It’s Easter: Into the Sun…with Cecilia

Apr 16, 2017 | 3915 Views | 2 Comments

Is there such a thing as an Easter playlist? Aside from the ode to Peter Cottontail hippity-hopping down the bunny trail, or tributes to lovely ladies in bonnets strolling along in Irving Berlin's Easter Parade, can you think of one popular, serious song that celebrates the day of Christ’s resurrection? There are numerous tunes about the rejuvenative powers of spring, but only a handful that mention Easter by name. As a rocker steeped in the punk/New Wave music of the late 1970s, Patti’s Smith’s sad, solemn “Easter,” with its echo of bagpipes and bells, its chime-like vocals,... Read More »

My Wild and Innocent Days Loving Bruce Springsteen

Apr 12, 2017 | 3291 Views | 5 Comments

Jimmy Cagney, hat brim low over his eyes, talking wise to Joan Blondell. Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall picking pockets in The Bowery. Platinum angels with arched, pencil-thin eyebrows, sipping bathtub gin and waiting in vain for their square-jawed mugs to return from the hoosegow. Sharpies named Ace and Lefty. Dames named Ruby and Peaches. Those were the cinematic heroes of my youth. So, it's no surprise I'd fall hard for the denizens of Bruce Springsteen's second LP, "The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle." To this day, it's the most romantic life-on-the-street album... Read More »

Thanks to You, Mary Tyler Moore, I’m Gonna Make it After All

Jan 27, 2017 | 10257 Views | 0 Comments

I was 13 years old, gawky, zitty, unpopular, and academically mediocre. Unlike many of the girls in my class, I didn’t have a boyfriend. Mary Richards was 30-ish, beautiful, accomplished, and smart. And unlike many of the female characters on TV at that time, she didn’t have a boyfriend. And that made me feel SO MUCH better! When the Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted on CBS on September 19, 1970, I was 10, and at the height of my tuffy tomboy period. And while I liked the program’s heroine Ms. Richards well enough, at that age I... Read More »

The Sex Pistols Invade America. First Stop: Pittsburgh

Dec 29, 2016 | 19652 Views | 1 Comment

I remember sitting in study hall one day during my senior year of high school, speaking in hushed tones with a couple of friends about a band that was just starting to rear its spike-haired head on the pages of Circus and Creem magazines: The Sex Pistols. Who were they? Or rather, what were they? In the early months of 1977, no one outside a small circle of die-hard British fans had even heard their music. The band’s first single, “God Save the Queen,” and sole studio album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols,”... Read More »

Rudolph, You Rock. Now Wise Up, Reindeer!

Dec 12, 2016 | 13137 Views | 1 Comment

Okay, Rudolph, you've gone down in history with that song of yours. And for what? Selling out! So you were born with a shiny red schnoz and had the misfortune of living in a polar ice cap with no access to a plastic surgeon or electrician. And all those big-antlered reindeer jocks and their patent-leather-hoofed cheerleader girlfriends called you names and shunned you because of it. I know, I know...it hurts to be the last one picked for the volleyball team. Bullying sucks. But, Rudolph, you copped out and allowed those conformist reindeer snobs to welcome... Read More »