Monday, May 15, 2006

MONDAY MEDS: Cyclonic Reaction/PART 6

- another installment chronicling my banged-up bod.

in this case, how i busted my back on Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster and became instantly old.


let's say you're a landlord, and the tenant in Apartment 3 just blew up the stove while brewing a batch crystal meth. you need a permit to put in new gas lines, which means you will have to deal with the dreaded Building Department in Lower Manhattan. or let's say you're a poor slob who busted your back on the Cyclone at Coney Island, and want to gather info on the ride/it's inspection history/get general info to bolster your upcoming law suit against the City: you will also have to deal with the aforementioned Kafka-ian bureaucracy 'cause that's where the elevator inspectors hide out, and they are the ones who okay the rides.

not all the Nazis escaped to South America after WW II...several got jobs working for NYC in the Building Department, and they run their fiefdom with a mixture of contempt for whomever walks in the door/Third World dictatorial stalling and ass-dragging/obfuscation/noncooperation/humiliation ...any -ation you can think of. they are right bastards in all respects, and make everyone from the biggest developers to the lowest scumball slumlord jump thru hoops to get that damn piece of paper that sez "go ahead - fix me/build me".

and this is where i have to go, a back brace/in agony/zonked on painkillers that fuzz me out vs. actually reduce the pain of a broken back.

but the waiting room is quite a show: in they come - the mighty who arrived in limos from Midtown and the meek who came in from Carnasie on the subway. and all must confront Ms. Rodriguez, a strikingly beautiful, serene Latina who is the first line of defense to keep all these petitioners from bothering the Inspectors who Have More Important Things To Do Than Their Jobs. she smiles down at you from her high, immaculate desk, they plead, she bats them away with a regal wave of her hand. bip. "Mr. X is at lunch, come back later." bop. "this is the wrong form." bip. "Mr. Y is aware of your deadline, but these things take time." she is unbelievably good at HER one gets past her/no one can smooth-talk her/no one goes away happy or gets what they need or gets anything but highbloodpressurefurious apoplectic...but you have to deal with Them, so everyone forces a smile and slinks away like beaten dogs.

on my third trip (third trip!), i walked up to the building thru a clutch of cop cars with lights a'flashin'...and had to step aside as the cops hustled a screaming man thru the lobby. he was yelling very nasty things in a foreign language, and the cops did little to suppress this. they were sympathetic, and let him vent.

up in the permit office, all was chaos: Ms. Rodriguez's desk was a shambles - her phone system ripped out, papers everywhere, the staff all running around and yelling in there respective foreign languages. Ms. Rodriguez herself was lying on a sofa in the waiting area, all a flutterpanic and was being fanned with today's copy of the Post by someone in EMT drag. she was clearly rattled, wailing in Spanish, inconsolable.

one of the frustrated landlords had finally lost it, gone batfuckberserk and had torn the place up.

then - an amazing transformation happened. Ms. R. gently pushed the fan away, slowly began to moodshift, got up from the sofa, smoothed her blouse and dress...and as she walked back to her desk you could see the composure gradually return with each step. a staffer put her phone system back together, she took her place at her desk, straighten the folders and forms that had been tossed around, folded her hands in front of her, and...





[to be continued]

NP: BiancaBob/"Tugging At My But" rough mix

PEEVE DE JOUR: notimenotimenotime


All-Star Concert To Aid Rock Legend's Medical Expenses

An all-star benefit concert, titled WE'RE DOING IT FOR LOVE, will be held at New York's Beacon Theater on Friday, June 23, which will attempt to cover the massive medical expenses of rock legend Arthur Lee (LOVE) who was diagnosed in February with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Unfortunately, Arthur has no medical insurance, already has medical bills in excess of $100,000 and is facing a probable bone marrow transplant. With a rapidly increasing lineup at press time including Robert Plant, Ian Hunter, David Johansen, Yo La Tengo and Garland Jeffreys and a host of other significant artists expected to be added in the coming weeks, in addition to hopefully solving a major financial crisis, this concert will shine a long-overdue spotlight on the hugely influential but greatly underappreciated music of one of the truly innovative and influential rock artists of all-time. Tickets go onsale Friday, May 12th at noon at the Beacon Theater box office (74th & Broadway) and all Ticketmaster outlets (212-307-7171), All of the concert's proceeds will go to Arthur's medical expenses.

Produced by veteran New York concert promoter Steve Weitzman of SW Productions, in association with Arthur Lee's manager Mark Linn, the show will feature artists who will either be performing Arthur Lee's material, their own originals or a combination of both. Many of the artists invited have had a history of performing LOVE covers in their live sets or on records, and Robert Plant, for one, has been performing three of Arthur's songs regularly during his most recent tour. This upcoming concert in fact, owes a large debt of gratitude to the legendary Led Zeppelin vocalist, as he was the first significant artist who agreed to perform, stating simply in a mid-April email to Mr. Weitzman that he "would definitely like to be involved...and will sing with anybody!" He has also insisted on taking care of his own plane fare from London in addition to his NY hotel expenses even when those were offered to be included in the show's budget. Very soon after Mr. Plant confirmed, Ian Hunter followed, and in addition to doing his own performance, offered to have his stellar band back up Mr. Plant who happily accepted that arrangement. The show's producer was told to expect "some old Led Zeppelin songs" as well as material by Arthur Lee and a few other songs long admired by Mr. Plant that he hasn't often performed live. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Plant also plan on singing together on certain selections, marking the first time onstage that they will have ever done that.

Understandably, for Arthur Lee, currently battling his life-threatening illness in Memphis, news of this concert has been practically the best medicine possible and has significantly picked up his spirits. When told about Robert Plant's involvement by his manager Mark Linn, he said, "That's great! Why don't you get that guitarist too... Jimmy something," adding with his "arthuresque" humor and take on life, "Robert Plant is a man of his word. and a man's word is his castle!" While his situation is extremely serious and the next few weeks will be his most challenging with ongoing chemotherapy and extensive hospital stays, he recently told his manager that he is not afraid of dying, only pain. If he is physically able to travel next month, he added, he would love to attend the Beacon show.

It has been well-chronicled that Arthur Lee is a man larger than life. He is a flamboyant artist with a trail of myth and mythology that follows him like a feathered boa. His band, LOVE, was the first rock band signed to Elektra Records, and Arthur is responsible for talking company founder Jac Holzman into signing The Doors. Before all this, in 1964, Arthur gave his friend, an unknown Jimi Hendrix, his first appearance on record (the Arthur Lee penned "My Diary" by Rosa Lee Brooks). LOVE's third recording, the landmark "Forever Changes," is still widely considered to be one of the greatest rock and roll discs of all time. In a Rolling Stone special issue two years ago, it was voted the 40th greatest album ever, on a list ranking the top 500 LP's of all time, even finishing ahead of such classics as Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland", the Rolling Stones' "Beggars Banquet", "Meet The Beatles," Led Zeppelin "IV" and John Lennon's "Imagine."

Mass acceptance was elusive for LOVE at the height of their creativity as they were definitely not "careerist." They preferred staying close to home, living together in "the castle" near Griffith Park in Los Angeles as opposed to life on the road. Arthur even turned down invitations to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. In the late '80's and early '90's, Arthur spent approximately seven years in jail for "allegedly" shooting off a gun in his apartment. When he was released, he wasted no time getting back to the road and his music. He performed his first New York shows in 25 years in 1994 when he was booked by Steve Weitzman at Tramps for three shows over two engagements in the summer and fall of that year.

During the past four years, Arthur Lee has performed the entire "Forever Changes" album to sold out audiences and fantastic reviews throughout Europe and the United States. backed by the local LA group Baby Lemonade, and a string and horn section. Just when he thought his bad times were finally over, he learned he was sick.

Information regarding the latest talent additions will be constantlyupdated on Arthur Lee's website, In addition, Rolling Stone magazine has a preview article in their special 1,000th issue ("In The News" section, page 44). Fans who are unable to attend the concert and want to make a credit card donation to Arthur will find a link for that on his website.

To everyone who has him in his or her thoughts, Arthur Lee sends his LOVE.

For further contact:

Steve Weitzman/SW Productions - 212-254-1725,
Mark Linn, Arthur Lee's manager - 615-480-6923,
Alicia Gelernt, Noble Music - 646-408-9645,


PENNSYLVANIA (travel day)


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