Summer Cool


Staying cool, staying thirsty!

One hot day Jerry said to to me

“Hey, you’re a bring down, a buzz kill, a downer! Get cool man! I can’t be seen with you if you’re not cool. I might have to start hanging with someone really cool like Dick Bangham. Get a dung ball like me if you have to. All the hot girls I was chatting up at the AU art show kept asking me “Who’s that loser your with?”

Being cool is not easy for a Last Gasper…Something Jerry forced me to think about. After deep thoughts and reflection on my cool quotient, I contacted my friends at Harvard University’s Psychology Department and asked if they could come up with some explanations and advice for this aging hipster. After studying my case, they pronounced me the victim of “learned helplessness.”

Being cool develops in three stages –

1) Earliest days of grade school – You experiment and learn how to get along, maneuver and find a “groove.”

2) Late teens to the prime of your life – At this point you start defining your MO. Style, attitude, and presentation all contribute to the inner and outer cool.

3) Last Gasp Cool: Maintain dignity, maintain dignity. Your mantra…maintain dignity.

Tonight’s podcast, scripted by Jerry the Dung Beetle, outlines summer cool through vague ideas and very cool music.


Help, let me out!


I think its time that people know the truth. Hi i’m Jerry. Yes Jerry the dungbeetle. I’ve been playing 2nd banana to Steven here on Last Gasp Radio when in fact – the last gasp podcast was my brainchild. Before I tell you how he hijacked this show let me give you a little background. We meet in an OCD chatroom and hit it off very quickly. Both of us were suffering from the same narcissistic neurotic compulsions and thus a beautiful friendship was born. I’m from Nigeria where the majority of dung beetles reside. During our many online and Skype discussions we made a solid connection. We enjoyed the same jokes (toilet humor is a staple of Dung Beetle existence), had the same insecurities and many of the same failures in our respective lives. I told Steven I was trying to leave Nigeria as there was no future in a country suffering economically and surrounded by cadres of people following antiquated religious dogma. Steven agreed to sponsor me and off I was to the United States with the hope of obtaining the cherished Green Card.

Life was good for the first few months but soon it began to deteriorate. Steven constructed a bed for me made of matchstick boxes – which was not much better than the bed I had in Abuja but I didn’t want to complain. After the first month he insisted that my bed be moved to the bathroom which insulted my dignity. I had intended to seek some employment in the construction industry but Steven would not hear of that. He had me doing mundane and tedious tasks around the house like emptying garbage, cleaning toilets and bring him cups of coffee several times a day. Our relationship changed from friends to, master and servant. Now it wasn’t all bad – we did talk about things we enjoyed and made us laugh – for instance – I told him that the most popular phrase among dung beetles was, “life is a shit sandwich – so can you please pass the ketchup.” And there he goes steals my phrase and make it the motto of the podcast.

Lets get to this podcast. Podcasting may be new to western society but in Nigeria podcasting evolved out of our love for ham and cb radios.Everyone everyday was broadcasting music gossip stories–you name it. I told Steven in one of our many conversations that with my encyclopedic knowledge of music and our shared mental disabilities we could pave the way for millions like us. Steven never talked much during these discussions but he absorbed everything I told him and stole from me just as Keith did from Gram during the Sticky finger sessions. I’ve tried not to let it get to me. I look for inspiration from the teachings of the Grand dung beetle Father Poo Poo who preached to millions every sunday(on his own podcast) and ended every show with the words “My dear children smile softly,be thankful, and let the shit roll off your back.” Its hard – I tell you, its hard. I’ve tried to make friends with the other dung beetles in the neighborhood but since Steven is not well liked by his neighbors it seems the neighborhood dung beetles have adopted the same attitude towards me. I tell you there’s trouble in Paradise.

So in conclusion my friends (all who are listening ) whatever you like about this substandard podcast – rest assured it was my idea.


Some guys peak at 12, that was the case with me.


Golden Love Kimchi


Relaxing in the Green Room

Ray Davies prophetically said in 1970 “It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world except for my……” true words never spoken as they seem to sum up the situation of the modern world. I keep wrestling with two variables: 1) Am I mentally losing it? 2) Or am I so out of touch that I can’t grasp the nuance of the “new ways?” What bothers me most is that the lack of skilled and practiced verbal communication between two people is a prime reason to fuck up a situation which already has plenty of room to fuck up. The other day I asked my son (with whom I have great communication)

“How does (name of friend here) like his new job?”

I got that angry 24 yr old response –

“I don’t know dad, we don’t talk about that?”

I’m thinking what do they talk about? I didn’t ask him anything intrusive and I seem to get that answer to all my inquiries about anyone or anything beyond his sphere. Now I may be missing some important here. And maybe he just doesn’t want to tell me. I don’t know but when he shows me his Instagram news feed, I really don’t have great hopes for the future. Verbal communication/face-to-face communication is very important. You need years of practice – I know because I’m a miserable failure at it

Now on to more fun things. These days in quasi-retirement, I try to find things to do, but because I’m missing the Jewish carpenter gene, you won’t find me putting up a backsplash in the kitchen or building that toolshed I’d been putting off for years. Instead my hobby is finding CDs that have some of my favorite songs. Some of it is real detective work…here are some of my successes:

B-Movie: My favorite song by them, “The Soldier Stood Alone” came out on a very local CD they put out themselves. After searching high and low and sending out many emails, I located a VG copy…but I so love this song…which will be featured again on an upcoming show.

Sandy Denny & The Strawbs: The album was hard enough to find. I am glad to report this CD is easily available with plenty of xtra trax. Sandy Denny at her most innocent…the world suffers without her.

The Monks-Bad Habits: This album is fairly easy to buy as vinyl, but the CD only came out in Canada. Canada has always been famous for their small run of titles, and after 8 months I landed a copy of this and this edition of the podcast has one song from it

Brenda Lee – The Best of British “music club” label: I only mention this because this is the only place you can find her magic version of “The Crying Game.” It is hands down the best version of this song. The CD has 25 trax including: “The Letter,” “There’s a Kind of a Hush,” and a most fabulous interpretation of the Jacque Brel tune “If You Go Away.” She sings this as though she owns it. It is hard to believe it was written solely from the male perspective.


Jerry the Dung Beetle whispering sweet nothings in Martha’s ear.


Martha chatting up my producer/son

Tonight’s show is very special for me as I have “the first lady” of the Washington music scene here in the Last Gasp studio. Martha Hull has always exuded a powerful vulnerability and an even more powerful sexuality, anchored by a menacing intellectual aurora that says “Don’t fuck with me.” The interview was a lot of fun and took Last Gasp into a new frontier (an hour long show!). The show tonight is called MARTHA.


Jerry’s Choice (Show #4)


Hello Last Gaspers! Let me introduce to you Jerry the Dung Beetle. Jerry is my alter ego and co-creator of the Last Gasp Radio. Jerry talks to me the way that George & Marian Kirby talked to Topper. Jerry weighs in on just about every decision I’ve made in recent years and while some of my life decisions have been wreckless, upsetting and detrimental…he has recently offered buddha-like advice which has had a calming and reassuring effect. Jerry always reminds me that he carries a pile of dung on his back five times his weight. He says that should give me comfort…and it does. Although I’d like to take credit for tonight’s musical selections…Jerry made me promise that I would give credit where credit is due…so tonight’s show is aptly titled: Jerry’s Choice (coincidentally enough, his favorite move is Sophies Choice go figure).


Last Gasp Radio – Show #3


The last month has been one of those crazy months when you realize you have to start dodging the blasts oft bullshit that start coming at you. They can be a variety of things but in my case it was a mixture of different health related shit – and no it wasn’t the prostate. Anyway if  the truth be known – I wasn’t in the mood and did not feel any inspiration. So I waited till the mood  passed; the same way I do when I feel the need to exercise.

Today my guest is a dear friend who I feel a deep connection to and that is Abaad Behram AKA Johnny Bombay. Abaad lived in India until he was 15 and then in 1969 came to live in the US. He walked off the plane listening to Between the Buttons and Rubber Soul – and there the foundation was laid. I first met Abaad in the late 70’s when he was a member of Razz. We immediately clicked on the India Pakistan connection and he was the only person who I was friendly with who understood Punjabi – Hindi dirty words. We both derived a great level of comfort trading insults that nobody could understand. Abaad was a very important member of Razz he was Keith Richard to Mike Reidy’s Mick. Abaad’s sudden departure from Razz was very upsetting to everyone who was a fan and family member – Abaad explains this his musical odyssey and other views on life. A great fellow with a great perspective. I hope you’ll tune in to get this Last Gasp perspective.


If You Invite Me to Dinner, Don’t Serve Liver


Hi Gaspers–This last month has been a doozy – a roller coaster ride to say the least – Let me tell you how crazy it was for me.

“What a drag it is getting old” – was the tune going thru my head-as I walked into the building where my urologist was to tell me the results of my recent MRI. I was familiar with this song and dance as I had high PSA numbers for the last 10 years–one biopsy under my belt – and always the same slightly disconcerting  explanations…we can’t find anything wrong…but…the numbers are unusually high…I was a pile of nerves since my original appointment was at 2 PM only to have the nurse change it to 4 PM – I paced around my house for hours – I was a doughnut eating zombie…graham crackers/apples whatever got in the way. When I finally arrived at the doctors Office I spent 20 minutes in the waiting room–till I was finally ushered into the doctors office–My doctor a well known MD Urologist saunters in at 4:30 sits down gets the niceties out of the way then looks at my file – only to say – your results are not here.He calls his nurse and she brings in another file which he thumbs thru – In the meantime – the preliminary examination by the nurse had my blood pressure at 205/130 and here he was finally looking at the test results thumbing thru the papers saying nothing and I’m freaking out inside. Finally he says “Well Steve the radiologist couldn’t find anything so it looks like your okay – however lets look at the disc.” He then takes MRI CD – and puts it in his computer and starts to show me these pictures of my Prostate. “Well Your prostate is very enlarged and that could be a cause of the High PSA.” Then I have this epiphany about doctors in general. They like everyone else in society like to fuck with you. And here’s the rub–when they start talking to you like this,” Color Doppler Ultrasound and Multi parametric MRI (MP-MRI) are complementary. In our experience image modality will illuminate a specific lesion substantially more clearly. Therefore, in ambiguous cases, a combination of both modalities increases confidence that high-grade cancer isn’t being overlooked” . They usually make a few statements like this addressing your case and showcasing how smart they are–the moment you nod your head like you understand them–they see you as an idiot–or more nicely said– a clueless patient. The thing to do is keep a poker face –after they finish talking, ask the obvious & pertinent question. “Well Dr…. why then do I have such high PSA numbers ?”  Dr….answered me and said,  “Well Steve its cases  like yours that keep me up at night….”

Now I’m relieved – I have another 6 month lease on life – so I couldn’t help myself, “Dr…. you don’t think I suffer from PD?” “What’s PD?  Portnoy’s Dilemma – better known as CJMS  Chronic Jewish Masturbation Syndrome – named after the famous study by Dr. Schlomo Menachim Bzysmernix of Kazakhstan. His study showed that Chronic Masturbators had higher PSA’s than the general populous but less instances of prostate Cancer.  Dr…looked at me and wasn’t sure if I was putting him on – gave me one of those nervous smiles and said we’ll see you in 6 months.  I could see in that instance I went from tolerable patient to douchebag with good insurance.  Had he let me finish-I would also told him  Dr. Bzysmernix published results showed that the patients with the highest PSA numbers (and no Cancer) also displayed symptoms  of speech impediments, serious male pattern baldness and had excessive growth of hair on their earlobes; all symptoms I have encountered.

As I exited the building I thanked God for the 6 month reprieve he gave me and asked him why he housed the  the magnanimous pleasure giving machine – the prostate(the gift that keeps giving) in a palace next to the waste management plant. Clearly God is fucking with us. I made my peace and asked forgiveness and got in my car and headed home. I was so overcome with emotion that I indulged a guilty pleasure I swore off many, many years ago. I hadn’t planned this but a 7-11 caught my eye . I pulled in the parking lot. I rushed in and picked out the largest Half smoke I could find-lathered it onions pickles and every other condiment on the table. As I was paying for it – the Cambodian clerk said “Best half smoke in Maryland,”-“don’t you know it,” I readily agreed.. I took it out to my car,  and  I Steven, the reluctant masturbator devoured it  while chanting in my mind, God is Great, God is great!!

A few days later – I was retelling this story to my very dear friend Dave B of 30+ years – a fellow record collector with the dry est sense of humor of anyone I ever met. Upon completion of the story – Dave looked at me and without missing a beat said “Steve if you invite me to dinner don’t serve liver.”

We are currently editing this weeks podcast which in my opinion is  quite good with Farley Wank as my first guest – I’ll post a notice on Facebook when its ready. I know all you gaspers will understand. Stay strong-keep the faith.