I humbly admit that I toot my own horn, but only in the literal sense. I’m an amateur alto sax player taking lessons from a great performing pro who has played with the likes of Solomon Burke (may God rest his mighty soul), The Spinners, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and The Psych! Band. (My motto after years of playing is: I suck less.) Currently on the music stand are Mingus's “Duke Ellington's Sound of Love” and “In the Wee Small Hours” by Dave Mann and Bob Hilliard.
I am also—and certainly not least—a single, divorced father and widower with a lovely, married adult daughter (and new mom) and a cool drummer of a 23-year-old son who lives with me right now while he's sorting out his life options. How I got to this point in my life is a story worthy of a slow blues (Skip James? Otis Rush?) Either that or it’s three C&W songs in one, if that’s more to your liking.
My editorial assistants and boon companions are Zora—a furry, black mixed(up) Persian—and Mingus—a tawny, striped American shorthair who keeps me on my toes (because he swats at them when he wants me to play.) I also call Zora my girlfriend because she’s soft, smells nice, dozes on my chest, and is very affectionate. But she won’t mind if you take her place because I think she’d really rather just sleep on the arm of the couch while I’m watching Mad Men. Plus, well…she’s a cat.
I’ve earned my crust of bread putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboard since I graduated from college back East, living first in San Francisco where I worked as an advertising copywriter and newspaper reporter and then moving to Los Angeles to work as a staff writer and news freelancer.
Before fatherhood and a steady editorial office job, I took some long solo trips to places such as Ireland, the U.K., France, and Italy to explore and write, and I then spent a bit of time traveling stateside and overseas for my former trade magazine editorial job.
Let’s see…. I practice my horn, lift free weights, and do crunches at home three times a week for muscle tone, stroll the quiet tree-lined streets in my Westside neighborhood to stretch my legs and take a break from writing and editing. I also ride my bike to grab a coffee or visit bookstores and record shops for destination recreation.
If you like music—either listening or playing, or both—travel, club dancing, reading on the couch side by side, rainy days, quality TV, movies, grabbing a microbrew or sipping pinot noir at The Westside Tavern, neck rubs and such, we could make our own beautiful music together.
June and Johnny. Cher and Sonny. Exene and John. Keely and Louis. Marge and Homer.
You and me?
Let’s duet. Let’s fall in love….
Non-fiction: Stop-Time by Frank Conroy; Belfast Diary by John Conroy; A Love Supreme by Ashley Kahn; Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby; Hymns to the Silence: Inside the Words and Music of Van Morrison by Peter Mills; Chronicles by Bob Dylan; Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind; The Devil's Horn: The Story of the Saxophone, from Noisy Novelty to King of Cool by Michael Segell;The Chicago Manual of Style 14th Edition....
Movies: You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan-writer/director); In Bruges (Martin McDonagh-writer/director); The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo-director); Lonely Are the Brave (David Miller-dir.; Edward Albee, Dalton Trumbo-writers); The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes-writer/director); Hidden Agenda (Jim Allen, writer; Ken Loach, director); Claire's Knee (Eric Rohmer-director); Running on Empty (Naomi Foner-writer; Sidney Lumet-dir.); 'Round Midnight (Bertrand Tavernier-dir.); Being There (Jerzy Kosinski-writer; Hal Ashby-director); Wonder Boys (Michael Chabon/Steve Kloves-writers; Curtis Hanson-director); High Fidelity (Stephen Frears-director); In Her Shoes (Curtis Hanson); When Harry Met Sally (Nora Ephron-writer; Rob Reiner-dir.); It's Complicated (Nancy Myers-writer/dir.); Broadcast News (James Brooks-writer/dir.); Day for Night (Francois Truffaut-dir.); In the Loop (Armando Iannucci-dir.; Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell et al-writers)....
Music: Van Morrison, Don Van Vliet (may he rest in peace), Laura Nyro, Black 47, The Pogues, Doug Sahm, The Mar-Keys, Joni Mitchell, Charles Mingus, Lee Konitz, The Flamin' Groovies, Syl Johnson, Al Green, Cannonball Adderley, Bird, Eric Kloss, Jason Moran, Brad Mehldau, Joe Lovano, Trombone Shorty, Galactic, The Bothy Band, Fela Kuti, Gregory Isaacs, Alex Chilton, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Raphael Saadiq, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, The Roots, Dr. John, Altan, AfroCelts....
TO BE CONTINUED