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Entry date: 3-17-2022 - The Luck of the Crackpipe - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all. The day when everyone is Irish. I have a lot of Irish blood in me to go along with the Welsh blood. I had one of those DNA things and I’m 97% Irish and English, according to their data. I will be enjoying some corned beef and cabbage tonight and maybe some Guinness. You never know.

As I shared on Rhondi’s birthday, we had our first date on St. Patrick’s Day and an absolutely stellar first kiss. Hope I get one of those tonight, too. She took my breath away that night and still does to this day. So, in a way, happy anniversary, babe.

I don’t think I have any other good St. Patrick’s Day stories. Green in my favorite color, so I have plenty of options for green clothing, but I always feel a little weird about it on St. Patrick’s Day. For a rule follower, I don’t like being told I have to do something. Life is all about contradictions.


I was looking over my post from yesterday and wondering why I wrote that 1995 was a game changer related to Hillbilly. It was a game changer for me on a personal level, for sure. As I mentioned in another blog, 1995 was when I found out I was the father of a five-year-old boy. That was pretty game changer-ish, for sure. My whole life was different from that point forward.

I moved out of Alexa’s condo in 1995. I didn’t want to start my relationship with Ryan off and have him be confused about my living situation. She and I had grown to be mostly friends toward the end. The romance was not there and that was probably my fault, to an extent. When I decided to stop drinking and smoking weed in 1992, it changed our dynamic a lot. She enjoyed having some drinks and I was kind of boring, I think, to her after I stopped partying.

I was also obsessed with playing music and seeing music live. I went to shows a lot and was practicing all the time. The hardest part about leaving that condo was that I had to leave our dog, Jessie, there. I had sort of taken over being Jessie’s person when I moved in with Alexa. Prior to that, Jessie was Alexa’s mom and stepdad’s dog, but she bonded with me quickly. That broke my heart. I loved that dog so much.

Eventually Alexa and I were able to be friends again and I’m thankful for it. We grew up together and we’re both doing things with our life that make us happy. Rhondi got to meet her a few times and they seemed to really hit it off. The summer of 1995, though, was not our best moment and I moved out without telling her I was leaving. That was super lame of me, but I didn’t know what else to do. She got home from work on August 1 of that year and all my stuff was gone. I was there waiting for her, crying on the couch with the dog, I think, but I pulled that Band-Aid off quick.

I also made two records with Alex in 1995. We had formed a band called Son of Crackpipe and BGR put out a 10” called Mary Poppins and a 12” called The Benevolence of Dogs and Other Evolutionary Accidents. We were supposed to do a two-week tour of England and Germany at the end of 1995, but it fell through when our record sales were not good at all. Alex had done Nailbomb with Max Cavalera earlier that year (or the year before, I can’t remember) and BGR was hopeful that there would be a little crossover from that to help sell Son of Crackpipe, plus the Fudge Tunnel connection.

It was just Alex and I and an Alesis drum machine we would plug into my old Kustom PA. We shared the vocals and wrote about a dozen songs or so. We would jam at the HD practice room and sometimes Alex would hang out after and listen to our practices, too. It was good, clean fun under the influence of coffee and Pepsi cola.

Of course, though, Alex and I didn’t use our real names for Son of Crackpipe (not that mine meant anything) and we made all the information about the band deliberately confusing. We stole some of our cover art for the 12” from The Ventures, for example, and on the 10” record, one song is just some background noise we came up with and me reading a book review from the Sunday New York Times. The cover of that one is one of our finest moments, too.

We had this song called “Mary Poppins” and I had an epiphany while watching the classic Blake Edwards’ film, SOB. In that film, Julie Andrews bares her breasts in a hilarious moment so I thought it would be great to use Jeff’s photoshop skills and put her head from a spot in the film Mary Poppins on her SOB body. We were hoping Disney would sue us, but they never did. I did get some hate mail about it, though, and I answered all the letters. In one case, I got a few follow up letters from an angry gal from the UK, but eventually she stopped writing, or I did. I can’t remember.

The Hillbilly guys were a little jealous of Son of Crackpipe, but I thought that was dumb. Alex was busy and we only ever did one show, which as at a cool place called Rancho De Los Muertos, with a band called The VSS. We did get our records out there and got some decent review, but Hillbilly was always my main band and I wanted to make a name with it if I could.

We played the second ever show at the Nile in Mesa in 1995. That was kind of cool and got us in with Cory Adams, the owner. He put us on a bunch of good shows there while he was involved. I need to see if I can find that list of bands we played with to jog my memory a bit.

See you tomorrow.

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