Don’t get me wrong. Retirement is pretty great. Enjoying the other sides of life and putting the focus on relaxation and family has been stellar. I’ve certainly been enjoying it. However, I got to talking with the old band about an original song we wrote back in the day. We always thought it was great, but it never quite fit into any of our previous albums or the times. So, it just kind of got swept to the side.
Now that it was brought up again, we all decided that we needed to record it and shoot a killer music video before one of us kicked the bucket. Almost all of the video would feature us singing in an office building and destroying the place. I’m sure you can imagine the content already.
Well, back in the day we had to search for office furniture for our managers and stuff when we were on tour and for our studio. We worked with this great company, Creative Office Design, who evaluated our space and designed the perfect studio with furniture that fit our exact needs in a cool way. It looked so good, we even would have photoshoots in the corner. It was a great place for creative minds. At the time, we were using brand new stuff. However, for the purposes of this video it didn’t make sense to destroy brand new furniture. It also didn’t make sense to spend the money it would cost for that shiny new furniture.
I spent a little extra time on their website, and this ol’ rockstar figured out that Creative Office Design had an office in Los Angeles and used cubicles and other furniture we could use as well! Looks like they are coming in clutch again. So, I gave them a call and they headed over the next day.
Creative Office Design evaluated our set, and had some great ideas and suggestions for the used cubicles to use in the video. They even found some extra pieces on hand that they thought would really give the music video the aesthetic that the band was looking for. It looked so real, and it was going to look so crazy when we destroyed it.
That first day of shooting, I felt almost guilty when I took a baseball bat to the top of a cubicle. It was genuinely great furniture. But, it wasn’t long before me and the mates really got into it. A highlight of the video was when the Billy, our drummer, used his drumsticks on a glass conference table before throwing a chair into it, shattering the whole thing. Epic. The whole song and production process was a throwback of nostalgia and a throwback of fun.
Once it was over though, my daughter made sure to remind me that I was not allowed to completely go back to the old ways. No more late-night partying. So, me and the boys released the throwback single. It ended up being a huge success. I guess we hit the perfect timing of being old enough to be cool again.
And I still got a little rockstar left in me. I snuck home a chair and desk I knew would look great in my home office.
If you need great office furniture, make sure to check out:
Now he understood what his ex-wife was talking about. Ex-wives, he thought. The old rock star stood in his robe on the back porch. He had a small patio back there, but otherwise, it was just a plain, perfectly manicured lawn. A home is a lot more than a show house, or a party house, or even a rocking recording room. He had all of those, of course, in all of his beautiful mansions spread across several properties. But, he felt like they were all missing something.
Holding his steaming coffee close to his chest, he stepped outside and sat down.
Despite being a rock star at heart, and a wandering soul to boot, he’s getting older and he knew it. Staying behind the curtain in his older age meant he was spending more time at home. He knew something that was missing in all of them: a place to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. To live at the home, not just to sleep. Especially now that he could have grandchildren soon.
He closed his eyes and imagined strumming along to the tempo of the ocean.
One of his favorite homes is in La Jolla, nestled into the rugged coastline of southern California. The rocky cliffs and clear water were refreshing. Whenever he’s there, he just wants to be close to the ocean and quietly play his guitar. Of course, he needs an enjoyable place to sit outside and remain anonymous. The last thing he wanted was some journalist knowing he wanted to sit outside and enjoy the sound of the ocean. It’d kill his rock star vibe. Actually, the more he thought about it, he realized he wanted to revamp all his houses. Why not?
Later that day, he reached out to a friend who got him in touch with a landscaping company. They would come and redo his entire front, back, and side yard. Landscaping in La Jolla was a bit of a challenge, but they were up to it. They incorporated a gorgeous bare brick and outdoor BBQ theme. The BBQ grill was featured as the centerpiece, with a small stage on one side. Beautiful, yet functional. He didn’t know how much cooking he’d get done on the grill, but from his younger days, he knew at least he could make a mean s’mores. La Jolla was home away from home.
The next personal project was a Rancho Santa Fe landscape design. Rancho Santa Fe was where the other famous people go to relax. It was hard to think of himself as famous and a celebrity in that sense. After all, rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t scream caviar, but he couldn’t help but enjoy the perks. There, he had the team design an elegant outdoor setting, complete with a pool and an entertainment system. It’d be a nice place to go swimming and watch movies. The landscape team outdid themselves.
He saved the most complicated home for last: his mansion in San Diego, a high-end landscape project. He wanted to go all out here. The backyard wouldn’t be complete without a swimming pool, grilling and eating area, and a small stage for his own personal rock concerts. You can take the man out of the concert, but you can’t take the concert out of the man.
After the last brick was laid and the final check stroked, he called his daughter.
“Hey hun,” he said. He leaned back in his adirondack chair.
“What’s up?” his daughter asked.
“Nothing much,” he said. “Why don’t you bring the husband over? I got a new pool.”
They did a great job. It was worth it. If you need a good landscaper, be sure to check out:
“Tristin, are you still in bed? You need to get up and get ready right now!” Tornado Trixie had entered his room in a swirl, throwing his curtains open. “It’s noon Tristin, NOON! No wonder your marriages haven’t worked out.”
“Ha Ha Trixie,” Tristin muttered sarcastically.
Trixie smiled back at him, “What are little sisters for? Now get up, we need to go meet your divorce mediator. Do you realize the gobs and gobs of money you are going to have to pay if you don’t show up to this meeting? I mean honestly, they might just give everything to her. At least she doesn’t smell like a high school locker room,” Trixie pinched her nose, and fanned her face.
Tristin peeled off his sweaty socks as he sat up, and threw them directly at her head, “I’ll meet you in the car.”
Trixie shrieked and ran out of the room. Five minutes later Tristin joined his little sister in the garage. She was seated in the driver’s side of his new BMW. It was probably good she drove after the night he had. The sped down Ocean Avenue towards the mediator’s office. Tristan had used her before, she saved his ass a ton of money, she is the best divorce mediator in Orange County.
When they pulled in her assistant, Macy, was waiting for them outside, “You’re five minutes late.”
“And you’re paid an obscene amount of money to tolerate me,” Tristin smiled sweetly back.
“Hmm, cute,” Macy replied, “Now let’s go, your ex-wife is here already.” They walked into the building, and minutes later were seated opposite Tristin’s ex-wife, the notorious Tinsley Teagely.
“Tinsley,” Tristin said coolly.
“Tristin,” Tinsley responded. It felt like someone had set the AC to 50 degrees.
“So, let’s get started,” the mediator said, taking immediate control of the situation. “As we all know our clients here have sadly, decided to go their separate ways. While Tristin may have brought in most of the household funds, he feels it is only right that Tinsley is well taken care of after their divorce is finalized.” Tinsley shifted in her chair, she was ready for a fight, but Tristin seemed much more willing to negotiate than she assumed.
They spent a few hours working through all of the belongings and assets. This was the first time they had talked this peacefully in months and both parties were surprised at how easy this process was. Tristin thought he was going to get an earful, and rightfully so given that the marriage is ending because he is an out of control, womanizing party mongrel.”
The mediator smiled and turned to Tinsley, “Look Ms. Teagely, you have been doing an excellent job. You both have. And just think, doing it this way keeps this whole ordeal out of the tabloids. I’m so thankful you didn’t go the traditional litigation route. This would have been made a public spectacle, drawn out for months, and costing you both tens of thousands more.”
“Exactly, and the last thing we need is to be caught up in some pesky, drawn-out public divorce,” Tinsley replied. “I’m just glad we don’t have any kids involved in this. Otherwise, we would need to find a family law firm in Orange County and that would make things so much more complicated.”
Tristin nodded his head in agreement. “You’re right. And didn’t I tell you, she was great? I guess having some experience in this came in handy after all!” Tristin said and then instantly got a glare from Tinsley.
The mediator quickly stepped in, nipping a potential fight in the bud, “How about we take a quick break for lunch, everyone is a little hungry, and you never want to do this on an empty stomach. When we come back we can sign the papers and you guys will be good to go?”
That seemed to please everyone and so they all headed off to grab lunch and would wrap things up a little later in the afternoon.
If you need a good Divorce Mediator be sure to check out:
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Imagine you’re in a band. Yes, as an adult. It started out as an ironic hobby, something you did almost as a joke. But then it started gaining actual traction. You didn’t have to seek out venues anymore…they started seeking you. You’re getting calls, messages from friends you haven’t seen in years, calls from people you would’ve never expected..surprisingly, you’re on your way to becoming a financially successful ensemble. That’s how we started out years ago. Now, we’re back together for a reunion tour.
Everything was going great, but then all of a sudden, the drummer in your band gets a phone call during a rehearsal. He steps outside to take it while you tune your guitar, and comes back in like he’s seen his own ghost. Defeated, he breaks the news.
“My application to extend my time here was denied. I have to go back to Canada in two weeks.”
This is what happened to me only a few days ago. No one knows what to say. The band is nothing without George…his drum solos are the reasons many audience members make second appearances. The band chemistry, the specific and unique talent each member brought to the group…it only worked when everyone was on board. You can’t have the Four Seasons without the fourth man — and no one could replace him.
“No,” the keyboardist pipes up. “That’s not happening.”
For the next twenty minutes, we all dispute what little knowledge we have regarding immigration law. Someone says he’d be an undocumented immigrant if he stays, another says it’s fine if he’s a rock star, someone says he could seek asylum, another says “…from Canada?”….nothing really gets done. That is until we finally decide to use the wealth of information at our fingertips.
“Has no one Googled this yet?” I ask. The band members sheepishly stare at the ground.
After a dejected sigh, I finally put “immigration law orange county” into the search bar. The band members grab their respective devices and do the same. The first fifteen minutes were discouraging, but I realized why so many people go into law (spoiler alert: it’s because they make BANK). The band was making a decent amount of money during the tour, but not that much…money was still very much part of the equation, and it made the search more difficult than expected.
“Wait look at this one,” our keyboardist says. He had found a link to a more affordable lawyer via a Yelp review, and she was local. Not only did she have an impressive amount of positive reviews, but every one of her clients agreed that her services were definitely worth the price. George called the number on the website and she picked up in seconds. After briefly explaining his situation, she assured us that he had several means of legally staying in the US longer. They set up an in-person consultation, and from then on, we were never worried about George having to leave us again.
We only hope more people take the time to find these lawyers, rather than thinking their only options are staying illegally or leaving their entire life behind. These kinds of lawyers often unsung heroes, helping people when they need it most and keeping their prices affordable so people don’t spend their last dime just trying to continue their life in the US. And if that isn’t honorable, I don’t know what is.
Here’s one of these great lawyers:
K Nair law Group, P.C.
31897 Del Obispo St Suite 225, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Termites: the reason your neighbor’s house gets covered in a ridiculous circus tent. No one likes dealing with them, which is why so many people put it off until their ceiling foundation looks a little shakey. But believe me, termite infestations are nothing to put on the backburner. In fact, coming face-to-face with the termite problem early on might just save your life.
I had my own personal run-in with these “delightful” little creatures in my own career. I was halfway through a set with my band the other week, we were doing a little reunion tour, getting the guys all back together sort of thing. So we were in the part in the lineup where the energy really starts to pick up. The skies were blue, the crowd was pumped, and stage safety was the last thing on our minds. However, it became painfully relevant all too quickly when we heard a loud creak in the stage.
I am typically in charge of group morale, so I didn’t acknowledge it as a problem right away. After casting a quick nervous glance to my bandmates, I “played it off” (so to speak) with a laugh and continued in my favorite indulgent guitar solo. But I knew it was a problem I could no longer avoid when the stage literally sunk beneath my feet. I felt like we were on the freaking Titanic!
Call it far-fetched, but there is no other way for me to properly explain this. Whichever beam was supporting the weight of me, our drummer, and our equipment had just given up six inches of its original height. I had no idea this was even possible, at least in terms of physics. It was then that we knew it was an actual problem, not the kind you can just dismiss with “peace, love, and rock n’ roll.”
The rescue mission is my favorite part of the story, and I only know it because my manager told me what happened in full detail after the event. After the unfortunate sinking event, our manager went directly to the guys that saved us last time. Longtime readers of this blog may remember a story where termites took down the stage in our recording studio. Because of that, we had a little experience with termite extermination, my manager literally dug through our old records and somehow, by the grace of God himself, found their number just in time.
A fine exterminator from Garden Grove by the name of Marky Mark (okay not really, but wouldn’t that be amazing??) sauntered in with his knowledge of all things extermination. He had saved us once, we were hoping he could save us again. And just to reset the scene, while all of this is happening, we are still jamming away on stage to a huge crowd. Lord knows how he did the job so quickly — I thought the process involved several days-worth of fumigating and quarantining, but apparently, it is doable without such drastic measures. Within what seemed like minutes (one’s sense of time is severely compromised whilst on stage), the problem had evaporated into thin air. The concert continued, the crowd was pumped, and we completed the set on a termite-free stage,
Now I know this sounds far-fetched — termite extermination within a few hours? That’s too science-fiction-y for my taste. But folks, the advances of technology go way beyond SpaceX and self-driving Ubers. The future is now guys, it’s pretty dang cool. And in tribute, I’m writing a new song dedicated to this amazing man who has now saved us twice. Be on the lookout for that! Until then, keep rocking!