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Duff's Reverb Column

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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:33 am

The Table

One year older last week. They brought me to a place with a large table set for dinner, with lessons on all sides.

At this table, there were friends I met underneath church pews when I was still small enough to run beneath those pious. These friends and I grew until now, and our under-the-benches play, has spawned a true benchmark for men who are close.

At this table, WHO says only men get better looking with the years? The women at this table all looked wise and beautiful and full of glamour. My wife has beautiful lines, especially in her curves. My sisters are an elegant bunch. Our female friends have all aged with the ease of a small ripple in a pond. Silent. Smooth. Graceful.

I am here to say that you women have it good.

At this table sit my friends new and old. Some men I can count on, men who make me stand a little taller, because they have witnessed me fall ... many times.

At this table, my bandmates of now. For 12 years our struggle has sharpened our whit, and made those things you'd have to talk about before- a matter now, of only a glance and a nod.

At this table, I felt an urge to laugh. My folly and doubt about my place in this life, suddenly seemed embarrassing and small. My place is with these people, and we have earned our right to lean on each other. And laugh.

At this table, are the funniest of tales. Most of them are true I'm afraid. We chuckle and heave at our folly and goofs along the way.

At this table are my brothers and sisters of blood, and my brothers and sisters since then. We are all a family now as we sit together.

At this table I am suddenly so very god-damned thankful, and kick myself for EVER doubting.

At this table is a gift. A guitar made and hidden for nearly a year. Many of these friends and siblings paid for this unspeakable instrument. All of them kept it hidden from me.

Until that night ... at the table.

At that table, I started to get charged. What the hell is next for me? It doesn't matter so much at this very moment. I have the confidence to see that there is no rush. This life is not a race.

At this table, I saw in my wife a person who cares about me, and not everything else. That is a gift that cannot be put into words.

At this table, I got a new lease on life. A second wind; one to take me the rest of the way.

I write about family so much, but my friends get me through just as strongly. A mighty bunch of warriors. No one gave many of us much of a chance at one point or another. And this is something we can chuckle about too...while the poignancy of it all, does sit heavily, in the layers of that still-room air.

At this table, we are surrounded by Seattle. A place I can revel in. A city that makes me proud and comfortable and happy. Can you imagine that a city can do that for a person?

This table seemed much too large, but as dinner began, it was full. And then some.

At this table, I am now aware of my place. It is to be a husband, and a brother, father, and an ass-kicking friend. Open all hours. Around any day. I'm only moments away. I am here.

Life is good. Life, is REALLY good.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/02/the_table.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:11 pm

Duff never reminded me of Garrison Keillor until now.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:03 pm

10 Things Seattle Can Learn From LA

In truth, you can't really compare these two very different municipalities. Seattle is a place that people grow up in, have roots in, and defend to a point of hilarity (myself included). Conversely, Los Angeles--the city I spend part of my life in--is a place people move to. They move there to get something from that town. "I wanna be a STAR!" . . . or something.

As a result, L.A. is a very transient town. There are good people everywhere, for sure, and L.A. is no different, but the cliché of the whispered-but-never-followed-up-on "I'll call you" did start in Los Angeles for a reason. There are so damn many people here in such fluxes of varying careers that the "I'll call you" deal has become just a way of saying "Good to see you."

Seattle is too small a burg to not follow up on an offer of an agreed-upon phone call. You will see that person again, probably sooner than later. If you say you are going to call someone up here, you'd better do it.

So, with these guidelines as a sort of benchmark, here are 10 things that Seattle could stand to take note of from Los Angeles:

1. Wear sunglasses more often. Yes, I know we don't have the 280 days of sun that L.A. has, but it doesn't mean you can't just don some shades to look cool in at all times. Heck, they wear sunglasses in clubs and restaurants at night down in Los Angeles.

2. Clubs: Put bands on earlier. When a band says they are headlining and going on at 10 p.m. in L.A., it actually means 10 p.m. and not 12:30 a.m.!

3. More tax incentives for film crews. Movies and shows actually being filmed in our town will bring more dollahs. Money is good for our town. We got a little full of ourselves after Singles and Sleepless in Seattle, and pulled some of these good tax breaks for film companies. Now all you see is a flyover shot of Seattle on Grey's Anatomy or The Killing. The rest is filmed in Hollywood or Canada.

4. Make something up about yourselves. Say you went to Harvard or are a model/actor. Flower that shit up!

5. Don't use your damn blinkers all the time. I know it's an easy mechanism to use, and does inform other drivers of your impending intention . . . but how boring!

6. Start up a new business for maps to stars' homes. Hell, we've got music and technology stars aplenty up here. And really, they don't have to be the real "stars' " homes. It works every time!

7. Get a good New York Jewish deli. In L.A. they have Canter's and Jerry's deli, just to name two . . . open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year.

8. Get a damn NBA basketball team. We need our Seattle Sonics back home . . . so that we can have a rival in the Lakers again!

9. Get an arena. Staples has done pretty well for downtown L.A., if you ask me.

10. Move to the Valley. It is now all hip and cool. Oh, not the San Fernando Valley here in L.A. (which is hip and cool now too). No, the RAINIER Valley, which is the hippest and coolest that Seattle currently has to offer.

11. Start more indoor playgrounds for your kids. In L.A., they're all over the place, and it's sunny! In Seattle, all the playgrounds are outdoors! Indoor playgrounds should be everywhere!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/02/10_things_seattle_can_learn_fr.php

What the fuck?
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:55 pm

War's Storytellers, and Why I Can't Turn Away

This column today is dedicated in memory of Lynn D. "Buck" Compton. I first read about Buck and the World War II exploits of his Easy Company in Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers.

Buck Compton died this week at the age of 90...at his home in Burlington, Washington.

-----------

If you were a tot during the Vietnam War like I was, then perhaps you too have some of those black-and-white TV images still seared into your mind's eye. Ever since I was a kid -- and maybe it was those images that did it -- the subject of war has had a hold on me.

These days, war and violence are readily shown on the news 24 hours a day, and I fear we have become numb to war's atrocities. This kind of thing happens. It's like when a boxer gets used to getting hit in the head; they just don't really feel it anymore because they are so conditioned to it.

Growing up in the Vietnam era was to grow up with the first ever "TV war." Every night at 6 p.m., we all would gather around the TV to see what Walter Cronkite had for us. What happened today over there?

Having two brothers in Vietnam also heightened my awareness. I remember asking my mom why my brother Mark had to go to war, and the answer she gave me then still holds true until this day. She told me that "two men who are leaders can't seem to agree on something; so they then go gather all of their young men to settle their differences in a big field...with guns and bombs."

All of these early inputs in my life have made me a somewhat ardent student of war, both historically and in the current.

I just finished Sebastian Junger's latest book, War, a written account of his time spent at a forward fire-base (Restrepo) in Afghanistan. If you have yet to see the documentary Restrepo, made by Junger and photo journalist Tim Hetherington, it is a must (if you don't mind blood, truth, and the conflicting feelings of futility and pride). Where the documentary simply lets the film tell the story, Junger's book fills in the gaps. The gaps that time away from the front, and loss of friends there, can lend a hand in coloring.

Junger has become a master storyteller, both in researched topics (Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont), and in his first-hand accounts of war.

War is no less masterful. It fills in the reader from the get-go about what it's like to be on the front line as a 19-year-old with no human affection except from your fellow soldiers. Junger surmises that a gun, danger, and violence can -- and does -- supplant sex in this arena, and when there is a lull in the fighting, aggression toward each other will take its place.

The line between journalist and combatant has fully been blurred with the advent of IEDs (roadside bombs). Whereas a journalist can be snarky and full of politics in the rear somewhere, the front-line journo like Junger seems to have a much more human and non-political directive. The motto seems to be: "Survive Today and Write the Truth Without Doing Harm to Those Who Protect You That Day."

Junger did a very honorable job here. Neither pro- nor antiwar; just a day-to-day account of some young men in extreme danger.

Infidel, by Tim Hetherington, is the still-photo companion to War, made so much more poignant as it was released just as Hetherington himself was killed by a mortar in Libya while covering the conflict there.

The subject of war may be too old, boring, violent, or repetitive for some. But with a closer look, the human story inside of the bigger arena has always had me hooked.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:19 am

Hey, Let's Play Ball (And Some Local Music While We're At It)

Ah... it is finally that time of year. Spring training is well under way in Arizona and Florida and, at long last, the official regular season of America's favorite pastime will soon be under way. It's Baseball season!!

If I haven't been clear of this before, it should now be clearly known that I am an avid Seattle Mariners fan. I have a Mariners sticker on my touring guitar, and a compass rose tattoo'd on my right arm. I go to as many games as I can, and have the MLB package on DirectTV so that I can watch the games through SlingBox whenever I am away...which is often.

I am in no way alone amongst touring rockers who live and die with every pitch. Dudes from Death Cab to Soundgarden to Alice In Chains to Mark Lanegan all count themselves as Mariner fans. And beyond our local team, it seems that a conversation is easily started if it's about baseball. I can be anywhere it seems. Baseball fans of every team tour around like I do, and we often end up going to some game together, whether in Boston, Chicago, Anaheim, Texas, or wherever an ump cries "Play ball!"

As a traveler who has gone to baseball games in different locales, it has become apparent that the music being played at the baseball stadiums is getting rather homogenized and 'samey'. You've got the opening riff of of Ozzy's "Crazy Train," the whole "Who Let the Dogs Out" thing, and an opening riff of some song called "Welcome To The Jungle" being played in every stadium (for all of you Mariners fans, truth be told, "Jungle" WAS meant for our team, and not the Brewers or the Yankees or the Dodgers, or whoever. At least that is how I like to tell the story...).

And more to that point:

I remember going to Sonics and Mariners games in the 80s and 90s, and the music being played in those places was WAY more provincial then. You'd hear a Soundgarden song, followed by a Pearl Jam song, into a Nirvana thing, and then some Sir Mix-A-Lot. Looking back, it all seems so damn quaint; but why would we have ever thought that it'd be different? I mean- of COURSE they should play local music in your locale, right? Somewhere along the line, everything just got big and national music-wise at these stadiums.

Sure, in the '90s, some of the most popular bands in the world were coming out of Seattle. But it's not like we haven't had plenty to celebrate, musically - if not in the park -- over the last decade. We should celebrate our unique local music at the park. And, you know what, I think we may be able to celebrate our team this year, too.

Yea. That's right. Maybe we'd got something with all of these new young kids coming into the Mariners program. Sure, they've yet to prove themselves. But the competitive canon is rife with tales of unproven athletes overwhelming expectations.

Just consider the way the small-market Tampa Bay Devil Rays have put together a team from scraps and pieces and prospects and hope that has regularly gone on to compete against mega-payroll teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. There is talk about our newest version of the Mariners becoming a Tampa Bay-esque competitor.

On the Yahoo! Sports, Todd Pfeipher had this to say:

"On paper, there is potential in the Mariner lineup. Despite a dreadful offense over the last couple of seasons, fans can be optimistic about players like Dustin Ackley, Mike Carp and Jesus Montero. Again, potential means nothing until the team starts hitting somewhere far north of .233 for the year. If Michael Saunders continues to hit like he has during the spring and Munenori Kawasaki turns out to be a solid contributor, this offense could actually have a bright future. Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?"

We in Seattle have learned to thrive on words like 'optimistic, potential, and bright future'...

It COULD happen. And if it does, I say we start rocking music from our own city at our hometown park again. I can hear it now. Some Death Cab For Cutie, Long Winters and Fleet Foxes, some Chasers, Vendetta Red...and yes..of COURSE some Loaded.

Play ball!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/03/hey_lets_play_ball_and_some_lo.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:20 am

10 Reasons Seattle's On the Most-Stressful List (And How We Can Get Off!)

We all see these lists accumulated by Forbes or Yahoo! or CNBC; you know, the "Top 50 Cities To Live In," "Top 10 Beaches In The World," or "Most Literate Cities In America." We all love these lists. It also seems, that all of the different media outlets do competing lists at the same time.

I like the lists myself, and couldn't help but open the latest lists provided by all of these outlets on 'Most Stressful Cities'. I was a bit surprised to see our own beloved city of Seattle making the top 10. I wondered enough to read on. Here is CNBC's qualifier for this particular list:

"In order to gauge the stress of residents in American cities, data cruncher Sperling's Best Places considered the 50 largest metropolitan areas (which includes suburbs). The team considered the following factors: divorce rate, commute times, unemployment, violent crime, property crime, suicides, alcohol consumption, mental health, sleep troubles, and the annual amount of cloudy days.... 
'

Well, let's take these one by one:

1. DIVORCE RATE: Could it be that Seattleites are just a bit more curious and less afraid of a little thing like court? I mean, court-rooms or lawyers offices ARE inside, and thus, out of the weather. Divorce could be like the Seattlites' version of an igloo or yert.

2. COMMUTE TIMES: A few years ago, I would have disputed that driving was THAT terrible in Seattle. We ARE congested-largely because of bridges and such-but recently we have seemed to get worse at driving; pushing up commute times. I say we bring back J.P. Patches. You KNOW that some of us would stay home longer in the morning, and THAT would stagger our number of drivers on the road in the morning. Hell, bring back the afternoon movie on channel 7, and 'Dialing For Dollars' with Sandy Hill for that matter!

3. UNEMPLOYMENT: Yeah, it sucks. Yea. Buy stuff locally y'all, and otherwise try to create some jobs up in here! Also (and as I have said here before), the State Of Washington should relax its filming taxation numbers. More films that are made here, the more jobs. The more films that are made here, the more tourists. More tourism=more jobs. While I am at it, we need our Sonics back!

4. VIOLENT CRIME: Yeah. What the hell is going ON in our downtown and even our suburbs? People with guns and knives and whatever? And now a serial killer in Bremerton? I'm afraid that I don't have a snarky comment for this one. Violent Crime=Horrible.

5. PROPERTY CRIME: Oh, you mean like where the biggest Barnes & Noble west of the Mississippi, was financially forced out of the University Village? For a furniture store? Now, I am not a big proponent for a corporate bookstore like B&N, but at least they DO sell books. It was a great gathering-spot down there in the U-Village. That propery now, will sell disposable goods.

6. SUICIDES: Didn't I say something about bridges already?

7. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: They must have misconstrued this one. People in Ballard can take up the slack for about 5 large metropolitan areas, as far as drink-consumption goes. They should maybe take Ballard out of this part of the survey. It's not fair to the rest of us.

8. MENTAL HEALTH: I mean....we have a futuristic needle type of building as our cities' main landmark.

9. SLEEP TROUBLE: Hell! I sleep GREAT with the sound of rain on my roof!

10. ANNUAL AMOUNT OF CLOUDY DAYS: You mean to tell me that the sky isn't naturally gray? What the?!!!

So, you see what I did there? Without even trying, I gave yet another list of useless information for you all to click on. Hit away, folks!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/03/10_reasons_seattles_on_the_mos.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:34 pm

Panic! at the Terminal

I just had a panic attack.

I'm on a plane. It's smaller than I'm used to. As soon as the door closed, my breathing got shallow. I kicked off my shoes, yanked of my coat, and started to swig my bottle of water. Drinking water, for me takes away the full concentration of actually breathing for a moment or two, and offers me a bit of a reprieve.

I've thought of writing about panic here before here, because I know that so many of us suffer. I've thought of writing about it when I am actually HAVING one, so that we could get a real-life inside peak at one through the words written within. But when I had this attack, I couldn't think straight to write.

Many people around us suffer from some form of panic disorder-ranging from mild anxiety, to full-blown acute panic disorder. I have been a sufferer of the later since I was 17 years old.

It can be an extremely terrifying experience, but also the source of embarrassment. You never know when it might happen. What if you are in a place with a bunch of complete strangers? They are probably going think you are crazy or on drugs.

At the onset of a panic attack, your heart will start to race and your mind will start to get flooded with way too much information. A tight band with start to clamp down around your chest, your extremities get cold and you have an urge to shed your clothes because of the sense of suffocating claustrophobia. Not fun.

Different people have different inputs that will jump-start their episodes. Elevators. Freeways in a car. High floors in a building and about a million other experiences.

Initially there were many things that I couldn't do because of my affliction; and that "narrowing down" of your life just kills your self-confidence, spurring on more and more attacks. It's a merry-go round that seems to go faster and faster and out of your control.

I've been able to narrow or pare all of that back in the last bunch of years with the help of martial arts, but still, I have problems with planes.

It's not the plane "going down" and crashing that does it for me- it's the claustrophobia of when that door shuts, and I know that I will be stuck in a tube that I cant get out of for a set amount of time. It is a totally and all-encompassing fear for me...and every flight is a trip into full-on martial arts meditation and practice of all of the things I have worked on. Remember, I can't drink or do drugs.

I'm okay now. I'm feeling better. My clothes are back on, and my bottle of water is gone, but I have fully recovered.

Why is it that some of us have panic attacks? Are we more sensitive than others? Is THAT why we get these things? Is our "fight or flight" mechanism in our brains a bit more altered that most people's? Do we have less natural dopamine or serotonin than other people have? Did something happen in our childhoods that later showed up as some sort of dastardly panic?

I don't know. I've heard so many different theories, and have tried to explore all of them. I DO know though, that there are so damn many more like me that it sometimes eases my mind by the fact that I don't feel so all alone. It's a comfort to know that I am not "crazy" or whatever, and that there is a certain fellowship among the all of us. Right?
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Sure, Fleet Foxes Put "Seattle Folk" on the Map, but Don't Overlook Mark Lanegan and ... Heart!

Ah . . . Folklife is just around the corner (Memorial Day weekend), Seattle: Spring is in the air, acoustic instruments are being tuned, beards are being grown, and the oft-missing sunglasses in the rainy season are once again donned. Yeah, man: Fucking FOLK music, brothers and sisters! Dig it!

It may seem a far stretch for some to think that a rock dude like me would be writing about or have any idea or knowledge basis regarding this idiom of "folk" music. And, yes, I fully admit I once embodied John Belushi's guitar-smashing "Bluto" character in Animal House. We have all come a long way since then.

Seattle has become something of an epicenter for what is cool and good with new indie-folk. Of course, Fleet Foxes and their millions of records sold did a lot for this cause. But even when that band was in their developmental stages here, there was a burgeoning acoustic-driven scene makinig noise around town (albeit lower than some of us had grown accustomed). And how did this happen in a town well known for loud and distorted rock?

A couple of things that haven't been talked about much:

1. Heart's Dreamboat Annie showcased a band that took Joni Mitchell-esque acoustic music to a whole new level. Yes, folk music got its popular start here in the Northwest in the '70s . . . with Heart!

2. A lot of loud rock bands write their songs on acoustic guitars. They are usually lying around the house, and you don't need an amp. Hey, if a song doesn't sound good on an acoustic guitar, you can assume it won't sound good through loud amps, accompanied by a huge drum kit. You can't hide a bad song.

3. Mark Lanegan's Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, way back in the early '90s, became a high-water mark for this new Seattle hipster-folkie thing. Lanegan took the volume down a notch, exposing the dark underbelly of life. It was the story of a man who lived a tough life. A people story. Another word for people is, indeed, folks. Folk music.

4. Nirvana's MTV Unplugged made it "cool" for the masses and Seattleites alike to pick up an acoustic guitar and play Bowie songs, etc. Exploration of old-school folk music was a natural next step from there.

There are movers and shakers in Seattle and "tastemakers" on Capitol Hill. But the truest stuff usually comes from someplace else. From pure and raw talent, far from those tastemakers and scenesters. The scenesters usually adapt their image accordingly from there.

Sub Pop was smart enough to see ahead a bit, and sign Fleet Foxes a few years ago. Would YOU have thought that folk music might be the next big hip and commercial wave in music? From Seattle?! Neither did I.

I've been able to take part in both of the Hootenannys that STG's Deb Heesch and Ashley O'Conner McCready have put on -- one at the Showbox to benefit relief for Haiti, and the other at the Moore that funded help to clean up the Gulf oil spill. Both gigs were huge folk-music acoustic affairs, and both were sold out to the rafters.

Seattle likes live music, and it seems that another reason softer music is blossoming here in the Northwest is because there simply is a paying audience that will support it. Beards, sweaters, and hollow instruments make dollars up in here. Solo artists, duos, and bands can actually survive and matriculate a career doing this type of music.

Well, that is . . . until polka becomes the next big thing. If that happens, I may just very well smash a tuba.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/04/sure_fleet_foxes_put_seattle_f.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu May 03, 2012 7:20 am

Dancing and Laughing With Gene Simmons All the Way to South America

I grew up in a really great time for rock and roll. Three-chord songs with a couple mean riffs and rebellious lyrics were the audible backdrop to my formative years. KISS' first live record, Alive! (duh), was an epic collection of riffs and chords that filled in a few questions I had about chicks and fire. Saddled up next to my Sex Pistols, Cheap Trick, and Stooges records, KISS was the needed antidote to the likes of Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Kansas (nothing personal here, guys . . . I just couldn't relate).

I don't take much for granted these days. My music career has been sprinkled with fairy-dust. I do realize this. At this point, I've had the opportunity to play music with many of my boyhood heroes: Iggy Pop, Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Pistols, and the Cheap Trick Zander/Nielsen duo. These are the dudes I once air-guitared too.

Last month, I got a call to do some gigs in South America -- which, as I've said many times before, is a kick-ass place to play -- with a mishmash of musicians: Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Billy Duffy of the Cult, GNR's Gilby Clarke and Matt Sorum, Mike Inez from Alice in Chains, Ed Roland of Collective Soul, Sebastian Bach, Billy Idol's Steve Stevens, and yes . . . Gene Simmons of KISS.

I'd never played with the KISS guys. They didn't have guys like me play on their records, and they don't do side projects. That's OK too, of course.

Here it was, in South America, finally a chance to see THE Gene "God of Thunder" Simmons in action. But would he be cool to travel with? Would he see right through all my rock bluster and into my teenage geekdom? Would I be shooshed or made small by the dude who I dressed up as for Halloween in sixth grade? I hoped for the best as we boarded the plane in Los Angeles bound for Paraguay.

Long-distance air travel with a ton of people shoved together can really "thin out the pack." You can see into the soul of a man on an 18-hour flight. As some got tired and cranky after fuel stops in San Salvador and Lima, Mr. Simmons just settled in, as if being stuck in a metal tube with strangers were a common everyday experience. I suppose it probably is for him and his wife Shannon. They told jokes and stories -- and wrestled. For me, this initial experience provided a first look at how this guy would lead by calm example on this whole trip. I like that stuff.

Backstage, at the second gig in Buenos Aires, Sebastian Bach plugged in his iPod to a rather large boombox, and cranked up some Boz Scaggs, and then some Sly and the Family Stone. Gene Simmons suddenly appeared, and started dancing . . . really well. He did some disco dancing, the "mashed potato," the "twist," the "hustle," and some good ol' stripper dancing. We all stood rather agape at this spectacle. The God of Thunder has real and bona fide SOUL. What the?

Gene's whole life story is fascinating. Born in Israel, he moved to Brooklyn with his mom when he was 8. He spoke not a word of English, and had to learn about life on the mean streets of New York as his mother toiled away in a button factory. His first real American inputs were burgeoning rock-and-roll pioneers like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. Middle-school dances were next, and he instantly noticed that if he learned to move the lower part of his body while dancing, the girls would go crazy. Ah HAH! Starting a rock-'n'-roll band was the natural next step for our young protagonist.

Gene has a natural love for music to this very moment. He can name just about any hit song, who produced it, who played on it, and who wrote it. He knows the little rock factoids that I had never heard about before (Doris Day + Sly Stone? Awesome!). His sense of humor was always on point and sharp as shit.

Gene is a rock-'n'-roll hero to me because he is just simply a stand-up fucking dude. That is the good stuff, if yer asking me.

I'm going to dust off my KISS Alive double record and crank those jams up. I know how to play guitar these days, but I think the air version of my chosen profession may just make a reappearance.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/05/dancing_and_laughing_with_gene.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Sat May 05, 2012 1:10 pm

I love Duff. Nice antidote to all the snarky griping I read about Gene in other GNR forums. The first KISS Alive album was a milestone to me in 7th grade. Ace was my fav on Halloween. I got the picture to prove it.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Sat May 05, 2012 6:07 pm

Same here. I was nuts about Kiss as a kid. I have an old picture somewhere where I am dressed up wit makeup and all together with a neighbour kid, doing our own Kiss impersonation.

The problem with Kiss as a serious band is that they did anything and everything for money. It all became a parody after a while and they lost most of the credibility they ever had as a serious band.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu May 10, 2012 6:47 am

A Hall of Appreciation, a Touch of Regret

Watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony special on HBO last weekend, I was also struck by how honored I was to have been included in such an epic class of bands and artists. GNR opened for the Peppers a few times in LA back in the early days. They were king-shit on the hill back then. And the Beasties were the hard-core East Coast counterpart to what we were oozing over on the West Coast. In fact, I seem to remember us being in the same club sometime in 1986, and the rumor of us brawling against each other was rampant throughout the club that night. Ah...testosterone!

There we all were in Cleveland, last month. Bands that made some sort of difference somewhere. The Peppers still do, and so do the Beasties. And they both stayed together, through thick...and blackened thin. But GNR didn't survive the folly and nonsense. We didn't rise above.

Watching that HBO Special made me sad -- for the very first time, perhaps--that the original GNR didn't somehow stay together. It would have been a miracle if we did. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have done my part to try and rid that band of the caustic resentments and outside inputs that finally wore us down to a nub of what we once were, and what we could have come back from. Alas, it just wasn't in the cards.

A funny thing happened in the lead-up to Cleveland. It seemed that there was an understanding -- not only with the people who had flown to Cleveland to see "their band" inducted -- but in how the other inductees rallied around Slash, Steven, Matt, and myself. They had our backs, and all offered their help in any way that we could use it.

Walking into the lobby at the hotel that all the artists were staying at, the first fellow inductee I saw was fucking Ronnie Wood from the Faces/Stones. He gave me a big hug, and smiled a huge grin. "Isn't this going to be fucking great, Duff?!" Uh, yeah, sure. What a welcome!

Flea gave me a big hug later that afternoon, and so did Chad Smith. The Green Day guys came to my book reading the night before at the House Of Blues, and Billie Joe and I devised a plan where he would sing whatever was needed...if needed.

In the aftermath of all of the drama leading up to the event, and a few people from our camp stating publicly that they weren't coming at all, I stuck with the mindset that I was there to honor our fanbase who had been there for us for more than 25 years.

It was a very poignant night. And after watching the broadcast -- and seeing my old friends perform for our diehard fans -- it's starting to sink in just how heavy the event was for me on a personal level.

We really didn't know if we were going to play at all. It wasn't cemented until we actually rehearsed at 2 a.m. the day of the show (right after my reading. It was all THAT last-minute. In fact, my band and soundman for the reading -- Jeff and Mike from Loaded, and Seattle's own Martin Feveyear -- instantly became GNR's crew! That's right. We hadn't even thought ahead about guitar techs, drum techs, or sound guys. So it was nice to have them there with me for the RRHOF, for sure).

For Slash and me, it was the first time we'd played our songs with Steven Adler in something like 22 years. We had to wonder: Would it work? Would we be able to get our mojo back with only 14 hours to spare before playing in front of an audience of 7,000, and be filmed for an HBO Special!?

I couldn't have been more proud of the guys I did take the stage with that night (special thanks to guitarist Gilby Clarke and singer Myles Kennedy for their heroic, last-minute efforts). My bandmates composed themselves in the face of so much unneeded drama. We had no resentment, and showed up to pay homage to those fans who did their part for us.

At the end of the day, I am so very satisfied about the outcome of that night in Cleveland. It was about the music that GNR wrote way back when. And the fact that a few of us showed up to reciprocate our appreciation was certainly enough for the occasion.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Thu May 10, 2012 1:23 pm

Well said Duff.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Mon May 14, 2012 4:57 am

I wonder what songs Billie Armstrong would have sung. It certainly would have been....different Speechless
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Mon May 14, 2012 5:18 pm

On GNR songs yes, I agree. He could really tear it up with Duff though. I wouldn't mind if he joined Loaded on stage for some punk "standards" if I got to be in the audience Crazy
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Mon May 14, 2012 6:10 pm

puddledumpling wrote:On GNR songs yes, I agree. He could really tear it up with Duff though. I wouldn't mind if he joined Loaded on stage for some punk "standards" if I got to be in the audience Crazy

Yes, I have nothing against Billie or Green Days at all, in fact I really enjoy some of their records, but if had to sing with his normal punk voice over Slash, Duff and Steven's GN'R music it would sound a bit awkward. I would very much prefer Green Day to do a punkish cover of a GN'R song.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Mon May 14, 2012 6:26 pm

Billie and Duff both have had beer named after them, sort of.

In the 1970s, U.S. President Jimmy Carter had a "character" of a brother (kind way of putting it) named Billie who who decided to put out his own label - Billie Beer - since he was famous because his brother was The Prez. So it wasn't named after Billie Armstrong, but it was Billie Beer.

Homer Simpson's beer of choice is Duff Beer. Everybody with a working television knows that.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu May 17, 2012 5:58 am

10 Essential Summer Road Trips (With Stops For Sports Fans, Socialists, and Punks)
By Duff McKagan Thu., May 17 2012 at 7:30 AM

Ah, yes. The weather is getting good out there, just in time for one of America's favorite pastimes: the good ol' road trip.

Right, the gasoline is inexplicably more expensive in the West right now than just about anywhere else in the country. But that shouldn't stop you. Instead, make the best of it! Go out in a group. Nothing better than making plans with others whom you like to travel with.

In the Northwest, we have a ton of water, and no road-trip list would be good without a few excellent boat trips thrown in. With that in mind, here's my pick of 10 locales to point your compass this summer:

1. North on I-97 from Cle Elum to Cashmere: First of all, driving north or south means no sun in the eyes. Going north on the 97 transmits you from a Western Washington chill to the warmth of the high desert. Try the Liberty Café for the locals and the caffeine.

2. Highway 2 West from Dry Falls to Waterville: One of the best straightaways in the state. Haul ass for about 40 whole miles! Make sure you get your cop-radar-detector thing working, though.

3. The drive from my house to Slim's Last Chance on First Ave. in Georgetown: Anytime is a good time for chili and beer (well, I don't drink personally . . . but you get the idea).

4. The Vashon Island Loop: If you are in the city and want to get out of town real fast on your motorcycle, just get on the Fauntleroy Ferry from West Seattle and ride straight off into the country. Epic for such a short distance away.

5. The Ballard Locks to Deception Pass via the west side of Whidbey Island: I once saw a stat that Seattle has the most boats per capita of any city in America. Get yourself a small craft and a VHF radio, and grow a pair. This route is dangerous when the weather picks up . . . and make sure you have a full tank of gas. Especially when you get to the eddies of Deception Pass. You wouldn't want to get sucked down one of those.

6. My house to Safeco Field: Yeah, well, even though the Mariners have stunk it up pretty good this season, Safeco is still the best place to see a baseball game in the world.

7. Spirit Lake Highway to Mt. St. Helens: If you ever get a chance . . . just get off of the damn I-5 down there, and head east.

8. North Cascades Highway: Yes, it is that good. The rumors are indeed true. Get off at Ross Dam and see what socialism, er, President Roosevelt's Federal Works Program did for us all!

9. Lady of the Lake ferry from Chelan to Stehekin: No roads go to Stehekin, one of the very last places in Washington state that has kept its no-Walmart rule. Untouched by larger commerce in a big way, and an awe-inspiring scenic trip.

10. Incoming flights to Seatac (OK, technically not a "drive"): The view on any flight into Seatac is still one of the best ever. Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, downtown, floating bridges, boats, and all those hidden lakes make Seattle the best city in the world to touch down in.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/05/10_essential_summer_road_trips.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu May 24, 2012 9:01 am

Sonics History: How's This Gonna Work?
By Duff McKagan Thu., May 24 2012 at 12:00 PM

With all the hubbub about the access for the Port of Seattle aside (and thank you KING-5's Chris Daniels for the traffic report this week!), it really does seem possible that we here in Seattle may be getting an NBA team back here within the next five or so years. The Sonics! . . . MAN. That would be REAL sweet.

Investor Chris Hansen seems to be the real deal here, folks, and through all the excitement around the Sacramento Kings drama, Hansen has stayed rather cool, aloof, and nonplussed. He seems to be the right mixture of determination and smarts for what will certainly be a testy process.

With a huge audience getting to see the OKC Thunder play in the larger light of the NBA playoffs these past few weeks, it has become more than painful to see our Sonics' past revealed as OKC's. They have physical possession of our banners and draft picks and even Squatch . . . but what about our history? Were we in Seattle not the ones who suffered and cheered and lived through every Sonic win and loss year in and year out? If we get our Sonics back, whose history do we get to claim as our own?

Personally, I am over being pissed off at Clay Bennett and Howard Schultz. It is time to man up and move on. We know who we are, and we know what happened. Of course we got screwed, but we will pick ourselves up. Seattle was always one of the top NBA cities, and we will be again. No one wants to come off as the "jealous ex-lover" type, and it certainly doesn't fit the tough yet humorous Northwest mindset.

Because I would rather forget, it sort of escapes my memory as to why the Thunder actually got the Sonics' history in their "deal" with Schultz/City of Seattle. It seems it should be a moot point once we get the Sonics back, right? New rules and amendments are always written in pro sports, and this should be one of them: "If a city gets their team with its original name back, they will be able to reclaim said team's history."

Makes all the sense in the world to me, at least. Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp did their magic HERE and in front of US, right? Do people in Oklahoma City even know just how smooth Sam Perkins was? Could they pick Hersey Hawkins out of a crowd? Were they there when Nate McMillan came off the bench late in that game 7 against the Utah Jazz in 1995? Steve Scheffler, anyone? Scheffler!!

What are the Sonics to Seattle without all that history? They won our only major league World Championship (sorry, Storm, no insult meant). The Sonics had all those epic commercials, and Seattle artists wrote fucking songs about them. For a good while there in the late '80s and early '90s, it seemed that the Sonics were Seattle's cultural identity (until of course AIC, Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, etc., came along).

I finally saw the documentary Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team a few weeks ago. It had the intended effect of getting my blood up. But it also reminded me of the history of the Sonics. It is MY history, and yours as well. Not something that can be bought and sold or hung on some other city's arena rafters. It just shouldn't be.

Godspeed, Chris Hansen. Settle down, Port of Seattle (or otherwise work out your backroom deal). We want our team back, AND we will take our banners and history AND Squatch back!
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:08 pm

Seattle: Keep Your Head Up and Your Guns Down
By Duff McKagan Thu., May 31 2012 at 11:04 AM

A father was killed -- collateral damage from an errant bullet -- and his children ran into a restaurant for shelter. Mad at the world, a man walked into a coffee shop and opened fire, and later took his own life. And let's not forget Folklife. FOLKLIFE!? For the second year in a row, it was the scene of a shooting. These are dark days in Seattle.

If there is still some sort of argument in favor of gun ownership, I'd like to hear about it now. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

I think the City of Seattle should rethink the concealed-weapon permit process. Penalties for violations of gun laws should be swift and involve maximum jail time. Why? Because too many innocent people are dying in our city.

We don't need to carry guns. There are no invading forces that we have to protect our borders, states, or towns from. We don't need to hunt for food either.

People from Seattle are proud to be from here. We are quirky and have a sense of humor. It rains here, and when it is sunny, we all go outside. We have culture, dress with mad style, and we are book nerds. It is a great place for raising kids because of the safety. Or at least it was.

What do we do now, Seattle?

From all of us in the McKagan family and the Seattle Weekly family: To the families of those who have perished in this past week's tragedies, you have our deepest condolences and sympathy. I can't even imagine.

To Mayor McGinn: Do something.

To the NRA: Really?

To residents of Seattle: Don't lose a step. Go outside with your chest out. Wear your kooky clothes. Laugh, ride your bikes, and root for our terrible baseball team.

Let's not let this darkness misinform us of who we are.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/05/seattle_keep_your_head_up_and.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:00 pm

Can't Beat That Connection! You Never Know Who You're Going to Meet on a Plane
By Duff McKagan Thu., Jun. 7 2012 at 11:25 AM

I'm writing to you during my flight home to Seattle from L.A. this morning. Just as I plopped myself down in my seat on the plane, I started to have a nice chat with the gal in the seat next to me. I've got my dog Buckley with me, and he has the ability to disarm people who just see tattoos or whatever (people sometimes get bummed when I sit next to them).

This nice lady's name is Madeline Eddy, and she is flying back to Seattle to see her son, Tom Eddy, graduate from the University of Washington. A banner day in the Eddy family for sure.

As Madeline and I progressed in our conversation, I told her that I play music and whatnot, and she professed that her son Tom was about to set out on a rock tour of his own--basically the minute after he graduates. It turns out that Tom Eddy is the lead singer for Seattle favorite Beat Connection.

Mom is a bit worried, of course, and that is the reason us sons love our moms. Mom's always and unquestionably "got your back."

But what she didn't know, and I tried to inform her as best as possible, is that traveling musicians almost always have good support groups in the towns they tour through. There seems to be an unwritten law in our fellowship that there is always a place to crash or a barbecue in someone's backyard that we are invited to.

And Tom Eddy and Beat Connection are about to embark on a whirlwind dive into the realm of hope and belief in themselves. Some things artists have in droves: belief, hope, and, most times, some serious type-A drive.

Beat Connection did SXSW a couple of months ago, and have been touted as a favorite by our own Seattle Weekly. Many of you reading may have indeed seen this band play somewhere in town or elsewhere.

I still get enamored by the romance and hope of some new band taking those risks and getting out there on the road to those scary proving grounds of those uncomfortable places where only a very few may have heard your music. You have to prove yourself then and there, and on that strange stage in that strange new city. This is what new music is all about.

Good luck to you, Tom Eddy, and to your band. Madeline? Everything is going to be fine, and I trust that your son's band will be just fine. It seems they have scribes and fans pulling for them, and they will never be able to fully know what they are capable of as a band until they actually go out there and suffer on the road, for their art.

It's all just cute as a damn button . . .

(A word on my dog Buckley. We are at 30,000 feet, and his snoring is getting a bit embarrassing.)
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:19 pm

To the Class of 2012: Don't Ever Forget to Breathe, Laugh, and Kiss the One You Love
By Duff McKagan Thu., Jun. 14 2012 at 9:14 AM

It is that time of the year when colleges, high schools, and every other level of educational institution are letting out and graduating students. In the Western world, men and women and boys and girls are getting their move on to a higher level of education or "graduating" to life outside academics.

If you are around my age, you will appreciate it when I say: I wish I knew then what I know now. We thought we knew it all way back when. We only knew a little bit.

I'm not suggesting that teenagers and young adults are not yet smart. But most haven't received the informational, hard-fought lessons that you learn the hard way out there in the wondrous war that we call life:

The heartbreak.

Some paycheck-to-paycheck hunger.

Falling in love.

Seeing different cultures.

Getting lost in a strange city.

Being broke.

Getting rich?

Buying a car on your own.

A leasing agreement.

A loan document.

Buying a house.

Losing a house.

Having old resentments.

Living with regret.

Experiencing a life-victory of substance.

Experiencing adult depression/panic disorder (they are linked, I understand).

Getting strung out.

Getting an alcohol dependency.

Getting clean.

Having kids.

Going back out.

The list goes on.

These are happenings that we all experience in some form or another as life progresses.

A trick I have learned along the way is to have a hero to aspire to. It can be as simple as wanting to be like Clint Eastwood's character in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly or aspiring be like Oprah. There are many different and more personal variables in there (like an uncle or aunt, a parent, a yoga instructor, or Bruce fucking Lee).

Having a hero can get you through some of those tough-as-hell moments. You can ask yourself: "What would Clint do right now?" when in need of some steely nerve.

Breathing is important too.

So is laughing. Laugh your ass off. That is important.

And DO stuff. You probably want to ask yourself if you are doing today the things that you'd want to do on the last day of your life. What a full life that could be if you did indeed live every day like it was your last.

One last thing: Kiss that person you love, and shake hands with that person you aren't so in love with.

Welcome to summer, you youths, and welcome to the rest of your life. It is what you make of it . . . I think. So far, at least.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/06/to_the_class_of_2012_dont_ever.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:03 pm

Those About to Rock Need Slipknot, Slayer... and a Tall Ice-Cream Cone
By Duff McKagan Thu., Jul. 5 2012 at 11:31 AM

Auburn's White River Amphitheatre may not be the most convenient place for a Seattle rocker to get his or her groove on, but last Tuesday, the Mayhem Festival's bill was just too good to pass up.

Instead of actually reviewing the music (you know that I won't and don't do that here. I leave that to the guys who don't actually play in a band . . . er . . . I mean, I leave that to the esteemed "rock journalists"), I'm just gonna take you along for my ride the other night.

The last time Slayer was in town, I had to bail about two songs into their set (sacrilege, I know). I wasn't going to let that happen again.

Plus, it was the day before the Fourth, and I knew I could score some good (read: illegal) fireworks next to the Muckleshoot Casino (I of course lit and dispensed with the fireworks right there on the 'Rez . . . if you are the SPD reading right now).

But seriously, with Anthrax, Motorhead, Asking Alexandria, Slayer, and the mighty Slipknot in town, there was no way I could NOT go to this thing (if you rock and Motorhead is playing anywhere within a 100-mile radius, it is your duty to go . . . or you are not so "rock" after all . . . unless your daughter has a ballet recital, of course . . . or your wife reminds you that it's date night. In that case, you CAN plead the Motorhead Clause in the rock/marriage agreement, but tread carefully. Actually, my wife Sue LOVES the 'Head . . . so disregard).

Back to White River: I took two of my nephews, and we got followed for about five miles by the State 5-0. One of my nephews plays football for the UW, and I started to really sweat the fact that he was going to get in trouble. I did realize that I had done nothing illegal (yet), and that my car's tabs were up to date, and etc., but the cops still get me all flustered and imagining the worst. It got me in the mood for some anti-establishment rock and roll.

I really like the idea and feel of how Anthrax has re-emerged. They were a thing of the past due to internal fighting and tension--a familiar story that could have just been a footnote in the history of rock and roll. Instead, they got back together for last year's BIG 4 (the massive tour featureing Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax) and have reignited themselves as a touring force, and have also seemingly put all of the old resentment crap to bed. They kick ASS live.

Motorhead? Well, what is there left to say that I haven't said here before? The best. The gnarliest. The funniest. The loudest. Etc, etc, etc. They have been constantly on the road for something like 33 years. Ridiculous. I'm beyond fond of this lot . . . if my opinion means squat. They are Motorhead, and they play rock and roll.

And back at White River, Slayer came on. They don't mince words and they don't mince the rock. The music itself was epic as always, but the new stage show--with flaming Marshall stacks in the shape of a cross--was really something to behold. I have always kind of looked up to the fact that this band has never changed with the latest style or whatever. They are mean as hell live.

The Mayhem Festival has really perfected the traveling all-day rock experience. These things can be awful if there is overpriced water and/or not enough porta-potties, etc. But with a hint from European festivals and their corporate energy-drink sponsorships and the like, Mayhem has become a force because it is, for the most part, a fan-friendly atmosphere.

Slipknot have been through the ringer over the past few years--the biggest blow by far being the much-too-soon death of bassist and songwriter Paul Gray. The band will never fully "recover" from this . . . how does anyone, really?

But Slipknot are back in a big way. They have a huge worldwide audience that will seemingly forever support this endeavor. Corey is one of the best singers in our current stable of dudes who sing, and he leads this band with an intensity that can not ever be a learned thing.

Clown is a bad ass. Period.

The Northwest audience showed UP on Tuesday, and we all reeled as the loudest concussion bombs EVER did battle with the 50 surrounding firework stands. Great band. Great!

BTW, Slipknot's Corey Taylor did a book-signing at University Bookstore on Monday, for his ingenious Seven Deadly Sins book. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself that favor. Corey is one of the more enlightened guys roaming the planet at this moment.

Me and my nephews bailed before the end, so as to beat the traffic on that single-lane road on the way out of there. I hate that feeling when you start to think about traffic instead of just being in the moment of a show. I guess if I was a real rock dude, I'd just not be such a wuss about traffic.

Whatever. We got ice-cream cones at the Dairy Queen in Puyallup. Now THAT is rock!
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:51 am

President Obama, Let's Get the Fuck Out of Afghanistan Now
By Duff McKagan Thu., Jul. 19 2012 at 11:10 AM

One dinky column is certainly not even close to enough to convey my personal experience from last week. I try not to ever get too political here, either. Humankind and the act of being human to each other piques my interest much more than ranting a personal opinion. But sometimes I just gotta say my piece.

I am honored to be a guy from a rock band that means or has meant something to some people. Sometimes this fact hits me at gigs. Other times, I get a cool "dude-nod" from some person on the street or at an airport. And sometimes it is much, much more than just me realizing that some people like the rock.

Last week, I was given the chance to visit Walter Reed/Bethesda Hospital in Washington, D.C., in joint concert with the Wounded Warriors, the USO, and Monster Energy Drink. These are the times when being from a rock band transcends all of the dumb stereotypes and just gets plain real.

A couple of years ago, I had written here about our VA Hospital here in Seattle, and about the chance my band Loaded got to visit some ailing soldiers there. There is a connection we all have as humans, and that connection sometimes can get forgotten or pushed back for when we aren't "so busy" or whatever. There are some guys up there, I found, who may feel a bit forgotten. This goes way beyond one's personal views on politics and ideals -- this is about being a citizen of the world and taking care of your brother (in my view, anyhow).

This "war" in Afghanistan is still raging on. Yes. Our young people are still getting injured, killed, and/or badly maimed in the name of ridding the world of the Taliban over there. Is that the mission now?

Uh. President Obama. Let's get the fuck out of there now.

I've also written here before of my good buddy Tim Medvetz and his personal goal to get a different veteran/amputee to the summit of the world's seven highest mountains. I am glad to report that Tim and Marine Staff Seargant Mark Zambone have summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. They got to the top of that peak two Mondays ago, and Mark had trained so damn hard for this. Mark Zambone was a "Hurt Locker" guy in Afghanistan, and got hit by a bomb on his fifth deployment. Zambone knew he was good at his job, and just wanted to keep people out of harm's way. Mark is now a double-leg amputee above the knees, but has not seemed to miss a beat in his goal of being a leader. Inspiring human stuff.

I got to see some dudes last Friday in the "Amputee Alley" section of Walter Reed. The moniker is morose, but fitting. These young people are fresh from the battlefield, and the strides in onsite triage have escalated right along with the caginess and stealth of IED's and suicide-bombers.

These late-teen and early-20-something soldiers have seen the horror of war, and are dealing with the nightmare of combat, alongside the new battle with a missing limb or more.

I met a young man from New Mexico who had been amputated from above the belly-button.

President Obama: Make our withdrawal from Afghanistan as important as the economy and health care. My two cents.

Afghanistan and the U.S. have the strangest relationship. We helped them try and stave off the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. We built out the same cave system that we would later try and rout bin Laden from. We have been friends with the citizens of this country. We were heroes. Bin Laden is dead, right? The Taliban will seemingly never go away, but they have always kind of been around. I thought it was al Qaida that we were after.

I know that missions can change or whatever, but it is a hard thing to reconcile when you go and see the human damage. On both sides, I am sure.

But back to Walter Reed and the human spirit. You just get the overall feeling that these guys are going to be OK somehow. They have already seemingly come to grips with their different situations, and some even joked with me about their different incidents. One guy from the 82nd Airborne told me that he asked his jumpmaster if his being thrown 50 feet through the air counted as a jump from the plane. You kind of end up in awe of the human spirit with guys like these that I met.

I was truly honored to be in their presence.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Try to get up to your local VA. Pay a visit to some young people who may very well be in a terrible fight right now. Don't let them feel like they are doing it alone. If you are schoolteacher, maybe have your kids paint some pictures and send them up. If you are a rock band, go up there and bring your acoustic guitars and band T-shirts.

And even though they'd probably rather fly under the radar, I want to thank Monster Energy, Walter Reed, the U.S.O., and all those soldiers . . . for all their relentless service. Makes me glad to be a part of this human race.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:52 pm

OK, I am a girl so I can admit it. I read this and it made me cry.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:05 pm

J.P. Patches Made Seattle Bands a Little Bit Different. Seriously
By Duff McKagan Thu., Jul. 26 2012 at 6:00 AM

I was driving home from the Capitol Hill Block Party last Sunday night. I had a Ford Expedition full of five kids, some out-of-town friends, and my wife Susan. I had just played a really fun gig with some Seattle pals, and was just kind of living in the moment of a sunny evening with teenage girls and rock and roll.

My wife Susan was checking the news on her iPhone, and gently but suddenly announced that J.P. Patches had passed away. I slowed down . . . it was a huge shot in the gut. I stopped the car.

My kids could never know the importance of the passing of J.P. to me. Our out-of-town guests most certainly couldn't either. Everyone in the car did notice the teardrop down my right cheek. Suddenly the car got quiet, and Susan awkwardly tried to explain J.P. Patches to all these kids and out-of-towners.

The importance of J.P. Patches may not make any sense to any of you under the age of, say, 34 or 35--and will certainly not make any sense to those of you outside our area--but J.P. Patches, to people like me who grew up under his watchful and hilarious eye, informed us all about a unique sense of humor that had so much to do with the formation of the identity of this town. I'm serious.

J.P.'s TV show ran here daily for 20 years. It was for kids, and ran in the morning as we were all getting ready for school. We didn't know the difference, but it was improv at its best, and played to two levels of humor (we always wondered why our parents would watch along with us and chuckle at some skit whose humor was above our heads). All that we kids knew--we "Patches' Pals," as we were known--was that we had the coolest morning show in the world.

Back then, from the early '60s to the early '80s, Seattle was a full-on working-class town. All we really had was Boeing and timber, and to the rest of the world, we were thought of as lumberjacks living in teepees. We were "way up THERE."

When I moved to Los Angeles in the mid-'80s, it became very apparent that all these people who I was meeting who weren't from Seattle didn't get some of my humor. I realized then that a lot of my humor came from J.P. and Gertrude and Boris S. Wort and Ketchikan the Animal Man. I was on my own little lonely humor island down there.

But then bands from Seattle started to come down to L.A., and I would get a kick out of the swath of Los Angelenos scratching their heads at the inside jokes, after bands like the U-Men, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, and early Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains would come to town.

I realized then that the J.P. Patches show had put a very unique slant on our town--and I can even make the statement that if you like the "vibe" of a lot of those bands I just mentioned, then somehow you were getting a second-hand look into how J.P. had made us here in the Pacific Northwest just a bit different.

In the '90s, when I first met my now-wife Susan, we did that thing that all young couples do--we informed each other of the things that influenced us. My "most important things" that she HAD to know were a love for early punk rock and Prince, a love of the Seattle Supersonics (a deal-breaker), and she had to understand J.P. Patches. I think once she saw that J.P. Patches TV special, she suddenly got a huge insight into my psyche as a whole . . . and I don't think that I am overstating this.

On Sunday night and Monday morning, a bunch of guys my age started texting and calling each other. These are a bunch of tough dudes, if you ask me, but these tough dudes were all like myself . . . a bit lost now with the fact that J.P. Patches had passed away.

Some of you may assume that we guys are just more acutely aware of the passage of time, and that the death of a childhood icon just signals another signpost of that fact. But it's more than that. If you are from Seattle or the surrounding area and you are above the age of 34 or 35, J.P. Patches still made you feel like a kid, still made you laugh, and still made you unique and proud to be different in whatever wacky way that was.

Godspeed, J.P. Patches. Rest in Peace, Chris Wedes. You will be greatly missed, and thank you for making Seattle feel like we were special.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/07/jp_patches_made_seattle_bands.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:10 pm

Q&A: Duff McKagan and Jack White Talk Happy Accidents, Lanegan, and Growing Up With GNR
By Duff McKagan Tue., Aug. 7 2012 at 5:00 PM

Having the freedom to do what you want in a creative venture without the constraints and pressures of mandated commercial success can be the most freeing and self-releasing experience. Twinned with natural gifts and a driven spirit, an environment emerges where truly great things can happen.

Steve Jobs is a great example of this.

Prince always has done what he wants, and done it well.

Clint Eastwood has always been able to create things at will, onscreen and behind the camera.

John Lennon had the freedom to create and the resources to play with whomever he chose.

Jack White is one of those guys.

Creativity knows no boundaries with him. And while the rest of us may think that the guy just can't sit still (what, eight different band projects in the last dozen years?), success in pretty much all that he does has afforded him the opportunity to have healthy outlets for his growing creativity.

Think of that cartoon snowball going down a mountainside getting bigger and bigger as it picks up speed, taking down trees as it catapults headlong. Jack White is today's musical equivalent.

Jack-Whitesas6.jpg
Renee McMahon
His unchecked creativity allows him to do stuff on records--hanging out in the studio at length with some of Earth's best session players, just waiting for creativity to strike? Wow!--that few others can afford. Guys like Jack White and Prince set the bar for what becomes standard, but they are always one step ahead.

The Information Age and the disposability of digital files has made new music seem so transient. You have to really go hunting for the good current stuff, or you just go backwards and listen to Zeppelin or the Stones.

Blunderbuss, Jack White's first true solo venture, is one of those records that makes you feel like you are in the same room as the players. The sounds and riffs are authentic and hearken back to some Levon Helm/Band-isms, sounding current and urgent at the same time.

If you delve into the word choices, rhyme schemes, and subject matter of the lyrics for Blunderbuss, you will find a smart, dark, and hip trip into the blackness of love found, lost, and finally disposed of. White says he doesn't like to set out to write about himself, but turns to universal truths of heartbreak and human wreckage as a foundation to get some anger and emotion out. It's only after a song gets made that Jack sees his characters clearly.

"The funny thing is, I always think I'm writing about a couple of characters," Jack told me, "but by the end I'm mixing the song and listening to it back and thinking, 'Oh, now I know exactly what this song is about. I'm the only one who's going to know.' "

White has joined the ranks of Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen as anomalies in the rock-and-roll game. He sells records (and a lot of them). He sells tickets to shows (again, lots). He can afford to tour with two complete bands (one all-male, one all-female. What!?), choosing daily which one will play that night. He can choose who he wants to work with, and those people seemingly jump at the chance (the Stones, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Page, The Edge, etc.).

We need dudes like White. We need people to show us that you can be an individual who indulges the whims of your creative spirit and still be commercially successful. Pushing boundaries and selling records makes other bands and artists stray to the outer edges, away from what's safe, familiar, and popular--and that is great for music.

Here's what happened when I jumped on the phone with Jack:

Jack White: Hello.

McKagan: Hey, Jack.

Hey.

It's Duff.

Hey, Duff, how are you doing?

Good, how are you doing, dude?

Great. We met one time in a hotel lobby in New York, I think.

We did. We did some hanging out there. I've never done an interview per se, but I've been interviewed a million times, and you probably have too. They thought it would be interesting if you and I just kind of talked.

Yeah.

I really like the new record a lot. The sounds are kick-ass. I read the lyrics away from the music, which is something I don't always do, but I don't always interview somebody. Can you tell me about the path that you went on for this record, lyric-wise?

It was sort of different writing ideas I was trying out every day. Each song was a new way of writing that I had never tried before. I was writing backwards and writing with people in the room . . . One time I had all the session musicians in and they were all waiting for me, and I sat down at the piano and I absolutely had no song at all.

I forced myself to write one right in front of them without them knowing it, and I was trying a lot of ideas like that out to really make things different for me, because I didn't realize what I was doing until four or five songs in, what this was going to be. I had no plans to make a quote-unquote solo record.

There's pain in this record. A lot of people use different things to help them write lyrics. Sometimes it's politics, and sometimes it's pain. It's hurt love, relationship pain. Was there a theme here with this record that struck a common chord?

I always find it kind of boring to write about myself. But whatever happens to you, if you've gone through anything--sort of a literal train wreck in your life, for example--you have to have that inside of you in some way; even if you choose not to write about being involved in a train wreck, it would come out of you no matter what choice you have. So whatever characters I was writing about during the record, I'm giving them these problems. But the problems are only things that I probably have seen or experienced sometime along the way.

The funny thing is, I always think I'm writing about, you know, a couple of characters, but by the end I'm mixing the song and listening to it back and thinking, "Oh, now I know exactly what this song is about. I'm the only one who's going to know." It's very funny.

I told Brian Ray from Paul McCartney's band that I'm going to interview Jack, and what do I talk about, and he brought up a very interesting thing. He said you two were talking at some point, and you were a fan of Hunt Sales and that old Iggy band, that Berlin-era Iggy band. You're a fan of Hunt?

Hunt's amazing.

How was it that you came onto him?

I had seen old footage of Iggy Pop when I started to get into the Stooges, and then I started getting into Iggy Pop's solo music later and I saw footage of his rhythm section, and I thought they were playing amazingly and they looked really cool. I didn't know who they were, and someone said they were Soupy Sales' kids.

In Detroit, Soupy Sales was such a famous star. That was an amazing thing to hear as a Detroiter, that they were from Soupy Sales. It was even more appealing, and I started to read more about them and learn more about what they had been doing. Hunt was a punk rocker 10 years before punk. I love his drummer style, too.

You are touring with two different bands. That's kind of like a dream setup--to have a different band every night.

Yeah. Well, I was just trying to think of ways to break things up for me, because a lot of times you see somebody you know from a band and they play under their own name and they just have to find four or five people to stand behind them and play the songs off their old album, and it's a nostalgia trip, and I don't really want to do that. And a lot of the stuff--if it's a White Stripes song, for example, that people are hearing, I don't want to recreate something that a two-piece band did with six people in some really regular, perfunctory way, or a nostalgic way. So it's a way for me to shake things up for myself so it stays really alive onstage, not just trying to recreate some moment from 10 years ago.

Also, the new songs of mine were done with these new musicians, so that was the lucky part. I could take all of them with me on the road. It's very expensive, but I'm getting a lot out of it.

Do you have a normal way of writing riffs and musical beds for your songs?

This one was a lot of accidents. We had this song on the record called "16 Saltines" and the riff was [written while] sort of checking the reverb unit and seeing how long the reverb would last. I said record this real quick, and we'll come back to it later.

These things would not have happened years ago in the studio. I used to really force myself to go in there like, oh, a White Stripes album, or Raconteurs, we got to record this, and we have eight days to do it, and we're going to do it for only $5,000, and have all these limitations to myself. But now that I have my own studio, I can take advantage of those things right now--actually record something off the fly and come back to it. I never would have done something like that back in the day.

Do you remember what you have when you get all those happy accidents?

Yeah, I used to let them go, or say, "Oh, just go on." I said from now on I'm not doing that anymore, and I also made a rule for myself that when I wake up in the middle of the night and have some melody coming out . . . I told myself to write them down--which is probably the hardest thing I've done, to write something down at 4 in the morning. Songs on the album came from that--"Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boys" came from that, 4 o'clock in the morning, forcing myself to write down a melody and some words.

How did you get into making Wanda Jackson's record?

I had been producing a lot of 45s for Third Man Records over the last three years, and she called up. But she wanted to do one of those albums that I never can get into, which is those where every song's a duet with somebody or collaboration. And I said, "Well, you know, I don't even really know who buys those records, Wanda, and maybe it works for Santana once, or something, but I just don't know if it works for anybody." And I said "Why don't we go and just do a single, just do a 45, and if something happens, something inspiring, and we need to do more songs, we'll do it."

We did that Amy Winehouse track, and it turned out great, and we ended up having about six songs the first day--and I said, "Wanda, why don't we just make a whole album and finish it," and she was really up for it. I've had a lot of experience working with septuagenarians. It worked out good.

Are you a fan of Mark Lanegan?

Yeah, yeah. In fact, I met Mark Lanegan at the side of the stage at a Queens of the Stone Age [performance] a while ago. I started talking to him--I didn't even know it was him I was talking to. I was really funny. I felt really rude and ignorant, but he has such a beautiful voice. I love that he . . . is working on music because he needs to and can't help himself. That really appeals to me.

That's probably why I brought him up. You two remind me of each other in terms of how you roll in your career. Personally, I could see a kick-ass collaboration at some point. But listen, Jack, I'll come and see ya when you're here in Seattle.

It was great to talk with you, Duff. I listened to so much of your music when I was younger, by the way, and [it was] a really big influence on me. Thank you for all of that, I appreciate it.

Thanks, Jack, man. I dig what you're doing, I really do. This new record's really great and authentic, and I appreciate getting snippets of authentic music here and there. It's kind of rare these days. So thanks.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/duff_mckagan_jack_white.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:00 pm

Aerosmith and Cheap Trick Inspired Me In the '70s, '80s, '90s, and Wednesday Night at the Tacoma Dome
By Duff McKagan Fri., Aug. 10 2012 at 9:00 AM

Sometimes you go to a rock show because you just need to go. Rock and roll has gone through many fazes over the years. But once in a while we're left with bands that rise to the top, bands that stand all tests of time. Aerosmith and Cheap Trick are decidedly two of those bands, bands you just NEED to see every so often; if nothing else, but to inspire and remind you of what is great about stripped-down rock music.

Both bands played on Wednesday night in Tacoma, and after thinking of as many reasons as I could to get out of making that drive down south through gross traffic, there was nothing that could keep me from seeing Aerosmith and Cheap Trick.

These two bands had an epic musical influence of my formative years. The bands that we formed later on in the early 80s had a dose of these influences mixed with the aggression of punk rock. There was no one I knew-- hard-core punker or metal maniac- that didn't just love Aerosmith and Cheap Trick. Records like Toys In The Attic and In Color will earn a band a lifelong cool factor.

The show was sold out. That's a good sign for rock and roll.

Cheap Trick have always kept it real. They have never strayed from their original of writing great rockers with insane melody. Their live shows are -- probably because of the epic 1979 album, Cheap Trick at Budokan -- always looked forward to with a sort of loving rockticipation (is that a word? It is now!). 'The' Trick have never used tape at shows, and they have never gone to in-ear monitors or other new-fangled on-stage technology. They play loud rock music, and no one really does this type of thing better than Cheap Trick. AND, they just don't seem to lose, nor surrender, a step. (It was an honor, it must be said, to be asked to sit in with the band during the set.)

There has been drama and intrigue surrounding Aerosmith over the last decade. Questions have been asked about how much of some of their shows was actually live. Questions have been asked about them trying to capture some of that old riff-writing song-wizardry of yore. Are they getting high again? Is Tom Hamilton going to be okay? Are they going to break up?

About 25 years ago, I was given the chance (with GNR) to open for Aerosmith. Aerosmith was well on their way to being all the way back on top after a bad band break-up and struggles with some serious vice. This was a dream scenario for a band like ours. These guys were our living and breathing heroes, and I remember almost pinching myself every night when the opening piano line of "Dream On" would get played. I mean...SHIT! This was fucking Aerosmith! We were there...side-stage...and now, sort of even doing something in CONJUNCTION with these heroes of ours. It was a magical time, to say the very least.

All of that negative hoopla that surrounds a band like Aerosmith, can and will immediately be washed away and discarded by going and seeing them live. There IS no tape, of course. Brad Whitford and Joe Perry are playing better guitar than ever. Steven Tyler is playful, happy, and singing all of those impossible high notes. Joey Kramer has a drum groove like no other. And Tom Hamilton has recovered from his cancer, and continues to be the steady anchor to this ship.

Hell, I even loved the fact that both bands made more than a handful of mistakes. Mistakes make music suddenly human for us...more accessible, relatable, and hence, that much more perfect, in a way.

I was transformed Wednesday night, back to the 70s. But it wasn't in some dumb 'retro' way; make no mistake: these bands are somehow as current-seeming as anyone right now. No, I was transformed via music, to a time when there were musical heroes and inspiration and greatness.

Wednesday night, I needed to go to Tacoma, and I am so glad that you were all there, too.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/duff_mckagan_aerosmith_cheap_t.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:25 am

The Kids Are In School, the Band's at Slim's, and Tim Medvetz Is Bringing Another Soldier Up the Mountain
By Duff McKagan Thu., Aug. 16 2012 at 7:00 AM

My legs are absolutely toast. Have I over-trained for my climb up Mt. Rainier this Monday? I DO have a tendency to do that kind of thing.

I am an addict.

My head is kind of swimming, too. I have read over 30 books on mountainclimbing, and have had an armchair fascination with the terror that can go down, up there in them hills. Am I 'man' enough?

But I HAVE two whole and intact legs, and I shrink into myself for even complaining in my lone corner.

My buddy, Tim Medvetz, is bringing along a single (leg) amputee Marine on this climb (Cpl. Kionte Storey). This whole deal actually STANDS for something. Something much, much bigger than me and my fear and my physical pain from over-training or whatever. I've got to do things like this. To be a good father, is to lead, right?

But my kids got into a new school down in LA, and that school starts a whole 3 weeks earlier than their previous school. So, they won't be here to witness their old Dad doing this climb. They won't be here to meet the veteran. I am on my own.

I found out about the school date change too late to switch the climb. I am facing a mountain of snow-covered earth. Probably thinking too much too, about schools and girls and Katy Perry and Childish Gambino at the Palladium in Hollywood while I'm not there to chaperon, and am I a good Dad? And, will the Loaded tour in the UK be the right move, and, and , and....

My head feels like a mound of snow-covered earth.

------------

I saw Jack White at the WaMu on Tuesday night. He used the all-girl band here in Seattle, and it was really pretty damn magnificent.

That guy is a figure....but he is somehow not full of himself. Those are the cats that will stay around for awhile. He hasn't drunk the punch. He didn't get the memo that he was supposed to believe the hype. Cool.

His band kicked real, authentic, ass.

------------

The weather here in town has been absolutely incredible. When I go to good gigs here and hang out with good people who could give two fucks about what other people think of them, it reminds me of the soul and character of this city.

I love it here. I love the coffee. I love the people. I think Kasey Anderson is a fucking genius, and John Roderick too. I love Seattle. Maybe we aren't as sexy as some other places, but who cares? We have Salmon and Mt. Rainer as our backdrop.

Oh crap. Mt. Rainer ....

------------

If you are in town on Friday, and like some good-ass chili and rock and roll and climbers, come down to Slim's at 6 p.m. The Walking Papers will be playing (Mike McCready and myself with be joining then. They are GOOD!). Jeff Rouse's band, To the Glorious Lonely, will be playing, too. Hell, LOADED may play a song or two also!

Climber Tim Medvetz (Discovery Channel's Everest: Beyond the Limit) will be there, as well as Marine veteran Kionte Storey. It's 15 bucks, and we are hoping to raise enough money to help get these guys to the South Pole to climb Mt. Vinson. Storey served us, its time for some good old Seattle payback.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/duff_mckagan_2.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:02 pm

Coming Down the Mountain
By Duff McKagan Thu., Aug. 30 2012 at 9:00 AM

When I wrote recently about the Heroes Project-sponsored climb of Mt. Rainier for Cpl. Kionte Storey, there was really no way I could have forecasted just how awesome this undertaking would be.

The 23-year-old Storey lost his right leg to an IED in Afghanistan one year ago, and this climb would be a test of whether he was choosing to go in this life, as opposed to wallowing or feeling sorry for himself. The Heroes Project provides a healthy outlet for some of these kids. What could be a better physical and mental symbol for overcoming than some huge mountain?

Mt. Rainier ain't no joke. I was given the opportunity to tag along for the climb.

Prosthetic limbs take some time for a user to get accustomed to. Carrying a pack full of real weight up slippery snow, rock, and ice can put stress on these prosthetics that they were probably not designed for.

The climb up to Camp Muir (10,000 feet) is test enough for anyone. To Muir, the eventual Rainier summiter must carry everything needed for a few days' stay: tents, pads, stoves, food, pots and pans, shovels, rope, crampons, ice axes, helmets, food, layers of different types of clothes . . .

The initial push to Muir is arduous as hell. Kionte Storey listened to Linkin Park on his iPod, and did not utter one word of complaint about his leg or the climb. He just smiled and marveled at the impossible scenery. Snow and mountains and glaciers are not the norm to a kid from Stockton, Calif.

Our leaders were three gregarious men with Everest on their resumes. On the mountain, these dudes were the rock stars. At Muir, you would hear constant whispers about the three dudes Kionte and I were with. We were safe as one could be with these three, so they strongly suggested that we take an extra day to rest at Muir and acclimatize to the altitude. A sound plan.

Now listen: For my part, I had trained my ass off for this climb. Being invited on this climb meant that I should also be ready and able to help wherever and whenever I could. I climbed stairs all over Seattle. I ran and lifted weights. I did lunges and strange-looking "burpies" that exhaust the body. I ate right, and tried to rest my body before this climb. I was ready, damn it . . . READY AS HELL.

On summit night (you "wake up" at about 10:30 p.m., get ready, eat, and begin the actual summit push at about midnight in the dark), Kionte was looking strong and I felt ready and able. The weather was good and somewhat stable, and before we knew it we were cramponing up some icy ledges and hopping over crevices and running across dicey rock and ice fall areas.

Some people adjust better than others to altitude. I have read countless books on different climbs and climbers, and the fact remains that modern science still hasn't really figured out why altitude affects different people -- regardless of their fitness levels -- in different ways.

My right eye suddenly blurred at about 11,000 feet. I kept it quiet. I didn't want to be the guy who held up the group. Pride plays a factor up there, and pride is dangerous in those slippery, steep, and treacherous places.

In the dark, I suddenly saw the outline of "little" Tahoma, the sister mountain of Rainier; its summit was actually below me. My body felt strong, lifted by the sight of young Cpl. Storey and his headlamp arduously making its way higher, just above me. Blurry or not, you just carry on.

At 12,000 feet, both my eyes went blurry, and nausea was overcoming me. It was a sort of step, step, heave . . . step, step, heave type of gait. But I still felt strong, and I hoped that this phase would pass. Just keep going, Duff . . . it ain't about you. Don't be "that guy." Think of punk rock. Think martial arts. Think of your family, and think of Kionte.

At about 12,800 feet, a guide from another climb came up to me and announced that he thought I had a cerebral edema "and could die soon if he doesn't get down very quickly." Hey climber-dude-alarmist-guy . . . chill the fuck out. Without me really realizing it, I guess my eyes were rolling around a bit and I was stumbling like a drunken sailor. What the?! I felt strong as a bull! Kionte went into "Marine mode," and it was time to turn this climb around. The mission was now to get your erstwhile columnist down the damn mountain. Heaving, stumbling, and talking nonsense (I guess).

Life is funny sometimes, and a situation that's supposed to go one way can often go quite another direction. I had to pull everything I had from deep inside of me just to get down. Cpl. Storey, I am sure, gained confidence. He took another one for the team, and made sure his fellow brother was OK.

Cpl. Storey will now attempt Mt. Vinson at the South Pole.

Me? Well, that mountain is still there, and I have, after one week away, trained my eyes back to the summit.
Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/coming_down_the_mountain.php
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