April 20, 2018

My Rum Diary: Growing up Hunter Thompson.


Kurtz. He got off the boat. He split from the whole goddamn program.

--Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now (1979)

Thompson had a way of keeping anyone unfriendly to the very idea of him beyond even mere curiosity. Just unaware. In that case, you were a nice person doing the best you could. You didn't "need it"--anymore than you needed to become good friends with Andy Warhol, Ralph Nader, Harry Dean Stanton, or Dr. John the Night Tripper, whoever they were.

--A Fan

Twenty years ago, when I was an associate in D.C. sweating everything, I worried a lot about something hanging in my office: a framed black, white and red "Hunter S. Thompson for Sheriff" election poster for a 1970 election in Aspen, Colorado.

The poster bore a Harvard Strike fist. Inside the fist there appeared to be what someone explained was a drawing of a plant which bad or crazy people chewed on to "get high". But I quickly realized that anyone who actually knew about Thompson and his books and articles on presidential politics, Las Vegas and the Kentucky Derby--the event in his hometown of Louisville was "decadent and depraved"--would likely like me for having it.

I was right. The poster meant nothing to most people who visited my office, and it even helped me make friends. In the 1970s and 1980s, people read and loved him or had never heard of him.

So you either "knew" HST--or you didn't.

He either delighted, or was too disturbing to explore. A talented and comical writer, he drank too much, really did like chemicals, hated Richard Nixon, upset people on the press entourage, freaked out editors, showed up drunk for "speeches", and arranged for Ed Muskie to be severely menaced on a train by one seriously funny outlaw rich kid named Peter Sheridan.

He liked weapons. He was once accused of firing a military rocket at a snowmobile. According to a friend of mine who worked for one of the TV news networks, Thompson once mysteriously and suddenly showed a handgun to Secret Service agents and reporters sitting in a booth in a famously silly Capitol Hill singles bar, mumbling "just in case there's a firefight..."

Even with that public life, Thompson had a way of keeping anyone unfriendly to the very idea of him beyond even mere curiosity. Just unaware. In that case, you were a nice person doing the best you could. You didn't "need it"--anymore than you needed to become good friends with Andy Warhol, Ralph Nader, Harry Dean Stanton, or Dr. John the Night Tripper, whoever they were.

Even after Thompson became a character in Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury, saw two movies based on his work, and died by his own hand in early 2005, most people didn't have a clue or want to. One exception in later years: "beer hippies" and GenX stoners finally discovered Thompson--"Gonzo, drugs, liberal stances, hey Hunter's my man"--and my guess is that he secretly looked down on them.

Well, anyone can be in his club at this point. But I needed it all along. He was an angry but fine writer, a humorist, an innovator--and a big hillbilly like me who grew up on the Mason-Dixon line and all along just wanted to fall in love. He still makes me laugh and cry.

Maybe there is no Heaven.

Or maybe this is all pure gibberish — a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow — to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested.

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April 07, 2018

Cincinnati's Big Joe Duskin

Went to a couple of his practices when I was in high school. Authentic bluesman in the staid Queen City.

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March 05, 2018

"Vas you ever in Zinzinnati?"

Good morning, Buckeyes. Well, to be fair, The Pretenders' classic "My City Was Gone" (better known by its snarky, ironic refrain "Hey Ho/Way to go/Ohio") in the live recent performance below is about the Akron-Cleveland megapolis in northeastern Ohio where the band's leader, Chrissie Hynde, grew up the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1982 song, Hynde complains about the environmental and other damage that industrialization eventually did over the decades to the region and her "pretty countryside".

Things got better, though, by the end of the 1980s. As in the similar case of steel-making Pittsburgh, Ohio's northeast reinvented itself as a center of business services, banking, smaller busineses, health care, sports and even the arts. And Cleveland, of course, is the Rock 'n Roll Capital of the World. But the rust belt still starts here, and anyone can see the scars on the land: a reminder of the area's historical importance in as a blue collar stronghold in shipping, refining, processing, and automobile parts manufacturing, and the social price paid for it.

"My City was Gone" is not about or directed at Cincinnati, which was the last of several hometowns I had growing up in the Midwest. Cincy is more white collar--it has always been primarily a town of professionals and business people. It is also smaller, more conservative, and less industrial than Akron-Cleveland. It's civilized and pretty, if nothing else. Also, it actually sits on the Mason-Dixon line. The Queen City, with its rolling topography, forested hills and bluffs overlooking the Ohio River, is on the northern edge of the American South, tucked away in the extreme southwest corner of Ohio. It's more relaxed than other Northern cities. Cincinnati people speak with a faint southern drawl.

In their own ways, of course, Cleveland and Cincinnati are unique, vibrant and great American towns. But we do think that in a fight between these two cities--you know, like a fist fight in the street as in days gone by--that gritty and blustery Cleveland would beat up smart, respectful Cincinnati. (Yeah, we think about these things, including who could beat up who in the office.) Chrissie Hynde? She lives mainly in London these days. Finally, "Vas you ever in Zinzinnati?" is a book by Dick Perry, a great Cincinnatian. Now that we have all that straight, many thanks to one-time Buckeye Ray Ward for his fine ear and generosity.

Akron's Chrissie Hynde laments the loss of her past Ohio in a powerful rock anthem she's performed for thirty years and only she can make work.

Cincinnati's famous Over-the-Rhine district, an architectural and multicultural wonder of nearly 900 older buildings in one 'hood.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2018

Manchester, England: Lowry-loving. Bomb-rocked. Unbroken.

Flag waving
Boundry shoving

--from Carole Houlston's 2004 poem "Manchester"

Manchester, Britain's Second City, is feistier and rawer than London. Imagine another second city, Chicago, only smaller (in population, Manchester's center city is roughly 510,000, and its urban area is 2.6 million). But also a bit tougher. Proud blue collar towns like Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Baltimore also come to mind. No nonsense and shamelessly tough and gritty, Manchester's history in the last 200 years is one of tireless industrial expansion and a hardworking populace. The city was at the center of the Industrial Revolution that started in England in 19th century. Manchester became a major manufacturer worldwide, particularly in textiles, expanding steadily for decades. Manchester even had a school of thought based on free trade and laissez faire economic principles named after it ("Manchester School"), coined by England Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. In recent years, Manchester became primarily services-based. This new economy emerged as the fastest growing one in England, as well as one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Maybe that's why no one in Manchester ever seems to yearn to move to London. Or to any other town. The City has everything--including a tradition of prospering on its own. Gritty Manchester. It's a "mean old town to live in by yourself".

Johnny Winter: Mean Town Blues

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2018


Lips like cherries and the brow of a queen,
Come on, flash it in my eyes.
You said you dug me since you were thirteen,
Then you giggle as you heave and sigh.

--R. Plant, J. Patrick, Albion Inc.

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Through the circus of the Buenos Aires queens.

Posted by JD Hull at 02:03 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2017

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

I still tell some AA girls that in 1985 I offed both my biker parents & did some serious time.

That way fewer ask me at meetings “hey, Dan, what are you doing later on?”


Posted by JD Hull at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2017

Way to go, Ohio’s Chrissie Hynde.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders turned 66 this year. She lives mainly in London now. Like me, she went to a truly great public high school in the Ohio suburbs, hers being up north in the more industrial Cleveland-Akron megalopolis. I like Ohio. I was lucky to spend half my childhood there. But whenever Hynde and The Pretenders over the past 30 years have performed this song--to be fair, it could be about quite a few Midwestern cities--her voice drips with anger, and you know what she means. It's powerful. Here's one of her tamer renditions.

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November 07, 2017

Mannish Boys and Backdoor Men.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2017

And speaking of Johnny Winter...

It's a mean old town to live in by yourself.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2017

Dog Days.


The Summer Heat. It's mostly not climate change wrought by the relatively recent industrial revolution. It's been going on a while. In fact, the six week period between July 1 and August 15 was named by the both the ancient Greeks and the early Romans after Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the sky. In the Mediterranean region, the notion of linking that star to oppressively hot summer weather dates back well over 2700 years. 27 hot summer centuries.

But the Dog Days of Summer wasn't just about the heat.

If you are feeling not just hot but a bit strange, maybe confused or otherwise out of sorts this time of year--and you're not too much of a whack-job or flake to begin with--you may be on to something. Dog days of summer was also associated with Chaos: "the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics and phrensies." Brady's Clavis Calendarium, 1813.

Chaos had a good side, too. Just two thousand years ago, and after he had given up the study of law that his family had foisted on him, Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.), the playful poet writing during Octavian's long reign, gave us a more famous--and less grim--take on Chaos in Book I of Metamorphoses. Chaos, he thought, might be the best possible starting point for anything worthwhile. But you will need to read Ovid yourself. Preferably alone--in a cool, calm, quiet and well-lighted place.

Posted by JD Hull at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2017

Now when I was a young boy....

Posted by JD Hull at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2017

Yardbirds1965: Rave Up.

Going back down
To Kansas, too.
Bring back a little girl,
Just like you.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2017

Still working on Maggie's Farm?

"It's a shame the way she makes me sweep the floor..."

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2017

Monday, Listen to Clapton.

They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.
They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.
Wednesday's even worse; Thursday's awful sad.

The eagle flies on Friday, Saturday I go out to play.
The eagle flies on Friday, but Saturday I go out to play.
Sunday I go to church where I kneel down and pray.

And this is what I say:

"Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me. Just trying to find my baby, won't somebody send her home to me."

Posted by JD Hull at 03:59 AM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2017

Sunday: Give Blood.

Posted by JD Hull at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2017

Hunter Thompson: On Quality Time.

Excerpt from the famous November 1974 Playboy Magazine interview with writer and humorist Hunter S. Thompson conducted by Craig Vetter, a well-regarded writer and storyteller himself.

PLAYBOY: ....this morning you've had two bloody marys, three beers and about four spoons of some white substance and you've been up for only an hour. You don't deny that you're heavily into drugs, do you?

THOMPSON: No, why should I deny it? I like drugs. Somebody gave me this white powder last night. I suspect it's cocaine, but there's only one way to find out...

PLAYBOY: What do you like best?

THOMPSON: Probably mescaline and mushrooms: That's a genuine high. It's not just an up -- you know, like speed, which is really just a motor high. When you get into psychedelics like mescaline and mushrooms, it's a very clear kind of high, an interior high. But really, when you're dealing with psychedelics, there's only one king drug, when you get down to it, and that's acid. About twice a year you should blow your fucking tubes out with a tremendous hit of really good acid. Take 72 hours and just go completely amok, break it all down.


Posted by JD Hull at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2017

For everyone who wanted to leave Maggie's Farm but never did.

RATM's 2000 version of Bob Dylan's Maggie's Farm, first recorded in January 1965.

I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
No, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well, I wake in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin' me insane
It's a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more

I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel
He hands you a dime
He asks you with a grin
If you're havin' a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more

No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks
The National Guard stands around his door

Ah, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more
No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more
Well, she talks to all the servants
About man and God and law
Everybody says
She's the brains behind Pa
She's sixty eight, but she says she's fifty four
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more

I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
No, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more

© Bob Dylan Music Co.

Posted by JD Hull at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2017

Are we not men?

Nothing in the Universe is cooler than Muddy Waters live in 1971 singing Manish Boy. Nothing. This is music that GenY and the generations after can't neuter. "I'm a rollin' stone. I'm a man-child. I'm a hoochie coochie man....."

Posted by JD Hull at 06:13 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2016

The MC5: The Revolution as Serious Fun.

The MC5 truly believed in the power of rock & roll to change the world.

--Rolling Stone

Below is the MC5's Wayne Kramer singing "Ramblin' Rose" at Wayne State University in Detroit in July 1970, two months after the shootings own May 4, 1970 at Kent State. Note that Patti Smith's husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, now deceased, is the non-dancing guitarist in the dark cowboy shirt. One critic: "The MC5 brought out the animal in every audience."

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2016

Phillips, Gilmour & Townshend: Give blood this week.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2016

One Possible Paradise: Baker, Bruce, Clapton.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2016

Our advice on Wednesday ? Two words. Wilson. Pickett.

Posted by JD Hull at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2016

How to Work: When the MC5 summered in Detroit.

Detroit, July 19, 1970

Posted by JD Hull at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2016

Desperately Seeking: Who is the Blonde Woman who first appears at 2:30 in the clip?

Guess I'm hooked. Who is she? She would have been born around 1956 at latest, I think.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

July 23, 2016

The Last Boomer: "It was the rock 'n' roll, mate".

I see them in the streets
I see them in the field
I hear them shouting under my feet
And I know it's got to be real.

Oh, Lord, deliver me
All the wrong I've done
You can deliver me, Lord
I only wanted to have some fun.

--Blind Willie Johnson

Even if he or she had been a head of state or Nobel laureate, I predict that the last thing the Last Baby Boomer says is this: "The best part? That's easy. It was the rock 'n' roll, mate". This year I am thankful for Jimmy Page. When England's best session guitarist finally chucked the Yardbirds, not as many people believed that fellow ex-Yardbird "Eric Clapton is God", and 4 guys started writing and playing about everything from femme fatales to The Rapture or something like it. Don't be fooled by the outfits or the legions of half-wit lemmings who followed them around. Led Zeppelin was the best band of musicians in rock and were otherwise, well, on to something. My bet? Centuries from now people will talk about them and listen to them more than the The Rolling Stones, Cream, The Beatles, The Who and The Doors combined.

Posted by JD Hull at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2016

July 5, 2016. Just as Bad: Eric Clapton weighs in on Tuesdays.

Tuesday's just as bad.

"Sundays I go to church.
I get down on my knees.
I begin to pray.
And this is what I say:

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy on me.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy on me.
Just trying to find my baby.
Won't someone please send her home to me?"

Posted by JD Hull at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2016

Music Before the Great Neutering: MC5, July 19, 1970 Detroit.

Posted by JD Hull at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2016

Happy 71st birthday, Eric Patrick Clapton.

Happy (Belated) 71st Birthday Eric Patrick "God" Clapton (b. March 30 1945). I first heard you on Yardbirds tracks I started collecting at 13 but 2 weeks after my 15th birthday on March 10, 1968 you played a live version of Crossroads lasting 4:16 in the first show at Bill Graham's boomer cathedral called the Fillmore West which made it on to Wheels of Fire album and changed the way I heard rock forever. I've heard it hundreds of times and get chills down my spine when I listen as I must a few times every year. It's fitting there is no videotape of what happened; it's never bothered me. That day, Eric Clapton, you earned your nickname, made me believe in magic and blew my tubes out. You were out of your head, more than usual with your two co-genius band mates. Only God-turned-Banshee can play like that. You know it I know it. They don't know what love is, sir.

Cream - Crossroads (Live At The Fillmore... by creamuploader

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January 11, 2016

David Robert Jones (1947 - 2015)


Posted by JD Hull at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2016

Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll: Nulli Secundus Jimmy.

Happy 72nd Birthday, James Patrick Page II. Thanks, sir. Since I was 14.

Posted by JD Hull at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2015

Memo to Millennials: Rock 'n' Roll before The Great Neutering.

Satin shoes, plastic boots, cocaine eyes and speed-freak jive. Hey GenY, the no-launch generation. You're being passed over. We're not going to let you screw up (1) the Work Ethic or (2) Rock 'n' Roll. You will never have either.

Posted by JD Hull at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2015

White Boy Action Wear? Hey, Beavis. Isn't that like, uh, raciest?


Twenty years ago I started a company called Black Dog to sell tees, sweatshirts, jackets and the like under the name of "White Boy Action Wear". The WBAW logo and "White Boy" (see T-shirt image above) would have appeared on every product.

We shelved the company and the clothing line when we realized something while selling a few items initially to obtain trade and service marks: very few people outside of the largest U.S. cities and some fun (but insular) snowboarding, skateboarding and extreme sports communities (a) "got it"--the name, that is--and (b) felt comfortable with it and the "concept", such as it is. Lots of people said they felt uncomfortable with White Boy Action Wear--the words, the concept, the tee shirt--and in ways they could not always explain to us. Me? I think it's funny (read: hysterical) and always have.

But I'm not everyone. Color me lucky. I've had a fine education. I've travelled. Met people. I even went to debutante balls, including the Bicentennial one at the Idle Hour Country Club in Lexington, Kentucky. I met Phil Donahue once, and he let me park his car. Met a creature named Maeve in Mainz and one called Miss Lucy on Île Saint-Louis. I'm semi-literate but have high standards, hopefully. I already know, for example, that "Flaubert" does not refer to a way to prepare food.

In short, and seriously, I do get, like and prize (a) irony and (2) satire, and usually no matter how edgy. You get the idea.

Help me out:

1. Does, for example, the T-shirt product above offend you?

2. Would you buy it?

3. Would you keep or wear it if it were a present?

4. Would you let your kids wear it?

5. Would you wear it at your country club? An Irish bar?

6. Would you wear it into the "Soul Lounge" in Madisonville, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb of mainly black (or Afro-American) residents? Or at a mainly white working class bar in nearby the suburb of Norwood?

7. Even if you have no problems with it, and think it's wonderful and funny, what problems do you see other people having with it?

8. Have things (and sensibilities) changed or loosened up enough for people to understand the mild fun and satire connected the "White Boy Action Wear" idea and the goofy White Boy who would appear on every product?

Posted by JD Hull at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2015

It's legal, mostly: DC's Hip-osie may now rock the ganj'.

As of 12:01 a.m. today, persons 21 and older in the District of Columbia can:

• Possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana;

• Share 1 ounce or less with another person at least 21 years old, as long as no money, goods or services change hands;

• Cultivate up to six marijuana plants, but have no more than three mature plants, in their primary home; and

• Use marijuana on private property.

floyd (1).jpg
Warner Bros.

Posted by JD Hull at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2015

Emergency Memo to Jimmy Page re: Your Girlfriend Selection Process.

Note to Jimmy Page re: his current 25-year-old girlfriend. Jimmy, you're a genius who has worked harder than anyone I know. You're tall, dark, thin, handsome and worth over $150 million. You've swived more women than Billie Jean King. You can date anyone you want until you are about 90. So think Clooney. Date a very kind way-beautiful multi-talented to-die-for woman of any age from any nation with great legs and non-harpie facial expressions about 15 pounds lighter who has her own money. Really, dude. WTF.

2496FCC100000578-2905867-image-a-49_1421025210853 (1).jpg

Posted by JD Hull at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2014

Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll: Help, I'm a Rock.

How was your week, Campers?

Posted by JD Hull at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll before The Great Neutering: MC5, Kick Out The Jams,

Posted by JD Hull at 03:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2014

Halloween: Meet me in the middle of the air.

Well, well, well, so I can die easy. Superlatives work here. Jimmy Page playing the first 3 numbers in shades and a grandiose, full Victorian morning coat is one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I may start a new religion based on his regal bearing and get-up alone. This is a 2007 concert with Jones, Plant and Page in their sixties and the late John Bonham's son Jason, on drums, maybe 40. I've never seen a live performance on video this good by any band, or seen 4 people having this much fun being excellent. If you're a Boomer who doesn't get this, you may be already dead.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

Always at night, it's the largest Halloween parade in the world. 60,000 participants. A carnival. A debauch. A trip.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2014

Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll #2: James, Jones, Cocker & Bassinger.

Go on over there and turn on the light...no all the lights,
Now come back here and stand on this chair...that's right.
Raise your arms up in to the air...shake 'em
You give me a reason to live...

--Randy Newman, You Can Leave Your Hat On (1972)

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll #1: Dancing in small spaces.

Below during the performance of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" at the May 2005 Cream reunion concerts in London, a man in his 30s or 40s dancing in the audience was briefly captured on film for about 12 seconds dancing respectfully and quite well--most humans dance stiffly but this one is on good terms with his own body--in the small space surrounding his seat at the Royal Albert Hall. See 2:32 through 2:45 on the clip. The band playing is not too shabby either.

Royal Albert Hall, May 4, 2005

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 03:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2014

Stormy Monday: Good morning, Buckeyes!

Posted by JD Hull at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2014

Sunday: "There's a man down there. Might be your man..."

Ain't no way in the world I'm going out that front door.

--Sonny Boy Williamson, Marshall Sehorn and Elmore James

Posted by JD Hull at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2014

Only Rock 'n' Roll but it made you: Who could possibly care about which 10 books influenced lawyers and other white-collar generic dweebs the most?

People lie about the influence of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying; they never lie about the power of Shotgun by Junior Walker and the All Stars.

I feel like I died and went to Hallmark.

Some wonderful people and friends, many of them lawyers, are circulating the meme "what 10 books influenced me the most". A good thing. In arguably semi-literate America, it's pretty refreshing. And I, too, will chime in--although very reluctantly. Most us read pretty much the same Western left-brained literature in high school and college--if we really read this stuff--but whether you were influenced by Naked Lunch, Old Man and the Sea or Magic Mountain tells us nothing (zero, zilch) about what kind of human you are or about your soul or what moves you or makes you happy or angers you.

Instead why not the 10 rock 'n' roll tracks that have been the most influential (not favorite) in your life? That moves the ball more. It lifts back the veil each of us have over our self. We are are less likely to lie about it. People lie about the influence of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying; they never lie about the power of Shotgun by Junior Walker and the All-Stars. And if you're an American born after 1945, rock 'n' roll is the only true soundtrack any of us had (except sex). Anyway, I will publish mine soon. I promise.

In the meantime, you can show me yours, Jack. So go ahead. And there are no rules, except that anyone listing Zappa's "Help, I'm a Rock" gets a special commendation from this blog.

Oslo 1993

Posted by JD Hull at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2014

Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll: Van Morrison.

All the girls walk by dressed up for each other. And the boys do the boogie-woogie in the corner of the street.

Posted by JD Hull at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2014

"Dizzying" transformations: The Hill, H Street, Logan Circle, U Street...

Another DC revitalization. No hookers, though. Where do they go, anyway?

Posted by JD Hull at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2014

Eat the Rich: Happy Birthday to Steven Joyce Dryden.

Two nights ago in DC's Shaw district, an assorted bunch of us celebrated the birth (July 29), continued existence and never-ending achievements of one Steven Joyce Dryden: father, friend, reporter, editor, world traveler, environmentalist, my college roommate and author of well-regarded Trade Warriors: USTR and the American Crusade for Free Trade, the book on the early days of the U.S. Trade Representative's office. The venue? Eat the Rich, Derek Brown's new oyster bar and restaurant in Shaw. The name alone was perfect for the event, a boomer's birthday. As an undergraduate at Duke, Steve served as Managing Editor of The Chronicle, Duke's student-run daily newspaper, now in its 109th year. I am indebted to him for his early example (i.e., boy wonder) as an editor and as a writer.


Eat The Rich-1-4.jpg
Eat the Rich, 7th Street, N.W. Thank you Lindsay for teaching us the ropes.

Posted by JD Hull at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2014

Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll: Best rock refrain ever.

Lord, take me downtown,
I'm just lookin' for some tush.

--Gibbons, Beard & Hill

Posted by JD Hull at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2014

God on Stormy Monday.

But Tuesday's just as bad. Wednesday's even worse. Thursday's awful sad. The eagle flies on Friday, but Saturday I go out to play. Sunday I go to church and kneel down and pray. And I say, "Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me. Just trying to find my baby, won't you please send her on back to me."

--T.Bone Walker

Posted by JD Hull at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2014

John Dawson Winter III (February 23, 1944 - July 16, 2014)

In Zurich, Switzerland. Too soon, sudden and so far unexplained. See today's Telegraph. Damn.

RIP You Crazy Fast Wailing Screaming Texas Albino Motherfucker.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2014

American national anthem, 1970.

It's not too far back on the highway not so long a ride.
You park the car out in the open you can walk inside.
A little cutie takes your hat and you can thank her ma'am,
'Cause every time you make the scene you find the joint is jammed.

--Charles Edward Anderson Berry (1926 -)

Posted by JD Hull at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2014

Peter Dennis Blandford Townsend: Do you ever work like he plays?

Posted by JD Hull at 01:05 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2014

In these sleepy SoCal towns there's just no place for a street fightin' man.

Each American city you are lawyering in has its own pace and tone. In San Diego, for example, it's all about Being Polite. Like really, really Polite. About 90% of the trial lawyers here actually talk like Mr. Rogers. In Los Angeles, it's the opposite. Rude. Scrappy. Wonderful. In LA it's more about the client, and you know where you stand.

Posted by JD Hull at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2014

It's Mardi Gras: Robert Palmer plays Allen Toussaint with Little Feat.

Sneakin' sally through the alley
Trying to keep her out of sight.
Sneakin' sally through the alley
When up pops the wife.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2013

Merry Clayton To All.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2013

No candy in the house? No problem, Jack. Just turn off the lights, lie on the floor.



Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2013

Inspiration: You have to go after it with a club.

She's got wonderful eyes. And a whiskey mouth.

Posted by JD Hull at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2012

Just a Prisoner of Rock 'n' Roll: Eagle Scouts? Huxley? Hemingway? Let's hear from the Real Men.

Keith Relf

Steve Winwood

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2012

July 1970. Part 2. Wayne Kramer, and Ramblin' Rose.

Skip Gail and go right to :53.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 1970. Part 1. MC5, House Band for the Revolution.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2012

Ex-National Anthems: Don't Sing this One at Home Alone.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2012

Saturday Layover in Chicago: An honor. This is one mean, wonderful hardworking town.

The Newport Folk Festival July 26 1965

Posted by JD Hull at 08:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2012

Greater China: More than a feeling. Try not to screw up, okay?,

Do see "The Legal Faults With Faulty China Translations" at China Law Blog.


Posted by JD Hull at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2012

Poetry Month, Millenium, Age, Whatever: Michael Drayton & Ray Davies Get Wild for Old Blighty.

O famous Kent
What country hath this isle
That can compare with thee?

--Michael Drayton (1563-1631)

Canada to India. Australia to Cornwall. Singapore to Hong Kong.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2012

Morning, Campers: It's Monday. Need speed-freak jive?

Posted by JD Hull at 02:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2012

Come back Monday. Come back Tuesday.

Billy? He got down on his hands & knees. He said, hey momma, let me check your oil alright? She said, no, no honey, not tonite. Come back Monday, come back Tuesday, then I might.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2011

Need Drive, Energy, Moxie, Gospel and Passion? Then Channel Baby Boomers.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2011

Did you ever have Neil Young's passion? For even 5 minutes?

Posted by JD Hull at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2011

Reason To Live.

Go over there, turn on the light.
Hey, all the lights.

Come over here, stand on that chair.
Yeah, that's right.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2011

Renaissance Woman Sarah Silverman: "I love you more than Gary Busey."

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2011

It's Friday night again. You really believe Your Wife is out with The Girls?

There's a man down there. Might be your husband. I don't know.

"She took all my money. Wrecked my new car. Now she's with one of my good time buddies. Drinkin' in some cross town bar."

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2011

Skip Ad. Turn Up Volume. Get to the Hen House. Dance Hard.

Posted by JD Hull at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2011

Clapton: August Afternoon Boost. Music. Trumps Diet Dr. Pepper, Jack.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2011

Rapture Music.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2011

Feat Tuesday: I hear you moan, I hear you moan, I hear you moan.

Billy he got so sad, dejected, put on his hat and start to run
Runnin' down the street yellin' at the top of his lungs.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2011

Ancient Galleries. Ancient Faces. Part II: Is she cheating on you?

"The men don't know."

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2011

Sheen-1 or 2 Points. Media--Less Than Zero.

Query: Is there Anyone more Irresponsible & Whoring than Network News Talking-Head Shrinks? We'll take Charlie any day.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2011

Boomers: Please Don't Retire. Ever.

(Detroit, July 1970.)

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2010

Weak Local Counsel--Another Lawyer-Centric Epidemic?


Weak local counsel (sometimes "terd") esp. Amer. n. 1. a wimpy law firm hired in an unknown or insular jurisdiction or locale for litigation (or other contentious matters) who, after the engagement has begun, instinctively and consistently puts local relationships ahead of the interests of your shared client. 2. Waste of time and money. 3. Encourage to apply for non-profit work.

They are legion, and some of your best friends. They are not bad people. They are often very smart and nice. Others may even call them good lawyers, and invite them to bar functions, family cookouts, church groups and wine-and-cheese parties. Or to more unruly places like Daytona, the Hamptons, or saloons with boozy names like Bullfeathers or the Tune Inn. They are Everywhere, and mostly men. They are in the wrong profession (or practice area). They don't know that yet, may never know, or want to know.

Do replace weak/wimpy local counsel quickly at the first sign of hesitancy to put your client first--even if it's supremely awkward, or involves "old ties". Clients do come first. In an ongoing contentious matter especially, you live and breathe it. Neither you--or your local attorneys--should even have to think very hard about that one.

You can serve a client without hurting relationships between lawyers in or out of their own provinces. One of the advantages of local counsel in litigation is a knowledge of, and rapport with, the locals, and their folkways. But those relationships come second to a mutual client. Anything less is at best "unprofessional" and, at worst, a conflict of interest. The following, from our "Sensitive Litigation Moment"/Federal Courts series, are among the most visited WAC? articles: Is "Professionalism" Just A Lawyer-Centric Ruse?, The Client's Professionalism Rules For Litigation, and "Professionalism Revisited: What About the Client?" (also in San Diego Daily Transcript, April 29, 2005).

Example: Last year our firm quickly engaged for litigation a local counsel in the small branch of a large Midwestern firm for an important out-of-state federal court discovery skirmish. They were two experienced lawyers with fine credentials who focused more on preserving personal relationships with local lawyers in their town than on going to bat for our mutual business client, a very good one at that. It was frustrating--and a bit pathetic--like having a courtly and polite but somewhat inebriated and prissy tennis doubles partner with weights strapped to each of leg, who was either unwilling or unable to go to the net. After informal discussions with adverse (plaintiff's) counsel failed three times, we and the client asked local counsel to file with us an aggressive but clearly needed motion in order to protect the record. Our co-counsel at first balked, and even defended themselves ("well, you know, we have to practice around here..."). It made us feel helpless and, well, angry.

But it was my firm's fault. We "let go" their well-known firm and them as soon as we caught on. We resolved next time to do better research on the ability of local counsel to be aggressive (if we needed it). Not only did our client and we waste time and money on that firm. The firm we canned lost out on the very real prospect of repeat work from that publicly-traded client. The client could have selected the larger firm for future work on its own, or our own boutique firm could have selected it for work with that client or other clients, as we often need strong help throughout the U.S. and in Europe. We love larger firms--when they deliver.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2010

Saturday: Pre-Depression Era Moxie Music.

"Down on the heels, up on the toes, stay after school, learn how it goes." --Buddy De Sylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2010

Were you born in 1941?

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2010

NYC: You still feel like a religion.

"What of the cripple who hates dancers?"

-- جبران خليل جبران بن ميکائيل بن سعد

For all the hassles, if you live in or around around Manhattan, be grateful. You are daily taxed, stretched and tested. It's grow or die. But most New Yorkers more than survive. Smaller U.S. towns--the majority that shed their old skins in pain and slow motion--secretly envy New York City every moment.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2010

Keith Richards: It's only Yeats and Maugham but I like it.

We knew this all along, of course. Nonetheless, our thanks here in America to Ray Ward in New Orleans and five feral law librarians for letting the gas out of the whippet canister. Last Sunday, The Times (of London) noted that Keith Richards loves, voraciously reads, and collects books. Richards "has even considered 'professional training' to manage thousands of books" in his Sussex and Connecticut homes. At one point, he

started to arrange the volumes, including rare histories of early American rock music and the second world war, by the librarian’s standard Dewey Decimal classification system but gave up on that as “too much hassle.” He has opted instead for keeping favoured volumes close to hand and the rest languishing on dusty shelves.

Richards has also acted as a public library, lending out copies of the latest Bernard Cornwell or Len Deighton novels to friends without much hope of getting them back.

And, like the Queen at Balmoral, he leaves favoured books by the bedside for guests staying at Redlands, his moated Elizabethan farmhouse near West Wittering in West Sussex and in Weston, Connecticut.


Keith on a health day.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2008

Just Otis

"...got got got to now now now got got got to try a little tenderness..."

Hey we be duck walkin' in Palo Alto. Watch the young woman, who'd be about 60 now, midway through the clip. When was the last time you were moved by anything, Jack?

"Got got got got got got got got got got got got got got got got..."

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 07:15 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2008

Happy 65th, Sir.

Thanks to Ed. and his tickler system. It's a boomer thing; if you're one of them, and you've been listening for the past 50 years, here's our choice for your entire life's soundtrack.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2008

It's Monday, Still Winter.

Don't be hatin' life.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2008

Must bust in early May, orders from the DA...

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)

February 01, 2008

Going home.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2007

Business, Law, Clients and The Blues are now International.

Im gonna write a letter to china
See if my babys over there.
Im gonna write a letter to china
See if my babys over there.
If she aint up in the hawaiian islands,
Must be in ethiopia somewhere.

R. Johnson, "Dust My Broom", 1936

While I was in a part of the U.S. originally settled by Asians, and later conquered by Russians and Scandanavians, Ray Ward in the Big Easy reminded me by e-mail about Dust My Broom, this classic Robert Johnson song that every R&B musician, from dozens of countries, with or without its ever-changing lyrics, wants to cover and re-cast. It's about loss, choices, betrayal, hurt, the world, the stock market, mortgage-backed bonds, the Cosmos and Everything. And, of course, about Keith Richards and Rod Stewart. Well, use your imagination, ok?

Posted by JD Hull at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2006

$965 Million: Hard Rock Cafe To Be Sold to Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Here's something you don't read every day. From the Associated Press, Seminole Tribe Buying Hard Rock Cafe Business for $965 Million.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2006

KR Watch: The Huckster Comes Through.

WAC? nearly missed that on November 10, and as he had promised last summer, hip and ambitious Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee pardoned Keith Richards over a 1975 reckless driving/concealed knife arrest and related guilty plea deal and fine. Good move--for Keith, anyway.

Posted by JD Hull at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2006

KR Watch: You think the Pope, Korea and Foley are news?

According to the London press, at 62, Keith Richards has given up drugs--because they are too weak. And according to a gerontologist cited by the Baltimore Sun, "Richards should have died in 1995".

Posted by JD Hull at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2006

Keith Richards Watch: Breaking Shocking Pirate News...

From the Irish Examiner, note that "Richards 'Drunk' on Pirates of the Caribbean Set".

Posted by JD Hull at 03:59 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2006

Richards Watch: I Love The Pirate Life.

Keith Richards filming "Pirates" role.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2006

Keith Richards Watch - Scotland.

Free Keith, and Hampden Park. From today's New York Times:

An investigation has begun to determine if the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards violated Scotland’s strict new antismoking law by puffing away when the band performed before thousands at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Friday. If found by the Glasgow City Council to have violated the ban on smoking in all public places, which took effect on March 26, Mr. Richards could be fined $94; and, for failure to enforce the ban, Hampden Park could be fined $472.

September 1 UPDATE: Richards walks on a technicality.

Posted by JD Hull at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2006

Keith Richards Watch: Pardons, Coconut Trees.

He'll be pardoned by Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for a 1975 reckless driving offense. And Richards is "begging" a Pirates of the Caribbean III director to fall Fiji-like out of a coconut tree in the movie but director Gore Verbinski is worried. He thinks Richards should not even climb up pirate ship steps--which might be best accomplished with a stunt double. According to Virgin.net news, Verbinski said: "For a guy who falls out of coconut trees, those steps could be a problem."

Posted by JD Hull at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2006

Keith Richards Watch

MILAN, Italy - Along with age-old issues like how did the Universe begin, what is reality and is the refrigerator light always on, the question why Keith Richards is still alive is both a mystery and inspiration. This blog does not cover science or pharmacology. And Keith's not about Clients, Rule 37, the Clean Air Act or the global economy. But if you were born in the 1940s, 50s or 60s, he is somehow always important--baseline, yardstick, loudly ticking grandfather clock. If he's alive, then you must be, too. We find him okay after his April Fiji Tree Tumble and ready to play both music and Johnny Depp's dad in Pirates of the Caribbean III in "Richards Says He's Recovered From Fall" at MSNBC.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)