Even The Losers, Get Lucky Sometimes


Tom Petty has always been an amazing icon of American Rock n Roll. Always 100 degrees cooler than everyone else around. And always a harder worker than he probably ever got credit for. His recent doc “Runnin’ Down a Dream” was such a revelation. This guy battled against all odds, came on the rock n roll scene and said DAMN THE TORPEDOES, I’M HERE TO STAY. Tom Petty was so fucken punk rock. Nobody knew what to do with him. But he knew. And he persevered. Until we all not only knew, but BELIEVED.

In August of 1989 I made my first pilgrimage to NYC and ended up in the trauma unit at NYC Hospital on 71st street after falling off the roof of a 6 story building on East 94th street and 1st Avenue. While I was laid up there with compression fractures of my 3rd and 4th vertebrae, a periorbital fracture, 2 broken ankles, and all the ribs on my left side broken, one of my nurses brought me a cassette of Full Moon Fever because of it’s hit single “Free Fallin.” She figured it would cheer me up, and rightly so, because she could obviously sense my sense of humor.

Tom Petty was the soundtrack of our lives. And our near demises. Because he was a warrior. It wasn’t easy for him. Like it wasn’t easy for so many of us. He was our champion. He was a true original and had to fight and scratch for all of his early successes. We were all Runnin’ Down A Dream. And as he so eloquently stated, “Baby Even the Losers, Get Lucky Sometimes.” We were ALL lucky to have you in our lives, Tom.

So sorry your luck ran out, my friend. But thank you for being there. Being there for US. You can say We Don’t Know How It Feels. But thank YOU, Tom Petty, for shielding us from how it did feel, and for guiding us through it when we did get hit by it, and when it was unbearable. We Got Lucky, Babe. When We Found You.

YES – I am going to the Juggalo March in DC this weekend!!!

Yes. I’m going to the Juggalo March in Washington DC this weekend. A lot of people have commented to me that they thought it was some sort of a goof. It’s not a goof at all. This is an important civil rights march for all music fans. In case you don’t know, the FBI officially classified Juggalos as a gang in 2011. As best as anyone can tell, they don’t have much evidence to back up said classification. Classifying a group as a gang is supposed to mean you can meet a burden of proof that there is ongoing organized criminal activity. If there’s one thing Juggalos are NOT, it is organized. Or we weren’t, until now.

You may think this is funny too, but it’s no laughing matter. This means that people who wear their shirts, or put stickers on their cars, or have ICP or hatchet man tattoos can automatically, and LEGALLY, be considered gang members. This has caused a lot of problems for Insane Clown Posse fans. People have lost their jobs, been denied government aid, and maybe most relatable to my friends, been subject to unreasonable search and seizure. Displaying any artwork related to Insane Clown Posse now qualifies “probable cause” for the law enforement to search you and / or your vehicle.
This is how it starts. Who could be next? Deadheads? What if a Steal Your Face sticker, or a Grateful Dead t-shirt or tattoo or a tie dye gave police legal cause to search you. Certainly one trip down “Shakedown Street” could give the Bureau enough evidence of “organized criminal activity” to label Deadheads a gang.

This has to be stopped in it’s tracks. Insane Clown Posse hired a lawyer to sue the FBI, and they have been unsuccessful, so far. But the ACLU has joined their fight, and it, and we, are not going away quietly.

THAT’s why we are going to march on Washington this weekend. Somebody asked me today if I identify as a Juggalo. That was a tough question to answer. I’d like to think so, though hardcore Juggalos might disagree. I don’t own every album, nor have I even listened to every album. But I listen to them regularly and enjoy a lot of their music. And I’ve had enough positive experiences with the band and their fans as both a patron and promoter that I got a Hatchetman tattoo in 2012. And ‘Ive been to the Gathering of the Juggalos festival twice, travelled to Hartford and even Detroit to see them, and have had nothing but fun and great times hanging with Juggalos. And yes, I did get beaten up at the Gathering, but that was an outlier experience, and I’m not sure that the guys who so cowardly attacked me from behind were even Juggalos, but the dozen or so Juggalos who came to my aid and cared for me after the beating certainly were and that was one of the kindest outpourings of assistance I’ve ever witnessed.

And that’s why Im going to DC this weekend. History has a way off repeating itself. We are at a vital crossroads in American history right now. And I don’t want to live in a fascist state. And classifying music fans as a gang is a pretty fucken loud warning shot across the bow of freedom.


MISSED CONNECTION: We shared a seat on a NJ Transit bus from Atlantic City on Memorial Day

I was returning from a magical Memorial Day weekend in Stone Harbor, Jersey Shore. I was ensconced in the aisle seat of this New Jersey Transit bus and had done my best to keep any riff raff out of the window seat next to me. I left it littered with my Wawa sandwich wrapper and empty Mountain Dew bottle that may or may not have had a future as a piss jug.

But when we stopped in Atlantic City aka the Jewel of New Jersey and you sashayed your sexy self onto that bus and into my life, I quickly cleared that unclaimed patch of frayed fabric and prayed you would pick up what I was putting down. You bounced down the aisle, your black muppet-shag jacket and matching beanie pouncing in rhythm with your prance. My prayers were answered when you asked if I would get up. As soon as you opened your mouth your smile melted my hardened heart. Less a glistening set of ivories and more a picket-rowed collection of wooden stubs, worn and yellowed as though they had been clumsily shaped by an unsteady hand with a bucket of urine-stained sandpaper.

I stood up to let you in, both literally and figuratively. And as you slid inside of me and into the window seat, I got two big lungfuls of stale cigarette stank, hopefully having saturated into your dazzling rags from a long weekend of relentlessly toking off-brand smokes smuggled up from the tobacco tax havens of Virginia or either Carolina. How disappointed I would have been had you smelled of Chanel No. 5 or Blue Glow by JLo.

You settled in right quick and started talking. Presumably to yourself. Maybe to me, perhaps I’ll never know. My heart was still skipping beats like a three legged horse galloping toward the sunset on a secluded Staten Island beach, so I still had my ear buds in to convey an air of casual indifference, when really it was all I could do to not reach over and hold your hand. That hand. The one adorned with “Keith Richards fingers.” Those dreamy fingers blessed with elephantitis of the final knuckles, the ones closest to your chewed down fingernails, unmolested by even the remnants of varnish.

I’ve always wondered how one develops those digits. Is it heroin? Meth? The gout? Is it the untold years of a plethora of combined vices, adding up mileage and waging war on your pleasure receptors? Do you find yourself one day just sprawling your hand down on the pavement outside of the shelter and smacking your fingers with a rusty tire iron just so you can feel SOMETHING?

Or it it just blind luck in the genetic lottery? Will you fill me in one day? I have so many questions, and no answers. Yet.

Right as I resigned myself to the sinking feeling that I would never muster up the chutzpah to utter a word to you, you started stirring and shaking and poked me in the ribs, puckering your lilac tinted lips. I removed my earbuds just in time to hear you croak “Are you getting off in Tom’s Rivah or Noo Yawk?”

I considered all sorts of witty and dashing retorts until I chose to let the truth set me free. “New York” I said, to which you replied “Well I’m getting out it Tom’s River”

With a wide smile, and without any sense of sarcasm, I said “Awwww I’m gonna miss you!” You smiled wide and said “I’m gonna miss you too, sweetheart! Please shake me when we get to Tom’s Rivah!” I promised you I would do no such thing. That I would just brush your arm tenderly to alert you that we had arrived. “I’ll be gentle,” I whispered. You smiled again and then pulled your beanie down and went back to sleep.

When we arrived at Tom’s River I held up my end of the bargain and gently rustled you awake, and rose to clean an escape route from our all too temporary love shack. Just then you turned to a group of young girls behind us and said “It was lovely meeting you all! Have a wonderful trip!” And they returned your greeting in kind, all with cheer in their voices and candid smiles. I too smiled at those girls and when I turned back to the aisle you were floating off the bus and out of my life. I instantly regretted not taking my ear buds out earlier and chatting with you, you beautiful thing, you.

Now I’m scared that I’ll never get the chance for a do-over.

If you’re out there, and reading this, and you’d maybe like to share a slice of pie sometime then hit me back here. Or maybe I’ll just frequent the Atlantic City – Tom’s River bus route in the coming months and see if fate reconnects us. God willing it will.

MISSED CONNECTIONhttps://newyork.craigslist.org/jsy/mis/6153551678.html