I Thought That All Dandelions Were Good For Was Making Wine!

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I just read an article that said that cooking and garnishing with flowers is back in vogue again after falling out of favor for many years.  You see this a lot on some of the TV cooking shows and I have experienced this myself at a few of our most upscale restaurants.  I used to have a neighbor when I lived in Wixom, a couple named Chris and Marti Baumgartner, who did a lot of foraging and you should never be surprised that when invited for any meal, Marti had included one or two varieties of flowers in the meal.  I was afraid of Marti…I didn’t trust her…I didn’t believe she knew enough about what she was harvesting to know if it was safe or not.  We lived at 12 Mile Rd. and Grand River.  12 Mile Rd. was the onramp for the expressway and I can tell you that a lot of cars went down that road…by the second, the minute and the hour.  Traffic was non-stop and there was no telling how toxic the growing conditions were along the road.  Just no tellin’!

My past fears aside, I think that people are once again enjoying their edible flowers because it is a practical thing to do.  The movement back to more simpler times, when what we smelled or tasted was more natural…organic, I believe has a lot to do with it.  I know there are plenty of people who never left the bandwagon, like vegetarians, who legitimately may think what’s the fuss.  If you were to open a magazine like Vegetarian Times, you will not only see advertisements about herbal or flower-based remedies and supplements, but recipes that feature flowers in one way or another on a pretty regular basis. 

If you read the right magazines or cookbooks and watch the right television cooking shows, you already know that there are a lot of ways to use edible flowers in your meals and the secret to success when using edible flowers is to keep the dish simple, do not add too many flavors that will over power the delicate taste of the flower.

For your culinary enjoyment I have prepared a short list of edible flowers exclusively from the flower category.  Other categories that you should be aware of include, herb flowers, vegetable flowers and fruit.  Regardless of the category, there is one universal rule…

GROW YOUR OWN FLOWERS!!!

Commercially grown or roadside flowers can be extremely toxic.  You have no idea as to what has been used to make them grow.  Plus, many flowers even though they are edible have parts that are hard to digest or are harmful and then there those that are completely poisonous.  So by growing and harvesting your own, you will always know that what you are eating is not harmful to you and your family.  Don’t be a “Marti,” okay?

The blooms that you can eat will make a decorative, tasty addition to any meal you prepare.  Add flowers to salads and stir-fries or you can add them to a wide variety of foods like herbal teas, jellies, spreads, vinegars and marinades.

You can prepare flowers for use by harvesting the bloom right before eating and give it a gentle rinse.  Follow whatever your recipe calls for at that point whether you are using them raw or have to blanch them.

Edible Flowers

  • Calendula (Pot Marigold), tangy-flavored orange or yellow flowers.  Can be used like Saffron.  Use in soups, pasta, rice dishes, herb butters and salads.
  • Chrysanthemums, tangy, slightly bitter, ranging in colors from red, white, yellow and orange.  They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower.  Can also be used to flavor vinegar.
  • Dandelions, member of the Daisy family, these flowers are sweet when picked young.  They have a sweet, honey flavor.  Young leaves taste good steamed or tossed in salads.
  • Dianthus (Sweet William), clove-like flavor
  • Impatiens, this flower has a sweet flavor.  Can be used as a garnish in salads or floated in drinks.
  • Nasturtiums, red, orange or yellow flowers that brighten up salads.  Blooms have a spicy, peppery flavor that is reminiscent of arugula or watercress.
  • Pansy, the blooms have a mild vegetable flavor and is often used to decorate cakes and salads.
  • Roses, the flavor depends on the type, color and believe it or not, the soil conditions.  Its flavor can be reminiscent of strawberries or green apples.  Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice.  All roses are edible, with the flavor more pronounced in the darker varieties.  Many uses include as a garnish on ice cream and desserts, sprinkled on desserts and salads, and in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads.

I must reiterate how important it is to not eat roses that have been exposed to systemic fertilizers or disease control rose food.  You very well could be digesting those properties and they will make you sick!

 

  • Tulips, the beautiful blooms of this plant have a mild, vegetable flavor.  

Did I miss anything?  What have you tried and enjoyed?

 

 

Dandelion Wine Recipe

3 qts. Dandelion Flowers

1 lb.  Golden Raisins

1 Gal. Water

3 lbs. Granulated Sugar

2       Lemons

1       Orange

Yeast and nutrient

 

Pick the flowers just before starting, so they are fresh.  You do not need to pick the petals off the flower heads, but the heads should be trimmed of any stalk.  Put the flowers in a large bowl.  Set aside 1 pint of water and bring the remainder to a boil.  Pour the boiling hot water over the dandelion flowers and cover tightly with a cloth or plastic wrap.  Leave for two days, stirring twice daily.  Do not exceed this time.  Pour flowers and water in a large pot and bring to a low boil.  Add the sugar and the peels (peel thinly and avoid any of the white pith) of the lemons and orange.  Boil for one hour, then poor into a crock or plastic pail.  Add the juice and pulp of the lemons and orange.  Allow to stand until cool (70 – 75 degrees F.).  Add yeast and yeast nutrients, cover and put in a warm place for three days.  Strain and pour into a secondary fermentation vessel (bottle or jug).  Add the raisins and fit a fermentation trap to the vessel.  Strain and rack after wine clears, adding reserved pint of water and any additional required to top up.  Leave until fermentation ceases completely, then rack again.  Set aside for 2 months and again rack and bottle.  The wine must age six months in the bottle before tasting, but will improve remarkably if allowed a year. 

Source: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelio.asp/

 

Do you want to learn more?  Maybe you should attend some of Urban Garden Education Series Classes put on by the Garden Resource Program Collaborative/The Greening of Detroit.  There is a fee for non-members.  Set your calendar for

 

  • Sunday, July 7th “Wild Edible Weeds: Edible & Medicinal Weeds”
  • Thursday, September 27th “Herbal Health: Teas, Tinctures & Salves”

 

For more information go to www.detroitagriculture.net or call Lindsay Pielack at the Greening of Detroit (313) 285-2300

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It’s Earth Day All Over The World!

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Can I tell you something that you probably already know?  Tomorrow, Sunday, April 22, 2012 is Earth Day.  (Chorus) “So Soon?  Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!  I told you…hahaha!  Do I have to buy a gift?”  Those comments are undoubtedly very typical in today’s conversations…at work, at play or at home.  Don’t get me wrong, Earth Day gets plenty of attention and I am actually seeing and hearing more about it today than in previous years.  Is it the speculation about global warming?  Perhaps, but I seriously believe that because it has been in the forefront of so many minds in so many countries for so long that it has strong legs off its own and that we should probably look at Earth Day as the force behind the sustainability programs that have been established to effectively deal with environmental issues at all levels…local, regional, national and global.  Earth Day, with all of its events and activities that take place, from educational to recreational to salvational (is that a word?) is one thing that as a world we can all embrace and not surprisingly, we have.

From time to time I take time on this site to acknowledge somebody or something that I think has made a significant contribution to my world, the world at large or the world of a small group of people and this Earth Day I am reminded of the efforts of a group of people that I used to work with.  These individuals worked under the stewardship of Marilyn Barnett, in one of the divisions of MARS Advertising, Unique Concepts International.  One of the most successful programs that they created was an Earth Day program that they executed over time for a growing list of supermarket retailers in the eastern part of the country.  I don’t remember all of the stores but I believe one of them was a store named Waldbaum’s.  I also think that most of the stores were part of the A&P Corp.  Anyway, with a revolving cast of very passionate team members, several people stood out as individuals that really cared about the program and not just for commercial reasons.  Earth Day was a cause that if you were to look at what they tried to do and did accomplish, was a big deal to them.  The program very smartly was targeted at the youth of that time (the early 90’s).  It penetrated classrooms and households.  This was not a one-day and it’s over effort.  The program lasted at least one month.  There were recycling programs, tree plantings, pageants and scholastic programs with essay and art competitions.   These programs were so well designed that they drew the support of national, regional and local brand manufacturers.  Many of then and now’s largest manufacturers supported the programs and not for just one year.  With the help and financial assistance of the many socially conscious manufacturers, the retailers and MARS Advertising/Unique Concepts International, the Earth Day message and awareness of its importance reached a lot of children, their households and the community at large.

Though there are way too many to name, I would still like to call out a few people that worked on several (not all at the same time) Earth Day programs.  These ladies (and their many associates) efforts were way ahead of curve.  I bow to them!

Marilyn Barnett

Pres./CEO MARS Advertising/Unique Concepts International (U.C.I.)

 

Michelle Roney

Vice President/U.C.I.

 

Susan Sanderson

Creative Director/U.C.I.

 

Lynn Berry

Creative Director/U.C.I.

 

Lisa Ballo

Account Director/U.C.I.

 

Shana Krisan

Account Director/U.C.I.

 

Jacquelyn Rubasky

Account Director/U.C.I.

 

Geralyn George

Account Director/U.C.I.

 

Celebrate Earth Day!  It’s one of the few events that you would be part of a worldwide celebration.  Teach your children something or do something together and learn from them.  Then try to make celebrating and appreciating the earth an every day thing!

The Magic That Is Music!

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Every once in awhile someone may send you something that hits you the right way and you are so touched by it that you have an overwhelmingly, compelling desire to share it with everyone you know.  Such is the link I received from my friend Jan Sansom.  The video you are about to watch is one of those things that has undoubtedly gone viral and for good reason.  I think we all know somebody, sick or dealing with a chronic condition, that has experienced the healing magic of music.  It has been documented over and over at the professional level as well as on a personal level.  Many hospitals and rehabilitation systems have recreational therapy programs that include music.  I know on a personal level, when my mother was in the hospital a few years ago and her outcome was questionable; we used recorded music and “live in her hospital room” performances, to help her recuperate. 

Scientifically, there are probably a lot of reasons for the way music affects the body and the mind.  How it stimulates the mind and  I’m guessing when I say the nervous system, has more answers than it does questions…um, I think I mean more questions than answers.  Either way, there is still a lot to know about and how to properly use music to promote health and healing.  But at the end the day, like this video will show you, it isn’t hard to understand the smile on the patient’s face…the sparkle in their eyes and the joy that is in their heart!

click here: Old Man in a Nursing Home Reacts to Hearing Music From His Era     The Miracle of Music!!! 

Do you have a music healing story or another unique healing experience?  I would like to hear about it.  Send me a note and we will share your story here on this website.

 

Thanks Jan!

10 Things That Successful Gardeners Know Or Do!

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A few Saturday’s ago, my friend and fellow gardener/farmer John Adams was over and as he stood in my driveway he was able to take a long look at my garden bed.  The first thing he said was that “my garden was all set and ready to go” and he asked when I had the time to turn it over?  I thanked him for the compliment and said that I hadn’t touched my garden since I closed it down last October.  He couldn’t help but notice that my bed was virtually weed free and this was in spite of the fact that I had dumped untold amounts of compost in the garden throughout the growing season last year.  You could see that the soil had definitely improved as a result of these efforts and the added benefit is that I could (with the right precautions) go out today and plant cold-hardy plants or seeds in the garden with a minimum of fuss or work…the soil is that ready. Hail Gloria Hallelujah!

Actually, I am not all that surprised by the appearance of my bed right now.  And the reason why is that I had a plan.  You see a successful garden, large or small, will have at its basic core…a plan.  I know that there are a lot of people who just have the knack; some innate ability to be able to just throw some seeds out the window…anywhere…and something will grow there.  But, for every “Jack” and his rows and rows of beans, there are some “Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s” whose bad luck is of biblical proportion.  Now I can’t say that having a plan automatically saves you from the worst that could happen, but it will make a difference.  A plan will enable you to get the most out of every square inch of your garden…from the last spring frost to the first in the fall.  It is a vision that if/when it is articulated properly, will help you navigate through some of your toughest challenges.  If you have the right plan for you and your garden, it will be fun…not work. 

Here are a few things you’ve got to know:

  1. Know what type of garden you want to grow.  Are you growing flowers or vegetables or both?  What about herbs?
  2. What are you going to plant it in?  In a traditional garden bed?  Raised bedsContainer garden?  How much room do you have?  Now is the time to be smart and don’t make the garden too big for you to handle.
  3. What ‘s going to be your crop?  A basic garden crop will probably have a few tomatoes, lettuces, carrots, bush or pole beans, cucumbers, squash and some peppers.  The trick is, knowing, even when planting a basic garden, what variety of tomato or bean or whatever you want to grow.  Get those seed catalogs early, even if you don’t make your purchases from them, and do your research.
  4. Create a blueprint so that you will know what to plant where.  There are several plants that have a pretty fast from seed to harvest lifetime.  Knowing where you plan to plant these “shortermers” will give you the flexibility to cycle your crops more effectively and efficiently.
  5. Once you have started your seeds, create a timeline or a log, which you will use to chart the germination and ongoing development of your young seedlings and sets.
  6. Establish a regular weeding schedule.  So that you don’t have to do it all in one day, do a section at a time.  You will be surprised as to how little of your time will eventually be used to keep your garden clean.
  7. Feed or fertilize your garden at specific times.  It is really important that you keep a log on this too.  You don’t want to over feed your plants just like you don’t want to over water them either.
  8. Plan to water either in the morning or at night.  Since I like to work in the garden before it gets too hot, I prefer to water in the evening.  And by hand watering, I am learning exactly how frequently and how much water each plant variety needs for good growth and production.
  9. Regularly check for diseases, insects or pests.  You may eliminate a major problem or prevent one from happening if you spend a little time everyday turning a few leaves over or just looking at your plants.
  10. Have a plan for what you are going to do once harvesting begins.  You don’t want to waste your crops by not being ready or have a use for the food you are growing.  Know if you are going to be canning or freezing or drying your produce, which method works best for which product and when the products are at their peak for each method of preservation.

It may sound like a lot of work to be so organized, but you will find it is even more work not to be.  Did I miss anything?  Let me know what you think everybody should know before, during and after to have a successful and fun season of gardening.

A great resource for the novice or experienced gardener is Detroit’s Greening of Detroit Collaborative.  To join, contact Lindsay Pielack at (313) 285-2300 or lindsay_detroitagriculture@yahoo.com

Need professional help…call Jan (Coppola) Bills of “Two Women and A Hoe®” at (248) 891-0548 mobile or email jan@TWOwomenANDaHOE.com

Please read Spring Has Sprung!!! for more specific information.

The Devil and Rock & Roll Parts 1 – 4

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The Baphomet, adopted symbol of some Left-Hand...

The Baphomet, adopted symbol of some Left-Hand Path systems, including Theistic Satanism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The date was Sunday, October 24, 1976.  The place was the Historic Redford Theatre.  The curtain was about to rise for the first headline concert by the rock and roll band “Merlin”.  The audience out front was noisy and expectant.  The band, Arthur Littsey, Marcus Dawson, Jim Lifton and Richard “Oval” Wood, was nervous but ready to go.  In a matter of minutes, the audience started clapping for the show to start.  The air was electric.  But wait one dog-gone minute!  The story doesn’t start here…it ends here!

This story actually begins in the summer of 1976 and if I recall correctly it was probably late July or early August.  Like most bands we advertised in the entertainment circulars and we got a call from a guy who said that he had seen our logo, which was the “Goat of Mendes”, and because he believed it was a sign (from who or where we didn’t know) he felt or hoped that we were the perfect band to work on the project he was developing.

For those of you that don’t know, the “Goat of Mendes”, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, is a pagan deity revived in the 19th century as a figure of occultism and Satanism.  It appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the 14th century.  The name first came into popular English-speaking consciousness in the 19th century, with debate and speculation on the reasons for the suppression of the Templars.  Since 1855, the name Baphomet has been associated with a “Sabbatic Goat” image drawn by Eliphas Levi.  When we came up with the name for the band, we were looking for something that symbolized magic and when I came upon the “goat” it was a slam-dunk decision.  You have to remember how popular Satanism was at the time (Rolling Stones “Her Majesties Satanic Requests/Symphony for the Devil” and everything Led Zeppelin) and though a lot of bands were not into the occult and the devil, to be associated with it was pretty cool.  In fact, there was another band that tried to use just the head of the “goat” as their logo, but since we were firmly identified with it, we were able to get them to stop using it.

So this guy that was drawn to our logo asked to meet with us to discuss a project of the utmost importance.  Like most of our adventures of the time, we didn’t have a clue as for what we were letting ourselves in for.  On a dark, hot and rainy Friday night, our mystery unfolded with a meeting with a guy who led a group called “666”.  He and several of his aides or “followers” drove up in a black Cadillac hearse with skulls over the headlights and taillights.  He walked in wearing a cape, looking like he had escaped from the mind of Sir Graves Ghastly, dressed in black of course, skull tips on his boots, skull rings and lots of chains and crosses around his neck and chest.  We were very amused.  After all the movie “The Omen” had just been released and though we had probably seen it several times ourselves, it was still kind of funny that somebody was taking it to the extremes that this guy was.  It was a very hot time of the year and our guest and his associates must have bathed, in the popular fragrance at the time, “Musk Oil” cologne to hide their funky body odor or to chase mosquitoes or to do both.

He said his name was “Chris” and he began with a discussion on how symbolic it was that he came across our logo and how it must have been an act of the devil that he was so fortunate to have seen it and therefore found us.  He went on a bit about the power of the sign and how much good fortune we surely must be having as a result of our using it to represent the band.  Fortunate?  HA!  The type of luck that logo brought us was…

  • The fire and demise of the People’s Ballroom (Ann Arbor)
  • The kitchen fire in our home (South Lyon)
  • Held hostage in Roscommon at a biker party
  • The fire and destruction of our home in West Bloomfield
  • The upcoming furnace explosion and subsequent fire in Wixom.

Plus there was the time we were set to play a dance at St. Bartholomew on “Good Friday” and when the priest saw our banner with the logo, we were fired on the spot or the time we were setting up to play for the prom at “Immaculate Conception” in Hamtramck and when the nuns saw it they gasped, crossed themselves several times and insisted we take it down or we could not play.  Yeah, it was lucky all right.  NOT!

But, for some reason we hung on to it and continued to use it.  We weren’t superstitious…we didn’t practice witchcraft or worship the devil, so we didn’t feel it was necessary to make a change, everybody liked it and we did too!  So as our guest went on and on about the powers we could wield if we did believe, we managed to keep the smirks off of our faces and sat there, waiting patiently for the real reason for this get-together to be addressed.

As it turned out, “Chris” was looking for a band to write the music score for a play that he had written.  His story was to be based on the parts of the bible where the devil is expelled from heaven and when the fight over the souls began.  Right then is where our problems began, for it was right then and there he had us.  A music score?  A rock opera?  Raise your hands and shout…Hallelujah!  We were jumping up and slapping hands like we were at a church revival!  Why hadn’t he gotten to the point sooner!  And just like the beginning of the Kentucky Derby and the announcer, at the sound of the bell, says…“and their off”, we were off to the races.  We were in the same league as “Wagner”…“Handel”…“Gluck”…“Mozart”… “Lennon & McCartney/The Beatles”…“Townsend/The Who”… and “Anderson/Jethro Tull”!  Finally, somebody had come along and had recognized our genius…our skill…our aplomb!  A rock opera…yessireebob!  We could do that!!!  Did we care it was about the battle between good and evil?  No!  Did we care it was about the Satan?  No!  Did we care about getting paid?  OH HELL YES!

It was the desire to make money that appealed to us the most on this venture.  It had been a good but yet a slow summer and we were not playing often enough and in the right rooms to separate ourselves from a lifestyle of small food portions or dining at our parents houses as much as possible.  So the prospect of getting paid for a project that on the surface looked like a great idea…well it was “HEAVENLY” to say the least.

The Devil and Rock and Roll Part 2

So after the excitement of getting paid wore off and our cries of jubilation died down, we began to ask the questions that were standard requirements of any discussion on compensation, like…

  • What denomination were the bills?
  • Were they going to be unmarked and in random sequence?
  • Was it in U.S. currency or Canadian?
  • Did we have to wear masks when we went to pick it up?

The answer or answers to our question were the domain of the project’s backer, and let’s call him “Ron”.

Ron was a synthetic-wearing, cigar-wielding huckster that had gained some legitimacy and notoriety by his frequent appearances in the local entertainment weeklies.  Ron wanted to be a film producer along the lines of Russ Meyer and unfortunately for most but fortunately enough for him; a lot of people were in awe of his “rainmaker” energy.  He didn’t need a camera to frame a scene.  Sometimes in mid-sentence he would break away, frame his fingers and say “Rrrrrrroll-em” and start to direct an impromptu scene.  To be honest the first meeting we had with Ron, we kind of got caught up in it and with unbridled enthusiasm went along with shtick.  The reasons why, would have been quite obvious if you had been there.  You had the “still naïve about the ways of world” band in one corner and in the opposite corner were a bevy of bodacious beauties that we found out were professional strippers.  Ron was a smart guy!  I don’t think any man or even some women could have resisted their charms.  Everything they did hinted at great possibilities.  Let your imagination just wander…go ahead…and while you’re thinking about what if you get a touch or you hear the laughter that says, “Yes, I’m with you…all the way”!

Now I know exactly what you are thinking…  “WHAT A SAP!”  “WHAT A SUCKER!”  “HOW NAÏVE CAN YOU GET!”  Well, you do have to understand that not being the type of young men that frequented such establishments or associated with women that flaunted their sexuality in such a casual manner…we were overwhelmed.  It was for me a mind-numbing…knee-knocking…heart-thumping…toe-curling…spine-snapping…palm- sweating experience.  Sitting there knee-to-knee with this princess of sexual delight, I think we were all on a high…mommy wouldn’t have and daddy never did say that there would be a day like this!  If that wasn’t enough, two of the girls brushed their lips together and added fuel to our burning fantasy of our first rock and roll orgy.  Just like the devil he was, Ron thought that was the best time…the most opportune moment to produce the contract for the music and concert.  Though we were severely distracted and under much physical stress, we were not so far gone that we didn’t do a collective “WHOA!” and break out of our stupor and immediately focus on the document before us.

Demonstrating that we weren’t “born stupid”, we insisted on taking the document home for further review.  We then went back to our lusting!

The Devil and Rock and Roll Part 3

We took the contract to our local union office to have them look it over for us.  As paid-up union members, we thought we should take advantage of our member benefits.  Our representative looked it over for us and deemed it fair and detailed enough for us to sign.  He also added that if we filed it through the union they would provide us with legal support if Ron refused to pay us.  We had the protection of the union so we were all set, or so we thought!

Our next meeting with Ron was more of the same.  The only difference was that he had only the prettiest girls with him.  One of them was especially nice and though she flirted, she more or less came across like Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in “Scarface.”   She smiled and “cooed” a lot and even wangled a ride home, but we all knew would never see her again.  And we were cool with that.

After that we went to work on writing songs for the play.  They had given us an outline to use and off we went.  We came up with several good songs that had a “King Crimson” or Emerson, Lake and Palmer feel, a lot of reverb, echo, rotating speaker effects, synthesizer and percussion.  We also adapted some songs we had already written too.  These were straight ahead rockers and always got a great response when they were performed. 

As we progressed, something else was going on.  We never saw Ron again and the visits from the “Gang of Sixes” became less frequent as time went by.  Ultimately, they stopped all together.  We went to the union and they said there was nothing they could do.  Image that, after all of that “speechifyin” and “folderol” we were subjected to.  There is nothing they can do!  So in the spirit of those great “Andy Hardy” movies starring Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Lana Turner, we said “LET’S PUT ON A SHOW!”  And so we did.

The Devil and Rock and Roll Part 4

Since we decided to go on with the show it was up to us to make all of arrangements, secure contracts, place advertising, and sell tickets, etc.  It was fun, but not without a few trying moments.  Nerves got frayed, but we mustered on.  We, like anybody that ever had a dream, took it to the max.  We rented tympanis, a gong, and a melotron.   Jim even got a chance to use the theatre’s famous pipe organ.  I have the tapes of the two classic performances we gave that night.  Time has not been a friend to the audio quality of the tapes but the last time I listened to them I just closed my eyes and I was transported to a large concert facility in anywhere, USA and we were rocking it out!  I called upon every guitar god’s technique I had ever admired…Hendrix, Clapton, Jeff Beck and Ted Nugent of course.  But the best part was when we were asked to do an encore; the song we chose to play was “Louisiana Blues”, the Foghat version, but it was “Muddy Waters” nonetheless!

A few weeks after the show, we got a letter from Chris/666.  He said that he saw the show and that we had musically done exactly like he would have wanted it to be.  It was a piece of creative beauty because it had all of the elements his play would have required and that we had done well by our logo (hahahahaha).  Like I said, we never heard from Ron nor saw any of those girls again…not even in the entertainment weeklies.  It really doesn’t matter…it’s a nice story with a happy ending anyway!