Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another Tribute to George Harrison

George Harrison has appeared many times in Bruce's Journal, but since today is the 14th anniversary of his untimely passing, I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him again.  Below is a video of his playing Here Comes the Sun

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Drifter's Escape from Masked and Anonymous

Drifter's Escape was originally on the album John Wesley Harding that I bought in January 1968.  It had a very simple arrangement with just an acoustic guitar and bass.  I heard it in the movie Masked and Anonymous, but it was not placed in the soundtrack CD for the film.  My good friend Roy said "that was the weirdiest movie I've ever seen and Roy has seen thousands of movies over the years.

Anyway someone took the clip of Drifter's Escape and posted it on Youtube.  Please also listen to comments made by Penelope Cruz and John Goodman.

College Basketball at Barclays Center

Since tickets for NBA games are so expensive we go to several college games every season.  At least once a year we see games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Since there is no parking there we take the subway there.  This weekend there was a tournament with Nebraska, Tennessee, George Washington and Cincinnati.

As you can see in the photo above the attendance at this large arena was low.  These 4 schools have very good basketball programs, but have no connection to New York City.  I assume that the schools have relatively few alumni in the metropolitan area who would come to a game.

In the consolation game Nebraska beat Tennessee 82-71

In the championship game where the defenses dominated Cincinnati beat George Washington 61-56

Friday, November 27, 2015

Random Thoughts about Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Karen didn't want to cook so we went to Ben's Deli in Bayside for Thanksgiving Dinner.  No pastrami this time.  The restaurant was crowded so I guess a lot of people don't want to cook.

Thanksgiving is a good day for marathons on cable TV networks so we spent a little time watching Billy Joel on the MSG Network and Leave it to Beaver on Antenna TV.

WCBS-FM and Q-104.3 are playing their top 500 and 1043 songs respectively.  I really think that the list on WCBS-FM was picked by their music director and is "consistent with their format."  It is not the WCBS-FM of the Joe McCoy area as now mostly 70s and 80s hits are played now.  You can't argue with success as WCBS-FM has been consistantly #2 in the ratings.

I am going avoid shopping malls like the plague today.  I think that "Black Friday" has been realy hyped over the last 20 years or so.  People go shopping today just for the sake of shopping.  A few years ago a security guard was trampled to death in Valley Stream on Black Friday by aggreesive shoppers.  All this to save money.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Buying Mets Tickets for 2016

For several years I have bought a 10 pack of tickets for the Mets.  I was able to choose which 10 games I want and got a small discount.  Since the Mets won the pennant and got into the World Series the Wilpons and their cronies have gotten a little cocky.  First of all there are no more 10 game packages as the minimum for ticket packages are now 20,  It is also a little insulting that the Met ticket office dictates which 20 games are in the package.  Also single game tickets go on sale this coming Monday November 30, so Wilpon and company holds your money for several months before the season begins.

Since I have  a Citibank Mastercard I was able to buy tickets starting today in a presale.  I decided to buy tickets for the games against the Yankees on August 1 and the Kansas City Royals on June 22.  I thought that those games would sell out quickly.  For the Yankee game I had to pay $75/ticket while the cost last year was $50 for the Subway Series.  The tickets for the KC Royals were only $30.

I decided to wait until February to buy ticket for 8 or so more games during the season which would be less in demand.  I will also go to the Stadium ticket office to get them without the fees.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The 2015 Leg of Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Ends

The 2015 leg of the Never Ending Tour has come to an end without a stop in NYC.  Atlantic City was the closest stop earlier in the year.  I was also disappointed that the set list didn't vary much over the past year.

I am certainly hoping the tour will resume early in 2016.  Since Bob is 74 years I understand if there are less dates in the years to come.  My favorite venue was the Beacon Theater where I saw him in November 2014.

Rest well Bob as you certainly deserve it and may you stay Forever Young.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

On the Go This Saturday

We walked over to Uncle Bill's Diner to eat breakfast out for a change.  The last time we went ther it was closed for renovations.  I just love their pancakes and sausages.

From there Lee and I went to Cunningham Park to play some basketball as we do on most Saturday mornings.

When we got home we watched Sports Jeopardy which is on Crackle TV.  Last season a contestant can only win once, but this season the winner comes back.  Today Vinny Varadarajan won his fifth game.  The winner get $5,000 while there is no dollar limit for a win on regular Jeopardy.

At 12 noon we wlaked over to the local multiplex to see The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 2.  I thought the earlier movies in the series were better.

At 4 PM on ESPN3 I watched thhe NJIT Highlanders play Lafayette.  My school won 80-66 and are now 3-1.  They bounced back after losing the opener to Kentucky.  The next game is Monday night against Providence College in the Big East.  NJIT has never beaten a Big East opponent, but there is always a first time.

At 6:30 we watch the Adventures of Superman on MeTV featuring George Reeves and Phyllis Coates.  I must have seen this episodes umpteen times over the years.

And now it is time for Cousin Brucie.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dick Biondi to Come to Weekend Mornings on WLS-FM Chicago

Dick Biondi is certainly a legend in Chicago Radio as he has been on the air for over 50 years.  He has appeared on several radio stations in Chicago and other cities as noted in his Wikipedia biography,  I used to listen to him regularly on the internet version of WLS-FM but in recent years he was heard weeknights from 11 PM - 2 AM Central Time.  Robert Feder, a media colunmnist reports that Dick will be moved to weekend mornings.  I will have to check out part of his show on Saturdays or Sundays.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Usual Radio Rituals

Here is my usual weekly radio ritual.  Sometimes I diverge from it.

  • WFUV - Corny O' Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Classic Vinyl
  • Breakfast with the Beatles Podcast with Dennis Mitchell
  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Willies Roadhouse
  • SiriusXM - Deep Tracks
  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Cousin Brucie on 60s on 6

  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Tom Petty's Buried Treasure
  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - BB Kings Bluesville Channel
  • Bob Radil's 60s 70s Show on Rewound Radio
  • 1010 WINS
  • WCBS-FM Sue O'Neal
  • Johnny Cash Radio
  • Pop Gold Radio's Countdown with Don Tandler
  • WFUV - Mixed Bag with Don McGee
  • SiriusXM - Cousin Brucie on 60s on 6
  • 1010 WINS
  • WCBS-FM - Scott Shannon
  • Q104.3 Breakfast with the Beatles with Ken Dashow on Q-104.3
  • Classic American Top 40 with Casey Kasem on IHeart Radio
  • Sounds of the 60s with Brian Matthew Podcast
  • WFUV - Sunday Supper with John Platt
  • That Thing with Rich Appel on Rewound Radio
  • Cool Bobby B's Doo Wop Stop on SiriusXM 50s 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PF Sloan Passes Away at Age 70

When people bought records in the 1960s the songwriter was usually not known.  There were obviously some singer songwriters who are household names, but very few heard of P.F Sloan.  I looked in my Joel Whitburn book and saw only two very minor hits as P.F. was primarily a songwriter.  His claim to fame was Eve of Destruction as recorded by Barry McGuire in 1965.  It is a very bitter song, but much of what is said in it sadly applies today especially after the recent events in Paris.  He wrote many other hits including:
  • Take Me For What Its Worth by the Searchers (Sloan's version is seen and heard above)
  • A Must to Avoid - Herman's Hermits
  • You Baby -  Turtles
  • Where Were You When I Needed You - Grass Roots
  • Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers
He just passed away from pancreatic cancer. My condolences to his family and friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Review of Bob Dylan 1965-1966 The Cutting Edge.

At the request of Mary Ellen Brown aka Snoopy I am writing a review of Bob Dylan 1965-1966. The Cutting Edge. It is Bootleg Series #12. which took me over a week to listen to this 6 CD package. A bootleg, of course, is a recording not released by a legitimate record label. I would say that Bob Dylan is likely the most bootlegged artist in history going back to the early 1960s. Columbia Records is trying to cash on this by issuing concert and studio recordings not on earlier Dylan albums.

Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde are by far my favorite Dylan albums. The Cutting Edge includes rehearsals and alternative takes for most of the songs on those albums. As someone not a musician, I never experienced how a record developed from a demo to the finished product. Any recording artist and his producer must make a decision on what version to put on the final product. The engineers also get involved by mixing the tracks.

CD #3 on the 6 CD set is devoting to the various versions of Like a Rolling Stone. I spent over 1 hour on Wednesday listening to Dylan's greatest hit. I certainly enjoyed listening to all of the 100+ cuts in the series. With the exception of Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, I felt that the versions that I've heard for 50 years are better. This set is not for the casual Dylan fan, it is appropriate for people like myself who have followed Dylan for decades.

On a related note, I am disappointed that the Never Ending Tour will not come to the New York area in 2015. I am hoping the tour will resume on the east coast in early 2016.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ken Dashow was the Hit of the 10th Annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts

Ken Dashow with Cara Sieden in the Background

For several years the Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts is held two weeks before Thanksgiving.  It is a good chance to see people that I have known for many years through Facebook and radio message boards.  I also met some new people.  We usually have a guest from a major radio station appear at the event.  This year Ken Dashow of Q-104.3 appeared.

In other events the radio personality just spoke to the crowd very briefly.  This time Ken spoke at length about his radio career, relationships with other DJs and his meetings with Paul McCartney and George Harrison.  He spent a considerable amount of time answer questions from people in the audience about the radio business and classic rock.  It was certainly a pleasure to have him as a guest.

One of the highlights for me was meeting Facebook enthusiast Michael Judge.  I really wonder if he is online all of his waking hours.

Michael Judge

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Random Comments of the Day

It is time for the annual Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. 13 time winner Matt Jackson won his match today and will advance to the semi-finals next week.  I'd like to see him play against the big winners over the years like Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and Julia Collins.  Perhaps in the future there will be another tournament featuring big winners over the years.

Tomorrow is the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wellnesss and Event Center at NJIT.  It will be a multi-purpose building that will offer something for everyone at NJIT.  It will provide a larger basketball arena which is desperately needed since we are in Division 1 sports.  It is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2017.  The school has expanded greatly since I came in 1992.

The 10th annual Oldies Radio Meet and Greet will occur on Saturday.  There will be more about that in Bruce's Journal by Sunday.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Oh Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?

It was 50 years ago today that the lights went out in New York City.  I was a sophomore at Forest Hills High School at the time and was doing my homework at 5:28 PM.  At that time everyone thought it was local.  Since my grandmother lived in the same apartment building, I went to her apartment to make sure she was OK.  My father who drove to work came home at the usual time.  New York was relatively calm during the 1965 blackout, but there was a completely different story during the second blackout in 1977.  I missed that one as I was living in New London, Ct. at that time since I worked at Pfizer.

A few months later  WMCA DJ Dan Daniel recorded "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out" which was released on the Mala label.  I think it was only played on his station.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I liked the earlier James Bond Movies with Sean Connery Best

Today we saw Spectre the lastest James Bond film starring Daniel Craig.  I didn't realize that over the past 53 years there were 26 movies with 10 actors playing 007.  When I looked at the list I most likely saw all 26 films.  Some younger people may not realize that the James Bond character was created by novelist Ian Fleming.  This Wikipedia article lists the Ian Fleming books with James Bond as the protagonist.  I didn' realize that the first book was written in 1953 while the first film came out in 1962.  Ian Fleming passed away in 1964, but the movies based on his books were released for many years.  The more recent movies featured the James Bond character but the screenplays were not based on any of the books.

The early Bond films had some good theme songs that were played on Top 40 radio.  My favorite had to be Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey.  There was also a novelty song called Double-O-Seven by the Detergents.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Beatles 1 DVD

I spent time today listening to the first 2 CD's of Bob Dylan's Cutting Edge.  The three Dylan albums released in 1965-66 have always been my favorites so it really nice to hear the outtakes.

I just received the Beatles 1 DVD as described in the Youtube video above.  It is a compilation of the videos of the 27 number 1 Beatle hits from 1962-1970.  I only had time to listen to part of it today.   Some of the videos very familiar, but some I had never seen.  The quality of each film was excellent.  Beatles music is timeless and appeals to all ages.

NJ Devils 4 Chicago Black Hawks 2

Karen and Lee met me in Newark after work at the Prudential Center as we usually like to go to a few hockey games every season.  The Devils took a 4-0 lead, but late in the game the Black Hawks fought back.  They were behind 4-1 with 6:42 to go when they took out the goalie to get an extra skater.  I have never seen a team do that being 3 goals behind and with so much time left in the 3rd period.  They did score one goal to get closer, but still lost 4-2.

I was really suprised to see so many people there with Chicago Black Hawk jerseys on.  Many of them were on the train back to NYC.  I must assume that most of them were tourists.

Box Score

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Empty Pages by Traffic Classic Rock Song of the Day

From the album John Barleycorn Must Die.  At least a journal entry that is not about the Mets or Bob Dylan.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Now it is time to think about winter sports

Now that the World Series is over it is time to start thinking about winter sports.  It is halfway through the football season already and I haven't given much thought to the Giants or Jets.  I was never much of a football fan anyway.

Last season I completely gave up on the Knicks as they dumped many good players to save on salary.  They have almost a completely new team so I will have to try to watch them regularly.  The Brooklyn Nets have made some changes as well.

We bought tickets for two Devils games and one Islander game at the Barclay Center.  Tickets for professional sporting events at Madison Square Garden are outrageous so we will only go there for college basketball.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Suffered Through 1962, 1978, 1979, 1993, 2008 and Other Bad Years With the Mets

In January 2006 I wrote in this journal that I had been a Met fan since the team's inception in 1962.  Back on July 31 of this year I wrote that it takes a lot of patience to be a Met Fan.  This was just after the Amazin's blew a 7-1 against the San Diego Padres and lost 8-7.  Hours later the Mets traded for Yoenis Cepedes just minutes before the trade deadline.

At the beginning of this season I only expected about an 85-77 record with a second place finish in the NL East behind the heavy favorite Washington Nationals.  Early in the season the Mets had an 11 game winning streak and were way ahead in the standings.  Later on the hitting went bad as the team skidded toward mediocrity.  After the trades at the deadline the team took over and won the NL East, the Division Series against the Dodgers and the League Championship series against the Cubs.

Losing the World Series in 5 games to the Kansas City Royals was a disappointment, the Mets have nothing to be ashamed of.  People are criticizing Terry Collins for some of the moves he made, but some risks don't pay off.  I am very pleased that the Mets went as far as they did.  The result was much better than the years I mentioned in the title of this entry.  I am already looking forward to next season.

The young pitchers will mature and will be assume.  Already there is speculation in the electronic media on the leaving of free agents Cespedes and Murphy.  Buster Olney of ESPN is stating that with certainty they will not return.  Sometimes I think that the media creates the news.  It is very easy to speculate, but the writers and broadcasters don't now what goes on behind the scenes.

I will have to take the off season also known as the Hot Stove League one day at a time and hople for the best.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Which Met Team Will Show Up Tonight?

In both the regular and post seasons the Mets have been inconsistent.  Last night's game which they lost 5-3 really showed that.  Let me bring out some points:

1. Tyler Clippard was lights out during his first 20 games with the Mets. but his two walks last night in the 8th inning gave the game to the Royals.
2. Daniel Murphy's hitting has cooled off during the World Series.  His error at second base was crucial as his fielding at times is erratic.
3. Yoenis Cespedes' fielding leaves something to be desired as for the second time he kicked a ball in the outfield.  His hitting has cooled off as well.
4.  Terry Collins has made some poor pitching choices.  Last night he should have stayed with Colon and Niese longer.

It should be an active Hot Stove League this winter as many free agents will try to get big bucks.  They should not be given outrageous salaries for mult-years based on a hot streak.
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