Since the last that some of my friends have heard from me was that I was set to begin a dream job, and since the calendar's about to turn, I thought it a good time to send a rare all-points update.
First, that dream job. As I wrote last month on The Dawn Patrol, my position as communications director of the Graphic Artists Guild disappeared before it could start, after my boss-to-be, the executive director, was hospitalized with brain cancer. . . .
The loss of the Graphic Artists Guild opportunity leaves me doing the samething I've been doing since my position as publicist for the World Trade Center oldies concerts was invalidated by 9/11—leading a double life. (No, I'm not referring to being simultaneously Christian and Jewish.) I'm making part of my living doing sexy things—writing headlines and copyediting for the paper part-time (well, I think that's sexy), freelance-writing (most recently for People magazine), and cohosting Tuesday Night Trivia at the Baggot Inn (still going strong after six months)—and part through the less-sexy but undeniably necessary "money gigs." The latter include a now-ending six-week stint managing and supervising a data-entry project at the American Red Cross of Greater New York and, starting Monday, a regular part-time job doing medical billing. (If you ever need to keep track of your disbursement orders or insurance adjustments, I'm your woman.)
All in all, despite some hardship, I've had a lot of fun this year, as you can see from the list below of some of the year's most noteworthy Dawn Patrol items. I'm also blessed with a wonderful family and very dear friends. My resolution for 2003 is to reconnect with those friends with whom I've been out of touch. If you are one of them and would like to get the jump on me, the best way to reach me nowadays is on my cell phone. Of course, I'd also love to see you at Tuesday Night Trivia, which returns from its holiday break on January 7, 7:30 p.m., at the Baggot Inn (82 W.3rd St. [between Thompson & Sullivan], free).
With love and all best wishes for 2003,
Friday, December 27, 2002
Monday, December 23, 2002
Here are quotes from an interview I did with Zal in April 1997, which originally appeared as a Mojo magazine "Phone Home" column. (The image of Zal at right is from Gary Pig Gold's excellent remembrance of Zal in BigO.) Zal was just as he seems here; pleasant, witty, and self-effacing:
I was fired from the Lovin' Spoonful. The famous dope bust wasn't pivotal; it's just a very easy hook to hang things on. I mean, most of our fans didn't even know about it; they didn't read the underground papers. There was a good deal of artistic and personal tension within the band. I would say that it was growing pains. We hung together longer than we should have.
I'm not sure what kind of direction I wanted to take. My album Alive and Well in Argentina [Buddah, 1968] was almost a bit of a lark, really. It's not a great album. There are a couple of great tunes on it, and the liner notes are funny, and the national anthems that bridge the tracks are funny. But, really and truly, it was just marking time.
A friend of mine named Larry Hankin and I made a video for that album—a Scopitone, actually—for the single, "As Long As You're Here" [Does anybody have a copy of this Scopitone?—Ed.] It was a typical video; pretty mindless. I still have a copy of it. After we made it, we thought, "This is a good idea;" going around to various record companies and basically making live-action films of people not necessarily lip-synching but doing other things while their record's playing in the background. Needless to say, nothing ever came of it! Larry stayed in the business—he's now with the TV show "Friends."
After that, I played with Kris Kristofferson, in his first band, the one that played at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, where Jimi Hendrix gave his last performance. In fact, John Sebastian was there, too. He dragged me up onstage and we sort of plunked together.
I went into television and was a producer for Screen-Gems in Montreal. In 1979, I opened my restaurant, Chez Piggy in 1979, in Kingston, Ontario. It's still going strong, and we opened a bakery, Pan Chancho, three years ago.
Tell people that I'm alive and very well. The Canadian recording industry gave me a Juno "Hall of Fame" award a couple of years ago, but I would say that's 'cause they worked through the alphabet. They pass on a lot of good Canadian rockers. I always call those things the "Hollow Fame" award.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Friday, December 13, 2002
Council of Nice: Frugged like a madwoman to the glorious strains of melody that emerged through the over-charged [literally and figuratively—those tubes are expensive] amps of the Anderson Council at Maxwell's last night. I'll offer another detail or two on that over the weekend; I just had to put these photos up right away, as Anderson Council bass player Rob Farrell (who provided them) and lead singer/guitarist Peter Horvath both told me that they read The Dawn Patrol every morning. Pete also reads Tanked Michael's blog religiously.
Downstairs, in Maxwell's "backstage," I told Pete that, after seeing the Anderson Council's performance, I believed he'd finally found a truly happy medium between the poppy, retro sound of the early Anderson Council and the dark, modern sound of his pre-AC band, Seething Grey.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
"Dawn, when I look into my crystal beer glass, I can see that, on June 9, 2002, you will find love—AND THE YANKEES WILL BEAT THE GIANTS!"
Rooks, Like, We Made It: Last night, one day after My Boyfriend Todd and I celebrated our six-month anniversary (despite the fact that, as Tuesday Night Trivia regular Nick Sarames would say, it isn't really an "anniversary"), we made a post-trivia excursion to Arlene Grocery to see the wonderful Dave Rave. It was actually the Dave Rave Conspiracy in their annual New York City International Pop Overthrow festival semi-reunion, including original members Gary Pig Gold and Lauren Agnelli. In the audience was Dave's number one fan, Michael Mazzarella, whose own Rooks are set to close the IPO at Arlene's on Saturday. Michael paid me and Todd the most beautiful compliment, calling us "the couple of the century."
Sunday, December 8, 2002
Saw Robert George on CNN yesterday. Now I feel guilty that I jokingly said, "Come here so I can spank you." I didn't mean that.
Saturday, December 7, 2002
"I don't consider it a defeat," Michael said hurriedly. He looked to Todd. "Do you consider it a defeat?"
Todd's reply was swift and with a straight face: "Only in the sense that you didn't win."
"That's what I mean," Michael agreed.
Friday, December 6, 2002
I wrote the bio as a lark, making up stuff—with the band's permission—as a satire on rock-bio clichés. I thought the inaccuracies—like my assertion that the band was formerly a popular cowpunk act called Kudzu—would be obvious, but many journalists have accepted it on faith.
Here is an overdue namecheck of some of my favorite online people and things: My Boyfriend Todd's HealthFactsandFears.com, my Tuesday Night Trivia cohost Caren Lissner [hope she doesn't mind my linking to what I believe is an unauthorized reprint], G.K. Chesterton and The New York City G.K. Chesterton Society, and the comics collection that is, as of last night, the first one I've ever read all the way through: the wonderful Bizarro Comics. [Note: The Bizarro link will take you to an interesting preview of the collection. The collection itself came out last year.]