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Ya Gotsta Kick at the Darkness Till It Bleeds Daylight, and Don Felder.

So, I’m standing in front of the hotel waiting for the shuttle to pick me up to take me to the stage where I’ll be playing tonight. I’m playing a celebrity golf tournament after party. I’m smoking a cigarette and making small talk with another guy waiting for the shuttle.

Our management told us to prepare a couple of songs because Don Felder from the Eagles would be there, some guy who is famous south of the border and one of the guys from Survivor. Strangely enough they told us to only plan a couple of tunes, One for Felder and one for South of the Border. Nothing for Survivor.


“Oh I’d have to be really drunk to play with you guys?” laughed the Survivor guy.


So this guy and I strike up a conversation

“You waitin’ on the bus” said the dude.

“Yeah, you too ?” I replied

“Yup”

“I’m Sammy Roan, I’m in the band tonight,” shaking hands.

“I’m *Joe Blow (I can’t remember his name as I write this) I’m the guy from Survivor”

“Great to meet you. Are ya gonna hop up a play a tune with us?”

“Oh I’d have to be really drunk to play with you guys?” laughed the Survivor guy.

My inner musical ego just got pimp slapped from some dude who sings lyrics like;

I’ve been holding back the night (how is this done exactly and how will this affect your current romantic situation?)
and
Piercin’ eyes, like a raven
*translation. You have bird eyes, just like the crows eating out of a dumpster

… eye roll. 80’s pop crap….

feature-a-raven

She looked kinda like this I guess…

“We aren’t THAT bad dude, It’s not like we couldn’t whip out freakin’ “Eye of the Tiger” I replied with righteous indignation.

The guy starts laughing his ass off and says “Man, I’m from the TV SHOW Survivor.”

So I made an ass out of myself to a stranger. I played Johnny B. Goode with the guy who wrote Hotel California and I drank beers with some dude from Survivor. Don hit on our guitar player’s girlfriend and that’s about all I remember.

The moral of the story; Everyone who is from Survivor can not necessarily play Eye of the Tiger.

 


I felt my first twinge of depression this week. I haven’t felt any since returning to California. Scared the shit out of me. What if it gets real bad again? What if I start fucking up, what if I lose my job, along with other various fears and over reactions.

I work in a part of town that is populated by the super rich. I see more Porsches in a day that I have my entire life. Being a white-trash, non practicing Rockabilly, I would swap the Porsche for a rusty, E flat, rat rod with a four foot gear shift, dually tires and blowin’ enough black smoke that there is a permanent hole in the ozone over it.

A few times a week this guy with one arm comes in. British dude. Always is cool, buys a couple of tall boys and makes some chit chat and gets on his bicycle and leaves.

Last Saturday he comes in late and, said he just got back from LA and was glad to be home. It’s just me and him. He knows I’m a musician and he says he and his wife are putting together a group and wondered if I might be interested.

“Depending on the music, maybe”. He said it was Americana stuff, and I said “Hell Yeah, lets do it!” We talked about music a bit, we swap numbers and I finally ask “Hey man, what’s your name? I’m Sammy” He replies “Rick.”  then he turns around and walks out of the store and says on his way out “Ya know the band Def Leppard? One arm drummer…”

Holy shit! I had a poster of this guy on my wall as a kid. I loved the album Pyromania. It was one of the first tapes I bought back in the day.

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Def Leppard

In case you didn’t know, Rick Allen is the drummer for Def Leppard. His story is  inspirational. In between albums Rick was in a car crash and lost his arm. His band WAITED on him to recover. They wouldn’t replace him. He was going to have to quit.

Rick ended up putting together a drum kit where he could play with one arm and had foot pedals that would play the parts that his missing right arm used to play. He got up to speed and joined the band as they put out Hysteria, and became the biggest band in the world at the time (88-89)

What an amazing show of friendship from the guys in Def Leppard and what an amazing drive to not let his handicap stop him from drumming. Both admirable traits. Even though my Def Leppard years were way behind me, ya gotta respect that.

They needed a slide guitarist. “Sure. I can play slide” maybe exaggerating a little… so I stopped by the hardware store on my break and had them cut me off a piece of copper tubing the length of my third finger, went home, tuned the guitar to open D and looked up a few slide licks stolen directly from Duane Allman.


“Sure. I can play slide” maybe exaggerating a little… so I stopped by the hardware store on my break and had them cut me off a piece of copper tubing the length of my third finger, went home, tuned the guitar to open D and looked up a few slide licks stolen directly from Duane Allman.

I figure three licks will be enough to pass myself off as a real slide player….


I figure three licks will be enough to pass myself off as a real slide player, the rest I’ll learn later. (I have played slide guitar before but only on a basic level) I got them down and was ready to stop by the studio. Filled with excitement I kept that slide in my pocket everyday. This could be a great gig playing with Rick Allen.

I stopped off one day at the studio and met the owner for the first time. He had put together a band for Rick (that didn’t include me.  He didn’t even know me.) He said they were doing original material for gigs around the area. Come by tomorrow and meet the rest of the band.

I grabbed a thumb drive and popped on three of my finished songs plus one that was music only, no lyrics, if she wanted to write to it, and a song by my friend George Ozier called “Question Is.” I had a hit song for them with “Question Is”  put my five song demo in my pocket and was ready. Between myself and a group of friends I have access to enough great songwriting to keep them busy for years. I was on pins and needles waiting for this. Stomach in a knot.

That same day I got some really bad news about a close friend. His days are numbered. I have shared a million miles of road with him, dozens of concerts, nights out on the town and best of all listened as he told story after story. A natural. Cumberland County’s Mark Twain with a button on his shirt that read “Question Authority” and the greatest concert and band t-shirt collection ever. He is supposed to leave me those in his will we joked years ago. I never thought that he may need one soon. Heart broken and sharing stories with old band mates who also love this guy, we are all at kind of a loss.  Hope I don’t have to go to court to get those T-shirts. It was a verbal agreement.


Cumberland County’s Mark Twain with a button on his shirt that read “Question Authority”


The same knot was there just the reasons have changed. My close friend is dying.

The next day I took the slide out of my pocket, stopped by the studio listened to a couple of songs and met the band, handed Ricks wife my five songs and said, “I gotta go to work”

Everything had come into focus. I don’t want to play slide. Even after hearing them I wasn’t blown away by the music, not that it wasn’t good but I played with George Ozier, Matt Poss, Isaiah Edwards, Tommy Dunn. THESE GUYS CAN WRITE A SONG!! I can write a damn good song. Great musical ideas, clever, funny, poignant… you name it, they have written it. I have to bring my A game when I play my material for them.

I’ve played with drummers like Kent Aberle and Brendan Gamble. Two drummers who’ll put that kick drum right up your ass while laying the smack down on the snare. I’ve never played with better. Jim Thompson never failed to bring it. Great player.

I stood toe to toe with guitar god George Lynch and held my own but Wally Hooker, Jon Clarkson can play that shit, and I played with them for years. Garrie Carlen is the most underrated guitarist in Illinois. Doug Evans is still my favorite bass player and we started together in a garage. Bobby Reynolds is the best slide player I know and most of America knows. I can call him anytime.

yaggi_bw_5in

Blow Daddy!!!! Dr. Shane Pitsch

The horn players in Dr Wu are unbelievable musicians and writers. Pat Lee is a lot like me. He’s not schooled like the others but he has that Jr. Walker style of sax playing down. That’s what I want to hear anyway.

One of the top 10 concert/shows I have ever been to was hearing J.B. Faries’ band, Huck Fate, play a set at The Top Of The Rock in Charleston Illinois. The power and performance that came from that band hit you in the chest like a freight train. Awe inspiring. It was THAT good.

So yeah, it would be a notch in my belt to say I played with a guy from Def Leppard, but I have and still play with the best. It may not impress the neighbors as much, but the circle of players I have worked with blow most of the famous ones I have played with away or are at least on that level.

The knot is gone and if they call that’s cool but the people that I want to impress are the same ones I want to have beers with, talk about old times, great gigs, bad gigs, and who I love way beyond their talent, which is as mighty as anyone you have ever heard.

“Time is Tight” as Booker T and the MG’s said. My heart isn’t into it. I have a friend who I’m concerned about, I’ve decided to write and record a new album, and I’m still getting used to my new city.  Once I realized this, the depression subsided, I feel great again, and am just going to do what I want to do and not worry about impressing anyone but the people I mentioned before.

My resume as a musician is long and has many high points on it. I’m very proud of it. I’m not going to waste what took me all this time by pursuing a gig I don’t really want. It’s not fair to Rick’s band either. I think I’ll suggest we just have some beers instead of jamming. After all, I know what he likes to drink.


New album coming. I have about half of it written. I have a sound in my head that I’m going to attempt to capture. I’ll also lay out thoughts on fear, sadness, love, and great times. Just so someone can say “This is a piece of crap” and toss it away. Fuck em. I bet I don’t like your band either.

Stay close, know that I am fine and through my friends and family, I’m getting stronger everyday.

If you hear of anyone needing a three impressive licks on slide guitar have em give me a call. But don’t let them listen too closely to the Allman Brothers Statesboro Blues.

Here is how I did it… Ya gotta love YouTube

 

 

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Bob Dylan, Springsteen, and ‘Diamond’ David Lee Roth Walk into a Bar…

A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
1. Not everyone who sh*ts on you is your enemy.
2. Not everyone who gets you out of sh*t is your friend.
3. And when you’re in deep sh*t, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!


I don’t know if anyone reads these or not? I tend to write when I have no other outlet for spouting off where no one can tell me I’m wrong. I know I’m wrong. I don’t need your verification. But I don’t mind discussion. If you want the philosophy of a grumpy hermit with social anxiety…I’m your man!

I have a great friend who is a teacher. Mr. Taylor. The only thing that matches his guitar playing is his taste in music. Top notch. He was cool before it was cool to be that cool. We love many of the same bands. The same guitarists. Obscure tunes and forgotten gems. He’s always laughing. He has a Chicago accent. Good guy to be around… We had a discussion the other day about songwriters.

Bob-Dylan-Ray-Ban-wayfarers-500x333

Robert Zimmerman

We were discussing some of the greatest lyricists of the 20/21st Century. Not music as much as the guys who write amazing lyrics. Dylan, Springsteen, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett. There are more I’m sure but these guys are regarded worldwide as top shelf lyricists. They know how to turn a lyric into an image that also pulls a switcheroo on you.  They can make you laugh, cry, both and make the hair on your arms stand up.

Some of the names you may not recognize but if you have a favorite song John Hiatt probably wrote it.

28e0eb16d3ad9c349dfe4198a34e9ab5I added David Lee Roth. The singer for Van Halen. The peroxide Mark Twain. The last shameless rock star. Mr. Taylor said that Dave made him smile. Hell Yeah he did. I of course told him I would expound on why DLR is the most underrated poet of our time. Any DLR era classic Van Halen song was co written by Dave. Every word you sing along to was from the mind of a hyperactive kid from San Bernardino, The son of a Dentist.

  1. I can snap my fingers and require the rain
    From a clear blue sky and turn it off again
    I can stroke your body and relieve your pain
    And charm the whistle off an evening train
  2. She comes like the secret wind
    Shes as strong as the mountains,walks tall as a tree.
    She been there before,she’ll never give in,
    She’ll be gone tomorrow like the silent breeze.
  3. Forgotten empires
    Lost victories long past
    Every time I bloomed again
    I thought it was the last
  4. Tell you a secret to make you think
    Why is this crazy stuff we’d never say poetry in ink?
    Speaking day-glow red, explode opaque
    Purple mountain’s majesty
    Show me you, I’ll show you me
  5. I need a little shot of that rhythm baby
    Mixed up with these country blues
    I wanna trade in these ol country boots
    For some fine italian shoes
  6. Except roll down the window
    And let the wind blow
    Back your hair
    Well the night’s busting open
    These two lanes will take us anywhere
    We got one last chance to make it real
    To trade in these wings on some wheels

Case freakin closed…

7b9c73f62b2cfa09f2b616cd95ed1e24It takes a hell of a writer to get those images in your head down on paper and then deliver it. To do it in a poetic, satirical, self-deprecating, but clever inner voice is another thing. David Lee Roth has the ability, the imagination, the vocabulary, and the experience to match any of our greatest writers. Don’t dismiss him because he is a great entertainer.

Just remember…. This when you think of the great writers of our time;

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn

Yeah it does

Oh here is who wrote what up there:

  1. Silvio – Bob Dylan
  2. Secrets – DLR
  3. Blood and Fire – DLR
  4. Tattoo – DLR
  5. Memphis in the Meantime – John Hiatt
  6. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

I just felt like writing. Dave is as good if not better than most. I won’t really fight you over this.

 

I can't find work due to my prison tattoo.

I NEED A JOB!… So why does this guy get the offers? Hello! San Francisco!

Mr Cropp was serving a two-year jail term for aggravated robbery when his brother did the facial art using a makeshift needle and fermented food.

He went to Facebook and pled his case. “No one will hire me because I have a tattoo all over my face.” He received 45 offers for work and he’s just waiting on the right one…

I can't find work due to my prison tattoo.

I can’t find work due to my prison tattoo

I’ve been living in California for over a year and since everything cost five-times what it did in the Mid-West, I love it.

I have been hitting all the recruiters who alert me to Graphics jobs. I apply I hear nothing. Yes or no. I don’t even know if these alerts are real.

I replied to my recruiter to one of my daily recruiters today. Phil from Ziprecruiter.com

Hi Phil, I hope you are real. I get your updates.

I have been living in CA for over a year. I have applied many times through Ziprecruiter but never received a single bite. I have never heard back. I’m not even sure the position is real.

I am good at my job. I have freelanced for Disney, Warner Brothers, CNN, I have worked at a newspaper. Talk about deadlines. I’ve always met if not exceeded my client’s expectations.

I can list off abilities all day. I can design your next product, brand it, make a graphic for the container, animate it, and build a website from scratch. Take your ad for the product and design a wrap for your car plus a design for the business card and the billboard.

I could stay in and work pre-press making sure files are up to  par. Then separate it into CMYK and print it in a magazine that I have laid out myself, import the Excel file of addresses and walk to the post office to send them.

While I’m there I can work on a forklift and a coal boiler. I can show your children magic tricks at a professional level, teach you to play a guitar or bass, write and record an album, book a tour, and come back with the cash. I can juggle. Where am I going wrong?

I’m going to  Petco tomorrow and asking them for a job. I’m college educated, 20+ real world years of skills to offer, I’m reliable and dependable and I’m going to be cleaning up Parrot crap. I will give it 100% like I do everything. It’s a shame Petco is going to get one of the finest graphic artists you’ll meet.

I have a bad ass sister also looking for work. One day Fortune 500 Company where she managed hundreds of employees with her hard head, smart mouth, and the ability to get things done, the next day going over job boards. I have to shake my head when I hear of her troubles with work. Some company is going to luck out when they hand Michelle (my sis) a job. Stand back, you’ll only get in her way. I think they have a Pet Smart in Mattoon, IL. I hope they are hiring. Gonna be some lucky Parrots in clean cages.

I’m frustrated Phil.
–Samuel Roan

mark-cropp-facebookSo Mr. Moog, while waiting for the right position to come along. You know; desk job,  secretary with a face tattoo.

Forty Five offers were given to this guy while Forty five people who never held anyone at gunpoint, made the decision not to tattoo their face in prison with a makeshift needle and vegetables as ink. Forty five people who were at a disadvantage because they were wise enough not to do what Mr. Moog did.

Plus Moog hasn’t taken a single one of the offers.


My Dad died a few weeks ago. He wasn’t the man he should have been, an alcoholic with a penchant for going to town for smokes and coming home three weeks later. I think back and I really don’t remember doing much with him.

I played little league on year. I remember going with him to the local parts store and sportsman supply shop in Greenup. He bought me a ball glove way too big (You’ll grow into it) and went home and put 3 in 1 oil all over it and I think we put a ball in it and put it under my mattress. I don’t think he saw any games. I remember calling him when I got on base the one time. Michelle and I used that glove for years during P.E. class. He took us to see King Kong (70’s version) and Jaws at the drive in.

18816215_1166151936828489_2122914391_nI could go on but it hurts a little too much and the guilt is a little heavy and my great support team is 2500 miles away. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of best friends, the community of Greenup and specifically the kindness of Priscilla Schrock who had a ticket waiting for me within an hour of being told to come home. The Greenup Southern Baptist church who got me back and helped big time with the rent. My family. Michelle and Mom and Jim.

I didn’t tell anyone I was home even though I’m sure they knew. I spent two weeks 24/7 with a sober, funny, and frightened father. Not that he ever showed me he was scared. My old man doesn’t get scared.

I’m an Atheist so I don’t imagine Pa sitting back with his brother and best friend John Roan tossing back Busch beer and telling Navy stories. I also know energy can’t be destroyed. So somewhere the energy that was my father is floating around in the either. I don’t think I ever did much to make him proud. I’m all music and art, he was carburetors and beer.

18838444_1166146326829050_1056582043_oI think those were the best two weeks I ever had. We became close again and of all things nightly, we would watch Frasier, the A-Team, and Miami Vice while smoking cigarettes and telling stories. I never knew my dad was in Italy, Greece, Jamaica… He never spoke about it and wasn’t one to take pictures.

We laughed a lot. I get my vision of absurdity from him. Michelle and I both got our sense of humor from him. I got his curly hair, which was always too long for him. Does that shit matter today? No. It’s just hair and too many wasted years.

If I can ever get my favorite singer Brandi Yagow to sing my version of an old Iron Maiden tune “Wasted Years” I will record it. Mine isn’t heavy, fast or angry. It’s just me missing my dad. I can still hear him telling me to “Turn that shit down!” and ironically I’ll be dedicating one of those tunes to him.

Here is the original. Mine is nothing like this except the words and the chords. Until I get it done it’ll have to do.

If you want to do me a solid, follow and share, and get me a freakin job doing what I do best!