Greg Piper's "I Wish You'd Love Me" Syncs Up Perfectly To The Wizard Of Oz

"I didn't believe it when I first saw it!"... Greg Piper


(Syncs up to 'The Wizard Of Oz')

Admit You're A Rockaholic

If you're reading this you probably think the whole premise of Rock & Roll Rehab is a joke. Ha, ha, I get it, it's for people addicted to rock and roll, very funny. People don't get addicted to music. But think about it for a minute. If there was anything available to you out in the world that you spent much more money on than would be considered financially prudent, if it occupied not only an abundant amount of time to consume, physically (listening), but also an almost constant amount of time mentally consuming (thinking about music or humming songs in your head), and if it actually influenced your fashion choices, your health choices (drugs and alcohol) and even your social and political beliefs, wouldn't you worry it was becoming too influential in your life? 

Take a typical musician, a typical musician, not a millionaire rock star or even a gigging musician. A typical musician is probably what ninety-nine out of a hundred people who play a musical instrument is and that is someone who makes squat, financially speaking,  from playing music. Yet the amount of time, effort, love, desire, dedication and cold hard cash these people spend on their obsession is radically off balance from the gain they receive. If you ask someone why he will get up on a stage at a bar or a bandstand in a public park and perform his heart out for people who don't even bother to listen let alone pay money he'll tell you he does it for the "high". He plays his music for the feeling it gives him to perform in front of people even if the crowd's response would seem to be one that would elicit the feeling opposite than "high". When attaining a "feeling" becomes so important that you'll not only spend time, effort and money to attain it but also will disregard the potential dangers such as getting booed off the stage or becoming subject to ridicule, then my friend, you are technically addicted.

If you've read even this far it means you're so addicted to rock and roll that you're even willing to waste your time reading about it, not even reading about music or a favorite musician, but reading about an asinine concept such as Rock & Roll Rehab, which is obviously just a stupid joke. But you're not laughing, are you? Because you've just proven that you are, indeed, a rockaholic and that Rock & Roll Rehab isn't so stupid after all.

Court Of The Crimson King Competition

In 2007 I painted a series of acrylic paintings illustrating the lyrics to some of my favorite Classic Rock songs. The first one I did was King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King. This painting has been on the Internet for almost ten years. The other day I Googled "In The Court Of The Crimson King Paintings" to see if my painting was still there. It was. All of the other images that came up were based on the iconic album cover, except one. This version was basically like mine and if I had seen this first I probably wouldn't have bothered painting mine. I like this painting but I wonder was the song itself the real inspiration for this painting or was my painting the inspiration? I know that sounds egotistical but consider this:

Here's my version.

Here's what I assume is the newer version since I've never seen this one before and I've been searching for something like this (my version) online for almost a decade. Let me be clear, I like this a lot and I'm not complaining if someone saw my painting and decided he (or she) could do better. Art is largely a matter of taste and there's room for everything. If my painting was the inspiration I'd be flattered. Where each of my illustrated lyric paintings are done in a different style to best get across the feel of the song, this painting is done in a style that the artist uses a lot. There is a sizable collection of paintings in this same style although from what I can tell none of the others are based on song lyrics. What makes me think the artist ever saw my version? Most of the images in this new version are either different such as "the grinding wheel" in this one looks more like a water wheel, and the ones that are very similar are, of course, illustrating the same image described in the song. But there are two images in this painting that seem inspired more by my painting than by the song lyrics.

 Here's the image for the line "the gardener plants an Evergreen whilst trampling on a flower".

Here's my version. I used the same pose of the gardener kneeling down in the flowerbed as he plants a sapling but the lyrics state he "tramples" the flower. Wouldn't that suggest he's standing? You trample something by walking or running on it, at least by standing on it. You can squash something from kneeling on it but are you really trampling it? Wouldn't it be better if he was standing with a shovel digging a hole for the tree? Okay, maybe that was just a coincidence but here's another example:

The line here is "On soft, gray mornings widows cry, the wise men share a joke". Because of the biblical Wise Men I made three of them but unlike the biblical wise men I suggested one was Jewish, one Islamic and one Christian. There were no Christians or Muslims during the time of Christ.

 Here is the same line. Three wise men, in the same pose and even the same hand gesture and to dispel any doubt that one is Christian, one Islamic and one Jewish, one has a Christian cross above his head, one an Islamic crescent moon above his head and one a Star of David. There is NOTHING in that lyric to suggest these wise men were three in number or represented three different religions or were even religious at all. That was completely my doing. The only difference is that in my painting it's the Jewish guy telling the joke (seems more natural) and in the other painting the Christian is telling the joke which undoubtedly is "A Jew and an Arab walk into a bar...:


Edgar Allen Poe

Probably an original Goth Rocker.

He even had a drug problem!




The mad monk of Czarist Russia.

Boy, could this guy party!

He was so big he was the first to go by only one name . . . 



Mark Twain

He was the first to use a stage name.

A very literate guy, he was known back then as

The Old Dylan



The TOONERS' FORGIVING YOU Valentine Day's Single

L.A. Band The Tooners’ new single, “Forgiving You“, may be a backlash of the #MeToo Movement in that it’s a song about the joys of make-up sex.

Watch The Tooners' Forgiving You video HERE.
Written and co-directed by Ben Warner

Influenced by the tongue-in-cheek rock of The Mothers Of Invention, Alice Cooper and the risqué lyrics of 80s New Wave bands such as The Knack, The Tooners’ songs aren’t afraid to explore some dark themes. Included on their forthcoming fifth full-length CD are songs written for the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die, (recently released as a single) and a song written as the theme for a television series about a hunter of Cryptozoological creatures in the Old West called Strange, CA.

Also released on Valentine’s day, 2020, The Tooners’ latest single “Forgiving You” sounds upbeat and catchy but beneath the surface lurks the dark side of passion. Possessiveness and sexual control are at the heart of the power pop hit about a man who “forgives” his lover for real or imagined transgressions mainly in order to initiate “make-up sex.”
Listen to the Forgiving You single HERE.

One way to re-kindle passion in a relationship is to have that relationship threatened. “I can’t miss you if you don’t go away” is an old joke that is only half kidding. Another old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” is a warning that regret often follows a breakup caused merely by romantic apathy and that the emotions that loss stirs burns hotter than the original flame of love. Those with a tiny bit of imagination may prevent real pain by simply taking a few moments to ponder what life would be like if their relationship did come to a close. How would you feel, jokes aside and after whatever feeling of exhilaration newfound “freedom” may invoke, if you found yourself suddenly alone? Sure, this fear of the unknown is often blamed for keeping people in abusive relationships that should have ended long before the hope that the significant other will eventually change (improve, cease and desist, etc.) but in the case of an otherwise stable and loving relationship that has perhaps just grown a bit stale over time, riding out a rough patch may not only be the smart move but also the easiest. Many couples will tell you that their arguments are less actual disagreements than rituals actually meant to raise their emotional levels to the point where a sexual fire can be ignited.

However, these days it seems as if a little imagination can create monsters that can find materialization into our physical reality. A woman may seek to fully experience her own femininity by allowing a man to sexually dominate her in an appropriate setting, thus more fully appreciating the “weaker” sex aspect of her sexuality, but that decision needs to be hers, alone. Surrender, in this case, is not a weakness but a strength. Unfortunately, men are often incapable of picking up on the subtleties of sexual communication and that can sometimes lead to the headlines about Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein (and many others) that are making news today

“Forgiving You” is the latest single from The Tooners, the band that brought you “The Babysitter”, “Womanizer” and “Got Off You.” from their last CD, Underground Comix. They may or may not be symptomatic of the toxic masculinity running rampant in today’s society but there sure seems to be an audience out there for them.

Star Wars vs The Wizard Of Oz

Has anyone ever noticed that the original Star Wars: A New Hope is a total rip-off of The Wizard Of Oz? First, there is the Wizard. In Oz he is a kindly, protective sage whose goal is to return the lost little girl to her home, far, far away. In Star Wars Obie wan Kenobi is called by Luke Skywalker's uncle Owen "a crazy old wizard", has enough technological and metaphysical knowledge as to be undifferentiated from magic and who takes on the quest of seeing that Princess Leia gets home to her home planet.

Leia is, of course, Dorothy Gale in this analogy. A young lady in battle against an evil that has her outmatched but has such a drive to "go home" that nothing can stop her. She is assisted by her little dog, Toto, who at one point actually runs off to fetch help. Toto is to Dorothy what R2D2 is to Leia. The brave and helpful yet speechless characters also both have four letter names where the second and fourth letter (or digit) match. 

The Tin Woodsman is naturally C3P0, an android who values intelligence, the Cowardly Lion is Chewbacca who is neither cowardly nor a lion but is an animal character rather than a human and is physically intimidating until you get to know him and the Wicked Witch of the West, the very epitome of evil, dressed all in black, with an army of lackeys (flying monkeys and guardsmen) and with the ability to fly is basically a female Darth Vader.

This leaves only the Scarecrow unaccounted for. Is Han Solo the Scarecrow? He has been called "scruffy looking" which certainly can also describe a scarecrow. He is Leia's love interest and although I wouldn't go so far as to suggest a romantic aspect to Dorothy and the Scarecrow's relationship it did always bother me that at the end of her time in the land of Oz, when she's saying goodbye to her new friends as she's about to board the hot air balloon (air/space travel) for her journey home to Kansas, she whispers to the Scarecrow "I think I'll miss you most of all". WTF Dorothy? What an insensitive thing to say right in front of the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion. They risked their lives for you too. Is it because out of the three of them the Scarecrow is the only one who wears pants so she thinks that maybe he has something functional in there? The Cowardly Lion is an animal after all and the Tin Woodsman clearly is smooth as a tin can, literally, down there. At least Dorothy didn't kiss her brother.

Leave your comments below and tell me I'm wrong. Go ahead, I dare you.


Today, April1, 2020, is the official release date for The Tooners' fifth full length CD, Theme To A Dream. It may be the last Tooners CD in that we have now recorded and released virtually every song the band has ever written. If there is ever a follow up it will have to be written from scratch. The only time we've ever recorded an album from scratch was Ripped. Every other Tooners CD, Rocktasia, The Haight and Underground Comix were compiled of songs written years before the recording of the CDs, usually with songs taken from our live sets. Now all those songs that the band has written over the years have been recorded and distributed out on the ether for all the world to hear, or ignore, as apparently is the case.

Theme To A Dream is the third in a trilogy of albums that were compiled from a list of over thirty old songs separated into three distinct albums according to subject matter and overall musical vibe. When a songwriter writes a Pop / Rock tune it can usually be classified into one of three categories;
1. HITS: upbeat, catchy tunes that might appeal to one or more of the various radio formats.
2. DEEP CUTS: more "artistic" or experimental songs that may be longer than the standard three minutes playing length, have changes in tempo, mood or format and
3. FILLER: or what the late, great John Lennon called "crafted songs", the songs that are written because songs were needed and not because they came from any sort of inspiration.
There are a couple different types of "inspiration" as well. There is the inspiration where your hands suddenly and unexpectedly play a phrase or a riff that then leads to the completion of an entire song and the inspiration that comes when an event or memory or maybe just a feeling compels the writer to write a specific song in order to memorialize the event, person, place or thing that inspired it.

 The first of the three albums recorded pulling from the collection of songs written over the course of decades is The Haight. It is The Tooners' album of more adventuresome tunes. Several are over four minutes in length with one or two over five minutes. The more exploratory and ethereal mood of the music led to the lyrics being about beliefs, some religious, some metaphysical, some with a Huckleberry Finn sense of adventure about them.

The second album, Underground Comix, is in keeping with The Tooners' penchant of writing music to accompany other forms of media. Where Rocktasia was a collection of songs meant to eventually be the soundtracks to animated films, The Haight was inspired by the book of the same name and shares the same cover art.
Ripped mimics the soundtrack to a "Disney style" animated movie and accompanying storybook, Underground Comix is an album of songs that musically illustrate particular underground comic book stories

And now comes Theme To A Dream, the title inspired by the fact that there are two "theme songs" on this CD. No Time To Die, released as a single as well as included on the album, is a song not so much about the latest James Bond movie with which it shares a title but more about the various fan theories about James Bond that have been circulating on the Internet for years. Another theme song, Strange, CA, is a theme song for a proposed TV Western about a hunter of Cryptozoological animals in the Old West written by Benjamin Warner and currently under option by a television production company in Hollywood. Other songs, although not blatantly theme songs, certainly sound like they could/should be; I Don't Wanna Work (Pleasant Valley Monday) is a song inspired by the Monkees' hit Pleasant Valley Sunday where a garage band is heard by a home owner who is outside to mow his lawn. I Don't Wanna Work takes the point of view of one of the garage band musicians who years later finds himself in the position of the suburban home owner and ponders why and how he ended up back where he came from when he was, at one time, certain his life was going to take him far away as a rich and famous rock star. A theme song for a lot of us. The song Coronado could be a travel spot theme song for the Southern California resort and Hail The Rock & Roll Band is a shout out to the original Fab Four who started it all. The second single from the album is Forgiving You. A sweet love song that on closer listening reveals some rather subversive lyrics.

And thus we have reached the end of our musical journey. There may be more music ahead but as of right now there is nothing from the past from which to pull which is both a little frightening and yet exhilarating.

The TOONERS' R- Rated Album

The Tooners are truly a "multimedia" Rock & Roll band and most of their released CDs are in one degree or another soundtrack albums. Their CD Rocktasia Remastered consists of songs that were originally conceived as being accompanied by fully animated 2D music videos, hence the reference to Disney's animated music masterpiece Fantasia.Their CD, The Haight, is loosely based on the novella of the same name (available on and the CD, Ripped, was conceived as a soundtrack to a "Disney" style animated musical and the songs are sung as the character in the story, a modernized version of the Washington Irving classic Rip Van Winkle. It also has an accompanying storybook.

Their CD, Underground Comix, as the title implies, consists of songs written to add a musical accompaniment to an "underground" comic book. Underground comic books or "comix" were published from 1967 to 1974 and were noted for being artistically individualistic and completely uncensored. Originally a product of the Hippie Movement out of the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the "Summer Of Love" of 1967 and starting with the Robert Crumb creation, ZAP, they went nationwide until the advent of the Xerox photocopier made it possible to flood the market with inferior product which eventually killed said market.

The Tooners' Punk Opera.

The CD cover of The Tooners' Underground Comix CD lists the songs as "Comic 1 - Womanizer" which consists of eight songs that loosely tell the tale of a guy who is born to be a womanizer and in the end is alone in a bar deciding to stay there and drink until he can figure out why his wife/and/or girlfriend has left him. "Comic 2 - Punk Opera" is a story of a boy who becomes abusive and belligerent after adopting a "Punk Rock" lifestyle and ends up paying the price for it and a printed mini-comic is included with the CD. "Comic 3 -  When The Moon Is Full" is about a horrific act of gang violence.

Since these songs are the musical equivalent of uncensored underground comix, the CD cover also includes a Parental Warning label stating that the contents are for those 18 years of age and older.