Okay, okay, I know I said I wouldn't do anything as cheesy as a five year birthday tribute to my blog, but yeah, I just confirmed today is the day and since I do have some other stuff to talk about, why the hell not.
Drawing by the late, great John Lennon (and if you didn't know that and the fact that this journal is named in his honor, you are not cool enough to be here so go away. Or not. You know I like to kid around because hey hey, I'm still a kid even if the mirror tells me otherwise.)
So yeah, happy birthday, blog! Thanks to you, I've met some really cool people (oh, no one special...just Robert Fripp (who remarked, "I've read your blog", causing me to almost swallow my tongue while mortified that I had a camera in my hand which I desperately tried to stuff down the back of my jeans while simultaneously attempting to croak out an answer...and anyone who is familiar with Mr. Fripp understands the gravity of that camera situation and my subsequent horror/terror), also from DGMLive Sid Smith, California Guitar Trio, Tony Levin, Barry Eisler, David Morrell, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer (well, sort of when it comes to Amanda -- I bumped into Neil and Amanda at the Highline in New York City a week or two before they "came out" as a couple but anyone who follows them on Twitter or their respective blogs had to have guessed months earlier; I was at the Highline with Eric to see some friends of ours read their six word memoirs published by Smith Magazine; anyway, I saw Amanda and Neil together in the audience because Amanda was the musical portion of the show following the reading and blurted out (much to Eric's humiliation yet again) "Ooh, I'm telling the internet!" Amanda turned around and laughed but due to the Eric factor, i.e., I'm running out of free passes for mortifying him in public, I didn't wait around to chat any further and hustled past to the bar)...and of course, last but not least, all of the fans, both of my books (all 4 of them!) and of Julie and Eric and the Adrian Belew Power Trio.
So yeah, having this blog has been a gateway and diary to all kinds of fun, and if you check out the archives, particularly in 2005 and 2006, you'll find everything from our infamous pizza date with Eddie Vedder; Julie and Eric's performances with everyone from Jon Anderson of Yes to Ann Wilson of Heart to Alice Cooper, Stewart Copeland blah blah blah...and yeah, the whole evolution of their respective careers - Eric landing his first professional drumming gig with Project Object, Julie's brief stint with punk skateboard band McRad and their tour of the UK (yeah, I went. So shoot me.)...and then the call from Nashville when they landed the gig with Adrian.
Hey, speaking of Project Object, Eric, who has been home all of three days from the ABPT west coast tour and is taking off with Julie next week for two weeks of gigs in Turkey and Russia, anyway, Eric will be joining Project Object for their winter tour and here's the preliminary info on that, though I suspect more dates are going to be added:
SUN 12/27 - Sellersville Theatre - Sellersville, PA
MON 12/28 - 8 x 10 Club - Baltimore, MD
TUE 12/29 - Rex Theatre - Pittsburgh, PA
WED 12/30 - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
FRI 1/1 - Martyrs - Chicago, IL
SAT 1/2 - Martyrs - Chicago, IL
SUN 1/3 - Miramar Theater - Milwaukee, WI
THU 1/7 - BB King Blues Club & Grill - New York, NY
FRI 1/8 - Regatta Bar - Cambridge, MA
SAT 1/9 - Revolution Hall - Troy, NY
SUN 1/10 - Toad's Place - New Haven, CT
Also, I've been remiss in that I should have posted this earlier, but better late than never...here's a note from P/O's founder, Andre Cholmondeley:
Hoping this message finds you well.
While there have been real high points and really great moments --It's been a very hard year for me and my loved ones, most of you know about the tragic & sudden loss of my mom in July, 10 weeks ago today. Many of you also know that day arrived against a backdrop of very tough times -- my other half and love of my life Cheri Jiosne has been fighting breast cancer for almost a year now.
She is doing as well as one can, in fact better I think - she looks great, feels great and is several months into an intense program combining various schools of herbalism, holistic methods, Qi gong, Acupuncture and diet with a low dose Alternative Chemo program called IPT. We're at a crossroads now, looking at what the next move in her fight needs to be.
It's ironic (or not) that the current national debate has been about health care -- we too are amongst the millions of Americans without health care insurance. The small amount she had at one of her jobs ran out -- and we are dealing with this out of pocket. We are looking at creative ways to keep paying the bills, and one idea was to do a benefit in NYC. The ACOUSTIC PROJECT/OBJECT benefit went fantastically - especially on a Sunday, and a major Jewish Holiday. THANKS SO MUCH for showing up, sending in donations, letters, emails, cards etc. The silent auction run by our dear friends Laura Dardi & Rob Bruce went fantastically - thanks to those who bid. The support from all corners has been touching and amazing. We are trying to plan a benefit in MONMOUTH COUNTY NJ somewhere before the end of the year - stay tuned here and on the email list. Once more --THANK YOU IMMENSELY.
- Andre', Project/Object
We have a pay pal account as well as a PO Box you can send a donation check/money order to. Here are other options:
You can go to paypal.com and make payments to projectobject (at) earthlink.net
You can send a check or money order written to
CHERYL JIOSNE to:
Cheri Jiosne Cancer Fund
PO BOX 16672
Thanks! No amount is too small.....Stand by for further info and please forward this to anyone you think would be interested.
Thanks so much for all your support, in so many ways through the years. She is a fighter and we will make it thru this difficult time, with victory over this!
- André Cholmondeley"
I know personally that Cheri's medical bills are freaking staggering (God Bless America and our fucked up healthcare system) so every little bit helps and perhaps in the spirit of the approaching holidays you will keep them in mind? Hope so!
So I know I said I'm turning this blog back over to my writing career, and that's true, but it's kind of ludicrous for me to say I'm never going to write about Julie and Eric again - they are my best friends, my family, and hell yeah, I'm gonna shout it out when cool stuff happens in their lives.
And trust me, cool stuff is in the works...I can't talk about any of it yet in detail, naturally, but well, I can sorta say some stuff. California Guitar Trio has asked J&E to contribute bass and drums to three songs on their new CD...in fact, here's the mention right in Bert Lam's diary:
"Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This past weekend Paul, Hideyo and I met in Louisville, Kentucky, for a recording session at Funeral Home Studios, with sound engineer Kevin Ratterman.
We recorded several strong pieces: Chacarera, an original piece by Paul, based on an Argentine rhythm.
Next was Hazardous Z, a piece by Hideyo. Paul came up with some Spanish 'flamenco style' chords, and I composed a new part on classical guitar. Sessions were fun, and went very smooth, thanks to some good preparation, and the professionalism of Kevin.
We've sent out tracks for some of our friends to play on: Tony Levin, Julie and Eric Slick, Dilek Engin(viola), and Daniel, Shri and Colty from the UT percussion ensemble.
We now have recorded about 10 pieces, and a few improvisations; plenty of very strong material for an all-originals new CD release."
Ha ha, Julie Slick and Tony Levin, together again. Heart be still.
Julie and Eric have in fact laid down their respective tracks but of course it will be up to the CGT to make the final decision as to whether to officially include them or not or ask for changes...whatever....you know it's all good!
Also, as soon as they return from Russia/Turkey, J&E will be recording an EP with their new band, Paper Cat, featuring astoundingly fantastic guitarist Robbie "Seahag" Mangano and while I could really go to town blabbing on that one, I will stay quiet and simply post this.
While on tour, I received so many emails I cannot possibly respond to all of them; we were in the car for over eight hours most times and I had limited internet access in a lot of venues and hotels. So I thought I'd put up some of letters I received here because they deserve some recognition and a huge thank you!
From Frank Jordan:
"I saw them play this last week in Santa Ana, and was simply blown away. I saw Ade's Trio a few years ago, before Julie and Eric came aboard. It's mentioned in several reviews, how they have ignited Adrian with their youthfulness and talent, but it's all talk until you see and hear them live. Unbelievable. My friend and I were able to meet with them for a few minutes afterwards, and as a parent, I must say that your children are so far beyond their years in how they interact, and so open and friendly with the fans. I'm a drummer also, and when I'd asked Eric about his snare drum, he invited me up onstage so he could show it to me up close. That was very kind of him to do. The show was again wonderful throughout, and I especially loved the new material from "e". You know, you read alot and hear alot about how good they are, and they seem to me to be as good of people, as they are musicians. I love the passion for what they are doing. (And, at least Julie puts her socks on after the show for the fans). I know it makes me feel worthwhile when someone says it to me, so I'll say to you, you have great kids, Robin."
From Dan Reagan:
I just saw Julie and Eric tearing it up with Adrian last night in Portland, OR at the Aladdin theater.
I just wanted to say that your children are truly awesome musicians; they blew my mind. I think the future of music is in very capable hands.
From David Reynold:
I met you this evening (Oct 13th, if anyone cares) behind the merch counter at a small, out of the way venue to see -- OH WAIT, IT'S YOUR PROGENY! wow.
What ever it is you have done, you have done it well. As a single dad, I work hard to make sure the lizard (Elizabeth) has a good grounding in classical education (that is, I pay for piano lessons and get up in her face about homework and how it applies) and do my damnedest to make sure sure she can still have fun. With luck she will be the next 'It Girl' out of Hollywood, but that's only 'cause I'm a pushy stage parent and my cousin is a producer.
You are patently not THAT and have been an obviously good influence on your progeny; Thanks for letting them tour, and even more -- thanks for coming with them -- you probably can claim 'BEST MOM EVER" just for that.
PS: They _better_ bring flowers on Mother's Day..."
From Stephan and Kim in Calgary:
We had a blast getting to know you guys at PikNiq after the show in Calgary.
Like I said on my Email to Adrian, they are great musicians ( we knew that) but more importantly, you are great persons. Your kids are wonderful, probably because you are too.
Hopefully we will see you again here or in Quebec city.
Big hugs, stay warm and enjoy the road to Vancouver,
Stephan and Kim, Calgary"
And my personal favorite, from Patrick Gaumond of Quebec, who incredibly enough is good friends with Stephan from Calgary - they were in a band together in high school and how insane that we ended up having drinks with both of them in different cities a month apart:
"Dear Power Quartet,
Thanks to all of you for the wonderful musical and social evening. You let me stay in your bubble and be part of your tour memories and I’m really thankful for such an honor.
I didn’t take any picture or made you sign my whole CD collection because I wanted you to feel at home in my City. I tried to be a friend, not a fan.
Eric, thanks for the subtle drumming on your “non-Bozio kit”, your funny eye contact with the crowd and your kindness.
Julie, thanks for your “almost Hendrix” moment, your French effort and your "joie de vivre".
Adrian, thanks for your unstoppable communicative smile while you perform, the music you share with us and your warm humanity.
Robin, thanks for answering my first email, thanks for having trusted your kids' talent and your devotion. I owe you for the rest of my life.
It’s been a pleasure chatting with all of you. You made me felt very comfortable. Let me write it again: “You have a perpetual invitation whenever you come in Québec City for vacation or playing music, whatever the group, venue or else. I’ll always be happy to help you get food, attractions and fun”. I'm in the phonebook, I’m easy reach by email and it will always be a pleasure to meet any of you again.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
A really happy guy,
And so many people took such cool photos! Ack, that will have to be another post. It will take me forever to link them all and my publisher has taken to sending people to ABPT shows to hound me for my edits on my latest book so I better end this post right now and finish said edits before I no longer have a career.
But um, speaking of that, please notice to banner on the top of this page. It will take you right to my Amazon page. Those reading today's blogpost and my series of journal entries about the trio would probably really dig my latest book, Daddy Left Me Alone with God. I'm not gonna lie, a good chunk of that book is based on Julie and Eric and the beginning of their career...i.e., the School of Rock years. Is the rest of the book fact or fiction? Ha ha - you will have to decide that for yourself. I'm not saying a word.
And I couldn't help but notice a few really great reviews have popped up while I was on tour...like this one over at Coffee Time Romance:
"DADDY LEFT ME ALONE WITH GOD
Tease Publishing, LLC
Rating: 4 Cups
Annie has an opportunity that few receive. Through her talented children, she can revisit her teenager rock star god, Mick. Her father was once her dealer, and after being left alone with a god, she became his enthusiastic lover; leaving behind her first love.
Mick is a rock star who has always remembered little Annie and often wondered wistfully how he let her get away. Now he wants her back, even if it means stealing her from another man. Her husband and first love is the man she chose to marry when he stood beside her during a difficult period of her life, but is his love and support enough to keep her.
Annie starts out sure that her marriage is over; especially if she can have Mick back. Her children are grown and on their way, and now just may be the time for her to have what she thought she had always missed. But did she really miss anything and is the gamble worth giving up the man who has loved her for so long?
Daddy Left Me Alone With God is all about getting a second chance and the choices we would make if we had it to do all over again. I enjoyed the character of Annie because she was never portrayed as a perfect woman but as woman with all the flaws of a real woman. The road trip from hell made the story so funny, sad, and poignant, depicting the end of an era and the beginning of the next. Well worth the read; I would recommend that everyone make it least one visit to the world of Robin Slick.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More"
And on Amazon:
"Daddy Left Me Alone With God tells the story of Annie, an aging rocker who's accompanying her children, gifted musicians in a rock band, while they play gigs across the U.S. Here's the hook: In her youth, Annie had a torrid affair with rock god, and he's the headliner on the tour, while her children are the opening act. Part travelogue, part road story, part romance, and definitely a coming-of-age story, this book was witty and wildly entertaining while straddling the literary line. Annie is a conflicted woman with a difficult past. Her kids are her heaven, but her every day home life is lacking and she struggles with her advancing age while being tempted to recapture a piece of her past. We generally think of coming-of-age stories as youths getting a taste of adulthood, being forced to make choices or sacrifices or having their eyes opened to indignities of the world. But life isn't a one-and-done experience when it comes to growing up, and we face major transitions into different stages of life. The male experience of mid-life crisis is well documented in literary fiction, but the female's perspective is generally ignored or trivialized. Annie does suffer indignities, but they're hilarious, and she gets tested on her adult status, and ultimately has to make a choice. Throw in the will-they-or-won't-they tension, and this book certainly kept the pages turning."
So I hope that tempts you to at least click on the link and consider buying "Daddy" as well as my other titles with Phaze, which are erotic comedies, and I cannot stress the word "comedy" enough. In fact, I stumbled upon a recent review of my first book for Phaze, Three Days in New York City, and I wanted to share it here because it really made me feel great:
"Three Days In New York City (a book review, sorta)
September 28, 2009
A few years ago I came accross this book called Three Days In New York City by Robin Slick. I read a review in a blog I frequented regularly and it sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a try. You see the blogger talked about how funny and quick witted the book was.
Oh sure! Don’t get me wrong! It mentioned other stuff but what drew me in was the fact that the reviewer/blogger mentioned how he hadn’t laughed so hard yadda yadda… how funny it was, etc etc.
That is what drew me to it. Not the “other stuff.” The funny stuff.
The day my book order came in was a day that my boys had baseball practice.
“Yay,” I thought! “Now I have reading material for the two hours that we are gonna be stuck at practice.”
So there I go! I got to practice and took my book out and started reading.
Page one umm… hu?
Page two: WHOA… whatta?
I was only able to read about a page and half. OK OK so maybe it was three. It was then that I realized I had to stop reading it.
I was shocked at the content.
Don’t get me wrong. It turned out to be a very funny book but…
you’re gonna think I’m a dumb ass..
and I should have known better..
Don’t judge me! I’d never read this “type” of book.
I mean, I could sort of imagine… but I guess I really didn’t know…
It’s labeled EROTICA.
And yes, while I know what the word means, I guess I didn’t really “KNOW” what the word meant?
Yes, I can be slow like that. I’d never read erotica before and didn’t really know what to expect. Well, ok maybe I just figured it would have a passionate kiss here and there and maybe a description of a nipple being perky or a private part tingling with anticipation. But I wasn’t exactly figuring it was gonna be how it was.
The book starts off with phone sex while she’s on public transportation on her way to meet her lover at a hotel in New York City while wearing a short skirt with no panties, per HIS request. And by phone sex, I mean VERY EXPLICIT phone sex.
Ummm yeah. Definitely feeling “funny” but not funny-ha-ha. Feeling a little bit more like “funny, I never expected THIS!”
So anyways, after reading a little bit my face started to feel a little flushed. I looked up and felt like all the other baseball moms were staring at me. With INDIGNATION!
Oh my GOD! Did they KNOW?
Can they read my thoughts as I’m reading?
Can they tell that my heart is racing?
Can they feel my sweaty palms?
Did I accidentally mouth the words as I was reading?
Or worse…. did they have Three Days In New York City at home?
Did they recognize the cover?
Are they judging me thinking, ”BAD MOM, reading that smut while at at her kids baseball practice? I mean, what kind of mother does that?”
The crack-ho/nynpho kind, that’s what.
– So I very discreetly put the book back IN my purse, looked around to see if anybody had been able to read my thoughts.
*If I was Catholic I would have quickly recited ten hail Mary’s(is that what they call it?)
I can’t even remember what those prayers are called. Not that it matters since I’m not Catholic, so even if I did know what it was called and how to recite them, the Catholic God would look down at me from heaven and say, “Nice try, Twinkie, but you’re not fooling anyone!”
Bad Twinkie! Erotica is the devil~
That evening I went home, made dinner and did all that other motherly/wifely stuff, then once everyone was in bed, I finished the book. Devoured it, really.
I was like a perv in a brothel.
Don’t judge me! To my defense, like I said, not only is it “EROTICA” but it’s really funny too.
The book follows a sexual escapade between a married almost 40 year old American woman going through a sort of mid-life crisis empty nest syndrome. She’s bored with her corporate job. Regrets not following her dreams as an artist and decides to take a cyber-office romance with an overconfident, freaky Brit to the next level.
What ends up happening between this unfullfilled but very vanilla American will make you laugh out loud till your stomach hurts.
It was a short and very easy read.
Since then? Erotica became my very own guilty pleasure.
Don’t worry though. I’ve learned my lesson. From now on, if the cover has certain key words like sex, erotic, for dirty crack ho nympho’s only, etc on it, I will NOT take it to my kids practice. In fact? I will ONLY read it in the privacy of my bedroom. With the door shut."
Ha! I really do love that review. And you should know that there is a sequel to Three Days, called Another Bite of the Apple, and a third book, which is tentatively scheduled for release December 7 ASSUMING I EVER FINISH MY EDITS ARGHH, called Bitten to the Core...and you can purchase them at Amazon or directly from my publisher, right here.
Oh wow, there's something else I'd better mention! I'm doing two readings, one in Philadelphia on November 5 and one in New York on November 7! Here's the details...
As advertised on author Greg Olear's Facebook page:
"The Totally Killer Book Tour / Philadelphia
Let's get ready to mumble!
TOTALLY KILLER by Greg Olear
Thursday, November 5, 2009
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Moonstone Arts Center
110A S. 13th Street
"I'll be in the City of Brotherly Love as part of The Nervous Breakdown's Literary Experience, the traveling roadshow of the web's premier address for creative nonfiction.
Joining me on stage:
-- ROBIN SLICK, author of "Daddy Left Me Alone With God," and mother to two-thirds of the Adrian Belew Power Trio
-- J.E. FISHMAN, co-author of "Life is a Series of Presentations" and writer of the mystery "Mr. Gloom and Pollyanna Fight to the Death," soon to appear in serialized form on TNB
-- ELIZABETH COLLINS, my fellow Madison High School alum, the event's hostess and organizer, winner of the Columbia University Nonfiction Prize and the Best Essay of Literary Nonfiction at UNI's Critical Writing Conference, finalist for The Missouri Review's Nonfiction Award, and author of several YA novels."
And regarding my New York reading on November 7, I'll be at Barbes in Brooklyn as part of Dime Stories, reading my piece, Picnic, which, as you can see, was previously published in the absolutely fabulous Smokelong Quarterly.
Finally, November 1 begins my yearly ritual of National Novel Writing Month, where I will attempt a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Hey, trust me, after being on tour all summer/fall with the trio, I have more material than I know what to do with.
Hey, if I don't get back here tomorrow, Happy Halloween, everyone. I know I promised a restaurant/foodie heaven review of the tour, and yes, I will post links to all the great photographers I've mentioned above; I've got some great film footage as well...stay tuned. But for now...gah...my edits await and playtime is over.