Boy I pulled a Brant Brown big time.
It is a vivid and horrifying memory in the minds of Cubs fans. The Cubs did mange to edge themselves into the playoffs, but with lost momentum and were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the first round. The Brant Brown play became the signature to the season, even though it was arguably the most exciting Cubs season in history.
In life we are given few opportunities to actually live the proverbial dream. We go through our daily routines and pretty much take life for granted. We work, play some, spend time with family, grow old, and eventually dehydrate into the ground. As time takes it's toll, the windows of opportunity grow smaller. And in effect, the older we get the further away those dreams appear from a reachable distance. I for one, am not living my dream. Now in my 40's I don't really have a career per say, just a lucky tendency to find a job as I need to. I haven't played professional baseball as I envisioned myself doing while I was a kid. Nor am I writing for a big-time rock magazine as I saw myself doing while I partied my way through two years of community college. You reap what you sow they say, and I guess I am sowing my underachieving oats.
The invention of the Internet and blogging has given me a sense of something... But I am not sure what to call it. It fills that void I have when I need to express myself. It really does not matter who reads these words, just the fact that I have the opportunity to lay them out there is a release for me. With this wonderful invention I am not totally separated from my dream, it does give me a string to grasp on to. The Bigfoot Diaries is that giant step forward for me. At it's inception I decided that I was going to take blogging to a (personal) higher level and go places with it that I never had in the past. I was going to do music reviews, interview rock stars, you know... Live my dream.
(Although in the rough draft of my dream I collect a paycheck.)
I have a few idols that I really would like to connect with. Even though I have grown older, I haven't lost my lust for music and the people who play it. The songs I listen to now are pretty much the same songs I listened to 25 some years ago. The people who play these songs are still rock stars to me, and until this stage in my life, unreachable idols that I never thought that I would get a chance to intervene with.
At the top of this list was the founder of and the bass player for the Dictators, Andy Shernoff. He was my pinnacle... I had most of the Dictators' albums growing up and would attend (the now obsolete) record show conventions looking for new and different material. I remember sitting in my pal Dave's basement apartment as a teenager spinning one record after another Beavis and Butthead style... Flipping through Cream magazine, and later the more metal geared Circus. I think that Dave even had a copy of or two of Shernoff''s Teenage Wasteland Gazette, a fanzine that Andy started as a teenager which included the writings of Lester Bangs and Richard Meltzer. It was the true definition of punk rock... Most of the material was made up, or satirical, and generally rejected from the mainstream press. It was brilliant and rare, and it added to the mystique of the Andy Shernoff phenomenon. Meanwhile in the background, songs such as "Cars and Girls", "Pussy and Money", "The Minnesota Strip", and "Who Will Save Rock and Roll" were blaring from Dave's low-fi turntable. It was usually so loud the neighbors would pound on the floors from above or the walls next to us. We never turned it down, and amazingly were never forced to deal with the cops.
I located Mr. Shernoff last winter and asked him to do an interview with me, which he agreed. I was beside myself... It was like I had discovered a vortex to the kingdom of God. I immediately ordered a digital voice recorder off of the Internet, and tried to keep the interview at bay while waiting for it to arrive in the mail. We were eventually able to negotiate a time when Andy would call me, and I was careful to make sure that my brand new voice recorder was hooked up correctly to the telephone line so that I wouldn't miss anything during our conversation. Then, at the time that we had specified, I sat next to the phone and literally stared at it waiting for it to ring. Fifteen minutes later it did... And my adrenaline rush was at car crash levels. It was surrealistic to see Andrew Shernoff come up on the caller ID. I will never forget that.
Mr. Shernoff was extremely gracious, and he didn't treat me as an amateur at all. He was very genuine, and took the time to answer each of my questions with thoughtful and elaborate replies. I remember one part of the conversation when I was asking him about the way he spells his name on the old Dictator albums (Adny, not Andy) and jokingly asked him if I should refer to him as Adny or should I call him Andy... His answer took me by surprise, and actually taught me a valuable lesson. "You can call me Mr. Shernoff," he said.
Wow... The interview was wrapping itself up at about that point, and I felt like a puppy with my tail between my legs. Of course it would be Mr. Shernoff... While I had nothing but heavenly levels of respect for this gentleman, I wasn't showing it by calling him by his first name without permission. That lesson has STUCK WITH ME.
Unlike Brant Brown, I have been offered a second chance.... All I need to do now is buy a digital voice recorder...