- May 2017 -

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Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
May 2017

3-28  Picked up Joel Selvin at the Burbank Airport. We got lunch, picked up Skip Heller and canvassed my closest storage unit. (Joel made off with a bundle of my albums, which I am dispersing to friends.) When I drove  him back to airport at 7 pm, we were both exhausted, “old friends” in every sense.

"Art" photo, Art on right. Into the void: Selvin, Heller.

3-30  Emptied out one of my four storage bins. Down to three!

4-1 Two grifters, off to see the art. Skip and I drifted to the Corey Helford Gallery, where he jawed with Dosshaus.

4-2   Drove to McCabe’s in Santa Monica to see Cindy Lee Berryhill. The concert - a production of her new album,with full band, two cellos, horn section, strings, more - floored me. I had no expectations beyond seeing a nice show, but immediately it started I was transported, in my mind, to England in 1967, hearing ‘Sgt. Pepper.’  I was agog. Syd Straw was among the 15 backup musicians filling, and spilling off, the stage. Quite the production!

4-3   Dinner with daughter Jessie Fein, last seen mid-July. We went to “Andre’s of Town & Country.” I used to take her there when she was a kid, for the cheap spaghetti and plenty of it in a … middle-notch … shopping center across from Farmers Market. I hardly ever see that kid, 25.

4-4   Breakfast with Mark Leviton, down from The Hills.

4-6   Record-sharing with Ed Odel, of hotplatters.com. I’m selling many albums. Boy, there’s plenty.

Dinner for Dick “Eating Raoul” Blackburn’s birthday, with friends. Sotto restaurant, on Pico.

4-7  Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas at Farmers Market. Two sets, 7 and 9 pm. “Mister Energy” never lets up. Free show. You shoulda been there.

Trumpeter's eyes pop out trying to follow hyperkinetic Kenny.

4-9  Headed downtown to the Redwood Bar to see Skip Heller en semble as is my wont. 

Three years ago, the parking lot in this unwanted end of downtown charged 4 bucks.

Next year it was six. This year it’s been eight, this night - twenty. 
“There’s an event tonight” said the lot attendant.
“Yeah, a holdup is an event, isn’t it?” I said, in my head. 
I parked in a city lot for $10, posted, but only $7 on exit. 

Now there’s no room now to talk about the band except to say they were grand.
* Back in Hollywood I hied out to Burbank to see the last half of the Chuck Berry Tribute night at Viva Cantina.

He’s hard to equal, that Berry boy, but everyone had a ball trying. 

Jason Guitierez closes the show with a blast, well worth waiting for.

4-10 Dizziness, near-faint, 10:30 am, 11:00, 1:20. Frightening, but brief.

2:00 Went to dog-boarder on Highland to visit Phoebe, the Dachshund, left there for weekend. Trouble is I came a day late, she'd be picked up soon. I sat with her for a while. She hadn’t seen me for 8 months  (she lives elsewhere) so she was a little slow to respond, then licked me lavishly. She’s very slight at age 16, and has gained a lot of white hair. But haven’t we all.

7:30  MRI. Cedars-Sinai hospital. Test #1 of three.

10:30  Dropped in to Jane Cantillion’s bday party at Palermo’s on Vermont. Friendly crowd, swell performers.

4-11 10:30 am home, dizzy, recovered.  4:30 pm dizzy on highway, close snap-back.

4-12  Minor dizziness, recovery. Still no fun at 11:30 pm.

4-13  Had two mid day pseudo-seizures, 10 and 6 . They subsided. 

*  Took Harvey Sid Fisher to Talleyrand family restaurant in Burbank. Also visited Iliad book store. Harvey carries his guitar into 
stores and breaks into song. An entertaining fella.

*  Got a $12 haircut. Realized I can’t afford it. (Losing the hair, I mean.)

4-14  Two semi-seizures, 8 am, 11 pm. Who needs this? Me, apparently.

*  Nice, but too rare, visit with Richard Foos, Rhino-cum-Shout Factory friend. He crossed the 405 curtain to come see my new apartment, and dine at Basix on Santa Monica, after learning the restaurant he’d chosen was overbooked. The meeting: too brief.

4-15  Back to Cedars Sinai to get EEG (EKG?). (“They X-rayed my head but found nothing.”)

*  Met Cindy Berryhill, in town with son Alexander, at a Vietnamese restaurant near McCabe’s and exchanged niceties. She was grateful 
for my rave review of her recent show and album. The kid is great.

4-17  Drove to South Pasadena Library, to a memorial for Roz Larman, KPFK lefty radio pioneer (with her husband Howard), mother of good 
friend Allen Larman. Many folk musicians played!

Becapped Dave Alvin leads a throng of folkies at the Larman tribute. Blur at left Rick Shea, gal blur in blue WendyWaldman.

4-19  Breakfast with longtime scene-maker Steve Kalinich at Factor’s Deli. I can talk as fast as he can, so we bandied quite a bit of information, 
memories and ate gefilte fish (not really).

4-22  Tom Kenny again (am I becoming a ‘camp’ follower?) packed the Barkley in South Pasadena, where I joined friend Rich Fannan and Mick Gallinson.  Like “The Expressway (To Your Heart)” it was TOO CROWDED.

4-23 Had lofty ambition to go to LATimes Book Fair south of downtown. Went instead to Fairfax High School swap meet. As I age, I brace less when asked for $3 admission. I recalled that that aggregation held little appeal for me, and it met my expectation. Nice to be around healthy people, though, in the sun.

4-27  Watched a Dodger day game from San Francisco at the Beverly Glen home of friends Kathe & David. The lumbering game drove us out to get ices down on Ventura Blvd, then I split. At home, the Dodgers rose to a split-second thrilling finish and won a game, finally.

Went at 10 pm to the Maui Sugar Mill, a bar in a crowded under-scale old mall in Tarzana to see Skip Heller’s Blues Destroyers in a different 
light. On target they are, pearls before fine people.

4-30 - Big Jay McNeely, whose R&B career started in post-WWII Los Angeles, still performs all over  the world. This night he honored us (Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays) with an incredible hour of shouting, honking music and mirth at Joe’s in Burbank on this, coincidentally, his 90th birthday. 

The energy was astonishing, the joy unbounded. I laughed till I cried from beginning to end. He is it, I-T!  AM I RIGHT!?

Rob Stone Band opened for and backed up Jay. They were sensational.

Mr. Stone rocks the room

Tom Kenny gets an autograph

Bite your tongue?

Talked to a guy who’d clearly lost some weight. Forty pounds. I told him he looked great. 
He said “So, you didn’t like how I looked before?” 

I didn’t say yes, or anything, but the fact is, yes, his prior poundage disguised his features. 
I realized the right thing to say later.

“You’re like one of those half- finished sculptures, a thing of beauty emerging from a rock.”


* Why do people say “plain vanilla” for flavorless? Vanilla’s great. In my teens when I’d order a vanilla soda with chocolate ice cream it confused the waiter, and people with me. 

* I was fired from a record company for, among other reasons, correcting an executive who said that so-and-so’s album would be the company’s 
penultimate concentration. It was at the company getaway, at Rancho Cosa Nostra or something, outside of San Diego. 

Shortly after he spoke, I pulled  him aside and told him that penultimate meant the next-best, not the best. He contradicted me, said he’d learned the word from a promotion man in Cleveland. I didn’t guffaw or roll my eyes, but the following Monday I was let go. 

* Think about Big Apple. Makes no sense, but has a positive ring. Then consider “La La Land.” Sounds trivial like a put-down.

“The coast” is good, but nobody here is fatheaded enough to claim that our coast is the only coast.
I suspect it's a NY term for someplace distant, irrelevant.

Status report

Wife moved out 2009. 
Sweetheart quit, February.

Milquetoast Nation

It’s a good time for color-blind people, car-wise:
Most new cars come in black, white or silver.

Why? Because owners fear that when they sell the car, a potential buyer might not like blue or peach or green. 


Some people get chills from the sound of ice trays coming out of the freezer.

My gripe is zzzit’s on metal guitar strings, apparently the pic being slid along
the neck en route to a fret, amplified. 

I’ve asked around, and some people agree with me. 
It’s not hard to find a fellow sufferer.


My friend’s grandfather was a little peculiar. 
When he worked in mines in Pittsburgh 100 years ago, he would pick up only coal pieces that he liked.

Why I’m sweet

I use a pound of honey a week. It’s not so much when you use a teaspoon per cup (in my case, tea - can’t drink coffee) and drink four cups a day.

I believe … to a point

My old musician friend Troy says that in the ‘60s Elvis would come see him singing at a club out in Van Nuys.  

“He stole my arrangements” he claimed.  

Who knows. Could be.

I’m so smart

TCM old-movie channel runs synopses of their films, from a company called Gracenotes that often omits the dates of films. 

I wondered why a station with film credibility would subscribe to a service so irresponsible, then - hand slaps forehead - realized it’s their own service, copyrighted so nobody could steal their exquisite summaries.

- 57 -



“Everybody Has One”



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