Road Stories

Tales From the Road

 


From time to time, I sit around and think what the hell do you put on a web site?
I mean, what the hell is it for?
And then it came to me as I was high as a kite on model glue.
Besides the usual information that accumulates like piles of material at a construction site,
I decided I would sit down and begin to write a column on the band experiences while traversing this great nation.
A ‘memoirs’ of the bizarre, if you will!
~Hosty
P.S. The story at the top is the most recent.
As you scroll you will fall deeper and deeper and deeper into the past.

That’s What I Call Oklahoman. to the top
Presenting one man band and stand-up comedian, Mike Hosty. By ALLISON KEIM

Within every community there is a gathering place that perpetuates culture by cultivating new ideas and supporting local talent. These places are obscure, disguised with shabby signs and tinted windows, behind which are groups of people that could be called outsiders or rebels. To the unsuspecting onlooker, there is no sign of a cultural revolution behind those windows. It’s just another bar where young kids go to listen to loud, obnoxious music. To the moral and upright citizens of small towns, these places are breeding grounds for change, which can be a naughty word for some Midwesterners. What they don’t understand is that this influx of new ideas is necessary in order for the community to mature and survive in an ever changing world.
In Norman, Oklahoma, home to almighty Sooner football, there stands one of these hidden cultural gathering places. In 1929 a structure that resembled a modern strip mall was built on the North side of White Street, between Asp and Buchanan. This was one of the first buildings on Campus Corner and was originally used as a laundry mat and a barber shop. In the sixties it was converted to a restaurant. First it was a breakfast place, which is what it would be used as for the next few decades, and it eventually developed into a nice, sit-down dining establishment. As time went on, more and more working class guys made this place their home, and beer drinking was their activity of choice. Bob McIntosh, a long-time bartender at this Campus Corner bar says that “the cigarettes eventually took over the kitchen, and the role of the kitchen shrank until it no longer existed. That’s when live music took over.”
This bar would eventually come to be known as The Deli, providing a place for blue collar Normanites and OU students to drink beer, smoke cigarettes, and listen to live music. The students were progressive thinkers and the regulars were working men that liked to have a good time. Eventually, The Deli gained the reputation as a low-key, friendly place for people to listen to really good, Oklahoma music- music that was influenced by blues, country, and rock’n’roll. The talent was local and raw and the community was always friendly. Bob has been watching from behind the bar for about fifteen years, and he says The Deli is still like that today.
I asked him if he though there was a common thread between these performers, and if there was, did it prove that an Oklahoman aesthetic existed? Bob thinks that native singer-songwriters like Bob Childers and Leon Russell exemplify an Okie camaraderie.
“They have a different way of looking at things that I can’t really put in words. They just have their own thing going on.” He had a hard time articulating exactly what it was that makes these guys “Oklahoman.” What he did convey was that these artists rely on more familiar patterns of music to communicate their message. In comparison to cultural movements in coastal regions, Oklahoma music is rooted in more traditional forms of music. “I don’t think your average new guy in New York is gonna have his roots in Blues, whereas Hosty- that’s where his core lies.”
Enter singer-songwriter Mike Hosty, who is a cultural icon for Norman via Campus Corner and The Deli. He was born September 21, 1970 in Wauwatosta, WI. The Hosty family ended up moving to Oklahoma City, where young Michael was raised. When he was eleven, his Mom bought him his first guitar at Larson’s Music, for which she kept the receipt, just in case. He stuck with it and learned everything he needed to know and then some, mimicking techniques from jazz and blues to create a unique sound with his guitar. In his adult life, that guitar would be the instrument that he would use to make a living for his family while defining a purely Oklahoman sound.
The first band Hosty played in was called Zulu King in 1990. He called it “a cross between James Brown, Lemmy from Motorhead, and SRV.” Rob Dollarhide was on drums, John Cook was on bass, and Hosty played the guitar. Zulu King was replaced by The Silvatones, then Mophead, and then finally by a band called Heater. Heater was together from 1994 to 1997, and they were a pretty big hit in Norman. At the same time, Hosty collaborated with drummer Mike Byars and bassist Alex Mackie to create what would come to be known as the Mike Hosty Trio. Hosty and Byars have stuck together and they still produce albums as the Hosty Duo.
When Hosty plays solo on Sunday nights at the Deli, a tradition that has been around since 1993, he rocks the house. He becomes a one man band, playing the drums with his feet and a custom made guitar with his hands. He has several microphones, base pedals, and odds and ends he uses to compose his songs. He is also an expert when it comes to playing the kazoo, mastering a sound that resembles a saxophone. Though this musical playground is intriguing, Hosty’s sense of humor is the reason that people religiously support his Sunday night solo act.
I started playing by myself when the band refused to play one night and the bar owner insisted I carry on. So I did to see if I could and it worked. The second time I did the band disappeared to make a coke deal in Stillwater and I was left to my own devices and had to finish the night alone.
It is this subtle humor that makes his solo act successful, keeping the audience, the bartender, and random onlookers laughing between songs.
When I asked Bob to describe Hosty’s music, he chuckled and said “pseudo bluesy disco.” Though Hosty is influenced by all kinds of music, especially the old stuff, he seems to maintain his sense of humor through a modern and sometimes silly perspective of Oklahoma. The balance between traditional musical influences and the intelligence of his humor distinguishes Hosty as an Oklahoman by offering a unique perspective through the content of his music. Furthermore, there is a reappearance of Oklahoma themes like daydreaming, hard work, and whimsical romance that is consistent throughout his lyrics. Other artists and songwriters in this state have a similar position when creating music, art, or literature, but is that in fact proof that a statewide aesthetic exists?
According to Bob, his idea of an Okie aesthetic is based on his relationship with space, specifically geography. Bob is from Tahlequah, which is in the eastern part of the state and therefore lush and green, which is not common in the popular image of Oklahoma. The western part of the state is what most people think Oklahoma looks like, which is wide open space dominated by plains. Bob made a reference to something that he once read which commented, “Oklahoma is the place where you can see yourself leaving the east and going into the west.” This transition in geography seems to affect each Oklahoman’s idea of an aesthetic in a different way, but Bob implied that this topographic diversity is what makes our state that much greater; geographically and otherwise, Oklahoma is diverse, creating an odd combination of residents and in turn, a unique culture.
Now Hosty, on the other hand, has a distinct idea of what it means to be an Oklahoman. He has a kind of admiration for his surroundings, and feels as if we should be proud of where we are from. He sings about going to the river, watching twisters, and drinking High Life, all of which are common to working people. His lyrics paint a picture of the way that he sees Oklahoma. He uses Oklahoma’s “boom town mentality” to fuel his songs and he draws inspiration from the extreme weather. “The heat definitely influences my music. It boils your brain.” And he goes on to say that “the unpredictability of it makes you fuse all sorts of things into one.” For Hosty, it seems like the heat acts as a catalyst, encouraging wild guitar skills and bizarre humor. This is paired with exclusively Okie lyrics to create a distinctive sound that is fun to listen to.
The song Destination Hawaii was written in 1994 and defines him as a “dreamer.” The song feels sultry because it has a warm tonal quality which is complimented by Hosty’s voice. He writes about his intense longing for tropical paradise, which is inspired by pictures he’s seen on postcards. He calls himself a dreamer in an Oklahoma town, waiting to get to his destination. Hosty describes this song using the term “Okie spirit.”
The Okie spirit is all about being a dreamer and making it happen by pioneering your dreams into reality. Country boys always dream of a better life out there, which is why folks came to Oklahoma in the first place. Now that same spirit is manifested in wanting to leave and finding it somewhere else in the world. There are Okie’s all over the United States now because of this spirit. But Oklahoma is always home.
Hosty eventually made his dream come true and went to Hawaii, where he married the love of his life on the beach. He also came right back to Norman to make a home for his new family, appropriately illustrating his idea of an Oklahoma spirit.
Another Hosty original is called Oklahoma Breakdown, which is noticeably tamer and sincere in comparison to others. The song is catchy and has the qualities of a pop song, which, considering its content is surprising. It appeals to the Midwestern audience because it’s about going down to the river, getting drunk, and falling in love. Mike said that this song is the story of “getting torn down, wanting a girl you aren’t allowed to see, and dealing with the impending retribution of her Daddy after you deliver her home drunk.” He uses his understanding of the county boy mentality to relate to his audience, delivering this haunting love story with county style music. The brilliant part of the song is that anyone can appreciate it musically, whether or not they relate to the lyrics, making it one of his more successful songs.
Hosty also expresses a fascination with weather, weather men, and the news media in general. He sings about twisters in Fraidy Hole, a song about people watching a storm role in and also in Flamingo, which tells a silly story about pink yard ornaments that fear the sky. Both songs poke fun at the mentality of people who sit fixated on the sky while disaster roles in. Hosty also talks about TV icon and weather man Gary England, who is visible to all Oklahomans in times of weather crisis.
Gary England has literally scared the hell out of me for years, but at the same time he has also saved thousands of lives. He is a true Okie hero and should be enshrined in a song. Most people think we all live in fear of the sky, but really, when a tornado is coming we all stand on the porch and watch it roll in, only getting in the fraidy hole at the last minute.
This song is the epitome of the Oklahoma experience; a combination of country and blues delivers a wild image of eccentric Midwestern characters in awe of an enormous sky. But all of Hosty’s songs have a similar effect, making him a poster boy for our great state.

By including this kind of content in his music, Hosty targets an interesting and diverse audience. When he is on stage singing about twisters, getting wasted, and falling in love, there are pretty college girls dancing with fifty year old guys with mullets. There are older men hunkered over the bar, telling stories about Normans ghosts to whomever will listen. There are married couples, local celebrities, and fraternity guys all coexisting in a smoke filled bar, drinking low-point beer and listening to some great music. Mike brings people together by referencing things we know and understand, once again proving that he has an idea of what it is to be an Okie, and further more, he takes pride in being an Okie himself. Whether or not it is his intent, he is instills a sense of dignity in his audience while bringing us all together to celebrate our Oklahoman culture.



This paper was written in reference to interviews with Mike Hosty and Bob McIntosh by Allison Keim and was inspired by repeatedly listening to three of Hosty’s albums which are listed below.
Un Hombre Malo. Mike Hosty Anthology. 1997-2000
Golden Country Hits. Hosty Duo. 2003
Hosty Duo. 2003

 

The Gospel Preachn Wrecker Man in the Year of Ought 4 to the top

04-27-04

Ol Blue, my trusty Ford E- 150 Van purchased right here in Norman at Reynolds ford back in 1994, has approximately 320,000 miles on her. Now I have written to Ford Motor Company on a variety of occasions lauding Ol Blue, telling the places we’ve been and the people we’ve seen. I have always said, “ If that Van could talk, what would she have to say.” Ol Blue has been north to the headwaters of the Mississippi, east to the coast of the Atlantic, West to the deserts of Arizona and the California coast and all points in between. I keep writing hoping for a new van, as the mechanic who wrenches on says, “With that many miles, you’ve earned it.”

Now you’ve heard me spin tales of Ol Blue before, like the time when the front wheel flew off the side into the bar ditch around Austin, Texas and was re-assembled by the Romantic Latino mechanic named Carlos who told me “ It is not your van that is broken my friend. It is your heart.” There was the Glen Campbell cassette fire on the Turnpike back in 2001 when Glen’s truck stop tape decided to illuminate the dash as it were filling the interior with “Wichita Lineman as well as smoke. And finally, the tale of Chuck the Long-Walker from somewhere on a Colorado Interstate who dropped a fuel tank on the side of mountain for us. These tales seem to pale in comparison to the event that is to unfold below. Ol Blue’s first road show was in Fort Smith in 1994 and it seems only fitting that one of its last was to the same destination.

Ol Blue set out to take the Duo to Fort Smith Arkansas last Thursday evening with the intent on playing some rock and roll on Garrison Street at the 501 Oyster Bar in celebration of the release of out tenth record entitled “Hosty Duo”. I had just replaced the original battery that had 320,000 miles purged from its acidic motorcraft core and Ol Blue seemed too happy as could be. Along the way we witnessed the Muskogee County Twister forming north of I 40 counting Storm chasers on the side of the road. As the sky swirled above I looked down at the battery indicator was slowly dropping. I was perplexed because we had a brand new battery. Pulling off to the side of the road at a No Facility Rest Stop, which is code for “ Meth Exchange Area for rest Stop Romeo’s” I noticed the gauge going down even farther. Tic Tac and I switched places behind the helm of our steel ship and we continued on when gauges started the flicker, the speedometer went out, the lights faded and Tic Tac guided Ol Blue off the I 40 exit ramp barely coasting into Jim Bob’s Phillips -66 on impulse power. Coming to the overhang near the gas pumps, Ol Blue heaved and died.

Overhead, the storm we had been watching the storm chasers chase was coming our way. The hook echo was overhead and clouds were creeping in. Would we make it to the show in Fort Smith? Would we be carried away on the wings of the Muskogee county hook echo? There was only one thing to do. The only logical thing to do. Go in Jim Bob’s and order a truck stop burger and wait for impending Armageddon. Just before I let the apocalyptic thoughts grow I remembered we had Triple A, so with a few phone calls a wrecker was on its way to tow us to Fort Smith of course after he heard we needed to go that far. . As we waited a diagnosis of Ol Blue by Tic Tac revealed that it was not the new battery but a bad alternator. If we could replace it we would be good to go. But where to get a new one in the middle of nowhere after hours.
The answer came in another phone call to the owner of the bar we were to play at in Fort Smith yielded a Good Samaritan to go to Auto Zone and get a brand new alternator and bring it to the club so that we may put it on after the show if we would pay him back.

Rains started falling and the wrecker arrived lit up like a Mini Mall traveling carnival show. Emerging from the cab of the tow truck was a shriveled old man of 72 years who said, “ You must be broke down.”

All literal interpretations aside, he was correct and proceeded to hoist the hull of our Detroit steel on the back of the wrecker while he began to preach.
“ I have been working an 18 hour day and I am 72 years old.” He said.
I was waiting for him to say that he also like to stretch and kick, but before I could the raisin esque looking captain of the tow had the van high in the air on two wheels and we were rolling out of the Warner exit on to Fort Smith. The Hosty duo had become the Hosty trio again with addition of our new tow trucker pal

Just as we rounded the fist corner around the on ramp to I 40 easts bound Bill, our wrecker driver, said, “ How about that?”

And as he did the world was in slow motion for a while as I saw the wheel spin from his hands and looked out the wind shield I saw us head right over the divider. You know when you are waterskiing and you float or hover above the water for a bit and no ripples are formed just a smooth silent glide. Well imagine that, combined with the fact you are strapped to wrecker seat hauling around a half Ton full of band equipment. The tow truck was hydroplaning across the median when Bill’s 72 years of skill coaxed that big rig back on the road.

Breathing a sigh of relief, we lumbered on to Fort Smith where Bill told us of his trips, travels, trials and tribulations from his years of living. He told us about the gal he brought back from California, the hot rods out west and the lonely life of a tow trucker trying to keep his head above the tax waterline, making tows to pay the bills.
We told him we played music he waxed about Merle, Bob Wills and a fella he gave a tow to last week, a Steel Guitar player whose card read cleverly, “Steeln is my Game.” He was certainly a driver second to none, to borrow one of his quotes.

We made it to Fort Smith in time to play the show, on time, thanks to Bill. He unloaded ol Blue on to the side of garrison Ave in downtown, the owner had retrieved an alternator and all looked right with the world.

On finishing up the show at 2 a.m. it was time to put the alternator on. There was one problem it seems we had failed to take care of. We had no tools. As luck would have it the owner of the bar was also the owner of a plastic bag factory in Van Buren Arkansas that makes plastic sacks for Tyson Chicken and Solo Cups, which are two products that to me anyway go hand in hand. He called up his chief night mechanic named Gary who with the able assistance of Tic Tac holding the flashlight managed to put on the new alternator with a set of Sharper Image standard tools and a couple of his own. The plastic bag mechanic raised ol Blue from the junkyard to the fast lane with the deftness of an AST Certified Grease Monkey.

All he wanted was a handshake, a t-shirt and cd that Gary did. We gave him our thanks and rolled out of Fort Smith back to I 40. All’s well that ends well until you reach Roland Oklahoma and the lights begin to flicker- the speedometer goes out and the headlights dim as you watch the voltage indicator slowly die off and see you and Ol blue in the bar ditch westbound pitch-black I 40 at 4 a.m. in the morning rain.
I felt like Wylie Coyote Super genius uttering “Back to the drawing board.”
“Hello AAA.” I began. “ We need a tow.”
“ Where are you sir?” the operator said. And it was a perplexing question indeed.
Somewhere as we drifted off the road I had not seen a mile marker sign. Since they need to know where you are I set out on the side of the road to walk to the nearest mile marker with my cell phone and call em back. As I trudged through the mud and rain along the side of the road Big Rigs breezed by giving me a gentle push of diesel smoke and roadside rain. My feet sunk into the earth and I began to think, “ I am that guy.” We all have driven past him as he walks down the side of the road late at night and wonder, where the hell is that guys going?” Well I will tell you exactly where, to fond a mile marker. I finally did find mile marker 321, called triple AA back and they sent another wrecker. After watching him pass us by twice and call us to tell us he couldn’t find us he finally saw the van.

Our new tow truck driver was also an elderly gent of considerable years who drove a truck with a flat bed on the back. As he was hoisting Ol Blue up again he told us his conditional plan.
“ I am here to get you but I can only take you to Sallisaw and you will have to wait until 8 when my son gets up to take you back home. And we only take cash”

It was like a punch square in the gut with a bag on the head. Then he hit us with another zinger.

“You guys can sleep in the van on top of the wrecker until morning.” He said.

Oh goody, I thought. Sleep on top of the flatbed wrecker in Sallisaw. We agreed, what were our options, none.

So he hauled us to Sallisaw and placed us underneath a blaring street- light that I thought was at least four times brighter than the sun. Under that light, soaking wet feet, I drifted to sleep in the captain’s chairs of the van. We must have looked like extras in a Sci fi movie Aliens or Roswell where they find the pilots of the craft still in their chairs.

Just as I feel asleep I heard the gentle call of the new tow truck driver, BAM! BAM! BAM! He sounded as if he was blooding his fists on the side of the van. I shot up out of the driver side chair standing at attention like an Oakley, Kansas prairie dog, to look out the window and see the wrecker’s son as promised standing in the street.
I opened the door and he said, “ You awake?”
“I am now,” I said

He looked like a miniature version of Michael Anthony, bass player from Van Halen and he motioned for us to get in the front cab with him and we would get on our way. We stopped at a gas station to fill up and as he went inside to pay, I perused the cd collection on the floor of his truck and pulled up a one to inspect its contents. Just as I did, our wrecker driver, Doug, said
“ I guess that aint your type of music.”
Seeing how I had a country cd of duets performed by country superstars paired with NFL quarterbacks I replied,
“Yep, that aint my type of music.” I said.

As we road three in the cab back from Sallisaw to OKC, my eyes became heavy so much so I needed toothpicks to prop them up. Every time I was to nod off, our wrecker driver, Doug, would say something like profound like,

“ You guys play in a band?’ he queried.

But he wasn’t looking at me, as was riding on the hump. He would look over at Tic Tac and only started in on me after Tic Tac told him I am not one to indulge.
To all his queries I would say….
“Yep” I would say followed by ten minutes of silence and then Doug would say.
“You married?”
I responded yes and he continued
“And your wife still lets you go out to bars? You know I was messed up doing drugs every night, not living right, doing drugs….”
I thought Oh no. Not now. Not the “Salvation Talk.” The last one I had heard was courtesy of a pill-popping cowboy in Mississippi, who was trying to save me and make a dollar off of some “Legal” steroids.
“You all should consider singing gospel songs. I have done it all, been a jockey, been on the crank, wouldn’t think to stab somebody or shoot em. I wasn’t livn right. Went to jail and went right back in. then When I had a job collecting garbage I found a pair of gloves when I need gloves. They must have been sent by…”
You get the idea. Yet he continued.
“ Dope they can mess you up. But I still get high every so often on weed. It comes form the earth so it aint bad for ya.” He pulled another “Skywalker” Indian smoke shop cigarette and cradled it in his fingers staring off into into the void. He waxed on his days wildacting, roughneckn, robbn, stealn coming up with a new location for his exploits it seemed every time we would mention a town. . Mention Lubbock for example.
“Been there.” He said. “Met a gal with wooden leg. She had a peculiar talent with a cue ball, if you know what I mean.”

All I could was to look back at Ol Blue Riding behind us with its cracked radiator smile and bug toothed grin as she bobbed up down to and fro dreaming of the crush blue captains chairs that lie vacant.

As we loped on down the road, we drove past the Rusty Barn, a tavern on the edge of I 40 somewhere outside of Webbers Falls. It is a bar that has always intrigued me because there is no exit to it and it contains a firing range outside of the bar complete with targets and bales of hay. Apparently you can go get torn down and take aim at a couple rounds of target practice. I have always imagined the seedy interior where the is indoor skeet shooting and a drink called the “shot” where you put on a bullet proof vest, down a glass of whiskey and then the bartender blast you in chest with a 9mm.
As we past the mythical tavern, it was packed and I had to ask Doug.
“Did you ever go in the Rusty Barn?”
“Oh yeah” he said lowering his tine and head to the ground. “You could get stabbed or shot in there and nobody would bat an eye.”
I was about to correct his use of “bat an eye” cliché with “ Bat an Eyelash” but considering the origins of our new friend, the good representative from Norman abstains.

His statement confirmed my aspirations for the establishment and I bothered him no more about the Rusty Barn, letting my imagination working on less two hours sleep do the rest to provide me with ample entertainment for the rest of the ride.

We finally made it home around 10 a.m. and dumped Ol Blue at the Auto repair shop and Tic Tac went on home of course after we went to the bank to get cash for the driver. Somehow the large wrecker co didn’t take charge cards only cash, without a receipt of course. And I am willing to pay. When I asked if they took credit cards intialy he said, “How bad do you want to get home.” To which I replied, “Cash will be fine.”
As he stuffed the cold hard cash in his dungaries the Michael Anthony of the Wrecker world, the former crank smoking, wilcating, roughneck gospel-preachn trucker disappeared into the grey mist of the Cleveland County morning air.

As they lowered Ol Blue low, the reason daddy plays guitar in a rock and roll band, Kellie and Liam in his snuggly , came around the Acres Street corner to walk me on home past the former site of the double stop signs and into our Norman Height’s Chateau where I slept like a stone that was done rolling at least for a day.

PS

We are now looking for a new Ol Blue and will have Car dealership Tales to tell very soon.

Art Party MC                                             Jan 22 - 2003 to the top

"How would you like to play our Art party?" is usually how it starts. The deal is cemented by my typical answer to almost everything that gets me in trouble or more like my mantra. Chuck Norris's motto is "Every man needs a motto." My motto is one word because I like to keep it simple. And it is.......

"Sure."

The Philbrook Museum of   Tulsa in the Brookside area was donated by the Phillips Petroleum patriarch some years ago when the family made the big move from Oil Town Tulsa ,OK to Bartlesville, OK. The home was added on to over the years and is now a top notch art museum. Most folks don't realize that inside these granite and marble walls parties, events of all sorts take place. The Tulsa Visual Artist Coalition was having their annual awards banquet and they asked for the Duo to be the entertainment for their party inside the historic museum.

A tornado was taking the turnpike to Tulsa along with us that day. Gary England warned us to stay home via the magnificence of television but we decided to press on as good rock soldiers usually do. Cumulous clouds loomed over the town of Stroud, which had been wrecked some years before leaving only a huge acre spread of cement where the Tanger Outlet Mall once stood tall. Under whirling skies and torrential downpour we made it to T-town, on time and a little wet.

Backing up Ol Blue to the loading dock, we unloaded the precious cargo rock and roll simulator rolling the gear down to the pavilion where we were to set up, that's right, next to the buffet table. The caterer was the typical loud talking middle aged woman veteran of many a failed relationship who was vocalizing her impending date with a fellow some years younger than her. Her concerns were that a true mate would never be found, and after listening to her "chalk on blackboard voice" I was to believe, in her particular set of circumstances she may be right. Throwing her hands in the air, we were left to our own devices on where to set up. Thankfully there was enough room in the corner to set up the rock machine. In fact it was the perfect spot according to Tic Tac. Right near the cash bar and directly in front of the buffet.

As we set up, the organizer of the event came to meet us and to ask a question or two. Most of the quereys were normal such as how loud are you going to play, how long are your going to play and of course, "Will you MC our art party awards ceremony?" You can guess what my response was thankfully which held pretty close to my mantra, "Well Sure."

"Well we need to go over the slide show presentation and the awards. Are you familiar with Entourache?" he said leading me to the auditorium.

"I am a little under dressed for the event." I joked as I was wearing a pair of torn and tattered shorts and a rain soaked Moon Pie Shirt, hardly the thing to present awards with.

"No you look fine." He said directing me towards to the computer that thankfully was being manned by a pro. Here was the drill. The guy at the computer would press a slide show button which was projected on to the screen. I would read the screen and make the announcement. Easy Right?

" I got it." I said and went right back down stairs to enjoy the cash bar, free buffet and play some delta melancholy for the computer graphics designers.

We were to play mellow..real mellow blues to the swagger of the art party goers who networked and met up with colleges for a drink on awards night. The gig was going swell. We got to eat, drink a little and then the organizer approached.

"Are you ready to MC the ceremony?"

Ommmmmmmmm. I thought   refering to my years of reading Zen and the art of Motorcycle Repair which lead me back to my mantra. "Sure."

The Philbrook auditorium reminds one of the high school stage where it may be your first time on the stage in front of folks and you are nervous as all hell as I was hoping I got the swing of the slide show. I had to remember to read the slide and then present award. But then I thought I am supposed to be the MC., like Billy Cyrstal giving away the Grammy's or a B list celebrity getting an American Music award. I need to play the part.

"good evening. The folks organizing called an agent an asked for a celebrity to MC. They first asked for Billy Cystal but he was booked. They then asked for Earnest Borgnine but I believe he is dead. When prices were to high for some fo the other folks they went to the lowest on the totem pole and got me." I was on fire I thought. What a great intro. It is like I am on the tonight Show. Until I heard Crickets and looked to the blank stares of the audience. "Tough Crowd." I said and thinking I should just move on to the slides I motioned for my computer assistant to run the machine.

The first slide came up..

"Joe Ferguhimer for his work on the Driver."   The crowd applauded and Joe came up to get his award. This is easy I thought. I will just run right through all of this and I did opting not to make any jokes other than mispronouicing almost every name that came my way.

"Quinn Trann for her web site "Q factor." Again the crowd   applauded and I felt as if this was going smooth as silk. Since the evening was also about web sites I thought I should interject a joke about a web site at this point. It is the job of the MC as I have seen on countless television shows to read a joke off a cue card and split the crowd into a chourrs of laughter. Not having the benefit of a cue card I went with the first thing off the top of my head.

"You know I have a web site that gets a lot of hits but it is not entered into the contest." My delivery was deft indeed and now I would hit them with the punch line. "The site helps you gain more confidence and add to your 'personal growth'" the reaction was a groan at least. I had thought I had zinged them with a common reference to the Male enlargement e-mails we all get. Instead I had entered the web designers area of the faux pas, the spam e-mail joke. Undaunted and asking for my cut man Lou Duba I continued.

Slide after slide came and went and I read the screen as I was asked waiting for   the chance to redeem my MC abilities. And then it happened. There was one slide I could not resist. It was so tempting. I couldn't help myself. It just kind of came out. And thus ending my career as a MC.

A slide for ForSkin apparel came on to the screen. The ad was for a design company that designed the logo for For Skin which is a scuba gear type clothing that one would use for surfing etc. On looking at the slide I said the first thing that came to mind. Which I have come to realize is always a mistake. I began my joke.

"The foreskin shirt has been very popular and only comes in one size. If you need a bigger size all you have to do is rub the shirt.and maybe buy it a glass of wine."

After my first big MC comeback joke I realized my MC days were over because looking out on the crowd reaction I felt like the guy in the movie who just told the town he was the one that ruined the opportunity for the new plant to come in and the town scowlin at him pondering the lest used punishment of the Shun. There wasn't an eylash batting in the crowd so I thought I would give the old emphasis on the punch line one more time.

"You see you rub the shirt...Fore skin shirt and..Tough Crowd.." I hurried through the rest of the awards to the stunning of the audience. After which Tic Tac and I loaded the van with a fever like never before and got back on the road where the next day we had to be in Nashville TN, Music City for a week of pickin, grinning Drinkn and sinning. Leaving Tulsa behind, MC days are over before they even got started.

The Long Road to Nashville West Memphis, TN

Have you ever fallen asleep in the car and woke up in another town wondering the big three questions. How long have I been asleep? Where are we? And where the hell are we? Well my friend those we in fact the questions I myself asked when I woke up in a West Memphis, Arkansas parking lot for a Total truck stop/waffle house/dumpster area. I wasn't so alarmed but I had seen the town featured on COPS before we left where a trucker meth bust was going down and being in a truck stop parking lot I was a little concerned. Just a little.

  I had relinquished the wheel to Tic Tac in Little Rock and fallen into a slumber of Van Winkle proportions. The only difference really is that I woke up a little sooner than Van Winkle and I was still in the van. Waking up asked myself those familiar three questions.

The drive from Tulsa to the capital of Arkansas lead deep into the night and by the time we switched drivers I was hallucinating which is always a good indication to stop driving. But back to waking up. I woke up and looked out to see Mr. Tac fondling an American Spirit cigarette and pondering the cuisine of the local Mickey D's in the heart of West Memphis.

Double Stop                                             01-20-2004 to the top

Its no secret I make a living driving the road, a traveling truckn' minstrel rolling into cities and town with a trusty side kick to tell a few stories and sing a few songs. Along the way, there is weirdness and strange sights but the strangest starts even before I get to the highway. It has been right before my eyes for months and I hadn't really noticed. In fact,   its right at the end of my street.

As said before, my trade is that of a troubadour, which I am required to be since passing 30 some years ago. And ever since the birth of my first baby boy named Liam, I have been spending a lot of time around the old homestead cleaning, singing "twinkle twinkle", changing youth style Depends, doing home improvements and taking a closer look at the block where I live as I stare out   the window with swaddler in hand. Now combine this with the penchant for reading the local "Humor"   column in the Norman Transcript which is wiritten by a guy in sydication whose job it is to observe things around the house or anything for that matter ,write about them and collect a paycheck. Mainly these stories are quaint observations and witty responses. For example, one story was about laundry. There was even one written about "What he was going to write for his next column ."   The end result was that he wrote about what he was trying to think of writing about. This mixed with cabin fever and the techno version of London Bridge is flalling down on the Baby Einstien   tapes only pushed   me. Those tape by the way remind me of something you would watch in a VW Vanagen in the parking lot at the Bonaroo concert without a VCR.

So I figured, hell I got some time on my hands, a window to the world and a Smith Corona although I choose to use to ol computer. He he   he. ( you see you must laugh three time after you say "old" anything. Like Ol Shep. Hee he he. It makes it seem like there is a story behind the afore mentioned item and it makes the listener salivate over the story.)

What to write about, I needed to decide. The tale to tell came to me while the whole family piled into the Chevy on the daily trek to find something for lunch. I sat in the passenger side   seat with the newspaper to look for inspiration. I went to the article by the afor mentioned guy in the paper. Lets see he is writing about and as I was flipping through the pages of the paper the car came to a stop at the end of my street. Then my wife, Kellie, hit the accelerator and then promptly stopped again.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Well there are two stop signs at the end of our street. I figured I needed to stop twice for each one or I would be running the stop sign and we could get a ticket." She said.

Two stop signs. Originally there was one. But with the new city improvement there is now two stop signs on the same side of the street. Yes.   I had my story. The questions poured in. the information was over whelming..

What was wrong with the original stop sign. Granted, the new one is taller by at least a few inches and features what looks to be "break away basket ball hoop" technology fasting it to the ground. The old one is sunk in a pit of cement like a fence post. The new one is shinney red while the old one is still red but the years of wear have begun to show the age of the sign as it has faded from fire engine red to just plain red.

Is it illegal to stop only once at the double stop sign? You are supposed to stop when you see a stop sign

What could it be? Why are there two on each side of the street? Now the size of the sign must be different. Well, no the size of the sign is exactly the same the only difference is one is as mentioned before a little higher.

Now did they intend to make a four way stop and simpley misplace the hole for the stop signs right infornt of the old stop signs? Possibly. There could have be a scene   like this.

"Hey, the plans are wrong Bill. They say put a new stop sign in front of the old stop sign."

His buddy replies, "I know but you know the Foreman. You'd better do it as it says or you gonna get two paychecks on Friday."

Everyday I arose to race to the front window with my boy and ask him where these stop signs came from along with other mysteries of the universe. Of course since he has not really mastered the ability of speech not to mention the English language just yet, He merely drooled to a sleepy smile indicating an impending   journey   to make an offering to the all powerful Diaper Genie.

My only conclusion was that it was a conspiracy. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. A conspiracy   on the part of the Auto parts manufacturing sector.   Just like pot holes. If you don't know already the pot hole people are in cahoots with the shock people. The only logical conclusion is that he double stop sign people must be in with the brake people.

So look out your window. You could have a double stop sign at the end of your street soon. It isn't government waste. No something a bit more sinister. The auto parts people are about to found out. Well I got a lot of time and I am breeding. So our numbers will increase. Note to self: Got to get out of the house more.

 


 
Elvis Vs. the Dancing Man                                             03-06-2003 to the top
 
Oh the Deli, my hometown bar. Usually the dancing story revolves around drunken lass who choose to put on a stripperesquue without the stripping exhibition for the Sweet Tooth's in the crowd by dancing about the poles that hold the roof. This night proved there are others.
 
  A Thursday night in a sleepy college town where a local Grocery Store clerk disguised as Elvis with seventies regalia complete with gold rimmed aviator glasses, purple/red spandex open-chested jumpsuit with Indian fringe and a Buddhist tattoo running down a red row on his chest was competing for the hearts of the ladies in the bar with a man in his late 70's of considerable experience. A School teacher from Dibble who used to be a farmer and a part time trucker, this elder was also a dancing machine whose feet incanted a jig that blurred his feet against the brick sloping floor of the Deli. His feet moved in the fashion of a cartoon character revving up to make a quick getaway accompanied by the furious flapping of the bongos. That night the Deli resembled the smoking lounge of the Atlanta International Airport where the travelers pack into to smoke sweet nicotine behind a glass wall which itself looks like a diorama from a museum of natural History Exhibit on the Late 20th Century rite of smoking.
 
The dancing man as the elder was named was furious sin his onslaught giving Mr. Bontgalgles a run for his money and lighting the eyes of the young ladies with a fiery passion that erupted in applause. Elvis conceded the contest, as he was no match for the pent up dancing ability of the Okie Farm hand. Mysteriously he slipped out of the deli and into the night leaving only the memory of the “fastest feet on White Street.”
 
I Built all the Wal Marts                                                  10-14-2003 to the top
 

The Arkansas Traveler is a traveler indeed and so were we. Just as my trusty van Ol Blue broke 300,000 we arrived in Fayetteville, Ark, home of the university of Arkansas. That night I met the man who built every Wal Mart from here to there and everywhere in between. Needless to say he was a little crazy. But aren't we all.
 
“I build Wal Marts.” He said. Dressed in a haggard tie-dye cowering underneath a faded blue workman's coverall, he resembled a cross between a Civil War vet and Charles Manson. His salt and pepper hair flew in the air-conditioned ventilation system like he had his tongue on a Tesla coil. Gripping a scotch and soda in one hand and mine in the other he carried on.
“And I like the way you caress that stick of wood. Right alone the grain my friend.” He continues.
 
Now I routinely make the mistake of starting in on a conversation that I will soon be wishing and praying for to be over but just can't pry myself away from.
 
“Would you like a drink?” he said
“Sure…Sounds good. I will have a beer.” I chimed in. this won't be so bad I thought until he ordered.
“Bar keep. My friend would like to order us a round.”
What? I just got took…but before I could bring notice to the city slicking hands of the wayfaring stranger he started into a monologue that was worth the drink.
 
“You know. I am the great grandson of Sadie Hawkins. I can show you her grave in Western Arkansas and sing you a tune or two. And While I was working for Sam Walton I built Wal Marts all across the country. They would say something, like use the Lord's name in vain and I would say hey, let me find a pen, oh what is that a tape recorder? A Tape recorder. I told you not to use the Lord's name in vain because now I will tell Mr. Walton hand he will tell you to go to hell, make you like it so much that you use the Devil' phone to call him up and tell you he loves his ass on fire!”
 
After his tirade, the only thing I could think of was the obvious.
“Do you think the Devil has long Distance and if he does do you think he pays for it? Or steals it/ it seems more evil to steal it.”
 
He wasn't listening to me as his eyes glowed the glow of the Leprechaun part Five, In the Hood style. He continues talking of erecting log cabins, sanding with the grain and putting on Charitable events for Tyson Chicken because he could get them all on the phone cause he had tape recorded all of them. He was rolling with a captive audience of one.
 
“How would you like to play a charitable event? I can give you a meal, a place to stay and a rock good time.” His face was a glow.
 
Now take note, usually when someone makes a request such as this it involves a Sub way style Gas Station Sandwich, a palette of Pine needles on a refurbished crack house floor kitchen and waiting around for eight hours to play the back of a flatbed bed trailer through a 1950's Gym Speaker system acquired from the abandoned state park. So I gave him the typical answer.
 
“Sure………give me call.”


I'm With Stupid               June 07 2003 to the top

          
In my experience Festival is just another word for “flatbed trailer in a parking lot, located conviently next to the back of the kitchen or dumpster in heat exceeding the 100 degree mark.” And usually comes with a mish   mash of Porta Toilets, or as I like to call them, Red neck Space Shuttles and a Sound engineer which is Politically Correct for Sound Man complete with Fabio like hair, leather vest, utility belt, sunburn, bandana and to top it off he has “Seen it all, done it all and sailed the seven seas.” Not to mention that he has a tin ear after being pummeled with the sound of Heavy Metal guitars bellowing out of Marshall Stacks back in the 80's.
Now we usually we garner the opening slot, which means we set up in front of the other two bands gear that is already on stage and are the guinea pigs for testing the awesome firepower of the fully operational P.A. Several memorable festival type gigs include:
•  The Okie Noodling Hand Fisherman's Contest in Pauls Valley Oklahoma. Now the name for this one should say it all. But to every title, there is a tale. Noodn' is the act of sticking ones hand in a river or lake mud hole that may house serpents to pull out a flathead catfish sometimes weighing in at over 100 pounds Middle of July, with the Oklahoma heat index, which is a combination of the actual heat combined with the humidity to indicate just how sweaty you actually feel, well above 100 in the parking lot of Bob's pig Stand BBQ there are six horse troughs filled with water and flathead catfish caught from all over the state. The Flatheads float around in the tubs some on their bellies and some sink to the bottom wondering where the hell they are. I have often thought of how I would feel if someone were to knock on my door and when I answered a giant hand came through shoving right down my throat and then pulling me out into the front yard and into waiting cooler in the back of a pick up truck. That has got to be what that fish feels like, if the fish did have cognitive ability. And who knows in another 1000 years Flatheads may be in control of us all, if the Gore Oklahoma plant keeps leaking.
Before we played a fella with a cud of Red man chew handed out the awards for the fishing contest. So there we were on the back of a Flatbed trailer playing for Flatheads swimming in tanks and with the first note we blew the breaker forcing the lights in the whole darkened lot to peter out. Truth be told, the folks in Pauls Valley went hog wild at the fishn tournament and a good time was had by all.
 
•  Cinco De Mayo at Don Pablo's located on the Kilpatrick turnpike near Quail Springs Mall. A total of eight people watched us play in 40 mph winds high on top a Flatbed Trailer during which time I blew up my boutique bass amp.
•  Cinco De Mayo at on the Border on the Lake Hefner parkway in 2001 opening up for a metal band on a……….Flatbed Trailer in winds of only 30mph.
•  Red Dirt Café's 3 rd Birthday in a parking lot and 100-degree heat before two other bands. This time we had a stage. Memorable line from the night to which I got no response was “We don't even have to start playing and we have already blown the roof off this place. See cause there is no roof.” I was waiting for a rim shot.
•  Biker Fest at the Dugout 2000…. Sounds like a bad USA Up All night movie as we played again on the trailer this time after a couple metal bands. We had made it to the top and were headlining. The only thing is that as we played the bikers would fire up their machines and all you could hear was the roar of the engines over the Shea Stadium sized PA. Those bikes are loud as aircraft engines at Will Rogers Airport. The bikers decided to do some burnouts, which is making the tires smoke. Standing over a puddle they had made by, well you don't want to know how they made it lets just say the beer helped them, anyway, the positioned their bikes and shot smoke into the Okie sky. The final contestant put his bike in the puddle and began to smoke, but just my luck, I was right behind the biker and he shot gravel, tire shards and smoke all over me as I played. I was helpless to the onslaught but kept on plying anyway despite the fact I couldn't hear a thing and I was engulfed in a cloud of Goodyear smoke, which did not allow me to see my fellow band mates.
 
All the reminiscing I forgot the tale I was to tell. You see we had just played the red Dirt Café's birthday bash and I loaded the van to head just down the street to Othello's on Campus Corner to finish setting up for the gig we had later that night.
 
As we played the bar slowly filled and then a group of late 40 something house wives and professionals gals came into the bar celebrating their Insurance selling friends birthday. These gals came to party as to squash the years before them of raising their brood. A couple of them definitely qualified for the title “Mom's Hot Friend.” You know the friend of mom's that made you think those “ I can't go to the blackboard thoughts” and who you pissed off your buddy when you told him “Your mom is hot.”
 
As they danced a stringy lookn fellow with torn jeans and Western shirt drapped over him entered the dance floor. Tobacco stained teeth grin and a slinky disposition he curled around the floor like an asp fingering a smoke in one hand and fondling a rink in the other.   On my way to the gig, I ran into him on the street where he told me he had just got out of the Looney bin over at Griffen memorial hospital where they had in his words “Some really Crazy Folks.” He told me he would be out later after he hooked up with his potential former girlfriend after a roll in the hay to which I said, “Well alright.'
He sat down directly in front of us and insisted Tic Tac perform some drum theatrics, more specifically “ the drum stick point, the drum stick twirl and the back scratch.” As he tormented, Mr. Tac politely ignored him with a smile and tried to order another shot of the rumple and a brew.
As the birthday group ebbed and flowed on to the dance floor, our mysterious stranger decided to join them removing his shirt in Jerry Springer fashion as he cavorted around the gaggle. As he danced, he removed his shirt as he did his ride the white horse version of Mick Jagger picking out the birthday girl and performing to what I believed was a mating dance I saw on the Discovery Channel. She obliged him by grabbing his hand and sucking on his fingers to which he replied “Good Golly Miss Molly!!!!”
As the dancing continues he removed his shirt to reveal a tattoo on the upper portion of his chest on the right hand side that said written in 70's Subway graffiti/iron –on style “I'm with stupid.” To which he would position himself where the finger would point to his dancing compadre. She bent down to like the brass rail on the floor he followed imitating her every move much like Mockingbirds with a Springtime in flight feather display. She began to slink around and look at Tic tac like she was going to devour him. Being the Sex symbol for the band is a heavy weigh for him to bear, but he was laughing so hard his eyes were swollen shut.
 
Finally the male chaperon or male alpha took his group of ladies and left the building and our friend slammed back a mixer, demanded a free t-shirt and said ‘ I Love you Hosty. Not in a gay way though, but a Viking ‘we pillaged the village now lets drink a tankard of ale from a goat horn' type of love.” I was scrambling for a pen wanting to write down every word…
 
The next day I ran into our mystery man at the library in Norman where he was sporting the free t we gave him for his performance. He told me that night he broke into his work and stole some beer to go to an after party where the hosts had valiums and Lori tabs in a candy dish on the table. Thinking they were complentary he grabbed a handful and threw them in his mouth. The host of the after hours shin dig did not take kindly and gave him the boot out while his future potential ex-girlfriend stayed inside. Now this wouldn't be too bad if he wasn't three miles out of town in the country, so with a tub of stolen beer and jacked up on prescription meds he wandered back into town. He said, “That will sober you up quick. I was hoping a cop would haul me in just so I could get a ride. Oh yeah
 
Fourth of July: Sarge!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                  07-07-2003 to the top
 

Sarge had the mange. Sarge the aged German Shepard mutt had the mange so bad they did the only thing to relieve his pain that they could. His only recourse was a dip in a vat of recycled/used motor oil. This is how my Fourth of July started that fateful year back in the early 1990's. A night when I learned all about homemade fireworks, mac stew and backwoods Mobile home lifestyle of Canadian county.
 
Back then, I was in love. Or at least thought I was , with a pretty little blond from OKC. Over the course of our courtship we had on occasion visited her aunt and uncle who lived out past the paved roads in Canadian county just North of OKC in a doublewide trailer nestled by the side of a Red Dirt road. Grandpa, who was the rightful owner of the property and benefactor to the couple, would have to come out a brush hog the area when the rains   came. With a mouthful of General Chew, the overall wearing country Freewill Baptist Preacher sliced the countryside with an ancient John Deere. But usually the forest took car of itself. Full of black Jack trees and young Hickory the acreage was truly “in the country.”
 
Uncle Dale was a Vietnam vet who loved his portly polka-dancing bride, Paige was her name. She lovingly called him Sergeant Dale and he called her pet names like punkin. Their two boys ran wild on the property digging in the red clay, chasing stray dogs and sometimes coming home with a mysterious bite from a creature of the woodlands. Their domes were capped with matching jarhead haircuts and the constant diet of sugar products had forced one turn out like a fireplug and the other like a rail. Hyper and hypo tension case models in the making.
 
Out beyond the lights of the city the four some   made their home in the Double Wide trailer on Grandpa's land. Fourth of July that year, the invitation was extended for us to come and join them in celebrating the nations birthday. When we arrived, I told you about Sarge , the dog. He was cowering under the trailer ashamed of his lot in life as having been dipped in a vat of oil and shivering from the pain of the country remedy..
 
“Sarge!!!!!!!!”   Paige bellowed almost loosing her tube top. “ Ah that dog….good to see you two.”
She rushed out to greet us and gave a hug to her niece and then to me. As she peeled away from me the circle of menthol 100 smoke curled around my head and floated off in to the country air but the smell of the 7 and 7 lingered on me because as she hugged me she spilled a bit on to me.
 
“Oh I am sorry about that.” She apologetically replied and then in bipolar fashion she switched from sweet Aunt to tornado Siren as she yelled out the name of her sweetie, “DALE………DALE!!!!!!!DALE!!!!!!!!!! God Damn it we got company!!!!”
 
Dale rolled out of the trailer on to the red wood deck sporting a pair of Air Force aviator glasses, a camo tank top and a plaid pair of Bermuda shorts. He was the patriarch   of the bunch and had been estranged for quite some time for having the knack for the bottle and a temper to match. He was the type of guy on a rainy nights you would see standing in full camo next to the dumpster outside your house glaring inside for hours. Scary indeed. He had made his return that day. The nations birthday he would start over with his brood..
 
“no need to be that loud.” He doled in Dirty Harry fashion.
 
As I strolled up the walk to meet him he said coolly, “ I see you brought some fireworks…..That is nice…….But I got real fireworks….home made….army training style.”
 
I felt like he was talking in code like we were in a prison camp trying to escape and to some effect he was right. We would all want to escape after this night.
 
“Come over here.” He motioned to the above ground pool that was covered with a green tint that made it almost glow in the light of the sunset. As the sun was going down I was getting a little jittery. Drunk Sergeant Dale had me near the above ground pool when he pulled out a lemon shaped object.
“this here is Fireworks.” He said.” Handmade fireworks. The kind you don't find in stores or roadside stands. Got a detonator from a buddy and some black power packed in this tighter than a nun's you know what.” He followed his description pulling down his aviators and letting fly a one eyed wink.
 
I was going to correct him on the grammar but before I could he pulled a pin and threw the grenade into the pool.
“DUCK!!!!!!!Hit the DECK!!!!!!”
 
If you have ever seen victory at sea when the boat would push over depth charges from the edge of the boat as the Destroyer hunts the sub that is pretty much what it looked like. The sides of the pool burst open as a plume of water shot out the brim of the pool send a tidal wave of over chlorinated water crashing down to the red clay and dousing us leaving a small puddle where the old pool lay.
 
 
“WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!' he yelled.
“WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WOOOOOOO WOOOOOO.”
 
“What the hell is goin on!!!!!' yelled his sweetheart. “You trying to kill us?”
 
“I never ‘try' I f was aimn' to' he paused dramaticly,” I would have.” Was the response in Eastwood fashion that was so calm it was disturbing. After quieting his honey with a little Psychological warfare he continued his yelps while dancing around the yard kicking up dirt like grandpas brush hogging.
 
I had thought things had cooled down that hot July Independence Day, as we all sat around the treated pine picnic table to enjoy a feast of flank steak, mac, beans, slaw, white bread, tater tots jello casserole, cans of Dr. thunder and a jumbo bottle of Weller's Whiskey. If that wasn't enough there was plenty of   cold Miller beer floating like survivors of the titanic in a Coleman Cooler.
 
As Darkness fell over the Red Dirt forest, it was growing close to the time we were to shoot off the fireworks we had bought a little while earlier at the Waterloo road exit. Our sack runith over with roman candles, bees, Thor Rockets, punks, black cats, whistle chasers, popper and devices from the folks in China we had no idea what they did.
 
“ aint noithin like a roman candle fight.” Said Dale chewing slowly on bones of dinner.
Soon the Sgt, and Army training were to come out and in pure Army ordering fashion he declared his intentions.
“We gonna divide up into teams….Me vs. All of you!!” letting out a bellowing laughter that   echoed. And from underneath the picnic table he held up a Roman candle with lit fuse pointing it directly at his gal. He laughed as she scrambled to get her legs from the inter twined bench seat on the table, falling over on to the ground which saved her from the first shot of the candle.
 
We immediately ran. Fear took over and we grabbed whatever fireworks we could to   counter the attack of the Sgt as he roamed around the trailer laughing like Jack Nicholson in the Shinning. We were being hunted down one by one.
 
Fissssssssssssst bang. He got one of his boys in the back leaving a quarter sized burn mark and an indelible mark on the poor kids mind only therapy and   men's group will ever cure.
 
SSSSSSSSSSST Bang. SSSSSSSSST Bang. One by one he let fly the ordinance until he was out and we had all scattered. Even though we had escaped we noticed that we lacked one thing in combating our foe. We had fireworks but no lighter. Thankfully Dale called a truce.
 
“Come on now……..Lets stop.' He said in his moment of clarity. Lets all set off the rocket. Dale held up a rocket that he had gotten earlier in the day.
 
“ Did you make that one too? “ I asked.
 
“Nope. This one is pre Made all the way in China. It will fly up and explode like them big time firecrackers do. I have also rigged up this strand to the rocket so when it goes it will start a chain reaction of fireworks going all over this place” He said putting the firework down on the clay he took his lit menthol out and placed the cherry near the fuse. With the fuse lit he backed away slowly in cat like fashion.
 
As the fuse burned, the wind picked up a bit. Not much but just enough to make the rocket teeter, and totter. Back and forth the rocket swayed until a final gust tipped it over   and I distinctly heard Dale say…
 
“Oh Shit……..”
 
The Rocket flew straight at the mobile Home, bounced off the siding and straight at us. We scattered. Smoke enveloped us as the rocket had now lost a rudder and was flying wild.
 
“Hit the Deck Hit the Deck!!!!!!!! “Yelled Dale his Army training coming out. The kids were screaming running for cover when the rocket took a turn and flew right up under the house. Dale repeated his mantra……
 
“Oh shit………..”
 
My immediate thought were that the rocket would explode a light the whole place on fire. Well the rocket did explode but the house was spared. I would assume that the water from the above ground pool that had leaked out during dale's grenade episode had moistened the ground the bottom of the house thus saving the house from fire. But although fate had intervened in saving the mobile home. Fate dealt a cruel final hand to the other Sarge. Sarge the dog. Remember Sarge was under the house after being shamed after being dipped for the mange. He was dipped in, as you recall, motor oil. If maybe by some chance knowing what was to happen next the mantra was again repeated by us all…….
 
“Oh Shit……..oh Shit ………oh Shit…”
 
From the bottom of the house a ball of yelping fire emerged racing round the lot like the rocket who set the blaze. Howling and turning the flames engulfed the dog. The kids were screaming for their pet. Blindly the dog ran right into the remains of the above ground pool and upon hitting the side of the tank the remainder of the water dumped on to the poor pooch leaving the animal gasping for air and smoldering but alive. Barely alive.
 
“My Dog!!!!!!!!!!!” Dale's sweetie yelled. “you Son of a bitch Dale!!!!!!” Her faithful friend smoldering the Whiskey fueled her rage as she attacked Dale. In one hand she held her drink and with the other she mercilessly beat him as a cigarette dangled from the corner of her mouth. This was the final straw in a pile of straw that had piled up over the years and been held in reserve waiting to erupt. The kids watched as their Dad was beat to the ground. The chain of fireworks he lit buzzed around like unfriendly fire in the combat zone. Dale lay their helpless whether stunned, shocked or having a flashback I will never know. I stood wondering if I had eaten a tab of acid and was actually still at home curled in a ball beneath my bed. But no, I was there a firework going in every direction, my date had wandered off and passed out in front of the Free TV to a UHF fuzzy glow and I was left to view Armageddon.
 
So what of the two Sarges.
 
I heard that Sarge the Dog crawled up under the house and lived his last days in quiet solitude. As for the other Sarge, Dale left never to return to the Double Wide Trailer on that red dirt road and began living in the Lonely Rose bar and grill dreaming of his Polka dancing princess and the ruffled dress she wore. And as for the owner of the lot, god old Grandpa had to come out and get the dog from underneath the ground lattice that surrounded the house.
 
As for me, I left the summer love of that year far behind but the memory of that fateful day is brought back every 4 th of July when someone asks the question, “Would you care for a HOT DOG?”
 
The Little things……                                  
Sometimes the whole story is short, sweet and happens so fast there is not need for embellishment or processing. It is these little things that keep the mind sharp at every turn.
 
Backpacking Gear…                                                  04-17-2003 to the top
 
On the campus of OU there was a guy, looking as if he was off tour with Phish, selling some back packing and camping gear on the sidewalk complete with hand painted sign “For Sale.” A Simple yet effective sign in the world of commerce. When asked why the sale of the miscellaneous miss matched outdoor gear was going on he replied,” There is a leather jacket that I want that will go great with my stripper persona.” When asked what exactly the persona was, he said “Cowboy.” I later learned the jacket was a full-length duster on sale at the mall at Wilson's. As the Belamy Brothers say, “Get into reggae hippie cowboy….
 
Late Night C-Store Tweekers,                                         07-18-2003 to the top
 
A Chevy Sportsman style conversion van was confused and having trouble exiting the parking lot as the driver could not figure out where the curb was. Inside one of his passengers had loaded up his haggard hands which looked as if he had just disassembled a Boeing aircraft engine, with a box of day old Krispy Crème donuts, a bottle of wine and what appeared to be twenty sticks of Slim Jim Jerky. He climbed into the conversion van to aid the driver with the nutritious bounty he had acquired. As he left the store, Tic Tac told me that he had no shoes and was wearing a pair of black socks with the soles worn out.
 
Yet another Random Asshole with a harmonica
 
Usually you can count on the random asshole with the harmonica to show up in the bar and play along with band from off the stage. This is a norm and is as expected as the obligatory yelp for “FREEBIRD”. Yet when it happens in the daylight, it is like you got sucker punched.
 
While outside on the patio of the now gone la Baguette coffee house in Norman enjoying the day a young man approached that we will call Josh. He came real close and with a glare he pushed out a question that had been on his mind.
 
“Hey do you play guitar? I have seen you play guitar.” He said. “Cause I play the harp.”
 
And without time to respond to the verbal melee he whipped out a Plexiglas “C” harmonica and began to wail a blue solo that sounded like a cross between the tornado siren and a Cat caught in the dumpster on hot August day.
 
After his musical assault he said,” I'm in AA and living in a halfway house right now trying to get a job and do what is right by the Lord. My dream is to be a gypsy musician living in a Greyhound Bus playn street corners and towns while trying to make enough money to make it to the next one.”
 
I was about to respond when, in a flash, he mounted his bike and left. I wanted to tell him that he should wait to join AA after the rambling of the bus-traveling musician is done.
 
Russell's Hotel Marriot Bar to the top
 

The Hotel bar is always a place where the weary traveler can knock the dust off their saddle and relax with a little hair of the dog that bit them. You can also find a painted lady resting her bones on the Lord's Day after a hard night on the job with a smoke nestled firmly in one hand and a Bloody Mary in the other. On one such “Sunday” we were playing when out of the bathroom a gal comes running out.” Stop the Music…Stop the Music…. I broke my toof.” She had fallen in the bathroom and busted out her front toof. She didn't seem to mind after a couple more drinks and smiled a toothless grin as she swayed in the gentle breeze of the Marriot AC.
 
This would not be too strange but the week before a waitress form a local bar had done the same thing.
 
Women are from Venus and Men must be from Alaska            06-13-2003 to the top
 
When the Moon is Full, strange and unexplained things seem to happen.The date known as Friday the 13 th , in auspicious date where it is to believed to be the unluckiest and witching day of the month. Where creatures of the night come out to circulate among the living. Made for cable t.v. specials on the “bizarre' the “strange” and the “unknown” have capitalized on the superstition.
 
  Now much in the fashion of “your peanut Butter is on my chocolate….no your chocolate is on my peanut better”, the combination of these two superstitions: the full moon on Friday the 13 th , and you have a recipe for the macabre. Such was the setting for the Tapwerks in OKC Hosty Duo show during the Full Moon on Friday the 13 th .
 
Tapwerks is a small converted gas station that fell into disarray and was resurrected during the early 90's to house a cigar bar/ Ale Tap room consisting over well over 100 taped beers. Compared too most bars and venues we play in the Tapwerks is upscale and enjoys a clientele of certain economic means.
 
We arrived to find that they had built a stage in the corner of the room. Now normally we would load everything to a perch up a flight of stairs, but when the venue booked Red Dirt hero Stoney larue into the play list, the stage was built in his honor. Now, the irony is that Stoney fell deathly ill and could not perform on the stage built in his honor.
 
Load in was load in. Heavy box hurt Hulk's groin. Hulk need beer. Beer good. Fire bad. Sorry, when lading huge boxes my mind reverts back to the Clan of the Cave bear and my adrenal glands perk up. We set up and began to play.
 
That night, there were several celebrations occurring. The first was a birthday for a Mid First banker employee who was turning 40 years of age. Isn't that bizarre? The kind of thing that would only happen on Friday the 13 th ? Just kidding..
 
The second was a family reunion of a group of folks who joined families in Alaska and Oklahoma. Now usually the union of folks from Arkansas and Oklahoma raise the level of terror alert when in a bar as the booze starts flowing they can tear the place to the ground.
 
But tonight, the night of the full moon on Friday the 13 th something odder happened. Something even more bizarre. For the light of full moon through the windows of the small venue was about to show where the term Lunatic came from.
 
During the first set one of the reunion members, the eldest brother decided to get the party started by putting the “40 Birthday” Wal-Mart folding design party favor on his head and strut around like a chicken on the dance floor. As he did I decided to comment in the fashion of the Discovery Channel British announcer. Kind of like this:
 
“As the male enters the dance floor, he puts an ornament on his head to attract the female. Gyrating as shimming to the sound of the music he hope to mate with an inviting female.”
As another bar patron passed by to go to the bathroom, he turned his attention towards him, oblivious to my ranting which was making the reunion party bust a stitch or two.
 
I continued, “ The male, not finding a female, sometimes resorts to following a male.”
It was a choreographed dance that went perfectly with the commentary. As I spoke he hammed it up even more even removing his rented tuxedo shirt and shoes.
 
His brother seeing that his older sibling was getting all of the attention entered the dance floor also with a party favor on his head. As the two imitated each other, they did look like a couple of roosters competing for the hens in Mutual of Omaha fashion . After which the two rivals settled down, gave each other high fives and sat to Asses the amount of sweat they had worked up.
 
The reunion group from Alaska was subdued for the next couple of minutes   and sat quietly in the corner with rented tuxedo's and formal wear gently sipping adult beverages in a Victorian manner until……………Someone asked for a Surf tune. Now keep in mind the Moon, the date, but add in a surf tune and beer………………..and you can imagine what happened.
The two oldest boys from a family of seven lurched on to the dance floor flailing their arms in Drunken monkey Style Kung Fu Fashion. It was a brotherly form of moshing, where one brother would grab the other in a wrestling move and administer a nootgie on top of the head, the other would throw him to the ground and wrestle around a bit. The crowd watched at first in amusement, which soon turned to terror as the Surf tune increased in intensity so did the Brothers from Junno, Alaska.   Swinging each other around in whirlwind fashion, one of them fell flat on his face. The thud that occurred when his face hit the hardwood floor was much like the sonic waves created when a hunk of ham wrapped in plastic falls to the showroom floor. I though the show was over. But in true bar room fashion, he leaped up to proclaim “OK…. I am OK” as if waiting for news from his corner to continue the fight of permission from the ref.
 
The elder brother in a surprise move grabbed the little brother and flung him into the cigarette machine, wrapping his hand around his kin and rabbit punching him in the back of the head. As the crowd watched, the crowd creped closer as the brother's shinaagins turned into what resembled an Irish Bar fight from the 1860's in the old west. During the melee, the Brother in Law came out to the dance floor, laughing hysterically and trying to break them up when Middle Bro performed a Brothers Karamazov back flip and kicked his brother in law in the face…not once but twice….
 
Sensing they we getting out of hand they retired to the back, and middle bro looked as if he had had enough…when he lurched into the group and toppled the whole party into the table. It was a scene straight out of Hooper staring Burt Reynolds…. The eldest brother escaped the bottom of the pile to return to the dance floor and continue his Dance Fever assault. But don't count the middle son out because, and here is where the mot memorable event of the evening took place, He assumed a Jimmy Super Fly Snuka stance ala WWF on the top rope of the Squared circle and leaped off his perch onto his brother slamming him to the ground. The crowd gasped and was slowing wondering, where is the door guy?
 
After the leap the show was over, drenched in sweat I decided to halt the surf tune before they spilled onto another table.
 
I approached the mic and said, “ladies and Gentlemen give it up for the Folks from Alaska. They are having a hell of a time.
 
As soon as my words left my lips, the eldest of the group, in a sweat drenched rented tuxedo top torn open from the tangling tango climbed on stage and grabbed the mic. The room fell silent as to wonder what words of wisdom the gallant warrior of the Ale room would say.
“We may be from Alaska. Not form Oklahoma, But we don't @#$%   around.” And he exited the stage, like an all Star who had played his last game to a silent and respectful group.
 
“A man of Few words” I said…knowing that any more could result in an on stage display.
 
Later that night as the full moon faded, the beer-stained floor began to coagulate and the smell of the smoke settled into my clothes, asked the door guy if he saw what was going on at all. He said he did and earlier the elder of the two had smashed a beer glass on the floor only to apologize in drunken guy fashion of disbelief followed by apology, “What?…….I am sorry I am just trying to have fun.”
 
 
It was a scene Hollywood could not have choreographed better. 19th century mock bar brawl between brothers from Junno Alaska where they search for the Klondike gold. The kind of thing that only seems to happen on nights of full moons, Friday the 13ths and nights the Hosty Duo plays.
 
Fort Smith...the Wedding Brawl to the top to the top


Fort Smith Arkansas was the site of the legendary posse that musicians only dream about. You see there are always hecklers and guys yelling Freebird in the crowd and band is basically powerless to stop them unless they learn the Lynard Skynard song. But that night at the Wedding reception by the river was a night all musicians live for.
You see we were set up in a park on top of a Levee on the Arkansas river. A river that flows right into the Mississippi. That levee was right across from the gallows of Judge Parker, the infamous Hanging judge who would hang time Life book subscribers just for snoring to loud. Now remember this symbol of justice. It will become way to eiree as the story unfolds. As we were playing a young fella came up and asked if he could play guitar because well he knew how to play and he was real good too.
I said no as nicely as I could but he persisted asking me what kind of guitar I had, if I knew any Sabbath or Joe Walsh etc. His question became more and more pointed. You know the exact moment when someone is taking to you and you realize they are trying to tease or haze you. Well, it was that moment The organizer of the party seeing that this drunk guy would not let up came over and politely asked him to leave, which he didn’t. Finally he left, thanks to the organizer Bill. Bill apologized and I said no problem.
Thinking it was over we sat on the top of the Levee when the shit hit the fan. All of a sudden I see Bill, who is 6 foot 260 chasing they guy who was talking to me across the park. The heckler jumped in a pickup truck that had fishtailed into the park like out of a Steve Mcqueen movie and shot up dirt everywhere. Bill yelled to his partner and they all followed suit by jumping into another waiting pick up truck as they sped out of site.
Bill and the Heckler Posse eventually caught up the guy on Main Street Garrison and pulled him out of the bar and proceeded to beat the living hell out of him in the street. And then jumping back in th truck and racing away like Zorro after he had saved the village from the outlaws.
Upon returning to the park, Bill informed us that they guy had called him a "Fat fuck" and that had set Bill’s purge valve off leaving him no choice than to beat the Heckler to a pulp. Combined with the Heckling of the band he didn’t stand a chance. So there you have a story of redemption for all the bands of the world from the guy who yells Freebird. In one instance he took on the sins of the Heckling world and received the proper Karmic response. And not even at my hands!!!~Hosty Out
Halloween at Howlers to the top
Ah the holiday season is coming faster that the Devil on Sunday. But the best holiday seems to be Halloween. People get all dressed up and assume the identity of their garb. In addition to that they all get wasted and make for one of the best party times of the year. You can see a drunk pirate trying to fight Nixon. You get the idea I love Halloween. This months episode involves my first Halloween gig at a South OKC Biker bar called Howlers.
What is Howlers you ask? Well to begin with the place doesn’t have a door and the floor is made primarily of dirt and gravelized shards of broken bottle glass. The mens bathroom is located in the form of a feeding trough along the wall so you don’t have to mess with the hassle of opening a door and going in a room. Oh there is no shame for the patrons...everyone is alright with it. The patrons are composed of the Biker element from episodes of Cops. Gold paint rings were even seen being sported by on fellow passed out in the corner.
How did I get this gig? The Band was Zulu King and featured Lex 'Lord of Drums' who had been known to play his drums with bloody fists, and Jammin John Cook on the bass. We didn’t have too many gigs so the DJ at Sugars who was a Rock and Roll Rick Wakeman style Keyboard player complete with open chested shirt and gold medallions along with a New York Accent asked us if we would back him up on a Halloween gig. The pay was 50 dollars a guy. I said hell YES!!!!!
Now remember the description of the club I gave earlier.
I had no idea.
We get there and see the place. John, who for all the years I have known him has been up for anything says
"I am Scared. We are going to die."
Trying to be cheerful I said "Oh, it can’t be that bad."
So we set up and played.
The crowd started to turn a little ugly, aparently James Brown is not what bikers listen too. Go figure. Then John says something that sounds like it came out of a movie, in fact it is from a movie. " We better play something these people like and fast!"
So we tear into a classic rock barrage that leaves them wanting more. And we were safe for the time being. But the gig is not the story here it is the Haloween costume contest and the people in it.
The participants were only four. The first was a Giant of a Biker who wanted in the contest. It didn’t seem to matter that he was not wearing a costume but nobody had the heart or balls to tell him. Contestent number two was a nurse. Yes a nurse who had gotten off of work as a nurse and was shit faced drunk pole dancing to Paranoid. She ended up falling over on the dirt floor passed out from libation. The third guy was some kind of cat man who stumbled across the stage only to put his head down on a table and pass out.
The final contestent was a beauty. She was a pro, a ringer, if you will. Obviously an exotic dancer she wowed the crowd with her "ART" and subsequntly won the contest. But during her coronation the contest was halted. It appeared that there was a water leak of some kind coming towards the stage. But it wasn’t water. You see the cat-man was pissing his pants as he sat passed out at a table. So the kindly bar keep who looked like the pro Wrestler Gerge the Animal Steele picked him up and threw him out the doorless door. Then the queen was free to survey her kingdom.Over and Out...Hosty

 

Where’s Yer Flippers? to the top
The Outdoor music festival known as the Groovefest canopied beneath the shady trees of Abe Andrew’s WPA Amphitheater is a Norman Tradition.
The good folks at Amnesty International provide a day of music on Sunday afternoon where folks from all over the municipality come to hang out, picnic and picnic. As with every outdoor event there is always that one guy or gal who has been there all day long and started the party a few days before not even taking time to come up for air.
Such people are written off as insane, drunk or methed up.
Some would call them hecklers, interfiering with the show.
I say these folks are seerers of the future.
Such was the setting for the Abe Andrew’s Park Prophet.
The Wife and I set out Sunday afternoon from our State Street address to covert in the park while enjoying the sites and sounds of the A.I. Groovefest. It is a time to see all of the folks in the daytime you usually only see at night. Dogs of every size and shape provide much need lawn matneince in the for of fertilizer, the sno cone guy, activist booths and also the bands. We picked a shady spot under an evergreen tree to watch the music unfold. We laid out a “blanket on the ground” knocked off our flip flops and kicked back.
On the stage was non other than leather pants clad Falcon Five O playing their radio family friendly brand of generic rock. As they lumbered through their set, a festival goer had taken her place on the front of the stage, literally on the stage and was rocking out. This haggard concert goer looking much in the vein of the Wicked Witch of the West on PCP saluted the band with the rock horns and then proceed to take one of the lead singers flip flops that he had removed and casually walked off. As we watched, the Falcon’s dispatched one of their cronies to follow the lady and retrieve the shoe, which he had quite a time but finally prevailed in returning the missing piece of footwear.
From this point is when the prophecy began.
“Where is your shoe’s? you Crybaby!!” she yelled
and continued to yell during the whole rest of the OKC’s Falcon Five O’s set to which the lead singer was powerless to respond to the verbal hazing. He stood with no reply resorting only to a mid 80’s Nuno Bettencourt inspired guitar twirl in hopes to silence the shoe pilfered.
His antics only served to inspirer her rage.
”aint got no flippers!!!!!!
Where is yer Flippers!!!!
Where is yer flippers.”
She ranted.
“where is yer shoes!!
Where did you get em Walgreens?”
she raved in a quivering voice ala Katherine Heburn on meth.
And she would not stop.
She was consumed with the shoes.
She apparently wanted those shoes.
“Where are yer flippers!???!???
Get them Fliippers?!” She yelled
Bill Richards, stunt bartender at the Deli, even got in on it with a
“Where is yer flippers?”
To a smattering of applause, the Falcon Five O ended their set with not a bang but with a whimper, obviously phased by the verbal battery at the hands of the haggard lady.
But her ravings were not confined to the band and her taking of the shoes was not meant for them for as the wife Kellie and I returned from purchasing a Coke, with crushed ice of course, and made it back to our blanket she noticed something ary.
“Where are my shoes?” She asked
“Someone stole my shoes.”
I said” You mean your Flippers? from Walgreens?”
The crazy heckler from the crowd was not crazy indeed, nor was she a heckler. Her words had proven true. And although this did not help the wife’s feelings on loosing the shoe, she did concede that the missing flippers had been foretold.
And from the back we heard,
“Where Are yer shoes?”
And it was all clear,
the haggard one was not as she seemed but a prophet foreseeing the theft of the “flippers”.
Yes the prophet is never revered in their home town.
So next time you see that one guy ranting and raving at the concert,
listen closely , don’t dismiss him as crazy he could be foretelling of tales yet to come.

 

Cleaned Out 3-25-2003 to the top


Most people hate the familiar ring of the telemarketer who interrupts at the most in opportune time to try and sell everything from miracle diets to Siding. My patented reply to get them off of the phone is simple and goes something like this. “hello Mr. hosty. We are offering a special and we need to confirm your address are you still at..”...........
I interrupt before they can finish and say,”
“What are you wearing?” and with that i usually hear the dial tone. last month however i forgot my technique and ended up getting cleaned out.
A Monday evening and the phone rings with the cheerful voice of an operator who informs me that her operatives, or Team as she called them will be in the area and was wondering if i would like to have my ducts cleaned. having undergone a recent throat operation, my curiosity over the in home pollutants was peaked and i thought that yes having the air ducts to remove mildew and mold would be a bully idea. I envisioned a crew of three with a large tanker truck hooked up to the ducts in my house sucking out all the harmful bacteria and growth of the years making my home smell angel fresh. You see i had heard of the dangers of air borne pollutants as i watched late night infomercials for the ionic Breeze. I was educated indeed. So send them over, I said.
With a confirmation call, within two days the team was there knocking at my door. we had planned a get together with some friends that night and I assured the wife that the clean ducts would add to a festive party atmosphere. she agreed until I opened the door.
in front of the house was the cleaning team truck that resembled a third world public transport bus that should have been filled with chickens and lined with old tires. And the cleaning crew- a husband and wife team whose communication and work place interaction with each other indicated to me that they had not yet red Men are from mars and Women are form Venus. Armed with a clipboard the male spoke.
“I need to asses your ducts.”
“Well OK I said.”
and let them in and he walked through the house looking at all of the ducts to clean and in all we had 10. “That is ten ducts that is 100 dollars, 10 per duct.” He said. What a bargain, clean air for only 100 dollars. I wonder what type of equipment they have. As i was day dreaming about the pure country air about to pour out of the outdates Central heat and Air system, a nightmare took its place.
Across the lawn the female was hauling a hose and vacuum unit that looked like R2-D2’s stunt double circa 1976. around her waits was a a tool belt of spray bottles filled with all of the colors of the rainbow. Dragging the unit in house, she quickly found a plug, hoisted the ladder and turned on her R2 unit.
As the vacuum fired up I was reminded of the Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the Ark was opened and all of the demons from the centuries flew out, destroying all in their path. this vacuum was truly the Ark of Cleveland County for when she flipped the switch the stench of ten thousand piss soaked mattresses came out of the filter and filled the whole house with the foulest smelling recirculatied air imaginable. It was as if someone had opened the containment field at Ghosbuster Central. My house was now the holland tunnel, a swirling Mass of odor that word fail to accurately pin point
my wife came out of the back of the house with a look on her usual cheerful visage that was more in the Hell raiser motif. I tried to calm her concerns but I was having trouble breathing and gathering enough air in my lungs to muster up,
“What in the Hell is going on?”
As the Dynamic Cleaning team whisked through the house dragging the battered R2 Vacuum and stepping up on a ladder to clean the ducts,
My University of Oklahoma education kicked in from the recess of my Cerebellum. Now the term “Duct Cleaning” is elusive. the Duct i learned was not the Entire Home Heating and Air Tube that you would see like in a restaurant hanging over head. the “Duct “ is merely the 12 inch piece of metal that is on the ceiling. Yep, the little piece of metal you see when you look up on your ceiling. they unscrewed them and wiped them down with the rainbow palette of cleaning agents that smelled much like Rock Creek Road and I 35 when Moore is all stirred up late after the witching hour.
The thing that got me was that the vacuum was on for only effect.
they never used it.
It was a diversion to make the house smell so bad that the tenants would leave and not see that the Duct cleaning was only about cleaning a 12 inch piece of metal from the ceiling.
Now i have been to the State Fair and been had by the Carnival sidemen pitching softballs and dropping rings but This took the cake mind you,.... the whole bakery. My house now smelled like Mr. abernathy’s dog had drank ten gallons of Cranberry juice and deposited it on the rug, just in time for our party.
Hauling the dented aluminum vacuum out the door, the team loaded up the truck and came back in to present me with a bill. I thought, you know this scam is so good they deserve their hundred dollars. They had got me good, real good. So I said, “Honey , pay the good man.”
So when you get that call that says “Our Duct Cleaning team is going to be in the Area......” Save yourself some trouble, get a step ladder and a bottle of Windex and save your 100.00 bucks or you too will be cleaned out.


Stop, hey what's that Sound? Roadside Surgery Part I          July 05,2002 to the top
 
The words most seasoned travelers fear most on the road is: “Do you hear something funny coming from the engine?” which is only preceded by the second thing a driver does not want hear: “Is that the wheel coming off into the ditch?” Both are paramount to the telling of this Texas interstate tale.
 
Usually, the blasts of Classic rock by Boston on the FM radio dial drown out the potential road problems, masking the sound until it is too late. Yet, traveling in our van over the past ten years I've developed a peculiar talent to decipher odd mechanical dings, pings, grinds and bumps. The acoustical properties of potential road trouble are as different as the genes that make up life itself- each with its own signature all of its own.
 
For example, when the van caught on fire thanks to a blown heater core under the dash, not only was the interior of the van filled with a poisonous gas, but the squealing of a steam engine – much like that of the Monitor or the Merrimac- could be heard, a volume that is rivaled only by the Friday noon tornado siren test in Hometown Norman.
 
Of course I thought the fire was due to the overheating of my Glen Campbell “live at royal hall” tape that had been lodged in the tape player for the past several weeks continuously playing “Sunflower” and a patriotic medley of Glen Campbell cocaine show rock.
 
And when my lovely and talented wife, Mrs. Kellie Lynne Hosty, took the helm during a stint through the badlands of new Mexico, the odd sound of a buzz saw ping, followed by something that sounded like a little midget throwing a rock at the engine, and a rattle accompanied by the van locking up and drifting off the road, could only mean that the belt housing pulley that holds the engine together came off.
 
Luckily, we broke down next to a 24 hour AutoZone in Albuquerque on route 66 and happened upon a journeyman mechanic on his way to a Mexican fiesta. While he fixed the engine his amigo took me on a ride in his supped up turbo charged Honda. We reached mach 2 in that thing as he laughed hysterically as we spun into the Conoco to buy some beer to pass the time. On returning we were back on the road in no time.
 
Saturday June 22, 2002 Austin Texas
 
  On the way from Austin to Norman to play a gig at the Cleveland County's home of Live music- the deli- I heard…a sound. A sound unlike any sound I had heard before.
“Did you hear that?” I asked tic Tac, interested only in the Amon Tobin minidisk he was trying to jar loose, did not reply.
 
The van took a wide swipe to the right. A grinding sounded, much like a coffee machine revving up or breathing as I have been told.
 
Squealing, the van swerved to the right again- hard. The brakes went out. As my foot pushed the pedal to the floor the speedometer as 70mph, I could only think in incomplete sentences in true action movie fashion. The wheel locked d up and the van drifted towards the bar ditch as the packed I-35 weekend city traffic closed in.
“Is that the Wheel” I felt like a cartoon character….”mother.”
“Pull over. Pull over.Easy..hosty Pull over…” Tic Tac finally heard and the van was pulling itself over by itself, so I let go of the wheel…just kidding.
A familiar sight- the van on a jack by the side of the road swaying in the wind wake of passing trucks, my rock and roll dreams in a ditch by the Texas road. Mud flap gravel spit on us by truckers and the sun wasn't helping either. A tow truck was called thanks to AA and a rental car was reserved.
“We aren't going to make it back in time to play,” Tic Tac said.
“Yes we are,” I replied. “Yes we are.”
I had to repeat myself because it was a made for TV moment, or at least ABC after school special moment.
 
One phone call to a Austin and we were saved. Thanks to 40 minutes of hell drummer and my former band mate, Scott Mason, who expatriated to Austin, we made it back to Norman with minutes to spare and a tale to tell. Ironically, while in a band with Scott the wheel had come off on Sooner road after a five hour late night jaunt from Little rock to Norman where I hit the curb doing 60.
 
 
 
The Hobo Association to the top
To:
The ABLE Commission
Liquor Wholesalers Association
Oklahoma Gazette
From:
The HOBO Association
P.O. Box 843
Norman, Oklahoma 73070
Regarding the sale of Oklahoma Wine
We hobo’s are a wayfayering group that sails the steel rails of the land pitching our tents in different towns depending on which way the wind blows. Our lives are based on scampn and shirkn work just enough to keep our belly’s full and our mind clear. One vital element in this equation is wine. Wine is the Hobo’s freind, enemy, companion and sage. And on stop overs in the Sooner sate, we love to drink Oklahoma Wine, the sweet fruit of the vine that is available only here in the Indian Nation.
Now we may not be taxpayers in the traditional sense, but due to the tremendous amount of we as a group pruchases we feel as if we make a strong contribution to the local economy’s where ever we go. Why liquor and wine tax, build schools, pave roads, provide health care funding, f uel the state Tobaco Trust and provide funds for the cogs and tinkers of civil government.
During many of my travels I do not have the luxery of a word processor to convey the sentiments of my small but visible contingent of gentleman loafers. My last typing device was a well worn 1950’s Smith Corona tyewriter whom I lost while jumping the rails from the Sante Fe to the Burlington North. My trused companion, a mutt named mutt also didn;t make the trip home but bought the farm as the yard boss beat him to death with a baton chasing me and a vietnam vet named Yoakum out of a Hooverville just south of Dallas. However, that is a matter for the function of government concerned with cruelty to animals, which is a different letter for a different day.
We Hobo’s wish to confront the ABLE Commision for thier wisdom in keeping Oklahoma Wine from grocery stores. We hobo’s are more afraid of Politicians underage sons and daughters from fraternities but cases of 3.2 beer from Homeland.
Also the wisdom in not letting the wine be sold in stores is perplexing, almost as much as the inability for producers of the Sooner state wine to sell thier product to other states. Oklahoman’s can buy wine from France,California, Arkansas and Texas but Oklahoma producers can not send thier product out of thier own state.
Sincerely
The HOBO Association
P.O. Box 843
Norman, OK 73070

 

Hosty Duo’s Golden Country Hits Liner Notes to the top


Credits:
All songs were written by Michael Hosty for Hosstone Music ASCAP 2003
Recording Credits:
Cleveland County Cage, Wrote You a Letter, Save some Love and Truck Stop Shower Stall
were recorded live in person at Nita’s Hideaway in Pheonix, AZ by a fellow named Alan Johnny Cash,
Molokai Cowboy, Applesauce, The General part I, The Generel Part II and Tiki Lounge
we all recorded at Hosstone Studio’s in Norman, OK.
Destination Hawaii was recorded at Wookn Pa Nub studio by Cory Roberts in Norman, OK
Que Haya, Guitar-O and Gunfighter were recorded in Norman, Oklahoma at Trent Bell’s Studio.

The Story of the Album to the top

To make space in the musical shed for new songs, you got to clear out the old.
Most of these songs were never released but have been played over the past several years
in smokey bars, near dumpsters, drunken fraternity parties, art galleries, weddings,
and into the clear night air following trials of smoke out into the parking lot.
The Ford E-150 van that carried these songs battered from the blacktop hums these songs
as it sits in the cold, the rain and drives the heat of the highways in search of the next
60 dollar show a tank of gas and maybe if its lucky the waiting shelter of a grove of trees.The Songs to the top
We should start with the song that more or less broke up the band,
The General and the only sequel song better than the original the General Part II.
These two classics were recorded off the top of my head while someone is doing the dishes in the background.
During the recording sessions for the now defunct country super group Ten Pound Hammer,
tracks were being laid down and songs were being mixed to the delight of the band.
On one of these fateful days I had the idea to bring in a four track recorded at home
with some experimentation in mind.
See, if I could record the songs at home and then bring them to the studio I would save some time and money on the recording process. With four track in hand I entered the studio armed with a couple of songs I had recorded spontaneously at home.
During the transfer from the little four track recorded to the giant tape machine all
in the tiny studio were amazed at the ability of the Hi Fi german tape machine to beef
up the home made recording. Tic Tac, Chief Engineer Bell, ol Eric Harmon, and myself
were all laughing at the song as well as how well the experiment was going when
Col.Buck Steven's showed up late to the session, walking in the door.
Hearing the song seemed to wipe the smile form his face, turning smile to stone.
The Col. sat in the corner as the Epic saga about the Catfish play on. The more we laughed
at the song, the redder the face of the Col. got. Tears began to well up in the drooping eyes
until I asked the Col. what in tar nation was the matter.
“I didn’t really kill that fish” I said, thinking the emotions garnered from the heart
wrenching tale of my limited angling experience were bringing the Col. down.
“I thought we each were going to have the same amount of songs on the record?”
he said in a timid and trembling voice. Mighty Col. was having what appeared to be
a breakdown, as each bar of the home recording lumbered on.
“This is just an experiment.” I answered, “Who wants to listen to a fifteen minute song
about a fish anyway?” We all laughed and the Col. exhumed a half hearted gasp of air but
it was clear that the Col. wanted to command.
But the flood gate of the Col’s fragile eggshell Ego had been opened and the Col. would soon
resort to tac tics nor before seen by the likes of Cluff and Tic Tac that ultimately lead
to the Col. throwing accusations and a beer bottle tantrum on the stage , storming out
the door under a babbling of third grade mockery and into the lore of 309 White Street, Norman,O.K.
Gunfighter is also from the fabled Ten Pound hammer sessions and is dedicated to the Clint Eastwood in all of us. What I really wanted was a DVD video to accompany the song I had always envisioned during the Western Porno trumpet solo a couple making love in a late 1800’s whore house, when right at the moment when the fellow consummates their union the door is kicked open by a jealous lover and he is simultaneously shot with a shot gun blast, bleeding over his love, slumping over her body. Just a thought.
The final song from the ill fated Ten Pound hammer sessions is Que Haya, which is a reminding about a lost love in ol Mexico by a gringo who doesn’t quite have a grasp of the language. With accordion played by Ryan Jones, the song also features the debut of my first guitar captured on tape. the TakaHaru Special was purchased for 100 dollars at Larsen music in 1979 by my mom. It finally made it to tape after only 20 plus years.
The live tracks included on the album were recorded by a fellow named Alan from Phoenix, Arizona at Nit’s Hideaway a seedy musical dive located near an Adult Novelty shop a breakfast joint and miles of searing hot blacktop. my wife had just flown in from Oklahoma, and i was so juiced up i think I played the craziest guitar I have ever played in my life.
Included in this group is Cleveland County Cage, a little song about small towns, weed and the police. A theme around many small towns.
Also in the Truck stop Shower Stall which was inspired during a trek to omaha nebraska with the group Hosty and the Silvertones. i think the song speaks for itself.
Wrote you a Letter and Save Some Love are a couple of rag time tunes that feature the rock steady tic Tac on the percussion and the bass mate II on the bass, which is my right foot. these two ragtime tunes also bear the scars of the kazoo which was taped to a Microphone to give us the Budget Saxophone sound making trained musicians cringe at the thought they took years to master the sax a phone while someone in the crowd that mentioned to me, “The sax player was off tonight. i couldn’t see him but he was a little off.”
Guitar-O starts the album off, which is fitting seeing how it in of the first tunes recorded at bell labs, where the Heater album burnone and all of the Hosty Trio albums were recorded. Guitar-O is an ill fated western super hero who can destroy villages with a mere stroke of his wrist on the strings of the guitar, A Pre 20th Century Esteban, if you will. On the bass is Norman Legend, and bassist for Cinderbiscuits, Paul Schiavo who has since left the Sooner state for greener pastures in the big city of New York.
Destination Hawaii was recorded in May of 1995 at Wookn Pa Nub studio in norman by Cory Robert's after a night of drinkn at Cafe 66 on main Street norman that left me in the back alley underneath a power grid serving station near a steaming dumpster heaving my innards out much in the fashion of a Sea cucumber. it was also my first attempt at Electronica, utilizing a Casio keyboard drum machine. Not to forget the debut of “little Roy’ the ragged lap steel that bears the signatures of Dale Watson, Lemmy from Motorhead and Nashville Pussy. i had finally learned how to play the thing halfway. The hangover didn't help me keeping in tune.
Also on the record are a few tracks recorded in the ol Hosty house with the aid of the a for mentioned four track recorder. These include Johnny Cash, Applesauce, Molokai Cowboy and Tiki Lounge.
Johnny Cash is a truckn song. There are miles of highway and miles of truck stop floor space where travelers can get anything from cb’s to Marty Robbins tapes, tire hammers, lights, greasy meals, ingredients for roadside meth production and chains. Truckn always takes you away but always brings you home. Sometimes the love we leave behind is better left as the memory's fondness fades into the blacktop.
Applesauce is an ode to a gal I met at a summer outing near an above ground pool party in Logan county Oklahoma. She was a hulk of a woman who had designed her own BMX/motocross course which i took ride on. After dumping the bike and scarring my leg she remedied the situation by having me dunk my leg in the chlorinated above ground swimming hole. I bear the scars to this day. Oh yeah.....she had no teeth.
Tiki Lounge is dedicated to Dave, Bill and John whose backyard Tiki party inspired the song. The song also feature Alex Mackie on the bass the original Hosty Trio up right bass player featured on the 1996 recording Volume. He and tic Tac had formed a Hip hop ensemble where the rhyme section was referred to as the Reactor Core.........Alex also was famed for impromptu UFC battles on off nights where there were no holds barred and a 12 pack time limit. The only escape was to tap out..............Uncle....i wimper.
Molokai Cowboy is dedicated to my lovely wife who bought me a ukulele for a wedding gift. I had no idea how to play it, but one night a revelation that soon Hawaiian Cowboy songs were on the comeback, Mel Bay imparted the knowledge of the ukulele.


Prairie Dog Town USA to the top

If the people from PETA ever drive through Kansas they better not stop at Priarre Dog town, home of the worlds largest parrie dog. But if you are anyone else, it is one of the all time great Road side Attractions I have ever seen.
Miles after miles of endless plains can make anyone go quite insane. So when ever couple miles you are tempted by signs such as, "Worlds Largest Prarrie Dog."………"See the 5 Legged Cow."………….. "Buffalo Herd"………."Worlds only Prarie Dog Village."………"Great Food"…..(That one puzzled me)………you must stop and see.
And stop we did. I talked Tic Tac into paying my way and he was just about as excited as I was. What could it be I thought, a little metroplis of happy little prarrie creatures scampering about wearing little clothes and wandering about….animals living in the lap of luxery……no my friend…….It was a gift shop/ row of cunmarked cages with animals half crazed running in circles. On top of that there were prairre dogs everywhere worshipping the giant 10 ton Prarrie Dog statue. It was certainly something you could see in a Charlton Heston disaster movie. Oh yeah the five legged and six legged cow were in a pen chewing a cud with their hind legs twiching like nervous fingers on a prozac taking grammer school principal. There were buffalo too lying in the sweltering heat of the noonday Kansas sun.
Now some may call these kind of tings cruel, but let me tell you something, at least these creatures have a place to spend there remaining days with food and a little space to run around as well as worship in the site of the Worlds Largest Prairre Dog. My heart pounded as I drew closer, but the closer I got the more I realized that the worlds largest rodent was not alive………………Yet he was thirty feet tall and three tons of…….painted cement. The worlds largest praire dog is a monolith of stone on the Kansas plains that looks as if it was placed there thousnads of years ago, where natives danced around its base sacrificing virgins, goats and small priarre dogs…But it did beg the question of the ages ..What do you feed a three ton prarrie dog……………..
Tic Tac laughed. And back in van we went to ride across I-70 to Colorado where the image of the prarrie dog would haunt us, aid us and appear to us in clouds of carbon diaoxide after bouts with bootles and pipes.

Sparky's to the top

Events sometimes become legendary. And Sometimes they don't. Enter Mark Nation. He is a promoter in the OKC area who with his sidekick Lee manage a talent company Free Nation Netertainment based in the City of Moore's Sparky's. Now Sparkys, for background, is located in a mini mall or strip mall and has the decor of a Sport's bar. You know jerseys on the wall University of Oklahoma sports memoribilia, cardboard silouttes of football's greats tatered and stained with I would hope is liquid. Everytime we play sometihing interesting happens. And he always has a great rock and roll saga to tell.
We got to Sparky's driving through the raveged city of Moore who just the week before was the scene for one of the worst tornado's to hit the area in a long long time. Trees uprooted, cars bent like bows around motley mangled telephone pole and houses reduced to piles of twigs scattered the highway and side streets. I looked like someone had taken a giant lawn mower and plowed up a square mile of houses for as far as you could see. Utter disaster. Please send them donations like to the Red Cross. I had to add that in and be serious for just for a little bit.
Anyway we got Sparky's and played the gig. During the course of the evening we blew a couple breakers, drank some beer, told some tall tales and messed up playing occasionally. To one such occasion when Wiser said" I am having a bad night" I responded with the words to a fampous country group Alablama who sing "That is close enough to perfect for me." To which Wiser perked up and we finished playing. I didn't think much of the comment, but someone in the crowd did.
After fifinshing and saying goodbye to all the kind drinking buddies we have a large jar head muscle bound South sider approached me. He said, "You got a minute to talk."
I said "Sure, hold on I am talking to a friend of mine and will be done in a second." As I kept talking he interupted again saying," Do you have a second I need to talk to you."
Ending my coversation I turned around to answer the behemoths call. Maybe he wanted a cd or a shirt or tell us he just plain enjoyed the show. Unforutunately that was not the case.
"How many number one records do you have?" he said
Is this a trick question I thought to myself but chose to answer instead " Well, none that I can think of."
" I heard you make fun of country group Alabama. They are my favorite group and I was about to come on stage and tell you how I felt with my fists."
" You mean like Senor Wenchas?" I said. The ill fated hand puppet of 50's televison who was the inspiration for the Taco Beuno hand. Senor Wenchas apparently died of Erotic Ashpiciation. There is a joke in there somewhere. Anyway it was giving me precious time, to think…..
What the hell was he talking about? I hadn't said anything………..wait a second I sang the verse to Super group Country sensation Alabama's "Close enoung to Perfect for Me." When Wiser was feeling a little leary on his playing that night. I needed to think fast. Either I needed a shiny nickel whose glare would distract to giant of a man or I could use…………The Jedi mind trick.
"Well were you paying attention the whole show. We joke about everything. Even our favorite groups" I said.
"Oh yeah but Alabama has sold 40 top Gold records with number one hits How Many do you……" he responded. I interupted him with a wave of my hand.
" Well listen we joke around, that is part of the show and if you didn't get it I sure am sorry. Most folks come to have a good time. Did you come to have a good time?" I said
" Yes I came to have a good time." He said in robotic fashion.
"Well you know Alabama used to stay in the parking lot and sin autographs after every show and meet with their fans? We sometimes joke that it would be funny to have them out in the parking lot while we are playing. See now that would be funny. You like funny things?" I said.
And then a strange transformation came about him. I think the Jedi trick had served to confuse the poor giant of a man and he walked away saying," I came to have a good time and funny." I could also swear I heard him say someting about " Shiny Nickel. Me like Shiney Nickel." Or maybe that was my Mind again.
And I learned a valuable lesson on the power of the Super group Alabama.
After avoiding anihilation by the likes of a musclehead we were ready to load out and get on the road. But the fun wasn't over yet. We heard a great second hand rock and roll story. The second hand ones are always better due to embelishments and the passage of time, where feats of stupidity become heroic and vice versa.
Mark, the promoter and part time bouncer, ended the night with a story of the brawl of the week before. It seems that two buddies at a local resturant lounging at Sparky's for Employee Appreciation night, became engaged in a battle straghit out of the forum of Spartucus. With pleasentries such as Fuck you and Fuck you back exchanged they proceeded to beat the living hell out of each other. Mark, who acting as bouncer as well as show promoter had to get involeved to restore the peace, when at a mommnets notice one of the sports bar gladiators,(what more a fitting place than a sports bar for modern day gladitorial action) began to gouge out the eye of his appaernt best friend. As blood began to spurt out of his eye with each pump of his heart valves,and thats when Mark sprang into action. Grabbing the two he got them somehow into the parking lot. With blood spurting everywhere the two decided to begin to beat the hell out of Mark. What the hell was he thinking trying to break up their brawl?
"I had one in a sleeper hold" said Mark. The Sleeper is a notorious pro wresting move most self defence classes such as Tae Bo leave out.
"And then I got knocked on the ground with the two guys kicking the hell out me. I still have a boot mark on my thigh where the guy tried to kick me in the balls. I got mad AND SAID ' I am going to Kick your asses 'and with three punches and an elbow to the head knocked them all out." Now this is extremely impressive because Mark is a mighty big man about 6 foot and well over to 200 pound mark. Seeing him posssed with the power of gamma rays and kicking ass would be a site to see. Combined with the patomime of the events ala Bruce Lee…..wow.
"Then they got in their cars and left with my shirt covered in blood!" he finished the tale. "We don't know what happened to the guy with the gouged out eye."
As the sence was being described Wiser sat on the curb wit his mouth dropping to the pavement in disbelief. Byars knew better than the both of us and was already in the van, with it fired up ready to go.

Tales From Televison Land to the top

You know there once was a saying in the weird world of show business that once you made it on the Tonight Show, you had arrived. Hell, David Letterman wanted the job hosting the show so bad that he moved networks and they made a movie about him. So, the Tonight Show is an entertainment apex that your first appearance will always be remembered as. I am not sure yet, in my case, whether this legacy is good or bad.
You see, when the Trio is not riding around in the Rock and Roll Simulator, I on occasion play a solo show or two with the aid of a kick and snare drum beneath my feet. This skill was acquired on a fateful night when the rhythm section was about to kill each other and refused to play any more. So I hopped on the drums and played a disco beat for the remainder of the night. The one-man band evolution continues while in Stillwater at what was then called the Bullpen. Again it was the rhythm section subliminally urging me on. You see they left to score an oz of something I can't remember when we went on break. As they break broke the 50-minute barrier it became apparent that they had sampled some of their precious cargo and weren't coming back. So Again I hoped on the drums, at the owner's request, and played until they arrived. So, it eventually blossomed into a little one-man band sideshow. All of this is necessary background in for I promise, .
Anyway, There is a small club in OKC by the name of Taboma where, he hates this name, Little Georgie Colbert works and he had asked me to come up there and do a solo gig. He said he would do an ad for the gazette, a local entertainment newsletter, and that it would be low key etc. The ad he chose to put for the solo show in said "Taboma presents "Mike Hosty Plays with Himself." Giving new meaning to a solo show, I guess. .
"Did you like the ad?" George said. .
"Well,……It is kind of funny." I replied hoping my mom hadn't seen it. .
So, the ad ran and the gig was played. It all seemed over pretty quick and a funny ad was made. But then one morning I wake up to find that someone had sent the ad to the Jay Leno show,……………… the Tonight Show. They had read the ad on the "Funny Ad" Segment. I had made it to the Tonight Show on national TV. And the first impression on the national scene was "Mike Hosty Plays with Himself." Well, if no one got it I am in good company with Pee Wee Herman. .
Needless to say, mom finally saw the ad and said, "Oh Michael!" .
Thanks Georgie.


Thackerville Oklahoma to the top

My eyes were swollen shut. Road Dog had taken the helm and was cruising home after a night of playing rock and roll in live music capital of the world Austin Texas at Lucy's retired Surfer Bar on Sixth Street. After playing we had made the bright decison to drive back home all five hours…..Now we were paying the price, as it was 5:30 in the morning, foggy and delirium had set in.
After driving the Ausitin to Dallas trek, I passed out to wake up as we pulled into The Cononco in Thackervlle, Oklahoma. I say "the Cononco" because I can say with certainty that that is theonly one in town. Pulling up to the pump I noticed a 70's model vega loaded with broken appliances, a duct taped side window and a cofe maker still half full with petrified coffe grounds. The wind was biting as we stepped out of the van and we entered the convience store to be welcomed by the aroma of country breakfast complete with gas station quality biscuits, gravy bacon, egg sandwhiches and hot cinmon rolls. I will get back to the cinamon rolls later, as that was not the right thing to eat but anyway. .
There in the store was the owner of the vega wearing a one piece working jump suit tatered and stained with the oil and grease and what looked like mud…..Looked is important……His compaion was a impish four foot tall scruffy looking traveler witha satin jacket on. He wandered around the store carrying a donut wax paper wrapper with three pieces of bacon in it sucking on them like a lollipop. He apporached the counter.
"Can I get something to eat this with." He said.
The counter girl asked the logical question, "Like katsup." .
He looke perturbed and said " No like a spoon." And rolled his eyes like it was obvious. "and Can I get some tabasco sause…….For dippn with my spoon." .
A Spoon. He is going to eat three peices of bacon with a spoon out of a wax paper holder…..I was so deliripous I lost control and began a laughing fit that turned all attention to me, the stranger with the personality disorder unable to count cahange from his pocket……...
Anyway, when you need to eat bacon at a gas station…..please use a spoon..
The Man with No Control to the top
The once was a man with no control…His name was and is Eddie Money. Known in the 80's for his pop brand of suburban pop rock, this tenor sax man blew his way into the hearts and minds of those in the decade of decadence. Soaring to the top of the charts several times, his musical legacy is still evidence today by his bookings in more intamate venues and events. We met up with this man of no control in Tulsa OK at the Full Moon 15th…
Tic Tac and I rolled into Tulsa town to the Full Moon 15th where our dues were still being taken by the establishment and held in trust. Full Moon parties are the pinnacel of success for a band at this venue and 7 yers of playig there has still not netted to coveted night. But it gives ample fuel to the whitty stage banter that completes a monolgue ala Red Skelton at a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. "We never got a Full Moon Party."….
See usually when we play there, it is during the week. And during the week the working folk of the world choose to go to bed ansd rarely stay out past 10 o'clock to see rock in Tulsa Town. So our night at the Full Moon is filled with yours truelyy rambling mindless on and on about meaninless topics. One such topic that night was the annual Kidney benefit Run the following night with legendary Pop star Eddie Money.
John Johnson
My tirade began," Tommorow before the fun Run we will have Eddie Money on the stage ere at the Full Moon. The benefit usually goes for a whol host of kidney procedures but tommorrow is for the man with no control himslef whose lack of control has forced hi,m to procedd with a live kidney transplant here on the stage. The doctors are concerned with his nick name and have ordered a cathetor…because he has npo control." " every Eddi money song has the breakdown made for stadium rock…to which Tic Tac's arena rock drum breakdown begins as we demonstrate how every song by Mr. Money could be sung to the over the head hand clap of sold out crowds……." Take me home tonight….." you get thepicture.
So on and on I went………After taking our fianl extended break the manager ran up to me to say….
"Thanks a lot…"
"What Happened?" I said
" Well when you were going into to your rambing of Eddie Money do you know who was sitting at the last table?"…….She asked
I knew and I doidn Know….Was afraid to ask but a smile creeped up on hew face as she said….. "His whole band was enjoying dinner and got up to demand we be unplugged for making fun of Mr. Money………..They got up and stormed out of here. Eddie was in earlier I am sure they are going to tell him.
They Call him the Thumb to the top
People arren't born with nicknames. It is a long tedious process of trial and error before one even comes onto a situation where in an instant the nickname comes alive. Such was the case with the man we will call "The Thumb."
The scene is set in Denver Colorado where the Trio is playing its first Colorado gig with local Hot Rod/ Rock heros Brethren Fast. We arrive in town just in time to watch the traffic circus that is Downtown Denver when the Rockies are playing. And to our surprise, two local Okies had made the trip to Denver to see us play before they went to a wedding in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Good ol Josh and the lovable Cheyenne.
During the course of the nexet several hours we all proceeded to get into the spirit of things and clock in. Our first stop was a place to eat, which fortunately for us was right across the street at a club called El Chapultultec. This place was a legendary jazz club where on the wall were 8x 10's of a who's who of the jazz world that had stopped in along the way and played a song or two. As we sat at the bar we were approched by a kindly wrinkled scotch guzzln' old man that think hs name was jack. He was the owner. The only strange thing is that in the middle of Denver we ran into a guy with the thickest New York accent we had ever heard.
"Yous guys wans na gets some foods?' The little old man said.
We responded with a yes and got the finest Ortega grocery store tacos one could ever get.
" Thats when they roasted me." He said pointeing to a picture of him garbbed in a white tuxedo circa 1970, that looked like a prop from Goodfellas.
"Roasted you?" I asked "What for?" as if I had to ask.
"The citys of Denvers and the newspapers and the Rotary Clubs and Unions theys alls roasteds me foes havings the jazz clubah." " I was a singahs, I used to sings tunes withs the bandsah." I was soon ondering was everything this guys said ending in a s or an ah. Maybe so.
"We are trying to get to the US Mint?" Chris asked "Do you know how to get there?"
Jack pointed in a vaugue direction and began to tell us " Takes the number 2 bus down to the end of the Mains street and then switch to the number 5 bus that goes down that other street and the Mints is rights over theres. Yous guys wants I should draws a map?"
Ah the Mint was exciting as it could be. Government workers slowly watching the automated machines spit out coins and then putting them into sacks. The highlight was Lefty Lugar, the manican at the end of the tour who is positioned in a old machine gun nest that overlooks the enerance. The tour guide said " Look in the booth you may see Lefty Lugar the meansest screw ever to guard the mint. Look out he has a tommy gun. Then make your way to the gift shop" And sure enough there was a manican dressed in an Untouchables movie costume possed in readiness to mow down anybody trying to break in. I was hoping they would hav a whole line of Lefty Lugar clothes, glasses, bullets,e tc in the gift shop. But no.
Ah but what does this have to do with the Thumb. Well as the night progressed our friend Cheyenee got more and more and more drunk as all hell and began to hug and love on anyone in the bar. His technique was simple, come up behind you and say I love you while pressing the full weight of his body on you. AS he hugged on several people there were some strange looks. He didn't have a wallet, belt buckle or anything in his pockets yet when he would hug you you felt a proding in the back.
"Hey is that your thumb?' Chris asked. The answer wasn't what he wanted to hear, it wasn't his thumb but his "excitement" pushing through his shorts and into the backs of anyone he touched. HE didn't stop there. IT was off to find Tic Tac to give him some lovn, which Tic Tac didn't take to kindly, obviously. In the end the poor Thumb was weeping in a drunken haze bless his heart after politly folding the whole crowd with what most people thought was either a roll of quarters or a half a roll of Mentos.
Later on that night, at the afterparty at a unkown to the band locatio, he was found hanging by is fingertips from an apartment in downtown Denver, with the Thumb waving to all of downtown.
Woodstout Wood Stock Blues Stocks and Stouts to the top
First of all the use of "Stock" in any festival should be a warning, of impending doom. Blues "Stock" for one was a memmorable trip down the old dirt road, but "Wood Stout" in Stillwater Oklahoma at the Stout Hall dormatories on the mighty campus of the Oklahoma State University was truly one for the history books.
We were approached to play this fesival on the campus of OSU. It was to be for the "students" of the stillwater based college who lived in the dorms and continued to live ther the remanider of their college carreers. Freshamn to Seniors lived in this monument to college education.
Enter Cowboy. This cowboy not only was flipping meat products on the red hot grill by hand, he was making tie dyes on the side, with no gloves. His dye stained hands burned with the heat of the grill worked magic on unsuspecting friends whom he had taken the libery of dying their shirts.
"It is gonna be a surprise." He said.
I replied."It sure will Cowboy, It sure will."
I was wondering if there wasany health code volation, but then again, this is an out door festival. There are the random dogs, chsing random cats and both cahsing the random squirrels.
Cowboy was also serving what he refered to as "Animal Sauce." I said "Manamil Sauce, like the ill-fated tv show, known as Manimal."
"No Animal sauce, it goes on any type of……………"
"Animal." I interupted.
"Yeah!." And with that he proceeded to wipe the yellowish gruel all over a carbon dated petrified ballpark frank and insert it into a Ranbow bread Yellow Number 5 coated bun. There was no alcohol or drugs allowed at the festival but let me tell you this dog made me taste colors and sounds.
When it came time to play we approached the stage where a Peavy PA was set up with a rats net of cords running all over the stage. Now let me tell ya about Peavy. If you ever go to a show and see the Peavy logo on anything musical beware, these "high quality' made in America Cabinets pump out some serious High School Auditorium quality sound. Remember that ringing sound in the gym? Thats these things. But if they were good enough for Dr. hook in the 70's they were good enough for us.
Needless to say, we got up and played some rock while we were……..well I was………."I was not tripping on acid…….I was not tripping on acid………..i was not ripping on acid………but it sure felt like it. Everyone saw us laugingso hard they thought we were on some kind of hallucinagen. Cowboy was sending us smoke signals from the grill as if to say "Rock" and the patches of people who braved the day with dogs and frisbees sat underneath blankets, hiding from the sun and cold wind. It was a hell of a time. When we were done we hoped back into the Rock and roll simulator and rolled back to OKC as if to say "thank you sir may I have another" trip.
Pickle Eating Contest to the top
Second hand stories are often times better. The information gets tossed around and the end result is, well, even more entertaining. This story is the Pickle Story as told to me at the Deli by Lex Lord of Drums.
Last week, Norman OK rock legend Irish Gibson and his new enterage of rockers including Lex the Lord of Drums and Guitar Mike Salawak, stormed into the local WT haven known as Fetti's. See it used to be Confettis, but there is already a business with that name in OKC and they though it would cause confusion. And to tell the truth it would, they are practically identical in decor featuring Bud and Miller paraphoahnila hanging off the walls like Rseus monkeys, as well as a fine selection of neon beer signs as well as neon borders that hum like Cycada on a hot summer day.
Anyway, they were playing a Thursday night when the bar owner came over to ask if they would take a short break for the pickle eating contest. The band agreed. As the story was unfolding I asked if the particpnts in the contest were some burly dudes. Lex told me that they were not guys but two buxom, no that word doesn't do it right, lumberjack looking ladies, there that is better. They got up and without the aid of their hands had ten minutes to eat as many piclkes as they could, whole.
If that isn't agruesome enough picture, during the contest one of the "ladies" fell out of her chair to the floor, passing out dead drunk, with pickle in mouth and a fresh pool of piss flowing from her cavern. Ah, I love bar stories.

1996 Tulsa, Oklahoma to the top
There are several bars that are my favorite in the whole wide world to play at for a whole bunch of reasons. Decor, odor, etc., But what really makes a bar are the people you meet. And there is no better place in the world than at the legendary…well I can’t say for reasons that involve personal safety... in Tulsa, Oklahoma right behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken where I first learned of the after 11 chicken chunk into the trash diving. That is a story all in itself.
Well the first time I played at old Jake’s it was I believe Tuesday night and we were lost and late as usual. So when we got there I went to work setting up the PA and sound equipment like the DEA busting into a meta-Anphetamine lab out there in Lincoln County. And when I busted in the door I realized we were in trouble.
"I though you guys weren’t going to make it!" Said the Bar Keep. "Well," I tried to think real hard for a good excuse, but being stoned I said "It was Aliens!"
So the gig went pretty normal from the time we set up. We got pitchers of beers, got drunk and played classic rock that we had heard on the radio coming up to the gig while they screamed Metallica, Molly Hatchet and Led Zepplin at us. We obliged them all even going so far as to play a Neil Diamond cover of " They Come to America."
The dance floor was packed. I say that because this place was about as big as my shoe and there was no where for anyone to go! But they liked it loud. I noticed a young lady on the dance floor Dancing around on crutches with what appeared to be a broken foot. Despite the cast, she was getting down. Throwing the crutches all around almost nailing a couple people. But who cares she was having fun.
So on the break I sit down to have a little beer when who do you think comes and sits right next to me. You got it, the dancer with the Broken Foot. "I like the way you play that guitar." she said. "Well thanks." I said. "I saw you getting down out there with that cast on. How did you break your foot? Sking perhaps."
After I had asked this question I realized it was a mistake. " Why no! I was cleaning my shotgun, Well I had to take it awy from my little boy he was playing with it and when I pulled it out of his hands I blew my foot off." She said with a smile.
" Really?" this was to unreal. "Oh yeah" She Said " See I got no foot!" And with that she pulled off he cast and her sock to reveal that infact she had blown off her foot with a shotgun and let me tell you I can’t describe it vividly but believe me...I mean believe you me. "Wow, that is terrible." Being a stickler for details I noticed because of her low cut revealing dress that she had a scar on her throat. So I asked if that was part of the shotgun incident."
"Oh no, that was from when I got abducted by a cult last year. You see they tied me up with duct tape and electrical tape after they kidnapped me from my apartment. They were Satanists, with my old boyfriend. They tied a rope around my neck and dragged me down the stairs and then stabbed me 30 some odd times and left me for dead in the bar ditch at the side of the road. The only thing that saved me was the tight elecrical tape keep’n me from bleed to death" she finished in a cheery manor. I didn’t know what to say and before I knew it she was showing the puncture wounds to me.
"Do you want to come over and party after the gig" she said. Now, judging by her luck I decided that a safe trip home was in order for me, so I told her thanks for the beer and see ya later. She seemed unfazed by my lack of interest and soon started working on other available gents in the bar.
But you see the night was not over yet. Before I go much further, you all know my theory on country hillbilly music. If you start playing it people start fighting and if the fight is already going you must stop the song you are playing and immediately begin a hillbilly breakdown. With that in mind the next events soon happened.
Our last song was in full swing when the participants in a pool game started to argue. "Fuck You" said one of the pool playing people and struck his opponent over the head with a pool cue shattering it in two and taking out the beautiful Spuds McKenzie pool lantern in process. A move that I think is illegal in the game of pool.
We immediately stop playing and go into the Hillbilly Rag, a faster than fast bluegrass humdinger. Soon the fight escalates while one of the waitress stands like a trailerpark cheerleader screaming "No Billy!!!! No Billly!!" It is like live Kabookie Theater. The fight going on and us providing the live soundtrack for it!!
Punches are flying, beer canasters are being broken. Pool balls are being used as weapons and the furious beat of the train beat bluegrass is wailing. The fight moves outside where one of the most amazing things I have ever seen takes place usually the type of thing reserved for "That’s Incredible" or "Real Death Stories"
The original assailent punched with his bare hands through the side window of a parked truck, bursting the window and cutting his hand open with blood going everywhere. Now the fight was over, so we stopped playing and decided to get the hell out of there. I didn’t want to find out what the fight was about. Hell I already knew. The love of the beautiful lady dancing on the dance floor spinning around and around with her recent firearm injury. For her hand the mighty gladiators fought bravely, and in the end she had passed out dead drunk in a booth and did not even witness their great display of machismo.
~Hosty Out


Patrolling the Tower with Officer Bolton to the top

At 50 Penn Place late at night the tower and upscale high dollar mini mall set inside are well protected by the man known as Officer Frank Bolton. The tower held the offices of the OSBI (Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation) until recently. With crew cut hair and well I wish he had a side arm, he happily opens and closes the doors and keeps an eye on all of our stuff as we load in and load out after a night of playing.
Somehow he and Wiser struck up a conversation and ever since have formed a special kinship. Wiser likes Heavy metal songs and croons them while he ushers the metal boxes of rock gear to our shuttlecraft.
You see Officer Bolton wants to sing……..Heavy Metal. And as we asked him about certain Metal classics he does not hesitate to belt them out as we load stuff into the fabled Rock and Roll Simulator….. the van.
With a screeching range Officer Bolton belted out Tom Sawyer by Canadian super group Rush with such conviction that we asked for more and we got it. He launched into Mind Bender, a one hit wonder for some classic rock group that used a vocal effect called a talk box to make the singer sound like you are talking into a fan. Bolton could emulate the sounds better than the 70’s effect processing of the song. At least Byars thought so.
We had hoped he would get up and sing Tom Sawyer with us but never expected it to happen. That is why we were surprised one night while we were loading in to see Mr. B at the bar sucking down some liquid courage.
“Hi Officer Bolton.” I said walking in pushing the Marvin (you have to name your speaker cabinets or they get lonely).
“I am Frank Bolton tonight,” He said, “Because I am in my civilian clothes.”
“Ah……..” I said.
He began again, “ I have been practicing that Tom Sawyer song and am ready to get up and do some singing.”
“Ah………” I said realizing that I had no idea how the song went and hadn’t practiced or even thought about it for months. My reply had to be worded carefully so as not to give the wrong impression.
“Alright lets do it.” I said.
Before we played he brought his ancient Roland keyboard and presented it to Wiser with the following exchange.
“Chris I am a tradesman not a musician, someone gave this to me and now I give it to you.” Said Frank
As we were set up the time came for us to play and made the announcement.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, 50 Penn place is proud to present a man of Law an Order. Give it up for Officer Frank Bolton singing Tom Sawyer by Rush!!!!!!!” I screamed and the crowd responded, it was almost as loud as Shea Stadium as we fired into the song we had no real idea how to play. This didn’t stop Frank as he pointed his Rock and Roll finger into audience screaming in Falsetto, “Today’s Tom Sawyer mean Meeeeeamn Pride………”
This was the point in the song we screwed up as Frank shook his shaved jar-head to and fro in disapproval while continuing to belt out the lyrics. The song eventually train crashed into a Rock Crescendo that would have made even War proud. The crowd went ape shit for Frank Bolton and as he climbed from the stage he was greeted with accolades reserved for hero’s from Greek epics. The beer flowed freely and the women were all over him with congratulations and applause.
That night I don’t think Frank was ‘patrolling the tower’……alone.
~Hosty Out

Officer Bolton: Part Two to the top

Sometimes the road repeats itself. Its time again for the continuing saga of Officer Bolton the look alike of the famous Oklahoma actor who played Bennie on LA Law and the sinister Dr. Giggles. When we left you last time, officer Bolton was serenading us with falsetto versions of Eighties Metal as we unloaded equipment after the big show from 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City. In particular, Bolton (I wonder if he is any relation to the other Bolton singer) loved crooning Rush. Well, he was supposed to get on stage with us and perform Tom Sawyer then fire some rounds off into the ceiling where above the OSBI (Oklahoma Version of the FBI) is housed. But he couldn’t because he had a cold and several other startling reasons.
“I couldn’t sing tonight fellas.” Said Officer Bolton.
“Man, we were really hoping for you to get up there and do some singing.” I said. In unison Byars and Wiser expressed similar sentiments.
“Well” Bolton continued.” “I am really not supposed to be singing while in Security guard uniform and on duty. My friend who I relieve from the shift before got caught doing Karaoke in here one night and got suspended.”
Bolton wasn’t finished “I could get in trouble on stage rockin’ out. And I can’t be up there singing getting all the ladies AROUSED!” And with that he performed a gyrating motion similar to the forbidden dance known only as the Lambada. Moving like a belly dancer with a tool belt full of walkie talkies and weapons he began to sing in falsetto “There is trouble in the forest…….” A Rush tune whose lyrics, to my knowledge, make no sense what so ever.
“Hell I am the modern day warrior!” He said with a beat red grin.
That was too much for me. I was doubled over. Wiser started asking him about the MINDBENDER song again, you remember the one with the vocal talk box effects.
“I got a Roland keyboard that has a microphone input that can make your voice sound like anything” said Bolton.
“Well you need to bring it out and rock out with us.” I said “ You could put all the security cameras on all the tv’s around the stage and keep an eye on everything while you get after it.”
“No.” Said Bolton. “I have to do it on my night ……….” With a sudden pause and the grace of a gazelle he suddenly realized he was neglecting his duty and talk of women had something else on his mind. “ I got to patrol the tower…I will be back.”
When he came back he had a strange look on his face as well as his pants being unzipped. As he talked with us about rock and roll I wondered if he knew his pants were unzipped. And then it hits me….he had gone and ‘patrolled the tower’ …of course, security guard code talk. Pants unzipped…….. ‘patrolling the tower.’
I just had to remember not to shake his hand goodnight.
~Hosty Out

Officer Bolton pt. 3 to the top

Much like the Star Wars Triology , our expiernces with Officer Bolton, or Mr. B as we like to call him because his side busines is cleaning toilets as Mr. B as various malls around the cty and metroplex, had one final episode. WE had hoped he would get up and sing Tom Sawyer with us but never expected it to happen. Thant is why we were surprised one night while we wereloading in to see Mr. B at the bar sucking down some liquid courage.
"Hi Officer Bolton." I said walking in pushing the Marvin ( you have to name your speaker cabinets or they get lonely, this one is for bass frequncies so the best name I thought for it would be Marvin.)
" I am Frank Bolton tonight," He said ," Because I am in my civilian clothes."
"Ah…….." I said.
He began again, " I have been praticing that Tom Sawyer song and am ready to get up and do some singing."
"Ah………" I said realizing that I had no idea how the song went and hadn't praticed or even thought about it for monthes. My reply had to be worded carefully so as not to give the wrong impression.
"Alright lets do it." I said.
Before we played he brought his ancient Roland keyboard and presented it to Wiser with the following excahnge.
"Chris I am a tadesman not a musician, someone gave this to me and now I give it to you." Said Frank
As we were set up the time came for us to play and made the announcemnet.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, 50 Penn place is proud to present a man of Law an Order. Give it up for Oficer Frank Bolton singing Tom Sawyer by Rush!!!!!!!" I screemed and te crowd responded, it was almost as loud as Shea Stadium as we fired into the song we had no real ida how to play. This didn't stop Frank as he pointed his Rock and Roll finger into audince screeming in Falsetto
"Today's Tom Sawyer mean Meeeeeamn Pride………" This was the point in the Song we screwed up as Frank shook his shaved Jar head to and fro in disapproval while contining to belt out the lyrics. The song eventually traincrashed into a Rock Creshendo that would have made even Gwar proud. The crowd went ape shit for Frank Bolton and as he climbed from the stage he was greeted witht he accolades resevred for hero's from greek epics. The beer flowed freely and the women were all over him with congratulations and applause. That night I don't think Frank was patroling the Tower……alone.

You Guys in a band? to the top

If there are several words that you can put together that will scare the hell out of any band, they must be “You’re in a Band?”……….. as asked by an officer of the law. Of course there is always “Play Freebird!” yelled at you by a drunk redneck on furlough from the pen. Anyway that is the basis for the tale to come.
We were hauling the Rock and Roll simulator down through the mountains of Colorado passing Semi’s and leaving an asbestos smoke trail from our brakes like a skywriting biplane. Leaving in our wake the militia outposts/cult compounds of the Rocky Mountain state. Tic Tac was getting sick from the altitude changes, and as for me and Wiser, we were brain dead from a weeks worth of self imposed alcohol poisoning.
Once we made it into New Mexico it was getting better, flatter and closer to home. Passing through northern New Mexico at night conjures up visions of alien abduction movies because every couple miles there are those old 70’s style Ma Bell phone booths like you would see in Close Encounters, complete with eerie streetlight illumination. Visions of hundreds who had gone in those booths to dial a 10-10 number, bathed in a bright light and never seen again were all I could think of until I saw the party lights of a late 80’s model Cutlass Caprice doing a Bo and Luke Duke turn around and coming my way. All of a sudden the “Hippie Where’s the Dope” line from Cleveland County Cage wasn’t very funny.
Gently pulling the van to the side of the road, I prepared my ID and insurance like I saw in an After-school special.
“Good Evening” said the bright light. I immediately thought this was a trap and we were being abducted, then the glare of the compact super nova in a can faded to reveal a gun toting Sheriff of the New Mexico Highway Patrol. “License and Registration please…..”
The next words he uttered may seem rather apocalyptic to some:
“ Looks like you got a busted head light.” Combined with “You guys in a band?”
Oh no I thought, my mind racing, this wasn’t about watching too much TV this was beginning to be a little to real. Was he going to make me strip and run out in the woods with a Bowie knife while he hunted me down like a dog? I had heard that in some Charlie Daniels song before. What was my fate to be?
Now I have heard of faith healing before but never witnessed it until Tic Tac getting over his sickness leaped up out of the van with cigarette in tow and said,” Hey wait a minute, bud.”
I am no expert of police decorum but jumping out of the van on a hair trigger cop at 4 am in the New Mexico desert is not such a good idea………or was it. Tic Tac began talking and smoking and talking and smoking ….as I could see in there rearview mirror….he then approached the van and asked if he could have a cd.
“What do you need a cd for ?” I asked.
“Listen,” he said “ You want to give away a cd or pay the fine.”
Tough one…..uh…….uh……”Well give away the cd.” was my reply. To which Tic Tac scampered to the back of the car uttered a few pleasantries and then jumped back in the van to say….” Lets go,” while handing me my license and insurance…a move that from what I have seen on TV is not standard procedure.
What was this strange power Tic Tac had on the public servant? Was he in fact an alien, transformed in the misty glow of the New Mexican plains? I had to ask.
“What happened what did you say to that guy to get us of the hook?”
‘Well, I just went back and started bullshitting with him and he asked if we were in a band. So I told him we were coming back form Colorado and the guy interrupted me to tell the story of the last band he (the policeman) had pulled over.”
It turns out that that band was no other than 80’s heavy metal sensation Slaughter. This cop had pulled them over and was going to make them all get out of the bus so he could get their autographs, but those Slaughter guys didn’t even give him the time of day so he pelted them with the full penalty of the law. What rebels they still are today.
Tic Tac’s quick thinking of the cd gift saved our asses from the same fate. I don’t think its bribery, or is it?
We were let off with a warning and the distinct privilege of being in the same company of Slaughter. I can here the policeman now at a dinner party responding to the question if he had ever pulled over someone famous.
“Sure!” he would say as he loosens his belt “ I pulled over a heavy metal band called Slaughter and some guys form Oklahoma…The Hosty Trio.”
Yes my friends, that makes it all worthwhile.
~Hosty Out

Part Time Pool Band to the top

It started out with hope. A resort by the lakeside of a “freshwater” Missouri cove on Lake of the Ozarks. There would be beer, boating, ample fishing, women showing off their wares from 50 foot party boats, delicious food and good time Forth of July fun just like on the promotional brochure. Even a free “condo” overlooking a Marina filled with speed boats and see dews. All of this and three days of being the party band on the deck of the hotel pool where all the action took place.
Yes, it was hope that drove the van to the foot hills of the majestic Ozarks, and desperation that drove it back. You see, we were the band on the deck like in one of those USA fraternity meathead movies where the nerdy guy ends up getting the hottest chick, etc. (you get the idea). We were conscientious objectors to the carnage of substance abuse as well as participants.
Ah where do you begin to describe Forth of July 1999 at Marina Bay in Osage Beach Missouri. Well, the night before the big road gig we were in Tulsa, OK home of the Slow Duck Saloon. After a night of Rockn and Rolln we went back to a small intimate after-party for my girly at a mutual friend's house. It was the typical stay up all night, Wiser disappearing with beer, blanket and romance about to flower, me passing out and Byars starting to drink at 6 a.m. type shindig. The next day, brightly red eyes awoke to begin the trek to Missouri.
We had played at the Marina Bay Resort last summer but only as a stop over gig. It was an off tourist time of year and was laid back. Being 4th of July weekend it was bound to be a little different. We rolled into the resort about 6 p.m. unloaded like the DEA breaking into a cult compound, set up shop and began drinking.
Now, the stage overlooked a swimming pool filled with what appeared to be a mixture of middle ages parents with kids trying to rekindle the spark that had left their relationship long ago by getting drunk, meathead types from a budget version of MTV beach party bonging beers and getting drunk as well as a host a young girls in Bikini's with various levels of melanomas...all getting...you guessed it, drunk while using their feminine charms to woo the meatheads into submission.
There was even a “queen Bee” if you will of the females, a semi-attractive dark haired beauty with the body straight out of Hustler’s Beaver Hunt and a face, which on closer examination, looked like Kris Kristofferson from the 'Star is Born' era. Like an enchantress she floated around the pool coaxing the bulks of tanned meat to do all sorts of things. On top of that she had a patriotic bathing suit, for the holiday you know. We would call this lass of the lakeside pool “old Glory”, because by the end of the trip she looked so drunk and worn out by the festivities that someone needed to set her on fire, like an old Battle Flag. A symbol of victory and defeat….
The soundtrack to the fun was much like the music played at local Oklahoma Bars such as the Wormy Dog or T-Bar dance type Electronica blaring out of two antique speakers complete with DJ (who also doubled in a Branson, Missouri type show revue when he wasn’t dj’n). It was by all accounts a Wormy Dog by the sea, it was. As they were courting in the pool, drinking and enjoying the sun, but oddly enough not one of them ever go out of the pool to go to the bathroom to ….. you know …peee. So the water was not only reflecting the rays of the sun, but the green-esque surface of tanning lotion also glimmered with a hue much like….. you know.
Before we were going to play the DJ attempted to rally the crowd with a good ol Game of “How Long can You Stay underwater!”.
“How long can you stay under water!” Said the DJ! The response was a deafening silence. “I said How long can you stay underwater!” He tried again. Again everyone at the pool stared at him much like Quasimoto stared at the shiny nickel…..Shiny nickel…….duh....
After several half hearted attempts to win the crowd over , the poor DJ gave up and gave the prize of a sunglasses holder-around-the-neck-thing to a 12 year old boy who should have gotten a prize for just getting into the water with the meatheads.
“This is not going to be …….good.’ said Byars, the master of the understatement.
Start time....the pool manager came up and gave us the go ahead to begin our Rock and Roll Odyssey. Drunk we were, hot from the sun we were. Beginning to talk and feel like Yoda from liquor…must start to play…… So we began and after the crash of cymbals, roar of guitar and the swirling B-3 ended the first tune ala Shae Stadium……. We were in trouble.
Mike Byars looked up and said, “This was a mistake.”
For the rest of the time, we heard chants of “Play something we know! Boo........Your jokes suck! Take a break! Take a long break! Play American Pie!” The last request perplexed me. I can understand the previous critiques, but American Pie by Don Mclean, who the hell plays that??? And besides that who knows all of the words to that song??? It is like the whitebread folk version of Rapper’s Delight. So as the gig wore on we drank, and drank and well continued to drink enough to have Elvis up in the great hereafter smile don on our abuse of beer..
All of a sudden a announcement, “Johnny your pizza is ready. Johnny your pizza is ready.” And with that the first night of playing was done. It was time to meander back to the “condo” courtesy of antebellum Harley Golf Carts of the two stroke variety. With a puff of smoke, the cart wisked us off to the “condo”. Along the way it was much like a Disney animatronics ride like Pirates of the Caribbean, because the meatheads previously at the pool were lined up on the hilly slops of the Marina Bay hotel section, beer bonging, and yelling “wooooo Hoooo” “owwwwww” with shirts off and pelting cars with beer cans like well….
The Arbuckle Wilderness ride in Southern Oklahoma where the Resus mokeys come out and tear you mirrors of the car. Later we heard that there were at least six or seven brawls or donnybrooks on those hills. There was even a case of security guard cowardice and he was quoted as saying “I not getting in the middle of that.” I heard they took him out on the lake and shot him as the rest of the security guards watched to set an example…….not really, but it would have been an interesting site.
As always, we went on the after party wild goose chase much like searching for the Cities of Gold that always results in us watching tv and drinking beer in the hotel room. Reminiscing on our newly acquired $100 dollar bar tab, we began to wonder if we were going broke in the process of this gig. We did see a great telethon complete with piano playing, brimstone preaching octogenarian, his lovely WWF style wife on the bass, and cousin Jenny in a beautiful paisley moo-moo on washboard. Party!!!! We passed out.
Day 2
This was a three day weekend gig. We knew we had to be strong. So I went out and bought a case of beer for the afternoon. We clocked in by cracking open a cold one near the alternative family pool tucked far away from the pond of sin we had played the night before. I will tell you we were a beautiful site with our pasty white skin, floating in a pool while drinking a Coors and watching some good clean wholesome family fun.
Before we knew it it was time to begin the trek back to the “other pool” and play the gig. This one went much like the one before. At gigs end, Wiser decided that he was going to get drunk and “Belligerent.” So, while meandering to the bar he ran into the day bartender who decided that Wiser and he were going to do some Jagermiester. Now, Jager is Wiser’s true surname, JagerWiser….oh the tales of Jager….
Anyway…Chris did the shots intended for the rest of us and from then on he was a staggering, stuttering mess, propping up his weary body on the deck post. While Chris was involved in the good fight, I was rolling cables and moving gear in final preparation for storage until tomorrow. As we were moving stuff Byars says, “Hey man , Wiser left his fucking glasses again?” and he presented us with a whole array of stray articles of clothing.
“No, Those are mine.” I said “ And where is Wiser anyway?”
Come to think about it it ha been about 30 minutes when we saw him last……”Hey, Here he is!!!! Near the Kiddie Pool!!!” someone yelled followed by hysterical laughter. We jumped over a rail and made our way to the Kiddie pool and saw exhibit A....Greeting from Marina Bay Polaroid!
You see Wiser and I had drank about a case or two, and those Jager shots pushed the old boy over the edge. He had passed out by the side of the little pool into a drooling mass. Rock and Roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Everybody Back off!” Byars said while inspecting the corpse as to care for the poor soul, but not us. We went and got a camera and began snapping away. Chris says he remembers some bright lights. Head for the tunnel, go to the light!!!!!!! I thought.
“Oh he’ll get up.” I said and besides that Wiser pushes past the Deuce mark on the ol' scales, there is no way unless we unhooked the furniture dolly’s on the Hammond Organ that we were getting him up the hill to the room. So there he stayed, to sleep it off until he could motor up the hill under his own power. He would be ok. The security guards were there and they would be shot if thins went wrong you know.
About 4:30 am Byars, after I had passed out due to various intoxicants, went down to the pool where he reported the following events. A couple had been getting it on in a pool chair… which I wondered if Wiser lifted his head up and saw before passing out again…Byars had also been talking to a drunk Farmer guy from Iowa who said in an overdramatic fashion,” Your Buddy almost died, Man! I saved his life”
Asking what the fellow meant he went on to say that he had ended up holding Wiser’s head up by the roots of his hair while vomit spewed out like Old Faithful saying, “Breath Buddy!!!! Breath Buddy!!!!!!!!” Chris said later that he remembered the guy saying that and that, “I was breathing.” As Byars searched for Chris’s contacts with a cigarette lighter, he found them a couple feet where they had blown out of his head. Wiser made it back to the room, and said as he entered, ”I’m not dead yet!” and with that he crashed into the rickety “Condo” bed to sleep, sweet sleep.
Day 3
Sunday began much like the day before with us clocking in by cracking open another Coors and laughing about Chris aka Kieth Moon, the night before. With our best Levon Helm imitations we embellished the story as a VH1 Behind the music type thing. I was feeling as if we were back in time at a Summer Camp that my parents dumped me off at. Hiking up and down hills, eating frozen pizza’s from a grill at the dock, it was too surreal.
Well friends, I talked about hope and well the third night is the charm. We set up on the deck in front of the pool again, were heckled again and began our Satan Death Drinkn march back and forth from the bar. But this time we got a little more.
There was fireworks in the sky and in the pool as two drunkards commenced to 'enjoy some luvin' right their in front of the band. I believe the tones of Sixth Grade Band or Bingo was the exact tune they started on, but then again from eye witness account they were at it for the whole 50 minute set. They were going at it for a while as the seductress siren would submerge under the torrent of green pool water to ……..you know…….until security asked them to leave….but I think they let them finish first. Needless to say the pool cleared out rather quickly.
Meanwhile a drunk guy, the DRUNK GUY for the night, was celebrating his birthday by yelling at the top of his lungs, “COME ON YOU PEOPLE LETS PARTY WOOOOOO.” He was dirty dancing with his date for the evening doing some kind of fanny sack grind together.
Last but not least, there was a domestic scrabble that resulted in a WWF type wrestling melee that resulted in man and wife plummeting into the pool. When they surfaced they began splashing each other and the wife yelling “I Hope you got your wallet wet!” Again security came to the rescue and escorted them away so they can drink another day.
Soon the gig was over and it was time to leave Marina Bay. As soon as we were loaded up in the Rock and Roll simulator, we tipped our hats and sped off.
Greetings from Marina Bay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~Hosty

The Stalker to the top

Now I love unusual situations at the bar. Like the time I met the Stalker.
"Hey, you should have won that contest at the T-Bar." Said the mysterious voice. As I turned around, I saw a middle-aged, haggard man wearing a vest, turtle neck and what appeared to be a tie. Not knowing how exactly to respond, I said "We sure should have won." My mind was blank on what the hell we were supposed to win but I decided to play along and see where it was going to go.
"That gall dern blues competition at the T-Bar where the Blues Society put on. Ol Smilin' Vic won and you guys should have" he said.
Now it came back to me. The Competition he was speaking of was the Oklahoma Blues Society Amateur blues competition. Mike Byars and I had tried to win this event unsuccessfully for the past several years and had always gotten last place. We were loud as hell and raw as a scab on the playground. The winners were usually the equivalent to the smooth jazz of the blues world.
"I was in 'Blues Hangover', we had a trumpet and a guitar." He said bringing me back from my nostalgia.
"Oh yeah." I said, "I don’t remember your name but….."
And before I could ask he began...
"My name, I don’t need no name! ....I'm a criminal!" he said with a slight grin. And with that he pulled out a piece of paper littered with official State of Oklahoma stamps that said in bold print at the top, CRIMINAL.
"Well, you sure are." I said "What exactly are you a criminal for?"
And with a look of disgust and a small bit of pride he said "Stalking! My ex-wife, or thought was my ex-wife, see we never divorced…I thought we were divorced but nooooooo……she never signed no papers and don’t let me see those kids…….So I went by there one night all drunk and was yelling and playing golf on her front lawn." As he demonstrated hitting golf balls through the front window of his true loves house.
"The next time I showed up at her house I was just drunk……And the last time I called her on the phone and said, Honey I’m comin over there to put a gun to the back of your head and pull the trigger I just want you to know that it was me who pulled the triggger……Hell it took them a week to find me and I did nine months in the jail. I wasn’t gonna blow her head off I was just trying to scare her."
"Ah I see.." I said not really knowing how to respond.
"So I got out (of the slammer) and the judge gave me this piece of paper that says I am a criminal. Hell when I get pulled over and the policeman asks for my ID I just pull this out and say I don’t need any ID, I'm a Criminal!!!!!" and with that he slammed back his Crown and Coke.
"That woman is going to pay… by the time we get done taking her to court she is gonna have to pay me a lot of money and I won’t be surprised if Governor Keatn’ give me a full pardon." Summing up his story with a look of accomplishment and determination on his violent visage.
"Well at least your out and...well...drinking." I though this was a stroke of good conversational etiquette. Having never been in this type of conversation before I decided to go low key.
And with that he gave me the universal rock and roll power clinched fist in the air routine that gave me a feeling I hadn’t felt since the last biker fight I saw at the Steve Miller show at the Zoo Amphitheater in beautiful OKC.
It’s true, love makes you do crazy things.

~Hosty Out Gettin' Naked at the Dugout to the top

The scene was Oklahoma City on a Sunday night. Everyone was out for Free Beer until 11 p.m. The band consisted of Chris Wiser, Mike Byars and yours truly, Hosty. We had been playing to our usual response on a free beer night…a smattering of applause and pitter patter of little feet running back and forth to the bar demanding more overflowing cups of the yellow bubbly elixir known as Natural Light. And of course there was the occasional request, compliments of the guy that drove into town from Madill and wants to hear some Margaritaville.
As we were playing we began, or Chris and I, began to get a little tipsy. Like he was being called on cue, a man we will call "Mr. Local Bar Owner," waltzed into the bar with his entourage of employees and waitresses. They had been partying like there was no tomorrow, and when you work in a bar there really is no tomorrow because you wake up the next day and the sun has still not come up because its 7 in the PM. Anyway, Mr. Bar Owner decided to get shit-faced drunk and was dancing around, falling over the monitors and fondling young ladies. With his fanny sack over his bladder and his sweat pants filling with sweat he danced the night away with no abandon for his mission. Of which I was not clear what it was, maybe just to cut loose.
As we began to play a nice reggae number, Mr. Bar Owner froze in his tracks in the middle of the dance floor and began an in-depth conversation with one of the patrons of the bar. During that same moment, a waitress from the bar snuck up from behind and pulled his pants completely off his mid section, leaving him completely naked. Well Chris nearly fell off the organ laughing so hard and I, normally too blind to see such things, got a full frontal view and my sides began to hurt from the merriment. Now there are those who say he was wearing a Jock Strap at the time. But I beg to differ. It was ALL twigs and berrys!
The funny thing is he just stood there and kept on talking unfazed by his pecker wavering in the soft breeze of Central Heat and Air. And trooper that he is, Mike Byars did not miss a beat and continued to play the reggae song and was still grooving, with Chris and I on the floor.

~Hosty Out Pool Cleaning Stories: Yorkshire Shit to the top

To wake up in the morning I needed a shot of coffee, a cinnaman roll and sometimes a chocolate milk. I didn't realize the Metamucilic effect or let me say the immediacy of which the bowels process such fiber friendly products. The week before I had thought I learned my lesson by having to take emergency procedures on the side of the road witha Big Gulp Cup with bad aim……But now I did not learn my lesson.
I was cleaning a pool in Oklahma City. I had had my morning ritual meal and waas cleaning away. It was a nice 70's design bean shaped pool surrounded by astro turf and a patch of grass behind the house where the pool pump was. There was also a dog. I on;t know which is worse the huge dog you know that can tear your head off or the yappy dog that they leave out with you as clean barking and carring on over and over and voer…you get the idea…And to make it worse every time I went to clean the pool the little old lady who owned the house would come out and scoop up her dogs dropping, prune flowers and talk with me abou the weather etcs..Which sometime was funny only when properly stoned
So I was cleaning trying not to step in the little presents the dog had left on the astro turf..This dog was the size of the cinamon roll I just ate……I went back to the pump and the heat and the chlorine made my stomach turn just enough where I had to take a dump……Deciding I could hold it in I continued to work, skimming, sweeping…….my stomach turned again………….I couldn't take it any more and dropped my shorts near the pool pump where the real grass grows and lt out to this day the biggest bowel movemnet in the history of mankind..it would have made Andre the Giant blush,…..When I was done I looked down to see the conamon roll recreation that I had made it was at least as big as the dog……Wiping my ass I went back to work………………then she came outside to pick up her dog droppings
"How are you today Michael" as she stooped her frail little hands on the shovel handle.
"Fine" I said
And she continued to pick up humming a tune. I was wrapiiign up my work and as I was leaving I heard " Oh My!!!!" And I knew she had found it. My face was flush red and I scampered out wondering if she was scooping it up with her dog shovel, was she thinking her dog was sick, did she know it was me…..
the next week I had noticed that I was taken of of that particular pool and put on another………I guess It doesn't take Sherlock Holes to figure out that mystery or even a litle old lady…….
Moshin' with Hank III to the top
Ending up on the bottom of a mosh pit getting you face stomped in wasn't exactly what I haad in maind when the trio set out to Little Rock Arkansas to open up for Hank Willams the Third.
My Little Rock expiernces had taught my that this town was not to be taken lightly. You see years earlier with Norman power trio, Heater, we had driven all niht to play a gig at Jauanitas Cantina Ballroom only to find out that we weren't even booked to play. If that wasn't enough, on the way home yours truly fell asleep at the wheel listening to Pink Floyd, ran into a curb and blew the wheel off of the van. The poor drummer asleep in the back of the van was thrown about three feet in the air and still to this day has flashbacks. Warren Field on the bass, asked what the hell happened to which I said, "I don't know I think we ran over a nail or something." But when the van was investigated the missing wheel indicated we hit something a litle tougher. Thank you Little Rock.
With the background in mind, we set off to Little Rock Arkansas to open up for Hank Willams the Third, the grandson of Hank Willams Sr who is one of our favorites. I had seen him open for Beck in Dallas doing his heavy metal set. This guy can scream like nobody else. Through traffic jams and humidity we finally made it to the show at Jaunitas Cantina to see that Hanks tour bus was already there and the bands equipment already set up to go.
We set up in tim and rifled off a set of pure trio adrenlaline, when the the signs of the impending apacolypse began. My brand new Fender amp, right out of the box blew up on the last note of a hell fire version of Cleveland County Cage. Ah well, I thought, the set is over and I can get it fixed no big deal. After leaving the stage a cold beer was thrust out of my hands shattering on the floor. Oh well, I thought, I can always get another beer. This was all going on as Hank the Third began his spooky renditions of his Grandfathers work. He made me a beliver in DNA, cause that guy looked, acted and sang like Hank Sr. He also did a rendition of Family Tradition that would have made Hank Jr proud.
The folks were dancing around quietly and two stepping a little, and then the band took a slight break.
"If you don't like metal you better leave now." Said Hank III This is where all hell broke loose. You see Hank came back on the stage, turned on his RAT distortion pedal and the place exploded into a fenzy of a mosh pit. Where were the country dancers, the calm hippies……they had all been replaced by brusiers with shaved heads and rough looking Honky Tonk chicks furiously dancing into one another like a human demolition derby. I stood to the side and watched when all of a sudden I was thrown across the room into a group of tables by a random metor of a mosher, where I again dropped my beer. Ah well, I though , I can alwaysget another one. As I retuturned to the stage with my new beer, Hank started playing something reminicent of Pantara when it happened.
Stnading idly by the stage the booking manager's boyfriend dragged me into the mosh pit. As he pulled me in my beer again went flying into the air spraying everyone in the pit. As I bounced around on the sea of moshers I felt a push at my back, or more like a drop kick and I went flying. Time halted as I cascaded into the floor head first, my glasses shatteron the floor as my torso was mangled by a bar stool and table. The musics soft distortion was tearing out my eardrums as My head pounded. Picking up the remnats of my glasses Wiser looked at me and said "Hey man, your bleeding."
As I reached my hand to wipe my head I felt a cool breeze on my forhead, and revealed a hand of blood. It was a gusher. I thought oh well it can't get an worse…at least……….And then without waarnign the same kindly White Power msher came flying across the dance foor with a knuckle sandwhich that he wanted to serv to me. I took the punch quite well and assumed a Judo Stance. I was merely grazed on the side of the head. The bouncers finally stepped in and hauled the assailent away. As for me, I was now the proud owner of a new skin flap over my eye, much like the crocidile.
I was quickly taken to the back office where they cleaned my welpded eye out and fastened back togteher with the cornerstone of all bar medicine, a strip of Duct Tape. They butterflyed me right back together good as new. The emergency room should have benn the place to go,as I learned the next day at Norman Regional Hell they even asked the assailent to come and apologize just like recess at grade School.
" I am sorry" he said in a pitaful voice " You know what goes around comes around. Karma you know"
I looked at him, with my good eye and said, " Well I guess I just got what's comwn around. Karma punched me right in the face."
I did finally get to drink a beer that wasn't torn out of my mitts, and we got to party with Hank III on the old tour bus, show tatoos and drink Jager. When asked by one of the band members If I had any skin art or tattoos, I said, " No I am into Human Scaring." To which was the perfect ABC afterschool special ending to a weird Little Rock Night as we all had a good laugh, and took another puff off the pipe.
The next day and week I would discover new cuts, bruises and welps from that night. Ah well, I thought,…………well I better stop right there.

McGruff the Crime Dog has a Flap to the top

I moved to a new nieghborhood and recently met a nieghbor. He was a kindly fellow who in his spare time went to schools to talk to kids about drugs dressed as mcGruff the Crime Dog. You know take a bite out of Crime. Anyway, he loved telling the kids the dangers of Cheba and to stay clean. He also loved the female teachers.
"They are sexy." He said with a drawl. "Something about a school teacher turns me ……..well gets me going you Know?"
'You are tellin me." I resonded in typical guy fashion. " you are telln me."
" You know when I was the crime dog my suit had……….a flap." He said with a devilish grin.
" A Flap……Right." Although I had no idea. Instead of continuing to knod my head in affirmation I decided to make the leap and ask what the flap was for.
" What's it for?" he said "What's it for? Then breaking out in manicail laughter he proceed to tell me that after he was done being the Crime Dog he liked to get his swerve on, with the teacher. You see the suit was zipped up and took to long to get off and He didn't want to waste any time. The kids could walk in any time.
I then had horible images of my teachers from the past, my niegbor with the Cirme Dog suit on, getting it on after school. The vision of a childhood mentor getting rammed by a guy in dog suit is not only bizarre but mildly amusing. Do these teachers really enjyoy the costume part of the act. The forbidden beastily cartoonesque sexual expiernce. Maybe so.
So besides Taking a bite out of Crime he had also been taking a bite out of some teachers pants as well. Get out the fire hose next time you see the Crime Dog at school. It will take the hose to get the dog off of teacher

Funk Fest 99 or Drunk Fest 99   to the top

Pulling up to the Hollywood Theatre in Norman, Oklahoma I saw a limosine. It seems Jason "Colt" Seavers had rented a limo and several high class soroity girls to be his escort to the big Norman event. You see nothing much happens around town, so when it does. Lookout. Seavers a local O.U. student had decided to rent out the old one screen 70's movie palace and put on a show of epic proportions. It would feature three of the towns bands Blue Collar Cartel, Jimmi Jank Band and The Hosty Trio. So it was going to be your typical Southern Rock Fest. You see to be a Southern rocker you must have three letters in your name like CCR, MTB, CDB, JGB etc. as well as enjoy Cyrstal meth jokes about relatives.
Seeing that beer was 2 dollars a pop, cortesy of the local Col. Tom Parker ( the owner of the Theater) Wiser, made the call to get some beer. So off to the liquor store to stock up on some Yellow number five of the Lone Star variety. This was seven o'clock. And we started drinkn.
As the night wore on I noticed a peculair pattern. Wiser and I had drank,….., well let just say I was proud of the following events that were almost like a real life Rock show. ,
There was "a" security guard. One. Who made it his job to see that there were no girls back stage as per the instruction of the boys in Jimi Jank. The backstage consisted of a velvet shower curtain that looked and smelled like the outer covering of a drunk Santa Claus suit. There was the backstage one hits around the vans, that amazingly enough all had the same white matching trailer.
We fired into the first couple of songs and the pa was thumping, the crowd had picked up and we were a rockn. Then after song three, Wiser leans over and says , " I am goin' out baaaackkkk to pssss." And with that he left the stage, with only Mike Byars who was dressed to kill in Richard Petty Racing suit with matching glassses. I thought he wasn't coming back. Great, he is going to throw up and pass out in the alley and we are going to have to finish the gig…….how much time is left…. Must resort to joke time perhaps.Well to my surprise after a brief hiatutus of about ten minutes he came back drunkenly staggering towards the stageout and we fininshed the set.
But about mid way through I was a little dehydrated, and in the midle of singing a tune caught a hair across my toungue and……..Well I turned around and began to gagging like I had swallowed a d size battery. Byars was laughing so hard I don't know how he kept playing. So I went to the back of the stage and prepared myself for the inevitable vomit. All this time I am still playing the guitar, I think I was in a solo or something. The feeling soon subsided with a few "Serinty Nows!" But the rumor is I yaked. So let the rumor be true.
The gig was over and the place had cleared out. Byars, the smart one of us all , packed up and calmly left, Wiser was so wasted that didn't even know his own name and proceeded to try and get his game on, and I felt like I had been drinking with the french Forgien Legion somewhere in the desert. A true Rock and Roll show.

For those who refuse to rock, we salute you to the top

Coming down I-25 outh from Denver to Raton the Rock and Roll simulater sputtered, then coughed and finally died doing 75 miles an hour down a hill in heavy traffic. The brakes locked up refuseing commands and the steering wheel went stiff. Coasting off to the side of the road into a Conoco Gas Staiton on exit 161 Mommunebt Cololrado, the van wasn't going anywhere. Tic Tac siad that he was sure glad we broke down somewhere where there was a filling station and places to eat. Being in the desert would be the worst place to break down. Oh Nostradamous of Oklahoma how right you would be.
Your fisrt reaction is to call AAA get a tow and get the van repaired in the morning. But when you have ben gone from home for a week or so you just want to get home. So We opened the phone ook to call for roadside service from A-1 mobile repair. We made the call and the truck would be there in " an hour and a half."
So we took it upon ourselves to play a gig in the Conoco parking lot with the case open to make some extra cash for the road. Hell I had seen it in the movies and it looked like it was going to work. Result: I made 2 cents…………..What kind of sign was this.
The hour and a half went by like a week, finally the hite service truck rolled up and out came Chuck, the propritro of A-1 mobile Repair. The 50's portly man sporting 70's Earl Thomas Conel;y Rose Colored glasses, said, " Looks like your Broke down" "Lets see what we got there." He said with a happy enthuisam we were definatley lacking. Chuck did go right to work with his stumpy, powerful arms using the special Ford tool to with open the top of the engine to reveal the fuel line. You see Chck knew instantly what the problem was and went right to work……
" Turn on the Engine " he siad to me…..
I misunderstood and turn the engine ON almost ripping off his arm until he said, "STOP" at the top of his lungs. I then decised to let all sidekick work be done by country legend Tic Tac. As he worked he informd us he had just gotten Ricky Van Shelton's bus going the other day and the grizzley fact " If a semi truck calls for me to come you wait."
AS he said that I looked at the ground littered with the remnants of the 351 motor and prayed.
After an "Hour and a half" Chuck was done sayin that our fuel pump as going out and recommended we get a new one in Colorado Springs in case we break down again so what did we do? Did we stop and get a new one?
Well hell no, we kept driving with the radio load as hell rollling home until we hit exit 161 north of Pueblo and the engine sputtered, the engine coughed and then downright just shut down completely. Wrestling the wheel to the side of the road we sat in the middle of the desert quiet staring at the road, and trying desperately to restart the car.
So we called Chuck back and he asked if we had the fuel pump. Tic Tac said No and that Chuck would be there in an "Hour and a half". So again we sat, in the heat of the desert highway……Tic Tac walked up and down the road hobbling on his recently healed leg wondering if being in the chiar was better than trapped on a lonley stretch of deser highway. I sat in the van with the heat.
Two hours later, Chuck the Longwalker's tow repair truck came bellowing down the side of the road. Getting out he said, " So you didn't get that part huh?" and then beagn laughing like an interstate pirate who has trapped a clipper ship. His roll jiggled as he laughed and it was a good thing he was wearing suspneders. Whih I thought, thats what suspenders are for. When you start laughing and the pantsjust got to all to the toes.
"Well…We are going to have to drain the tank." Chuck then asked us to grab buckets and cans to fill the sphoned gasoline on the side of the road. We had just filled up so we stuggled to find thirty gallons worth of space. As the siphon began with a puff from the magic mout of Chuck the Longwalker….we waited.
As we waited I noticed Chuck hasa shovel on the back of his truck and I asked if I could us it to dig up a cactus to take home. A mommento, if you will….. A plant of the desert to remind me.
"That is illegal you know…it is up to you." he said while dumping a bucket of transmission fliud into the ground. I noticed the odd irony.
So I took the shovel climbe a fence and in no time had a fine cactus. As I was puitting it into the box I was interupted with Chuck yelling from bellow……
"Get the hell out of there! You are digin on a US Army munitions testing site and gunning range!"
Looking to the sign right behind me, well what do you know, I am diggin g where there could be unexploded munitions…..Great……………So with careful steps I creeped back to van where Tic Tac and Chuck ere talking about…Women.
"I got a sweet little gal in Canyon City…..She is about oh 17 and can work a wrench better than a man."
"17" I said " How old are you Chuck?"
With a disel smoke laugh "I am old enough to know better…..Look at that cloud, Looks like a spare tire." He said.
I wondered as he looked at the clouds and saw images how he would do on the ink dot test. I decided not to test my luck with asking as he held our fate in his hands. He knew it. His cell phone was blowing up like Ice Cubes on a good day. Truckers in need. He kept telling us, "If a big Rig calls, you are going to have to wait. They come first my bread and butter you understand."
The sun was leaving for the day and the night time desert switched from the brutality of heat to a cold wet feel. Chuck dawned a poncho and with van tetering on blocks, surrounded by makeshift refinery as cans he completed the Econoline surgery. The fuel pump was in. Now we had to fill it back up Restoring the van to the gorund, was a relief.
A turn of the key and the Rock and Roll simulator was back in business. Tic Tac pumped the gas, reving up the engine as Chuck stood in his poncho blowing in the wind laughing,, agin with the pirate feel. He summonded me to the back of his truck. I thought this s the time when I ask how much it is and he says how muc you got or even worse I ask how much it is and he says I don't want money with a wicked grin. But thankfuly, he dialied in my credit card number from the inside of tow truck which looked like a flea market/combination garage sale. The dash was littered with used coffe cups, candy wrappers while a dangling CB cable flapped against the dash. Maps, credit card slips and bottles of "Truckers Luv It" epehdrene stained with the interstate rode comfortabley amoung the cigarette butts and pop cans. Chuck was cool and gave us a disount because we weren't a Big Rig and were so conversational, which I will attribute to Tic Tac.
A stroke of the pen, a shaking of the hands, we didn't wait to say goodbye to Chuck. I did say, "I hope I never have to see you again." Meaning, I hope I never break down like this again. What did Chuck do?
He laughed a hearty, manly laugh and with a cloud of diesel smoke he disappeared into the night.
As for us, we rode home……….fast as the van would go.

Fly me to the moon to the top

Ah the Boarshead Resturant and Pub of Oklahoma City. Herman Mellville is needed to fully capture the essence and totality of occurances that happened there. This is but one tale. It happened aas we were tearing down one night after a gig.
You see alterenative Rock sensations Creed wee in town doing a concert in Bricktown one fateful night. The time they rolled trough town before they had palyed at the Boarshead on a Tuesday night. The first time, nobody knew who they were and they probably got a 100 bucks. The second time it was different they packed out the Boarshead because there MTV video was out and they were stars. So the after this thier third time inOKC they came back after hours to the Boarshead, to relive their humble beginngs and because they knew they could still party after hours at the fabled Boarshead with the supermodel exotic dancer that were in tow.
As they walked in we were confronted by their manager, a semi-tall wispering fellow with long flowing hair, a vest and an English accent. It was clear this guys had to be their manager. "What's up mate?\" he said " I need some shots for the band and money is no object. What do you need?" He sounded like one of the narartors from a Discovery Channel documentary on the "Creatures of Africa." Or any other show, I just happen to like that one.
This guy was straight out of a movie. As we were observing, one of the managers of the Barshead comes up inging a familair tune. You see he, we wil call manager number 2, oh what the hell, it was Craig..Anyway he would get anhilated and sing Sinatra tunes at the top of his voice follwed by a patented "Vata Vata Vata." Which noone really knows what it means. We love him to death, because he is alovable guy you know, and we would spend the afterhours listening to him sing the night to dawn.
We had an idea. An Awful wicked idea." Hey Craig why don\rquote t you go serenade Creed in the corner."I said "
"Oh no I could never do that" He responed"
"Oh come on they would love to hear you sing, they have been singing all night."Chris said.
" Oh I could never" he said and with that he flew over to their table and began to croon at volume louder than Man of War, the worlds loudest band, Fly me to the Moon.
FLY ME TO THE MOOOOOOOON FLY ME TO THE MOOOOOOOOON he sang. the look on Creeds face when Craig went into his ong routine priceless. They were backed in a corner and could not escape. They had come for solitude to listen to the intimate conversation of their female game show guests and had been corraled into a corner.And craig kept on singing until the band with their British manager, who was probably really from Moore, walked out the back door into two awaiting taxi cabs.

Braum's if you know what I mean to the top

A night at the Deli in Norman, Oklahoma is equivelent to a visit to an outpaitent halfway house from a mental facility. It is the same bar that that makes itself known every college town. The local bar where the charaters that make a college career memeorable ……..….There is the random asshole with the harmonica who feels like he needs to play with every band, the Token Vietnam vet named sarge who holds up the corner of the bar e, the local acid burnout who is not a commisioned officer but will salute you anyway, the 30 som odd year old paper boy that wears a helmet brandishing the school logo on it, the 80 year old blind piano tuner who greets girls by reaching out to them with the sense of touch…..will this one may only be in Norman, but you get the picture. It is the "Townies Bar."
On night of playing with myself on the stage of the Deli pounding out some Hill Country hollars I noticed a young man and woman obviously in love, or it looked like love, well come to think about it they were humping each other like the stunt double of Sissy and Travolta from Urban cowboy practicing antics on a mecahincal bull. You know it is time to take a brake when the floor show is much more interesting that the act on the stage.
" I am gonna take a short brake." I said and slowly put own the Coranodo guitar when the couple gasping for air requested a tune.
"Play some Crue, some metal." She screameded in a girlish giggle. There was something odd, it was her eyes that made her brandish the look of truckers I meet out at Webbers Falls truck stops who have just injested a bottle of meth, yellow jackets or some Truckers Friend..
So I said, "38 Special ,you got it.." To which their imaginary Mecahincal Bull began to sway and the crowd errupted into a case of the shit giggles.
As I took my brake, I went over to the bar to aquire a bottle of liquid inspiration which also doubles as a morning laxitve when the love couple came over, hoped on bar stool and began their Discovery channel ritualistic love routine at the bar. You know the scene, " As the male gently strokes the female while displaying his gold chains in attempts to mate………."
"She is a singer." Her compaion said as she blushed a hue of Purple Mountian majesty.
"Well What do you sing, ' I asked.
'Commericials…for the radio my brothers are musicians in bands……..' she said as I told her I happened to know her brothers and they are pretty good musicians…..She kept talking faster and faster. The meth was working its charms as well as the double Jack Up in her wavering hand, until I asked her to sing one of the commericails she did………
It is one thing to see a transformation of a normal human into a hideous creature, but it is altogether even wierder to witness someone in the trolls of passion, beer and whatever else change moods to sing the Farm Fresh, and braums ads exactly like they are on the radio. To my surprise this was her, the soft voice on the radio you would think would be dreesed in a bonnet carrying a shepard staff and drinking milk at the bar because her cart broke down and the Deli was the only place open to sit and wait for Mama. But she wasn;t the sweet image I had imagined, she was a beer swilling hell raiser……incredible..The sweet voice calling you to you on the radio was attached to a biker babe. Oh the theater of the mind…………..
After crooning the song, where I swear the room was filled with unicorns and rainbows with gum drop people swimming is a sea of chocalte clouds……………..she said" YeeeeeeeeeHAWWWWW….WooooooooOOO." In the manner of a clay-mation Sinbad creature of Folklore…………
On the other end of the bar the same night Stevie Ray Stevie, local window washer and parking lot guru/attendent who plays a mean bottle neck was carressing the necks of young ladies at the bar hoping to find loven, at least for a night.
" You are prety good with the ol ladies Stevie." I said
No was his reply, staying that his luck with the oppisite sex has never been good, because of his enormous size, towering above me at well over 6 feet and 350 in the pound division…But he did allude to a recent trip to Lake thunderbird, which is the local man made lake that is never clear thus earning the nick name Lake Dirtybird for the water and the activities that transpire on its shores….anyway………..Stevie told about the lake where he was hit on by a mother-daughter combination..
"Well Alright," I said " There you go Stevie.." I was trying to help out with the power of positive thinking, which after my dleivery didn't seem to do the trick.
. "No man they were midgets." He said to an awkard silence of the gallery of listeners that had assembled around…
"midgets……." I almost was trying not to laugh but, 'Midgets.. how did that come around."
"Well, I was on the beach at Lake Thunderbird when I was approached by the mother daughter midget combination and they asked to party. I said n thank you mammm and went on my way. I was flattered."
As he told this story he made a bowing gesture. My immagination was letting the beer go to my brain a litle to quick, where I imagined Big Stevie dressed in the Mr. Peanut clothes with a monical and tipping his top hat to the pint size Mother daughter pair dressed in puce balleria outfits.
"Well…." I said "At least you got a little Lucky." Trying to make a light joke over the meeting…….
" A Little……………" He said with a smile

1996 Tulsa, Oklahoma to the top

There are several bars that are my favorite in the whole wide world to play at for a whole bunch of reasons. Decor, odor, etc., But what really makes a bar are the people you meet. And there is no better place in the world than at the legendary…well I can’t say for reasons that involve personal safety... in Tulsa, Oklahoma right behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken where I first learned of the after 11 chicken chunk into the trash diving. That is a story all in itself.
Well the first time I played at old Jake’s it was I believe Tuesday night and we were lost and late as usual. So when we got there I went to work setting up the PA and sound equipment like the DEA busting into a meta-Anphetamine lab out there in Lincoln County. And when I busted in the door I realized we were in trouble.
"I though you guys weren’t going to make it!" Said the Bar Keep. "Well," I tried to think real hard for a good excuse, but being stoned I said "It was Aliens!"
So the gig went pretty normal from the time we set up. We got pitchers of beers, got drunk and played classic rock that we had heard on the radio coming up to the gig while they screamed Metallica, Molly Hatchet and Led Zepplin at us. We obliged them all even going so far as to play a Neil Diamond cover of " They Come to America."
The dance floor was packed. I say that because this place was about as big as my shoe and there was no where for anyone to go! But they liked it loud. I noticed a young lady on the dance floor Dancing around on crutches with what appeared to be a broken foot. Despite the cast, she was getting down. Throwing the crutches all around almost nailing a couple people. But who cares she was having fun.
So on the break I sit down to have a little beer when who do you think comes and sits right next to me. You got it, the dancer with the Broken Foot. "I like the way you play that guitar." she said. "Well thanks." I said. "I saw you getting down out there with that cast on. How did you break your foot? Sking perhaps."
After I had asked this question I realized it was a mistake. " Why no! I was cleaning my shotgun, Well I had to take it awy from my little boy he was playing with it and when I pulled it out of his hands I blew my foot off." She said with a smile.
" Really?" this was to unreal. "Oh yeah" She Said " See I got no foot!" And with that she pulled off he cast and her sock to reveal that infact she had blown off her foot with a shotgun and let me tell you I can’t describe it vividly but believe me...I mean believe you me. "Wow, that is terrible." Being a stickler for details I noticed because of her low cut revealing dress that she had a scar on her throat. So I asked if that was part of the shotgun incident."
"Oh no, that was from when I got abducted by a cult last year. You see they tied me up with duct tape and electrical tape after they kidnapped me from my apartment. They were Satanists, with my old boyfriend. They tied a rope around my neck and dragged me down the stairs and then stabbed me 30 some odd times and left me for dead in the bar ditch at the side of the road. The only thing that saved me was the tight elecrical tape keep’n me from bleed to death" she finished in a cheery manor. I didn’t know what to say and before I knew it she was showing the puncture wounds to me.
"Do you want to come over and party after the gig" she said. Now, judging by her luck I decided that a safe trip home was in order for me, so I told her thanks for the beer and see ya later. She seemed unfazed by my lack of interest and soon started working on other available gents in the bar.
But you see the night was not over yet. Before I go much further, you all know my theory on country hillbilly music. If you start playing it people start fighting and if the fight is already going you must stop the song you are playing and immediately begin a hillbilly breakdown. With that in mind the next events soon happened.
Our last song was in full swing when the participants in a pool game started to argue. "Fuck You" said one of the pool playing people and struck his opponent over the head with a pool cue shattering it in two and taking out the beautiful Spuds McKenzie pool lantern in process. A move that I think is illegal in the game of pool.
We immediately stop playing and go into the Hillbilly Rag, a faster than fast bluegrass humdinger. Soon the fight escalates while one of the waitress stands like a trailerpark cheerleader screaming "No Billy!!!! No Billly!!" It is like live Kabookie Theater. The fight going on and us providing the live soundtrack for it!!
Punches are flying, beer canasters are being broken. Pool balls are being used as weapons and the furious beat of the train beat bluegrass is wailing. The fight moves outside where one of the most amazing things I have ever seen takes place usually the type of thing reserved for "That’s Incredible" or "Real Death Stories"
The original assailent punched with his bare hands through the side window of a parked truck, bursting the window and cutting his hand open with blood going everywhere. Now the fight was over, so we stopped playing and decided to get the hell out of there. I didn’t want to find out what the fight was about. Hell I already knew. The love of the beautiful lady dancing on the dance floor spinning around and around with her recent firearm injury. For her hand the mighty gladiators fought bravely, and in the end she had passed out dead drunk in a booth and did not even witness their great display of machismo.
~Hosty Out

The Famous People in Your Neighborhood to the top

Playing in the bars late nights and seeing the goings on of the underbelly after-hours society intrigues me to no end. Equally fascinating are the famous celebrity types who randomly wander in, or others who make claims to be famous. Now I always had hoped for either Comedian Rip Taylor (the Guy who throws confetti), Charles Nelson Riley, Mr. T or anyone who has ever appeared on the Hollywierd Squares show. But I haven’t had that much luck.
Here are a couple of the famous types who stumbled in on a Trio show.

August 1998, Liberty Drug
Norman, OK
An Extremely tall rocker looking guy was standing at the bar eyeballing me as I hastily set up what barely passes for a sound system. He approaches and slowly begins to get closer until I have to say "Hi, Can I help You." Sure he says, "I'm in town filming a football movie with Kiefer Southerland over at OU and I was wondering if we could get in on the guest list."
Now this always befuddles me. The famous celebrities with millions of dollars can’t pay a five dollar cover charge but expect the rest of us to foot his bill. So I said well "Who are you." This was a mistake.
"Who am I?’HE said" Why I am the lead singer for Collective Soul, Oahcvnlwil Asiyqiphci!" I used that in the text because I didn’t hear him and I don’t know who the lead singer for Collective Soul is. So I responded, Well I’m Mike Hosty, Glad to meet you."
He asked "Don’t you know who I am?" "No, I don’t listen to that type of music but I used to teach 10 year-olds the guitar and they loved you guys. They had me teach them your songs. But to tell the truth I couldn’t name one of them." "Well I tell you what," he said," What if we bring some guitars and sit in."
My gears started turning. Collective Soul, how hysterically awesome. "Sure just tell the door man the names of the guys in the group." Now he got a little pissed." Doesn’t anyone know who the hell we are!!!!!!!" And with that he stormed out of the building never to return.

September 1998, Bill Numiers Rib Shack
Fort Smith Arkansas
The Fort Smith Celebrity Golf Tournament was going on the day we were playing. So the crowd anticipated seeing big name stars like, former defense star for the Dallas Cowboys and pitiful excuse for a boxer Ed ‘Too Tall Jones. Also former Chicago Bears quarterback and leader of the Super Bowl Shuffle in 1984 Mr. Jim McMahon. And there were a whole host of supporting stars from the television show Cheers, etc But since I forgot my peepers I couldn’t see.
The Punch line you ask. Here it comes. A television personality form the Ft. Smith area approached the band stand with a swagger reminiscent of Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter. He looked at me and Said,"Do you ever have anyone sit in with you?" Hoping not to ruin it like the Collective Soul experience, I said "Sure Do." Hoping with all my heart that it was 70’s football sensation Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Did Ed Sing and Dance? The possibilities were endless!
"Well," the anchorman said " Jim McMahon plays a mean harmonica do you mind if he plays one with you?" This is great. "Sure get him up here!!" I wanted to play the Super Bowl Shuffle as soon as he got on the stage. We are the Bears shuffle crew!!! A dream come true!!!
Well we set up a mic. Got ready. Pumped up the crowd with stories of Rip Taylor. But unfortunately Jim apparently either found a hooker, got to drunk or used his superstar status to get in free somewhere else. I watched him all night hoping he would get up but no way. Jim was gone. Damn it to Hell.
It wasn’t a total loss. I found two guys in the audience and told the crowd they were with Blue Oyster Cult. They went along with the gag, and probably got a lot of free drinks, and all the ladies. Oh well I though it was going to be the in cast of Cannonball Run Part II, the greatest movie ever made staring Burt Reynolds. But you got to have dreams. You got to have something to hope for.
~Hosty Out

Late Night Self Defense Class to the top

At a bar in my hometown of Norman, Oklahoma the following scenario took place about a year ago. To this day it sticks out in my mind as one of those bizarre moments that just never go away.
After playing the gig and loading out the door it is customary to talk over the nights events with the owner or head bartender while you proceed to get, well... shitfaced drunk. That night was no different.
Shot after shot of Bushmills Whiskey went down our throats as we talked of everything that came to mind. Then I made the mistake of asking how to defend myself in case of attack. With a wink in his eye the bartender --who will remain nameless-- went to the back and retrieved a Self Defense Catalog listing items such as knives, swords, guns, bunge sticks and anything in the world of soldier of fortune. He also brought out a Zulu Killin’ Spear and a four inch, razor sharp Scuba Divers knife.
I asked in a drunken stupor what the hell he had the knife for and he responded that it was deadlier than any gun in the hands of an expert. Which fortunately for all of us, he was. I said no way, a gun could do any job better. For matters of pride he decided to show me the error of my thoughts.
"Hold this wine box Hosty," he said.
"Well ok," I replied. I'm a sucker for taking orders.
" Now," he said, " I am going to run at you from across the bar and you see how many shots you can get off by yelling Bang Bang Bang. I'll show you how ineffective a gun is."
"Ok," I replied. The Whiskey was starting to take hold of what little senses I had left.
So he goes across the bar and assumes a track runners stance, and says...
"Now!!!!!!!"
Remember the 4 inch razor sharp Scuba Knife?
He comes full blast across the bar screaming and waving a knife like a madman while I stood paralyzed and managed to get out one "Bang." With a half hearted enthusiasm.
Remember the Wine box I was Holding?
Leaping like a Viking, he tore the hell out of the box with the knife basically shedding it in my hands.
" I could cut your heart out in two second with a quick flick of my wrist just like that box," he said, sprinting like a long distance runner.
" Hey I believe you." And I stumbled out the door.
I decided to call it a night before the gun demonstration that was certainly coming next.
~Hosty Out

St Gregory’s College to the top

It's been over ten years since I first was sent off to school college that is . It was a weird time. Compact discs were side items at the record stores, beta max video tapes were hip and Macintosh computers were the shit. You were beginning to see the turning over of the new technologies. The Internet was a cheap IBM program that nobody even knew how to work. I had one called Plato and let me tell you it was sloooooow. You would end up staring at a lime green blinking screen for hours and nothing would happen.
Anyway, I was 17 years old and fresh out of Bishop Mcguinnes High School in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. My mother had hounded me all summer long to hurry and make a decision on where I needed to go to college. Weigh the consequences she said. It is the most important decision of you life, to quote about 100 movies. So what did I do? I waited until the last minute and choose a small Catholic Junior College in Shawnee, Oklahoma run by monks . Why you ask? I have no idea. Maybe it was my sophomoric girlfriend still in the Public High School system that was giving up the booty to me. The thought of trying all over again to get laid was formidable and I wasn’t very adept at it . Or maybe the fact I needed to be close to my mother and family after my father passing away the summer before. Whatever it was it ended up being the weirdest decision of my life…i’ll just start with some of the stories.
Setting the Dorms on Fire
Fire is a primal thing that has fascinated me for a long time. Even in the Boy Scouts as a young lad I recall that the Scoutmaster always had me and several of my friends participate in the pyro-technical events, which we always seemed to win. We couldn’t do much else in the area of tying knots or emergency first aid, but we could burn the hell out of anything. A good career in the arson arts soon awaited us, was the prediction. Oh how true. Fire also has always been a sign of thing to come.
A sort of notification from the gods that things are going a little to weird and I got to get off the ride for a while. At good ol St. Greg’s it was no different.
As usual, we were sitting in out dorm rooms getting drunk and high. Of course with the doors slightly open so the R.A, who was always a future late night mall security guard could keep a watchful eye on us. When he was usually trying to get in his girlfriend’s pants or vice versa. "Want to play some Nerf Basketball?" I asked and picking up the ball I flew into action imitating Michael Jordan if he was 10 feet tall and didn’t need to jump to slam dunk to ball. "You’re on" Said Matt. Matt was a country boy from way out who only was a constant help in my trouble.
So we launched into full scale Canadian Rules Basketball, which is kind of a combination of American NBA action, hockey and boxing. Basically you beat the living hell out of the other participant while trying to get to the hoop. As the battle wore and as Matt continually was beating me down, seeing how he outweighed me by 200 pounds and was merely a foot or two taller , I decided to make the game a little interesting. We would switch to a slam dunk contest. Ah the game had changed. I was in my element. I needed a special dunk but was soon out done by the backwoods boy who was spraying hairspray on his whole arm.
"What the hell are you doing?" afraid to actually know. And as quick as he sprayed it on he ignited his arm . Leaping off of the bed he crashed into the dresser where the hoop did not stand a chance. Fire, Blubber and nerf all collided in a sound much like the Guinness book sound barrier noise. "Jesus Christ!!" I said in shear amazement. Let me try that. So we went back and forth lifting up our arms and spinning turning and spinning and turning to the hoop. Now this isn’t very smart for all of you kids out there. But the hairspray did burn off fast and left no real damage other than a slight burning sensation.
Meanwhile my roommate was trying again to study while we were tearing the room to pieces. But something caught his eye. The Flame. So he decided to join on in and sprayed down his arm. Lighting it up he went to the hole. Score!!!!!!!! But his arm didn’t go out he had sprayed his arm with Lysol Disinfectant and soon the screaming was heard down the hall and I am sure over to the local Baptist College where they were sure those crazy Catholics were involved in some devil sacrifice. But all was calm after a while.
"Stop, Drop and Roll!!" I yelled half laughing at the same time. "Stop Drop and Roll."
Finally the giant was a smoldering mass of…well, sad giant. After asking the conciliatory are you all right, we decided the Nerf Game was getting out of hand and to abandon it. So we went across the hall to see what the other derelicts of the Alley were up to. To our surprise they were engaged in some pyrotechnics of their own. They had a can of STP engine treatment and were spraying a racquetball, lighting it and then rolling it down the hall. A rolling fireball.
Beer after beer after beer the mushrooms I had taken finally started to creep into my brains. The rolling fireball had captivated my senses. It was as if the sun were rolling down the hallway skipping down the stairs. But it was too small. The sun is much bigger, I thought. And then the idea.
"Wait hear. The sun has got to be bigger." I said. The eloquent statement left my fellow scientists in awe for a second. I retrieved the Nerf basketball and began to fill it with STP engine treatment. I think I emptied the whole can but who knows? Then with a flick of a Bic I lit the sun. Well, it is rather sobering to have something blow up in your face, especially when it is on fire. The blaze leapt out of my hands and the ball started expanding.
"She is going to blow." And with that I flung the ball down the hall which turned out to be a bad idea because the hall ended up catching on fire, along with the wall, ceiling etc. You get the picture.
Turning to my friends we all exchanged glances of the Holy Shit variety and then scattered like the wind. I raced into my room scared to death but slightly amused because of the psillcibum. What am I going to do? I thought. So I did the first thing that would come to the mind of anyone in the same situation. I took off all of my clothes and jumped in the shower. Everyone was running for their lives but not me!! I was….wait a second…oh yeah I was taking a shower and I don’t know what is going on. What a crock of shit…but it was the only thing I could think of.
Soon the RA slammed the door open and yelled" Fire!!!!! Fire!!!!!! Get out downstairs now!!! Hosty get out of here there is a fire."
"Really?" trying hard to conceal my state.
" What are you doing in the shower with the water not running anyway Are you O.K. you look funny." He said.
"I don’t know."
So the dorms emptied out like the flood gates of, well, something flooding. Everyone was pissed. The cold December wind was definitely sweeping over the Oklahoma plains freezing everyone’s asses. The Shawnee fire department must have brought every fire truck , ambulance and siren they had out there. Locals who heard of the fire on their militia scanners came out to see the heathens burn. But the fire was quickly put out. And oh yeah it was finals week.
Well I thought I had got away with it until the note in the mail. Apparently my roomy, who I had spent 12 years of Catholic school with, was made to talk. I don’t blame him though. After tough interrogations by monks everyone cracks, eventually.
~Hosty Out Favorite Moments' to the top
1997 Summertime Fayetteville, Arkansas 11:00 p.m., Showtime. We hadn’t performed much in Arkansas and there wasn’t much of a crowd. Out of the three people there dimly lit by the glow of a single light bulb, a middle aged mariachi complete with a sombrero paraded to the front of the stage singing some unrecognizable song. In between fits of screaming "ahy yiy yiy yiy" he tried to get up and sing with me. It was a beautiful site.
Strippers in the Night to the top
Other strangeness that has occurred falls into the category of performance art. Not once, or twice but four times strippers have danced their way into the hearts of the bar crowds we have played for. Now, bear in mind, these strippers were not of the female persuasion. No sir they have all been male strippers performing for the fertility festival held by groups of female friends preparing for the ritual act of marriage. The most memorable one had to be the slightly tall native American stripper who deceived us all by coming in dressed as a cop. Who would have thought he was a stripper! Anyway he kung fu danced for the crowd almost kicking the poor girl right square in the face. Only after ripping off his Velcro pants to reveal himself. I thought that was bizarre in itself. But the next month in Tulsa, he showed up again! But at a different bar and the bizarre process repeated itself all over again!
Bar Fights to the top
My least favorite spectacle to witness is the ever present bar fight, with pool cues and all (that was in Tulsa). But the best bout ever was a redneck belt buckle fight right on Historic Campus Corner here in Norman. The belt buckle fight really took me off guard. You see, in front of what was then called Shooters two good OLE boys were arguing over who would win the hand of the lovely lady they were both buying intoxicants for. As the argument heated up, one of the fellows pulled off his belt complete with the buckle and began to swing it around like a gladiator. The other country gent, not to be outdone, removed his belt and the melee was on. It was much like a Redneck adaptation of Sparticus. I always wondered what the huge platter style buckles were for. They are weapons!
Bands take note whenever there is a bar fight cease playing your own music and immediately go into a burning fast hillbilly country train beat complete with banjo style guitar picking. It makes the situation tolerable by injecting humor, and it sure riles up the rumblers. Oh and for the fighters. It is a known fact that those not wearing a shirt at the time of the police arrival on the scene will be taken in. Just watch any episode of Cops. The guilty guy 90% of the time is shirtless. So in order to disguise yourself from the law, please put on some clothes.
Finally to the top
Reports of the death of Conway Twitty are greatly exaggerated. We saw him at Russell’s in the Marriott Hotel. He is alive and well. And in our state of unconscienceness we played "Lay Me Down", "Tight Fittn’ Jeans" and "Hello Darln" just for him. As I talked to him he indicated he was an old Snuggler. And with that comment, I ended the conversation right there. I wasn’t curious to know what he was going to ask me next. So I ran.
I almost forgot...I love TVto the top
And there is no better TV viewing than late night Tel-Evangelist Brother Bob Tilton. He has testimonials on the tube every so often that speak of his healing power. And the other night I witnessed the best, most bizarre story I had ever seen. It seems that a small boy named "Punkin" had trouble taking a dump. His mother at home in Alabama tried everything form prune juice to rectal suppositories, but nothing worked. The doctor even had to give poor Punkin a baby enema. The only solution was a terrible operation that would remove Punkin’s (I swear that was his real name) colon. The mother’s neighbor, in tears, told the woman to lay Punkin’s hands on the TV because Brother Bob had mentioned that there was somebody in the viewing audience with an intestinal problem and she just knew that it was Punkin.
Well, Punkin laid his hands on the TV and do you know what. He pooped!
I sat and watched this happen. For a half an hour I was mesmerized by Brother Bob…oh yeah and Punkin. This guy is INSANE. Has any one else seen this? Its nuts.
~Hosty Out

Chicken Fightin'  to the top

Some tales of the Road are woven before the gig. Such are the tales of van maintenance. This particular day Byars, or Tic-Tac as we call him, went to this little Oklahoma town called Blanchard to buy a new trailer. You see we had worn the wheels off of the other one, barely surviving a near death experience, so we said it is time to give the old trailer a Viking Funeral and begin destroying another fine made Oklahoma product.
Blanchard is south of Norman in McClain County, Oklahoma just over the Canadian River. Along the way there is buffalo farm with a heard of at least 100 ‘Tatonka.’ As we came over the ridge I couldn’t see the new trailer Tic-Tac had been ranting about…..but we soon would.
Pulling into the lot, the jumpsuit clad proprietor was underneath a decrepit speed boat hooking up the tail lights for a good ol boy wearing a fanny sack, Oakley sun glasses and a shirt with a scene of a motorcycle going so fast past a young lady that it torn her shirt clean off (a very beautiful site I must say). Trailers were all over the lot as far as the eyes could see, and of course a early 80’s Monte Carlo turned into Top Fuel Race Car complete with roll bar.
All of a sudden the owners voice came, “Try that,” in a gruff country lisping drawl. For about an hour we heard, “Try this light, try that light……..” The lights never did work but he soon relented and gave his attention to selling us a trailer. After walking around on the lot he said he had a trailer at home that would better suit our needs.
So we hopped in his truck…along the way he asked, “So what do you fellas dos?”
“Well we are musicians, and we need the trailer to haul around our stuff,” I said.
“Oh musicians well that’s good we neeed muthic,” he said. And then quite prophetically added, “A lot of people loose site of the big picture and quit because of little thangs. You got to keep your eyes on the big picture.” This man was turning out to be a sage of sorts.
As we turned the corner to his house ‘Big Red’, our new trailer was in site plain as day as well as something else… what I thought to be little dog houses everywhere, but they also had…….roosters tied up to each one. My god, I finally realized he was raising fighting chickens! They were everywhere and guarded by two of the meanest guard MULES (yes mules) I have ever seen.
Byars asked timidly, “ So you raise fight’n Chickens. I knew a guy…….”
And before Byars could finish our jump-suited sage began to speak, “My chickens are like my kids. Sometimes I just go out and watch them, feed them.”
“Do you fight them?” I asked
“Oh yeah I treat my chickens good, they get two years of good eating and living before they go to the pit.”
(The pit is where the gamecocks have knives taped to their legs or a little hook and they fight to the death.)
Then I made the mistake of asking, “What do you think of those people in the city trying to ban chicken fighting?”
I was trying to make small talk, but as it turned out, he walked away quietly with his thoughts on the question. I thought he was going to tell us to get the hell of his place either that or kill us and feed us to the chickens. As we unloaded Evergreen feed from the trailer onto pallets our chicken raisin’ friend drove up on a forklift and growling he began to speak.
“ Those people are talking about stuff they don’t know. I ship these chickens all over the world, like South America. I treat my chickens good. At Tyson those chickens are fed the leftover parts of other chickens, raised in a less than one foot of cage and live only 16 weeks. Our founding fathers fought chickens and even the ancient people.”
Ah ……….the ancient people I thought. Ah who cares, he was on a roll.
“Hell I spend 400 dollars a month feeding these things, putting money into the community and that lady in the city who says it is cruel don’t know she is messing with a lifestyle that goes back thousands of years. These chickens were bread to fight each other. You can’t keep two in one yard. They will attack, that’s all they know to do. That aint American telling someone else what they can and can’t do just cause you don’t like it. You got to keep out of other peoples business. They take away one right and then they start to take them all these days.”
And with that, the fork lift shot up a cloud of dust and exhaust and drove away. It was a scene straight out of a low budget public access documentary.
Byars and I were standing almost in tears at the patriotic speech ready to salute the flag. But instead we finished unloading the fifty-pound bags of Evergreen feed, closing up the big red trailer and driving away. As the Blanchard trailer company faded into the rearview we realized we had bought a former feed trailer from a professional racecar driving patriotic chicken fighter.
God bless America and chicken fighting.
~Hosty Out

Tic-Tac's World  to the top

     Tic Tac' s world is comprised of hot rods, drums and the occasional brush with the insane as well as the occasional lat night shopping at the Grocery store yielding more that than just an open free of clutter push down the isle but a vast array of creatures of the night shuffling and slithering on their bellies like snakes to get to the bottom shelved macaroni and cheese.
     Tic Tac went into Buy For Less in Norman late late late at night to get some what-nots when he heard pings and pops like stepping on an empty Pringles can and shooting the lid across the room. The shots were accompanied by what seemed to be the flapping f bird wings. It turns out the two back room stockers had let a rogue pigeon into the store and they didn't want to get in trouble so they decided to " take care of the bird" by shooting out of the sky with a pellet gun. They weren't trying to get it with a broom or a net, but instead were trying to subdue the pesky aviator with a Red Ryder high powered BB Gun. Much in the manner of Jungle Guerillas, these trailer park commandoes were shooting up the store like a scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid. Tic Tac was dodging pellets just to get some milk.
     He mentioned it only recently, as he was trying to forget it, like a bad florescent combat flashback. So beware late at night, for the stockers are cocking their rifles, and rogue budget shopping birds could make your trip to the store a Trip in the store.
Hosty's Influences  to the top
     There are several people who influenced me playing the guitar but two in particular, Joe Bob Nelson, John Cook otherwise known as 'Robot John' or 'Jammn John' and Jeff Freeman. Joe Bob was my first guitar teacher when I was 11 years old back in 1981. He was the Bob Ross of the guitar and took me throughout fabled works of Mel Bay, master o
    I quit playin the guitar after only a year but started up again in High School when I met John Cook at Bishop McGuinnes High School on the mean streets of OKC. John introduced me to Led Zepplin’s Physical Graffitti, The Dead Kennedy’s, NOTA, Black Flag, The Clash, The Minutemen, Firehose, Bob Mould and ZZ Topp as well as the slide guitar. John had a slide and after seeing him play it, I was inspired to learn how to play it. John also introduced me to his guitar guru in the back of Driver Music in Edmond. Jef Freeman.
    Jeff looked like one of the guys in ZZ Top...either one really, with a long red beard and a shaved head. My mom thought he looked like an ax murderer. Jeff taught me every ZZ Top, Stevie Ray, Fabulous T-Birds song I ever wanted to know as well as a little blues guitar. He told me the the coup de gras for electric guitar players. A feat that Mel Bay never saw coming. The contribution of Link Wray to music, the Barre Chord. I will forever be in the debt of Jeff Freeman.