Archive for April 10th, 2009

I Hate Me, Part. 245,309

I know that the driving test scenario has an old and hackneyed tradition, so let me add to that.
I had my learners permit for a while but didn’t drive much. My father was the only person I had a chance to drive with. We went out once, we got into a fight and I walked home. So outside of high school drivers ed I had close to zero driving experience, and my test was coming up quickly. Enter Russ, he was a few years older than me and my friends. He worked on cars in his yard and we helped. By helping I mean handing him wrong sized wrenches and cleaning up. He was nice enough to take me for a test in his car. His car was a 1970 two door Nova. It was a six cylinder with a lettuce green paint job and a broccoli colored vinyl roof. He made it up to look like a muscle car; big tires, jacked up suspension, loud muffler. I drove it once before the test in the Sears parking lot and I stalled out a lot, which was difficult since it was an automatic. The big day came and I was a wreck, under confidence is one of my superpowers. The drive there was a blur with Russ re-telling me all the vagaries of the car. I didn’t hear a word, it sounded like a dog barking. We got to the test course and we were third in line, then second, then… Showtime. I got into the driver seat, a no nonsense instructor got in and “ok, start the car”. I went to start the car and broke the key off in the ignition. I was frozen with half a key in my hand, “start the car.” I mutely showed him the half a key. We got out of the car and Russ gave me a what-the-fuck look. Luckily Russ had a spare key and in what seemed like hours later got the broken part of the key out of the ignition with a pair of pliers. He handed me the good key, “Don’t fuck this up, it’s my last goddamned key.” Because of my key disaster the test line is now ten cars back, no one’s happy least of all me. I’m looking for ways out (If I feign a seizure of some sort, run into the woods, maybe the car will just blow-up). “Ok, let’s try this again shall we Mr. Cronin.” I started the car up successfully (alright, here we go) and I put it in reverse. I drove maybe a yard backwards when the instructor reached over and threw the shifter into park, “This test is over, get out!” I hadn’t even gotten past the start line. Russ didn’t say a word on the way home, he just blasted Foghat-Live. This was fine with me, I felt like I was made of stone and the last thing I wanted to do was talk.

Notes from Das Boot 11

Uli Jon Roth

Uli Jon Roth

June 2004, Sweden
(this is from a tour diary that was supposed to be online, but was lost and maybe should have stayed that way.)

We did two more shows in England, one at the Oozing Sore in Woostersheestershire and the other at The Amiable Football Thug in Cuddleton. After that we headed north to Sweden and the Sweden Rocks Festival, on our way we stopped at a truck stop and I tried a local delicacy a Swedish exploding hot dog. Unlike most novelty exploding hotdogs, the Swedish version explodes in your stomach about an hour after eating. Exploding with such force that you might think it was made from compressed springs, or angry bees. After hours doubled over in cramping pain with an IV drip of Pepto Bismal the Swedish hot dog usually runs it’s course. It’s a great prank and might be an excellent ice breaker at your next cocktail party or box social but we are here to talk of things rock, so…
Sweden Rocks is a festival that’s like an elephants graveyard of rock. This year Europe (not the continent, the band. I’m not sure who’s older) headlined. Also playing on the bill were Heart, Y&T, and Scorpions. The band was in high spirits because they flew up early in an exact reproduction of the Hindenberg airship (pre-crash). The airship was commissioned by SPV (Monster Magnets german based record label) for impressing clients, bombing competitors, taking Uli Jon Roth to the dentist, things of that nature. Ed was backstage talking with Scorpions singer Klaus Meine about turning “Rock You Like a Hurricane” into a rock opera or a breakfast cereal.