Beer Saved Your Set or Are You Fu#%ing Kidding Me?
Live Rock and Roll Interviews, Reviews, Musings and Beer from Columbus, Ohio!


Some local musicians become so familiar that we almost forget what an extraordinary talent they are for a minute; that they are forever evolving during our own distracted pursuit to get everything done.

Happy Chichester played in the punk/funk group the R.C. Mob for ten years, was a founding member of The Twilight Singers with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, fronted Howlin’ Maggie before going solo and thankfully shows no signs of stopping.

Happy played 155 shows last year, enjoying the pleasure and honor of touring with inspiring artists like RJD2, Foley, and Brad.  He has 16 songs that he would like to finish for his new record this year but the rush to do a new CD is not necessarily his thing.  For one; people don’t buy them anymore.  In a recent long and lucid conversation with Happy, I noted the following (you might call them Happy affirmations):

One does not become a musician without writing songs.

The wealthiest man is the one who can pack up his stuff within fifteen minutes and get the hell out.

Work is a blessing.

A life rife with self-destruction is performance art.

When approached with high reverence the use of Robitussin can significantly change the course of your life in handfuls of beneficial experiences.  If you establish some variables and create a secure environment, the synthetic codeine can bring you closer to primal reassuring divinity.  Warning: drink the cough syrup first and then the ONE beer. You can’t ever drink the beer first. You’ll puke.

Learning to play drums in school can also change your life.

If you learn a D chord at age twelve, the next step is obvious and you are off to the races.  Form, structure and complexity are soon rightfully abandoned for emotional expression.

Attempting to become a songwriter while living with your folks can be like trying to swim through molasses.  At every turn is a potential stop sign.  You can end up playing a lot of guitar in your closet or turn into a trumpet player with a rock and roll alter ego.

It is brave and loving to give a fourteen year old a red sparkle Rogers drum set for Christmas.  You are going to feel pain.  You are going to hear Surf Beat #1.

Lou Reed was probably right when he said you can’t always trust your mother.

The catalog of your songs available to the listener is just the tip of the iceberg.

There’s a paper trail of an artist formerly known as you that you are constantly outrunning yet you sing the Song of You your entire life.

You can step onstage and trust that you can create something believable or you have no business picking up that guitar.

There are more precarious career choices than music but there’s really no such thing as “making it” in music.  Making it is being able to tour and still pay your rent.

It’s a bitch to be your own roadie but it has its advantages.

The Middle of Nowhere starts from Detroit, goes through Columbus and Dayton, onto Nashville and Memphis and all the way down to New Orleans. It is one of the richest musical veins on the planet, giving birth to a mother lode of songs from the darkest, loamiest, fertile soil.

It is crucially important to get out of town and play for strangers.

Sometimes writing just feels like something easy and natural to do but the determination to do it can actually rescue you.

Once upon a time radio was actually a cool place to tune in.

“Wichita Lineman” is one of the Great American Songs.

The Grammys are depressing.

People who think that war is great or noble and makes us stronger are dangerously diluted.

It’s refreshing when people are candid because it’s the exception.

There are countless people whom we thank God for lending their voice to us; for speaking the words for us that we are thinking but are too bottled up to articulate.  These giants in the maelstrom of words include George Carlin, Charles Bukowski Howlin’ Wolf…and remind us that somebody out there understands us.  Kurt Vonnegut has a big heart and lends a comforting voice that we can relate to and that can also blow our mind.  Happy Chichester offers his voice, too.  Thank God.


I’d love to live in a city where I could hit the subway or train 24/7. DUIs are fundraisers for the state, right? Anyone know where those funds are applied?

Is this for real? (Source: HPD officer’s pay tops $172,000 (Houston Chronicle, 4/23/2006):

“Houston Police Officers Make Big Money on DUI
Each drunk driving arrest puts money in the pocket of Houston, Texas police officers who boost salaries up to $172,000 a year through overtime.

Police officers in Houston, Texas are earning massive salaries by arresting individuals for drunk driving. As part of a Driving While Intoxicated Task Force, Officer William Lindsey, Jr. earned $172,576 last year — $7,000 more than the city’s mayor, Bill White. Sergeant Edward Robinson made $161,722.

The task force uses state and federal money to pay overtime for operations intended to curb drunk driving. Officers earn one-and-a-half times the normal salary to attend court proceedings or work patrols and roadblocks on days off or long shifts. Lindsey’s overtime amounted to $100,000 and Robinson’s to $76,055 in 2005. The Houston Chronicle calculated the average salary of the eight task force members at $103,000.

In general, task force officers work late at night, from 9pm to 7am from Wednesday through Saturday. For each arrest, they must make a court appearance where they earn the extra pay. At times, three or four Houston officers will testify during a single drunk driving trial. The state police general practice is to send just one officer to a trial.”

Massive DUI arrests are almost as nauseating as the war machine’s exploitation on a smaller scale. From a distance, it all looks the same to me. The state makes a shi$ ton of money and rationalizes their gain and your loss by emphasizing that this is, afterall, all about our safety (and nothing else could be more important than that!): “Hey, we’re just looking out for you. That’s our job.”

You’d think a wild gang of terrorists were conspiring to steal our cars and go racing on our sidewalks plastered out of their minds, mowing down packs of innocent women and children all day when you consider the colossal fines the state is collecting. The law makes sense, but, how it is applied seems to be increasingly exploited for the state’s gain, not our safety. It’s heading toward no tolerance and we may arrive there during our lifetime.

I fantasize about ending our war efforts and using that money to create a world-class infrastructure. See how many DUIs you get, then. Cars are a massive waste of energy. They should really be a luxury and not a necessity for traveling throughout the U.S.

We could be making this country a paradise with all of the money our so-called leaders are pouring into the middle of a desert in the Middle-East. I’m a little exhausted with watching the PNAC go right down their hit list (Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria…blah, blah, blah and yawn) with nary a word of dissent.

You’d think in an open society of free, educated people there’d be an uprise against the boldly sinister political minions, the corporate slaves who drive this once great nation to endless, needless wars.

It’s like the dumbest Dr. Seuss book you’ll ever watch unfold.
We sit back and laugh having been through the movie before, perhaps (?), and watch the retards play our future out. Otherwise, people would be buying tanks and flamethrowers and killing these fu#$ers, right? We might conclude that our indifference, our savage servility is the noblest choice, after all.

Who knows? It’s a fascinating ride, either way, but, I’m pretty sure the revolution won’t be televised because there’s not going to be one.

Do you buy records and play them over and over and over again waiting for them to grab you because you know it’s eventually going to grow on you? For some of my favorite bands, it seems like the more they grow as artists, the longer it takes for new stuff to grab me. It’s an artform to be able to do that. The record is a time released capsule that will inevitably lead you to a richer and deeper listening experience, but, only if you happen to decide to put in the time for it to grab you after, say, the 11th repeated listen.

When I listen to MGMT, it’s like I took acid 2 or 3 hours ago and I’m still wondering if I’m going to start tripping any minute. Everyone else who got the same dose flew out of their head within the first 15 minutes. Maybe it’ll happen next time I hear it. Maybe I just don’t have the ear for it. Maybe it’s genius. Maybe it fu#$ing suggs.

I suspect that the social learning theory in regards to drugs works exactly the same way for music, e.g., “When I first tried MGMT nothing much really happened. I thought it was just like smoking a cigarette.” I may have missed out on learning how to listen to music. Maybe I became addicted to it while I was trying to figure out what the fu#$ it sounded like and now I listen to this sh#$ even if I don’t like it. Music abuse. Oh, no. Could be I just have a poor music metabolizer.


It was a pleasure to stumble across the Wildbirds at The Summit this weekend. It was kind of like a grittier Strokes; like if they were broke and from Milwaukee, traveled in a van that runs on vegetable oil, sound more like Tom Petty and Led Zeppelin, rock a lot harder and trashier.

Their lead singer has that great tall, skinny rock and roll strung out look and a pretty cool mid to high range rock vocal that cuts through with a little swagger.

Their bass player was concerned about their drummer having downed 20 double vodkas. That’s quite a feat. I told him not to worry about it. I hadn’t noticed it affecting his playing. Our drummer has about 16 or 17 beers before any out of town show. This is normal for bands from towns with alcohol problems, right?

They must be ok guys, because I think they even agreed to be one of the first bands to reply to goofy interview questions for my new retarded rock and roll blog that you are currently reading, like this essential rock and roll inquiry: “Who sucks more, Cinderella or Candlebox?”.


I had the unfortunate experience of receiving an advance promo copy of a record called “Ten” by some Seattle band called Pearl Jam about what seems like must have been at least 6 or 7 months before the record really broke. There were at least 1 or 2 notable songs that showed some promise. There was some depth and passion to the lyrics and the music, if not groundbreaking, seemed to echo some of the ballsier middle-of-the-road classic rock tunes I heard as a kid. So, I didn’t write them off. It sounded like something that a lot of people would dig.

Fast forward about 16 to 18 months later and at parties all over campus, people are still putting this fu$%ing record on that now seems ultra-pedestrian and whitebread. I have forgotten why I had ever thought the record had any merit in the first place and was, now, unappreciative of the free advance copy to the point of resentment.

Soundgarden definitely rocked harder than Pearl Jam (duh) and they didn’t get shoved down my throat as much, so, they got a “get out of jail free” card from me. Still, I, wasn’t a big fan.

I’m thankful that Subpop went on to release so many other fine bands, including Red Red Meat, Afghan Whigs, Sebadoh, Iron & Wine, The Shins (their first record was so refreshing before Garden State hoopla over-hyped and tainted it for those who were previously uninitiated), etc.

Hell, Subpop released a Pernice Brothers record, Zen Guerilla (who I thought impressively upstaged The New Bomb Turks and Hellacopters at an Alrosa show in the late 90s), Thee Headcoats, Love Battery, The Jesus and Mary Chain….

So, sure, PJ and Soundgarden may totally suck, crappy bands’ inevitable breakups and their predictable future “reunion” gigs may never cease to annoy, but, I give these bands credit for being Subpop pioneers, if nothing else.

I think they should break up, again, though. It’s better for their overall legacy and it’s better for me.

Send me your thoughts and a link for your band to:

I’ll buy you a beer and send you an interview request.


I had no idea that the band who burst on the scene with “Life in a Northern Town” in 1985 were recording, again. Have I been living in a cave, or what?  “Whore Chatter”, finds them gaining fresh ground nearly 25 years later, innervating an entirely new audience, stunned upon their rebirth. This gets my early vote for comeback of the year in 2010. I’m thinking “Grammy”, already. She’d love this record. This raises the bar for the next Owl Shi#$y release, for sure.  Forget about it.  Gimme a beer!


It just doesn’t get any better than beer and friends and rock and roll.  I have plenty of friends and beer that I am endlessly grateful for, but, I sure could use some more rock and roll.  I hope to post many interviews with rock bands along with a photo or a link to photos of every beer I drink this year.  If you know of any great bands that should be interviewed, send them my way.  Ditto for good beer.  I was born into a family of wolves who never got me all of the Beatles records I wanted for Christmas when I was a child (Oh, the Horror! The Horror!).  It’s turned me into another Great American Werewolf.

In a particularly manic and sober moment I was talking to Joe outside the Treehouse in Columbus and a friend of his was telling a story about a bachelor party where the host, who had worked at a strip club for years, had colossal stacks of photo albums to the ceiling which held nothing but the stippers and porn stars he had met at the club.

I wanted to meet the guy who, if you dug through his basement,  you would find only pictures of him, documenting every beer he ever drank and stacks and stacks of random interviews of interesting new bands. 

That stack is “Beer Saved Your Set” or “Are You Fu#%ing Kidding Me?”  You decide.  You get two choices which yield, essentially, the same result- kind of like US Politics.