I Love You So Bad It Hurts (live)

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I got two girls
One’s in heaven and one’s below
One I love with all my heart
And one I do not know

Townes Van Sandt

I didn’t know it as I was writing this song but it turns out to be about two women, with the verses alternating between thoughts of each of them. There’s something that fascinates me about the painful parts of love because even when it hurts, it feels so much better than anything else. Although Vinnie’s lead on this song feels pretty good too.

 

I love you so bad it hurts
with a kind of pain that I don’t mind at all
I love you so bad it hurts

I love you so much I don’t
have anything left for anyone else
I love you so much I don’t

I love you so much I can’t
drink enough so I can forget
the way your love burns like a lit cigarette
but I love you so much I’ll never regret
That I love you so much I can’t

I’ve loved you so long I can’t see
all the way back to the morning before
my love came knocking around at your door
and I might as well admit that I’m yours
I’ve loved you so long I can’t see

The Crown of Creation

In loyalty to their kind
they cannot tolerate our minds
In loyalty to our kind
we cannot tolerate their obstruction

While meditating the other day, as I got to the seventh chakra (“the crown”) this song came into my mind. I hadn’t heard it in years but it seemed like it was written for these times: poetic, obscure, angry, and hopeful. In the last few years we’ve lost Paul Kantner and Marty Balin but the ripples from the stones they dropped into the pond are still spreading…

 

 

You are the crown of creation
You are the crown of creation
And you’ve got no place to go

Soon you’ll attain the stability you strive for
In the only way that it’s granted:
In a place among the fossils of our time

In loyalty to their kind
They cannot tolerate our minds
In loyalty to our kind
We cannot tolerate their obstruction!

Life is change
How it differs from the rocks
I’ve seen their ways too often for my liking
New worlds to gain
My life is to survive
And be alive for you

Mars (live)

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Here’s the first video from my show at the Kraine Theater on 9/22/19. Thanks again to everyone who came out – the support was palpable and encouraging.

The band is:
Vinnie Armanino – guitar
Dan Paccione – bass and vocals
Chris DeRosa – drums
The camera work and background visuals are provided by Daniela Croci.

 

I’ve got a one-way ticket to Mars
I hear they’ve got some really nice cars
And all those shooting stars
I’ve got a one-way ticket to Mars

I’ve got a one-way ticket to the other side
I told my baby and she cried and cried
But it’s just foolish pride
I’ve got a one-way ticket to the other side

I’ve got a one-way ticket to the promised land
Eternal love in the palm of my hand
Oh, and ain’t life grand
With a one-way ticket to the promised land?

I’ve got a one-way ticket to Mars
I hear they’ve got some really nice guitars
And all those shooting stars
I’ve got a one-way ticket to Mars

Robert Hunter 1941-2019

Fare you well my honey
Fare you well my only true love
All the birds that were singing
have flown, except you alone

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Photo by Jay Blakesberg

I am not qualified to call myself a Deadhead in the same way that I am not qualified to call myself a Christian. To be a Christian you need to believe in the divinity of Christ, and to be a Deadhead your favorite band needs to be the Grateful Dead. Still, I am a great admirer of both entities and in part due to the same thing: their words. Jesus wrote The Lord’s Prayer and The Sermon on the Mount, stone cold classics in any book. Many, if not most, of the greatest lyrics of the Grateful Dead were written by Robert Hunter.

In the early days of rock music when artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly did something that set them apart from most popular music of their time. They played and sang songs that they also wrote. For the next few decades most of rock’s lyricists were also musicians and/or singers. Robert Hunter, along with a few notable contemporaries like Eddie Holland and Bernie Taupin, left his mark on music history through words alone.

On the Dead’s third album, Aoxomoxoa, there are listings for The Band, The Supporting Musicians, and The Crew. Under the last heading is the line “The Words – Robert Hunter.” By their sixth album, American Beauty, seven names are listed as The Dead – the six musicians in the band and “Robert Hunter – songwriter.”

The inspiration behind songwriting is as close to divinity as anything I have experienced. As it was for Hunter, who remembers one sacred afternoon holed up in a hotel room with a bottle of booze and his muse this way:

Once in a while something would sort of pop out of nowhere. The sunny London afternoon I wrote ‘Brokedown Palace,’ ‘To Lay Me Down,’ and ‘Ripple,’ all keepers, was in no way typical, but it remains in my mind as the personal quintessence of the union between writer and Muse, a promising past and bright future prospects melding into one great glowing apocatastasis in South Kensington, writing words that seemed to flow like molten gold onto parchment paper.

In the swirling events of this season from the global (climate disasters) to the national (impeachment) to the local (Yankee playoffs) to the personal (some heavy shit), it is easy to lose track of the radar blip that was the news of Robert Hunter’s death. Lyricists of his caliber are so rare that those of us who love this music will be doing ourselves a favor if we block out the rest of the distractions in our life for a few minutes and meditate on the work of this man’s life.

Fare you well, my honey,
fare you well my only true one.
All the birds that were singing
are flown, except you alone.
Going to leave this brokedown palace,
On my hand and knees, i will roll, roll, roll
Make myself a bed by the waterside,
In my time, in my time I will roll, roll roll
In a bed, in a bed,
by the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
to rock my soul
River going to take me
sing me sweet and sleepy
sing me sweet and sleepy all the way back home
Sing a lullaby beside the water
Lovers come and go, the river roll, roll, roll
Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul
Going to plant a weeping willow
On the bank’s green edge it will grow, grow, grow
It’s a far gone lullaby, sung many years ago
Mama, mama many worlds I’ve come since i first left home
Going home, going home, by the riverside i will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul
Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul

 

Time is Running Out…

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Did you ever get the feeling that time is running out? For your country? Your planet? Your patience?

Time is certainly running out for your chance to get tickets to Mr. Mike’s Mostly Musical Mashup.

Hope to see you this Sunday, the 22nd, at 7:00 PM.

 Get your tickets here.

Although I will be digging back in time for some of the songs we’ll be performing on Sunday, this is no trip down memory lane. The show will be a mix of older songs and ones I’ve written over the last few years, songs that speak to the passions and problems – personal and political, psychological and social – of today. I am excited to share them with you.

A couple of centuries ago Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls” and it feels like we are in those times again. One of the best things we can do in trying times like these is to gather together and share our concerns, our dreams, our laughter, our love, and our music. I hope you can share some with me on September 22.

Love,
Mike

P.S. Here is one of my recent songs, about time running out, that I will be performing at the show: Butterfingers.

 

The Mr. Mike VIP Experience

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Do you think you are a Very Important Person? If you have enough disposable income, we’ll pretend to think so too!

For a limited time, we here at Mr. Mike’s Mostly Musical Mashup are offering a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a real live rock show.

For the insane price of $998.97, you get:

  • Meet & greet with Mr. Mike himself, or an incredibly life-like cardboard cut-out, or a green screen where we can superimpose his image.

  • Individual photo opportunity with Mr. Mike. We guarantee that his hands will be kept in view of cameras at all times, with none of the grabbing and groping you get at many of these events. You may feel free to grab and grope Mr. Mike. He enjoys that kind of thing.

  • Mr. Mike will sign any piece of memorabilia you bring, from CDs to Mike Power Atomic Man action figures. Please do not ask him to sign any body parts. We are still in litigation over the last Meet & Greet.

  • Commemorative VIP doohickey of some sort. We are still working on this part.

Get your tickets here

Enter the code MRMIKEVIP when ordering your tickets to take advantage of this once-or-twice-or-however-many-times-we-can-get-away-with-in-a-lifetime offer.

See you at the show!

DISCLAIMER: Anyone attempting to enter a code, redeem a golden ticket, or wander backstage at any time before, during, or after the show, will be handed over to the proper authorities for psychological evaluation.

Bands of Co-Conspirators

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I have been making music for over 40 years and have had the good fortune in that time to have worked with some insanely talented people. In my college dorm, in my wife’s office, even in my parents’ basement, I found musicians, singers, and songwriters who astounded and challenged me. It is impossible to say how much I learned from each of them. I only know that every note I play comes from a foundation we built together.

I was tempted to harangue some, all, or as many as I could persuade, of my previous co-conspirators, to join me for this show, but new phases sometimes require new faces. My instinct this time around was to work only with artists I hadn’t worked with before.

The first one added to the roster for this show is a man, like me, who has played for many years with many bands. His bands include Letters From Home, The Providers, and the Snook Brothers. He is the wonderful guitarist Vinny Armanino. How wonderful? You can pick up a ticket and find out. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Get your tickets here.

Vinny and I – and the rest of the fife and drum corps jug band orchestra and fellow-travelers – will spend the next month preparing a uniquely memorable experience for each member of our audience. We would love to see you there.

Here is a recording by one of the 1990s version of my co-conspirators named Late Model Humans, performing one of the songs that will be featured at the show: You’re The Only One (I Think).

In your chain I’m just a link
A valentine that isn’t pink
Like all the others in a blink
I’m gone like water down your sink
But if you’ll give me one more drink
If you’ll just give me one more drink then I’ll say

You’re the only one, you’re the only one
You’re the only one, I think
You’re the only one, you’re the only one
You’re the only one, I think

Next time we’re down at the bar
And you say this time I’ve gone too far
That I just want to drink and play guitar
Like I’m some kind of fucking star
I’ll pound down another drink
I’ll pound down another drink and I’ll say

You’re the only one, you’re the only one
You’re the only one, I think

What can I do to make you stay
Why do I always have to say
You’re the only one for me, girl
Why do I always have to say
You’re the only one, you’re the only one

This is no ordinary thirst
I’m fighting off the family curse
And still I know it would be worse
If I was alone in this universe
A universe as black as ink
But if you’ll give me one more drink then I’ll say

You’re the only one, you’re the only one
You’re the only one, I think