Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You Can't Make This Shit Up (An Occasional Series)

So the other day, I was chatting with my Facebook chum Tommy Stewart (who, BTW, is a vastly better bass player than I will ever dream of being, so the hell with him) when for some reason I was reminiscing about the time I had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to kill Barry Manilow.

And, sadly, did not avail myself of the opportunity.

(It's a long story -- get me drunk some time and I'll tell you about it.)

In any case, Tommy immediately one-upped me thusly (and I'm paraphrasing, so forgive me):

"Steve -- sometime in the early 90s I was in a Texas music store when a locally notorious asshole named Vernon Howell came into the store. And proceeded to plug his guitar into a Marshall stack turned to 11, and play loudly and badly. REALLY badly; he emptied the store. I considered killing him on the spot, but didn't. Which I have regretted ever since, since I probably would have gotten off in a couple of years."

That was better than my story, but in any case, I hadn't heard of the aforementioned Vernon Howell. A Google search turned up this, however..

...and I think we can all agree that the guy's music is heinous enough to have made it worthwhile for somebody to off him before his career took off.

But when I mentioned this to Tommy I got the following quite mind-blowing reply (again, I paraphrase):

"Wrong Vernon Howell. The one I saw later changed his name to David Koresh. And like I said, had I killed him, I probably would have gotten off in a few years, but all those people would still be alive."

Words, as they often do, fail me, but in this case big time.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Great story. Amazing!!

But why are you teasing us with the Barely Man-Enough thing?

The only thing that I heard that is remotely comparable to that is this:

A guy named Chuck Moshontz worked L.A. rock radio from the Eighties till 2000. He was both news and radio personality. He's a family therapist now.

He and a friend were hitch-hiking in 1969 and got picked up by members of the Manson family who took them to party and hang with them at Spahn Ranch. This was just days before the murders.

Moshontz told this story on the radio years ago. Probably on the Mark & Brian show. He said they seemed like really nice communal hippies. The girls got along famously with their proprietor, George Spahn, who seemed to have a nickname for all of them.

Manson wasn't around. He was in Big Sur.

Needless to say, he was shocked that some of the people he was partying with did the grisly deed. It had to be spine chilling.

Vickie Rock

Blue Ash Fan said...

Steve, why would you want to kill a nice Jewish boy like Barry?

Hannes A. Jónsson said...

Don't recall all the details but Debbie Harry has also told a story of how David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") tried to pick her up in his van in the mid-'70s.

steve simels said...

Barely Man-Enough. Heh.

I am so stealing that one, which is, of course, in the great tradition of Olivia Neutron-Bomb and High Colonic Jr.

Billy B said...

Every time I'm in Guitar Center, there's some jackass who has an electric plugged into a big amp playing loudy and poorly. That is not fun.

Anonymous said...

The David Koresh story has completely ruined my day, thanks!

Allan Rosenberg

Brooklyn Girl said...

And now I am filled with pure hate, too --- for Vernon Howell. That kind of crap almost makes me wish I could go temporarily deaf.

Anonymous said...


I think the Olivia Neutron-Bomb thing originated in the Seventies. First time I heard it used was by Frazier Smith an L.A. radio personality. I love that one.

It seems that all Vernon Howell's are A Must To Avoid.

I don't know why, probably because of the Barely Man-Enough reference, I tangentially thought of this. It's a little ditty Sandy and I used to merrily sing to the tune of the chorus of Gary Puckett & the Union Gap's "Young Girl." It goes like this:

Young girl get out of my bed
You're only good for giving me head
You're too young girl
I'm too well hung girl

I think you'll agree, it makes that song much more enjoyable.:-)

Vickie Rock

BTW, for those who don't remember, Frazier Smith's catch phrase was "Too hip. Gotta go."

edward said...

Which leaves us with the question, did the Wrong Veron Howell change his name to match David Koresch, or is it just a lovely coincedent?

Anonymous said...

Koresh was evil personified but Janet Reno ordered the buildings set afire thus dooming those innocent children. It didn't have to end that way.

steve simels said...


And no, we're not gonna get into that crap, because if somebody posts something in support of that completely bogus meme, I'll delete it so fast your ass will spin.

Anonymous said...

The Waco deal, from beginning to end, was handled with the utmost stupidity. Nobody will ever know what actually happened there. All parties have proven themselves to be liars. There's no credibility anywhere. And the "crime scene" was bulldozed less than a month after the incident.

It's pretty tough to get the truth from deceitful vermin like religious wackos, the FBI, the ATF and the Justice Department. Everybody's just covering their asses. There seems to be plenty of blame to go around without reaching unfounded conclusions.

Koresh may have been a complete lunatic and horrible musician, but the ATF's "cowboy" attitude set things in motion. Memo to morons: You don't conduct a "secret" raid when you know that the people you are raiding have been tipped off.

Couldn't they have just arrested Koresh when he went into town for viddles?

But that's ancient history and kinda boring too.

I'd rather free dance to Don Ellis' "Pussy Wiggle Stomp."

That's the only spinning my ass wants to do.

Vickie Rock