By Steve Newton

The drummer from one of my fave bands of the ’70s has passed away.

Dale “Buffin” Griffin, a founding member of Mott the Hoople, died peacefully in his sleep last night. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009.

Griffin played on all the Mott the Hoople albums, including 1972’s breakthrough All the Young Dudes (which featured the hit title-track written for the band by David Bowie), 1973’s Mott(which boasted the single “All the Way from Memphis”), and 1974’s Hoople (the band’s last studio album).

After his time with Mott the Hoople, Griffin went on to play in the offshoot group Mott, as well as British Lions. He also produced albums by Hanoi Rocks and the Cult.

While frontman Ian Hunter wrote the lions’ share of the songs for Mott the Hoople, Griffin–along with bassist Pete “Overend” Watts, organist Verden Allen, and guitarist Mick Ralphs–got a…

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What I Like Is Sounds

Bowie again

David Bowie was one of those artists—human beings—who did only exactly the things he wanted to do.  He was beautiful, strange, androgynous, flawless, sexual, artistic, fucked up, supernatural.  Bowie gave us permission to be all of those things as well, to be a star and a mess, to live our lives as creatively as we dare to, to have no fear and fulfill our every desire.

His creativity really impresses me, and it makes me feel bad about myself as an artist.  People like Bowie are constantly creating something in some way, even if it’s just the way they decorate their bathroom.  They cannot breathe if they do not have creativity flowing through their lungs.  They cannot function without making something out of nothing.  Every second of every day is consumed with art.  When I read about such artists, when I see their creations and hear them speak about what…

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You Write Fiction

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a writer’s life for me…I think. Here are 11 gifs that sum up a writer’s life quite nicely.

sparrow4 When a new idea hits you.

sparrow6 When your cat mocks your new idea.

sparrow3 Writer’s block.

sparrow10 This chapter needs some work…

sparrow9 The cat’s on the keyboard again.

sparrow11 The first time someone asks about your book.

sparrow 2 When a friend/relative singles you out as a writer.

sparrow8 When you’re forced to socialize.

sparrow5 The one time you have company over.

sparrow7 When someone criticizes your writing.

sparrow2 When you get a good review on your book.

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If you’re ever sad remember the world is 4543 billion years old, and you were lucky enough to live at the same time as David Bowie


By Steve Newton

Talk about a shocker.

Got up at the usual 7 this morning, realized there was no instant coffee–and no wife awake to make me a latte–so went straight to the cell phone.

Saw a tweet about a new concert announcement that needed blogging, so headed over to the computer, clicked on the straight.com home page, and couldn’t believe my freakin’ eyes:

David Bowie dead at age 69 after cancer battle read the headline.

No way.

It can’t be.

I didn’t even know he was ill.

Now it’s over 12 hours later, and I still find it hard to comprehend the music world without David Bowie, the Thin White Duke.

Or as I like to remember him best: Ziggy Stardust.

I vividly recall the first time I experienced Bowie. The day before my 16th birthday–on April 13, 1973–he released Aladdin Sane, and a few days later my…

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