Music and Ink…..and blogging

Music and Ink…..and blogging

I woke this morning with full awareness that my mind and spirit were connected, attached to my body that was hurling through space on a giant rock. That rock was spinning in a beautiful dance of gravity playing a part in an endless universe … which may be just a drop in a vast ocean of countless other universes.

Yeah baby, I’m back!

It makes all the mundane connections with people I know seem nothing short of miraculous.– I mean,…  to make “me”— all these weird connections of people, places and things over the eons of time since before we even got to living in the caves – I just think about that — everything had to line up or this “me” that is writing would not be here—- and that goes the same for each person that reads this — and also the same for the lady at the deli that I will let cut in ahead of me because she has two screaming kids and needs to get her maple ham and American cheese.

Which makes the connections that are truly “special” nothing short of divine because ….. I mean, …. What are the chances that you and me have a conversation?

It just causes the brain to ignite and fire countless neurons to not figure out.

You may think that this is a strange —- but I think like this all the time —– and have not thought like this in many weeks.

Because I was not connected.

My mind was in severe pain – my spirit was lost and whirring out of control – and my body seemed to disconnected.

They said I was depressed – I don’t know if that word fits – but I will go with it because it and me were so similar that you could not tell us apart even at a short distance.

So we go to ink –

A thought in my mind – that becomes a sketch (in fact, many sketches before it was right) – that goes into illustrator to become a vector – that sings to me in a perfect riot of frenzied negative space.



My mind thinks it – my spirit is at peace with it – the tattoo artist inks it to my body – we are all together again. One happy family that is the trio of the Wayne. I am here – I am validated.

My first tattoo – and already thinking how to add to it.

And as I ran through the chords of “Key to the Highway” last night on my acoustic guitar — I understand what Big Bill Broonzy was saying – I understand the feeling – I understand the blues.

I get it – there are things and feelings that we all share – that are the human condition – It’s part of jamming a spirit in a body and having a mind trying to figure out what to do with it- how to make a way – how to rise above and move forward.

Isn’t that part of why we blog? This need to connect and validate our existence.

I play a lot of guitar and I sing all the time – this is new – but was always there.

I just could not put in the work to access it – I don’t feel like that anymore.

I feel that I have nothing to fear – I feel that I better get whatever is in there out.

Be dammed if it is good or bad or indifferent.

Just get it out!

So I feel better – And the only reason I am writing instead of playing right now is because it is too early and I will wake the kids.

I leave you with a new song that speaks to me – attitude and blues – I need it.



Jack White as pain medication.

This song goes with the last post. If you think the blues can’t dissolve pain – you don’t know the blues.

If you think Joe Bonannnammasssaamona is the new savior of the blues – then whatever.

Blues comes from the heart not from technical ability. That Jack White has both is something I don’t hold against him. Heard this last night and it slayed me.

Who cares about choppy resolution?

Let’s have a ball and biscuit.



This is a picture of me with my son on the site of the original Woodstock stage where Jimi once famously played the Star Spangled Banner. We were swept up in the moment. What better place for a jumping air guitar salute? “None more better place” is the answer.

Starting a series on icons of rock- I am starting with Jimi Hendrix.

There were guitars that screamed and guitars that jangled. And then came Jimi and the guitar would speak clearly of pain and of joy…..huh?….what?

Jimi and the guitar were one-he slept with his guitar because he was his guitar. When he had nothing as a small boy-he had a broom that he pretended was his guitar and it was his only friend.

Like Tom Hanks in Castaway with Wilson-unnatural bond of person to object.

And I forgot to mention-the best rock guitarist ever to walk the face of the earth. Period. No discussion needed.

[Since this is a blog –allow me to go on a bit more]

Especially for you kids that are new to rock music.

Rock is blues based.

This is a basic timeline.jimi-3

For purists only-this can sound a little rough as we cannot go back to the 1930’s and imagine how it would feel.  We can’t walk on those dusty roads and hitch a ride to the next town with 12 cents in our pocket.

Robert Johnson arrived and let the world know that something was going on in the delta. The best blues music is always someone going on a rant with their guitar about how things are in their world. You could say that about the best rock music, the best country music or the best hip hop music.

The truth thrown out there in a compelling way.

T-bone Walker added some fire to the guitar- he started doing things that no one else could.

“They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday is just as bad.”

There are other songs that I should pick to show off the virtuoso in action—-but this is sooooo smooooooth.  It just dances and tickles the music palette before seeping gently into your soul.

Jimi ran all that energy and inspiration in one big liftoff that reached orbit. We got great guitar players now-we don’t have a name that I can place next .

Jack White is close if you make me force a choice. Close still does not fit. Like a giant stone used in the pyramids-it has to ease in there perfectly. I am still waiting.

And here is where we finish for now.

I am going for less fire and more heart in these tunes and want to end with one of the greats in that next group to follow. SVR spent his whole career chasing down Hendrix-he even carried one of the master’s wah wah pedals on this journey. I am not going to throw a link here-but I do write about a show where I was lucky to catch him with his boots on this pedal early in my blogging days.

Maybe lucky is not the right word- Let’s try blessed.

Damn! Buddy Holly was legit but Bill Haley opened the door. Origins of Rock Part 2

English: (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock b...
English: (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets, Decca 1954. Deutsch: (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock von Bill Haley and his Comets, Decca 1954. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though I hate to give any award on the Cave to Bill Haley and his Comets– The Cave has gone through the history -before Rock around the Clock there were a few rock songs out there but you would have to call them regional, novelty or maybe even underground.

After Bill Haley and his Comets smashed the surface of Pop music with this Number 1…the resulting explosion opened up the flood gates and all types of craft could roll on down this river. With my love of Blues music and the Sun record sound I wanted to give the award somewhere else but Bill Haley changed the culture and I can’t take that away from him. This hurts me and reminds me that Cave awards have to go by merit not just talent, originality and execution.

This brings me to what I consider the first refined vintage of a rock song – This song is what the kids today would call “Legit”-something that is an actual real version of itself, not faked at all. In other words=true, unmistakable quality.

“That’ll be the Day” by the Crickets – They dropped Buddy Holly from the title because of his record contract somewhere else-which made this technically a band release instead of a front man and band format which was standard for the time.  It was also the song that  The Quarrymen would pick to cover for their first demo –and we know what influence these guys would have on music as they evolved into The Beatles. And more importantly for this blog…I can feature a quality song in this post and add a true relic to the Cave.

Memories of SVR

Today would have been the 58th birthday of Stevie Ray Vaughan, it has been 22 years since the helicopter crash outside of Chicago that ended his run. I was fortunate to catch his shows a couple times. Stevie Ray was a blues man, which means you had to see him live. Blues on any recording just does not match the power of being at a live show. I will say that again…you have not heard blues until you have seen a real master performing in person. There is an energy that can’t be explained only experienced.
He played at JB’s Theatre in Albany N.Y with his brother’s band The Fabulous Thunderbirds warming up. I waited outside in the rain for tickets and got in early and stood in the front row leaning against the stage. I was only inches away from the Wah Wah pedal duct-taped to the stage…I knew the stories…This was Jimi Hendrix’s Wah Wah pedal!!! Jimi’s pedal and it was almost close enough to reach out and touch…but I could not break the sanctity and just remained awestruck. I was a bit disappointed that Stevie Ray was wearing a floppy “French-guy” hat instead of the cowboy hat he was known for. I would later learn of him fighting his demons of drugs and alcohol and seeking a more spiritual life. I don’t know at what stage in this battle I found him, I just know that losing this trademark part of his image meant something.
The thing I took away from the show was the complete dissociation from this world that took hold of him when he leaned back into a solo. I can see it now as I reflect on it…he was somewhere else. The fluid cascading waterfall of sound that happened when he leaned back was something. He really could care less if he was playing for 50,000 people or 20 people or no people at all, he was gone. He did get to his version of “Little Wing” which for me was the highlight. I never saw Jimi live….but I don’t think I would trade this moment away for it.