O, Happy Days Are (almost) Here Again! Finally, some good news! Wanna hear?
1. The Blue Wave actually happened! Big time! The day of reckoning is just around the corner. A lot of very angry folks are about to take power.
2. Gun sales are way down. The NRA is losing members. Sporting goods stores are reporting declining sales of weaponry.
3. As well, Christian evangelical churches are losing their congregations. The “faithful” are bailing. Gee, I wonder why.
4. Also, as well, the Republican Party is dwindling daily. The Grand Old Party of Old Grandpas appears to be fracturing and in danger of going away, taking the Tea Partiers with it.
5. Right-wing talk show agitators and hate spewers, Michael Savage (not his real name) and Laura Ingraham are leaving the radio airwaves, moving to podcasts. WTF? This is seriously significant. Their listeners must not be listening anymore.
6. The chances of building “The Wall” are looking slimmer and slimmer.
We just might be seeing a return to sanity, decency, and civility. Jeez, I’ll take two outta three and feel tired of winning! I’m calling this Spunky’s Revenge. Only a handful of people will know what this means. It’s a big deal to me and that’s all that matters. If things go as I hope and anticipate they will, grab the popcorn, sit back and enjoy. There’s a chance we’re all about to witness an amazing, cathartic event, a lot of it in real time. I know, I know. I could also be disappointed and not quite as entertained by the unfolding of stuff as I’d hoped, but it looks like the Democrats in the House are smelling blood AND a lot of fear. Confident, laser-focused and ready to rumble. Yep, suddenly it feels like a good time to be alive.
A Favorite Memory: As a grade-schooler, sitting in the back seat of the family car, riding home from church on a Sunday night, looking into the darkness, hearing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” on the radio for the first time. That iconic guitar against the perfect bass line. Brand new sound. Brand new dark sound. Scary, actually, like a cool horror movie, which, for me, would have been the pinnacle of cool, at that time. The Rolling Stones were the monster movie of rock. That song opened up the world just a little more. It was so different, almost difficult to decipher but intoxicating, as well. As a performer, I’ve never imagined myself a Mick Jagger or Keith Richards type. That wouldn’t have been authentic for me, but I admire someone’s ability to capture a moment and enhance the specialness of that moment by creating something unique which gives it significance. I wonder what I did when we got home from church. I’m pretty sure, at 9:30, we watched WHAT’S MY LINE? on TV.
A long-time good friend of Brave Combo from Oklahoma City, Tom Lampe, passed away recently. He totally got us and never hesitated to show his enthusiasm for our twisted view of reality. He would often show up at gigs with boxes of homemade cookies and would always be the first person on the dance floor, especially if we were playing a polka or cumbia. Anyway, I talked to him just a few weeks ago and he was in pretty good spirits, fully accepting of his imminent end. We always laughed a lot and this call was no exception. He would hate knowing I wrote this for the newsletter. It would embarrass him. But he would love it, as well. So, here you go, Tom. Sorry if this makes you cringe. It was a pleasure knowing you.
Another long-time friend of Brave Combo, Beatle Bob, from St. Louis, recently attended his 8000th live music show, without taking a single day off. Are you catching this? Beatle Bob has gone out to hear 8000 performers, without taking a break. I know many of the events were festivals, where one would hear several bands in one sitting, but even figuring that in he has kept this up for about 20 years. On top of this, he’s a prolific pop culture writer and, I think, has a regular job, too. Beatle Bob (and my brother, Jimmy, and about 20 other people) was at Brave Combo’s first show in St. Louis, over 30 years ago. Congratulations, Bob! So sorry you have to keep this up indefinitely.
Yep, its that “most wonderful time” of the year again. We have been rehearsing all of the holiday favorites and by the end of December, we will feel like we never want to hear these songs again. You really do need an eleven-month break from this stuff. It’s all so concept-specific. One summer night we were performing at a club in a small town in The Netherlands and the audience was particularly young and snotty and drunk (sixteen is legal). So, of course, in our attempt to connect with them, musically, we played all Christmas music, which went over very well for about 10 minutes. Then they got upset and belligerent, which made us feel even more in the holiday spirit. We had volume on our side. They would have hated anything, so we figured they might as well hate something they sorta knew. Merry Christmas!
Speaking of all things seasonal, we are re-releasing our classic album, IT’S CHRISTMAS, MAN, in its original form, just in time for you to fill those empty stockings. Please visit our merchandise store and stock up. But do it quickly. This is a limited-time offer, as they say on those pesky commercials, which are exactly like what I’m doing right now. Whatever, don’t blow this, cause when they’re gone, they’re gone. That’s another popular phrase from those TV ads. I am quite a salesman. How many cats do you need?
Okay, if you are in the North Texas area (Andy’s, Poor David’s. Dan’s), the St. Louis area (Kirkwood Station), the Chicago area (Fitzgerald’s), please come out and party with us and bring us Christmas presents! Check our itinerary now and often. In the meantime, be a good neighbor, a thoughtful driver and a friend to the animals. If you see a dog or a cat in need, don’t turn your back and assume someone else will help it. Do something. You’ll be glad you did.