Exiled By Mr. Mike

Mike McAlpine is an award winning writer with many awards under his belt. I met Mike thirty years ago while performing live shows at The Ugly Stink in Portland, Oregon. At that time, I didn’t know who Mike McAlpine was. Since that time I have become familiar with Mike’s work, including his five album long “Love This House” project with longtime friend and band mate Scott Weiland. Mike and I have since gone on numerous tours together, performed at various venues around the country, and have become friends.

I first learned of Mike McAlpine through a song title from a song by The Rolling Stones, which was called,”Red Hot Chili Peppers.” The song lyrics suggested something about a groupie who took advantage of a group who wasn’t real. A groupie who wore the clothes; drank the beer; frequented the strip joints; and did the drugs. It was a drug den like atmosphere. It wasn’t far from the truth about the lifestyle these people (band members and crew) lived. Mike, who is still married today, is telling his version of how it really went down; which to me is a great story to hear about.

Mike’s description of the lifestyle he grew up in is interesting. He grew up on a north west coast in what was then considered to be rural Oregon. Oregon is famous for it’s scenic beauty, and beautiful wild life. Mike grew up near Astoria, OR, right where the popular Rose Garden lies, and went on to live for several years in Portland, OR, a city famous for it’s liberal political views and thriving music scene. This is where he got the idea for creating The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Mike’s first writing experience came as a teen trying to get his words out. His first published piece was a song called “Reelin’ in the Years.” After some time, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the band War, which was one of the biggest names in the world at that point. Mike would go on to write for a number of artists including Jodie Foster, and David Lee Roth.

In the mid 90’s, Mike was diagnosed with cancer, which is why he was forced to give up the acting career. He wanted to focus on fighting this disease, and remain active in his community. His wife, also a singer, gave him all the encouragement he needed. She wrote him many letters, which helped him deal with the depression that came with his diagnosis.

While the focus of this book is Mike’s personal story, you can also glean some great lessons from reading through it. For instance, did you know that most successful musicians from the rock era spent much of their time at home? Did you know Melvyn Bragg said that home is where the heart is? I don’t know anyone who believes that the arts are strictly left-brain activity, but if you do, by reading this book, then you might change your mind.

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Is John Hudak Too Hard on His Speakers?

Recall Hudak Too? Yes, the recall election was once again in doubt this past weekend as the voters head to the polls. Even with the recent controversy involving incumbent Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper and his wife Melinda, who is a former aide to former governor Bill Ritterman, the race is neck. The candidates are neck in the early going, but one thing is for certain, the race is not likely to break either one of them away from their opponents.

What does this mean for the race in 6th CD of Colorado House of Representatives? For the statewide races there’s still a slight possibility for the democrats to gain control over the state house by winning the popular vote. However, the Recall Hudak Too question should be addressed whether or not the Recall election truly makes sense. If it doesn’t, what does the whole process do anyway? Will it really help the democrats retain control of the legislature, or perhaps allow an already unpopular governorship to fall?

If the Recall Hudak Too petition is indeed successful, it will be quite disappointing for the residents of Colorado House of Representatives. If the Recall Campaign circulates only a small amount of valid signatures, the legislature can do a quick recount. It’s possible that all the needed signatures could be collected on just one day of the new term beginning. If that occurs, the legislature will have to schedule another special session, which means another special session before the next general election. This means an increased expense for voters, and will undoubtedly drive up the cost of any upcoming elections.

At the center of this Recall Hudak Too matter is Democratic State Senator Karyn Politi of Denver. Her name appears on the “Signatures Sheet” which must be submitted to the Secretary of State after the election. Her name has been included on the list of valid signatures submitted by the Recall Campaign. So if the democrats decide to hold a primary election in the fall, she’ll be the Democratic candidate to win the race for the vacant congressional seat.

The question now becomes, who will run against her in the primary election? The current Democratic nominee is Congressman Joe Moreno, but how popular is he? His support within the party and his ties to the President has given him a leg up on the other contestants. He’s also garnered some help from the recall campaign, which is bankrolling the effort. The question now becomes will the efforts of the recall effort succeed?

It’s hard to say. What’s clear is that the recall efforts are hurting the reputation of the Colorado Democratic Party. The recall election is costing the party money, and it’s difficult to see a bright light at the end of that tunnel. The best chance for the proponents of a second John Hudak to win is if the challenger fails to garner enough votes to win. Even if it looks like the committee will fail to turn things around for the congressman, there is always another time to try.…

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