Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to All Readers of Bruce's Journal

I would like to wish all readers of Bruce's Journal a happy and healthy 2011.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope that you have enjoyed my words of wisdom.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Too Painful to Remember

Over the last month or so I have reconnected with some classmates from PS 139 in Rego Park.  I was promoted from that school in 1961, so these memories go back 50 years.  The other day I received an e-mail from Michael Golden who remember something that I suppressed in my mind.  I have an excellent memory, but Mike remembered this:

You probably don't remember this, but you figure in one of my most vivid childhood memories. I was pitching in a Little League game, (perhaps Walter's Bake Shop team), and had a no-hitter going unitl there were two outs in the last inning. The batter hit a routine fly ball to right field, which you proceeded to let drop and kick around a bit, as the batter raced around the bases. Gone were my no-hitter, my shutout, and my day of glory. Of course, I've held a deep-seated grudge against you for the last half century or so, for the psychological trauma you created in my fragile psyche:)

I do remember playing for Walter's Bake Shop's team in the Forest Hills Little League when I was about 12 years old. I do not remember missing that fly ball.  This is a suppressed memory.  At least I wasn't Fred Merkle who missed second base in the Polo Grounds, or Bill Buckner who miss Mookie Wilson's grounder in the 1986 World Series, or Luis Castillo who miffed a fly ball in the subway series in 2009.  I'm sure that my poor fielding did not cost Mike a multi-million dollar contract with George Steinbrenner.  I was never known for my athletic prowess all those years ago.

I think The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand would be an appropriate way to end this journal entry

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Afternoon at the Paley Center for Media

We try to go to the Paley Center on West 52nd Street at least a few times a year.  We even have an annual membership to this fine organization that preserves radio and television history.  It was previously known as the Museum of Television and Radio.

In the Spelberg Gallery there was an exhibit called  This Boy.....John Lennon in Liverpool.  The exhibit featured a 20 minute film about the Quarrymen and photographs of John's growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s and early 60s.

From there we went to the library where impulsively I wanted to see what they had on Shindig and Hullabaloo.  Facebook friend Jet Screamer would be in 7th heaven as we viewed shows originally aired in 1964 and 65, his favorite years.  We saw a show from October 1964 which featured the Beatles and other British acts including Cilla Black, Sounds Incroporated, PJ Proby, and others who were popular in the UK but not in the USA.  This episode featured the premier of I'm a Loser which was not released in the United States until a month later when it was a cut on the Beatles 65 LP.  I remember how WMCA taped the audio from the TV and played it on the station before its offical release.  The episode of Hullabaloo that we saw featured the Lovin' Spoonful.

While I was there I searched the database for any Clay Cole shows.  When we met him last year Clay said that none of his shows were preserved.  I thought perhaps something was there, but Clay (may he rest in peace) was correct.

The video below include both I'm a Loser and Boys that were shown on that episode of Shindig.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seeing a Bad Movie to Cure Cabin Fever

The following actors and actresses are quite talented and have appeared in some excellent movies:
  • Ben Stiller
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Blythe Danner
  • Owen Wilson
  • Jessica Alba
  • Laura Dern
However, this all-star cast can not make a stupid  movie good.  I would never punch out my father-in-law as was done in this fim which was #1 at the box office last weekend.  What often happens is that a movie does well when it is first released, but then when word gets around that it is terrible, the box office receipts go down dramatically.  Karen, Lee and I were the only three people in the audience for the afternoon showing.  The College Point Multiplex only charges $6 all day Tuesday, but there were very few people in the entire complex.  Perhaps people were still digging out after the snowstorm.

We have seen 3 movies in the last 5 days.  It is nice to have the week off between Christmas and New Years, but it seems there is either very cold weather, a snowstorm or both to put a damper on this vacation.  I just hate sitting home!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Facebook Article in the New York Times

Central Park got about 20 inches of snow and just about everything is closed.  I am off from work anyway so I am stuck in the apartment all day.  On a normal Monday I would read the New York Times on the commute, but today I read it at home.  The magazine section featured short biographical sketches on many celebrities who passed away in 2010.  An article by Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford, titled You've Got to have (150) Friends caught my eye.

I have made several comments about friending and unfriending people in the Facebook sense in this journal.  Let me quote Professor Dunbar directly:

"Social networking and other digital media have long promised to open up wonderful new vistas, all from the comfort of our own homes. The limitations of face-to-face interaction that have, until now, bound us to our small individual worlds — the handful of people we meet in our everyday lives — would be overcome.

The critical component in social networking is the removal of time as a constraint."

There is only so much time that we have to socialize with people face to face or over the phone.  Sites like Facebook give us more time to virtually socialize with our "friends".  We can go to their walls and see what they are doing.  If we are acquainted with them in a business context, we can observe what they do outside of work.

I observe that one colleague is a real social butterfly outside of work.  Another young lady from another university gives me the impression of being a kook when I read her Tweets and Facebook posts.  She seems quite level headed when I see her at professional meetings.

Tomorrow is another day and I'll be able to venture outside the apartment.  At least there a super and a custodial staff who shovel snow.  I will have to clean out the area near my garage, but I won't have to use the car for several days.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Snowy Sunday

There was a forecast for a major snowstorm today starting in the late morning so Lee and I were able to get out for some basketball and a walk through Forest Park before the snow started.  For some reason I couldn't get through to the 3G network on the iPhone. When I got home I used the airplane mode to access the internet.  When I changed to mode, the 3G network returned.  I guess it was one of those strange computer things.

At 11 AM the snow began.  As I write this at 8 PM, the snow is coming down very hard.  I think they are predicting 12-16 inches.  We just didn't want to go to the multiplex for the third day in a row, so we decided to walk over to Gino's pizza while the snow was light to get out of the apartment for a little while at least.

I didn't want to watch 6 straight hours of football, so I decided to read the Sunday New York Times until 2:30.  Then we turned on the Jet game as they lost to the Chicago Bears 38-34.  Since Jacksonville lost their game the Jets cliched a playoff spot.  At 4:15 I decided to read my Sal Mineo book and turned on the Giant game for the second half.  They lost to the Green Bay Packers 45-17.

Right now I am listening to the Top 77 hits on Rewound Radio as voted by the listeners of Bob Radil's 60s and 70s show.  I am not a big fan of countdowns since if I like a song, I don't care what number it is.

I am off from work tomorrow anyway, so I don't have to worry about the public transportation in the snow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Books and Movies so far during this winter vacation

Since I bought the Amazon Kindle I had to buy books so I don't have to schlep heavy volumes on my commute to work.  Since it is so cold outside I want to think about baseball so I got this:

Glanville, Doug. The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View. New York: Times Books, 2010

Doug Glanville played for the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers from 1996-2004.  His book is a candid account of his major league career.  He was not a superstar, but not a marginal player either.  He talks about personal and professional experiences in his major league career.  Book review from the Washington Post.

Michaud, Michael G. Sal Mineo: A Biography. New York: Crown Archetype, 2010. Print.

I got this book from the Queens library branch in my neighborhood.  Sal Mineo was a child actor  from the Bronx who came to prominence in the movie Rebel Without a Cause.  It is a shame that he died at age 37 in 1976.  Some informal book reviews may be found at Goodreads.

Yesterday we saw the remake of True Grit with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and James Brolin.  The other day Karen taped the original John Wayne version from Turner Classic Movies.

Finally today we saw The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams.  In this film the women used the "F word" more than the men.

A big snowstorm is forecasted for the next 2 days so we may be making another trip to the multiplex.  Anything is better than staying home.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour will Continue in 2011

I just checked Bill Pagel's Dylan tour page and noted that Bob has two dates scheduled for Austalia in April.  He usually takes a break during the holiday season as the tour resumes early in the year.  I am really looking for something special on his 70th birthday on May 24th.  May he stay Forever Young.  And the beat goes on.......

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Henry Kissinger - Hypocrite of the 20th Century

I usually don't like to comment on political issues, but some statements made by Henry Kissinger just burns me up.  The forner secretary of state made the following statement “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern."  He made the odious remarks on March 1, 1973, to President Nixon after Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had requested American intervention on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

Kissinger is a hypocrite since he and his family were given refuge in the United States when they fled Nazi persecution in 1938.

In the photo above you can see Tweedledee and Tweedledum - two hypocrites who deserved each other.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

British Oldie of the Day - Save Me - Dave Dee Dozy Mick and Tich

Would your favorite oldies show play this British hit from 1966?  I think Brian Matthew would. I am sure that Bob Radil would have it in his collection. This is one of the groups who never had a hit in the United States.  I won't post them but here is the link for the lyrics.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trying to think warm thoughts on the first day of winter

Surfin' USA by the Beach Boys makes me feel warm on the first day of winter.  One consolation is that the days will gradually be getting longer.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Superior Autobiographical Memory - Not Me

On 60 Minutes tonight Leslie Stahl did a story describing Superior Autobiographical Memory.  This is  very rare ability to remember each day of your life as if it happened yesterday.  People have complimented me on my very good memory but mine is not nearly as good as the subjects profiled in the story.  Leslie gave these people (including actress Marilu Henner) a specific date and they were able to tell her exactly what happened that day.

I can remember very specific events in my life, but I rarely remember the exact date.  I remember going to a Met game in August 2009 when David Wright was beaned by Matt Cain, but I can not recall the exact date.  There are certain positive and negative events in my life that stick out and even clutter my mind, but the exact date is not important to me.  I can usually not filter out the good and bad events that I remember.  It is often for the better to move on and let go of many unfortunate experiences.  On the other hand it is often nice to reminisce about things that happened years ago.

Clay Cole with the Slutsky Family

The photo above was taken by Bill Dillane at the Long Island Radio and TV Day in April 2010 at CW Post.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

R.I.P. Clay Cole

Harry Harrison used to say "Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift."  We never know what the day will bring for us.  Nobody knows how many days the lord has written for us.  We never know how or when we will leave this world.  One can linger for many years with a chronic disease or die all of a sudden.

I was visiting my mother this afternoon and as the family was watching the Rangers game I was using my iPhone and received an e-mail from Alan Berman stating that Clay Cole had died.  I quickly perused Facebook and observed that several of my  friends were sending condolences.  I phoned Alan a little later as he found that Clay had suffered a heart attack at home.  Everything was fine and then all of a sudden he just collapsed and died at age 72. You just never know.

For readers of Bruce's Journal not familiar with Clay, you may read a short biography in the Wikipedia.  However I highly recommend his book:

Cole, Clay, and David Hinckley. Sh-boom!-- the Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll, 1953-1968. Garden City, NY: Morgan James, 2009. Print.
I had the pleasure of meeting Clay at the Beatles Expo in Stamford, CT in November 2009.  I bought the book from him there.  I also met him at the Long Island Radio Show at CW Post in April of this year.  I wrote a review of the book last December in this journal.  Clay actually wrote a comment stating that he was pleased with my review.
My condolences to his family.

Nashville Predators 3 New Jersey Devils 1

Lee seems to be the big hockey fan in the family.  Since it is usually diffficult to get single game tickets for the Rangers we find it convenient to see the Devils at the Prudential Center since NJIT is close by.  The Devils are not doing too well this season.  As of today their record is 9-20-2.  In last night's game they lost to Nashville 3 to 1.  3 out of the 4 goals were scored on the power play.  Recap

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Halls of Fame - Who Gets In? - Politics, Achievements, Ethics

Just yesterday the 2011 inductees the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame were announced: 
  • Dr. John
  • Neil Diamond
  • Darlene Love
  • Alice Cooper
  • Tom Waits
  • Leon Russell - Musical Excellence Award
We can think of others who deserve induction including some recently nominated.  The Moody Blues, Donovan, Neil Sedaka, Clay Cole, and Chubby Checker among many others come to mind.  Facebook friends Joe Postove (Happy Birthday Joe) and Alan Berman are advocates for Chubby's induction.

Why are some inducted while others are not?  This is not an easy question to answer.  Is it fair to quantify a musical performers achievements by records sold or chart statistics?  Is a performers impact on society measurable?  It is sad to say that politics often plays a role into election into a Hall of Fame.  Other entertainment genres have Halls of Fame and likely politics are involved.

Let's take a look at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  In baseball and other sports performance atheletes are easily evaluated by tons of statistics.  But should 500 home runs by a batter and 300 victories by a pitcher automatically qualify one for induction?  Mark McGuire who has excellent credentials has not been elected since the sportswriters are well aware that he used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).  Likely in the years to come Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others who obviously used PEDs will be denied.  Pete Rose was banned from baseball and is ineligible for induction into the Hall since as manager he bet on games that his team played.  This obviously compromises the integrity of the game.  Use of PEDs by the above mentioned players attacks the integrity of the game even more.  So if Rose can not  inducted turkeys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be denied entry.  I especially hate Clemens for intentially throwing at Mike Piazza twice.

Here is another double standard - I think almost every rock star has used illicit drugs at some point in their careers which enhanced their creativity.  That issue is ignored.

Finally, let me talk about impact.  Sandy Koufax  pitched only from 1955-1966 when arm problems forced him to retire prematurely.  But, in the early 1960s he was the dominant pitcher of his era.  That qualified him for the Hall of Fame.

Chubby Checker was dominant in rock music during the same time period.  The Twist hit number 1 on the charts in 1960 and 1962.  Back then the twist and other dances promoted by Chubby were quite popular yet he been denied election to the Rock Hall.  But Leonard Cohen who is essentially a folk singer is there.  Go Figure.  I guess you can just cry politics.

It is a shame that in many aspects of our lives politics rears its ugly head.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg should not be Time's Person of the Year

Time Magazine's person of the year is a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."   Persons of the Year in the past include:
  • 2008 - Barack Obama
  • 2004 - George W. Bush
  • 2003 - The American Soldier
  • 1999 - Jeff Bezos (founder of
  • 1993 - The Peacemakers
  • 1982  - The Computer
A complete list from 1927 to the present may be found in the Wikipedia

Certainly much has been written in the popular press (including Bruce's Journal) about Facebook and how it has changed our lives.  Facebook  has allowed people who have not seen each other for decades to reconnect.  The movie The Social Network related how Mark Zuckerberg formed the company and how he became so wealthy in a short period of time. 

The list of nominees for the 2010 Person of the Year show several politicians, entertainers, and business executives.  IMHO The Unemployed American should have been Time's Person of the Year.  There has been some recovery from the recession, but the unemployment rate is still very high.  Many hardworking Americans have been jobless for years now.  An unemployed person obviously must lower his/her standard of living as he/she loses self-esteem.  Unemployment insurance only goes so far.  I especially feel for an older jobless person.  Even in the best of times there is ageism in hiring, but some are just too young to retire and too old to be re-employed.  My heart goes out to them.  The unemployed situation in the United States is much more important than Facebook.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big Jeopardy Tournament on Jeopardy in February

The producers of Jeopardy have really come up with a unique idea.  The two biggest Jeopardy winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings will compete against Watson a computer program developed by IBM's artificial intelligence team with the winner getting $1 Million.  This tournament will be on the air February 14-16.  I thank Alan Berman for bringing this article to my attention at 6:44 PM 16 minutes before Alex Trebek announced it on the show.  I am looking forward to this.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Comments on WCBS-FM Past and Present

Today's journal entry is in response to statements made by former music director Richard Lorenzo in an article by Facebook friend Jerry Barmash in FishbowlNY.  I agree with Lorenzo that the WCBS-FM of today is not the same as the station we heard from 1972-2005, but I disagree with his premise that the station has no style.  Unfortunately "the suits" in the radio business must think of the almighty buck and appeal to advertisers who are not interested in listeners over 54.  People who enjoy the music of 1955-75 (give or take a few years) are leaving the desired 25-54 demographic.  Thus, in 2005 the morons at the top of CBS Radio abruptly changed 101.1 to the dreaded Jack format.  New York radio listeners voted with their radio dials and did not accept that format which was an insult to the loyal listeners of CBS-FM.  In 2007 the new management came to their senses and adoped the "Greatest Hits" format ignoring the moniker "oldies".  In this new incarnation the station played mostly hits from 1964-1989 to try to appeal to the desired demographic.  Hits from the early days of rock 'n roll were minimized.

The strength WCBS-FM Version 1 were the personalities and the depth of the playlist.  Many of those DJs and Program Director Joe McCoy either retired or moved on.  I certainly miss Harry Harrison, the late Ron Lundy, Don K Reed, Norm N Nite, Cousin Brucie, Bill Brown and others.  Brian Thomas, the new program director, has given the station style albeit different from his predecessors.  He has added some innovative Hall of Fame features usually played at the top or bottom of the hour.  I have enjoyed many of the features like airing Artists A-Z and the entire playlist of the station during holiday periods.  The newer DJs with backgrounds in other New York stations like Broadway Bill Lee, Joe Causi, Ron Parker and Sue O'neal do project their personalities.  As Lorenzo says, the only personality with a link to Version 1 is Bob Shannon.  He seems stifled by the tight  automated playlist that he must use.  He is livlier and seems much happier when he does his WLNG show on Tuesdays.  Dan Taylor's banter with weatherman Mr. G is somewhat reminiscent of the Harry Harrison days.  Dan does a good job in the morning.

I perceive that the playlist on Monday - Friday 6 AM - 7 PM is somewhat tight, bust loosens in the evening and on weekends.  I am not a night owl and am usually in deep sleep between midnight and 6 AM, but a voicetracked show is not the best thing.  New York is the city that never sleeps, but economics have compelled many major radio stations to save money by voice tracking.  Years ago Max Kinkel had a very big following in the overnight period.

To conclude I will say that no radio station can please all of its listeners all the time.  People who know me are aware that I listen to many over the air, satellite, and internet stations in various formats.  I do listen to WCBS-FM, but not as much as I did in their "hey day" from 1985-1995 or so.  Alan Berman, the Dean of Oldies Listeners, tells me that he rarely listens to the station since he prefers Sirius, Hy Lit Radio, WLNG and other stations.  Others like Mary Shaw, Linda Cohen and Cara Sieden are still loyal listeners. I would make one suggestion:  There should be a "Heart of Rock 'N Roll Show" on Sunday nights with alternating hosts Norm N Nite and Don K Reed.  This would be a good link to the station's heritage.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Analysis of Facebook Friends

I just did an analyis of my Facebook friends today.  I also did an analysis in July 2009 with somewhat different categroeis of friends

December 2010

NJIT Library - 4%
NJIT other -17%
NY Librarians - 9%
NJ Librarians - 5%
Other Librarians - 11%
Radio Enthusiasts - 35%
Dylan Fans - 1 %
People from my past - 10%
Baseball Fans -  2%
Family - 3%
Other 4%

July 2009

New York Librarians -  8.4%
New Jersey Librarians - 5.3 %
NJIT Colleagues - 11.0%
American Chemical Society Colleagues -  6.8%
Other Librarians -  4.8%
Radio enthusiasts -  22.6%
Family - 2.0%
NJIT Students - 25.1%
People from my past -  3.2%
Other Slutskys  0.2%
Bob Dylan Enthusiasts  0.2%
Others - 7.1%

Notice that I did not do this in the form of a spreadsheet.  I see enough of those at work. :)  I will also refrain from doing a statistical analysis.  This is not a peer reviewed paper.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

TunedIn Radio App for the iPhone

Thank you Facebook  friend Walter MacEachern for bringing this app to my attention.  I haven't since Walter since we graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1967.  With this app you can tune in about 40,000 terrestrial and internet radio stations from all over the world.  For the first time I was able to get WLNG from eastern Long Island on the iPhone.  You can browse by location or format.  There is even a feature which allows the user to record segments from the radio.  You can access this service from a PC by going to .

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can you keep away from Social Networking Sites for a Week?

What would you do without Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, a cell phone, or one of the multitude of Web 2.0 services that promote social networking for a week?  None of these services were there in 1995 when I got my first PC at home.  I guess we would talk more to people face to face and perhaps watch more TV and listen to the radio on AM or FM.  I do the latter anyway.  There was a story on ABC News tonight called Video Diaries of the "Social Experiment" where students from Shorecrest High School in Washington gave up these electronic services for a week.  Check it out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Hot Stove League is Lukewarm at Best for the Mets

When the Mets recently hired Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins there was hope for improvement in the team for 2011.  It seems that since they are stuck with big contracts for Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo, they don't have money for free agents who could make an impact.  The only deals so far have been:
  • Ronnie Pulino as a backup catcher
  • D. J. Carrasco as right handed reliever
  • Infielder Brad Emaus and right-handed pitcher Pedro Beato in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft
  • Pitcher Boof Bonser to a Minor League contract
So far the loss of pitchers Hisanori Takahashi and Pedro Feliciano to free agency has hurt the Mets the most in my opinion during this off season.  It it obvious that they have lost more than gained in player transactions.

Current roster

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What if he had lived

There will be a lot written and said today about the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of John Lennon.  Last year I recalled that I went to sleep early that night and didn't find out about the murder until the next morning.  Last night I listened to a recording of Vin Scelsa on WNEW-FM that need.  Subscribers to Reel Radio can hear it.  The murder was shortly after the release of the album Double Fantasy.  It is very possible that John would have been a prolific composer and recording artist had he lived.  We will never know what work he would have done had he lived.  We also will never know if there would have been a Beatles reunion.  Rest in peace John.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brought the Kindle to Work Today

The purpose of the Kindle is for me to avoid schlepping heavy books on the trains. I brought the Kindle with me to work today for the first time.  I found the contrast of the print to the screen very helpful making for easy reading.  I just have to be careful about not running a big bill purchasing e-books.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bob Dylan and the Band: What Kind of Love is This

It’s daytime in the big city as I approach the 14th Street Y near 2nd Avenue. I am meeting my old friend Roy Herschaft whom I have known since high school. I remember our walks on Saunders Street to Forest Hills High School when we argued about who was better Dylan or the Supremes. We were going to a symposium called Bob Dylan and the Band: What Kind of Love is this? I have always enjoyed the Band whether they played by themselves or with Dylan. The were originally known as the Hawks as they were Ronnie Hawkins backup band and later backed up Dylan in his 1966 and 1974 tours.

I took notes during the symposium and will discuss some of the highlights in this journal entry.  It is not meant to be exhaustive.

Greil Marcus was the keynote speaker wrote the following 2 books among many other publications:

Marcus, Greil. Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010. New York: PublicAffairs, 2010. Print

Marcus, Greil. Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. New York: H. Holt & Co, 1997. Print.

He mentioned that in 1961 when Dylan first came to New York, the musicians in The Band including Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm were already established . He said that later Dylan and the Band were attracted to each other since they were opposites. Thus, the subtitle of this symposium “What Kind of Love is this” refers to the love between Dylan and The Band who were very disciplined musicians while Dylan was not interested in following any rules. He showed a photo of Dylan who“took the Band to school” in 1967.

Christopher Ricks ( Ricks, Christopher. Dylan's Visions of Sin. New York: Ecco, 2004. Print.) talked about versions of the following Dylan love songs that were recorded by Dylan himself and with The Band:

Just Like a Woman
It Ain’t Me Babe

All 4 recordings were played so that the audience could hear the changes in the singing the changed the meaning of the song. The symposium did not consider cover versions of Dylan songs where different artist change the meaning of the song. This would certainly be a good topic of discussion for a future gathering of Dylan scholars.

Wesley Stace whose stage name is John Wesley Harding contributed to the discussion. He considered Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 as a love song and mentioned that the word women was never mentioned by Dylan. Most of his fans consider this a song about marijuana.

The next speaker, John Niven read an excerpt from:

Niven, John. Music from Big Pink. New York: Continuum, 2005. Print.

It was a fictional account of events in Big Pink when Dylan and the Band were there. Reviews of this book may be found at

The next session was titled Rock and Utopia: Through the Lens of Bob Dylan and the Band.

Spiotta, Dana. Eat the Document: A Novel. New York: Scribner, 2006. Print.

Eat the Document was a documentary about Dylan’s 1966 British tour that was supposed to air on ABC television but was withdrawn. It did appear on WNET TV in New York. I have a bootlegged copy in VHS format. Dana Spiotta talked about the book which has nothing to do with Dylan. A good review from the New York Times may be found at

Matthew Friedberger, Co-founder of the visionary rock band The Fiery Furnaces,remarked on the following quote by Dylan:

“I heard Elvis and knew that I wasn’t going to work for anyone.” It really is nice when you can be a performer and earn a living doing what you love. That happens for very few people. There are plenty of aspiring actors, singers, and songwriters out there who must live on the wages from their day jobs. Greil also contributed to this discussion.

The next session was titled “Representing Dylan & the Band” with the following speakers:

John Niven - fiction

D.A. Pennebaker - film

Greil Marcus - non-fiction

D.A. Pennebaker filmed Don’t Look Back and Eat the Document. He didn’t know much about Dylan before he did the film back in 1965. Dylan appeared in films like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Masked and Anonymous and others, but these were not discussed. There were certainly plenty of documentaries about him including Martin Scorcese’ s No Direction Home.

Greil quoted Bob Gottlieb who said “Dylan seduced an entire generation of writers to become musicians.”

It was 5:30 and I was getting hungry and tired and decided somewhat reluctantly to leave before the last hour of the symposium. I am relating the information below from the program.

William G. Scheele, Equipment/Stage Manager for The Band and Bob Dylan from 1969 to 1976., talked about photos that he had taken that were on display in the 14th Street Y.

Stephen Hazan Arnoff, the executive Director of the Y gave both the Introduction and the closing remarks. He wrote the following article: Understanding the Myth and Music of Bob Dylan.

Dana Spiotta concluded the program by reading an excerpt from her book Eat the Document described above.

What a day!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hofstra 74 Towson 62

Today was our first trip of the college basketball season to see Hofstra play.  The game was close until about 3 and a half minutes to go when the Pride pulled ahead with a 9-0 run. Senior guard Charles Jenkins (Queens, N.Y.) had 19 of his 26 points in the second half  while Sophomore forward David Imes (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Hofstra.  For $10/ticket how can we go wrong.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Amazon Kindle Arrived Today

I ordered the Amazon Kindle on Monday and it arrived today.  I opened it up as soon as I got home and charged the battery for about 1 1/2 hours.  I read through the instruction manual and then connected through my home wi-fi and searched for an appropriate book to start my collection.

Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3)

Yes, my readers know that I had to pick a Bob Dylan book that I never read before.  A review of the book states that the author interviewed several of the musicians who worked with Dylan on this seminal album.  Hopefully, Al Kooper was interviewed for this book.  I will find out soon.

When I bought my first CD player in 1985 or so Highway 61 Revisited was the first CD that I bought.  I just hope I don't run up too big of a bill, but books in the public domain where the copyright has expired are free.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Check out my Delicious Links

Delicious is a service that allows a user to store bookmarks to web sites and be able to move them from one computer to another.  These bookmarks can be shared to people with similar interests.  Today I compile tow lists:

Bookmarks for work

Radio related bookmarks

Please feel free to suggest any additions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Chanukah

Chanukah is early on the secular calendar this year.  I wish all my Jewish friends a happy holiday.
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