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Another Day another dollar

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Here we go again. can you tell me what color the Sun again?

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Posted by Chuck Gee - May 14, 2020 at 9:54 AM

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EightBall’s Official Video Release!

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Nashville’s own Eight Ball Rock band has just released their first video off their latest album entitled “Down to the River”!

The album”Back to Rock N Roll”, Eight Ball’s second album was recorded in late 2018 at the legendary recording studio Sound Emporium in Nashville. It picks up where the first one left off and continues to gain fans of all ages with their hat-tip back to the rockin’ 80’s but with all original music! Proving once again you don’t have to be 20 and on a reality TV show in order to still Rock and Roll!

“Down to the River”, their cross over hit is steadily climbing thru social media and developing its own following of “Swamp Rock” obtaining almost 3500 views in its first week of release!

Eight Ball will be playing the Pre-Party concert in Nashville on August 9th, for the RockNPod Expo 3!

Check out the video below! More about Eight Ball and to pick up the album go here!

www.eightballrocks.com


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Posted by Chuck Gee - April 18, 2019 at 9:16 AM

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Just another block building gone, I think not.

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  Remember Pizza-Aroma? The Bible book store? Corner of Second street and Adams.

I grew up at 531 second street. Pizza-aroma was 3 houses down from us. On the left hand side the Hoffman’s lived there. Royalty and by my standards, super duper rich. John Stanley Sr. and his wife were very nice people. On our right side of our house lived Frank and Trixie. Frank the mean mafia guy and Trixie LaMae the Vegas dancer and Actress. All in their old age by the time the 70’s had rolled around. Trixie’s mom had fallen in the snow covered street during the blizzard of 77’/78′. Buzz went out and picked her up out of the street. She died right after that. Not sure the fall killed her but she was a frail tiny old woman..

I remember my brother and I had the occasionally excitement of hearing Pops say “you want a Pea’za” tonite? He never pronounced it right. We thought us little boys were big time when got to use the telephone to call it in. We rarely were allowed to use the phone. Kids in grade school these days have cellphones. Go figure…Times sure have changed. Back then we really thought we were doing something when we got to run down to the corner in the dark all by ourselves to pick it up! I know in this “modern” fast paced world two little boys in the mid 70’s getting to run down to the corner to pick up a pizza means nothing. I remember David hollering hurry and we would run as fast as we could. We would swing open that door that had  swinging bells on it, run up to the counter, put the money up there and then take turns carrying the paper wrapped pizza home. But to me, its a great memory of the little corner restaurant. Times were different. Years later I would help Jack Fambrough wire up ceiling fans in that building for the Bible bookstore but lets reminiscence..

My neighborhood,  or should I say the neighborhood that I grew up in. I didn’t own the block. The block I spent most of my time growing up on. First on the 2nd street side and years later the 3rd street side of the same block. Pizza-aroma was the place to meet. We caught the bus there on the corner. The bus driver was a pretty cool to us. We would be the first kids she picked up. We could drink cokes on the bus and sit in the back and smoke cigarettes if we opened the bus windows. She didn’t mind. I also remember the bus being cold as hell in the winter time. It took forever for the old bus heaters to warm it up. As we got older and went to County most times we would walk to school. We got to cool for buses by then. Like every other kid of that age for all ages, we all had the world by the balls but never knew it.

Some of the memories I have surrounding that building I would like to share.

One of the earliest memories I have is of Joe Coffee. He was an elderly man that lived in the neighborhood. He used to walk all the time. I remember coming home from school one day and being told someone had beaten up and robbed nice “ole Joe’ right there by the pizza building. I think I remember seeing him maybe once after that but maybe I didn’t. But I can’t believe someone would rob an old man but they did. I have always heard if you mention someone’s name that has long since died then they aren’t’ forgotten and they get a smile on their face in Heaven. Well Joe, its been a good 45 years or so but I haven’t forgotten you.

Another thing Pizza Aroma did for awhile. They had a lunch buffet. Man summertime! We would burn that pizza up! Seems it was $2.15 or #$2.75 for all you could eat. We were young and could put away the pizza! I remember eating there several times with the other neighborhood kids. They used to have a TV on the self in the right hand corner of the counter. It was the first time I saw on the news the now iconic footage of the Vietcong murder in the street. I know it was several years old by the time I saw it in the Pizza-aroma but it shocked me and it still stays with me. My Uncle was in Vietnam but the war for the most part was hidden to us. A world away and by the time I was made aware if it, over. Saigon had fell.

I loved art. I took art in school every year it was available to me. It didn’t mean I was any good at it but I sure enjoyed it. Now bare with me as I jump around in time…Around 1981 we had moved from 805 Second street to 536 3rd street. Same block we started on. By this time the Pizza place was gone and a new book store was coming in. I remember seeing someone painting a mural on the side of the building. I walked down there and struck up a conversation and watched the artist as he worked his magic. I had no idea who the artist was or what he was painting. I do believe he was wearing red clothes though and was kind of eccentric..lol. When he had finished, it was a Shepherd with sheep. Years later I would become friends with him at church. He was still a little artsy and eccentric but a very talented great guy.

I got to know the owners of the Pizza Aroma fairly well. I used to get to go down there and hang out. I couldn’t have been no more than 10 or 11 years old. They let me answer the phone and occasionally help make a pizza. It was my first time ever seeing anchovies. They smelled really bad and were hairy. I also got hired to cut the yard around back. It wasn’t a very big area. The house next door had a huge mulberry tree that hung over on the property but more about the tree later. The owner (I think his name was Chris) would pay me two dollars to mow the back yard and rake the leaves. Not bad money for the time it took. It didn’t take 30 minutes or so to do it. I remember him showing me how to rake leaves because I had no clue on how rake them.

In behind the  Pizza-aroma was a block storage building. It used to have a fire place in it. Pizza-aroma and the Bible book store stored their extra supplies and other stuff in there. Every time I was in it was just piled up with junk. We had bad storm one year while the Pizza Aroma was still there and the chimney blew off the roof of that building. I remember watching a guy tearing the rest of it down. Once again, naive kid here. Maybe 10 years old. Well, the guy had a large stack of bricks piled up around by where he had torn the rest of chimney down. He said he was going to lunch and if I wanted to make some money I could carry the bricks around to the curb while he was gone. He said he would pay me a penny a brick. So I said I would do it. He left and I started carrying the old red bricks around to the curb. Funny how after all this time I can still remember this but I do. I carried right at 700 bricks around to the curb. I thought I had did a good job and thought that the guy would like it and I would make 7 dollars. It took a couple of hours for me to carry all those brick… The guy showed back up, after I was finished. He asked me how many brick were there. I said 700. He said “No way, there might be 200 brick there” and with that he didn’t hand me my money, he threw 2 dollars on the ground and walked off. The guy, I don’t know who you are but you are still an asshole to me…after all these years. You are an “ASSHOLE”.

OK, good memory visit this time. Once again time jumping. The house next door to the building, an older lady lived there. My friend Jack Fambrough was in to “blessing people”. He had a good heart. He may go to Purples Pool hall  and run the pool tables on you but he would tell you about Jesus in the process of taking your money from you. He was really good at playing pool. He was a pool shark… But anyway, back to this old lady. She lived by herself and owned that stucco sided house next door to Pizza-aroma. It was a shot gun style house with a  nice porch and that mulberry tree I am still waiting to bring up later. Anyway, I might have been 18 or so at the time. Jack was always coming around. He played guitar and always wanted me to play here or there etc. So he had told this old lady he would paint her house for 300 bucks. The entire house outside. Come to think it about, it might have been for just 100 bucks. I am really leaning toward the 100 bucks, he may read this and confirm. So I was roped into helping him. By this time I was trying to write music, record etc to mark my place in this big world. My friend Dennis Duncan was a drummer turned singer and he wasn’t doing anything so we got together on a project. We called it “Deception”. Dennis used to come over while I was painting that house and he would sit in the grass with a notebook and we would bounce song ideas off each other as I painted away. We eventually recorded 3 of them at Wasson Studies in Boonville and released a 3 song Cassette tape. The songs were called “Party in 204”, “Holding on Tight”, and one more that currently escapes me. We shot the photos for the cover at Purples Pool Hall.

Our block was bustling with kids. We were fortunately to have many friends that lived within the 2 block radius. There were enough of us all around the same age that we would play football and basketball together. We attended scout meetings together. Road motorcycles in the trails by the railroad tracks. It was a good time to be alive. We used to play “S.W.A.T.” too. That was a popular TV at the time. We would choose up sides and we all had those plastic machine guns and we would run from yard to yard in search of the “bad guys”. The front half on the block facing 2nd street, all the houses had sheds in the yard or single car garages. They were so close we could climb up on  a fence and climb on top of one of the buildings and we could run and jump from building rooftop to building rooftop. I spent some nights on one of the buildings just looking up at the stars too.

Well, every neighborhood including ours will have a couple of older bullies. You know the kind. A little older and tougher guys. They seem to run in two’s.We had them. Fortunately for us they only orbited our way occasionally. They really didn’t show up much until Jr. High. They lived a few streets over so it was good for us. In fact, one of them I was either his friend one day or he was whooping my ass the next day and it all depended on what mood he was in. Once again. I was naive. I lived in a small bubble and had no idea that people were mean just for the hell of it. I snuck down to the pizza aroma one night and I peaked in the window to see who was there. There where the bad guys. They turned and saw me and I took off and ran home. The next day when I got off the bus they were waiting on me. And as usual, it was my day to get my ass kicked. One of the them said I had flipped them off. Which I didn’t do. But to these two clowns, it was just an excuse to pick on somebody. These guys did this all the time. One day I was a friend of them and the next day one of them was quoting Billy Jack, “I am going to take my right foot and put it on the left side of your face and there is nothing you can do about it”.  I ran into one of these guys later on in life. He said “Do you remember me?” I said “I have both good and bad memories of you” and he said that ain’t no good. He never apologized for being a bully. I wish back then I would have fought back but in a way I am glad I didn’t. He spent most of his adult life in prison and unfortunately passed away a few years ago. I may not have liked him but you never ever gloat that you outlived someone. Someone or something made him the way he was.

The mulberry tree. That thing was huge! We used to climb up in it. I enjoyed climbing trees. We had a nice tall pear tree in our back yard. It was great for having fresh pears when they were in season. They were also good to pick and throw at each other when they were overripe or even worse when the pears where just budding out and where hard as a rock.Once during a rummage sale we where having I climbed up in the top of it and fell out of backwards onto a brick sidewalk. I might have been 8 or 9? Its OK folks, I couldn’t walk without back spasms for years but all is well. I just don’t stand up the straightest because of it. back to the mull berry tree, we used to pick the berry’s by the cup full and eat those tarty things. That is until someone told us to soak the berry’s in salt water first. When the worms crawled out of every one of them my mulberry eating days were over in an instant!

I have more stories to share but for now…it’s closing time on this one.

Always missed the old block and the friends we ran around with.  Some we still keep in contact with. Lots of memories there.I miss being young and the days lasted all day long. I have watched the Catholic church over the years slowly and methodically consume like fire every house on the front side of 2nd street and all the houses on the 3rd street side on both blocks. The yards and building we hid behind and jumped across are gone. The pear tree I fell out of is now a distant memory under some asphalt. The pope needs the parking spaces I guess. It happens. Things change but the memories remain. The building is gone. I suspect in the next 50 years the church will own many parking lot blocks. Not hating on the church. Its called progress? But growing up then was a blast. My friends help make it that way.

C…

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Chuck Gee - November 14, 2018 at 4:20 PM

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Night at Dick’s Last Resort

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Posted by Chuck Gee - September 27, 2018 at 9:31 AM

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Album Review “Throw the Horns”!

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So, someone said rock is dead. I think it was Gene Simmons… How wrong can he be? Damn wrong. Rock is not dead. Now there was a decade of Kmart flannel shirts and cutoff jeans and everyone thought the movie Dazed and Confused was created by Michelangelo himself but thankfully, that era is gone. And now that the age of the cookie monster vocals is coming to an end…it’s time to do what the electric guitar was meant to do! ROCK!

Enter the band “Throw the Horns”. Fronted by vocalist Joe W.  Smith and backed up by Eric Strothers on guitar/vocals, Steve Hubbard on Bass guitar and vocals, Brian Strawn on drums and Austin Sprague on guitar/vocals. Their debut album “Throw the Horns” is more of an Rock and Roll anthem to the masses! It says it all! Get your butt out there and Throw the Horns!

I had the honor of getting a sneak peek at it before its official Release in September.  I instantly felt the connection! The song writing is superb! The guitars are hot and the solos! Man, smoking! And what a great mix! There was a lot of love that went into the making of this album! The album is not the standard ole 80’s cookie cutter 3 chord sex, drugs and rock and roll type music. It’s much better than that. It’s well thought out and crafted!  And it Delivers! We are all a little bit older and wiser so, the songs reflect that. Joe may even let you in on the back stories to some of them if you ask him. (One of them is about his kids).

Bob Seger once sang, “So you’re a little bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be”. Big freakin’ deal. Rock and Roll isn’t dead, and neither are you! Get yourself a copy and crank it up! Rock and Roll never forgets and be sure and “THROW THE HORNS”!

Pick up a copy here:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003093067725

 

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Posted by Chuck Gee - September 14, 2018 at 4:17 PM

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New Music from EIGHT BALL! Check it out!

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Posted by Chuck Gee - August 1, 2017 at 9:48 AM

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The Life and Death of a Mother

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 Here is something I wrote a couple of years ago when my birth Mother passed away…

Well, the word “Mom” …It was something I never called her. My birth mother, that is. Most of you already know the details I have shared here before. Long story short is, she gave birth to me and didn’t or wasn’t allowed to raise me. So we never spoke while We grew up except for the occasional phone call she would make or drop by drunk and calling me “chucky jr’ ..So I don’t have any good memories growing up of her all. I lived in fear of being kidnapped by her. She would have never done it but my Mom (Gm) had told my brother and me to always watch out for her because she was going to. It’s pretty sad to lie to children like that and instill fear into them like that. But that is what happened.
But let’s fast forward to around 1992 when I felt led to go see my birth mother. Well, my brother and I did. Finally we got the meet the lady that gave us life; Still, I could never bring myself to call her Mom. I called her by her name “Ida Mae”. Oh she would correct me and tell me she was my mother but I wouldn’t bend. My brother caved in early on and called her “Mom”. Still I couldn’t. I held off…”The years rolled slowly past”, to borrow from Bob Seger, there were Christmas’s, birthday parties and Thanksgivings’ we shared together…She always told us she loved us….and she was our “Mom”..I still didn’t give in…I wasn’t mean to her by any means. I was respectful, sometimes we always didn’t see eye to eye but she would just tell me that I got my hard headiness from her and she understood…
I remember when she almost died back in around 1994, she called my wife Denise and I to her hospital room…she said she wanted to get “saved”.I asked her if she wanted us to pray for her and she said “No” I can do it myself and she grabbed Denise and my hands, squeezed hard and started asking the Lord to forgive her and to come into her heart and save her.She was serious about her conversion and never looked back, she had her bouts with depression and sickness but she was a rubber ball and would bounce back up…
Even as she got older and a little off base sometimes and when I would call her it was highly annoying to hear her go over and over again about how much she loved us…She would get depressed when she thought about how things happened that led up to her losing us, her babies as a young mother and her husband….I would roll my eyes and then try to change the subject, but she kept going back to the I love you part..And she asked why come I couldn’t call her mom, which I explained over and over, she didn’t understand me on it and I didn’t understand her on it so we both agreed to disagree..
She always bragged on us and her grandkids (our kids) , she loved them all, despite her living in extreme poverty most of the time while they were little she would send a birthday card and a little money in it for them..We would go see her, watch the roaches climb all over the place but as a grandmother she was proud.She never had material things but she had those kids…I believe she spent her entire new life trying to make up for lost time and wrongs that are buried somewhere in the past…
She worried about her animals, she had a couple of dogs and a lot of cats.just recently she came got down and was sick a lot, every time I called her something was wrong with her…she didn’t want help, she didn’t want assistance she wanted to be in charge and on her own, and I can stand here right now and say I will want the same thing when I am older. I am as head strong as she was.
She had been going to Louisville these past few months for cancer checkups, she had a bout with it about 20 years ago and they thought maybe it had come back, she wouldn’t tell me much cause I asked her to leave out the gory details about the surgery she had…..I would call her after she got back from Louisville and she would tell me about the bus ride ( she would take the city bus to Louisville) sometimes she would be so sick she couldn’t talk and other times she was somewhat chipper….
Back to the animals.They were her friends; she kept them in the house. Her favorite dog and cat that she had had for many years died within a week of each other about a month ago…I talked to her about it and she thought it was a sign from God. She said God knew she would worry about those animals if anything happened to her…She said…”Oh Jesus, I wonder if that’s a sign that Joe Joe and Baby died” I told her it wasn’t. She was worried about her affairs too after she died. She would tell me over and over where the important papers where…I reassured her I would make her final wishes come true and would honor what she wanted when she died in the next 30 or 40 years…and I will ….
She passed away sometime during the night or early morning this past Monday…MY wife’s Dad has a scanner (nosy neighbor is what I call people with scanners lol) but he had heard them call out the code for “deceased” at her address..My son Josh drove me over there…and it was true…she died in her sleep.I just spoke with her Friday and she appeared fine, a little under the weather but nothing unusual …I went into her bedroom where she lay and I felt a peace about the place.I wasn’t shocked, or uneasy.I saw a new saint where an old sick body used to lay…just a shell….
She was terrified of dying but longing for Heaven.And God was gracious enough to let her go in her sleep. She went to sleep and woke up in the arms of Jesus…She is healthy, whole and in Heaven.
I’m ok with it…I never called her Mom, but she knew that she was, in our own hardheadedness we understood each other….and she will be missed but more importantly, there is a reunion..
I never cry ,well unless it involves one of my kids or grandkids, somehow they can run around all the shields I have in place…..it’s not fair but they can with no problems, I have no back up defenses for those..
As I went thru her lock box of her important papers to see her last wishes I found a note…….and it read…
Chuck
I want you and David to know I have always loved you
Mom

My shields took a hard beating at the moment.They stood……but leaked a little…

She was my Mom, not the one that got to raise me but the one that gave me life…In reality, that’s all I can ask for isn’t it?…

In closing, For some reason it seems that the Lord lets me know things are alright in dreams.I couldn’t sleep Monday night, not because I was upset but because I wanted to do everything right for her…when I finally dosed off around 4am I had a dream..I saw her, on a boat, in a river and she had on a black skirt that went down past her knees and she was dancing to Calypso music, enjoying Heaven… she looked young and healthy and full of life…it was her celebration dance…
I’ll miss her, my family will miss her…And I will treat her wishes with respect and one day……hopefully not for a long long time though…see her again….
until then
bye MOM
chuck

Update…..

Well, it’s been right at a month since my birth mother died….Sorry, I still separate her by “Birth mother” I mean no offense, just the facts. Anyway, for those of you that have followed my journey through this already know that my mother’s brother was the one that murdered my dad back in 1967…..So no need to go back over those roads….Long story short is, I have no feelings for this man and had always told my mother (when she brought him up in conversation) how I felt about him..She always said she loved him because he was her brother and she hated him for killing her husband/my dad…I on the other hand felt like he should have gotten the death penalty. So back to my story, I’ll make it short….He called me yesterday….He was wanting some of things that she had that belonged to him…I felt uncomfortable meeting him at the house, Let’s face it ..I don’t trust him. Now he has never been angry toward me but you never know…So I went to the house by myself, gathered up what he asked for and called him on the phone and asked him to meet me outside of his apartment….I pulled up in the parking lot and he was waiting for me…I gave him his stuff….He talked for a few minutes ….It was a polite conversation but something I didn’t really want to be involved with…anyway…when it was winding down and I was getting back into the truck… , he put all the stuff in one arm that he was holding and reached out with his right hand…… … he reached out his hand…….his “right hand”……the hand that he used to pull the trigger that killed my dad…….. I felt like it was his way of apologizing…for what he did………..….I know a hand shake doesn’t make it up and it will not never ever bring my dad back…..but he reached out his hand…………I reached back……and shook his hand…..
I then told him I would talk to him later if I found some other things that belonged to him at the house and I closed the truck door and drove away….
I still don’t know what to think of it……….but I move on…..

Like I said earlier, I wrote this right after she died.

Moving on…

 

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Posted by Chuck Gee - July 18, 2017 at 5:57 PM

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Rock on the Range 2017 in review

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Day 1. Friday

First off. My first ROTR. My SNL had an extra wristband so I was chosen by my daughter (his wife of course) to go with him since she couldn’t.

I have attended other festivals so I sort of knew what to expect but the rain was unforgiving and a headliner at times. And on all three days. In Kentucky where I live, It’s in a bend in the Ohio River. Storms come up, give it their best shot and are gone in a matter of minutes and we fire the grill back up. I noticed in Columbus the storms are like unwanted guests that show up and don’t want to leave. Seems like the clouds just parked themselves over the arena.

 

BearTooth. I had never heard of them. My SNL had. They were Read more…

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Posted by Chuck Gee - May 24, 2017 at 8:27 AM

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Facebook killed personal websites…Nothing is here anymore

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Posted by Chuck Gee - April 21, 2017 at 6:16 AM

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Is Gene Simmons still right? Is “Rock Dead?”

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“rock is dead”

“There’s every bit as much talent out there as there [was] when we first started, but the new bands have to live in their mother’s basement because they can’t afford to do this full time, because people are just filesharing and downloading,” he continued. “And that’s their prerogative — we allowed it and we haven’t sued everybody’s pants off for doing that. So that’s everybody’s fault — the record company’s fault.”
Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/gene-simmons-still-believes-rock-is-dead/#hiqrYX9htKCjWVWE.99

My review of Peter Criss’s book “Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss

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Posted by Chuck Gee - February 15, 2017 at 1:29 PM

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