# CLVIII…Southpaw to Southpaw…

This post is another in the long list of celebrity birthday posts for a good friend, who just happens to be part of the “minority” as I am…sorry if you dislike the use of that word but, logically and intelligently speaking, we left-handers are less enumerable than the “righties”…and we’ll leave that the way it is!  To my good friend, Brooke (who turns xx today), this is the unofficial list of birthdays…I say unofficial because most of the names that I know probably won’t ring a bell but I will try to explain the reason for mentioning them.

We’ll start with the oldest name on the list, former opera star Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), the youngest member of the comedic family, Zeppo Marx (1901-1979), Jim Backus, the man who played both Thurston Howell III (“Gilligan’s Island”) and everyone’s favorite nearsighted cartoon character, Mr. Magoo (1913-1989), late “Battle of the Sexes” tennis star Bobby Riggs (1918-1995), the late South Korean leader Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012) [his name was pretty dominating in the news when I was growing up], former talk show maven Sally Jessy Raphael was born in 1935, and “Face The Nation” CBS mainstay Bob Schieffer was born in 1937.

Also gracing us for the first time on February 25th were former Beatles/Traveling Wilburys guitarist George Harrison (1943-2001), multi-time wrestling champion and icon Ric Flair celebrates his 65th birthday (1949), “The NFL Today”‘s star James Brown (1951), former Yankee right-fielder (and fellow southpaw) Paul O’Neill was born in 1963, comedian/actor Carrot Top was “hatched” in 1965 (good fun, nothing malicious, Mr. Top LOL), and actress Tea Leoni came to this world in 1966.

To finish this list, we’ve come down to:  former “Goonies” and “Lord of the Rings” star Sean Astin (1971), former wrestler Sean O’Haire (1971 also), Latin superstar Julio Iglesias, Jr. (1973). and former WWE diva (and multifaceted talent) Maria Kanellis was born in 1982.

I thank you all for listening…Happy Birthday to you, Brooke…and many happy more…

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

# CLVII…Post # 115…Saturday Spotlight, Vol. # XVIII…Within Temptation, Part II…

It is with great pleasure that I return the Spotlight with one of my favorite, newer era symphonic metal bands, Within Temptation.  For it was conceived just a short while ago,  after obtaining a copy of their latest release, “Hydra” from the beginning of this year.  I must say, as a long time fan, I was very impressed…for it was unlike anything that they’ve done so far.

In terms of music, this collaboration-filled effort is well done, from the opening track, “Let Us Burn”, to the final track, “Whole World is Watching”, there are four tracks with killer duets behind them.  The third track’s guest star is from a genre you’d never expect to hear in symphonic metal…the rap star Xzibit.  Along with former Nightwish frontwoman (and current solo act) Tarja and a classic appearance from former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones, this new effort by Within Temptation is nothing short of phenomenal, by encompassing the enthralling highs and reverberating lows of Sharon den Adel’s four-octave voice.

Also, this marks another “five” milestone…just thought I give you that before  I let you enjoy “Hydra”…because I know that I did…

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

# CLVI…History Lessons, Musical and Otherwise…

On this date, February 20, in the year 1933, the United States government proposed the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution, which, at the time, was the answer that they sought against the negative effects that Prohibition had on the country at that time.  When the country first entered the age of Prohibition (however good the idea seemed), it was wracked with more ill side effects than the act of drinking…we don’t need to be reminded of people like Al Capone and his role in the “glory” of the speakeasy.  Consequently, the 21st Amendment ended up being a godsend, for as soon as it was ratified, our country’s “health” was put back on track for the next seven decades…although, with the current “prohibition” issues, we could change this country in a heartbeat, if we dealt with “that” in a similar manner…

The other history lesson for all is an event that, as someone with an extensive behind-the-scenes background in music would know, further changed the way musicians perform live…for it is the 2003 concert at “The Station” in West Warwick, RI that marred this industry.  For those that don’t remember, it was during a concert by the now-infamous Great White, where a pyrotechnics display (which, common sense now dictates, should not have even been considered) erupted inside the venue and killed 100 people (including then-guitarist Ty Longley) and injured a couple hundred more.  As I stated earlier, given the size and outlay of the club, it is with that tragic hindsight that makes performers today really pay attention to their craft even further, with safety now paramount to their success.

I have also come here, obviously, to give you a few names for the birthday roll; fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt turns a young 90 today (1924), “To Sir With Love” star (among other films) Sidney Poitier was born in 1927, Hall of Fame race car driver Bobby Unser (1934), jazz great Nancy Wilson and auto racer/entrepreneur Roger Penske were born in 1937, former Boston Bruin/New York Ranger great Phil Esposito was born in 1942, multi-talented pixie Sandy Duncan (she played Peter Pan on Broadway, hence the pun) and the frontman for The J. Geils Band, Mr. J. Geils himself were born in 1946 and actor Anthony Head, who was Rupert Giles in the TV smash “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” turns 60 today (1954).

1963 gave way to NBA superstar/”mouth”piece Charles Barkley, “3rd Rock From the Sun” co-star French Stewart was born in 1964, supermodel Cindy Crawford came to us in 1966 and actor Andrew Shue, who many may remember from “Melrose Place” (boy, I really do show my age sometimes), was born in 1967, which was the same year that gave us southpaw pariah (and forever missed) Kurt Cobain…and I don’t really have anything bad to say about him or his influence on the musical world.

Having taken up just a little too much of your time (not that I’m apologizing…you people love “Harry Potter” and “50 Shades of Grey” so my blog is nothing in terms of “mind” space)…

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

# CLV…Joker’s Wild!!

Since I haven’t written in a week…that and the fact that I haven’t had a view in about that long…I figured it was time to invade your brains with another round of useless trivia.  But, before I do, I just want to announce that the wheels are turning (and the hamster is NOT dead) and my wanting to write more than just this blog is killing me.  This may be the last post for a while as I need to focus more on my impressive outline…with which I hope to further broaden my horizons.

The reason for the comical title is the fact that, aside from the many comedians born today, it is the birthday of the original Joker from the 60’s Batman TV series, Cesar Romero, who was born in 1907 (1907-1994), brilliant comedian Harvey Korman (from countless Mel Brooks movies and “The Carol Burnett Show”) {1927-2008}, former L.A. Dodgers/Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Cey (1948), former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson celebrates his 65th birthday today (1949), and actress Jane Seymour was born in 1951.

“The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening was born in 1954, model Janice Dickinson turns 59 today (1955), former NASCAR star Jimmy Spencer and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee were both born in 1957.  Today would have been the 50th birthday of late talented comedian Chris Farley (1964-1997) and it is the birthday of now-journeyman NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr (1972).

Well, now that THAT’s out of the way, you all can go back to your lives now…and I will work on fixing mine…

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

# CLIV…For a Dear Friend Near My Hometown…

Being that today is a virgin date for a post (1st time on this particular day), I have the great luck of having a close friend of mi familia who celebrates February 7th…Happy birthday to you, Ara, as this post is in your honor. On a side note, before I begin, congratulations on obtaining your bike license…you do your Dad and Abe proud! I’m not sure how young you are but this post is for you.

Author of such classic literature as “Oliver Twist” and “A Christmas Carol”, Mr. Charles Dickens was born in 1812, “Little House on the Prairie” authoress Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867, actor Miguel Ferrer was born in 1955, former KISS guitarist Mark St. John (1956-2007), actor James Spader (1960), singer/entertainer-extraordinaire Garth Brooks (1962), comedian Eddie Izzard (1962), ubiquitous comedian Chris Rock (1965) and Godsmack lead vocalist Sully Erna was born in 1968.

Also on the list is basketball phenom Steve Nash (1974), former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland was born in 1975 and “Two and a Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher a young 35.

This is a message to my home crowd…I miss you all and hope to see y’all soon…

/,,,/ ROCK ON ARA \,,,\

# CLIII…For My Daughter, Mena…

Twenty-two years ago today, my world was blessed by the addition of my eldest daughter, Mena. It just seems like only yesterday she was knee-high to a grasshopper and, now, she is a unique individual that has made this father very proud.

It is in her honor and with great love that I present the list of her fellow celebrants; beginning with late historic pilot Charles Lindburgh (1900-1974), civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks (1913-2005), actor Conrad Bain, who played Mr. Drummond on”Diff’rent Strokes” (1923-2013), comedian David Brenner (1936), and mega-producer George A. Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”, etc.) was born in 1940.

Also, today finds former Vice President Dan Quayle (1947), rock legend Alice Cooper (1948), actor Michael Beck, who played Swan in “The Warriors”, was born in 1949, and football legend Lawrence Taylor turns 55 today (1959).

Coincedentally, fellow Long Branch, NJ native and country superstar Clint Black was born today in 1962, while boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya was born in 1973, singer Natalie Imbruglia (1975), rapper Cam’ron (1976) and current TNA star Chris Sabin finishes the list, born in 1982.

I hope my daughter has a blessed day…I know I have since 1992…

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

# CLII…Post # 110…”And, Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn”…

One of the most brilliant actors of his generation, Clark Gable (1901-1960) will forever be remembered for his starring role in the 1939 classic film, “Gone With the Wind“, and it was his utterance of the above line that will go down in history as one of the most classically delivered lines of dialogue.  He enjoyed a three-decade long career which included over 60 movies, most notably with his co-stars (movie divas the likes of Joan Crawford (8 films), Myrna Loy (7) and Jean Harlow (6)).  Also, the American Film Institute has rated him as the 7th greatest male actor of all time.

Also, sharing February 1st as their birthday are:  poet/author Langston Hughes (1902-1967), former Russian Federation president Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007), singer Don Everly (from The Everly Brothers) and actor Garrett Morris (1937), the late “George Jefferson”, Mr. Sherman Helmsley (1938-2012), and late journalist Jessica Savitch (1947-1983).

In an odd coincidence, today would have been the birthday of the man who shares my given name, albeit with a different middle name (his is Ambrose, mine is Andrew), who is now known as Rick James (1948-2004).

Further down in “The List” is late Warrant lead vocalist Jani Lane (1964-2011), as well as the late star of “The Crow“, Brandon Lee (son of the world-renown martial artist Bruce Lee) {1965-1993}, and, of course, in another father/child coincidence, Ms. Lisa Marie Presley celebrates her 45th birthday today (1968) along with comedian Pauly Shore, also 1968.

Finishing today’s list are “Dexter” actor Michael C. Hall (who also co-starred in “Six Feet Under”), who was born in my birth year of 1971 and current teen-girl heartthrob Harry Styles, from the hideously ubiquitous One Direction, was born in 1994.

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