At Houston Tattoo Shops, "Nothing Gets Done Unless Music Is Playing"

Photo courtesy of Electric Chair Tattoo
Stephanie Purnell inks a RIPPER band member
Late last year, I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas and she said she wanted the entire family to get tattooed together.

It was so much easier when I could just buy her a Barbie dream house and be done with it; but, as she'd just left home to live on her own, how could I deny her? It was tougher to convince Mrs. Sendejas this was a fine idea, but was managed and so off we all went one Friday evening to get inked.

At nearly 50, I had no tattoos on my body until last month. I'd been in tattoo shops before, of course. One thing I appreciated about them was that they always had music going. I'd heard better music in some tattoo shops than I'd heard in bars or other music venues on occasion.

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Yes, My Musician Kids Have Jobs. They're Musicians.

Artwork by Jaime Torraco/Courtesy of Kittens of Industry
Recently someone I kinda-sorta know asked about my son.

He's doing great, I said. He and his band are on a 30-city tour.

No sooner than I'd answered this fellow, I regretted it as simple math scribbled itself onto his brain's chalkboard. Thirty shows minus my son being at home, where he lives, equals, "Your son doesn't have a job?"

Yes, he has a job, I explained. His job is being in an active, touring band.

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Leon Russell at the House of Blues, 6/26/13

Photos by Marc Brubaker.

Leon Russell
House of Blues
June 26, 2013

So, Leon Russell played a show last night at the House of Blues, and being the terrific daughter that I am, I took my dad with me. He's always loved ol' Leon, and some of his best memories are of his old hippie days, hangin' out, smokin', and listening to Leon do his thing.

My dad hadn't been to a Leon Russell concert since the '70s at old Hofheinz Pavilion, and he was stoked to go. I, on the other hand, was stoked to hear his perspective on the show, as I'm relatively new to Leon Russell territory and wanted a bit of guidance and insight. What we ended up with were two generations with two very different opinions of the concert. Here's what happened.

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Wanna Dress Vintage Like a Rock Star? Ask One Yourself

Photo courtesy of The Freakouts
The Freakouts' Meg Michelle Cambern and Wild Mocassins' Zahira Gutierrez
By day four of a recent "staycation," my family and I had little to do and less money to do it with. My daughter suggested an afternoon of bargain-hunting in the thrift stores.

Everyone piled into the family vehicle and off we went. She asked what I planned to buy, if anything. I told her, without hesitation, I'd be searching for a concert T-shirt commemorating The Rolling Stones' 1981 American tour.

"O-kayyyy," she said. "Good luck with that."

"Preferably, a jersey, with red or blue sleeves," I said.

"Riiiight," was her response.

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I Tried to Explain CDs to My Three-Year-Old Daughter

Rubbish, we tell you.
I was strapping my daughter into her carseat when she said, "Daddy, I want my favorite book."

She was pointing at the floorboards in the back, where a stratified layer of various toys, books and random objects she has demanded to entertain her during car rides and abandoned after 15 minutes continues to grow. The specific item she wanted this time was Iggy Pop's album Preliminaries, which for some reason continuously follows me into the car no matter how many times I've taken it inside.

I handed the cardboard sleeve to her. Sometimes she treats DVDs as books because they open, so I figured this was an extension of that. I got in the front seat and started to drive.

"Oh," she said. "It's a movie, Daddy!"

"No, sweetie," I replied. "It's a CD."


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Marvin Gay, Sr., and the 10 Worst Rock-Star Parents of All Time

Categories: Dad Decision

Twenty-eight years ago this week, Marvin Gay, Sr., received a six-year suspended sentence and five years of probation for the voluntary manslaughter of his son, the R&B legend Marvin Gaye. Gay pled guilty after shooting his namesake dead in the L.A. home given to him and his wife by Gaye, who was 44 when he died.

It was a terribly ugly end to a disastrous relationship between father and son. The elder Gay was a profoundly fucked-up man who had grown up in a violent abusive household as a child, and he readily passed that violence down to his own son. A minister in the House of God sect, he was a strict taskmaster to his children, and Marvin Jr. regularly took brutal whippings from his dear old dad as a boy.

According to Gaye's mother, Alberta, the elder Gay "never wanted Marvin, and he never liked him," making him quite possibly the only person in history who hated Marvin Gaye. He also had a penchant for cross-dressing in his wife's clothing around the house, which deeply confused the young Marvin and further estranged him from his father.

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