Food for Your Ears

I recently released an album of my original songs.

“You should promote your album on your blog,” a friend said.

“But my blog is a food blog!” I protested.

My new album, available at CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and wherever fine music is sold.

My new album, available at CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and wherever fine music is sold.

I wish I could say it was nine songs about food. But it’s not. It’s nine songs about all those things that relate loosely to food — love and sex, the pursuit of happiness, pondering our own bellybuttons, etc. More

Hippies in Paradise

As my artist pal Daniel used to say, affecting his best Southern cop twang, “We got a hippy problem.”

Topanga Canyon was ground zero for hippies in the 1960s, and it never quite shed the mantle. Back then, the Manson family was camped out in their psychedelic bus down at the Rodeo Grounds, Neil Young was couch surfing and Gram Parsons and Bernie Leadon twanged out new songs while Jim Morrison “let it roll, baby, roll” up at The Corral roadhouse (yes, that roadhouse).

Hippies having fun

Hippies having fun

Today, the canyon much like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco is more of a destination attraction for young hippies, the way affluent yoga students travel to Mysore, India, to pretend they like being ogled by old gurus. You see them walking barefoot and braless along the boulevard, guitars slung over the shoulders, sipping their chai teas and smiling a lot. Sometimes they even still hitchhike and carry signs like “Make love, not war.” More

Considering the Acorn

“Supposed to be a funeral. It’s been a bad, bad day.”
                         -Gram Parsons

The other day, my wife and I had a bad, bad day. She got stressed out about a proposal we were supposed to be sending out. Then she fell on the precarious stone pathway that leads down to the office. The mood devolved from there — she didn’t like our business, our house, the pathway to the office, the chickens or me. So I didn’t like her back.

Acorn woodpecker

Acorn woodpecker

It passed, things went back to normal. And I was sitting at my computer working on a project when I was distracted as I often am by movement in the trees outside. It was one of my favorite birds — the brilliantly red-crowned acorn woodpecker, hopping up the stout trunk of a towering oak. And I was reminded of how fortunate we are to live here amidst all this wild western beauty. Something I wish we could remember on those bad days. More

The Myth of 27

It’s always been a symbolic number in my life — 27.

I remember sitting with my best friend, Dan, at his house in Topanga close to my 28th birthday. Dan was a few years older than I. “27 has been a really hard year,” I said — tired and disillusioned. “Oh man,” he replied, “I’m just getting over 27.”

Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons in Topanga, 1969

27 is, of course, the year that so many talented young artists perish. Browse the obits, and it truly is astonishing — Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Gram Parsons, Brian Jones, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse. It’s often morbidly referred to as the “Forever 27 Club.” More