Thomas Wictor

Too dizzy for a post tonight

Too dizzy for a post tonight

Meniere’s disease is incurable, and it causes rotational vertigo attacks. It feels like the world is spinning while a heavy weight is pressing down on you. I haven’t had an all-day attack for years, but today I’m too dizzy to write. Rotational vertigo attacks are triggered by stress. Against my will, I’m beginning to remember things that happened when I was a child. My chronic nightmares have returned, only now they’re revealing things.

It’s part of a process, I guess, although there’s no reason for me to remember what I’d already surmised in 2014. Remembering isn’t going to make me a different person or undo what was done.

Since I can barely sit up, I’ll post an excerpt from my book Ghosts and Ballyhoo: Memoirs of a Failed LA Music Journalist. For some reason over a hundred professional authors and book-marketing firms suddenly began following me on Twitter. If they want to read my memoir, here’s a portion.

First, the trailer for my book, created by the brilliant and eminently affordable Rick Glasby of Crash Bang Digital.

Scott Thunes—former bassist for Frank Zappa—recorded the music with this Music Man Sabre electric bass.

Although I own the bass, it’s on permanent loan to Scott. Music Man stopped making the Sabre over thirty years ago. Finding a left-handed version was impossible. My main bass was a Music Man StingRay that the Cardinal Ghost—see Ghosts and Ballyhoo—had made for me in Japan. She bought a right-handed StingRay, had a left-handed body custom made, and then had the Music Man neck, pickup, and guts put onto it.

It’s the best bass I ever had. I had to stop playing due to osteoarthritis, but I was a hell of a bassist. This is one take. No overdubs.

When Music Man re-introduced the Sabre in 2013, I lamented to Scott Thunes that now I’d never get to play one because of the osteoarthritis.

“Well,” he said, “Just because you can’t play one doesn’t mean you can’t buy one. I’ll play it for you, if you want.”

So I bought one, and Scott Thunes—the Collateral Ghost—now plays it for me.

I wish I could’ve introduced him to the Cardinal Ghost. She was a hell of a bassist too.


Marcus Miller complimented her on her thumb-slapping technique. In fact he screamed “NO WAY!” when she picked up his bass and began slapping it. He knows good thumb-slapping when he sees it.

There’s a lot that I wish. No harm in wishing.

Maybe in the next life.

And now an excerpt from my memoir.

Flashback: Why I love Butch Women

I went to a club with a publicist to see the band whose bassist she wanted me to interview. Everyone said the publicist was a lesbian, but I knew she wasn’t. She was jaw-droppingly beautiful, a twin of the actress Andrea Parker, and she always wore suits.

People assumed she was a lesbian because she was as hard as an Abrams tank and could be just as terrifying.

This night I got to see her in action. She wore jeans instead of her usual suit; I’m sure she was or had been a dancer.

As we walked past the bar, we approached a group of six men who stood in our way. They all held mugs of beer. The publicist was in front of me; when we got to within a few feet of the men, they stared at her and nudged each other. She didn’t slow down, her heels clocking on the floor like a metronome: tok-tak-tok-tak-tok-tak-tok-tak. It was just like the scene in Point Blank, where Lee Marvin is on his way to his wife’s apartment to murder her boyfriend.

Since it was clear the publicist was going to walk right through or over the men, five of them stepped back, but one—a flushed guy in his late twenties—refused to move.

Hey, hey, hey! Where you goin’, baby?” he roared.

She turned sideways and slipped by him. I’ve read that when men do that they point their chest toward the person they’re avoiding, but women point their chest away. The publicist pointed her chest toward the yelling guy. When she’d passed him, he pivoted, cupped one hand around his mouth, and yelled, “Nice ass, bitch!

The publicist stopped cold and I almost crashed into her. She spun around and headed straight back toward the drunk, zeroing in on him like a guided missile. In the time it took her to reach him, she tucked her little handbag into the waistband of her jeans, putting it into the small of her back out of the way. Now both her hands were free. She pushed her bracelets up her forearms and stopped right in front of the hapless, red-faced lout, who grinned uneasily.

“Uh, hi,” he said.

“What did you say to me?” she asked.

The drunk visibly shrank, his smile somehow going rigid and quivery at the same time. Tall and blonde, he wore a white button-up shirt that spilled out of his low-slung khaki Dockers. He seemed horribly defenseless; when he looked to his friends, they examined the floor, the ceiling, and their beer mugs. This was his own little shindig, which he could enjoy all for himself. Turning back to the publicist, the guy shrugged and raised one hand, an appeal for calm.

“I didn’t say anything. Really.”

The publicist snorted, looked him up and down, and stepped around him to examine his rear. He sagged even more, gripping his beer mug with both hands, like a toddler with a sippy cup. The publicist put her hands on her hips.

“Nice beer gut,” she said pleasantly. “Nice double chin. Nice soft, flabby, droopy ass.”

He appeared to digest her words and then silently raised his mug and toasted his annihilation with abject gallantry. His friends coughed and cleared their throats. The publicist gave him three more seconds, turned, and walked away.

I could easily have eloped with her on the spot, but she already had a great man in her life.

This article viewed 232 times.