Saturday, December 30, 2006

Great moments in music censorship

A humorous look at how paranoia can make music people do strange things...

In 1973, the Charlie Daniels Band scored its first hit with the quite humorous novelty song "Uneasy Rider", but for some reason, AM radio stations got the willies over the line "and their asses were catching", so they bleeped it.  However, a previous line in the song "one of them long-haired hippie-type pinko fags" was apparently deemed okay, 'cause it was left unscathed! J ust you try and get away with a line in a song like that in today's politically correct world, boys and girls...

A mere six years later, the C.D.B. succumbed to pressure from censor-ly types with their 1979 classic "The Devil Went Down To Georgia".  Evidently, you can't even call the devil himself a "son-of-a-bitch" amongst certain Bible-thumping Southern Baptist circles, thus Charlie had to issue the wussy "I done told you once you son-of-a-gun" single version of the song to appease the over-zealous Jerry Falwell/"700 Club" sycophants out there.

In a similar move, The Who's Roger Daltrey had to make a special trip to the recording studio just to sing five words, "Who the hell are you?" to tidy up 1978's "Who Are You?" for AM radio, and the single version thereof.  Meantime, the original "Who the fuck are you?" lyric had been a staple on FM radio for 25 years or so until the whole 2004 Janet Jackson boob thing happened and the FCC threatened to take everyone's licenses away at the slightest utterance of the word "heck", thus "Who Are You?" has been neutered to eliminate the offending line altogether on nearly all Classic Rock stations.  A similar fate has befallen the classic Pink Floyd tune "Money" and the line "goody-goody good bullshit" which is now rendered "goody-goody good #)@*&;$!(."

Meantime, my good buddy John "Cougar" Mellencamp's "Play Guitar" aired on the radio the other day complete with the line "forget about all that macho shit and learn to play guitar!" unadulterated.  What gives?  Too bad he's never taken his own advice...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Berating Bonaduce

Is there anything more pathetic on TV right now than Danny Bonaduce’s current VH-1
"Celebreality" show?  I used to really like this guy, but he's become totally insufferable the last year or so via that vaunted series "Breaking Bonaduce" whilst exposing all his "demons" and "problems" to the moronic viewing public who find this tripe to be "like, omigod, it's so intense!". 

I put "demons" and "problems" in quotation marks because I firmly believe this whole sham is all just an act by Bonaduce, as are ALL reality shows—Ozzy Osbourne was reading off fucking cue cards (poorly) on "The Osbournes", remember?  Now ol' Dante preys on everyone’s sympathies trying to cast himself as some sort of martyr, but all I see here is a sorry-ass has-been who's so desperate for attention (and a paycheck) that he'll put on this phony self-absorbed pity party for people's entertainment, and it’s complete and total hooey!

I stumbled across Dangerous Dan and his idiot wife Gretchen (what a total waste of pretty red hair, by the way) on Dr. Phil’s show a couple weeks back having yet another pity party for the cameras, and I couldn’t believe how Doc Phil (yet another guy I used to really admire whose stock has slipped big-time with me) was actually condoning this whole sham!  I may be going out on a limb here, but it seems to me that Dr. Phil or ANY therapist worth a damn would NOT allow their client(s) to go through therapy on NATIONAL TELEVISION—something they call doctor-patient confidentiality, I believe.  Oh, did Doc Phil bother to utter his catchphrase "what the hell were you thinkin'?" regarding the fact that Dante and Gretch got married on the day they met?  Call me crazy, but ain't that a pretty blatant red flag right there, Kimosabe Phil?

Yes, it's well-documented that Bonaduce had a mega-dysfunctional home life as a kid—his old man was (and I'm being kind here) a human turd—and no doubt he's had a checkered career at best since the P-Family, so his behavior is somewhat understandable.  BUT, that doesn't justify this travesty of a TV show!  And give me a bleepin' break about that suicide attempt crap for the cameras—oh, puh-leeze!  Call me cynical if you want, but Danny ain’t about to bump himself off as long as he’s drawing that paycheck from VH-1, et al.  
And to think I once considered David "I'll-claim-I-doinked-Susan Dey-just-to-sell-my-autobiography" Cassidy to be the big douche-bag on "The Partridge Family"!  A big error in judgment on my part, apparently...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Who Review...Comin' right at You!

Just got done listening to the new Who CD, Endless Wire, and I'm quite frankly underwhelmed.  As a MAJOR aficionado of The Who (tied with Elton John for my #2 Rock act of all-time, right behind Kiss), there was a time when I would have bought a brand new Who album the day it came out, but I've had trouble getting excited about this one, particularly since John Entwistle is no longer with us, thus I waited almost two months after its release to buy it.  The Ox's bass playing—not to mention his witty songs—always gave Who albums that extra-added kick, and they are sorely missing now, because Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey sound almost like a lounge act here.  Neither I, nor Horton, heard  The Who on this CD, and this one makes Face Dances seem like Who's Next in comparison!  What pisses me off most is how Townshend has been dangling this carrot in front of Who fans for almost 20 years now about a new studio album from the band, and never followed through on it until after Entwistle was gone.  They shoulda called it Who's Left instead...

Farewell, Mr. President

Yet another famous person died this week, former President Gerald R. Ford.  I liked ol’ Gerry myself—he wasn’t such a bad guy (even for a Republican), and I almost got to shake hands with him too.  My dad and I went to see him speak at the dedication of Harry Truman’s statue at Independence Square in ’76.  We got within about ten feet of him, but there were too many people in front of us before the Secret Service boys whisked him away.  I still have my WIN (Whip Inflation Now) magnet on my coolerator (fridge), come to think of it!

I think Chevy Chase’s lame Ford "imitation" pratfall bits on "Saturday Night Live" gave Gerry a bad rap that he didn’t really deserve (and it gets old real quick when you watch the "SNL" DVDs now).  And since he was only in office two years and change—spending almost all of that time cleaning up after The Big Dick—it’s really hard to get a good read on how good a President he was, but he can rest in peace secure in the knowledge that he’s light years ahead of Dubya in the all-time standings!  Bon voyage, Gerry…

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Misc. thoughts

Man, seems like we've lost a lot of big names lately, and sadly we have to add James Brown to that list.  Hate to admit it, but I didn't really know much about James before Eddie Murphy's nearly perfect impersonations of him, but I found his body of work to be pretty impressive when I checked it out.  From what I can tell, he put on a great live show too, even if you couldn't understand a word he sang (a la Bob Dylan). So long, Soul Brother #1...

I hear that Rev. Al Sharpton will be presiding over James' funeral.  And no doubt Jesse Jackson will be there grandstanding and brown-nosing too.  Couldn't they find someone better?  Even Reverend Jim on "Taxi" would be a step in the right direction...

Iraq says that Saddam Hussein will be hung within the next 30 days.  That's nice, but I still maintain that this freakin' war was not worth it just for him to fry.  Let's just make sure he's well hung, mmm-kay?

If Ann Coulter is so conservative, then why does she dress like Britney Spears sometimes?

Why the filth-flarn-filth doesn’t McDonald’s just leave the damn thing on their menu permanently?!?  It’s a popular item—why do they keep taking it away?  Oh wait, let me guess—that FEMA guy is running McDonald’s now!

Have you noticed these ads on TV lately harping about how law enforcement people are supposedly cracking down on drunk driving?  That's all well and good, but why is it on these ads they only feature MEN being pulled over and getting the third degree from the cops?  Do the names Diana Ross, Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Richie (see left) mean anything to them?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Time to look forward...

Now that the Christmas rush is through, here's my "Wish List" of things I'd really like to see in the not-so-distant future (in no particular order):

—Peace in the Middle East
—The demise of reality TV
—A "House For Sale" sign in my nextdoor neighbor’s front yard
—A cure (or two) for cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's Disease, et al

—Fewer pounds on my body
—Osama bin Laden strung up by his nut sack
—A riding lawn mower in my tool shed
—The impeachment of Dubya
—Winning lottery tickets (preferably in my grubby little hands!)
—A Kansas City Royals pitcher who can strike people out with some regularity
—Terrell Owens having his nuts slammed in a car door

—A new Kiss album
—A Back Yard Burger fast food joint in Raytown
—Barry Bonds suffering a career-ending injury while stuck at 754 home runs
—Fewer poker games and more actual sports on ESPN

—A fresh Super Bowl trophy on display at Arrowhead Stadium
—An NHL team for the Sprint Center's grand opening
—A playoff system for college football
—Kiss and Paul Revere & The Raiders enshrined in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame
—A steady girlfriend (Renee Zellweger or Kate Winslet will do!)
—More down-to-earth writing by the likes of Leonard Pitts, Jr.
—My best friend Tom viewing ANY film produced by Michael Moore
—The New Jersey Devils hoisting the Stanley Cup for the 4th time
—A conscience for the management and staff of KCTV-5 News
—A muzzle for Dick Vitale
—A Super Bowl appearance for Marty Schottenheimer
—More TV shows like "M.X.C." (Long live Guy LeDouche!)
—A Rock radio station in K.C. that goes beyond the same five Foreigner songs, same five Doobie Brothers songs, same five Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, etc.
—A cure for whatever it is that afflicts conservative columnists like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, et al, as well as liberal idiots like Al Franken and Molly Ivins, et al
—Women dressing like women again
—A little humility from Bobby Knight
—A cure for Danny Bonaduce
—An Eagles reunion (oh wait, we did that already!)

So this is Christmas...

Seems only fitting to post my Top 20 list of favorite Christmas tunes of all-time tonight:

1) "Christmas At Ground Zero"--WEIRD AL YANKOVIC Totally warped and wonderful, and it's Al at his finest! "It's time to face your final destiny/The radio just let us know that this is NOT a test! You better load your gun and shoot to kill..."
2) "Merry Christmas Darling"--THE CARPENTERS Loved this song when I was seven years old and addicted to Top 40 AM radio on WHB in K.C. This one got a lot harder to listen to after Karen died, though...
3) "'Twas The Night Before Christmas"--PERRY COMO We had this Perry Como Christmas album in our family for years and I remember listening to it every year until we wore the poor thing out.  P.C. wasn't exactly Mr. Excitement, but this was pretty cool stuff for the holidays.
4) "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"--JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO This song became just a tad more poignant in 1980...
5) "Charlie Brown Christmas Theme"--VINCE GUARALDI TRIO What Christmas is complete without this one?
6) "Deck The Halls"--MANHEIM STEAMROLLER Or this one?
7) "Step Into Christmas"--ELTON JOHN Recorded during the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road sessions.  One of the better Rock 'N' Roll Christmas tunes.
8) "Jingle Bells"--THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY You heard me--the Partridge Family!  One of my favorite Christmas albums ever, too.
9) "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"--BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND Sounds like The Boss & Co. were indulging in a little egg nog on stage that night!
10) "Snoopy's Christmas"--THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN Logical follow-up to "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron".  "Merry Christmas, my friend!" replaces "Curses! Foiled again!"
11) "The Hannukah Song"--ADAM SANDLER Yes, this one gets played to death every year on the radio now, but it's still good clean fun, even for a gentile like me.  Being the carinvore that I am, I'd make a lousy Jew anyway because of that whole "can't eat pork" thing, although I do find myself saying "Oy!" a lot these days...
12) "All I Want For Christmas Is You"--MARIAH CAREY The ONLY thing this woman's ever done that I actually like!
13) "Yingle Bells"--STAN FREBERG/YOGI YORGESSON Yumpin' yiminy!
14) "I Believe In Father Christmas"--GREG LAKE One of the prettier Rock 'N' Roll Christmas tunes you'll ever hear.
15) "Feliz Navidad"--JOSE FELICIANO Gets kinda repetitive after a while, but it's still worthy.
16) "Blue Christmas"--ELVIS PRESLEY The King had some Yuletide soul in him too.  The Partridge Family version of this one ain't too shabby either.
17) "Frosty The Snowman"--THE RONETTES Christmas meets Phil Spector's patented Wall of Sound and lives to tell about it!
18) "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas"--GAYLA PEEVEY Man, that little squirt could sure belt that one out!
19) "2000 Miles"--THE PRETENDERS Another one of the prettier Rock 'N' Roll Christmas tunes you'll ever hear.
20) "Moe Money/Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"--CHEECH & CHONG This one is a total hoot.  Picture the Sex Pistols doing "Rudolph" and you get the idea!

And my Bottom Five Worst Christmas songs of All-Time:
1) "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"--ELMO & PATSY First time I heard this one, I thought it was funny.  Every time after that, I found it about as annoying as Danny Bonaduce's current TV reality show...
2) "Jingle Bells"--THE BARKING DOGS Ditto.
3) "Wear A Smile At Christmas"--PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS It pains me to pick on my boys here, but they should have stuck to Rock 'N' Roll rather than put out this half-baked Christmas record.  Pretty lame...
4) "Do They Know It's Christmas?"--BAND AID Yes, I know it was for charity and all, but this thing was SO overrated!
5) "Little Drummer Boy"--JESSICA AND ASHLEE SIMPSON Okay, I've never even heard this one before, but I'm SUPREMELY confident of its worthiness for this list. Aren't you?

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine!