Talking To Your Bandmates During The Song Vol. 1

For those unfamiliar with our organization, DPAC, the Dork Prevention Advisory Committee has been entrusted with the ardent task of upholding, maintaining and preserving standards of cultural coolness & integrity for successive generations. We conduct ongoing policing of pop singers recommending safeguards and protocols with the noble aim of curbing, avoiding and eliminating Dorky Dialogue in popular music.


Our panel of experts have compiled a series of reports entitled “Talking To Your Bandmates During The Song: Case Files And Conclusions.” In addition to this website, copies of our reports will be available at all Federally funded government offices and institutions including but not limited to your local DMV, Post Office, and Public Library.


DISCLAIMER: DPAC should not to be confused with 2–Pac, nor is in any way affiliated with Self Help author Deepak Chopra.


Abstract & Origins

Dorky Dialogue is indeed a razor’s edge many have slipped from iconified grace and wound up impaled on Dork Stalactites in the corny canyon years or decades later. Such dialogue risks launching self–inflicted salvos at their own careers and creates blundering boomerangs as their own Towers of Babble return to sender. CAUTION is the watchword for unfiltered enthusiastic utterances in the studio or onstage, impromptu or planned.


DPAC aims to erect a “Speech Line: Do Not Cross” Auditory Police Tape so future musicians and entertainers may refer to maintain a successful “Bell Curve of Cool” throughout their careers as well as protect the airwaves and internet from Nerdy Noise Pollution. Our Publication SM 58: Dampening Dorky Dialogue (see below), provides helpful guidelines for singers to learn when to palm mute their given instrument. The Singer Modification 58 Protocols outline safe and unsafe lead vocal territories in regards to unnecessary chatter, gibberish, babble, bragging, ego stroking, superfluous filler, fluff, Paul Stanleyisms, etc.


Publication SM–58


Showing Some Love Towards Cover Bands

The first thing such Inter–Song Socializing (ISS) or Inter–Band Dialogue (IBD) on a recording does is it renders a particular song Cover Tune Unfriendly (CTU). Before engaging and risking such utterances, ask yourself “What are the odds other band members will have the same names and/or play the same instrument?” Or be the same gender for that matter. If you are not good with math like a singer, the odds are about that of a Beatles reunion, Charlie Manson getting a record deal, or another Tiffany album.


Acceptable Usage and Examples

Neneh Cherry saying “Hey DJ…” in the intro fo her hit track “Buffalo Stance” is one such example. Note that this is acceptable as Ms. Cherry refrained from naming the particular DJ, and just telling him (or her) to “Stop that effing scratching and give me a beat!”


Vanilla Ice prodded “Yo VIP–let’s kick it!” to get his DJ to press a button and get the the synth drums going on “Ice Ice Baby.” Again no one is insinuated by name and thus cannot be charged as an Accessory to Nerdy.


Steve Perry shouting after the piano intro to “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Neil!”  to Neil Schon to cue in the 4 note guitar lick build that increases in speed and crescendos with the drums entering. Steve did this live but NOT on the actual sound recording which would have definitely been North of dork and South of cool.


Frank Zappa and The Mother Of Invention could get away with lots of inter band conversation onstage because it was musical theatre and part of the show.


Rap & Hip Hop have taken Inter–Song Socializing to new plateaus, talking to and about themselves with a frequency density far greater than that of other genres as they do not seem concerned with having their material covered by bands in nightclubs. Since it is so much a part of the genre, we have determined a hands off policy is the recommended approach.


When did all this Inter–Song Socializing (ISS) start?

DPAC has determined its origins seem to have been with James Brown, shouting “MACEO!!” To Maceo Parker his horn player. However these were live recordings and part of the spontaneity of being in the moment.


Note that doing so on an actual STUDIO recording is a logical contradiction, since if a band member is dumb enough to not know when to solo or play a certain part, then why would they be in the band to begin with? One presupposes they ARE in the band because they are competent on said instrumentation. ISS on recordings is further innecessitated when hiring session players for an album, who it can be safely assumed, know their ass from their elbow.



One recommendation is yelling out the name of the instrument about to take spotlight such as “Guitar!!” Fans already know it’s coming and who’s playing it, so doing this in substitute of a bandmates name can prevent a dork meter spike and keep you safely south of dork.


Consider the fact that your band members will already be listed in album liner notes and also on your website. You also get to introduce them live on stage every performance. Is there really a need to have such a conversation during the song?


Just Shut Up And Sing!! Well, you know what we mean—avoid mentioning your bandmates by name and at all during recording sessions. (The SM–58 Gold Standard—our preferred recommendation)

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Sharpening Your Cool IQ

Imagine a Steely Dan recording session where Donald Fagen yells out to Jeff “Skunk” Baxter “Go Skunk!” Or to Elliott Randall, “Elliott!” on the opening solo of “Reelin’ In The Years.” A voice sample of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial saying “Elliott”, although getting points for originality, still fails to be a Trojan horse in the cool army.


Picture “Tom Sawyer” with Geddy Lee saying “Gimme a roll Neil!”  to Neil Peart right before his first gargantuan drum fill. Then “How about another?”, and finally a “One More time.” Or alternately after the 3 big drum fills, Geddy saying “Wow, Neil was on a roll!” in some form of schlocky musical slapstick.


Singers are most often the guilty parties. Think about how dumb it would sound for another band member telling the lead singer to sing. Can you picture Jimmy Page telling Robert Plant “Scream Robert!” Or Keith Richards telling Mick Jagger “Sing unintelligibly like you always do Mick!” ISS seems to be a symptom of Lead Singer Disease (LSD) as guitarists, drummers, bassists, pianists and keyboardists, etc. are not prone to such faux pas.


Did we ever hear Freddie Mercury telling guitarist Brian May “Go Brian go!?” In the classic Rob Reiner Mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, the track “Gimme Some Money” on the bands CD makes fun of Inter–Song Socializing. It’s a retro 60’s flower power song, where lead singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) says to guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), “Go Nigel Go!!” as he begins a wimpy guitar solo with stellar garage band cacophony.


“Gimme Some Money” is parody. DPAC exists to prevent parody from unintentionally becoming reality, and any Careless Whisper or Momentary Lapse Of Reason from becoming a parody later on. That being said, we wish you a long and productive career filled with years of Certified Dork Free Recordings (CDFR).



Case Files:


Poison “Talk Dirty To Me”
C.C. pick up that guitar and talk to me

Bret Michaels yells out “C.C. pick up that guitar and talk to me” to C.C. DeVille on Poison’s debut album during the track “Talk Dirty To Me.” It’s like what the hell was C.C. doing prior to this in the song—NOT playing guitar? Sitting on his monitor amp painting his fingernails? It makes little sense. One needs to factor in and consider before doing so “Will this still sound cool 20 years from now?” Because unless you’re a a tribute band, and dress and pretend to be the actual members of the original band onstage, such lyrical appendages are better omitted.



Def Leppard “Armageddon It”
Come on Steve, get it!

Joe Elliott talks to one of his guitarists on the track “Armageddon It” off of the monstrously successful Hysteria album. He calls out to Steve Clark, “Come on Steve get it!” right before the guitar solo. Was this encouragement because Steve flubbed the last 5 takes in the studio? DPAC wonders if there could be some kind of curse in doing this—In Def Leppard’s case, this was Steve Clark’s last completed album and C.C. got fired from Poison later on as well.



Motley Crue “Girls, Girls, Girls”

Hey Tommy check that out man
What Vince where?
Hey hey right there
Hey baby going somewhere?

Vince Neil and Tommy Lee are obviously not at a strip club during this conversation even though that’s what most of the song is about—a tour of the world’s finest nude entertainment establishments. Unfortunately due to the recession, some of the strip clubs mentioned in the song are no longer in business.


But does this dialogue have real world authenticity? Like any girl wouldn’t be like “Who are these juvenile douchebags?” Like they would say, “Oh that’s okay, they’re in a Rock Band so high school kinda stuff is still pretty cool. They’re socially exempt from being any more sophisticated than a cruder construction worker Cassanova to be successful with women. They’ve got motorcycles so they MUST be cool.” Ah, the ‘ol Harley hat trick.


Although the strip club bonding Bromance between Vince and Tommy was some drunken drooling over imaginary Double–D’s, the motorcycle starting up in the song’s intro was real as we know the person who did it on the actual recording.



Rick James “Super Freak”
Temptations Sing!
Blow Danny!

Rick slipped up twice in his hit dance track “Super Freak.”  First he tells his backup singers, “Temptations Sing!.” I’m sure after a successful recording career prior to Rick getting his first pubes, that Motown veterans The Temptations know the difference between choruses and verses and when to get their backing vocals on. And hiring session musicians as experienced as The Temptations requires conductor caliber instructions from Maestro James during a track?


Rick also tells his sax player when to take a standard 8 bar solo, with “Blow Danny!” Really? Like Danny would do a solo during the verses when Rick was singing about some very kinky girl?



Prince And The Revolution “Computer Blue”

Yes Lisa.
Is the water warm enough?
Yes Lisa.
Shall we begin?
Yes Lisa.

Although we’ve never heard Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie yell out “Go Lindsey” to Lindsey Buckingham telling him when to rip into a guitar riff or solo, one example of women talking during the song is on the Purple Rain Soundtrack. Our research has indicated female singers don’t tend to talk to their band members by name as frequently as their male counterparts. The intro to “Computer Blue” being a notable exception. The track begins with a conversation between Wendy and Lisa with no disscernable reference to even playing an instrument.


What does this “girl talk” conversation have to do with a song entitled “Computer Blue?” Your guess is as good as ours. Incidentally, you shouldn’t have water anywhere near your computer as it can short it out and damage the circuitry. Yet certain questions still remain as to what are they talking about. Our panel has narrowed it down to the following possible scenarios:

  1. Making herbal tea
    2. Shaving their legs
    3. Making sure the pasta they’re cooking turns out Al Dente
    4. Visiting a day spa while on tour

Regardless, don’t let no thermometer stop you from purifying yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka:


This concludes Case File Installment #1. And remember:

Some singers get hip replacements, others need lip replacements.
Don’t get a D in Dork, score a C in Cool!
Loose Lips Sink Hits!!


The Dork Prevention Advisory Committee (DPAC)

© Composer Yoga

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The best tasting superfoods greens powder available! Organic • Paleo • Raw • Gluten & Soy Free • Vegan. No juicing or blending required.

What follows is a grocery list of things I’ve learned from life and various approaches to living exploring Creativity & Spirituality—being an artist, student of meditation, regular fasting & yoga, internal yearning towards higher consciousness and becoming a more creative being for positive transformation. These are general principles and observations I try to live by and navigate the wilderness of Maya with. Some are Confucius sounding hence the jest with the title if the long bearded Chinese sage wanted to narcissistically self–aggrandize himself.

Here’s the twenty–fourth batch of Zen BrowniesTasty, mouth–watering morsels to reduce consumption of bad karma and sweeten the recipe of your life:


1. Time spent trying to get the approval of others is time spent not being happy and at peace with oneself.

2. The world of emotions is the world of duality. The world of Bliss, peace and harmony exists outside of the world of emotion. You’ll never roll sevens all the time in the world of emotions so learn to walk away from the slot machine.

3. Meditation is the daily investment in Higher Consciousness and independent, internally generated peace and happiness.

4. Older people who are mean, cruel, and condescending are just making a display of their own failures with themselves and being poor role models of empowerment to younger generations.

5. Some people mellow with age. Others expand in both directions of harder and softer and integrate more of the whole.

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6. The piece of carbon you are piloting is only a small part of the entirely of You. The body you see, the carbon you see, is but the tip of a multidimensional iceberg across space and time.

7. We’re all tourists on a deeper level no matter where we are on the planet. Home is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

8. People who believe and proclaim there are no Higher Truths use it as an excuse not to try or experience them and think they are undeserving. How many decades of research and traveling the world searching every corner have they accumulated to reach such a conclusion? Usually none. Higher Truths are unfamiliar territory outside their comfort zone. It is most often a statement of frustration and resignation with one’s life.

9. The outer life won’t change until the inner life does.

10. Gold is the gold in modern societies. Water and shade are the gold in a desert. Higher Consciousness is the gold everywhere.

© Composer Yoga


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Going Solo: Iron Maiden “Caught Somewhere In Time”

I discovered Iron Maiden totally by accident. Up until that time I was listening to bands like Van Halen and Def Leppard and that was as “heavy” as I was getting as a preteen. No heavy petting or heavy metal quite yet. I was still usurping my older brother’s music collection and whatever I could forage on local rock stations. Pyromania and 1984 were played to death in our bedroom. I remember Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry and Quiet Riot’s Condition Critical vibrating the stereo speakers often and somehow our parents were “able to take it”—that being when Dee Snider aurally materialized as an uninvited house guest. Perhaps the fact that our bedroom was on the opposite side of the house as theirs had something to do with it. When we moved to a bigger house after I entered 7th grade, I began working out in the basement and had just a bare stereo on our second freezer along with my workout albums. Old school Rocky Balboa approved. Okay, it did look nicer than Clubber Lang’s apartment. But I was having a hankering for heavier stuff to get the Eye Of The Tiger amidst the sound of Leppards.


Back then, Judas Priest was the only “really” Metal band that actually got airplay on the Classic Rock radio stations I listened to where I grew up. It seemed if you had two guitarists, it was “too heavy” for a standard Classic Rock station. It’s as if there was an “Elevator Weight Capacity” for bands not to exceed a set number of pounds—4 band members: okay, 5 band members: Holy Crap, it’s Metal! Of course there were exceptions. Bands that had 5 members (and 2 guitarists) and passed through the Rock Radio Checkpoint Charlie were The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bon Jovi, and .38 Special, all of which were never considered Metal. The subject matter of a band’s songs was a deciding factor in if they were considered Metal or not. Because if you’re Metal, you don’t write whiny ass songs about relationships. At least that’s the way it used to be before Hair Spray and Metal met in a Paul Mitchell salon somewhere west of the San Andreas Fault in southern California. I see a children’s book in the making right there.


Back to my Maiden voyage. For someone who didn’t have a learner’s permit yet, I was at the mercy of other people who knew how to drive. And with that, used to go to backyard parties with my older brother and his friends or some of my older friends. It was at one of these backyard evening parties standing around a fire where the serendipity of discovering Iron Maiden happened. I wish I could say Eddie appeared and we roasted marshmallows by the fire from his long scrawny fingers, but this was more towards the Pabst Blue Ribbon spectrum of soirees than Burning Man peyote fest.


Somehow several adult beverages landed in my hand and my new friend buzz and I were digging all the rock tunes playing on the stereo blasting raccoons back to the nosebleed seats at the edge of the woods. I remember hearing the words “Deja Vu” on one of the songs. That was all my brain cells bathed in Bud or some other cheap beer could recollect the next day anyway. And with the finest Sh*tfaced Sherlock Holmes determination for solving “The Case Of The Mystery Song” in someone’s back yard I didn’t know and cannot remember, I set out asking “Hey, who sings a song called ‘Deja Vu.?'” I got a lead on this band called Iron Maiden. I then set out to canvas some stores and look for what album the song was on. With the sobriety of Sergeant Joe Friday, a few Iron Maiden albums later (or so I thought), I found it—Somewhere In Time had a track listing of “Deja Vu.” It also had amazing Science Fiction cover art (inspired by Blade Runner from the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) and since I was a huge fan of Star Wars growing up, that sealed the deal. I took Somewhere In Time to the register and with that, owned my first Iron Maiden album. And to this day it’s still my favorite.


The opening track “Caught Somewhere In Time” just blew me away—Bruce Dickinson’s vocals were crazy good, like one of his parents had sex with an amplifier good. I kept having “Holy Crap” moments—this was the first Metal album I actually owned and knew I was hooked for life. I was so blown away by all the songs I’d heard before “Deja Vu” (the second to last track) that I didn’t even care it WASN’T the song my drunken ears heard at that party mentioned earlier. Turns out, I found out later the lyrics were actually “Danger—“ and it was the the song “Danger” by Motley Crue off Shout At The Devil. The sustain and vocal effects when Vince Neil sings the word “Danger” sounded like “Danger….ooooh” which my slurried braincells misheard as “Deja Vu”:


You’re in danger
When the boys are around Danger
You’re in danger
And this is my town
This is Hollywood

“Caught Somewhere In Time” for me was one of those solos that makes you want to become a guitarist. It shows how much fun you can have on a guitar, how freely you can launch energies from your fingertips and dance across the fretboard like a Whirling Dervish. I was just starting to play guitar and “Caught Somewhere In Time” blew my (back then) short hair back like the famous Maxell “Blown Away Guy” ad of the dude sitting in an easy chair listening to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” which conveniently blows a glass of wine to him:

The “Blown Away Guy” moment I had was hearing solo #2 by Adrian Smith which begins at the 4:05 mark continuing to the 4:50 mark:

The solo ends with a recapitulation of the opening fast tempo riff heard first at the :53 mark. Iron Maiden switches keys often in songs and the solo baton passing between the two guitarists is no exception.
Dave Murray leads off with his slippery bluesy frolic in B flat then Adrian Smith punches it into orbit with this masculine metallic montage in G. The driving ascending staccato triplets across the neck and legato two handed tapping are the solos highpoints for me. You can almost hear the Silverback gorilla.

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At times I reflect how long I’ve come since buying that album and listening to it in my bedroom as a teenager. If someone were to have told that teenage me that I would someday see all the places I would, I probably would have thought they were talking about someone else. Like “Wasted Years”, I saw those cities go by in the night, went from coast to coast of the United States, flown over a few of those “seven seas.” On whatever journey, I was always packing Metal, packing Somewhere In Time to listen to. Towards the end of the final track on Somewhere In Time, “Alexander The Great,” there’s the verse lyric:


The battle weary marching side by side
Alexander’s army line by line
They wouldn’t follow him to India
Tired of the combat, pain and the glory


As if the Somewhere In Time album were a personal prophecy or subliminal travel itinerary, I even visited India and got my Indiana Jones on. Years before going to to other side of the planet (which is brutal jetlag), I had tickets for John Williams Night at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox Massachusetts. It’s been a Tanglewood tradition where Williams guest conducts a program of his greatest hits: Jaws, E.T., Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc. At one point, Chewbacca and Darth Vader got on stage with Maestro Williams, but unfortunately you cannot conduct an orchestra with a Light Sabre. It was called the Electric Light Orchestra not the Electric Light Sabre Orchestra there Darth.


So there I was, visiting ancient temples all over southern India in the state of Tamil Nadu, which actually sounds like a planet in a Star Wars movie. I was even in a tiger preserve in the mountains and walked out a Survivor. And as for “Jedis”, Tamil Nadu is famous for producing more Saints and Realized Masters (Advanced Yogis) than any other location on Earth. On the other hand, Gary Indiana is famous for producing more serial killers (which happens to be a Maiden song and earlier album) than any other location and also The Jacksons for some Thrilling reason. In India, my eyes met the sacred Mt. Arunachala (pictured on the package of some Organic India products), the mountain where Carl Jung spent over a month traveling on steamships just to see in his lifetime. Jung pioneered the concept of Synchronicity which was the title and inspiration for the incredible final album by The Police, which has the tracks “Synchronicity I” and “Synchronicity II” (the tune where Sting is yelling in the intro).


So sometimes mishearing lyrics can be a good thing. People mishear lyrics sober so accidentally discovering Iron Maiden was either some jolly good luck or Divine intervention of the Metal Gods. These days the Pope drinks more than I do (My Metal collection is WAY better than the Pope’s though). But “Caught Somewhere In Time” is still one of my favorite Metal solos of all time—it’s even among my favorite solos of all time. I’ve since listened to this album on 4 continents, numerous times at 30,000+ feet, watching mountains, plains, oceans and coastlines below me; In and through several countries, dozens of states, countless miles of Interstates, slicing across the country in the night; and also countless nights peacefully lying down in bed falling asleep to it. Somewhere In Time is like a companion I’ve taken with me in life on the leash of my iPod.


Some people don’t “mellow with age” as far as their musical palette and tastes go. We just expand in both directions of harder and softer to integrate more of the whole. I still love Metal and know I could listen to it in my 80’s, 90’s and past 100. I’ll never outgrow it and will definitely look better than Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie, who at some point I’m betting will look better than Keith Richards (heroin will steal your youth, health and possibly your life folks—it’s taken too many musicians far too early). I just know wherever in time I’ll be, I’ll want Metal beside me within earshot. I’ve come to realize I exist “Somewhere In Time” and with music, I’ll always have a portable home. And YO ADRIAN!!!

© Composer Yoga

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When In Doubt, Listen To Man With Longer Beard #23: Meditation, Aphorisms & Yoga Sage Brushes With Wisdom

The best tasting superfoods greens powder available! Organic • Paleo • Raw • Gluten & Soy Free • Vegan. No juicing or blending required.

What follows is a grocery list of things I’ve learned from life and various approaches to living exploring Creativity & Spirituality—being an artist, student of meditation, regular fasting & yoga, internal yearning towards higher consciousness and becoming a more creative being for positive transformation. These are general principles and observations I try to live by and navigate the wilderness of Maya with. Some are Confucius sounding hence the jest with the title if the long bearded Chinese sage wanted to narcissistically self–aggrandize himself.

Here’s the twenty–third batch of Zen BrowniesTasty, mouth–watering morsels to reduce consumption of bad karma and sweeten the recipe of your life:


1. Unplugging from thoughts and senses with daily periods of silence and stillness in meditation will make you more intelligent and creative. All things grow in silence.

2. It’s better to be a student on higher dimensions than king of an anthill here.

3. You can create a life that’s uniquely you. You can make your own roads, your own rites of passage. It doesn’t cost that much money. It just takes the skill of not being too concerned with what people may say or think about you. Caged birds only sing because that’s all they know.

4. Music, meditation, and travel all feed into each other and are infinite mines to deeper growth and inspiration.

5. Fear and ego lead to bowing to the wrong things in life.

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6. Even with all the wealth in the world, the Human experience still has ceilings. There is more to Existence than being Human.

7. Take life by the reins before Arthritis sets in.

8. Even if you cannot change things, you can always change your perception of them.

9. Truth is often hindered by popular belief.

10. Meditation never ends. If even the Avatars have to do the work here, what makes people think they are somehow off the hook?

© Composer Yoga

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Kegwell & Cigaretoric: A Presidential Debate

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Kegwell & Cigaretoric
A PresiDENTial Debate

Cast Of Characters:

SENATOR KEGWELL: A life–size red, white and blue beer can costume with “Gutweider” written across stomach
SENATOR CIGARETORIC: A life–size cigarette costume with the brown filter end for a head
MODERATOR (Blunt Rather): dressed in gray suit with blue tie
NEWS ANCHOR #1 (Kent Winston WBAC News): has microphone with BAC written on it and earpiece
NEWS ANCHOR #2  (Rush Limpjaw WDUI News): at desk with lapel mic
NEWS ANCHOR #3 (Jay Bongsman 420 News): life–size marijuana joint with marijuana leaf on top as his hair, has hand held microphone with pot leaf logo with 420 written across it

PHOTOGRAPHERS (3 to 5 for flash photos at end of debate)



Candidates are behind podiums with microphones on each from several news stations: WBAC, WTAR, WDUI, WIPA,WTHC. Moderator is seated at table between them with timer clock and microphone on it. There is a laptop, script and pen on the table he uses periodically.

There are audience members/constituents seated on stage behind each candidate who applaud at given points and raise their campaign signs. They stand at the end and all applaud keeping signs in air. There can be 5–7 people minimum on each candidate’s side. Some signs can be displayed above their heads to be seen while they’re in the seated position. Respective signs are raised above their heads during the debate at moments of applause for each particular candidate. Audience is seated throughout and only stand at end after their candidates closing speech for longer applause. They all stand after the debate concludes and during the moderator’s wrap up.


NEWS ANCHOR #1 (standing or sitting on higher platform in front, stage right–hand up to right ear):
Good evening, and welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s Presidential Debate, I’m Kent Winston, BAC News. Both party’s campaigns have been heating up in the past several weeks. It’s been a long and winding road on the campaign trail for both candidates. All that time driving around golf carts on the finest courses in the country courtesy of their respective lobbyists, soft and hard PAC money, and special interest groups made sure both candidates were certainly well paid off. Oops! [laughs] Typo in the teleprompter—I mean certainly paid off well for both candidates.

Senator John F. Kegwell has been the “Can do” candidate thus far, poised for one of the biggest political upsets in recent history. The tipping point however, or tipsy point as the case may be, will be decided by voters at the polls in November. Kegwell still needs to prove to binge state voters he’s not a one night can, that he’s no flash in the can, that he’s for the Republic for which it stands—That he’ll be on tap for more than a six pack to inebriated states.

But lawyer by trade, Senator R.J. Cigaretoric, is eager to show voters he’s no Bar Stool Pigeon and won’t rest his case of beer until the verdict sways in his flavor. The tobacco tycoon continues his drag race for the White House and is making sure his smoke signals are turning green—and make sure he won’t stub his Big Tobacco in the process. He’s confident and cognizant he has the necessary legal skills to be a bar tender to stop the BAR TENDER—the increasing amounts of money and momentum flowing into his rival Senator Kegwell’s campaign…[right hand up to earpiece] Okay…it’s almost underway…[speaking hurriedly] We now take you live to our moderator for tonight’s debate.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the GFU Convention Center, the former Madison Square Beer Garden, where the future of our Nation will be decided over the course of it’s party preferences. I’m your moderator for this evening, Blunt Rather. Please welcome our candidates, to my left [gesture] North TARolina Senator R.J. Cigaretoric, nominee of the Cigartarian Party and to my right [gesture] ArCANsas Senator John F. Kegwell the nominee of the Tailgate Party. Thank you both for being here to further elucidate your respective party platforms in a transparent public forum. Each of you has been briefed regarding the rules and guidelines of the debate beforehand and let’s agree to have a civilized discourse on behalf of the public who’ll elect either of you as the ruling party for the next years of their lives. Without further adieu, we’ll begin with the Candidate’s opening statements. Senator Cigaretoric, you may begin.

Thank you Blunt and thanks to my lobbyist posse in the front row [gesture] and to our viewing audience at home. In this great country of ours, one has the Constitutional right to use any recreational substance one chooses. However, one must also obey the law—which narrows a law abiding citizen’s choice down to two substances: Our product and the other party’s product. I proudly state that our product does not cause fights and you can safely operate machinery and motor vehicles with it. Our product encourages sobriety, and furthermore, waiting until you’re 21 is such a drag so take one earlier with ME!! [Applause]

Senator Kegwell, your opening statement.

Good evening my fellow AmeriCANS [Applause]. I am honored to be the nominee of the Tailgate Party and honored for the opportunity to be served to all Americans. If elected, I promise you’ll get your fill of cool, crisp refreshing new ideas. I promise to be an open container, share secrets and inner workings of government with the public and develop mutual trust by not being a barfly on the wall in your personal lives. Together we’ll develop a codependency on each other and support each other in time of need. I’ll have hands off policies so you CAN have hands on CANS!! [Applause]

Senator Kegwell, I’d like to begin this debate by stating that usage of your product is illegal for minors.

I’ll also note Senator that your product cannot be sold to minors.

True, our product cannot be sold to minors, but it is not however illegal for minors to use our product.

And is that why you’ve used impersonal vending machines to dispense your product Senator? So you can get around selling to minors?

Our product was never outlawed like YOURS Senator Kegwell! [Applause]

And all your advertising is deliberately aimed at people just becoming teenagers Senator Cigaretoric—there seems to be no concern about your product’s risks to their long term health.

Look at your product Senator! You’re not even allowed to show people using it in commercials per FCC guidelines—does that not indicate your product is indeed harmful?

At least we can still have commercials Senator Cigaretoric—you had to take all your ads to China! That’s very Un–AmeriCAN! [Applause]

I think it’s only fair that cigarettes be advertised on television as well. The other party has benefited from this unfair advantage for far too long.

That’s because your product IS unhealthy and harmful. Our product is for responsible recreational use only and presents no harm when used correctly and in moderation.

Safe! Your product is lethal! There is not only statistical and conclusive proof but also heart wrenching tales of young teenagers drinking too much in one night at YOUR party and dying. Senator Kegwell, I ask you how you can deny the dangers of your product when this is a well–established indisputable fact? No one has ever died from using our product in one night. Senator Kegwell, you can use our product and still drive a car home! [Applause]

And your product Senator Cigaretoric is immediately addictive to it’s users whereas ours is not. If this was NOT the case, then why are there not “social smokers” who smoke only on Fridays and festive occasions like there are social drinkers? How Senator do you interpret these facts?

We interpret it that users enjoy our product and we provide it to them at the utmost convenience.

Senator, you don’t eat a hamburger every day, three times a day even if you love hamburgers. People do have more than 3 cigarettes a day.

[hands up gesturing] Back up a minute that is untrue—the fact that people use our product frequently just indicates how much our users enjoy the taste of it. Also since our product is small, it stands to reason that it takes more of it to equal the serving size of a hamburger.

Well, we’ve all seen “Kiss Me I Don’t Smoke” pins and stickers. You notice we don’t see “Kiss Me I Don’t Drink” ones? That’s because more kissing happens because of drinking than smoking Senator Cigaretoric! [Applause]

Well, some people smoke after sex and some people drink before it. But no one drinks after sex Senator because they already made the mistake! YOUR product is the difference of having a night to remember versus a night they’d rather forget. It’s YOUR product that causes the flirting and fornication faux pas—Random hookups and upchucks. Last call love. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt Senator—your product does taste better than regret. [Applause]. As a matter of fact, you seem to be having a 2 for one sale on regret—your product not only causes liquid muscles but also liquid loveless so it seems you are helping the economy after all. [Applause]

Your users typically don’t like the taste of your product when they first try it—what does that say about your product’s habit forming tendencies? It’s clear to me that when the smoke clears, it’s an addiction machine to trap a customer for life. [Applause]

[Irritated] That point is irrelevant. I guarantee no one liked their first taste of your product either—they learned to like it—some learned to like it too much Senator Kegwell! [Applause] Your product is addictive while ours is not—it is the free choice of the user.

[Appalled] Free choice? How do you see that?

Whoa, don’t blow your Pop–Top Senator! People can exercise their choice to use our product or not. I fail to see how this makes our product addictive. On the other hand, your product is addictive—it causes users of your product become alcoholics.

You are unfairly and inaccurately generalizing a small percentage Senator–when you are generalizing, you are spreading GENERAL LIES. Our product, Senator Cigaretoric is intended to be used at festive occasions and social gatherings. If people use our product all alone, they are said to have a drinking problem—but if someone smokes all by themselves then nothing is seen to be wrong with that? They are not seen as having a smoking problem? Why is this Senator? Aren’t they not “Cigaholics” as well? [Applause]

That was a cheap shot just like beer is a cheap shot Senator Kegwell.

Well, true I’m no Uncle Tom Collins Senator. But let’s not ignore the fact that our product at least can be digested by the body. What use does your product have for the body? That is the real proof your product is addictive and has no biological use. And you certainly won’t “come a long way baby” if your mother smokes! [Applause]

Look who’s talking Mr. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome! Our product isn’t an enemy of brain development and IQ like yours is. I remind you Senator Kegwell that chewing gum also has “no biological use” but millions of people use IT everyday, some several times a day.

And why Senator do you suppose people use chewing gum?

I believe they do indeed enjoy the taste—plus the added benefit that chewing helps protect teeth and strengthens jaw muscles but I won’t pretend to be a dental expert in front of my constituents.

Well it doesn’t take a dentist to know that your product does not clean teeth and certainly doesn’t strengthen ANY part of the lungs. The free radicals in cigarette smoke make your face age prematurely—sounds like a regular Beverly Hills beauty regimen to me! [Applause] And I’m still wondering Senator—can you tell me why your product doesn’t come in the variety of flavors chewing gum has?

Our product is based on simplicity and convenience. We don’t need elaborate packaging to attract users as you do—you’d think if you just add beer it’s instantly all bikinis and beach parties! [Applause]. You have all these fancy and deceptive ads on television—you dress up your product with an endless array of bells and whistles to make it seem safer when in fact your product is harmful to the body.

That is wrong Senator—we do not need to make our product safer.

(Interrupting) That’s a lie, you have alcohol free beer!

Please don’t interrupt Senator Cigaretoric.

Don’t have a Nic Fit Senator. We don’t have a filter on the neck of a beer bottle do we? Why does your product need a filter if it is not in fact harmful?

Senator this splitting hairs is pointless. I remind you that even chewing gum can be harmful. Chewing gum manufacturers offer an alternative for their users which is similar to our filter.

What are you saying Senator? That you intend to make YOUR version of sugarless cigarettes? Senator Cigaretoric, you must be joking—there is no comparison between your product and chewing gum. And I surmise there’ll be bacon flavored chewing gum long before cigarette flavored. [Applause] Even people who don’t care about tar on their lungs won’t go for tar on their teeth! [Applause]

I remind you Senator, that your product impairs driving ability and harms the liver—these are well documented facts.

Our product certainly should not be used before or when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery. People must be responsible and vigilant with friends and family, but other than that, out product is safe when used correctly and in moderation. On the other hand, your product is addictive and it’s long term use promotes cancer and other health complications. If this were NOT true Senator, why then is it more difficult to get insurance if one is a user of your product? And why does insurance cost more if one is a user of your product? Perhaps there’s something insurance companies know that you’re not telling! [Applause]

And why does car insurance get more expensive with each DUI Senator Kegwell? No one ever lost their driver’s license for smoking and driving. [Applause]

Beer never accidentally started a house or forest fire Senator. Your product causes fires—our product just stains rugs, furniture and Frat House floors. Your product stains lungs.

Your product stains lives!

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(Time Buzzer goes off)

Candidates we have run out of time. Each of you may proceed with your closing statements. Starting with Senator Cigaretoric.

I’d like to conclude and ask that citizens elect me as your choice of party. Don’t elect someone who’ll turn The White House into The Frat House. Don’t order a draft when our country needs to keep the torch lit. I’m the Candidate who will keep the torch lit!! And when friends and family ask “Got a light?”, you can proudly reply, “Yes, a vote for Cigaretoric!!” [Applause] Elect a Light Of Camelot with uncompromising smooth character to get you through these dark ages.  I’m a staunch supporter of The Bill Of Lights, and as Commander In Chief, I’ll be a Smoking Gun, [Fist gesture] tough on defense and always ready for a preemptive Lucky Strike to defend this Great Marlboro Country from all enemies, Imported and Domestic [Glaces at Senator Kegwell, Applause]. This Election Day, it’s a choice between a Constitutional Light and a [gesture towards Kegwell] ConstiBOOZEional night! [Applause] Don’t roll out the barrel of drunk monkeys with Senator Kegwell when you’ve got a match with ME! [Applause]

My opponent will lead you on his own “Tap Dance.” A Tap Dance full of promises only to certain selective groups like in his commercials, when in fact he’ll treat you like chopped liver by underCANdidly robbing you of your liver! [Applause] Senator Kegwell says his product is only for festive social gatherings and groups. He is not concerned with the individual like I am. Our product serves individuals like you. If his product is not for individuals, then his policies cannot be either. So on Election Day, don’t get a Dent in President with some can, don’t elect Mr. CANdiDATE Rape over here [gesture]…vote Cigaretoric and make me YOUR Cignificant other! [Applause] And together, we’ll let KOOL heads prevail and show our Hoppy headed opponents that Buttheads can certainly butt heads!!

Cheers and chanting “In Hail To The Chief”

Waving campaign signs that state:

In Hail To The Chief
Cigaretoric For President

Cigaretoric IS my
Cignificant Other

Vote Cigaretoric
The Leader Of The Pack

I’m Hooked On Cigaretoric

We Don’t Need A Dent In President
Vote Cigaretoric

Waiting Til You’re 21 Is Such A Drag
Take One Early With Cigaretoric

Got A Light?
Vote Cigaretoric

A Light Of Camelot
In These Dark Ages

Don’t Elect CANdiDATE Rape
Vote Cigaretoric

Let KOOL Heads Prevail
With Cigaretoric

Cigaretoric is MY
Constitutional Light!

Be A Draft Dodger
Vote Cigaretoric

Don’t Kick The Habit
Kick The Can!!
Roll One With Cigaretoric

I’ve Got A Match
With Cigaretoric

Senator Kegwell, you may begin your closing statement.

My fellow AmeriCANS, elect me as your party. Don’t listen to Cigarethoric! He does not have your best interests in mind. He will make you keep up with the pack—his pack. He is NOT working for you or your health. He is the leader of the pack—a pied piper with a white flute, the butt end of a joke on YOU. Elect me and I’ll make sure the Butt stops here!! [Applause] With my opponent’s track record of Unlucky Strikes, he’s become the Pall Mall Bearer of bad news for our Nation’s economy [Applause]…and I won’t rest my case until everyone is tapped into the drafts of change brewing all around.

Can we afford another Cigaretoric Benson & Hedge Funds Scandal? Can we afford any more bad AdViceroy and a Cabinet stocked full of stocks from Wall Street Super Bull Markets? He’s the incumbent who made your income bent!! So on Election Day, say Pack Your Drags, Happy Vapor Trails Cigaretoric!! [Applause]

Even as an incumbent Senator,  re–electing is a [Quote gesture] re–buttal we can do without. Let’s have a Smokeout, perform Cancerviellance and issue a Cardiac Arrest Warrant! [Applause] Have a change of heart and a change of heart disease. Recycle, get some change and issue a real reBUTTal! [Applause] Don’t let your future go up in smoke. Don’t huff and puff and blow your future down. Don’t vote for a Candidate who’ll turn The White House into a Smoke House. This Election Day, don’t get a secondhand shake from Mr. Secondhand Smoke. Your lungs will be Gone With The Wind if your companion is this Cigarette Butler!! Exercise your CANstitutional right of No Smoke King. This Election Day, let’s go to the Hops, and United we can be so Hoppy together! Vote for me, John F. Kegwell and Ask What Your Country CAN do for YOU!!

Chants, cheers and signs waving stating:

It’s Un–AmeriCAN to be a Draft Dodger
Vote Kegwell

Don’t Let Your Future Go Up In Smoke
Vote Kegwell

Kegwell’s my CANdidate

Don’t Huff & Puff And Blow Your Future Down
Vote Kegwell

Ask What Your Country CAN Do For You!!
Kegwell For President

Don’t Let Your Future Be A Drag
Vote Kegwell

Don’t Get Cancer
President Kegwell

Don’t Be A Draft Dodger Be A Draft ROGER
(Sign has thumbs up image)

Happy Vapor Trails
Pack Your Drags for the CRYvate Sector

So Hoppy Together
With Kegwell

Let’s Go To The Hops!!
Vote Kegwell

Kegwell is MY
ConstiBREWtional Right!

Don’t Kick The Can
Kick The Habit!!
Roll With Kegwell

Sound Effects (SFX): Applause, cheers as candidates walk towards each other and shake hands in pose. Photographers in front of stage stand up and cameras flash as Kegwell & Cigaretoric continue smiling and shaking hands, then waving to audience.

NEWS ANCHOR #1 (Kent Winston WBAC News)–standing or sitting on higher platform in front, stage right:
Well there you have it. The conclusion of tonight’s Presidential debate.  The showdown was a fairly civilized match for each Candidate to spread their civil lies. Each draft dodging questions and using smoke and mirrors by the case or carton. Another shining example of BUY Partisan politics at it’s finest. But the Backwashing and Spin the Bottle Doctors will no doubt certainly be working overtime as the election campaigning comes down to the wire in these final weeks.

Polls showed Senator Kegwell with a slight margin going into the debate and he certainly gave a strong full bodied performance here tonight although it’s unclear at this point as to who won the debate. We’ll keep you updated as more details become available. Now stay tuned for our political analysis coming right up and our obligatory all night political pundit party. So forego the beer and cigarettes for this folks and break out the coffee and amphetamines while we pontificate nonstop until long after Election Day. Wishing you bloodshot eyes, it’s Party Politics as usual—until the next round America—I’m Kent Winston, BAC News.

FADE OUT (everyone exits stage)

SCENE 2 (Breaking News Segment):

Sound Effects (SFX):  Shotgun blast, liquid fizzing and pouring out, police and ambulance sirens,  CB chatter

FADE UP/Spotlight to corner of stage right with desk and projection screen (optional).

(Optional) Brief news package on screen : Video of house from distance, then shot of driveway with yellow “Police Line Do Not Cross” tape. Investigators looking under white sheet formed over the shape of large can. Shot of Police taking body into ambulance, shot of chalk outline of Kegwell’s beer can body on driveway. CG in lower third of screen throughout stating “Breaking News: Senator Kegwell Shot.”

NEWS ANCHOR #2 (Rush Limpjaw WDUI News) at news desk, stage right:
Senator John F. Kegwell died yesterday afternoon outside his suburban home from a shotgun wound to the lower abdomen. Ballistics experts say the shot was fired from the Grassy Bowl next to the woods near his home. Police are currently questioning neighbors and local hunters for information on any suspicious activity seen in the area. Police have not stated whether the shooting is suspected as homicide or ruled out the possibility of a hunting accident as the cause of death. For all the news that’s clear as puke on a pledge pin, I’m Rush Limpjaw, DUI News.



SPOTLIGHT stage right as following group walks across to stage left or FADE UP

Optional News Footage on screen:  Continuous walking “follow footage” of Senator Cigaretoric walking alongside lawyers as several reporters with microphones and news cameras follow and ask questions.

Did you have Kegwell shot?

Did you kill him?

No Comment

Was it a conspiracy?

[Hands up to bar off reporters] Give him some air, give him some air!!

(FADE OUT if spotlight not available)

(FADE UP if  spotlight not available)

SPOTLIGHT corner of stage left on reporter standing in front

NEWS ANCHOR #3 (Jay Bongsman 420 News) standing with microphone stage left:
Earlier today, Senator R.J. Cigaretoric was taken in for questioning on the death of Senator Kegwell, his former opponent in the upcoming election. Sources close to Senator Cigaretoric are outraged at current allegations of potential involvement in the shooting. Cigaretoric Campaign spokesperson Nick O’Teen certainly got his Irish up stating quote The gosSIP and rumors surrounding this tragic inciDENT are absolutely preposTARous—Senator Cigaretoric would never think of such a thing. He is a man of unquestionable, yet smooth character, a shining light of Camelot in these Dark Ages and would not conDRAGdict these principles by PUFForming or CANdoning such an ALElicious act. The Senator sends his deepest CANdolences to the Kegwell family in this difficult time unquote.

This Presidential Election has turned Campaign into Camp Pain with the death of frontrunner John F. Kegwell. No word yet on what’s brewing in the Draft Party, what’s fuming in the RePufflican Party and who’s on tap for a substitute candidate in the Tailgate Party this close to last call. In the meantime, we’re still waiting for a token’ candidate from the PotLuck Party to run for the Bowlval Office, the Highest Office in the land. Perhaps some Blunt Force Ganja could lead to a Spliff ticket where we could Reefend the Boneland, make joint health a prioriTEA, and be back in the High Life again. So until then, we’ll Keep Toke Alive, and hopefully, in the future, we’ll hear some talking points from talking joints. And maybe then, we can all be Budd Wiser. Jay Bongsman, 420 News.



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When In Doubt, Listen To Man With Longer Beard #22: Meditation, Aphorisms & Yoga Sage Brushes With Wisdom

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What follows is a grocery list of things I’ve learned from life and various approaches to living exploring Creativity & Spirituality—being an artist, student of meditation, regular fasting & yoga, internal yearning towards higher consciousness and becoming a more creative being for positive transformation. These are general principles and observations I try to live by and navigate the wilderness of Maya with. Some are Confucius sounding hence the jest with the title if the long bearded Chinese sage wanted to narcissistically self–aggrandize himself.

Here’s the twenty–second batch of Zen BrowniesTasty, mouth–watering morsels to reduce consumption of bad karma and sweeten the recipe of your life:


1. Knowledge is passed onto those who make different choices from the masses.

2. Educated people excel at overcomplicating things.

3. Intellect is something you have to outgrow to progress further spiritually and ultimately toward Enlightenment.

4. Karmaless time wears no watch.

5. The first step in kicking paradigms to the curb is realizing and deciding they do not apply to you and seeing them as the stale cultural albatross they are. If these are not ongoing active choices, don’t be surprised if someone else’s template or version of things becomes your identity by default due to passive consent.

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6. Learn to unlearn, then you can learn.

7. Love often causes people to overestimate the object of their affections actual state of evolution and development.

8. Live outside of culture and become the deeper you.

9. If you don’t master your body, senses and emotions there are doors that will forever remain closed.

10. Take the trip via experience. Words are just photographs of places traveled by practice and intuition.

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What follows is a grocery list of things I’ve learned from life and various approaches to living exploring Creativity & Spirituality—being an artist, student of meditation, regular fasting & yoga, internal yearning towards higher consciousness and becoming a more creative being for positive transformation. These are general principles and observations I try to live by and navigate the wilderness of Maya with. Some are Confucius sounding hence the jest with the title if the long bearded Chinese sage wanted to narcissistically self–aggrandize himself.

Here’s the twenty–first batch of Zen BrowniesTasty, mouth–watering morsels to reduce consumption of bad karma and sweeten the recipe of your life:


1. If the rational logical mind understood Creation better than it thinks it does, it would manifest things much quicker and with far less effort.

2. Low cultural ceilings don’t make giants.

3. Travel as much as you can. You get something just by being in different places—something intangible, subtle, energetic you can’t quantify. Think of it as an energy scavenger hunt collecting pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is you.

4. Spoonfed the dogmas of country, race, and religion are the ones starving of Spirit.

5. There are no rewards for being small, being asleep, being a dirty lampshade. If you don’t dive deeper, you won’t retrieve the white pearls of higher consciousness.

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6. Caged birds only sing until they realize they’re in a cage.

7. Until the level of consciousness on the planet evolves out of tribal mentalities, tribal societies and tribal religious perspectives, war will always be a problem.

8. Sometimes you have to fall, sometimes you have to hit a brick wall, but it’s better than swallowing long term lies.

9. Matter is frozen light. Level of consciousness is the refrigerator setting. Thaw out and thaw up. It’s all a question of where you are on the E equals MC squared thermometer.

10. Live at the level of nature or learn to escape and transcend it. There’s no shortage of decent, good yet ignorant people. Nature bulldozes the ignorant and serves the wise.

© Composer Yoga

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Nobody Told Me The Zen Of John Lennon

Sarasota Florida is home to several famous things: The Ringling Circus empire was headquartered there. It has a white sand necklace of beautiful keys off it’s shore where you can drive from just north in Bradenton to Anna Maria island (AKA Anna Maria Key), onto Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach then onto Longboat Key down to Lido Key (perhaps do the Lido Shuffle if you want to get your Boz Scaggs on) and onto St. Armands Circle Key, Coon Key, Bird Key then back to mainland Florida in Sarasota. And just to the south is one of my favorite white sand beaches in the country, Siesta Key. I worked several weddings in the Sarasota area as Florida is one of the destination wedding locations in the United States. As an added bonus, you don’t have to risk the retinal roulette of seeing an Elvis impersonator in a Speedo. The King did eat in a small restaurant there though so maybe that already happened.


Sarasota has one of the Unconditional Surrender sculptures by Seward Johnson located downtown. The 25 foot (7.6m) sculpture is in the likeness (but not an exact rendition) of the famous V–J Day photo taken in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor bent over kissing a nurse in the street. Sarasota was also the place where the In Cold Blood murders documented by author Truman Capote took place and of course where Pee Wee Herman was caught masturbating in an adult movie theatre. And speaking of Johnsons, it’s also home to AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his wife Brenda. (I’ll get working on my Segue Of The Year acceptance speech a bit later).


Sarasota is also home to the 3rd oldest automobile museum in the world: the Sarasota Classic Car Museum. The oldest car museum in the United States is the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan; The oldest car museum in the world is the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, Germany in case you’re having flashbacks of ZZ Top videos, Beach Boys tunes or old school Grey Poupon commercials. And speaking of Grey Poupon, the museum has John and Mable Ringling’s Rolls Royce collection. There’s a DeLorean like in Back To The Future though not as pimped out like Doc Brown’s packing a flux capacitor. And Oh my God!, it has a Ferrari worthy of Thomas Magnum’s Hawaiian print shirt and Jonathan Higgins’ legendary high waters (a 308 GTS). All in all, the museum has more than 75 automobiles spanning over 100 years of automotive history under one roof. Perhaps the most famous however are 2 vehicles owned by John Lennon: his blue 1965 Mercedes coupe which he owned in England (the steering wheel was built on the “British” side by Mercedes), and the last car he ever owned, his white Mercedes station wagon which was “the Lennon family car.” As I touched that car, I imagined seeing John and Yoko in it with Sean riding in the back. It was a connection to music history and to the man who wrote a song I remember loving as a kid long before I knew who he was—A song released years after his death and ironically, one he didn’t intend to be the vocalist on.


“Nobody Told Me” was recorded during the Double Fantasy sessions, which turned out to be Lennon’s best selling solo album. John Lennon would never see the success of it though—he wouldn’t be there to receive his Grammy for Album Of The Year in 1981 either. Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, 1980 just 3 weeks after Double Fantasy was released. “Nobody Told Me” was in songwriter’s limbo for several years as Yoko Ono mourned the death of her husband. In fact, “Nobody Told Me” was written for Ringo Starr as a track for his solo album Stop And Smell The Roses which was released the following year in 1981. Lennon intended Starr to be the vocalist and sang the song as a guide vocal/scratch track for Ringo to later re–record the song. But after Lennon’s murder, Ringo chose not to include the song on his album.


In 1984, Yoko Ono released a collection of material recorded during and after the sessions for Double Fantasy called Milk And Honey, which became John Lennon’s 8th solo album. So the version of “Nobody Told Me” that was released was essentially a demo by John Lennon for Ringo. Nobody noticed. Nobody told me it was only a demo. Even so, “Nobody Told Me” become the third single to break into the top 10 posthumously for John Lennon, it’s highest chart position reaching number 5. The UK had to wait until 1990 for “Nobody Told Me” to be released there (this was before the internet became a daily necessity). Two other songs from the album, “Borrowed Time” and “I’m Stepping Out” were released as singles and overall, Milk And Honey reached #11 on the US album charts.


One of the things that grabs me about the song is it has some interesting lyrics:

There’s Nazis in the bathroom just below the stairs


Huh? Nazi plumbers? I never knew this was what the lyric actually said when I was a kid hearing it on the radio. Some biographical info being John Lennon grew up in World War II England during Nazi attacks by the Luftwaffe and long range rockets. His middle name was Winston as in Winston Churchill, who famously made his “We shall never surrender” speech before the Battle Of Britain in 1940. Iron Maiden sample this speech as the intro to live versions of “Aces High”, a track on their 1984 album Powerslave. Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill had a huge impact on British history last century and it’s not surprising John Lennon bore the tribute in a middle name by his family. Even today, there’s a bronze statue of Sir Winston in the park next to Big Ben and Parliament. The middle name happened to be a premonition as a few decades later, John himself became a “Sir” in 1965 though he returned his MBE medal (Members of the Order of the British Empire) a few years later to the Queen due to his protest of British support of the Vietnam War and Nigeria’s Civil War (which was symbolic as doing so has no effect on your MBE status).


“Nobody Told Me” is probably the only top 10 pop song which mentions Nazis in the lyrics. Another similar reference that comes to mind is David Bowie’s (and Iggy Pop’s) 1983 single “China Girl” which charted at #10 and mentions “Visions of swastikas in my head”:

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow
Visions of swastikas in my head
Plans for everyone
It’s in the white of my eyes


John Lennon and David Bowie became friends after the breakup of The Beatles. Lennon, Bowie and Carlos Alomar (who was later in the band Arcadia, a Duran Duran side project) wrote “Fame” together which appeared on Bowie’s Young Americans album and became his first #1 single in 1975. Lennon played guitar on the track. Lennon and Ono had December 9th tickets to the play The Elephant Man on Broadway which David Bowie was starring in. So did Mark David Chapman. Bowie was on Chapman’s hit list as well. Bowie performed the show that night with 3 empty seats in the front row. John Lennon was a victim of fame; David Bowie almost was too.


“Nobody Told Me” also mentions the capital city of Nepal, Katmandu:

There’s a little yellow idol to the north of Katmandu

This puts it in the company of a few other songs which mention the exotic locale: Bob Seger’s 1975 single “Katmandu” off Beautiful Loser, and the 1976 Rush single “A Passage To Bangkok” off 2112:

Pulling into Katmandu
Smoke rings fill the air
Perfumed by a Nepal night
The Express gets you there

Lennon wrote this lyric about the yellow idol in the poem The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God by J. Milton Hayes. In contrast, Rush is singing about enjoying sampling fatties the world over making “A Passage To Bangkok” a kind of THC Tour on a Rock ‘N’ Roll rickshaw.


But the most interesting reference in the lyrics is actually based on a true story:

There’s UFOs over New York and I ain’t too surprised

Back in 1974, John Lennon and then companion May Pang (still in his “Lost Weekend” phase separated from Yoko) saw one from their terrace overlooking east New York. They had moved back to New York from California and rented a penthouse on 434 East 52nd street. The circular object was floating over the city within a hundred feet away from them. Lennon told photographer Bob Gruen (who took the famous “New York City” shirt photo of Lennon) who later called the local police because Lennon didn’t want to for obvious reasons. The police informed Gruen that there were 3 other reports of the object. The Daily News printed that 5 people reported seeing the object near where Lennon and May Pang had their apartment. Lennon “officially” documented his sighting in the liner notes of Walls and Bridges released later in 1974:

“On the 23rd August 1974 at 9 o’clock I saw a U.F.O. – J.L.”

UFO’s were also showing up in lyrics in the 80’s. Greg Lake sang of them in “Touch And Go” off the 1986 album Emerson, Lake & Powell:

All systems go friend of foe
You’re caught up in the middle where the four winds blow
Come without a warning like a U.F.O.
You’re runnin’ with the devil it’s touch and go

Many people claim to have seem UFO’s—what makes John Lennon’s sighting unique was that he was naked at the time. Would the Air Force have to file those under “Project Nude Book?”


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“Nobody Told Me” was written by a more mature John Lennon who was in a much better headspace. It’s a happier side of Lennon—it’s the Lennon who’s dealt with some of his his demons, a Lennon who’s accepting things in life, a Lennon with greater perspective.


Lennon’s early life wasn’t a fairy tale like the Fab Four Fantasy the world cast him and 3 others into. His father left them then came back into his life and forced John to make a decision between his parents as a 5 year old. As a result, young John Lennon became a troublemaker in school, acted out and was jealous of others who had a stable family. Later on this factored in his competitiveness with Paul McCartney and him not being the greatest father to his first son Julian since he had no good role model himself. The worst tragedy of his youth happened when he was 17: Lennon’s mother was hit by a car and killed. Lennon was still grappling with these issues when Hurricane Beatlemania made landfall in all their lives.


During his Beatles tenure, Lennon became a proponent of peace partly to confront things about himself he grew to no longer like and approve of: His anger, chauvinist attitude, and violence against his first wife Cynthia. This was written about in the Beatles song “Getting Better” off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967:

I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved
Man I was mean but I’m changing my scene
And I’m doing the best that I can (Ooh)


After The Beatles broke up, Lennon’s past wounds had an open calendar to come to the forefront. His heroin addiction, problems in his marriage with Yoko, led to him going to California kind of like the Led Zeppelin song with an aching in his heart. Lennon went with his assistant May Pang (whom he was having an affair with Yoko’s knowledge & blessing) for what was later known as his “Lost Weekend” which amounted to a year and a half “college drinking binge” with singer Harry Nilsson (famous for “Everybody’s Talkin'”, 1969).


Lennon came out of the “Teenage Wasteland Woods” of the early 70’s a different man as can be heard in his later solo works. These were the first songs I came to know John Lennon as an artist: “Woman”, “(Just Like) Starting Over”, and “Nobody Told Me.”


“Nobody Told Me” is a deceptively light, playful tune. The bounce in the verse makes you think it just came from a 1950’s trampoline (perhaps on that DeLorean mentioned earlier). That swing and bounce on “Nobody Told Me” match the bass thumbprint of the guilty party, session ace Tony Levin. Levin recorded several monster Art Rock albums with Robert Fripp in King Crimson in the 1980’s among them Beat, Three Of A Perfect Pairr and the amazing compound melodic intricacies of Discipline. Levin’s contribution to this John Lennon tune just demonstrates how Musician’s Musicians can rock a pop song and make it even better.


“Nobody Told Me” uses a series of images like Sting later used to great effect on “King Of Pain.” Lyrically, it’s a word/concept play with imagery of dichotomies and contradictions. It’s like a Zen tale and narration of the human condition and observing society with a degree of detachment. It poses contradictions of human behavior to ponder over like the famous Zen koan (a paradoxical anecdote used to meditate beyond the logical mind), “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”


Word play and concept play are literary devices no stranger to poetry and lyrics. The Byrds “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (originally written by Pete Seeger—verse taken from the Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes, 1st 8 verses of the 3rd chapter) released in 1965, and Pete Townshend’s “Face The Face” released in 1985 off of White City: A Novel are some ancient and modern examples of this. “Nobody Told Me” is most similar in concept though to Howard Jones’ “No One Is To Blame” (Dream Into Action, 1985) where both begin by proposing an activity/event then a corresponding contrast, failure or denial.


Regardless of the problems and torment he encountered in his personal life, there’s a joy, happiness in this song I always loved. It’s present in the lyrics and especially the strummed chords after both choruses that sends me soaring. It’s the part after John sings:

Strange days indeed — strange days indeed

Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama

This is the emotional center of the song for me. It’s the part that caught my heart as a kid, it’s the part that exhales into the comforting vastness of existence.


After his death, John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: In 1988 for The Beatles and in 1994 as a solo artist. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987. As a kid I heard his songs. As an adult I walked across Abbey Road and touched John Lennon’s last car. That’s about as full circle as I’ll ever get to John Lennon. But music is an intimacy that doesn’t recognize time or space—on some level we’ve already met.


Music brings needed levity to the world and reminds us on deeper levels that we are more than we think we are. The beauty of music is you can do this with a few chord combinations and it will have meaning beyond the songwriter and the song—it will affect people you’ll never meet, affect them in ways and depths beyond your understanding, and affect them long after you leave the planet. Music is ALWAYS more than the sum of it’s parts. If you listen closely and repeatedly, you can hear whispers of something beyond. There’s a bit transcendence embedded within even simple pops songs and I’m convinced “Nobody Told Me” is the sound of one Beatle clapping.

© Composer Yoga

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