Sunday, May 24, 2015

What was your FIRST concert????







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Something reminded me of an old friend the other day who is unfortunately no longer with us. Some of you may recall his name,
Robert Nerenberg.
He was a cool dude and we hungout
from time to time through the years.


Oh yeah, what reminded me of him was that I was watching an episode of my new favorite guilty TV pleasure. A reality show called
"Bar Rescue".


It's a show similar to chef Gordon Ramsey's "Kitchen Nightmares" where he would save restaurants that were in distress.
It was a very entertaining program!


The Bar Rescue show has the same format, but only deals with bars and nightclubs that are going under. And the glue behind these amazing rescue's is a guy named John Taffer.
My new hero. LoL


Anyways, this one specific episode brought the Bar Rescue crew to a bar in Staten Island, named Rhythm & Brews.


Rhythm & Brews bar Richmond Road Staten Island, New York

It was once called Coaches and I believe Rhythm's before that. It's located on Richmond Road just down the block from the Berry Homes. It was then renamed "5th & Vine"
after the rescue.


5th & Vine bar Richmond Road Staten Island, New York

And it was in this bar, when it was Coaches back in the '90's, when I saw Robert for the last time before he passed.


It was really funny. I went there at the last minute to go see an Ozzy Tribute band play.


The show was really strong. The dude singing looked like tiny Ronnie James Dio, but had a strong powerful Ozzy-like voice. Good stuff.


I was hanging out right next to the guy running the soundboard and lights. I'd say some time into the fifth song, I glanced over at the sound guy, and thought to myself... "Man, I know this dude!"


And sure enough, it was Robert Nerenberg!
We haven't seen each other in years and
neither one of us recognized the another as we stood just 3 feet apart for 5 songs... LoL


It was really neat bumping into him. We had a few beers and laughs between sets and then went our separate ways after the show.


Well as I was watching the Bar Rescue show and remembering Robert, I thought of how many concerts that fucker had been to. During our growing up years he was by far the king of concerts. He never missed a show... any show!


Which then brought me to the thought of my own very first real concert. Thus sewing the seeds
for this blog entry!


I've listed that first show along with just a few other shows and ticket stubs. There have been SO many great shows over the years. I have a pretty decent size pile of stubs and memories, but, the real king of concert going, even beyond that of my friend Robert Nerenberg, is my brother Michael and his band of crazy friends! They never missed a show... any show... LoL
Awesome!


What was YOUR first show huh?????




My first concert was
Jethro Tull
Robin Trower
Rory Gallagher
at Shea Stadium July 23, 1976

Tommy Mondello's first concert. Jethro Tull at Shea Stadium July 23, 1976

Ronnie Gallo, John Newman and myself had the time of our lives. We were young, stupid...
and quite frankly... awesome!!

The journey began on a bus stop bench
across from the Bridge Tavern bar.
Which was right down the block from
our high school in Port Richmond.
The Bridge Tavern bar down the block from Port Richmond High School
The Bridge Tavern bar down the block from Port Richmond High School

From this point on... well...
let's just say that things happened... lolol
And we had one of the greatest
times of lives up to that point!
Ronnie and myself ended up lying on our backs, in the driveway across from the Van Name Ave brook (our hang out)...
The Van Name Ave brook... Staten Island, NY... one of our teenage hangouts

... completely drained from the days, and nights festivities, singing every Tull song we could muster up at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Pretty cool!



Emerson, Lake & Palmer
July 7, 1977 at Madison Square Garden

Emerson Lake & Palmer ticket stub July 7, 1977 Madison Square Garden

This was during the "Works" Tour.
Was an amazing show.
I remember Keith Emerson manhandling one of
his many synthesizers and having it land on him as he continued to play!
Keith Emerson on his back playing the fucking synth on top of him... too cool. Was a great show!




Ted Nugent
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Nov 10, 1977 at Madison Square Garden

Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd ticket stub Nov 10, 1977 at Madison Square Garden

Ted rocked our asses off as usual. We NEVER missed a show of Ted's or Aerosmith
when they came around!
Lynyrd Skynyrd did not play at this show.
This was less than a month after the band was involved in a plane crash during the tour and lost several of their band mates including their front man, Ronnie Van Zant.

(( And I just read something of interest
not too long ago while reading the
autobiography of Joe Perry from
Aerosmith. He said that their manager
turned down an offer to purchase
this very same plane. He had someone
give it the once over and they 
determined that the plane was a
piece of shit and an accident just
waiting to happen! And they passed on
the offer just months before the crash.
How fuckin' unbelievable right! ))   


Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash

The only bummer that I can remember about the night, was the fact that Ted never even mentioned Skynyrd or the crash. I guess that was by design, not to kill the mood... who knows.
Still love the Motor City Madman though!!



Aerosmith
Ted Nugent
Journey
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush
August 6, 1978 at Giants Stadium
Commercial spot for the show

Aerosmith, Ted Nugent ticket stub August 6, 1978 at Giants Stadium
Front cover to the program booklet for the show August 6, 1978
Back cover to the program booklet for the show August 6, 1978
Flyer for the show August 6, 1978

Great show!
This was only the 2nd concert ever held at Giants Stadium. Bruce Springsteen played the very first.
We missed the first 2 bands as we were drinking beers in the parking lot.

But I remember walking through the gates and onto the field and as we were pushing our way towards the stage we saw Ted Nugent climbing up onto the stack of amplifiers on the right side of the stage.

Then a roadie tossed him his guitar and seconds later he came leaping onto the stage playing "Just What The Doctor Ordered"... too cool!


Ted Nugent on stage at Giants Stadium August 6, 1978
Look at this awesome pic of my man Ted Nugent
on stage at Giants Stadium from that day... August 6, 1978!
We were to the left of the stage just beyond the photo.
Thanx to Richard Jallouk, who was also at this show, for sending me the pic!!
Look at how simple that stage setup is... LoL...
compared to the present day stages... wow!

Then Aerosmith came out blasting away to
"Helter Skelter"... again... too cool!



The WHO
September 17, 1979 at Madison Square Garden

The WHO ticket stub September 17, 1979 at Madison Square Garden

The band decided to tour after the release of "Who Are You" and the death of their madman behind the drum kit... Keith Moon.
Moon passed on September 7, 1978 and was replaced by Kenny Jones.

Here's a few minutes of the band in the
studio rehearsing for this 1979 tour
with Kenny Jones on drums.

As for the show, even though we lost our chance to see Moon perform live, was still as big as we hoped it would be. After all... it was THE WHO!

I remember Pete sliced his hand wide open while he was wind-milling during "Who Are You". The band kept playing and jammed until Pete returned during "Magic Bus".

Pete Townshend cut his hand while wind-milling... oh yeah!!

Now that's Rock 'n Roll muthafucka!

After Moon died I had an idea for a poster.
Him looking down from the clouds at the boys on stage with Kenny playing drums.

My idea for a Keith Moon poster



The WHO

Quadrophenia
July 21, 1996 at Madison Square Garden


The WHO Quadrophenia Tour ticket stub July 21, 1996 at Madison Square Garden

Just had to add this one!
A bunch of us went and sat in different sections. But me, my brother Michael,
Ronnie Gallo and his brother Alan sat in the same section on the floor, same numbered seats,
with another row between us.
Michael and Alan sat in row "Q"
while Ronnie and myself were in row "S"
with row "R" between us.

The 4 of us sang every word, to every song
of the Quadrophenia album start to finish out loud at the tops of our lungs like we were the ones who wrote the fuckin' lyrics... fucking exhilarating my friend.
Nothing short of orgasmic!!

By the end of the show, nearly the entire row "R" had bailed out and stood along the side railing/walkway... LoL

High fives all around!



There have been so many other earth-shaking concerts along the way.



How about you...
your first show...
a great memory
from a great show???




Still wanna rock??
Go check out...


New York/New Jersey...
The 1970's/1980's Rock Club Daze
Part 1: The Clubs



New York/New Jersey...
The 1970's/1980's Rock Club Daze
Part 2: The Bands



New York/New Jersey...
The 1970's/1980's Rock Club Daze
Part 3: The Ad's & Promotions











Friday, May 15, 2015

Bionic Ears




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Bionic Ears


I don’t know if it’s a blessing, or a curse.
But, I could hear Hop Sing pass wind from China, if I put my ear to the ground!


Hop Sing getting yelled at by Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) & Adam Cartwright (Pernell Roberts) for passing wind while still at the Ponderosa ... LoL


No really!
If he left the boys of Bonanza and the grassy rolling hills of the Ponderosa behind and headed back home to the Great Wall of China,
I'd still hear it!


I think I’m part wolf or something. Because I hear sounds, pings & pangs, rattles & rings that just annoy the fuck outta me, that most people don’t seem to hear. Or, at least they don’t let bother them, like a normal human being. LoL


C’mon, when you’re tryin’ to sleep or watch your favorite guilty pleasure on TV, dont'cha get distracted when you hear clocks ticking loudly, water endlessly dripping, or the worst one yet, the neighbors dog barking!


Well, I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but I can’t stand to hear anything so annoying as those things when I’m relaxing. And the bad part about it is that I hear it all.


Everything!


I’m fucking bionic boy!


I’m so loonie that I once returned two brand new, twenty-five inch televisions, because they made some kind of humming noise.
Retarded right!?


I brought the first one home, and set it up in the bedroom. It hummed, got thrown back in the box, and returned to the store.
It never had a chance!


Brought the second one home, it also hummed at me, and it also went for a ride. Came back from the store with a third brand new unit. Set it up, and of course, this fucker hummed
just as loud as the first two.


But by this time though, I was a beaten man. I just couldn’t get myself to drive back to that store. I now hated all Japanese people! LoL


Couldn’t they just build a television
without the fucking hum?
I’m glad Godzilla stomped
on their fuckin’ asses back in the day!
(before the flat screens became mainstream)


So... I am now currently living with a 25 inch humming television set in my bedroom that I wanna throw out the window on a nightly basis. (years back when I was married)


My only solace comes in the form of hope.
The hope that fuckin’ Godzilla comes back from out of the sea, and stomps on their tiny little Japanese penises once again!
Hear me roar!!


Godzilla coming back to do Tommy's bidding! LoL


Oh, I’m out there man!
I’m really out there somewhere.
Just Cosmo Kramer and myself!


Hey, don’t laugh.
You people are just as loonie as I am.
C’mon now, don’t you even sit there and tell me that when you’re sleeping on a blissful, sleepy Sunday morning, with the window wide open, that the 14 thousand chirping birds outside of said window doesn’t just make your asshole pucker with tension.


Then you’re a liar if you say it doesn’t.
And yes, indeed, your pants are on fire!!


Maybe it doesn’t tick you off for the entire morning. But I bet it definitely does when suddenly, for some odd reason, that first cheerful chirp penetrates the sanctuary of your silent slumber and lights the fuse leading to that tension-filled puckered asshole... LoL
I bet!!


Because after you’ve heard that first chirp,

it’s like taking your finger from the dyke,
or even taking that first piss
during a long night drinking beers.


Either way, the fluid is gonna fly, and the proverbial floodgates have now been opened my friend. And from that point on, you won’t be able to get those chicken-like chirping feathered fucks outta your head.


Now that you realize they’re out there and your urinary tract has been breached, it’s all over baby! Rise and shine, you nature lovin’ a-hole, you. It’s time to pee!


You don’t fool me.
I know you want to put a churning chainsaw to that feather-infested tree as bad as I do. Or even better, to grab a handful of rocks, and start taking those little bastards out one by one.


But save yourself the trouble. I’ve tried that, and it’s impossible to hit those little pricks. Wish I could say the same about my neighbor’s car! Ooops, sorry ‘bout that! I was aiming for the birds. Don't ask... LoL


There have been so many other annoyances that I've come across over the years, but I'll save you guys from them for now. And even though some moments at times have been nothing short of a symphony of distractions... LoL... there's still just one more... really, just one more moment...
that I have to share with you!


Thus far, the humming TV's and those silly birds truly have been nightmarish, but...

they can never hold a candle to what I'm about
to tell you. It's ridiculous, even for me!


And even though in my opinion it's not as bad as that dreaded "Common Senseless Microwave" breakdown, oh man, remember that!!??

It does come in a very very close second!


It happened while I was living with my brother Michael and his wife Dawn, in a two family home.



My ex Lynn and I lived upstairs, and well, this episode occurred during the middle of the night, when we were fast asleep.



With the emphasis on the were, fast asleep.



The neighborhood that we lived in on Staten Island was really quiet at night. So, sleeping with the window open was never a problem, usually!



But on this one particular night, the gods of noise rallied together, and sent their wrath

upon my heavenly slumber.


And that wrath came in the form of a cricket.

One little fucking cricket!


You would have been amazed at the amount of noise that this one little, sneaky, slimy

cricket made.


And this sucka was no dummy either.

He had more brains than most of the guys
that I worked with at the time!
And as it turns out, his I.Q. was even a bit higher than my own as well... LoL


Okay, here it goes.

As I said, Lynn and I were in bed watching some television. We set the timer on the TV, and eventually both fell asleep. Then, about an hour later, I found myself awoken by a strange sound coming from outside the window.


It was so bad that I had to get up outta bed, and walk towards it. I was just drawn to that damn sound as if it were Dracula, putting me under

a spell or in a trance.


Well, once I got to the window, I then realized that it wasn’t black-capped Dracula at all trying

to lure me into his dark demented world,
but rather it was a cricket.


A mutha F'ing cricket!

Looking back on it now, I would have preferred Dracula's trance instead!


And now that it, the sound, had my attention,

something had to be done about it.


So, with just a T-shirt on,

slightly torn underwear...
(oh be quiet will ya! I already got the girl)
... and a pair of sneakers,
I ran downstairs to kick some cricket ass.


At this point that fucker was goin’ a mile a minute, and was driving me insane. But, as soon as I got within about 15 feet of where the noise was coming from, he stopped.



That bitch knew I was comin’ to get him!



So, I just stood there for a few moments,

in hopes that he would start up again.
Oh my goodness, did I just say
that I actually stood there waiting!! LoL


He didn’t make a sound. Not so much as a peep. Well, not until I turned around, and went back into the house that is.



I was walking back up the stairs when I heard him start up again. That prick!



So back outside I ran to kill that sneaky bastard.



But, just like before, he clammed up when I got within 15 feet or so away. Man, I was dealing with a cocky cricket here. That bitch was laughing at me. I could just feel it.



This time I stood there for an entire 5 full minutes. Which is a very... very, long time when you’re standing there in just a T-shirt,

slightly torn underwear and sneakers,
at two o’clock in the morning.


But again, nothing.

Not one crick!
That prick.


I went through this comical routine yet again after that, with the very same results. And if I'm not mistaken, isn't that the meaning of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again,

while expecting a different result!!


Oh man, I was getting my ass kicked by a

fucking cricket!!!!!!!!!


My arch enemy... the crafty cricket!!

So, I finally gave up, and headed back upstairs.
I climbed into bed, got under the covers and cricket, cricket, cricket...........!


I couldn’t believe it.

This guy was simply unbelievable
and now truly my new-found nemesis!


But, he had no idea with whom he was dealing with. I was not going to just sit back, and let a fucking insect make a fool outta me! Lord knows I don’t need any help in that department.



So, it was now go time!

Let the games begin.


Once again, I climbed outta bed, slipped my sneakers on, and headed back downstairs.



Shhhhuu, I’m hunting kwicket!



Elmer Fudd hunting kwickets!


By the time I made it downstairs and out the door, I was fuming, and pissed off as all hell.

It was now 2:30 in the morning, and I was fighting a losing battle to a cricket.


It don’t get no worse than this folks.

I hope!


And with the score being 3 to nothing in the cricket’s favor, I had to make a drastic move.

It was the bottom of the ninth, 2 outs,
bases loaded, and we were down by 3.
You know that I was swingin’ for the fences
on this at bat!


Just like the previous 3 times, that big-mouthed mutha shut his trap, as I got within 15 feet or so. But this time, I didn’t let that throw me.



I tossed all logical thinking aside.

As if I ever had any to begin with.
It was time to get primal.


So, I just lined myself up at the beginning of the grass, and began stomping.



I stomped the entire length of that green patch which was about 30 feet in length,

by about 3 feet wide.


There wasn’t a blade of grass that didn’t now have an imprint of my size 10 and a half sneaker on it. I was taking no prisoners at this point. There was only room for one annoying lunatic fuck in this town, and that was me!



Someone had’ta go!

It was High Noon at the Mondello ranch...
... draw muthafucka!
Draw!


And as I took my last stomp, I listened,

and not a sound was heard.
Well, maybe the hum from that streetlight. LoL


But anyway, hold on a minute here.

I’ve been fooled by this very same silence
several times before.


So, I waited, and waited, and still, not a sound. But just in case, I waited sa’more. I stood there for about a good 15 minutes like a complete... and utter... retard.

With slightly torn underwear!


Suddenly, I was feeling pretty good about myself.



Could you image that!

Am I outta my mind, or what?
I actually just admitted to feeling good about myself for stomping 90 square feet of greenery
to death at 2:30 in the fucking morning
looking like an escapee from Bellevue.


Dude?

C’mon.


I finally decided that it was safe, and I returned to my crypt to complete my beauty sleep. Lynn was laughing and calling me a lunatic, of course.



But I didn’t even care.

Because I just hit a Grand Slam homerun, and kicked the shit outta that noisy little bastard!


I mean, I stomped that bitch to kingdom come!



Bottom line here was the final score.


Tommy the retard... 4!

Cricket... DEAD!


Oh YEAH!!



Don’t even try to rationalize my actions. You’ll only hurt yourself. Also, don’t think that these stories aren’t rubbing off on you people either.



You’ll see!



The very next time you hear a high-pitched
siren-like squeal causing your ears to bleed,
you’ll suddenly have a strange yearning to
disassemble a microwave.


Or maybe the wife and/or girlfriend will look down at your feet during a rousing romping session and begin cracking up with laughter as she realizes you're still wearing your socks... your black socks!



Or even worse, the next time you hear a cricket in the dead of night, you just might find yourself standing in your backyard, with nothing on but your slightly ripped underwear ‘n sneakers, stomping for dear life!



Welcome to my world mutha F'ers!

Welcome to my world!



Whoops, hold on…

I think Hop Sing's at it again.