Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flame On!

We fled our ice palace Saturday morning and headed to my mom's on the Cape. Sounds like our street got power back just a few hours after we left, so we came back home Sunday morning and everything is back to normal - at least for us; there are still many, many thousands without power. We actually have more broken branches hanging by a thread in the trees than have hit the ground so there could still be problems for awhile. My brother-in-law's house in NH is done to 37 inside!

What most trees look like Beautiful once sun came out
Front of house

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice World

Woke up this morning at 5am to what sounded like shotgun blasts, then realized the power was out and the sounds were trees being ripped into pieces. The worst ice storm I've ever experienced hit overnight. Looking out every window was the beautiful image of everything coated in ice, while on the ground huge branches and twisted trees bent over so much I'm waiting for them to snap. Went out and took some pictures, while I could hear things crashing to the ground, sounding like a Tyrannosaurus running through the neighborhood. After dragging a few branches out of the driveway, and having to remember how garage door openers work without power, I went into the office since they did have power. As of now there seems to be no good news as to when power might return. Might be headed home soon just to grab Lori and Homer and have everyone camp out in my cube for the weekend. Provided I can find a gas station with power before my fumes run out.

Here is some good coverage with video and photos from the Boston Globe.
Nearly 1 Million Without Power After Ice Storm

Whenever I get power at home I'll throw some of my photos up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Role Models" Rocks!

Lori and I went to the movies yesterday for the first time since August and checked out "Role Models" which I had to see because every review I read mentioned KISS, plus the ads cracked me up every time. The movie did not disappoint. It was hilarious all the way through and features one of the best foul-mouthed kids since the original "Bad News Bears." And KISS isn't just mentioned or have a song playing in the background. They are actually part of the plot and a key feature in numerous scenes. The scene where they discuss "Love Gun" really struck home, as I had that very same discussion years ago. And the fact that the scene takes place around a KISS pinball machine like the one sitting in my house just added to my Kissteria. So if you want a good raunchy, stupid laugh fest, with lots of boobs, check it out. And if you're a KISS fan - you'll like it even more.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


So far we've been having a blast in London. We ended up in the 2nd row at Monty Python's Spamalot and it was hilarious. I couldn't believe how much I was laughing considering I already knew 90% of the jokes. We wandered all around the theater district, china town and strolled through the National Portrait Gallery. It's been nice to just be able to roam the city without any plans.
Today we visited the Imperial War Museum which is a huge place with lots of tanks, rockets, missiles and planes on display from World War I and World War II. I didn't know squat about WWI and seeing WWII not just from the US perspective was very interesting. There were cool interactive walk through sections for the Trenches of WWI and surviving The Blitz of WWII. There was a special area just on D-Day which was much more wide ranging than the US centric battles at Utah and Omaha beaches. Plus a floor just for The Holocaust. After visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC in September, I figured I was all Holocausted out but the section still packed a wallop. We spent 5 hours at the Imperial War Museum and still didn't see everything.
Then we visited Europe's biggest Salvador Dali exhibition; over 500 pieces at the Dali Universe. As you can probably tell by my love of Angry Johnny, I don't know shit about art. I'd heard the Dali name of course and knew he did a lot of whacked out stuff - but that was it. I was shocked by how much I liked some of his art. Some pieces made me laugh out loud and I spent hours taking my time looking at everything. Though I did pass on the additional Picasso gallery - by that point I was just spent.
Tomorrow we'll hit The British Museum and our final pubs before flying home Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hatteras Hotel

I worked today on an independent feature shooting in Rockport Mass, "Hatteras Hotel". I was one of just six extras, all the other guys were cops and I was the criminal. I guess that is a step up from being just a thug. It was a good day and a fun cast and crew (saw a couple guys I met working on Illegal Aliens again). The lead is Wade Williams, he said I looked like a real con; since he was a regular on Fox's "Prison Break" I took that as a compliment. I was handcuffed and marched through the station on a perp walk. At one point the camera was moved and I was sent through a door we hadn't been through before. The "cop" behind him shoves me along with my hands cuffed behind my back. We get to the door and he pauses to turn the knob then kicks the door open and shoves me in. What I didn't see was the step down into this area and I almost went down face first to the ground. Would've been the best performance for us - but the door slammed shut behind us ruining the take. Hours later my wrists are still red and sore from being shoved around in the cuffs. I should've gotten hazard pay.

Here is a recent story from Gloucester Daily Times

Rockport to star in 3rd movie of year

By Jonathan L'Ecuyer
Staff Writer
November 03, 2008 10:46 pm

ROCKPORT — The silver screen spotlight will shine on Rockport for the third time this year. Filming is expected to start next week on "Hatteras Hotel."

The movie company plans to film at numerous locations around Rockport between Nov. 10 and Dec. 18; sites include the old and current police stations, T-Wharf, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockport and Pigeon Cove.

While few details have been provided on who will star in the movie, Emerson Inn by the Sea general manager Molly Andrew Williamson did confirm the inn would play a major role in the mystery drama — the part of the Hatteras Hotel.

According to Town Administrator Michael Racicot, the film is about a Boston police officer who grows tired of city living and decides to finish out his career in the fictional community of Salem Harbor, portrayed in the film by Rockport. The man becomes sheriff of Salem Harbor and is faced almost immediately with the mysterious death of an upper-class teenager who is found dead after a night of partying at the Hatteras Hotel.

The England-based production team has offered to donate $10,000 for affordable housing in Rockport. The money will go to the Rockport Housing Authority, Racicot said.

Racicot said Wade Williams, who has portrayed Brad Bellick on Fox's hit series, "Prison Break," for the past three years, is set to star in the film.

Film location scout Tiffany Kinder and about a dozen members of the crew met with police Chief Tom McCarthy at the Rockport Police Station yesterday morning. The crew plans to transform Rockport's station into the Boston Police Department on Monday, Nov. 10, and shoot several scenes inside the station's community and locker rooms, booking area, and cell block on Nov. 11, McCarthy said.

Rockport's old police station, located on Broadway, will portray the Salem Harbor Police Station, McCarthy added.

Attempts to reach Kinder yesterday were unsuccessful.

At the Emerson Inn by the Sea, 1 Cathedral Ave., Andrew Williamson said owner Bruce Coates and the entire staff is "thrilled" that the inn was selected as the movie's title setting.

"This will be the most filming the inn has ever seen," Andrew Williamson said, yesterday. "They're just fabulous and excited about coming to Rockport. The gentleman who wrote the script lit up when he came to the inn. When he saw it, he knew (the inn) was exactly what he had pictured in his mind. His excitement made me realize what kind of a gem we had here."

Williamson said portions of the script have been rewritten just to allow for the inn to remain as the prominent location. The crew will transform the inn into the Hatteras Hotel later this month and begin shooting early next month, Andrew Williamson added.

Meanwhile, C.P. Casting Inc. of Boston is busy hiring background extras for the movie.

According to the company's Web site,, it is looking for extras to portray hotel guests and staff, tourists, fishermen and deckhands, and many other types.

The most important factors in being chosen to work as an extra on the film will be the person's ability to provide their own transportation to Rockport and their availability during the shoot. The movie will not be filming on weekends, nor on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during Thanksgiving week.

Most extras will only work one day, the site said, but being able to get to the set early in the morning and stay all day is critical. People interested in being an extra are also asked to consider letting the movie film their car for some scenes.

Those interested in applying can visit the company's site online and fill out a "size card" via a "Hatteras Hotel Extras" link.

The movie is expected to draw a PG rating, Racicot noted.

The film is the third to film in Rockport this year.

In April, Walt Disney Pictures came to town to shoot scenes for the romantic comedy, "The Proposal," starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Then, in August, Mel Gibson was filmed on Cape Hedge Beach for his next film, "Edge of Darkness," due in theaters next year.

Racicot said the movies are a great thing for the town and the film company's donations are benefitting good causes.

Jonathan L'Ecuyer can be reached at

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

Monday, November 10, 2008

AC/DC Kicks Ass As Usual

AC/DC does nothing new on this tour (aside from some killer huge video screens, opening animation and wrecked train set), which is exactly why they keep selling out night after night and pulling in one of the oldest and nastiest looking crowds I've ever seen at a rock show. Considering Angus Young reminded me of Don Knotts' corpse being reanimated by Chuck Berry's soul - I guess it all fits just fine. Last night was the first time I ever noticed a rock drummer, Phil Rudd, smoking while playing. Amazing.
Brian Johnson was in remarkably fine voice and the band was incredibly loud. I was singing at the top of my lungs and couldn't even hear myself most of the night. And once the cannons start firing in "For Those About To Rock"... well, forget about it. My ears are still ringing, so I consider myself proudly saluted.
Last night also made it definite - gotta get the AC/DC pack for Rock Band.

Rock n Roll Train
Hell Ain't a Bad Place To be
Back In Black -- Watch on YouTube
Big Jack
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot to thrill -- Watch it on YouTube
War Machine
Anything Goes
You Shook Me all night long
Whole lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock

Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock

Review: Boston Globe
by Sarah Rodman

AC/DC keeps the voltage on high

While change is being cheered in some corners of the world right now, the members of AC/DC know that there is also some value in sticking to your guns. Or, in their case, cannons.

Last night at the TD Banknorth Garden, "Hells Bells" rang out, the walls were shaking, the big guns blazed in salute to those who had rocked, and for 1 hour and 40 minutes nobody worried about their 401(k). For a hard-rock concert, you could scarcely ask for a more satisfying escape. But AC/DC offered it, in the form of lead guitarist Angus Young's vivid, joyous solos and lead singer Brian Johnson's just-gargled-with-Rustoleum howl.

The pair led the band and the devil's horn-throwing - and wearing - sold-out crowd of 15,000 through a night of old songs, and new songs that sound like old songs.

There were a few frills - aside from those cannons, a locomotive chugged onstage to announce opener "Rock 'n' Roll Train" - and plenty of thrills delivered with heat and heart. There was no milking of "TNT" or adding new stretches of road to "Highway to Hell." This was lean, clean riffage and four-on-the-floor whomp at its most pure. As Johnson said during "Shoot to Thrill," "It's rock 'n' roll boogie; just let it creep right on through you."

Perhaps most impressive was the shockwave the group sent through songs so ubiquitous they've become almost inaudible over the years. Johnson's mischievous grin and laddish gusto and Young's white-hot precision managed to sear the residue off songs like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Thunderstruck" caked on by overuse and abuse by cover bands and classic rock radio, and at ball games and strip clubs. And the lascivious bump-and-grind of "The Jack" remains a guilty pleasure as Young continues his silly striptease tradition, though now he only gets down to his AC/DC-branded boxers from his schoolboy uniform.

He may still embrace his inner adolescent, but Young's guitar playing is that of a man his age (53) with plenty of experience in the woodshed. His fretwork was the picture of economy throughout the night, but he got his guitar hero on for a fiery solo during "Whole Lotta Rosie" - complete with a blow-up representation of the titular gal - and let loose with an epic ripper on "Let There Be Rock." He careered from speedy runs to piercing sustains while duckwalking and flailing about the stage with abandon.

At 35 years deep and with 70 million records sold, the boys in AC/DC know exactly what their fans like, and the recently released "Black Ice," their first album in eight years, reflects that. Not surprisingly, it sounds like most of the ones that came before it, so the tunes from it - including the swinging title track - fit in just fine last night.

Irish rockers, and clear AC/DC devotees, the Answer opened the show with a complementary sound and attitude.

Review: Boston Herald
by Jed Gottlieb

AC/DC lights up Garden

Angus Young is 53. Let that sink in. The guy in the purple, crushed-velvet schoolboy outfit bouncing down the catwalk in front of 15,000 people tearing through dirty blues Clapton can’t play is 53 years old. Wow.

Last night at packed-to-the-rafters TD Banknorth Garden, AC/DC fired off classic rock hit after classic rock hit sounding, and acting, like the young lads they were 30 years ago. OK, so with a combined age of 281, the quintet’s lost a step. But with the amount of beer guzzled and weed toked, nobody cared.

The band began with “Rock ’n’ Roll Train” - the opener of its new Wal-Mart exclusive, “Black Ice.” New stuff usually doesn’t go over well with the classic rock crowd, but as the album’s gone platinum in just the last two-and-a-half weeks, a shocking number of fans had their beers in the air in a rock ’n’ roll salute.

But no AC/DC show begins until Angus heats up. During “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” he was hot. On “Back in Black,” smoke was rising from the fretboard of his iconic Signature SG. But it was on “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” that those devil horns began to poke through his schoolboy cap and he burst into flames.

From here on out it was all Angus. Singer Brian Johnson is to be commended -the bloke never could sing, so it’s amazing he’s still able to wheeze and wail through almost two hours of stadium pleasers. The rhythm section of brother Malcolm Young on guitar, Cliff Williams on bass and Phil Rudd on drums - half the night with a burning cigarette between his lips - hit a groove and kept it nailed down. But everyone came for Angus.

The pint-sized, bar-blues genius - who looked more like Gollum than a rock god - tore through “The Jack,” “Shoot to Thrill” and “T.N.T.” with the moxy of a reform school-bound ninth-grader. And during “Let There Be Rock” - Angus’ big showpiece - it wasn’t his duck walk or on-the-ground flailing or the platform at the end of the catwalk that carried him 30 feet in the air that made it so awesome. It was the riffs. The kick-in-the-groin, simple-and-savage, rock ’n’ roll riffs.

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, your minds have just been blown!

Few claim AC/DC as the greatest rock band of all time, but if rock’s about two things - sex and rebellion - then these guys may be No. 1. Or at least that’s what everybody at the Garden thought when the band blasted through an encore of “Highway to Hell” and “For Those About to Rock.”

You know when sexy celebs have utterly average kids? Well, that’s what AC/DC opener the Answer was. AC/DC and Led Zeppelin had a kid. Its rock was as average as Rumer Willis.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

For Those About To Rock

Today is going to be a totally sick rockin' day. First we are headed to the Patriots - Bills game. Despite having season tickets I've missed the last two home games so this is gonna feel like the home opener all over for me. Then tonight it's AC/DC at the Boston Garden. This will be my 8th AC/DC show over the years, but it's been eight years since their last tour I think.

The Globe had a fun article this week proclaiming AC/DC to be The Greatest Band EVER!
They've had too many dismal albums in my book to give them that title, but they sure are the most reliable and an amazing live band.

Of course The Greatest Band Ever for me is probably Metallica. And I'm psyched the Guitar Hero rumors are no longer just rumors. Guitar Hero: Metallica will be out in 2009! SWEET! I'm gonna be shoving so many 14 year olds out of my way the day that goes on sale...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coming in for a Landing

Well, the flying goat I've been riding seems to be finally coming in for a landing. Today is the most normal I've felt since sometime last Wednesday. Last big hallucinations were Sunday afternoon; all the leaves on the trees around my house were waving at me. Scratch that; it was actually only the yellow and gold leaves that were waving. Guess the red, orange and brown leaves aren't my biggest fans.
For awhile I was totally mesmerized by the feeling of my pants against my legs - I was aware of each hair and skin cell as the fabric moved against them. I was as close to just completely freaking out as I could be about that time. Even last night I could see beams of light from all the lightbulbs in my house. I'd just burst out laughing and Lori would ask what was so funny, but I could never explain it.
Apart from that sort of hyper-awareness, everything is still rather amazing. Whatever I do or see feels like it's the first time. Yesterday my office phone rang (Thank God, I work from home or I'd have to take this whole week off probably) and I was just blown away. I didn't know what to do. Just noticed colored lights on the phone that I'd swear weren't there before and I was dumbfounded as to what to do next. Granted this phone is a little different, I could answer with the handset or pick a set of headphones, but I had to think and notice it all before I could decide how to answer the phone. Almost everything has been like that. The first time I answered an email yesterday... I was thrilled! I was as proud as if I'd just completed some major research paper or something. Just so... wild.
But it is settling down. This morning I was taking Homer for a walk. In the driveway it started raining and I though about going back inside. Then I realized, I didn't feel wet. I could see and hear that it was raining rather hard - but not on me. So we walked on and of course it was amazing. At one point I thought someone was behind me, I turned and a single gold leaf was falling and twirling right past my face. It reminded me of the dancing plastic bag in "American Beauty". I thought that scene was so stupid with the kid in tears about how beautiful the trash was. Needless to say, I don't feel like that anymore. :)
I even 'synced again last night for first time since Friday, later Lori shook me awake because my whole body was lurching, jumping to catch some missed breath like when I did the circular breathing at the retreat. Bizarro.
So beyond the occasional communicating with leaves, every thing's back to normal.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Awareness or Acid?

Well, I'm back home safe and sound. Been up since before 5am which was quite a surprise since I'd only slept 3 hours the night before. Still don't feel quite "right" or "normal", but maybe this is the new "normal". It's like I'm on some low level acid trip - everything is noticeably brighter, sharper, deeper. Flying yesterday was fantastic and thrilling. It was like it was my first flight ever, at times I was staring out the window gawking at the clouds and sky in amazement with a big shit eating grin on my face. And music, God, music is just so much more moving - every lyric is stunning. The only poor schmuck sitting with me who had to put up with my smiling, singing and tears was me - luckily I had a row to myself on the first flight. Second flight was a different story, but I didn't care by then. I was in my own space and enjoying the madness. Not sure if people didn't notice me or were too scared to look my way.
When I landed at Logan, nothing seemed familiar. It was like I was landing in some new city. Lori picked me up for the drive home. I didn't even try to speak to her until a few minutes passed and even then could only spit out a couple words. I was mesmerized by the lights, it seemed like Boston had turned into Las Vegas while I was away. There were amazing bright neons everywhere that I had never noticed. It was as if I'd flash forwarded fifty years and was seeing some blazingly vibrant city of the future. As we got closer to home the wind really picked up and all the leaves being blown across the road were dazzling. I'd swear some of the them were alive; little critters scurrying across the road -- I was pretty close to freaking out at this point. But they were just neat to look at, it wasn't anything frightening.
I'm now thinking this is just raised awareness - feelings that were always here but buried. Now I really get why so many people do drugs -- it's to feel this. But it's always been here, waiting to be found. Not everyone had such an experience from the circular breathing; some people simply had a relaxing time, others had frightening visions of demons, rape, and death, some had very physical reactions even lashing out in violence. So this isn't to be taken lightly and I'm very grateful for my experience. I can't imagine having some horrifying vision last week only to return home to neighborhoods decorated for Halloween. I look forward to trying it all again, soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

An Amazing End to An Amazing Week

Good God what a day. Today alone felt like it was a week long. The Centerpointe Retreat officially ended tonight with a celebration and impromptu talent show (that I actually participated in!). Considering that at 11am this morning I was standing on that very stage sobbing uncontrollably in front of 60+ people and then managed to hopefully entertain them from the same spot with some of my Hollywood tales and bad acting displays tonight is almost beyond my comprehension. This is the final retreat Centerpointe is doing, so it was extra emotional for all the staff too. I feel so grateful for having been here.
I tried to come into this week with no expectations; with one goal to force myself to fully participate and go beyond my comfort zone. Believe me there were plenty of times I just wanted to run away. Some of the exercises we did just flat out sucked - but the fantastic group here made them suck less. I'm leaving with so much more than I ever dreamed. Along with just an astounding, mystical experience Wednesday night, I've got a second mom down in Kentucky, and many new powerful life-long connections with people I didn't even know a week ago. There is one person I can't even look at without breaking into tears because they are so amazing, and I've known them for all of 48hrs. I'm even friends with a Lakers fan (ugh!). Most of the day I was on a hair trigger, crying without warning at any moment. By dinner people were telling me I was glowing. Bill Harris even called me Buddha.
I'll see most people again at breakfast, which is just a few hours away at this point, then it's back home to Boston via Washington DC. I'm supposed to go to the Patriots game Sunday, but I can't see caring at all about that. As I said (in tears of course) at the goodbye ceremony, I feel sorry for the poor schmuck sitting next to me on the flight home.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Holy Shit!

I've passed the half way mark of my Centerpointe Retreat week. We've done hours of Holosync each day, much more powerful levels than I have at home and each session has been totally unique. Sometimes I fall asleep and almost fall out of my chair, other times I'm running thoughts and song lyrics in my head the whole time and others I'm just in this wild, blank zone of emptiness. We also do some Big Mind voices each day, which has been very cool. Tonight we did a different sort of meditation, one based on circular breathing for two hours. You breath very full and deep and don't pause at any time, so air is constantly circulating through you and it can result in some altered states.
It sure worked for me. Tonight was the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life - and I've done some wild stuff. It was a total out-of-body, flying around experience seeing all sorts of crazy shit and totally freaking out for a three hour ride. It was so bizarre and awesome; thrilling and scary all at once. It was like jumping out of an airplane on mushrooms.
There were points when I even forgot to breath and my whole body jumped to catch that stolen breath. I was so blissed out and joyous, I didn't want it to end. Then seconds later, tears were streaming down my face. I kept bouncing like that, between smiling like a psycho and crying. It was the ultimate roller coaster ride. In fact I went three hours long like this when it was supposed to be just two. They played some wild tribal music and I traveled to all the cool places I've been and saw the Samburu and Masai people of Kenya, the Rappanui of Easter Island, the Yagua of the Amazon and all the cool spiritual people in Nepal. This photo in particular kept coming into my mind, I have to go back to Nepal and find this dude. When I finally opened my eyes, I had staff on both sides, and all the other participants were gone. It took me a long time to be able to speak and get up. I think the first words I managed to get out were "I've forgotten how to sit up." I'd been laying flat on the floor for three hours and they said I hadn't budged. They told me it was 11pm and I'd gotten my money's worth.
It was just the most outrageous and beautiful experience I've ever had. I pray at least some of it sticks with me and I'm hoping I can do it again tomorrow!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Retreating to a Retreat

Tomorrow morning I'm flying off to Kansas City, Missouri for a week long meditation retreat with Centerpointe at some place called Unity Village. I've meditated daily with Centerpointe's Holosync CDs since last July and have really been impressed. It's done all the many things they claimed it would do for me. You can order a free demo CD from their website if you are curious. Centerpointe used to have a retreat twice a year, but this is the final one they are doing so I figured I'd better give it a shot now. I decided to do it after the Big Mind weekend in Seattle in May proved to be so cool. It's gonna be weird travelling without Lori or Larry The Lizard, not to mention sharing a room with a stranger for a week, but I'm psyched to see what comes of it. I'm going in with no expectations and intentionally don't know a hell of a lot of what will be happening all week.

I just hope there is access to a TV so I can catch the Pats on MNF and the resurgent Red Sox who are attempting ANOTHER miracle playoff comeback after being down AGAIN 3 games to 1. They made history Thursday night coming back from being down 7-0. Let's hope it holds for tonight. Go Sox!

Friday, October 10, 2008


First of all, go Red Sox!
If the bank failures, plummeting stock market and global economic meltdown hasn't convinced you we have reached the End of Days, here's more proof; Guns N' Roses claim the decade-in-the-making album "Chinese Democracy" will be released on November 23rd. This whole thing makes me feel like I'm trapped in some sort of time paradox. You see back in 2002 I saw Axl and some of his buddies billing themselves as Guns N' Roses on a tour for Chinese Democracy. They even played a couple new songs from the album. But if the album hasn't been released yet, how could there have been a tour? If there was no tour, what did I see? Was I really in the future? Wonder if the poor folks at Dr. Pepper are getting nervous yet.
At least everything going to hell has a killer soundtrack. Metallica's "Death Magnetic" continues to blow me away. I have a new favorite song each week. This week's is "Broken, Beat & Scarred." My Death Magnetic Coffin Box Set arrived today. It's like a foot and a half tall and full of all sorts of cool shit including a t-shirt, poster, picks, lanyard, cd of demos, dvd of behind the scenes and more. Go Red Sox!!
Coffin Box Inside

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Six Flags Fright Fest

Saturday night we headed out to Six Flags New England for some early Halloween fun, even bringing along our 17 year old niece Rachel for her first trip to the park. It was the second weekend for "Fright Fest", as the park, like most around the country, transformed into a collection of haunted houses and fright zones.
The place was pretty crowded and luckily we upgraded to VIPs to skip the lines at the two big haunted attractions, Midnight Mansion and Wicked Woods. If we hadn't done that I don't think we would've had time for a single ride, the lines were that long. Midnight Mansion was nothing special and could've been a haunted house put on by any local high school, while Wicked Woods was much longer and more entertaining. But still the highlight of any trip to Six Flags NE is Superman: Ride of Steel - the top-rated steel roller coaster in the world. After many trips and dozens of rides on Superman, this was actually our first ride at night. But it was also our longest wait ever. There were many unknown technical difficulties (that just makes the ride more exciting to me) and they ended up only having one train running instead of the normal two. Things even halted completly three times durring our almost 2 hour wait to get on. But once we finally got on, it was AWESOME! Really glad we got a final ride in this year because they are planning some sort of "transformation" for next year. Might have to get out there again this month just in case they make it lame.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SAG Card

Woohoo! I got my SAG card in the mail last week. I'm amazed how fast and easy my acting career has gone. I took my first acting classes in May and in September I'm already in the Screen Actors Guild. I met plenty of other people this summer who've been trying to get into SAG for years. Being in SAG has got me receiving a lot more availability checks so far, but since I already have a "real" job nothing has fit my schedule since Edge of Darkness at the beginning of the month. Being in SAG has however gotten me bounced from the independent projects I was supposed to be in. Since I had auditioned before I joined the union I was assured it was OK for me to be in them, but the producer is intimidated by SAG and thinks he can't use me now. Even if it was a problem, it would only be a problem for me not him, since I'm the one in the union. But like I told him, I don't need to argue with anyone just so I can work for free. That just tells me they doesn't really know what they're doing anyway, so I'm actually glad I won't get sucked into some nightmare of a production now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Washington DC

We're back home after a week down in DC visiting with Matt and Vee who live in California but spent the summer in Washington. I'd only visited our nation's Capitol once when I was in the 7th grade so we did all the traditional tourist sites, memorials and monuments. Our first tour of the city was on Sept 11 - so that was kind of weird, seeing all the flags at half-mast. But the whole week was a blast. We stayed in Georgetown so there was no end to the fantastic restaurants and bars and there were plenty of fellow Red Sox and Patriots fans all around. The only thing Lori really wanted to see was the Holocaust Museum, I thought it would be interesting but it was way better than that. We were told most people take 2 to 2 1/2 hours for it. We spent four hours there and easily could have spent two more, there are still sections we never got to and parts we raced through. There was a lot of history on Hitler's rise that I didn't know and the emotional impact of the rest of the exhibits, photos and stories took me by surprise. We even got to hear a survivor give a talk while we were there. The next day we checked out the Newseum - which again was much more fun than expected. We spent four hours there and it would have been longer but they were closing. There was a big 9/11 section and we got to watch an interview with two photographers who worked that day, including the guy who took the famous shot of the firemen raising the flag at ground zero. Between 9/11 and the Holocaust it was a much more emotional weekend than I would have figured for visiting friends. I recommend both museums highly - and plan on spending the whole day at each to really experience it all. Once again proving our compatibility, Lori and I breezed through the entire National Gallery of Art in just a couple hours.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Record Set At Fenway

Not only did we see a great game at Fenway Park last night when the Red Sox beat the Rays 3 to nothing to move just 1/2 game out of first place in the AL East, but we were part of a new Major League record; 456 consecutive sellouts. Everyone got commemorative tickets as we entered the park and there were videos and messages throughout the game listing 456 reasons for thanking the fans. My favorite was a video of Jason Bay saying "Thanks for welcoming the new guy." We were treated to a tremendous pitching effort from Jon Lester, a double by Big Papi, a home run by Jason "not Manny" Bay and a fist-pumping, river dancing save from Jonathan Paplebon.

And of course much of the talk in the crowd was about Tom Brady being lost for the season. But I'm psyched for an exciting NFL season. I LOVE that the Patriots will be back to being the disrespected underdogs - they thrive that way. Being expected to just blow everyone away just doesn't make for exciting games. So bring on the Cassel era (at least till next season).

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Unthinkable

For New England fans, the unthinkable has happened. Tom Brady has gone down. After a preseason that gave a peek as to what football life would be without Tom Terrific, him going down in the first quarter of today's season opener against the Chiefs was very eerie. I didn't see the hit on Tom as I was busy watching Randy Moss lose the ball as he hit the ground. But I quickly saw Tom Brady laying on the ground being treated and then limping off with help. The Gillette crowd showed some class in applauding Matt Cassel as he entered the game - a huge turn of events from the boos that rained down on him in the preseason. Most fans were very surprised that Cassel survived the final cuts and even made the roster, now the game (and possibly many more games) rely on him. Matt did enough to win, which is all we can ask for. The most shocking thing wasn' t seeing Tom get hurt, but the fact that he didn't return. That has never happened before. Tonight the stories are that it's a major left knee injury for Brady. The season just got a whole lot more uncertain and interesting.

Edge of Darkness

Yesterday Lori and I both worked as extras on the Mel Gibson movie "Edge of Darkness." Robert DeNiro had been in it as well, until Thursday that is. News broke Friday that DeNiro was out due to "creative differences" with director Martin Campbell. There were plenty of rumors on set regarding "fired" or "quit", but I'm just bummed I didn't get the chance to see DeNiro in action. What we did get to do was join over 300 other extras in taking over South Station in Boston for the opening scenes of the movie; Mel arriving at the station to pick up his daughter. We had to be on location for 5:30am, get checked-in then cleared by wardrobe and makeup then a quick bus ride to South Station. We were on set around 7am, rehearsing by 8am and rolling the first take by 9am. Lori and I were part of a group of people arriving from a train - we just had to exit the train and walk down the platform towards the station a few dozen times. I saw lots of other actors I had met earilier this summer on "The Surrogates" and even recognized one actor and a grip from the first movie I ever worked on, "A Question of Trust" way back in 1996. Also had a chance to talk to the electrician from "Illegal Aliens" as he was working on this crew too.
Later in the morning we moved inside South Station and were part of the crowd of commuters. I had to walk in front of Mel as he entered the scene, then later picking up other shots of that scene my starting point was literaly a foot in front of Mel. He was very good natured and clowning a bit. He looks much older than the 52 he's listed as, I thought he was in his sixties.
Since South Station was still an open and operating train station there were many retakes due to regular people wandering into scenes. At one point a Japanese couple came close to taking Mel out with their luggage as they rushed through the crowd to get to their train. Earlier I was positioned by a set PA to stand and chat with a girl then walk across the scene after a couple beats. Before we started rolling I asked the girl if this her first day on the movie. She said she'd been to South Station a few times before. Then I noticed she had her MBTA card on the table, so I asked if she was part of the movie. She said "What movie?". I flagged down the PA to let him know she wasn't an extra so we explained to her that we were shooting a movie and she had wandered onto a hot set. So she went to sit somewhere else and wait for her train. We worked until around 3pm, blowing right thru lunch, then the extras were all released. Yay! Cause I was spent and starving by then. Hopefully we'll get called again for Darkness, it is shooting through December.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Death Magnetic. Best. Album. Ever

Last night Metallica debutted about half of the new album "Death Magnetic" which will officialy be released next Friday Sept 12. And though I've only heard 6 songs so far - it's not a big stretch to say this is their best album yet. You can check it out yourself:

Sweet - just got phone call from Boston Casting, I'm working on "Edge of Darkness" tomorrow. Lori was booked for this a few days ago, now we both have to be at South Station in Boston for 5:30am, so goodnight!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Acting Family

Back in July Lori and I both went to an open casting call for Showtime's TV Series "The Brotherhood". Well she got the call last week and yesterday was her first day as a professional background performer - that's the politcally correct way to refer to extras these days. She was set to play the exciting role of "neighbor" and in true pro acting fashion her first day went as many days do; she wasn't used at all. But she had fun being on set and meeting other people including some of the leads like Jason Isaacs (whom she didn't realize was the evil Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter until she got home).
Tonight we are off to see James Ray live in Boston. James was one of the people featured in The Secret and I've been hoping he'd come to the area for years. I've read his book "Harmonic Wealth" and have heard many interviews and calls with him but haven't seen him live ever.
And then Sunday we have the much anticipated home opener for the Patriots where we'll see if the winless preseason matters or not. Then Monday we've got tickets for the Red Sox - Rays game and I still can't believe the playoffs are going through Tampa Bay this year. Those guys came out of nowhere and have stayed on top all season. Amazing.

Update: Damn! Lori just got called to work on "Edge of Darkness" this Saturday in Boston. I've got to stop bringing her to casting calls, she's taking all my work!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Lori survived her first Motley Crue show just fine, her only complaint was that it was so damn loud. The Sunday night show at Mohegan Sun in CT wasn't the full Crue Fest show, just Buckcherry and Motley Crue played (not seeing Sixx:AM again was a bummer) and their sets were the same as Friday so I won't bother with any details. But the Mohegan Sun Arena is a GREAT place to see a band because it is so small. Capacity is listed as 9,518 but I don't think it's that many for concerts. I swear there are high school gyms bigger than this place. The bands all commented about what an intimate gathering this was compared to all the other dates they played this summer. I think venue size is why they couldn't do the whole Crue Fest lineup - there just isn't enough room on stage.

Between Crue days we caught "Tropic Thunder" at the movies and it is hilarious. Easily the funniest movie of the summer. A terrific skewering of all things Hollywood.

Sunday I got notified that I was picked for three acting projects that I tried out for earlier this month, a student film, an indie feature and a short demo for another feature. First one starts shooting in September, so it should be an exciting Fall as I'll be a cult member, a slime ghoul and chief of police over the next few months.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crue Fest Report

Motley Crue Aug 22 2008Well I'd say the inaugural Crue Fest was a roaring success. Got there plenty early to see every band starting with Trapt. They were entertaining enough to pass the 25 minutes they had. Their radio hit "Headstrong" is easily their best song. Next up was Sixx:AM and they sounded great and had a strong crowd presence considering they went on around 5:45pm. My seats were 20 rows straight back from Nikki's side of the stage. He looked distracted and upset most of the set, looking at the side of the stage not liking his monitor mix. James Michael's voice is phenomenal and really holds up live - I don't know where this guy's been hiding but I'm sure glad Nikki found him. They played "Pray for Me", "Heart Failure", "Accidents Can Happen","Intermission" "Dead Man's Ballet", "Tomorrow" and ended with their biggest hit "Life is Beautiful". On this final song Nikki was finally smiling and the whole band seemed genuinely impressed and moved by how loud the crowd was singing along to the song. And for the me the emotion of the song still held up - that song blew me away the first time I heard it and I was thrilled that it did so live as well.
Next came Papa Roach whom I've seen before as part of OzzFest at some point and always forget how many of their songs I know from radio. They were much more high energy and punk than I recalled and ended up being a lot of fun. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix jumped into the crowd and kept moving and singing making his way through the crowd (including stepping right over my seat) to really wake up the masses. They played (I'm missing a couple): "Change or Die" (new track from upcoming album) "...To Be Loved" "Forever" "Getting Away with Murder", "Scars" ,"Broken Home", "I Almost Told You That I Loved You" (new track) and "Last Resort".
The penultimate act was Buckcherry who I saw a few years ago opening for AC/DC and they've been riding a string of radio hits in recent years. They are very old school 70's rock - sex, drugs and rock n' roll act. Really remind me of early Aerosmith - in fact I spotted Aerosmith's Joey Kramer on the side of the stage checking them out. Lead singer Josh Todd looks just like freaky actor Krispin Glover to me. They tore through "Lit Up", "Next 2 You," "Everything", track from upcoming new album "Too Drunk", "Sorry" and ended with a 10 minute version of "Crazy Bitch".
Finally with the sun long gone and the whole place packed - Motley Crue; and they lived up to their own hype as the Loudest Band on Earth. The Crue ripped through a hit-packed 90 minute set featuring more pyro than Desert Storm. There was a lot of playfulness between all the members and they seemed to really be enjoying the night. Set List: "Kickstart My Heart", "Wild Side", "Shout at the Devil", "Saints of Los Angeles", "Live Wire", "Motherfucker of the Year", "Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)", "Same Ol’ Situation", "Primal Scream", "Looks that Kill", "Girls Girls Girls", "Dr. Feelgood", and encored with "Home Sweet Home" with the whole band gathered around the piano as old photos were displayed showing the history of the band. Vince did his normal live routine of not even trying to sing all the lyrics on faster songs, but at a Crue show the audience usually sings louder than he does anyway so it was all good.
Off for another dose on Sunday.
Check out some fan photos of the show.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crue Fest

Motley CrueWooHoo, after a long drought of metal shows I'm off to Crue Fest tonight down in Mansfield MA at the Great Woods/Tweeter/Comcast/Whatever name of the day Center thing. That means Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx:AM and Trapt. Beyond the Crue (whose new album 'Saints of Los Angeles' is really good) I'm totally psyched for Sixx:AM, that is Nikki Sixx's side project and I absolutley love their debut "The Heroin Diaries" which is a soundtrack to Nikki's book of the same name. It is an amazing piece of artistry, humanity and music. It is also amazing that over all the years, all the drugs, all the drinking... I've never seen Motley Crue suck live. I've seen Ozzy and Aerosmith both be absolutley awful back in their most "mood altering" times, but somehow the Crue always kick ass live. Then on Sunday I'll be seeing them again at Mohegan Sun in CT. There must be some sort of Indian or casino bylaw banning Crue Fests, because Sunday's show will just be Buckcherry and Motley Crue.

Big metal bonus as yesterday was the release of "The Day That Never Comes", the advance single from Metallica's "Death Magnetic" that will be out next month. Once again Metallica proves they take care of their fans - fan club members got a free mp3 of the song even before it was released to radio stations. The song is just epic. I love it more with each listen. It feels like 3 distinct songs fused together into an 8 minute masterpiece. That combined with the live version of another new song "Cyanide" proves the new shit is gonna be phenomnal. They will be in Boston in January - so of course, so will I.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Metallica: "Death Magnetic"

Metallica 2008The mighty Metallica have announced the release date for their first album in five years; "Death Magnetic" will hit the streets and Internet on Friday September 12, 2008. "Death Magnetic" features a few firsts for the band - it is the first album appearance for bassist Robert Trujillo who joined the band after 2003's "St. Anger" was recorded. It is also the first Metallica release produced by Rick Rubin. Bob Rock had been Metallica's producer (and unofficial fifth member by playing bass on St. Anger) since 1991.
Check out lots more at and

The first single and video will be "The Day That Never Comes."
Death Magnetic
"Death Magnetic" tracklisting:
That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Broken, Beat & Scarred
The Day That Never Comes
All Nightmare Long
The Unforgiven III
The Judas Kiss
Suicide & Redemption
My Apocalypse

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Slime Ghouls

Last night was my audition to be a Slime Ghoul in a low-budget feature called "Harm School". Harm School is brought to you by the fine folks behind "Pony Trouble." All I had to go on was this "The slime takes over the brain and causes people to act by feral instinct like animals, driven by a confused reproductive urge to throw other people in the slime, make out with them, hump walls and trees, and the like." But I was prepared to be a horny, feral animal and I think I nailed it.
The funny thing is that before I did what I was prepared for they asked me to read for a total of three different projects, two features and a short. So I survived my first 'cold read', I got lines for four different characters and just went for it. The two people I auditioned for were cracking up and said to expect a call back for all three projects. In the span of 15 minutes I was a slime ghoul, a couple cult members, the chief of police and a priest. Think I'm pulling for the chief and slime ghoul the most. I should know soon, a couple start shooting in August and the others in September.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Boss Rocks Foxboro

Wow, I'm still exhausted from seeing Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band kick ass for 3+ hours last night at Gillette Stadium at a show that went well past midnight. All I did was watch, I don't know how the Boss keeps going like that. I have to admit I was never a big fan, just know the Springsteen songs played on the radio over the years. In fact, when I first saw him back in 1999 I thought the show was just alright. Maybe it was too many years of hype about his amazing live performance or he just had an off night (or maybe I did). So I went last night only because friends were in town who were big fans. But damn, I'm glad we went. Last night was the sort of legendary, high-energy, manic, rock star/preacher show that Bruce is all about. After a 90 minute delay due to pounding thunder storms and the most intense lightning I've ever seen around Gillette, the band took the stage and tore through a cover of "Summertime Blues." Springsteen played way more songs that I knew than the first time I saw him and had two segments where he pulled signs requesting songs from fans to decide the next few songs. One song (Little Latin Lupe Lu) was so rare the sign had the lyrics on the back. Springsteen thanked the fan saying that was the only way he'd be able to sing it.
The night culminated with a seven song encore set including "Born To Run". Singing that at the top of my lungs in a packed stadium is a highlight of my many years of concerts and it was topped a few songs later with my all-time Springsteen favorite "Rosalita". The sound was perfect all night and the fans loved every moment. Just a flat-out phenomenal show.

Bruce Springsteen
August 2, 2008
Foxborough, Massachusetts - Gilette Stadium

Summertime Blues
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
The Promised Land
Spirit In The Night
Tunnel Of Love
Light Of Day
Little Latin Lupe Lu [first time with E Street Band since 1977!] -- Chosen by fans
Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street? -- Chosen by fans
Hungry Heart -- Chosen by fans
Who'll Stop The Rain [Tour Premiere]
Murder Incorporated
She's The One
Livin' In The Future
Mary's Place
The Rising
Last To Die
Long Walk Home
-- encore --
I'm Going Down -- Chosen by fans
Jungleland -- Chosen by fans
Born To Run
Glory Days
Dancing In The Dark
American Land

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Edge of Darkness" Casting Call

Lori and I both hit the open casting call this afternoon for "Edge of Darkness". A cop thriller starring Mel Gibson as well as Robert DeNiro - that was new news given to us at the call. We first arrived at 2pm and saw very long lines outside the Boston Casting offices, which was a bit of a concern as we had to get back home to meet friends and head off to the Springsteen show tonight. Then as we parked and left the car, it started POURING. Like as hard as rain can fall. So we took some cover to wait it out and luckily it passed in about 10 minutes. I saw of lot of my fellow "Dreads" whom I met working on "The Surrogates" earlier this summer and spoke with three of them. That was really cool, to already feel like part of the local acting community. But I didn't notice anyone from my acting class there which was a bit of a surprise.
The Boston Casting staff handled the crowd and weather just great - they took people inside in large bunches, gave everyone an introductory talk including info about the movie and what to leave with them. They saved a lot of time by skipping the standard practice of taking a photo of everyone too, so we were actually on our way home in an hour.
The movie is being shot around Boston and Northampton Ma, starting August 18 and running through December. It is being directed by Martin Campbell who directed the James Bond reboot 'Casino Royale' and the script is from the Oscar winning writer of 'The Departed' and local guy William Monahan. We heard GREAT things about Campbell - like he selects every extra himself, likes to keep extras close to set and be part of the production, he often plucks people out of crowds and gives them a line or two and will even mingle about the actors asking "Who are you today?". They also will be needing about 3,000 extras through course of the film so everyone who showed up will be getting used.
Now we're off to Springsteen!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Dark Knight lives up to the Hype

Heath Ledger's JokerJust back from seeing The Dark Night and based on the packed theater it must be #1 again this week and it is AWESOME. It more than lives up to the hype and acclaim. It is certainly the best comic/super hero movie ever made and I'm sure for many people it is the best movie period. This movie has so much weight and gravitas. It is so rare to see such depth in mass entertainment these days. I was never a reader of Batman comics so know him best via the goofy TV series and Super Friends cartoons. This broody, not pure "good guy" that Christian Bale and director Christoper Nolan bring to screen is something else entirely. Even Tim Burton's Batman films were fun and goofy with over-the-top villains. All the talk about an Oscar nom for Heath Ledger's Joker is serious. Hell the acting in this film is so strong all around, Aaron Eckarht and Christian Bale could both see lots of awards too. NEVER has The Joker, or any villian, been so scary/hilarious, a true psychotic master-mind. A maniacal genius just out for a good time. Ledger is unrecognizable in look, voice, body and tone. An amazing performance. Plus the best "make a pencil disapear" magic trick ever!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Casting Calls

Despite the unresolved contract situation with SAG, film productions are starting to gear up again. Lori and I both attended an open casting call in Providence RI today for Showtime's TV series "Brotherhood" and a feature film about Buddy Cianci, "The Prince of Providence" with Robin Williams, Ed Burns, Oliver Platt and many more. Also "Edge of Darkness" with Mel Gibson (and rumor has it, Brittney Spears) is getting ready to start rolling toward the end of August, they were looking for some specific types of extras including videographers via email so I submitted myself for that. But the most exciting opportunity is to be a "Slime Ghoul" - check out this description:

"Casting "slime ghouls": hapless people whose DNA has been taken over by the reproductive slime of renegade clone farmers from space. The slime takes over the brain and causes people to act by feral instinct like animals, driven by a confused reproductive urge to throw other people in the slime, make out with them, hump walls and trees, and the like. Actors may be asked to do partial nudity and make scary ghoul faces."

Does that sound AWESOME or what?!! That is pretty much the dream role for any bad actor like myself. I'll let you know how that audition goes and how many trees I had to hump.

The other big to do is that I'm taking part in the Boundless Living Challenge - a 45 day experiment in living the Law of Attraction. You can learn more on that here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

After years of chaos, Motley Crue still no "Saints"

Here's a good article on Motley Crue. Their new album "Saints of Los Angeles" is very good - quite reminiscent of "Dr. Feelgood" and "Girls, Girls, Girls". I'll be seeing Crue Fest twice in August. That's about it for shows this summer - oh plus we are going to Springsteen early next month.

By Christa Titus
Tue Jul 8, 6:16 PM ET

When author Neil Strauss first met Motley Crue, the scene could have been ripped right from "The Dirt," the 2001 band autobiography he co-wrote with the group that became a New York Times best seller.
"It was at a show in Phoenix, and the very first time I met them, (drummer) Tommy (Lee) was handcuffed backstage," Strauss recalls with a laugh. "Tommy Lee was literally handcuffed wearing these little leather kind of shorts that he wears and nothing else, and I just thought that was the ultimate way to meet Motley Crue."
Such craziness is what made Strauss want to chronicle the legendary rock band.
"Motley Crue is not just a rock band," he says. "Motley Crue is larger than the individual members. What it stands for is bigger than the music and the band itself."
As one of the most notorious groups in history, the Los Angeles quartet has defied the odds when it comes to professional and personal survival, experiencing -- and creating -- as much turmoil as it has success.
On June 24, Motley Crue wrote the next chapter in its larger-than-life story with the release of "Saints of Los Angeles." The Motley Records/Eleven Seven Music release, the first studio album in 11 years from the band's original lineup, debuted at No. 4 with sales of 99,000 copies. The set offers a classic Crue vibe and echoes the tumultuous history recounted in "Dirt."
On July 1, the band opened Crue Fest, a 40-plus-city summer tour, sharing the bill with hitmakers Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and Sixx: AM, the side project of Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. It's expected to be one of the summer's best-selling rock festivals.

For 27 years and with 50 million records sold, according to the band's management, Tenth Street Entertainment, Motley Crue has always done things its own outrageous way, battling everyone, including itself, to do it.
"It's really simple," Sixx says of the group's life of extremes. "It's who we are. We're dysfunctional human beings that ended up in a gang."
The gang's impact stretches from when it ruled the '80s Sunset Strip and unwittingly helped pioneer the glam metal genre that spawned dozens of wannabe acts, to its subsequent influence on two decades of performers, spanning the spectrum from Marilyn Manson to Buckcherry.
Motley is rock royalty with two generations of subjects: its original fans, and those fans' children, who have been exposed to the band though their parents, channels like VH1 Classic and Fuse, and such videogames as "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band." (The new album's title single sold five times as many copies as downloads via "Rock Band" in its first week of release in April as it sold via conventional channels. The single has hit No. 7 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.)
Fan ties nurtured Motley even before the group first appalled critics and parents with its controversial 1982 album, "Shout at the Devil." The record is just one of many battles Motley has fought, and won, against the establishment.
"We know what we're doing is real," Sixx says. "For some reason, everyone wants to bet against us, every single time. And the fans want to vote for us. And there's the rub, right there."

Guitarist Mick Mars says that the band's music has "always been pretty close to street level ... I think it's the way that we put our songs together and how we present them (that) people can actually relate to what's going on."
Motley Crue appeared on the punk- and New Wave-infested Sunset Strip in 1981 sporting a New York Dolls-gone-tough look of leather, raccoon eyeliner and metal-stud jewelry.
Photographer Neil Zlozower, a longtime band friend whose shots of the group covered in theatrical blood are among the Crue's most iconic pictures, says, "There was something always natural about Motley, especially in the beginning when they were raw and nasty and hungry, before they started making millions and millions of dollars. There's something about them at photo shoots where I really didn't have to tell them much to do."
The Crue's look was a vehicle to getting its music heard. Its mishmash of influences -- among them Kiss, Cheap Trick, blues, punk -- resulted in raw, aggressive rock with catchy riffs that singer Vince Neil topped off with pouty vocals and caterwauls. The costumes and sound were the siren calls that launched glam metal, and for the rest of the decade dozens of bands and labels copied the Crue.
Zlozower names Motley and Quiet Riot as the movement's pioneers. "Motley Crue was always a little cooler, a little tougher," he says. "They were nastier, they were more hardcore."
Motley is one of few bands from that era that still have a high mainstream profile.

Motley Crue also has turned arena tours into flamboyant spectacles, featuring everything from flying drum kits to midgets.
"Trying to be the baddest rock band in town is not the hardest thing to do," Velvet Revolver (and former Guns N' Roses) guitarist Slash says. "But to really be rock 'n' roll and exude that, that's something that a lot of people out there claim to be but aren't, and Motley's one of those bands that really is."
After it self-released its debut album, "Too Fast for Love," on its own Leathur Records in 1981 and signed to Elektra that year, the band forged a multiplatinum sales trajectory through the early '90s with albums that are classic rock touchstones.
"Shout at the Devil" struck terror in parents' hearts. The more introspective "Theatre of Pain" contained the monster video hit "Home Sweet Home." "Girls, Girls, Girls" is a consummate '80s rock party record, and "Dr. Feelgood" is widely considered the Crue's most solid effort, thanks to Bob Rock's production and the band's then newly acquired sobriety.
Beyond the music, the band's aura of chaos has sustained public interest. "Controversy is always good, because it's free press. Any press is good," Mars says. "Negative or positive, it doesn't matter to me."
When Motley told its story in the "The Dirt," it left no skeletons in its closet. The shocking soap opera of addiction, conflict, death, sex and success unflinchingly showed the band at its best and worst times, which cycle around the Crue like the seasons.
Amid late-'90s turmoil, Neil exited the band and was replaced by John Corabi. Lee departed not long after Neil's return and was replaced first by Randy Castillo, then by Samantha Mahoney.
Motley essentially disbanded from 1999 until the 2005 reunion tour. Tour receipts confirmed that fans were still interested, and with its new album and tour, the band is poised for another career peak.
"We're a marriage, so it's like we always come back together," Mars says. "The band is better, tighter, and we get along much better than we have in a really long time, and that's a great feeling."


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fireworks Extravaganza

Bad Kids with Chinese Artillery ShellsThe weekend in Pennsylvania was pretty sick. Even with driving for up to 8 hours each way and sleeping on the floor, Lori and I both had a great time. Friday was the big bash with heavy cocktail flow and lots of yak and llama flesh to munch on - then some bad kids showed up with over $800 worth of fireworks. They were set off from a small island in the lake and put on a great show for the whole area. In fact this 20-30 minute show was better than some local town's 4th of July shows. It was so good even the PA State Police showed up to say hi. I now realize the secret to not busting the budget is just to have a bunch of drunken idiots light the whole show, no need for town's to waste money on professionals. Here's a video sample of the action - We even stopped at an establishment selling works of a fiery nature before we left the keystone state.

Last night I got the Wii set up and was straining muscles right away playing baseball, but at least I didn't go flying across the room, stumbling and bumbling like Lori.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Officially a Basic Actor

Acting ClassMy Basics of Acting Class finished last night. I can't believe how quickly the 6 weeks went by and I really ended up enjoying the whole thing. I forced myself do all the homework and then perform in each week's class to get the most out of it and not just end up watching the other actors - which is a lot of fun. I'm not planning to take any other classes right away, but will down the road. If you are looking for some acting classes in Boston - Susan Shaw and CP Casting get my personal seal of approval. Between the class and working on The Surrogates, I'm really itching to dust off PlasticVille Productions and get a short going this Fall.

Tomorrow we head out to East Berlin, PA for a weekend on Lake Mead. It will sort of be a Leominster reunion with Plastic People coming from CA (via DC), MA and PA for lots of drinking, eating, boating, swimming, and blowing things up. Next Tuesday is my birthday and since we are going away this weekend I opened up my gifts from Lori tonight. They've just been sitting here mocking me for last few days anyway. I finally got myself a Wii and Guitar Hero!! WooHoo!! Now I don't want to go away for the weekend though. D'oh!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Day on Surrogates

Just wrapped up another day as an extra on Surrogates - today's thirteen hour day ended just in time for me to get home to see the Celtics close out this year's NBA finals in game 6 over the Lakers. Today on the set was action packed, I had lots of running away from a fire fight (and compared to other extras I'm fast - which doesn't say much for the others), dozens of commandos were chasing us all over and even a helicopter was buzzing over head. The afternoon featured some live gun fire, stunt falls and a torrential thunder storm that toppled one of our tents in the extras holding area. Towards the end of the day we all gathered round for a rousing cheer of "Blurry Bits in the Background". Any blazing flash of blue flannel that catches your eye in the final film will be me. Another good day to be a Dread.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I just finished up a couple days as an extra on the set of the new Bruce Willis sci-fi movie "Surrogates" which has been shooting in Massachusetts for the last month or so. I've been on a few film sets but never a "real" Hollywood set. When I first arrived on location in Taunton at 4:40am (which meant getting up at 3:20am!!) Thursday, I immediately began to see the differences between indie sets and major studio productions. Huge air conditioned tents made up the holding area, cooked to order breakfasts provided by a catering company, air conditioned bus rides driving extras from holding to the actual set, more fantastic food at lunch, 3 cameras rolling for every shot, dollies and cranes for every shot too, dozens of crew members and hundreds of extras. There were even a couple of guys on the crew that I worked with on "Illegal Aliens", I spotted Aaron and spoke with Robbie for a few minutes.
I was one of 275 extras but was part of a smaller group called the core Dreads - but being "core" never really amounted to much. I did meet plenty of cool people to pass the 15 hour day with while we worked on just one scene all day. We just stood silently listening to Ving Rhames speak to us all. Ving was very cool and I was amazed how much his low booming voice carried. Ving plays the leader of the Dreads; people who shun technology and live on reservations in a sort of post-apocalyptic society. Ving spoke to all his people from a stage in front of a funeral pyre with a body on top. Towards the end of the day, the pyre was finally lit and we all gazed on - getting bonus "smoke" pay for our troubles.
On Friday only 50 of us were called back so call-time was bumped up to 7:00am, practically a vacation after getting just 3 hours of sleep the previous night. Of course the downside of working today was that I went to sleep during the 3rd quarter of the Celtics/Lakers game so missed the greatest NBA Finals comeback in history - D'oh! But so did most people on set so we could at least share our misery. Friday was a continuation of the funeral scene and we all just did a lot of walking away from the fire, just filling the background. In the afternoon I just found a quiet spot to watch Bruce Willis do some work and take a beating from some of Ving's boys. I'll keep what I learned about the plot to myself so as not to spoil the final movie for anyone.
I was supposed to work today too, but they scaled down the scene so canceled the day for all non-union extras.
SWEET - as I was typing this I got an email asking if I was available next Tuesday and Wednesday, so perhaps my days of being a Dread aren't over yet.
Thanks to the Celtics and Surrogates I haven't had time to be hit with "Lost" withdrawals yet.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

I had today off to work as an extra on the movie "This Side of The Truth." This is a comedy from Rick Gervais, the creator of "The Office" and the HBO series "Extras." I was psyched to be an extra for the creator of "Extras". Ricky has a very funny blog about the whole project that is worth checking out. I had gone to an open casting call back in March and had a few inquiries to my availability since then, but it never matched up. Until today. With last night being my first acting class the timing seemed fantastic. But while at said acting class, the call came in that the wedding scene I was to be part of had been revamped and extras weren't needed. D'oh! When I got home after class and discovered the news I was bummed to say the least. I had even pulled out my one suit for the big event.

So I decided to take advantage of my empty day and Lori and I went to see "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" on its opening day. The theater was pretty empty since it was 1pm on a work day but Indy delivered with tons of amazing action and stunts, many winks and nods to the previous films and a few comedic bits along the way. One of the coolest things was seeing Indy flying off to places in Peru that we've visited like Cusco and Iquitos. I was never bothered or distracted by Harrison Ford's age but I was bothered by the fact that every "surprise" in the plot failed to come off as surprising at all. So while it was great fun, it wasn't a great movie. Good, just not great. Still better than working for a living.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mucho Metallica

Metallica's new album is expected this September and they've recently launched a new site, Mission: Metallica, to give an inside peek. There are already a few videos available and they all give teases of some new tracks. And I must say the new music sounds killer. Though in all honesty if Metallica released a collection of burps and farts I'd proclaim it to be the best, heaviest, most ass-kicking burps and farts I'd ever heard!
In other news in Metalliland - you've got to check out this a capella version of Metallica's "Battery". It is simply amazing and brings air guitar to a whole new level. Plenty of bands have people cover their stuff, but the wide range of experimental treatments done to Metallica songs amazes me. From the powerful four cellos of Apocalyptica, to bluegrass, to the hilarious mashup of the Beatles and Metallica by Beatallica - somehow it all works. Here is a clip of "A Garage Dayz Night" and a video of Apocalyptica doing "Creeping Death" just to give you a taste.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iron Man Rocks

After a few days in Seattle Washington, we are now hanging out in Portland Oregon and just saw the first big summer movie - Iron Man. It is a blast. I was never a fan of Iron Man comics. I just thought it was another rich guy with some expensive toys sort of story, which makes the fact that I loved the movie all the more impressive. It was just the perfect level of action, comedy and fun that a comic super hero movie should be. Robert Downey Jr. seems to be having such a blast in this, it makes me wonder if he ever enjoyed making any previous film. His joy and enthusiasm playing Tony Stark/Iron Man was infectious. The movie opened last weekend and the theater we were just in was sold out so I expect it to be #1 for a second week. And stay through all the credits for a little bonus scene that teases another film coming from Marvel.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Big Mind - Seattle

Wow. That is about the only word that comes to mind when I try to sum up the weekend of Big Mind with Centerpointe's Bill Harris and Zen Master Genpo Roshi. You can read about it, you can even watch it, but unless you experience it there is no way to get across just what it is. Lori and I both felt and experienced things we never did before and can't really describe. The whole weekend was entertaining and hugely interesting with moments that were hilarious, emotional, gripping and awe inspiring. First off, my ideas of what a Zen Master might be were totally blown apart. Genpo is just a regular beer drinking, swearing, funny bastard. The segments that feature Bill Harris and Genpo together were like stand-up comedy routines with each of them busting the balls of the other. When the Big Mind process started I first thought it was a total crock, then I started feeling things - full body energies rolling through me - and answering in all the "voices" that Genpo asked to talk to - it was so wild. You can buy CDs, DVDs and even see some clips of Big Mind on YouTube - but nothing comes close to experiencing live with Genpo. He tours the world running people through it - so be on the lookout and try it. It was also very cool to meet other Holosync users (I'd say 90% of the 230 participants were Holosync people) and people who came from as far as Romania and Sweden for the workshop.

We spent Monday and Tuesday running around Seattle. We did The Underground Tour - which was primarily a hilarious history of the stupidity of Seattle, then of course the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium, which was much more fun than we expected.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hanging With the Zen Master

Lori and I are headed to Seattle for a weekend retreat with Zen Master Genpo Roshi. We'll be doing something called Big Mind/Big Heart - I intentionally know very little about it. I want whatever the experience is to be a surprise. I got the offer to attend this through Centerpointe (I've been using their Holosync meditation CDs daily since last July) and as I like trying new things and especially cultural/spiritual ones that I don't know squat about, I jumped at the chance. Once its all done and assuming I can put it into words, I'll do my best to document just what the heck happens. If you take time to surf around and read up on Big Mind - you'll know more about what is in store for us than I do.

After that we'll be kicking around Seattle with some of Lori's cousins whom I've yet to meet. Then we'll drive down to Oregon to see her brother Bruce and his spoiled brat kids (that's just in case they are reading).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Face of Pain

My big fat head is not normally this big and fatHey! Does you face hurt? Well it's killing me, ha ha ha. I am the living punchline to a 5 year-old's joke. I have had some sort of severe toxic reaction to poison ivy this weekend. This morning my eyes were so swollen I couldn't open them when I woke up. Now I'm on mega doses of Prednisone to get rid of my elephantitis. Since it's a steroid I'm hoping it will give my baseball career a boost too.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Red Sox Celebration

Championship Banner Unfurls at FenwayAfter opening this season in Japan, the Red Sox finally had their home opener and had the final celebration of the 2007 World Series Championship in a grand show that they've become quite good at putting on. Members from championship Patriots, Bruins and Celtics teams were all on hand as were the trophies. I think this was the first time all four major sports championship trophies won by Boston teams were together at once.

Here is a great column "Anything but a Yankees fan" by Boston Globe's Kevin Cullen that really sums up living in New England. He's got a few years on me, but everything he writes rings very true for me and most folks I know around these parts.

NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB Championship TrophiesBig Papi shows off some big rings

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Did Ya Hear About The Ear?

Ow, my ear!Some knob tourist on Easter Island was busted after breaking off the end of an ear from a Moai. This happened at Anakena beach, a site we visited in December. If I had seen something like this when we were there I'd have fought for a human sacrifice. Luckily a native Rapanui woman witnessed the whole thing and later identified Marko Kulju, from Finland, to police.

Read the full story.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

All Hail Jon Lajoie

Jon Lajoie is the funniest thing I've ever seen on the web (this week). You've got to check his shit out - original songs and music videos that are HILARIOUS. I can't stop playing his rap "Everyday Normal Guy" and his newest dance track "Sunday Afternoon" is great too. I don't even know how many songs he's got but "Song for Britney", "High as F@%K", and "Cold Blooded Christmas" are all great. You see them on all on This kid's gonna be huge!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Internet Goodies

I've become hooked on Funny or Die this week and my favorite clip is "I'm F'ing Seth Rogen". Of course this follows "I'm F'ing Ben Affleck" which was in response to the original, "I'm F'ing Matt Damon". If you haven't seen any of these, start off by doing Damon, then Affleck and finally finish off with Rogen.

Last night was yet another mind bending episode of LOST. If for some reason you never got caught up in the best show on television, here is a unique way to catch up. This father and son team has been reenacting season 1 of Lost with action figures. Check it out.

Other good wastes of time; Kids Rock - a spoof ad of childhood songs done by some rockers. The attempt at James Hetfield is pretty weak, but "Welcome to McDonalds" makes up for it. You must checkout Spongebob Classics - this features the voice cast of Spongebob dubbing Hollywood classics.

And if you have a strong stomach, you can try to track down Gene Simmon's "leaked" sex tape. It seems to have already been pulled from the site claiming to have it - but you can read about it still.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Weekend in London

In front of Buckingham PalaceYesterday we got back home from a weekend getaway to London, England and it was a blast. Lori visited London about 20 years ago, but I had never been and didn't really care to. I always figured I'd get to Europe when I was too old and tired to enjoy the adventure trips. But everything we did and saw was so much more fun and interesting than I ever expected. We spent two days bopping around London on double decker buses seeing all the traditional sights of Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace and more. Then we explored the tourist stops like The London Dungeon (actually a haunted house type of attraction with a couple thrill rides), Tower of London (much bigger and more interesting than I expected with many tales of torture and execution - also the home of The Crown Jewels which were very cool to see), The London Eye, Madam Tussauds Wax Museum (way more fun than expected. I didn't know you could get up close and personal with all the figures) - it was all much more fun than I thought it would be. Our third and final day we took a full day bus tour out to Windsor Castle (like the Tower of London - this was much bigger and more interesting than I dared expect. Rooms full of the spoils of the English Empire), Stonehenge (quite cool to be visiting this so soon after being on Easter Island - two of the most bizarre places in the world) and Bath (home of some ancient Roman bath houses and just a very cool town full of 18th century buildings). We could have easily spent a week in London and not been bored, there are still so many cool old places and museums we didn't get to, not to mention a countless number of pubs we didn't have time to frequent. I was really impressed by the history, the architecture and the good humor of all the English folks we met. StonehengeAll the Londoners were much more outgoing and funny than I expected, and of course they all loved Larry The Lizard (who by the way seems to have a cameo in the movie "Michael Clayton"). And even though everyone was bundled up, the temperature was a bit warmer in merry Ol' England than it was back here in New England. Will certainly have to visit again someday. More pictures coming soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

We are jetting off to London England for a long Valentines weekend this year and running off on another trip made me realize I had never added photos of our last adventure. So finally, here are some photos from our most excellent trip to Chile in December. We rafted one of the world's top rated white water rivers - The Futaleufu and then ran off to Easter Island to party with the giant heads.

This past Sunday I got Lori an early Valentines Day gift - a new HD LCD television. Yes, I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who prefers hi-def to flowers and chocolate. What neither of us enjoys are trips to the emergency room which is what we got when our existing 35" TV crushed three of Lori's fingers when we were moving it to the floor. She panicked and yanked her fingers out which just ripped two of them open causing quite a bit of blood. We thought one might be broken, as did the triage nurse, but x-rays proved us wrong though she did need three stitches. So if anyone out there is looking for a used, blood-stained TV - I might be able to help you out.