Thursday, January 25, 2018

Guitar Center on Steroids

On The Liverpool  Albert docks Merseyside on a vagabond acoustic tour

Well its time for the NAMM show in California, I have played there ,got a few free passes before -
 But I tell ya I don't see what the big deal is....first off...Going into guitar center is a pain in the arse as it is listening to people endlessly playing the same ol' guitar riffs as fast as they can.. ... Well quad-triple  that 10 million times and you have NAMM . Everyone comparing badges ,"Do you have all access?"
And the vibe reeks of 'Bam magazine nostalgia'don't get me wrong now I don't hate NAMM.Its a good hang and seeing friends is always nice. and if you've never been  you owe to yourself at least once to go check it all out ,but  every year is like having Sex in the same missionary position over &over.
And I do think its great for smaller indie companies.
Forget everyone telling you "I got endorsed" (When they really mean they can buy it at cost).
Forget everyone overdressed.
Forget that the gear is a drag when its new instruments copped to look and sound like vintage stuff. (Just search & get the real stuff) the treasure hunt is part of the fun.

Gibson ain't gonna be there..kudos to them.They don't need NAMM . Forget the people cashing in on the show with a near by  after party...Or fake Namm  event  just a few blocks from the convention party ,nine maids a milking  the show . ...or even way further  from it ...Garden Grove comes to mind. Its lost all its luster, people flying in and speaking of the event like upscale snobs... "Hi are you 'doing' Namm?" .. ..-we are... just flew in darling ... working on project "...

Now tell me Is that any state for Rock n roll to be in? (Rhetorical)

I'd love to see a young band with attitude like The Sex Pistols in their prime  ..But they'd never have the guts to book anything that vital. (anymore)
Just  see em' upset the whole thing with honest to God Rock n Roll rebellion.
That's what Art is all about anyway if ya ask me (and  I know ya 'didn't  ask but whose counting?)
I get the thing.Its nice people hang and see their friends -but its really a con job.And the air is filled with is too much nepotism-
Everyone pays a shitload of money for the weekend ..that don't get put back into the music scene....oh that's right that scene was murdered . You know where the money goes? In their pockets.

How bout an after hotel party I mean its so Rock n some fuckin' lines & drink watered down beer ... hey it only cost you a buncha' money.I've been to many a hotel party ..when you've done it once its best to move on - I'll do anything once .. well almost anything .
Now aint sayin' I'd never go again or never have been before.
When I have played a gig there I play & get out. If I got a free pass ..maybe I'd go in the future  ..but turned a few down  this year & the last couple years  .... plus three days ?  Four if ya count Thursday..

Is it Woodstock really? ..I'd rather hang with musicians doing original stuff in another state or State in a beat down club..In a dirty rehearsal room ,On the beach with acoustic a car driving cross country with friends singin' and a strummin'...In a hall in a forlorn void with like minded misfits of creativity looking at it all from a parallax view.
I'm  going to NAMM this year? .....not this time.It's not a bitter thing either -its just a drag daddy.
 I'll just go to a small coffee house or small club & watch a young songwriter sing his or her heart out.

That's the only kind of endorsement one needs.

Written by M.Ubaldini

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ubaldini Attacked by outerspace people at Starbucks-Read the shocking true story!

I am writing good reader because , I have been disturbed by an ever repeating scene that keeps happening daily and it happened at a I wont reveal which because there are not many Starbucks around as you know & they are far and few between and not on every corner.. extremely hard to find.. (as you know) And I fear that you may figure it out and we don't need the media following searching for details to put on MSNBC, FOX or CNN.. But I assure you that all of this ghastly asthmatic episode after a simple daily cup has gotten me extremely baffled and dare I say terrified... To add a little more clarity to an already confusing and stressful situation.. let me begin my sordid tale...

I was sitting 'minding my own business' like Hank Williams Sr. suggested. When out of nowhere they approached me ...started sitting with me uninvited...I tried to willfully be friendly but dear reader its was overwhelming ..Daily I tried not to make eye contact -but to no avail- ...the creatures kept sitting with me...arguing about the state of the world , religion,politics ,bands,movies .
I could tell they hated America but I couldn't relate or understand .Why  land here then reap the benefits?
After all if I  was attending  a party and hated being there and spoke of how the last  party I was at was better ,I would simply go back to the other party. Not stay & complain about where I was.That would be an irrefutable arrogance of the worst kind. ...but these trolls&hunchback gnomes in gym clothes & whatever else they could get their hands on made no sense .I was terrified and had to come up with a plan.I silently plotted my escape.....but to no avail, they hung around my neck like snug slipknot ,I was not about to swing in the breeze, people started offing themselves...after all ..if they didn't like the situation why tell me about it?

I tried to nod graciously , I tried to be rude but more & more of them kept coming ,they wouldn't stop, they turned up the heat,tried to get in my head but couldn't crack nor break me ,I guzzled the coffee ,I got refills, I tried to write songs, I did write songs , they still kept coming, uninvited, pressing ,hassling passers by ,keying my car ,yelling crude things to young women. I tried to switch my time to be at my coffee spot, but they were always least one of them ,hovering over me like a helicopter to my utter inexplicable horror , It was driving me to madness, .."think of Kerouac, think of Bo Diddley ,think of Raquel Welch" -I told myself , just ignore...but  another sat down , another  insulted me, another wanted me to shack up with them , I had know idea ..nor cause, no reign of escape though through enumerable attempts failed. I drove around the block. Faked like I was leaving ..but they kept coming. They kept haunting and twisting an annoying knife into my spirit disguised as soccer  moms, artists ,office workers you name it.
Baristas complied to their ever forced demands ...

Their knotty twisted hands reaching out trying to strangle me on a forlorn afternoon...I had another cup was a hot coffee ..I could throw it at them when they attacked, ex girlfriend would stop by but to my unbearable horror she was overtaken ..somehow now one of them  & to gaze in her eyes made me sweat with terror..more kept coming. I kept pounding coffee , thinking faster ,moving faster ,rolling,running, and sweating. I drank more coffee ,I thought quick & the outer-space people sunk their tentacles into me..
Until I found and fell upon ......their Achilles heel ..
the words 'Fuck off' seemed to scare them . Blunt force was all it took.
It was as simple as that!

Pacifying them made them want to eat human flesh with their latte's .They scattered like roaches as if when you turn on a light...But I know they're out there will creep in to see if I've weakened,   make me a horrible experiment of their own conversion of collective unconsciousness   ..
I'm not mad I tell you ,I'm not crazy or insane you can see .....uh oh , forgive me, I must go- comes one.  I can recognize these twisted elves with a quick one eyed glance..I know no one will believe me ...unless ...wait a minute! .May I inquire...just who are you reader? -Why didn't I catch on ?
You cant trick me ..
I believe you are one of them,You cant fool me think you're oh  so very clever.-I scoff at your failure. You think you are tempting me with an agreeable nod of the head and ever woeful grin..trying to humor me with a mirror effect of my own paranoia .
 You are one of them...Yes YOU dear reader!!

Get out Get Out!!!!

Written by Michael Ubaldini
 (C) copyright 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

'Hangin' out w/The Clash'-

Well I tell ya' it was a drunken night.I just played a show at The Palomino club in North Hollywood, when outside I started talking to a friend who came to  see me play my show & we started talkin' music.We fell upon the English Punk rock  greasers 'The Clash'- when he mentioned that Paul Simonon the bass player and king of cool of the band was living in  Los Angeles at a apt  over by 
the King King club.
There was an old coffee shop next door and Simonon hung out there he said  .Well it was three o clock in the morning so me and a friend of mine swung over there - we drove around and noticed only a couple of sort of apartments where you have to push a button to get let in .
Miraculously we found it on our first try
-(Remember we were a little drunk too).so that was a good sign -or bad - maybe wind up in jail

 People were coming out early in the morning with Brit accents.Maybe they were having a party? ..They had to be his friends -not many Brits in one building in LA. I asked this chick "hey does Paul Simonon live here?" & she said in a proper English voice "I don't think I can tell you that" -so I knew we had the right place-she was kinda bitchy to be honest those Hollywood 'We are famous cause we hang around famous people types'.
Fuck it I thought .The press always wrote the Clash cared about their fans and the kids so we walked up ,my friend with a piece of crap acoustic guitar (He couldn't play a lick on any instrument or had any musical talent at all ) but he liked rock n roll so drug his guitar for some reason to my gig.

I looked on the buzzer -there it was the last name 'SIMONON'.
not even some fake name - so I buzzed it. A voice answered in a UK accent "Can I help ya'?"
I said "hey man ,we wanna meet Paul Simonon ..we are huge Clash fans and wonder if he could sign a guitar ..hope we didn't wake him I know its a bit late..maybe we could come by another time?" -- the voice came back ,"no worry hang on mate I'll buzz you in"

Well we were kinda floored -the door buzzed -we walked in the elevator to the the floor he said to go to . The elevator opened and we stood in the hall - we both looked at each other realizing we had this lame looking 20 dollar zebra striped acoustic guitar  with us -then "Boom' -out of the apartment comes The King of Punk Rock cool 'Paul Simonon' dressed just like he walked off the 
'London Calling' album cover - Black shirt ,&leather pants with a James Dean greaser haircut -- It was a great R&R moment. 

We talked about Rock N Roll,Gene Vincent & The Clash and his art.He told me he painted the Clash backdrop on early shows , "Sorry its a bit late" I said..he said "Its cool mate we were awake-- by the way cool quiff"  (That's what the Brits call the  greaser rocker hairstyle)- he signed an autograph for me on a piece of paper - He signed my buddies guitar looked at it and never scoffed at the crappy thing- just a slight grin  and took a couple pictures with us (Pre smart phones we had this Kodak throwaway camera to take pics of me and my band  at my show

He asked me all about my band and and we talked a little more Eddie Cochran ,Jimmy Cliff, Art & his Clash band
mate  Joe Strummer who I'd meet a few years later when he would come  to my band
 'Michael Ubaldini &Mystery Train' Shows.
Paul told me  said he himself  had new band- 'Havana 3 AM'- .I asked him "Ya think the Clash will ever play together again?" ..he said "I don't Phink so Mate" (he said 'think' but it sounded like 'Phink') .
We noticed a good looking chick peaking out the apt door he looked back at her and said "Looks like I better go -that's me girlfriend giving me the look you know wot I mean?" we laughed said our see ya later goodbye thanks type of stuff and split. 

"Man he lived up to the press bout caring about the fans and young groups -not that spandex band ego bullshit "-me and my friend said as we headed to the car.
 We heard a distant gunshot when we left  -no bullshit- my buddy said "Shit what the hell was that?" - I said -"Its The Guns Of Brixton in Los Angeles" -

  Then we made that long drive home.
This True story & account  was
Written by Michael Ubaldini 
copyright (C) Ubaldini writings

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