You know that old saw about how things just keep speeding up as you grow older? Word.
Oh sure, we’ve had our laughs.
But for the most part a year is made up of the mundane, the daily rituals that mark off one more day on this rock in the middle of this crazy cosmos, baby!
I look back on the past year and the images fly by, like a vhs porn tape pinned on fast forward until the dopey dialogue stops and the good stuff begins.
So let’s forget about the pizza guys and the lonely housewives, and get right to the money shots!!
The year began slowly enough, with a leisurely jaunt out to Phoenix for the first show of the year.
We like to start things off out of town, the better to try out the new dance moves and dye the hair while we shed that holiday weight.
The usual hilarity ensues—food, booze, and male nudity, a strangely common theme of 2010!
Onto March and House of Blues with Bad Religion. As you can see in this photo, combined age of the 2 bands is roughly equal to that of the LaBrea tar pits.
April now, and time for the first proper road work of the year, Pittsburgh and Cleveland:
Punk Rock Bowling moved to the supposedly warmer month of May this year.
Yes, I suppose the temps were a bit higher than the old January freeze outs of past, but the gale force winds kept things interesting on the outdoor stage!
June saw Mr. Lansford coming back for a visit, and a gathering of bands in a public park in Costa Mesa–the OC Slam!
What a great day that was.
Drinking out of plastic cups, eatin carnival food, getting to see an actual reunion of the goddamn Simpletones!!
Late July had us out on the road once more.
Honestly, I am exhausted trying to explain the logistics of this jaunt: The nasty litigation that ensued, the trail of broken restauranteurs we left in our wake, the wound to Kimm’s head.
You can read all about it here: 2010 Summer Tour
We wrapped things up on the East Coast and skipped across the Atlantic for the Rebellion Fest:
Autumn saw a quick trip out to Vegas, and the christening of the new Shakedown Bar in San Diego.
Again, the night is marked by shameless male nudity!
Which pretty much brings us up to the recent past, the gala Christmas show at the Blue Cafe in Long Beach!
As we held the stage for one final time in 2010, we looked out and saw the faces of family and friends.
Yes, perhaps there were a few more lines in the faces of loved ones, and the hair up top thinning and gray.
But isn’t this what it’s all about, really? To travel this crazy journey together?
We’ve become older now, and yes–wiser too. We say goodbye to our raucous pasts and take our positions now as the gentle elders.
Perhaps the wild old Demons have finally been purged and we can all grow old with the quiet dignity we deserve!
This is whay we can’t have nice things!!
I’ve been to Vegas perhaps three hundred times. Sometimes I fly, sometimes I drive.
Lots of times with the band, when we take a leisurely 8 hours to make the drive. Stopping to piss every goddamn 20 minutes, until we could either coordinate our bladders or resort to peeing in Gatorade bottles that would inevitably end up weeping on the van carpet by dawn.
Quick jaunts on JetBlue, Long Beach to Vegas, eighteen hour turnarounds that left mortgage payment late and nerves shattered.
One memorable weekend I took the five dollar Imperial Palace bus from Leisure World with a group of depraved senior gamblers.
I sat in the back seat of that moaning diesel, nursing a pint of Maker’s.
I watched the scorched landscape scroll past the windows, ignored the audacious farts and gasping snores of a dozen living corpses.
As I vowed to never get old, I also scanned the cruel landscape and wondered what it would be like to be out there: Free and flying, skipping over sand and stone on the only tool suitable……a motorcycle!
Oh sure, I had a little history with off road.
A little Saturday Saddleback, a few CMC Sundays.
But it was 1979 that I sold my last dirt bike, and only to buy that P.A. system that would signal my shifting alliance: from racer to punk.
After a few beer soaked conversations with pals, hazy plans are made to do something momentous for the big five-oh……..
Ya know, I usually hit Vegas for my birthday, the wretched Thanksgiving weekend traffic be damned.
But this year–ah—we’ll get there a different way!
And that is how, years and years after I had last ridden a dirtbike—- and my vow to never age broken—–I stand before a frozen fountain at a Barstow motel, preparing to ride across the desert.
It’s 5:30 am, it is 22 degrees.
Today I turn fifty!
Heh. What better way to fend off the middle age crisis than a quick jaunt through the desert, yeh?
Besides, what would ya have me do? Buy a fuckin Corvette? Go lez and adopt a Chinese orphan?
Pffft–been there, done that!
Oh, I knew fifty was lurking in the shadows, alright. The stray gray pube, the strange skin tag that appears left of nipple.
But things change ever quicker as forty grows long.
I roll out of bed some mornings, groaning even before feet hit the floor. Strange aches, the payment for the youthful nights of ridiculous stunts now due.
Joints crack and pop.
Some gray Monday mornings, it sounds like a sad child playing with the bubble wrap on Chritmas afternoon: The gifts have all been opened, the toys already destroyed.
But I’m not one to piss and moan about the loss of youth.
Hell, I feel sorry for the kids today, goddamnit!
Will they ever know the joys of blatant alcohol abuse and irresponsible sex?
To make an ass of yourself on Friday night, without a cellphone camera or Facebook account as unblinking witness?
No, I cherish the idea of being the grumpy old fuck.
Now get the hell off my lawn!!
The miles slip underneath us, and the resigned moan of the big bore four strokes become the soundtrack to this film.
I think of days past, the regrets and triumphs.
Will this be the year I hang it all up?
What does the senior punker have to write his angry manifesto about anyway? High prescription prices? Loud commercials?
OK, here’s a new song for you: First you Goddamn Kids Wear Your Trousers Too Low, Now They’re Too Tight!!! What’s up With That??
The day darkens and it is cold again. The lights of the city glow on the horizon now, and it won’t be much longer.
Soon we’ll be sitting in a casino, our adventure behind us.
Feeding credits into video poker machines at a leisurely rate, just playing enough to get four free beers out of a ten dollar play.
And there I’ll be: like any other 50 year old geezer drinking on the cheap, telling corny old jokes to the jaded bartender.
But there’s still a few miles to go, and we’ve made it through the day without any breakdowns or drama. A couple minor falls.
We get off the highway and ride down Flamingo toward the Orleans.
At stoplights, kids stare at us from the backseats of minivans.
We’re dusty as cowboys, dressed like superheroes.
And though they don’t know the greying hair hidden by these helmets, the prescription lenses in these goggles, they still laugh and clap when we give them the thumbs up and pull a meager wheelie at the green.
News item: Denver Channel 7 News:
DENVER — An atheist group is planning to put three billboards up near the nativity scene at Denver’s City and County Building.
“There should not be a government supported religion. And that’s exactly what this is,” said Marvin Straus, a Boulder-area atheist.
The signs will say, “Stop government support of religion, move this Denver nativity scene to a church.”
Wha tha Fa?
Oh come on now! Are we gonna let some goddamn correctist wackjobs put a stop to our traditional Christmas?
If yer like me, nothing says Christmas is comin like some Chinese made figurines, hand detailed with lead paint by a 8 year old slave, set on some asbestos straw and displayed on your dangerously overheated Korean cd changer. It’s tradition, am I right?
Alright, so maybe the religious hayride is a little too much for you hipsters. But work with me people!
We gotta protect what we know: Christmas as that wacky tacky time of year, when we can relax and enjoy the traditional rituals we’ve known since childhood.
Christmas is the time to start drinking at an inappropriate hour.
To gorge yourself on fatty snacks, leer at the women in the room and tell your superiors exactly what their fuckin problem is!
In other words, Christmas is the time when all of you can act like we here at CH3 do all year long!!
And goddamn it, if we’re not careful we’re gonna end up with some politically correct government holiday where there’s no mention of Jesus, no Christmas trees allowed at City Hall, and worst of all!—no booze allowed at the company party!!
This will not do.
I want Christmas…..I want My Christmas!!
I want the Christmas that we all share, formed by too many nights sitting too close to the tv set, breathing in the toxic fumes of a garishly flocked aluminum tree.
I want Christmas to usher in the cheesy old claymation Specials on CBS, where Heat Miser and Snow Miser do a soft shuffle with baby Jesus!
And the commercials of our youth? Where’d they go?
When I see Santa comin, he’d better damn well be comin down the slopes on the three floating heads of the Norelco Shavemaster, brother!!!
I want the Charlie Brown Special, where he goes and buys the worst tree in the world after he and Pigpen burn a Purple Kush fattie behind the gym!
I want the Goddamn Grinch, and not fuckin Jim Carrey either!
I want the cartoon guy, who gives back all the toys, after he and Max pull the all nighter in the meth lab. Yeah, we know what’s up with those choppers bub!
Oh gee, remember that one? Where he saves the day with his acne, and wasn’t there a gay dentist in there too? What was that about? And the abominable snowman?!
This shit is just flooding back to me!
And remember when the CocaCola Bear eats Rudolph in the end??
So it was with the holiday spirit in mind that we showed up at The Laundry Room to record a track for the elves over at Blackhole Records for their newest Holiday platter, Cashing in on Christmas VolII!!!!!
And though it is on a balmy 98 degree October evening that we watch Alfie hump the gear in, in our souls it is the middle of Winter Solstice:
Virtual eggnog courses through our veins and the faint ringing in our ears– normally the pesky onset of tinnitus—- today those distant chimes are sleighbells!!
As usual, when we report to the studio we bring along the black velvet Elvis along for good vibes.
Fun Fact: If you look closely, you will see his teardrop has slowly gotten longer over the years.
Late in the evening, when energy sags and the take count mounts, we put our boy with Uly’s collection—behold the power!!
And fitting it is, for what holiday gem have we chose for this project? Blue Christmas!!!!!
Yeh, you got it brother, we tackled a mountain this time!!
Oh ho, clever, clever boys! While everyone else chose more traditional carols and comtemporary classics to defile, yer pals here decided to cover the King’s classic.
I mean, who else would think to attempt such a thing???
Heh….turns out there’s a goddamn internet radio station dedicated to nothing but versions of the song!