Souchin' into Bethlehem

Greg Wood's latest health scare costs him a few pounds of flesh and almost takes his arm

Shades of another infamous music-related Ben Taub pic -- namely, the Geto Boys album cover that featured Bushwick Bill riding on a gurney pushed by Scarface and Willie D. Bushwick is chunking the deuce and talking on a huge early-'90s cell phone, and his freshly shot-out eyeball is dangling out of its socket.

"Well, I could do that too," Wood says. 'Those rappers got nothin' on me. I'm the 50 Cent of my crew, where scar tissue is concerned." As long as you're not the Ol' Dirty Bastard, I put in. "Yeeeahhh, I'm nearly the Ol' Dirty Bastard. Anyway, I got a skin graft, several skin grafts, so right now I've got staples and everything. Just wound care basically. I've been watching a lot of TV lately, and I saw some documentary about a snake handler in Appalachia. He got bit during one ceremony and he was proudly holding up a snake and his wound, and his wound looked just like mine." Adds the Kentucky-born grandson of an Appalachian coal miner, "I must have some DNA attraction to having wounds."

In the hospital he watched the coverage of the tsunami. "I was so grateful that happened while I was in the hospital and totally miserable," he says. "It was horrible, don't get me wrong, but if something like that's gotta happen, at least let it happen while I'm in the hospital for a month and a half and miserable out of my mind. Talk about something taking your mind off things. One of my earliest thoughts was 'You know, the earth is pretty kick-ass. We worry a lot about the earth, but the earth can flick a few hundred thousand of us off at will. The earth can take care of itself.' "

Let's hope so. And let's hope that Greg Wood can, too.


Welcome to the first installment of Bile, a new columnette in which yours truly or a guest Biler will eviscerate something or somebody music-related we hate with a white-hot passion.

I'll cough up my first spew of vile digestive juices all over VH1. I hate VH1. I guess you could say I always have, with a few exceptions. I loved Pop-Up Videos, and Bands On The Run was hard to beat, even though all the bands were terrible. Sadly, so are virtually all of the 20 videos they played all year long. I would check out their Jump Start and Top 20 Video Countdown shows -- often the same videos would play repeatedly on both shows -- and my loyalty was rewarded with the same steaming piles of mushy crap from the likes of Switchfoot, Maroon 5, Usher, John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz and Hoobastank. Or in other words, all the bands they will be mocking in five years on their endless litany of countdown shows: 40 Most Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs, 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders, etc. Far be it from me to hate on a countdown show, but I absolutely abhor all the smirking, pontificating D-grade comedians and B-list actors on those shows. Then there's the I Love The (Insert Decade Here) shows. Whoever told ironymeister Michael Ian Black that he was funnier or any more insightful than a subnormal seventh-grader is crazier than a hyena with terminal syphilis. Seriously -- if a doctor taps Black's knee with a rubber hammer, his leg doesn't twitch like a normal person's. Instead, he makes an ironic, pseudo-profound comment about Duran Duran's "The Reflex." The dude looks sharp and he always sounds like he's smart, but the thing is, nothing he ever says is funny or intelligent. Congenital snarkiness and a monotone voice do not a genius make, and VH1's mix of terrible videos from the present paired with moronic wallows in the troughs of pop-culture nostalgia equal one "awesomely bad" network.

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