June 29, 2006

More Fun With Sports Agentspeak - or - Whenever It's Not About The Money... It's About The Money

This is beautiful. It's about money. It's about fame and image. It's about who your real friends are. I mean, it's about fame and image - did I mention that yet?

I was just wondering earlier this week how Ben Roethlisberger the big affable Super Bowl Quarterback was doing.

Remember a few weeks ago his motorcycle, a car, and his body, all collided on a Pittsburgh street. The injuries weren't critical - just some unconsciousness and broken bones and surgery and such, standard football fare - but the incident launched a round of discussions about what a bozillionaire pro quarterback thinks he's doing riding a motorcycle around town and putting his body lucrative contract on the line.

Apparently he's OK.

Says Ben Roethlisberger's agent Ryan Tollner:

"I don't think that this (motorcycle accident) will have any negative effect on Ben's marketability. Ben is still the same person, the same guy that has been so widely coveted by corporations. He still has the same good, wholesome American values. He's articulate, he's got the looks, plays for the right team and he wins games."
We're so relieved.
The sentence that followed all this?
"Throughout this process, Ben and his family realized who genuinely cares about him and not just see dollar signs."

Let me paraphrase (and do I have to?):
"Luckily thank God in Heaven our prayers are answered Ben's cash flow won't be disrupted. And even better, Ben and his family think we care about his health. It's what we call a win-win."

One more thing, a little off-topic, but I can't just let this slide:

I admit that on this blog I overtly sacrifice proper syntax, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary all in the interest of feigning a conversational tone. I'd like you to think I speak this badly in person too, is all I mean.

But what the hell was Tollner's last sentence thinking?

Ben and his family realized who genuinely cares about him and not just see dollar signs.

It's ironic how clearly the message came through.

As badly as that line was mangled, I would like to suggest something. Perhaps this Ryan Tollner guy is really clever. Maybe even Mensa clever.

Doesn't it look vaguely like he was structuring that last sentence to metaphorically recreate the actual motorcycle wreck? The guy might just be a genius.

The sentence is rolling along just fine, albeit without a helmet - "Ben and his family realized who genuinely cares about him" - and it could have safely come to a stop with a simple period. It had said all it should have said.

But the unsuspecting sentence rolled right into the intersection with that "and", and with no warning was blindsided by the blue-grey Camry of subject-verb dissonance. "...and not just see dollar signs". Ooooh, what a collision! Verb tense torn assunder, singular and plural rolling into a heap against the lightpost, OH THE HUMANITY! It never had a chance. End quote.

Update: The driver of the Camry, a Mr. Freudian-Slip-Revealing-All-The-Speaker-Really-Cares-About, was unharmed.

Read The Rest HERE

June 27, 2006

Mojo, Martha's Face, And Me At The Spirit Club - or - A Midnight Moment From 1986

A band I was "managing" in 1986 played fairly often at a dark little place called the Spirit Club in San Diego, sometimes headlining and sometimes slotting in midweek, mid-lineup. One night Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper were playing there too.

This was around Summer 1986, and I'm guessing we opened for them, as usually two or three acts did 40 to 60 minutes each leading up to the headline at 11 pm.

A few college buddies of mine came to the show and while we were at the bar in the back, watching Mojo jump (successfully) from table to table and rant and ramble, one of our party pulled out an MTV studio ID Badge and handed it to me.

It was not his ID Badge, exactly, not legally, but he was really proud of it and thought Mojo ought to see it.

This guy with the purloined badge was the younger brother of my college buddy's girlfriend and was visiting from New York. He worked at the ever-growing MTV studios checking the right people in and throwing the wrong people out.

And this guy currently, inexplicably, owned Martha Quinn's official-but-obviously-lost MTV studios ID Badge. In all its purty young smiley Quinnish glory.

Mojo had performed "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin" minutes before, and was probably in the middle of his Elvis is Everywhere tirade, but in any case this was a coincidence too cool to pass up. (Despite the fact that I didn't also have a matching Fake-Beard-and-Sunglasses Elvis Presley Stuckey's Cafe Busboy ID, which are slightly less difficult to come by than Martha Quinn's MTV studios Badge.)

As an aside, Mojo claims that the Elvis is Everywhere schtick came to him in 1987, and he may be right. Meaning, maybe I've incorporated my later memories of it from its annoyingly constant MTV presence after that. Elvis is everywhere in the time space continuum too.

So after Mojo's calisthenic set I walked up to him and flashed Martha's ID.

Mojo says in his online bio that he was rendered speechless for the first and only time in his life in 1992 when Don Henley unexpectedly jumped onstage with him in a small club in Texas to sing along with Mojo performing "Don Henley Must Die".

But I beg to differ. At least in that case in Texas he had a song to finish. Words already prepared.

In the Spirit Club that night in 1986, he looked exactly like he might if he was trying to determine if his own picture was on the driver's license he was about to hand to a police officer: Can't. Quite. Make. Out. The. Face.

When he finally realized what he was holding he blasted out with "No f*-- way, f*--- dude *--! *---- where the *--- did you mother*-- *--- get *--- *--, mother*---! *--!"

Something along those lines. And so another round of 1 a.m. rock dive-bar guzzlry broke out and a good time was had by all, as always.

This was early in Mojo's career and I'm sure the momentary sheen wore clean off since not long after even he became an MTV-badge-holding personality. I'll have to send him a note or an email and see if he remembers jumping around the Spirit Club in San Diego with Martha Quinn's ID about 20 years ago.

This little incident is not in his bio and that's a little dissappointing, is all. Understandable, to be fair, because looking back over the blur of a rock-tour career probably only allows so many details to resolve.

Details like:
"11-8-95 Country Dick Montana joins Elvis in the great beyond on stage in the middle of a song at a sold-out show in Whistler, British Columbia. It could have only been better if he had been getting a hand job from the club owner's wife at the same time."

The 1980s were ridiculous.

Read The Rest HERE

Random Day Random Eleven

There Will Come Soft Rains - DEAD HEART BLOOM
The Time Has Come - SING SING
Right In The Head - M. WARD
Go Ask An Old Man - COLIN HAY
Better Than I Know - ASHTON ALLEN
Puke A Pitch Black Rainbow To The Sun - MAT SWEET

Read The Rest HERE

June 19, 2006

Random Day Random Eleven - or - I Don't Know Where I've Been Either

Hey. A guy gets busy.

Own Two Feet - SHOULD
Bird Stealing Bread - IRON AND WINE
Syracuse - PINBACK
Farewell To Arms - THE RED KRAYOLA
Wonderful (Live) - ADAM & THE ANTS
Stay In The Shade - JOSE GONZALEZ

Read The Rest HERE

June 08, 2006

Friday Random Eleven

Loud Cloud Crowd - STEPHEN MALKMUS
Laughlines - COCTEAU TWINS
For Love - LUSH
Five Moments - THE FIELD MICE
Hate The Sun - SEEKONK
With Candy - LILYS
Razorblade - THE STROKES
I Am Always The One Who Calls - PEDRO THE LION
Things Are What You Make Of Them - BISHOP ALLEN

Read The Rest HERE

June 03, 2006

Dilbert - or - How Come When We Have A Perfectly Well-Established Cultural Icon Someone Has To Come Along And Point Out A Predecessor?

Ahh, Dilbert, yes, I love that character.
The goofball, the horrible screwup, the perfect example of the guy you don't want to be.

And his sidekick Spoiler. Funny. I'm telling you, I'd laugh till my eyes bled if I was on their ship. I mean, until someone overshot the deck or something.

What? You don't know what I'm talking about? Dilbert and Spoiler?

C'mon, you've heard it, right? "What a Dilbert". Classic phrase. You never heard your grampa say it? My mom's cousins who were in the Navy used to hear it all the time.

Maybe we're talking about two different Dilbert comic characters.

You're obviously not familiar with the Navy Flyer named Dilbert. Dilbert Groundloop. And his cousin Spoiler, the mechanic.

The cartoon character originally named "Dilbert Groundloop" was conceived by Capt. Austin Doyle, USN and Lt. Cdr. Robert Osborn, USNR in the weeks after Pearl Harbour, with Osborn being the artist. The name was quickly shortened to just "Dilbert" and in a series of one panel sketches on flyers and in training pamphlets, Dilbert quickly became a sort of anti-hero as the classic head-up-and-locked pilot just looking for an accident.


Now, don't get me wrong, I love Scott Adams's comic with the pointy-haired boss and the coffee-swiggin oaf and the evil cat confidant, and so on. Even if Adams himself is a paranoid anti-science instigator blog turd. But I digress.

If you want to know more about the original Dilbert, just start here.

Or Google Robert Osborn Navy and you'll find a wealth of info.

I ran across the original Dilbert when I was looking through this book:War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War by Paul Dickson.

For now, I need to go grab another cup of coffee. The control tower will be fine without me for a few minutes, right?

Read The Rest HERE

Friday Random Eleven - Friday, Saturday, What's The Difference?

Uppers Aren't Necessary - ROCKY VOTOLATO
Pale Yellow - THE DITTY BOPS
Peace Love And Blood - MAGOO
1000 Pounds (Duck Kee Style) - SUPERCHUNK
Trailer Trash - MODEST MOUSE
How The Story Goes - THE RED WALLS
Falling At Your Feet - DANIEL LANOIS
See You Later - HEATMISER

Read The Rest HERE