Saturday, April 30, 2005

War Criminals Cover

The cover to the one and only issue of War Criminals. It was drawn by a friend of mine Terry Pavlet. I was visting Terry in Wisconsin when I saw this artwork and knew it would be prefect for the first issue. I always post these things in the wrong order, this should have followed the next post to make any sense, but I goofed and put it first. Posted by Hello

War Criminals Text Page

Ok, another page of pics from Jazzfest down. Only one day to go with words and pics and I'm done with it. While I was waiting for pictures to scan I was flipping through some old work I had sitting by my desk. I picked up a copy of War Criminals. This was going to be an ongoing comic book based on, well, you can guess the subject. I was given pretty much free reign to pick which war criminals I wanted to do. I was planning to do the first few issues on World War II and I had delusions of seeing it packaged in a trade paperback. I thought the potential for this series was very great...I could see it being used in schools. Ok, maybe I was getting a little ahead of myself but I really believed in this series. It came out during the black and white boom of the early ninties and lasted exactly one issue. The one issue I managed to get done featured Adolf Eichmann. I thought it was one of the best things I have ever written. I thought I'd copy the text page I did for this issue here, to give you a sample of some of my writing (that is writing away from this blog that is).

Okay here it is (I had called it Wreck on the Highway, but it appeared without title):

Our interest in criminals and the desire to know as much about them as possible is akin to that wreck on the highway. Everyone always slows down to glance at the accident at the side of the road. But after that quick glance and the image of the front of the car smashed into the front seat and glass and metal all over the street, everyone steps ont he accelerator and tries to hurry away. Who wants to see such gruesome sights?

That same rubbernecking priniciple remains at work when we hear on the news about the latest serial murderer and how horrible he went at his task. At first we sit mersmerized and want to hear more. But once the voice continues to list the sickening details, most of us turn away a little sick at heart as well as stomach.

Besides the first amendent there is a greater reason to publish stories of such atrocities. It has almost become cliched to say that those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it, but cliches are formed due in part because they capture a universal truth and do so often enough to be repeated until they become cliches.

Today as the youth become more distanced from such history and the name Eichmann or Bormann enlists a "huh?", it is more important than ever to continue to tell the stories. We read everyday in the newspapers and hear on tv or the rise in racism and the violence committed in its name. We need to remember the terrible toll such actions take.

There is nothing noble in classing a people different based on race as inferior. To most this may seem like common sense, but unfortunately there are too many that the crimes of world war two are either forgotten or ignored.

During the research for this issue I had to chance to read many interesting books, one of the most fascinating was the the Agent directly responsible for the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the book is EICMANN IN MY HANDS and is by Peter Z. Malkin with Harry Stein. I'd like to end with a quote from the book. Malkin's associate and co-leader of the group that spirited Eichmann out of Argentina askes the leader of the Israel secret service what will happen to Eichmann's wife and small child now that they have taken their income and support. In the end it is decided that no provisions are made for the family of an ordinary criminal sent to prison and thus nothing is owed to them.

"Yet I have never been more impressed with an uzi. In the end it was he who understood best of all of us what this whole thing was about: the need to hold on to one's humanity even if, all around, others have surrended theirs."

Meters 3

Art Neville with the Meters Posted by Hello

Meters 1

George Porter Jr from the Meters Posted by Hello

Meters 2

The Meters reunited for the first time in years on stage Posted by Hello

Buddy 1

The one and only, the great, the hall of famer...Buddy Guy! Posted by Hello

Buddy 2

Buddy in the crowd, you can just the top of his white hat Posted by Hello

Buddy 3

Buddy Posted by Hello

Buddy 4

Buddy talking to the audience Posted by Hello

Buddy 5

Buddy Posted by Hello

Buddy 6

Buddy wailing on the guitar Posted by Hello

Buddy 7

Buddy is so expesive while playing the guitar. Posted by Hello

Snooks 1

Snooks with Jon Cleary on keyboards Posted by Hello

Snooks 2

Snooks Eaglin Posted by Hello

Brian 1

Irene by herself Posted by Hello

Brian 2

Brian and local singer Irene Sage Posted by Hello

Brian 3

Brain again Posted by Hello

Brian 4

Brain Stoltz Posted by Hello

Friday, April 29, 2005

Kenney Chesney

Ok, another break in the never ending update for Jazzfest. Next up is pictures for Day Two and than finally Day Three. But before that last night I went to the Kenny Chesney concert. Uncle Cracker and Gretchen Wilson opened for him. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but it actually was a good show. I knew I would like Gretchen Wilson and I did. She was great. She did a few new songs coming from her new cd, they were all really good. One of them is called "California Girls" and is nothing like the Beach Boys' song. She also did a cover of a Heart song and Led Zepplin's Rock and Roll. I might have been more surprised by the inclusion of that song but LeAnn Rimes did the same Zepplin song in her show. But it was still pretty cool. Than came the main even and I have to say I was pleasently surprised. Kenny Chesney put on a good show. I'm not a big fan of country music. He did a duet with Gretchen Wilson on John Mellencamp's Hurts So Good. He also did two songs with Uncle Cracker, one which was Kid Rock's Cowboy. He also did Van Morrison later. He played for over two hours, really putting on a good show. So not a bad night. I would have posted last night but by the time I got home it was so late and I had to get up at five this morning, so I ended up just going to bed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Update Jazzfest Day Two

Is anyone getting tired of me talking about Jazzfest yet? I hope not, cause I have two more days to go. I hope these next posts won't be quite as long as that last one, I didn't realize how long it was until after I published it and went back to look at it. Boy, I can run off at the mouth can't I?

Today was the day that my brother, Kenneth, was going to Jazzfest with me. Kenneth lives acros the lake from me so we don't get to hang out together as much as we used to. He also went to the Wilco show with me, even though he didn't even know who Wilco was. Ok, he did know who they were, mainly cause he had heard me talk of them countless times, but he had never listened to them, he took it on my word. I was happy that he liked them. It would have sucked if he had hated them.

I had to get up early to make the drive across the lake. I told Kenneth that I would get to his house between 7:30 and 8:00. I told Larry that we would look for him when we got to the Fest. He was going to camp out at the Sprint stage again today. I got in the car and headed out, not forgetting anything, even remembering the tickets.

I made good time across the lake and was at his house before 8:00. He drove since he gets free gas where he works. He has a company car. Actually a truck. He also knows his way around downtown New Orleans a lot better than I do. Whenever I go into the city I get lost. I told him where Larry parks so we wouldn't have to use the offical parking site and could save $35.00. I was navigating, telling him to turn on one street and the next street where Larry always parks should be right ahead, when who do we see walking down the street? Larry! He had just arrived a few minutes ahead of us. He told us he would meet us at the gate and went on ahead of us. We parked right in front of his car, no other cars on the street yet.

When we got to the gate Larry was already set up in his chair, relaxing. Introducing my brother and Larry we set up our chairs and settled in for the two hour wait. Unfortunately we didn't have our clarient player to keep us entertained this morning. But actually the time passed fairly quickly. We decided that we would set up our chairs with Larry at the Sprint stage.

They actually let us in thirty minutes early this morning, not waiting till exactly 11:00 to open the gate. We got through with no problems.

By the time we got to the Sprint stage there was already quite a few people set up in front of the stage. We found out later that they had opened the other gate even earlier than ours and these people had been in for almost thirty minutes before us. We managed to get set up right behind the barricade in front of the stage but it was much farther from the center than we were the day before. Still good seats.

We all decided to head out early. Larry wanted to go to the blues tent to see someone. Kenneth and I wanted to just stroll around and check out the site. I did it a little yesterday, but didn't really get a chance to see a lot.

I owed Kenneth twenty dollars from the Wilco concert so I told him if he wanted a shirt I would just buy him one. He agreed and I ended up getting one for him and one for me. Except his was for Sean, one of his kids that live in Pennsylvania with his mother and sister Shannon. Than he decided to buy a poster. So we went to stand in line, but today there was no line for the posters. He ended up buying two posters, one for him and one to send to his kids.

Than we walked by a tent selling Jazzfest beads. This was a new item this year. They decided to combine Mardi Gras with Jazzfest and came up with these really nice looking sets of beads. They made a collectors edition of only 4000 beads. The artist of the beads was there signing the back of the beads. So Kenneth decided to buy one for Shannon. They were really nice. And only 4000 made. The early Jazzfest posters are worth a lot of money now. They print, I think, 20,000 posters for the Jazzfests now. They were trying to create a collectable, something that next year people would really grab remembering how limited they were this year. I kept thinking about it and decided I wanted some beads too. So we went back and got some beads. I decided to get some for Heather too, since she couldn't make it to the Fest.

We wandered around some more and I thought about the beads some more. I knew Larry liked Mardi Gras beads. I decided to go back and get a set for him, since he was being so nice by taking me under his wing for Jazzfest. I told the artist that this was it, I was done with the beads now.

We went looking for Larry, I figured I better give the beads to him before he ended up buying them himself. We passed the Virgin Tent and I went in and bought Susan Cowsill new cd. I also picked up the newest one from Jeff and Vida, another local act.

We went to the blues tent but couldn't see Larry. We watched a little of Rockie Charles & Stax of Love.

We headed back to the Sprint stage. The area was starting to fill up. It was going to be a very crowded day. The weather was even better than the day before. The sun was out, but the temperature was lower, a breeze was blowing, it wasn't supposed to get much higher than in the 70s today. It was going to be packed.

We decided to stay and watch the next act which was Brian Stoltz. Brian is a member of the Neville Brothers band. He also plays on his own. His newest cd is called Gods, Guns and Money. Brian was a rocker with no politcal leanings on his material. That was until recently. His brother was in the military and was transfered to Iraq. Brian wasn't too happy about that and thus was born his new cd.

The title track was great! In fact his whole act was very good. Irene Sage, another local singer provided back up for him. I'm a sucker for that type of political material anyways, so I really liked his stuff.

After his show Kenneth and I decided to take another trip around the site again. Our first stop was Virgin Tent where I picked up Brian Stoltz's newest cd. He was supposed to be there in the next ten minutes signings autographs. We walked around some more. Kenneth decided to get a sweatshirt for himself.

While he was buying the sweatshirt I noticed that Brian was at the Virgin tent signing. There was only one person in line so I decided to get my new cd signed. I went over, shook his hand, told him how much I enjoyed his show and he signed the cd. Seemed like a nice guy.

Before heading back we decided to grab some food. I got a fried turkey poboy. When we got back to the Sprint stage Larry was listening to the last of Marc Brossard's act. We caught the end of it and than settled in while they changed the stage for the next act.

The next act was Snooks Eaglin. Playing with Snooks was Jon Cleary, a transplated Englishman to New Orleans. Jon plays the keyboards, Snooks guitar. Snooks played the very first Jazzfest 36 years ago. Snooks is old, how old I'm not sure. He's also blind. He was lead out to a chair set up in front of a microphone and he took his guitar and started playing. Need I say he was great? It was really cool seeing Jon Cleary sitting in with him.

By the time his set was over the place was packed. People were sitting on the track outside the grassed area, people were all the way back to the porta porties that were waaaaaaay in the back. Next up was Buddy Guy.

Hall of Famer. Blues Legend. What more need be said? Buddy came out and lived up to all his hype. This is the man the Eric Clapton calls one of the greatest guitartists in the world. About halfway through his set, Buddy disappeared in the back of the stage. Next thing we know Buddy was out front in the middle of the crowd. He was walking through the crowd, singing and playing. He stayed out in the crowd for five or so minutes playing while everyone was going crazy around him. This was one of the high points of the Fest for me.

After Buddy left I felt physically drained. He just took it out of you.

Next up was the reunion of the original Meters. The Meters were a New Orleans legend. Art Neville founded the Meters before starting the Neville Brothers. The Meters are a funk legend. They have probably been sampled by more rap stars than just about any other act. The Mayor was backstage for this show. These guys are all in their fifties and sixties and they rocked out harder than most acts half their age. They sang and played for over two hours.

Than it was over. The second day of Jazzfest was finished. The three of us headed back to our cars and home. It took me over two hours to get home and when I did I was exhausted and hit the bed, but it was worth it, the day was a complete success.

First Day Done

Wow, that's just the first day of Jazzfest, in words and pictures. Two more days to go.

Wilco 1

Guess who? Posted by Hello

Wilco 2

Wilco Posted by Hello

Wilco 4

This was on the speakers next to the drums...frog football? Posted by Hello

Wilco 3

Jeff Posted by Hello

Wilco 5

Wilco the group Posted by Hello

Wilco 6

Jeff singingA Muzzle of Bees Posted by Hello

Wilco 7

Jeff Posted by Hello

Wilco 8

Jeff singing Posted by Hello

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