The Bobby Rock Newsletter #89 (12-19-22) - Rockin' the Wisdom for 2023
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #89 (12-19-22) - Rockin' the Wisdom for 2023
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Hey Everyone -
Great to have you guys back for yet another edition! It’s been a hell of a week, hence the slight delay in publishing this bitch. But here we are and, as usual, I appreciate you guys dropping in. Let’s rock it…
But first! Don’t miss our Holiday Spectacular Edition this weekend, which will include that special announcement I’ve been alluding to for weeks now, and also an unlikely examination of a genre of film you probably never thought we would be covering here: “Understanding Hallmark Christmas Movies.” Yes, friends, it should be a riot…
In This Issue:
- A Tale of Three Cities - A quick peek at our last multi-city run of 2022, and the “joys” of the 3-3-3 reality!
- A Tale of Two Gyms - This week’s choices offered a mixed bag for training, but we made it fly. Here’s how…
- The Wisdom of: Revisiting our favorite books. Why re-reading (or better yet, listening to audiobook versions of) your favorite non-fiction books could be a great idea for the new year.
Behind the Scenes:
A Tale of Three Cities
This past week was the last run of 2022 for the Lita Ford gang, so I figured I would take you guys behind the scenes for a quick peek. We wound up calling it the "3x3x3 Run" because it was three shows in a row, in three different cities, each with 3:00 AM lobby calls. (Actually, one was 2:45, but who’s noticing?) And again, I never want to come across like I’m complaining about the logistics. I fucking love it out there and am always grateful to be working in such an exhilarating environment. In fact, no one out there really bitches about the details, especially Lita Ford. I often still see her as that 16-year old in the Runaways, climbing into the van, and heading off to the airport in the cold of night for another couple of flights to the next city. It’s actually pretty remarkable.
Much too much went down this week to document things with any real detail. So, as usual, I’ll leave you guys with a few impressions:
In this Moment
I’m actually starting to put this thing together at the Delta lounge in Detroit on a Saturday morning…
But let’s back up a second. First show was in Binghamton, NY on Thursday 12-15. Here’s what soundcheck looked like.
The first big snow of the year hit the area in the afternoon, so things were dicey for a second, in terms of the show, as well as travel for the rest of the week. But it all ended up working out okay, and show #1 was soon in the books.
And now for one of those early lobby calls I mentioned… the 2:45 AM one. Here’s what my sleeping stats looked like that night:
Brutal, for sure. And with two relatively short flights—Syracuse to Detroit, and Detroit to Cleveland, I wasn’t able to stockpile much more than an additional 30 mins or so before soundcheck for show #2 in Lorain, near Cleveland. Killer theater there, though! Here’s drummer’s perspective of the Palace…
And a quick pre-show shot of me with my tech, Jesse, and our bassist, Marten…
A “Pilgrimage” to the Trash Bin
Our soundman, Pilgrim, is a seasoned engineer who’s been crushing the club/theater/arena circuit for more decades then he might care to admit. He’s also an old-school (in the best of ways) kind of engineer who prefers to travel with a couple vintage pieces of analog outboard gear. The problem is, these pieces must travel in a small carrying case and be brought aboard the plane, and our boy Pilgrim usually needs an extra hand with this gear. And while we all understand, I can’t say we are all entirely empathetic to Pilgrim’s insistence on “keeping the flame alive” where his “classic” gear is concerned (especially given the boat anchor-like weight of these bitches). And so, our boy Pilgrim is often prone to find his precious gear in a trash receptacle near the next gate!
But, of course, it’s all in good fun, and this is the kind of inside-joke shit that happens, in a number of different ways, on every tour. Here’s me and Pil at the Palace after soundcheck.
After a fun set at the Palace, it was off to another cat nap and early lobby call, where we essentially doubled back to New York, via Detroit again. Here’s pretty much the whole crew, minus Lita:
We wound up at a smokin’-ass casino an hour-or-so outside of the Rochester airport near Waterloo. Here’s a shot at soundcheck, where I had “an embarrassment of riches” to deal with regarding snare drums! Four Ludwig Black Beauties and a Tama Bubinga. (Can I get a “fuck yes!”?) Props to Dan and friends at Bam Backline and More for always taking such good care of us in the upstate NY area...
But a true highlight of the run was at the airport yesterday morning, when Lita produced some special Canadian cookies that our friend Benny brought down from Montreal the night before. These bad-boys are what we call “vegan by accident,” meaning that they just happened to be vegan, although not marketed as such (like Oreos, for example). And let me tell you, they were otherworldly! Look at this pic Teddy Allison took:
Hey, I enjoy my motherfuckin’ cookies on occasion! Here’s the brand. They are ridiculous!
So on that note, let’s move on to...
A Tale of Two Gyms:
Finding the Sweet Spot between Variety and Volume
Hitting the weights on the road is often about the "the Agony and the Ecstasy” of the facilities you have to work with. Here’s the lowdown on a couple of this week’s choices and how we can best navigate our “Variety vs. Volume” options to maximize our experience: and also, how these lessons can be of benefit to our usual back-home routines.
I dropped the following vid on social this week as a way of demonstrating how I attempt to make the most out of a limiting situation… so limiting, in fact, that I had to train with two dumbbells stacked on top of each other (and lifted by one arm) during one main exercise. Yes, necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and I invented what I call “dumbbell stacking” some years back as a result of these shitty hotel gyms that only have super-light dumbbells available.
In those cases, since variety is obviously limited, it’s all about Volume: doing an unreasonable amount of sets and reps, with little rest in between, so you can compile some real “hurt” as you blow it out and get a decent pump. (In this case, for one-arm dumbbell rows for back.) This high-volume/low-variety strategy works well from time-to-time, even when variety is available.
Variety at Del Lago
Next stop in Waterloo was a different story. Here we had a well-equipped gym (by hotel standards) and, therefore, a lot of choices for a variety of different exercises for chest, shoulders, and tri’s. In these situations, focus is usually on machines that are a bit different than I have at the places I train in LA, or if I’m at the gym alone (which is often the case), I will purposely integrate four or five different movements for one body part which, here again, is an excellent break in the routine. And this “break in routine” idea speaks to my age-old training concept of, “There should be nothing routine about your routine.” We always want to keep the body guessing.
Here’s a LINK to see both short clips on our new Training Vids Vault:
And finally, let's go from physical conditioning to mental conditioning with...
The Wisdom of:
Revisiting Our Favorite Books
For many of us, books are an important part of how we learn. Seems to me that those interested in personal evolution are always on the lookout for that next title—either new or old—that will move the needle in our advancement. Cool. But, what about all those titles you’ve already read? Have you extracted all possible value from the book? Are you implementing what you've learned from it? Can you even remember what you got out of it?
For info junkies like me, I would have to say that, in many cases, I could not respond in the affirmative to all of these questions! I find that it’s often about the buzz of just learning something new, or with a different twist, that has me perpetually consuming, consuming, consuming, and not always taking inventory of, and actually implementing, what I’ve already learned.
This isn’t all bad, though. To some degree, repetitive exposure to this kind of material offers a kind of conditioning to the mind, almost like physical training keeps the body in tune. But it’s those game-changing nuggets that we want to digest when we can. And for these, we might have to come back to the well of a re-read to catch it on the second or third try.
Why Revisit a Book We’ve Already Read?
Here are four reasons that come to mind:
1. If there is a transformational quality to a good book, then that means you become slightly more evolved as a result of reading it. Therefore, when you re-read such a book, it is through the filter of your more-evolved self the second time around, where it is more likely that you will pick up on certain gems that you may have missed the first time around (via your slightly less-evolved state of mind!).
2. If our focus was waning during a certain passage or section the first time, it might not wane the next time. In these cases, it’s like, “Wow… this is pretty cool. How did I miss this?” It happens.
3. We are reminded of an action or exercise that sounded interesting the first time around, but that we never got around to trying. Here’s your chance. Sometimes, you actually have to do the thing to get the result from the thing. Do it!
4. Good ol’ fashioned repetition never hurts. In some cases, just hearing something over and over helps it to sink in.
I know reading time is often limited, so it’s a lot to ask to actually sit through multiple reads of a book we’ve already read. So… my number one recommendation for revisiting a book is to scope the audiobook version. I talked about the value of audiobooks way back HERE in Issue #2. I love ‘em. I listen when I run, lift, am on an airplane, or in a car. It’s an entirely new experience of a book, as well, especially if the narration is exceptional. Audible is probably the most convenient, since it’s tied right in with your Amazon library. And here’s where I love to re-listen to books. I’ll usually wait a number of months between listens, and I always extract new insights.
I find this works for both “self-help” books and biographies/autobiographies. We are all gonna have our faves to revisit, but I’ll tell you a few of mine, FYI.
I’ve actually read the book twice, but I’ve scoped the Audiobook at least four times since it hit in 2019. At first glance, it might appear to be garden-variety motivational shit. But, it speaks to my core in a really unique way. I like this one for a good reset/refocus every 6 or 8 months or so. (Eason’s a sharp writer, and his narration is compelling.)
What can be said about one of the greatest books ever written? …except… listen to this bitch. Damn. It’s a masterpiece, born out of one the most egregious turns in human history. For perspective, I say, listen to this one once a year. (I talk more about this gift of a book in Issue #53 right HERE.)
I’m not much of a swimming fan (beyond watching a bit of the Olympics every four years). But Michael Phelps is a bad motherfucker. I mean, seriously, his medal count is insane, in a world that is insanely competitive. I was curious to see how he managed to do what he did, and this book is a fantastic blueprint in all of the basics: a compelling, detailed vision; a great coach; a legendary training routine; and an unparalleled work ethic. Great stuff. And excellent to listen to while training.
There are many more, but we’ll leave it here for now. Also, if you’re new to Audible, they always offer a little audio preview for each book, which I highly recommend. You will be spending a lot of time with the narrator, so make sure you can hang! (Almost always, you can…)
Thanks again, everybody. Connect next week!
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