Monday, March 31, 2014

RIP Hobie Alter

Hobie Alter was definitely one of those most influential people in my life who I never personally knew. He was a legend where I grew up on the Southern California coast in the 1970's and early 80's.

His company, simply known as Hobie, was a very big deal in those days. One of the great ocean and beach centric companies ever, which I still associate with the smell of fiberglass resin that permeated the air inside the Hobie store on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport.

Hobie was a pioneer who created more buoyant, light and maneuverable polyurethane core fiberglass surfboards in a time when using wood was still the the norm. That was long before I was born. But by the time I knew what Hobie was, it was for his catamarans and for the skateboard counter inside one of his stores on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

If you ever made it into that Hobie store, they were often making fiberglass products on site, like right inside the store! There were few environmental or employee safety regulations back in those days. I think if anyone would have lit a match, the place would have exploded.

I spent months and months visiting the store over and over until I finally saved enough money from my paper route to buy one of his stellar skateboards outfitted with Cadillac Wheels, the hottest urethane skate board wheels of their time. The skateboard itself was thin super flexible with polished fiberglass on the bottom in electric lime green with a unpolished/rough top or deck with a neapolitan ice cream pattern of colors blended into the resin.  No two boards were exactly alike.  I had the greatest times of my life as a kid on that board.  I still have a big scar on my ass from the time I ate it flying down Cliff Drive.

The coolest thing about I learned while reading Hobie Alter's Obituary in the LA Times was that they guy knew how to live the good life his own way. The LA Times story said this of how he chose to live his life: "When he was a young man, Hobie Alter had a clear vision of his future: He didn't want a job that would require hard-soled shoes, and he didn't want to work east of Pacific Coast Highway." I could not help but smile and laugh while reading that part of his story, because, even though I didn't figure it out until I was an adult, I purposefully have chosen to live by that same lifestyle, working West of PCH in flip flops and shorts.  The Hobie skateboard which I so proudly owned was surely one of those beach lifestyle osmosis machines that has contributed to this wonderful life I am so blessed to lead.

Here is a nice history of the Hobie Alter and his company.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Quote of the Century (For those who are artists of substance anyways)

"The truth is, if you're afraid to be hated, your art is going to be worthless." - Quote by Music Industry Analyst Bob Lefsetz in his posted titled Being Liked

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Power of a Smile

This afternoon, I visited the Forbes Magazine website and saw yet another great quote by the late Malcolm Forbes Sr. that read:
Forbes Thought Of The Day
“ One of the ceaseless wonders of the world: The power of a smile. ”
— Malcolm Forbes
Greg Chamberlain (Left) and Malcolm Forbes (right)
Greg Chamberlain and Malcolm Forbes Sr.

When I was in my early twenties and struggling to make a success of my first media company idea to launch a print magazine, I had privilege of getting to know Malcolm Forbes Sr.

I got my butt kicked at the proverbial School of Hard Knocks. The magazine was a good early failure of mine that hurt. Forbes offered insights and optimism, even during the adversity. Looking back, I was very fortunate to intercept from him vital information and libertarian viewpoints that continue to influence me to this day. He greatly influenced the way I view the world of unlimited possibilities, the way view and stand up for liberty and the way I pursue & enjoy the fruits of freedom and capitalism.

I still view the world with optimism, but it is clearly against a backdrop where the powers that be, our supposed leaders, seem hellbent on diminishing liberty, freedom and real capitalism. I am not brainwashed by their jingoistic rhetoric that tries to convince us all that they are our saviors and that they are the supreme policemen of the world on behalf of all Americans.

What we seem to be getting these days, from these so called leaders, is a big dose of hypocrisy and totalitarian style activities. It is clear that we now live in a overzealous police state, a growing unsustainable nanny state, and a business environment where insider deals such as "too big to fail" allow politicians and the secretive Federal Reserve to bail out those who should be bankrupt, corrupting what should be free market competition. Crony capitalism, teetering on all out fascism, now reigns! This plague is undermining the entire fabric of our country. This is something we must all vigorously resist. However, we cannot and should not stop smiling during the process of resisting these powers that be. The powers that be hate happy smiling resistors hellbent on stymying their repressive ways.

Friday, February 14, 2014

It's all about the song...

Everyday I live to hear new music. But at the end of the day lately, I keep finding myself dialing backwards in time for a reset.

Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderly

The song stylings of Nancy Wilson accompanied by Joe Zawinul is what I fell into as I ironically flew solo throughout Valentine's Day and into the night. Wilson's interpretation of The Masquerade is Over managed to get played 22+ times to be exact, since the moment I found it on YouTube and downloaded my own copy on Amazon. This is the third time I have bought this product. Once upon a time I owned the vinyl! And, then again I bought a CD! I hope Nancy is still getting paid, because she is still alive!

Nancy's great song stylings would mean nothing without a great song first and foremost. The Masquerade is Over was written in 1938 were Herb Magidson who did the lyrics and Allie Wrubel who wrote the music. The first recording of the song was by Larry Clinton and His Orchestra in 1939. Everyone has covered this song since then. But, I love these Nancy Wilson moments, which I keep seeming to have, over and over. Good things never die.

The take just below is Nancy Wilson accompanied by Joe Zawinul on Piano, Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. It was the #9 track on the eleven song record which Capital began recording in 1961, releasing it in 1962 titled as "Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley"

I wish I could hug Cannonball Adderley and John Levy who really helped get Nancy Wilson break through. For weirdos who care, here is a great interview and story about that and more at this link: 


GC on Amazon.Com

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nancy Wilson, Percy Mayfield and Please Send Me Someone To Love

Percy Mayfield was a blues artist from Louisiana who moved to LA in 1942 and eventually landed a small record deal with the Swing Time label in 1947 that lasted a short time. Finally, in 1950 under a new record deal with Specialty Records, Mayfield finally recorded song titled Please Send Me Someone to Love. It is perhaps his most famous song, even though he later wrote several successful songs well into the 1960's including Hit The Road Jack, which Ray Charles had made famous.

Percy Mayfield, Please Send Me Someone To Love

When interpreted by Nancy Wilson, Mayfield's song Please Send Me Someone to Love totally kills me every time I listen to it.  Her version brought me to tears that streamed down my face the first time I heard it. It is simply beautiful and perfect from the first note.  It was released by Blue Note in 1963.

Nancy Wilson
Nancy Wilson
To hear the entire stream of the Nancy Wilson's interpretation of Please Send Me Someone To Love, click on the blue picture in the player widget below. A new window will open and the song will play automatically. I hate directing people to this particular MySpace player, but the song does not exist on YouTube. This happens to be the only place on the Internet one can listen to the entire stream of the song.  If you wish to buy the song, click the link just below the player and the hearts.  Enjoy!



Monday, December 9, 2013

A close brush with death

I was walking to the Farmers Market in my neighborhood yesterday. At exactly 12:28PM I stopped to look down at my phone and two feet in front of me a giant tree branch crashed to the ground. Had I not stopped, I would have for sure been hit in the head and crushed. Typically, such brushes with death, such as when I hit a oil slick while riding a motorcycle at the intersection of LaCienega & Beverly and the bike and I parted ways and I was almost run over by a car, left me pale and shaking for hours. This most recent brush with death left me feeling very very lucky. The idea of making sure I have fun seems to be the biggest thing on my mind at this moment. Life can be short. Live, Love and Be Happy!!!! Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Laugh and Stay Young

What a great plan or resolution it is to laugh more. Laughing keeps us young!

In that spirit of laughter, here is a video of a comic named Amy Claire! I love this one particular film of her. It is the practically the same bit she did when I saw her for the first time. Not long after she took the stage, my cheeks started hurting from a non-stop devilish grin that she induced. She is a dirty minded and occasionally foul mouthed comic, so if you don't like that sort of thing, this isn't for you. To me, Amy Claire was impressive live. Her timing and delivery was the real deal, no doubt about it. This footage is a comedic gem and I hope it never gets lost.