2022 Year in Review

2022 was a very creative year for me, in terms of writing and recording.

By this time last year, EULOGY TO CHRISTA was starting to take shape: I had recorded most of the songs by NICO and it was in January that I started writing the songs about her life. I have to thank author JENNIFER OTTER BICKERDICKE for her book YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE ALONE which was a real treasure trove of knowledge, and Jennifer’s support and enthusiasm was incredible. I have been overwhelmed at the response to the album, mostly because I want her story to be out there. Just like STELLA CARTWRIGHT from THE BIRTHDAY POEMS, Nico was an artist — a very important artist. Often this side of her was maligned or ignored in favour of her affiliations with people like Iggy, Dylan, Reed — and, of course, heroin. But her art was unique: she invented her sound, along with the empathy, talent, and skill of John Cale, of course.

SONS OF THE SILENT AGE finally got to play in May and it was a wonderful experience, with our friend MICHAEL SHANNON bringing T REX back to life in front of our eyes! Later that summer, we, along with many of his musical friends, would play a set to honour our late friend JOE CASSIDY. Joe was a beautiful man, and a brilliant musician, he died far too young. Joe and I became friends when he moved to Chicago in the 90s, and he generously scored the strings for the album BLONDE EXODUS.

I had another appearance later in the summer after the passing of CYNTHIA PLASTERCASTER, someone I have been friends with since I moved here in 1988. It was a pleasure to throw down with THE HANDCUFFS playing “Tae the Poets” (from THE BIRTHDAY POEMS), a Mothers of Invention song – “Why Don’t You Do Me Right”, and “Where Have All the Good Times Gone by The Kinks.

In March, to commemorate BILL RIEFLIN’s death, I recorded the LARGO 22 EP — reworking three of the songs we had written together and writing “Largo’s Prayer” in his honour. Between this release and Prayer birthday tribute, we raised $585 this year for the clinic where Bill spent his last times.

A new JOY THIEVES EP was recorded and released — “6 TO 3”, a violent musical reaction to the supreme court overturning ROE V WADE. I wrote the lyrics and sang “Property” to remind the world that a woman’s body is her body. All money raised from this brilliant EP (which has a ton of amazing remixes) is going to the NATIONAL NETWORK OF ABORTION FUNDS.

The documentary “WHAT YOU COULD NOT VISUALIZE” about the brilliant band REMA REMA came out this year. Both myself and FRANK NARDIELLO were interviewed about this unique and incredible band who released one EP in 1980, whose flame has never died.

…And then there was the REVOLTING CORPSE. This was the last run of this incarnation — who knows what will happen in the future. I just know that although I am (skeptically) proud of this band, but I am not going back. The final show in Denver was just wonderful, followed by a night in a hotel that looked like a set from “Saw”. Hmmmmm. The audiences were great and I don’t take it for granted, but I am hanging up that battered old Stetson. I do have to say, the fun and camaraderie of PAUL BARKER, JASON NOVAK and DAN BRILL (and the lads from FRONT 242) is a real tonic.

So now it is 2023! I am focusing on the next album, which I am recording right now, and looking forward to new music in 2023.

Thank you SO much for listening to what I do. I get emails and messages from all over and I am often overwhelmed at the kindness and sincerity of these.