Kitsch konnoisseurs live for artwork like this, especially when on a garbage can. Companies too cheap to pay for the real thing but desperate to cash in on trends with generic look-a-likes, in this case David Cassidy meets Andy Gibb with a splash of Davy Jones type guys with superwiiiide bellbottoms, Victorian shirts and Beatles meet John Kennedy hair helmets grown moppier for the 70’s, all pasted on top of psychedelic oil blobby color stripes that represented a totally different kind of music than these kind of guys sang. Add to that numbers printed on the can that make no sense – 68, 44, 99, what?! – as if the art director was trying to add some pop and didn’t know where else to go. All the more perfect to throw your garbage in!


There’s nothing more I like to do on Sundays than take rides. I stock the car like it’s a motel, all amenities neatly arranged within arms reach, and tool through LA and vicinity photographing and making strategic pit stops at my favorite soul food restaurants. I’ve always dreamed of having a tricked out camper to make my rendezvous even more comfortable and have a selection of front mirror danglers, mud flaps and chasing lights license plate frames already purchased should the happy day ever arrive. In the meantime, I content myself with camper memorabilia, of which this quaint porcelain plate is requisite.



I love USPO Priority Mail envelopes because they’re made of that non rip, indestructible material that you could lose your teeth trying to open. So it only makes sense that this practical and functional envelope be used as fabric for a hat or any other garment for that matter. Made entirely of one envelope with a black mesh top it’s light, keeps the one side of my hair in check and looks sharp on top of it!  

I’m always a fan of things being used for purposes other than for which they were created.  It’s the ultimate recycling.


Looking like he was baked by a south of the border blazing sun, this almost African American Elvis on velvet also has a semi-Oriental thing going on in one of his eyes. I never saw Elvis in a white shirt and denim jacket either so perhaps the artist’s concept was presenting the day worker King. It certainly is the equal opportunity Elvis of all Elvises on velvet. Green velvet no less to show off that gorgeous tone.


In 1978, I sat next to the Candy Man on his 30′ monogrammed Gucci couch. It was the first huge movie star’s home I’d ever been in and there we were eating ribs together, Sammy dabbing sauce off the locking G’s and my chin. He was wild about my song that had just come out, EWF’s “September”, but I was still penniless as my royalties were so delayed. Every time I look at this dollar bill I remember the thrill of the ribs/Gucci/ Sammy moment and how excited I was that life was looking up. 

This is a REAL mint one dollar bill, legal and negotiable tender, made via a process permitted by the Treasury Department since 1967. I would never spend it as it’s worth a zillion to me.



What’s to make me join yet another social network when I’m already a member of so many, dragging myself ’round the clock to fulfill my duties as a responsible citizen on each of them? What’s to make me listen to a record that sounds like everything else – same beat, loop or intellectually challenged lyric? It’s one thing to be first. It’s another to be 43rd.

I like to be comfortable wherever I am, especially if it’s in a social space. In order to command my undying attention and devotion a social network’s got to have something that none of the others have, fill a spot in my life and psyche that needs filling. Conversely, a degree of familiarity in social network design, what works about other social networks that I really want to see working here, also assures happier orientation and participation. The only way I’ll hang or even notice a new social space in the first place is because enough of those things I’m already comfortable with are there fused with outrageously original, fantastic and artistic social design

It’s the same with a song if you think about it. An outrageously unique record stays in your heart and brain cells and sets the pace for years. One that’s merely derivative lasts for a few weeks or months and burns out forever, maybe relegated to replay at high school reunions.

In founding a community fresh, creative thinking always wins. In what new way can people hook up and push or pull what they want easier than they can anywhere else? Do we honestly need one more music or video social net whose only differentiator is it’s one more place to post?

It doesn’t work any differently in any business. Quantumly different products and services burst onto the scene be they social networks, songs, technologies, films, stores, diets, Snuggies, whatever – and trillions of lemming like spin-offs spring up trying to bite off a piece of the green before the bloated landscape sinks like a rock. 

I never felt a conflict between “art” and “commercial”. In entertainment, the greatest successes usually include aspects that time and again appeal to the masses mixed with something so outrageously fresh that it redefines the direction the entire business is going in.

I’m (among other things) a songwriter. I’ve never tried to write anything that sounded like everything else that was out at the time. (What artists and producers do with my songs once they decide to cut them is totally in their control. Oftentimes they mash out the uniqueness like chunks of potato to join the rest of the homogenized mess and usually disappear as fast as the songs they ruin.)

But as much as I strive to be unique there’s a cardinal rule that any songwriter would be nuts to ignore: If you wait three minutes to get to the chorus your song won’t be a big fat hit. That’s just how it is. People live for and remember the chorus. So that rule, plus the fact that rhyming is a good idea, are two ‘industry best practices’ that would be fairly idiotic to ignore. The trick is to juxtapose these tried and true things with other aspects of the song where you take chances and create something unlike anything else around.

Any popular piece of art has many of the same characteristics as a popular social network. They both inspire people to talk about it, share it with their friends and go to it often. Popular songs like popular web destinations bring something out in someone’s personality that may have remain tucked inside had they not ventured into that space. 

In 1978 I co-wrote “Boogie Wonderland” for Earth Wind & Fire with The Emotions. I really wanted to write a disco song and, with my collaborator, Jon Lind, figured out a way to use the word ‘boogie’ that was different from the zillion other disco songs out there. Everyone used it to mean ‘dance’. We used ‘Boogie’, in conjunction with ‘Wonderland’, to mean an exhilaratory state of mind one enters into while dancing. 


“Boogie Wonderland” was actually based on the movie “Looking For Mr. Goodbar”, where Diane Keaton goes to a disco every night to forget her pitiful everyday life and ends up almost being murdered because she has so little sense of self. Everyone always tells me how my song makes them feel so good but if you really listen to the lyrics it’s about someone on the brink of destruction who goes out to numb and forget themselves, only feeling like everything is alright when they “Dance! ooh ooh ooh ooh dance in Boogie Wonderland”. 

This is a device I often use in songs – mix a heavy theme, lyrically distinct from other songs of the genre, into happy, uptempo music. The BW lyric was distinctive as was the massive horn and string arrangements and the structure of the song itself. But that payoff chorus was in the same place as other hit songs and that hi hat disco spirit was very much there. Formula plus a squinch or more of innovation wins big every time. I need that same rhythm in my social networks.

(To hear the demo and read way more about how Boogie Wonderland was written go here.)


After seeing the incredibly warm and enthusiastic response to my post a couple of weeks ago of me with my proudest musical discovery, the incomparable mini-skirted/ go-go booted Del Rubio Triplets, I am happy to announce that I’m working with Millie, the surviving triplet, on a possible comeback. Great progress was made this weekend in reuniting her with her guitar for the first time since Eadie, the oldest triplet (by 15 and 30 minutes respectively) left us in 1996. Still too early to tell if a concert is in the making as it’s clear it will be a long road back, but the mere fact that the guitar case was cranked open and the first dreadfully out of tune chords were struck is reason enough to keep hope alive! Will keep y’all posted.