Saturday, April 3, 2010

Is it cool, or is it cool?

Well, the Brothers Johnson might not have to arbitrate this, but I had a little fun recently by merely kicking back and thinking about some of the really nifty shit I've done during my 45.8 years on this here planet.  My list is by no means all-inclusive, and I highly encourage you to compile your own list.  Keep in mind that it doesn't matter how big or small your items/events are, so long as they are important to YOU!  Meantime, here's my list (in no particular order).

Since my arrival on this sphere we call Earth on 6/11/64, yours turly...
  • Attended the first regular season game ever played at Royals (now Kauffman) Stadium (1973)
  • Met The Who's John Entwistle/Got his autograph (1998)
  • Walked on the parquet floor at Boston Garden (1994)
  • Stood at the top of Pike's Peak (1993)
  • Attended 16 Kiss concerts (1979-Present)
  • Talked on the radio—a lot! (1987-89)
  • Swiped-tagged Ace Frehley of Kiss on the arm (1994)
  • Could recite all 50 U.S. state capitals and point them out on a map by the time he was five (1969)
  • Witnessed two championship sporting events in person (Kansas City Attack indoor soccer team, 1993/1997)
  • Walked on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (2008)
  • Saw Hank Aaron hit a home run in person (at Royals Stadium as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, June 11, 1976—my 12th birthday)
  • Met George Carlin/got his autograph (1987)
  • Chanted "Yankees suck! Yankees suck!" along with the assembled multitude in Crown Center the night the Royals beat New York in the ALCS (1980)
  • Got within ten feet of/almost got to shake hands with President Gerald R. Ford in Independence, MO (1975)
  • Was the last voice ever heard on a radio station (at KKJC, "The Mighty 1030" in Blue Springs--January 31, 1988 @ 9:59 P.M.)
  • Spoke into the same microphone as Wolfman Jack once did (also at KKJC, 1987)
  • Kissed a beautiful woman at the top of the Stratosphere tower in Las Vegas (1999)
  • Partied at the Country Club Plaza/Westport when the Royals won the World Series (1985)
  • Visited the famed Motown recording studio Detroit (2006)
  • Met/chatted with Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & The Raiders/got his autograph (2001)
  • Experienced "The Roar" at Chicago Stadium (1990/1994)
  • Attended 108 concerts (1979-Present)
  • Got kicked out of Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto for buying a stolen season ticket (1994)
  • Toured the studios of KMOX-AM, St. Louis [the Mercedes-Benz of radio stations]/Touched Jack Buck's mail slot (1990)
  • Saw Elton John blow Starlight Theater apart with an outstanding concert (1982)
  • Saw Wayne Gretzky play in person/Get stoned by the goalie on a breakaway (1990)
  • Attended George Brett's final home game as a Kansas City Royal (1993)
  • Visited the gravesites of Harry S. Truman, Johnny Cash, Curly Howard and Jimi Hendrix
  • Spoke to Hank Stram on the phone (1994)
  • Drove through the ghettos of Chicago (at night in a 1982 Cadillac) and lived to tell about it (1985)
  • Attended Game 3 of the 1985 ALCS at Royals Stadium when G. Brett hit two home runs and beat them Toronto Blue Jays (1985)
  • Witnessed the Kansas City Comets FINALLY beat the St. Louis Steamers in a playoff series (1985)
  • Rode to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (numerous times, 1971-Present)
  • Saw Mario Lemieux score a goal in person (1994)
  • Almost met Harry Caray in St. Louis (1988)
  • Edited box scores for The Kansas City Star (1995-98)
  • Visited the hallowed Sun Records recording studio in Memphis/touched the same microphone Elvis Presley, Bono, Carl Perkins, et al, once sang into (2007)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


(What Would Scooby Do?)

Rut-row, Raggy!  Alright, you meddling kids—it’s been far too long since I’ve authored one of my trademark multi-topic blog posts, so let’s get caught up on some current folderol, shall we?

Say it isn’t so, Ethyl!!  Ricky Martin is gay?!?  Talk about another delusion shattered!  Okay, I’m being facetious—my reaction to this earth-shattering revelation is the same as when Freddie Mercury and George Michael outed themselves:  Meh, kinda figured.  Ricky’s timing is rather suspect, tho—why admit this now?  Most likely because it’s become so fashionable to come out to the media these days.  And since Martin hasn’t had a hit in almost ten years (and even that was a duet with Christina Aguilera), this is merely a desperate attempt to keep his name in the papers.  To mark the occasion, perhaps his next single should be a remake of “Go Away Little Girl”…

Why oh why does everyone seemingly have their panties in a wad over actress Sandra Bullock’s crumbling marriage?  I don’t even know who this Jesse James goomer is that she’s married to, anyway.  I’ve never been overly impressed with her either, both in terms of her looks and her acting prowess, although I have yet to see her Oscar-winning gig in The Blind Side.  And while she’s not all that UNattractive to me, and I doubt I'd ever kick her out of my bed, she doesn’t really blow me away, either.  Much ado about nothing...

On the other hand, it's come to my attention that my girl Kate Winslet is about to become a free agent again.  Kate, dah-ling, if you're reading this, let your soon-to-be ex- have custody of your kids and come see me sometime!

Frank Zappa’s classic tune could actually be applied to most any of the so-called “stars” on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars”, but it’s especially apropos for the Queen of The Limelight Whores, Kate Gosselin.  Exactly what is it about this woman that makes her a star?  To me, notoriety alone doth not a star make.  And evidently she’s being the same total control freak be-yatch with her dance partners on "DWTS" that she was with her family on that reality show.  All I know is Kate better not play the “Please respect my privacy” card anymore after all this…

Can someone please explain to me the existence of C-Span 3?  Nobody even watches regular C-Span, do they?

Interesting tidbit I learned the other day about my man, the late John Entwistle of The Who.  Even though he owned a flotilla of fancy cars, the boy never actually learned to drive any of them!  “I drink in them,” he was once quoted.  Strangely enough, this phenomenon is not all that uncommon amongst Rock musicians.  It was only a few years ago that Gene Simmons of Kiss finally got his driver’s license (he's 60 now), and neither the late Eddie Cochran nor the late Marc Bolan of T. Rex ever learned to drive—yet both ironically were killed in car accidents in which they were passengers.

“Break Every Rule”—TINA TURNER (1987)  “I’m always singing your praises…”  Or as I initially interpreted the line, “I’m always singing ‘You’re crazy!’…”  Very underrated track, btw…

Does Taco Bell really expect me to believe I’ll ever actually be waited on by a pretty/perky white girl at one of their stores like in their current TV ads about the 89-cent burritos?  Uhhh, I’ll take Science Fiction for $200, Alex!  My odds of winning the lottery are better than to encounter behind their counter one these modeling agency chicks.  I consider myself lucky if I ever get waited on by a Taco Bell employee who even speaks proper English…

I posed this question about eight months ago, but to my utter dismay, it bears repeating:  Does anyone besides me find it just a tad crass that they’re still running those annoying Billy Mays TV ads?  The “Voice That Activated a Million Mute Buttons” has been dead for what, nine months now?  Yet his commercials still air on cable TV.  He’s a corpse now—let him freakin’ rot, already!  Pretty damn pathetic…

My recent library visits have yielded a couple of very thorough and interesting reference books about deceased music people, including the one I'm currently perusing, Heroin, Hanguns And Ham SandwichesThe Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars by British author Jeremy Simmonds.  Lots of fascinating facts and trivia about people's careers (not just their demises) and some very intriguing quotes.  To wit:  "Don't worryit's not loaded, see?"—Terry Kath, Chicago, January 23, 1978, just before he blew his brains out.  "If I could put into one words what the essence of The Yardbirds wasit would be 'electricity'."—Keith Relf, Yarbirds lead singer, who was electrocuted in 1976 while playing guitar in his basement.

Youse animal lovers out there might be taken aback by what follows here, but please hear me out on this one.  I don’t mean to seem like an insensitive clod, but I’m sick to death of this latest spate of TV ads pleading for us to send money to stop animal cruelty.  You know the ones, these tear-inducing/grab-your-hanky/tug-at-your-heartstrings commercials featuring Sarah McLaughlin, Wendie Malick, et al, that show these poor unfortunate critters in the kennels and animal shelters.  The "charities" proceed to lay out the big guilt-trip and want you to send them $20 a month to ostensibly put an end to animal cruelty, even though some of these animals they depict aren’t even mistreated at all, like the one-eyed cats and three-legged dogs—those are birth defects, not the result of abuse!  Don’t get me wrong, I don't mean to damn the cause, here—I, too, feel that mistreatment of animals is totally uncool.  Still, I have issues with the way these ads manipulate the viewer into thinking their hard-earned money is actually going to change anything.  And I wouldn't be a good cynic if I weren't extremely distrusting of these “charities” that supposedly benefit children and animals (Feed The Children, Christian Children’s Fund, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, et al), especially the ones who always seem to have a specific set monetary amount in mind for you to send them every month.  I’ve heard too many horror stories about how once these “charitable” outfits latch on to you, it’s damn near impossible to get them to leave you alone once you decide to cease contributing, for whatever reason.  They’re just money-grubbing rackets to me, not charities.  As the esteemed philosopher Fudd always cautioned, “Be vewy vewy caweful!”

Speaking of rackets, I don’t suppose there’s such a program as “Cash For Mold” anywhere, is there?  If so, I could make a fortune—my crawlspace is usually brimming with it this time of year!