Monthly Archives: April 2013

T is for

Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 20th so the letter of the day is

T is for

I see CockNBalls wherever I go.  So I started taking pics and posting them online.  It turns out I’m not the only one.  You can even send me submissions at

Here are a few recent pics

SmokeC+B photo copy 2 CocknballBowlingcookiecutter.jpg

S is For Supper

Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 19th so the letter of the day is S.

S is For Supper.  My favorite restaurant.

I love Supper.  It’s not just my favorite restaurant in the East Village.  It’s my favorite restaurant in the world.  I love everything about it.  The food is simple yet delicious.  Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.  Like the “Extraordinary Platter of Grilled Vegetables”.  They ain’t lying!  Amazing vibe.  Great wines.  And a super friendly staff. A big part of why I moved into the apartment I have been in for the last 4 years is because of it’s proximity to Supper.

But the biggest reason of all might just be the my man David.  Exceptional waiter, and hands down one of the best latte artists in the world.  You should probably follow him on Instagram – He’s Supper156. Or click here.

Here are some of his gems.


A Perfect Skyline

A Perfect Skyline

Happy Fuckin Birthday, MoFo!

Happy Fuckin Birthday, MoFo!


Cappucino to the face!!!

Cappucino to the face!!!

Oh, and If you like red wine, try the Savuto.

R is for Rockin Rodney Speed

Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 18th so the letter of the day is R.

R is for Rockin Rodney Speed. And that time at the Wetlands when he taught Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey of moe. how to play Smoke on the Water.

Rodney Speed is one of the most amazing people on the planet. And my bandmate in the Rodney Speed Experience. He also happens to be my best friend. There will be a lot more stories about Rodney on this site, but today’s is about one particular night at in the year 2000.

Rodney and I met when I started working at Wetlands in 1994. Rodney was a Wetlands original – one of the few who worked from opening day to closing night. 12 years of service to the beast of Rock N Roll. Anybody who has met Rodney knows that he has always been a rock star, but for some strange reason he had never had his own band. I knew we had to get him on stage but wasn’t sure how. Then I had yet another one of my million dollar ideas. We used to do something at Wetlands called the “Powerjam” where we would rent a bunch of backline and invite the best and brightest musicians of the jam band scene to come down and just improvise all night long. For this particular night I advertised that we were going to have “a very special guest at the stroke of midnight – someone too hot to advertise” I dropped some hints to the right people that this very special guest was going to be Trey Anastasio of Phish and the rumor mill was one fire. At 11:40pm the “band” who had assembled onstage stopped and announced to the crowd that there would be a short break and that at midnight a new band would take the stage with this very amazing special guest.

At the witching hour the band walked onto the stage. It was Al and Chuck from moe. and Max Delaney of Uncle Sammy on guitars, Jim from moe. on flute(!), Aaron Comess of the Spin Doctors and Vinny from moe. on drums, Tom McKee of Brothers Past and Little Georgie Wood on keys, Backyard Bill Stites on bass, Pauly Herron on percussion, and DJ Motherfucking Stitch on turntables. There was also some Crazy fucking cab driver who had driven me home the night before who I invited to join in but that’s a story it it’s own right that might just best be left untold….

The band started out playing War Pigs by Black Sabbath and as the grooved through the extended into, a mysterious figure in a black robe and hood strode, with much swagga, out to center stage! Just as it was time for the vocals to he ripped off the hood and bellowed “Generals Gathered in the Masses” and revealed himself to the 700 people inside. Funny thing was, only about 7 of them knew who he was. They went bananas anyways. At the end of that song, I hit the stage to let everyone know who they were watching. And he got thunderous applause.

Their final song was the Deep Purple classic “Smoke on the Water”. One of the first guitar riffs that aspiring axemen learn. But when the band kicked into gear, Rodney’s keen musical sense knew something wasn’t right. Rodney sang the first line of the song and then turned to the band and told them “hold it, hold it!” He then proceeded to explain to Al Schnier, professional guiatrist extraordianire with more than 1,000 gigs and 1,000,000 miles under his belt, that HE WAS PLAYING THE SONG WRONG!!! Rodney told Al that he the song was in the the wrong key, that it needed to be played in G, and the pointed out the frets on the guitar neck that al needed to play the power chords on. Al complied, and the band followed suit, and Rodney grabbed the mic and screamed “Now that’s what IM talkin’ about!” and DJ Stitch started cutting and scratching on the phrase “OH SHIT.” The band proceeded to tear the house down with a raging version of the tune… and the legend of Rockin Rodney Speed was cemented! I’ve seen a lot of shit in my day, but I’ve never seen a literal first-timer school of a buncha of fucken PROS onstage in front of a sold out crowd. Rockin’ Rodney Speed is truly one of a kind. When God made Rodney, he didn’t brake the mold. Rodney tore that mold out of God’s hand, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it like it was a narc at a biker rally. Im not exaggerating a single fucking piece of that story. And here’s the proof:

Q is for Quilt.

Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 17th so the letter of the day is Q.

Q is for Quilt.

Some people count sheep - I count shirts.

Some people count sheep – I count shirts.

I have an obsession with T-Shirts. I love them and I can’t stop acquiring them. I have boxes of them in storage. Recently I came to the sad realization that I needed to box up some more and send them away. Then I remembered that my homie Jere has a sister who made him a quilt of his favorite t-shirts for Xmas. So I asked if she could do the same for me, and voila. Now every night I get to sleep with 56 of my best friends.

P is for Prince at Lincoln Center – And That Time I Woke Up Locked Inside Avery Fisher Hall

Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 16th so the letter of the day is P.

P is for Prince at Lincoln Center. And How I Woke up Locked Inside.

Red-eye flights are a bitch, amirite? You never sleep as well as you think you will, and even if you do, who goes to sleep at 11pm and wakes up at 5:30am? Nobody I ever wanna be. Kinda wish they would schedule them for 2am-10am. That would fit my sleep style. I can face the world if I get started at 10am. 5:30am, not so much, I still gotta get home from the airport and take another nap. But that’s cuz I’m at the ripe old-man age of 39. In my 20s, I’d just get loaded at the airport, drink a few more on the plane pass out for a few, and play on through! I lost the interest and / or ability to do that in my 30s, but thankfully this story takes place in 2001, when I was just a pup at 28.

I had been in LA for a few days, no doubt falling victim to the inescapable soul-sucking that has limited recent visits to 72 hours. Twice as long as I can endure Las Vegas!! I had a red eye flight back to JFK, then headed straight to the belly of the best… the bowels of the former paper factory at 161 Hudson Street aka my windowless shared basement office of the Wetlands. I really had made it in the glamorous music business back then, hadn’t I?

I may not have been raking in the dough – but on that particular day the fruits of my labour had been juiced into a single ticket to see Prince at Lincoln Center. Then, as now, being able to see Prince was a rarity. Seeing him in anything smaller than an arena, almost an impossibility. I’ve seen Prince 25-30 times at this point, but back then I was at 6 or 7, so I was super fucking excited. After a long day of taking beer deliveries, answering hippie queeries on the phone, and occasionally making time to book a band or two, I headed uptown to the place where classy people went to see classy music. Lincoln Fucking Center. I don’t have pics to verify what I was wearing that night, but surely it wasn’t appropriate.

To this point in my my life, the overwhelming majority of my nightly outings consisted the four corners of passable entertainment. Places where I could:

1. Hear people playing loud, distorted guitars
2. Get free drinks
3. Find someone who would wanna fuck me
4. Get free drinks

So of course it blew my mind that not only were the drinks EXPENSIVE at Lincoln Center, you couldn’t even bring them inside the theatre! Muthafackos! I looked at my watch I had 13 minutes until showtime. How many double Jack Daniels on the rocks could I buy and drink in that time? More than I could afford, which was probably a good thing – so I dropped all the cash I had, guzzled most of what they gave me, let some run down my chin, and stumbled into the middle seat of a middle row of the first tier center balcony. Sweet spot. Dead-on view of the stage.

But it quickly dawned on me that I didn’t wanna see what was happening there. Seeing Prince live for a long stretch in the 2000’s meant not knowing what you were gonna get. It seemed he was going all Bob Dylan and only appeasing himself, and purposely not giving a fuck about his hits, which is what people were buying tickets to see. Unbeknownst to me, or to anyone in the crowd, Prince had swan dived his pretty little ass brain deep into the whirling pool of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I hear he’s still swimming in that pool, too. God bless him and his little high heeled boots. Nowadays if I go to Prince show and get an uninspired jazzathon while he talks about the joys of Jehovah-ism, I’d understand that’s a chance I was taking when I put my money down. But that night, I was a more than a little bit surprised, shocked, saddened, and, due to not sleeping and all the god damn Jack Daniels, shall we say, sedated.

Prince took the stage and from the outset it was pretty obvious we wouldn’t be getting a greatest hits set. He was playing sole, meandering Jazz, and before long he launched into a tiring monologue about God and Jehova, and witnessing some sort of shit. Honestly he had lost me at God, and I sunk down into my seat and thought maybe I could pass this part of the show with a little bit of shuteye. I must have slumped a bit too far down into my seat because the next thing I knew, I woke up inside of a completely empty auditorium. Completely empty. Empty seats, empty stage, not even a lowly fuckin broom pusher. I felt like I had woken up inside a Kubrick film. I had no idea where I was or what was happening. I reached for my phone, and found it, but it’s battery was a dead as the silence of room I had awakened in. Whoops. Slowly, the double barreled sting of the whiskey and the cobwebs began to recede my memory made up some ground. Right… I had been here to see Prince. But where the fuck was he? And where were the thousands of other people?? And the band? And the instruments?? And the fucking sound system??? There was literally nothing left. No trace of there having been a concert what I imagined was still that night.

I had no frame of reference for tie or space at that point. You could have told me that I had slept for a week or that there had never even been a show and both would have been perfectly plausible to me. After a few minutes trying to gain some sense of composure, I figured it was time to get the fuck out of there. I made my way up the stairs to the back of the balcony and pushed open the doors… CLANG! they were chained shut. From the outside. Like how they used to do at my middle school auditorium. I stumbled over to another set of doors… Chained shut again. Every set of doors in the balcony were chained shut! Fuck. I thought about just laying down and spending the night in the theater, but then imagined the awkward explanation I’d have to give in the morning when someone finally found me, and decided I was going to get the fuck out.

the only way out was down. To the floor. And it wasn’t an easy drop. But fuck, I had plenty of experience falling. So I positioned myself on the edge of the balcony over the empty aisle on the floor, and climbed over the ledge. With both feet over I lowered myself down til I was dangling in the air and… Just. Let. Go. I collapsed to floor with a massive thud, and spent the next few minutes on my back admiring the intricacies of the acoustical ceiling of the hall. When I was able to breath regularly again, I tried to stand up. Shit. That worked too. Now one foot in front of the other til I find a fucking exit. Which of course was tougher than I thought. Same shit downstairs. The whole place was on lockdown. Next time they are building a new auditorium at Lincoln Center I’m gonna become a fucking chain salesmen.

Like the song the Allmans stole from Elmore James, I knew there had to be One Way Out, so I climbed up onto the stage. I hopped up there, and it never even occurred to me to sing a song. I was just hoping to follow my nose towards a few sniffs of fresh air. I found a hallway that lead off the back of the stage and to the dressings rooms. Every single one of them was empty. Not a trace of the Purple One. Not even a whiff of lilac remained in the air. I wandered deeper into the bowels of the backstage, and in an appropriate nod to Spinal Tap, came across and old black janitor who barely looked up at me when I asked where the nearest exit was, and pointed me towards it. When I finally came across the exit there was a big signs on the door that said EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY – ALARM WILL SOUND. I literally kicked the door open and stepped out onto West 66th street. As I sucked in my first breath of that fresh, free, Upper West Side Air, I heard sirens coming from down the block and imagined they had to be for me… but I didn’t stick around to find out. All my friends had planned to go see George Clinton and P Funk in Times Square that night, where Prince was rumored to be going after his own show as well. I didn;t even have any clue as to what time it was, so I ducked into the subway station and boarded the #1 train uptown for Harlem. When I finally got home I found out it was only 2:30AM. Even if Prince had shown up and raged with P-Funk, I was positive that I had the more memorable after party.

O is for Orgasms

Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 15th so the letter of the day is O.

O is for Orgasms. The Big O. Everyone fancies themselves a health expert nowadays. Eat an apple a day. Drink fresh juice!! Kale has twice the daily recommended amounts of this and that. A glass of wine a day lessens the chance of heart disease. But nobody ever talks about Orgasms. I try to have one every day. Sometimes 2 or 3. Shit, there have been days I haven’t gotten out of bed or eaten until I’ve given myself 5 or 6. I’m pretty sure that’s why still get carded at bars even thought I’m 39 years old.

Homemade orgasms are pretty cool. But it’s like cooking dinner for yourself. All well and good, but hard to achieve variety unless you are some sort of expert. Or a yogi. Usually I prefer eating out. Errr, I mean getting my orgasms from someone else. Or, well, yeah… eating out. Sometimes it’s better to give than to receive.

Give someone an orgasm today. And make sure to have one yourself. Thank me later. After you wash your hands.