No Mo' Pogo

Time to say "ska-dios" to the Suspects; also, the Music Awards jinx strikes again

Unfortunately for Grady, his Penthouse Forum tale has a First Wives Club ending. "They suddenly became friends. One night they were out late eating at Champ's breakfast bar. One of 'em says, 'What did you do last Friday?' She says, 'Oh, I slept with Bill.' And she was like, 'I did too! That bastard!' So they come over to my house at three in the morning and my ex-long-term girlfriend took everything she ever gave me out of my apartment and smashed it all in the street."

Grady, now married with a son, wonders how he would be able to write songs now. "All my good songs were about my screwed-up relationships, so it's good that we've broken up now, because I've run out of ex-girlfriends."

But the various Suspects haven't run out of music. Bass player Jay Brooks will be continuing to play with Middlefinger, Escalante is fronting Clouseau, and founding bassist Charlie Esparza and current drummer Depujedas are in Magnetic IV.

Then there's Joe Cote. Cote's post-Suspects dream has nothing to do with music. "You know how you're at a movie theater and they have those giant jars of pickles at the concession stand?" he asks over the speakerphone. "If I ever win the lottery, I want to buy the whole jar and walk up and down the aisle handing pickles out to everybody. Charlie Esparza also likes the idea, and he wants to be my sidekick. So I'm gonna rename him Sweet Gherkin, and we're gonna buy one of those old-timey motorcycles with a sidecar, and get pickle suits and leather helmets and goggles and travel the country delivering pickles to everybody."

This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the keyboardists are always the weirdest guys in the band.

Meanwhile, the Suspects still have a finale to perform. They're planning on going out in style. "We're gonna do everything at our last show," says Grady. "We haven't decided if we're gonna burn our old band uniforms, give 'em away to the winners of a dance contest, or just throw them out to the crowd."

And don't think that Grady isn't already dreaming of a reunion. After all, this music has more lives than a litter of kittens. "I heard that ska is making a comeback in the UK," he says.

Scuttlebutt Caboose

It's Racket's sad duty to report that the HP Music Awards jinx has struck again, and with alarming swiftness. According to David Beebe, 2002 double winner Little Joe Washington was recently apprehended by the police, a mere two weeks after collecting his first ever HPMA awards. Washington was riding one of his tiny bicycles and carrying some spare parts to another that he had found in a Dumpster when he was stopped. After determining that Marion (his real first name) Washington was not the bike thief they had taken him for, the HPD officers ran a warrant check on him and came up with a couple of computer screens full of class C misdemeanors from the bluesman's two-day driving career in 1994. Over the course of 48 hours, Washington had racked up tickets for things like nonworking headlights and not owning liability insurance. Washington told Beebe that he had spent a night in jail, quit driving and thought the whole mess was behind him until this fateful night three weeks ago. At Washington's hearing, his luck changed. The presiding judge recognized him and dismissed three of the tickets, which reduced his total fine from $1,180 to $450. Later that day, one of his friends came and paid his fine for him, and now Washington is free and warrant-less. But the jinx wasn't done yet, for the friend who had to plunk down four and a half C-notes to bail him out was none other than Pete Gray, one of only two other multiple Music Award winners this year. Pretty scary, huh?

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