Out of Our Heads: Rock ‘n’ Roll Before the Drugs Wore Off


Just finished this fascinating book by George Case. Highly recommend it as a breezy summer read.

“Take a trip through rock ‘n’ roll’s haziest, craziest period, beginning with the Beatles and Bob Dylan “turning on” in a New York hotel, and continuing on through two-decades of wonderful, colorful, history-changing music. From psychedelic Woodstock warriors like Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane to psycho-stereo adventurers Pink Floyd; from the post-hippie bliss of Neil Young and cosmic cowboy Willie Nelson to the druggy blues of Black Sabbath and the hemp-happy rhythms of Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, Out of Our Heads gleefully celebrates music’s most creative minds – and their chemically induced expansion.

“This is the rare book that is unafraid to bask in the groovy good times of rock ‘n’ roll without the politically correct preaching that has helped stifle the party. To all those who have ever listened to Dark Side of the Moon on a pair of headphones and said “Wow”: this book is for you.”

Wasted Words: The College Daze


If you like obscure authors, you’ll love this one…

When he enters the prestigious Northwestern University, Lucas Lloyd still has respect for rules. He has never drank, smoked, or gotten anywhere worth mentioning with the opposite sex. The first 18 years of his life have been devoted almost exclusively to academic success.

Wasted Words follows Luke as he comes to realize that the college years go by in the blink of an eye and that A’s are overrated. While knowledge might be gained by listening to professors preach, real wisdom is attained outside the classroom. Though his path to manhood is littered with more beer cans than books, by the time he reaches graduation, Luke has learned how to make his way through the world.

Kindle edition now on sale for only $0.99. Click here to purchase and read the rest.

Ch. 2 Rusted Wagon

While terrorists didn’t scare me much, the thought of freshman year did. On a muggy Friday morning, with the nation still stunned, I packed up my things and prepared to write the next chapter of my life.

I had crammed all of my worldly possessions into the back end of our ‘88 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon, baby blue with rusty fake wood paneling (as though wood could rust). A high school teacher of mine, Mr. Buenavista, once told my European History class that if we should ever see him behind the wheel of a vehicle with fake wood paneling, we could throw a brick at his head. I’m certain he was serious.

Our woody was (approximately) thirty feet long. Some people might call it a boat. There was an extra seat in the way back where I’d sit with my siblings when we were little, facing the car behind us, waving at the driver. If he was nice and waved back, we’d say we had made a friend.

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We were warriors once, of the Scottish variety, wrapped in tartan blankets with our faces painted blue. Our women were Playboy bunnies, bare skin bound in black Lycra, shivering in the frozen night.

The air was so cold that our breaths became crystals, suspended in front of our ­faces before shattering to the ground. State Street sat a long mile from our hotel, and the walk there was killing us. The shots we’d downed were not doing their job of cloaking our souls in liquid warmth.

“How many more blocks?” Shelly asked me as she wrapped her arms around her frail torso.

“Fifty,” I said.

Continue reading “Holloween”

You Should Date an Illiterate Girl

“Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

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Fly Like An Ego

My head is empty, too much zen
Why did this happen, how and when?
Where was I when I disappeared?
Another face shows in the mirror
A different person every day
I go to sleep and blow away

Anyone Can Play Guitar

Ah, but let us return to a fresher time. When classes first started, the air grew cooler, green leaves turned golden brown. Every morning I would hop down from my bunk (landing as cat-like as possible lest I crack my ankle upon hitting the floor), slip on my shower shoes and go next door to the bathroom for a quick cold shower. I’d have preferred a hot one but could never get the water any warmer than the deep end of a pool.

Back in our room, I’d towel off and dress to the sound of Steve’s alarm clock and him snoring through it, so unconscious that even his ears were closed. I’d smack his snooze and be on my way.

Outside, the sidewalks were crowded with students being pulled down by backpacks and burdened by books (the cost of which appalled me) — forty bucks a pound for what amounted to paper and ink. All told, I’d blown half a thousand dollars on these texts, which left me approximately half a buck for spending money.

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Bluebird by Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart
that wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there,
I’m not going to let anybody see you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart
that wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him
and inhale cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that he’s in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay down,
do you want to mess me up?
do you want to screw up the works?
do you want to blow my book sales in Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart
that wants to get out
but I’m too clever,
I only let him out at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know you’re there,
so don’t be sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little in there,
I haven’t quite let him die
and we sleep together like that
with our secret pact
and it’s nice enough to make a man weep,
but I don’t weep,
do you?