Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Saw It On Lloyd Thaxton ...

Okay, who remembers their first high-school dances?
Let me refresh your memory: the high-school gym, portable record-player, jitters because you didn't know who your teacher was gonna pair you up with??

The year was 1965; the scene, Quail Hollow Junior High School (now they're called "middle" schools, like there's a top and a bottom one somewhere). I entered the Arena of Embarrassment courtesy of my parents, who'd faithfully held the secret that I actually had two left feet. We were told to form a circle around the floor perimeter (which was weird, because the floor layout was rectangular. And these were teachers who told us?!?). Then Mrs. Lotta Wurdz would match each girl with a guy who was totally un-cool so we could commence the dance.
Nowadays, they call it computer dating, don't they?

Now, I already had a "girlfriend", but she couldn't make it to the dance ... so Mrs. Wurdz hooked me up with Modine Farquhar. She wasn't the prettiest girl in school but, at 6'2 and very "sculpted" (think Schwarzenegger), we all respected her ...

After a couple of slow dances during which my aching toes were about to resign my feet, the music changed to Dance, Dance, Dance by The Beach Boys. Suddenly, Modine started wigglin' and jumpin' like she had a squirrel in her drawers or something! I asked her (from a distance) what she was doing and she said it was something she made up. Called it the Frugatusi. I asked her (hesitantly. Don't make her mad, Chuckie ...) where she'd learned it.

She said, I saw it on Lloyd Thaxton last week. Now, this was before I'd met Uncle Lloyd, but, somehow, I just knew he wouldn't allow that on his show (PS Whenever we watched or talked about his programme, we'd only use his name and not The ... Show. He really was like a relative to us!). She'd seen these done individually (the Frug and Watusi) and decided to mix them up to something nonsensical. Somehow, I had a feeling she belonged in Washington ...

For some reason, though, after her "dance", the clear blue Charlotte skies suddenly produced a torrential rain, and the rest of the event was cancelled. Years later, at an outside gig where I was performing, she was amongst the fans and broke out in that same dance! Uh-huh ... started raining again within minutes!

Still, all in all, whilst we all learned a few steps from watchin' the TV teens on Uncle Lloyd's show, I'm just glad she didn't mix the Mashed Potato and Locomotion. But, then again, that's what the slow dances were to my feet ... Mashed Motion!

Stay tuned ... (PS cartoon © T. McCracken, mchumor.com. Thanks, guys ... And, whilst everything else was all real, the name of the dancing partner and the teacher have been changed. I must protect my remaining feet from retaliation somehow ...)

SHAPING UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS ...

After all the turkey, ham and trimmings we had over Thanksgiving -- and realizing that we've got one more Big Day to go (Christmas) -- a lot of us are wanting to lose those excess pounds we gained while enjoying those big meals.
But, while everyone's looking for a good diet supplement to help them lose that weight, there are so many of them on the market that we don't know which ones will work the best for us.
Fortunately, there's one group that's checked out the best fat-burners on the market, subjected them to some rigid criteria (in fact, five of them!) and found the most effective and safest for your weight-loss regimen.
But, besides showing and telling you about each one, they also give you the lowest online price for each.
Believe me, you can save money while you can rest assured these fat-burners actually work! So, for a healthier and slimmer "you" this season, just click here and get ready to enjoy a more vibrant and satisfying season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Post-Turkey Kick-Off

That's right -- we're kickin' off the new season (?!) of this blog with the latest news, a new band ... and a very special offer! But, before we begin (and seein' as the Christmas season is officially underway now), lemme share the same one-size-fits-all greeting that Uncle Lloyd and I worked up a few years ago:
MERPYSONS CHRISOLITINGS!
(This is a mix of "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings". That way, nobody's offended, right? Now ... let's move on:)


HELP OUR VETS ... GET A GREAT
GUITAR IN THE PROCESS!!

This is your chance to get a rare, limited edition Elvis Presley Epiphone EJ200 Guitar, owned by Luke Bentley (former rhythm guitarist/singer with The Fore)! Now, ten percent of the final sale goes to "Help for Heroes: Support for our Wounded" What BETTER Christmas gift for the musician OR Elvis fan in your family (if you're both, you're in luck then, ain'tcha)? Click here to read more about it!

KEEP YER EARS PERKED for the smash new UK band, The Van Susans! Olly Andrews and Olly Groome, along with brothers Rob, Ed and Tim Dullaway, create a sound and presence that's drawing fans from all corners of the world! One listen to their trax (you'll find them on-site) and you'll become a solid fan of these lads! BTW, they'll be interviewed on Artist First World Radio Network on 9 December -- and you'll definitely wanna tune in! I'll give ya the times soon ...
Y'know, with The Fore, Stackridge, Van Susans, The 286 and other fab acts coming out of London-and-beyond, you've just gotta believe we're at the cusp of a new British Invasion, people! And it's gonna be awesome ...

AWHILE BACK, I ASKED Facebookers for their fave bands or acts. Y'see, the plan was to do an in-depth post on these bands, possibly even interviewing existing members.

Well, a very lovely embodiment of peace from Colorado, A'ashem Muti, wrote: My favorite, of course, is Canned Heat. They have a Facebook presence; perhaps you could interview them? Most of the classic-era lineup is dead, of course, but drummer Fito de la Parra and bassist Larry Taylor are still active and keep the band name going.

This is something I definitely wanna do, A'ashem! The band (Going Up The Country, Let's Work Together, On The Road Again) was the epitome of peace-in-music: with basic instruments, Canned Heat mixed easy-but-heartfelt vocals with simple rhythm patterns and great scoring to make some of the greatest music of our generation! And if the guys (especially Fito -- I've always been a fan of his) would do an interview with RRR, I'd be honoured. Nonetheless, look for the post on the band, coming soon ...

FROM THE ROCKWIRE: Billy Joel underwent double hip replacement surgery at a Long Island hospital this past Saturday. The 61 year-old "Piano Man" had been hobbling around on a cane (and even crutches!) before the operation but now is said to be doing extremely well.

And condolences to Marty Balin of the legendary Jefferson Airplane. His wife, Karen Deal, died this past Friday in Tampa, Fla, aged 57.
She'd choked on a piece of food at a Tampa restaurant a month ago and went into a coma from the lack of oxygen. She'd played keyboard and bass for the local group, Mod Squad, and had met Marty when her band once opened for Jefferson Airplane.

Okay, that's it for this post. But we'll have more on Wednesday evening, so ...
stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WE HAVE A WINNER!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAN HUGHES of CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS!! He knew the "mystery band" in our last two posts was a 1971 shot of the new act called ... ZZ TOP!!Dan was general manager of WPCD-FM for 26 years and has written books like The Treasure Hunter's Manual and Tips, Tricks and Secrets for Radio Disc Jockeys (I wish I'd had this one back-in-the-day!).

For more on this amazing rocker (he's also part of the highly-fab My-Generation kaffeklatsche on Yahoo!Groups and was an avid fan of The Lloyd Thaxton Show), check out his site at Dan Hughes.net.

So, Dan, congratulations again, mate! Your brand-spanking-new LENNONYC DVD will be on its way shortly ...

Everybody else? Keep tuning in ... 'cause I'll have more contests coming up soon!

Contest Continues (with HINTS!)

Okay ... you might've seen it on the PBS programme American Masters™ last night -- the story of John Lennon from his arrival in New York City in 1971 to his senseless murder in 1980. If ya tuned in, you heard rare music, saw interviews and never-before-seen footage of both John and Yoko.

And now you -- yes, YOU! -- can win a brand-new, still-in-its-wrapping copy of the LENNONYC DVD for your very own! (G-gee ... I ... I feel just like that announcer on The Price Is Right. I ... oh. Sorry [heh-heh!] I, ummm, got Carey-ed away ...)

Contest open to those 21 or older or younger. Must be a resident of U.S., Canada, UK, or other countries if known and on world map. Send your entry in a stamped, self-addressed envelope to therockrelic@yahoo.com or, if on Facebook®, you know what to do. Contest ends when a winner is picked, whaddya think? Actually, winner will be notified by email or Facebook.

Now, since it seemed quite a few of you knew that the Tico of Tico and The Triumphs was actually Paul Simon, it leaves us with one act to go!
"C'monnnnn, Cuzzin Relic ... can'tcha give us a CLUE??? Puh-LEEEZE??"
Awright! Awright! Here's yer second clue (the first was in yesterday's post):
They look a little different 'cause they're "clean-shaven". Yeah, I know they're younger in the past ... but they were destined to make it to the Top!


Okay? Let's see if somebody can come up with the answer within the next 24 hours, okay? (especially since I've given you two choice hints!) Ready? Set?? GO FOR IT ...

and stay tuned ...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Look. Think . Guess. WIN!!

Okay ... you might've seen it on the PBS programme American Masters™ last night -- the story of John Lennon from his arrival in New York City in 1971 to his senseless murder in 1980. If ya tuned in, you heard rare music, saw interviews and never-before-seen footage of both John and Yoko.

And now you -- yes, YOU! -- can win a brand-new, still-in-its-wrapping copy of the LENNONYC DVD for your very own! (G-gee ... I ... I feel just like that announcer on The Price Is Right. I ... oh. Sorry [heh-heh!] I, ummm, got Carey-ed away ...)

Contest open to those 21 or older or younger. Must be a resident of U.S., Canada, UK, or other countries if known and on world map. Send your entry in a stamped, self-addressed envelope to therockrelic@yahoo.com or, if on Facebook®, you know what to do. Contest ends when a winner is picked, whaddya think? Actually, winner will be notified by email or Facebook.

And all ya gotta do is name the following acts:

First, tell me the name of this band (hint: They've been one of America's most popular bands since 1975). The pic was made back in their earrrrrrly days:Now, for this next one, tell me who the dude on the top is. Today, he's better known by his real name. The band here, btw, is Tico and The Triumphs:

Okay? Let's see if somebody can come up with the answer within 24 hours. Ready? Set?? GO FOR IT ...

and stay tuned ...

How to make it better? KISS it!

Well, last night I finally gave in and let the mighty, magical cable surround me with its small-screen, cinematic glory!
And, frankly, after about fifteen minutes, I tried to un-bore myself by re-tying my shoes. Not that the show was bad, but instead of tying my left shoe, the shoelaces started to look conspicuously like a noose!

Most of the shows that are on the air, whether on cable or standard network channels. could use a dose of Uncle Lloyd's advice!
Once we were talkin' about television and all the stuff they put on these days in the name of "entertainment". He told me that, if they'd just keep it sweet and simple (ie, "KISS" it), these shows would go over a lot better -- and the Great God Neilsen would smile strongly upon them.

Basically, it boils down to this: DON'T COMPLICATE WHAT DOESN'T NEED TO BE COMPLICATED!! Leave that to PBS ... and concentrate on the show's "sweet-spot", or what causes the viewers to turn 'em on in the first place.

That's exactly what Lloyd did! He knew that his audience -- mostly teens, but also those up into their twenties -- were kinetic! They wanted something that'd make them feel not only alive, but like they really mattered! And, of course, they wanted their music!!!
And Uncle LL gave 'em all of that in a spontaneous, fun way that no one's been able to duplicate!

Why don't we have that today?? Well, it really all boils down to two almost-wirty durds: AD REVENUE!! If you want the big guys to settle their ad account on your doorstep, you listen to what they say!

Note ... not the viewers ... but the advertisers!

Hopefully, someday they'll take a page outta the Head Mouser's book and read it! Then they'll really know how successful programming's done!

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homeless Misconceptions

All too often, people have misconceptions about the homeless; they shy away more often due to these than to any personal or physical repulsiveness. So, in this last post, let's clarify some of these, okay? We'll return to the ROCK arena on Monday:

#1 They're gonna ask me for money.
Most homeless people still have a bit of pride and won't -- I repeat, won't -- ask you for a dime! Y'see, it seems that Hollywood has made street people into panhandlers when, in fact, Most panhandlers HAVE places to stay, and are simply doing it because they know it's an effortless way to get extra money.

#2 Homeless people are mostly criminals. Sorry to disappoint you but, according to Dr. Pamela Fischer of Johns Hopkins University, non-homeless people commit 10% more crimes against people or property than the homeless!

#3 They're either mentally ill or drug abusers. According to James Wright of Tulane University, only 40% of the homeless are substance abusers, while only 25% are mentally ill. Most homeless people are sober and mentally-healthy.

#4 They're all living on welfare. Not according to Homeless American, which did an extensive research on the homeless. They found that, nationally, only 20% get some kind of government payments. And, with government cuts happening all around us, these payments (as well as any medical help) are starting to dwindle down!

Of all the misconceptions, the big question posed by many is: Then why are they not climbing OUT of it? You know ... FIND a home??

It's largely because, after a time on the streets, they become so discouraged that they eventually don't even try! But it's also because it takes about two months of accrued paychecks for them to actually have enough to rent a place, pay their bills and get groceries. Thanks to the wear-and-tear of the streets, it's very hard to get a good job with decent pay (remember: I've been there!).

ONE MORE WORD BEFORE CONTINUING: It's doubly hard to reminisce because, as a known eidetic (one with a photographic memory), all the memories are crystal-clear. Yes, I've had a coupla rough, wake-in-the-middle-of-the-night dreams since we started this -- but that's not unusual; it occurs in people long after they come off the streets.

One quick word before moving on:

There are still many thousands of homeless scattered in cities, towns and villages across the world -- not just Charlotte, or Ashland, or London. Even well-known figures like David Letterman, Jim Carrey, Dr. Phil, Chuck Negron of "Three Dog Night" and Daniel Craig (James Bond) have been there. For those still there, please remember their plight ... and pray for them all.
And don't think -- even for a minute -- that it can't happen to you.
Because -- about sixteen years after I ended up there -- there were others added to the roles. You folks in Charlotte know what I'm talking about:

September 22, 1989. Hurricane Hugo.

Stay tuned ...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pt 2: A Homeless Journey

We're continuing the first-hand account of what it's like to be homeless. As I said, it's a true story, published first in the Ashland (KY) Journal> in hopes of raising awareness during Homelessness Awareness Week, understand that it's even harder for me -- because it's my story:

As I ended the last post, two of my so-called "friends" from the street, "Popjack" and "Head", had turned on me. Whilst I was using the bathroom in Milner Mecklenburg Hotel, they barged in with a shank (a homemade knife) -- with the apparent intention of raping me!

With an growing, evil grin, "Head" let out a low, evil laugh as he said, "Okay, boy ... let's see what you've got down there ..."
As they slowly converged on the stall where I was sitting, my groggy mind started racing -- I started to hyperventilate and panic at the same time. Suddenly, a thought flashed through my brain. "WAIT! I'm former military -- and THESE are just two old drunken fools. Hell, I can take 'em!" So, after taking a shaky-but-deep breath, I bolted upright, pulled my pants up and lunged at them -- knocking "Head", who had the shank, straight into his partner!
Popjack screamed a couple of cuss words as he threw him off, starting a tremendous fight between the two. Meanwhile, I flew out the door, down the stairs and out of the hotel.
For the rest of the night -- and two ensuing nights, when I was through "pounding the pavement"-- I'd hole up at the Union Bus Station.
By this time, the streets were taking a big toll on my psyche. I felt trapped. Nobody cared whether I lived or died, and it was just too easy not to do anything at all. Welcome to the world of the living zombies, Chuck ...

On the third night, the police made their midnight "drunk sweep" at the Station. It was where about five of them would come in, round up the drunks who were loitering there and take them to jail for booking. On that night, I realised they were on their way in, so, to avoid being caught, I quickly left via the station's side door -- where a cop was standing!
He motioned for me to come to him, grabbed me by the shoulder and barked "Get in the car! You're drunk!!" (I wasn't, I swear!) He didn't frisk me -- probably thinking that street people wouldn't have anything on them anyway -- and just threw me into the back seat. Then he loaded two rowdy drunks before taking us to the jail
Before exiting the car and heading into the booking room, he handcuffed us individually. Once inside, another officer did some paperwork, asked a few questions, then had me fingerprinted and photographed. He said I had an outstanding warrant for a worthless check from the South Boulevard Park-N-Shop (a grocery store) and said, "You're gonna spend the night with us!" (I remember this very clearly. I also remembered the check. It was written in 1971 for ... two dollars!)
Whilst filling out the earlier paperwork, he had asked my next-of-kin, and I gave him my parents' name and number. So he said, "While you're in here, somebody'll call your parents and let them know where you are. They can decide whether they want you to stay or not!"
The next morning -- after, admittedly, finally having a decent night's sleep with a blanket and cot and everything (although there was a guy in the next cell slurrily yelling "Marshal! U.S. Marshal!" all night), they picked me up, signed some forms, and took me back to their house.

But, whilst the streets were now behind me, another part of the nightmare had just begun.
Y'see, I'd already seen a man die of an overdose at Zayre Shopping Center on South Blvd (though I'd tried drugs before, it was enough to get me to quit cold turkey!); I'd survived the only suicide attempt in my life (let's just say the shame of the streets don't leave you easily); I'd been knifed (slightly), was divorced, and influenced to join a cult (from which I broke out in 1975 with the help of a man who was instrumental in my becoming a DJ and rock journalist).
Still, the prejudice that occurs when you're a street person often continues, even after you leave that part of your life, and provides the worst hurt of all. People don't forgive easily (including family, apparently) -- and they never forget.
And nothing drove this home more than an experience that I had shortly after my street days (I thought) were over.

I was working as a Unit Control Manager at J.B. Ivey Warehouse on Griffith Rd. in Charlotte. It was our practice to hire men from an uptown labor pool to help us on an as-needed basis. One day, I noticed one of these workers was a guy who was pure trouble on the streets. In fact, I had to fight him off more than once back then.
On a Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Jolly (my boss. Real name! A great guy, btw ...) put me in "charge" of Ed and Don as we delivered a mattress set in-town. When we returned, I went into the break room to call my new girlfriend, Kitty (it lasted for two months. She left when she learned about my past). Ed was waiting beside me with his old, wornout brown coat on -- and his hand in his right coat pocket.
Now, Dave Davis (the area manager) noticed something in Ed's hand and quietly approached him, leading the temp into his office. When I got off the phone, he called me in there. By then, Ed was gone. Fired.
Thank God!
You see, Ed never forgot me -- and, on that particular day, brought a .38 caliber pistol with him. Turned out that he had his hand in his right pocket, on the gun, finger on the trigger, and was planning on shooting me as soon as I hung up the phone!

Look ... since this is gettin' pretty long, let me just close by saying that homeless people need your support and encouragement long after they leave the streets. Now, tomorrow, we'll straighten out some misconceptions about the homeless --
so stay tuned .... (P.S. after the next post, we'll get back to the business of ROCK ...)

Pt 1: A Homeless Jorney

NOTE: Whilst this is off the "ROCK" topic, it's appropriate, because, in the U.S., it's homelessness awareness week. So I'm presenting this, which originally ran in the Ashland (KY) Journal.

What you're about to read is a first-hand account of what it's like to be homeless. Parts of this will be a bit hard to take, but it is all true. Written in hopes of making people more aware of the homeless, understand that it's even harder for me -- because it's my story:


SETTING THE STAGE: I'd lost my job, and my wife and I had separated. At 22 years old, I knew very little about the downtown Charlotte area, but my ratty suitcase, $25 and I had found a roach-infested flophouse called Travelers' Hotel a few blocks down West Trade Street.
After two nights there, I was broke; my parents said I couldn't come back there since I was a man and should be able to fend for myself -- and I was scared. I had never been homeless before. What was I going to do? Where could I go? What about ... my son? He was just a baby when we split. GOD, I missed him! Why would a loving God let me hurt like this??

Now, unlike Ashland/Huntington, which has missions that can take in homeless, Charlotte's shelters were few and far between back then. For someone who'd never even known about those places, much less anyone who'd tell him, it meant nights sleeping wherever I could -- on a bench in Old Settlers' Cemetery, in an old, abandoned warehouse (providing I'd always be careful crawling through broken windows), or scrunched up in a water-heater box behind the hotel. I had no friends who'd take me in, no help from anyone ... and, on the streets, you always had to sleep with "one eye open."

And, where Ashland has a Community Kitchen open to everyone, with free and tasty meals every weekday (twice on Tuesdays and Thursdays), Charlotte didn't have those. And there were no local clothes closets, food pantries or anything, like we have here. That meant scrounging through trash cans and dumpsters in the clothes I'd worn for weeks, looking for old, discarded food (as long as the police didn't see me). It didn't matter if it had ants on it or mold or anything -- I learned to simply brush them off, break off the mold and swallow it without thinking about it much.

After a month of this, I was down from about 150 to 110 pounds. Other than hunger and worry, another reason for this was my walking: I'd go to the library to look in the Charlotte Observer's want ads nearly every day. If I found any, I'd try for them (a job was really my only ticket off these damned streets!). For example, I'd walk down to South Boulevard to apply at one, but the manager would take one look at me and summarily turn me down. Then it'd be a ten-mile walk to Central Avenue where I'd get the same treatment.

Once, there was a real treat: Two street guys who'd become friendly with me -- "Popjack" and "Head" -- told me that, if the front desk wasn't manned, I could stay in the lobby of the old Milner Mecklenburg Hotel, just a block and across the road from Travelers'. Just crash in one of the torn, urine-stained chairs near the TV.
Though the lobby reeked of a mix of cigarette smoke, urine and Pine Sol, it was like a palace to me by then! So I took them up on the offer. And it worked fine -- until about 2 AM, when I had to go upstairs to the bathroom. When I got inside and was "settled" on the toilet, I heard the door open. There stood both "Popjack" and "Head" -- a gleam in their eyes ... and some kind of sharp object in their hands!
With an growing, evil grin, "Head" let out a low, evil laugh as he said, "Okay, boy ... let's see what you've got down there ..."
(Pt. 2 follows in 24 hours ...)

Every day, thousands of others go through much the same thing as I did during those days in 1973. Some of them actually are determined to fight their way out of it. Many others don't.
So, before we continue to Part 2 (tomorrow), please find it in your hearts to pray for these, help out at your local food pantries, soup kitchens or wherever you can give these people your support.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

If It Ain't Broke, Don't FIX It!

Ahhhh, the good old days ...
It was my very first car -- just like you see it here. Except green. And dull. And with rust spots. And with someone's cigarette burn in the back seat.

But it ran great ... until the day my family told Ol' Fimblefingers (now known as me ...) to go out and put the oil and water in it!
Now, I knew more about brain surgery than I did about cars, but ...

Chuck, circa 196something: "W-well (gulp!), h-here goes: First, ummm, open the hood. Okay, now (tremendous crash, followed by searing pain) ... RAISE the hood and extract my fingers from the front."
A few hours later ...
"The doc said they're alright, just bruised. Now ... where were we? Ahhh, yes! Up with the hoodANDPUTUPTHATBARTOHOLDIT THERE!
Now ... ummm, that ... that fan in front can't afford to rust, soooo ... the oil goes ... I guess in ... that radiator hole! THERE! That'll keep it from jamming up!"
"And since the motor gets hot -- wellll, it'll have to cool down, and what better than water, right?? So the waterhose goes into that shiny-capped hole on the engine block!"

After a few minutes, Curly ... er, Shemp ... er, I went into the house and proudly announced that I'd done it! I'd filled it with water and oil!

(HEY!! Stop snickering, okay?? I'm older now and know better. Besides, you get a lot of fresh air by walking!)

Yeah, I took it for a spin. Of about fifty yards ...
and after the laughter subsided (a few hours later), my dad told me, Son, if it ain't broke, don't FIX it!"

And, Mousers, that's why I look so studious and pensive whenever I watch The Three Stooges now. I can identify!!

In a way, it reminds me of when some stations wanted Uncle LL to make his show more "sophisticated" (read: uppity). According to the MetTimes, they also meant cutting the lip-synching and "goofing off". Fortunately, Lloyd just kept on doing what he did best -- being himself -- and never changed what he did!

Y'see, just like my daddy said about the now-deceased BoltBucket, If It Ain't Broke, Don't FIX It!" Our Head Cheeser proved, time and again, that if you've got a winning combination in your career, life or both, stick with it! Don't let anybody tell you how to change it! Maybe they're good at their thing, but that doesn't mean they're experts at yours!
And Lloyd -- well, if anybody knew how to bring good vibrations to both the KCOP stage, the small screen and to hearts around the country, it was him!

Stay tuned ...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stars Who Were Homeless ...

Listen ... I'm gonna step out-of-character for a moment so we can talk about a very serious issue, okay?
The pic up there is misleading because, around the country at this hour, there are thousands who have gotten a head-start on Homelessness Awareness Week and learning more about the plight. Y'see, homelessness is such a tragic issue that we've gotta face it head-on TODAY!

Now, as hard as it is to hear, there are still many people across terra firma who looks at a homeless person as a pariah. You'll hear the words "bum, riff-raff, drunk, screwball" and many other slanderous labels thrown at those who have less ... much less ... than us.
Really?? Does someone you know think like that? If so, hit 'em with these words:
"Then I hope you never live through a hurricane like Katrina, an Oklahoma tornado or savage L.A. wildfire!" Because, mousers, you had a lot of decent, well-to-do folks lived through those but lost it all ... and became one with the streets for a time.

Now, if they still think that the homeless as "lazy" and "drunken" bums, consider the man from Cleveland who lived out of his car -- but, despite depression and heartache, fought his way out of it because he figured out where the price was right. Yep ... it was Drew Carey!
Or the kid who lived in a yellow VW van in different spots around Canada with his parents, brother and sister, or camped out in his older sister's back yard. Still, he believed that everything was gonna be alrighty then! Uh-huh ... Jim Carrey!

How about the guy who went to London with dreams of making it as an actor, but ended up sleeping on park benches instead? Still, his word was his bond ... James Bond: I'm talkin' Daniel Craig.

Would you call David Letterman, Cary Grant, Jewel, Dr. Phil, Li'l Kim, Kelsey Grammer or William Shatner "bums"??

Oh, yeah ... one more: His story is found here (at least the first part. It'll be continued through this week). Today, he's a writer and music publicist ... and you're readin' one of his blogs right now.

So, wherever we are, let's take a moment this week to remember those who have far less than we do ... send out yer best-dressed thoughts and good vibrations their way ... and take time to contribute to all the wonderful places that are trying to help them out. And remember what we've learned from the wildfires, the hurricanes and tornadoes:
No one is immune to this tragedy! We're just really blessed, that's all ...

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Homelessness Awareness Week

Look ... I know it's a bummer to bring up this topic on what's normally a rockin' Mouse House, but it's something that's gotta be addressed sometime ...

Next week is Homelessness Awareness Week here in the States and, whether we like it or not, the problem is all around us.
Being "on the streets" isn't just about the alcoholic, drug addict, mentally challenged or even the indigent. We've seen the wildfires in California, tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes in the deep South (one in particular. It was called Katrina) tear up homes and fortunes, leaving their owners looking for a place to stay.
And some weren't that lucky in finding a spot.

Listen ... while you're sitting at your computer right now, why not take a minute to look around you ... check out the relaxing temp of the house, glance at what's on TV, savor that sip of brew, wine, martini or whatever, remember what you've got on deck for dinner tonight ... and be thankful for these small pleasures.
Then remember those who don't have these little amenities.
Oh, sure, there are those who almost "asked for the gig" due to something they knowingly did wrong -- but there are countless thousands who were, at one time, upstanding citizens, close to their families and their God, but are now suffering in uncertainty and disillusionment -- and with a humiliation beyond belief.

We, as a people united, can certainly stretch out a helping hand in some way -- and, Mousers, that's what Cuzzin Relic's askin' you to do this next week:
You know of places that'll accept canned or boxed foods for the hungry, right? Then spare a coupla Del Monte® or Van Camps® or whatever (hint, though: no tomato paste or corn! Most food pantries have loads of that already!), and take 'em down to your local pantry!
If you've got time off from work, volunteer at a "soup kitchen" -- and put on that big, rockin', Mouser smile! It'll help more than you know!

Now you're probably wonderin', Cuzzin R, why are you so into the homeless thing?
'Cause, brother and sister Mouses, I was there many years ago ... so I know the ropes (fortunately, also how to fight yer way out of it [and, lemme tell ya, it ain't easy!]) ...
Soooo, are ya with me??

Stay tuned ...

OILY WARNINGS

No matter what age you are, you can have trouble with oily skin! It does everything from produce an oily shine to create blackheads on your face.
Now, there are loads of acne treatments on the market, and all of them claim to be the answer to your skin problems! But how can you be sure you're getting the best oily skin treatment for your complexion?
Here's the best way: Just click on the link you passed a moment ago, and you'll find the best three treatments available! You see, these folks have taken the top acne products and tested them on rating, reorder rate (you know how good a product is by how often people reorder it!), price, lowest price and guarantee.
Then they'll show you where you can get the lowest prices for these treatments.
There's so much more you'll find by clicking the above link ... and all of it designed to say "sayonara" to your acne! So check it out today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Would Uncle LL Use The Facebook?

I was asked an interesting question yesterday:

Janice wrote: "Do u think if Llooyd Thaxton had lived he would have been on FB?"

Well, Janice, I think he would've enjooyed it.
Actually, we do have a couple of pages or two on the Great Book of Faces! First -- and assuming you're a member -- you can join our group called We Remember Lloyd Thaxton. Of course, many Thaxtonians are on-board there: members of his family, the ultimate rocker Gary Belich, the non-Ninja-but-famous-anyway Turtle, Howie Kaylan, this site (that adds its graffiti -- er, links -- to the WRLT group) and many, many more!

I think Uncle Lloyd would've loved it. Natch, he had his popular blog, but, as FB grew in subscribers -- and its members read and posted very frequently -- I think he would've had a ball talking to his fans in "real time".

Now, Twitter® and MySpace® might've been a little less interesting, 'cause, as he told me once, "those things tend to repeat themselves." Whatever Lloyd wrote or did for his fans was special, and there was no need to duplicate it from one site to another. As far as M-S goes: He was already a popular figure, already had a blog with tremendous readership, already was out-and-about, making personal appearances -- if he were on FB as well, why would he need those other things?

Now, I could be wrong about these (remember, these are just my own feelings. If Aunt Barbara or Cuzzin Gary are readin' this, I hope they can give me their thoughts on it ...), but there's one thing that IS definite:

LLOYD THAXTON LOVED EACH AND EVERY FAN!! Next to his family, the fans were his life-blood (after them came corpuscles and platelets and all that good stuff ...).

So, if you're in the FB family, come on by the We Remember Lloyd Thaxton group and join us! If you're not in Facebook® yet, JOIN UP! It's FREE -- and FUN!

DON'T CARRY THAT WEIGHT!

If you're like most of us, right now you're probably looking for the best way to lose weight and get back in shape for the coming Christmas season.
Of course, there are hundreds of dietary supplements out there that promise you'll lose those excess pounds -- then fail to deliver! Not only that, but many of them can actually be unhealthy for you!
The best on the market, though, is the vegetarian-based formula found in Apidexin! There are so many people who know this supplement does exactly as it says (and safely!) that they're constantly looking for the best place to buy it.
Now, if you're looking for apidexin in stores then just click the link you just saw and you'll see where you can go to buy them! But there's more because, when you click the link, you'll also find a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the product, what its ingredients are, and much more!
So if you're wanting a slimmer, trimmer "you" this coming season, click on that link now! Believe me, you'll be glad you did ...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making It All 'Clique'

Well, somebody hadta ask it, and it just happened to be Mousekateer-in-training Josh out of Schennecti ... um, Schenetic ... uh, Great Neck, NY. He wrote in and asked "Why do you call it the 'mouse clique' anyway?"


Well, Josh, the idea (and name) actually came from LL himself. But it started a little differently. Here ... pull up a chair, grab yer Fritos and lemme tell ya what happened:

Y'see, Uncle Lloyd had gazillions of fans who (rightfully) loved him. And, lemme tell ya, he loved every single one of 'em back! And he wanted a way to interact with this amazing fan base.

Sooooo, it came to pass that the Great Blog, Spot, smiled upon him, thus he created his own space, appropriately named Lloyd Thaxton, upon the Blog, Spot's, grounds (in other words, he had a blog here in the Blogspot network)-.

As the mighty webside powers-that-be publicised his name-and-blog, he saw that, from hither and yon (two small towns outside Schenectady) came fans who read his writes with fervour. Or a soda. And they began to leave "comments", to which he happily replied.

So many came, in fact, that he decided to call them his "Mouse Pack". But, since that was reminiscent of the famed Vegas Rat Pack of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and a guy named Sinatra, he changed the name to The Mouse Clique...'cause, after all, ya got to his site by the click of your computer's mouse, and the fans were fast becoming friends one with another, thus: a clique!

Though Uncle Lloyd left us just a smidge over two years ago, his story and legacy continues! Since Aunt Barbara (LL's loving wife) gave us her blessings to manage the mouse menagerie, it's been my privilege and absolute honour to keep the Mouse House open for all his fans and friends (with more than a little help from the Great Co-Cheeser himself, Gary Belich). Its goal is to not only run stories about and memories of LL and his fab Lloyd Thaxton Show but to also touch on other topics, just like he did.

Now that you know, how about goin' out and telling your friends about this blog, okay?? If you've got an interesting story, thought, remembrance or $20 in unmarked bills, just send 'em in (just kidding about the twenty, btw. I don't have change. Mouses don't have pockets, remember?) and we'll be glad to print 'em here.

Stay tuned ...

THERE AUTO BE ...

With the holiday season upon us, more drivers than ever are looking for solid, affordable car insurance. They want to be sure that, should there be any kind of mishap, they won't be paying through the nose for repairs, etc. After all, with Christmas just around the corner, they want to save a little cash for that.
Of course, when you're out-and-about, looking for the best insurance, you're liable to find salesmen who'll promise you low pricies -- then start piling more charges, conditions or whatever on top of it! Those, in turn, make it unaffordable (hey ... I know how it works. I used to be an insurance man! An honest one ...).

Fortunately, there is one place where you can find cheap auto insurance and know that, besides getting the best quotes, you'll be covered the way you want to be!
Now, by clicking that link you just passed, you'll also find some great articles dealing with auto insurance (and, listen, they're very informative!) as well as many other insurance topics! In other words, these folks will help you every step of the way!
So, prepare for your Christmas driving by getting the very best insurance coverage now! And have a Happy and Safe season ...



In Appreciation ...

TO ALL ARMED FORCES VETERANS:
THANK YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!
From The Rock Relic (aka Chuck Hinson) and every person who's free to vote the way he wants, go wherever she wants, and say whatever they want ...


YOU ROCK!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

ROCK LIVES! (film at 11)

There's no doubt (especially judging from the pic) where rock music came from ... and who knows where it's gonna end up?

No, I didn't say "end" because, quite frankly, anything that's lasted as long as "our" music - no matter which style it takes (pop, alt, metal, grunge, granite) -- it's been here long enough to become a permanent fixture. Kinda like the IRS, but without all the paperwork and nastiness.

But, according to an article published in the British Daily Telegraph, it's on its way out because the music's so easy to get online; often, you can download it for free.
And that means a loss of revenue for bands and their management, not to mention their labels. It also takes a tremendous chunk out of terrestrial (land-based AM/FM) as well as internet radio stations. The Arbitrons have already started showing a slip in their overall ratings due to this.

But to say rock is near its end? That's like saying Limbaugh's gone liberal Democrat on us. It just ain't a-gonna happen, Mousers (it's a shame, but it ain't a-gonna happen).

The one thing that rock-and-roll is all about is, after all, LIBERTY! FREEDOM! CREATIVITY! Alright ... those are three things. Still, those are subjects that NO ONE can take away from us.
Admittedly, though, the online "freebies" oughtta stop. A substitute: teasers! Mix a couple of your best songs together (say, about 30 seconds in each clip) as a sample of your music. If they want more, they can buy 'em ...

Now ... to another subject while we're on the subject and to be subjective here. In fact, this can be addressed in just one simple, 50-word-or-less sentence (and without a stamp):

If you wanna keep the rock alive, then GIVE THE YOUNG PEOPLE A PLACE TO HEAR THEM! Seems like everything is relegated to clubs and pubs that serve liquor, and no one under 58 is allowed in these days!
Either that, or they've gotta wait for the next big "to-do" in town -- or an arena show that'll cost them an arm, a leg and their little brothers (and thats not counting the concession stand!).

And, Mousers, when ya think about it, that's the only real way we're gonna save rock music: Whilst we will forever honour and love the '50s, '60s and '70s music, we've gotta bequeath that (and allll its relatives!) to the coming generation!

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

AHHH, November!

This is another simulcats, cast ... er, cast, cats! Due to yer Uncle Relic and his famous "time constraints" (ie, W*U*R*R*R*K [GOD, I miss Maynard G. Krebs ...]), it hasta be. Sooo, LET'S GO!:

Alright, yardbirds ... ya ready to rock?

Halloween's over, the scruffy little munchkins with their screaming greetings and hands out are now back at Election Headquarters ... and we can get on with the month (at least until Thanksgiving [hmph ... we started Novembers with a bunch of turkeys stuffing us with promises, and we'll end it with promising to stuff a bunch of turkeys! Strange, but true ...)

THE GHOST OF NOVEMBER PASTS IS UPON US!

So what happened this month in rock history? Well ...
  • On November 1 way back in '54, the November issue of Billboard magazine lists Elvis Presley at number 8 of (get this!) the Most Promising New Hillbilly or Country Singers!
  • Four years later, the Russian leaders called Presley "Public Enemy Number One"! (geee ... and all we had were bank robbers!)
  • On 5 November, 1960, a strange and tragic occurrence: 33 year old Johnny Horton, who had a number one hit with "Battle of New Orleans", died when his Cadillac was hit by a drunken truck driver in Milano, Texas. Ironically, Johnny had just played his last show at the Skyline in Austin, where Hank Williams had played his last show as well. Horton's widow, Billy Joe, was also Hanks Williams' widow.
  • November 3, 1962 -- A song called "He's A Rebel" topped the Billboard Hot 100, credited to The Crystals. In reality, the song was recorded by a trio known as the Blossoms, featuring lead singer Darlene Love. Phil Spector had hastily put the song together while The Crystals were out of town and put their name on the label because they had already had two top twenty hits with "There's No Other" and "Uptown". (No, it wasn't 'til later that Congress passed the Truth In Packaging law, wich Spector coulda used a coupla years ago ...)
  • October 31, 1964 -- Although, four months earlier, Motown artistes ridiculed them as being "no-hitters", The Supremes hit BIIIIG time with Baby Love. (See, bands?? Don't EVER quit!)
  • And, to finish this off for this post (don't worry -- I'll be back with more in a coupla ...), this one includes a Didja Know?: George Harrison releases his first solo album, "Wonderwall Music" on the Apple label. The songs are mostly Harrison instrumentals, aided by Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr -- and an unaccredited banjo contribution by ... Peter Tork of The Monkees!
Okay ... that's it for now, but stay tuned ... there's more headin' your way shortly ...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Itch

We all have 'em, right?? And they seem to pop up just as we pick up something either heavy, delicate or breakable-when-dropped ...

With all the dances that floated around back in the Sixties (think: Hully-Gully, Mashed Potato, Frug, Twist, Slaussen, Swim, etc.), I'm kinda surprised nobody came up with one called "The Itch": start with a partner, your hands on your head, then pretend that you have an itch, no arms and need to scratch it!

Naaaah ... it'd be banned by the FCC in a heartbeat! lol

But, seriously: If there was one person who knew how to scratch our itches (attitudinal ones, anyway), it was Uncle Lloyd. And he did it in the best way he knew how:
By being himself!
I've gotten to know quite a few "stars" over the years and, whilst most of them are fantastic people, there are some who have a "You're not in our league, you little person!" attitude. Then they go on to their TV or movie roll and pretend they're one of "us".

LLoyd, though, was total sincerity! He reached out to us because he was "one of us". There was no pretention, no condescending attitude ... though he was, by all rights, a star, to his fans he was Lloyd Thaxton, FRIEND!
And a true one at that!

I mentioned "itches". Whenever we had something under our skin, we could talk with Uncle Lloyd -- and, to our initial surprise, he would answer us, whether in his blog or personal email! He co-wrote a book, Stuff Happens (and then you fix it!) with John Alston, and it addressed many of our "itches" in plain, conversational (and often humourous) tones.

With him around, our attitudinal and psychological "itches" didn't stand a chance ...

Stay tuned ... (right now, gotta take that lion back to its cage ...)