Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Love the artwork for Season Three of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oddly Cathartic

I just went through six boxes of childhood stuff that my parents gave me when they sold their home here in the Cities. Result? Two boxes of stuff to keep and five garbage bags headed for the dumpster. Being a kid sucked.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Producers

The past few years as a rock 'n' roll listener I have become intrigued by producers. Names like Bob Ezrin, Glyn Johns, and Chris Thomas pop up all over my music collection in all kinds of places. Like Ezrin - he's on everything from a band called Detroit (a Mitch Ryder vehicle), to Kiss to the Jayhawks. Thomas is on Roxy Music, the Sex Pistols, Pete Townshend, and INXS. The (not always held here) theory of rock star as poet/mystic/genius (take yer pick) tends to diminish the role of producers, unless the musicians commit the unforgivable sin of Not Writing Their Own Material; then the producer is seen as the genius puppetmaster behind the board. And questions arise, such as "What would the Replacements' Tim with its mostly great songs have sounded like if it had had a competent producing job?" (Never send a Ramone to do a man's job.)

I was surfing last night and came across a 2001 interview with Tom Werman, mostly famous here at 3400 Harriet for producing Cheap Trick studio albums two, three, and four. Their first album was produced by Jack Douglas of Aerosmith-producing fame, but in the words of Dave Marsh (in The Rolling Stone Record Guide - red edition) it was Werman who "understood them perfectly: his settings and the clarity with which the songs were recorded have some of the edge Glyn Johns gives the Who."

The first part of the interview deals with his putting together the music for the movie Rock Star, but the best stuff is in the interview that follows. A great quote: "I always said Cheap Trick wanted to be The Beatles, and I wanted them to be The Who. So it was a good combination. We were a good combination."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Give It Back To Maris

As pointed out by my brother in the comments for my June 19th post, there is a website dedicated to returning the single-season home run record to its rightful owner Roger Maris. The site is Check it out, sign the petition, and hopefully help give Maris his due. He got screwed once by Ford Frick, he shouldn't be screwed again by a bunch of roidheads and a baseball bureaucracy that has been more than willing to look the other way.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

NBC = Needless Blown Coverage

Last night as the last second ticked off the clock in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup finals, NBC cut to a lengthy shot of Carolina coach Peter Laviolette hugging his assistants. Wha?? Not to take anything away from Laviolette, but the shot should have been of the victorious Hurricanes on the ice and coming off the bench streaming towards their goalie and leaving sticks and gloves in their wake. That is one of the coolest things to see after a championship win no matter whether you see it in high school, college, or pro hockey. Fire whoever was NBC's director of the game last night!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Study in Contrasts

When you think of basketball, you think of Willis Reed starting Game Seven of the 1970 NBA finals despite having a torn thigh muscle and sinking the first two baskets of the game. And maybe you think of Michael Jordan scoring 38 points in Game Five of the 1991 finals despite having the flu.

When you think of baseball, you think of Kirk Gibson hitting a game-winning home run in Game One of the 1988 World Series despite injuries to both legs.

When you think of football, you think of Kellen Winslow in the 1982 Divisional Playoffs catching 13 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown, despite suffering from extreme heat exhaustion. Oh yeah, he also blocked a field goal.

And when you think of soccer, you think of players diving and flopping when contact is made - then getting up and running just fine mere seconds later if the referee doesn't make a call. It almost makes you forget Cris Carter's antics when begging for a call. Sheesh.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Nil on One-Nil

A bar up on Lyn-Lake is offering two dollar Budweisers during World Cup soccer games - which you can watch on their big-screen TV. Golly. The "thing" of beers and a boring sport? Think I'll stick with good beer at home and the NBA and Stanley Cup finals on the 27-inch Mitsubishi.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yacht Rock

The best possible thing you could be watching on your computer right now* is the hilarious "Yacht Rock" series at Channel 101. It shows the ongoing adventures of Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Hall and Oates, Toto, et. al. to keep rock "smooth." Also appearances by Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Skunk Baxter (natch), Eddie Van Halen, Ted Templeman, and Dr. Dre. Watch for Harold Ramis and a classic SCTV skit!

*Unless you're watching The White Shadow: Season 2 on your computer's DVD player. Principal Willis stares down a black militant, Salami's cousin joins the team, Coolidge rooms with Coach, Jackson shaves points, and Coolidge gets VD (kids: these days it's called a STD) from his girlfriend ... who got it from Thorpe! And I'm only ten episodes in ...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Plot Sickens

You may have heard me tell the story - either in person or on the late-great Cosmic Slop show on Radio K - about Aldo Nova opening for Blue Oyster Cult in West Fargo, North Dakota in September of 1982. Aldo was trying to warm up the crowd and said:

"North Dakota is a great town!"

For almost a quarter century now, I've chalked this up to rock-star-dumbness, some north-of-the-border-flash-in-the-pan just not getting it. And come to think of, relating the story on the Slop show in January of 2001 may have been the first time I had told it since the eighties. The anecdote had grown legs as the years went on ... Aldo Nova, Blue Oyster Cult, a fairgrounds in West Fargo - all these elements seemed to add to the ridiculousness of it.

But this week, I related the tale on an email list I'm on with some fellow musicheads. Dan chipped in with this Aldo Nova onstage quote, also from September of 1982 but this time in Sioux Falls, South Dakota:

"Alright, Sioux City!"

Upon reading this, at first I was gleeful - taken with my experience, it's rock-star-dumbness squared. But as usual, I gave such a thing too much thought. And what's been bothering me for almost 72 hours now is this theory: Nova said these things as an inside joke with his Canadian bandmate buddies as a way to get some laughs while out on the weary road in heartland America as an opener for an American smart-metal band who was hanging onto its last act of stardom. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I might be right: Canadians know a lot more about our country than we do about theirs, no doubt including the states and towns that make up the Dakotas. Damn!