It’s Goodbye to Kelly

IMG_7891It’s the end of an era for the Mister Nervous band. Mighty Kelly Wininger will be leaving the band next week and he’ll be hard to replace. It’s been a good run, from the first show at Hollywood’s now disappeared Cranes Tavern and the sessions for the DRAMA cd back in 2009, but now it’s done. I’m gonna really miss Kelly’s strong solid beats and constant good nature. And also that he almost always played exactly what I would play (if I were able to play the drums so well) and what any new song we practiced needed on his considerable instinct alone. I seldom had to give Kell much direction or explanation, he just knew what to do. That’s a rare thing, and it was my impression of him the first time I saw him play – the band was formed because I just knew that this guy was gonna make it work.

I’ve played with a lot of drummers over the years and Kelly is one of the very best I’ve worked with, and also the most fun to hang out with. Kelly’s moving on to spend more time as a family man … since joining the band he’s become a husband and father and has begun to pass the torch on to the next generation of Wininger percussionists as you can clearly see here. So it’s no wonder that being in multiple rock bands pales in comparison.

Still, we’re really gonna miss the guy
and if you’d like one more chance to see him in action with Mister Nervous we’ll be at the THIRSTY CROW this Sunday afternoon  joining princessFrank (who is also a powerhouse percussionist and vocalist).

Sunday Feb 16 – 2-6pm
The Thirsty Crow
2939 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Here’s something that surprised me

When I opened up facebook this morning and I saw someone had posted a link to an article that Cal Worthington had passed away over the weekend I went right ahead and posted on my page with a quick comment, “I was beginning to think this ol’ boy was gonna live forever” and moved on.

I was totally unprepared for the eventuality that within a few hours the FB universe would be filled with posts that were not just nostalgic or ironic but dripping with genuine grief! Now I well remember seeing his teevee commercials ever since I got within cable-tv range of Sacramento stations (carried by the northern Nevada cable provider) and finding him a quaint/corny/oddly-compelling example of clever self promotion and good ad strategy. But that’s it. I understand that something you’ve been used to seeing your whole life can take on a larger presence in your emotions than – well perhaps more than it deserves but… well the ol boy was a car salesman, after all.

I got it when we all felt a huge loss after Huell Howser passed away: he was such a big personality, so full of enthusiasm and completely riveting to watch. But he was our tour guide to wacky California destinations… way more than a clever pitchman, he was our over-the-top enthused travel guide.

So what’s the deal? Is it that we’re so insulated by our busy lives, so dependent on teevee and social media to provide us with any connection to humanity that we feel more grief for a salesman than the dead guy who just got hauled away by an ambulance down the block? We can wage war by drone, order goods online, massage our desires with internet porn, and spend family/friend “quality time” sitting at a table wildly scrolling through our phones instead of having an actual conversation… and many of us feel a real sense of loss at the passing of a shrewd businessman that we never really knew.

I dunno… the whole thing makes me a bit nervous about the state of our emotional wiring.

It Doesn’t Get Better Than This


Memorial Day: Jamming with friends Jerry Shine and princessFrank at an epic holiday BBQ with the Sundowners in Alta Dena CA. And how cool is that guy juggling fire???
What could possibly be better than good friends playing music together surrounded by happy revelers? Not much in my estimation. I grew up this way and it’s kinda my mission to make this happen whenever possible.

The Sundowners will be joining princessFrank this Sunday at his regular Sunday afternoon residency – June 2nd at the Thirsty Crow.

Mister Nervous is gonna be playing with princessFrank  on June 9th (next week) at the always-awesome Thirsty Crow .


Kulak’s Woodshed

Wes Dildine and Clive Kennedy at the recent FOLKTACULAR event in Santa Monica
(pic by )

I was backing my good buddy songwriter Clive Kennedy at his recent show opening up the local mini-folk-festival FOLKTACULAR. Clive and I have done numerous shows together over the years. He’s a fine writer, superb vocalist and one of the most offbeat, funny, quick-witted and disarmingly charming performers you will ever see. Playing shows with him requires that you be ready for anything because he will make quick changes to his material and he can take whatever happens in the room and make it a part of the show. We have a lotta fun.

So much fun that I’ve accepted an invitation to join him as he delivers a quick set tomorrow night at legendary singer/songwriter hotspot Kulak’s Woodshed.
Come on by and check this out: Beverly Micken’s show will also feature Melanie Mayron and Kathryn Gallagher.
THURSDAY Feb 21st at 8pm
5230 Laurel Canyon Blvd North Hollywood, CA 9160714046_10151381169254130_697285354_n

Talking Crap

Well I won’t be taking any journey’s to the center of Ted Nugent’s mind anytime soon. The right wing booster and gun control opponent from Michigan was visibly  present at the State of the Union address and had some colorful comments to air to anyone who’d be willing to listen as he added to his recent litany of  tiresome psychotic tirades.

MSNBC was more than willing to poke the bear a bit, as well they might because poop “jokes” get pretty worn out coming from the mouths of kids, and it seems like ol Ted might be just a hair too long in the tooth to pull any excremental metaphors -er- outofhisass with any hope of being taken seriously. With Democrats like Obama it might seem like Republicans are totally unnecessary but it does encourage me to see the right so successfully shooting itself in the foot. Forming a circle and then attacking everyone inside it…that’s usually the left’s tactic for self destruction.


404400_4721263703404_1234387642_nI’ll be backing up my good friend singer/songwriter and spectacular individual Clive Kennedy at the upcoming Folktacular event at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica this Sunday at 2pm. Come on down and check this cool  event.
Also performing well into the night will be: Dan Bern – Julie Christensen – Robert Morgan Fisher – Bob Woodruff – Freebo – Calico – Bill Burnett – Chad Watson & Pam Loe – Alfred Johnson – Jeff Kossack – John Zipperer – Jeff Gold – Sabrina & Craig – John M – Sandy Ross
Seriously, tho, we  really go on at 2pm.
click on the flier to go to the event’s facebook page:


Blue and Red


Completely unrelated picture of Kelly and daughter Josie at the recent Silver Phial wedding of Patrick and Cheryl (pic by Sarah Morrison)

I’ve been working with Kelly over at NervousWorld East and we’re adding to the band set this month: A Place For Me (from the CURMUDGEON album)
and Blue and Red (which has been an acoustic only number up till now, but we’re adapting it for the big Mister Nervous sound, baby)
Should be able to disclose some upcoming show dates shortly. Keep watching ’cause it kinda looks like we’re coming into a bigger year in ’13.

We’re also gonna finally be recording some of the stuff from our live shows (like Crystal Girl ).

It makes me nervous

It makes me nervous when the LAPD is so rattled that they’ll pump lead into a pickup truck apparently containing two Asian newspaper delivery women because it resembles the truck that may be in use by a suspect in a cop-killing.

From what I’m reading and hearing today, the cops have good reason to be more that a bit freaked out by the fact that a highly trained ex LAPD officer with military training and an attitude bent on violence against them while feeling he has “nothing to lose” is hunting them.

But, c’mon boys, that wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that pickup, keep it together and serve and protect first.

Oh, wait, it’s the LAPD… duck and cover, folks.


Can you hear me now?

I’m tweaking the design of the website since the full on clutter of the previous design was so pathetically incompatible with your cool new devices making the whole blog a cruel and useless joke.

Since my tech skills are pretty much lacking this may mean the blog might look a little klunky  for a while until I get it together…but the idea is to get back to the seriously opinionated brilliance of the we all remember so fondly…  or not.

The point is I’m so totally RIGHT about STUFF that you oughta get into/back into the habit of listening to me… and,of course, my awesome band.

Memphis TN

As I’m sure I’ve already mentioned I’m a lucky man to have Chelsea around. She walked into my door shortly after I realized that I’d gone about as far as I was going to get without a girl around – I’m just a better guy in a relationship – and one of the things she excels at is putting together an itinerary for seeing the cool stuff wherever she travels. When she got anxious for a vacation and found an opportunity for us to head to Tennessee for a bit there were 2 places I was certain we had to be: Nashville and Memphis.

Well you give this gal a chance to organize that and you get a pretty awesome couple of days. We pulled into Memphis and she’s already found the place to dine. At Pearl’s Oyster House I had a caesar salad and chipotle BBQ shrimp entree that made my eyes roll up into my head – the food was that good. Then over to Beale Street because that’s where the music is, right? It was certainly colorful right away walking over and seeing the still operating vintage trolly cars… rounding the corner it was clear the street is ready to party as the police block off the area so folks can stroll past the venues and restaurants without any interference from traffic. Sadly as we wandered past the horse drawn carriages and into a giftshop right at the west end of the action the first music I heard was a grotesquely over-played version of Hendrix’ Little Wing (the guitar player wanted to make sure he whanged through every damn lick he knew as fast as he could go whether they were appropriate for the mood of the tune or not). This was the tone of the sounds coming out of most of the music venues we passed as we headed down through the gauntlet of wildly partying white folks reeling up and down the street. Clearly it was a vacation paradise for those looking to imbibe a lot of alcohol and listen to watered-down blues and cruise-ship ready R&B classics. Maybe your experience of this area was better than mine (and I know I can be more than a bit judgemental about music) but this was not the stuff I came to town to listen to… so with a few exceptions we passed by these bars with a quick listen from the front door and moved on.

As we reached the top end of the street I heard something that did make my ears perk up. A small combo of guys were out on the sidewalk in front of an archway that’d seen better days playing some real gutbucket blues to an empty sidewalk. Big Jerry had virtually no audience… and one guy who looked like he was possibly living out on the streets passing the bucket for ‘em. We put some ducats into the bucket and then bought one of their homegrown cds. After a number or two I went over to the fellas and thanked them for being there and playing the first of the real shit I’d heard since we started up Beale Street. They asked if I was a player and if I wanted to sit in, but we were all pretty beat from travelling and so we bid the guys goodnight and I promised to return the next evening with my axe. Returning the next night I found these fellas were not around (I can only hope that means they found a profitable houseparty or some other place to play where they were better appreciated).

Our next day in Memphis was filled by our visits to Graceland (some part of me wanted to see Graceland… and the Jungle Room and the Trophy Room did not disappoint!) and the National Civil Rights Museum. Now Graceland was exactly what you would expect: a reasonably cool tour of Elvis Presley’s famous mansion and grounds  surrounded by some pretty henious tourist-trap-crap. F’rinstance I was thrilled that my admission included the ’68 Comeback TV Special exhibit ( Elvis’ career-redeeming television show where he shed the wretched refuse of his movie career and got back to playing rockNroll, baby) only to find out that the exhibit is a big giftshop with a small video monitor that plays truncated clips interspersed with fatuous factoids and a couple small benches in the corner. Silly me, I was anticipating a theater playing the entire show. And , seriously, do not expect to find edible food anywhere on the property. So: did we enjoy out tour of Graceland? Yes, yes indeed!

Lorraine Motel

Wes stands in front of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was shot in '68 and is instantly overwhelmed with emotion.

The National Civil Rights Museum was the gem of our time in Memphis. So huge and packed with so many exhibits and encompassing so much information about so many events and time periods we were only able to make it through the main building (which is built inside the actual Lorraine Motel) during the time we had to spend there. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a whole day for this experience as it is an amazing place with so much to see and absorb. The place overwhelmed me with the amount of information packed into each room,the intensity of the larger visual exhibits and because the instant I stepped onto the grounds of the Lorraine Motel my emotions overtook me and I teared up. Which, according to the gentleman at the front desk where I paid my admission, is far from unusual.

Well after that we had another great meal, some more great cocktails and tried Beale Street once again. The next day we moved on to Nashville, about which I’ll tell ya soon.


- Wes D