Saturday, December 31, 2011

Congratulations to the Beach Boys on Their 50th Anniversary


I think my last journal entry of the year will be about the Beach Boys. I don’t recall ever writing about them even though I have followed them since the 1960s. Pete Fornatale show on WFUV this afternoon celebrated today as the 50th Anniversary of the group’s first appearance using the name Beach Boys. It took place in Long Beach, California on December 31, 1961.

If Pete had has way he would devote the entire show to recordings of the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, but the Digital Millennium Copyright Act forbids that. There is a limitation on how many songs by an artist an internet stream may play in an hour.


In any 3-hour period, a station can webcast:
No more than 3 songs from one album;
no more than 2 played consecutively
No more than 4 songs from a set/compilation;
no more than 3 played consecutively
No more than 4 recorded songs by the same artist
(live studio appearances are okay)

Pete was able to get around this by playing covers of songs recorded by the Beach Boys. He also played a very rare recording of Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson on a song called Spirit of Rock n Roll which was on the unreleased Sweet Insanity album.

I certainly congratulate the surviving Beach Boys as they are planning a tour for this milestone anniversary. It is shame that Carl and Dennis Wilson have passed on, but their music lives on.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Paul Simon - American Masters Born at the Right Time

Today Karen and I went to the Paley Center for Media on West 52nd Street.  We went to their library and did a search on Paul Simon and found the PBS Special American Masters Born at the Right Time.  It was a 2 hour special that covered his career from the Tom and Jerry Days in the 1950s to Simon and Garfunkel of the 60s and 70s to his solo career in the 80s and 90s.  Needless to say Paul Simon had a phenomenal career which continues to the present.

When I got home I opened up the mail and found the Paul Simon t-shirt that Lee wanted for Channukah.  I should take a picture of him and post it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bruce's Journal and Google Analytics

I use Google Analytics to examine hits to my journal.  I was surprised to see which of my posts got the most posts.  Over the past 30 days two posts about Jeopardy were the most popular.

#1 - Jeopardy and the 2 dollar Bill
#2 - Jason Keller - Jeopardy Superstar - by the way he lost today so he goes out winning bout $213,000 with 9 victories.  He must be one of the top 15 winners in regular competition.

Over the last 8 months the Tale of the Two Dollar Bill has been my most popular post.  I talk about how I got a two dollar bill as change and a few hours later donated it to the local public library.

There is a popular Bob Dylan site called Expecting Rain that guided its readers to a few of my posts which generated hundreds of hits.  It seems that my postings about Dylan are more popular than those about the Mets.

About 85% of my hits are for 10 seconds or less, so most of my readers just skim the entry and don't read it thoroughly.  I have gotten hits from all over the world. 

In any event, thanks for stopping by if even it is only once.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jason Keller - Jeopardy Superstar


It's been getting exciting in "Jeopardyland" as Jason Keller of Highland Park, NJ just won his 8th game and $202,000.  He is really getting up there in the list of the all time winners.  I can not remember too many players who have won more than 5 games since the limit was lifted some years back. Jason certainly has a long way to go to reach Ken Jennings at 74 victories, but today he started out slowly and gained momentum later on and clinched victory before Final Jeopardy.  Stay tuned.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Decent Weather During this Winter Break

I have always enjoyed having the week off between Christmas and New Years.  It seems that every year there is either a snowstorm or bitterly cold weather or both as there was last year.  On December 26, 2010 there was a blizzard with 2 feet of snow that crippled the city.  The weather forecast for this week is for temperatures in the 40s with some rain on Tuesday night.  At least I won't be couped up in my apartment.  I plan to do some shopping at Macy's tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The NBA Season Finally Begins

It certainly was a Merry Christmas for Knick fans as the season finally began as the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 106-104 at Madison Square Garden.  Carmelo Anthony lead the Knicks with 37 points as they overcame an 8 point deficit after 3 quarters.  Rookie Iman Shumpert left the game with an injury and may be out of action from 2 to 4 weeks.

Each team will play 66 games with a compressed schedule which may be very difficult for veteran players.  Since the pre-season was so short, it may take a while for the level of play to come up to speed.  As I mentioned before in this journal, I will likely not go to any games this season since the prices of tickets has gone up dramatically.

We may be able to see few Knick games on TV since Time Warner Cable is in dispute with Madison Square Garden Networks.  It seems that Cablevision which owns the Garden  and the cable TV network wants more money from Time Warner to carry the games.  I guess the fan has to pay the multi-million dollar salaries of the players.  Also, over 3 years there will be major renovations to the arena which must be paid for by the TV viewers and ticket buyers.  It is a shame that two multi-billion dollar companies have to fight it out with the fans caught in the middle.  I think that the two sides will settle since there will be too much money lost on both sides if Time Warner subscribers are shut out of games.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tom Jones sings Bob Dylan

Tom Jones covered "What Good Am I" which Dylan recorded for his Oh Mercy album in 1989.  I found out about this is an usual way.  Some of my Facebook friends had Spotify and a list of songs on their walls or timelines.  I was curious and downloaded the Spotify software.  It is very similar to Pandora since you can create your own radio station by naming a recording artist.  The stream will start with a song by that artist and then pick similar music by comparable artists.  This morning I picked the Rolling Stones and somehow the program picked What Good Am I by Tom Jones.  I must say he has aged gracefully and sounds very good at age 71.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Son the Paul Simon Fan


Lee is pictured above wearing his 3 Stooges t-shirt in front of a wax figure of his buddy Elvis Presley.  Today he received his Chanukkah money from Grandpa Will in Florida.  So what does he ask for?  He wants a Paul Simon t-shirt.  He has seen Paul at Jones Beach with Bob Dylan and in Madison Square Garden with Art Garfunkel.  His dad went to Amazon.com and found a Paul Simon t-shirt for him tha the will receive in the mail in about a week.  Maybe he will wear it to the next oldies meet and greet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

There is Only One Band

The members of The Band were:
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Levon Helm
  • Rick Danko
  • Richard Manuel
  • Garth Hudson
They were known as The Band since they were Bob Dylan's band. Previous to that they were known as the Hawks since they played for Ronnie Hawkins. They toured with Dylan in 1966 and 1974.  In my opinion they must be one of the most underrated classic rock groups.  They covered many Dylan songs, but I have selected for your listening pleasure one they didn't.  Please enjoy Chest Fever.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ironbound Section of Newark

I have worked in Newark since I joined NJIT in 1992. It is still somewhat maligned with more than its share of urban problems.  Perhaps, it never completely recovered from the riots of 1967.  To be fair problems such as crime, corruption, AIDS, and urban blight which are seen in Newark occur in all regions of the United States.  In recent years Newark has rebounded with attractions such as the NJPC and Prudential Center.  Mayor Corey Booker has done an excellent job of promoting the city.

The Ironbound is a section just east of Penn Station.  The population predominately Spanish, Portuguese  and Brazilian.  Today the NJIT Library staff held its annual holiday party at the Spanish Tavern.  The Ironbound is noted for its very fine restaurants.  Please check out http://www.goironbound.com for information.  If you are in northern New Jersey, please stop by this historic section.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah to All

I wish all readers of Bruce's Journal and my followers on Facebook a happy Chanukah.  This year it is late on the secular calendar so it coincides with Christmas.  I would like to thank Don Tandler for posting Dreidel by Don McLean on his Facebook Timeline.  Enjoy

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pat St. John - Facebook Friend of the Day

We were in my car on the way to visit my mother today at about 12:45 listening to Pat St. John on WCBS-FM.  He has an interesting feature called the collectible cut where he plays a rare version of a well known song.  He gave a very glowing tribute to Bob Dylan as he introduced today's cut.  In all my years of listening to radio, I have never heard a DJ give such a tribute to Bob.  I wish I could remember Pat's wording, but I had to concentrate on my driving.  He played Dylan reciting The Night Before Christmas which I never heard before.  As we pulled into the parking lot he played a cut from Dylan's Christmas in the Heart.

I do feel that Jewish entertainers should not sing Christmas songs since it is not our holiday.  Dylan did contribute his royalties from Christmas in the Heart to charity.

I admire Pat St. John's encyclopedic knowledge of the music and artists of classic rock.  He appears on WCBS-FM on Sunday from 11 AM - 3 PM and on SiriusXM on the 50s on 5, Deep Tracks, and BB King's Bluesville Channel.   He previously worked at WPLJ and WNEW-FM among other radio stations.  As you can see from the photo above I had the pleasure of meeting Pat and the Oldies Meet and Greet a few years ago.

Please see:
For his praise of Bob Dylan and his contributions to New York radio over the years, Pat has deserved to be my Facebook Friend of the Day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden

The prices for college basketball at the Garden are much more reasonable than they are for the Knicks as I reported here a few days ago.  We paid $35/ticket for the 300 level in center court.  The student athletes play for the love of the game and are not cocky like the professionals.  Madison Square Garden did undergo some renovations over this past summer.  They will not be complete for another two years.  It will be mor restaurant and luxury boxes for the rich.

Anyway in game one Rutgers defeated Stony Brook 67-58 Box Score

In game 2 St. Johns had a 14 point lead at 40-26 as Fordham came close but lost to the Red Storm 56-50 Box Score

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Facebook Timeline - Another World Wide Waste of Time

Just when you think you've mastered Facebook, they more changes.  With this new timeline feature you can see everything that you've done on Facebook since you joined.  I just added this feature and am dabbling with it for now.  I noticed that I joined on February 18, 2006 which is almost 6 years ago.  I understand that I have 7 days to delete old posts.  In any event only friends can see the timeline.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Set List for Forthcoming Amnesty International 4 CD set with Dylan Covers

It is a shame that I won't be able to run to a music store to buy this when it is released at the end of January.  I will likely order it through Amazon.com.  I should give to credit to WCBS-FM who posted this set list on their web site.

I will be especially looking forward hearing the covers from the "old guys" who go back to the 1960s:

Pete Townsend - Corrina Corrina
Joan Baez - 7 Curses
Carly Simon - Just Like A Woman (he first hit was likely in the 70s)
Kris Kristofferson - The Mighty Quinn
Pete Seeger - Forever Young  (he is 92 years forever young)
Eric Burden - Gotta Serve Somebody
Marianne Faithful - Baby Let Me Follow You Down

Dylan himself will sing Chimes of Freedom.  I wonder if this will be the original studio recording from 1964



DISC One:
Johnny Cash feat. The Avett Brothers “One Too Many Mornings”
Raphael Saadiq “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
Patti Smith “Drifter’s Escape”
Rise Against “Ballad of Hollis Brown”
Tom Morello The Nightwatchman “Blind Willie McTell”
Pete Townshend “Corrina, Corrina”
Bettye LaVette “Most of the Time”
Charlie Winston “This Wheel’s On Fire”
Diana Krall “Simple Twist of Fate”
Brett Dennen “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”
Mariachi El Bronx “Love Sick”
Ziggy Marley “Blowin’ in the Wind”
The Gaslight Anthem “Changing of the Guards”
Silversun Pickups “Not Dark Yet”
My Morning Jacket “You’re A Big Girl Now”
The Airborne Toxic Event “Boots of Spanish Leather”
Sting “Girl from the North Country”

Mark Knopfler “Restless Farewell”

DISC Two:
Queens Of The Stone Age “Outlaw Blues”
Lenny Kravitz “Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35″
Steve Earle w/Lucia Micarelli “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)”
Blake Mills “Heart Of Mine”
Miley Cyrus “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”
Billy Bragg “Lay Down Your Weary Tune”
Elvis Costello “License to Kill”
Angelique Kidjo “Lay, Lady, Lay”
Natasha Bedingfield “Ring Them Bells”
Jackson Browne “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”
Joan Baez “Seven Curses”
The Belle Brigade “No Time To Think”
Sugarland “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You (Live)”
Jack’s Mannequin “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Oren Lavie “4th Time Around”
Sussan Deyhim “All I Really Want To Do”
Adele “Make You Feel My Love (Live)”

DISC Three:
K’NAAN “With God On Our Side”
Ximena Sarinana “I Want You”
Neil Finn with Pajama Club “She Belongs to Me”
Bryan Ferry “Bob Dylan’s Dream”
Zee Avi “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”
Carly Simon “Just Like a Woman”
Flogging Molly “The Times They Are A-Changin’”
Fistful Of Mercy “Buckets Of Rain”
Joe Perry “Man Of Peace”
Bad Religion “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
My Chemical Romance “Desolation Row”
RedOne feat. Nabil Khayat “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
Paul Rodgers & Nils Lofgren “Abandoned Love”
Darren Criss feat. Chuck Criss and Freelance Whales “New Morning”
Cage the Elephant “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”
Band of Skulls “It Ain’t Me, Babe”
Sinead O’Connor “Property of Jesus”
Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project “Shelter From The Storm”
Ke$ha “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
Kronos Quartet “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”

DISC Four:
Maroon 5 “I Shall Be Released”
Carolina Chocolate “Drops Political World”
Seal & Jeff Beck “Like A Rolling Stone”
Taj Mahal “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream”
Dierks Bentley “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (Live)”
Mick Hucknall “One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)”
Thea Gilmore “I’ll Remember You”
State Radio “John Brown”
Dave Matthews Band “All Along the Watchtower (Live)”
Michael Franti “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
We Are Augustines “Mama, You Been On My Mind”
Lucinda Williams “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven”
Kris Kristofferson “Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”
Eric Burdon “Gotta Serve Somebody”
Evan Rachel Wood “I’d Have You Anytime”
Marianne Faithfull “Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Live)”
Pete Seeger “Forever Young”
Bob Dylan “Chimes Of Freedom”

Knick Ticket Prices Are Outrageous

Today there was a pre-sale for Knick tickets on the internet.  It has been a Slutsky family tradition to go the game on Martin Luther King Day.  The cheapest tickets were $75 plus $13 for Ticketmaster in the 400 level with a footnote saying obstructed view.   The most expensive tickets were $4,000. C'mon guys give people a break.  All these money for 2 1/2 hours of entertainment.  I guess the fans have to pay for the renovations to Madison Square Garden in addition to the millions in salary to the players.  It looks like we'll have to stick to college basketball.  Maybe I'll check out the Nets this second and last year they are at the Prudential Center in Newark.  I wonder how high their tickets will be next season when they move to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I am Hoping that A Biography of Dion DiMucci Makes it to Broadway

There was an excellent article in the Metropolitan section of the New York Times today titled A Wanderer, the Singer Dion Returns to the Bronx. It states that Dion is collaborating with Charles Messina, a playwright and director, on “The Wanderer — the Life and Music of Dion.” It would be biographical similar to the Jersey Boys which actually took 10 years to get to Broadway. The author of the article, David Gonzalez, reports that Dion and Charles Messina actually toured Dion’s old neighborhood in the Bronx and are now trying to get investors for the show. I guess people outside of show business just don’t realize how difficult it is to take an idea to fruition as a Broadway musical. Many such “jukebox musicals” have failed including:

The article does not give any target date for the production of this proposed show. I certain hope that this show will come to Broadway and succeeds. I had the pleasure of seeing Dion in concert twice. Once was in 1985 or so when he appeared at a WCBS-FM concert at the Radio City Music Hall. The other time was in November 2009 when he opened for Bob Dylan at the United Palace Theater.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Steve O'Brien - Facebook Friend of the Day

Whenever I listen to WCBS-FM on Saturdays after 2 PM, I never know who will be the DJ behind the mike.  While I was in the car this afternoon I was pleased to hear Steve O'Brien who has a very long history in New York radio.  I best remember hearing Steve back in the early 1980s when he was on WYNY in the early evenings.   Back then WYNY was an adult contemporary station at 97.1 on the FM dial.  Over the years Steve has appeared on WCBS-FM on a part time basis.  According to his Facebook profile he is also a free-lance talent in videos, commercials and voice-overs.

You can follow Steve on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thesteveobrien

He has a blog at http://www.steveobrien.net

For being a radio mench, Steve has earned the honor of being my Facebook Friend of the Day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Never Like to Hear About Violence on a College Campus

Two people were killed on the campus of Virginia Tech today.  This is the second time that tragedy has come to this fine university.  On April 16, 2007, a student, Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people and then himself at Virginia Tech.  Since I work at a college on a campus in an urban area, I never like to read stories like this.

NJIT where I work is in the University Heights section of Newark just west of  the downtown.district.  Sadly, Newark has had more than its share of urban problems over the years.  Perhaps, it never completely recovered from the riots of 1967.  There has been much revitalization of the city with a performing arts center and the Prudential Center.  Crime has not gone away.  Public Safety at NJIT does a fine job at preventing crime on the campus, but they can't cover every square inch of territory.  There have been some robberies on or near the campus, but no murders.  Let's hope for safe college campuses everywhere.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Congratulations to Donovan for his Election to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

I have written about Donovan (Leitch) several times in this journal.  I bought his records since his acoustic days in the mid 1960s.  I even have some of his LPs on the Hickory label.  I enjoyed many of his hits such as Catch the Wind, Colours, Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow and many others.  I congratulate him heartily for his election to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.  As I mentioned early in this journal it is sad that many other fine recording artists such as Chubby Checker, Neil Sedaka, and the Moody Blues among many others have been denied election to the Rock Hall.  Likely, politics has reared its ugly head.

I would love for Bob Dylan to induct Donovan.  In the documentary Don't Look Back Dylan really dissed Donovan very badly.  So I think justice would be served if Bob praised Donovan at his induction.

I few months ago I asked Bob Radil to play Sunny South Kensington which was the B side of Mellow Yellow.  Please enjoy it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oy Vey - The Mets have lost Jose Reyes


Adios Jose.  To the surprise of nobody, the Mets have lost Jose Reyes to the Miama Marlins who reportedly are giving him $106 million over 6 years.  According to a report from CBS News the Mets never made an offer to Jose.  IMHO Reyes should have gone back to the Mets to see if they could match the Marlins' offer.

Could this be a blessing in disguise for the Mets?  How much time over 6 years will Jose lose to injuries?  The Mets now have money to spend on other needs such as pitching.  Obviously Ruben Tejada will play shortstop while either Daniel Murphy or Justin Turner will be the starting second baseman.  It could be a very long season with lots of empty seats at Citifield.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another Radio Adventure With Bob Dylan Covers

In January 2010 I reported in this journal how I discovered Ben Sidran's covers of Dylan songs while listening to WBGO at work.  This morning I was listening to WFUV in my car and heard a cover of Dylan's Tangled Up in Blue (Lee's favorite)  by an artist named Nik Rael as seen above.  At the end of the song John Platt contined to interview Nik and said that he had released a CD of Dylan covers.  I made it my business to remember that name.

When I got home I googled Nick Rail, but eventually determined the correct spelling of his name.  I found the CD called Winter 61 on Amazon.com and downloaded it.  Today was busy so I haven't had a chance to listen to it.  My suggestion to my radio friends is to listen very carefully, since you never know what you may hear.  Also, take advantage of technology.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

James Madison 62 Hofstra 60

The NBA ended its lockout and an abbreviated regular season will begin on Christmas Day.  Since we can't wait we made our second trip of the season to the Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra.  The home team could not hold a 10 point lead and lost to James Madison 62-60 in their first Colonial Athletic Association game.

More Information

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gary Jackson - Facebook Friend of the Day

Some years ago I regular listened to a radio show called My Generation on Live 365 radio hosted by Gary Jackson.  The show was archived it could be heard at any time.  Gary played mostly British oldies from the 60s, but would air some American hits as well.  After Gary's show left Live 365, I lost track of him, be he reappeared on Facebook.  I found out that his My Generation show is now heard on Skyline Gold 102.5 from the UK on Fridays from 3 PM - 5 PM EST.  I was able to listen to part of the show in my office this after.  Please also check out these web sites:

  • http://www.garyjacksonradio.com

  • http://www.my-generation.org.uk


  • I highly recommend Gary's show to my friends who are oldies enthusiasts.
     
    Personal-Journals blog