Okay, that does it. My brain has no choice. I now, at this moment, can only see the world, especially our “soon-to-be-great-country” as a big playpen full of dirty-diapered toddlers. As polka icon, Walt Solek (The Clown Prince of Polka) sang in his song, “Crazy Town.”
When I go to Crazy town
Everything is upside down
All the chickens have three legs
Roosters laying turkey eggs
All the girlies want to do
What the boys don’t want to do
All the boys just want to do
What the girls don’t want to do
That about sums it up and powerful, yet somehow clueless, people are falling like dominoes. The glossy veneer is peeling away, revealing rotten mildewed particle board underneath. I wonder if all of the new revelations of bad behavior makes Bill Cosby feel better. Crazy Town! Breaking News at 11:00. Let’s polka!
Speaking of messed-up situations, how was your Thanksgiving? Well, I gotta say, and this should surprise no one, it is not my favorite holiday. Commercially and promotionally, it’s all about the turkeys now. Poor turkeys. Some neighbors around the corner have a pet turkey named Tiki. It escapes their yard on occasion and wanders around the neighborhood. I’ve helped Tiki back home a few times when she’s appeared confused or anxious, while out and about. I’ve always just wanted to guide her back to safety, not kill and eat her. What the hell is wrong with me? Can you imagine how horrific mass turkey slaughters must be? I think they are usually hung upside-down before having their throats slit, so their blood will flow out more efficiently. It’s that power thing again and turkeys are super easy prey. Poor turkeys.
MORE PROOF OF THE TIMES. I hope this doesn’t sound insensitive, but I’m just not shocked anymore to hear that a once-famous pop entertainment figure has moved on to the next plane. They’re leaving with such frequency now how could anyone be? Pop star, David Cassidy, is one of the most recent casualties of living. He was a member of the manufactured TV show band, The Partridge Family. When I was growing up, I gave them no mind. They were the same as The Monkees or The Archies, to me. Of course, time has shown that, indeed, the Monkees could have been a real band and they could actually play and write some pretty good songs even. But, to a desperately cool teenage rock-and-roll kid, none of that fake stuff looked real. I always imagined old television executives trying to think like “hipsters” and getting it terribly wrong almost 100% of the time. And, honestly, The Partridge Family sorta came off like a band designed for babies to groove to in their cribs. Worthless to those who mattered. That’s what I thought. My feelings have softened a little, mainly because David Cassidy really had that “thing.” He had a totally believable voice and image. For the time, his hair was okay; not too square, even if lots of mothers thought he was cute. Whatever, he successfully transitioned from sitcom heartthrob to pop star and, apparently, did well enough to make a career of it until he died. While I was trying to be a fine art painter in college, I went through a brief pop art realism period and one of my subjects was David Cassidy, because, at the time, he represented a certain type of high-profile personality. I was working with acrylics and watercolor on canvas. For the portrait of David, I chose to not gesso the canvas, so the paint would soak in and leave a soft-focus look. Check it out. You can also see Haley Mills peeking around from behind, as well. Although by that point, I had no opinion of his music and never went out of my way to follow his acting career, this is one of my favorite pieces leftover from my pre-polka days. “RIP David Cassidy. I hope your time on earth was more fun than not. I think you might have liked my painting.”
Okay, here’s some interesting a newsworthy news. Brave Combo’s recording of “Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah,” from our holiday album, IT’S CHRISTMAS, MAN, will appear in an upcoming episode of the popular television show, DC LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. The initial air date is December 5, I believe, so set your DVR right now, unless you are reading this after December 5. We love having our music featured in movies and on television. That’s very easy money. Happy Holidays to us!
Speaking of Christmas cheer, Brave Combo will be playing two Denton holiday extravaganzas this year. On Friday, December 1, we’ll be doing our signature in-your-face “Must Be Santa, Etc.” all ages blowout at Andy’s on the Square, at the corner of Oak and Locust, where the downtown porno theater used to be. And on Friday, December 8, we will be hosting an old-fashioned, mellow Christmas get-together at good ol’ Dan’s Silverleaf. We’ll be strumming and honking and inviting all you folks to sing-along and dance a little jig or two. Jeffrey Barnes will be joining us for both of these homey events and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bubba Henandez showed up at one or both. We’re all a bunch of hams, you know. When Brave Combo was Bubba, Jeffrey, Mitch and me, we could have changed the name of the band to The Damn Hams and everyone would have thought, “Yeah, the name fits ’em.” And, even though we’re all much more suave and subtle in our ham-ness, the stage still looks like a fun place to hang out. Not one of us has any reservations about hopping up there and assuming people want to hear our indisputable brilliance.
An important tidbit. Our new, sure-fire hit, is an R&B waltz version of “Popeye, the Sailor Man.” Make a note of that and look forward to hearing it.
One more thing, if you are in or near St. Louis or Chicago, check the itinerary. We’re playing the lively Kirkwood Station on Thursday, December 14 and our Chicago home, Fitzgerald’s, on Friday And Saturday, December 15 and 16. Bill Fitzgerald, the owner of Fitzgerald’s, has retired and this may be your last chance to experience what the season is all about. Frosty’s final ride?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all! I hope we can soon put the misery of 2017 (and I thought 2016 was bad) behind us and move forward with renewed faith in the power of the human spirit and its ability to overcome darkness. Never a dull moment, huh?