Sunday, November 17, 2013

About Stephen Talkhouse Open Mic Night, Thursdays

THU NOV 21 DEC 05, 12, 19, 26 JAN 02

Hello everyone. So, stop the presses... I'm MC-ing an Open Mic Night. You read that correctly.

It'll be at the Stephen Talkhouse beginning this Thursday, November 21st beginning at 9pm. Sign-ups start at 8pm and admission is FREE. We'll have a "Closed Microphone" segment at 10pm sharp for about 15 minutes with a weekly featured artist. On December 12, we've got Pete Mancini (Butchers Blind), who will also appear on Bonnie Grice's radio show that very morning on WPPB-FM 88.3 (Southampton NY).

The overriding reason to do this, at least for me, is to get our sorry butts OUT OF THE HOUSE on a Thursday night. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that it's much more interesting to interact with people face-to-face than it is to sit at home pressing another on-screen "like" button associated with something we *wish* we were doing.

The storied history of the Stephen Talkhouse and what has transpired there on many nights... is well known to many. But one particular night, for me, rises above all others. Friday, September 16, 2011 was the night a huge benefit took place, to help me out after I was attacked earlier in the year. A lot of money was raised that night, and at other benefits, and the Stephen Talkhouse kicked in some money over-and-above that as well. I'll never, ever forget that, and the way that made me feel.

So, now I, and we, return for a perhaps more casual, jovial, less solemn, less (for me) nerve-wracking, and hopefully funnier, regular gathering that will take place on six Thursdays over seven weeks beginning November 21st. There's no show on Thanksgiving evening.

Any open mic night that provides a full back line of drums, bass & guitar amps, keyboards and several DI boxes for performers... can be a potential three-ring circus, so Master-Of-Sound Michael Mazzaraco (who floated the idea for a weekly open mic night) and I (who, wisely, or unwisely, has accepted the role of Master-Of-Ceremonies) have cobbled together some guidelines to prevent things from spiraling downward into something that resembles this...

I'll probably play a few numbers right before 9pm so as not to take slots away from folks who've signed up. Then performances will begin at 9pm sharp.

We're gonna have everyone play one song each, and when everyone's played around once, we'll let everyone have second helpings. This is known as the "No second helpings until everyone's eaten once" rule.

As these things go, adjustments are always a possibility, probably guaranteed, and we reserve the right to tweak the guidlines. Please note that although we've forbidden only one song long to start ("Mustang Sally"), that list will surely get longer as time goes on. We're not sure yet whether songs will be added to that list by a show of hands by the audience, OR solely by edict of Phil and Larry behind the bar. Either way, it WILL be funny.

And, we're being 1000% inclusive. To wit: Accordions are permitted.

Second joke: No "cover" OR "original" songs are permitted.

Mick Hargreaves

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Delia/Hargreaves FRI 10/11 - Hargreaves/Bifulco/Gallo SAT 10/12

Some nice musical pairings this weekend:
 Friday October 11th 2013 8:30pm
Joe Delia & Mick Hargreaves
Highway Diner
290 Montauk Hwy  East Hampton, NY 11937 (631) 324-0130
Trading Songs Duet Style, Table for Two
Joe Delia, Mick Hargreaves. photos: J. Greiner
Diner Lingo: I'll have a Noah's Boy, Some Frog Sticks, Nervous Pudding, and a glass of City Juice.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Saturday October 12th 2013 9:00pm
Mick Hargreaves / Mike Bifulco / Bryan Gallo
Old Mill Inn
5775 W Mill Rd  Mattituck, NY 11952
Mick and Bryan will take turns pullin' out songs, with Mike Bifulco on magical electric things...

History: Millers & their Millstones, Bootleggers & their Booty, Captains & Their Mates. "So much for the grist mill, it will now be known as a gin mill."

Monday, October 7, 2013

SETLIST: MH & King Guys, Cedar Beach Blues Fest 10/05/13

Gary Dawson (guitar), Michael D. Bifulco (guitar, slide guitar), Don Mangels (bass), Jeff McLary (drums), sister Jennifer Hargreaves Pawliczak, Mick Hargreaves (Acoustic guitar, harmoncia).

Hard To Get
Stuck in the Stable Blues
Always Come
Love In Vain
(R. Johnson)
Poor Poor Pitiful Me
(W. Zevon)
Queen of Hearts
Can't Keep Track of You Blues
(J.D. Gilmore)
Deuce and A Quarter
(K. Gordon)
(N. Young)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mick Hargreaves Bass Guitar Workshop @ Crossroads Music SUN OCT 27th 5pm

photo: Tom Ciorciari

So, I continue to teach private guitar lessons, and I teach a "Rock Band" class of sorts one day a week after school at the Hayground School (Bridgehampton). That class currently has two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a percussionist. We have a lot of fun, and these kids are getting better and better before my eyes. Very fulfilling to witness, and foster.

I also teach guitar at Crossroads Music
(Amagansett) on Saturdays, and after a brief break to perform a couple of weekend festivals in a row, I'm back at it from Saturday October 12th through 2013 and beyond. All this lesson-ing is really enjoyable, and I truly love it. But the question is...


It dawned on me that I started playing cello in 5th grade, moved to bass, toured, recorded, performed more times than I can count, and I've been at it for a long long time... but I've got no regular bass students! Where are you, fellow four (OK, five and six) stringer brethren?

Well, maybe this will flush you guys out:

Michael Clark and Crossroads Music have a "Rocktober Workshop" series going on Sundays at 5pm, featuring sessions with some of the greats around here: Drummer Corky Lang , Guitarists Andy Aledort (10/6, 11/3), Kerry Kearny (10/13), Bosco Michne (11/3), and none other than some guy named Mick Hargreaves (10/27) heading up the bass guitar class.

My bass workshop is for all levels of players and will be interactive, to say the least. I'll cover all facets of the bass, plus we'll review gear options/techniques, playing in different genres, and I'll field all sorts of questions. Seating is very limited so make your reservations now by calling 631.907.4838. Seats are $60 and classes will be at least an hour.

FB event page for Mick Hargreaves Bass Guitar Rocktober Workshop @ Crossroads Music SUN OCTOBER 27th 5pm

FB event page for all Rocktober Workshops @ Crossroads Music

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Bunch of Fall 2013 Musical Doin's

Alternate Instrumental Mixes
Now streamable at
On Saturday, September 28 2013, I performed solo acoustic sets (alternating with Sara Hartman) at the Southampton September Fest, then hustled over to the Sag Harbor American Music fest to strap on the bass with both the Complete Unknowns and Joe Delia 'n' the Thieves. One of my fave moments was performing songs with Sara in both my and her sets, and having her whip out some ukelele soloing in a few of my numbers.

Both fests were a real joy, well-run, and all attendees reported having a great day. Many thanks to all the organizers involved with both of the events, including James Egan, Kirsten Lonnie, Kelly Connaughton, Kerry Farrell, and John Landes.

With Sara Hartman. photo: Julian Greiner
My bass, Mike Mazzaraco's guitar. Photo: Megan Collins

The Cedar Beach Blues Music and Arts Festival folks have been nice enough to have Mick Hargreaves 'n' The King Guys perform on Saturday October 5th 2013, on the main stage at 3pm in Mount Sinai, NY. For me and sister Jen (backup vocals) this is a fun homecoming in a big way. Mike Bifulco, Gary Dawson, Jeff McLary, Don Mangels, and Chris Mehos round out the King Guys onstage. Get all info at the official site:

MH and KG's at Cedar Beach Blues Fest SAT OCT 05 3pm

I've got a duet show with Joe Delia at the Highway Diner & Bar (Sagaponak, NY) happening on Friday October 11th. Details are still coming in, but this is during the Hamptons Film Festival, and my sister has a big role in the film Blue Ruin, which is screening at the fest.

The last time around, playing with Pete Mancini (Butchers Blind) and Matthew Grimm (The Hangdogs) at the Old Mill Inn (Mattituck, NY) was a total gas. I return there on SAT October 12 9pm, this time with singer songwriter Bryan Gallo and 'King Guys guitarist Mike Bifulco. Right on the water.

MH, Bryan Gallo, Mike Bifulco at Old Mill Inn SAT OCT 12
Lastly, the MH 'n' The King Guys resume recording our first effort this month over at the Lantern Sound Recording Rig, AND it looks like we'll have a MH 'n'  KG's Holiday concert on SUN DEC 15th at the University Cafe (Stony Brook, NY), on a co-bill with Gene Casey 'n' The Lone Sharks, put on with the folks from WUSB-FM 90.1

See you around campus!

Recording with MH and The King Guys at the Lantern Sound Recording Rig

Monday, September 30, 2013

Recording: Mick Hargreaves on Jerry Schaefer's "Graveyard Blues" Radio Show 9/15/13

Jerry Schaefer, Mick Hargreaves
Press to Play.

Jerry Schaefer was kind enough to have me on his Graveyard Blues Radio Program (WRCN 103.9FM Riverhead NY) Sunday night, September 15, 2013.

For over an hour we chatted, played music (from CD's and me performing live), and covered a lot of topics, including the upcoming Cedar Beach Music and Arts Festival where Mick Hargreaves and The King Guys perform at 3pm on Saturday October 15, 2013. MH

Monday, September 23, 2013

Top 14 Signs Your Live Music Venue Sucks.

Herein lies the explanation of what happened to our show in Huntington, NY this past Saturday night.

SPOILER ALERT: There was no show.

There's lots of great music venues left, if you play your cards right, and you're selective. In Huntington NY, however, the pickin's are slim; and we're talking about a town with a LOT of bars. We (Mick Hargreaves and the King Guys) just need one venue in any given town, and we had played at this particular Huntington, NY beer joint once before earlier 2013, on a double-bill with the Long Island Hornets

Things had gone well enough, and it was a great crowd; we turned the other cheek to all the wide-screen plasma TV's showing "sports-ball" games in the place. We did, however, insist that the one behind the "stage" be turned off though. When I say "stage", I actually mean a corner that has a few extra wall-sockets.

SO... We booked another date for this past Saturday, September 21st 2013. This time the other band on the double-bill was our friends, the Butchers Blind. After the date was booked, I personally turned down other paying work (as a sideman) at a very reputable music club on eastern LI in order to honor this date. Operative word here being... "HONOR". I like to stick to the plan, and keep my word.

Well, things on this date went perfectly wrong, through no fault of either band. Scroll like the wind, and read on.

Top 15 Signs
Your "Music Venue" Sucks.
(In fact, it sucks so bad you should pretty much stop booking bands there).

1. The guy who books the bands also runs open mic night, and performs on that night wearing sneakers, shorts, and some sort of sports-ball jersey. I can't remember whether this was worn *over* or *under* a wife-beater tee, but I'm almost sure that was the fashion combo. Don't ask what team the sports-ball jersey was from. No one cares.

2. This guy only books shows via texts, and doesn't answer texts very well. No phone calls, no emails. Oh wait, that last part describes almost EVERY MILLENNIAL IN SOCIETY nowadays. Almost as good as those zombies in the "Walking Dead", but not quite.

3. Drop off posters at the empty (but open) bar one afternoon, get funny looks from staff. Put them up anyway. On the way out the door, one employee confronts me and asks if I work there. Nope, I'm putting up posters. Maybe the fact that I'm carrying a roll of tape... and posters... might be a huge giveaway there?

Night of show:

4. Our drummer walks into the bar with cymbals and a snare drum and gets immediately set upon and harassed by an ogre, who is masquerading as a bartender.

4 (a). Find out later that no one, NO ONE AT ALL... likes this bartender. In fact, the establishment has been having problems with him, and he's been fired several times. Crazy management strategy much?

5. Why is the bartender being extra mean and nasty tonight? Because there's a private party booked into the bar taking up every bit of space, and there's no way they could have booked a band for the same night. Or so he SAYS.

6. The owner is apparently drunk in Miami.

7. "Booking guy" still isn't answering texts or phone calls. None are surprised.

8. No one associated with the bar can explain why the posters announcing this show (that had now been on the wall, in the window and on poles outside for three weeks) didn't set off any alarms that MAYBE there would be a conflict on the night of the show. (Refer to #7 and #6 for possible reasons, and to #3 for evidence that they actually saw me put them up). Also, someone with the band was in the establishment Wednesday night previous and confirmed the show for the umpteenth time.

Click for full size show, slogan, and even redaction FAIL.
9. I understand that you, dear readers, are now so astonished that we need to let everyone skip number nine in order to catch our collective breath and make sure that number eight actually happened.... (pause)... Yup, number eight... actally happened. Here comes number ten...

10. The consolation prize offered is for the bands to set up in a corner that isn't even big enough for the The Shmenge Brothers when they're stripped down to a duet. No immediate effort/offer is made by the bar to offer a re-booking date, or to compensate several musicians who traveled from quite a distance afar to work this show.

11 (a). Number ten would actually need to be multiple dates anyway, a regular monthly residency, with a guarantee, free beer for all performers, and an iron-clad performance contract for each date, each with cancellation clauses.

11 (b). We know you're laughing now, and we're happy that we included 11(a) purely for comedy reasons.

12. Scratch all of number eleven anyway. Because of observation #8, we're not sure about the whole literacy thing with regards to contracts. And posters, of course.

13. My cousin packed, packed, PACKED the place with his band last recently, and it was obvious to him by the (lack of) money that was presented to him at the end of the night that someone was certainly skimming at the door.

14. Only now do I remember "Live Music Tonight" scrawled on a sandwich sign chalkboard out on the sidewalk at the previous gig. Too lazy to write something that actually indicates WHO is performing, huh, bar manager guy?

Truth is funnier than fiction. Thanks, bar-that-prompted-this-list, for at least giving us some comedy material. Everyone pretty much knows who you are by now.

BONUS: The messenger-guy that the bar used as a go-between was very nice, and I didn't envy him that evening. Likewise, the doorman there has always been very nice. However, when I asked him how he was doin', he replied:

"Everything sucks, bro. Everything."

CD Review by Doc Blues


"Best" Mick Hargreaves (2013)
Long Islander Mick Hargreaves is a musical experience. A songwriter of taste who can smith words and a bandleader known far and wide from his East end roost, Mick pours out originality and style with a familiar 60's rock viewpoint and a bit of a country lilt.

As you listen, you’ll hear Nick Lowe Brit-pop new wave and its predecessors like Herman’s Hermits and Loving Spoonful, Beatles and even Simon & Garfunkel influencing, flowing and drving through 17 cuts of fine tune.

Hargreaves’ work focuses on the songs with catchy lyrics, catchy riffs and danceable groove so he is accessible on a variety of levels. Mick also has a strong sense of place. Long Island flows through his veins both as a place, an idea and from a music influence or origination viewpoint. Hargreaves does LI proud and follows in the footsteps of such artists as Barnaby Bye, Ellie Greenwich, William Joel, et al.

Great tunes are great tunes especially when they are joined by fine musicianship and an excellent disk.

"Doc Blues"  (Mark Gresser)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Some Overdue Thanks From The Lantern Sound Recording Rig

It was Paul Ciancaruso (Butchers Blind) who had a keen eye and grabbed this thing at a yard-sale/flea market - then he dumped it on us here the Lantern Sound Recording Rig.

Turns out, surprise, long story longer... not only does it record to tape (mono) surprisingly well, but... bonus, it really works well as a dirty nasty 12AX7 guitar amp - yeah, there's tubes and two 4" speakers in this thing. Plug in a guitar, flip the switch to "PA", and you're rippin though it. In particular, the signature Telecaster sounds nice through thing. So, another nice tone in the quiver of arrows.

By the way, the new Butchers Blind CD "Destination Blues" had all the basic tracks done with the LSRR, co-produced by Bill Herman and Mick Hargreaves.

Anyway, the LSRR, and life in general actually, have come a long way in the last couple-two-t'ree years, and there's some people that need to be formally thanked for their assistance, loaners, borrows, advice, gear-hookups, and hospitality. Because of these people (in no particular order), we've been able to do "the creative process" our own special way:

Chris Mehos
Steve Prisco
Buddy Woodward
Brandi Hart
The Dixie Bee-Liners
Don Mangels
Paul Ciancaruso
Randall Hudson III
KEL Microphones
D'Addario Strings
Andrew Carillo
Rich Arfin
Michael Clark
Crossroads Music

Dave Fox
Fox Rox Pedals
Gary Oleyar &
Sonoma Beach Studio 
Dave Wise

More to come...

Friday, June 28, 2013

MH & King Guys 2nd Anniversary Summer Shows

SAT 7/13 - The Dory - Shelter Island NY (Fireworks Night)
SAT 7/20 - Nag's Head - Huntington (w/ LI Hornets feat.)
WED 7/31 - Harborfront Suppertime Concert - Port Jefferson NY
SAT 8/17 - Rodeo Bar - NYC

In twenty-three more years, maybe we'll catch up to the stretch the Lone Sharks are still enjoying, as they should be. If only we could be together three times as long as The Beatles as Gene and crew have done. (A ways to go before they catch up to the Rolling Stones, though).

Anyway, Mick Hargreaves and The King Guys started on July 30 2011 at the wonderful Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport NY. As many of you know, after what went down that night, it's amazing and miraculous that we even managed to play a second show anywhere at all.

There's four MH and the KG's Second Anniversary shows scheduled this summer. Come by and say hello to the growing ranks of the King Guys: Chris Mehos, Howie Silverman, Don Mangels, Michael Bifulco, Gary Dawson, Sister Jen, maybe even Tom Ryan and Ben Silverman sitting in somewheres, and a "you-never-know" platter of guest appetizers.

7/13 show happens right after the Shelter Island fireworks, 7/20 will be a crazy show with the LI Hornets opening (featuring new lead singer Jenna Silverman), 7/31 is our anniversary almost to the day with a suppertime outdoor show on Port Jefferson's harborfront, and 8/17 is at the famous Rodeo Bar NYC.

The new "Best" CD, t-shirts, stickers, and iron-on patches are available at all shows. For solo acoustic MH appearances, see the full show schedule.

Please buckle your seatbelts and prepare for take-off.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

EGG SANDY REVIEW #2: Marty's Deli / Old Stone Market, Amagansett, NY USA

Marty's Deli / Old Stone Market
Old Stone Highway and Neck Path, Amagansett

The Old Stone Market, or, "Marty's" as some still call it, is already legendary, and not just to those the Lantern Sound Recording Rig has worked with on location in the area to date. 

Benchmark Order:
Two eggs scrambled, ham, cheddar cheese on a roll, with a large coffee. Salt and pepper only, no ketchup. Ketchup mistakenly applied and/or wrong cheese will be an automatic fail.

Looks like it says "Marty's".
Get in my belly.

 Kaiser Roll. Light, fluffy, very fresh. Airy.

Eggs: Country-scrambled but not runny. Folded interestingly, yielding thicker sandwich.

Cheese: Cheddar. Yes.

Ham: Two slices, also folded thick.

Plusses: Zimbabwe Roast underneath good coffee cup lids, plenty of self-serve cutlery and napkins. WEHM on the radio box. "Country" ambiance. All regional newspapers available.

Minusses: "Raw" sugar no longer available; a troubling regional trend that is spreading to many delicatessens.

Price, including large coffee: $6.30

Verdict: Yum. Nine out of ten footballs kicked through two oak trees used as make-believe goalposts over on Turkey Hill.

EGG SANDY REVIEW #1 - Floral Park Station Deli

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Musicians Who Deliver(ed) Pizza, Episode 4: Pete Mancini (Butchers Blind)

Pete Mancini, songwriter, singer and guitarist with Bellrose/Floral Park rockers Butchers Blind, and my touring partner in April 2013, used to deliver pizza.

MH: What's the fave guitar in your arsenal right now?

PM: My favorite guitar is my trusty MIM Tele. P-90 in the neck with a 4 way switch. Bought it used at Guitar Center for 250.

MH: What's your amp rig?
PM: Peavey Classic 30. Also bought it used at Guitar Center for about 250.

MH: As a musician who doesn't deliver pizza (yet), what am I missing out on?
PM: You're missing out on some good driving around time, listening to records, meeting people. I wrote some good songs while delivering pizza/making boxes.

MH: What was your hoopty-ride pizza delivery vehicle?
PM: My old 90's jetta, which has since been donated to WFUV. The list of problems this car had was endless. Her name was Clarabelle, and i miss her.

MH: Weirdest pizza delivery story?
PM: Every delivery is weird in its own way, but the weirdest deliveries were to the Creedmoor psychiatric center. I'm sure you can imagine how those went.

MH: Funniest?
PM: Italians don't joke around when it comes to pizza. That being said, the funniest deliveries were to the Creedmoor psychiatric center. I'm sure you can imagine how those went.

MH: Scariest? 
PM: Some scary biker dude yelled at me and subsequently stiffed me. Total asshole, I don't even remember if i did anything wrong. I'm starting to hate biker dudes. All they did was buy a motorcycle. Doesn't mean you're better than anyone else.

MH: Saddest?
PM: I delivered pizza to an apartment in glen oaks. I saw a young woman sitting on the stoop visibly drunk and in tears. The same young woman placed an order later on in the day, and when she answered the door, she was even more drunk. She dropped the pizza, and I just remember feeling really bad for her.

MH: Worst/best customers?
PM: The worst customers are old people, hands down.They tip like its the 1940's and it sucks. Also, the Bellerose Fire Department stiffed me on a $100+ dollar order. Shame on them.

MH: Did you ever get asked to bring pizza to rehearsal?
PM: I've never been asked to bring pizza to rehearsal, but I totally would. Pizza makes rehearsal better.

MH: Was anyone allowed to ride shotgun on the pizza delivery route?
PM: Not officially.

MH: What happened if you get pulled over by the cops while delivering pizza? Does a slice count as a bribe?
PM: I was never pulled over by the cops while delivering. I would have just told them where I worked, and it would have been fine. Using pizza as a bribe is unacceptable.

MH: Did you deliver beer?
PM: I wish.

• • • Episodes 1 and 2 Brian Reilly / Ben Silverman
• • • Episode 3 Jodi Gambino
• • • Butchers Blind

EGG SANDY REVIEW #1: Floral Park Station Delicatessen, Floral Park NY

It's time to do this. I've become an egg sandy connoisseur of sorts in my travels, so a review series seemed like a good idea.

The benchmark by which all delicatessens will be measured:
Two eggs scrambled, ham, cheddar cheese on a roll, with a large coffee. Salt and pepper only, no ketchup. Ketchup mistakenly applied and/or wrong cheese will be an automatic fail.

Cheese Note: It is the contention of this columnist that "American Cheese" is not cheese at ALL, and to call it "American" is a slap in the face of some great cheese-makers in places like Vermont and Wisconsin. This is a travesty. We're talking to YOU, Kraft Foods.

Ketchup Note: The most efficient way to ruin eggs. If you need to, get some hot sauce on that thing, sparky. No ketchup. Or Catsup.

Floral Park Station Deli
 128 Tulip Avenue, Floral Park, NY 11001 USA

Bun: Kaiser Roll. Light, fluffy, fresh. Possibly from Floral Park Bakery, same block. Nice.

Eggs: Truly scrambled, consistent color. Folded nicely. Neat.

Cheese: Cheddar. Yes.

Ham: There could have been three slices, but I think it was two. Forgot to count until after I ate it. Looks like two in photo. I'd add one more for a better meat-to-egg ratio.

Intangible Minuses:
Napkins not readily available, which is bad considering Mister Klutz here always manages to spill some coffee at the self-serve. Only coffee cup lids available were the pull-up, non re-seal-able types. No "Raw" sugar available, but white sugar in a plastic bowl with a spoon that everyone else has used. Icky.

Intangible Plusses: Located less than 100 yards from LIRR, across the street from Swing the Teapot, a tour-stop on the recent duet-acoustic tour with Pete Mancini. Same block as Fallon's bar, AKA the "finished basement" to the Butcher's Blind rhythm section.

Intangible I-Don't-Care's: Cashier on laptop. Hey, grab some eggs from the Farmville chicken coop.

Weird Thing: My sister's small coffee was handed to her totally wrapped in plastic wrap. If you're gonna hermetically seal anyone's coffee, make it mine. I spill stuff.

Price, including large coffee: $5.65

Verdict: Good sandwich and super-convenient location means I'll order there again. Better sugar, cup lids, and any napkins at all would be good to have.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Musicians Who Deliver Pizza, Episode 3: JODY GAMBINO

EPISODE THREE: Jody Gambino plays guitar, sings, and more... with the experimental combo 40 Foot Saints. He's been in at the Lantern Sound Recording Rig recently recording two songs, and we're confident these tracks are going to surprise folks
. Jody also keeps it real by delivering pizza.

MH: What's the fave guitar in your arsenal right now?

The 80s Japanese Strat, black on white, I picked up from a friend with pizza money.

MH: What's your amp rig?
The Roland Bolt 60 with “RYE COALITION” and “PIEBALD” graffiti on the side. And a Boss “Blues Driver” pedal if Steve lets me borrow it again…

MH: As a musician who doesn't deliver pizza (yet), what am I missing out on?
Meandering down countless windy driveways, gates and latches, a lot of barking dogs. 

MH: What's your hoopty-ride pizza delivery vehicle?
Currently a mom-mobile, 2007 Mercury Mariner but soon to be my car, a 1985 Mercedes Benz Diesel SD (turbo diesel)…although the mom-mobile does have better speakers.

MH: Weirdest pizza delivery story?
Delivering to this artsy lady who could be blind for all I know. But she’s a terrific painter and always makes me put the pizza in very specific spots.

MH: Funniest?
The funniest is delivering to Dads with 4-5 little girls running around, probably on a play date, just trying to get through the day and feed these little maniacs. 

MH: Scariest? 
Nothing is scary about where I deliver pizza.

MH: Saddest?
The saddest are the people who order way more food than necessary.

MH: Worst/best customers?
Our best customers are usually the most mysterious. Middle-aged [edited] women are usually the best tippers though. The worst people to deliver to are drunk people.

MH: Ever get asked to bring pizza to rehearsal?
Yes people have asked to grab pizza for them, but usually there is such an abundance I like to surprise people with bountiful amounts. I always have pizza near or around me. Some may call it a problem, but for me it’s a lifestyle.

MH: Anyone allowed to ride shotgun on the pizza delivery route?
I was under the impression people could ride shotgun with you…and have encouraged my girlfriend to many times. But apparently you’re not allowed to it “slows down the driver” too much. But on occasion I’m known to have some passengers. Mick you can come anytime!

MH: What happens if you get pulled over by the cops while delivering pizza? Does a slice count as a bribe?
 I’ve always wondered what would happen if the cops pulled me over while delivering. One time while reversing down a one-way street a cop pulled next to me looking confused. I simply yelled out the window “I’m delivering Pizza!” she just nodded and let me go. A slice does NOT count as a bribe.

MH: Do you deliver beer?
Do I ever.

• • • Episodes 1 and 2 
• • • 40 Foot Saints

Sunday, May 12, 2013

SHORT ESSAY - Mother's Day

In lieu of a JPG of Mom, which is unattainable right now... her being born pre-internet and all...


Less than two years ago, The Ambush happened. I was brutally, violently attacked after the debut gig me 'n' my little rock 'n' roll band had, and it's amazing that I'm here in one piece today, and still able to type 55 words per minute.

Every day, everywhere, I encounter things that still fuel both my sense of anger, betrayal, jaded cynicism, confusion, defenselessness, and helplessness that resulted from being a violent crime victim... and my sense of gratitude, amazement, and wonder at the capacity so many people (both public servants and us regular-type folk) possess to rally together to provide all sorts of support for me, and since then, others. With time, the latter emotion grows stronger, and the former weaker.

It takes a long time, I'm realizing. Having those two very different and strong types of feelings co-existing side by side... makes for a heavy set of luggage to carry around every day. But as a bassist used to carting around an SVT rig, I'm used to the heavy lifting. I'm sure I can do this.

There's a manila envelope I have that is stuffed with cards, letters, envelopes, notes, what have you. Each piece of paper in there has at least one name and an address or phone number. These are where personal thank you cards will be sent. It's a sacred envelope, with powerful contents. I have yet to find the strength to write those thank you letters without just plain losing it. My emotions apparently haven't faded very much. Hopefully soon, but... maybe if I go away and write for a while, change the surroundings... who knows.

Mom & the buttered cinnamon swirl raisin toast.

When I was recuperating on the couch at mom and dad's for over a month, with a fractured skull, fluid on the brain, upwards of 30 staples in my head, unable to sleep for more than an hour or two at a stretch, first puking my guts out in the hospital from the Percodans, then shunning the Vicodins while at "Chez Couch" because the pain was easier to deal with than the way they made me feel like a total weirdo (as if...), it was Mom who brought me Buttered Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Toast to eat.

Buttered Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Toast. It still tastes better and better every day, thanks to Mom. Who knew a few slices of bread could have such meaning? (Insert some sort of Biblical reference here, perhaps).

Meanwhile, Dad is one of many people who enable the bad memories to fade, and the good ones to be preserved. Today at Mother's Day dinner, he reminded us of something really funny that I had forgotten all about.

As an outpatient at the neurosurgeon's office, I made repeated visits to review ongoing CAT Scan results with the doctor. Large amounts of fluid on the brain were a concern. If it didn't subside, a drain hole would have to be drilled. Yes, in the lower back of my head. I wasn't ready for the medieval stuff yet. Like I ever would be. By the way, seeing your brain scan on a laptop is very, very strange. (And after draining the oil out, you've gotta remember to put the drain-plug back in before re-filling.)

Thankfully, by the third or so visit, the doctor was very pleased that the brain fluid had diminished. With everyone in the room relieved, I commented to the doctor how impressed I was with his professional, kind manner. What followed was this exchange:

DOCTOR: Well, this honeymoon was been great, but I don't want to see you again. It's time to go live your life.

MICK: What about loud sound pressure levels? Is it safe to be exposed to that kind of thing? What about the Rock and Roll?

DOCTOR: I think Rock and Roll is here to stay!

And boom goes the dynamite. I think that's the moment when laughter came back into my life for real.

I'm here to stay for as long as I can. Mom, you and your Buttered Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Toast have always been a big part of that. Now more than ever, really. Thank you.


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