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the wind and rain are relentless

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Black Squirrels and Sailors

i have always wanted to live on a lake and now i am living on a lake

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We are in ohio now. getting ready for the show tonight in covington at the madison theater. guess what? Xavier won last night. If they win against Duke this weekend, that’ll put us on the Xavier campus playing a show at soupies the night before the final four game. it would be our own rock and roll pep rally. i really hope that happens. go musketeers!

Here are some photos of the show yesterday:

Thanks so much to Q, Katie, and Ris for these. they rock. Also thanks to Dave Stevens for running lights and making the stage so colorful and cool.

T and i got up at 9:something to get ready for the Stage TV with Chris Line.

we co-hosting a retrospective episode and talked a little about our plans for this year and Golden Eye 007. Chris is a goof. and an old friend of ours. in addition to hosting the stage, he is a DJ for WZZO, and played a DJ in Jack Black’s School of Rock. i usually feel tired around him. am i in slo motion or is he fast forwarding? probably both. we love him.

we went back to the hotel to pick up the guys, then drove to bethlehem for a tour of a new studio, Angel Mountain. it was very nice, although rather stark. they have one of the new SSL consoles (i think it’s K Series). i am told there are only ten or so in the whole world. Ben Grosse also has one, out in L.A. at the Mix Room where we recorded much of our album.

after angel mountain our manager greg took us to wegmans (ritzy grocery) to get sandwhiches.

and drinks.

we are still jiggling the battery cable to get the van to start. i am jiggling, trav is turning the key. the cable connections are loose, and the battery is really weak anyway. probably because of the ten things that are constantly hooked up to the cigarette lighter jack. here is an illustration:

obviously this is not the best example of my artistic abilities. but i really wanted to get this drawn out, for posterity. i’m not making any of that up. the front of our van is a tangled mass of cords and cables and little green and red lights. sometimes the AC adaptor gets angry and lets out a “squeeee” sound to let you know it’s giving up.

anyway we hit the road late, and the drive home was a long one. first sun

then rain

and rax. i didn’t know they still exist, but i guess they do in some remote parts of northeastern oh. on the rax reserves. in other areas they are exstinct, mainly due to natural predators like the McDonalds.

that’s all for now. maybe we’ll see you tonight!

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flash photography please

hurray for breaking the rules. thanks to Q and katie, we’ve got some cool shots from the TLA. here are a few of Q’s:

that’s it for now.


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Fortunate Son – The Last Hurrah

Hey guys.I guess that’s it for me. I appreciate everyone who came out to the Mad Frog. I had a really great night, and I hope you guys did too.When I was packing up my drums at the end of the night, I kept singing “One is the loneliest number”. As I got a ride to the afterparty that night, the song came on the radio. Funny stuff.If you weren’t there, the night was insanity. It was one of our bigger crowds at the Mad Frog. It was also extremely hot. Joe and T played Meteor Flower and sweat was dripping of their faces. That’s one thing that I’ll remember for a long time ; in the last year we’ve almost always had that acoustic break in the middle of a set. It’s a time when Trav, our bass player and I can always sit around and talk about how we’re playing. It’s just been something that I’ve always looked forward to in the set, but not tonight. I couldn’t sit still, I just wanted to get out and play some more, not sit on the sidelines. It will probably be hard for me to watch shows from the front of the stage from now on. I’ll always want to walk up to the kit and scream “MOVE!” like that obnoxious SNL character.I actually can’t wait until I get to see a show like that. It’s always interesting to think of watching a JFK show from the front instead of the other way around. People who get to come backstage at a big show always say “It’s the best seat in the house!” I think that’s horseshit. The best seat is always right in the middle of the crowd, rocking back and forth with the drums, sweating your ass off like everyone else. That’s what rock and roll is all about; feeling sweaty and dirty in the middle of the floor. Dirt…’s an essential part of the rock and roll experience. So is sweat. So is blood. Sometimes, so are tears.Funny enough, there were no tears last night. At least, none from me. I almost broke out in the middle of The Distance, when I realized that it was the last song I’d play on drums, onstage, in front of people for the rest of my life. I got through it fine. Joe choked up a bit on the mic, but I don’t think most people noticed. Some people were crying when they left, but everyone will be fine. It was a good cry, you know?I want to sit here and write for hours. I want to write 90,000 words on what being a musician means to me. However, I’m sure I can sum it up in much, much fewer words.Being a musician to me has always meant hanging out with my best friends in the world. I never wanted to be good at drums because drums are a noble or glorious enterprise; I wanted to be good at the drums because it would allow me to keep being a kid with the greatest friends a guy could ever have.The guys made me a scrapbook. It has a bunch of pictures, ticket stubs, flyers, and other assorted junk in it. It’s so good, it really is. I’m looking at it right now, and it keeps blurring up. Everything keeps blurring up.There’s too much to say, so the best thing to do is say nothing at all. Joe was right when he said that. He usually is when it comes to stuff like that. I’ll see everyone at the next show. Look for me standing next to Aaron Thomas in the “Ex-Band Member” section. It’s a pretty exclusive section.Love always,Sam-Bo-Jackson-Five-Star-Binder
Diener Lover
Samuel Charles Dobrozsi, A Human Being

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take on me

hi again. this is the stone pony, where we played tonight. it’s the old stomping grounds of bruce springsteen, bon jovi, and many other formidable rock acts. it’s legendary. kind of like CBGB’s, except you can’t buy a Stone Pony tee-shirt in from Delia’s yet. that’s a good thing.

it’s was another really cool day overall. no problems with the van, no broken cell phones, no getting lost. compared to the last trip we made out here, doing these shows has been a breeze. actually, a walk on the beach.

the Stone Pony is across the street from the board walk. so naturally, we went over to the ocean after load-in. being from the mid-west, i’ve always been facinated by the ocean. i love it. not the volleyball and speedos so much, but just the raw poetic power and magnificence of it. you are nothing standing by the ocean. and somehow that feels pretty good.

here i am being nothing and feeling good. my hair didn’t fare well.

after our brief stroll, we stumbled back into the club and washed our sandy feet. this photo is ridiculous. but it was not staged. travis urged me to post it, saying “no one ever sees your legs”. so here they are, no one. you haven’t seen them because they’re extremely white, and they’re extremely white because no one has ever seen them. but they exist.

and what journal post is complete without an account of the rocking out that took place? well here’s T and Amos, doing just that. we played one of our better sets in a while, despite a pretty unimpressive crowd. i’m talking quantity, not quality.

but the folks working didn’t seem too upset. everyone seemed to enjoy the set. i even got a tee-shirt for half price. XL was all they had, so i have some special plans for it.

on the drive home, we stopped at McDonald’s and ordered from the McLate menu. i used to work at McDonald’s. we didn’t have McLate then. we only had McSorry we’re McClosed. McLate sucks anyway. “nope. don’t have it. we have value meals 5 through 6.” awesome. but once you’ve entered the McWorld, there’s really no going back. so we all settled for the quarter pounder meal or the double-quarter pounder meal. which as sam pointed out, should really be called the half-pounder meal. but i suppose double implies some kind of bonus. it’s sad when McDonalds starts to seem like “real food”. but after eating nothing but ritz crackers, twizzlers, and banannas for three days, anything warm starts tasting real good.
it’s late as usual.
tomorrow is the silo in reading. all ages. i’m looking forward to seeing some younger people.


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pic poker

rain. rain! rain everywhere, everytime we come to pennsylvania. clouds follow us. i hope the natives aren’t angry. we recently arrived here in allentown, and just like the last few trips, we’re using this as a hub for all the shows this week. i drove the last shift tonight, through an awesome thunderstorm. when we arrived here at the hotel, half the parking lot was flooded. travis went wading out to this partly submerged vehicle:

then from out of nowhere, as we were taking photos and having a good laugh about this, the owner of the car approached us and just kinda glared.

now, we’re playing poker (texas hold ’em) with guitar pics. i was doing really well for a while. then i quit. and here i sit. i’m only showing Amos’s face, since the rest of us look pretty awful from sitting in a van for ten hours.

Amos is somehow unaffected by the wear and tear of the road. i think it’s because he exfoliates. with “a loofah”, whatever the hell that is. he also packed SIX pair of shoes. wow.
Amos is sitting in with us on bass for a while. he is cool.

tomorrow we’re playing at the Grape Street Pub in Manayuk. cool town, cool club. i’m looking forward to it. goodnight.


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say can you see

i’m back. it’s nearing 3pm here in vegas. i’m in the hotel room. yesterday was awesome.

we got to the park around 5:30, and roasted in the sun for a while. 110 degrees is hot. we had a little trouble with the rental gear. and some of our own stuff shifted during the flight… but we eventually got everything together. and went on a few minutes late.

it took a song or two to get relaxd, but the rest of the set was solid. it didn’t feel nearly as hot as the sun was going down. it was manageable. no one passed out or died.

even the kids were rocking. thanks to Andy for taking these.

here are some more.

a big stage

a big crowd

yours truly

t gets more rock every day.

Sam and Travis

and introducing…

Amos Heller. Amos may be playing with us for at least a little while. He from Virginia, and moved to Ohio to go to college at Miami University. He’s smart, nice, funny, charismatic, attractive, and a killer bassist. I have a crush on him.

after the set, we signed autographs for an hour or two and watched Hammer (formerly MC Hammer). Hammer’s set was fun. he did too legit and can’t touch this.

here’s the shot you’ve been waiting for:

Travis and Sam with Hammer. Together at last.
then backstage before the fireworks, we met the “Birdman of Las Vegas“, Joe Krathwohl. He is, among other things, a master falconer, America’s only non-zoo breeder of condors, and the owner of Alex, this beautiful bald eagle.

This bird was so amazing. I’ve never been that close to a bald eagle. they’re pretty awesome. must have a four foot wing-span. they eat beef hearts. This particular bird was shot in the wing when he was one year old. it was in a zoo for a while, and eventually ended up in the care of the bird man.

last, we saw some fireworks. this is what fireworks look like.

the fireworks were good. it was a big show. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to find any good fireworks to do myself. but i did stop in tennessee on the way home last weekend and bought some. just coulnd’t bring them on the plane. so maybe i’ll have my own show some other time. it’ll be an un-birthday for the USA.

today, we’re going to Wet N Wild, a waterpark, to do an acoustic show for Mix 94.1. then we’ll play on waterslides. and tonight, we’re eating steak.

I am one spoiled dude. lucky me.

except when it comes to the slot machines. i think i’ve lost about twenty bucks so far.

i hope you are well, and that you had a good fourth of July, wherever you are.

take it easy


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the last room

hey. we’re in memphis. we listened to the buzz (94.1) coming in. those are our friends. we’re looking forward to seeing them (and saliva) tomorrow.

we have the last room at this particular hotel. we booked a room with two doubles, but somehow ended up with one large bed. T’s meeting us here tomorrow, and getting his own room with his girl. but for tonight, it’s four guys in one room. the last room. the dreaded last room.

they hadn’t given this room to anyone else because a.) it stinks like **** and b.) there’s water all over the floor, due to a leaky air conditioner. we can only assume that there is a direct correlation between the moldy smell and the water on the floor. that would be bad enough. but for us, it’s particularly annoying, since half of us will be sleeping on the floor.

(sam) And it goes on and on and on and on…

The saga of the Worst Hotel Room in Memphis continues. Travis advanced the plot by shouting from the bathroom, “The toilet won’t flush!”

“What?” ask the disbelievers.

“It won’t flush! I don’t know why, it’s just not working,” Travis replied.

“Trav….did you go number one or number two?”

“Oh no, oh no…number one.” Thank the gods.

Nathan’s cell phone just rang and the TV went bonkers. I was trying to watch The Lost Boys (Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, 80’s horror classic? Ringing any bells?) and the TV went haywire. I’m assuming that the cell phone signals are messing with the TV signals. Either that, or this hotel room really is a gateway to hell. Now I’m listening to Nathan talking to his girl and the TV is a rabid machine.

Update from Trav – “Guys, to get it to flush you have to reach into the crapwater and pull this little black thing. Come here and check it out, I’ll show you how.”

I think I’ll pass. Tonight is going to be a long night. And now…back to your regularly schedule journal update.

(joe) me again (me=joe). if you haven’t picked up on it by now, the (name) system is something we implemented a long, long time ago, to help you distinguish between band members.

so the room is a little sub-par. it’s okay. we don’t really mind.

the good news, is that our new friend Jerry, the night security guard, is keeping a watchful eye on our van and trailer. Jerry helped us find a parking spot. he’s a little upset about missing the big fishing trip he had planned the for the weekend. they made him stay and work due to so many guests being here for the weekend.

we’ll write tomorrow. it’s getting late. hopefully we’ll see some of you memphis folks at the show.

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i’m getting ready to send a mailing. i must admit, newsletter night is never fun. i’m doing things kinda old fashioned: deleting all the unsubscribe and undeliverable addresses by hand. it’s a pain. but the hard part is over. now i will try and come up with a good way to say as much as i can in a concise way. i figured i should write a journal first, to get some rambling out of my system. that way, the newsletter will be just the facts. if you read this journal and you’re not on the mailing list, please sign up on the main page of our website. thanks.

just a reminder–saturday is our last show with Aaron Thomas. bummer.

next saturday, we’re playing memphis with Nate from Blue Karma on bass. big thanks to nate for agreeing to this on short notice. nate is great. and so is blue karma, old friends of ours from Dayton.

this just in: We’re playing Las Vegas on July 4th. for the county. so that’s cool. i don’t think a county has ever asked us to do a show before. i will give you three guesses as to who we’re playing with. wrong, wrong, and wrong.

MC Hammer

whoa… i never thought the day would come. i never even thought about it, really. but now that it’s approaching, looking back, even if i had thought about it, i wouldn’t have thought it would come.

as long as there’s fireworks, i’ll be fine. Middletown, Ohio, our old stomping grounds, is not doing their annual fireworks show this year. i think it’s the first time they’re not doing it since i’ve been alive. so we jumped at the opportunity to get out of town. it won’t be the same to be here and not see fireworks.

every year, after the show, we would go to someone’s house (usually mine) and set off roman candles, bottle rockets, shells, and anything we could get our hands on. including last year. two years ago, we almost killed Travis. i LOVE fireworks. since i could hold a lighter. i don’t know what the laws are in vegas. but i know you can’t take fireworks on airplanes, and i guess you can’t mail them either. but somehow, we will apprehend some for the 4th. if you live in the vegas area, and you know how i can come by some really awesome fireworks, and where i can set them off without being arrested, let me know. i’m dead serious about this.

what else is new… we auditioned a guy by the name of Amos today. Amos used to play for Oval Opus. He played well, and seems like a cool dude. so we asked him if he wanted to fly to vegas with us. and he said “yes”. and we said “cool. we’re booking flights tomorrow. what’s your last name?”. and that was that. Three shows, three bassists. Weird. Hopefully Amos will want to stick around for a little while. our live show photos won’t be so confusing for ya’ll. but it’s good that we’ve managed to stay relatively busy, and have been fortunate to find people who could do gigs. we really haven’t had to pass up much of anything.

i wrote a song the other day called “invincible”. i might play it acoustic at the frog. we’ll see.

i hope you’re well.
see ‘ya.


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