Thursday, September 8, 2016


For your convenience, the list of Rolling Stone's top 100 (ahem) drummers. Listed here so you don't have to scroll through the RS site.

100. Christian Vander, Magma
99. Travis Barker, Blink-182
98. Steven Adler, Guns N’ Roses
97. Cindy Blackman, Lenny Kravitz
96. Larry Mullen Jr., U2
95. Chris Dave, D’Angelo and Robert Glasper Experiment
94. Meg White, The White Stripes
93. Tomas Haake, Meshuggah
92. Ralph Molina, Neil Young and Crazy Horse
91. Brian Chippendale, Lightning Bolt
90. Janet Weiss, Sleater-Kinney
89. Bill Stevenson, Descendents
88. Jon Theodore, The Mars Volta and Queens of the Stone Age
87. George Hurley, The Minutemen and Firehose
86. Phil Rudd, AC/DC
85. Tommy Lee, Mötley Crüe
84. John Stanier, Battles
83. Ronald Shannon Jackson
82. Glenn Kotche, Wilco
81. JR Robinson
80. Steve Jordan, John Mayer Trio
79. Mick Avory, The Kinks
78. Micky Waller, Jeff Beck Group
77. Moe Tucker, The Velvet Underground
76. Earl Young, The Trammps
75. Earl Hudson, Bad Brains
74. Michael Shrieve, Santana
73. Pete Thomas, Elvis Costello
72. James “Diamond” Williams, The Ohio Players
71. Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, The Allman Brothers Band
70. Tommy Ramone, The Ramones
69. Dale Crover, The Melvins
68. Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey, Parliament Funkadelic
67. Greg Errico, Sly and the Family Stone
66. Kenny Aronoff, John Mellencamp
65. Sly Dunbar, Sly and Robbie
64. Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers
63. Dennis Chambers
62. Tony Thompson, Chic and The Power Station
61. Clem Burke, Blondie
60. Mick Fleetwood, Fleetwood Mac
59. Jim Gordon, Derek and the Dominos
58. Sheila E, Prince
57. Manu Katche
56. Richie Hayward, Little Feat
55. Max Weinberg, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
54. Questlove, The Roots
53. Jimmy Chamberlin, The Smashing Pumpkins
52. Matt Cameron, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden
51. Alex Van Halen, Van Halen
50. Cozy Powell, The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake, and Black Sabbath
49. Vinnie Colaiuta
48. John “Drumbo” French, Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band
47. Dave Lombardo, Slayer
46. Dave Garibaldi, Tower of Power
45. Billy Cobham
44. Jerry Allison, The Crickets
43. Phil Collins, Genesis
42. Bill Ward, Black Sabbath
41. Carter Beauford, Dave Matthews Band
40. Jack DeJohnette
39. Ramon “Tiki” Fulwood, Parliament Funkadelic
38. Jim Keltner
37. Jeff Porcaro, Toto
36. Steve Smith, Journey
35. Fred Below
34. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, Grateful Dead
33. Tony Allen
32. James Gadson
31. Roger Hawkins, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section
30. Clifton James, Bo Diddley
29. Carlton Barrett, Bob Marley and the Wailers
28. Carmine Appice
27. Dave Grohl, Nirvana and Foo Fighters
26. Danny Carey, Tool
25. Earl Palmer, Little Richard
24. Steve Gadd
23. Elvin Jones, John Coltrane Quartet
22. Levon Helm, The Band
21. Ian Paice, Deep Purple
20. Bernard Purdie
19. Tony Williams, Miles Davis
18. Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, The Meters
17. Terry Bozzio, Frank Zappa
16. Bill Bruford, Yes and King Crimson
15. Buddy Rich
14. Ringo Starr, The Beatles
13. D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley
12. Charlie Watts, The Rolling Stones
11. Benny Benjamin, The Funk Brothers
10. Stewart Copeland, The Police
09. Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. & the MG’s
08. Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix Experience
07. Gene Krupa
06. Clyde Stubblefield and John “Jabo” Starks
05. Hal Blaine
04. Neil Peart, Rush
03. Ginger Baker, Cream
02. Keith Moon, The Who
01. John Bonham, Led Zeppelin

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Art of Quitting

That's right. I cannot think of anything clever, trenchant, witty or even snarkalicious to write.

So I quit. The May Days Essays. A few days early. Big deal.

Not a big deal.

Some of the best decisions I've made over the years have been to quit: bands, relationships, jobs, you name it.

In my sense, quit is not synonymous with give up. It means: "Enough of this bullshit. I am not getting anything out of this endeavor, and, more paramount, I am not giving anything of value, either. I need to move on, to replace the current sitch with something better."

So there.

Think about it. Why stay mired in an unhealthy, detrimental or otherwise fucked-up place? It wastes your time; it fills you with negativity; it drags down those around you. Of course, you don't want to hurt anyone. Yet, you hurt yourself by standing pat and suffering the stagnation.

Remember what the fictitious Uncle Joe said a few days ago (May 20, to be exact): "It's not what you do; it's what you make."

I want to make it better, Jude.

Thank you, readers for following me this May. I'll be back, when the imp of whimsy strikes. Hey, one of you may be the target.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stories: Two True!

The Bad Boy

Geeze, I can't remember the name of the club. It was Denver. Two weeks Five (sometimes six!) sets a night, six nights a week. Two Hollywood agents had book us into a tour of Colorado, Washington and Montana. The agents, both corpulent men with bulbous eyewear, had misrepresented us as a Top 40 band. Which we were decidedly not. On the whole, the experience was dreadful.

But we were DIRECT FROM LA, even though we had been living their only a few months.

One mitigating factor was our assistant roadie, one Joey "Bad Boy" Mancuso. Only 18, he had signed on with us over the summer and moved to the City of the Fallen Angels with us as an adventure. Which it was. Joey, a sprite of a guy was simply a joy to be around. He worked hard, behaved unpredictably (hence the nickname), and buoyed our spirits every day.

He begged us to let him sit in on guitar. This also happened daily. The band hemmed and hawed a tad. Finally on our last night at the club, in the penultimate set, we gave Bad Boy the go-ahead. He raced back to our rooms, which were in a dank hotel basement next door.

He returned with a blousy, disco-type shirt and satin bellbottoms with glitzy embroidery. Platform shoes completed the outfit. We brought him up near the end of the set.

"Helping us out on guitar, here's the Bad Boy, Eric Clapton's rhythm guitarist!" Joey leapt onto the stage, and the band launched into a semi-rousing version of the Yardbirds' "I'm a Man." The song eventually breaks into a rollicking, double-time jam. Bad Boy did us proud. Using a slide on the neck and a wah-wah pedal, he started wailing. The audience caught on, and crowded the dance floor, clapping in wild appreciation. Joey was height challenged enough that our guitarist and bassist arched their guitars over him as a showcase.

Bad Boy was a natural; he looked as if he had been doing this for years. He made the right faces, hair flying, working the females in the crowd with flamboyant cuteness. No one seemed to notice that he had been at the club every night as our roadie for two weeks. Crowds will believe, seemingly, anything they hear over a microphone. The rest of the band played it straight.

Despite calls for more, Bad Boy quickly exited the stage and hid out back at the motel.

One fan came up to Larry, our killer lead guitar player. "Y'all guys were good, but that Bad Boy!"

Joey came back with us the next to day to load the van and head for Butte.

The coolest part: Bad Boy Mancuso couldn't play a lick of guitar.

The Banana Divorce

Includes blue language. It's the only way I can relate it. Deal with it, okay?

I had just stopped in the WaWa to pick up some stuff. As I walked in, I saw a ramshackle station wagon park near me. The vehicle had Florida plates. Packed to the gills with luggage, lamps, golf clubs and other effluvia.

A couple dismounted. In their early 60s, I'd say. The woman sported a dour look, as if she had just smelled something off-putting. The husband wore a porkpie hat, Bermudas, knee socks and crinkly wingtips. He had a small, precise mustache.


Harry, as calm as a mountain pond, said, "Dear. This is a convenience store. They are not known for fresh, reasonably priced produce. We just came here for your Virginia Slims, not bananas."


Zarim, the affable clerk, said something in Farsi. Harry and I gleaned that Virginia Slim Menthol Lights were not on the menu. I could feel the heat of the woman's seethe.


Harry raised his voice a scoche, still dapper, "We came here because we both hate your sister. And her mangy flea-ridden cats. And her layabout son. All in a trailer, Myra" His shoulders seemed to sigh a bit.

This was getting good, I thought. By now, the whole store was watching. City people were stifling giggles. Finally, Harry, too, spared a grin.


With that, Myra marched out of the store. Ten customers, plus Zarim and I, crowded toward the door. Harry stayed back, a tight look on his face. She flipped up the wagon's tailgate and removed two huge suitcases. She lugged them to the bus stop, which was right in front of the store. As luck would have it, a city bus pulled right up. With tremendous effort, Myra clambered onto the jitney with her valises. In an angry huff of diesel, she and the bus were gone.

Everyone turned to look at Harry. Coakley Bridgeforth, with whom I had played Little League, said, "Whoa, Ace. Didja see that!"

Zarim said, "Iptha putamescu golorath." Or some thing to that effect.

And Harry? He burst into a little jig, smiling grandly. Thrusting his hands into the air, he said, "Thirty-two years, THIRTY-TWO YEARS I BEEN WAITING FOR THAT PILE A SHIT TO LEAVE ME!"

With that, everyone walked up to Harry, offering congratulations.

He asked me, "Is there a liquor store nearby?" I pointed him to one just two blocks away.

Smoothing his clothing (and mustache), Harry said, "Banana liqueur, I think."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Don't Forget To Forgive Me

In actuality, the head of today's post is a song title. Never mind that it was written by my daughter Grace when she was about six. It was actually part of a medley, including "Don't Forget to Love Me" and "Don't Forget to Kiss Me." The last song, as little Gracie would admonish me, "is for the girls."

She also wrote a paean to her gym teacher. I will not name him or the song, but the last line was "He's too cute to say 'no.'"

Ah, these kids today. And yesterday.

But the initial title has been ringing true for me lately.

Forgiving, I believe, is some powerful shit. And—like bulbous C7 Yule lights, funny sitcoms, modest athletes, and uneasily-offended people—the concept has become antiquated, shopworn.

Is there that much that is unforgivable? I think not. What, someone called you a name? Someone broke up with you? Grabbed your parking spot?

In line with a dearth of forgiving is the waxing of the word hate. How can you hate a band, a team, a TV show, or seafood. Really? No, I do not hate Pink Floyd, as a friend asked me last night. I just cannot stand their wobbly, snoozy, grooveless, goes-nowhere music.

Also in line is the faux apology. Example: "I'm sorry, but I drink only sweet wine." Now, I might feel sorry for someone with such horrid taste in the noble grape, but why apologize for one's opinion?

Forgiveness is such a noble trait. I have written before about the galpal who stopped seeing me and tried to apologize years later. I was never mad about the split, but felt a tad disappointed. Her apology was heartfelt; she looked almost morose. My admiration for her zoomed after that night. And has stayed in that rarefied air.

It is also noble to cut off someone's apology, to tell them no apology is needed. How often does that happen?

I am relieved when I am forgiven. I felt great when a guy—who was at odds with me for years (and I with him)—came up to me with a handshake many moons later. I felt lightened, almost buoyant.

I once knew a basketball coach (let's call him Spike) whom I heartily disliked. I was an official at the time. He was a nitpicking, never-happy bully to us zebras. He often got personal with criticisms. He was so obnoxious that every referee in town couldn't stand doing his games. One night, a fellow ref said to me before one of Spike's games, "Let's just ignore him tonight." It worked like a charm, for Spike's BP went up exponentially the less we paid attention to him.

One Christmas Eve, I spotted Spike at church. I found myself wondering whether he sneered at The Big Guy during Mass. I was hosting my annual All Holler's Eve Bash afterward, so I buttonholed Spike and invited him. He looked as if I had just hit him with a taser. He demurred on the invite, but I felt better about myself.

I can think of quite a few people whom I'd like to apologize to and ask forgiveness. It's been so long, I think some may have departed.

Try this, folks. It not only restores your faith in others, but theirs in you.

I apologize for such a serious tone today, for my lack of snark. Please forgive me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Turning Japanese

A healthy, heapin' helpin' of Holleran haikus for you today.

Hot ham in deli
Had to try a little taste
Bingo! Lunch today

Mother pushing pram
Thumbs texting, oblivious
Total douchebag, she

"Millionaire" hipster
Dumbass can't do simple math
Says, "Well THAT sucks." Bye

Woman in linen
Pedi paint matched her flip-flops
I was attracted

Cool tune at jazz jam
Fanboy claps on 1 and 3
Threw a stick at him

"Voice" singer screaming
Feeble fireworks, bad pitch
That's earslaughter. Next!

New gal in my life
Says I'm amazing, brilliant
Wants to be friends

Huge guy at Weis*
Can't tuck shirt; stomach hinders
Buys only ice cream

* This is pronounced "Wise's" in coal-country parlance. Ergo, the line is five syllables.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Misfit Albums

I know these are somewhere in your collection. I treasure them.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Excess of Mediocrity

I was watching the tube (Can we still call it that? I can, with my CRT array.) this morning when an ad for some sort of "hard soda" appeared. It led to a tagline: "LIVE HARD." Okay. Then a suffix slides onto the screen: "ISH".

I can see the meeting now. Hipster agency creatives, wearing berets and Birkenstocks, think they have come up with a smidge of genius: "Live hard." Then comes the counterattack of the Client Suits. "Well, we don't want to get too edgy here. Why can't we say 'hard-ish'?" Guess who wins? The agency folks clomp away to a Wes Anderson film festival while the execs celebrate their blandness.

No one admits to the fact that the target audience for said beverage is 15-18 year-olds with lopsided hair, skateboards and Doors t-shirts.

Wendy's now has Ghost Pepper Fries. Really? Do you think this faceless chain (now that Dave Thomas has passed into glottal-stoppage heaven) would ever put actual ghost peppers on spuds? They are hotter than Lucifer's autoclave. No, Wendy's food modifiers (I dare not call them chefs.) have found a way to dumb-down said peppers so that people in Iowa will eat them.

Even KFC tried their hand at Nashville-style hot chicken. From all accounts, the real deal is Dante-level hot. But in their TV spots, the Colonel's minions insert the disclaimer, "But not TOO hot."

No, this is America. We don't want it TOO anything.

Blandness rules. As I BookFaced earlier today, I wasted two hours of my life watching "50 Shades of Grey." This is a sleepy tale of a sadist rich boy who wants women. Mainly to turn them into punching backs and whipping posts. BUT, the mahoffs had to keep an R rating, so no real naughty bits are shown. From other sources, the book was plenty steamy. Plus, the plot, the acting and everything else around the film were of no merit whatsoever.

Let's water down what we can.

Is that SUV a Ford or a Hyundai? What does it matter? When I was a kid, it did. Cars had panache; they had variety, some excessive. We kids couldn't wait to see the next year's models. They were different. Which is a vile curse today.
Both 1959s. We knew the Chevy from the Caddy.

At a luxe wedding, an annoying photographer had all the guests assemble for a group shot. He artfully placed himself above us on a patio. Hooray! Toast! Joy! Well, enforced joy. In the final image, one person had his back to the camera, glass held high. When I got called on the carpet by the bride's mother. How dare I misbehave? I said, "How didja know if my back was turned?"

She said, "Ace, who else would it be?" I felt a frisson of pride.

Let's not poke TOO much fun. Let's keep the same old jokes. Every sitcom deals with a dysfunctional group, as if this is in itself funny. The lines aren't humorous, the actors wan. Just make someone fat, gay, nerdy or zombielike. That should be enough. Not.

Or, you could be brilliant like Ernie Kovacs, Mort Sahl or the Smothers Brothers.

Yes, I loved (and miss) the National Lampoon magazine. The rag was an equal-opportunity offender. Could any periodical run this cover today? Or an issue devoted to death?

Could Belushi do his Samurai sketches? Murphy as Buckwheat?

I can hear the disapproving "oohs" from here.

Playboy has stopped showing nude photos of comely lassies. What? Will Arby's go vegan? Victoria's Secret become prim?

Trump wants to rid our country of the differently-complected. Ted Cruz says rubbing one off will send you on a cruise with Charon across the Styx.

Country "music" screams beer, patriotism, Jesus, pickups and pontoon boats. And if you don't buy into this mouth-breathing lifestyle, you're not a true fan. Hank Williams and Conway Twitty never pushed their agenda on me. Chew tobacco, spit, indeed.

Whom is Bruno Mars going to imitate for his upcoming hit? He's already cribbed from Sting, Prince, Marvin, and the Brothers Johnson? Cowsills next, maybe?

I weary of the chorus of tweets of remote starters as people try to find their cars in the lot. I continue to buy off-brand petroleum jelly. I will ignore singing waiters. I still have yet to see The Sound of Music. I anxiously await the second season of Baskets.

You'll know where to find me. You've got my back in the photo.