Author: mikeladano

Metal, hard rock, rock and roll! LeBrain's Record Store Tales & Reviews! Poking the bear since 2010.

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie’s Winter Vacation (By LeBrain & California Girl)

NOTES:  This story was written by myself and California Girl from January to April 2023.  Our last collaboration together, it was never finished.  I couldn’t let almost 3500 words go to waste, so I wrote the ending by myself (and you can tell).  It was an experimental new way of writing, and the story needed a lot more work to keep it focused and tight, but it is the most “true to life” of all our writing together.  Or, at least, it was, for a brief moment in time.

Edie’s story will continue in The Adventures of Tee Bone Man.  This is the final chapter of Edie’s solo adventures.



By LeBrain & California Girl

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie’s Winter Vacation

Mike was out in the frigid winter cold, loading bags and camping supplies into his vehicle.  His breath wafted in cold clouds in front of his face, and then dissipated into the ether.  He struggled lugging his supplies through the snow, but the sky was a gorgeous ice blue, and the sun’s rays warmed his whiskers.  But why would anyone be loading camping supplies in the dead of winter?

For the answer to that question, you’d have to ask Edie Van Heelin’.

Mike looked up to the sky, awaiting his superhero friend from California.  She should be rocketing here any moment now.  Mike’s wife Jen slowly began making her way outside to greet the hero as well, as she trudged through the slush.

“Got everything?” asked Jen as she tried not to fall.

“Careful sweety!” cautioned Mike as he steeled himself to catch her if she slipped.  Fortunately she didn’t.  “Yes…I think I have everything.  Including a 4 gig hard drive full of music.  I loaded up the complete collection’s of all Edie’s favourite artists.  We won’t be short of music.  We have food, a portable gas barbecue and stove, several extra changes of clothes…I sure hope I’m ready.”

Jen shaded her eyes as she looked up to the bright sky.  “Is that her now?”

Sure enough, it was!  Edie Van Heelin’s trademark rocket boots made a somewhat unique sound as she roared across the sky.  Her boots made contrails that now wound their way on a direct course.  Mike and Jen could see her waving as she slowed herself down, and came in for a gentle landing.

“Edie!” shouted Mike as he attempted to run across the parking lot to greet his friend.  She was carrying several bags of her own luggage — all Coach of course.  She was dressed head to toe in silver winter gear, including a new pair of winter rocket boots.  Her lips were even painted silver to match.  Mike nearly bowled her over with a hug.

“Great to see you Fanboy!” she Edie, returning the hug even harder.  “Hey Jen!” she waved.  “Are you sure you’re not coming with us?”

Jen got that dear-in-a-headlight look with the wide-open eyes that Mike adored so much.  She laughed.  “Me?  Camping in the snow?  No, I’ll be ordering coffee and Chinese food and watching the Leafs in my warm house.  You can have the tents for you and Mike!  Just make sure you don’t turn him into a Mike-sicle out there!”

“Oh, I can keep him warm, don’t worry,” winked Edie.  “Next time, how about you and I leave him at home and we go shoe shopping in California?”

Jen nodded yes emphatically.  “You have a deal.  Maybe we can catch a Sharks game.”

“Count on it!” smiled Edie.  She then turned to Mike.  “You ready, Fanboy?  As agreed:  no superhero-ing this weekend, but rocket boots are packed as an emergency measure.  Which we won’t need.  Let’s go!”

“Not yet!” stopped Mike.  “We have the most important decision of the whole trip still to make.  We can’t get the road trip started without the right music.  As you know, my usual rule is ‘driver always chooses’ but this is our first road trip together, and I thought I’d let you pick the first album of the drive.  I’ve already chosen the second record.”

“Kiss?” asked Edie.

Mike laughed.  “Of course Kiss!  But Kiss Unplugged.  You won’t hate this one so much.  So what’s your pick?  The only rule now is that whatever you pick, we play the full album.  I don’t skip tracks!”

Edie placed a silver-painted nail on her chin and thought.

“Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits.  Does that count?  I’m a fan of greatest hits.”

“Of course it counts!” gasped Mike.  “That album was probably my top seller at the Record Store, Christmas of ’95.  I know it very well.  In fact…speaking of my ‘no skipping tracks’ rule?  The old boss at the Record Store had his own rule, which was to always skip ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’.  Sure it’s overplayed but he had a real pickle up his ass over that song.  Like he didn’t just skip it…he’d skip it angrily!”  The trio laughed.

“Ugh I guess I’ll deal with ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’,” agreed a reluctant Edie.  But turn it up a bit during ‘Night Moves’.”

Mike smiled a wide smile.  “You got it!”  Then he thought to add, “I hope you don’t mind, but I tend to sing in the car…”

Edie raised a hot pink manicured hand.  “Stop right there, no need to explain, you’re speaking my language!  Let’s hit the road!”

With a hug and a kiss, Jen said goodbye, and Mike got in.  With bags packed, phones charged and a nice big tent waiting to be set up, Edie and Mike set off on their winter road trip.  The sun shone bright, promising a good drive.  Mike selected Seger’s Greatest Hits, track one, “Roll Me Away”.  And away they rolled.

Almost immediately the storytelling commence.

“So Edie,” began Mike, “As you know I worked at a Record Store.  My first Christmas, Christmas of ’94, this was a top seller.  And my boss had a big rule about ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’…”

“Let me guess,” interrupted Edie.  “He made you skip it every time because he hated that song.”

Mike yelped in surprised laughter. “He made us skip it every time because he hated it!  You got it.  And you know how I feel about skipping.”

Suddenly track two, “Night Moves”, came on, and the pair happily harmonized.

“Workin’ on our night moves! Tryin’ to make some front page drive-in news!  Workin’ on our night moves!  In the summertime…”

“Man, I miss summer,” said Mike.

Edie sympathized.  “I know Mike, but we’re going to have so much fun this weekend.  Know what I’m looking forward to the most?”

“Tell me!” asked Mike with excitement in his voice.

“Winter hiking!” answered Edie.  “Hiking in the snow!  Snowshoeing!  Did you remember our micro spikes for the ice?  I want to see the trees capped in snow! Untouched snow!  A winter paradise!  The quiet of the forest dressed in white!  I want to take a step and fall waist deep into soft powder!  I want to fall back, arms open and be caught by soft snow!  I want to feel the cold and peace all around me!  I want to see a stream cutting through the snowy paradise! I want to hear the sound of the gentle waters moving!”

“Quite the wishlist,” responded Mike.  “I didn’t bring any spikes – we won’t need that where we’re going – but I can guarantee everything else is on the agenda.  It’s so fun seeing winter through your eyes.  Wait until you see the forest in the winter!  We used to get snowbanks so high, we could climb on the roofs and sled all the way down!”

Edie’s eyes went wide.  “Oooh!  I want to do that too!”

“Well, we should have plenty of time, since we agreed we’re not doing any superhero-ing this weekend,” said Mike.  He laughed.  “It’s funny – a few years ago, I would have done anything to go superhero-ing!  And I would have done anything to avoid the winter!  Now here we are looking forward to a winter vacation without any superhero shenanigans.  Who woulda thunk it?”

Edie interrupted his philosophising.  “Look!  Maple syrup!  We have to stop!”

“My pleasure, ma’am!” said Mike as he signalled to pull over.  “What are you looking to get?  Light, dark, anything specific?  Ooh look – they have pepperoni and beef jerky too.”

Edie shot up in her seat before she could even get the seatbelt off.  “Umm, hello!  Beef jerky!”

The pair stocked up on treats and supplies, while the Mennonites stared at Edie’s boots.  As she selected the finest beef jerky on offer, the Mennonites in black surreptitiously stole glances at her footwear.  If the inch-and-a-half high platforms didn’t stun them, perhaps the chunky five-and-a-half inch heels did.  Patent leather, thigh-high and perfect for the snow or ice.

“We’ll take these,” said Mike as he placed a pile of jerky and several bottles of syrup on the table.

“What are you folks up to today?” asked the older gentleman who took Mike’s money.

“Well, my friend here is from California and she’s not used to these kinds of winters.  We’re going to do some winter camping, showshoeing, maybe even build a snowfort if there’s time!” answered Mike with glee.

“Be careful out there,” warned the old man.  “I can feel it in my bones, there’s a storm coming.  A big one, if I’m not mistaken.  Make sure you have plenty of fuel and food!” he advised.

Without hesitation, Edie grabbed five more packs of jerky.  “Just to be on the safe side,” she winked.

Once they were back on the road, Edie noticed Mike was unusually quiet.  “Hey,” she nudged him.  “You OK?”

Mike nodded.  “I’m OK, just a little rattled about the weather.  Sometimes those old timers get it right when the weatherman didn’t.  If a snowstorm rolls in, it’ll be hard to dig the car out.”

“Don’t worry my friend!” answered a chipper Edie.  “Rocket boots are packed in the back seat if we run into trouble!  Don’t worry, it’ll be fun!”

Mike loosened up.  “You’re right, of course.  We’re winter camping, we need snow anyway.”

Before long, Lake Huron was in sight.  They had arrived!  The snow was crispy, deep, untouched.  It was so deep that they were unable to drive all the way.  They parked far up on the road and walked down into the treeline.

“This spot is perfect!” said Edie as she twirled in the snow.  Then, she spread her arms wide, dropped down into the snow, and was soon encapsulated in powder, laughing the whole time.”

“You OK Edie?” asked Mike as he trudged towards her.  He reached out to help her up, but she clasped his hand and pulled him right down!

“You sneak,” mumbled Mike as he spat snow from his mouth.  “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m cold, so let’s get the tea going and put up the tent.”

“Good call,” said Edie as she got her solar kettle and accessories ready.  “Today it’s green chai, and I thought it would be nice to try that brand new maple honey that we picked up today!”  Before too long, steam was pouring from the kettle and delightful smells were filling the forest.  But Edie was distracted and Mike sought some revenge.

THWACK!  A snowball pelted her in the back of the head as Mike snickered in glee.  He tried to run away but the snow was far too deep.  He tripped and was buried in the deep snow.  He sank deeper as he struggled to get up, laughing the whole time.  Edie trudged in his direction and pulled him up.

“Serves you right!” said she.  Mike had to agree.

The two sat down to tea and indulged in some happy conversation as they set up the tent.  Mike trudged through the snow towards the car.  They had unpacked a few essentials – the bags, the tent, the solar kettle – but most of their camping gear was still inside.  Mike fumbled through this pockets, but suddenly, he had a serious problem.

“Ummm…Edie…we have a serious problem.”

She was unphased.  “What’s wrong?”

“I lost the keys,” Mike answered glumly.  “They must have fallen into the snow.  The rest of our equipment, including your rocket boots, are in the car.  Aww, crap…my phone is in the car!”

Edie checked her pockets.  “Oh no…mine too.”

Mike held back a tirade of F-bombs. He threw his Canadian toque into the snow in frustration. “I can’t believe this! Now we’re stuck out here with no phones, no rocket boots, and all our equipment is in the car!”

Suddenly Mike felt the cold smack of a snowball to the side of his head.  He looked towards Edie.

“You had to pay for hitting me with a snowball in the back of my head…my perfectly straightened hair will get wet and start to wave now!”  She laughed as Mike wiped the snow from his face.

“I like you with wavy hair,” answered Mike.  “But what about the keys?”

Edie placed a finger on her chin and pondered.

“I say we continue as planned.  We have everything we need, and I can recruit my Canadian squirrel friends to help find the keys.”

Mike shrugged.  “If you say so, but that’s a lot of snow for them to dig through.”

“Hey,” said Edie.  “These are Canadian squirrels, the hardiest I’ve ever seen!  They’ve got this!”  Edie raised her arms to the trees and called.  “Canadian squirrels!  To my side!”

Nothing happened.  A wind began to whip through the branches, but no squirrels came.  Edie repeated her command, but the animals were silent.

“It’s the storm.  All the squirrels gave gone to ground.  There’s a blizzard coming.  I suggest we reinforce the tent with snow blocks, to help keep the wind off,” said Mike grimly.

Edie nodded in agreement.  The two began digging up and packing large blocks of snow into a wall on the west side of the tent, where the wind would be coming in hard.  They were unusually silent as they worked, for as upbeat as Edie was on the exterior, inside she knew they had to take this seriously.

Mike felt the silence and decided to sing.

“I get up!  And nothin’ gets me down.  You got it tough? I’ve seen the toughest around!”

Edie looked up and sang along.

“And I know!  Baby, just how you feel!  You got to ro-o-oll with the punches and get to what’s real!”

“Might as well jump!” exclaimed Mike as he leapt atop the wall they were constructing.  “This is pretty good Edie!  It’s solid.”  He looked up through the trees.  “Sky is turning really ugly though.  It’s going to be black out soon, and the wind is picking up.”

“Let’s get inside and eat,” suggested Edie.

“Barbecue chicken a-la Mike,” responded her friend.

“Isn’t it too snowy to barbecue?” asked Edie.

“This?  Not in Canada.  In Canada this is a minor annoyance.  Fortunately we unpacked the cooler and grill…priorities!” answered Mike.

Everything was prepared in advance.  The chicken had been marinating for hours in a local Guelph BBQ sauced called Silver Bullet.  The veggies were chopped and buttered.  With the flick of a Bic, soon Mike had his grill fiery hot.  He carefully turned the pieces, caramelising the sauce and skin together into one crispy layer of delicious.  He then plated the delicious food with the care of a gourmet, even as the snow glistened on his beard.

Inside the tent, Edie had arranged things for comfort and practicality.  She had the tea at the ready, and something else too.  Mike looked down at his seat and found an ice-cold Coca Cola with Coffee – Dark Roast.

“What’s this??” asked Mike as he took his seat.

“A surprise,” answered Edie.

“I had actually planned on going soda-free this vacation, Edie…but thank you.  This will taste great with the chicken!”

“Everyone deserves a treat now and then, drink up and enjoy!” smiled Edie.

“I got you something, too,” said Mike,  “Here, put it on.”  He handed Edie her very own Canadian toque.

“A beanie with the Canadian Leaf on it!!” she said excitedly.

“It’s a toque, but put it on!  We’re not eating until you’re properly dressed!” prompted Mike.  Edie eagerly placed the knit cap over her head and smiled a huge grin.

“I love it!” grinned Edie.  Mike thought she fit right in now.  He picked up his plate, but Edie stopped him.

“Wait…let’s say grace this time,” she said.

Mike listened to the storm beginning to whip around them, and nodded in agreement.  Edie said a few words of thanks.

Moments later, they were fingers-deep into the chicken, with barbecue sauce lingering on the lips and laughter in the air.

The wind continued to whip around them, playing their tent like a drum.  Edie looked concerned, but Mike reminded her that they reinforced the structure with blocks of snow for this just exact reason.  Mike scooched over next to her.

“It’s so loud!” said Edie.

“Imagine if we were out in the clear, without the trees to shelter us!  Like those old boys in the Antarctic over 100 years ago…just them in their tents and nobody else on the whole continent.  They were out of food and out of fuel…we have both!  We just need to stay warm.”

“I don’t think the animals are looking for your keys anymore,” said Edie solemnly.

“Can you blame ’em?” asked Mike with a chuckle.  Edie shook her head with an emphatic “No!”

The dark was well upon them now, and the two sat up, leaning in on each other for warmth, telling stories and jokes until Edie fell asleep right there on Mike’s shoulder.

When he realized she wasn’t laughing at his hilarious jokes anymore, Mike gently moved Edie down to her foam mattress, and covered her with her sleeping bag.

“Sweet dreams, Edie Van Heelin’, and may the sun come out tomorrow,” said Mike and he tucked her in.

Outside, the wind cast doubt.  In Canadian winter, there is never a guarantee the sun will be out tomorrow.

Smiling in her beanie, Edie drifted off.  Mike was slow to slumber.  He saw Edie snoring peacefully, her breath puffing clouds in the cold air, and he wondered, “What is she dreaming of right now?”

In her mind, she was communing with a large family of wolves.  Wait…no…the picture was getting clearer in her sleep.  She was building an igloo…fortifying it like a snow fort…when suddenly her work was interrupted by arctic wolves so large, she could ride upon them.  There was a mother and father wolf, and two cubs, white and grey with eyes as sharp as ebony darts.  But they were friendly, and the mother wolf lay down on the ground so Edie could climb on.

Mike drifted off to sleep.  As he took his first big snore, he somehow joined Edie in her dream.  She motioned to him, “climb on,” and so he did.  The father wolf was laying in the snow waiting.  Instinctively, and not knowing how to ride a giant horse-sized wolf, he climbed on.  Then, like steel springs suddenly triggered, the wolves took off!  In their dreams, Mike and Edie hung on securely to their mounts and caught the snowflakes that flew into their faces, directly on the tongue.

“I’ve always wanted to do this!” screamed Edie in glee.

Mike turned and stared.  “You’ve always wanted to ride a giant arctic wolf, in the snow?”

“Yeah!” screamed Edie.  “Haven’t you?”

“No,” answered Mike, “It never occurred to me.  And also, this must be your dream and not mine, because even I know that we don’t have arctic wolves down here!”

The pair laughed as they rode….

Hours passed.  As they slumbered peacefully away, outside the tent, the snow had continued to fall.  Accumulating rapidly, the tent was all but buried by the first rays of the new day.

It was Edie who woke first, in near-total dark, thanks to the layers of snow now around and above them.

She shook Mike on the shoulder.  “Mike!  Mike!  Wake up!  We have a problem.”

Groggily, her Canadian companion slowly opened his sleep-crusted eyes and yawned.

“Edie, I had the weirdest dream…”

“Never mind that Mike.  I have some good news and some bad news,” swallowed Edie.

“Give me the bad news first,” moaned Mike.

Edie gestured around the tent and said, “We appear to be almost completely buried.”

Mike groaned some more.  “Well, my back is at least partially mobile today.  Looks like digging is in our future.  What’s the good news?”

Edie smiled.  “I brought a special tea for breakfast!”

Groaning again, Mike drank some sort of strange watermelon tea concoction, and began shovelling.

“Never again!” he moaned as he dug.  “Never again am I going winter camping!”

Edie laughed, grabbed and shovel, and joked, “Oh yes you will!”

The morning turned into midday, and Mike had had enough of snow, winter, and all of it!  In a grumpy mood, he trudged off alone, heading towards the nearest town, and a tow truck.  Back at camp, Edie took some pictures and made some snow angels, waiting for the tow truck to eventually arrive.  But what did arrive took her completely by surprise.

A family of giant wolves were sniffing around the treeline.  Just like in her dream.  The mother wolf approached, beckoned her to climb on, and leaned down so Edie could ride.  Wordlessly, she did just that.  With a flash, they were off.

“Canadian wolves!  Into town to meet up with Fanboy Mike!”  The wolf pack darted forward in the snow, with a gleeful Edie singing Bob Seger songs as the wind whipped her hair.

Mike was seated at a local garage, drinking a coffee, and waiting for the tow truck to return from its last call.  He was sore all over from that hike.  He was all but falling asleep with the newspaper opened in front of him.  Ironically, it was the entertainment section, and there was even an article about Edie’s upcoming album being produced by Wolfgang Van Halen.

As if on cue, Edie Van Heelin’ pranced through the doors.

“Miss me?” she asked?

Mike gasped.  “How the heck did you get here so quickly, without rocket boots?”

Edie grinned.  “Why, I rode on the back of a giant mother wolf, of course!”

The garage attendant standing behind the counter choked on his coffee a bit, and regained his composure.  “The hell you say?” he asked astonished.

“Don’t be surprised,” said a bemused Mike.  “That’s Edie Van Heelin’.  She can talk to animals.”

“I’m not talking about that,” said the grease monkey.  “Giant mother wolf?  Is that what you said?”  Edie nodded affirmative.  “Lady…you just had a close encounter with the unexplained!”  He took a minute to regain his composure.  “There’s a legend around here, going back 200 years, or even more.  Reports of a pack of giant arctic wolves, not afraid, not aggressive…friendly.  They show up out of nowhere in the winter, when people are in dire need.  They don’t leave footprints in the snow.  They don’t leave scat on the ground.  There are no physical traces left behind.  Ever.  Show me where the wolves dropped you off.”

The three ran outside to the road.

“It was right here!” said Edie.  “But I don’t….”

“…See any paw prints…” finished Mike.

After some moments of puzzled silence, Mike spoke again. “‘Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.’ Rod Serling said that.  But this…this is something other.  We have truly entered the Twilight Zone.”

As if on cue, the grease monkey’s phone rang…with the Twilight Zone theme music.

“Let’s go home,” said Mike.  “This has been the weirdest vacation ever!”

With that, the pair hopped into the tow truck that had just arrived, and silently pondered the mysteries of the unknown.

The end


The long-awaited crossover!  Finale to The Adventures of Tee Bone Man Phase One:  The Squirrel Saga!


Chapter Zero:  Tee Bone Man – Origins (by LeBrain)

Chapter One: A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom? (by Aaron KMA)

Chapter Five: The Super Duper Vault (by John T. Snow)

Chapter Six: Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)

Chapter Seven:  The Revenge of Common Knowledge (by LeBrain)

Chapter Eight:  Tee Bone & Deke’s Time Travelling Adventure (by 80sMetalMan)

Chapter Nine:  Castle Communications (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Ten:  The Case of the Lost Iron Maiden Socks (by LeBrain)

Chapter Eleven:  A Tee Bone Man Christmas (by all five of us)

Chapter Twelve:  Lost In Space (by John T. Snow)

Chapter Thirteen:  Clip Show (by LeBrain)

Chapter Fourteen:  Tee Bone Man and Superdekes Discover the Tao (An Intermission) (By Aaron KMA)

Chapter Fifteen: Status Acoustic – The Really Big Deal (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Sixteen:  A Crazy Crazy Night (part 1) (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Sixteen:  A Crazy Crazy Night (part 2) (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Sixteen:  A Crazy Crazy Night (part 3) (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Seventeen:  Tee Bone Man vs. Edie Van Heelin’ (by LeBrain) Coming this summer – conclusion to Phase One


Chapter Eighteen:  Shinzon – Origins (By LeBrain)




The Writer’s Room: Chapter One

The Writer’s Room:  It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Tee Bone Man Christmas

The Writer’s Room:  Welcome to the Writer’s Room!

The Writer’s Room:  Empty Room (Coming soon)





The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie vs. Tommy Lee in the Bouncy Castle of Doom! (By LeBrain)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie and the Quest for the Lost Lego (By LeBrain with Harrison Kopp)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie Van Heelin’s Canadian Vacation (By LeBrain)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie Van Heelin’s Canadian Vacation Part 2 (By LeBrain & California Girl)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie Meets the Wolf (by LeBrain)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie’s Winter Vacation (By LeBrain & California Girl)



Rest In Peace the Iron Sheik (1942-2023)

Sadly at the age of 81, Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as the Iron Sheik, has joined the Squared Circle in the sky.

The Iron Sheik’s real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. Unlike many “foreign” WWF wrestlers, Vaziri was actually born where he was billed from: Iran. In his early years, he worked as a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran.

The Iron Sheik won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Bob Backlund on December 26, 1983 due to Backlund’s manager throwing in the towel during a vicious camel clutch. Sheik lost the title January 23, 1984 to Hulk Hogan and his atomic legdrop. Hulkamania had begun.

Fans of 80s wrestling knew the Sheik best for his tag team partnership with Nikolai Volkoff. Under the management of “Classy” Freddie Blassie, the Sheik and Volkoff took the WWF Tag Team Championship from the U.S. Express on March 31, 1985. The U.S. Express took the title back on June 17 of that year. The angle here was the US/Iran/Russia political rivalry, played out in the ring.

It was kind of a big deal when the Iron Sheik was caught doing cocaine while rival Hacksaw Jim Duggan was smoking weed in a car on the way to a match. For the WWF, an impact of this was that the Sheik was caught partying with his supposed enemy. This destroyed the illusion. The WWF let the Sheik go, and Duggan also temporarily left the organization.

Less than a year after the cocaine incident with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the WWF deemed the public’s memory short and the Sheik made a triumphant return defeating “jobbers” (the guys who always lose to the bigger names). He bounced around other wrestling organizations, came back to the WWF in 1991, and then wrestled the independent circuit for almost a decade.

In his later years he enjoyed a pop culture status as a minor icon. In 2013 he challenged then-Toronto mayor Rob Ford to a match. Both men were caught doing cocaine during their professional careers. He has even appeared on the Canadian television program Kenny Vs. Spenny, attempting to sodomize Spenny with a bottle!  We loved ya, Sheiky!

REVIEW: Sword – III (2022)

SWORD – III (2022 Massacre Records)

Talk about a comeback.  34 years after 1988’s “final” Sword album Sweet Dreams, comes Sword III!  With the full original lineup intact!  Rick Hughes – lead vocals.  Dan Hughes – drums.  Mike Larock – bass.  Mike Plant – lead guitar.  Forget about Saints & Sinners; this is the real deal, heavy as fuck, modern and edgy.  At 34 minutes and seven songs (plus an instrumental), it’s not the beefiest album, but the fact that it exists at all is what counts.

III is less thrashy than either Metalized or Sweet Dreams.  It is, however, nice and heavy.  Perhaps heavier than Sweet Dreams overall.  Rick Hughes’ voice has lost its screaming grit but the man still has impressive power and range.

Opener “Bad Blood” is an uptempo metal romp, with a high-pitched chorus that hits the spot.  What really satisfies are the guitars by Mike Plant.  He’s got a great tone and the riffing here is memorable and hard-hitting.  His solo on “Bad Blood” is just as tasty.  “Bad Blood” is an excellent example of the sound of “new” Sword.  Heavy, modern, determined and unstoppable…but with remnant stylings of the 80s still intact!

(I Am) In Kommand” was released in 2020 as Sword’s comeback single.  This is its first physical release, finally!  Fast with ripping guitars, “In Kommand” is indeed in charge of the assault, but what’s with the “K”?  I don’t get it.  However, you’re not going to think too much about it when you’re banging your head.

Track three “Dirty Pig” is a contender for best track on the album.  The riff grinds, but also has some rich Priest-like qualities.  It’s not one dimensional.  And just listen to Mike Larock’s thumping bass underneath!  Sword are a one guitar band and they’ve never really been afraid of that, which lets the bass really breathe.  “Dirty Pig” thumps and electrifies while you pound your fists to the groove.

The brief instrumental “Surfacing” is a cool respite, right before the other contender for best track:  “Unleashing Hell”!  Each verse starts with the line, “1986 in Montreal…” while Hughes weaves a tale of debauchery and a young band on the rise.  “1986 in Montreal, smokin’ chicks, a free-for-all.  In our 20’s, ready to brawl, not much money but lots of balls…”  It really makes you wish you’d been there!

The riffing gets more complex and driving on “Spread the Pain”, a killer track augmented by speed and melody.  This has a Dio vibe.  Then “Took My Chances” slows things down to a punishing pummelling.  Mike Plant doesn’t throw down a lot of fills and solos here, but what he does makes it count.  A mid-song tempo shift makes thing fast and Maiden-esque, which is never a bad thing.

Finally, album closer “Not Me No Way” ends things the right way:  by blasting through a head-banging stomper!  The riff smokes and the chorus is nice ‘n defiant!  “Not me!  No way!  I will not play nice!”  Very reminiscent of old Rick Hughes lyrics such as “Life on the Sharp Edge” from Sweet Dreams.  “We didn’t talk, we walked!”  He’s always been great at writing defiant songs about not conforming and not compromising.  It seems appropriate to end Sword III with defiance.

The question I’ve been pondering is, “Does Sword III kill the previous two albums?”  That’s a tough call on an uneven field, because this album really only has seven songs.  It wouldn’t be controversial to say it is their equal, so that’s what I’m going with.

4/5 stars

May 25-28 2023 at the Cottage with the Woodpecker from Mars

Music: The Last Train by Tee Bone Erickson.


RECORD STORE TALES #1065: Even the Best Weekends Can Turn to Crap

It started great!

Thursday night, the music on the trip up to the lake was amazing. We began with The Cult’s Fire Woman EP, and moved on to Michigan Left by the Arkells.  Jen fell asleep in the car and I was left to sing along by myself.  Never a problem!

We came packed with lots of Lego, and plenty of new music to unbox live on Grab A Stack of Rock.  We arrived with coffee, treats and tunes!  Immediately I set up on the front porch and started playing mellow music.  Jim Cuddy’s All In Time is one of the best cottage front porch albums for dancing that I have ever heard.  From rockers to tear-jerking ballads, what an album!  I used to consider it “just a Blue Rodeo album without Greg” but it’s actually far more than that.  Articulating it is hard, but the album evoked emotions and dance moves that Blue Rodeo didn’t.  We also played some of Alice Cooper’s more emotional, cinematic tunes that night.  It was a magical start.

Friday was a wonderful day!  I commenced with some more porch music, and then we hit The Beef Way for our weekend meat!  We chose two T-bone steaks, a turkey breast fillet (for Jen) and a beautiful duck breast (for me).  It was my first duck breast.  I seasoned heavily with salt, pepper and garlic powder to offset that gamey taste.  I scored the fat, cooked it skin side down in a frying pan for 10 minutes to get it cripsy, and finished it in the BBQ.  When finished, you could have mistaken it for steak, it was that good.  The skin was the best part, and I’ll get duck breast from The Beef Way again.  Just an awesome lunch!

Of course, Friday night was Grab A Stack of Rock, and an excellent show was had, almost two hours long!  I’m calling it the “No More Heels Tour of 2023”.  This was my first cottage weekend since August 2022 where I wasn’t making videos and taking pictures for my friend, the California Girl.  With me putting our friendship on a break, it was hard to be motivated to produce fun nature images.  I miss her.  I focused on music instead, and Grab A Stack really did rock this time!  Lots of new music revealed, to be reviewed in the coming weeks/months, including Journey Through Time.

First thing Saturday morning, I taped an excellent Tim’s Vinyl Confessions, reviewing the new Def Leppard Drastic Symphonies.  I cannot wait until this airs!  Although we were both kind but critical, I’m sure the Fanboy trolls will be out when it’s released on YouTube.  I will of course be posting it here for ease of viewing.  It was possibly my favourite Tim’s Vinyl Confessions that I’ve been involved with to date!

We did “Jazz Saturday” morning with Herbie Hancock’s Quartet.  By recommendation of Robert Lawson, next Jazz Saturday will be to Pat Metheny’s Bright Size Life.  It’s ordered and on its way.  Then we switched to the back yard, and built Lego all afternoon.  We are both enjoying the Lego “Speed Champions” series of licensed car models.  They are all roughly the same scale and although they are similar in design, very few of them use the exact same design techniques.  Jen also build a New York City skyline, while I finally finished my knockoff Titanic set.  I’ll never buy knockoff Lego again.  It looks cool complete, but it was very hard to build with confusing instructions and bags.  The final fitting pieces were not up to Lego’s standards.   It does look good, but never again.

It was Saturday evening that turned everything to shit.

I made the steaks, damn perfect if you asked me, and Jen proclaimed “I’m gonna eat the whole thing!”  I was already half full from snacking on chips so I knew I was keeping leftovers.  As she took a mid-meal break, Jen had a seizure.

The coffee spilled.  The Coke spilled.  I could stop neither because I was busy keeping her from falling off her chair.  Eventually I got her safely down, where she soaked herself in spilled coffee.  It took some work to get her into bed.  More seizures later that night.  She fell off the bed, and once again Mike managed to pull off a save.  I’ve lost track of the rest of the seizures that night but we figured it was four or five total.  Not the most restful night, and I was completely exhausted from cleaning up the spills.  I went to bed early and slept in late.  Not the way I usually do things at the cottage.  I like to stay up late and enjoy the creatures of the night.  That didn’t happen this weekend.

I came home Sunday completely exhausted and Jen slept the entire way.  Music on the way home was also mellow:  Ward One: Along the Way and When the Bough Breaks by Bill Ward.  Really good and felt appropriate to my mood.

We will have more Lego to build next time.  My Jazz Quartet set looks challenging and interesting.  Hopefully the next trip will be less eventful!

The 1002nd Album – S1E29. Steve Earle – I Feel Alright (Mike Ladano)

Thank you Geoff Stephen from the 1002nd Album for this chance to talk about Steve Earle’s immensely great I Feel Alright album.

Geoff’s words:

Welcome, Mike ‘LeBrain’ Ladano! Join Mike & I as we discuss quadratic relation-esque running orders, why we avoid skipping so-called skippable tracks, and the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes certain albums magical.

Enjoy on Youtube below!


REVIEW/VIDEO: Def Leppard – Drastic Symphonies (2023) – Tim’s Vinyl Confessions Ep. 425

This is my favourite TVC appearance to date. Thank you so much Tim for inviting me to do this. I hope it comes across in the video: we don’t enjoy bashing this album. We love this band. But we can be discerning, and that’s OK.  We encourage you to check out the music and decide for yourself.  It seems a few viewers agreed with us…

Consider this my official review of Drastic Symphonies by Def Leppard

2/5 stars

Additional notes:

  • Check out the squirrel at 22:52 of the video, over my left shoulder (screen right).
  • Beautiful Grab A Stack of Rock coffee mug available at (where you can also buy your own Tim’s Vinyl Confessions merch).
  • Cameo by Darth Sideous

Thanks again to Tim for making this episode happen!



  1. The Early Years Disc One – On Through the Night 
  2. The Early Years Disc Two – High N’ Dry
  3. The Early Years Disc Three – When The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Live at the New Theater Oxford – 1980
  4. The Early Years Disc Four – Too Many Jitterbugs – EP, singles & unreleased
  5. The Early Years Disc 5 – Raw – Early BBC Recordings 
  6. The Early Years 79-81 (Summary)
  7. Pyromania
  8. Pyromania Live – L.A. Forum, 11 September 1983
  9. Hysteria
  10. Soundtrack From the Video Historia – Record Store Tales
  11. In The Round In Your Face DVD
  12. “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize – Record Store Tales
  13. Adrenalize
  14. Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
  15. Retro-Active
  16. Visualize
  17. Vault: Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits / Limited Edition Live CD
  18. Video Archive
  19. “Slang” CD single
  20. Slang
  21. I Got A Bad Feeling About This: Euphoria – Record Store Tales
  22. Euphoria
  23. Rarities 2
  24. Rarities 3
  25. Rarities 4
  26. Cybernauts – Live
  27. Cybernauts – The Further Adventures of the Cybernauts (bonus disc)
  28. X
  29. Best Of (UK)
  30. Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection
  31. Yeah!
  32. Yeah! Bonus CD With Backstage Interviews
  33. Yeah…Nah!  (Record Store Tales)
  34. Songs From the Sparkle Lounge
  35. “C’Mon C’Mon” (picture disc)
  36. Taylor Swift & Def Leppard – CMT Crossroads (DVD)
  37. B.Sides
  38. Yeah! II
  39. Yeah! Live
  40. Mirror Ball: Live & More (Japan bonus track)
  41. iTunes Re-recordings
  42. Viva! Hysteria (CD 1 & DVD)
  43. Viva! Hysteria (CD 2 & bonus features)
  44. Viva! Hysteria (Japanese bonus track)
  45. Slang (2014 deluxe edition bonus tracks)
  46. “Helen Wheels” (from The Art of McCartney)
  47. Def Leppard (2015 – all versions)

Sneak Preview: Tee Bone Man vs. Edie Van Heelin’ artwork by Harrison Kopp

I have been waiting many months for this moment.  Today, Harrison delivered the very first artwork for the upcoming crossover epic, Tee Bone Man vs. Edie Van Heelin’.  It’s been nine or ten months since I first created Edie.  California Girl and I refined the character, and she added the all-important rocket boots.  Now for the very first time, Harrison has visualized Edie in her new silver outfit, with rocket boots engaged!  (I added the Leafs jersey per the story details; sorry Harrison!)

It’s a very emotional moment for me, not just having waited so long to see this very image.  It’s also emotionally charged because I’m still taking a leave of absence from my friendship with California Girl, and I can’t share this image with her right now.  I don’t even know if she still cares.

Well done Harrison, a beautiful piece of art, exactly how I pictured this scene in my mind’s eye.


GREAT SCOTT!! Dr. Kathryn, Rob Daniels, Jen & the Mad Metal Man Grab A Stack of Lego & Toys!

Epic Lego-based show tonight, with a splash of vintage Star Wars, some new music, and lots of laughs!  Together, Dr. Kathryn, Rob Daniels, the Mad Metal Man and I viewed and discussed the following:

  • Plenty of Star Wars Lego, both current and old!
  • More Star Wars.
  • 8 track tapes!
  • Simpsons minifigs, and a secret technique for finding a complete set of your own!
  • The new Lego Space Galaxy Explorer anniversary set, mid-build.
  • Jen arrived and showed off her five Spice Girls Brickheadz figures.
  • A pair of questions from Jex Russell the Jexciter.
  • Lego Delorean from Back to the Future.
  • Indiana Jones Lego.
  • …and a sneak preview of a brand new Tee Bone Man villain named Dr. K!

All this and more on this week’s Grab A Stack of Rock.  Thanks everybody for a fun Friday night!


Dr. Kathryn, Rob Daniels, and the Mad Metal Man Grab A Stack of Lego and Toys!

GRAB A STACK OF ROCK With Mike and the Mad Metal Man

Episode 22:  Dr. Kathryn & Rob Daniels Return!  Lego & Toys!


Dr. Kathryn is back!  A knowledgeable expert on all things fun, this time we’re taking a look at Lego and toys.  With her will be Rob Daniels, our resident specialist in sci-fi and cinematic knowledge!

Under the influence of Harrison the Mad Metal Man, my wife Mrs. LeBrain has gone a little Lego crazy!  Therefore we have a lot of Lego around the house now.  Star Wars, cars, Space, and more.  I have a brand new 2022 Galaxy Explorer set that I am excited about.  Jen has the Spice Girls in Lego “Brickheadz” form!  Dr. K has the Delorean from Back to the Future!  She’ll also be showing off her Simpsons Lego collection.  As for Harrison and Rob?  Expect them to be exploring space with their collections…

New “Ask Harrison” question from Jex Russell is on its way, and we’ll also sneak in some music content, with fresh unboxings!  Mr. Durling strikes again…


Friday June 2 at 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.  Enjoy on YouTube or on Facebook!

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man: A Crazy Crazy Night – Part 3 (By Harrison Kopp)

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Phase One: The Squirrel Saga
Chapter 16:  A Crazy Crazy Night (Part 3)

This is it. Tee Bone Man. Superdekes. The Snowman. El Moustachio. The four heroes have fought their way through Wicked Lester Blackwell’s Carnival of Lost Souls and now face their greatest challenge: Stop Mr Blackwell himself before he can gain untold power. But standing in-between our heroes and the megalomaniac is the Psycho Circus, and it’s a full house tonight.

Tee Bone confidently strode forward towards the entrance to the Psycho Circus, but he was pulled back by Deke.

“Surely we need some sort of plan for this?”

“You’re right, but don’t call me Shirley.”, Tee Bone smiled back. “So how are we approaching this?”

Deke thought for a moment.

“Snowman, can I see the map a second?”

The Snowman obliged, and Deke studied what layout information the map gave him of the building that housed the Psycho Circus.

“Alright. We’ll sneak in through the service entrances here and here. Two of us will continue up to the orator’s booth here. I bet that’s where Lester will be. The other two will go down into the ring here and engage whatever thugs he has. It will draw his attention too while the stealthy team get into position.”

The others considered this for a moment.

“We’ll need Tee Bone in the middle there then. That’s where the thick of it is going to be.”, El Moustachio chimed in.

“Yes”, Deke replied. “And my grappling hook makes me ideal to go up high. So that just leaves which two of you is better with heights.”

The Snowman and El Moustachio looked at each other.

“I’ll go with Deke.”, The Snowman said. “I’ve got some ranged weaponry that’ll work better from up high.”

“Can’t argue with that.”, the Australian replied.

With that settled, the two groups confidently strode forwards towards their respective service entrances. Entering was easy, and once they were in the chanting and cheering was louder than ever, which actually came in handy in masking the sounds of our heroes dispatching any guards stationed around the place.



So it wasn’t long before both squads caught sight of the task before them. And it wasn’t going to be easy. The building was essentially one large arena. A giant ring of seats surrounded a large open area in the centre, with scaffolding and support platforms littering the outer ring and the higher levels.

And there, high up and right where Deke said he’d be, was Wicked Lester Blackwell. His suit was torn in places and his top hat was similarly afflicted. He was old and weathered, much like the Carnival itself, but he still radiated a sinister and dangerous aura.

Perched atop a platform illuminated by spotlights he conducted the crowd below, whipping them into a fever pitch.

“Brothers! Sisters! Freaks! Monsters! I’ve been waiting for this night to come! Today we are reborn! Exiled from the human race no more! While the city sleeps, we have been digging down towards the well of souls buried beneath this very circus. The mining is almost complete. We are moments away from untold power! The carnival has just begun! And soon we will return to the world- forever!”

The crowd cheered, and it was at this moment that Tee Bone decided enough was enough. He strode out into the centre of the arena and struck a power chord that echoed around the room for several seconds. The crowd went completely silent.



“Who dares!”, Wicked Lester roared furiously. “I will not have this night marred by anyone! Let alone someone so unholy as you.”

“I’ve had enough of this posturing and these proxies. Come and face me, right here, right now! I’ll fight hell to hold you back!”, Tee Bone yelled back.

“Hahaha, here’s your chance, foolish one. Come, my faithful, let us indulge in some excitement.”, Lester boomed back, as countless psychopaths and cultists; human, almost human or otherwise charged forward into the arena towards Tee Bone and El Moustachio.

“Show them… a world without heroes!”, he crowed from above, as all hell began to break loose in the arena.

And Tee Bone and El Moustachio were at the centre of it. The hooligans and delinquents were no trouble alone, but together with the seasoned killers they posed a bit more of a threat. El Moustachio was constantly watching his back, while Tee Bone did his best to keep the fighting focused on him. It wasn’t a million to one, but they were definitely outnumbered.

To make matters worse, Wicked Lester was not giving up any opportunities to display his showmanship and had now taken to hyping the crowd up like a sports announcer.

“Here comes the Torpedo Girl! Look out boys, she’s got a heart of chrome and she’s equipped with as much ballistics as she is ballast!”

The woman in question responded with a volley of torpedo shots that our two heroes just barely avoided. They lodged into the ground and bore deep holes down. One foot wrong and El Moustachio would be in for a long drop off a short pier.

Wicked Lester continued above.

“And don’t forget Little Ceaser! He really puts the ‘X’ in ‘sects’!”

A very short man with a wreath on his head emerged and began ordering the droves of psychos into regimented battalions. This was going to be a problem.



Up above on the service walkways, Deke and The Snowman were also engaged in battle. There’d been more people up here than they’d initially banked on, and they’d been spotted about halfway up to Mr Blackwell.

“Saints! Sinners! To the gantries! More interlopers!”

“Blast!”, The Snowman cursed.

A cadre of Lester’s men ran up to their level and unleashed a patchwork assault from all manner of makeshift ranged weaponry. Their firearms were rudimentary, but they were certainly functional, and they forced the two heroes to take shelter behind a wall. For now, they were pinned down. Down, but not out.



At least down below Tee Bone and El Moustachio were beginning to make some headway. The phalanxes had been scattered after a well-placed boomerang, courtesy of Tee Bone actually, had knocked little Caesar out.

Torpedo Girl, meanwhile, was taking a bit more effort to topple. Tee Bone Man had to take a dive to dodge her last volley of shots, and he’d copped a boot to the face while he was down there. The culprit was summarily pounded upon Tee Bone’s return to an erect walking position.

El Moustachio, meanwhile, had worked to put as many cultists as possible between him and her. This, of course, put him within punching distance of said cultists. But this didn’t bother him too much; it also put them within punching distance of him. Plus he had Ripper on his side.

In short, other than the problematic-projectile woman, they were prevailing. Well actually the correct way of saying it was that they had been prevailing, because it was just when Tee Bone and El Moustachio seemed to have the upper hand that a great rumbling sound filled the room.

And it was at this point that, despite their victories in the preceding battle, the two heroes realised that they had been manoeuvred far away from each other. The rumbling got louder and louder and the ground in the middle of the arena began to fall away.

“And on the eighth day!”, Wicked Lester cried above as the ground continued to crumble away far beneath him. “Out of the ashes came the dawn and the shape of things to come!”

Too far from his partner to help, Tee Bone took off heading straight for Wicked Lester, fist outstretched. His flightpath, however, was intercepted by a well-placed firework that sent him spinning down onto one of the gantries.

Meanwhile, down on the other side of the arena, El Moustachio ran for one of the scaffolding towers. The ground cracked under his feet, and he saw chunks fall away around him as he ran. With a final, desperate leap he was just able to reach the tower as the entire arena floor fell away into the void. But he wasn’t safe yet.



The cracks continued outwards, and the scaffolding he was clinging to began to break loose. This was fairly alarming, and the Australian tried to hasten his ascent. But it was no use, it was too far to the top.

Ripper clambered up ahead of him and desperately began pulling on his finger.

“No use buddy”, the Australian smiled gently. “Go up there and help the others, ok?”.

The squirrel was vehemently against at the idea of leaving the Australian to his fate.

“I’ll be fine”, Moustachio said with a wry smile. “They need you more.”

And, not taking no for an answer, El Moustachio grabbed the small ball of fur and hurled him high up to safety. He knew he could count on the little guy. Mere seconds later he was falling backwards towards the green pit as the scaffolding beneath him completely collapsed.

Enveloped by a tawny-coloured explosion on his way down, the Australian vanished without a trace.

“Noooooooooo!”, Tee Bone cried from above, more rage in his voice than he had ever mustered before. Wicked Lester was going to pay, if it was the last thing he did.

Up above, largely oblivious to the proceedings below, Deke and The Snowman were ready to make their move. Their overconfident assailants had moved in towards where they were taking cover, which was right where The Snowman wanted them.

He tossed a little round device over his shoulder and it landed with a clink at the feet of the huddle. Seconds later it exploded in a shower of snow and hail and all the attackers were encased in prisons of ice.

“Nice work on that”, Deke admired. “I gotta find out how you packed so much in that little casing.”

“Maybe after this I’ll let you in on the secret ingredient”, The Snowman replied as the two men ran up a flight of stairs.

Down below Tee Bone was rapidly approaching the top level, pounding anyone in his way. But his anger might not be enough. Wicked Lester had begun absorbing the spirit energy from the pit and was growing more and more dangerous by the minute. Closing his eyes and sucking in a long breath, he proclaimed his superiority for the 100,000th time this year.

“I’m a legend tonight!”



With a green glow in his eyes, the madman fired a verdant blast of energy that missed Tee Bone by an inch, scorching the metal pylon beside him.

Tee Bone’s hit back hard and fast, but the return volley of power chords failed to strike home. Lester cackled as Tee Bone took cover.

Then great big cracks appeared across the ceiling, as chunks of it began to fall down around the arena. But this was not the work of Wicked Lester. Something was forcing its way through the roof. Something big.

And then Tee Bone saw it. Huge and silver. It looked like the Destroyer, but Thor wasn’t here. Reaching into the building it fired a powerful blast into a gantry containing reinforcements for Blackwell. The blast rocked the entire building as the would-be attackers fell a long way down into the void below.

Lester did not take too kindly to this intrusion and readied a blast of his own. Sickly green energy swirled around his fist, but before he could fire, a grappling hook wrapped itself around his wrist.

Deke pulled hard on the rope and Lester’s shot went wide. The elder man attempted to spin around to face the source of this insult, but his left leg was suddenly encased in a thick layer of ice courtesy of The Snowman.

His other leg was kept in place by Tee Bone’s lariat, and upon discovering this, Lester let loose a feral growl. This growl soon turned to a scream of pain as Ripper jumped on his face and sunk his claws into the older man’s flesh.

Essentially paralysed, Wicked Lester Blackwell could only stand there as the mechanical marvel readied both its arm cannons and took aim. Ripper vacated the man’s face with just enough time for him to comprehend the full scope of the firepower about slam itself into him.



And then the machine fired, sending Lester hurtling down towards the well of souls below. He momentarily disappeared beneath the surface but quickly began to furiously claw his way back out.

But only for a moment. Ghostly hands reached up and dragged him back down into somewhere between heaven and hell.

And much like the cauldron in Infernum Keep all that time ago, this green repository of evil did not take kindly to the powerful foreign object that had forcefully inserted itself into it. It writhed and hissed as the ground all around the island began to shake.

“I think we’re done here”, Deke said.

“Agreed”, Tee Bone said, grabbing his friend and flying upwards. He looked around for the other heroes but found that it was taken care of.

“Where’s El Moustachio?”, the Snowman asked.

“He didn’t make it out of the pit”, Tee Bone grimly replied.

The Snowman’s face fell. But they couldn’t allow themselves to get caught up with grief. Time was running out to vacate the area. The mechanical saviour above extended its arms into the building and spoke for the first time in a booming robotic, but familiar, voice.

“Climb on!”

The Snowman did not need to be asked twice, clambering up onto one of the two large cannons on the end of the mech’s upper appendages.

And not a moment too soon, as the majority of the now-abandoned Psycho Circus broke away and fell into the void of death. The rest of the ground began to follow suit, as anything solid began to sink beneath the waves along with the portal to the Cthulu-knows-where.



But the escape from the island turned out to be quite uneventful. Those manning the firework towers earlier were now far more concerned with leaving the sinking land mass they now found themselves on. The flying mech made a brief detour to pick up Deke’s bike and they were on their way out in no time at all.

Our heroes flew to a nearby island to catch their breath for a minute.

“That was intense.” Deke said.

“Yeah, we’re going to need quite the vacation to relax after that”, Tee Bone replied.

The Snowman was about to chime in about needing one too, but everyone’s attention was captured by the large machine with them. Hissing as steam erupted from several places, it gently set itself down, before the chest cavity opened up and a ramp extended.

And who should walk out but none other than The Braniac.

“Of course! Who else!?”, Tee Bone smiled.

“I say, it’s great to be on the hero side of things now, rather than being the one rescued”, The Braniac smiled back.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way”, Tee Bone replied, clasping his hand in The Braniac’s in a firm handshake. “You were amazing out there.”

He then motioned towards the silver mech.

“This thing is loaded!”

“Oh yeah, this thing hits like an 18-wheeler. Let me show you.”

The Braniac got back into the machine and fired it up. Turning his arm cannons to the sinking island, he unleashed a volley of armaments

“Woah”, Deke exclaimed. “I can’t wait to find out how you made that thing.”

“So what do you call it?”, Tee Bone asked.

The Braniac smiled.

“I call it the Large Ordnance Outlayer Featuring Assisting Human.”

“Haha, that’s quite a name”, Deke laughed.

A short silence followed, and our heroes’ attention then turned to their fallen comrade.

“Do you think he’s gone forever?”, The Snowman gently asked.

“No.”, Tee Bone firmly replied. “We’ll get him back. Even if we have to go to Hell and rip him from the jaws of the devil himself, we’ll get him back.”

Everyone nodded solemnly. Then the ashes of the once-intact Carnival of Souls began to blow over, like glitter in the air.

“We’d better get going.”, Deke stated.

“Yeah”, Tee Bone agreed. “Are you good to get back?”, he asked The Snowman.

“I’ll get him home.” The Braniac said from his mech. “Climb aboard man.”

“We’ll work together again. I’ll make sure of it.” Tee Bone called out, as the group parted ways.

Deke and Tee Bone immediately headed Northwest, whereas The Braniac dropped The Snowman off before heading back to Canada.

When the Thunder Bay duo got back to Deke’s Palace they found a familiar face waiting for them. He saw them land and ran over, totally jubilant.

“You did it!”, Mr Books exclaimed, having come all the way from Owen Sound to welcome back our heroes.

“We did”, Tee Bone replied. “With a little help from our friends.”

“So I heard. Forgive me for foisting such a daunting quest on you, but I knew you were up to the task.”

“You wanted the best, you got the best.”, Tee Bone smiled.

“That I did”, Mr Books replied, toasting the heroes’ success and taking a drink of Scotch.

And many more followed as the sun rose over Thunder Bay once again, the future looking just a bit brighter.


Someone, somewhere, sometime, somehow…


El Moustachio appeared out of thin air and hit the ground with a wet thud, rolling twice before coming to a gentle rest. He gingerly picked himself up and observed his strange new surroundings. He knew he wasn’t in Hell because he’d been there before and it was a lot more red. In fact, the world he now found himself was actually really green. He was in a city, but there was more plant life here than he’d ever seen before. Thick vines snaked up the buildings, and the ground was more like sodden earth than concrete.

But all through it all there was something familiar. A scent he was very used to, but stronger than he’d ever smelt it before. Even stronger than the aroma of the small item he still carried in his back pocket. And it was only getting stronger.

El Moustachio stepped out of the alleyway into the city. The cool night was dimly lit by the bioluminescent plants around him. In the distance he spied a figure, and a low rumble filled the air. Suddenly he realised just how alone he was.

The figure took a step forward. And then another.

El Moustachio took a step back and steeled himself.

One way or another, things were never going to be the same again.



Witness the world tremble when Tee Bone Man and Edie Van Heelin’ finally collide!



Chapter Zero:  Tee Bone Man – Origins (by LeBrain)

Chapter One: A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom? (by Aaron KMA)

Chapter Five: The Super Duper Vault (by John T. Snow)

Chapter Six: Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)

Chapter Seven:  The Revenge of Common Knowledge (by LeBrain)

Chapter Eight:  Tee Bone & Deke’s Time Travelling Adventure (by 80sMetalMan)

Chapter Nine:  Castle Communications (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Ten:  The Case of the Lost Iron Maiden Socks (by LeBrain)

Chapter Eleven:  A Tee Bone Man Christmas (by all five of us)

Chapter Twelve:  Lost In Space (by John T. Snow)

Chapter Thirteen:  Clip Show (by LeBrain)

Chapter Fourteen:  Tee Bone Man and Superdekes Discover the Tao (An Intermission) (By Aaron KMA)

Chapter Fifteen: Status Acoustic – The Really Big Deal (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Sixteen:  A Crazy Crazy Night (part 1) (by Harrison Kopp) 

Chapter Sixteen:  A Crazy Crazy Night (part 2) (by Harrison Kopp) 

Chapter Sixteen:  A Crazy Crazy Night (part 3) (by Harrison Kopp) 

Chapter Seventeen:  Tee Bone Man vs. Edie Van Heelin’ (by LeBrain) Coming this summer – conclusion to Phase One!


Chapter Eighteen:  Shinzon – Origins (By LeBrain)



The Writer’s Room: Chapter One

The Writer’s Room:  It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Tee Bone Man Christmas

The Writer’s Room:  Welcome to the Writer’s Room!




The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie vs. Tommy Lee in the Bouncy Castle of Doom! (By LeBrain)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie and the Quest for the Lost Lego (By LeBrain with Harrison Kopp)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie Van Heelin’s Canadian Vacation (By LeBrain)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie Van Heelin’s Canadian Vacation Part 2 (By LeBrain & California Girl)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie Meets the Wolf (by LeBrain)

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie’s Winter Vacation (By LeBrain & California Girl) (coming soon)