Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baby, It Just Ain't Them ...

Sometimes, the best of intentions just don't pan out ...

The Shirelles were one of the Sixties' premier "girl" groups, hitting the charts with classics like Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? and Baby, It's You. And, recently, a supposedly "autobiographical" play about the four ladies opened on Broadway -- and has already been panned by just about everyone who's seen it!

First: Before the show even opened, the producers surviving Shirelle Beverly Lee -- who owns rights to the Shirelles name -- along with the estates of two other Shirelles and Dionne Warwick (whose character appears in the musical)sued the producer, saying the musical with "cashing in on plaintiffs' stories and successes, while using plaintiffs' names, likenesses and biographical information without their consent and in violation of the law."

Socondly: There are reports from those who've seen the play that its songs were weakly performed, and that the show was "one of the worst jukdbox shows ever to grace" Broadway, along with the pending lawsuit, almost guarantee a very short run for the musical (in fact, the group's signature song, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? wasn't even included in the show!).

We all loved The Shirelles and, even today, sing along with their tunes when we hear them on oldies radio. But this play?

Baby, It's Not Them ...


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And the best way to do that is to order some snappy-looking business cards. You can hand them out to prospects, mail them along with proposals or letters -- even use them as camera-ready print ads in publications.
Now, the cards themselves are one thing; having the best business card printing is another -- and you'll want a printer that will produce the best and most attractive. At the same time, you want them to be reliable, prompt in delivery, and affordable.
For that, all you have to do is click the link you saw a moment ago. Not only will you have top-quality printing but you'll also have a fast turnaround time (usually between 24 - 48 hours!), great prices -- why, they can even initiate a mailing campaign for your business!
So for the best in printing, at prices that'll make your budget breathe a little easier, click that link today!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Beatles and Mental Health

They were just four moptop lads from Liverpool, making some rock-n-roll with their guitars, drums and a lot of hair-shaking, huh?

But wait ... maybe there's more to The Beatles than we thought!

Recently, studies have been done that show the Fab Four's early rockers are excellent remedies for non-clinical depression (of course, we Beatlemaniacs already know that. Still, it's nice to have some high-falutin' 'studies' confirming that for us, right??)

Here's what they found:

Whenever someone is feeling down and out-of-sorts -- maybe due to a job loss, broken relationship, misunderstanding or just the everyday "blahs,"-- listening to Fab Four rockers like Please, Please Me, Little Child, A Hard Day's Night, Back In The USSR and others help to release the endorphins necessary to relieve the stress and negativity within us.

But what qualities within their songs actually trigger this relief? Largely, repeated phrases or lyrics, a specific and steady rhythm guitar, vocal tone (especially, for some reason, John Lennon as opposed to the others), consistent song speed (4/4 is better than 2/8 or fragmented) and, of course, liveliness of the tune.
Of course, the volume with which these are heard, and their frequency are of importance. Usually, listening to them first in the morning, then at the pinpoint times of 11 AM, 2, 7 and 11 PM (according to some psychologists, these are the times when emotions become more intense), can be of tremendous help.

Gotta throw in a warning here, though: if you're feeling consistently down, it's best to consult your doctor, as there could be a physical or chemical problem behind it.

UPDATE: Here's a key to the Beatles' mesmerizing rhythm: John would intentionally keep his low "E" string slightly out-of-tune (partly out of respect for his mum, Julia, who tuned it that way when he was a lad), so the resulting (slight) dischord was more quickly absorbed by the subconscious. That accented the entire song pattern and caused our subconscious (which is normally trained to accept the norm) to perk up, notice and respond to the entire song.

This is just to help out a bit. The Beatles -- forty+ years after their official split -- breaking new ground.



As we age, many of us are concerned about all the wrinkles that start to show up on our faces and body. No matter what factors cause them, we still want to preserve at least part of our youth and look better.
Of course, there are many types of anti-wrinkle creams and potions on the market -- but not all of them work as they should. But there's one that actually does do the job -- and not only does oxytokin help fight the depleted elastin and collagen in the skin but it helps rebuild the skin cells while it protects it from further damage!
And, by clicking the link you saw a moment ago, you'll even be able to buy it at the lowest online price!
So, if you're bothered by unsightly wrinkles and skin discolorations, go ahead and give that link a "click" -- and, before you know it, you'll find your skin looking fresh and supple (and, remember, with summer vacations coming up shortly, you'll want to look your best)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tryin' To Get A Message To You

Now, if you're a newly-married couple on a small income, a college kid just tryin' his chops out at an out-of-state college, or someone on Social Security these days, you're probably familiar with that blue can on your left (PS "SPAM" means "Sorta/Possibly/Almost/Meat"). It kept many of our stomachs full (hey ... I didn't say "satisfied"; I said "full"!) during the lean times.

Unfortunately, the word's come to mean something else, now that we're here in the computer age. Whether we're opening our emails or another page in the Book of Faces (Facebook®), we're bound to come face-to-face with stuff we don't want, sent by someone we don't know -- and often with attachments we don't want to touch.

Sometimes, the perps who send this garbage will actually disguise themselves as us and send their junk to people we know -- just to get their "foot in the door" (yeah ... as if snakes have feet, right??). That tends to make these people mad at us and, before ya know it, we (the real "we") can scratch a social-media friend off our list.

So the big ??? is "What do I do to stop it?"

First, look at the tell-tale signs on the message: How is the message line worded? Does it read like something your real friend would write?
Second, does it make sense? I found someone, masquerading as me (poor jerk ...), sending emails (with a virus link, of course) urging my friends to "Check out my photos on Facebook!"
Ummm ... is this idiot dense or what?? I mean, if you've got me as a friend on FB, you know that all you have to do is click the "photos" link on my page and take a look! You don't need an e-mail request for that!
Thirdly, how brief is the message? More often, it just includes the link itself -- but, on occasion, it might have a couple/three words on it to "urge" you to click the link. Now, most of us, when we're talking with friends -- whether on FB, by phone, email or live -- will have a lot more to say than just two or three words, and certainly won't just leave it at a link address! (In fact, when we're around friends in any way, it's hard to shut us up, right??)

One of the keenest ways to find out if a business that looks legit is actually "spam" has been part of the Yahoo!® Classic Mail for some time: If you have them as your "e-mailmen" then, whilst you're on the main inbox screen, just hover your mouse over the name in the "FROM" section of each email. Chances are, you'll see a little box that tells you the address it's sent from (today, I had one from "Free Skype". Mousing it over, it turned out to be from

Either way, it's best to play it safe; if you have any doubts about friends' emails, though, simply write/post/call/holler at them and ask if they, in fact, sent it. Then explain why you want to know. They'll understand ...

Because, just as with that funky meat-wannabe we talked about at the top, you just don't know what you're gettin' yourself into when you open it up.

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not Exactly "GaGa" Over This

It could be a photo of almost any attractive blonde ...

but, of course, it's actually Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta -- aka Lady Gaga. And her claim-to-fame isn't so much her talent as it is her ability to take eccentricity to new heights. She wears outfits that are so outlandish that I'm sure even Sir Elton John would holler, "ENOUGH!!"

But there's something that goes beyond the outfits and voice (the latter of which, IMHO, is okay, but nothing to write home about ...) that's getting a lot of buzz these days:
Her recent admittance that she drinks whiskey and smokes "weed" whilst writing her material, Then she followed that up with a 60 Minutes™ interview in which she talked about her sexual requirements!
Somehow, you get the feeling that this bird has really flown the coop. She wants attention, and will do whatever-it-takes to get it.

Okay, admittedly, we did have some cosmic comic characters back-in-the-day who made major moves on the media. In England, for example, there was "Screaming" Lord Sutch (pictured on the right); here, we had "Screamin'" Jay Hawkins. None of them made as big an impact as LG (though SJH did give us the blues classic I Put A Spell On You"), but they still had a "gimmick" that pulled in some mega-crowds to their shows.

Today, there are shock-rockers from Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson to costumers like KISS, GWAR and Slipknot. Whilst they do draw a bigger gate than either Sutch or Hawkins (and, I've gotta throw in a rockabilly favourite, "Unknown" Hinson), they all realise that (no, he's not related. 'Course, Uncle Lum's family was a bit odd, come to think of it ...) when they're offstage and back into everyday, grocery-shopping/pay-bills/feed-cats/visit-relatives life, they cut the gimmickry and become norml people like (most of/some of) us.

And that's what Lady G has to understand. You see, in order for any "star" to keep his/her feet into reality, they've gotta know when to glam or gear up for the show and when to just be themselves. In other words, they know you don't have to advertise yourself 24/7!

As a suit who worked with a major toothpaste company (unnamed here) told me with a gleem in his eye (awww, rats!), "If you're doing a flashy advertising campaign 24-7, eventually people will get tired of your product. But if your product's good to begin with, you won't need to do a lot of flashy promoting; they'll already know you'll come through with the goods!"

Besides, there'll come a day when you'll want the freedom to walk about without the cameras flashing in your face, fans screaming for a touch/autograph/both. I can think of one singer who could vouch for that -- because he finally found that freedom.
Unfortunately, he's not here anymore (at least, in person) to do that.
His name was John Lennon ...


I've got to make a confession: For a long time, I've envied some of the new urban wear that's being seen amongst fans of the "hip-hop" community. Not only are the tops and pants awesome in design, but they're also cool (I mean, they don't make you feel like you're in a sweatbox)!
And they're becoming more popular every day. But while there are a lot of department stores that sell what they call "urbanwear", it's usually some brand they've put on the rack to increase their overall sales.
There's one place where you can get the "real deal", though -- the best and sturdiest of tees, pants, shoes, tops, and from the company that's known for making the very best at prices you can afford!
So, for the coolest in blac label clothing all you have to do is click that link you just passed. Believe me, when you order from them, you'll know you have the best in quality, looks and price!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Talkin' 'Bout The DJ ...

For decades, they were responsible for scratching our musical itch from AM drive-time to the midnight hour. Sadly, they're now relegated mostly to cut-ins allowed by the big network conglomerates. They're the legendary disc jockeys of years and AM stations gone by. Back-in-the-day, we'd tune our dials to pick up the zaniness of characters like Lloyd Thaxton (Leave It To Lloyd), Jack Gale (Failure Theater), "The Real" Don Steele, Wolfman Jack, Robert Murphy, Cousin Brucie, Casey Kasem and others. Their shows were not only lively but many were peppered generously with some of the funniest jokes, one-liners and skits -- and they were all designed to bring some welcome relief from the day's troubles. Kasem had a special style that he carried into his net feed: His voice actually smiled as he talked -- and, as one reader put it, "made me feel like it was just me and him sitting in the living room, with a record player between us." To this day, I don't know of any DJ who's been able to emulate that! And, whilst he became host of the best teen show on the planet, Uncle LL could still make you feel as if he were performing just for you! Using live talent, five fingers and an active imagination, he brought the zaniness of the radio DJ into the world of television ... and it became the most-watched 5 PM show in America! In Charlotte, we awoke to Gale's "Failure Theater" (a comical 'soap-opera') or to David Sprinkley and the news (a Brinkley parody done to perfection by WCNC reporter David Sprinkle). In Ft. Wayne, Indiana, there was the "Right Reverend William A. Tucker from the First Church of Himmm, Ah-HI-uh (Phil Gardner), with his wonderful Sister Sapphire" doing the song "Every Disc Jockey In The World Needs A Little Lovin'" (to the instrumental track of The Main Ingredient's Everybody Plays The Fool"). Then there was Wolfman Jack. Do I really need to say more?? When the monster networks started feeding their shows to ratings-hungry but often money-starved FMs, our favourite DJs began to fade away like morning fog. The AM stations tried to counter by changing format to all-news/talk/sports, but to no avail. The net megaliths were just too strong ... and had all the money ... But these were the guys (and gals) who worked their butts off day after day to bring us the best that music had to offer. They're the ones who. in 1963, brought a glimmer of hope back to the eyes of Americans who had lost a President to an assassin's bullet. They're also the ones who were in the thick of the "rights" movements and "anti-war" protests, assuring us that there was still plenty to feel good about! No matter how bad things might've been in their own personal or even physical life, they put all that aside to bring us all music ... allllll the tiiiiime! Today, there's a move to bring rock back to AM stations! Some are already revving back up for the fans who miss the "local" touch (in some cases, with as many of the original crew as possible!). With Arbitron® ratings showing a steady rise in listeners who prefer the sounds of actual rock-n-roll, and those listeners preferring local stations over the impersonal network feeds -- maybe it'll finally happen. Because it's time we gave our own disc jockeys some credit, don'tcha think?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who's Beat WAS It??

By now, some of you have already heard that Charles Laufer, who, the New York Times alludes, pretty much made Tiger Beat Magazine, has died at the age of 87.
Now, I'm not trying to be picky here, but ... ummmm, who "made" what?!?

Take a look at the TB cover on your left (PS This is actual one that Uncle LL sent me back in 2007).

The fanzine, itself, had some boss stories in that issue, including one on George Harrison's marriage to Patti Boyd (remember him? He was with some long-haired band from a place called Liverpool, I think ...), a spread on Paul Revere and the Raiders (btw, Liverpool's in a place called "England"), info on some of the rock happenings of the month, and a neat write-up about James Brown. In fact, that particular article made me chuckle (hey ... I can do it if I want; after all, 2/3 of it's my name!). Y'see, in the piece, he's referred to as "Jim".

And you didn't call the Godfather of Soul "Jim"! Onstage, he was called what his mama and daddy, Susie and Joe, named him; offstage, his entourage, from roadies to management, called him "Mr. Brown". He didn't like "Jim" because it sounded disrespectful.

Now, there's no question that Laufer was publisher of Tiger Beat -- but who do ya think really molded the magazine into the mega musical media monster it became? And whose name graced the front cover as the one who produced it? Check the close-up on the right for a hint (again, this is from my copy ...).

So, whilst we obviously send condolences to the Laufer family, we, the minions who memorialise our musical madcap media master and followers of the fab father of finger-people, want the media to give Lloyd Thaxton the credit he deserves so well ...


Actually (and for all of you who've asked about it) I'm on the trail of the whereabouts of the long-awaited DVD -- the one that Uncle Lloyd was working on until he left us. As soon as I get more info, I'll post an immediate update. So ....

stay tuned ...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Welcome To The Relic's Yard

Mousers, I'm on two assignments at the moment with a close deadline. By Thursday, we'll get back to the regular madness here; but, 'til then, I've left a couple of fillers in the stove for ya. Here's the first:

Whilst we're rollin' down the info superhighway, keep in mind there's a whole lotta shakin' going on around the Rock Yardl. Some of you have written in, asking what goes on here on a daily basis.

First: I work press-side for some amazing new indie acts (from both sides of the Atlantic) by lining up airplay and interviews for them over here in the states. It's also a privilege help newer artistes in their quest to make it from the rehearsal basements to the venues that'll get their music "out there."

Second: I'm a journalist and am contracted to work for three dynamite studios. Sometimes, these article assignments will come in ten at a time ... and, on occasion, they can be intricate (in other words, take a lot of head-scratchin' work and time!).

Third: I have three blogs on the burners, and most of 'em are boiling at the same time. Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots is the main event for rock brains ... but this one, The Mouse Clique, is one that I continue in cherished memory of and to honour our late mentor and friend (and founding Mouser) Lloyd Thaxton. The other is for all my compadres in and around Ashland, Kentucky (home base for yer Cousin Relic) and it's called Ashland Journal.

Fourth: I do mounds of research into rock-n-roll history, keep updated on the latest music news, and produce a monthly radio broadcast (which will be going bi-weekly by mid-April ...)

Then I eat and sleep ... sometimes ... if my cats will let me ...

Now, this is just to give you a rundown of what's up here in in the RockYard -- and how hectic it can be. That's why it takes awhile to get up with all the emails, snail mails and tall tales you send me; I will respond, but just gimme a mo to catch my breath every once-in-awhile, and we're good.

One thing for sure:

ROCK IS MY PASSION ... WRITING AND PROMOTING IT IS AN HONOUR ... AND I WOULDN'T TRADE PLACES WITH ANYTHING I DO FOR ALL THE CHEESE ON THE MOON! And I wouldn't let my readers, fans or bill collectors down for a moment ... you're all outtasite (well,I wish those bill collectors were, but in a difference sense of the word!).

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Introducing ... The 286!

Question: What happens when you put a group of optimistic, like-minded young musicians together with a creative songwriter and a lively drummer whose talent is an even match for his keen humour?

Answer:You get The 286!

This seven (actually, by extension, eleven)-member ensemble takes the best of rock and flavours it with cello, violin and synthesisers. They comprise a rock ensemble that matches the fervour and excitement of the late, legendary Electric Light Orchestra -- but add a personal, fan-friendly approach that every listener can appreciate!

Whilst their hit single, Hello, is already making highly-successful rounds on radio stations across the globe, the band has just released their first extended-play album (or "EP")! Readers, this has to be one of the most eagerly-anticipated releases of the Millenium! Amongst the five-song set are hits that've wowed audiences throughout the UK:
  • Battalion 28.6 (Monmouth Mix)
  • Suite. Beyond The World
  • two special mixes of their hit "Sophie Sands" and, of course, their mega-hit ...
  • Hello
To say that Spencer, Nathan, Liv, Ash, Alex, Becky, Izzy and their friends Petra, Sally, Dennis and Adaq make a joyful noise before the horde of fans that throng to their venues is an understatement; but to have this EP in your CD player -- man, that's ecstasy!

My personal favourite (other than their awesome Hello which is a must-have for every rock fan as they mix ELO with Moody Blues with The Fore and turn out a masterpiece) is Battalion 28.6. Trust me -- you'll be shaken and stirred as you bond with this track ....

Now, I'll have more about the EP -- including where you can wrap your eager ears around a copy. Until then, tap into their site and sound on MySpace® and their Facebook® page.
Take it from the Rock Relic: You'll be rockin' alllll night lonnnnng!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Autism Awareness Pt II

I'm pre-empting our regular blog posts ("REGULAR?!?" Hmph ... yeah, I know: I'm about as regular as a constipated turtle ...) to bring up a very special -- and very serious -- issue:

This month is National Autism Awareness Month in the states.
More kids will be diagnosed with this serious developmental disability this year -- one which affects 1 in every 100 children (1 in 70 males) -- than cancer, AIDS and diabetes combined (incidentally, I'm getting my facts from the Autism Speaks website).

Now, I could give a long dissertation on possible causes, effects, etc. but you can go to the site I just mentioned for that (and please do!). Just click on their Be Informed tab at the top of the page).
In this post, let me introduce you to two amazing superstar parents of autistic children. I realise there are thousands who take just as much time and effort -- and show just as much love and patience -- but these are special friends of the Relic:

One parent -- a young mom named Kelsey -- was, without a doubt, one of the most sterling examples of caring, loving motherhood. She worked with her young son so patiently, sweetly teaching him how (and why) to put his drink here, put his trash there, etc. -- and, at the same time, asking questions that would stimulate his mind.
She'd walk away from him for a few yards, then turn around and say, "Where's Mommy? Point out Mommy!" and he'd look, smile "There she is!" and point at her (she was trying to teach the importance of keeping eye contact on mom whilst they're out). And the youngster, to put it mildly, was brilliant!
The love shared between those two was inspiring, and warmed my heart so much, I had to meet and talk with them. It was so fulfilling ... (PS Did I tell you the mom is .... 21?)
(reprinted from Ashland Journal)

The second is a dad who's been a friend of mine since childhood. Lowell and his wife epitomize the patience, love and care that every couple should bless their kids with. Here ... with his permission, let me share what he told me:

"Too many people think of Autisim as a bad thing. It's not you have to deal with these children differently and find what works. I've got a 9 year old step son who is autistic. He was diagnosed lw functioning yet he makes the A/B honor roll, got third place in third grade Science Fair and went to the county Science Fair this year. How's that? His mother's hard work and love for her son and we don't treat him hardly any different than any of the other five kids.
Only with certain things, he learns different and that's the key finding what works. He's in Cub Scouts I do Den leader duties and he has made leaps and bounds this year. I work with him a lot myself.

My boy isn't dumb or stupid or retarded........he's just himself and a little different. I didn't put this up here to brag or anything just to let you guys know there is a lot of this around. Don't ever lose any hope that these kids will be ok. It's up to us to guide and teach them the way they learn....they can and they will."

Now, during this month, I'll print more from Lowell (there's even more to this awesome story!), but, for a mo, let's look back at three important points he made:

1. The key to finding what works for an autistic child is that he/she learns things differently.

2. Don't ever lose any hope that these kids will be ok. It's up to us to guide and teach them the way they learn ... they can and they will!

3. If you've an autistic child, remember the words that Lowell spoke ... and carry it as a banner throughout this month-long campaign: My boy isn't dumb or stupid or retarded........he's just himself and a little different.

Now, since this is a blog normally dedicated to rock-n-roll, let's tie it in: Two of the best-known performers in the genre are also autistic -- one took an Airplane to great heights whilst another liked Cars.
Right: Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane and the inimitable Gary Numan.
And let's not forget one of the most rockin' actors ever to come outta TinselTown. Not only is he a National Treasure to many, but he has to Face Off against this disorder every day.
Right again: Nick Cage (whom I've recently been privileged to get to know and call "friend").

So let's stand with every child who has autism ... show our support at every turn. They're all superstars ... and God bless every parent who work/has worked with them!!
Remember Lowell's words (amplified here to include both genders):
My son/daughter isn't dumb or stupid or retarded........he/she's just himself and a little different.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two Faces of Autism

First, let me remind every reader, whether in Ashland or not, that Panera Bread sandwich shop has a promotion going on that everybody oughtta get behind:

Buy one (or more) of their yummy Puzzle Piece Shortbread Cookies (and, trust me -- you will want more!) through April 8 and 100% of the purchase price will go to Autism Speaks™, which is a tremendous help in understanding and helping victims of this disorder.


Last night, whilst at one of our local fast-food eateries (they have the best fish sandwiches outside Captain D's!), I noticed two different parents with autistic children.
One parent -- a young mom -- was, without a doubt, the most sterling example of caring, loving motherhood. She worked with her young son so patiently, sweetly teaching him how (and why) to put his drink here, put his trash there, etc. -- and, at the same time, asking questions that would stimulate his mind.
She'd walk away from him for a few yards, then turn around and say, "Where's Mommy? Point out Mommy!" and he'd look, smile "There she is!" and point at her (she was trying to teach the importance of keeping eye contact on mom whilst they're out). And the youngster, to put it mildly, was brilliant!
The love shared between those two was inspiring, and warmed my heart so much, I had to meet and talk with them. It was so fulfilling ... (PS Did I tell you the mom is .... 21?)

On the other hand:

Whilst she and her son were in line at the counter, in barged a sloppy, brutish character with his daughter in tow; though in her early twenties (I'm guessing here), she looked pallid, tired, thin and too quiet. Almost afraid, in fact.
As the angel I mentioned earlier was waiting for their order, the other "dad" bellowed, "Couldja hurry it up? My daughter's got autism and I've gotta get her somethin' to eat!"
But that's not the worst of it:
After he got his food, he stomped over to a table -- oblivious to his daughter -- and started chowing down ...
while she sat there ... looking pallid, tired, thin ... too quiet.
Almost afraid, in fact ...

Now, I've included the pic on your left as a link. Click on it, print out the pic ... and, for God's sake, THINK, people:

If your child has been diagnosed with autism, do NOT use him or her as a means to get pity, special attention to yourself, sympathy or whatever "pat on the back" you're looking for!

That child needs your LOVE -- needs to know that he or she is important; that they COUNT! YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN THAT CHILD'S LIFE!!!
So, if you're "using" that child for your own attention, do him/her a favour: Take that child to a relative who HAS a heart ... who WILL understand ... who WILL help him/her in love and patience!
That'll give you enough time to pull your head out of your a-- and learn how to be a TRUE parent!

(yes, it ticks this Relic off BIG time ...)

btw, the young lady I mentioned will go nameless here ... but, trust me: There's a God who knows her name really well. And you've gotta know He's watching her and her little son like a hawk -- and smiling the Biggest Smile In The Universe ...