Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rock School All--Stars DVDs

Wow! I don't know what else to say. As I wrote here yesterday, David Neidorf, Sara's father, sent me DVDs of all three Rock School All-Star/Ike Willis DVDs as well as a DVD of the December 26 show at B.B. Kings. We watched some of them last night and they are fucking incredible! The filming itself, the sound quality, the way they're packaged...I was blown away.

But of course that's just a tiny piece of it.

The music -- man, I just couldn't get enough. It's really the first time I've seen this group of All Stars filmed "professionally" and their level of excellence is mind blowing.

I want to talk about the final Ike Show in New York on Sunday because that's the one that made me lose it altogether and it's the one we watched in its entirety before we started getting sleepy.

It begins with the first Rock School Shred A Thon. Haffie, Matt Manser, and Matt Bosco competed, each stepping into the spotlight for a shredding solo. They were all fucking amazing! Then Paul says "Anyone else?", and out walks C.J. C.J. launches into a King Diamond type lead, the crowd goes crazy -- well, the crowd went crazy from the first note Haffie played to start it off -- and then Paul says, anyone else? And bass player Mike Connor stepped up. It was great! (and hilarious)

Anyway, the audience picked the winner by applause, and Haffie won, though all four guitarists and Mike were so good it's frightening. There aren't any other guitarists out there, famous or otherwise, as good as this group. Well, let me amend that, the only other guitarists just as good are the former Rock School All-Stars who've since graduated the program like Louie Graf, Matt Hollenberg, Jon Hauptman, etc. I always have believed, and I know I'm the first one who ever said it but now everyone connected with Rock School is saying it, that in the very near future you're going to see a whole slew of famous musicians who are Paul Green School of Rock graduates. These Rock School All Stars, past and present, are going to make the 90s Seattle grunge movement look like a minor blip on the music radar scene...and you heard it here first!

Anyway, getting back to the show...

Watching/hearing Allie Hauptman perform her last All-Star show before heading off to college was a real heartbreaker. I don't think she ever sounded better singing Whipping Post and Ike Willis really added another dimension when he sang back up. Holy cow, what a send off - doing your last performance with someone who played and partied with John Lennon.

Again, I have to really commend Dave Neidorf on his filming. I wonder if he does this for a living?

The next song was Packard Goose. Ike sang, Eric played drums, and then Paul Green brought out Allie and remarked to the audience how much she's meant to the program (and he's not kidding!) and then she grabbed a mic and quoted Frank Zappa...the camera zoomed in on her again along with Ike on guitar and Eric playing drums in between...I was a blithering idiot and must have gone through a box of Kleenex. Then Eric launched into one of the most amazing drum solos - I was watching his, he is so fast the sticks were making "trails".

Speaking of drum solos, 14 year old Ms. Sara Neidorf smoked the crowd with one, and as I've said, if I shut my eyes and didn't know better, I would have thought I was listening to my son doing that solo at her age.

That's the highest compliment I can pay a drummer, Sara. And she totally rocks out on Hot for Teacher as does our boy Joey Randazzo, or Joey Reno as he's now called, who does the vocals on that number, and is yet another drummer who breaks the mold -- i.e., he can sing! (As Paul says, it's scary to give a drummer a mic...I guess he's thinking of Phil Collins ha ha...well, I am, anyway. Bleh. Best episode of South Park ever: Phil Collins walking around with his Oscar. Ha!)

There are so many other details I can't go in to them all, but I do want to add that of course other than Packard Goose, I really lost it when my son played drums and sang on The Weight with strep throat, (okay, it was before he was diagnosed the following day. I never would have let him perform had I know how sick he really was; he went to the doctor the following morning) and to hear his voice all husky as he tried for those notes made me cry big time.

Anyway, I need to watch the rest of the DVDs tonight and I'll report back with more highlights.

I also need to get Eric to upload the tons of photographs I've taken at recent Rock School concerts so that I can show everyone better pics of the current All-Stars as well as more of Madison Flego's amazing photos. She's got the whole Women What Rock series and I'm dying to post them here.

Okay, that's my Rock School report for the day.

I forget if I have anything else to report in the writing world, but you know me, if anything interesting occurs there or otherwise, I'll be back.

Just call me The Terminator.

On second thought, please don't.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Happy Birthday Eric Clapton!

So today my man Eric Clapton is sixty years old. How is that possible? If he's sixty, that must mean I'm....substantially younger. Ha.

I was going to do a whole tribute thing here today but Blogspot was out of service this morning when I usually do my entries and I got all pissed and forget what I was going to say.

Just know that Eric and I have a "history" of sorts and someday I will talk about it in detail.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, E.C.! (He named his daughter Julie, too, by the way -- she must be around three years old or so now)

In other news, I am so psyched. One of the Rock School dads, David Neidorf, father of amazing All-Star drummer Sarah, reads my blog and wrote to me asking if I'd like copies of the three DVDs he made of the Ike Willis/Rock School shows earlier this month. Uh, ya think? Ha! So they came in the mail today, and he threw in a bonus - a DVD of the BB King show at Christmas. The DVDs are all beautifully packaged, with pictures of Rock School All-Stars and Ike Willis on the cover, and I cannot wait to get home tonight and watch all four! Of course you know there will be a full report here if I don't die from pleasure first*

By the way, Eric was Sarah's drum teacher and I hear so much of Eric in her playing it makes me teary eyed. She's truly amazing and a future superstar. She's pretty young - I think around 14? I know she's moved on to another teacher now, but it's the same teacher who worked with Eric when he was around Sarah's age - Tim Karsten - and he's great!

I picked Julie up at the airport last night at midnight which means I'm operating on no sleep because I'm awake at dawn. She had an incredible time and is full of stories of cows and chickens running rampant in the roads, dogs on the beach, hippie surfer dudes...Costa Rica sounds wild, my kind of place. It was back to reality for her bigtime, too. Spring Break is over and she had a 9:00 a.m. class.

Oh well. I guess I'd better get back to work. I took a late lunch today and am kind of zoned out from exhaustion. But someone still has to pay the bills...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Julie out fishing in Costa Rica. God I love the digital age - she emailed me this pic yesterday.

So hooray! Julie comes home today! Her flight will be in late tonight but she's coming home and I can't wait. Sigh...I know this is in my imminent future, but I really miss her when she's not around. This is the longest separation we've ever had. At least I know if she gets her own apartment this summer I'll still be able to visit for dinner (like every night - god I miss her cooking) but having her in Central America for a week has been torture. I've been walking around here talking to anyone who will listen, which means that the poor dog has had to hear it all.

In other news, I just heard on CNN that Philadelphia is the most depressed city in the United States? We have the most people on anti-depressants and the most suicides per capita?

No fucking way. Who did that survey? Why do I think it's somehow connected with the Schiavo case since of course both families are from Philly?

Ah, screw it. I don't believe in "surveys" anyway. But I do believe that all we get on our news, both local and national, is propaganda. Sad, isn't it? Watch the news on BBC or some of the public T.V. stations with European feeds and you'll see what I mean. Their take on international events is completely different than the homogenized versions we're fed here.

Though they do spend an awful lot of time discussing soccer.

Getting back to the Schiavo case - this never fails to amaze me. Right to lifers threaten death to those who don't share their "right to life" views.

Ah, and to think that's who is running our government right now.

Anyway, enough of that. Here's some more photos from Costa Rica:

Julie's boyfriend Matt petting God knows it a monkey? Is that safe? Hope so!

Matt surfing (who knew?)

Dolphins that came right up to their fishing boat - how cool

Julie, Matt, and Matt's sister, Paige, taking a swim

Monday, March 28, 2005

As promised, Rock School photos

Now that I have the uploading of photos thing worked out thanks to son Eric, I'm reposting my entry of a few days ago.

Many thanks to one of my all time favorite Rock School female vocalist/guitarists, Madison Flego, for providing me with all of these great photographs. So not only is she an awesome musician, these pics prove she's a very talented photographer as well!

Anyway, I really appreciate her sending these to me - I'm too busy working on the novel writing thing to do any real blogging at the moment.

I may have to post these in batches. The first set is from the infamous Rock School tour this summer:

That's Grace, Lauren, and Stevie laughing (though I'm sure secretly horrified) upon first seeing their hotel room in the now condemned Wild Wild West Casino in Las Vegas.

That's the photographer herself, Madison, on stage in Las Vegas

Louie on stage in Vegas

Allie in the hallway at the Gershwin Hostel in Los Angeles

Everyone jumping into the pool after the final show of the tour in Vegas

Abel, our bus driver throughout

Well, I think that's Jeremy and who, Gina and maybe Cameron? Can't tell...but you Rock School kids will know. Heh. Rough night, guys?


Okay, I'm full of really cool links at the moment.

First, here's a link to hear three songs by Flamingo, my son's fantastic band.

Second, here's a link to see one of his 18th birthday presents, which I must admit, is the coolest gift ever. He gets to go to upstate New York and spend up close and personal time with Levon Helm in his own private studio. Levon Helm is of course the drummer for The Band, and as I've been bragging non stop, Eric now sings "The Weight" and drums along with it and it brings me to tears every time I hear it.

Third, here's a link to a new website,, dedicated to political activism...i.e...stop the madness currently going on in the White House; get off your asses and PROTEST!!! You can submit stories, photos, and there's a talk back forum as well. Make this site a daily stop, okay?

What Does It All Mean?

So Newmarket Films is disbanding and was sold to Time Warner/HBO last week and I've read this article a couple of times this morning and it's still confusing me. I don't know if it will or won't affect the release of Rock School. So I'll post it here and maybe you guys can figure out. I note that the paragraph titled "Release Slate Unclear" is where they mention Rock School.

Sigh...I hope everything is cool. It seems like it, but it's early and I probably should re-read this article when I'm more awake and can make sense of it. I can't see them holding back the release date yet again but eww, I so hate Time Warner...I'm unhappy about this latest development. I guess you already know how I feel about companies who back the President. Ha.

Remember when we were kids and we were told in school how America was so great because monopolies were illegal? My my, how times have changed. Now big corporations buy out other corporations all the time and eventually, the United States (and rest of the world) is probably going to be owned by one mother company if that hasn't secretly happened already. Mom and pop stores have disappeared on every level -- from local drug stores to hardware stores to book shops--ugh, it makes me physically ill.

In other news, I'm missing my daughter, Julie, so much I can't take it. As you might have read here, she's been in Costa Rica all week on spring break. She emailed me a digital pic yesterday which she'd kill me if I posted here even though she looks drop dead beautiful, glowing, even, but, well, she's in a bikini playing in the surf on the beach and I think I'd better not. She's having a blast - every day an adventure. But thank God, she's coming home tomorrow night.

Julie, you'll be so proud of me - we're having turkey chili for dinner tonight - low fat. They'll be leftovers for you when you get home. Though we did discover something very, very nasty over the weekend - Eric and I bought pints of Dove Ice Cream. You don't want to know how good that is. So good that I made a comparison to dessert at Le Bec Fin. Eric had chocolate ganache...the most incredible chocolate ice cream ever, topped with Dove ganache, and full of Dove Chocolate chunks throughout. I opted for the toffee ganache...vanilla ice cream with chunks of toffee and topped with the same chocolate ganache.

It's to die for. I don't think I will eat anything else this week but my low fat chili and ice cream. Ha.

Finally, I finished the revised first 100 pages of The Tour this weekend which means I did absolutely nothing else around here (other than make chili and eat ice cream) but I'm feeling pretty good about it. I figure I'll print it out today and go over it again tonight while Eric is out - he's going to Guitar Center to buy a new mandolin. He plays about 75 different instruments; he's so fucking talented.

And yep, the kids are definitely playing in Vermont on Sunday, May 1 - it's part of a three day mini swing through New England. I can't believe I'm missing this trip -- I have so many writer friends living in that area. Anyway, the All-Stars are playing Harpers Ferry, MA, Burlington, and there may be a third date but I haven't found it yet. Damn it! But okay, I am extremely excited to be attending the book convention those dates and signing real live print copies of Three Days in New York so I guess I will survive. Sorry to keep repeating that - I guess I still don't believe it's finally happening.

Anyway, there's always the twelve city east coast tour at the end of July. It ends on August 3 on one of those cruises around the Statue of Liberty in NYC; then the kids leave the next morning for Germany from the Newark airport so they'll be sleeping over. Though I will be taking the NYC cruise (ha - how could I miss that?) I'll be on the train home solo that night. I'm going to pass on Germany. Eric's dad will be going instead.

Hahahaha - can't wait to hear those stories upon his return.

P.S. The Rock School tour photographs I posted below sent to me by Madison Flego seem to have disappeared. I will have to get Eric to upload them for me to another site later on so I can re-post them. I have no idea how that happened.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Holy shit, another drummer!

MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) -- Drummer Paul Hester from the New Zealand bands Split Enz and Crowded House has been found dead in a park in the southern Australian city of Melbourne, apparently after committing suicide, a fan Web site says.

Australian police on Monday confirmed the body of a man in his 40s was found in Elsternwick Park near Hester's Melbourne home. Police said the death was not suspicious, but they would not release the man's name.

"I am devastated. I have lost one of my best mates," former Crowded House singer Neil Finn told Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Hester, 46, failed to return home from walking his two dogs on Saturday night, said the newspaper on Monday.

The Web site,, said "...Paul Hester of Split Enz, Crowded House, Largest Living Things, and many other great projects, has taken his own life."

"It is not a hoax or a rumor. At this point, it has been confirmed though we have no other details at this time."

Hester played in several Melbourne bands before joining New Zealand band Split Enz in 1983.

He and Neil Finn formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour in 1985. Hester quit Crowded House in 1994.

Finn, along with brother Tim, is on tour in Britain.

"I was a big fan and liked him enormously," Australian entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins, who worked with Hester during his Crowded House days, said.

"He was really well respected. He was a great drummer and a great singer and a great band member," Wilkins said.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Quick note: 2004 Million Writers Award

Just a reminder to place your vote for best on line story, 2004, and I admit it, I'm campaigning for my pal, Alicia Gifford, who wrote this amazing story, Toggling the Switch. Vote here but please, don't just vote, read her story as well as the others nominated. They are all incredible.

Back later with some really great Rock School photos.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Higher Ground?

Anyone know anything about this?

As I was making my usual Google rounds, I see the kids are scheduled for a performance Sunday May 1 at Higher Ground in Burlington, Vermont? I just asked a still asleep Eric, who said he has no idea what I'm talking about. figures. I'll be on a plane coming home from a book signing in St. Louis the afternoon of May 1.

I'll post more info as soon as I find out about this. Damn it, I always wanted to visit Vermont! Oh well.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Another one bites the dust...

Guitarist Rod Price of Foghat Dies at 57

Thu Mar 24, 9:39 AM ET

WILTON, New Hampshire - Guitarist Rod Price, founding member of the blues boogie band Foghat, died Tuesday after falling down a stairway at his home, a family friend said. He was 57.

The London native's solos drove Foghat to three platinum and eight gold records during the band's quarter-century career. After many years of touring he settled in Wilton in 1994.

Many in town knew Price as a loving father who never missed his son's baseball, soccer or basketball games. Fewer people knew of Price's musical background.

Price had played with Champion Jack Dupree, Eddie Kirkland, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon and Honey Boy Edwards.

In recent years, Price concentrated on his blues projects, cutting several CDs and giving private guitar lessons at his home.


Damn it, this getting older stuff sucks, though yeah, yeah, it does beat the alternative. While I admit I am not a die hard Foghat fan, I was in fact a die hard Savoy Brown fan, which is the band from which Foghat arose. Also, another member/producer of Foghat was Philadelphia native Nicky Jameson, who started out with the American Dream, and if anyone out there ever gets their hands on that CD (I have the album), you can name your price and I'll pay it.

Yeah, the rock world as I know it is slowing crumbling. John and George are dead; my man Eric Clapton will be sixty years old next Wednesday. My brain can't comprehend that. And ugh, 2005 started out as year of the dead drummer - within a month we lost Jim Capaldi, Keith Knudsen, Elvin Jones, and Spencer Dryden. If you don't know who they are, use Google and learn, damn it.

And for fuck's sake, if one more person tries to discuss American Idol with me today, I promise you, I will climb up in a tower with a high powered rifle and start shooting. Got it?

I do not watch that show; I will not watch that show; I hate everything connected with that show. It's not music. It's dogshit. It's what Republicans want kids to watch so they won't actually pick up instruments and write protest songs.

The end.

Thursday's news...

That's a picture of where my daughter is right now, gorgeous Costa Rica, and I'm dying of jealousy as we are getting torrents of rain here and I'm so freaking sick of winter I can't take much more. Julie instant messaged me yesterday - yep, she's got a computer and dial up service where she is - told me it's magnificent, sunny and hot, and she's having a blast.

I miss her and I see the future - she's going to end up somewhere exotic and our relationship is going to dwindle down to a series of daily instant messages.

Nah, I'm gonna follow her wherever she goes. Muhahahahahahaha.....

So, I've made the big time - I'm on Craig's List today, where it says "Phaze is setting the romance world ablaze with a new line of erotic romance fiction, available in ebook and print formats."

Of course I'm worried I shouldn't exactly be rejoicing because I know I read somewhere that Craig's List contains anti-semetic material, so I need to check that out further because if I find out it's true, Craig's List will get "the treatment" here - sort of similar or worse to how I feel about Republicans, which at this point is pretty damn horrified. I've expressed my mortification over the government's involvement in the Schiavo case, and to see Florida governor Jeb Bush now grabbing those headlines as well, trying to take custody of Terri Schiavo, makes me shudder at the possibilities of the next presidential election. This family thinks they not only walk on water and have a direct line to God's ear, but that they are the "Royals", except the "Royals" back when they had power...and it makes me nauseous that the American public bought into this.

I'm sure we'll have another terror scare shortly to put us all back into our cowering corners. These people work by fear and intimidation.

But anyway, getting back to Craig's List and my own selfish little life, I am giggling that I am currently tearing up the best seller list in cyber world with Three Days in New York City, currently #1 rated in erotica and #2 in sales in that genre; #7 in best sellers crossing all genres. I didn't write Three Days in New York City as erotica, I wrote it as a comedy, but there you have it...put in a few sex scenes and you get that erotic romance label. So, I'm currently the number #2 smut gal in the United States, wedged in between #1, "Teaching the Au Pair to Submit" and #3, "Office Slave".

I dunno, I find that hilarious. Though I'm thrilled to again report that the book will be in print shortly and I'll have to ask Phaze if I can set up a pay pal account so that readers can order autographed copies directly from my site.

In the meantime, I continue to work hard on the revisions to my mainstream memoir, The Tour, as well as the sequel to Three Days, "Another Bite of the Apple", which is why my posting here has been sporadic lately.

Anyway, that's it for now, I think...though I haven't spoken with the still-sleeping Eric yet and he was supposed to have attended a seminar at Rock School last night which sounds really interesting...all about band promotion and how to make it in the business. Eric seemed pretty dubious; his band Flamingo is already making progress on their own and they like it that way. But who knows. I'm sort of learning to stay quiet after all these years and allowing both Eric and Julie to figure things out by themselves.

Let me tell you, it's not easy.

Staying quiet, that is.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Can you say POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING???? (but of course there's Julie and Eric news, too)

Law Bush signed as Texas governor prompts cries of hypocrisy

Mon Mar 21, 7:22 PM ET

By William Douglas, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The federal law that President Bush signed early Monday in an effort to prolong Terri Schiavo's life appears to contradict a right-to-die law that he signed as Texas governor, prompting cries of hypocrisy from congressional Democrats and some bioethicists.

In 1999, then-Gov. Bush signed the Advance Directives Act, which lets a patient's surrogate make life-ending decisions on his or her behalf. The measure also allows Texas hospitals to disconnect patients from life-sustaining systems if a physician, in consultation with a hospital bioethics committee, concludes that the patient's condition is hopeless.

Bioethicists familiar with the Texas law said Monday that if the Schiavo case had occurred in Texas, her husband would be the legal decision-maker and, because he and her doctors agreed that she had no hope of recovery, her feeding tube would be disconnected.

"The Texas law signed in 1999 allowed next of kin to decide what the patient wanted, if competent," said John Robertson, a University of Texas bioethicist.

While Congress and the White House were considering legislation recently in the Schiavo case, Bush's Texas law faced its first high-profile test. With the permission of a judge, a Houston hospital disconnected a critically ill infant from his breathing tube last week against his mother's wishes after doctors determined that continuing life support would be futile.

"The mother down in Texas must be reading the Schiavo case and scratching her head," said Dr. Howard Brody, the director of Michigan State University's Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. "This does appear to be a contradiction."

Brody said that, in taking up the Schiavo case, Bush and Congress had shattered a body of bioethics law and practice.

"This is crazy. It's political grandstanding," he said.

Bush's apparent shift on right-to-die decisions wasn't lost on Democrats. During heated debate on the Schiavo case, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., accused Bush of hypocrisy.

"It appears that President Bush felt, as governor, that there was a point which, when doctors felt there was no further hope for the patient, that it is appropriate for an end-of-life decision to be made, even over the objection of family members," Wasserman Schultz said. "There is an obvious conflict here between the president's feelings on this matter now as compared to when he was governor of Texas."

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan termed Wasserman Schultz's remarks "uninformed accusations" and denied that there was any conflict in Bush's positions on the two laws.

"The legislation he signed (early Monday) is consistent with his views," McClellan said. "The (1999) legislation he signed into law actually provided new protections for patients ... prior to the passage of the '99 legislation that he signed, there were no protections."

Wasserman Schultz stuck by her remarks when told of McClellan's comments.

"It's a fact in black and white," she said. "It's a direct conflict on the position he has in the Schiavo case."

Tom Mayo, a Southern Methodist University Law School associate professor who helped draft the Texas law, said he saw no inconsistency in Bush's stands.

"It's not really a conflict, because the (Texas) law addresses different types of disputes, meaning the dispute between decision-maker and physician," he said. "The Schiavo case is a disagreement among family members."

Bush himself framed the Schiavo decision this way Monday.

"This is a complex case with serious issues, but in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life," the president said during a Social Securityevent in Tucson, Ariz. He didn't mention the 1999 Texas law.

He didn't mention the 1999 Texas law.

No shit.

(He probably doesn't remember, nyuk nyuk. Sorry. I shouldn't be joking about this. I'm outraged. Let the woman die with dignity.)

Anyway, I'm trying not to be too blue, but daughter Julie left this morning for a week long vacation with her boyfriend, Matt - they're on their way to Costa Rica as we speak. It's their spring break from college.

I'm soooooooooooo jealous.

But on the plus side, I have the house to myself all week now and can use the time to write without interruption. Ever since Julie became interested in gourmet cooking, she's got Food TV blasting 24/7. The good news is she packs me a fantastic lunch every day, and was even kind enough to send me off with something this morning before she left; the bad news is, I am completely helpless without her since she took over the kitchen and will be forced to eat in restaurants all week.

What a shame.


Eric of course is never home, between his band and teaching drums and school, and Eric, if you are reading this, I already know - via other parents with whom I spoke at your performance Saturday night -- that you are making plans behind my back to move out this summer. I have only one thing to say on the subject.

Can I come with you?


Monday, March 21, 2005

Now on line: The Trailer for Rock School - The Movie!

Okay, how excited am I! now has the official Rock School movie trailer on its site and oh god, it features a very young looking Eric and Julie. Eric is on drums both opening and closing the trailer with such short hair I don't recognize him. You can see both Julie and Eric interviewed together briefly about hating the band Bush, there are a couple shots of Julie with her long curly hair playing bass and a couple more of Eric on drums banging himself in the head with his sticks...and that outside scene is when we were at the Zappa festival in East Germany. By the way, that's Julie's bass playing boyfriend Matt with the short dark hair in the light gray t-shirt sitting down who is interviewed a couple of times saying "I suck". (Trust me, Matt does not suck, and when you see the movie and hear the soundtrack, you'll agree.) Anyway, I'm so psyched! I'm at work and I keep watching it over and over boss is going to kill me in about two seconds. Here's the link!

Oh god, it's Monday again...

Sorry to make everyone sick on a Monday, but he's really going too far now. Getting involved in the Schiavo case? Fucking asshole

"The fate of Terri Schiavo once again was in the hands of a judge early Monday following an extraordinary, day-long political fight over the brain-damaged woman that consumed both chambers of Congress and prompted the president to rush back to the White House.

Taking the Senate's lead, the House early Monday passed a bill to let the woman's parents ask a federal judge to prolong Schiavo's life by reinserting her feeding tube. President Bush signed the measure less than an hour later.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "This is about defending life."

No, it's about dignity, something you tiny dick Republicans know nothing about.

Here's what else that tool did last week:

"As U.S. oil prices soared to a record high on Wednesday, the Senate gave President Bush's energy plan a major boost by voting to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling.

Republicans have tried for more than two decades to open ANWR to oil exploration. The Bush administration, which views ANWR as the centerpiece of its national energy plan, was blocked in the past four years by a Senate coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats.

Pete Domenici, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led the fight to defeat a Democratic effort to strip ANWR drilling language from a broad budget resolution funding the federal government in fiscal 2006. The vote was close, 51 to 49 in favor of keeping the drilling provision in the bill."

What a douche bag. And of course that one per cent of wealthy America who think they are better than the rest of us and don't want to pay taxes and Bible belt middle America are cheering him on.

Let's not even talk about what his election will cost women in the way of freedom of choice.


Anyway, the pics of Eric and the other four Rock School kids who played Las Vegas last week are finally available on the web, but they cost $12.00 a piece and won't allow me to copy them here...first time I ever right clicked on an internet picture and was told "forbidden access" but anyway, I can post the links to the photos, which are fantastic and will be up for a few days. They start right here and then keep clicking on the subsequent links to pages on the top of the page - the pics continue at pages 97-128 all the way to page 192. There are incredible photographs of all the kids both solo and in group shots and oh my God, I'm probably going to spend a fortune today ordering every one of them.

In other news, Eric's band did in fact sell out The Fire Saturday night and the take at the door was $700.00. They also sold their CDs to the audience so they made some money and The Fire invited to come back again! Nice first gig, huh.

Okay, I have to shake off this latest Dubya news and get back to the business of writing.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Of Flamingo, my writer pals, and coffee cups

Well, proud mother moment here. Last night I went to The Fire to see the debut performance of my son Eric's new band, Flamingo, and it was AMAZING. They are so sophisticated, so talented, and just so fucking awesome I had to fight back those embarrassing tears. They do all original stuff, no covers. What also touched me beyond belief was how all of the other Rock School kids, many in bands of their own, and even their parents (!) came to the show in support. The room was completely sold out, everyone cheered and clapped like they were the Beatles on stage, and not to use a cliche, but I thought I would burst. I give credit to Paul Green and Rock School for that; as I've explained over and over again, despite my problems from time to time with his teaching philosophies, this man has worked magic and his students, both former and present, have a closeness and comradery that I've never seen equalled anywhere. Some old friends of mine who I haven't seen in a few years showed up as well and they went crazy over the music and we ended up eating dinner at this incredible Mexican restaurant, Las Casuelas, afterwards -- anyway, it was just a fantastic night. (I had grilled shrimp and a dessert of a three milk cake which was to die for).

In other news, I don't know what to say about my gal pals from Zoetrope, my on-line writing group. Ellen, Jordan, Myfanwy...I owe these women bigtime. I ran the completed synopsis for my book, The Tour, by them for some fine tuning and they came through like you wouldn't believe. Again, big teary eyed moment for me. I was stunned by their generosity. But now that I think of it, I shouldn't be surprised; I've known these women for a few years now and we've met in the real world and connected just as we did on line -- they are truly special, wonderful people as well as incredible kick ass writers. Ellen Meister has a new book which will be published next year (a hardcover deal!); Jordan Rosenfeld is just completing her MFA in creative writing at Bennington and is a rising superstar; Myfanwy Collins is a brilliant poet, writer, and editor of Ink will be hearing these names in the future for sure - they are magnificent. Links to all three of their websites are to the right and please have a click and treat yourself to some really enjoyable reading.

Continuing on, both of my stories are now officially on coffee cups for sale at Flash Fiction Cafe and may I respectfully suggest you buy the white mug because it's easier to read the story though the morph mug is very cool (but the story doesn't show up unless you heat the cup pretty hot in the microwave). C'mon, you know you want one. Or eight. Ha.

Ah well. I actually think I may go back to bed now. The dog was restless last night and for some reason decided to come up on my pillow and sleep on my freaking head. That's the first time he's ever done that in seven years. I was worried about him but he seems fine this morning. It was raining pretty hard and I think he got scared and wanted his mommy. But holy cow, he weighs like sixty pounds and he positioned himself right on my head with his face hanging and pressed over mine. He had me pinned down; I couldn't move. I'm sure it would have made a lovely Kodak moment if anyone was nearby with a camera.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Tonight at The Fire!

Think I'm psyched? My son's band Flamingo, has their very first gig tonight at The Fire and these flyers are hanging up all over downtown Philly. How cool is that. I can't wait; except for one little problem. They have over 100 people coming and the room only holds 100 people and there are no advance sales. So I actually have to stand in line to see my own son play and pray I get in. Arghhh....well, I know me, I'll probably be in line at 5:00 p.m.

Other than that, I've spent the entire day writing a synopsis; I'm finally happy with it but of course that could all change tomorrow.

It's my daughter Julie's one year anniversary with her boyfriend, Matt, and they're going out to dinner at the same restaurant where they had their first date. Aww...

That's all for now. Can't wait to report on Flamingo tomorrow. Knowing me, I'm sure I'll have a story though of course it can't be as good as the time I got moshed. Yep, thrown up in the air and passed from kid to kid. I was praying for death.

Oh, this just in. Found a little article in the Hollywood Reporter which briefly mentions the kids performing at ShoWest in Vegas:

New Movie Reviews - New Upcoming Movie Releases
March 16, 2005

'Shrek 2' promos win big at Showmanship Awards

By Sheigh Crabtree
LAS VEGAS -- Ambitious, creative grass-roots marketers from local theater chains nationwide were honored for their innovative and philanthropic promotional initiatives in 2004 as the 24th annual Hollywood Reporter Showmanship Awards took place Tuesday at a ShoWest luncheon.

Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller presided over the event, which was kicked off by a throbbing live performance by Paul Green's School of Rock band, which will be featured in Newmarket Films' upcoming "Rock School" documentary.

"Teller and I set up a school of magic, but all we were doing was killing rabbits," cracked Jillette, before introducing Robert J. Dowling, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter.

Dowling highlighted the importance of local movie promotions during a time when consumers are increasingly distracted by emerging forms of digital media.

"If you think about it, one of the most challenging words in business today is fragmentation," Dowling said. "The consumer market is becoming so fragmented by choices, but the thing that isn't changing is the amount of time that the consumer has to invest in what they're going to do. And you are competing for that time -- both their entertainment time and the entertainment dollar. What you do at the local level has a lot to do with driving home the message and the excitement of the movie. So it's our ambition to honor you and honor the creativity that you bring to your communities."

Eight awards were given from a pool of 200 entries that Dowling noted he would like to see increase to a pool of at least 1,000. Dowling encouraged attendees to submit their work for Showmanship Award consideration "so you can demonstrate to the rest of your community what it is you're doing to make the film business that much more successful and fun for the consumer."

California's Kirkorian Theatres picked up the top Showmanship prize from DreamWorks exhibition exec Pat Gonzalez.

Kirkorian's Reynee Scofield was honored for an exhaustive "Shrek 2" promotion that involved local charities, such vendors as Baskin-Robbins and CompUSA, a raffle, a costume party and a movie-themed look-a-like white steed and a miniature donkey.

Dale Hurst of Carmike Cinemas 9 in Georgia was honored for best use of newspaper for a promotion that published winning "Shrek 2" attendees' names in the classified section of the local paper.

"We're proof that a small theater in a small market can win big," Hurst said.

Local Las Vegas theater owner Johnny Brenden won the cross promotion award for a communitywide outreach around the release of "Catwoman" at Brenden Theatres. Brenden and his team worked with the Palms Casino, the local Jaguar dealership, comic book stores, a local animal shelter for an adopt-a-cat program and a Ducati motorcycle dealership in order to build excitement and bring more patrons into his auditoriums.

The best use of media and stunts award went to Angelique Brunsman from Hollywood Blvd. Cinemas in Illinois. Brunsman hired three of the original dwarves who played munchkins in "The Wizard of Oz" for a rerelease of the movie. The actors were subsequently front-page news and lead broadcast news stories before "Oz's" opening.

The best community outreach award went to Jeremy Kress of Studio 28 in Michigan for a local promotion of "Shrek 2." The theater used "Shrek 2's" release to produce an array of charity events -- from a barbecue to a children's walk-a-thon -- to raise money for the local Cancer Society.

The best presentation binder award went to Pamela Wampler of Premiere Cinemas in Texas. Wampler designed a large scrapbook to tie in with "Ladder 49." Part of the promotion was aimed at bringing in more volunteer firefighters into the local ranks.

The in-theater display award was given to Jodi Pine of Muvico Theatres in Florida. Pine built a scale "Shrek 2" model in the theater lobby complete with a life-size onion chariot and a replica of Shrek's swamphouse staffed by costumed performers.

The gold heart award for philanthropy went to Canada's Famous Players in recognition of the nearly $1 million the movie chain raised for charity.

Jillette closed the event with a fire-eating act assisted by The Hollywood Reporter's Dawn Allen, who lit a cigarette from the magician's flaming mouth.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Different Voices, etc.

So being the Queen of Google, one day a month or two ago I googled my own name and saw it come up on something called Different Voices. Naturally, I clicked on the link because I was curious and wondered if a magazine had picked up one of my stories without me knowing it. (Sigh...this does happen. A porn magazine featuring obese women lifted my very mainstream story, Picnic, from it's original home, Smokelong Quarterly, because there are mentions of a "pretty plump wife" throughout the piece. Wherever the words appear, they have "pretty plump wife" linking up to pictures of fat naked women. I kid you not. I'd post the link to prove it but it's pretty gross)

It turns out that Different Voices is a really cool blog, a community effort, which features Philadelphia writers and they'd read some of my stuff and decided to link me. This is one hell of a project - it's sexy, it's controversial, and I have absolutely no clue who is behind it though I do have my suspicions. They invite writers to "join the revolution" know I love that premise and when you click on their link, which is to the right with my other links but I'll make it easy for you and put another here, you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, they were kind enough to write to me and offer to promote Three Days in New York City this weekend and how could I refuse? So even if you already own the book (ha), take a click over to Different Voices for an interesting read.

In other news...

I'm featured author this month at Red Hot Romance and they have a pretty cool page for me and a review of the book is forthcoming so I'm pretty psyched about that.

And yes! My son's band has their website up, and it's a work in progress, but here it is and there's some information on tomorrow night's show. In case you haven't heard me broadcasting it enough or read the billboards I've posted everywhere, his band is Flamingo.

More later...

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My own personal pot o'gold...I have an agent!!!!

Okay, I'm not Irish but I seem to have stumbled onto my own personal pot of gold. Yesterday, not only did I get the news that Three Days in New York City is going print, I officially have an agent! Britta Steiner Alexander, of the Ned Leavitt Agency in New York City, will be representing my book, The Tour. The contract is signed, and I will now begin the joyous process of a rewrite, and no, I'm not being sarcastic when I say that -- one of the reasons I decided to go with Britta is that she shared my same vision for the book. When I first started writing The Tour, it focused on Rock School and was going to be a daily chronicle of events and even a mini travel guide of the cities we visited. Instead, it evolved into something quite different -- a baby boomer mother who realizes her kids are now adults and ready to fly while facing her own demons that she's getting older and no longer cool. So I need to hunker down and start the revisions, and to say I'm psyched is putting it mildly. I could not have asked for a better agency to represent me than The Ned Leavitt Agency - they are small, friendly, and very, very successful. Here's a link to their site.

And if yesterday wasn't cool enough, I just got an acceptance at a really neat magazine, Ken*Again, for one of my short stories, Big Head, which is a creative non fiction piece about a "legendary" character in my childhood.

Finally, I would like to introduce you to my good friend, brilliant writer Alicia Gifford.

Alicia wrote what I think is the most incredible story of 2004, Toggling the Switch, which you can read right here.

I'm not the only one who feels this way, Alicia's story is in fact nominated in the Million Writers Award, Top Stories 2004, where she is one of ten finalists. After you have read this amazing tale and are completely blown away as I know you will be, please vote for her here so that she can take home her own pot of gold!

Anyway, everyone enjoy your day, don't drink too much (Okay, drink a lot but please don't drive afterwards), and for the love of God, stay away from any and all green bagels.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Okay, that drink is for me. I came downstairs this morning to this email from my publisher:

Hello authors,

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Three Days in New York City has just reached the print benchmark!

I'm working on getting it ready to go to the printer as soon as Dan (Dan Reitz, publisher of Mundania Press, LLC) gets back from Long Beach!

Congratulations, and have a wonderful day, authors!

(Stacey is also publisher and editor in chief of Mundania Press imprint Phaze, who were kind enough to publish Three Days in New York City in January of this year)

So if anyone is in the St. Louis area from April 27-May 1, I will be at the RT Convention autographing copies of my real live paperback book for one and all!

In other news...

Eric returned from Las Vegas really late last night -- too late to give me the goods but of course I'll be reporting on that later as well as posting some incredible photographs sent to me by Rock School great Madison Flego taken at the last BB King show. I asked Eric if he would allow me to name some names here of any stars with whom he rubbed elbows at ShoWest in Vegas and he told me he had dinner...and was seated next to..."Bob", President of Newmarket Films.

I said: "Eric, so then I can at least say you had dinner with the President of Newmarket Films?"

He replied: "Dinner at THE PALM, Mom."

Heh. Excuse me.

More from and about Eric to follow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Whilst I wait...

While I wait to hear from my son, Eric, as to what it was like performing and partying today in Las Vegas with Jennifer Aniston and Matt Damon, and also while I vomit over the fact that U2 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night (is it just me or does every fucking song sound the same; is the Edge not the world's worst guitar player EVER, and other than Sting, is there a more pretentious performer alive than Boner, I mean, Bono), here's an interesting article just published regarding the kids' upcoming soundtrack:

Trillion Records Aims for Soundtrack Market Domination

(PRWEB) March 9, 2005 -- Soundtracks have long been an important part of the music industry, but few record companies were formed to cater exclusively to this niche market. Trillion Records is correcting this oversight. Trillion movie and television soundtracks will cover all musical genres, from rock to rap to adult contemporary.

The label's upcoming first release is the soundtrack to the documentary 'Rock School,' which was screened recently at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.

Several highly successful and respected music industry veterans are behind this new venture. The main person is Mike Catain. He was vice president of A&R at United Artists Records, where he supervised soundtracks for United Artists studios' movies including each release in the 'Rocky' and 'The Pink Panther' series.

Catain went on to form Liquid 8 Records and Calvin Records. Liquid 8 and Calvin are based in Minneapolis. Calvin is a front-line label and Liquid 8 is home primarily jazz and gospel releases. Calvin is also entering the lucrative videogame soundtrack market. The label is partnering with Fear Factory member Raymond Herrera's company 3volution to release the Rainbow Six Lockdown soundtrack. Rainbow Six Lockdown is an eagerly awaited new videogame from Ubisoft. Mark Heyert works closely with Catain on Liquid 8 and Calvin projects; he is a 20-year veteran of the music business and has worked with artists including Jethro Tull and Ian Hunter and companies such as Oglio Entertainment, Ubiquity Recordings and Fuel 2000 Records. Catain's other business ventures include the Macintosh computer technical support company Doctor Mac Direct and a luxury resort in Costa Rica named Casa Tranquila.

Trillion, based in Hollywood, is an equal partnership between Catain and Jonathan Platt. Calvin provides the financing, infrastructure and distribution for Trillion. Platt and Jonathan Miller contribute their sizable A&R abilities to Trillion, while Catain and company supply the marketing muscle.

"Both Calvin and Trillion are brand new labels. Jonathan Platt and I specialized in soundtrack work when we were at other companies," says Miller. "We first crossed paths when working on the soundtrack to last year's hit horror film 'Saw.' Fear Factory, which is signed to Mike's other label, Liquid 8 Records, was on the soundtrack. I was impressed with all the various marketing angles Liquid 8 devised for the 'Saw' soundtrack. It was decided that with Mike and Mark's marketing expertise and our creative direction in assembling soundtracks it would make a great team."

"Everything about the 'Saw' soundtrack marketing campaign impressed me. The street team and radio efforts were fantastic," says Platt.

"As for the Trillion business model, it's a joint decision among all of us if we think we can create an appropriate soundtrack for the movie or television production. We all do a little bit of everything," Miller says. "Mike and Mark are brilliant with marketing but Jonathan and I offer ideas too, and they also present us with creative suggestions."

More than 25 years ago, the 'Saturday Night Fever' and 'Grease' soundtracks were phenomenal hits, but they were successful in parallel with the movies themselves. Gradually, the soundtracks themselves were promoted ahead of the movies, and sometimes overshadowed them. It can be argued that soundtracks such as 'Footloose,' 'Flashdance,' 'Purple Rain,' 'The Bodyguard' and others are more memorable than the movies themselves.

In the modern music world, soundtracks fill several important roles. In addition to enhancing the stories on screen, they definitely promote their respective movies and virtually function as advertising. Also, they serve as a perfect platform for unknown artists.

"In today's market, it's really hard to develop an artist and get exposure. A soundtrack is great because an artist can do a song that they enjoy and that helps tell the movie's story. In turn, the fans will remember the music. We have just then exposed the marketplace to a brand new artist," Miller says. "Soundtracks are incredibly important to a movie or television show's story. Music brings out the emotion. We want Trillion soundtracks to push that to the next level."

"The creativity involved in conceiving a soundtrack is incredibly rewarding. The end result is that a soundtrack becomes the driver of the movie or television show," Platt says. "The music on a soundtrack becomes so intertwined with the message of the story on screen."

One of the major advantages Trillion has over the major labels is expediency.

"We work a lot quicker than the majors. Since soundtracks are all we do, we can work with the studios, producers and directors and turn them around fast. At the majors, soundtracks are still just one department. They can't work quickly under that kind of corporate structure," says Miller. "It takes a major label anywhere from six to 12 months per soundtrack. We can complete a soundtrack in a fraction of that."

That turnaround time is crucial. Movie soundtracks are often the very last thing studios and directors address when completing films, and more often than not it's precariously close to opening day. It's not that soundtracks are an afterthought, but budget limitations and other business factors come in to play. ("It's scary to have a band you want for a soundtrack, and then the deal falls through," says Miller.) Television soundtracks are the opposite. They are put together first, usually with the artists selected based on the target demographic of the television show. For these reasons, Trillion is the perfect solution. When the right songs are matched with the right veteran or developing artists, the films are the winners. The soundtracks stand as evidence.

"We definitely want to build an image and brand Trillion as the go-to record company for soundtracks," says Miller. "To give you an example, we want the public and the film and music industries to immediately associate Trillion with soundtracks the same way that Windham Hill is associated with new-age music."

Movie soundtracks today have two lives. First, there is the marketing and promotion tied in with a movie's theatrical run. Then, another blitz follows to keep the awareness level high when the movie is released on DVD. Nowadays, most movies are released on DVD just a few months after they have left theaters. Trillion intends to take advantage of that momentum. Consumer awareness will remain consistent.

The Trillion team is thrilled about launching the label with the 'Rock School' soundtrack, scheduled for release on May 10, 2005. The documentary, directed by Don Argott, is about the Paul Green School of Rock Music founded in Philadelphia in 1999. It is set for release this summer. Green teaches youngsters between the ages of 9 and 17 all about rock 'n' roll and how to play the classics. It is a real music school. The soundtrack features Green's pupils re-recording hits alongside legends like Alice Cooper, Deep Purple's Ian Gillan, The Ramones' Marky Ramone, Heart's Ann Wilson, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, and Billy Idol.

"This soundtrack is a dream come true for both the kids and Paul Green. Paul is a true rock historian and you get a real sense of his passion through the soundtrack and the film," says Platt. "Teen-agers today are really getting back into rock music and are discovering the classics. This music stands the test of time, and the 'Rock School' soundtrack proves it."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Living vicariously again...

So the photograph above is the Paris, Las Vegas, where my son will be staying tonight - he hops a plane at 1:00 p.m. today - because he has a gig there tomorrow for this little get-together.

Here's just a partial list of the stars for whom he'll be performing:

2005 ShoWest Award Ceremony Honorees

ShoWest Galactic Achievement Award - George Lucas
Distinguished Decade of Achievement In Film - Drew Barrymore
Supporting Actress of the Year - Rachel McAdams
Male Star of Tomorrow - Hayden Christensen
Animation Director of the Year - Brad Bird
Female Star of Tomorrow - Jessica Biel
Comedy Star of the Year - Bernie Mac
Director of the Year - Rob Cohen
Male Star of the Year - Matt Damon
Female Star of the Year - Jennifer Aniston


Then of course this Saturday night, he has his first gig with his own band, Flamingo, at The Fire in Philadelphia, and naturally I'll be broadcasting more news about that as well as ticket information throughout the week.

And what is daughter Julie up to? Oh well, this week she has finals, next week she takes off for seven days in Costa Rica with her boyfriend.

As for me, I continue to talk with agents about my memoir, The Tour; I've been writing my ass off - both the sequel to Three Days in New York City and a short story about baseball and my mother which I've been dying to write for years and finally got around to doing this weekend, and much to my happy surprise, I'm still number #1 rated in erotica at Fictionwise where I'm also #6 in sales at the moment so I expect Three Days in New York City to be at a bookstore near you sooner rather than later.

I'm still on a high from Rock School's astonishing production of Jesus Christ Superstar Saturday night and as always, I am the first to admit when I'm wrong because I was really dreading going and I was against it from day one. First of all, I thought it was totally improper for a School of Rock performance - to me doing Jesus Christ Superstar was more on the order of a cheesy suburban high school production like CATS (oh god, I don't know that there was a worse evening in my life, when I had to see CATS on a class trip with the kids...maybe followed only by the night I had to see Grease on a double date); I'm used to brilliant classic rock and roll performances from these kids; secondly, I always hated that show...when it first came out I was a die hard hippie who only loved Brit rock and Jesus Christ Superstar was, well, fucking Broadway and as stated above, we all know how I feel about that...Broadway show tunes and country western music will be the soundtrack in hell when I die (if I believed in hell, that is). It's a good thing I don't because it's surely where I'd end up.

If I'm not there already...

Plus there was that whole Jesus factor, which, even as a lazy agnostic, still turned me off because, well, I'm Jewish by birth and I remember back when it first came out, Jesus Christ Superstar for some reason brought out all the Jesus freaks and there was this whole new weird movement of former stoners who suddenly walked around with bibles and would come up to me with glazed over eyes and ask "Have you found HIM?"

And of course I'd be like "Who the fuck do you mean?" even though I knew exactly what they meant but then I'd run away before they could say another word.

So anyway, that's the news for now. I wanted to elaborate further on the show Saturday night because it was really, really fantastic but neither Julie or Eric were around yesterday to give me names of kids I didn't know and titles of songs, etc. but in any event, the Philadelphia Daily News was there and they are doing a big spread this week and there will be a future broadcast on WXPN so I'll provide links as soon as I find them.

Happy Monday.(Yeah, yeah, an oxymoron for sure)

BREAKING NEWS: BIG PHOTO SPREAD IN TODAY'S DAILY NEWS OF THE KIDS' PERFORMANCE OF JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR AT THE THEATER OF LIVING ARTS SATURDAY NIGHT (It's not on line yet but as soon as it is, I will post it here. I just picked up 87 copies - it's fantastic and for once I can clearly see my drummer son!)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Quick note

Okay, I have to run because the Reading Terminal Farmers Market, which is never open on Sunday, is in fact open today because of the Flower Show nearby and Julie and I have plans to stuff our face for breakfast at Down Home Diner and then doing some awesome shopping there.

But I do want to say this: Jesus Christ Superstar was FUCKING AMAZING. I want to go into more detaiil later and name every kid and how unbelievable they were and I need my kids around me for that because there's some newbies I don't know, but let me say this. Max DiMezza, you fucking rule. Joey Randazzo, Dom Milandro, Maureen Hayes, Allie Hauptmann, Larry Allen - you guys made me cry. Jeremy Blessing - not only are you one of the best guitar players on this continent, your singing and stage presence last night blew me away. You have a Muddy Waters thing going on you should work on - who ever guessed that voice would come out of you! Cameron, I was teary eyed to see you back; you are one of my favorite unsung heroes of Rock School, a really great, soulful guitar player who doesn't always get the attention you deserve due to all the talent surrounding you.

Teddi Tarnoff, former Rock School diva, as musical director, you blew me away. How the hell did you do that???

Okay, more later.

And Madison, one of my favorite Rock School vocalists though not in the show last night, took some awesome photos and I am begging her now to send them to me so I can post them later today. Okay, Madison?

Friday, March 11, 2005

In today's Philadelphia Inquirer:


Amy Phillips
Philadelphia Inquirer
Published: Friday, March 11, 2005

A would-be rock star finds fulfillment and success teaching kids how to jam like the pros. Sounds like the plot of the 2003 film comedy School of Rock, right? It's also the story of the Paul Green School of Rock, the Center City institution that has been molding teenagers into seasoned players since 1998.

"When that movie came out, we considered legal action, but I prefer to take all the good press," Green says. "It's allowed us to say, 'Remember that Jack Black movie? Well, we're the real thing.' " (Rock School, a documentary about Green that was in the works long before School of Rock, recently received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.)

Instead of the traditional scales-and-recitals method of instruction, Green pushes his students to form bands and perform live. The school stages regular showcases devoted to individual artists or genres (Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, and "Big Bad Corporate Rock" have all been hits). The kids have toured the country, and have even performed in Germany, but Philly will always be home base.

Saturday (Mar. 12), the School of Rock will stage its version of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

"It's pretty theatrical," Green says. "We have a cross, we have a crown of thorns, Jesus is in a loincloth, and everyone's wearing a brown tunic. It ended up somewhere in between a musical reading and a Broadway play."

Just don't expect an amateurish, high-school-level performance.

"You have my personal guarantee that this is pretty much the best show we've ever done," Green vows.


And yes, my son Eric will be on drums and yeah, yeah, I'll be there assuming this family is rid of the strep throat from hell. (Hence the lapse in posting and oh my god, what a winter. We're never sick and it's been like every other week here -- I think it's a direct result of Bush getting re-elected in November. We're so mentally disturbed by it all that our resistance has been lowered significantly so we keep getting physically ill. That's my theory and I'm sticking with it!)

Monday, March 07, 2005

On the Road Again with Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars, Part II, New York

That's keyboard wizard Ms. Allie Hauptman singing a duet with Dom

So I was pretty much out cold when Eric came home last night but here's what I got:

(1) Allie did in fact not only get to sing Whipping Post for her Rock School All-Star finale at BB Kings in New York last night, she brought down the house and Paul gave her a wonderful, moving introduction.

So basically ignore everything I said about that in the post below....

(2) The kids fucking rocked and there were a lot of famous people in the audience who went absolutely crazy over them but I'm not allowed to name names for various reasons which I will disclose at a future date.

(3) Here's a copy of an email Eric got from a fan following the show:

"You were phenomenal last night. That was by far the best Packard Goose I have every heard live. Absolutely inspired. Excellent. I am still shaking. Words cannot express..."

More to follow....

Friday, March 04, 2005

Today's headlines

That would be Der Uberlord, Paul Green, and Ike Willis, when the kids performed at Cafe Dunord in San Francisco. As I've been saying all week, this weekend the Rock School All Stars will be playing three shows with Ike in Philly tonight, Bergen County, NJ tomorrow, and NYC Sunday.

I just stumbled on all of these photographs taken at Cafe Dunord and there are so many that I think I'll just post the link so that all Rock School kids/parents/friends who didn't see them or know of their existence, either, can have a good look because these photos are really large and a lot of fun. In San Francisco the kids played to a packed house and Cafe Dunord had to be one of the coolest venues ever. So without further ado, here is the link to some really great pics.

In other news, Julie says to me yesterday "I won't be home tonight, I have to go to the recording studio."

My reply: "Oh yeah? I thought you guys were finished the soundtrack."

Julie: "No, we added a song. We're doing 'Don't Stand So Close' by the Police and I have to go lay down bass tracks with Stewart Copeland on drums".


I talked to her when she got home late last night; she said it was incredibly difficult and challenging as a musician because if you know music, Stewart Copeland, formerly of said Police, is a fantastic drummer and the master of polyrhythms. But she seems pretty happy with the result.

By the way, Ike Willis also went to the recording studio and added the vocals to "Inca Roads" and "Zomby Woof". He did it in one take; Phil Nicolo, owner/producer of Studio 4 where they recorded, was blown away. Ike was in top form last night. Wow! (Btw, Julie and Eric are both on Inca Roads and Eric is on Zomby Woof).

Anyway, this soundtrack is going to be fucking amazing!

As for me, well, I'm still on a high over having the #1 rated book at Fictionwise and I hope that will encourage more people to pick up a copy. I'm working really hard on the sequel and I'm having a blast with it because the female character has relocated to New York City and is doing all kinds of crazy things...and of course I'm using though fictionalizing some of the places/experiences I've had there in the past year with the kids even though this book is obviously not about me or Rock's pure 100% fiction. But at least I know what the inside of the NYC Knitting Factory looks like courtesy of attending the kids' shows there, etc. and I've been to a million music stores and restaurants so that's what I mean when I say using what I've experienced via my travels with the kiddies.

So anyway, that's all for now though something tells me there's more coming later. I'm still on my first cup of coffee and I know there's other stuff I want to talk about, so I guess check back again later today if you are so inclined.

And err...Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Holy Cow!

Somehow, Three Days in New York City has just been given the recent highest rating ebook position, coming in at #1, at Fictionwise! If you don't believe me (even I don't believe me), here's the link

You can, in fact, buy the book at Fictionwise, or, in the alternative, make my publisher really happy and buy it at a reduced price off of their website here

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wednesday, March 2

That tiny picture is the only one I could find of The Fire, which is where Eric and his band, Flamingo, have a gig March 19. And yes, they are on the schedule...I'll post that below along with some more info on the club because it's a really, really cool place and this is Eric's first legitimate gig not affiliated with Rock School...his own band, his own rules, etc. Sigh...must be nice to be young, good looking, and so fucking talented.

Meanwhile, things have been completely nuts in my life. A lot is going on, and I really hate doing this, but I can't say anything about anything yet which is why I haven't been posting daily. There's all kinds of crazy exciting stuff happening with me, the in general. It's tempting as hell to blab it all here or at least to tease some more, but I can't. Just stay tuned. There's a lot coming. But at least this way if some of it doesn't pan out, I won't look like an idiot. Or at least a complete idiot, just a small one.

Anyway, here's info on The Fire:

No matter how far the gentrification of north Philadelphia creeps, hipsters who feel driven out of their down-and-out haunts will always have The Fire. Located on the outskirts of Northern Liberties, this cozy bar doubles as one of the city's most under-appreciated music venues. No matter which hat it's wearing, The Fire -- named because of its proximity to the local fire station -- draws without drawing a crowd, maintaining an air of obscurity, if not exclusivity. The drink selection is cheap and no-frills, and the food effective in its own way, although people don't generally show up here for high class fare. Instead, they come for the feeling that, in a city small enough that nothing stays a secret for long, The Fire remains a safe haven from the college kids and trend-chasers who long ago overtook Old City, and have steadily worked their way north.

And here's the schedule for March which now reflects Flamingo on March 19: Concerts

Of course I'm also really looking forward to the shows Eric is doing this weekend with former Zappa guitarist Ike Willis. Ike and I are great pals and I can listen to him talk about his days hanging out with John Lennon all night long. Last evening Eric says, "Hey Mom, I have to go now." I'm like, where are you going, it's cold, snowy...what's up on a Tuesday night? "Oh, I'm going to the airport with Brandon (another Rock School drummer graduate) and we're picking up Ike (he lives in California) and going out to dinner.

Here's a pic of my man Ike Willis with Eric on drums and daughter Julie on bass and the other beautiful girl is Teddi, the singer/guitarist in the additional separate-from-Rock School-band Eric, Dan and Julie have going on:

So anyway, Eric, Brandon and Ike went out to eat at Silk City, which is the ultimate punk/goth/old hippie diner in our neighborhood - the food really rocks but the floor show is even better, so no one probably even gave two teenage boys hanging out with a middle aged black guy in dreadlocks even a second glance. They talked music all night and had a blast. As I said, Eric and the Rock School All-Stars are doing three shows with Ike this weekend - one at Indre Friday night (his dad is going to that one); one in Bergen County, New Jersey Saturday night (I'll be there!), and one in NYC on Sunday at BB Kings (neither of us will be at that one - we've had enough of BB Kings to last a lifetime. Been there, done it, it's a chain restaurant/venue on 42nd Street in the heart of New York City touristville, with bad obscenely expensive junk food and I'm sorry, I just do not enjoy listening to music with plates and glasses clanking all evening long and a policy that tells me I have to eat or I will be paying a minimum anyway, in addition to paying for tickets to see my own son...feh. The last trek to BB Kings to see Eric play maybe five songs as part of a big Rock School All-Star production (with 4-5 other drummers sharing the bill) in December cost me $300.00 counting tickets, bus fare for the family (should have driven...grrr), and the aforesaid horrible food)so unless Eric and Julie are doing their own gig at BB Kings or John Lennon or George Harrison come crawling out of the grave to perform, I'm taking a permanent pass on that place.

But I admit, the first few times they played there, it was a lot of fun. I walked around for weeks boasting "Julie and Eric are playing BB Kings in New York City aren't we all just so cool!" to anyone who would listen. Anyway, don't mind me, I'm getting old and cranky. Or honest. Either/or. Whatever. I'm really looking forward to seeing Ike again and hanging out at the show in Bergen County Saturday night.