Friday, October 30, 2009

You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world.....


Yes, that intro has been around for years & it was still in use on Wednesday, October 28, as KISS took the stage at the Sommet center in Nashville, TN.  Below are random thoughts and happenings from the show.

The opening band was an angry rock band from Los Angeles named Buck Cherry.  They were the typical angry rockers - boney with tat's over every inch of skin that was visible.  Lot of prancing and shock vocals.  The folks that brought their children, or grandchildren, were probably shocked by the band's closing song - Crazy Bitch.

You know you are in Nashville when you are in the beer line behind Heidi Newfield (formerly of Trick Pony) and then see her again in the souvenir line.  Wonder if she's stalking me?

The show's opening was pretty cool.  After the lights went out, Google Earth appeared on the side video screens.  It started zooming in & eventually showed the roof of the arena.  It quickly cut to a live (assuming) shot of the band walking backstage toward the stage.

While speaking of video screens, the kids who didn't get shuffled out with Buck Cherry's last song got a treat.  Well, some adults got a treat as well!!  There was a large high def screen behind the stage.  It was as wide as the stage and was probably 20 feet tall.  Well, toward the end of the KISS show, they were showing crowd shots with an occasional close up of fans.  Well, kudos to the camera operator who chose the right lady to zoom in on.  Right as they zoomed in, she chose to give the guys universal rock & roll two gun salute, if you know what I mean.  What a high def treat!

I have seen KISS about 6 or so times; both masked & unmasked.  I must say that the make-up provides an extra edge to the performance.  Musically, they were solid with a very large, loud sound. When Peter Criss and Ace Frehley departed the band the first time, each replacement was given a new character and make-up scheme.  Flash forward to today - with Gene & Paul supposedly having bought out Peter & Ace's rights to their characters, KISS is now free to use all four original characters and basically "plug & play" with the Ace & Peter characters.  Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) are great musicians and have the moves of the former members down.  Crazy, you may ask?  Just look @ Eric Singer.  He previously had long blonde hair & now has short black hair, just like Peter Criss.  I would dare say that some people in attendance who do not keep up band members could have sworn that was Peter or Ace up there.  The special effects were great as usual except for Tommy Thayer's guitar solo.  Typically, Ace's guitar would twirl & shoot out "rockets", but not in Nashville. I read that a malfunction occurred.   Gene dripped fake blood, breathed fire, and flicked his tongue out no less than a thousand times.  There were rising and spinning drumkits, flash pots, flames, smoke, confetti, etc. 

Interesting take from Paul Stanley on modern day politics.  He said that some bands try to tell you who to vote for, what causes you should support, etc.  He then said that if you came to the show expecting that from KISS, you were in the wrong damn place.

In closing, it was a great show.  It is hard to imagine that some of these guys are close to 60 years old.  Paul Stanley still looked & sounded like he was in great shape.  Gene still owned the stage and prowled it all night.  Gene did look like he was struggling at times due to heat, running make-up, or something.  However, it didn't slow him down.  Modern-day bands should take a lesson from KISS.  They came and delivered the songs and show that people wanted.  No political talk, just good four/four rock & roll.  The treat was to see all the folks, young and old, dressed as their favorite KISS character.  Momma Squire even got in on the act:

Here is the set list from the show.  You can see that it is a good ensemble of older and more popular cuts.  Detroit Rock City is still my favorite
  • Deuce
  • Strutter
  • Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
  • Hotter Than Hell
  • Shock Me
  • Modern Day Delilah
  • Say yeah
  • Dr Love
  • She
  • Parasite
  • 100,000 Years
  • I Love It Loud
  • Black Diamond
  • Rock And Roll All Nite
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • Lick It Up
  • Love Gun
  • Detroit Rock City
Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's In A Name?

When babies are born, pets adopted, and businesses formed; a lot of emphasis is put on choosing a name. Often names are chosen based on family lineage, current media darlings, sports stars, description of services offered, etc.

I want to address a name that many people are given and sadly they many accept that name and let it define their lives or being. In the case of a family name, that may be acceptable; but not in this case. What’s the name you ask? It’s DIABETIC.

Many people are diagnosed each year with Type I or Type II diabetes. In most circles, they are immediately given the DIABETIC label. There aren’t many other, if hardly any, diseases which use the disease name and “ic” to label the person. You don’t hear of “canceratics”, “lymphomatics”, etc. Why diabetes? I don’t really know, but I can tell you I don’t like it.

The “D” word is not used in our household. If you don’t know, Momma Squire & I’s youngest son, Kyle, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was 18 months old. Early on, I heard other parents talking about the use of the “D” word and how they don’t like it. After pondering on it, I finally figured it out about a year later why I don’t like it. Using it makes one prematurely define Kyle. It makes the disease front and center over all other things Kyle. Yes, diabetes does require a lot of effort and care, but Kyle is much more than his diabetes. We have tried to instill in him this thought – “you have diabetes, it doesn’t have you.” If he lets this disease define him, it has won.  My baby is more than diabetes.  I won't let him forget that.

What’s my point in this rant/blog? I don’t know. Maybe I can get one person to say “he/she has diabetes” vs. “He's DIABETIC”. Maybe I can get you to think about labeling people without knowing the person. 

Is there a term that you have let define you?

Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things You Don't Want to See in a Restaurant Parking Lot

Went this week to a restaurant for lunch & got a shock as I was getting out of the car. I saw something that I didn’t want to even think about. Let’s make it a quiz. Each of the following items you wouldn’t want to see in a parking lot of a restaurant, but what did I see:

A -

B -

C -
If you guessed “C”, you were correct. It was field trip day for the group @ the Lakeshore Retirement Center. They cleaned the buffet out! A scary sight indeed.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire


Distance from house to nearest store - 7 miles

Distance from house to nearest restaurant - 7.5 miles

Distance from house to boys' school - 8 miles

Seeing the above on the way to get the paper @ the end of the driveway makes it all worth it. Treat each day as a gift.
Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On Rocky Top

Just finished a very good book entitled "On Rocky Top". It was written by a life-long UT fan, Clay Travis ( Clay has also written a book (Dixieland Delight) about SEC football.

Clay started writing this book prior to Phil Fulmer's last season (2008) as the Vol's head coach. The premise of the book was to follow his favorite team from behind the scenes as the season progressed. He didn't realize it would be one of the most tumultuous seasons in almost two decades. Clay was given access to parts of the big-time college football machine that few get to see. Examples include riding with the 18 wheeler hauling the UT equipment to a South Carolina game, spending time with the UT managers as they apply the "T" to the helmets, running through the T, and being in the locker room before and after the games.

Whether you are a Phil Fulumer fan or not, this book is a must read. I admit there were times when I was glad that I was reading it alone vs. reading it in Grand Central Station. It reflects how much Coach Fulmer cares for the University and the players. So, if you are looking for that "perfect gift" for a UT fan, this might be a good idea. Enjoy the read and the walk down memory lane.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Amazing Race - Jack-style

Just came back from Mecca, I mean Lynchburg. What a great weekend!! For the last 6 or 7 years, Lori & I have volunteered for the MS Society's Jack & Back bike ride. Our neighbors, Tom & Charlene, have a daughter who was diagnosed with MS over a decade ago and we got involved. This weekend 880 cyclists left Page High School in Franklin and rode either 65 or 75 miles to Motlow Community College in Tullahoma, TN. After a party on BBQ hill @ the Jack Daniel's Distillery, they got up Sunday morning & went back to Franklin on their bike. Wow. I got tired driving the truck there.

There were young people, old people, healthy people, and some actually had MS themselves! They raised over $540,000 for MS research and local support. I know it seems weird that Mr Squire is talking about a charity other than JDRF, but I volunteer with JDRF for selfish reasons; MS is true volunteerism.

Of course, being a Squire, I loved being around the Distillery. I sacrificed myself and sat through a tasting where you really learn how important that trip through the charcoal is to the process!!! Then, we got to go to a party on the BBQ Hill where the amber liquid flowed and much BBQ was had. I did to get visit the Squire room @ the Distillery which is always a treat.

Everyone needs to take a day and drive to Lynchburg. Great day trip & the Distillery tour is worth much more than the price paid (FREE!). Mosey on down to the Square & hit the Hardware Store. If it is made, they have stuck a Jack Daniel logo on it & will sell you one. Momma Squire stopped in there, so I better be good between now & Christmas so I can get my presents from there!

Before I leave, hats off to all the ladies @ the MS Society office. Great job on putting on a great event this year!

All this Jack talk is making me thirsty, time for a refill.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire