New Website and My Fake ID
I'm going to try to reel in my disgust over the Super Bowl and not subject you to a rant about how my friend Mike in Miami is right, and after Brady went all Hollywood, he hasn't won shit. On the biggest stage, with a chance to seek revenge against the Giants and that mole-faced little bastard Eli who ruined his chance at perfection four years ago in the desert, Tom Terrific was anything but. I am sickened and disgusted, and reminded of something my granddaddy once said to me and one of life's great truisms: sports will only break your heart, boy.
But the good news is...the new website is here! The new website is here. And here it is: http://www.joeclifford.com/. Very important. Starting tomorrow, this is where you'll also go to find the blog. You can still type in the old address, which will direct you here anyway. The only issue might be if you use an RSS Reader (whatever the fuck that is). My webguy says that if you do you'll want the new address. So there you go.
Pretty cool new graphic, eh? (Thanks, Zenaida!) Don't worry. The content is not going to change. Candy and Cigarettes is still committed to bringing you the very finest in goofy You Tube clips and funny cat pics. But we wanted to look, y'know, more professional and shit. Some of the features should make your life easier. Like, for instance, you can just leave a comment now without having to sign up with a Google account. Which is pretty cool. Gone, too, are some of the bells and whistles, the MySpace-like glitter of a tweeny girl heavily crushing on the Beibs. Which is long overdue, really; we're all supposed to be grownups here. (Though I am sad to lose the flames. Fire is cool.)
So take a look around the new site. Let me know what you think, or what you hate. I think it should be a lot more user friendly, with greater accessibility to my work. Hope you agree. If not, I can fix stuff, since it's all been converted to Wordpress, which means I no longer have to rely on others to do my updates. It's all about self-sufficiency.
We had a Super Bowl party on the hill yesterday. Lots of people. Tons of food. Which might've been cool if the Pats won. But they lost. What could've been a joyous celebration quickly turned into: Who the hell are all these people and why are they eating my food?
Got a couple cool mementos from my past, though. One, Noah, who played guitar in my first band in CT, Something Like Paisley, brought a burned disc of our long-lost college rock classic So It Goes (still one of the best memories of my life was driving down the Berlin Turnpike at 18, flipping through the stations and hearing one of my songs [the cringe-worthily titled..."Electric Sun." Good tune. Awful title] on the radio. Trinity College's WRTC. But still).
I've been getting the rough mixes of these from our old engineer in Connecticut, Jeff, who has been painfully pulling the songs, track by track, off nearly 20-year-old, disintegrating 1/2" tape, importing the tunes into some modern, space-age software for a later mix down (it's like living in the future). But what Noah brought over is the original record, in all it's intended, power pop shimmery glory, which he dug out of his mom's attic on a Christmas trip back east. It's the first time these songs have been heard (as originally mixed) in probably close to a decade. I am going to remaster all this shit later and put it up on iTunes. Best music I ever made. Seriously. Which is really, really depressing if you think about it.
The other trinket delivered was further proof that I, too, was once young. My first fake ID.
Now that is a crisp, flinty glow!
Rich found it in his stuff at his house. He must've used it too at one point. (And, no, we never really looked alike, except in the way that all clean shaven, angelic 18-year-old boys all look the same.) The funny part about my having a fake ID is I didn't drink. Like, at all. Didn't touch a drop of alcohol until I was 21 (and within the year I'd be addicted to meth. Which is a lesson to all you parents out there. It's all about moderation). What did I need a fake ID for? Fuck if I know.
The name on the ID belonged to Chris Judd, my co-frontman in Paisley, who would go on to develop schizophrenia and swell to close to 400 lbs., becoming a shut-in. I haven't spoken to him in over a decade either. It's a shame. He was a great songwriter and singer, and more importantly, he was a good friend. A much better friend to me than I was to him. (What else is new?)
Finding old pictures of yourself like this presents a weird sensation. On the one hand, I am obviously younger (and ridiculously feminine looking. I mean, seriously, I've dated women who weren't as pretty as that). Yet...this is still what I see, for the most part, when I look in the mirror. Sure, I catch the wrinkles and gray, the ravage of the hard years, but when I look into my own eyes, I still see a 16-year-old boy (or 18, in this case). And I don't feel much older than that. It's like in many ways I remained trapped in this state of perpetual adolescence, angst and violent mood swings very much included.
It's also a bit like The Shawshank Redemption. Remember the part where Red finally gets his parole? They ask him if he feels he's rehabilitated, and he delivers this great speech about how that word doesn't mean anything to him anymore. But is he sorry for what he did? Not a day goes by that he's not sorry. Most of all though he wishes he could go back and talk to that crazy, angry kid? Save everyone a lot of time and hassle; get another chance to get it right.
I guess in way I do get to do that. Maybe that's what being a dad really is all about. As my boy, Holden, grows up, I get to impart wisdom and share my life experience, point out the potential pitfalls and how best to avoid danger. And he'll think (or say) I don't know what I'm talking about, and set off to discover the answers on his own. We've been doing this dance since the dawn of time, right? If it wasn't true, it wouldn't be a Cat Stevens song.
And on that note... Don't forget. Starting tomorrow, you can find us here: http://www.joeclifford.com/candy-and-cigarettes-blog/. Same Bat-time. New Bat-channel. Bookmark us!