RPS Jersey Rumble May 20th, 2017

I gave myself a few higher expectation this time.  Yeah, it was only my second meet, but after a year of practically training for power and nothing else I decided the time had come for me to at least somewhat challenge myself.  Hell, in the year since my last meet my Squat had finally hit the 300’s and my Deadlift was just 15lbs away from hitting 400.  My Bench Press?  I really don’t want to even go there.  But I knew going into this meet that my shoulders were absolutely fucked, a result of carrying around a leather shoulder bag by the handle because the strap was broken and having a bunch of weight pulling on my joints.  To make matters just a bit worse, I was at a park with my students the day before this meet and one of them asked me to play catch with him.  Of course I couldn’t just tell him no.  The problem?  Throwing a football requires a tad more force – or power! – than a regular ball, especially if you want to throw a spiral.  So yeah, my throwing arm was now even more fucked.  Just great.  This fuckin’ kid is so lucky I like him.

So I arrived at the Ramada Plaza Hotel just a tad more focused…and even more anxious than last time!  See, I had planned my opening lifts maybe just a week in advance, not because I was procrastinating, but because I wanted to feel comfortable knowing I was going to least pull those off – especially with the squat.  If there’s one very important psychological tool I learned from Jim Wendler, it’s that you want to be able to just bang out your Squat opener.  If you do that you’re confidence will sky rocket, if not, your confidence as a whole might just do a nice, big nose dive.

I weighed in at 179.8lbs, which was fine since this was my first meet in the 181lb weight class along with the Raw Modern division (knee sleeves or wraps), managing to hit 180lbs not even a handful of times in the last few months alone.  Since we were as early as we were I had plenty of time to take since pictures, but not many because almost as soon as I walked into the ballroom I almost immediately ran into PJ Santa Teresa, who was competing in the 198lbs weight class and the Raw Classic division.  He also won first place last year.  I ran into Eric Chase a few minutes later and the three of us just got lost in all things Powerlifting for while, with me even educating PJ on the Doug Young won the 1977 IPF World Championships with three broken ribs.  In fact he might be the topic of my next post!  So anyway, because I got stuck talking to PJ and Eric for a while I found myself not taking too many pictures.  But I sure noticed some sick new trophies!

This shit right here is exactly why I’d kill to win just one trophy from this fed.  So fucking metal.  Seriously.

So I made sure that this time around all my lifts were filmed and you can see them all right here!

But for the actual story, I already knew in advance that I’d be going for a 330lb squat PR for my final lift so long as my first two attempts were successful, which they were.  Once again, C4 was my buddy because was nice and warmed up, and real fuckin’ jumpy.  So after hitting my first two attempts of 280lbs and 305lbs I’m starring at the monolift with full concentration.  Trying to channel Doug Young; what you can’t hear in the video above is that I’m so into shit now that I’m growling as if I was Doug himself…only his growl was WAY more terrifying!  You know what…I think I AM going to write about Doug next.  Anyway, I’m feeling stuck at the half way point, all it took was me screaming “UUUUPPP!!!” at the top of my lungs and I had all three green lights.  Quick fun fact:  Both of my second squat attempts from this year’s Rumble and last year’s only had two green lights.

My Bench Press attempts were where it all started to go to shit, making me feel like all my energy must’ve gone into squatting.  As I said earlier…my shoulders were in shit shape, so my opener and second attempt, both green lighted, were a measly 150 and 160.  After the second attempt I was in so much pain that I lower my third attempt from 180 to 170, fearing an injury over just not getting the lift.  Here’s where I think I should’ve used a wider grip width because my grip alone was not an issue, having finally fixed that issue not too long ago.  But either way, as soon as the bar hit my chest it wasn’t going back up.

I had a lot of time to kill before Deadlifts so I spent it eating salty snacks and drinking gatorade, taking in as much sodium as I could, since sodium retains water as well as helps to restore electrolytes.  I also took my other bottle of C4, ensuring I’d have the energy I’d need if I though I was going to pull 420lbs.  I made sure I was focused, even if the preworkout alone wasn’t hitting me like it did for squats.  So I opened with 355 and my second attempt was 385.  After I hit that number I somehow felt confident enough to request 420 as my final lift.  This would’ve brought my total into the low 900’s.  After about ten minutes my flight (or group) was called up for our final attempts.  Eric told me he was just going for 400lbs, which appalled me a bit because I know he had more in him…although I now wish I did the same.  Eric hit his number beautifully, and I was a few lifters behind.

It’s now my turn, standing behind the bar, ammonia cap under my nose for extra stimulation, mid chest length hair down like I’m Dan Green or some shit.  I’m nervous and excited at the same time as I take a deep breath and manage to just rip the fuckin’ bar right off the ground.  But at the halfway point I got stuck and couldn’t lock out.  At all.  It was so bad I even dropped the bar, which you’re not supposed to do.  I’m now FURIOUS.  Slamming down my Inzer Forever Belt, all I wanted to do was throw shit everywhere.  After taking two minutes to kind of calm down I asked my girlfriend to show me the video.  And there it was – my hips went up way too early.  I was fucked from the beginning!  Was I that nervous that I wasn’t focusing on my body movements?  Most likely.  So now my total was going to be 875.

After my flight PJ went on to deadlift 550lbs for his second attempt and it was fucking FLAWLESS.

That look on his face at the end gets me every time.  He tried to go for 600lbs after this; he was just about to lock out when he BLACKED out instead, falling face first in front of the judge’s feet.  Rising blood pressure is a bitch.  He still managed to win 3rd place, by the way.

I plan on going back to the gym next Sunday and I’m going to start using Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Boring But Big template, which is essential a Powerbuilding program.  I think it’s time for me to focus more on muscle mass for a bit, especially in regards to my chest and shoulders.  I’m also considering trying the Sumo Deadlift stance to reduce my range of motion and take some stress off my lower back and put it on my quads.

My stats for Jersey Rumble 2017:

Squat: 280, 305, 330 (PR) 3/3

Bench Press: 150, 160, failed with 170 2/3

Deadlift: 355, 385, failed with 420 2/3

Total: 875

Be sure to follow PJ and Eric on Instagram:

PJ Santa Teresa @pjironmind  Eric Chase @_echase

Make sure to follow me as well on both Facebook and Instagram:

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                         Left to right: PJ Santa Teresa, Eric Chase, Angry Metalhead

Darkthrone Or Metallica: Which Training Are You? By Jim Wendler

Here’s my first blog of the year.  Haven’t been free to write sooner.  So if you follow me on Instagran @confessionsofanangrymetalhead you’ll most likely also see the hashtag #jimwendlerisgod underneath most of my lifting related posts.  Well, he is; and here’s one of many reasons why!

Underneath this is the link to a blog piece I just discovered on his website which pretty much sums of his training philosophy along with that of most real lifters using two very extremely different musical styles.  So click down below, read, enjoy, and ask yourself this: Are you real?  Or are you just a phony?

https://jimwendler.com/blogs/jimwendler-com/101066310-darkthrone-or-metallica-which-training-are-you

Quick Powerlifting Update

REvPS

I recently signed up for my second powerlifting competition, The RPS Jersey Rumble, happening on Saturday, May 20th at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Newark, NJ.  Unlike last year, where I competed in the 198lb weight class I’ll be in the 181lb class this time, since I dropped down to 172lbs since last May.  I’m still undecided on all my lifts.  I’m pretty sure I’m going for a 400lbs Deadlift.  I’ll either go for a 300lbs squat or I’ll go a bit higher.  My Bench Press?  QDisgraceful.  I might keep that real low.

I hope to start recording my meet prep soon.  It’s been so hard because while my new gym is surprisingly really good there are nights were it’s just so fucking overcrowded with college kids.  Fuck, I had to foam roll by the outside locker area just two nights ago because the entire designated stretching area was crowded.  A stretching area!  Oh yeah, since I last wrote in here I had to leave Sports Club because they increased my monthly payments without warning me.  Unacceptable.  I’m now at Blink Fitness, which surprising has five Hammer Strength power racks and Olympic bars with knurling so deep and juicy, as one of my Instagram followers put it, that it WILL rip up your shins during deadlifts and WILL rip the skin off your hands if your grip isn’t there.  I just wish it wasn’t so crowded at night!

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The Case For Abbreviated Training

The following is my first ever article for Bodybuilding.com, written today.  It was approved by the moderators not too long ago, hopefully it’s good enough to be published.  But you can read it here and judge for yourself:

I was first introduced to the idea of abbreviated training in 2009, when a trainer at my former gym told me about a book entitled Brawn. Originally released in 1991, it’s author, Stuart McRobert wrote in extensive detail about the important of shorter training in comparison to the routines found in magazines during the time of the book’s release. McRobert stressed that the average Joe couldn’t possibly get big or strong on a pro bodybuilder’s routine, but they could totally benefit by going back to the basics.

Let me clarify something first, the average Joe is not just a non-competitive bodybuilder. It’s someone like you and me, who works a day job five days out of the week and goes to home to multiple responsibilities. Some of you work more than one job, some of you have young children at home, and then there are other responsibilities that naturally hinder us from being able to just go to the gym and do multiple exercises in the course of four, five or even six days a week.

I can actually relate to this now more than ever as someone who recently competed in his first Powerlifting meet. I live in New Jersey but I work in Brooklyn, NY so it takes me a good hour an a half to get to and get home from work. Once I’m home I still have to prepare dinner, get ready for the next day, do things around the house, etc.

My current program, Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, calls for three or four day a week training; so what I decided to do was take the four day a week template and alternate it into a three day per week schedule in order to fit my daily needs as well as give myself time to recover from the previous workouts. That was a very important first step for me. The next thing I did for sake of shortening my training was reducing the amount of exercises I needed to do per training day.

This can especially benefit powerlifters. Are we training for looks come competition time or are we training to improve on the big three moves, Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift? If you chose the latter then keep reading! There are plenty of great powerlifting routines out there but if you’re like me and your trying to save time are you really going to waste your time training your secondary muscles? Sure, having thick lats can be beneficial, but are they what you’re using when you Deadlift? Fat chance! You need the power of those hamstrings and your glutes to help you bring that bar up. Same thing applies for Bench Presses. Once again referring to the lats, do they help you push the bar off your chest to the ceiling or do you need a thick chest along with strong triceps and shoulders to help you do the work?

So what’s the point of all of this? Because I’m strapped for time ten months out of the year I need to train in a way that’s practical and in order to do that I stripped my training of anything I found was unnecessary in helping to improve my functionality in the main lifts. In doing this I shortened my training dramatically and I still get results. Here’s an example of the way I currently train using just my working sets:

Day 1:
Overhead Press – 3 x 5/3/1
Barbell Curl – 3 x 10
Tricep Dips – 3 x 10

Day 2:
Deadlift – 3 x 5/3/1
Leg Curls – 3 x 10

Day 3:
Bench Press – 3 x 5/3/1
Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 x 10
Chest Dips – 3 x 10

Day 4:
Squats – 3 x 5/3/1
Leg Press – 3 x 10

Upon reading this you might notice that I split the assistance leg work to two different days. I chose to do that purposely based on which assistance work helps with certain lifts. If I’m squatting then I’d rather just stick with Leg Presses to help me build muscle in my quads, just as I’d rather do Leg Curls on Deadlift days to strengthen my hamstrings. Therefore I have two strictly upper body days and two strictly lower body days, all even arranged as to save time and give me more bang for my buck.

But this is just how I train, for the most part. It might be different for all of you. All I did was take a preset template and removed what I felt was wasting time, because time is money, of which I usually have none. So here’s something to think about in the future if you happen to fall in this category, because it’s amazing to see that the saying “less is more” actually fits here. So if you’re strapped for time and still want to train, get rid of the excuses and make a plan of action today!

Mike is an amateur powerlifter hoping to enter his second competition in the near future.

You can also check out the original article here if you want:

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172409253

My Pilgrimage To Diamond Gym, July 29th, 2016

Yeah…I wrote Pilgrimage.  Why?  Because if you are a serious lifter of any kind, powerlifter, bodybuilder, whatever, and you happen to be anywhere in New Jersey, then it is your duty as the serious lifter you claim to be to go to Diamond Gym at least once.  For forty years now Diamond Gym has been one of THE most badass, hardcore gyms in the entire east coast.  When ex-bodybuilder John Kemper opened up the place it became the original “East Coast Mecca” long before Bev Francis opened up her first Gold’s Gym franchise.

I remember the first time I even heard of the place – and Adam from Black Metal Fitness, if you’re reading this, this is for you buddy! – it was on YouTube, where I discovered an old WWF interview with Mean Gene in this really badass looking dungeon gym, speaking with the owner’s wife, Shirley Kemper, about the types of people the gym attracted.  She then mentioned the British Bulldogs and next thing you knew there was the Dynamite Kid spotting Davey Boy Smith as he was benching four plates without a struggle.  Then Dynamite did the same…again, without a struggle.  Here’s the video, took me a while to find it:

It got me curious, real curious.  At the time I considered myself a gym historian of sorts, trying to learn all I could about the gyms of the past, such as R & J Health Studio in Brooklyn, NY, the breeding ground for Lou Ferrigno, and where my dad trained for fifteen years.  I also wanted to know if these gyms were still around and if so would the environment still be the same?  Well, when I found out Diamond Gym was still around I wanted to know more.  John Kemper retired and sold the gym in 2007, he sadly passed in 2012 at just 67 years old.  But apparently the gym’s current owner, Dwayne McDaniel had no problem keeping the gym’s hardcore vibe.  In fact, when you look at the place in videos it looks like nothing was touched.

So I finally made my way over there yesterday.  First off, god damn Maplewood, NJ is ghetto as fuck!  Secondly, it doesn’t even matter because once I entered the gym – which is right next to a gated community – it was all worth it.  Oh sure, a few walls might’ve had a fresh paintjob recently, and there are a hell of a lot more autographed  pictures on the walls of the bodybuilders that came from here.  But literally nothing else has changed, the equipment is exactly what I saw in that British Bulldogs promo from nineteen eighty-fucking-six, the barbell plates are so old that they probably haven’t even been in production in over thirty years, and the floors in the squat rack and leg press area are uneven.

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See this?  It’s a Nautilus Multi Machine and there’s only one other gym I know that still has it because I used to train in that gym.  If you want to know more about this once fascinating “contraption” go on YouTube and just type in “Mike Mentzer Boyer Coe”.  Trust me here.

I’ll admit I was a little temped to leave if the idiot I heard through the speaker didn’t stop repeating “Ima keep it HOOD!” over and over again, but all in all the place was perfect!  Here’s my workout:

The shitty rap music in the place was so fucking loud that if I didn’t put a song over it I know I would’ve gotten at least five copyright claims because of the stupid algorithms on YouTube – I refuse to let DMX make money off my video.  Also, forget about conditioning.  I’m convinced that cardio isn’t in Diamond Gym’s vocabulary because I saw not one treadmill.  Now that is badass.  THAT is hardcore.

The gym just wreaks of all things tough as nails and I definitely will be back again.  If it wasn’t so far from me I’d leave my gym and sign up there yesterday.  Someone on yelp referred to it as “alpha and the omega” and he definitely hit the nail on the head there.  So to end this I’ll reiterate what said at the start of this.  If you call yourself a serious lifter and you live in Jersey, you need to go to Diamond Gym.

There are more pictures on my facebook page.  Just click here to get to them:

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/

New Videos And More News

So I’ve been pretty busy with recording songs and videos in the last week or so.  I’ve really been inspired in the music department, having uploaded two new songs in the last few days.  Here’s the one I just uploaded today:

Upon listening to it with the drums I mapped out as well as the distorted bass I put there, I find it to be a cross between early Bathory, speedwise, and a more modern Grindcore song around the breakdown section.  I just know my Ibanez Destroyer’s been taking a beating lately with all the things I’m doing.  Speaking of guitars I’ll most likely start recording covers sometime next week.

On the powerlifting front I just began the second cycle of my new 5/3/1 conditioning template.  Only now I’m training four times a week instead of three since I’m currently off from work for the summer – giving me plenty of time to get out all the extra anger my jackass students gave me this year!  I’m serious when I say they need to bring back corporal punishment because today’s kids are way too fucking grown for their own good.  Fuck the kids.  Anyway, here’s my latest Deadlift video.  The whole workout can be found in the description box of the video:

I figured out a great way to use my phone to film myself Deadlift and Overhead Pressing without using anyone’s help.  I just need to find a way to do it for Benching and Squatting.  Also, I’m not too far away from Diamond Gym in Maplewood, NJ, and I’d like to also make my way over there next week to get a workout in.  That place is just so fucking hardcore that I HAVE to go there.

More News

A quick reminder that I’ll be at Anaka’s show at the Black Bear Bar in Brooklyn this Saturday.  I’ll be making a video or two, as well as writing about it here so keep your eyes posted.  Also, I was approached by Helix Nebula, a band from just outside of Madrid, Spain, about reviewing their new album and I agreed to do it so I should be doing that in the next week as well.  Helix Nebula recently played a show with Feel No Pain, another band from Madrid, who’s demo I just reviewed; so I’m assumed that’s how they found me.

I’m now on facebook, so be sure to click here and like the page for more updates.

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/

 

New Training Videos!, New Nails!

New Training Videos!

I restarted training at the gym last Sunday and so far things are going far better than expected.  I’m still doing 5/3/1 but I’m more focused on conditioning this time so each time I train I’ll just do two exercises and then it’s off to the bike I go since the gym won’t get another prowler until management begins renovations near summer’s end.  Lame.

I did just release two videos I was able to make on last week’s Overhead Press day and today’s Squat day and you can check them out below:

 

Explanations of each workout can be found in their entirety in the description boxes of each video.

I’m already eyeing my next meet and it’ll most likely be RPS’s Autumn Apocolypse in November, same hotel in Newark as the Jersey Rumble back in May.  I’m just hoping that by that time I’ll at least have my Squat and Deadlift in the 300’s and 400’s, respectively.  In fact, my friend Steve, who works at my gym told me he’d take me to the other gym he trains in, East Coast-West Coast in Carlsadt, in July.  I heard about this gym and in fact someone I met at my first meet posted up a video of himself training there.  This gym just looks so fucking badass.  It’s like Skiba’s in Carteret but bigger.  Here, just look at the gallery pictures:

http://eastweststrength.com/facility/nggallery/page/1

Note that some pictures will be of their California location.

I also am in the middle of recording two new original tracks and re-recording the first one I uploaded since I can do better with it.  I should be done, hopefully by the end of this week.  Be sure to subscribe to my channel to get updates on them.

Oh!  And here’s some of the shit that motivated me during my first week back in the gym:

New Nails!

Speaking of my Spotify playlist, in which you’ll see two tracks from Nails…anybody here as psyched up for this new fucking album as I am??  I’m most likely going to do a review on it after a few hundred listens or whenever I’m ready to get it out of my car, or so long as it doesn’t cause me to get into an accident because it makes me drive too fast…whichever comes first.

And if you aren’t as ready as I am check out their video for “Savage Intolerance” here!

The FYE by my apartment better have this come Friday.  I’d like to go see them in Philly on August 5th, I’ll just make sure I’m in the back of the room so I don’t die.  I have a feeling it’ll be even more brutal than when I went to see Crowbar last year for sure.

One Last Thing

I made a small post about this last night but I’m looking for underground bands to review.  If you’re reading this and you know of any extreme bands (death, black, grindcore, sludge, crusty sounding) that you feel should get looked at let me know in either the comment section below or private message me.

 

RPS Jersey Rumble May 21st, 2016

So here we are, May 21st has come and gone and I still haven’t even unpacked my bag days later.  I should though.  Whatever.  It was a hell of time…I just don’t know if my girlfriend or my father will come to one of these again just because of how long this meet was!

We arrived at the Ramada Plaza Hotel around 10:30ish, a good half an hour ahead of schedule for weigh-ins.  Having weighed in at 181 that morning I made sure to eat a nice big breakfast of four scrambled eggs, flank steak, an English muffin and grape flavored juiced aminos so I could make my weight class, which was 198 and when I weighed myself again before leaving I was 184.  So I’m ok, right?  Well, I guess all the cardio I was doing up until a week before this must’ve clearly put my metabolism into overdrive because when I was weighed in by Gene Rychlak’s mother-in law I weighed in at 182.8, having apparently dropped nearly two pounds during the ride, putting her in a panic in the event that I placed and would have to get weighed again.  But I assured her I was going to eat more and she was relieved…not that it mattered much because I knew I wasn’t placing in anything.

After weighing in I went into the hotel ballroom were the first wave of the day, featuring the Women’s and Juniors Divisions was still running.  Damn…it felt partially like a rock concert, partially like a biker convention.  Loud 80’s metal was playing, a banner in the background with Ed Hunter on it, lights on the stage like an 80’s concert, tattoos everywhere, dudes with serious muscle, some women with serious muscle.  You know, I have an issue with some women that choose to juice just so they can get the muscle mass they couldn’t get otherwise just because they naturally don’t carry as much muscle as men.  There were a few chicks that looked awful pretty but when they began to speak their voices where pretty damn low.  Also, since testosterone is supposed to help with burning fat I saw one or two chicks that legit had no titties – it was all pecs like a guy!  Not that I haven’t seen this before but if I ever come out of musical retirement I’m going to write a song about chicks on juice and call it “No Titties”.

On the table in the back was a whole bunch of trophies that the winners are actually allowed to pick from, which I think is pretty cool.  I’m assuming that Gene Rychlak or his designer are sick metalheads or just really into Conan The Barbarian because look at some of these trophies!

9d2b3458b8133eab201455c881742652  IMG_20160521_113453014 IMG_20160521_113438252_HDR  IMG_20160521_113445536_HDR

Then I saw a dude who looked like Bam Bam Bigelow back from the dead but instead of having the skull covering tattoo he had a nice, thick chain around his neck, like something you’d get at a hardware store.

Bam Bam Bigelow

Just tell me that isn’t badass – I even went up to him and told him it was badass!  Turns out he works for Gene and is his Minister of Information, as well as the guy who spotted everyone during squats.

Things were a bit delayed and we didn’t really start on time, but needless to say I smoked all my squat attempts, building up to 260lbs which my girlfriend took pictures of but didn’t film.  I did, however, get one red light for my second attempt at 245, most likely because I didn’t sink enough.  Some people thought I did it perfectly but I know what I felt.

showtime 3                                   showtime 4

 

 

 

That 260 felt easy.  The biggest relief, more so than even that, was that I had absolutely no rotator cuff problems; that was a huge concern for me going into this.  Starting with my third Bench Press attempt of 160lbs, my girlfriend finally started filming.  She had some issues with her old phone so she didn’t get the first two attempts.  So starting with the last Bench attempt and all three deadlift attempts everything is on film.

All my attempts were real easy, easier than I thought – especially that 360lbs Deadlift.  Although I have to say this: there’s nothing worse than getting psyched up for a lift and then really shitty music comes on.  Republica’s “Ready To Go” came on during my first attempt and then The Scorpions came on during the 360 attempt.  Fuck The Scorpions!  Couldn’t I lift to “Mr. Tinkertain” like a few guys got to do?  Now THAT would’ve been badass!

I went to get to the merch table to get my complimentary free shirt for competing and one of the dudes who spotted during squats told me “You need to put more weight on there, you totally smoked it.”.  So will I do this again?  Most likely, just a matter of when.  I also don’t know if my girlfriend would go with me again or that my dad would come and see me again because I didn’t get out until nearly 11pm!

 

 

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My Results:

Squat – 235, 245, 260

Bench Press – 130, 145, 160

Deadlift – 305, 330, 360

Total – 780

Check out Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate at http://www.revolutionpowerlifting.com

Final Thoughts

So, as of this writing, Nick Menza’s death has been a declared a massive heart attack brought on by heart disease.  At 51 years old that makes his death the ultimate heavy metal tragedy of the year unless something far worse happens.  That’s too young and while, most people are crying because the Rust In Peace-era reunion is surely not happening now, I feel far worse for his two kids.

And speaking of which, so how about that nice little damage control statement that Dave Mustaine released followed Nick’s death.  They were always close right?  Things happened and that’s why they didn’t get back together last year, right?  Funny because there are multiple interviews were Mustaine admits that it didn’t happen simply because he didn’t want it to happen.  So this benefit show he now wants to put together to help out his kids?  Like I said…damage control.  It’s true, isn’t it…that only the good die young?