Number 37.  This edition is for the week of December 4--10, 2000.
Al Gore about out of options. Bush picks cabinet.
   It's close to the end of the year and close to the end of this excercise of the American electoral system. Al Gore lost 2 recent court battles (the 13,000 disputed ballots will not be recounted, for one), but, God bless him, he's going for still another last-minute appeals maneuver. Even his supporters don't see how, at this late date, anything can be salvaged in a positive way. But, in a way, I have to admire him. In another way, I have to wonder how his behavior would have affected his presidency, had he won the election.
   I'm no fan of George Bush. But it's gotta hurt knowing not only that half the country didn't vote for you, but your g%&*damned election was anything but a smooth affair. So litigious in nature. And only the most reluctant and hard-won concession (eventually) from Al Gore.
  A couple of issues ago, I predicted there would be much talk of election reform over this. Hardly takes a psychic to see that, admittedly, but I'd like to report what I've heard so far.
  I've been increasingly watching C-Span the last few weeks (gasp--Nolan what's wrong with you?) and, in particular the last few days. There's talk on Capitol Hill of doing away with the punch-cards (obviously) and replacing them with hands-on computer screens. The logic being even a fairly bright chimpanzee can recognize a face on a TV he likes and touch it. Of course, I'm insulting the chimp comparing him to a Palm Beach County resident.
   More interestingly, I heard distress over the media's use of "exit polls" and the early winner predictions being broadcast well before the polls have closed. The argument here is voters in California, 3 hours behind us, are discouraged from voting if they hear at mid-afternoon their boy is losing. So they don't vote and that can throw the election. A valid argument, sure, but it's a little late in the MILLENIUM to suddenly be worried about that isn't it? That should have been instituted decades ago. In any event...the new bill (the name escapes me, but it's like "The Poll Closing Act" or something) proposes to stagger open and closing times of voter stations across the country, so polls close about the same time. Either they move us earlier or later or they do. California is about 3 hours behind us, so you do the math, I'm lousy at it. There's also Daylight Savings Time to consider. In Florida, that's finished around Halloween. But I heard a Rep say something about suspending California's DST for 2 weeks after the election! In any event, the point is that everyone gets finished voting about the same time, thereby defeating the "exit poll mongers".
   So, there you have it. What would you vote for?
P.S. It's amusing--for some reason--that George "Dubya" made great issue of not appointing Jeb a cabinet poistion. Supposed to not show favoritism, I guess.
Spike Lee and Corey at Tampa Stadium. Pictures I promised from last issue are here.
   Last issue, I hurriedly said I would post some pix of something old friend Corey Castellano was working on with Spike Lee. Ran out of time for last week, but here they are now.
   It's a film called "Show me Something". At least, that's what the clapper-board said. Director Spike Lee was at Tampa Stadium last Tuesday, the 28th of November. He's filming a series of commercials having to do with the countdown to Superbowl Sunday. The Superbowl is being held at Tampa--excuse me--Raymond James Stadium this January. What exact segment Spike was filming here is a little blurry to me even after having heard the Fox 13 interview and speaking personally with Corey afterwards. (Corey's rather mercenary that way--just pay me my money, ya know? Skip the details.)
    I had hoped to post some video, but the files were way bigger than AOL would allow, so until I get a new program to crunch that a bit, chew on these nice pics, taken directly from my personal videotape of the newscast. Oh, and thanks to Channel 13 for the coverage.
Movie director Spike Lee at Tampa Stadium filming "Show Me Something".
Corey spraying "sweat" onto player/actor's faces. Really not as pissed off as he looks.
Matt's challenge: your Top 10  favorite guitarists of all time. (re: "Matt's Rail" last issue. Nolan's list below:)
  OK, me first! As usual a bit of a qualification. Top 10 lists are a hodge-podge of both what you think are the greatest things of all time and what you think are your favorites. Like my Top 10 album lists, this list will be who all I can think of is who influenced me in my playing the very most. And a few I can never hope to emulate. In NO PARTICULAR ORDER, they are:
Edward Van Halen.--Re-wrote the rules for rock guitar during the disco craze and reintroduced fun heavy rock. That he's a shadow of his former self now is irrelevant.
Jimmy Page.--Before Van Halen, there was Jimmy Page, arguably the most influential rock guitarist ever.  
Randy Rhoads.--No one thought Ozzy could make it sans Sabbath. This young man's career was tragically cut short in a plane crash.
Chet Atkins.--It would be too narrow to merely call him a country player. The greatest multi-style guitarist on the planet. A finger-style mastery I could only dream of.
Andre Segovia/Christopher Parkening.--OK, I cheated again with a double-entry. The 2 greatest classical guitarists who ever lived.
Allan Holdsworth.--Van Halen said Holdsworth was influential in his "finger-tapping" style and it's easy to see why. Any Holdsworth album is an experience. His guitar can sound like anything from a violin to a saxophone. Very progressive music.
Paul Gilbert.--One of the fastest shredders who ever lived. Scott van Sickle and I went to see his first band, "Racer-X", in a Receda, California nightclub. I'm still trying to master his tricks. Perfected modal scale playing at light speed.
Brian May.--Scott also found some tap-playing on an old Queen album. Brian was a little too ahead of his time! A brilliant composer and vocalist, he set a tone for "classical rock" that has never been surpassed. (Remaking "Bohemian Rhapsody" would be as futile as remaking "The Wizard of Oz".)
Les Paul.--The earliest genius to accompany himself thru multi-track recording, which he is credited with inventing. Among the first modern day ('50s) pop stars to have a majorly desirable guitar named after him: the Gibson Les Paul. Still a standard against which all others are measured, he had a notable hand in its design.
Pete Townsend.--Arguably the greatest guitarist/songwriter who ever lived. Next to Lennon and McCartney, of course, who were not exactly guitar wizards. But, who cares?
Now, before I get the expected 2 tons of shit for who all I left out, be aware I am already planning my Top 11--20 for next issue, including the blues and jazz influences in my life.

 

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