Friday, July 10, 2009

Candy Cane Cotton Candy

She was the runt of the litter.

I wasn't there when my family drove an hour out of LA to the ramshackle Toy Poodle puppy mill to pick out a dog. But I heard that all the other brothers and sisters eagerly came running up and jumping on them. Rambunctious and cute. One of the little ragamuffins, however, just stayed in the back of the pen all quiet. My 6 year old sister at the time, Brooke (who has since graduated from college!), ran over to her and picked that one up.

She named her Candy Cane Cotton Candy.

Candy could do impressions. She did the Taco Bell Chihuahua perfectly. "Yo quiero Taco Bell?" and "Viva Gorpita."

That was the first evidence of her genius.

We gave her treats when she would growl & complain if she fell asleep on your lap and you had to get up to pee or something. Like "Can't you see I'm sleeping here. You're a bed. I'm asleep. No peeing or otherwise interrupting my slumbers. Jeez people. A little respect."

Any time we would play fight she would be on my side and bite Brooke even though she slept in Brooke's bed every night. I am bigger than my sister, she's 11 years younger than me, but without Candy's protective services I would have surely been abused.

When I went to UCLA, I lived at home. Candy and I would read for 10 hours a day. She was incredibly well read. She actually read the entirety "The Grapes Of Wrath" in 6 hours and got a 97% on her essay. After graduating from UCLA, she continued to read the newspaper everyday and was well versed on a wide range of topics. A friend of mine who just met her a few weeks ago, told me a couple days ago that they chatted about French poetry and Marxism and that they agreed on many points. I never studied that stuff yet so she must have continued her studies independently as well, once I moved out of the house.

The impressions and the degree from UCLA were one thing, but her real talent was the art of cuddling. She was the Yoda of cuddling. It is not hyperbole to say that she was One Of The Greatest Cuddlers Of All Time.

She was my friend, my confidante, my soul mate.

Farewell to our Lamb Chop. Our Tiny Poodle. Q-Tip.

Spoiled to death for 15 years straight.

Wherever she went just got a whole lot cozier.

Look for little clouds of cuddlement. And you will see her.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dutch Quit The Band Then Forgot Again. (Don't Remind Him)

4th of July we played a private party at a posh restaurant on Abbot
Kinney. For about an hour there were 15 beautiful ladies dancing on
the normally immaculate wine bistro bar. (As evidenced in above pic!)

After the show, Dutch quit the band. Then we all argued. Tossing insults back &
forth around the van on our way to go see the fireworks show down the

After sitting in traffic & arguing for at least 45 minutes, we made it less than a mile, turned around
and paid 10 bucks to park a few feet from where we parked for free before. From
there we stood on top of the van, drank our absconded booze and could
see the fireworks through a small sliver in the trees. Michelle peed
on the roof of the van. That was pretty awesome.

We next took our talent to a party, I put on
the bunny costume and requisite belligerence to go with it. They sent me home shortly thereafter in a cab.

The next couple days I was depressed & tired. Cuz Dutch (some 10 years and 500 shows later) quit the band and we worked, played and recorded for 20 hours a day
7 of the last previous 9. ("What do you want a diaper?")

So a couple days later I text Dutch asking if I really need to find
a goddamn new guitar player, he responds "What are you talking about?"

Just another week in the life of Paul Chesne & The Redundancies.

See ya Friday at 9:30 at an old church on 235 Hill St. SM, CA. 90405.
We're recording a live set there.

Also, Sunday at 5-8pm at the Venice Whaler. 10 Washington Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.
Both shows are free & all ages.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Fan Mail

As you may know, last week we played at the world famous semi-strip club Crazy Girls in Hollywood. It was kind of a dream come true to play at a place like that. The Beatles cut their teeth at real all nude bars in Hamburg, Germany. I mean -- Hot girls -- Rock and roll. That's why I picked up the guitar.

We've been working hard as a band. Lots of great friends turned out for the spectacle. And the club and the dancers were all very receptive. All in all the night was a great success. And we look forward to playing there again in the future.

One thing that stuck in my craw though is this message I got from a woman on my mailing list in response to my email notification about the show...

From (Name Withheld):


Oh, gross. I’m so not in the mood for this.

Sorry, Dude, you lost me at the “gentlemen’s bar.”

Uh….. YUCK.



There’s no such thing as a “GENTLEmen’s bar.” That type of slut house would be for pigs, desperados (women and men included) and wanna-be-might-be-rapists.


And I’m bcc-ing all of my concert buddies.

There are SO many clubs (and so many bands), nudy clubs are just SO Unnecessary and classless...

Then a few minutes later before I had even responded to her message, she sent another one:

Here’s the first response, Paul. Take me off your list. Thanks for the good, clean, fun, times. No mas. She’s describing a get-together at a nudy bar.:

Let's see... The sound system & playlist were FANTASTIC, and the drinks also were pretty good. (If I remember right, someone else paid.) It's weird though watching women dance around - not really erotic, but then I'm not a guy or a lesbian. (Although, that night I came to the conclusion that women DO look better with curves.) One stripper actually reached over and grabbed my... well, what can I say -- I was having a Really Good Hair Day (...and BOY, did THAT get the attention of all the "gentlemen!") ;-)

It was fun at the time, but after a day or two (looking back), I felt like I needed to take a shower. I felt dirty (and not in a good way).

Have fun Paul.

Perhaps YOU need a cold shower. It’s about the music. Leave the sluts in the alleys, where they, and their GENTLEMEN customers, belong.

So those are the messages I received from this person. Anyone that knows my music, knows I like to joke around with the way I express my feelings towards women. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that any negativity I project towards women in a song is only because I love them or a particular one so much that it causes me pain. Or it's just a joke, like Eminem or Motley Crue. Life can't be serious all the time. I can't take myself seriously all the time at least.

If you care to read it, here is my response:

Dear (Name Withheld)--

Please do let all your concert buddies know where we're playing and when. They can come picket or get lap dances or both! Whatever suits them is fine with me.

I am a feminist and will always be one. My bass player's wife used to work at Crazy Girls. It personally offends me for you to call her a slut. I'm not sure what she or any other "slut" (I prefer to call them women. But that's a matter of personal preference I suppose) ever did to you. Whatever it is or was, I sincerely hope that you make peace with it and yourself.

As I said in my initial note, the Beatles played in strip clubs (actual completely nude bars, not the very regulated bikini bar that is Crazy Girls) for a few years in Germany in the early 60's. So you might wanna burn their records for the sake of consistency. We are musicians trying to make a living. If you can find a better paying gig in LA, I would be very surprised.

It's scary that you live in such a puritanical & ignorant bubble that you haven't noticed that the economy and the music business are both in an extreme state of collapse. I am not sorry at all that it offends you for me to be able to pay my band enough to eat for the week and work our asses off for 10+ years all the while barely scraping by. This is not some hobby or side gig. This is our life. Our heart and soul and livelihood.

You can call me a desperado or a slut if you like, but I will not stand for being called a "wanna-be-rapist." I would never hurt a woman and the implication that you make is self-righteous and irresponsible.

I am now trying to decipher the awkward sentence structure of your second response to my initial message. From what I can glean, it seems that a friend of yours got too drunk to remember who bought her drinks and then a stripper touched her crotch at a strip club. And then she felt dirty. Because of this event you now are on a crusade to tell all your friends to boycott my band. To each his own.

All this being said, I live life in the moment, love to laugh, live and let live and don't hold grudges. I wish you nothing but the best.

--Paul Chesne

Paul Chesne Band's Fan Box