Monday, September 30, 2013

Listen to the Will and Thunder Show!

Tuesday nights* from 10PM to Midnight Eastern time. 

Click here to go to the official website of the Will and Thunder Show

We have weekly guests mostly from the music world! Check out the William Telltale Facebook Page for the show schedules.

About the show:

We are a newer show, that centers around giving bands exposure, whether they are unsigned or signed. But, we are not the typical 'phone in' interview with the same old boring list of prewritten questions. There is a need for that, but there is also a need for something different and fun. The Will and Thunder Show is unscripted and more like sitting at a bar and talking about the band with your buddies. Will and Thunder are both veterans of music scenes, with years experience in Florida, the Carolinas, and Tennessee. We both love rock and metal, and want to see the music scene go back to what it was across the country in the 80's and early 90's, where it was not uncommon to see the local opening act for a national band blow the national band off the stage because of such a diehard following for the local talent. So, while we are a talk show, we want it to be entertaining for our guests, listeners, and of course, us. Our goal is to become a national talk show that focuses primarily on the unsigned and newly signed bands. The majority of people we have had on say that they had a blast, and would love to come back. Several have made second appearances.  

The show starts at 10PM Eastern on Tuesday nights, and runs till midnight. The first half hour is called the 'Shenanigans Segment' where we open the show, and talk a little bit about the news, or whatever. Around 10:25, our guest usually calls in, and at 10:30, we will take a break, and play the first song that the guest sent. After the song, we bring the guest in. The next song gets played 30-45 minutes later, and the last song gets played towards the end or at the end of the show. HOWEVER, it is completely up to the guest how long they would like to be on. All we ask is that the guests let us know how long they plan on being on before the show so we know how to plan it.


Call the show at (646) 716-6135. Click the link to listen and chat, or call in. If you just want to listen, simply call, and don't press 1, and you will be able to listen without going into call cue.

You can listen on the phone, and if you want to talk, just press 1. However, it sounds better listening from the computer.

To call in, or to listen on the phone, dial (646) 716-6135. Press 1 to talk to us, or to listen, don't press anything.

The show archive can also be found here: YOUTUBE  There, you'll find shows as well as other vids done by me.

Scheduled guests: The call in number is 646-716-6135. Press one to join the cue. I will make a Facebook event page for the show like this one.  We use that to advertise the show, and you can too. You will have access to that and the show link after the show is over. You can use it for whatever you might need it for in the future. Basically, it doesn't go away after the show is over.

If you are in an unsigned band, and would like your music to be reviewed by William Telltale, and/or you would like to be a guest on the Will and Thunder Show,  Email a brief press kit containing 2 or 3 MP3s and a bio to Please say if you want to be on the show, reviewed, or both.

Follow us on Twitter.  @williamtelltale

For info on advertising on the blog or show, email

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Which Iconic Sci-Fi Space Travel Device Would You Prefer?

Ok, I'm going to go geek on you all here, because there is a question that needs to be answered. Which Iconic Sci-Fi Space Travel Device Would You Prefer? Why does it need to be answered? Just because. But, there is a process we have to go through to determine which is the most desirable.

I can think of 3 drastically different types. Here they are: The Tardis from Doctor Who, The USS Enterprise from Star Trek, and the Stargate from Stargate. Now, before you go asking me why I didn't include Star Wars ships, let me tell you. Nothing about Star Wars ships compares to those in Star Trek. The Millenium Falcon made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, and it is generally accepted that hyperspace is faster than warp drive, there is nothing else that the Star Wars ships has over the Star Trek ships.

So, lets compare them, shall we?

USS Enterprise: ProsTravels at warp speed, heavily armed, and shielded. Has holodecks, a bar, all the comforts of home, the transporter to decide exactly where you want to go.  Cons: You're there with hundreds of other people, you aren't allowed to drink alcohol or eat real meat, and the shields rarely hold if fired upon, can only travel in the Milky Galaxy. Its HUGE, and has a gazillion things that could go wrong...and do go wrong.

NCC 1701 A. The BEST version

The Tardis: Pros: Small, although bigger inside than it looks outside, easy to hide, it appears wherever you want it to, time travel is possible, you can go anywhere you want, you can go alone if you want, but can also have other people if you choose to, fixes itself in some cases. Easy to fix in others, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Also much faster than the Stargate and Enterprise. Can go anywhere in the universe. Cons:  Not very cozy, no privacy if you were traveling with someone and wanted it, Would have to go to a planet for just about every meal. A really bumpy ride.

The Stargate: Pros: You aren't confined to a ship. Cons: You are limited to the one galaxy unless you get a whole bunch of gates and string them between galaxy to galaxy. You have no say in where you go or come out. You simply go where the gate is, or you don't go. That could be dangerous either coming or going.

Now, lets put out some scenarios here to see which device would have the advantage in each scenario:

You are on another planet, and suddenly, you are ambushed by hostiles who want to kill you..or worse, eat you. You would have to run to the Stargate, and the Tardis. With the Enterprise, you could just beam up. Advantage, Enterprise.

You need to make a stealth entrance to a planet, grab something, and get out unnoticed. Clearly, the advantage goes to the Enterprise once again with the transporter, but you could also go unnoticed with the Tardis as long as you could find a place to hide it.

You need to get somewhere fast, but your destination is on the other side of the galaxy...or farther. Advantage, Tardis or Stargate if your destination is in this galaxy. It would take the Enterprise 75 years to get from one side or the other with warp drive, as we found out in Voyager.

You don't play well in large crowds, and simply want to be left alone, but still want to get out and see everything. Advantage. Tardis. You could give an advantage to the Stargate, but its best to travel in teams with it.

You are traveling, but wake up hungry in the middle of the night, and can't stop. Advantage, Enterprise.

So, in my opinion the Tardis would work the best for me. The reasons are the fact that I can literally go anywhere, and I can get there as fast or slow as I want. I can choose whether or not I want to be alone or with someone, and I can easily out run anybody, and leave no type of trail that an enemy can follow.

So, vote in the poll, and explain your answer in the comments! (preferably the comments section here on the blog!)

What sci fi travel device would you most want to have? free polls 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Album Review: T&N, Slave to the Empire

The lineup of Dokken has switched back and forth several times since the original lineup's last album together, Back For the Attack. Bassist, Jeff Pilson and drummer, Mick Brown have gone with Don Dokken, then switched around and both joined Lynch Mob with former Dokken guitarist, George Lynch. Then, at least once, the band got back together again for a reunion tour. It was in 1993, I believe. And, I know they did it because I saw them in concert at Jani Lane's Sunset Strip, a large nightclub in Downtown Orlando, FL.

Jeff Pilson
So, rather than put out another Lynch Mob album, Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown have joined up with George Lynch this time around, and formed T&N. The album is called Slave to the Empire, released on Rat Pak Records. Pilson does the majority of the lead vocals, and his voice sounds strikingly similar to Don Dokken's voice. In the title track of the album, you'd swear it was Don. He also does the vocals on the other new songs, Sweet Unknown, Rhythm of the Soul, Mind Control, Jesus Train, and Access Denied, along with the classic, Into the Fire. 

Now comes the tricky part. Mick Brown doesn't play drums on even half of the songs. He only plays on classics, Its Not Love, Kiss of Death, Alone Again, Into the Fire, and Its Not Love. Drummer, Brian Tichy plays on all the rest. I don't know if health issues kept Brown out of the studio or a prior commitment, or why exactly. But, the drums are great no matter who is playing them. When I first heard Slave to the Empire, in the opening seconds of the song, I had to look to make sure I wasn't listening to this song.

                    Mick Brown
George Lynch
Slave to the Empire starts with a fast and powerful drum opening that goes into a choppy guitar groove that leads into a big chorus reminiscent of something off the classic album, Back for the Attack. Its a defiant and in your face 'give a bird to the establishment' type of political song, but its done well. You aren't listening to political talk radio with a heavy metal background. This also has the trademarked backup vocal harmonies that we expect from this group of musicians. In fact all the songs do. Sweet Unknown is a fast/slow blend of classic styles and modern grooves. It would be redundant to say that George Lynch is awesome on this. He is awesome on everything he ever did. The solo in this song is something special. Rhythm of the Soul isn't referring to soul music, that's for sure. Its a dirty and gritty song in the opening that slows down to a solid scale jumping guitar riff. Not soul music, but it has a really cool groove. I guess if my soul had a rhythm, it would be really cool if it sounded like this.When Eagles Die starts with a strummed acoustic riff with Pilson singing. That doesn't last long because the song blasts into a hard and heavy jam that punches you. Then, it mellows out. This song is 3 speeds of cool. Its patriotic lyrics are touching, and carry the theme of bringing the troops home. Mind Control is classic 80's metal, but it seems like Pilson has tapped his inner Lemmy Kilmister the way he Jesus Train, which is a heavy blues parade. that attacks religious over zealots. Access Denied could fit right beside Mr Scary on Back for the Attack. In fact, when I first listened to it, I thought it was going to be an instrumental. The solo in this song is mind blowing, and it has machine gun style rhythm guitar to accompany it. Lynch at his best. As for the new songs, there isn't a bad song on the album. In fact, it sounds as if it could have easily been the next Dokken album after Back for the Attack.

We're the Dream Warriors!!

Now, we'll move onto the classics. All of the songs have been tweaked, and why wouldn't you do that? These guys are much more evolved and seasoned than they were in the 80s. These versions are better than the originals. We'll start with Into the Fire with Pilson singing, then move on to the others with guests. If I didn't know better, I'd swear that I was listening to Don Dokken on vocals, and I would argue with you if you told me I was wrong. There is alot changed in this one, On top of a crispier guitar sound, and a couple fills that bring you into the choruses. There is a break in the song where they add another verse in a ballad form, that brings you into the last chorus of the song. Very cool!

Alone Again is done with Sebastian Bach on vocals. There are guitar fills over the intro to the song, and incredible vocal harmonies over the chorus that weren't there before. Bach's aggressive rasp in his voice makes an appearance and it fits. We also get a Bach scream leading into the solo. The vocal harmonies they added are reminiscent of Skid Row's Quicksand Jesus. This version is amazing. Its Not Love is sung by Robert Mason, who replaced Jani Lane in Warrant, and also sang with Lynch Mob. He does a very good job. You can kind of hear why he was selected to sing for Warrant. Not much was done differently in this song, other than the dialogue between Don Dokken and the girl he is talking to in the original recording is replaced with a loud scream that leads into a crunching lead section. MAJOR upgrade there. My favorite track on the album is Tooth and Nail. Its done with the one and only dUg Pinnick of Kings X. This version is amazing. When I first saw that he was singing this song, I admit, I was scratching my head...Or maybe it was a little Over My Head. But, I was pleasantly surprised...Actually, blown away is more like it. The guitar is modern sounding, and the solo sounds like it wants to rip its way out of your speakers and kick your ass. Pinnick is unmistakable, and if you had never heard Dokken before, you'd think to yourself "Damn, I don't remember Kings X doing anything THIS heavy!" And if you were familiar with both bands like me, you're wondering why Kings X never did any heavier songs. He sure can do it well. They also added a little blues section after the solo for Pinnick to freestyle over before going into the last verse. Spectacular! Kiss of Death features Tim 'Ripper' Owens, formerly of Judas Priest. In typical Ripper fashion, he nails it brilliantly. This is nothing you wouldn't expect to hear from him. His powerful voice, and sky high screams. There are some changes to the guitar, but not very much until the end of the song, where George Lynch goes crazy. But, he's George Lynch. He can do whatever he wants, and it will kick ass. I hereby dub George Lynch: The Chuck Norris of Heavy Metal.

Ok, I know I am a little late reviewing this album, but I wasn't blogging when it came out, and I never got around to reviewing it until now. Better late than never right? This album is great. Buy it! You will not be disappointed. I'll be buying the next one they put out on the day it comes out, and doing a timely review, and I will be seeing them in concert when they come my way. It has been announced that Michael Sweet of Stryper will be doing a song. I wonder if it will be When Heaven Comes Down. I'm also predicting that Jeff Pilson will be singing Just Got Lucky. 

With arms like that, are YOU going to tell him what he can and can't do?
Didn't think so! George Lynch is the Chuck Norris of Metal.

So, once again...BUY IT!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Freaking Clown Running Amok? SHEESH!

Northampton, England, there is a creepy ass clown running around, scaring people. He isn't killing anyone, and he isn't flashing people, and he isn't peeking out of drains, and he apparently doesn't smell like whiskey either. But, its a freaking clown, and its creepy! I am one of those people who has a clown phobia. When I was little, I was at a fair, and this freaking creepy clown (who probably did smell like whiskey) came up behind me and scared the crap out of me. Probably literally. I don't know. But, clowns have freaked me out ever since. And, when I read Stephen King's IT, that didn't help matters.

THAT's why!
I never watched the Bozo Show on TV, or any other clown thing. When I was in second grade, there was a clown that came to our class. I mysteriously had a really bad stomach ache that day. To this day, when I see one of those painted demons, I still get a little nervous and uneasy, and my heart rate picks up a little bit. I also avoid any McDonalds that has a Ronald McDonald likeness in the store...Actually these days, I try to avoid McDonalds all together. I shouldn't have to pay for heartburn. Freaking clowns! Parents, if you invite me to your kid's birthday party, and you have a clown, I'm turning around, and taking my kid AND the gift that we got for your kid, and I'm leaving.

This would NOT happen in the US.
This 'Britclown' has a Facebook page, but is apparently not on Twitter because it confuses him. Twitter confuses me too, but I still have a page. But, I can identify with it being confus- STOP IT, BRITCLOWN! See there? He's trying to get into my head by finding things that I can relate to. That's what they do, people! I have something in common with him, and I let my guard down, and next thing you know, he's sneaking up behind me with a chocolate pie to throw in my face as soon as I turn around! And heaven forbid if he tries to make a balloon animal, and the damn thing pops in my face.

Now, let me be clear here. I am not saying that this guy should be arrested or anything. He isn't committing a crime, and truthfully, I would rather see a clown walking down the street even if it gives me the willies than some little thug with his pants hanging halfway down his ass. But, if this happened in the USA, somebody would have shot him. Some thug on the street would shoot him just because he didn't like clowns, or something stupid like that. A responsible gun owner would not do it unless his life was in danger, and unless its Pennywise or Pogo, your life probably isn't in danger if you see a clown. I had to clarify because I don't want some gun control drone using my analogy to advance their agendas. Anyway, this clown isn't hurting anybody, so I say let him do what he does. Leave him alone, and be glad that somebody is trying to give you a little something different for a change. He wants to do it, fine. Let him be. If I ever saw him, I would probably suck it up, and go shake his hand for scaring all the nitwits out there.

I wonder if he would like to be a guest on the Will and Thunder Show? <caching!>

So, Northampton, even though clowns creep me out, I salute you. Keep doing what you do. Just don't try to bring your act to the US.

You know what else creeps me out?
THESE damn things!!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Tebowing in the KI$$ Army?

One thing you can say about Kiss is that everything they touch turns to gold for the most part. They are marketing geniuses. Every project they set out on is given the heaviest promotion known to man. Their latest venture is to bring an Arena Football team to Los Angeles. The team, to start next season will of course be called The LA Kiss. And, you can bet that there will be a swarm of brand new fans to the league because of it. Alot will likely be fans who never knew the league even existed, which is awesome in its self because the league has a chance to take the spotlight.

So, what would Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley do to draw the most attention to their new franchise? You would think they would want to start at the most glamorous position, the quarterback, right? You know it. So, they would try to get a big name QB from the ranks of the NFL. But, name me an NFL QB that would risk injury. They need to get a QB, but since getting Aaron Rogers or Peyton Manning to come aboard is not going to happen, what do they do then? Bringing in an AJ Feeley or another QB who has played and lost his job for just about every NFL team is not an option, so what do you do?

You bring in Tim Tebow. And that is exactly what Simmons and Stanley are trying to do. They have reached out to Tim Tebow. Lets look at what the relationship will bring for both parties, shall we? The LA Kiss get a good quarterback that HAS won a playoff game in the NFL, yet for some reason is an outcast. They get a polarizing figure who will instantly bring all of the adoring Tebow fans who follow the man's every move. They will also get all of the people who hate him, and want to see him fail. Then, they will get the fans who like the guy because everyone likes an underdog. They will get the uber religious fans because Tebow is a devout Christian. There are 5 groups of people who will buy tickets to see Tebow in action.

Plus, the LA Kiss will be all over the news. ESPN will be running stories every hour to let the world know how Tebow is doing. The beauty of this is that the Arena Football season begins a week after the Super Bowl, during the longest off season in sports. Tebow Time will be alive and well, and so will the Arena Football League.

So, let's recap. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley wanting to bring Tim Tebow in to play QB for the LA Kiss will be good for:

  • Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley
  • The LA Kiss
  • The Arena Football League
  • ESPN and all other media
  • The TV networks who cover the games
But, will it be good for Tim Tebow? Let's look at how this would benefit him. He gets:

  • A fresh start in a new environment. And what I mean is that the stories and stigma about him not being able to cut it will be gone. He will be able to call his own shots.
  • He wants to show his stuff, this will be a good format for him to do it in. He gets to take charge of a brand new organization and make it or break it. If he is able to raise that franchise and turn it into a winner quickly, then he will have a very impressive mark on his resume when it comes to making a return to the NFL. See: Kurt Warner. 
  • Most of all, a chance to silence his critics.
I am a fan of Tebow because he does have talent, and he is an underdog. (However, as a Dolphins fan, I hated seeing him go to the Jets and Patriots.) I do want him to succeed in the NFL, and I honestly think that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley while wanting the best possible fit to bring in viewers for their team do want Tebow to succeed as well. They are business men. They know that if Tebow tears it up as the LA Kiss's QB, he will be looking for the doorway back to the NFL. They know that if Tebow does agree to come there, it will be a short term deal. But, bringing in Tebow will bring in fans that will stay with the team after he has gone back to the NFL. And, I am sure that if Tebow plays a couple seasons with the LA Kiss, then goes back to the NFL, his 2 biggest fans will be both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

Keep in mind how Gene came to his defense lately. In response to all this garbage about Tebow's Christianity, Simmons had this to say:
 “He’s got a religious passion, as well he should, we’re in America. He’s proud to be a Christian, what’s wrong with that? And yet, with sports media and pop culture media, they make fun of his religion. Really? In America? If he was wearing a burqa, they wouldn’t dare say anything. But if you’re a Christian, you get to be picked on? What the hell? The guy’s got family values. I never saw the media picking on Michael Vick for torturing dogs. Or this other football player, who’s alleged to have killed, committed murder.  That’s ‘cool.’ But a guy who’s religious and has got family values isn’t ‘cool?’ He’s cool to me.”
This is more than buttering up to Tebow. This is Gene being genuine in my opinion.

So, to Tim Tebow, I would say DO IT!!! Go play for the LA Kiss, tear the Arena Football League a new one, and have fun while you do it. Plus, you get to throw all this negativity back at all the hypocrites in the media. Its a job, and you have 2 owners who want YOU. Sounds like a win/win situation to me! So, once again...Tim,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Riding to Thunder Bay With Mr. Potato Head

This is a trip down memory lane for me. When I was in my late teens to early 20's, I lived in Merritt Island, FL. (Its near Cocoa Beach) There was an amazing local music scene all over Central Florida from Cocoa Beach to Orlando to the speed metal scene in Tampa. This was a great time to be alive.

There were many bands that I loved seeing, from AWOL to Modern Man to Hard Knox. Most of the bands also got to open for touring national acts because of the huge crowds that the local bands drew on their own. On occasion, the national act would get booed off the stage in favor of the local opening act. I was in several bands back in the day, and I even got to open for several national acts.

However, there were 2 bands who set the standard of what was expected from a local act, and all other bands aspired to achieve their success on a local level on the way to getting signed themselves. They were Dead Serios of Melbourne FL and Stranger of Tampa.

It didn't matter where these bands played, or who they played with. The place was always packed with enthusiastic fans. Personally, I saw Dead Serios over 50 times, and Stranger at least 15 times. Seeing them never got old because it was always a blast, and every time you saw them seemed like the first time. Their shows were the biggest party in town. These bands were experts at ruling a crowd and the music was always great too. I don't remember seeing a bad performance from either of them.

We'll start with Dead Serios because I was and still am friends with the guys. The band was a punk metal comedy act. The band consisted of Dead Lee Serios (Christopher Long) on lead vocals and lawnmower, Doug Gibson on lead guiar, Phil Billingsley on rhythm guitar, Joe Del Corvo on bass, and Bill Irwin on drums and vocals.

Doug Gibson

You never saw a better show than this. High intensity rock, with the greatest frontman ever to walk the earth. Songs like 'No More Pipe For Potato Head' featured a 3 foot tall Mr. Potato Head that shot pyrotechnics out of the pipe. The band always delivered, and they always seemed at the top of their game. There was a time when it seemed like a given that this band would be signed, and huge. I don't know a single person who ever saw them in concert and didn't love them for life. Unfortunately, the record deal never came, but grunge did, and that's when all the good music went by the wayside. But the good news is that the band does reunion shows from time to time! The live links I posted are from a reunion show a couple years ago. 'Lawn Care Studs' that featured Dead Lee leading a mosh pit circle swinging a toy lawnmower, then smashing it onstage like Pete Townsend with a Fender Telecaster. I remember one show where one of the fans snuck out the back door during that song, grabbed the club's REAL lawnmower, fired it up, and got in line before Dead Lee with the real mower going full blast. Fun times indeed. Their set lists would always consist of crowd favorites like these, and other songs like 'Rosemary's Baby was Framed, Who's on Oprah, Psycho Dyke, Buster's Got A Booger, Butterbean Queen, and Peanuts are Evil. The ending of their shows was every bit as electric as the show itself, and lasted as long as a song. They would introduce the band, along with sound words of wisdom like "Brush after every meal! Smell the cheese before you eat it!" Dead Lee would then call for quiet, and tell the crowd that no matter where they went on the highways and biways of life, they should always remember....."MOTORHEAD RULES!" They would then finish off with their trademarked staple close "And Remember....WE'RE NOT JOKING!! WE'RE! DEAD! SERIOS!"

Dead Lee Serios and a
sacrificial lawnmower

Next up is Stranger! Pure bred "Florida Rock N Roll!" This band had the unmistakable vocals of Greg Billings, and the unique and powerful guitar sound of Ronnie Garvin, joined with a thunderous rhythm section consisting of Tom (King) Cardenas on bass and John Price on drums. Randy Holt was on keyboards.

The energy of a Stranger show was unmatched. You just wanted to grab a beer, raise it (when you weren't chugging it) and sing along with their unforgettable chouses in songs like Okeechobee Whiskey, Play Something Good (Something I can Dance To), and probably their most recognized chorus, 3D. And, their amazing guitar grooves in songs like Swamp Woman, Hit N Run, and the heartfelt ballads they offered like Clear Blue Morning, and many more.

When you left a Stranger show, you felt good. Seeing them was like a being at a football game where your team is just taking apart their opponent. It makes you feel like you're on top of the world. They would always interact with the audience, encouraging crowd participation, and the fans were more than happy to give it. And, like Dead Serios, it was not possible to see a Stranger show for the first time, and not leave a fan. They would open with the anthem, Bad Day, which instantly got you in the mood to forget about your day, and get the night started. Their shows were always 'a night to remember, after a 'day to forget.' From the first song on, you belonged to the band. All the way to their grand finale, Thunder Bay.

Ronnie Garvin

At a Stranger show, you couldn't help but notice Ronnie Garvin's old, beat up and ugly Fender Strat. It looked like it was held together with duct tape. So ugly, yet at the same time, the most beautiful guitar on the planet. He also had a unique style and sound like I mentioned before. Nobody could play like him, and nobody could play like Stranger.

The end of the road for them came on October 10, 1996 when the news came out that guitarist, Ronnie Garvin had been found dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound. This tragic event came to be known as 'The shot that broke Florida's heart.' That was it. It was over. And, many Floridians can tell you exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. Me, I was on the way to the hospital in Melbourne to deliver my oldest daughter, and heard the news on the radio. That's how I am able to remember the exact date.

Greg Billings has a band that plays in the Tampa area called The Greg Billings Band, along with bassist Tom Cardenas. They play regularly across West Florida, and their set list includes Stranger songs.

These two bands were polar opposites in their styles, sound, and stage shows, and I don't remember them ever playing together. If they had, it would have been one of the most amazing shows of all time. Both bands dominated Florida during the same time, and they both loved to play, and loved their fans. Both bands put 120% into every show they played, and as a result, they were both adored by the fans.

But this isn't just one blogger's opinion. The proof is in the print. Jam Magazine, which was/is? a publication that everyone back then read. They had the 'Jammy Awards' where bands and musicians were nominated by the fans, and awards were handed out to the best. In 1991, Stranger won their highest honor as Entertainer of the Year. In 1992, Dead Serios won it, and Stranger presented the award to Dead Serios. I couldn't find a photo of that. If you have it, send it to me on my Facebook page, and I will add it to this post.

So, if you were fortunate enough to see these bands live, post some of your memories in the comments or on my FB page. Haven't heard of them? Click the links throughout this post and enjoy. I haven't seen a local music scene as good as Central Florida's in the late 80's to early 90's since, and I doubt I ever will.

You want to see another local music scene like that? Support Local Music! We didn't know how good we had it back then.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

8 Types of Football Fans That Suck!

In honor of FOOTBALL SEASON starting, I figured I'd do a write up on the people who go out of their way to make life more interesting in a bad way for the rest of us sports fans. Today's blog post is a list of fans that you do not want to be..or know for that matter. And if you are one or more of these people, please make a change. Your friends will be very grateful.


The Fantasy Football Freak. He's the guy who goes to sports bars with NFL Sunday Ticket not to watch any one game in particular. He's there to watch the players on his fantasy football team. He will run from screen to screen, asking people about his fantasy players. Friend or stranger, he doesn't care. You can be minding your own business watching YOUR team, and this guy will run up to you, and demand to know how your team's QB, RB, WR, etc are doing. Or, he will tell you that he hopes your team loses because your team member is on his fantasy opponent's team. These idiots are easy to spot. They are in the sports bar with papers and pens...and of course, no girlfriend...or friends at all for that matter, unless its another Fantasy Freak. These pathetic football fans actually think that everyone around them cares about what their fantasy football team is doing. Its crazy! In fact, I would bet that alot of these freaks were Dungeons and Dragons freaks when they were younger. If you like fantasy football, but do NOT do this type of thing, than you are not a fantasy football freak.

The Upper Level Diehard. He's the guy sitting in the seats next to the roof who is painted, shirtless, drunk and loud, demanding that everyone around him get up. The team could be down 31-3, but he's still insisting that his crowd noise will help the team out. There is a place for this in the stadium. Usually the lower level end zone and corners, where the groups like The Black Hole in Oakland, The Dog Pound in Cleveland, or The Deep End in Miami are. But not in the top row of the stadium! This guy probably is not a season ticket holder. He probably doesn't get to go to games very often, so he is overly excited. You can almost give him a pass, but he still sucks.

Overly Sentimental Guy. He's the guy who at the sports bar/tailgate/or at the game will for no reason get emotional, saying things like "Guys, it means so much us all being here together like this. Good friends hanging out, drinking beer, and watching football!" Then, he will demand a toast and say "To good friends!"

The Wannabe Scholar. There are several types of theseThe guy who is a new football fan but wants everyone to think he has been a fan for years, and he wants people to think he knows everything there is to know about football. Or, the guy who wants to impress a total stranger for no reason. For example, I have been in sports bars wearing my Miami Dolphins gear, and someone will come up to me and say something like "I used to be a big Miami fan when they had Dan Marino." But, they can't name another player from the Marino era. I hear that at least 5 times a season. I firmly believe that you pick a team and you stay with it regardless of how good/bad they are, or who is or isn't on the team. When someone tells me that they were a fan when Marino was there, I usually tell them that they were never a real fan to begin with.

An example of the other type of wannabe scholar is this: I lived in Clarksville, TN from 2000-2003. I would be in sports bars, and all these new Tennessee Titans fans wanted to impress everyone, and of course they all had been life long Houston Oilers fans. You ask them who their first black QB was, and they would always say Steve McNair. But they have NO idea who Warren Moon is.

 But the worst one of all talked to me during the week 1 game of the 2001 season. The Dolphins were playing the Titans in Nashville. Up until that point, the Baltimore Ravens were the only team who had ever beaten the Titans in that stadium. Miami was CRUSHING the Titans. Zach Thomas intercepted McNair, and ran it back for a touchdown, and did a flip into the end zone. One Titans fan tells me that the Titans would win because nobody wins in "The Delpher" (Adelphia Coliseum) except the Titans. I reminded him that the Ravens had done it twice. He then said that it was ok because the Super Bowl champions get a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. I said "Number one, that isn't true. Number 2, the Titans are NOT the Super Bowl champs!" He backed off. Another one, a guy came up to me, saying that he had been a Dolphins fan all his life, and it broke his heart when Ray Finkle missed that field goal in the Super Bowl. I told him to get away from me. Just be yourselves, people! Seriously! Its ok if you are a new fan, or if you don't have alot of knowledge. Nobody is going to think you are stupid...unless you are a wannabee scholar.

But the last type of wannabe scholar can be summed up with a picture, and needs no explanation.

Personally, I like the guy, but not as a football commentator.

The Bandwagon Fan. This guy always has brand new gear from the previous Super Bowl winner. He knows nothing about the history of the team. All he cares about is looking like a winner. That guy is usually a loser. I'm glad I'm not a band wagon fan. It would get really expensive replacing your gear every year. But, you see more band wagon fans in Basketball than anything else. How else can you explain why there were suddenly Oklahoma City fans all over the country, and how many Miami Heat fans outside Florida even know the lineup before Lebron James got there? NOTE: This pic obviously was taken long after this blog post. I used this one after the site crashed because it was the best bandwagon pic I have ever seen.

The Jerk. This guy is the greatest fan in the world. Nobody knows more about the team than he does, and if you try to call him on it, he will try to pick a fight with you. Although he will get into fights with the opponent's fans, he more often gets into fights with fans of his own team.

The Eternal Pessimist. The way he talks about his team, you'd swear his team was a division rival. He downs them constantly, when they make a good play, he swears it was luck because the QB was trying to throw the ball to someone else. The kicker could hit a field goal, and he would whine because it wasn't straight down the middle. These people are ZERO fun to watch a game with. I have told people to get away from me if they were going to talk like that. They ruin the experience, and they are a total buzz kill. Here's a rl he'd be really happy with:

Bad Cliche Guy. He will be watching a game with you, and say the dumbest and most worn out, over used lines of all time, and he will say it like he really means it and thought it up on his own. Things like "I guess they just don't want to win!" Yeah. The team huddled up and said "You know what, I really don't feel like winning today. Lets let the other guys have it!" That, or "Best in the league!" when an average player makes an average play. "Wow! That second string offensive lineman made a huge block! He is the best in the league, and he really needs more playing time. You can't teach things like that!" Maybe we should rename this fan "Wannabe Commentator."

So, watch out for these types of people. And if you're guilty of any of it, just stop doing it. Nobody will notice it, and you won't get any compliments, but your friends will appreciate it, and you will find that you have a better time watching football.

All this being said, I hope your team has a GREAT football season (unless you are a NY Jets, Buffalo Bills, or New England Patriots fan.) ;)


Saturday, September 7, 2013

A 9/11 Tribute I did in 2001

September 11, 2001...Within one hour after the second plane struck the World Trade Center, everybody in the world knew it was a terrorist attack on the United States. Everybody was angry, and there were many different reactions. Most noticeably was the congress singing God Bless America on the steps of the capitol building. Even though we all knew the 'unity' that was shown there would only last another 20 minutes, it was still cool to see, even if certain politicians were only doing it for a photo op. Other people wrote parody songs. I was living in Clarksville, TN at the time, which is near Ft. Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division. One of the songs I remember was from the Nashville rock station was a parody of AC/DC's For Those About to Rock, We Salute You called For Those About to Fight, We Salute You. In that town, everyone knew what was about to happen, and spirits were high. The soldiers knew a deployment was coming, and they were excited to go.

Within 5 days of the attacks, I had written a parody of Queen's We Will Rock You/ We Are the Champions called We Will Bomb You/ We Are Americans. I scheduled time in a friend's recording studio for 2 weeks later. I started practicing and learning my lyrics. They aren't simply a new set of lyrics written over the music. These lyrics fit and flow the way the lyrics do in the original song. You'll notice this when you listen to it.

So, the day arrived when I was going to go into the studio and record my tribute, but I got sick! Strep throat! I talked to my friend, and he told me to go ahead and try it, and if I couldn't do it, he would schedule me another time after I got over the strep throat. I agreed, and we went in, and I started recording. After a warm up and a few beers, I didn't notice my throat as much, or maybe I didn't care. Who knows? Anyway, once I warmed up, I was okay and did the song in 2 takes. I did it well enough not to need to do it again after I was over the strep throat.

We burned about 10 copies, and took them to bars and a couple radio stations. It was played on the Clarksville rock station as well as the Nashville rock station. People started requesting copies, and we started burning them with a label that I designed. We then started handing them out at bars. We handed out between 150 and 200 CDs. The majority of CDs were grabbed by soldiers about to deploy. I know for a fact that the song was played in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention Germany and Korea, and wherever else the US has a base.

It felt good to know that something I did served to lend morale to our troops. So, here it is. For the first time since 2001-2002, in memory of those lost, and those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom, We Will Bomb You/ We Are Americans. Words written and sung by yours truly. Enjoy it. Its a little out dated, but you get the point.

Here is the song, along with a slideshow I put together. (watch it on YouTube. Bigger screen.)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I know how large corporations can pay more.

That's right. I know a guaranteed way that corporations can pay their middle class employees more money...and it won't even raise their payroll. Want to know the secret? I'd tell you but I have to refer you to the 'Department of Unsolicited Messages Bid And Solid Solutions' (DUMBASS) and they will have to approve me telling you, then send your request to the 'Message Office Replies Of Necessity' (MORON) and once they deem it a necessary, they send it to the 'Department Of Linking Transfer' (DOLT) who then forwards it back to me. So, once I get permission from the required channels, and the permission forms are all documented and verified by my boss, his boss, and his boss's boss, you can expect to hear my secret in about 3 months.

Well, in true corporate fashion, I will tell you in a bit. First, I'm going to tell you a few stories of experiences I've had recently and in the past. By the time I'm done, I probably won't even have to tell you my idea, but I will anyway.

A few years back, I was a property manager for a company that 'offered storage to the public.' I had never seen so many layers of unnecessary brass before in my life. They had people who's job it was to travel around the country and appraise the safety awareness of everyone working there. Sounds good, right? All this person (who made triple what I was making, plus got paid to see the country) did was show up, go through your 'safety manual' (which was nothing but monthly printouts of common sense safety crap that any 5 year old would know...and they never changed year to year. They were always the same with a different little smiley face or something like that so they knew you printed it) to make sure it was up to date, then they would ask you what the monthly safety topic was on the monthly printout that never changed, and to conclude their visit, they would ask you to demonstrate the proper way to open a roll up door. They were there literally 5 minutes tops, and they never found anything bad or out of order. I called another store in a different part of the company with a different safety manager and was told that they did the exact same thing there. How can I apply for that job? And, why did the DM come around and do those things when there was a department specifically for that?

At least twice a year, there would be an email from corporate HQ, saying to welcome the new employees of the new 'Department Of Nothing Other Than Handling Insignificant Numeric Goods' (DONOTHING) and how glad they were to have them on board. Then, a week later, another email from HQ talking about how the bonuses had been "restructured." (cut to pay for DONOTHING)

My wife has worked for the same company for 7 years. She has transferred the job to 3 different cities, and has been asked to go to other stores that needed help. The company's payroll department after getting W4s from her when we moved to a different state was always backwards because of a chain of people that had to handle that information. When she went to help another store, she was paid gas mileage. The check they cut for that had to be approved by the store manager of the store she was at, then to the DM, then to the RM, then the VP of the company, then forwarded to the payroll department. As a result, her mileage was sent to a previous address. This happened twice. Another time, we moved, and her paycheck was sent to the previous store. That happened twice. Once, they credited the money to a CLOSED BANK ACCOUNT! She tried to get that straightened out, and they said they would send a check. Once again, sent to a previous location. Every one of these transactions had to go through 3 different people before they went to the department where it needed to go.

This next story was the inspiration for this post. I have over the years delivered pizza as a second job. Before moving to North Carolina last month, I worked for a chain for a year and a half as a second job. I worked for a franchise store. I gave them a month notice when we left, and left on very good terms, and was definitely rehire-able. I went to a location near our new place, thinking I could grab a job quickly and have some fast income coming in while I found a real job since we were in a much bigger city. I was WRONG. Seems the location I went to was a corporate store, not a franchise store. It had only been a matter of 3 weeks since I worked for the franchise store, yet I had to interview, then go to a 2 hour orientation, and they had to submit my information to a department who's sole responsibility is to determine if previous employees are eligible for rehire. You'd think a DM could just pick up the phone, and call the previous manager, but you would be wrong. So, I jumped through hoops for a week, and it finally come back that since working for the franchise store, I had not gone on a crime spree, and gotten a DUI or two. So, I was hired. Next step was the orientation. I was told that it only was once a week with the orientation manager. That is all that guy does. He goes from city to city telling people how to deliver pizza and work there.

The orientation day was Tuesday. It WAS scheduled for 6, and this was the only day I could do it. We have a 3 year old, and my wife was scheduled to work that night, so she changed her schedule so I could do it. No problem. Then, I got a phone call from the place, saying the orientation had been moved to 5:00. I told them that my wife had changed her schedule, and I would have to be a few minutes late. They said it was ok. So, I got there at 5:15. The 'orientation manager' was there with a group of new hires, and he had no idea who I was. I told him, and he looked in his books, and informed me that I was scheduled for NEXT week. I told him what had happened, and told him that I was there now. He asked me if I had my orientation paperwork. I knew nothing of orientation paperwork. No one said anything about it. He apologized, and said he couldn't help me. I told him that I had been working for them for a year and a half, and I didn't understand all this red tape. He snidely told me that I worked for a franchise store, and not a corporate store, and corporate stores do things much differently, and screen their employees much deeper, and I would have to learn to do things the "right way."

I told him that there was a reason that franchise stores do better than corporate. For example, I was a top driver at the franchise, and would work whenever needed, and they weren't thrilled to lose me. But, because of the stupidity of the corporate store, I would not be back. I'd go to a competitor if I haven't found a job in the next couple weeks. So, they lost out on a top employee just because the corporation has to have all these DONOTHINGs with a novel sized rule book.

So, I'm sure you have a pretty good idea what my idea is by now. Its simple. Get rid of all these stupid and unnecessary departments, and you can pay your employees more! You know what? Production would go up too because the employees wouldn't have 5 different people breathing down their necks to complete one simple task. 

This goes out to all DONOTHINGs: 


Seriously, corporations...Get rid of all those layers of upper management, and give the money you pay them to the people who make you all the money...Your ground level employees. When did an 'orientation manager' ever make a DIME for your company? Never?