Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Basements

The day after I submit this to the La Palabra editing staff I will be running sound at a New Brunswick basement that’s having their first show. It’s a magical thing. I’m ambivalent at best when it comes to children, but there are three things I get all warm and fuzzy and excited about the births of: 1. puppies, 2. new bands featuring either friends of mine and/or members who we’re previously in now defunct bands I was a fan of and 3. show venues especially house show venues. This new place will be called The Zoo. I’m hoping it will flourish. I hope that this will be the first of many great shows there and it will come be looked at with the same fond regard I have for all of my favorite basements that came before it. In hopes of putting out some positive vibes let’s think about and discuss some of our favorite previous ones. Granted this is a zine article, so it’s gonna be a pretty one sided conversation. But if you write something about your favorites and send it to me as a response, I totally promise to read it. Also please note there were many more than the five I list here, but there’s only so much space I can take up per issue and these were the first ones that came to mind while I pounded this out real fast at work. The Silo – This will always hold a special place for me as it was my first introduction to basement shows back in the summer of 2000. It was called the Silo because it’s where The Atomic Missiles lived, but I’m pretty sure, some, if not all of Mohawk Barbie lived there too. Got to see Worthless play there, and a select few got to see some of The Ergs earliest performances there. The walls were all white and covered in graffiti sort of similar to early Fresh Prince music videos. The Parlor – You can’t talk about New Brunswick basements and leave this place out. This was my, and I’m sure most of my peers’, favorite show basement ever. The Ergs, Hunchback and Screaming Females, the holy trinity of the 2000’s New Brunswick scene all played here regularly. Many times some combination of them or even all three played on the same bill. It was also the first place I ever saw Lemuria. I played there about a dozen times over the years, mostly with Kohuff, but occasionally solo or sitting in with other friends’ bands. It feels like it was around for a really long time, but actually only existed from 2005-2008. The Manor – This place had the highest ceilings of any basement I’ve ever played/attended shows in. Standing at about 6 foot even, that was always a giant plus for me. There was always an awesome party vibe about the place. When bands weren’t playing people were still down in the basement dancing to whatever was being played through the p.a. or occasionally just singing songs and jumping around together even though no band or house music was on. Also this was one of the only places I ever got to see some drunken bare lady parts at a basement show as opposed to the grossly disproportional amounts of dongs and dude ass one would usually be subjected to. Not that those weren’t also regularly present though. 97 Commercial – As far as I know this place never got a name and just went by its address. This was the smallest of all the basements I ever went to shows in. The p.a. speakers had to rest on top of the guitar and bass amps, and if you were to fall over while rocking out you were definitely more likely to hit the wall well before the floor. But, there were mattresses on all the walls which made for a fun asylum padded room type feel which both cut down on injuries and helped muffle sound. Prior to the advent of The Parlor this is where I would always see my Ohio pals Delay. Nick Nolte’s House Of Ribs – I’m pretty sure there were only ever two shows here. I was privileged enough to play at one of them. It’s a damn shame cuz this was an awesome space with a lot of potential. I figure it deserved some print space, as it’s for sure an unsung hero of house show history. I may decide to talk about more basements I’ve loved in the future if I can’t think of anything else to discuss. I also know all of these existed within the same decade and readers older than myself will probably argue there were places in the 80’s and 90’s that were better. Hell Bouncing Souls and Inspecter 7 used to live in New Brunswick and I’m sure they had to play somewhere, but I’m too young to have any recollection of it. Either way I had fun reminiscing about my heyday last decade, and hope there’s many more great house show memories for years to come. Best of luck to The Zoo. May it be a proud addition to the legacy of the many great basements before it and an inspiration for the ones to come. Scuff

Turnpike Tunes



Music just may be NJ's biggest export. Not only do we have a history of producing a huge amount of successful and awesome (not always both) artists, but also so many genres. if you open-minded to different styles of music, wake up! It's right in your backyard.
Jersey City/Hoboken - Nancy Sinatra - "Bang Bang(My baby shot me down)"
Newark(Down Neck) - Connie Francis - "Lipstick on Your Collar"
Teaneck - Ricky Nelson - "Lonesome Town"
East Orange - Dionne Warwick - "Anyone Who Had a Heart" she supposedly nailed in one take, in the same session which also brought us "Walk on By"
Tenafly - Lesley Gore - "You Don't Own Me"
Passaic - The Shirelles - "Mama Said" and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" which was also covered by a Jersey boy and his pals from
Newark - Frankie Valli - "Cant Take my Eyes Off of You" also covered by his Newark neighbor Gloria Gaynor and by another girl from around the way in
South Orange/Maplewood - Lauryn Hill - "Every Ghetto, Every City" a real Jersey anthem
South Orange - The Fugees - "How Many Mics?" supposed they were originally guided by Ronald Bell of
Jersey City - Kool and the Gang - they may have been "Hollywood Swinging" but they were New Jeru through and through
Plainfield - Parliament - "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off The Sucka)" P-Funk started out as a doo-wop group in the back of a barber shop in good ol' Plainfield aka P-Funk
East Orange - Naughty by Nature - "Feel me Flow" they were mentored  by their fellow Illtown royalty up next
East Orange/Newark - Queen Latifah - "Just Another Day" and reppin the ladies and the Jersy streets in her video "U.N.I.T.Y."
Newark - Redman - "Jersey Yo!" holding down Jerz for over 2 decades, he can still kick and ill "Freestyle Freestyle" not feeling him? "Whatever Man"
Paterson - Just Blaze (producer extraordinaire of) - "Exhibit C" - Jey Electronica and "Song Cry" - Jay-Z
New Brunswick - Cymarshall Law - "Run This Town Freestyle" I love when rappers take the beat to a shitty pop-rap song and make a way better song out of it
Paterson - Frankie Ruiz - "Esta Cobardia" born and raised in Paterson, he late moved to Puerto Rico and became one of their biggest Salsa artists
New Brunswick-ish - The Sirs - "Break My Heart..."
Jersey Shore? - Big Wig - "Alone in New Jersey"
Lodi - The Misfits - "Skulls" a beautiful love song
East Brunswick - Catch 22 - "Keasby Nights"
Elmwood Park - Adrenanlin O.D. - "Suburbia" go hang out at the Livingston Mall
Asbury Park - Fury of Five - "Takin' Respect" it's not where you're from it's where you're at... that is, except for the purpose of this mix...
Island Heights/Toms River? somewhere down the f'n shore- OS101 - "Pizzacore" nothing goes better with pizza then beer so "Fill it Up" with OS101's predecessor Hogan's Heroes
Bridgewater - Vision - "Two Wishes"
New Brunswick - Lifetime - "Turnpike Gates"
Basking Ridge/New brunswick - The Bouncing Souls - "Quickcheck Girl" ECFU!
Jersey City - Apefight - "I Wish I Was Your Bike Seat (Daniell's Song)" adorably raunchy
New Brunswick - The Gaslight Anthem - "The Navesink Banks" insert comments here
Red Bank - Count Bassie - "Red Bank Boogie" a jumping Jazz uplifter, unless you'd rather feel "Blue and Sentimental"
Hoboken - Yo La Tengo - "Night Falls on Hoboken"

-Jersey Jane






Friday, May 2, 2014

New Jersey's Greatest Hits

I love New Jersey, I love music, and I LOVE music from New Jersey. Here are some reason's why: You could stock a record store full of artists from Jersey. Do you want Old School, how about Hoboken's native son Frank Sinatra? Too old school, maybe try Newark's Frankie Valli and the 4 Season's(The hit Broadway musical "Jersey Boys" is based on The Seasons). You want some new school? Try on some Gaslight Anthem(New Brunswick) or Screaming Females(New Brunswick). We got dudes: Redman(Newark), Donald Fagen of Steely Dan(Passiac), and Bill Evans(North Plainfield). We got diva's: Dionne Warwick(Newark), Whitney Houston(Newark) and Lesley Gore(Tenafly). We even got disco with Newark's Gloria Gaynor. We also got pop: Vitamin C(Old Bridge), Ricky Nelson(Teaneck) and Frank's daughter Nancy Sinatra(Jersey City). We definatley got punk:Bouncing Souls(New Brunswick, by way of Basking Ridge), Lifetime(New Brunswick) and Thursday(New Brunswick). Combine the 2 for pop-punk and you get My Chemical Romance(North Jersey) and Midtown(Springfield). Suprisingly, P Funk was even born here-George Clinton(Plainfield). Want to celebrate some good times? Call Jersey City's Kool and The Gang. That's not even mentioning some of the wackest-but most popular- musicians of the pop world, The Jonas Brothers(Not brothers, but all from the shore area). If I stopped here, the list would still be an amazing list of musicians. Titans in all their respected genres. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers even. Some of the greatest selling artists of all time. But the list doesn't stop there. Jazz great Count Bassie was born in Redbank and has a theatre there named after him. Ska guys Streetlight Manifesto are from the Keasbey area. Even if you're a person who hate's ska, we got you covered with New Brunswick's Hub City Stompers. Don't even get me started on some of MY favorite artists from the Garden State like NJ harcore legends Vision(Bridgewater) or their buddies Shades Apart(Bridgewater). New Brunswick rapper Cymarshall Law reps Jerz hard. As do Inspector 7(New Brunswick), The Fire Still Burns(New Brunswick), Razorblade Handgrenade(Newark, BCHC), and The Turnbucklers(Clark). The Sirs are currently broken but all are from NJ. Two of my girlfriends favorite bands are The Measure(SA) from New Brunswick and Metuechen's own The Roadside Graves. Holy shit I'm outta breath. I didn't even mention own states royalty, Queen Latifah(East Orange). If you're down with OPP then you're down with East Orange's Naughty by Nature. And if we move not to far to South Orange you have the birthplace of Miss Lauryn Hill. Jersey City was home to PM Dawn and Newark claimed rap groups Lords of the Underground, Outsidaz and Artifacts. Frontmen Glenn Danzig(Lodi) and Pete V. AKA Jack Terricloth(Central Jersey) both have New Jersey birth certifacates, as do most of their respective bands The Misfits and Sticks & Stones. The Court Tavern's favorite band, The Smithereens, are from Carteret and Adrenalin O.D. called Elmwood Park home. I'm not EVEN gonna mention all the artists born in Jersey that grew up elsewhere like Ice T(Newark), Paul Simon(Newark), AD Rock(South Orange) and ALL of The Sugerhill gang(Englewood). Or the artist born somewhere else but grew up in Jersey like Akon(Newark), Wyclef Jean(North Jersey), or Patti Smith(Deptford Township.) With all these great musicians you need a place to play, right? Some great musical hubs, past and present, are cities like Trenton(City Gardens and The Conduit) and New Brunswick(The Roxy, Melody, Underground, Court Tavern and Patrix to name a few), Asbury Park(The Saint, Lanes, Wonder Bar, and Stone Pony) and Clifton(Dingbatz, Harp and Bard, and Clash Bar). Plus all the other live music venues scattered thoughout the state like Roxy and Dukes(Dunellen), The Stanhope House, and The Loop Lounge(Carlsdadt). Not to mention the large venues for big touring bands like The Tweeter Center(Camden), The Meadowlands(Secaucus), PNC (Homdel), Starland Ballroom(Sayerville) and all the Casinos in Atlantic City. If you love live music then New Jersey's for you. If you'd rather listen to the radio you can check out 105.5 WDHEA(The Jersey Giant), 88.7 WRSU(Rutgers), 89.5 WSOU(Seton Hall), 91.1 WFMU(Jersey City, longest running freeform radio station in the country), or 88.3 WBGO(Newark, Jazz station). You can watch New Jersey natives Matt Pinfield(East Brunswick) host MTV's 120 minutes or Eddie Trunk(Madison) host VH1's That Metal Show. New Jersey also claims two of the Northeast's largest independent record stores, The Princeton Record Exchange(Princeton) and Vintage Vinyl(Fords). Shit man, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph record in Menlo Park and Victor Talking Machine Company, the largest record player company in the world at the time, called Camden home. Jersey's the shit. Where would the world be without New Jersey's contributions to Rap, R&B, Jazz, Funk, Punk, Hardcore, Pop, or Arena Rock. Oh yeah, Arena Rocker's Bon Jovi were born and raised in the Sayerville area. Almost forgot those guys. And look at that, I made it a whole article about New Jersey music and I didn't even mention that Springsteen kid from Freehold.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Fritch Clark is a 48 year old 3rd generation New Bruswicker, who claims he's a shy guy.  But when I broke out the recorder he talked and talked and talked and didn't seem shy at all.  When he talks about music and the New Brunswick "scene" he gets all gitty and smiley. Fritch made a rad movie call “The Last Bastions of Rock” that you should definitely check out.  If the interview doesn't read like a normal interview it’s because Fritch talked for 64 minutes and I talked for 2.  Thanks Fritch. I appreciate the time you gave me.

LP: How did you get into music?
F:  I would listen to RSU to hear about football and stuff and heard music that the big radio stations weren't playing.  In the 70's it was all Led Zeppelin and I could never be that cuz they were just so good.  It wasn't till I heard The Ramones and I was like, these dudes are kinda geeky, I'm geeky, I could do this.  The music’s not great and I can strum along to it.  They were a real people's band.  College radio has gotten me into a lot of bands.  The first big concert I went to was Kiss and I knew I was never gonna be that.  That's why I loved The Ramones so much.  It was cheap to go and you could see yourself doing that.  In 1978 I saw a band named The Dead Kennedy's in Trenton and I just got it. The best music I've ever heard in the worst place possible.  Calhoun Street in Trenton, NJ.  I remember going back to school and seeing kids in their Bob Seager shirts and just being like you don't get it.  You don't know what you're missing.  I had DK and Black Flag shirts.  I got it right away.  This was before the internet so you would show up and put your name on a mailing list and get flyers in the mail.  The 1st I heard of The Court Tavern, it was across the street and Joe's (The bartender) grandfather owned it.  It was called Joe's bar.  Well I would go out, because in those days 18 was the drinking age.  High schoolers went to the bar and drank.  Can you imagine drinking at 18?
LP: Legally you mean?  I knew plenty of high schoolers who drank.
F: But I would come here because my mom said she knew the owner.  But Bobby's father owned it by then, not Joe Zimmerman (the guy my mom knew).  I would come here because people were accepting.  You know when you walk into a bar and everyone turns and stares at you?
LP: You mean you get the record scratch reaction when you walk into the room?
F: Yeah, well that didn't happen here or the Melody.  Nobody really gave a shit.  They were busy doing there own thing.  So New Brunswick became my home base but there was another place, The Dirt Club in Bloomfield that I also liked.  It was owned by Johnny Dirt, who just recently passed away, and it was an old house (Johnny lived upstairs), just a blue collar bar that had original bands.  This guy would tend bar in a leather jacket and boxer shorts.  Back then The Court, The Dirt and City Gardens were the only places to see original music.  Everywhere else had cover bands.  These places had REAL music.
LP: There's a reason why people come here (The Court) the beer is cold, the music is loud and people want to fucking hang out.  Do you consider yourself a filmmaker or was this the best way to tell your story?
F: Oh yeah, I a filmmaker.  I started as a kid making Super 8 films by myself, and then in 1990 I made 16 mm film projection in the Rutgers film co-op.  I learned a lot from Alan Igrin at Rutgers.  He was my mentor.
LP: Was the footage in the documentary all yours?
F: I was lucky to get a lot of photos of from different people and Darrell, from Channel X in Piscataway, gave me a lot of footage.  PCTV (Piscataway TV) was big for me because that's where I learned about video(ED's note- Filming and making a film involves film.  The actual thing known as film.  Video is a tape.  Completely different medium here, especially in those days).  But yeah, that's a lot of my footage.  Around 2001 the Melody closed and I saw a flyer that said Come Save The Court Tavern, because the city wanted to redevelop this area.  I went, along with about 500 hundred other people, to the city hall meeting and I taped it.  It was the most important thing I've ever filmed.  I just wanted to document stuff that was happening to the places I loved.  I walked by the Melody for years (when it was closed) on my way to work and the day they razed it I filmed it.  I just wanted to show how the city changed from when I knew it in 1980.
F: The Court started by Bobby Sr. having Bobby Jr.’s friend’s play.  See the mural on the wall downstairs with the fingers in his ears?  That's Bobby's father.  He didn't understand any of that, but he still gave opportunity to the kids. Jim from The Smithereens gave Bobby that gold record and that meant a lot to Bobby Sr.  The main thing about the movie is, it’s a family run bar.  It's like a town center.  It's pretty amazing that in the worse parts of New Jersey, the best music came out.  I really wanted to make this documentary, but it had to be good because people from Brunswick would see it, and show about the Bobby’s, Jr.  & Sr., and the music that came out of it.  New Brunswick was a special place at the time.  The Court, the Melody, the Roxy, Patrix.
LP: The Bowl-O-Drome.  The Underground.  That was under the hotel right?
F: Yeah it was.  I just wanted to show that you need to show love to places that support live, original music.  Even though this place is a dive bar, it's still got a lot of love.  It's run like a dysfunctional family.  Everyone can agree on one thing and that's We need a place to play.
LP: Awhile back while prowling on MySpace I found the map of the New Brunswick bars on your page.  I showed my parents and they were all smiles being like I remember The Underground, I remember Bowl-O-Drome.  Is that who this film was made for or was it more the younger kids to try to educate them?

F: I wanted to make the movie for everybody.  New Brunswick has a great musical history.  We can go way back, the guy who wrote the music for The Charleston came from New Brunswick.  New Brunswick music didn't start in the 80's and stop in the 90's.  It's always been here and will always be here.  It might be different now the in the 80's with all the clubs but I'm not gonna compare this decade to that decade.  The movie gave me a chance to give back.  I feel very blessed to have been a part of this great scene.  I was never in a band, but I lived in these clubs.  They gave me, and a bunch of other people, a place to go and a place to feel comfortable.  It also gave me a chance to interview some people I would have been to shy to talk to otherwise.  I'm kinda of a dork.
LP: Most musicians are dorks to.  That’s the great thing about music, these guys aren't some athlete who's all big and crazy fast, these are regular guys.
F: I could have just made the movie about The Court but I really wanted to show all of Jersey's great music.  These were the clubs I went to and that's what I wanted to show.  I also went to a lot of basement shows.  Basement shows will live for ever here in New Brunswick.  So many huge bands have played basements here in NB.
LP: I think that's why I like playing the Court so much is because it's like playing someone's basement.
F: I also wanted to make this movie as a thank you to the owners of these clubs that allowed me to see shows.  I would have gladly paid more money then I had to, to see these bands.  That's happening now.  You're seeing bands that maybe 20 years down the road you can say I seen them at The Court.  I bought a shirt from Marc Echo when he was a student here.  You never know who these people might become.
LP: Do you think it was better being in a band back when?  Ya know when people had to come to your shows to see you or better now with how easy it is to get your music to the public?
F: AHHH, it's just different now man.  It was a special time.  Handmade flyers and records.  Buying merch directly from the band.
LP: Did me and my generation miss something special?  It's never gonna be like that again.  I feel like I missed something.
F: You're just realizing that the bands you love now are big time bands.  The Descendents, Sick of It All, The Bouncing Souls, and bands like that, they all played places like The Court and City Gardens before they got big.  Ten years from now you might be saying "I saw those guys at The Court" when the next band from here get famous.  Did you miss something?  Well you missed that time and place but you're here for the next time and place.  You're a part of it now.  What's going on now you're a part of.
LP: Just being in a band I feel like I missed out on something.  To be able to play at maybe The Court and The Roxy on the same night or just get on more shows in general.  I don't know.  I just feel like it will never be like that.
F: It won't be like that.  A lot of people at that time lived in New Brunswick.  The Bouncing Souls had a house, Inspecter 7 lived here.  You could drink a lot at any bar and just walk home.  That's one thing I do miss is being able to pop in and pop out of a lot of shows on any given night.  Asbury Park is like that now.  I really like The Asbury Lanes.  I feel like they get it. 
LP: Why did you make this movie?
F: I felt it was my civic duty to do this movie.  I wanted to give back to the bar owners and bands that gave me so much.  I wanted to make a positive piece explaining why all these places were so special.  Not everybody got to know Jonny Dirt, Randy Now and Bob Sr. I wanted to get on record what these owners had to say about that time.  I wanted to show people these owners because not everybody knew these people.  New Jersey in general just has a great history of music, movies and art.  I just wanted to show that.  We're not The Sopranos and Jersey Shore strerotype.
LP: What do you think was the decline of the "Rock Club" as we know it?
F: There were a lot of factors.  Drinking age had a lot to do with it.  People started suing also.  Some kid got hurt at City Gardens and sued.  I came from the Old School.  If I got hurt doing something stupid my father would say "You deserved it”, these kids weren't like that.  There were some owner disputes, like at the Melody.  Plus people grow up.  They get jobs and start families.  It was the right time for it and people took advantage of it.
LP: There's a small window for things like this.  For a band, a movie, a comedian, a "scene" even.  You never know, the window could re-open.
F: New Jersey has a great history of music and that's what it's about.  Music is in the last place you look.  Like love, you don't go looking for love it just finds you.
LP: That's a great place to end it.  Do you have any thank yous?
F: Court Tavern, Rest in Piece Jonny Dirt, Che Fontaine from Born Reckless.   

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Alco-Hall of Fame: Class of 2012

Last year we inducted 6 members onto the Alco-Hall of Fame for it's inugural class.  This year we elected 4 men and 1 team of legendary boozers.  Here is the Alco-Hall of Fame Class of 2012:

Alfred Manuel Martin Jr. - “Billy” b.1928-d.1989
Drinking buddies with Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and many other teammates along with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Got into a massive brawl with teammates (including Mantle, Ford and Yogi Berra) sticking up for Sammy Davis at The Copacabana after somebody was yelling racial slurs at Sammy.  Billy will go down in advertising history as one of the pitchmen for the legendary “tastes great/less filling” Miller Lite ads of the 1970’s. He died on Christmas day driving drunk near his home in Binghamton, NY.
Earnest Hemmingway- “Papa” b. 1899-d.1961
Notorious for making fun of his fellow writers who sought help with their alcoholism, Hemmingway said to F. Scott Fitzgerald (After Scott told Earnest that “alcohol bested him”) “Take your balls and throw them in the sea-If you have any balls left.” It was once said that "His drinking would have killed a less tough man."  Drank in the hospital after a WWI injury, moved back to Europe during prohibition just to drink, drank on the front line of WWII when he was covering it, drank while on Safari in Africa, drank in Cuba while writing some of his best known works, created a drink while be drunk in Florida (A Papa Doble is a Daiquiri with double the amount of rum and none of the sugar) and spent some of the last years of his life drinking on his yacht while sailing the Caribbean.  Known as a messy drunk, he was told by a doctor to stop drinking to save his liver, advice he ignored. He drank to alleviate pain from a bunch of random injuries (it’s suspected that most were caused while drunk) and penned most of his greatest works under the influence (he supposedly wrote standing with a pen in one hand and a drink in the other). He died from a self inflicted gunshot wound after a forced 3 month abstinence from alcohol.
Herbert Walton Gleason Jr. - "Jackie" b.1916-d.1987
Raised by a "Hard working, hard drinking" Father (that left the family when Jackie was just 10) and an "I drink because I buried my child" Mother (who fell further in the bottle when Jackie's old man left), Jackie was born with booze in his blood.  Jackie's father would take him to see the pictures on Saturday, but only after a stop at the speakeasy.  It was on these Saturdays where Jackie fell in love with alcohol and the stage.  On of Jackie's first gigs gave him free booze and it was here that he learned people laughed when he got drunk.  Only problem was Jackie never remembered his act, because he was blacked out, but he did entertain the crowd.  Once Jackie started making some money he felt it was his duty to pick up tabs and buy rounds.  And his daily routine of shooting scenes, going directly to the bar, closing the bar, going to after hour parties and showing up on time the next day were legendary.  He created many drunkard roles on "Cavalcade of Stars" including Joe the Bartender, Rum Dum and Reginald Van Gleason III, who loved booze and the high life.  Drank on set, in front of the camera, on The Jackie Gleason Show.  A lover of drink, food and smoke (he smoked close to 5 packs of cigarettes a day) he also wrote some original songs and released a few albums.
Oliver Reed - "Ollie" b.1938-d.1999
He got drunk, got naked and wrestled a dude on the beach in front of a fire in the movie Women In Love and no one questioned his manhood.  That's how much of a tough guy Reed was.  Got into a bar fight that resulted in 63 stitches in his twenties, beat Lee Marvin in a drinking contest, and once threw up on Steve McQueen after an all night pub crawl.  Almost fought Letterman when he wouldn't stop asking questions about his drinking, had a glass of whiskey poured over his head by Shelly Winters on Carson, and tried to kiss a feminist writer on an English TV show after saying "C'mon big tits, give us a kiss" - all while being stinking drunk.  There are also tales of him and 36 friends drinking 60 gallons of beer, 32 bottles of Scotch, 17 bottles of Gin, 4 crates of wine and a bottle of Babycham in one sitting.  He claims he drank 106 pints over two days before marrying his wife.  Died at 61 of a heart attack one day after downing 3 bottles of Rum.  To see some of his antics YouTube this dude.
The 1986 New York  Mets
Pitcher Bobby Ojeda said "We were throwbacks.  We were gimmie a steak, gimmie a beer, gimmie a smoke and get the fuck outta our way.”  To me baseball and booze goes hand and hand and the 1986 Mets would have agreed.  Pretty much the whole 25 man roster, excluding "The Kid" Gary Carter who didn't partake much in the drinking, loved to party down.  They had a fridge stocked with booze in the clubhouse and often times the trainer would come into the locker room for a day game after a night game to find half a dozen players sleeping face down on the floor with crushed beer cans surrounding them.  The trainer would wake them, give 'em a B12 shot, a couple of aspirin, a couple of cigarettes, a drink or six and send to the shower to get ready for first pitch.  They were also known for drinking at a working class bar in Queens named Finn MaCools where the owner once joked that the Mets singlehandedly keep him in business in 86'.  All this is enough to make them Alco-All Star's.  What gives these guys legendary status is the plane ride home from Houston.  After a grueling 16 inning back a forth brawl of a baseball game, the Mets finally had one more run then the 'Stros.  Now it was time to celebrate.  Even Carter enjoyed his share of Champagne.  The problem was the game lasted over 4 hours and the plane was ready to leave.  This meant most of the celebrating happened on the plane.  Most times the players, manager, and coaches were the only people on the chartered flight.  However, the Mets front office allowed players wives to travel with the team.  This meant that they stocked the plane full of 3 times the amount of alcohol that would normally be on the flight.  Let me tell you, the Mets made them pay for that decision.  The team drank every last drop of alcohol, along with eating all the steak and lobster and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage on the plane.  From what I understand it was one of the wildest parties ever.  When they landed they looked like hell and "The Straw" poured a bottle of Andre champagne over Mayor Ed Koch's head.  Legend has it that Keith Hernandez didn't sleep after game 7 of the World Series until after the parade 2 days later.  "You don't win a World Series drinking milk" is what Hernandez said of the 1986 season

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things:
Sangria: Ahhh, all the tell tale signs are there. Crooked smile, enibri-eye, a mouth stained with purple teeth. You've been drinking wine my friend. But wait, you weren't drinking just any kind of wine. You were done in by Sangria. Usually Red Wine mixed with, Brandy, Triple Sec, fruit juice, cut up fruit and maybe a little 7up or Sprite. Served with ice it's the best thing you've ever tasted on a summer day. Head on down to the Ironbound in Newark for the best of the best.  Be careful when induldging though, this stuff goes down like water but has mean after effects.

Malt Liquor: Beer that's cheap, available in 40oz bottles and strong enough to be called liquor, count me in. The Forty has a bad rep but it does get the job done like no other.  Anyone who doesn't appreciate the true value or "Bang for the Buck" factor that a 40 holds, doesn't know good from bad. Getting drunk is good, judging is bad. Drink em' up (or down, whatever you prefer).

Whiskey: If you could distill heaven, I believe it would taste like Jameson Gold Reserve Whiskey.  Shots, strait, sour or on the rocks, I want it all.  Irish or Bourbon it doesn’t matter because they’re both great(Canadien Whiskey doesn’t count and shouldn’t even be called Whiskey).  I've read about how Jack Daniel's Whiskey is less proof (80%) then it was ten years ago (86%), and less then the 90 proof Jack used to distill himself, but still claims that it's the same formula (A corporate spokesman for the company claimed customers preferred the 80 proof), so that makes me want it less then ever (never enjoyed the taste).
Beer: The easiest and most plentiful thing to drink.  From Red Dog to Rouge, Palm to Piel’s, Miller to Magic Hat you can find a beer for your taste buds. Beer is that perfect comfort drink to aid us in thirst between shots, mixers, and cocktails as we stumble through our evening.  Whether it’s at 2AM or 2PM it’s always tasty.  Plus the beer industry has been employing Americans since the 1600s so be patriotic and buy a beer.

My Favorite Dives

I love dive bars (See Issue #5), here are some of my favorites:
The Wilton House (Newark Ave, Hoboken)-The Wilton House is right smack in the middle of the "New" Hoboken but retains it old school charm.  It's got wood paneling, and most importantly, cheap drinks.  It's a classic bar in a town full of yuppies, hipsters, preppies and wannabees.

 Ralph's Tavern (Central Ave, Jersey City)-Although it's located right on the major thoroughfare in the neighborhood I've never seen more then two people in there - EVER.  Passed it 20 times then finally went in.  $1.75 Pints, $1.25 Mugs and $.50 short beers (7 oz).  Fifty fucking cents.  I love this place just for that reason.  They only got 2 TVs, 2 beers on tap and no more then 2 customers.  Classic shithole bar, but fifty cents is only fifty cents.

Oh-La-La-La’s (Main St., Bound Brook) - Titty bars can be dives also and this place is proof.  My friend lived with 2 of the dancers at Oh-La's so I got to know the bartenders, dancers, DJ and the bouncer.  We didn't even have to tip the chicks.  Let me tell you though, this place is really a dive.  Don't except to get excited in this place.  Cellulite, strechmarks, bad boob jobs, and dyed grey hair run rampant in this joint.  
Somerset Hotel (Main St, Somerville)-This place is rad, it’s really the only REAL bar left in Somerville.  They don't have any food, except maybe hot dogs from a crockpot, but they do have pool tables, questionable clientele, and a package goods department to rival some liquor stores.  It's also got sick cigarette burns in the Men's room.Rick's Tavern (First Ave, Raritan)-This place is a real hidden gem.  This place looks like a house, is off the beaten path (IE: less cops) and got no draft beer.  I'm not even really sure if they got a liquor license.  But you do have to see the empty patio outside because it's truly amazing.  Stop by and order a drink from either the owner(Rick) or a bartender that has no clue what the hell is going on.    Check this place out and it will amaze you that this place exists.

Court Tavern-(RIP, New Brunswick)-Yeah it was a music venue, sometimes, but it was a dive bar ALL of the time.  That place smelled, had warm beer, bathrooms that didn't work, it was hot in the Summer and cold in the Winter, plus a thousand other things that made that place the shittiest of shitty places to drink.  All that being said, I would trade every bar in New Brunswick to get the Court back.  No joke.  Sorry Ale and Witch, McCormick's, Tumulty's and the others, but some of the best times of my life, and many others I know, happened at this place.  Don't know if we'll ever have another place like that.
Riverside Tavern-(RIP, South Bound Brook) - You never forget your first love and this was it.  This place was located around the corner from where I grew up and was empty at night.  They had a sick lunch time and after work crowd but for some reason couldn't keep it crowded.  They had a huge bar, real darts (no plastic shit), food, and frosty mugs plus they had a side room that had a pool table (crooked as shit), 5-10 tables and about 8 TVs that was always empty.  I always knew the bartender's so I would get hooked there also.  It was a great place and I wish I could have shared a pitcher with you there.  Now it's a high end restraint.  Bullshit.