Saturday, July 22, 2017

Best Magazine Reads: 10 things I learned about Gregg Allman in Rolling Stone's tribute

Although blues and Southern rock have never been my top musical genres, I always really liked and respected the Allman Brothers. It's strange that I think of those as relatively joyful tunes (perhaps because I listened to them a lot in my care-free early 20s), when in fact leader Gregg Allman was a sorrowful, walking ghost for basically his entire life.

Personal details beyond the death of his bandmate and brother Duane in 1971 and his marriage to Cher have always been sparse. But the always-great Mikal Gilmore grabs some good ones in his tribute, "The Last Brother," in the June 29 issue of Rolling Stone.
  1. Referring to Duane, Gilmore writes: "In the early Seventies, following one of the Allman Brothers Band's legendary three-hour shows, Gregg watched horror movies with the sound off, keeping an empty chair nearby. He maintained that a spirit sat in that chair. Into the last years of his life, he said he still heard from that ghost every night."
  2. Gregg's father fought at Normandy in World War II and returned home with what would today be called post-traumatic stress. He was murdered on county road by a man who stole his car.
  3. He couldn't stand racism or the Vietnam War, and he shot himself in the foot to get out of going.
  4. After a falling out, and before Duane and Gregg got back together to form the Allman Brothers, Gregg was stuck playing out a contract with a pop band he hated in Los Angeles and even considered suicide while Duane had great success as a session musician back home in the south.
  5. The band picked its name in a blind poll and it was unanimously the Allman Brothers.
  6. Gregg hated that the last thing he ever said to Duane before his brother died in a motorcycle crash was a lie, denying that he had stolen Duane's cocaine when he really had.
  7. The Allmans held a benefit concert to help their friend Jimmy Carter withstand the costs of the 1974 primaries. He probably made it to the presidency because of the band, and Gregg ate with Carter at his first meal in the White House.
  8. Gregg met Cher in 1975 at the Troubadour in L.A. and thought she smelled like a mermaid would smell. On her singing though, he thought she was bad. The couple released what most would say was his worst album, as Allman and Woman.
  9. The couple's tour didn't work, Gregg passed out in a plate of spaghetti, and they got divorced.
  10. Despite the success of 1986's "I'm No Angel" and the 1989 reformation and tour of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg hit his most rock bottom of drinking, until he gave a poor speech when being elected to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, and decided to quit drinking for good.

Monday, July 17, 2017

"Wiener Sausage: The Podcast!" Episode #5 Show Notes: July is the Best Month!

PicturePerfect reading for July.
(These are show notes from my short-lived and perhaps ill-fated podcast with Dan Sullivan. May it always at least live on here. Sigh.)

1:55 - Thought for the day: July overtakes October as Paul's favorite month. Mostly for water-related reasons. And crab-related ones as well. Although Dan has been fighting organizations of various repute throughout the month, he too is fairly keen on the year's middle time. The only months that can cause distress for Dan are August and February, largely because "many people die" during those months.

7:45 - In case you forgot, Dan explains just exactly what this podcast is about. Well, our original musical, Wiener Sausage: the Musical! was a smorgasbord of music and comedy and life, so this is a continuation of that in podcast form.

10:00 - In the name of the DC Capital Fringe theater festival, which is currently underway, and where our musical was staged to sellout crowds in 2008, we start a reading of the script, which will be an ongoing story you will want to follow each week. Kinda like a South American telenovela. It begins with Guy Williams, who is based on a character that Dan created as part of the bedtime stories he would tell his little brother when they were kids and which they termed "Master Pervert Theater."

12:30 - Act One, Prelude of Wiener Sausage: The Musical! An all-knowing, Star Wars-like voice sets the scene. And Guy Williams takes the stage only to ramble a bit before he realizes there's an audience in front of him. Then he sings the opening absurd pop nugget titled "It Starts With a Love Between a Boy and a Girl."

17:30 - Dan and Paul discuss how a business storyline courses through the musical and that it fits pretty well in the current climate, in relation to how we have a CEO In Chief in the White House. Does our audience have any good ideas to add to Wiener Sausage: The Rock Opera? Dan suggests any rewrites should incorporate more music, ala the wildly successful Hamilton.

22:20 - A word from our latest sponsor, Coco Loko! Wildly exciting! Mildly offensive!! Debatably addictive!!!

23:00 - The duo pontificates again on British culture; fittingly, in this the month of our British independence.

26:30 - The magic moment arrives! Dan snorts a thick line of Coco Loko.Dan reveals that he is reclining in his comfortable bed as he does the podcast and snorts a line. Paul says he would never advise such posture during either activity. But Dan interrupts him to report that the energy buzz is kicking in, live, in the middle of the podcast. Quality entertainment!

37:30 - Pop Culture Wiener Sausage News Central Headline of the Week! From the country of Georgia, Nazis attack a vegan cafe by throwing meat around. The story makes very little sense. However, Dan's explanation of some of Hitler's behavior helps explain things, and ...

45:00 - So does the EXCLUSIVE interview that Paul conducts from an undisclosed location, forced to wear a blindfold. He talks with Morty Von Hammenheim, a member of the group, who initially makes Paul quite nervous. But as the interview goes along, Von Hammenheim surprisingly turns out to be a rather sympathetic character claiming his group is simply misunderstood. He just wants cigarette smoking to flower again in full and for there to be "meat in every corner" and "around your neck."

56:45 - Paul and Dan recall the story of the Washington DC Smoking Man, who used to try to get everyone to boycott DC bars and go to nearby Arlington because, at that point, Arlington still allowed people to smoke in bars.

58:00 - Finally, a Pop Culture Wiener Sausage News Update on Carl Edward Cunningham, whom we interviewed in the last podcast and has since pleaded guilty to stealing his buddy's Star Wars action figures, facing four years in prison when sentenced this fall. Dan calls for him to be imprisoned for much longer.

1:00:15 - A phrase to take us out on ... Paul offers, "Go get your Boba Fett figures at the Super Safe Mega Valu Mart."

Perfect eating for July.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wiener Sausage Rises to iTunes! Episode #4 Show Notes: Independence Day Special Edition:

(These are show notes from my short-lived and perhaps ill-fated podcast with Dan Sullivan. May it always at least live on here. Sigh.)

We start with confusion by numbers. Although this is the fourth (or fifth, depending on who you ask) episode of Wiener Sausage: The Podcast!, it is the first we're posting to the big time: iTunes. You will now be able to subscribe to the show and listen to it with ease as you mow your lawn, drive to work, or enjoy your prescription meth.

We'll straighten all the numbers out eventually. Meanwhile, here are the show notes. Happy 4th of July!

0:00 - Dan and Paul open in stereotypically morbid fashion, with tales of near-death experiences involving funerals, ocean swimming, and automobiles.

7:00 - Life tip: You should never brake on the highway because it will cause massive delays for hundreds of cars behind you.

8:00 - Dan now owns a Fiat. He doesn't know much about it other than it looks like a little yellow bee. Car Talk this show isn't.

13:00 - A word from our latest sponsor. It couldn't be more fitting, especially in relation to the $500 million worth of hamburger meat that will be sold to Americans over the 4th of July holiday: Meatland!

16:30 - After a very long lead and intro into the word for our sponsor, here actually is where the ad begins.

18:30 - That ad just got Dan and Paul both hungry for some Vienna sausages.

19:00 - Wiener Sausage Pop Culture News presents a discussion on the beauty of obituary writing, the death of Stephen Furst of Animal House fame, and friends who have recently died.

26:00 - Dan and Paul relive some fun stories from college debauchery and academic intrigue at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Washington University.

32:00 - Every time Dan asks whether a celebrity is dead already, they aren't but then they die days later. Let's hope this doesn't hold true after our discussion of the legendary Harrison Ford.

33:15 - "Free," one of the songs from Wiener Sausage: The Musical!, as played by Paul's former band The Sprogs.

38:00 - Paul secures an exclusive, exciting interview with Carl Everett Cunningham, who has allegedly stolen as much as $200,000 in Star Wars action figures from the Obi-Wan Ranch in California.

44:00 - Uh, the interview finally actually begins. If you hadn't noticed, Paul and Dan like long contextual setups.

53:00 - Because meats are about to be served for the holiday, our hosts run out of time. Dan gives Paul another shot at "signing out" after a miserably failed attempt during the last show. He does a tiny bit better this time.