Photo Album

#27 Acrylix Buttons

#26  Acrylix practicing in Eckington basement, circa 1983/4

#25 Marcus Dinsmore


#24 1978. Back when everyone had to be reminded that Blondie wasn't just Debbie Harry. As brilliant as Chris Stein, Clem Burke, etc. were, however, it was easy to forget this fact.


#23 I guess Deep Purple started the highbrow rock/classical thing in 1969 with the London Symphony Orchestra.  Maybe everyone was having flashbacks to Day in the Life, I don't know.  I actually don't remember that much about this concert, but through the wonders of the internet, I found this review:

"Lousy sound systems and poor concerts are not a rarity these days, even for big name attractions like Neil Young or America, but when the show is good and the audio is bad – that's when it hurts. And it was painful at the Bowl for Procol Harum. The first thing one noticed visually if not aurally was the massive bank of speakers at stage left and the absence of its twin at stage right. So, it seemed, people in the box section (first third of the Bowl) got only part of the story since Gary Brooker's vocals and much of the impact of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Roger Wagner Chorale were lost in the mud and imbalance. Customers in the upper reaches of the bowl, those in the rafters, apparently did better, according to several persons who took the hike, willing to sacrifice view for vocals." 

I was a lucky one in the nosebleed section.  I just remember what a remarkable voice Gary Brooker had, still has.  Conquistador, Simple Sister, A Salty Dog all great tunes and they didn't play Whiter Shade of Pale.


#22 Playbill from the 1969 performance of Hair at the Aquarius Theatre on Sunset Blvd. Good Morning Starshine. Easy to be Hard. Hair. Air. Let the Sunshine in. 

Oh, and everyone gets naked at the end.

#19 My friends and I saw so many great, intimate shows at the Ash Grove, especially Johnny Otis and his band (featuring his son Shuggie, Big Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Esther Phillips, and Marie Adams and the Three Tons of Joy), Albert King (seen in small Instamatic photo with local LA guitarist Hollywood Fats - Michael Leonard Mann), Doc Watson, and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. The Ash Grove was exceptional for the quality and range of artists and musical genres. Dave Alvin’s 2004 album Ashgrove captures the mood of the club very well. 

#20 Alice Cooper, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl. Snakes! Camel! Gallows! Diploma!  Introduced onstage by radio legend Wolfman Jack.


#21 Cream and I had a difficult relationship. I so loved their records, but for one sad sad reason after another I was never actually able to see them live until their reunion in 2005 in New York. A friend I went with was grumbling about Ginger Baker being a shell of his former self, but I was too busy weeping with joy at the opportunity to be in the same room when he played. Jack Bruce, the barrel chested Scotsman wailing on We're Going Wrong, was breaktaking. I am ashamed to admit that it was only after seeing this concert that I fully realized that Eric Clapton would be, and is, nowhere without Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker kicking his little You Look Wonderful Tonight ass.

I thought growing up in Los Angeles was a fairly normal thing.  Bicycling to the bowling alley, buses to the beach, etc., but every now and then I am reminded how weird it could be - whether I realized it at the time or not - and what feeds the fantasy that transforms it into LA LA Land and draws girls and boys from the Midwest to seek their fame and fortune.  This series of photos, taken at the January 1970 premier of The Magic Christian, starring Ringo Starr illustrates the synchronicity at its best.   I went there because I really loved the Beatles and was hoping to see Ringo.  Armed with my trusty Kodak Instamatic, I snapped away and managed to capture only the utterly completely worthless blurry tops of Ringo’s and Eric Clapton’s heads.  Those photos are long since discarded.  These that I did keep, however, now take on a different meaning altogether.  Why are Edward G. Robinson, Michael Nesmith, (I believe) Britt Ekland, Johnny Mathis, and Arte Johnson there, other than the simple fact they are famous and lived in LA and therefore were invited?  They were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by?  OK, Michael Nesmith I can understand, and Johnny Mathis, kinda sorta maybe, but…..Edward G. Robinson? 

Just how far back are you supposed to go to create a family tree before you give up?  Besides pictures of my parents as toddler, there are pictures of their parents as young adults full of piss and vinegar, and family pictures with their parents looking stern and, well, stern.  Many Jewish people can't trace back too far - too many pogroms, too much Hitler, too much displacement.  After a certain point, though, it's like searching for the origins of the universe.  The connections are filled with more static than a long distance call and instead of a trilobite fossil, you find you have great-great-grandma's cheekbones. 


February 22, 2021. Remember that feeling when you got your second shot?  Makes the Delta variant thing that much more painful.  Like tying the game with a buzzer-beater only to lose in overtime.


Tyler Lloyd, a colleague at US Environmental Protection Agency, took these great photos at two shows: a January 2017 tribute to Urban Verbs guitarist Robert Goldstein at the 9:30 club (note 930 sticker on my jeans) and a February 2020 tribute to David Bowie at the Pie Shop on H St., NE in DC).  For each, we performed songs that weren't our own, of course.  Covers are harder than originals because people know and love the originals.  It was great to share the stage with Martha Hull - a powerhouse - for the Goldstein show.  At the Pie Shop Bowie gig, I was very proud of our version of Bowie's Width of a Circle, which I was not familiar with before the gig.  I was able to really strrrreetch out on the A G D solo at the end of the song.  A great feeling to be in total command.

When you take a walk, anything can happen.  If everything in the universe had lined up perfectly, this would have been a Boxer, not a Dalmatian. Alternatively, keep the dog but have a child's hook and ladder fire truck hanging from the branches.


Right up there with grappling with the idea of death is the first moment you think about the universe.  "Turtles all the way down" is an expression that alludes to the mythological idea of a World Turtle that supports a flat Earth on its back. It suggests that this turtle rests on the back of an even larger turtle, which itself is part of a column of increasingly large turtles that continues indefinitely.  



News. If I were true to the period, I would be wearing what was called a newsboy or gatsby cap.  Circa 1969/1970 I saw a band called Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys.  The band was notable for its rock medley "Good Old Rock 'n' Roll", a Top 40 hit in the summer of 1969, AND that Jimi Hendrix produced their first album, as they shared the same manager at the time.  So, I must have seen them open for Hendrix one of the two times I saw him perform at the LA Forum. 



Clothing worn during the pandemic.  Due to the Covid pandemic, Monday, March 16, 2020 was the last day I was physically in my office at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC.  From that point on I rotated through the same 2 sweatshirts, and 3 pairs of jeans (black ones are folded up neatly, waiting for that extra special walk around the neighborhood).  Clothes make the man, but in this particular case simply keep him from disappearing completely.



Religion.  Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), in the sky with the right photo filter to enhance its otherworldliness, vividly captures the true spirit of America.  A religion all its own.  A big bucket of mass-produced comfort food waiting in the great beyond for you.  Colonel Sanders died for your sins. 



February 29, 2020.  This is a picture of Josh Singer, Glenn Kowalski, myself and Norman van der Sluys of 7 Door Sedan on the very last day we rehearsed in our basement in Silver Spring, MD after about 10 or 11 years.  We also recorded music down there - a la Exile on Mainstreet (vocal "booth" in one room, guitar amp in bathroom, etc).  My wife Patty was so supportive and understanding, as we were pretty loud and, well, rehearsal means repeating a tune over and over again.  So, this was our very last practice for our very last gig, the following weekend at the Silver Spring's American Legion Hall.  Then everything went dark with Covid and we moved to LA.  



When the sun goes down in Los Angeles, the sky takes over.

Jesse Jackson


I like the art and the gaze and the zen sentiment.  This could be from 1884, not 1984. A hand painted (electrical? phone?) box on the sidewalk in Highland Park, CA.  Jesse Jackson (born October 8, 1941 in Greenville, SC) is an American political activist, Baptist minister, and politician. He was a candidate for the  Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988.  Jackson founded nonprofit organizations that merged to form Rainbow/PUSH: Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and the National Rainbow Coalition. The organizations pursue social justice, civil rights, and political activism.


I like scrolling back and forth between these photos.  My granddaughter is a good sport about the whole thing, but is not exactly clear about what's expected of her in the moment.  And who is this guy anyway?   


My daughter made these T shirts for me and I really like them.  One uses an old photo of me from the early 1980s in Acrylix and the second one has a spray bottle - something to do with chemicals and EPA - with KME written on it.


I stayed in a job at the Environmental Protection Agency for 35 years.  What’s the big deal?  You just had to not lose the job.  I rode my bike to and from the Metro station in all kinds of weather, took the Metro downtown, endured a sometimes-stultifying office bureaucratic culture for 35 years. I tell you what, this is a big fucking deal. There were no raging tabloid headlines and virtually no glory.  It’s just plain fucking hard to put your big-boy pants on, go to work, and admit that you want to support a family that bad.  



I bought this Peavey tube amp circa 1982 with Acrylix, and used it until 2007/8, when Glenn Kowalski registered me in the Holy Church of Our Lady of the Reverend Amp.  Tom Lyle replaced the Peavey logo with an old Univox badge.  I gave the amp away to ProTech in Silver Spring, MD when I left town, but I kept the Univox badge.

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Look out, I'm Emma Peel of TV's Avengers and those aren't just fingers; that's a real gun!  And I'm not simply safe at home in Maryland.



I'm really indebted to Jad and David Fair of Half Japanese, Skizz Cyzyk, Barbara (B.A.D.) Cesare, and Steve Shaw.  I don't consider myself to be hip at all and I'm not a good self-promoter.  They gave me a chance at their "outsider" Shakemore Festivals.  I performed a number of times there, with 7 Door Sedan and my own KME.