The Boulevard is Not That Bad

Apr 30, 2017 | 4155 Views | 1 Comment

I was ready to log out of Facebook, with a vow to shake that social-media-monkey off my back for the rest of the day and get some real work done. And then I saw a post about a new video directed by filmmaker Max Weiland, cut to one of Elton John’s classic songs: "Tiny Dancer." It’s a lusciously filmed, finely edited portrait of 12 ordinary people going about their everyday lives in the City of Angels. Yes, lyricist Bernie Taupin, metaphorically, “the boulevard is not that bad”…..most of the time. But, oh, how I wish life... Read More »

You’re Invisible Now, You Got No Secrets to Conceal

| 187 Views | 1 Comment

I’m noting two things today: first, the 20-year anniversary of Ellen DeGeneres announcing, “Yep, I’m gay,” on her popular prime time TV series, thus ending weeks of speculation regarding a “coming out” announcement from the star. Second, it’s National Hairstylists Appreciation Day. Here’s how I relate the two events. On April 30, 1997, I was attending an evening AA meeting (yes, today I’m choosing to be brave and honest like Ellen, and make that fact public), and afterwards several of the members asked me to stick around for the usual post-meeting ritual of gabbing and grabbing the... Read More »

We All Will Be Received in Graceland — Except for Bruce

Apr 29, 2017 | 7507 Views | 1 Comment

All The King's men. That's a royal court that could include every seasoned rocker whose creative spark was first lit by the sight and sound of Elvis Presley. They started out wanting to be him, and spent their lives dying to meet him. Some were fortunate enough to encounter The King long before their moms bought them their first guitars. Future country rock pioneer Gram Parsons was 9 years old when he shook hands with the new singing sensation backstage at the Waycross City Auditorium in Georgia in 1956. Tom Petty was 11 when his uncle introduced... Read More »

It’s Easter: Into the Sun…with Cecilia

Apr 16, 2017 | 9942 Views | 2 Comments

Is there such a thing as an Easter playlist? Aside from the ode to Peter Cottontail hippity-hopping down the bunny trail, or tributes to lovely ladies in bonnets strolling along in Irving Berlin's Easter Parade, can you think of one popular, serious song that celebrates the day of Christ’s resurrection? There are numerous tunes about the rejuvenative powers of spring, but only a handful that mention Easter by name. As a rocker steeped in the punk/New Wave music of the late 1970s, Patti’s Smith’s sad, solemn “Easter,” with its echo of bagpipes and bells, its chime-like vocals,... Read More »

My Wild and Innocent Days Loving Bruce Springsteen

Apr 12, 2017 | 8498 Views | 5 Comments

Jimmy Cagney, hat brim low over his eyes, talking wise to Joan Blondell. Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall picking pockets in The Bowery. Platinum angels with arched, pencil-thin eyebrows, sipping bathtub gin and waiting in vain for their square-jawed mugs to return from the hoosegow. Sharpies named Ace and Lefty. Dames named Ruby and Peaches. Those were the cinematic heroes of my youth. So, it's no surprise I'd fall hard for the denizens of Bruce Springsteen's second LP, "The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle." To this day, it's the most romantic life-on-the-street album... Read More »