# DXV (515)…Hall of Fame Catcher’s 71st…

December 7th, which is also known for the 1941 bombing of Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, is also the birthdate of one of major league baseball’s greatest catchers; former Cincinnati Reds star Johnny Bench (1947). A first-ballot member of the Hall of Fame, his career speaks for itself; fourteen-time All-Star, including a thirteen year streak, two-time World Series champ (including the 1975 win over the Red Sox), and ten-time Gold Glove winner…the man was a legend in my generation.

However, the most remarkable thing about the man’s career is that, in this day and age of “money talks”, he spent his ENTIRE career with the Cincinnati Reds…and the fact that no other Reds’ player can wear his Number 5 uniform is another testament as to why his name belongs here!

Also celebrating on this date are/were; late New York-born actor Eli Wallach (1915-2014), late comedian/actor Ted Knight (1923-1986), actress Ellen Burstyn (1932), late folk legend Harry Chapin (1942-1981) and late game show host Peter Tomarkin {“Press Your Luck”} (1942-2006).

In addition, singer Tom Waits (1949), NBA legend Larry Bird (1956), late wrestling personality Rick Rude (1958-1999), actor C. Thomas Howell (1966), New York Yankees’ legend Tino Martinez (1967), NFL great Terrell Owens (1973) and wrestling superstar Dean Ambrose (1985) also celebrate today.

Don’t know when I’ll be back, but it should be soon…Until then, thank you and…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

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# DXIV…One of Rock’s Underrated Stars…(From “The Book”)…

Today, December 2nd, is the birthdate of Def Leppard bass player Rick Savage (1960), whose prowess in his craft created some of hair metal’s finest riffs.  From the group’s inception in 1977, before a lot of you were born, his co-founding of the legendary rockers is among the finest in musical history.

Born in Sheffield, United Kingdom, he is also one of the only original members of the band (aside from singer Joe Elliott and drummer Rick Allen) to appear on every album…from 1979’s “The Def Leppard E.P.”, including the hit albums “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, and even now…with 2015’s eponymous “Def Leppard”.  His driving force behind the lower riffs on the guitar spectrum are admired and often emulated by many.

Also born on this date are/were; late White House personality Alexander Haig (1924-2010), former Attorney General Edwin Meese (1931), actress Cathy Lee Crosby (1944), bombshell actress Lucy Liu (1968), tennis legend Monica Seles (1973), singer Nelly Furtado (1978), pop diva icon Britney Spears (1981) and NFL quarterback “legend” Aaron Rodgers was born in 1983.

Hope you enjoyed your “rock history” lesson…and please come back soon!

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# DXIII…Veteran’s Day Birthday List…

Firstly, I would like to give a thanks to any and all individuals who’ve either given their life or continue to honor the principles that we all hold dear in this wonderful nation of ours…like my late father, Fred, and my late uncle Edward (uncle perished in combat, Dad was a Marine in the Korean War)…and, for that, I personally thank you!!!!

Today, November 11th, is the birthday of current “Supergirl” co-star Calista Flockhart (1964).  As she is the major character ‘Cat Grant’ (CEO of the fictitious ‘Catco Media’ in the show), it is really a testament to being patient when it comes to the acting industry…as, for five seasons, she was the titular character on Fox’s comedy, “Ally McBeal” from 1997 until 2002.

In addition, she is also married to major actor Harrison Ford (since 2010) and was also in the hit TV series “Brothers and Sisters” and movies like “The Birdcage” and “Quiz Show”.  It is her portrayal of the media mogul on the hit CBS comic book drama “Supergirl” (as a no-nonsense news woman) that earns her place here on this blog.

Also, celebrating today are/were; late general George S. Patton (1885-1945), late author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), late comedian Jonathan Winters (1925-2013), game show/Food Network host Marc Summers (1951), actor Stanley Tucci (1960) and multi-talented actress Demi Moore was born in 1962.

Wrestling trainer (and former tag team champion) Billy Gunn (1963), comedian/actor David DeLuise (1971), Green Day guitarist Jason White (1973), ubiquitous actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974) and former New York Giants’ phenom Victor Cruz was born in 1986.

Thanks for listening to my rants, again…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# DXII…”Spawn”ed His Career…

November 10th, for those of you celebrating today, is the birthdate of talented (yet underutilized actor) Michael Jai White (1967), who was born in New Rochelle, NY on this date in 1967. There are quite a few reasons that his name should be here; he is a multi-talented actor who just happens to be an accomplished martial artist and voice actor.

After bursting on the scene portraying pugilist Mike Tyson in an HBO film about the boxing legend, he was the first African-American to play a comic book character in a major motion picture, after being picked to portray hero Al Simmons in the hit movie, “Spawn” (which came out a mere two weeks before Shaquille O’Neal “Steel” was released.) In his twenty year career, though, the role that he will be remember for (by me, anyway) is his portrayal of the villainous Bronze Tiger in the hit CW drama, “Arrow”.

His legacy, however, is not limited to acting or voice acting, either; he’s also tried his hands at writing (movies “Black Dynamite” and “Three Bullets” from 2009) and producing (“PVC-1” [2007], “Blood and Bone” and “Three Bullets” [2009]), as well, which gives him enough credentials to be considered a “celebrity twin”…even if you aren’t aware of his name.

In addition, this list includes; late “Gilligan’s Island” ‘Professor’ Russell Johnson (1924-2014), author W.E.B. Griffin (1929), late “Jaws” and “seaQuest DSV” star Roy Scheider (1932-2008), musical icon Sir Tim Rice (1944) and late Emerson, Lake and Palmer bassist Greg Lake (1947-2016).

Music icon Dave Loggins (1947), wrestler Bob Orton, Jr. (1950), former Red Sox’ reliever Bob Stanley (1954), comedian/actor Sinbad (1954), New York Mets’ VP of Baseball Operations Omar Minaya (1958), science fiction author Neil Gaiman (1960), comedians Tommy Davidson (1963) and Tracy Morgan (1968), late actress Brittany Murphy (1977-2009), rap star Eve (1978), former New Orleans Saint Donte Stallworth (1980), wrestling star Ryback (1981) and country music sensation Miranda Lambert (1983) finish today’s list.

As always, until next time…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# DXI…Jersey Boy “Born in the U.S.A.”…

In case the title didn’t give it away…as if you’re too young to remember…September 23rd is also the birthday of “The Boss”, Bruce Springsteen (1949), who was born on this date in, coincidentally, the EXACT SAME hospital that I was born in…Monmouth Medical Center in beautiful Long Branch, NJ!  Also, as a side note, it is the same hospital that Clint Black was born in…just sayin’!

As the man has a career in the industry that has been active since 1965, his legacy is a well-documented fact…18 albums and 20 Grammy Awards; clearly showing that he is no slouch and should be well-remembered by future generations, as his music is enough to be on this writer’s horizons for a long time now…as I was thirteen when the album title in the post’s title was released!  Many happy more to “The Boss”…as he is a hometown boy and a rock legend.

Also born on this late September date are/were; late superstar actor Mickey Rooney (1920-2014), late saxophone legend John Coltrane (1926-1967), late singing icon Ray Charles (1930-2004), Latino crooner Julio Iglesias (1943), late actress Elizabeth Pena (1959-2014), KMFDM vocalist Lucia Cifarelli (1970), record producer Jermaine Dupri (1972) and hardcore wrestling legend Matt Hardy was born in 1974.

Until next time…as always…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# DX…”The Only Pirate At the Party”…

I couldn’t think of a more apt title for this post than the above photo…one of my prized possessions…the autograph of today’s birthday celebrant, the vibrant pixie performer Lindsey Stirling (1986).  The picture, however, doesn’t do justice to the amount of pride in knowing that this talented artist actually took the time to place her mark in her biography to me to have forever.

The sheer amount of talent in her, however, is only outweighed by her heart; I was privy to an announcement on Twitter that she will be livestreaming at 2 PM, to raise awareness for human trafficking…now if that doesn’t show her love for the human race, I don’t know what will!

As you may recall, I have covered that fact that she is an entertainer like no other; her prowess with being a violinist who DANCES while performing is utter tenacity!  The fact that she can do both and make wonderful contributions to the musical archives is more than enough to merit her place here on this blog.  As covering her birthday on more than one occasion shows, I’m not a “bubblegum” believer and her place in my personal music collection is a testament to that.

For you on your birthday, Miss Stirling, I present to you your birthday twins; late author H.G. Wells (1866-1946), late animator Chuck Jones (1912-2002), late actor Larry Hagman (1931-2012), late actor Henry Gibson (1935-2009), actress Fannie Flagg (1944), producer Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), The Eagles’ guitarist Don Felder (1947) and uber-author Steven King was born in 1947.

Comedian/actor Bill Murray (1950), Motörhead drummer Phil Taylor (1954), director Ethan Coen (1957), comedian/actor Dave Coulier (1959), songstress Faith Hill (1967), talk show host/actress Ricki Lake (1968), actor Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), actor Luke Wilson (1971) and famous child Nicole Ritchie (1981) finish today’s list.

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# DIX (509)…Legendary Hall-of-Fame Drummer…

September 12th, for those of you celebrating, is the birthdate of Rush drummer Neil Peart (1952), whose contributions to the songs of the legendary rock band are nothing short of phenomenal.  His career, which included joining Rush in 1974 (before most of you were even thought of), is well-noted in the music industry.  Also, considering that he’s written a lot of Rush’s hits over the past 40-plus years should consider him for a place here on this blog.

Even if most of you “bubblegum-addled” Generation Y’s couldn’t even tell me who he was, the fact that I’m aware of his legacy…as my late brother was a big fan of the trio that Mr. Peart is a member of…he is noteworthy enough for this blog and, now, your memories!

Also celebrating today are/were; late speedster Jesse Owens (1913-1980), late country crooner George Jones (1931-2013), “Dallas (1980’s TV)” co-star Linda Gray (1940), late R & B legend Barry White (1944-2003), veteran actor Joe Pantoliano (1951), late wrestler Adrian Adonis (1954-1988), veteran actor Peter Scolari (1955) and actress Amy Yasbeck was born in 1962.

On this date, as well, celebrators include; musician Ben Folds {Ben Folds Five} (1966), comedian/actor Louis C.K. (1967), former NFL star Ki-Jana Carter (1973), late actor Paul Walker (1973-2013), NBA giant Yao Ming (1980), actress/singer Jennifer Hudson (1981) and Indianapolis Colts’ superstar Andrew Luck was born in 1989.

Until next time, from the left, as always…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# DVIII…Comedy Genius You Might Not Know..

September 8th, for those of you who share this date, is also the birthdate of late comedy legend Sid Caesar (1922-2014), whose career spanned for a whopping sixty years (1946-2006) and included movie appearances in such classic comedies as “Grease/Grease II”, “History of the World, Part I”, and “Cannonball Run”. His comedic stylings were often emulated but they were often aspired to by the general comedy public.

His timing and mannerisms were what set him apart from all the others; Sid Caesar ruled live television for almost ten years with a comedy show in the hit “Your Show of Shows” and its successor, “Caesar’s Hour”…that alone earns his respectful place here as one of your “celebrity twins”!

Also celebrating with the comedy genius are/were; late “Pink Panther” star Peter Sellers (1925-1980), late country diva Patsy Cline (1932-1963), former ‘Til Tuesday vocalist Aimee Mann (1960), former hardcore wrestling icon Raven (1964), retired New York Knicks’ star (and Timberwolves, too) Latrell Sprewell (1970), actor Larenz Tate (1975), pop music diva Pink (1979) and rap “star” Wiz Khalifa was born in 1987.

Be back tomorrow maybe…birthday post for a personal “acquaintance”?…until then, as always…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\.

# DVII…Historical Connection With My Life…

Today, September 2nd, if you’re celebrating, is also the birthdate of late NASA astronaut and former teacher Christa McAuliff (1948-1986), whose life was tragically taken from us in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. There is a two-fold reason that this event weighs heavily on me personally.

Firstly, I was in high school in Jersey City on the day that it occurred…I was actually on my way to Study Hall in the school library witnessing this event on the prehistoric televisions of the era…and we were all just awestruck at how this was a “history-making” episode.

The final reason (as not to take up too much of your valuable time) is the fact that my youngest daughter, Erin, attended a Jersey City grammar school that bears her name…not that it means anything to you, the normal folk…just an odd coincidence.

Also celebrating with you are/were; late Snapple co-founder Arnold Greenberg (1932-2012), Kentucky Derby-winning horse trainer D. Wayne Lukas (1935), the sixth Baseball Commissioner, Peter Ueberroth (1937), actress Mary Jo Catlett (1938), New York Rangers’ president Glen Sather (1943), late singer/actor Billy Preston (1946-2006) and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw was born in 1948.

Actress Rosanna DeSoto (1950), “NCIS” chief Mark Harmon (1951), former tennis pro Jimmy Connors (1952), former NFL great Eric Dickerson (1960), actor Carlos Valderamma (1961), former interim head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves (and former player {1989-’92, 1995-2002} Sam Mitchell (1963), actor Keanu Reeves (1964), pugilist Lennox Lewis (1965), actress Selma Hayek (1966) and former NHL journeyman (and San Jose Shark) Stephane Matteau (1969) are celebrating, as well.

Until next we meet…thank you for perusing your birthday twins…and please come back soon!

# DVI…For My Mom and Number One Fan…(1944-2018)…

Today, August 16th, aside from being the 41st (as of this writing) anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, will now forever be etched in my chronicles as the date that my mother, Ruth (who was also one of his BIGGEST fans EVER), joined him in her own “Long Black Limousine”.

As I’m still trying to wrap my head around this tragedy, I would be remiss if I didn’t make an announcement…with her being one of the “fans” who would read every single post, without fail, it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t write about it on the day that it happened.

We in her family appreciate all the love and condolences from all of her friends, extended family and acquaintances, as it will be through all of your well wishes that we will persevere from this heinous event!

/,,,/ ROCK ON MOMZ \,,,\