Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hallelujah!



I want to live my next life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old age home feeling better every day. Then you get kicked out for being too healthy. enjoy your retirement and collect your pension. Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work 40 years until you're too young to work. You get ready for High School; drink alcohol, party, and you're generally promiscuous. Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities. Then you become a baby, and then . . You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions - central heating, room service on tap, and then . . . You finish off as an orgasm.

I rest my case

Saturday Morning May 5th



As I continue to import songs into my Itunes for my accountant, I get a chance to do some digging in the old record library. One of my big, huge musical influences is that of a cat named Wes Montgomery. One of my big purchases in life was to get what is known as "The Complete Riverside Recordings." Twelve CDs (how sick is that?)of arguably the greatest American guitar player ever. He never used a pick but had this sweet smooth style that made it sound so easy. Especially today, on a rainy Saturday morning, Wes sounds great. He died in the mid sixties from a heart attack at the age of 43. He was one of those people who would light one cigarette off of another. I had an uncle who did that. Wes was very young when he died and so was my uncle.

Alphabetically, we go from Wes Montgomery to Montrose. What a country!



So, Josh hancock was drunk, not wearing a seat belt, talking on the phone and most likely toking up. Wow! I lost a very good friend of mine back in 1976 who insisted in driving his motorcycle drunk and high. I saw him pull in front of an 18 wheeler after passing him on the highway. Eldon Stottmeister looked just like Bob Seger and died at 21. There wasn't much left of him. His mother was devastated and I will never forget how she cried at the funeral. Since then, I have driven drunk and high and drunk. I remember one time very clearly. Emmis had a big party over a rating victory downtown somewhere. When I left, I could hardly walk, but I got in my pickup with my girlfriend (who was way gassed and passed out )and headed for Chesterfield.
With Fleetwood Mac on the stereo turned up really loud the thought process went something like this....keep it between the lines, between the lines..between the lines and by the grace of God, I made it.

Fast forward to the fall of 2005, in Kansas City, working for Learfield and embibing during the "Every Wednesday Club" at Ponaks, a Mexican restaurant on Southwest Boulevard. Six margaritas later, I try to drive to my friend's house in Waldo. I get one half block away at an intersection I have navigated a hundred thousand time before. I stop, pull into the intersection and get broadsided by a 19 year old college student and her fiance. "Cross Traffic Does NOT stop" My first thought was on how drunk I was and that this was it, I would lose my car, family and have to spend thousands of dollars to get out of this. I try to gather my wits and see if everyone is OK. The girl is absolutely scared to death and I try to make sure she is OK. The police arrive and one cop asks me if I had been drinking. Oh shit, do I tell the truth, knowing I will be going to jail or do I lie? I lied. He walked away.
I can't say how badly I felt about the accident. I had to put that girl through some hardships as she struggled to go to class without a car. I wrecked my car and had to come home on the train. I quit drinking and driving at that moment. Never again. It could have been a hell of a lot worse and I thank God it wasn't. It's one of those moments in your life when God tugs at your shoulder and lets you know He's still there and in charge.

Wait, is that the sun? Oh sorry, false alarm. Maybe soon.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Backstage Pass Number Four


Summer, 1985. I brought John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band on to the stage at the Muny. His band opened for th Beach Boys...yeah, we used to do stuff like that. As I brought him on stage I noticed he wasn't on time and no one could find him. That's because he was HITTING ON MY GIRLFRIEND!!! He had her backed up and was talkin' shit. Guess what pal, yeah, that's right, she went home with me...me. Take that you Springsteen/Seger/Mellencamp wannabe. No talent ass clown. Yeah, that's right!!!

It's..It's The Beatles..no wait, it isn't.



In December of 1977, I was the music director for KFMH in Muscatine Iowa. It was a 50,000 watt dream of a radio station. Engineers who cared about how the station sounded, programmers that actually let the jocks pick the songs, and all around good times. I remember getting invited to so many parties, it was unbelieveable, it was nothing to drive 50 miles and join in some revelry, and usually get laid..ahem, sorry, back to the story... I was given a copy of this album. Nothing else, no info on who the band members were or anything, just "hints" from the record guy that this could be the reunion that we had been waiting for...yes, The Beatles had reformed. I actually liked a couple of songs on this LP, but I knew it wasn't the Beatles. Here is the story of "Klaatu", a band that got hopes up all over the world, and then dashed them on the jagged rocks below.

Diary of a Last Ride-Great Read



Diary of A Last and Final Flight Home - Worth the read

February 17, 2007,
0350
I was at curbside at 24th and M, Washington DC 16 Degrees with a light breeze. Going home after my second week of freezing temps to my warm home in SoCal. Take a walk on the beach, ride a horse, climb a mountain and get back to living. I'm tired of the cold.

0425
paying the taxi fare at Dulles in front of the United Airlines counter,still cold.

0450
engaged the self-serve ticker machine and it delivers my ticket, baggage tag and boarding pass. Hmmm, that Marine over there is all dressed up in his dress blues a bit early this morning... "Good Morning Captain, you're looking sharp." He says, "Thank you, sir." Pass Security and to my gate for a decaf coffee and 5 hours sleep. A quick check of the flight status monitor and UA Flt 211 is on time. I'm up front, so how bad can that be? Hmmm, there's that same Marine. He must be heading
to Pendleton to see his lady at LAX for the long weekend, all dressed up

The speaker system announces "Attention in the boarding area, we'll begin
boarding in 10 m inutes, we have some additional duties to attend to this
morning, but we'll have you out of here on time." The Marine Captain has now been joined by five others. BINGO, I get it,he's not visiting his lady, he's an official escort. I remember doing that once, CACO duty. I still remember the names of the victim and family, The Bruno Family in Mojave - all of them, wows, that was 24 years ago.

On board, 0600:
"Good morning folks, this is the Captain. This morning we've been attending to some additional duties, and I apologize for being 10 minutes late for push back, but I believe we'll be early into LAX. This morning it is my sad pleasure to announce that 1st LT Jared Landaker, USMC will be flying with us to his Big Bear home in SouthernCalifornia. Jared lost his life over the skies of Iraq earlier this month, and today we have the honor of returning him home along with his mother, father and brother . Please join me in making the journey comfortable for the Landaker family and their uniformed escort. Now sit back and enjoy your ride. We're not expecting any
turbulence until we reach the Rocky Mountain area, but we'll do what we can to ensure a smooth ride. For those interested, you can listen in to our progress on Channel 9."

Click Channel 9: "Good morning UA 211. You are cleared to taxi, takeoff and
cleared to LAX as filed."

4 hours and 35 minutes later over Big Bear MT, the AB320 makes a left roll, a steep bank and then one to the right-Nice touch. Nice tribute. Five minutes out from landing, the Captain comes on the speaker: "Ladies and Gents , after landing I'm leaving the fasten seatbelt sign on, and I ask everyone to please yield to the Landaker family. Please remain seated until all members of the family have departed the aircraft. Thank you for your patience. We are 20 minutes early."

On roll out, I notice red lights, emergency vehicles approaching. We're being escorted directly to our gate, no waiting, not even a pause. Out the left window, a dozen Marines in full dress blues. A true class act by everyone, down to a person. Way to go United Airlines for doing things RIGHT, Air Traffic Control for getting the message, and to all security personnel for your display of brotherhood.

When the family departed the aircraft everyone sat silent, then I heard a lady say,"God Bless you and your family, and thank you." Then a somber round of applause. The Captain read a prepared note from Mrs. Landaker to the effect, "Thank you all for your patience and heartfelt concern for us and our son. We sincerely appreciate the sentiment. It's good to have Jared home."

After departing the a/c I found myself along with 30 others from our flight looking out the lobby window back at the plane. Not a dry eye. It was one of the most emotional moments I've ever experienced. We all stood there silently, and watched as Jared was taken by his honor guard to an awaiting hearse. Then the motorcade slowly made it's way off the ramp.

I realized I had finally seen the silent majority. It is deep within us all. Black, Brown, White, Yellow, Red, Purple, we're all children, parents, brothers, sisters, etc - we are an American family.

Official Report: February 7, 2007, Anbar Province , Iraq .. 1st LT Jared Landaker United States Marine Corps, from Big Bear California , gave his live in service to his country. Fatally wounded when his CH-46 helicopter was shot down by enemy fire. Jared and his crew all perished. His life was the ultimate sacrifice of a grateful military family and nation.

His death occurred at the same time as Anna Nicole Smith, a drug using person with a 7th grade education of no pedigree who dominated our news for two weeks while Jared became a number on CNN. And most unfortunately, Jared's death underscores a fact that we are a military at war, not a nation at war. It has been said that Marines are at war.

America is at the mall.

1st LT Landaker, a man I came to know in the sky's over America on 17
February 2007, from me to you, aviator to aviator, I am unbelievably humbled. It was my high honor to share your last flight. God bless you.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

R I P Zola Taylor



This may have been my earliest musical influence. Other than my mom, Zola and Patsy Cline were the first two female singers I ever heard. Zola was the lead singer for The Platters and I remember very clearly my brothers copy of the album "The Platters Greatest Hits" from a very early Raley residence. The song "The Great Pretender" is my birth song. It was number one on my birthday. She died on April 30 at the age of 67 after a series of strokes. Another great musical icon in my world I like to call Raleyville is gone.
Sleep well.

R I P Tom Poston



Another bridge to my early days has passed. I do remember when he was on Steve allen and I do remember when he was on "To Tell The Truth". I loved his goofy, bumbling humor. He was so self-effacing on the air. He was also married to a woman I had a crush on all through high school, Suzanne Pleshette(yeah, yeah oh yeah)


Lucky guy...talent will do that for you.
Thanks Tom.


Here's the report:

Tom Poston, the tall, pasty-faced comic who found fame and fortune playing a clueless everyman on such hit television shows as “Newhart” and “Mork and Mindy,” has died. He was 85. Poston, who was married to Suzanne Pleshette of “The Bob Newhart Show,” died Monday night at home after a brief illness, a family representative, Tanner Gibson, said Tuesday. The nature of his illness was not disclosed.
Bob Newhart remembered Poston as a “versatile and veteran performer and a kindhearted individual.” “Tom was always the ‘go-to guy’ on ‘Newhart’ in addition to being a good and longtime friend,” Newhart said in a statement Tuesday. Billy Crystal, who starred in the 1978 film “Rabbit Test” in which Poston also appeared, was another admirer. “How rare that a gentle, sweet person could be so incredibly funny,” Crystal said in a statement. “I grew up watching Tom on ‘The Steve Allen Show’ as a kid. What an incredible gift to become friends with him and to learn about comedy from a true professional. He was a combination of Stan Laurel and Jack Benny. We will all miss him.” Poston’s run as a comic bumbler began in the mid-1950s with “The Steve Allen Show” after Allen plucked the character actor from the Broadway stage to join an ensemble of eccentrics he would conduct “man in the street” interviews with. Don Knotts was the shaky Mr. Morrison, Louis Nye was the suave, overconfident Gordon Hathaway and Poston’s character was so unnerved by the television cameras that he couldn’t remember who he was. He won an Emmy playing “The Man Who Can’t Remember His Name. But when Allen moved the show from New York to Los Angeles in 1959, Poston stayed behind “Hollywood’s not for me right now; I’m a Broadway cat,” he told a reporter at the time.
When he did finally move west, he quickly began appearing in variety shows, sitcoms and films. His movie credits included “Cold Turkey,” “The Happy Hooker,” “Rabbit Test” and, more recently, “Christmas With the Kranks,” “Beethoven’s 5th” and “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.” On “Mork and Mindy,” which starred Robin Williams as a space alien, Poston was Franklin Delano Bickley, the mindless boozer with the annoying dog. On “Newhart,” he was George Utley, the handyman who couldn’t fix anything at the New England inn run by Newhart’s character. And on Newhart’s show “Bob,” he was the star’s dim-bulb former college roommate. “These guys are about a half-step behind life’s parade,” Poston commented in a 1983 interview. “The ink on their instruction sheets is beginning to fade. But they can function and cope and don’t realize they are driving people up the walls.
“In ways I don’t like to admit, I’m a goof-up myself,” Poston continued. “It’s an essential part of my character. When these guys screw up it reminds me of my own incompetence with the small frustrations of life.”

From Broadway to Bob Newhart
Goof-up or not, Poston was a versatile actor who made his Broadway debut in 1947 playing five roles in Jose Ferrer’s “Cyrano de Bergerac.” One role called for him to engage in a duel, fall 10 feet, roll across the stage and vanish into the orchestra pit. Other actors had auditioned and failed but Poston, who in his youth had been an acrobat with the Flying Zepleys, did the stunt perfectly. He went on to play secondary roles in Broadway comedies and starred at regional theaters in such shows as “Romanoff and Juliet” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” For 10 years he was also a panelist on the popular TV quiz show “To Tell the Truth.”

He made guest appearances on scores of television shows, including “Studio One,” “The Phil Silvers Show,” “The Defenders,” “Get Smart,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “The Love Boat,” “St. Elsewhere,” “The Simpsons,” “Coach,” “Murphy Brown,” “Home Improvement,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Will & Grace,” “Dream On,” “Just Shoot Me!” and “That ’70s Show.” Poston and his first wife, Jean Sullivan, had a daughter, Francesca, before their marriage ended in divorce. He married his second wife, Kay Hudson, after they met while appearing in the St. Louis Light Opera, and they had a son, Jason, and daughter, Hudson. Poston and Pleshette, who had appeared together in the 1959 Broadway play “The Golden Fleecing,” had had a brief fling (way to go, Tom!!) before marrying other people. Both now widowed, they reunited in 2000 and married the following year. Their paths had crossed on “The Bob Newhart Show” in the 1970s. Poston made several guest appearances on the sitcom in which Pleshette played Newhart’s wife. In 2006, Pleshette underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer that her agent said was caught at an early stage.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 17, 1921, Thomas Poston moved from city to city as a child as his father hunted for work during the Depression. As a teenager, he made money as a boxer. Following two years at Bethany College he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and flew troops to the European war zone during World War II. Hunting for a postwar occupation, Poston read an interview with Charles Jehlinger, creative head of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was inspired to sign up for a two-year course at the Academy.

Besides Pleshette, Poston is survived by his children, Francesca Hudson and Jason Poston.

A private service was planned for immediate family. Details of a public memorial service were to be announced later.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Post 701



"Rainy day, dream away
Ah let the sun take a holiday
Flowers bathe an ah see the children play
Lay back and groove on a rainy day.

Well I can see a bunch of wet creatures, look at them on the run
The carnival traffic noise it sings the tune splashing up
Even the ducks can groove rain bathin in the park side pool
And I'm leanin out my window sill diggin evrything
And ah and you too.

Rainy day, rain all day
Aint no use in gettin uptight
Just let it groove its own way
Let it drain your worries away yeah
Lay back and groove on a rainy day hey
Lay back and dream on a rainy day"

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Post Number 700!! Damn you Steve Mays!!



"Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent."

-Sophia Loren

Monday, April 30, 2007

Randy's College of Musical Knowledge



"Marrakesh Express" 1969 Crosby, Stills and Nash




Marrakesh is a city in Morocco famous for leather goods. The "Marrakesh Express" is the train Graham Nash took on a trip there from Casablanca in 1966. The lyrics are filled with the sights, sounds and vibes that he encountered on the trip.
Prior to exiting the Hollies in 1968, Nash offered this to his band mates. However, the tune was ultimately rejected as being not commercial enough. Their refusal to record this and other tunes he wrote was one of the main reasons Nash left the band and moved to Los Angeles to join up with Crosby and Stills. His new band mates liked the tune and it ended up on their debut album.

Backstage Pass Number Three (Collect Them All!!)



I have interviewed Jon Anderson twice. Each time, he has been a prince, a guy who "gets it" and the interviews represented a very high point in my career. This backstage pass was from the "90125" tour, one of the greatest comebacks in rock history. April of 1984, we played the members of Yes in a softball game because they had just discovered the game and were looking to play anyone.(see previous post) No crowds, just English blokes having fun in the heartland of America. By the way, they allowed me to do stage announcements in front of 18,000 people at Kemper right before their show. The big bands usually never let that happen. I guess they liked us American clowns. The show was great.

Junk


Flavor of Love Girls:Charm School.
I got home tonight and turned on the tube and found this show on VH1. WTF is this? This is nothing more than a bunch of chickens, cluckin and cacklin. Lots 'o dirty words, though. Bitch this, bitch that. whew! Moved the dial one channel up and found all of the members of Fleetwood Mac break down "Rumours" on VH1 classic and then found myself locked in for the next forty five minutes as these guys got very real with the whole thing. Which leads me to....
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
...why was it music with me? Why wasn't it math or science or american history? I was enthralled with the space mission when I was a kid, but it was always about music. I could have been an excellent teacher. My favorite subject in school was american history and geography. As a kid, when we would head out on the road, I was the shithead that told you if you were to continue at 60mph, in twenty minutes, we will be in Bowling Green. I knew every state capital at ten. I would have been one of those teachers that got dressed up as George Washington or Lincoln. I would have wanted to hug my kids, and I don't think you can do that anymore. But, it's always been about the music.
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On April 30, 2007, I weigh 180.5 pounds. By May 30, I should be at 175.5.
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"Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion."
Jean Jacques Rousseau
French political philosopher (1712 - 1778)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Royal Scam

I like downtown St. Louis, I really do. It's bustling place at 8:15 am and it's a nice cruise from Kirkwood, usually about 30-35 minutes from the burbs. A trip like that in Nashville would take days.


I do NOT however, enjoy the folly that I call "the parking scam". I got in at KMOX too late in the season to get any "monthly" parking deals. Apparently, the moment the baseball season starts, it's everyman for himself when it comes to finding a place to park. Most of the downtown places pull in their monthly programs and they specifically target unsuspecting saps like me by getting us to pay a daily fee. Last Thursday, the Cardinals had a day game, 1:15 start. The place where I normally park decided to charge their "game" rate of $15.00. (I get it at $4 a day). Even though it was 8:15 am, the guy at the booth wanted nothing to do with it. I decided that since I had a number of calls to make that day, I would go over to the other side of Keiner Plaza and put all the change I had in the meter. Cool, I had 50 minutes. So, at 8:20, I was good till 9:10.
At 9:12, I returned to find a $25 parking ticket on my car.
Normally, I'm not much of a conspiracy nut, (actually, I am) but I have had to fork over $75 in parking tickets this year downtown and got hosed once for $15.

This cannot continue.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I love Sunday morning, I always have. Got up, had breakfast, praised God and read the paper on the porch. I had the Ipod symphony out there so, the tunes were awesome.
The playlist went something like this:
"Walkin Slow"-Jackson Browne, "Time Out Of Mind"-Steely Dan, "If Love Should Go" by Steve Walsh's old band Streets, "These Days" by Dan Fogelberg, "New Girl Now" by Honeymood Suite, "Do The Strand" by Roxy Music, "Pressure Point" by Charlie and "Brown Sugar" by the Stones.

I then hung some shades to keep the sun out of the back porch and my good mood turned sour when I found out that Josh Hancock, a 29 year old relief pitcher for the Cardinals was killed last night after driving into the back of a tow truck pulled off to the side of the road...

It's every parents worst nightmare to bury one of your kids. They called off the Cubs-Cards game tonight. In the name of Darryl Kile, what the heck is going on? This is the second time during a Cards-Cubs series that a pitcher has died in the past five years.



It's just not the same
The show is/was great and it will always be very funny, but not being able to hear Dr. Johnny Fever kick off the new format with "Queen of The Forest" by Ted Nugent and not hearing "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner at a critical scene kinda sucks. They couldn't get the rights to ANY of the music. It makes the package lose a whole letter grade for me, so, as good as it is, it only gets a B-. Looking back after all these years, I know so many people like the people on WKRP. I like to think I had a little Johnny in me. I worked for a sweet, lovable guy that had nary a clue, or so you thought, then he would surprise you. I have worked with Herb Tarlick (and hope I don't become him). I have fallen in love with someone that reminds me of Bailey and got real close to an overnight guy like Venus. The show was prophetic, funny and most of all, real. That is the thing that separates it from the movie "FM" which also had GREAT music. So, the music is gone, but the talent of the performers remain. I wish that I didn't concentrate so much on the missing soundtrack, but unfortunatley,for me, it does. That's because I remember what I was doing in my life not neccesarily by dates but by what was on the radio. Here is what the cast members said about losing the music..."I know that that was the most difficult issue," said Loni Anderson, who played receptionist and blond bombshell Jennifer Marlowe."But the comedy is still there, and it's still the same." "I am loath to learn that that's happened, but I have no control over it," said Howard Hesseman, who played disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever. "It's a drag." In any case, the Fox Home Entertainment release contains all 22 episodes of the 1978-79 season -- including "Hoodlum Rock" and "Turkeys Away."
WKRP was nominated for 10 Emmys before being dropped by CBS, which moved it around the prime-time lineup like a hot potato."Our joke was, we wanted to do a commercial each time they moved us," said Anderson, 61 (61?). "We wanted to say, 'You'll love us -- if you can find us.' With series creator Hugh Wilson, the actress developed the role of Jennifer into a "mother figure" -- who had a decided preference for wealthy old men. Hesseman based his laid-back, sleep-deprived, shades-wearing Fever on "a melange of guys I knew in radio and what Hugh Wilson had put on the page to begin with and who I am -- just an ungodly mix," the 67-year-old said. Although cast members Jump (who attended Otterbein College in Westerville) and Gary Sandy hailed from Dayton, Anderson had never traveled to Cincinnati before WKRP premiered -- although she has visited since. Hesseman, meanwhile, has experienced the Queen City only once, in 1973. The show managed to click on several levels, according to the co-stars. "It's like the perfect storm," Anderson said. "It just comes together with the writing, which was brilliant, and the casting. Hugh never really centered on one person. . . . He made sure that we all got our share of screen time and writing time, and it makes the show fuller if you have each character in it every week." The cast members still get together each year. (Jump died in 2003.) "The family feeling that was there while we were doing it is still there," Hesseman said. "It was a very special time, and I'm thankful to have been there." And they still hear from fans of the sitcom. "I was just in Hawaii recently," Anderson said: "A girl ran up to me and said, 'My name is Loni, too, and I was named after you, and my mother went into labor while WKRP was on." "It warms my heart when somebody says 'Hey, Doctor!' on the street, and I always think it's for me," Hesseman said. "And then I turn, and there's an ambulance and somebody bleeding on the sidewalk.

"But I'm willing to wave back, nevertheless."

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