i was going to do this post

about the amazing amounts of foolishness and imbecilitude that lie beyond the "next blog" button but then I hit the "next blog" button and this guy popped up, all open-minded and loving art and classical music.

it's the first time i've gotten anything but silly Sri Lankan 16-year-old girls with anime and hello kitty graphics.


That is the SHIT right there.

Look how it's sort of poking out. Scott is th' MAN.

4 million more of those honeys and I'm off to ARUBA. To feed th' SHARKS.

Musical Heritage, baby.


My Tip Jar

I've noticed a "Big Guy" blog here and there where they have a tip jar and you can hand over some scratch in return for the Big Guy's words of wisdom. I respect this as an innovative form of modern commerce.

So, here's my tip jar. If you're so inspired by my brilliant musings on shit, well, you can just slip some quahters or a sawbuck into this SEA ANEMONE'S BECKONING BUTTHOLE.


You rock. I like the Impala thing.

You can claim your prize here.


The Christers Of Wimpole Street.

Reread my post about the Ashers and Swinging London and world traveling and I liked it. Somebody has to.

You know who wouldn't like it? Christers wouldn't. They wouldn't be able to hang with that shit atall. Christers don't like when you think and read and travel unless it's for Baby You-Know-Who and to take away people's choice. Even though they spout that creepy fucking Free Will shit. Christers suck. I know I'm on about it, but it's not my fault.

What's it like, you Christers? What's it like to be so fucking beholden to being stupid and insular and anti-intellectual and stupid? I know you're not born with two-figure IQ's. I know you have to cultivate that through years of hating normal human impulses and heaping blame on everyone who doesn't share your fucked-up shit. Boy, what are we going to do with you? There's more of you fuckers every day, which follows since it's Wrong To Fuck With Birth Control. Oh, wait- it's only SUPPOSEDLY wrong to use birth control. See, you have to live in Flawed Vessels like the rest of us so you can't help but want to fuck so since that doesn't fit in you change your Sacred Doctrine just a little bit to accomodate that. The only Christers I despise worse than the dyed-in-the-wool Moonie nutjobs that go along with ALL that freakish shit are the ones who pick and choose because, really, it came down to Jesus and the new SUV and you couldn't afford the SUV so you're gonna go the Jesus route this month. You craven fucking idiots. You're breaking everything. You're fucking everything up because your numbers make you so powerful but since you're so unrelentingly STUPID you're making everything into Stupidworld.

You elect people who act like they're on your side because you're so STUPID that you fall for it, and then they get into office and start plying their own moneydrunk fucked up shit, and you think That's What Jesus Would Do because you're so fucking braindead.

Good move, Christers. I gotta say, we haven't had a Wardrobe Malfunction in a while. Hey, maybe you guys are right!

Oh, and you nutjob womanhating freakish ammo-hording Muslim fuckholes? Don't think this is about warming to YOUR side. You are the only thing on the fucking planet that is actually WORSE than Christers. you turn my insides to pus. Maybe all you fuckers SHOULD have a holy war. Then you can take each other out in an incredible display of Natural Selection. You go. You go, all you god damned ignorant idiots. Rock and Roll.

Boy, I am a many-sided dude, huh? I can't help it. This fucking religious shit is like acid in my veins. I mean, you wanna worship something like a bunch of fucking rainforest dwellers, you wanna make blood sacrifices to Boolo-Wanga-Booloo be my guest.

Just maybe go do it in the rainforest.

And plant some fucking trees while you're there. That's What Jeezus Would Do.

I keep 5 pennies, 5 nickels and 5 dimes next to the piano

so if i need to remember an idea i put the pennies on the first chord, the nickels on the second chord and the dimes on the third chord.


The Ashers Of Wimpole Street

When I was a southern California resident I thought the coolest place one could possibly have ever been was in early Swinging London. See, when you live in Pacific Beach or god forbid Imperial Beach (you don't get to live in Belair or god damn Newport Beach or Malibu or even generally Santa Monica if yer playing Tuesday nights at Spaceland, dawg) and you are the rare possessor of a brain it can be pretty lonely. This is Stupidland, folks. This is stripmall central. Yeah, there's a beach and the sky is blue and you can drive up the Silver Strand to Coronado but if you're lonely and everyone thinks you're insane and you're starting to realize that Home Depot gig could go on for a while, well, it's depressing and that monotonous god damn blue sky is pretty depressing. Oh, god it's depressing. And then you start thinking about London in 1963 and MAN IS IT DEPRESSING. And the ten illegals living next door are playin' that fucking Macarena pretty loud and that cockface is washing his CHRISTING CAMARO AGAIN. It was like a mantra for me....The Scotch of St. James...Belgravia...St. John's Wood...Cavendish Avenue...

Wow. I moved back here because you can't really be happy if you hate where you are. I wouldn't go on record as Mr. Laffy at any point in the near future, but being in a beautiful place that you love is one hell of a start. You can take a fucking walk, gods sake. Get a song idea.

I got that fantastic Barry Miles book about McCartney and the thing is like a love letter to Swinging London. What a fantastic book that is. My heavens. The Indica, Alma Cogan, The Bag O' Nails...beautiful. Beautiful. All rain and possibility.

And all in black and white. They didn't have color in Swinging London until "Help".

Yeah, I've been to London a few. I like that Victoria Station and smokin' in the movie theater. Dug that. Dug the Mayfair thing and Hyde Park. Liked it a lot. I was there in '81 when i were sixteen. that was great. On my own. Great. Stayed with a family in Swiss Cottage. House next to a graveyard. That red sky? Nutty. Rode the ferry from Ostende. Nice. Got a sleeper. I did a lot of shit like that when I was 16-17. Went up to that Sweden to play housie with a girl that had moved up there and on down to France and Spain and that. It was good. It's good to get out at that age and have a thing or two pounded into you. And vice versa not to put too fine a point on it. These kids today you can't let 'em go to the drugstore on their own. They'll think it's Nintendo when they're riding their bike and they'll blow it or something. They'll Never ache like you and I did. No, they won't. You need Catcher In The Rye and Roxy Music and stuff like that to ache old school. You know it's true.

Maybe it's for the best. I've read that depression and great art aren't necessarily linked so maybe it's fine the way they smile all pretty and innocent. I was not an innocent 15 year old. I was most definitely an idealistic one. Definitely open to possibility. Time I was 15 I'd done most of the things. yeah, pretty much all the stuff was checked off. It's good and bad. It lets you get to work in your twenties, you know? You don't much have hostels and Eurail passes on the mind in your twenties when you've done things.

Rocked on down to Italy, you know? The west. Pisa and on down the coast to Riomaggiore and La Spezie and there. Beautiful, beautiful stuff. Nights on park benches in Milan. I tried to write a book about it and it was fucking horrible. Can you imagine 300 pages of me? Eegh.

The other thing is too that I thought it would be an asset to be unique and sort of different like that. To have rappelled into crypts and heard the bark of the .38 and done Runs through 4 countries. to have gotten born in Helsinki and to have ridden rickety buses through Bolivia and to have lived the early Pinochet days in Santiago. All that crap. I thought that as an artist it would be sort of compelling to people to have that background.

But you know, I gotta say it isn't. Not the case at all.

People want people like the dude around the corner. The familiar, the relateable. I think if you're going to get up behind a microphone it's better if you're maybe more like a bartender from Queens than a kind of junior international Kerouac.

That's why I cultivate this whole sort of proletarian rock-the-folks-and-deal-square speech. I think of it as guthrieizing. You gotta guthrieize a little. Nobody wants that foreign-intrigue crap.

It is profoundly alienating. I feel like a fucking Venusian sometimes. I want to tell a funny story to some folks and it sounds like a huge lie like that dude in high school who said his dad worked for NASA.

So you guthrieize. bring it home a little. reel it in. Nobody wants that The Lady Disappears crap, you know?

Anyway- my favorite chapter in all the history of The Beatles is Paul's tenure at Jane Asher's family's house at Wimpole Street in London. Guy lives in an attic room next to Peter Asher. This is during the HEIGHT of Beatlemania. Dr. Asher and Margaret are Jane's parents, he a doctor, she a music teacher and instrumentalist. Fucking great.

Paul has an escape route to get out of the house and on with his business without trying to get through crowds of fans. He goes over the roof into the kitchen window of an old retired colonel, then through the apartment of a young married couple and out onto another street. He lives sort of like another brother in the Asher household, and at this point starts to come alive to good books and other types of art. I really, really like this about Paul McCartney, that he has the energy and character to use his rise in social status to engage his intellectual curiosity. It's so Swinging London of him to want to Expand His Horizons, not for the sake of snobbery but out of pure hunger. It reminds me of my parents. Growing up in small-town Minnesota they had that same kind of appetite for the world, going to school in Mexico and like that before they even had us. That's a cool generation right there, the born in 1930 to 1945 folks. I guess that's sort of broad, though. I'm sure there were plenty of wankers of the illest breed with bad manners and bad breath.

Paul goes to tea with Jane with her various aunts and suchwhich, having cucumber sandwiches and something-seed-cake, visiting in the country where they leave a good book by your bedside, along with a gracious assumption that you will read it. This appeals to and flatters Paul.

Could you imagine living on Wimpole Street in 1963 with the Ashers? Boy, would that be dope. In black and white? In Swinging London? Realizing dreams that you'd never even dreamed of? Being catapulted right to the front of the hugest cultural event in 50 years? Sneaking through some old guy's kitchen to make your getaway? That sounds pretty good, you know? Pretty god damned good, man. Pretty nice shit.

Paul was just super cool, man. Paul was like the fifth Beatle. I mean, not like he's not still around and rocking and all that. He's the man.

But see, he doesn't live at Wimpole Street in Swinging London anymore. With the Ashers. Writing "Yesterday" in the basement music room.

In black and white.

With cucumber sandwiches.

I should make those. I'm going to make those and eat them. Because then I'll be one step closer to being in Swinging London in the '60's. Then I just keep doing those little things and I'll keep getting closer and then one day...who knows? Who really just fuckin' knows?

Maybe I'll meet the Colonel. Maybe I'll write "World Without Love" so my roomie can have a smash international hit too. Maybe I'll hang out with Eric Burdon and Ronnie Lane at the Speakeasy. Maybe I'll start up the Indica Gallery with Barry Miles and John Dunbar.

Fuckit, we're out of cucumbers. I'm going to watch TV.


The Bobby Lightfoot Explosion has shortened its name to "LIGHTFOOT".

Haaaaa HA HA HA HA HA!


Except I think I get my skin tone from my mom, Orangina Lightfoot.


So I'm a "Character" now.

Not sure when it happened. Probably around age 28. Around when I stopped giving a good god damn. Around when I realized that people weren't going to remember me for my striking violet eyes or my luxuriant pompadour. It's fine; it worked out pretty good in the showbiz thing aside from the eventual crashing and burning and failing and leaving a quahter million dollar hole in the pockets of those who foolishly believed in me.

It was tough when I had to get a secret clearance for this I.T. gig I had in San Diego. It was awesome. Apparently people here in Northampton got a "visit" or two. Old employers and landlords and whatnot told me they'd had conversations with Men In Grey Linen Suits. I love that. I went out there to do music and supported myself with computer crap and everyone here thought I was like going to assassinate Gorbachev or some shite.

I'm not really the tiresome guy who has to make a joke out of everything? I'm not that guy. I don't like having my conversation mined for funnies by some fat wank. I am a deep believer in Listening. Within reason.

I'm more like the guy who is unbelievably chaotic to straight people. Artists have no problem with me at all but The Straight, the second I'm out of the room they're like scratching their heads and looking quizzically at one another. Quizzzllllquizzlllley. And I think in the workplace they sort of enjoy having me around because my chaos and my long nights of rock make me a little larger than life to them. yeah, I hope it works out in the end.

If stuff like worked out in the end it would be the dopest. If I was like a Christer I could just relax and sink back into the sophoroophus rose hip soup of mental indulgence and know All Was Fine. I'd probably be a lot happier. yeah, that's what i'll do i'll accept Jeekers Crispie as my parsonal lard and slavier. Then when I'm all at church praying on my knees to Monstanto I can feel all peaceful.

Instead of wracked with fear and always sore in the stomach from laughing.

Laughing is going to be my personal savierre. The laughing is going to get me through. For each year I lose from worrying and living without sleep and smacking the cageritte I will gain 18 months from laughing. I laugh every fucking day at least a hundred times. If it gets to bedtime and I've only had 99 I take down my pants and look at my ass in the mirror.

If I go substantially over it's fine but every now and then I'll hold one back just to stay in the ballpark. It's usually when some nimbskill tells a joke that I'll stare blankly and when they get offended I'll explain that I've got 6 or 7 laughs on credit. They seem to understand.

Because I'm a "character" now.

I like to drive my "character" car and speak in my "character" voice. My political views are "character" political views because I just want to fill the white house with vast truckloads of all manner of unctuous shit and whatnot. Things redolent in pustuality. Fucking tell me that wouldn't solve some problems. I'm about "action" the way a "character" is.

I'm not the guy flippin' the bird at the company picnoc snipshot. I'm more like the guy that goes and rides the swanboat thoughtfully for hours. Pedaling, pedaling and broody characterishly. I did that on a company picnoc snopshit once.

So, I'm a "character" now. Why? Well, because I like to amuse people and lighten their load. And I like to think really hard. And I don't believe in living too far in the future. Haven't you ever seen dead people? They're all, "I should've taken that painting class" and "I should have fucked that girl in accounting she was way into me" and "why didn't I ever go to Sandusky". Ha ha. Why didn't I ever go to Sandusky. And I want to do things that are out of the ordinary every day. It is extremely important to do things that are out of the ordinary every day. I have no idea why. I mean, I don't. Nobody does. For long. you get yer days where some shit goes down and you write a Pucciniesque masterpiece about having your heart break forever and hearing her voice in the rustling, coppery twilight and about the labyrinthine streets of Venice and the windblown maroon fastness of Mars and suchwhat. Then you get the black X days. The days you mark on the calender with a black X.

I don't do that on all the days on my calendar. Just the ones where I don't do anything out of the ordinary.

Then, when I'm on my death bed I can look at all those X's and curse the clappering bells of Saint Aloysius of Chippendell for the waste.

Until then, I'll have to address my tendency to assess life from the vantage point of imminent demise.

Oh, O.K.- I'm done. It's because I'm a "character".

I'm not, like, the guy in school who gets stoned and does an interpretive dance at the basketball game. I'm not the guy with the "Don't Blame Me I Voted For Alfred E. Neuman" bumpersticker. I'm not the guy with the maximus mandibillius morphicum who da te com te la ambrus nokium telemarketus nobisquitum. No furnicating way, canus.

Let's call each other "canus". It'll be so money. We'll be the hoppiest of the hip hoppers with the "canus" shit. "Yo, canus". "Whattup, canus". "Here's some bullets for yo' head da's wh'am sayin.............canus".

Anyway, you're more like that guy. Yeah, that's it. You're that guy. Not me. So you're that dude. So I'm not.

So I'm a character now.

But I'm not that other thing because that's you. The other thing. It's cool, you know? The other thing is cool. You're fine. Don't get weird about it. You'll get chicks being that other thing. Chicks love that. Where you're all "I'm that other thing that isn't a character". What chick likes a character? Character's not going to bring it home. character's not going to be on time. Character's not going to have a big nestegg socked away for that all important domicilius suburbus. People who go through a quarter mil of other people's money don't have the big nest egg. They'll have a story or two but that's good for 5 minutes and a crippuccinio.

Crappincino. Cappiciana.


Great, it's only a quart past midenit. I can still ply the piano for 5 hours.

Try to make it not a black X day.

Y'all try too, now, y'hear?


It's Never Easy To Change.

Not nearly enough good things have been said about "Apple Venus Volume 1" by XTC. This is simply some otherworldly shit. The music is staggeringly ambitious, the songs melodically brilliant and just a tiny bit astringent, and the production is just about the best I've ever heard. The way the record is mixed is a marvel in itself, weaving together instruments from different musical traditions into a seamless picture that is miraculously uncluttered. It sounds like "Pet Sounds" recorded in 2150 AD. It sounds as British and portentous as a Winston Churchill speech. It beguiles our inner Bronze Ager with the eldritch modalities of "Green Man" and "Harvest Festival". It draws from everything and nothing; Moulding's Cowardisms lighten Partridge's relentlessly ambitious orchestral neoformalism in time-honored XTC fashion.

Partly because of the cast of thousands on this record, there hovers about it a sense of endless mental honing followed by quick and succinct tracking dates. At least on the orchestral side. The formality is engaging; like a good play we sit in our seats and clap and gape at the amazing moments, responding for all the world like Paul McCartney's northern panto crowd in "Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band". And true to this conceit, many of the songs begin with a distinct sonic pulling-back-of-curtains. By little kids in costumes.

When we were children, Andy Partridge gave us the "rub" which made the standard 2 guitar/bass/drums arrangement reveal sonic possibilities that made us feel like Rock was just starting. Much like Brian Wilson before him, he put sounds together in ways that made new sounds. Now as we gray "Apple Venus Volume 1" presents the same concept, the same "rubs", but performed with orchestras. The transition from the tight, formal first chorus of "I Can't Own Her" into its refrain, replete with racing strings and flute, presents a rub of pure, intentional wrongness on the "resolution" of "...SWIRL-ing sky...". Yet the arrangement demands it; the return to the home key is an utter miracle. It is also an almost unneccesary display of mastery; picking up a new key would have been perfectly respectable.

Two songs later, we are again treated to perfect wrongness in the verse melody of "The Last Balloon". The angularity of the passage is augmented with austere harpsichord, the passing tones in the left hand moving in a most unlikely chromatic descent. "Harvest Festival" is a close cousin of "The Last Balloon", the intro done this time on a stately piano upon which a harmless I/VII/V is lent the fragility of dead leaves with a fourth slipped in under the first chord. This, of course, is resolved by a series of I/IV's in the tonic key of B before easing back into the home key with I (F#maj.) and its sere fourth. The unaccidental beauty of this presents itself in the fact the the original key, the first chord, the F# major/add B, is almost a B chord itself! Voiced F#, Bb (!) , B, C#. Why isn't it just a B chord? Well, that Bb ain't exactly at home in a B major triad, now is it? It's a major seventh, which very simply does NOT belong at this ball game. The 9nth? The C#? It isn't nearly as threatening a presence as the major seventh. It serves to turn the chord into a "cluster", giving us the major seventh, the root and the ninth close and cuddly.

But what would the progression be without adding the fourth to the F# chord? And how would we be anticipating that rise to the tonic resolution without it? So that when it comes we go from wondering why there is the sound of creaking chairs to standing under a tent on a field in the summer in the West Midlands in another century?

I'm pretty sure that in 200 years this work will rank with the greats of 20th century classical music.

Right now, though, it's obviously fucked.

I lost my autographed copy in San Francisco, Wayne Newton notwithstanding. It said "To Our Bob". I fucking love that so much. If I hadn't made 800 on that gig and gotten two nights with choclits on my pillow I would've slashed my wrists. Truly a sweet regret. The thing that kills me is that whoever found it was probably like "XT what?" and listened to it and thought it didn't sound like Black Eyed Peas at all. Probally flushed it with a Koran or two.

Let's start an island somewhere. We'll get Magic Alex to scout it with Mal. I just feel so close to all of you right now.