# CDLVIII…Level 46…

If you follow this blog, you’d know that today, April 19th, is my birthday…I was born in 1971 (for those that don’t follow LOL) and as weird as you think that is, I have another little piece of trivia for you.  When I was doing research on my next “project” (couple pages in, at the moment), I found out that one of my favorite groups happened to release an iconic album on my birthday!

The album, by the way, is none other than The Doors’ monumental sixth album, titled “L.A. Woman”!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I continue to do what I do…

Without getting too mushy for you, I present the reason that I’m here this early; the list of birthday-mates for me (and everyone else born today):  The original “Untouchable”, former lawman Eliot Ness (1903-1957); “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” star Hugh O’Brian (1925); the second Darrin Stevens from “Bewitched”, Mr. Dick Sargent (1930-1994); actress Jayne Mansfield (1933) and actor Dudley Moore (from the original, and best, “Arthur”) (1935-2002); “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” lead man, Tim Curry (yes, the “Sweet Transvestite” himself) celebrates his 71st birthday today (1946).

The youngest daughter of painter Pablo, Paloma Picasso, turns 68 (1949); former Metallica (and other artists’) producer Bob Rock (1954); former Black Sabbath lead singer Tony Martin (1957); baseball players Frank Viola (1960) and Spike Owen (1961); race car phenomenon Al Unser, Jr. (1962); rap producer Suge Knight (1965); actress Ashley Judd (1968) and motorcycle enthusiast Jesse James (Sandra Bullock’s ex) turns 48 today.

The guitarist for the band Within Temptation (which I’ve spoken about here), Mr. Ruud Jolie was born in 1976; James Franco, whose works need no introduction to me, was born in 1978; actress Kate Hudson (1979); actor Hayden Christensen (you know him as “young Anakin Skywalker”) and sports “legend” Troy Polamalu were born in 1981 (36 years old); and, finishing the list, three baseball players born in 1983, Mr. Zack Duke, Joe Mauer, and Curtis Thigpen (all 34 today).

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

# CDLVII…R.I.P. in Heaven, Year Two…Fredrick Van Johnson I (1964-2015)…

Today, April 17th, as most of you know, would have been my late eldest brother Fred’s birthday…his 53rd, to be exact…and those of you who know me personally know just how much my late brother meant to me.  As such, I will keep it short and sweet and, if you want to know who’s birthdate you share, the archives are to the right… have a job, you know, and most of your attention spans aren’t what they used to be LOL.

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

# CDLVI…(456)…Wizard of Ozz Rebirth, 2017 Edition…

For those of you that remember, I mentioned last month that I had attended a rehearsal for the “imminent” return of the premier Ozzy Osbourne tribute band, Wizard of Ozz, prior to last night’s show at Brody McKay’s Tavern (formerly The Hairy Lemon) in Selden, Long Island.  I also mentioned in that post that their show was going to be one for the books, due to the fact that the lineup for the band (which now consists of John Traylor, drummer Pete Anselmo, guitarist Brian Guinee and bassist Eddie Yeznach) had only recently come together.

The venue, which left a lot to be desired in terms of space, was actually a very fitting location (due to the smaller size than what the band usually plays at), because of the fact that the band prides itself on audience participation.  The concert area was only big enough to hold maybe 50 people (which was evident last night, as people were packed into that small area to root on the guys) and the bar area had another 75 people, tops, but the sound of the band was INCREDIBLE!  All who were in attendance, which included some folks I hadn’t seen in a long time, didn’t have a bad thing to say about the show.

The show, which in itself was beautifully set up (complete with a “video” backup on quite a few songs), consisted of such staples of the band like “Fairies Wear Boots”, “War Pigs”, “NIB”, “Sweet Leaf” and “Paranoid”.  However, it included brand-new Wizard covers of “Into the Void”, “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, “Hand of Doom”, “Dirty Women” (complete with John’s daughter, Brianna, on keyboards) and a wonderfully done version of “Children of the Grave”, which also spotlighted Brianna’s multi-instrumental talent, doing backup drumming on the song.

The band played so well together that I couldn’t find any mistakes in their arrangements…Brian, Eddie and Pete together sounded better than ANY Black Sabbath tribute band out there.  Musically, the band was wonderful in their executions of all of the songs in the two-hour performance and will hopefully be rockin’ the scene for years to come.

Also, as a personal interest, John and the boys added an “extra credit” to the set-list; a very touching tribute to my late brother Fred (whose birthday would have been April 17th) with one of his favorite tracks, “Crazy Train”, to close out the extravaganza!  To John, thank you very much from the family, as he was “there” to witness the rebirth of the greatest Black Sabbath cover band!

The next time that the band plays together, which I don’t have information on yet, you should really check them out, as this author has been doing for quite a few years now; you WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!

To John and the boys of the band (and, to my audience, as well)…

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

 

# CDLV…For My Cousin, Harold…

As this date, according to my book, has only been covered by a musical post (if you want to know, the archives are on the right…) and, as such, was covered in my book by someone who also means a lot to me; you’ll understand after you read the beginning of the excerpt…

# liv…My Wedding Song Singer…

Today, April 12th, aside from being a relative’s birthday (my cousin, Harold Baker), is also the birthday of country legend Vince Gill (1957), who just happens to be the singer of the song that was the choice of mine and, as a shock, my ex-wife JoAnn to be our “wedding song”; the country classic, “Look At Us”.  Prior to that, he was a member of the country rock band Pure Prairie League in the 70s.

He is a singer that, for that genre, is unmistakable…and his longevity in the business is what proves that, as the man has been making country hits since his debut with the Pure Prairie League in 1979 (when I was only eight years old…but I remember them, as I grew up on country music!) before becoming a highly successful solo artist beginning in 1984.

Mr. Gill has also won numerous country music awards and is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry…a high praise that he deserves and merits all because of his magical voice and musical talent.  It is on his birthday that we honor him…a date that, because of the association of my personal life, I should be able to remember on a whim forever…

Others born on this date include; late southpaw novelty act Tiny Tim (1932-1996), 80’s hit “Rockit” artist Herbie Hancock (1940), former “Married: With Children” patriarch Ed O’Neill (1946), late author Tom Clancy (1947-2013), comedian/retired talk show host David Letterman (1947), former heartthrob David Cassidy (1950) and actor/director Andy Garcia (1956).

Actress Shannon Doherty (1971), frontman for the band 311, Nick Hexum (1971) and actress Claire Daines (1979) also share this date…

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

# CDLIV…As Facebook Is Glitched…

Today, April 8th, has been covered on this blog before…however, due to a glitch on today’s post, I will just repost it here (in a brand new post)…as it celebrates one of my favorite artists…

# CCCVI…RIP Paul Gray (1972-2010)…

Today’s post, in case you don’t know who he was, is dedicated to the memory of late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray…who deserves this post because of his former enrollment in the Southpaw Nation!  In his short, sixteen year career with Slipknot, he performed as # 2 (or The Pig, depending on fan’s outlook) and was one of three original members when he died and the only member that stuck with his role when The Clown switched to custom percussion.

On a personal note, I haven’t listened to the band since his death; as a fan, it’s the equivalent of when Cliff Burton was replaced by Jason Newsted…yeah, the music may be the same but the dynamic is just not there!

RIP Mr. Gray…you are still one of my top three favorite lefty bassists and your light will forever shine…

Also, today is the birthday of late First Lady Betty Ford (1918-2011), late baseball star Catfish Hunter (1946-1999), actors Stuart Pankin and Tim Thomerson (both 1946), former Yes guitarist Steve Howe (1947), late MLB Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter (1954-2012), “Jason Voorhees” aka Kane Hodder (1955), and former “Smallville” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” star John Schneider was born in 1960.

Also celebrating today are; Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin (1962), famous scion Julian Lennon (1963), rapper/actor Biz Markie (1964), actress Patricia Arquette (1968) and “Twilight” heartthrob Taylor Kitsch was born in 1981.

/,,,/ ROCK ON # 2 \,,,\

# CDLIII…My Little One Ain’t Little Anymore…

As you’d know, if you happen to be following me (as there aren’t too many of you LOL), today, April 5th, marks the birthing date of my youngest daughter, Erin.  In this being her birthday (and I’ve mentioned this before to her), her creation has allowed me to never  receive any presents for my own birthday (two weeks from today, remember?)…as I could never have expected the most wonderful of gifts in my youngling!

This date marks her seventeenth year on this planet and, if she plays her cards right, she is more than capable of achieving her dreams and aspirations.  I can only hope, as her father, that she DOES accomplish what she sets her heart and mind upon…and to let her know, specifically, that I will do all that is in my power to make sure that I will help in any way that I can; emotionally, physically and spiritually (not sure about financially, but she must understand that I try)!

In typical fashion, here are her birthday twins:  actor Spencer Tracy (1900-1967), late actress/diva Bette Davis (1908-1989), late actor Gregory Peck (1916-2003), the author of “The Roots”, Alex Hailey (1920-2004), former “Riddler” Frank Gorshin (1933-2005), United States General Colin Powell (1937), singer/guitarist (and Johnny’s brother) Tommy Cash (1940), Law & Order star Michael Moriarty (1941) and The Hollies’ frontman Allan Clarke was born in 1942.

Finishing this list are; late astronaut Judith Resnik (1949-1986), Swedish diva Agnetha Faltskog (from the group ABBA) (1950), The X-Files’ Mitch Pileggi (1952), former WCW/WWF superstar Diamond Dallas Page (1956), “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams (1973), actress Hayley Atwell (Captain America movies) was born in 1982 and professional wrestling’s Ashley Fliehr (daughter of the iconic Ric Flair) was born in 1986.

/,,,/ ROCK ON “MI PRINCESSA” \,,,\

{** The above birthday list was originally presented in my book…link is below…Thanks!! }

# CDLII…Excerpt for Late Actor…(1979-2008)…

As today hasn’t been touched, although it is the day BEFORE my youngest daughter’s birthday, I figure (as many of you haven’t) to spread just one more excerpt from the first book…hoping to get a little controversial with this one, though (not that I’m caring about the controversy LOL)…

# xlix…Disagreeing with the masses…

Today, April 4th, if you haven’t already heard, would have been the birthday of the late brilliant actor Heath Ledger (1979-2008).  This might come as a surprise to most people but, in my honest opinion, the man should have had a greater career, which was cut short so tragically.  His acting roles in such classics as “A Knight’s Tale”, “The Brothers Grimm” and “Casanova”, among many, clearly showed his range of acting ability.

However, and I will be bringing my “mob repellants” for this one, I don’t favor everyone else’s opinion of his portrayal of everyone’s favorite maniac, The Joker.  In this blogger’s humble opinion, Heath Ledger’s performance pales in comparison to Jack Nicholson’s version (which also, in comparison, was on par with Cesar Romero’s), yet due to the proximity of the film’s release combined with his untimely demise, he will be revered publicly as “better”, which I couldn’t disagree with more!

Also celebrating are/would have been; late 30’s actress/singer Rosemary Lane (1913-1974), who, in a weird twist, has a sister, Priscilla Lane, that she performed with in the 30’s and 40’s, that died on this date in 1995; late guitarist Muddy Waters (1913-1983), former Brooklyn Dodgers’ legend Gil Hodges (1924-1972), late poet laureate Maya Angelou (1928-2014), “Psycho” star Anthony Perkins (1932-1992), author/journalist Kitty Kelley (1942) and former “Coach” star Craig T. Nelson was born in 1944.

Television creator David E. Kelley (“Boston Legal”, “Ally McBeal”, “Chicago Hope”, etc.) was born in 1956, veteran acting talent Hugo Weaving (1960), the ubiquitous Robert Downey, Jr. (1965), former “Facts of Life” co-star Nancy McKeon (1966), singer Jill Scott (1972), magician David Blaine (1973), late BMX star Dave Mirra (1974-2016) and actress/famous sister Jamie Lynn Spears was born in 1991.

Until tomorrow…if you follow the blog, you’ll know why…

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