29x The Pain

“How Can I Get Down When I Got All My Friends Around?”

I’ve been getting really into Austin Kleon’s books lately. He’s written a trilogy meant to be devoured by artists just like me, you, and him. They’re obvious and at the same time intuitive. I’ve just finished Show Your Work and now I’m onto Steal Like An Artist. But this post isn’t going to be about Austin’s books per se. It’s going to focus on the fact that all Art is Theft ~ and Good Art is just plagiarism that hasn’t been detected yet. We all know this, but we pretend not to in front of other people. What Austin’s done is told us to own our theft. There’s not a man among us holding a pen right now, strumming a guitar, or fine tuning his camera settings who hasn’t gotten the idea to do so from someone else.  Click HERE for Austin’s Website



So… 29x The Pain, written by Ginger Wildheart of The Wildhearts. A personal hero of mine. And a thief. A really good thief, a thief witty and skilled enough to have inspired me to get those words tattooed on me years ago. Here’s why: The lyrics of the song are comprised of lyrics from other songs, names of other artists, or the ideas they posed, orchestrated to tell his own story– the story of how those who came before him not only opened the door for him but drug his ass through it over broken bottles and dull needles until he was up on stage with them. It’s  an uneasy, unlikely ballad of gratitude and survival and it’s given me goosebumps from day 1. It is, in my opinion, the ultimate love song to Rock N Roll itself, and it’s also the ultimate heist.


I saw it fitting to pay homage, on toady my forty-first birthday, by doing exactly what Ginger did. It’s no secret that I don’t take aging well. It’s possibly why I started spending my birthdays alone in remote places years ago, but it’s hard to say. I don’t feel alone because I have all of my most faithful companions right here with me ~ records, books, pens, paper, and my typewriter. I don’t find it depressing either. Anyone who’s truly depressed knows it takes a lot less than being alone on a birthday to get there. Let that sink in. So, here is my prose of the sincerest thievery I’m capable of. If you grew up anything like me, hopefully you’ll get the goosebumps too.


Tomorrow’s Girls

Ever Fallen In Love with

a Punk Rock Girl

Or danced to An Instant Club hit

With Another Girl From Another Planet?


Kiss Me On The Bus so we can Stay Free

Café Avenue to Fascination Street

I want All This And More and I Won’t Look Back

Smash It Up and Paint It Black


High on Heaven Hill, I’m a Jersey Girl

Guided by Voices and All By Myself

It’s Hot In The City, Child

And the World is Mad

Goddess From The Gutter ain’t so bad




TV Parties and swill Six-Packs

My Teenage Depression –

The only Gun on My Back


Darby crashed before Johnny’s last high

Faster and Louder

These are the
People Who Died


My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down

I am a Man About the Town

I dared to go Where Eagles did

Can’t Make It On Time

But I Wanna Live


The Kids Are United so Come As You Are

Whatever Happened to

The Mighty Heroes and

And the old Boxcar?


Hated In the Nation

I Stand Tall

With a Mexican Radio

My eyes on The Fall


Like Razors In The Night

We Pull Each Other Into One

In  the Ice Cream Summer

My Pink Dress In The Setting Sun


What’s It Like To Be Old

That’s All I Heard Her Say

I watched her From My Room and told her

Live For Today


We Joined The Rejects

And never got killed

We stayed in houses Built to Spill

Jimmy heard The London Call

We Are The One, We Take Em All


We Had No Time To Be Twenty-One

We had no riots left to run

There was No Love could Tear Us Apart

One Hundred Punks

With Poison Heart




Here’s the link to 29x The Pain CLICK HERE

To View My Photography Website CLICK HERE

To donate to my Patreon CLICK HERE


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