It's been a good ride so far!

Since I was just a kid all I have ever wanted to do was to make people laugh or just smile. As a child, an educator sent a note home to my parents. It read; If your son thinks he is going to get through life making people laugh he is in for a RUDE AWAKENING! He is not living up to his potential. WELL, I'M STILL NOT! But at this site you will at least see me try. From the heart, thank you for even being interested, it means the world to me. I always say, I have not a single fan but many a friend!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Who the Fuck Do People Think THEY ARE?

Well you are doomed if you don't do something about it right away!  Who is the psycho and just whose destiny is this maniac in charge of you ask?  Well allow me to take you on a 60 mile round trip ride and you will understand.  I will tell you this for starters, the psycho in this instance is a driver and here is what he drives.
As you guys know, back in August I had the great honor of hosting the Broken Spoke Saloon Campground out in Sturgis, South Dakota for the 71st annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and on many levels it was amazing.  The venue itself, with its location at Bear Butte is majestic, the people who stop in, shake your hand and take a pic with you come from all over the globe, the vendors, the campers, the bartenders the bosses and even the guys in charge of production make the entire experience absolutely stellar!  I have a strange work ethic for an emcee.  Instead of doing my "bit" and disappearing and going back to sleep or going and hanging out in the A/C or being a stuck up snob, I love to hang out with the crew!  From the bar backs who drag away the empties to the guys working the parking lot and I especially like to hang out with the guys who do lights and sound.  I never leave, I never sit, I never stop.  This year, I got to meet this great sound guy named Wes Whitman, he was working for Parr Sound and he was running the board inside the main bar at the Spoke.  Having a similar background in what I use to do and what he does now, we hit it off pretty quick!  By the end of the rally, we were bros for life!  It's like going in to battle.  You never forget the men who fought and died by your side.  I was sad when the rally was over, it is always really hard to ride away and leave everyone behind when the rally ends.  I had no idea when I would see this cat again!
Here was my view of Wes, day and night during the rally.

..... and this was Wes' view of me all day and night.

Yesterday, while sitting in the doctors office, my phone makes the funny lil sound it makes when I get a message.  Each time I hear it I am sort of shocked.  Not because I got a message, but because the damn thing is actually working!  HOW FAR ARE YOU FROM SCOTTSDALE MAN?  "Well, depending on where in Scottsdale, anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, why", I asked back.  Well we plan on parking at the Scottsdale Mall overnight.   I said "hell man, that's not far at all, I'll come see you, let's party it up".  Call you when we get in to town man!  Since I hadn't seen him since August this was a great surprise.  After the knucklehead sent me the wrong number to reach him, we finally got to talking on the phone, you know, the way our ancestors use to do! 

First off, I had to know what the hell they were parking at the mall and why it was being parked there.  I knew of no bike events in or around town.  I didn't know of any big bike events in Cali. or Nevada that were about to happen or that had just happened.  So of course I asked and the answer made me really happy for him. "I'm on a tour bus brother" was his answer.  I caught a tour and not just any tour, I got on the number one tour in the USA right now, Five Finger Death Punch and Hatebreed and I'm touring with the opening act Rains!  I was so thrilled for him.  I could hear how very happy he was in his voice.  I suggested that they take the idea of parking the bus in the mall and stuff it up some one's ass.  My second suggestion was to gather up all the buses and all the bands and come park them at my place.  I've got the pool, all kinds of bedrooms, an extra apartment, laundry facilities, pool table, booze and I even offered to cook up some of my famous fixins!  FUCK YEAH MAN, WHAT A GREAT IDEA, LET ME ROLL IT PAST THE SINGER AND I'LL HIT YOU BACK!  Cool!  Well I'm jumping on my bike right now to run and pick up a check, I'll call you back in 40 minutes when I get off the bike, fair enough?  I take the ride, pick up the check and I call him back and I swear to God, a different person answered the phone!  So I ask, what's going on man, you okay?  THIS IS WHERE THE MADNESS BEGINS!  The driver of the bus said no!  He got in to a huge fight with the assistant tour manager and refuses to drive the bus another inch!  He has pulled off in to a truck stop in inner city ghetto Phoenix!  He says "dude, homeless people are asking to wash the wheels on the bus, this is fucked up"!  So now I'm confused!  I'm going to sleep the driver says and walks off like a child and instead of taking his ball and leaving, he more or less took his bus keys and crawled in to his bunk.  I would officially call this guy A LIL FUCKING BITCH but would not want to offend any lil bitches anywhere by putting this dick in their category!  He stopped the bus 20 minutes from where they were supposed to park for the night, 30 minutes from my house!  Well this made me so pissed!  I was not going to have my friend, stuck in a crack head and lot lizard filled truck stop in Phoenix!

I had a better idea.... grab your gear, get your laundry ready, JACK SHIT to the rescue!  I am bringing you all back to my house!  I'm not going to have you robbed, raped or human trafficked while aimlessly wandering around all night in the farthest, darkest back corner of a massive parking lot!  They were thrilled to say the least.  They could not believe that I was going to drive 30 miles to come pick them up, only to bring them back another 30 at 2am to get on the bus to drive away, when their own fucking bus driver who is being paid to drive them around wouldn't!!!!  FUCKING PSYCHO!!!!

So I roll on up to pick them up and one by one they all come off the bus, introducing themselves to me, thanking me profusely and smiling!  I have freed them from their prison!  One of the first guys off the bus is leaning against the back of my truck and starts reading my back window stickers.  DARK STAR TATTOOWHO THE FUCK IS ROADSIDE MARTY and so on.  These guys are all in the Horse Mag!  I said oh yeah man, those guys are my friends, every sticker on here!  As it turns out, he is a huge fan of all things CHOPPER and loves GEORGE THE PAINTER's and Charlie the Nomad's writing!  I said "no shit, small world man".  GTP is one of my dearest friends in the whole world, he spent the whole day at my house yesterday, I couldn't get rid of him!  My wife got Charlie the Nomad and his girl Jill there house too, they live 8 doors down from us on the same street.  "GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE MAN"!  No I won't, I'm serious!  Now the first problem arises, there are seven of us, my truck can pretty much hold 5 men.  Here I am thinking that it is freezing out.  The AZ night time temps have dropped to a drastic 67 degrees.  We will ride in the bed of the truck, we don't care, just take us with you, don't leave us here!  That is just what we did!  We drove 80 mph down the freeway with a lunatic biker behind the wheel and band members and management jammed in to every open spot in the truck!  Off to the JACK SHIT resort and day spa for wayward rock stars!  I had a surprise for my new friend... I reached out to Charlie the Nomad and told him that he had a huge fan of his at my house, would he come down and say hello? 

Well I guess the above photo is the answer to that question!  Diane being her amazing and Italian self said hello to everyone and asked the first question any Italian woman asks, did you guys eat?  NO WE ARE STARVING!  Well what could we do?  Diane jumped in the truck and took off for the store for groceries and I filled the biggest pot we have with water to boil.  It was time for JACK SHIT'S famous penne with vodka sauce!  Before Diane left, she went in to the safe, grabbed her trusty Glock 9mm and put it in her purse.  You see, the day before, the mirror of our truck bumped in to the mirror of another while she was pulling in to a spot at the very store she was going to.  In the truck were four of the meanest, stone loco, Mexican girls you'd never want to meet.  Diane apologized, there was no damage and the girl went nuts!  I mean nuts... this is another story to tell all together but they tried to chase Diane home from the store that day.  I'll fill you all in on that one another time!  I whipped up some dinner while the boys held a SAFETY MEETING on the back patio.  The house went from calm and quiet to stone bat shit crazy lunacy when these guys walked in.  Both dogs barked non stop, which made the bird start screaming at the top of it's lungs......  it was now JACK SHIT'S ZOO! 
As it turns out, these poor guys had not had a home cooked meal in not much short of what seemed to be a lifetime!  They were so very grateful and my friends, that touches me!  I am grateful for all I have, for all I receive and hell, I'm even grateful for the bad things that have happened because they have made us the people we are today!  So for me to see these six guys all equally thankful and so humble for so little hit me in the heart and made me so glad I decided to not let some lunatic ruin their night and cause a rift in the band with all the drama that he had stirred up already!  The best part was that they were not just happy because they had some food in front of them, they were really digging the ever loving shit out of my Penne with Vodka Sauce.  I just laughed and said "well I told you I was famous for it, didn't you believe me"?  Plates were filled again and again and that made me so thrilled.  When I had gotten to the truck stop to pick them up, they were kind enough to immediately hand me a t'shirt and a cd, so I put it in while we were eating and it was kick ass!  As you guys know, I only tell the truth, so believe me, if it sucked, I wouldn't have even brought the subject up!  So go check these dudes out and go see them on the SPREADING THE WELT TOUR, you will not regret it!  We finished eating and just began to chill out while their laundry tumbled away in the washer.

We made a pact last night that we would never forget the pasta and that no matter how many years pass us on by, our code word for when we meet or if we ever find ourselves up to no good would be PASTA!  Don't tell anyone though, okay?  Good!  Some kicked it on the patio and spoke about how they were going to deal with this nut job on the bus.  Imagine this if you will;  You are driving down the road 75 mph or so and this lil jerkoff is in a pissy mood or wants to fuck with you so out of nowhere, he just jams the brakes!  Somebody could have fallen and cracked their skull or broke an arm or fingers!  Imagine having to explain to the promoter and the headliners that YES WE ARE HERE, ON TIME, BUT CAN'T PLAY because our guitar player's fingers were broken while trying to break his fall because the bus driver was mad at someone!  It is just madness....  others found spots on the couch and kicked back, made themselves at home and caught some much needed REM sleep!  Beer still in hand for the record!
Some caught up on emails and facebooking and swore to their old ladies that they were really at a place called Jack Shit's house and no, they were not on drugs. 
I opened up the doors, front and back and let the incredible dessert night air blow through the house!  By now the bird was only screaming every few minutes and the dogs were hardly barking at all.  Whiskey was being bribed with food to be quiet and Jager just held his toy in his mouth, ready to play at a moments notice with anyone who would throw the damn thing!  We headed off in to the pool room to knock some balls around.  First thing I had to do was change it from the I Know Jack Shit shirt shipping station back to a pool table! 

Notice all them there boxes of Shit Shirts?  Well you guys asked for them, so keep the orders coming, MAMA needs her meds!  The bull shittin went on and we shared war stories of life, love and performing.  I began to tell the story of the first night that I had ever performed stand up.  It was insane!  The pressure that I had put upon myself to knock it out of the park would have made a mere mortal crumble!  I played to a full on packed house and my nerves were getting the best of me.  I had taken half of a xanex so that I would not run out the back stage door and that didn't help.  Before I had gone on, I had two Jack n Cokes and walked on to the stage with a third.  I was set to go on at a certain time and that is normally set in stone.  I was coming on stage to this bad ass Rehab song that I loved.  I looked at my stop watch that I use to time performances and knew that I had plenty of time to chill but chilling wasn't in the cards!  I was freaking out!  So I continued the story with them.  I had figured out that my stomach was so messed up, I could just imagine full on diarrhea on stage and that would not be funny.  The bathroom was right next to the back stage entrance so I snuck in and took a seat just as a precaution.  With that my bowels explode!  Just as the second wave of internal system dump lets loose, I am sitting on the bowl in a full on sweat, doubled over with stomach pain and I hear my stage entry song begin to play!  HOLY FUCKING SHIT, literally!  They were laughing there asses off at the story when I realized that I had that first ever show on video, ya wanna see it I asked?  So we all sat down around the tv and watched.  Everyone was laughing at the show and as it turns out, we watched the entire show.  I had not seen this video in a long, long time and it took me back!  I snuck away for a few minutes to the patio for a smoke and I could hear everyone laughing hysterical inside the house.  Not courtesy laughing because I was there, I wasn' t there any longer, they were genuinely laughing at the show and nothing on earth makes me happier!  This truly was a great night with new friends! 

After a while, we all ended up back out on the patio.  Anyone who needed to, got their laundry done, anyone who needed one, took a shower and then just stretched out on patio chairs!  For the next hour, the guys filled me in on all the antics that this driver has pulled and all the drama that he has caused and then they dropped the bomb on me!  They had been on this tour, now get this, for ten days!  Yes, this piece of shit has caused all this trouble in less than two weeks and they have fifty more dates to play before Christmas.

So here they are, first major US tour, chance of a lifetime to show the world what they got.  Instead of relaxing or partying their asses off like musicians on the damn road are supposed to do, they are having to sneak away to speak because they are afraid the fucking bus driver will hear them.  This mental patient is holding their lives in his nutty hands!  I liken it to things such as this;  you make a plan for the night, person X is the designated driver, it is set in stone.  Everyone gets twisted up and on your way out to the car, you find your DD throwing up drunk over the rear bumper, or referee in charge of the game is gambling and purposely moving things in the direction that suits his own personal agenda.  This guy is not on this tour because it is HIS TOUR, he is on board for this tour because it is THEIR TOUR!  YOU ARE THE BUS DRIVER MOTHER FUCKER, DRIVE THE FUCKING BUS!!!  As a matter of fact, how about we try this, DRIVE IT WHERE WE TELL YOU TO DRIVE IT!  This guy takes the bus to places and stops because it is near a long lost friend of his or because it is near a casino.  In another life, this guy performed a job much like the management is doing for this band and obviously he wasn't very good at it.  He undermines each and every decision that the managers make because he knows better and you have to do it his way or he jams on the brakes or just parks the bus and puts the band in time out!  I believe that the facts show us that he does not know better or he would be a tour manager, a band manager or anything other than the bus driver!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that driving the tour bus is a lowly job or anything.  Given the opportunity, I would love to do it myself.  Open road, freedom, new people, new places and ROCK N ROLL each and every night, that just rules!  How the hell can you not be happy with that?  The more these guys spoke, the more upset that I became because these guys were now my friends and you folks know how I feel about friendship!  I was ready to drive back to that bus, grab the driver and his bags and toss his ass off of the bus!  You like this truck stop so much you piece of shit, then stay here!  In speaking to these guys, all of them, you could see how level headed they were and how intelligent.  What they needed was a break from the fighting, the drama and the bullshit of this guy before the whole tour got screwed because they were all locked up for murder!  By the grace of God and because of the friendship I formed with Wes in Sturgis, I was able to get them that break!  They were so kind and so thankful for what Diane and I had done for them that they wouldn't stop saying it.  These guys were nothing but class! 

My buddy Wes had told them when they asked about the stacks of shirts and hoodies on the pool table and he explained to them what they were and why I did it and how all the proceeds went to helping with Diane's medical costs.  The very next thing I know, I am getting handed twenty dollar bills from nearly every hand in the house!  It was nice to know instantly, rather than wondering later about these guys and who they were or what they were about, these guys were plain and simple, the real deal!  The kind of guys that you could use the phrase "what's up brother" and not feel like a phony for saying it!  Of course there was no way that I could let this moment pass without grabbing a shot of it, so Diane picked up the camera and snapped off a few!  We took the first one but had to wake the damn drummer up for the second.  See, I told ya, REM sleep!
Look at the look on his face.  Here is a guy who only a few short hours ago was on the verge of pushing someone out the door of a moving bus and now look at him!  I would say that the band Rains great escape from the truck stop from hell had worked and it was my great honor to have driven the getaway truck!
 This was a great shot of an exceptional night of getting to know new friends, listening to great music, sharing stories and an old guy like me offering these youngsters some of the lessons I've learned over the years!  I won't soon forget it.  But wait, what is missing from the photo above?  Oh yeah, our sleeping beauty, who out of nowhere, hopped up, pushed his way past the end table and made it just in time to get in the next shot!  I think but I'm not sure, are his eyes still closed in the shot?
Departure time for the bus was 2 am.  I had to get them back because who knew what this fucktard would pull next.  Would he leave without the band if they were not back on time?  Who knew?  Would he lock them out of the bus to teach them a lesson?  Who knew?  Would they come back to find two dead Phoenix hookers chopped in to pieces while he rolled dice across their stomachs?  Who knew?  All I knew is that these guys needed to be in El Paso, Texas before show time and it is now the very same day!  Laundry was quickly folded and packed up and we loaded the truck!  My new friends from Indiana who laughed at me because I said that it was chilly out, now had to take the thirty mile return trip in the back of a pick up.  Only this trip was different.  Now they were well fed, clean and tired!  Although it was 60 degrees, it was a dessert 60 degrees and folks, that puts a chill in the air!  Some how, some way and suddenly, my truck now held six passengers!  It was poor old Wes that took the trip back solo in the bed of the truck and he had a smile on his face ear to ear the entire way!  We arrived back at the bus and Mr. Rains himself says "you ain't just gonna pull away are you"?  No, why?  "Because I'm going to hug the shit out of you" he said!  Not to mention, don't you want to see where we live?  Well hell yeah I do!  I love tour buses, some things you just can't shake!  I think though, theirs may be haunted!  Well you take a look and decide for yourself.  I don't really believe in that shit, but some photos are hard to explain!

 I was asked if I'd like to see the rear lounge and although I was a bit nervous because I know what happens in the rear lounge of tour buses, I could not resist!  What can I say, I TAKE CHANCES!  Plus, when the day comes that this band is huge, I can look back and say "oh yeah, I was in the rear lounge of the bus with the band and I didn't even have to blow anyone"!
As I made my way from the rear lounge of the bus back towards the front, not having to wipe the sides of my mouth I might add, I said a quick quiet blessing to the POWERS THAT BE and asked that this bus be blessed and carry my newest friends safely to wherever they may roam.  As I stepped back to the front of the bus, I snapped one last photo from the exact spot I stood only minutes earlier and shot the same exact shot that I took earlier, nothing had changed.  Well nothing had changed but the results of the photo!
Perhaps the presence of the Right Reverend, Jack Shit on the bus scared those evil demons away or when the bus driver came back from the shower and got on the bus, they climbed right back in to his crazy, lunatic soul!

So I say this to you my friends and I say it from experience and the heart.  Keep your mind as well as your heart open.  Don't just shut strangers out!  Be open minded with each person who crosses your path in life because the universe puts them there for a reason, a test perhaps, to see what you do and then it rewards or punishes you accordingly! Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to just let every pocket picking piece of shit right in to your lives and give them the key to your daughters bedroom.  I'm just saying keep an eye out and your mind open.   Had I been the typical arrogant performer, I would have never hung out with the crew guys who turned out to be nothing but righteous people.  Had we not become friends in Sturgis because Wes was just as kind and open hearted as I was, this night would not have happened.  He would have never touched base with me for being in town.  I would have never gone and rescued them and I would not have made these new excellent friends!  Nor would I have a new kick ass CD in the player to listen to while I wear my new Rains T'shirt, which reads across the back........  oh hell, why tell ya when I can show you.... check it out.

Now if that is not a fashion STATEMENT, I don't know what is! 

Make the best of each day for we never know if there will ever be a tomorrow.  Surround yourselves with people who have earned the love and respect that you give and when you give it, give it with all you got!  Weed out the pieces of shit who have typically through no fault of your own other than kindness, found there way in to your heart and home.  People have asked me... but what about second chances, people changing for the better?  For this, my experience tells me this answer.  When you are looking down at your sidewalk and you see a small weed coming up between the cracks, you know it is a weed!  Right now, it is small, it has caused you no trouble and has yet to become a huge pain in the ass.  Right now it is easy as hell to just rip it right out and it is gone.  Some people want to wait and watch and as the weed grows taller and stronger and its roots bury deep under the concrete, they wait and hope that the weed changes, they wait to see if the weed will turn in to a rose bush or another beautiful flower.  It can't, it is a weed!  It will never be anything more than a weed!  If you don't deal with the weeds, they will grow in and over run your property and then what?  Then my friends, you are screwed!  So keep an eye out for the weeds and pull them promptly and without a second thought, they will never become that palm tree you always dreamed of napping under!

As a side note to the story, I'd like to add this after its original writing.  I wrote this but did not publish it as I wanted to make sure that it was okay to tell the tale.  I checked in on my friends to see how they made out on their trip to Texas.  The text I got back was this and I quote "Day went great"!  "Hell Yeah man, thanks again for everything, you're the reason everything went great"!

If that is not something that makes ya feel great, I don't know what would be!  I'm truly grateful these guys rolled to a stop and right on in to my life!  Then I got a message from Jason Anderson, the guitar player reading "check out Speaking Rock El Paso's website".  So I did and this is what I found....  so now I say to you guys, THANK YOU!  I wish you epic success on this tour for the future my friends!

Not only an exceptional guitar player but obviously a man with a great sense of fashion!  Thanks man, you rule!

Until we see each other on the road again,

Keep the wind in your face,
Tits in your back
and The Man off your ass
and oh yeah, go see my new friends Rains on the Sharing the Welts tour!

Your friend,
Jack Shit

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