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Entry date: 2-24-2024 – Welcome to Destruction – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


I had a crisis of faith yesterday.


Some really dark thoughts crossed my mind during the school day and for the first time in a long time, I had the thought, “Why the fuck am I doing this?”


I’m guessing everyone in the classroom right now is at the point of saying a giant “Fuck you!” to just about everyone else. They are definitely sick of hearing me lecture them about listening and respect. I’m sick of my own voice saying the same thing, too.


I did tell the Cocaine Baby that I cared about him, though, and just wanted him to succeed. I asked him if he believed that I care, and he said he did. I reassured him that I do care and that was our moment of the day. He still got into another fight, but it was deemed that it wasn’t his fault.


So, I came home and destroyed our front bathroom.


Not really. I just took the tub out so we can start fixing the pipes today. It required me to break some stuff, though, and that felt really good. I got some aggression out, watched a dumb episode of Northern Exposure, and did some writing after picking up the teenagers from their evening activities.  




Sadly, I’m to the point in Northern Exposure where the show starts really going downhill. I kind of ignore this fact because I love the first seasons so much, but it’s getting harder and harder to stay interested in an episode. I have to finish, though.




Tonight, Hillbilly rocks Rip’s at 9:45PM. It will feel good to get up there and do our thing. We even have a sort of new thing to open the show. I love playing shows with these guys. Just being with Shane and Trent and having Liam part of the gang is so great. I’ve been very lucky with my bandmates.


I’m also super excited to rock with the Sick in the Head guys and the dudes from Puppy & The Handjobs. I don’t know who is in the other band, but hopefully they are cool, too.  Come out if you’re in Phoenix and not doing anything.




Sometimes you are stuck in a time warp. Thinking about the records that have shaped me as a music fan, musician, or just as a person trying to figure things out has taken me down some strange streets. Case in point, the Little River Band.


As a kid, I was definitely a fan. My dad liked them a lot (maybe still does, though I got the impression from our last conversation about them that he hadn’t given them much recent thought) and so did I back in the late 70s. A few years back I got curious and put some Little River Band on and didn’t dig it.


But…in thinking about them from a context of writing about the albums that shaped me, I have rediscovered them in a different light. When I threw on 1977’s Diamantina Cocktail, for example, I noticed that the opening track, “Help Is On It’s Way” has over 35 million plays on Spotify and track two, “The Drifter” has under 200,000. A lot of people jumped ship after that first song.


“Help Is On It’s Way” was something of a hit. I get it. It’s probably the most accessible song on the record. It’s also memorable. Like the ELO record from yesterday, it takes me back in time. The thing is, I don’t love this song. I like “The Drifter” a lot more and I even liked track three, “L.A. in The Sunshine” more, too. While “Help Is On It’s Way” has all the trappings of a radio hit, the next two are so much more interesting.


“The Drifter” has this funky backbeat thing going on that is super choice. George McArdle is playing his ass off on the bass on this one and he and drummer Derek Pellicci are locked in tight. I love it. It’s kind of a silly song but way more interesting than the opener. The sax and cor anglaise (English horn) are sweet on this song, too.


As I think about these songs, I’m guessing my dad and I were listening to their best of record from 1979 more often, but I’m sticking with Diamantina Cocktail. As mentioned, I like “L.A. in The Sunshine” a lot, too. It’s also funky and kinda silly and makes me feel good. I think it might be a tough sell for most people I know, though. There is a line in there about doing blow, too. Super 70s.


Side A is just super down home, Aussie funk after the radio song. “The Inner Light” is also quite good because of its bass line. This time it’s Roger McLachlan slapping the four stringer and he’s wailing those tasty licks (hi, Jeff). It kind of reminds me of a song that would play in the background of a 70s TV show, too, if it was an instrumental.


The B side starts off with one that I’m super into called “Witchery.” It’s pretty cheesy, but “Home on Monday” is a better song, for sure. There is a nice bit of almost steel guitar on the song, and I’ve always liked the line, “Can you guess where I am calling from? The Las Vegas Hilton.” Something about that line has always stuck with me. When I listened for the first time after many years, it was instantly familiar.


The vocals start off kind of humble and have this whole “Please, forgive me” thing going on before the middle of the song catapults it into a totally different feel. “Happy Anniversay” is another super catchy Little River Band jam. McArdle is just ruling this one, too. Who knew that I would wind up a fan of the Little River Band bass players?


Typically, I don’t even really like this style of bass, but the interplay with the drums and the three fucking guitar players is great. Lord knows I like a three-guitar band. It’s also so fucking 70s, too. My soft spot for these types of jams is a mile wide. I remember hating a lot of this shit as a kid, but now, it just sort of feels like home.


Sentimentality will make you listen to a lot of weird stuff.


“Raelene, Raelene” is a nice bit of guitar work. I can’t attribute it to any one of the three guitar players in Little River Band because I don’t care quite enough to research it, but I am enjoying its soft rock sensibilities. “Changed and Different” is definitely “changed and different” from the soulful “Raelene” squared. More nifty bass playing and some excellent piano and banjo.


Oddly, I have been playing this record in the mornings at school during breakfast time for the students. They seem to like it a lot. Who would have thought? Diamantina Cocktail might even be back in my regular rotation.




See you tomorrow.

Tore that fucker out.

Just about broke my damn back.

Home Ownership blues.

24 views1 comment

1 comentário

Holy cow with that bathroom!

I could never do Little River Band. And I was at an ASU wrestling match so sorry I missed the show. Keep on writing.

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