the drummer of lone justice died today

in 1985 i was too young to get into the Long Beach club Bogarts where Lone Justice was to play on a particular Friday night.

i was working at a record store in West LA because my life has been blessed in many ways.

one of those blessings was one Willie Aron who advised me to just come really early and help the band in with their equipment and they could call me a roadie.

the only catch is i would have to hang out in the club all night and wait for them to come on.

time flew. as it does with a 19 year old at a rock club in the mid 1980s when rock had not yet died and still had a good 20 years left in the tank.

the band was soulful and powerful and the singer was mesmerizing and the entire night was worth all of it.

today every single mention of the band’s drummer Don Heffington was beautiful and positive.

heres some of what the singer of the band, maria wrote

He was not only a legendary drummer (Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Lowell George, Van Dyke Parks, Victoria Williams, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris) but a fascinating guy with a unique mind and sense of humor and a beautiful heart full of pure love. His solo projects were next level high lonesome perfection. He was a beloved Dad and Grandpa and the only original member of Lone Justice I never had any drama with. Which is meaningful. I love you so, so much Heff. Remember when we saw the Velvet Underground in Berlin? Best night ever.

i used to think, i better do something kickass before i die so everyone can talk about that when theyre about to bury me

but now i strive to be remembered the way Don Heffington is being known for tonight: being nice.

the billie eilish documentary is fantastic

billie has never gone to school. her parents have homeschooled her. she and her brother write all of her songs. their parents still live with her in the house she grew up in.

shes a rich person now. in the doc her dad buys her the car she wants for her 18th birthday. it’s a muscle car. it’s black. it’s beautiful.

she struggles with her boyfriend, like most teens. he’s black, beautiful, but clearly not into her.

she is trapped in her bubble, due to her overwhelming popularity. she also loves him. but he rarely hangs out with her. when he does she lights up. her big blue eyes shine.

she gets him an incredible pass for Coachella. shes playing it. shes nervous about it, as anyone would be. will the fans like her? she doesnt look like any of the typical coachella chicks, because shes not typical. she could really benefit having him there.

she calls, “where are you?” he always has bad excuses. he’s never there. it’s heartbreaking to watch. one of the most popular people in the world can’t get her man to come see her. it’s not like she’s hard to find, either shes at home or on stage.

is it sad that the only Black person in the doc is trifling? yes. but who among us didn’t experience unrequited love as a teenager?

regardless, this is a fantastic doc that gets right into their little Highland Park home and into our hearts.

it was worth staying up all night to soak in.

why you should never give one flying fuck


of all the musical geniuses that ever lived, many consider Beethoven to be THE ONE.

it came easy to Mozart. are you a genius if it was literally a gift from God?

Hell No.

you’re a genius if Despite the obstacles in your life or your surroundings you are able to overcome

and still create miracles.

above we see an image of Beethoven writing music. things are scratched out, corrections are being made, editing.

bro’s working. crafting. weeding out the riff raff. changing direction midstream.

heres Wolfgang Amadeus

everythings nice, tight, polite. very few notes. maybe a reminder to the conductor or musician, but basically it came from God’s heart and through Mozart’s fingers.

while I love both of their music, to me, Beethoven should be admired more because he shows that a strong work ethic and intention and commitment can create art that will last forever.

you might like Mozart more, fine. But most of us agree they were both giants in their field and life is so much better with them than without them.

enter Leo Tolstoy, a writer who dominated my higher education at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. our college was supposed to be the cream of the crop. the most talented artists, musicians and writers. and who did the Lit professors fawn over? The Russians. and the top dog, by far was Count Lev Nikolayevich or Лев Николаевич Толстой if you’re nasty.

we read his short stories his long stories. we read his diaries and his newspaper columns. we read his letters and his poems. you could not get through CCS back when i did without a huge amount of knowledge and respect for the most famous man in Russia during the 19th century.

one day Tolstoy was chatting it up with the legendary Russian composer Tchaikovsky when Leo dropped a bomb: he didn’t think Ludwig Van was talented.

Pyotr Ilyich was shocked. And ran home and wrote down exactly how shocked he was and how he was suddenly struggling with how he felt about the writer.

So you can be the great Ludwig Van Beethoven. Toiling at your keyboard. Going deaf. Are deaf. And some asswipe says you aint got it.

But worse, this asswipe is the most important mind for generations. Professors across the sea a century after his death are going to be holding up his works as Untouchable Legend.

he’s the one who says you aint shit. to a peer of yours. to a rival. to a friend.

so, yes Virginia, someone is going to talk shit about your blog, or your boyfriend or your favorite band or about you.

let them.

as elvis costello said, let them talk let them talk let them all talk.

Jesus was nailed to a cross after he healed the sick and fed the hungry.

of course people are gonna misunderstand and mistrust you too.

keep your head down and never stop making that joyful noise.

i was in junior high when i heard women and children first

some kid brought the record to school.

there were no turntables in school.

but he brought it because he had just seen the light. he had heard the incredible sounds and jungle rhythms of Everybody Wants Some and he was going to spread the word to his brothers and sisters.

and im glad he did because even though i had no money to go to the store and get the record, somehow i heard it too and i too felt the wildness it contained

who were these golden gods?

as much as i loved AC/DC, there was a looseness to van halen. it wasn’t so scripted.

if anything the pattern was: guitar, hook, breakdown, david lee roth saying something sexual, and then a giant climax.

works for me.

i saw van halen play exactly three times.

the first was over the summer in illinois when i was in college. tracey d, who i had dated while being an ice cream man got us tickets.

that girl was a true leader. no girl had ever bought ME tickets to a concert. but she knew i loved them and she did too. sadly this was the Van Hagar era and even though i didnt really love the new tunes, Sammy was entertaining and afterwards tracey asked me to spend the night with her, something i had never done before so, hubba hubba.

the second time was with karisa at Staples Center decades later. for some reason we were fighting. was she late? was i late? who knows. but we missed the opener Kool & the Gang. but were in time for the middle opener, Cheap Trick who i had never seen before for some reason. they were fine.

this was the reunited Van Halen with DLR back. he had a weird little sliding area up front. strange tap shoes kinda. it was like a vaudeville guy fronting a hair metal band. it was awkward. but the music — oh lord the music soothed everything.

the last time was with jeanine at the Hollywood Bowl. she was sleeping on my couch and was a guitar god herself. we had good seats. the stars were out. and it was a much much better show. soooo long. they played everything they could. wolfie was on bass. it was a perfect night.

when amber announced that Eddie had died, i rushed to TMZ where she had read it and then to Twitter where I saw Wolfgang’s tweet and I wrote a quickie little obit for Los Angeleno’s FB and Twitter and i realized i needed to call Scott Sterling who never picks up the phone

but he did with a “this day is like when Prince died.”

Scott had written a little book about being the only Black kid at the Women and Children First concert in Detroit. so we talked for 20 minutes and i recorded it so i could quote him for the real obit i wanted to write.

then i emailed Parry Gripp who wrote and performed “Van Halen” for Nerf Herder many moons ago. he wrote back very quickly, and kindly. he too should be in any obit of that great band.

and then i wrote it as fast as i could because i had something important to do at 3:30pm

something life changing, potentially, that i hope to reveal later this month.

finished it at 3pm. and felt good about it. particularly the way Eddie’s Frankenstrat looked on our page.

the young editor who copyedits me found a generic pic of Eddie with short hair and asked if i wanted to replace the image of the guitar with the pic and i was all, yeah no.

ah the kids.

throughout the day i wanted to cry.

i knew he had cancer. hell, in 2000 before the busblog even existed i made this photo essay about it. (click the pictures)

over the most recent years i had heard Eddie call in to Howard Stern. the two were friends IRL. i knew he struggled with booze. i knew 65 is way past the expiration date of rock stars.

but he’s still a guitar hero who was at such a level it almost seemed like a cartoon. otherworldly.

eddie van halen, like jimi hendrix, was someone you couldn’t even put in a discussion because it ends the debates. it’s not fair. he’s the high score you have to toss out with the lowest score so you could properly find the average.

he was the opposite of the average.

and he became that legend on his very first fucking record.

whose demo was produced by Gene Simmons of KISS because when he first heard Eddie, he too was instantly all in

just like that nameless kid in my junior high.

just like me.

people say Tom Morello reminds them of me

i wish.

all youve gotta do is listen to this guy for like 5 minutes and you’ll see he’s like no one in the world

is more to the Left than Bernie.

his mom is a communist.

his music in rage is Noise + punk rock + metal in a quasi rap band.

Bruce Springsteen has 4 guitar players on stage and yet asked Tom to go on tour with him.

i’d also like to know how many black dudes from Libertyville, IL graduated with honors from Harvard.

Me? I organize baseball cards on Sundays after watching church on YouTube.

but would i love to interview Tom Morello one day?

oh hell yes.

one thing from this interview id like to ask him about is

if his mom is half italian and half irish, why did she identify her family as

A Black family?

the dad means everything?

the way the child looks is the determinate feature?

tomorrow, i believe, i will have a Q&A up on Los Angeleno with an incredible woman and we talk about race for most of it.

i am cautious about calling people or things racist, but she’s not, and neither is Tom.

maybe i am being too politically correct?

or maybe i just have a much higher standard for what i deem to be racism.

and flat out racist, that, to me, means that they have acted in that manner for more than a short period of time, or in more than just short bursts.

I went to 80+ SF Giants games when i sold beers there in 1997. before that i went to a few games when i was there in the summer.

but am I a Giants fan? nope.

is it wrong to think that way when quickly rushing to judgement about who is a racist and who isn’t?

Circumstances should be considered. Situations.

fortunately i have the ability to look into people’s hearts to see what they’re really up to.

which is maybe why i should return to HR and Recruiting.

one field i have an incredibly good track record,

i believe is due to that super power.


and now a word from David Bowie

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. It changes you. So I was on the set of the music video ‘Ashes To Ashes’, do you know the one?

So we’re on the beach shooting this scene with a giant bulldozer. The camera was on a very long lens.

In this video I’m dressed from head to toe in a clown suit. Why not?

I hear playback and the music starts.

So off I go, I start singing and walking, but as soon as I do this old geezer with an old dog walk right between me and the camera.

Well, knowing this is gonna take a while I walked past the old guy and sat next to camera in my full costume waiting for him to pass.

As he is walking by camera the director said, Excuse me mister, do you know who this is? The old guy looks at me from bottom to top and looks back to the director and said…

‘Of course I do! It’s some cunt in a clown suit.’

That was a huge moment for me, It put me back in my place and made me realise, yes, I’m just a cunt in a clown suit. I think about that old guy all the time.

i wrote a thing about the thing i went to yesterday

i love that i can talk to my boss and say omg i just saw a great show should i write about it?

and she says yes yes

but because my life is crazy i wasnt able to write it until the dawns early light.

but i do because i know i was gonna be super busy today

and when it’s published,  my mom says, omg it was like i was there.

which is something nice that moms say, but here is the video of the show

anyways today i got a ticket from a bad cop

and i told him he was a bad cop

so he increased the seriousness of the ticket

which is what a bad cop would do

and i cannot wait to fight the ticket

even though people never win these types of fights

but i want to fight, i dont care.

im pissed

you shouldnt ticket people for ticky tack things like “rolling stops” when you’re trying to get your girl to the hospital.

and you say you believe that. but you give the ticket anyways

and then the bonus punishment for saying he’s bad.

but whatever, when i die, people will say, tony kept it real.



have i told you ive been watching a lot of youtube

it’s true.

and ive gotta thank the youth of america.

billy bragg said we should save them and i guess we have, sorta

of course theyre all gonna melt from global warming

but before they do i hope they resurrect punk rock, figure out how to refreeze the ice caps

and get all the plastic outta the oceans

and when theyre done they will go back to watching youtube

im very sorry we havent figured out how to stop the clock from ticking.

seriously. im very sorry.

155 well-known musicians 70 or older


Tony Bennett – 92
Harry Belafonte – 92
Burt Bacharach – 90
Ennio Morricone – 90
Loretta Lynn – 87
John Williams – 87
Willie Nelson – 86
Quincy Jones – 86
Little Richard – 86
Yoko Ono – 86
John Mayall – 85
Richard Chamberlain – 85
Herb Alpert – 84
Pat Boone – 84
Jerry Lee Lewis – 83
Johnny Mathis – 83
Sam Moore – 83
Kris Kristofferson – 82
Buddy Guy – 82
Charlie Daniels – 82
Don Everly – 82
Frankie Valli – 82
Wanda Jackson – 81
Charley Pride – 81
Kenny Rogers – 80
Bill Withers – 80
Gordon Lightfoot – 80
Smokey Robinson – 79
Herbie Hancock – 79
Mavis Staples – 79
Tina Turner – 79
Ginger Baker – 79
Ian Hunter – 79
Grace Slick – 79
Spencer Davis – 79
Giorgio Moroder – 79
Bob James – 79
Phil Lesh – 79
Neil Diamond – 78
Joan Baez – 78
Ringo Starr – 78
Aaron Neville – 78
Ann-Margret – 78
Mike Love – 78
Dionne Warwick – 78
Tom Jones – 78
Toni Tennille – 78
Bob Dylan – 77
Barbra Streisand – 77
David Crosby – 77
Graham Nash – 77
Charlie Watts – 77
George Clinton – 77
Darlene Love – 77
Paul Simon – 77
Art Garfunkel – 77
Wayne Newton – 77
Carole King – 77
Dr. John – 77
Helen Reddy – 77
Paul Anka – 77
John McLaughlin – 77
Eric Burdon – 77
Mark Lindsay – 77
Paul McCartney – 76
Brian Wilson – 76
Andy Summers – 76
Sly Stone – 76
Mike Nesmith – 76
Jean-Luc Ponty – 76
Rodriguez – 76
Taj Mahal – 76
Mick Jagger – 75
Keith Richards – 75
Jimmy Page – 75
Diana Ross – 75
Roger Daltrey – 75
Joni Mitchell – 75
Randy Newman – 75
Roger Waters – 75
David Gilmour – 75
Steve Miller – 75
Julio Iglesias – 75
Albert Lee -75
Geddy Lee – 75
Tony Orlando – 75
Barry Manilow – 75
Dickey Betts – 75
Eric Clapton – 74
Rod Stewart – 74
Stephen Stills – 74
Bob Seger – 74
Jeff Beck – 74
Billy Cobham – 74
Robbie Robertson – 74
Jon Anderson – 74
Ray Davies – 74
Boz Scaggs – 74
Gladys Knight – 74
Tim Rice – 74
Robin Trower – 74
Dolly Parton – 73
Neil Young – 73
John Fogerty – 73
John Paul Jones – 73
Pete Townshend – 73
Debbie Harry – 73
Van Morrison – 73
Itzhak Perlman – 73
Steve Martin – 73
Bette Midler – 73
Don McLean – 73
Al Green – 73
Elton John – 72
Iggy Pop – 72
Robert Fripp – 72
Dennis DeYoung – 72
Jimmy Buffett – 72
Linda Ronstadt – 72
Cher – 72
Daryl Hall – 72
Carmine Appice – 72
Ry Cooder – 72
Steve Howe – 72
Howard Shore – 72
Melanie – 72
Steven Tyler – 71
Kenny Loggins – 71
Jim Messina – 71
Brian May – 71
Joe Walsh – 71
Bob Weir – 71
Mick Fleetwood – 71
Ronnie Wood – 71
James Taylor – 71
Carlos Santana – 71
John Oates – 71
Stephen Sondheim – 71
Donald Fagan – 71
Andrew Lloyd Webber – 71
Ian Anderson – 71
T Bone Burnett – 71
Ozzy Osbourne – 70
Robert Plant – 70
Stevie Nicks – 70
Steve Perry – 70
Grace Jones – 70
Rick Ocasek – 70
Billy Joel – 70
Jackson Browne – 70
Ted Nugent – 70
Cat Stevens – 70
Lulu – 70
Steve Winwood – 70
Brian Eno – 70
Brian Ferry – 70