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Entry date: 1-28-2024 – Where is the Sun”Day”? – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

The crud is in my lungs. Yay. I know this because I coughed all night on Friday night and woke up feeling like there was some sort of vise around my chest. It loosened up during the day, but there was no energy to spare as I fought the lack of sleep yesterday.

 

I’ve been worrying too much about things, as well. There is a lot going on. Doug is back in the hospital. It just kills me. When is he going to catch a break? He’s one of the best people I’ve ever known and it seems like the universe just keeps dropping crap on him. I hate it.

 

*****

 

I also spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday fretting about something stupid. Apparently, the Suns are rumored to be working on a trade for Miles Bridges. If you are not aware, he is a good basketball player but a convicted domestic violence perpetrator. I can’t abide by that.

 

If the trade happens, I don’t think I can support them anymore and that sucks. I’ve seen a lot of online chatter about it. There are those that say, “support the art, not the artist.” I do this in my own life. I still love The Smiths even though Morrissey is a bad human. I enjoy Woody Allen movies. I’m sure there are others, too, that I like their art but don’t like them as people.

 

This, though…I just don’t get it. What does it say to the female fan base? I get wanting to win. I want the Suns to win a championship so badly that I would probably consider sacrificing a digit to make it happen, but I don’t want them to sell their soul for this. They got rid of Jason Kidd, arguably a much better player than Miles Bridges for a much less severe situation. Granted, that was under Jerry Colangelo, but still.

 

Is this who Mat Ishbia is? Wouldn’t Devin Booker and Kevin Durant have to sign off? I can’t believe Bradley Beal would be down with this after seeing what kind of dude he seems to be. I’m sure I am “blogging about nothing” here, but still. I don’t want to see it happen. Maybe rather than cutting off a finger, I can will this from happening by putting this out there.

 

*****

Look for the next installment of The Bet tomorrow. I wanted to get to it today, but my brain is just not there. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

*****

 

When I fell for the Butthole Surfers, I fell hard.

 

I was aware of them for several years before I really listened. How could you not be aware of that name? It just screams, “What the fuck?” Although, as I type this, I am realizing that I was a little jaded towards them because here in Phoenix, we had Mighty Sphincter and I loved Mighty Sphinter.

 

What is it with me and the nether region?

 

Anyway, my buddy, Jeff, had Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac on cassette and we listened to it a lot in 1988. I probably started bumming him out in the Polka Dot Pad days because once the Surfers got a hold of me, that was that. I was hooked.

 

My relationship with the Butthole Surfers is an intricate one. As much as I want to delve further into those early years, especially as I think about how my obsession grew, that is not the story I want to tell today. I’ll save the story of Psychic…Powerless… for another day.

 

The place to dive in is actually the Widowermaker EP from 1989. I choose this one because it was the first new stuff that I got to purchase as it came out. I’m not counting the Double Live record. That was new, of course, and will probably get its own story eventually but Widowermaker is just such a fun little record.

 

(and maybe, after writing about a double album yesterday, I wanted something shorter for a Sunday)

 

My buddy, Bob, used to work at Zia on 7th Avenue. I’ve talked about this before in the blog. He would come to my apartment and trade me Zia trade slips for weed. It was a very good arrangement for both of us. I probably used one, or money I got from my time in the Mary Jane pyramid scheme, to buy this vinyl. I have it on CD, too, of course because that was how I rolled when it came to the Surfers.

 

This is fitting because on the version I have, the first song you hear is “Bong Song.” I’m certain I read the song title, loaded one up, and dropped the needle on the record. That was back in the day when I owned such a thing. It had what looked like that newfangled blue cat litter in the base. When I decided to go completely sober in 1992, I smashed it.

 

Anyhow, “Bong Song” is possibly the most appropriate title ever given to a song. Clever lads, those Butthole Surfers. It’s really a great compilation of everything that makes the Butthole Surfers great in one song, even if it isn’t their best song. It’s just a perfect example of what they did. Paul Leary does this crazy guitar riff that is the musical equivalent of taking a big bite of a really sour lemon before the song really takes off around the 1:40 mark. It saddens me that it has less plays on Spotify than every Taylor Swift song by about 3 million.

 

It's not just Leary, though, who shines on “Bong Song.” Gibby Haynes’ vocals are quintessential “Gibby” and King Coffey and Jeff Pinkus hold down the rhythm fantastically. It is praiseworthy and worth a listen, but it’s not even my favorite song on the EP.

 

“1401/The Colored FBI Guy” (same song, two different names depending on what version you bought) is my favorite. Maybe because Pinkus plays this cool, snaky bass line that just seems to defy logic. It is so fucking good. Next time I see him, I have to remember to give him a high five and tell him as such. I also have always loved the songs by the Surfers where Gibby kind of sings and there is not really a need for any of the effects.

 

“Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars” is another fun one. There is some fun with a drum machine on here that drives the song in a way that makes you think of being hopped up on drugs and booze, smoking a butt, driving fast towards a spectacular hook up. Another aptly named song. The Surfers were really great at using all the toys in the studio to make essential tracks, that’s for sure.

 

Lastly, “Helicopter” is another typical Surfer song. It’s noisy and grating and rhythmically satisfying. It’s another blast of fun Gibby-tronics, too. It twists and turns, lyrically, before finding it’s way to a repeated chorus(?) of “Don’t touch me there” and words like, “Doctor man” and “Preacher man” sprinkled about like marshmallows in Butthole Charms. What’s not to like?

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



Forgive me, I think I used this before. Maybe I didn't. I am too lazy to look and see. This kind of fits for today, though.

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