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Archive for August, 2007

World’s Greatest Record Store

It’s been a busy summer — I went to Alaska, I’m moving, my 5-year-old just learned to cut her own hair … so I’ve been a bit remiss over writing about a few things.

One is the September closing of Village Music in Mill Valley. Quite simply, it was the world’s greatest record store for decades. The owner, John Goddard, is a lovable-grumpy type who loves rock and roll as much as anyone alive. He relishes the history of rock music to the point where that history itself practically comes alive on his walls. No one, except for perhaps the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has a bigger, more spectacular collection of memorabilia. And John would argue his is better. (He has a secret warehouse somewhere full of stuff — he wouldn’t tell me where.)

And whatever you do, don’t ask him about that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — unless you have some time to kill.

His record store was so good, a rock historian friend of mine and I seriously considered writing a book just about Village Music. The list of people who’ve been through there, from Mick Jagger to Elvis Costello, is amazing. Closing day is supposedly Sept. 30. Get yourself up there while there’s still something on the wall. The record store is a dying animal, unfortunately. For those of us who used to spend hours in them, the closing of a place like Village Music is a sad thing. Hopefully he’ll open a museum somewhere.

Here’s Goddard’s letter explaining what’s going on, and here are someone else’s photos.

Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
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I Love This Country

Tony HIcks outside Hooters

Finally, the United States is sending something to the Middle East that can do the world some good.

Dubai is getting a Hooters!

Well, maybe.

As reported on (I really hope this isn’t a joke), Harry Grindrod (please let this be a real person), the director of Hooters European Franchising, says the company is moving forward with plans, despite earlier reports of the company backing off a planned three branches in Dubai because of public opposition.

It seems that some folks in some Middle Eastern areas have an aversion to delicious hot wings … served up by busty females in tight white shirts and incredibly small orange shorts.

It only makes sense to wear as little clothing as possible over there. After all, it gets mighty hot in the Middle East. We wouldn’t want working women to suffer from heatstroke.

Which, I guess, doesn’t explain why they wear the same thing at Hooters in Anchorage, which I had the pleasure to visit in June. It must be the heat from the kitchen. That’s right — I went all the way to Alaska for the hot wings.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on what Middle Eastern women are supposed to wear in their particular countries. I went to private school for seven years, so I have an aversion to uniforms of any kind. BUT … Hooters is a private business and therefore has the right to ask employees to wear uniforms. So what they wear outside is their business. But rules are rules at work.

It’s nice to see that we can keep spreading American culture all over the world, therefore making it a more peaceful place.

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2007
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Togo’s and gorillas need our help

I just saw a magazine cover with a gorilla on it. The headline referred to how gorillas face new dangers threatening their very existence. Which is a terrible, terrible thing. Anyone who kills a gorilla should be beheaded on the spot. Twice. In fact, I’d like it a lot if someone would teach the gorillas how to use firearms to defend themselves. It’s not like they aren’t smart.
But you know what else faces exitinction? It terrifies me to even think about the ramifications…


This morning I noticed a Togo’s down the street from my new residence, which made me scream out loud in joy (which, predictably, frightened the people in the car next to me). I’m so happy because Togo’s shops seem to be closing everywhere. And that makes me very, very sad.

Maybe Al Gore and I could put together a benefit concert for Togo’s.

I don’t know if it’s the infestious growth of Quizno’s or, even worse, those rotten Subway franchises. Even if Subway didn’t totally take all the gold medals in the Olympics of Food Suckiness – and it does – I wouldn’t want to eat there just because they still employ that Jared guy.

Can you imagine what would hapen if Jared got fired? He’d be back to to 700 pounds in about three weeks.

Guess what Jared – you could’ve lost weight eating yummy Togo’s sandwiches – if you would’ve laid off slathering your sandwiches with 19 pounds of mayo and seven layers of cheese. But then you might’ve got a job at Togo’s, forcing me to boycott the most yummylicious sandwiches ever.
I hope someone catches Jared trying to eat a gorilla. Then they could administer the justice he so rightly deserves.

Posted on Saturday, August 4th, 2007
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Elvis loved America.

After a story I wrote earlier this week about the incredible amount of pop culture anniversaries we’re celebrating this year, an upset reader called and e-mailed about 12 of my bosses, my mom, my former mother-in-law, my children, and my dad…who’s dead. Apparently, she really loves Elvis and wasn’t very happy that I pointed out Elvis died on his toilet 30 years ago this month.

Well…he did.

The reader claimed I disrespected Elvis. She pointed out he was a symbol of America, served his country, changed rock and roll, didn’t talk behind people’s backs, was a humanitarian, etc. None of these things I deny. I love Elvis. Especially since he used to squeeze into those jumpsuits and sing “Burning Love,” which makes me happy as pie when I get on YouTube to watch 70 or 80 times a night.

But Elvis died on his toilet. On drugs.

And I left out the part about him being on drugs when he died on his toilet.

I also left out the part about him having to legally adopt his wife or something before she could leave her family to be with him.

Hero worship is a funny thing. It’s a lot easier for some of us to worship celebrities before we grow up to become cynics who can’t help noticing how things work on the “Pirates of the Carribean,” instead of just enjoying the ride. The reader mentioned something about “loyalty.” I don’t quite understand what there is to be loyal about. Elvis is no more worthy of personal loyalty than any half-decent human being I’ve never met. However, his music and abilities are entirely different. I’ll defend those until the day I die on my own toilet.

Posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2007
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What Good is This Job Anyway?

I got pulled over on the way to work this morning. So I did what a lot of us do: looked for somewhere to pull over while doing a quick mental inventory to make sure I wasn’t carrying any illegal immigrants or nuclear weapons in the trunk.
The officer pulls me over and asks me if the address on the license was my current residence. Not even close, I’m thinking, trying to calculate how many places I’ve lived since then. So he asks me where I live now. Oh God…I don’t know. I’m sort of between places, I try to explain. He looks at me and suddenly I wonder if he’s getting suspicious that I’m so nervous on account I’m carrying illegal immigrants and/or nuclear weapons in my trunk.
Or was it Illegal weapons and nuclear immigrants?
Thankfully, my new address pops into my head, saving me from a long prison term. Then he gives me the lowdown. I made some sort of illegal lane change while flying down Ygnacio. The good news is that it’s some sort of city infraction, meaning I won’t have to go to court. But I will have to give money to Walnut Creek which, no doubt, desperately needs it.
Then the guy looks at my license and, after a couple quick questions, realizes I’m the guy who makes his wife laugh so much when she reads our People Column. Great, I’m thinking – I wonder if she laughs enough to get me out of this ticket before the cop realizes I may have nuclear weapons and illegal immigrants in my trunk.
No can do.
But at least his wife likes me.

Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
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More Tom Snyder, Space Ace, and Angry Gene.

This just in from a reader named Lynn, regarding the Kiss/Tom Snyder interview. Which, by the way, gets funnier every time I watch it. My kid went to bed a half hour late last night because I couldn’t resist watching it again. She’s in bed yelling “Daddy, come read me a story,” and I’m like “OK, Honey – just as soon as I’m done watching Ace totally piss off Gene…”
Anyways, here’s the info from Lynn:
“That interview will be featured in the DVD “Kissology: Volume 2″ to be released Aug. 14. That disc will also feature the European version of Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park…with deleted scenes!!! I can’t wait.”
Me neither. I especially want to see those deleted scenes. Can you imagine a scene worse than the ones they kept in? Plus, I think it’s important to promote every Kiss product I can, as Gene Simmons doesn’t quite have enough money to safely pay off the national debt and still afford to send his kids to private school in Hummer limos. The night NBC aired “Kiss Meets the Phantom,” was, for many 10-year-olds like myself, the biggest night of their year. Maybe of their lives…
Yeah, I’m a winner…

Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
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