“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?”

“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?”
By Lucky and a Host of Friends

Chaos reigns supreme during the days leading up to Christmas. It seems no matter how early I start there is always so much to do and so little time to do it. The shopping, wrapping, decorating and preparing takes its toll and damn near negates the real meaning of the season. So I’d like to take some time, reflect and refrain, and think about times past and my Happiest Holiday Memory.

The year was 1993, four days before Christmas. Financially I had hit the skids despite working a full time job and a second one (DJ at The Rainbow Bar and Grill) to boot. Money was real tight, food, rent and a few Christmas presents took priority over fluff. My son, whom mainly lived with his mom, but stayed with me two or three days of the week,  kept asking me “Daddy, how come you don’t have a Christmas tree?”. How do you explain to a four year old that you can’t afford one? In a way he seemed to sense all was not quite right at Dad’s place.

That night I went to work and upon walking into the back kitchen, Tony, one of my bosses, said “Hey Lucky, don’t forget to pick up your Christmas bonus.” Now I have worked all my life and I have never had a Christmas bonus of any sort. It was a check for $50. It might as well have been for $50 million I was so happy.

So as soon as I could I cashed that sucker and hit a small tree lot on Highland, just down the road a way from the Hollywood Bowl and scored a decent tree for $35. I took it home and decorated it. I will never forget the look on my son’s face when he saw that tree. I secretly cried like a baby. I treasure those memories despite all the hardships, and will always be thankful.

Last year I sent out a question to the masses and the response was so amazing that I decided to do it again this year in hopes to discover a treasured memory of friends and colleagues.

So without further adieu, “What is your happiest holiday memory?”

Ginger (The Wildhearts) – My happiest holiday memory happens every year, and involves leaving the UK at Xmas. I drag the family somewhere warm to avoid the panic shopping, miserable weather and moaning fuckers complaining about how disappointing Xmas and New Year are. In my holiday memory I sit in the sun and do absolutely nothing more taxing that floating in water. I fully intend to recreate the same holiday memory every year I’m alive. Please wish me luck. Thank you (in advance). Gx

Johnny Echols (Love) – “My favorite holiday memories are listening to Charles Brown’s “Merry Christmas Baby” and decorating the tree precisely one week before Christmas day…”

Cj Ramone (Ramones) – “CHRISTMAS 1997, FIRST ONE AS A DAD.”

Butch Patrick (Actor – Eddie Munster) – “Thanksgiving.”

Nikki Corvette (Nikki and the Corvettes) – Hi Lucky, not sure if I can answer this. I really love the holidays and almost all my memories are happy but here’s a special one. When i first moved to LA with The Corvettes we were really broke (yeah, a poor rock band, go figure) so we got this teeny tiny pitiful little Christmas ‘tree’ (very Charlie Brown) and couldn’t even buy ornaments so me and Lori Jeri took all our earrings and rhinestone jewelry and whatever we could find that was sparkly and we decorated the tree. It still looked sad but we loved our little ‘tree’ and it made us happy and less homesick. Hopefully this is something like you want. Cheers, nikki

Jayne County (Jayne County and the Electric Chairs) – My biggest memory is my Mom and Dad fighting over the Nimrod tree! My Mother said it was Satanic and the evergreen tree was a Babylonian symbol of Nimrod marrying his own Mother to keep the royal bloodline pure! Daddy wanted to celebrate Christmas but the weird cult my Mother was in forbade it! Christmas was always a time of religious strife in my family with everyone choosing sides and cussing and insulting each other. It caused me to develop psychological problems, OCD, depression and a slight personality disorder similar to “split personality!” Horrible. My poor sister couldn’t take it any more and committed suicide right after Christmas. So its all a dark evil cloud to me!!! Religion almost ruined my entire life. My best memory of Christmas is it not being Christmas!!!Nothing happy!!! All gloom and doom and the end of the world!!!I’m already depressed!!!I just want it to just go away!!! LOL Sorry! Xo Jayne County

***Just Added*** Emma Anderson (Lush, Sing-Sing)Erm….swimming in the pools in the Provence mountains when i was about 10 with my friend Rachel and her family. emma x

Billy Rath (Billy Rath’s Street Pirates, The Heartbreakers) – “Hey Lucky, what a great idea and thank you for the priviledge!!!!  My happiest holiday memory is when I was a kid, (9 – 13 yrs old)… My mother was Italian, she was 1 of 10 brothers and sisters, this made for a great amount of relatives (around 40 or 50). Every Christmas Eve they all would gather at our house in Belmont, MA. There was all the traditional Italian Christmas fix’ns, it was a feast. The times were good!! During clean up I would disappear with Debbie, we were kiss’n cousins, she was a real beauty!!!!! Then before Santa would show up, I would take out my accordian and we would all sing Christmas songs. It was during dessert Santa would show up with a ton of gifts. It was around 11pm when everyone would start to leave all laugh’n, hug’n, and say’n their goodbyes. Then as a family, our family of 6, we went to midnight Mass. It was a very happy, joyous time for me and my sisters. It is really a shame that this kind of family Christmas seems to have fall’n away. Lucky, I thank you with all my heart for ask’n me to bring back fond memories… It really lifted my spirits. May God bless you richly this holiday season…. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, Billy Rath

Geza X – “Well I have two and they both involve Christmas lights. Once, when I was destitute, my nephew and I were painting some apartments and also sleeping there. One of us found a teeny Christmas tree like a toy with lights on it and when we plugged that in, everything suddenly got all warm and Christmasy. Since then I’ve loved Christmas lights cause they can happy up any room. The next one was another time when I was pretty destitute and my wife Larva found a tumbleweed and dressed it up with lights and glitter while I was asleep. That was the best Christmas tree EVER I was so surprised when I saw it and how cool it looked.”

Chris Carter (Breakfast with The Beatles) – Getting the album Sladest by Slade and trying to play bass to it in my room on Christmas Eve 1973 in the glow big orange Christmas window candles.

Isis Queen & Pyn Doll (Barb Wire Dolls) – Our happiest holiday memory was this year as we walked through Central Park in New York City for the first time. It was snowing and horse buggies were going by, ice skaters in the park, holiday lights and music. It was like the many movies we have seen before on the TV in Greece back home, and now it was a reality for us. Very surreal knowing last year we left Los Angeles to tour the US for the first time two days before Christmas. It took us one whole year to finally get to the Big Apple and play one of the Punk capitals of the world. Maybe next winter we will be in London. Who knows? But we are very excited to also finally come back to Los Angeles this spring to rock the Viper Room again. Ps. we will be spending our holidays playing shows in Florida because we’re not going back to Greece until the summer. THEN we can finally see our families and celebrate it a more “normal” style! Happy Holidays and see you at the Viper Room in April!!! Get ready to rock, riot, and rip it up!!!

Piper (keyboard player, Cocktail Slippers) – “My happiest holiday memory is staying up late to find out if Santa was coming or not, only to discover that Santa Claus was my father! Who knew! I’m the daughter of Santa Claus! Best Christmas ever.”

Rocket Queen (guitarist, Cocktail Slippers) - “My happiest holiday memory has to be when my dad opened the present from my senile great gand mother. It was a Superman Speedo, and he put it on and wore it on the outside of his jeans for the rest of the day. Hillarious!”  - Best wishes and happy holidays from all of us.

Walter Lure (The Waldos, The Heartbreakers) – “Christmas  1976 – eating Christmas dinner over at Caroline Coon’s house somewhere in London.  The Heartbreakers were all stranded in London for a few weeks between the end of the Anarchy tour and the first few showcase shows we could do to get a record deal in London. Because of the holidays we couldn’t get music people to come before the first week of the new year. Caroline invited us along with the Clash, Sex Pistols and a few other London punk riff raff over to her house for dinner – good fun and good food.  I think I got drunk as well.”

Taquila Mockingbird – The year I was 6 years old and my mother and father gave me my first Chihuahua. I named him Cupid. I have had nothing but Chihuahua’s ever since. I am looking for one right now ! TALK ABOUT RELIVING YOUR YOUTH !

Ginger Coyote (Punk Globe, White Trash Debutantes) – My happy moment happened this year 2012… Being able to complain about eating a piece of rum spiked eggnog cheesecake at 3:15AM… According to the Mayan’s the World was meant to end at 3:11AM December 21, 2012… LUCKY

Frank Secich (Deadbeat Poets) - In 1986, I worked in record store. It was my son, Jake’s 1st Christmas. I stopped on my way home from work at a grocery store that was still open. During the weeks before Christmas this grocery store had about 100 Teddy Bears up on the wall by the check-out for sale. On Christmas Eve now there was only one left. I told the check-out girl to throw the bear in with my groceries because I couldn’t leave him there alone on Christmas Eve! Of all the gifts & toys he would ever have, that bear became my son, Jake’s most cherished & favorite toy of all time! It’s one of my favorite Christmas memories! Jacob graduated from college this year & will be going into the Air Force as an officer in early 2013. My wife, Lisa & I are so proud of him! Jake is home for Christmas with us this year! I love this time of year!

Cam Mosavian  (Piss N’ Blood) – I guess my happiest holiday memory would be: When I was a kid my dad used to take me to these big housing tracks that every house would decorate with like a million lights each house. We would park the car and walk around for blocks and blocks, passing hundreds of houses that were all elaborately decorated. When you’re a kid, it was kinda like being in a fantasy world, no real worries, pure innocence… really good memories. Now that I  think about it, I’m gonna write a song about it, and put in on our next Christmas album.

Bif Naked (International Recording Artist, Poet, Writer, Advocate) – Hi Lucky. I appreciate your note. Thank you for asking me to participate. My happiest holiday memory is probably eating the birthday cake my mother made, every Christmas Eve, in my house. My two sisters and I loved the “Birthday Party” my mom threw (for “Baby Jesus”) every December 24th. Birthday Cake with party hats, the works. I think it was a pretty cute thing for her to do for us three little kids, every year. Very sweet mom. *D’awwwwww*

Steve Conte (New York Dolls, Willy DeVille, Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth, Michael Monroe, Company Of Wolves, Crown Jewels, The Contes) -”My 11th Christmas when my brother and I got our first electric guitars and amplifiers. We had been dreaming and talking about it all year long and then – there they were. It was as if there was never any doubt that these would be our Christmas gifts. Brother John got a Harmony bass and Sano amp and I got a Sears guitar and amp. His rig sounds great to this day (he still has both) while mine never sounded like anything but a transistor radio. I wanted to get that singing, sustaining tone that Santana had on Black Magic Woman but it just sounded like…’doink’. I didn’t know about tube amps or fuzz pedals yet!”

Bloody Mary Powers Agnew (Death on the Radio, Black Sabbitch) – My favorite Christmas memory is the one I’m making this year! Not giving into the corporate pressures to “buy buy buy” and totally focussing on my familys health, my boxing and my bands- death on the Radio and Black Sabbitch.
Filling our hearts with the fule to kick ass in 2013 and keeping our minds set on winning! THAT is the true meaning of this time of year.. becomming a better person. Raising our kids with strength and courage to not just plop in fron of the TV or game console. And being with people that truly believe in you.. now go. GO KICK ASS in 2013! XOXO Bloody Mary

Peter Blast – My Best Memory is when I was around nine or ten years old. I woke up to a room full of lights and presents piled up to the ceiling, but what caught my eye was my first guitar and records. I’m sure nobody knew what they had just started because I had Meet the Beatles and the Rolling Stones single, “ I wanna be your Man” and many others, like the Blues and other artists. I’ve had many guitars since then and have done alot of Touring in the USA and other Countries, releasing records and CDs worldwide. I guess Santa got my note and he helped make my dreams come true…And they do come true ya know, Thank God! But it’s also this Christmas because of all the great memories I now have of the past years and my new cd “White Voodoo” is out now.

Sammy Serious (The Zeros) – One holiday favorite is when The Zeros recorded 4321. It was recorded at Studio 56 in Hollywood and it was Christmas time and we had a big party after the album was made right on Christmas day. What a great way to celebrate the holiday.

Blag Dahlia (The Dwarves) – “I remember being with the whole band in Germany a few weeks before Christmas and watching a parade of happy smiling Aryans celebrate the coming holiday. All of a sudden an evil looking character in goat mask and red outfit came tearing through the crowd scaring little children and making a spectacle of himself. It was Krumpus!

The German’s don’t just have St, Nicholas, but his doppelganger Krumpus. A hairy creature, usually brown or black, with cloven hooves and the horns of a goat. Pretty Satanic for Xmas! His job is to cart off evil children for drowning, eating, or transport to Hell.

The first Krumpus I saw really infuriated the local kids, as he stunk of booze and bad hygiene. They were running from him in terror and begging St. Nick for help!

So remember, if you want to scare some kids and celebrate drunken antics and evil doings, don’t forget the Teutonic answer to Yuletide cheer, Krumpus!”

Kelly Kaos (The F@gs) – My step dad, throwing the under cooked turkey on the kitchen floor and having a drunkin stomp fest on it after the fact….. It was such a childish fit, I was mesmerized.

Skye Vaughan-Jayn (The Black Marquee) – My happiest holiday memory is the Christmas I spent living in mountains with my mom. We were pretty poor and couldn’t afford a Xmas tree or too many gifts so we just decorated one of the pine trees outside. It snowed that week. Made my first snow man that Xmas. Living in the snow for the first time at 7 years old was very magical. Gifts under the tree could never compare with the magic that my mother created for me that year.

Crusty Booger (The Boogers) - My happiest holiday memory is tons of snow from a blizzard. Everything was shut down and the sound outside was muted from the 2-foot blanket of snow. Me and all the neighborhood kids built huge snow forts, had snowball fights, snow men, skitching, coming in for soup from Mom, etc. It was magical. Now that I have kids, blizzards are even more wonderful ’cause I get to see it through their eyes. Thanks for getting in touch, please let me know when you publish. Rock On, CB 

Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers) – Thanksgiving at Waffle House.

Kevin Preston (Prima Donna) – My happiest holiday memory was getting a switchblade comb in my stocking when I was 5.

David S. Field (Prima Donna) – “When I was 18 and I finally got my own record player, as well as 3 7inches, cramps, the Jam, and Rocket From the Crypt. That record player died, but I still keep it for the memories.

Justin Emord (Love and a .38) – The week of Christmas in 2005, I saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra play Madison Square Garden with my family. The lights, lasers and how it complemented the music and their stage presence was so inspiring, I then decided that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and set me down the path I’m on now and could not be happier. That concert instilled a fire and passion for music I did not have until that point and now, I’m following and living my dreams of being a touring musician.

Coleen Caffeine (Chocking Susan) – Hi Lucky! Thank you for asking! I hope you get Yoko again this year!! lol  “I run away from the oppressive Detroit chill and go someplace tropical over the Holidays so it’s all happy but thanks to the delicious drinks there aren’t too many memories ;) ”

Victoria Joyce (SugarBuzz West Hollywood) – Beatles 65 album. Christ, I’m old.

The Dizz (F U MaryLou) – “It smells like the cat peed on the tree..oh wait she just did”

Egg (F U MaryLou) – “Mine is super recent. I went to a Christmas party and in the middle of a song the host busted out a trumpet. It was awesome and surreal”

Joseph Holiday (Lady Sinatra) – “Being in LA last year when everyone was gone and there was absolutely no traffic at all.”

***Just Added*** Sesu Coleman (Magic Tramps) – My favorite Christmas memory was playing the ‘Village East’ {old Filmore’ Hall} in NYC in the early 70′s ….”New Bands Of The 70′s” on the marque with the ‘New York Dolls’ & ‘Teenage Lust’ & our ‘Magic Tramps’…and others……I had a string of colored Christmas lights woven in my black mesh shirt & a red colored light in one bass drum & a blue light in the other …..white face – glitter & feathers in the hair – we all rocked the hall all night…..! Thank the powers that be for music…..!

Bruce Loose Calderwood (Flipper) – I forget how many, and when, but when I had my B-days while playing a show on the road touring, and the whole place gave me a b-day party! YEA!

Ivan (Nervous Shakes) – “On the Dutch coast with my last girlfriend, red wine, potato chips, sand and sex; 4 years ago; and bicycles; near the Belgian border in Cadzand.

Cynthia Ross (B Girls/New York Junk) -  One has to be the Christmas dinner the B Girls and the Jim Carroll band had at Earl McGrath’s. Another is Christmas with Stiv and his parents in Youngstown.  Another has to be at CBGBs with the Ramones and the Deadboys. One with Willy Deville and JT at my place on 10th street.

Kenny Price (Kenny Price Project, Black Board Jungle) – “Yo lucky!!! Long time my friend. Let’s see, happiest holiday memory… If I remembered it probably wasn’t that happy. Haha. Well that said I do remember getting the Six Million Dollar Man doll bout 75-76? That’s the last memory b4 the rock stole my brain.”

PunkrPrincess Lisa (Whatever68 Radio) – My Happiest Holiday memory is when I was a teen and on Christmas eve and my cousin Brent and I took off went to his friends partied ate some good “Brownies” and went back to family of course got in trouble but it was fun!

Lucy Hamblin (Shugster UK)  – “ I remember having an Christmas stocking (still do – never to old LOL ) and smelling ‘Coal’ on there thinking Farther Christmas visited me… i was very very young then… “

Christopher Duda (SugarBuzz Canada) - That would be a toss up between getting my Evel Knievel doll and stadium or when my four year old sister dropped the F bomb and continued to say it at the family Christmas dinner.

Jimmy James (The Hangmen) – Sorry Lucky, It’s very hard for me to remember a happier holiday cause this year I’m having the best one of my life. I’m spending it with my new daughter Elsie & family. It’s been a helluva year, between this and reconnecting with old friends (playing with The Hangmen), makes it impossible to think of a better time. I’m even more excited for 2013! Have a great holiday.

Christian D (Christian D and the Hangovers) – “Well, it was Christmas eve, in the drunk tank, an old man said to me… nah just kidding. Late night board games with my tipsy relatives is usually fun.”

***Just Added*** Rock N’ Write (SugarBuzz OC) - ”My favorite Christmas was the year I was expecting my youngest daughter. She was due on Christmas Eve. Being the determined girl she is, she was not gonna have it. When Christmas Day rolled around, I decided to take an endless walk in hopes of having the ultimate Christmas gift. As my daughter would have it, she came into this world a day later on the 26th, making my happiest holiday memory!”

Domenic Priore (Author “Riot on the Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Rolls Last Stand in Hollywood {2007 Jawbone Press, London}) – Happiest holiday memory for me was… I think it was 1969… watching the guys who worked at Toy Town in Rosemead unload the big Hot Wheels four-cloverleaf race track off the loading dock and into the trunk of my parents car. Hot Wheels had Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s “Beatnik Bandit” and that was everyone’s fave where I lived.

Steven Talbot (The Gutter Boys) – “I remember it like it was yesterday. Running into the living room to open presents and going to for one gift. Hoping that it was the one I’ve been wishing for ‘My whole life!’ Tearing back the paper to reveal my new Six Million Dollar Man! Doesn’t get better than that my friend.”

Olivia ‘OlieShox’ Maestas (The Roxy Suicide) – Hi Lucky! My happiest holiday memory is, to have had/ still having the ability to be with the ones I love, stuffing our faces and making stupid jokes. I know it’s not necessarily one memory, but I think we all take for granted the loved ones we have to spend holidays with. So I definitely consider that my happiest holiday memory.

Alex Mitchell (Cosmic Crooner, lead space warlock of Captain Zapped, inherited much of his full-blast star quality from his Pop) – “Mine was last year because it was the last Xmas I would get to spend with my Dad. Battling dementia and with a lump of cancer on the side of his neck, his handshake was still like an iron vise and his smile a December sunrise. I brought him in a girlie magazine, a cigarette and a bar of chocolate. He ate the chocolate bar, smoked the cigarette and wowed his way through the magazine all at the same time. ‘What a piece of work is man’ (- Shakespeare)”

Iggie Pistolero (Gypsy Pistoleros) – My “Happiest” Holiday Memory… would be when I was 15 and I ran away to Reading Rock Festival here in the UK … to see Y & T, and Bernie Torme …among a whole bunch of others on the weekend fest…. but yeh… was worth face”n the music when I got back home a week later covered in mud and smellin” of alcohol…. that weekend always stands out so clear in my head…. xxxxxiggz

Kristi Kremes (Sex Star) – sugarbuzz……how I love that name……holidays are happy when they are easy and free of drama……this year I am happy….I got to play a show…shop online…..and send everything directly to the people I love……I get to have some time to write music ….my boys are with their dad in Arizona….and I bought my son his first p-bass for his Christmas present….now I get a better guitar…going shopping today…..hey…….and …I got the music in me…so…this is the best Christmas and I hope the next is just as great!….thanks for asking.

Jay Sin (Narcoleptic Youth) – My happiest holiday memory is when we were rehearsing one December. My bass player Jr. and I came out of our practice studio and discovered 2 old lady cardigan style Christmas sweaters. We instantly put on these very ugly sweaters and pranced around with huge smiles on our faces. Somebody took a picture and that became the Narcoleptic Youth Christmas card.

Andrew Adkins (Singer, Songwriter) – “I was 2 years old and I came out to the living room and saw a very awkward looking, elongated package. I headed towards that first and uncovered a little red Kingston acoustic guitar. Even at 3/4 size I still had a hard time holding it up. That is where, in a sense, I was inspired to become interested in the instrument – which I happen to be so very fortunate enough to make a living using these days. Santa did good.”

Linda Lou (Marishi Ten) – I can’t remember if I was 5 or 6, but I was still at the age where you ride the fence on whether or not Santa is “real”. Anyway, on this particular Christmas Eve night, my parents were not doing a very good job of keeping quiet while they burned the midnight oil wrapping presents and stowing them under the tree. My sister and I both woke up, crawled out of our bunk beds, and tip toed down the stairs. We peeked around the corner into the living room and saw my parents hard at work. They we’re laughing the way you only can when you’re trying not to laugh. They huddled by the tree, surrounded by wrapping paper, ribbon, and toys. I saw them kiss, and laugh some more. I figured out that Santa wasn’t “real” that night, or at least not really responsible for the presents under my tree. I also figured out that my parents were happy and very much in love.

Sandy (Super 9 Studios) – My happiest holiday memory? Probably the day my brother, sister, and I all received 10-speed bikes on the same Christmas Day. They were all lined up in front of the Christmas tree when we walked that day. Somehow they seemed so hip and cool and extravagant.

Candice (Warner Drive) – I was about 7 years old and I woke up in the very early hours Christmas morning before anyone else was up. I saw my parents sneaking a labrador puppy in to the house, which I was extremely excited about since I had always wanted a dog! Subsequently, I was proven right that Santa didn’t exist and that my parents were responsible for our Christmas gifts. I was relieved he didn’t exist….I always thought that some guy sneaking in to your house in the middle of the night was creepy.

Jonny U (Warner Drive) – My 1st year in Hollywood I had a Christmas tree with my ex…. I’m Jewish, it was pretty rad!

Elvis (Warner Drive) – “What is your happiest holiday memory?” Probably the year I spent Thanksgiving at a Buffet with my band when we were on the road touring.

Ryan  (Warner Drive) – Christmas 2004….I had just signed a record deal with Universal Records and had a few weeks off before my first real tour. I felt relaxed and accomplished at the same time…..well for the moment anyway!!

Jonny Law (Warner Drive) – 6 years old… Waking up to find a Team Murray X-20R bike next to the tree. I freaked out!

Nadir D’Priest (London)  - “Re uniting my parents after 30 years and looking at two 16 year old kids who Loved each other and created life.”

Cookie Wolf – The first thing that popped into my mind was this one Thanksgiving when I was at my brother’s house. We were getting ready to start cooking, but we were waiting for my mom to come over so we were watching Dawn of the Dead (the original). My mom got there right at the beginning of the movie and asked what we were watching, and my brother told her it was some documentary. At first that seemed reasonable because it’s just a bunch of people talking and driving around in trucks and whatnot. But when it got to the part where they’re shooting the zombies hanging from the trees, etc. my mom finally blurted out, “What the hell kind of documentary IS this?!” and we all laughed uproariously. When we explained what it really was, she joined in the laughter and now “What the hell kind of documentary IS this?!” has become a family joke. Ah, good times!

Inger Lorre (The Nymphs) – “Finding a unicycle under the tree.”

Nick Culves (CrueFest Hollywood Promoter) – Thanks Lucky. Its funny I got your message yesterday, and my favorite Holiday memory would be getting together with Family at Grandmas. Weird timing huh? (Editor’s note: Sadly Nicks Grandma had just passed away. We all here at The Shug send up a rock and roll prayer.)

Joey Pinter (Rocknroll star, iconic guitar badass, and Max’s Kansas City/C.B.G.B.’s survivor from the Waldos) recalls: ”I don’t remember what year it was, but we were playing at Max’s around Christmas, we had a very cool flyer. it was a bondage chick tied up under a Christmas tree. Anyhow, we’re doing our set, then, at one point, the singer we had at the time–John Fry wished everyone a Merry Christmas. I guess we were about half way through so I’m quite sure I was well on my way to Shitfaceville. After John with his proper English accent did his thing, I walked up to my mic and announced “Fuck Christmas, let’s play!” I can’t believe how pissed off John and Tony got. After that, there was no more microphone stage left!”

Rich Ferguson (Wildly inspired L.A. beat poet and bohemian spoken word artist) – “It was my fifth Christmas. My parents had given my twin brother and me toy tanks that shot small plastic balls. For the first couple hours, my brother and I amused ourselves by firing at pillows we’d set up throughout the house. Soon, however, we grew bored of these easy targets, and craved more challenging fare.

While my parents were in the other room watching TV, my brother and I positioned our tanks at the base of the family Christmas tree; poised and ready to fire upon the ornaments hanging above our heads.

Some of the decorations were of the cheap, store-bought variety. Others, however, were heirlooms that had been passed down to us by our grandmother. But the preciousness of these objects did not register with my brother and me. To us, all the ornaments were the same: glittering orbs in need of obliteration.

On the count of three, my brother and I fired at the decorations. Blue, green, silver and gold balls exploded into shiny bits. My brother and I cackled with glee.

Within a matter of minutes, my father would come into the room, witness our rampage, and beat our butts brighter than Christmas red.

But in those few precious moments of annihilation, when all those glittering objects were exploding into shards before our eyes, my brother and I were truly elated. It was like all the stars in heaven had loosened from the sky and were falling into our laps.”

John Hamilton (Diodes) – “This would have been the Xmas of 1977. I was in the Diodes and living with Jula (Trixie Danger) of the Curse. It was a few days before Xmas. We were so poor, we couldn’t afford a tree. So at 3 AM one night we snuck down to the local Xmas tree yard, and I climbed an 8-foot chain-link fence and threw a tree over. And then Jula and I ran home with the stolen tree, Jula wearing what I remember as gold-lame stiletto-heeled boots. Not exactly low key and incognito.

The next day we improvised a stand out of crossed pieces of wood and along with some bandmates and friends made decorations (we couldn’t afford those either) out of popcorn on strings of coloured thread, chains of coloured loops of construction paper, and angels and a star out of cardboard covered with tin foil.

It was a meager Xmas but we were young and happy and had all our future before us which we were sure would be wonderful and full of success.”

Allister Booth (Light Bulb Alley) – Good scotch, ski doos, grandparents getting drunk, family dinners, dancing to good records.. Cutting down trees at minus 40 in Yellowknife, having the truck break down and being forced to hail down vehicles in The middle of nô where to get a boost! Getting home and warming up to coffee and cognac and twilite zone and honeymooners marathons.

Jeff Ward (Critically-acclaimed novelist and GUNFIRE DANCE guitarist, often seen around NYC at book readings and jamming with NY JUNK) – “My first tape cassette player, and Beatles blue album … my dad said I would give them all sore throats!”

Bam Tastic – Xmas day 1968 … I was 7 years old … We had a house full of guests and I beat my Uncle David at chess in 5 moves or something …. the whole room erupted in hysterical laughter … I think that’s when I discovered show biz !!! Happy Xmas Peace n Rock n Roll, Bam

Dave “Foss” Foster (SKINMASK) – Hi Lucky. How are you doing? I think my happiest holiday memories are and will be this year. I’ve just spent 3 days with my family enjoying Vegas, now we’re in Tahoe. It’s the first time my kids have been in snow. I’m teaching my son how to make snowballs, and we’ve been sledding. I’ve worked or been out of town the last few years, so this year has been memorable. Thanks for asking and thinking of me for the article.

Anthony Castillo (Slow Motorcade, impeccable stylish power-pop superstar and beloved underground radio personality)   - “That’s an easy one for me. The best X-Mas (I won’t say what year) for me was when my parents took me down to the Schwinn dealer so I could custom order my first, and still the best Schwinn Sting-Ray bike I’ve ever owned I now have six and counting. It was a coppertone, De-Luxe, with a white wall Slik (not a type-o) tire, and a lot more special features that I had the dealer order for me from the Schwinn factory in Chicago. Today I call that bike “Rosebud” because like a stupid fool I let my Mom sell it while I was away at collage. So now I’m making a clone of that bike from another Sting-Ray and a bunch of NOS parts I got off ebay. I’ll always love those little urban dragsters!”

Ginger Kuroishi (manager of Symbol Six)  -  “Growing up in New England and getting all bundled up to go cut down our own tree from the woods!”

Eric Leach (singer of Symbol Six) – “Getting my first Zephyr skateboard with roadrider #2 wheels and bennett trucks from santa clause age 12.”

Johnny Anderson (author of Freedom on the Highway and member of 80’s U.K punk band “Closedown”) - My happiest holiday moment is taking a trip up to York, in the U.K. in October of 1990 with my dad. It was the only time we ever did a trip together, as a vacation as such. It was nice to bond with him, spend quality time and simply hang out and have some beers in a good old British pub.

Phoebe Legere (NYC’s long reigning queen of avant garde and visionary multi-media art goddess) – “Happiest memory: standing really close to the multicolored lights on the Christmas tree so that I could feel the color glow so warm on my skin. Newest project: new cd at Itunes East Village/East Berlin includes Teenage Weimar- me reading from my autobiography with punk and classical music composed by me. Also a track called Sweat Bytch with a polymorphuously perverse video at Youtube getting many hits.”

Billy Tsounis (Captain Zapped) – “Thanks, yeah , the memory I have is that of growing up in South Africa and it was summer during xmas, which meant swimming and outdoors and mating season, so no big coats, or mad rush to consume. Just fake snow and plastic trees. Fun.”

Nick Marsh (Flesh For Lulu, Urban Voodoo Machine) – “This sounds like a tall story but when I was five, my bonkers hippy parents bought me a guitar. The same day I discovered that some of the chocolate selection under the tree contained alcoholic liqueurs, the rest is pretty standard rock n roll rags to unimaginable riches stuff…”

Mickey Finn (Cold Blue Rebels) – Getting snowed in on a family Ski vacation I was about 12, with my family in Lake Tahoe, and being forced to spend Christmas at the Cabin we rented instead of going home like planned for Christmas. We went out behind the house and chopped down a Pine tree form the yard, and and made jiffy pop popcorn to decorate the tree! With had no power, very little food, and no heat but the fireplace, but we had each other and I will never forget it!

Elisa Elly Gray (Manager at Sugarcubes Nightclub) – Gazing at the sea as I sat on Lulworth cove, Dorset.

Eddie Rosales (Guitar – Back Pocket Memory) – My happiest holiday memory was when we played an acoustic show for a family friend in 2006. It was new years eve and we got asked to play a couple of songs. Ian and I were on acoustics while Chris sang. Midway through our second song, Rob comes in a plugs his bass in and just makes this seamless entrance into the number. We were still a young band back then, but that moment will just always stick with me.

Jason Montgomery (Drummer – Back Pocket Memory) - My happiest holiday memory comes from many years ago. My family decided to give each other “gifts from the heart,” which basically meant gifts that weren’t store bought. I don’t remember what I gave anyone, but my mom gave me a small ivory Buddha that was given to her by her dad. To this day it’s the best and most cherished gift I’ve ever received.

Alan Eurotrash - I actually thought long and hard about this and the best I can remember was when I was in England. I was 4 and I had gotten a plane for Christmas. It was a Boing 747 and the top of it was clear plastic so you could see all the seats. My dad was a tool maker for the aircraft industry and was working in the States at that time. He came back to England and gave me the plane and said that next year I would be on one just like it when we moved to America.

Laura Feline (Feline Productions) – “Wow, well first thing that comes to mind is the Christmas of 1976. I was 9 yrs old. I woke up kind of late that morning ready to open Christmas presents. But my dad wasn’t there and there was loud banging going on outside. I wanted to see where the obnoxious sounds were coming from, but my mom wouldn’t let me nor tell me where dad was. She let me open two presents. A pair of Levi’s and an OP shirt. Mind you I was a total tomboy!

About an hour later, I was a mad little girl. Dad walks in and tells my mom, “ok”. He then put a blindfold around my eyes. I was anxious, confused and kind of irritated. He takes me outside. I thought maybe he bought me a new dirt bike? Lo and Behold, A skateboard ramp!! I was stoked, but at the bottom was two presents at the bottom. One was wrapped very strange, the other a wrapped box. I went for the strange one first and it was an Aluminum Diamond Plated Skateboard that dad made me!! It had Tracker Trucks and Cadillac Wheels. I was beside myself!! It was one of a kind!! Then I opened the other box and a new pair of blue Vans!! I later became sponsored by Vans in my Skateboarding and BMX days. Kids, teenagers, and adults came from all over Los Angeles to skate by big ramp.

In 1977 for my birthday in August, I got an Alva board, and stuck with Alva boards for years. I skated with Tony Alva, Lief Garrett, Fred Blood, and the Z-Boys. I was featured one year in Skateboard magazine as the youngest girl to catch air in the biggest bowl which was at Runway Skate Park in Carson, Ca where I was raised. Hope you enjoyed it!!”

Rod Anger (Piss N’ Blood) – “Half way through my junior year of high school I moved with my mom & sister from Orange, CA (where I live now) to San Clemente, CA. Back then San Clemente might as well been at the edge of the Earth. It was as far as you could go before you fell off the edge into oblivion. I was very isolated from my old friends and everything that was going on at the time. I had been in San Clemente for almost a full year before my first Chistmas in that town rolled around.

On that first Christmas day in 1980 we had a small party with my family, including my grandparents, a few close friends I had met in San Clemente, and my girlfriend drove down from Orange to spend the day also. So, after getting laid and having a really great time, eventually the party broke up and everyone went home. I had this incredible feeling of loneliness after everyone was gone and things were quiet.

Then out of nowhere there was a knock on the front door. I opened the door and standing there was my best friends Jake The Weasal! Jake’s real name was Dan Leonard (we had named him Jake The Weasal a couple of years earlier because he was, well… a total weasal! We stole the name from an episode of Bonanza). So, anyway, Jake is standing at my door and I am in complete shock that he showed up out of thin air! The first thing he said was “Dude, I just moved to Long Beach, come stay with me! I drove all the way down here to pick you up, lets go!”

So, I grabbed some clothes, a couple of bottles of wine leftover from the party and was out the door! Me & Jake jumped in his orange and white Volkswagen bus and we were out of there! Hauling ass up the 5 Fwy. I was like “Look, I brought 2 bottles of wine!” and Jake said “Look!” He reached down and grabbed a blanket, he pulled it back quickly revealing 2 bottles of the exact same wine laying on the floor of the bus. We were both going “YEAH!!!” Then he said “Check this out.” He opened up the ashtray and pulled out a big wad of tin foil he had stuffed in there and handed it to me. I could smell it was killer weed before I even opened it up. We smoked out, listened to music, talked and laughed all the way up the freeway from San Clemente to Long Beach.

I left my house in San Clemente on December 25th and didn’t come back home until the end of February!! Me & Jake went to more epic gigs during that time and met more people than maybe any time in my life. Sadly, my friend Jake The Weasal died in a house fire in San Francisco in 1987. I talked to him on the phone two days before he died. He told me “I’m moving back down there in 2 weeks, and you’re the first person I’m coming to see! Then we’re going to Mexico!” Little did I know at that moment I would never see him again. My daughter was born on February 23rd. Jake The Weasal’s birthday…? Yep, you guessed it, February 23rd. I will never forget Christmas 1980 or my dear friend as long as I live.”

Stacey Wells – My happiest childhood Christmas memory was going to my Grandma and Grandpa’s to watch the carol ships. They lived on the water in West Vancouver. Our whole, very large family would go and we would stand on the balcony and the ships that were decorated with Christmas lights and had choirs on board, singing Christmas Carols would parade by! We would sing along and ring the ships bell my grandparents had on their deck! My Grandpa would tell the story of his tattoo and demonstrate his ashtray that looked like a ship and when he rested his cigar in the ashtray the smoke came out the smoke stack! We love to play with the old fashioned toys, such as the dipping bird, that drank water and the mink that moved when you petted it! We always loved the Johnny Appleseed song record that played! Good memories surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and kids! Always a good time always a lot of laughs! That’s what Christmas is all about, being surrounded by love and laughter.

Bobby Valentine (Rock Singer, DJ, Alternative Model, Party Animal) – My happiest memory is building a massive snow-penis in my grumpy next door neighbours garden when I was 13! My crazy French stepfather (who was only 26 at the time) had the idea, and it is a rock n roll experience I will never forget! Well, the look on the old neighbours faces as the watched us do it through their windows I will never forget.. hahaha

Shawn Smash (Total Chaos, Smash 77) – That the end of the world was yesterday, happy holidays!!!

Timo Kaltio (Cherry Bombz, Cheap N Nasty, Anita Chellemah, and Tango Pirates) – “Probably my best memory will be the next one, when I get my endorsement deal with V8 amps!!!

Krista Cameron (Debutante, Muse, Model, Inspiration) – My favorite holiday memory has been going with my dates motorcycle club to put on a giant Thanksgiving benefit for the veterans hospital. The hour plus ride up was awesome, especially since it was a convoy of dozens of motorcycle clubs all riding up together. We arrived and we parked the Harley just so, as we were also holding a bike show for the vets. We unloaded and cooked a full barbecue and desert table, a raffle of everything from kindles to flat screens. Some of the vets were too sick to leave their rooms, so I tagged along with the girls MC club and visited and dropped off raffle prizes all over the hospital. My father goes to that same hospital twice a month and I’m so grateful there’s somewhere for him to go. The ride back was better as we rode with just the clubs president and newest recruit. I bet Santa rides a Harley.

ReW* (web show hoSTeSS of *ReW & WhO?*/RoCKSTaRLeTTe of/the ReWd oNeZ//BLaCk FLaMInGo//FLaCk BLaMInGo0) – My HaPPieST HoLidaY memory is actually the one year my parents got a tree, a very BIG tree, we were the menorah type family… & that year us kidz did a HoLiDay show produced By my big brother & we sang the song’Deck the HaLLs’ & my part was popping out from under a black board singing the “FaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa’s” we had so many presents that year under the tree & I remember my one brother got  ‘St Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band’  my other brother got ‘ Magical Mystery Tour’ & I got “OkLaHoMa” ;) *HaPPY*

Danny Fury (TANGO PIRATES) – “Let me think…I think one of my happiest Xmas memories is the Xmas three years ago! Since I grew up in a children’s home and I always was the one left there on Xmas by myself, (the other kids went home to their families) I never was a big Xmas fan! But on the Xmas I mentioned, my then- girlfriend Vera (sadly she’s no longer my girl) took me home to her family and they embraced me as one of their own and gave me a very happy Xmas, indeed !! I know it’s not so spectacular, but you said happiest, not most interesting…lol…”

Brijitte West (NY Loose, Desperate Hopefuls) – “I grew up in a family of 12 kids. There were six boys and six girls. My father was Italian and my mother is Jewish. We always had a bit of both religions thrown into our holiday. As you can imagine my clothes and shoes were mostly hand me downs but on Christmas day there was always something brand new! A new sweater or pair of boots was such a treat. Because there were so many of us it was wall to wall presents on Christmas morning and waking up to that was such a magnificent spectacle. But really the best part about Christmas has always been my father singing all the classic carols. He taught me all of them; Walking in a Winter Wonderland, Let it Snow, and my favorite Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire. I start singing them with my children at the start of the season. Those songs will

Frankie Delmane (Hollywood’s sensational the Crazy Squeeze, Teenage Frames, The Injections, “Trash” Fanzine) – I would have to say that one of my single favorite Christmas experiences involves my brother and professional wrestling….

This particular Christmas, my brother got one of those really nice, fancy tape recorders- with microphone, the kind you would see Bob Newhart use on his TV show in the 1970s. It was cool- fake wood paneling, silver trim, a wood encrusted handle. As I sat down cross legged, to watch the Iron Sheik wrestle Dusty Rhodes, my brother shoved the microphone in my face and demanded my opinion on the match now on TV.

“Well, it looks as though The American Dream is gonna punish the Turk real bad” I squeaked. “Oh yeah?!” my brother barked, “Well I am The Iron Sheik, prepare to be punished yourself Dusty Rhodes!!!”

The tape recorder was still on. He set it aside, grabbed me, hurled me over his shoulder and began spinning around- wildly yelling, crazed. I screamed and begged and cried and pleaded for him to let go. He just laughed. My mother began yelling from the kitchen. “What in the hell are you two doing? Whatever it is- cut it out! Now!”

And so my brother, in mid, furious spin, let go of me, and my body went sailing across the living room, right into the Christmas Tree, ornaments shattering and breaking against my skin, tinsel wrapping around me like an anxious python. As I tumbled to the ground, the tree itself came down upon me, an angel falling into my mouth. My brother’s laughter could not be contained as my mother struggled to get me out from under this holiday mess. Once I was rendered safe and unharmed, my mother sent us to our room. We were lucky our Dad was not home.

A knock on the front door was loud and hard. Me and my brother shared a room, we had bunk beds, and to us this knock sounded ominous. My mother came back into the room with my sister, motioning us to be quiet. The Knocking turned to pounding, then to shouting. “I know you’re in there motherfucker!” we heard, “I want some money for my car, goddamn it!”

Once again, my mother hushed us. The pounding persisted, followed by loud mumbling. “Goddamn motherfucker thinks he’s gone fuck me, well fuck you, no way u uh, no way.” I crawled over to my bedroom window to see if I could get a look at this angry mumbler. It was a man that I could only describe as a pimp. Huge velvet fedora, matching velvet suit and over coat, his Cadillac parked in our drive way. As I spotted him, he was getting into his car. He then pulled out of the drive way, and drove off. My mother breathed a sigh of relief.

Later that night, while I was lying down, still awake- my brother snoring in the upper bunk, I could faintly hear my mother on the phone. “You’re not gonna believe this night. The kids destroyed the Christmas tree, and then some lunatic is looking for money from that fender bender we had last week. That is it! This is the last Christmas for me. I’m telling these kids there is NO goddamn Santa Claus!” Which is exactly how I found that out.

And finally, Yvonne De la Vega whom has a new book available now from Punk Hostage Press, sends this. She is in the words of Jim Morrison, via Ray Manzarek, “the lucky little lady in the lights”, and one of our very favorite poets, of all-time.

Love Brings the Bitter with the Sweet
by Yvonne de la Vega 

As always and as far back as I can recall, the one consistency that has predominated my life can best be described as “bitter-sweet” or even further, “sweet tragedy”. My daughter Bianca once said to me, “Mom, your life is the most blessed and cursed one I have ever known.” Oh, out of the mouths of babes come genius in all it’s purity and poetry. She never saw the look I gave her at that comment. I must add that my writing also sees this particular reflection and so, when asked of my fondest Christmas memory, I had to offer this short prelude when the fondest memory falls upon the very last Christmas I was to ever share with my mother who died the following March, after being in a coma for almost 3 months, since right before that same Christmas…

She was the one who brought the music into all of our lives. My mother’s full name was Aurelia Loyola de la Vega as the Spanish customs are to always respectfully include the surname of the bride’s father in the new married names even in the Philippines, where my mother was born. Hers was a fully educated background just like my father’s, the de la Vegas with even a “de la Vega” wing in the University there. My grandfather Sixto de la Vega was Superintendent of all schools and in the echelon of respect which was Chinese and less Spanish, Sixto was First-born so, First-clan today, and my own father was firstborn unto Sixto and so I am First-clan to the highest degree.

Add that I am the first female de la Vega born as an American citizen and my brother Dennis was first male de la Vega. Well, before this Revolution, that meant quite a lot. My mother was educated first, in all things music. She was one of the lead singers in the church choir. She played the violin beautifully as well as the piano. She also taught music in the college before she met my father who swept her away with that de la Vega poetry born into a Gemini male, which is trouble I say. Why? Well, let’s see, some famous Geminis include James Dean, Johnny Depp, Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, my father, and most of my lovers, all of my best lovers. But – back to my mother.

All things music. If this is your background as was my mom’s, it is in your psyche as well as and most likely in your DNA.. It’s been proven that the human experience within one lifetime imprints into our DNA, meaning if a single incident is a memorable experience, this experience becomes a part of our children’s makeup, isn’t that something? Which probably explains why most of us that “do music” get depressed when we are not either composing, writing or performing. It is something that we are innately to do as part of our entireties as a sole human being, or soul human being.

Well, Aurelia was indeed all things music. My earliest memories of Mommy and I together was one of sitting side by side with her while she played the piano. She never had sheet music in front of her, yet she played wonderful lengthy pieces of which I can still recall the tunes of. When I was seven years old, I was taking piano lessons and when I think of it today, I pity my teachers since I had a severe case of A.D.H.D., a syndrome those days knew nothing about and therefore 2 things occurred. One which is sad, was that all of my teachers eventually gave up on me since they were left pulling their hairs out in trying to refine the obvious qualities of a young child’s seen potential, and the second thing which I call joyous and not sad is, I escaped the Adderall and Ritalin prescripted fates that many young people today are now victims of in the greedy schemes of Big Medicine. Just think, I may not have made it to become a writer were it otherwise.

My earliest memory of me alone with my mother is something I cannot investigate with anyone one else in the large de la Vega Clan of today. This is because it was only my mother and I. My brothers and sisters had gone to school and I had not yet started. My mother was crying. We were in the backyard in Long Beach. My father was overseas. It was only my mother and I, in the backyard, she was crying and she had brought out a small “basura”, a metal trashcan. She struck a match and held it to a letter. I knew it was a letter somehow, as small as I was. It was handwritten on letter paper, the same kind of paper that my brothers and sister were sent off to school with. She dropped the burning letter into the trashcan and from beside us she took out and dropped another letter with its stamped envelope into the fire. She was sobbing now, and there were many letters she continued to burn. Many letters I say, and we were there, burning letters while mommy cried and I watched.

Oh and now I must insert that, if it were not asked of me to recall my fondest memory of Christmas, I may not be recalling and solving this HUGE mystery I have had to wonder about throughout my lifetime. She had to have been burning the letters that my father courted her with since they had met “on the page” as pen pals during WWII! My father proposed to my mother in this series of courtship letters. They had never met in person when he proposed marriage on the page and these legendary letters have never been found, yet letters of this sort would most definitely be saved by a nature as poetic as my mother’s. You see, somewhere in my early memories I also remember a photo of my father with a bevy of geishas and I think… his arm was around one of them. Yes, it was. And well, this very writing may be my new fondest christmas memory but let me finish my story since I’ve begun it…

Now, I know a man does not propose marriage unless he is very much in love. Or he needs citizenship, but this was not the case, I’m sure my father was very much in love with my mother, infidel or not, and it would have been mommy who didn’t have a United States citizenship until she married my dad who was an insta-American as soon as he ran away from home in San Carlos, also in the Philippines, to join the U.S. Navy. See, the United States had a very beneficial strategic base with the Philippines which is the gateway to the South China Seas and World War 2 saw many casualties and victories in the Islands.

My dad gave my mother everything she wanted after he returned from his duty overseas and after the war had ended. He bought her a brand new house in the City of Carson and took her out of that part of Long Beach which was fast deteriorating. He sent us to Catholic School as she insisted and each of us received music lessons in an instrument of her choosing.

I was given piano lessons. My brother Dennis who is now the de la Vega clan Patriarch, which none but he and I recognize, was given violin lessons. My older sister Cynthia was taking guitar lessons and Chito, my big brother RIP, was made to take accordion lessons. What my mother had always dreamt of, was the filipino Osmond family. Little did she understand the Music Industry here nor did that matter to her. She just wanted us to play music together if for anything, to entertain her. One time though, she had us booked for a gig in Oakland for the Philippine Association in America. We were told to practice everyday after school to get ready for this gig, but hey it was the ’70′s and we were all doing drugs. There was no way my siblings and I were ever going to get that act together since both our parents were working and our house was the after school special for almost everybody in Carson at that time. I mean, we put the “part” in part-ay, if you know what I mean. My entire Home Ec experience was on Orange Sunshine and there you have it. Memories of that Oakland gig are horrendous! Boy were we terrible. I remember just plink plunking any key, I had no idea what I was doing on that stage and am I ever so glad there no home movies to recall that comedy routine or the silence after the show. Oh, my poor mother. But she did not seem to care. I’ll tell you why, because the following Christmas which is the focus of this story believe it or not, proved she had not given up on her dream for this unit, the de la Vega band.

My fondest Christmas memory is when the week before Christmas Day, a huge truck pulled up in front of our house in Carson. My mom, and my dad who gave her everything she ever wanted, called us all out to the front as we screamed and cried in happiness as the huge truck pulled up to the house that read “Morey’s Music Store” which was the store on Pine Street in Long Beach where all my brothers and sister went every week to their music lessons, I had a piano teacher that came to the house for as long as she could stand it, well, this truck opened up it’s rear gate and the workers proceeded to unload it’s bounty.

Out came 2 electric guitars, an electric bass, an organ, a complete drum set with a variety of drumsticks and brushes, a complete stage P.A. system  including floor monitors, 5 microphones with stands, and a bass amp, a conga, a tumba and the proper percussion stand, and for me, a silver Armstrong flute. My mom had decided after my piano teacher had fled, to ask me what instrument I would like to play, rather than force me to play what she had wanted me to. I told her, the flute. And there it was, placed in my hands as the workers emptied out the very large and expensive cargo from the Morey’s Music Store truck. A silver flute. It was shiny. It was beautiful to me, and I looked up at my mother who smiled behind shiny eyes back at me. Those same shiny eyes I remembered from our moment alone in the backyard in Long Beach when they were filled with shiny dive board jumping tears of heartbreak. But this time, her man had fulfilled his promises to her and had once again made it all up to her. He had satisfied her love of all things music, and the 5 children who she had been fatefully given to raise were each given another chance to prove that her “all things music” were also her children’s inheritance.

And that Christmas, is my fondest Christmas memory and it was my mother’s too. I will never forget her happiness that day, nor will I forget our exchange and those shiny eyes when we looked at each other and I thanked her for the silver flute, she was so happy. We all were.

Later that week, my mom had a stroke. She went into a coma and never returned and the rest is history. As always and as far back as I can recall, the one consistency that has predominated my life can best be described as “bitter-sweet” or even further, “sweet tragedy”. My daughter Bianca once said to me, “Mom, your life is the most blessed and cursed one I have ever known.” Oh, out of the mouths of babes come genius in all it’s purity and poetry. She never saw the look I gave her at that comment. Nor will she understand the looks I give her every Christmas and will again this coming Christmas, the look being one that realizes it could be our last Christmas together. All I can attest to is, that Love is love, regardless of the times, the places, or the scenarios, and it brings the bitter with the sweet… always.

Now it’s you turn Shugsters !! Please leave your happiest holiday memory in the comment section!  Happy Holidays Everybody!!

Love, Lucky