Federal Judge Orders Yngwie Malmsteen Forcibly Removed From Faux Leather Pants

Disciple of Hell no longer of use to nether-regions, consigned to playing Air Supply licks

Swedish-born Yngwie Malmsteen performs another flawless arpeggio in A Minor. many are worried that wearing normal clothing could “significantly impact” the guitarist’s chops.


Los Angeles–Acting on the legal request from Lucifer’s Son, a federal circuit court ordered the “immediate and forcible removal” of neoclassical rocker Yngwie Malmsteen from the malleable, faux-leather pants he has worn since his debut album, Rising Force came to light in 1985.

Malmsteen’s incendiary style, a pyrotechnic mix of harmonic Minor scales, sweep arpeggios, and descending diminished runs elicited speculation that the guitarist/composer may have sold his soul to the devil in order to achieve the prodigious, near-perfect permutations and the indefatigable ability to perform 20 minute flurries of 32nd note scales.

Music analysts now believe Malmsteen has outlived his usefulness to the Neitzchien/Aleister Crowley connection, and that “even the remotest of devils is finished with him.”

“Yngwie was, at one time a skinny, arpeggiating fireball,” said one music analyst. “Now, those fingers of his look like Hebrew National hotdogs. You try playing Paganini’s fifth violin caprice on a fender Strat with those ham-hands, and see how far you get.”

Malmsteen’s people contend that the guitarist “is just achieving the apex of his compositional commission.”

The federal courts believe otherwise:

Respondent Malmsteen entered the courtroom this afternoon, citing Bach and Paganini as his major influences. The guitarist proceeded to take out a dingy yellow Stratocaster, plug it into a Marshall stack, and commence with the most flurried, back-to-back harmonic Minor runs ever taken from the instrument.

Despite the obvious and prodigious talent, the court was not hindered in its almost trance-like infatuation with Mr. Malmsteen’s circa 1980’s stranglehold on bad Spandex rock fashion.

The Court hereby orders Mr. Malmsteen to relinquish said pants, whether voluntarily or by an intervention. Probationary rules stipulate a six(6) month banishment from minor keys, and a mandatory Air Supply-related set in all forthcoming concerts.

A spokesman for the Swedish-born guitarist said the ruling “would have a significant, deleterious impact” on the guitarist’s career.

“Two singers have already quit,” he said. “Nobody worth their vocal chops is going to suffer Here I am the one that you love, or Now and Forever, without throwing up. Can you imaging, being laughed off the stage by Black Sabbath?”

Another had a slightly different take on it. Ozzy Osbourne also registered concerns.

“Uh think ah cahns see whoat De inngveey iz tryna spress, he said. “Bluddy mezz, ee iz.”

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. . . and my book is finished.

37 days from the start of this ridiculous, Iditarod-level lunacy.

47, 000 words, with at least another five waiting in elaborative revisionary addenda to concepts and scenes I refused to bog down in the initial process.

Rewrite is next.  Probably will be done rather quickly since I have the core book finished.

Now, I’m having to research what to do with the thing when it’s of sentient value. Because I have no idea. I didn’t actually expect to get this far across the Rubicon.

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Ken Tamplin told me I’m going to jail if I don’t listen to Dino Jelusic

Far be it from me to demur from an incendiary headline, in which I accuse people of saying things they didn’t say. Although, I’m not a journalist, so:

  1. It doesn’t come natural to me
  2. I feel the odd twinge of guilt even if I do say it, and then don’t square the story.
  3. CNN REALLY overshot their azimuth.

Ken Tamplin is a world-renowned vocal coach, musician, singer, producer and intrepid long hair that tries to improve the lives, fortunes, chances and dulcet-tones of other singers. Word on the street is, he’s got the goods.  He also has a lot of known-singers that have gone to him to up their game.  But I didn’t come around to Ken Tamplin because of that. I know him because of this picture:

Photo by Nigel Skeet

That’s him second from the right. Now before anyone in the room starts to wade in with some snarky, Wayne Newton meets David Coverdale comparative mic-drop–stand down right now. You will not wreck my childhood with crass references to glam rock. I simply will not allow it.

This was Christian metal band called “Shout.” These records were straight-ahead tour-de-forces of sound, with Tamplin providing the plethoric amount of scales, riffs, arpeggios and glissandos. Sure, the vocal harmonies are layered to the horizon. And sure, the Christian genre has not always been taken seriously, outside the realms of Petra, Stryper and Resurrection Band. But Tamplin has always played in a larger musical sandbox, and has made friends all around the rock world. This record alone sees contributions from Alex Masi, Joey Price, Lanny Cordola, marty Friedman and Michael Angelo.

He’d have probably gotten Ronnie James Dio in on it, as he did manage to sing on a 1980 Christian album by Kerry Livrgren. If anyone could’ve pulled it off it would have been him.

Anyways, a few things about Tamplin:

  1. He regularly posts videos summarizing technique or styling of famous singers.
  2. He has most likely thrown away the unsightly, blue lamai jacket.
  3. He does not feature other singers directly on his channel.

This was, until Dino Jelusic came along.  Now I consider myself a reasonably-competent connoisseur of strong lead vocals.  I do actually sing, and therefore I know a bit about the craft.  I even have a few friends in high places that let me sit next to them and play a guitar while they do this craft.  So I cruise around the musical ocean like an auditory Mako shark waiting for the next suprise to come along.

One day, I’m sitting on my couch when a friend sends me this video:

The first thing I see is weathering guitar hero of mine, George Lynch, being as cool as George Lynch always is.  I can never turn down a chance to listen to George do what George does with aplomb, style and grit.  He also plays in like 35 bands of varying connecting ligaments, so he’s always working. Always. That doesn’t even take into consideration his endless studio contributions.  A genuine hired gun, and that’s a compliment.  Chances are, he’ll appear on a Partridge Family reunion album, if they ever decide to punch up their version of Like a  Roller Coaster. If they know what’s good for them.

So anyway, this Dino character starts in and well, the rest is history for me.  Even if you’re a reader of mine and don’t like the heavier music, just give the kid’s pipes a chance here.  That confounded Eddie Trunk isn’t listening to my emails.  If he interviews Alice Cooper one more time without interviewing this guy, I’m going to . . . um,  . . . keep emailing him.

Anyway, I found out that aside from his primary membership in the Croatian-based hard rock band, Animal Drive, he was also part of the West Coast Trans-Siberian Orchestra lineup and he was coming my way.  Hadta.  Hadta see him live.  Turns out, he’s not a studio creation, not some hackneyed, auto-tuned rock effigy with good hair and golden-ratio good looks.  Guy’s got some chops.  I know.  Trust me.  But also trust me.  Paul Stanley is Lip-Synching. It’s a sad world.

Without a doubt, Ken Tamplin was idling in the same general cycles of vocal appreciation that I was when he swerved into the S.S. Jelusic.  Thus, his assertion that he felt it would be “criminal” if this singer didn’t get more exposure. Especially now since this COVID-19, whatever-you-want-to-call-it has him battened down in his home country of Croatia, doing voice-overs for Nickelodeon and recording ad hoc projects with his musical heroes.

And it would so appear that the TSO Christmas tour this year is going to be wiped out by the virus.  And since Coronavirus now justifies all manner of bad behaviors, misinformed, accusatory tirades, and oppressive, near-totalitarian administrative measures, I am hereby assuming that Ken Tamplin wants me in jail for not listening to Dino Jelusic.  Zeitgeist, baby.

Also, since that part is all a lie, I must append the record to say:  It is criminal that more people don’t know about this guy.  And his treatment of Queen’s The Show Must Go On will cover any and all doubts:  The kid is going places–just as soon as the places are open again.

Check this:

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15,000 words in

To my novel. My guess is, rough draft is done in 30 days.

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Mark Twain on Journalism

“It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals. Where we have one newspaper that does good, I think we have fifty that do harm. We ought to look upon the establishment of a newspaper of the average pattern in a virtuous village as a calamity.”

– “License of the Press,” speech, 31 March 1873

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How’s a man supposed to carry on after this?

image01I just got my hands on a copy of Byron Preiss’ The Secret, knowing full well that the one treasure nearest me has not been recovered.

There’s this thing that went through my head: What if I can look at the painting and see something no one else has seen?  What if some experiential one-off in my life grants me the one iota of arcane knowledge that lets me see right through the veil?

I knew people have been looking for these since 1982 in various ebbs and flows. Most recently flows, thanks to that appalling human being, Josh Gates from Expedition Unknown, bringing it back into the consciousness of a fat and stupid public.

Incidentally, my rage-stroke jealousy of Gate’s ridiculous career as and ersatz Indiana Jones manifested itself in this petition, in which I am trying to blatantly have him fired and have myself installed.  So far it has only 4 signatures.  And this, I’m told by my usually-supportive friends is because, while they love my snarky, satirical Spruce Goose here, they also love Josh gates so much that they can’t even sign a petition doomed to failure, in the event he sees it.

Besides, I like him, too.

Back to the searches. I figured theories would abound.  I just did not expect a post-graduate, Rain Man-meets-Marilyn Vos Savant Magnum opus like this.  And this is from a year and a half ago.  Plus, I think he may be right.  But yet, my hyperinflated ego, need for the ultimate mic-drop, and the rhythmic cancer from Social media that says the last word is never the last word as long as another word-utterer is hanging about waiting to utter words–will not allow me to let it go.

But good grief.  This guy’s effort is actually more fun to read than the actual book.

Also, I think I’ve found something new.  Probably means nothing, but hey.

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I’ve been headlong into a renaissance dip about codes and ciphers lately. I’ve gone on about this fascination numerous times on this platform, but now it’s simply become research for a book–for now.

A friend of mine gifted me with a year-long subscription to MasterClass, and a section of that wonderful resource is a number of authors that discuss their work: Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell, David Baldacci, and even Dan Brown.

Brown’s series stood out to me because I’ve read more of his work than the others, but also because I can verify the man knows how to write a thriller.

One of the classes he teaches has to do with research, and to make sure your character is smarter than you. This is presumptively counterintuitive because the character must emanate from you. But in reality, even a few days of exhaustive research can result in a few paragraphs that are not only educated in print, but will outlast the half-life of retention that most things carry when we have no desire to pursue the subject extensively.

Same goes for innocence. I can be a jaded and cynical sort. I’ve no default setting to any thinking other than: mankind is nothing but a corrupt, self-serving dung heap that wraps himself in woke sanctimony to conceal his enmity with anything that carries the imago Dei.

Writing about circa-1979 childhood makes the innocence index a bit wider–mainly because of the technological limitations that slowed the overt plundering of childlike wonder.

Today, nine-year olds know things that should have been reserved for many years down the road. Mystery of any kind is a Google-search away. The hormonal idiocy of adolescent boys–one whose clandestine sins required planning, logistics, and a giggling sense of rule-violation to look at some centerfold poster on an uncle’s garage wall–no longer requires any of that. Every possible aberration under the sun is a click away. And sometimes an accidental click is all it takes to ignite a fire that ends in death.

And this–is why I believe we are all drawn to mystery; the idea that there is something around the corner that we don’t know. This is why I also believe that encryptions, codes and ciphers are one of the last holdouts for us–they still require a crucible of sorts. Granted, apps and algorithms have made it easier to parse anagrams, and reverse engineer a Playfair Cipher, a Ceaser Shift, or a simple substitution code. But there is no “Google” for these pursuits–the answers must be gained through traditional acquisition methods. Sometimes requiring one to physically-arrive at the spot in which an answer is to be found.

But there’s plenty of long-term ciphers that are not yet broken. I covered one of them briefly with Byron Priess’ “The Secret” (Nine of the twelve hidden keys have not been found since 1982).

The Dorabella Cipher hasn’t had anyone lay a glove on it:

Although I must admit. The claim that no one has laid a glove on it has been challenged–by a guy in a comments section I can’t relocate. He said he “Googled it.”

The background on this is at the link. I’m too lazy to write my own synopsis. Besides, it may come up in my book, and I don’t want to risk writing a better explanation here.

The world is too revealing. FaceBook has proven that it’s the worst place to post a puzzler. Imagine the modicum of brain cells required to simply obey the following:

RIDDLE: A plane carrying international passengers crashes, and the wreckage perfectly straddles the US/Canadian border. Where should the survivors be buried? DO NOT POST THE ANSWER IN COMMENTS!

Thirty seconds later, some screen-burnt avatar of continence and worldly wisdom posts:

“Nowhere. You don’t bury survivors.” (They then high-five themselves for their immediate equivalence to Marie Curie and Stephen Hawking, and slink away to their MENSA camps).

And this is why the cipher is so beautiful. Because it has a built-in indemnification for idiots. The information is there for those that want to seek it.

Jesus used parables for the same reasons, and really, in the exact same way. A man building his house upon the sand today–on Facebook–will immediately cause a debate as to “whether or not biblical views about the stability of malleable dirt as a foundational starting point are now considered to be myopic and unscientific.”

“But what about the idea that maybe Jesus meant that our physical and spiritual security is based in the integrity of planning–that what happens early van dictate what happens later?” Someone will ask.

‘You obviously hate science,” someone will say. “You probably go to Bethel.”

And on and on. usually, it’s a pile on after that. And they’re right.  Mainly because there’s more of them.

And because, you know:


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Jim Carrey, and the The Clutch That Is Killing Us

1517514912364-thecableguyIn the process of writing a book that draws from my own childhood experiences, I’ve been forced to try to relive the technical and informational limitations that define well over half the reason it’s worth using as the setting/plot/backdrop of the whole narrative.

I’ve read a million articles, seen a million memes, and come across a million “mic drops,” “hot takes” and Twitter fusillades that attempt to set the record straight; The good old days are an illusion. There was no such thing.

Of course, the horridly-political and divided tendencies to immediately pigeonhole someone pining for the “days of yore” as some chromosomally-hacked Jim-Crow throwback is usually the subtext of attempting to attack the the man of straw before he leaves the barn. But there is so much more to an expressed desire to “get back” to something that doesn’t mean a retrograde return to our sins. There is something to be said for the pace at which life is moving, the pace at which we absorb it, and sheer amount of information, stimuli, and synaptic assaults we’ve acclimated to as time passes by.

So back to my own memories. As I was writing the book, one of my characters blazes home to see his favorite TV show so he doesn’t miss it. Re-runs were neither a sure thing nor predictable, and replays of any medium simply did not exist in 1979–at least not in in any sensibly-affordable form.

Specific to my case was The Six Million-Dollar Man. To watch my favorite show required planning, availability and the ability to not imperil one’s logistical freedom by virtue of getting grounded. In other words: It took effort.

Part–or for that matter–most–of the magic in the process had not so much to do with the show itself as it did the process of waiting. A week–sometimes two depending on holidays and network specials, presidential interruptions and even pyrotechnic outbreaks in the Middle East, we a normal part of life. The cumulative anticipation for the next episode was palpably one of the greatest feelings in the world to a young kid.

In today’s world, an occasional series works like that, but once the continuity is broken, one can simply hold out for the Netflix dump next year. or, for that matter, if you’re into Stranger Things, you just wait for the instant drop of the entire season, and hope that some caffeinated insomniac doesn’t wreck it for you before you log into Facebook eight hours after the release.

But this is what we’ve acclimated to. On Mt. Everest, Advanced base Camp at 22,000 feet requires a two-week stay to replicate blood cells that will keep from killing you when you enter the “Death Zone.” Without first acclimating there, you will have a brain swell that will kill you outright.

The problem with this is that this implies the acclimation at 22,000 feet is a healthy thing. It is not. It is a prophylactic measure meant to “not kill you as fast at it normally would” on your final pitch to the top of the world.  But make no mistake:  You are sustaining damage to your body either way.

We. Are. There. Now. Culturally, mentally, technologically. Even politically. The Zeitgeist of the age now has our minds and bodies spinning at maximum velocity. Our Facebook feeds are scrolling like the NASDAQ ticker. Twitter has 140 characters that can end careers, lives, marriages and friendships. It’s designed to algorithmically key in on your anxieties, fears, outrages and Achilles heels–and magnify them. To exalt them to the highest altar in your life.

Add to that the structural contempt for families, fathers, and anything resembling a cohesive unit, both by the sheer cultural mockery on television and cinema, as well as the market roadblocks that force some into a workplace they didn’t want. The mental hard drive is spinning at hypersonic rates, in a culture that spins at hypersonic rates, diluting a job that spins at hypersonic rates, with days that end with us staring at screens that provide hate and loathing at hypersonic rates.

We are at Advanced base camp.

Suddenly, a virus come along and the hypersonic rates in the world of the physical life is shut down. Bodies become sedentary. Minds become anguished. Income becomes tentative, and households become frozen. Governmental edicts keep changing in fits and starts and hopes are immediately dashed by a media eclipse that refuses to allow any hope at all.  Don Henley was right about these people.

Theoretically, a slowdown would be peaceful. In the “good old days.”

But not now.

Now, our minds and bodies have compensated for the lockdowns by increasing our synaptic dependency on the glowing screens that have literally changed a generation. More hate. More anguish.

Endless demands
A rape of personal and national identity

And yet, antes keep going up. There is no oasis. No peace. Atonements are demanded for sin by a nameless mob of unsatiated pitchfork-weidlers, never taking into consideration that atonement is meant to end at the door of forgiveness.  And forgiveness is the ethereal fantasy that dies the violent death of Rasputin; shot, stabbed and shoved under the ice.

No rest. Not for you. Not for your mind. Not as long as that “world” you hold in your hand or on that flatscreen is allowed to run unabated, when the clutch has been pushed in on the the other matching aspects of life. One half of the differentials are frozen. The car is running in circles at maximum velocity. and the gas pedal is jammed.

So what’s the answer at this time of life? Especially in a world held hostage to a virus?

Jim Carrey released a movie in the 1990’s. Not a barn-burner. Not a deep-dive into introspection and contemplation. In reality, it was nothing more than a vehicle for his pseudo-schizophrenic talents as a character actor: The Cable Guy. The main Character works as–get this–a cable guy, which suits him, since he knows everything about every show ever created. This is because his parents, unconcerned with the parental charge given them by God, decided that the television would be the perfect way to keep their son immobilized while they forged their careers, lives, and social nets.

Over time, he becomes a composite boiling-down of every character he had ever seen. And all his reaction to stimuli were cheese-clothed through the prism of his multiple “personalities.” One minute he was Mickey Mouse, the next Jackie Gleason, and if need be–the entire Bug’s Bunny lineup. Carey’s talent’s are on full display here, but one must wonder if the movie is autobiographical.

When the Cable Guy tries to forge a romantic relationship, he realizes that who he really is can’t be found, because he’s been permanently grafted into a tree of high-pitched voices, disembodied spirits and corporate avatars. This sets him off on a mission to destroy that which has taken him. As the movie comes to a conclusion, he blows up the conglomerate satellite dishes on the city outskirts. The minute media is silenced, we are treated to a montage of families turning inward; reading, playing games, interacting. The film literally argues against a spirit of the age in the 1990s that was already consumed by 24 hour news.

But the most poignant moment in the film isn’t this. it’s the moment before. Jim Carrey’s character is getting ready to blow the whole popsicle stand apart, when the love interest that was the catalyst for the entire thing pleads with him to explain himself. And while I doubt the writers of this film were looking for metaphorical glory at the time this film was released, there is ONE answer that confirms–we have pushed in the wrong clutch–and Jim Carrey delivered what is perhaps the most meaningful thing he has ever said:

Somebody’s got to kill the babysitter.”

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Yes, Minister: The Five Standard Excuses

One of my father‘s influences, was for him to constantly eschew network television in favor of PBS.  of course, this is before PBS became the current PBS.  This, would be where I’d discover Monty Python, Is There A Doctor In The House, and a myriad of lesser-known british shows.

None of them compared to Yes, Minister; a show that was so intellectually and satirically ahead of the pack.  Even as a kid, I found this to be my favorite series for brain-food.  I certainly glommed on to it, and it certainly catered to my inherent love with fooling about in the playground of the English language.

This clip is not an outlier.  Is it what made the series genius.  Based on the book, The Complete Yes Minister, the diaries of a cabinet minister.

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How in the world am I supposed to concentrate on writing my book, when Josh Gates still has a job?

Josh-Gates-WEBTake a look at this man.  I am holding him responsible for a momentary hiccup in my creative process.  And by that I mean 100 percent to blame for the fact that the only writing I’m going to accomplish tonight is one where I vent my spleen about my inherent jealousy of a guy who possibly has the greatest job on the planet: He’s the host of Expedition Unknown.

Let’s just put it this way.  Imagine staring at a pirate map one day, getting  hankering for where the treasure might be, and suddenly, and executive producer drops out of the sky and offers you a six-figure income to explore your theories.  That’s what Mr. Gates gets to do. He gets paid to to be some modern amalgam of The Goonies, a Cosby Kid, a Little Rascal, with a side order of “Indiana Jones-meets Jaques Cousteau” thrown in for good measure.

One minutes he’s crawling around some unmapped tunnel under the Temple Mount looking for the Ark of the Covenant, the next minute he’s on the east coast looking at potential Viking hieroglyphics.  Another minute he’s exploring some underwater cave looking for treasure and the next minute he’s rappelling down into some obscure villa to talk to some shaman with a disc in his lip about how his uncle may have been eaten by a Chupacabra. It just doesn’t stop.

Now, he’s taken me over the edge with his traipsing about looking for any of the the twelve buried cache boxes, from the book The Secret220px-The_Secret_treasure_book_cover

I’ll leave the minutae to this Wikipedia page for follow-up if you’re curious.  But here’s the breakdown.  In 1982, a guy buried twelve plexiglass boxes in major cities. he made a twelve sets of clues.  He had his artist buddy paint specially-coded iconography to match each set of clues.  He shuffled the pictures and the clues.  You have to figure out the city, and then the specific place her buried the boxes. Inside each box are some ceramic artifacts–to include a key that can be redeemed with the family for a jewel, and possibly other things. (Note: The cities and clues have been matched now, so at least the introductory stuff has been handled)

Thus far, only three of them have been found: Cleveland, Chicago, and Boston.  That leaves NINE, and one of them is in San Francisco (memo to anyone going there: There’s a high chance you’ll be gigged with a hypodermic needle if you fool about too much, or sustain a downwinder e. coli poisoning from that the poop-merchants roaming around now.  But have fun and don’t reach into things without vetting them).

I mention San Fran because that’s the one closest to me.  I just went to Barnes & Noble and saw the book, but this homie gonna hold out for a cheaper copy.  40 years has gone buy, I can play the long game. There’s a ton of other clues, history, poetry and lore in that book, and something tells me that simply going to the clues and pictures is the Failure For Dummies approach.

Now I must get back to my book.  But I just called Discovery Channel and told them my people will call their people and demand that Josh Gates give me his job outright.

In fact, please sign my petition here, and make sure he does just this.

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