Thursday, January 25, 2007
Some friends and I went to Roswell, New Mexico, in 1997 for the 50th Anniversary of the "Roswell Incident". The whole town got on the bandwagon. The local hair salon covered its walls in aluminum foil and featured alien hair-do's, the bridal shop had an alien mannequin in the window with a bridal gown, and so on. People dressed up like aliens and paraded around. At night, a band played out on the former site where the UFO was purportedly discovered. It was a great event.
To see a few more photos, check out my flickr site.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
This is my stepson Britt at Prince Hamburger's in Dallas (above left). I've been involved in his life since he was 3, and it's been one of life's great experiences. He must have been around 6 or 7 at the time of this photo. He's now 27 (above right), living in L.A., writing freelance, and running his own record label with his wife Amanda. You can check it out at notnotfun.com.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Despite the internet and digital downloads, we're sometimes so insulated musically here in this country, it seems, or at least, limited to music in English. When I lived in Berlin in the late 70's, it was an eye opener to hear great German bands and singers that I never would have heard back in the U.S.
Last year, a roadie in Spain sent me a bunch of unused tickets he picked up working shows in Spain, in trade for some other memorabilia. Most of the bands I hadn't heard of, but it's been an adventure checking them out. One, in particular, really rocks. It's a Spanish band called Fito & Fitipaldis. Check out one of their new songs Por la boca vive el pez. I think you'll like it.
As I listen to old speeches and film footage from Martin Luther King's life, how can one help from comparing it to modern day America? The so-called conservatives and so-called "born again" Christians (I love the bumpersticker that says "Born O.K. the first time") tout this country as a fundamentally Christian country. And there's an element of superiority when comparing us to other nations around the world. And, yet, as King reminds us, this country was built on the backs of enslaving other races---Native American, African American, and Chinese American, to name the primary ones. Remember that, in the 1950's, mixed marriages were seen primarily as immoral. This country, officially founded in 1776, is, to this day, antithetical to its founding principles 231 years down the road.
And now, that Americans have somewhat agreed that African Americans should be more or less equal, we've found a new group to discriminate against--gays. Okay, so it's now no longer seen as immoral for blacks to marry whites, but it IS immoral for gays to marry. To quote Susan B. Anthony:
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."It's astounding what humans will do to each other, especially in, but not limited to, the name of some god. We're on this planet together, and you'd think we'd figure a way to co-exist, but bloodshed and religious superiority seem to be the order of the day.
This idea of this day needs to be seen in a larger context of just blacks and whites; it needs to be a platform for us to be introspective about the way humans treat other humans.
I know these thoughts all sound like platitudes. But large truths tend to get buried that way.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I went to Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit on Halloween night 1999 at the Shoreline Auditorium outside San Francisco. I met my friend photographer David Warrington there. He knew Neil's manager and was able to get a photo pass. He that night, which I particularly liked. On Neil's left are his wife Pegi and Eddie Vedder. On his far right is Emmylou Harris in a shocking pink wig (remember, it was Halloween!).
Neil and Pegi started the school many years ago to help their son and other kids who were born with severe speech and physical impairments. Starting in 1986, Neil started annual benefit concerts to raise money for the project. He has had the most stellar of guests, all of whom perform for free. Some include The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Tom Waits, Green Day, Emmylou Harris, The Who, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews and many more. And let me tell you, there was so much smoke in the audience, there was no need to bring your own stash.
You can read more about the Bridge School here.
I came across this portrait I shot of my grandfather Sam during in the 1970's. Sam was a great storyteller, and a teller of tall tales. His stories fascinated us as kids, and we still refer to imaginary characters he created, like Mr. Perkins and Mr. Abernathy. The fact that both sets of grandparents were Lebanese made we children's life very rich, because it was steeped in a culture separate from the West Texas culture all around us. I think it must have given me a sense that there was a greater world outside my hometown of Lubbock.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Found this photo tonight, and there's a funny story behind it. One day in December 1954 I went over to my friend Greg's house to play. There was a photographer from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal taking Greg's photo with the same hat (and cane, which is lying unceremoniously on the chair behind me) for the New Year's Day 1955 front page. Then the photographer shot me as a possibility.
My brother Matt was there, and HE happened to have a black eye at the time. The photographer set him up for a photo as well....and, of course, MATT ended up on the front page of the paper on January 1, 1955! I always wondered if it didn't annoy Greg's mom that her son got cheated out of his 15 minutes. I'll have to dig up the photo of Matt with his black eye and post it here later.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
My Dad turns 80 today, and is still going strong, healthy and working 7 days a week at his specialty store, Malouf's, in Lubbock, one of the premiere individually owned clothing stores in the country. A few years ago, the Daily News Record rated Malouf's in the top 10 in the country.
I've always loved this photo of Dad, because I've always known him as a parent and this reminds me that he was once a little kid.
Like Hugh Hefner says, "80 is the new 40". I sure hope I got Pop's longevity genes!