Desert Island Discs

My erstwhile colleague and proximate cubicle partner Rick initiated our work version of Desert Island Discs, based on the BBC4 Radio Programme of the same name, in which we choose our top 5 songs (or albums) we would want to bring with us if we were stranded on a desert island. Below are my selections.

1. Bobby Hebb – Sunny

Bobby Hebb wrote Sunny in the two days following November 22, 1963—the day JFK was assassinated, and the day Hebb’s older brother was stabbed to death outside a Nashville nightclub. Of the song, Hebb said, “All my intentions were to think of happier times and pay tribute to my brother – basically looking for a brighter day – because times were at a low.”

For me, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from the bar, fucked up and sentimental, and played this song, over and over and over again. In fact, if I could only pick one song on my desert island, this would likely be it. Continue reading “Desert Island Discs”

Top 5 Summer Songs

On account of this likely being the best day we’re going to have all of 2016, here are my picks for the Top 5 Summer Songs poll we did at work a few weeks’ back.

1. Mungo Jerry – Summertime

I’ve liked this song ever since I was a kid, riding shotgun in my Dad’s shitbox Chevrolet Impala (and later, his Dodge Magnum) to go see the harness races at Stampede Park . My Dad had friends from A to Z, and, being the bar manager at a number of bars, he of course got invited to parties and whatnot that the younger cocktail waitresses were having, and, you know, lots of these waitresses’ guy friends actually looked like Mungo Jerry. Continue reading “Top 5 Summer Songs”

Mise en scène

Mise en scene

Here is the carcinogenic third act.
We rehearse our lines on racing forms and
shopping lists—daily double, vodka orange,
and—say it just like this—Sweet Cap Filter
Kings.  We have it down.  Take Wednesdays: Come to
Wellington’s after school and when I’m off
work we’ll knock ‘em dead.  See you then, okay? Continue reading “Mise en scène”

In Search of the Real Lounge Scene – And My Father

(Somewhat dated article about my Dad, originally published in cameo magazine.)

When my father passed away, I was on the road between Philadelphia and Los Angeles, travelling in the entrepreneurial wake of my mother and stepfather. Up to this time I had lived in Calgary with my father for seven years, but when it became evident that the Cancer had mined its way through his entire body, it was necessary for me to join my mother in Philadelphia. The lifestyle was different — less predictable — and soon after we moved to L.A.. They told me his fate in Santa Barbara.

Because circumstance supplanted my environment, and because I needed to re-acquaint myself with my mother, the memory of my father eventually dwindled to a few nostalgic strands of sentiment. I went for years without even seeing a photograph of the man. Psychologists? Not then.

Continue reading “In Search of the Real Lounge Scene – And My Father”