The Buzz Clic Adventure

On Saturday February 2, 2013 at 10 pm I’ll be playing bass with The Buzz Clic Adventure at The Buchanan Arms, 2013 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, California 91506-1318. The Facebook event page for this show is here.

It’s really an honor and privilege to be playing with Buzz Clic. Buzz was the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the legendary Rubber City Rebels. The Rebels were one of the first punk rock groups to come out of Akron. Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO used to be their sound man. They shared stages with DEVO and The Dead Boys long before either of those bands became famous. Buzz and his partner in crime Rod Firestone (lead vocals and rhythm guitar for the Rubber City Rebels) opened Akron’s first punk club, the Crypt. The photo on the top of this blog is an early line-up of the band posing in front of the club. That’s Buzz second from the left stabbing a switchblade into the door of the place.

When I was in high school I idolized the Rubber City Rebels. They had an album out on Capitol produced by Doug Feiger of The Knack, the guy who wrote My Sharona. The Rubber City Rebels’ album was one of my all time favorite records. I played that thing till the grooves were gone!

I wrote the band a fan letter when I was a sophomore in high school and they even replied! But it took me a long time to finally meet any of the Rebels. They played some shows in Japan around 2003 (I think) and I wormed my way into meeting them through a couple of mutual acquaintances. They had reunited a few years before that and had been playing some shows around Akron, even though most of the band had relocated long before. They had a following in Japan among those fans deeply into early punk rock and their shows in Tokyo and Osaka were packed.

Buzz now lives in Woodland Hills, CA, in the San Fernando Valley and has a solo project called The Buzz Clic Adventure. He called me a few months back saying they needed a bassist for a gig in February and could I do it. Of course I could! Are you kidding?

It’s weird getting to know someone you’ve only ever admired from afar because of the art they make. We have all kinds of assumptions about such people. We can’t help but make them into something that no human can ever possibly be. I started meeting my heroes a couple decades ago when I went to work for Tsuburaya Productions. People like Kazuho Mitsuta and Koichi Takano were legends to me and suddenly they were also my coworkers. It was a massive shock. Then I started meeting people like Alex Cox, director of Repo Man and Gene Simmons, the bass player from KISS. I had to come to terms with the fact of what these people really were. And that was tough.

I have a friend who is a huge fan of Morrissey ex-lead singer of The Smiths. She likes Morrissey so much that she routinely travels overseas to see special shows and spends huge amounts of time waiting in line to get right up front. I asked her once if she’d ever met the man. She said that not only hadn’t she met Morrissey, she didn’t even want to meet Morrissey. She liked having him as her idol and didn’t want to ruin that. She knows Morrissey in real life is not the Morrissey of her fantasies and she’s quite content to leave it at that.

Some day I’m gonna write a piece about how guys like Joshu Sasaki, Eido Shimano and even Genpo Roshi have done a huge service for Zen. They really have. In some sense they have saved us all by sacrificing themselves. Maybe they’re not quite Christ-like. But then neither was Jesus.

By getting themselves embroiled in sleazy sex scandals, they’ve shown the world that Zen Masters are just people. And that is something we probably ought to honor and revere them for rather than vilifying them.

Usually you don’t find this out until you actually meet a Zen Master face-to-face and spend a lot of time with her. But these guys have made all of us able to see that without even meeting them. Kudos to them for that! I’m not even being sarcastic here. I mean this!

Anyway, I gotta go. Band rehearsal in a few minutes! See you on Saturday!! Here’s one of the songs we’ll be playing.

 

***

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53 Responses

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  1. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon January 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm | |

    “Maybe they’re not quite Christ-like. But then neither was Jesus.”

    Nobody knows what Jesus was like.

    There is no corroborating evidence for any of the actions or statements attributed to Jesus in The Bible.

    There is no credible evidence outside of The Bible that the Jesus described in it actually existed.

  2. grandcamel
    grandcamel January 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm | |

    “By getting themselves embroiled in sleazy sex scandals, they’ve shown the world that Zen Masters are just people. And that is something we probably ought to honor and revere them for rather than vilifying them.

    Usually you don’t find this out until you actually meet a Zen Master face-to-face and spend a lot of time with her. But these guys have made all of us able to see that without even meeting them. Kudos to them for that! I’m not even being sarcastic here. I mean this!”

    I was thinking the same recently. Thank you for verbalizing this, as I expected you would.

    Everyone has a perfect flaw, even “Zen masters”.

  3. Khru
    Khru January 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm | |

    “”Some day I’m gonna write a piece about how guys like Joshu Sasaki, Eido Shimano and even Genpo Roshi have done a huge service for Zen. They really have. In some sense they have saved us all by sacrificing themselves. Maybe they’re not quite Christ-like. But then neither was Jesus.”"”

    Probably the best five sentences I’ve ever read on this blog.

  4. Zen Maoist
    Zen Maoist January 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm | |

    About the time that I was becoming aware of some of the great bands coming out of Akron, I was also starting graduate school in philosophy, and one of the philosophers I studied was W.V. Quine, who was also from the Rubber City. He was the uncle of Robert Quine, who played guitar in Richard Hell and the Voidoids, one of my favorite punk bands from what are now the old days. Unfortunately, Robert Quine died some time ago, much earlier than W.V. Quine. A couple years into grad school I started (with my close friend from then and now, Chelsea) a band called Death Row, and people often said we sounded like a cross between the Voidoids and Gang of Four. I’m glad the Akron scene is coming alive again, even if in southern California.

    I hope you have a great gig, Brad. What bass will you be using?

  5. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon January 31, 2013 at 3:23 am | |

    Josephus’ Testimonium Flavian was debunked decades ago. It is evidence of fraud committed by Christians in the 4th century but nothing else.

    “While scholars used to think that the entire passage was a forgery written in the 4th century, they now believe that the Testimonium was based on an authentic core but was embellished by Christian writers. That is, Josephus did write something about Jesus but whatever it was, it was massively embellished by later Christians. ”

    http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Testimonium_Flavian

    As for Tacitus, it’s more like hearsay than evidence.

    “The information provided shows only that early Christians believed such, not that that belief was factual. How much of the story is based on fact versus myth is not answered by Tacitus’ writings.”

    http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Tacitus

  6. rmcbee
    rmcbee January 31, 2013 at 3:32 am | |

    I read yesterday that Deepak Chopra was the President of the company that makes those body scanning machines at airports. The article was in regards to the fact that they will stop using some of them. Doesn’t seem to go with the image? So yeah, folks aren’t necessarily what you expect?

  7. Brent
    Brent January 31, 2013 at 5:16 am | |

    bass part doesn’t sound too difficult! have a great show,..,.

  8. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel January 31, 2013 at 7:14 am | |

    Brad wrote:

    “I agree for the most part about Jesus. But he does get mentioned by the Jewish historians Josephus and Tacitus. So there very likely was a real person behind the legends. ”

    Not so. It has been demonstrated that the Flavius Josephus bit is a later interpolation, thus a fake. As for the Tacitus bit, it doesn’t mean much either, since “Chrestos” was the mere Greek translation of Messiah, and that since all Jews at the time were ablaze in the wait for the Messiah, it doesn’t even mean that the “Oiled” he was talking about was the same “Oiled” that we today call Yehoshuah bar Yosef.

    By the way, “Son of the Father” in Aramaic would be “Bar Abbas”…

  9. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel January 31, 2013 at 10:17 am | |

    Also, Publius Cornelius Tacitus was NOT Jewish…
    He was a Roman senator, and also a pagan priest. Jerome says that his works comprised 30 volumes (rolls) but only 5 of these remain.

    The Christians probably burnt the rest. They loved burning books. Read some of Paul’s epistles: he brags of it.

  10. gimbo
    gimbo January 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm | |

    “By getting themselves embroiled in sleazy sex scandals, they’ve shown the world that Zen Masters are just people. And that is something we probably ought to honor and revere them for rather than vilifying them.”

    And hey, all those Catholic priests getting themselves embroiled in child abuse scandals (and cover ups) were doing us all a favour by showing us that they are just people too, right?

    FFS.

  11. Zafu
    Zafu January 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm | |

    It’s not clear why we probably ought to honor and revere ordinary people (Zen Masters) for being ordinary rather than vilifying them. Is it because a Zen Master said we ought? But seriously, I thought I remembered Bradly vilifying Genpo, but maybe I’m mistaken? Oh, wait! Ordinary people contradict themselves all the time. I get it.

  12. Fred
    Fred January 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm | |

    I stand in golden rays
    Radiantly
    I burn a fire of love
    Over and over
    Reflecting endless light
    Relentlessly
    I have embraced the flame
    Forever and ever
    I will scream the word
    Jump into the void
    I will guide the world
    Up to heaven

  13. Fred
    Fred January 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm | |
  14. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 31, 2013 at 10:17 pm | |

    I like the Skylar (vocals), Brad (guitar) version of “Dumb and Young”.

    Break a string, Mr. Warner!

    Hats off to David Chadwick for starting the ball rolling with the biography that Shunryu Suzuki did not want to have written. His remarks about Kobun were equally telling.

    Mr. Warner, I would like to contribute a book to you, if you’d like to have it: “Remembering Kobun”. This is a collection of stories and anecdotes about Kobun gathered up by Vanja Palmers and published by him. You can find my email just above here; just let me know and I’ll send it along. I picked up a copy for you at the 10th anniversary memorial last summer.

  15. sri_barence
    sri_barence February 1, 2013 at 5:15 am | |

    A tough guy once asked me, “Who are you?” “Just a regular guy,” I answered. He said,”There are no ‘regular guys.’”

  16. SatisfactionJacksom
    SatisfactionJacksom February 1, 2013 at 9:16 am | |

    I do not really see the connection to Genpo Roshi that Brad Warner emphasizes like a madhead in every single posting on any topic

    1. fightclubbuddha
      fightclubbuddha February 1, 2013 at 10:49 am | |

      Hmmm. Really? The connective thematic thread in this post, and, frankly, it’s a damned obvious one, is “the pitfalls of hero worship.”

      1. Zafu
        Zafu February 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm | |

        Oh! I think what thew me was the suggestion that we “ought to honor and revere” these heroes despite the suffering they’ve caused their unfortunate victims.

        1. fightclubbuddha
          fightclubbuddha February 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm | |

          True, true. That might be slightly confusing if one were to think that such a suggestion were actually being made. But I don’t think that’s the case. I think Brad is saying that we should honor and revere them for showing the world that Zen masters are just humans, and not godlike. They should not be worshipped like gods or heroes, but looked at as human teachers with human frailties.

          “None of us seemed to know the nature of the coincidences that bound us together, as I know now, or that junkies and masochists and hookers and those of us who have squandered everything are the ring of brightest angels around heaven.” Rick Moody

          1. Zafu
            Zafu February 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

            Perhaps only I see the irony of honoring and revering those we have mistakenly honored and revered. It’s like once you’re honored and revered that much it doesn’t matter what you do, the clergy will still honor and revere you. They can’t help it.

            I suppose it would be common of me, and off-brand, to suggest we condemn the vehicle that leads the innocent and vulnerable to sexual predators (if that’s what any of them are), and save our reverence for those who have earned it.

  17. Gnodab
    Gnodab February 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm | |

    Brad:

    Something I’ve noticed you do often enough is you always use the female version “her” when you refer to zen masters, even though all of your zen teachers (and the great majority of the ones you criticize) are/were (dogen) all men. whats the reason behind that?

  18. Fred
    Fred February 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm | |

    Because if there were more enlightened men in the world then women, you know
    that this process is total bullshit. Zen is bullshit and all the major religions are
    and were bullshit, tools of the state and culture to keep the sheep quiet.

    So good for Brad. There is no God, and she is our creator.

  19. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm | |

    The Japanese Zen teachers I have met have all had a certain presence, and in some cases a remarkable presence. The American teachers I have met seemed pretty ordinary by comparison. Here’s video, Shunryu Suzuki, Dainan Katagiri, and Richard Baker:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvPM2Nyphj8

    I think a lot of Americans expect a remarkable presence, and don’t accord any special status to an American even though he or she is a lineage holder and authorized by a lineage holder to teach.

    Most memorable sign, at 4:48: “Eat Buzz Inn”.

    Issho Fujita teaches zazen by walking a slack rope. He has less of an amazing presence (to me), but what he does have is a keen interest in finding a way to convey what’s involved in sitting zazen to anybody who might be interested. That to me is a recognition on his part that we need to move away from teacher-disciple relationships and move toward a description of the heart of the practice of zazen that anyone can use. Learn zazen out of a book, or through a blackboard/lecture event with a slack-rope-walking guy in robes. Can it be undone?

  20. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm | |

    er, done?

  21. J
    J February 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm | |

    Jesus also had some great things to say actually, but as with what I am seeing in old Buddhism, can you understand if you don’t yet f*cking understand? In that gap, there is too much potential for error..Good luck folks.

  22. SatisfactionJacksom
    SatisfactionJacksom February 2, 2013 at 3:18 am | |

    Agein: Can somebody explain on here what Shimano suing his Organisation has exactly to with Genpo Roshi? This is not “dammed obvious” at all
    In the end nobody knows what exactly we are talking about. But probably it is well intended to keep the level of this discussion as general as possible. Simply because its easy.

    However if you criticize somebody strongly in public there have to be arguments first. Obviously

  23. fightclubbuddha
    fightclubbuddha February 2, 2013 at 5:03 am | |

    @Zafu: perhaps I should have clarified my interpretation of Brad’s remark. I think he is saying that we honor the fallen Zen masters not for their horrible acts, but for the very fact that they have fallen and had those acts exposed, thus showing that they are humans and not heroes. Once the fallen Zen masters are exposed as just humans, we can then see all Zen masters as just human. With that realization, it is to be hoped that the abuses of the fallen masters will not be repeated. So, we continue to despise their actions, but we honor the lesson. Is that any more palatable?

    1. Zafu
      Zafu February 2, 2013 at 9:15 am | |

      Not for me personally, Fightclubbuddha, but I do understand how such things are palatable to religious folk. Like I said before, they just can’t help themselves.

      How else could it be possible that someone like Shimano could abuse vulnerable women for decades. Do you think the clergy surrounding Shimano didn’t know what he was doing? Of course they knew. There is documentation in the Shimano archive showing that they knew. They realized it was wrong but were like, ‘oh, Master is just showing us that he’s human. Thank you for this great lesson, Master!’

  24. Andy
    Andy February 2, 2013 at 5:35 am | |

    Perhaps related: Kokyo Henkel: on karma, free will, and determinism

    http://tinyurl.com/aykjsk9

    It’s probably my conditioning, but his essay seems a little lopsided?

  25. Fred
    Fred February 2, 2013 at 6:39 am | |

    There is no agent, no karma, no fixed position.

    It’s OK for the conditioned neurochemical machine to believe that the movie
    script is real.

    Zazen is a natural act performed by the universe.

    Can a slack-rope-walking guy teach an illusion not to have illusions?

  26. Fred
    Fred February 2, 2013 at 6:59 am | |

    Kokyo:

    “the wonderful thing about Buddha-Dharma, that it feeds on itself through conditionality, so that once we get into it, it starts to condition us in a new positive kind of way, without any actual “self” needed to do the work. ”

    Dogen called this the dream within a dream.

    This description is lopsided in that it makes the judgment of ” positive ”
    conditioning along a scale of enlightenment-deludedness.

  27. Fred
    Fred February 2, 2013 at 7:06 am | |

    “A bodhisattva is one who is willing to play the game of appearing as a sentient being who is in control of herself and living in accord with other sentient beings, completely willing to receive the effects of karma, even though ultimately the set of conditions we called “me” that did the action is not the same set of conditions called “me” that receives the result. The freedom of the bodhisattva is that by seeing the illusory nature of free will, they are willing to receive whatever effects come. Also, since they are no longer so concerned about their limited “self”, they don’t take advantage of others; they don’t say, “Since I’m not in control, I’ll hit you.”

    Or ” I don’t really exist, but could you give me a little rub-and-tug. “

  28. Brent
    Brent February 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm | |

    How can one even begin to consider free will vs. determinism when one can only know one moment and no simultaneous alternatives?

  29. Brent
    Brent February 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm | |

    Oh shoot I didn’t mean to post that!

  30. buddy
    buddy February 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm | |

    ‘Can somebody explain on here what Shimano suing his Organisation has exactly to with Genpo Roshi? This is not “dammed obvious” at all
    In the end nobody knows what exactly we are talking about. But probably it is well intended to keep the level of this discussion as general as possible. Simply because its easy. ‘

    Shimano caused a scandal by having sex with his students. Genpo caused a scandal by having sex with his students. Sasaki caused a scandal by having sex with his students. How more ‘damned obvious’ do you need it? You’re the only one obfuscating things around here.

  31. boubi
    boubi February 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm | |

    When christians arrived in India and talked about Jesus the indians replied that he must have been a very great yogi, that for the miracles (siddhis).

    On top of the cross there is an INRI sign, meaning Ioshuah Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum, Jesus was believed to be the messiah/anointed/king of the Jews who would restore the nation, so much for “son of god”.

    He said to be “son of the man” which could sound in hebrew like “ben adam” (son of adam) which means “human being” seemingly denying thus his divinity, once again so much for the “son of god”.

    Christian propaganda says that the Jews wanted to kill him for blasphemy, working on the very dubious translation of “son of man”.

    In my understanding, if the people really had to choose between Jesus and Bar Abbas they chose the more fighting and successful guerilla leader, the one who killed more roman soldiers, which was Bar Abbas.

    This said i don’t get how someone can believe in Jesus making miracles, in god giving him some degree of samadhi while meditating, but then expressing doubts, at best, about yogical powers or reincarnation.

  32. boubi
    boubi February 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm | |

    About all those “sex scandals” the only thing that i could find wrong would be if the teachers somehow blackmailed their students in a “sex for enlightenment” trade.

    What i also find absolutely disgusting is the “big money for enlightenment” trade !

    In both cases the merchandise doesn’t exist, “enlightenment”, in case it can be defined, cannot be traded nor sold.

    I could define it as swindle and it should be prosecuted as such.

  33. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm | |

    I’d like to know what Fred is drinking, I’d like some please.

    Folks don’t like the notion that a hypnogogic state is involved in the practice of zazen, and they refuse to recognize it in the people who are revered in daily life; they don’t see it in themselves.

    boubi could drink me under the table, wish I could laugh and talk with Boubi and Proulx Michel, and maybe I will, miracles happen. Here’s a nice video about miracles and spirits inhabiting paper:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aTLySbGoMX0

    I had a dream, ended with a guy I thought was normal who turned out to be packing a gun.

    1. boubi
      boubi February 3, 2013 at 8:13 am | |

      With pleasure, just send me the two ways open dates air ticket and then wine and dine me till you have enough of hearing the most outrageous meaningful nonsense of your life.

      Cheers :)

  34. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm | |

    Nick Gravenites and his band played the Aubergine tonight, close enough to walk to from where I bivouack back of Sebastopol, and I drank with the good people there and danced to “Walking Blues”. The stretch in three directions done by relaxation in the movement of breath, so help me! :)

  35. SatisfactionJacksom
    SatisfactionJacksom February 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm | |

    Dear “Buddy”:

    The cases of Shimano, Sasaki and Genpo are definitly different and if you seriously want to talk about it you have to know about. But most guys on here dont do that-instead of that you just pretend to have a “discussion” about the “bad apples”. Wich is -as I said-just a meaningless generalisation. Even Sun Magazine is better on it-and at least- more interesting. It looks like you dont wanna know anything. Whats the topic? Shimano sewing his sangha? The “good guys and the bad guys”. We are the good ones-right? Ah and yes I forgot: The bad always include Warners personal enemies. So lets repeat it again.

    I guess you all vote for the republicans cause your rethoric is not really different

  36. Fred
    Fred February 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm | |

    “Folks don’t like the notion that a hypnogogic state is involved in the practice of zazen, and they refuse to recognize it in the people who are revered in daily life; they don’t see it in themselves.”

    That which is doing the seeing in zazen is the universe looking through a window
    which is the self. How can the self see anything when it is what is being looked
    through.

  37. SatisfactionJacksom
    SatisfactionJacksom February 4, 2013 at 6:57 am | |

    Nothing against you. But the piece about Genpo is just a confirmation of what I wrote before

  38. fightclubbuddha
    fightclubbuddha February 4, 2013 at 9:48 am | |

    Genpo Roshi ADMITTED to sexual relations with three of his female students while he was married. There are others who have made allegations against him. He then tendered his resignation and later revoked the resignation. How is any of that appropriate conduct?

  39. The Buzz Clic Adventure | Glasses July 16, 2013 at 12:09 am |

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