Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From Gore to Edwards to Biden...

this is my reply to a post on Democratic Underground asking-

tsegat01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Mon Nov-26-07 06:52 PM
Original message
Have you changed candidates and why?
Just curious. I've encountered a number of people who have switched candidates for various reasons. Some were disappointed in something their original choice had done or said, whereas others became more impressed with another candidate.

Gore was, and still is, the only person for the job. If he ran 3rd party I would drop my affiliation with the Democratic Party in a heartbeat. There are millions of us out here and Al knows it. He would split the party apart and would never do that. A pity, really. As much as a multi-party system is needed here, to do it now would be an automatic win for the GOP. So I'm left supporting Al Gore in all his works as "diplomat on the world stage"... and I DO support Gore in ALL his works and decisions- but DAMN IT, AL... WE NEED YOU!!! NOW!!!". Okay- three deep breaths and one foot in front of the other...

sigh... anyways-

Edwards looked good for a time but, honestly- I feel that he was speaking from sound bites and not from the heart. All candidates do the sound-bite thing to a certain degree and that's fine, but after a while it gets old to me and the more a candidate can get past it and go for the crux of the issues, the more secure I feel in making a choice about who to give my support. I have always been distrusting of the main-stream media telling me who the "front-runner" is- Hillary, Barrack and John Edwards. Up and down, back and forth, ahead then behind... the horse race with no substance. Ehh. Not to mention that I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to the "come from behind underdog". My support for Howard Dean in 2004 was unshakable. Then I saw Joe Biden give the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner speech. WOW!

Until then (and even still to a degree) I saw Biden as a "go along to get along" guy. Like when Randi Rhodes asked him why he couldn't call GWB for what he is- a liar. Biden replied that that was the hardest thing for him to do. A totally political cover your ass response. The Bartcop graphic of Biden dancing with Leahy and Kerry in the pink tutu's comes to mind.

But that happened years ago. I'm a sucker for a second chance.

At the J-J Dinner Joe talked like a human being. He spoke of issues and he spoke of the deep trouble we as a nation are in. Pulling no punches, he spoke truth to power. He did not strike me as someone who could be bought. Sure, some of his solutions are not the ones I would personally choose, but he's actually speaking to important issues that the other three are not.

But hey- this is what the process is all about- wheat from chaff. When the party selects it's nominee, he or she will get my vote. Period. I'm a tree-stump Democrat.

"No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There's too much work to do!" Dorothy Day

Saturday, November 10, 2007


i grew up on old Vanguard label blues records. todays equivalent of iTunes for American Music collections. Bukka White, Son House, John Hurt and others were faves. on one of the collections the liner notes were written by a guy named Leroy Jodie Pierson.

as a cook at The Broadway Oyster Bar, on Saturday nights there was a blues band that played on the stage/patio directly outside the kitchen door. i loved the raw, real country delta blues sound they had. "who are those guitar players?" "oh, that's Leroy." "but who's the other one?".... "oh, that's Leroy."

yup, Leroy Pierson, Russ Horneyer on bass and Geoff Sietz on drums.

i sat in with them a few times in a period of my life when playing music was a long distance love. drink and all that accompanies it were my companions in my basement apartment dwelling. guess you could say i was "living the blues".

but the blues is more than that. the blues helped me out of my depths. the blues let me play saxophone again. though i certainly sucked at the time, i knew enough to play a cliche or two. on 31, December 1987 i made the grandiose decision to quit drinking. no 30-day hospital stay, just straight to A.A. to try "90 meetings-in-90-days". on 15, April i bravely set foot into my old stomping grounds, ready to split if i got nervous, but anxious to play. i had phoned Russ earlier that evening at home and asked if he'd mind if i sat in- "Yeah that'd be great- just don't show up drunk!". Leroy spotted me from the stage and at the next song beckoned. "C'mon up, boy! Ladies and Gentlemen, i wanna bring up the dog bwah to play- this is a special day for him and we'd like to congratulate him on 90 days"... no one in the crowd had any idea what he was talking about but all the employees and band members did and it was thrilling. Leroy said "we're gonna play a tune by the great Gregory Isaacs called 'The Lonely Lover'... and i leaped into an opening line on the saxophone that i play to this day. an awesome gift from the blues. yeah sure- it's a reggae tune but what is reggae but the blues with a skanky beat?

i played with the Leroy Pierson Band through many incarnations. we played country blues, rock-a-billy, ska and reggae. Leroy was/is a wealth of knowledge and i learned so much about roots music from him. the old delta blues (as opposed to the more modern electric Memphis or Chicago style) was an early influence on my tastes in music.

some twelve years or so back our family was gathered for Christmas at my sisters in Oakland. i was sifting through her LP collection, finding many of the wonderful records i grew up with when i happened upon "The Great Blues Men". opening the double album i found the extensive liner notes were written by Leroy Jodie Pierson!

Please read this wonderful interview of Leroy Pierson by Micheal Kuelker

the Leroy Pierson Band Re-union at The Broadway Oyster Bar with (L-R) Russel Horneyer- bass, Dominic Schaeffer- sax, The Reverend Craig Spellmeyer- drums, Leroy Pierson- guitar and Ken MacSwan- guitar.

photo by Kathy Horneyer

My Good Heart

Mon Bon Coeur

the sun is higher in the sky
these days
my thoughts a little lighter
mornings not so long to come
these days

the wind is softer in the air
these days
my heart a little warmer
time alone not that impossible to bear
these days

that little something extra
the icing on the cake
you pretty you
mon couer entier

not that long ago
it seemed so far way
but i find that it’s right here
to take with me when i go

take me with you
you pretty you
mon coeur entier
take me along

when i must leave
you're here with me
where ever i might wander
you are always here
mon bon coeur

December 9th, 2006

Robert Fripp is playing tonight in Madison, WI so i thought i would post the poem i wrote after he played here in St. Louis last year and my life changed.


in the basement i found life
possible to bare my soul to all
with no one person really watching.
oh, they see okay but they aren’t watching.

callous hands rub lightly love
i like that.
find myself home.

looking so long i never thought i’d find it.
but there it is, before me, joyous, quizzical, loving.
I know this is it.
easy to keep.
hard to imagine.

it rained that night. too many tickets in my pocket.
one man, one show, one guitar,
the feeling of monumental change about to occur.
but the happening itself so minute
if i blink
i might miss it.

a sense of presence. i was in the moment
the here and now of there and then
could be, who knows,
the street lights glistened
driving to that place in time.
so fragile a moment like this.
breath wrong and it breaks.
but the gasp that results when you realize
it’s happening- reflected in the silence
as i drove there in my car.

paying the way for four others
i descended the stairs to destiny.
with soul bared to the event,
i waited.
the light went down around me
the anticipation waxed as
the roomful greeted the vessel with applause.
He kissed the instrument
and placing it over his shoulders
rang the bells at the threshold to creation.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


what is it? why do we want it? how do we feel it? we cannot eat it yet it nourishes us. being alone is one thing, but love keeps us from being lonely. david crosby had a song which stated "music is love", not sure he was right, but i love music and music makes me feel love and many other things. do i love something or just enjoy it immensely? i love food. i love my house. i love my family and friends. i love psychotronics.

my favorite part of "All You Need Is Love" is, toward the end, just before the melody of "Greensleeves" is played by the strings, when John Lennon says- "Guess again".

Thursday, October 25, 2007

one picture says it all

yup, pretty much...

LaClede Town 1964-76

LaClede Town: Impressions of a Native Son
By Dominic Schaeffer

In 1964 we moved from Creve Coeur into the heart of the city, in Mill Creek Valley, to the new housing development called LaClede Town. Our mother, Rita, recently widowed, needed to relocate closer to her work at St. Louis University — a move contrary to the urban flight that was beginning at that time. My first time there was prior to our move.

Dominic and Benet Rita took me (and Benet?) to go swimming at a friend's apartment complex. That was in LaClede Park, which was at the southwest corner of LaClede Ave. and Compton. LaClede Town was just being constructed on the adjacent corner. It was my first time in a swimming pool, and as soon as I stepped into it the water went over my head and I began to panic. I was quickly whisked out by the lifeguard on duty, Greg Burger, son of Jerome Burger, the manager of LaClede Park. A decade or so later, I would be one with the job of pulling people out of what we would call "The Peanut Pool." During the drive home I remember looking at brochures and newspaper articles about a new housing development that would be our family's new home.

3151 Laclede Avenue. That was the house our family lived from 1964 to '73. Occasionally when I'd mention to someone that I grew up in LaClede Town they'd don a quizzical look as if to say, "and you're proud of that?" More often than not the statement is met with a blank stare. But there have been magic moments when people reply, "Wow — I did, too!" When these occur with people I have never met it makes me realize that the whole "concept" of the community was real and not just some utopian dream of a seven-year-old.

The zeitgeist of that era was one of wrenching social change, and Jerome Burger's sense of community building was at the crest of that change. Bringing a diverse population to live together in LaClede Town — black, white and Hispanic; artists, musicians, poets; people from all walks of life — was his goal. And he achieved it, for a time.

In LaClede Park, there were two-story apartments that surrounded a courtyard with benches and a rectangular fountain, where there were often gatherings or parties, like bar-b-ques after softball games played by the LaClede Town Losers. The new "Town" was two- and three-story houses with courtyards around which neighbors would gather, though there weren't any events held at them like the Park courtyard hosted. But LaClede Town had The Circle.

Running east/west, from Compton Ave. to Ewing St. through the middle of the Town, was Lawton Ave. LaClede Town was built in two phases; the first portion ran from Laclede Ave. on the south to Olive St. on the north. The western border was Compton and Channing marked the east. "The Circle" was at the corner of Channing and Lawton. It was to act as "town square." With the Coach and Four Pub and the Circle Coffeehouse, The Circle became the cultural heart of the town. There was also a barber shop, two laundromats, and the General Store — a small grocer where I remember buying a Twinkie and a soda for 25¢! Some of the people who lived there in the early years were holdouts from Gaslight Square, bringing with them an interest in the arts and giving the place a "counterculture" feel. In retrospect, it's humorous to think that Burger, who called everybody "babe" and had a vocal style not unlike a beatnik, would designate a "circle" as opposed to a "square."

The Coach and Four Pub was where the grown-ups gathered, with its sidewalk cafe. The Coffeehouse was for the younger set. A rock band called the Crystalline Silence Band practiced upstairs. As young kids, we could hear them practicing above the Coffeehouse from the sidewalk and were even invited up once or twice when they took a break. This was the time when The Beatles were breaking new ground with albums like "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver." The so-called youth movement was gaining momentum on the West coast and there was a feeling that music, more specifically rock-and-roll, could "change the world." Having the Crystalline Silence Band in LaClede Town brought this home. We were impressed — so impressed that some of the kids living there at the time pursued a life in music. My brother Benet and I have been working musicians for the better part of 25 years as a result. Another among our group of close friends, Ike Willis, became a guitarist/vocalist of international renown as the front man for Frank Zappa. Before he died, Zappa met with Ike and personally "handed the torch" to Ike to carry on playing his compositions — a request that Ike faithfully honors to this day.

Jazz and poetry also found a home among the people of LaClede Town. Oliver Lake, J. D. Parran, Julius Hemphill, Floyd LeFlore and his wife, poet Shirley LeFlore, performed regularly as Black Artist Group (BAG) at the Circle Coffeehouse. They were highlights of the Spring/Fall Festivals that were held in The Circle featuring music, arts and crafts. Even the kids were able to perform. I remember seeing Ike playing the drums with Oliver Lake's group. In the early- to middle-'70s, the bands that us kids formed would also play the festivals.

LaClede Town was indeed utopian in those early years. Like many things that start out small and work well, the obvious next step is expansion. The more people wanted to move in, the more sections were built. In 1973, LaClede West and LaClede East were added. LaClede East was a high-rise apartment complex and Laclede West were prefabricated houses. These new areas held true to the community feel that Jerome Burger had striven for, but in 1976 things changed. Jerome Burger had left, and though his brother managed things for a few years after that, it was never the same. Things went downhill from there... and fast.

But there were so many great things about that time and that place. Unfortunately, the abandoned, boarded-up houses stood far too long, leaving the impression to those passing by that it must have been a failure, "the end of an error." But to those of us who were there, it was by no means a failure. Far from it. And the next time I mention to someone that I grew up in LaClede Town and get that quizzical look, I'll say, "and yes — I am proud of that!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Democratic Lord's Prayer

Our DLC who art in Warshington
Dash-ed be thy kin
Thy Kingdom gone
Thy Will be wrong
For Earth as you are for 'Murka

Give us this day
Our Albert Gore
And forgive us our excesses
As we will get those
Who cast votes against us
And lead us not into complacence
But deliver us from Hillary


Saxofinus 20:07

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gore: "Politics requires tolerance for triviality, artifice, nonsense I have found in short supply."

the above is a quote sited in the NYT: The Trivial Pursuit By BOB HERBERT
Published: October 13, 2007

Well, Al- MY level of tolerance for triviality, artifice and nonsense is NONEXISTENT!

I can tolerate it no longer. "We The People" can no longer survive like this.

American democracy is at a tipping point. Maybe we've passed it, hopefully it is recoverable. All I know is none of the current candidates are addressing the issues that matter with the same force, understanding and clarity that I see/hear coming from Al Gore.

Yes- the Earths climate is at a tipping point. Gore has made major strides toward changing millions of individuals awareness and lifestyles. This work is underway. Change is happening on a personal level all over the world. Despite resistance, derision and outright mocking of environmental consciousness from the corporate media, people have changed and more are changing still.

Al Gore is solely responsible for this. To a person, everyone acknowledges it.

Gore must be aware that he can lead in much the same way to solving the democracy crisis. With his book "The Assault On Reason" he has spelled out in detail the dangers We The People face today and given us solutions. TAOR ends with hope and a clarion call to the reader to work toward restoring our blessed democracy.

With this book and through his speaking engagements Gore IS making strides toward changing individuals awareness of what we have long suspected- "that something has gone terribly wrong". And again- this work is underway. Awareness is happening on a personal level all over America. Despite resistance, derision and outright mocking of Gore from the corporate media, people are waking up and more are waking daily. But awakening to what- looking over an abyss?

Just as the Earth needed an individual to take the reins and steer it away from the brink, America needs a leader who will stand for The Constitution and redeem our once great nation in the eyes of the world. Looking at the current list of declared democrats, I fail to see one that fits this description.

Certainly, the Democratic Party will win the presidency in 2008... but will We The People?

if you think Al Gore should run, please visit and sign the petition along with 200,000 other like minded voters!

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Monday, October 1, 2007


This is the band i play in with Curt Hendricks, Vince Hely and Jim Laverty. we play improvisational instrumental rock with a jazz ethic. early weather report and miles davis meet gong and aphrodites child. throw some king crimson in the mix and you have a pretty good picture of what we do.

done is our official homepage. is our myspace page.

now visit The Official psychotronics Blog

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Prisoner vol. 1

my favorite television show of all time (even over The Simpsons and My Name Is Earl!). Patrick McGoohan's 17 episode series about a British Secret Agent who, upon suddenly resigning his job, is rendered unconscious in his home and wakes up in an exact replica yet looking out the window finds himself in The Village, a charming little community from which there is no escape. why would anyone ever want to escape this lovely little place? written and filmed during the cold war era, one or the other side runs The Village, which one remains unknown throughout the series. also unanswered is the question of his resignation, the name of his character and- in a society where everyone is known by a number, his being Number 6, who is Number 1? does Number 6 ever escape The Village?

this is an enigmatic analogy for Society as seen through the lens of the the times- rebellion, upheaval, surveillance and runaway technology. McGoohan leaves many of the questions open to the interpretation of the viewer. More to come.



i sit at my keyboard on an Autumn Saturday night and begin a blog. oh my.

with any luck i'll discern the line between public subject matter and that which should be kept to myself. fine enough to share joy, anger, bliss, incredulity, wonder and pain- but not at the expense of others.

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music, politics, food, work, play, love and other subjects will be covered here. family, band mates, fellow musicians, friends close and distant, buddies and buddettes are welcome to comment and converse.

please, let's go!