Tag Archives: Jeff Bogle

My New Favorite Festival


Photo by David T. Kindler

It’s Jeff Bogle’s (Out With The Kids) fault. A couple of years ago he convinced me to attend the Grammys as I had access to tickets and he was looking to go.  Many fine kindie artists had been nominated that year and so I attended the Grammy Pre Telecast show to which one of my colleagues would win (The Okee Dokee Brothers won, yea!). Then in the middle of the show I was introduced to the music of John Fulbright with a blistering performance of Gawd Above.  I became a fan on the spot. This year my photographer friend David Kindler asked if I was interested in attending the American Music Festival at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn.  Heck yeah!  I had wanted to go for years and knowing John Fulbright was playing sealed the deal.  What a great fest indeed.  I prefer my concerts without jumbotrons and this one is just the right size. Here are the highlights for me attending on the last day of the festival…

Walked in on the Bellfuries (Austin, Texas)  with the sterling vocals of Joe Simeone and the Rock-a-sense-ability of Schecky Seaver, Mike Molnar and Chris Sensat.  I could listen to them all day!Fest2014_070514-2469

The Split Squad – What do you get when you hook up a bunch of career rock and roll guys?  FACE MELTING ROCK!  I also got some vinyl of the band. Double Win!Fest2014_070514-2602

COCHOMBO – You take a Cochon de Lait (Roast Pork Po’ Boy) + The best Andouille sausage I’ve ever had  = Superior Sammich.  The Cajun Combo so to speak.  I ate two (one early, one late). Tom “Festival” Cimms and staff do a fine job indeed!

Girls, Guns and Glory with Sarah Borges – Amazing! Best surprise of the festival.  Had no idea about either of these acts and was blown away. They have a 7″ Vinyl coming out out on July 20th and highly suggest you check it out!Fest2014_070514-3171

John Fulbright – opened the show singing Acapella and quieted a full crowd.  Amazing talent and songwriting ability.  The inspiration for my coming to the festival and it was well deservedFest2014_070514-3228

Free Water available all over the festival.

$3.50 Miller Lite bottles

David Kindler – My favorite photographer.  Never fails to make an introduction and really enjoys his work. His photos really capture the festival as seen here in this article. I was there because of his invite and will be back again next year.

Joe Ely and Reckless Kelly – Joe is an American treasure and sang a Townes Van Zandt song. You should catch him with Reckless Kelly who were down right smokin’.  Magical closing song of the night for me with Not Fade Away. Fest2014_070514-3266

The Sound Guys – Kept things rolling and sounding good with sooooo many bands.

Many thanks to the Fitzgerald family and staff for an outstanding job.  This was my first year attending but definitely not my last. All fests should be run so well. Thank you for an outstanding day.

All Photos by David T. Kindler

Some Damn Fine Father Bloggers for Father’s Day.

It’s nearly Father’s Day and I thought I’d run my personal blog roll of the Dad’s who I read with some frequency. Those that inform, educate, humor and write some really good stuff…

Out With The Kids – Jeff Bogle isowtk the guy I started reading first for kids music and watched his site grow from a kindie centric site to a very well rounded family focused webzone.  His monthly music podcast is one of the best around and always family friendly.

The Rock Father – James Zahn  is a friend, father, and all around family resource for entertainment, toys and music.rockfather  He profiled me as one of his “ Rock Fathers” for Father’s Day in June and made me sound pretty damn cool. A page I check regularly and you should too.

How To Be A Dad – If Charlie Capenhtbad and Andy Herald’s blog were a baseball team they would be the Yankees.  A benevolent and kind version that helps other dad bloggers along and puts out some really funny and relevant parent relating stuff.

Dad and Buried – Mike Julianelle dadandburied writes the stuff I would if I were to write more about my family which is not necessary since he’s writing.  Very funny man with a perspective on kids and family I truly appreciate.

A Blogger and a Father – Oren Miller is the one who started the DadBloggerFather Blogger group on Facebook I belong to.  At least once a week I find myself laughing hysterically or thinking profoundly from stuff posted there.   Oren’s a very able writer who just found out he has cancer. His blog post on this is… I have no words you just need to read it.

There’s probably a few I could add to the list but this is a fine starting point. Go support a dad blogger today!

Not gonna be there

Burger awesomeness!!!

Burger awesomeness!!!

Last year at this time I was headed to my first ever Grammy weekend.  It was very, very cool.  Or should I say very, very warm!  As I sit here now after shoveling  six inches of snow my mind remembers a place of green grass, sunshine, good times, burgers and blue water.  You can read about  my weekend of  Rolling with the Bogle here.  There will be no such weekend trip this year.  While the Grammy weekend rapidly approaches I send out my best wishes to Chicagoan Justin Roberts and his band on their bid to win a Grammy.  I will try to catch the pre-telecast on the web if it’s available and cheer for them loudly if they win though the only reason I can see them losing is because of the drummer (drummers are always the fall guy).  I am back healthier and shoveling so back to the insights and reviews here on the page.  Johnny Bregar and I shall be having a conversation  about one of his songs today. I hope to share that with you by the end of the week.  Stay tuned and have a great day

2013 Remem-blurred!

The backyard view.

The backyard view.

New Zealand started out the year as my friend Nick invited us (the wife and I) to his wedding in January (amazing). Seems it’s been full-speed-ahead-try-to-catch-up-break-neck-pace-all-year-long. The year I went to the Grammys.  Many thanks to Jeff Bogle for making it an epic adventure there as well. What a great time thanks to the McHattons (TESLA!)

It's Electric!!!

It’s Electric!!!

, Okee Dokee Brothers, Mindy Thomas, David Tobocman, Debbie Block, Bill Harley and everyone else I got to hang with including new kindie blogger Rebecca Yorn Allison (Kids Can Grove)  Then there was a the last kindiefest ever! Didn’t know it at the time but many thanks to Bill, Stephanie, Mona and Tor for making it happen.  What a great time and I really did learn a thing or two from the panels but so much more from the people!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Story Laurie, Dean Jones (thanks for the beer), MCJ (always brings it funky), The McHatton clan (Such a great family), Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis. Rod Martin , Chris Wiser, Paul Butler, Dave Loftin, Paul Stark, Steve Songs, Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, Ralph, Jeff Bogle (again), Stefan Shepard, Rebecca Yorn Allison, Brady Rymer, Bridgette Rymer, Melissa Levis, Jacob Stein, Charlie Hope, Little Miss Ann, Mr Singer and the Sharp Cookies (good luck on the new school), Jack Forman, Drew Holloway, Korum Bischoff (Great addition to the School Break Primates) David Wax Museum (one of my favorite CD’s I heard this year!), Molly Ledford (I promise to be quiet next time), Morgan Taylor, Jason Rabinowitz, Joanie Leeds, Mr Kurt Gallagher (Peace and Quiet is a great song!), Lucky Diaz, Alisha Gaddis, Johnny Bregar (Polly’s Rain Dance is Awesome), Sean Hogan (Welcome to Fatherhood brother!), Kathy O’Connel (the Grand Dame of kindie), Danny Adamson, Tom Baisden (union brothers unite!), Tim Kubart (Congrats Chica Dude!), Beth Blenz-Clucas, Tito Uquillas and whoever I’m forgetting.  Just send me a note and I’ll add you to the list. Then we had a few gigs, finished our second CD, got some national exposure (thanks Elizabeth), played some more, kids kept growing, my daughter soloed in ice skating, my son jammed with me daily, listened to a lot of great music and wrote about a bunch of it. Went to CHITAG (thanks Rock Father). Frances england blink of an eyeWe also had family bouts of pnemonia, respitory ailments, colds and flus  and car crashes (no one injured).  My daughter just turned nine and my son will in a few months turn 4.  I joined a group of Dad Bloggers on Facebook (some seriously funny stuff).  Reconnected with some Pine Forest Camp folks from my youth.  Lost some weight and managed to keep it off.  On the right track closing out the year.  It was a interesting year to be sure and the growth has been good.  Thanks to all who have read the pages here and to those who inspire me to write and get better at it.  Hope everyone learned from 2013 and I wish them and theirs a Happy 2014.


The kindie community needs to step up

KINDIEPoochamungas just had a new CD released and took  many steps to make sure the public hears about it.  I mentioned to our publicist (Elizabeth Waldman Frazier has been amazing) the other day that an article used “kiddie rockers” instead of “kindie rockers.” To which she matter of factly said “If you walked up to someone on the street and asked them what kindie was they’d have no idea what you were talking about.” She is correct in that assessment.  We as a community, especially  artists do ourselves a disservice by not promoting as much quality kindie product as possible. Poochmungas just released a CD and in terms of community support I say this.  It’s never as good as you want but not as bad as you think.   Paul Crowe of The Boogers has been awesome.  Marc Bazerman  been supportive while promoting his own upcoming release. Mr Singer always likes and shares us on FB.  Story Laurie and Lori Henriques have help been really helpful as well.  Gina McHatton, Kurt Gallagher and Tito Uquillas gave us a nice mention on Facebook.   But I think that’s about it.  Privately I have had fantastic support. Publicly not nearly as much.  My personal belief is that some feel that if they promote others that their work somehow diminishes.   Untrue.  There is also the  fact that working to book gigs, promote gigs, make CD’s, etc. is a vastly time consuming effort to do.  One tends to get tunnel vision.  Competition and jealousy aspects also come into play… Why did he get played by Kids Place Live and not me?  If they buy his CD they won’t buy mine…  Get over it.  We need to help each other. This genre won’t grow unless we collectively promote the genre and not just yourself.   Reach out and help someone who’s music you like or an artist you respect. If you share your fan base those fans aren’t going to abandon you.  If someone does promote you remember to promote them back.  What does it take to like someone else’s show while meandering through Facebook.  Share someone else’s CD release, Kickstarter funding or gig?   Write some kind words?  When talking about your music use the word kindie (though someone is trying to make 2K off domain rights to kindie.com right now) so it becomes part of peoples vernacular.   When someone writes an article not just about you but someone you like or respect. Like and share it.   Stefan Shepard has a great blog (and podcast) called ZooGlobble . The Kindie Manifesto is something everyone should read.   Do yourself a favor. Read, listen and share what he’s promoting so ZooGlobble grows and with it the platform for us kindie musicians. James Zahn and Jeff Bogle have shed some serious props on their blogs about kindie music. Link them to your website. Promote their stuff so they grow and with it our platform.  It’s important you give blogger writers their due so their blogs can grow!  Promote the radio shows and blogs that review and play kindie music even when THEY AREN’T PLAYING YOURS, BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE.   That’s what I’m trying to do with this blog and on FB and Twitter.  All it takes is a few minutes a day by each of us and all kindie artists benefit.  It doesn’t mean you still aren’t going to have to work your ass off cause you are.  I’m not asking you to start a blog.  But take a few minutes a day and get out of the tunnel and see the whole picture. Don’t like my music?  That’s OK.  Find that which you do.  There’s a big bright kindie world ahead of us if only we all help it along. Cause if we don’t, who will?    I have listed some of my favorites blogs and Radio shows that support the genre below…

BlogsOut With The Kids, The Rock Father, Gooney Birds Kids, Kids Can Grove and the afore mentioned ZooGlobble.

RadioKids Place LiveImagination ParadeMusical Merry-Go-Round , Spare the Rock Spoil the Child, Kids Corner  and The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl

These are just a few and their are plenty more.  Listen.  Share. Support.

Kindiefest no more…

Kindie so long old friendThe long road I mentioned yesterday (link here) just got a little longer and harder.  I flipped on the laptop this morning to find that kindiefest was over. It has disbanded for reasons unknown and I for one am a bit saddened by this.  It was my hope that eventually we could have a similar event in the Midwest, preferably Chicago though anywhere  in the Midwest would be fine (hello Jiggle Jam!)  Everyone in the kids music world knows the Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkners and Dan Zanes. You also get to meet the Jim Cosgrove’s, Kurt Gallagher’s and Laura Doherty’s.  Regional musicians who were plugging away, making a living but all looking for new ideas and sharing their own experiences and you got to meet the ones struggling just like you were.   That was the best part for me.  Showcase was always a lot of fun, (for the record I did buy the Pizza in 2011 not wanting to have to leave showcase)  there were some really worthwhile panels (find your own Mississippi-thanks Molly Ledford!) and the  Friday Keynote/meet and greet was always a highlight.  I got to meet so many unpretentious great musicians and industry folk like Kurt Gallagher, Sean Hogan, Kathy O’Connel, Jeff Bogle, Dean Jones, Dave Loftin, Paul Butler, Danny Adamson, Joanie Leeds and her future drummer husband (his name is Dan), Jim Cosgrove, Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis, Jack Forman, Justin Roberts, Beth Blenz-Clucas, Bridget Rymer, Story Laurie, Stefan Shepard, Bill Childs, Tor, Stephanie Mayers,  Mona Kayan, Mista Cookie Jar,  Justin Lansing, Joe Mailander, Johnny Bregar, Key Wilde, Chris Wiser, Rod Martin, The Pop-Ups, Laura Doherty, Little Miss Ann, Tim Kubart  and the others I have forgotten.  I say thank you all for your insight, kindness, advice and laughs.  Especially the laughs!   I don’t know about you folks but I’m not ready for this party to end.  Kindie Chicago 2014? It might happen…

Pre-Kindiefest – Day 1- 2013


Flying in on a beautiful NYC morning

My feet are finally feeling better.  Another whirlwind weekend in Brooklyn, NY will do that to them.  Walking to and from the hotel to venue (.6 miles) and talking to people while standing and more standing and talking and listening and standing and eating and standing.  Long day on the feet will do that to you.  But while you’re having fun you tend not to notice.  And fun I had!

Early morning transportation

Early morning transportation

Day one had nothing to do with the Kindiefest event except for checking in.  It started with me waking up at 4am to catch my 6:45am flight.  I grabbed a cab and off to O’Hare Airport.  After a quick, no frills, flight where we waited an extra ten minutes on the runway because of the sequester we headed off to NYC.  We then arrived ten minutes earlier than scheduled.  Moving fast were we.  I must say that air travel wise it was the easiest I have ever flown and I checked a bag both ways. (La Guardia Sunday night was 10 minutes from curb to gate, checked bag included!)  Upon arriving I called my friend and fellow Northeastern Illinois Alum Jennifer Tuttle (amazing actress and now college professor) who picked me up then off her place in Astoria.  I then met her husband Kip and we discussed making a Poochamungas video as he is a professional film director, editor, etc.  Very cool guy.  I am looking to working with him sometime this summer (as long as the planets align and our schedules allow).

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Recording at KPL

Recording at KPL


Steve Songs, Kenny Curtis and Dean Jones.

We then had a great lunch at a Queens diner and then she dropped me at my hotel.  I had enough time to clean up, change my shoes, hook up with Jeff Bogle (Out With The Kids) and Dave (Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl) Loftin and take a subway to Manhattan  and Sirius/XM headquarters.  We were invited to the live taping of a future show involving many of my favorite kindie bands doing songs of other Kindie Bands.  (Mindy Thomas had an inspired idea for  show and talks about it here ).   I also handed out the first copies of the Poochamungas new CD Block Party!    In the building was a who’s who of kindie artists.  Recess Monkey, Lunch Money, Tim and the Space Cadets, Mista Cookie Jar, Charlie Hope, Sugar Free All Stars, The Pop-UpsDog on Fleas, Steve Songs, Okee Dokee Brothers, The Not-Its and Brady Rymer.  I had a great time and even got to sing backup on the big number at the end (Thanks Mindy!)  I’ll  be sure to report here when the show airs on Kids Place Live.

NFL Draft day as well!

NFL Draft day as well!

After the show I joined Jeff and Dave for a dinner in Manhattan. I had no idea I was within a block of the NFL Draft headquarters as we walked by Radio City Music Hall on our way to meet the McHatton Clan along with Morgan Taylor.  The plan as outlined by the adventurous and technologically advanced Jeff Bogle was to have our paths intersect as we walked toward each other in NYC and the find a suitable eating place as well.  Well part A of the plan worked really well as Jeff and the McHattons did a great job of locating each other (technology is awesome).  Plan B took a bit longer but we finally did find a suitable place to eat for party of 10 as Mista Cookie Jar and the lovely Jenna joined us as well.  While the meal was OK it was great to talk with everyone at the table.  Lots of laughs and good conversation. Morgan explained to me the origin of Gustafer Yellowgold which was very cool ( My sons first concert other than Poochamungas was Gustafer. He’s a fan! You should check out The Underbirds as well.) Then it was back to the Subway and then bed somewhere around 1am after a very long but informational and enjoyable day.  Day two was only 9 hours away!

Happy Easter and recording next Sunday!!!

The bunny eared Pooch

The bunny eared Pooch!

A very Happy Easter to all the Poochamungas fans.  Hope you’re enjoying a beautiful Sunday as we are right now.  All the sunless lousy weather days make you appreciate days like today.  We spent the morning riding bikes and playing guitars out in front of the house.  I hope to get a walk in while my son naps.  If you missed an earlier post I have a fitness bet with Jeff Bogle at Out With The Kids (Kindie Rock Fitness Challenge) so I have to stay after it.  You can read about it here or follow on twitter at #alittleless fat.   I suggest you go enjoy the weather and I promise to do the same.  Fitness walk here I come.


Next Sunday we hope to complete the Poochamungas Next CD Block Party!  We’re  headed back to Kingisize to add some instruments, vocals and final mixing and mastering.  If you’ve visited our Reverbnation page some of the new songs have been posted and we gave away some free downloads as well.  We shall be posting some more new songs  in the future as well.  We have pushed the release date to July so we can properly promote the CD this time. Photos, PR and other stuff to do before the release.  Lots to do, Lots to do!

Kindiefest, getting fit and tomorrows show.

Brroklyn Academy of Music

Brroklyn Academy of Music

I have talked about  Kindiefest coming up at the of April and how my band failed to get selected for the showcase and about moving forward.  Which is what I am doing.  Still chasing leads and applying for gigs. Still working to complete the new CD .  Still promoting, rehearsing, scheduling, writing and practicing at home.  So I am going to Kindiefest because even though I’m not showcasing, which would have been nice (but expensive to put up the whole band with travel), I still need to spread the music of the Poochamungas.  Plus I get to see some old friends,  make some new ones and learn a thing or two from the panels.  Brooklyn here I come. 


While I am headed off to Kindiefest I offered a challenge and a bet to my friend Jeff Bogle.  We are both looking to get in better shape and I offered a bet on losing weight.   He accepted.  We established that the greatest % of weight lost  from now till the Fest would be the winner.  The loser would be required to wear the T-shirt belonging  to the team they most despise.  Jeff roots for FC Barcelona so he shall have to wear Real Madrid.Real Pink

I am a White Sox fan so I would have to wear (this is only theoretical since I plan on winning the bet) the dreaded cubs. 

 Jennifer Connely in the dilemma 

I used Jennifer Connely to make the shirt bearable.  The winner supplies said T-shirt.  I’m liking the Real Madrid shirt in pink but the louder the better…  The thing is when your Rolling with the Bogle (see previous entry here), things seem to get bigger.  And the bet did.  He called me out on a blog podcast!  He also invited others to join us in the challenge.    He call it  The Kindie Rock Fitness Challenge.  So I’m all in.  Come join us at #alittlelessfat.  Get in shape, lose some weight and Jeff my friend… It’s on like Donkey Kong!



Last but not least is our show.  We are playing at one of the best venues in Chicago.  The Poochamungas are at Schubas this Saturday, March 23rd at 3pm.  We have some brand new songs, favorite songs and a great new show.  We promise to rock yer socks off and bring loads of silliness as well.  See you there!

GRAMMY WEEKEND part 2 – Sunday… and some Monday.

Dressed for the Grammys

Dressed for the Grammys

So after Saturdays epic schedule I was not moving too quickly. Jeff had already worked out and hit the continental breakfast by the time I rolled out of bed at 10am.  Jeff also had an agenda for Grammy day as he needed to get photos and interviews with the kids artist for some publications back east.  If you missed it he did a whole preview of the Grammys for Time Out New York-Kids.  My agenda was much simpler.  Eat, pick up my suit jacket from the front desk (had it dry cleaned) and get dressed.  Then head to the Grammys pre-telecast show and enjoy the experience.

Our kitchen.

Base of Operations.

So I had bought some food at the local supermarket on Friday which came in handy for breakfasts during the weekend.  So I ate while Jeff showered and then I went and got my jacket from the front desk and it was 11:30 and time to go.  I could not move fast at all.  The last day had done me in.     So I told Jeff don’t wait for me I’d follow in a cab.  Off he went and I cleaned up, got dressed and headed off to my waiting taxi around Noon-ish.   It’s been a long time since I was in a smokey smelling cab but I was reminded when cabs, bars and restaurants all had that odor.  I don’t miss it and it was only a 20 minute ride. So the cab drops me off as he can go no further (barricades) and of course it’s the farthest point to the entrance I need at the LA convention center.  I may have missed my morning walk but I made up for some of it as I asked an officer (lot’s of police presence) for directions. He told me go down there take a left. 



Well down there was two blocks and then after the left was another two blocks and the finally to another left and only a block and I arrived just as they were putting the food and beverages away….Nooooooo!!!  What to do?  I quickly requested a bottle of water and rehydrated.  I then discovered they left coolers of soda and water opposite of each theater exit in the lobby.  Smart thinking!  It was only 12:30 and they Grammy’s wouldn’t end for another 7 1/2 hours!!!

A Grammy worthy sky!

A Grammy worthy sky!


The theater at last

 Having finally arrived at my destination and now  hydrated I went off to see if I could find the folks I knew in attendance.  Unlike the televised show the pre-telecast is much more relaxed.  You can sit anywhere you want.  People come and go as they please and I couldn’t find anyone! So I headed in into the Theater.  No one there so I texted Jeff and he said he was in the Lobby. Off to the Lobby I went and no luck.  Leave it to me to be unable to find the 6’5″ guy in the lobby.  Just then I ran into Debbie Block and she invited me to sit with her, Bill and the other nominees.  Well alright!  Into the theater I went and what a great seat it was. 

I'm at the Grammy's!!!

I’m at the Grammy’s!!!

Bill Harey, Debbie Block and Family.

Bill Harley, Debbie Block and Family.

No sooner than we had sat down the Music started and our host for the evening actor David Alan Grier started the ceremonies.  Unlike the TV telecast they are very quick in the pre-telecast.  The say the category, nominee names and boom winner.  No clips of songs, no shots of the pending winners.   There was a webcast but all they do is show the winner who is jumping up and down in their seat (this happens a lot) and all the folks around them going nuts.  It was completely random as well.  You never knew who was going to win or where they were seated.  Then a short speech and moving on.   It was a lot of fun to be there.  What I learned this weekend is that the biggest fans of music are musicians.  Duh right?  I know lots of people love music and people express it in many ways.  But I digress…  The Children’s Grammy was the 33rd category so we had some categories and performances ahead of us.  The two performances that stood out for me were Eighth Blackbird ( They were very cool modern classical music from Chicago!) and John Fulbright (Rocking out Americana style).  The house band was also kicking some serious tail.  They made every act they played with sound better. A testament to their professionalism. (I don’t remember who they are and if anyone knows and reads this please tell me).  Then at long last category 33- Best Children’s Grammy came up and I’ll just let the pictures tell the story.

The moment before

The moment before

The momemt before...

The moment before…

We have a winner!

We have a winner!




On the Big Screen

That was the last I saw of the Okee Dokee Brothers that day.  Congrats to the fellas on their great CD it truly deserved to win.  All the nominees for the Children’s Album Category were really good this year.  The Pop-Ups, Bill Harley, Elizabeth Mitchell and JumpinJazz Kids all put out great stuff.  (Part one has the links). As the show went on the crowd started to thin and I went to get another bottle of water before they put the coolers away.  As I exited the theater there before me was the “D” as my nephew calls them.  Tenacious D had been up for best comedy album (Jimmy Fallon won) and now were making plans to leave as they talked to fans.  Knowing my Nephew Chris is a HUGE fan of the “D” I had to stop and ask to take a picture.  Jack Black couldn’t have been more gracious. I took a pic and then he insisted I get in one as well “or what’s the point”. So thank you Jack and Kyle!  He was totally stoked to get the pic and text!

Me and the "D"

Me and the “D”

It was time to head to the big show in the Staples Center.  A little walk was nice after being in the theater for the 3 hour show (lots of categories).  The one thing I should have done was got a bite to eat somewhere before the big show.

Rolling with the Bogle

Rolling with the Bogle

  We walked by lots of restaurants and should have stopped for an appetizer or something because the lines in the Staple Center for food were ridiculous! On the other hand seeing folks in thousand dollar suits and dresses waiting in line and wolf down McD’s has it own comedic worth.  I would subsist on Twix candy bars and my standby, Reeces Peanut Butter Cups (Only first floor vendors were open. Every other floor closed. Why?).  That and the water fountain would carry through the telecast portion of the day.  We made it to our seats in good time.  When I mentioned to the usher my nose was starting to trickle from the height.  She told me not to worry as every seat up here comes with a box of tissues.  Haha funny girl!  IMG_20130210_164205

So the show itself was a lot of fun.  Most of the time you could see the big screens on the right or left (sometimes they were off…Why?) and we could also see behind the scenes as they changed sets.  There was 4 areas of performance.  Stage Right, Stage Left, Upstage and then they had a  circular platform in the audience.  Those stage hands were working hard and super efficient.  The show moved well and the acts were all pretty good.  The best though was Bruno Mars and his dancing band.  Just awesome! Along with Sting and the Marley Children it was a great set.  He made me a fan with that number.  Then later you had the Levon Helm Tribute which should have ended the show (not LL Cool J).  Mavis Staples still kicks ass!   The Weight was alive, electric and gives me chills thinking about it now.  I thought the show as a whole moved really well.  While the seats had a bit of altitude the people around us couldn’t have been nicer.  The women sitting next to me were a pleasure to talk to.  One an actress  ( I apologize for forgetting her name) and the other a singer/songwriter.   Her name is Emily Dale (I remembered her name cause I wrote down her website.)  Go visit her link and have a listen.  She’s good.  Maybe a future Grammy winner? 

Leavin the Grammys

Leaving the Grammys

Then it was off to dinner with Bill and Debbie, friends and family.  We went to a place called Barbrix and the food and company we excellent. I sat across from Regina Kelland who was one of the organizers for the Children’s Grammys Concert and Luncheon and a person whose been working in the kids music business a long time (she had some great stories).  Peter Alsop (Bill called him the Godfather of kids music) was there with his wife Ellen Geer who couldn’t have been nicer along with Debbies sister and her husband.   I ate brocollini, whitefish, salads, a cool take on aranacini, a Bolognese with polenta and much more. The wine was really good though a bit ironic as it was an Italian Red and I was in California. 

Excellent choice.

Excellent choice.

After a lot of laughing and storytelling the night came to an end.  I found out the Bill Harley is going to New Zealand.  My Kiwi friends with kids should go have a listen as he is one of the finest storytellers I have ever heard.  He sings pretty good too!   We said our goodbyes and we went back to the hotel… No really!  Back to the hotel and off to sleep…  The next morning we packed up and checked out. Got in the car and headed off to Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean.  We did make a brief stop at Loyola Marymount University.  The school that had captured my basketball dreams at a young age. Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble and the forgotten Jeff Peabody ran teams out of the Gym… Literally.  It was the most awesome display of run and gun basketball anyone had ever seen and the guys in my neighborhood were in awe.  How I longed then to own a t-shirt or hat from that school.  Being pre-internet days we had no luck securing the wanted swag.  But 20 years later I was passing right by and amended that wrong.  I got a hat and t-shirt and a hat for my buddy Greg.   Even sent a picture text so he got one he likes.  Isn’t technology awesome! 

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWarm weather and blues skies along with the crashing of the waves.  I could have stayed there all month.  But it was time to go and my flight was leaving in three hours.  The Santa Monica Pier is not a bad way to end a trip to California.  My thanks to the many people I met and laughed with and especially Jeff Bogle who was a great travel partner.  So back to the real world of kids, work, wives and making music.  I wouldn’t have it any other way… Well I do wish it was a little warmer.

The Pacific and me

The Pacific and me