Wednesday, April 17, 2002

I was getting tired of all the grey in my world, so I spent most of yesterday revising the Suburban Limbo template. I don't know if I'm done or happy yet. This might be a bit garish (some guy just posted about how he liked the layout of my last template!). Oh well, if you have any thoughts about the new look, drop me an email. I will add many more links as soon as I gather the info.

Katie from Bad Poetry sent me a rocking mixed CD offering many songs I haven't heard, which spells happy in my book. Meeting With Remarkable Men by Harvey Danger considers face to face encounters with God, an Avatar and Kip Winger, of the hair metal band which bore his name. More rock weirdness - I once went on tour with Winger when I was a writer for Guitar World magazine (1989?). We spent two days in Erie, PA, possibly this planet's dreariest town. I recall being fascinating that the guys in Winger had to wash their own laundry in the coin-operated hotel washing machines. I kept taking pictures of that and later, they made me promise not to publish them in Guitar World them. If I ever find one, I'll post it here.

Kip (big layered hair) played the unattainable rock star. He was always too busy to speak. The nicest guy in the band (to me) was the keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor (inflated reddish hair). We drove my rental car to the mall and got ice cream. Dressed head to toe in black denim and leather, every kid in town spotted Paul and he was happy to sign whatever was stuck in front of him. Guitarist Reb Beach (carefully poofed hair) was cool too, but he was very young and delighted in telling folks how Jimi Hendrix would have been okay if he just tuned his damned guitar. I'll bet he regrets those quotes now. Rod (thick black hair), the drummer, was older and a serious pro. He drank quarts of home-squeezed carrot juice, went jogging every morning and called his wife a lot. More than anyone except maybe Paul (who was also a hardcore pro), Rod knew Winger was a gig and it would probably end one day.

When I finally got a face to face with Kip, it was backstage before their set between openers the Bullet Boys and headliners Cinderella. In the locker room of the Erie hockey rink, Kip did vocal exercises and I asked dumb questions. He immediately took offense when I inquired how he played bass with one hand while waving to the crowd all night. Yes, I'm actually playing the bass he sneered. I knew that, I was asking about equipment. My favorite moment came when he got dressed. He stuck his hand into a box of concert t-shirts and pulled out a pre-torn one from some obscure death metal group (Sacred Reich?). As he put it on, I pointed to the shirt and asked You listen to Sacred Reich?

Never heard of 'em he replied. Hey, if nothing else, give the guy points for honesty.

BTW - I think Winger is reforming to cash in on 80s nostalgia. And Kip Winger has some kind of new solo project that sounds like moody, new age rock (CUBICLE WARNING - HIS SITE PLAYS MOODY MUSIC INSTANTLY). Kip's also having a yard sale of music gear via eBay. Check here if you're like to buy a bass with Kip sweat on it.

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