Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mike's Unmade PSA

In yesterday's post (which some rightly called a "rant" over Anheuser-Busch's stupid decision to market their beer to young people), I mentioned former Byrd Mike Clarke's untimely death from alcohol.
Since so many emails have come in with requests for the PSA I mentioned (as well as his pic), I'm running it, in its entirety, here. WARNING: What you're about to read is graphic and VERY strong! But let your kids read it ANYWAY; it was Mike's wish, and is the STRONGEST message I've EVER read about the pitfalls of drinking:

"Dear Young Friends,

You don't know me, but I am in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. I was the drummer for "The Byrds." We were almost as popular as "The Beatles." Back in the 60's everyone knew who we were. Your parents will remember, I was a famous rock 'n roll superstar. My band performed for millions all over the world. Our songs, "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Eight Miles High" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" are still played constantly on the radio. Our concerts were often sold out. I made a lot of money and had everything going for me including a problem I want to share with you. I was a drunk. Alcohol killed me on December 19,1993 when I was only 47 years old. It's embarrassing to have to share with you my stupidity that resulted in my death. But you need to know that what happened to me can happen to you. Honest to God, it can. Dying of alcoholism is not an easy death. You have a right to know the truth. Really, you need to know the whole truth.

Don't stop reading my letter yet. What I am about to tell you is real serious. It is no lie. It is time for you to be told the facts of drinking too much beer, wine or distilled spirits. You need to know the facts about the horrible death I suffered and the excruciating pain and embarrassment I went through at the end. I did not die of too many drugs like coke or pot. I died of too much alcohol which is really the most lethal drug of all. Trust me, this is no jokel

When I died I weighed only about 75 pounds. I had been a great looking teen and handsome man who was 6'2" and my normal weight was 175 pounds. I was a real lady's man and women loved me when I was healthy, but right before I died I was a horrible mess. My face was unrecognizable to my family and friends. You would have shuddered from the sight of me, I looked like a walking skeleton. I was so weak, I couldn't even smile.

I started drinking alcohol when I was 14 years old and until two weeks before I died, I could hardly remember ever being sober again. Sometimes when I was drunk I was mean. I am sure some of my friends could no longer stand me. I am lucky I did not kill anyone driving drunk and wind up in prison. For years, I would drink a 2 litre bottle of vodka almost every day and while I was performing I would drink beer on stage in between songs. When I was young I did not care about what would happen when I got older and just kept drinking, but believe me, when you grow up you want to live a full life. I know I did, but I robbed myself of about 30 years that I could have had fun with my fame and money and I cheated my son out of having his father. Please believe me when I say, "I wish I had never taken the first drink. I wish I was alive today."

I got hooked, that's right hooked on alcohol. It is addictive just like crack cocaine and many people like myself find it impossible to stop. We are called "alcoholics." And for people who start and get hooked and cannot stop, it is a fatal disease and can lead to other serious problems like teenage pregnancy, child abuse, crime and premature accidental death. For a young person alcohol is an illegal drug. Alcohol is more harmful than all the other illegal drugs combined. I know you can get it easily; I did. But don't be stupid like me. Too many beers or other alcoholic beverages can ruin your life. If you get hooked you may not finish school and get a good job, you may lose your health and friends and family. I did other drugs too, but none like alcohol. Alcohol is so addictive that I warn you if you get hooked you may not be able to stop by yourself or even if you get help. It is that powerful.

Right before I died, my liver disintegrated inside my body. You could see pieces of it breaking off in my guts with a special type of x-ray picture taken called a sonogram. When I died my liver was the size of a dime. My pancreas and kidneys were also affected by my drinking. Because I destroyed my liver with alcohol, my wastes had no way to leave my body and as a result my testicles swelled up to the size of a basketball. You can't even imagine how painful they were. It was like someone took a sledge hammer and hit them about 1000 times and wouldn't stop. My chest, stomach and legs swelled up so huge I was the size of a summa wrestler. I could hardly move. My eyes turned yellow and my skin was discolored from the toxic wastes in my body. I had to go to the hospital so the doctors could drain the poisonous fluid from my abdomen to keep me from exploding. They inserted a catheter into my bladder through my urethra to draw off the urine into a plastic bag attached to my leg with an elastic strap. I screamed with the pain. I lost all my dignity and there was nothing more they could do to save me, so they sent me home to face death.

All of my vital organs stopped functioning and my body started to shrivel from the inside. The pain was so unbearable that even the morphine they gave me didn't help. I couldn't eat and I felt nauseated all the time. They gave me suppositories for the nausea but they did no good at all. I knew I was soon going to die. Believe me when the end comes, it is not like you think. I didn't want to go. Two weeks later I died. Before I died I made my soulmate, Susan Paul, promise me to get this message to you. Please, please I say to you with tears in my eyes, say no to alcohol the worst drug of all and if you already have a problem with it, plead with your parents, your doctor or friends to get you help.

If you are drinking at your age you are abusing alcohol. Let me warn you that you face a crisis in your life. You might live to be 47 like me and then die a nightmarish death like I did, or you could be killed or disfigured today in an alcohol related crash. And if you drink too much alcohol in one sitting, alcohol poisoning will shut down your breathing and you will die.

Alcohol is a bad drug and a bad trip. Please think about what I have told you. Look what it did to me. It could happen to you too. So if you drink, stop! If you can't stop do everything in your power to get help. If you haven't started drinking yet, don't even take the first drink. My first drink eventually killed me. I don't want to see what happened to me happen to any of you. Trust me, you don't want to suffer like I did, really, it's no joke.

God Bless you all,

With all my love,
Michael Clarke
Drummer for The Byrds"

Now, most of you remember the Mike Clarke in the first photo, taken when he was with The Byrds. The middle one, I understand, was taken when he was in his late thirties.
The last one ... was taken a little over an hour before his death.

It's this writer's hope that, somehow, Michael's message gets through to EVERY young person. If you or yours are fortunate enough NOT to have a drinking problem, please SHARE his message with someone! Thanks ...

See you on the flip side ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Free WHAT?!?


Normally, you'll find me ranting and raving about the latest rock revelations on this site ...
but this latest news to come outta Hop City has kinda set me on edge, and I've gotta get this outta my system. So bear with me:

Yeah, the fermented folks who provide the famed Budweiser™ beer to woozy alcoholics worldwide is tryin' to push sales, so (now, get this!) they're gonna use a marketing campaign that'll appeal to YOUNG PEOPLE!!
OH ... and did I mention they'll kick-off the campaign by giving away ... FREE BEER?!?

STUPID?? Awwww, gee -- I dunno: I mean, the kids are already busy talkin' or textin' on their cell phones, crankin' up the bass on their CD players so loudly that it shakes their windshields, and speeding down busy highways. Geeez ... what's a little drinkin' gonna hurt, huh??

Oh, suuuuuure, we oughtta stop kids from smoking (seriously!), because they might get cancer and stuff, but ... but do those little 'backy-stix cause fatal head-ons that leave children parentless, or parents childless?? Has (now, somebody help me out here!) any woman or child been beaten bloody because a husband or father's had too much to smoke??

Folks, we're hittin' the wrong target when these liquor ads are aimed at kids. It seems to me that, not too long ago, there was a campaign to keep kids away from cigarettes.
Then will somebody tell me why the Hell we're pushin' liquor on them??
Does it make sense?

I wish you'd've read Mike Clarke (drummer for The Byrds and Firefall) PSA script ... the one he was gonna videotape before he died of cirrhosis of the liver; I wish you'd seen him just before he died (in fact, there's a photo of him that was taken just an hour before he left us. If ya wanna see it, email me and I'll be glad to send it to you, along with his script).
I wish every kid could read that script and seein' this fair-haired, handsome drummer in an emaciated, haggard and painful state. We'd have a teetotalling teen society who'd be the safest of any generation!

Anyway, 'nuff said. This is goin' out to both blogs, and, after all, it is MY quarter ...
Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Radio Logical

Ummmm ... soooooooo ... you have noticed I've been gone???
Thanks ... it's good to know at least you two missed me, anyway!!

Actually, the bald bird's been bound by microphone cords, scripts, clips, audio beds, tracks ... and hungry pooch (!) whilst I've been recording a preview of the soon-to-be-online 98.6RelicRadio.
(The, ummmm, "hungry pooch"?? Chewtoyed my first mic to death (thanx to K-Cat, who knocked 'em off the console), but only after usin' my script (also K.O'ed by K-Cat) as an appetizer!

Now, whilst the recording isn't totally what I was shooting for (the voice is muffled due to my inexperience with computer soundboards), I promised to share the end-product with you today ...
and I'm a man of my word ...

That being said, here's the raw versiou of 98.6 RelicRadio (Preview).

After you listen to it, how about giving me a shout-out and let me know whatcha think (outside the muffled voice), alright? And we'll get up-to-speed with tomorrow's written edition here in about 24!

See ya then ...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In The News ...

Yep ... been a bit busy over the Big Weekend past ...

Yer favourite bald buzzard's been neck-deep in audiobeds, jingles, tracks, timers, sweepers and mic cords whilst putting together the new 98.6Media webside radio station (and keeping my cats off the equipment and dogs away from the cords which, apparently, have the same taste as Alpo® Beef Flavoured dog food!).

Sooooooo, for you who've asked, let me assure both of you that I'm fine and am back in the cyber-saddle now ...


As if being Propped by the Prez wasn't enough, Sir Paul McCartney will be saluted with Kennedy Center Honours December 4 in Washington, DC. Paul was actually named in 2002 but was forced to withdraw, citing a family obligation. The others to be honored are Merle Haggard, Oprah Winfrey (wait ... Macca's gotten billing over Oprah?? WOW! He must be famous, then ...), dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones and Broadway composer Jerry Herman ("Hello Dolly").

Just learned that Reg Presley, lead singer of the Troggs, has suffered what his wife termed a "serious stroke" while vacationing with his family in Malaga, Spain. Now, he's been released after a week in the hospital and is recovering in the family's home there.
Reg's wife, Brenda, said, "Reg is still very unsteady on his feet and he has double vision and his speech is still a bit slurred. We are taking one day at a time."
Plans to return to England have been postponed indefinitely and an upcoming concert has been cancelled. Reg is known for his vocals on the hits "Wild Thing," "With A Girl Like You" and "Love Is All Around."
Natch, we all wish Reg a full and speedy recovery ...

A very bizarre ending to a talented life: Mike Edwards, cellist with the Electric Light Orchestra from 1972 to 1974, died Friday (3 September) when he was crushed in his car by a 1,300 pound bale of hay! It's believed to have fallen from a tractor working along the steep highway in Halwell, near Totnes, England.
Mike (who later became a Buddhist and changed his name to Deva Pramada) played on such hits as "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and "Roll Over Beethoven." He was known for playing his cello with fruit during shows and for a cello -- that exploded at one point during a number!

Okay ... that's it for this short-but-informative edition, but stay tuned ... there will be more heading your way in about 24! So ...
stay tuned!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pre-Noting Labor Day

Awwww, I knowwwww ... and I'll 'splain in a minute. But, first,

I've gotten a lot of feedback in the emailbag over comedian/actor/activist Jerry Lewis' remark about Lindsay Lohan -- and, personally, I don't see what all the hubbub's about.
Jerry said (or, as all good journalists are supposed to do, I oughtta say "allegedly said") that little Ms. L. deserves a "slap in the mouth" for her shenanigans -- including not following court-ordered rehab.
Now, Jerry's known by fans around the world for: (1) his comedy, (2) his heartfelt concern for his "kids" [especially those with muscular dystrophy, though it goes way beyond that] and (3) his courage in speaking out on different issues.
But, whilst a few (and just a few) feathers were ruffled over his remarks (sorry ... alleged remarks), it kinda makes me wonder where everybody stands on this Lohan issue.
I mean, it's unanimous that the girl is definitely on the wrong track; we cringe when we see her voluntarily wasting her potential; secretly, we think her folks shoulda been stricter years ago ... and, now that she's an adult, some (such as an email I received from a reader in California) think "somebody needs to nock (sic) some sense into her".
But, when Jerry verbalizes how we feel, people get offended. It doesn't make a lotta sense, does it??

Personally, I applaud him for his outspokenness. And, whilst it seems that a "slap in the mouth" is a little too strict, I've gotta ask: Has anything else worked?? Face it ... she's just not listening to anyone; and, though I can't speak for Jerry, I'm sure he feels like we do: Somebody's gotta do something before it's too late! And, sadly, that's gonna happen, otherwise ...

BENSON TO LEAVE FOR L.A.? Actually, it's true ...
Mariska Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson of Law & Order: SVU) will be leaving her New York set for the turmoil of TinselTown and the new LOLA (Law & Order: Los Angeles) during the series' opening episodes.
Now, whilst it's not a permanent move, it's the guest shot that's got everybody wondering whether her character's pushing for permanent "re-assignment".
At the mo, I understand Ms. H. is quite content with her post in America's #1 crime drama ... and, for all of us fans, that's good news. She's an actress whose heart is as beautiful as her looks, whose love of her husband, Peter, and son, August, come before anything -- and is involved with her favourite charity, the Joyful Heart Foundation, which deals with issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

COMING UP I've been away for awhile, getting all materials, recorded and otherwise, for a return to those thrilling days of yesteryear (okay, maybe not so thrilling back then. Dunno ...) behind the radio microphone. Yep, this bald bird's headin' back into the studio one more (or a lot more) time(s, depending on the ratings) to front an online radio station.
At least that's the plan as it stands right now. Nonetheless, I can tell ya that my first show is gonna be available as a free download within a few weeks, so, stay tun ...
wait ...
I forgot something:

NOW ...
stay tuned ...