Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hank Gathers

College basketball phenom Hank Gathers came to my dad's office for a check-up after he collapsed on the court on December 9, 1989.
The team of cardiologists found that he had an irregular heart beat.
They put him on medications. The medication slowed him down and he neglected to take it unless they lowered the dose.
After a few weeks of not being able to play and being slowed by the meds, he came back and he scored 48 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Shaquille O'Neal in a nationally televised game when Shaq was at LSU.

Hank was only 6'8" 210 pounds, but he was one of the few players ever to lead the nation in both scoring and rebounding in the same season.
I remember a few months later, we were driving back from the horse races or one of my soccer games. On Coldwater Canyon. We heard on the radio that Hank had collapsed again on the court. My dad got angry and hit the steering wheel. He pulled over and called the hospital.
Hank was dead.
He was just a 23 year-old kid with so much promise. He dominated Shaq in a game. Not many people can say that. He dominated the entire NCAA for a season really. My dad said when they did tests on his fitness they had never seen anything like it and they see all the Lakers among many other athletes every year.
But it was 25 years ago on this day March 4, 1990, when we were driving down Coldwater Canyon listening to KNX 1070, we heard about it.
Later we found out, Hank had made a huge tomahawk alley-oop dunk while getting fouled. Before his free throw, he walked out to mid-court and collapsed. He died right there.
My dad said, "You know you would think I might get more used to it as I get older-- death. But I don't. I think I was much tougher when I was younger. It's much harder now. And this one is really painful." I was just as sad, but tried to be strong for my dad.

Rest in peace #44.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mrs. Fish Wednesday & Some Good Times Pics

Wednesday, March 4th
Mrs. Fish, 448 South Hill St. 90013
10pm. Free

PCB tonight...
Guitar: Josh Norton
Bass: Jason Chesney
Keyboards: Jon Niemann
Drums: Rich Berardi
4 bands tonight... 

Alex Painter: 5:45pm
Levitation Room: 8:15pm
Trash Honey: 9:15pm
PCB: 10pm

Come on down to this cool new room. I can fit some folks from the Westside in the Van.
Leaving Venice at 8:45pm

Team Tuseday at the Townhouse

cord spaghetti at Townhouse

Backstage at the Townhouse
Photo by Jimmy Steinfeldt. Backstage at Sassafras Saloon

Jammin' with Sarah Jeanette

Friday, February 27, 2015

A personal note... Rest In Peace Big Dan, and O'Brien's Saturday

Saturday February 28th
O'Brien's Pub, 2941 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
9:30-close. Free. 21+. Full Band.

Rest in peace Big Dan...

In the past year or so, some of the great proponents of our music have passed on.
Bret Haller who created Yo Venice!, Marty "The Dancing Grandma" from Reyes Creek, and just a week ago our old buddy Big Dan.
When this happens, I feel a deep loss. Not only are these people my friends, but they make making music. Because they get it.
I know I only see some of the people reading this every few years or so. But I just want ya to know that I appreciate the support that I have received from the musicians, friends, begrudging friends, girlfriends, jealous girlfriends, friends' girlfriends, girlfriends' girlfriends, mistresses, future ex-wives, and other wonderful people that music has connected me with over the years.
Big Dan was a great dude.
He was twice as big as every one. But he drank 3 times as much. And did 4 times as many drugs. That being said, his death didn't surprise me, but my heart goes out to his young daughter the "Baby Lady." We were just about the same age, but I always thought he was older cuz he was so damn big. Like we're talking, 6'10" 300 pounds. Bigger than life.

I got some good stories about Mr. Daniel Smith-Herman. Here's one...

The picture below was from a legendary trip. We played at Pappy & Harriet's the night before in December 2008 and the next day a bunch of us went in to Joshua Tree National Park.
A lot of sex, drugs and rock n' roll type things were going on that night. I will have to save most of them for my memoirs so as not to get anyone in too much trouble.

But I do remember, that this was before they had any cell reception at Pappy's. So out of all these semi-adult looking people, no one had a working or even charged cell phone because everyone was on roam and it drained all our batteries.
So it was just us out there having a grand time with no connections. You just had to roll with it. It was freeing.
Big Dan had got word that he was gonna have a baby only a few hours before. Dutch said, "He turned white."
I was puking my guts out. Zach fell in the cactus and got all bloody -- that's all I can say for now...
Except, rest in peace to a great friend. He may not have been my best friend, but he definitely was the biggest. And you sure as hell could count on his word like a mutherfucker.
Big Dan.
Love you buddy,

And for good measure, here's a shot Dan surreptitiously took of me puking behind a Joshua Tree. Had to let you get the last word...

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