# XCIX…Saturday Spotlight # XVI (16)…Brand new “old” school…

It has just come to my attention that my teenage years are coming back to haunt me!  A kick-ass rock band from the time when my eldest daughter was born, American Angel, is restarting after a long hiatus…and are going to play at Dingbatz NJ in August.  It is with this news that I became flooded with memories of seeing them perform twice at L’Amour’s (ahhhh…memories), both times with my oldest brother.

What I didn’t expect, however, was the fact that although I have their eponymous (self-titled) debut album from 1989, my collection would be incomplete.  It seems that, unbeknownst to me, they had released a second album, titled “EP 92”, three years later (when my daughter was born) and a brand new album in 2007 (!).  I also found out, through social media, that all three albums are available on iTunes…my ever-growing collection will be completed soon.

With hits like “Open Up the Balcony”, “Lonely Brown”, “How Can I Miss You?”, “Teenage Runaway”, and “Back To You”, frontman Rocco Fury just comes at you and doesn’t let go.  Their catalog of hits I hope to enjoy in person…again…coming up in August (coincidentally, a few days after my Dal anniversary)…and I will be speaking of them in reverent tones in Rock Shop Magazine (Subscriptions should be emailed to subscribe@therockshopmagazine.com $15 for July 2013 thru Dec 2013 and $35 for July 2013 thru Dec 2014 … they can mail check or money order to 138 Sunset Avenue Selden NY 11784) soon, as well.

It’s good to see that rock music, for all its’ infinite awesomeness, can still surprise you…this is a renaissance that I’m happy to be a part of.  It is also exhilarating to see that my favorite musicians from my early life are coming back for real.  I cannot wait to see American Angel again, as they truly are a class act that has been sorely missed and can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for them.

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


# XCVIII…A very special birthday request…

A couple of weeks ago, a friend who works in the same industry as I do wanted me to jot down the date of June 25th.  Upon his request, I asked him what was so special about June 25th…he replied with the best answer that I could’ve heard…it is his Mom’s 80th birthday today.

So, without further ado, a hearty 80th birthday shout-out to Mrs. Maria Garcia and the list of people that share her birthday…Former New York Knick Willis Reed (hero of their 1970 championship) in 1942, singer Carly Simon (“You’re So Vain”…) in 1945, “Dyno-Mite!!!” Jimmie Walker of “Good Times” was born in 1947, chef/author, and now TV star Anthony Bourdain in 1956, original San Jose Sharks goalie  Brian Hayward was born in 1960, comedian Ricky Gervais in 1961, musician George Michael in 1966, basketball great (and TV commercial star) Dikembe Mutombo also born in 1966,and former Florida Marlin Carlos Delgado in 1972.

To finish, I would like to thank Carlos (my associate) for the opportunity to spread my knowledge with the world…especially due to the fact that it is for someone with more experience than I can hope to achieve.

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

# XCVII…George Carlin, 05/12/1937-06/22/2008…

It was five years ago today that this world lost the most brilliant comedic mind of this century.  For those of you that remember, George Carlin’s performances in stand up will forever be etched in our funny bones because, although the man was a witty entertainer, he had the style that you had to be a little more mature than fans of Zack Galifianakis to appreciate.  George Carlin was a man that could have you laughing at his jokes one minute and seriously pondering the fate of all humanity the next.

Covering a range of topics from politics (one of his main targets) to recreational drug use to atheism and his all-powerful rants on American society as a whole, his performances cannot be appreciated in full by listening alone…sometimes, the funniest moments of his rants were his body and facial expressions.  This gifted artist had a way of sucking you into his tirades, only to laugh you out of them with a well-placed facial “scrunching”.

I had the pleasure of seeing the man perform (long after I had established him in my mind as THE BEST) at the old Club Bene in South Amboy, New Jersey about six years before his death (sorry, don’t have exact details…long time has passed).  Me, my ex-wife and two friends got together to travel to the show and, although I cannot easily describe his content, we had the best time watching this magnificent mind having the enthralled crowd in his pocket.

A brilliant comedian, actor (films like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Dogma”, among them) and Grammy-award winning artist, Mr. Carlin is an entertainer that will forever be etched in my memory, at least, until the end of time…which, according to him in a lot of his skits, may be coming sooner than we think.

In closing, I will leave you with one of his best jokes…”I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older.  Then it dawned on me — they’re cramming for their final exam.”


/,,,/ ROCK ON GEORGE RIP \,,,\

# XCVI…Only two on today’s list…

This particular column is going to be abbreviated (long day at work) as there are only two birthdays that I would like to mention to you on this rainy (at least in New York) Tuesday evening.

The first birthday on the list is the 22nd birthday of a brilliant, up-and-coming actress…Ms. Willa Holland, who plays little sister Thea Queen on the new hit show, “Arrow”.  Although she got her start on another CW staple, “The O.C.”, she has made her way into my little blog because of her acting on my new favorite Wednesday night show.  Hopefully, with the show’s continued success, she will be in everyone’s hearts and minds in the months and years to come.

The major birthday on the list (I say major because of where this blog started) is the 71st birthday of one of the most successful southpaws to grace a musical stage…none other than Sir Paul McCartney.  I really don’t think that I need to elaborate on the Hall of Famer’s accomplishments…unless you’re living under Stonehenge…and I won’t tonight.

I just wanted to wish those two individuals a Happy Birthday, as they are both so close to my heart…

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

# XCV…Father’s Day 2013, or how “sales” shouldn’t apply…

In this day and age, everything seems to be about money.  For example, just after today, you will be bombarded with “4th of July sales on all your holiday needs”; come August, it will be time for “Labor Day savings galore”; and, I don’t need to remind you that, after Halloween, we’ll be bombarded with Christmas “sales” for people to save lots of money on the gifts for all.

This brings me to today’s rant…in my humble opinion, every time I see an advertisement on TV for “Men’s Warehouse” (“You’re gonna like the way he looks, I guarantee it” is their slogan) promising discounts for suits for Dad, I have to give myself a face-palm.  I mean, are we so morally bankrupt that we’re putting a price now on Fatherhood????  Although it appears that way, let me give you my spin on things.

When my first child, Mena, was born in 1992, it happened during the “Great Father Exodus” of the early nineties…ninety percent of the pregnancies in my hometown were met with males proclaiming, “It isn’t mine” and disappearing into the sunset.  I, on the other hand, did not share that sentiment.  However insurmountable as it seemed to tend to a child at the time meant nothing to me;  I was ready, willing and able to face up to my responsibilities as a parent.

Subsequently, some eight years later (in 2000, when my youngest Erin was born), I was married and living happily with my now ex-wife and we were both involved in Mena’s life as I had been from the beginning.  Those days were some of my happiest times, as I had been given a second chance at being the parent that I should have been.  On another note, I was able to witness something that not a lot of Father’s can handle…I witnessed Erin’s birth (third happiest moment of my life, ever) without the side effects that some men seem to fall victim to.

Overall, I would never put a price tag on the amount of good times, bad times and great times that I’ve had with my two beautiful daughters.  Unfortunately, in today’s money-hungry society that we live in, it seems that dollar signs rule.

That having been said, I will enjoy my Father’s Day’s for years to come because I am aware of the bottom line; I don’t need a tie or a fancy gold watch (don’t wear them, I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) or even a brand new Mercedes…WITHOUT THE MIRACLE OF MY DAUGHTERS’ BIRTHS, I WOULDN’T NEED TO CELEBRATE THIS DAY.

In short, just my daughters’ wishes for a Happy Father’s Day would suffice…now and forever!!!!

/,,,/ ROCK ON DADZ \,,,\


This column is dedicated to the birthday boy, 57-year-old King Diamond.  For the master storyteller that he is, he deserves the first half of this post.  Every single album that I’ve heard by him has been a full-length, unique concept album, dealing with subjects from voodoo to arachnophobia.

As a matter of fact, I have a little story about his album, “The Spider’s Lullaby”…as it happens to be my favorite.  It’s a creepy little album that deals with a murderous plot dealing with spiders.  If you ever get the chance to check it out, you should…you won’t be disappointed.

As for the other birthdays on the list, it would have been the 75th birthday of revolution leader Che Guevara (1928-1967), the maid from “The Jeffersons”, the talented Marla Gibbs (1931), business guru Donald Trump (1946), Yes drummer Alan White (1949), and Boy George (1961).

There’s more but I’m human…I’m on the computer at my job…tonight, I’ll cut it short.

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

# XCIII…Changed my mind…

When I woke up this morning and looked at my resource for the birthday list, I came across the death anniversary of one of the most vile criminals this country has ever seen.  It was on this day, in 2001, that Timothy McVeigh (the mass murderer behind the Oklahoma City bombing on my birthday, April 19, 1995) was executed in prison for his crimes against humanity.

However, after digging deeper into my research, I have found that June 11th is actually a day for celebrating, as my following list will attest to.

This list starts with the birthday of the brilliant oceanographer Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) and continues as such:  football legend Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), retired comedy genius Gene Wilder (1933) [yes, still alive], race car driver Sir Jackie Stewart (1939), veteran actress Adrian Barbeau (check the original “The Fog) (1945), ZZ Top frontman Frank Beard (1949), guitarist and co-creator of Air Supply Graham Russell (1950), one of the founders of .38 Special [the rock band LOL], Donnie Van Zant (1952) and pro football Hall of Famer Joe Montana (1956).

To continue, the list has two “doctors” in the next positions:  “House” star, comedian Hugh Laurie (1959) and Mehmet Oz (1960).  Also, to finish this listing, are actors Joshua Jackson [“Fringe”] (1978) and Shia LaBeouf [need I say, “Transformers”, among others] (1986).

I’m not expecting to post as much this month as I have the last two…just not sure how the rest of June will turn up.

From the left…

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

# XCII (92)…D-Day’s birthday post…and No. 50!!!!

Everyone who’s studied their history books knows the significance of today’s date; the United States engaging in Operation Overlord on the beaches of Normandy, France during World War II.  It also just happens to be a very special friend’s birthday; a friend whom I won’t mention (if she reads it, she’ll know) but, I figured, for her birthday, it would be nice to indulge my willingness to spread knowledge of today’s other birthday celebrants.

Starting this list from the 1936 birthday of The Four Tops’ Levi Stubbs (1936-2008), it also includes:  singer-songwriter Gary U.S. Bonds (1939), our favorite nightmare dweller Robert Englund (1947), brilliant actor Harvey Fierstein (1952), actress/comedienne Sandra Bernhard (1955), former tennis great Bjorn Borg (1956), renowned music producer Jimmy Jam (1959), comedian Colin Quinn (“Remote Control”, anyone?) (1959), guitar virtuoso Steve Vai (1960), the ever-talented Paul Giamatti (1967), Lacuna Coil’s frontwoman Christina Scabbia (1972) and everyone’s favorite “sidekick”, Uncle Cracker (1974).

I hope that you all enjoy this venture into my psyche…you’ll still be seeing me here, hopefully, for many more birthdays to come…and whatever else I feel like writing about (mostly music).

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