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

Jan 27, 2017 | 6610 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 | 15990 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 »

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My Blogger Played for Me: Songs of a Different Stripe

Dec 15, 2016 | 14512 Views | 3 Comments

If you’re looking for a list of the most beloved Christmas carols, you’ve come to the wrong blog. Times have changed, after all. The Little Drummer Boy is set to tour with Bruce, and Frosty's a puddle on my front lawn - a victim of global warming. And if you’re seeking recommendations for the most popular rock and R&B-oriented holiday songs, you’ve landed on the wrong page. Chuck Berry has run-run Rudolph right into the hands of the hunters, and Brenda Lee has rocked herself senseless around that Christmas tree in an eggnog and opiate frenzy.... Read More »

Rudolph, You Rock. Now Wise Up, Reindeer!

Dec 12, 2016 | 9667 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 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 »

The Sex Pistols: Cocked, Loaded, and Firing F Bombs on British Telly

Dec 1, 2016 | 10896 Views | 3 Comments

It all started because Queen frontman Freddie Mercury had to go to the dentist, and his band was forced to cancel a scheduled TV appearance at the last minute. That bit of serendipity gave the U.K. public its first taste of the menace known as the Sex Pistols. On December 1, 1976, the punk rock band was summoned to the studios of Thames Television's Today program, an early evening live talk show hosted by Bill Grundy. The program's producers offered its substitute guests the customary assortment of alcoholic treats as they waited in the green room... Read More »