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The Shillelaghs return…

May 26, 2017 Leave a comment

June 2 at the V-Spot in Scranton…
shillelaghs

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Chris Cornell

May 18, 2017 1 comment

Who knows where the time goes? I woke up this morning to my beeping Iphone. A text from my nephew. Chris Cornell was dead, it said.

It didn’t register. It was 7am. Not much cuts through the haze at that hour for me.

130925191836-chris-cornell-red-chair-orig-00004611-story-topBut the fog lifted. It does every morning. And it was all too real. He was gone. Played a show, returned to his hotel room, and hung himself. The crowd and the amplifiers were still ringing in his head. But it wasn’t enough. We’ll never know why. Only those who deal with what both Winston Churchill and Nick Drake called “the black dog” can come close to comprehending what filled Cornell’s head last night. And even they will end up chasing shadows. You may be able to walk in a man’s shoes, but you can’t get inside his head.

We’ll learn more in the days ahead. A note maybe. Perhaps drugs….booze….the usual suspects. But still, it won’t change anything. Yet another gifted soul who changed lives for the better has decided that his own wasn’t worth the effort. And for that we’re all diminished.

By all accounts a monster talent, A rock vocalist with a 4 octave range…Soundgarden didn’t really sound like anything else coming out of Seattle because Cornell could do things with his voice that others could not. Call it whatever you want. Grunge. Metallic Punk. Loud Mountain Music. He could wail like Plant and snarl like Rotten, with a touch of the poet thrown in for good measure. Quite a combination when you stop and think about it. I once heard him sing Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” with just an acoustic guitar and if the world ended when the song did, well, there’d be worse ways to go.

We’re about the same age. You forget that sometimes. In my late 20s……things started to change. Cornell. Cobain. Cantrell. Wood. Gossard and Vedder. It’s so easy to be cynical about what it became….$100 flannel shirts and copycats and and the like. But these were blue collar kids filled with angst and rage, surrounded by poverty and drugs and overdoses….drop-outs from broken homes. They had no patience for anything between a whisper and a scream. They closed ranks, supported each other, and kick-started rock and roll at a time when it was down for yet another standing 8 count. Most of them flew too close to the sun….and today we’re left to ponder the remains. But at least we can do so with a helluva soundtrack for company.

I listened. I was always listening. I had my guitar. My pen. It registered. I felt safer. More secure….writing the things I was writing. Playing the songs I was playing. Loud. Soft. Whispers. Screams. I learned. I’m still learning.

So what did I do today? I reached out to friends. The ones who are my age. I wanted to hear that they were ok. I wanted to remind them to hug their kids. To not wait. Do what you need to do, now. There is no promise of a tomorrow. When beautiful souls like Chris Cornell start hanging themselves from hotel bathroom doors, synapses start firing.

It’s late now. The house is dark and quiet. My kids are home….safe. Asleep. My wife lays beside me as I type these words. We’re vaccinated from it all…at least for one more night. But for the first time today, I feel like crying. Maybe that means something. I don’t know.

What may have changed his mind? What may have pushed him along to the next show? A kind word? A human touch? A new song? An “I love you Daddy” text from his daughter? So often we seek to anesthetize artificially……as if we don’t trust the natural methods. But then again…..it’s all about timing, isn’t it? We’re stubborn. We’re selfish. We want what we want and we want it now. Did he plan this? Was it some terrifying, spur of the moment impulse? A cry for help gone wrong? Did he realize his own gifts? His own power? His unique ability to get inside people’s heads and stay there? Or did the business of it all just leave the scar tissue…..the cynicism….

The world was a better place with Chris Cornell in it. But it ain’t gonna stop turning ’cause he’s gone. So that part’s on us.

So sing your song. And remember his.

In a bit..

–tf

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My catalog now on BandCamp

May 10, 2017 Leave a comment

I added my entire catalog to BandCamp.com

All my records….$7.00 each. Click below….

bandcamp_1000x515

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The Shillelaghs return! One night only..

May 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Our first full gig in 4 years!
Wiggy / Lenny / Moonie / Tom
We might even rehearse first!
SHILL POSTER BRITE

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