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Doc's Blog

Welcome to Diana 'The Doc' Thomas' official Blog ... A radio interviewer once referred to Diana as being a 'Celebrity Drag Racing Authority & Visionary'... Diana has indeed filled the shoes (or fire boots) as truly being America's foremost 'Celebrity Drag Racing Authority & Visionary'... Diana is known for being somewhat controversial at times... She writes the truth... Diana tells it like it is about drag racing and other topical issues-- You've seen Diana 'The Doc' Thomas on our DVDs, with Bret Kepner on ESPN, and in all the major media... Don't miss your opportunity to read her daily blog right here at DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND... Diana's blog gives you a daily dose of truth and reality with heart... Diana's unique and refreshing perspective is unlike anything else on the drag racing web... We strongly recommend that you bookmark this page now... Be sure you check in daily to experience & enjoy Diana's unique insight, worldly wisdom and perspective...

Now that 2012 has arrived, there's plenty of dippy and demented people claiming that our final doom is imminent. Extremist religious fanatics and pseudo-scientists are insisting that 2012 is the year that our run on Earth comes to a cataclysmic demise... These sort of false prophets of doom don't really have any impact on me, heck, those of us in the drag racing business have been putting up with demented, degenerate doomsayers for decades. Almost as soon as the internet was born, and drag racing found its little "neurotic niche" on the worldwide web, we've been hearing people (mostly grumpy geezers) telling us how NHRA, IHRA, and the sport of drag racing is rapidly self imploding, and how there's NO FUTURE whatsoever for the sport... And while I'll be the first to admit that drag racing's heyday, when it was a bigger part of our nation's more mainstream culture is indeed long gone, and that the "golden era", when drag racing was relatively "fresh" and  "new", and embraced by more of the common populace is also now far behind us, the truth is that drag racing is still going pretty darn strong. Sure, it's changed in some ways, it's definitely not the same as when those cantankerous crocks who spill their daily dose of drag racing doom on their computer keyboards were young and virile-- I get that-- However, we're far from seeing drag racing's extinction from the planet. Take it from me, I've recently been to SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN, and some big night time THRILL SHOWS, and I've seen the pits packed with racers, and the grandstands filled to the brim with fans-- There are some sectors of the drag racing world that are unequivocally alive and well, no matter how much that upsets those who insist on constantly driveling otherwise. Also take note that NHRA's Junior Drag Racing League turns 20 years old this year (2012), proof that there's still youthful folk coming into our sport and having genuine fun with it.... So, let the 2012 doomsayers have their fun, let 'em chatter of their black hole suns, we know their kind, they're just bitter, clueless, blowhards who really don't have any idea of what the heck they're talking about...


GOODBYE 2011... HELLO 2012!!... THANKS, REMEMBRANCE, AND HOPE...

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Happy New Year!!... I'm very thankful for those in my life who helped make 2011 a pretty darn good year... Thanks to my friend Fred Schneider of the B-52s for singing lead vocals with Big Stick on our "HOT SAUCE" song to be released in 2012. Thanks to Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Danzig, Black Label Society, A Pale Horse Named Death) for recording drums on Big Stick's "HOOCHIE EXPRESS" track to be released in 2012. Thanks to Tom Timko (Aretha Franklin, Shakira, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Springsteen) for playing baritone saxophone on our "DRAGUMENTARY" track, a song also to be released in 2012, and that's already been previewed on NPR'S (National Public Radio's) HEARING VOICES show-- Thanks to Barrett Golding, the producer of the special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of the HEARING VOICES program that previewed the "DRAGUMENTARY" track, and also featured a couple other "classic" Big Stick songs-- You can listen to a FREE mp3 of the show in its entirety by going here......  http://hearingvoices.com/news/2011/08/hv121-engine-overdrive/  (copy & paste to your browser)... I'd like to mention some dear music friends we lost in 2011... Zoogz Rift, we (Big Stick) played a show with Zoogz at Amsterdam's historic Paradiso music hall, he was a great guy. Nick Ashford of Ashford & Simpson fame. I met Nick once at a NYC recording studio. The towering musician was a soul pop master. "Solid as a Rock" remains a great and unique soulful love song. Phoebe Snow of "Poetry Man" fame is gone. Saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Laura Kennedy, the creative bassist and co-founder of NY "no wave" band Bush Tetras.  Barbara Orbison, Roy Orbison's widow died on the anniversary of her late husband's death. Carl Gardner, lead singer of the Coasters. Bluesman Willie "Big Eyes" Smith... In the drag racing world we lost Bob Plumer, Ken "Cool Bus School Bus" Nelson, Al Olster, Don "Lefty" Little, Cal Jackson, Huston "Dixie Twister" Platt, R.L. "Wildman" Peyton, Phil Castronovo, and Bobby Langley... In my family, I lost my beloved, Terri, she was such a great friend and inspiration to me over the last few years. She was a big help to Drag Racing Underground. I miss Terri an awful lot... I apologize for all the departed who I didn't have the space to mention here... In closing, please permit me to raise my morning coffee cup, as I toast to the memory of all those who we've lost in 2011, and in this same emotional morning toast, please also allow me to acknowledge, and show my love and appreciation for all who still remain in our lives, and bring us joy... Here's to hoping that 2012 ushers in renewed hope, good health, peace, and prosperity... Let's try to be thankful for all the good things in our lives as we embark on our journey into the New Year...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I don't mean to be a "wet blanket", but I feel somewhat compelled to say what I'm gonna say, for the reason that even if what I'm about to say, saves just one life, or keeps one of my readers out of the hospital emergency room, I believe it's well worth it. And if you're one of those blowharded, bigoted sort of guys (like a few of the imbecile manchilds from the "classic" F/C scene, ha ha), who are so darn scared of a woman's blatant candor, brutal honesty, and ability to "tell it like it is", I strongly suggest you aim your mouse elsewhere and leave this page immediately, because yes, I am using today's blog to discourage excessive alcohol consumption for those people who will be driving this evening. Yeah, I know, there's some fools who think drinking and driving on New Year's Eve is "Far Out", and wrapping your car around a tree and killing yourself (or someone else) is just a "guy thing", that us frilly gals simply don't understand, blah, blah, blah-- I don't buy that backwards "macho schtick" for one minute. If you plan on "partying up" tonight to celebrate the ushering in of the New Year, please value your life enough to NOT get behind the wheel of a car, if not for your safety, please do so for the safety of the innocent others who will be on the roads too, and who don't deserve you plowing into their car and taking their life. I've been in a hospital's emergency waiting room on New Year's Day, and I gotta tell you, seeing the crying families and friends of patients severely injured, disfigured, or dead, as a result of driving drunk on New Year's Eve is NOT a pretty sight... I also suggest if you're partying tonight not to drink past your limit. You don't want a painful hangover plaguing you on New Year's day. One way to help avoid a hangover is to retard the absorption of alcohol by eating before and during drinking (especially foods such as cheese, that contain fatty proteins)... I'm scheduled to attend and appear at no less than four different parties tonight, and I DO plan to "party" a bit, so I hired myself a chauffeured limousine for me and my friends, and I explicitly told the limo company that I DO NOT want a driver who is a drunk!-- And yes, it's gonna cost me some bucks, but, you know what?-- At least I know there's a better chance of me still being around tomorrow to write my first blog of 2012...

 


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Let's get to it.... Yesterday's blog concerning Matt Hagan winning NHRA's "Moment of the Year", for being the first Funny Car driver to break the 4 second barrier stirred a hornets nest. Evidently some of the fans who I criticized for not getting over NHRA going from 1320ft to 1000ft for nitro racing are STILL angry and against the change, and they sure let me know it! Eric from Reading, PA says,  "NHRA should have figured out a better way to make nitro racing safer than slashing their track length!!"... My blog about seeing Chuck Lambert, Paul Gaita, and Ed Trygar playing the blues at Giamano's Bar in Bradley Beach prompted some "blues fans" to come out of the woodwork and write me. Alex from Red Bank, NJ told me that he's been a fan of Chuck Lambert for years, and he greatly appreciated me giving recognition to the veteran bluesman with my blog... My hiring of my two neighbor girlfriends, Janet & Lorraine, to help us at Drag Racing Underground keep up with the slew of before and after Christmas orders, seems to have raised the interest of many of my male readers. I've received several emails asking to see pics from our DRU Christmas party, with the girls wearing their "Santa's helpers elf hats and green leotards"-- Hmmm, you guys have some sort of strange "Santa's Elves" fetish?? ha ha! I told my girls about your requests, and they got a kick out of it... The pic I posted of a young John Gill on the lap of a sauced-up, liquored-up Santa Claus resulted in lots of emails, and tons of cyber traffic. Patty from Phillips, NE wrote that she had a similar experience as a child, and that her Santa actually barfed!! Yuck!!... In closing, I received several request to reprint the old Polish Christmas folklore tale I told y'all about, that was brought to my attention by Jeff Magnum, the guitarist of  "Dead Boys" fame, so, here it is again--  "In Poland, the Christmas Eve Mass is called the Pasterka, which means the "Shepherds Watch", and there is a popular belief that while the congregation is praying, peace descends on the snow covered town and that during the holy night, the humble companions of men and women (the domestic animals) assume voices, but only the innocent of heart may hear them."-- Donna from Wilsonville, Oregon says that little story made her cry and hug all her pets on Christmas Eve. That's so sweet, Donna, thanks for sending me your touching email... Keep those emails comin', whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I'm genuinely interested in your feedback... I just ask that you please keep your emails short and to the point, no rambling please, and please also include where you're from, I often find the location of where folks are writing me from to be sort of interesting... Thanks...


Yesterday's blog concerning my trip to see see bluesman extraordinaire, Chuck Lambert, and his band perform on the Jersey shore, crashed the Drag Racing Underground site, which utterly amazed us, because we just recently upgraded to another few hundred gigs of server bandwidth. Holy Cow!!-- So therefore, yesterday we wound up upgrading to another few hundred gigs of bandwidth to handle the skyrocketing traffic to this place!!-- Yikes!!... We're now in the top 20% of ALL the drag racing and motorsport sites on the internet (including those of the sanctioning organizations) in daily cyber viewers!! You folks have made us HUGE, I mean, REALLY HUGE over the last few months, and I absolutely love you for it!!... Switching gears... I find it interesting that Matt Hagan and the DieHard Funny Car camp's accomplishment of being the first Funny Car team to break the four-second barrier won the 2011 "Moment of the Year" award among NHRA's fans. Of course I have to give credit to talented tuner, Tommy DeLago, for dialing-in the flopper to such a fabulous and HISTORIC 3.995 performance. With all the kicking and screaming we see on the worldwide web from some fans still vehemently protesting the nitro cars reduced racing space of 1000 feet, as opposed to the more traditional 1320 feet, it appears that many folks are now adjusting to the "new standard" of race length, and even embracing the new "numbers", as well as the newly created "performance barriers" that have come with the change. We all know that NHRA was pretty much forced into reducing the 1320ft down to 1000ft for the nitro cars, due to safety concerns, and we also know that one of NHRA's very first mantras of their sanctioning body was "Dedicated to Safety", so, that's what they had to do in the name of safety (they really had no choice but to reduce the length of nitro racing). I guess it now makes sense for those who are still stamping their feet, and having purple-faced hissy fits over the change, to settle down a bit, and embrace the reduced length for the sake of driver safety-- After all, we do want our heroes who strap into these incredibly unforgiving and potentially volatile race cars to be safer as they embark on their jaunting journeys down the drag strip...

 

 


CHUCK LAMBERT + PAUL GAITA + ED TRYGAR = BLUES TO BLOW YOU AWAY!!...

Posted by: lovely

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Last night when our friend, Lou Trygar, came by the house to take John Gill and I out to see a "blues" band, the weather was kicking-up into nothing short of an APOCALYPTIC FRENZY!! Brutally high winds, torrential rain, and fierce fog were wreaking havoc on New Jersey!! Most folks would have played it safe, and just stayed home, sheltered from the extremely dangerous elements. However, we were headstrong determined to go see Lou's brother, Ed Trygar, playing drums in a band that he's in with bassist Paul Gaita, and legendary NJ blues guitarist Chuck Lambert. We all hopped into Lou's car and risked our lives by taking the NJ State Parkway to Giamano's Restaurant & Bar in Bradley Beach. The Parkway was a truly treacherous drive, looking more like a high seas storm scene out of MOBY-DICK, than a stretch of wide, flat pavement!! The wind, rain, and fog wreaked havoc on the road. After an hour of driving extremely carefully, Lou successfully delivered us to our intended "blues destination". After surviving our frightful journey, we were treated to a special V.I.P. comfortable couch seat, we settled in with our beverages, and were now able to kick back and enjoy the band... The trio lead by guitarist extraordinaire Chuck Lambert, played a whole slew of classic blues standards. Chuck is a gent who was made to sing and play the blues. Chuck's towering presence, along with his ability to vocalize, and pick guitar straight from the heart commands your undivided attention. With the exception of a Giamano's waiter who possessed a strong resemblance to "FRANKENSTEIN" (in a cute sort of way), and kept walking by us, my attention was firmly fixated on the band. Bass guitarist Paul Gaita had a five string and kept a mesmerizing rhythm. Ed Trygar personified blues versatility on the drum kit. Ed and Paul were in perfect syncopation with each other, just like a bassist and drummer are supposed to be, allowing Chuck to flawlessly feel the groove and deliver his brand of heartfelt blues. When the show was over, I had the opportunity to meet with Chuck and the band, they're certainly a group of classy gentlemen... I highly recommend you go see Chuck Lambert and these talented fellows if they ever perform in your neck of the woods... Thankfully the weather completely cleared up by time we stepped out of Giamano's, and we even took a ride to take a brief stroll on the beach. I could hardly believe how clear the night sky was, you could see all the stars and constellations, Orion, the Big Dipper, heck, I thought I might have even seen a UFO, but that's for another day's blog, ha ha...


Last night brought an ONSLAUGHT of cyber traffic to my blog. Probably due to my written heartfelt remembrance of talk radio personality Lynn Samuels, combined with the overwhelming traffic of folks visiting here to see a small John Gill's pic with a "sauced-up" Santa Claus-- The "boozed up" Santa shot has become quite the viral sensation... Over 42,000 visits caused the Drag Racing Underground site to chuck a rod and crash, fortunately our team of internet specialists seem to have done repairs and have us back up and running on all eight cylinders. Good Golly, Miss Molly!!-- I'm really glad that this place has become the undisputed most frequented "alternative" drag racing media site on the entire internet. I appreciate all you folks who now check in here daily for a dose of drag racing truth, justice, and the America way.... Switching gears... I realize that lots of you received money as a gift for Christmas, and now that you have that money, you're gettin' real busy, ordering our Drag Racing Underground DVDs online! We're experiencing almost as much of a buying rush as before Christmas!! So, I still have my two girlfriends from the neighborhood, Janet and Lorraine, helping us out with pulling and packing orders, so you'll get your DVDs in a timely fashion. And yes, they're still wearing their cute little "Santa's elves" hats, although the green elf-like leotards that they were merrily prancing around in at our recent DRU Christmas party, are reportedly now in the girls' respective laundry rooms awaiting a washing, ha ha-- But I assure you, these gals will make certain that y'all get your DVDs delivered promptly... For those of you in the Jersey area, my friend, Ed Trygar, will be playing drums tonight with the Chuck Lambert Band at Giamano's restaurant & bar in Bradley Beach. Those of you who aren't aware of who Chuck Lambert is, well, all I can say is that he's a genuine powerhouse of a blues guitarist-- He's the "real deal" in blues music for sure. Our longtime friend Louie, who is Ed's younger brother, flew in from the west coast for Christmas, and will be taking John and I there tonight. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there as well, I'm sure some of my Raceway Park friends will be in attendance.  The show starts at 7pm until 9:30pm. Giamano's is located at 301 Main Street, in Bradley Beach, NJ-- Yes, it's on the Jersey shore, however, I strongly doubt there will be a Snooki in sight...


TALK RADIO PERSONALITY LYNN SAMUELS DEAD AT 69...

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I hope that y'all had a nice Christmas day. Mine consisted of spending it with some family members that I haven't seen in awhile, so, that was a lot of fun for me... I'm saddened to report that longtime NY radio personality, Lynn Samuels, passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 69. Samuels got her start at WBAI FM, then, in the late 1980's landed a gig at mega-giant WABC 77AM. She was a real pistol on WABC, a radio personality who actually had a "personailty"!! Despite Lynn being what most folks would consider to be a "left-winger", if she didn't like what a particular politician was doing, whether they were a left-wing Democrat or a right-wing Republican, she'd rip them to shreds equally, which was so darn REFRESHING for a talk show radio host, because God knows, there's nothing worse in political radio than a Republican mouthpiece who refuses to call their own on the carpet when they screw up, or a Democrat talk show host who is too scared to criticize someone from their persuasion when they screw up. Unfortunately, the current climate in politically oriented broadcasting is extremely sterile, and BORING-- Too many current talk show hosts stick like glue to one side of the political fence, making for "unlistenable" and "unbearable" talk radio in my opinion. Lynn Samuels was part of a WABC 77AM broadcasting era that was far more exciting, eclectic, UNPREDICTABLE and ENTERTAINING than it is today!!... Several years ago I attended a fund raiser for a children's charity at the Reo Diner in Woodbridge, NJ-- I met Lynn Samuels there, and she was a genuine hoot to hang out with (See the candid photograph that I snapped below). Another former WABC radio great, Jay Diamond, was there too, John Gill became friends with Jay over the years. WABC's corporate brass made a HUGE mistake when firing both Lynn and Jay. It's also worth noting that comedian Pat Cooper performed at the Reo Diner fund raiser-- Pat Cooper is an unbelievably funny man!!... In 2003 Lynn was hired by SIRIUS satellite radio, where she was working up to her death. I have a celebrity musician friend who used to have a weekly show on SIRIUS too, he told me that unless you're Howard Stern or Martha Stewart, SIRIUS pays their on-air talent little more than you'd get for flippin' burgers at McDonald's-- So, you know that Lynn must have been truly dedicated to having a voice in radio. So long to Lynn Samuels. If today's political blowhard radio talk show hosts even possessed a fraction of her degree of honesty,  moxy, and courage to cross party lines when morally and ethically necessary, talk radio would actually be fun again...

 

 

 

 

 


MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM A "SAUCED UP" SANTA CLAUS FROM CHRISTMAS PAST!!...

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I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS.... For today's blog, I'm lightening things up a bit, and sharing a ridiculous photo that was taken many moons ago... Long before there was a BIG STICK band, or a DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND video production company, back in time, when John Gill was only knee-high to a grasshopper, and barely as tall as even the smallest of his Marshall guitar cabinets, John's parents dragged him to the Mall to have his picture taken with "Santa Claus"... In this particular case, "Santa" was so "loaded", he could barely sit up. As a matter of fact, according to John, "Santa" smelled like he was boozing it up since the previous year's Christmas!!-- If you should ever see a "Santa Claus" looking this "bombed", please grab his car keys and call him a cab!!


CHRISTMAS PARTY NOTES & IN POLAND TONITE THE CRITTERS SPEAK!!...

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Yesterday was our Christmas party here at DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND. Practically all our staff were celebrating with festive cheer. Our company veterans, including John, Mike, Jim, Rusty, Christine, Stephanie, and Gary were all in attendance. I also invited Eric, our incredible audio engineer, who is working with us on our BIG STICK music thing to come party with us. And of course my two adorable girlfriends from the neighborhood, Janet & Lorraine, who've been working part time as our official "Christmas Elves", to help us fill all our Christmas orders were primped and present at the party as well, drinking the potent punch that our resident "ultra geek" Gary concocted, and they were both merrily prancing about in their makeshift Christmas elf hats and green leotards, ha ha, I bought my girls the leotards to wear at the party-- They looked so darn cute dressed as the "Christmas Elves" that I truly believe they are, I mean, there's NO WAY we would have been able to fill all our Christmas orders in a timely fashion without Janet and Lorraine coming to our rescue! I'd like to thank our friends from FORD for picking up the catering tab for the party. And I definitely want to thank all you loyal readers of my blog for giving me the best Christmas present of all, making me the number one most read female blogger on the drag racing internet! I want you to know that I felt like you all were here too, partying it up with us in spirit. You know that I love you all!!... In closing, here's a bit of interesting trivia that was bought to my attention by my  friend, Jeff Magnum, the talented guitar player of  "Dead Boys" fame...  "In Poland, the Christmas Eve Mass is called the Pasterka, which means the "Shepherds Watch", and there is a popular belief that while the congregation is praying, peace descends on the snow covered town and that during the holy night, the humble companions of men and women (the domestic animals) assume voices, but only the innocent of heart may hear them! So if yer dog, cat, or guinea pig starts talkin' tonight, YOU BETTER LISTEN!!"...