Taylor Hawkins…

“I don’t say goodbye. I don’t like to say goodbye. Because I know that we’ll always come back. So if you come back, we’ll come back.”

That was a quote from Dave Grohl on March 20, 2022 in Argentina, before the Foo Fighters’ performance of ‘Everlong’- unknowingly the final song to be performed with Taylor Hawkins.

Admittedly, i don’t know a lot of music from the Foo Fighters. There are only a few songs from the band, as well as projects like Dave Grohl’s Play (which is quite good), that i’m familiar with.

That said, the passing of Oliver Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters’ drummer) is fairly layered for me. As a drummer (albeit not as good as Hawkins), it made me sad. A fellow drummer has left this earth. As someone who is 4.5 years to 50 (the age he left), it made me sad. As someone who lost a best friend (i lost (my rock) Barry in 2011. He was in his early 40s), i feel so much sadness for Dave Grohl.

Taylor Hawkins was the Lars to Dave Grohl’s James.

The funny thing about all of this is, i was watching a series of interviews of the Foo Fighters out of the blue right before Hawkins’ passing.

As a person who almost DID die after getting hit by a semi truck, i don’t believe in the saying, ‘tell everyone you love them because you never know when the end comes.’ Interestingly, when you are at your most vulnerable, i learned that’s when people actually drop out.

At the final show five days before Hawkins’ passing (in Argentina), the love between he and Grohl was the kind that people who struggle together share. Those compliments they gave to one another (which you can also see at other shows) was sincere, and actually proves my above point. Though they did, they didn’t have to SAY they loved each other, because you saw and felt the energy.

The people who truly love you will show up in ways beyond words.

What i think holds truer (especially having experienced almost dying) is living your life to create positive change in making the world a better place, and doing what you love as much as you can, because you CAN go at any time. Hopefully both of those things are combined.

i can say for sure that Taylor Hawkins did at least one of those things.

Again, i am not as good of a drummer (and i did a couple mess-ups), but i hope i did him some justice.

i know that ‘Alone + Easy Target’ was on the band’s first album (and Grohl played most of the instruments on that album), but it’s one of the few songs of theirs i know, and Hawkins did end up playing it in live performances.

i like ‘But, Honestly’ because (to me) it discusses the freedom of letting go. And given the context of the loss of life, the work on letting go is quite important.

i’m going to say that ‘I Should have Known’ is perhaps my favorite Foo Fighters song (at least from the ones i’ve heard). From a musical standpoint it’s got echoes of Bowie (with a pinch of the Kinks). In terms of subject matter, it’s heartbreaking to listen to.

It actually reminds me a lot of ‘The Outlaw Torn’.

Emotionally, it was not an easy song to play to.

Though i have no fear of death, and though i accept the inevitability of it; 11 years later i still have yet to come to terms with Barry not being here. As a person who almost died (and who has made attempts to end my life several times), i understand both perspectives- the despair of the person who leaves, and the confusion and anger of the person who is left behind.

Not everyone who leaves this earth shows signs.

i hold no anger towards the man who hit me, but i also wander in an inexplicable space when i see no leg there. We cannot remove the past, but for a fraction of a second i occasionally wonder what i would be doing now if i still had two legs. i don’t feel guilt, but it’s a particular type of feeling that feels like it sometimes.

i hold no anger towards him, but i can’t say that i forgive him either.

i also know that the death of a leg has given me an opportunity to rekindle my love for playing music. For that, i am grateful.

i cannot imagine what the band is experiencing right now, given they were in the middle of a tour. It is possible they could cancel (note: i just found out they did cancel all dates), and it is possible they could finish doing the series of shows, like the Rolling Stones did after Charlie Watts’ passing (note: they’re not).

My heart is with everyone who has ever been a fan or appreciator of the band; and any friends, family and loved ones of Taylor Hawkins.

This post is for you all.

“I don’t say goodbye. I don’t like to say goodbye. Because I know that we’ll always come back.”

See you again, Mr. Hawkins.

Metallica Fridays (no. 9): just as soon as the drums belong, then it’s time they malfunction…

So yeah… It’s been a time. Maybe Cliff Burton is looking down angrily and going, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!” But everything that could go wrong did indeed go wrong.

The battery on the laptop i was using to record died (so i had to go plug it in); the camera i was using was about to die if i didn’t plug it in. The snare kept falling so low to the point where it became impossible to properly play. The post that was holding the snare popped out. The trigger to the kick randomly went out- then it was fine. It was one thing after another. Things have definitely happened before, but it was a combination of so many things that i just wanted to cry and quit.

But i didn’t, and got through it, mistakes and all.

This experience really did put things in perspective though. i’m pretty open in my appreciation for Lars Ulrich- which, besides my connection to Metallica’s music over the years (and especially since being an amputee) is the reason i decided to do these ‘Metallica Fridays’ posts. i decided to, for some reason, search a few posts on why he is hated as a drummer by so many. i saw the usual ‘he can’t keep proper time/he’s boring/he’s too basic’ reasoning. i started thinking about it, and for a guy who is not classically trained (or hasn’t had much training at all, in comparison to other drummers), the dude is great. If he was a metronome, Metallica would not be the same band. Is the fact that he is not a metronome good for someone who wants to practice Metallica songs, and is literally just starting out on drums?

Absolutely not. There are some songs of theirs i’ve drummed to (including one i’m posting today), and it was clear he was not using a click track. i do practice with one on occasion, but you have to throw all of that away when drumming to a Metallica song, for real.

i know that saying Lars is the anchor for the band may sound strange (given that people negatively critique his drumming consistently), but it was very clear to be during the 40th anniversary shows that he was. Metallica is his baby, and he uses drums as a means to serve the rest of the music. i also love how, during the bridge of a song (or even a solo) one (or all) of the band would turn towards him, or go behind him. i’m sure it’s a way for all of them to keep time with each other, but it still looks like they are getting energy from the anchor. In 2008 he spoke about how the negative criticism bothered him at one point, and as a result he “spent a lot of time overcompensating for that on the early records. But then you wake up one day and you’re like, whatever. It hasn’t bothered me for about 15 years. I’m no Joey Jordison, I’m no Mike Portnoy, and I have nothing but love and respect and admiration for all those guys. When I hear some of the young dudes, they blow my mind with what they can do with their feet and stuff — but it’s not something that makes me go, ‘I need to feel better about myself so I’m gonna learn how to do what they do with my feet.’ I’m not a particularly accomplished drummer but I am very, very, very good at understanding the role of the drums next to James Hetfield’s rhythm guitar. I guarantee you I’m the best guy in the world for that, and that’s enough for me!”

He understands his limitations and respects those who are technically much better than him, and it’s something i deeply respect. To me, Lars is a ‘hero’ to those of us who are not technical, and ‘basic’. Of course you always want to get better, but you don’t want to beat yourself up over the fact that you aren’t on the level of some of your favorite drummers/guitarists/bassists/pianists/etc. either.

So as usual, even with all the imperfections, we have another edition of ‘Metallica Fridays’. Today we have my second favorite song on what was for 30 years my favorite Metallica album. ‘Master Of Puppets’ is my 3rd favorite Metallica song of all time, but my second favorite song on the album is ‘Leper Messiah’- the first favorite being ‘Disposable Heroes’. i definitely messed up towards the end, and came in a fraction of a second early a few times, but it’s all in the journey.

Now we have a song from the album that knocked Puppets out of the number 1 spot: ‘2X4’. While playing to this song i just kept saying to myself, Lars is a dope drummer. His style is more diverse than people give him credit for. Does he have particular staples (like the crash on the 2)? Of course! But no one Metallica album sounds the same, so he couldn’t survive on any of those albums if his style had no diversity. Go listen to Load and tell me Lars sucks.

The mishaps also happened during ‘Leper Messiah,’ but the bulk of them happened here (to the point i wanted to cry).

i hope i still did alright though.

i’m really not trying to make you mad Cliff. i promise.


Let me tell you something… If someone tells you that Ramones music is easy to play, they are lying. The simplest-appearing things are the most deceiving. All those downstrokes (though easier on bass than guitar) are hard on the wrist, and the constant fast 16th notes on the drums are an arm workout. i was pretty much just doing power chords too (i didn’t focus on the barre chords, so don’t beat me up too much!)

i got into a whole bunch of bands at the same time. i saw no problem being into both (the) Ramones and Metallica, and also groups like De La Soul. The first person to introduce me to (the) Ramones was the dude named Anthony. While my sister hung out with the popular kids in high school, i hung out with mostly the misfits, punks and metalheads. Anthony was the biggest Ramones fan i knew at the time. He was absolutely obsessed with them. i think he played drums and went to band class.

i ended up getting their albums on cassette and bringing them to school, when people asked me if Howard Stern was in a band (If you don’t know what Howard Stern OR Joey Ramone look like, go look them up now, then come back to this). Interestingly (or not) (the) Ramones were a massive staple on Stern’s show throughout the 80s and 90s. So yeah, while i KNEW of them, saw them on the tv and movies and even heard their music over the years, i never was FAMILIAR with them until i met Anthony.

So thanks guy, wherever you are.


(The) Ramones are a strange one. They absolutely (very publicly) hated each other. They were famous, on major labels and sold out stadiums, yet remained underground at the same time. They were on total opposite ends of the political spectrum.

22 years may not seem like a long time in comparison to other bands celebrating their 30th and 40th years together… But that’s a long time for a band like (the) Ramones.

(i’ve met two out of four of the OG Ramones- Joey and Dee Dee. Interesting times…)

My favorite Ramones song of all time is ‘I Don’t Want You’. i know people tend to gravitate towards the faster, classic, ‘edgier’ songs, but the Joey-leaning (and penned) songs are among my favorites. The bridge always breaks my heart: “I want you, I want you to stay/But I guess it just can’t be that way…”

i am doing everything here: guitar, bass, drums and ‘attempted vocals’ (shout out to a Mr. Kirk Hammett).

My other favorite song of theirs is ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’. This version posted here was recorded either 2014 or 2015. i think when i recorded it, i think i remember the mics being hot, and i totally forgot to check.

‘Chasing The Night’ is another Joey penned song (along with Dee Dee and funk/rock bassist Busta Jones). This is another one of those ‘deep cuts’ that tends to get skipped over. There’s a version floating around where drummer Richie sings; however, i’m drumming to the album version.

One of my favorite things about (the) Ramones is that the bass tends to be higher in the mix- especially in the earlier recordings. You started hearing less of that, from Road To Ruin (perhaps my favorite Ramones album, and also the inspiration for my favorite punk/hardcore band, Bad Brains) on. In many guitar-centered bands, the bass is usually buried. Whenever i record i do my best to mix things as evenly as possible, so nothing is prominent over another thing. That said, ‘Go Mental’ has a bass line that needs to stand out. So it is a little higher in the mix here, than it is on the album. Their lyrics are much darker than a cursory listen lets on.

i’m just playing bass here.

Leave Home is probably my second favorite Ramones album, and i wanted to open the final song with a little ‘easter egg’ before we got into the actual song, ‘Chain Saw’! i DID NOT attempt vocals in this one, so you got the original here. i did however, play drums, guitar and bass.

i am no Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee, Marky, Richie, CJ, Johnny (or Clem Burke). But i hope you enjoy!

(This one’s dedicated to Derek, the biggest Ramones fan i currently know.)

Going Back, Yet Moving Forward…

Despite being half a century in a few years (which is weird to say) and experiencing massive things as an adult, i’ve done my best to live life as simply as possible. i’ve never really been that interested in all those things you’re expected to be into at my age- the long career where you begin to identify with your job, ‘investing’ in a house, the so-called ‘2.5 kids and a dog’… i actually quite like being an adult, and have no desire to relive my youth. i just don’t support the societal expectation and limitation that adulthood entails.

There are definitely things from my childhood that make me smile when i think about them though.

i saw Rainbow Brite And The Star Stealer in the theater when it came out. It was released just after i turned 9. i honestly don’t remember anything about the plotline; i do, however, remember the song that played during the end credits. i do remember the film credits being similar to the end credits of the tv show- Rainbow Brite riding the horse (Starlite), with a rainbow palette constantly moving in the background. i guess i remembered wrong, because while the credits DO have a rainbow palette constantly moving, it’s the credits themselves that are rainbow.

i absolutely looooooove ‘Rainbow Brite And Me’. Yeah it’s sappy and the synth drums are bad, but i don’t even care what anyone says. i’m absolutely sure the machines behind the Rainbow Brite franchise are horrible (the Hallmarks, the Mattels, the DIC enterprise, etc.) but that song makes me cry of happiness.

And rainbows themselves are some of the most beautiful things on earth. There should be more songs about rainbows. Kermit is wrong- there’s not enough of them.

Still in the ‘land of synth drums,’ i decided to play around with another memory of my youth- The Facts Of Life. The theme was one of many co-written by Gloria Loring, Alan Thicke and Al Burton, and was sung by Loring. Like many theme songs, there’s a longer version (which i am playing to here). Again, though i watched the show a lot as a kid i don’t remember a lot of what happened. One thing i do remember was the introduction of Geri as a primary character for a while. It was really cool to see someone with cerebral palsy living their life on a popular tv program, because as i mentioned in another post, you don’t see to many folks in the disabled community as primary characters in popular culture in a way that’s not pathologized.

And heeeeeeere’s where we get out of childhood and more into teenager-ism, with Wire. Pink Flag is one of my favorite ‘post punk’ albums, and ‘It’s so obvious’ is a pretty great deep cut. i was thinking of playing it on drums, but i decided to just play it on the (still unnamed) bass.

Metallica Fridays (no. 8): ‘Take Hold Of The Chance…’

As i keep saying, Metallica for me is a very different experience as a ‘middle aged’ person who has experienced… what i guess you can call life; versus a teenage kid trying to figure it all out. Obviously, teenagers experience life as well (some more involved than others), just as there are older people who haven’t lived much at all.

i think back on my life though, and i think about the places i’ve been and the people i’ve met- realizing how much i’ve actually done in my life. Despite being heavily introverted i’ve had a desire to always see, do and learn new things, that require interacting with others. i would always go on adventures, going on long, random bicycle rides or walks to wherever the universe took me. Though it’s a scary thing to do, i mustered up the courage to talk to strangers at shows or on the train.

i’ve been called weird my whole life, up to this day. i have never let that stop me.

There are so many things i aimed to do; my plan has been to enter a triathlon (either full or half) by the age of 50 (i have 4 1/2 years to go currently). Before the accident i was training in jiu jitsu and getting better at pullups. These are still goals i have, but perhaps i’ll do that triathlon at 52 instead of 50; or i’ll get a black belt in jiu jitsu in 15 or 20 years instead of 10. For sure, i am a disabled person and i recognize my limitations; that doesn’t mean i’m incapable of living life as full as i can.

And heeeeeeere is where we have music…

Everything is dialectical. As i keep saying, one positive in regards to everything regarding this accident is that it rekindled my relationship with playing instruments. And it shifted my relationship to the meaning and experience of Metallica.

i mean… i never in my life played a Metallica song in my life on any instruments until i became an amputee, and their music is not particularly easy to play, for someone like me. i had to fight through that fear of ‘not being as good as others’ who not only are far superior musicians, but also who have played their music far more often. The first step in getting better is just doing it. If people laugh, that’s expected. But they must remember that they also started in the same position, before they got better.

Exhibit A (for me anyway): ‘My Apocalypse’. i’m a person that picks the smallest thing apart sometimes, and there were sooooooooo many imperfections here. My hands were also sweaty (more than usual), but i decided to post this anyway.

Exhibit A (and 1/2- to my primary point): ‘Motorbreath’.

i’ve heard this song countless times, but it wasn’t until i decided to do it for this post where it actually hit me.

On the surface, it’s most likely a love letter (one out of many) to Motörhead. The premise is… fast living. But an astute (young) person once wrote this lyric that truly resonated with me- Those people who tell you not to take chances/They are all missing on what life’s about/You only live once so take hold of the chance/Don’t end up like others, same song and dance’.

i decided to take a major chance and put myself out there, despite not being the greatest of a musician. If i’m forever going to stay worried about all the mistakes i make in this journey, i’m never going to live.

Thanks Mr. Hetfield. And Mr. Tanner.

The One-Bumblebee Band…

It feels really good to be reunited with the drums… The thing is though, not having the drums gave me more space to give love to the other instruments. So of course i became inspired, and said, ‘Lemme just do some full songs.’ i am just a punk kid, and am not at the point of virtuosity (which you can see if you’ve been paying attention to these posts- HA!)

i felt inspired, and got the guitar, bass AND drums out to do some D.C. hardcore (or harDCore). i wore out the Flex Your Head compilation (blurry cover vinyl edition), and there were a couple of songs i felt would be really fun to play. i don’t have the crunch of the early D.C. bands (interestingly, i sound like i’m playing Cali skate punk, with an east coast accent- the best of both punk worlds, i guess).

i don’t drink alcohol or do any type of drugs- i don’t even take so much as an asprin, nor do i do caffeine…. except for the time i laid there in the hospital for two months in an immense amount of pain, and i had to take a gang of painkillers and muscle relaxants. i don’t wish the feeling of morphine, dilaudid (or any narcotics) on anybody. i was so out of it, and had intense nightmares a few times. Also, i couldn’t go to the bathroom.

As i said, i wish that on no one. i was extremely fortunate to not have developed a dependency or addiction. i ran out of the prescription, and never reordered, because i didn’t need to. i am saying all of this to say that for all intents and purposes, i would be considered ‘straight edge’, save the time in the hospital (and i’m sure some reactionaries out there would call me a traitor for even using drugs in the hospital. Whoever thinks that way, good luck with having survived a massive traumatic accident and a limb amputation with no meds). i don’t call myself straight edge, and despite being drug and alcohol free i don’t judge others for partaking.

i love me some straight edge punk though. i mean, ‘Master Of Puppets’ is one of the greatest straight edge-themed metal songs of all time (despite it being written and performed by a band who were alternately called Alcoholica). i was once in a band in the 90s where we were all ‘straight edge’. And of course, even though there were prior songs and artists which eschewed the drug-addled life, there was the (reluctant) foreparent of straight edge hardcore, Minor Threat. Flex Your Head featured other straight edge bands like Government issue and SOA.

One of those songs is ‘Waste Of Time’ by Youth Brigade. As i said, i don’t judge people for partaking, but yo, i love this song. Always have. It definitely was not a waste to do this song. All the instruments got some love- Jerome (the guitar) and his bass and drum siblings.

Help me to name them.

Another song from the compilation i did was ‘Nic Fit’ by The Untouchables. i love the song but i honestly have little idea what Alec MacKaye is singing (save a few words)- so i took what (i guess) were some lyrics from the Sonic Youth cover, and made up a few of my own. Also, i think on the OG Danny Ingram is playing on an open high hat, but i’m playing it on closed.

i actually started this one out on drums, then played everything else around it. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

Crass is one of my most favoritest punk bands of all time (Bad Brains is, to this day, number one for me). They are easily in the top five. The foreparents of the anarcho-punk movement (which is some of my favoritest type of punk), they were a collective that fused art and music, challenging the capitalist ideology/ethos (and all which fall under the umbrella of it, such as patriarchy, imperialism, neoliberalism, commercial media and consumerism).

i love that (being a staunch anticapitalist myself) i don’t even necessarily agree with all of Crass’ viewpoints- they’re Anarchist and i’m a Nkrumahist-Tureist. i mean, there have been a number of Anarchist individuals and organizations who have definitely struggled with Crass on particular positions. There are many shades of particular objectives and ideologies. That said, i have no qualms with paying respects to a band who contributed to my burgeoning ideological development as a teenager. The first person i need to thank is actually Ronald Reagan. i saw him at 10 years old and he inspired me to begin developing even then, an intense hatred for capitalism. i just didn’t have the words for it.

On the music front, one of my favorite things about Crass is Pete Wright. i absolutely love his bass playing, and sadly i don’t really hear anyone talk about him. i honestly can’t even pick a favorite, but ‘Do They Owe Us A Living’ (both versions) and ‘Darling’ (which i do here, but only the bass) are a couple off the dome.

An even bigger thing i love about Crass is that even though they were tagged with the ‘punk’ label they heavily critiqued ‘punk culture’ as being conformist and nihilistic. As someone who identifies as a punk kid (because it was punk that shaped the person i am today), i actually can’t be mad at their sentiment. Also, their primary influences were blues, jazz and various aspects of ‘counterculture’ visual art.

i hope i do his playing at least a modicum of justice. Especially since the bass kept trying to fall!

The final contribution to today’s post is another Crass song, ‘Shaved Women’. This song is interesting because it really does ask us to look dialectically and question our position on particular things. The song does refer to women in France who were seen as ‘collaborators’ to the nazis during the war. After the allied forces won, those women had their heads shaved as a form of public humiliation. Due to the band’s consistent antipatriarchy/antimisogyny messaging, it does force the listener to ask if the women were willing collaborators (for sleeping with nazis), or were they forced to do so in order to survive? Were they assaulted (or worse)? People do things every day of their lives in order to survive (such as have their labor exploited); so we are forced to ask ourselves, how ‘low’ is one willing to go just to feed our ‘screaming babies’ and ourselves? Sexual violence has historically been a major factor in war (which Crass actually did songs about). So would this situation be any different?

The other widely held interpretation is calling to question women who shave their bodies (and adhere to other patriarchal beauty standards). Are these women collaborating with the enemy? The desire to fulfill unrealistic standards (and the consumerism it entails) contributes to the “decadence” that occurs, while “people die.” The more we consume, the quicker it leads to our death.

But! If that’s all we know, do we understand the role of being a collaborator?

Questions, questions…

Crass were pretty open in stating their contradictions. They called for the listener to make up their minds about how something was interpreted. That’s not always necessarily the best thing, considering there are too many people who don’t actually listen to messages, and react to something based on a surface-level reading. However, i do understand what the band means when they say that, especially since they were pretty open about where they stood, when they were a solidly functioning collective.

i am playing Jerome, along with the yet to be named bass and drums…. along with vocals, and a couple of train samples. i’m certainly no Eve Libertine, but… i don’t have to be.

i’m just a bumblebee.

So there you have it… el uno abejorro banda musical, lejos de la colmena por el día. i hope it’s not too bad.

(This post is dedicated to Cicely, Eli and Shamole)

Metallica Fridays (no. 7): This Time… On Bass!

Look, before we even start i am going to get this out of the way. i’m sure you can tell i am NOT Clifford Lee Burton, Jason Curtis Newsted or Roberto Agustín Miguel Santiago Samuel Trujillo Veracruz.

THERE! Next post…

(But seriously though)

How do i even attempt to reach such heights as those three? Well, by not trying to BE them, and knowing my limitations, just do what i do. It’s better than feeling sad that i’m not there (yet), and not doing anything at all. i can play tiny portions of a couple of Metallica songs on guitar- and if i’m not at the level of the bassists, do you really think i’m even at a modicum of the level of Hammett or Hetfield??!!

Interestingly, a lot of people started out learning guitar to their songs. But like with the drums, that wasn’t my experience. i have begun to get over my fear that this type of thing is impossible. As i keep saying, i am a basic player. However, that doesn’t mean i can’t navigate my way around a song. i looked at it in two ways: (a. what songs would be really fun to play, and (b. what songs would be possible to do at my skill level.

If you’ve been following these posts regularly i’m sure you’re aware of one of the songs.

‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’.

i definitely didn’t play the bass line note for note. i can’t read music (and i haven’t really watched any tutorials on it) so i played it how i heard the notes in my head, so listening to it over again i am chuckling a bit at how a few of the notes sound kind of off, despite actually tuning it before i played. i’m sure i’m also playing it in a much more difficult way than it could/should be played.

All you pro bassists out there, don’t be mad at me! Y’all could give me some tips though (wink). i hope Cliff won’t be too mad with me…

i don’t know about you, but watching me play the bass with a straight face for a whole four or five minute song is kinda boring. So i asked myself, ‘How can i make this fun?’

i jumped in the fire and made a little music video.

Metallica has no shortage of dope riffs, but this song has some of my favorite in their whole catalog. Every single riff in this song is so good. The solo is excellent (i know that Kirk has publicly stated dissatisfaction with the album’s solos as a whole), and i am a major fan of the 16th note ‘disco’ beat in metal and punk. The song also has one of my favorite bass lines on the album. Y’all already know i am a Load/St. Anger fanboi (and yes, Justice and Puppets are my 2nd and 3rd favorite of theirs), but you cannot deny the impact a bunch of dudes not yet 21 made on the thrash scene with Kill ‘Em All, and how far advanced they became by the time of Ride The Lightning‘s release.

Lars has claimed that the song was their attempt at ‘Run To The Hills’ (of which the intro riff is my favorite metal riff of all time)- and i only see it a little bit. They messed around a bit with the song on Garage Days, and even played live with drummer Nicko McBrain. But if that song inspired them to make them dope riffs, well okay then. i’m definitely not a fan of the original lyrics (sorrynotsorry), and the reworked lyrics are silly; the song is fun to play though, and working out a ‘music video’ was fun as well.

ima punk ima punk ima punkpunkpunk (bass edition)

It might be a few days before i get back on the drums (as i am waiting for some materials to do some further soundproofing)… i miss playing- a lot, but playing other things, that’s fun too!

i don’t have a lot of space (or a lot of money), so i feel like i accomplished something with building a mini studio (with the help of Casey, who is much more tech oriented than i am. i have been extremely grateful for his knowledge, and his assistance). i’m using a Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD audio interface (for the drums and keys), and a Spark 40 amp (which is technically a practice amp, but again, i don’t have money like that to get both a bass and guitar amp. The Spark works for both). For vocals, i have a Shure SM7b.

Now that you know the equipment, you can now hear what it does (HA)! Today, i’m playing some punk rock on the Ibanez GSR105EX 5-string bass. The interesting thing about the bass is that i kind of play it like a guitar, and i play the guitar kind of like the bass. i cannot tell you why. i know i also don’t play songs like how they’re ‘supposed’ to be played; my guess is because i’m just playing by ear, as opposed to reading the tabs… but then again, from what i hear a whole gang of tab books are wrong.

Recording all of this was an interesting process. Usually when i film drum stuff it’s recorded directly from the phone (until i get a better/more dedicated camera some day). i realize that filming piano stuff isn’t that easy, because there’s no good place to put the camera. In terms of guitar or bass, the Spark app is on the phone, so i have to record the song, then film myself playing to what i played. It’s not ideal, but if i’m gonna be on film then that’s what i gotta do for now. (i may opt for just audio later, who knows?). i know there is a way to film through the Spark app, but i haven’t explored that yet.

One thing that’s a bit different about this post is that you also see my legs… well the one and a half of them. Say hi… i see my legs all the time, but i don’t look in the mirror much, so i don’t see ALL of me. So seeing this is kinda interesting and strange. i have to prop the right leg (her name is Mbuya) on a pillow, so the guitar or bass won’t fall.


i was doing some writing and cleaning, and i was listening to Agnostic Front’s United Blood EP (which to me is one of the greatest hardcore records of all time) and i said to myself, i’m gonna play some AF. i remember being 15 years old and seeing them for the first time at CBGBs- someone gave me their wristband, and the rest is history. i had a few of their albums at that point, but Victim In Pain was the one i wore out.

So the title track it is.

This next song is definitely one of my favorite hardcore songs of all time, from another record i wore out. i had Out Of Step on vinyl, and the Minor Threat compilation on cassette. The folks i was in my first band with, we actually met at a Fugazi show. We covered the song ‘Minor Threat’ in that band (where i played guitar).

And now, i play ‘I Don’t Wanna Hear It’ on bass. It comes full circle.

And finally… we actually have a repeat here- but not really. A number of posts ago i played drums to the final live performance of (the) Ramones’ ‘Pinhead’. Here, i’m playing bass to the album version. In between, there are posters of the film Freaks, which the song is based off of. i haven’t seen it in almost 20 years, but i remember that it was a big deal, because it’s one of the few movies that have folks in the disabled community as clear protagonists. That of course was a big deal at the time it was made. Does the film (and its promotion) have contradictions? Of course. Still, the film industry hasn’t greenlit many films with disabled actors as primary characters to this day; and when they do, the stories tend to be tragic.

Yes, i know i play it more like Johnny than Dee Dee… i have met Dee Dee though. He was quite nice.

Metallica Fridays (no. 6): Piano Time

i actually was planning to post something earlier this week; however, what with moving everything around (plus using some new equipment) there were a few mishaps. i wasn’t able to play drums as much this week, but i still wanted to post something charting this journey. Since i’m on a journey in rekindling my relationships with other instruments as well, i didn’t want them to feel like i was neglecting them.

For today’s ‘Metallica Fridays’ post, i am highlighting the piano.

i know you saw a couple of posts ago, where i’m playing the keys (and of course, it’s absolutely okay if you laugh at that). Like with any other instrument i’ve played in life, i was self-taught, and always played by ear. Admittedly, my technique is trash, i cannot read music, and i am not good at reading tabs. Listening to music i always hear harmonies in my head, and this is exactly how i play.

Even when they were doing straight thrash, Metallica had a great sense of harmony. For someone who is not traditionally skilled on the drums (in comparison to others) and can barely play any other instruments, Lars has a keen sense of where a melody should go, and is an excellent arranger. Despite James initially not wanting to do vocals, he’s one of the greatest vocalists in metal/rock. Kirk’s affinity for the blues helps to slow things down and bring feeling into a genre known for its aggressiveness. Cliff, Jason and Rob have all been anchors, bringing out the best in the rest of the band.

The two songs for today’s post are not only in my top 10 list of Metallica songs; they also got the S&M treatment. Obviously that gave me a bit of inspiration to do whatever interpretation i did. Without the assistance of a conductor (and an orchestra), it was just me and the keys.

The album version of ‘Hero Of The Day’ is already, again, one of my favorites in all of their catalog; the S&M version moves me to tears. The pitch is raised a bit in this version. i am posting two versions here- one without drums, and one with (it’s clearly not me playing). Despite the music being the same, they sound like two different songs.

Hetfield fought to keep ‘The Unforgiven 3’ on Death Magnetic, and i’m glad he did. It’s actually my favorite in the Unforgiven trilogy, and i love all three. It’s one of those songs that didn’t hit me until i was a bit older.

Similar to the previous song, this one is just me (with some faint background vocals), and a Yamaha PSR-E373.