50 Sandwiches You Should Eat Before You Die

50 Sandwiches You Should Eat Before You Die

By: Andy Kryza and Kevin Alexander. Photo: Sebastian Davis/Thrillist

No matter what that bloke Earl tells you, sandwiches are the quintessential American food: meat, cheese, bread, and moxie are what this country was founded on. That’s why it’s your duty – nay, your destiny – to eat as many different varieties of your birthright food as humanly possible.

With sandwich-fest destiny in mind, we’ve developed this bucket list of 50 sandwiches across America that you should eat before you die (probably from eating so many sandwiches). No burgers, sausages, or gyros here. Just sandwiches that will enrich your soul while also showing you all the corners of the country and yourself. Bring napkins


Credit: Flickr/Bryce Edwards

Philly cheesesteak

Tony Luke’s
Philadelphia, PA
Tony’s is a legend, and everybody should eat a Philly made in actual Philly at least once. But if not Tony’s, just go to a Philly sandwich shop named after a dude – John, Geno, George – who sounds like he works in the mill.

Roast pork

John’s Roast Pork
Philadelphia, PA
And while you’re already in Philly, the roast pork sandwich – an explosion of juice-soaked pig and sharp provolone – is their other, less-nationally-touted – and arguably better – signature sandwich, and John’s just might be the original. If it’s not, it’s still the best. Oh, and they also make a hell of a cheesesteak. So maybe get both. It’s not like it’s gonna kill you. (Editor’s Note: it might kill you.)

Lobster roll

The Clam Shack
Kennebunkport, ME
It’s not served in a hot dog bun, but a round roll. But other than that small twist, the lobster roll served at The Clam Shack is a simple, delicious Maine dream: mayo, a little melted butter, and fresh lobster meat. Bonus points if you’re wearing an L.L.Bean backpack as you take it down.


Credit: Mike Gebert/Thrillist

Italian beef

Johnnie’s Beef
Elmwood Park, IL
The Chicago institution is our favorite source of gravy-soaked beef perfection. But you can get a great one anywhere in the city and still be pretty happy. Just be sure to eat it before the roll disintegrates, and chase it with an Old Style.

Shrimp jibarito

Joey’s Shrimp House
Chicago, IL
Much like the Italian beef, the jibarito is a Chicago-created sandwich that was inspired by a foreign land – in this case, Puerto Rico – whose residents might be heard to say “huh?!” if you ordered it. Basically, it’s a sandwich made with fried plantains, which can be filled with everything from lechon to gyro meat. Well, Joey’s does it with shrimp, and it might just be the best of all of them, especially now that the original Borinquen is no longer with us.

The Tipsy Texan

Franklin BBQ
Austin, TX
Yeah, you’ll wait in line. A long line. Yeah, it’ll be worth it. And while some people will argue that the meats at Franklin needn’t be bogged down with sandwich fixins, this sucker comes with chopped brisket, smoked sausage, and slaw. It’s big enough to feed two. But you waited in line for a long time, so you’re advised to get this as a side order with a mound of brisket.


Credit: Flickr/Brian Child

The Bobbie

Wilmington, DE
Essentially a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich, but everything tastes better at this Delaware joint that has been expanded to 17 states. Probably because Capriotti’s cooks are better than your mom, and don’t end up drying out the turkey because they drank four mimosas for breakfast.


Tony’s I-75
Birch Run, MI
Because sometimes, when you’re in the middle of Michigan, it makes perfect sense to consume 1lb of crispy bacon in sandwich form before you get back on the freeway.

The Spuckie

Brookline, MA
Say it with us now: fennel salami, hot capicola, mortadella, mozzarella, olive-carrot salad on fresh ciabatta. Even if you grew up in the North End and have an Italian flag tattoo covering your entire torso, this is still going to be the best Italian sandwich you’ve ever had in your life.


Credit: Flickr/Luca Ohman

Club sandwich from an actual country club

Cut into triangles, with a little club sauce, just for Lucille II. If you can charge it to the Underhills, please do.

A fancy grilled cheese

Melt Bar & Grilled
Cleveland, OH
Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled takes grilled cheese so seriously that their cultish followers get discounts for sandwich tattoos. It’s also the place that will inspire you to up your grilled-cheese game at home, though we’re never going to fault you for falling back on the simple tradition of a diagonal-cut American cheese gut-bomb.

Beef on weck

Bar Bill
East Aurora, NY
Fun fact: when your boy Chad calls Buffalo Wild Wings BW3’s, the extra “w” is for “beef on weck,” another Buffalo, NY mainstay that isn’t nearly as popular as those wings. Probably because it’s just slow-roasted beef on a special kummelweck roll, and it’s easier to say “Jamaican jerk” than “kummelweck.” But it’s still delicious, and at Bar Bill, you can get it with wings.


Credit: Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

The Reuben, in its city of origin

Crescent Moon
Omaha, NE
That’s right, we said Omaha. And Crescent Moon has the best, based on the original Blackstone Hotel recipe. Suck it, New York.

The Crab Happy Chesapeake Chicken Sammy

Miss Shirley’s
Baltimore, MD
Giant lump crab cakes are a Baltimore specialty that come on everything from Benedicts to, well, just plates. Miss Shirley’s ups the ante with chicken sausage, cheese, a fried egg, and veggies, then smashes it all between an English muffin.

A fried brain sandwich. Seriously.

St. Louis, MO
Avoid any temptation to make a Walking Dead joke and just go for it. Brain sandwiches are a tradition in St. Louis so endangered, they’re like the white rhino of lunch. Schottzie’s has the best. Unlike rhinos, you don’t have to feel bad for eating them. And fried brains (pig, usually, since mad cow disease ruined everything) taste better.


Credit: Sebastian Davis/Thrillist

Anything that could score you a T-shirt, or a picture on the wall

Maybe it’s a Big Fat Ugly from Madison’s Fat Sandwich Co. filled with all the meats and sides, or a race to finish the 27in Big Fat Fatty at Fat Sal’s in San Diego. When there’s a T-shirt or a Polaroid on the line, no risk of diabetic shock is too high.

Loose meat sandwich

Chuck and Edna’s Maid-Rite
Cascade, IA
It’s like a Sloppy Joe. Except it’s not sloppy, because it’s basically the state food of Iowa, and in Iowa, you do a lot of driving. We like the one at Chuck and Edna’s spot in Cascade, but you can get them all over the place. Getting loose meat all over your lap sucks enough when it’s not covered in sauce.

Rocky Mountain oyster sandwich

Best experienced amid the crowds of Clinton’s annual Testicle Festival, but perfectly fine at most saloons where you can find ‘em. Yeah, they might be bull ‘nads. But they taste like – well, do you have the balls to find out? (Fun fact: they’re delicious.)


Credit: Flickr/Sandor Weisz

A sandwich with fries and slaw in it

Primanti Bros.
Pittsburgh, PA
Preferably in Pittsburgh proper, but if you’re lucky enough to have a Primanti’s near you in Florida or West Virginia, that’ll do. We’re partial to beef, but even if you get it was bologna, it’s a hell of a French fry- and slaw-topped thing to behold.

Chopped pork

Payne’s Bar-B-Q
Memphis, TN
Yellow, crunchy, mustardy slaw. Hot peppery sauce. Some burnt bits and some juicy bits. Lots of napkins. Eat and repeat.

A PB & J made by a mother

Any mom will do. Just make sure she cuts it diagonally.


Credit: Matt Meltzer/Thrillist


Miami, FL
That combination of ham, roasted pork, Swiss, pickles, and mustard is as synonymous to Miami as body-image issues are to tourists. Score the real deal at Enriqueta’s, or from any hole-in-the-wall where great music and delicious smells waft out. Seriously. How is Miami in such good shape?

Hot beef

Wall Drug Cafe
Wall, SD
Is it good? Hell no. It’s Wall Drug. It’s cafeteria roast beef on a slice of Wonder Bread covered in mass-produced gravy and an ice-cream scoop of mashed potatoes. But then you throw in the free ice water and $.05 coffee you’ve seen signs for every 10ft for the past 600 miles, and you kind of have to. Because you’re in the middle of South Dakota’s Badlands, and there’s literally nowhere else to stop. And the animatronic T-Rex isn’t scheduled to roar again for 15 minutes, so you might as well eat something.

Burnt end

LC’s Bar-B-Q
Kansas City, MO
Once you eat the burnt ends from LC’s, you’re a changed person. You are not the same. You will consider camping out just outside the restaurant to keep coming back for that meaty, crispy, beautiful bark. This is a good thing.


Credit: Flickr/Matthew Mendoza


Katz’s Delicatessen
New York, NY
Then, after you’ve gotten that out of your system – literally and figuratively – the same thing at one of New York’s myriad less-iconic, less-expensive, and possibly better Jewish delis.

The Fat Mystery

PJ’s Sandwiches
Columbus, OH
Sometimes, you just have to play Russian roulette with your arteries. At this drunchies oasis, the Fat Mystery puts your life in the cook’s hands. You’ll get a mystery meat – steak, perhaps, or maybe chicken tenders. And you’ll get four sides, which might include mozz sticks, poppers, or pierogies. They’ll all be tossed in a bun. Zoinks, Scoob.

Carnitas torta

La Torta Gorda
San Francisco, CA
Several blocks over from some of the best burritos in the world sit perhaps the best tortas. Come hungry: They don’t call it “the Fat Sandwich” for nothing.


Credit: Flickr/Carnaval King 08


Central Grocery
New Orleans, LA
There are better places to get New Orleans’ traditional Sicilian sandwich than the place where it was invented, the locals will tell you. Suspiciously, those locals are in line at Central Grocery.


Seattle, WA
Porchetta from any Italian joint’s a thing of fatty, savory beauty. But at this Seattle institution, Mario Batali’s dad takes it to the next level, cramming the roasted pork with meatballs and spices and braising it to perfection.

Bacon, egg & cheese from a nameless NYC bodega

Extra points if the resident cat has a name, but the store doesn’t.


Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

Pork tenderloin

Green Street Pub
Brownsburg, IN
Green Street Pub’s version is delicious, but if you really want to start a ruckus, go anywhere in Indiana and say the best you’ve ever had was at Smitty’s in Des Moines. The two states have a bit of a rivalry, and the chances of them really trying to give you the best you’ve ever had is worth the chance of you getting punched for heresy.

The Elvis

The Arcade Restaurant
Memphis, TN
If you want to be extremely morbid, you can get the sandwich that killed Elvis at the Rock & Roll Café right across from Graceland. But the fried peanut butter & banana monstrosity is way better at the Arcade. You have the option to add bacon. Say yes. Do it for the king.

The Taos Style

Palacio Cafe
Santa Fe, NM
You’d think by its name we should’ve went with a place actually in Taos, but we prefer the sandwich made at this Santa Fe spot, thanks to its mix of roast beef, provolone, chopped green chile, caramelized onion, and mayo on panini-pressed sourdough.


Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

A gas station sandwich, out of desperation

Best consumed during a rather dangerous rainstorm, on the side of an isolated highway. Just don’t look at the expiration date on the side of the package.

Chicken-fried steak

Del Rancho
Norman, OK
It’s like the tenderloin sandwich, but with beef, because it’s in the South. And while Texan law dictates that it’s served with sausage gravy and eggs, at Norman, OK’s Sonic-esque Del Rancho, it’s just a regular ol’ oversized hunk of fried meat on a bun. And it’s perfect.

Hot BBQ roast beef

The Linden Store
Wellesley, MA
Only available on Wednesdays. Usually sells out by noon. Add American cheese so it gets nice and melty by the time you unwrap it. The LeBrun brothers (who own and run the shop) have recently expanded the space, which is a bonus, so you now have somewhere to sit while smearing BBQ sauce all over your face.


Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

The Reggie Deluxe

Pine State Biscuits
Portland, OR
A chicken biscuit is a thing of beauty. The Reggie Deluxe at Portland’s Pine State is the sandwich’s finest hour – a biscuit loaded with fried chicken, bacon, sausage gravy, cheddar, and a runny egg. Hangovers never stood a chance.

The duck club

The Tattooed Moose
Charleston, SC
A glorious club sandwich from an inconspicuous Charleston bar. On sweet Hawaiian bread. Piled with chunks of duck, bacon, smoked cheddar, and tears of joy. Start eating it with your hands. Finish it with a fork. Repeat as needed.

Pulled pork

Scott’s Bar-B-Que
Hemingway, SC
Scott’s is famous now, like written about in The Grey Lady famous, but that doesn’t really change anything except the length of the line waiting for the pit-smoked perfection. Just make sure you get some skins on the side.


Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

Bánh mì from a non-sandwich shop

Great Vietnamese sandwiches – packed with daikon, pate, and mystery meat – are often found in unlikely spots like jewelry stores, nail salons, or other strip-mall mainstays. If you see French bread behind a counter, pounce. Word to the wise: anything over $5 is likely hipsterized – and hipsters were run out of Saigon years ago.

“Wet” dip

Philippe the Original
Los Angeles, CA
This LA joint invented the French dip, reportedly named after a dude name French and not the bread. It gets submerged in a jus made of pork, lamb, and beef drippings that drip from the roasted, fresh-carved chunks. So no matter what’s between that bread, your meal is soaked in the flavors of everything on the menu.

The original Joe

Town Hall
East Orange, NJ
In New Jersey, you can get a pork roll anywhere. Only at Orange’s Town Hall can you get the original Sloppy Joe. And guess what: it’s not just a bunch of ground beef and ketchup. It’s actually more akin to a triple-decker Reuben, with ham, tongue, and Swiss. If tongue makes you nervous, better not look at what goes into your go-to Manwich.


Credit: Flickr/I Believe I Can Fry

Pimento cheese

The Masters Tournament
Augusta, GA
There is, perhaps, nothing more simply Southern than a pimento cheese sandwich on gooey white bread. While the sandwich started as a working man’s cheap meal and aged into a ladies-who-lunch (or have dainty tea parties) snack, it’s also a timeless and traditional snack at the Masters. And at $1.50, you can afford to buy quite a few. You just have to get into the Masters first.

The Z-Man

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Kansas City, KS
Some would argue that Joe’s brisket on its own is simply perfect. And they’d be right. But anyone who argues against complementing it with smoked provolone, onion rings, and a kaiser roll should be promptly shown the door. It’s the stuff of lore, and some suspect it aided the Royals in shaking off their slump. Maybe the Cubs should invest in a franchise.

Hot Leg Quarter Sandwich

Prince’s Hot Chicken
Nashville, TN
You will sweat. Your eyes will water. Your tongue will swell. It will be the most delicious thing you’ve eaten in two months.


Credit: Flickr/Krista

Oyster po’ boy

New Orleans, LA
Any New Orleanian – or just regular visitor – will quickly tell you their po’ boy order, which goes so far beyond just the sandwich: It’s the sandwich type, the shop, and whether it’s ordered dressed or plain. Until you decide on your own so you can proudly rattle it off, take after our associate editor and get the oyster po’ boy, dressed no mayo, at Domilise’s.

The Chivito

Fast Gourmet
Washington, DC
It has so many ingredients (10, in total, including four meats). It is a Uruguayan specialty. And it is the greatest thing to ever come out of a DC gas station.

Clam roll

The Clam Box
Ipswich, MA
There are few things better on a hot summer day in New England than driving up to Ipswich, seeing those red- & white-striped awnings, and then eating as many fried clams stuffed in a soft white bun with some tartar sauce as you possibly can. Hello, swimsuit season!


Credit: Flickr/Phil Denton

Hot Brown

The Brown Hotel
Louisville, KY
It only makes sense that this open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich that’s topped with cheesy Béchamel sauce was originally made as a late-night snack. Bonus points if you eat it after the Derby.

The House-Made Mozzarella

Pane Bianco
Phoenix, AZ
Chris Bianco is famous for basically inventing the new age of artisanal pizza. So just imagine what he can do with freshly baked focaccia from a wood-fired oven, house-made mozzarella, local tomatoes, and basil. Hint: good stuff.

29 Places In The U.S. Every Beer Lover Must Visit

Buddha29 Places In The U.S. Every Beer Lover Must Visit

Road trip, anyone?

Lauren Paul
BuzzFeed Staff

1. Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE

Since 1995, Dogfish has been giving beer lovers a reason to stop in Delaware. The beer that taught you how many minutes it takes to the perfect IPA, Dogfish is always churning out inventive one-offs with gorgeous labels, like a beer once brewed in China 9,000 years ago.

2. Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

What started as a one-man operation has become the symbol for Maine brewing. Famous for the Belgian influence in its beers, the brewery has regular tours and tastings of its most beloved and first beer, the Allagash White.

3. Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY

Turns out upstate NY is the ideal cross-section for great hops and water wells: In other words, the perfect conditions for brewing. Ommegang offers Belgian snacks for pairing at the brewery and did we mention they have a GAME OF THRONES BEER?

4. Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Baltimore, MD

Visit Stillwater’s recently opened and already adored brewpub in Baltimore and down a few pints of their “postmodern” Classique. Also keep your eyes peeled for the Sensory Series of beers, for which Stillwater works with bands to create beers based on their songs.

5. Magic Hat Brewing Company, Burlington, VT

When a beer company refers to their stuff as “elixirs,” you know you’re in the right place. Their Vermont brewery is a total funhouse known as the Artifactory, with 48 taps flowing and free tours year round.

6. Samuel Adams Boston Beer Company, Boston, MA

Watch the brewers in action at the original Boston Beer Company, or even learn to master the perfect pour into Sam’s signature lager glass.

7. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Charlotte, NC

With an Instagram full of yoga poses and crawfish, you know Olde Meck is the place to go for a good, chill time. But they take their authenticity seriously, with a brauhaus that reflects their strict adherence to old German brewing laws.

8. SweetWater Brewing Company, Atlanta, GA

Due to high demand, SweetWater recently expanded production to a 250-barrel brewhouse. In ATL, you can catch a glimpse of their upcoming sour beers fermenting away in wine barrels, which won’t be ready until their 18th anniversary.

9. Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, LA

If all you know about Abita is their Purple Haze, you need to visit this small brewery just outside The Big Easy. You can even give back with their Restoration Ale, which sends proceeds to Hurricane Katrina recovery.

10. Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Lexington, VA

Tour the quaint brewery that produces the Vienna Lager, a 2012 World Beer Cup Gold Medal winner, 2012 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winner and 2009 Great American Beer Festival Silver Medal winner.

11. Cigar City Brewing Company, Tampa, FL

This Florida operation has two goals: make world’s best beer and share the culture and heritage of “the Cigar City of Tampa.” This brewery is chockfull of Cuban-influenced beer and food, and welcomes all to try the deliciousness.

12. Jester King Brewery, Austin, TX

Visit this authentic farmhouse brewery and tasting room in the heart of Texas Hill Country. With truly seasonal options and a beer historian on staff, Jester King is bringing authentic European brewing stateside.

13. Prairie Artisan Ales, Tulsa, OK

From Oklahoma with love, Prairie specializes in farmhouse ales and sour wheat beers. Founded by two brothers, this brewery is only open on scheduled tour days, so check in advance.

14. La Cumbre Brewing, Albuquerque, NM

The Elevated IPA, winner of the Great American Beer Festival’s gold medal, is reason enough to stop by this brewery. If you need more convincing, the live music and food trucks at the taproom should do the trick.

15. Surly Brewing Company, Brooklyn Center, MN

Brewed to the soundtrack of “heavy f***ing METAL,” Surly beers are as tough as the name suggests. But they’ve got a soft side too, donating beer and swag to charitable events to give back to the community that clearly loves them.

16. Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, OH

Brewed and bottled in Ohio’s first microbrewery, Great Lakes is famous for its Dortmunder-style beer originally named “The Heisman.”

17. Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI

Bell’s Brewery is all about big flavor in small batches. They currently has more than 20 brews for distribution, and the brewery has a general store with beer-to-go, as well as home brewing supplies to get you started on the noble craft path.

18. New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus, WI

This mom-and-pop brewery is also the first to be founded by a woman in the US, Deborah Carey, who raised the money to start the brewery as a gift to her husband and brewmaster, Dan. Awwww!

19. Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN

Three Floyds is a family operation that has expanded with high demand. But since they can’t ship outside of their distribution area, you’ll have to make the trek for these decidedly “not normal” beers, like the Zombie Dust pale ale.

20. Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis, MO

A super young microbrewery, Perennial’s small batches of American- and Belgian-style beers are fresh takes on old favorites. Pair their award-winning Abraxas with their delicious gourmet and ever-changing food at the tasting room.

21. Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, MI

Founders uses the taproom at their brewery as a testing ground for new and exciting flavors, so come thirsty and ready for anything. With six World Cup Beer medals under their belt, you’re sure to taste something award-winning.

22. Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, CA

As the first craft brewery in America and more than a century old, this brewery is the literal anchor of the West Coast beer scene. Visit their traditional copper brewhouse and sample the trademark Anchor Steam Beer, a beer that uses San Fran’s foggy weather to the brewer’s advantage.

23. New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

Come frolic in the mountains and meadows at the New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins. There’s always a fun event going down, from live story-telling to impromptu art shows (and, of course, tastings).

24. Elysian Brewing Company, Seattle, WA

A brewery that values variety, you can check out the Elysian brewery or one of their four restaurants and bars all without leaving Seattle. Stop by Elysian Bar for Taster Tuesdays, or sit down to a meal at Tangletown.

25. Rogue Ales & Spirits, Portland, OR

Founded by two fraternity brothers, Rogue is all about their creed, and it has served them well. Their cool bottles even include tasting notes, ingredients, and food pairings on the labels, so you’ll be a beer expert in no time.

26. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA

One of the bigger craft beer producers, the Sierra Nevada homebase brewery in CA has tours for everyone from beer geeks to those just here for the tasting. You can even enter a contest to go away to Beer Camp!

27. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, CA

This creative brewery is a big fan of experimentation and extending ‘limited’ editions. Their beers are meant to connect with other souls, so go on and find your soulmate at their free brewery tours and tastings.

28. Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

Odell is all about experimentation, and has a “playground” for its brewers to go wild. They even let you sample these concoctions exclusively in the taproom, along with trusted favorites and yummy food.

29. Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK

Sustainably brewed and bottled in Alaska, you can visit the warehouse brewery or stop by the brewing depot to for some beer and gear to go.

Sultans Of Swing: The Untold Story Of Dire Straits Features / Paul Rees

Why the biggest-selling British rock band of the 80s deserve to be rescued from the dustbin of history.

At 10.10pm on October 9, 1992, Mark Knopfler bid goodnight to 40,000 people and walked off stage in Zaragoza, Spain. It was the last time he did so as the singer, guitarist and undisputed leader of Dire Straits. It brought to an end a 15-year journey during which time the band had risen from the pubs and sweaty clubs of London to the very biggest stages in the world.

The simple facts are these: Knopfler formed Dire Straits in London in 1977 with his younger brother David on rhythm guitar, John Illsley on bass and Pick Withers on drums. Emerging from the city’s fertile pub-rock scene at the dawn of the punk era, they were an overnight sensation. The white-hot success of their first single, Sultans Of Swing, and self-titled debut album was founded on the elder Knopfler’s fluid, finger-picked guitar style, which sounded as lovely as a bubbling stream. Theirs was no fleeting moment, either, with three more hit records following before they reached their apogee on their fifth studio album, Brothers In Arms.

That record was unstoppable from the moment of its release in May 1985. It made Dire Straits superstars, but it also warped the popular perception of both Knopfler and his band. Dire Straits became a byword for a certain sort of safe, homogenised music, and Knopfler was turned into a caricature of the middle-aged rocker, with jacket sleeves rolled up and wearing a headband.

What was forgotten in the wake of its stellar success was just how striking and sometimes radical Dire Straits had seemed from their inception. The bare-boned economy of Knopfler’s songs and his dizzying guitar fills were a breath of clean air amid the lumbering rock dinosaurs and one-dimensional punk thrashers of the late 70s. He was peerless as craftsman and virtuoso, able to plug into rock’s classic lineage and bend it to sometimes wild forms. He wrote terrific songs, too: from Sultans Of Swing to Romeo And Juliet, Tunnel Of Love to Private Investigations. These were taut mini-dramas of dark depths and dazzling melodic and lyrical flourishes. In quick time Knopfler was fêted by the rock aristocracy. Bob Dylan invited him to be his band leader and producer, and a parade of other icons also beat a path to Knopfler’s door, among them Phil Lynott, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Tina Turner.

It would be hard to conjure a less likely rock star than Knopfler. Balding and outwardly taciturn, he seemed born to the role of sideman. Yet his formidable talent was yoked to an iron will. He drove Dire Straits on, expanding their boundaries right up to the point Brothers In Arms became too all-consuming to contain. It wasn’t even as if he had contrived to make a blockbuster. In large part it was hushed and melancholy, a sigh rather than a roar. But it was damned by having its signature single explode out of context. At its core, Money For Nothing was an old-school boogie, but a dash of studio polish, Sting’s mannered backing vocal and a computer-generated promo video were enough to turn it, and Dire Straits themselves, into the very embodiment of 80s naff.

Small wonder that Knopfler once told Rolling Stone: “Success I adore. It means I can buy 1959 Gibson Les Pauls and Triumph motorcycles. But I detest fame. It interferes with what you do and has no redeeming features at all.”

Mark Knopfler was born into a middle-class household in Glasgow in 1949. His brother and future Dire Straits bandmate David followed three years later. Their father was an architect expelled from his native Hungary on account of his firebrand socialism. When the family moved to Newcastle in the 50s their English mother became a headmistress, and both boys attended a local grammar school in Gosforth.

Music was a fact of life in the Knopfler house. The brothers latched on to Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and, later, The Shadows. Hearing the latter, and in particular their bespectacled lead guitarist Hank Marvin, opened up a future filled with possibilities for Mark Knopfler. He traced the arc of Marvin’s distinctive sound back to American wizards like Chet Atkins, Elvis’s guitar slingers Scotty Moore and James Burton, and blues greats such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf. At 15 he persuaded his father to buy him his first guitar, a £50 copy of Marvin’s red Stratocaster. Soon he’d taught himself the basics and was playing in school bands and on the city’s club circuit. Brother David followed suit, performing at working men’s clubs in a folk duo.

“On one hand our parents were horrified that we wanted to make a career of pop music,” David Knopfler says now. “On the other they had a liberal bias for letting us follow our own path. But they would have preferred us to be architects or lawyers, not ‘My son the unemployed strummer’.”

Mark was first to flee the nest, when he got a job as a cub reporter on the Yorkshire Evening Post in Leeds. One of his first tasks for the paper was to write Jimi Hendrix’s obituary in September 1970, handed to him on account of him being the only person in the office young enough to know who Hendrix was. Another was to interview a local blues guitarist, Steve Phillips. The two of them hit it off and began performing together as an acoustic duo called Duolian Stringpickers, and spent the next few years playing gigs in the north-east.

“Mark was already a very capable guitarist at eighteen or nineteen, way above the norm,” notes Steve Phillips. “But he hadn’t developed his own style. He was far more withdrawn then as well. He didn’t have the confidence he acquired later as a musician, and didn’t see himself as a singer at all. His idea was that he would be the guitar player behind somebody else.”

During that time Knopfler left the paper to take a degree in English at Leeds University, and married his school sweetheart, Kathy White. As soon as he graduated in 1973 Knopfler headed for London. He answered a classified ad in the Melody Maker to join jobbing pub-rock band Brewers Droop. The group had a record deal with RCA but were in the process of falling apart. Two months later Knopfler was out of a job, destitute and newly divorced, the move to London having brought about the end of his marriage. He returned to Newcastle. Later he took a post as an English lecturer at Loughton College in Essex, and put together his own pub-rock band, the Café Racers.

The teaching job gave Knopfler a lifeline and disposable income. He bought a motorbike and his dad’s car, allowing him to transport his growing collection of guitars from one pub gig to the next. In 1976 he struck out on his own on a trip to America, travelling the country on a Greyhound bus and starting work on what would become Dire Straits’ first set of songs.

At the same time, David Knopfler moved to London to work as a social worker in Deptford, a down-at-heel neighbourhood south of the Thames. He moved into a council flat shared with 26-year-old John Illsley, a bass player who’d grown up in rural Leicestershire and was then studying sociology at nearby Goldsmith’s College. The senior Knopfler became a regular visitor to the flat, bringing along his guitar for jamming sessions that took off after last orders at the pub.

“We got along well from the start,” Illsley recounts now. “I did a couple of gigs with Mark’s band because the bass player’s girlfriend was having a baby. After that we were sat in the pub one night and decided to start our own band. There was always a strong consensus between Mark and me about how things should be. We rarely disagreed about anything.”

Knopfler introduced his brother and Illsley to Pick Withers, a propulsive drummer he’d first met while doing an aborted session with Rod Clements of Lindisfarne. The four of them began rehearsing together in the poky flat, padding the walls and trusting to the benevolence of the neighbours.

“We didn’t talk about it, we just got on with it and it evolved,” says David Knopfler (below, with Mark). “But then I think both Mark and I had a different vision of what we were up to. I was building a democracy, and Mark was making an autocracy.”

It was Pick Withers, the only member of the fledgling band without a day job, who suggested the name Dire Straits. The newly christened four-piece played their first gig together in the summer of 1977. It was at a makeshift festival that took place on a patch of grass out the back of the Deptford council block, and they ran a power cable from their flat to the small stage. Illsley recalls sharing the bill that afternoon with a bunch of snarling punk bands, though in fact it was the more approachable Squeeze who headlined.

Using £500 Illsley had inherited from his grandmother, the band cut a demo at the tiny Pathway Studios in north London. Among the five Mark Knopfler originals on the tape were Sultans Of Swing, a loose-limbed account of watching a hapless jazz combo flailing in a London pub, and a languorous shuffle titled Down To The Waterline. Lyrically evocative, beautifully played and sung by Knopfler in a laconic drawl, the tracks sounded fresh and different. DJ and rock historian Charlie Gillett got hold of the tape and began airing it, alerting Phonogram Records A&R man John Stainze, a rockabilly buff who snapped the band up to the major label.

Stainze reached out to a booking agent contact of his, Ed Bicknell, inviting him along to see his new band playing at the Dingwalls club in Camden. Bicknell had taken his first steps into the music business at Hull University in the 60s, where as social secretary he booked gigs by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd before joining the prestigious NEMS agency that handled such heavyweight clients as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Elton John. Fortuitously, Bicknell too had had his road-to-Damascus moment with music through The Shadows.

“I listened to two songs that night and turned to John and said: ‘He’s got a red Stratocaster like Hank Marvin’s. Who’s managing this group?’” Bicknell recalls. “If Mark would have had a blue Gibson I’d have walked out, but he encapsulated everything that was my dream. I remember I was wearing a long suede coat with a nylon fur collar that night. When I went into the dressing room to meet the band, the hem of the coat caught the red Stratocaster and knocked it off its stand to the floor. That went down like a lead balloon.”

Bicknell cemented his credentials by booking the band onto a 23-date UK tour with Talking Heads in December 1977. By the end of it he was their manager and within two months Dire Straits were recording their first album at Island Records’ Basing Street studios with producer Muff Winwood, elder brother of Stevie and former bassist with the Spencer Davies Group.

“Or Spluff Windbag, as we called him,” says Bicknell, laughing. “He pretty much recorded a live record but without the audience. It cost £12,500, including the sleeve, and it sold eight million within nine months of coming out. We were reeling: ‘Fuck me. What’s happening?’”

The Dire Straits album was released in October 1978. At a point when such second-generation punk and new-wave acts as The Jam, Boomtown Rats and Generation X were making an impression, it stood apart. Knopfler’s songs were characterised by the intricacies of his guitar playing, the rolling gait of the band’s rhythms and by their open spaces, as uncluttered as prairie lands. It was a rich musical terrain that drew comparisons with Dylan, JJ Cale and Ry Cooder. But in spirit it was closest to another great record released that year, Bruce Springsteen’s symphony to the working man, Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Like that record it had the same connection to time and place. In Dire Straits’ case this was to the back streets of Newcastle and the bright lights of London, with Knopfler narrating his journey from one city to the other.

It was a success from the off, going Top 10 all across Europe. When it was released in America six months later it vaulted to No.2 on the Billboard chart. The band drove themselves around the States on their first tour of the country at the start of 1979. Dylan came to see their show in LA, popping backstage afterwards to ask Knopfler to play on his next album, Slow Train Coming. Knopfler, who had seen Dylan at Newcastle City Hall on his first electric tour in 1966, would later recall hiring an open-top convertible and driving down Santa Monica Boulevard to the session, getting sunburnt on route and thinking to himself: “This is it.”

“Mark was our standard bearer and ticket to being exceptional rather than merely good,” acknowledges David Knopfler. “He was actually rather humble at that point – hard for me to imagine now. John Illsley and I pretty much dragged him to the altar all the way.”

Before they even got to America, the band’s UK record company hurried them for a follow-up record, winging them out to the Bahamas to make Communique with producer and impresario Jerry Wexler, the man who had signed Led Zeppelin and recorded Ray Charles. Wexler smoothed the rougher edges of their sound. The album was rushed out less than a year after their debut, to a cooler response and slower sales. In retrospect it sounds like a logical step forward: Wexler’s sheen bringing Knopfler’s textured melodies into sharper focus, heard to best effect on Once Upon A Time In The West and the quick-stepping Lady Writer, each as coolly embracing as a Bahamian sunset.

As their whirlwind schedule intensified, the first strains began to show. Tensions within the band were brewing, intensified by the claustrophobia engendered by being constantly on the road or in the studio, and arising most damagingly between the two brothers.

“Everything put a strain on us,” says David Knopfler. “It was just through being exhausted: drinking too much every night, partying and wrecking your physical and mental health in the way that rock bands did then to excess.”

“Nobody involved is prepared for success like that,” adds Bicknell. “Everything changes, of course, but you stay the same. You’re probably still in your horrible little flat eating bacon sandwiches because none of the money has flowed through. Or if it has, you’re so terrified of it that you don’t spend anything, which is what happened with us. You think the tax man is going to take it away or that this is going to stop tomorrow.”

Bicknell suggests that the tension between the Knopflers ran deeper than Dire Straits. “David’s problem was he thought that the band should be a democracy, and it was more like a brutal dictatorship – as far as he was concerned. The issues between him and Mark, which for public consumption have been packaged up as musical issues, they weren’t. As John Illsley said to me at the time: ‘This has been going on since David was born.’ I’m stating the obvious, but David was in the group because he was Mark’s brother, not because he was the greatest rhythm guitarist that Mark could have found.”

John Illsley and I meet at a coffee shop in Notting Hill on a bright spring morning. The moment he walks through the door, Dire Straits’ 1980 hit Romeo And Juliet begins playing on the radio. Illsley smiles at the coincidence and suggests – entirely accurately – that the 35-year-old song sounds as if it had been made just yesterday.

At the time of its release it represented a crossing of the Rubicon for Mark Knopfler as a songwriter and for the band in general. Knopfler always was a prolific writer, but as he approached Dire Straits’ third album he had new horizons in mind. He envisioned the band’s sound being enhanced by keyboards, and of this freeing him to explore more complex terrain. Romeo And Juliet was the first signpost to his intentions: a near six-minute roller-coaster ride rumbling through the wreckage of a shattered love affair.

“I remember him coming into the office and playing it to me for the first time,” says Ed Bicknell. “I didn’t know what to say: I just sat and stared at the ground in complete disbelief. By then Mark had cottoned on that this was his group and he edged himself into pole position.”

The act of Knopfler conclusively seizing control would have been provocative enough, but it was exacerbated by other issues bubbling to the surface as the band gathered in New York to record their third album, Making Movies. According to Bicknell, three years of constant work had left them in a parlous state. It transpired that Romeo And Juliet was drawn from very personal experience.

“There were issues with various band members that related mostly to the girls in their lives and were calamitous,” says Bicknell. “We went into that record off the back of three out of four of them going through break-ups. Certain people also didn’t like certain people. It got very fractious. I thought the band was about to break up.”

To begin with, nothing was helped by them being in the studio with producer Jimmy Iovine. A brash New Yorker just off the back of making hit records with Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, Iovine had a painstaking way of working; the first week of recording was spent attempting to get the perfect drum sound. In this hothouse atmosphere the Knopflers were soon at each other’s throats.

“Before we started recording, Jimmy took Mark to watch a Springsteen session and his jaw was on the floor,” says David Knopfler. “Everyone was calling Springsteen ‘Boss’ and he completely called the shots. But Bruce had spent thirty years learning to be boss and he’s very good at it. Mark had not long come from being a college lecturer and hadn’t been schooled in people skills.

By that point the Knopflers’ relationship was as bad as it could be. “By the time of Making Movies he was king,” recalls David. “But he was the bloke I’d shared a bedroom with. How could I be deferential to him?”

When the blow-up came it was swift and brutal. The brothers had an explosive argument and David Knopfler quit. He returned to the UK, where he would begin a solo career. Three years later his elder brother guested on his debut solo album, but the two of them were estranged.

“David’s going wasn’t nice but it was absolutely inevitable,” says Ed Bicknell, who says that same issue of control led to Pick Withers’s departure within two years. “Mark’s got a strong personality and he’s very determined, and quite ruthless. But you need to be ruthless if you’re going to climb the greasy pole, and democracy in groups never, ever works.”

With David Knopfler gone, the pace of recording picked up and Making Movies took shape. Iovine brought in Springsteen’s E Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, and his heart-stopping fills gave wings to another epic, Tunnel Of Love, on which Knopfler located the sweet spot between the E Street Band’s hulking engine and Dylan’s rolling thunder. Hearing the track come into being, says Bicknell, “it felt like a jet plane taking off”.

A glut of boldly ambitious records came out in 1980 – Springsteen’s The River, John Lennon’s Double Fantasy, Sandinista! by the Clash and Talking Heads’ Remain In Light to name but four. Making Movies stood at least shoulder to shoulder with each of them. Fired by the extra dimension Bittan brought into play, Knopfler subverted his guitar to the songs, and in doing so extracted from them greater heft and a new-found emotional resonance. Romeo And Juliet and Tunnel Of Love initially towered over the rest, but repeated listening revealed more jewels in Solid Rock, Espresso Love and the surging ballad Hand In Hand.

For the ensuing tour Knopfler brought in American guitarist Hal Lindes to fill his brother’s shoes and fellow Geordie Alan Clark on keyboards. Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan were among those turning out to pay their respects at one triumphal show at the Roxy on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip.

As the 80s unwound Mark Knopfler was like a man released. He wrote a thoroughly fitting soundtrack for the bittersweet British film Local Hero, produced Dylan’s Infidels album and, in 1982, reconvened Dire Straits for the grandiose Love Over Gold. That album featured just five songs – all of them long and involved, and two of them stone-cold classics. Fifteen-minute opener Telegraph Road was pieced together during sound-checks on the Making Movies tour and unfolded like a literary novel, documenting America’s industrial revolution. Private Investigations was even more outlandish, a somnolent musical noir that Knopfler insisted be released unedited as a seven-minute single. Remarkably it reached No.2 in the UK.

Next up was the live double Alchemy, taped on the Love Over Gold tour and showcasing a band at the peak of its powers. Free from the confines of the studio, Dire Straits were able to stretch out and take flight, nowhere more so than on Sultans Of Swing and Telegraph Road. Both were longer and far more powerful than their studio counterparts.

Knopfler saw this as the end of an era for the band. “I’d like to try something else now,” he said at the time. “It could be acoustic guitar, or it could be all brass instruments, I really don’t know.”

Perhaps least of all he anticipated making one of the defining albums of the decade.

Towards the end of 1984 Knopfler assembled a new line-up of Dire Straits in London to rehearse their next record. He appeared more single-minded and attentive to detail than ever, rigorously putting the group through their paces for a month before whisking them off to Air Studios on the Caribbean island of Montserrat to cut Brothers In Arms.

Air Studios, later razed to the ground by a hurricane, was an idyllic location, and the tranquillity of island life seemed to relax Knopfler to his task. There was an ease to much of Brothers In Arms, as if the music had seeped from his fingertips unbidden. The mood of much of it was low-key and reflective, shifting from the late-night whispers of Why Worry and Your Latest Trick to the near-whispered title track. When it was roused, as on the crashing chords of The Man’s Too Strong, the effect was that much more magnified.

Yet one of Knopfler’s new songs immediately stood out from the rest. It began with a fuzzed guitar riff that Ed Bicknell suspects was inspired by ZZ Top, and proceeded to recount verbatim a rant at MTV that Knopfler had overheard a deliveryman making in an electrical goods store in New York. Sting added his distinctive vocals to the intro section of the track – singing the single sorrowful refrain: ‘I want my MTV.’

“Sting used to come to Montserrat to go windsurfing, and he came up for supper at the studio,” says John Illsley. “We played him Money For Nothing and he turned round and said: ‘You’ve done it this time, you bastards.’ Mark said if he thought it was so good why didn’t he go and add something to it. He did his bit there and then.”

Knopfler had another song, the gambolling boogie Walk Of Life, set aside as a B-side, until Ed Bicknell happened upon it while it was being mixed and persuaded him to include it on the album at the last minute. In the event it was an even bigger-selling single than Money For Nothing.

Upon its release, Brothers In Arms met with lukewarm reviews, but it arrived at precisely the right time. MTV was about to launch in the UK, and the music station leapt upon the animated promo for Money For Nothing, choosing it as the first video to be aired on the channel. The compact disc had also arrived, and Brothers In Arms’ exquisite production was tailor-made for the new format. The album sold more than a million copies on CD alone, taking Dire Straits to a new generation of consumers who saw music a status symbol. It took up a four-year residency in the UK chart and spent nine weeks at No.1 in the US, elevating Knopfler and his band to the top table of 80s megastardom alongside Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna.

In its wake, Dire Straits set off on an 18-month world tour that took in 247 sold-out stadium and arena shows in 100 cities. By the end of it the endless attention and the sheer weight of numbers had lost all meaning for the band members, and for Mark Knopfler most of all.

“I would do a report for them every week which was then shoved under each of their hotel room doors,” says Ed Bicknell. “It would give world chart positions, and album and singles sales figures. I’m absolutely sure in my own mind that Mark would take his copy and put it straight in the bin.”

After Brothers In Arms Knopfler retreated from the spotlight for the best part of five years, but was eventually tempted back. In 1991 he gathered Dire Straits once more, for the On Every Street album. It sounded worn and tired, but still racked up 10 million sales. They embarked on another mammoth tour on the back of it, playing close to 300 shows in two years. It was a vast undertaking and also a ruinous one. Knopfler’s second marriage disintegrated, and he recoiled from the dehumanising nature of existing on such a grand scale. It was all over after that last gig in Zaragoza, but he formally laid the band to rest in 1996 and has barely spoken of them since.

“The last tour was utter misery,” says Ed Bicknell. “Whatever the zeitgeist was that we had been part of, it had passed.”

“Mark and I agreed that was enough,” recalls John Illsey. “Personal relationships were in trouble and it put a terrible strain on everybody emotionally and physically. We were changed by it. Neither of us wants to go back to those days. Mark described it to me just the other day as being too much ‘white light’ – too much in the spotlight, and he was never very comfortable with that.”

With the band laid to rest, John Illsley settled down to indulge his love of painting and is currently preparing an exhibition of his work in London. He also continues to record and tour with his own band. Ed Bicknell managed Mark Knopfler for several years after the split but has now retired.

Having run his race with Dire Straits, Knopfler has since contented himself in a quieter, more comfortable niche – composing soundtracks, collaborating with the likes of Chet Atkins and Emmylou Harris, and making a succession of roots-based solo albums, of which the latest, and possibly best, is this year’s Tracker. He was married for the third time, to actress Kitty Aldridge in 1997, and continues to indulge his lifelong passion for motorbikes and collecting classic cars. He and his brother are still not speaking.

“I spent a lot of time doing therapy and dealing with my issues and ghosts and demons,” says David Knopfler. “Maybe Mark has too. I don’t know what he does. Of course, it casts a huge shadow on both our lives and on our families. We’ve got cousins who don’t know each other.”

Ed Bicknell says that people ask him regularly when Dire Straits are going to get back together. His answer remains the same.

“I tell them the same thing: why would they? None of them needs the money. Peter Grant once said to me: ‘When you’ve had an experience like I had with Led Zeppelin and you had with Dire Straits, there is no point trying to reproduce it.’ And he was exactly right. That was the one.”

Canadian Town Might Change ‘Land Of Rape And Honey’ Motto

TISDALE, SK – A small town on the Canadian prairies is considering tweaking the motto it’s proudly carried for more than half a century: “The Land of Rape and Honey.”

It’s important, very important, to acknowledge that the slogan has nothing to do with sexual assault. It’s actually referring to rapeseed, a less-refined version of the modern canola crop. But the town’s motto has raised eyebrows over the years, since “canola precursor” isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind when one mentions “rape.” The second part of the slogan is pretty straightforward: Tisdale is known for producing honey as well as rapeseed.

Earlier versions of the town’s sign

Canadian Town Might Change 'Land Of Rape And Honey' Motto
via CBC
Canadian Town Might Change 'Land Of Rape And Honey' Motto
via fjcdn

The town of 3,200 has had the slogan since 1958. Town mayor Al Jellicoe told the Toronto Star that his office fields a couple of complaints over the slogan every year. He added that residents often need to clarify the meaning of the slogan to outsiders:

“Once you explain, it eases things up a bit. But when you’re trying to deal internationally or nationally – I don’t want to do that every time we entice a business to the area.”

Tisdale is holding a referendum for its residents on whether the motto should stay or go. The last time such a debate was held, back in 1992, the vote was split and the motto stayed.

A field of rapeseed

Canadian Town Might Change 'Land Of Rape And Honey' Motto
via Wikimedia Commons/Vincent van Zeijst

The new survey notes that rapeseed production now accounts for a tiny percentage of crops produced in the region, and that honey production has also dropped. Alternative mottos suggested in the survey include “Hub of the Northeast,” “A Place to Grow,” “A Place to Bee” (get it?) and “Land of Canola and Honey.” Jellicoe says he’d like to see the town go with the slogan “The Land of Rapeseed and Honey Bees,” which is pretty much the same as the current motto.

If Tisdale officials are looking for inspiration, there’s more to their town than just rape and honey. The town boasts the largest 7-Eleven in all of Canada (by floor space).


Canadian Town Might Change 'Land Of Rape And Honey' Motto
via Google Maps

Not impressed? Me neither, but there’s still more. Tisdale’s slogan was borrowed by industrial metal band Ministry for their 1988 album The Land of Rape and Honey, which climbed as high as 164th on the Billboard Top 200 list. The town also boasts a roadside attraction billed as “The World’s Largest Honey Bee,” though there’s actually a bigger roadside honey bee in neighboring Alberta.

Main Image Source: Warosu

Lies from a Labor and Delivery Nurse

Lies from a Labor and Delivery Nurse

Posted  by in Nurse Stories

Stories - Carla Dino ScrubsYou’re 9cm. Ok, you might really be complete and +1. But trust me, five minutes of pushing feels like an hour and I’m really doing both of us a favor.  Labor down!

No, you aren’t pooping when you push. We’re just trying not to talk. Or breathe. But rest assured, we’ll clean it up as quick as we can, because we know that other people in the room may not have a poker face as good as ours. And if  you do realize you’re pooping, we’ll pull out that old preschool saying and tell you that everyone poops.

That’s a big baby for youReally, you may have just been a bad pusher. Don’t feel bad, sometimes those epidurals can numb everything right up.

Yes, that was a big contraction. Trust me sister, if you’re talking about how ‘big’ the contraction is, it wasn’t that big. Wait until you want to punch someone in the face for looking at you the wrong way. And p.s., external monitors can’t tell us how “strong” your contractions are, they just basically tell us when you’re having one. We can only really tell how hard your contractions are by putting our hands on your belly.

I never miss an IV. Uhhh, I miss IVs all the time. I’m pretty good, but sometimes veins roll, sometimes they’re flat, sometimes they’re deep, and sometimes I just miss. Sometimes you barely touch them with the IV catheter and they blow. All I know is, I will find a way to make it not my fault…Ohhh, you’re veins are so tiny. Are you a smoker? Do you drink enough water? I told you not to move.

You are my only patient. If we’re taking care of you, we’re also taking care of your baby, and they count as a patient too. On top of that, labor nurses have to “watch” everyone else’s patients. All the time. Because if any baby crashes, everyone has to be prepared to help out —minutes matter.

We’re wearing this mask when you get an epidural because we want to minimize the risk of you getting an infection. Really, your breath just stinks. Most places don’t make us wear a mask if we’re standing in front of you and not behind you, where all the action is happening.  One word: halitosis. Not everyone has stinky breath, but usually that’s the last thing on your mind when you’ve been laboring all night. I get it! I’m just still going to wear my mask.

We’re doing a perineal wash with Hibiclens when you’re admitted because that’s just what we do.  Or we may not be able to handle the smell. On a better note, we will not remember what your vagina looked like/smelled like/felt like 5 seconds after walking out of your room. Guaranteed.

No, I don’t think it’s weird that you want your brother or dad in your room when you deliver.  To each their own…but seriously, this is a little strange.  And by the way, they never stay at the head of the bed…

You have my favorite provider. You might have our favorite provider, but you might have one that we think is a complete prick. We’ll still tell you they’re our favorite provider because they’re your provider. But as your labor nurse, regardless if we like your provider or not, we will fight for anything that we think is right for you. We’re like lawyers that way.

I love your baby’s name. In my head, I’m screaming WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!? In fact, if I really don’t like your baby’s name, I’ll literally try to say it 100 times before you deliver, hoping that you’ll hear it and realize how crazy it sounds.

Press the call-light if you need anything. What we really mean to say is, press the call-light if you need anything important. And if you need anything that anyone else in your room can help you with, ask them first.  I’m just saying there are ten people in your room that can get you more ice.  Just throwing that out there.

I’m not sick, it’s just allergies.  Ok, I might be sick. All I know is, I’m not dying and I don’t have a fever greater than 101. I just don’t want to leave my coworkers in a bind. And I don’t have any more PTO. And if I call in one more time I might get fired…

I can’t stay to deliver you because I have to pick up my daughter from her babysitter. What I really mean to say is that if I come home late from work one more day this week, my husband might divorce me and my daughter may stop calling me mom. But I do wish I could be there for your delivery.  Just not that bad.

There’s no more pain after you deliver the baby.  This is something we say to give you a little extra urge to push when it counts the most.  And although it’s true that the pain you will have after you deliver a baby vaginally is nothing compared to the pain you feel when you are actually trying to push that baby out, it’s still a baby, coming out of your vagina. It’s going to be a little sore! But again, it will be nothing like it was when you were actually pushing.  And don’t get me started on cesarean deliveries…

I talk to your provider all day long.  Okay, we called them when you got here, and we’ll call them again when your baby is crowning. If I had to call them at any other time between those two events, it was to report something that wasn’t going too well.

It’s okay that you screamed at us/tried to hit us/acted like a complete psycho during labor.  We were really gritting our teeth while we tried to calm down the crazy, and depending on your level of craziness, we may have even talked about you in the lounge. But trust me, you weren’t the first and you will not be the last, so don’t sweat it (we don’t!).  And, it gives us all something to laugh about.

Until my next delivery.

p.s. Labor nurses love their patients! That’s the only reason we can keep doing it day after day.  MUCH love to all my patients out there…even the ones that have bit me, kicked me, or called me names

Shelly Lopez Gray is the author of Adventures of a Labor and Delivery Nurse


Miley Cyrus – Miley Cryus bares breasts in tribute to Joan Jett

Miley Cyrus – Miley Cryus bares breasts in tribute to Joan Jett
By Bang Showbiz in Lifestyle
Miley Cyrus paid tribute to singer Joan Jett as she was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night by baring her breasts and covering her nipples with pink hearts adorned with the star’s initials.

Miley Cyrus bared her breasts in tribute to Joan Jett as she inducted the singer in miley_cyrus_919438to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The ‘Wrecking Ball’ hitmaker arrived at the prestigious ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio last night (18.04.15) wearing revealing black dungarees and pink heart shaped nipple covers adorned with the legendary singer’s initials to welcome her band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts into the club.

Miley – who also sported unshaved armpits – gushed over Joan as she took to the stage and recalled an encounter between herself and the 56-year-old star.

She said: ”We were in her bathroom, and we were smoking and just talking, and this was one of the moments in my life where I wanted to be as present and absorb everything that she said to me.

”I listened to her talk about her days with the Runaways. She talked about music… I was getting to have this moment with someone that, to me, is superwoman. What superwoman really should be.”

Miley, 22, also took to her Instagram account before the event where she posted a photograph of herself in the controversial attire, which she captioned: ”Joan’s cheerleader”.

The singer also performed at the 30th annual induction ceremony where Beatles drummer Ringo Starr become the last member of the iconic group to be welcomed into the club.

His former bandmate Paul McCartney, 72, was given the ”great honour” of inducting the star whom he later performed with alongside Green Day at the bash.

Paul said as he welcomed Ringo – whose real name is Richard Starkey – onto the stage: ”You don’t have to look with Ringo. He’s there. It’s a great honour for me to ‘induce’ him… oh, induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Cleveland tonight.”

Also honoured during the ceremony was the late singer Lou Reed, Green Day, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bill Withers, guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble and The ”5” Royales.



Secret medical slang: Are doctors making fun of you behind your back?

BuddhaWhat do you think about this?


Do you know what chandelier syndrome is? What about Acute Dilaudid Deficiency? Doctor-speak is so complicated and technical that it’s difficult to track what they’re saying to each other. But mixed in with actual medical jargon, your healthcare workers could be sharing a joke at your expense.


Author and Emergency room physician Brian Goldman has released a new book called “The Secret Language of Doctors,” and it details all the slang and other jargon that doctors and nurses use.


Have you heard any of these terms before? Here are just a few of them, according to Goldman:


Chandelier syndrome: When a patient jumps after feeling a cold stethoscope.

Frequent fliers: These are people who show up at the emergency room again and again, even for non-emergency complaints, potentially because they have nowhere else to receive care.



The bunker: This is where medical students, residents, and attending physicians meet behind closed doors to talk.

Monkey jacket: A hospital gown.

Peek-and-shriek: An operation in which a surgeon opened a patient’s belly to find something unexpected, like cancer, and quickly it stitched up again.

Cowboys: Surgeons may be called “cowboys” to imply they operate first and think later.

Plumbers: Urologists.

Gas passers: Anesthesiologists.

Discharged Up: After stopping resuscitation efforts, a patient may be “discharged up,” “discharged to heaven.”

In the departure lounge: Someone who is dying but still holding onto life.
Circling the drain: A patient that can’t be saved and is near death.

FLK: Funny-looking kid, referring to the facial characteristics of a child.

Curly toes: Often referred to as homeless people because of the condition of their feet and toenails.

Nonpayoma or a negative wallet biopsy: Those without insurance.

Incarceritis: The condition of a prisoner who fakes an illness to go to the hospital. If that prisoner is looking for drugs to peddle later to their cellmates, they may have ADD—not attention deficit disorder, but “Acute Dilaudid Deficiency,” with Dilaudid being one of the strongest prescription narcotics.

Status dramaticus: Stressed-out patients who believe they’re extremely sick or dying but actually aren’t.

Whiney primey: A pregnant woman who keeps returning to the hospital because she thinks she’s in labor but isn’t.



Former Runaway says organisation should be doing more to honour female artists

3546-3546-2Joan Jett says she wants to see more women in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The former Runaways guitarist will be inducted at this year’s ceremony in Cleveland on April 18 but has called upon organisers to do more to highlight the contribution of female musicians.

She tells Billboard: “There should be more women in the Hall Of Fame, and more women in rock. They’re out there, they just don’t get the notice the pop girls do.

“Go to any city and there’s an all-girl rock band – it’s just a matter of society wanting to hear that kind of music. But people’s tastes change, so you have to do what you love and hope other people love it too.”

A 2011 report showed that only 10% of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame members were women. Jett is the only woman to make the shortlist this year.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will be inducted alongside Ringo Starr, The “5” Royales, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Bill Withers.

She’ll support The Who on their upcoming run of live shows across North America, starting in Florida on April 15.



RIP to James Best — loved by millions as Roscoe P. Coltrane on “The Dukes of Hazzard”

BuddhaJames Best, better known as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” died Monday night at the age of 88, according to The Charlotte Observer.

He died from complications of pneumonia, according to a family friend.

While Best appeared in classic movies such as “The Caine Mutiny,” he is most remembered for his role as the bumbling sheriff on “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which aired from 1977 to 1985.

Best never formally retired, continuing to act in stage productions and television movie projects.

He is survived by his wife, son, daughter and three grandchildren.

An obituary was placed on the actor’s official website.


April 7, 2015 by Douglas Barclay

Robert Burns Jr dead: Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer dies in car crash aged 64

The musician was not wearing a seatbelt when he hit a tree and mailbox

Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Robert Burns Jr has died in a car crash in Georgia aged 64.

The Southern hard rock band’s founding member was killed shortly before midnight on Friday when his vehicle left the road at a bend and collided with a mailbox and a tree.

No other vehicles were involved and Burns was alone in the car. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

Georgia State Patrol spokesman James Tallent has confirmed that the accident is under investigation and as such there are no further details at this time.

Burns formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in Jacksonville, Florida with Ronnie Van Zant, Larry Junstrom, Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. He played on the band’s first two albums and was with them when hits “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Gimme Three Steps” and “Free Bird” were recorded.

Burns left the group in 1974 after becoming “exhausted by touring” but continued to perform for fun across the US. He was replaced by Artimus Pyle before Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded after the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members including singer Van Zant.

Burns’ father, Robert Burns Sr, told Fox News that his son “had the manners that would suit the King of England” and praised him for being a “very soft-spoken and extremely well-mannered person to come out of that kind of industry”.

Rossington, who helped reform Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987 with Van Zant’s brother Johnny on vocals, has posted a tribute message to Burns on his Facebook page.

“Well, today I’m at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy,” he wrote. “He used to do skits for us and make us laugh all the time, he was hilarious!

“Ironically, since we played Jacksonville yesterday, Dale, my daughter, and I went by the cemetery to see some of the guys in the band and my parents’ grave sites.

“On the way back we went by Bob Burns’ old house. It was there in the carport where we used to first start to practice with Skynyrd.

“My heart goes out to his family and God bless him and them in this sad time. He was a great, great drummer.”