Saturday, January 28, 2006

Nashville Cats/Noshville Katz

Former WCBS-FM DJ Bob Shannon set up a message board to discuss oldies music.  Today there was a thread about the novelty song Noshville Katz.  Back it 1967 the Lovin' Spoonful had a hit with Nashville Cats which I have on vinyl.  Murray the K played a parody of that song called Noshville Katz which by the Lovin' Cohens which is about a man who owns a kosher deli.  I used my Googling skills and found it on a radio show on WFMU.  I was able to download an mp3 version of it.  If anybody reading this blog is interested, I can send you the file.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dylan - Rolling Thunder and the Gospel Years 1975-81

Why I am I listening to Jazz when I am writing yet another blog entry about Bob Dylan?  Duh!  I don't know.  Anyway about two months ago I ordered a DVD from Highway 61 Entertainment run by Joel Gilbert who looks like Dylan and fronts a Bob Dylan tribute band.  He produced a DVD which covers the history of Bob Dylan from 1975-81.  Tonight I only watched the first hour.  There was a long interview with Rubin Hurricaine Carter.  Back in 1975 Dylan wrote a song about the Hurricaine who was wrongly accused on a murder in Patterson, NJ.  In this segment Gilbert also interviewed Rob Stoner, Scarlett Rivera, and others who backed Dylan at that time.  The next segment will discuss the Rolling Thunder Revue.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Walking with Mr. Lee

Walking with Mr. Lee by Lee Allen was a hit in the 1950s.  I have it on a Rhino collection of instrumentals from that decade.  We even played it at Lee's Bar Mitzvah.  Today Karen, Lee and I were walking around Alley Pond Park after stopping for donuts and coffee at Dunkin' Donuts.  No basketball games or movies today.  Back to work tomorrow :(

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Too Much Basketball Today

No, Bob Dylan never wrote a song about basketball, but he did write a song about the late Catfish Hunter, the pitcher for the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees.  Today we set out to see a basketball game at CW Post in Brookdale, Long Island.  There was a doubleheader with Dowling College playing CW Post.  Although the women’s game started at 2 PM, we arrived about 3 PM to catch the second half.  The game ended at 3:45 with  Post winning 61-53.  The men’s game started at 4:15.  The defenses for both teams were tight.  The shooting was very poor.  To make a long story short, the game went to 4 overtimes!!!.  Dowling College finally won 80-76.  From there we went to Ben’s Deli in Greenvale about 5 minutes away.  I ate London Broil instead of my usual pastrami.  Enough basketball for me for one day.  Would you believe that Karen and Lee are watching the Knick game on TV?  Maybe I will catch the very end of it.


 Today, I dug into my record collection and pulled on a Peter Paul and Mary compilation that was released in 1970.  It included Too Much of Nothing which I talked about in yesterday’s entry.  In this version the name Vivian was changed to Marion.  I checked my Joel Whitburn book which says that this version charted at #35 in late 1967,  Some artists that cover Dylan’s songs change some of the lyrics.  I also listened to the Bob Dylan version that he recorded on the Basement Tapes which I have on vinyl J .  That seems to be an oxymoron.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Too Much of Nothing

Why am I listening to Breakfast with the Beatles when it is 9 PM on Friday when a particular Bob Dylan song is really hitting the spot?  Bob originally recorded Too Much of Nothing in 1967 with the Band at Big Pink.  Peter Paul and Mary had a wonderful cover version of this song.


A few years ago Bob produced and starred in a movie called “Masked and Anonymous”.  The Penelope Cruz character stated “His songs are so vague; you can interpret them anyway you want to.”  Very often you can change the names in a Dylan song and the song really fits the occasion.


Just change Valerie and Vivian to my two favorite bean counters and bureaucrats. J


The copyright belongs to Mr. Zimmerman.  Now since I bought the recordings, I must presume that I have the right to copy it to my blog.


Now, too much of nothing
Can make a man feel ill at ease.
One man's temper might rise
While another man's temper might freeze.
In the day of confession
We cannot mock a soul.
Oh, when there's too much of nothing,
No one has control.

Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion

Too much of nothing
Can make a man abuse a king.
He can walk the streets and boast like most
But he wouldn't know a thing.
Now, it's all been done before,
It's all been written in the book,
But whenthere's too much of nothing,
Nobody should look.

Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion

Too much of nothing
Can turn a man into a liar,
It can cause one man to sleep on nails
And another man to eat fire.
Ev'rybody's doin' somethin',
I heard it in a dream,
But when there's too much of nothing,
It just makes a fella mean.

Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion

Copyright © 1967; renewed 1995 Dwarf Music

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My record collection still sounds good

I started collecting records in 1964 when the Beatles came to America.  From then until the mid 1980s I bought hundreds of 45s and LPs.  I never threw a record away.  Today Lee requested the Rolling Stones which I only have on vinyl.  He picked out Aftermath which I bought in 1966.  What happened to those 40 years.  The number one cut was Paint It Black which was a big 45 RPM hit.  The quality of this record was quite good.  I bought a turntable a few years ago so I can play my records.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The New York Knicks

Today we went to MSG and saw the Knicks lose to the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-90.  The Knicks and I go back to the early 1960s.  My memory is more precise for the Mets, but I remember watching basketball games on TV with my Dad.  I went to Knick home games in the mid 1960s with my buddies from high school.  Back in those days it cost only $1.25 to get into the old Madison Square Garden at 8th Avenue and 50th Street.  Then the players made only about $10,000/year.  We used to go every Tuesday and Saturday night. My favorite Knicks were Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Dick Barnett, Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier and Willis Reed.  Back then the road games were broadcast on Channel 9 while the home games were on the MSG Cable Network which was only available in Manhattan.  In 1970 the 7th game of the NBA playoffs featured the Knicks against the Los Angeles Lakers.  That night my fraternity had a dinner to induct our new members.  We were listening to the game on the radio.  Today the players are a bunch of overpaid prima donnas.  Latrell Spreewell claimed he couldn’t feed his family on a measley $9 million/year.  Since I have to pay $135 for three tickets in the nosebleed section, I can only afford one game a year.  We only pay $8 to see a game at Hofstra.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

More basketball and movies

It was raining all day Saturday so we decided to stay close to home.  We walked over to the Multiplex to see Glory Road a movie about the Texas Western basketball team who in 1966 won the NCAA tournament.  The starting five of Texas Western was all Black while their opponent, Kentucky, were all white.  When we went home we saw on television the second half of the Hofstra UNC-Wilmington game.  If the weather was decent, we would have driven out to Hempstead to see that game.  The game went into 3 overtime periods with Hofstra winning 92-87.  At 6:45 we went over to Queens College which is only 10 minutes away to see their basketball team beat the New York Institute of Technology 100-65.  This morning there was about an inch of icy snow on the ground.  We returned to the Multiplex to see Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah.  When we returned home we saw the last half of the Knick game.  The Toronto Raptors beat the Knicks 129-103.  More about the Knicks tomorrow.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Joan Baez and Richard Nixon

What do Joan Baez and Tricky Dick Nixon have in common?  They both celebrate a birthday today.  President Nixon passed away in 1994, while Joan Baex is alive and well and still active in the music business.  Today Lee picked the CD Joan Baez sings Bob Dylan.  I know HH of NJIT is reading this entry.  I have many Dylan cover CDs in my collection.  Some are recorded by the same artist; Steve Howe, Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, and Tim O'Brien.  I have Dylan covers by genre; blues, country, and reggae.  Tonight there was a Nixon question on Jeopardy.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Ticket Buying Weekend

I'm in my Sunday night grrove of listening to Brian Matthew's show on BBC2.  Thank goodness for Internet Radio since commercial radio on AM/FM radio is so crappy these days after the demise of WCBS-FM.  Lee is watching his buddy Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes.  Yesterday I ordered a 6 pack of tickets for the Mets.  This is the only way that I could get tickets for a Met-Yankee game.  Today I ordered tickets for Ring of Fire, the musical based on the music of Lee's beloved Johnny Cash.  I ordered tickets for Saturday February 18th while the show is still in Previews.  I had wanted to see the musical Lennon, but it closed after a few weeks.  Hopefully, Ring of Fire will be a success.  We saw the Elvis Presley musical All Shook Up, last year, but it closed within a few months.  Today we drove to Hofstra to see the Women's basketball team beat Drexel 65-52.  If we had stayed home we would have seen the Giants lose to the Carolina Panthers 23 -0.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

New York Rangers Game at Madison Square Garden

I was never a big hockey fan, but today the family saw the Rangers bet the Florida Panthers 4 -0.  We sat in the last row of the upper deck, but were able to see OK.  Hockey is a cult sport.  The fans who follow it are mostly real fanatics.  I saw my first hockey game at the old Madison Square Garden on 50th street in late 1963 about a week after the Kennedy assassination.  Over the years I went to one or two games here and there but was never a big fan.  In the early 1980s I was able to get season tickets to a few games from a friend of a friend.  Before today, I don't think I was at a hockey game at MSG for at least 10 years.  About 3 years ago I took the family to see an Islander game at Nassau Colisseum.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Bruce, the New York Mets Fan since day 1

On July 15, 1957, my father took me to my first baseball game at Ebbets field in Brooklyn.  Since he was born in Brooklyn, he was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Braves 20-4.  1957 was the last year that the Dodgers and Giants played in New York City.  They moved to the west coast for the almighty buck.  In 1958 the Yankees were the only team left.  Mayor Wagner appointed William Shea to try to get a new National League team to come to New York.  In 1961 the National League agreed to expand to New York and Houston.  There was talk of building a stadium for the new team off Roosevelt Avenue near Flushing Meadows Park.  My Dad regularly drove with the family past that site which was only two miles from our home in Rego Park.  The New York Mets began playing in 1962 at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan.  I attended my first Met game on May 30, 1962 where the Mets lost a doubleheader to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Those 1962 were the worst team with a record of 40-120.  Since New York had a baseball tradition, the Mets had to acquire older yet washed up players who were known to fans.  In 1964 Shea Stadium opened.  I went with a couple of friends to the second game the Mets ever played there.  On the way there we spotted our Spanish teacher from junior high.  On Monday we discussed the game in Spanish in class.  The Mets were pretty poor during their first several years of existence. I only went to one or two games a season at Shea.  I was content to watch the games on TV.  In 1969 the Mets won the World Series.  Back in those days the World Series was on during the day.  People would take radios to work to listen.  I remember during the 1969 World Series I cut chemistry class to listen to the game on the radio.  In 1973, the Mets were in the World Series again.  At that time I was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Rhode Island.  I listened to the radio broadcast of the game while I was monitoring the chemistry lab class.  Over the years there were good and bad seasons for the Mets.  I was always a big fan.  In 1986 the Mets won the World Series again.  When Lee was 5 years old in 1993, we took him to his first Met game where they lost big to the Florida Marlins.  Over the years we have gone to at least 10 games a season.  We sit in the Upper Deck where the tickets are more reasonably priced.  Back in 1962, the most expensive seat cost $3.50 while today the cheapest seat in the nosebleed section is $16.00.  The fans have to pay the multimillion dollar salaries that the players get.  Over the years we have also seen games at Yankee Stadium, RFK Stadium, McAfee Stadium in Oakland, SBC Park in San Francisco, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in Chicago.  Wrigley Field reminded my of Ebbets field in Brooklyn. Sometimes newer is not necessarily better.  Pretty soon I will order tickets for the 2006 season.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Bruce, the Bob Dylan Fan

In the Summer of 1963 I went to Camp Wel-Met in Narrowsburg, New York.  One of the counselors taught the group the song “Blowin’ in the Wind.”  At that time I only knew that Peter Paul and Mary had a hit version of it.  I certainly did not know who wrote that song which was an anthem of the civil rights movement at that time.  By the spring of 1965 I was following Top 40 radio very closely.  There was a hit Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrds.  Again, I didn’t know who wrote the song.  In the Summer of 1965 I went on a cross-country bus tour with Camp Wel-Met.  For this 6 week period, I didn’t have a radio and could not keep up with the hits.  When I returned at the end of August I heard Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan for the first time.  Slowly but surely it swept me off my feet.  Back in those days I had to scrape up my allowance to buy records.  Even though an LP was only $2 or so at that time, it took a large chunk of my allowance.  I bought the single of Like a Rolling Stone for about 79 cents at Alexanders.  A few months later Positively Fourth Street was released on a 45 RPM and I went to Alexanders to buy it.  The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was the first LP that I bought.  In the Spring of 1966 the double LP Blond on Blond was released.  Since it was a double LP, it was quite expensive.  In late June I worked at my Dad’s store to get the money to buy it.  After I came home on a brutally hot Saturday, I ran to Alexanders to buy it.  On July 30, 1966 Dylan was in a motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock., NY.  There were all kind of stories on how seriously he was injured.  All of his fans were worried. In September of 1967 I went to Manhattan to see the film Don’t Look Back the day it was released.  In January 1968 John Wesley Harding was released.  After my last final exam at the City College of New York, I took the subway to the House of Oldies in Greenwich Village on a bitter cold day to buy it.  As the years went on I maintained my interest in Dylan.  I bought every vinyl LP that was released as soon as I could.  It is beyond the scope of this blog for my to discuss my opinion of Dylan’s specific works.  Perhaps I will discuss that later.  Let’s skip ahead to the 1990s with its newer technologies including the Internet.  I purchased many VHS tapes of Dylan.  I also taped Dylan specials from the radio.  When I first go onto the Internet, I discovered the Use-Net group where the Dylan enthusiasts put me to shame.  I was able to trade dubs of my radio tapes for bootleg Dylan concerts.  I was even interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine about my thoughts on the legality of trading concert tapes.  I realize that I was breaking the copyright laws.  Over the years I have amassed a collection of tapes (audio and video), CDs (regular releases and bootlegs), books, mp3 files, and DVDs. I also collect a lot of cover versions of Dylan songs. There is still the big excitement when Dylan material is being released. As an adult I have the money to buy all of this stuff.  I don’t have to scrape up allowance money J After I was married in 1983, I converted my wife into a Dylan fan though not with my degree of enthusiasm.  My biggest fight with her was over Dylan.  On September 30, 1997, the long awaited Time Out of Mind was released.  I asked her to buy it for me so I could listen to it when I returned from my work.  When I got home I was all smiles, waiting to play it.  She told me she didn’t buy it because it was not on sale!!!  There are things in this world that do not have a price tag.  I threatened to divorce her.  I went to buy it at a local music store.  She apologized profusely for this.  She made up for it a few years later.  Dylan’s next CD, Love and Theft was released on September 11, 2001.  After the tragedy, she went to the local music store and bought it.  I couldn’t get home that night.  My boss was very gracious and invited me to stay at his house that night.  I listened to Love and Theft with a heavy heart on September 12th.  My son Lee became a Dylan fan at birth.  Back in the 60s and 70s, I could not afford tickets to a Dylan concert.  As soon as a Dylan concert is announced, I run to the Internet and buy the tickets.  The three of us go as a team.  Lee’s first concert was at age 9 at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.  Dylan usually comes to the New York Metropolitan area once a year.  When Lee was 12 we went to a concert at Madison Square Garden.  There were some NYU film students doing a feature on Dylan.  I brought Lee over to them to be interviewed for that project.  We even played some Dylan music at Lee’s Bar Mitzvah reception in May 2001.  His favorite is Tangled Up In Blue which was played there.  Every May 24th, Dylan’s birthday, there is a celebration in our household.  We always play his music on the CD player.  WFUV always features his music on his birthday.  I am writing this blog entry listening to XM Radio’s Deep Track channel via Radio@AOL.  In March Dylan will be hosting a radio show on that channel.  It is quite phenomenal for someone to be active in show business for over 40 years.

Monday, January 2, 2006

End of Winter Break

What did I do during this break?- 5 movies, 2 museums, and 1 basketball game.


King Kong

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Rumor Has It

Fun with Dick and Jane

Memoirs of a Geisha


Museum of Television and Radio

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Basketball Game

CW Post 61 Franklin Pierce 57

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Bruce, the radio enthusiast

Back in the early 1960s I listened to Rock n Roll Radio in my dad's car.  At that time I recieved my first transistor radio and listened to the hits on WABC and WMCA.  I remember back in those days copying the weekly music surveys and comparing the two stations.  Then in 1966 Rock Music was first played on FM radio on WOR-FM at 98.7 FM.  As time passed there were more NYC FM stations playing Rock music such as WNEW-FM, WABC-FM (later WPLJ) and WCBS-FM.  In 1972 when I went to graduate school at the University of Rhode Island everybody up there listened to Salty Brine and WPRO (AM).  I returned to the New York metropolitan avenue and listened to the local stations.  As the 1970s moved on FM radio became more popular.  By the late 1970s WYNY which was an adult contemporary station at 97.1 FM became my favorite station.  They played a good blend of oldies and current hits.  For a number of years Dan Daniel who previously worked at WMCA was the morning man at WYNY.  When they replaced him with a couple of clowns, I switched my allegience to WCBS-FM New Yorks and America's premier oldies station.  It featured classic New York radio personalities including Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Bill Brown, Bob Shannon, Cousin Bruce Morrow and Don K. Reed among many others.  In the early 1990s I started to listen to WFUV, the radio station of Fordham University.  They play a lot of good Folk-Rock music including Bob Dylan.  One of these days I'll have to include a lengthy entry on him.  In the early 1990s I started my collection of radio tapes.  I joined a radio club called Decalcomania and traded for airchecks of radio stations from all over the country in various music and talk formats.  I have compiled about 1000 radio airchecks over the years.  Over the last few years I have lost my interest in tapes since radio stations over the country have become homogenized.  There are many excellent radio stations on the internet.  On June 3, 2005 WCBS-FM abruptly changed from oldies to the Jack format.  This greatly upset me and many others who post regularly to radio message board.  33 years in one format and they just dump it without giving any notice to loyal listeners.  Since then I have used the Internet to do most of my radio listening.  WFUV moved to become my number one over the air stations while I have many favorite internet radio stations.  Ihave resisted the temptation to subscribe to XM radio since it available to AOL subscribers.  I guess I can go on and on about my interest in radio broadcasting, but this is it in a nutshell.
Personal-Journals blog