Tag Archives: Bad Seeds TeeVee

It Can’t Possibly Be All The Booze…

I used to love to drink and drinking used to love me — until I was about 42, or something like that. I don’t know. Somewhere around there, it stopped being fun.

Still, it doesn’t account for something astounding that I discovered yesterday. Because back in NYC when I was a songwriter — I never drank while writing. Nor did I ever do any drugs. I didn’t even smoke. I never wanted anything besides maybe caffeine to assist my brain while I was writing.

Although I’ve always kind of secretly wished I could be like Kerouac, or Philip K. Dick, or Stephen King in the early days, and just get really fucked up and see what came out. Take a bunch of speed and just start churning it, you know? However, I was never like that. Even though I did at times do a ton of speed and a ton of drinking when not writing.

Anyway. I was fooling around with my guitar yesterday afternoon and I couldn’t remember the chords to a song I’d written back in 1984 — a song that I played live for years. I was drawing a complete blank.

So I went to the storage closet and found the files that had all my old songs in them. And it was such a weird thing: there were quite a number of songs in there from the later days of my songwriting that I had no memory of whatsoever. And according to all the set lists I had stuffed in the files, too, I played those songs live a lot.

I even looked at the bottoms of the lyrics pages to see if maybe they were covers of someone else’s songs, but they all had my copyrights on them. Clearly, I’d written them.

It felt so fucking strange. And reading over the lyrics — they were good songs. Although they looked like they leaned more towards country than folk, but still good lyrics. And yet I had no clue what the melodies were that went along with them. It was like I’d never seen those songs before in my life. And yet there were lead sheets printed up and stored in there and everything.

It turns out that every song I ever wrote from 1974 (!!!!!) until 1994 — when I finally stopped the songwriting and focused on fiction writing exclusively — are in those files. There are songs in there from the early 80s that I never actually performed because I didn’t think they were very good — those songs I still remember perfectly — melodies and lyrics. I remember them; I just never really liked them. So the fact that a bunch of songs that I thought were good enough to perform (all the time) in the early 1990s– and I don’t remember them at all?

It felt like maybe somewhere in there, I became another person. You know? Like I split off into some other probable reality. Something like that. I’m serious. It really felt like that. What woman who had my name wrote and sang those songs?

All the songs –except for one — that I wrote between 1970 and 1973 are gone forever because I lost that notebook somewhere after moving to NYC in 1980.  The one song that I still have from 1970 (yes, from when I was 10), I still have only because it was actually used in a short film that my Girl Scout troop made about air pollution for a huge conference on the environment that was held in downtown Cleveland that year. And the lyrics were also printed in the school bulletin, which my parents kept and then gave to me years later. (It’s a rather political song, as perhaps you can guess, since it was about the environment. Cleveland had horrific problems with pollution. We had steel mills and the auto industry back then. Cleveland is also notorious for having had an actual river that was so polluted it caught on fire — yes, a river that caught on fire.)

Help light Ignite, a celebration of the 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire ...
Cuyahoga River on fire in Cleveland, 1969

So that one song survives. And I don’t think I really need to see all the many songs I wrote from when I was 10 until I was 12 that are lost now. It would be cool, I guess. But I don’t really need to ever see them again.

That said, though, the songs I looked at yesterday from 1974 — when I was still only 13 — were interesting enough, thank you. Jesus. And then I found songs in there from 1975 — when I was in the mental hospital for 5 months.  That’s when I closed the files and walked away.

Until yesterday, I had no clue any of those really old songs were in there. I’d thought that anything before 1981 was lost for all time. I glanced quickly through the old songs but I didn’t have the stomach to actually read them — especially those ones written in the mental hospital. I was only looking for chords for that one specific song from 1984, anyway — which I never did find. Although I found the original lyrics, which look like this:

Song in progress, 1984. NYC. I even made a note there that my grandfather was in the hospital back home in Ohio and that a cousin was having another baby. Knowing me, I probably wrote letters to them. I was always a big letter-writer (still am), even though almost no one ever wrote me back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So yesterday was really very interesting. I will probably look over those files again today, because I know the chords to that song must be in there somewhere. And I think I might force myself to read over some of those lyrics from over 40 years ago. Plus, I even found the lyrics to 3 songs that Peitor and I wrote together back in, like, 1986 or something like that. One of those songs is one we always really loved, it’s titled “(I Can’t Help It If) I’m Still In Love With You.”

The demo was quite plaintive and little-girl-sounding. Tons of reverb on my angelic vocal and on his piano, and it had some sort of rain sound in the background, and the ubiquitous drum machine from those days. And the lyrics were essentially: you suck, the world sucks, my whole life now sucks because I met you in the first place and now you left me but I can’t help it, I’m still in love with you.

That kind of thing — but not in those words, of course. Peitor and I had a blast recording that. It was funny to us but, you know, it was actually good. It wasn’t a funny song — just funny to us.

Anyway. I guess it’s good that I saved all this stuff. I can’t imagine what if anything it really means to me all these decades later — to who I am as a writer. But I’m glad I’ve got them.

On the virus front: I’m feeling really good today…So here’s hoping. One of these darn days, I have to be actually really well. Right?? Maybe today will be the day…

Okay. Here is the cover art for the forthcoming Marc Bolan tribute album, AngelHeaded Hipster (produced by Hal Willner who I think just died in NYC from the virus). This is the album where Nick Cave sings “Cosmic Dancer” — and sings it so beautifully. I don’t even know how many times I’ve already watched the video. I just love it.

 

 

 

 

 

And I’m still loving that Bad Seed TeeVee. I’m still finding stuff on there that I haven’t seen yet — or even seen before, ever.  It’s just so cool.

And on a somewhat unrelated music note– have you noticed that everyone’s buying ukuleles again? I mean, like, everyone’s buying them. And they have all different colors now, all different price ranges, too. Of  course, the one I like best is the Epiphone Les Paul tenor acoustic-electric ukulele (below) — I’m not certain of this, but I don’t think there’s a more expensive one out there, so of course it’s the one I love. I’ve come close to buying it several times already…

Epiphone Les Paul Tenor Acoustic/Electric Ukulele 2019 - vintage ...

Anyway, on that note… I’m going to get Sunday underway over here. I hope yours is a good one, wherever you are in the world. I leave you today with probably the most famous/favorite ukulele song, ever. From the late Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole; “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Enjoy, gang. And thanks for visiting. Make it a good one, okay? I love you guys. See ya.

Let’s Call It Beautiful!!

I am once again back to not being able to breathe, which so fucking sucks, gang. However, it is a truly gorgeous day here today so I have decided to just ignore that feeling of suffocation…

(Honestly, though, sometimes I feel like it is going to be like this for the rest of my fucking life. It’s been one month already. Yesterday was absolutely perfect. I was breathing great all day, all night. I thought the damn virus was really over.)

Meanwhile…

The birds are building nests everywhere, all around the outside of my house.  So much life going on around here. And that damaged soffit above the back door, where the starlings build nests each spring? There are several little cubbyhole type things inside the exposed eaves and it turns out that not only starlings have built nests in there, but sparrows, too.  Equal Opportunity Housing around here — we do not discriminate!

I found that really interesting, though, you know? Different types of birds, building their nests so close together. I didn’t know they did that.

There is also a starling nest in a hollow in the maple tree right outside my bedroom window. And a mourning dove has built a nest up inside the roof that extends over my front porch.

Soon enough it will sound like the Twilight Zone out there. Have you ever heard what its like when baby starlings cry out for food? It’s truly intense — other-worldly sounding. And then add to it baby mourning doves and baby sparrows. It will likely be very interesting. A celebration of noisy life, every day.

So.

Yesterday, I had a great phone chat with Peitor about Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. It turns out that the cinematographer who will be shooting several of our micro-shorts has a 5,000 square foot studio in Alabama, not far from Memphis (!!.) (Yay — I love Memphis, gang!!) And since there’s no telling when LA will be back to normal after the virus, Peitor wants to use the studio in Alabama to shoot several of the micro-shorts — including maybe even the “Lita” film, because he can build the exact sets he wants for “Lita” in that size space.

I am so fucking excited, gang!! The studio also has sleeping accommodations, so he and I can sleep right there at the studio. The shooting will likely begin sometime this summer, so that has perked my spirits.

Between that news and the continuing good news about the staged reading of Tell My Bones, I’m not really even noticing that I’m not getting any new writing done yet. (Well, I am kinda noticing, but I’m trying to keep my attention on stuff that makes me feel good.)

I am almost done reading Love in the Time of Cholera. It has been so much fun to be able to lie around in bed and read that again, gang. I can’t even tell you. (Part of having this virus has been sort of good for me — forcing me, for the very first time in my whole life, to just lie around and not do anything.)

Next, I think I’m going to re-read Rilke’s Letters to A Young Poet. I took that down from the bookshelf yesterday and was glancing through it. I haven’t read it in close to 40 years. I think it would be really cool to see how I react to it now. I remember that I loved the book, but I don’t really remember much about it anymore.

I took it off the shelf yesterday because I finally streamed the movie JoJo Rabbit (2019). (Rilke’s work is mentioned a few times in the film.) I’ve been wanting to watch that movie for months and for some reason, yesterday was the day I finally decided to watch it.

What a film. I’m not really even sure what to say about it  — how did I feel? It was disturbing on  many levels — Nazis and Hitler, and publicly hanging people who were helping Jews. (Horrible images that were a huge part of what haunted my childhood.) But the film was also really funny, too. And also very endearing. Just way out in left field, you know? Just so well done.  I loved it, but the reality of that war is a steady under current that is hard to “love,” you know? But they managed to make the whole thing just really moving.

And then ending the film with Bowie’s German-language version of “Heroes” was just brilliant. I’d forgotten all about that. At one point, a musician I used to hang out with a lot in NYC had the German-language version of that song on cassette, and I remember feeling like the song just sounded overwhelming in German.

And it still does.

The choices of music throughout the film, though — including Bowie at the end — added a sort of emotional distance to that horrible under current of the reality of that war, which, you know — I’m not sure how I really feel about that. But I did really love that film.

But it also made me wonder, at what point is the buffer of time malleable enough to take atrocities and skew them in a way that enables us to make light of them in whatever ways? We can watch that film and appreciate that the Jews are now considered human and their lives valuable; but the German survivors of the war suffered unspeakably, too, albeit in a wholly different way, when the allies came in to free Berlin. German children, German women. Starvation and unbelievable poverty. And the endless, endless months of Russian soldiers raping the women of Berlin every single day.

None of that stuff is even hinted at in the film — if you don’t know your history, that is, and can’t fill in the blanks. And so what’s left is this joy over a Jewish girl being freed and a 10-year-old Nazi boy seeing the light and Bowie singing on the soundtrack.

I guess if we can distance ourselves emotionally and be selective about the details and about which details we want to give a sort of magical realism to all these decades later, we can then make a really effectively entertaining film and even find reasons to laugh…

(Yeah — I’m really fun to go to the movies with.)

Anyway.

I wanted to mention that next Friday afternoon, May 8th, live on Facebook, Marcus Books in Oakland, California, which is the oldest independent  Black bookstore in America, is having a poetry reading to support the bookstore. You can find out about it here. Some amazing poets will be reading live.

On that note, I think I’ll get my day underway over here. I’ve noticed my breathing has improved now, so maybe it’s just that early morning thing — once the body gets increasingly more awake, the breathing gets better? I hope so. I’d like to have another whole day where I feel fine again.

I hope you have a nice Saturday, gang, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with two things today. One, the official video of “Loverman,” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds that is in regular rotation on Bad Seeds TeeVee. ( I love this video.) (The song is from the 1994 album Let Love In — one of my favorites!!) And the other is the aforementioned German-language version of Bowie’s song “Heroes” (1977). Enjoy, and have a great day, okay? I love you guys. See ya.

 

Looks like my worst mistake was my best one!!!

Remember yesterday? Remember how I almost died there in my kitchen, trying to breathe while my lungs exploded after I used the steroid-based allergy spray for the first time in a month?

It took awhile for the feeling to level off, but it does seem like the steroids actually helped. By the end of yesterday, I was breathing normally for the first time in a month. And so far today, I’m still breathing normally.

So I used the allergy spray again this morning, since I need it for my allergies…

I hate to speak too soon, because every time I post here that it seems like I’m nearly 100% fine — finally — I then get breathing issues again. However, I actually am feeling just about 100% totally fine. So we’ll just see.

Well, my dad is leaving the house today for the first time in 6 weeks because he has a doctor’s appointment. When he told me about this yesterday, I was totally speaking to him like he was a two-year-old: Wear your mask, don’t touch anything, don’t speak to anybody, wash your hands! I was so not happy that he was planning on leaving the assisted living “compound,” you know? He’s almost 90 and he’s made it for 6 weeks without getting the virus.  And he lives in a county that has a high rate of not only the virus, but also deaths from the virus.

But off he goes to the doctor today, so we’ll just see about that, too.

All things considered, yesterday was a really good day around here. I discovered that the very old tree in my backyard  is a dogwood tree! I noticed yesterday that it was in bloom, so I went out to look at its blossoms and, lo & behold — it’s a dogwood. All the other dogwoods in town have lost their blossoms already and are green now.

I love dogwoods so much that I was even thinking recently that I should plant a dogwood tree in my backyard. And in keeping with the absolute magical nature of this crazy town — voila! — I suddenly discover that I have one!

The tree is ancient. Last spring, I did notice that it had some sort of white blossoms on it but I never took the time to really investigate them. However, since this spring I am just indescribably here, 24/7, and always looking out the kitchen window at my backyard, I took the time to really look at it. Plus, this spring, it seems to have way more blossoms than it had last year. So, what a great discovery.

My dogwood, yesterday afternoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, yesterday, the a1000mistakes blog out of Australia posted that Einstürzende Neubauten has a new album coming out on May 15th, Alles in Allem, and that they dropped an official video for a new song, “Ten Grand Goldie,” featuring Blixa Bargeld singing in a lovely surgical mask.

I watched that video many times yesterday — some of the lyrics are in English, but most of them are in German, so I have no idea what the song is about, but I still really liked watching it. (And it could very well be that even if I understood German, I still wouldn’t know what the song is about, because I don’t really understand what most Einstürzende Neubauten songs are about. ) Anyway. It’s posted below.

I also watched a video for The Birthday Party’s song from 1983, “Fears of Gun” numerous times.  Whoever put together the images for the video, I liked it a lot. It’s an intense song and I don’t think I ever really understood that song, either, even though it’s in English. It has something to do with not being super happy about love, though — and so on and so on…

I also streamed the movie The Vicious Circle, a British crime-thriller from 1957, starring John Mills (father of the indescribably adorable, Hayley). It was really good. I loved the cinematography — great black & white footage of London in the late 1950s. Plus, I never did figure out who the murderer was until the final 3 minutes of the film, so that was cool.

And I also did some thinking yesterday about how I’m feeling about my writing, even though I didn’t actually do any writing yet. When I spoke to the director of Tell My Bones on Wednesday, he mentioned again how “risky” the scene/song is that’s all about lynchings and slave auctions. And he kept saying that he loved it, and was standing by it, but that it was so risky. So I thought about that a lot yesterday, too — you know, like, why does he keep saying that it’s risky? Am I really setting myself up here?  To me, it just feels powerful and completely unexpected. Which, to me, is art, you know? It won’t be included in the staged reading, because none of the actual musical numbers will be included. But I know that it will at least be “alluded” to and I’m really curious to see how they’re going to do that.

Also, yesterday night, Dana Petty uploaded a photo she took of Tom Petty and their dog, Ryder, on a deserted  Malibu beach at sunset.  (If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, their dog, Ryder, died the other night.) Wow, what a stunning photo. It was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. I know there must be a way to copy photos from Instagram, because I see Instagram photos on Pinterest a lot, but I do not know how to do it. So you’ll either have to follow Dana Petty on Instagram, or simply take my word for it that it was a really touching photo, even though it’s mostly a photo of Tom Petty from behind, as the dog is running toward him, along the beach. (It did have the feeling like the two of them were already in heaven…)

Okay, well. Today is May 1st ! Which was Elvis & Priscilla’s wedding day. And also my own wedding day — back in 1993. I have no idea where the time went, so don’t even ask me!! But May 1st, nonetheless, is one of my favorite days of the year.

I believe in spring weddings — I really do. I’m totally into the whole “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time” idea. Both my weddings were in the spring. (And I actually left both marriages in the spring, although I didn’t plan it to be like that.) If I ever get married again, I think I’d like to choose a spring day that doesn’t actually exist — you know, make something up: like, Tuenesday May 34th. Something like that. And perhaps then the marriage will only exist in theory and thus be a spectacular success. We’ll see!!

Okay. I’ve just been notified on Instagram that Bad Seeds TeeVee has just had some new videos uploaded to it, so I will no doubt watch that again today! I am actually going to try to do some writing today, too. I am feeling that good, finally.

So I’m gonna get this day underway here. Thanks for visiting, gang.  I hope you have a perfect Friday, all things considered, wherever you are in the world.

I leave you with all my listening music from yesterday: “Dead Radio,” by Rowland S. Howard, from his amazing Teenage Snuff Film album (1999). The aforementioned “Fears of Gun,” by The Birthday Party, which I believe is from their Mutiny EP (1983) but I’m not positive about that (lyrics are in the video). And Einstürzende Neubauten’s brand new song, “Ten Grand Goldie,” from the upcoming Alles in Allem (some lyrics, in both German and English are in the video).

All righty! Enjoy. I love you guys See ya.

“Dead Radio”

You’re bad for me like cigarettes
But I haven’t sucked enough of you yet
Nothing is sacred and nothing is true
I’m no-one that’s nowhere when I’m here with you

I’ve lost the power I had to distinguish
Between what to ignite and what to extinguish

I blew in last night, I’m the ghost from the coast
When the lighting is bad I’m the man with the most
You left me to choke on a heart up in smoke
Smiling through your tears and your tetracycline overdose

You’re good for me like Coca-Cola
I don’t get any younger, you don’t get any older
Everything’s sacred and everything’s true
All of this is possible when I’m here with you

I’ve got a lot to say but I keep my own counsel
I’d like to spit it out but I won’t speak with my mouth full

I blew in last night, I’m the ghost from the coast
When the lighting is bad I’m the man with the most
You left me to choke on a heart up in smoke
Smiling through your tears and your tetracycline overdose

© 1999 Rowland S. Howard

Cherish the Morning and Release the Day

What a beautiful morning I’ve had here so far.

And it didn’t start out too great. I woke at my usual 4:44am, sort of dreading the fact that I have to drive into town later and buy more groceries. Even though I likely have antibodies for the virus now, it still just freaks me out because going into town (in the next county) was how I caught the virus in the first place. (And just FYI, the virus has flattened here in Ohio and Muskingum County still only has 10 confirmed cases. So I probably should have gone to the markets here in this county instead of the next county, where they have 114 cases, but oh well. Too late.)

Plus, I was just feeling really at odds with myself this morning — not understanding who I really am, or what my purpose is in the world. (I love when my mornings start out like that and the sun isn’t even up yet.)

Yesterday, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter regarding plagiarism versus the tendencies of indigenous types of music (like rock & roll, jazz, blues, etc.) to progress upon the shoulders of songs that came before it. (I’m using my own words there — not quoting him.) (You can read what he actually said at that link there.)

In it, he briefly mentioned Arvo Pärt, and it made me think of Arvo Pärt’s piece “Spiegel Im Spiegel,” which I used to play a lot but hadn’t listened to in a really long time.

So after my breakfast, and after making entries in all my many little journals that I write in at the breakfast table each morning to keep me from drifting too far from Sanity’s shore, I went back up to bed with my coffee cup in hand and put “Spiegel Im Spiegel” on repeat on my phone and listened to it as the sun came up.

And, as always happens in my contemplative life, a ton of beautiful memories came streaming back.

The reason I used to listen to “Spiegel Im Spiegel” all the time was because of a poet I used to know. We met when we were in our late 40s. She was incredibly gifted. She’d had several poetry collections published by then, and was bilingual in Russian — wrote poems in Russian, also — and her work had won some prestigious poetry prizes.

I liked her a lot, just as a person. But as a writer, I absolutely loved her. Her way with words.

She spent most of each year living in St. Petersburg, Russia, which is one of the few places in the world I have always wanted to visit. Like, passionately. (Helsinki and St. Petersburg are probably the two places on Earth that I haven’t been to yet that I have always wanted to visit.) During the months she would live in St. Petersburg, she would write the bulk of her poems each year. And, honestly, I cannot tell you how much I loved her poems.

One day, I asked her about her inspiration — where it came from; that kind of thing. And she said that she listened to a lot of Arvo Pärt and, at that particular time in her life, “Spiegel Im Spiegel”  was what she listened to the most.

“You’ve got to buy it, Marilyn, and listen to it. It’s so inspiring!”

So I bought it and I did indeed listen to it. And this morning, as I was listening to it again, I got a few of her poetry books down from my bookshelf. And I drank my coffee, and listened to “Spiegel Im Spiegel” and read her amazing poems in bed. And renewed my decision that she is a truly gifted writer.

I broke off contact with her several years ago. She knew how much I had always wanted to go to St. Petersburg, so she invited me to come there and live with her for a few months. Just hang out with her and write all day. Cook meals. Drink wine late into the night.

I remember that she said, “You’re going to have to surrender your passport once you get here, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. I speak fluent Russian. They know me here. They will give you back your passport when you leave. I promise you.”

As much as I wanted to go (and I came very close to making that trip) I knew I was falling in love with her and that if I wasn’t in love with her yet, living with her for a few months in St. Petersbrug, writing all day, cooking meals together, drinking wine long into the night… Well, I would be in love with her for sure and she was absolutely 100% heterosexual.

By the time I was in my late 40s, I knew beyond all doubt that falling in love with straight women was a serious dead-end street. Just in a hugely BIG way. So I didn’t make the trip and, almost immediately upon realizing what my heart was doing, I stopped being in contact with her.  Didn’t go visit her even in America anymore.

I don’t know if she ever wondered what suddenly happened to me — we had a couple of writer-friends in common in NYC and in LA, but I never actually heard anything from them about it. I’m guessing she just assumed I was nuts , which is generally a good assumption to make about me. However, it leaves out some of the key things that drive me to nuttiness. (L-O-V-E, in particular.) But it’s okay, I guess.

Still, wow, was it beautiful this morning. It was mild enough to have a window open, so I heard  the birds singing as the sun came up, too. And that music and those poems? My goodness. What a lovely morning. Life is so beautiful, isn’t it? And before I knew it, the tone of my whole morning had completely shifted in the direction of love.

So, I’m going to get started here. I like to get to the market close to when it opens, since there are fewer people.  I did sew a new mask yesterday, btw. I no longer own a sewing machine, so I sewed it by hand and it took forever. But I watched Bad Seeds TeeVee on my phone the whole time, which made “forever” go a lot faster.

Life has just gotten so weird, hasn’t it?  Sewing little cotton masks while endlessly streaming intensely intense songs by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds? (There’s poetry in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.)

Anyway.  Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. Enjoy Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with 9 minutes of stellar beauty. Perhaps it will inspire you to write award-winning poetry, too. Who knows?  You might even be fluent in Russian and not even realize it yet! Go on — put pen to paper, hit “PLAY” and see what comes out! I love you guys. See ya.

Just Sewing Some Buttons Today…

(Who knew sewing could be so sexy? It might even make this coronavirus look sexy…maybe we’ll find out — I’ve got some buttons around here that need re-attaching!!)

Alas, though, I actually got dressed here this morning. For a change, I am not in my chemise. I am in real clothes. For now, anyway.

It was one of those mornings where I woke up and felt like I was finally totally fine. But once I was actually out of bed and walking around… How long is this fucking breathing problem going to last? This virus just doesn’t quit.

Okay. Well. Happy Sunday!

It’s rainy here today but still really mild, so some windows are open and the cats are happy, so that means I’m happy, too!

So, yes, I got dressed and I’m planning to work at my desk for a while today. At least do some editing if not some actual writing. We’ll see how it goes. I really just want to be back to normal around here. It’s so frustrating.

However, there was more good news regarding the upcoming staged (taped) reading for Tell My Bones. I can’t really go into it on the blog yet, but I spoke with the director again yesterday and the call made me just unbelievably happy. I’m really just so blessed, gang.

And even amid this whole lockdown COVID 19 thing, I was able to get those updated Life Rights contracts signed by everyone and returned to me and options got paid and everything is moving ahead smoothly regarding the play. Just weird, right? Things still got done, even though I was basically in bed for 3 weeks straight.

Oh, and yesterday, more new luggage arrived! This was a 3-piece set. Heavy duty luggage this time. The kind with the hard outer shell and large enough that you could go away for a couple of weeks.

If you are new to the blog, back before I bought this current house, I rented a friend’s house for almost 2 years. And had to put most of my life into storage. When I was cleaning out the old house, I was in a very bad mental state, and a lot of things I wanted to put into storage accidentally went off to Goodwill instead.

Once I got settled down into this house and had to start traveling again, I discovered that I had absolutely no luggage. None. At all. It had been given away to charity by mistake.  I had one small flight bag to my name. So, little by little, I’ve been replacing stuff. Overhead carry-ons, under-seat carry-ons, and now actual luggage. So I’m set.

It was pretty exciting when the stuff arrived yesterday because it made me feel as though, one of these days, I actually won’t have the virus any longer, and the theater stuff will be happening in NYC again and not on Zoom, and the film stuff will be moving ahead again in LA, and I will be traveling again. Yay.

Here’s some more exciting news — a new documentary about Johnny Cash’s first wife, Vivian, will be streaming free on Amazon for one week, beginning this Tuesday, April 28th. The film, My Darling Vivian, told by their 4 daughters, has gotten incredibly terrific reviews. I can’t wait to see it!

My Darling Vivian - Cleveland International Film Festival :: April ...
Johnny and Vivian Cash at home with 2 of their daughters

She’s another one of those first wives whose reputation in the minds of the public has been seriously tarnished by the PR machine. Apparently, this documentary undoes all that damage. I can only imagine, you know — during that whole first marriage, while he was getting famous and traveling constantly, he also did just an enormous amount of drugs & drinking. Just off the charts. That first marriage must have been just unbelievably difficult.( I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.)

(He had his demons, for sure, though — if you’ve read any of his memoirs. For one thing, he had an older brother whom he idolized, who got killed early on in a horrible accident at a saw mill– basically got cut in half.)

When Johnny married June Carter, later in his career, he sobered up and found Jesus. (Which was great, because a lot of us were looking for Jesus and didn’t know where he was — but Johnny found him. It turned out, he was right where we’d last left him– in that top drawer in the kitchen, right next to the stove!) (Okay. Just kidding.)

All righty. I’m gonna scoot. I really, really hope to get some actual work done here today. Even if it’s just a little tiny bit of editing. It would feel so good!

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday, wherever you are in the world! As far as music goes, I’ve still been just watching Bad Seeds TeeVee around here.  And since I tend to prefer listening to audio tracks and not watching “official videos,” there are a ton of Bad Seeds videos out there that I’d never seen. It’s been very fun.  There was even one in clay-mation with 3 Barbie doll/mermaids that was just too cool!! Just unbelievable stuff. However, I will leave you with a very early Johnny Cash televised performance from 1958 here this morning.  Enjoy, gang! Stay well!! I love you guys. See ya!

Oui, c’est moi!!

Yes! That’s me, at age 13. In 1973.

And — oddly enough — that’s me sitting at my desk in 1973! Some things absolutely never change, apparently. (And I still have a tiny desk — even 47 years later.)  (And, gosh, I wish I still smoked.) (I loved smoking, even though I only ever smoked occasionally, even as an adult. However, as all things go with those occasional loves — it stopped loving me first.)

I bring up me at age 13 because last night I watched that documentary, The Sacred Triangle: Bowie, Iggy & Lou 1971-1973.

Wow, was it interesting. And it focused primarily on the years 1971-1973. Although, they went into a lot of earlier background on Bowie that I only vaguely sort of knew.

I’m guessing that since Bowie always had this reputation of being really controlling about how his public image was portrayed, this is the kind of documentary that only could have been made about him posthumously. Not that it said anything bad about him, really. But it showed a different side to him. And Angie Bowie was in it a lot. And she came off really great. It was kind of amazing, really. The PR machine has sort of religiously tried to discredit anything she’s ever said publicly — ever — since she and Bowie split, a million years ago.

Back in the early 70s, I didn’t really understand the connection between those three men: Bowie, Iggy and Lou Reed. I knew they knew each other, but only because it seemed like all the rockstars I loved back then knew each other.  They were always photographed together, doing stuff in London or NYC that was nowhere near a concert stage.  And then there was also a Berlin connection a few years later. So I never really gave it any thought at all — the actual connection they had within their careers.

And it’s kind of ironic that just a couple of days ago, I started playing Lou Reed’s Transformer record again. (The record was produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson in 1972 — and that’s the record that had Lou’s hit “Walk On The Wild Side” on it, which I heard on the AM radio when I was 12 and absolutely could not believe. I’d never heard any song like it in my life. ) (And then in my mid-20s, during the AIDS epidemic in NYC, I was a volunteer with the Visiting Nurses of NY and one of the patients I was assigned was the photographer Peter Hujar, who had taken so many of the iconic photographs of all those people Lou sang about in that song.)

Anyway. I felt such an unexpected connection to that documentary. I was kind of stunned. I was only peripherally aware of it — I’d seen some things mentioned about “The Sacred Triangle” on Instagram, but I thought it was in connection to one specific famous photo of the three men that Mick Rock had taken back then.

And there the movie suddenly was, available to stream for free on Amazon last evening. And it seemed like a nice moment to pause Bad Seeds TeeVee for 90 minutes… (man, that is an addicting channel. It’s just awesome. I went to sleep last night, still staring at Bad Seeds TeeVee on my phone in the dark.)

Okay. So.

I’ve started some initial discussions with Valerie about the small press I want to start up here (to self-publish all 749 million of my books, past & present). She helps me design covers for some of my eBooks, so I’m hoping she can also help me design covers for the actual books.

I’m wanting to have one basic sort of design “feel” — if that’s the way to describe it. Sort of how New Directions Publishing was in the old days, where all of their book covers had a similar look to them. Not a lot of color, almost black & white. The same font all the time.

I’m kind of wanting to go with something like that. My goal is to have erotic books that don’t have girls in their underwear on the covers, so that people can read the darn books anywhere they want to. Women especially. (I had female friends in the past who had to make book covers out of paper bags, in order to cover up the photos of practically naked women on the covers of my books, so that they could read my books on the subway without feeling harassed. I also had a friend here in Ohio who did that with a cut-up paper bag so that her husband wouldn’t know she was reading my book Stirring Up A Storm — which was nominated for 3 Pushcart Prizes for fiction, for godsakes, you know? Take the fucking naked women off the covers and more people will read the darn books.)

Anyway.

I’ve also come to the understanding that Blessed By Light is probably not a good title for that novel. Too many people have thought it was a Christian novel of some kind. So I’m thinking maybe I should call the whole book The Guitar Hero Goes Home (which is currently the title of Chapter 18 in the novel).

Plus, I want to go with a different cover. Valerie already designed one last year that had a guitar on it and a Hellcat (car) and a guy smoking a cigarette. I want to change that all up now.

So she and I are working on that.

Peitor and I texted a lot yesterday, but we never actually hooked up over the phone. We are hoping to do that today, so we’ll see.

And even though it sounds like maybe I’m working a lot, or whatever, sadly, yesterday was one of those days where I ended up back in bed for awhile by mid-afternoon. I am hoping that today will be better. I am certainly feeling better today, at least. So we’ll see. I’m hopeful.

On that note, I guess I will close this and see what the day brings. It’s a gorgeous day here today and the temperatures are going to be mild enough that I will be able to open some windows later. So I’m excited! (And I can’t tell you how excited I am about that barn, gang!! I can’t wait!! My neighbors are gonna fall over and die when I finally fix that darn barn!)

All right. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with something truly awesome I just now listened to on Bad Seeds TeeVee, “Give Us A Kiss” from 2014. The lyrics are in the video. Enjoy your Saturday, in the best way you know how.  I love you guys. See ya!