A crazed man at the 5 train Wall St. station (yeah, the 5 always pisses me off too) opened fire, but luckily didn’t hit an allegedly muscular man who, the gunman claimed, had been staring him down. Let this be a lesson to you all: Don’t stare people down on the subway! You never know who’s armed. Crazed gunmen, by definition, do not need much provocation to be rattled to their breaking points.
But really, doesn’t this “crazed gunman” know that subway crime has hit an all-time low?
I mean, get with the program, buddy!
Two friends of mine made some seemingly innocent remarks regarding what George Washington’s blog would be like, so I slapped this together in about three seconds (and it shows!). Not for those who dislike profanity. Enjoy.
Just when you’re about to declare 2004 the worst year in music history, Johnny Ramone denies all reports of his impending death to cancer. It is not only good news for Johnny, but also for the remaining Ramones who were in danger of going down in history as the most radioactive group since the cast of The Conqueror in 1956. (I heard from an inside source that Dee Dee actually OD’d to avoid succumbing to cancer, which if true really makes you wonder just how cancerous one rock group can be.) Anyway, aren’t the drummers supposed to die first? Nothing against Marky or Tommy, but a dead drummer is simply nature’s way, not mine.
I think I may know the reason why New Yorkers have been a bit cranky these days.
I know this is very late, but I didn’t want the death of Ray Charles to go unmentioned (and I was too upset to write about it before now). Rather than a written tribute, I figured I would post this picture instead. This is a beautiful pen and ink drawing I bought a year and a half ago in Montreal from a street portraitist named David McArthur. He had this hanging on his wall as a sample of his work (I think it was drawn in 1978). It wasn’t really for sale, but he let me buy it anyway.
Daniel Nester, author of God Save My Queen, has finally gotten a definitive review of his book from Vue Weekly. It almost counteracts the New York Times review from Ken “Muther” Tucker, which really pissed me off as he seemed more intent on dismissing Queen as an entity than reviewing the book on its own merits. I mean, anyone who credits Robert Christgau for starting his career can’t possibly be a worthwhile critical force.
I think we desperately need a fun entry to help combat the previous bummer entries.
Years ago, my and a friend of mine were messing with his video editing machine after heavy drinking. We manipulated some footage of Jack Palance talking about: the DC3, helium, the founding of Sacramento…and we scrambled the clips thusly (I lost the original tape years ago; this is a recreation from memory using Final Cut Pro, but I believe these are 100% faithful to the originals. Click the links below to download. Enjoy.
More bad news. This is deeply upsetting news to me, as I’m sure it is to many music fans. He was simply one of the greatest guitarists ever. He apparently overdosed over Memorial Day weekend, despondent over the recent death of his wife. I was shocked when I heard “overdose” because I don’t believe he was a heavy drug user (and I just cannot believe he was a junkie). I encountered him several times while working at J&R Music World. He always seemed to be seeking out some impossibly rare blues or world music CD. A really nice person and, again, one of the greatest guitarists ever.
Boy, this is turning out to be a horrible year (or three) for music. Steve Lacy died of cancer after having just returned to the United States about two years ago to teach at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. A tremendous musical loss.
This is another video-based entry. It’s a request from a dear friend of mine, Jennifer Prescott. The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, for those who don’t know, was one of the greatest TV movies ever. It stars a pre-Saturday Night Fever John Travolta as Tod Lubitch, a child born without an immune system. He spends his life in a sterile environment. His room is completely hermetically sealed against germs, his food is specially prepared. They can only touch him using special gloves, etc. The real meat here is how rife with overacting (and equally horrendous editing) the film is. Here are four examples:
I figured I better document this joke before everyone makes an almost identical one, so here goes…. ahem….
Person #1: Did you hear? Ronald Reagan just died.
Person #2: Wow. He didn’t even know he was sick.
Whoa! Looks like I didn’t have to wait five minutes to begin bombing. Heh heh he.. Okay, I’ll stop it now.
My mind is a junkyard. I admit I laugh at some pretty stupid shit. Having said that, this clip is an absolute classic. My friend, Max Lang, was switching channels one night about twelve years ago when he came across this. It’s some Canadian (heavily pronounced) court dramatization show, a la Divorce Court . This one involves a rock star whose lyrics, according to the prosecution, coerced a fan to kill himself. Now, I don’t know for sure if it’s based on Ozzy, but I couldn’t imagine another real case like this. Incidentally, I know Ozzy, and this guy is no Ozzy. He IS freakin’ hilarious and this clip has become a must-see among my closest friends (at least the ones who like this sort of thing). Enjoy.
Click on the picture to download it.