AllBetter

From Woodstock to Recovery: "Coming Down the Mountain"

December 03, 2023 Joe Van Wie Season 3 Episode 74
AllBetter
From Woodstock to Recovery: "Coming Down the Mountain"
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if you could recapture the essence of a bygone era, feel the pulse of its music, and relive its cultural significance, all while seated comfortably in your present? Tune into a riot of colors as our good friend Leo takes us on a voyage into his exhilarating experiences from the psychedelic age. From the rush of hallucinogens to the rhythms of Woodstock, Leo narrates his extraordinary journey of exploration and self-discovery. You might expect tales of mind expansion, but Leo's narrative is one of escape and adrenaline, and how a negative trip became a life-altering experience.

Ever wondered what it was like to be a part of the radical cultural shift in the 1960s and 70s? We, your hosts Joe, Erin, and Russell, along with Leo, traverse those music-filled decades, recapturing the soulful rhythm and blues, the infectious rock and roll, and the vibrant hippie culture. Our first-time guest, Erin, adds her perspective on Leo's hidden hippie heart, setting the stage for an engaging and informative conversation. Leo's passion for astrology and his encounters with black opium-mated hash add a unique layer to his narrative, painting a vivid picture of that electrifying period.

Finally, we navigate the healing power of music and cooking in addiction recovery. The evolution of recording techniques, their impact on bands, and collaboration form the crux of this conversation. Our nutritional director at Fellowship House, Russell, highlights the value of healthy eating habits and offers a glimpse into recovery cooking classes at Fellowship House. This episode is not just a trip down memory lane, but a testament to the transformative power of music, food, and personal narratives in the journey towards recovery. So, buckle up, turn the volume up and get set for an unforgettable ride!

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Speaker 1:

All right, leo. When was the last time you did masculine?

Speaker 2:

It was a while ago, Joe.

Speaker 1:

All right, we're gonna talk about it.

Speaker 3:

Welcome to all better. This is Joe Van wheat. No, this is not Joe Van wheat. This is Jonathan Edwards, the editor for this episode and all episodes of all better. Joe didn't record an intro, so this is me recording an intro, and this is a fun episode. You can already tell about the sound buddy at the very beginning. I Don't really know anyone in the episode, but I know they're great storytellers and just listening to the sound bites I've already listened to this is really fun. There is one technical issue toward the end of the episode it abruptly cuts off. I'll let you know when that happens, but Just fair warning, there will be a part two of this episode coming. They have to, you know, do that whole re-recording it thing. Anyway, you're not here to listen to me ramble, so let's get back to the show.

Speaker 1:

Well, we're back and we're in studio. How this came about was a barbecue at Russell's house. Leo told me a story I never heard and I've known Leo for 45 years, and I'm 45 years old. I've known him consciously for about 40 years. So we were talking about Leo's experience at Woodstock. But I wanted to start with a question before we get there, and I already did an introduction Russ, people know you an ear and her here. Leo, there's a comment. It's headed towards earth. It's kind of like don't look up the Netflix movie Leonardo DiCaprio. We have about two weeks. A Week goes by. Everyone of in your family plans on coming up to Arthur Ave. You're gonna spend the time there, brock Jean. So this is, this is great, but we're all gonna die. At some point. You read an article that most people are finding relief to the anxiety of this comic coming with their family by Smoking a grape owl blunt With high THC. Count. The kids start passing it around. You got a nice dinner out. There's hours left, comments coming. What do you do?

Speaker 2:

Well, what I do is I sit back and enjoy it, knowing that, knowing that this is it, this is a light show I want to experience and I experienced a lot of comments coming at me In my addiction. Of course, we were talking earlier about the psychedelics and I. I came out of the psychedelic age and the LSD are using it for mind expansions. I Wasn't necessarily doing it for mind expansions but for, you know, just the rush and I Was zooming all over the universe Between the ups and the amphetamines, the psychedelics, of course, the drinking and Smoking, whatever it was that I smoked.

Speaker 1:

Well, you were kind of a maverick to the area of testing all kinds of narcotics. But to stay specifically what people historically call hallucinogenics, psychedelics, ethyogens I want to stop there because In my mind your personality is I didn't realize this until I would see, like you know, Old Martin Scorsese movies. The whole atmosphere of your personality Is from Scranton, Italian, Charming, kind of you know a G, and to know you have taken mescaline acid and it wasn't with the intention for mind expansion. I want to ask you there's a re-insurgence going on with ethyogens being used for trauma therapy and some, you know, quest for enlightenment. Was there a side effect that was unexpected, that lasted with you, that altered and changed your personality, maybe say for the better, or enlarged your empathy? Would you be able to say that is true?

Speaker 2:

For the better. Well, yeah, because I came through it. I only had one negative trip. That was on some blotter as the shape like Mickey Mouse. I took a tab of that when I wasn't feeling well and I snorted one of those Vixen halers if anybody remembers those and I was. You know I was zooming, I was just lifted, so I didn't know I was going to come back from that. But I came back and now you're on a podcast. You landed all the way back there. Really. Yeah, I ended up coming back with this. You know the noise in a music box. The women used to have to open them up.

Speaker 1:

Like the blind ET. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I ended up in one of those. That's how I came back. Holy mackerel, yeah. So that was an experience. However, that was a negative experience that's turned out to be a positive experience because when you're out there that far, obviously I had a God in my life because I relied on that. Only that was that was it and that's where I ended up. But most of the trips were enlightening for the time and enjoyable for the time, except doing too many times. Wow, yeah it's not without risk, but yeah, but it was, yeah, it was the, that was the time period of it, so it wasn't alone most of the time, it wasn't like that, it was with other people. So the first couple hours of the trip, as you get through it, and then you're into another zone area, and what did I learn there? Who knows? Well, it comes into my mind at that point, not sure, but it was, it was. I guess it was enough to make me do it again. Yeah, yeah, it got me out of myself for sure.

Speaker 1:

And you know how this conversation started in Russell's backyard was I said? You know most people don't know this, but Leo's half a hippie and you wouldn't tell why a suit Cody wears, but he's got a hippie heart. I'm also curious Aaron, this year first time on the show, would you say you had a hippie heart. When you hear Leo talk, were you surprised to hear that he will get to the story of him going to Woodstock? But were you surprised by that?

Speaker 5:

I don't think so. I think I expected that. Yeah, because he loves music, he loves art, so yeah, there's definitely a hippie in there. I kind of knew that.

Speaker 1:

Aaron, did you ever go on a space adventure, on any psychedelics?

Speaker 5:

Um ecstasy ones.

Speaker 1:

That's a psychedelic.

Speaker 5:

That is that count.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's uh, it's being legalized in multiple states right now for PTSD there, oh really, because it mutes your, your ego. Um, it helps people with inflamed amygdala is where anxiety would come from.

Speaker 5:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I'm always interested to talk about this stuff. It's the most interesting thing, and I know Russell was on an ecstasy trip for about 15 years.

Speaker 5:

I did that with two, two homosexual friends after their shift after Wicked. They were both in Wicked and back at their apartment. We didn't leave the apartment until like 10 am the next morning, right? So like 11 to 10.

Speaker 1:

Wicked, the play, yeah, what's what? What would be the summary of Wicked? I can't remember.

Speaker 5:

What's Wicked? Wicked is the one with the two witches. Oh, that's um.

Speaker 1:

Glenda and.

Speaker 5:

Elphaba. So they were they're both in that show.

Speaker 1:

So, after that show as the witches or supporting roles.

Speaker 5:

One was the mayor and one was just in the course. Yeah, it was a trip. I never did it again.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, Now Russ. How did you know? Did you know Leo was a cosmonaut?

Speaker 6:

Uh, well, you know, I've known, like you, leo for my entire life. I mean, he's daddy Leo, I call him daddy Um. He uh, yeah, I I've heard a lot of the stories uh, you know, and a hippie at heart, absolutely, and he's like what's a hippie? Right, free spirit it kind, you know um less regulation, less less yeah For sure Anti-authoritarian yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Now, leo, would you ever describe yourself that way, as a hippie? And let me put it in this lens too. What music do you listen to, and has your music changed? Are you listening ever to new music?

Speaker 2:

Oh sure, I listen to all music. I love music. Um, I'm I'm a person who doesn't remember the words. I don't remember the artist. I'm not one of those people, but whenever music gets my attention, most of it does. Uh yeah, I'm a good listener. It's a. It makes me feel good.

Speaker 1:

And were you drawn from the seventies to say, like the band, maybe the Beatles? Like you kind of seem like an Elvis guy to me.

Speaker 2:

Uh-uh, Actually I was a soul guy.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I was a rhythm and blues guy before rock and roll. Remember, I'm a hundred years old, so so I was in the rhythm and blues before rock and roll came in, and of course I was right at the rock and roll. Uh, so I enjoy, uh, all music, the melodies I like.

Speaker 1:

Melodies and rhythm seem to grab you.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Not the content of the words, that just seems irrelevant.

Speaker 2:

And when I hear the words, when somebody tells me what the words are, they're beautiful words. Now, I understand a lot about that, but for whatever is going on with my hearing, a lot of times I don't hear the same thing as other people here. Uh, I'll be singing a song. If I was singing alone, other people were listening in. Yeah, and then what was? He saying so, not the song that's in there, even the words that are in there.

Speaker 1:

The big stuff, like Chubby Checker prior to Chubby.

Speaker 2:

Checker, I met him in Washington DC in the 60s. Wow, yeah, I met him personally down there. It was at a small venue, a rocket room that was called Rocket.

Speaker 1:

Room. Holy, I thought I was in the rocket. I thought that was my bedroom, the rocket room.

Speaker 2:

The rocket room yeah.

Speaker 1:

So you skipped over, say, maybe even the music movement of, say, the 60s. It was there in the background, but what grabbed you? Because you're a dancer and in 1969,. How old would you have been? Would you be in your 20s or 30s?

Speaker 2:

My 20s, 20s yeah.

Speaker 1:

So you were a dancer and you were the Jitterbug King.

Speaker 2:

Well, I was the king.

Speaker 1:

That's what my mother has titled you. She said you and Lulu Viola were the Jitterbug champions of Scranton. What does that mean?

Speaker 2:

I have no idea Like the dance. Yeah, yeah, I love the dance. I still do so.

Speaker 1:

I just I guess to stay and prep for Woodstock. It's when Led Zeppelin came out and these, these, this harder edge to rock, even the stones or the who did that grab?

Speaker 2:

you. Oh yeah. Yeah, that was big time. I was doing the black opium-mated hash then. So yeah, it was like right in there.

Speaker 1:

You got to unpack that. No one's going to know what that means. What is black opium hash?

Speaker 2:

Well, it was black hash, but they put an opium in it, so yeah.

Speaker 1:

It allowed for easy listening.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was on a nine month deal with that. And it was. I was into all of that, love the music. Yeah, yeah, it was meaningful. Music back then had a lot of meaning to it For the times. There was a lot of changing going on Age of Aquarius. We were coming at the whole different millennium of Aquarius and nobody knew what that was. Yeah, what does it mean? Only the hippies knew and I was a half a hippie, so I was half business, half hippie. I don't dance alls and I it might be a shoe insurance business and bars.

Speaker 1:

And one of the bars was named Zodiac Lounge.

Speaker 2:

Who named that Me?

Speaker 1:

How did you pick the name?

Speaker 2:

Well, I was kind of an amateur astrologist. Wow, I didn't know that. Yeah, I was into it 16 ways to Sunday, so I would be able to do. I could still do other people's horoscopes.

Speaker 1:

So the draw to say astrology, the age of Aquarius, I think people who just know you for five, 10 minutes can feel like walk away and feel like they connect it and knew you. But they don't always get the details. And I think the details are so interesting because I don't think that's what's left with people, that impression. So when you're being drawn to the way you draw, the music, rhythm, movement, kind of the expansions that are happening with the trips, but addictions kind of flaring up in your life and we're not glorifying addiction, I've never heard you do that, but there's something else underneath that that can't be ignored, that you want to desperately connect with as many people as possible. Would that be a driving force?

Speaker 2:

Would you say that was your- Absolutely and not intentionally, not mentally, but that's what drives me, yeah, the masses. I'm always interested in being connected, especially with something that feels good or something that looks good or something that's a strong, good message. One of your part of that. And, yeah, it's interesting that you know that about me. I've been watching you.

Speaker 1:

I love you. I love you man.

Speaker 5:

I get about what I say watch what I do. I love you. Wait, Leo, weren't you at Woodstock?

Speaker 2:

I was. I was up there. That's when I used the term. I was a half a hippie Because I went up as a business person, a little bit of Jew, with an idol delinquent in me when I went up and certainly was speeding, not only with the car but with the amphetamines, and the reason I was going up? I owned a dance hall and I was going up there to book the bands. Like you were actually going to book Jimi Hendrix and Jimi Hendrix was one of the people that Jimi Hendrix had that. Nobody knew who Jimi Hendrix was back then, except this generation is hippie generation, and I was smoking pop back there. It wasn't even a call pop. That was called either Acapulco Gold or Dope.

Speaker 1:

Would they be referred to as dope Panama Red?

Speaker 2:

Panama Red or Acapulco Gold. They were the only two. They were the premiums, I guess, but there was no such thing as weed or pot Nobody used those terms or grass, that wasn't used at the time, but anyway. So we would get these, these records, cassettes, jimi Hendrix who would play, and of course, when you were doing this stuff, you experienced that the whole other way. So I experienced it like other people were experiencing on the planet. But I didn't know the other people. Well, when the bands were so expensive back then that I thought, well, we, we eliminate the agent on New York and I'll just go up and talk to them personally, cause there were gonna be 5,000 people there, I figured, well, I could work through 5,000 people to get to the stage, to get to the person. That was my intention. So we started off being Muley Wonders and Richie Noto were going up and at that time we only had AM. Fm wasn't out or might've been just starting, but there was no FM radio, just AM. So you got the local station saying we're gonna be 5,000 people, right? Well, that was all the people in the world, us. You know, 5,000 people was a lot of people. We never saw 5,000 people gathered. So we're going up and we're giggling about that. And then another right but right, when we get to the edge, where we're gonna lose, that station was like 20,000 people. They're expecting, right, and we're laughing, we're thinking like they're just popping it up. And then the next thing we heard from one of the different stations came in, that the New York hallway is blocked right, and we don't have no idea what that even is. But you know, it's like well, this is like insane. We got there, which we thought we got there. We got there and we pulled over into a ditch and there was just, you know, walls of people. So it started off thinking like it's around the corner, couple of minutes away, even 10 minutes away, must have walked for a half hour. It never got by the people. It was just a sea of people. Never saw so many people in my life, didn't even know what that was. We saw things that left Scranton of innocence and went there, and people did things that weren't so innocent in Scranton, which were pretty much run of the mill there Women without tops, you know, walking around like. You know Like.

Speaker 1:

Lackawanna Avenue.

Speaker 2:

Like three nos. It was astounding to me, it got my attention.

Speaker 1:

Prenos after midnight. The farm experience of Prenos.

Speaker 2:

It never stopped and it was just continuous people and. But I was there to book the bands, yeah, and here you know what.

Speaker 1:

You can't make it up, were you just zipping cards up to the stage no, 50,000 yards.

Speaker 2:

Well, it took me a long time before I realized that we didn't get to the stage. We didn't get to the main event. I've been walking for a half hour so I thought I parked within the, but you know, it was just. It's so many people you can't even imagine. Of course, there was no publicity. What are you?

Speaker 1:

wearing? What are you wearing there? Like I can't see you with Mala beads.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know what?

Speaker 1:

Were you, did you have a blazer on?

Speaker 2:

No, no, I didn't put the blazer on, but I had the shirt. I had the button down shirt, you know, you meant business.

Speaker 4:

You're going up to Woodstock.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I got to be like yeah, and during that rain or that mud slide thing, we watched that movie. I'm there, but I kept moving away from the cameras because I didn't want anybody to see me there, Because I realized, wait, where am I at here?

Speaker 1:

Like yeah, this is the Republican Party.

Speaker 4:

I grew up with.

Speaker 2:

I could be on television now or in a movie, but worse, and I'm thinking like so I'm on the sidelines, but I was soaking wet. This is, by the way. When I got there, the sun was shining beautiful day, the nicest day of the year, and I it started raining. Then it started with like monsoons. It was like the most torrential rains I ever saw in my life to this day, and everything turned like dark. It was like nighttime almost, and so there was a tent there and the people that were right in that vicinity ran under this tent. It must have been like 20 people in a tent and some guy had a bag of weed. There Is anybody have any papers? And nobody knew what papers were. Then Nobody had papers, right. But this guy says no, but I got a newspaper. Well, give me the newspaper. So he rolled a joint like this I was just a hunker, Not a newspaper right. So that was passed around under there and the rain was like torrential outside and it was going off for it seemed like forever, and the more I smoked it seemed like it was never gonna stop. And then all of a sudden it got a little less, because you could hear it hitting the tent. It's got a little bit less, a little bit less. And then you heard this chanting let the sun shine Of the queries that was planned in New York at that time.

Speaker 1:

Well, Erin should sing that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah right, Exactly, yeah, she would sing it right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you don't want me to sing it, I'll ruin it, but they were singing it, they were chanting it like, for they started. And now this is not a couple people. This starts off as, like maybe a 10 people, then a hundred people, then a thousand people, then 10,000 people, then 20,000 people, then 50,000 people are chanting this all at one time, sitting in a mud slide. Wow. And maybe around half hour to 45 minutes later, all of a sudden the sky starts opening up, the sun starts coming out and out of the sky comes all these little like. It looked like paratroopers, but there are all those little poppies that they give out at the like. When you go, you know you're going into a store and they say you're a poppy for a dollar. That was because, remember, this was a peace festival. Wow, they were going against the, the war, the Vietnam War, supporting civil rights, right and women's rights, sexual liberation, you name it. It was all on the table there. Yeah, that's why all the women were, you know, the, the topless. And yeah, I dig it. Right, I dig it. But here, you know what? It was startling, it was life changing. Yeah, I said at the time you know what? The world's never going to be the same. I said that the two guys I was with this is like different and they agreed. Then I found some girl laying. She must have taken this purple haze at the time that they have. She was turning blue, laying in the mud. So I helped get her up out of the mud but she was unconscious and I didn't know what to do with her. But there was a mage, makeshift hospital. It seemed like next door, with the big red cross on it. Yeah, it's off like a white, white tent. And I started carrying her over there and it wasn't next door. See, to me it looked like that. Okay, now I'm smoking that hooch under the tent Right, and now I'm walking with the right. It's like holy smokes. This is forever. We're going to die out here.

Speaker 4:

Oh, my arms, my arms. I couldn't hold her anymore.

Speaker 2:

So we kept transferring, I kept giving her a willy, kept giving her to Richard, and what we finally got her, that is tipped and hopefully she made it out alive. But there was a whole facility there for people who owed deed. Wow See, but obviously she did. That was the only one I saw, of course, but this place was filled with a lot of different people that they had there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's pretty sophisticated. Today that's the first organized movement slash music festival. If you went to Camp Biscoe, I think there's music there. It's usually just a drum festival.

Speaker 2:

I couldn't believe that this was all happening. Yeah, they would. Now, I went up on a Sunday, so I wasn't there for the whole thing, but I was there for, like, the part where most of it's filmed, you know, but not necessarily the music, but the people. It's just incredible that there was no and there was never a fight across. Word Everybody's peaceful. Yeah, there was. I gotta say this because it got my attention. I had a laugh in the middle of all. This was like there was a little house Okay, it must have been I forget whose farm. It was little house and there was like a white picket fence in the yard Right and there was several people in there, okay. And then they had a post with a sign on it juicers.

Speaker 1:

Juicers.

Speaker 2:

There's the people who drank.

Speaker 1:

Only drank Only drinkers.

Speaker 2:

They were in there. There was a six or seven of them right bloody.

Speaker 1:

The world's not changing. You cross this fence. The world doesn't change. We're straight juicers, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Straight juicer Right, exactly, but they put a sign in the yard. But anyway, it was a fascinating thing To cap this off this conversation. On the way home we stopped for an ice cream. A pleasant Meantime, you gotta remember. I'm there as, like I said, like a businessman, slash whatever else I am, and I smoke a pipe at the time. See, I smoke everything but pipe.

Speaker 4:

But as a you know, as a like you know country gentleman pipe.

Speaker 2:

It was a a Cabe Woody they were called. If you look them up, they were, like you know, the yuppie pipe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, a lot of people smoke pipe thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so, anyway. So we pull up to this stand and Willie gets out to get the see if we get an ice cream and some guys screaming hey, anybody got a pipe man. And I'm listening to him. Right, you know, I meant to this spirit At night, yeah, I got a pipe right, oh really, Thanks, man. I go. I says here's a pipe, and I had two Cabe wouldies. They just bought a new one, Right? So he said, oh, I really appreciate it, man. I said, yeah, keep it, Keep it. Man. He says, yeah, just keep it. I got another one and he said Let me have the pipe. Man when he's talking to him there, right? So, so we're having the ice cream. So when he comes, he comes back. He said I'm really pretty sure you don't want it. No, no, you keep the pipe. Let me see your pipe. He says, so I give him my pipe. He goes it puts all these pellets in my pipe. Right, Looked like rabbit shit really. And what was it? But it was opium. But I didn't know that. I didn't know what opium was. I never did opium, Anyway. So of course we had a shot, so we did Okay.

Speaker 1:

Goes well with ice cream.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was the longest trip ever. Come on home. It was like. It was like we're never going to get home.

Speaker 1:

The Odyssey.

Speaker 2:

You know, you know, Taylor Hill were a big Russell went down the hill.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, fire Dead man All hills like that Even steeper than that.

Speaker 2:

They were like ski ski paths right.

Speaker 1:

Black diamond approach to Scranton.

Speaker 2:

And I'd be, I was driving and every every once in a while I'd say, willie, I'm going to car, see where we're at, because we're all like this, did he have a periscope? So you get on, knock on somebody's door right, get back in and we go again, right, and traveling, traveling, right, but like hanging on these cliffs, like really, you know, I don't remember this, anybody remember this. We don't know what's that stuff, right, but I don't add Willie, you know five different times out of the car, See where we're at now. See, right, like I'm taking with Tom, wow.

Speaker 1:

You just give me an idea for a game show Like millennials.

Speaker 2:

It was the same house for the host what. Were the cops called no, I don't know cops up there.

Speaker 1:

No, no, you kidding me we should do a game show called Surviving the 70s, where you're the host. You take a millennial, you make some smoking ounce of opium and drop them off in like a state that, like Vermont, they've never been there and you have to get here. We just give them a map.

Speaker 2:

Well, willie was riding shotgun, so he kept getting out and he kept real. I don't think we went any place, but he thought he did too. But wow, yeah. That just strikes me funny now, but anyway, that was my first experience, and but I went back up like 45 years later.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's not a hill in the place.

Speaker 1:

Aaron, do you feel you missed out on this, like you relate to the 70s and 60s musically, that you feel that's something past that you couldn't be a part of, or do you feel that the 90s and the 2000s have their own merit and what you relate to them musically?

Speaker 5:

I don't know why I love the 70s. I do, if you think about it musically, though. There's all sorts of music in the 70s like it's a great decade of music, but all the I feel like all the decades up until like the 2000s have their own sound and in like the 2000s to now, it's all like kind of either Stuff coming coming back again or coming back, or you know, sometimes I venture to say that the producers started to have a sound, not musicians.

Speaker 1:

exactly, exactly, yeah and the producers voices in there and the way it mutes Away guitar actually sounds. Editing got more sophisticated with Pro Tools. You don't have to sing in key, you don't have to all be in the studio, because in the 70s the whole band still had to be there in play. In time they weren't really separating or isolating a lot of tracks, so when you would record, everybody would have to be there. Have you recorded that way to do?

Speaker 5:

Like recording Basically for musical theater? I don't really. I've only done a few recordings for different jazz artists in the area.

Speaker 1:

I've never really done my own studio recording. How does one stay in time then, like Coming up, the way you did stay in time when you're playing live? How do you hear the band like or the? What keeps you all in time? Just listen, just listening not everyone has that ear. I love music. I can't keep. I couldn't stay in time.

Speaker 5:

It's a conversation, it's like, it's like this, but with music. He said to listen to each other.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I want to do too much when listening music over move Sing Russ. I wanted to get a quick update. See what these guys do. You guys know Russell's now our nutritional director at Fellowship House.

Speaker 6:

That's my new. Yeah, that's not even got the badge.

Speaker 1:

He's got a badge yeah he's got a business guards. Dancing, so we just our first class, yeah, I want to know, I want to hear your thoughts, because we haven't been able to Do a postmortem here. What happened. Russ is teaching the life skills and what we're calling recovery cooking twice a month and and what that is is, is residents from a PHP or the outpatient get to sit in and Russ will Show how to prepare a meal, how to shop, how to read labels, the relationship of Process foods or say sugar, with mood, maybe habits we can break, why someone could sustain themselves and how food could be a big part of Basically stabilizing a mood within the first year, coupled with you know Some organizational things of how to keep your kitchen, how do how to keep the house, absolutely so. We did our first test for a Monday. What did you think about it?

Speaker 6:

I thought it went great. I mean, first of all, the house, it's beautiful, right, the facility, I mean you guys did an amazing job with it. We were up on the second floor, we had a nice little. Was there a pay about all together, about ten of us, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah right. And I see if you asked me, I would have said a hundred, but yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 5:

But no, it went, it went great.

Speaker 6:

That was our test run and I think it is so important, you know, because here, like when we're in Addiction, right, I know for me and for a lot of people like foods the last thing on our mind yeah, right, like the last thing we're thinking about is, oh, let me get a good, healthy meal in, or whatever you know, and that's one way to get back, you know, living a healthy, normal lifestyle. And especially for me, and what I wanted to show the first class was like. So we did like for me, simple and Like cooking seats. I take stuff for granted, like for me, because everything kind of I don't want to like comes natural but it does. I was born into the Business, into the kitchen. I mean my youngest memories with my father. I know they put me on a milk crate, teaching me how to peel vegetables or do this cook whatever in front of a stove or what not, and but it could be a. It's a lot of fun. It could be a lot of fun cooking and people. I think it intimidated by, you know, like Having to make this large meal or like complex things we're really like. I wanted to show, you know, the residents and everybody, that it doesn't have to be. We don't have to make it complicated. We could make it, you know, simple, taste great, fresh, like I'm a big advocate, especially now, like, like in the summer. I'm glad we started at things like I went to the farmers market, bought some stuff and, like you know, so you know Like fresh fruit, fresh vegetables. You know I Don't know, I'm a big advocate.

Speaker 1:

On on that, keeps that thought we'll be right back yeah.

Speaker 3:

Hey, this is an ad, right, okay, hey everyone, this is an ad. Hello, my name is.

Speaker 1:

Joe van. We am the host of all better. I'm also the CEO. Fellowship house and fellowship house. We believe long-term recovery Requires a personality change as well as a clinical intervention. These ideas can take several months to achieve. Our philosophy is to provide a safe, therapeutic and Seedingly active environment for patients to achieve these personality changes and find joy, the fellowship of recovery, which will allow for long-term sobriety. We believe that recovery extends beyond treatment and peer-to-peer communities. It's a real life. The fellowship house. We provide a design for living that focuses on education and service. We have strong relationships with the 12 universities and vocational schools in the area and Assure that our fellows pursue their personal goals While entering sobriety. We also stress independence and responsibility, making sure each individual is financially solid and self and helping to make their community a better place. As a treatment center, fellowship house offers both residential and outpatient treatment services to individuals and families affected by addiction and alcoholism. We're a D-DAP license provider of general outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programming, as well as a level of care assessments. If you want to find out more information about fellowship house, please visit fellowship houses, fellowship houses, calm.

Speaker 3:

Are you done? Yet You're done, okay, good, all right, back to the show, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Okay, we're back, russ, what you were saying I was thinking of a couple things. I Think a lot of people that I related to in in my own personal early recovery. I'm so out of touch with my body. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, by the time I realized I was hungry. I'm starving Because I can't communicate with basic senses from itches to hunger. I don't plan ahead. I'm spending so much time just straight in my head by the time my body needs something. It's like a full-arm five-alarm fire so I will panic and rush for takeout. Maybe that's not in the budget for a lot of people in early recovery, but you just kind of leave yourself no option.

Speaker 6:

You're not preparing food. Or fast food, or I need sugar.

Speaker 1:

Or my day's going to collapse. So do you think a lot of people could benefit? They could start the way you're approaching this. They could start right in early recovery, preparing a meal that would last three to four days and have more energy output, definitely.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, and like what you said, starting from the basics of making a grocery list, which for us is something OK, like, said, a new grocery list, but for some people you wouldn't even think about doing that. So, starting just there, starting with a grocery list and meal prep for the week you could take, for instance, so we did chicken, I brought some chicken breasts and we made a few meals out of it. We did chicken parmesan, we did. I tried them out to do baked chicken that we could put on a salad, we could make in the chicken soga, stir a little chicken shit in the chicken salad and do a little mayonnaise.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, you know so with one, that's my leo. That's my leo in the chicken. Chicken shit in the chicken salad.

Speaker 6:

You got to work on it.

Speaker 1:

OK, pal, you're going to make chicken shit out of the chicken salad.

Speaker 2:

Let me talk. Ok, I was up at Woodstock, pal, I ain't writing. You want to talk about morality?

Speaker 1:

Let me tell you that that's my leo impression.

Speaker 6:

So, yeah, you could take one protein or whatever and make a few meals for the week out of it it only took 20 minutes.

Speaker 1:

And then what you produced out of that 20 minutes guys could have in the fridge for a protein, a starch, vegetable. How about the approach of reading labels? I mean, my wife always took the schooled me in this. The more you see, the more you have to digest and some things if you can't read it you shouldn't be digesting it. You don't know what it is, and that was the kind of simple approach I take with looking at stuff. If that looks like it should be in a lab, I don't think I want it in my intestine.

Speaker 6:

Right yeah.

Speaker 1:

And these things all have an effect. I'm moved and I'm just excited. The guys were thrilled. That was the feedback I got.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, I know it was so much fun and being able to bring a little aspect of recovery in it too, which I thought was awesome, because for me now it's like getting that passion back. I mean I've had it for a while now, and back when I was in my active addiction, it was just like I had to go to work. It was, like you know, kind of a drag and I have to do this, I have to do that Now. I'm so excited about it and being able to now bring it into your house here, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you're right, there was a gentleman there that he was familiar with you.

Speaker 4:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

He wasn't familiar with anyone in recovery. It was the first time you connected with someone.

Speaker 6:

No, it was great I've known him yeah.

Speaker 1:

And it was overcooking. It felt normal, it felt relaxed, it wasn't contrived. It's not this therapy setting that can feel really restrictive, because what a beautiful way.

Speaker 6:

I mean, think about it Like right, like I know, like Sunday dinners or like what I mean that's how we get people together. It's such a big way of getting people together. Is eating Right? Is, you know, bringing everybody together? What you were saying, you know that's what you love, like, just you know the masses getting people together, connecting with people. What other, what better way to connect with somebody than over a you know a nice meal? I hope the meal just get around and you know yeah.

Speaker 1:

So you got to come down Monday, yeah, monday night.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, for sure, Absolutely yeah.

Speaker 6:

And we had a couple other people too, that that popped in. Jimmy, jimmy McHugh popped in and you know I invited Sam over.

Speaker 2:

Well, that was more of a Aaron you please.

Speaker 5:

I'd like to take the lesson. Well, that's what I'm saying.

Speaker 6:

Come in, I'll teach you. Yeah, please, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Jimmy was more of a break-in. He didn't pop, he didn't pop.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he did pop. He did pop.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, I told him there'd be leftover, so he showed up.

Speaker 1:

Aaron, did music ever take you anywhere? Were you it was serving a therapy or just basic connection with people? Maybe died during your addiction. That, maybe your recovery give you new entrance back into something we've always loved.

Speaker 5:

I'm trying to think.

Speaker 1:

Like in the way Russell loves cooking his dad did. But there's a point in addiction that is just making it laborious. He's showing up for work. Creativity's getting beat out of him. He gets recovery, it's just it's like a full awakening. Not only like a reprieve from the consequences that drinking could cause any of us, but some kind of invigoration of life feels new, even though your 40 life felt new again. Cooking felt new again, sharing what you really sometimes don't know how much you know or how much of an expert you are, until you teach something to someone and they're just overwhelmed. What you take for granted so simple chicken parm, chicken salad and to see someone else think they can make that is just. I think it's fulfilling. Can you say or did you have any plans to connect with people in that way, you think?

Speaker 5:

Well, I think I teach during the day students and I sing at night. So it does get you know, it gets like to be your job Teaching. Sometimes I get burnt out, but then I realize it's really cool. I get to just pass that information along to the younger people and that's really fulfilling actually when you see them because a lot of them go into musical theater or music in general, and I have, like all these adult students now that that's what they do, so that's pretty cool. What's the draw of adults and somehow I was sober when I started this business and then, throughout my whole relapse, I still continued to teach, but it definitely was. What's the word? It just Mute it. I don't know. I guess I was functioning somehow, but it was during COVID too, so a lot of that was online and you could wear a mask and all that stuff.

Speaker 1:

So that was lucky for me. Like a scream mask or like a hockey mask. Yes, yes.

Speaker 5:

Figo, but I think that your responsibilities get to be like I'm more. I'm definitely back to being not that I wasn't, but I'm back to being very responsible Again.

Speaker 1:

That makes any sense. Sounds boring, I know right, it's not. It's not boring, it's not boring, it's great. The word has bad history in my head. I grew up Catholic at Scranton, but to feel the idea of being away. You said burnout and I think burnout, if it was generalized in any field, from law enforcement, being a clinician, being a chef and being a music teacher, I think what burns people out, that I relate to, that either overcame an addiction or trauma. The burnout's being produced. If you could really point at it and then put it under a microscope. The demand to be present, and when you're teaching music you have to be present the person's right in front of you when you're a clinician, all right.

Speaker 3:

I told you I'd warn you when it happened, and it happened. Almost a hundred episodes in, really, if you think about it. And this has only happened twice when something happened where we couldn't finish the episode because of a technical issue. Actually, it's happened a couple more times than that, but none of you know about that. I'm not telling. There will be a part two of this episode. Not sure when that's coming, but you know, stay tuned for it. Now for the outro.

Speaker 4:

I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of All Better. To find us on All Better not of now, or listen to us on Apple Podcasts To modify Google Podcasts, stitcher and I Heart Radio and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer, john Evans, an engineering company and seven-way drone. It's like we're subscribed to SM YouTube, facebook, instagram or Twitter, and if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Thank you for watching. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll see you again soon. Remember, because there's your silver. It doesn't mean you're right, thank you.

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Music, Hippies, and Woodstock
Peace Festival and Musical Decades
Pro Tools for Music Recording Techniques
Simple Meal Prep Benefits for Recovery