The front page headline on every major news web site last night was "Teena Marie - First White Act Ever On Motown Records Dies At 54."
The problem? That is incorrect and I knew the details.
I immediately called Associated Press and gave them intricate details as to why they were wrong.
You see, 1960's teen idol, Paul Petersen, the young star of "The Donna Reed Show" was the first white act to ever sign with Motown in 1967.
You'll remember that Paul had a number of national hits during the TV show including "My Dad" which charted in the Top Ten but these were on Colpix Records.
When "Donna Reed" was cancelled, Motown realized that this guy could really sing with great soul (he originally was a young singer and not an actor) and signed him as the very first white artist on Motown Records.
Although he did not have the same success at Motown that he had during the Colpix years, he was the first white artist on their label.
AP wrote down all the details I gave them, said that they would immediately send it up the chain of command and the whole story was re-written, excluding the incorrect information and instead focusing on a different angle. It has been corrected at every major news web site.
Folks, how about doing some research before putting out an incorrect major story that appears everywhere?
44 years ago, folk-rock sensation Simon & Garfunkel took the religious Christmas song "Silent Night" and sang it mixed in with the current news of the week. Nothing like this had ever been recorded before.
As you listen to the song here:
read the words of the news broadcast below.
Looks like not a whole lot has changed.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Jubilant Kwanzaa and Wonderful Winter Solstice
to those who strive for peace in the world.
"This is the early evening edition of the news.
The recent fight in the House of Representatives was over the open housing section of the Civil Rights Bill.
Brought traditional enemies together but left the defenders of the measure without the votes of their strongest supporters.
President Johnson originally proposed an outright ban covering discrimination by everyone for every type of housing but it had no chance from the start and everyone in Congress knew it.
A compromise was painfully worked out in the House Judiciary Committee.
In Los Angeles today comedian Lenny Bruce died of what was believed to be an overdose of narcotics.
Bruce was 42 years old.
Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday in the Chicago suburb of Cicero.
Cook County Sheriff Richard Ogleby asked King to call off the march and the police in Cicero said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held.
King, now in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to return to Chicago Tuesday.
In Chicago, Richard Speck, accused murderer of nine student nurses, was brought before a grand jury today for indictment.
The nurses were found stabbed and strangled in their Chicago apartment.
In Washington the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American Activities continued its probe into anti-Viet Nam war protests.
Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans.
Former Vice-President Richard Nixon says that unless there is a substantial increase in the present war effort in Viet Nam, the U.S. should look forward to five more years of war.
In a speech before the Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York, Nixon also said opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.
That's the 7 o'clock edition of the news, good night."
Millions of people around the world paid tribute today on the 30th Anniversary of the death of John Lennon.
In Los Angeles, the memorial service took place tonight in front of the Capitol Records building near Hollywood and Vine.
The small but dedicated crowd of about 100 people gathered to hear speakers, musicians and the music of John Lennon.
The highlight of the event was an artist who painted a mural of Lennon completely from scratch from his imagination while the audience watched. The mural was an incredible likeness of the Beatle from the 1968 era. (top picture of artist and his creation)
The joyful atmosphere of primarily people in their 50's and 60's told stories of where they were 30 years ago tonight when they heard the world shattering news.
Telemundo network was present and focused on the artist creating his mural. In a personal humorous note, when the announcer was done taping his part he came over to me. I figured he just wanted a typical person in the crowd reaction. No--he wanted to film my special Beatles jacket which is filled with legendary Beatles logos, Yellow Submarines and Blue Meanies. You can see some of it in the lower picture. Somebody who speaks Spanish should tell me if my jacket got in the final report.
Paul McCartney received the prestigious Kennedy Center Award tonight for Lifetime achievement in Entertainment in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year Paul received the Gershwin award from the Library of Congress.
Paul, who is 68, is three years away from 50 years of entertaining Americans.
For those who have followed the group from their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg,
Paul has already been entertaining for 50 years straight.
Quite an achievement. Considering so many musical entertainers have a 1-3 year career span.
Rush Limbaugh Goes Through Airport Scanner.
Results Reveal Unusual Anatomical Structure!
by Michael Y. Park
Rush Limbaugh joined hundreds of other Americans this weekend as he
was scrutinized by a full-body X-Ray Machine on his way to a golf
tournament from the Miami Airport. However, security was quickly called as the
result of Limbaugh's scan. Never having dealt with a situation as was revealed
by Limbaugh's presence, the TSA quickly rushed their chief medical officer
to the scene for an analysis.
"It's really quite simple," said the TSA head doctor.
"Rush Limbaugh's head is a giant empty space and his
brain resides instead in his Gluteus Maximus. Quite unusual, but we
saw the same thing with George W. Bush when he was undergoing his
Presidential physical. Nothing to be concerned about."
The TSA says that they were still concerned that Limbaugh could
place a weapon of mass destruction in his empty head cavity but
they were soon relieved when it was explained to them that it was
already completely filled with a lot of hot air.
It used to be easy to call people crazy that insisted that the U.S. Government allowed known and dangerous Nazis to enter the USA after World War II and in many cases, made all the arrangements for them, and even worked with them afterwards.
After all, these were "conspiracy nuts" who told you those stories and it was ridiculous to listen to anything they had to say.
This week, the New York Times has published a full investigation that reveals, as you have probably guessed by now, that that is exactly what did happen.
We can only imagine what our own government is hiding from us regarding the Kennedy assassination and other conspiracy stories that the crazy people have been telling us for years.
If you are an average American, you work really hard these days.
And you've probably put off buying that new shirt or dress, because you can't justify purchasing it.
Look at it this way.
A woman spent $160 MILLION of her own money in the last few months to try and buy the office of the Governor of California. And it didn't work.
What does she have to show for it?
All she has is this lousy T-shirt.
You owe it to yourself to buy that shirt or dress.
Barbara Billingsley, who lived to 94 years old, was the quintessential 1950's mom.
As the star on "Leave It To Beaver" from 1957 through 1963, she was everything that you would expect from this incredible dream period of American life.
She was always at home during the day cleaning and cooking for Wally and The Beaver.
She was always there when her husband Ward came home and she had to refer the discipline of the boys to his strong but loving wisdom.
She never had an opinion of her own and certainly did not dare discuss politics.
The amazing thing is that the show which began airing in 1957, was a true reflection of American life at the time.
I know because I was lucky enough to be 4 (when you really start observing and remembering things) when the show came on the air.
When you're in the 1950's, you don't realize it at the time.
Jeepers. It was a swell time in America. It seems like a dream now.
A black and white dream of the coolest fashions, cars, music, TV and hula hoops.
Everybody loved their government, big corporations and we all had a real blast.
Going to Larry Mondello's house now.
On Monday, I was in Hollywood and ran into Larry Wilcox, the former co-star of the 70's hit tv show "CHIPS." I had interviewed him sometime between 10-15 years ago, so I reintroduced myself. Amazingly, not only did he remember the interview (he must have done hundreds of them), he told me things that I specifically said during our chat back then. I was amazed. He looked great and was just as freindly and down-to-earth as he always has been.
When I was listening to the news radio station late this afternoon, the announcer gave a teaser. She said, "A member of the TV show CHIPS gets busted by the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission), story coming up." I immediately thought, "I wonder what Erik Estrada (Larry's co-star) has done now!
When she came back with the story, it wasn't Erik. It was Larry Wilcox and the story said that he is in big trouble with the SEC for stock fraud and irregularities for a company he started with some other people.
I thought it was so weird. I hadn't thought about Larry in a very long time and now twice in a week!
This morning, the man who yesterday called the President of the United States a "jackass," took it upon himself to twist and distort that discovery and use it to denigrate the environmentalists.
Rush Limbaugh said that since new species have been found, it proves that the environmentalists are a bunch of wackos. After all, if new species of living things have been found, it directly proves that everything is fine with the environment and their complaints are ridiculous.
Anybody with a 5th grade education can tell you that just because scientists have found new species of insects, animals and wildlife--does not mean that existing species have not been harmed by the pollution and chemicals which man puts into the air, earth and water. Scientists have overwhelming evidence on species which have disappeared and are disappearing.
This kind of simplistic logic is exactly the thing that Fox News fans thrive upon.
One of the new species which was discovered somehow missed the photo exhibits online.
It is a newly discovered rat called the Rushmoronis Limbrat. Pictured here for you.
There was a time when almost everybody trusted their government--no questions asked.
It didn't matter if it was your local city, township, state or federal government.
They always were going to do what was best for you.
The few people who regularly showed up at city council meetings and wrote letters to the editor or stood outside city hall with signs were considered kooks.
Something has happened in just the last two years.
People have realized that all governments run on money--from their pockets and hard work.
The minority who were vocal have become the majority.
When the citizens of Bell, California in the Los Angeles area found out that their part-time (a few hours a week) councilmen were paying themselves $100,000. a year, they became outraged. Those few hours a week would have also entitled them to a pension forever at the same rate.
This scandal is the tip of the iceberg.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing you up to $500 million per DAY.
If only there was a national uprising with the same passion that has resulted in the city officials in Bell, California to be scrutinized, we might get back on track as a nation.
WIZARD OF OZ/DARK SIDE OF THE MOON COINCIDENCES ARE UNBELIEVABLE
In the 1990's we all started hearing a strange rumor.
The mystical story was that if you play the movie "Wizard of Oz," turn the sound down and instead, play Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," (beginning it when the MGM lion roars the third time) a series of incredible coincidences will happen:
*Words that are being sung on the album will directly match actions on the screen
*Songs will start and end in synchronization with different scenes
*Conceptual and abstract themes will clearly be associated between the film and record
The response from most of us hearing this was simply,
"What stoner was watching 'Wizard of Oz' and happened to turn down the sound and played 'Dark Side of the Moon' and came up with some far-fetched ideas?"
After all, we were part of the "Paul is Dead" experiment when amazing coincidences in Beatles songs, pictures and albums all revealed that Paul McCartney was dead and had been replaced by a substitute. And this was the way for The Beatles to reveal the truth to us.
Since the 1990's, the rumors of the "Wizard of Oz" and "Dark Side of the Moon" have resurfaced and been dismissed because when the album was recorded in the early 1970's, there was no VHS or DVD, and it would have been impossible for the group to have even obtained a copy of the film, (studios locked their films in vaults and nobody had access to them) let alone been able to construct such an intricate venture without the use of digital technology.
Since it's 2010 and we now have YouTube and other videos and recordings available to us instantly, I decided to revisit this magical story and see for myself.
In a startling surprise, everything that has been said about the coincidences is true.
It is mystical, perplexing and verrrrrry creepy.
These are just some of the things I observed, having viewed it with no expectations:
1. Dorothy is balancing herself on the fence for a few seconds exactly when the words "balanced on the biggest wave" is sung.
2. When Miss Gulch (the Wicked Witch) enters the picture on her bicycle, bicycle/alarm bells sound instantaneously.
3. When Toto escapes from the bicycle basket and hits the ground, the line "Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town" is sung.
4. In Oz, when the wicked witch wearing black appears, the word "Black" is sung in perfect timing.
5. When we see the two witches together (the good witch and bad witch), the words sung are: "And who knows which is which." A different usage of the word, but a shocking coincidence.
6. The album begins and ends with a long sustained heartbeat. On the ending heartbeat, Dorothy knocks on the Tin Man's chest, exactly where his heart should be.
There are many more. These are the ones that had me stunned.
I can only explain this through logic and then mysticism.
These are the possibilities:
1. Pink Floyd actually did obtain a print of the film and pulled off one of the greatest technical media masterpieces of all time.
2. It is a series of coincidences that defies probability and logic.
3. The universe is playing the ultimate cosmic joke on all of us.
This phenomenon which is now called either "The Dark Side of the Rainbow" or "The Wizard of Floyd" is currently available for you to experience yourself.
Take note that Warner Bros., the owner of the great MGM musical, continues to have the clips removed from YouTube but people keep putting them back up again.
The best is the full synchronized 45 minutes, available at:
Watch it for yourself in its entirety and see if you are not also mesmerized.
All musicians have influences.
Even John Lennon.
When he wrote the #1 hit "I Feel Fine" in 1964, an older song existing from 1961 would have been easily forgotten and very outdated.
"I Feel Fine" is my favorite Beatles song. I play it a minimum of 100 times a year.
That's probably close to hearing it 5,000 times when all things are considered.
Its hypnotic riff and infectious harmonies together with its upbeat cheery theme
make it one of their ultimate classics.
I know a lot about The Beatles. And it's always great to add to that knowledge base.
I learned today that John Lennon had a favorite record that was released in 1961 called "Watch Your Step" by Bobby Parker that the Beatles even performed in their early UK/Hamburg shows.
You only need to listen to the first 30 seconds or so to understand:
As most of the news these days is concerned with Lindsay Lohan, things that are important to humanity are thrown on the back pages of newspapers or buried deep in news websites.
Major advances in cancer, AIDS and blindness that have recently been discovered should have been the top stories.
If you were lucky enough to have read these short blurbs over the last two months you would have been excited for the future of mankind.
You would have realized that human beings have been given brilliant creative genius to solve these problems and they have the ability to see it through.
The only thing lacking is money. Scientists, resources, processes and experimentation costs money. That is the only thing preventing the cures.
When your government which is spending YOUR MONEY THAT YOU WORK FOR would rather invest 500 MILLION a day in death--you get exactly what you are paying for-- destruction, annihilation, massacre and human carnage.
If this 500 MILLION a day was spent on life--you would get growth, vitality, longevity and cures for everything that ails mankind.
When I also said these things when I was 14 and America was wasting its taxpayer's money on Vietnam, I would get looks from all kinds of adults like, "isn't that cute," "the naive child is dreaming," "go back and listen to the Beatles," and other condescending looks and remarks.
At 57, I say the same thing. Human beings have incredible creative abilities to find cures for all of this. They don't have the money. It is being wasted instead on death instead of life.
In this month alone from Afghanistan, 63 American families are getting back a pine box with a souvenir flag and what is left of their son, father, husband, brother or uncle.
It's not a dream. Go look for stories about the recent medical advances. Instead of being concerned with Lindsay Lohan, why don't you speak up and tell your government that their priorities are mixed up and you won't stand for it anymore.
Let me leave you with a nice thought for your day.
Every time that an American missile drone kills innocent men, women and children in a foreign nation--you have blood on your hands. And when you stand before Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, Moses or whoever your God of the month is on Judgment Day, you will be personally held responsible and asked why you didn't try and stop the madness.
My Favorite Painting - Up Close
I have always loved this painting more than any other.
"Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper.
I've seen thousands of copies of it in reproductions, books, postcards, souvenirs and even parodies like the Simpsons.
It was enchanting to be able to stand next to the original at the Art Institute in Chicago.
Although this was the first time as an adult, I saw it as a small child and always thought it was a cartoon.
A few interesting facts:
1. Where's the door?
2. Fluorescent light just had come into existence around the time he painted the picture.
Hopper dramatically recreates fluorescent light in the cafe.
3. Most Hopper's paintings have a sense of isolation and loneliness to them. There may be people, but they are rarely communicating with each other.
4. The man is holding a cigarette. I recall that when blown up, the woman is holding a book of matches.
The Greatest Moment of My Trip To Chicago
From 1959-1967, age 5-14, my twin brother and I lived on the bottom floor of this two flat on the North side called Rogers Park in Chicago.
During my trip this week, the very nice people who live there now, let us in and showed us the entire place and property. We had not been in there since 1967.
It was the most moving event of my return to my childhood.
In this modest apartment, I experienced the things that most children do during those formative years. Development of lifelong friends, happy times, sad times, family and relatives, riding a bicycle, school, first important girlfriend, trust, betrayal, life and death.
It was here that although we lived in poverty, I played my Beatles albums over and over again which I still do today. And I filled the atmosphere with my cheap guitar and old broken down piano. My brother and I would fill ourselves with laughter as we invented creative things to make up for the things we didn't have. I got to experience the very unique late 1950's and the innocence of the early 1960's. I watched the great sitcoms of the 1960's as they aired for the first time.
And it is here we came on November 22, 1963 when we were called into the auditorium at school, briefly told that President Kennedy was dead and to go home right now.
And it was here that my other brother, 5 years older, suddenly got sick, went into the hospital, and just as sudden--never came back to this home.
So much of my life was influenced in this residence.
It was a powerful experience to walk in there one last time.
1. U.S. PASSES A LAW THAT REQUIRES ALL BOYS AND MEN LIVING IN THE COUNTRY TO CHANGE THEIR HAIR STYLES TO MATCH THOSE OF ELVIS IN THE 50's.
2. EACH MALE CITIZEN MUST GO DOWN TO THE GULF AND FILL A COOLER-SIZE WATER BOTTLE WITH OIL AND TAKE IT HOME WITH HIM.
3. HE MUST USE THE OIL ON HIS HAIR DAILY.
There is a whole generation of young Americans who have grown up knowing one thing--America is always involved in some kind of war. Not official of course, Congress hasn't declared an official war since World War II.
$500 MILLION A DAY minimum is the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Money that could go into education, starting new industries with loans, health care and creating new jobs. And the cost of American lives.
Where are the protesters on this Fourth of July?
The younger crowd is busy with their video games and music videos.
The college crowd is out partying and driving their new cars to which they were automatically entitled.
Young adults are busy texting and on their cell phones.
Adults are watching 500 channels of TV, recuperating from overwork or looking for any work.
Nobody is available to protest anymore.
The patriots that declared American independence against England would be ashamed at the new American character.
I don't know about you, but I think this just released report:
that clearly shows that dangerous chemicals are being found in exorbitant amounts in sea life is just a bit more important
than the continual daily media obsession with Lady Gaga...what she said, where she went, what she did...
it's just absurd.
One billion people who live on fish will eventually not be able to eat it anymore.
Fish are dying off in record amounts as well.
But, apparently what Lady Gaga did today is so much more important.
You can blame President Obama or you can continue to blame George W. Bush or Bill Clinton about the recession, but the blame falls on all Americans.
In the 90's, when Americans stood idly by while NAFTA and GATT were passed, and said nothing when hundreds of U.S. corporations moved their manufacturing to China, Southeast Asia, the Orient, Mexico and Central America, the future was being sealed.
When only one man on the radio, Chuck Harder, presented a daily summary of corporations moving their operations out of the U.S. and urged you to Buy American, he was called a "patriot nut" and ignored. Everything he said was going to happen has happened.
The economics is so simple, that even Sarah Palin would understand it:
The U.S. once manufactured everything for ourselves and the rest of the world.
Those American workers would in turn buy other American products at the stores, further employing millions of our countrymen. It was a circle of manufacturing American and buying American.
The USA is turning into a service industry. With very little being manufactured and produced here, we're becoming nothing but a tourist destination.
I was hoping to buy an all-American pair of Levis. They no longer have one factory in America.
China will never have to fire a shot to takeover America.
All they have to do is cash in their one trillion dollars worth of U.S. treasury securities.
Over the last two years, Sony has released the 190 Columbia shorts starring The Three Stooges in chronological order in eight volumes. They have all been completely remastered looking like they were appearing at movie theaters for the very first time and the sound has been completely restored to perfection.
Those of you who originally grew up watching The Three Stooges on TV starting in 1959, know that you were watching prints that circulated to TV stations all over the country. You were just a little kid so the wear, scratches, editing, pops, clicks, distortion and holes punched for commercial insertion, did not bother you.
By the time VHS came along, the same horrible prints had been hastily thrown onto the new medium. There was slight improvement for DVD, but still nothing worthy of the funniest comedy team in world history.
Sony, which owns Columbia studios and all their film and TV content, heard the pleas of Stoogephiles worldwide. And finally responded beginning in late 2007.
Having watched all 190 over the last couple years, I can now make the following bold statement:
"Shemp's work is on par with Curly's and even surpasses it in many ways."
Like millions of baby boomers, we all disliked the Shemp episodes.
When Shemp episodes came on WGN in Chicago, there must have been a surge of electric power as refrigerators opened during this "break" while we waited for Curly to return.
How could Shemp even compare to Curly? Curly was physically funny, unpredictable, hilarious and made all those funny noises. Shemp seemed dull, average and a poor substitute for his zany brother.
I as many of you have probably retained that perspective for many years, only catching an episode of the group from time to time.
Baby Boomers are all grown up now and through the miracle of film restoration, I ask you to pick up at least two of the restored volumes, one with Curly and one with Shemp, and reconsider.
Shemp brings something to his Stooge role that was not obvious to you as a kid--a whole layer of sophistication and occasional dignity. Shemp is inventive, has an outstanding range and does also give you everything that Curly gave you including slapstick when called for.
I hope you will give Shemp a chance at being idolized like Moe, Larry and Curly.
Would you spend $10 million to try and obtain a $25,000 a year job?
In proportion, that's what Meg Whitman just did.
Months and months of perpetual radio and TV commercials cost Meg Whitman
running for Governor of California, $80 million for the chance at a $200,000 job.
Does that make economic sense to you?
This should clearly show you just how corrupt our political system is.
FOX NEWS, the slanted propaganda service which on a daily basis attacks, smears and slanders anybody that doesn't subscribe to their right wing babble, has attacked legendary Beatle Paul McCartney.
As Paul received his Gershwin Award from the President the other day, he noted:
"It's a fantastic honor (for) the Gershwin family to give me this incredible award and for me to be awarded it by the Library of Congress. And in fact, after the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is."
Apparently, a man like Paul McCartney is not allowed to express a political opinion about George Bush--the cocaine sniffing, military service evading, alcoholic President who destroyed America and walked (actually stumbled) all over the Constitution in eight horrible years.
However, Fox News can attack and smear President Obama on a daily basis and that is acceptable.
Fox News even has allowed its brainwashed sheep to attack McCartney with some of the most deplorable statements which it is allowing online.
"Mark David Chapman shot the wrong Beatle" says a Fox News fan in a comment which the company has allowed to be posted online.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much pleasure, enjoyment and good feelings has Paul McCartney given to you over the years?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much pleasure, enjoyment and good feelings has George W. Bush given to you over the years?
President Obama presented Paul McCartney with the prestigious American Gershwin Award tonight at the White House. Paul was his usual witty self and of course, performed "Michelle." Even during the Beatles biggest years, President Johnson and Nixon were too narrow minded to invite the group, love by millions, to the White House. Instead, Nixon was busy trying to deport John Lennon from the U.S. This award comes from all Americans and it's about time there was some official recognition to at least one of only two surviving Beatles.
Football added instant replay to clarify controversial calls a few years ago, and today's outright baseball injustice proves that Major League Baseball needs to do the same.
Had it been an ordinary game, it would have been glossed over, but it was not.
Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers was one out away from having a perfect game.
A perfect game is when no player from the opposite team is awarded any base.
There have only been 20 perfect games in baseball history, oddly enough with two of them happening over the last few weeks. This would have set all new records.
With one out away from this accomplishment, the batter hit a typical ground ball which was picked up and thrown to first base. The batter was out. Well, he should have been. The umpire said he was safe.
This replay (it probably will be removed, the MLB takes down all baseball video) clearly shows that the batter was out, and it should have been a perfect game.
In an era of technology, it's time that baseball does away with its "the umpire is always right" tradition, awards the perfect game to the pitcher and starts using instant replay.
I've said it before. Here is why we are in the mess we are in.
Americans love cars. Cars need oil and gas in order to operate.
Americans have had a love affair with not only their cars, but with their favorite brand of service station since the 1920's. Americans use more oil and gas for their automobiles than any other country in the world--and more than most put together.
When the first Earth Day came around in 1970, if you even suggested that the oil companies were greedy bastards and polluting the planet, you were called a Communist. If you suggested that we need to find an alternative energy source, you were considered Un-American.
The government never seriously encouraged any alternatives to oil. The oil companies laughed at such a scenario and suppressed any development of alternative forms of energy.
They brainwashed existing Americans and future generations that oil was the only answer.
So they kept on drilling to keep up with the demand.
Looks like they've sprung a leak.
There's only one answer.
A government bailout in the billions to BP should cover any expenses they've encountered in trying to stop the destruction from 200,000 or more gallons of oil per day. And the cleanup, restoration and other costs--just send a bill to American taxpayers--they're accustomed to picking up the tab.
Even as a small child I watched Art Linkletter on both "House Party" and "People are Funny."
It was like watching your grandfather talk to both adults and children, except he would always do a come back with funny deadpan facial responses.
Imitating those facial responses always worked in getting a laugh when talking with other kids. He was a great teacher.
I interviewed Art Linkletter when he was in his 80's and his mind was still so quick it was like talking to somebody in their 20's. Watching him on Larry King when he was in his 90's was no different. He still had complete youthful enthusiasm, energy and outlook.
Maybe that's the key to almost making it to 100.
Today is the 30th anniversary of Pacman. I had played pinball from the time I was a small child, growing up in Chicago, the machines were everywhere as they were all manufactured there as well. When "Space Invaders" came out, the first commercial video game, I found it quite enthralling. "Pacman" in 1980 was even more enticing. I spent hundreds of dollars in quarters trying to top myself scorewise.
The following story is true.
I played Pacman wherever I could find a machine. One day while driving I saw an arcade and immediately stopped in to get my Pacman fix for the day. As I was playing with great flair and energy, a group of kids came over and said, "you know about the hiding place don't you?" I said, "what???" The group told me that there was one place in the maze that if you hold Pacman there, the ghosts can't find him. I found this ridiculous, having played it so many times before.
I asked them to show me. They pointed to one dot on the maze next to a wall and said just hold him there.
Hmmmm. The ghosts started moving a little faster. And even more faster. They started searching the entire playing field. A few times they would even pass right over where I had Pacman standing.
Then Inky, Binky, Pinky and Clyde became psychotic. They were furious and wanted to know where Pacman was. Twice the normal speed. Five times the normal speed. Ten times the normal speed and all of us were laughing hysterically. Twenty times the normal speed as they came rushing in and out of the exits determined to find their yellow nemesis. Then they started moving so fast, you couldn't keep track of them.
BOOM!!!! You could hear the explosion throughout the arcade.
The monitor turned into lightning, it split in half and black smoke was pouring out of it.
Those kids went running out the door as fast as the ghosts had become and I was the only one standing there.
The manager came over, "what happened?"
"Uh....Pacman blew up." What can you say when you've just terminally decimated Pacman and all the ghosts?
Realizing that this information could become a national security threat, I kept it to myself.
I understand that the original machines were given software upgrades to take care of various issues.
They have two of the most unique voices in pop music history.
And tonight at the Hollywood Bowl, they performed solo and together to a sold out crowd.
The amazing thing is they sound exactly like they did 40 years ago.
Their voices are the same.
Their combination of folk, rock, pop, blues and jazz was heavenly.
If you don't know who they are, check out James Taylor and "Fire and Rain" and Carole King and "It's Too Late" on Youtube.
When they performed, you'd swear you were listening to the "Sweet Baby James" and "Tapestry" albums in your living room. It was that close.
Carole King can still belt out her composition "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" and James Taylor can shout the blues on his own "Steamroller."
Of course basically everybody there was 40-70, but their response was like they were still 20.
It's so hard to believe that MGM intentionally arranged the films she was in so Southern theater owners could edit her parts out and nobody watching knew the difference. They missed "Stormy Weather" and they were the losers as a result.
Kent State, where four students were mowed down and nine injured by the Ohio National Guard is the one you know about. It was national and world news and lays heavy upon the conscience of America to this day. But that was 1970.
Even try and ask every baby boomer you know who lived through the time and they will answer "Kent State." They don't know about it.
The one that you should know about--you've never even heard of.
In February 1968, a group of students at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg decided to protest at a local bowling alley that would not let black people use the facilities. The local police shooting into the crowd outside the bowling alley, killed 3 of them and injured 28 others including a pregnant woman who had a miscarriage as a result.
There was no national media coverage. There were no songs from Crosby, Stills and Nash. There were no made for TV movies. You won't find it in history texbooks.
And here's the reason:
These victims were using their first amendment rights, but under the growing fascism and police state instituted by Richard M. Nixon in this country at the time, nobody ever knew about this event.
Now you do.
"American Experience" on PBS tonight ran a documentary on the My Lai massacre of 1968. Seldom discussed in American media, education or in small talk, the Nazi-style murder of 500 unarmed Vietnamese men, women, children and babies in a village by an American squadron was covered up by the highest ranking military personnel. The men were "just following orders" of their superior officers, something we heard at another infamous military trial from another war.
The program was probably shocking to those hearing about this for the very first time.
Those of us who watched this circus as it originally unfolded during the Vietnam War and the subsequent pardon of the main perpetrator by President Richard Nixon, need only look at today's version of the Vietnam War--Iraq--for something that continues America's tradition of getting involved in places it has no business.
This is the main difference. Because of the development of mobile film equipment, satellites and a TV in every U.S. house, the Vietnam war became a novelty, the first war that could be updated quickly, just in time every evening for the nightly network news.
It would be boring now watching the aftermath of 60 people being blown up that day in Iraq. Instead we are fed a constant stream of dancing couples, American idols, Paris, Lindsay, Britney and Whitney.
American corporations know just how to keep Americans fat, lazy and unconcerned about anybody but themselves.
$300 million a day for Iraq. $100 million a day for Afghanistan.
Then you wonder why states are going bankrupt, cities are laying off thousands of workers, why schools and universities are closing early, why social programs are out of funds.
"Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our founding fathers, they were believers," said the always historically accurate Sarah Palin in a speech the other day.
Once again, Sarah Palin needs a history lesson.
"no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever"
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson , enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786.
This will become the foundation for the First Amendment of the Constitution.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
The Founding Fathers were very clear. They knew what they were doing. State and Religion were separate entities.
Sarah, try reading these carefully sometimes.
Fox News Announces New Game Show!
Fox News will debut their new game show, "Are You Smarter Than Sarah Palin?" next week.
Every week, a group of children will see if they are smarter than Sarah Palin through a series of questions on history, geography and economics.
"Each week will feature a different school age grade challenging Sarah Palin's vast knowledge. We'll start with 5th graders and work our way down to Kindergarten and nursery school children. To make things fair for her we might even have a show with Sarah Palin vs. newborns," says the show's producer.
The most printed piece of worldwide news today was that the Vatican has forgiven The Beatles for their 60's lifestyle and even John Lennon for his famous "bigger than Jesus" statement. So everything's OK now! All you baby boomers who were sexually abused by Catholic priests should be overjoyed and delirious that the Vatican now also loves your number one lifelong obsession and you can all just stop complaining about those trivial perversion matters.
Since John Lennon's statement was just a little misunderstanding, so were those naughty priests. If the Vatican can forgive the Fab Four for leading the world's children down a path of free love, drugs and rebellion, than you can certainly forgive a bunch of hormonally overactive clergy.
If the Pope loves The Beatles now, so does Jesus! And Mary just can't get enough of "Let It Be."
Here is the story:
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, "dissolute" lives and even the claim that the band was bigger than Jesus are all in the past - while their music lives on.
Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano paid tribute to the Fab Four in its weekend editions, with two articles and a front-page cartoon reproducing the crosswalk immortalized on the cover of the band's album "Abbey Road."
The tribute marked the 40th anniversary of the band's breakup.
"It's true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives," said the paper. "They even said they were more famous than Jesus," it said, recalling John Lennon's 1966 comment that outraged many Catholics and others. [Note: in the U.S. it was Southern Baptists in the deep South who held Beatle record burning bonfires]
"But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless," L'Osservatore said. "Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels."
It is not the first time the Vatican has praised the legendary band from Liverpool.
Two years ago, Vatican media hailed the Beatles' musical legacy on the 40th anniversary of the "White Album." And last month the Vatican paper included "Revolver" in its semiserious list of top-10 albums.
The Beatles have a number of songs which never are part of sing-a-longs, never have been discussed in detail and are generally ignored--yet they are as brilliant and creative as their regular output.
This is of course very subjective, but here is my list:
1. The Word - This upbeat "Rubber Soul" track was never performed live by the group as a band or as individuals. With an infectious utilization of the words "say the word," complex harmonies, a delicious organ involvement and the ultimate - a creative McCartney bass line especially at the end when the song changes direction, "The Word" is the ultimate lost gem in Beatleology. What baby boomer cannot hear the beginning of "Michelle" starting in their heads at the conclusion of the song?
2. Ask Me Why - From their original early "Please Please Me" era, this Lennon-McCartney composition was only performed live before they became famous worldwide. A love song featuring a wonderful emotional Lennon performance, the song was considered strong enough to be released as the B side to the single "Please Please Me." Of course that is everywhere but America where Capitol Records refused to release the single believing the group had no potential in the U.S. It was instead released on tiny Vee Jay Records where the single only got some airplay in Chicago on WLS in late February 1963 and quickly died. American would not hear about this incredible band again until January 1964.
3. What You're Doing - Recorded for "Beatles For Sale" and released later on the made up Capitol Records LP "Beatles VI," the song starts out with a catchy drum solo. The Paul-written lyrics clearly show a guy pleading with a girl to explain her behavior towards him. A pleasing guitar ditty that appears throughout are accentuated by the voice of Paul's believable misery as he makes his pleas.
The only way I can describe the magical event is like you got together with a group of friends to sing Beatles songs, except that it is thousands of friends and Paul McCartney is leading the sing-a-long.
Paul's show at the Hollywood Bowl was as much a phenomenal event as when he played with his group there in 1964.
Almost 68, Paul's enthusiasm and dynamic presence is no different than when he was 21.
It does make you aware that in 2014, he will be playing a "50th Anniversary Tour" and all those original screaming fans will be in their 60s and early 70s.
His rendition of "Let It Be" was soulful and emotional. His first ever live performance of "Oh Blah Di Oh Blah Da" was whimsical. "Daytripper" made the place go crazy.
I did notice that instead of using his original Epiphone that he recorded "Yesterday" on, he's gone to a Martin acoustic.
You can never get enough of Paul.
A few times a year, Sean Hannity, through his organization Freedom Alliance, puts on a series of concerts that have one goal--to raise full and complete college tuition for the sons and daughters of U.S. service personnel who are killed in action. Other funds go to assist military members who have been badly injured in combat zones.
During the promotion of the events, Sean Hannity talks non-stop about the charitable activities and even those who disagree with his politics, have respected his efforts for such a noble cause.
But now, a well documented report (Read The Entire Report Here) has exposed the organization as a huge scam and ripoff.
According to Freedom Alliance's own tax returns, only a tiny amount of the millions raised annually actually goes to the supposed intended recipients--children of those whose parent perished in the line of duty and severely injured vets.
The tiny amount that goes to them is shocking and reprehensible:
According to its 2006 tax returns, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $10, 822, 785, but only $397,900–or a beyond-measly 3.68%–of that was given to the children of fallen troops as scholarships or as aid to severely injured soldiers.
Freedom Alliance’s 2007 tax returns aren’t much better. Out of $12,459,317 it raised that year, only $895,347–or just 7%–went to seriously wounded troops and scholarships for fallen troops
And then, there are the 2008 Freedom Alliance tax forms, which were signed in November 2009 and filed only recently. That year, Freedom Alliance took in $8,781,431 in revenue and gave $1,060,275.57 total–or just 12%–to seriously wounded soldiers and for scholarships to kids of the fallen.
To make matters worse, Hannity and his entourage fly in ultimate luxury private planes, rent motorcades of the most expensive automobiles and stay in the finest hotels in connection with these events.
I only hated Sean Hannity 90% and gave him 10% credit because of his efforts in raising money for these veterans and their families.
He now joins the rest of them at 100% because of this deplorable scam.