From the monthly archives:

September 2004

Vance Gilbert And The Boston Music Awards.

by Dave on September 30, 2004

in Musical

A funny thing happened last night at the Boston Music Awards. My friend Rachel hooked my sister and I up with tickets, VIP passes and the whole 9 yards. I saw many local Boston music celebrities there – Rick Okasek, Frank Black, Steven Tyler, New Kids On The Block and Kim Deal… were absolutely nowhere to be seen (I had you going for a minute there).

However I did see Tom Hamilton, The DropKick Murphys and Vance Gilbert (please hold your applause until all the nominees’ names have been read). I recognized Vance‘s name when I read the BMA website last week and quickly remembered how I knew him.

About 7 years ago, I was working as a student manager at The Brass Taps in Guelph, Ontario Canada. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights it was a student-bar-madhouse, but on weeknights we’d have a variety of bands and solo performers playing live. One Monday night I came in as a civilian to check out the scene with some friends, and our attention was immediately drawn to the performer onstage. He was a great singer, gifted guitarist and, above all, he was incredibly funny. We were literally rolling on the floor as this guy sang songs about coffee, crime scenes and even a did country western rap. I talked to him after the show, told him I’d spent many years living in Boston and bought 3 of his CDs which I still have to this day. We talked about Boston for about half an hour, had a drink or two then I wished him a happy stay in Guelph and was on my way home.

The next night I was on duty. I arrived at 6 p.m. swapped floats out of the safe for the new shift of bartenders and waitresses that were coming in, went down the checklist of managerial things one has to do and then saddled up to the bar for a coffee. I asked the ‘tender who was playing that night, to which he replied “Some guy named Vance Gilbert”. I smiled and told him I’d seen him the night before and we were all in for a treat.

And indeed we were. Vance played with the same energy level as the night before, had an entirely different set-list and every moment I wasn’t putting out a fire somewhere I was watching the show. He had all the kids laughing, clapping and eating out of his hand. The show ended and he was surrounded by another group of new fans and well-wishers and I went into the office to begin the long tedious process of cashing out for the night.

All of a sudden, one of the bouncers came into the office and said “That dude with the dreadlocks wants his money and he’s being a bit of a dick“. I asked him who he was talking about, ’cause as far as I knew my credit was still good with the Guelph Jamaican cocaine syndicate. “No“, he continued. “The singer guy“. “Oh you mean Vance. He’s a good guy. From Boston. Send him in“.

All of a sudden, “crazy-business-Vance” entered the office and started flailing his arms around, maniacally yapping about how much I owed him, etc. Based on the nice conversation we’d had the night before, I thought he was messing with me. I laughed at him and said hello. He turned things up notch, got right in my face – so much so that one of the bouncers came into the office and went to grab him. I waved off the meathead, stood up and said to Vance “Hey. What the hell is wrong with you? I’m the guy from Boston. Don’t you remember talking to me last night?” He told me he didn’t remember, and he didn’t care. I dropped my pleasant demeanor and told him that his contract (which I had read out of curiosity about an hour before) clearly stated that he got paid at the end of his three night stint, and not a moment before. I was a little pissed off at this point and sat back down, turned around and went back to my work. Vance continued to hoot and holler for a minute or two before giving up and going back to the main bar.

Regardless of that strange altercation so many years ago, it was great to see him sing again last night, and I highly recommend getting out to one of his upcoming shows.

Vance, I thought we were boys.


John Kerry Now Vying For The Oompa Loompa Vote

by Dave on September 29, 2004


Desperation Is A Stinky Cologne. But by all means, sing along.

Oompa Loompa doompadee doo,

I’ve got another puzzle for you.

Oompa Loompa doompadah dee.

Stop staring at his daughters and listen to me.

Four purple hearts is a bit of a stretch,

“Reporting for Duty” has made us all retch.

What now – will you just run for office in France?

Or is Teresa still wearing the pants?

You’ll get no – You’ll get no,

You’ll get no – You’ll get no,

You’ll get no Air Force One!

Oompa Loompa Doompadee Dack,

Maybe you can have your old sennett job back.

And please bring Ben Affleck to France with you too,

Like the Oompa Loompas doompadee do!


This is a fairly short story, and the humor will probably be lost on people who don’t know us and weren’t there to see it. But the folks involved still tell this story all the time – and it never ceases to send us careening into fits of laughter. I will try very hard to do it justice here, and make it palatable to the masses. That having been typed and just re-read, this is never going to work. Sigh.

It was a Saturday in 2001. Chris Cornett, John Henry, Dave Kingman and I had been drinking. Heavily. All day. They drove in to North Station in Boston and met me at a bar called The Fours which is right across from the Fleet Center. We convened around 4 p.m., ate, drank and were merry. If, by merry, you mean falling down obnoxiously, sickeningly and most dangerously drunk. Around 9 p.m. we left the safety of Canal Street and wandered back towards downtown.

Over the next five hours we hit a veritable bevvy of bars during our travels, and inexplicably wound up a mile away at the Black Rose. Everything was beginning to shut down, the band started packing up their stuff and it became obvious this would be our last stop of the evening. John ventured out and returned with 4 pints of God-knows-what and we settled in, if only for a few fleeting moments.

Chris, who made the rest of us look stone-cold-priest-sober, turned to me with a bent, unlit cigarette in his mouth and inquired “Hey hasshhh you gotsa light budday?” I shook my head and Chris swung around and headed towards two women who were standing nearby. His motor skills were fading fast, and I’d like to describe his gait as “shakey”, but I’ll settle for “picture what Quasimodo would look like if he was drunk and had just crapped himself.” I looked over at John and Dave who were staring right at him with unmistakable “this is going to be good” smirks on their faces.

Chris addressed his quarry: “Hello ladiesshhh!” They looked a little taken aback, but saw the rest of us standing nearby and relaxed when they realized there were liquor-wranglers ready to step in. Chris motioned to the unlit cigarrette hanging from his mouth. One of the women asked if he needed a light, to which Chris replied with a violent nod of his head. The cigarette sufficiently fired up, he took a haul, blew it out right in their faces and proceeded to speak.

I’ve got… problemssshhh.” he began.

Alcohol problems?” the woman replied, a sincere look of concern washing over her face.

That’s one of them!”

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Not Envying Mark David Chapman.

by Dave on September 26, 2004


I really didn’t want his signature, I wanted his life. And I ended up taking both.”

Mark Chapman shot and killed John Lennon outside the Dakota apartment building in NYC on December 9th, 1980. Chapman had been lurking most of the evening and had gotten Lennon to sign a copy of Double Fantasy while he was leaving. Several hours later, John and Yoko returned and Chapman, who had been waiting patient/insanely shot him five times with a .38 revolver. Chapman calmly waited to be arrested, Lennon died on the way to the hospital to be admitted instead to the morgue, and New York City rallied in stunned silence around the crime scene.

Chapman has now been in jail for 25 years – as long as he was old when the murder took place – and has a parole hearing on October 4th. Glad to see he put the time to good use in the weight room. Officials are worried that if parole is granted, Chapman will face the wrath of Lennon fans still angry and unwilling to give peace a chance after a quarter of a century.

Why do they fear for Chapman’s safety? Let’s start with the fact that there are a myriad of international websites calling for his immediate execution. People all over the world are waiting with itchy trigger fingers, and cyanide-soaked copies of Catcher in the Rye, for Mark David Cartman.. er… Chapman – to be released into their clutches.

You know what they call that? Instant Karma.


Migrating From Blogger To WordPress.

by Dave on September 26, 2004

in Pye in the Face

Big changes are imminent at if you remotely care. I’ve been turned on to a new publishing program called WordPress, and am subsequently sold on the idea of jumping the Blogger ship. It’s more complicated, clunkier and difficult in terms of graphic design – but so much more versatile. If I roll up my sleeves, learn some code and make it happen, it’ll make this site a lot more fun and dynamic for everyone who surfs it daily.

So if my blog entries become less frequent, you know why. Bear with me.


The Best Funny Corny Cheesy Pick-Up Lines

by Dave on September 25, 2004


This my 80th post. Wow. To all the non-believers out there, I guess I’m officially blogtastic. Or bloginine. Or a blogiot. Or whatever. Anyways, in keeping with this article’s questionable beginning so far, I found an enormous archive of cheesy, corny and funny pick-up lines. I have painstakingly read through them all (There’s about 500) and selected the best of the worst. And hey – it’s Saturday. So get out your notebooks boys and try spitting some of these tonight.

>> Are you a parking ticket? (What?) You got fine written all over you.

>> Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?

>> My name is ____. Remember it, bcause you’ll be screaming it later.

>> Did you hear the latest health report? You need to up your daily intake of vitamin ‘me’.

>> Don’t walk into that building — the sprinklers might go off!

>> Giant polar bear (What?) It broke the ice.

>> You’ve been a bad girl/boy. Go to my room.

Alright, so maybe they’re not all that and a bag of chips. I used to teach pick-up lines (particularly #3) to an 8-year-old I knew when I was a bartender at The Hind’s Head of Bray in England. Then I’d set him loose on the female populous of the pub. It was really funny. Until one afternoon he started trying them out on his mother, who was also my boss.

I got the Sunday morning shift that week.


Professional Wrestlers Sure Like To… Die.

by Dave on September 24, 2004


Between the ages of 10-13, whenever my mother would leave the house I’d dash upstairs and squirt a bunch of ketchup onto a coffee saucer. Then I’d bring it back down to the finished basement which was basically the “Dave Zone”. I was strictly forbidden to have “blood matches” with my rubber WWF wrestling figures, so this practice always had to be performed on the down-low.

I’d pit two dolls against eachother within my plastic WWF ring, and invariably one of the wrestlers would introduce a foreign object (usually Andre The Giant) and the ketchup would start flying. Pomegranate seeds also worked well for this purpose, but were only in season once a year and similarly banned from the basement.

Upon hearing my mother’s car return to the driveway I’d rush back upstairs, rinse the evidence off the toys and my forearms, and go back to my Commodore 64 which was usually downloading a primitive wrestling game on my 500 baud Pocket Modem. Dave, what’s changed you ask?

Well, I don’t follow wrestling anymore (as far as you know) but I did discover a disturbing list that I want to share with you. It seems that Ray Traylor, a.k.a. The Big Boss Man, died earlier this week. And of course I knew Andre and Owen Heart had met with untimely deaths. But what I did not know, is that people in this pugilistic profession have been dropping like flies. And not just from steroids and their repercussions – from all kinds of nasty accidents.

For example, did anyone else know that Rick Rude, Davey Boy Smith and The Junkyard Dog are all currently pushing up turnbuckles? I didn’t. Memories of my childhood just dropped a flying elbow on me. Have a look for yourself here.

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Appetizer: On a scale of 1 to 10, how attractive do you think you are?

It’s totally relative. Which is a good thing, because I’d feel a little embarassed if I had to come right out and say ’12’.

Soup: What local restaurant would you recommend to a visitor to your city?

I would recommend they get back on the plane from whence they came and hit Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City, baby.

Salad: What’s a lesson you had to learn the hard way?

That one about penises and venus flytraps.

Main Course: Name something in your life that you can depend on 100%.

I’d say death and taxes, but that would be a bit of a cop-out. So I’ll just say that “your penis will hurt if you put it in a venus flytrap”.

Dessert: If you could see the front page of a newspaper from September 24, 2104, what would you imagine the headline might be?

“18,615th Consecutive Day of Mourning Delcared – Dave Pye is Still Dead.”


Bye Bye Brando: Marlon’s Ashes Scattered.

by Dave on September 22, 2004


One of the reasons Brando was a great star was that he never followed the form book, but lived his life spontaneously, personally and sincerely.” – Roger Ebert

When Marlon Brando died July 1st 2004 at 80 years of age, I had not yet crossed over into bloggerdom. His ashes were scattered today – half in Death Valley California and the other half on the Tahitian island he bought in 1962 (insert blizzard joke here). So I wanted to take this opportunity to mark the occasion.

Here’s what must be amazing about being an enormous (no pun intended – Marlon was still fairly fit in the 60s) celebrity. You can do the most outrageous, impulsive things. Marlon filmed Mutiny on the Bounty on the island, called Tetiaroa, in 1962. After principal photography wrapped, he married one of his co-stars (Tarita Teriipaia) – and then bought the island.

Me filmy. Me likey. Me stayey. I’ll take the tanned broad, too.”

I’ll miss Marlon. He is first on a very short list of actors who defined the artform. Up until his death, he was giving in-house (and I mean his house – which he never left, ever) acting lessons to established A-listers like Sean Penn and Nick Nolte. The list of restaurants that would permit Marlon to partake of their all-you-can-eat-buffet is probably… also… very… short. Sigh.

That’s what you refer to as a “low-hanging fruit” joke. But Brando was into humor at its most very basic – flatulence – so he’d probably let me get away with it. Have a safe trip on that last Streetcar, Stanley. You’re the best that ever was.


That’s a bit of a clunky article title I’ll admit. But it’s definitely search engine friendly, so cut me some slack. Tonight Janet, Bryan, Jennifer, Betsy, Bo, Mark and I went to see the Hip play in Boston. And it was amazing.

I’ve seen Downie solo twice, and this was the fourth time I’ve seen the Hip – honestly don’t think the man has ever put on a better show. With me present. 3 encores, energy like nutty bananas. Great time. These Canadian cats have a lot of life left in them.


Not No Respect: Rodney Dangerfield Is In A Coma

by Dave on September 21, 2004


The man is 82, afterall, but I’m not ready to see him shuffle off this mortal coil just yet. Nor am I lobbying for a Meet Wally Sparks or Ladybugs sequel. But Rodney Dangerfield has been one of my very favorite comedians since I first saw Easy Money on network TV way back in 1983. It’s one of the funniest comedies ever conceived and I’m frequently shocked at how few people have seen it.

At first it looked like his heart surgery had been a roaring success. And I also heard Adam Sandler and a bunch of other actors and comedians had been to the hospital to visit him – but apparently he’s not actually doing so hot. So pull together folks, and send Rodney some good vibes today.

Monty : [about his Mother-In-Law] She says I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble. I mean she’s right, but what can I do? I got no… what’s the word…

Nicky : Class.


The Fenway Park Webcam.

by Dave on September 18, 2004


My friend and associate, Atlanta’s Boston Blogger (that’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it?) just sent me a link to Fenway Park’s Webcam. You have to refresh it manually, but it works. Very cool stuff.

I’ll admit it – I am a peripheral, fairweather baseball fan. But if the Sox are doing well, I start watching. Last night’s game against the Yankees was amazing. Here we go – I hope they don’t break our hearts again. Who am I kidding?


Boss Keeps Puking In Betsy’s Shoes.

by Dave on September 18, 2004

in Animalistic

I met my new roomates, Mardi and Betsy, for drinks at Tiernans last night. Where they then proceeded to tell me an interesting story about my cat, Boss.

Choosing new roomates is a very stressful process, to say the least. Luckily, apartments in the North End of Boston are in high demand – so there’s never any shortage of willing candidates. But once they’re in you want to be as hospitable as possible, for a while anyway, as they settle in and get used to everything. This is made infinitely more difficult, however, if your pet frequently vomits in their room.

I’m going to keep this piece about my cat short, as I would actually like to sleep with a woman again some day. But I’ll say this. Boss has puked in Betsy’s shoes. Twice. Maybe this is a sign of affection in the cat kingdom. But I feed him, and he’s never done it to me. He’s actually in her room right now, perhaps waiting for her to come home and take of her shoes.

When I visited South Africa in 97, we were encouraged by our host to always check our shoes for scorpions before we slid our feet into them. But this… this is on a whole ‘nother level.


Appetizer: How are you today?

Fine, thanks. Fair to middlin’. Not too shabby. Hanging in there. Can’t complain. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Dreaming up new ways to torture prostitutes before I kill them.

Soup: Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis.

Trailer Park Boys (shocking), Blackadder and Saturday Night Live. TPB I have discussed to death on here, so I’ll spare you – just this one time. Blackadder is a brilliant Britcom from the eighties which launched the career of Rowan Atkinson – more commonly known as Mr. Bean. Bean is predominantly physical comedy, a’la Chaplain or Keaton, wheras Blackadder is sharp, biting, dry, verbal humor all the way. I admire the way in which Atkinson was able to create such a polar opposite character in Mr. Bean – and have great success Stateside, but I wish more Americans knew about Blackadder. BBC America airs it regularly and I always TiVo it.

SNL has never had a bad season as far as I’m concerned. If I hear one more person say “It’s not funny anymore” I may go postal. Granted the early eighties were touch-and-go at times. They said the show was dead circa 1990 when Lovitz and Carvey left… enter Mike Meyers, Spade, Rock, etc. They said it was dead circa 95 when Farley and Sandler left… enter Will Farrell, Norm Macdonald and Colin Quinn. Just have a little faith and the show always bounces back.

The biggest rebuilding year for SNL was 1985. The ratings had gotten so bad that Lorne Michaels swapped out the entire cast cast when NBC insisted on pulling the plug for good otherwise. Goodbye Anthony Michael Hall and Terry Sweeney – hello Mr. Hartman. The rest is history. Thanks, Phil.

Salad: What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced?

A blizzard in 1990. Driving back from a ski trip in Killington with Jason and Aaron Thelen. Jason took over driving from his father who was having a hard time seeing through the snow. We would have pulled over, but we were on 128 with no exits in sight. Jason is behind the wheel about 2 minutes before he loses control of the Dodge Caravan which does a 360 over 2 lanes of traffic. Looking out the window of a spinning car, that you happen to be in, is really fecked up. Try and imagine it for a second. The car stopped rotating in the exact direction it had been in when it started – and we just kept movin on down the road like the friggin’ idiots that we were.

Main Course: If you could wake up tomorrow in another country, where would you want to be?

Too many variables here. I could wake up in a dumpster in Fiji, or a luxury hotel suite in Russia. Do I have a way home? Am I hallucinating? Was I partying on the Rolling Stones’ private jet the night before, or was teleportation part of my Hogwarts 5th year final exam? Is Hermione in the dumpster with me? Please say yes.

Dessert: What do you usually wear to sleep?

Seamus Britt.

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The Curse Of The Ramones.

by Dave on September 16, 2004

in Musical

What the hell is going on here? Forget about the Poltergeist curse – three of the founding members of the Ramones have all died untimely deaths in the last three years. First Joey (49), then Dee Dee (49) and today Johnny (55)!

The lights have come up on the Blitzkrieg Bop. Rock n’ Roll Radio is off the air. It’s low tide on Rockaway Beach. Tragic. I’m done.