.

The three of us told ourselves it was for the best. The need was for a more seasoned, mature front-man. T Hall was the man. He was older than us, and was a more polished singer than Stickman. T Hall told us he was 27, but one day when Porto and I used his ID to buy beer, we noticed he was actually 34.

At first, things went well. We played all the local dives. Trashed dressing rooms… and coined ourselves “The most Destructive Band in the Hudson Valley

Our next step was into the studio to record such future hits as “Not You”, “Under a Cloud” and “TT One”.

We soon became bored with our hometown…the thought was of relocating the band to NYC…But T Hall had another idea: Daytona Beach Florida. He pulled out a map and showed us where we were going. We all agreed. T Hall was very persuasive.

The Band loaded into T Hall’s Chevy van, equipment and all, and hit the road for Florida. The van became our mobile home; littered with girlie mags and billowing smoke. We left our former lives behind and headed off onto Route 95 for fame and debauchery.

We arrived at Daytona Beach for Spring Break 1990. The first order of business was to drive the van on the beach….it was heaven. Girls in G-strings, party people everywhere. This was it. All we needed was a place to crash and an endless string of Gigs!

As far as partying went, success was achieved. We rented an old dilapidated mansion, and made quick friends, partied all night and had a blast!

But T Hall hadn’t done his homework.

Crash Palace was an all original band, with a couple of cover songs thrown in for good measure. Our set list gave us about an hour of material…2 hrs at best if stretched out. The club circuit in Florida was based on full-blown cover bands. They would play 3-hour long sets, for a whole week at a club. Apparently Crash Palace didn’t fit the Florida mold.

PJ‘s was our local club of choice. Different bands passed through every week. Some good, some bad, some really good, some really bad! They were all pretty much “over the top” hair metal glam-bands; spinning out the hits of the day. Poison meets Twisted Sister meets Whitesnake. You get the point.

At that time PJ’s would not book us because of our lack of cover material. So our plan of attack was to ask/beg the current house band if we could sit in on their equipment during a break. Most bands agreed, others looked at us like we were crazy.

Up on stage we let it really rip. Pent up energy and booze fueled our aggressiveness. Most of the time we had to be pulled off by a less than amused and angry band. But, PJ’s was impressed by our show, and offered us a gig of our own in the near future!

We started rehearsing in earnest, learning cover songs to go along with our act. Not the cheesy songs everyone else was playing, but stuff from Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Guns & Roses etc…We were ready to Rock!

Van Halen 1980...our Role Models (via google)

The day before our “Gig”, T Hall came down with some sort of liquor induced sinus infection. The gig was off. We were done, soon back on Route 95 traveling north to New York, cold, and winter. Crash Palace was never to perform live again. Doug and Porto went on to a new band and I went back to college. T Hall was never heard from again…now it’s all just memories. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Music & Entertainment


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No Ring for the Jets….Rex Ryan’s Fault!

The Pittsburgh Steelers five Super Bowl rings

Image via Wikipedia

No Rings for the Jets

Ok, so the jets went down for the second year in a row…One game from the Super Bowl. This one I rest the blame on Rex Ryan. I think he is a good coach, but giving the ball to the Steelers to start the game was a mistake! The Steelers rammed the ball down the Jets throat, and it gave a vote of no confidance to the offense. It also set the tone for the rest of the game. Rex needs to get his offense to the point that they can win a game if needed…….and now I eat crow!

Lets hope the Jets make the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969, when Joe Namath…”Broadway Joe”, famously guaranteed victory. OK, Mark Sanchez is no Broadway Joe….But this team is good, and who wants to see Big Ben the womanizer get to another Super Bowl…..With that said….

Lets Go Jets!

If the Jets lose this blog will be terminated on Monday…………

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Music & Entertainment


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Vin Diesel…and other stories of NY train travel in the 70’s

Grand Central terminal in New York, NY

Image via Wikipedia

My parents were separated early in my life, so every weekend found my sisters and I shuttling between NYC and Cold Spring NY via the Metro North Railroad. For those of you familiar with the mostly clean, efficient Metro North of today, nothing could be further from the case back in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Known in those days as Conrail, it was a mismatched fleet of old dusty rail cars pulled along by giant diesel belching locomotives. Many of the rail cars were hold overs from the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was not uncommon to find commuters sprawled out on large lounge chairs, drinking whiskey, smoking cigars and playing poker…..all the while cruising down the coast of the Hudson River. Other cars you stumbled into would be bright, clean and packed with wives and mothers going to Sing Sing to visit there troubled loved ones….

The trains where never on time, and if we were lucky, my mother would get us to Grand Central Terminal just in time to sprint down the platform and jump on to the 7:50, at 8:05pm!

Announcements on the trains where careless and sporadic at best…..but to this day the thought of the conductor yelling out “Cold Spring! next station stop is Cold Spring!” brings me back to those bygone days.

Stepping onto a Conrail or Metro North train back then was like stepping into a time machine….it was pretty awesome, if not damn near scary…..


(photo via Penn Central Online)

I would bring friends from the city up to my Dads for some cool suburban fun. Mark Vincent aka Vin Diesel, came up a few times. Back then Mark (or Vin?) was a skinny guy who ate like crazy, including one night when he ate about 12 taco’s my Dad had made…and then we were off to Friendly’s Fishkill for the “Giant Sundae”…..which was a big as a fish bowl!

One very scary situation happend on a snowy night when my sister and I were exiting the train in Cold Spring. Once again the lack of proper communication came into play. She stepped out on the wrong side of the train directly into the path of another oncoming train! The train whistle blew, but my sister was stunned and caught in the oncoming lights. I yelled out to her, and finally she came to and jumped back into the train. Disaster averted. No conducter to be seen…..or heard from.

Another thing about that time period was the condition of Grand Central Terminal. It was dark, dirty, dangerous, and full of gaudy advertising. You would not dare use the restrooms without risking picking up some disease. Restaraunts? Forget about it…although the Oyster Bar was always around. Nowadays, if you look up at the ceiling in the main hall you can see a small square spot that was left uncleaned by the renovation. This mark is to let people know just how dirty the station use to be.

(photo via rogerand frances)

Those days are now long forgotten. Grand Central Terminal was renovated and transformed into one of the stellar land marks of New York City. Conrail gave way to Metro North…..the fleet was modernized and timetables are now strictly adhered to. Progress is good, but in some ways I miss those old “funky” days….It was a transitional time, the day of pay phones and subway tokens. I just feel fortunate to have been there to have a glimpse into the past every time I stepped onto one of those dusty old trains.


Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Music & Entertainment


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