April 2006

Brad’s Corner is a monthly commentary written by Brad about whatever he feels like. It’s supposed to be funny, interesting and thought provoking, but most geniuses are misunderstood. Check out the April 2006 edition of Brad’s Corner and see what’s on his mind.

Is there anything better than a winding Sunday afternoon drive through the Texas countryside on a spring day? The voyage is a mind-altering escape through a visage of greens, blues, reds, browns, hills and flats. I think it should be state mandated of anyone who is able to participate. When I was a little kid there was nothing better than hopping on my black and gold Huffy and hoofing it around the neighborhood or up to my family’s full service gas station (back when such things existed). Along the way my imagination would take over and I would envision myself as the pilot of a big jet plane, an astronaut, a race car driver, a monster truck car crusher and more all in one trip. As I got older, I graduated from Huffy to Mongoose to Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. My friends, cousins and I became big time dirt bike enthusiasts and racers. And as I got further involved in these new, grand machines my imagination ran more rampant. I was Bob Hanna and Ricky Johnson and if I was dared I was Evil Kneivel. I can still vividly remember crisp fall afternoons spent inhaling the cold Texas air through my helmet as I flew through the air and took in the big blue skies. For those few brief seconds I would forget everything except the breathtaking awe of the skyline…trees, roofs, whatever got in the way. Around the end of this phase I moved onto actual vehicles. Anything with four wheels that was street legal. Whether I was driving or not, just the thrill of being away from your parents, the ability and capacity to go anywhere you wanted. The first inklings of latter day road trips were just mindless meanderings through the back roads of McLennan County. Not the kind of backroading you do on Saturday night with 2 cases of beer and a carload of friends, but the kind without a purpose or sense of direction. Climbing behind the wheel as a teenager and in my early 20’s it was much the same. Driving off a hangover on Sunday afternoon with a pack of Excederin and a Big Red can be pure ecstasy. There is something to be said for the freedom of having your cell phone turned off, great tunes on the radio, the windows rolled down and the wide-open spaces of county roads. Songs have been written about it, and a child’s imagination may just be the best inspiration available. As a teacher I’m reminded of that daily and as a back roads adventurer I’m reminded of that each Sunday I cruise the back roads. Pat said it best in “Carry On” when he lamented that “everybody’s gotta get away sometimes.” And I couldn’t agree more. Whether getting away is a vacation to the Carribean, a jaunt to Vegas, or just a 45 minute drive through the countryside, it is something that must be done ocassionally to keep your soul and spirit sound. It’s as relaxing as a massage, you don’t need an appointment or a travel agent…just a spare hour, a good cd and some open road. Try it, trust me.

Minor Chords:

-As Jerry Jeff said on his live album from the 70’s while introducing “Bojangles”…”as you may have gathered by now, we uh, have more people joining us all the time.” That’s how Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Fest & Chili Cookoff is shaping up this year. It’s April 25-29 and I hope you are considering coming too if you are reading this. It’s Steamboat without snow, a 5 day Chilifest/Greenfest/GWE Awards. Check out my April 2004 corner for more info or visit larryjoetaylor.com

-Go to Luling, TX on April 9. You’ll be glad you did and so will the Webb family. Check out celebratetom.com for details.

-So Isaac Hayes quit South Park because of their religious intolerance. I’m going to quit Galleywinter because of intelligence intolerance.

-Helped host my niece’s birthday party at Peter Piper’s Pizza this weekend. Reminded me of another Rodney Carrington joke….”thank God they serve beer in that damn place.” If I had to work in there for an 8-hour shift I’d go postal. Those people don’t get paid enough. Imagine the sounds of a carnival mixed with the singing of “Happy Birthday” every 15 minutes. Oh, and add crying babies. Good times.

-I saw where P Diddy’s record label is almost broke and he’s just now having to give money to some more 70’s soul bands for “sampling” their music on Biggie’s “Life After Death” double album. See kids, this is what happens when you don’t write your own music! Also, see the dustup between the Trailers and Zach something or other. I suggest we bring Big Kenny into these matters and have him mediate…”it’s just music brothers.” After a short time, the parties involved will forget about their quibbles as they realize that their “judge” is a mildly retarded stoner.

-We have several new forums which many of you are ignoring…Doug Moreland, Drew Kennedy, Josh Grider, Ryan James and others need your attention. We’re not in the habit of just adding bands for the sake of adding them. We add only the best, check these guys out!

-Peter Dawson is making a return run to Texas in mid to late May. He’ll be showcasing some new songs and all your favorites, not to mention that booming voice. Keep an eye on his website and forum for details.

-Wade Bowen is the classiest act in this scene. Must be something about growing up in Waco…too bad it didn’t rub off on me more-kidding.

-This month’s recommended movie is: Portrait of Billy Joe. It’s a documentary that came out a few years ago about Billy Joe Shaver, hence the title. It was filmed and put together by Robert Duvall’s trophy girlfriend and is moving, touching, humorous and insightful all at once. Check it out to learn more about one of this scene’s and this country’s true treasures.

-This month’s recommended album is: Rusty Wier-“Live From the Texas Theater”. In keeping with the true treasure thing, Rusty Wier has been putting on some of the most entertaining shows in any genre for nearly 40 years. This cd captures the magic and jokes that can be found at any of his shows. I can’t say it enough, for those of you who just see an old man or Coby Wier’s dad, go see this man before he retires from the road for good!

-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”-Mark Twain

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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