Sunday, April 30, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee No. 8

what's up with that? apparently, not enough hype or hyped too much
box office guru

Akeelah and the Bee Quote

a movie worth its hype.
the quote on Akeelah's coach's wall:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
"a return to love" - marianne williamson

Darfur Update

from the NYT
April 30, 2006
Rebels Reject Draft Darfur Peace Deal

Filed at 4:41 p.m. ET

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Sudanese rebels rejected a proposal to end the bloodshed in the Darfur region on Sunday, throwing into question the outcome of yet another series of negotiations to put a stop to fighting that has left tens of thousands of people dead.

The rebels called for changes to the deal hours before an African Union deadline -- and after the Sudanese government indicated it would accept the proposal.

In Washington, actors, athletes, politicians and religious leaders rallied to call attention to the Darfur conflict and urge greater U.S. involvement in ending what the United Nations has called one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.

Years of fighting between ethnic groups and Arab militias in western Sudan have left at least 180,000 people dead and about 2 million homeless. Darfur's violence recently spilled into neighboring Chad and threatens to escalate: Osama bin Laden last week urged his followers to go to Sudan to fight a proposed U.N. presence.

Amid the negotiations, the plight of 3 million refugees in Darfur has worsened. The U.N. World Food Program said Friday that it was cutting rations in half, citing a lack of funds. read the rest here


meters for writers

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Golden Gate Bridge Suicides

now a movie

Uproar Over Film of Golden Gate Suicides
A documentary that records almost two dozen leaps from the landmark bridge has generated praise and scorn for its maker.
By John M. Glionna
Times Staff Writer

April 28, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO — For an entire year the cameras rolled, capturing death amid the eerie fog and shifting tides.

One by one, filmmaker Eric Steel documented the final moments of nearly two dozen despondent men and women, and the agonizing, four-second fall after they leaped off the Golden Gate Bridge, drawn by the span's tragic beauty.

His intent, he says, was to illuminate "the darkest corner of the human mind." If he watched enough people take their own lives, he thought, he could "spot the outward manifestations of their interior demons."

Steel says he too once considered suicide. "It's that Humpty Dumpty moment when it's all going to fall apart," he said. "For me and many others, it didn't come. For the people in this film, it did."

His documentary, "The Bridge," which opens at a film festival in San Francisco on Sunday after debuting Thursday in New York City, has already provoked outrage.

"This is like a newspaper carrying a front-page photo of someone blowing his head off; it's irresponsible, exploitative, voyeuristic, ghastly and immoral," said Mark Chaffee, president of Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network-California, who has not seen the movie. His 16-year-old son took his life in 1998.

"The phenomena of copycat suicides come from people just reading about this. Now we're showing it in full color on the big screen? That's just beautiful."

The project set off alarms soon after shooting wrapped in December 2004 after 365 consecutive days of filming.

Officials from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area said Steel misrepresented his project when applying for filming permits, telling them he wanted to capture the grandeur of the iconic orange suspension bridge.

Instead, they complain, he made what one San Francisco supervisor dismissed in media coverage as a "snuff film." read the rest here

Red Hot Chili Peppers Germany

Germany show photos.
here the chilis Stadium Arcadium on VH1 monday
Peppers at New Orleans Voodoo Music Fest in October

Friday, April 28, 2006

Red Hot Chili Pepper Live Radio

interview on May 1. for 90 minutes. YaY!
this from RHCP
04.27.06 Red Hot Chili Peppers Premiere Stadium Arcadium Live from New York!!
On May 1st at 8:00pm EST,
Live from New York City Anthony, Flea, John and Chad will join radio host STRYKER for this 90 minute live radio interview. Not only will Stryker be talking with the guys but the broadcast will include the debut of songs from Stadium Arcadium. For those not able to go to the broadcast (there are not many only 20 and our 4 fan club winners) don't worry you will be able to hear it live on the following radio stations in the US and Canada live. And don't forget during the broadcast dates and venues will be announced for the North American tour.

Radio Stations in USA:
WAXQ New York
KROQ Los Angeles
WKQX Chicago
WIIL Chicago
KSAN San Francisco
KITS San Francisco (taping and running back at a later date)
WMMR Philadelphia
CIMX Detroit
WNNX Atlanta
WBCN Boston
WAAF Boston
WHDR Miami
KNDD Seattle (broadcast may be delayed for PST)
KEDJ Phoenix
KXXR Minneapolis
WXTB Tampa
KPNT St. Louis
WRNR Baltimore
KTCL Denver
WXDX Pittsburgh
KNRK Portland, OR
WMMS Cleveland
KWOD Sacramento
WAQZ Cincinnati
KISS San Antonio
KBER Salt Lake City
KXTE Las Vegas
KOMP Las Vegas
WLUM Milwaukee
WAZU Columbus, OH
WBZX Columbus, OH
WRZX Indianapolis
WBBB Raleigh, NC
WMFS Memphis, TN
KHBZ Oklahoma City
WZNE Rochester, NY
WLRS LouisvilleKY
WXEG Dayton, OH
KFMA Tucson
WBSX Wilkes-Barre
WZZO Allentown
KIWR Omaha
WQXA Harrisburg
KRAB Bakersfield
WLZX Springfield, MA
WRWK Toledo
KFRR Fresno
KDJE Little Rock
WXNR Greenville, NC
WYBB Charleston, SC
WJJO Madison, WI
WXZZ Lexington
WXTW Fort Wayne
KXFX Santa Rosa, CA
WWIZ Youngstown, OH
WRQK Canton, OH
WWWX Appleton
WRRV Newburgh
KNCN Corpus Christi
KQRA Springfield, MO
WCYY Portland, ME
Waitt Radio Network Various
KFMW Waterloo - Cedar Rapids
KZIO Duluth/Superior
WRXS Salisbury, MD
WZXR Williamsport, PA
WZBH Ocean City/Salisbury, MD
WCLG Morgantown, WV
KBAZ Missoula, MT
WWCT Peoria, IL
KXNA Fayetteville, AR
WPDH Poughkeepsie
WOBX Elizabeth City/Nags Head, NC
WRKR Kalamazoo
WAMX Huntington, WV/Ashland, KY
KEYJ Abilene, TX
WEHM Long Island
XTRE Southern Utah
KDVV Topeka, KS
KATS Yakima, WA (Airing delayed by one hour)

CFOX-FM Vancouver
CKLZ-FM Kelowna (airs May 3 at 7pm)
CJRX-FM Lethbridge
CIZZ-FM Red Deer
CFWF-FM Regina
CJDJ-FM Saskatoon (airs May 6 at 6pm)
CJKR-FM Winnipeg
CFPL-FM London
CFNY-FM Toronto
CLIV-FM Ottawa
CKWF-FM Peterborough
CIKR-FM Kingston
CFRQ-FM Halifax
CJMO-FM Moncton

Save Darfur

The rally tomorrow to stop genocide
join the cause here
send a letter to pres. bush here.

What: "SAVE DARFUR: Rally to Stop Genocide"
When: April 30, 2006 -- Program 2:00 - 4:30 pm (Crowd Assembly 1:30 - 2:00 pm)
Where: Washington, DC, National Mall, between 3rd and 4th Streets in front of the US Capitol (Metro Station -- Federal Center SW [Orange and Blue Lines])
Who: Click here for a complete list of speakers.
Contact: Chuck Thies, Rally Director, (202) 478-6148, click here for email
Background: "The Rally to Stop Genocide" is organized by the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of more than 160 faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations.

The rally is part of the "Million Voices for Darfur" campaign to generate one million postcards for delivery to President Bush, who recently pledged to push for additional UN and NATO help to protect the people of Darfur. We applaud the President's leadership, but the work is far from done. We are urging President Bush to take steps necessary to end the genocide and build a lasting peace.

The rally is also the final stop of the "Tour for Darfur: Eyewitness to Genocide," a 21,000 mile photo exhibit and speaking tour of 22 cities in 11 states to raise public awareness about the Darfur crisis. The tour's featured speaker is Brian Steidle, a former Marine captain and U.S. representative to the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Darfur from September 2004 to February 2005.

what is darfur? what's going on? why should you care?

here are some links to get you started:
Amnesty International
NPR, of course, always has great info.
more from NPR

How Opal Got Recalled

The publisher pulled the plug on the plagiarizing young harvard student's book.

From Harvard's school newspaper, the crimson
Publisher Pulls ‘Opal Mehta’
Viswanathan’s London book tour cancelled; Little, Brown will revise ‘Opal’
Published On 4/28/2006 5:33:54 AM
Crimson Staff Writer

Four days after Kaavya Viswanathan ’08 came under scrutiny for possible plagiarism in her novel “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,” her publisher yesterday asked stores across the country to pull the book from their shelves.

In a statement yesterday, Little, Brown—the publisher that reportedly gave Viswanthan a two-book, $500,000 contract—asked stores to send back any unsold copies of “Opal Mehta.” The move came only a day after Michael Pietsch ’78, senior vice president and publisher of Little, Brown, told The New York Times that the publishing house would not withdraw current editions of the novel from bookshelves.

The sophomore’s novel contains numerous passages that are strikingly similar to those found in two books by Megan F. McCafferty, “Sloppy Firsts” and “Second Helpings.” In a statement on Monday, Viswanathan apologized to McCafferty and said that any similarities between the texts were “unintentional and unconscious.”

Viswanathan also said Monday that she will revise her book to take out all of the “inappropriate similarities” between “Opal Mehta” and McCafferty’s novels.

“We are pleased that this matter has been resolved in an appropriate and timely fashion,” said Tina Constable, vice president of Crown Publishers, which published McCafferty’s novels, in a statement last night.

McCafferty said yesterday in a statement that she is not seeking restitution “in any form.”

“In my career, I am, first and foremost, a writer,” McCafferty said. “So I look forward to getting back to work and moving on, and hope Ms. Viswanathan can too.”

At the Harvard Book Store last night, Ben Newcomer, a supervisor, said that he had not yet received any request from Little, Brown to withdraw and return the store’s copies of “Opal Mehta.”

read the rest here

From the NYT:
April 28, 2006
Publisher to Recall Harvard Student's Novel

Just a day after saying it would not withdraw "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life" from bookstores, Little, Brown, the publisher of the novel whose author, Kaavya Viswanathan, confessed to copying passages from another writer's books, said it would immediately recall all editions from store shelves.

In a statement issued last night, Michael Pietsch, senior vice president and publisher of Little, Brown, said that in an agreement with Ms. Viswanathan, the company had "sent a notice to retail and wholesale accounts asking them to stop selling copies of the book and to return unsold inventory to the publisher for full credit."

The publisher had announced an initial print run of 100,000 and had shipped 55,000 copies to stores. Ms. Viswanathan, 19, a Harvard sophomore, has been under scrutiny since The Harvard Crimson revealed on Sunday that she had plagiarized numerous passages from "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings," two novels by the young-adult writer Megan McCafferty.

"We are pleased that this matter has been resolved in an appropriate and timely fashion," said Crown Publishers, which publishes Ms. McCafferty's books, in a statement. "We are extremely proud of our author, Megan McCafferty, and her grace under pressure throughout this ordeal."

Ms. McCafferty, who until now has remained silent, also issued a statement last night.

"In the case of Kaavya Viswanathan's plagiarizing of my novels 'Sloppy Firsts' and 'Second Helpings,' " she said, "I wish to inform all of the parties involved that I am not seeking restitution in any form.

"The past few weeks have been very difficult, and I am most grateful to my readers for offering continual support, and for reminding me what Jessica Darling means to both them and to me. In my career, I am, first and foremost, a writer. So I look forward to getting back to work and moving on, and hope Ms. Viswanathan can, too." read the rest here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alloy Entertainment

for all those who read about the lovely 19-year old harvard student who plagiarized her first book in a two-book deal worth half a million, here's more on the company that got her the gig.

here's more from harvard's newspaper, the crimson

the young author apologized for lifting from the author whose books she said she admired. but was rebuffed.

slate offers some interesting reasons why someone might plagiarize, such as, the project is beyond their talents.

this in the NYT
April 27, 2006
First, Plot and Character. Then, Find an Author.

The books' spines bear names like Cecily von Ziegesar, Ann Brashares and, most controversially, since plagiarism charges were leveled against her on Sunday, Kaavya Viswanathan. But on the copyright page — and the contracts — there's an additional name: Alloy Entertainment.

Nobody associated with the plagiarism accusations is pointing fingers at Alloy, a behind-the-scenes creator of some of the hottest books in young-adult publishing. Ms. Viswanathan says that she alone is responsible for borrowing portions of two novels by Megan McCafferty, "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings," both published by Crown Publishing Group. But at the very least, the incident opens a window onto a powerful company with lucrative, if tangled, relationships within the publishing industry that might take fans of series like "The It Girl" by surprise.

In many cases, editors at Alloy — known as a "book packager" — craft proposals for publishers and create plotlines and characters before handing them over to a writer (or a string of writers).

The relationships between Alloy and the publishers are so intertwined that the same editor, Claudia Gabel, is thanked on the acknowledgments pages of both Ms. McCafferty's books and Ms. Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life." Ms. Gabel had been an editorial assistant at Crown, then moved to Alloy, where she helped develop the idea for Ms. Viswanathan's book. She has recently become an editor at Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, a sister imprint to Crown read the rest here.

Disappearing Frogs

have you noticed? i have. i miss the frogs!

Posted, Apr. 24, 2006
Updated, Apr. 24, 2006

Tuesday Edition: Disappearing Frogs
One in 20 houses vandalized annually... Bank fees... Shackling inmates during childbirth... Al's Morning Meeting turns five.

By Al Tompkins

Frogs, a surprisingly important part of our ecosystem, are disappearing in what the National Aquarium in Baltimore calls "major declines." This is not just about frogs. Vertebrates like frogs are considered indicator species. What happens to them might be an indication of what is ahead for us all, according to Reuters.

About a third of the 5,743 known species of frogs, toads and other amphibians are classified as threatened, according to the Global Amphibian Assessment.

Up to 167 species may already be extinct and another 113 species have not been found in recent years. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to amphibians but fungal disease is also a serious problem.

Here is a list of frog and toad species found in the United States and their status.

This is a wonderful time of year to get out, take a walk with a biologist and listen to nature. The aquarium, which is opening a big new exhibition about frogs, said:

Over the past 50 years, scientists have recorded major declines in frog populations around the world. A few species have vanished completely.

Many frogs die as the result of local human activity, but the epidemic has also reached remote areas. Is there a global cause? Scientists continue to search for answers.

Among the causes factoring into population declines are:

* Habitat destruction by human development
* Introduced species that prey on frogs or affect the food chain
* Chemical pollution
* Climate Changes
* Over-collection as a food source
* Epidemic diseases

This is a global issue. has deep background on the size of the issue.

In 1998, National Public Radio produced a wonderful piece on the issue. NPR reported:

Frogs -- and other amphibians that have been part of our landscape for millions of years -- are disappearing, failing to reproduce, and going extinct in baffling numbers and circumstances. Others are being found with grotesque deformities such as extra limbs.

Some experts used to scoff that researchers who couldn't find frogs were simply inept field scientists. But there's more and more information that proves the amphibian crisis is real.

Some of the declines have occurred in places you would not expect including national parks that have been protected for decades.

In January, some scientists said they could link the decline of some Central and South American species to an infectious fungus aggravated by warmer global temperatures. Look at this chart, a summary of red-list status for amphibians, from

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Harvard Novelist Plagiarizes, Gets $500,000

a 19-year-old harvard student plagiarizes and received $500,000 to do it! she got the payment in a two-book deal. she didn't stop at lifting paragraphs. apparently, the plot of her so-called chick-lit book wasn't much different than the author's she stole from.

the student author claims that she loved the author's work so much that she absorbed the language. she said that she was unconscious. i would think that she would have to be. otherwise why would she do it? plagiarists always get caught.

i could see how it might happen. it's like watching a movie you love over and over and then being able to recite the words verbatim and then driving everyone in your life nuts with your movie language.

but for $500,000, her work should be beyond original, including the plot. that's big money in the publishing industry. it must be one of the perks of attending harvard.

harvard's newspaper, the crimson, writes about it. here, the crimson compares the similarities side by side. it's striking how grossly lazy the author was in her writing. only the names have been changed. remarkable that it was published.

here's an earlier story from the crimson
this from the NYT
April 25, 2006
Harvard Novelist Says Copying Was Unintentional

Kaavya Viswanathan, the Harvard sophomore accused of plagiarizing parts of her recently published chick-lit novel, acknowledged yesterday that she had borrowed language from another writer's books, but called the copying "unintentional and unconscious."

The book, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life," was recently published by Little, Brown to wide publicity. On Sunday, The Harvard Crimson reported that Ms. Viswanathan, who received $500,000 as part of a deal for "Opal" and one other book, had seemingly plagiarized language from two novels by Megan McCafferty, an author of popular young-adult books.

In an e-mail message yesterday afternoon, Ms. Viswanathan, 19, said that in high school she had read the two books she is accused of borrowing from, "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings," and that they "spoke to me in a way few other books did."

"Recently, I was very surprised and upset to learn that there are similarities between some passages in my novel, 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life,' and passages in these books," she said.

Calling herself a "huge fan" of Ms. McCafferty's work, Ms. Viswanathan added, "I wasn't aware of how much I may have internalized Ms. McCafferty's words." She also apologized to Ms. McCafferty and said that future printings of the novel would be revised to "eliminate any inappropriate similarities."

Michael Pietsch, publisher of Little, Brown, said that Ms. Viswanathan planned to add an acknowledgment to Ms. McCafferty in future printings of the book.

harvard student gets $500,000 in a two-book deal and her first one is plagiarized

read the rest here

Monday, April 24, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers Behind Scenes

some cool photos taken in london.
you have to be a member to see. it's free silly.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Primetime Statement

This on the primetime web site regarding the on-camera brutal beating a teenage girl received from her father.
ABC News has spoken with Kyle, the young woman from Friday night's "Primetime" report on stepfamilies, who says, "She appreciates all the support she has been receiving from viewers of the program. However, she wants everyone to know that she loves her father very much, that this unfortunate incident is not characteristic of their relationship and that she hopes that people will respect their privacy and not attack her father as they have been doing."

Kyle's maternal grandmother, with whom she is living, tells ABC News that, "She knows Joe to be a caring and good father, and she hopes people will leave the family alone so they can heal and get through this together."

Primetime is working with experts to see that the family gets the support and help it needs at this time.

of course kyle still loves her father. that's the way it is. kids mostly love their parents no matter what they do to them. still doesn't excuse primetime for putting ratings over children.

Tiger Vocalization

Hear tigers roar!
click on the speakers

Red Hot Chili Peppers Paris

April 20 show
More Chilis

Red Hot Chili Pepper's Guggenheim Museum

awesome pics

Friday, April 21, 2006

Primetime Step Families

did anyone see one of our american soldiers in action? beating his daughter on camera on Primetime friday. nice going.
at the end of the show, i expected the cops to handcuff him. nope. the daughter, now 16, apparently is depressed. hmmmm. go figure.
guess primetime will get some good ratings off that one.

Global Consciousness

cool site. throw something out to the universe, so long as it's not an advertisement!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

UFO Retro Conference

is coming to the desert.
UFO conferences galore!
the official release:

They're b-a-a-c-c-k! On Saturday, April 29, 2006, the Mojave desert will once again experience an anomaly
it has not seen since the early 1970’s… A SPACECRAFT CONVENTION!

Spacecraft Conventions, as they were commonly called in the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s, gathered at Giant Rock, in Landers California. Thousands would venture from all over the country, by car and airplane into a desolate part of the Mojave desert for a chance to glimpse a UFO and to hear contactees share their extraterrestrial experiences.

One of the early pioneers of the UFO movement was George Van Tassel. For a period of time, George, his wife Eva, and three daughters lived under Giant Rock. George would host Spacecraft conventions and Eva would serve hamburgers and apple pie from her restaurant, The Come on Inn. George, a contactee himself, claims to have
been visited by "space people". He professes to boarding a spaceship and to be given information on how to build the Integratron, an electro-static generator that was to be used for the cellular rejuvenation
of humans.

Although many of the original contactees have passed on, a few still remain, along with their stories. On Saturday, April 29, original "contactees", Rev. Robert Short, and William Hamilton, will be speaking at the Integratron. Also speaking will be modern day UFO enthusiasts, Greg Bishop, Adam Gorightly, and Dr. Louis Turi. A few of the speakers, such as Dr. Hans Petermann, John D. Riley and Bob Benson will be sharing information as well as demonstrating new technologies.

The Morongo Basin Historical Society (MBHS) has played a vital role in preserving the data of this era. Many of the MBHS members as well as local enthusiasts will be attending this event to share their memories. A drawing to raise funds to assist the MBHS as well as the Integratron will be an integral part of the conference.

One special highlight being offered at Retro UFO is the "bio booth," sponsored by VERSATILE VIDEO. People
will be asked to share their stories of Giant Rock, George Van Tassel and the Integratron in front of a camera documenting these memories before time has them slip away.

Sponsors of this event, Barbara and Rob Harris of Yucca Valley, have a strong passion for the history of Giant Rock, Spacecraft Conventions and the Integratron. It’s that passion combined with 30 years
of curiosity that has stimulated the creativity behind "Retro UFO." This nostalgic look into the UFO conventions
of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is to rediscover and explore the fascination into the UFO phenomena of the
Morongo Basin.

As part of the events of the day, Retro UFO will not only sponsor outstanding speakers, but will also be offering tours and sound presentations inside the Integratron with George Van Tassel played by Lloyd Noel (MBHS member). There will also be guided tours to Giant Rock, art exhibits, antique cars, vendors, food, music and a special live UFO opera presented by Award Winning UFOetry. For those choosing to spend the night at the Integratron, campfires and astronomers along with our beautiful desert night sky will round out the entertainment
for the event. (See website for details )

Retro UFO Spacecraft Convention is intended to awaken old memories and integrate them with new information
of the present. The experience will be informative, creative, nostalgic and most of all fun!
Who knows? Maybe a spaceship or two will show up to join the festivities.

story in LA Times

UFO Review

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lachey Reality Show Reality

I'm not a nick lachey fan but this is a woeful and well-written story in the rolling stone about reality show reality, public divorce and celebrity. ouch.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers on Radio 1

we're on a red hot chili spree cause i say so. here's the link to radio 1 in london. listen to the From Skateboards to Stadiums story.
John, starts off the show by staying that before he was the chili's guitarist, he heard voices that said he was going to be a rock star.
the black eyed peas weigh in on on the chili groove and how it's cool to name your band after a piece of food.
the show also features producer Rick Rubin, former classmates and the band's moms!
John's mom calls him Johnny. what a hoot.
the link also leads to a recent small-venue performance in London.
about half way in John sings a beautiful rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her.

What I dream I had:
Pressed in organdy;
Clothed in crinoline of smoky burgundy;
Softer than the rain.
I wandered empty streets
Down past the shop displays.
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alley ways,
As I walked on.

And when you ran to me
Your cheeks flushed with the night.
We walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight,
I held your hand.
And when I awoke and felt you warm and near,
I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears.
Oh I love you, girl.
Oh, I love you.

john's brilliant singing these short, sweet, obscure tunes during the chili peppers' gigs. some of my favorites -- tiny dancer (he does way better than elton) and a 1950s tune, maybe. john's solo version of T. Rex's Cosmic Dancer got me hooked on john's music. during a chili pepper show, he sang that haunting song i'd never heard before and i was struck with the john frusciante bug. i'd forgotten how much i love that song!
check out some of john's original solo work here. he let it run free on the internet. it's under demos. he's recorded about 10 cds, all of them i highly recommend.

the review of the london show:
"Oi mate! Do you know where I can get a ticket?" says the guy holding a ragged cardboard sign. Huddled tight against the spring air it's obvious he's been sitting there asking that question for a while now. Despite this being a secret gig, the Chili Peppers faithful (ticket or no ticket) have tracked their way to the Kings Cross Goods Depot in North London.

And why wouldn't you? Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Canvas is the hottest ticket in town this weekend.. maybe even this year?

The venue is a medium sized hall, dark on the inside with a bar at one end and speaker stacks the size of small bungalows flanking the stage at the other. 500 people pack themselves in, staring past the drum kit, craning their necks all trying to work out what's going on. The hardcore continue to cling to the front barrier as they have been for the last two hours.

Lights out. Here we go. From the darkness Flea bounds on stage, bass in hand. Frusciante's guitar cranks in to life whilst Chad's kick-drum thunder rattles our ribcages. Cheers, whoops and screams fill the air along with a hundred mobile phone screens all hoping to preserve this moment. The opening riff to Can't Stop rings out, the lights go up and there, not 5 meters away, they are. This is the kind of night that's so implausible that you have to see it to believe it.

"I make it up as I go along, cos that way I'm never wrong" confesses Anthony after fluffing the lyrics to the opening number. He's a much better rapper than he is singer yet his boundless energy seems to carry off any slip in delivery. Tonight's performance is an accomplished one with a set list that takes in family favourites Scar Tissue, By The Way, new single Dani California, Me And My Friends (from 1986), Simon and Garfunkel's For Emily Whenever I May Find Her and closes with the mighty Give It Away.

By the time they reach their finale, Anthony is stripped to the waist (and still looking built!), the audience is pogo-ing in unison with the band and even the bar staff are going crazy. The audience are unequivocal in their praise using words like fantabulous, rockin, awesome, fantastik, and 'erm' (thanks Moyles).

There's something very alluring about seeing the high polish of Hollywood get down and dirty in a North London warehouse. For a small show like this one you might expect they'd take it easy but no, the Peppers played it like they are still hungry for their place at the top. For a bunch of guys that have been in the business for over 20 years, they still know how to strap it on. Big time.

Review: Andy P

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers AOL Sessions

fun red hot chili peppers video and accompanying story. because it was recorded in an intimate setting, john's vocals are especially pretty. there's also an q&a session. go there now!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

You Tube

i may be a late comer to YouTube. if you are too, you're gonna love it. this is such a cool video for John Frusciante fans. The Song is called La Sirena and the CD is here. (note, there is drug use and the video was filmed in the late 1990s. these days, john is reportedly clean, likes to stay healthy and all that)
you could spend hours at YouTube as i did.

another Going Inside where the announcer mispronounces his name a couple of times. bear with. poor john is also surrounded by floating lips. it was some valentine's day gig. a great interview at the end.
Past Recedes
an endearing John interview in Germany for Shadows Collide with People
a sweet song, john and anthony in a boat acoustic
early john, heroin teeth

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Everything John Frusciante

Drummer Nicole Turley

Update Aug. 9, 2011: yes, it's true. John married drummer/musician Nicole Turley in July. Now he's being stalked. 

Update Feb 20, 2010: I've been out of the loop. John is no longer with Emily Kokal, who now is soaring musically with Warpaint. John apparently has a new girlfriend, Nicole Turley of Swahili Blonde. John is also playing for Swahili Blonde working on its first LP:
When guitarist John Frusciante quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers back in December, an anonymous source claimed, "the whole big rock band machinery just doesn't appeal to him anymore."

Given this apparent distaste for stadium rock, it makes sense that Frusciante would hitch his star to a bizarre band like Swahili Blonde. A DIY project led by former WEAVE! drummer Nicole Turley, the group's music is a bizarre world fusion, combining tribal percussion with avant-garde synths, disorienting tempo changes and choppy funk guitar.

In an interview with Tom Tom Magazine last summer, Turley revealed, "I write, play, sing, record, and mix everything myself — actually, everything except guitar — my boyfriend’s been doing the guitar stuff." Exclaim

Update Jan. 4, 2010: John, Warpaint, Carla Bruni, Duran Duran and others are on the Bowie Tribute album.
Update Jan. 2, 2010: Josh Klinghoffer, who worked on a couple of records with John, including Sphere in the Heart of Silence and Automatic Writing, is the Chili Peppers new guitarist. Good choice. Klinghoffer has been playing guitar in the background for the Chili Peppers for quite some time.
John confirms he's left the Chili Peppers, but this time he's left in good health.
Update: John's girlfriend (wife?) Emily Kokal's band Warpaint, is awesome.
yet another update 1-27
John's Web site says March 6 for the Ataxia II release.
update 2007: the second Ataxia record is expected to be released in the u.s. March 20, according to this record is the followup collaboration of the lovely John Frusciante, Joe Lally and Josh Klinghoffer. the first CD was called Automatic Writing, a brilliant album.

the visionary

John Frusciante's websites here and here.
See John's solo work at Record Collection Music here.
Obama's two records with Ataxia here.

photos courtesy of RHCP Rampart fans

Invisible Movement
John Frusciante official

Great article in Q magazine by way of Jane's, by way of Invisible Movement, by way of "mystery girl"
note: there are numerous typos but that's ok.
Magazine interview, 2006

Source: Q Magazine, UK
Date: April 2006
Thanks to: mysterygirl, for typing it out

On the verge of releasing their defining album, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are stranger than ever. Witness dangling babies off balconies and wanting to become monks…

The rock star answers his front door in tight black pants, his sinewy, nut-brown body bent into a shivering foetal curl. “Aren’t you a bit early?”, asks Anthony Kiedis. Interrupted mid-shower, he scuttles off for a towel, leaving me to explore his home: a Shangri-La of lemon and orange trees, fountains and a carp pond in the hillside of Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills.

Inside the Spanish hacienda-style home it’s all rugs, candles and art books. His two waist-height dogs, Katie and Sammi amble over for exploratory snorts to the groin. There’s evidence of unexpected home entertainment mellowness. Among the most recently deployed records are Glen Campbell and the Bee Gee’s Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Rough mixes of the new RHCP album, Stadium Arcadium, lie by the stereo. A blue book entitled Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition has been extracted from the shelves and lies on it’s side.

On the living room wall is a painting of a female nude reclining in considerable rapture, as a skull emerges from beneath her breasts. “I wouldn’t buy that piece now”, Kiedis notes when he returns in a stained grey t-shirt, silver-blue jeans and trainers. “I bought it in the late 80’s. It’s a little macabre, not reflective of my current tates”, he adds, sounding almost English, a bit “sophisticated”.

Kiedis looks amazing for his 43 years. His narrow Mowgli face sits on top of an intensely muscular throat. His wet hair and big brown eyes make him look pretty, girlish even. His left eye socked – rebuilt with titanium and Teflon after he drunk-drove his mother’s station wagon into an elm tree at 90mph (he has switched to beer in an effort to get off heroin) – is slightly wonky. As a result, a raised eyebrow can make him look super-quizzical or utterly scandalised.

Kiedis has an interview reputation. He can be evasive and prickly. When a German TV interviewer asked for a proper Teutonic explanation for wearing a sock on your cock as the Chilis once did, he became sullenly monosyllabic. On at least one occasion, he has walked. Or as guitarist John Frusciante says later “I love him. But way back when we were assholes, he could really turn into one”.

Today he is the perfect host, rummaging in his cupboard for premium tea leaves. Meanwhile his little Spanish maid, Vivian wants him to put his new clothes away. She brooks no shit. He gives none back. While she tidies a clutter of vitamin supplements and minerals he makes our drinks. A couple of years ago he was grinding his own cashew nuts for milk. He’s back on regular dairy now on account of it being too acidic, part of a well-researched ultra-healthy masterplan. He grabs the pot and mugs and leads me to a little round coffee table in a sunny nook off the lounge the size of Yorkshire.

After almost a quarter of a century together, RHCP are in their pomp. After 2002’s BTW and 2004’s triumphant shows in London’s Hyde Park, they reconvened at long-time producer Rick Rubin’s mansion in Laurel Canyon last spring and recorded 3 album’s worth of material. Giddy with enthusiasm they planned to release all 3 at 6 month intervals. Now they’ve settled on a double. (When I first met them around the time of Freaky Styley I thought, Nothing good can come out of this band”, Rubin tells me. “There was a darkness to them. It was unhealthy. Now their creativity just astonishes me”.

Stadium Arcadium is no a concept album, but it bristles with the imagery of post-addiction spirituality. Kiedis, a follower of Kabbalah, the Madonna-endorsed branch of Jewish mysticism, says the album’s title refers to the quasi-religions euphoria of their stadium shows. Everywhere there are love songs, “I’m sorry” songs. On pivotal track ‘Hey’, you can almost picture Kiedis tossing his drug dealer’s mobile number onto the fire as he solemnly croons “I don’t want to, but I will”.

Unquestionably, on this album his mode of transport to the higher spiritual plane is John Frusciante’s guitar soloing, which is set to “I fucking RULE!” throughout.

But inevitably there’s the occasional status report on “the 800lb gorilla”, Kiedis’ own term for the previously irresistible urge to destroy himself on drugs. Today he vividly recalls the time in 1984 when he ingested heroin and “some kind of ecstacy” before meeting a girl in an after-hours club called Zero. He says they had anal sex on the stairs before the intervention of a jealous bouncer. They made their ways to her apartment where they continued “all-night” on the roof.

Drugs and women are often linked in his stories. But occasionally it is drugs alone and the details are choking, sometimes surreal, such as early 80’s tale of booking himself into a Los Angeles motel room with $2000 worth of heropin and shooting speedballs in an apartment with a Mexican hitman and his sick mother.

So it’s not without reason that I raise an eyebrow at a track called ‘Charlie’. Kiedis smiles archly and launches his explanation. “The guy who types up my lyrics said, IS this about…basically he though I’d been on a binge. But I haven’t. Right now, it’s a 2 inch gorilla. There was a time in the early 9os when I would bet every cent I would die sober, that I had beaten it. That didn’t work. I’m not immune. I have a healthy fear of my obsession for heroin and cocaine. There are a few things you have to do for your mind if you’re a bit sick in the head. I do them”.

Stadium Arcadium’s sudden flourish of creativity is down harmonious intra-band politics, according to Kiedis. But also, mid-life live. Each band member is in domestic bliss. Flea has a 4-month-old baby by fiancée Frankie Rayder. Chad Smith has a 10-month-old son Cole by second wife, Nancy. John Frusciante is in love with new girlfriend Emily Kokral (my note: i believe the correct spelling is Emily Kokal. she is a background singer for Verbena's la musica negra), a singer who has recently worked with Tricky. (my note: she's also part of the chorus on Stadium Arcadium. Even Kiedis who reportedly is dating Jessica Stam, says that three weeks ago he had a breakthrough conversation about becoming a father.

The new song Hard To Concentrate is an unequivocal proposal of marriage. Kiedis says he wrote it for Flea. But he too is beginning to understand women beyond the parameters of his bizarre upbringing. That is extraordinary progress, as anyone who has read Scar Tissue, his memoir of a 70’s Hollywood showbiz childhood and picaresque of sex, booze and drugs which followed will attest.

At the crux of Scar Tissue is his father, actor and former showbiz drug dealer John Kiedis, aka Blackie Dammett. Kiedis moved from Grand Rapids, MI, to live with him in L.A. aged 12. As well as becoming an accessory to his drug operations, Kiedis was immersed in Hollywood society. Cher was his babysitter; Sonny Bono a father figure. He sat with his dad as he sold drugs to Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin at the Rainbow Room.

But his father also presided over his sexual awakening. He showed his son how he’d grown one long fingernail as a coke spoon, and kept one short to be “pussy-friendly”. He also arranged for him to have sex with one of his own girlfriends, an 18-year old called Kimberley. Kiedis Jnr was 12 and high on a Quaalude.

“Seeing women as sex objects or imagining there is always a better one around the corner is…crippling. I don’t want to be like my dad. I’ve got as far as 2 or 3 year relationships but I want more. I’m not satisfied. Recently I’ve understood why I’m stuck in that cycle. It’s my own character defects. The though of having children made me feel less safe, less secure. But seeing Flea with his new child, I can see the opposite is true.”

What did your dad make of your book? “I haven’t had a thorough discussion with him about it,” says Kiedis. “People have given him grief. I don’t. I don’t blame him for any of my troubles. I believe he was doing 100 per cent the best he possibly could with the emotional tools he was given.” Some would say strapping cash to your 12-year old son to smuggle on to a plane on the way back from a drug run, as he did, isn’t “trying your best”. “I have no objection. At that time we were on an adventure to support the family. But yes, definitely bad parenting.”

What do you feel about your dad now? “I just feel bad that he felt so confused, that he was that confused he thought it a good idea. His childhood was an absolute disaster. His father was physically and emotionally abusive, a tyrannical bastard. In reaction my dad wanted to be an anarchist and took me along for the ride. It didn’t serve him well.”

And your mother? “Mom was not allowed to read the book. I don’t want her to know what I did.. I don’t want her to disdain my father.” Kiedis now certainly seems “centred”. Perhaps Kabbalah has played a part. “Previously I’ve always bashed institutions. It was easier to point out what was wrong with them than see I was completely out of balance with my own personal journey,” he says. There are several references to “spirits” and “higher forces”. He says he knows Kabbalah has been “flavour of the month” among celebrities and that he is in no way a fanatic. “But better a little light that no light at all,” he adds quietly. And then we sip tea and there’s the little red wristband sliding down his wrist.

“HEY YOU WANNA STEAK?” John Frusciante answers the door to his Laurel Canyon house in his socks. He’s hungry and says I must be too. Teo door-sized organic slabs of meat are brought from the fridge and he sets his wiry frame to work over a George Foreman grill. The place looks like it was mothballed in 1972. Film posters, 70’s furniture, old school recording equipment clog the hallway. A Post-It note reminding him to get the latest Ricky Gervais podcast looks like a reminder sent back from the future.

Stick-thin and pale, Frusciante favours student chic; emerald-green polyester trousers, a loudly checked shirt. He presents the meal and last night’s cold vegetables with a child-like eagerness. “I cook for the studio crew,” he enthuses. “In a band it’s easy to give in to a party lifestyle, eating shitty food, screwing this girl and that girl, being rude to people, taking advantage. Being an asshole is easy. I’ve noticed people who resist have that extra strength. Cooking for someone kinda connects you to them.”

So we connect. In terms of meatiness the steaks are more substantial than him. His teeth have an incongruous gleam of L.A. health. But they’re false. His original set rotted away and he had them replaced at a cost he has previously estimated at $70,000. On his arms, patches of shiny, bubbled skin are visible: the burn scars after he set himself on fire while freebasing. “I have a lot of great memories from that time,” he will say later. “The problem is, your problems stay on hold. You still have to face your shit. But I had 4 months of supernatural experiences on drugs. I became convinced there are other life forms. I have enough proof of that to last a lifetime. There are higher levels of being than what we know. Things were revealed to me.”

He’s a compulsive talker, theories and connections emanating from the slightest conversational prompt. I ask him about the cute little emerald ring on his right hand. “Emerald connects me to the plant Mercury. Mercury governs decision-making. I need a stronger connection with Mercury because my decisions haven’t always been very good,” he says. And yet is his hobo glory, Frusciante is the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ creative hub. He wrote more than half of Stadium Arcadium here in the snug where we relax after lunch. As Kiedis neatly puts it: “He’s totally on some higher uber-Beethoven-meets-Hendrix-type shit.”

Famously whatever Frusciante has been listening to becomes subtly mutated into the Chili Peppers’ music. While recording BTW, it was Fugazi. This time? It’s hard to stop yourself spraying the 70’s décor with veg when he says: “Well, Wu-Tang, Roy Wood and Wizzard…ELO…Brandy…” Only in his fantastical visionary mind does it make sense. “You take the backing vocals of Brandy – the way they sit off the rhythm – and transpose those lines into your guitar, which in turn leads you back to Hendrix but only the era 1968 onward when his polyrhythmic phrasing really came to the fore…”

He goes on. It’s like being witness to Einstein slashing at the blackboard with chalk, enthusiastically ranting his mathematical extrapolations. “I think the band got a bit tense that I was Brian Wilson recording Smile,” he says finally. A lot of frothy spit has built up in the right-hand corner of his mouth.

Frusciante’s journey with the Red Hot Chili Peppers has been darkly fantastic. Younger by around 7 years, he was at first simply a fan but was recruited in the aftermath of guitarist Hillel Slovak’s death by drug overdose in 1988. Slovak’s death devastated the band. Drummer Jack Irons departed. They drafted in Parliament guitarist Dwayne “Blackbird” McKnight and former Dead Kennedys drummer DH Peligro. But they were fired when Frusciante, an 18-year old guitar prodigy and Chili Peppers fan came along.

Frusciante added a new creative dimension. But he struggled with the relentless touring and also from bullying. “It bugged me that they called me Green Man because I had no band experience,” says Frusciante. “And then for the first couple of years, Anthony would go between being a really cool friend to being a total fucking asshole. He’d just turn on me. He’d pick on some little thing I did or said, which reminded him too much of himself, and he’d be an asshole.”

In 1992 he left the band mid-tour with the parting shot: “just tell them I went crazy.” On his return to L.A. the planet Mercury was definitely out of alignment. Frusciante made a terrible decision: “I thought I could preserve my good feelings, a state of artistic intensity by using heroin…and then crack.” He had enough money to stay high for 3 years. He talks about the day he got down to his last $10 and was faced with the choice of a wrap of heroin or a hamburger. His voice simply trails off. “I don’t wanna talk about that anymore…”

Without Frusciante, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were L.A. journeymen. Sessions faces came and went. Former Jane’s Addiciton guitarist Dave Navarro joined foe the uninspired One Hot Minute album. (“It doesn’t feel like a Chilis album to me,” says Flea today. “Different band.”)

However when Flea found Frusciante living in an East L.A. apartment and asked him to re-join, Frusciante seemed to have learnt something from his near-fatal relationship with heroin and cocaine. (“When he first joined, he tried to fit in, to be one of us. When he came back he was his own artist. He had the ideas,” says Flea later.)

Interestingly for one who has experienced so much anguish both as a member and non-member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frusciante has no interest in hearing the other side. He hasn’t read Scar Tissue. “I’ve asked Anthony for a copy on 3 occasions. He says, Sure, but it never comes,” he smiles. But Frusciante has heard what’s in it. He is unimpressed.

“There are things in it that were supposed to be secrets. We said, We won’t talk about this, but it’s all there. It’s not the coolest shit in the world…but I forgive him.”

Fanatical as ever, he has embraced new things: health food, prayer, meditation. He plans to throw himself into the latter when the RHCP finally disband. “I’m different to Anthony. I don’t want to be Iggy Pop. Iggy’s a god but I don’t want to be 60 and chasing women round L.A. I want to be prepared for after this. I want to explore myself through meditation. I’ll be a monk. I want to learn Hebrew. I think learning a scared language based on numbers would be good for my perception of existence.”

But could he make it as a monk? Musically he’s compulsive and prodigious. Within a 12-monthperiod across 2004 and 2005 he released 6 solo albums. And from the haunting The Will To Death and to the rocking Inside Of Emptiness and the final, mostly acoustic albums Curtains, he seemed able to explore a new vernacular every time. He’s just played on the forthcoming Mars Volta album with his best friend Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. He’s going to record with his new girlfriend. Later, former Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell is coming over to work on some tunes.

“I long for a simpler life that rejects all these forms of pleasure, making money and functioning as a business enterprise,” he says. “It will happen.”

What would Hollywood smoothie Cary Grant make of the guy in his house these days? Drummer Chad Smith has the keys to Grant’s Hollywood Hills mansion now. Improvements have been made. Smith has ‘photoshopped’ himself into a portrait of the screen legend, displayed as you enter. He’s turned Grant’s old bedroom into the pool room. “You’re interviewing the others, you just want me to cross the Ts, right?” says Smith, an affable no-nonsense beanpole, taking the steps down tino the lounge in one. He swings his baseball cap round backwards and tosses a still shrink wrapped Kasabian album off the sofa.

Smith drums but also anchors the band. There are no car-crash lost years. He doesn’t do meditation. The band’s on-tour catering area bristles with the organic and macrobiotic. Smith has pizza. He was cited in the Guinness Book Of Records for playing a 308-piece drum kit – a favour for a friend who owns a drum store back East. “I’m a Midwest guy…I’m just normal,” he says, before taking 10 minutes to explain that this doesn’t mean he thinks the others are weirdos.

When Kiedis asked him to join, he was offered the job on condition he shave his head to achieve a more ‘punk’ look. Smith turned up for his first rehearsal still with his hair in a bandanna. He was allowed to stay because Kiedis thought his obstinacy was impressive.

“My take on our history is quite simple. John is alive. Anthony is alive. These two facts right there are incredible. I’m incredibly grateful for that. The fact we’ve been making the best music we’ve ever made…to me that’s just the gravy.”

Granted entry through the electronic gates of a beautiful Malibu home, I search in vain for the host. By the pool, a voice rings out. “Hey, I’m Michael Jackson!” Michael “Flea” Balzary is holding his 4-month old baby daughter Sunny Bebop over the first floor balcony. When we meet moments later in his homely kitchen he’s dressed in yellow tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt purporting to show him with female breasts. Everything suggests Flea the baby faced gap-toothed punk rocker.

But the 43-year old Australian-born bass player has not been happy. Five minutes later, on his library’s plush sofa, he’s explaining how he decided to leave the band after the last album. “On BTW, John went to this whole new level of artistry. But he made me feel like I had nothing to offer, like I knew shit,” he says sitting Buddha-like and nursing a mug of tea.

For the first time ever, the RHCP had ceased to be fun. It became a confidence-sapping, challenging environment. Also he had ended “an addictive relationship” and spent 2 years alone.

“Throughout the BTW tour I would play a show and then go and sit on the end of my bed in my room staring into space,” he says. He told no one how he was feeling. Not even Kiedis because “I just love him too much. I’ve never told him to this day.” And not Frusciante because he thought he wouldn’t understand. “I almost had a nervous breakdown around the time of Californication and John found that hard to deal with. Suddenly I didn’t fit in with the kind of person he thought I was supposed to be. I guess I didn’t want to go through that again.”

He decided to leave. One plan was to spend time teaching at the Silverlake Conservatory Of Music in East L.A., the 600-pupil music college he built and funded for its first 2 years. It’s not a “rock school”, he is at pains to point out. It offers a range of instruments and he teaches there between tours.

By the time of the 2004 Hyde Park shows he was ready to try again. He’d fallen in love with Franke Rayder, a girlfriend he first met 15 years ago. Kiedis’ words for Hard To Concentrate – that wedding proposal set to music – ask “Will you agree to take this man into your world?” and later, “Take this woman and make you my family”. “Anthony’s words are so beautiful. I get tears when I hear it,” says Flea. As the sessions for SA began, Flea finally told John about his near departure. By this time the bass player had discovered the ancient Indian technique of Vipassana meditation. They agreed that if Frusciante embraced it too, it would help bring them closer together.

But what all the intra-band tensions were really about were insecurities dating from his childhood. “I always felt ugly. I’m small. I was never popular. Anthony was different. He had such a will. He’s made this band what it is today just by his desire and ambition. I guess I was facing up to all that.”

Flea has flicked through Scar Tissue twice. “First time I opened it, there was a passage saying something nice about me. Fine. Second time I picked it up…he’d fucked my sister. I found that offensive. That’s been a little scuttlebutt around my family. I mean I don’t care he fucked my sister. I hope he had a good time. But…when you have a shared history it’s hard to read one man’s version of it. The book came out while we were writing the album and I couldn’t read the rest of it because I didn’t want the bad feelings to compromise that.”

Flea has been in therapy for years. Now he says he’s happier than he’s ever been in his life. Caught between the drive and charisma of Anthony Kiedis and the wayward talent of John Frusciante, he seems to have overlooked that fact that he is renowned as one of the greatest bass players alive.

His instrument is out in the library. He’s been practising, playing along to a Charlie Parker music manuscript on a stand. A jazz album is still one of his ambitions. He comes out into the drive to bid farewell. We chat momentarily by the vacant dog kennel bearing the name plaque Martian. Flea’s dead dog is commemorated on the new album, on a track titled Death Of A Martian. I start to drive away, but then stop and look back to ask a question about opening the electronic gates. Flea is gazing up into the sunshine with his cock out, pissing into his own shrubbery.

When the RHCP gather at a Hollywood photo studio to have their picture taken, they are all dressed casually in t-shirts and trainers except for Frusciante who looks like a particularly bright but culturally isolated student appearing on University Challenge: cosy jumper under a sober, fashion-less jacket.

Soon, though the ghosts of their frat-rock pasts are conjured up. They strip down to the waist and immediately they are a tattooed gang: gurning, goofing playmates. A nasty gash on Kiedis’ chest inflicted by the fin of his surfboard had dried blood on it. But undeterred he puts on a James Brown CD and shimmies and slides around the floor discreetly between photographs. He says he’s excited. They have completed mixes on 2 more album tracks today.

At 25 tracks, some might view SA as the album everyone was too nice to edit, where the new détente means that sensitivities within the band have been a little too politely observed. Rick Rubin is adamant there has been no lapse in quality control: “The album chose itself. Nothing seemed weak,” he says. “This is definitely a time when these guys have worked a lot of their personal issues out. Anthony’s writing – his love songs in particular – really struck me. He’s writing about his relationships in a way he could never do before.”

SA shows how they’ve moved on from the dark stuff. Hollywood though, is trying to convince Kiedis there is a great movie future for the 800lb gorilla. He’s had offers to do a biopic. “They’re interested for all the wrong reasons,” he says. The accompanying world tour will see them on the road for a year and a half. Frusciante is so convinced they are at their creative peak, he says he wants them to record new songs on tour. Smith and Flea agree but their minds are on family now, too.

“It’s like a car wreck,” says Anthony Kiedis. “You climb out and you stagger. And then you run. Finally you realise just how lucky you are and you want to celebrate, embrace the life you have. I think we feel something close to that.”

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stadium Arcadium Presales

another promotion i went for -- Apple iTunes' presales of Stadium Arcadium. If you preorder the chili peppers new double CD, you get a free download of Dani California, plus video interview with the band the day the album is released AND you can buy tickets early. that's the way to sell a product.
dani california, by the way, rocks, and john frusciante, the almighty one, shows his chops on this song.

Dani California lyrics.

Dani California
------Red Hot Chili Peppers

Getting born in the state of Mississippi
Papa was a copper and my mama was a hippy
In alabama she was swinging hammer
price you gotta pay when you pick the panarama
she never knew that there was anything more than poor
what in the world was your confidant take me for

Black bandana sweet Louisiana
robbing on a bank in the state of indiana
she a runner, rebel and a stunner
coming everyway saying baby what cha gonna
looking down the barrel of a hop and a forty five

Just another way to survive

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest

She's a lover baby and a fighter
should of seen her coming when it got a little brighter
With a name like Dani California
Devils gonna come when I was gonna moan (mourn?)yah
A little lonely she was stealing another breath
I love my baby to death

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest

Who knew the other side of you
who knew that all this tired to prove
to true to say good bye to you
to true to say say say..

was the bater gifted and a made her
one for the now and eleven for the later

never made it up to mineesota
north dakota man was a gunning for the quota

Down in the valley she was saving the best for last
it only hurts when I laugh
Gone to bed..

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release,
California show your teeth,
She's my priestess, I'm your priest

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release,
California show your teeth,
She's my priestess, I'm your priest

Dani is the continuation of a story about a girl named Dani. The story started with Californication (Porcelain? Nope. this from a reader: 'teenage bride, with the baby inside' from Californication. thx), then By the Way (title track), then Stadium. Watch the video (under 30-03-2006)!

Starbucks and the Spelling Bee

this is a genius promotion by Starbucks. all registered Starbucks card holders received this offer:
Once in a great while, a movie comes along that makes us want to stand up and cheer.

Akeelah and the Bee is just such a film. It highlights the values of hard work, dedicated scholarship and community involvement that we at Starbucks hold dear. And that’s why we want to share it with loyal customers like yourself.

As a registered Starbucks card holder, we’d like to send you two (2) complimentary tickets to Akeelah and the Bee, opening April 28, 2006, at a theater near you. To receive your tickets, please fill out the ticket request form.

This must-see movie, co-presented by Lionsgate, 2929 and Starbucks Entertainment, follows the adventures of a precocious 11-year-old girl who, through personal diligence and the proud support of her community, pursues her dream of competing in the national spelling bee.

A limited number of tickets are available, so we encourage you to request your tickets soon!

you can't beat that.