# CDLXVI…Mom’s Special Day…

For those of you that don’t usually read this blog (unlike our honoree), July 1st happens to be the birthdate of my Mom, Ruth, who was born at a tumultuous time in American history.  Mom joined this world while America was knee-deep in World War II (General Eisenhower actually visited the Normandy front on that day) and, thankfully for this author, my grandparents raised my Mom to be the respectable citizen that she is to this date.

During the unbearable times proceeding the “split” between her and my late father, however, she did everything right raising us four kids…in a time WAY BEFORE today’s wonderful technology, my mom excelled in making sure that her children (us) followed the same ground rules that her parents instilled in her; to become law-abiding, good-natured people that could survive in the world that we live in today.  Times were tougher back then but my Mother performed (and is still, to this day) her duties well enough to make sure that we remain honest and true to those core beliefs.

As my biggest fan (she reads every post, thank you), she has definitely earned this place on my blog (and, in my book).  Without her presence, which goes without saying, I wouldn’t be doing this; naturally because I wouldn’t be here, in this seat, writing about her on her most special of occasions!

It is with great pride and honor that I present to you (and to her) the July 1st birthday list; we will start with what would have been the 111th birthday of cosmetics founder Estee Lauder (1906-2004), “Gone With the Wind”s Olivia de Havilland (1916), comedian/actor Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H) was born in 1934, actress Karen Black (who starred in “Airport ’75” and “Easy Rider”) was born in 1939, choreographer Twyla Tharp in 1941, Blondie lead singer Deborah Harry was born in 1945, former “What’s Happening!!” waitress Shirley Hemphill (1947-1999), The B-52’s frontman Fred Schneider and “The Cop” from The Village People, Victor Willis, were both born on this day in 1951.

Also on today’s list is actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd (1952), country star Keith Whitley (1955-1989), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” sidekick and former “Spin City” co-star Alan Ruck (1956), 90’s TV star Dale Midkiff (“Time Trax” LOL…wow, my grey hairs) was born in 1959, R&B great Evelyn “Champagne” King turns a young 57 today (1960), track speedster Carl Lewis (1961) as well as the late, great Princess Diana (1961-1997), rap superstar Missy Elliott was born in 1971, and the always scrumptious Liv Tyler (sorry, Steven LOL) was born on this date in 1977.

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

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# CDLXV…The Birthday Massacre, Part IV…

In my on-going attempt to “introduce” new music to your earbuds, I now present to you the proof of my love for this group…my minor contribution to their latest release, which was covered here not-so-long-ago!

I’m just gonna leave this here…it’s up to you to discover what I’ve known all along…this band is FIRE!!!!

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

# CDLXIV…Father’s Day, 2017…

On this special edition post for today, June 18th, which coincides with Father’s Day this year, I would like to indulge my own personal psyche and describe to you my elation with everything this “holiday” has come to mean to me.

As my ex-girlfriend and I were estranged at the time, I didn’t find out that my eldest daughter, Mena, was born until three days after her birth.  Nonetheless, once I was told of her existence, I did my best to accommodate her life on this planet.  Throughout her 25 years on this planet, I have done my utmost best (as any father should) to make sure that she remains an upstanding and productive member of society; she has, however, exceeded my own accomplishments, insofar as she is a high school AND college graduate!

My youngest daughter, Erin, I had the pleasure of being present with my ex-wife in the delivery room to experience the miracle of her birth 17 years ago…which, although it turns a lot of men into sissies LOL, had the opposite effect on me (as I’ve said in the past, I could hit the lottery twice and not be as happy as I was in that instant!!!)  She will be going into her final year at high school this year and hopefully graduating as a senior next year (which I will make EVERY attempt to witness, regardless of how much distance is between us).

Personally, in this day and age where MONEY is apparently key over all, I haven’t lived up to modern society’s vision of the perfect Dad; for example, I cannot shower my children with cars, houses or the extravagant items that are being produced for our enjoyment.  My children weren’t lavished with over-the-top Sweet 16s (although I would have LOVED to provided that, if my financial state wasn’t in ruins) or given the chance to travel the world on my dime but, at the end of the day, I can rest easy every night, because I know that I have given them the one thing that money CANNOT give them; my presence!

To my wonderful children, I don’t need any “gifts” that the stores are currently hawking for this joyous day; you are and always will be the only Father’s Day gifts that I need and/or want to receive on this date.

I would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of my friends and contacts on social media, male AND female (in case you’re a single Mom pulling double duty because of the ineptitude of certain members of the male species who couldn’t handle being a father!)

And, in closing, I would like to mention a Happy Father’s Day in Heaven to two people who would be celebrating if it weren’t for the fact that they are no longer with us; my father, Frederick Johnson, and my late brother Fredrick; as this date is incomplete without you both.

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

 

# CDLXIII…Rock Spotlight Vol. IX…”Under Your Spell”, The Birthday Massacre (2017)…

When this band announced a PledgeMusic campaign to fund this new album, titled “Under Your Spell” (which features a silhouette of a “bunny-girl” skeleton embracing another shadowy grim reaper skeleton), I immediately and without hesitation did my part to kill the “bubblegum” that graces the airwaves.  As a man with a collection of music that DOESN’T include most of the moronic nonsense out there, this band is among my Top 50 (coming soon?!?) and this album is proof-positive that you’re missing out.

Before I get into the album, however, I would like to state my official position on this Canadian sextet (which I’ve covered in FOUR posts on this blog)…everything this band has put out since 2002’s “Nothing and Nowhere” is in my catalogue!  When I made my “pledge” (although a measly $16), it was with the intent of keeping them in my musical database because of their intelligence.  As true masters of their craft, this album is everything that is expected of them (in terms of recording music for all to enjoy!)

An 11-track romp through a Carroll-esque (“Alice in Wonderland”?) landscape of emotional highs and lows in dealing with life and, more specifically, love, it grabs you from the first song (aptly titled “One”) and keeps you enthralled, through Chibi’s haunting vocal styles, combined with Owen’s keyboard mastery with Rainbow and Falcore’s guitar prowess to finish.  The flow that this band has had since the beginning is something that everyone can enjoy.  The band is more tempered for the darker side (goth-synth?) and I can certainly relate to most of the subject matter on this album (as highlighted by tracks like the title cut, “All Of Nothing”, “No Tomorrow” (featuring two sides of Sara Taylor’s impressive vocals), “Games”, and “Unkind”.)

In closing, this is definitely a band that you should enjoy and this album is a five-star caliber album!  I suggest that you all mark June 9th on your calendars…you WILL NOT be disappointed!

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

# CDLXII…”There Can Be Only One”…(Memorial Day Excerpt)…

May 29th, historically for this blog, has not been covered…but, as I mention in the book, it made an impression enough to bring out my inner nerd, as you’ll see in the following excerpt (hopefully to invoke more sales???)…

# lxxvii…”There Can Be Only One”…

The date on the calendar, May 29th, meant almost nothing to today’s star, Adrian Paul (1959), who, as you may recall, starred as Duncan MacLeod on the hit science-fiction show, “Highlander” (beautiful show about an “immortal”, who has to keep his head from being chopped off in order to stay that way) from 1992 to 1998.

It was actually my best friend, Shawn Smith, who introduced me to the British actor, as I have been an avid science fiction fan my whole life…so, naturally, I really enjoyed his acting and his emotion in the role for those six great years.  His career, in case you didn’t realize why he’s here yet, actually spans television and movies since 1987…since before a lot of the “Internet Generation” was even thought of…the title, by the way, was his usual “catchphrase” after taking another “immortal’s” head.

Also celebrating on this wonderful date are/were; late veteran patriarch Stacy Keach, Sr. (1914-2003), late President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent (1938), veteran racer Al Unser (1939), veteran actor Kevin Conway (1942), soap opera phenom Anthony Geary (1947), music and movie maestro Danny Elfman (1953) and famous songstress LaToya Jackson was born in 1956.

Veteran actress Annette Bening (1958), musical icon Melissa Ethridge (1961), former “The Facts of Life” co-star Lisa Welchel (1963), former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher (1967), Spice Girls’ Mel B. (1975), comedian/host Daniel Tosh (1975), wrestling personalities Brian Kendrick (1979) and Hornswoggle (1986) and basketball star Carmelo Anthony (1986) round out this list of celebs.

And, in case you didn’t know, there IS only one…

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

# CDLXI…Personal Dia de los Muertes…

As today is the eighteenth year since my father passed on to the astral plane, I would also like to regale you another tale from my book (with a minor edit), as I’ve never used this time to tell you (on the blog, at least) about the other people born on this day…the following was published last year and, to my knowledge, has never been spoken of outside of my book…

RIP Frederick Henry Johnson (07/08/31 – 05/21/99)…a light forever missed…

# lxx…Wrestling’s Greatest “Ghost”…

{Author’s Note:  May 21st is the date that, in 1999, my father’s physical body left this earth…this is not a date that I celebrate normally…}

I have just found out that May 21st, aside from being the darkest day in my personal history, would have been the birthdays of late wrestling pariah Chris Benoit (1967) AND his wife, Nancy Benoit (1964).  Now, I don’t know about you but, to me, that is reason enough for me (to mention them), aside from the fact that, reportedly, Mr. Benoit killed his wife (two days before he committed suicide), who was the performer formerly known as Woman (in ECW and WCW).

It’s just one of the reasons that I love the unpredictability of the calendar…they knew they were born on the same day and got married, too…although the reasons for his supposed murder of his wife, being the tragedy that it is, will never be known, because he took those thoughts to his grave, regardless of what the media will say (they only let you know what THEY want you to, remember?)

Chris Benoit, by the way and for the record, should not have his wrestling accomplishments and great performances stricken from the annals of the WWE history…the matches alone speak for themselves, as does the skills in promotion of the craft.  Regardless of the acts that he has committed, his prowess in and out of the ring will be forever remembered by the truest fans of the genre.  I can remember countless matches with the man that were far superior then anything being broadcast today.

I understand the stigma that his actions have caused…but he is deserving of this spot because of his performances, not because of his final actions!

Also born on this dismal day are; late actor Robert Montgomery (1904-1981), late musician Fats Waller (1904-1943), late “Ironside” (among others) star Raymond Burr (1917-1993), former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian (1923), former Braves’ manager Bobby Cox (1941), singer Leo Sayer (1948), actor/politician Al Franken (1951) and the ever-popular Mr. T was born in 1952.

Comedian Judge Reinhold (1957), late serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (1960-1994), former Minnesota Twins’ mainstay Kent Hrbek (1960), late rap icon The Notorious B.I.G. (1972-1997), actress Fairuza Balk (1974), former running back (yes, and former Saints’ bust, I know…) Ricky Williams (1977) and former Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier (1978) {Author’s Note:  Check him out with the cello-based band Apocalyptica, as well} close this list.

Well, with this date now off my calendar, brighter days ahead…

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

# CDLX…Weirdness Excerpt…

So, for the first written post this month (been busy with Book 2)…I will just enlighten you with this tale about a not-so-well-known actor and why he was placed in the first book…

# lxix…Classic “Cult” Actor…

Today, May 20th, just happens to be the birthday of veteran actor (active since 1963) Anthony Zerbe (1936)…as some of you may recall (if you’re old enough), he was the villainous Abner Devereaux in the cult classic rock movie, “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park”, from 1978.  The film, which was certainly, by today’s standard, poorly made (if rebooted in this day and age, however, could be awesome) told the story of Abner Devereaux’s plot of revenge against the well-known theme park that he worked at.

His plan, which was to create chaos and ruin after a concert by evil versions of the rock band, was thwarted by the heroes, who had regained their supernatural “powers” to save the day.  Anthony Zerbe’s performance of the villain Devereaux is just one of the many roles that has garnered his place here; he’s played in a James Bond film (“License to Kill”), a Star Trek film (“Star Trek: Insurrection”) and two Matrix films (“The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”)…not too shabby.

Also celebrating are/would have been; late actor (“It’s A Wonderful Life”, among others) James Stewart (1908-1997), former baseball world home run leader Sadaharu Oh (1940), late 60’s crooner Joe Cocker (1944-2014), multi-talented entertainer Cher (1946), late Yankees’ star/broadcaster Bobby Murcer (1946-2008) and former New York governor, David Paterson, was born in 1954.

Famous 80’s scion Ron Reagan (1958), The Go-Go’s’ guitarist Jane Wiedlin (1958), The Cowsills’ Susan Cowsill (1959), actor/comedian Bronson Pinchot (1959), “The Facts of Life”s Mindy Cohn (1966), rapper/actor Busta Rhymes (1972) and basketball scion Patrick Ewing, Jr. was born in 1984.

I should be back tomorrow…not for birthday post, though…if you follow me, you’ll know why!

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

{The above excerpt, and many more like it, are still available at the link below…}