Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tom Petty

So I'm on the treadmill at the Y listening to music with my headphones in and Tom Petty comes on. All of a sudden I'm awash in memories...

I was a DJ on the air in Detroit way back in the late 70's. We had a consultant, his name was Lee Abrams.

Lee was sharp.

I remember a few things about him from those early days--he loved Yes, he turned us all on to AC/DC, and he also said his research showed a new guy coming on strong-- this blonde guy.

Tom Petty.

I knew a bit about him but not much.  At the time we played "American Girl" and "Breakdown" but the album that broke him as far as we were concerned was Damn The Torpedoes. And to this day the song that gets me is "Here Comes My Girl."

Can you hear it?

I always, and I mean always liked Tom saying, "Watch her walk," and with her by his side telling the whole wide world to shove it.

Great song.

This sounds funny but there was a time Tom wasn't on the radio all that much. Now? He's a staple of  Classic Rock radio. Go ahead, listen and wait. He'll be on soon enough.

"Free Fallin'" has always reminded me of my wife, Denise. "She's a good girl, loves her Mama, loves Jesus and America, too."

Great song.

I remember Tom with The Traveling Wilburys, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. And giggling when he rhymed maybe you'll think of me down the road a ways with the song Purple Haze in "End Of The Line."

Great song.

He has a lot of them.

One last recollection...

They had a telethon right after 9-11 and the host was Tom Hanks. It was a weird time, a very somber and unusual time. I'm watching it while lying on my bed, in tears, in New York, and Petty comes on with the Heartbreakers and sings "I Won't Back Down." The intense way he looked into the camera as he sang it is something I'll never forget. Listen to the words...

It's been awful with Prince, David Bowie, Glen Frey, and now Tom gone. I preface what I say next with "I wish no one ill will," but wait till Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant are no longer with us.

We're going to lose our minds.

I already know. I walk around muttering to myself listening to the radio now.

Rest In Peace Tom Petty.

Rest In Peace.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Random Thoughts

When I was ten and lived in Berlin I used to listen to the radio with my Mom. AFN, Armed Forces Network, would play a show every day called Frolic at Five. It was where I heard The Beatles for the first time. We hated them and not for any rational reason. See, the girls liked them and we hated anything they liked.

By the way I couldn't imagine someone today having a show with a name like Frolic at Five.

Back then? Didn't give it a second thought.

Later I was a young teenager and "Light My Fire" by The Doors came on the radio. When my Mom heard the way Jim Morrison sang, "Come on baby light my fiyah," and "Girl we couldn't get much  highyah," she looked me in the eyes and said with certainty that they were from Jamaica.

I remember thinking, "I need to ask someone about that."

On to other things...

Professional sports in Florida are a bit...different. Here's something I'll bet you didn't know. There are quite a few Atlanta Brave fans here in Central Florida.

Say what?

Before there were the Rays in Tampa Bay and the Marlins in Miami, major league baseball was a big quiet field here. In fact, for a long while, the only team you could see on TV consistently was the one out of Atlanta, the Braves. There are plenty of fathers and grandfathers who are fans of them to this day.

Chicago has long running Cub fans. Boston? Long running Red Sox fans. New York? Well, let's just say I'm a Yankee fan.

But Florida? When they had bupkis many baseball fans had to look to the north.

That's why.

And since we're talking I don't like the Miami Dolphins but I brought that with me. When I lived in Maryland my Dad worked in DC. Because of that we subscribed, not to the Baltimore Sun, but to the Washington Post and because of that I was a Redskins fan.
Redskins Running Back
Larry Brown

In 1973 they played, you guessed it, Miami in the Super Bowl. And lost. That sour taste in my mouth has never left. So I live in Florida with a healthy 'could care less' towards the Miami Dolphins.

Last but not least...

When one takes a jet many of us need Wi-Fi. And you can get Wi-Fi on a plane but you have to pay for it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say one airline will begin not charging you for it and yell about that from the highest trees. And then...the rest will fall in line and it will be free.

You watch.

A guy can dream.

Just some random thoughts.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018


As I pulled up to the Y I noticed the parking lot was full. When I came in I said to the guy at the desk, "The lot is full of New Year's resolutions."

He laughed.

It's true.

When you're younger it's all, "I'm gonna give up smoking. I'm going to exercise more. I'm gonna lose 30 pounds." And on and on.

When you're older you realize that lasts, oh, maybe a couple of weeks and then you're back on the couch eating bon bons, gaining weight and not exercising. Don't get me wrong there are people who lose a hundred pounds, exercise, become vegan, and change their whole lives. And you see them everywhere.

For most of the rest of us? It's part of that but mainly it's back to the couch.

When I was about twenty I noticed something. I was a bank teller out in Los Angeles with a bunch of grumpy, I'm not talking to you, customers. But lo and behold, the holiday season was upon us and with it came smiling, warm, customers. It was great.

And the first working day after New Year's? Back to grumpy as usual.

So there's that.

January is sort of the hangover for December. All those holiday parties, all those goodies, all that egg nog, all that fruit cake. Well scratch that last one. I'm one of the few who actually like fruit cake. I remember hearing a comedian once go on about how they make great doorstops.

They do.

And speaking of losing weight, now is when you see the Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig commercials all over the tube. Cookies and ice cream? Not good. Fruit and vegetables? Good. I know some people who've been to them but not many. But those people swear by them.

So here comes dieting, exercise, and the new you.

I've got to tell ya even with all that,  2018 looks a lot like 2017. At least today.

Just saying.

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