Friday, March 31, 2006
And now the moment they've both been dreading -- the original Julie and Eric Slick future rock star photo and yes, they did love those tie-dye shirts. But man, what a prediction of how their lives did in fact turn out, and even though it's Julie who ultimately played the bass and Eric is a drummer, he also plays guitar, bass, sax, marimbas, piano...you name it. But I feel I must make a disclaimer here. The cowboy hats were their idea - god knows I tried to talk them out of it. I remember it like it was yesterday. Julie threatened to not allow the photographer to take their picture unless I let them both wear those things. She's been making the rules around here since day one. I've officially dubbed her the Slick Family Social Director.
But the fact that it says "Star on the Horizon"...wow.
Hey, check out the other headlines on that Rolling Stone cover -- so I'm guessing this must be from 1992 which would make Eric five and Julie six years old at the time this photo was taken. "Guns and Roses fans await new album". Err...I think they're still waiting fifteen years later. Hope they weren't holding their breath. Check that. I hope they did and are now all blue.
Not me. Bleh, feh, and yeah, yeah, we all know what Axl Rose really means when you unscramble the letters. He's just so...cough cough...hip. ("Oral sex" for those of you uncool folks out there and if you didn't previously know that, I wouldn't worry about it...in fact, be proud)
And oh god, there's also a headline about the Grateful Dead. Jerry's been dead since like, what, 1994? Ugh, there's another band which will be on the soundtrack in hell when I die. How is it that I never remember to mention them when I moan how much I despise U2 and Aerosmith? I think I hate them so much I just block them out. Oh, and that goes for their evil little devil child Phish, too. And oh my god, all of their solo efforts....arghhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Okay, who can tell me where the title of this post originates? Stick your answer in the comments section -- if no one comes up with the answer, I'll post it tomorrow or whenever I post next.
Speaking of music (and when don't I?), I'm really digging the new David Gilmour CD a lot more than I thought I would. One song I'm really liking is "This Heaven" which has Georgie Fame on Hammond Organ. I also especially love the first cut, "On An Island", which features Graham Nash and David Crosby on back-up vocals. By the way, make sure you do in fact click on the David Crosby link and then click on "politics". Yay, David! See, this is what is missing from music today. Don't fucking dance to mindless MTV/rap/music...listen to the real thing, absorb the lyrics, read about this fucking country of ours that's robbing all of our personal freedom...and get out in the street and protest!
Getting back to the Gilmour CD, funny inside story about how Nash and Crosby ended up on the CD. Gilmour and Nash are neighbors and Gilmour had an emergency plumbing problem at his house. Graham Nash has a reputation for being a very handy guy, so Gilmour phoned him up and asked him to come over and see if he could help. After struggling a few hours and no real plumber available, Nash told Gilmour he knew of another neighbor even more handy, and he called her and she came over straight away and fixed the problem. Know who it was? None other than Bette Midler. She's like mega handywoman. By the way, did you know I've been chased down the street by foreign tourists (and clueless Americans) more than once asking for my photo and autograph because apparently I'm Bette's double? I don't see the resemblance at all, but since I hear it from people at least once a week, maybe it is true. I dunno. You decide.
Ha ha - I looked for a better comparison pic but the problem is, I never smile when there's a camera in front of me so I'll have to settle for this one.
Getting back to the story, David Crosby was hanging out with Graham Nash when all of this occurred and that's how they ended up doing background vocals on Gilmour's new CD.
So vegging out here at the computer with Comedy Central on in the background, I just heard the most hilarious line, especially as you all know how anti-religion I am.
"You see all of these proud Christians, wearing gold crosses around their necks? Yeah, I know if I were Jesus Christ and I came back to Earth a cross is just what I'd want to see."
Ha ha. That cracked me up. And how true.
Let's see. What else. Oh yeah, Neil Gaiman twisted moment time. Neil, you do not need a haircut. Leave perfection alone.
You know, from the very moment I started this blog in October of 2004, it has led me down some of the strangest paths ever, but more importantly, put me in touch with some incredible writers and musicians. Just yesterday I received an email from an author from the UK named John Baker who wrote to me:
"I literally stumbled into your blog. I was looking for something else entirely, something quite specific, though I can't remember what it was. Anyway all of a sudden I was there - in her own write - and it was like being trapped in a fairy ring for a while. I didn't think I'd be able to get out. When the panick cleared I realised I didn't want to get out - not yet awhile anyways. And I'll be back again before long"..
I mean really. How cool is that. I've linked John on the right hand side as well and you should really check him out. I plan on picking up whatever I can find of his at the bookstore down the street because I really like what I've read on his site. I mention the bookstore down the street because I am lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with probably one of the last "mom and pop" bookstores in Philadelphia:
Philadelphia, PA 19130
"A great little bookstore located in Philadelphia's Art Museum area and just down the street from the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary. The proprietors, Rolf and Ricci, run a friendly, well-stocked, general used bookstore with very reasonable prices. They know good, interesting books and a visit will not disappoint".
In other news, I read about this and immediately signed up. If you don't believe me, click here and scroll down. Ask me how psyched I am about it. But my luck, he's got a three year waiting list. Or worse, I'll get an instant invite and he'll be serving kidneys, liver or sweetbreads that night. Oh who cares, it sounds like a totally cool adventure and I'm always up for that.
Anyway, I know I've got more news but it's early in the morning and I can't remember and unfortunately, I have to get dressed and get out of here for an 8:30 a.m. appointment with my blood pressure/oh-my-god-your-cholesterol-is-way-too-high doctor. That kind of sucks. I forgot and ate cheesecake last night and I'm setting myself up for a lecture. The worst part of that is, he's really nice and he looks at me with these sad eyes like Robin, what are you, suicidal? and he can't understand why.
Gonna have to face it I'm addicted to food?
Oh wait. The guy that wrote that song died of a heart attack at like age 50.
Oh wait. No. He was addicted to love.
Oh wait. They're not the same thing? Could have fooled me.
Just kidding, just kidding.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Eric and Julie Slick when they were baby rock stars. And believe it or not, this photo was taken at the late and lamented yearly Philadelphia Blues Festival which was held outdoors and where we bought Eric a handmade wooden drum. When Stephen Stills took the stage, five year old Eric started drumming along with him and within ten minutes had 20,000 people standing around him in a circle with their mouths wide open as opposed to watching Mr. Stills.
Julie is holding a red rubber lobster which is what she insisted we buy her after Eric got the drum. We never did find out why it was so important to her.
Now I know you are all probably shocked to see that photo instead of this one, which of course I lifted off of his website yesterday in a fit of total glee:
But when I went to Susan Henderson's blog today, she'd already posted it but you must go visit Sue anyway because while I reported that Howard Glassman was currently eating the entire works of Neil Gaiman, Sue saw it, got in touch with Howard, and interviewed him! Makes for one hell of a read. Hey Howard! I bet Sue and I get you on the Daily Show! You and your power walkers are gonna owe us!
So Julie forced me into doing the tax/college paperwork extravaganza yesterday which is really a good thing because this means I don't have to spend the next two weeks waking up at 2:00 a.m. and not being able to fall back asleep due to worrying about it. In honor of all that we went out to lunch at a really cool restaurant called Matyson. This place definitely makes it into our top ten, maybe even our top five. I'm not sure if what we had is on this menu - Julie had a really sick version of a Salad Nicoise which had roasted potatoes, about a pound of fresh tuna, imported olives, etc. and I had an even sicker salad - filet mignon, fresh mozzarella cheese, roasted tomatoes, assorted really fresh greens and croutons made from black bread all tossed together with a champagne dressing. We shared dessert of what's listed as coconut cream pie but was really coconut mousse atop a layer of chocolate ganache in a macadamia nut crust...topped with incredible toasted coconut whipped cream. Needless to say, we walked to and from the restaurant which is about four miles for damage control. And I did not eat dinner last night in penance.
Eric came home with the head cold from hell but he's still hanging tough in the studio all day and rehearsals for the Project Object tour all night. Meanwhile, from lurking on the John Wetton website I learned that Steve Howe is doing a tour and he's hitting many of the same venues Eric is playing...most interesting that he's playing at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA on April 17 which is one night after Eric following a concert in New York and then a three day layover. Um, what I'm trying to say here is, Steve Howe has three days off after his New York show before playing the show in MA and maybe he'll be there a day early and see Eric's show? Hahahaha - I really do live in fantasy world, don't I? But I mean, Eric's hung out with Adrian Belew and John Wetton this month and last and Tony Levin in January, why not Howe, too? (Eric already met Carl Palmer -- Palmer taught him a stick trick and after much begging, Eric got him to autograph my Brain Salad Surgery album for me. I mean, I had to beg Eric; Eric didn't have to beg Carl...just so we're clear on that. And I really didn't have to beg Eric, I'm just kidding). And in case anyone out there reading this has no fucking idea what I'm talking about and what the connection is, prog rockers John Wetton, Steve Howe, Tony Levin, Adrian Belew, Carl Palmer...and Eric Slick...have all played together in various projects at different points in their careers.
Anyway, I'm really psyched. I've booked my hotels for a Project Object tour weekend in Vermont and MA and can't wait to put on my groupie mom cape again and fight for truth, justice, and the American way.
Hang on - truth, justice...and American way? That's kind of an oxymoron in the Bush administration, isn't it?
I really meant I can't wait to put my magic groupie mom cape on and be rock and roll crazy girl again. Now if I could only invent a time machine.
So I believe that's it for today. I'm still recovering from all of yesterday's paperwork...my brain is hurting...and I think I'll spend today writing a few hours then reading outdoors in the park with the dog for a bit. Err..I don't read to the dog, he just sits next to me and makes me feel good. It's just a magnificent spring day out there with trees in bloom and temperatures in the sixties. I'm still slowly savoring The Hummingbird's Daughter (Amazon link at right) but I'm almost at the end, darn it. What a book!
Oh, one more thing. Pearl Jam fans looking for the video clip I posted with Eddie Vedder and my son Eric singing The Who's A Quick One can find it right here.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Seriously. This man is eating the entire works of Neil Gaiman.
I don't quite know what to say about this...
(Thanks to my pal Jessica for the heads-up!)
So as I said, Julie's on spring break this week but took off to be with her boyfriend on a really cool trip to New Hope, PA...and woo hoo she's coming back here on Wednesday just in time to do taxes and college FAFSA forms with me. Gah. But before she left, she made me this awesome salad for lunch and I just had to take a picture of it. Julie makes Martha Stewart look like Paris Hilton.
Eww...that's some analogy. I get the creeps thinking of either of them let alone both.
Oh no, now I just got a gruesome mental image of the two of them mud wrestling.
Help me. Please. Make it go away.
Sigh...I am just not normal.
So I got some awesome news today - Borders Books will be carrying Three Days in New York City in their bookstores nationwide and this bodes very well for the soon-to-be released sequel. I'm so psyched!
Also, yeah, yeah, make fun of me for my Google addiction all you like, but today I found an interview I did last year that's just been published. It's full of fun facts as usual but I have to be honest, I did this so long ago I don't even remember saying half those things. But I must have, huh. Anyway, the interview was conducted by a pretty cool author "in her own write" (What's this? Now I'm plugging the blog? I'm so shameless, aren't I?)...Glenda Woodrum.. Oh, and I can't help but notice that the interview says she's interviewing someone else -- Charlotte Boyette Compo. I wonder if that's a pen name I used while writing erotica intoxicated one evening? Hahahaha - nah, mine were usually funny, like "Cliff Rigid". This is probably just a webmaster cut and paste error. Though I really do like the name Charlotte...
Last night I dug deep into the archives and pulled out some Graham Parker. Stuff I hadn't listened to in a long time, like Don't Ask Me Questions and Soul on Ice. I forgot how fucking awesome he is. Only problem was I had my journal open and ended up using my pen as a drumstick instead of writing but oh well.
So as I mentioned yesterday, in May I'll be signing books at the RT Convention. Last year it was held in St. Louis and it poured rain for all four days so I was basically confined to the hotel and pretty shell-shocked because unless you've been to an RT Convention or done a lot of research before attending the first time -- which of course I never bothered to do -- nothing prepares you for the "experience". As I reported last year, authors and fans alike attend and dress in costume...in fact, that's what you do there...bring as many costumes as you can and they can't just be on the order of dressing all in black and merely wearing a black mask like I'd be inclined to do...this is like a major and I mean major gay Halloween bash. And RT is a mish-mosh of writers - Chick Lit, Romance, Erotica, and Paranormal (vampires)...so the costumes reflect that. Hmm...maybe I'll just go as different Chick Lit book covers.
This year I got really lucky. The convention is being held in Florida and I get to stay at this gorgeous beach front hotel!. So I'm pretty thrilled about that. It's been a long, long winter.
Anyway, the costumes really come into play at the various parties thrown by different publishers each evening. So I thought I'd list the parties which I'm expected to attend and the theme...and while I am going to come up with costumes for each on my own, you can let your own imaginations wander as to what you would do if you were me...
Ellora's Cave Fantasy Party
Wednesday, May 16, 2006
9pm to Midnight
This is the opportunity to live the dream
and dress up as your most bewitching,
outrageous and alluring “secret” self!
Anything goes … and an EC party will be wild!
Okay, this is obviously my favorite party theme. Any guesses as to my alluring secret self? Ha!
Now this next one is a little dicey...
Vampire Caribbean Ball
Thursday, May 17, 2006
9pm to Midnight
Come as your favorite pirate, serving wench, vampire, or swashbuckling hero
I'm thinking serving wench. Oh god help me. This is when I really need to be twenty years old again. I know. I'll be a swashbuckling heroine -- Groupie Mom!
Oh, by the way, you do these things (costumes, party) to sell books. The convention culminates on the fourth day with a huge book signing/sale so you go to the parties all week and mingle. Last year, I didn't figure that out until the last day when I sat by myself wondering why other new and fairly unknown authors had long lines in front of their tables and others did not.
Okay, moving right along to the next party...and don't hold this against me, but I'm liking this one more and more:
Friday, May 19, 2006
8pm to Midnight
At the Faery Ball you’ll find ferns and wildflowers covered with dew, essential for drinking and strengthening fae creatures’ magic, and traces of pixie dust all about.
Faeries are drawn to toads and frogs, dragonflies and bugs. They are each other’s companions. Flowers and herbs, thyme, foxglove, bluebells and fern, all assist them in moving between the Land of Fairy and the human world. The three-leaf clover is especially cherished by Fae…but not the four! It is said that to keep a four-leaf clover yourself, will give you the faery sight, as will the sipping of calendula tea.
In the world of the ancient Celts, people believed the world of the living and the world of the dead exist side by side. Only a thin veil separated them. One night in all the year, the veil is lifted. We can suddenly “see” that we are standing right at the edge, where the two worlds meet. And on that night, souls can cross over, go back and forth across the threshold. So brush off your wings, polish your wands and collect some Faery Dust and start creating your costumes for an unforgettable night of magic.
For costumes and accessories visit conniescostumes.com or email Connie at: email@example.com
Holy shit...for this one you need a professional costume person? And I was just going to don a set of wings...
Now the following is the one that really scares the crap out of me the most and by the title, you'd think it would be the one I'd be most looking forward to, but, um...NO.
Dorchester Publishing's Racy Rock and Roll Party
Saturday, May 20, 2006
9pm to Midnight
This year’s theme for Dorchester’s annual RT party is “Biker’s Race Into The ’60s.” Think “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-las meets the Daytona 500 Speedway! Decor will include checkered flag table cloths and pitstop centerpieces plus a bevy of surprises. A DJ will spin ’60s, ’70s and ’80s tunes for non stop dancing! As always, Dorchester will be giving away great free gifts for all attendees and a fun food spread for all to enjoy. Prizes will be given away for the “Best Biker” costume, the “Best ’60s” costume, the “Best Speed Racer” costume and a few others we’re still working on. Let your imaginations go wild … as only a real Romance Reader can. So get your black leather and your tie-dyes dusted off … it’s time to party. Several Cover Models and 14 gorgeous Mr. Romance Pageant contestants, as well as the newly crowned 2006 Mr. Romance winner will join in the fun for a night of pure fantasy!
Oh. I'm in serious pain over the above, and the Saturday night party is the biggie so there's no way I'm getting out of it. Can you say "massive doses of Valium"?
And finally we end with...
Wait. I changed my mind. This one is my favorite:
New Concepts Publishing, Inc.
Sunday, May 20, 2006
7pm to 11pm
Dream Lovers Pajama Party
Come as your favorite dream
This would be a good time for my daily Neil Gaiman mention, huh. And ooh ooh, I got the mirrored glasses photo when I just went to his site to collect the link.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Ike Willis and Eric Slick
I just woke up to some exciting news! You know how I mention my friend Ellen Meister all the time? And the fact that she's going to be a superstar when her book comes out this August? Well, apparently the New York Daily News thinks so, too. Scroll down to "side dish" and see for yourself! I am so excited for Ellen I'm beside myself right now.
And my other good pal Jordan Rosenfeld? Have a look at this! (lifted from her blog):
Friday I received the good news from the fine folks at Writer's Digest Books that my proposal for my book titled Master the Scene has been accepted for publication in Fall, 2007, and will be included as a feature in their Book Club.
And that would be a hardcover book deal, my friends.
So yay Ellen! Yay Jordan! You gels rule!
And...the newspaper articles are starting to appear regarding Eric's upcoming tour with Project Object:
May, 5 2006 at Project/Object featuring Ike Willis Performing the music of Frank Zappa
The Abbey Bar at ABC 50 N Cameron St, Harrisburg , PA 17110
With special guests The Green Onions. “Project/Object began as a simple annual get-together in the basement of band founder/guitarist Andre Cholmondeley and has since become an ever-evolving tribute to the huge multi-faceted back catalog and undeniable weirdness of the late Frank Zappa.”
—Creative Loafing New York, NY—PROJECT/OBJECT, the acclaimed and internationally known Frank Zappa repertoire band, is declaring its MISSION ACCOMPLISHED tour, commencing April 12 and running through May 13.
This is PROJECT/OBJECT’S first tour exclusively with vocalist/guitarist Ike Willis in over four years, so fans can expect a heavy dose of material from Willis’ debut album with Zappa, Joe’s Garage. Willis’ soulful vocal hysterics and virtuoso guitar work help make PROJECT/OBJECT's extensive touring the success that it is. The band also plans to delve into some practically uncharted territory for them on this tour, such as Flo & Eddie-era Mothers of Invention material from Fillmore East 1971. Bandleader Andre Cholmondeley named the spring tour MISSION ACCOMPLISHED because he feels a sense of purpose when it comes to Zappa’s music.
"I set out years ago to do what I could to honor Frank Zappa's final wish, and that was for fans to play his music whether they were musicians or not,” says Cholmondeley. “Our intelligence told us that much of America's impressionable youth had not yet heard Frank Zappa's music. There is clear evidence of that youth having been exposed to really bad music, and we now know that our actions have been successful. So, after a dozen years, PROJECT/OBJECT is ready to say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!”
PROJECT/OBJECT has reached a whole new generation of critical music fans, has helped promote and publicize each new posthumous Zappa release, and best of all, has played with well over a dozen of Zappa's most important alumni in at least 28 states, as well as Canada and Germany. The band seeks to celebrate this successful insurgency into the minds of so many brand new young fans, as well as seasoned Zappa listeners. Consequently, the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED tour will be another music-dropping, truth-seeking “mission” in the Eastern quadrant of the United States.
The “mission” will be led by Willis, and the band also features a new drummer, School of Rock phenom Eric Slick. Rounding out the lineup (and all on leave from School of Rock) are bassist Dave Johnsen, Guitarist Cholmondeley, keyboardist Eric Svalgard, and a special guest in selected areas—guitarist Robbie 'Seahag" Mangano. PROJECT/OBJECT has struck at the heart of "Wack Music Developers" (WMDs) and is certain to show that "You CAN Do That Onstage."
Their mission has been accomplished, but they will continue to take this music to the people, as was Frank Zappa’s last request of his fans. For more information, please visit www.projectobject.com"
Okay, proud mother moment here. I am absolutely thrilled that they describe Eric as "School of Rock phenom".
Remember how crazy I said Eric's schedule is? It's even more nuts than I thought. This morning he takes the train to spend six hours in the recording studio with Shannon Penn in Conshohocken, PA. Then he hops on a train (20 minute ride) to be at Rock School to teach drums from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. Then he gets back on yet another train to Downingtown (45 minute ride) to practice with Project Object.
Tomorrow he is in the studio all day/night with Shannon Penn. Ditto Wednesday, until 10:00 p.m., when he has to jet to New Brunswick, New Jersey (two and a half hour train ride) to rehearse for the Project Object tour until 1:00 a.m. at The Big Noize. I told him he may as well sleep over because Thursday he has to be ten minutes away in New York until 8:00 p.m. assisting with the Zappa rehearsals. Friday -- all day in the recording studio until 5:00 p.m. until he races back to Rock School, Philly to run the punk rehearsal by himself.
Saturday? Teaches drums all day. Saturday night? Will run the All-Star rehearsal at Philly Rock School for Paul while Paul attends the Fender Guitar Festival in Tempe, Arizona.
Sunday? I dunno. I hope he finds time to sleep. But I doubt it.
Hey, is this serendipity or not? When you go to Neil Gaiman's Journal now, his photo changes every time you hit refresh. I refer you to my blog post of February 28, 2006. Coincidence? You decide. But ahem...he did use all four of the pictures I posted. Oh what the hell, who cares who is responsible for this...all I know is, click...click...click...(the sound of my refresh button all day long)
Alas, he did not include any with me photoshopped in, but what can you do. At least now when I google my name in quotes, the third thing that comes up is "Neil Gaiman and Robin Slick, together at last" and there we are in all of our cut and pasted glory.
So in spite of Julie being on spring break and my grand plans for doing stuff like eating in great restaurants and taking a day trip to New York over the next several days, here in reality are the things I must do this week instead: My taxes (arghhh), tax returns for both kiddies...FAFSA forms for Julie's financial aid for Drexel University for which I get turned down every year because we make "too much money" (Huh? Where is it all then and when do I get to spend it?) but Drexel insists that I fill out the paperwork anyway for God knows what reason...make a dentist appointment because I bit down on a cookie and lost a filling (see what I get for breaking my diet?), and worse, make an eye doctor appointment because when I tried to order my contact lenses on line I was told my prescription expired and naturally I waited until my very last pair of (disposable) contacts were in my eyes before attempting the re-order and now I'm either going to be blind or stuck wearing my glasses, purchased in oh, around 1970 (before they perfected thin lenses for those of us with prescriptions that look like the bottoms of Coca Cola bottles) and make me look like Charles Nelson Reilly in drag. Oh wait. I mean the way Charles Nelson Reilly wishes he looked. Har har.
Oy, what a week this is going to be. But on the plus side, Saturday is April 1 and we get to turn the clocks forward. Yay! I love when it stays light outside until 8:00 p.m. I adore this time of year, and I love that I've got a lot to look forward to in the next eight weeks, such as being a groupie on the Project Object Tour April 12-May 14 and attending both the RT Convention and Balticon in May.
More on that in a future post.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Another photo from the John Wetton gig at the Troc - Katie Jacoby on violin and Sara Zimmerman on guitar
So yeah, I've been missing for a couple of days but it's all good -- I've been writing when I can and Julie is on Spring break from Drexel University until April 3 so my posting is probably going to be spotty while I hang out with her.
In case you can't get enough of me, my wonderful and generous friend Ellen Meister was kind enough to post a story of mine, The Lesson, on her blog today. The Lesson was originally published by In Posse Review and while I usually am very hard on myself, this piece is a favorite of mine and I'm really touched that Ellen chose to post it in her blog.
When I have found a moment to pop on line, I've been having fun visiting a couple of websites, one of which is John Wetton's because his guest book is crazy! Of course I couldn't resist playing in there and it's a lot of fun reading some of the comments from and regarding the Rock School community. There's links to articles, photos, etc.
In fact, here's a really cool review of the show I found at Matman Comics.
The other website I keep haunting is Project Object's because they have updated it to include Eric and they've added more tour dates. They have a nice little animation thing going on where Eric's head changes three times. They have not updated "the band" link yet and their former drummer still appears but Eric just furnished them with his bio so that'll probably happen shortly.
Speaking of Eric, on Tuesday night he went to the Tower Theater with his dad to see Ray Davies, formerly of the Kinks though I've heard that the Kinks are in fact planning a reunion. Eric and Gary had an absolute blast; they had practically front row seats, and who sits right next to Eric but infamous Philadelphia WMMR disc jockey Pierre Robert and Pierre was with equally infamous Philadelphia disc jockey Michael Tearson. Eric ended up joking back and forth with Pierre all night, and as a result, got a very nice mention on WMMR the following day. Here's what Pierre had to say:
Last night Ray Davies' show was incredible, and I had the pleasure of sitting next to citizen Eric Slick, who is a drummer and graduate of the Paul Green School of Rock Music and as my listeners know, I'm a very big fan of Rock School. Eric just came back from two mini-tours where he sat in with John Wetton and Adrian Belew and he's getting ready to go on tour with Ike Willis and Project Object with the tour kicking off in Philadelphia on April 12 at World Cafe Live. So we'll be keeping an eye on Eric and it's great to know that kids are carrying the torch. Therefore, we dedicate the following song to Eric and his dad in honor of last night...
And then he played "Lola" Live by the Kinks -- the vinyl version.
How cool is that?
Eric's insane life continues. Yesterday was spent assisting with the Zappa show in New York, today he has Shannon Penn rehearsal because they go into the studio on Monday, tonight he helps Dylan out at Philly Rock School with the punk rehearsals, and then somehow he squeezes in teaching and rehearsals for the Project Object tour which involves a lot of time spent on trains because they're held in North Jersey and Downingtown. I'm tired just typing that.
Actually, yesterday was crazy altogether. A link to my blog was on the Pearl Jam Forum Board and I heard from a lot of really interesting people as concerns my little You Tube movie with Eddie Vedder and my son and Rock School pals. Someone on the board then referred readers to my initial post back at the end of May where I described the whole event in detail. And what made me really happy was that a person on the forum board then commented about said post: "Wow. She sure can write. Thanks."
No, thank you, whoever you are!
And finally, in the "I Know You're Never Going To Believe This But I Swear on Both of My Kids' Lives This Wasn't Me" Department, on Neil Gaiman's blog yesterday:
I hope you will write a nice introduction to your new short stories collection like you did with Smoke and Mirrors. I loved how you explaned how you got the idea for each story, and whenever I finished a story, I would go back and see where it originated. I hope you include this in your new collection's introduction. Just providing a little feedback!
Then Neil answered:
You know, I got an email today from my editor at Morrow, the longsuffering Jennifer Brehl, saying much the same thing. Only she pointed out it was due on her desk in February.
Yes, there will be one. I hope to finish it tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Err...if I were going to write to Neil, I probably would have used words other than "nice" when describing his introduction, though I must admit, I do agree with the sentiment and found myself doing the same thing while reading Smoke and Mirrors...i.e., going back and reading the introduction because he really did tell a little tale about each story in the book.
But I feel I must write this disclaimer because I know all of my friends probably read his blog yesterday and snickered.
No, no, no, I do not write letters to Neil Gaiman. Oh, okay, I did write once about fountain pens and was mortified because that was the time my letter crossed in the mail with his post about pens on my blog.
If I were to write to him....umm...it wouldn't be about any short story introduction.
It would be to...
Hahahahaha - oh man, look how pink he is. Sorry, Neil, didn't mean to embarrass you.
(Oh, but Happy Birthday, Sue! Ha! Wait. Is that today or tomorrow? Oh hell, now I'm confused. If it is tomorrow, then you just got your first gift -- Pink Neil. I mean, what else does a girl need?)
Nah, seriously, if I did write to him now, it would be to request that he start selling black t-shirts with limes in his web store. And if you don't get the lime reference, go read Anansi Boys. And if you don't get the black t-shirt reference, well, then you don't know Neil and you don't know me. And um, now that I think of it, I did write to him about that, too, but it was only because he asked on his blog for recommendations as to what we'd like to see in his store.
Have I mentioned lately what a mess I am?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Eddie Vedder with Madison Flego, Brian Purcell, Julia Ranier and Eric Slick in concert at Neumo's in Seattle.
So in writing news, I was Riley Dogged yesterday, though by the time I publish this post I may be on page 2. Riley Dog is an incredible blog...the link is on the right hand side and if you want to hang with the cool kids you should visit daily.
Also, Steve Smith, Associate Music Editor of New York Time Out Magazine, was kind enough to mention Eric and me today. Thanks, Steve!
For those of you who took advantage of the link to my photobucket site yesterday and emailed me, here are the answers to your questions:
(1) Yes, I will upload more photos of Rock School concerts featuring musicians other than Julie and Eric;
(2) No, I am not related to Neil Gaiman nor his personal friend (damn it)...I merely lifted those photos off his site and uploaded them to photobucket so they wouldn't "disappear" off my blog because I stole his bandwidth;
(3) Yes, I will take a course in digital photography one of these days because..
(4) Yes I am aware that I am a sucky photographer.
Now. I know you are all dying to know about the mystery rock star I mentioned yesterday and of course the above photo gives it away. So enough about me...here it is -- The Attack of You Tube, Part III.
In this totally insane Slick home movie filmed by Ms. Julie Slick following the concert Julie, Eric, and the All-Stars did with Eddie Vedder in Seattle for the premiere of the movie, Rock School, Eddie Vedder launched into an impromptu a cappella version of The Who's A Quick One with Joey Randazzo (long curls and jeff cap) on lead vocals, Eric Slick in dark glasses on supporting vocals, drumsticks, feet, and iPod (no wonder I have to replace that once a year) along with keyboardist/vocalist Larry Allen -- Larry is standing in between Joey and Eric...and standing next to Eddie Vedder and also singing harmony is Ms. Julia Ranier...and you will also see Der Uberlord of Rock School, Paul Green, give us some serious tongue, as well as Don Argott, director of the movie, (tall guy, Buddy Holly glasses) joining in on the chorus where they sing "You are forgiven"...there's also some glimpses of Teddi Tarnoff and Brian Purcell and other assorted musicians.
Don't forget to let it load all the day before playing it -- the gray line has to run all the way from left to right (for those of you technology challenged).
The quality isn't great but this film is still a lot of fun. Enjoy!
Monday, March 20, 2006
CJ Tywoniak on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, John Wetton on bass, and Zach Miller on keyboards
Katie Jacoby on violin, Maureen Hayes on bass, Eric Slick on drums, CJ Tywoniak on electric guitar, John Wetton on acoustic guitar, Stevie Roberts on keyboards
I'm still kind of speechless from last night's show. I have tons more photographs and my photobucket site is open to the public so you can visit directly -- I'll be uploading more throughout the day. Plus, if you do that, you'll see the photo in its actual size and you'll be able to print it out. Just to make it easy for those technology challenged, here's the link. If you dig into the archives, you'll find everything from photos of the All-Stars with Jon Anderson and Eddie Vedder to some stuff you're probably better off not seeing, like my sick collection of Neil Gaiman photos, but well, you know, anyone who reads this blog already knows about that, anyway. But as I said, now that I finally have figured out how to submit multiple photos at one time (thank you, Eric Slick, for showing your dumb mother that it can be done), I will upload as many photos as I can so that you can see I do take photos of Rock School All-Stars other than Julie and Eric.
Anyway...John Wetton just blew me away last night. I had the world's greatest spot...center stage almost directly in front of him but a little to the left so I could see Eric on drums. The Omega Rock School All-Stars were freaking outrageous. The song selection was amazing. The fact that a guitarist who hasn't even hit puberty named Zach Page could trade licks with John brought a smile to his face...and the general consensus was, the first night of the tour, it was a little rough because I don't think Mr. Wetton knew what he was in for and he came in all stern and reserved...and these kids whipped him into shape and made him love them! Ha!
For a detailed review of the actual music, I think Steve Smith of Time Out New York does an incredible job, so I refer you to him. I also put this link up on the Rock School forum board in case anyone is interested.
There were some other real highlights for me and I apologize to anyone I'm leaving out...but Stevie Roberts singing Can't Find My Way Home with Brenna Fitzgerald on acoustic guitar almost made me cry it was so beautiful...this little kid named Paco comes on stage -- he must be twelve years old -- and belted out Dazed and Confused like he was a twenty-five year old Robert Plant -- Katie Jacoby on the violin is not only an amazing musician she's almost shockingly beautiful and her stage presence is that of a superstar. Zach Miller on keyboards is a mini-Keith Emerson but better because he's got that Billy Preston soul thing going on; Mo Hayes on bass/vocals was outstanding, but I think it was Zach Bukowski who took my breath away the most because the last time I saw him play he was just starting to get chops...now he's up there with the best of them. (I just realized something. There are three boys named Zach in the All-Stars? Ha ha - the Zach tour) Oh god, I'm forgetting the drummers -- Sara Neidorf is freaking amazing and there's another twelve year old named Asher Bank who is going to be a star. Oh god, and Sara & Andy Zimmerman...holy crap...on guitar and bass respectively.
But of course for me when Paul announced he was bringing out "ringers", i.e., Eric and CJ to perform a couple songs because at the last moment, John decided he wanted to perform a few really difficult songs and he needed musicians who could learn them in like forty-five minutes, I practically burst into tears. C.J., Eric, and Zach were so amazing on Starless I was shaking. And Court of the Crimson King just about killed me.
After Eric finished playing a solo, John went up to the mic and said "Mr. Eric Slick!" and the crowd went crazy. This was especially touching for me because John didn't call out any other names though of course he spent a lot of one on one time with Eric this week but he did point and smile at the other musicians...and as I've said many times, Eric is a "graduate" and the audience was comprised of parents of the new kids....many of whom aren't familiar with Eric and also, prog rock fans, particularly ASIA fans. (Man...you should have seen all the mullets in that crowd. They were really impressive. I was going to take a photo but...nah...we all know what mullets look like...no need to torture ourselves any further)
I did get my Lark's Tongue in Aspic album signed. Look what John wrote on it:
Yeah, that's me. Eric's parent. So now I'm like, why bother writing any more novels...I should just capitalize on being Eric's mom.
Oh wait. I already do that. Har har.
So yeah, it's been an incredible month for my son - what eighteen year old gets to play with both Adrian Belew and John Wetton within four weeks time and gets to hear from both of them that he's an amazing talent with hints of meeting up in the future? In fact, I can't resist this...here's part of an email I got from a "fan" who attended the show last night:
Your son is incredible. He has really good touch and control on the drums and brings out such a range of sounds like I've never heard. I am honored to know him before he becomes a superstar, which he is destined to become.
Yep, I agree.
Okay, so I do have my own life and as I mentioned last week, I agreed to do an interview and project with a writer from the Middle East and now it's up on a website which has also ignited a flame war. Great. So I'm not only going to have an even thicker FBI file, now the right wingers in America are out to get me. I hear the flame war remarks are going to be removed -- the woman who conducted the interview wrote me this strange email about it...strange because of the language/translation problems which, by the way, also occur in the interview so I'm going to post both because they're pretty insane:
the site was harmed by some new-cons.
now it should be all right.
good to know you.
So I got that email and wondered what the hell a new-con was and why the site was harmed and then I went to the interview and found out. Oy. Of course I had to do a bio check on that JB who thinks I'm ruining civilization or whatever she babbles about and I find out she lives in Texas and is proud to be living in the same state as our President (oh, now that's a big surprise). I like the reader who stood up to her...I was dying to respond but if the site is going to be purged of the comments I'm not going to bother. But in the event that JB's comments are not erased, if any of my pals want to speak up in my defense, cool, or at the very least, threaten JB with something painful...like messing up her countertops. (I'm guessing by the comments that she wrote a story about cleaning her countertops which is also on the site...I'll check later...I was too nauseous when I saw her comment because really, I hate all confrontation and the last thing I expected when I agreed to do this project was some right wing asshole coming after me)
Anyway, that's all for now...but here's some advance warning. Tomorrow I'm going to post the first real attack of You Tube - my personal home movies. In my first real contribution, you'll see Eric Slick and company backstage hanging out with one of the world's most famous rockstars and you're not going to believe what you see and hear. No one has seen this film yet but my immediate family. Be on high alert!
I leave you with one final John Wetton photo which I love because John kept walking up to Eric and jamming with him and he was obviously having an awesome time (John that is...well, so was Eric. For sure.)
Saturday, March 18, 2006
The Rock Star All-Stars with John Wetton (and Eric Slick sitting in on drums)
More All-Stars and John and the lovely Katie Jacoby on violin (Thank you for these photos, Katie's mom Esther!)
So Eric has been sharing all kinds of fun John Wetton stories with me because in addition to sitting in on drums on some songs, Eric has been his roadie and right hand man the past four days and driving with him back and forth between Philadelphia and New York.
Fun fact #1: John loves junk food. When they made a food/bathroom stop on the New Jersey Turnpike at The Vince Lombardi Plaza, John simply had to have a Cinnabon.
Eric was like: Do I believe I'm at a truck stop in New Jersey called the Vince Lombardi Plaza eating Cinnabons with John Wetton? This is surreal.
Eric then turned him on to the chocolate chip muffins at WaWa. John thought they were among the best muffins he ever had.
The hotel where John is staying is surrounded by some of the finest four and five star restaurants on the East Coast. But on the suggestion of Rock School kids, John ate at Little Pete's, which is a Greek restaurant/diner hole in the wall open 24 hours and serves breakfast all day. He loved it! John then made a Mr. Creosote reference and was duly impressed when Eric knew who Mr. Creosote was and after that the two of them bantered back and forth with various Monty Python lines. Which leads us to...
Fun fact #2: John is extremely reserved but has a understated sense of humor and is actually very funny and sarcastic. Unlike Adrian Belew who absolutely lavished praise on everyone and was very laid back, John calls it as it is and he makes everyone play hard and is quick to point out mistakes, etc. but usually with some dark humor on the side. I actually think that's not a bad thing. But maybe that's because Eric was exempt from criticism. John looked at Eric after last night's performance and said very quietly "You know you're good, right?"
Coming from John Wetton, that was pretty high praise.
Part II to follow after I attend the show so I can write about the actual music, take more pics, and get my Lark's Tongue in Aspic album (yeah, you heard me, ALBUM) signed. Though I won't reveal other stuff Eric told me...like, what musician never tours without a suitcase packed with whips and cuffs. I was like, wait, you mean there's one who doesn't?)
Friday, March 17, 2006
Happy Green (whoops...I was going to say "Day" until I realized those googling a band I despise will end up on my blog and we just can't have that!)
So Juked Magazine published Star Man today, my first so-called Scifi attempt though of course as I mentioned a few days ago it seems to have turned out otherwise and smacks of my usual warped themes.
Last night I forced myself outdoors and had dinner with Julie at one of her suggestions: Standard Tap. Yep, she was right. I absolutely loved it. Right up there with the best bar food I've ever had. It was definitely my kind of place...like it says, no T.V., just hipsters spanning all ages sitting around talking and drinking a great selection of beer or in my case, moaning over hand cut french fries. The highlight of our meal though was this outrageous, buttery flaky warm pecan pie topped with homemade whipped cream. You would have thought I was having a sexual experience while I ate that. Ha. Last night was a set-back for me; I've actually lost almost ten pounds in the past month without really trying. See what obsessing over a novel will do to you? I've been forgetting to eat or just not hungry in general while I work on that thing.
They need to do something about their music choices, though. I felt like I was listening to an up-dated version of disco. Oh my god, if disco is back I'm just going to end it all now.
(Actually, on their website they mention a juke box playing everything from Iggy Pop to Tom Waits. So I must have gotten screwed last night by a patron with really bad taste in music feeding said juke box. Okay, now that I know that, I will go next time armed with dollar bills and load that sucker up before I even sit down to eat.)
Speaking of writing, recently I was contacted by a group of writers from the Middle East who are interested in learning more about American authors. Their website is all in Arabic so exactly what they are all about I can't tell you, but they were referred to me by a great writer pal I trust who had also furnished them with his stories and an interview. Anyway, I agreed to be a part of their project, and it was way interesting, especially due to language differences. Our email correspondence alone was pretty amusing. They started out by seeking out like everything I've ever written and analyzing it and then they furnished me with a set of questions in line with my writing. I don't want to publish the questions and my answers yet in case the interview is published in English (well, they sort of say it will be in their last email) but I do want to share a bit of the experience.
Here's part of the first email when I didn't respond to the interview right away because (1) I was working on my novel and (2) I had to read over the questions several times before I at least thought I understood what they meant.
Answer as you wish, omit what you disliked, and ask for details or modifications when necessary. You will be our guest for some time. Help us to show your qualities and abilities. Fresh photo and a brief are needed then, we expect you to look shiny and marvelous, as you are indeed.
I'm shiny and marvelous? Hey, I like that!
When a few days passed and I didn't respond to their questions right away, I got the following:
we did some progress with your materials, dear Robin, but so far we do not know if you are happy about the interview, and when the expected date for answers. We need to know to update our schedule. Please do make your word.
We're waiting for you.
We read a lot and prepared a lot.
we like to have you with us as a friend, member of the family.
So then I felt bad/guilty and also a bit shaken by the "We're waiting for you" part, I completed the interview as best I could and sent them my shiny, marvelous photograph. After which I received the following:
Many thanks for this fabulous response. We are pleased to inform you that the materials were passed on for translations.
In few days to come you will receive a link to have a permanent access to the site, and the workshop. You will meet some old friends from the states like ____ and ___ and so on…
a link with either writesight or authors den will follow.
Ahem. Be alarmed? Okay...not a problem.
Be Alarmed! is definitely going to be the title of my next novel. I'm dead serious about this. Really. I think it's awesome and I'm using it.
I showed the above correspondence to the man who referred them to me and after he finished laughing and teasing me about my new NSA file, we both agreed it was a cool experience and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the interview and their impressions of my work. What really intrigued me is that they went back to a story I'd written in 2004 and left a comment under it on the magazine's website dated March 6, 2006 which was most interesting. How do I know this? Because as you already know, I'm an anal retentive who googles herself every five minutes.
Just kidding. I only do it a couple times a week.
Oh god I'm such a mess.
But one positive thing: I've taken what might be a permanent leave of absence from Zoetrope Studios. I've made my friends there and they are fantastic but the others...the trolls, the stalkers, the terrible writers, the self-absorbed freaks who do nothing but talk about their own work and never congratulate others on their success...arghhh....I just couldn't stand it any more. Luckily my close Zoetrope friends and I email and meet up in the real world regularly so I no longer need to be aggravated on a daily basis by "the others". But who knows, that could be just my mood of this month...I know I'll at least return temporarily when my pal Ellen's book comes out this summer because I want to be part of the excitement on her behalf.
Most importantly, since I stopped hanging out at Zoe I've been writing like crazy, so that's even more reason to stay away.
Anyway, yeah, Eric did play with John Wetton last night and he told me some funny stuff but since I'm going to the Saturday show I didn't go last night and therefore do not have any photos yet. I've asked a couple people who were there to email any they might have to me and if that happens today, I'll come back and do a new post; if not, I'll wait until I take my own pictures this weekend. Yeah, I know, I could write all about it now without the photos but I have my own strange way of doing things and I like to have pictures with my stories.
But in case anyone reading this is in the northern New Jersey area, Eric will be performing with John Wetton and the Rock School All-Stars tonight at Bergen County Rock School and I hear it's an amazing show.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
That, as you know, is my son Eric along with amazing Rock School violinist Katie Jacoby, who will both be performing tonight with:
Ha ha - I could have predicted this. Eric Slick will be behind the drums on the School of Rock John Wetton tour for at least three songs, including Court of the Crimson King, beginning tonight at the Downingtown School of Rock, tomorrow at Bergen County School of Rock, Saturday at the New York Knitting Factory, and Sunday at 6:00 p.m. at the Troc in Philadelphia.
I remember Eric telling me back in August when he graduated Rock School he was officially "retired" and wouldn't be performing with the All-Stars again. Ha! Let's see. He played the Music Player Live Tribute to Les Paul with the All-Stars in October, he went to NAMM with the All-Stars in January, he played with the All-Stars and Belew two weeks ago...and now Wetton. He went to Rock School just to hang out last night and ended up sitting in on drums because one of the new All-Stars couldn't make rehearsal, and well, you know...Eric rules.
I love you, Eric. Music is the best!
Okay, back to my novel, which finally has "legs"! Now. Which one of my good pals would like to read the first 50-100 pages next week?
Just kidding, just kidding.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The above photo of Bosco with Adrian Belew when he realized the camera was on him makes me laugh out loud.
So sorry, sorry, things have been quiet around here...wait, that's not actually true, I've been working like a crazy on novel revisions and my brain is in total turmoil so I'm trying to focus solely on finally finishing this book so I can sleep at night again. Today needs to be a turning point...Julie goes on Spring break next week and we've hardly spent any time together this entire semester. She really had a heavy, all day class load and her remaining hours were spent in the studio, at work, and with Matt. So I'm really looking forward to our dates to the Italian market and breakfast and lunch in cool restaurants...maybe even a day trip to New York. I've been a complete shut-in lately which is kind of scarey but I'm obsessing over this book. If I can have a finished draft by Sunday, I'll feel really good about taking a week off and then going back to the manuscript with fresh eyes for edits.
Eric, on the other hand, has been running around like a maniac. I think I've seen him maybe a total of one hour since Friday. He's been rehearsing with Project Object for the upcoming tour (and I provided the link because there are more dates and venues added), rehearsing with Shannon Penn because they're going into the studio at the end of this month, getting ready for an April Fool's Day gig with Doctor Dark...and yesterday, after coming from one of the above rehearsals he met up with John Wetton and then ended up hanging out with him at Rock School and "reminding" John of a few licks...in fact, Eric is going back tonight to help out again. He said John is funny as hell and the two of them had a very interesting one on one conversation.
And while I'm talking about Eric, as I've said, he's also scheduled to do an east coast tour with Chris Opperman, who plays keyboard with Steve Vai and the song they did together was nominated for a Grammy this year. Chris is a character, and I'm one of his My Space friends (Yes, I know. I cannot believe I have a My Space friend, either. I agree, I'm about ninety years too old to even be anywhere near that site, but music nut that I am, I go where the music is). Anyway, I got the My Space "Your Friend Chris has posted something" email message and I clicked on it and how interesting is this:
"Today I attended the "Art of Writing" class that The Learning Annex put on with Ray Bradbury. Well, how could I possibly pass up a chance to meet someone as amazing and wonderful as Ray Bradbury? Especially considering that he inspired the song "Telepathy on Mars?" as well as the painting of the same name, which is my favorite painting of mine.
Anyway, it was an extreme treat. He told a lot of stories about his life which was very interesting and his basic message was a message of love. You can tell from the way he spoke how much in love he is with everyone and his life. It was really excellent.
He also said that everyone should just piss on their computers because they don't give out information, just factoids, and he said that he told the New York Times that he thought that we should move all of the Jews out of Israel and into Florida where they would be safe from harm, that magazines are now pathetic because they're more about the advertising than they are about the information, and that they'd better damn well build a monorail in LA soon because the freeways are going to become to congested to use at all. I thought he was a riot and he signed a book of short stories for me, and I felt very honored.
He wants Peter Jackson to direct a movie of "The Martian Chronicles" and Peter said he'd consider it in a year. Ray said he's going to do his best to hold onto his life until it's finished. I sure hope it happens, that would be awesome. And he said that it was awful that King Kong was ignored at the Oscars this year."
Okay, I'm new to SciFi and don't know the personalities of even the most famous authors in that genre so I don't quite know what to make of Ray. I'm not sure if I should be offended by the moving all the Jews out of Israel and into Florida statement or laugh my ass off. I'm not sure about his other comments, either...wonder what Neil Gaiman thinks of him. Maybe I'll try out that search feature on his journal and dig into the archives and see. (This coming from the person who announced at the top of this blogpost that she's focusing solely on the novel. So far I've resisted going into Neil's journal archives -- which date back to 2001 -- because I know once I start I'll have to read everything. And that will probably depress me, because I'll see how he first starts out five years ago and damn it, right as I discover him, that's when he goes Hollywood. I'm almost dreading reading his newest posts because he's on the Stardust set in Scotland and I'm not sure if I want to know about Clare Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, etc. But we'll see. I'm no one to talk. I'm the first one to broadcast names, photos, and stories about all of the rock stars I hang out with courtesy of Julie and Eric. Oh alright, I admit it. I'm looking forward to reading about Clare Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, etc. I'm just jealous it's not me who wrote a book optioned for a movie starring the above and tooling around Scotland with them. By the way, here's a fun fact. Robert DeNiro and I share the same birthday along with Mae West)
Anyway, back to Ray Bradbury...right now I'm going with Chris' opinion that he was hilarious and maybe his remarks were all tongue in cheek. Yeah, on second thought, they've got to be, right?
Okay, I choose to laugh my ass off.
And now said ass must go offline and upstairs to write.
Monday, March 13, 2006
You have to let this load about 6 minutes...it's a highlight clip from Zappanale in Germany last summer...but if you are patient and a true die-hard Zappa fan, you'll get to see the Paul Green School of Rock Music All-Stars in action, including some impressive drum solos by Eric Slick, he of the long brown hair, sunglasses and bright red t-shirt. I think I also saw All-Star drummers Dave M., Sara Neidorf, and Joey Reno in there, too...Dave at the very beginning, then Sara, and Joey towards the end. And you will also see a cool solo by C.J. Tywoniak, Jeremy Blessing, Fil Smith, and Kenny Luu among others.
This was Eric's second or third to the last All-Star performance before he officially graduated, but he is still occasionally brought out of retirement to join the new All-Stars...like last Sunday when he played with Adrian Belew. And Eric is of course not retired, he merely turned 18 and graduated...right now, one month before his 19th birthday, he's about to go on tour with Project Object as I've mentioned here ad nauseam.
By the way, this is not my personal film...this is a Rock School You Tuber...but just you wait. (Sigh...maybe not for a few days...Eric slept out last night and is way busy with various rehearsals and teaching this week...but once he gives me instructions as to how to line up the music with the video, the full assault will begin!)
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Louie Graff and Eddie Vedder -- Julie is against the wall watching with Eddie's equipment guy; that's Paul Green seated on the stage floor
So this will have to be a short post because no one is home and I must write!
Anyway, unfortunately, I cannot start deluging you with my You Tube films today because I still need Eric (who will not be home until late tonight) to show me how to do something...but rest assured the torture is on its way.
You'll see everything from snippets of the kids in concert (muhahahaha - starting at age eleven) to Louie Graff (see above photo -- Louie is a Rock School grad guitarist extraordinaire) and my daughter Julie as pre-teens busy painting son Eric's face with Hershey's chocolate syrup when he fell asleep on my sofa.
Ahem. At least I think they were pre-teens. Watch. Eric will tell me it was last year.
But yeah, that's right. They poured chocolate syrup on Eric WHILE ON MY SOFA in an attempt to turn him into some sort of human sundae. Obviously, I was upstairs at the time. So they filmed it, all proud of themselves.
Luckily I decided early on that I was not going to care about furniture while the kids were young and I got heavy duty leather stuff which I just recently finally replaced.
So yeah, I'll probably make it a weekly feature -- Slick Family Warped Home Movies brought to you by You Tube.
Wait: Hang on, here's one which shows a brief glimpse of Eric when he was musical director of the Devo show at Rock School last year. That's Eric with the long brown hair and turquoise shirt leading the group chant "Devo! Devo! Devo!" and you also see him right before the show...with a clipboard? Eric! You nerd!
In other news, Juked Magazine is publishing my first ever SciFi piece, Star Man, so I'm very stoked about that. I'm in some heavy duty company at that magazine...like most of my favorite authors, so okay, I admit it, when I just got the editor's email I started whooping. I'll post a link when it's published.
I fell asleep early and did not get to see the Arctic Monkeys on Saturday Night Live last evening so in case anyone cares about my opinion, I still have none. I guess I could pull them up on Pandora but right now I've got like ten windows open doing a little research for the novel I should be working on at the moment...
Saturday, March 11, 2006
So this should really be cool. John Wetton is appearing with the Paul Green School of Rock Music All-Stars for four shows as follows:
Thursday March 16, 7pm
School of Rock, Downingtown
Friday March 17, 8pm
School of Rock, Bergen County
Saturday March 18, 6pm
New York Knitting Factory
Sunday March 19, 6pm
The Troc, Philadelphia
By the way, here's a group shot of Adrian Belew when he played with the Rock School All-Stars a couple weeks ago as well as a couple more on stage:
I dunno, if the Wetton shows are even half as good as the Belew shows, you are in for a hell of a treat and it's my understanding that the Troc is running a two for one special so you should check that out if you're in the Philadelphia area.
In further adventures with Google, it's hard to believe how many magazines and news agencies have picked up that crazy could-it-really-be-him Amazon blurb on my son, Eric, when he played with Carlos Alomar and the Rock School All-Stars at CBGBs in New York following the premier of the documentary, Rock School, and its subsequent soundtrack.
"This is my first on-line review and I only ventured onto the site to see if others had anything to say about this CD. I am doing it as a favour to the wonderful group I saw perform at CBGB's Wednesday night. I did not see the movie but was invited by my mates to the after party and bought the CD solely based on the music I heard. I've been a drummer with what many say is the world's greatest rock and roll band for several decades and I have to tell you, any one of those kids could fill in for my mates in the band. I understand the little lad, C.J., is the star of the movie and he is just wonderful but for me, there were three heroes that night...the singer, Maddie, the bare chested lad Jeremy, and the drummer, Eric. Maddie has the voice of an old time rocker. No stony faced, spaced out monotones for her. She roared, she was the music. Jeremy Blessing (and is that a name!) is the stuff of the Mississippi Delta combined with Jimmy Page; in fact, I'd like Jimmy to see him live the next time he's in town. I intend to write to the School of Rock for his contact information. There was soul in every note and he owned the stage. But as a drummer, for me the main attraction was Eric Slick. This is a young lad who has obviously studied the masters. He has listened to people like Buddy Rich and Max Roach I am certain, and while I am loathe to say it, I believe he has also listened to me. This kid has no peers in terms of innovation; he has a deeply personal sound and approach. He had a fixed pulse on his cymbals as well as his bass drum; and while many of the young guitar lads would falter from time to time due to what I trust was a problem with the monitors, Mr. Slick never lost a beat and was the driving force that evening. He brought tears to this old man's eyes and he is another I intend to keep my eye on for future projects. He could fill my shoes any time.
I insist you people in the States buy this CD. Don't buy it for the old geezers; buy it for the kids and learn something from them.
Yeah, that freaks me out every time I read it.
Speaking of Eric, I made a grievous error when I reported that he'd turned me on to the Arctic Monkeys. While they are the guests on Saturday Night Live tonight...and I must have heard that in the background on the television while I was typing the blogpost...they are not the band Eric and I both love, but rather, that would be Arcade Fire.
I'll let you know Sunday or Monday what I really think of the Arctic Monkeys after I see them "live". They're the ones who did all the internet promo and other weird related stuff to get famous in a deliberate, shrewd business plan on the order of the White Stripes, who, in my opinion, are the most overrated band of this millenium and while I normally adore Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien, I've lost a bit o'respect for both of them because they are White Stripes groupies. Now come on. There isn't one Rock School All-Star or even one kid on the Rock School B team who can't play circles around those two; plus, their stage presence is just plain WEIRD. And their songwriting -- in the words of the late George Harrison..."it's been done". (and better)
So yeah, add the White Stripes to my U2 and Aerosmith list as bands which will be playing on the soundtrack in hell when I die. (You realize I do not believe in hell, but it's my standard line)
Anyway, I'm a wreck, I just sent something to a new potential agent; I'm waiting to hear from an editor regarding a story I revised for their magazine...arghh...and I continue to plug away at the new novel with my fingers crossed that I know what the hell I'm doing. Plus, I'd entered my Neil Gaiman essay in a contest and the judges just announced they've extended the deadline by one month. This tells me one of two things. Either they hate every single essay they've received so far (and that of course would include mine), or, only two people entered and they have a grand total of $26.00 prize money. Either/or, it doesn't look good, huh.
What the hell, I'll try and be optimistic. I mean, what other choice do I have? Well, except for the dreaded simul-subbing...
One final note on writing: Here is the absolute best list I've stumbled on yet as concerns places for writers to submit: The Big Ass List of Pubs.
And on a private, personal note: I love you, Dan. I've been devastated that you think otherwise. I play around a lot in this blog and sometimes joking doesn't translate well on line. I love all Rock School kids, but especially those with whom I've had the pleasure of touring and seeing in concert with my kids. I think you all are the most amazing group of human beings I've ever met. But yeah, I admit when it comes to Julie and Eric, I can be, um, a little over-sensitive and protective even though they're both bigger, smarter, and more mature than I am. But I'm working on it, I'm working on it.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Ha ha - so here is our official portrait. I can thank David Niall Wilson for his photoshop skills and the fact that despite being a brilliant, respected writer, he has a nine to five job working for the government and therefore has plenty of time on his hands during the day.
Here we are taking a stroll on the beach. Neil is obviously cold blooded (he's really bundled up, isn't he?) while I on the other hand am always hot...
Err...is it just me or does Neil have three arms? Woo hoo - I like those possibilities.
Actually, in case you are reading this blog today for the first time, you need to know that I have a running joke here that I'm in lust with Neil Gaiman and in the comments section of yesterday's blog post, David Niall Wilson and I giggled back and forth about the various uses of photoshop after he presented me with a photo of yours truly and the evil, ugly Kenny Chesney. David was then kind enough to make it up to me by sending me Neil and Robin photos.
And the reason I'm messing around here now is that I really needed a laugh. I know I have a very cool, interesting life but every once in a while, reality rears its head and my said life is far from perfect so I figured I'd use this forum to let off a little steam by having some fun with these pics.
Oh crap, here's Neil with my decapitated head in his backpack as a result of spending a couple of hours listening to me babble non-stop during our walk.
Oh nooo...I bet he's going to bury it in the snow among all those trees where no one will ever find me.
And to think - a mere few hours ago we were out frolicking in the sunshine.
Sigh...I'll never learn to shut up, will I.
Neil, you could have just stuck a gag in my mouth. (Oh right, I might have liked that.)
Anyway, as you can tell, my legs and torso made it home okay, but did you ever try and get dressed while missing your head? I'm guessing a turtleneck sweater is out of the question today.
Oh well. I'll be back. I'm going out in search of a new brain -- I'm thinking I'll take Lorrie Moore's -- and for a head...hmmm...Catherine Zeta Jones? Catherine is gonna be pissed as hell to find herself stuck with my out of shape body, but trust me, Lorrie Moore will bitch slap her if she puts up a fuss.
Ack, in reality it's back to writing/revising my new novel and struggling with self-doubt.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Extra, Extra, Read All About It, The Pinball Wizard Has a Miracle Cure...nah...more like, further adventures with Google, etc.
Eric Slick behind the drums at NAMM, January, 2006
Yay! Project Object is in the process of updating their website and Eric Slick is now on the front page! And if you click on "tour dates" there are links to buy tickets to many of the upcoming shows.
So yesterday was way cool -- my blog was mentioned on DGM Live and I ended up meeting all of these really interesting fellow music lovers from literally all over the world who've e-mailed me regarding Adrian Belew and his recent stint with Rock School.
Somehow while corresponding with all of these people I was given this link and if you are a music nut like I am, this will be a fun blog for you to visit daily.
Speaking of blogs, I am a member of a lit blog which is both different and weird so naturally I signed up. Apparently today I'm featured in a little game they play from time to time. I haven't really gotten into using the site to its fullest potential yet but if you are a writer, check it out because you may want to join the site. If you are merely one of my bored readers, at least click on the link and play. Apparently you get to move a photo of my head around but whether you win a prize for turning me into Angelina Jolie or something I can't tell you. Hey, tell you what, if you figure it out, email me and let ME know because I'm too ADD this morning to play myself.
Further adventures on Google: I see Three Days in New York City is being sold on a Christianity website under "religion and spirituality". Ha! That's my first real smile of the day. Should I send them an excerpt from the first chapter? Maybe this one?
"I want you to unpack and show me each item you've brought."
Okay, this is hot but as I'm kneeling down I agonize that my naked ass looks like curds of cottage cheese above the black, sheer thigh high stockings, and even though I've consumed like only two egg whites and four lettuce leafs in the six weeks since we planned this trip, my body gave birth to two children and my stomach will never be flat again. So I try to suck in my gut, keep my balance, and be a sexy game show model all at the same time while I remove each item for his inspection and approval.
Out come the handcuffs, so normal and pedestrian, he immediately tosses them aside. The silk blindfold causes him to smile. But when I hand him the crop, he laughs out loud.
"What the bloody hell is this? A toy for children?"
I think of the more elaborate whips in the sex shop. Hard leather with spikes -- just seeing them caused me apprehension. I bought the beginner model made of leather so soft it felt like velvet. It's short with several hanging suede laces – kind of looks like a horse's tail. Actually, in his hands right now it looks more like a limp dick.
"I'm sorry," I mumble.
"Elizabeth, you coward," he laughs. He starts tickling my naked back with it, running it up and down. "Show me what else you have in that bag."
He continues to lightly run the crop back and forth, up and down, teasing my neck, my shoulders, both arms; and then I show him the nipple clamps. His face brightens when he sees them and he puts down the crop, but not before smacking me with it hard on the ass. Ha! It doesn't hurt at all. Good for me and my wimpishness!
He rips off the packaging and I shiver when I see those screws.
"Stay on your knees," he says, climbing up on the bed and sitting facing me. He attempts to apply the clamps. Yow! This is pain, too, but I think I can handle it -- when he bit me that hurt a lot worse. But the crystal hearts are heavy -- they won't stay on.
"I don't think your tits are right for these," he complains.
Yeah, well, what I want to know is, whose are?"
Ha ha - if you want to read more, you can order Three Days in New York City by clicking on the Amazon link on the right hand side of this blog or get yourself an autographed copy off the Phaze site here. In case you want, um, instant gratification, you can also order the digital version of this book off of my publisher's site right here.
I was not, however, amused to see the following when I googled my name:
Slick Breast, Horny blonde babe showing all her pink goodness!
or even worse --
OFFICIAL KENNY CHESNEY FAN CLUB
Robin Slick: In Her Own Write: April 2005
Oh my god, how appalling is that! Trust me, I never have been or will be a Kenny Chesney fan let alone be in his fucking fan club! (I'd much rather be a horny blonde babe showing all her pink goodness ha ha ha)
In other news, I obviously use blogspot as my "server" here...and too funny, when you go to www.blogger.com, which is the dashboard for this blog, they always have a little list on the right hand side "Blogs We've Noticed Lately"...and oh god, they actually list Neil Gaiman today. C'mon guys, gimme a break. You're just noticing his blog? He gets probably 100,000 hits a day already...you're gonna crash his server and make all of his daily readers cry.
But okay, I admit it: My goal is to some day be on that "Blogs We've Noticed" list.
(Though not for being a member of the official Kenny Chesney fan club I hope)
I'm sure I have more news -- I do have more news -- but both kiddies are out of the house early today and I've fallen behind on my writing, so I really need to go upstairs with my pen and journal and get the hell off line!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
A couple more photos of my daughter, Julie, playing bass on City of Tiny Lights with Adrian Belew at the Knitting Factory in NY Sunday night...alas you cannot see son Eric on the drums...but here he is in a pretty bad shot where I totally cut off Paul's head and show Julie and Julia from behind...sorry...hey, I'm a writer, not a photographer!
Two things I just heard on the news I that made me giggle...sort of...
Yanni, that new age musical wonder (snort), was arrested for verbally abusing and then hitting his girlfriend; (I'm not laughing that he did this or making light of the crime itself, mind you, I'm laughing that it's "Yanni")
Madonna's daughter just saw the video clip where she kissed Britney Spears at the MTV Awards...or was it the Grammys...all crap, I get them confused...and asked her mother "Are you gay?" And Madonna replied "I am the mommy pop star and she is the baby pop star and I am kissing her to pass my energy on to her".
Yes, I just heard this on CNN so it must be true.
I will now puke up my breakfast.
My photos and blurb here about Adrian Belew made it on to DGM Live this morning -- and it turns out I was linked by a very cool guy. Wait until Eric wakes up and reads his creds and his blogposts...I just had a most enjoyable time doing that very thing.
Eric is still pretty freaked out about meeting Adrian. I mean, Adrian has only played with Eric's idols - Bill Bruford, Terry Bozzio, and Danny Carey. So can you imagine what this feels like for a drummer barely nineteen years old?
I want my son's life. By the way, his tour with Project Object is just about set give or take a couple weeks in May so here's where he'll be starting April 12:
Project/Object - The Music Of Frank Zappa Apr-May 06 Special Guest: IKE WILLIS
12 Philadelphia, PA World Café W/SCHOOL OF ROCK ALLSTARS!!
13 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom w/ MAHAVISHNU PROJECT!
14 Albany, NY Valentine's
15 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
16 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
17 Providence, RI The Century
18 Boston, MA Harpers Ferry
19 New Haven, CT Toad's
21 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
22 Chicago Martyrs
23 St. Louis, MO Cicero's
24 Detroit, MI Magic Bag
25 Cincinnati Poison Room
26 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
27 Louisville, KY Headliners
28 Asheville, NC Stella Blue
29 Atlanta, GA 5 Spot
7 New York, NY BB King's Blues
Like I said, I am going to hit as many as these cities as I can...really looking forward to it. Eric isn't listed as their new drummer on their actual front web page yet but if you click on "news" on the left hand side and and scroll down to their post of February 4, 2006, you'll be able to read all about him.
So the moment you've all been waiting for -- my capsule review of Neil Gaiman's MirrorMask. Actually, I'm lazy and admittedly no movie critic so I'll just copy my remark in the comments section to Susan Henderson:
"I know I'm prejudiced, but I had the best time watching MirrorMask today. Since fantasy isn't my usual genre I have nothing to compare it with so I absolutely adored it and thought it was incredibly creative - both the writing and the film itself."
So that's my thumbs up for what it's worth. I see it's coming to Comcast pay per view March 31 in case you don't get around to scoring the DVD.
Speaking of Susan by the way, click on the link and read her compelling blogpost today. Also, I see that Sue scooped me on our writer pal Bob Thurber who has some pretty exciting news -- actually, now you have to go to Sue's page to read all about it as well as an excerpt from Bob's incredible award winning story.
Finally, you MUST watch this, courtesy of my new favorite website,
Okay, I think that's enough excitement for today. Back upstairs to work on the novel.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Yep, I was crazy enough to go to New York last night to see Julie and Eric Slick play one song with Adrian Belew
Adrian Belew with Julie Slick on bass and Julia Ranier on guitar and hidden as usual where you can't see him on the drums, Eric Slick
Aha! There's Eric, along with Julie and Julia and that's Foster on the keyboards
So last night was amazing! I'm still on a high from it.
I still don't believe how the whole thing panned out.
Last blog post, I was a bundle of nervous energy, wondering if I should take the two hour trek to New York on a Sunday night to see my son play one song with Adrian Belew at the Knitting Factory. My daughter was also invited to play, but she works as a server at a restaurant on Sundays and is very conscientious and wouldn't call in sick.
I knew it was going to be a surprise to Eric that he was playing -- though as it turns out, he was having the best day ever being Adrian's roadie and hanging out with him and impressing him so much that when Eric brought Adrian over to say hello, Adrian told us that he'd love to have Eric come down to Nashville and maybe do some future project with him. Gary of course had to grab me by the elbow so I didn't swoon but I managed not to be my usual dorky self -- probably because I was so whipped by the end of the evening.
But I digress...
So I figured eventually Eric was going to get the news he was playing and he was going to call me and then I would most likely have to drag Gary out of his Sunday coma and make him drive me to New York to see our son. By this time, I'd given up on Julie because it was now late afternoon and she never phoned me.
But Eric never called, and when I tried to call him, it was obvious he was hanging with the cool kids and didn't want to talk with his mom, so I figured, okay, he must not want me to come up to New York...he's just playing on one song, blah blah blah. So I get comfortable in my p.j.s, and woo hoo, I have Neil Gaiman's MirrorMask on DVD which I am really looking forward to watching, when I hear my cell phone (which has the lovely ring of the actual Bob Dylan version of Along the Watchtower. Ah, I love technology. The sound of the telephone ringing used to make me cringe..well, the phone still makes me cringe, but at least I'm in love with my ring tone).
It was now 4:00 p.m. and I'm like Oh my god, you're kidding me. Because it wasn't Eric, it was Julie, who was calling me from the restaurant, telling me she'd be home in twenty minutes, and could I please ask Daddy for her if he'd drive her to New York because as it turned out, she wanted to play with Adrian Belew after all in a big way.
"Oh god, why can't you call Daddy?" (picturing him in bed in the fetal position snoring after most likely watching the Phillies' spring exhibition game on television and basically shutting out the world until Monday morning)
"Oh alright, I'll do it. Sure. Feed me to the lions. See if I care."
Just kidding. No one is prouder of his kids than Gary, and since he's a guitarist, I didn't exactly have to twist his arm to see Julie and Eric play with Adrian Belew.
So I threw on clothes, Julie came bursting through the door, changed...Gary pulled up...we hopped in the car...and it was now 5:10.
"What time does the show start, Julie?"
"Doors open at 6:00; show starts at 7:00 p.m."
I watched the clock on the car nervously. If there was no traffic, we could make it by 7:00 barely. If we hit traffic, we'd be doomed.
"Julie, call Eric and tell him we're on the way."
This I did at 5:20. Have I mentioned what a nervous wreck I am? I couldn't keep my eyes off that clock the entire time because I kept imagining us driving all the way to New York and getting there late and finding out that they already performed City of Tiny Lights without Julie.
You have no idea what a nightmare that would have been for me on all counts. Julie, her father....arghhh....very, um, emotional people. (This is, of course, why they are also incredible musicians so while I've come to accept this insanely emotional behavior, I'm still never quite prepared for the ensuing explosions even though they pass quickly)
Oh happy day...I mean night...we hit absolutely no traffic...just a five minute jam at the Holland Tunnel...and it's only 6:45 p.m. But I don't allow myself to stop hyperventilating even though I know that the Knitting Factory is basically walking distance from the tunnel...and naturally, I must have given off those vibes because even though we've been to the Knitting Factory like ninety times, we veered to the left off Beach Street instead of taking the right fork which would have taken us to Broadway, so Gary made some insane cowboy U-turns there and oh my god, 6:59 we pull up at the Knitting Factory and you can't even believe this, there's a parking spot...legal and free...right outside.
We rush inside and the place was packed! Considering it was Oscar night, this was pretty damn impressive, but Adrian Belew has some devoted fans.
As I stood at the bar catching my breath, Julie walked over and laughed and said "Guess what, Paul isn't bringing Eric and me out until the final song."
Eric ran over and hugged me and I found out he did know he was playing City of Tiny Lights but had just found out an hour ago, and he already knew I was on the way. But seriously, had I known he was playing Saturday night, I would have definitely made plans to be there Sunday for sure....but then Julie would have been screwed out of a ride to New York and she wouldn't have gotten to play...so strangely enough, the whole thing worked out perfectly.
Anyway, the show. It was INCREDIBLE! What an enjoyable couple of hours, hearing songs which spanned Adrian's entire career - Heroes, which he did with David Bowie; two of my all time favorite King Crimson songs from the eighties - Three of a Perfect Pair and Frame by Frame...and then he said "Many years ago, an alien came down to earth..and he was amazing...he was with us for a short time...and he gave us this...."
And he fucking launched into Purple Haze.
The whole crowd sang along. "Excuse me while I kiss the sky!"
Magic. The night was magic.
And then for the last song, Paul introduced Julie and Eric, and they came out and did City of Tiny Lights with Adrian and brought the house down. You know me, I was crying, so that's why the photos are wobbly again...but I have plenty more so I'll try and see if I can find some better ones when I'm less out of it.
Adrian had jammed with Julie a couple weeks ago but there were so many other musicians there at the time he was a bit overwhelmed and had forgotten Julie and Eric were brother and sister. So after the show, he talked with Gary and me again and said he couldn't believe it -- he congratulated us on having two such talented kids...you know me, tears again...like I said, I'm on a high from which it will probably take all day to come down.
I think this would be a good time to watch MirrorMask. It looks very cool and even cooler, something I normally would never have sought out on my own but ever since I read Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors in September I've been down several strange paths, the latest of which had me writing my first science fiction piece. Crazy, huh. Though I've already been told "Hey, this isn't science fiction, this is just another thinly disguised Robin Slick sex, drugs, and rock and roll story".
That was me who said that. Ha.
Okay...I'll be back later with a review and any other news Eric feeds me when he wakes up -- which I imagine will be sometime around noon.