Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Picture Time


The Words of Shakespeare

I was in my hometown's local grocery store last night picking up some consumables and the new book about KSHE caught my eye. It's funny, even yesterday, someone said to me..."aren't you the Randy Raley from KSHE?" It's been almost twelve years since I left there, and STILL, to this day, that added phrase has seemingly become my last name. I spent a great 13 years at Real Rock Radio. Not all of the time was good. The physical confrontation I had with a drunk superior after he kept repeatingly sticking his finger in my chest wasn't fun. And, when I left, getting a urine and feces soaked headshot in the mail was not fun, especially after having opened it in front of my daughter. Her comment was..."wow, somebody really hates you, don't they dad?" It didn't end well would be an understatement. I made mistakes that, knowing what I do now, I probably wouldn't make again. But still, it seems to me that if JC Corcoran and all his baggage could make it back there, then what was their problem with me? A few years ago, I got a call from the program director there. It seems that they were putting together a "Hall of Fame" portion on their website and would I be willing to donate some items? Sure. How much fun is that? So,I drug a couple of milk crates full of stuff and they were returned in fine shape after being scanned. Not too long after that, I heard that KSHE was having this big 40th reunion with all the old jocks joining Sammy Hagar on stage at The Fox. I kept waiting for my invitation which, sadly, never materialized. I guess my stuff was good enough to be included in their Hall of Fame, but I wasn't good enough to have one last 10 seconds of glory when they call your name and the crowd cheers your work. No dice. I guess what happened at the end erased the 13 years of working my ass off. So, having not been invited to the party, I stopped taking stuff for them to use, which gets me back to the original point. While flipping through this new book, I noticed that nowhere was my name mentioned in the book. They had everyone else but me. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be in the book because I never heard from the author, but my ego took a huge fall when that fact was confimred. During my time there, I was the ONLY person to top KMOX in the 12+ ratings. In the spring of 1986, I had a 13.6 rating, KMOX had a 13.3. I was number one or two(25-54 adults)in the market for a nine year consecutive run. I still hold rating records and yet, it's as if I never existed there. Why the cold shoulder KSHE? I gave you the best years of my life. Now everyone who's ever pissed any one off over there returned (JC, Woody), but I can't even get my calls returned. It was once a family. My family. Now, we are all estranged with NO hope of ever even being civil. Grudges are easy to hold and hard to let go. I won't say it doesn't bother me, obviously, it does. But, with writing all of this down, it lets it all go. Shakespeare once said .."living well is the best revenge.." I must have the greatest revenge ever. I haven't been this happy in years. So...Emmis, what gives? It's true pride goes before the fall. Now, radio is in the worst shape ever, Emmis is struggling and cuts are being made(or will be made)everywhere. The Chicago stations are being run from St. Louis (which the Chicago people REALLY love)and there's trouble everywhere. Thank God I'm away from that, and my ego would like to think it's karma. It's just bad management.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deaths in Threes

Arnold Stang

Arnold Stang, voice of several favorite cartoon animated figures including Top Cat has died at age 91. Stang was a staple for several animated features in the 1960’s and starred as comic relief in any number of movies with stars like Milton Berle and even Frank Sinatra. He was also the voice of one of Popeye’s sidekicks “Shorty”. He reportedly succumbed to complications from pneumonia in a Massachusetts Hospital on Sunday.
This writer remembers Stang best from his role in the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ” from 1963, which any of us “Boomers” saw more than once. As for Hanna-Barbera’s Top Cat, this was once of my favorite cartoons, but I never actually knew who did the voice of the too cool cat. Interestingly Arnold Stang starred in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first film Hercules In New York in 1970. Stang is survived by his wife JoAnne, to whom he was married for over 60 years, as well as their two children. We are sure he will be sorely missed, as it takes a special person to be the one behind such well loved characters.

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Connie Hines
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Actress Connie Hines, who played Wilbur's wife on the popular 1960s television show "Mister Ed" has died. She was 79. Her "Mister Ed" co-star Alan Young told the Los Angeles Times that Hines died Friday at her Beverly Hills home from complications of heart problems. Hines was best known for portraying Carol Post on the show that featured a talking horse. She wrote a book in 2007 entitled "Mister Ed and Me and More." Born in Massachusetts, Hines also appeared in the 1960 film "Thunder in Carolina" and such TV shows as "The Millionaire," "Johnny Ringo" and "Riverboat." Hines was married twice, the last to Lee Savin, an entertainment lawyer and producer. Savin died in 1995. A lovely woman who was, vicariously, a part of my childhood. I got to meet her in 1984 and she was as beautiful then as I remember in childhood fantasies.



Alaina Reed-Amini

Actress Alaina Reed-Amini, best known for her long-running roles as Olivia Robinson on the children's program "Sesame Street" and Rose Lee Holloway on the comedy "227," has died.
Reed-Amini lost a two-year battle with breast cancer at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, on Thursday, according to reports.
Reed-Amini, who changed her named from Alaina Reed Hall after she married Tamim Amini in 2008, turned 63 last month. In 1976 she joined the cast of "Sesame Street" as Olivia, a professional photographer and the kid sister of Gordon the teacher. She left the program in 1988 for a role on the NBC sitcom "227."
The actress married her "227" co-star Kevin Peter Hall in 1988. With art imitating life, their characters were married in the final season of the show in 1990. Hall died in 1991 from complications from the AIDS virus that he acquired through a blood transfusion.
Her stage credits include productions of "Chicago" and "Hair." She also appeared in the inspirational one-woman show "Alaina at the Bijou."
Her movie credits include "Cruel Intentions" and "Death Becomes Her." She guest-starred on television shows such as "ER," "NYPD Blue," "The Drew Carey Show" and "Ally McBeal."
Reed-Amini is survived by her husband and two children from her marriage to Hall.
Sorry to see her pass. Who didn't have Olivia in some way as a part of their past? Those who watched Sesame Street as a kid, and those who had kids who watched the show. Say hey to Jim Henson

Hello Blogosphere

Wow, Christmas is upon us already. Each year, I try to get into the spirit early and often but this year, like last year, I am late to the party. Don't know why, but I'm just starting to feel the Christmas spirit now. I am reading at Christmas Eve mass at church again. I am proud they ask me to read God's word on the most important day of the year. The boy is home, looking well and rested. I am so very proud of him. In Captain's school, he is the youngest by far. Although mama can't understand why he is going back early, I know and her name is Lauren. This is about time that the women trade places in his life. he'll always love his mother but someone new has his heart, as it should be.
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A few snags on the internet station but we still should be up and going on the first. I have to go back and rename all of the tunes that weren't "renamed" before. I guess when I cleaned up the titles, I only changed the "outside" names of the mp3's, not the "code" name. So, I have a downloaded program that allows me to do just that. I have the scheduler ready to schedule and I will network the program that actually "plays" the songs with what is scheduled sometime later tonight. If Dr. Frankenschteen's machine doesn't blow up, this should be pre launch test number number one. Here's a new graphc design from someone I don't even know. (Thank you).



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I was doing some thinking in the suana last night after basketball while listening to "She's The One" by Bruce. AS we go through life, there are certain things we NEED. Food, shelter, etc. But when it comes to music, I think the same thing holds true. When I was 19, I NEEDED "Born to Run" and "Night Moves". At 22, I NEEDED "City to City" by Gerry Rafferty. I needed to hear "The Pretender", "Reminiscing","Every Kinda People", Dan Fogelberg, etc. That's when the power and the glory of what God has created when it comes to music is certainly and sorely needed in our lives. I'm sure there are those releases in your life that have done the same for you. God bless all of those composers, writers and players who affect our lives and know our works better than we do. "Save Your Love" by the Jefferson Starship just popped into my head. I needed that one in 1982.



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Wow, what a team of sellers I have. At this moment, we are sitting at 110% of goal for the month and for the quarter, it's 102.6%. According to the publisher, this hasn't happened for at least three years. And we still have a day and a half to wrap it up. How high can we go? And yes, I get a bonus. Enough to take my staff out for dinner. On me. The one thing about my business is that once December is over, we start at zero and wind it all again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Longevity Rules with Bob

BOB SEGER's Greatest Hits is officially the decade's best-selling catalog album in the U.S., it has been confirmed by NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN. Since its 1994 debut, SEGER's Greatest Hits has sold close to nine million copies and enjoyed an unbroken two-year streak on the BILLBOARD Top 200 before moving to the upper reaches of the Catalog Albums chart for 660 weeks.
SEGER is a GRAMMY AWARD-winning ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME member, with more than 50 million career-spanning album sales, as well as 11 platinum and seven multi-platinum RIAA-certified album sales awards. SEGER's Against The Wind, Night Moves, Stranger In Town, and Live Bullet have been RIAA-certified for more than five million U.S. album sales each.

Lint Off My Cuff

As of this morning, my peeps are at 100.4 percent of their December goal. Working hard, playing hard. If they get to 105%, I have made a deal to take them all to dinner. Oy! With what I would get at a 105% rate, I'll come out ahead on the deal and by a lot. Congrats to some of the hardest working people I know. Proud of you.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The internet station is coming along. I am in ripping and cleaning up titles mode. I have to put a "tone" on the end of every song I want so that the next element will fire in a timely and flowing manner. Hopefully, I'll get it playing this weekend and then the weekend of the first, we should have a rudimentary 1.0 version of the station up and running. I hope March 1st date for the launch will be doable. The domain is set and ready http://www.planetradio.us/ . The sweepers will say "Planet Radio US, the best rock on Earth." Always loved the name planet radio and was bummed when the station in KC had to jettison it. It's available, so I grabbed it. Here is what I want the logo to look like:





but, obviously, I can't use that. very cool though, no?


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Here's a lost oldie but goodie....and a taste of the kind of stuff you'll hear on the station....





Finally, too much make up pancake or nose in the candy jar again?

Now, This Is Funny

Jacksonville/Houston game during a time out. It will never go away.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hey Jude Simplified


thanks to my friend matt.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wrap Season

When I was in kindergarten or first grade, I had a teacher that always used the word "wrap" as a synonym for coats. "Please take your wraps off when you enter the classroom." I never heard anyone else use that term until today in the office, one of my peeps said something about not wearing a "wrap" today. Tomorrow will be the first day of the season that I will wear a "wrap". I actually enjoy all of the seasons and really couldn't imagine living somewhere that doesn't have winter. (OK, maybe I can). When I got to the Y yesterday morning, the woman at the desk asked where my coat was. I answered the way I normally do..."Hey, I grew up in Iowa...you know what we call this weather in Iowa? Summer!" Hahahahaha. Well, what's happened in Iowa the past couple of days has been record setting. Maybe one of the largest snow storms ever has passed through the state. That's diffucult to believe because in the winter of 78-79, it snowed. A lot. Over and over again. That must have been some snowstorm that just went through there.
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The Tiger Woods story just gets worse and worse for this guy. I don't feel sorry for him in any way shape or form but I have NEVER witnessed a fall from glory so weird and quick. This guy had it all, a billion dollar fortune, maybe the most recognized man on the planet, an absolutely capitivating and beautiful wife and...it wasn't enough. Was it the thrill of the hunt? Was it the knowledge and power that he could have sex with whomever he pleased? The count is now in double digits and the possiblity that one of his paramours video taped them having sex. Were these women providing him with all the things his wife didn't? Shouldn't he have known that before he married her? Now, there are reports that there might be kids out there he doesn't know of? Ick and ew. One month ago today, he was hailed as one of the best ever. Now, he's the butt of jokes and is watching his character and legacy slip away like sand through his fingers. I really am not at all interested in this anymore, I bring ot up only to point out how fast and quickly the house of cards can fall. And hard. I could NEVER pull this off. I don't lie very well.
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I am looking to get out a lot more this next summer and enjoy the camping life. Not like my sister does it, basically taking everything with her (and that's OK). I'll take a tent, some Coleman gear and a sleeping bag. Out hiking through the woods all day and back to the campground for grub and night time fun. I have plotted out two places here in teh Parkland. St. Francois State Park and St. Joe State Park seem to have the best facilities around here. Can't wait to be unwashed again.


randy's lost classic:

Sad Cafe "Run Home Girl"










I remember playing this song and this band at 97x in Davenport, somewhere around January-February 1979. This always sounded like Toto. Loved the cool vibe and sax solo in the middle. They also did a song called "Restless" that I loved too. Can't find a video though.

here's their wikipedia entry:

link

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wha' Happened?




How did this..........................................................................turn into this? Yech!

It Was 29 Years ago Today....

...that John Lennon was murdered in the street in front of his residence at the Dakota Apartments in New York City. I had just gotten off the air at KY 102 and was at home with my girlfriend. I had just taken the dog out to do his thing. Bree had made a lovely dinner for me and even at the late hour of 10pm, we usually spent that time together eating and chatting about the day. As I was bringing the dog back in, I looked ahead and saw her weeping uncontrollably. What was the matter? What had happened in the time I had taken to the dog out? Heck, it wasn't even ten minutes... She pointed at the television when Howard Cosell said those infamous words..."it has been confirmed John Lennon has been shot and was enroute to a New York City hospital..." Holy cow, NOT John Lennon, not THIS way, I consoled her and said it would be ok, we don't know the extent of the injuries. I immediately called the radio station, where Jon Hart answered the phone. He knew, he said and was monitoring all the news services and was looking for information. I knew, whatever happened, that Jon was the guy to have on the air, one of the very few people that was as big of a Beatles fan as I was. Then, it happened. Howard again..."this just in, John Lennon has died of his injuries as a result of a gun shot wound suffered earlier this evening." Howard was speechless after that and I was too. At that time, the radio station was playing a Led Zeppelin A-Z tribute because Robert Plant earlier in the week disbanded the band after John Bonham drank himself to death. That was stopped quickly and we went all Beatles all the time. NOT John Lennon, NOT after he had disappeared from public view and not NOW. John looked happy and healthy and ready to take on the world again. NO! IT CAN'T BE HIM!!! Not with him releasing one of the most important come back recordings ever. With Jon Hart handling the tunes very deftly, all Bree and I could do was hold each other close and cry. We made sweet love and then went to sleep, emotionally exhausted. The next night, on the air, I cried. I had never done that before and have done it only one time since. I didn't know what to say after everything had been said. There was no internet and not many people had cable, so this was basically one of the only outlets we had. I opened up the lines to anyone who had anything to say about anything. It turned out to be one of my most unforgettable shows, one where I did next to nothing but field phone calls. The people were heart broken; they turned to their local station and talked, talked some more and cried, cried some more and talked more. It was the most incredible out pouring of love and grief at the same time that I have ever been a part of. One of the callers was the local pastor at the All Souls Unitarian Church announcing that there would be a candlelight ceremony on Wednesday. Would I be interested in saying a few words and being a part of the ceremony? There was no hesitation. On Wednesday, Bree and I made our way through a completely filled church and I got up and talked about John and what he meant to an entire generation's culture. John and the rest of the Beatles not only affected music but also shaped a culture where this generation cut it's teeth. When the Beatles wore their hair long, so did we. When the Beatles said "All You Need Is Love", we believed it. I did a 30 minute eulogy without notes. Something was guiding what I said like never before and the fitting words fell off my tongue like they were placed there days before. It was so easy to talk about someone who you thought you knew as well as you did the members of your family. I remember thinking how cold it was that day and how I longed for a time that we could sing "Here Comes The Sun" after a long, cold lonely winter. That winter was particularly cold and lonely, even with the love of one of the most beautiful women to walk the planet. The world became a meaner place and I felt that I aged much more than my 24 years would attest. A part of me was gone, a bit of innocence lost. There would be no Beatles reunion. Not in this world anyway. 16 years after that, I spoke to Yoko in a hotel room and in probably one of my worst interviews, we talked about John's artwork. We played the song "Just Like Starting Over" and she stopped the interview. It was STILL too soon for her and the song still hit her hard. I heard "I'm Losing You" in the sauna last night and my mind was directed to 29 years ago in those palpable moments when all was well in the world. I was in love and life was good. It took Howard Cosell and a madman named Mark David Chapman to change it all forever. Bree has passed (killed in a car accident) and sometimes, I still go back there, the minutes before I heard the news today..oh boy.






..."we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun..."

Bree and Me on Wednesday, December 10 1980

Monday, December 07, 2009

Cold, Colder, Coldest

Northern Lights Over Teepees. I think this would be a blast. A cold one at that.





THIS IS A FIRE RAINBOW (below) - THE RAREST OF ALL NATURALLY OCCURRING ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA. THE PICTURE WAS CAPTURED ON THE IDAHO / WASHINGTON BORDER. THE EVENT LASTED ABOUT 1 HOUR.
CLOUDS HAVE TO BE CIRRUS, AT LEAST 20K FEET IN THE AIR, WITH JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE CRYSTALS AND THE SUN HAS TO HIT THE CLOUDS AT PRECISELY 58 DEGREES.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dude.

It all began with Whore Zero, Rachel Uchitel, who has repeatedly denied any affair with Woods. And yet…Rachel has offered little explanation about how she ended up in Australia at the same time and at the same hotel as Tiger just weeks ago.
Now there’s this from Us Weekly
A Los Angeles cocktail waitress says she had a steamy 31-month fling with Tiger Woods and has a voicemail recording and text messages to prove it.
Jaimee Grubbs, now 24, says she began having an affair with Woods, 33, in April 2007.
…they went on to have 20 sexual encounters.
And this from Radar Online…Several other women are coming forward claiming they had affairs with Tiger Woods. I think it’s safe to say he didn’t think this all the way through. He’s maybe the most famous person on earth. Of course he got caught. The Statue of Liberty could go buy some weed and have a better chance at getting away with it than he did.








This is what he had at home....dude, seriously

Roger Dean album covers


I made a remark on Facebook about how James Cameron must have spent a lot of time looking at Yes album covers when it came to making his movie. I swear in the trailers for Avatar I see Roger Dean album covers for scenery. Here's a great collection of Roger Dean album covers....

Link

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Facebook Friend

Yeah, I know this Facebook thing is
a)for weirdos
b)an extreme waste of time
c)maybe not for you or
d)all of the above.

I have entered into a conversation with a guy who I have admired for many years. Andy Fraser was the bass player for Free and his basic, big badass bass was perfect for what they did. The back beat on "Mr. Big" was worth the price of admission alone. He co wrote and produced "All Right Now' which I have played a couple of thousand times on the radio and never tired of it. After leaving Free, Andy formed Sharks and again, I really liked his work. The crux of the biscuit however is that Andy wrote "Every Kinda People" for Robert Palmer. "Every Kinda People" rates as one of my top five all time recordings and sums up how I feel and has since the first time I heard in the summer of 1978.
"There is no profit in deceit, an honest man knows that revenge does not taste sweet"
Man, that's it, right there. Powerful lyrics that have enriched my life and moved my soul. THAT'S what music is all about.

Here is Andy's latest project:
Thanks Randy ~
Check out my latest project. I’ve contributed the song ~ This Is The Big One ~ as a worldwide copyright free download. I’m asking fellow activists to upload videos or pictures to the song, post on YouTube.com to win prizes.

Come on and Make A Difference ~ Andy


And now, here is some of that filthy bass I told you about...


And now, Mr. Palmer

Friday, November 27, 2009

Randy's Top 100

Hi, I'm back and let's continue the countdown...checking in somewhere in the 20-25 on the top 100 would be this treat from the summer of 1975.



Here is one that changed the way I looked at music. I first heard "Becuase We've Ended As Lovers" during a visit to a head shop in the spring. It was love at first sight. The crying guitar provided by Jeff was just stunning. It was one of the most powerful instrumentals ever. It still is.



The young woman (Tal Wikenfield) kicks my ass...

That song alone would put this in the top 100, but there was so much more great music on the record and not ONE vocal. Songs from Lennon-McCartney ("She's A Woman"), Stevie Wonder ("Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "Thelonius") and Bernie Holland (the incredible "Diamond Dust") and Beck's own stuff ("Scatterbrain, "You Know What I Mean"). The record reminds me of living in a little bitty house along the Mississippi during a summer when I didn't have air conditioning, driving my little Honda 350 motorcycle and trying to get through a very unhappy marriage. This is one release that helped me survive. It's stayed close to my playlist for the next 34 years. Something to be said for great music.



Scatterbrain



Freeway Jam

It Is What It Is..Unless It Isn't

While having dinner on Wednesday night with a friend of mine, we got into a discussion about how we "made it". We have somehow crossed an imaginary demarcation line when it comes to the length of our age. I have blogged about this before, in a seemingly deja vuish conversation I had with someone else about three yeras ago. I must admit, I feel more like I've "made it" than I did three years ago. I am in a pretty good place right now. I have a job I find challenging and stimulating. I drive an hour each way (against the traffic) and find that hour a buffer between work and home. Ramping up on the way and decompressing on the way home. My health is good and I feel better than I have for a long time. The weight loss is slow and painful but I knew it would be. It seems as I get older, it becomes more of a burden to take it off. I can still run as fast as I can for as long as I can and that beats a majority of people my age. My kids, seemingingly, are in a good place. They all seem to be if not happy, then at least content. I have many things to be thankful for but, in the back of my mind, I find it hard to let go of the fact that it will all go incredibly wrong very soon. I keep looking over my shoulder for the grim reaper. I keep walking careful footsteps at work to make sure I am giving them the best I have. But, it's still not enough to get rid of this burnt patch in my head. Why? Could it be radio paranoia? That can be described as the feeling that no matter what you do, or how well you do your job, you're just a number and can be jettisoned at any time. It's happened so many times to me in the recent past. My boss likes and respects me, asks for my opinion and (gasp)actually uses it. Or, could it be something deeper? I am the adult child of an alcoholic. We're not supposed to be happy and we will sabatage any attempt to try. It's a struggle that has cost me many important people in my life. Just as things go well, we think of little nuclear devises to throw under our own wheels. We can't identify happiness and when we do, we run. We've never been truly happy so how do we know how to act? Countless therapy sessions have given me the opportunity to recognize and hopefully prepare. No matter how vigilant, now matter how ready, the feeling of inadequency will never cease to be a part of my psyche. Wish me luck. This time, it will be different. I seem to be approaching the autumn of my life with great strength, sound mind and finally grasping the concept of being content. What a great word. Contentment. I'm closer than I have been in a while. Wish me luck. Again.

The Beatles circa 3000

Makes me wonder how correct we are with the things we discover about the past. The Shroud of Turin comes to mind. I wonder if someone is looking down and saying ..."you ignorant fools" or if it is indeed, the shroud of Christ. Anyway, thanks to my freind Guido Toledo for putting this on his facebook site.


Friday, November 13, 2009

the music must change, i guess

I have brought up this point and have had many conversations with friends and colleagues about what happened to rock music. It died a slow death but die it did and that's too bad. Here's one theory I have entertained about what happened. Many years ago, a number of different parts of the country provided their own culture and take on what was defined as "rock and roll" music. Let's start on the east coast with Billy Joel, Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, Leonard Cohen, Aerosmith and the like. Heading down I95, we go to Florida and Georgia, home of Skynyrd, Tom Petty, Marshall Tucker and of course, the Allman Brothers. West to Texas and ZZ Top, Jerry Jeff, Stevie Ray along with many others. LA gave us Poco, CSNY, Eagles and all the laid back, country rock feel. San Francisco needs no introduction, the list of bands from there is as long as your arm. Let's not forget the midwest, home of Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, Cheap Trick, Prince, and on. Now, it seems all of the good songwriters are located in one city....Nashville. Pop has gone country and country has gone pop. Taylor Swift is Marie Osmond, Lady Antebellum is Fleetwood Mac, Tim McGraw is Bob Seger, Keith Urban is Bryan Adams(but a better guitar player)and on it goes. I'm just waiting for someone to channel Jim Morrison. That should be fun. It's coming, you know it is.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

lady antebellum

one of the nice things about working bloomington was hearing different music. while running the country station there, lady antebellum caught my ear. this song confirms something i thought a year and a half ago...these guys are the country equivalent to fleetwood mac, only in reverse. mac had stevie, lindsay and christine, and these guys have two guys and a woman. listen to this and tell me you don't hear fleetwood mac. love this tune and if you are going to sound like someone, you couldn't have picked a better band. speaking of fleetwood mac...now that i don't play their music every hour of every day, i have become a huge fan of the self titled lp with "landslide" and "over my head" and all the rest. i don't think they were better than this, although "rumours" proves me wrong...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Leonard Cohen and All Things Musical




What an incredible piece of acoustic archetecture we have in St. Louis. It's called the Fox Theatre. Closed for many years, re opened in 1982 and the grand jewel of concert venues in my life. (Red Rocks ranks a close second). To see an artist like Leonard Cohen, at a place like that, to thouroughly get in the mood, you must be a bit imbibed. Whatever poison you choose is up to you. On Saturday night, since I wasn't driving, I chose top shelf margaritas from a very non descript restaurant that has food and drinks that are good and cheap. One of my best music buds, Corky, a gentlemen I have known since 1980, is a guy that will drive to Salina Kansas and back overnight to see Dylan. "I have an extra Leonard Cohen ticket" was all it took. Arriving at the Fox just as the music started, the next three hours was quite a treat. Now, I am not that familar with his music, but getting to see a living legend before he dies was just too much temptation. So, during my commute from work and back, I prepped with two Leonard CDs and I was ready. Wow. The band was clean and tight. The kind of guys that are first class, first rate players. The mood I arrived in was perfect, the seats were great and the music was played with style and class. Sweet. While getting my tickets for Leonard, I purchased 6th row seats for Mark Knopfler. I have never seen him play live. It's in April, I just wanted to make sure I'm ready
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Righteously bummed about someone using Roxy Music's "More Than This" in a commercial. Talk about playing your craft with style and grace. Why should I be surprised that one of the greatest albums to make love to would produce a commercial for a credit card in my lifetime. I stopped being irate years ago. But, that is another band I'd pay dearly to see one last time.
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So, Steven Tyler quit Aerosmith, not telling anyone and not returning eamils and phone calls? Yeah, I'd be done too if I knew the best music I ever made was done stinking fucked up? Ever since this band got straight, they should have made two records and called it a day. They have been phoning it in for awhile now, and until "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" I had a tad bit of respect for them because, at one time, they may have been the best band in America. Not for the last 35 years. After "Rocks" it was done. Doesn't need the money, every night on the road for probably 40 years...yep, I'd be out too. And you'd never hear from me again. Unless "The Muppet Show" called, they would be the only people. Thanks Steven, for the first four records, they were fun and I'll put them up against any band's best four. Meh.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How to Be A Server


Waiting tables is tough work, no question. It can be a drag or it can be great. I have waited a few tables in my day and I got this from the New York Times Small Business section (what the heck am I doing reading the Times?)
Here are fifty things you can do to be a better server and I tip accordingly.

1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.
2. Do not make a singleton feel bad. Do not say, “Are you waiting for someone?” Ask for a reservation. Ask if he or she would like to sit at the bar.
3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.
4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.
5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.
6. Do not lead the witness with, “Bottled water or just tap?” Both are fine. Remain neutral.
7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.
8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.
9. Do not recite the specials too fast or robotically or dramatically. It is not a soliloquy. This is not an audition.
10. Do not inject your personal favorites when explaining the specials.
11. Do not hustle the lobsters. That is, do not say, “We only have two lobsters left.” Even if there are only two lobsters left.
12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.
13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles.
14. When you ask, “How’s everything?” or “How was the meal?” listen to the answer and fix whatever is not right.
15. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”
16. If someone requests more sauce or gravy or cheese, bring a side dish of same. No pouring. Let them help themselves.
17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.
18. Know before approaching a table who has ordered what. Do not ask, “Who’s having the shrimp?”
19. Offer guests butter and/or olive oil with their bread.
20. Never refuse to substitute one vegetable for another.
21. Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong.
22. If someone is unsure about a wine choice, help him. That might mean sending someone else to the table or offering a taste or two.
23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc.
24. Never use the same glass for a second drink.
25. Make sure the glasses are clean. Inspect them before placing them on the table.
26. Never assume people want their white wine in an ice bucket. Inquire.
27. For red wine, ask if the guests want to pour their own or prefer the waiter to pour.
28. Do not put your hands all over the spout of a wine bottle while removing the cork.
29. Do not pop a champagne cork. Remove it quietly, gracefully. The less noise the better.
30. Never let the wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. No one wants to drink the dust or dirt from the bottle.
31. Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong.
32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them.
33. Do not bang into chairs or tables when passing by.
34. Do not have a personal conversation with another server within earshot of customers.
35. Do not eat or drink in plain view of guests.
36. Never reek from perfume or cigarettes. People want to smell the food and beverage.
37. Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests. “Not when I’m on duty” will suffice.
38.Do not call a guy a “dude.”
39. Do not call a woman “lady.”
40. Never say, “Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.
41. Saying, “No problem” is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome” will do.
42. Do not compliment a guest’s attire or hairdo or makeup. You are insulting someone else.
43. Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant.
44. Do not discuss your own eating habits, be you vegan or lactose intolerant or diabetic.
45. Do not curse, no matter how young or hip the guests.
46. Never acknowledge any one guest over and above any other. All guests are equal.
47. Do not gossip about co-workers or guests within earshot of guests.
48. Do not ask what someone is eating or drinking when they ask for more; remember or consult the order.
49. Never mention the tip, unless asked.
50. Do not turn on the charm when it’s tip time. Be consistent throughout.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

R I P Norton Buffalo


21:11 PST PARADISE (BUTTE COUNTY) -- Norton Buffalo, harmonica virtuoso, one-of-a-kind performer and consummate accompanist to the stars,died Friday night from cancer in Feather River Hospital, near his home in Paradise (Butte County). He was 58. Mr. Buffalo, who appeared on more than 180 albums and spent 33 years as a member of the Steve Miller Band, was diagnosed with cancer in September. His life will be celebrated Jan. 23 at the Fox Theater in Oakland in a benefit concert starring the Steve Miller Band and the Doobie Brothers,with special guests Huey Lewis, George Thorogood, Charlie Musselwhite and Bonnie Raitt. "He was the antithesis of East Coast cynical," said Raitt, who spent Sunday morning watching Buffalo videos on YouTube. "He was always in funny mode without being too gooey about it. He's been that guy all this time. In one guy, you got all the hope and optimism of the '70s." Mr. Buffalo played on the Grammy-winning Doobie Brothers album "Minute byMinute," and the recent children's music CD by Kenny Loggins. With Bette Midler, he played in the band and acted in the film "The Rose." He collaborated on tours and a series of recordings for more than 20 yearswith blues guitarist Roy Rogers. One of their songs, "Ain't No Bread inthe Breadbox," was a cornerstone in the '90s live repertoire of the JerryGarcia Band. "Norton Buffalo was a character and a half," Rogers said. "He had a sense of humor. He liked to have a good time, and the joy of his playing came out." Miller said: "He was a complete original. He worked with all kinds of people. He did tons and tons of projects. Everybody who worked with himl oved him, really enjoyed working with him." Mr. Buffalo joined the Steve Miller Band in 1976 at the beginning of the"Fly Like an Eagle" tour and has remained a constant presence in Miller's music ever since. Miller invariably introduced Mr. Buffalo to concert audiences as "my partner in harmony." "He had way more music in him than I could use," Miller said. "I just had more work for him than everybody else." Mr. Buffalo's own recordings include his 1977 Capitol Records release,"Lovin' in the Valley of the Moon," an album that maintains a strong cult following, and a 2000 blues-based release, "King of the Highway." Herecently released a joint CD with Hawaiian slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr. He was a virtuosic and technically accomplished chromatic harmonica player who could play anything - blues, rock, pop, country,folk, show tunes. Born in Oakland and raised in Richmond, Mr. Buffalo was raised in a musical family. His father played harmonica, and his mother sang in '40s San Francisco night clubs. His great-uncle, Herbert Stothart, was a Hollywood soundtrack composer who won an Academy Award for his work on"The Wizard of Oz." "His harp could become the valley of the moon, Krakatoa, a storm out at sea, then the sweetest sound this side of heaven," said Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, who played with Mr. Buffalo in a project called High Noon in the '70s and '80s. Mr. Buffalo joined one of the final editions of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen on a 1976 European tour, before returning to the Bay Area and forming the Norton Buffalo Stampede, a band that headlined Bay Area clubs for several years. In between tours with Miller and Rogers, Mr.Buffalo had been appearing recently with the Norton Buffalo Trio with his third wife, Lisa Flores. He is survived by his wife; children, Aisah of Lake Tahoe and Elias of Sonoma; stepchildren, Sierra Ruelas of Sonoma and Bo Winterburn of San Diego; father, Ken Jackson of Paradise; and five brothers and sisters. Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, Tom Rigney and Flambeau and theCarlos Reyes Band will appear Nov. 22 in a benefit and memorial at theParadise Performing Arts Center in Paradise. Funeral and other memorial plans are pending.

Norton's "Loving in the Valley of the Moon" was one of my faves. the song "Another Day from that LP is still in my top ten of all time. here is that video (quality notwithstanding). such a sweet song....

Monday, November 02, 2009

Of Football and Baseball...Basketball and music

As someone said..."it was as if your ex girlfriend showed up at the 25th year reunion with George Clooney." Brett Favre may be the greatest football player I have ever seen in person. That goes for Montana, Marcus Allen, John Elway, etc, all of whom I have seen live. I saw Brett play the Chiefs in the mid nineties and while the Chiefs beat them, Green Bay was never out of the game. He decides he doesn't want to play there anymore, spurns them and then puts the dagger in the heart of all Packer fans everywhere. While I thought Green Bay would show all why they are special fans, they dragged themselves down with the unbelievably hostile greeting. Stay classy Green Bay and while you do have a pretty decent guy as quarterback, no one will ever replacate the swagger and gunslinger attitude that Favre did in your city for so many years. The NFC title will go through New Orleans this year, but a Minnesaot with Favre and New Orleans with Brees championship game would be ideal. Might even make me a fan again. I won't ever jump off the Chiefs bandwagon, but it's "Tough Times in the Land of Plenty" as Larry Johnson continues to make an asss of himself. He needs Priest Holmes or Christian Okoye to punch him in the mouth.

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Throw the slider, Brad...I kept repeating this mantra all ninth inning while Lidge kept throwing fastball after fastball. I have NO dog in this hunt, but I would hate to see a cheater like ARoid win his first series. I can not stand the Yankees and I am rooting for the Phillies to make a come back of epic proportions. By the body language of the Phils and their continued boneheaded plays that anit gonna happen. "Who's on third, no he's on first, I don't know is on third." Jimmy Rollins is the infield captain and no one thought it might have been at least a good idea to slow down, have a meeting on the mound and make sure this was covered. What to do if this happens? How about this? Gah. That was a tught way to lose a game. And the series. Not being prepared and not enough communication. That will derail most plans. Is it college basketball weather yet?





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So Mizzou is picked to finish seventh in the Big 12? People must know more than I do, because I still think they have a decent team, even with everyone graduating. I am too much of a homer. KU is picked to win the whole thing come March. I love this time of year. I will actually make an attempt to go see SLU more, maybe they will be a sleeper, because the Rick Majerus era has yet to live up to expectations. The Hawkeyes? Who knows?





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Leonard Cohen comes to the Fox on saturday night. Since my finances are in a bit better shape, I'm going. I know very little about his music (thanks, Brad for the best of CDs) but recognize "Suzanne" and "Hallelujah". He is in the rock and roll hall of fame and I have a buddy coming in from KC who loves him. He's in his 70s now and probably won't be doing this much longer, so I will go. So far, his music sounds like a New York version of the singer/songwriter type. I get a number of influences from his music and enjoy it very much. Apparently, his manager stole millions from him and this is the only way he can recover some of that money is by going out on tour. In my seventies, I hopw I'm yelling at the kids to get out of my yard. At the Fox, this show should be very sweet.
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Basketball and weigh in tonight at the Y. Can I lose 15 pounds before January 1? We'll find out.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Springsteen and Baseball and Music

Last Sunday night might have been the night that made me rethink something I said a couple of years ago. "There are very few things that bring me the feeling of awe." I may be paraphrasing myself but it was something along those lines. When I was a kid, it seemed everything was new and awesome, so to speak. A great rainbow can still do it (I have no idea why) but other than that, not much. Last Sunday night Esther and I got into the car at 4:50 and headed downtown to one of our favorite restaurants, the Key West in Union Station. We had an order of chicken wings, many top shelf margaritas and got ourselves ready for the guy who defines and sings about my life more than anyone at this time, Bruce Springsteen. I am so incredibly lucky to live in a city that allows me the opportunity to go downtown at 2pm and get newly released production seats which were literally 50 feet from the stage. I don't think my friends in the Quad Cities are allowed that luxury. After the appetizer at Key West, on with the show. At 8:15, the band comes out and continually hits me on the head with a sledgehammer. I am in tears early and often. From the opening "Wrecking Ball" to "Rosalita", he has me in the palm of his hands. Incredibly playful, during "Hungry Heart", he body surfs the audience from halfway back in the arena to the front. "Surprise Surprise" was a great birthday present to a fifteen year old fan who he doted over the entire show. She'll be a die hard till death. The sign collection brought an open-ended request for Bruce to play piano — "An elegantly made sign... somebody went to the stationary store and did themselves proud!" — and he obliged with a solo rendition of "For You" that was stunning. We got lucky to have "Born to Run" done in its entirety. "Roll Over Beethoven" was his tribute to Chuck Berry, "After all, it is St. Louis". Nothing from "Magic" and only two from the new album. Awe inspiring, like him and his band, THE greatest American rock and roll band EVER!! Here's the set list: Wrecking Ball, Seeds, Prove It All Night, Hungry Heart, Working on a Dream, (Thunder Road, Tenth Avenue Freeze out, Night, Backstreets, Born to Run, She's the One, Meeting Across the River, Jungleland) Waitin' on a Sunny Day, Working on the Highway, The Promised Land, Lonesome Day, The Rising, Badlands' No Surrender *For You (solo piano) Roll Over Beethoven, Surprise, Surprise, Detroit Medley American Land, Dancing in the Dark, Rosalita. AWE inspiring american rock and roll.
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Baseball has become a wussified sport. While the NFL has gotten tougher and the NBA seems to encourage toughness, baseball is truning into a wussifed shell of it's former self. Case in point...the constant preening and admiration of home runs from the batters box. Last night Nick Swisher (who?) of the Yankees got his first psotseason home run and preened. Watched it go but there is no bigger offender than Alex Rodriguez. Hit it, watch it, admire it, preen. I only wish there was someone with Bob Gibson or Nolan Ryan's testicular make up playing today. I swear they would put an end to this. The next time someone stands and admires it, either one of these guys would hit the next five batters along with the guy in the on deck circle and dare you to charge the mound. Wussies, all of them. What the hell has happened to the quality of umpires? Why should you need replay if you watch the friggin' ball at all times. It's easy. Fair or foul? In or out? You have eyes, use them. I cut them slack for the bang bang plays decided by .0001 of a second, but it's either in or out. Call it. I still stand by my earlier prediction...Phillies in 7.
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I must take off twenty pounds and do it now. Follow me on my journey. I will weigh myself at the Y tomorrow night and then again on December 31. I hope to be down at least fifteen. We shall see. It's all about more calories going out than coming in. Are two a days in my near future?




With that in mind, I hit the pavement with the grand dog and did about 70 minutes. Here's what I had to listen to...
"The Grind"-Tommy Bolin
"Last of the Singing Cowboys"-Marshall Tucker Band
"Lady Elenor"-Landisfarne
"Heartbeat City"-The Cars
"Good Time Living"-3 Dog Night
"In My World"-Moody Blues
"Masters of War" (even jesus would never forgive you for what you do)-Bob Dylan
"Live and Let Die"-Wings
"Independence Day"-Bruce Springsteen
"She's Gone"-Hall and Oates
"Rainfall"-Shooting Star
"The Crunge"-Led Zeppelin
"Midnight Madness" Foghat


What a gorgeous day, one filled with awe and hope.

Friday, October 30, 2009

OK....OK....OK


I had no idea so many people read this stupid thing. 37 emails and countless suggestions on facebook has made me realize that, for some sick and twisted reason, you knuckleheads actually believe anything I say... you know I'm kidding. I am humbled by the response on the hiatus. That's all it was, a hiatus. So many things have happened since we last spoke. Let's just say that "I'm not here to talk about the past."

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I have sinned against you oh king of the blogoshere. I have cheated and been spending most of my time with another lover. Facebook has taken up a great deal of my time. Let me put it like this...facebook reminds me of a beautiful woman who turns heads everywhere she goes. Perfect figure, streamlined, ready for action...but, somehow shallow and not quite ready to pledge her undying love and consistantly leaves you at the altar (wait a minute, I just described radio). Blogging is the woman who is a bit rubenesque, but a better friend you'll never find and grateful for any and all time you spend with her. Eager to please and still sexy but not head turningly beautiful. Blogging is the one you take home to mom and to bed. Facebook is the one you take out to impress your friends. I promise to spend more time with the real and less with the fantasy


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I am at a good place in my life. Things are going well, the storm has passed and I am battening down for the winter. I am in a much better place than I was six or even twelve months ago. I need to lose 20 pounds fast but other than that, I consider myself blessed. I had a great time in Springfield doing the talk show thing. I was embraced by the listeners and the management. I really started to feel comfortable and confident doing it and it could have led to bigger and better things. As we all know, life happens, time gets short and you wake up realizing like the old Frank Sinatra song says I am in the September of My Years and would like to grow old with the ones I love. I needed to be grounded and not make my living my leaving every Monday then to return home on Friday. Too many things happen and can happen. Peace be with me.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

John Hughes



Here's a guy who has his own movie genre named after him. People were always looking for the next John Hughes movie. Dead of a heart attack at 59. Ouch. That's close. Personally, I was on the air when most of these movies were in the local cine. From what I remember, he had his finger pretty much on the pulse of the youth. I found his movies entertaining, fun and for the most part, sweet with usually a nice nice ending. Although he used profanity when needed and he did it very well. The Clark Griswold melt down in "Vacation" is classic. He basically disappeared from public eye, his last public photograph was in 2001. Now, that's the way to do it. Make your money and then say goodbye, see ya, ya gotta have a four wheel drive to find me. I hope he enjoyed his later year, which sounds very strange, coming from a guy six years behind him. All I can say is nice work, man, you made us laugh and think. Your characters were superb,well thought out and well defined.

I would rate my faves as this way, right now, today..
1. National Lampoons Vacation
2. Ferris Buellers Day Off
3. Uncle Buck
4. Sixteen Candles
5. Planes, Trains, etc.

There are people who have the complete opposite view, and one of those views can be found here. Agree or disagree? He's one of the few directors that has music at the forefront of his movies. Music. There it is again. Here's a look back:

"National Lampoon's Vacation" (this clip is definitely not for work or kids)

The song? "Holiday Road" by Lindsay Buckingham.

The Breakfast Club

The song? "Don't You Forget About Me" by the Simple Minds (great song, too)

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

The song? "Twist and Shout", "Danke Shoen"

"Sixteen Candles"

The song? Nightranger, Billy Idol, Stray Cats

"Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

No song, but Al Hofer on the radio.

"Pretty in Pink"

The song? Helped revitalize the Psychedelic Furs career

And also great movies without music.....

Uncle Buck



very sweet movie, maybe my favorite of his



"Home Alone"

No song, great movie without one

Saturday, August 01, 2009

High School Reunion

"I'm standing before my old high school, it's been 35 yrs since I touched the door.
But to heal the old pain we must face it again so I'll walk down that hallway once more.
I have come to this 35 yr reunion for my heart is still prisoner of war.
And if I find it's alright we're escaping tonight, that's what I came back here for.

Won't you please waltz with me?
I feel like I'm just like I used to be my heart is locked up here so quietly believing that you hold the key.
Won't you please waltz me free?
The turns of our steps are untangling me, free from some dragged around memory and the rusty old remnants of fear.
And after 35 years, I'm melting the shackles with tears.

I'm as nervous as if its still high school, you're happily married I know.
But it's not just this dance that I'm asking you for, I'm asking you ten years ago.
Remember I wrote in your yearbook? Could you please waste some time on me?
There's just a few things I must tell you,but that's as brave as I could be.

Won't you please waltz with me?
I feel like I'm just like I used to be my heart is locked up here so quietly believing that you hold the key.

Won't you please waltz me free?
The turns of our steps are untangling me, free from some dragged around memory and the rusty old remnants of fear.
And after 35 years, I'm melting the shackles with tears.
-David Wilcox "The Last Chance Waltz" from "Home Again"

I can picture it as if it was yesterday. Walking through the halls of a school so big, it had two campuses. Hard to believe that in one of the smallest cities in the Quad Cities (there are actually five cities there, but East Moline was kicked out for bad behaviour), our school had one of the highest enrollments. The school not only serves East Moline, but Silvis, Colona, Green Rock, Carbon Cliff, etc. The school was not for the timid or meek at heart and since East Moline is situated on the wrong side of the tracks (the whole town, figuratively and literally), you can imagine this boys struggle to acclimate myself into the multi cultured fabric of United Township High School after coming from the lilly white southern Missouri town of Ava (pop. 2500). See, that was another thing that made us feel special. It was Moline High, Rock Island High, Bettendorf High, Davenport Central, East, and West but no, instead of East Moline High we were United Township. The north campus was reserved for the freshman and sophomores, perched high a top a hill close to the boundary of Silvis. On a good day, you could look out the window and see John Deere and all it's foundries and manufacturing plants, back when John Deere HAD a foundry and manufacturing plants. The plants were usually humming with people working all three shifts, seven days a week. I'm not sure what's going on in those buildings now. We used to call north campus "The Prison" because, from a distance, it looked like one, sans the barbed wire. North campus became so overcrowded, (notice how big the classrooms were on the slideshow below) lunch was served in three shifts, you were lucky if you had first shift because third shift was actually somewhere closer to one oclock. I developed my first crush on a teacher there. Pamela Newborn was my English teacher, a very young black woman who was simply stunning. I never missed her class. Mr. Diaz was my history teacher and if we got all of our work done, he'd let us bring in records to play on Friday. I believe he is now the principal. Those kids now are lucky, he was a great teacher and a great human being. Did I say that East Moline was multi cultured? Understatement. We were hispanic before being hispanic was cool. I ran around with guys with the last name of Soliz, Alejo, Martinez and Terronez. I learned about Santana and Malo from them and they learned about Led Zeppelin, Wishbone Ash, Blue Oyster Cult and Humble Pie from me. One of my best friends was the son of the preacher at the local Southern Baptist Church with an afro to die for. DaVoss Murray was another guy I palled with. DeVoss was Al Green, always trying to be so cool and he usually was. That was one thing I couldn't pull off. Being Al Green, that is. As old as it was, (built in 1913) it had a certain charm. Kind of like an old Victorian mansion that was rumoured to be haunted. One of my clsses in my sophomore year required me to be bused to the hallowed halls of South Campus which was reserved for the big kids (juniors and seniors). Five minutes before the bell rang, I'd have to be dismissed early from Latin class (thank God) and catch the bus to south campus, where I would arrive at class five minutes late. Five minutes before that class was over, I'd catch the bus to go back to north campus where I would arrive five minutes late. I felt very special. The summer of 1972 was the "transition year" going from the north to the south. South Campus was newer, cleaner and much more fun. Smoking dope in the parking lot (for reference, see the opening scene of "Dazed and Confused") and then piling in to SC was one sure sign that you weren't a kid anymore. The teachers were cooler and better (or so I thought anyway) with a journalism teacher that allowed us to build a radio station in the back of his class. "Only if you can get the parts yourselves." That summer between junior and senior year was spent pleading with local stations to give us their scrap parts so John "Ohm" Perkins could fix them. Writing stories for the school newspaper was a blast and the subject of most of them was...wait for it..surprise...music! My review of "Goats Head Soup" by the Stones contained the line.."this is the first Stones album that marks the decline of what once was the greatest rock and roll band on Earth. They hit their apogee with "Exile" and it will be a long, slow, painful descent from that peak." Pretty spot on if I do say so myself. My good friend Mike was not pleased. "The only musical taste you have is in your mouth." Critics. I remember loaning my copy of "Catch Bull at Four" to a gal (no names) because she wanted to listen to it and I wanted to make a great impression and then being horrified when it came back to me in almost pieces. "Sorry about that", and then she proceeded to date my arch rival. Bitch. The thing that tied it all together was music. From "Maggie Mae" to "Sundown" and "Annies Song", I don't think the quality of music from 1971-1974 has ever been duplicated. Great albums and great pop songs (Roberta Flack, Neil Diamond and the Carpenters still slay me). 35 years. Where's it gone? I can't fathom the things and the memories that have washed under the bridge since then. Marriage twice, three kids, grandkids and an incredible career in radio that I could have only dreamed about, NEVER in my wildest fantasies did I think it would have turned out like this. It will be great to see some of those people just to say the lines that Toby Keith once made famous.. "how do you like me now?" It will be just great to see others and catch up on how we got this far. In a class our size, a number of them have passed, some I didn't know about til recently (Kevin Claeys). I've met presidents, almost a Beatle, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, almost Bruce Springsteen (Max Weinberg) and spent the last 32 years playing for a living. The ties that have bridged those years are few and far between, but the one strong thread, the one thing that will transport me back in time was, is and will always remain one thing...the music. Here's to Lobo, Edward Bear, Hurricane Smith, Mouth and McNeil, Don McClean, War, the Ohio Players, the Ojays, etc etc.
35 years, where'd it go?





Thursday, July 16, 2009

Proud of America

Killed in action the week before, the body of Staff Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, on June 11, 2009.
The Henry County Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough , Georgia . A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time.
Nowadays one can be led to believe that America no longer respects honor and no longer honors sacrifice outside the military. Be it known that there are many places in this land where people still recognize the courage and impact of total self-sacrifice. Georgia remains one of those graceful places. The link below is a short travelogue of that day's remarkable and painful journey. But only watch this if you wish to have some of your faith in people restored

Monday, June 29, 2009

An Opportunity to Express Yourself

Here is something you will hear a lot about on the air.....


Poor Thespians Productions is now accepting play submissions of any length for our In Memoriam Series. Submitted works must have a positive military theme and must allow for minimalist staging. The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 4, 2010. Select plays will be performed in mid-May. Playwrights will be notified of their acceptance into the series by the following Monday, January 11.

Please send a hard copy of all plays, with pertinent contact information to:
Poor Thespians Productions “In Memoriam Series”
437 East Locust
Bolivar, MO 65613


If you have questions regarding your play, the submission process, or the series itself, please feel free to contact me at poorbryant@gmail.com.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Good Friday Read


Law of the Garbage Truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!
The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so... love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

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