amber’s sister called me today to tell me she had passed

tony pierce amber smith on melrose ave. 2021

amber and i lived together for four years.
half of that was during the pandemic in a tiny apartment.

you get to know someone in that situation.

amber mona lisa mask
as you probably know she had her demons. she struggled with addictions. But she was able to kick many of them admirably.
she enjoyed going to meetings.
she enjoyed doing things that would help her in her recovery.
for the last couple of years she was in Washington trying to get a fresh start.
she had a boyfriend – something that was never hard for her –
she had a job working at a fancy hotel – something she was great at.
amber working at the fairmont
the last time she texted me she told me she was 30 days sober.

before that text she asked me to write her a card. i was reluctant because i told her i thought we should chill out on conversing so we could both move on with our next chapters – something that’s hard to do when you’ve got one foot in the Past

amber in santa barbara reading from the laptop

but i did write the card. i dont remember what i wrote. it was hard to know what to say and the pens were old and didn’t want to work.

it was all so strange.

i was also worried what she wanted it for.

amber at a black lives matter rally in 2020.
im glad i sent it though because her follow up texts were so sweet.
she was such a truly genuinely sweet person.

she LOVED being a concierge. she loved being of service.

after a few of her friends started reading my blog they’d eventually ask, “you two are sooo different, what do you talk about?”

we talked about the hotel biz A Lot.
amber next to a black mercedes and palm trees in the parking lot of the academy archives on vine
we loved this book Heads in Beds which we listened to
on a long roadtrip to Spring Training
a few years ago.
one of my favorite memories of Amber was she was at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire on Rodeo
One of her favorite books was Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

She would read me parts of it as we drove.

amber at barnsdale park picnic pizza
We loved driving all over LA. sometimes with no destination in mind.

just holding hands talking about LA.

one day Michelle Obama was a guest at the hotel.

amber found out.
amber with the national guard
she told her boss that she had read the book several times and knew The First Lady loved cheese toast
and asked if it would be OK if she ran across the street and bought a special  toaster oven that could do the right things.
five star hotels love doing things like that for VIPs.
amber at LAX

she got the ok, ran and got the toaster, fresh bread, the fixins for cheese toast and went up to the room.To her surprise Barack Hussein Obama opened the door.

Surprise bc it was top secret that he had arrived while she was out buying the toaster.

Mr President, I have read your wife’s book and I know she likes cheese toast,

so it’s my honor to deliver this to her with our regards.
She said Barack’s face lit up.
I want you to know how hard i tried to make things better for her.
I am so sorry i failed.
amber at the lana del rey concert in las vegas
When her sister said her favorite years were the ones with me i couldnt help thinking, but i wasn’t able to save her.
But we can’t, I guess.
Not always.
But dont let that stop you from trying.
amber doorway





things i learned this week

  1. when the beatles played their final concert at the Stick it wasnt as packed as youd think
  2. if shohei ohtani became a Cub i would have a very hard time not moving back to chicago during baseball season
  3. im easily distracted
  4. i love having my blog back
  5. i love how much ive been able to write this summer even though it was hard
  6. throwing away dirty tupperware is fun
  7. probably gonna throw more things out the rest of the year
  8. my sleeping patterns are bad
  9. buying food from street vendors is a better use of my limited funds for the global economy than always going to the big grocery store or the franchise drive thru
  10. i dont smoke as much weed as i thought i would once it became legal
  11. even though i work from home and make my own schedule, this summer ive gone to very few movies
  12. ppl w adhd love caffeine
  13. i only care about fantasy baseball leagues where the commissioners are either cheating lying or terrible
  14. im addicted to midjourney



just finished work, its 344am

it was a hard week. wasn’t sure i could pull it off, but even the losers get lucky sometimes

i was able to do tons of rock stories, a podcast, a blogpost for that podcast, all the social media for it

now i can make thumbnails for the youtube page. the funny thing about the youtube page is at a glance you can see the hits to each of the episodes. whats fascinating is some of the episodes are doing way better than others.


i really want to spend some time re-doing the descriptions because clearly some are really working while others arent.

i also want to experiment on youtube shorts. i have this theory about bible verses. i dont think a lot of people who love the bible Also know how to make it look cool.

im not saying im that person, but what’s interesting about Christianity is, even if its hokey or cringe or lame, people respond to it. some of the songs, for example, in church are the worst tonal arrangements, terrible rhyming, and just plain bizarre – without being cool bizarre. and yet, it makes it to the show on Sunday


so even if my bible verse shorts are super lame, i bet they still get views.

i have 400+ subscribers on the Hear in LA youtube channel, in part because of the extraneous videos i put up there. yes theres the 104 episodes, but those were never intended to get huge views.

but when i talked to Victor at the Vista we talked about the Let’s All Go To The Lobby concession stand vintage clip. i wanted it for the blog page and noticed it was public domain, so I downloaded it and uploaded it right back up there, but with a better descriptor.


that mfer has 66,000 views. No it’s not millions, but it got me half of those subscribers. You only need 1,000 subscribers to start making money on YouTube.

If somehow I could spend just an hour a day working on that channel I bet you I could start paying the rent off youtube in a year or two.

i dont think it’s that hard.


things i’ve written in the first half of September for Setlist

Five Amy Winehouse Great Performances

Hozier Plays “First Time” For The First Time in Show Me State

Lynyrd Skynyrd Saves Venue and Records Live LP

Beyoncé ‘Mute Challenge’ Has a Much Longer Predecessor

Five Beautiful Neil Peart Drumming Moments

Eagles Kick Off First Leg of Long Goodbye Tour in NYC

Papa Roach, Shinedown, Oliver Anthony Serenade Fans in Campground

Gwen Stefani Returns to Anaheim to Celebrate Honda Center’s 30th

Five Opening Acts Who Would Become Perennial Headliners

Setlist History: Blues Brothers Record Live Show That Goes #1

Busted Greatest Hits Tour Now With Hanson

Chart History: Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ Album Debuts at #1

Bruce Springsteen Postpones September Shows Due To Ulcer

Setlist History: R.E.M. Debuts 9 Songs In Pageantry Kick-off

Aerosmith Kicks Off Peace Out… Farewell Tour in Philly

First Time, Last Time: Steve Harwell Sings “All Star”

Sting Kicks Off North American Tour With Pair In Vegas

Pearl Jam Kicks Off North American Mini Tour With Rarities

First Time, Last Time: Jimmy Buffett Sings “Margaritaville”

Chart History: BTS Becomes First All-Korean Group To Go #1

Janelle Monáe Brings Pleasure & Live Debuts to Tour Kickoff


i am having a great day

my blog, my beautiful blog is working.

im putting the finishing touches on episode 104 of hear in LA

i wrote a piece i love on setlist

it’s about the most controversial classical piece in the world, 4’33” which i compared to the Beyonce “Mute Challenge”

no one seems to love it as much as i do. ha!

i also spent way too much time on a lynyrd skynyrd setlist history about when they saved an atlanta theater that my mom actually went to

i have three things to write tonight so i gotta go

hi blog!!!