Posts Tagged ‘Mick Berry’


Over half of our e-books will be on sale starting today, and will be available at all of the usual e-book vendors (Kobo, Apple, Amazon, etc.). Most are priced at $.99, and none of the sale titles are above $2.99. Here are the temporarily reduced e-books:

Science Fiction

  • Sleep State Interrupt, by T.C. Weber
  • The Wrath of Leviathan, by T.C. Weber
  • Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia, by Zeke Teflon
  • The Watcher, by Nicholas T. Oakley

Classic Fiction

  • The Jungle: The Uncensored Original Edition, by Upton Sinclair

Anarchism/Politics

  • Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle, by Rafael Uzcátegui
  • Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement, by Rodolfo Montes de Oca
  • The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations, Chaz Bufe, ed.
  • The Best of Social Anarchism, Howard Ehrlich and a.h.s. boy, eds.

Science

  • Corrupted Science: Fraud, Ideology, and Politics in Science, by John Grant

Humor

  • The American Heretic’s Dictionary, by Chaz Bufe
  • Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth

Atheism

  • Disbelief 101: A Young Person’s Guide to Atheism, by S.C. Hitchcock
  • Spiritual Snake Oil: Fads & Fallacies in Pop Culture, by Chris Edwards

Performing Arts

  • Stage Fright: 40 Stars Tell You How They Beat America’s #1 Fear, by Mick Berry and Michael Edelstein
  • An Understandable Guide to Music Theory: The Most Useful Aspects of Theory for Rock, Jazz, and Blues Musicians

A couple of nights ago I was talking with my longtime friend, ex-stand-up comic, and ex-bandmate, drummer extraordinaire Mick Berry. We’ve both been working on our vocals recently, but for very different reasons: me, because I’m sick of dealing with egomaniac vocalists; Micko, because he’s sick of dealing with musicians period, and wants to go out and do solo gigs playing piano and singing.

Anyway, he suggested that I do some singing and let him critique it. I panicked. Over the last year, I’ve sung several times during jobs at bars and thought nothing of it, but this spooked me: Micko actually has ears and I value his opinion; this is in stark contrast to audiences, who (god bless ’em)  tend to be way too forgiving.

Anyway, Micko finally talked me into it, and I reluctantly said, “I’ll do it as a shame-attacking exercise.”

He replied without missing a beat:,”You didn’t realize that all music performance is a shame-attacking exercise?”


We hit 100,000 views a few days ago, and to celebrate (if that’s the right word) we’re listing the best posts we’ve published over the years, divided by category. Here’s the second installment. The third will be the first of the Humor installments, and it’ll focus purely on jokes.

Civil Liberties

Economics

Gardening

Interviews

Journalism

 

 

 


My longtime close friend, since the mid-’80s, and bandmate in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Mick Berry — drummer/actor/playwright/stand-up comic extraordinaire — will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performing his masterful one-man play, Keith Moon: The Real Me. In it, he recreates the alternately very funny and tragic life of Who drummer Keith Moon. There are many blurbs praising Micko’s playing and performance, but perhaps the best is from Keith Moon’s daughter Mindy, reflecting on Micko’s faithful recreations of her dad’s drumming: “Now I know what my dad’s drumming sounded like.”

Drummer’s Bible front cover

Micko is also the co-author of what is almost certainly the best-selling drum book of the new millennium, The Drummer’s Bible, a guide to playing every style under the sun from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco, along with our mutual friend and Micko’s co-author Jason Gianni, instructor at the Drummer’s Collective in NYC (which changed its name relatively recently, but I’m too lazy to look up the new name) and winner of a Platinum Record with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, (Micko is a master of Afro-Cuban and New Orleans-style drumming, while Jason is a master of off-time/compound-meter drumming; but they can both play almost any style to perfection — yes, they’re that good.)

Micko is also the co-author of Stage Fright, with Micheal Edelstein, PhD, a book on how to beat stage fright. with interviews from performers including Melissa Etheridge, Robin Williams, David Brenner, Mose Allison, Jason Alexander, and Maya Angelou. An expanded edition under a different, more accurate title, with a different cover, will appear in 2020.

As for the Fringe Fest, ticket max out at about 12 pounds ($16 dollars), so if you’re there and want to pay about what you’d pay for super-hero schlock from Hollywood, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.


Here’s one from my old pal and ex-bandmate up in S.F.,  Mick Berry, who’s the co-author of The Drummer’s Bible: How To Play Every Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco:

“There are two types of people in this world: musicians, and other people who are even more unhappy.”

If you think that’s dark, here’s an earlier one: “Why don’t people who don’t play music just get it over with and shoot themselves?” (He wasn’t kidding.)

Micko, who just turned a spry 60, will be in Austria in May performing one of his one-man plays, Dad fought Hitler and Me, and will be in Los Angeles performing his latest one-man, Keith Moon: The Real Me, at the L.A Fringe Festival in June and then in Europe at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a couple of months later.

Not that anyone cares, but he’ll also be in Tucson sometime this summer along with Bassist’s Bible author Tim Boomer to do some recording and to play a couple of jobs at the local blues dives along with yours truly and some talented local friends. It’ll be huge fun for either a no- or five-dollar cover featuring two great musicians.

(In the meantime, the surviving members of my 20-years-past blues band, Green Bullet Band, will be performing at House of Bards in early June, featuring my good bud, musical collaborator, and brilliant front man Brian Hullfish. The only front man I’ve ever seen who I though was better was David Byrne, with maybe Mick Jagger on a par. I’m not kidding. If you’re in Tucson, do yourself a favor and see this performance that will be free on a Sunday night. Stay tuned.)

 

 


It’s always a wonderful thing to be proven wrong. You learn something when that happens.

For years, decades, I assumed Ellen DeGeneres was horrendous, to be judged by her awful TV show, cloying, idiotic, and pandering to the lowest common denominator. But my buddy Mick Berry, a brilliant writer, musician, and comedian, kept insisting that I was wrong, that DeGeneres was a great comedian.

I didn’t buy it.

Then the DJ on local community radio, KXCI, a couple of days ago played an old comedy clip by DeGeneres. It was wonderful. The jokes were crisp, inventive, and her timing impeccable. Here’s the best one:

“People are stupid. A traffic cop stopped me yesterday and asked me, ‘Do you know why I stopped you?’ . . . . . . . ‘Because of the dead bodies in the trunk?'”


“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

–Friedrich Nietzsche (can’t find the source for this, but widely attributed)

* * *

“Why don’t people who don’t play music just get it over with and kill themselves?”

–Mick Berry, co-author of The Drummer’s Bible

* * *

“Real musicians don’t dance.”

–bumpersticker sighted in Tucson circa 2010

* * *

“Women dress for women, musicians play for other musicians.”

— G. Michael Turner

(The only quibble I’d have with this is that there’s also a certain feeling of power when you’re on stage and have lots of people up dancing — “Hey! Heh, heh! I’m making them do that!” — and it doesn’t matter if you’re up there in a 7-piece, it’s still “I’m making them do that!” — which probably tells you more than you want to know about the mentality of musicians.)


Mickey Joseph

Two guys are talking, and one of them says to the other:

“My job is driving me nuts. All day long it’s nothing but piss and moan, piss and moan, piss and moan. I really hate working at the VD clinic.”

(thanks to Mick Berry for passing this one along)

(Mickey Joseph is performing tonight, July 22 at 8:30 pm at Angelica’s in Redwood City. )


Several of our authors have web sites. Here are the ones that immediately come to mind:

Over the next few days I’ll contact the other authors who seem like they might have either a site or blog, and will add any that come up. So, if you’re interested, please check back shortly and you’ll probably find additional author sites and blogs.

Note: Tim Boomer, who wrote The Bassist’s Bible, is also a computer pro who wrote the very nice looking Bassist’s Bible web site. He’s currently rewriting the See Sharp Press site, which badly needs the update. I wrote it in html 3 over 15 years ago, and it looks it. It’s not quite in Save Walter White territory, but not that far beyond it. The spiffy looking redesigned site will be up later this summer.

Finally, in non-book-related news, Mick Berry, co-author of The Drummer’s Bible, has a web site up for his one-man show, Keith Moon: The Real Me, which is playing in San Jose through June 24th.

 


We just put up our 1,000th post —  this  is number 1,003 — a few days ago. We’re now looking through everything we’ve posted, and are putting up “best of” lists in our most popular categories.

This is the third of our first-1,000 “best of” lists. We’ve already posted the Science Fiction “best of” and the Addictions “best of” lists, and will shortly be putting up other “best ofs” in several other categories, including Anarchism, Atheism, Economics, Humor, Music, Politics, Religion, Science, and Skepticism.

Best Interviews


We started this blog in July 2013. Since then, we’ve been posting almost daily.

When considering the popularity of the posts, one thing stands out:  in all but a few cases, popularity declines over time.

As well, the readership of this blog has expanded gradually over time, so most readers have never seen what we consider many of our best posts.

We’ve already put up lists of our best posts from 2013 and 2014 (see below), and are now putting up lists of our best posts from 2015. So far, we’ve put up the list of our best 2015 science, science fiction, and skepticism posts, and today we’re putting up the list of our best 2015 humor posts.

Here are the lists we’ve already posted:

Here’s the second of our 2015 lists:

Humor