entry unlocked 05.14.09
9:00 PM, Monday, April 27th, 2009:
The last time my father was out here was the end of February 2007. It was the midst of the "Up & Adam" explosion, he was part of the season ending Egos Episode - and the crew was all so ecstatic about me getting my own late night show that every moment felt other-worldly. It was so incredible to have him be a part of all that, and considering how quickly that feeling came and went? The timing was perfect. I flew him out to NY the following week for what was to be this great celebration after I met with everyone and unfortunately the writing was on the wall even then... that it wasn't going to happen. I barely even register the devastation of that, as much as I remember how wonderful it felt spending time with him in LA when everything was still on...
...and could he have picked a better weekend to come out? A trip planned months ago now coincided with what is actually rivaling the "Up & Adam" days. I mean, Weller-Grossman happens on Thursday, then Atom Films Friday morning and then I pick him up from the airport the same day? Just perfect. Which as many of you who have read The Journey... is a little spooky. Heh. You start to look around like a piano is about to fall on your head. And if life has a balance, it showed up quickly with my dad's plane being delayed which meant my surprise of the road trip to Vegas to see The Beatles: Love was ruined. Totally bummed. There was still a chance we could pull it off, but the traffic was unusually bad coming from LAX at 3:30 so it just wasn't meant to be. But nothing was worse than losing my cell phone.
NOT LIKE I WAS WAITING FOR A CALL FROM SOMEONE OR ANYTHING. (sigh) I had it in the car, my dad and I went to the grocery store, and picked up a burrito - and it was gone... but I never took it out other than in the car. We were both mystefied. Not as mystefied however as I was to everyone's response that I mentioned the missing cell phone to. Ha. "Did you try to call it?". No, that never occured to me. Thanks. "Did you look in between the couch cushions?" Oh really? It might have gone there? (sigh). What I find even funnier is that I'm expecting a call from a goddamn BEATLE and searched for close to 2 hours for this phone, and people still think it wouldn't occur to me to call it? I'm actually kidding because it's a gut-reaction and we all do it. It's like the "Where's the last place you had it?" line. It just comes out before you even think about it.
So needless to say it was a long night, 'cause I was sure I would miss "the call". The following morning - I switched my service to another phone I had, and of course started getting calls from unknown numbers. Well, remember that the call I may or may not be getting from Sir Paul would be an unknown number - and that I have had my pocket videocamera ready to record the call... but now EVERY GODDAMN number is unknown. What a complete mess. I'm quickly putting numbers back in, but certainly a tough time to lose your phone - fo sho.
Anyway - the trip was actually a little different than I thought it would be. We're big movie-watchers and usually end up watching a bunch, and with the new big-screen... just incredible. But we only pulled off 6, which were:
McCartney: Us Tour
Across The Universe
Tropic Thunder
Knocked Up
The Dark Knight
And the reason? Rockband. My father picked up the drumsticks and started playing Rockband on expert like he was freaking RAINMAN or some shit. We played for hours on end - it was really, really cool. My dad's a big Boston fan so we got a bunch of Boston tunes (which are notoriously difficult) and I figured it would be cool to try and pull off one on expert - getting 90% or better. Of course I decided to sing AND play guitar on expert which actually wouldn't be that hard... if it wasn't for Brad Delp being sans testicles. Goddamn his range is up there. My speaking voice is now approaching "Barry White" status (so much deeper in the last 5 years), and I'm trying to hit these notes in full voice on an expert setting? AND play the crazy ass guitar lines? It was a helluva challenge, and here's the result:
If your computer can handle it (meaning it doesn't stutter once it's loaded) click the "HD" button...
Man, we rocked the SHIT out of that. My dad kept getting 89s and I kept getting 90 on one, but not the other... and this was the first time we got all 3 - SO COOL we got it on tape. I can't get over how good he is at the game. I mean we're both piano players, and I think because we're so used to the left/right hand doing completely different rhythms etc, drums are easy to pick up... but with Rockband it requires really reprogramming your instincts 'cause they aren't real drums. Things are in the wrong place, etc. And, you can't really riff - you have to try and play it exactly. That's also REALLY hard when singing too... because most singers will sing the same melody on verses, but slightly alter them - so you really have to follow the melody line to see the subtle differences (you'll notice in the video, especially HD, that my eyes are all freaking over the place). It's a great challenge actually. And to all the "real" musicians out there who get all snooty about Rockband, chill already. My dad made a living for 40 years as a musician, I've been playing piano since I was 2 and singing just as long. I play guitar, and can also knock out a few things on the drums, though my dad is clearly a step ahead of me there... anyway - we're "real" musicians, and the game is still fun. Lighten up.
Alas, the trip was too short. Actually, frustratingly so. One of my absolute biggest hopes with all that's going on - is that I can spend more time with my family, as a couple hundred bucks won't kill me. Ya know? As it stands having my dad over once every 2 years... just makes me sad. Goddamn I want people to read this and be thankful they can have their family over for a cookout... even when they all end up fighting. Do you know what I would give to have a good old fashion family argument? LOL. Isolation man. It eats at you. I know it's the path I've chosen, but it's a helluva choice to have to make. :(
What a month. I have a big 'ol "Randoms" entry to finish it off on Thursday (which will finally be unlocked) and then we get to look forward to May and all the wonder that month holds. Hard to believe this all started with a playground game and a "hail mary". This has to rank as one of the best months, end-to-end, in the entirety of The Journey for sure.
Now let's see if we can beat it.