Saturday, December 30, 2006
The family started the day by going to the Museum of Television of Radio on West 52nd Street. We saw:
1. Batman episode with Julie Newmar as the Catwoman
2. The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 with the Beatles.
3. A James Brown special that was originally on the air in 1968
4. A show about Teenagers on TV series over the past 50 years.
From there we walked to the Times Square area to eat dinner. I originally wanted to go to Ellen's Stardust Diner on 51st Street and Broadway but there was a very long line at 5 PM. As expected there were mobs of people, most tourists, in the Times Square area. Instead of waiting on line we walked to West 38th Street where we ate at Ben's Deli.
We walked to Madison Square Garden and got tickets for the College Basketball doubleheader.
Game 1 - St Josephs beat Boston University 58-53
Game 2 - Hofstra beat St. Johns 63 - 51
It was a shame that the crowd was so small. It seems there is very little interest in College basketball even with 2 New York schools in the finals. At $15/ticket, it was realy a bargain for Madison Square Garden.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
BY GLENN GAMBOA
Newsday Staff Writer
November 16, 2006
Part of the thrill of a Bob Dylan concert is never knowing what to expect.
His moods, his musical approaches and his set lists all vary so wildly that trying to predict one of his shows is like trying to pick election winners two years in advance. Dylan's live shows are known for their volatility, so how does he shake that up? He delivers a show so amiable, so avuncular that you keep waiting for a sharpened twist that never comes.
His 110-minute show at Nassau Coliseum Monday night was stylish and pretty, occasionally rocking in an elegant, gentlemanly way befitting a band dressed in suits and hats. It was also like waiting for the sky to fall. And what could be a more accurate metaphor for our "Modern Times" than that?
Dylan and his impressive five-piece band opened with a "Maggie's Farm" that was polished and devoid of protest. "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more," was more of a dinner-table declaration than a slogan for marchers in the streets.
The encores "Like a Rolling Stone" and "All Along the Watchtower" confounded those who wanted to sing along because Dylan's delivery was so light and understated that the screaming audience would blow right past him. While the audience bellowed "How does it feel?" in ham-fisted 4/4 time, Dylan's voice fluttered around the lyrics and the expected timing, as if he was just fooling around, as if he was asking the audience, "How does that feel?"
Even the arrangements were musical head fakes, as the usual fiery guitar solos on "Watchtower" were replaced by Denny Freeman's scratch guitar which owed more to '60s soul than the raucous '60s rock Dylan helped build.
One of Dylan's major victories in recent years is his ability to escape audience expectations. "You think I'm over the hill, you think I'm past my prime," he sang in "Spirit on the Water," from his new album, "Modern Times" (Columbia). "Let me see what you got. We can have a whoppin' good time."
Dylan isn't interested in giving his audience what they want. He gives them what they need.
He doesn't want them to dwell in the past. He doesn't want to give them flashbacks to their wild, radical youth. His interest is in the present, and his unpredictable live show is designed to make them appreciate their current surroundings, even if it means easing back on "Tangled Up in Blue" or filling "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" with some Chicago blues.
Dylan provided a healthy sampling of the excellent "Modern Times," though he did stick with the more listener-friendly songs ("Spirit on the Water") instead of the more controversial ones ("Workingman's Blues #2" and "The Levee's Gonna Break").
Maybe he will tackle those -- just as masterfully, no doubt -- when he's in a different mood.
BOB DYLAN. Putting up signs of "Modern Times." With the Raconteurs. Thursday night at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.; Next Monday at City Center in Manhattan. Seen Monday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Here is the set list from the concert as posted on http://www.boblinks.org :
|Uniondale, New York|
Nassau County Coliseum
November 13, 2006
|2.||She Belongs To Me|
|3.||Honest With Me|
|4.||Spirit On The Water|
|5.||It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)|
|6.||When The Deal Goes Down|
|7.||High Water (For Charley Patton)|
|8.||Visions Of Johanna|
|9.||Rollin' And Tumblin'|
|10.||Ballad Of A Thin Man|
|11.||Tangled Up In Blue|
|13.||Highway 61 Revisited|
|14.||Thunder On The Mountain|
|15.||Like A Rolling Stone|
|16.||All Along The Watchtower|
Bob Dylan - keyboard, harp
Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar
Denny Freeman - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - electric mandolin, violin, pedal steel, lap steel
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
We drove out to Hempstead again today and saw Hofstra lose to Northeastern 34-24. This will be our last football game of the season. Tonight I took the subway to Manhattan to meet Jon Binstock for dinner. I became acquainted with Jon about 10 years ago on the Prodigy radio boards. Neither of us is in the radio business; we just follow it as a hobby. We went for dinner at the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue and 55th Street. I had a wopper of a pastrami sandwich. We were talking about radio aand the woman sitting next to us said she had worked for Clear Channel radio some years back, but since then had gotten out of the radio business.
Saturday night oldies was only on from 6-6:30 tonight since WABC was carrying a hockey game. At that time I was in Manhattan with Jon. Someone has already downloaded it and posted it to a message board. I am listening to a recording of it.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
I don't care what the critics think. I enjoyed this musical. I guess Broadway is a very tough nut to crack. The main criticism was that there was no story and an incongruity between the songs and the dancing. I bought tickets for a preview because I sensed that it could close early as many "jukebox musicals" have. I guess the Tee-Sirt that I bought from the show will be a collectors item
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A musical set to the songs of Bob Dylan will close less than a month after it opened on Broadway, the show's public relations firm said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The Times They Are A-Changin" -- which was critically panned -- will have its final performance on November 19, closing after 28 performances, a spokesman for Shaffer-Coyle Public Relations said.
The closure of the show, conceived and choreographed by Twyla Tharp who successfully transformed Billy Joel's songs into Tony-award winning musical "Movin' Out," follows failures like last year's flop "Lennon" about the late Beatle.
In his review, New York Times critic Ben Brantley called the Bob Dylan show "the latest heart-rending episode in Broadway's own reality soap opera, 'When bad shows happen to great songwriters.'"
The iconic Dylan approached Tharp three years ago but the critically acclaimed choreographer failed to woo critics, who said her fable about a struggling circus did not capture the magic of Dylan's songs.
New York columnist Michael Musto called the closing a "mercy killing."
"Dylan and Tharp didn't cohabit well in a circus setting, especially with a nearly incomprehensible storyline," he said. "But both are artists and will survive long after this becomes a camp footnote."
© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.
Saturday, November 4, 2006
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Nothing much happened today. This morning I took Lee to Cunningham Park as we usually do once a weekend. There was a big Dog Show (4 legged :)) in the park. It was a shame that the heavy winds made it uncomfortable for the people there. Later on the 3 of us walked around Alley Pond Park and stopped into Dunkin Donuts for a snack.
All of the reviews for The Times They are A Changin' were bad. The reviewers felt that Twyla Tharp did not do justice to Dylan's songs. This may mean that the show will close soon.
Back to work tomorrow.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
I disagree with this review!!!. I enjoyed it.
And now for the latest heart-rending episode in Broadway's own reality soap opera, ''When Bad Shows Happen to Great Songwriters.''
If you happen to be among the masochists who make a habit of attending the entertainments called jukebox musicals, in which pop hits are beaten up by singing robots, you may think you've seen it all: the neutering of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys in ''Good Vibrations,'' the canonizing (and shrinking) of John Lennon as a misunderstood angel-child in ''Lennon,'' and the forcible transformation of Johnny Cash from Man in Black to Sunshine Cowboy in ''Ring of Fire.''
But even these spectacles of torture with a smile, frightening though they may be, are but bagatelles compared with the systematic steamrolling of Bob Dylan that occurs in ''The Times They Are A-Changin','' which opened last night at the Brooks Atkinson Theater.
Mr. Dylan's songs have been entrusted to the great choreographer Twyla Tharp, the woman who gloriously redeemed the jukebox genre with ''Movin' Out,'' a narrative ballet set to songs by Billy Joel. Ms. Tharp is one of the bona fide, boundary-stretching geniuses of modern dance. And when a genius goes down in flames, everybody feels the burn.
Using little more than the bodies of her dancers to tell a decade-spanning story of an American working-class generation, Ms. Tharp found unexpected depths in Mr. Joel's music. Using a whole lot more scenery, props and special effects to create a circus-themed allegory of fathers and sons, Ms. Tharp single-handedly drags Mr. Dylan into the shallows.
Among epochal popular music artists of the last 50 years, no one has matched Mr. Dylan in combining a distinctive, easily identified style with an evasiveness that defies pigeonholes. Folkie, protest singer, rock'n'roller, gospel spiritualist, symbolist poet: Mr. Dylan has invited and rejected each of these labels, wriggling out of them with Houdini-like slipperiness to reinvent himself anew.
His very style of singing -- casual, almost throwaway, yet achingly intense -- provides a remarkably complete defense system against those who would parse his lyrics into one core of meaning or belief. Divorce his words from his melodies, and pretension and preciousness rear their self-conscious heads. Most of Mr. Dylan's best songs, even his full-throttle anthems of rebellion and hedonism, tingle with ambivalence, mystery and a knowing sense of the surrealism of so-called reality.
A surrealist approach would certainly seem to have been Ms. Tharp's idea for ''The Times,'' first staged at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego last winter and extensively revised since. This songbook-driven tale of Oedipal conflict is set in a traveling circus, the sinister, down-at-heel American variety portrayed in films from the 1930's and 40's like ''Freaks'' and ''Nightmare Alley.'' But with her top-drawer design team, led by Santo Loquasto (sets and costumes) and Donald Holder (lighting), Ms. Tharp pushes the atmosphere into the phantasmagorical luridness of Fellini, with a splash of Bergmanesque darkness for shivery spice.
Sounds tantalizing, huh? The program indicates that the setting is ''Sometime between awake and asleep,'' and if Ms. Tharp had seen fit simply to keep us wandering through a shifting dreamscape, set to Mr. Dylan's music, ''The Times'' might have passed muster as a really cool head trip for unregenerate hippies in search of natural highs. This would also have allowed each Dylan fan to bring his or her own interpretation to the murky goings-on, no doubt inspiring heated postperformance debates. (''No, man, don't you see, what the little dog stands for is purity!'')
But Ms. Tharp is a precisionist in all things, and she brings to her storytelling the same exacting discipline that informs her choreography. Metaphoric images, which float miragelike when heard in song, are nailed down with literal visual equivalents. And highlights of the Dylan repertory (from ''Mr. Tambourine Man'' to ''Knockin' on Heaven's Door'') take the place of plot-propelling dialogue.
In a show like ''Mamma Mia!'' (the Abba musical) this device can be kind of a hoot. But as you might expect of Ms. Tharp, this lady's not for hooting.
The story -- or fable, as Ms. Tharp prefers to call it -- is about a creepy tyrant named Captain Ahrab (Thom Sesma, who does indeed suggest Melville by way of Tim Burton) who rules over his traveling circus with a bullwhip. His employees include a whole passel of clowns, a lovely female runaway named Cleo (Lisa Brescia) and Ahrab's son, Coyote (Michael Arden), who has the clean-scrubbed look of a sensitive high school sports star.
Will the idealistic Coyote take up his father's whip to exploit the leadership-hungry clowns? Will he steal Cleo from Dad? Will he create a more benign world order? Hint: The show begins with Coyote looking soulfully into the audience to intone, with ominousness and dewy hope, ''The Times They Are A-Changin'.''
The three principals share most of the major singing, through which we learn of both father's and son's feelings for Cleo (via a duet version of ''Just Like a Woman'') and of Cleo's lonely wistfulness (''Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'').
Ahrab's cynical huckster's world view is conveyed by his growling through numbers like ''Desolation Row'' and ''Highway 61 Revisited.''
In contrast, Coyote wonders ''how many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man,'' and Cleo senses a kindred spirit in the lad. Coyote is soon shyly proposing to Cleo that she ''lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed.'' (That I stifled a groan at this point should be honored as an act of heroic restraint.) In the meantime, the clowns are growing restless and rebel against their cruel master, who is destined to find himself ''knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door.''
Are you still with me, brave reader? Ms. Tharp turns lyrics' metaphors not only into flesh but also into flashlights, jump-ropes, stuffed animals and new brooms that sweep clean. (If there was a kitchen sink onstage, I missed it, which isn't to say it wasn't there.) Props rule in this magic kingdom, along with charadelike annotations of images.
Just mention, say, Cinderella in ''Desolation Row,'' and there she is, center stage. When the same song refers to Dr. Filth, there he is performing surgery (on a truly amazing contortionist who provides the show with its single most disturbing image).
When Ahrab breaks his son's jeweled Cubist guitar, which he has been playing so spiritedly for ''Like a Rolling Stone,'' the mournful Cleo freezes the moment by singing ''Everything Is Broken.'' And as hedonism acquires mortal shadows in ''Mr. Tambourine Man,'' who should show up but a group of black-hooded dancers straight out of Ingmar Bergman's ''Seventh Seal.''
Of the three soloists, Mr. Arden comes closest to finding a compromise between Dylanesque twang and hearty melodiousness. But all the leading players suffer from being stranded between character and allegory. (I kept thinking of the woman in Christopher Durang's parody of Sam Shepard who looked proudly at her son and said, ''I gave birth to a symbol -- and me with no college education.'')
Perversely, the songs seem to become more abstract -- and more fixed in their metaphysical meanings -- from being linked with individual characters. The orchestrations (by Michael Dansicker and Mr. Dylan) are often evocative of the original Dylan recordings, but I will say that this is the first time that it ever occurred to me that ''Rainy Day Women No. 12 and 35'' could sound, in an instrumental bridge, like ''The Trolley Song.''
The corps de clowns includes the extraordinary John Selya, who dazzled in ''Movin' Out,'' as the circus strongman and leader of the clown rebellion. But while Mr. Selya looks as buff and agile as ever, he doesn't get much chance to strut his kinetic stuff. There are a few glorious passages of Ms. Tharp's signature, tight-muscled choreography, in which angular body tension becomes its own philosophical statement, an expression of raw existential frustration.
Mostly, though, Ms. Tharp concentrates on stylish variations on circus stunts -- including stilt walking, tumbling and tightrope walking -- some of them truly jaw-dropping. A trampolinelike surface has been built into the stage, allowing the dancers to appear to levitate.
But if the choreography at times defies gravity, the show itself may be the most earthbound work Ms. Tharp has produced. Even as the dancers seem to fly, Mr. Dylan's lyrics are hammered, one by one, into the ground.
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Conceived by Twyla Tharp; music and lyrics by Bob Dylan; directed and choreographed by Ms. Tharp; music arranged, adapted and supervised by Michael Dansicker; sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto; lighting by Donald Holder; sound by Peter Hylenski; orchestrations by Mr. Dansicker and Mr. Dylan; music director, Henry Aronson; music coordinator, Howard Joines; technical supervisor, Smitty; production stage manager, Arthur Gaffin; associate producers, Jesse Huot, Ginger Montel and Rhoda Mayerson; general manager, the Charlotte Wilcox Company. Presented by James L. Nederlander; Hal Luftig and Warren Trepp; Debra Black; East of Doheny; Rick Steiner/Mayerson Bell Staton Group; Terry Allen Kramer; Patrick Catullo; and Jon B. Platt and Roland Sturm. At the Brooks Atkinson Theater, 256 West 47th Street; (212) 307-4100. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
WITH: Michael Arden (Coyote), Thom Sesma (Captain Ahrab), Lisa Brescia (Cleo) and Lisa Gajda, Neil Haskell, Jason McDole, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, Jonathan Nosan, John Selya and Ron Todorowski (the Ensemble).
GRAPHIC: Photos: The Times They Are A-Changin' -- Michael Arden as the son of a creepy ringmaster in the Twyla Tharp musical with music by Bob Dylan at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. (Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)(pg. E1)
Going to the carnival: Thom Sesma, center, as the tyrannical Captain Ahrab in ''The Times They Are A-Changin' '' at the Brooks Atkinson. (Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)(pg. E2)
LOAD-DATE: October 27, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Today the family went to the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan to see the Bob Dylan exhibition devoted to his formative years. I was like a kid in a candy store viewing the Dylan memorabilia of my favorite era of his career. For example, there were signed copies of Dylan albums from that era. I enjoyed a booth which featured clips from the films Don't Look Back and Eat the Document. The latter was a documentary of Dylan's 1966 tour of England. It featured a clip of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash singing together. The Slutsky family is in 7th heaven when we see those two together. There were booths for each of Dylan's albums from that era. One could press a button and hear each song from that respective album. There was a copy of the Hibbing High School yearbook with his picture. For more information please see http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/dylan.asp
The Morgan was certainly a very exquisite museum suited for very cultured people. From there we went to Mendy's kosher restaurant on 34th and Park Avenue where I had my pastrami sandwich with chicken soup.
Sounds of the Sixties was not available on the Internet this week. Apparently the BBC had some technical difficulties, so I listening to XM's the Loft which is very similar to WFUV. It seems I never listen to Dylan when I am writing a blog entry about him.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
It was October 16, 1983 at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation on Long Island when I married Karen. I was 34 years old at the time which is old for someone marrying for the first time. In some ways it seems like yesterday, but in others it seems like an eternity. It was a sunny and mild day when we tied the knot. I guess I should talk about what has transpired over 23 years of marriage. We honeymooned on Hawaii where I got a very bad sunburn. Since then I was never much of a beach person. At that time I worked for the big New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. Lee was born on March 28, 1988. Time imposes changes on all of us, but Karen has been extremely resistant to any kind of change. She is very set in her ways which has frustrated me very much over the years. You can't have everything. In this day and age many marriages don't last very long, so I guess ours have passed the test of time. But my former sister-in-law Arlene who introduced me to Karen back in 1980 divorced Paul (Karen's brother) some years back after 24 years of marriage. My parents were married for 51 years when my Dad died in 1997.
The Met Cardinal game was rained out tonight so I guess that Din G from the NJIT library will not respond to this entry. :)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I won't talk about how the Mets lost last night. It was a year ago today that I started this blog. There have been 1600 hits, half of which must have been my own. I do not want to do a statistical analysis of this blog. That would be bean counting which I define as compiling statistics just to keep busy as is done all the time at work. I'd like to thank the people who have responded to my postings:
Mike B - former NJIT colleague and Red Sox Fan
Heather H - current NJIT colleague and great advocate of instant messaging. Last night I had a dream about getting an instant message in the library asking how automotive spark plugs work,
Din G - another current NJIT colleague and Yankee, Net and Jet fan
Mike S - from Forest Hills High School class of 1967
Some of the popular topics of this blog:
Weekend Activities with the family.
I will keep this blog going!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Sunday, October 8, 2006
There will not be a subway series this year. The Yankees choked during the big games. The media is making Alex Rodriguez the scapegoat since he only got one hit in 14 at bats in the ALDS. There is even a story in the Daily News that Joe Torre will be fired and Lou Pinnella will be named new manager. I really don't fault Joe, but you can't fire the team. I think the Mets can now win the World Series. I am hoping that San Diego wins their series so that Mike Piazza will come back to Shea. How are you doing Din?
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Monday, October 2, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Saturday, September 9, 2006
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
For the first time in 30 years, Bob Dylan tops The Billboard 200 with "Modern Times." Not only is it the legendary songwriter's first album to reach the throne since "Desire" in 1976, it's also his highest debuting album and his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The Columbia set moved 192,000 copies in the United States in its first week.
"Modern Times" is Dylan's third consecutive top 10 studio set, following 1997's "Time Out of Mind" and 2001's "Love & Theft." Aside from "Desire" and "Modern Times," only two other Dylan albums assumed the plateau on the chart: 1974's "Planet Waves" and the 1975 classic "Blood on the Tracks."
Not bad for a 65 year old
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Monday, September 4, 2006
Sunday, September 3, 2006
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Day 4 – Saturday August 26
We left the motel near St. Louis at 8 AM and arrived in Chicago at 2 PM. The first stop was Harry Caray’s, a restaurant named for the famous broadcaster for the Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox. We ate from a delicious Italian buffet. From there we went to US Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago. The game was briefly delayed by a shower at 5:45 PM. This game between the Minnesota Twins and White Sox turned out to be the best of all we saw on this trip. Many of the people in our group were from Minnesota or Wisconsin and were avid Twin fans. The Twins had a 6-3 lead but the White Sox rallied to tie game a 7 at the end of 9 innings. The Twins scored in the top of the 11th and won the game 8-7.
Day 3 – Friday August 25th
We left the hotel at 10:30 AM for downtown St. Louis. Our first stop was the landmark Gateway Arch. We took a tram to the top where we were able to see Illinois on one side and St. Louis from the other. There was also s museum with artifacts concerning the opening of the west. From there we went to the new Busch Stadium, which just opened this season. The tour guides showed us the luxury boxes and let us sit in the dugouts. The next stop was the St. Louis Cardinals Museum and Bowling Hall of Fame that were in the same building. Dinner for us was in Mike Shannon’s a restaurant owned and operated by the former Cardinal player. The game, which started at 7 PM, was a match up between regional rivalries the Cubs and Cardinals. The Cardinals won the game 2-0 in spite of leaving 15 men on base. (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260825124) Although the Cubs scored 11 runs against the Phillies yesterday, the Cards shut them out today. When we arrived back at the hotel Jay was selling t-shirts with logos of his tour company.
Day 2 – Thursday August 24th
We left the motel in Milwaukee at 9 AM and traveled to Chicago where we arrived at 11 AM by Wrigley Field. We walked around the neighborhood called Wrigleyville until 12:30 Pm when we went into the ball park. We had great seats just on the third base side of home plate on the lower level. The game turned out to be a blowout with the Cubs defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2. (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260824116 ) The actor Harold Ramis sang Take Me Out To the Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch. Jay Buckley, our tour guide, gave us 1 ½ hours to eat dinner near the ball park. We departed Wrigley at 5:15 PM. Jay gave us a little tour of Chicago as we drove toward St. Louis. He showed us a video of the history of the St. Louis Cardinals. He later gave everyone a chance to talk about themselves. I went up to the microphone and spoke about my history with the New York Mets. We arrived at the motel in Collinsville, IL at 11:15. We spent about 8 hours today on the bus.
Day 1 – Wednesday August 23rd
As expected the beginning of the day was uneventful. After we ate a continental breakfast provided by the hotel, we walked around the area for a short time but there was nothing there except for warehouses and factories. We spent most of the morning watching television. At 12 Noon when we had to leave the room we met several of our “tour mates” in the lobby. We met people from San Francisco, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The tour bus, which picked up people in Wisconsin, arrived at 1:45 PM It left at 2 PM and arrived at Miller Park in Milwaukee at 4 PM when our tailgate party began. There were plenty of hamburgers, bratwust and beer for all. Miller Park which opened in 2001 is certainly a beautiful stadium. Since there was a threat of rain, the retractable dome was closed. The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 7 –1. Kaz Matsui who was dropped by the Mets earlier in the season played for the Rockies. For a recap please see http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260823108
Last winter I did some Google searching for baseball tours. I found that Jay Buckley in La Crosse, Wisconsin runs many such trips each year. We picked this trip in late August which was most convenient for us. We would be visiting Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wrigley Field in Chicago, the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis and back to Chicago to see US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.
Tuesday August 22nd.
We left the house at 9:30 AM and arrived at LaGuardia Airport at about 10:00 AM. The line for security was not too bad, but we had to take off our shoes and were not allowed to take liquids on the plane. American Airlines Flight 325 left on time at 12 noon and we arrived at Chicago-O’Hare at 1:15 PM. Our motel, the Exel Inn was about 15 minutes away in an industrial area. We decided to arrive a day early to make sure we met the tour bus on time on Wednesday. There was just nothing to so at or near this motel except to watch television or read. A Subway Sandwich shop was the only place within walking distance to eat dinner.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Sunday, August 6, 2006
The Herschafts have been friends of the Slutsky family since the 1950s. My mother met Eleanor back then when they were active in the Rego Park Chapter of Deborah. I met their son Roy in Forest Hills High School back in the mid 1960s. I remember walking with him to Forest Hills High School all those years ago. We used to memorize the WABC and WMCA surveys of the top hits of that era. Roy used to be a big fan of Diana Ross and the Supremes while I was an advocate of Bob Dylan and the Beatles. We have been good friends since then though both of us had moved around quite a bit since then.
Roys mother Eleanor passed away Thursday after being ill for several months. We thought she was on the road to recovery but she apparently suffered a second heart attack and passed away at the age of 85. Today was her funeral at the Mt Zion Cemetery in Maspeth Queens. There were only 20 or so people since she had a small family and had outlived many of her contemporaries. Karen, Lee and my mother were there to give Roy our support. It's always better to get together at Simchas.
Saturday, August 5, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
Today when I arrived at work, I found out the Rhonda had just given birth to a baby boy. She told everyone that she was not due until late August, but last Thursday she was really enormous and wasn't feeling well. I certainly wish Rhonda the best.
This morning my colleague Jackie announced that she was expecting at the end of January. This certainly came as a surprise to everyone. She is in her late 30s and of course a pregnancy at that age may be risky. She said that the tests she had taken indicated everyone was OK and that the baby is going to be a boy. I didn't find out that Lee was a boy until the instant he was born. I was in the delivery room and gave Karen all my support. Likewise, I wish Jackie and her family all the best.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
As I am writing this entry Brian Matthew is playing I Shot Mr. Lee by the Bobbettes, a minor hit in 1960. It is a follow-up to Mr. Lee by the Bobbettes, a Slutsky family favorite since 1988 when Lee was born. At Lee's Bar Mitzvah in 2001 the DJ played Mr. Lee while Lee walked into the reception.
Enough reminisicing for now. I had seen an advertisement for a free Jazz festival at Queens College for today. We didn't go since it was oppressively hot again. We certainly didn't want to stand on a hot campus and be uncomfortable. It would have been nice to do something different but the weather did not cooperate. Instead we walked to the local multiplex and saw the Miami Vice movie. The producers of movies these days can't think of any new ideas so they make movie versions of old TV series.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Regular readers of this blog (if they still do :)) should recognize that I am always listening to Saturday night oldies on WABC with Mark Simone. About 6 months after WCBS-FM dropped oldies for the dreaded Jack format, WABC started an oldies show on Saturday night. From 1960-82 WABC was the premier Top 40 station in the USA if not NYC. From 1982 to the present it has been a conservative leaning talk station. This oldies show gives enthusiasts of 60s and 70s music a place over the air to listen to their favorite music for 4 hours a week. The show has a message board at: http://www.musicradio77.com/wabcboard/wwwboard//wabcboard1.html
A little after 8 PM he played an obscure oldies called Ma Belle Amie by a Dutch group called the Tee Set. I wrote on the board that back in 1970 when this was a hit Dan Ingram would say "Who is Ralph Bellamy's mother?" Ma Belle Amie. Mark Simone read my post.
Today the terrific trio braved the rain and went to Shea Stadium. On the way to the game it started to rain. The game was supposed to start at 1:20, but it was delayed until 2:20. The Mets came from behind to beat the Houston Astros 4-3 with El Duque as the winning pitcher.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Sunday, July 9, 2006
NEW YORK (AP) - Twyla Tharp took on the music of Billy Joel and created Movin' Out, which ran for more than three years on Broadway.
Now the director-choreographer has turned to another pop superstar, Bob Dylan, for her next project - The Times They Are A-Changin'.
The musical, a coming-of-age story set in a circus, opens Oct. 26 at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Preview performances begin Sept. 25.
The Times They Are A-Changin concerns a young man, played by Michael Arden; his tyrannical father, portrayed by Thom Sesma, and a beautiful circus performer (Caren Lyn Manuel).
The musical received mostly encouraging reviews when it premiered last February at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. The San Diego Union-Tribune called it an "exciting, flawed, phantasmagoric fable," while the San Francisco Chronicle said it "looks like a success," praising the production's "dynamic performances and imaginatively acrobatic choreography."
Among the Dylan hits in the show - besides the title song - are Blowin' in the Wind, Mr. Tambourine Man, Lay Lady Lay, Subterranean Homesick Blues and Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.
Saturday, July 8, 2006
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
I was listening to Shawn Nagy's oldies station http://www.superoldies.com/main.html and a Johhny Cash song It's About the Time comes up. I was getting to write a blog entry about the release of the Johnny Cash CD American V: A Hundred Highways. Lee and I drove over to the FYE in Bayside to buy it today. I was suprised that it was open on the 4th of July. A good review may be found at http://music.monstersandcritics.com/reviews/article_1177939.php/Album_Review_Johnny_Cash_%96_%91American_V_A_Hundred_Highways%92
The CD was somewhat morbid. Johnny recorded it during his last year and the songs reflect dieing.
Before the season began we bought a 6 pack of tickets to see the Mets this season. It included the July 3rd game which was also fireworks night. The Mets were just awful as they lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-1. At this point the Mets had lost 6 out of 7 games. Any good team goes into a slump at some point of the season. The Mets still hold a 10 1/2 game lead in the National League East. Let's hope that the slump has ended and that we can coast into the playoffs. However, there have been some collapses in penant races in the past.
A few days ago I was sitting with Lee outside my building. A neighbor passed by and said she had some extra tickets for todays game against the Pirates. How can I say no. The Mets feel behind but scored 3 runs in the 8th inning to win 7-6.
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Friday, June 30, 2006
The three guys in this picture are mixed up. The guy in the middle is wearing a Mets shirt, but out in Arizona he must be ecstatic since the Red Sox just beat the Mets 3 games in a row by the scores of 9-2, 10-4, and 4-2. The guy on the right is wearing a red shirt, but is he wearing red socks? The guy on the left is completely lost. He doesn't know the difference between Fenway Park and Central Park
Anyway, the Mets are still 11 games ahead in the National League East. Baring a complete collapse, they will be in the playoffs. They start a 3 game series against the Yankees in the Bronx tonight.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
The is the first Fathers Day in several years that I've been home. Let's look back:
2004 - Nashville
2005 - San Francisco
Since we we home, we resumed the tradition of Karen's going down to buy the Sunday New York Times.
It was pretty hot and humid today, so we stayed close to home. We saw X-Men The last stand at the local multiplex.
Last night we went to Shea to see the Mets lose to the Baltimore Orioles 4-2. Today the Amazins bounced back and won 9-4
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I sure wish that someone would come up with a cure for the common cold. I just wasn't up to par so I took it easy near home. I took Lee to Forest Park in the morning to shoot baskets. In the early afternoon we walked over to the Wendys in the neighborhood for some hamburgers. Over this weekend I downloaded 5 Theme Time Radio shows with Bob Dylan as the host. For years I have grappled with buying an XM radio and subscribing to the service for $13/month. Since AOL offers the music channels on XM, I decided not to subscribe. In May they introduced a show called Theme Time Radio with Bob Dylan as the host to be heard on the Deep Tracks Channel. When I tried to listen they said that XM listeners on AOL and Direct TV could not get that program. Somebody post the shows on a web site and I downloaded them. These are songs selected by Dylan, not his songs. Bob sure knows his music.
The Mets are killing the Arizona Diamondbacks 15-2. It looks like we will have some post season baseball at Shea this year. I am hoping for a replay of the 2000 World Series with the opposite result.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 9, 2006
Sunday, June 4, 2006
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Today marked the first anniversary of worst format change in radio history. On June 3, 2005 the Infinity Broadcasting executives dropped oldies on 101.1 FM after 33 years and changed to the Jack format. The station featured wonderful radio personalities and a deep playlist of hits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I really enjoyed the specialty shows such as the Top 20 Oldies Countdown, Soul of the City, and the weeknight Hall of Fame shows. My fondest memory of the station was hearing Lee's birthday announcement on the Harry Harrison morning show. In May 2001, Harry announced Lee's Bar Mitzvah on the air. We played back the tape at his reception. A year ago today the format was abruptly dropped while the radio personalities were let go with no notice. There is no sense to rant anymore here.
A few months ago I began to plan a gathering for today. In this era of e-mail and message boards it was easy to reach people to invite them. I got help from fellow oldies enthusiast Jeff Scheckner. We picked Ellen's Stardust Diner at Broadway and 51st Street http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com/ . The waiters and waitresses sing oldies while you eat.
About 40 people came. I already received some photos. Above you see me in a crowd. I am wearing the yellow shirt with blue horizontal stripes. The highlight of the show was the appearance of Bobby Jay and was a DJ at the station for about 18 years. I remember winning a call in contest on his show c1987. When Bobby walked in, he received a standing ovation. I must say that he has a lot of class. He said he was very appreciative of the support that we gave him. Unfortunately, he has not gotten a full time gig since CBS let him go a year ago. Tonight he is emceeing a show at the Westbury Music Fair. I certainly wish Bobby the best. He sure deserves it.
You can see photos at http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bruces8852/my_photos
Friday, June 2, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Thank goodness I was on vacation today. There was a very serious power failure along the Northeast Rail Corridor between NYC and Washington. New Jersey Transit trains were out. the power failure occurred at 8 AM when I would have been on the train.
Once a year a take a walk around my old neighborhood in Rego Park Queens.
When I was two years old (1951) my family moved there from Brooklyn. I stayed there with my parents on Saunders Street until 1972 when I went off to school at the University of Rhode Island. I returned in 1974 when I didn't get a job immediately after graduation. In May 1974 when I got my first job I moved to New Brunswick, NJ and from there to New London, CT. Circumstances forced me to move back with my parents in late 1978. In 1980, I got my own apartment on Wetherole St. a few blocks away from my parents. Later in 1980 they moved about a mile away to Forest Hills. IN 1983 when I was first married, Karen and I moved to an apartment on 99th Street in Rego Park. In 1984 when my father-in-law moved to Florida we took over his co-op in Flushing which is only 4 miles away. We have lived there ever since.
When I make my yearly trip to Rego Park (usually in May) I observe the retail establishments. Only a few have remained since the 1960s. The demographics of the neighborhood have changed. It is not as Jewish as it once was. Today, I observed several stores with signs in Greek. I made it my business to pass by the three apartments where I lived over the years.
The biggest retail establishment was Alexanders Department Store which closed about 15-20 years ago. That site is now occupied by 5 smaller stores. I stopped by Circuit City where I resisted the temptation to buy an XM radio. I can get the XM radio stations on AOL anyway.
Until next year.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
It is Bob Dylan's birthday and I am off from work. WFUV is playing the 15 essential BobDylan songs as voted by listeners and Dylan covers. I just heard a reggae version of Maggies Farm followed by I Shall be Released. I remember in 1971 seeing a Peanuts strip saying Oh My Bob Dylan is 30. When Mr Zimmerman is now 65 years Forever Young. Many happy returns and many more years Bob.
May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.