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The haphazardly updated goings on of Overtime, at told by Potch
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Tales Of A North Jersey Cover Band
Dipper's, Part 1
Dipper's, Part 2
The Story Of Overtime
Everybody Must Get Stone'd
Getcher Freak On
Adventures Of A Band At A Home Town Bar on A Friday Night In October
The Greatest Quips
Dad
A Post 9/11 Fairy Tale
New Yorker's Attitudes
The Fight Sequence
When Did Musical Ideals Sell Out?
Pledge Of Allegiance
Food For Thought, Kids...
Edward S. Potcher
My Rant On The Death Penalty
Friends
Growing Pains
Fat Bastard
The REAL Superman
9/11
Fat Bastards Go Home...
It's Not Funny Anymore, Assholes
Tales From The Not All That Distant Past
The Proposal
What Christmas Is All About
2002 Recap
Lucky Man
I Want This Job...
When Super Science Mingles With THe Bright Stuff Of Dreams
Random Thoughts
More Random Thoughts
Bring The Boys Back Home
The Courage Of His Convictions
Since When Does Speaking Your Mind Warrant Being Un-American?
Blame Fogerty?
Fuck Falwell!
Decided LACK Of A Gift For The Obvious
A Few Thoughts
George And Samuel L. Discuss The Next Star Wars Movie
Waitresses (To Tip Or Not To Tip)
The Divine Gift Of Inspirado
Oh Captain, My Captain
300 Wins, 4,000 Strikeouts and Tight Pants
The Dude Abides
Theory On God, Man And Hypocracy
The Varied Reviews
Mummy, Spidey & Mullholland
Goodbye, Dr. Green
Friends Season 8 Finale Rant
Attack Of The Clones Review
New Chili Peppers Album
Broken Axl
Sad Songs
VH-Scum
Fuck CMT And Misinformation
Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai
Psychos In Love: The Play
Shameless Plugs
Some Blogs To Check Out
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Friday, August 30, 2002

Broken Axl

I'll preface this by saying that I detest MTV. I can't stand the corporate golem that it has become, having more shows (having nothing to do with music) than music itself, single-handedly bullying the music business and our teens with their expendable cash into whatever trend they decide upon. They have brought on the current litany of "Style over substance" acts out there. I mean, when a musical genius like Ani DiFranco gets ignored in favor of N'Stync and the Backdoor Boys, popular music is in shambles.

But there I was, watching this hated channel last night.

Okay, It had as much to do with being brought up ON MTV as anything as to why I still subject myself to this crap year in and year out.

Last night, MTV had thier Annual Video Music Awards. Sadly, I watched all 4 hours of it (Pre and Post show).

Now, my problems with the evening began during the red-carpet preshow. They had this pre-pubescent moron Gideon Yugo (Yeah, I know it's Yago, but he's as disposable as the Yugo, so...) interviewing The Strokes and Moby. He asked the singer of the Strokes one question and before he was done answering, Gideon cut him off and asked Moby a question. Moby, in his typical "I'm not really comfortable with fame" schtick, took FOREVER to answer, and Yago decided to ask him more questions. Eventually, the Strokes tired of being ignored and actually went to answer FOR the chrome-domed one. A bad, bad job of interviewing, completely ignoring a whole band to talk to a much less charismatic single person. I rolled my eyes and dug in.

I knew it was gonna be a long night...

The show opened with Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band in from of the Museum of Natural History playing "The Rising". They played it fine, but the mix was bad and you couldn't heard the guitar or the bass, let alone Clarence's sax solo at the end.

Then they cut back to Radio City Music Hall to Jimmy Fallon (who I simply CAN NOT stomach) dressed as Eminem-dressed-as-Robin and rapping new words (relevant to the show) to Em's "Without Me". Cute. Then he also went on to spoof The Dave Matthews Band's "Everyday," Avril Lavigne's "Complicated," a song by Nelly, the White Stripe's "Fell In Love With A Girl," and Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" (which, I admit, I howled with laughter as he donned that stupid wool cap and a HUGE beauty mark....). He finished up by "going to church" with a gospel choir, with a little help from James Brown.

Now... This all would have been a little bit better had... He LIP SYNCHED... He spent the whole medley gasping for breath and barely able to get the words out, and usually he was saying them so breathlessly, you couldn't understand a word he said.

Look, Jimmy... People criticize REAL singers for lip-synching because it's Cheesy. YOU'RE NOT a real singer... No one would have faulted you for pre-recording the bit and then lip-synching. (The only people who might fault you would be Ellen DeGeneres and Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg, who all have done the exact same thing you did last night, and all did it WAAAAY better.)

Then Brittney Spears comes out in a leather bondage outfit that probably had thousands of middle aged men whipping it out and spanking it... Until Michael Jackson comes out and causes a sudden case of blue-balls for all of them.

Just a sad note... Mikey's face just keeps disappearing. Last night was his 44th birthday and he looks like a 44 year old corpse. I'm renaming him Skeletor.

Well, no big surprises in the award themselves. Pretty much, if you performed and were nominated for ANYTHING, you won. (Typical MTV ploy, "Hey, if you preform, you'll win an award...")

The acts were...

Well...

Pink was pretty damned good doing her latest single, "Like A Pill". She also looked AWESOME! Check it out...



Nas, Ja Rule and Ashanti (God, three of the biggest musical whores out there... Was the a song they WEREN'T on this year?) were... Ehhh...

Shakira was pretty decent doing "Objection." (That girl can freaking MOVE... DAMN!)

P. Diddy came out and did a... Medley? No, a medley is a group of songs that all go into each other, without stopping... Puffy did like six songs... PIECES of six songs... He had help from a large group of dancers, Busta Rhymes, Usher and a little white kid in catchers equipment... No, I don't get it either...

Then there was the Hives and the Vines in a "punk off."

Okay, I like the songs I have heard from these bands. BUT... They ARE SOOOOOO NOT punk. They are more like the rebirth of New Wave.

As for their performance... What they lacked in talent and quality and tightness, they made up for with their angst and energy. But personally, I can't understand why you had these two bands play and have the Strokes sit in the audience...

I guess because the Strokes would have likely blown them off the stage.

In the uncomfortable moments of the night: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog ragging on Moby while sitting on his shoulder, then trying to talk to Eminem who tells him, "I've done my camera time..." Wow... That was... Blatant...

Then Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth both talking over each other and throwing slight insults at each other... And Dave asking Sammy what his favorite Linkin Park song was, Sammy saying, "I don't know any..." And then having to give them the award they were presenting...

Or Christina Aguilera having to give an award to Eminem (who has trashed her in song)... His only acknowledgement of her presence when he said "Thanks" when she gave him the award...

Or when Jimmy Fallon told ANY jokes... (There was simply no laughter...) For example, telling everyone that there had been an emergency backstage, that Fat Joe had eaten an Olsen twin... Then they cut to Joe sitting there, not even cracking a smile... Look, from what I can tell, Fat Joe is a pretty decent guy. Why bust on him?

Or, after Michael Jackson get the "Artist Of The Millenium" award (read as "simply a ploy to get more star power on our sorry excuse for a show"), Jimmy walks out with the same award and says they're giving them out for free backstage... Then saying, "Hey, Michael looks good for 44, but I think he's had some work done..."

I can't stand MJ as much as anyone, but what did Jimmy Fallon ever do that can warrant his slamming Mikey like that? Try that after you have a career, dumbass.

Or the fact that Mikey was there, and so was his ex, Lisa Marie Presley-Cage...

And then, Eminem calling Moby a "little Moby girl," while accepting an award. As the crowd started booing, he looked at the crowd and said, "Keep it up, I got no problem punching a man with glasses..."

Some would call this career suicide, for Em, it was another day at the office.

Then, there was the big moment of the night, the big surprise for us all...



Guns N' Posers... Uhh, Roses...

Man, I loved these guys when I was 18! I thought they were gonna be the next Led Zeppelin (provided they didn't OD first...)

But... This WASN'T GNR... This was the ultimate GNR cover band. This was the latest incarnation of Boston. This was Floyd going out without Waters. This was all those old time rockers going out with only one member of the band left.

Only worse than all of them...

They replaced Slash and Izzy with three guitarists. On, Buckethead, is SUPPUSED to be phenomenal. He did nothing to impress me at all. He just stood the with a rain slicker, a white mask, and a KFC bucket on his head. Check out the new fashion!

Another guitarist looked like a reject from Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, and the third, a reject from the New York Dolls.

And then there was Axl...

Axl... Axl... Axl...

How the mighty have fallen...

Wow!

He's put on considerable weight, he's has plastic surgery, he has braided hair...

AND HE CAN NOT SING ANYMORE!!! I couldn't even tell you how many times his voice cracked, went off key or just gave out...

And he's running all over the stage, huffing and puffing like Jimmy Fallon did. Obviously out of shape, voice in tatters, I can't BELIEVE after ten years of nothing, THIS is what he chooses as his comeback.

Not no mentioned the terrible segues from "Welcome To The Jungle," to some never heard before song, to the ending of "Paradise City."

Axl wasn't ready, the BAND wasn't ready. It was terrible. It was a sad, sad joke.

And I feel justified in saying this because I sawthe real fucking thing at Giants stadium (with Faith No More and Metallica) back in `92. No comparision.

Then all the idiots working for MTV are all creaming themselves with, "OHMYGODGUNSNROSESISBACKTHATWASSOFUCKINGAWESOME!!!"

Kiss ass corporate fools. I would have LOVED just one guy to stand up and say, "I saw'em ten years ago... Sorry to see how bad they've become..."

Iann Robinson and Gideon Yugo couldn't stop sucking Axl's ass as they cooed (yes, actually cooed like little girls) over the performance.

You know what... I say this every year, and every year I was wrong, but I am done. Through. I can not stomach another show like this one. Easily, the WORST VMA's EVER. I mean, when even Anthony Kiedis is unfunny and uncool looking, you know SOMETHING is wrong...

Lee 8/30/2002 11:54:00 AM [+]


...
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Growing Pains

I wrote the following as a reply to something Wil posted over on WWDN. Above is the link for the article I am referring to.


Welcome to thirty, Wheaton!

That glorious age of life reassessment, questions and the search for answers.

It's called growing up. =o)

It sounds to me like you've gone through what about 95% of artists of any kind go through, the big "realization" that you've peaked.

(Now, I say this sincerely hoping that you HAVEN'T and that Wesley Crusher, Borg Queen will one day be a major motion picture for you)

It's that realization that ballplayers have that they're never gonna be Derek Jeter or Terry Bradshaw or Larry Bird or Wayne Gretzsky.

Or the artist who realizes that they are never gonna be Andy Warhol, or the writer who will never be Poe or even Stephen King, the musician who will never be Bob Dylan or Public Enemy.

Or the actor who realizes he will never be Tom Cruise.

Then it all boils down to one thing. How much do you love it?

And in most cases, I think you'll find people making the same decisions you did.

Family matters more. Friends.

So you look to be able to make money, ANY amount of money doing something you love. Just to justify it.

Ball players go to the minors, or coach.

Artists teach art. Writers freelance articles, or maybe write just for themselves and their friends.

Or, perhaps, like a friend of ours, they become a playwright.

Me, I'm a musician. I gave up on the dream of "making it" about three years ago.

But, now I play almost every weekend in a mostly cover band. I make pretty decent money doing this. It is helping to support my family while my wife is interning this year.

You (quite rightly) took an acting gig to help support your family. You're making money doing something you love.

Now, some people (mostly, those who haven't gotten to 30 yet, I assume) might say, "Hey Wheaton, you sold out, you bitch!"

Hell, I've had people say that to me about being in a cover band.

But you know what?

Fuck'em.

If they don't want you to sell out, tell THEM to paying your frikkin' bills.

You're doing something you enjoy and you're getting PAID to do it. This is a dream to most people! Anyone with a problem with you doing so, is probably jealous.

And real quick, I've noticed something about the big "realization..."

It has an odd way of making things happen.

In the last two years, my band has recorded two cds (one covers and one all original), gotten gigs in Hoboken (the hottest town for bands to play in in Jersey), AND been played on the radio.

I decided to "grow up" and stop chasing the brass ring, and oddly enough, in a small way, it instead rolled right on up to me.

I may never be a big rock star, but I am already further along than I ever dreamed.

Maybe, in making the same decision, the same will happen to you, Wil.

Anyway you slice it, you got a pretty loyal bunch of us who will come on out and see whatever you DO appear in.

Peace, dude!

Lee 8/27/2002 01:25:00 PM [+]


...

You Just DON'T Get Much Rarer Than This

Okay folks, Potch here caught a rarity the other day. In fact, it may have been a once in a lifetime occurrance of the odd.

And it happened right here in lovely New York City.

Friday afternoon, I was on the N train heading downtown To Penn Station to go home. The ride was unevenful until the train stopped at 42nd Street and a gentleman got on the car.

An albino.

Okay, not so rare. Nothing freaky. But not quite an everyday occurrance. You tend to notice these things, like you notice someone missing a limb or having a very bad hair day. You're not being mean, or bigoted, it's just something outside the norm, so you notice it.

So this albino gets on the car. But not just any albino, but a negro albino. I had never seen this before and admit I probably stared a little too long. I diverted my attention elsewhere and forgot about it. The car stopped at 34th Street and I got out and headed upstairs and out onto 34th itself.

And there I saw another albino.

And i said to myself, well, this is pretty freaky, maybe it's the same guy.

But it wasn't, this albino was an Asian.

So, in the span of about three minutes, I saw two albinos (rare in and of itself), but neither were causcasian (even rarer) and I've never seen an albino before that wasn't a caucasian.

So how odd it that?

No real point to the story, just wondering if anything like this has happened to anyone else before?

Lee 8/27/2002 12:23:00 PM [+]


...
Thursday, August 22, 2002

Friends

Okay, I got inspiration to write this article from reading this essay by my buddy Roughy. And, since I've only been a member of the UE crew since late April, I found out about by reading this top 10 list by my buddy Rob Matsushita, playwright from Wisconsin. Whines a lot.

(Hey, I took that line from his own damned website, okay?)

I really like the guy. He's one of the most genuinely hilarious people I have ever met. Turns out he's a pretty damned fantastic writer as well. And, oddly enough, I have more good memories of him from high school (even though we only went to HS together for that year-and-a-half that I lived in Montclair) than I do from some guys I went to Kindergarten through eighth grade with. I always just called him Rob, but now think of him as Bobby The Mat, sometimes... Or Matsu...

In short, I haven't seen him in fifteen years, but I talk more to him online than I do most people in person. He's good people.

I had four other friends I'll mention from that short time in Montclair.

1. Chris Baker - He and Rob were like the Dynamic Duo. Together, they were fall-down, piss yourself funny. Alone, each was pretty damned hilarious as well.
2. Vinnie Maffuci - The most popular kid in school, even as a freshman it seemed. Everybody knew and liked Vinnie.
3. Damon Weber - Drum prodigy. Seemed okay...
4. Scott Geller - From the rich neighborhood. Didn't have much in common. My first friend in Montclair, and quickly my first ex-friend in Montclair..

When I moved back to Maplewood, going to Columbia high school, I had a circle of friends. Some old, some new. There was:

1. Blair Tilley - My best friend.
2. Fred Zilliox - My other best friend, and my oldest friend.
3. Rich Jones - Our drinking buddy and general card.
4. T.J. Donohue - An old friend who became a best friend in high school.
5. Brad Goodwin - A new friend, through T.J.
6. Josh Burke - Another new friend.

I called us the Magnificent Seven.

Which is pretty funny, because by high school standards, every guy I just mentioned, excepting Vinnie, was a "loser".

We were not the most fashionable, we didn't play sports (well Josh was on the swim team, but...), we weren't all the most hygienic, outgoing, sane, wealthy, etc.

Most of us came from good homes and loving families. Most of us had been loners at one time.

We took comfort in each other by being friends. We'd make fun of the popular kids.

And each other.

Hell, we had the material, God knows we heard it from enough other people.

Now, here's something for you to chew on, swallow, pass through your lower intestine and crap out.

I still have contact with all but three of them. And would count five of them among my closest friends.

Now.

Thirteen years after I have graduated.

At age Thirty-one.

I still have five of my closest friends from high school among my closest friends now.

Who does that?

My best friends are still Blair and Fred.

Blair I have known since seventh grade. We have called him through the years: Atomic Furball, Chewie, R & R, Blur, Hair, and Vest of Hair. He plays bass guitar in our band, Overtime. His mother let me live at his house for junior & senior year, so I wouldn't have to switch schools again when my mom moved for the fourth time in 2 years. He has helped me on almost every move I have had to do, he always is there to listen to me whine, he gave me a floppy drive when mine broke down. GAVE.

And, though most see him as quiet, He is one of the more insightful people I know. Invariably, he has this ability to cut through the bullshit and tell it like it is. You know, the side you're too stubborn, stupid or blind to see.

Fred, I have known since Kindergarten. He is the guy I like to call The Concert Dude, or Derf (Fred backwards). He used to be afraid to go out at night, even when he got his license. He would have to do homework or work for his Eagle scout badge. Then, we got him out a few times, introduced him to my little friend, Bud (Weiser), and he became a party animal. He has an encyclopedia-like mind when it comes to music, possibly due to his 1000+ cds and 700+ concerts. He has also helped out with almost every move I have ever had. He is a funny guy.

And I'll admit, at 6'5", he's a big guy, and maybe he doesn't look like Brad Pitt, but he is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He's loyal and devoted to his family and friends.

T.J. I have known since about second grade. T.J. has been called: Thomas, Teej, T-Bird, Tom, Uncle Milty, Doc Graybo & Milt. We always got along, I think, because we are a lot alike. We both are overweight, always have been, both with dark hair and brown eyes. We both read, like the Yankees, played D & D, like movies, are interested in sci-fi, like classic rock, and play instruments. T.J. was the drummer in our first band, Time Rider, and stuck with us through The Vigilante Cowboys, Tempest, The Milttones and was the drummer in Overtime for three years.

T.J. and I always could find something to talk about; sports, TV, movies, Star Wars, Star Trek, anything. I would have to say, to this day, T.J. is the easiest friend to converse with that I have. We almost have to be pulled apart by our wives when we get going.

Then there is Brad. Brad has always been called... Brad. He's the normal one. He actually looks like he doesn't fit in with us (possibly due to his thinness). I always kind of wondered why Brad was stuck hanging out with us, I mean he's blonde, blue eyed, came from a wealthier family than all of us, but he still hung out with us.

And I realized, it was because he liked us. Because in us, he found real friendship. And likewise.

And that's kind of my whole point.

We were called "losers" in high school. All of us.

Hell, we even took to calling ourselves that for a while, like a badge... Or a letter. An "L" on the forehead.

But how much are we really losers? I can say right now, that I can count Blair, Fred, T.J., Rob & Brad as good, close friends... (Okay, well I haven't seen Rob in a long time as he lives in fucking Wisconsin, but...)

I am glad that I found Rob on the internet a few years ago. He was someone I was truly sorry to say I lost touch with.

I also, thanks to the web, have been found by another old friend, Mike Lacey. Mike is one of the more unique personalities you'll EVER meet. You certainly never forget him. Check out the link to see his website, and you'll understand. (I keep trying to talk him into his own blog for the site, but...)

Then there's Danny Wade, Overtime's drummer and a friend since second grade. (Funny, I met both of the drummers I would play with the most in my life in second grade...) Danny is a no nonsense guy who will tell it like it is and not beat around the bush. He is one of the most focused, dedicated and loyal people I know. He also has a knack for mimicry and he keeps us in stitches by imitating... Well... Us...

Then there's Tom Gesior, a guy I've been friends with since first grade who recently popped back into my life. We used to have these monster pillow fights in my house. And I'm not talking like a girls slumber party pillow fight, either. He had this light pillow that he would swing fast as lightning and hit me like thirty times with before I could raise my arm to strike. And what did I strike with? I had four pillows sewed together into one fifteen pound monster of a pillow. I'd hit him once to his thirty hits, but my hits would take him off his feet and make him airborne...

He wants a rematch now... =o)

Then there's Darren O'Rourke, the Road Manager for Overtime. I'm still getting to know Darren, but I can say this... The man knows how to have a good time. Also, being the only single guy in the band, we kind of live vicariously through his... Uhh... Exploits. "There I was, strapped to the hood of a Chevy Impala, motor oil all over my pecker when she mounted me..." WHOA! =o)

Then there's Rusty from Rockerdown, who gave me my first opportunity to branch out with my writing. Rusty's a pretty cool guy with musical tastes similar to mine and a penchant for brushes with the law...

And Roughy and T-Dawg over at UE, for adding me on as a reviewer. Roughy, the guy who runs UE and is always willing to chime in with a well thought out opinion (Except when he called me an Uber-Patriot... I just don't get that...) and T-Dawg, the man behind the scenes working his tail off to keep UE up and running.

And all the great new people I have met and became friends with on those two great sites, like: Pope Buck I who is a close friend of Rob's who is pretty damned funny himself, Kendoka a great young lady who can do a killer Pincess Leia impression and thwack tummy with her Kendo, the lovely Miss Bronwyn (how cool of a name is that?), Mr Spock who is a very cool, well spoken... Lady, Shredder who is always up for a good round of paint ball with William Farking Shatner, Shell a great lady who I play six degrees of separation with via e-mail, the ever opinionated (yet loveable) Bobbo, frequest commentor JsC, TJ another on going for frequent commentator miles, Vickie who I recently found out shares with me a love of the band STYX, and, perhaps the strangest of them all, for me, Media Yenta, who I actually went to Montclair High School with, but who I didn't know back then.

And, lest we forget, television's own Wil Wheaton.

My circle of online friends...

So there they all are, my friends.

Oh, and one more...

Sheila Potcher, my wife.

My reason for waking up every morning and not saying, "Fuck it, I'm going back to bed..." My confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my gossip sharer, my truly better half.

She makes me smile just walking in a room, and eases my mind just talking to me. She's good at what I am not and is a great teacher. (Anyone who ever saw what a mess my room was in the old days can attest to that...)

So there it is; me, a loser in high school (who always wore jeans and ripped red tee-shirts... Look out ladies, I'm en Fuego!) who got the homecoming queen and class valedictorian all in one shot.

And I shagged her rotten, baby! Yeah!

To all my friends, thank you all for your patience, understanding, compassion, humor, stubbornness and friendship. I can only hope that you feel the same way about me that I do about you, for without you all, life would be that much emptier, that much sadder, that much quieter and that much lonelier.

Peace.

Lee 8/22/2002 02:16:00 PM [+]


...
Monday, August 12, 2002

Potch's Rant On The Death Penalty (Courtesy Of Rockerdown)

This is taken, verbatim, from my rant on the death penalty over at Rockerdown

Folks, let me preface this debate between Rusty and I by saying that we all come from very different backgrounds, and each of us forms our view of the world through only our own eyes. My life experiences are different than Rusty's, that is why we have different opinions on things.

One of them is regarding the death penalty, so I decided to post here my view, with a rebuttal by Rusty.

I am for the death penalty. Rusty is not.

And both of us have legitimate reasons for having these opinions. Here's mine.

Let me start by saying that I don't think anyone can truly have a real opinion on the death penalty until someone you know has been: a) murdered, b) convicted of murder or is facing a trial for murder.

That being said, I believe Rusty and I both qualify to have what I have just deemed as real opinions. (Not to say Joe Somebody can't have his own real opinion, but I would say he just doesn't truly understand it, from either side)

When I was 15 years old, I got a call one Tuesday night in August of 1986. The person on the other line asked for my mother. I put her on and went back to my room.

Three minutes later, she ran in my room and told me to get dressed, we were going to University Hospital in Newark. My father had been shot.

That was all we had. Didn't know if it was a robbery, and argument, where he was shot, how bad he was, if he was still alive. Nothing.

We flew to the hospital as fast as possible, arriving about a half an hour after the call.

I pray you never have to have a half an hour like that in your lives.

We arrived at the hospital and Ricky Barth, a Maplewood police office who I have known my entire life met us at the door. When he asked us to sit down, I knew that my worst fears were true.

My father was dead.

Six gunshot wounds. Three pointblank to the head, one to the arm, two to the chest.

He survived almost an hour after this all happened. He tried to speak, but nothing came out. Every cop on the Maplewood force (who all knew my father, a local pizzeria owner) was at the scene as fast as possible. He was found in a pool of blood by his delivery guy, Andy, who had gone through high school with my dad. They knew each other twenty years.

His body was in a trauma room if I wanted to see him.

I said no, as the visual could be no worse than what was going through my head at that moment.

We were asked to go to Police HQ. On the way home, was actually (stupidly) passed the pizzeria (I guess out of habit.)

There was a large pool of blood on the floor where my father had lain.

When I walked out of the hospital, I wanted vengeance. I wanted to hunt down the person who did this to my father and kill them, personally.

And all I kept asking, over and over again, was why?

Why did this happen to me and my family?

Within a year, I found out all...

My father was doing as well as dealing drugs from a guy who was in prison.

Hello first role model of my life, your image of superman is shattered forever.

The guy in prison knew that my father knew the entire Maplewood Police force. He was unsure if my father was legit, and was afraid of being turned in. So he turned to a guy who was about to get out. He was a coke-head who wanted a fix. The dealer hired him for $2,500 to kill my father.

So he did. He walked in that August night, ordered a pizza, had a slice, waited for the delivery guy to leave, then shot my dad three times with a silenced pistol. He then walked over to him and shot him three times in the head to finish the job.

He then ran out the back door. Andy returned in a few minutes and found my dad.

They had no leads.

Until a guy in the Bronx gets picked up for armed robbery. He is a repeat offender and about to go back to jail for the long term stretch. He tries to plea bargain his way out.

"What's worse, if you kill somebody for someone or if you hire someone to kill someone?"

The cops told him hire.

He agreed to bring them to a place where a murder was committed the year before.

He brought them to Jack's Pizza... MY pizzeria.

The Maplewood cops were present and almost shit a brick. No leads, and here the guy was giving them everything.

Turns out, he was hired to kill my father by this guy in prison. The cops give him a one shot offer of trying to nail the guy in prison.

He refuses for whatever reason.

So the is immediately incarcerated and the trial comes. He pleads guilty and waives his right to a jury.

Meaning the judge has two choices: Life with no payroll or Death Penalty.

He chooses death.

A year later, the decision is reversed because even though he admitted to the crime, they had no evidence.

Two months later, he was back on death row when the Maplewood Police presented a half eaten slice of pizza which matched his dental records. He left it behind after shooting my dad.

He is currently one of thirteen men on New Jersey's death row. He is on death row with Jesse Timmendequas, the sick fucker who killed Megan Kanka, for which Megan's Law was established about known pedophiles.

When the day comes for his execution, I will probably be asked if I wish to attend.

Part of me wanted to pull the switch.

Part of me, which watched my mother-in-law die of cancer, never wants to witness another life being extinguished again.

But I do know this. I do want him to die. I am very much a believer in and eye for an eye. He took away my father, so he should lose his life. I am especially strong-minded about this because the fucker ADMITTED it.

I don't care if he finds God. My father will never the chance to.

I don't care if his mother has no other children. I have no other father.

I don't care if he's a model prisoner. My father had no chance to see me graduate, teach me to drive, go to baseball games, see me married, or to ever see my children, to be in a band with...

This guy, no matter what he has become, has taken all of this away from me. I don't care if he feels bad or guilty or even if he wants to kill himself.

I will feel bad about this for the rest of my god-damned life, okay! Every time something happens in my life, I have to live with the fact that my father is not there to share it with me. And it is all because of him. He pulled the trigger. Not once, but six fucking times, okay! He stood over him, having already shot him three times and put three more bullets in him.

Pre-meditated murder? Death Penalty.

How do you think I feel seeing this guy in the paper, seeing his age, and realizing he is now older than my father was when he killed him?

You have no idea how that eats you up inside.

And my tax dollars are feeding this sick son of a bitch and keeping him safe and sound.

Until the day my tax dollars go to the electric company to juice the twisted fuck. That is a tax bill I will smile to pay.

Because then all debts will have been paid.

Until then, I just wait, much like him.

I can go out and about, travel to another country, procreate, play in my band, write to all of you.

He can sit in a maximum security prison, be let out of his cell once a day for an hour.

But until his court mandated, State of New Jersey Supreme Court ordered execution is carried out, I feel like I am the one in prison, his very being mocking me.

Last week, they had victims of horrible crimes on Oprah. My wife called me in to watch it.

When a woman whose daughter was murdered said she forgave the killer, I started screaming at the screen, it made my blood boil.

But I calmed down and realized, truly, if they decided to forgive him, then that was their decision, much as mine is not to do so. And I have to, by my own criteria, support their belief.

Because they have been there.

I have one alternative that I have come up with. An alternative to the death penalty, which I came up with when Susan Smith admitted to the world she drove her two children into a lake to let them die.

Take anyone who has been convicted of murder and put them in solitary for the rest of their lives. Line the walls with Plexiglass. Behind the Plexiglass, put pictures of the victim alive, dead, and of their family. Make them spend the rest of their lives in that room, with nothing else to look at but those pictures.

But it's inhumane, the bleeding hearted say.

It was pretty fucking inhumane to kill somebody in the first place, wouldn't you say?

Where has America gotten this notion that we must be above everything, that we must turn the other cheek and always take the high road? In countries like Pakistan, where if you are caught stealing, they cut off your hand, there is little crime. Okay, bad example, what are you really gonna steal in Pakistan?

But why does everything have to pander to the "morally high road?"

Someone murders someone and they do seven years? SEVEN FUCKING YEARS with cable TV and books and food and shelter for ending another person's existence? Pre-meditated?

But a guy selling pot can do 20-40 years?

Some folks (read that as politicians) need to get their heads out of their collective asses.

So there it is. My whole rant on why I believe in the death penalty.

Please don't bother telling me I am wrong. You're not gonna change my mind.

Besides, I was raised, by my dear, departed daddy, to be a pacifist. I never believed in the death penalty until this all changed my outlook.

I will leave you with this thought... I wondered aloud to my wife one day, "How do you think John Lennon would have reacted to 9/11?"

"I think he might have found a reason to fight."

Precisely. Your outlook can change in a heartbeat, depending on your experience. I pray you never have to find out your true feeling like I did.

Peace.

Lee 8/12/2002 10:20:00 PM [+]


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Edward S. Potcher

My father was killed 16 years ago today.

Later I'll be posting a rant I wrote recently about the death penalty.

But for now, I just wanted to acknowledge my dad, Eddie Potcher. Tell you a little good about him...

My dad gave me two of my life's passions, my love of the New York Yankees and the guitar.

My dad was a Yankee fan as a kid in the 50's & 60's. In the mid-60's, when the Yankees were starting to suck majorly, he started rooting for the Mets. He was rooting for them in 1969 when they won the World Series, and still in 1973 when they made it to the World Series again, but lost to the three-peating A's.

Then george Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS. And he started spending money and making intelligent trades for the Yankees. And dad started rooting for them again. By 1976, when the Yankees had made the World Series for the first time in twelve years, dad was rooting for them again.

So was I. I was five for that fall classic. I had rooted (with dad) for the Mets, but switched (again, with dad) to the Yankees.

And with the Yankees I have stayed for over 26 years now. I am a die-hard.

Allow me to print this poem I wrote to my father in 1996, ten years after he had died.

To My Father (The Day After)



It didn't hit me for about an hour
As to what was missing last night
The one person I'd have forsaken my friends for
That's you, dad.
You gave me my love for many things
Music and writing and a good pizza
But none so gripping as this one
And none make me happier.
And for the last few eeks I've been wrapped up
Wanting this so badly for my own desires
That it wasn't until afterwards
That I thought about you.
I'm sorry.
When I did think of you, I pushed it away, quick
I was too busy celebrating
And I didn't want to get melancholy
Thinking about the firt, last & only time you took me
(Coincidentally in the last for celebration).
How did you put up with me,
A hyper seven year old whose love was just blossoming?
And then followed years of talk
And not much action.
And finally, ten years ago, you died.
And a big regret is never going again.
But I feel, sometimes, like you're there with me
And smiling sometimes
And throwing your hands up in disgust
(As I did last winter)
And sometimes I feel your spirit
Inside of me it seems,
And it's like we both are rooting, together.

But I am getting long winded
And maybe you have things to do
But dad if you can hear me up there
THE YANKEES WON IT ALL!

And I wish you were here to enjoy it with me.

Say hi to Babe and Lou and the Mick and Thurman for me.

And maybe, someday,
Come visit me in my dreams
And we'll talk about the Yankees
Just like old times.

I miss you and I love you.

Your son...

That's what I like to think about when I remember my dad. His two great gifts he has given to me, which have shaped my entire life.

My father was not a saint. Far from it. But he left me with some amazing gifts that I treasure everyday, in a sort of tribute to him.

Some son-of-a-bitch may have taken you physically away from me, dad, but every time I watch a game, or listen to a game, or play my guitar, it is from my heart in honor of you. And yeah, I wish like hell you were here to watch and listen and play along with me...

But I know, in someway, you always are.

I miss you dad. Thanks for everything.


Lee 8/12/2002 12:46:00 PM [+]


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Friday, August 02, 2002

A Blast From My C64 Past

When I was a kid, I guess about 13, the Commodore 64 was all the rage. So, being any normal American kid, I pestered the shit out of my parents and got one for Christmas.

Ahh, good times... Good times...

So anyway, because the thing was slower than shit through a snail, I pretty much stopped using it. I mean, they didn't buy me the disc drive, but the tape player for it... So I had to load everything for like a half an hour to do anything...

So I got impatient and gave it up and went back to my Atari... You know, back when it was just an Atari... Not a 2600, 5200 or 7800... Just a freaking Atari...

Then, in 1985, I moved to Montclair in the summer. In September, I started at Montclair High School and slowly but surely started to make some friends.

There was Scotty Geller, Damon Weber (a drummer who I jammed with a few times), Vinnie Maffucci (the coolest kid in school), Chris Baker and Rob Matsushita.

Rob, it turned out, also owned a C64. But he had the DISC DRIVE... And games!

So we used to hang out and play video games together, when we weren't almost getting arrested with Baker or talking comic books with Baker or singing "My Girl" with... Uh... Baker... Okay, so it was pretty much always Rob, Baker & me...

So, he had this one game that we both were pretty much addicted to, called Alter Ego. He also was undoubtedly cool enough to lend me his disc drive and said game for what should have been a weekend, but I'm sure (knowing what a freking doofus I was) had to have been longer than that...

So, now, fifteen years after last seeing Rob (and making the video I posted here...) we were talking a few weeks back about C64 emulators and trying to find Alter Ego again. Which we were successful with. However, the game ran off of DOS and had problems and was slow as hell. But it was still cool.

Well, I was on Rob's blog the other day and was shooting through his links list. I came across Misty Mills' site. So I check it out. She has a blog on there. Cool!

The very first entry is this: A new, updated, web based version of Alter Ego!

So, all you mother beetches out there, go and check it out, pronto!

Lee 8/02/2002 10:20:00 AM [+]


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