Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Zen Cats

(You can meet all of my cats in the video below)

The cat. Felis catus. A domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. I love cats. Maybe I love cats too much.

My family lives deep in the woods and people will sometimes abandon dogs and cats on our remote road just to get rid of them. We often find these discarded pets. A lot of times it's a mama cat and a litter of new kittens, so we find several at once. We can't just leave them to die in the woods so we take them home. We pay to have them all spayed and neutered then we try to find them homes. It can be hard to place all of them. We end up being the forever home for a lot of the strays. It's an expensive hobby and can be a wonderful pain in the ass. They say that you choose your own poison. Well, I guess my poison is cats.

How many cats live with me? Good question. 

Guess how many cats I have. Go ahead… just guess. No. It’s more. Nope. It’s more than that. Seventeen. I currently have seventeen cats. 

It's so many cats that sometimes I even forgot how many I have. When someone asks me to name all of my cats, I'm never able to remember them all. I feel like a failed member of Cats Anonymous... "My name is Lizard McGee and I have seventeen cats". I try not to even say that out loud because it’s like a spoken curse. Don’t misunderstand me, I love my cats. Even the ones whose names I can’t remember. They're all special in their own way and are a lot of fun too. Though they are sometimes horrible they are often comforting. Cats can be Zen as well. They help me focus. My cats are great company and they usually end up helping me when I'm working on a new song. Or even when I practice my putting.

The producers on Holey Moley found out that I had seventeen cats and wanted to know more about them (of course!) so I sent them this video. I think that they liked it a little too much. When I showed up on set, I thought that they were going to turn me into the Crazy Cat Guy instead of a Rockstar! The truth is that I’m happy being both. Everything works out in the end. On Holey Moley I'm pitted against another golfer and cat lover named Giovani. The funny thing is that when Giovani and I met we became friends and bonded over our shared love of our cats without knowing that we were going to play against each-other. We were surprised when the producers revealed to us that we would be competing golfers. Our interactions that you see on the show are very genuine, in-the-moment and real. Giovani is super awesome and a great person who genuinely loves his cats!

This is a video I made about my cats and my love for golf.


By the way, my cats have their own Instagram account, if you want to follow them just search for @trashcatsofappalachia


Instagram: Trash Cats of Appalachia  @trashcatsofappalachia

I'll be a featured player on ABC's Holey Moley extreme mini golf show on Thursday 5/28

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Mind Control for Golf Balls


I'm still reeling from the experience of being on Holey Moley, an extreme mini-golf competition. You can watch me as a featured player on Episode 2, which airs on ABC on Thursday 5/28. Flying to L.A., meeting all of the other cool contestants and hanging out on-set was a wild ride. I would do it again in a heart-beat. Filming was intense and playing on the show is much harder than it looks. I got knocked around pretty good and had a couple of slamming wipe-outs. I came home with some cool bruises. You'll have to watch the show to see how it all plays out.

This was the 2nd video I submitted for Holey Moley


I'm one of the few players that just came to the show out of the blue. I had never heard of Wipeout or Holey Moley when I first applied. Looking back now, it's incredible that I made the cut out of the thousands of other applicants. The show is very popular and loads of people want to be on it. There are big casting calls in LA and I found out that the producers actually source a lot of the contestants from short lists of pseudo-celebrity instagram influencers, reality TV personalities, pro and semi-pro golfers. When I got the initial response to my first submission video, I knew that they liked me. After all, they probably didn't get many submissions from Rock Star golfers with 17 cats! Once I made it through the initial round of phone-interviews and a couple of call-backs, the Holey Moley producers asked if I could send another video with me making specific putts. They said that they wanted to see me play on a real golf course. At this point, I knew I had a shot at being on the show so I wanted to push the Rock Star angle. That gave me the idea to have my putter in a guitar case instead of my guitar. James and I snuck onto a couple of local golf courses (with our friend Rio) and made this video. The first few shots are at the Athens Country Club. The footage in the rain was filmed at the O.U. course. I filmed the mini-golf shots myself at the abandoned putt-putt by the Ridges in Athens. I remember filming the footage at the golf courses and we were blocking golfers who were trying to play through so they were waving their clubs and yelling at us from the fairway. We were un-perturbed!

It was at this point that I started to bring some Zen into my putting practice. If I was going to go through with this I wanted to be able to perform at the top of my game. I decided to title this video Mind Control for Golf Balls because I was seriously digging into my mental game to lock in my ability to sink putts under pressure. I cut the footage from me putting on Athens area golf courses together and used an Earwig song (Sleepyhead from the album Gibson Under Mountain) to make sure it rocked. Check it out through the link above. 

One of my favorite things is the last shot in the video. I love the sound of the golf ball hitting a tree in the end! I'm wearing a Purple Rain t-shirt too.

Holey Moley premieres 5/21 9pm|8pm central on ABC 
(I'll be on episode 2, 5/28!)



Sunday, April 26, 2020

Holey Moley submission video #1



Last summer my buddy Rich from NYC told me that he had been watching a crazy show on TV and he thought I’d be great on it.

That show was Holey Moley. The show is built around an extreme minor-golf competition. It’s wild. I’d never seen the show (I don’t have TV), but I went online and signed up anyway based on Rich’s recommendation alone. I got a call back a few days later and after a series of interviews and further submission videos I was in serious talks with the producers about being featured on the second season of the show.

To make a long story short… I made it! I’m going to be on TV. Holey Moley  (Season II, The Sequel) premieres 5/21 9pm, 8pm central on ABC

I pitched myself to the show as a Rock Star and I think that set me apart from the other entrants. I had no idea at the time but have since learned that with online submissions and open casting-calls in LA, the producers had thousands of people to choose from. It’s amazing that I made it through so many other people that wanted to be on the show. You might not guess it but I golf. I’ve never played on a professional course but I have a true Scottish-style, home-made golf course at my house and I also co-founded a radical, underground renegade golf tournament called The Silver Baby Cup. I’ve read the Zen Putting books and yes, I can putt. But it still blows my mind that I made it on the show. I flew to LA for 10 days in February and it was a blast. I met so many cool people and had a wonderful time being on Holey Moley. 

I'm still pretty blown away by the whole experience. It was intense and I had a great time competing. If you watch the show… it’s a LOT harder than it looks! When I made the online submission for the show, they ask you to upload a video telling more about yourself and showing you making a variety of different putts. I shot the video with my phone while I putted on my home golf course. I also have a putt-putt hole in an old boat in my yard. 

Here’s my original submission video for Holey Moley:

Friday, April 17, 2020

Forbidden Planet


I live a secluded life. Even under normal circumstances, I don’t see actual humans other than my immediate family that often. I don’t mind it so much, to be honest. I’m used to it. Recently the gloom of impending doom has been extra strong. I took a trip to California and got back to Ohio just under the wire before the pandemic and the travel restrictions set in. That first week back was a strange transition. I had just come home from a wild and fun experience. But Ohio and home were different now. I lost my straight job (selling and delivering draft beer for a cool micro-brewery) and was faced with many quarantine related family and health dilemmas right away. I’m sure that anyone reading this went through similar trials. I know it’s tough. These are the times that define us.

I write songs. That’s what I do. Earwig has been on a break for a few months and we were scheduled to get back to work on 2 upcoming album projects upon my return from the West Coast. Currently that’s all up in the air. But I did sit down at the piano and write this song that first week back. Being home without work and uncertain of what the future held, I spent some free time watching old VHS tapes that I have collected. The first movie I watched was Forbidden Planet. The current situation mingled with the image on the VHS cover is what sparked me to write this song. I felt powerless in the onslaught of the daily news cycle and it all came out in this song. I did try to include some positive lyrics. Something I’ve tried to do more as I grow older and keep writing songs. I hope that comes through.

After writing and recording the demo, I immediately tried to find a way to record this song with Earwig and get it released. Ideally, I’d like to see it on some sort of compilation or fund-raiser to aid artists who have lost their income stream because of the COVID19 outbreak. Alas, that has not happened yet. We’re working on methods for Earwig to continue recording our new album and have it released this year. This song will likely end up somewhere in the mix. 


FORBIDDEN PLANET

am I trying too hard
just to make something happen for us
maybe it's a forbidden planet
and we just don’t know it yet

tell me something beautiful and fast
give me something so I can relax
and sink into the emptiness of fear

if these demons come for us
I will carry you home
what if it’s a forbidden planet
and we just don’t know it yet
tell me what I should have been
if all my fantasies are wrong
I will always be the one 
who will carry you home

I will always love you more
in a world that’s beautiful and fast 
here comes the thunderhead
singing we are not alone

I will always be the one
who will carry you home
maybe this is a forbidden planet


and we just don’t know it yet