# CCV…”It’s Good to be The King!”…

As if you couldn’t tell from the title, today is the birthday of one of the most brilliant comedy writers of this century, actor/writer/producer Mel Brooks, who was born on this date in 1926.  Mel Brooks, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a brilliant comedian whose penchant for his craft is unsurpassed, finding humor in almost everything from racism to politics (just like all greats) and is certainly not afraid to use his wits and character to amuse everyone.

Of course, depending on who you ask, you could run the gamut of “favorite movies” created by this magician…from “Spaceballs” to “Blazing Saddles” to “The Producers”, people have been laughing at the man’s material for years.  However, my two personal favorites, of course, are “Young Frankenstein” and “History of the World, Part I”, which, in my humble opinion, should have had a sequel (as promised at the end of the movie) but that has not come to fruition…yet!!!

Meanwhile, on Mr. Brooks’ birthday twin list; late star of “The Karate Kid”, Pat Morita, who also played the character Arnold in the TV series, “Happy Days” (1932-2005), late baseball umpire and author Ron Luciano (1937-1995), late comedian/actress Gilda Radner (the late wife of comedian Gene Wilder AND a pioneering comedienne on Saturday Night Live {when it was funny}) (1946-1989), veteran actress Kathy Bates (1948), Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway (1960) and southpaw Chicago Cubs alum Mark Grace (1964).

Also celebrating on this comically festive day are veteran actors John Cusack and Mary Stuart Masterson (both 1966), hometown (Jersey City, NJ) basketball star Bobby Hurley (1971), “Ridiculousness” host Rob Dyrdek (1974) and country pixie Kellie Pickler was born in 1986.

With that, I will leave you all with another quote from the star of our post:  “Humor is just another defense against the universe”…and that’s all that needs to be said!!!!

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

# CCIV…(204)…# 2’s Milestone…

On this wonderful day that I have enough time to spare (after taking care of business and having the day off {Thanx to my boss}), it pleases me half-heartedly (due to my “Benedict Arnold” on the Yankees) to announce that today is Derek Jeter’s 40th birthday.  He would probably be so humbled that he would be left for words…of course, I can’t tell the future LOL but he definitely should be a First Ballot Hall-of-Famer in my honest opinion.

The man’s baseball accomplishments alone allow him that honor.  He is one of the most dedicated to his livelihood and in this, the last year of his career, he is certainly worthy of all the kudos that he rightly deserves.  Happy 40th, Derek…hope the end is as great as the most recent…

On the birthday twin list are:  Colonel Tom Parker, the former manager of Elvis Presley (1909-1997), female golf pioneer Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911-1956), The 5th Dimension singer Billy Davis, Jr. (1938), guitarist/vocalist of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones (1955), singer Chris Isaak (“The Crying Game”, among others) {1956}, Scandal (the rock band) lead vocalist Patty Smyth (1957), NCIS: Los Angeles heartthrob Chris O’Donnell (1970), and country star diva Gretchen Wilson (1973) predate the shortstop-of-the-century.

And so, I bid you all adieu, as there is so much more to come…from the left…in the near future!!!

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

 

# CCIII…Universal Connections…

The title of this post refers to the fact that, oddly enough, today is the birthdays of two talented actors; Mr. Peter Weller (1947) and Miss Nancy Allen (1950).  In case you’ve forgotten (or were too young to remember),  they were both co-stars in the original Robocop movie.  But, enough with the universe’s coincidences…

Also celebrating today are guitar and rock legend Jeff Beck (1944), former New York governor George Pataki (1945), drummer/actor Mick Fleetwood (he was in The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger) was born in 1947, former actor Joe Penny (from the short-lived show Riptide, among others) was born in 1956, super talented actor Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr. (Friday, No Holds Barred, The Fifth Element, etc.) was born in 1958 and former San Jose Sharks’ center (yes, he was also a Ranger and a Devil, too) Bernie Nicholls was born in 1961.

The main point is pay attention…you never know who celebrates your birthday until someone points out that fact (like me, as it is my pleasure)…

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

# CCII…Saturday Spotlight, Vol. XXI…Sonata Arctica, “Pariah’s Child”…

In the short time that I’ve known about this band…thanks, of course, to Pandora.com…I am very impressed with this band’s progression from their inception in 1996.  In a prime example of this group’s staying power, it will certainly be an honor to meet them.  This wonderful group from Finland is a symphonic metal mainstay and their music is nothing short of spectacular.

The awesome time-signature changes on their latest release, 2014’s “Pariah’s Child”, are a musical masterpiece…from the opening track, a haunting romp through a fantasy wonderland titled “The Wolves Die Young”, leading into a racing-inspired ditty, “Running Lights”, but the title that really struck a personal chord, “What Did You Do In the War, Dad?”, as it is a stunning ballad/keyboard-to-guitar speed race that really is a nice track.

Another awesome song on the band’s eighth release is the pro-rock anthem that every artist can consider an anthem, the eighth track, “X Marks the Spot”, which feature a stunning visualization of Tony Kakko’s awesome vocal range.  Also, the final track, an almost ten-minute Dream Theater-type romp called “Larger Than Life”, which really highlights Mr. Kakko’s mastery of his craft.

All in all, a ***** lesson in symphonic metal. which is further proof that rock-n-roll never dies…because it’s constantly evolving…

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

# CCI…You Know You’re Getting Old…

We have all heard statements that begin with the above phrase…and at no time has it ever been more true than right now, as I have found that it is the 65th birthday of Lionel Ritchie (1949), whose music was prevalent throughout my early teen years, as in 1984, my grammar school put on a play that his music had a very big part in.  An accomplished vocalist with the 70s group, The Commodores, he branched out and became a superstar.

Also, striking another personal chord was the fact that both my girls had asked me, “Is he Nicole Ritchie’s father?”…I could only shake my head and face-palm, as that means that I hadn’t taught my girls everything about music.

Also on today’s list are the ever-talented swashbuckler Errol Flynn (1909-1959), music legend Chet Atkins (1924-2001), actor and soldier Audie Murphy (1924-1971), TV’s Mission: Impossible star Martin Landau (1928), superb actor Danny Aiello (1933), The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson (1942), Canadian country music legend Anne Murray (1945) and TV home improvement guru Bob Vila (1946).

Finishing the list are:  veteran actor/comedian John Goodman (1952), former Van Halen/current Chickenfoot bassist Michael Anthony (1954), Duran Duran’s John Taylor (1960), lovely actress Nicole Kidman (1967), director/producer Robert Rodriguez (1968), MMA star/actor Quentin “Rampage” Jackson (1978) and former New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles was born in 1983.

Tune in tomorrow…Saturday Spotlight returns…for research on a future endeavor…

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

# CC…Milestone 200th Blog Post…

On this 18th day of June, it is my pleasure to still be here, entertaining you in my own unique way.  I am very humbled by the amount of people that already know about this blog (which continued from my previous blog at thelefthandedviewofmusicbydal.wordpress.com; 42 posts there before switching) and will try to keep up the good work.

With the thank you’s out of the way, I will present the list for today; we start with elder MLB statesman Lou Brock (1939), late movie critic Roger Ebert (1942-2013), southpaw legend Sir Paul McCartney (1942), actress Carol Kane (remember her from Scrooged, with Bill Murray) was born in 1952, former Stryper/current Bloodgood (religious rock like Stryper) guitarist Oz Fox (1961), MLB journeyman Andres Galarraga (1961), former Guns N Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed (1963) and former Buffalo Bills’ defensive end Bruce Smith was born in 1963, as well.

Also, on this day, figure skater Kurt Browning (ex-wife’s fault LOL) was born in 1966, current New York Rangers’ star Martin St. Louis (1975), country music star Blake Shelton (1976), San Diego Chargers’ mainstay, tight end Antonio Gates (1980) and the pixie of “Arrow”, Miss Willa Holland (who I mentioned along with Sir McCartney last year) celebrates her 23rd birthday today (1991).

On a final note, though, I would also like to mention the third anniversary of the passing of the greatest sax player of my generation, Clarence Clemons, of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who lost his battle with living in 2011.

200 down and so many, many more to go…

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

# CXCIX…Father’s Day, 2014…

On this exquisite day in June, where everyone seems to be hawking their wares for trinkets and baubles that they think a father MIGHT be interested in, I sit here in front of my computer.  The reason for this is the simple fact that I’m a simple man…the only “present” that I would like from my two beautiful daughters is, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad”…because, as I mentioned last year, I wouldn’t be celebrating this day if it weren’t for them being born.

I would also like to shout-out to all the single moms…you know, the ones where “Dad” just decided to not fulfill “his” duties and responsibilities…who have to pull more than their fair share for the children because you all deserve a Happy Father’s Day as well.

And, in closing, a very Happy Father’s Day in Heaven to:  Frederick H. Johnson (my dad) and Mr. Fred Hughes (my grandfather)…we all love and miss both of you and the wonderful effects that you have both had on our lives…

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