The Noble Nifty November Sweeps Contest of Competitive Ranking Champions

23 Jan

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Welcome to the very first PP Guru hot blog topic of 2017 just mere days of  before the inevitable gestapo transition team of the world’s worst unqualified candidate to ever breach our political systems takes office.

But I’m not here to inundate or spew my political hatred for a complete poser who can simply think he can a write a check and treat the highest office in the United State as if it were a prize trophy, we’re here to tie up some loose ends from 2016.

Notably the November sweeps of the opening salvo of the 2016 – 2017 television season AS IT PERTAINS to the GENRE of dramas and comedies based on COMIC BOOK PROPERTIES.

And we sure do definitely have an abundance of them galore.

From September to mid-December there were a total of 9 shows, 1 cable broadcast (The Walking Dead), 1 streaming (Marvel’s Luke Cage), and 7 broadcast productions (Supergirl, Gotham, Lucifer, The Flash, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, & DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) . When mid-season resumes, two more new broadcast productions, Riverdale based on the Archie line of comics and Powerless, a comedy developed by DC Comics and NBC will be joined online with the debut of Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix along with the premiere of Legion, based on the X-Men franchise on FX next month..  Also later on when May sweeps are getting underway, shows that will be returning for late spring and summer runs include iZombie, Wynonna Earp, Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, and Outcast.

If the past show that aired during the November Sweeps period were running in the same race, the results would still be the same. Walking Dead seems to be unconquerable with it’s overall average of 9.6 to 12.1 million viewers, even though it’s slightly down from last year, but STILL remains the top rated scripted television show.

And with combined ratings of the streaming giant Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix, it’s total rookie season combined even manages to gather a plethora of viewers to beat out the OTHER rookie season of its’ related show, Jessica Jones by nearly 1 million more viewers, but not enough to upset the apple cart of last spring’s season of Daredevil from the top streaming spot. BUT regardless, if counted in the over-all race, Luke Cage would still be reigning second place champion over all the broadcast shows.

But for now, we have to settle for all gathered intelligence that puts all the shows in each of its’ respectful competitive categories.

I cobbled all the data for broadcast and cable from mostly the TVbythenumbers website and SAM, (Symphony Advanced Media) for my streaming information.

Now if all this assembled data seems mundane or boring to you, or if you discover yourself nodding off, at least HERE ARE some pictures of SUPERGIRL PANTIES will guarantee to stroke that kryptonite erection stirring in your red flaming panties back to life.

November Sweeps period ran from October 27 – November 23, 2016. Unfortunately, that period of Nielsen measurement did not include the Invasion crossover episodes that occurred between all four of the Greg Berlanti produced CW/ DC Universe shows

We begin with Walking Dead’s performances.

“The Walking Dead” remains atop the cable ratings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6 after three days of DVR and on-demand viewing.

The show’s Nov. 2 episode more than doubled both its adults 18-49 rating and its viewer total in the Live +3 ratings. It went from 1.2 to 2.8 in adults 18-49 and from 2.2 million to 5.01 million viewers.

“The Walking Dead,” meanwhile, also put up its biggest three-day gain of its three episodes this season, adding 2.4 points to its 18-49 rating (5.7 to 8.4) and just over 4.5 million viewers.

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Nov. 7-13, 2016

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18-49 rating 8.1 Gain vs. Live +SD 2.4 % gain vs. Live +SD 42%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Nov. 7-13, 2016

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 Viewers 15718 Gain vs. L +SD 4316 % gain vs. L +SD 38%

The cable Live +7 rankings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6 hold little surprise: Once again, “The Walking Dead”  stands well above the rest of the pack.

The Walking Dead” grew by 2.9 points in adults 18-49 (5.7 to 8.6), equaling its gain from the previous week. It also added nearly 5.5 million viewers.

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L+SD (000’s) 5.7 L +7  (000’s) 8.6 7 Day Increase 2.9 7 Day % Increase  51%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000s) 11721 L +7 (000s) 17208 7-Day Increase (000s) 5487 7 Day % Increase 47%

The Walking Dead” trailed some of the cable news election-night coverage in the same-day ratings for the week of Nov. 7. After a few days of DVR and on-demand catchup, that’s no longer the case — not by a long shot.

The AMC show grew by 2.3 points in adults 18-49 in the Live +3 ratings for the week, improving to a 7.7 rating (fron 5.4). It also added 4.32 million viewers, also topping all of the prime-time election coverage.

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +3 18-49 rating 7.7  Gain vs. L +SD 2.3  % gain vs. Live +SD 43%

The Walking Dead” has declined markedly in overnight ratings since its near-record season premiere in October. Ratings after a week of DVR and on-demand viewing are down as well, since the portion of the audience that catches up after the initial airing is pretty stable.

The Nov. 20 episode of the show added 2.7 points in adults 18-49 to its total, rising from 5.2 to 7.9. That’s in line with other episodes this season, which have risen from between 2.3 and 2.9. “The Walking Dead” is still huge — the Nov. 20 episode had the biggest gains by far in both adults 18-49 and viewers — but its losses in the same-day ratings are more or less reflected in the delayed-viewing numbers as well.

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD 5.2  L +7 7.9  7 Day Increase 2.7 7 Day % increase 52%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000s)10996 L +7 (000’s) 16308 ( 7 Day Increase) 5312  7 Day % Increase 48%

Yes, “The Walking Dead’s” ratings are falling since its big season premiere, and the Nov. 27 episode dipped to a four-year low in the overnight ratings.

It’s also true that it’s still the No. 1 show on cable by a long shot, even in its lower-than-usual state. Case in point: With three days of DVR and on-demand viewing, the Nov. 27 episode grew by 2.0 points. That’s as big or bigger than the three-day total for all but one other cable show, “Monday Night Football.”

Down? Yes. Out? Hardly.

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Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Nov. 21-27, 2016

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18-49 rating 6.9 Gain vs. Live +SD 2.0 % gain vs. Live +SD 41%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Nov. 21-27, 2016

The Walking Dead” hit a four-year ratings low with its Nov. 27 episode. The show gained a lot with a week of DVR and on-demand catchup, but its Live +7 numbers are on the low side too.

The AMC show is severed head and shoulders above the rest of the field with a 7.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.1 million viewers after a week. But the raw numbers are down from the previous week (7.9 and 16.31 million), and the show’s growth was smaller as well (2.5 vs. 2.7 points in adults 18-49, 4.69 million vs. 5.31 million viewers).

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD 4.9  L +7 7.4   7 Day Increase 2.5  7 Day % increase 51%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD (000s)10403  L +7 (000s) 15096  7 Day Increase 4693  7 Day % Increase 45%

Fuller House” was more than just a massive hit for Netflix this winter, it was one of the most-watched TV series of the year – on par with “The Walking Dead” and “Sunday Night Football.” That’s according to data from Symphony Advanced Media, which has been using its own methodology to measure viewership on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, both of which refuse to release ratings on their own.

According to Symphony, “Fuller House” episodes averaged 14.4 million viewers among adults 18-49 within its first 35 days of its Netflix premiere date (Feb. 26). That’s the equivalent of a 10.4 rating in the demo. Take a look at our 2015-2016 TV season broadcast/cable ranker, and that would put “Fuller House” at No. 1 among all TV series for the entire year.

Of course, it’s apples and oranges. Per Netflix’s usual strategy, “Fuller House” premiered with all 13 episodes at once, and Symphony’s Live + 35 data for Netflix is very different from the Live + 3 or Live + 7 ratings we normally see for broadcast and cable.

But nonetheless, that 10.4 rating / 14.4 million adults 18-49 viewers is huge, landing “Fuller House” in the upper echelon of TV series. If you were just counting the first 7 days after “Fuller House’s” launch, it still attracted 10 million viewers in the demo. That puts it just below “The Walking Dead,” which averaged a 9.6 rating – translating to 12.1 million viewers in the demo (according to Live+7 viewership).

Broadcast L + 3 section.

Since the majority of the comic book genre perform adequately well in the overnight markets (check my Sunday weekly facebook statuses for talk about overnight performances) , they barely need to make an impression in the L + 3 barter ratings.

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However due to election coverage on the first week, many were properly out voting and needed to set up their dvr or demand services to watch as soon as they came home

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2016

THE FLASH CW L +3 18-49 rating 1.7 Gain vs. Live +SD 0.7 % gain vs. Live +SD 70%

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Nov. 21-27, 2016

23 GOTHAM FOX  L +3 18-49 rating 1.7 Gain vs. Live +SD 0.6  Live +SD % 55%

27. THE FLASH CW L +3 18-49 rating 1.6 Gain vs. Live +SD 0.5  Live +SD % 45%

image-uwsupgpntytu-2-watermarkBroadcast L +7 section.

Here’s where the main event unravels to a full blown death match. Now these L +7 ratings have proven so far to be Joss Whedon’s main sustenance for survival, now that ABC had no choice but to move Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD into the dreaded Tuesday 10 PM DEATH SLOT as proven to be the swift guillotine sleigh of hand delivered by the cancellation bastard bear executioner to two freshman shows last year: “Of Kings & Prophets” & “Wicked City“. New hot black chick ABC television executive extraordinaire who helped kick previous television executive failure bitch boy Paul Lee to the curb due to his incompetence to pick rating winners, Channing Dungey thought it may be a good idea to move “Agents of SHIELD” (a show she helped get the network to buy into when it wasn’t originally developed as a connection to the Marvel Universe) since the show would be darker in tone with the introduction of the Ghost Rider as a recurring guest star. Agents of SHIELD was the earliest to leap out of the box in mid September with its’ fourth season, but it’s really not impressing the advertisers since the show has been dropping like the proverbial anvil week to week in its’ Live +SD overnights. HOWEVER, it’s Live + 7 numbers are nothing short of miraculous as you can see evident by it’s first sweeps week performance. We’ll see if they’re able to keep up the same momentum by next month when February sweeps begins. ABC is going to have to rely on the strength of its’ L +7 numbers if the show is able to crawl on its’ belly to a fifth season otherwise it’s only degree of success lies in revamping it for the more appreciative Netflix crowd. Ironically, harkening back to my Sony Picture Television days, the BIG NEWS then was Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse being the first official television show to be ever granted a L +7 reprieve for a second season renewal, but its’ luck eventually ran out for a third relying on the same kind 0f data.

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Also another show to benefit greatly from L +7 numbers as you will see is DC’S Legends of Tomorrow, which also has been performing poorly in the overnights, but the CW is paying attention to its’ report and is seeking to make amends by making room for the series debut of “Riverdale” on Thursdays and being gracious enough to move the sophomore super hero team series to immediately follow the Flash on Tuesdays at 9:00PM. Now you will have wall to wall three hour comic book show prime time action between The Flash & Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and having Legends of Tomorrow sandwiched in-between, makes it two nights in a row that comic book shows have a majority seat in prime time television, other than comedies and police dramas.

Here are the Live +7 rankings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2016. The rankings include first-run series and specials only, not repeats.

Brought to you by WINNER WINNER, TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER, rubber and tin foil in a basket.

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7. AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.8 L+7 1.7 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase)  113%

8. LUCIFER FOX L +SD 0.9 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase)0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

9. THE FLASH CW L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 90%

15. GOTHAM FOX L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8 (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

23. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.6 L+7 1.2 (7 Day Increase) 0.6 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

4 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.8 L +7 1.7 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 113%

9. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.6  L +7 1.2 (7 Day Increase) 0.6 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

11. LUCIFER FOX L +SD 0.9 L +7 1.8 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

15 THE FLASH CW L +SD 1.0 L +7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 90% –

WINNER WINNER , TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER

16 ARROW CW L +SD 0.6 L +7 1.1 (7 Day Increase) 0.5 (7 Day % Increase) 83%

18 GOTHAM FOX L +SD 1.0 L +7 1.8 (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

24 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD 0.6  L + 7 1.0 (7 Day Increase) 0.4 (7 Day % Increase) 67%

Viewers – Total gain

18 LUCIFER FOX L +SD (000’s)  3417 L +7 (000’s) 5816 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2399 7 Day % Increase 70%

22 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD (000’s) 2433 L +7 (000’s) 4568 7 Day Increase (000’s)2135  7 Day % Increase  88%

23 GOTHAM FOX   L +SD (000’s) 3159 L +7 (000’s) 5219  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2060 7 Day % Increase  65%

24 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 2765 L +7 (000’s) 4775 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2010 7 Day % Increase 73%

Viewers – Percentage gain

3 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD (000’s) 2433 L +7 (000’s) 4568 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2135 7 Day % Increase 88%

7 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 2765  L +7 (000’s) 4775  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2010 7 Day % Increase 73%

10 SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD (000’s) 2217  L +7 (000’s) 3804  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1587  7 Day % Increase 72%

12 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3417 L +7 (000’s) 5816  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2399 7 Day % Increase 70%

15 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3159  L +7 (000’s) 5219 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2060 7 Day % Increase 65%

16 ARROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1612  L +7 (000’s) 2646 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1034 7 Day % Increase 64%

20 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1745  L +7 (000’s)2737 7 Day Increase (000’s) 992 7 Day % Increase 57%

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

November 7 – 13

11. LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 80%

12. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.2 L+7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 67%

18 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.7  L+7 1.4  (7 Day Increase) 0.7  (7 Day % Increase) 100%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

6. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD  0.7  L +7  1.4  (7 Day Increase) 0.7 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

13 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.0  L +7 1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

22. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD  0.6  L +7 1.0 (7 Day Increase) 0.4  (7 Day % Increase) 67%

23. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.2  L +7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 67% WINNER WINNER, SWANSON TV CHICKEN DINNER!!

Viewers – Total gain

18 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3515 L +7 (000’s) 6026  (7 Day Increase) 2511 7 Day % Increase 71%

Viewers – Percentage gain

6 LUCIFER FOX L +SD (000’s)  3515  L +7 (000’s) 6026  7 Day Increase (000’s)2511  7 Day % Increase 71%

7 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s)  2471  L +7 (000’s) 4183  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1712  7 Day % Increase 69%

16 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3519  L +7 (000’s) 5469  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1950  7 Day % Increase 55%

17. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1768  L +7 (000’s) 2746   7 Day Increase (000’s) 978  7 Day % Increase 55%

22. ARROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1946  L +7 (000’s) 2952  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1006  7 Day % Increase 52%

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

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November 14 – 20

13. THE FLASH CW L +SD   1.2  L+7 2.1   (7 Day Increase) 0.9  (7 Day % Increase) 75%

27. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.2  L+7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.7  (7 Day % Increase) 58%

30. LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.1  L+7  1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.7  (7 Day % Increase) 64%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

7. SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD  0.7  L +7  1.3  (7 Day Increase) 0.6  (7 Day % Increase) 86%

10. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD 0.6  L +7  1.1  (7 Day Increase) 0.5  (7 Day % Increase) 83%

14 THE FLASH CW  L +SD 1.2   L +7  2.1  (7 Day Increase) 0.9  (7 Day % Increase) 75% WINNER WINNER  TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER

19. ARROW CW  L +SD  0.7  L +7  1.2  (7 Day Increase) 0.5  (7 Day % Increase) 71%

Viewers – Percentage gain

3 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 3013 (L +7 000’s) 5072 (7 Day Increase) 2059 7 Day % Increase 68%

9 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3869 (L +7 000’s) 6130 (7 Day Increase) 2261 7 Day % Increase 58%

10. SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD (000’s) 2434  (L +7 000’s) 3854 (7 Day Increase) 1420 7 Day % Increase 58%

18 GOTHAM FOX L +SD (000’s) 3628 (L +7 000’s) 5447 (7 Day Increase) 1819 7 Day % Increase 50%

Here are the Live +7 rankings for Nov. 21-27, 2016. The rankings include first-run series and specials only, not repeats.

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

5. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.1  L+7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 82%

10. THE FLASH CW L +SD  1.1 L+7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 73%

11. LUCIFER FOX L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

28. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD  0.9 L+7 1.4 (7 Day Increase) 0.5 (7 Day % Increase) 56%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

7 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.1  L+7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.9  (7 Day % Increase) 82% – WINNER WINNER, TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER

8 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase)0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

14. THE FLASH CW  L +SD  1.1  L+7 1.9  (7 Day Increase)0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 73%

21 SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD 0.9 L+7 1.4 (7 Day Increase) 0.5  (7 Day % Increase) 56%

Viewers – Total gain

15 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3631  L +7 (000’s) 5875  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2244 7 Day % Increase 62%

17 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3444  L +7 (000’s) 5503  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2059  7 Day % Increase 60%

19 THE FLASH CW L +SD (000’s) 2947  L +7 (000’s) 4932  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1985  7 Day % Increase 67%

Viewers – Percentage gain

6 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 2947  L +7 (000’s) 4932  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1985  7  Day % Increase 67%

8 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3631  L +7 (000’s) 5875  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2244  7 Day % Increase 62%

10 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3444  L +7 (000’s) 5503  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2059  7  Day % Increase 60%

13 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s) 2631  L +7 (000’s) 3980  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1349  7  Day % Increase 51%

luke-cage

Oh Streeeeamm, Stream, stream, stream 

Right out of the gate, Marvel’s Luke Cage has become one of Netflix‘s most popular shows. But how popular? Brand new SVOD ratings show that the action drama series starring Mike Colter clocks has drawn 3,518,000 total viewers, making it the fifth most popular Netflix Original premiere of all-time.

According to Business Insider, new viewership data obtained by data tracking outlet SymphonyAM shows that Fuller House still leads the way as Netflix’s all-time most popular show with a whopping total of 8,709,000 viewers. Luke Cage managed to surpass the ratings for Marvel’s Jessica Jones, but fell behind the platform’s hit series Orange Is The New Black, Marvel’s Daredevil, and Stranger Things.

Marvel’s Luke Cage” opened well for Netflix, but not well enough to have caused a weekend outage on the streaming platform.

“Luke Cage” executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker would love to claim Saturday’s Netflix blackout was caused by “Luke Cage” bingers, but that’s highly unlikely as there are four other shows that rate higher than “Luke Cage” and didn’t crash the service.

In its premiere date, September 30, and the five days after, “Luke Cage” has been watched by an estimated 3.52 million adults under the age of 50, according to SymphonyAM, whose app listens to sounds from users’ televisions and takes that data to extrapolate viewership.

Those numbers place the newest Marvel show in fifth place after Netflix’s original series “Fuller House,” the fourth season of “Orange Is the New Black,” season two of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” and “Stranger Things,” based on their respective premiere dates and following five-day viewership.

Among Netflix’s Marvel series, “Luke Cage” does beat “Jessica Jones,” which is in eighth place..

3. Daredevil Season 2  Adults 18 – 49 2.90  4.1 total million viewers

5. Luke Cage Season 1  Adults 18 -49 2.54  3.5 total million viewers

8. Jessica Jones Season 1  Adults 18 -49 2.00 2.8 million viewers

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The next Marvel series for Netflix, “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” premieres March 17, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

ALL AND ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE CRAZINESS OF STATS, IN THE CRAZINESS III

30 Dec

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Program cover to President Trump Inauguration ceremony as imagined by Sparky Santos 

Welcome to the 2016 Celebrity Apocalypse End is Nigh edition of the Purple Pinup Guru Panache Plaza.

What a fucking awful, awful, awful, awful, and I can’t stress the hell enough AWFUL 2016 we all shared whereas needless displays of loss of life and voting in a presidential election resulted in a grab for power via genital clutched superiority and the kindly assistance of Russian hacking, we now have a person who will be running this country with no knowledge of how government works. The orangutan in chief doesn’t even have a Cliff Notes of the version of the Constitution sitting by his side, but rather instead decides to wing it and make it up as he goes along.

I’ll try not to resort to posturing this blog into the magical fairy land of sour grapes, but rather fling oneself to the salutations for better luck next time into 2017. but I can’t be strangely amiss if I didn’t feel that 2016 took a better stressful chunk out of my psyche than most. I mean, who imagine that two-thirds of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer would be wiped out mere months apart from each other. The passing of Greg Lake earlier this month was like another shoe dropping, further demonstrating that NOT EVEN the giants of Progressive Rock are not immune from the wily charms of the Grim Reaper.

I’ll miss Greg Lake more so than Keith Emerson, as you may have read (all 5 of you, if you’re keeping track stat wise) I was not very kind to the way how Keith handled his ‘easy way’ of an out of control situation that could have remedied with counseling and further medical tests. However in Greg’s case, we all kind of knew that Greg was going through a nasty bout of health problems, including a raging case of severe diabetes.

Other than David Bowie, the only other musician I feel remorse for losing in 2016 was the guitarist for the Polish Progressive Rock band, Riverside, Piotr Grudzinski, who unfortunately died of a heart attack earlier last February. His death came just as the band’s sixth album, Love, Fear, & The Time Machine was building such a huge following, picking up new recruits along the way in heralding perhaps to be regarded as the ‘worthy successors to Pink Floyd.

And then there’s Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Absolutely uncanny parallels could be made between Harry Perzigian and Carrie Fisher perhaps they were separated by death rather than birth. Harry would have been 60 if he were alive today. Carrie was 60. Both suffered mighty cardiac arrests on a Friday. Both were sent to the emergency room at Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA. Both Harry & Carrie were in stable condition throughout the weekend UNTIL the following Tuesday when they both had passed away.

But I imagine when the autopsy results comes out on Carrie Fisher, I guarantee that there’s going to be something ‘fishy’ about her death. I’ve been my ear low to the Hollywood elite ground, and there is speculation that an addiction to diet pills may be a contributing factor to her unfortunate demise.

In Sherman Oaks, when I lived in my surrogate sister’s house for a period of a near decade, the cross-section of Valley Vista & Sepulveda Blvd where Woodcliff would intersect was a house where Eddie Fisher had raised Carrie. As for a Coatney connection to Debbie Reynolds, who a familiar pillar of strength through the North Hollywood theater community especially at the El Portal Theater, old PHS alumni  Joe Zullo and I lived mere blocks from her dancing studio on Lankershim Blvd during 1993 (unfortunately, it’s located smack dab in the middle of some topless bar and 25 cent wank booths) and Harry’s scumbag middle brother rented a house from Debbie Reynolds which she refused to live in anymore because gangbangers practically took over the neighborhood that it was located in. Remember, back in the day, celebrities used to have a major presence throughout the San Fernando Valley until house prices deteriorated and crashed at some point during the George W years that even tear dropped tattooed cholos could put money down on houses.

Personally, I can’t say this time around that 2016 has been a complete disaster to me, other than I spent another year failing a comic book project off the ground. The artist who is teaming up with me on a sequel series to Deposit Man just literally delivered his final two character designs and is about to embark upon designing the first few pages for hopefully a try out run with Heavy Metal.

My lawyer Paul Levine is butting heads with DC Comics over a proposal I submitted in which the editorial office had a field day cherry picking though and has shown up in a mini-series that currently being published of which would prove not to be in my legal favor if I reveal what it is.

Larry Nadolsky and I are negotiating terms for him to do the final book of the Deposit Man series and maybe plans to continue it as an online comic strip.

On the positive bright side, we’ve got this blog with nearly doubled its’ audience from last year with a total readership of 5849 and I’m working staff at one of the best Hollywood industry labor unions in all of Los Angeles. So money is rolling in and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Alright, enough reminiscing. Let’s get to the stats.

Let’s get to the numbers that are playing the bills on this site.

THE TOP TEN BLOG POSTS OF THE YEAR 2016 are:

10. YES LOGS: A CORRELATION OF RECORDED LIVE EVENTS 54 reads. A moldy hold over from last year chronicling the live Yes sets

9. “The Beef Curtain Misadventures of Rikki Lixxx & The Escape of Hazeltine Hellmouth” 68 reads. It seems as there was a small portion of this blog that captivated by my torrent off and on romance with the ‘porn actress next door’ Rikki Lixxx during the years 2005 – 2007. This is the deluxe edition cobbled together from my sister blog http://www.purplepinupguru.blogspot.com

8. (tie)  “101 Dishonorable Deaths of Pikachu”  &  “YES LOG 1989: As The Vitamin Packed Vultures Circle Slowly Around the Solana Beach Sky”  both with 91 reads A coin toss between an old editorial I wrote for Comics Retailer Magazine and my blissful years living in North San Diego County with the ABW&H serving as the backdrop to my romance with my roommate’s sister, Jennifer Ellis.

7. “The Mighty Midseason Super Hero Show Showdown” 118 reads. If you think upskirt shots of Supergirl can keep you from nodding off during my explanation of L+3 and L+7 ratings of comic book shows, wait until you see what I have planned for next month.

6. “YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL LATE 2016 Side B: As An Unpublished Yes Comic Book Mystery Opens” 124 reads. Sadly, I was disappointed by the performance of this blog entry. I thought this entry was going to break the download seeing as I had original unseen artwork from an unpublished Yes comic book that just begged to be talked about but the people on Jon Anderson’s Facebook page were hijacked by Donald Trump supporters who directed the focus of my post alert on my referring to Trump as an orangutan that totally derailed the conversation from what I was originally intended. Jon Anderson has Trump supporters? What would Jon Anderson actually think of that as his lyrics intend to promote peace and good will towards his fellow-man.

5. “YES LOG 2014: IF ONLY THESE SUBWAY WALLS BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH COULD TALK” 196 reads – The introductory blog to me discovering my best friend, Harry Perzigian having a heart attack and my failed effort to save him

4. “YES LOG 1979: YOU COULDA BEEN A GOLDEN AGE CONTENDER” 202 reads. Quite proud of the performance of this blog detailing an incident that occurred during a dark period in my teen age years while a continent away, Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman were waving bye bye to the rest of the group in Paris in the midst of recording an album.

3. “JONNY QUEST: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE TENSE” 205 reads

Not everything is Yes related on this blog. Sometimes I branch out in other area like cartoons and comic books. This is my ode to my favorite cartoon idols that I plan on writing a follow-up to now that I own all three versions of the show on DVD.

2. YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL LATE 2016 Side A: As Another ARW Mystery Closes…” 269 reads. My best performance blog wise this year was reciting my recent Las Vegas concert going experience with my favorite Zullo brother Mike and bringing a black girl to experience the amazing wonderment of hearing Yes music in concert with the reunion tour of Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, & Rick Wakeman together again for the first time as ARW.

1.”ONE MOURNING LATER IN THE EXTRAORDINARY AFTERLIFE of HARRY PERZIGIAN” 1616 reads. For the second year running, the one year anniversary honoring the life of my best friend Harry Perzigian is the number one downloaded blog of the year which is pretty much unnecessary and over read in my opinion especially when I’ve written three other related blogs that no one seems to know about. It’s like having the record stuck.

The record stuck…

The record stuck….

The record stuck…

The record stuck…

The record stuck…

How fucking times is someone going to read the same damn thing over and over and realizing that it’s not going to fucking change. So please, READ the other three blogs for the rest of the story.

AND NOW FOR THE TOP TEN NATIONS:

10. Japan 44 reads

9. Mexico 57 reads

8. Italy 67 reads

7. Brazil 72 reads

6. Australia 77 reads

5. Canada 181 reads

4. France 225 reads

3. Germany 299 reads

2. United Kingdom 540 reads

1. United States 3652 reads

The Top Ten Search Terms

10. Unknown Search Terms 1668

9. “When did Yes Make The Golden Age?” 2

8. Hyapatia Lee Indian

7. Supergirl upskirt 3

6. Harry Perzigian Dies

5. Harry Perzigian songs

4. sci-fi plaza

3. Harry Perzigian obituary 6

2. Harry Perzigian death 12

1.  Harry Perzigian  32

My popular day and hour that people most likely log is on Thursday @ 7:00PM

Until next time, November sweeps and data gathering on the streaming performance of Luke Cage.

 

 


YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL Late 2016 Side B: As An Unpublished Yes Comic Book Mystery Opens

19 Dec

 

Never underestimate the power of a gift horse in the mouth from one Yes fan to another.

Perhaps my reasoning for this gift will serve you all as an opportunity (no experience necessary, if you pardon the pun) to amalgamate the best of my both possible worlds for me: progressive rock and comic books.

And with the help of couple of friends in the comic book business, we’re going to explore something unique and different: a very rare unseen look at a couple of unfinished cancelled comic books based on telling the biographical story of Yes.

Now we’ve always known that Yes had some sort of aesthetic appeal to the average wandering science fiction book fan by either the palpable eye-catching Roger Dean largely alien world painted covers or by the cryptic machinations of post apocalyptic societies in search of peace and tranquility in Jon Anderson‘s lyrics, or the lavish futuristic set designs also by Dean and his brother Martyn – it’s a positive no brainer that some of the band’s concepts could cross pollinate with comic book inspired  bookworms. After all, it’s what attracted me to the band in the first place, other than singing along as an eight year old to the mellifluous tonal quality to the ‘Roundabout‘ harmonious backgrounds playing on my AM transistor radio.

So it would make perfect sense to take some of Yes’s concepts to be shared amongst the four-color communities. The phenomenon of Kiss getting their first Marvel Super Special in which members of the band had samples of their blood mixed into the ink used to print the first issue was the first out of the gate to get this special kind of genre treatment up and rolling after making a surprise guest appearance in an issue of Howard the Duck that sent alarm bells to collectors to start manning the torpedoes. In this issue, They even got to hang out with Doctor Doom, main antagonist of the fabled Fantastic Four. Months later, in that same titled series, Marvel also told the story of the Beatles to capitalize on the success of the Broadway play Beatlemania– but unfortunately, it wasn’t as much of a bigger selling behemoth as it was with Kiss.

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The one comic book that merged the whole dangerous liaison between four-colored fantasies & aural ear masturbation.

By the time after a handful of Kiss related specials ran their course (with the band years later reverting their likeness to Todd McFarlane for a series of action figures and comic books) or the right to license though Marvel , Marvel would experiment with other musical acts in comic book form, most notably with Alice Cooper in a three issue series in junction with a concept album of the same name based on a storyline written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by painter Michael Zulli. With the publication of that mini-series, the appetite for high quality comics based on rock acts were high in demand.

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Marvel’s second foray into the comic book immersed world of rock musicians. Cover by Dave McKean, who went on to design album covers for Magna Carta Records whose artists included the bands Kansas & Magellan.

 

However, half a decade prior, a small imprint named Revolutionary Press begun in San Diego by a lone kid who just moved in from the Midwest kid named Todd Loren went and got the presses rolling on pile of unauthorized biographical comic books based on sports figures, famous politicians, and most especially, classic rock acts and boy bands were the real ceramic molds that got comic books into the media masses with placements in head shops, college book stores, and flea markets. Their popularity got so overwhelming, that attorneys for some of these bands began to take notice, and therefore Todd Loren possibly became the first kid on his block to be sued by the LAWYERS of the New Kids on the Block and Guns & Roses for unauthorized biographies and likenesses.

Nonetheless, Revolutionary Press got the world’s attention with their line of “unauthorized and proud of it’ seminal biographies and sales went through the proverbial ‘black light poster’ roofs of most head shops around the country with comics based on Gun & Roses, Led Zeppelin, & Pink Floyd, to name a collected few. I distinctly remember back to the time I lived in the lucid sleepy San Diego community known as Ocean Beach and seeing stacks and stacks of these comics being sold at all places, The Black – a very popular smoke and gift shop along the town’s boardwalk.

Later on, through correspondence and essays published in the weekly comic book newspaper called the Comic Buyer’s Guide, I struck a very valuable friendship with Jay Allen Sanford when he particularly started to switch gears into publishing comic books based on the lives and fantasies of adult film stars. Through Jay, I got hooked up with artist Larry Nadolsky, who had worked with Todd Loren on the very first issue of Rock N’ Roll Comics with Guns & Roses and we went off to produce eight issues of my own anti-social political super being series entitled the Deposit Man together, and also I became e-mail pen pals for a while with Native American adult actress Hyapatia Lee. I’ve written in a couple of letters and editorial content to the Oh So? section of The Comics Buyers’ Guide in defense of Jay’s right to display his rock’n’ roll/pornography comics at most major comic book conventions after family complaints were lodged with San Diego Comic Con Board of Directors. It was certainly a fundamentally  First Amendment right bash on Jay and his company way before the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was still in tax exemption leak proof pampers.

Now that was the unauthorized portion, let’s pause briefly to talk about the ‘authorized authentic comic book magazine  that had some involvement in production from the subject artists themselves.

After the Alice Cooper comic book experiment with Marvel ran its’ course, Marvel had soon acquired Malibu Comics, a blossoming comic book company known mainly for their state of the art West Coast computer coloring facility in Calabasas, California, the border on which the San Fernando Valley ends and where Ventura County begins. In addition to their special line of super-heroes such as Prime, Prototype, and Hardcase, they were looking to venture out with comic books based on real authorized biographies of rock musicians told by the actual artists themselves.

Portions of the next six paragraphs were lifted from a Wikipedia entry:

The first comics company to latch onto the new confluence of popularity was California-based Malibu Comics. In 1993, they partnered with music powerhouse Gold Mountain Management and launched Rock-It Comics, an imprint for new series devoted to popular musicians. Among the handful of titles they released were a Metallica biography comic, an issue of “Lita Ford: Heavy Metal Queen” (featuring the former Runaway as a guitar-wielding super-powered avenger), a Pantera comic full of demonic insanity, companion volumes devoted to Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, a book devoted to World Domination Recordings. In May of 1994, they issued a Santana biography by noted artist Tim Truman, detailing the guitarist’s views on his life, career, and search for enlightenment through psychedelically-illustrated interview transcripts. The Rock-It imprint folded shortly thereafter when Malibu was acquired by Marvel Comics; announced but never released were to be one-shots featuring The Doors, Anthrax, Megadeth, Primus, Soundgarden, Yes, The Smithereens, and hip-hop acts Naughty By Nature, P.M. Dawn and The Pharcyde.  

John C. Anderson of the marketing and promotion company International Strategic Marketing liked the Rock-It concept enough to sign on as a third partner. His company will have the finished books selling alongside the X-Men in comic book shops, and alongside Rolling Stone in music outlets and at newsstands. Future plans may have the $3.95 comics sold at concerts as inexpensive alternatives to tour programs.

It’s a great cross-pollination,” says Ron Stone, president of Gold Mountain, whose acts include Nirvana, the Lemonheads and Bonnie Raitt. “Comic book culture and rock ‘n’ roll culture head toward each other anyway, and both are taken very seriously by some people. Comic books are no longer the domain of pimply-faced 12-year-olds. A lot of people read them, and a lot of those people listen to rock ‘n’ roll.”

Stone and Jack Jacobs, Gold Mountain’s director of acquisitions, began discussing a blending of rock ‘n’ roll and comic books two years ago when they were looking for a novel way to publicize World Domination, Stone’s newly formed alternative record label.

In all, nearly 30 bands have become interested in working with Rock-It, and confirmed forthcoming titles will cover such diverse acts as Santana, Pantera, Pharcyde, the Doors, Yes, PM Dawn and the Lemonheads. Many groups have provided exclusive photos and interviews to for their comic sagas.

The flesh-and-blood rockers depicted in the Rock-It line couldn’t be happier about being rendered two-dimensional–they helped to create their books.

The one featuring Yes was solicited in Diamond Comics Catalogue in March of 1994 for a June 1994 newsstand/ comic book specialty store release to coincide with the release and tour of the album Talk, so the comic book wouldn’t have sported a Roger Dean logo, but rather the updated Peter Max painted logo that served as the album cover. For those not familiar with the retailing side of the comic book business, Diamond Comics Distributors serves (to this very day) mostly the supplying of monthly comic books, graphic novels, and all assorted related collectible merchandise that includes apparel and poseable action figures.

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Rock It-Comics went for a glossy polished look during their mid-nineties short run.

 

I personally remember seeing the solicitation for the Yes issue and ordering five copies for the now long defunct Rookies Allstars Cards & Comics, a store I used to manage in the mid-nineties out in North Hollywood, CA on the promise from one of the owners that I would ‘eat’ them if they weren’t sold, even though we had good luck with selling out the Ozzy Osborne and Metallica.

Rock-It-Comix editor, Robert V. Conte recalls his experience in putting the official Yes Comic into motion. Both Robert and I were hoping to find some artwork for that Yes Special in Robert’s files, maybe a reproduction of the cover, but Robert was unfortunately unable to turn them up in time for this blog’s posting as he has said that  ‘they are buried deep in storage’ ( and knowing me  – I am my own worst pack rat enemy myself, so I can definitely relate), but Robert however did sit down with me for a few minutes to reminisce about that unpublished issue:

“My assistant editor joined me on the trip to Jon Anderson’s house in Los Angeles CA and it was an awesome experience. We interviewed him for about two hours and created a story where the group would be called upon by an extra-terrestrial being to spread the idea of peace throughout the universe through their music.”
Conte is currently working on his book, My Kiss story which includes a chapter about his days writing and editing music themed comic books. It is due for release in early 2018.

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These two pages of an unauthorized condensed history of Yes are the only comic book version of the group ever made available to the public. Cover to Rock ‘N Roll Comics  issue 65 is seen below.

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And now  Jay Allen Sanford talks about his unpublished Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics Yes Comic Book Story:

Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics #61, about the band Yes, was scheduled for a July 1993 release, BUT was reported to be blocked from publication due to an injunction from Great Southern Management.

Of which Jay immediately disparages that a lawsuit from the band management had actually occurred during his tenure as editor.

What an odd supposition for someone to make, we were two years past any lawsuits – after we won the New Kids case, no musicians tried to block any of our releases (sports figures were another story, but we prevailed in all those actions as well). Nope, the only reason it wasn’t published was because the first art sucked and the clock ran out before the second batch could be completed, with three subsequent issues already on the stands. Besides, Great Southern Management mainly works with the hard acts such as Guns & Roses and Pantera. Whoever reported that to you is a wacko. 
 
The Yes comic was only one of over a dozen music comics that were in production when we locked up the shop.”
 

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The cover to where the above two page story originally appeared.

According to Jay,  the above two-pager is only what remains  left of the artists that originally turned the original artwork in before Jay decided that Ross give it a try to redo the 38 page unauthorized opus from the other artists who didn’t do a bang up job before the entire line got shut down.

In Jay’s words:

“Yeah, the inked two-page spread was from the first version of the comic drawn by a studio whose sample work was far superior. When they turned in the first batch of pages, I was horrified at how badly the art was rendered and hired Marshall Ross to redo. I think the only reason I ran the two pages in the Sci-Fi Rock issue was because I felt bad for the original guys and wanted to at least send a small payments for the two pages.
 
The script was actually bigger than the average rock comic – instead of 28, I think it was 36 pages. The writer Carl wanted to go longer, but that’s the most we could do without having to raise the price. Marshall penciled most of the pages, but it was difficult to get good Xerox copies of all but the ones I scanned and posted.
 
It was Carl’s first and only script for us, and it was very good. Even sticking to the “golden age,” there’s a ton of characters and a lot of events to cover. He had a good visual knack too – that page with the roadie falling to his death off a scaffolding is drawn pretty much exactly as Carl described, with a very cinematic and dramatic layout.
 
Marshall Ross also drew Hard Rock Comics #1 (Metallica Early Years), and issues on the Scorpions, Jane’s Addiction, and Kate Bush (with a cover painted by Ken Meyer Jr.).  He was still a teenager at the time.”
 
The following pages are presented here for the first time with Jay’s enthusiastic permission, since he had always desired to see this project in print since he’s proclaimed himself to be a full pledged Yes fan.  Pencils are by artist Marshall Ross from a script by famed Yes bootlegger Carl Lins-Morstadt. It would have been the first Revolutionary Press Rock and Roll Comic to have been cover to cover with no ads as the page count would have expanded beyond the original 28 page format to 36.
Regrettably I do not have the page numbers, but I did spend practically a week on this blog putting the pages in as much as the proper sequence as I possibly could. Please direct any questions about the material you may have to Jay and I in the comments section and we’ll try our best to get them answered as quick as we can.

 

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Thumbnail sketched two page spread detailing the Roger Dean stage design of the Relayer tour with Patrick Moraz.

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Note: Yessongs II eventually became the bootlegged concert video Yes Live 1975 at Q.P.R.

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And that’s where it cuts off. If Carl and Marshall had gone around to finish the originally intended 38 pages, we probably would have caught up to the 1991 Union tour and covering all events in between such as guitarist Trevor Rabin elevating the band into number one status with 90125 & their first number one hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart“, the brief acrimonious splitting the band into two different factions, the formation of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe, and then later, the imminent emergence of the two into one to form Union.

Since Jay doesn’t publish much in the way of comic book magazines anymore, he sold the rights to a mutual friend, Steve Crompton, but keeps a steady hand in reprint rights such as souped up and remastered editions of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and multiple volumes of pages pulled from other issues to serve as the general over all history of rock music were marketed by Bluewater Press and maybe are still available through Amazon and other related online outlets.

In 2005, BulletProof Film released a documentary film titled Unauthorized and Proud of It: Todd Loren’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics. The film features interviews with Loren’s family, surviving “Revolutionaries,” comic book colleagues, adversaries, supporters and past and present rock ‘n’ roll stars featured in Revolutionary’s comics. Appearing in the film are Alice Cooper, publishers Gary Groth (Fantagraphics) and Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press), famed groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster, underground painter and RevCom cover artist Robert Williams (known for his controversial album art for the first Guns N’ Roses LP), Jay Allen Sanford, Gene Simmons (audio only), and more.

The film also details the San Diego police department’s investigation into Todd Loren’s 1992 murder; interviews with Loren’s coworkers and family members suggest that the police failed to follow-up on all available leads. The film was released on DVD in April 2012 by Wild Eye Releasing, under the title Unauthorized: The Story of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics. The DVD includes over two hours of bonus footage, interviews, news footage, and art galleries, and liner notes by long-time Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics writer-editor Jay Allen Sanford.

Currently in terms of rock comics in general, a gentleman by the name of Mel Smith keeps the subgenre going by publishing a series of Rock and Roll Biographies based on the newer crop of current bands such as Opeth, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and Exodus through his publishing venture called Acme Ink. Another good friend of mine in the LA area, writer and artist Michael Aushenker penned the Exodus issue.

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The new wave of mergers between unauthorized rock ‘n’ roll biographies & comic books, same as the old wave of mergers between unauthorized rock ‘n’ roll biographies & comic books.

And if you’ve been a dedicated reader of this blog, you would’ve known, I myself have once tried my hand at conceptualizing the fabled 1974 Genesis double album, The Lamb Lies Down at Broadway into a four-issue opus until it got shut down by Genesis and Phil Collins’ manager, Tony Smith, who wouldn’t give the project his blessing. However, mine wouldn’t have been a biographic effort, rather I was going for telling an original story based on the characters created by Peter Gabriel. The funds raised for the pitch to my lawyer Paul Levine, who also handles some of Jack Kirby’s estate was co-financed by my deceased best friend, Harry Perzigian, who, if were still alive today was going to help me write pitches for a Frank Zappa project and a David Bowie project based on their concept albums. The only sole exception of this format was a mini-series based on Rush’s Clockwork Angels published by BOOM! Entertainment in a written collaboration with sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson and the band’s drummer, Neil Peart.

That’s a step I think some publishers like Jay (if he should rejoin the fray) & Mel should take, rather than write and draw their life stories, but to instead,  rework what the musicians are trying to convey through their lyrics and cover artwork to try to clarify clearer the stories that they’re meaning to say through their music.

I’m sure there’s an epic four issue mini-series somewhere in either Yes’ Fragile or Relayer. I’m sure Jon Anderson, wouldn’t bulk that’s there’s an epic graphic novel in his first beloved 1976 solo effort, Olias of Sunhillow.  But I doubt it would sell a billion or so copies like the latest Batman or Superman that you would find out on the newsstands.

Next: our year round-up in our second annual IN THE CRAZINESS OF STATS, IN THE CRAZINESS. And once the new year arrives, it will be time to start researching those crazy L + 3 & L +7 November sweeps numbers of all our favorite comic book genre shows.

Be well and happy holidays to all.

 

 

YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL Late 2016 SIDE A: As Another ARW Mystery Closes…

30 Nov

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I can imagine Chris Squire projecting in an astral voice inside Jon Anderson’s head saying:

“You’re bloody at it again. Didn’t you learn anything the first time with ABWH?”

Apparently not.

If you’re in the mood for nostalgia circa 1989, then ARW  (Anderson, Rabin, & Wakeman) will indeed fill the void left over waiting for that second ABWH (Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe) album that will never arrive.

Not THAT these legendary musical stalwarts have any new material to display, but the combination of merging two different Yes camps into one as was attempted in the last Union tour back in 1991 was only half the battle. And if you remember, public opinion historically stated: too much progressive rock chefs were left to spoil the broth. Two guitar players, two keyboard players, and two drummers fought for ego supremacy, and therefore the experiment went all disheveled and the result of it all accumulated into another long-winded hiatus, until the West Coast faction of the band would return with 1994’s Talk.

Now in 2016 we now find ourselves condensed to one representative from the classic seventies era and one from the so-called ‘modern era’ of the eighties, you get to hear arrangements that are more concise rather than jumbled together by eight egomaniacal fighting for his solo to push the faders up on the soundboard. It’s a treat to hear Rick Wakeman’s interpretations of the 90125 and Big Generator era as much as it is to hear Rabin put his spin on some very few Yes classics such as “Perpetual Change” and “Awaken“.

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Who could ever imagine that Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin could work so well together? But then again, the evidence was always there since they both collaborated on a song for Rick’s 1999 sequel to “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” aptly titled “Return to the Centre of the Earth” on a song entitled ‘Never is a Long, Long Time.”, but to go full-out on reimagining some of the classic Yes material from the each of their respective eras and amalgamate it into one cohesive unit? Well, that is the magic of ARW.

Only problem is, there was no time to assemble or preview any new material. as all the three have done is contribute bits and pieces of song ideas which according to Anderson, ‘sound unique’ and Rabin has concurred that rather than frustrate themselves into learning to performing new material, rearranging the old material to sound fresh and topical was top priority. And definitely truer words were never spoken, as witnessed on the evening of November 19th as I sojourned northeast from my usual stomping grounds of Los Angeles (unfortunately their show booked for the Orpheum was on a ‘school night’ aka work day) to a fun weekend of reuniting with the only Parsippany NJ High School Alumni member that I only speak with to this day, Michael Zullo and I were instantly stupefied in awe at their appearance at the Pearl Theater located within the casino cavernous confines of The Palms.

The seventies to eighties kept flipping back and forth like calling a coin heads or tails, as the set was constantly unpredictable (unless you peeked online at the set list early), as Trevor gave his guitar twist on several numbers I never heard him perform before such as “Perpetual Change” or the hallmark “Awaken“, but it was Wakeman who really outshone on the 80’s Rabin material, especially on “Hold On“, “Changes” and bringing the house down with a dazzling synthesizer solo tacked on to the tail end of  “Rhythm of Love” that expanded a little above and beyond the Brian Love/Beach Boys homage.

Joining as side members were bassist Lee Pomeroy who gave it his all for a tribute to the late great Chris Squire on “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish” and drummer Lou Molino III, longtime friend of Rabin and former member of another Yes offshoot band, Yoso with Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye was equally impressive.

Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman perform at Hard Rock Live held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The only real non-Yes song performed that evening was the tear inducing “The Meeting” a duet between Anderson and Wakeman that originally closed the first half of the only ABWH album. I had brought a date with me of whom I’ve been friends with on facebook for six years and I had just happen to have glanced to her in the seat next to me during this performance to be delighted to see tears of happiness well up in her eyes.

There’s always a first time for every thing and exposing someone generally a decade younger or two to something you’ve grown up to is perhaps the most gratifying thing in ones’ way. It’s a way of passing the baton as I’m sure it was the way it was with Chris mentoring Billy to take hold of the Yes reins before the inevitable caught up with him. At the end of the show, I outlined to my date, a basic history and discography of the band of where she could find the songs that she enjoyed, EVEN revealing to her that the new leader of the official Yes Camp back in LA, Billy Sherwood was born and raised up in Las Vegas and comes from a long line of legendary local Las Vegas Strip performers. My date was particularly impressed and remarked about how a singer such as Jon Anderson, rocking it out at the age of 72 can still sound and look so youthful and appear vibrant.

Now, if I happen to post this on November 30th, please note that if you’re in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, ARW, An Evening of Yes Music and More will be appearing at The Grove in Anaheim on December 2nd that ends the US portion of the 2016 tour. When I got back to LA that weekend from Las Vegas, KABC AM radio host Peter Tilden (also a television writer, most recently on an episode of The Simpsons) was talking heavily about the band while announcing that he giving away tickets for the Anaheim, referred to them as ‘the real deal’ and ‘that you can’t beat seeing the original singer, Jon Anderson up on stage’ which is great praise indeed, but then he went on to refer to the current band with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, and Alan White and labeled them as a bunch of imposters.

Which is absolutely not true at all.

There’s been a lot of back and forth on social media of some harsh backlash on whether Yes should just disband completely because anchorman Chris Squire passed away and the spark is gone of showcasing any new material and variations on the album series has left considerable voids in the hearts of the diehards.

Remember what happened the last time Yes released a new album called “Heaven & Earth“:

The fucking audience didn’t want to hear it. The tour two years back in support of it only yielded two songs while the rest of the show bookended entire album performances of “Close to the Edge” & “Fragile“.

So as I was listening to Peter berate the current line-up on AM radio of all formats to stand upon a soapbox, I was reminded of a social media controversy that ignited on Prog Magazine’s facebook page a few months back by a Dom Lawson, who’s usually a stanch supporter of everything that Yes releases as evident by his own website Tales From the Edge or on the band’s main website itself (and I believe he’s written a few books on the band too).

But now that time has somewhat passed since Squire’s shift off the mortal coil, Lawson has been given both camps a tremendous shellacking and here are some italicized bits and pieces to paraphrase:

The problem is that the current Yes lineup (after the passing of Squire)  comprises no one’s idea of a classic or even particularly credible formation for the band. Steve Howe’s presence ensures that the whole thing isn’t a dishonest farce, but even he isn’t an original member. Surely the last nail in the coffin for the notion that this is actually Yes, rather than a well-intended tribute by ‘Steve Howe and pals’.

Yes, this band have had an absolutely insane number of lineup changes and purposeful reinventions over the last 40 years or so, but Squire was omnipresent and his absence has forced Yes into uncharted territory. They’re gamely keeping the flag flying onstage, but is there any real enthusiasm for this lineup to make new music? It seems unlikely.”

Well, let’s be clear on one time: There was a long hiatus of non-activity in Squire’s homestretch. If we all remember correctly, There was hardly any new material belted out by Yes for an ENTIRE DECADE between 2001’s Magnification & 2011’s Fly From Here, other than a greatest hits collection featuring a EP disc of new acoustic renditions of Fragile era songs and one new Dylanesque song entitled “Show Me” which unfortunately served as Jon Anderson’s swan song to the band, AND a live box set. The now Sherwood led band has been in this sort of ‘album series limbo’ ever since the last few tours with Anderson, pausing only to promote the heck out of “Fly From Here” was released with Huey Lewis look-a-like Benoit David on vocals and Oliver Wakeman taking on daddy’s role back in 2010-2011. During that interval of non writing activity, IF there was any new material being written, Squire would usually hand it off to Billy Sherwood for an outside album pow wow get together with some other prog greats willing to collaborate on a giant concept album or sending them off as e-mail files to Steve Hackett for a solo album project or the duo that they formed as Squackett.

Yes are unequivocally on the home straight at this point. It would be unfair to begrudge these musicians a steady income, of course, but does it need to be earned under a banner that no longer seems appropriate.

Meanwhile, Yes fans are readying themselves for the launch of ARW, a much-anticipated collaboration between Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. Keen observers of the band’s frantic revolving personnel door will know that this trio did perform together on the Union tour in 1990, but that they have never joined forces on a Yes studio project. As a result, the new(ish) band’s claims to be “the definitive Yes lineup” are nothing short of ludicrous, and yet it’s hard to deny that by most sensible reckoning, any band featuring the man who sang on every one of Yes’ most revered records and the keyboard maestro that most diehards regard as the Yes ivory-tinkler – not to mention a quintessential prog icon – is going to effortlessly, and rightly, overshadow the rabble of hired hands and stand-ins currently performing under the Yes banner.

I don’t remember reading anywhere about ARW as referred to being the ‘definitive Yes line-up’ but I do have memories of whether I heard either Anderson or Squire usher their thoughts for the future for the band whether it be on the Yesspeak DVD from a decade back or the Yesstory 1991 VHS tape that Yes is the kind of band that would forge on with new members and offspring, of whomever wants to take over the mantle and wasn’t Oliver Wakeman, the youngest son of Rick who stepped up to the high-rise multi-keyboard plate to try to prove himself worthy of his musical inheritance?

Well, maybe the rest of the band were underwhelmed in the long run with Oliver, BUT AT LEAST, a  spawn generated by a revered band member actually ACHIEVED a writing credit (“Into the Storm” on the “Fly From Here” album)  amongst the pantheon of greatness.

When and if Sherwood ever gets the current line-up to develop new material, Sherwood will be at the helm and I’m sure with Howe on his side showing no signs of slowing down, writing wise that is, he’ll make the Squire legacy proud.

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Speaking of developers of new materials, Jon Anderson has not been resting on his laurels. In addition to last year’s fantastic collaboration with legendary violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, for APB, Anderson also spent a good two years writing online with The Flower Kings maestro, Roine Stolt (who also tours as a member of Steve Hackett’s band) after bumping into each other on a progressive rock cruise. And from that fateful meeting, we are now pleased as progressive rock punch to have a masterful sounding new disc that is the perfect seasoned blend of The Flower Kings and the best of whatever solo workings that Jon Anderson has spent his entire career bringing us. There are echos of Jon’s earliest solo ventures such as Olias of Sunhillow, the South American and calypso exploration of Deseo, and most definitely some monumental Jon & Vangelis inspired beauty.

Anderson wrote the lyrics and sang the vocals from his San Luis Obispo California home and e-mailed them off to Stolt in Sweden where he was also joined in the studio by some FK alumni such as Jonas Reingold on bass & drummer Felix Lehrmann on drums, and flying in all the way over from New Jersey, 2001’s Magnification tour session keyboardist Tom Brislin, somewhat finding himself once again entrenched in the battle of Yes Camps.

tombrislin_keys Oh no, not this guy again!!

Honestly, it’s a wonderful album of brand new Anderson Yes inspired music, and I’m sure many die-hard Yes fans will come to regard it as official canon or a malformed bastard child be tossed away like “Heaven & Earth.”

This Yes Log is to be continued with a very, very, very, special Yes yuletide special edition of material pertaining to YES that you will NOT HAVE SEEN ANYWHERE ELSE. There will be two collaborators on the blog with me next week to present something that many of you may not have seen before. So on December 15th (ish) come with us once again to the YES WAY BACK MACHINE to 1994 for a surprise treat that I can hardly wait to show all of you.

 

 

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The Songs of Harry Perzigian

15 Nov

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November 15th probably would have been a milestone for the best friend I ever made in the Los Angeles area by the name of Harry Perzigian. If alive, he’d most likely be turning 60 or 61 this year.

Now I know that name comes with a ton of stigmata, since it was rumored that at one time he was a big time drug dealers to the ‘stars’ of Brentwood (hey, wanna know why Dean Cain & Linda Hamilton still look so young after all these years?)  that resulted in the suicide of Carroll O’ Connor’s son, Hugh Connor that sent Harry up the river to the LA City Jail for a couple of months. BUT I reiterate once more, that you can’t blame a quote unquote ‘drug dealer’ for the suicide death of someone, if that person wasn’t the one who put the fucking gun in his hand.

And since when does anyone try to pay a drug dealer with a personal check??

A lot of commenters came by to leave their unfounded vehemence for my best friend, even after his own death, AS IF THEY HAD A PERSONAL HORSE in the race. But don’t worry, you snarkers had already won.

The media doesn’t give a shit about Harry Perzigian self demise. Nor do they acknowledge that Harry was a truly gifted songwriter.

It’s a non-story. So why do complete unknown Hugh O’Connor fans  still, after twenty years beat themselves up over it? Harry was not the one who the gun in Hugh’s mouth. Hugh O’Connor was the one who put the gun in his own mouth, and Carroll O’Connor was just a shit bird of a father who could not own up to his own responsibility.

But for those who are interested and who regarded him as a generous kind person (Harry Perzigian fronted me a $1,000.00 loan for a lawyer to pitch my proposed 4 issue comic book event mini-series based on the Genesis album “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” to Genesis manager Tony Smith and keyboardist Tony Banks of which I generously paid him back for days before he died. The hundred dollar bills that the police found in his wallet on the day I found him choking on his blood and bile? I put them in there while he was on his deathbed) I offer in this special birthday celebratory entry, the very little unknown creative side focusing on the successful songs that Harry wrote and collaborated with over the years.

When Harry’s ex-girlfriends, friends, daughter, & grandsons flying in from Australia decided to hold a personal service after the family had their service for him out in Chicago, one of his ex’s and I embarked on the task of going through 50 tapes and CDs of Harry’s performances and songs that Harry had written & collaborated with over a thirty year period with a roster including  John Wetton, Bobby Kimball (formerly of Toto), Pretty Boy Floyd, & Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow (who was once Harry’s roommate and according to Harry, would ‘jerk off’ from up to six to seven times a day in his shower. And the hair was fake too). Harry also struck up great friendships with two major musicians who are no longer with us: Emerson, Lake, & Powell and Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell & Foreigner touring keyboardist John Purdell who’s very first band was with Harry formed in Canoga Park.

Here was Harry’s biggest hit with the band Vixen.

Vixen was one of the first all girl heavy metal bands from the 1990 glam metal scene in Los Angeles, California. Most the band is still active today with the exception of founding member Jan Kuehnemund, who passed away in October 2013 of cancer (I don’t believe Harry ever knew of her passing). Harry’s song appeared on the band’s 1990 second album, “Rev It Up” and charted in the US at 71 and in the UK at 41. So I fail to understand why people who mercilessly troll my comments section deem Harry’s life as a failure when he once had a decent charting single that kept him in residuals for the rest of his life.

Go figure.

Bobby Kimball, former lead singer with Toto. also wrote a handful of songs with Harry in 1994 for his first solo album, Rise Up. In addition to their collaboration on the title track, the song “Paralyzed” was given the single treatment. Harry used to tell me that Bobby was one of his favorite ever celebs to hang out with, and was the life of the party at a lot of his Brentwood condominium super late night super soirees pounding out songs on his piano at crazy hours in the morning. Months before Harry’s passing, Harry and his roommate who moved in after me took a fucking sledgehammer to the piano because it became a financial headache for him to keep it properly tuned.

I was sad to see that piano go. It gave his living room such character, even if the keys were stuck and sounded out of tune.

 

Kevin Dubrow , singer of Quiet Riot & Pretty Boy Floyd teamed up with Harry to write “Slam Dunk” for the soundtrack of the movie “Switch” starring Ellen Barkin & Jimmy Smits in 1991. It appears as a bonus track on the CD and the song is played at the end credits of the movie. Harry always got a kick that even at the time of his death, that they were still playing the shit out of this movie on late night cable television and that a royalty check would KA-CHING its’ way into his mailbox each time it aired (which honestly was nothing to sneeze at. I had seen some of those checks and they didn’t amount to very much in the lower $100’s).

If I only had a chance to rewind my life a half decade or so, I’m sure, Harry would’ve experienced some kind of motivation or comeback of sorts to get himself out of the perpetual black cloud that he constantly found himself ducking under. IF I hadn’t given up on a long search for a third collaboration held strictly held between Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes and bassist/vocalist John Wetton for a third outing as companion band ICON, I think perhaps Harry would’ve been striving for a renewed purpose. Don’t get me wrong, he was still composing songs to the end (Even I helped with providing some mellotron patches on one) – but to have been sharing an album credit with one his favorite singer/songwriters of all time- JOHN  WETTON? would’ve made his freaking ego soar.

But it didn’t. Harry never knew that on the Icon 3 album that John Wetton and Geoff Downes released in 2009, a reworked a version of  one of Harry & John Wetton’s songs (also co-written by Curt Cuomo)  titled ” Sex, Power, & Money ” was recorded for Icon 3. I owned the first two albums by the duo, but after months after the third effort’s release, I never saw it arrive at my neighborhood Amoeba Records and I simply gave up the search for the album existed. It wasn’t until I got ahold of all if Harry’s demos from his family that I came across the tapes of three songs that Harry recorded with the Asia/King Crimson singer with the other two titles being “I Can Tell You” and “Back in Your Arms” (which is absolutely incredible), currently both procrastinating  and largely unused on a dusty Warner Chappell Music office shelf. I’ve been by some rabid fans on a John Wetton message board, that in the liner notes of the album, that ideas were accredited to Harry’s stage name, Harry Paress.

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And lastly, another highlight of Harry’s songwriting career was getting a demo of his rap/rock band The Puck Boys played on local Los Angeles station Pirate Radio of an ode to Los Angeles Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey in “Rudy’s on Duty Tonight” filmed on location in front of the LA Forum in Inglewood. The song instantly became an anthem for the team until Hrudey was either retired or no longer for playing for the team and was written in tribute to his incredible playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. This video was shot during the era when Harry was getting into scuffles with actor Ryan O’Neal over him messing around with his wife Farrah Fawcett-Majors which became major gossip on the cover of People Magazine. 

Coming up next: Possibly a new YES LOG installment in honor of the newly formed AWR offshoot band (Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, & Trevor Rabin) as a comic book mystery develops.

 

 

The Parsippany NJ Non Grata Picture Show

31 Oct

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This late month’s entry will speak more in pictures and not in words.

Last month, I made an impromptu visit to my childhood town of Parsippany, NJ incognito to visit my mom and my half-sister, Bernadette. Didn’t publicize it on social media or anything, because of the current political atmosphere that has made practically everyone insane of late. I stayed mainly closely to the vest of my mom’s house (which I didn’t grow up in), just venturing out to visit Morristown, Willowbrook Mall, Rockaway Mall and a few hours in New York while I was coming and going. The only friend I had planned to drop in on was the grandmother and aunt of actress some kid named Danika, whose mother, Linda I had occasionally dated a few times back in High School (all our dates were concerts. Six  altogether.) Danika just made her first major motion picture debut in Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back a couple of weeks ago this month after honing her chops on television shows such as Shameless & The Heroes Reborn mini-series that was televised on NBC last season. I was hoping to see one of the Freeman sisters I used to take as a substitute date when Linda couldn’t make it, but she was working somewhere in an office at Princeton

Parsippany was also home to Golden Globe winning actress Jane Krakowski, widely known for her roles on Ally McBeal and 30 Rock can now be seen as a supporting actress on the Emmy nominated series, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I didn’t interact with Jane too much as she was four grades behind me (I do remember seeing her in grade school) other than I once gave her a ride in my Ford Pinto during a blizzard seeing her struggling to walk in a snowdrift along Vail Road.

Other notable people besides me were mainly professional athletes, and I mainly don’t give a shit about professional athletes. Just show biz people.

A little Wikipedia background on Parsippany:

Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, commonly called simply Parsippany (/pɑːrˈsɪpəni/), is a township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 53,238, reflecting an increase of 2,589 (+5.1%) from the 50,649 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,171 (+4.5%) from the 48,478 counted in the 1990 Census.

The name Parsippany comes from the Lenape Native American sub-tribe, which comes from the word parsipanong, which means “the place where the river winds through the valley”. Parsippany-Troy Hills is the most populous municipality in Morris County. The name Troy Hills was changed from Troy, to avoid confusion of mail being sent erroneously to Troy, New York.

After the Wisconsin Glacier melted around 13,000 BC, half of Parsippany was filled with water as this was Lake Passaic. Around the area grasses grew, as the area was tundra and then turned into a taiga/boreal forest as the area warmed. Paleo-Indians moved in small groups into the area around 12,500 years ago, attracted by the diversity of plant and animal life. Native Americans settled into the area several thousand years ago, dwelling in the highlands and along the Rockaway River and the Whippany River, where they hunted and fished for the various game that lived in the area and migrated through the area in autumn. Paintings in a rock cave were found in the late 1970s in western Parsippany in the highlands.

From 1611 to 1614, the Dutch established the colony of New Netherland, which claimed territory between the 40th and 45th parallel north, a zone which included northern New Jersey. The Native Americans traded furs and food with the Dutch for various goods. In return the Dutch gave the Native Americans metal pots, knives, guns, axes, and blankets. Trading with the Native Americans occurred until 1643 when a series of wars broke out between the Dutch and Native Americans. There were hostile relations between the Dutch and Native Americans between 1643 and 1660. This prevented colonization by the Dutch of the Morris County region which was technically included in their claimed “New Netherland.”

On August 27, 1664, three English ships approached Fort Amsterdam and the fort was surrendered to the English. The English now controlled New Netherland and Morris County was now under control of the colony of New York. Relations with the Native Americans improved for a while.

Lake Hiawatha and Mount Tabor are neighborhoods with their own ZIP codes. In 2000, 55% of Parsippany residents had a 07054 ZIP code. In 2011, Parsippany residents could live in one of 12 ZIP codes. Until 2000, there was a 13th ZIP code within Parsippany, eliminated with changes at the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hotel was long accused of conducting unorthodox experiments on its’ patients, that it was briefly closed down impending an investigation. It’s rumored that many of the atrocities that had once occurred served as the basis for the anthology series, American Horror Story: Asylum.

Lake Hiawatha was once a popular wealthy hang out for East Coast celebrities such as Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Fatty Arbuckle, Groucho Marx and other nearby New Jersey talent when it was an exclusive resort. The lake was drained and became a golf course called Knoll Gardens.

So with that all out-of-the-way….

Despite the overwhelming discouraging eyesores of Trump/Pence campaign sign on every 10 or so lawns, there was at least some glimmer of hope with a few signs like the picture above for those who just want to be kept out of it altogether.

So, here in this first picture: the con was in way before DonaldDonny Fuck KnucklesTrump announced his running joke of running for President of the United States despite of having zero evidence of ever serving for office, ever, Unfortunately, the joke has gone too far. If elected, he will hold the record of being the most stupidest ignorant xenophobic asshole since George W. Bush to hold office. Expect the Trump brand to expand to street corner internment camps in your near future where you can hold conjugal visits with your favorite Muslim significant other. Anyway, this was something my mom found that was mailed out to my stepfather while he was still alive to possibly leech some cash from his already depleted pockets.

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One of the house duties of staying over for a week, was to make sure Bebe was walked and fed only dry food. My mom said if you feed this dog wet food, it will shit all over the place.

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My mom and my youngest nephew, Shea. My half-brother-in-law thought it would be cute to name all his sons after baseball players and stadiums. Cute. After all, my mom named me after her favorite movie stars Cary Grant and Tyrone Powers. Everybody has to have a gimmick. And to think they mocked Frank Zappa for what he named his kids. Hey, anything is better than Adolf or Osama, right?

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My half-sister Bernadette, who looks freakin’ amazing and in very spectacular shape of the age of 47.

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My half-sister and I probably haven’t posed for a photo together since she was a brownie and I was a cub scout in 1976.

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Doesn’t seem to have changed much since giving birth to her first son, Aldo.

Aldo, my nephew. Not to be confused with the Aldo that Trump named his illegitimate son that he had with Dr. Zira from the Planet of the Apes. I heard that Aldo became a very famous general on that parallel world.

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Our newest family member, Anna, who has come from Romania to rent a room from my mom to further her citizenship and to school herself in our American customs. She’s a very nice shy courteous girl and even though you can’t see it- AND you’re going to have to trust me on this: SHE has a very wonderful looking ass. If Donald Trump ever gets elected, he might unfortunately be able to get his hands on it. And that would be very devastating indeed. Bebe certainly likes her. Uh oh, those table scraps better not be wet food.

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Bebe sure likes that couch.

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My mother has proven herself to be very savvy with a laptop at the age of 74. Chances are that one day she’ll discover this blog on the internet. Chances are that ONCE she finds out about her picture being online she’ll kick my ass once  I show my face in New Jersey next year.

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I had these piggy banks since I was a kid. If my half-sister’s kids ever decide to go treasure hunting in my deceased step dad’s basement mancave, well, there’s treasure buried somewhere in that tomb. Those banks certainly got heavy to lift to the bank once they filled up.20160927_104922

A Dean Martin action figure once belonging to my step dad. It poses with plenty of martinis and then smacks your wife around while you’re not looking or at least seeing pink elephants yourself.

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Then there was that day when Bosco Bear got together with a duck and the duck had more wood than he did. If you would recall, I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that my grandfather, Harold Shannon was one of three baking ingredient chemists who developed the chocolate formula for BOSCO chocolate syrup. Each initial stands for the last name of the baking chemist involved and then Co for company and you have BOSCO. It doesn’t take a genius to crack the chocolate code.

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Me at a very young age.

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So, after six days, I decided I had it, so went up to hang out at Times Square where they spruce things up a bit. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg transformed the entire once traffic congested tourist area of Broadway theaters and shops into a huge mecca pedestrian plaza.

It appears that Bloomberg wants New York to emulate some sort of Southern California motif, as apparent by all the WEST COAST EATERIES that clog every crevice and every blog. I can see Jamba Juices, Yoshinoyas, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, LA Fitness, AND EVEN downright mimicking Hollywood’s own Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum & Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. EVEN GOING OUT OF THE WAY to put them next door to each other just…like…they…do…in…Hollywood.

What a bunch of mother fucker copycats.

Has New York lost their identity, that they have to copy off of someone else?

Where did all the fucking hookers go?

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At least some things don’t change. Inside Port Authority Bus Terminal where you can hop on a Lakeland Bus for the incredible low commuter price of $ 10 a fucking ticket, you can woo at The Commuters, a sculpture of three weary bus passengers and a clock salvaged from original terminal by George Segal, which was unveiled in the main ticket area in 1982.

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Or the 42nd Street Ballroom, a rolling ball sculpture by George Rhoads on the main floor of the North Wing, was installed in 1983 which never get dull looking at, IF the goddamn thing was turned on.20160927_133410

Back to Times Square. Seriously, does the Chamber of Commerce have any originality whatsoever? YOU can come over to Venice Beach and see painted up naked ladies ALL YEAR around. Now check this out: This Lena Dunham wannabe is scolding this dude for snapping her picture without tipping her, BUT I’m snapping her scolding this dude for not tipping her WHILE I’m not tipping any of them.

And before she realizes that the fix was in, I’m already two blocks down the street catching my breath after committing this dastardly deed.

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A couple of pictures of Danika’s grandmother during a visit to Rockaway Mall. Trying to help her figure out how to work a iphone 7, so she doesn’t miss a text from Moviefone to remind her when Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back starts to screen.

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Catching up on old times and was waiting to see if any other member of the Freeman clan  show up.  You’d think after thirty years of being away, more people would want to stop by to say hello.

Oh wait, that’s right- I’m supposed to be incognito here.

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Leaving on a jet plane. Flysoverville (aka Parsippany) is down there BENEATH MY HEEL somewhere.

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The morning I left to go back to Los Angeles, I made sure I shipped all of my Doc Savage paperbacks to my house, MANY that I have read since third grade in high school (fellow students accused me of being predictable whenever I handed in a book report) in anticipation of the Shane Black/Dwayne Johnson collaboration. For those who do not know my unbridled love of everything Doc Savage paperback related, harken yourself back to my imaginary world of The Action Figure of Solitude.20161003_204959

Next two blogs may be Yes Log related. Not sure yet so check back in another two weeks.

 

 

 

 

Marinating in the Roasted Marshmallow New Kingdom of the Mighty Marbled Cake Castle of Marillion

20 Oct

marillion_fear_promo0415Marillion is possibly my most favorite progressive band to emerge from the punk angst wreckage of the 1980’s.

And each time they release a new album, those who consider themselves part of the progressive rock community will consider it a major event.

A major event complete with expletives. For F.E.A.R. (F**k Everyone and Run), the eighteenth studio album is quite a major departure from its’ usually fan funded fare- and seeing how word of mouth is growing about the new album, that it’s now currently charting in the UK and most of Europe at number 4. Portions of the album were recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, England.

No, none of the songs have nothing to do whatsoever with these guys from the Birdman & the Galaxy Trio cartoons. birdman_l08

No, INSTEAD it’s more like the long running UK (neo) progressive rock band formed in the late seventies/early eighties by poet/lyricist singer Fish (aka Derek W, Dick) and guitarist Steve Rothery, whose roster now includes bass player Pete Trewavas (who original singer Fish has claimed to me during backstage drunken meet and greets that he is supposed to be my long identical brother), long in the tooth drummer (ex-Focus & Steve Hackett) Ian Mosley, keyboard wizard Mark Kelly, joined by singer Steve Hogarth who prefers to be referred to as ‘H ‘ has proudly proclaimed this album to be their finest ‘protest’ album.

It’s an album balancing the long and short form of progressive and pop. Three multi-chapter epics mixed with three short and poignant beautiful numbers, the one particularly standing out is the brilliantly painting by number narrative titled “White Paper.” Opening major epic extravaganza “El Dorado” deals with the complexities of countries accepting refugees and the whole Brexit movement  while closing epic “The New Kings” tries to body sham evil corporate sharks who would be willing to sell and bankrupt nations all for the mighty euros. The band has lots to speak out about much in the similar vein of their previous album, “Sounds That Can’t Be Made” when that one opened with the seventeen minute rantfull doozy entitled “Gaza” offering their viewpoint on the horrible atrocities that occur within forever continuous Israel & Palestine conflict.

Not quite the cover of Rolling Stone, but I guess it will do.

Not quite the cover of Rolling Stone, but you can’t overlook a gift horse in the mouth..

As the same as I regard Yes as my diary into the world I grew up in and the shapes of events occurring around me, I regard Marillion as my guide to maturity. the third album with original singer Fish, “Misplaced Childhood’ is the soundtrack of my exodus to California and moving on from my failed attempt to make things right with Tamar, the love of my mid-eighties life who was the subject of my Yes’ 90125 blog entry. I’ve traveled great distances, and usually when I’m in an airplane or on a long car trip, there’s always a Marillion that needs popping in to help ease off some of the weary jaunts – BUT yet, I’m not one to go out and travel vast distance across continents to go to any of their gigs or their world renown “Marillion Weekends” that take place either in Europe or Canada.

Since Fish left the band to pursue a solo career after the equally successful fourth album, “Clutching at Straws“, Steve Hogarth formerly with How We Live & The Europeans came in to help redevelop the band’s sound and direction, giving the band some European pop influence from bands such as U2, the Cure, & Radiohead (they’ve covered “Fake Plastic Trees” on one of their live albums). This incarnation of the band has survived for the past twenty-seven years. I’m now going to go into a whole Wikipedia fueled jargon crème filled tangent about their history, but rather recounted the tours that I’ve been fortunate to have caught since the days I came back from sound engineering school in Chillicothe, Ohio when a couple of fellow Israeli student played a tape of them for me while smoking giant bowls of Turkish hash.

Once I got back to Parsippany, NJ, my former gal pal, Linda Freeman’s brother, Robert roused my jet lagged ass to Rockaway Mall to check out a very late showing of Monty Python’s Meaning of Life– and as we were buying tickets, I made a pit stop to a Harmony Hut record store and saw the debut album “Script for a Jester’s Tear” prominently displayed in the front window of the store, That debut album, along with a Tony Banks solo album entitled “The Fugitive” assured myself that I wasn’t get all that much sleep that night, because I got home from the movie, it was going to be a lingering date with my headphones.

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I’m proud to proclaim that I’ve seen nearly every American tour that they band has embarked upon with the SOLE exception of the “Misplaced Children” tour in 1986 that had me stranded in all places, Kansas City, which wasn’t on their tour itinerary. I missed out on the “Afraid of Sunlight” tour in 1995 because they only got to tour around the east coast. It’s only been a handful of tours considering since they broke ties with their main record company EMI, of which  were mainly crowd funded by the fans themselves. If you’re a contributor to helping with the expenses of recording  a new album or tour, your just reward is to be given an album credit, usually in a deluxe package edition.

I like to think, I’ve been lucky enough to have special west coast Marillion exclusives. In addition of attending every ex-lead singer Fish’s solo shows (which you technically need two days to recover from, because they are so fucking long with Fish giving a droning speech between each number), most notably a secret San Diego show for the 1992 Holidays in Eden tour, and perhaps one of the last times I stepped foot at the Sunset Blvd Tower Records location for a special acoustic version of Marillion songs performed by only three fifths of the group masquerading as the Los Marillos Trio. Portions of an interview I conducted with the band after the gig are reprinted here from my mothership blog http://www.purplepinupguru.blogspot.com

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So why all the admiration at this particular time? Well, let’s just say I’m simply getting myself psyched for their Los Angeles appearance this Saturday as part of the handful of USA dates this fall (other major cities include New York, Chicago (2 dates!!), San Francisco, Denver, & Boston.) in support of F.E.A.R.  Plus fall is a time when the major prog rock heavies love to tour. Established acts that I support are out in full force including Opeth, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson (who sold out here in LA), Steven Wilson, and the old meets new again newly formed AWR (Anderson, Wakeman, & Rabin), of which the latter I will be trying to see in Las Vegas.

It’s a shame that Marillion isn’t on the tip of the tongue for most general music aficionados as the only song to receive radio air play was the single “Kayleigh” (along with subsequent song “Lavender” that was tagged on to the end. It seemed that it was a song split in half to make two singles out of it), as a lot of the stuff penned by Hogarth would make great soundtrack music in the end credits of some current cinema offering), that probably served as the launching pad for most fans. If you’re a songwriter living in Los Angeles, most likely you’re a fan since many audience members who attend their shows are mostly made up of Los Angeles finest studious musicians and fellow tunesmiths who look upon them as inspiration in honing their craft.

Is Game of Thrones writer/creator George R.R, Martin a big fan? There was a character named Marillion played by Scottish actor Emun Elliot in the first season, but beyond that there isn’t much media mention of the band anywhere. Of course, a fantasy novel franchise, most notably the classic J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings franchise was the one that christened the Marillion name from the posthumous 1982 book “The Silmarillion”.

But I suppose that’s ok for the band who revels themselves as unfashionable and trendy as fuck. They love the anonymity of hardly being recognized on a public street corner as they more prone to stalk and troll their fans on social media rather than the other way around. I have two members of Marillion on my list of facebook pals, Pete Trewavas and Steve Rothery. Mark Kelly used to be around, but I think he had set up a fan page instead.

 

AND NOW Representing two local Los Angles live concert blogging experiences from 2004 – 2005.

One of my personal favorite efforts by the band during the 'aughts'. Funny, it was the the first and last time I ordered from Racket Records. Received the deluxe edition in the mail, all beat up and spine torn, When I opened the package at my office in Warner Bros: a freaking moth flew out of the box. A freaking moth survived the trip from the all the way from the UK!!

Marbles” Released in 2004. One of my personal favorite efforts by the band during the ‘aughts’. Funny, it was the first and last time I ordered from Racket Records. Received the deluxe edition in the mail, all beat up and spine torn, When I opened the package at my office in Warner Bros: a freaking moth flew out of the box. A freaking moth survived the trip from the all the way from the UK!!

MARILLION

House of Blues, West Hollywood, Ca September 27, 2004
                                            An extremely biased review by Cary Coatney
Rather than sitting at home getting visually mauled by presidential debates between our future Commander- in- Chief John “Lurch”  Kerry and our resident chickenhawk in rehearsal with his pet ventriloquist – I decided to break away from Fantasyland and attend opening night of the long much heralded return of Marillion‘s first U.S. Tour in SEVEN years! ( and Mexico City doesn’t count!  Just my opinion on the tour dates listed on the back of my t-shirts ) and what a perfectly flawless evening  it was to be enjoyed by all;  except for a few caveats concerning the venue: Poor air circulation and bathroom valets who hustle you up for a dollar, otherwise you don’t get to wash and dry your hands properly after you’ve finished draining the dragon.
Okay enough exercising political rimshots and recycled first sentences (see my 2003 King Crimson @ the Wiltern review for details) and on with my unconditional dying love for anything Marillion.
I was hanging out with Under the Sun bass player Kurt Barabas throughout the show along with some of his friends who run the prog4you website just as John Weasley was finishing up hammering through an acoustic interpretation of Pink Floyd’s Run Like Hell. And that basically was my grand entrance, after a detour of unloading of heavy objects bulging from my grey 90 percent polyester and 10 percent spandex pants pocket due to a security patdown – Time was wasting and I immediately made a dash to the souvenir table in a panic that they would already be sold out of tour t-shirts. After all, it’s been seven years and my last ‘This Strange Engine’ tour t-shirt is a lot faded since. Anyway, Kurt told me that he is about half way through recording on the follow-up to their Magna Carta debut disc and is very optimistic that a much kinder and gentler label will be taking it off their hands soon. I was sorry to hear through his Prog4you friend that Starcastle bass player Gary Dale Strater had passed away. I haven’t been keeping up with the news of late- but my condolences go out to his family.
With that gaggle aside, I was pondering on some thoughts of the last time when I saw Marillion and if I had remembered correctly, the place was only half full from when they went into EMI-less oblivion and were forced to go it alone as agents of independent rock provocateurs in touring behind a fan based slush fund that enabled them to tour behind This Strange Engine. But now- look at this place! Where did all these people come from? Is the new album getting nationwide airplay on alternative stations? I mean, last time. Christine Holtz, who used to publish a prog rock newsletter called Music News Network managed to get me backstage for some hang out time- but there was no way I could smooth over those supersized combo meal security beef boys in yellow crew shirts, so I left a few copies of my newest comic book I printed with the girl behind the tour merchandise table that includes the Marbles advertisement on the back cover to give to the band after the show.  Still, I was in a constant flux of perplexity of how there came to be so many people at this gig who probably looks as if they never would in a million years pick up a Marillion disc. From what I was witnessing in my immediate environment, there were a handful of estrogenic seeking men paddling in a sea of too few good looking females who wanted nothing to do with them. Hmmm, maybe they came  to actually hear the music, instead of being picked up upon? I had already asked three girls if they had wanted to accompany me- but all the responses I could get from them was a resounding Marillion who?
Alright, so Monday night is not really a date night for some people and-
Uh oh, the curtain is going up….
It’s time for some Marbles action!
And there they were on stage, like long lost second or third removed cousins at a family reunion. Steve Hogarth sauntered up to the microphone garbed in some Brooks Brothers casual zoot suit as the ensemble led its’ way through the opening salvo of the thirteen and a half minute tongue ‘n cheek Ralph Waldo Emerson inspired ‘The Invisible Man’  tantalized by the use of Hogarth’s mimicry got the gears rolling on this abbreviated version of the Marbles showcase portion of the show.
And it was absolutely riveting. Nothing could be more simpler than that.
I miss the narrative of hand gestured storytelling in lyrics and H’s still struggles to keep the tired old tradition in place and this probably is the only one trait that both previous singing burly man, Fish and H have  in common – they act out the lyrics of the songs. Portions of the Invisible Man, along with ‘Neverland’ reminded me of those long cherished ‘Fugazi’ Fish days when Fish would be sitting down near Mosley’s drumkit during the middle of ‘Jigsaw’  and pretend  that the heel of his shoe was a gun chamber in which he would be loading imaginary bullets into before getting back to the  chorus and feign suicide.
In ‘Invisible Man’, H would be flaying his arms and screaming into the microphone around like a sociopath during the end of that song and spread his arms out if acting out a flying fantasy towards  the end of the J.M. Barrie’s homage to ‘Neverland’  (not really so much as an homage to the legend of Peter Pan, but rather to the legend of the man behind Peter Pan– ironic, that a motion picture called ‘Neverland’ starring Johnny Depp will be opening in cinemas soon that is based on the same subject).
In the instrumental department- I felt Peter Trewavas and Steve Rothery really stood out on their strings with the dreary jazz bits on ‘Angelina’. On certain rock out points,  Trewavas was acting as if he were twenty years younger now that his leg has healed. By the way he was jumping around on the stage, you wouldn’ t think that he was once in a serious car accident. H introduced Mark Kelly as keyboardist and master of special effects and Ian Mosley was in fine form, even when drum machines were the domineering component in songs such as “You’re Gone” or “This is the 21st Century“.
    Nearly all of the domestic release of Marbles was played in the first elongated portion of the show, including all the four part self- titled bookend pieces. I think all bands should follow this mantra whenever new material is concerned. Play it! Flaunt it!  But jeez, just don’t drag audiences through with endless stagnated repertoires!  This is why  loyalty to bands such as Yes or Moody Blues has waned because they rely so much on ancient history to comprise at least 90 percent of the show’s content and discard what they might have been working on for the past two years in the studio just to appease the fifty plus demographic who tunes in a classic rock radio station. I can almost telegraph an entire Moody Blues concert from an amphitheater away, because I’ve seen them for three or four tours in a row and with the exception of a few new songs tossed here and there in the set- they play the same group of songs in the exact same order! But on Marillion’s first tour in seven years- their set list was a sort of catch up with the American fans. In addition to Marbles, we also got a taste of what had gone on before demonstrated by some samples of Radiation, Marillion.com, and Anaraknophobia. Three full albums of material that has never been performed live in this country before. Man, I bet I was the only guy happy in the house that they didn’t do “Kayleigh” or “Garden Party” for the umpteenth time. “Invisible Man”, “Drilling Holes”, and “Neverland “got the best audience reception as far as the new stuff was concerned, although I’ve grown a better appreciation of hearing “Angelina and “Fantastic Place” live than I do on the record. I thought Kelly’s keyboards were really spot on the latter. Being towards the end of the bar, I thought it was a perfect position where I could be practically heckler-free, but wouldn’t you know there would be some boisterous and belligerent drunken female yelling at the top of her raspy lungs to play some old stuff.
Please- if you need to hear classic Marillion ‘oldies’ – go see Fish play.
After a 3 or 4 minute change of underpants break, as H so casually refer to due to the long transatlantic flight (wait, didn’t they say they had done a couple of gigs in Mexico City?) they were back on stage to dip in the Hogarth era bag and performed a cut from each album from Season’s End up to Anaroknophobia. “Quartz” was close to bringing down the house until upstaged by the final two songs of the night, “Cover My Eyes”“Easter” maybe because the spring chickens in the crowd who were probably out past their curfew were jamming to the dirty white boy Limp Bizkit inspired rapping that Hogarth was firing off in the middle of ‘Quartz.’
Still, the same girl behind me was beating her war drum for the old stuff. I mean, talk about suffering from head up your ass-itis.
It was then after this second outburst that pleasant thoughts of Fox News Conservative whipping boy Bill O’Reilly popped into my head. And that doesn’t really happen too often.
       (
( SHUT UPPPPPPPP YOU  (bleeping) OLD BIRD!!!)
Two encores followed. I was ecstatic that they played  “The Damage”, one of my favorite songs off the Deluxe version of Marbles and up course, all the die hard cheered the loudest when the double whammy of “Cover My Eyes” and “Easter” closed out the 2 plus hour show.
Funny, I didn’t hear the bitch behind me complain anymore. Must have fallen pissed behind the bar.
Anyway, Marillion – many happy returns – (to cop a phrase from an old Prisoner episode).
setlist:
Invisible Man
Marbles 1
You’re Gone
Angelina
Marbles 2
Don’t Hurt Yourself
Fantastic Place
Marbles 3
Drilling Holes
Marbles 4
Neverland
(3 minute change of underpants break)
Living the Big Lie
Quartz
Go!
Hey Jude (segues into:)
Three Minute Boy
Between You & Me
Encore # 1
This is the 21st Century
The Damage
Encore # 2
Cover My Eyes
Easter


Above are photos taken at an acoustic performance and signing at Tower Records on Sunset in October 2005. In last photo Left to right, Bass player Pete Trewavas, guitarist Steve Rothery and vocals & maracas, Steve Hogarth. Clown hovering over them with opened Marbles sleeves: Cary Coatney
 
Early on in September, I had the good fortune to attend a rare West Coast appearance of the Los Marillos Trio – which incidentally is the rallying cry of three fifths of the legendary British progressive band Marillion. Like other prog bands such as Asia and Yes who were recently experimenting in acoustic formats.
I was elated to hear some songs performed live of which he had never heard before such as Go from marillion.com and the Answering Machine from 1998’s Radiation album. Despite having an US cult comeback with last years’s release of Marbles, Marillion hadn’t been touring very much since their 1997 This Strange Engine tour because of low record sales and insatiable leaps to independent record labels who couldn’t afford to pay touring expenses. I got the full strings and electric piano outing at the Key Club in West Hollywood and on the very next day they did a store signing at the Tower Records a few blocks down the street.

 

A thirty minute set consisted of four songs: 80 Days from This Strange Engine Don’t Hurt Yourself (whoring for DVD sales of their last European concert tour) from Marbles, (which by all rights should be a staple hit played on every alternative rock station), Answering Machine from Radiation, Man of a Thousand Faces also from This Strange Engine and as a bonus encore per fan request: A Collection – a simple little obscure acoustic number that was a bonus track on Holidays In Eden.

Singer Steve Hogarth: (or if you prefer, H for short)

 

Cary Coatney Q: Did an image of Angelina Jolie sprout in your mind while writing the lyrics to Angelina off of Marbles?

 

A: No actually it was Margretina, a DJ on Cable radio. A billboard in London had her made her up look like a call girl. So we had to change name for legal purposes.

 

Steve Rothery:

 

Cary Coatney Q: Will you ever get around to do a follow up to Wishing Tree and that girl on the cover of Carnival of Souls looked very fetching. (Peter Trewavas pitches in: Oh yes, Hannah Stobart, definitely very fetching !)

 

A: Oh yeah, we would definitely like to get around to doing another one sometime in the near future. Hannah and I are currently writing material for the follow-up. And yes indeed Hannah is very fetching ( yeah, but the debut album was released around ten years ago – a lot can change to a woman’s looks in ten years).

 

(the second album, Ostara was finally released in 2009)

 

Bassist Pete Trewavas:

 

Cary Coatney Q: Just a compliment on your work on your side band Keno (available through Insideout Music). The guitar player John Mitchell (also of Arena) used to be a good friend and e-mail buddy. I once hung out with him and Matt Goodluck when Arena was visiting out here for a Prog Rock festival and we grew to be great e-mail pen pals ever since. It’s good to see him grow and mature into a fine musician We all went to Universal CityWalk after the gig.

 

A: Oh wow, you know Matt Goodluck?

 

Cary Coatney follow-up: I just said I did, didn’t I? Yes, Matt has retired from the music business and now works as an agriculture inspector for the city of Sidney, Australia. And he’s already bought his first house. Goddamn lucky bugger barely into his thirties.

 

All: Yeah, we all miss Matt Goodluck.

 

(Actually Matt these days is a lead singer for a Australian Pink Floyd Tribute band, Experience Floyd Pty, Ltd that is getting massive raves in his homeland.)

 

AND SO, ON A TOTALLY UNRELATED NOTE:

 

For those reading this blog on the weekend of Oct 21st. Do me a favor and be sure to check out my former Parsippany High School best gal pal Linda Freeman (now Yarosh)’s daughter, Danika Yarosh in her spectacular feature film debut in Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back. She plays a mysterious teen age girl who may or may not have a link to Jack Reacher’s past. Reviews have been mostly stellar so far and most critics agree that its’ way better than the first one.

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