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Steve Stoeckel
Milliways Restaurant
Mixed-brain geek poet
Interests: Bringing something new into the world.
Recent Activity
It’s Friday, a night that holds the promise of greatness, if only for moments. Mark spies me from behind the bar as I walk in and set my guitar down in the corner. “What are we having tonight, handsome?” he says. The question is completely rhetorical: Mark calls all his... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Steve Stoeckel's blog
How and why a memory comes fully formed, I’ll never know, and yet I’m grateful for whatever box dumps it into my day. It was, I think 1966. There was a teen club on Central Avenue—plate glass windows, small strip mall door, optimistic sign above naming it The Cavern. A... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
Spongetones with Nicky Hopkins It was 1984, and we had just released our second record, a 6 song EP on Ripete Records. The band had by that time developed a huge Charlotte following, and we started performing Mother’s Day concerts each spring, free outdoor events at Freedom Park, a central... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
1962 “This is the best boat mechanic in Miami,” my dad said. “Bob, this is my boy Steve.” The best boat mechanic in Miami smiled down and offered his hand. It was a dirty hand. Even after the shop towel had swiped the grease off, there were black streaks on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
She has chosen unwisely, I think, as she springs a bit wobbly to what she imagines is her stage. "Aqualung" is not what I consider to be a stellar song for dance; though I'm not a dancer, I know the song has many tempo changes and abrupt stops. She adjusts... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
On my last dentist visit, he asked me where I was going on vacation. “We’re spending nearly a week in the City,” I said. “I miss it,” he said. I knew he was from New York, and that he knew the City was Manhattan, the only city for those who... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
He awoke at dawn, naked on a bench, the sound of a ship’s horn blasting him back to consciousness. It took him a moment to assimilate this. The things around him seemed familiar and yet the words—bench, horn—eluded him for several minutes as he studied his bare feet and marveled... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
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Fridays a hurricane moves through our house and backyard, following the same path and leaving words in its wake: "Flowers! Cats! Color!Treat!" There's not much to slow a four-year-old's fast-moving front, except "That," she says and points at the strange cartoon, a grotesque pirate with a hook poking through a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
The bus is a social biosphere on wheels. It moves through the city, ingesting and disgorging humanity, recombinant, The passengers are quiet, nursing their cellphones or staring at the windows as if watching a boring TV rerun, which for most of them this journey is. Then there are the two.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
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I was at WBTV recently, and while I waited for my turn to be interviewed, I wandered a bit, looking at the various studios not in use at 8 PM on a Thursday. Many of them had names--small plaques with a bas-relief head and an inscription describing a former member... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
Growing up, I was the quintessential New Kid In Town. Between first and eighth grades, I attended 7 schools in different cities, often arriving after the start of a school year. I wasn't an army brat; it was not the military but rather high drama that was the engine for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
I started my musical journey as a folkie, playing my first guitar given to me by my dad. It was an ancient Gretsch archtop, a battleship of a guitar: no pickup, no sustain, heavy as a sack of hammers. It was designed for comping behind a jazz band, which he... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
Linda and I are watching "The Keepers" on Netflix; it's quite disturbing, involving sexual abuse by priests in the Baltimore Archdiocese. It also provides a window into what it's like going to a Catholic school, and it brought back a few memories. In the late 50's, we were living in... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
I’m at the Very Large Country Club in eastern NC, attending my 400th wedding reception. Actually, I’m guessing at the number—it’s probably higher-- and I’m not so much attending as performing; I’m a musician, and one of the ways I make a living is playing these functions. I'm the guy... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
It’s not so much a country club as a castle, replete with turrets and towers—the largest I’ve ever seen. Tonight, nearly the whole place is devoted to a wedding reception, and few of them will see this elaborate dance of waiters, chefs, ice sculptors and bartenders, all busy constructing this... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
Dreams have such potential. Dreaming is an invitation to the impossible, to improbable possibilities that shred logic and throw away any laws of nature that sometimes annoy me. And yet I sometimes spent valuable dreamtime doing the most mundane things, often in the pursuit of the fantastic. Once, for example,... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
As a professional songwriter I often get asked (sometimes get asked) (rarely get asked) (well, never get asked) "Steve, how do you write a hit song?" If I did get asked, I would answer "If I knew that, I wouldn't be on Facebook--I'd be in Hawaii, making trips to the... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
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Movie scene I'd love to see: (Richard Pryor gets into an E Type Jag convertible, pops in an 8 track cartridge "Best of Isaac Hayes." A voice comes through the speakers.) "Good morning Rich. Reach under your seat." (Pryor pulls a file folder out, opens it). "This is Ow Eet... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
Such a beautiful Sunday, so full of possibilities, all of the tranquil variety. I’m trying to choose one, when suddenly a light in my brain clicks bright red. I have a row of these internal dashboard indicators, most monitoring an appendage or an organ. This one says “Check Kidney.” A... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
sound, extreme pressure wave, smoke and shards of glass, metal ripping ever outward to lodge in all our non-virgin hearts ( already pitted and scarred by other bastards with shriveled chests, whose hearts float on an inland septic sea) and so he runs, slipping on oil and water or the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
Oriental food markets are time machines. I walked into one yesterday for sushi supplies and I was eight years old, following my dad around and holding a plastic basket as we went up and down the aisles of a tiny store somewhere in Miami. It starts, this memory, like the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2017 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
The world was black and white. That's the first thing you have to know; color existed only in your immediate field of vision and what you remembered from previous days spent at school or the ice skating pond and other confines of your tiny town, halfway up the Minnesota border... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
It pains me to write this. I will begin with full disclosure: I did not vote for Donald Trump. I have not and will not disparage anyone who did. And, though I have strong opinions about the man, I will not disparage him here. I will give him time to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
It pains me to write this. I will begin with full disclosure: I did not vote for Donald Trump. I have not and will not disparage anyone who did. And, though I have strong opinions about the man, I will not disparage him here. I will give him time to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at Steve Stoeckel's blog
My Dear United States of America, Sorry I haven't written in a while. I've been meaning to, ever since I was at your birthday party this summer. It was wonderful, looking from the 10th floor of a building out over DC, watching the fireworks, bombs bursting in air, etc. Inspiring,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Steve Stoeckel's blog