Weekly Workout Playlist – 12-15-14

Interesting little conversation with the missus this weekend about how tough it must be to come up with original music. Well, not to be self-serving, as a guy who exclusively plays in cover bands these days, but bah and feh unto originality for it’s own sake. Just pick great songs and play those well… Like all these famous rock stars did.

Loneliness, solitude and community…

Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Twenty years ago today my father, James Selby, died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was unloading a trailer full of wood for an elderly neighbor, which was totally, utterly in character for him. Jim Selby was always willing to help neighbors or friends.

I will never forget the seemingly endless procession of friends, fellow local businesspeople, and just possibly some guy he’d had a drink with once in a bar who go up on the podium at his memorial service to commend his selflessness, his dependability and his loyalty. Continue Reading →

Weekly Workout Playlist – 12-8-14

It’s been a rough week for us old rock and roll fans out there. Maybe you had never heard the names Bobby Keys or Ian McLagan before, but you’d certainly heard them play… a lot. And while it might seem depressing to dwell on the talent that’s passed on, the McLagan and Keys’ deaths got me thinking about all the folks who are gone and how amazing their contributions to my life as a musician and music lover have been. It’s all about gratitude, folks. And I’m grateful to all the people represented on this week’s playlist.

Just so you don’t have to go looking them all up, here they are in order of appearance:

Ian Dury
James Honeyman-Scott & Pete Farndon
Sid Vicious
Stiv Bators
Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee & Tommy Ramone
Ronnie Lane & Ian McLagan
Pete Ham & Tom Evans
Rory Gallagher
Jon Lord
Phil Lynott & Gary Moore
Joe Strummer
Warren Zevon
Lou Reed
Bobby Keys & Ian Stewart
MCA (aka Adam Yauch)
Dave Peverett & Rod Price
Mick Ronson

To cheat or not to cheat…

Sorry to disappoint you, but this one’s about food. Get yer mind outta the gutter, OK?

Mark Sisson tackles this topic in way more detail than I am going to go into. If you want the science of the thing, read his post on the subject of cheat meals here: Mark’s Daily Apple

What you really want to know though is this (and I know you do because, I’m well, human) –

Is it actually beneficial to go off my diet and indulge?

So, here’s my multi-level response… Yes and no. Continue Reading →

RIP, Bobby Keys

The Rolling Stones, Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, George Harrison, Dr. John, Graham Nash, Humple Pie, Harry Nilsson, The Faces, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, John Lennon, Carly Simon, Gary Wright, Ringo Starr, John Martyn, Donovan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Martha Reeves, Etta James, Warren Zevon, Leo Sayer, Eric Carmen, Billy Preston, Jim Carroll, Joe Ely, Sheryl Crow & Trisha Yearwood.

That list represents just some of the artists Bobby Keys played his sax with over the course of his career. If there had been no stand-out tracks in that body of work it would still have been impressive. You don’t get the call to play on so many records and perform with so many very talented people without being worthy of that call. But there are not just stand-out tracks, but moments where the hook, the thing that stands out in the song and nudges it from good to great is that amazing saxophone playing Bobby did.

Without the sax, Honky Tonk Woman isn’t the same song:

And John Lennon’s Whatever Gets You Through The Night absolutely hangs off Keys’ sax the way a circus tent hangs off the pole in the middle:

Had Me A Real Good Time, by the Faces, once the sax kicks in, sounds like its name:

If I had to pick one song… if someone said, what was Bobby’s finest moment, I’d give it to the middle break in this song by the Stones:

Rest in peace, Bobby. You will be missed.

Weekly Workout Playlist for 12-2-14

It’s a day late, but it’s a good one, so cut me some slack. ;-)

Enjoy and share widely.

Rock-It Fitness Holiday Hustle Boot Camp

I tossed this one around a ton. Do a boot camp in December or not? On the one hand I thought people are busy, the holidays are crazy, no one has time.

Then I realized I needed to do this. I need the workouts and the accountability. If I sit on my hands in December just because of the holidays I’m going to have a huge hole to dig myself out of come January. Besides, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, right?

And then I thought about all the folks out there who need to be rolling in December in order to be able to keep rolling in January.

How could I not do a boot camp?

‘Tis the season to bring it!!!

Here’s the deal. If you register, and bring a friend along for the ride you’ll each get a $20 Amazon Gift Card as a thank you from me for joining me to keep you (and me) fit and healthy this holiday season and on into the new year.

Why am I doing this and making this offer? Because I know it’s tough to make a commitment to stick to a program this time of year, and I know that there is strength in numbers and power in having a partner to keep you accountable to get it done and stay on track. Besides, having friends along for the ride makes it fun!

The group will start on December 15th and we will roll right on through the new year and keep at it for a full 60 days. Deadline to register is December 7th.

Just click the link to register for a consultation and LEARN MORE. That’s all there is to it.

What are you afraid of?

Fear is a very, very important and useful emotion. If you find yourself standing face to face with a grizzly bear you ought to be very frightened. [Side Note: As I was writing this post a story popped up in my news feed about a student who was hiking in the woods in New Jersey who spotted a bear and decided to get closer and take some pictures. The bear subsequently mauled and killed him. So, yeah, be afraid of bears.] If you are awakened in the middle of the night by a shrieking smoke alarm and smell smoke or see fire being fearful is perfectly reasonable. In both situations your breathing will get shallow, your heart will race and adrenaline will pump through your body. This fight or flight response will increase your odds of survival in a genuinely dangerous situation, enabling you to perhaps run away from the bear, or quickly escape from your burning house. Continue Reading →

Someone to lean on…

What could you do if you knew, absolutely knew, there would be someone there to catch you?

We have elevated the idea of the individual to a level of sanctity in America. Don’t get me wrong. I am utterly impressed with Kayla Montgomery’s achievement, with her will to fight to do what she wants and needs to do for herself. But if there is no one there to catch her at the end of her races (and her training runs – the part the story above leaves out), none of it is possible. Continue Reading →

Suffering begets suffering. Violence begets violence.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

The very smart, very well-meaning college-age daughter of a friend scolded me, and well, pretty much every other full-fledged grown-up on Facebook Tuesday morning for our silence about the Michael Brown shooting verdict in Missouri. I responded by basically being a grumpy old “been there, done that” guy to her and her rather passionate friends.
Continue Reading →