Friday, November 18, 2005

With a twist...




"Our life paths had different bends in the road
But one thing remained ever true-
The influence that you had upon me
And the influence I had upon you!"
- Anonymous Mid-Western Poet

Be a good influence on someone, it could last many years and come back around to enjoy when you really need it.

"It's all on a big wheel"
- Gerry Fischer

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ducks


I, as many of you did, paused yesterday to reflect on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Many things have changed since then. I think one of the biggest changes for most of us is how we view the frailty of our lives here on earth and our relationships with those we care about. A good friend taught me that year to always "keep your ducks in a row" with those you love as you never know what lies beyond the next curve in life. I've tried to do just that since then and while I have a duck or two left to line up, I'm very pleased with the results so far and have confidence that I'll complete the task soon.

Take time out of your day and call a loved one and tell them that you were thinking of them. Don't wait for another tragedy in your life to think of it - it could be too late.

Lastly - Rage on some new music this week. Play something you'd never try otherwise. Listen to some classics or some roots music. Clear your soul. It's a wonderful life!

- tonebender out.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pro Audio

That's right - Pro Audio. Tonebender is now carrying Mics, PAs and other pro audio accessories. Watch the site in coming weeks for the new stuff from SHS and Johnson.

http://www.tonebender.net

I'd like to also welcome folks coming into the site from MySpace.com - you can see the Tonebender music site there at the following link. We have hooked up with some great bands from all over the world and you can listen to their music and even download some of it. MySpace is an interesting place and you never know what you'll find there. If you have a band go to MySpaceMusic.com and sign up for a free webpage where you can post 4 songs. Check it out!

http://myspace.com/tonebender2

-Your Dog, tonebender.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Cheap Date

I'm a cheap date. A lightweight, obviously not in physical size for those who've seen me, but as for drinking - lightweight, cheap date. I didn't use to be this way - a younger version of me could hold his alcohol quite well. Getting old sucks.

Last Friday we gigged at one of the guitar players' brother's 50th birthday party. Had a very light lunch. I almost religiously have at least a burger or a sandwich prior to gigs. I had learned some 20 years ago to have something down there to soak up the first set's beer. Herein lies my mistake.

The gig was at a really nice community room in a high-end neighborhood about 30 miles south of home starting at 8pm. Great setup for us. Had 2 cups of beer during the first hour long set. I'm fine. During the hour long break for stories about the birthday boy I sat outside by myself at a table 'peoplewatching' and having one of the best 'slurpie-machine' margaritas I've had in a long time. Got a second one to take back in with me for the last set. The food served that evening had already been put away. Damn.

Finishing the first one I noticed I was a little more than buzzed. Took a vivarin I keep in my pocket for emergency use and thought "I'll be OK".

Started the set at a little after 10pm having to really concentrate on what I was doing. Between the first and second song I swung around to get a coughdrop off the top of my amp and smacked the headstock of my bass on the side of my speaker cabinet. HARD. I was glad it wasn't the drummer's cymbal. The second song 'Bad Boy' was really sounding like crap and I just couldn't put my finger on why, until I turned around after the first chorus and looked at my tuner. I was at least a half step de-tuned on my E and A strings. Did an 'on-the-fly' tune up on the E string and completed the song just using that string. Tuned the whole shebang before the next song. A song or 2 later the caffine tablet kicked in and I was good as new except now my cold-stricken' throat was all torn up and I was losing my voice. No coughdrop would bring back the high register.

We finished up the evening with the folks dancing up a storm - we extended several songs to accommodate the dancers. Everyone appeared to have a good time. I packed my stuff and drove home shaking my head at what had happened that evening. I had never pulled a boner like that with these guys, always treated the gigs as a professional. My screw up could have ruined the evening, but it didn't.

Getting old sucks - Burgers before gigs - beer only and in measured amounts - I'm good.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dogs In Weeds Part 2

The June 4th gig at Tumbleweeds in Huntington Beach was a most excellent adventure. Overcoming last minute equipment glitches, the ToneDogs pulled off a great set with quite a good turnout for the early 8pm start. Our thanks to Frank and the bar crew for the great service, and to the boys from BuzDawg for their peanut-gallery encouragement during our set.

BuzDawg hit the Stage shortly after 10pm and rocked until closing with some very animated dancers. The bachlorette party moved out to the dancefloor for the last set with interesting results to say the least. Thank goodness they found an honorable designated driver at closing to get them home safely as the cab they called never showed up.

"DrunkFreebirdGuy" did some dancing/mumbling/karate moves in the parking lot after closing and evidently lost his fight with gravity and the pavement during the second round. It has yet to be anounced whether DFG will return to the ring after this stunning defeat.

Never a dull moment at the 'Weeds.

- tonebender out.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dogs in 'Weeds

This Saturday, June 4th, the ToneDogs will be opening for BuzDawg at Tumbleweeds in Huntington Beach. That's the corner of Beach Blvd. & Atlanta, next to BigLots, one block from the beach for you OC locals. Should be an interesting time to say the least. The show starts at 8:00 pm - come early for good seats/dancing room. We hope to see all the old gang there and want you to get up and dance during the first set - this for some of you will mean getting lubricated early - bring your 'designated driver'.

Be sure to tip your hostesses and keep the bar folks busy - Frank loves you for it. See you all there,
- the Big Dog

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's Your Problem?

You know what I mean. It's always something. Traffic. Shoppers at Walmart. Gum on your shoe. Something is irritating you and it's not going away. Pieces of "life".

What's NOT your problem? A smile from the other car at a traffic light. Sale at Walmart on something you expected to pay way more for. Someone saved the last piece of gum for you. You smiled when you popped it in your mouth. Pieces of "life". Remember these and let the other ones go. Most of the time it's easier said than done. Give it the same effort that you put into being pissed off and it will amaze you how many good things bounce your way daily that you've ignored to focus on the irritating ones.

I'd write more but it's nice outside and I can work out there if I want to, another positive piece of "life".

Monday, February 21, 2005

Gone Gonzo

Today we mourn the untimely death of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, appearently by his own hand. Whether or not you agreed with Dr. Gonzo, He made you think. More on this inspirational writer and observer of the American lifestyle - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7005168/?GT1=6190

Godspeed Gonzo - "He Stomped Terra."

Monday, January 24, 2005

NAMM Show 2005

Tonebender Products were represented at NAMM both Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd by company reps, consultants, and distinguished guests of the high desert music community. It was an unqualified success as usual with many of the participants lasting over 5 hours, walking between 8-10 miles, drinking $4 cups of domestic beer and having their senses assulted with a complex variety of visual and aural sensations.
In layman's terms - NAMM kicks serious ass. How many guitars were there? How about ALL OF THEM. Drums? Them too. And every other instrument you can think of and a whole bunch you'd never dream existed. Lot's of interesting people there as well which made it even more interesting - http://www.angelfire.lycos.com/music4/tonebender/nammchaps.jpg - To see more pic's from the show check out the Tonebender website and click on the NAMM Show 2005 link - http://tonebender.net
More fun stuff from NAMM to follow shortly...
- Show Dog

Monday, January 10, 2005

Job Well Done

Yesterday a guy's BMW ended up in one of the rain-swollen storm channels south of Los Angeles following an accident on the road above it. He was not "boogie-boarding", or playing with a rowboat. This deal looked bleak for the guy as he sat on top of his sinking car while it raced down the channel in the strong current. The swift-water rescue trained firemen followed him, raced to get ahead of him, had him then lost him back into the channel, and finally got him out with practiced precision. A Hollywood scripted effort couldn't have been more exciting and executed more perfectly. Hats off to the folks that keep working miracles day after day with little recognition.

Lots of rain, just as predicted, road wash-outs, mudslides, and channel rescues - Let's be careful out there people.

" Somehow, 'I told you so' just doesn't quite cut it!" - Will Smith in I, Robot

Saturday, January 08, 2005

New Year, So Far So Good

Had a little snow yesterday 1-2 inches that lingered most of the day. It was a good day and I'm thankful for it.

Forty days and forty nights of rain predicted for Los Angeles area. Real "Wrath of God type stuff", to quote Dan Akroyd in Ghostbusters, according to the panic-sticken LA news team folks. You'd think after seeing what a real disaster looks like recently (TSUNAMI) these whiners could keep some prospective. Yes the hills burned last summer and it sucked for the folks that live there. Yes the hillsides are saturated already and there will be mudslides which will suck. Yes some guy will go "tubing" in the LA river flood channel and it will suck for the firemen that will have to save his sorry ass. Many folks will try to drive through three foot deep flooded intersections rather than going back and around the long way so they don't miss CSI or Fear Factor and will end up standing on top of a now useless car crying into their cell phones to swamped 911 operators while 7 news choppers jockey for the best shot above the tragedy.
THIS CRAP HAS GONE ON FOR DECADES and yet it's a total surprise to 80% of the local public (and evidently the news media) EVERY FRIGGIN' YEAR!!?!

Don't get me wrong, I don't wish these things on anyone, I'm not immune to random misfortune, the unexpected road washout, leaky roof, or sporatic vehicle malfunctions. I'm just not so surprised that they happen and I try to learn from these experiences.
Get a grip people - It's gonna rain again next year - What are you going to do?

Yesterday was a good day, today seems to be stacking up nicely as well, although it DID rain all the way to work and now the wind is blowing REALLY HARD outside. Hope I'll be OK...