The Wailing Wall Of Metal

Eddie Van Halen is the reason I’ve finger tapped endless Friday nights away, whenever my wife is out of the house, leaving me free to blare Eruption on Vinyl and use my kids like mini air guitar appendages, which is what dreams are made of. In these moments of high kicking, rip roaring delight, I’m able to let my hair down, relive my age of innocence and become in touch with what made my unsure, pubescent putz plagued self, come roaring to life like no other, Heavy Metal music.

But it was pictures of Heavy Metal guitarists such as the late great Eddie Van Halen who received prominent placement throughout my childhood bedroom, which I affectionally nicknamed The Wailing Wall Of Metal, in the pilot episode of a TV show I tried selling to VH1 Classic called Heavy Metal High.

The first time I heard the haunting, stuck in time, Church bell clang on Hells Bells by AC/DC, my pubescent soul, no longer felt like an amorphous void of scaredy-cat goo. It was as if God came down from Heaven himself through my boom box of yesteryear to tell me, “You’re more metal than you think kid. And you’ll only start living, when you get out of your self-esteem strangling head already, which is what Heavy Metal is doing to you right now. So stop acting like another Richard Lewis in the making.  As you can see, I also breath renewed life into knock kneed, putz prone kids like yourself through AC/DC to. Your manly metamorphosis has begun. You’re welcome.”

So it was only fitting for me to eventually receive my TV writing break, which was 15 years in the making, when I was hired by VH1 Classic to write all the TV Host reads for America’s Hard 100, which ranked the greatest hard rock and heavy metal videos of all time. But the 1st time I heard the song Eruption at my all Jewish sleepaway camp in Kent, Connecticut, it felt like a meteor shower blasted through my Hanes Tighty Whities, which amplified my Heavy Metal loving soul with a higher octane surge of propulsive might than ever before.

The most special thing about Eddie Van Halen’s music making career, is being blessed to play with his son Wolfgang for a living. His son Wolfgang, who was taught to play piano, bass and drums posted on Instagram, “I couldn’t have asked for a better father.” He got to make magical metal with his dad, which is what made Eddie Van Halen feel most in touch with the divine. He was quoted as saying “I couldn’t wait to make music with my son.” Because from what I’ve read, Eddie Van Halen wanted to transfer his love of creation through songwriting and guitar playing, which is what made him feel most alive, knowing he constantly made comments about wanting to make the most of his God given blessed talents.

No wonder the late great Eddie Van Halen kept running to his son Wolfgang to play more majestic metal music again and again.   Also, the name Van Halen is an homage to the family name, because Eddie’s brother Alexander Arthur Van Halen, their longtime drummer, was also one of the founding members of the band, responsible for the band’s signature funk filled, pounding backbeat, which I got the entire world off its feet.

Long live Van Halen’s wailing wall of metal. Van Halen ruled on top of the metal world for more than a while. Wolfgang’s professed love of his dearly departed father on Instagram really got to me, strumming my heart strings ever so light, because his dad gave him the opportunity to dream and boy did he love his dad back for it, for making him feel like the center of his universe, instead of the reverse. And that’s how you know when it’s love. Sammy Hagar lives.

Michael Kornbluth

Hot For Hummus

Hummus is Chickpeas are great in Arabic. It’s the most popular dish in the Middle East among Egyptians, Jordanians, and Israeli offshoots of the Zohan tribe, 7 degrees separated from the golden Jew Adam Sandler. Actual unity is getting your Hummus resistor Jewish father from the Bronx to follow your 3 Koshertarian diet embracing children by joining the party to try your homemade Hummus made in his Arizona estate home for a pre-nosh nibble snack on top of toasted pita triangles with some diced up cherry tomatoes, fresh scattered parsley and vibrant looking, just grated carrots on top. I’m not betting the farm on my father to try my workshopped, perfected homemade Hummus over Thanksgiving break but as my father likes to rightfully point out, I don’t own a farm let alone a John Deer lawnmower or the personal property big enough to justify the expense because I’m still so broke, my Hebrew name is under judicial review.   Everyone can unify behind the depressingly dreary premise of a degenerate Jew like myself not being financially secure in life yet, who uses his fingers for basic arithmetic like a retarded version Dustin Hoffman at the Blackjack table at Talking Stick Casino.

Growing up in elementary school, all my Loan Officer mother ever made me was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, which didn’t help my blobby physique one bit at the time. Still, I never complained or requested anything different, urging my mother to make me Bento box lunches with Power Rangers stickers on the outside, with Cucumber and cream cheese Koshertarian rolls wrapped in seaweed and sticky rice within. Also, as a kid, I always preferred sesame bagels, for my egg and cheeses at the local Greek dinner, inhaling 2 in one sitting, after a night of drinking, with my old school high school buds, which is why my father called me the” human shovel” for a reason. So, I don’t need to be a math savant like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man to realize my love of nut based spreads like peanut butter would eventually lead to my developed steamy love for Tahani flavor in Hummus, which is where the oily, creamy, pulverized sesame seed spewing essence derives from. Hummus is basically, the more versatile, infinitely less tubby version of peanut butter, which also packs leaner blasts of less sticky mouth protein. So of course, I’m hot for hummus but only after I stared making my homemade versions to spice up my kid’s lunches, so I didn’t burn them out on peanut butter, ruining their capacity to ever savor a Reese Pieces Butter Cup, made at all the specialty chocolate chops like in Ridgefield CT again, which is an American shishy bitch rite as it gets.

If you never tried hummus, the famed sesame paste can be a turnoff, if you never sampled the primo goods before. On the surface, some store-bought hummus or homemade hummus can look like a sad plop mound of dried out earwax. That’s why you must add color and a dash of sophistication to your presentation. Pine nuts, who needs them. Chopped hardboiled eggs, gross, too overtly Israeli for my taste sorry. Pesto on top of hummus, is a blatantly unnecessary, awful idea, knowing Hummus when made right, requires no parm cheese garlic infusion to make it more swoon worthy than it already is. For me, I dress up my Hummus triangle creations with a menage a trois of radiant, lick it up color such as hot to trot, Little Red Corvette, cherry tomatoes and Arizona wild, desert bloom orange specked shredded carrots or some Polo Lounge conjuring green in the form of thick strands of Jalapeno on top to keep it extra steamy in the process.  

Just like it any relationship, you have to spice things up, incorporating needed color and variety to keep things interesting or you’ll lose sustained stiffage, which is the perpetual state of arousal necessary for any relationship to get excited for toppable tomorrows. The same rule applies to homemade loving infused creations versus the mass produced, manufactured kind, which lacks the length and depth of personalized pop compared to the real thing.  So invest in a Cuisinart to blend your Goya Chickpeas, add some store bought Tahini from your local Kosher butcher, add a garlic bulb or 2, throw in a generous heaping of sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salt, I don’t give a shit, before pouring in a steady steam of medium grade Olive oil, as the hummus magic swirls into scrumptious loving perfection before constructing your pita triangle pizzas with the steamy garnishes I mentioned prior and call it a day.  At the very least, your kids will love you more putting in the extra effort to tantalize and awaken their tastebuds to newer, fresher, yummier possibilities than ever before. Plus, your kids won’t become instantly tubby and resent your existence for it later. Last, your wife tasting like hummus won’t lure you into sucking face with her on the spot, but you’ll take whatever justified outs a 10-year marriage can give you.

Michael Kornbluth

Death Of A Bose Salesman

Once upon a time there was Sales Rep for Bose who suffered from Loud Man’s Disease.  He loved blasting The Who, Led Zeppelin   and AC/DC at work in the listening booth before he turned borderline deaf. Now, all Michael the Sales Rep from Bose hears is AC/DC’s song Hells Bells. Michael Yeller always believed louder is better until now because he was longer ablet to sing Search and Destroy by Iggy Pop and Stooges at the local Karaoke bar in White Plains, NY after work with his boss anymore.   

Growing up, Michael only wanted to play air guitar like the great metal shredders throughout the walls of his childhood room, which included pictures Mick Mars from Motley Crew, the Freddy Kruger of shredding, the steel guitar slaying, Gypsy Road howler Tom Kiefer from Cinderella and the Tasmanian Devil of pretty good metal pop CC Deville from Poison. Later, Michael tried to learn the guitar after his parents got him an acoustic one for Hannukah but he already started smoking weed by junior year in high school, so the hand dexterity and hours of practice necessary to assume any semblance of functional playing mastery over the guitar were out of his self-imposed reach.

After college, Michael tried to make a living as an IT Headhunter in LA but IT Directors half his age didn’t appreciate being hounded by a such a loudmouth New Yorker who had less voice control than Busta Rhymes at a midnight showing of Higher Learning. Also, everyone in LA is very cagy, accustomed to time alone in their cars and airy, open rooftop hotel bars and non-descript, low key bars on random, zero foot traffic streets, unaccustomed to Vince Vaughn clones from Swingers from New York like Michael who was actually told to hush while on a date to see Eric Clapton at the Hollywood Bowl once. Eventually, Michael moved back to NY and did digital ad sales for Citysearch and started to try open mike stand up comedy. When working for Citysearch he’d say on stage, “Citysearch is city guide used mostly by gay men to find who gives the best facial.” But Michael struggled to unleash his inner rock star on stage, because if his 1st joke bombed, he could never win the audience back, which stripped him of the confidence to riff and piggy back off the waves of laughter, opting to go into any new inspired direction of hilarity he choose.  

At the Christmas party for CitySearch Michael sang his best rendition of Wanted Dead or Alive yet, which he had perfected over the years. The high end 15-year Macallan scotch helped. Still, he got fired the next day for getting black out drunk and dry humping the coat check girl on the dance floor to Oh What A Feeling.

Knowing Michael couldn’t pay rent through playing air guitar renditions of Fallen Angel in Times Square, or make any money at stand-up comedy in NYC because he had to actually invite his friends to get performing time at the NY Comedy Club at all, he decided to find a job, where his loud man disease could be neutralized, where it wouldn’t become such a career hindering liability and got a job in suburbs at The Westchester Mall in White Plains, NY selling state of the art stereo equipment for Bose. Michael’s boss gave him some leeway and allowed him to tell some jokes, because he knew the stand-up comedy bug wasn’t out of his system all together. Michael would be selling noise cancelation headphones, “Yenta Silencers”, is what he’d call them specifically before sampling new bits on random customers such as, “Did you know Google fired 25 software engineers for sexual harassment? But software engineers are too busy banging out code to hit on girls at work. Plus, if you’re a software engineer at Google, your typical Pearl command script isn’t, “Massage my carpel tunnel ho.”  

But one day during a demo presentation for AC/DC Back In Black on surround sound in the primo listening sampling room at work, Michael lost his ability to hear fully, now only hearing the death knell Church bell clang to Hells Bells. Was God punishing Michael for his Loud Man’s Disease forever? How could Michael ever sing Karaoke again, losing all semblance of voice control now whatsoever?

Michael was a really a good sales rep for Bose, but reality is, the speakers sold themselves. Michael’s boss and favorite Karaoke partner let him keep his job at Bose but got him off the sales floor to work as a blogger for their digital marketing team instead, allowing him rant and rave about all the loudest and proudest, most bad ass metal rock records of all time, which are only accentuated on Bose’s premium blast speakers, naturally. Michael would fire off blog record recommendations for albums by The Who, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Van Halen with divine powered authority. He’d pound the keyboard non-stop-all day long, which was sweet music to his boss’s ears, knowing his employee and friend Michael could channel his love of fast, loud, kick ass metal like a Bat Out Of Hell, which sent his heart soaring, flying high again. In the end, Michael couldn’t sell Bose speakers on the main sales floor anymore but he was still able to sell his love of loud, metal music through his blogs, and also had the kick ass, momentous clang of Hell’s Bells playing in his head for company. And Michael didn’t need Meatloaf to tell him, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

The End

Michael Kornbluth

The Never Ending Hug

Dada, I never want this hug to end. No offense to mama, but your wedding anniversary celebrates the birth of our family together to. Sure, I was still in mama’s super snug womb at the time. And mama was barely showing at the wedding. And I wasn’t born for another six months but still.

I never want this hug to end. I can’t imagine such a snuggly, fun filled life without you in it Dada. I know we don’t have a normal family with you being an unemployed stay at home comedian and host of the Do It All Dad Year Podcast. And I know I give you grief about having a sharing banked account with mommy because you don’t make money anymore. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know your comedy train is bound for Benjamin producing glory Dada. Especially, if you start having me do more on your Do It All Dad Year Podcast than just intros for it. Can I get a hallah for some Challah? Funnier dad, happier, babies. I’m living proof of it.

I never want this hug to end Dada. Don’t mind mama. She’s got baby Samuel, Instagram and Arthur to entertain her. Plus, I know she’s not complaining about that super spicy Zin you got for your eight year wedding anniversary. I can’t wait to try a sip. Old Vine Zins are only made in America like Canadian comic millionaires like Rick Moranis, right Dada?

I never want this hug to end Dada. I know your new friend resolution is to find an editor to become the best friend you never had besides me of course. So he can become your most vocal backer, reign in your super intense, outrageous personality and make sure your humor book about modern fatherhood as an Unemployed Comedian/Father of 3 becomes a best seller Dada. If it sells, it’s art. I remember Dada. Can I sell our family drawings at your books signings at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square? I’ll use plenty of magenta and purple haze in honor of Jimi to make sure our family pic really pop like the left handed genius at Monterey.

I never want this hug to end Dada. You already call me eight foot 2. Insisting I put on undies the sec I get out of the tub. So the Chinese Underworld has less to see. You say I’m going to outgrow wanting to hang out with you every sec before I know it. And no longer give you unexpected pecs on your cheek in your writing office, my future room next year by the way in case you forgot already. A deal is a deal Dada.

So keep on banging out chapters and more jokes for The Stay At Home Comedian, Dada. I know you’re going to make it a comedic masterpiece. I hear your train coming daddy. And pretty soon you’re going to buy this town. And you’re going to buy this town. And you’ll put it all in your funny man clown shoes. That’s what you’re going to do. That’s what’s you’re going do. Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary Dada. But make sure mama doesn’t polish off the Zin so fast and hook up your better half already.

Michael Kornbluth