Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three generations and Kid Rock, seeing it In Color

When Granma Emily first told me she wanted to go to the concert with us, saying, “I love Kid Rock,” I had to pause and ask, “You mean Kid Rock? American Bad Ass? Bawitdaba? F-words and three-fourths- naked women? That Kid Rock?”

“Well, he seems nice on the TV,” Emily, a.k.a. Granma, said.

She repeated, yes, she likes Kid Rock and planned to get tickets, too, when she heard that Mary Claire and I were going to see Kid Rock and Jamey Johnson’s Birmingham show Feb. 19. She wanted to take Dreama, her 15-year-old niece/daughter. It’d be fun.

I suspected my 73-year-old stepmother knew the southern rocker, ballad-singing Kid Rock of CMT fame, not the expletive-rhyming, stoned-pimp, bouncing b-a-from-Detroit Kid Rock.

No matter, fast forward a couple of weeks – Dreama had a church trip, so granddaughter Elizabeth Dawn, my niece, replaced Dreama in the three-generations-of-Romine-girls-go-to-Kid-Rock contingent – and we were in da’ house (as Kid Rock would say). My only regret is that we didn’t have tickets for all the nieces to attend, especially Patsy, who with her Kid-Rock-like attitude would have given us some of the street cred we were lacking.

Regardless, our three-generations-Kid-Rock adventure – a Saturday night we’ll always remember --provided living proof that attitude doesn’t have an age limit and that music and charismatic bad-boy singers like Robert James Ritchie, a.k.a. Kid Rock, transcend generations.

“I thought he was fantastic,” Granma said, as she turned her hearing aid back on as we sat and waited for the crowd to thin out and the smoke to clear after Kid Rock’s two hour performance.

A few hours before, we had looked like an unlikely crew as we lined up to enter the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Saturday night, amid young girls wearing daisy dukes and high-heel boots. Three generations of Romine girls were lead by Granma in a sparkly red shirt, sensible black pants suit and her comfortable walking shoes.

Apologies to BJCC security, but we made it through just fine, each of us with three Smirnoff miniatures stuffed into our bras – including granma’s ample bosom. Dawn couldn’t quit laughing at the thought of Granma stashing vodka minis in her granma bra. We bought Sprites (Granma paid) and settled into our seats in the upper deck, not sitting together, but close enough for me and MC to wave to Dawn and Granma, as opener Ty Stone entertained and Alabama native Jamey Johnson performed. Johnson gave several nods to our home state, in a cover of Alabama’s My Home’s in Alabama, David Allen Coe’s The Ride about riding from Montgomery with Hank Williams’ ghost (Mister, can you make folks cry when you play and sing?), and as a final number, uplifted the crowd with Hank Williams’ I Saw the Light. I loved Johnson and vow to download several of his songs, including In Color (song of the day).

Granma’s verdict on the openers when we met to buy more Sprites: “Boring. I’m ready for Kid Rock.”

Okay, Granma. Hold on.

For Kid Rock’s set, I traded places with Dawn, so she and Mary Claire could suitably dance and rock out without worrying about tipping Granma over. I sat/stood next to Granma Em, and seeing her reactions and comments made the show even better. If she was shocked at the lyrics or stage show with laser lights, timed erupting flames, a stuffed bear wearing Mardi Gras beads, a huge Longhorn skull spewing smoke and the stripper poles with the aforementioned three-fourths naked women, she never showed it.

Are those girls naked? No m’am, they have on bikini tops and thongs. I think they have those thongs for sale at the souvenir booth.

Granma drank her beer (having given me her bosom-warm vodka mini) and ate her popcorn as Kid Rock worked his way through Cowboy and All Summer Long.

“I think he’s a poet,” she said at one point. This was a hard point to argue, as I’ve admired Kid Rock’s musicianship and song-writing, his ballads like Picture and Only God Knows Why, as well as the fast-paced rebellious songs, including Cowboy, one of his most well-known songs. Not every poet finds a way to rhyme scotch and crotch, or chaos and Amadeus, but the Kid does it. Witness the lyrics (radio edit) to Cowboy:

“Cause chaos, rock like Amadeus
Find West Coast p---- for my Detroit players
Mack like mayors, ball like Lakers
They told us to leave, but bet they can't make us
Why they wanna pick on me lock me up and stored away my key
I ain't no G, I'm just a regular failure
I ain't straight outta Compton I'm straight out the trailer
Cuss like a sailor drink like a Mick
My only words of wisdom are just, Radio Edit
I'm flickin my Bic up and down that coast and
Keep on truckin until it falls in the ocean

With the top let back and the sunshine shining
Spend all my time at Hollywood and Vine
Ridin at night cause I sleep all day
I can smell a pig from a mile away
With the top let back and the sunshine shining
With the top let back and the sunshine shining
Hollywood and Vine

Some of the lyrics I knew were x-rated, but Granma probably didn’t pick all those out, but when Kid Rock, who turned the big 4-0 this year, sang a new song called F---ing Forty and flashed the words on the big screen, there was no doubt.

“What’s he saying?” Granma asked.
“It’s about turning 40, called F---ing Forty. He says f----ing forty; at least I’m not f---ing 41.”

We looked at each other and laughed and said, “at least it’s not f----ing 54,” or “f---ing 73.”

Granma Em brought her binoculars, and I kept them around my neck through most of the show, getting up-close looks at the stage, at the cool lady drummer he’s had forever, and at his changing outfits, from the fuzzy vest at the beginning to the Alabama Rock On ’04 sparkly t-shirt to the flashing pimp outfit to his final change, bare-chested with the microphone he loves to flip and catch stuck down in the waistband of his blue jeans.

“He’s got an interesting body,” Granma kept saying. When he came out sans shirt for the Bawitdaba finale, and I said, “look, he took his shirt off.” Granma said, “give me those binoculars,” and spent most of the finale studying the interesting body and lamenting “I hope his pants don’t fall off.” Sure Granma. And then, “is that a phoenix tattoo on his back?”

“Yes, and I think that's his son’s name tatted around his bicep.”

The Birmingham News reviewer Mary Colurso concluded that the concert was a “Kid Rock party, start to finish.” Granma and I, Dawn and Mary Claire agree. And Granma, who taught me how to bop and jitterbug years ago, held her own during our three-generation rock concert experiment. We laughed a lot, and Kid Rock has a new or perhaps renewed fan of his parents’ generation.

What’s next?

Widespread Panic is coming to town this spring; better not tell Granma.

Picture of the day:

Romine girls after Kid Rock concert: Mary Claire Walburn, Jackie Romine Walburn, Emily Love Romine and Elizabeth Dawn Romine McCrory.

Song of the day:

In Color, by Jamey Johnson

(With a great refrain and lyrics that remind us of our parents, our grandparents or ourselves, In Color won multiple awards for Alabama’s Jamey Johnson and is just one of this great singer-songwriter’s to-the-point songs.)

“I said, Grandpa what’s this picture here
It’s all black and white and ain’t real clear
Is that you there, he said, yeah I was eleven
Times were tough back in thirty-five
That’s me and Uncle Joe just tryin’ to survive
A cotton farm in the Great Depression

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should have seen it in color

This one here was taken overseas
In the middle of hell in nineteen forty-three
In the winter time you can almost see my breath
That was my tail gunner ole’ Johnny McGee
He was a high school teacher from New Orleans
And he had my back right through the day we left

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should have seen it in color

A picture’s worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should have seen it in color

This one is my favorite one
This is me and grandma in the summer sun
All dressed up the day we said our vows
You can’t tell it here but it was hot that June
That rose was red and her eyes were blue
And just look at that smile I was so proud
That’s the story of my life
Right there in black and white

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should have seen it in color

A picture’s worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should have seen it in color
You should have seen it in color

Monday, February 14, 2011

Some people are from evil, and some are from good....

It's called a Pitch or a Summary, that jacket-cover information on a novel that you read before you decide to buy or borrow a book. Here is the first draft of my pitch for my first-ever novel, currently named: Mojo Jones and the Black Cat Bone.

I think it still needs some work, like the still-being polished book, but please let me know what you think and if this pitch would make you pick the book to buy, borrow, or most importantly, to read:

Pitch: Mojo Jones and the Black Cat Bone

Some people are from evil, and some are from good.

Those opposites collide in this Southern story of right and wrong, good and evil and the magic that comes from ancient spiritual truths. Set in Alabama’s Black Belt, Mojo Jones and the Black Cat Bone challenges conventional views of good and evil, magic and reality, faith and mysteries, prejudice and understanding, justice and revenge.

A magic spell so powerful it crouches-in-waiting for more than a quarter century centers the action in Mojo Jones, as does the possibility of invisible, mysterious forces that intervene in human affairs and the question, what would you do?

Hoodoo, conjure women, a young newspaper editor, a law-school-graduate nephew and his retired school teacher-fried-green-tomato-cooking grandma, a big-city lawyer, a nun, the baddest man in the county and a conflicted rural grand jury play their parts in the story in which Desert Storm veteran and second-generation medicinal plant treater Mojo Jones tests himself, his family and his community. They all must come to terms with the magic in all of us and what it means to do the right thing.

Picture of the day:


Finding shells at the beach: I'm ready to go.

Song of the day: Maggie's Farm

Bob Dylan made a rare Grammy appearance Sunday night, as special guest appearing with nominees Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers, folk-rock bands who reminded me of early Bob and The Band.

It was perfect that the song selection was Maggie's Farm, the tune Dylan went "electric" with more than 35 years ago at the Newport Folk Festival. Great lyrics. And, although Bob was raspy (what's my point?), it was a great moment for fans (and you could tell for these young musicians) as Dylan smiled and lead the two bands and at least a couple of his band members on a fast, rousing rendition of "ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more," closing out with characteristic coolness and a few notes on harmonica.

I'll say amen.

Maggie's Farm, Bob Dylan

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
No, I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I wake in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin’ me insane
It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel
He hands you a dime
He asks you with a grin
If you’re havin’ a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks
The National Guard stands around his door
Ah, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
Well, she talks to all the servants
About man and God and law
Everybody says
She’s the brains behind pa
She’s sixty-eight, but she says she’s twenty-four
I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
No, I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you

To be just like them
They sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more

Here's a link to a review of the Grammy's, and the Dylan, Mumford and Sons and Avett Brothers' performance and some other highlights.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things Have Changed

Stardate: 2010.38
Location: Galactic Quadrant Alpha, in the Neutral Zone
Status: Polarity reversed = Things Have Changed

With a Vulcan salute that we all live long and prosper, this is my Treknobabble way of posting that my status has changed.

To clarify, the blogger jackierwalburnwrites is happily back to being a writer, editor, communicator, etc. seeking opportunities and being an everyday would-be author about to finish the first draft of her first novel. Another change that comes with change: updating this blog more than twice in 10 months.

“That’s all I have to say about that.” -- Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump.

In honor of these changes, let me quote some thoughts on change from some smart and thoughtful folks.

“There is no wrong way to change, if it is in the right direction.” – Winston Churchill

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“We change whether we like it or not.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The key to change is to let go of fear.” – Roseanne Cash

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr

“We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” – Charles Swindoll

“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau

“We fear change.” Garth Algar, Wayne’s World

“Change is the only constant.” – Proverbs

“Change is the essential process of all existence.”  -- Spock, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", stardate 5730.2

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” – Benjamin Franklin

Now, being the music nerd I am, I will offer these music quotes regarding changesonejackie:

“Still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes Turn and face the strange (Ch-ch-Changes)
Don't want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes Turn and face the strange (Ch-ch-Changes)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me But I can't trace time”

--Changes, changesonebowie, David Bowie

“I'm Gonna Make A Change, For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good, Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change”
--Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson

“Well he's tellin' us this
And he's tellin' us that
Changes it every day
Say's it doesn't matter
Bases are loaded and Casey's at bat
Playin' it play by play
Time to change the batter”

--Rocky Mountain Way, Joe Walsh

“Its these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane”

--Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, Jimmy Buffett

Also: These Times They Are A’Changin’ by guess who? (not the Guess Who), A Change Will Do You Good by Sheryl Crow, and I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal, (but I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Some Day) by Billy Joe Shaver (previously quoted at jackierwalburnwrites, as Shaver is all that, and we will both be a diamond one day.)

But, the song of the day I choose on this posting about change is Things Have Changed by Bob Dylan.

For fellow music nerds, this song won an Academy award as best song for a movie, Wonder Boys, and can be found on The Essential Bob Dylan two-CD set.

This song – applicable lines quoted here -- has served me well, and once again, Dylan says it best.

Things Have Changed, By Bob Dylan

“A worried man with a worried mind
No one in front of me and nothing behind
Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose
Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

This place ain’t doing me any good
I’m in the wrong town, I should be in Hollywood
Just for a second there I thought I saw something move
Gonna take dancing lessons, do the jitterbug rag
Ain’t no shortcuts, gonna dress in drag
Only a fool in here would think he’s got anything to prove

Lot of water under the bridge, lot of other stuff too
Don’t get up gentlemen, I’m only passing through

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

I’ve been walking forty miles of bad road
If the Bible is right, the world will explode
I’ve been trying to get as far away from myself as I can
Some things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much
You can’t win with a losing hand

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

If interested, here is link to You Tube, Things Have Changed video, featuring the movie’s stars and a sandwich-eating, distracted-driving, guitar-toting Dylan:


Peace out.

Picture of the day:
Fiery sunset at our Wild Kingdom camphouse
seems to glow orange and blue. WDE