“A heart is not complete…”


“…Unless it is completely broken.” Steve Perry

Words from a man who walked away from what some of his fans believed was his gift, his calling, but in making his decision he broke the hearts of many.  Then Perry returned and his fans learned he eventually found love, lost love and found his passion when his “love” made him promise not to go back into hiding. 

Many years ago I made a few silly videos where my character coined the desperate phrase, “Where are ya, Perry?” in search of the ever elusive Steve Perry former lead singer of the band Journey. In the videos I poked fun at why he left, where he could be and that I missed the way he sang and danced in circles on stage like a drunken puppy summoning the rain gods.  I had a few fans, people who loved Perry and probably thought if he saw my videos he would return.  I had, however, no idea what Perry was going through at that time.  Eventually, I moved on from making the videos, but I wondered why, when so many artists NEVER give up on what they love, why did Perry walk away?  Hip replacement, failed relationships, nothing, in my mind, warranted the man to simply leave, especially with the talent he possessed.

Photo credit: Columbus News

I had found online a huge and often-times fanatical Steve Perry and Journey fan-base, some of whom I met. These people are the most devoted, but especially to the ever elusive Perry.  I had no idea people were so into the guy!  I had penned a book draft filled with fans’ online testimonies of having seen concerts and their love for Perry and messages and just tons of heartfelt thoughts and cries from fans who wished Perry would return.  But, I gave up on publishing that book.  I am a fan, but I guess I am not that devoted, I figured if Perry didn’t want to sing again then that was that.

Photo credit: The Oakland Press.com

In my research I found that some of his fans did not give up like I did.  They are faithfully devoted to the guy, some with a longing to meet and even marry the man!  Some fans wish Perry would return to Journey as if his voice would register as it did when he was younger.  And some fans make a living being fans, rather, they turn their fan worship into a fan based-business that keeps them connected to Journey and Perry as associates, secretaries, business partners.  I had never before known such admiration, especially of a recluse like Perry.  But, he does have that beautiful voice!  And, I have to think back to when I was a little girl and the fanatical devotion I had for a beautiful black boy with doe-shaped eyes, a big afro and beautiful full lips and bell pepper shaped nose, who brilliantly sang and danced his heart out, the late Michael Jackson.  Oh, how I wished I could have married him and had 10 kids and become the Black Brady Bunch!  Of course as soon as poor Mike went from being the “King of Pop” to an unusual-looking, strange behaving recluse and a converted Caucasian with almost no nose whatsoever, well I just lost interest.  But, anyway, back to Perry.

Photo credit: Classic Rock History

I continue to be a fan of Schon and Perry and all the other Journey members, Valory, Cain and Smith.  And I occasionally see Mr. Schon when his son does venues here in San Francisco, they both treat me like they know me, that makes me very happy.  But, as for Perry, I stopped making my silly “Where are ya, Perry” videos and rightfully so at this point.  Steve Perry has returned to the spotlight and to singing, and most importantly to his PASSION.  And, he has opened up, literally bled out to his audience of his life, his loves, his losses and something I have lived with my entire life, depression, self-doubt, anxiety.  To be perfectly honest, I admire Perry for sharing his life with his fans.  I also admire that his new CD, Traces, is his way of letting his fans know through music that although he is in pain, he is willing to pull through with an open heart.  Good for Perry, as I call him.  I will not give a music review, I’ll just state that I enjoy all of the songs, although, two of them make me very, very sad and cry like a baby – won’t be listening to those songs on replay, sorry.  But, it is Perry’s voice that makes me very happy, I thoroughly enjoy hearing him sing.

Photo credit: Rolling Stone

I don’t know if I agree that “a heart is not complete unless it is completely broken,” but if a broken heart is what it takes to take a leap of faith, forsake fears and other issues, I am happy Steve Perry finally took that leap and I cannot wait until I have the courage to do the same.   Thank you, Perry!

Traces, 2018

“What I choose to (BE)lieve…”

I call myself a “writer,” yet I have no formal training, no strong resume and people do not know who I am, but I call myself a “writer,” have been writing since I was a teen.  I hate the idea of marketing myself and I struggle to get folks to notice me, actually I hate the idea of putting myself out there, but it must be done.   I am a WRITER, after all, who created a fiction novel and e-book that I think will be entertaining.

We all of us can be whatever we want.  We can call ourselves whatever we choose.  We can believe what we want to believe about ourselves.   All we have to remember is to STAND BY what we believe, stand by who we think we are and  stand by what we call ourselves.  As long as we aren’t hurting people, everything is fine.   That’s what I choose to do with my life right now, live without hurting people if I can help it.  From there the journey truly begins..   :c)

Look for my V-Blog #4 to be uploaded soon.  Cheers!

A coughing, wheezing rawkin’ night out with Schon and Company

Haven’t been on blog for a minute…busy with my mother’s book and with my planned journey to a new beginning.  It is long overdue that I set up house in a new location with new opportunities and new hope at FINALLY getting my life back on track.

I am currently about to sign with an agency that holds the Personality Rights to some of the celebrities my mother took pictures of in the 1950s in New York.  It is VERY daunting to contact the estates and agencies of these dead celebs by myself.  And it is very expensive depending on what type of product I require the rights for.  Personality Rights means, I am asking to be able to use an image of a celeb on a product I wish to sell.  Basically, I have to pay money up front for each celeb then give a percentage. I am going to start with greeting cards and hopefully work my way up.

In the meantime I am almost two years out of working a nine-2-five, but I am not too worried.  Well, not really.  I have worked very hard at thinking positive and trying my best to plan my future as best I can do.  Putting positive energy into the universe does not come easily to me, but it DOES work!  The more I rely on positive thoughts and I keep negative thoughts and negative people away I find myself feeling happier and much more at peace.  More on my move later.

Went out last night for the first time in awhile.  Actually, I should not have gone out as I am currently under the weather with a cold.  I had, however, promised to support this band, I try to support local bands as much as I can.  Usually I only support bands who perform in SF as I do not have a car or a means of being transported long distances.

Last night I hit up a supper club called, The Showroom on Van Ness Avenue.  Wonderful spot!  Saw the Miles Schon Band, his new cast of band mates perform mostly original songs!  I liked his other band with male lead, but I also like his current lineup, I danced all night to the offspring of some talented artists.  Miles is of course, Neal Schon’s son.  And the lead singer, Lara Johnston, is the daughter of Tom Johnston, guitarist for the Doobie Brothers.  Miles totally shreds on guitar, the boy’s got his pappy’s “chops.”  A very mature young man for his age, had a lovely talk with him while trying not to breathe too hard on the boy and give him my cooties!  And Lara Johnston’s voice reminded me a bit of Joss Stone with some Viveca Hawkins, singer for The Memorials and just a bit of the late Amy Whinehouse tossed in.  I mean that girl’s got pipes!  The keyboard player, drummer, and bassist whose names I neglected to get, were very exceptional in their solos.  I was very impressed, and it wasn’t the cold pills talking.  My big let down was that my phone cut off just as I taped the beginning of Miles’ solo tribute to Jimmy Hendrix’s “Fire.”  Well, of course my phone cut off at that point!  Had to, it’s Murphy’s damned Law!!

An extra treat for me was meeting two original members of Journey, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.  Neal is very friendly, I can always get a big smile out of him.  Actually I’ve met met Neal and Miles before.   Johnathan was a bit reserved,  but what a lovely man.  Keep in mind, I grew up listening to the Doobie Brothers and to Journey, Pat Benatar and such.  It was a treat indeed.

I even got a bit of  what I call my stupid spaz-fan banter with Mr. Cain who aged beautifully…

“Oh wow, this is the first time I ever met you, Mr. Cain.  Gee, do ya age at all, you look great!”  

“Well, I’ve got my father’s genes.”  He said.

“Oh yea?!  Well, of course you do, you look great!  Did I already say that?  Well, maybe I’ll take a picture with you after the show, you think?”  

“I have to catch a flight out of town in the morning.”

“Well, of course you do!  Hey, good luck to your daughter too, she’s a singer I think right?” 

The cold pill/Hot Toddy combo kicked in and I realize I was blithering and said to Mr. Cain…“Um, you know what…I’ll…catch…you…after the show and maybe…take a picture….”  And sauntered back to my seat.  I shuttered at the thought of meeting other talented artists I revere including Bonnie Rait;  India Arie; Jill Scott; and on and on.

After the show I took pictures then raced for the bus home with my trusty bus pass!  A good time was had, by me.  But, alas, I am still feeling under the weather, so I will sign off for now and probably return after the holiday and New Year.

Celebrate your holiday and New Year  with a  big ole flourish, and rejoice with a positive vibe in what’s to come! LDS

Me with Miles Schon and Lara Johnston

Me with Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi

Me with Jonathan Cain

NOTE:  Video is not the best quality, blame me and my celly,

but don’t let that reflect the performances which were in my opinion, stellar!

AL9zwpvt-u0    (Click link to see video)


“FALLEN DOWN, BUT NOT DESTROYED”

When I went back to college in the 1990s I was told I had to take English 214 or I could not graduate.

Taking an English class when English is one’s first language is slightly humiliating and not as easy as one might think.  I learned that Americans take way too much for granted, we think we speak and write English perfectly, only to find out, we don’t!  Plus, English teachers single out those who are English majors and those who are not, my major was Developmental Psychology.  I learned that unless you adored English or were exceptionally smart there was no way the teacher would give non-English majors an A or B.  I think I left college with a B- or a C in English 214.  But I passed.

I learned how elitist some situations in life can be.  This rings true in the literary world as well.

People like J.K. Rowling; Toni Morrison; Ann Rice; John Grissom; Steven King are in the literary world experts in their fields worthy of being recognized because they put forth the effort to major in writing or English lit.  Or, they had agents like Ms. Rowling to help them push their work.  Or, some of them had been published before they became famous, so they had credentials.  Good for them, but that leaves some of us artists out of the loop.

When I was an actor, I could not find work because I was not a working actress and I could not be a working actress because I could not find work.  That Catch 22 type situation bothered the hell out of me.  And it still stinks today.  People like Kim Kardashian who possess no talent, but is a celebrity because she has a marketing genius for a mother and because she hung out with noted people like Paris Hilton and Ray J to help her get seen, now has major endorsements going for her.  A real actor or singer who wants to be in the industry has to jump through hoops an hurdles to get over, but people like Kim can glide in on big booties and sex tapes.  How nice.  So-called author James Fry tricked Oprah Winfrey into thinking he was a literary genius, but his book was found to be a fake she later learned, should have said something to the industry.   He studied art, went to LA and became a screen writer and producer and director, got an agent, wrote  a book on alcohol and drug abuse, got it published, got on Oprah then revealed his book was a fake.  Okay, well then if those people can make it, a dyslexic, hearing impaired Psych major with no major writing credentials should get attention for my work, right?

I am on my fifth rejection from lit agents and publishers, yet none of them give me details as to why they don’t like my project.  Second, when you submit most of them prefer that you submit to them singularly which means you might have to wait a few weeks or a few months just to hear back from an agent or publisher one at a time.  How stupid is that?  You make people wait just to hear them say no?  Ridiculous.

Look, I know there is no easy way to getting “over” as the saying goes, but I am not a liar, I don’t hang out with noted celebs, nor do I have a sex tape and my booty is flatter than a one-egg pie.  I don’t subscribe to that old adage of it is “who you know, who you do, what lies you tell or how much money you have to pay your way in” it’s just not for me.

I think that when an opportunity presents itself someone with authority should listen, regardless of where that opportunity comes from.  Don’t discriminate because you never heard of the person or because the word count is too low or too high.  Simply look at what they presented, commend them for their efforts and even if you don’t accept their project hook them up with someone who might.

To all the publishers and agents out there who refuse to acknowledge fledgling writers all over the world, writers whose voices are rudely quieted…GET OVER YOURSELVES AND RECOGNIZE THOSE OF US WHO ARE NON-ENGLISH MAJORS!  DON’T BEHAVE LIKE SHORT-SIGHTED FOOLS!  Until then, I am moving forward with more queries, more submissions and more hope.  I am…

“…Fallen down, but not destroyed.”

Journey, song lyrics from the album Trial by Fire 1996

Tributes, Glee and me, oh my!

Pix courtesy of Fox Broadcasting

Okay, I am trying to wrap my brain around this “Glee” thing.  I had no idea musical television was such a big deal.  I think the last time I watched people sing on television was the Brady bunch kids on their own television show back in the 70’s.

No offense to the Glee actors and actresses for scoring employment and for being part of a phenom, but honestly I could not be bothered.  Not for the acting or the story lines, I am sure they are all wonderful.  I think it’s the musical renditions of music already recorded that reminds me of, well, of upscale Karaoke.  Here’s the thing…

Some of you out there don’t care if movies are remade or music is re-sung, right?  You simply like the song and don’t mind hearing it done by different performers.  But, for me it is not the song or movie I object to it is the feeling I had when I first heard and saw the work.

Example: when the 1976 film Rocky first came out it was during the country’s Bicentennial, so everyone was pretty patriotic.  I was in my teens and having a hard enough time dealing with growing boobies and boys not seeing me as the “tom boy” I thought I was.   Then there was Sylvester Stallone, who was at that time GOR-GEE-US!  I mean, the scene when Adrian first came to his apartment and he had his arms up and those biceps and…well, anyway…

And then the music, Rocky’s theme, well it just spoke volumes to how we were all feeling back then.  But, for me in particular I cannot replace the emotions of first seeing a guy on screen with big eyes, slanted smile, deep voice and fighting for his life, and I hate boxing.  And he opened this movie during a very patriotic time, well we all wanted Rocky to win, believe me!  My point, you just can’t replace those emotions.

Another example: Journey music.  Boy, I took such a ribbing when I was in college and all the house parties blasted AC/DC or Aerosmith or Black Sabbath.  When no one was looking and I got next to the record player I put on Pat Benatar or Journey.  Pat was fine,b ut as soon as “Anyway you Like It” or “Lights” or “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin”  by Journey came on, it of course was sung by the original lead, Steve Perry, someone would push me aside and scream, “That’s not making out music and it’s not raaaawk!!” And tghe record would be scratched right off the turn table.

The experience of Perry’s voice back then evoked such emotion that I cannot bring myself to listen to imitators or people who sing like him.  My intention is not to disrespect the other men who replaced Perry when he left to retire and watch Giants baseball games.  I just like what I like and I like it to stay the way it is.  I recently  saw a video of the Glee cast singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” and well…again, just not the same emotions as back then.

I guess for me once you put it out there, it’s out there and that’s it.  I am a creature of originality, no movie remakes, no song remakes, I am comfortable the way things are, no need to change it.  I can still support tribute bands or television shows like Glee, but  I also like the old style music without voice boxes and electronic devices or whatever they’re called.  I like old drums sets, old electric guitars and I like singers who sang without special machines to pump up their voices.   That’s just my 50 pounds of middle-aged  boobs & four miles of forehead opinion.

All the best to tribute bands  all over the world and to bands still working including Journey and my best to Glee.  I say, hey do what makes you happy.  For me?  Well, I lost my old record player and what records I still have are probably warped.  But, I have a CD player and  DVD player and I just rented Rocky and now I am about to listen to some old Journey music with Greg Rollie and Steve Perry.  Yeap, I’m old and set in my way.

Last thing…..happy Friday, all!