Reflecting on Don Rickles

Reflections on the Philly Podfest Episode

philly podfest at tattoed moms hal. dan, lizanne, ciara

So, I’ve been reflecting on last weeks episode, the live show from the Tattoed Mom with Dan May, Lizanne Knott and Ciara Grace. Well, a friend of mine used to always say, you’re only a good as your last performance. And y’know – I thought I could have done a lot better, but you see, it was my first time doing a live panel discussion, and I probably could have been a lot more prepared, but you know what? My guests still brought it! So, it still turned out all right.

One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that Dan and Lizanne both told me they don’t change their own guitar strings. I had just assumed that all guitar players change their own strings. So, what does Dan do if he’s home practicing and he breaks a string? He just picks up another guitar and has an assistant change it for him at the next gig. But it got me to thinking…   there are probably a lot of people who don’t change their own strings. In fact, I didn’t learn the correct way to change strings myself until I was in my 30’s. I had to take my guitar in for repairs one day in the 1990’s. The guy who fixed it was an 80 year old luthier named Branko. BTW – a luthier is someone who builds guitars from scratch. It is  a very special skill and finding a good luthier is rare. So, if you ever buy a new guitar, especially if it’d an expensive one, find yourself a good luthier right away and have him set it up for you and walk you through some of the basics of guitar maintenance.

Anyway, Branko noticed I had put the strings on all wrong, so he introduced me to the string winder and how to use it. Not only did I learn how to do it right, it also took me 20 minutes to do what used o take me an hour! So I took that misstep during the podcast as an opportunity to post a video on the show notes page. The links are posted again below for the benefit of anyone who wants to know how to use a string winder to change their own guitar strings. I’ve also included links to Amazon in case you want to grab a string winder or musician survival kit for yourself or a musically inclined family member or friend.

Okay! So, today is the first day of the rest of this podcast! Recently, I made a few changes that I thought you might find helpful! Firstly, you may have noticed that I no longer use my full name which is Hal Aaron Cohen. Why? Well, it suddenly dawned on me that my username in a lot of online forums and discussion groups has been halinphilly for years. My email address is – and has been for years. So now, I own the domain name. From now on, instead of trying to remember Tales of the Road Warriors dot com (man that’s a lot to type, isn’t it?) – you can  get there  by typing HALINPHILLY.COM  All one word. All you have to remember is Hal (that’s ME) and I’m in Philly!

halinphilly dot com

If you want to send me message, just email me at – – – Easy-peazy!

BTW, I encourage you to send me your thoughts on the show. Who should I talk to? What should I ask them? What do you want to know? Should I have a co-host? Do YOU want to be a cohost? There’s also a comment section at the bottom of every page. And a Tales of the Road Warriors Facebook Group where you can add your own stories! So please! Get interactive. Get on the email list. I send out maybe one newsletter month, so you don’t have to worry about me clogging up your inbox.

Now here’s where, if I had a sponsor, I’d be telling you all about them. Great guitar accessories, a great pizza place, best place to go for live music in in Philly or L.A. – Jump in early and grow with me!

If you’d like to directly support the podcast and help defray some of the costs – use the good ol’ Tip Jar. Anything you’d like to contribute would be most helpful and appreciated. I’m also thinking about doing some merch. What would you like to see? Coffee mugs? T-shirts? Hoodies? Just let me know and I’ll get it going.

And now for one of my own Tales of the Road Warriors…

A Don Rickles Encounter

I often talk about how musicians invented the gig economy. The word GIG used to apply pretty much to musicians and comics or others in the entertainment biz. But the word gig is used for uber driving, pet sitting, food delivery. Even some professional contractors refer to a job as a gig these days. As a musician I’ve worked quite a variety of gigs. I was working an interesting side hustle when I had one of my many celebrity encounters…

A old friend of mine is a party planner. He used to send me out on a gig every once in a while years ago back when I lived in L.A.

One day he called to ask me to help him out for a children’s birthday party [Read the original article here]

I hope you enjoyed my little story about Mr. Warmth. That was the nickname given to him by his peers because  he was the most scathing insult  coming that ever lived.

During the years I spent in L.A., I amassed dozens of encounters with famous people. Not a lot to tell, really, but as much as I always tried not to get starstruck well, I guess I kinda did and tend to still do with certain people. I’ll be sprinkling some of my brushes with greatness in between episodes that I don’t have a guest. BTW, my intention was to put out an episode every Thursday, but it’s not always feasible for me. So get on the mailing list and I’ll keep you updated though the Tales of the RoadWarriors news. Again, I only send on out once a months you won’t have  a cluttered inbox on my account.

Speaking of certain people, I have a few upcoming episodes with some really cool guests. I spoke with Jodi Krangle. Jodi is is a singer songwriter and also the creator of the Muse’s Muse, an online resource for songwriters that she published and curated, along with an online forum and monthly newsletter since the internet was young. Right up until 2016. She is now a professional voiceover actress and teacher and her story is well worth streaming.

I also got hold of Brett Perkins a brilliant, prolific and upbeat songwriter who has relocated to Denmark. Not only is he a  talented guy,  but he helps cultivate talent in others through workshops, concerts and songwriter festivals in Europe and the U.S.  Before that, he was  a former West Coast director of the National Academy of Songwriters and a protege of Steve Schalchlin, the NAS director who preceded him. Steve contracted AIDS in the mid 1990’s and resulted in the critically acclaimed musical, The Last Session, based on the story of his  life. I spoke with him briefly this past week and I’ll be talking to Steve in November… How exciting! I’m very much looking forward to that! He’s currently on a cruise, so we’ll all just have to be patient and wait until he gets back. Anticipa… Okay, I’m all talked out. I’m Going For a Drive.

Music from the Show

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music available on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson



Tuning a Guitar with a String Winder

Stringing a Lute

Tuning a Lute

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