Mike McClure Band

yeah. yeah! yeah?


fourth of July
in the late 70's

us kids would be popping
black cats all day long
in the gravel driveway

or down past the creek
playing in the dirt road
that ran by our house

black cats
shoved into ant holes

they used to make sparklers
out of metal and
every year
someone would step on one
and they would
have to break off a
piece of the aloe vera plant

it reminded me of the inside
of Stretch Armstrong

my grandmother would show
up in her buick that was
a mile and three quarters long

a gunboat

anne murray soundtrack
'little snow bird'

my great grandfather would
be in the front passenger seat
with a pair of shades on that looked
like he just had cataract surgery

he would be in his pajamas
and drinking a beer
with a napkin around it
that my grandmother had wrapped
on there to avoid detection
I guess

I would tap on his glass
and grandma would roll down
the window
but he would just keep staring

I'd start talking and he would slowly
turn and look at me
but rarely say much


I thought he was cool

pot belly
had to get around in a wheelchair

been to prison...
hit in the head with a hammer
outside of a beer joint...
had a house full of women
lost a boy in the war
lost his wife to TB

I'd stare off down the line, too

homemade ice cream
smoke bombs

who wants cheese?

one of my grandma's would
give the kids a cigarette for a punk

mine would burn
the fastest

then I got punks

that little kid-mind
in the creek

a soldier
a pirate
a spy

anything you wanted

but completely
amazing at
whatever it was

I can picture everyone
lining up
for a family photo that
no one would ever see

and a lot of those folks
are gone now

and as impatient as I was then
to get out of that picture
and back to the fireworks
I would be just as quick
to hop back in there for a moment
and look around at everybody

say hi

hug their neck

but some are now
just in those old
polaroid pictures

and time
is moving ain't it?

I'm planning on going with it

I might look around
in the next family photo
I'm in a little longer
take it in...

but then it's
firecracker time


end of an era

I got a new 27 inch iMac
for the Boohatch today

I haven't upgraded my computer since '08
and my Digital Performer program
I record with is almost as dated

it ran like a champ,
never left me high
or dry
and I can only recall
losing one song file...
but I think the
cosmos gobbled that one up

it was a cover anyway...

upgrading to Digital Performer 9
right now

I was dragging the empty cardboard
boxes outside
and in that time, 
my daughter took over the new machine

she wasn't on it five minutes...

and now as I'm trying to learn
my way around on it, 
I've missed two face time phone calls
from my daughter's friend

I'm standing here
with no shirt on
in my creepy basement
staring at the new screen
like an okie gomer...

I almost answered it...

googling how to
disable that little unit


ole jake



my buddy jakE
will call me once in a while
or I’ll call him
and he’s always doing something
that I could never guess


once I called him
and he was doing undercover
investigating at an atheist
convention in california
for a theology professor from Texas

camera in the briefcase
type set up

and he’s tall
stands out in any crowd

I thought to myself:
“what is up with THIS guy?”
when I first saw him twenty something
years ago

undercover infiltrator

I pictured him in a
wig wearing awesome sunglasses...

the kind that have a camera pointed
at whomever you’re talking with

or he’s hiking in the mountains
with a witch doctor

or he’s taking three years to transcribe
a handwritten book in Irish
hen scratch by an author
from the 1700’s

or maybe he’s sitting at
C.S. Lewis’ actual writing desk

or working for a Vietnamese slum
lord named Nagasaki

or giving country music star,
cody canada an in depth
account of a bandana that was
on order…
(with photos)

so tonight when
I called him up
he asked me to guess
where he was

'I can’t.'

Camping in a tent outside of a
tent store waiting for it to

and I asked why
and was told that one guy in line
ALREADY won a tent

'but don’t you HAVE a tent? the
tent that you are in?’

‘ha, ha….yeah…but there are also discounts
on other stuff.’

‘other tent related stuff?’

of course jake’s camping outside
of a camping store
and I’m glad he is

out there gooning
around the galaxy
seeing what type
of wacky he can get
in the middle of

sleep well tonight, old friend
underneath the glow of the halogen
sprawled out on the sidewalk…
feet hanging out the tent door

get my something nice,
old boy

something campy...




sitting here listening to
the first new Great Divide track
in many moons

it's called Fall From the Top...
I wrote it with Austin Allsup
and my neighbor John

through the cosmos shining, 
or Skinner upstairs kicking out the jams...
I landed the soundtrack to an upcoming film
called The Scent of Rain of Lightning

this month, I get to see some scenes
and write more songs for it

I read the script and the first thing that
came to mind was Fall From The Top...
it is weirdly perfect for it
and an excellent reason to
'get the band back together'.

cut a song last night by and with
Justin Condict, with Taylor Reed on bass
and drums
called 'Speak of the Devil'....

this saturday night
I'll be joining the Great Divide in
Brownwood, TX at Ray and Waylon's Place...

then it's right back in the studio
with my face to grindstone....







we were playing at a rodeo
in austin
some years back

willie nelson was on the bill inside….

we were outside

I believe john fullbright was
on keys, 
waldo and tiny
in the rhythm
and mickey raphael sat in with us
on the harmonica….

no one watching us in the afternoon
heat, but that never mattered much

after our set, 
I saw Skinner take off running

which was not an
 ‘all the time’ occurrence 

I figured something was on fire,
or a baby was in a well…
or willie nelson was ordering a corn dog…

I jogged over to where Tom was
headed to make sure nothing
was wrong

he was just lining up for a ticket
to watch Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey
and he intended on a front row seat

he didn’t see me
seeing him

the look on his face watching that
monkey strapped on a sheepdog
and coralling sheep
around a small pen,
was pure joy

like a little kid’s face…
full of awe and wonder

and just plain old excited

loving the hell out of seeing
that monkey

I laughed out loud
watching him
watch that monkey

after the monkey show, 
Tiny bought an 8x10
with the monkey paw print
dipped in ink for the autograph

he forgot all about willie nelson playing






hip hip

just got in from

just North of there, 
in Tomball

played with Cody
for two nights and had a blast

always reminds me of a hundred
things I have filed away in the back
of my head

and now
my oldest daughter is
cheerleading tonight at the
ada football game

I still feel like
walking around under the bleachers,
looking for coins
or footballs
when I go to a football game

but I'll go
and sit in the stands

bad enough
I'm in the rape van...

once when marleigh was younger, 
she wanted to walk from school  
to the church with a  couple of
her friends...

mom said no. 
I said, 'it's o.k. I'll just circle around
the block and keep an eye on them."

not a cool move
in a white cargo van
with no side windows

I circled the block a few times
always staying
about three blocks away
from my child and her friends

circling this one kid
who was about three blocks away
from marleigh

he kept getting more anxious
and nervous each time I swerved
back around

slumped down in the seat
like an orangatan at the wheel

he's probably seen pictures
of this very circumstance

once I realized it, 
I sped off

like that was the smartest thing to do

dad goes to football game
waves at daughter



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