# CLI…”Composing” a Birthday List…UPDATED…

On this date, January 27th, it has been brought to my attention that two people that I know personally (one through my job and the other through my hobby) share a birthday today.  With that having been said, I am using this space to acknowledge their joyous celebrations (Happy birthday to Veronica and Lulu {used to own Lulu’s in Port Jefferson, which I’ve written about here} and many happy more) and to give them the honor of reading the list of famous names that share their special day.

The list begins with the reason for the bad pun in my title:  Mr. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the world-renown composer, was born on this date (1756-1791) and is continued with:  Lewis Carroll, the author of the famous “Alice in Wonderland” books (1832-1898); Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney (1901-1988); journalist/publisher William Randolph Hearst, Jr. (1908-1993); the creator of “Alvin & The Chipmunks”, Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. (who also went by his stage name of David Seville) was born in 1919 (1919-1972); late actress Donna Reed (1921-1986); 1950’s heartthrob Troy Donahue (1936-2001); actor James Cromwell, who had big hits with “Babe” (with the pig LOL) and “The Green Mile” (1940); Pink Floyd drummer/songwriter Nick Mason (1944) and Russian dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov was born in 1948.

Also of note is it the 62nd birthday of one of the co-creators of the hit cartoon/comic “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, Mr. Peter Laird, who was born in 1954, artist/producer/director Frank Miller (such hits as “300” and “The Dark Knight Returns” movies and the comic book “Elektra”) was born in 1957, former Cincinnati Bengals mainstay Cris Collinsworth and journalist Keith Olbermann were born in 1959, and actress Bridget Fonda was born in 1964.

Finishing the updated version; country superstar Tracy Lawrence (1968), Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton (1968), former NFL kicker Matt Stover (1968) and comedian/voice actor Patton Oswalt was born in 1969.

As always, there are more names on the list but that is what next year is for…

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


# CDLXXXII…Rock Spotlight, Vol. XI…”Bringer of Pain”, Battle Beast (02-17-2018)…

In this latest installment of the Spotlight, I would like to bring to your attention the latest album by the Finnish metal sextet known as Battle Beast.  If you’ve never heard of them (which is no surprise to me, as a lot of you don’t listen to the same music), please allow me to elaborate on why this band (if you listen to groups like fellow countrymen Nightwish {who they toured on the release of their first album, “Steel”, in 2011} and Sonata Arctica {the band I met a few years ago}) should be on your radar.

Singer Noona Louhimo, guitarists Juuso Soinio and Joona Bjorkroth, bassist Eero Siplia (also backing vocalist), keyboardist Janne Bjorkroth (brother of guitarist) and drummer Pyry Vikki have been on the Finnish metal scene since 2010 (although they are listed as active from 2008, making this their TENTH year in the business), ripping up the Finnish metal charts due to their similarity to the above mentioned groups and their undying love of the industry.  They have only released four studio albums to date (“Steel” in 2011, “Battle Beast” in 2013 and “Unholy Savior” in 2015, which peaked in Finland at Number One) and, with this latest release also peaking at Number One (in Finland), they should be on your list.

This latest release from them, a thirteen-track, in-your-face romp through “oddness” (no offense meant; not too many people have great taste) starts with a track called “Straight to the Heart”, which features Noona Louhimo’s amazing voice just grabbing hold of you and not letting go, and continues with tracks like “Bringer of Pain” (awesome title track), “King for a Day”, “Familiar Hell”, “Lost in Wars” (nice track with former Amorphis vocalist Tomi Joutsen) and the ballad-like “Far From Heaven” {which really shows Noona’s wonderful voice}.

Among my favorites on this album are the seventh track, a wonderfully upbeat song called “Bastard Son of Odin”, the eighth song, the anthem-like “We Will Fight”, and the final cut (bonus track called “Rock Trash”), which is also a play on the industry’s nuances of performing this type of music.  Overall, this is a four-star (my rating system, which usually means nothing to you LOL) masterpiece that would really be missed on today’s society, if I hadn’t reviewed it here.

The other reason that this album is being reviewed now is due to the fact that I will be (on April 20th of this year) seeing them for the first time…as I have tickets to a meet-and-greet with Delain and Kamelot in New York.  As I hadn’t heard of the band before buying the tickets (due to the fact that no American radio {other than Pandora.com}) plays great music like this, I had to do my “due diligence” for the music community and let you all know about them!

As always, my adoring readers, I will try to keep you informed of more of this great music as time goes on…for now, boycott the pop and rap music making your ears bleed (check out other avenues at your disposal!!!) and…

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


# CDLXXXI…In Memory of a Science Fiction Icon…

Since today is the birthday of one of the most iconic presences in the “Star Trek” universe, I will just leave the following excerpt (as it covers a couple more people than the other post for this date) right here…

# xxvii…The First Lady of “Star Trek”…

Today, February 23, would have been the birthdate of the late Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (1932-2008), whose presence in the “Star Trek” universe is unmatched, as she has portrayed two characters on multiple platforms of the science fiction franchise.  She was also, as her hyphenated name implies, the wife of creator Gene Roddenberry.  As a fan myself, I considered her worthy of being your celebrity birthday connection, as she was a very talented actress, as well.

She was also, oddly enough in case you didn’t know, the voice of all the computers on the “Star Trek” series, making her a truly unique character actress.  She is also being immortalized with her husband, as I just found out, in an upcoming space launch in 2018 *, as parts of their ashes will be in specially-made “capsules” and left in space.

Also celebrating on this short list are; actor/director Peter Fonda (1940), late guitarist/singer Johnny Winter (1944-2014), former football great Ed “Too Tall” Jones (1951), late Minnesota Timberwolves’ coach Flip Saunders (1955-2015) and rookie ‘Wolves phenom Andrew Wiggins (1995), Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton (1962) and comedian Aziz Ansari was born in 1983.

Thanks for listening to this science fiction prone post…

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

(* denotes that the book shows “2016”…it has been updated on Wikipedia to “2018”…)

# CDLXXX…For My Eldest’s 26th…

The picture above is the personalized Zippo that I had ordered in honor of my daughter Mena’s 26th birthday, which (in case you just crawled out from under the rock) is today, February 4th, 2018.  Although it may not seem like the ideal gift for someone who doesn’t smoke anything, please allow me to elaborate; firstly, the other side of the lighter (pictured here) is brandished with a stylish outlay of her birth sign, Aquarius…

Secondly, she was actually the one who asked for only the lighter itself; when it came time to click the “pay” button, it actually gave me the option of the lines for personalization (which I took full advantage of, as you can see…)

I try my best to do what I can for both of my daughters, when it comes to things of the monetary kind…I’m not rich by any means so anything that I can do to make them happy fills my heart with an immense pride that not too many people would understand!  This gift to my daughter seemed the very least that I could give her to, given my lack of an overabundant financial status, but it’s a gift that I know will last forever…just like my love and pride for her on this, her special day!

As I do every year, I now present most of her birthday twins (which she is always in amazement over, and some of the names should speak for themselves)…late aviation legend Charles Lindburgh (1900-1974), late civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005), late “Diff’rent Strokes” patriarch Conrad Bain (1923-2013), late comedian/actor David Brenner (1936-2014) and movie producer George A. Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”, etc.) was born in 1940.

Continuing this laundry list are; former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle (1947), rock-n-roll icon Alice Cooper (who we’ve both seen live) was born in 1948, actor Michael Beck (best known as “Swan” in the 70’s cult classic, “The Warriors”) joined the planet in 1949, New York Giants’ legend Lawrence Taylor (1959) and country legend Clint Black, who (in an odd coincidence) shares being born in the same hospital that I was born in {Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ} joined us in 1962.

Finishing her twins’ list are; boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya (1973), singer Natalie Imbruglia (1975), rapper Cam’ron (1976), singer Gavin DeGraw (1977), wrestling sensation Chris Sabin (1982) and former Olympic medalist Carly Patterson was born in 1988.

To my daughter, I wish you nothing but the best that your 26th year has to offer.  Know that, for all the happiness that you’ve given me in your twenty-six years on this planet, the personalized Zippo was one of the very least things I could give you to make you happy!

/,,,/ ROCK ON MENA \,,,\



# CDLXXIX…”History from my teenage years, literally…”

The above title is from the book, ROCK ON DUDEZ, directly…as today rings familiar memories on a “post” with only a few birthdays but historic events that resonate personally from my years before my adulthood…

# xiv…History from my teenage years, literally…

It has come to my attention that this date, January 28th, will go down in history not for its celebrities so much…it will be known for two historic events that have happened in my lifetime.  The first, which happened in 1985, with a music project called USA for Africa, where the hit single, “We Are the World”, which was conceived by a conglomeration of music superstars like Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Perry, Ray Charles and the like, raised money for support of the impoverished nation of Ethiopia.

The second happened the following year, in 1986, when the US space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff.  It was an event that I had witnessed in the school library at Dickinson High School in Jersey City and clearly remember being stunned by it.  In a related twist to my personal life, one of the astronauts killed was teacher Christa McAuliff, who shares the name of one of the grammar schools attended by my youngest daughter.

Now, in addition to knowing some historic events, I present the list of “twins” for you…actor Alan Alda (‘M*A*S*H’) was born in 1936, 70’s supermodel Barbi Benton (1950), NHL Executive Vice President Colin Campbell (1953), singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan (1968), TV personality Mo Rocca (1969) and former TNA personality Shark Boy (1975).

Finishing this list are; former boy band star Joey Fatone (from *NSYNC) was born in 1977 , current WWE superstar Sheamus (1978), former Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter (1980), actor Elijah Wood (1981) and “Smallville”s version of Lightning Lad, actor Calum Worthy, was born in 1991.

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

# CDLXXVIII…”Skeletor”‘s Milestone…

To all of my fans out there expecting an excerpt (as this date hasn’t been covered), I would like to disappoint you with an original post for those celebrating today, January 1, as their birthday.  It just so happens, this year, to be the eightieth birthday of iconic New Jersey actor Frank Langella (1938).  For those of you not familiar with him, he’s played many roles in his 40-plus year career, from the above-mentioned He-Man villain (in the campy 1987 movie, “Masters of the Universe”…which he considers, according to Wikipedia, “one of his favorite roles”) to Perry White in 2006’s “Superman Returns”.

He’s also appeared in countless television shows and a bunch of Broadway plays in his career (which started in 1970) and more than deserves this spot…contrary to my book’s entry, which only includes him as a sidebar, on this (his 80th birthday), he deserves all the kudos that come with this once-in-a-lifetime moment…many happy more to you, Mr. Langella…

Also celebrating on this first date of the year are/were; actor Don Novello (“Father Guido Sarducci” on the old Saturday Night Live skits) (1943), “Mouth of the South” wrestling manager Jimmy Hart (1944), former New Jersey governor Jim Corzine (1947), actress Dedee Pfeiffer (1964), late Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker Derrick Thomas (1967-2000), actor Verne Troyer (“Austin Powers”) (1969), former wrestling “valet” Kimberly Page (1970), veteran NHL star Bobby Holik (1971) and Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner was born in 1980.

As this is the first post of the year 2018, I can only hope that this year (my soon-to-be sixth on this blog) will be more productive, as I was down about 200 views from 2016 (it usually helps if I post, which I took a break from, for some time)…but, as always, I continue to persevere, as the writing is something that I’ve come to enjoy and I hope you all enjoy, too!

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

# CDLXXVII…Year-End Excerpt…

As we all look forward to what will hopefully be a bright New Year in 2018, I would like to present to you all this final excerpt from my first book (released, in case you’re living under a rock, in October of this year)…

# cxcvii…”Can You Hear Them, Clarice?”…

In case you’re celebrating this New Years’ Eve as your birthday, you’re in elite company, as veteran actor Sir Anthony Hopkins was born in Wales on this date in 1937.  Critically-acclaimed for his roles in such memorable classics as “Silence of the Lambs” (where the above title is from), “Meet Joe Black”, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, “Legends of the Fall” and “Thor”, he has been a powerhouse in the industry since 1960.

Also celebrating on this laundry list of twins are/were; late “Arizona Cowboy” in Disney history, Rex Allen (1920-1999), late New Jersey-born actress Rosalind Cash (1938-1995), The Police (80’s rock band) guitarist Andy Summers (1942), late country crooner John Denver (1943-1997), talented actor Ben Kingsley (1943) and former “Animal House” co-star Tim Matheson was born in 1947.

Late disco queen Donna Summer (1948-2012), Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton (1951), actress Jane Badler {“V” 80’s TV miniseries} (1953), former “Frasier” co-star Bebe Neuwirth (1958), acting legend Val Kilmer (1959), former Mets’ hurler Rick Aguilera (1961), Anthrax (heavy metal gods) guitarist Scott Ian (1963), New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre (1972), electronic guru Psy (1973) and Apocalyptica drummer Mikko Siren was born in 1975.

Happy New Year to all…and thank you for gracing me with your presence on this “busy” evening…as always…until next year…

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

In closing, I would like to thank my “fans” (especially the ones that have purchased my book) for the wonderful opportunities that my writing has provided me with…from writing posts on this blog to the (hopefully) inevitable run that I should be releasing another “project” at some point, to further expand my audience.  I am looking forward to a lot more outgoing pursuits (like a meet-and-greet with symphonic metal giants Kamelot and Delain, right after my birthday) and am looking to 2018 as I do with every year…expecting the worst, hoping for the best and living with what’s in between!

Until next year, my friends…may 2018 bring you all the prosperity and happiness that you have been wishing for and, as always…

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

{P.S.–Although randomized, there are links to purchase my book, ROCK ON DUDEZ, from Amazon, located on the right side of the main screen, on my BLOGROLL ———>}






# CDLXXVI…Baby Shower for Pending Great Niece (11/25/2017)…

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the baby shower {which was held in Keansburg, NJ (right around where my late father had lived), at the American Legion Post # 237 on Carr Avenue} for my sister’s youngest child, Dawn Zitzman, and her beau, Yacir James, whose baby is due around Christmas of this year.  The party was hosted by Anthony and Jessica Zitzman (Dawn’s father and step-mom) and Yacir’s parents, Shanta and Owen James, whose families put together one of the best baby showers that I’ve ever attended.

As much as I’d like to state that I was out of place, as a lot of people (until I told them my reason of being a great uncle-to-be) seemed to think that it was weird for a man to just attend a baby shower, last night proved to me that the power of love between two people is more powerful than any “hatreds” that may arise.  A wonderfully diverse crowd of about 50 people, including the families of both of the younger parents, had given this writer the perfect outlet for this post.

As far as the baby shower itself (organized by my niece’s stepsisters), it had everything that was expected (games, raffle prizes, presents, etc.) and it was a really wonderful experience to be in the presence of these two families, as diverse as they were.  The foods of choice for this were more of a Caribbean-style (oxtail, jerk chicken, macaroni pie, etc.), which didn’t bother me personally {my boss and co-workers are all from that area, so I am aware…} and were just the perfect choice for all of the attendees.

Being that we (my sister/grandmother-to-be, my mother/great-grandma-to-be and my daughter Mena) had to travel to South Jersey from Long Island, we would have loved to have stayed for the entirety of the shower but, alas, we left a couple of hours before the “scheduled” time, due to the pending three-hour trip home.  Although we didn’t stay until the end, when the multitude of presents were unwrapped (there were TONS of gifts), what we did witness was proof that, in this day and age, diversity can work and be civil…as both families were courteous and very hospitable towards each other, and that was a very nice thing to witness.

In closing, I would like to say that, although I don’t get to see my niece (and her family) as often as I’d like to, I look forward to all of the precious memories yet to come.  Special thanks to Anthony and Jessica Zitzman (and their kids), as well as to Shanta and Owen James (and their family members), for a wonderful experience that I was more than happy to have been a part of!

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