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 hainphilly@gmail.com – 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 halinphilly@gmail.com – – – 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] Continue reading →

Posted by Hal in acoustic, comedy, dan may, entertainers, musicians survival kit, Road Warriors, singer songwriters, 0 comments

Dan May

Not Just Another Cereal Aisle Aficionado


Dan MayI spoke with Dan May in December, shortly after he had celebrated his 60th birthday!  In this fascinating episode, Dan talks about the early days in Sandusky Ohio, working summers with the family at the local amusement park. First garage band and girls.

Early influences, studying opera in Philadelphia and being a professional opera singer for 12 years (until vocal cord surgery put him on a different course). HE also talks about 3 years as dancer in a Russian touring company.

Meanwhile, in all this time as an opera singer, he was suppressing this wonderful songwriter hiding within.

What happened years later when Dan May allowed all those songs to emerge from the depths. His meeting Liz Miller at a TAXI Song Expo in L.A., which lead to the road to his becoming the beloved singer/songwriter he is known as through ought the world today!

As if that isn’t enough, Dan is an author, too! In 2016, his book  Adventures in Grocery Shopping: And other short stories from a cereal aisle aficionado, immediately made the “Philadelphia Inquirers Best Books of 2016” list.

Dan continues to perform live, in and around Philadelphia. And he often visits his home town of Sandusky, Ohio where he performs for his longtime friends and fans.

For more about Dan May or to purchase his music or books, visit


Read my personal review of: Adventures in Grocery Shopping   by Dan May

Posted by Hal in dan may, entertainers, opera, podcast, Road Warriors, singer songwriter, theater, 0 comments