Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Open Letter to Tony Hayward (BP CEO)

Dear Tony,

Boy, what a minor inconvenience this turned out to be. Looks like it's more of quite the disaster, and frankly I don't think a complimentary candy bar to all Louisiana residents is going to cut it.

During your 7 1/2 hour probing you graced us with many eloquent and informative answers including but certainly not limited to:

"I can not say."

"[I'm] not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until the investigation is complete."


"I was not involved with that decision."

That last gem is in reference to the criticism of BP's choice of casing. I'm sure at your level passing the buck is something you could do in your sleep, hell, something had to get you where you are. It's tempting, I'm sure it is, I'm sure everyone would go that route if it wasn't for...what's the word I'm looking for...sometimes causes one not to sleep...oh yeah, values!

Anyway, I'm not here solely to criticize your line of work or the work-culture you adhere to, that's a book I hope to write later in my lifetime. Rather, I'm here to present you with an exercise, a true test of self-will, maybe something that could move things along.

I heard on NPR (they talk about you too quite a bit, you're getting a new fan club I swear) that one in every eight British men would give up sex for the tournament's length if it meant that England won the World Cup. Tell your wife you have an idea. No shaggin' tell this thing's fixed. The only hole you'll be pluggin' will be in the Gulf. You two can even make a little rhyme out of it. "If the water's still black Tony gets none in the sack." You want your life back? Well, the "small people," as you like to refer to them as, want their lives back too.

You seem to be unresponsive to government pressure, and I'm sure the metaphorical Obama ass-whopping is all but laughable considering the fat check you cats wrote during the election.

So maybe some good ol' fashioned sex-less pavement-pounding work is what you need. Come on, Tony, feel like one of the small folks for once. In fact, on behalf of myself and anyone else on this planet that has to spend day after day at a job where they bust their ass to put food on the table: Get to work. Don't even bother getting in front of the camera, don't issue anymore apology videos, just get to work. And open your checkbook Tony, because it's time to pay...maybe you should be part of some of those casing decisions next time.

I'm an artist Tony, we'll always and forever be very different you and I. Amen.

--Ron Placone

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Road First...

This past weekend marked the first time in my nifty little career that I did a run and every stop on the run had a skyline. In fact, most of the time NONE of the stops have a skyline, let alone all of them. SOME of them have even stumped Google maps before...what is the zip of this place?...I'm checking many of these people carry guns everywhere?...Wait, how many KKK members live near this town?...Can I get anything other than Rush Limbaugh on the radio here?...These are all questions I've asked myself at various times, you get the idea.

Alas, this weekend Thursday night was Pittsburgh, Friday Columbus and Saturday Cleveland. I was opening for Hamell On Trial. If you haven't heard of Hamell yet, Google him. There's a documentary about his life and career coming out soon.

Anyway, the Pittsburgh show was a great time. Though, it started out a bit rocky, while trying to park Ed (Hamell) got a flat, right in front of Club Cafe. Pete, the sound guy from Club Cafe, came out and gave Ed a hand with getting the flat off. Me, being the handy man that I am, decided to be useful the only way I was able to be...I watched Ed's gear. It didn't walk away. A couple people that were there for the show lent a hand as well, which was cool, a few drunk people from down the street offered some unsolicited advice too, that was not-so-cool, but they meant well. Turned out the bolts were on pretty solid. I called Triple A. I explained the situation to them and they said they'd be there in about 45 minutes and I'd get a 5-minute warning call. I told them that 5-minute warning call wouldn't help me much if I was on stage. I decided it'd be easiest if I called Triple A after my set and by the time Ed was done the tire would be fixed. I always enjoy watching Ed play but I had two more dates with him so I knew I could always catch the next night.

So we put the doughnut in the trunk and I told Ed I'd call after my set and not too worry. We both headed up to the dressing rooms and I started to go over some of the newer things I wanted to try. Show was a good time, I called Triple A after my set, they came and were done before Ed was finished with his set. All's well that ends well.

The next night in Columbus was fun as well. Since I was the opener some of the crowd was still trickling in during my set, which made it a little difficult because at times some members of the audience would be on one page well others would be on another because they just arrived. Towards the end though, we were all together, and the room was solid, laughing and ready for Ed.

Cleveland was enjoyable though was by far the most difficult show for me. First and foremost, it was a matinee, day can always be tough. Second, it was by far the smallest crowd. Third, there was an opener before me, so at least half of the people there were expecting the person they came to see to grace the stage next and instead they got me. Regardless, I got through the set, did the time Hamell wanted me to do and seemed to be fairly well-received, I at least got the vibe nobody was turned off to it.

I wanted to try to check out the Springsteen exhibit at the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame but that morning I overslept.

Pretzels, energy drinks, and SKYLINES this time!