Friday, May 29, 2009

Adam & Johnny Go To Vampire Party

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Last night my buddy Adam and I hopped a downtown train and attended Gawker Media's shindig promoting the HBO show True Blood. Joining other media elite and entertainment dignitaries. We think this means that Adam and I are now going to be featured on the Gawker Stalker. "Johnny Wright is going back to Gray's Papaya hot dogs. He had breakfast there this morning. What a jerk."

You'll see in the picture that we both have a shoulder bag on. This is beacuse we were unsure just how many vampires would be in attendance. Thus, we needed to pack along vampire hunter kits. I had the crucifix's and wooden mallet, Adam had the garlic and holy water. Thankfully, we only had to dispatch of three vampires. Slow night.

You can read more about the party here.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to head out to a regatta gala. Where's my boat shoes?

Monday, May 18, 2009

3 Chords & the Truth Podcast

For the last few weeks, my buddy Adam and I have been doing video podcasts called 3 Chords & the Truth. The title is a phrase that I used over the years. Bono said it in U2's live version of "All Along the Watchtower." It's an old blues expression. Sometimes 3 chords and passion is all your need.

If you would like to see me and Adam rant and rave about complete nonsense, you can go to our YouTube page.

I'll put a sample down below. Where I express my disgust that a movie star can't have a good old fashioned barroom scrap with the fuzz and publicists getting involved.

More 3 Chords & the Truth to come...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Midget Michael Jackson Impersonator

Dwarf MJ.png

Whenever someone asks me why I love Manhattan as much as I do, I may begin telling this story.

Out and about on a sunny Saturday, I passed through the Times Square station to change trains. I heard something in the distance. A familiar refrain. Is that "Smooth Criminal?" Damn right it was. There was also cheering. Better investigate.

Coming around the corner in the dank subway station I froze in my tracks. Is that what I think it is? By Odin's beard ... It is. That's a midget Michael Jackson impersonator shaking his tail feather. The crowd was loving it. Little MJ grabbed his little ballsack and everything.

The song ended and then I heard something that made this even more surreal. A local mother wanted to capture the moment in pictures. She directed her son to approach the performer. The child's name was amazing. "Messiah! Go stand next to midget Michael Jackson so I can get a picture!"

That's a sentence I never thought I'd hear.

Good luck topping that weekend sight, Planet Earth.

Freaking love New York...

The Notebook and the Handwriting

For years I have lugged around a Mead Composition Notebook with me. It's an obsessive habit. The notes for columns and articles go in them. As do the rough drafts of letters. (Yes, sometimes letters get a rough draft when you are ridiculous.) Part of this habit is inspired by Eddie Vedder, who uses the same tool to write songs and set lists in. My Notebook is often covered with stickers and Sharpied phrases and quotes.

The Notebook travels with me. (I know I'm capitalizing it. The Notebook is my good friend.) You never know when a good A-Rod joke could pop into your brain. You need to jot that puppy down.

Which leads us to this short anecdote. I was on the subway this morning. Pretty early for a Saturday. I was seated near the door, scribbling some notes about an upcoming YesButNoButYes column. A Chinese gentleman was standing next to me, looking over my shoulder. Sensing his presence, as one does when someone is reading over your shoulder, I looked up. The chap cocked his head to the side and asked "You're trying to write Arabic?"

For crying out loud ... "Uh, no, that's English."

"Oh," he said.

Should have lied. "Yep, that's Arabic. No big deal."

My handwriting is notoriously bad. It's a strange twisting beast that is usually only legible to myself. If I slow down and concentrate it's not that bad. However the only time I do that is if I am writing a letter to my Mum or to the female object of my affection. The fairer sex has always received letters from yours truly. Always will. I feel it's a lost art; the good love letter. Those, for the most part are legible. Every so often I have been asked "Uh, sweetheart, is this word 'adorable?'" "Oh, that's actually 'trousers.'"

So shut up Jackie Chan reading over my shoulder on the subway. I'm the only one reading this. So what if one needs the forces of divination to decipher my President Obama joke.

You can see the Notebook in a recent 3 Chords & the Truth podcast:

Monday, May 11, 2009

YouTube Gems Volume 7

I haven't put anything up here in a while because I have been busy with other writing. So, why not a few YouTube vids that have caught my attention recently.

In 1955 Gene Kelly starred in a film called It's Always Fair Weather. Certainly not a box office hit or as famous as his other song and dance hootenannies, but the show has on of the most incredible sequences you'll ever see. Gene Kelly tap-dancing on freaking roller skates.

Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali was a bit nuts. The word eccentric doesn't begin to cover his antics. But he was amazing. Check out his work. Not the melting clock nonsense or the Lobster Telephone, try Swans Reflecting Elephants or The Face of War. Brilliant. Here Dali was a guest on the classic TV show What's My Line.

Ricky Jay is a master magician. He is also a talented writer and knowledgeable show bidness historian. I'm a fan of his books as they cover the history of the odd and bizarre. In the stacks of the J-Dub Memorial Library you'll find Jay's Journal of Anomalies, Dice: Deception, Fate and Rotten Luck and Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.His skills and patter are really entertaining.

When it comes to theatrical freaks, few can top Prince Randian. He was a chap that was just a torso. No arms or legs. He was sometimes known as The Pillow Man or The Human Caterpillar. Believe it or not, Prince Randain was married and had five children. He was quite capable. See him fire up a cigarette with just his mouth from the film Freaks.

Extra tidbit: Freaks was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years due to "shocking content."

And finally...

Just watch John Lee Hooker work his mojo. I saw John at the Seattle-based Bumbershoot festival in 1992. I was 17 and already obsessed with the blues. Sing it John...

Good night and good luck.