Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Learning from The Past

We'll get to today's post in a minute, but first:
Gotta send condolences out to comedian/actor/writer/producer/all-'round-good-guy Martin Short in the passing of his wife, Nancy Dolman. Nancy died Saturday shortly after a 911 call was made from their L.A. home.
Although she had suffered from cancer, the coroner ruled the death as being from "natural causes". She and Marty had been married for thirty years, and borne three children (Katherine, 26; Oliver, 24; and Henry, 21).

RETURNING TO THE PAST

With album sales reaching an all-time low last week (4.95 mil -- the lowest since SoundScan began running figures back in 1991), two superstars have come up with some advice as to how to boost sales once again:

Both Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp agree: Let's look back at the past for answers!

According to John, it's the Internet that has "destroyed the music business" and is "going to destroy the movie business" (his latest album, No Better Than This, was recorded on vintage analog equipment). He says that the internet downloads with their "digital compression" will spell the "end of rock music as we know it".

Dylan, on the other hand, says the problem stems from rising concert ticket prices and declining sales. For his show tonight at the Warfield in San Fransisco, he'll put his solution into practice: Sell only general admission tickets at $60 each, one to to a customer, cash only -- and available only at the box office.
The music industry will be watching closely to see how it works (for that matter, so will all of us!).

SUSAN'S HOPE FOR THE POPE

From London's CNN bureau comes this story: TV talent show star Susan Boyle will sing for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Scotland next month, the Catholic Church in Scotland said Wednesday.
A church spokesman said in June they were negotiating with the singing phenomenon to perform.
This is a big feather in the songbird's hat, so to speak. Personally, I like Susan -- she's definitely humble, a down-to-earth lady whose amazing story is an inspiration to everyone. I wish her well ...

FAVOURITE SONGS Sometimes, ya get requests that kinda .... wellll, they come with an interesting twist. For example: One of my Facebook® friends asked "What songs are you listening to right now?" My reply:

A Little Lovin' by The Fourmost
Little Willy by The Sweet
Sweet Talkin' Woman by ELO
Little Child by The Beatles
Willie And The Hand Jive by Johnny Otis

They're in my library, and are amongst my favourites. I actually was listening to them whilst readying for work today, and ...
WAIT!!!!!!
Good Lord, what kind of strange storyline have I just created????:

With A LITTLE LOVIN', you might end up introducing yer LITTLE WILLY to a SWEET TALKIN' WOMAN. But be careful, 'cause that could produce a LITTLE CHILD. And, if you're not nice to that woman, the scene might just be you, LITTLE WILLIE AND THE HAND JIVE!
(Lawd, fergive me fer sayin' all that ... but DAMN! it wuz fun!)

And that brings us to the end of this episode. But stay tuned ... there's more coming up (gotta run out for some more cheese ...)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rock ... Un-Mosqued

Mousers, this is a simulcast with ROCK, RHYTHM and RIMSHOTS. You'll see why as you read:

Yardbirds, we've heard a lot about how folks are up-in-arms about this "mosque being built at Ground Zero" and how "Obama's pushing for it."
The only trouble is ...
It's all wrong!

Before we go any further, let's set the record straight:
The mosque-in-question is planned for an area two miles from GZ -- not on the site itself.
As far as the Prez endorsing it: He didn't!
He endorsed "religious liberty" and the mosque's construction, but not one word put it at the WTC attack site! In fact, he knows they can't put it there (nor can any other church be built on it)!

Ahhh, but then came word that people are pushing for all mosques to come down -- a direct slap in the face of everyone who follows the Islamic faith ... and one of the most hateful and racist displays we've seen in over 45 years!

When I think about how hard we fought, back in the Sixties, for racial equality ... when we remember the dogs tearing into the flesh of African-American children ... when we remember how our legends from Lloyd Thaxton to John Lennon embraced those of all faiths and beliefs (did Uncle LL [seen dancing with James Brown in the pic on your right] ever add someone's religion or race as a condition of entering the studio?? Of course not; it didn't matter to him!) ... when we swore that an "age of Aquarius" was dawning with "sympathy and trust abounding" ...

how in HELL can we allow this type of hate to run rampant today?? It just doesn't make sense.

We showed the world, back then, that ROCK AND ROLL IS NOT PREJUDICED! We proved, time and again, that (say it with me, yardbirds:) you can't hate the many due to the transgressions of the few -- especially when those "few" are extremists!

Today, we who were involved in the movement of PEACE (hey ... remember that "oldie-but-goodie", folks??) and EQUALITY (WOW! TWO from the archives! AMAZING!!) are now the movers-and-shakers of America. England. THE WORLD!!

And we can stop this hate-filled, prejudicial bullshicrap ... let our Islamic friends build where they will (remember: they're no more responsible for the attack than the German people were for London's blitzkreig or our Japanese friends for Pearl Harbor! The extremists -- Nazis and Imperial Armies who oppressed their own countrymen -- were to blame -- not the citizenry!)

and, to quote from Sir Elton's "Border Song":
Holy Moses, Let Us Live In Peace,
Let Us Strive To Find A Way To Make Our Hatred Cease,
See The Man Over There, What's His Color? I Don't Care,
HE'S MY BROTHER, Let Us Live In Peace

The Border Song © 1972 Dick James Music

Stay Tuned ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1 Legend, 1 Diva, 1 Woman

She's an amazingly fresh, dynamic young singer whose sound and presence will have you forgetting about the Gagas of the world and bring you back into the world of real rock music! And, in a minute, you'll meet Jody Joseph (who, incidentally, happens to be Bon Jovi's first cousin) -- and I'll guarantee you'll become a fan long before the vid is over!

But, first -- and in response to the many readers who've emailed me about the postponement of Mark David Chapman's parole hearing -- let's see what others are saying about the delay (this vid courtesy of Kyle Luke of Newsy.com):

As many of you have echoed the sentiments mentioned in the RRR post, let's hope the board gets the message and keeps John Lennon's murderer on Ninth and Plum (nine floors up and plumb outta site!).

DIVA, LEGEND, WOMAN ...

Yardbirds, I've gotta admit: I'm totally blown away by the sound and presence of young Jody Joseph! She's a mix of talent, natural beauty and showmanship ... and the resulting package is awesome!
Let me share what Chris Bracco of IntrigueGroup wrote (and, brothers and sisters, I'm in 1000% agreement!!):
"Jody Joseph is 'One Diva, One Legend, One Woman,' a culmination of the incredible musical works of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, and Jody herself. The songs by these two musical icons have helped shape and influence Jody’s musical career throughout her life. With her energetic persona, Jody celebrates the positive aspects of these artists’ lives, and intertwines them with her own music to create an amazingly unique live performance that has received nothing but outstanding reviews thus far."
Need proof? Just watch ... you'll see what I'm so (excuse the expression, puh-leeze) gaga about:

Now, Jody's got a show coming up at Brookdale Community College PAC in Lincroft, NJ on September 25, 2010. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mary’s Place by the Sea (a beautiful place for women to rest during cancer treatment. Click the link for more info, okay?). Due to the size of the venue, and the limited amount of seats, tickets will be available by calling this hotline: 1-732-544-8513.. Tickets will not be sold anywhere else.
If you're in the area, make a point to be there, people ... you're in for a great show by one of the greatest female talents to come down the pike in decades! (I'll try to get an interview set up with Jody for an upcoming post, so stay tuned ...)

Well, that wraps up this edition, but stay tuned (didn't I just say that?? Hmph ... must be the ol' memory ...) ... there's more on its way ...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Re-Invention Innovation


Hey ... we all wanna travel that road, don't we??

Ahhh, but, sometimes, it seems that, on our own personal roadmap of life, that particular highway's not even shown!

Now, before ya wonder what I'm talking about here, let me, first, tie it in with another facet of Uncle Lloyd -- one that I'd not only gathered from our frequent emails, but something he alludes to in Stuff Happens:

You see, LL was never a man to quit/give up/throw-in-the-towel/surrender when a task was harder than expected. His creativity, his spirit and open-mindedness inspired him, instead, to look at the task and come up with a lot of different angles to tackle it -- one of which was sure, not just get the job done, but to even provide a bit of fun or excitement in doing it.
So, after being known at Lloyd Thaxton, TV teen show host, enter Thaxton, producer; Thaxton, actor; Thaxton, writer, Thaxton, motivational speaker.

Recently, I read where the band, Green Day, was running into the same problem. Sure, they're one of the top "punk" bands in the world (a personal fave, btw), but, after zillions of records sold and performances made, their style was becoming routine. Stale. If Billy Joe, Tres and Mike were to continue down that "road of success", they had to do something to change it a bit.

S0000, enter Green Day, Broadway stars; Green Day, Chuck Berry channelers; even Green Day, shoe creators!
From their Big Apple hit, American Idiot to Mike Dirnt's veggie shoes and their recent gig at Lollapalooza, these characters have re-invented themselves to breathe mega-life into their shows ... and gain millions of new fans in the process!
Their music is just as crisp as it was at the start of their career, but there's more punch to their stage shows ... and, in the process, providing more excitement (would you believe they're actually pulling up audience members to sing along with 'em? How cool is that??).

Anyway, I said that to say this:

Sometimes, if you feel like you're chained to a specific style or routine that's becoming a drag to handle, just take a mental step back from it; look at the situation from other angles; decide what you really want out of it;
then brainstorm: Remember those angles I mentioned? Find one to make your style really sing again;
in other words, use the re-invention innovation ...

Then, when you've found one that breathes that life back into your style (after all, it is "LIFE-style", right??), go for it!! Oh ... and instead of looking for that "road to success", change that last word to "fulfillment", and you'll most likely find it a lot easier to gain.

You might not be a Green Day, but your days will certainly become greener ...

Stay tuned ...