Tag Archives: KISS

I am officially semi-retired from performing

Greetings, readers. Although I am not discounting doing standup comedy or some other kind of light entertainment for the residents of Addison Court, my days of performing KISS tribute shows are now over. This morning I could barely get my hoodie over my aching shoulders. Rebecca made a good point when she mentioned that I was like someone who had never gone to a gym before and tried to lift every weight in the place for three solid hours. I expected to hurt today … but not quite this bad. Lol.

In my last rehearsal, in the wee hours of yesterday morning, I realized I did not know the words to “King of the Night Time World” as well as I needed to, so, yes, at the very last second the song “Watchin’ You” was added in its place. This is something I have never done before. Usually my playlist is set in stone two week’s in advance.

After fingernails were painted black and make-up was applied I was primed and ready to go. Only one problem. The pizzas had not arrived yet. So I held my position while Mike checked the lobby door again, and again, and again. I was trying to keep my face war-paint a secret, but from my perch I could tell that we had a full room. Eventually I had to tell Mike please just hit the play button. We couldn’t let the folks wait endlessly.

It was quite a surprise when I came out to my first song, “Deuce.” I was full of energy and I was raring to go. At the end of the third song, “Ladies Room,” I was most happy that I had my water bottle, with a hefty splash of grape flavored 5 Hour Energy, because I knew that my energy levels were already declining. Even though the face-paint job looked good, my lipstick application, that I did myself, did not turn out as planned, and every time I took a sip of water, more of the lipstick got stuck in the bottle’s drinking hole. After a while I began to taste grape with lipstick. Not a good combination.

I must say that Mike Weaver stole the show. Where I performed a KISS tribute show, where not many people know the words to the songs, Mike chose soft rock numbers and had the entire audience singing along. Even our friend Julie, who knew the hand signals to “YMCA,” came up front and helped the crowd follow along with the song. My friend Smith told me at the time that Mike was having the time of his life and he was so happy that I included him in the show. I think I will be turning the entertainment over to Mike the next time around while I do the half-time show. Folks, I’m gettin’ to old for this kind of thing.

Well, there is today’s blog entry. After Rebecca and I are done, I will relax the rest of the day. This morning I was up in arms thinking I had a dentist’s cleaning appointment this afternoon, where I would have been horribly uncomfortable in their chair, but I found out that appointment is not until next Thursday. Yay! Around 1:00pm will begin R & R time. I might listen to the show’s playlist one last time for pleasure before erasing it from Spotify.

Until Sunday, when I dictate a new entry, have a great couple of days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. Thanks to Rebecca, for catching the goofs that the auto reader on my speech recognition program failed to catch on Sunday.

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Showtime in three days!!!

Greetings, readers. With only three days left before my big show on Wednesday, I have been concentrating almost all my efforts on practicing. I am pleased to announce that the show is taking shape nicely, and stands to be one of the best ever! My friend, Greg Brown, will be recording it for me. That way I’ll have something to use as uploads to Facebook and YouTube.

Would you believe I was still tinkering with the playlist as of yesterday? But I know all the KISS songs which I am performing, so it’s not that big of a deal. Seeing as how this show might be my last, I am hoping for perfection. I’ve told myself though that I won’t get too upset if I make a boo-boo.

My friend, Mike, has been practicing his halftime show diligently. He’s worked so hard, and I think the audience is going to love his efforts. Where I am performing KISS songs, Mike is doing some softer material, such as tunes from Glen Campbell, Ronnie Millsap and two numbers by the Village People. Imagine going from heavy metal to soft rock and disco! What a show it’s going to be. I’ve been asked by a few people, “Is this really your final show?” My answer… “You never know.” If I do any more public performing at Addison Court Apartments, it might be some stand-up comedy or some dramatic skits. Time will tell.

On to another topic. The Mercury has finally reached the 40s F. Thank God! I was tired of going for morning coffee, and freezing my derrière off. Luckily, our destination is only a block away. Between the temperatures rising and daylight savings time now upon us, I’m going to be much happier than I was a few weeks ago. Yay, spring is coming!

That’s today’s blog entry. As most of my Facebook followers know, my performance is on Wednesday, so Rebecca and I will be back with you with a new entry on Thursday. Until then, I bid all of you a wonderful weekend, be kind to your loved ones, take care and happy reading.

 

One week to go before what could be my final musical performance

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe I only have one week to go until the big day, my KISS tribute show in the Addison Court apartment’s community room. I had two months, I blinked and sneezed and all that time went away. Seven days is not much time when you’ve only had two full-scale rehearsals, one of which was ruined by an argument with an outside party. I’m going to practice in my room this afternoon and I hope to have at least one more full-scale rehearsal down in the community room; possibly this weekend. With the aid of a lot of prayers, and some 5 Hour Energy shots, combined with lots of agua, I think I can pull it off.

I’ve had to be very careful in selecting my playlist. The song “Take Me” almost had to go, for its first two lines are, “Put your hand in my pocket and grab onto my rocket.”  Yes, I want to imitate my favorite band, but I also don’t want to embarrass any of my friends of the female gender. This is why I did not include songs such as, “Love Gun,” and “Rocket Ride.” I think I’ve selected a very good playlist, with most of KISS’s famous standards well represented. From “Strutter” to “Detroit Rock City”, from “Calling Dr. Love” to “Rock and Roll All Nite,” I think I have chosen the ultimate assortment.

After we publish today’s blog entry and have our weekly meeting, Rebecca and I are going to Amazon to find some stage props, in the form of posters. I think it will help the audience who don’t know KISS well to see an image of whom I am portraying. If I can find four posters or T-shirts for a decent price, I’m going to make the purchase. When we get on the site, I’ll have to hunt for a good deal. If not, I’ll dig out my old record albums and use those.

I’m 53 years old now, with an aching right shoulder, bad hips and feet. But hell, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are in their late 60s. If they can do it, so can I. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

There’s our blog entry for today. I shall post another new one on Sunday; on a brighter topic than last weekend. Rebecca and I will be back on Thursday. If my show turns out well and is recorded I intend to put it on either my Facebook page, YouTube, or both. Wouldn’t it be a gas if one of the members of KISS somehow saw this tribute? That would be awesome! 😉

Until Sunday, have a great week and early weekend, bundle up if you are in the cold, spread love around, and as always happy reading.

Last evening, full scale reheasals for my show did NOT go as planned

Greetings, readers. Last evening, my friend Mike and I began full-scale rehearsals for the March 13th show. It did not go as planned. Mike knew exactly what he wanted to do with his songs, and performed them quite well. As for me… well, let’s just say I have to build up my stamina. I was only two songs into my ten-song first set, and I was huffing and puffing. That’s not good. I would say my stamina meter is at 10%. Can you say, “Five Hour Energy?”

I don’t like drinking those types of products, but I might have to. If tonight’s rehearsal doesn’t go any better, I’m either going to have to cut down my playlist, or sit down to do the whole show. To me, that would be a wimp-out, but there might not be any other way if I truly want to perform as KISS would perform.

Yes, I am doing a KISS show, possibly complete with war paint in my own design. I am the mimic, and if I decide to go all out, I would have a white face, a black M, black lips and fingernails. I am 53 years old now, and I am intending for this show to be my last. If I do any other type of performing, it might be stand-up comedy or a dramatic skit. Time will tell.

Both my sets are approximately 45 minutes long, while Mike’s halftime show is roughly 30 minutes. I’m going to ask him to add a few more songs, to give me more of a break. Yes, dear readers, I am getting older. Notice I didn’t say old. 😉 I’ll never say I’m old.

I have a couple of errands to do today in the afternoon, and a friend of mine is coming to visit at 5 PM, so I really can’t rehearse the way I want to until the evening. I have to hope that the community room is free to use. If other folks are playing cards, well they got there first, and I’m out of luck.

I would greatly appreciate any good thoughts and energy you can throw my way for the next few weeks, and especially, the day of the show. I’m planning to video this show and put it up either on Facebook or YouTube. Maybe the members of KISS will somehow see it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

There is today’s blog entry. Until Wednesday, stay warm if you’re going to be in the windy part of the country; 40 to 60 mile an hour winds here today. Also, please pray for one another, take care and as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of things I would have liked to do in life

Greetings, readers. This is not a list to bash my self-esteem, but it might just serve to open my eyes and let me see some of the jobs or occupations I dreamed about having when I was younger. So here we go, and as always this is not in any particular order, except for #1.

#10. Be a writer with a lot of books and screenplays under my belt. [Over the last fifteen years or so, I’ve had many good starts on writing projects but they all seem to fizzle out quickly. Sometimes it is a problem with the story line, other times people beat me to the good idea, and a lot of times it is my body not cooperating.]

#9. Own my own vehicle again. [After my 2008 crash and other issues I won’t get into, my monetary situation is such that owning a vehicle is impossible. It’s too much money for maintenance, repairs, gas, parking, etc.]

#8. Play sports. [At age 52 and a half, my days of playing a pick-up game of football or softball are long behind me. My legs and knees are stiff and sometimes it is a chore just to jog across the street.]

#7. Have a son to carry on my name. [My plan to have a family young, in my 20s or 30s. is long gone. For me to be a father, I would either have to adopt a child or marry someone young enough to have a child. Most women in the age bracket of 20s or 30s would find it creepy to marry someone in their 50s.]

#6. Be a professional entertainer. [For years I was so shy, I lip-synced in all my musical performances that I did for family, friends, and, later, for my pals in my apartment building. Now that I’ve learned to drop my shields and actually sing, I’ve found out that I am not all that bad. Another chance wasted. I could have been the next member of KISS. Lol.]

#5. Own a house. [Yes, good old pride of ownership. I know it comes with its costs. I’d have to pay property taxes, mow the lawn, and fix the pipes. But I would have loved every minute of it. When I go to visit Dave and family in their house, I feel like I’m home. Here, it just feels like I’m in my apartment.]

#4. Be a TV sports broadcaster. [When I was a child, I loved watching Curt Gowdy call NFL football games. He had a style all his own. Later, there were the teams of Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy, and of course, Dick Enburg and Merlin Olsen. My favorite sportscaster though was the incomparable Howard Cosell. He knew his job inside and out, was incredibly intelligent, and covered every event from football to boxing with style and dignity.]

#3. Be a truck driver. [For a while when I was younger I had the notion of being a truck driver. I would have been able to see the country and do something I love to do; drive. Health reasons killed that idea.]

#2. Be a talk show host or D.J. [When I was a little boy, I had an old-fashioned tape recorder and I would pretend I was a D.J. I would announce the songs and then play them on my record player. It was so much fun. I also loved Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show. I had a fantasy that one day maybe I would have my own talk show or take over for him when he retired.]

#1. Be a pilot [I’ve always been fascinated by aircraft and my dream as an early teen was to be a commercial airline pilot. My health issues at age 16 ended that dream promptly.]

Well, there it is. Again, I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party. I’m just showing you, my readers, and me, my missed opportunities. I’m starting to find my niche in life and it could very well be that I write plays and either adapt them to a novel or give it to someone else to do it. Dialog just seems to be my thing.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

A short Sunday evening entry for you. :-)

Greetings, readers. I had a productive, but strange weekend. On the one hand I got some reading done on Darren’s novel, but I was fighting depression all three evenings. Tonight seems to be better. As I am writing the first draft of this post, I’m listening to the first KISS album … titled KISS. The title is simple, but it works.

It seems like every time I put on an old album or watch a classic TV show, I find myself strolling down memory lane. The early years that are most precious to me are between 1975 and 1983; 5th grade through the end of high school.

On the YouTube front, I’ve been making myself laugh hysterically with ‘Fail’ videos. You know the ones. They’re the videos where kids wipeout on their skateboards doing stupid and dangerous stunts, or folks swing from ropes attached to trees and the rope breaks before they get over the pond. I’m not laughing at them falling, but I do get a kick out of their buddies with the camera laughing and invariably asking, “Are you okay?”

Well, I’ve got a moderately hectic week coming up, complete with a dentist appointment and my yearly eye exam. I’ll be getting to bed here soon, after some videos or music. So, until Wednesday, take care, enjoy and happy reading.

Morning allergies, go away, come back another day.

Greetings, readers. Right now as the leaves are beginning to fall off the trees, my allergies have certainly started to kick up. It also could be that kitty cat Keekee sleeps next to me in my recliner chair. But the first few hours of my day are a sneezy disaster.

No matter what time I seem to get up, which is anywhere in between 5:00 and 7:00, the first thing I do is sneeze. Sometimes I’ll take a spritz of nasal spray, but usually I have to let it run its course. Mornings are my computer and writing time so it does get a bit frustrating when I am trying to concentrate on what I’m doing while being plagued by sneezing and a runny nose. With every passing hour though it does get better. I’m having a cleaning person come in to help tidy up in a couple of weeks and she will systematically get this place in order. Good-bye dust! I think my allergies will be much better after that.

I’ve always been prone to allergies. I can remember some spring and fall days when I was a child, being absolutely miserable. I tried the allergy medicine of the time and I remember it helping a little bit but not completely. I don’t know where I got my allergies from, for neither Mom nor Dad seemed to be a sufferer.

For those of you who know me, I am not giving up Keekee though there are times when she sheds dramatically. Luckily for me, I’m in Maine at that time, and am spared the worst of it. I love my little girl, and would rather wear a dust mask then to give her away at this stage of her life. There are always allergy shots and other drastic measures. It will depend on if my allergies get worse or not.

On a side note, KISS came to the Bryce Jordan Center this past week, and I held firm in my decision to save money by not going, as much I wanted to. The money for the ticket can be better spent elsewhere. It is a shame, since it will probably be the last time they come to State College. Thanks to someone who uploads videos to YouTube, to my great surprise the entire show is there in multiple segments. How nice. I won’t have to miss it after all. The only downer, that person started their recording half-way through the first song … which just happens to be my favorite. What can you do?

Until tomorrow morning, enjoy your day, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

New daily schedule is progressing nicely

Greetings, readers. I am very happy to tell you that my new daily routine is almost set. I’ve been told that it takes about three weeks to make something a habit, so I have about a week left. I’ve awakened at six the last few mornings and want to eventually have five AM be my new, permanent wake up time.

Rebecca will be here at 9:45 today; our new work start time. Work hours will be in the mornings from now on. I can’t wait until the time comes where I can get up, get ready and have pages typed before Rebecca arrives. Then she can become more my editor instead of my primary typist.

I’ve been studying the Amish lately. I’ll be writing a story dealing with that culture. With six books out from the local library, I’ve plenty of research material for my secondary writing project. It’s going to be so much fun. Bear Spring Camps book three is still going to be our primary project.

On a side note, KISS came to State College last night. As I said, I did not attend the concert. Money was a bit tight, and I have seen them live three times. I will admit, I almost broke down and tried to get tickets, but I held firm. I wouldn’t have been able to hear straight for a couple of days. If they ever return before they retire, I’ll go see them. 🙂

That’s all the news for today. Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day and happy reading.

 

To learn or not to learn

Greetings, readers. After many weeks of contemplating whether or not to go back and finish college, I am now leaning towards not. At least not full-time. I know this decision follows my pattern of never finishing anything. But after discussing the topic with my accountant today, we came to the realization that we would probably not make up the $80,000 or $90,000 that it would cost, in the ten years that I would have left to work. Yes, folks, I would be 55 or so by the time I was done. I was all gung-ho for this project a couple of weeks ago, and now once again I am depressed.

An alternative would be to go part-time, taking one or two classes per semester. That would drag it out even longer, but it would be easier on me and with the money. I have three possible majors in mind: Marketing to help me sell the books I already have; Writing to help me write more books; or Psychology in honor of my mother who was a psychologist. The first step will be to see what semester I take the first class in, in August or perhaps in January. The later semester start would give me time to get back from camp, possibly get that job at Panera, and settle in to the new year’s routine. Maybe the job will be enough to make me feel like I am a contributor in life.

Did I really want to finish college? It would have done wonders for my self-esteem and it might have opened up a career or two. Certainly it would have helped me with my writing. I’ve not ruled it in, but I’ve not ruled it out. At age 51, with a brain that sometimes acts like it is in oatmeal, I guess the question is, could I do it? Could I succeed? I guess I wouldn’t know unless I tried, would I? Those who don’t try, don’t get anything in life. Those who do try, sometimes fail, but are usually rewarded.

Besides being a bit bummed out about the whole college idea, I am currently suffering from mild caffeine withdrawals (pardon my yawn). I have had only decaf today and I missed my time at Panera. I’m sure I’ll go over this afternoon, but because of doctor’s orders I am drinking less caffeine and more water. I’m not exactly a happy camper. Not to jinx myself, but at least I don’t have a splitting headache. Though, I do admit that the experiment is working and the physical issues I was having are dramatically reduced.

For those of you who might be interested, my YouTube vlog is up and running. It is called the Joe Kockelmans Show and the only problem about it is that if I sing with music behind me, the video is blocked in 9/10ths of the world. My point on that is this: yes, I understand about copyright law, but I am not trying to sell it, and I am definitely not the Beatles or KISS. No one will confuse me for those bands or any others that I sing with. There must be some way around that snafu. Time will tell.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m going to forgo the KISS concert

Greetings, readers. The other week, I saw on the electronic billboard outside the Bryce Jordan Center that my favorite band KISS is coming to do a concert in August. At first, I got happy heart palpitations. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that being a person who has not made budget in six months, there was no way I could realistically expect to save up for a ticket.

I have seen my band in the past. They came to State College in 1996, 1998, and either 2000 or 2001. So if I miss them this year, I will not cry in my beard.

KISS has been my band since 1975. You would think that the urge to go to the concert would overwhelm me and that I would have to get a ticket. So far, not so. I will admit I do suffer from impulse shopping, so I was happy to see that I was able to resist the urge to stop the bus, run up to the ticket counter, buy a ticket, and get back on the bus. Maybe KISS really isn’t the band for a 50-year-old after all.

I think another reason why my interest is low is that none of my friends are big KISS fans. If there were three or four of us who could chip in the money for the really good seats, and make a party evening out of it, that would be one thing. Instead, I would be going alone, for my girlfriend does not like the band, and I would also have to worry about such things as the noise level and blinking stage lights setting off a seizure.

Time will tell if I will call the ticket office just to see how cheap the cheap seats are, but I really do believe that I will not be going to this show. For me, a KISS fan who has every album and most CDs, I call that a budget victory. One battle won, many more battles to go. 🙂

R.I.Ps go out to former WWE wrestler/manager Chyna (real name Joan Laurer) and of course, to pop music star Prince. You will both be missed.

Until next week, I wish everybody a fantastic weekend, take care, and happy reading.