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A few months ago, I came across an old box of CDRs, one which contained this rarely heard interview with Christopher Tucker and John Paul Travis from my old band, The Situation. This was originally broadcast on WVUD, the University of Delaware’s radio station, in 2002, a few days before we were scheduled to play their annual Radiothon benefit with Raccoon (who would later morph into Dr. Dog.) In classic Tucker form, Christopher managed to let a few expletives slip, which oddly sent the powers that be into a tizzy, and we ended being banned from the radio station shortly afterwards. Not quite the Pistols on Bill Grundy but hey, that’s Delaware for you. And for those wondering where Laz and I were, we did our interview with a different DJ the following day.
Anyway, being that today would have been Christopher’s 40th birthday, I’m throwing this out there for your listening pleasure. This brings back a ton of memories for sure. It’s good to hear your voice again, man – rest in peace, my friend.
In what’s generally turning out to be a fairly tough week, I got the sad news Monday morning that an old friend, Tim Vettori passed away over the weekend after being hit by a train in Newark, DE.
When I think of Tim, it’s hard not to also think of his brothers, Mark, Craig and Bryan, as they were somewhat of a package deal, four unique personalities with a tight brotherly bond, like the Ramones, with Tim in the role of Dee Dee. I met Mark through skateboarding and we quickly became close friends, which led to a slew of fun parties over the years at the Vettori home, which eventually became a club house where we would relax after skating.
Two things struck me immediately about Tim – first that he had a wicked, dark sense of humor, which I dug, and second, that he generally went against the grain and lived life the way he wanted. He was rock-n-roll – a little snotty, anti-authoritarian, a non-conformist, the playful trouble maker with a good heart. An endearing pain in the ass and a complete f*ck-up – and I mean that in the best way possible. Ever hear Let it Bleed by The Rolling Stones? He was kind of like that record – a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, an uncontrived attitude with no shortage of heart and guts and overall just super cool. The real deal.
Summer nights spent hopping fences to dive into some strangers swimming pool. Endless games of pool that always devolved into some sort of stupid argument. Late nights at Jude’s diner, young and bored and looking for something to do. This is how I’ll always remember Tim. Lost days for sure.
To Mark, Craig, Bryan, his daughter Ciara, Ben Miller, and the rest of his family and friends, I’m deeply sorry for your loss, which is also my loss. I know he’s in a better place. Rest in peace, my friend.
As most of you probably already heard, abstract artist and former Weezer bass player Mikey Welsh passed away over the weekend in Chicago. I got to meet Mikey this past July during the opening for his solo show at the Slingluff Gallery, where I ended up doing a 45 minute interview with him, covering everything from his early days in the Boston music scene, to success in Weezer to his current passion for art. Now, I’m not going to claim knowing the man or anything but being an artist and fellow musician myself, I felt like we bonded a bit and had a few things in common, albeit with obviously different methods of artistic attack, not to mention life style choices. It was also plain to see that his struggles were far from over, but I left hoping he would eventually sort it out and pull it together, especially for his child, who he obviously cared a great deal for. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
Anyway, the idea was to eventually run the interview on clubmumble.com, but for reasons not really worth mentioning, it never happened. So, instead of leaving this to rot away on some hard drive, I’m posting the entire unedited audio here. For his many fans and friends, I can only hope the sound of his voice brings some comfort to you. There are lots of good stories and insights in here – I hope you enjoy. And I apologize in advance for my constant rambling during our conversation
Rest in peace Mikey.
and please keep in mind, media vampires, no portion of this interview may be reproduced without the written consent of mightyjoecastro.com. © 2011 All Rights Reserved. So please, just ask first – it’s the right thing to do. Photo above by Mr. Jonathan Slingluff.
I’ve always felt like instrumental rock tunes get a bum rap, like people look down on them as merely background music not worthy of their full attention simply because there isn’t some egotistical frontman babbling incessantly over the music. So podcast 8 is dedicated to the gems of the genre – the Link Wrays, the Dick Dales, the Booker T and the MGs. I’ll admit, it’s hard to write a solid instrumental tune but when it’s done well, it’s powerful. And I’m not talking about jazz because that’s a whole other thing in and of itself. So, before you turn your nose up at this one, dear listener, remember it’s still chockfull with the kind of film samples you’ve come to expect from these podcasts, and you’ll definitely recognize more of these tunes than you realize, (probably from numerous Tarantino movies). Anyway, I bookended this one with two of my favorite tunes of all time, Soul Finger and Sleepwalk. I hope you dig it. It’s good driving music. Play loud. Play often.
Sometime this past August, I was approached by the MTV World Design Studio in Buenos Aires to create a “gig-poster style” print ad for their 2011 European Music Awards, which will feature a live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, as a late 80’s skate rat, I grew up on the Red Hot Chili Peppers, picking up the Uplift Mofo Party Plan on cassette after watching them live via VHS at the Vision Skate Escape, and even though I haven’t really followed the group over the past few years, I was still stoked to work on something for the band.
MTV provided a specific reference photo for the illustration, as well as the EMA logo, a style guide and three specific colors that needed to be used (the pink, purple and dark purple that you see in the poster, which, as you might imagine, proved a little difficult to work with.) After a few rounds of back and forth, what you see to your left is what we came up with.
Internally the folks at MTV Design dug it, but higher-ups in the company decided to go a totally different direction, preferring to use a photo of the soon-to-be-announced host instead. A bummer for sure but what can you do.
So, instead of leaving this to languish in some digital graveyard, I decided to post it here for your enjoyment. Like Kurtis Blow said, these are the breaks.
As some of you may have heard via the grapevine, last Friday night I performed two songs with schroeder at their final (maybe?) reunion show at the Logan House in Wilmington. I go way back with these guys, as my former band Nero used to play shows with them all the time in the early/mid 90s, and I’ve always been a huge fan of their music, so it was a real honor (and a lot of fun) to join them onstage once again and jam on some tunes (for those interested, we played Waste of Time and Vitamin Purple, both off of the Moonboy album). Unfortunately, I don’t have any video to share yet (although I know some was taken) but will post it the moment I see it so stay tuned. In the meantime, you’ll have to live with the video below, shot at the Baccuss Theater at the University of Delaware in 1995. I believe we call those the salad days.
Special thanks to Darren O’Toole for the photos. And for those who are bummed about missing it, I apologize for not giving a heads up. The whole thing was meant to be a surprise and details were only worked out a few days before the gig.
And if you’re wondering how it felt to be back onstage playing after 5 or so years…..well, it felt great. Thanks to the guys in schroeder for making it happen. Much respect.
Kids Runway for Research
I recently donated a signed art print for this weekend’s silent auction at the Kids Runway for Research event in Wilmington, DE. The event will help raises awareness and support for the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research and features a fashion show with children who are cancer survivors, as well as live music and other performers. The event runs from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chase Center at the Wilmington Riverfront, this Sunday, September 18. Make it out if you can – this is a great event for a truly worthy cause. Tickets available online or at the door. And click here for the facebook event page.
For those interested in the print, it is a special, one-of-a-kind, signed archival giclee print of the painting Friday Morning. Special thanks to Finley’s Art Shoppe in Newark, who were kind enough to donate the cost of framing the print.
I’ll be honest, I never really got into Steely Dan – I’d heard stuff over the years of course, but they never really moved me and it just wasn’t my thing, no big deal – so when I was asked to create a poster for their sold-out performance at the Tower Theater this weekend, I was a bit at a loss on how to approach it. Doing some research though, I found out they took their name from a line in William Burroughs‘ infamous novel, Naked Lunch. Being a fan of Burroughs, I decide to take the whole thing full circle and do an illustration of the famous author. I hope the band dig it.
These were printed by the guys at ABNRML and were presented to the band as a gift from Live Nation. It’s a two color screen print on 130lb Black French Construction paper, size 12.5″ x 19″. I do have a few extra prints that will be available for purchase in the new online store, once I finally get around to working out the kinks. Stay tuned folks.
Delawarefirst.org recently put together a nice little article on the Wilmington Skate Project and skateboarding in Delaware in general – check it out here. Between the creation of the 7th street skate spot this past spring, construction on the Glasgow, DE park moving along (and hopefully opening in Sept.) and the news that the City of WIlmington is finally going to release the long promised $250,000 for the skate plaza in Wilmington – it’s been an amazing year for skateboarders in the first state. It’s been a long time coming and much deserved. Special thanks and much respect to Kinetic, Switch, Mark Calder and the rest of the WSP for making things happen. Plus there’s also talk about finally getting a skate park in Newark as well, which is also long overdue.
Also worth checking out is this nice little piece on skaters in Lewes, DE who are creating their own scene and making it happen. I mean, this is what it’s about. So stoked…
And on a side note – don’t sleep on the Deathwish/Baker demo later today at 7th Street – should be insane.
This Friday night, be sure to catch two of the better up and coming bands from Delaware, Atlas and My Friends, as they celebrate the release of their brand new, split EP (on glorious 12″ vinyl) at the Queen in Wilmington.
I was honored to be asked to design the record sleeve, which features the collage, In Adhesion on the cover. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s much more satisfying working on a 12 inch record, rather than a rinky-dinky CD jacket so I personally can’t wait to see the finished product. I’ve heard both sides, and they’re really good – you can check them out for yourself down below – but be sure to pick up a copy of the record as well, since these guys put a lot of blood, sweat, tears and money into this thing. Honestly, I was first approached about doing the artwork around this time last year, so these guys have been working on this for a few years now. As always, support good music.
Also playing that night are Troubled Hips (who I keep hearing nothing but great things about) and Easy Pyramids, so it should be a good night. The show started at 8:30 pm and is $7 at the door. Friday, August 19th at the World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE.
Copies of the EP will be avialable on this site shortly as well, once we get the new store up and running. Stay tuned true believers.
And on a side note, some of you might remember the Atlas track, Blue Lakes, from mighty joe castro podcast #2, Something to be proud of.