Miz Shoes

Here Comes Santa Claus


I got a little note in my e-mail today from my boyfriends record company. Columbia Records was eager to tell me about Bob Dylan’s newest (and 47th) album available for pre-order today. Because I just can’t make this shit up, here’s what they told me about it:

Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows his worldwide chart-topping Together Through Life, released earlier this year. Songs performed by Dylan on this new album include, “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Must Be Santa.”

All of Bob Dylan’s U.S. royalties from sales of these recordings will be donated to Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to more than 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year’s holiday season. Bob Dylan is also donating all of his future U.S. royalties from this album to Feeding America in perpetuity.

Additionally, Bob Dylan is partnering with two international charities to provide meals during the holidays for millions in need in the United Kingdom and the developing world, and will be donating all of his future international royalties from Christmas In The Heart to those organizations in perpetuity. Details regarding the international partnerships will be announced next week.

Bob Dylan commented, “It’s a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone—12 million of those children—often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season.”

I just… I mean… Oh good lord. The thought of that clogged-with-lungers voice gargling out Christmas carols has had me off my feed all day. I just… I mean… Oh good lord. Will no one think of the CHILDREN? What if some misguided Dylan fan pumps that shit into the airwaves at a shopping mall? The sound of Christmas music when well done (and to be honest, I think well performed, or well written Christmas music to be an oxymoron) sends me searching for the nearest gun outlet. I can’t go shopping between September and December 26 anyway. But the BOB??? Doing Little Drummer Boy? Could it possibly be worse than this:

Oh, you know it can. Maybe not as gawdawful cheesy, but worse. I mean… I just… Look, it’s not that Jews don’t do Christmas albums. Think Barbra Streisand. But Bob? His born-again music was pretty fucking dreary, but this? I just cannot wrap my mind around it. And no, i don’t think I’ll be buying it, either. In every sense of that phrase. And yeah, it’s great and all that he’s going to donate the proceeds to feeding the hungry, but really and come on, is this going to sell more than 100 copies? Dude, just break out the checkbook. Sign over the royalties to, I don’t know, Mr. Tambourine Man or something that might bring in enough to buy a 100 pound sack of rice.


Miz Shoes

Cadillac Walk

This sucks. Just saw the news that Willy DeVille has died of pancreatic cancer. Maybe now they’ll rerelease the Mink DeVille catalog on cd. Dammit. Another musical genius goes down. At least it wasn’t hookers and blow.

Miz Shoes

Prove It All Night

Tickets purchased for the September 13 show. It took many tries to get the seats in the section I wanted, which, of course, all failed. Despite my old age and bad knees, I gave up and bought general admission floor space. Whatever. I’m going to see BRUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! and the legendary, incendiary, incomparable E STREET BAND!

Miz Shoes

What’s The Matter With Kids Today

It’s never been much of a secret that Phil Spector was mad as a hatter, even at the top of his game. Still, in the category of how the mighty have fallen, seeing Phil get 19 to life for murder is right up there with Syd Barrett dying as an overweight recluse or Jocko Pastorius getting beaten to death by a bouncer. It stung me, is what I’m saying. Enough that Phil and his sentence has been a topic of conversation for me. To this end: Who? What? Because I work with fucking children. Once I reminded them that Phil Spector was the rock producer who was on trial (again) for the mysterious gun-shot death of a b-movie actress he’d met in a bar and taken home, the next question was: he was a producer? I said, uh, yeah, the “Wall of Sound” to which the response was “I never heard of them.”

After my co-worker removed my stapler from my hand and prevented me from stapling myself to death, I explained that the wall of sound was not a who, but a musical style. Still rang no bells for this kid. The Ronettes? Be My Baby? The Chrystals? Da Doo Ron Ron? Nothing. Nada. This traumatizes me to the point where I find myself yesterday retelling the story to the Number Two Surrogate Daughter (my own child in an alternate reality) and her friend. They both look at me with googly eyes. Phil Spector means nothing to them, either. Nor does the concept of the wall of sound. Now I had a hand in the Number Two’s musical upbringing and this is causing me much distress. She calls her boyfriend, a certified rocker. Zip. Zilch. Not a faint hint of a whiff of a clue.

So, the Number Two and her friend pull my head out of the oven, and I show them the Wikipedia entry on Wall of Sound. Uh-huh. Fine. Now we know. Will you please go back to showing up how to make a pie crust?

Gah!!!! What the fuck are kids learning in college these days? How can any self-respecting rocker NOT know about Phil and the wall of sound? I’m reading this out loud to the girls, and asking questions of them as I go along. It is painfully like the classroom scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

So if Phil called his sound “Wagnerian”, then it is a direct line from him to? Anybody? Anybody? (sweet tapdancing jesus, people, haven’t you listened to anything I’ve given you?) Jim Steinman and Meatloaf. Yes??? The girls roll their eyes. I put away the lap top. Kids. No sense of history.

Miz Shoes

An American Girl

First, let me say that I have officially entered into curmudgeonhood. I realized that last night when the two teenage girls down the row from me were texting furiously during Steve Winwood’s performance. And then again when folks were still wandering to their seats (FOR THE FIRST TIME) as the Heartbreakers took the stage. And finally when I saw that the drunk kids “dancing” in the aisle next to me during “Refugee” may have actually been fucking. There were no pants on the girl, at any rate. Nothing below the t-shirt as far as I could tell. And during “Refugee”? I mean, really and come on. The worst song in the whole set, and that’s what you’re doing the nasty to?

But it is also my observation that routinely the crowds go wild for the worst songs. At a Dylan show, it’s the Deadheads who didn’t know what to do with themselves after Jerry died, getting their patchouli-reeking freak on for “Silvio.” At a Springsteen show, it’s the boys getting all hot for “Candy’s Room” which, hello? is at best, a feeble rewrite of the masterful “She’s the One.” And last night? “Refugee”. Puh-leeze.

Anyway. I was wrong about the seats. I forgot about the extra-special ten rows of members-only, thousand bucks a pop seats, and the even more extra-special auction for charity row. Whatever. We were at most, 20 rows back from the stage, and dead center. Stevie Winwood and his tight little jazz fusion group started with absolutely no fanfare at 8 on the dot. His percussionist and his flautist were both top form. I’m off to buy the new CD, based on the show.  He hasn’t lost his voice, and when he took the powder blue Fender from the roadies, showed why he was a prodigy back in the day. In my notes, I say that Steve breaks the Springsteen rule of “you can’t play guitar with your watch on”, and absolutely shatters it. He can play. Period. I confess to being a guitar god groupie, and it was a sweet, sweet evening.

copyright 2008 Angie Chestnut

Sometime after 9, Tom Petty came on with the Heartbreakers. I haven’t seen them live since maybe 1979-80? during the Damn The Torpedoes tour, and then it was at the old Hollywood Snortatorium, and I was in the nosebleed seats. He was wearing a magnificent mulberry purple velvet blazer.

copyright 2008 Angie Chestnut

What a dandy that boy is. And I for one appreciate when a band dresses for the show. You know? All the money the Grateful Dead have, and they have to wear stanky cargo shorts and Tevo sandals? Not to pick on the Dead, but…

So here’s the set list:

Wreck Me

Listen To Her Heart

Won’t Back Down

Even the Losers

Free Falling (the velvet jacket comes off & dope smoke fills the hall)

Last Dance With Mary Jane

End of the Line

band intros, and Stevie Winwood comes out for the next two songs

Somebody Must Change

Gimme Some Lovin’ (and my notes say that Steve and Mike swap licks. But that doesn’t do it justice. When Winwood was in the band, the whole arena came to life, and it was the first time that the energy in the hall really started to peak.)

Golden Rose


Honey Bee

Learning to Fly (acoustic)

Don’t Come Around Here No More



Running Down a Dream

Mystic Eyes and

American Girl

In concert, it is so much more apparent how much Benmont Tench brings to the sound and soul of the Heartbreakers. And Mike Campbell has to be the most underrated side man since Nils Lofgren joined the E-Street Band. The man is, as I mentioned earlier, a total guitar god. Like the E-Street Band, the Heartbreakers are much more than the sum of their parts, though. It was a good, albeit sort of short, show. And a quick check at the tour page shows that they aren’t mixing up their set lists much, either.

As I gave the stink-eye to the drunken 20-somethings last night, I had a moment of wonder. I wonder how much longer I can keep going to concerts? The RLA had ear-plugs in, but I was wallowing in the happy, deafening buzz for a couple of hours after. My best guess for continued rock show attendance? Until I can’t find anyone to push the wheelchair in.

copyright 2008 Angie Chestnut

And a very special thank you to Angie Chestnut for sharing these photos with me, and by extension, you. It was serendipity that had me sitting two rows behind her, and what an amazing artist she is. Check out her site.

Miz Shoes

Not Fade Away

Well, this is a pretty sucky day here at the Casita des Zappatos. First we lose Yves St. Laurent and now, the inimitable (OK, highly imititable) Bo Diddley. I can’t think of many other artists who so indelibly marked rock and roll. You only need to hear the beat, and you know when you’re listening to Bo Diddley, or one of his successors.

The Bo Diddley beat is one of rock & roll’s bedrock rhythms, showing up in the work of Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones, and even pop-garage knockoffs like the Strangeloves’ 1965 hit “I Want Candy.” Diddley’s hypnotic rhythmic attack and declamatory, boasting vocals stretched back as far as Africa for their roots, and looked as far into the future as rap. His trademark otherwordly vibrating, fuzzy guitar style did much to expand the instrument’s power and range. But even more important, Bo’s bounce was fun and irresistibly rocking, with a wisecracking, jiving tone that epitomized rock & roll at its most humorously outlandish and freewheeling…

His very first single, “Bo Diddley”/“I’m a Man” (1955), was a double-sided monster. The A-side was soaked with futuristic waves of tremolo guitar, set to an ageless nursery rhyme; the flip was a bump-and-grind, harmonica-driven shuffle, based around a devastating blues riff. But the result was not exactly blues, or even straight R&B, but a new kind of guitar-based rock & roll, soaked in the blues and R&B, but owing allegiance to neither.

from All-Music Guide review by Richie Unterberger

As a live performer, Diddley was galvanizing, using his trademark square guitars (namely one of his Grestch guitars he nicknamed The Twang Machine) and distorted amplification to produce new sounds that anticipated the innovations of ‘60s guitarists like Jimi Hendrix. In Great Britain, he was revered as a giant on the order of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. The Rolling Stones in particular borrowed a lot from Bo’s rhythms and attitude in their early days, although they only officially covered a couple of his tunes, “Mona” and “I’m Alright.” Other British R&B groups like the Yardbirds, Animals, and Pretty Things also covered Diddley standards in their early days. Buddy Holly covered “Bo Diddley” and used a modified Bo Diddley beat on “Not Fade Away”; when the Stones gave the song the full-on Bo treatment (complete with shaking maracas), the result was their first big British hit.

from All-Music Guide review by Richie Unterberger

What more is there to say? He was a giant. An innovator.


Miz Shoes

You Think I’m Over the Hill

Today is one of the high holy days of my personal religion. Today is Bob Dylan’s natal anniversary…birthday for those of you too illiterate to figure out the first phrase. Yep, the Bob is 67 years old today. I’m celebrating in my own way, going out yarn shopping with Star and then dropping in for dim sum in Miami’s finest dim sum joint. And then, for desert, more yarn shopping. All the while playing the Bob on my car cd player.

You celebrate in your own fashion, OK? I have, as I do every year, made plans for a fabulous home-cooked meal, in case he’s in the neighborhood and wants a little nosh. One year he was down in Miami on tour, and I even sent a formal invitation to his label. I don’t think they passed it on, because he never showed up and I had left over brisket for days. This year I’m going to make potato pierogis. In other years I’ve made kugel. Maybe it’s the chopped liver that he wants?

I mean, I figure, how often does the man get a nice, home-cooked Jewish meal? His mom’s still with us, or she was when he won the Kennedy Center honors, because she was his date, but who knows if she’s still cooking for him. And who knows if Mrs. Zimmerman was much of a cook to begin with? Still, the Bob sings about kitchens and food a lot, so I’m counting on sooner or later, hitting on the menu that will bring him to my door.

Miz Shoes

Prove It All Night

Before the show, I was tewtally jacked up in antici—pation. The RLA was concerned for me on two counts. The first, he said, was that I was coming perilously close to knee-sucking behavior. The second, he said, was that I was setting myself up for disappointment if the show wasn’t all I was hoping for. Don’t worry, I said. I’m too old to rush the stage, and I refused to go into the open pit. As for the show not being as good as I hope? All the on-line chatter agrees: this tour is a throw back to the 70s and 80s when the band played four-hour sets with no intermission. The set lists are amazing. If he plays any of half a dozen songs I haven’t heard in years, I’ll be happy.

At work, one of my coworkers offered up the same advice. Don’t get your hopes up too high, the man is how old now? 58? It might not be all that. You could be in for a big let down.

And I almost was. I got to the on-call window with well over an hour to spare, and waited patiently as person and person ahead of me had problems with their tickets that took time to resolve. I got to the window, and presented my ID. There were no tickets in my name. I told them the name of The Coolest Person in the World’s Husband. No tickets. I told them the name of The Coolest Person in the World. No tickets. A line Nazi barged up from several people behind me in line to yell at and berate the window worker, sneering that it was an 8 dollar an hour job and she was incapable of doing it. He was an unmitigated ass, and demanded I get out of the line. I stepped aside to let the other people get their tickets. The ticket lady asked how I had gotten my tickets. I told her through the production company, a roadie by the name of Lyle. What is his last name? I have no idea. I only know his e-mail addy, which I got from the Coolest Person in the World’s Husband. I had left my phone in the car, and couldn’t call either TCPITW or her husband. Another asshole charged the window to complain about his seats. He was promised good seats, and these were too far to the side. He wasn’t going to sit there. They could just give him good seats or take these back, because he’s too important in his own head to sit with the riffraff in a side seat. I tuned him out. I don’t know how that was resolved.

There was one of the famous Men in Black, the Springsteen crew, standing next to the line. I asked him if he knew who Lyle is. I told him the names of TCPITW and her husband. He didn’t know them. Then, some random guy came out of the crowd and asked me if I was a friend of TCPITWH. Yes. And you? Haven’t seen them in years, he said. I knew all of the Claire Brothers’ crew back in the day. The Man in Black picked up some tickets from the window and left. And then, out of the blue, and a mere 45 minutes after I got to the window,  the ticket lady came back and said that my tickets had all been straightened out. She handed me two tickets and my credit card and my driver’s license. Enjoy the show.

Into the arena, but not before another Line Nazi yelled at me for mistaking a line for a line when it wasn’t an official, I’ve been standing in this line for an hour line. I wandered further off. I ended up standing next to a guy who was here for his 30th show. We discussed our mates, who weren’t hard core fans like us. She was in for her first show, and I told the RLA that he would FINALLY see a Springsteen show. What have I been going to for 15 years, he asked? NOT a REAL show, my new acquaintance and I told him. A real show is three hours long, at least. He tells stories. He has a good time. The band feeds off the energy in the crowd and the crowd feeds off the energy of the band. It is a religious experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah, said the RLA, I’ve heard THAT one before.

Our seats were maybe ten rows up, to the side, but front of the stage. In fact, the extensions that Bruce ran along were right in front of us. The show started late. The crowd was a mix of aging rockers like me, older folks (no, really. There was an 83 year old abuela going up the stairs in front of us) and kids. Little kids. Babies, even, and even in the pit at the front of the stage. Finally, 15 minutes late, the lights went out and the band took the stage. Four mics were set up, which meant no Pati (and who cares anyway). This is the E-Street Band as it should be. (I can accept Suze). Danny has been replaced by the guy from the Seeger Sessions band.

The show opened with a video tribute to Danny, as Bruce sang Blood Brothers from a dark stage. And. Then. The earth shook. Here’s the set list: read it and weep. I sure as hell wept. And danced. And laughed. And felt a joy that goes beyond anything. The band was at the top of its game. Bruce was calling audibles, changing the list at whim. He was taking signs from the audience, holding them up and showing the band. Were they already in his set list, and he was just changing the order? Or was he taking requests. From the way the crew was scrambling to change his guitars, I think it was the latter, requests. At the end of the evening, the RLA acknowledged that yes, he had finally seen a Springsteen show and it was good.

Blood Brothers

Promised Land

I Wanna Be With You

Radio Nowhere

Out in the Street (first audible)

This Hard Land (sign)

Gypsy Biker (and Little Steven works it)

Bruce takes a moment to tell a story about Danny and CB radios.

Growing Up (request)

Candy’s Room

Prove it All Night

She’s The One (Oh. My. God. Miz Shoes can die happy, right then)

Bruce takes a moment to discourse on the last 8 years, and launches into the political, pointy portion of the show

Living In the Future

Mary’s Place (sign)

Girls In Their Summer Clothes

Devil’s Arcade

The Rising

Last To Die

Long Walk Home (Stevie takes a vocal solo and Miz Shoes goes weak at the knees. She may or may not have screamed “I LOVE YOU STEVIE”)

Badland (and Stevie and Bruce trade some fierce licks)

the band leaves the stage, and a sea of flickering cell phone screens light the arena. Encore number one.

Thunder Road (a sign says THUNDER RD, I’m 21 today)

Born to Run


10th Avenue Freeze Out (with a guest horn player. He’s either the charter pilot or a commercial pilot, but he’s flown the band and tonight he’s got on his uniform and he’s playing with Clarence)

American Land (complete with karaoke on the jumbotron)

the band leaves the stage, but the crowd won’t hear of it. Chants. Clapping. Second Encore.

KITTY’S BACK, all 15 minutes of it, with each member of the band soloing

And that, my friends, is 25 songs, and three hours of non-stop rock and roll. THAT, my dear readers, is a Springsteen show.

Disappointed? I think not. Elevated? Revived? Liberated? Yep. High mass at the church of rock and roll.

Miz Shoes

I’m Coming to Liberate You

Thesaurus: liberation: noun

The state of not being in confinement or servitude: emancipation, freedom, liberty, freeing

Friday night, I’m going to another Springsteen show. I have tried to figure out how many times I’ve seen him live, and I can’t. 1975 at the Jai Alai fronton in Miami, broadcast live from the Bottom Line in 76?, 1977 or 78 at the Paladium in New York City, then again in Miami at the Orange Bowl on the Born in the USA tour, and the River Tour… usually going to both nights of a two-night stand. At the Meadowlands and at the Garden. At the Miami Arena, the American Airlines arena and at the BankAtlantic Center. I’ve seen the original E-Street Band, I’ve seen the band with Nils, without Little Steven. I’ve seen the other band, and Bruce alone with an acoustic guitar, and I’ve seen the band back together, as it should be: with both Nils and Little Steven. I’ve rushed the stage during encores, been seated in the front row from the beginning, been up in the nosebleed seats, been behind the stage and backstage. I’ve received a pick from the hand of Little Steven (but he’ll always be Miami Steve to me), and a harmonica from a member of the sound crew. I’ve clutched the sweaty knee of my rock and roll god during 10th Avenue Freezeout. I’ve shot pictures from the balcony (back in the day, when you could bring a camera into a show) and danced on the arms of my seat without taking a single frame.

I have been in the presence of something and even when the show was as lackluster as a Springsteen show can be, which is not very, it is always very good. I have seen the giant show lights, swinging from the rafters at Madison Square Garden, when the whole building shook during “Rosalita” as the capacity crowd clapped and stomped their feet and danced in the aisles.

But always, I leave the show with my soul elevated and pure…liberated, if you will.

Miz Shoes

Bruce 4 Obama

I was waiting for this. From the official site, the official endorsement.

Dear Friends and Fans:

LIke most of you, I’ve been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that’s interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where “...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone.”

At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man’s life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams of My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.

After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.

Over here on E Street, we’re proud to support Obama for President.

Bruce Springsteen

Let’s see if he preaches the word on Friday night.

Miz Shoes

I Just Want to Feel the Rythm

Downloaded MAGIC this morning, and haven’t made it all the way through the first full listen, but I can say this: when sings “It’s a long walk home”, he is not talking about from his ex-girlfriend’s place to his. Unless, you know, his ex-girlfriend is Lady Liberty and his apartment is a metaphor for American civil liberties. Another cut that is not about cars and girls is “Last to Die” and unless you were sleeping through all the attempts to dishonor John Kerry during the last presidential campaign, you’ll recognize the line “last to die for a mistake”, as the pull quote from his appearance before congress as a Viet Nam vet against the war. As much as this has been promoted as a back-to-roots rock and roll , this is a very . Not that there is anything wrong with that. And it is a very danceable, hummable .

There are echoes of sounds from the San Francisco Summer of Love, and from late-period Beatles, and even a track where you can actually appreciate that after 30 years and endless stages, Bruce has learned to sing. That may be the result of touring with the angel-voiced Nils Lofgren, too. I’m leaning towards loving this album. The first dozen times I heard the pre-release cut “Radio Nowhere” I wasn’t sure, to tell you the truth. I thought the production was a little dodgy. I thought it was a little, uh, light weight. Then I watched the video, and the penny dropped for me.

It’s only rock and roll, but I love it.

Miz Shoes

Viva Las Vegas!!

While my passion for baseball has been well documented in this space, perhaps I have not been quite as forthcoming about my dalliances with football. (American football, for you readers from Down Under and abroad) It’s true that I went to games in high school and junior high, but only because in a tiny Southern town, that’s all there is to do on a Saturday night… except watch the sidewalks roll up. In college, I went to the first home game of my freshman semester, and no others. Now, again, there is this to factor in: the University of Miami Hurricanes lost almost every game during all four of my years there, and it wasn’t until Jim Kelly came along that UM became the quarterback and running back factory it is today. During the glory days of Bernie Kosar and Vinnie Testeverde, et.al. I went to every home game and some away games, most notably the Fiesta Bowl against Penn State in which Vinnie so spectacularly needed a Heimlich maneuver on the field.

But I haven’t been totally up front about the fact that I used to call my father to discuss the Dolphins, the Hurricanes and/or the (shudder) Florida Gators. Or that I found out John Lennon had been shot from Howard Cosell because I was in a hotel room 40 miles from home so that I could catch a Dolphin game that wasn’t broadcast in my area. Or that I bought a hi-def, giant screen tv so that I could watch the Superbowl commercials in HD and letterboxed.

All that being admitted, last night I was watching Sunday Night Football (San Diego going down in feeble sparks, not even flames, to the awesomeness of the New England Patriots—with their star, Randy Moss coming out of UM many years ago). There were the usual commercials for trucks, trucks and more trucks, and for various erectile dysfunction treatments (do not use if you have high blood pressure, low blood pressure, normal erectile functioning, liver disease, heart disease, stroke, vision problems, are breathing, are left handed but bat right, get erections lasting more than 4 hours!! etc…) and I was pretty much ignoring them all. But. Then a terrible thing happened. Viagra has co-opted my very favorite song not originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan. And when I say favorite, I mean it. I have an instrumental version featuring Johnny Ramone and Lemmy, a soulful rendition by Shawn Colvin, a couple of live takes by Bruce, the original by Elvis, the Tort Elvis/Dread Zeppelin reggae version, a punk version by the Dead Kennedys, and a few others. Have you guessed the song yet?

Viva Las Vegas has become Viva Viagra and I’ll be having nightmares about this for a month.

Miz Shoes

All Revved Up With No Place To Go

The other night, I woke up at midnight (gone to bed at 8 with this stupid lung infection) and couldn’t go back to sleep. The RLA was in the living room, watching “Meat Loaf: To Hell & Back” on VH1. While it wasn’t dreadful, it wasn’t good, per se. The guy who played Jim Steinman  reminded me a lot of the actor who plays Lucious Malfoy in the Potter series*, and one thing leading, as it so often does with me, to another, I ended up on the IMDB looking for both.

Which, of course, this being the web, led me happily from site to site until I ended up at Jim Steinman’s blog. YESH! He has a blog.

Which led to another half an hour of poking into various links and sub-sites and sub-sub-sites.

(Fade to Black)


It was long ago and it was far away, and I was living in New York City. I had a friend, of sorts, an actor by the name of Richard Dunne, who had starred in the Miami road production of EQUUS. I went to see his band play at some dive in the Village and he was all excited because he had auditioned for something exciting…a musical based on Peter Pan.

(Dissolve to present)

I never really saw Richard after that, and never heard what happened with that play. Over the years, whenever Meat Loaf made yet another return to the music scene, there would be a story about Jim Steinman, and maybe 10-12 years ago I think I heard something about a musical he had done back in the 70s about Peter Pan. I remember thinking then that that had probably been what Richard had been so worked up about.

Today, in all the digging, somewhere in the Steinman site, is a scan of the original program from the Kennedy Center production of “Neverland” and starring in the role of Baal (the Peter Pan character) was Richard Dunne. And there are even photos.

Huh. Sometimes these interwebs are amazing things, are they not?

* Zachary Throne is definitely hotter than Jason Isaacs, though when placed side by side.


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not Silvio Dante! Damn that David Chase. He could kill off Christafuh, no problem. Bobby Baccala? Who cares? Uncle Junior, AJ, Meadow, even Paulie Walnuts or Carm, and I would be upset, but mostly OK. Wll, upset if it were Paulie or Carm, frankly, AJ and Meadow are total dead weight. And I was happy to see Tony finally shove his shoe up AJ’s self-indulgent, whiney ass. But Sylivo? Little Steven? My pretend boyfriend? (Not to be confused with my imaginary long-time lover, The Bob, or my special boytoy, The Boss.) Silvio, ambushed in the parking lot of the Bing, hospitalized and never expected to regain consciousness? Noooooooooooooooo. This sucks. I wanted Sylvio to walk away.

I should know better of course, this has always been a morality play, and you can’t shoot a bitch in the forest, or strangle a co-worker for disloyalty and not expect to meet your just rewards. Which means last night’s Sopranos was mild compared to next week’s expected blood bath.

Still and all, I’ll miss Silvio and his hair.

And what kind of professional ethics does Peter Bogdonovich have? (not Peter, of course, his character) Telling an entire table full of shrinks that Melfi is treating Tony Soprano, a fact he only knows because he treats Melfi. So much for patient confidentiality. And then she reads that stupid article and dumps Tony, in a particularly snippy and bitchy way. Tony respects her though, and doesn’t kill her on the spot, which he would have done a few years ago, so so much for therapy isn’t working for him.


Miz Shoes

Abe Say Whut?

God said to Abraham
Kill me your son
Abe said, Man, you must be puttin' me on.
God say No.
Abe say What?
God said You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run.
Abe said Where you want this killin' done
God said Out on Highway 61.

Yeah. Rock and roll and religion often go hand in hand around here at the Casita de Zapatos. In temple today, Jews heard the story of Abraham, although probably not too many rabbis actually quoted the Bob's version of events.

For many years, I attended a Reconstructionist synagogue, and the rabbi gave some excellent sermons. One High Holy day sermon included a reference to Jefferson Starship. Unfortunately, not the one I thought. The rabbi asked (rhetorically, as it turned out) who remembered what the Starship said? I yelled out from somewhere in the middle of the room: "Feed your head?"

Uh, yes, but the quote he was looking for was "No man is an island, he's a peninsula."

It was equally embarrassing for everyone involved.

Another year, many, many, many decades ago, I chose not to fast, not to go to services, and instead to ride my bike to art history class. After class, I got a drink of water, got back on the old ten-speed and sailed across campus. And right into the front bumper of a woman who was running a stop sign. I broke two ribs and totalled my bike. She spoke no English (how convenient) and tossed eleven dollars at me before she drove away.

My father pointed out, with absolutely no sympathy and no irony, that had I been an observant Jew, I wouldn't be nursing broken ribs and in need of a new set of wheels. I've attended High Holiday services religiously (pun intended) ever since.

Well, except for the past two years, since Daddy died and I just haven't been able to force myself back into a temple. I don't feel anything cliche, like God's abandoned me, nor have I abandoned my religion, it's simply been too hard for me to see the old men in their tallitsim, and hear the prayers in Hebrew.

This year, I was at home, and the RLA and I went in the back yard to plot out where the trees are, for the architect to plan the studio around them. And then, while I watched, JoJo ran through a hole in the fence. A hole that isn't really there. And out the neighbor's yard and promptly disappeared. The RLA and I and half of our neighbors were on foot, bike and in cars looking for her. I called her and called her. I took the Noble Dog Nails out on his leash to help me find her. Nothing. Nada. She had vanished into thin air.

I couldn't even begin to grasp the thought of life without this dog. I was walking and crying and dying. And then I heard the RLA calling my name. He had her. She'd followed a stray cat into the gated development across the street. She was perfectly fine, and, in fact, was on her way home when he found her.

I can take a hint, you know. I've taken those two broken ribs very seriously for the past 30 years. I can take this hint, too. I'll be seeing you next week, in temple.

L'Shana Tova.

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