Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 13 - 12 )

re:  ON THE RADIO:   
Just a short line to say that, after a short break, Oldies Paradise is now back on the air.
We broadcast oldies from the Rock'n'Roll era through to the early '80s and we certainly "dig much deeper" than your average oldies station!
Full news and details of our new stream address, etc., are at
We are also time-shifting our programmes to make them more accessible to the North American market.
Best regards
Mark Stafford
Oldies Paradise  

Kudos to The Drive and their new Monday - Friday feature "Lost And Found".  Each week night (between 5:00 and 5:15) Bobby Skafish plays one of those songs that "slipped through the cracks" ... popular at the time of its original release but then off the radio ever since.  (Man, what a great concept!!!)  Hey, we're in favor of ANYTHING that gets this stuff played on the radio again once in a while.  The other night we heard "Roller" by April Wine. (Of course WE would have featured "You Could Have Been A Lady" if we were putting this whole thing together ... and we DID, back in our old "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature) ... but I believe it's only going to get better from here.  There are just SO many tunes that have slipped through the cracks ... and with jocks like Bob Stroud (playing an endless assortment of Forgotten Hits on his Rock And Roll Roots program) and Bobby Skafish in the line-up, I believe The Drive can keep this new feature fresh and interesting for a LONG time to come!  (kk)  

And, speaking of The Drive, we had an EXCELLENT time at this year's Birthday Party Concert bash, featuring Dave Mason and The Doobie Brothers, both of whom were in top form Friday Night.  (In fact, Mason's live performance of his biggest hit "We Just Disagree" just may have been one of the most PERFECT live renditions of ANY song I've ever heard!) 
The Doobie Brothers have not missed a beat in the past 40 years.  They sounded and looked as good as they ever have, and fed us hit after hit after hit for over two hours. 
In every manner of speaking, it truly was like turning the clock back to 1973.
Kicking things off with "Jesus Is Just All-Right With Me", and running through most of the Tom Johnston / Patrick Simmons hit catalog (including a number of classic album tracks along the way ... and three NEW tunes from an album they released about a year and a half ago), The Doobies provided a night of non-stop, stand up and cheer rock and roll entertainment.
(We can attest to the fact that The Doobies on stage were not the ONLY "doobies" in the building that night ... but The Rosemont Police and Security Crew squashed out any "violators" in quick fashion within minutes ... and most of the audience was none the wiser.  I can honestly say, speaking as the "old fogie" that I've become, that I haven't smelled THAT smell in a long, long time at a concert ... but The Doobie fans were out in full force Friday Night ... and they, too, drifted back to the original hit era of the band.)
That being said, their new material sounds every bit as good as their old material ... too bad the current state of "tunnel-vision" radio has chosen to ignore it ... the three new tracks they featured Friday night played PERFECTLY along side the band's best-known hits.  It's a real shame that you have to go see them in concert in order to get the chance to hear any of these great new tunes!
As I suspected they might, The Doobie Brothers completely ignored the Michael McDonald era, a span of seven years that afforded the band their greatest, universally commercial success. Bypassing the Grammy Winning #1 Hit "What A Fool Believes" in favor of more classic album tracks, their ONLY acknowledgement to McDonald Friday Night was a surprisingly strong version of my personal favorite Doobie Brothers song, "Takin' It To The Streets", which showed a side to Patrick Simmons' vocals that I had not seen or heard before.  It was outstanding!  
Other musical highlights included a BEAUTIFUL reading of "South City Midnight Lady" (another one of my all-time favorites) and an inspiring instrumental jam featuring a guitar duet between Patrick Simmons and John McFee ... for whom I have a whole new level of respect and appreciation as a virtuoso guitarist.  Honestly, McFee impressed us all night long with his musical talents, but was exceptionally strong on this track as he played harmonics that I didn't even know existed up and down the guitar neck.  To take on a piece this demanding and challenging night after night in concert is a true testament to both his musical ability and confidence ... he truly blew me away!
The music presented by founding members Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons DEFINES "Classic Rock" ... their songs have never left the radio and sound just as fresh today as they have for the past 40 years ... and it was quite clear that it is THIS combination of Doobie Brothers music that best exemplifies the band.  Simply put, radio and the music of The Doobie Brothers have been very good to each other ... and the band acknowledged this happy pairing on stage when they thanked The Drive for all of their support for the past eleven years.
Kudos again to The Drive who, year after year, CONSISTENTLY put the music and the listeners ahead of everything else.  (Fittingly, the ratings reflect this bond between the loyal listeners and the station ... which is not always the case in radio today.)  This was their 11th Birthday Celebration and for the majority of those years, they have thrown a birthday party where all of the "presents" go to the listeners.  EVERY ticket to Friday Night's concert was a free give-away ... and, while it goes without saying that it's ALWAYS great to win a free ticket to a concert, I can tell you that THIS crowd was different ... this was a VERY special audience Friday Night that was thankfully chock full of REAL, long-time Doobie Brothers fans who spent most of the evening up on their feet, singing along with every single word of every single song, including some of the less-familiar album tracks.  How exceptional and gratifying that THESE are the fans that were rewarded with tickets to this amazing show.  The chemistry between the band and the audience was unparalleled ... safe to say that EVERYBODY in the theater that night had an exceptional time!
I happen to know that The Drive has tried to book The Doobie Brothers before for their Birthday Bashes but their schedules just never seemed to align in such a way as to be able to work it all out.  All I can say is that THIS show was well worth the wait ... and, if you get a chance to see these guys in concert, go ... they are as strong and relevant as ever ... and their music has truly stood the test of time.  (kk)  

Everyone is talking about songs they hear in the new great new Beach Boys tune, such as "Silhouettes," "Midnight Cowboy", "You Belong to me" and even the Beach Boys' own "Good Timin" but THIS is what I hear when I listen to this great new tune (co-written by Jim Peterik of the Ides of March!).  THIS is why God made the radio FOR ME. 
  Listen to whole song HERE in case you have already heard the song.

Hey y'all:  
It's good to know the Beach Boys have quit quarreling long enough to get back together for their 50th! Attached is a 10 minute news story of them on the CBS Sunday Morning News ... really interesting but also kind of sad. 
BTW, I saw them two nights ago on Jimmy Fallon, and besides performing (with their cast of thousands, because they can no longer make music that sounds even decent without the real musicians that are doing the vocals and instrumentals), Fallon invited Mike Love and Brian Wilson up on stage with him. I couldn't believe Mike Love had to hold Brian Wilson's arm and guide him (oh so slowly) to the onstage couch ... Brian can hardly walk and looks deathly ill. 
Also attached is a heartbreaking CBS Sunday Morning News Story about Glen Campbell and his ongoing losing battle with Alzheimer's. As you know, or maybe not, he's doing a farewell tour. He couldn't do it without the help of his kids ... his daughter is the banjo player and keyboard player, one of his sons plays drums and the other plays guitar. As you'll see, without them, the show definitely couldn't go on.  
In both clips, it will remind you how old we're all getting and what a great gift life is as well. 
Hope you're all well and God Bless! 
Wild Bill  Glen Campbell on CBS News      Beach Boys 50th on CBS News
These are two top-notch, excellent reports ... and WELL worth the ten minute time investment for each.  Great presentations by CBS News!  (kk) 

And here's another GREAT Beach Boys Concert Review ... this time from the Beacon Theater in New York ...
We've been telling you about the re-release of The Beatles' First U.S. Concert Appearance, playing for a limited engagement at selected series across the country ... but apparently these exclusive showings have been "postponed" ... for legal reasons brought about by Apple ... more details to come! 

Meanwhile, let me tell you about some OTHER exciting theater news coming your way if you happen to be in the L.A. area.  On June 17th, you can catch a special screening of the classic film "The Monterey Pop Festival" showing at The Silent Movie Theater ... and the coolest thing of all is that it'll be hosted by Lou Adler and Michelle Phillips, two of the folks who helped make this whole dream come true back in 1967! 
More details here: Click here: Special Events-June 2012 | The Cinefamily   

It's the 45th Anniversary of the festival that launched the whole rock festival explosion ... and there are ALL kinds of other tie-in celebrations surrounding this anniversary as well.
A special two-CD soundtrack has just been released (featuring tracks that have NEVER appeared on CD before, including performances by Simon and Garfunkel and The Buffalo Springfield.)  A fully restored, remastered DVD of the original D.A. Pennebaker film has also just been released (and we recently viewed a screening copy ... QUITE enjoyable and remarkable quality, too!)  What I found particularly unique about these two releases is that they don't feature the same song line-up ... or even the same artists in many instances, making this both a unique viewing and listening experience.  (I especially enjoyed Otis Redding's performance ... this is the one that MADE his career ... and was personally a little surprised at just how much of Ravi Shankar's performance they left in the final edit ... but I can absolutely tell you that the crowd LOVED him!!!  (I just can't help flashing back to George Harrison's Concert For Bangla Desh, where Shankar was the "opening act" ... and, after a rather lengthy several minutes of completely disjointed music, the group paused momentarily to some brief applause ... to which Ravi replied, "Thank you ... if you enjoyed the tuning so much, we hope you will enjoy the music even better."  lol)
Stay tuned to Forgotten Hits for more Monterey Pop Anniversary news ... and maybe even a surprise or two.  Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and pick up Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik's new book, "A Perfect Haze:  The Illustrated History Of The Monterey International Pop Festival" ... an INCREDIBLE tome to this ground-breaking event.  (You'll find our original review here):   
Click here: Forgotten Hits: More On Monterey -- The "Must Have" Documentation of The Monterey International Pop Festival by Ha   
And ordering information here:  
Click here: A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival (9781595800602): Ha
I agree about the Ravi observation. And when Pennebaker saw the raw Ravi footage he said he had his ending.
Harvey Kubernik  

And this, too, from Andrew Loog Oldham ...  

The Monterey Pop Festival was the beginning of the future and potential of our music. It was the first of the festivals. It realized the idea that our music can not only entertain - but it can edutain, inform and unite. It set an example whereby a festival can create a platform from where our artists and their music can give thanks and give back. 
I am not sure if something as lofty as this was the total original intention - all of the participants in the Monterey Pop Festival were good fortuned people who had made of a success in the world of music - and I think we were all looking at the Monterey Pop Festival as a way of taking the game to the next level; for our own sakes as much as anybody's ... it was just a logical way of staying stimulated, staying engaged. The example it set, the gateway it opened has one intensely grateful that when Lou & John first pitched the idea to us, all we all said, "Count me in." 

You may have seen this: 
I've helped out a few Kickstarter projects in my day but this one seems painless.  For $20, they'll send you a DVD of the movie when it's out.
You probably couldn't buy it for any less.
-- Ron Smith
There seems to be a real push for kickstarter projects lately ... but, unfortunately, I've heard of VERY few that ever made it through.  That being said, this is a pretty good reward for helping out. (We covered this film awhile back in Forgotten Hits ... and heard some pretty good things about it.)  kk ...
I don't know who Andre 3000 is, do you?
Frank B.
Yep, sure do! He's one half of Outkast ... who scored that HUGE #1 Hit "Hey Ya!" a few years ago.  (#1 for nine weeks in 2003)  You can check out the video here ... it's a classic! (And a great '60's Flashback theme at that!)  
Click here: OutKast - Hey Ya! - YouTube  
I'm not sure why this is considered news ... they've been talking about Andre playing Jimi Hendrix for at least two years now!  (kk)  

Meanwhile, Bob Merlis warns us that NOBODY'S going to be playing Jimi Hendrix in a motion picture unless the family gives its blessing first! 
Various media outlets have recently published accounts that indicate a feature length Jimi Hendrix biographical film is nearing production.  Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company entrusted with safeguarding the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and administrator of the Jimi Hendrix music and publishing catalog has made it known many times in the past that no such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without its full participation. 
Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, sister of Jimi Hendrix, and the EH board have not ruled out a "biopic" in the future though producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions. 
-- Bob Merlis   

Life Magazine has put together an outstanding tribute to Dick Clark, on newsstands now.  Chock full of photographs, it recounts Clark's success in the musical arena and is definitely something fans of this era will want to pick up.  (Get 'em before they're gone!)  And ... DIDJAKNOW? ... that thanks to his Grandmother, Dick Clark had a COMPLETE collection of EVERY Life Magazine ever issued, dating all the way back to the very first issue published in 1936!!!  (kk)  

>>>Early last month my good friend Sonny Geraci was diagnosed with AVM (arteriovenous malformation).  He has been through two brain surgeries with no complications. He is currently in Intensive Care.  Please send your healing prayers for a full recovery to Sonny and his Family.  "Updates" will post when available. (Dennis Tufano)  
Prayers and best wishes for a full recovery to Sonny Geraci.  Here's a photo from the 1967 Omaha KOIL radio Teen Fair with Sonny belting out an Outsiders goodie! 
Clark Besch

We saw and met Sonny Geraci a couple of summers ago when he was performing with The Cryan' Shames and their Chicago Gold Revue (Dennis Tufano, Jimy Sohns, Jimy Rogers, Ronnie Rice) ... so sad to hear about what he's going through right now.  (Sonny and Dennis have become extremely close over the past two years, sharing the bill on numerous occasions ... thank you to Dennis Tufano for keeping us up to date on Sonny's condition.)  I always loved Sonny's voice and he's a fun entertainer to watch on stage, too.  Here's hoping he comes out of all of this on the up side.  (kk)
Ron Smith also reports that you can send "Get Well" wishes to Sonny via this address:
Precious Time Productions
30799 Pine Tree Rd. #135
Pepper Pike, OH 44124 ...
Out June 12:  Jimmy Fallon, Sir Paul, the Boss + more.
Frank B.   

I agree with your assessment of IF YOU GOT TO MAKE A FOOL OF SOMEBODY by Freddie and the Dreamers. I played some 20 seconds of it and then hit the 'reject' button. I checked and James Ray's version peaked at number 12 here in OKC in December of 1961. I always did like his followup as well, ITTY BITTY PIECES, through the courtesy of Caprice Records.
The James Ray version hit #18 on the Cash Box Chart in early 1962.  "Itty Bitty Pieces" stopped at #41 in Billboard a few months later.  Neither record made The Top 20 here in Chicago.  (kk)

Just read the Happy Together Again tour schedule.  Belmont University is here, Mark Volman is here, Micky spends a lot of time here ... but they still won't bring the show to Nashville! Amazing ...
David Lewis
The big push last year was to get the tour out to the west coast ... and it looks like they filled in quite a few dates this year ... which should certainly please all of our oldies music fans out on the left coast ... looks like lots of midwest dates, too ... but you're right ... Nashville is nowhere to be found.  Who knows ... they just might add it ... if only for for the Belmont connection.  (Is Chattanooga too far to travel???  Looks like about a two hour drive to me.  And it's DEFINITELY a show worth seeing!)  kk

>>>5/11/ 1978 = Glen Sherley took his own life, by shooting himself to death.  (Frank B)
>>>Sad ending to what SHOULD have been a new beginning for this guy ... especially with this kind of "star power" behind him.  Wonder what happened? Do you know?  (kk) 
>>>I heard that he was a career criminal and couldn't change.  Johnny eventually had to fire him, cause he started threatening people. I think he couldn't handle fame or being out of prison.   (Frank B.)
Kent ...
Had this information written on a separate piece of paper.  Throughout the late 1970's, Glen Sherley struggled to cope with stardom and he quickly faded out of the limelight.  
He ended up working for a large Cattle Company, feeding 10,000 cattle a day. He lived in the cab of his semi truck.
Frank B.   

Under the heading of "Imagine there were no Beatles", I have an equal or greater question to ask. And that question is "WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THERE WASN'T ANY ROCK AND ROLL?"  Without going into specifics, you have to go back to, I believe 1959 for the answer.
Larry Neal
It's been lulls like this in music that have helped to create "the next big thing" ... 1959 very well may have been one as far as true, good old rock and roll may be concerned (as we entered the era of the teen idol, with manufactured stars like Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell and Fabian ruling the charts) ... and certainly late 1963 was another (using our example of The Singing Nun and Bobby Vinton.)  That doesn't mean that each of these artists mentioned didn't deserve to have a hit record ... it simply means that there was nothing going on here to set the world on its ear the way Elvis and The Beatles did in the mid-'50's and mid-'60's.  Let's face it ... an Elvis or a Beatles doesn't come along every day ... which only magnifies their impact when it happens.  Folks knew who Michael Jackson was for nearly 15 years before he EXPLODED on the scene with the whole "Thriller" thing.  Likewise The Bee Gees, who had multiple hits in the late '60's and early '70's ... then blew the doors off the charts with their late '70's "Saturday Night Fever" material ... and Fleetwood Mac, once a British blues band with a bit of a cult following before they added a couple of female vocalists and a whiz-kid on guitar that catapulted them into the stratosphere with albums like 1975's "Fleetwood Mac" and 1977's "Rumours".
Typically, it's been somebody NEW who has captured our attention ... but Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac prove it can happen to ANYBODY at ANY time, once all of the planets are properly aligned!  (kk)    

>>>I would advise people not to buy Irene Brodsky's book unless you're a die hard Johnny Maestro fan. The book is 49 pages long. Most of it is pictures and illustrations.
It does contain statements from Johnny's wife and niece. It will take you about 15 minutes to read this book.  (Frank B)  
Sounds like you were too kind in this review.
Wild Wayne    

Naturally, we heard from Irene after we published the negative reviews the other day.  Again, as I stated then, I have not personally seen or read the book ... so I can only go by the opinions voiced by those who have ... and they came away feeling disappointed and short changed, especially after shelling out $11.95 for less than 50 pages.
"Fifteen minutes to read" ISN'T a "book" in my opinion ... magazine articles often take longer than that ... heck, a decent edition of our Sunday Comments Page takes longer than that to read!!!  So while it was certainly awkward to run these reviews, I felt it our obligation to at least warn fans what to expect if they pick up a copy.  (kk)
Maybe you should charge $11.95 for each weekly edition of your Sunday Comments Page.
Frank B.
Great idea ... except then nobody'll buy 'em!!!  Even I wouldn't pay that to read my musings!!!  (lol)  kk

Kent - 
Please understand that complimentary books take time to receive ... and I will have copies next week.  I made a promise to send you one and I meant it.  The man who won the contest received my own copy of the book.  
As a "seasoned" writer of 12 years, I am used to good and bad reviews. It is a writer's expectation to expect good and bad reviews but these reviews were very unnecessarily cruel.  I think you should not have posted them without considering the harm it can do to me as a very respectable writer and professor. They made me look as if I was cheating my readers, which is not true.  
On the website that I sent you to, the price is not $11.95  It is reduced to $9.55 by my agent.  And when people used to buy the book directly from me, it was $10 (including shipping) ... and, by summertime, it is going on Kindle for $9.  
I must say there was a lot more to write about Johnny, but it was gossip, rumors, his illness, lack of proper treatment, etc.  When I received Mrs. Maestro's blessing to write this book, I took that blessing very seriously and put together what I felt was acceptable to all ages, to libraries and to book stores and out of the greatest respect to Mrs. Maestro, who has been more than kind to me.  
The info in my book is everything that I was able to obtain that did not contain gossip, innuendo or rumors.  Mr. Maestro was a private person ... and very humble ... and did not share details of his personal life.  I tried to get his children to share their memories of their father, but that did not happen.  I tried to get his background group to meet me for an interview of their memories of being on the road with Johnny and that did not happen.  I also had to spend many months searching for people who owned rights to the 11 original photos in this book ... some were as far away as Australia.  I tried to meet members of the Crests and was told they were no longer alive, etc.  This was a 13 month labor of love. 
My next book is about Jonathan Frid (also known as Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows) and there will be no gossip, no rumors, or how he died ... it will be about how he rose to fame from his college days as an actor of  Shakespeare Plays.  It should be even harder to deal with because he never gave interviews and never talked about his former life before Dark Shadows ... and he had no wife for me to "butter up" ... but I will give it my best try with the help of his fan club of 70,000 people from all over the world and one nephew from Canada. 
I am always glad to hear from you.  New books are coming next week.
Irene Brodsky   

Kent ...
If you get a chance, could you please ask Irene Brodsky a question for me? What's the point of having 12 numbered, blank pages? Why not have one numbered, printed page after another?
Frank B.
I think I'm just going to let this one lie ... the point has been made regarding what the book contains ... and our only motivation (dare I say obligation) was alerting interested potential buyers as to what they could expect if they picked up a copy.  With SO many Johnny Maestro fans on the list, many of them may not care ... they may simply want to devour anything they can get their hands on regarding this subject matter.  And knowing that Johnny's widow endorsed the book may be a big plus for everyone.
I believe that Irene had nothing but the best intentions ...  but please understand that it wasn't ME saying that the book ripped off her customers ... all of those comments came from the customers themselves who, whether it was intentional or not, bought copies and felt cheated by the volume of material the book contains.  'Nuff said.  (kk)   

Kent ...
Check this out ... Johnny Maestro, being honored in Congressional Record.
Frank B.

Click here:  
Cool!  If Irene includes this in the second printing of her book, perhaps she can stretch it to 52 pages!!!  
(Just kidding ... now that's just mean!!!)  kk   

On May 9, 2012, Johnny Maestro was honored by the House of Representatives of the United States of America. Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, whose district includes the neighborhood where Johnny was born and raised, and where he began his music career, introduced an Extension of Remarks to the House of Representatives. This posthumous honor is now a permanent part of the Congressional Record.
Lois Dixon