My New Tattoo


  Facebook is a funny thing. After receiving my new tattoo, my girlfriend posted a pic of it on FB and it immediately started getting comments. Some loved it, some made cracks about its Hindu influence, and one even went so far as to remark that she 'hoped I wasn't going down that road, because it's a very dark place."

What surprised me the most was the fact that absolutely NO ONE bothered to even ask if there was any meaning behind it, or why I chose this art? Like I said, Facebook is a funny thing. So here you go, even though nobody seems to be interested, I'll explain my new tattoo nonetheless. 

 Brendan "Bo" Smith has been one of my favorite people ever since we first met in Cocoa Beach, Fla almost ten years ago. He has allowed the band to stay with him more than most, and there has never been a cross word between us. He's quiet, thoughtful and just naturally pretty damn cool. He also is an incredible artist, so when I heard that he was apprenticing to become a professional tattoo artist, I resolved right away that he would be the one to do my next piece. I gave him a photo of the old-school Powell Perelta Mike Vallely signature board, and told him to create his own version. When you have a talented artist working, I find it's best not to stifle them too much. This board art is so special to me because the very first time I saw it, at about ten years old, I immediately knew that I wanted to create art like that. Twenty-four years and a Graphic Design degree later, I still credit that piece as the first one to really get me excited about art.

 When he came back to me with the Hindu-inspired changes, I was skeptical at first. I have no religious affiliations whatsoever, and admittedly knew very little about Hindu culture, other than the fact that I loved their art. So I did what any man of the new millennium would do: I googled Ganesh. Turns out that he's the Hindu deity for music and artists! Go figure. So of course I was sold after that, and two 5-hour sessions and a lot of blood later, and presto, it's on there for life. Thanks Bo, it's a brilliant work of art, and it makes me happy every time I see it!

If anyone is interested, Brendan Smith works at Low Tide Tattoo ( in downtown Melbourne, Florida. 


My Argument for Saving Rock


Rock and Roll wasn’t born in a major-label research facility. They would have you believe that 16-year-olds with straightened hair and overly-supportive parents have always been the creative force behind rock, and that all the studies and demographic calculations prove they are right.

Of course, in reality we all realize that this is completely wrong, and a little insulting. Rock was born in the fields of this country. It began as the blues, and it was a manifestation of the hardship of the working man, and yes, in many cases, the slaves. Many would happily forget about this early chapter in American history, but I am of the firm belief that to deny it is to deny the thing which makes us who we are today. The music, the culture, the art and the cuisine of that era were the reaction to extreme poverty and toil, and they will always shine as a beacon of resilience and the power of artistic expression to me. In fact, it seems the best art, music and food usually come from the downtrodden masses, and not from high society who have every advantage at their disposal.

Rock came from the juke joints in the South, it came from men and women who worked their fingers to the bone every day, just so they could rush to their nearest music house and dance the night away. Now it’s simply been reduced to its lowest common denominator: its ability to make money. It is truly a dark time for the force. Music and art programs are being cut from schools left and right; music venues are dying out as a result of police presence and DUI laws. Radio, (which was once the titan of new music) has sold itself to the highest bidder. Money is tight everywhere and creativity and self-expression are at a new low. If you buy a new AC/DC album, you’ll be buying it through Wal-Mart. Wow. How did we ever let it get this far. Don’t we realize what we’re losing? Don’t we realize that we are actively choosing to resign ourselves (and our children) to mediocre lives filled with Happy Meals and Justin fucking Beiber??

Just as metal killed disco, I suppose it has to get worse before it gets better. But please, don’t let good, original live music die. Don’t let local cuisine, art and culture die either. The spirit of the people who created these traditions and songs and recipes also created this nation and their legacy deserves more respect.

Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this, it’s just getting a little scary out there and I think we all need to do what we can to preserve what little of our heritage that we have left. Long live good art, good music and good food. That’s all I’ve got.


Clayton's Log: Stardate 4/27/12 - Spring Tour


Hello again, my loyal literary companions. As I type, I am perfectly content.
Having arrived home yesterday after our grueling Nationwide tour, I promptly took an hour-long shower and collapsed on my bed a la "Almost Famous" and slept for a good 10 hours. Then I awoke, hugged my dogs, kissed my lady and promply ate a steak that would have fed a small eastern-European village...


Clayton's Log: Stardate 4/26/12 SPECIAL SPRING TOUR BLOG INSERT


I had to skip a really awesome part of my narrative because it doesn't have too much to do with the shows, and yet it truly deserves its own blog.
During most of our stay in Southern California, we bunked up with a good friend of Bobby's from Atlanta...


Clayton's Log, Stardate: 4/23/12 - Spring Tour


And now for a good story. You see, we had yet another cancellation in Bakersfield, California on Saturday, April 14th. I tell ya, sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade...


Clayton's Log; Stardate: 4/22/12 - Spring Tour


*As I write these next lines, it is early morning in Denver and I am high off my rocker after repeated uses of the Cypress Hill vaporizer given to us by Silver Surfer Vaporizers last night at our show in Colorado Springs. Just warning the reader ahead of time. (Whew, that was a mouthful.)(Hehe that's what she said.)(I've gotta stop overusing parentheses.)...


Clayton's Log, Stardate 4/21/12 - Spring Tour


Presently,I'm sitting in a green room (actual color: slate blue) at the venue in Colorado Springs and I've finally got a few hours of down-time while the other bastards do laundry down the street. So I reckon I'll fill all you readers in on the next leg of our great cross-country adventure...


Clayton's Log: Stardate 4/20/12 - Spring Tour


Ah, folks, what can I say about this tour that hasn't already been said about the movie Titanic? We've laughed, we've cried, there's been adventure, violence, romance and always the outside chance that we'll all end up stranded in the ocean, (figuratively) clinging to a barn door...


RSS feed