Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

And when / I was the line / You were a light / Shining like some planet / You call home

Talking aloud / What’s it about / The ending or beginning of a word

That was with me all along / I let go, you held strong / Are we all not lost in song / Feeding back until we’re found

“What’s going to happen next?” has been a serious question of concern in 2020 (shit taking, con-man, president aside). Dude, thinking ahead to tomorrow has become something that can really suck.

Tuesday I had a blow out on the 134 freeway. I had just enough time to say something to myself like, “Oh shit!, fuck me, fuckkkkkk!” And then… OK what do I do next?

Thank you GOD, Triple AAA, and my man in the tow truck. I was saved from disaster.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

On my own I faced a gang of jeering in strange streets, oh oh / When my nerves were pumping and I / Fought my fear in, I didn’t run / I was not done

I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out / But I’m not down, no, I’m not down / I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up / And I’m not down, no, I’m not down

One thing about quarantine, there’s plenty of time for thought. These last couple of weeks we’ve been socked in by smoke and “gloomy environmental prospects.” I’m “new-normally” in our backyard, mediating in my little corner of our grove in the canyon.

Prior to the fires, the coming of September had me thinking of my LA roots. It’s pretty much a mind blower to think I showed in LA forty years ago with a duffle bag of clothes and a surfboard. With school being back in session, I often look at my kid and think back to my arrival in LA, who I was, and the path I’ve traveled to become a Los Angeleno. As I’ve said time and time again, mine has been first and foremost a rock ‘n’ roll journey.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s just a rumor that was spread around town / Somebody said that someone got filled in / For saying that people get killed in / The results of their shipbuilding.

With all the will in the world / Diving for dear life / When we could be diving for pearls.

It’s just a rumor that was spread around town / A telegram for a picture postcard / Within weeks they’ll be reopening the shipyard / And notifying the next of kin / Once again.

It’s all we’re skilled in / We will be shipbuilding.

I believe there’s a certain internal seasonal timeclock one develops as a child. Growing up in New York City, summers were spent in what we “city slickers” called “the country.” Simply put, the country was anywhere outside the sweltering heat and humidity of the city. We were out for July 4th, and on Labor Day afternoon we’d drive back into the city.

With a deep breath I can almost smell Manhattan driving over the Triborough Bridge. In a matter of days we were back in blazers and ties and back in classrooms. There isn’t a Labor Day that my internal clock doesn’t reflect this past change of environments.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Tonight the city is full of morgues / And all the toilets are overflowing / There’s shopping malls coming out of the walls / As we walk out among the manure

That’s why / I pay no mind / I pay no mind / I pay no mind

Give the finger to the rock ‘n’ roll singer / As he’s dancing upon your paycheck / The sales climb high through the garbage-pail sky / Like a giant dildo crushing the sun

That’s why / I pay no mind / Sleep in slime / I just got signed

So get out your lead-pipe pipe dreams / Get out your ten-foot flags / The insects are huge and the poison’s all been used / And the drugs won’t kill your day job honey

That’s why / I pay no mind

Happy Friday to ya. If I was an ostrich I’d surely have my head in the sand. Instead I’m gonna hide behind a stack of mostly old records. As I fumble through a few “crates,” I’m only paying half of mind. My other thoughts dash from late summer childhood memories growing up in NYC and a future that might resemble HBO’s new series Lovecraft Country.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The piano has been drinking, my necktie is asleep / And the combo went back to new york, the jukebox has to take a leak / And the carpet needs a haircut, and the spotlight looks like a prison break / And the telephone’s out of cigarettes, and the balcony is on the make / And the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking

And the menus are all freezing, and the light man’s blind in one eye / And he can’t see out of the other / And the piano-tuner’s got a hearing aid, and he showed up with his mother

I woke up this morning a touch late, unsure of what I was dreaming about yet strangely optimistic about the day.

Yesterday was the first day of 7th grade for young Jonah. Little does he know, I once owned an after hours club called “7th Grade.” I named it that because it was the year 1974 when my rock ‘n’ roll party started. My school on the upper west side of New York City was 1st–12th—7th was the year you got your “locker” next to the high schoolers. I was unleashed into the wild city and it was so much fucking fun.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You’re heard enough / Of the blues and stuff / You’re pretty swell now / ‘Cause you’re pretty tough / But I don’t have to tell you / How hard it can be to get by

You never bothered / About anyone else / You’re well educated / With no common sense / But love, that’s one thing / You really need to get by

All your troubles / Come from yourself / Nobody hurts you / They don’t care / Just as long as you show them

I randomly heard this Roxy Music record a few days ago and it’s really stuck in my craw. In my quarantine quest to stay positive, I’m trying my best to have a good day. I started my morning listening to this quickly—my mix of ’70s glam and 2020—and hey, it’s not half bad.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Circles, my head is going round in circles / My mind is caught up in a whirlpool, draggin’ me down

Time will tell if I’ll take the homeward track / The dizziness will make my feet walk back / Walk on back to you

Everything I do, I think of you / No matter how I try, I can’t get by

Circles, leading me back to you / Round and round and round / And round and round / And round and round / And round and round…

The week started on a special day—my son Jonah’s 12th birthday. Quarantine in LA has been tough at times, and watching an eleven year boy trapped in his room by himself all summer stirs a dad’s emotions.

Every now and then we’ve ventured to the beach where “the surf” has been synonymous with freedom. We did our best and organized a few friends for a socially distanced surf session Friday. Jonah had such a groovy time, but Saturday found the two of us depressed with birthday hangovers.

Like Pete Townshend with his mid-sixties angst, my mind was caught up in a whirlpool and dragging me down. I needed to flip the switch to positive. Monday morning I set the alarm for 6am and cruised back to the beach to watch the birthday boy surf a glassy three hour session.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well East coast girls are hip / I really dig those styles they wear / And the Southern girls with the way they talk / They knock me out when I’m down there

The Mid-West farmer’s daughters really make you feel alright / And the Northern girls with the way they kiss / They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California girls / I wish they all could be California / I wish they all could be California girls

I guess I can honestly say July 2020 is month to forget. I’m going to keep my vibe from last Friday and continue to try and stay in my “bubble” in the canyon. It’s impossible to avoid much of last week’s bitter news. For this week I’m just not gonna talk about it. Instead, let’s focus and divert attention to music and ball.

Dodgers opened up last night and I spent much of the evening with one eye on the turntable and one eye on the game. In my attempts to avoid the news, I had not heard that Mookie Betts was now a Dodger!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Absolution is out of the question / It makes no sense to apologize / The words I thought I brought I left behind, / So never mind / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time / Never mind / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time

I’m not ready as I’ll ever be / I climb the walls, I fall into the sea / I’m not ready as I’ll ever be / And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time / Never mind / All over but the shouting, just a waste of time / And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine

Trying week. I’ve heard friends use the expression “Groundhog Day,” and this summer week, I can relate. Then there’s the shocking “Elvis news.” His poor grandson! Our neighbor’s kitty! (Don’t ask!) Please no more news!

Let’s talk about fishing or music. How The Byrds took acid in the desert and went country. Or how punk rock lead to power pop and eventually brought The Replacements to LA to record an album at Ocean Way Studios. And how much fun is was to cruise around Hollywood in my Chevy Impala top down, high as a kite, Tommy in front and Westerberg in back. It was 30 summers ago. Oh just a sip of those days would be nice

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Yeah, so I told you some stories / Yeah, I slipped you some lines / Maybe I burned all my bridges / Yeah, so I’m out of my mind / Yeah, it’s not very tasteful / Yeah, it’s not very wise

“Yeah right?” is actually the question I’m asking myself this week. Yep, another Friday sitting here typing my thoughts. This particular Friday is a bit “groundhog-dayish.”

I guess I was thinking about the impermanence, summertime, and the surge—and totally forgot to send in my weekly thought thoughts to Jon from TVD. The day started rough the ol’ LA sun beat it out of me.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

What are you lookin’ at / There’s nothing to see / Just a cool breeze that’s encircling me / Let’s go for a walk in the garden / So far and so wide / We can sit in the shade by the fountain-side

July 4th weekend is supposed to be pleasant and relaxing, however this holiday weekend is a mixed bag of luck here in California, USA. I guess we should all be grateful for whatever luck befalls us here in LA. Maybe we were just starved for hugs and high-fives and couldn’t handle coming out of quarantine without a BBQ and a toast?

Last weekend I took my bike down to Newport Beach and took a cruise. Although many seemed to be aware of social distancing, most were roaming unmasked. My pals down south had gone fishing and I stopped by for a backyard gathering. I tried to keep my distance, but how much distance is enough?

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Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures–An Enduring Legacy

As the gritty 1970s turned into the gaudy 1980s, three friends on the brink of their twenties in Ruislip, a London suburb, Dave, Ken, and Mark, were consumed by music. Home to ancient parishes, Ruislip’s steel-laden sky dims the life beneath it. Dulling the atmosphere even further was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, otherwise known as the “Iron Lady.” Clamping down upon workers’ unions, civil unrest, and racial tensions, the class divide soared and not much since has changed. Existence is an intermix of negative and positive tensions and the most compelling music is a mirror of these forces. Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures is its ultimate reflection.

Unknown Pleasures was released on June 15, 1979. Shoulder-to-shoulder with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division are considered to be pioneers of post-punk and their music was unlike anything heard at that time. The album is a marriage of two genius individuals—lead singer Ian Curtis, author of inwardly perceptive and melancholy lyrics, and studio maven Martin Hannett behind the production console.

As drummer Stephen Morris said in a recent livestream, “Headstock Festival Presents: Moving Through Silence,” a tribute at the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death, “He’d have notebooks full of words. We’d just start playing the riff and he’d go into his MacFisheries bag and pull out a piece of paper and just start singing. At the time, everyone was starting a band, but he loved writing and poetry. He was into T.S. Eliot, and Burroughs, he was very very literate, and very creative. I met his English teacher, he’d sent me a nice email saying how much he thought Ian was very talented, even at school as a writer. If he hadn’t done music, he would have written fiction.”

With a background in chemistry, Hannett understood science but was fascinated by sound. Unknown Pleasures was his great experiment with the latest technology—the first AMS Digital Delay Machine. His control was legendary, drummer Stephen Morris made to play every drum separately on some tracks—an insane process that created the atmospheric space the album is known for. By isolating each member in the studio and also mixing the album himself, Hannett was able to craft Joy Division’s sound and style—the subsequent output a masterpiece that is just as avant-garde now as it was then.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Don’t worry, baby / It goes right through me / I’m like the wind and my anger will disperse / Thin persecutors / Your twisted whispers / A horned reptile that is crawled upon the earth

I went for my usual walk / Just tell it like it is / Tell it like it was / Judge and jury, executioner / Judge and jury, executioner / Judge and jury

When darkness follows / And no tomorrows / It’s all been decided / All spies deceptive / All bouncing voices down the echo chamber / Don’t worry, baby / It goes right through me

This week was stressful. Looming over my shoulder was a summons for jury duty on Monday. Add to the mix a second wave of COVID and the continuing frustration with the social and political realities of living in a divided USA in 2020.

Along with real social unrest, it appears 40% of Americans are simply just complete idiots. Or maybe as a people Americans can’t help themselves from acting as such. The good news is things are getting so serious, there is hope that the 60% of us will hang on and make real change to save our herd. Shout out to the generals and judges for speaking out.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

In this world, if you read the papers, darling, / You know everybody’s fighting with each other. / You got no one you can count on, dear, / Not even your own brother. / So if someone comes along, / He gonna give you love and affection

I’d say get it while you can, yeah, / Honey, get it while you can, yeah, / Honey, grab it while you can, / Don’t you turn your back on love, no, no, no.

It’s nice to celebrate “freedom.” As a boy, a weekly summer highlight was going to a drive-in movie theater for B-movie double headers. Courtesy of Roger Corman and childhood heroes like Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Billy Jack, I adopted my own concept of the word “free.” I never thought of those bikers as racists, just bad-ass hippies who didn’t want a “hassle from the man.”

As soon I was back in the city and old enough to go to the movies solo, I adopted Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly, John Shaft, and Ron O’Neal (aka Superfly). Long story short, I’m grateful I grew up in NYC in the ’70’s. Post the ’60s and post Vietnam, the city was a melting pot and I was “free” to roam.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I tried to join a ping-pong club / Sign on the door said “all full up” / I got nicked, fighting in the road / The judge didn’t even know / What’s my name, name, name

Dad go pissed so I got clocked / Couldn’t hear the Tannoy so he lost the lot / Offers mum a bribe through the letter box / Drives you fucking mad / Now, I’m round the back of your house at night / Peeping in the window, are you sleeping tight? / I laugh at your locks with my celluloid strip / An’ you won’t know who came / What’s my name, name, name

“What’s my name?” is actually a good question. I’m sitting here on a Friday typing my thoughts, thinking about the impermanence of life on earth, summertime, and this fucking new surge of covid.

And just as life here was opening up—the baseball field, skate parks and beaches—racial anger seems to have set us back 5 steps.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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