# CCCXXII…”Cowabunga!!!!”

In case you’re not living under a rock, you might know the name that this post implies…today is the 53rd birthday of Kevin Eastman (1962), the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.

In 1984, he and co-creator Peter Laird self-published a 40-page, black-and-white comic book that, although it had an initial print run of just over three thousand copies, has enjoyed a renaissance in the last few years…not only with the cartoon adaptations but with the rebooted (because the original movies were ancient, compared to today’s standards) movie franchise, as well.

Astonishingly enough, however, the man is no stranger to the world of comic books, as he is currently the publisher of the Heavy Metal comic book-type magazine.

Joining Mr. Eastman in celebrating a birthday today are; everyone’s favorite voice actor, Mr. Mel Blanc (1908-1989), former Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo (1949), former Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (and The Next Generation) star Colm Meaney (1953), former WWF/E superstar Jake “The Snake” Roberts (1955) and TV personality Ted McGinley was born in 1958.

Also on the list are:  country superstar Wynonna Judd (1964), Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello (1964), singer/actress Idina Menzel (1971), former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez (1972), multi-talented musical artist CeeLo Green (1974) and rapper Remy Ma was born in 1981.

Thank you for listening and I shall return…

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


# CCCXXI…Memorial Day, 2015…

On this Memorial Day of 2015, I thought I would drop in with yet another set of anecdotes from my youth.  From the time that I was old enough to remember until just about when my Dad passed away, I spent many a Memorial Day in the town of Atlantic Highlands, NJ (down the shore…not too far from Long Branch, where I was born).  The reason was very simple…my uncle Edward (my Dad’s brother) has his name on the Korean War Memorial in the center of town, as he was killed in battle.

Every year since I was a pup, my Dad (in his dress blues for marching in the parade that preceded it) would wait for his brother’s name to be called and would plant a flag in the memorial in honor of my late uncle.  After all of the names were called and flags planted, the mayor (or some other alderman) would then call for “Taps” to be played, to be followed and finished by a 21-gun salute for the fallen.

Back when I was young, I didn’t understand the significance of being there, year after year, to partake in a ceremony that didn’t involve me personally.  However, being that I’m older (and somewhat wiser), I now have a better understanding as to why I should be there…it was super important to my Dad and should be visited in the near future!

So, as you enjoy your barbeques and other festivities today, just remember…if it wasn’t for people such as my uncle and all of the other Veterans of Foreign Wars, you may not have been so fortunate to be celebrating what little freedoms you have left!!!!

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

# CXCI…Weekend From Hell, 1999…Part II

For those that missed it last year…

Dal's Music Note$

Saturday, May 22, 1999…After getting home at about 3 AM, due to the fact that, after we (my wife, brother and myself) met with the immediate family at the hospital and just congregated together in a diner, I had an early morning flight out of Newark Airport.  The plane was exciting, as I’d never been on a jumbo jet (very surreal experience for someone who’s afraid of heights), but the most exciting part was the 45 minute layover in another time zone (Chicago), which went very quickly and, when I’d arrived in Florida to collect my daughter Mena, the late afternoon “Floridian thunderstorm”…you know, sky goes black, pours for about 15 minutes and is bright and sunny again afterwards.  Early bedtime meant another early morning flight back to Jersey…

Sunday, May 23, 1999…Suffering from lack of sleep previously and the jet lag that followed my flight yesterday and the 3…

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# CCCXX…In Honor of my Dad…



{The above photo is a combination of the newspaper clip that my Aunt Irene wrote one year after my Father’s death and a poppy from his American Legion post.  The date, however, is a misprint (it says “May 22, 1999”)}

“It’s been a year since you left us, my little brother, and the pain in my heart is as strong as it was the day you were gone.  You were always special to me because you were the youngest of my five brothers, and we were always very close.  You weren’t just my brother, you were everybody’s kind of guy.  Everyone who knew you loved you.  You were also the proudest Marine I ever knew, and your Distinguished Medal of Honor you waited so patiently for came six months after you left us.  But somehow I feel that you know we have it and treasure it.  God must have wanted a strong angel when he called you home and I know that whatever He wants you to do you will do it proudly and with honor.  When the sun comes out on a cloudy day I can feel the warmth of you smiling down on me.  I miss you little brother with all my heart,” written by my aunt Irene.


My father, who was taken from us sixteen years ago today, was the greatest man that I have ever known and I am proud that he was in my life.  His presence in my life was unmistakable and his mark on my life is immeasurable.  I am honored to post this because it is indeed heartbreaking that he is no longer here.

I just hope that I can be half the man that he was…

RIP Frederick H. Johnson, 07/08/31 – 05/21/99…we love you and miss you always…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DAD \,,,\

# CCCXIX…For # 21, Back In The Pack…

In case you didn’t know, I have been an avid Timberwolves’ fan since their inception. So, it’s no surprise that I mention our center, Kevin Garnett, who was born on this date in our centennial year (1976).  However, I will mention that, although I have referred incorrectly of him as “Benedict Arnold”, he is now forgiven for wanting the team that drafted him to join the upper echelon of NBA champions.

His storied NBA career includes multiple All-Star Games, MVP Award (2004), Olympic Gold Medalist (2000) and champion with the Boston Celtics.  He is also a shareholder with the Serie A soccer team, A.S. Roma and I wish nothing but many happy more birthdays!

Also celebrating this 19th of May are; late civil rights activist Malcolm X (1925-1965), journalist Jim Lehrer (1934), actor Daivd Hartman (1935), late astronaut Dick Scobee (1939-1986), the man behind…er, under…Chewbacca, Mr. Peter Mayhew (1944), and The Who’s mainstay Pete Townshend was born in 1945.

Late wrestling icon Andre the Giant (1946-1993), singer Grace Jones (1948), ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill (1949), famous father (and former Saint) Archie Manning was born in 1949, late rock icon Joey Ramone (1951-2001), AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd (1954), and former wrestling star Psicosis was born in 1971.

/,,,/ ROCK ON K.G. \,,,\

# CCCXVIII…Breithlá Sona do Enya!

In my countless years of listening to and experiencing the music from my eclectic collection, none have been spent more productively than when listening to today’s birthday celebrator, the multitalented and multi-lingual superstar known as Enya (1961).  Her music, while nothing short of spectacular, has been around since before most of you were born.

She sings in 10 different languages (some of the most amazing stuff you’ve ever heard), hails from Ireland, and (if you’re in a meditative mood) her music is mostly easy listening-type, melodically, because she is also an accomplished pianist and plays a lot of her own compositions, naturally.

Her eight studio releases, countless movie (soundtrack) appearances and calm, hypnotic voice is sure to evoke some pleasant memories…I know that, when I need to relax, I will pop in “Watermark”…just because that album is linear, for the meditating aspect.  Also, her album, “And Winter Came…” is a perfect and shining example of how a Christmas album should be done!

Also, I have done a Saturday Spotlight on her, as she is in my Top 25 Artists of All Time…a stellar 35 year, critically acclaimed career, so she is no slouch when it comes to awesome (and different) music!

In closing, and just because I don’t want to list anyone else in this post, La breithe 54ú sásta Enya…and many happy more!!

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

# CCCXVII…Saturday Spotlight, Vol. XXIV…”Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, Nightwish, 2015…

Upon discovering this group on Pandora.com, it filled me with a sense of wonder and amazement as to where this established symphonic metal goliath would be headed.  I mean, as a fan, following up the brilliant “Imaginaerum” was going to be a mammoth task.  One that, I must add as a fan, they have truly surpassed with their latest release, “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”.

From the opening track, “Shudder Before the Beautiful”, which is an uptempo romp that could only be conjured by Nightwish, to the seventh and titular track, the album is a vast array of orchestral genius and vocal prowess that only Floor Jansen and Tuomas Holopainen can provide.  In this, their eighth studio release, they truly show why they are one of the masters of symphonic metal.

The coup de grace for this album though is the dystopian-inspired final track…a 24 minute romp through dystopia titled “The Greatest Show on Earth”, which is broken down in five parts and would have to be listened to, in order, to truly appreciate this band’s legacy.  From wall-to-wall, this album is a definite five-star masterpiece that leaves me…as I’m sure a lot of their other fans, as well…in hunger mode for more!

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

# CCCXVI…”More Than Happy”…

The above quote is from the master comedian who would have celebrated his birthday today, George Carlin (1937-2008).  It was actually, according to one of his skits, the punchline for his rant on words and phrases that are overused.  The exact punchline was, “More than happy…sounds like a serious condition…’We had to put Dave in the mental home…he was, ahhhh, more than happy!'”

It’s also how everyone should be today, as all of Mr. Carlin’s works can be absolutely hilarious.  From playing a Catholic Cardinal in “Dogma” to the countless stand-up works over the decades, George Carlin will forever be remembered (by me, especially) as the Greatest Comedian to ever live!!

We miss you, George and RIP…

Also born on this date were; former Yankee great Yogi Berra (1925), journalist Tom Snyder (1936-2007), guitarist Steve Winwood (1948), actor Bruce Boxleitner (1950), guitar great Billy Squier (1950), country great Kix Brooks (1955), and KISS drummer Eric Singer was born in 1958.

Actor Ving Rhames was born in 1959, famous scion Emilio Estevez (1962), actor Steven Baldwin (1966), skateboarding icon Tony Hawk (1968), actress Kim Fields (1969), actor Jason Biggs (1978), and late child star Sawyer Sweeten, who took his own life two weeks ago, was born in 1995 (1995-2015).

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

# CCCXV…Happy Mother’s Day! 2015 Edition…

I was going to do an album review for the latest release from the hot symphonic metal giants Nightwish but, being that a close friend has asked about another new release from a different group (Kamelot) that I enjoy as much as he does, I will hold off until I am able to listen to the new album.

Speaking of which, I think I have some time today to indulge myself to give it a listen…after all, I have fulfilled most of my obligations and have some time to kill on a Sunday.  After which, I will compose a double review, which should be fun!


For my Mother, Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for creating this nightmarish author with nothing better to do…

To the mother of my eldest, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and hope you enjoy your special day with the kids and grandkids…

To the mother of my youngest, Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you enjoy your day with the abuella and your city peeps…

To all the other Mother’s who I’ve forgotten to mention, may your day be filled with the greatest “presents” that you can receive on this day…lots of love time with the children!  Even if your kids cannot be with you, Moms might be unappreciated at times…but they will NEVER be unloved!

/,,,/ ROCK ON MOMZ \,,,\

# CCCXIV…Faster Pussycat/London Quireboys @ Revolution, Amityville, NY…

My adoring public is already aware of the fact that, for the most part, I’m not really a person that is comfortable in the “nightlife” scenes, due to the fact that I’m a person that has a really bad self-esteem issue.  However, when it comes to this blog and the fact that I’ve been doing this, unpaid, for three plus years, I have been known to just ignore my issues and actually enjoy my craft and promote the living hell out of it.

Case in point was last night’s excursion…A last minute “I have an extra ticket” invite which turned out to be very beneficial to this blog…to Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, New York for the Faster Pussycat/London Quireboys/Midnight Mob (ticket shows all three) show that was held last night.

There were at least 200 heads last night throughout the night (most showed up, to their loss, AFTER the first three acts had rocked the place) and, as usual, the staff and especially the sound department were on point.  With the few shows that I’ve covered at the venue, it was pretty much status quo, as there were no incidents that I was aware of.

The first band of the night, an original trio named Phosfate (find them on Facebook), which I had the pleasure of speaking with at the end of their set.  These three guys; which consisted of Mike (lead singer/guitar), Joe (drums/backing vocals) and Dave (bass); whose music is obviously new, took to the Revolution stage like they owned it.  Performing such rocking tunes as “Wait to Die”, “Conviction”, and “This Burden”, this trio impressed this unpaid blogger with crisp sound and overall interaction.

I would just like to add that, although this blog is (for the most part) a small craft in a huge ocean, when I introduced myself to try to obtain a set list (for informing the masses of their songs), they were humbled enough to not only give me a signed set list but they allowed me the chance to “spread the word” on my hobby with them and, as we writers are supposed to do, gave me the opportunity to write about and promote them!

The second band of this six-band extravaganza was a punk cover band known as Suburban Decay, a quintet of gnarly punk rockers, who covered such hits as “Last Caress”, “No Future” and “(I’m Not YourStepping Stone” (punk cover of a classic Monkees tune).  As with all cover bands, they did perform all their tunes with precision and, with apologies to them, they were an odd change of pace from the norm.

Third on the roster was a Long Island, original band named Midnight Mob, which consisted of two guitarists (founder Mickey Squeeze and Spydyr), a female bassist (Carly Quinn), drummer (known as Beatz) and female lead vocalist (Blackey Deathproof), who have been around since 2009.  They performed original tracks, two off their self-titled EP, such as “All for Nothing” and “Be Mine”, and, so my research tells me, are no strangers when it comes to the music scene; they can also be found on Facebook and other media-savvy sites.

They are a beautiful addition to the rock scene (which people have speculated is supposedly dying) and should definitely be checked out, as they really impressed me not only with their wonderful music but with their humility when I asked for some research material.  Matter-of-fact, the lead singer was almost downtrodden in informing me that she couldn’t find my requested set list…to me, that was a sign that their interest in my promotion of the band (however small it may be) was genuine!

The fourth band, a Chicago-based quintet known as Loveblast, was a nice addition to the show.  The bassist, Jorey, was kind enough when I approached him for research to provide me with a set list.  These five guys who are relative new (since 2009) to the rock genre really impressed me with crisp sound and their ability to keep the crowd enthralled with their awesome music.

Performing such great tunes as their 2013 EP “Hard Liquor in Big Glasses” and their video release, “Wild Forever”, and tunes such as “Rain on Me” and “When We Were Young”, the show that they put on was a testament as to why they are currently touring with not only the headliners from tonight’s show but, as I have found out, they will be on quite a few of the “major” summer tours throughout the country…and rightly so, as they did an excellent job of performing at Revolution…and will continue to be on my radar.

The co-headliners, The London Quireboys, have been on the rock scene since 1984 and, last night, they were an awesome addition to this show.  The performance, which included such hits as “7 O’Clock”, “I Don’t Love You Any More”, “Devil of a Man” and “Whippin’ Boy”, was an amazing reminder of how long these guys have been around.  The things that made the show memorable, however, was the fact that, for last night’s performance, they changed the format to an acoustic performance.  In and of itself, that is the reason why they have a fan base as enormous as they do and I was really impressed to see such historic greatness.

Headlining this awesome, multi-band lineup were the ever-present (since 1986) metallers known as Faster Pussycat.  Lead singer Taime Downe and his current version of the long-time rockers pandered to their large fan base by performing their classics “Slip of the Tongue”, “Number One with a Bullet” and “Bathroom Wall”.  After over twenty years in the industry, however, they did have a delay in performing (which might have been due to procrastination more than anything), which almost dampened the fans’ spirits.

As a neophyte writer, I can tell you that seeing these “bucket list”-type of acts (you know, the bands that you’d LIKE to see before you leave for the great beyond) was a real inspiration to me…the greatness of their longevity combined with my recent hobby really cements my psyche’s happiness in covering bands like Faster Pussycat, whom I have known about since their inception (I was fifteen when they came on the scene).

Watching them perform “You’re So Vain” and “Poison Ivy”, which along with their entire discography are in my collection, was a wonderful example of how my hobby has opened my eyes to how truly great this industry can be.

Overall, it was a great time that I would like to thank my family, my friend Cesartheczar from WDFA/Soul Unhinged (who provided me with this ticket) and to all of the bands…especially the ones that gave me the chance to further my hobby and enlighten you all of the greatness that shows like this can provide!

Thank you and, as always…

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