Growing up Mexican American, it doesn’t take long until you see the movie La Bamba. It’s the Latino Gone With The Wind (Scarface would be the Latino Wizard Of Oz). My family all saw it in the theater (easily the one auditorium where no white people complained about all the Mexicans bringing children to a movie), and the next year after that movie came out, the La Bamba Soundtrack was a constant in the tape deck of the car of every Aunt I had. I had that fucking thing memorized. I was also really impressed at how good of a singer Lou Diamond Phillips was, just like I was impressed at how good of a singer and guitarist Michael J Fox was in Back To The Future. I mean comeon, that dude fucking shredded during Johnny B. Goode!!! Then, my father set me straight, explained some things, ( kinda just like the girl who informed our hero Tone Lōc “I need fifty dollars to make you holler”) that wasn’t Lou Diamond Phillips doing any of the music heavy lifting, it was instead one of his favorite bands, Los Lobos.
Now, at the time, Spanish was just something I heard when my Mom was pissed the fuck off, so I had no idea what that name meant, but I really wanted to. My Dad tells me The Wolves, and I lose my fucking mind at how cool that is.
At the time I was obsessed with coming up with gang names. Nothing deadly, just the kind of gangs who sit around and figure out how the G.I Joe’s could beat The Predator. So far the best names I had were “The Groovemen”, “The Attackers”, and “The Hot Rodders”. Look, I was fucking ten years old. I didn’t know that those all sound like the names of bowling teams in a league that can’t be within thirty feet of a middle school.
My Dad being the bad motherfukcer that he is, I get another kick ass mixtape., this one full of nothing but cuts from the excellent Will The Wolf Survive, and By The Light Of The Moon. I loved the jangly guitar sounds, the tough-ass sounding saxophone, and the way that one of the dudes always had shades and a goatee. Then, for some stupid reason, it took me about 7 years to find them all over again. I remember hearing snippets of the brilliant La Pistola Y El Corazon (Which may be my all-time favorite album cover), but by the time The Neighborhood came around, I was lost in a haze of puberty and learning how to masturbate. It wasn’t till my senior year in high school that I came back.
My Dad always turned me on to the coolest shit. Music, TV, Movies (You have no idea how cool it feels to be 9 and get the Moe Green reference your Dad makes), but for some reason, when I was in high school failing miserably at getting a female to touch my dick, I ignored all he told me to get into. He pushed Soundgarden on me since day fucking one, but my dumb ass needed to wait for a buddy in class to tell me how great Badmotorfinger was. I mean I had to, these guys had supposedly fingerbanged cheerleaders in the bathrooms during homeroom. To a guy whose only real victory in that department was realizing that cable channels start showing the good shit at midnight, the opinions of the fingerbangers had to trump everyone else’s right? (I’m also well aware that a gang called The Fingerbangers would have sounded way more menacing than anything I came up with) At some point,Dad must have gotten sick of recommending me shit I would never listen to, so he eventually just hijacked my ears during a road trip with a Los Lobos album that had been out for a few years… Kiko.
I was instantly taken by the cover, a yellow chair in a purple room, with the word Lobos in red, dead in the middle. From the opening drums of Dream In Blue, to the twisted parade feel of the beautiful Rio De Tenampa, this record had me hooked, and that’s not even going into the haunted dream of Kiko and the Lavender Moon. My favorite band had landed back in the stratosphere, and I had a lot of catching up to do. Then, it gets even better, as my Dad says he has tickets to see them live. The concert was a melting pot of music snobs, from the nerdy kids, to the older white guys who dressed like African Princes. Los Lobos took the stage, and part of me has been at that show ever since. Since then, I’ve seen them over fourteen times. I own everything they’ve put out. From Cesar Rosas’ Soul Disguise, Houndog, and the Latin Playboys. (You can even hear me yelling like a moron in a Latin Playboys bootleg show from a performance at the Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas, if you ask, I’ll burn you a copy) I’ve even been lucky enough to have most of all what I own by them autographed too.
They are one of the best rock bands out there. If you get a chance to see them live, please do. They put on a great fucking show. Most importantly, if you haven’t heard shit of them, start with Kiko, then, soak up all the rest. Don’t be a douche like I was for those few years, and think you’re too cool for a recommendation.
As anyone who has paid any attention to what I write or talk about should know, I love music. Need it. Can’t start my car and move it half a block without having something to listen to type of obsession. When I am home alone, there is nothing better than lying down and pressing shuffle. I also make playlists for everything. I mean fucking everything. Well, except for shitting, showering and jerking off. I’m not giving up on that by the way though (I can already imagine dropping a load while Robbie Dupree is singing “Steal Away”, or looking at Eva Green’s nude body for the millionth time while “Don’t Call Her No Tramp” by Betty Davis is playing), I just haven’t made them yet.
I recently had the opportunity to take a trip to Atlanta for some shows, and my friend and fellow comic Steve Halasz tells me I can borrow his Beats by Dre to keep me entertained for the 5 hour flight (I am beyond fucking excited, because the most intense my headphones got were those hunks of shit you get with the iDevice that fray like a shark flosses with them within 3 days). He even gives me the chance to try them out for a few days before the trip. Can you imagine this? That’s like getting to go play miniature golf with a hooker before you pee on her. Not a bad deal at all. I had these things for about a day and half when I realized “Fuck borrowing, I need my own pair.” “Baba O’ Reilly” needs to sound this good every time I hear it.
Of course I don’t have the bread lying around to buy these things new, and my girlfriend was adamant that I avoided Craig’s List to get them (really, Craig’s List is only safe for getting pussy and futon’s…best to avoid electronics) , so what the fuck do I do? Then it hits me. I remember that I saw Beats at my local GameStop not too long ago, I have a shit ton of games I’ve beaten that I don’t play anymore, it’s time to make a trade.
I got lucky. The shit I traded in got me about $180 to go towards the Beats. Now, I’m getting my own pair for less than half of what they normally go for! I was ecstatic, well, except for one nagging thought. I really do think that until every black person owns a pair of Beats, no other race should be allowed to pick them up, but fortunately, I was able to press through that guilt. Comeon! For real though! A brand new pair of noise cancelling headphones for less than half of what they go for?!?! I think what helped me is that they have become more of a fashion statement than a pair of speakers, which means everyone has them, and which also means you can find deals on these things most places.
They were all I could have hoped for. I didn’t hear one fucking thing on the plane except for “Ain’t Even Done With The Night” by John Cougar Mellencamp. In fact, I didn’t even hear the other passengers asking me to please stop singing along. Once the kick ass flight ended, I’m in Atlanta, still wanting to play with this new toy, so I immediately decide to walk to the mall that’s a mile away from the hotel, because you know… “If you ain’t up on thaaaaangs”. The walk was great, all my favorite songs all sounding beautiful. (When I’m on the road, I love going to malls and wasting a day walking around them. I have no idea why, but it relaxes me. There is something calming about seeing a white guy who pretends to be black dressed as a referee at Foot Locker. I also realize that there are probably several feds following me now thinking: “any minute now, this dude’s gonna make his move and hit on a 14 year old”)
Then it happens, I’m saying it must have been right around the time “Polythene Pam” morphed into “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”, when Lids and Radio Shack were becoming peripheral memories, and Sbarro became an odd goal to reach. You know that moment I’m sure. Anyway, it was then that this pile of human garbage comes walking up to me, motions that he has something to tell me, so I free my ears, and he says.
“Like those Beats?”
“Love em actually”
“Well, enjoy sub par sounds”
And then he just walked away… like a villain in a fucking Frosted Flakes commercial. I was stunned. This shit came unprovoked from a total stranger. It took hearing the line “She said she’s always been a dancer” being sung to bring me back.
Luckily the day wasn’t ruined, and the music kept coming, but really… can you believe this shit? What balls. Who gives a fuck? Yes, I’m sure there are better options out there, but none that a few old Mario Kart games can help reduce the price of and, I actually love the sound on them. Fuck me for enjoying all my music with some extra bass. In fact, I remember when getting the Sony Walkman with Mega Bass was a tremendous day in my life. “Enjoy sub par sounds”… go fuck your mother. They sound fine, and what the fuck did this twat think I needed? Who am I, George fucking Martin? Was I supposed to be mixing the fucking Dark Side Of The Moon while having some foreign dude try to sell me facial cream at a mall? I’m happy to own these Beats, and wear them when I walk around like a fucking idiot. Fuck what that douche thought. It was a simple and sad reminder that we all need to be careful when enjoying life in front of a miserable piece of shit. There are too many of them, and they love to make more. The good news is, now I have something to drown them out, and there’s no switch to flip either, the Mega Bass is always on.
It’s such a simple piano line that opens it, but soon, (like Ice Cube’s Jimmy) it runs deep so deep so deep puts her ass to sleep. That’s the best way I can describe the trance You Never Give Me Your Money by The Beatles puts me in. (Please go easy on me, it’s like 3am.) Who am I kidding? If I were wide awake with a thesaurus in front of me, I would have typed the same fucking thing. (By the way, that sentence seemed fine, why the fuck would Word put that green squiggly line thing under the words wide awake? Can someone smart please answer that?) Like many, I was raised on The Beatles. I remember how my Dad explained to me why Paul was dead way before he explained to my why my Grandpa was dead. And out of all the songs I poured over, You Never Give Me Your Money held my attention the most, and like your go to jerk off memory, it still holds up, probably even stronger than before.
You Never Give Me Your Money opens the orgasm of fragmented songs the band glued together to end Abbey Road, (That sounded better than calling it a Medley, right?) and as much as I love the beautiful Sun King, I always get bummed that You Never Give Me Your Money is gone, and as much as I love the anthem of Carry That Weight, I can’t wait till it bleeds back into You Never Give Me Your Money. For some reason, that song reminds me of winter, of being five years old, and cuddling with my Mom, (and trying to ignore the Bingo Hall cigarette stink that caked her, she didn’t work at one, she just played that shit like the world played Tetris when the Game Boy first came out). It reminds me of those read along records of Star Wars or Indiana Jones (“you will know it is time to turn the page, when you hear the bullwhip crack like this”) I loved. My Dad would dub them all onto a cassette for me (anyone remember those? They sadly aren’t having the hipster revival vinyl gets every 5 years) and then he would fill the other side of the tape with a mix, good shit like The Who, The Stones, Springsteen, The Clash, and that Beatles song always made the cut. It reminds me of all the fun things I remembered about growing up.
“I never give you my number, I only give you my situation” I mean, does it get any fucking better? Then it jumps right into the life of a unemployed kid, who doesn’t give a fuck where the next check is coming from. “Oh that magic feeling, nowhere to go”, That’s one of the two lines in that song that really stuck, it opened a door. At that time school was just beginning, and we were already being told about permanent records, and looking good on paper, and all that malarkey. That line cut through all that. It let your mind think, “Wait a second, maybe none of this shit really matters. This dude without a job seems pretty happy”. The other line that I never forgot the moment I heard it was “soon we’ll be away from here, step on the gas and wipe that tear away”. Well, now you’re saying that the jobless guy just got pussy too? Sure she may have been nervous about the whole thing, but I bet she stepped on the gas. It was such a relief to think that way.
“And in the middle of the celebrations, I break down” Music is the thing I get dumb over the most. If you’re ever in a car with me, expect a playlist to have been made, expect me to get excited and yell “Oh shit!” or, “Fuck this, here we go!” every time a song I’ve heard 75,000 times comes on for the 75,001 time. This song is one of the main reasons music makes me so fucking stupid. I just heard it on the way to a show earlier tonight, and instead of listen to the rest of my playlist, I just put that shit on repeat (I do that a ton too).
This planet is filled with bullshit, and cunts who buy into that bullshit, and then make sure that bullshit sucks the life out of you. That’s why it’s important to hold on to the shit that made you happy when you were a five, before money and OPP became what you thought of the most. That’s why I lost my fucking mind when I saw the new Godzilla trailer. That’s why I hope CM Punk comes back to the WWE. That’s why I still buy action figures. Embrace it. Oh, that magic fucking feeling.
“One two three four five six seven, all good children go to heaven”
They are all masterpieces. From those opening notes of Edward Scissorhands that let you know you are about to see a beautiful tragedy, to the instantly memorable songs of The Nightmare Before Christmas, to that unforgettable theme song that gave Batman a timeless iconic moment not seen in a comic book, shit, even that one tune he wrote for Army Of Darkness was amazing. If you’re putting up a Mount Rushmore of film music composers, then please book this dude the spot right next to John Williams, and let’s say you can only have four faces, then either throw up Bernard Hermann and Ennio Morricone, or just have John Williams and Danny Elfman making different faces. That’s the level of bad motherfucker we are dealing with here.
When the school year started in 1985, every single kid was impersonating Pee Wee Herman’s laugh, or trying to do that dance he did in the bar to Tequila, or wanting their own friend named Amazing Larry, and hoping to one day have that bike. Yet as many times as I watched that movie when it came it out on video (Oh, golden era of renting a movie at Blockbuster, hooking up another VCR, and dubbing the movie onto a blank VHS tape) and memorized the entire script, one scene stood more than any other… The Breakfast Machine Scene. I mean comeon, a Pterodactyl skeleton dropping bread into a toaster, a T. Rex skeleton squeezing juice out of an orange, Abe Lincoln flipping pancakes… how wasn’t an eight year old brain blown out of it’s skull? And as great as the visuals were, what held all of that together was the song. If you remember the scene, then you are already humming the tune right now. I wanted to hear that song every morning when I woke up. I fell in love with a whole new kind of music, the kind you can’t sing along to. That was my first introduction to the brilliance of Danny Elfman.
The Breakfast scene, the nightmare scene where Francis melts the bike, soon I would watch Pee Wee’s Big Adventure just to hear the music. I remember reading the credits, and seeing music by Danny Elfman and thinking, “this guy is a genius.” It immediately became the first credit I paid attention to when a movie started “who composed the music?”, and “I hope it’s Danny Elfman.”. I pictured some guy in a Mad Scientist laboratory (well, I actually just imagined he worked in a space that looked just like Pee Wee’s kitchen except that it also happened to have instruments) in full lab coat with giant goggles on his forehead working day and night to write these amazing songs, and I couldn’t wait for more.
The great shit kept coming too. As soon as my bootlegged copy of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure had worn itself out, suddenly Beetlejuice and Scrooged hit the scene, and I had more Danny Elfman to go apeshit over. I mean, they STILL use the Beetlejuice theme in trailers, and no matter how shitty the movie looks, I’ll watch it all the way, just to hear the song. The main reason I gave the show Sledge Hammer a shot (I don’t regret it, I still think that show was criminally underrated) was because when the show came on, I loved the theme song, and of course it was Elfman. Then a classic comedy called Back To School comes out, and during a party scene, there’s this band playing a song I’d loved hearing on the radio. The song was Dead Man’s Party, the band was Oingo Boingo. I remember looking to my Dad (who was a giant audiophile, and is 100% responsible for how insane I am about the shit) and telling him I liked that song. He reveled in the opportunity to drop some trivia on me (something I picked up and drive my poor girlfriend nuts over) and let me know that the band was Danny Elfman’s and that was him singing. With that knowledge, I felt like I had just unlocked a fun version of that box in Hellraiser. “What? This fucking guy is a rock star too?” How does it get any better? I also love how he implemented his ability to play straight rock and roll music into soundtracks when he composed the music to the brilliant Midnight Run.
By the time I was in my early 20’s I went gleefully into the deep end. I discovered the manic brilliance of the films his brother Richard Elfman directed. Forbidden Zone was (I think) Danny Elfman’s first shot at composing for movies, and all the hallmarks of his work are there. He even has an excellent turn as the Devil with his band The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo joining him through a twisted take on Minnie The Moocher. Forbidden Zone is really worth checking out, trust me.
The music of Danny Elfman has literally been a blowjob for my ears, and thankfully (like whatever way Sting fucks), you can jizz forever. It got to the point that when the Simpsons debuted, I remember shouting “Danny Elfman!” when the theme song kicked in. When the Tales From The Crypt show started I got goosebumps. Having a Danny Elfman theme added a whole new level of excitement to a film or show. That’s why I watched the tv show of The Flash.
The music from Edward Scissorhands still makes me cry. The Descent Into Mystery song from the first Batman (my personal favorite Elfman song) still makes me want to have a secret base under a mountain I can drive a hot chick into. As a kid, it made it way easier to think you could be Batman, because now you already had the theme song in place. When you grow up awkward (like we all fucking do), it’s those escapes that matter the most. Danny Elfman provided a million of them, and still does. I could ramble about this forever, but it’s almost time for breakfast, and a certain song has started to play.
Hello everyone. First off, thanks so much for stopping by and checking this out. This is the first in what I hope will be a series of recordings of me doing random sets and working out new material. The sound quality may not always be great, the sets may not be funny at all, and some of these jokes could find their way onto my next cd. If that happens, they may end up being told in a similar fashion to how they are told here, or they may be completely different. I hope you enjoy!
Bo knows this, and Bo knows that, but Bo don’t know jack, cause Bo can’t Ramble
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You could be MY black Kate Moss tonight!!!!
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Here we go! Happy New Year Ramblers!!
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