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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