Steve Hunter: Before The Lights Go Out

As Seen On ClassicRockRadio.co.uk

Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews
Spotlight: Steve Hunter – Before The Lights Go Out (2017)
Label: DeaconRecords
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

So I’m getting ready to do some typing centering around the subject of Steve Hunter’s newest studio album; Before The Lights Go Out. And how do I prepare, you ask? (cant do bold to show you on messenger but changed this wording) By listening to Alice Cooper’s – Welcome To My Nightmare (1975) of course. When doing write-ups/reviews, I research a lot before saying whatever it is I have to say on the subject. Alice’s first solo record, Welcome To My Nightmare, has always been one of my Alice Cooper (solo) favorites. His work with the Alice Cooper (band) beforehand primed the fanbase to the max. Surprising I never burned out on ‘The Coop’. Remaining a valid act all this time, Alice continues to record and tour. Doing his own thing as usual, and fronting the super popular Hollywood Vampires. That band simply kicks ass! Add to all this, Alice is back working with original band members: Micheal Bruce_Dennis Dunaway_Neal Smith. They made appearances on Alice’s last record, which was produced by Bob Ezrin; Paranormal (2016). The music Alice has done after departing Alice Cooper (original band) is highly worthy of induction into the RnRHoF (Ohio). Alice Cooper (the band) was inducted back in 2011. Steve Hunter kindly stood in for Glen Buxton (RIP). Alice deserves it on his own merits as a solo artist as well. And while still focused on the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, Steve Hunter comes to mind. I ask myself:

“Self, several musicians Steve has backed since his involvement in professional music have been bestowed this honor. Why not Steve?”

I contemplated this. In my opinion, which is what I’m here doing btw, and please forgive the rant, but frankly, Steve Hunter, the accomplished musician that he is, should have been publicly acknowledged by those in Cleveland, bookoo years ago. You’d think, if not hope at least … before the lights go out.

I had the honor or being able to write about Steve Hunter before. In one story that I authored for the Classic Rock Radio (UK) Facebook Page a couple/few years back, Steve played along with whatever I was doing, and gave me a quote to include. I was so proud of that, and still am. A highly talented guitarist, who played with the likes of Lou Reed (RIP), Tracy Chapman, and Peter Gabriel, just to name a few. Experience and ability that enables Steve to play whatever style is called for on the guitar, and who does so exhibiting a creativity and style that is uniquely his own.

Uncle G discusses Steve Hunter – Before The Lights Go Out (2017 DeaconRecords)

Steve Hunter’s ‘Before The Lights Go Out’ is mostly an instrumental effort except for occasionally hearing Steve’s wife Karen beautiful voice. The album’s guitar heavy, as it should be. Electric and softer tones. Overall the new album has a more mature, seasoned approach if compared to the solo work of other ‘rock’ guitarist out there. Nothing that would offend anyone’s ears. Play it around babies, or old folks. It sometimes boogies, and then also play melodies that only someone who studied the instrument for decades, would only know how to play. And performed comfortably. Like the guitar (and over the years other string instruments; mandolin) was an extension of his physical body. Think the guitar Gods; Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, Steve Howe … just to name a few, and expect the same caliber performance from Steve Hunter. Time and time again.

If you like listening to the kind of electric guitar playing, that works its way into your veins while under its spell, then the first track will certainly hook you in as it did me: On The Edge Of Uncertainty. This is what led off the early promo for this album. Steve’s an indie artist, btw. A family affair, Karen (Steve’s wife) is behind the video to this super infectious song. I fell into this track and still have not come up. A new Steve Hunter greatest hit. The audio and video addressing the subject of Steve losing his sight and becoming legally blind; pigmentary glaucoma. Without words, except for the name of the track; On the Edge Of Uncertainty.

Track two, Mojo Man, smokes as much as track one. Another example of a highly skilled musician applying his trade. Joining Mr. Hunter on Mojo Man are guest players Joe Satriani, and Erik Scott. Crank UP the volume and deal with the police later.

Track three is a pretty mellow number; Summer’s Eve. The product was recently given BEST AWARD for ‘down there’. I am not sure exactly by whom. Saw it mentioned on their website. Nice to be appreciated. I would personally agree. Seeing how the opportunity has arisen, I’d like to go on record as a fan of clean and healthy vaginas’. To offer my sincere thanks to everyone who works for Summer’s Eve, past and present. In a way doing the Lord’s work, but without coming out and saying it. Plus Summer’s Eve is all into profit, as any company who desires to stay in business, should be. So no religious overtones. A wonderful line of feminine hygiene products. My personal gratitude, not in song as Steve seemed to do here, but more a public acknowledgment/shout out.

I love track four; Cinderblock. For some reason, I get visions of the backwoods when hearing this. Nothing bad. Someone else hears it, and whatever visions it produces, odds are it’s completely something else. One of many things I dig about instrumental music is that the mind can wander free while interpreting the sound waves heard. Accounts on the listener, but with some, the mind’s eye can sometimes produce scenes like they were straight out of a movie. The brain is rightly stimulated, both music and images blending together to help craft a tale. But nothing like the nightmarish Burt Reynolds movie Deliverance (1972). Even if this song does have a banjo in it (insert smiley face).

Track five is a music video I can see in my mind’s eye. Starts off with a sound of a motorcycle pulling up to a biker bar. Somewhere here in Colorado. On stage, it’s Steve and his band. ‘Softball Deuce’ is the name of the song. As it plays throughout I can see everyone in the bar having a good time. Songs over … the mysterious biker drives away, again with us hearing the sound of a motorcycle.

Next on ‘Before The Lights Go Out’ is an instrumental that’s dedicated to Steve’s wife and called; Tienes Mi Corazón (You Have My Heart). Not a hard rocker. Spanish influenced, and simply beautiful.

Track seven is a lovely tune entitled; Ice Storm. On the quiet side. Thoughts bounce around when hearing with headphones. Wish I stuck with it as a teen and learned to play guitar. Steve’s playing would inspire. Of course, his rockin’ side, but also those quieter moments, as exhibited on this composition.

‘Under The Bodhi Tree’ is kind of Led Zeppelin-ish. Great track! Seriously heavy in places! Helping Steve on the bass is, Andy Stoller. If I had to pick a favorite off ‘Before The Lights Go Out’ … ‘Under The Bodhi Tree’ would be one out of the ten songs that I would have chosen. The other nine would all be contenders as well.

‘The Other Side Of The Coin’ is a pleasant tune from start to finish. Could not be followed by anything better; Happy Trails (Rogers_Evans_Rogers). All songs that appear on Steve Hunter – Before The Lights go Out are written by Steve Hunter, except of course the last; Happy Trails. Karen’s vocals are so right for this country western song of yesterday. Indeed, till we meet again.

“Uncle G” RATES … Steve Hunter – Before The Lights Go Out (2017 DeaconRecords)

Using a one to five-star rating star rating system in which one star back in the day would mean destined for the nearest department store dollar bargain bin, to five stars which would mean it’s the cat’s pajamas … yours truly gives Steve Hunter – Before The Lights Go Out … 5 stars! MR. Hunter is one to keep abreast on. Check out his website and social media accounts. And if financially possible, try to support independent artists like Steve … please buy their products. So to help keep the wheels greased. Motivates and supports future releases. In the case of Steve Hunter, well worth the expense. In my opinion, there isn’t an album that has Steve Hunter’s name on it, that isn’t worth buying. Feel free to add this newest one to the list.

OH … the recording has an excellent sound to it. Rich, deep, textured just right. With good headphones, listening to the whole album is indeed a pleasure.

And I really dig the look of the CD itself. Credited to Karen Hunter/Disc Makers.

Uncle G’s Helpful Web Addresses

Official Steve Hunter Website: www.stevehunter.com

Promotion is done for Steve Hunter by: Glass Onyon PR (www.glassonyonpr.com)

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Uncle G’s Corner (#05)

21 November 2017
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews
Words and Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Seeing how this is an archival website, I’d like to introduce to my newer 420 readers, a series of essays I did for a non-profit pro-cannabis website out of New York City, some years ago. One that I’ve been involved with since the year 2011. The webmistress is the wonderful Arlene Williams aka Ganja Granny. I love her to death! The website: Green Ribbon World.

Please note … regarding this republishing. We’re going back in time. Six years ago. I was married for the second time. This past February (2017) that union was dissolved one day shy of us being a couple 22 years. No resentment or hard feelings. I’d rather look forward more than backward.

Editing: Versions 2.0 … my aim is to clean up any remaining typos and grammar errors. The originally published essays could be found on the Green Ribbon World website. When finally done (this could take some time) archiving all the past essays published, I’ll start writing new ones. In a way, I already have done so: Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews.

Green Ribbon World (website)

Uncle G’s Corner
Number: 5
May 2011

Topic: In Remembrance (originally: Smokin’ Buddies Through The Years)

So what does a long time primarily stoner dude like myself do when given the opportunity to write a somewhat regular column on a popular cannabis website, like Green Ribbon World? One thing I would like to do is author a super lengthy column about what crap it is, that marijuana is always being labeled like it’s fact; a gateway drug. Shit gets under my skin. Oh, wait…snap…I already did that; Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Uncle G’s Corner (#04): Parts 01 and 02.

Another thing would be to write a piece on actual people I’ve been around over the decades; past and present. Might even be a recurring theme. Some real characters, good and bad. I’d like to focus on those I consumed cannabis with, over the many decades. Or had a beer with or both! For the record, I am okay with the safe, moderate consumption of alcohol. Problems arise when one overdoes it. My Mom died at age 49 a real alcoholic. It’s a nasty slow death. As a child, I saw it with my own eyes.

Personally, I deem marijuana rather harmless for most adults. Add other substances to that like alcohol, and the effects are so different. Can be potentially dangerous. A whole other ballgame. As the days, months, and years fly by, for most this becomes a lifestyle that is difficult to maintain. When I was heavy into it, we drank, swallowed, snorted, and smoked practically anything that would alter reality for us. Labeled it as having well-deserved FUN.

The person I’d like to reminisce about is named; Stephen Tyner. Is deceased now. Has been for a while. Died back in the 1980’s. A violent crime statistic.

I have a hard time remembering now when I first heard Steve had passed away. He’s been buried for a while by the time before I learned of his early demise. Death would have had to happen, while he was in his early twenties. Obviously, I’m not a hundred percent sure. Recent internet searches bring up nothing. I lost touch with immediate family members. What I know comes via old friends Steve and I associated with.

I met Steve while in my teen years, on the Jersey Shore. Time was the late 1970’s. Yours truly was serving out yet another sentence given to me by a guy in a black robe who figured he knew what was best for me. What a long line of those I had. Judges were always big sending me places when I was a youngin’….. like a military school; Admiral Farragut Academy. An orphan with a trust fund. Cost me around five thousand dollars and I was there for less than 24 hours. When sent for a haircut, I walked out the front gate. Besides that total nightmare, multiple foster homes, juvenile detention centers, or worse yet, trying to scare me straight. ‘Scared Straight‘, a wonderful motivational program aimed at teens who have been in trouble with the law. Wish I could say that worked. Apparently, I still had a little badness in me after my court-ordered trip to Rahway State Prison. The famous documentary (1978), narrated by Peter Falk, was filmed a week before my scheduled appearance. Lucky me! Really … how fucking embarrassing! PLUS the reunion specials (OMG!).

Back to our story, this time around, the great State of New Jersey was paying me to get my G.E.D., at a place called M.A.C.O.M. in Eatontown. I had dropped out of school when I turned age 16, found a job, and went to work full time; 40 hours. For minimum wage.  A dishwasher in a breakfast/lunch place; Gab N’ Eat. Because I was a foster child, I needed permission from a Judge to do this. My social worker at the time helped make everything so. I asked him one morning if he wanted to get high with me, and he said, no. Decent guy! I might have been mature for my age, but still under age eighteen.

My G.E.D classes were held in the mornings. In a pre-test, I passed everything the first time except for math. My focus was on that. Was there with other juvenile delinquents, which included Steve. Birds of a feather, we hit it off pretty quickly.

I remember Penny, one of my GED teachers. In her early 30’s, and divorced. Hot to trot! Anytime I walked with her, it was hard not to notice guys who passed us going the other direction, turning around to check Penny out. Hopefully, they were her and not me. My skinny bubble butt attracted both sexes, while I’m sure her nicely shaped derriere did as well. The 1970’s were, after all, a wild decade. Penny attended my wedding. It was the last I ever saw of her. Always kind to me. One regret I have is that I never smoked pot with the lady. I got those vibes she did. More than once. But I never attempted to find out. Didn’t want to cross that bridge I guess. Looking back, I wish I have pursued it. Had a beautiful mind as well. Because of our ages, that would have been against the law. Am sure she would have declined.

I got along really well with Steve’s sister. Good looking girl. Real curly hair. We hung out many times. She was also at my first wedding. With other young ladies, I knew. Some I saw naked, and others I wished I had. Made for a nice group of young women. All dressed to the nines. Which made for a few awkward moments. Nothing like later on that night.  The maid of honor would hook up with one of the limo drivers. I had friends who never being around a champagne fountain before, overindulged and ended up throwing up chunks outside in the bushes. Oh, what a night!

I did get high with practically everyone else back then, including Steve. Remember, he’s our main topic. And by getting high (smoking reefer for recreational use) with Steve, that’s how I got to know his sister better. Besides sharing joints, we all drank together as well. I’d get shitface blitzed! Wine, beer, or whiskey. Whatever contained alcohol. Did drugs also. Whatever was available. Was pretty open-minded to just about anything. We did LSD together more than once. Steve’s sister wasn’t a partying fool. She attended a Catholic High School, getting pretty good grades (if I remember right). Plus this ambitious young lady also worked part-time at the hospital.  Looked great wearing white. And yeah, I had a serious crush on her.

Fire! Fire! There I was sleeping on the couch. Steve and I shared a small house together. I was like age seventeen. Steve literally fell on me. And good thing he did. Woke me up from a dead sleep. The house filled with thick gray smoke.

The story goes, Steve was hungry. Staggered into the house after a night of drinking, and turned the oven on to 400 degrees. Opened the door, and placed inside, a leftover takeout pizza. Still in the box. Imagine what happened next. Now awoken from Steve passing out on me, and then falling on the floor, I dragged his passed out drunk ass out of the house, and onto the front lawn. Next, I got the pizza box out of the oven. The pizza was burnt, black and charred. Opened all the windows. No longer any danger, I went outside while the house aired out, and passed out on the lawn next to Steve. Hours later we both woke up. I missed work that day. Almost died in a fire. Good excuse for the boss. Steve’s version had him saving OUR lives. We still remained friends. But I did move out. This was the second and last time I shared a place with him. Can you blame me?

Time marched on. Steve was best man at my first wedding. On the anniversary U.S. citizens best remember as; Pearl Harbor Day (07 Dec).

The night before the big event, Steve took me out drinking. I woke up on the floor of Steve’s fathers living room, the next morning. I regained consciousness. His Dad wished me luck in my forthcoming marriage. And on his way out the door, instructed Steve to have me drink, a huge can of tomato juice. That would sober me up, he said. Not that I drank the whole can, but I did consume at least half. I did make it to the church on time, so it must have helped. We hitched a ride from Steve’s Father’s house. Made it home with enough time to call my bride, who was getting ready to cancel the wedding not knowing where I was, and then prepare myself for that night’s festivities.

What Tyner and I did best was smoke pot. We come up with crazy ideas. Just having a good time. Doing bongs, and listening to records; Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More From The Road (1976). But unfortunately, not all times with Steve were good ones. He had a positive, good-natured side, and a really terrible bad side. Getting super wasted would most times trigger the negative personality. Trouble would ensue. I tend to be a happy person when baked or tanked unless fucked with. The same with most folks.

With Tyner, once he was fully cooked, getting into some kind of fight, was just about guaranteed. Weird shit was always bound to happen. Like this, for example. My buddy Tyner was thrown out of Madison Square Garden. We were there to see the Grateful Dead. Steve was tossed out before the show even started. We got inside, and then from being careless, and also being pretty wasted, Steve lost his ticket stub. Which he didn’t care about because he didn’t like the location of his seat anyway. That was too bad. While in the process of obtaining another seat, he had a run-in with security guards, which got him an early exit. I stayed, and watched from afar. His own fault! Watched the cops drag him away. Good concert! Saw Steve the next day. He remembered hardly anything. Like myself, amazing getting home safely.

Looking back, I wish all Steve and I did as far as getting a buzz goes, was toke weed. Maybe he’d be still alive today? Truth be known, besides pot, we did other things to escape reality with. For one, we discovered the joys and hardships of excessive drinking. Subjecting our bodies to whatever harm it caused. Did just about every drug we could find. Didn’t matter what it was. Both Tyner and I stayed away from needles during our time hanging out together. That would come later to the both of us. Not a part of my life that I am proud about. In 1986 I shot cocaine for a brief time. Mostly in my right arm. Steve got into heroin, so I was told. Stories that more than one person told me. Again, I never did needles with Tyner. A good thing. We could get hardcore together. The little devils inside us both loved to play.

I tried slowing down the drugs and drinking I was doing. The pot was never the problem. Now a newly married man. The best thing about tying the knot so young was that it triggered my maturing process. And what a slow ride to the top that one was.

For a while, I worked a full-time factory job Monday through Friday. On the weekends, I would sometimes work the flea markets. Selling real handmade leather belts and accessories. Owned a house. Duplex. Rented one side out. I was a landlord. Became a foster parent at age 19. A six-year-old girl fell into our laps. Here I was accepting responsibilities. Afraid of what would happen if I partied. With no real defenses, I was bound for failure. My bottom was a deep one.

I recognized my problem with alcohol when I was sixteen. By age seventeen, the law was up my ass. My stomach problems had begun. I’d drink whiskey for breakfast instead of a well-balanced meal. Horrible heartburn/acid reflux. No direction I was going, was a good one. Was a secret back then I kept super close to my chest … I was hooked on cough syrup (codeine) when I was 17. Lord only knows how I managed to steer clear of that. I’d sit in a room full of people, and not say a fucking word. I had an endless script from a doctor who would soon lose his license. Add to this magic little pills called; Valiums. A few folks knew I’d pop whatever I could find. Take ’em by the handfuls. The effects gave the outward appearance of having too much to drink. I’d bounce off the fucking walls walking to the bathroom. Wake up with bruises not having a clue as to how I got them. No adult supervision. Besides saying that, I take all responsibility for my actions. Could have died countless of times. For whatever reason, the grim reaper keeps looking the other way.

Getting married (age 18) forced me to behave. But from time to time, I did rebel against the responsibility. Steve’s sister and their Mom knew something was up when I broke the news. Felt I was getting married for all the wrong reasons. My actions said it all. Was a serious attempt to save myself. Plus at that time legally I was in a shitload of trouble. My childhood antics finally catching up with me. I found an open road and took it. Now when I rebelled after the fact, anything was possible. Like the one time, I was supposed to fly to West Palm Beach (Florida) to pick up a doctors car and drive it back to New Jersey.  After some drinking at the airport bar waiting for my flight, I instead decided I wanted to visit San Francisco. Hell of a detour. Another story for another day.

My life became the motto; work hard_party harder! Smoked pot and drank beer, mostly. Tried to keep a distance from drugs and whiskey. It took a while, but I did at least calm down some. Steve proceeded in his own direction as well. Time went by. We totally lost touch. Moved from New Jersey to Florida for a spell. When back I tried finding Steve every so often. I never forgot the guy. I spent time running away from my own demons, not his. And then someone told me one day he was dead. A brother from another mother. Wish it would have ended up better for him.

Onward Through The Fog…

…appendage 21 November 2017 – A major rewrite. Hopefully, my editing skills are better than they were six years ago. I added and took away from the original. Various reasons. Am glad to re-publish and improve upon this one. — Gary “Uncle G” Brown

 

Steve Hunter: The Manhattan Blues Project

 

As Seen On ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
First Published: 17 June 2013
Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews
Spotlight: Steve Hunter – The Manhattan Blues Project (2013 Deacon Records)
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Steve Hunter - The Manhattan Blues Project - CD Wrap

The first Kickstarter program I pledged money. A new Steve Hunter solo project. It’s a story I’ll tell the rest of my life. And with wonderful results for its funded, meaning the artist succeeded in reaching the goal set, and now the CD is a reality. A guitarist rock fans have been listening to since the golden 1970’s. A man who helped make popular such names in music as Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, and Alice Cooper. A professional musician in every meaning of the word. Displays superior guitar skills with each and every song he participates on. One of Steve’s latest successes being the lead guitarist on Alice Cooper’s Nightmare 2 album. Then being ever so respectful, standing in for the deceased Glen Buxton when the Cooper’s were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Mr. Hunter, a sometimes independent artist, met his financial goal to put out this CD through a website I just previously mentioned, Kickstarter Dot Com. To all others thinking of getting a project funded, a lesson in how it’s done. Came to my house autographed with a signature that can actually be read. Packaging design is done very nicely. Good photos of Steve and I like the darker colors used in the cover wrap. Via Kickstarter and Steve’s official Facebook page, his wife Karen communicates with folks keeping everyone abreast as to everyday occurrences. The whole experience made it a pleasure to participate. The Hunters both come across online as very pleasant, and ever so professional. I personally could not be any happier to be a pledge participant. My first time backing an idea proposed on Kickstarter, and then it met and or exceeded its goal. I have witnessed proposed projects crash and burn. Will continue to keep open minded to participating again.

Steve Hunter has already participated on unique concept albums held in high esteem by fans and critics alike. And like all other past projects, The Manhattan Blues Project is consistent on the entertainment meter. Deeper than just the hit songs he participated on. The listener gets a more personal understanding of the man behind the guitar.

The topic of this CD is, of course, Manhattan. It is the smallest of the five boroughs that make up New York City. Madison Square Garden is located there. Having hung out in Manhattan (considered a county of New York State) as a teenager, I can tell you first hand that it’s an encyclopedia when it comes to music. Different bars/clubs all having different sounds. Big acts like The Rolling Stones used Manhattan / New York City as a backdrop for many of their songs. My introduction to rap was heard walking the streets of Manhattan. Young black guys on the street corners using rhythms to sell their drugs. I’d shake my head no and smile. Already had all the drugs I needed.

Each song on The Manhattan Blues Project is as unique as the location it’s named after. The CD starts off with typical outside street sounds. A nice instrumental mood piece that leads in wonderfully to one of the most bad ass songs I’ve heard in ages called; “222 w.23rd”. Do justice here and listen to this with a good pair of headphones. The song got a prominent lovemaking vibe. Music you imagine hearing in an erectile dysfunction TV commercial when the pill takes effect and it’s time to get busy. Maybe I’m the only one hearing this? And I’m not saying in any way, anything bad. The song inspires shagging. Has a definite sexiness to it. Includes interesting background noises, a vocal rap by Tommy Henriksen, some slide by Michael Lee Firkins, and Hunter’s wife Karen acing the background vocals. For Steve, Uncle G predicts a new greatest hit. Guaranteed repeat plays. It’s that good. And then draw a tub for you and a special friend. Let the music take you both away (wink wink).

At times throughout The Manhattan Blues Project, Mr. Hunter has some rather exceptional friends join in. One of my favorite bass players, Mr. Tony Levin appears on a couple of songs. One is a re-imagining of a Peter Gabriel hit song called “Solsbury Hill”. Ninety-eight percent is an instrumental with uncredited male background voices heard in somewhat harmony. Overall the guys did the classic rock song justice. An enjoyable track.

“The Brooklyn Shuffle” totally shines. A traditional blues sounding song with some outstanding guitar work by Steve and two other gentlemen: Johnny Depp and Joe Perry. Both offering meaty solos. Karen again outdoes herself on background vocals. Be fun to see this played in concert.

“Ground Zero” is a haunting, yet beautiful piece. Evokes emotion when listening to it. So many terrific days in Manhattan’s history and then you have that very dark one. Not a totally depressing tune, Hunter captures the right vibe. Each note and chord played, backed with feeling. A positive sign of a good blues guitarist.

“Twilight In Harlem” has this funky groove to it. Joining Steve on guitar duty are Joe Satriani and Marty Friedman. The song has a real band sound. Helping to make this so, on keyboards is Phil Aaberg, and on drums, Todd Chuba.

“Sunset In Central Park” is the last song on the CD. On bass again is Tony Levin and on cellos is 2Cellos. All the ingredients needed to close the CD on a fine note. Nice outro !!

Rating: A friend asked if I could be non-bias. Knew I have been a long time fan. An old Alice Cooper associate that Steve also knows would say assessing yours truly that I’m loyal and honest like a boy scout. To me that’s flattering. Using the one to five-star rating system I give Steve Hunter – The Manhattan Blues Project: 5 very solid stars. Well done Mr. Hunter. Well done indeed.

Steve Hunter – 222 W 23rd

Uncle G’s Helpful Weblinks

Official Steve Hunter Website: www.stevehunter.com 

Official Steve Hunter Twitter Page: @stevehunterguit 

Uncle G’s FUN Television Reviews: Disjointed (Netflix)

As Seen On ClassicRockRadio.co.uk

Uncle G’s FUN Television Reviews
Source: Original Netflix Series
Disjointed (Part One)
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Disjointed - Banner_picmonkeyed

So I heard a couple/a few months back that coming soon to Netflix would be an original half-hour comedy type sitcom that would center around a California (USA) marijuana dispensary. Created by David Javerbaum (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Chuck Lorre. For those not from this planet, Chuck is a mega-successful Hollywood person. You have seen his name on television credits that include; RoseanneTwo And A Half MenMom, and The Big Bang Theory. In his early 60’s now, Mr. Lorre has over three decades worth of experience in the entertainment industry. Even more, if you count his involvement with music. Classic Rock’s Debbie Harry recorded one of his numbers. Numerous professional accomplishments so far. No signs of slowing down. A spin-off of The Big Bang Theory entitled, Sheldon, premieres on NBC this fall season. Based on the clips I saw, I can conclude it looks mighty promising.

Regarding the new Netflix show, Disjointed, my initial question was if Chuck Lorre’s Midas touch was going to extend to this groundbreaking, cannabis oriented mainstream audience show that stars acclaimed actress, Kathy Bates. After watching the first season (part 1), my answer; kind of does. This first offering gives the sitcom a solid foundation to build on. Similar to being inside a real pot dispensary.  A lot of goodies spread throughout.

Uncle G discusses … Disjointed

Disjointed - Ruth Poster

I already mentioned the show’s star, Kathy Bates. I became aware of her some years back when she starred in a movie called; Misery (1990). A very intense film directed brilliantly by, Rob Reiner. Years earlier we would learn of him from his portrayal of Michael Stivic on the popular TV show, All In The Family.  ‘Misery’ earned Kathy an Academy Award for; Best Actress (1990). Another film I enjoyed that Kathy was in; Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). So Kathy Bates being in an adult-oriented comedy sitcom found on Netflix, and me not watching it … I would find it enticing. I know she is a very good actress that does projects worth checking out. Not that I’m a Kathy Bates fanatic (ha). I do admire her work. How about centering the program around a marijuana dispensary?

When news first broke out about ‘Disjointed’, I immediately became intrigued. The biggest reason is that I am an active, licensed, cannabis user. Nothing to brag about. I have injuries that come from breaking one’s ass trying to make a living, decade after decade. Life goes on. The promo stories for “Disjointed’ did their job. Yet, I wasn’t completely reeled in. Would have to watch the 10 episode ‘Part One’ season, for that to happen. I became aware! A couple/a few months later, I was reminded.  Completely committed, it took me four or five streaming sessions to complete all ten half hour (on the average) episodes.

I put off seeing the tenth one for a few days because I didn’t want it to end. Silly huh? A pattern I seem to be repeating when using Netflix. Example, I recently just completed watching ‘30 Rock’. Enjoyed it immensely. Towards the end (seasons 6 and 7) one could see storylines starting to weaken. Still, I hated to have Liz Lemon and what I come to think of as an example of television excellence (overall) come to a close. A solid adult-oriented comedy sitcom that didn’t insult my intelligence and was FUN to watch. Escapism (from real life) at its finest. One of the real purposes of television and film. It isn’t just to inform. In part, to help us forget life’s unpleasantries. This is what I use it for mostly.

Near that same ballpark as where one could find award-winning situation comedies like ’30 Rock’, up the street some, there’s, Disjointed. Both shows humorous in their own ways. If a well-versed cannabis user, the actual pot references found within ‘Disjointed’ made sense and having done so, in some cases motivated you to crack up (laugh out loud). The well-done ‘30 Rock’ centered around the making of a television variety show. For NBC, a potentially vast audience because anyone can watch ‘30 Rock’ age 13 and up, having watched tv sitcoms previously, and immediately understand whatever the episode’s premise. Who would watch a semi-typical American sitcom comedy that allowed cursing and tackled adult themes, presented in a unique format, that maybe even those with no experience with its main topic, would/could derive pleasure from? Seeing how Netflix just premiered Disjointed (Part One), one can assume they are crunching numbers now. The initial commitment was for 20 episodes.  For the viewer, delivered in parts, 10 shows at a time.

Without wanting to give away the whole storyline of the first released batch of ‘Disjointed’ episodes, I decided to mention some of my favorite parts. I will say storyline wise, that there is a really cool payoff at the very end of episode 10. What you find from the start of episode one to that time, is a mix of visually, mentally, and or both stimulating entertainment that likeability depends on what level of consciousness, the viewer happens to be at the moment of connectivity.

Disjointed - Promo Still

Promo Still: Disjointed (2017 Netflix) – Left to right: Aaron Moten as Travis Feldman, Ruth’s son_Dougie Baldwin as Pete, one of the dispensary’s employees, and Kathy Bates as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman.

Uncle G’s List of Cool Things about Netflix’s Disjointed (Part One)

The intro of Pete and YouTube videos – The intro of Ruth Whitefeather Feldman – laugh track, cursing, Carter (Tone Bell) intro – Jenny (Elizabeth Ho) intro (Tokin’ Asian_med school dropout) – Olivia (Elizabeth Alderfer) intro – Travis (Ruth’s son) intro – Clips of the film ‘Reefer Madness’ – Trixie Smith: Jack, I’m Mellow – Maria (Nicole Sullivan) intro (housewife_medical marijuana client) – Jenny’s tea – In between scenes; short random clips/stills – pretend commercials – LAYS! – Carter PTSD (sad and comical moments) – Absolutely incredible animation throughout all ten shows (Monty Python Flying Circus to the 10th power) – Strain O’ The Day Videos (standout Eve’s Bush) – Tae Kwon Douglas (Michael Trucco) – Dank (Chris Redd) & Dabby! – Dank & Dabby (Betsy Sodaro) YouTube Videos (The Best of Dank & Dabby: Coughing IV) – Food fight – whereas one star means iCannaFoam – White Girls and Weed – Shitballs – and … Dank and Dabby Rooftop.

Uncle G Rates … Disjointed (2017 Netflix)

Using the same ten-star rating system as the IMDb website whereas one star means it’s schwag and you should put it back under the rock in which you found it under, to ten stars which means it’s mind-blowing beyond belief, “Uncle G” rates the Netflix’s new sitcom comedy series Disjointed … 8 STARS! For me, there were 10-star moments scattered throughout. I foresee equal or better as more parts of ‘Disjointed’ are released for general consumption. The cast works! Standout characters! Clever writing! Talented people behind the camera such as James Burrows, who directed two episodes of the 10 ‘Disjointed’ episodes being aired. FYI: Mr. Burrow’s was a co-creator behind the hit 80’s TV comedy; Cheers. Working steadily in television since the 1970’s.

In a way, pot is seen on ‘Disjointed’ as more than just a joke. There is a positive message there. Cannabis is a threat to some. Others call it a blessing. I can understand where BIG anything can see cannabis/hemp as competition. Do the world a favor, and let it fucking compete. As ‘Disjointed’ will in whatever ratings Netflix uses to determine if to give a green light on another go-round of new stories. I’d personally like to see this show hang out some. In between new ‘parts’ … puff puff pass. Age 21 and up. And most important, no toking and then driving farm equipment. Scares the farm animals.

Uncle G’s Helpful Website Links

Official Netflix Disjointed Facebook Page – https://twitter.com/Disjointed

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Uncle G’s Corner (#04) – Gateway Drug? Part 2

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews
Words and Pipe Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Uncle G’s Corner
Number: 4
April 2011

The 420 Special
Topic: Gateway Drug?
Part Two

Continued….

Why is it no one says that drinking beer, will only lead later to drinking whiskey? Said as a warning. That a person drinking only beer, will one day certainly crave a stronger alcoholic beverage. Yet, it’s said with pot. Smoke weed one day. Shoot up heroin the next. Designed to be instituted as an automatic thought process. Not that it’s bad to scare the kids. I feel cannabis users should be at least 18 years of age. Am comfortable with them waiting till age twenty-one. Even if it doesn’t seem practical. Another one of those old enough to go to War and fight for our Country, but not old enough to drink a beer (which is fine in moderation for certain individuals) situations. Regardless of my experiences. This having everything to do with full body development, including that of the brain, of our younger generations. The mass message that using cannabis will lead to what I think of as real drugs, known to cause harm mentally and physically ….heroin, or crack just to use as examples, it can’t be any more wrong.

Drinking only beer one night, as compared to only smoking cannabis, is in my opinion, the worse choice between the two. Here’s a fact. Consuming too much alcohol could lead to alcohol poisoning. Simply put, a person could die indulging in this activity. Up to that end of game move, they also could have more than likely, inflicted damage to other living creatures. Animal, or human. It’s a shame that the drunks don’t only hurt themselves. Just saying.

Smoke a lot of cannabis, and odds are you would be too stoned, to even get up out of the chair you were sitting in. At least for a while. And when finally getting up to walk to the bathroom, don’t make a wrong turn and accidentally find the kitchen. Beware the munchies! You’ll never leave that room. On top of this, it’s virtually impossible to smoke oneself to death. I like that. Score one for pot.

It’s true. I consumed a ton of weed in all the time I’ve been smoking it. Two other guys and myself once tried smoking a quarter pound of grass. At one sitting. Method of consumption; bong. Regular pot. Columbian. Girls we knew got wind and crashed. Just as well. Lesson learned by me that evening was that a person can only get so high, smoking weed. Once you hit that plateau, it’s a waste of weed smoking it anymore. Nowadays with weed having higher THC counts, only a small amount of it needs to be consumed, to get that medicated feeling.

Reefer will help to stimulate your senses. It’s like your brain going zero to sixty within a few seconds. Once the THC is in your bloodstream, away you go. Accounts on the person. If in good health, and having no issues, cannabis should increase the odds of having a good day. While under the influence, let’s say you watch a movie. The popcorn tastes better. The movie is more interesting to follow. Alcohol is a depressant. Too much, and your body starts shutting down. Oops. Let the cat out of the bag. It’s true. Certainly sounds like fun (said sarcastically of course). Am sure I came close to that several times.

At age seven, my Mom passed away. Alcoholism. Not a quick death. Whiskey drinker. In the hospital mainly the last few years of her life. Yellow jaundice. Hepatitis. Wet brain. Whatever other problems. I always remembered her. She didn’t at all times remember me. Speaking of memories, most are not pleasant. One would think going through the experience, that I would stay away from the bottle. Didn’t happen that way. I was drawn to it.

My own alcoholic like journey, started right after Mom was buried. My Dad, who was a heavy drinker himself, rushed me into the Catholic religion. I was baptized. No more public school. In the third grade, it was now a Catholic education. Saint Mary’s of South Amboy, New Jersey. Here came communion. I became an altar boy. One benefit of this was that I was able to be alone, behind the altar. Preparing for the mass. A little wine for the priest. A little wine for myself. I still remember the warm feeling in my tummy, it would give me.

Between ages seven and eleven, my Dad raised me. Mostly in bars. Coke and potato chips were my favorite. I dunk the chips with the bubbles in it, in the glass of coke. The chip bubbles would then fill up with cola. Right in my mouth, it went. Delicious! Wise Potato Chips. Yummy! Bet it’s still a favorite of pot heads up North. While also at the bars, I got into music. Played CCR on the jukebox. My memories are filled with 1960’s top ten pop songs.

In the early 1970’s, my Dad had a stroke. Paralyzed one side of his body. He was a tough one. Still got around. When I was eleven, one day he had another stroke. Paralyzed from the neck down, this time. A massive heart attack that night did him in.

Now in Manasquan, New Jersey, and after my Dad’s death, I moved in with an Uncle & Aunt. By age twelve, I drank enough alcohol one day to get totally drunk. I remember coming too in a shower, my friends Mother was giving me. Good thing she was a nurse. I was sick for almost three days.

Had weed by now also. My Uncle & Aunt had two boys, older than me by a few years. The oldest one smoked pot. I would steal some of his.

Hanging out with older kids now. Drinking more. Kicked out of my Uncle and Aunt’s place, and then my first foster home. Second foster home threw me out as well. By the time I’m fourteen, I’m into the fourth home since my Father’s passing. Living in Long Branch, New Jersey. Regularly smoking weed. Drugs entered the picture.

This newest foster home seriously didn’t care. Only about the monthly checks. No adult supervision. Jail. Detention centers. Way more than one. Had my first probation officer when I was age twelve. Lasted till I turned legal, which back then was eighteen. Time on probation kept getting bumped up, with every new thing I did. I survived the experience. As I stated before, peaks and valleys. Am sure it reads like a horror story. It wasn’t all that bad.

Sometimes I got lucky. Was forced by court order, to visit Rahway Prison in New Jersey, so I could participate in the Scared Straight program, a week AFTER they filmed the movie. Like Maxwell Smart would say; missed it by that much. So close. The documentary was hugely popular, and frankly, I would have hated to have to been in it.

As luck would have it, I was yet again arrested after completing the Scared Straight proceedings. Imagine that. Not scared straight. Frightened sideways perhaps? Fleeing from a runaway stolen car. That’s what they call a car after everyone inside it, bails out while the car was still proceeding, forward. Judge suspended sentence. Was warned if I was ever in front of the courts again, that I would have to do the time for what the charges were in this case, and whatever other time for whatever else I did. Oh, in a maximum ADULT security jail. Seeing how I was like seventeen then. A social worker I had advised me to take a tooth-brush with me before the trial. Close one.

A saving grace was that I always was a hard worker. Specializing in semi-skilled labor. Passed on college. Marriage number one was a total failure. Was a foster parent. The kid called me the male provider. We never bonded. No relationship. She liked my ex-wife better. It was really when I was in my early thirties, that I started to pull my head out of my ass. Cannabis stayed with me off and on, till I quit everything back in ’92, and got to know myself better.

Looking back now, out of everything I did back then, cannabis truly, hurt me the least. Matter of fact, I was only smoking that when I decided in the early nineties that I’d try to turn my life around. Yet again. Failed a few times before that. Didn’t matter. Was disappointing putting pot aside. I wanted the totally straight effect. Knew one day grass would be back in my life.

I wonder to myself. I said; self…..has my experience with pot shown that it was a gateway drug? Answer being; nope. Booze and drugs were. Both opened lots of doors. Alcohol seriously releases the inhibitions. Made me search for other highs. Pot never did that. It always made me feel somewhat content. When smoking pot, I’d hang around the ones shooting coke in their arms and always say; no thanks. Nice folks that they were, they always leave me a corner of the bag to snort. One night when drinking, and there was no pot, I said yes to the persistent question of did I finally want to try it the right way.

In a field. In the Carolina’s someplace. At night. A group of us gathered around the headlights, so we could see. I said yes, and they came down like vampires. Acting all happy. The needle was prepared. In it went. Was the best high ever. Experienced in a field, in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful dark night sky. Lots of stars. The weather and temperature were perfect. As I already knew it would be. That’s why up to then, I didn’t try it. That’s the problem. It’s a new game now.

You chase that first high. It was that incredible. At first, I controlled it. Silly drug addict. Coke controls you. Still, I kicked that and alcohol back in 1986. Almost died doing so. Detox was horrible. The itching from all the needle holes healing in my arms drove me crazy. I would have dreams, seeing myself shoot up. So vivid. Took a couple years getting Lady Cocaine out of my system. I stole for her. I’d help steal window air conditioners and sell them for coke. Me and a guy who had one fake leg, and one real one. Stealing kept me on three day binges. The weirdest thing is going to bed on Wednesday, and waking up Friday. Almost went to jail for that drug. Glad I freed myself from its clenches. One of the worst mistakes I ever made, was getting seriously involved with cocaine. One of the best things I ever did, was getting it out of my life.

See what happens with no parental guidance. Today, I’m cool with everything. I took responsibility for all my actions. Got rid of what some might call, the nasty habits. Read a BIG book. Tried to salvage some of my religious experiences. At least make sense of them. Found a good woman. Came to terms with really heavy issues. One was I decided, that my Mom was sick. Nothing personal. She didn’t drink herself to death because she hated me. A little boy will think that. Regarding my behavior; I brought the bottle to my lips. The pills to my mouth. The needles to my veins. Nobody’s fault but mine. From then on, I dealt with it. Took full responsibility for my actions. Carried on. And it’s been a work in progress, ever since. The last time I displayed self-destructive behavior, was around 1992. The time before that was way worse. Mid 1980’s. The cocaine days.

And now in 2011, I just smoke pot. Medically speaking; helps with stress….helps me relax….helps me have fun. Helps me sleep. Medical benefits. And sometimes, I just enjoy getting high. The older me, having fun is staying at home with the wife, smoking a couple bowls, and watching television. Having a nice dinner. Enjoying each others company. If circumstances are different, and I’m home alone, I can keep myself entertained. I like listening to music. A BIG part of my life. I write, using the computer. Keep myself busy. I imagine the man with everything, continues to crave more. Like an obsession. I’m of course striving for better, but content having what I do. Cannabis is an asset in my life. Not a liability.

Here’s a big question. As bad as I was in the past with booze and drugs, why is it pot isn’t motivating me to go back to using them again? In August of 2009, or sometime close to that, I decided to continue my use of cannabis. Smoking pretty much daily, ever since. Why no gateway effect? I certainly qualify. If anything, I’m the damn red flag. “Warning Will Robinson!” I’m not even smoking cigarettes. People figured if I smoked weed, that I would pretty much automatically go back to smoking cigarettes. In a previous entry, I mentioned this. It has not happened yet. Still cigarette free. Since November of 2007 (what the hell — worth mentioning again).

I think it’s because pot doesn’t really do that. A side effect of cannabis isn’t that you’ll predestined to advance your use of other substances. Drink screwdrivers all night long, and then on the way home, contract a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Pot doesn’t do that.

People get confused. They socially smoke cannabis. Then go out drinking. The effects of the weed disappear. The effects of the alcohol take over. In some cases, here comes whatever other drugs, like cocaine. Later on coming forward is a good-looking lady in a black rubber suit, with a long whip in her hand. Pot doesn’t do that. My experience is that sex is enhanced when under the cannabis spell. So it could make that situation at least, somewhat more entertaining. And finally, my conclusion is that this gateway talk is pure nonsense. A tactic used to help keep pot use controlled, and or illegal.

Don’t be afraid to debate this. Do the research yourself. Remember the difference between someone like me remarking from experience, and someone who only knows what they read in books. Question where the so called facts, come from. Apply your own logic. The next time you hear about how using pot will certainly lead its users to other illegal drugs down the road (notice how there is never any concern about the legal ones), tell them to knock it off. Shout when you say; “Uncle G thinks you’re full of crap. Nonsense I tell you…NONSENSE.” Laugh, turn around, and then walk off. Logic never seems to work with these people. Maybe irritation will?

Onward Through The Fog,

Uncle G

Originally Published

http://greenribbonworld.com/2011/05/19/gateway-drug-part-2/

Uncle G’s Corner – Gateway Drug? Part One

https://garyunclegbrownarchives.com/2017/09/27/uncle-gs-fun-420-reviews-uncle-gs-corner-04/

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Uncle G’s Corner (#04) – Gateway Drug? Part 1

27 Sept 2017
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews
Words and Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Seeing how this is an archival website, I’d like to introduce to my newer 420 readers, a series of essays I did for a non-profit pro-cannabis website out of New York City, some years ago. One that I’ve been involved with since the year 2011. The webmistress is the wonderful Arlene Williams aka Ganja Granny. I love her to death! The website: Green Ribbon World.

Please note … we’re going back in time. Six years ago. I was married. That one came crashing down in which I was awarded a divorce, one day shy of us being a couple 22 years. No resentment or hard feelings. I wish her well. This is growth. Can’t say I felt that way about wife #02 only months ago. Life goes on. Other aspects in which other parts changed as well. Time stands for no one.

Editing: Versions 2.0 … my aim is to clean up any remaining typos and grammar errors. The originally published essays could be found on the Green Ribbon World website. When finally done (this could take some time) archiving all the past essays published, I’ll start writing new ones. In a way, I already have done so: Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews.

 

Green Ribbon World (website)

Uncle G’s Corner
Number: 4
April 2011

The 420 Special
Topic: Gateway Drug?
Part One

How many times has this happened? A news story about how cannabis is being considered for legalization. On the TV screen, a reporter, and a stuffy looking, middle-aged person. The reporter asks; “Do you ever see marijuana, legal in this State?” And what else is there to know about the one being asked this? A political representative, currently pretending to do the people’s business. Here’s the response. “Marijuana is a gateway drug!” The voice is loud and stated very matter of fact. Serious look on their face. Appears well rehearsed. Keep in mind, the weapon used here is words. And these words in particular, weird how closely related they are to that other famous political bullshit line; do it for the children.

An example, you say. Here’s one. Let’s raise the price of cigarettes to twenty dollars a pack. Now the kids can’t afford to smoke. I’d say just about most folks would understand this. And in doing so, making the price higher for the adult users, it’s unfortunately, one of those things. For some, there now newest financial crisis, equivalent to collateral damage. They just have to deal with it. As long as the kids are safe. Just keep repeating; it’s for the children. Wanting a better mankind for all. How could a person, not be for that?

Months later you hear the politicians are depending on the extra revenue, generated from that move, to make the yearly budget. They are even disappointed when the money taken in, shows decline from their projected estimates. None of that was said in the past. What was said, was that raising prices would help children. That was the only reason given, wasn’t it? That’s what I remember anyway. And something else happened. A lot of people in their fine State quit smoking cigarettes. Taxes so high it made the product non-affordable anymore. The price is now way too high. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the ones calling themselves our elected elite, lead me to believe that they care more about themselves, their supporters, and their inner world, then they do ‘the kids’. Why not just tell us the truth to start with? I will. The true intention of the “gateway” remark, remember that……is and has always been, to see to it, that cannabis stays illegal.

Our politician has supporters that strongly oppose legalization/decriminalization of cannabis. Thinking about this, the first reason I came up with was, and all too obvious to me was the fear of losing money. Hear me out now (even if you’re reading this). Mostly everyone can identify. General population believes that only the wealthy could afford to lose money. We all got bills. Everyone’s got to eat.

Americans spend on the average, billions of dollars a year, for nothing more than to escape reality. You know, something to help cope with life’s little challenges. How far one goes up the ladder, is up to the individual. So step right up. Booze and pills to the rescue. Soon word gets around that this one brand of muscle relaxer is so much better if one swallows down the pill with a glass of chilled, red wine.

And what do we do when under their influence? One thing really popular is watching reality television. Great zone out material. The reason most love it so I imagine would be to watch what other people’s real life is. Jokes on us. Hollywood made even reality TV, fake. Get this, Jessica Simpson isn’t really all that dumb. Because of a clothing line/empire she has, the lady is damn near a billionaire nowadays. Good for her! Wonder if she has a hemp line? Tee-shirts and whatnot? Support what you believe in. That’s what I say.

So some people figure if pot was made legal, that some of the folks, would buy less alcohol, and need fewer pharmaceuticals. So the answer to making it legal is; no. Portray the weed as evil instead. And say it with conviction. Like it’s the final word. Attitude must be that any action taken to legalize, goes no further. Too bad our friend, the political puppet from paragraph one, don’t see what lies ahead.

Cannabis users are tired of hearing the word; no. The fight for legalization/decriminalization is ongoing. Lately, battles have both been won and lost. Each victory makes the next one a tad easier. Each State has its own version. One day I predict, that the conflicts will go away. Weed will be legal in all States. Cannabis will blend into everyone’s daily life. The only questions will be why, and when to use it. Not having an answer could be just as good an answer, as any other one. Restrictions on weed? There should have never been any rules, or boundaries placed on cannabis. Be it used for recreational, medical, or religious purposes.

I remember some of the 70’s. While sitting on the bowl, I would read publications like National Lampoon, Hustler, or High Times. I thought NORML was a cool organization.

Sometimes when smoking grass, I’d do bongs with the older folks. Defined here as late teens, to people in or around their 30’s. This would have happened from my mid-teens to becoming legal (1979) years.

During the intake of the cannabis, stories would be passed around. A conversation would ensue. Sometimes, about what we were presently inhaling. This time around, it’s the studies of monkeys in a lab somewhere. Official Marijuana Studies. By the United States Government.

The furry primates were forced to wear gas masks, that contained 24/7, piped in reefer smoke. Someone would say they saw pictures. “The monkeys were totally wasted man.” Breathing in Government grown pot. Higher THC levels, may I remind you. Way better than the regular weed we were purchasing. And after being bombarded with all this smoke, they then said how the monkeys were presently, in a coma-like state. Credited to the marijuana, of course. The conclusion which was formed for you was that if you smoked pot, then you’d become brain-damaged. After all, that’s what happened to the monkeys. Goes without even saying that this too could also happen to human beings. I didn’t really believe this garbage. How stupid is this? Of course, we’d expect those results with the monkeys. What human constantly smokes high THC cannabis all day, and all night? From a gas mask? For a long ass period of time? Believe me, people have tried. I figure without the masks. Sooner or later they’d pass out. Hopefully not head first in a bowl of cereal. Horrible headline;

Marijuana User Drowns Face First In a BIG bowl of (insert the name of your favorite cereal munchies when under pot’s influence; Stoned Mini-Wheats?)

To be continued…

Uncle G’s Corner – Gateway Drug? (Part 2)

https://garyunclegbrownarchives.com/2017/10/01/uncle-gs-fun-420-reviews-uncle-gs-corner-04-gateway-drug-part-2/

Gateway Drug? (Part 1) Originally Published

http://greenribbonworld.com/2011/05/10/uncle-gsviw-on-the-gateway-drug-syndrome/

Steve Hunter: Short Stories

Uncle G’s Classic Rock CD Collection
Topic: Steve Hunter (Short Stories – 2008)
By: Gary Brown aka “Uncle G”
American Correspondent for ClassicRockRadio.co.uk

*First Published: 28 August 2012*

I started getting into Steve Hunter’s work back in the 1970’s. Over the years, he has become one of my favorite rock guitarists. A maestro really, he’s capable of much more than just your average, everyday guitar player. Excels in any style played. Definitely, a player you want to hear more from, once you hear Steve play for the first time.

If you like extraordinary guitar players, then Hunter’s your guy. Once hooked, like I was after having played Alice Cooper’s ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ a hundred or more times, then that’s it. From there, you expand your knowledge of Hunter’s work. Then it’s like you can’t get enough. Steve Hunter can play the hardest of any electric guitar player out there nowadays. Can rock with the best of them. Turn that around and he can play the most beautiful music that any six-string instrument can muster. Experienced, and at the top of his game. It’s one incredible guitar solo after another. Dude’s on his game, always.

My introduction to Steve Hunter was Alice Cooper. Steve was in Alice’s original solo band. Had worked with the Coopers previously. Worked with Bob Ezrin. In the beginning, himself and Dick Wagner were on guitar duty. One of the best double guitarist team to come down the pike. They had to be. The previous double guitar team Alice worked with, original members of Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce and Glen Buxton, were extraordinary at the job they did. Anything less than that, and it would not have worked as well as it did. Together, they helped launch Alice into his new solo career.

Before and after the Cooper hookup, Hunter’s worked with other musicians; Mitch Ryder, Lou Reed, Jack Bruce, Dr. John, Peter Gabriel, David Lee Roth, and Bette Midler, just to name a few. The last one may surprise you. In 1979 a film came out that was widely popular; The Rose. Look at the musician credits, and you’ll spot Steve’s name.

One more I’ll mention is a legendary star of stage and TV; Mr. Glen Campbell. Steve had the honor to appear on Glen’s 61st studio album release, 2011’s ‘Ghost On A Canvas’. So you see, Hunter really has worked with a lot of fine musicians/groups over the years. Has played on a long list of classic hit rock songs, including one of my favorite Peter Gabriel songs; Solsbury Hill.

Steve Hunter - Short Stories - CD Cover (autographed)

Short Stories is the first solo album / CD that I heard of Mr. Hunter’s. I knew before playing it, that the CD was an instrumental. So right off the bat, it got my attention. I have always loved the instrumental format/segments in songs. Lyrics are its own art form. To me what matters most is the actual music. Don’t get me wrong. Add words to most tunes and that’s when it becomes memorable. Believe it or not, there are and always has been musical compositions that are better off without a vocalist(s) and words getting in the way. Such is the case here with Steve Hunter’s 2008 CD, Short Stories. The song titles offering clues as to what the musician could be visualizing with each composition. Besides that, it’s the guitar and its various styles of being played that Steve lets narrate with each well-crafted piece that makes up this CD. Steve’s wife Karen is listed in the credits for vocalization on one of the harder rockin’ songs; PeaceWork. Awesome tune !! Reminds me of Jeff Beck some. If one had to be compared to someone, a very high honor would be to have your name even mentioned in the same sentence as, Mr. Jeff Beck.

Every sound you hear on Short Stories is credited to Steve; drums, bass, the whole nine yards. A multi-instrumentalist in every sense of the word. Short Stories, a product as good as any rock player goes serious musician, has yet to conjure up. There are some awesome instrumental rock albums out there that center around the guitar. This is another one. The Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for 2008 could have been for any song on this release. I’m guessing they never heard it.

I remember my first listen to this CD like it was yesterday. Actually, was only a couple weeks or so before writing this, that I first acquired the CD. Here’s how it happened. A couple/few weeks ago (as I already said) I was listening to Alice Cooper’s latest studio offering; Welcome To My Nightmare 2. Steve’s playing is all over this. Produced by Bob Ezrin. The whole CD has a great sound, and Steve plays some really hot licks on this. Motivated me when next online to do a Google search, and see what else Mr. Hunter has been up to lately. I knew he recently bowed out of the Cooper band to concentrate on making solo music. A tad more research and us fans find out there was also an additional reason; Steve’s legally blind now. Suffers from pigmentary glaucoma. Keeps a diary on his official website; My Blind Blog. On a personal note, it’s hard not to admire a guy who’s capable of making lemonade, when life threw a curveball and gave him lemons. People in the music/recording industry routinely throw praise at this man. My good friend…an honorary brother…Wil says Steve’s; “a cool guy.” Mr. Hunter recently stepped in for another cool guy, Glen Buxton, when Alice Cooper made it into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Buxton passed away. Hunter did an outstanding job representing him. Plus…Steve’s just an all around exceptional guitar player/musician.

Back to my story and how I got Steve’s CD; Short Stories. I purchased it on Hunter’s official website. Came autographed too. Steve’s musical abilities shine from the start of this CD to the very last note at the end. Encompasses several different styles of playing, so not to bore the listener. I think he did that just to show off. Regardless, it’s a fantastic offering. What I loved most while playing this on my home stereo really loud was Steve did me the favor and didn’t forget how someone like myself became a fan. The man plays a mean rock guitar all throughout this. My only critique of the whole CD is that a couple songs could have been longer. Ends suddenly, whereas I felt he was in such a good groove that the tune could have carried on a bit longer. If that’s my only problem, then I don’t have a problem. What I have is a desire to listen to another one of Steve’s solo works.

I mentioned Steve’s website already. If you have not checked it out in a while, please do so now. Well…not immediately right this second. Please finish reading this first. On the website, you can learn and celebrate all of Steve’s accomplishments in rock n’ roll. Not only that, but you can tag along and experience him and his quest to go forward. New music for the year 2012, is right around the corner. Bookmark and please help support. Buy a song…buy a whole CD worth of songs. Mr. Hunter’s an independent musician nowadays. Like everyone else, man’s got to pay the bills. Take it from Uncle G, it’s money well spent. I have played Steve’s Short Stories repeatedly since its arrival in my mailbox. In the house and in the car. I even brought it to work with me. Worth every penny I paid for it. Good reactions when friends come over and I have it playing on the stereo. Short Stories has already in this short time become a personal favorite of mine. Damn shame it took me four years to discover it. Don’t be the same way. Remember and bookmark Mr. Hunter’s website. And stay abreast. You’ll be glad you did.

Uncle G’s Helpful Weblinks

Official Steve Hunter Website

http://www.stevehunter.com/

Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archives

http://www.garyunclegbrownarchives.com/home

Gary “Uncle G” Brown Official Twitter

http://www.twitter.com/GBrown0816