Tuesday, November 7, 2017

THE NEW AUSSIE INVASION

For decades, Americans have heard the Aussie engine rev up in airwaves across the country. From The Easybeats (Friday On My Mind) to Olivia Newton-John (Physical) to Men At Work (Down Under), AC-DC (Highway To Hell) and Keith Urban (Blue Ain't Your Color), the Australian invasion introduced us to didgeridoos, vegemite sandwiches - and some of the best music the planet has ever heard.

Today - and after charting hits, winning awards and exciting audiences Down Under for a few years - a new and exciting country singer is beginning to make a musical landfall here in the states!
With a mix of great, self-penned music, dynamic stage presence and boyishly good looks, Steve Eales has thrilled audiences in packed houses throughout his native country.
And, today, this musical hurricane is about to make landfall here in America!  Thousands are already turning on to his lively tunes, catchy lyrics and homespun delivery - all packaged in a personable style that makes you feel he's playing his music just for you!

THIS AWARD-WINNING WONDER has already gleaned many country-music awards to go along with his awesome performing and dynamic good looks.

Here ... just as examples, he's won:

2001 Song of the Year at the Victorian CMA
2004 2x Golden Guitar nominations for Country Band as well as Best New Talent of the year for Tooraweenah Cowgirl and Its My Town
2004 Male Vocalist of the Year for Tooraweenah Cowgirl
2004 Album of the Year Award for Wild One
2008 Tamworth People's Choice Awards for The Battler
2008 Album of the Year award Vic CMA
2008 Vocalist of the Year Award Vic CMA
2010 APRA Country Song of the Year Award
2010 Fifteen-time World Championship Performer Awards in LA

Want to know more (and who wouldn't?)?  Check out his YouTube videos by clicking here and here. I guarantee you'll be wanting more of this troubador's music, and your desire will be fulfilled when you order his albums via his website!
Great songs (mostly self-composed, btw), awesome guitarist, an electric presence, and fantastic looks - how can you ask for more?
OKAY ... HERE'S MORE:

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Inimitable Imitation

In case you didn't know, Uncle Lloyd had a show.
A very popular show, populated by teen people and watched by millions more.

In fact, by the time The Lloyd Thaxton Show had become the 5 PM staple on TV sets around the country, there were imitators beginning to pop up all over the place. They all wanted a piece of the pie that LL had baked - or at least the recipe! Quite a few of them were good, but they still lacked the "secret ingredient" that LL used in all his shows.

One such show was called Kilgo's Kanteen, a Saturday afternoon fave amongst the Piedmont-area (N.C.) teens (I was one, hailing from Charlotte). Hosted by WSOC radio DJ Jimmy Kilgo, it leaped to the top of the local Nielsens, right behind Arthur Smith and his Crackerjacks (incidentally, Arthur was the one who created Guitar Boogie, an instrumental that became the most popular riff in rock).

Because the LT Show was grabbing such great ratings and didn't require a humongous budget, WSOC-TV (Channel 9) in Charlotte decided to have their own version, with Jimmy at the helm.
The boyish, wide-eyed wonder came up with a very cool format: Have the kids in a "soda shop", where they could sit at round tables and enjoy a Coke or soft drink between dances (of course, it was all created in the SOC studio). He'd emcee, introduce the latest danceable hits and interact with his high-school guests -- and, in the process, gained a tremendous regional fanbase.

Jimmy had some great local talent on tap for his show, as well as regional hitmakers. The Nomads, The Gayelords (who did a knockout version of The Animals' "I'm Crying"), The Paragons and others. Even my band (a short-lived, Byrds-like troupe we called Sons of Dylan) was scheduled thanks to producer Bob Champion, but we had to renege: a death in two of the members' families.

While Jimmy did a great job (he and his lovely wife, Wilma, are still with us and live in the Charlotte area), he still has every appreciation for Lloyd and the trails that he blazed. He and LL had three things in common, outside their career similarities (both DJs, both inspired to do teen shows, etc.):

(1) A very sincere love for the kids, whether in-studio or watching on television.
(2) A great appreciation for the rock genre and its performers.
(3) Belief that you don't need million-dollar setups and getups to become successful. All you need is a handful of creativity, a pinch of self-confidence, a dash of coolness ... and a whole lotta love for what you do!

Imitation: The Sincerest Form of Flattery. And, believe me, Uncle Lloyd would've been more than flattered by the show that patterned itself after a small studio wonder outta KCOP-13 in L.A.

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hey ... Want Yer FEED Back??

All right, Mousers -- who remembers Reality Rule #8 from Uncle Lloyd's Stuff Happens? (ie the Pretty Good Book [the other name's been taken. Sorry ...)

It's "Feedback -- The Breakfast of Champions" ...

Whilst re-reading the book (I'm on my 43rd read now, btw! It's got more dog-ears than a big-city animal shelter ...), I was reminded how we're giving more feedback now -- and to more people -- than ever before thanks to a little wonder called Facebook® ...

Natch, you're gonna read a bunch of replies or comments or whatever they're called -- but remember: The only feedback you get is that which is positive: something from which you can learn, in order to better yourself or broaden your mental or emotional base ...

But how many of us are willing to accept feedback? LL called it "criticism" -- which, according to Mr. Webster (Noah, not the dude in The Monkees' track ...), means "the art of evaluating" (to which Cuzzin Relic adds "constructively"). It pertains to a specific task or venture, and is done so in order to improve your work or product.

People, we can't really improve without it. From the time we learned to walk, we've gotten feedback from someone in order to improve what we're doing (I had the "walking" thing down pat by the age of 19. Then I was drafted ...).

But Lloyd (and John Alston. It was a joint effort, remember. Don't know the name of the joint they were in when they wrote it, though ...) also reminds us of something else. Remember that little box with the analogy of the chef? He had to taste his recipe himself to determine if anything was missing ...).

So we also need to give ourselves some feedback ... and that comes from taking a step back and doing a bit of self-evaluation. Is what we're doing productive? Profitable (and I'm talking, here, about more than just "financially")? Are we doing it the right way? What can we add or lose to make it better?

The "Exercise" section of the chapter was my favourite part. Lloyd says, in essence, to "loosen up" (he called it "Body Lock") by getting on your feet, lifting your leg and really shaking it, then putting it down, doing the same with your arm and hand.

It worked so well (especially when I started shouting, "HEP muh! HUAH!! AH FEEEEL GOOOD!" and the strains of "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" started pouring through my speakers ...) I'd recommend it to everybody (though my dogs are still a bit nervous, being around me).

So, when you're faced with a dilemma, or want some positive evaluation of your work, listen to the feedback. And, if you've got to give it yourself, remember the PPP Principle: Make it Plain, Positive and Productive.

Stay tuned ...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mr. Webster's Gotta Be Grinnin' Up There ....

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an updated re-post from 2010, because the message is as true today as it was then.  Enjoy:

Who'da thunk it??
During the past couple of days, I've been poring over pictures, emails, books, DVDs and other Thaxtonian material, getting info for articles I'm doing about the Chief (including new and improved blog posts!). Natch, I've sent feeler emails out to get not just more info but a broader perspective of the man and his impact.
While getting my fingers ready to do a little walking through the yellowed pages of early material, I ran across an old (circa 2009, anyway) email from someone I didn't send a request to. From a woman named "Christine", the writing read:

"We would all feel so much better in a Thaxtonesque world. Imagine, we would all lip-sync our wars instead of fighting them; we would bring spontaneity back to our lives and finally enjoy them; if stuff happened, we could fix it and not be so grumpy; we could even come out of this recession by putting our own finger people to work for us; and we could learn to say to our troubles, SO WHAT?"

There was more (man, can you see us just "lip-syncing" wars? What a boss idea!!), but who can't dig the word?? I can just see it now:

Thaxtonesque (adj.) a quality whereby one is spontaneous, creative, optimistic, humorous, intuitive and helpful. Ex: "He helped so many smile with his boyish, Thaxtonesque approach to life."

Antonyms: Congressional, Eminemish ...

I tell ya, ol' Noah Webster would be proud!


Uncle Lloyd always dug that pic whenever it showed up on my blog ...
but it's also held some special significance for me:

A fantastic songwriter/drummer mate of mine, Peter Dintino, fought leukemia for years.  Sadly, after a long and courageous fight, he lost his battle against the devils that plagued him. But, with the skill of some dynamic doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, and a daughter who stuck with him every step of the way (by now, Lin has enough chops to be a doctor herself!), a prayer-and-thought chain that stretched around the globe, and one tremendous power of belief and optimism in Peter himself, he stuck around much longer than anyone ever expected.

Every single day, daughter Lin was there. As the prayer/thought chain inched its way around the globe, there was Pete the fighter -- trying to pry the grip of illness away from his body. Natch, the docs were all there, working feverishly (no pun intended).
Today, he's Linda's guardian angel ... and I know that heaven must be rockin' on one side, laughin' on the other - because he knew how to lean and rock with it all.  His knowledge of rock-n-roll (especially The Dave Clark Five and songwriting legend Ron Ryan), coupled with a hilarious and offbeat sense of humor, certainly must have the angels happy!
During the last conversation I had with "Shadow" (his nickname), we talked for about half an hour. As a result, Peter A. Dintino -- drummer, songwriter, dad, believer, inspiration -- became our newest Mouser!! And he had some great things to say about the boss Boss!

So, learning from what "Christine" wrote - and what Pete lived - we now understand that:
whatever you're up against, "Lean wit' it! ROCK wit' it!" And never, ever give up the fight!

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Who Are The REAL Celebrities?

This special edition is addressed to high-profile stars ("celebrities") of film, TV and music. 

A few years ago, I received a rather terse email from a popular actor (don't worry, man. Your name's still safe with me ...) who asked,

"I don't know you but read your FB entries on occasion, and noticed you are from Kentucky. What makes you think you're included in our celebrity circles? No personal offense, but Kentucky is hardly a haven for beautiful people."

Y'know, it made me laugh. "Celebrities"?  You mean,"Beautiful people?" Let me tell you something:

If you think you're special or "beautiful" because you're seen every week on television or in the occasional movie -- perhaps perform gigantic venues for gazillions of dollars -- you have the wrong perception of the adjectives!

You want beautiful people? Think of the woman who works long hours at the Wal-Mart®, dead on her feet but still with a smile. She's got three children to feed and clothe on her own since her husband died.
Or the guy down the street who, once, had a home and family but lost it to a vicious drug habit. He's now trying to beat the addiction and clean up his act whilst looking for any job that will accept him.
How about the old, gray gentleman who's sitting in a hospital room, holding his wife's hand whilst she lies there, only hours from passing from cancer?

Brother, these are beautiful people ...

They don't have mounds of cash to fall back on. Instead of gracing a red carpet somewhere, their "premieres" are when they show up for work on-time ... or make it to their rehab session, one more day successfully clear of drugs or alcohol ... or back at a loved one's bedside, knowing they're one day closer to meeting his or her Maker ...

They come, not from L.A. or Tinseltown or wherever, but from towns like my scenic home of Pineville, NC, or the downhome simplicity of Ashland, Ky. ... and thousands of other locations around the country ... and the world (think Liverpoolin England or Melbourne in Australia).

They remember something else: Whatever their lot in life, they remember what brought them to this dance, and know that, once that "dance" is over, they'll be accepted and taken home by the same ones! Otherwise, it'll be a lonnnnng walk back ... and hitchin' a ride just doesn't work anymore.
Oh ... and those who brought them to the dance? Friends ... neighbors ... people they grew up with and know (and love) them for who they really are, and not some image on a screen or stage.

These, my star-studded friend, are the real celebrities ... the truly beautiful people. They don't need makeup, fancy clothes, limos, or paparazzi to show the world how good they are. People see their worth automatically, in the efforts they make to create a better world for themselves and those closest to them.

And, quite honestly, I'd trade a dozen "celebrities" for just one of these hard-working, caring, heartfelt "common people" anyday of the week!

So, before signing off, let me remind you of what an old friend of mine said many years ago. "Those famous people don't get it. They're born like everybody else -- ain't got nothin' on, cryin' and squawlin'. They eat, drink and (bathroom) like everybody else. They eventually gonna die like everybody else. And when that happens, they won't be no better than the ol' ditch-digger who's just a few plots down from 'em."

Stay tuned ...vv

Friday, October 13, 2017

And The Top Rock Song In History Is ...



Of all the classics coming from the vault we call “Rock-n-Roll”, ya can’t get any more genuine than Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone.

Awhile back, the song was crowned by (of all places) Rolling Stone magazine as being the #1 rock song in history (ahem … were you asked to vote? Naaah … me neither), and it's maintained that lofty position ever since.
But, hey — there’s good reason for the glory.

Y’see, not only does the Freewheeler put a little bit of soul into the soundtrack to his first non-acoustic single, but he includes the most ingenious wording of any folk-rock hit, before or after.

In the song itself, Dylan is addressing a young woman who, probably a “society darling", finally finds herself scrounging and street bound. It’s an exhibit in contrast, obviously meant to show the high muck-a-mucks that, in fact, it’s the everyday people — those who have to hang on to every dime, every crumb of bread, every drop of gas in order to survive — who makes them the so-called “superstars”. The jet-set’s a drag, and, more often than not, just wants to use you.

OUCH!! That kinda sounds like a sermon for the Housewives of  Los Angeles/Atlanta/wherever shows. But it applies to anybody who follows suit, right?

My fave part of the lyrics? Remember the line, When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose? That’s it. Been there, know the feeling. But everybody can take at least a few dozen lines of the song (and its equally-effective followup, Positively 4th Street), and apply the lessons they hold, right?

If ya can’t, you better go back and listen to it again …but open yer mind to it this time!


It’s QUIZTIME, Mousers! (Awww, you’ll find one of these little tidbits in specially-marked boxes … er, posts! t’s your chance to make a little noize!)

Okay … we all know that Bob Dylan idolized the late, great Woody Guthrie. But what mistake did Dylan make in trying to copy Guthrie’s style (hint: it really ticked off Guthrie’s wife!)?

Send in your answer, and you’ll be introed here on-post if you’re right. Otherwise, gimme about a week, and I’ll give ya the answer myself, okay?

Well, that’s it from this side. Stay tuned for more ...



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

LLOYD LLEFT US A NOTE

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I originally wrote this post years ago; it quickly became one of the most popular writeups offered here (back then, it was titled "Notes From The Chief").  This week, I've had requests to reprint it - and am honored to do so.
You see, Uncle LL was also an avid blogger - and, in this one and in his own words, he explained how he actually started his famed blog:


Y'know, when my own readers found out that I knew Lloyd Thaxton, their first response (after the obligatory "Soooo WHAT?" They weren't brushing me off ... they just remembered his famous teaser) was "He's still ALIVE?!?" (and, brother, he'll always be alive in our hearts. Can I get an AMEN?!?)
But, then, I told 'em about Uncle LL's blog (and guess what? In honor and memory of the man who adored her, Aunt Barbara has kept it online for everyone at lloydthaxton.blogspot.com! Be sure to stop by and take a stroll or two down memory lane. You can get there from the link, which opens in a new window).
Then I told 'em that, for the mere price of an imaginary car, they could come on over to the Mouse House (here) and join in more fun and memories.

And many of 'em did! And, thus, they did enjoy the verbiosity that emanated from the inner being of one Lloyd E. Thaxton, Esq.

But, how did the original Mr. T. actually start blogging?
Here ... let 'im tell ya in his own words:

"I’m constantly asked why I spend time writing a blog. Who’s going to read it? By last count, there are over 23 million blogs on the web. 23 MILLION! Insurmountable odds? I’m optimistic. I Look at it this way: There are about 300 million people in the United States alone. Do the math. Divided equally, that computes to over 10 million readers for each blog. And, I’m just out to get my share.

Actually, I think my chances are pretty darn good. According to LA Times writer Patrick Goldstein, we are now a nation of niches. “Today’s action is with the country watching cable shows … that play to a specific audience.”
Specific audience? That’s my fans. The Lloyd Thaxton Show was always kind of a “niche.” It certainly played to a specific audience. And that makes me a real “son of a niche.”


It is said that the reason “American Idol” is such a big hit is because there is a huge niche out there that wants to be a member of a group, encouraged by their peers. What the “Idol” audiences love to see are others like them up there competing for fame and fortune. They see how they dance, sing, how they dress, and how they are treated with great respect. They even accept the occasional put-down from judge Simon Cowell as meaningful. “That could be me” is most likely the “Idol” fan’s mantra.

That, if you think about it, is what The Lloyd Thaxton Show was all about. We had our lip-sync contests, dance contests and each show was a showcase for the latest dances and “what-to-wear” on a date. Young people watched because they saw themselves up there joining in the fun. And, everyone was treated with great respect.

Still doing the math, I’ve figured that in the years the show was on the air, we had over 45 thousand dancing and performing teens on the show. And that was just the ones who were actually there, in person, live. Add to that the millions who were watching each show and we had a pretty substantial niche going for us.


According to Princeton University’s WordNet, niche is “a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it.” In other words, a “clique.”
There is no doubt that the 60s represented a very unique period in history. Think about it. Civil Rights demonstrations and legislation, the Vietnam War, the draft, Woman’s Lib, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Flower Children, Students for a Democratic Society, and Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll. The country has never been the same since.


Throughout this tumultuous time, The Lloyd Thaxton Show was there pumping out The Twist, The Beatles, James Brown, Surf music, Motown music, Top Forty and Rock and roll. And millions of kids were dancing to the music. It was the oasis in the midst of chaos; The calm during the storm. And according to the many letters I’ve received from the show’s fans, it gave a lot of people the confidence that everything would turn out OK. I, myself, am completely awed and humbled by it all.

So, back to the original question: why am I writing a blog? The answer is quite simple. I have a niche I just have to scratch. And so far I feel I have only scratched the surface. Judging by the hundreds of emails I have received, there is a substantial niche out there that wants to hash over a lot of cool memories."


So there you have it, Mouskiteers ... and it couldn't've been said any better than that ...


Hey, listen! Do you have any vids, .mp3s or memories you'd like to share about the boss? Just send 'em in to therockrelic@yahoo.com and we'll get 'em on here! Heck ... we'll even pay the postage for ya ...