Wednesday, December 19, 2007

it's my fuckin' christmas!

just to clear the air before this starts, i am a reformed catholic and unorthodox pagan, born of devout christians and believe in true christian values. as i grew up christmas time was all about getting things, giving things and spending time with friends and family, and oh yeah, being especially nice to everyone you meet. we didn't dwell on the jesus stuff too much, maybe at church on christmas morn, (or in catechism, which i liked because of the history aspect of the bible, not really the flashy uber-religious context), but not a whole lot as i remember. neither did my friends, family, classmates, or most people i'd meet on the street. we all knew what it meant and dealt with it in our own ways. we weren't overtly religious and recognized that maybe not everyone else had the same beliefs as we did. it was always just a real fun time of year, with everyone included... or at least that how i remember it.

but now what the fuck is wrong with these people, you know, the ones who are so afraid that their christmas is being assailed by an organized assault they scream and rant and rave like a child left coal in his stocking. this has been simmering for a while now, with the 'bill oh-reallys' yapping about 'the war on christmas' and how the left is trying to take all the crosses and commandments off of public lands and bullying stores about how they want them to appeal to their customers... and on and on and on...

i hate exclusiveness, have always avoided clubs, fraternities, orders, lodges, religions or anything that had 'us and them' stamped in the fine print, (or as groucho once said, 'i'd never join a club that would have me as a member'). i mean, it's ok if ya wanna go be a sheep, walk lock-step and follow the pack, as long as you keep to yourself and don't try to win me with hallow arguments as to why your club is better than the others, i won't subscribe to your religion. but now these right-wing nut-case evangelicals are downright scary. their attitude of 'it's my fucking christmas!' is outta control. what unmitigated gall of these people to try and tell me how to celebrate the season. it ain't even their holiday by rights, it really belongs to the pagans, (and we know what they think of those heretics). the winter solstice has been celebrated by cultures all over the world for eons before christ was supposedly born, (which, don't be shocked now, was not on dec. 25th).

now, i don't mean to be pissin' on nobody's holiday, but they started this crap. they want war, they got it. i am all for trashing everything; the obsession of the over-lighted tree, the constant inundation of inane songs sung by tone-deaf singers, the endless, boring, old slogans, the stupid movies and lame t.v. specials, the repetitive stream of crass commercialism and all it's sick pseudo-religious trimmings that truly make detestable what used to be a much more innocent season. this world is full of people who don't celebrate the holiday in the same fashion. still the christian militant fascist fanatics see any other view as a threat to their beliefs. so, they play victim, cry foul and worry themselves silly over whether its 'merry christmas' or 'happy holidays'. and what happens when each and every organized religion wants to put up their own version of the spirit of their holiday? is it a matter of might make right? that is how real wars start isn't it? no one wins in this silly debate. faith is for each person to celebrate in their soul, home or church and not to be crammed down the collective maw of everyone else... especially in the public square, or in government offices. this is not solely a christian country, it is a nation built by the hands of peoples of many beliefs. why can't we all just get along?... we should be better than this, you'd think.

'what would jesus do?' is a fond rallying cry, but a damned few so-called christians rarely do anything resembling the teachings christ. his was a message of tolerance and moderation, of love thy neighbor and helping one another get by... not having crusades for oil using the blood of the poor to finance it, greedy corporate christian wealth that neglects the unfortunate, and mall-sized christmas specials that breed cultural divisiveness. have yourself a merry little christmas is now moot, it's buy more, spend more and just do it my way and we will win this war with them that are different from us... get real, no one is gonna take christ out of christmas, you have that, just don't act like it is the only reason for the season... the reason's in your heart. i don't think the birthday boy would be proud of what it has become. it's just silly the way these people think, as if they do. one drive around the neighborhood here proves their so-called-spirit is alive and well in suburban new orleans, (s.a. says she has never seen so many houses decorated in her life, and i gotta admit it sure seems like the most to me also).

i just wish we could all get along, even if only for one stupid day...

...and if that wasn't bad enuff, the republi-cons are using faith as a major litmus test as to who is most qualified to run this country for them. i dunno know about you, but these last seven years, with a man who was hand-picked by these fruitcakes, is more than enuff. i nearly threw up spiked eggnog out of my nose when i saw huckabee's, (sounds like what you do when you swallow a flying insect), christmas message, (he is the savior flavor de jour for the 'us' guys). i tell ya, every american really needs to see this video, but not for the reasons they want... and you want this guy to be your latex salesman? i hope he is gonna be their next right-hand-of-god, he is truly just too good to believe. he thinks he is so close to heaven he'll probably try to fill his cabinet with the 12 apostles... (the guy just seems like a snake oil salesman to me; sweet talkin', smarmy and not to be trusted).

whew... i think i am thru here, i know i stepped on some toes with this holiday rant (i hope so at least), but my feet hurt already from all this bru-ha-ha, so let's just all try to get along this year, eh? we are doing our part, by enjoying the festivus thingy at home with our pole amongst friends and family, (we're still not checking faith credentials to get in, so come one, come all!), and celebrating the season like the drunken pagans we ought to be... bah humbug!

(here is the real subliminal message from the huck, and it's a lot scarier than 'paul is dead, paul is dead')

also, in the spirit of the stealin' of the over-hyped/priced holidays we offer these tidbits of mirth and detriment, in mp3, thru festivus at least, by way of yousendit: everyone everywhere, just hold true to what the season means to you!
and a happy merry celebrations to all...
now if ya'll excuse me i still got presents to wrap!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

everywhere it's christmas...(again)

*** back by popular demand, in time for this xmas, is this repost of the 12-1-05 entry...
(with corrections and additions)

...for seven years the beatles released an annual christmas record, on flexi-discs for members of the fan club. it began in 1963 as the four of them sat around a microphone in abbey road studios to record a thank you message, and by '66 they were making it a small epic, of sorts, using audio skits and new songs. for '68 and '69 the beatles weren't even doing it together at all, just piecemealing stuff they each recorded at home, then handing it over to kenny everett (the bbc dj) to edit for release. in december 1970, after the band broke up, apple records released all 7 christmas flexi-records on one vinyl l.p., again, only to the fan club.

for years all of this was really hard to find on any medium (i was lucky to have a friend whose sister belonged to the fan club and had them all, including the l.p., of which she would not part with but let me tape, so i at least it in some form, which was spread as far as i could). now the price for any of the original records is unreal, as you can imagine. but thanks to the wonders of the internet you can find these lil gems on torrent or other various places, (i found a nice cd of the set, along with the other christmas tunes done by each after the split, on ebay a while back, but i'd love to own the l.p. in vinyl before i die)...

***(well, i finally did get the lp right after the original post, the real apple fan club one... heheheheheeee, she treats me so good!)

...the beatles were always big on christmas. they would plan album and single releases for the holidays and even had a kinda off-broadway christmas show in the early years. and as mentioned in a previous post, it meant a guaranteed record under the tree on the morning of december 25th each year. i still miss those times, but at least we've still got the christmas records to fill the house with beatle-christmas cheer when it comes, at the end of every year ...

here are the very hard to find fan club flexi-disc records on mp3 download for you to put under the tree for that special santa-beatle on your list ...

***(these links are now thru yousendit, so that you can save 'em, since the site i was using/hacking flipped 'em to video streams on youtube... i may add links to those later for ya'll (or you can go here now and save me the trouble)... in the meantime, get 'em while they're available, for 100 downloads or the next week or so, or you can just listen to the audio stream to enjoy anytime at all as long as you like... so, garry crimble to all and getty babel dear christmas!

The Beatles Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

Another Beatles Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

The Beatles Third Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

Pantomime:Everywhere It's Christmas (mp3)
(audio stream)

Christmas Time Is Here Again (mp3)
(audio stream)

The 1968 Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record (mp3)
(audio stream)

The Beatles Fan Club Christmas L.P.

*** and here are some lost (and found, i guess) beatles christmas bits that have been dug up in the last few, in mp3, once more by way of yousendit:

another take of the '64 message

the lost '65 christmas message

(a very long, strange and un-xmas-like piece of bric-a-brac indeed)

an outtake from the '67 message

...and finally, for the completists and fanatics,
beatles christmas desktop theme

Friday, December 14, 2007

not another xmas mix... mix

so, i know this is christmas time. s.a. asked me to make a few copies of an mp3 cd of christmas music for her and all her workmates at the road home thingy. i started by digging up as much as i could, like every cd in the archives (quite a few), and finding an enormous torrent file on the magical net, (it's only a mere 10 gigabytes of the most varied assortment of christmas mp3 cheer one could hope to find beneath the tree, including a complete set of the old firestone christmas lps from my early childhood... too sick).

after weeding out the obvious klunkers, (such as the entire 6 cds of nordic muzak and the celine-type crap), picking out the obvious winners, (i think all the standards are known), and incorporating some odd bits here and there, (some more odd than others), the cd had turned into a 193 track monster.

then came the fun...

sorting, remixing and recording, in all about a weeks worth of toil and labor. needless to say i am so burned out on christmas music that i almost went into canniption fits looking for a tree with the little lady at home-desperate the other day, just hearing the burl warbling 'it's a holly jolly christmas' in my state is almost tantamount to christmas waterboarding...

but, seeing as this space was vacant last season, (we had better fish to fry), we thought it'd be nice to let ya'll in for some of that old odd assortment of mp3 holiday cheer, for a week, at the most, thru yousendit...

sonny boy williamson - sonny boy's christmas blues
tommy ridgley - please come home for christmas
t-rex - christmas box
james brown - santa claus, santa claus
brian wilson - what i really want for christmas (for
louis armstrong - 'zat you santa claus?

lowell fulson - lonesome christmas
r.e.m. - christmas griping
rubberband - jinglebell rock
pink floyd - merry xmas song
the beatles - 1964 xmas message (outtake)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

same as they was, before they was.

a new improved edition of the 1965 beatles' film 'help!' was just released on dvd, all cleaned up, in a nice, slick 2 disc package, sounding and looking much better than i do after all these years... what a godsend. we needed some new kinda beatle stuff, and i guess this'll hold us until they get around to releasing 'let it be' on dvd for the 1st time.

the first time i saw help! was when it came out in '65. we were living in niles, illinoise at the time, i was 9 and my mom drove us to the local cinema. i don't remember what i was thinking on the way in, but when we emerged, my life had changed. i recall having the most euphoric feeling, like i floated out of the picture show. i wanted to be a beatle so bad and i just couldn't get enough of the music, i wanted to make that music (and still do!). it seemed they always had so much fun making music and living life. it seemed like a good job to me.

for years it was ocassionaly shown on t.v., all chopped for commercials and time constraints. one time i caught it and made an audio tape for my friends and i to play endlessly while imagining the movie and memorizing the dialog. finally it came out on vhs, and later a limited release on dvd during the 90s. the dvd copies have been pretty rare and cost quite alot, well, they used to. but the earlier dvds of 'help!' were made from old prints of the film. they looked faded and washed out. still, it was all there was to be had... 'til now that is.

we watched the new version last night and were in complete awe at how vibrant and alive the movie is now. the color seems to jump off of the screen, as when they are all in their shared, multi-colored apartment, and the surround sound is full, crisp and lush. and even after seeing this movie at least a hundred times i was now picking out many things that had slipped by before. it just looked and sounded perfect on the big 42" and 5.1 .

the 2nd disc of the set contains the 30 min. 'the beatles in help!, (which has been bootlegged for many a moon), a look at how the movie was restored, (unbelievable!), and some other 'help!' stuff... but the film is the real star here. there is also a deluxe edition with a few goodies like the script, a poster and photo booklet to jack the price, (tho i would like to cop the poster), but it is all just dressing, it's the movie that everyone really needs.

a rarely seen version of 'help!' from some brit t.v. show...

brian epstein's 1965 podcasts

a monty python's look back at help

a few hard to find gems from the beatles during their 'help!' era, in mp3, for a little while, via yousendit:
help! (takes 1, 2 & 5)
help! (takes 8 & 9)
daytripper (takes 1, 2 & 3)

and now, the complete beatles' set at shea stadium, august 15, 1965, again in mp3, from the original line recordings (with minimal crows noise)... this is the real deal, with the songs that were omitted from the t.v. special release in '66, 'she's a woman' and 'everybody's tryin' to be my baby':

the beatles and the great concert at shea!...

ed sullivan's intro
twist and shout
she's a woman
i feel fine
dizzy miss lizzy
ticket to ride
everybody's tryin' to be my baby
can't buy me love
baby's in black
act naturally
a hard days night
i'm down

Monday, October 29, 2007

across the universe

last week was me and s.a.'s 6th anniversary week, so she took her vacation for the duration and we started it all by spending most of the day at the movies. we caught the early show of 'across the universe' and after a bit of shopping and mexican food strutted to the theatre again to see 'michael clayton'.

george clooney is really at his best in '...clayton', (he is reminding us more and more of cary grant with each film he does). a few people i know don't like clooney because of his stint on the riveting t.v. drama 'er', citing his uncanny ability to look wooden while reading off of cue-cards. i wouldn't know about that, i never saw 'er', but over the years his resume', both on and off the screen, is pretty impressive. ever since 'oh, brother...' we have been hooked. this is probably his best dramatic turn yet, (and yes, there is always 'batman and robin' to compare to...), and we are now waiting patiently for his next foray with the coen brothers, something with brad pitt called 'burn before reading'.

we've been looking forward to seeing 'across the universe' on the big screen since catching the trailer on t.v. a few months before last months release. and it was definitely worth the wait. most of the reviews have been positive, but we don't put too much creedence into the opinions of lessers. so, with more than a bit of foreboding, we were at least half skeptic of another 'sgt. pepper' train-wreck. but it turns out to be one fun ride of a movie. granted, one must have to be fairly familiar with the beatles' catalogue to truly get it, (but who, here in the beginnings of the 21st century, doesn't know at least 'na na na nana na na'... in any language), but even that shouldn't deter anyone from enjoying this wonderful bit of sensory candy.

the story is quite simple, sometime in the sixties a young liverpool dockworker, (jude), steals into america in search of his father, an american ex-g.i. who was stationed in england during the war. he meets a dissillusioned ivy-leaguer, (max), falls in love with his sister lucy, journeys across the u.s.a. and lives out the mid-20th century counter-culture dream/nightmare, all to the backbeat of the beatles. oh, and along the way are almost every 60's cliche' imaginable, the jimi hendrix-ish guitarist named jo-jo, the joplinesque 'sadie' and too many other people and things to notice in just one viewing. maybe the plot sometimes gets blurred and there's not a lot of character development, but the joy of the music and the vibrant tone of the film making more than make up for it's minor shortfalls.

here are a few mp3s from the movie soundtrack and some other goodies too, by way of yousendit for a limited time only...
bono and secret machines - i am the walrus
joe cocker - come together
secret machines - flying
bono and secret machines - lucy in the sky with diamonds

the beatles - across the universe (SI onto take 8)
the beatles - aerial tour instrumental (mono mix)
the beatles - blue jay way (overdub session mix)
john and ringo - chi chi's
john and ringo - breakdown

'across the universe' movie trailer
(quicktime video)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why Guitars are Better than Women…

1- Guitars don’t get pregnant.
2- You can play your guitar any time of the month.
3- Guitars don’t have parents.
4- Guitars don’t whine… unless you want them to.
5- You can share your guitar with your friends.
6- Guitars don’t care how many other guitars you’ve played
7- Guitars don’t care how many other guitars you have.
8- Guitars don’t care if you look at other guitars.
9- Guitars don’t care if you buy guitar magazines.
10-You’ll never hear, “Surprise, you are going to proud father of a new guitar!” unless you go out to buy one yourself.
11- If your guitar is flat you can fix it.
12- Your guitar doesn’t care if you never listen to it.
13- Your guitar won’t care if you leave up the toilet seat.
14- You don’t have to be jealous of the guy who works on your guitar.
15- If you say bad things to your guitar, you don’t have to apologize before you play it again.
16- You can play your guitar as long as you want and it won’t get sore.
17- You can stop playing your guitar as soon as you want and it won’t get frustrated.
18- Your parents won’t remain in touch with your old guitar after you dump it.
19- Guitars don’t get headaches.
20- Guitars don’t insult you if you’re a bad player.
21- Your guitar never wants a night out with the other guitars.
22- Guitars don’t care if you’re late.
23- You don’t have to take a shower before you play your guitar.
24- If your guitar doesn’t look good you can refinish it or get new parts.
25- You can play your guitar the first time you meet it, without having to take it to dinner, see a movie, or meet its mother.
26- The only protection you have to wear when playing your guitar is a decent thumb pick.
27- When in mixed company, you can talk about what a great time you had the last time you played your guitar.

...and those are just a few reasons i have had more guitars than girlfriends over the years...

and on that note, here are a few guitar-themed tunes, some pretty old, some very new, for ya'll to shimmy, shake and bake the day away (by way of yousendit for a week or 100 downloads, whichever goes first)...

prince - guitar
camper van beethoven - guitar hero
steve earle - guitar town
the shadows - guitar tango
radiohead - anybody can play guitar
carl perkins - guitar boogie
xtc - my brown guitar
eddie lang - blue guitars
spineshank - while my guitar gently weeps
lonnie johnson - guitar blues
the clash - jail guitar doors
tom jones - ten guitars
eddie bond - broke my guitar
frank zappa - my guitar wants to kill your momma (live)
johhny cash & june carter - long legged guitar pickin' man
ray stevens - guitarzan
cake - the guitar man

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

beat rodeo

beat rodeo was a rock-pop-a-billy band of the 80's led by one steve almaas. i had a thing back then for anything connected to r.e.m./mitch easter (of 'let's active') and heard that almaas' first e.p. 'beat rodeo' was of that ilk. so, like i am so apt to do, when i first saw it i grabbed it with out even hearing it, trusting only word of mouth and a pretty cool cover, (i have found much great music that way).

recorded at drive-in studios in north carolina, with easter and richard barone (of the bongos, who were also very influential on the east coast pop scene) filling in as the band, almaas' first solo effort is such a lil jewel of rock-n-roll attitude that it amazes me how this shit just gets lost, then and now.

this e.p. is one of my most favorite pieces of cardboard covered pvc that i own. the songs are tight and concise, sounding alot like the beatles when they riff on carl perkins. quirky and twangy and somewhat geeky but infectious as hell. with easter and borone on the boards the sound is squeeky clean and up front. this is minimal rock-n-roll at it's best. echoes of buddy holly abound all around then it's all over much too quick.

so here is something deliciously unavailable almost anywhere else in this world, (and that's a sad fact), by way of yousend it, for a week or so...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

farewell mr music

it feels like a good time to shake off this blanket of malaise. seems that everytime i got up the will to jump-start this silly blog some thing would come up... usually another death of pet, friend or family. i've been so shell-shocked that this space became not so important in the scheme of things as just spending more time doing other stuff, like dwelling endlessly about love and loss.
well, that kind of thinking can either sink ya or swim ya. and for the last few months i've been sinking, a mr. mom decline without the funny bits. stay at home, lock the doors, draw the blinds, unhook the phone and stare blankly at maudlin melodramas on tcm til late in the night... well, at least i ain't drinkin' or druggin' my way down. (and thank god for s.a., my guiding light thru the dark... i don't know if i'd be here today)

but the weather here is nice again, fall is about to fall, and i'm starting to feel a lil better about things in general. i may even delve into some of the finer points of what's been happening later, but for now i'll play it easy... otherwise this space would resemble the obit section of a paper. enuff of that for now. i am also bowing to the groundswell of dissent i get for not doing this thing for so long. i hear ya, we'll just see how long it'll last... enuff about all that and more about me, with some shameless self-promotion...

so, as of late i've been piddlin' about with the old 4-track, dusting off cassettes and dredging up tunes that have been laying wasting away. it has taken awhile but i've loaded a ton of songs, track by track, to the master computer, HAL, and started to goof on them. two very dis-similar songs have jumped out so far... one is an efficient lil pop ditty about a true event and the other is '(you had to open) pandora's box', a psychedelic-ish tune written to some words of warning from brian z (of 'living to die' or 'bolt upright', as i remember 'em). but more on the latter later, (wait, shouldn't that be 'more on the later latter'... ?)

anyhow, first up is the poptune. 'random samples of love (seen as boyfriend replicas)' is the result of a raffey's gig in chances,
(a bar in metry that we kinda owned), where my cousin f.a.'s ex-wife marched in with a guy that looked and acted just like him. it would have been funny even if it weren't for the fact that it happened quite a few times before. but for some reason f.a. had people mention the point to his face over and over all night and he was getting quite pissed about it. i found it all amusing, went home and wrote a song about it. there's been a demo of it for a long time, but it was never done proper 'til now. f.a. loved the tune but hated the line about 'same bad taste in clothes', oh well... i swear i heard that from someone.

"random samples of love seen as boyfriend replicas"
(m. a. sample)

here she comes with another, and i'll tell ya what i know.
they all look like each other, even johnny thinks it's so...

* and all her friends think its grand, she's with her replica man,
and they look alot like you, now i'm not the one to talk,
but i thought you ought to know.

i start seeing double when she finds where you're at.
she must be looking for trouble if she's walking in with that...

they've got the same walk, the same talk,
the same bad taste in clothes...
they use the same lines that you used,
as if she didn't know...

(©2007 wreckreation media group)

so, this is dedicated to frank. my brother from another, my worse half. i miss him deeply and daily. love you oye'

that's all for now, i think one of the dog's is diggin' under the fence again. gotta go put the stop to that. more about the rest later... (it does kinda feel good to do this again... plus i really need to get off my ass again and do something, anything.)
ciao, for now.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

the duchess of dixieland

tuesday, january 2nd started cloudy, cold and dismal, with a hint of rain in the air. by noon the clouds broke and revealed a beautiful sky. it turned into an unusually glorious day for a funeral. it was the day we laid my mom to rest.

the duchess of dixieland was buried at greenwood cemetary in new orleans amongst all the trappings of a traditional jazz funeral. she was laid into the spot of earth where all the other members of the dukes of dixieland who had passed before her lay, as is the way it is done in the easy. family always ends up with family here, even in the family plot. the names on the headstone are a litany of the players in one of the most influencial musical families in jazz history. as of that day the circle is complete.

elizabeth ann owens would have been 73 this march 22nd. she was always known as betty and had the fullest, most amazing life that anyone could. her father was an engineer who had help design and build the spillways and her mother was a homemaker who doted on her four daughters. betty was born in baton rouge but the family soon moved to uptown new orleans where they would remain. it was apparent early on that betty was something special. she was singing professionally by the age of 13 in a hillbilly band
and appeared often on a local radio show, even garnering her own fan club.

but her real insipiration was billie holliday and by 1949 she was belting out jazz tunes as lead singer of the up and coming dukes of dixieland. the dukes were led by brothers frank and freddie assunto and were one of the hottest young jazz bands in the city. the band worked hard and played often, becoming a national success by the early 50's. in march of 1955 betty and freddie were married. soon after the whole band moved to a still young las vegas, nevada to play an extended engagement at the new thunderbird hotel. they called vegas home from then on, while conquering the world playing their infectious brand of new orleans dixieland jazz.

betty had quit singing for the band on a regular basis soon after the move but continued to travel the one niters around the country. dragging two kids along in a station wagon full of drums and gear was home for her until freddie died in 1966 of cancer. she hung on in vegas for three years before moving her and her three kids back to the new orleans suburb of metairie. on numerous occasions she would go to pete fountain's club where he would always ask betty to come up and do a few numbers. to see the faces of that meek couple from nebraska when she belted out 'a hard man is good to find' was worth the price of admission.

her voice was always in demand with many bands during the 70's. murphy campo and connie jones often tried to entice her back on stage for good. but i think her heart was just not in it since my father died. she didn't want to have to do it, just whenever she felt like it.

she loved metry and that is where she lived for 31 years with all her family and friends until experiencing a major heart attack at a family thanksgiving gathering in 2000 (of course, she had to go out in front of a crowd). she spent the last six years disabled at trinity care in slidell. she passed away the day after christmas surrounded by her children.

but it is all that hasn't been said above that made her an amazing person. she raised three kids, alone. two beautiful, smart daughters, and me. and i was a handful. she was also mom to everyone of our friends, feeding and caring for any straggler we happened to drag home, making them feel as tho they were always part of the family.

although mom had quit singing professionally, she would belt out a song at the drop of a hat, or as she would love to say, 'i do 15 minutes everytime the refridgerator door opens'... and she did. she loved throwing parties where everybody was singing old favorites. and she was singing the loudest. she was always the center of attention at any gathering, the focal spot where most people gravitate because something interesting is happening. and with betty it usually was.

in the few years before becoming ill she would get up in front of the large group of friends and relatives eating the annual thanksgiving dinner at cafe degas and sing a couple of songs with the tony green trio. her eyes would light up and she would break out that infectious smile and proceed to sound like an angel from up on high. well, maybe an angel with a gravely gin soaked-voice singin' 'a hard man is good to find', but still an angel. and everyone there knew it was something special. and it was.

warm and giving, yet betty didn't suffer fools lightly. she was sharp of wit and tongue and not afraid of using either whenever she felt like it. outspoken and outlandish. she sure was the major influence on my outlook on life, her open spirit, her love of life and living it to the fullest, and loudest. it seems most people have their own story about her, or some memory of something wild she had done, i hear them still, and quite a few not fit for print i may add. yeah, she was something else and gonna really be missed by many, many people.

well, i could go on and on, but i wanna pass along some of the stuff she did...

my blue heaven

neon love

neon love (at home in '75)

darkness on the delta (banned)

i also want to thank everyone involved with all the great things that were said and done for the family that day. we will never forget the love that was shown... and shared.

i love and miss you mom!