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Jack Stell…No Longer A Meth Head Bitch or Shape Shifter

Big news…children are actually SHAPE SHIFTERS! You think you know who and what they are. Then they turn into something else completely.

My son, Jack Stell, has been a musician for years but he’s changed so radically, from a hippo into a dragon fly, from a spider monkey into a wolverine.

He now writes songs andI cry because they are so good. He’ s learned to craft  songs, funny sweet songs. I can’t get them out of my head. He moved to Nashville recently and has sent me some remarkable work.  I swear.

Yeah, yeah, I’m his mom, but I promise, five or six years ago, when he was jack2thefuture, I would say things like, “that was a hell of a stage show,” after a concert.The way he crawled across the stage on his belly, while howling lyrics, was pretty wild. The first time I went to one of his shows he appeard in a tux and looked insanely handsome then he managed to strip down to his boxers during the first song, on stage! he was nearly naked. Hey, that was entertaining and throngs of tatted up, pierced 21 year old went nuts.

But I never, ever said, “I love those songs.” I loved him and the theatrics, but not the songs.

Things have changed. When I listen to Jack Stell or Jack Stell and the Natural Outlaws I am stunned. He’s so good.

It’s Jack Stell’s heart-breakingly tender songs that take my breath away. There’s a song, “Dance with me Katie Marie.” It’s their last dance, the guy has done something horrible and it will be their last night together. The lyrics and tone are so poignant. I’ve had devastatingly beautiful nights like that, and last dances. I guess we all have and that’s what makes the song so powerful.

Christine” is a lovely and crazy catchy song he wrote to make me happy. It worked. The song follows a forty year love affair to the final days. “Now we’ve been married about 15 years, got us a house and got us some kids, but i love you just the same, as I did that very first day. Christine, my little queen…”

 Fireworks and Tattoos is a witty ballad, about a guy who wakes up from a big drunk and realizes he’s blown up his girlfriend’s double wide. “”And I would apologize,  if you’d just pick up your phone. Sorry I blew up you mobile home.”  It’s funny.

Jack is 24, how the hell does he know about this stuff?

Life Size Pizza was his last rock band, no that’s an understatement. LSP was a face crushing rock and roll band with some country licks thrown in.  The Jesus Song and Meth Head Bitch are Little Rock legends. LSP two cds and the second, No Love is really magnificent boy rock and roll. Too much howling guitar for a middle age white woman but I get it. It’s hedonistic, slippery and dangerous. The guitar work is amazing and I am a big fan of Life Size Pizza. If you need some new, fun and insane rock and roll find them on spotify.

But now my son he has shape shifted again. He is Jack Stell. And I am amazed and proud.

You can find Jack Stell on facebook. Keep up with him now, pretty soon you won’t be able to.

Leave or comment or write to me. hampoland@gmail.com

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2 Responses to “Jack Stell…No Longer A Meth Head Bitch or Shape Shifter”

  1. January 6th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Mary says:

    Diana, another proud mom comes to mind when I read about how you are awed by Jack’s amazing evolution through his various musical incarnations. Jo Few was that way about her kids….from the “dance-irina” daughter to the “champion for social change” son, she was always proud. More than that she was inspired by their courage and creativity, and a little taken aback …as in “how did I get these kids? They’re so awesome.” She herself was a gifted artist and writer.

    You,my dear lady, have allowed that to be your legacy as well and have fostered all those internal gifts that make it possible for “shapeshifting ad infinatum” to occur in the lives of your children.

    While you are applauding for one of the kids, don’t forget to give yourself a hand or raise a glass to your own inspiring talent…not the least of which is the courage to create.

    M

  2. January 6th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    diana hampo says:

    I loved Jo! Her children, Squampy and Pinky were my running buddies when I was little. Mom and Jo were always cooking something up at the Community Players and left the three of us alone to find all kinds of trouble. Thanks you so much Mary. I am blessed. And wait till you get ahold of Sandor. The little rat can sing!