Viva Las Vegas! On Vacation April 3rd Through 7th. Did I Remember to Lock the Door?
Oh yeah! I'm back in Las Vegas next week. I'll be enjoying warm weather, mountain landscapes, the constant buzzing of slot machines, open liquor containers anywhere I damn well please, and monster buffets (made with REAL monster!).
So what will become of this craptacular blog? I have no auto-post feature so how on Earth will I manage to keep my readers (both of them) entertained with fresh content while I'm gone?
I'm asking BETTER writers to provide content for me!
Yep, I'm draining the Andy Land reader pool and having 5 days worth of guest bloggers provide some of their own brands of brilliance. All of these people, friends all to be sure, are much more talented than myself and I know they have way more readers and commenters than I do. The way I see it, having some actually entertaining people writing something here should be a welcome (and LONG overdue) treat for everyone.
So who is on the list? The usual unusuals. If you are among the few who have not read their stellar blogs please take some time to check them out and see why having them in here will only make my readers wish I didn't suck so bad.
Monday April 3, 2006
Kim, from I Wasn't Always Like This
Kim is about as funny and clever as it gets. Only about a zillion people read her blog every day and she is never at a loss for words. Somehow she felt it necessary to ask me to give her a subject to talk about because "I never know what to write about." I don't care what she writes about as I know it will be excellent.
Tuesday April 4, 2006
Golfwidow, from Golfwidow's Ministry of Silly Walks
There are only a few people in the world I'd entrust the Ten Things Tuesday list with and you're looking at the top of my list. I've no doubt that my sister in penguin admiration will bring on the goods.
Wednesday April 5, 2006
Christine from Bitchitude and Malicious Bitch fame (She may drag Doyle into this as well. Who knows?)
Christine has been subcounsciously stalking me for decades. Now she has a chance to wreak havoc in my little chunk of the blogiverse and I've no doubt things will never be the same.
Thursday April 6, 2006
Jade from Jaded Sunburns
What can I say? She's wanted to get in my blog from the first time she laid eyes on it. Just check out the, "Come blog me" look in her eyes. Arizona's finest will be here on Thursday and I hope you will come here to enjoy whatever she has to say.
Friday April 7, 2006
The one and only Bud Buckley
Wait a minute! He's a DUDE! How the fuck did he get in here? SECURITY!
These folks will have free reign of the blog and I've told them that with very little exception, they can talk about anything they want. They may choose to write something similar to what they put in their own blogs. They may write post after post about just how filled with suck I actually am. What the hell do I care? I'll be in Las Vegas!
Please enjoy the coming week and make them feel welcome. I know you'll have a great time reading their work. I always do!
Oddly enough I'll be out of town the following week as well. However I should be able to get to local libraries and I hope to update the blog on my own. Of course, I do have other bloggy friends and I could just inconvenience them the same way. Hmmm...
Thanks for the Boost
I have to thank Sue from The Torn Pages for shilling on my behalf. OK, I'm really thanking her for saying I'm cute many times in her post, but I also appreciate the effort to get me work and the extra traffic I get here.
Eric over at LouieLouie.net was kind enough to mention me and Golfwidow in a recent post and I am always happy to have my virtual ears buzzing because of a link or two.
E-Pauly is always entertaining. But let's face it. He's even MORE entertaining when some of my stuff gets republished. ;)
Ten Things Tuesday: Pet Names for Your Wife You SHOULDN'T Use Around Her Parents
Your Daughter, the Whore
Back Seat Annie
My First Wife
You Think This Shit Is Easy?
Monday March 27, 2006 Weigh-In
No change from last week.
I'm down 20 pounds in total.
To Tour or Not to Tour?
I've been thinking a lot about the relevance and existence of bands that tour after key members have quit or died. Leading up to the Queen + Paul Rodgers show I encountered quite a lot of folks who were downright angry that anyone would DARE go out and tour, claiming any sort of identity to Queen. In some eyes, Queen can't exist without Freddie Mercury and even the presence of one of rock's all-time greatest voices cannot justify the ticket price, no matter how reasonable the price or how fine the show.
I've come to the sound conclusion that when asked the question, "To tour or not to tour?", the choice must simply be left to the band. When a member of the group dies or differences cause someone to leave it is solely up to the band to dictate to us, how they proceed. Our responsibility lies only within the right to buy or not buy the product. Any other judgment is just us being greedy for more or petty for not getting what we want.
If the remaining members of Queen, who have been very consistently providing high-quality product for their fans, and performing live for tributes, benefits, and other shows (all with different singers) since the death of Mercury want to go out on the road then who are we to complain? These people love to play together and created something special and enduring in music history. If heading to the States with Paul Rodgers makes them feel better to be alive then so be it. If people don't want to go they won't buy a ticket.
After watching this show in particular and reflecting upon the previous non-Mercury performances, it has become obvious to me that the remaining members of Queen went to painstaking measures to carefully select a suitable substitute. They knew that they needed a man with the street cred to front an arena rock band. Some one with a powerful voice and comparable range, yet a distinctive style and persona would be a must. There are not many people more perfectly suited for this task as Paul Rodgers. Believe me, the next best choice, George Michael, would NOT have gone over well with anyone for more than a few songs.
I learned that Queen is in the Guinness Book for having the longest continuously running fan club for a group. In all their years, particularly those after Freddie's death, they have put on yearly conventions, made themselves available to fans, put out regularly printed, full color magazines, and much Like Pink Floyd, have released excellent products that are faithful to the fans and mindful of the history behind the group. Queen has never done anything like this recent endeavor and aside from asking the fans to continually provide support, they have never asked for anything in return. Now, they are asking the fans to let them be Queen again. They found a way to make it happen and they just want to do what they have always done best. Who else but the remaining members of Queen are playing these epic and wonderful songs?
The Grateful Dead lost Jerry Garcia and he was not even the first member of the band to die. They CHOSE not to continue out of respect for Jerry. You can't tell me that the vast majority of Deadheads would have actually stopped traveling and gotten jobs if the band decided to play on. This choice by the Dead is no more noble or correct than any other band's choices to go on and play. I always thought stopping the Dead was a huge mistake. To put a stop to this bullshit mystical journey the Dead cultivated all those years just because someone died? Foolish. Sure it's a given that The Jerry Garcia Band wouldn't tour again, but the Dead? Com on!
Wait, didn't the Glenn Miller Orchestra go on without a living Glenn Miller? OK, The Jerry Garcia Band still has a shot.
I certainly feel the pain of Deep Purple fans. That band has had more line-up changes than a baseball team, but that isn't what has killed the fan base. The fact that EVERY tour Deep Purple has ever staged gets canceled about halfway through. Apparently complete roster switches can't combat chronic egotist syndrome.
The Who caught a lot of flack for replacing Keith Moon, and today are taken to task for going on without John Entwhistle. However, Pete Townshend had the perfect line back when Kenny Jones took over for moon. To paraphrase, Townshend said that The Who was "my fucking band" and he'll put whomever he wants on stage and call it whatever the hell he wants. You can't really argue the point. At least with The Who, the fans did certainly get the best end of the deal with regard to surviving members.
Moreover, there are many success stories about bands that have moved on.
Had AC/DC not searched out a new lead singer we'd have never gotten the Back in Black album or any of the other AWESOME records.
While I prefer the David Lee Roth VanHalen, it is hard to argue that the Sammy Hagar version didn't provide great music, profitable & memorable concerts, and millions of fans with some satisfaction. Personally I feel sorry for Gary Cherone as he was an excellent choice and a good fit for the group. Ah well.
There have been well over 40 members of Santana and nobody has bitched about the change in line-up, even when they had a very NON-Santana hit like, "I'm Winning", Carlos and his gang provided goods that were appropriate for the fans.
The Rolling Stones have had members die, members quit, and members suddenly develop a fear of flying for fuck's sake, and yet 4 blokes tour the world to the delight of many. The prices keep going up and the fans keep showing up. Shit, Ron Wood is "the new guy" and he's been with them for 30 years! I don't see anyone bitching.
Genesis excelled after Peter Gabriel left and Phil Collins took over. They tanked after Collins left, as if somehow the fans were cheated. Strange.
Eagles came back sans Randy Meisner, but everyone rejoiced. A few years later they emerged again sans Meisner and the PIVOTAL Don Felder (a travesty in my book), but still ticket sales did not suffer. Why do some get a pass and others get the shaft?
Oddly enough everyone wants a Led Zeppelin reunion, but respects the fact that the band doesn't want to go out as Zeppelin without Bonham. What's even more strange is that the fans clamor to see Plant & Paige perform nothing but Zeppelin tunes together even though they have never invited John Paul Jones to tour with them. CAN'T they have all the surviving original members of the band play the Zeppelin catalogue and NOT call themselves Led Zeppelin? I guess the line-up really doesn't matter.
There are certainly times when the show must not go on. I can't imagine that too many people REALLY enjoyed seeing The Doors 2000 or Guns & Roses (sans everyone but Axl Rose), but it is certainly within the rights of whomever owns the name and the music to go out and play their tunes.
I'm starting to think that if thought and care has been taken by the band to carry on in a positive way, then by all means, let the band play on. As always I can choose not to,listen. I've decided that unless you are flagrantly shitting on the fans they should go ahead and ply their trade. Besides, if you are a true fan of a group you are something of a hypocrite if you don't at least give the band a listen.
If you truly love the band and are a fan of THE BAND then you're being extremely disrespectful to the surviving members to imply that the only reason the band worked was because of the efforts of a single person. In the case of Queen, this was a true family in the form of a band. All members had a hand in creating the music, the stagecraft, and the experience. To act as though the band is gone and less significant really pisses in the faces of the guys standing there who not only made it happen, but want to bring it to you again.
Really I'd have been more upset if Freddie Mercury survived, went out as Queen and Brian May wasn't with the band. Could you imagine Queen songs with some other guitar player? Probably not. I mean they'd have done fine. Aerosmith did for a spell and KISS rarely has all of the original line-up playing anymore, yet the fans still show up.
Anyway, let Queen, Journey, the Cars, INXS, and anyone else go out and have their fun. Take a listen and decide for yourself if it is worth listening to and watching. Just don't be so self righteous and indignant and DON'T form an opinion without hearing your favorite bands state their case first. Believe me, if they don't have it to go and are embarrassing themselves, they'll get the hint sooner or later.
Wait a minute! Bass player John Deacon wasn't with the band. Queen without John Deacon. Fuck all this. I was totally wrong. They SUCK!
God Bless the Queen + Paul Rodgers Concert!
Purists, be damned. THIS was among the best rock shows I've ever seen, if not among the best live performances of any kind. Absolutely superior experience in every way!
A quick review: Queen personifies arena rock. I'm fairly sure the phrase was invented because of the band. Every song that they played came out with such power and emotion that we felt this could very well be the least song we'd ever get to hear on Earth. I've waited a damn long time to be able to hear Brian May play the solo from "We Will Rock You" (arguably the single most passionate, moving, and certainly recognizable guitar solo ever recorded) live and I was happy as ever being treated to all of his stellar guitar work.
The musicianship is always amazing and the vocal work of Paul Rodgers makes for a perfect substitute for Freddie Mercury. not a replacement. A substitute. he's got most of the range, all of the credibility, nearly as colorful a wardrobe, and the necessary charisma and vocal power that someone ballsy enough to take on this Herculean task should have. plus you get the added benefit of several Bad Company & Free songs played by a KILLER band!
Speaking of which, there are some rock songs that, in my mind, are so integral to the development and history of Rock n' Roll that, had they not been written, the genre simply wouldn't have happend quite the same or nearly as well. Like those time travel stories where someone goes back one billion years in time, steps on a caterpillar, and -POOF!- London, England doesn't even exist and Detroit, Michigan is on fire on every day BUT Halloween when they return to present day. The Free classic, "All Right Now" is one of those songs for me.
In all, the tributes to Mercury within the show were tasteful and appropriate. The lighting and staging represented everything that rock concerts should be, and the entertainment value was extremely satisfying. THIS is a great show and I hope they continue onward for a long time. I highly approve of the experiment.
Check back tomorrow for some thoughts about bands that go on without key members.
I'm a DVD-Burning, Mass-Marketing Promotional MACHINE!
I've been burning and sending out the new DVD like a mad man. The response has been pretty good for the most part, so I am hopeful that it will generate some real interest in my act for some bigger gigs.
I will be sending out copies to my blog friends soon. I just have to concentrate on the potential clients first.
Also, by next month I should have all the videos form he DVD on my website. Check back for details.
Sorry for the relatively boring old post today. Shatner is on and I must watch!
Thanks to Gordon for plugging my services. He's one of the good ones and I thank him from the heart of my bottom, or something like that.
May God bless and keep Helen Thomas with us forever and ever.
I'll be at the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum performing at National Mustard Day again this August 5, 2006. Please someone come visit me so I can feel like a big shot entertainer.
My Ramshorn Snail died last night of mysterious circumstances. This is only a few weeks after the untimely death of my Ivory Snail. Anyone having any information pertaining to the demise of these beloved pets should contact me immediately. I offer no reward as these things die frequently and cost a couple bucks each, but I need to grieve somehow and this seemed the most appropriate way.
Ray Meyer died this week. I met him and his son, Joey, at an event at what was then known as Ditka's Trackside at Arlington Park Race Track. I'd love to turn this into a Random Celebrity Memory type story, but I have no real story other than to say I met him and liked him very much. Both he and his son were very polite and friendly guys.
I DO have a photo of me with then Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer taken at that same event. So in lieu of any really cool Coach Ray Meyer anecdotes I'll share the Mayor Eugene Sawyer photo.
I have an appointment with my accountant tomorrow. Gotta file my taxes. Pray for me, if that sort of thing works for you. I'm already depressed enough about the way my finances are going this year, I am dreading the news tomorrow. Even though my taxes are generally no big whoop, I have nothing but dread for my life.
Thursday April and I will be seeing Queen + Paul Rodgers. I don't give two shits if you think that there is no such thing as Queen with another lead singer, Paul Rodgers is a PERFECT choice to front this legendary band on many different levels and we both can't be happier to know we're going to see a great band playing great songs, and being fronted by a great lead singer. We saw Rodgers a few years back doing a solo show at Taste of Chicago and this guy is every bit the rock god as anyone you've ever seen.
I'm quite sure the other random thoughts running through my head are quite torrid and not appropriate for this audience. So I'll stop now.
Labels: Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, National Mustard Day, National Mustard Museum
Ten Things Tuesday: BAD Fortune Cookies, A.K.A., Misfortune Cookies
This completes the Golfwidow Trilogy. ;)
Please leave suggestions for future Tuesday lists in the
Golfwidow's Gifts Keep on Coming.
OK, I just didn't look in the box thoroughly enough. Inside her recent care package was also an origami penguin. Normally that would be enough to entertain me, but THIS penguin had a special decoration on the paper. Printed all over the paper was the lyrics to Louie Louie, making this the hippest handmade penguin ever. LOL!
Again, thanks to Golfwidow.
Monday March 20, 2006 Weigh-in
Net Loss for the Week: 1 pound
Overall Net Loss: 20 pounds
I was hoping to be under 220 this week. Been as low as 218 and as high as 221 all this week. The good news is I hit 220 AND
I bought a cheap pair of smaller jeans ("transitional jeans" as I call them) to tide me over as I lose the next 20 pounds.
Thank You for Being a Friend
No, this isn't some lame post about how much I miss "The Golden Girls", though that Bea Arthur is pretty hot. I'm thanking a few folks who have been rather nice to old Andy of late and they deserve a little recognition for providing me with a little recognition.
First off, it is always nice to have some of my work reprinted at e-pauly.com. Paul has been diligently reprinting my Ten Things Tuesday lists for some time now and this past week was no exception.
Next I have to thank Tony Collett, of Mah Two Cents for trying to pimp me out and get me some work. Not only does he have a very entertaining blog, but he's very willing to help a poor plate-spinner out with a little blog-whoring and I can't tell you how thankful I am for any extra help I can get. Be sure to read this blog every so often as I know you'll find a wealth of good things to fill yer head.
Also high on the "Oh you DO rock!" list is the ever-popular Golfwidow. Not only did this lovely lady, penguin-lover, and future purveyor of Andy Martello memorabilia shill on my behalf (in a post with "69BJ" in the title - COOL!), but she also sent me PRESENTS!
See, she and I have e-mailed back and forth talking about a range of topics from writing to the market value of signed Andy Martello cards. The other day she e-mailed me one of the more amusing internet time-wasters I've seen in some time and that made me very happy.
In my mailbox today (my actual mailbox, not my silly old e-mail) was a package, the contents of which will likely not mean a damn thing to anyone else out there, but to me, are genuine TREASURES!
We do upon occasion discuss other humor writers like the very successful Dave Barry, whom I presume she likes a lot (I'm relatively indifferent to him, but admire that he probably has Harry Anderson on speed-dial). Dave Barry along with Stephen King, Amy Tan , and about 12 other well-known authors, get together every so often and play live rock concerts with their band, Rock Bottom Remainders. They make no claims to be anything more than famous authors pretending to know how to play 3-chord rock music.
What's that? 3-chord rock music? Why these folks wouldn't happen to play...Louie Louie would they? Hell yeah they do! Inside the package was a videotape of a live Rock Bottom Remainders concert, featuring their stunning rendition of Louie Louie. I've known about this tape for some time, but since I tend to try and grow my silly Louie Louie collection only when I have expendable cash AND loads of free time (two things that don't meet all that often), I have not sought out to pick it up. Well, now I have it all for my very own and I'm positively giddy!
But wait! There's MORE!
The last package of Andy crap I sent her was quite purposefully wrapped in the Sunday comics from the Chicago Tribune, which she enjoyed very much. Not having any comics around to wrap the tape in, she created a penguin comic to accompany my Louie treasure.
Penguins AND Louie Louie in the same package? Too freakin' cool in Andy Land!
So a BIG thank you goes out to Golfwidow. She may only be my friend in order to profit from my future fame, but that's already, like, ONE more friend than I normally have.
Focus On the Work I Do Have - Andy is On the Road!
In an attempt to distract my near suicidal brain from the inevitable crash due to the complete LACK of bookings this year, the last couple weeks of this month in particular, I am posting some of the details of some road work I'll be doing in April.
It is my hope that some of the bloggers living in or near my shows will come out and say HI. I know I have a few readers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan (that isn't family) so please check in and let's have some fun. I can meet new people, you can see a free show, it will all be good. So...
ATTENTION! ILLINOIS, WISCONSIN, & UPPER PENINSULA MICHIGAN BLOGGERS! Andy Martello is on the road in April!April 9 through the 14th: Reynolds Family Circus
- April 9 - Mascoutah, IL (High School 3 PM)
- April 10 - West Frankfort, IL (Central School Jr. High 7 PM)
- April 11 - Mt. Carmel, IL (High School 7 PM)
- April 12 - Vandalia, IL (High School 7 PM)
- April 13 - Shelbyville, IL (High School 7 PM)
- April 14 - Pittsfield, IL (Berry high School 7 PM)
I'll be the one eating fire and spinning plates. E-mail me ahead of time and I can send you my cell phone number and we can meet. At the very least I should be able to get you into the show for free. Bring the kids. It will be fun.
Stand-Up Comedy Bookings
April 23, 2006 - Legends Comedy Competition (I'm Headlining)
- Legends Music Cafe, 701 East Lake St. Addison, IL 9 PM, 630-458-9201
April 28, 2006 - Negaunee (Marquette), MI
100 Cliff St.
906.475.4466 / 485.5474
Show is at 9:30 p.m. EASTERN TIME
April 29, 2006 - Sheboygan Falls, WI
- Odyssey Fun Center
100 Hamann Drive
Sheboygan Falls, WI
Show is at 9:30 p.m. CENTRAL TIME
I will also be in Las Vegas April 3rd through the 7th, assuming I live long enough to use these tickets we bought. Anyone living anywhere near Vegas (or Nevada for that matter) that can get away should come on out and have some fun with us. I can guarantee a good time at the Rum Jungle or elsewhere. If you can't have fun in Vegas you really need help. If you can't have fun with me and April in Vegas, you are truly beyond hope.
Will Work for FOOD! I also Accept CASH!
OK, this is pretty serious. My St. Pat's gig fell through and never got replaced. Several potential gigs for the next couple of weeks never panned out and I'm not actually making a single penny until the 30th of March. That's FAR TOO MUCH TIME OFF and I've got FAR TOO MANY BILLS TO PAY, not to mention that our vacation (while already paid for) will be extremely difficult to enjoy if I have no spending cash to bring along. I mean, I HAD cash, but I had to break into the stash to pay for the last, and all too recent terrifying dry spell.
Somebody...Anybody...I'll work damn near ANYWHERE I can feasibly get to for damn near ANY reasonable price. I need to keep the cash flowing if I expect to live into next month, which, oddly enough is pretty full with gigs. Very odd as April is traditionally a very slow month in general.
I'm serious. Any gig. Birthday parties, in-office prank visits, singing telegrams, EVEN BALLOON ANIMAL GIGS - whatever. I'll do freakin' windows and dishes if you have a need and don't want to do them yourself. I will work ANYWHERE for ANY reasonable amount to keep myself alive, get the first of the month bills paid, and survive into the month of April.
If you feel like doing some shilling on my behalf, that is certainly appreciated as well. Spread the word. Direct them to my website. Do whatever it takes to generate some action in this rather dead time. Last year was filled with last-minute bookings and sadly I find myself looking forward to them now.
Man this economy is killing guys like me. I'm actually going through my CD collection tonight and selling them for anything I can get. Heading to the temp agency as well. All this in time for my tax appointment. Good lord this sucks!
I really have to get out of this business before it kills me. Get out while I'm still young enough and "viable" in the work place. This is just too damn much to take. I've been doing this for 21 damn years! I shouldn't have these problems anymore!
THIS is what you get for following your dreams. Don't be like me. STAY IN A LOUSY, BUT STEADY, DEAD-END JOB FOREVER! At least you have health insurance, weekends off, and no worries like this crap!
OK, I'm being a bit overly dramatic. I'm allowed to panic a little. Usually I only panic "a little" during ths time of year. this time I'm justified in pacicking "a lot". I even rescheduled my tax appointment so I may be able to give my accountant a few bucks. I still owe him cash for last year and I was too embarrassed to go in empty-handed.
Ah well, today is kind of the anniversary of the day April and I first "hooked up". PLUS, the NEW Doctor Who is airing on the Sci-Fi Channel tonight at 8 PM. So how can things really be that bad?
Five Years Ago Today...
Do you remember where you were five years ago? Most people don't remember such things or simply don't give a damn. Really, were it not for the sheer fact that I tend to hold on to contracts and other crap for a long time I'd have little or no idea where I was last week, much less five years ago.
Thanks to that aforementioned crap lying around the house I can tell you where I was five years ago and then you can get that creepy feeling down your back hindsight provides the same way that I do when I look at this artifact.
What you are looking at is a laminated all access pass. The event was a talent showcase, primarily for black talent in Chicago, produced by the Onesti Entertainment Corporation. There was prize money, TV exposure, and representation on the line for this one and the agency where I occasionally worked as a producer, sent at least one good act.
We found out that this was quite the swanky event and Jim (my partner at the agency), April & I decided to check it out. Free food & booze, and a very cool talent showcase all seemed like reason enough to attend. Plus it is always good to support the acts you send out to the potential slaughter that may accompany a contest judged by "experts".
What was most hysterical about the night was that aside from the show's producers, April, Jim, and myself were the only white people at this very cool nightclub, The Epitome. The place was beautiful and everyone was dressed to the nines. You could tell that this was a secret place to the urban crowd and as we all entered there was clearly a "there goes the neighborhood" feeling about. We just admired the place and sought out our submitted act, schmoozed the producers, and enjoyed the show.
The downstairs was a very upscale restaurant and bar, and the upstairs was the dance floor and night club. The entire operation was impressive. Lavish decor, big bars and lots of room for many people. The stage was large and inviting and even though many of the acts were not to my taste, the show did feature some good talent.
April and I took a better look at the place. While we liked the club a lot, we started to notice things about it that put us off a bit. We didn't give a crap about being the only white people in the bar. We were more concerned about the one single staircase being the only visible exit to the club. There were likely some other stairways used as back entrances or fire escapes, but we certainly couldn't see them. More surveying of the room did not ease out tensions and we started noticing how many people were in the place for the contest. We realized that this room, already crowded was only at about half capacity. After making our notations about the place we continued to make our appearance and support my friend on stage.
On the way home we commented about the evening and the club in specific. We both noted that as cool as the place was, we'd both hate to be in there if there was ever an accident or a fire or something requiring a quick exit. We didn't think about that day again until just about two years to the day later. One month shy to be exact.
We were in Las Vegas when we heard the news coming across the national news wire. Twentyone people died at The E2 Night Club in Chicago, one of the worst night club disasters in history. You may remember hearing the story.
Details were sketchy. It all started with a simple bar fight. Security was said to use pepper spray to break up the heated disagreement and someone, overly worried about a terrorist threat, thought that the gas was poison and began panicking, which in turn, panicked the rather large crowd.
The result was a massive throng of people rushing to the only exit they could find; one lone staircase. People rushed down the stairs. People fell. People were trampled. Some reports have the bodies stacked four & five high & the doorway to the club was actually plugged up with human bodies. The photos on our TV screen were horrific. People wedged inside a small doorway at the bottom of a staircase. Some people were alive. Some were not.
April and I sat there shocked as we realized exactly where the E2 was in Chicago. E2 was that same upstairs night club we'd seen the talent show, the same place we admired for it's beauty and class, and denounced for poor design. We remembered talking about how horrible it would be if you had to make a quick exit and we felt very disturbed to realize just how right we were.
After coming home from Las Vegas I looked through some old boxes to see if I still had my backstage pass and if indeed this was the same place. As you can see, it clearly was.
News Links, Page 1
News Links, Page 2
Ten Things Tuesday: The WORST Porn Star Names
To make this a little more fun for me and possibly for you, if anyone has any ideas for a Ten Things Tuesday list, leave them in the comments field or e-mail me with your suggestions. I've got many ideas brewing in my head already, but perhaps you've got something with which you'd like to "challenge" me. I'm all out of Penguinis but I'm sure I can find a suitably stupid prize for anyone who inspires a good bit of comedy from me.
Next, and I am quite sure I don't need to say this...
A Happy Steak & BJ Day to All,
And to All a Good Night!
I was sent both a video link and an article link from my mother recently announcing the arrival of a baby penguin in England. This would indeed be the new baby penguin from the parents of Toga, the stolen and presumed dead penguin we all heard about some time ago. This little bird was born on Valentine's Day. Awwww...Isn't that cute? There are photos at the article site.
How could I not share with the class?
Baby Penguin Video Link
Baby Penguin Article
Also in the mail this afternoon was a very funny little penguin comic worth sharing.
Next, I shouldn't have to remind you that tomorrow is a sacred holiday. If you can get off work to celebrate then please do so (It is something of a religious experience). Otherwise just make sure you get off.
Finally, today's weigh-in. I must confess I ate rather well yesterday in celebration of the arrival of The Sopranos. So my number is a tad higher than I was hoping to tell you. All told, I'm pretty proud.
Monday March 13, 2006 Weigh-In
Net Loss for the Week: 3 Pounds
Overall Net Loss: 19 Pounds (was 20 pounds over the last two days...Too much pasta! LOL!)
All Is Right with the World Tonight
The Sopranos is back on my TV screen.
Check in a little later for weigh-in and other fun stuff.
Woke Up this Morning...
There will be no phone calls to my house after 8PM central time. If you try to call the phone will be turned off. I will field no comments, read no e-mails, and give not two shits about you or anyone wanting to talk to me tonight. The Sopranos is finally back and my life will be better because of it.
If you interrupt me from this, I will hate you with every fiber of my being for the rest of your days. The skies will open and I will rain down a fiery hell storm of loathing upon you and I will murder your dog. Your heirs will suffer my wrath. I will cast a shadow of resentment so large your dead grandparents will feel a might colder.
Now that we understand each other...
For the last few seasons April and I have made it something of a tradition to make from scratch a pasta sauce and create a wonderful Italian meal to share right at the start of the show. Last year was the first time I broke out the slow cooker for the sauce and I plan on repeating the procedure today. I believe I made the pasta from scratch last year as well. Perhaps that will happen again today.
In any event, I am happy to have no gig today and pleased to announce that one of the best shows ever created will FINALLY be returning to my screen.
OH, by the way, if you are one of those morons who makes claims that the show hasn't been as good from season to season or bitches about too much of the story being given to Tony's actual family and not "the family", or worse, one of those knuckle-dragging pricks that says things like, "I just wanna see people get whacked", you will always be on my shit list.
You have missed the point of the show entirely and it is very likely you still move your lips when you read (and I'm being VERY generous when I make the assumption you know how to read). You are probably the guy who never gets the joke, needs someone to explain the endings to classic stories, and can't figure out why Joe Pesci isn't in everything. You should have nothing to say on this day as you are a babbling, drooling, twit and I'll have none of your spittle wafting its way in my direction.
Am I being harsh? FUCK YEAH! But I will say, in fairness to the idiots out there, everyone has a right to the WRONG OPINION! If you are one of the aforementioned people you have the wrong opinion of this great program. And before you try that lame argument, "If it is an opinion how can it be wrong?" let me just say this, Hitler had some pretty strong "opinions". Are you really prepared to hold so fast to your under-thought opinion-gushing colander of a brain you have there?
Do you simply not like the show? I'm totally fine with that. That's a valid opinion. Just don't give me any crap trying to make yourself seem too cool for school here.
Anyway, I'm watching The Sopranos tonight and every Sunday night unless I have a gig. I am also hopeful that their new show, Big Love, will be as entertaining as most all of the original programs HBO has given us over the years. So don't plan on talking to me. I'm watching "my stories".
More Thoughts that Boggle My Mind
Over the years, how many high school juniors & seniors or freshmen college students have formed bands with the same name, specifically, The Circadian Rhythms?
You know it had to happen a few million times. That age of moron, combined with a guitar or drum set has had to make someone think they were that clever, right? "Huh-huh-huh...The Circadian Rhythms! Get it? Huh."
Follow-up question: What is the average length of time it took these "clever" bands to realize that A) EVERYONE has thought of that band name, and B) The reason nobody ends up keeping it is because people associate sleep with the phrase, "Circadian Rhythms" and therefore it is not the best name for a rock band?
Second follow-up: What percentage of the folks too stupid to change the name of the band decided it would be cool to have a cicada with a guitar on their posters & stickers, not knowing that CICADAS are insects and CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS have something to do with sleep?
Last question, and this one I know the answer to: What percentage of those idiots got laid more often than I did? (Answer: All of them.)
A Good Day
Normally any day that requires me to be awake at 5:30 AM so I can be in downtown Chicago for a Blues Brothers gig at 8:30AM would not find me making any claims to having a good day. Today was a good day.
While I'll never figure out the mindset of a client that wants the Blues Brothers singing and dancing at 8:30 AM for a bunch of people who are just as tired as I am, I always appreciate the work. I can pay a bill or two this week.
After getting home, returning a few calls and e-mails and taking a much needed nap I found myself at day's end having to type up three contracts for new gigs, two of which are in early April, (a tough time to fill - YAY!) and the potential for about three more bookings in April. So THAT definitely made me a little happier.
Lately, I haven't had a whole lot to feel good about with regard to the business. Today, coupled with the relative completion of my promo DVD project, was just what I needed. When thinking of something to post I remembered a nice thank you letter I received a couple years back. The little things make you happy in this business. Getting gigs when you need them is high on that list. Getting thanks is also up there.
The scans found here are from a nice handmade letter some students at the Leyden Special Education School made for me after doing a show for them. It is so cute, and you know I don't find most things kids do as cute. Leyden school does a great job of educating special needs children of all ages and they have been kind enough to have me out there a couple of times to perform.
A lot of performers won't even try to work for such groups. I like working more than not working so I take damn near all requests. With these groups I always try to provide the best show possible. These schools rarely have big budgets, the students can be very challenging to work for, and let's face it, some people just don't know how to act around these people. I just look at them as an audience and I do my show. Easy as pie so far as I'm concerned.
Anyway, I thought I'd share these scans, tell a story or two, & correlate them to the good day I had. While I have your attention I may as well link to a column I wrote about performing for just this type of school, "Good Show". "A Good Day"..."Good Show"...Seems, uh...Good. I've been told by the lovely and infinitely more talented writer, Marjo Moore that this is one of her favorite written works from me. Since she knows way more about this stuff than I ever will I am proud to have written it.
There's Been a Curmudgeon About!
And that curmudgeon has a blog! Check out the new link parter, Curmudgeonisms, and have yourself a good read.
I'd also like to thank Gordon for blogging about me often and E-Pauly for giving my Ten Things Tuesday lists an extra boost. It is appreciated, gentlemen.
While I am not quite done with my website video project, I AM done with my latest promo DVD project (for now). There are a few video captures I need to redo, but after DAYS of this shit, I'm DONE!
I still need to make a new 3-5 minute promo video, but for now the multiscreen, way cool looking DVD I made will suffice. It won't get this Vegas agent to stop telling me how amazing it is I get ANY work, but it will get me more work SOMEWHERE!
I COULD be convinced to make a few copies for "fans" if they want to add to their ever-growing Andy memorabilia collection. Just let me know. Some of you already got some "lesser DVDs" from me and I apologize. LOL!
Thanks for the tips on some free sites. I may go for a cheap pay site, StreamHoster.com. $15.00 a month fits into my budget and looks to be the most reliable. It came highly recommended from a web designer friend. But I'm way open to other good free places so keep those cards and letters rolling in!
It's Coming! Are YOU?
Ah yes, less than a week away from the greatest holiday ever invented...
Let's all join in now. Everybody...
God bless America!
Land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her...
Beside? You're doing it wrong.
Video Storage Help, Please!
We interrupt your regularly scheduled hilarity to bring you a desperate plea.
As you know I'm fairly savvy with the techno stuff. Well, I'm as savvy as I am completely moronic but that's beside the point.
Anyway, can anyone recommend a cheap (like FREE is preferable), reliable website or place that can store & host video files? I'm upgrading all the videos on my main site and even though their service is rock solid and extremely reliable...I'm close to poverty right now. Sure I could wait until I have the cash for the updates, but among the reasons I'm not working so much is that my website videos have been in dire need of upgrades for a LONG time and they do not do as good a job of selling my act as the rest of the site. So...
I've got many a file prepared in .wmv format for maximum usability among the web and I'm doing all I can to make sure they are as small as I can make them without completely ruining the video quality. I just need some ideas where to put them. Once stored I'll add the link within my main site and life will work swimmingly again.
- Video storage so I can stream my newer videos - The larger the better for me.
- Reliable - I get a lot of traffic to my main site. I doubt I'll ever have enough to overload any server as I'm not uploading porn...Unless you consider plate spinning as porn.
- Cheap or Free
I'm trying to see how much storage and usage I can get from the MySpace account I have but never use. I can't find a damn thing there, which is probably why I never use it. However, if they can store a lot of media and all I need is a link, then happiness will ensue.
Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
BTW, my web folks are ALWAYS willing to find me the cheapest way to fix these problems and their costs for hosting on their services is very reasonable. It is just more than I can afford right now and they don't mind me doing whatever I can to keep my monthly costs down.
We now return you to the genius that is...Ten Things Tuesday!
Ten Things Tuesday: Lesser Known Awards & Trophies
- Nobel Prize for Pornography
- Most Improved Armpits
- Cocaine Dealer of the Year (Coincidentally, ALSO known as "The Grammys" . )
- Outstanding Achievement in Elephant Husbandry
- World's Toughest Milkman (That one's for Gordon)
- Polyp of the Year
- "The Fisties"
- The Fresca Image Awards
- Miss Wessonality
- Congressional Medal of Ambivalence
As a little bonus to this week's list I also offer you links to past columns of mine about trophies and awards. Both of these columns were originally published at The Cheers and the first was inspired by one of my comedy routines (And probably explains why I'm not working and why a big time agency recently told me I "wasn't ready" for bigger gigs SIGH!).
And the Winner Is...
I'd Like to Thank...Nobody!
A Lot of Love for My Take on Ash Wednesday
I'm very happy to see that my recent work on Ash Wednesday has been so well-received over all. Sure there are some people sending me my relatives body parts in the mail to threaten me, but there are also people sending me photos of their body parts in my e-mail and those are kinda hot. LOL!
Anyway, it bears repeating that e-pauly was kind enough to republish it last week and Pammy over at Lollygaggin and Greg over at Delenda Est Carthago were kind enough to link to it as well.
I'm also trying to see if I can get a slightly cleaned up version of that piece in the Riverwalk Journal. It looks as though I may be their regular humor writer soon and I'm very excited about that! Head over there to read all of the great writers, if not just me, this month.
Lastly, head over to Gordon's blog and wish him a most happiest of birthdays. I'd do it myself, but I've got that weird Haloscan issue.
Monday March 6, 2006 Weigh-In
Net Loss for the Week: 1 Pound
Overall Net Loss: 16 pounds
Editing Video Takes a Lot of Time!
I'm putting the finishing touches on some stuff for a DVD and for my website. I'll have a "real" update, including weigh-in, later today.
Congrats to Wallace & Gromit and March of the Penguins, by the way!
Ever Wonder What Heartache Actually Looks Like?
Well I'm here to show you the harsh, ugly truth.
I give you...
The Pinocchio Bedroom!
Why does this represent heartache? Well first off, this was MY
bedroom! There's heartache when I realize there actually was a time when I DIDN'T
think Disney was a monster, devoid of a heart or soul of any kind. Then there's the long-lasting, heartache left deep within my psyche since the mid 1970's.
One day, back when I was about 5 years old and living in Schaumburg, IL, I was told that not only would I be enjoying my own cool room, but it would be completely decked out in a way cool Pinocchio theme. I had window shades with Pinocchio characters, bed sheets with the Disney icons on them, a matching lamp shade & other accessories, and the most stunning feature would be these hand-painted recreations of the classic Disney artwork.
The paintings were done by my sister, Lisa. You may know her work from her most excellent Our House Crafts in Winter, WI
. Long before she was painting collector's pieces on glass she was just my sister and she was polishing her skills by creating a wall for her little brother.
These poses and the frames matched the drawings perfectly and the project took some time to complete. To a kid my age, it seemed to take an eternity, when in reality it was probably more like a few weeks. As her hand were helping to make the wall mural take shape, my room was taking on a whole new life of its own and becoming the coolest kid's bedroom for miles around.
By the time it was done I had the most pimped out bedroom of any 5 year old I knew. Hell, I still wish I had a room this cool. Oddly enough I don't think there are any photos of the completed room because we were so impressed with these recreations. I've touched up the photos to remove a few years of aging and fading, but you can clearly see that this would have been one kick-ass room for a 5 year old kid.
About a minute and a half after the pain on the wall dried, we sold our house and moved to Marengo, Il. I was devastated. Seriously, it was like being given The FULL-SIZE G.I. Joe with the Kung-Fu Grip
for your birthday and having it immediately taken away and returned, the money being used for a fucking Care Bear
or a GODDAMN Rainbow Brite
for the neighbor's ugly, freckled daughter.
I'm not altogether sure just how long I got to live in my room, but to a kid my age, the time flew by in an instant. I'm certain the work has been LONG
since painted over, or even worse...covered in wallpaper!
My next bedroom, while odd in shape (The roof of the house shaped the interior of my room) and reasonably cool, was NOT
the same at all. Sure, I turned 6 soon after moving to Marengo and didn't give a rat's ass about Pinocchio anymore, but I never had a cool room again. At least nothing that cool.
In fact, my next bedroom was about as annoying as you could get, if not pathetically patriotic. It was completely red, white, and blue, with American flag bed sheets and matching curtains. The blue was the REALLY
blue and dominated the walls. It was alright and I did get to enjoy my own room, but it kinda sucked ass.
Heartache. Pure & eternal heartache. Maybe it's gas, I don't know for sure.
Holy Reminder, Batman!
After my Ash Wednesday post came out (which is being reprinted at e-pauly, and linked at Lolllygaggin) I figured I'd be receiving my First Class ticket to Hell in the mail. So far, I ruffled a few feathers, but for now, I think I managed to entertain more than offend.
For my newer readers, you may be surprised to know that I am likely to go to "Special Hell". Of course, if you've been reading for a long time you know that God and I have a "special relationship".
Here are some links to prove my point.
"Jesus Likes My Balls" - A story I wrote AFTER being inspired by this blog post, which was begat by a post from Kim at Bacon & Eh's. WHEW!
With the beginning of Lent we all eagerly await the return of Easter. So does Jesus, who has been suffering with chronic back pain for years!
Comics Are Funny
At least comics are funny when I use them as packaging material.
I chuckled many times reading this entry at Golfwidow's blog the other day. I sent her some Andy swag and she found my packaging material much more interesting than my "collectibles".
Last Month's "Folly" in this Month's River Walk Journal
Someday I'll get paid often and well to be a writer However, from what I've heard the paycheck rarely can compare to the satisfaction one receives from being included in a well-respected publication. That's the kind of feeling I get whenever one of my works is included in the River Walk Journal.
The brainchild of Liz Ross, RWJ is one of the few great places for talented writers to really ply their wares and strut their stuff. The creativity and diversity found within its pages in not seen at too many places. I can't figure out why they keep choosing to "slum it" and publish my work.
With Valentine's Day now a scant memory (and Steak & BJ Day rapidly approaching) they have graciously reprinted my column, "The Folly of Valentine's Day". If you have not read it here or elsewhere, then please enjoy.
I can even boast some noteworthy things said about my work. Check out what Joseph Koch, editor of this month's issue, was kind enough to say.
"Since this issue is appearing just after February, and since Andy Martello is always worth a read and a chuckle, we decided to run “The Folly of Valentine’s Day”. Andy’s customary warm wit spotlights the flaws in the arguments that the gift industry uses to make what is meant to be (on the surface) a “warm fuzzy” day and turn it into a nerve-jangling nightmare. Then Andy shows us that thankfully things don’t have to be that way."
Needless to say, I'm happy to be seen and read at this fine publication. Even if you have read my crap a million times, I hope you will check it out and read some of the many other great writers found there.
All We Like Sheep - Ash Wednesday
It is no secret that I am not a fan of organized religions. I understand that people need to feel that there is something bigger than themselves and take comfort in the God & Heaven concepts. I just think that the majority of the world's ills and corruptions have been brought to us by the letter "G" and too many folks lose sight of their rational brilliant brains and substitute blind faith for logic and reason.
Christianity is among the worst of the repeat offenders, especially these days. Don't even get me started on the hypocritical Catholics. This is all my opinion, mind you. Although I do have some "evidence" to support my claim - Ash Wednesday.
It is my belief that Catholicism and a few other denominations of Christianity are more about adversely controlling your life and issuing guilt as opposed to bringing you the miraculous enlightenment that comes from a divine being and an afterlife. Ash Wednesday is a perfect example. One look at this ridiculous event and you have to see that they are just fucking with you to see how much they can get away with.
Seriously, I read the Bible. I can recall no passage that reads, "Thou shall wear shit on your forehead all fucking day." I mean even in the original Latin there's no way to find a sentence that can even remotely be translated to mean that one.
Here's how I envision the original Ash Wednesday going down.
The Catholic church needed money, likely to start a war or murder someone special. The best way to solicit cash and loyalty from their flock has always been their tried and true weapons of choice; guilt, fear, & shame. I call it the Catholic Hat Trick. You push any or all of those on someone too afraid to think for themselves and you'll have the donations flowing and the masses growing in no time.
Ahh, but how to go about it this time?
One day, high on incense fumes and drunk from sacramental wine, three priests were laughing their asses off trying to come up with ways to fuck with us. Picture one of the many basement table scenes from "That 70's Show" only with funny robes, big hats, & Italian accents.
Before too long the priests were realizing that their private collection of porn had grown to an embarrassing number of volumes and they had to dispose of it before someone noticed and busted them. Being stoned as all get-out they were very paranoid.
Now I've no idea what their porn was like back then. I can only assume it involved an oil painting of one naked breast on one fat woman, painted by one of the Ninja Turtles. Today, of course they have multiple copies of magazines guaranteed to get a Priests hot. Hustler, Swank, Boy's Life - it's all there.
They saw their porn collection and had to get rid of it so, using the unclear thought that comes with stoner paranoia, set fire to the lot. It made quite a mess. It didn't help that once the fire was started, the drunk fuckers tossed on damn near anything that would burn. Robes, furniture, it all went on the fire. When they got around to tossing in the leftover palms from Palm Sunday things went south. See, the palms were still too fresh and wet and all they did was make more smoke and helped put out the fire, harshing their holy mellow.
However, it did give them THE idea that would change everything. Stuck with a pile of ashes they had to account for once sober, they promptly made up some bullshit story about God's word and to help prove their point, they stuck their fingers in the ashes and drew crosses on their foreheads. Well, one guy wrote, "Clapton is God" but that guy was still buzzed.
They presented their ashen foreheads to their public and explained that they must do the same or, like all Catholic punishments, would suffer an eternity in Purgatory and then an eternity in Hell for blah, blah, fucking blah.
But would the people fall for it? Of course they would. GOD TOLD THEM THEY HAD TO DO IT. O.K., some stoned priests told the flock that God told THEM they had to tell the congregation to do it, but logic and reason is all gone in religion ya know. The first Ash Wednesday found the priests covered in soot and the faithful kneeling before the altar hoping to be saved by the magic porno dust.
As each one received their messy faces and ran off, each priest was having a harder time concealing his hysteria. "They BOUGHT IT! Oh, shit! That's awesome! We should be able to parlay this into enough guilt-induced cash to fund the Corleone family one day!"
All power corrupts.
Priest #1: "Hey, my brother is a fish monger and he owes a lot of money to his bookie. Too many people eating meat to make up for the loss. Can we have 'God' tell these fools to only eat fish on Friday or something? They've already got a great Friday Night Fish Fry at the Forum, but this would surely increase profits for my brother. He'll pay us our tribute."
Priest #2: "Oh man, we should have these morons get into a darkened wooden box and tell us EVERY naughty thing they've ever done. We can get dirt on enough people that they'll never try to buck the church for fear of us spilling the beans. We'll make them chant some silly prayers over and over like asylum inmates. OH! Wait, make them pray for forgiveness, no -ATONEMENT- and , now this is the best part, we'll ask for another donation to the 'Poor Box'. We'll be eating steak at our poker games in no time!"
Priest #1: "Fish on Fridays!"
Priest #2: "Oh right. Fish on Fridays. Can we move our poker games to Thursdays? I hate fish."
DONE & DONE!
Once the last of the congregation was gone and people were walking around the town covered in crap, the priests refined this a bit. They still gathered and burned porn. After all if they got caught with the porn they could claim that they were doing the right thing by destroying it. They retained leftover palms for a full year so they'd be good and dry (and they helped cover up all the porn in the closets nicely).
Realizing just how easy the people were to fool and control they decided to take it one step further.
Priest #3" "Next, let's tell them they can ONLY have sex in order to have kids! They'll NEVER fall for that."
Enjoy your Ash Wednesday. Oh wait, that's not the point. You're supposed to start suffering and depriving yourselves of cherished things for about a month. That must have been one more little caveat the stoned porn-loving men of God added on. Well, enjoy your pointless suffering.
By the way, you've got something on your forehead.