Saturday, February 26, 2011 

Charlie Sheen's Been A Very Bad Boy?

It's all over the news right lately: Charlie Sheen taking things a bit too far with drugs and porn stars and then... going public with his jagged disdain of some of the producers of his #1 hit show on CBS.

Next, all the analysts and pundits throwing out the word "troubled" and "erratic" etc. (like they actually give a damn when they most certainly don't).

That said... I think it's safe to say he's doesn't care all that much about continuing with the show (but does want to get paid for the remaining 4 shows on his contract).

It's also safe to say everyone knew who & what he was when he got the gig; it's not like he's doing anything much different than he's done before?

It must be quite a conundrum for the show's producers: All that money they'll lose with the early retirement of a proven goldmine vs. continuing to allow the star to work them over in public. Money talks in this world, ESPECIALLY in Hollywood, and it sounds like the guy is always a pro on the set, so it's kind of a delicious situation. One thing's for sure though: He's not your typical, boring, "everything's great and I love everyone" kind of TV personality - and I, for one, find that at least as entertaining as anything he's done in TV or film.


John Lilly | Tore Up From The Floor Up | Live At Duke's Bar Chicago

Just edited & uploaded a tune I shot at Duke's Bar in Chicago last August from my old pal John Lilly. This piece is yet another demonstration how just how easy & inexpensive it is to produce HD video with solid audio these days. We hooked up a Zoom digital audio recorder with signals going directly in, put one camera on a tripod in the corner (unmanned) and me on the handheld (monopod) camera. He also had a family member shooting still photos. From there, I used Final Cut Pro to edit.

And (once again), the fact that this piece was so easy to produce makes me ask again: Why don't more bands make the effort to produce quality content of their music? It sure costs a lot less than a night out partying, buying new guitars or amps or clothes or paying for lap dances or buying illegal substances or all the different ways most musicians spend money on ANYTHING else but their marketing. Baffling.

Sunday, February 20, 2011 

Hartley Peavey Tribute To Bo Diddley

A quick clip from our February 2011 shoot at Peavey corporate in Meridian Mississippi, where Hartley Peavey identifies where & when he caught the rock & roll fever, and hard, courtesy of Mr. Bo Diddley. If you think about it... the Mississippi delta in 1957 was an amazing, historic hotspot for blues, rock & roll, rockabilly country music... and Hartley was right there. Still is, actually. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011 

Leroy Jones | Down On Bourbon Street

This may well prove to be the highlight from last night in the French Quarter... I was walking down Bourbon Street for the first time, taking in all the sights, when I see a well-dressed guy sauntering smoothly across the adjacent street, carrying a case (I guessed rightly it was trumpet). He was accompanied by a woman which turned out to be his wife, also carrying a case of some sort. 

I stopped them & asked them where they were headed to play, and he told me they'd just finished playing at Preservation Hall.

For whatever reason, there was something about this guy that said STAR. As I told them - he seemed to have a "shine" about that spoke volumes. Definitely a leader, not a follower. I couldn't help but ask, which made them smile: "Are you a star down around here or something?"

I introduced myself, we exchanged cards, talked a little music business (i.e., what DO bands make around here?), he told me to Google him, which I did. 

And here is the (prophetic?) video of Leroy Jones, playing & singing great, performing "Down On Bourbon Street" with Harry Connick, Jr. I couldn't resist adding a second real-cool video I found on the Preservation Hall site, too


Full Moon In The French Quarter

I WALKED THROUGH PARTS OF THE FRENCH QUARTER IN NOLA for the first time last night - a big full moon was just as high as most of the people I saw everywhere.

FYI, I used to date a girl in the food industry who knew me pretty well, and I keep hearing her voice in my head: "If you go to New Orleans, you'll never come back." Not sure about that (yet), but I am sure about a few things: 

1. NOLA weather is much preferable to Chicago in the winter; 
2. There are WAY more restaurants and WAY more live music condensed in a small area than probably anywhere I've ever seen, with the quality of both being very strong; 
3. There are WAY more 24/7 food & drinking establishments in NOLA than anywhere I've ever seen; 
4. The cockroaches are WAY bigger than anything I've seen in the midwest (or west coast, for that matter); 
5. I'm hearing the best (non-tourist) area the locals frequent is called Frenchman Street; 
6. Using a bicycle to see the French Quarter is recommended vs. a car or cab (or walking - it's a BIG area); 
7. I'm hearing he ONLY (non-corporate chain) BBQ joint worth a damn is called "The Joint"; 
8. The hippies & street urchins in NOLA are WAY more hard-core/edgy than anywhere I've ever been - I would imagine the closest thing would be Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, circa 1969;
9. It's got a dangerous/seedy/closed-in/dark/edgy vibe off the beaten track that puts you on edge; you could easily imagine yourself back in time, walking the thickly-fogged/deserted streets, wondering if that lone person coming down the street has a hidden knife, waiting to separate you from your wallet, or worse; 
10. There is more temptation & decadence waiting at every corner than anywhere I've ever been.


Friday, February 11, 2011 

The Inimitable Hartley Peavey

Here's the first photo of Hartley Peavey (shot by Erik Waters) from our video/photo shoot this February at his corporate HQ in Meridian, Mississippi. In addition to laughing our asses off hearing Hartley tell stories (on and off camera), take us out to lunch, etc., we also were totally knocked out by the small portion of what we had time to see that day.

It was also mind-blowing to  get a sense of how big his brand is on a global scale, and the various peripheral technology and industries he's involved with - such as equipping airports around the world with speakers and the technology to sort all those flight announcements you hear at those airports - heavy duty stuff.

One of the funniest things of the day (I thought): I asked Hartley why in the world he, of all people, would feel the need to wear a badge with his name on it? His answer: Because he makes every employee & visitor wear a name tag while on premises, he thought it was only fair that he did the same thing.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011 

Johnnie's Drive In & Elvis Presley

Had a nice lunch today and chatted with one of the owners of Johnnie's Drive Inn in Tupelo, Mississippi. This place has a HUGE Elvis Presley connection - Elvis was born in Tupelo, and used to frequent Johnnie's before moving to Memphis in his early teens. It's located in a part of town called "Presley Estates," just around the corner from the King's childhood home (and museum?)

FYI, I had no clue about the Elvis connection when I pulled up; I was hungry and saw "BBQ"in big letters so... I pulled up. And I then discovered their signature item is not bbq, but something called the "dough burger."

It wasn't busy, so the owner & I had a chance to chat a bit about restaurants, bbq, marketing and more. He said his place was the oldest restaurant in Tupelo, and he had a SUPER thick southern accent (which I told him I liked when he asked if I wanted to try the "taiter taughts"). He said my "yankee accent" sounded funny to him, too.

This place has a ton of Elvis photos for a relatively small dining room (maybe 30 seats?), and we sat in the booth where Elvis used to - with a photo of him in the booth right over my shoulder. According to the owner, the seats are all original from the late 40's, and the menu hasn't changed since then either (photo of booth at left).

He said movies have been shot there (but I didn't hear what titles exactly), and he showed me a photo someone had dropped off, featuring the visitor and Elvis in army fatigues from their overseas stint in the military. I guess it's that kind of place, pretty cool to me - maybe I'll visit it again sometime?  

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