# CXXXV…Giving thanks…

On this Thanksgiving Day of 2013, we should be praising everyone that has passed through our lives, those who are still in it and those who are less fortunate than ourselves to be lucky enough to see another Turkey Day.  However, in today’s society, with the way we have become embedded in commercialism, most people will have the day off tomorrow…hoping to be “blessed” with good tidings in their wish to become “Status King of the Mountain” (aka Black Friday shopping).

To those that are braving the malls tomorrow, I don’t envy you…yes, I may have to work (container ships don’t stop for Black Friday…you have to get that snazzy new 72′ LCD television from somewhere, don’t you?) but I would rather be sitting in front of my computer at work instead of elbowing someone who just got the last Furby Boom!

All in all, this has been a banner year for me (so far) and I would just like to eat up the last few minutes here praising everyone that has put up with my nonsense here and at home, to my daughters Mena and Erin for allowing me the pleasure of their existence, to my family with all of our quirks (we’re not perfect,  but we’re better than most) and to the myriad of new people that have really made me flourish this blog for (rockers, friends, acquaintances, etc.)

In closing, please give thanks to those that are in heaven and cannot celebrate the miracle that, sadly, has lost all of its luster.

/,,,/ ROCK ON TURKEYZ \,,,\

# CXXXIV…”Mi familia”…

If two or more people in my personal life share a birthday, it is a such a rare occurrence that it almost screams for a celebrity birthday post.  Just the fact that I seem to have this “obsession” is maddening enough…it’s really more frightening to me as a writer when the two individuals aren’t in my life as much but I still have wonderful things to say.

The two individuals referred to in today’s post are my ex-sister-in-law, Irenne, who has always been civil towards me (well, not in a while, as we haven’t spoken in quite some time) and a friend of one of my nephews’ friends named John {Author admission:  I don’t usually use full names, as to protect the innocent LOL}.  Ironically, both were born today and it wasn’t until just recently that the connection was made.

As mentioned moments ago, these two individuals have done no personal harm to me…therefore, I don’t know of a better way to express my gratitude for their involvement in my life than to warrant being honored here with the knowledge of famous people who were born on the same day.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue (who I just found out is a hometown hero from Jersey City) was born on this date in 1940, former Beatles drummer Pete Best and former Blues Brothers bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn were born in 1941, journeyman actor Dwight Schultz (“Howling Mad Murdock” from “The A-Team”) was born in 1947, veteran actress Denise Crosby (for those who remember, she played Tasha Yar on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) joined this world in 1957, former hockey great Keith Primeau was born today in 1971, Tom Hanks’ son Colin Hanks was born in 1977, former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl in 1978 and former WWE diva sensation Beth Phoenix was born in 1980.

In an odd twist to the universe, however, today also warrants the notes of death anniversaries of some famous people:  the 1991 deaths of both Eric Carr (former KISS drummer) and superstar Freddy Mercury (mentioned last year on the original blog) and the 2001 death of former La Bouche (from the late 90’s) singer Melanie Thornton, as well as the 2005 passing of the original “Mr. Miyagi” and “Arnold” from “Happy Days”, Pat Morita, and the one year anniversary of the death of boxing mega-legend Hector “Macho” Comacho (2012).

Not sure how many more posts for the month are coming…just know that, with family holiday approaching, I may not have another for the month…but we’ll see…

From the left…

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

# CXXXIII…Double Milestone Birthday Post…

The title of this post refers (obviously) to two individuals in my life that are celebrating the grandest of two scales in terms of longevity.  The first one is my eldest nephew (happy birthday, Ed…), who is now a proud member of the adult community at the ripe young age of 21.  The other person, whom I’ve not spoken to in a hot minute (since I moved to New York), who is a dear close friend of mine, Jadi Ramos, from my hometown, Jersey City, NJ…who celebrates her 35th-for-the-5th-time (aka 40th) today.

It is in the honor of these two individuals (and the fact that I’m letting my “music officiando” side out) that I present today’s celebrity birthdays:  Actress Brenda Vaccaro was born today in 1939, actress Linda Evans (“Dynasty”…wow) turns a young 71 today (1942), musicians Graham Parker and former Quiet Riot/Whitesnake/Dio/Blue Oyster Cult/Queensryche bassist Rudy Sarzo were both born in 1950, comedian Kevin Nealon (SNL/”Weeds”, etc.) was born in 1953, while fellow comedian Sinbad was born today in 1956, as was former NFL quarterback Warren Moon; late guitarist Jan Kuehnemund (former Vixen) was born on this date in 1961 (1961-2013); as well as current Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (the second band on my Top Ten) coming into this world in 1962.

Comedian Owen Wilson was born in 1968 on this date, former NBA journeyman (1993-2008, and former Minnesota Timberwolves star) Sam Cassell turns a young 44 (1969), as well as comedian Mike Epps (1970), current World Series MVP David Ortiz (1975) and current Avenged Sevenfold (A7X to their fans) bassist Johnny Christ celebrates his 29th birthday (1984)

Without taking up too much more of your time and from the left, as always…

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

# CXXXI…Wizard of Ozz, 11-02-13, Richie B’s Last Bash

Richie B’s of Holbrook (which is shutting its’ doors soon) was the venue for last night’s Wizard of Ozz show; it was all Ozzy, all night as a stellar send-off for the club was held and a beautiful show to finish the long run that Richie B’s had been famous for.  It was my first time on the inside of the establishment (first time I’d been there was around June for an uncovered, outdoor show that I’d attended) and it is just maddening that this fine place will no longer be a place for seeing live rock music.

The Wizard of Ozz, as always, rocked the joint to its’ foundations last night; frontman John Traylor had advertised it as sort-of an “open mic” night atmosphere and that pretty much set the stage for a whole ton of fun and camaraderie that this writer witnessed.  For the umpteenth time that I’ve seen this band play, they never cease to amaze me with their freshness, and last night’s show was no exception.  One of the things that makes this group so special, in my eyes, is that you never know quite what to expect.

With that having been said, it was a show that featured long time drummer Pete Black (making a return from back surgery, banging the skins like he never took a break), original guitarist Virgil Varons (stellar playing, as always) and newest recruit Mike Carrion on bass (whose five-string bass work was astonishing and on-point).  From the opening of the show, meaning once these four hit the stage in the “Man Cave” area, the group seemed to flow like they were always together.  They played the entire set like they had always been the same group and that’s one of the reasons why they are celebrating their 20th year in the industry.

The entire set list ran the gamut on everything that Wizard of Ozz have played for two decades; featuring classics like “I Don’t Know”, “Suicide Solution”, “N.I.B.”, a medley of “Iron Man”/”Sweet Leaf”/”War Pigs” (awesome job on that one) and “Flying High Again” was just the tip of the iceberg.  Then, it really got interesting…John’s daughter Brianna sat behind the kit (which was HER kit used to begin with) and really blew the roof off the joint, as she sat in to perform beautifully on “Shot in the Dark” (her first time playing that in public; LIKE A PRO!!!) and the song that I’ve seen her play before, “Paranoid”, which she never fails to impress with, as it was masterfully played.

As an extra added bonus, the band then welcomed a guest drummer, former WDFA skinman Danny Supa, who was called up on a whim to sit behind the skins for the ubiquitous “Momma, I’m Coming Home”…I have to say that, although he was playing in an “open mic” atmosphere like it was, you would have never known that he wasn’t the normal drummer; he did a phenomenal job on the skins (as I’ve seen him play before) and was very comfortable for that track and nailed every note.  After the stellar guest drummers graced the stage, it went back to Petey for the finale of the show, the ever-popular “Bark At The Moon” and, the encore, “Crazy Train”.

As I said, the band always puts on a hell of a show…it is just insane that the bar will no longer be around soon.  It was a beautiful venue on a beautiful night to witness a great concert.  Special thanks go out to Steve Houmis and Fred Johnson (who set up all the equipment and made sure that the show went off without a glitch), Nick Traylor (security) and Mario (sound guy who made sure that every sound was on-point.)

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

# CXXX…Impromptu Night of Discovery…

It has come to my attention that the universe truly does work in mysterious ways.  Case in point, last night in the middle of a debate between my brother and brother-in-law, we decided at the last minute to go out to the Diamond Club in Ronkonkoma.  This was all to prove to my skeptical brother that the drummer of one of the groups called Masquerade was a very close personal friend of his (as well as the rest of the family).  It really did open my eyes to the wonderfully small world that us rock-n-rollers live in.

The band Masquerade, fronted by the wonderfully talented Karli Redd, is a brilliant recent addition to the rock genre, that (although they did suffer from some house technical difficulties) really impressed me with the amount of energy that exuded from them.  During the entire set, Karli (as well as Sherri Roxx on guitar, family friend John Balsamo (from the previously mentioned argument) on drums, and Billy Dee on bass) had the house rocking with their musical prowess.

With a set that included such riveting classics as Concrete Blonde’s “Bloodletting” (appropriate for a post-Hallowe’en show), Patty Smyth’s “Goodbye To You”, and The Runaways’ hit “Cherry Bomb”, these five brilliant musicians (including Triple G on keyboards, which further enhanced all of the songs’ authenticity) put on one hell of a show.  They covered an eclectic mix of songs as well; Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly”, Pink’s “You & Your Hand”, Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, and a track called “Ooh La La” (which was definitely for show, as Karli’s performance was almost risque for that one).

If you haven’t caught this neophyte quintet yet, you are sorely missing out on a great time.  For a band that really hasn’t been together for too long, they really don’t show their inexperience and, when you catch them in the near future, you will not be disappointed…this writer knows that he wasn’t.

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