Program Notes 48

There is a price to be paid for freedom, many ways every day. Like my homey Dog, who is not dark-skinned, although you'd never know it from the way the pigs treated him. At least they didn't beat him this time. And Lord knows the Dog deserves that and more. He was a screw-up who did some stupid things and even quit high school; a real detriment to society. Oh, okay, I'll admit that after dropping out he immediately dropped into the U.S. Marine Corps, where he extended his education into the college levels and became a recon specialist who can just kill a man quicker than any member of Cypress Hill, but never has. And, yes, he came home from the service and landed a decent job at an auto-parts store before moving up to a career with Eastern Airlines. He worked real hard A his ability to labor intensively is the source of his nickname A but the company went bust anyway. So he started over, cutting trees to make ends meet. Several years ago Dog was stopped on a DUI, but, he says, he blew zeroes and the cops let him drive home that night. The end.

Except that a few months ago this forgotten hassle revisited Dog. His truck had been stolen so he was up before dawn to wait on a bus to get to work. A pig came up and busted him where he stood. Explained that there was a warrant out from that long-ago wrongful arrest. Took him to jail. Forced his family to come up with $3000 in cash and deliver it by hand to the pigs who were holding him prisoner. Made him miss work to attend a hearing, and then a jury trial. At that trial, the judge tossed the "case" out. The prosecutors didn't have any reason to be putting Dog through all this. Didn't have any evidence, either. Then the pigs said they'd mail the $3000 (no interest even after all these months) in the form of a check. Yes, it's still in the mail. Yes, they are pigs. Yes, the real revolution is yet to come.

Assumptions are dangerous, and you probably think I'm gonna use this op to dis sweet Gloria Estefan. No thanks, not even after that torturous acoustic number on Leno the other night. Just a plug for a homegirl made good: Next Tuesday VH-1's Center Stage will feature a special about the Conga Kid, taped here by local hot shooters Forti/Layne Entertainment. Check those TV listings.

Velvet and Nails kick it tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. at Bayside, and have a running gig at Tigertail. Check those club listings. And on Friday, Halo (with the F.O.C. horns) and Cell 63 rock the Reunion Room.

Mr. Manson's up to tricks, and, like, what else is new? Marilyn's latest adventure is called Mrs. Scabtree, and it'll be unveiled Saturday at Plus 5 in Davie. The Mrs. features two members of MM, the guitarist from the Itch, Mary Karlzen on violin(!), vocals by a member of Amboog-a-lard and members of Jack Off Jill, lead bass by Pat Joyce, and rhythm bass by Killer. Plus other guests. Plus the line-up can change at any minute. Scabtree's even planning to release a tape. Mr. Manson has also been busy producing a track for the Itch and a release by Jack Off Jill at Studio 13 in Deerfield Beach. The guy's just trying to keep busy during MM's label negotiations. Sounds like he is.

WSHE-FM DJ and local scene ax murderer Glenn Richards is desperately seeking a tape of his February 14 interview with A&R star Marnie Smith. Somehow, Richards says, the radio show didn't get taped at the station. If you got, give Glenn a call at 949-1035.

It's the truth, I love gospel, and a full dose will be served up Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Methodist church at 6501 N. Miami Avenue in Little Haiti. A 25-member choir will mix pieces of devotional songs, African spirituals, folk, and contemporary gospel. Seeking multiculturality, portions will be sung in Spanish and French. It's free (unlike us) and open to everyone.

Still more choices for tonight (St. Patrick's Day): Quit and Load explode at Squeeze. But if you're heavily on the Celtic tip, I recommend the Volunteers (talk about a changing line-up and special guests) at 7:00 p.m. at Churchill's Hideaway, which is about as authentic as you're gonna get. The Church always does St. Paddy right. The Vols also play the Talkhouse, later the same night.

Our contest inviting you to guess the deepest darkest secret of Natural Causes singer Arlan Feiles continues. The best guess so far, that he's "the love child of Todd Rundgren and Annie Lennox," is incorrect. While that may be true, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Plus, the caller preferred to remain anonymous, and with the only prize being publication of your name in this space, the purpose was sorta defeated. Try, try again. Call me at 372-0004. Yes, you can leave your answer on my message machine. Spell your name for me, though. A clue: In the December 16 issue we profiled the band A without revealing the secret A under the headline "Star Search: Things Are Looking Up for Natural Causes."

Butthorn of the week: The rude people who worked backstage security at the Damn Yankees concert at Sunrise Musical Theatre.

The media circus: Did you hear, during her confirmation hearings, Janet Reno use the prosecutorial lingoism "buttheaded"? Surely she meant "butthorned."

Pet corner: The other day a homeless panhandler actually offered me money. I had told him what I had, just enough for cheap smokes and a burger, and he held out a handful of change and said, "Here, man, take what you need." I saw the same gentleman, whose name is Timothy, the next day, and he told me he was "blessed." Then he said how he had had three dollars and given two of them to a "lady 'round here. She don't ever ask for nothing, but I knew she needed it. I don't have it to give, big bro, but I did, 'cause that's my blessing." No, Timothy explained, he was not casting his bread, one good turning, or counting on the old goes-around-comes-around hypothesis. "No, no. It's not that I expect something back, big bro," he said. "I'm blessed because I can give something to someone." So instead of dropping him a dollar, I bought a can of cat food and fed some stray felines. That's the price of freedom.

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Greg Baker