top of page

Entry date: 5-15-2024 – This is a long Conversation – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


What a long day yesterday was. It started a bit earlier than I had planned because Rhondi had an absolutely gnarly migraine and we spent our morning in the ER. Luckily, she’s fine and I apologize to those who are learning about this here and not from a text message yesterday. I was pretty much braindead all day.


Luckily, everyone is fine and dandy now. The docs got Rhondi up and going pretty quickly with what they called the “headache cocktail.” I have no idea what was in it, but it was nice to see my wife be able to relax and even catch a few z’s in the emergency room while they gave her an IV.




It’s really weird how missing the morning at work really threw off my whole rhythm with my students. I was never able to fully get in the swing of things yesterday. While I’m glad I could be there for Rhondi and would do it again 1,000,000 times out of 1,000,000, I hate missing work. Perhaps I am a control freak.


Looks like the little vaper is going to be suspended for a while. Bummer.


Not really. It’s not a bummer at all. I hope several lessons can be learned from all of this.



 8 days of school left.



I remember the summer of 1989 for different reasons. I was nineteen years old and living by myself on 7th Avenue and Earll near Phoenix College. I had been dating my girlfriend, Alexa, for about three months at the end of July when the Beastie Boys released Paul’s Boutique. It was kind of a big deal, really, and for me, it was the true birth of my Beastie Boys fanhood.


When License to Ill came out in 1986, I was not a fan. I thought they were dumb. I hated most of the people who championed them, including my girlfriend at that time. She loved them and I loathed them. The only song off that record that I liked in those days was “Brass Monkey.” But then a few years passed, and the Beastie Boys made up for it.



Paul’s Boutique is a fun, well-crafted record that showed they were more than just the musical equivalent of fart jokes. It still had a lot of funny lines, but the beats and grooves were so much better. To me, Paul’s Boutique had depth to it and I enjoyed listening to it a lot. It got a ton of play in my studio apartment for the rest of that summer and into the fall, for sure.


My first favorite song on it was probably “Egg Man,” but there is no denying “Shake Your Rump,” either. Both of those tracks off Side A are excellent. So is “High Plains Drifter,” especially as a song to smoke a little weed to if you’re so inclined.


‘Egg Man,” though was probably the one that I kind of claimed as my own. “Shake Your Rump” was the first big single, of course, and everybody, including me, loved it. There was something subversive, though, about “Egg Man.” I like subversive things.


I think the bass line and the sounds that seem like they came straight from Curtis Mayfield are what I love most about it. Well, that and the line about how the egg is a “symbol of life.” It’s the little things.



“Shake Your Rump” and “Looking Down The Barrel of a Gun” are both great rap songs. The Beastie Boys pairing up with the Dust Brothers was a brilliant move. Those guys blew away the stuff Rick Rubin had done with them previously.


“It’s gonna getcha…”


“Car Thief” is another one that just sounds good. I can’t help but bob my head to it like I’m some sort of old gangster. I am not an old gangsta, but listening to Paul’s Boutique makes me feel like I may have once been one. I always thought some of the tracks on this song were kind of the musical equivalent (there’s that phrase again) of smoking opium. Just mellow and floaty and able to make your cares go away.


Even though the band was clearly showing its potential, there is something that is still kind of pure about Paul’s Boutique. I can easily forget that there was any previously released material by them. “Shadrach” is so funky and cool. I dig it.


Over the years, I have listened to this one more than any other records of theirs. Ill Communication is probably a close second, but there is nothing like your first love with a band. I remember seeing this tour at Mesa Amphitheater. I think my shoe came off during their set but I got it back.


I probably only had one pair of shoes then, too.




See you tomorrow.

Inspiration comes in all sizes.

22 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page