Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Half-stacks … Ted Kennedy … DOC says … Nurse Annie …


Half-stacks … the ugly one asked our guitarist (and band capo) what he’d just bought (he was excited in his email to us {me and Cliff}, telling us he purchased a “half stack”) … a what?

Here’s what Pete had to say (subtext in italics in parens):

That would be "amplification unit" (you moron).

Half stack is a separate head, [the amplifier itself], sitting on top of a separate cabinet with only speakers in it. Any amp that is a one piece is called a "combo" - the cab and amp are integrated. If you see any picture of Hendrix or The Who, they are always playing through full stacks (had you not stopped listening to rock for 30 years instead of banging your head and listening to opera you might know who Hendrix and/or The Who are). A half stack is a head piggy-backed on top of one cab with four 12" speakers (not to be confused with 12 people speaking at one time ... oy-vey).

Clapton got his sixties sounds [Bluesbreakers and Cream], using a half stack(s). The full stack has the brain sitting on top of two 4 x 12 cabs (not taxi cabs, you putz). So the knobs are slightly above the head of the guitarist (get your filthy mind out of the gutter).

For the roadies, they don't have to bust their nuts lifting the integrated units — they can make two trips. Cliff's bass amp is a combo, and my old tweed that I use for my mike at home is also a combo. All in one. Lopsided, top-heavy bastards, as the tubes inside are usually unevenly distributed. Back killers and nut-busters to be sure (why we let YOU carry them).

Thing is, I can get a decent tone out of my little combo that I bring to your house, but it's like a toy — no aesthetic quality to it.

We wouldn't look too pro-like. On the other hand, those little pipsqueak amps can be miked through a sound system, so we can sound like we have two full-stacks, on paper that is; all I know is I can make this rig sounds like a thunderclap of Death, which I happen to like (so play louder, dummy).

I know Duane Allman and Dicky Betts used Marshall full-stacks at the Fillmore, don't know what the Brothers have these days.

Next week — the intricacies of the "spring reverb unit". Speaking of nut-busting, how's your groin? (Maybe if you lost 200 pounds, you could find it and we wouldn’t have to take “knee” or “groin” breaks every other song!)

Oy-vey …

Ted Kennedy … Back in the day when I was a devout Democrat and couldn’t imagine not voting for them, I supported Jimmy Carter on the theory “here was a genuinely decent guy” … he turned out to be in over his head (probably for being a genuinely decent guy) but I could never forgive Ted Kennedy for what he did to Carter’s bid for a 2nd term. Chances are Regan would have defeated Carter anyway, but Ted put the knife in Jimmy’s back and that handshake on the podium at the Democratic national convention was painful to watch. The bigger issue for me with Ted was his phone call to a lawyer rather than the police or any other emergency service after his car accident involving the waters off Chappaquiddick Island and poor Mary Jo Kopechne. I have no idea if it was intentional or not, but calling one’s lawyer first suggests guilt (of something or other) to me and let’s face it, the Kennedy’s have gotten away with quite a bit before and since that tragedy. I applaud his socially liberal efforts but it’s difficult for me to get past Mary Jo. For those so-called “liberal democrats” who insist voting for Ralph Nader undermines the Democratic Party’s efforts to be the lesser of two evils, WTF did you call Kennedy’s backstabbing of Carter in 1980?

The only thing I fear will happen with TD’s passing is yet another excuse was born for Democrats for not passing national health insurance … one more reason for getting NOTHING done and/or CHANGING NOTHING once again (which is why I didn’t {and wouldn’t} vote for them or the Republican party this past presidential election with a gun to my head).

DOC says … as you can imagine, the DOC had a slightly tougher response to Ted’s passing:

Hey Chaz,

When I go to my final reward can I be known as the "Lion of Knucksline"?

It has a nice ring to it.


Hey Teddy,

Mary Jo has been waiting a long time to see you. Be a gentleman this time. And when she tells you she is getting hot, it's not your charm. She is bringing you to your new home.


Vey iz mir …

Nurse Annie … Ah, the summer vacation has come to an end … the freckled one … the Principessa Ann Mariethe old ball and chain, etc., returns to school domani … last year she scored highest in her class (she’s anal that way), but this year will be a much tougher challenge … aside from back-to-back semesters with just a short break between … aside from the full-time job she currently works (getting up at 3:00 a.m. Monday’s to be at work for 5:00 a.m.) and aside from her classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7:15p.m. – 9:45 p.m.… aside from having to live with moi (honestly, can you imagine?) … this semester the boss spends her Saturdays in Bellevue’s psych ward.

Well, it’s not like she won’t know how to deal with nuts …

Isn’t Spartacus cute?