ideas

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….

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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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Project:Holiday Cheer and Update on Lies, Gratitude, and Love.

My ex-wife had a few (very few) redeeming qualities. She is a teacher and I can’t tell you how many times we would run to Wal-Mart to buy school supplies, shoes, and tee shirts for a kid who was behind the 8 ball when it came to extra.

The next day the parent/guardian would get a call about the extra pair of flip flops or shorts that we had accidentally received and couldn’t return and wanted to know if the parent would mind if we sent them home with Jr. because she thought they might fit him and we didn’t want them to go to waste.

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Santa just rolled into town

It’s about helping someone knowing that someday you might be at the mercy of your fellow man. I have been there, Hell I am there! I found out there are millions of wonderful people in the world. The same ones I complain about constantly.

There is a local Facebook group that I belong to. It’s kind of a buy/sell page… plus. It’s called the Perpetual Bargain Fair. They have ran a project called Holiday Cheer for the past few years.

I get to know the Lopez family. They live in Salinas and Ms. Lopez has recently become unemployed.  She has three kids, ages 7, 12, and a special needs 17 year old. Ya know what she wants? Groceries.

Here is what we do, it’s fairly simple;

I get to know the Lopez family. They live in Salinas and Ms. Lopez has recently become unemployed.  She has three daughters, ages 7, 12, and a special needs 17 year old. Ya know what she wants? Groceries.

Rice-A-Roni

From all of us, to all of you. Merry Christmas!

So I’m going to wrap up a box of Cheerios, a can of sardines, and a box of Rice-A-Roni (the San Francisco Treat) for the 7 year old. No need to thank me kid. It’s the least I can do. And never let it be said that I didn’t do the least I could do.

OK what I’m really going to do is track down an I-Pod from someone who has one in good condition and will give it to me so that I can give it to them. I also have a page set up on Amazon.com with grocery store gift cards, Visa gift cards, Walmart gift cards. Anywhere you can get a sweater and a can of chicken noodle soup. Plus I’ll find out what a Dora is and give the kids something to open that they can’t eat. Then I’ll have somewhere to spend my Christmas.

CLICK HERE FOR THE WISHLIST Plus I’m looking for an IPod

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Yeah…I still love them.

They have teamed me up with a wonderful woman named Amy. She’s hopefully helping with clothes since my choices in girls clothes might not be the best, and I have no idea what ‘Dora’ is. Most of my choices would have the Planet of the Apes printed somewhere on it.

In the past people have donated a set of breaks and installation for the car, or a mattress so you don’t have to sleep on the floor. This is the community I live in. Just like the one I moved moved away from. Great people just being great each in their own way.

That’s it. Simple.

The Outlaw Josey Wales lives around here somewhere and so does the guy who pumps his gas. If either of them needed a ride it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal to give them one.

The Outlaw Josey Wales lives around here somewhere and so does the guy who pumps his gas. If either of them needed a ride it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal to give them one. They are both my neighbors and until I hear differently, my friends.

It reminds me of a favorite memory.

yuckysnow1

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

It’s the middle of winter in Illinois. It’s pissing rain and the Christmas snow is melting and turning black from wood smoke and car exhaust. It’s cold and nasty with a little fog thrown in for good measure.

I came upon a kid, probably 19 or 20 years old who was out of gas along Highway 130. I told him to hop in, and we ran about five miles to the gas station and I got him ten bucks in gas and a ride back to his truck. He put the gas in and came back to pay me and I replied “Pay it forward.” and moved on. I’m not the only person ever to do that BTW. Most folks do that.

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That’s the dude who picked me up!

Later that summer I’m opening for some country guy who I didn’t know at a good size concert venue. I finished my set and was heading to the merch table to beg people to buy our album we were promoting at the time. I hear “HEY! DUDE!” being yelled at me from a guy on the other side of the concert fencing. So I go up and say “Hey.”

It was that kid. He told me his girl friend made him come to the Famous Country Guy show and when we came on he said “Hey! That’s the dude who gave me a ride!”

Small world… But I wouldn’t want to paint it.


 

 

I don’t really celebrate Christmas. Maybe I’ll give the cat a can of tuna if I have some but usually it’s just us two.

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My Christmas buddy

If I had any kids I would hope that I could pull off Christmas like my Ma used to. We weren’t loaded but she always had the best Christmas for us. She made awesome stockings with candy and comic books. She got me an A.J. Foyt race car one year and I got a hell of a lot of good out of it. Hot Wheels and of course the obligatory Planet of the Apes toy.

If I can help facilitate even a tenth of what Ma made for us, to the Lopez girls I’m going to have one hell of a nice Christmas. Thanks Ma. Feliz Navidad.


Update on my last post.

I was overwhelmed once again by love and support, questions and caring, by people I know and love and by strangers who dropped me a line or a private message telling me that they were there for me or asking where to get help for themselves. Christ people! My cup runneth over already.

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Would you like to go to coffee? And I need a quart of Quaker State

I’m feeling great. I finished up the boat with Eric AND without falling in the ocean. Only one argument and it was small. What a great experience. I found out I suck as a sailor but I’m pretty good at making new friends and keeping old ones. I did get to drive the boat and Eric did send Sarah my message about ice cream and petting puppies… But I’ve moved on Sarah…Ya snooze ya lose.

I’m now in love with the girl at the gas station off of exit 399C. I’m going to ask her for coffee. If she doesn’t shoot me down immediately, she probably will when I ask her if she can pay.


This is the album we were promoting and this is the song I wrote for the album. This song was inspired by a picture on the wall at a now defunked bar called Daddy Rabbits. My friend Mandy was dancing on the bar in the photo. I’d like to think I helped defunk it a little.

Nobody rips off the Stones like I can. Three chords A/G/D.
“You can even play it on the saxophone”~F. Zappa

 

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!

Why does Music Scare the Hell Out Of Our Government?

Victor Jara. Singer, poet, activist

Victor Jara. Singer, poet, activist

In the early 1970’s there was a Chilean teacher, theater director, poet, singer-songwriter, and political activist named Victor Jara (pronounced HAR-a.) He was a leading member of a group of folk musicians who established the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement. This led to an uprising of new sounds in popular music during the administration of President Salvador Allende and made Victor Jara a famous singer in Chile.

On September 11th, 1973 a CIA-backed coup d’état brought down the democratic Allende Government.

The Chilean military quickly arrested Victor Jara along with other leftists groups. They took them to the Santiago Stadium and locked them inside.

As the crowd waited Victor Jara, guitar in hand, led the prisoners in song after song to help ease the fear. One of the soldiers recognized Jara. He was taken to the center of the stadium and with the butt of their rifles, the soldiers smashed his hands. Afterward they  said “Let’s hear another song Victor.” And “Play your guitar for us Victor” Then a soldier pulled out a pistol and shot Victor Jara in the head.

After his murder, Jara’s body was displayed at the entrance of Chile Stadium for other prisoners to see.  He was 37. His songs were about love, peace and social injustice. Songs scared his government so much they had him murdered to stop his voice from being heard.

The Clash

The Clash

Please remember Victor Jara,
In the Santiago Stadium,
Es verdad – those Washington Bullets again.
~The Clash


I must have read it a hundred times. Entertainers need to keep their mouths shut. You are to be wound up, enjoyed and put away.

~~Bob Marley had an attempt on his life that was politically motivated.
~~Woody Guthrie wrote this ‘Land is Your Land.’ Look up ALL the verses to this song. It’s about socialism.
~~Springsteen wrote ‘Born in the USA.’ President Reagan used it (without permission) as a song to rile up his crowds. Too bad no one on Reagan’s staff bothered to listen to the lyrics. It is a bleak picture of Reagan’s America.
~~’We Shall Overcome’ was sung by the Civil Rights Marchers in the Sixties.
~~ Pete Seeger was blacklisted for not snitching on his peers in the McCarthy hearings.

Burl Ives. Folk singer, snitch, canary, deep throat, fink, informant, nark, rat, rat fink, informer, snitcher, squealer, stoolie, stool pigeon, talebearer, tattler, tattletale, telltale, whistle-blower and all around general bastard.

Burl Ives. Folk singer, snitch, canary, deep throat, fink, informant, nark, rat, rat fink, informer, snitcher, squealer, stoolie, stool pigeon, talebearer, tattler, tattletale, telltale, whistle-blower and all around general bastard.

Luckily Burl Ives came in and sang like a canary. This is why you see Burl in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ and you don’t hear Pete Seegar as the Snowman in ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ in fact, you didn’t see him for close to fifteen years. Thanks Burl. I love pissing off of the Burl Ives Bridge any chance I get.
~~James Brown stopped Detroit from rioting after MLK was killed by playing his show live on the radio.
~~Sammy Davis Jr. arguably the most gifted entertainer of all time worked as the first black entertainer in Vegas. After selling out his shows at the Sands he would have to go stay at a hotel across town because the Sands didn’t allow n****rs in their hotel.
~~The CIA has a file on John Lennon.
~~Bob Dylan had something to say…

They all scared the living shit out of their leaders. Music. If we are entertainers why do you care if we protest and join a cause? Because we know something that you know too. You can’t live without music in your life and sometimes that music has a message. It’s been that way since the first caveman beat on a log in 4/4 time.

Around 1982 A waitress from Detroit hopped onstage with thrift store clothes and a piece of pop fluff she called a song. She turned that into  ½ a billion dollars. Madonna had no  million dollar start up. No TV show to make her famous in six weeks. She didn’t have producers fixing her vocals. She negotiated million dollar deals constantly, then she hopped her happy ass on a tour bus and spent years on the road.

She is a self-made millionaire who took her shot and made it. 30 years later she is a Superstar. From Ramen to riches

Trump’s dad gave him a small million dollar loan and a bunch of cronies. But Madonna is the one who should shut up because she’s an entertainer…. SHe doesn’t know what it’s like to be one of us like Trump does.

Anyone here ever been to Detroit? Then you know what I mean.

To quote Madonna “FUCK!”

In physics, string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. It describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other.

In physics, string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. It describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other.

I am an American
I have the right to speak, even if it isn’t what you want to hear.
I am an activist. I act on things that are important to me. Your lack of empathy won’t stop me. Your apathy is what I’m counting on.
I am not a jukebox or a toy. I am a skilled entertainer with the broken hearts and scars that go with it.
I am informed. Musicians don’t listen to music after a gig. Talk radio is king or silence. I listen to a lot of news.
I read. I can tell the difference between a fact and an opinion. I don’t need led by the nose.
No, I don’t have to see it your way.
I don’t believe in Alt-truths any more than you do.
I don’t have it any easier than you do.
I have sacrificed to become the entertainer I am. I know what it means to be poor.
I am educated and smart.
I won’t accept lack of compassion as an excuse.
I know shit from Shinola so don’t piss on my President and tell me it’s raining.
….And I can play a bad ass fucking guitar
–S.

Like Share Comment. What do you think? Why does music scare our leaders?

Madonna…. Keep preaching sister. What is this? An entertainer expressing her view? I thought putting a boot in your ass was the American way?

Trumped at My Own Game. A Trolling Gone Very Wrong

What is trolling in social media?

A social media troll, by definition, is someone who creates conflict on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit by posting messages that are particularly controversial or inflammatory with the sole intent of provoking an emotional (read: angry) response from other users.

I was taught to troll by a Master Troller who we’ll call ‘John’. This is not his real name. His real name is Jon.

ed7d63c3fd343f10b22d2c26f9d051800ad902b5a9eb3a564c398273c8ca724bWe troll groups that deserve a trolling. Hate groups mainly. We do it for fun, a hobby, a time waster, make each other laugh, and to try and top the last troll the other guy did. It is a form of cyberbullying, but it’s like cyber bullying the Westboro Baptist Church. That OK. No innocent people are harmed in White Hat Trollling.

John successfully disrupted a group of snooty self-impressed acoustic guitarists back when this was all done on a forum. He taught me to troll with intent. Use my own intellect, talents and Google to make these people miserable while manipulating the group. Give them enough rope and haters will turn on themselves.

I have trolled everything from Anti-LGBT sites to Gene Simmon’s fans. I never had one blow up on me like this…

screenshot-2017-01-13-19-07-10I found a group of Donald Trump fans who were calling Michelle Obama’s MOTHER the worst names you can call a black person while feeling this false sense of pride like Trump himself was watching them. The group was called “The Basket of Deplorables” an obvious play on what Hillary Clinton had called Trump supporters. The group was not even hiding the fact that they were a hate group. Screaming racial epithets at any shade of brown darker than a paper bag, hailing fake news as real and real news as fake. 

lindaThey would ask questions like “Should I be able to fly an American Flag on my property any time I want?” followed by HUNDREDS of “Hell Yeahs” and “Libtards better try and stop me” This is not a debatable group. No discussions under any of the threads, just “Hell Yeah” and “God Bless Donald Trump.” No lie. Not big thinkers but there were 43,000 of them, so they had numbers.

I made the fake Facebook account. DontTred Fred. Disabled, big Elvis fan, Trump supporter. A few image grabs uploaded and memes posted on my page and I was off. I posted fake stories I asked stupid questions and I hit ‘like’ on every redneck, hate spewing post. I was in.

The Best way to troll is to stay just close enough to find their weak spot and jab it. Play along, so to speak.”Obama started ISIS!!!!!”

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This group was a cesspool of ugliness and ignorance. I couldn’t take this much stupidity and hate for long. I told John I was outing myself on Friday.

I would tell them all how I made up the stories and how they are assholes and bigots and puppy kickers. I told them I was going to send those racist posts to their places of work. That I had more fake profiles to spy on them in the group. I would point out their hypocrisy and they would all feel like fools and then I would waste their time as I sat back and let the hatred of 43,000 Trump supporters massage my feet and those of my high horse.

That is exactly what I did. John joined the group to send me updates when they tossed me from the group. It was time, Tora, Tora, Tora, I wrote John. DontTred Fred posted my Big Meme explaining how I had made them fools. I posted it with the words “Don’t fuck with the King.”. Then I waited. kirk-cameron

One guy popped up and said “dumbass.”

I replied “lame. Is that the best you got nimrod?”  Goading the Basket of Deplorables group do their best. Come and kill me in my apartment in Terre Haute Indiana.

Then they started coming in.

“Libtard”
“Trump is still the winner”
“Amazing what the left will do”
“Obummer… 

John hopped in to help get the trolling rolling. He started mirroring them, but as a Trump supporter. IN ALLCAPS RUN ON SENTNCES AND MISPELLED WURDS!!!!!1!!

captureWhere was the burst of hate? Could they see my post? I finally told John in a private message that I was confused. Maybe ten people commented and one of them BUSTED JOHN OUT as a fake.

Slowly I came upon the realization that this simple bunch didn’t know I was trolling them. I called them out and they thought it was about someone else. My plan failed due to incoherence on THEIR part. GUYS! GET MAD!  I THINK YOU SUCK AND ARE IDIOTS! Crickets…

I have had my ass handed to me in a debate, I have been caught as a troll, I convinced a death metal band to change their name, but I have never been outwitted by sheer stupidity and obliviousness. AS I WAS TELLING THEM I WAS DOING IT! 

I’m still in the group. Head down. The troll was slain with slow wit and obliviousness. Well played Trump supporters….Well played.

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Donttred Fred. The name is a family name. It’s French/Cajun

Someone turned DontTred Fred into the Facebook Police. They disabled my page until I could provide them proof of my identity. No lie. They wanted a copy of my ID. With Photoshop in hand, my Troll came back to life. Reenergized and ready to jump back into the business of fuckery!

You simple bastards got me this time, but DontTred Fred will be back. Don’t fuck with the King.

Hey, you can have a copy of my last album if you click on the button on the side. Hope you enjoy.

It’s a new Year, I miss my friends especially bad. But it is sunny and my window is open. I hear they are getting an ice storm back home. I love you guys. You know who you are.

Like Follow and all that other stuff. Comment. Do Something for God’s sake!

–Sammy

#deplorables # Trumpsupporters #goldenshowers 

Factcheck.org… A Liberal Rag. My Views on the Woefully Uninformed

The title of this post comes from a discussion I had earlier this week. It’s a Trump world where his supporters are somehow emboldened to say what they want no matter how little they have investigated. Where does this false sense of pride in a grown man’s ignorance come from? Why does he feel he can get personal with my life? It is because his mentality has become mainstream. If Trump can grab a woman’s pussy, then by all means psychoanalyze me.

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                         Poor Parenting

My choice to move wasn’t so that I could pee with other liberals. It wasn’t because I’m embarrassed where I come from. It was a mixture of many things.

 

I’ve never hidden my depression and at times it became debilitating. It was chink in the armor the man used. The problem was, it removes the question of his character also. He has none. But his leader can find fault with someone suffering from Muscular Dystrophy then he feels like it’s fair game. Well score one for you.

Somehow this man feels superior in his ignorance and child-like name calling and keyboard warrior-like threats of physical violence. ( A sure sign you are winning an argument). He has no idea how petty I am. You never want to mess with a man who possesses graphic artist skills like mine. Not only could I make a picture of him singing “Lime in the Coconut” while dressed as a penis… I could have it seen by thousands of people…Not wise. Kind of like in the music business, never argue with the soundman. He’s holding a serious hand; you better hope he has mercy.

I use my friends to test out new projects. Thank You Doug. You Da Man!


This guy forgot, or maybe never considered that the town I love and the people I see and also love, became a constant reminder of dark days. Not their fault at all. A trifecta of heart breaks leaving me numb to any sort of love in my heart for years. That my one constant, music, had become something I dreaded due to burnout and lack of inspiration. I stub my toe on the ACME Anvil that is in the form of a half-finished album. I just don’t have the words. Here is a demo I have had in the can for two years.

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                  This is what I see when I go to a concert.

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   These people made me a better musician and have all been great friends.

For 25 years I have been in the smile business. I sell smiles. Here, have one on me. Looks good on you. Have another. I did it with a guitar and some of the most talented and grooviest people in the world. Some people get their smiles from riding a Harley, or mudding in a Jeep. They get it in a sport. They let it loose as a fan. What happens when that smile is missing from your own life? I worried a lot of people over the years and felt the resentment. I decided I could get by, or get going.

 

My cat Milton and I packed in an hour. And as I gassed up the car I said goodbye to the lady at the Casey’s General Store. I hit St. Louis and took a right. I drove as far as I could without drowning. Like the Joad Family, promises of new starts, new chances, high paying work in my field.

I weighed the two options. I decided to leave it all and go. The  adventure of a lifetime. Going with nowhere to land. Scariest and most exhilarating experience I have ever had.

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                            I’m out of here

I know a few people here that are quickly becoming friends of mine. I opened my windows on Christmas Day, and I drove ten minutes down to the Pacific and watched the Sea Otters playing in the kelp. I’m living simply but I am living again. I have guitars, recording equipment, and blank paper. I’ll be using them all.

Not with a smile but with a brazen grin. Because I’m up to no good.483df5cc296b94a34e329291b0125109

What Was the Best Day of Your Life?

The election has taken its toll on me. I look at people differently. Maybe this simple question will realign how I look at the world.

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My 2000th Sound Check….Ugh!

I’m pretty lucky to have had a life of being an entertainer. My job is to make you happy. I’m in the smile business. I’ve always given 100% when it comes to me giving you your money’s worth. I didn’t hit it on the head every time but I sure as hell came into the game with that on my mind.

I picked up my guitar and played it and winked and smiled. I slapped hands, snuck people backstage, told stories, and wrote songs. I juggled; I did magic tricks (I’m a fairly good magician in case you didn’t know) I did it even when there was a party I wanted to go to, or my depression had kept me in bed until I left for the shows. Hiding anxiety and sadness many times so that I wouldn’t let down my band mates or my audience. Some days I hid it better than others, but those are stories for another time.

So let’s think about this. What were the best moments I have known….

My first kiss. I won’t embarrass the young lady that gave it to me. As they said in Stephen King’s “Hearts in Atlantis”; It is the kiss that all other kisses will be measured by.

I was at the Cumberland Co Fair when a girl I knew asked if I wanted to go uptown with her other two friends. I said ‘Sure!” Having a crush on the gal superseded the “Don’t leave the Fairgrounds” instructions that had been laid down by Ma.

3cb9dd7c4449b87759645e740542e92aWe hopped in the back seat and somewhere along that ride she laid a kiss on me that curled my toes. I was so scared. I didn’t give her a feel up or anything, just kept kissing.  I was IN LOVE! I couldn’t sleep for three days. I wasn’t hungry for a week.  It was the last kiss I ever got from her. I’m not sure why? Like it matters. It was perfect for a few minutes.


For my birthday my Mom bought me a boom box. I was about 13-14 probably and was obsessed with music. I listened to the radio constantly. The radio tuner quit working after a few months.

My Dad wasn’t around much and when he finally came home I asked him to fix it. He’s a handy guy. Got it to working in about ten minutes. About a week later it quit dialing again. No telling when the Old Man was going to show back up at home.

Ma got the screwdriver out and took the boom box apart. She fixed it.

14938220_10211416113624679_3024598311309867963_nI guess it was at that moment I realized we were going to be okay without my Dad around. Mom and Michelle and I were going to be OK because we didn’t have to wait around for the old man to reappear when he decided to.  Fuck him. The three of us were a pretty good group of people. Better than the barflies and whores my dad spent most of his time with. We didn’t have much but we never felt unloved. Mom made sure of that and I know sacrificed a lot for us and still does to this day.

I played a lot of gigs in my day. Some with huge arena crowds and some to the bar staff. The ones that stand out were the ones that happened when I was coming up.

My first band Bootleg, were playing a little knife and gun club outside of Greenup, IL called El Patio. I had found two huge bags full of these hollow plastic balls with faces on them. They were like a whiffle ball in size and weight. They were called “Ugly Balls”

832d925da7220111148bb36d5ef3e285Bootleg is pumping out tunes like  “All right Now” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” while dodging  Ugly Balls that were being tossed full speed across the bar. I was playing with my best friends Rod, Doug, Bugsy and George to about 50 people who were having a ball. It was the first time I found out I could make OTHERS happy with my limited knowledge of the guitar.

I have always believed that every night the best band in the world is playing their best show ever. The band changes from night to night. I’m happy to say I feel like I have played in the best band in the world a few nights.

My first big indoor show was opening for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in Mattoon, IL. Sold out show and my R&B band Dr Wu was opening the show. That band had a great set that we had honed to a razor’s edge. Pat the sax player always said, “Give this band 45 minutes and we could take on anyone.”

fee9bef7a4073cae14a2db0a60049c2fRight before we were about to go up the ramp to the stage, Doug Evan’s, my best bud from High School and band mate shook my hand. We started playing together knowing two songs. “Wipe Out” and “Paranoid” All that work was paying off with high paying gigs all over the country and then some. Doug’s handshake that night was different. An epiphany that we had surpassed our dreams. The next 45 minutes we tore the stage up with swinging horns, great tunes, pounding drums and classic R&B music blasting out as only a clueless all white rock  band could. A standing ovation for the open band.


I met a gal in San Francisco. We saw a jazz concert featuring Esperanza Spalding. I could have sworn once those lights went down, Esperanza played just for the two of us. Lisa agreed. Amazing feeling.


My main girl Susan came over for my birthday a couple of years ago and made lunch and spent the day just talking stupid stuff. Meeting Susan was one of the best days of my life.


A buddy sat in on bass one night at a show in Greenup. I asked a girl to dance. It was the closest dance I ever had. Silently two people held on for dear life as we danced to Van Morrison’s ‘Into the Mystic’


Hands down though, the best day I ever had in my life was the day my girlfriend and future wife, Shannon told me she loved me. She was painfully shy and quiet and the nerve it had to take to say those words had to be one of the toughest things she ever had to say. It was returned in spades.

57d19a2c7af888af166edd1cde724a91I will always love her even though we aren’t together anymore. Shannon is one of the greatest women on the entire planet. I miss her sometimes at unexpected moments. She loved me without condition. I screwed it up and a lot of self loathing comes along with it. If I had only not been so scared to get help with my depression instead of running from it till it was too late. She’s living a better life than I could have ever given her. She’s remarried to a good man, she has adopted two babies and I have no doubt those kids won the lottery when they came home with Shannon. A mom who knows nothing but love.

I have love for all my friends, some helped me get up when I was broken down I treasure them for it. I do have the best friends.

So there it is.

Tell me about your best day and let’s forget about hating each other for a minute just to relate a story. I’ll protest tomorrow. Today is all about us. We are all on the same side of the fence when it comes to the best day ever.

Below the video is a link my last album. It’s your’s for the taking. I hope you enjoy it.


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