The greatest guitarist who ever lived had a Cherokee great-great grandma.

How Did I Miss That? Hendrix Remixer Walks On; Starbucks University

Steve Russell

Alan Douglas, 82, walked on as a result of injuries sustained in a fall. Douglas was a music producer renowned within the profession, but mostly known to the general public for the controversy over his remixing the outtakes of guitar great Jimi Hendrix, who really did have a full-blooded Cherokee g-g-grandmother and was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame in 1998.

Douglas’s judgment to replace some of the backup players for “substandard” work enraged many Hendrix fans, who to this day judge the posthumous releases Midnight Lightning, Crash Landing and Nine to the Universe greatly inferior to the Hendrix classics Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. The controversy had legs because of the creative wars Hendrix fought when living over unauthorized mixes of his early material, but many critics praised the Alan Douglas remixes as faithful to the legendary talent that was Jimi Hendrix.

Eric Cantor of Virginia resigned as House Majority Leader after being defeated in the Republican Primary by the very Tea Party he had encouraged for years. Cantor told ABC, “There is a divide within our party.” Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said on Face the Nation, “I don’t think it’s divided at all.” “And there you have the major division,” my Republican cousin Ray Sixkiller commented, “between people who live in fact-based reality and people who don’t. Notice that Mr. Cantor left the fact-free zone only after he got beaten? The Tea Party has created a generation of fact-free zombies!”

In other zombie news, The New York Times reported that “a shoestring group of civilians headquartered in a decommissioned McDonald’s” have adopted the task of awakening a zombie spacecraft, the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, which was last living in 1997. The operating manual for ISEE-3 no longer exists, but the self-styled “techno-archaeologists” of Skycorp have succeeded in executing the electronic handshake that determines ISEE-3 is awakened, fueled, and ready for orders.

They have not yet figured out how to give orders or what orders to give. NASA’s original plan was to have the craft returned to Earth on the space shuttle, but the space shuttle is no longer operating. Skycorp raised the money by crowd funding on RocketHub after NASA deemed the resurrection too expensive for the scientific payoff. The goal was $125,000 and they raised $160,000. Cousin Ray suggested a “Spacecraft for Rent” category be added to Craigslist.

For those who want to be rocket scientists, Starbucks has announced an agreement with Arizona State University unusual in the universe of employer funded education: a degree with no strings. For any of 135,000 Starbucks employees in the US working at least 20 hours a week, the company will pick up the cost of an on line degree from ASU with no requirement that a graduate stay with the company. After two years of credit, the company shoulders the entire cost; for the first two years, there will be partial coverage that can be brought down to zero with other financial aid. Starbuck’s was already known for offering health insurance to part timers and stock options to all employees, and it joins companies like Costco and In-and-Out Burger in proving it’s possible to succeed without screwing entry-level workers.

Those who are already rocket scientists will be entertained by an extensive report in the Texas Observer on a new kind of aliens in South Texas, where hatred of Mexicans as “aliens” does not play well because of familial and economic ties that span the border. Laredo, Presidio, Edinburg, and Del Rio have all begun festivals devoted to the history of space alien visitations along the Texas-Mexico border, the most important of which was the crash of an alien spaceship just across the border from Langtry, Texas, immortalized in a book called The Other Roswell.

KTEN in Texoma, Texas reported that Rory Hogenson, 51, was sentenced to five years in prison for retaliation against the state trooper who arrested him for driving while intoxicated. He went to the trooper’s home several times and scattered nails behind the police car. DWI carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail.

The Daily News of Galveston County reported that Conroe police Sgt. Jason Blackwelder was sentenced to five years probation for manslaughter after shooting to death a 19-year-old man suspected of shoplifting at Wal-Mart.

Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving defendant in the Boston Marathon bombings, have filed a motion for change of venue based on the saturation coverage of the event by local media. “If they want to get away from saturation coverage,” Cousin Ray speculated, “the only venue that might help is somewhere in Alaska, where the marathon is the Iditarod.”

Peggy Orenstein published an op-ed in The New York Times about the latest wave of public school dress codes, observing that the hammer is falling on girls this time. In the last wave of fashion policing, it was boys’ hair length, and Indian boys with a fairly common belief about needing their hair were often targets. Objecting to “imposing purdah on middle school girls” because of the way boys might react, Orenstein ticks off a list of bad effects on girls, including the American Psychological Association’s attempt to explain to a lay audience how girls’ “self-objectification” leads to “compromised cognitive function.” In English, girls taught obsession with their bodies fail to achieve all they might have. Sort of like Indian kids being mascotted.


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Thanks for yet another good morning laugh, Steve! I lament the passing of Mr. Douglas. It would have been a real honor to know him and thank him for the work he did with Hendrix. __________________________________________________ I read with joy the story about Eric Cantor. He got his just desserts - apparently he doesn't know how the story of Frankenstein ended. _______________________________________ I remember the days when boys were not allowed long hair. I was sent home from high school several times because my hair touched my shirt collar (we also weren't allowed to wear t-shirts to school) or my ears. It's too bad the "fashion police" are too dense to know the difference between fashion and culture.