# CDLXI…Personal Dia de los Muertes…

As today is the eighteenth year since my father passed on to the astral plane, I would also like to regale you another tale from my book (with a minor edit), as I’ve never used this time to tell you (on the blog, at least) about the other people born on this day…the following was published last year and, to my knowledge, has never been spoken of outside of my book…

RIP Frederick Henry Johnson (07/08/31 – 05/21/99)…a light forever missed…

# lxx…Wrestling’s Greatest “Ghost”…

{Author’s Note:  May 21st is the date that, in 1999, my father’s physical body left this earth…this is not a date that I celebrate normally…}

I have just found out that May 21st, aside from being the darkest day in my personal history, would have been the birthdays of late wrestling pariah Chris Benoit (1967) AND his wife, Nancy Benoit (1964).  Now, I don’t know about you but, to me, that is reason enough for me (to mention them), aside from the fact that, reportedly, Mr. Benoit killed his wife (two days before he committed suicide), who was the performer formerly known as Woman (in ECW and WCW).

It’s just one of the reasons that I love the unpredictability of the calendar…they knew they were born on the same day and got married, too…although the reasons for his supposed murder of his wife, being the tragedy that it is, will never be known, because he took those thoughts to his grave, regardless of what the media will say (they only let you know what THEY want you to, remember?)

Chris Benoit, by the way and for the record, should not have his wrestling accomplishments and great performances stricken from the annals of the WWE history…the matches alone speak for themselves, as does the skills in promotion of the craft.  Regardless of the acts that he has committed, his prowess in and out of the ring will be forever remembered by the truest fans of the genre.  I can remember countless matches with the man that were far superior then anything being broadcast today.

I understand the stigma that his actions have caused…but he is deserving of this spot because of his performances, not because of his final actions!

Also born on this dismal day are; late actor Robert Montgomery (1904-1981), late musician Fats Waller (1904-1943), late “Ironside” (among others) star Raymond Burr (1917-1993), former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian (1923), former Braves’ manager Bobby Cox (1941), singer Leo Sayer (1948), actor/politician Al Franken (1951) and the ever-popular Mr. T was born in 1952.

Comedian Judge Reinhold (1957), late serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (1960-1994), former Minnesota Twins’ mainstay Kent Hrbek (1960), late rap icon The Notorious B.I.G. (1972-1997), actress Fairuza Balk (1974), former running back (yes, and former Saints’ bust, I know…) Ricky Williams (1977) and former Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier (1978) {Author’s Note:  Check him out with the cello-based band Apocalyptica, as well} close this list.

Well, with this date now off my calendar, brighter days ahead…

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

# CDLX…Weirdness Excerpt…

So, for the first written post this month (been busy with Book 2)…I will just enlighten you with this tale about a not-so-well-known actor and why he was placed in the first book…

# lxix…Classic “Cult” Actor…

Today, May 20th, just happens to be the birthday of veteran actor (active since 1963) Anthony Zerbe (1936)…as some of you may recall (if you’re old enough), he was the villainous Abner Devereaux in the cult classic rock movie, “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park”, from 1978.  The film, which was certainly, by today’s standard, poorly made (if rebooted in this day and age, however, could be awesome) told the story of Abner Devereaux’s plot of revenge against the well-known theme park that he worked at.

His plan, which was to create chaos and ruin after a concert by evil versions of the rock band, was thwarted by the heroes, who had regained their supernatural “powers” to save the day.  Anthony Zerbe’s performance of the villain Devereaux is just one of the many roles that has garnered his place here; he’s played in a James Bond film (“License to Kill”), a Star Trek film (“Star Trek: Insurrection”) and two Matrix films (“The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”)…not too shabby.

Also celebrating are/would have been; late actor (“It’s A Wonderful Life”, among others) James Stewart (1908-1997), former baseball world home run leader Sadaharu Oh (1940), late 60’s crooner Joe Cocker (1944-2014), multi-talented entertainer Cher (1946), late Yankees’ star/broadcaster Bobby Murcer (1946-2008) and former New York governor, David Paterson, was born in 1954.

Famous 80’s scion Ron Reagan (1958), The Go-Go’s’ guitarist Jane Wiedlin (1958), The Cowsills’ Susan Cowsill (1959), actor/comedian Bronson Pinchot (1959), “The Facts of Life”s Mindy Cohn (1966), rapper/actor Busta Rhymes (1972) and basketball scion Patrick Ewing, Jr. was born in 1984.

I should be back tomorrow…not for birthday post, though…if you follow me, you’ll know why!

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

{The above excerpt, and many more like it, are still available at the link below…}

# CDLVIX…New Music Excerpt…

Before I begin, I would like to say that this could be my final excerpt for the foreseeable future, as I am knee-deep in compiling my next project…details to follow?  Anyhow, April 26th (today) is one of the reasons I do what I do here; a date that, as you’re about to see, I should have spoken of…as I’ve reviewed the group numerous times!

# lx…The Best Lead Singer You’ve Probably Never Heard Of…

Today, on April 26th, 1977, a very special talent named Sara Taylor was born into this world…however, she is also known as “Chibi”, the vivacious lead singer of the band known as The Birthday Massacre.  She and her bandmates have been rocking the scene for a very long time (since before the new millennium (1999)) and my music collection has never been the same.

The band has been releasing hit after hit since before most of you were brainwashed by the stupid bubblegum music blasting the airwaves today.  With such hits as the song that described them to the music community, “Happy Birthday”, and classic anthems like “Red Stars”, “Walking with Strangers”, and their 2014 classic, “Superstition”, their sometimes-dark lyrics are just a wonderful piece in their melodic structure…which is awesome and why they belong in your collections, too!

Part of Chibi’s lyrical prowess stems from the fact that she is an avid crossword fan…something that I relate to, as I’ve been enjoying them since before she was born (1975, to be precise)…so I know the power that they have as it relates to one’s vocabulary skills.

Also born today are; veteran actress Carol Burnett (1933), singer/guitarist Duane Eddy (1938), former teen idol Bobby Rydell (1942), Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor (1960), actor/martial artist Jet Li (1963), actor/comedian Kevin James (1965), actor/wrestler Kane (1967), former Slipknot/Murderdolls musician Joey Jordison (drums-Slipknot, guitar-Murderdolls) was born in 1975, everyone’s favorite “Smallville” hero, Tom Welling (1977)  and the ubiquitous Channing Tatum joined us in 1980.

Until next time…thank you for coming and enjoy your day!

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

# CDLVIII…Level 46…

If you follow this blog, you’d know that today, April 19th, is my birthday…I was born in 1971 (for those that don’t follow LOL) and as weird as you think that is, I have another little piece of trivia for you.  When I was doing research on my next “project” (couple pages in, at the moment), I found out that one of my favorite groups happened to release an iconic album on my birthday!

The album, by the way, is none other than The Doors’ monumental sixth album, titled “L.A. Woman”!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I continue to do what I do…

Without getting too mushy for you, I present the reason that I’m here this early; the list of birthday-mates for me (and everyone else born today):  The original “Untouchable”, former lawman Eliot Ness (1903-1957); “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” star Hugh O’Brian (1925); the second Darrin Stevens from “Bewitched”, Mr. Dick Sargent (1930-1994); actress Jayne Mansfield (1933) and actor Dudley Moore (from the original, and best, “Arthur”) (1935-2002); “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” lead man, Tim Curry (yes, the “Sweet Transvestite” himself) celebrates his 71st birthday today (1946).

The youngest daughter of painter Pablo, Paloma Picasso, turns 68 (1949); former Metallica (and other artists’) producer Bob Rock (1954); former Black Sabbath lead singer Tony Martin (1957); baseball players Frank Viola (1960) and Spike Owen (1961); race car phenomenon Al Unser, Jr. (1962); rap producer Suge Knight (1965); actress Ashley Judd (1968) and motorcycle enthusiast Jesse James (Sandra Bullock’s ex) turns 48 today.

The guitarist for the band Within Temptation (which I’ve spoken about here), Mr. Ruud Jolie was born in 1976; James Franco, whose works need no introduction to me, was born in 1978; actress Kate Hudson (1979); actor Hayden Christensen (you know him as “young Anakin Skywalker”) and sports “legend” Troy Polamalu were born in 1981 (36 years old); and, finishing the list, three baseball players born in 1983, Mr. Zack Duke, Joe Mauer, and Curtis Thigpen (all 34 today).

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

# CDLVII…R.I.P. in Heaven, Year Two…Fredrick Van Johnson I (1964-2015)…

Today, April 17th, as most of you know, would have been my late eldest brother Fred’s birthday…his 53rd, to be exact…and those of you who know me personally know just how much my late brother meant to me.  As such, I will keep it short and sweet and, if you want to know who’s birthdate you share, the archives are to the right… have a job, you know, and most of your attention spans aren’t what they used to be LOL.

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

# CDLVI…(456)…Wizard of Ozz Rebirth, 2017 Edition…

For those of you that remember, I mentioned last month that I had attended a rehearsal for the “imminent” return of the premier Ozzy Osbourne tribute band, Wizard of Ozz, prior to last night’s show at Brody McKay’s Tavern (formerly The Hairy Lemon) in Selden, Long Island.  I also mentioned in that post that their show was going to be one for the books, due to the fact that the lineup for the band (which now consists of John Traylor, drummer Pete Anselmo, guitarist Brian Guinee and bassist Eddie Yeznach) had only recently come together.

The venue, which left a lot to be desired in terms of space, was actually a very fitting location (due to the smaller size than what the band usually plays at), because of the fact that the band prides itself on audience participation.  The concert area was only big enough to hold maybe 50 people (which was evident last night, as people were packed into that small area to root on the guys) and the bar area had another 75 people, tops, but the sound of the band was INCREDIBLE!  All who were in attendance, which included some folks I hadn’t seen in a long time, didn’t have a bad thing to say about the show.

The show, which in itself was beautifully set up (complete with a “video” backup on quite a few songs), consisted of such staples of the band like “Fairies Wear Boots”, “War Pigs”, “NIB”, “Sweet Leaf” and “Paranoid”.  However, it included brand-new Wizard covers of “Into the Void”, “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, “Hand of Doom”, “Dirty Women” (complete with John’s daughter, Brianna, on keyboards) and a wonderfully done version of “Children of the Grave”, which also spotlighted Brianna’s multi-instrumental talent, doing backup drumming on the song.

The band played so well together that I couldn’t find any mistakes in their arrangements…Brian, Eddie and Pete together sounded better than ANY Black Sabbath tribute band out there.  Musically, the band was wonderful in their executions of all of the songs in the two-hour performance and will hopefully be rockin’ the scene for years to come.

Also, as a personal interest, John and the boys added an “extra credit” to the set-list; a very touching tribute to my late brother Fred (whose birthday would have been April 17th) with one of his favorite tracks, “Crazy Train”, to close out the extravaganza!  To John, thank you very much from the family, as he was “there” to witness the rebirth of the greatest Black Sabbath cover band!

The next time that the band plays together, which I don’t have information on yet, you should really check them out, as this author has been doing for quite a few years now; you WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!

To John and the boys of the band (and, to my audience, as well)…

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

 

# CDLV…For My Cousin, Harold…

As this date, according to my book, has only been covered by a musical post (if you want to know, the archives are on the right…) and, as such, was covered in my book by someone who also means a lot to me; you’ll understand after you read the beginning of the excerpt…

# liv…My Wedding Song Singer…

Today, April 12th, aside from being a relative’s birthday (my cousin, Harold Baker), is also the birthday of country legend Vince Gill (1957), who just happens to be the singer of the song that was the choice of mine and, as a shock, my ex-wife JoAnn to be our “wedding song”; the country classic, “Look At Us”.  Prior to that, he was a member of the country rock band Pure Prairie League in the 70s.

He is a singer that, for that genre, is unmistakable…and his longevity in the business is what proves that, as the man has been making country hits since his debut with the Pure Prairie League in 1979 (when I was only eight years old…but I remember them, as I grew up on country music!) before becoming a highly successful solo artist beginning in 1984.

Mr. Gill has also won numerous country music awards and is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry…a high praise that he deserves and merits all because of his magical voice and musical talent.  It is on his birthday that we honor him…a date that, because of the association of my personal life, I should be able to remember on a whim forever…

Others born on this date include; late southpaw novelty act Tiny Tim (1932-1996), 80’s hit “Rockit” artist Herbie Hancock (1940), former “Married: With Children” patriarch Ed O’Neill (1946), late author Tom Clancy (1947-2013), comedian/retired talk show host David Letterman (1947), former heartthrob David Cassidy (1950) and actor/director Andy Garcia (1956).

Actress Shannon Doherty (1971), frontman for the band 311, Nick Hexum (1971) and actress Claire Daines (1979) also share this date…

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