My buddy Mark McKenna is doing a great book for your kids! He already does the Banana Tail comic series, and now he is trying to raise the money to ship it to all your rugrats. He already has it done basically, he is just looking for the money to ship it all. Click the link above, and if I did it right the video on Kickstarter would be below. Only 6 days left and you get some AWESOME art as rewards, among other things. So do it! Aw crap! I didn’t do it right so click HERE!
Recently I confided with a relative about a time in my life that was a little bumpy. I was a teen in Germany and not that interested in school. Back then, DoD (Department of Defense) schools did not know how to deal with, or had heard of, ADD and dyslexia. So I ran around with a group of similar kids causing trouble. Nothing major, no drugs, violence or things of the like. It was petty vandalism and truancy. We got caught. The group was punished but I was singled out, I think it was because my dad was the lowest rank of the group of dads involved. Instead of the curfews and restrictions the other kids got, I was sent “home” to the states to live with my uncle. This is where the real trouble began.
Imagine you were a teen in the 80’s. Rock and Roll, Vans sneakers and “Rat Tails” in your hair. You had traveled the world, played in 800 year old castles along with major metropolitan cities. You had freedom to travel by bus and train to anywhere you wanted to go. Now imagine being sent “home” to a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. You are the new guy in school in a town where there were never any new guys. Girls liked me, I was from a place way farther that the county line and that meant I was exotic or something. I wore ripped jeans as was the style, the hole in the ass that barely showed my undies was a huge hit with the ladies, guys hated me because of that. I was threatened in school, fights were scheduled that I would never attend because 1. I couldn’t get to the place and 2. I didn’t want to fight. I was set up by supposed new friends as a dope dealer when caught smoking a cigarette with them. It was called a joint, but it wasn’t. I got in house detention along with the other “friends” I was with. I was soon labeled a snitch. So school was hell.
Home life wasn’t much better. My uncle could not abide someone living under his roof with a “rat tail“. You remember? Even if you had short hair, you grew out a long Jedi Padawan like bit of hair and braided it. It was nothing like the down to my ass long hair that I would have in later years, but my uncle could not stand it. He forced me to get it cut off. Not a big deal really, but without ANY freedom to do or go where I wanted, it was my only way to express my individuality. I soon became majorly depressed.
We had gone to a Flea Market/Swap meet one day and with the few bucks I had bought a cheap machete. I had always loved blades, still do. My life became empty. I would go into the woods and chop on old stumps until I cried. I started staying in bed all the time. For three days straight I slept. My aunt would wake me up for school and I would mumble “No.”. On the fourth day, she took me to the doctor because I was either on drugs or had Mono. It was neither, it was depression. I am still curious why I was still considered a druggie after that. They took blood, something would have showed up.
I was talked down too because I wasn’t the perfect little children my cousins were, had no freedom and was a drug addict! I never touched hard drugs until I finally moved back to America in my 20’s. Sure I had smoked a bit of hash in Germany, but that is on the level of smoking a joint here. They are basically the same thing! Hash is just stronger. I was labeled unfairly because I would not conform. Thank God they eventually gave up on me and sent me back to Germany before I killed myself or something.
Once back, I went through all the same punishments the other kids did. They had finished theirs by that time, so I was alone in that, but I was still more free that I was at my uncles house. Many years later, dad retired and we moved back to the same area. The same uncle convinced my dad to invest in a computer store. Dad and mom had saved up a considerable nest egg and sunk $50,000 (approximately) into this store. This was the time when computers were moving from 386 to 486. WOW! So prices were astronomical for a new computer. The only one who knew anything about computers was my cousin, I was learning but this whole store idea was centered on his ability. Needless to say, it failed. It was supposed to be a 50/50 deal, but dad never saw a penny. He went to his grave heartbroken that his own brother did him that way. I would hear him and mom late at night talking before bed about it. That and his loss of being a military man weighed heavy on him in his last days. It was almost exactly one year from retirement to death for him. Yes I was on the road of addiction before my dad died, newly on the road.
I had confided this story with a relative recently. Yesterday I get a message, that I just now got because my cousins are not on my friends list, degrading me and defending her father. I just wanted to let her know the real story. Her last words in a PM, words I will not answer directly because after my father died his side of our family deserted us, were “When I was a little girl, I thought you hung the moon. Reality is such a bitter pill.” Yes it is, especially when you know the truth.
I was an American kid, growing up in Germany as a part of an army family. One day I was enjoying my second favorite pastime, skipping school. Skipping as an American kid in Germany is much different from here in the USA. I never had to worry about truant officers, police and I could go into any pizzeria to get a beer. This was freshmen year, so I was 13 or 14 years old, grabbing a beer and eating pizza. It was Heaven.
After a day of drinking and roaming around 800 year old castles, we would always hit the record shop in the main train station. That is where we got our fix of rock. AFN, The Armed Forces Network, was a variety radio station. It was also the only one in English, so we listened for even the tiniest bit of rock. Whenever we heard a band’s name that we liked, it would go on my list. The tiny train station shop didn’t have much, but the ROCK bin was mine, I claimed it every visit.
Flipping through the albums, looking at the cool artwork and guessing our way through these bands we had never heard of was a gamble. It was always hit or miss. I remember picking up this one album, black with hints of vivid color coming from the inside it’s suspect double album cover. Red letters emblazoned on black, and a barely visible pentagram done with some reflective material. “Mötley Crüe” the bands name, “Shout at the Devil” was the album. I snatched the last copy and took the train home to see what I got.
I got home, told mom school was fine (lie) and headed to my room. Holding SATD in my hands, I rip the plastic off, slide out the LP in the liner-notes sleeve. I lift the plastic cover off of my Hi-Fi stereo, put the record on, grab the lyrics and with headphones on (Mom hated loud music), and I heard these words…
In the beginning
Good always overpowered the evils
Of all man’s sins…
But in time
The nations grew weak
And our cities fell to slums
While evil stood strong…
In the dusts of hell
Lurked the blackest of hates
For he whom they feared
Now, many many lifetimes later
Lay destroyed, beaten, beaten down
Only the corpses of rebels
Ashes of dreams
And blood-stained streets…….
And it has been written
“Those who have the youth
Have the future”
So come now, children of the beast
Be strong, And Shout at the Devil!
My world changed that day. I had the liner notes memorized, band members ranked in order of bad-asses. Hit Parade magazine got shredded every time Mötley Crüewere in it and the pages adorned my wall. A football jock that rode my bus stole me that black shit they put under their eyes and I would alternate between Tommy and Nikki stripes. Eyeliner, ripped jeans and even fishnet stockings from a chick I knew for gloves. Then it happened, Monsters of Rock 1984! I was going to go anyway, but the moment I saw Mötley Crüewere going there, I was first in line at the local ticket seller.
I loved all the bands, but was there for Crüe! It was hard to get much news about them over there, and since the invention of the internet not even a dream yet. So Hit Parade and all the other Teen Mags were my only sources. Whenever I heard they were on tour, I was on the ticket hunt.
I remember seeing them three maybe four times, Tommy’s drum kit growing more and more elaborate. One show, I think it was Theater of Pain, I met Tommy without even realizing it. Pumped full of beer and wine hours before the show. I had my girlfriend with me and she had run off to get some more booze I think. The concert hall was not the biggest, but all our area had to offer that was indoors.
The adjoining buildings were the business offices or what not for the hall. I was sitting on the steps, away from the crowd chilling out when this van came screeching up. Out jumped this tall, skinny dude with a mess of black hair. The doors locked, and no one was around, so the guy just muttered “Fuck!”.
I lit a smoke, and he asked to bum one. I said, “Sure dude, no prob..” and waited in silence like all cool rock dudes did. A few minutes later, the security opens the door for this guy. I was jealous, who was he?
At the very moment the doors closed, my girl came back, looked through the glass doors and screamed “THAT WAS TOMMY LEE!”. I palmed my face, thinking how fucking stupid I was. Well I was about to get stupider.
I am not a braggart, but I was a bit of a leader with my group of rocker friends. It was getting close to showtime and all of a sudden we heard guitars. Drums. Bass. Vocals. Crüe was doing sound-check! I grabbed my crew and headed for the side of the hall. They had those double doors with the push bar on the inside and security at them all. One guard must have been a fan because he had the door cracked, checking things out.
I led my rocking mob in an all out assault and wedged myself in the door before it could close. Hands grabbed, I squirmed then escaped the guards grip. I burst into the empty hall, guards hot on my ass and ran in circles all the while trying to get Crüe’s attention. I don’t know if Crüe even did their own sound-checks, but I swear it was them. They stopped playing and watched me play Keystone Cops with security. I didn’t want to get caught and miss the show, so I booked. I ran through another set of those doors, through the guards and blended in with all my fellow Crüeheads.
The show was amazing, we were up front of the general admission crowd, crushed against the bar with my girlfriend. I was in Heaven.
That was my life when I lived in Germany. Part of a military family, BRATS as friends. Some I still am in touch with, but most have faded away. One special dude, Butch has passed on. I get sad thinking about him.
Flash forward to the Mötley Crüe/Poison tour. I begged and pleaded on social media for a chance to see them again. I am now a disabled vet, that means I don’t have any money, and my condition was getting worse. I feared that this would be my last chance to see them. Seth Green heard my cry.
After verifying that I’m a disabled veteran, Seth’s people talked to Nikki’s people, and I had VIP access! I got to meet Nikki, he signed his books, my ticket, laminate and everything I had on me. Was front row, in a safe place (disabled remember?) and rocking to my heroes again. Hadn’t felt so good in years. My condition did not exist during the show! I was so inspired.
I wanted to be a rock journalist/photographer, and low and behold I did it! I overcame my anxiety problems for short periods, wore my leg braces to shows and got a freelance position on a small print magazine. My biggest moment was getting to photograph Halestorm and write an article, I got the cover.
Things are not getting better though. I now know that this is my last chance to not only see Mötley Crüe, but my last chance to be a journalist/photographer covering them. Nikki Sixx is the reason I am still alive. See, not only did I imitate the style, I followed my path to addiction and back.
Before I got to meet Nikki on that tour, my painwas tormenting me more that ever. Iwas so close to using again when I picked up my copy of The Heroin Diaries. I read it all night, remembering the hell addiction was. I didn’t want to go back to hell, I wanted to Shout at the Devil!.
So I met Nikki, got bit by the photography bug and worked as many local shows I could handle. Its stupid, but I had this Cameron Crowe/Almost Famous dream. I want to be the kid in that movie, to be Cameron Crowe. I want to write a story, firsthand, from a fans eyes of the Death of Mötley Crüe. I know I could do it, I need a publication or some other entity to take a chance and believe in me. Hire me to go on tour, write the epitaph of my lifelong heroes.
To be continued….
I happened upon an élite screening of the upcoming CW series, The Flash. All in all it was a pretty solid show, this coming from a guy who usually says “Make mine Marvel.”. If you watched the extended trailer for the show, well you saw just about ALL the action in the premier. That being said, the show does have great character development. A certain police officers daughter could use some more acting chops, but who cares?
Here is the ending easter egg for you….
Here at S.T.A.R. labs, we have “Wheels“. (I am calling him that.)
Wheels has a secret room!
It is a MIRACLE! He also has a button.
What does this button do? Well it brings up a holographic image of a newspaper. Look at the date, Headline and sidebar column.
What the hell is DC doing? Marvel has a plan, DC seems like they are throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. With the Batman V Superman movie containing Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Bats and Supes (And God knows who else), their TV side has Arrow, who made a cameo in The Flash, Gotham babies and a prospect of a Batman in this series, WTF? Bless them, oh this is gonna get messy.
Quit smoking that is.
Kerri Kasem has opened a new store(smoke bar?) down in Hollywood. called Good Vapor. Photos on the website look great. The place is clean and trendy and the people amazing. I recently spoke to Jesse, my nemesis in the daily struggle for Kerri’s affection (He has already won and I truly like the guy), and he gave me the rundown on all things Vapor.
They have an extensive menu of healthy alternatives to tobacco and top of the line vaporizers at very good prices. So a Pro-kit is zooming my way, and if I can stretch this last pack of cigarettes, I will soon be smoke free. No more spending $5+ a day for the sticks of death. I am totally committing myself to doing this. My health sucks as it is so doing this will make me feel so much better. I will give you my review of the vaporizer after I get it.
Don’t forget to check out my last post about her new Kasem Cares Foundation. It is a sad situation but also inspiring with the way she is fighting back. The best part about it is, you can help!
So head on down there, visit the site, call (310) 276-1788 or email them at GoodVaporBeverlyHills@Gmail.com
The address is…
Just for a minute, I am going to assume that everyone who reads this had a good relationship with their fathers OK?
Everyone of us clashed with our dads at one time or another, it is natural teen angst. My dad was a tough as nails military man, while I was a long-haired, tattooed, wannabe rock star. He must have hated it. Yeah, he would threaten me with a trip to the Army barber now and then, but I gave him good cause. One day he had to take off from work (in the army), drive half an hour to the Nuremberg police station and pick me up. I had been caught with friends skipping school and we were wandering around the Red Light District, just looking. That was the longest drive home ever.
Dad didn’t yell. The whole trip back was silence. I squirmed in my seat, coughed and tried to stop the squirming and be as still as possible. When we got home, he would let me have it. He was never violent, I got the belt maybe twice in my life and those times it was for something worse than looking at hookers. Imagine a 30 year, Vietnam vet. Combat tried and tested yelling at you. Pretty scary. Guess what I did? Fainted. BAM! Flat on my face and slowly woken by our dog licking my face. It wasn’t over though. Because I fainted, the discussion turned to “Are you on drugs?”. I wasn’t, I was scared. Finally he dismissed me to my room. I put on some Motley Crue and tried to relax, cursing my dad for not understanding me.
My dad is gone now, passed years ago but I still miss him every day. I would give anything to have just a few more hours to really talk to him. This is similar to the spot my friend Kerri Kasem is in now, but she has hope. Her dad, the legendary radio and TV host of American Top 40 Casey Kasem, is in poor health. His wife (you may or may not remember her from that horrendous Cheers spin-off The Tortellis) Jean Kasem, has been blocking Casey’s children from seeing him. I really hate to say this, and it pains me to do so, but Casey Kasem is not long for this Earth. A man is dying and is ditz wife bars his kids from even seeing him without an armed guard present! She has even gone to the lengths as to brag that she was about to star on the next season of Housewives of Beverly Hills! Made a fake Facebook account under Casey Kasem’s name just to trick people into tweeting their support for her in this role. REALITY CHECK! Casey Kasem does not use the computer, he unfortunately can’t. Also, he is a man of such standards he would never peddle trash like that. Never in my life have I ever heard an ill word spoken of him. And because of that formerly blond (yet still a) bimbo, his children don’t get to spent the right kind of time with a father who is near his end.
“Well I heard it was about the kids wanting money.”, wrong! Kerri has money, her sister does as well. Kerri’s brother is the number one radio host in Singapore and has two TV shows! They don’t want money, they just wanna see their dad. Casey raised them right. Last night on KABC talk radio, Kerri recounted her childhood. She didn’t have the regular Hollywood kid upbringing. Casey never gave her a credit card to go buy frivolous things, if she wanted something Casey told her to work for it. Boy has she taken that to heart now.
Kerri’s sister signed an agreement, but Kerri would not. I believe she was right in refusing as no child should have to bargain, beg or sign away a parent. With that, she decided to fight, to go to work. Sure she could have just gone to court and had her own battle, but she knows that there are thousands out there in her exact situation. There are no laws for a judge to rule on for children’s rights when it comes to ailing parents. Kerri and her layer Troy Martin, have partnered with Assemblyman Mike Gatto who is sponsoring the new bill aimed at giving children the right to see their ailing parent. She has started a foundation, Kasem Cares and is taking donations to help pay lobbyists and get this law passed as fast as she can. She is short on time and knows it, but she also wants to hear from you. She wants your story if you have been in this situation or still are. She fights not only to see her dad, but to make sure others don’t have to endure the heartache she has.
I would also ask you to tweet Assemblyman Mike Gatto @mikegatto and thank him, use the hashtag #ThisBillShallPass Go to Kerri Kasem’s Facebook and give her your stories and support. She really reads everything you post there. Donate at KasemCares.org Do something. I would give anything for just one moment with my dad, don’t let her moments be taken by formed, wannabe actress. (I am so pissed at her, sorry)
Above all, keep Casey Kasem in your thoughts, Kerri as well.
“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” #ThisBillShallPass
Wow, 50 of you crazy people follow me, that is so insane. Don’t you know I am a crazy man? Well if you didn’t know, then you are not a true follower and you should be ashamed.
You know, if each and every one of you gave me $1000 each, I could start getting my artists paid for my upcoming comic. Is that too large a price to pay for my sporadic ramblings? I come on here once, maybe up to four times a month, and pour the insanity straight from my demented brain to you.
In all seriousness, I know 50 is not a huge number, but you all mean a lot to me. I get pretty good traffic, but you, YOU chose to “Follow”. Welcome to my cult.
Also go check out Mark McKenna and his Kickstarter (I will be doing one soon as I figure out a few more story details) Combat Jacks 2: The Continuing Saga
Check our Hall of Fame inker Mark McKenna and his Kickstarter campaign for Combat Jacks 2, The continuing SAGA!
He has put up some great rewards for this one. Original art up the wazoo! If he hits his $6000 goal or beyond, if he hits $6500 everybody who pledged will get a PDF file of the fiendishly good 40 page
PLB Halloween Special 2013!!
I got the Star Wars, “Duel of the Twi’leks” VERY limited CVI print