Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another Jazz Concert at the Flushing Library

I just hate summer traffic jams so it is nice to have some entertainment close to home. We walked over to the Flushing branch of the Queens Public Library and saw a jazz group call the Blur Division. This group was trio with James Bennett (6 string electric base), Chris Cuvier (piano/synthesizer) and Chris Howard (drums/percussion). More information about this combo is available on their web site.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bob Dylan and Jeopardy - Perfect Together

For the second year in a row there was a Bob Dylan category on the last day of the season for Jeopardy. If you don't believe me, read my journal entry from last July. The category was "Say What, Bob". As it was revealed, I thought that since there are so many Bobs in the world, that it could mean anything. All the clues were about lyrics to his songs. I got all the questions right :).
Jeopardy usually takes a 6 week hiatus in August and early September. I wish Alex Trebek, the Clue Crew and everyone behind the scenes a good vacation. I will certainly be ready for the next season. It is very convenient for Jeopady to be seen at 5 PM on Channel 55 in eastern Long Island and Channel 7 in NYC. I'd like to again thank Karen for recording the show for me on days when I have to work late at NJIT.

Another memory of my New Brunswick Days

About two years ago I posted about my days living in New Brunswick, NJ from 1974-76. Today on Facebook Trevor Dawes, a librarian at Princeton University, posted this article from the New York Times about the Delaware and Raritan Canal. Back then I lived at the Colony House right by the Landing Lane Bridge. The Delaware and Raritan Canal passd right by the building. I would drive to differents points on the canal and hiked for hours at a time. I often met my chemist friend Irv Rabinowitz for hikes. All those years ago we both worked at Rhodia. I last saw Irv at an American Chemical Society meeting in 1981.

Bob Dylan Bootleg Series #9 to be released in October

Rolling Stone magazine reports Bob Dylan will release the latest edition of his bootleg series plus a massive collection of reissues of his earliest albums. The 47 track set will feature Witmark and Leeds demos.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Met Bats finally come alive - Beat Cards 8-2

Last night's game was part of our 6-pack. The Mets came off a dreadful 2-9 west coast trip, but it seemed like the friendly confines of Citifield did the Mets some good. The hitting attack featured a 3 run home run by Jeff Francoeur and a two run homer by Jose Reyes. Jonathan Niese was the winning pitcher.

Box Score

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Web Means the End of Forgetting by Jeffrey Rosen

Instead of reading the magazine section of the Sunday New York Times on the train to work, I read it in Alley Pond Park today since I am on staycation. The cover article titled The Web Means the End of Forgetting really piqued my interest. It is written by Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University. The articles discusses the fact the posts on Facebook, Twitter, and personal blogs may be impossible to erase and what is written there may adversely effect someone for years to come. I must admit that I have been guilty of a few minor indiscretions in what I have posted. I try to be careful, but I do make mistakes. I would like to discuss a few specific points made in this article.

Below is the first paragraph of the article:

"Four years ago, Stacy Snyder, then a 25-year-old teacher in training at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster, Pa., posted a photo on her MySpace page that showed her at a party wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup, with the caption “Drunken Pirate.” After discovering the page, her supervisor at the high school told her the photo was “unprofessional,” and the dean of Millersville University School of Education, where Snyder was enrolled, said she was promoting drinking in virtual view of her under-age students. As a result, days before Snyder’s scheduled graduation, the university denied her a teaching degree. Snyder sued, arguing that the university had violated her First Amendment rights by penalizing her for her (perfectly legal) after-hours behavior. But in 2008, a federal district judge rejected the claim, saying that because Snyder was a public employee whose photo didn’t relate to matters of public concern, her “Drunken Pirate” post was not protected speech. "

Thus anyone who is actively looking for a job must be especially about what he/she puts on the web. People like myself with a unique name can be very easily "Googled". I do understand that people do have a life outside of work and some silliness reported on the web is acceptable. Someone may see this journal and strike up a conversation with me about Bob Dylan. I am now very careful about my privacy settings on Facebook. Everything can only be seen by my Friends. I really should cull my friends list and delete people that I don't really know.

I will just copy one more paragraph and comment:

But if we can’t control what others think or say or view about us, we can control our own reaction to photos, videos, blogs and Twitter posts that we feel unfairly represent us. A recent study suggests that people on Facebook and other social-networking sites express their real personalities, despite the widely held assumption that people try online to express an enhanced or idealized impression of themselves. Samuel Gosling, the University of Texas, Austin, psychology professor who conducted the study, told the Facebook blog, “We found that judgments of people based on nothing but their Facebook profiles correlate pretty strongly with our measure of what that person is really like, and that measure consists of both how the profile owner sees him or herself and how that profile owner’s friends see the profile owner.”

I have been on the Internet since 1992 and strongly believe that you don't know a person until you have met face to face. I have known people who have sent nasty and crude e-mails, but in person are quite timid. The opposite is likely true at times. When you see a complete profile, you can view what a person does and even see many pictures of the person in action. But that is still not the full story about the person. There have been many misunderstandings through electronic only communication.

I highly recommend that readers of Bruce's Journal see this entire article from the New York Times.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another Sunday Afternoon at Flushing Town Hall

Today Adichie and The Afro Jungle Jazz Band and Dancers was the featured artist at Flushing Town Hall . I never heard African Jazz before, so this performance was something new for me. Before the concert there were dance lessons. I was never much of a dancer so I took a pass. From there were took a drive over to Applebees in Bayside for dinner.

These are certainly bad days for the New York Mets. The just completed a road trip where they lost 9 out of 11 on the west coast. They were shut out in 4 of those games. Hopefully, the trip back home will do them some good.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thoughts on a Very Hot Saturday

I went out with Lee to Cunningham Park at 8 AM to play basketball before it got too hot. When we got home we decided to see Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. He is an excellent actor, but the film was somewhat confusing. We were thinking about attending a rally by the Mitchell-Linden Civic Association which was against overdevelopment in downtown Flushing. I would have liked to have gone, but it was just too hot. We got home to see the end of the Yankee game as they lost 7-4. Alex Rodriguez did not get his 600th career home run. I didn't turn on the Met game until 5 PM, but it was a big oy vey as they lost to the Dodgers 3-2 in the 13th inning. James Loney had a walk off home run off Oliver Perez. How could the Mets pay this guy $36 million over 3 years. He is bad news. I think they should get rid of him and eat the contract.

Friday, July 23, 2010

There should be Free Parking at State Parks

For the first time in over two years I drove out to Hempstead Lake State Park in Nassau County to do my regular Friday summer hike. I pulled my usual "stunt" and parked on a side street about 1/4 mile away. This summer the parking rate for New York State Parks went up to $8. Regular park users can buy a seasonal pass. I could see paying that if I was going to be in the park for several hours for a family picnic. It is just not worth it for just me to walk around for 2 hours.

When I arrived at 9:30 AM the tennis courts were full. I assume many of them were season pass holders. When I left the park about 11:30, the park was almost empty. There are usually school buses with day campers at that time. If a passenger car must pay $8, how much does a school bus have to pay? Does the high cost of parking keep people away from parks?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Start of a mini-staycation

I won't have to go back until Wednesday. The nicest thing about this staycation is that I don't have to put up with work related lunacy until then. I just hate it when supervisors must flex their managerial muscles and create unnecessary work. I can be a gentleman of leisure for a few days. I still get up about 6 AM since my biological clock just can't change.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry

This hot summer weather just stops my creative juices so for the second day in a row I just don't know what to write so I will post a summer song. It turns out that I featured Summer in the City by the Lovin' Spoonful last August, so the song of the day is In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

As More Facebook Users Die, Ghosts Reach Out to Reconnect

If an article about Facebook appears on page one of the Sunday New York Times, then it must be a slow news day. The article reports that people over 65 are coming to Facebook faster than any other age group. Obviously people older than 65 are more likely to pass away. Thus it is very possible to reach the page of a Facebook friend who recent died, and not realize that. The deceased family likely neglected to delete the page. It is impossible for Facebook to know that. Member profiles can be memorialized and converted into tribute pages.

Back in 1977-78 when I lived in New London, CT there was a popular radio personality named Michael Bernz who worked evenings on WSUB. When I saw his postings on a radio message board a few years ago, I asked if morning man Don Turner was still living. He told me that Don had passed away. About a year ago the same message board reported that Michael Bernz had just died. His profile is still on Facebook.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Movie Theaters like they used to be

A few times a year we go to the Kew Gardens Theater, a 10 minute ride from Flushing. This is a movie theater like they were a generation ago. Since it has 4 or 5 screens it is still a multiplex but it is located in a residential area with a marquee. They show independent films suited for an older audience. It was really strange to see a working telephone booth in the lobby. When was the last time you saw a phone booth?

Since I was intrigued by the title, we saw City Island . It is part of the Bronx connected to the mainland by a bridge. Back in 1985 I went to a restaurant there to celebrate the marriage of my father-in-law Will to Betty. I will leave it up to my readers to click on the link from IMDB to read about the movie. I did enjoy it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quotation by Margaret Fairless Barber

Since I have Fridays off over the summer, I have more time for reading. I have the following book in hand:

Ehrenreich, Jake. A Jew Grows in Brooklyn: Cross-cultural Reflections of a First Generation American. Deerfield Beach, Fla: Health Communications, 2010

I will not comment on the entire book, but just a chapter titled "The Catskills". This chapter starts with the following quotation by Margaret Fairless Barber: "To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it and to render it more fit for its prime function of looking forward."

I think of the people that I have reconnected with through the internet over the years. It is refreshing to talk to people that I knew all those years ago and remember some of the fun we shared back then. We can spend so much time reminisicing, but we must face reality and look forward.

Jake Ehrenreich related some of his experiences in the Catskills when it was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. For me it brought back memories of:
  • The bungalow colonies
  • The resort hotels with their autocratic day camps
  • Camp Wel Met (1961-65)
  • The Concord Hotel's College Weekend (1968)
  • Our trip to the Nevele hotel (1993)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Mets Start the Second Half of the Season Tonight

The Mets are 48-40 at the All-Star break which is better than I expected. They had some peaks and valleys during the first half. The biggest event tonight will be the return of Carlos Beltran to the lineup. An aging player is always injury prone, and that is the risk that is taken when one is given a long term contract. I am really hoping that John Maine will come back from his injury. Will R.A. Dickey be able to keep up his good performance? Oliver Perez is a lost cause. Omar Minaya was crazy to give him $36 Million over 3 years. This second half starts off with an 11 game west coast swing. If the Mets do poorly at this point they could go downhill quickly.

Jason Bay was the biggest hitting disappointment over the first half. He plays like he did for the Red Sox, the Mets could be in contention for the NL East.

My prediction is that the Mets will say above .500, but will fall short of the division or the wild card this season. Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Two Bad Evening Commutes in a Row

Yesterday it was the Number 7 train. It took about 30 minutes to get from 111th Street to the Main Street Flushing Station. The culprit was singal problems. Can't the bozos who run the MTA get the signals to work properly 99.9% of the time?

Today it was New Jersey Transit. It seems that every time they raise the fares the service gets worse. I boarded the train at Newark as the conductors said that there was a train stuck between Secaucus and Newark and there would be an indefinite delay. I'll give the conductors credit for making the announcements. At least there was the alternative of taking the PATH trains. The problem is that the PATH is always slower since it makes severak stops.

I heard the most ridiculus panhandlng ploy on the PATH. Some guy is asking for $15.75 to buy a Long Island Rail Road ticket from NYC to West Hampton. There are millionaires that live in the Hamptons. They method of asking money for train fare is the oldest story in the books. These losers are likely using the money to buy illicit drugs.

I think this qualifies for an OY VEY.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I left a baseball game after 3 innings

The Newark Bears play in the Atlantic League which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. NJIT students, faculty, and staff get free tickets since our baseball team plays at their stadium within walking distance of the school. Today, I joined NJIT colleagues Galen and Aron to go to a game that started at 11 AM to accommodate day camps. After 3 innings, the Bears lead the Bridgeport Bluefish 2-1 when a heavy rain shower came. None of the seats were covered so we had to stand in the back with hundreds of kids. We decided to leave at that point.

I found out by reading the team's web site that the game resumed after a 2 hr and 18 minute rain delay. The Bears won 4-1. The stadium must have been almost completely empty when the game resumed since the day campers would have to leave by 2 PM.

This was the earliest I ever left a baseball game. I didn't have to pay for the tickets anyway, so I didn't lose anything.

Some Thoughts on the Passing of George Steinbrenner

As I was travelling to work this morning I checked my iPhone and saw that George Steinbrenner had suffered a massive heart attack. When I checked my phone when I arrived at NJIT I read that he had passed away at age 80.

Everyone must admit that George made an impact on baseball. When he bought the Yankees in 1973, they had been losers for close to 10 years. By 1976, the Yankees were winners again. He is very responsible for the exponential increase in player salaries. George's bucks paid for winners. Team owners in baseball and other sports have thrown money at mediocre players who did not perform. At times George was cruel and heartless to his players and managers. For example he paid someone $40,000 to get the goods on Dave Winfield. He hired and fired Billy Martin 5 times. I fondly remember the Miller Lite commercials back then with George and Billy. There was also a kinder and gentler side to George as he often helped people in need.

It has been a very sad week for the Yankees with the passings of Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner. My condolences to their families. Major League Baseball has suffered two great loses.

Happy Birthday Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn is 68 years old today. I have always admired his work as a member of the Byrds and as a solo artist. Last year I featured Turn, Turn, Turn which was one of his biggest hits with the Byrds. Below is a video of "You Showed Me" which was written by McGuinn and Gene Clark and covered by the Turtles.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Turn 70 Act Your Grandchild’s Age.

For the umpteenth time I have been inspired by an article in the Sunday New York Times to write a journal entry. It's hard to believe that Ringo Starr is now 70 years old. He certainly did not look his age when I saw him in concert last week. Next year Bob Dylan and Paul Simon hit the big seven-oh and are still performing. I am hoping there will be big concerts in 2011 to celebrate their birthdays. It's nice to enjoy what you are doing when you are older. Betty White is 88 is is still active in show business. Of course, the older one gets, the more likely it is to have to confront a chronic and debilitating disease.

Here are the lyrics to "Old Friends" written by Paul Simon:

Old friends, old friends sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blowin' through the grass
Falls on the round toes of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years, silently sharing the same fears

I have 9 years to go.

The video is at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Annette Aguilar and Stringbeans at Flushing Town Hall

By searching this journal I was able to determine that we hadn't been to Flushing Town Hall since last August. This afternoon we walked over to hear the Latin Brasilian jazz band Annette Aguilar and Stringbeans. It's nice to have free entertainment right in the neighborhood. The hot summer weather makes people lazy. There was no need to fight traffic or travel to Manhattan via the subway.

The mellifluous voice of Bob Sheppard is gone

I heard the news today that Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard died today at age 99. He worked for the Bronx Bombers from 1951 until late in the 2007 season until he had to leave due to health issues. He also was the public address announcer for the football Giants for many years and was an adjunct Professor of Speech at St. Johns University. He certainly was at the top of his profession. His diction was second for none.

When the Yankees played at Seattle this afternoon, a moment of silence was observed for him. Since He left the Yankees a recording of Bob Sheppard was used to announce Derek Jeter when he came to bat at Yankee Stadium. This recording will be used at the all star game this Tuesday in Anaheim.

"Batting first for the New York Yankees and playing shortstop, number two, Derek Jeter."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Mets were very lethargic today - Lost 4 - 0

This has been a season of ups and downs for the Amazins. They were only able to get 4 hits and looked sluggish as they lost to the Atlanta Braves 4-0 at Citifield. The bottom third of the Braves batting order got 10 out of the 15 hits. The Met are now 5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Box Score

Friday, July 9, 2010

Don't get attached to your favorite athlete

Say goodbye to Garden fan favorite David Lee. The Knicks have reached an agreement to send Lee to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade for three players, including second-year forward Anthony Randolph. Donnie Walsh feels that David Lee and Amare Stoudamire could not play together. If you have a favorite player on your team, don't get too attached to him since it is likely he'll be gone within a few years. A generation ago players like Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Willis Reed, John Havlichek and others would play their entire careers with one time. This is what happens in the era of free agency.

I guess there is no need for me to comment on the LeBron James situation. I just can not understand why he had to go to a gymnasium in Greenwich, CT to say he was going to sign with the Miami Heat. I was watching ESPN News this morning and they showed people in a sports bar in Cleveland crying. There was also a scene with a kid buring a Cavalier LeBron James jersey.

Getting back to the Knicks. If they don't make the playoffs this year, Donnie Walsh must go. He traded several good players to make cap space to sign free agents this off season. He signed Stoudamire, but has plenty of money for more signings.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ringo, his All-Starr Band and more at Radio City Music Hall

Most recording artists have a back up band with excellent musicians who are not weel known. The following musicians were in the 2010 version of the All-Star Band:

Ringo Starr - drums, vocals
Wally Palmar - guitar, bass, harmonica, vocals
Rick Derringer - guitar, vocals
Edgar Winter - keyboards, saxophone, vocals
Gary Wright - keyboards, vocals
Richard Page - Bass, vocals
Gregg Bissonette - drums, vocals

Ringo sang many of his solo hits and songs with the Beatles where he sang lead. They included:
  • It Don't Come Easy
  • Boys
  • Photograph
  • Act Naturally
  • Peace Dream
  • Other Side of Liverpool

Some of the songs fby the band members were:

  • Dream Weaver - Gary Wright
  • Hang on Sloopy - Rick Derringer of the McCoys
  • Frankenstein - Edgar Winter (this had to be the show stopper)

At the end of the show Ringo asked for some help from his friends. Many famour musicians came out and sang "With a Little Help from my Friends." They included Yoko Ono, Steven Van Zandt, and Jeff Lynne. They then sang John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance. See this article from for a complete list and more details on the concert.

The biggest surprise of the evening was when Paul McCartney came out and sang the Beatles song Birthday from the White album. It was Ringo's 70th birthday. I noticed that Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono were not on the stage together. In this day and age someone already posted a YouTube Video of With a Little Help from My Friends.

Below is a video of Paul McCartney singing Birthday

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reading about Phil Spector While Waiting for Ringo Starr

And to add to the confusion I am listening to while I am writing this journal entry. I bought tickets for for Ringo Starr at Radio City Music Hall back in February when it was good and cold. I heard that the temperature only reached 99 F today which is 4 degrees "cooler" than yesterday. Since I have plenty of vacation time, I decided to take the day off so I could go without work or commuting on my mind. My next journal entry will be a review of the concert.

After seeing the movie about Spector I used my library research skills to find out that there was a biography written about him in 2007.

Brown, Mick. Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.

I was able to get it from the Queens Library. I started reading it today while I sat in my air conditioned living room. Mick Brown interviewed Spector shortly before the murder of Lana Clarkson in February 2003. I reached page 86 today. He discusses how Spector got started in the music business. He quickly met many of the major performers, executives, and song writers active in the early 1960s. I am sure that many of the points discussed in the film including the murder will be considered in this book.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

103 degrees and a train delay - oy vey

I really needed this. It must have been the hotest day in over a decade. I got to Newark Penn Station and the departure board said that the 4:27 to NYC would be 15 minutes late. OK, I'll wait it out. 30 minutes later the train did not come, so I had to take the PATH. The cars were air conditioned, but since it makes many stops on the NJ and NY side of the Hudson, it is a very slow ride. I finally made it home at 6:45 PM almost an hour longer than usual. There are always train delays but why today!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Toy Story 3 - not just for kids

It was very hot today to say the least. We ate breakfast out and went to Cunningham Park very early before the mercury hit its peak for the day. We ventured out in the heat to walk over to the local multiplex to see Toy Story 3. We took Lee to take see the first two in 1995 and 1999. A few people told me that this movie was not just for kids and they were right.

As a child we all form attachments to pets and toys and can find it hard to let go of them. Lee had his teddy bear and Winnie the Pooh for many years. He eventually let go of them. In this film Andy who was a small child in the original two movies is going off to college. He has ignored his favorite toys (Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, Rex and others) for years, but his mother wants him to make a decision. He can discard the toys, bring them to college, or donate them to a day care center. I won't discuss what happens. I'll leave it up to you to decide if you want to see this animated film.

Some famous actors and actresses did voiceovers:
  • Tom Hanks
  • Don Rickles
  • Joan Cusak
  • Ned Betty

Sunday, July 4, 2010

40th Anniversary of American Top 40

Today marks the 40th anniversary of American Top 40 originally hosted by Casey Kasem. I am not a "chart guy" but I always enjoyed listening to his countdown in the 1970s. I heard part of this originally show this morning on from Philadelphia. I have a book in my personal collection about this show.

Durkee, Rob. American Top 40: The Countdown of the Century. New York: Schirmer Books, 1999

Originally Aired – July 4, 1970 (First AT40 Broadcast)

#40 “END OF OUR ROAD” – Marvin Gaye
#39 “SILVER BIRD” – Mark Lindsay
#38 “SPILL THE WINE” – Eric Burdon & War
#37 “GO BACK” – Crabby Appleton
#35 “SPIRIT IN THE DARK” – Aretha Franklin
#34 “MISSISSIPPI” – John Phillips
#33 “WESTBOUND #9” – Flaming Ember
#32 “IT’S ALL IN THE GAME” – The Four Tops
#31 “SAVE THE COUNTRY” – The 5th Dimension
#30 “OHIO” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
#28 “CHECK OUT YOUR MIND” – The Impressions
#27 “QUESTION” – The Moody Blues
#25 “SUGAR SUGAR” – Wilson Pickett
#24 “TEACH YOUR CHILDREN” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
#23 “WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY?” – The Poppy Family
#22 “LOVE ON A TWO WAY STREET” – The Moments
#21 “MISSISSIPPI QUEEN” – Mountain
#20 “MAKE IT WITH YOU” – Bread
#19 “ARE YOU READY?” – Pacific Gas & Electric
#18 “LOVE LAND” – Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
#17 “TIGHTER, TIGHTER” – Alive & Kicking
#16 “MY BABY LOVES LOVIN’” – White Plains
#15 “A SONG OF JOY” – Miguel Rios
#14 “UNITED WE STAND” – The Brotherhood Of Man
#13 “GET READY” – Rare Earth
#12 “O-O-H CHILD” – The 5 Stairsteps
#11 “GIMME DAT DING” – Pipkins
#10 “HITCHIN’ A RIDE” – Vanity Fare
#9 “THE WONDER OF YOU” – Elvis Presley
#7 “(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU” – The Carpenters
#6 “LAY DOWN (CANDLES IN THE RAIN)” – Melanie w/the Edwin Hawkins Singers
#5 “BAND OF GOLD” – Freda Payne
#4 “RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE” – Blues Image
#2 “THE LOVE YOU SAVE” – The Jackson 5
#1 “MAMA TOLD ME (NOT TO COME)” – Three Dog Night

Bill Dillane - Superman fan and Facebook Friend of the Day

For the umpteenth time an article in the Sunday New York Times inspired me to write a journal entry. The article stated that a show, It's a Bird......It's a Plane......It's Superman which was seen on Broadway in 1966 is attempting a comeback. It is currently playing in Dallas, but the producers are aiming for a Broadway revival.

Yours truly has been a big Superman fan since the 1950s when I was the TV series featuring George Reeves on TV. Radio friend Bill Dillane is a much bigger fan of the Man of Steel than I. He recently attended a Superman celebration in Metropolis, Illinois. Noel Neill who played Lois Lane in the TV series was honored there.

Bill, you are my Facebook friend of the day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Comments on the Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector

We took the subway to Greenwich Village to see the Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector at the Film Forum after I read the article in last Sunday's New York Times. I highly recommend it to my friends who are oldies enthusiasts. It is actually 3 films in one:

  1. Director Vikram Jayanti interviews Spector at the time of his first trial in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

  2. Footage of the trial in 2007

  3. Clips of Spector's productions by the Crystals, Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and others.

I didn't know that Spector produced many of John Lennon's solo recordings in the 1970s. He also did some work with George Harrison, but he didn't see eye to eye with Paul McCartney. In 2003 McCartney remixed and remastered (de-Spectorized) Let it Be.

One of his biggest hits was You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling by the Righteous Brothers. When I saw the clip in the film I went back in time to 1965 when I heard it for the first time. That wall of sound is really powerful. The hit has lost its impact since radio stations have played it to death over the years. I saw it performed at the Westbury Music Fair in 2003 a few months before the untimely passing of Bobby Hatfield. You can see the video at

River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner, my favorite Spector recording, was played in the film. During the interview Spector remarked that although it was a big hit in the UK, it didn't chart in the USA.

It is a shame that Spector was so reclusive and such a "head case" through the years. We never know how he could have influenced the music business.

We took a little walk around Greenwich Village after the film. We passed by the House of Oldies on Carmine Street. I mentioned to the owned that back in 1966 they had the Beatles Butcher Cover album on sale for $20. Now they are sold for $20,000. We walked to Bleeker Street Records where we bought a CD of hits by the Crystals produced by Phil Spector.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blasted Summer Cold

The common cold is always a nuisance, but they are really pain during the summer. I was able to get out and do my walk and my reading. This too shall pass. I'll feel better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pete Freckleton - Facebook friend of the Day

Anybody who is a fan of the Mets and Bob Dylan has to be a friend of mine. Pete runs which is a must for Dylan enthusiasts. I am saluting him on Canada Day since he is from eastern Canada. Today he is breaking format by playing only Canadian artists. I just heard Just Like Tom Blues by Neil Young. On other days Pete plays rare studio and concert recordings. He also features Theme Time Radio Hour and covers of Dylan songs. Try listening to it sometime.

Spotlight on Neil Young on Canada Day

Since today is Canada Day I have decided to feature one of my favorite Canadian artists, Neil Young. Below is a video of his singing Just Like Tom Thumb Blues at the Bobfest on October 16, 1992 at Madison Square Garden.

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