# CDLXXVI…Baby Shower for Pending Great Niece (11/25/2017)…

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the baby shower {which was held in Keansburg, NJ (right around where my late father had lived), at the American Legion Post # 237 on Carr Avenue} for my sister’s youngest child, Dawn Zitzman, and her beau, Yacir James, whose baby is due around Christmas of this year.  The party was hosted by Anthony and Jessica Zitzman (Dawn’s father and step-mom) and Yacir’s parents, Shanta and Owen James, whose families put together one of the best baby showers that I’ve ever attended.

As much as I’d like to state that I was out of place, as a lot of people (until I told them my reason of being a great uncle-to-be) seemed to think that it was weird for a man to just attend a baby shower, last night proved to me that the power of love between two people is more powerful than any “hatreds” that may arise.  A wonderfully diverse crowd of about 50 people, including the families of both of the younger parents, had given this writer the perfect outlet for this post.

As far as the baby shower itself (organized by my niece’s stepsisters), it had everything that was expected (games, raffle prizes, presents, etc.) and it was a really wonderful experience to be in the presence of these two families, as diverse as they were.  The foods of choice for this were more of a Caribbean-style (oxtail, jerk chicken, macaroni pie, etc.), which didn’t bother me personally {my boss and co-workers are all from that area, so I am aware…} and were just the perfect choice for all of the attendees.

Being that we (my sister/grandmother-to-be, my mother/great-grandma-to-be and my daughter Mena) had to travel to South Jersey from Long Island, we would have loved to have stayed for the entirety of the shower but, alas, we left a couple of hours before the “scheduled” time, due to the pending three-hour trip home.  Although we didn’t stay until the end, when the multitude of presents were unwrapped (there were TONS of gifts), what we did witness was proof that, in this day and age, diversity can work and be civil…as both families were courteous and very hospitable towards each other, and that was a very nice thing to witness.

In closing, I would like to say that, although I don’t get to see my niece (and her family) as often as I’d like to, I look forward to all of the precious memories yet to come.  Special thanks to Anthony and Jessica Zitzman (and their kids), as well as to Shanta and Owen James (and their family members), for a wonderful experience that I was more than happy to have been a part of!

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

 

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# CDLXXV…Uncovered (Almost Twice)…

The title refers to the fact that this was almost omitted (long story…no time) but, since I’m here, might as well post it…

# clxxvii₂…For “The Penguin”…

For those that don’t follow the title’s meaning, it is because today, November 16th, is the birthday of the original “Batman” (1966 TV) character known as “The Penguin”, late versatile actor Burgess Meredith (1907-1997).  His name, for those of you that aren’t old enough to know, was synonymous with brilliant acting, as he played in such iconic movies of my youth {“Rocky”, “Clash of the Titans”, “The Twilight Zone” (1983 movie)}.

His almost 70 year career in film and television MORE than merit his place here…besides the fact that, whenever I feel down, I look to iconic figures like his portrayal of Sylvester Stallone’s pugilist’s trainer, Mickey, as a kind of booster…if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand the metaphor…

Also celebrating with you are/were; late voice actor Daws Butler (1916-1988), NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte (1956), actress Marg Helgenberger (1958), former New York Met hurler Dwight Gooden (1964), former “Cosby Show” alum Lisa Bonet (1967), actress Martha Plimpton (1970), figure skating icon Oksana Baiul (1977), actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (1977), songstress Allison Crowe (1981), former New York Giants’ icon Osi Umenyiora (1981) and former New York Knicks’ center Amar’e Stoudemire (1982).

Thanks for taking yet another romp through my knowledge and experiences…

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

# CDLXXIV…Rock Spotlight, Vol. X…”Revelation Highway”, Babylon, A.D. (11/10/17)…

After an almost 17 year hiatus (which feels about as long as it’s been since I’ve been here), the awesome rock band known as Babylon, A.D. (who started in the industry WAAAAAY back in 1989 with there smash self-titled debut) has released only their fourth studio album in their almost-30-year career, titled “Revelation Highway”.  As a long-time fan of the band (I was eighteen when the album was released…so, yeah, I pumped that album to 10 and let it play, and play, and play…), I was actually shocked to here of this album back a few months ago; so shocked that, when I saw the information on iTunes, I immediately preordered it.

Featuring the ORIGINAL members of this little-known quintet, and, as I mentioned, being that this album was released 17 years after their last album, this was a brilliant piece of rock history.  Now, I am aware that not too many of my personal fans know about this group but I have enjoyed this band since Day One.  I can tell you, as such, that this album was everything that I expected it to be when I preordered it…as it came with the song titled “Crash and Burn”.  Lead vocalist Derek Davis has not lost his touch; although his voice is much more experienced, which comes after almost thirty years, and that just adds to the allure of this album.

In typical Babylon, A.D. fashion, this collection of ten tracks, featuring the typical, mid-90’s power ballad, the track with a curse in it (not that it matters, personally), and the “love me and get out” tracks that a lot of bands from that era possessed.  As someone with an objective outlook on music, the band has simply gotten BETTER with age.  All of the chemistry, musically speaking, is even more potent than the original, eponymous release and I was not disappointed!

A must-have, if you know of the group and used to be a fan back in the day, this new album is definitely worth the price that I paid for it.

***** is the rating…thank you for listening and, as always…

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

{** Author’s Note:  The links below are the portals for the Kindle version followed by the PAPERBACK versions of my book, which is about my unique take on celebrity birthdays, music and more…thanks in advance and enjoy!!!}

# CDLXXIII…Another Uncovered Gem…

Today, October 8, has not been covered…therefore, I will leave this little snippet here (for when the book is back in play…)

# clii…Southpaw Wrestling Pariah…

Today, October 8th, is also the birthday of actor/wrestler Mike “The Miz” Mizanin (1980), who in case you didn’t know (as most of you won’t anyway), is a proud member of the Southpaw Nation, as I am.  An accomplished actor (reality star, as well) and champion wrestler, his skills and prowess in the ring (as well as outside, with his marriage to former women’s champion Maryse Oulette) further cement his place here.

Whether you love him or hate him in the ring, his love for his career show in his tenacious southpaw attitude…because he is different (I am, too, and I love it) and his star should continue to rise long after his career has ended, as he is adaptable to almost anything; that is one of his finest qualities and it comes from being unique!

Also celebrating with everyone is/was; late pilot Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973), gossip columnist Rona Barrett (1936), famous hockey parent Walter Gretzky (1938), actor and former “Crocodile Hunter” Paul Hogan (1940), ubiquitous religious figure Jesse Jackson (1941), comedian Chevy Chase (1943), author of “Goosebumps”, R.L. Stine (1943) and late The Ramones’ star Johnny Ramone (1948-2004).

On the list, as well, are; actress Sigourney Weaver (1949), Kool & The Gang’s Robert “Kool” Bell (1950), actor Michael Dudikoff (1954), actress Stephanie Zimbalist (1956), soul singer CeCe Winans (1964), The Ramones’ C.J. Ramone (1965), “The Martian” star Matt Damon (1970), Evanescence guitarist Terry Balsamo (1972), actor/singer Nick Cannon (1980), current Sharks’ defenseman Raffi Torres (1981), singer Bruno Mars (1985) and former “Two and a Half Men” co-star Angus T. Jones (1993).

Thanks for joining me here on my blog…hope you enjoyed your brief stay here!

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

# CDLXXII…”Dancing” Into Your Hearts, #TeamStark…

If you can’t tell from the title, today’s celebrator is none other than the “Dancing With the Stars” 25th season’s newest addition, Lindsey Stirling (1986).  Being that I’ve covered her birthday a couple of times on here, I just wanted to let you all know (in case you still care) that I really enjoy everything in this beautiful star’s repertoire…she plays violin and dances while doing it (check out her numerous YouTube videos, if you don’t believe me) and now she is currently one of the contestants on the highly-acclaimed series.

Without boring you too much, I have actually just watched her performance from Monday’s show and, as the one judge pointed out, her and Mark Ballas’ cha-cha was absolutely amazing and the best dance of the night!  Although, to be perfectly honest, I (at least) didn’t doubt that she could pull this endeavor off…as I said, she dances WHILE playing the violin…she seems to have a great talent for dancing and her performance on the kick-off show for this season was phenomenal enough to earn her post for her birthday today.

Her three albums released since 2012 (“Lindsey Stirling”, “Shatter Me” and “Brave Enough”), a fourth album (Christmas-related) on the way, her followers on YouTube (me included) and her new foray into becoming a true entertainer by showing her dancing prowess, she certainly deserves all the accolades that will come her way over the coming years.  Also, I happen to be a huge fan of hers that even paid for an autographed copy of her autobiography, “The Only Pirate at the Party” (thank you, Ms. Sterling!!)

Wishing her nothing but success in all of her projects…happy 31st to you, Ms. Sterling…as you more than deserve all the happiness on your birthday!

Also celebrating are/were; late author H.G. Wells (1866-1946), late animator Chuck Jones (1912-2002), late actor Larry Hagman (1931-2012), late actor Henry Gibson (1935-2009), actress Fannie Flagg (1944), producer Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), The Eagles’ guitarist Don Felder (1947) and uber-author Steven King was born in 1947.

Comedian/actor Bill Murray (1950), Motörhead drummer Phil Taylor (1954), director Ethan Coen (1957), comedian/actor Dave Coulier (1959), songstress Faith Hill (1967), talk show host/actress Ricki Lake (1968), actor Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), actor Luke Wilson (1971) and famous child Nicole Ritchie (1981) finish today’s list.

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

 

# CDLXXI…Late Iconic Guitarist, Uncovered…

For those celebrating today, September 16, as their birthday, I present this little snippet from the now-defunct (but coming back?) book…

# cxl…Late Blues Legend…

Today, if you’re celebrating on September 16th, is also the birthday of late blues guitarist B.B. King (1925-2015), whose career in the industry is very well-documented and well-respected.  His sixty-seven year career included 43 albums (some wonderful collaborations, too) and 15 Grammy Awards…and, as I said, well-respected and known to have influenced some of the greatest guitarists of all time.

A member of the Rock-n-Roll and Blues Halls-of-Fame, his guitar-playing prowess has often tried to be emulated…but none can compare to the late legend whose name is also synonymous now with a popular music “hot spot”…

Also celebrating with you are/were; late actress Lauren Bacall (1924-2014), late “Columbo” star Peter Falk (1927-2011), veteran actor Ed Begley, Jr. (1949), superstar actor Mickey Rourke (1952), magician extraordinaire David Copperfield (1956), former Dodgers’ fireballer Orel Hershiser (1958) and actress Jennifer Tilly (1958).

Finishing today’s list are; singer Richard Marx (1963), Skid Row guitarist Dave Sabo (1964), singer/actor Marc Anthony (1968), comedienne Amy Poehler (1971) and pop heartthrob Nick Jonas was born in 1992.

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

# CDLXX…Wizard of Ozz @ Popei’s Clam Bar, Coram, NY…

Last night, at the Island-famous Popei’s Clam Bar in Coram, NY (just a stone’s throw from here), I had the pleasure of witnessing one of the best shows ever presented by our long-time favorite Black Sabbath tribute band, the one-and-only Wizard of Ozz.  As the show was presented in the Tiki Bar area behind the main bar (which was also as packed as the Tiki Bar itself), it provided me with an “up close and personal” view of their performance which has left my ears (and my head LOL) ringing with nothing but more excellent memories.

The outdoor setup for the show, wonderfully crafted by my brother-in-law Steve, Nick Traylor (John’s brother) and Steve-O with the rest of the crew, was pretty amazing, considering the square footage that they all had to work with.  To the outsider, however, who might have thought that the small space would not have done justice to the show…it just goes to prove how much BETTER that made the performance.  I can tell you, as I literally had a front row “seat”, that I have never heard the Wizard of Ozz play any better than I did last night.

As for the show, John, Petey, Brian and Dan (vocals, drums, guitar and bass, respectively) rocked the entire bar with another stunning rendition of classic Ozzy and Black Sabbath, as they normally do on any given night.  Whether it was from staples such as the classic “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Snowblind” or “War Pigs” (complete with amazing crowd participation), to the recent additions of “Black Sabbath”, “Into the Void” and “Dirty Women”, the smaller area made their sound an incredible thing to behold!

The band’s finales of the classic Sabbath tunes “Children of the Grave” (which featured supporting drumming by John’s daughter Briana) and the combined medley of “Sweet Leaf”/”Paranoid” at the very end were the tip of the iceberg for a wonderful show that left the crowd almost begging for more.

As it stands now, this has got to have been one of my favorite all-time Wizard of Ozz performances, due to the fact that I had a great perspective and was able to hear the amazing talent that has brought these guys to you, the public, for over 25 years.  If, in the near future, you read that this band is playing in your area, DO NOT MISS IT, as you will not be disappointed!!!!

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