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Everything posted by JohnO

  1. "A Christmas Story" is an all-time classic! One of my best friends, Barbara, is the ex-wife of Carl Zittrer, who did the music for a lot of Bob Clark's movies, including "Porky's 1 & 2" and "Christmas Story". I remember watching the flick with her one time - she personally knew every adult extra in the movie, but didn't know who Darren McGavin was.....(her ex was one of the outlaws who attacked the house in Ralphie's dream sequence about defending the homestead with his Red Rider rifle). Whatever happened to Peter Billingsley (Ralphie)? The kid who played Scott Farkus resurfaced fairly recently in the TV show "Titus".
  2. The Untouchables also has one of my all-time favorites lines, uttered by Sean Connery (with apologies to all Italian-Americans in advance)......"Just like a wop, to bring a knife to a gunfight!"
  3. "I would bet money that the Sex Pistols will each display the honor on their mantel at home alone, when nobody is looking. What kind of integrity is THAT?!" I would bet a lot more money that they never receive their awards! A little known fact about the R&R HOF - recipients have to pay for their plaques/awards; they have to pay, to the tune of over $1,000 a seat, to attend the ceremony, and any of their guests also have to pay to show up. A really class organization..... (This info, I got personally from Phil May & Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things....who were asked by Led Zeppelin to attend their induction ceremony - the Pretties were the first band that LZ signed to their Swan Song label. Per Dick, "we could barely afford to attend it....and this, after we had donated guitars and other goodies to the Hall of Fame for their exhibits!")
  4. Well, frankly, after Mr. Lydon's comments over the years about what an absolute farce the R&R HOF is in the first place, I'd have been even more shocked had he shown up AND acted graciously! More power to him....it's about time somebody gave a big finger to that institution......which still won't stop me from visiting it to see all of the cool memorabilia next weekend, BTW....... I guess I'm a bit puzzled over Raspberries fans who have been wailing and gnashing their teeth over Eric & Co. being excluded from the HOF being that concerned about anybody dissing the institution.....as stated above, it's about time someone did it!!!
  5. Every time I've seen Alex over the past 10-12 years, including several reunited Big Star shows, he's been great....being sober tends to improve you as a live performer, it seems. On the other hand, though, I don't think he's written too many new noteworthy songs over this period...including the new Big Star effort. Likewise, his recorded output over this time frame has been very erratic....
  6. Eric's song aside, I saw this flick last year, and didn't care for it for one fundamental reason....the guy who made it is SO annoying, in addition to essentially being one lazy-ass slacker/stalker. I'm also sure that the store (was it Best Buy or Circuit City or another? I can't remember) where he kept "buying" his video equipment, intending to take it back for a refund at the end of their 30 day guarantee period, really appreciates the film......
  7. To me, their peak was the Desolation Blvd/Give Us A Wink time frame. Prior to that, their music tended too much toward bubblegum (although I did like Hellraiser, Blockbuster and Teenage Rampage), with, as Tony C. points out, lyrics that make one cringe (Little Willy, Wig Wam Bam, Co Co, Papa Joe, etc.)....while post-Wink, I thought they degenerated into an average hard rock band with metal overtones, but nothing exceptional (although they still had a few good songs).
  8. Does anyone here watch Huff on Showtime? Hank Azaria as a psychiatrist, Oliver Platt as his deranged, coke-addled lawyer friend, Blythe Danner as his semi-alcoholic mother, etc. It's another excellent cable series, and Season 2 starts this Sunday, 2/27. (NOTE: Not as good as The Sopranos, but what is??)
  9. That's supposed to be "100%" above, not "100&". Actually, it's a miracle that Ray's still with us at all, having been shot in New Orleans a couple of years ago, while pursuing a guy who snatched his girlfriend's purse.
  10. Just picked up "Other Peoples' Lives", Ray Davies first proper solo album ever. While there is no "Waterloo Sunset" or "Days" on it, his songwriting is considerably better than on most of the post-Reprise Kinks albums. I'm somewhat disappointed by most of the reviews I've read so far, usually giving it the equivalent of 3 stars (out of 5), citing that he's not back 100& yet. To me, this is much, much better than 95% of the pap coming out nowadays, and it's a major comeback for Ray. I'm really looking forward to seeing him live next month (3/20 in Wash, DC)
  11. "Chilton's post Big Star material is erratic and sometimes just odd." If you think his solo material was/is odd (and I think it meets any kind of definition of that word), you had to see him live, post-Big Star but pre-clean & sober (I'm thinking the early to mid-80's). While he rarely no-showed (at least in the DC/Baltimore area), sometimes we wished that he would have....I remember a night at the old 9:30 club where he spent the entire show leaning against an amplifier, almost knocking it over several times....and playing an old Gibson ES-125 or 225 - a hollow body that kept feeding back, with Alex totally oblivious to the damage he was wreaking on our ears. He had spent the entire opening set (by Tav Falco's Panther Burns, probably worse drunks than he was) holding court at a bar, letting everyone in the club buy him drinks. During the first number of his set, he collapsed twice....then they just leaned him against the amp. A horrible (but entertaining to an extent) show.... One thing I've never really understood is critics' infatuation with Big Star's 3rd LP, AKA "Sister Lovers"....which, to me, is the equivalent of that particular live show, only in the studio, and allegedly fueled by harder drugs. Not the most inspired songwriting or performances....yet many critics prefer it to #1 Record and Radio City....
  12. Hey - Different strokes for different folks....I personally know 2 people who refused to attend the Raspberries NYC shows because they were afraid they would turn into (and I'm using a phrase coined by one of them, NOT me) "Eric Carmen solo snooze-fests". They love the Raspberries but can't stand EC's solo easier-listening material. Regarding Big Star, I suspect you have to have been there when their stuff was released in order to fully appreciate it. I say this because I know several people who've seen the "reunited" Big Star live, and simply aren't impressed by either their LPs or the band. As far as I'm concerned, it's their loss.... (NOTE: I'd venture to say that Big Star's material hasn't aged as well as some other bands', but the last time I posted words to this effect, I was lambasted by defenders of the band. Hell, I love 'em too....but it doesn't mean everyone else needs to.....)
  13. If I recall correctly, the Box Tops relied heavily on 2 main songwriters - Wayne Thompson (The Letter, Neon Rainbow, Soul Deep), and Dan Penn with various partners (Cry Like A Baby and a large number of their album cuts......Penn's one of the all-time great soul writers, having penned Dark End of the Street, I'm You Puppet, Do Right Woman, It Tears Me up, etc.). The Grassroots' soul period songs were also all penned by 1-2 writers, I think, but the names escape me....(just as they relied on PF Sloan and Steve Barri during their folk-rock days).
  14. Don - "I'd Rather.." is a close 2nd for me. "It's Cold Outside" is one of my all-time favorite songs from ANY band, and it's still my favorite Choir tune. I remember when it hit the Top 40....my 45 was so worn out over the years, I was so happy when they included the song on the "Nuggets" box set.
  15. God, if this thread weren't (wasn't?) so damn funny, I'd hightail it off this board so fast the door wouldn't have a chance to hit me in the ass! A proposed solution if the deportations don't work....I think some of you guys need to buy lots of guns, food, and water, then move somewhere out west and live in a basement, sitting, watching, and waiting for "them" (you know, those who want a "revolution")......
  16. The reunited Boxtops' live shows have essentially been their old hits plus their comeback CD from '99 or so, "Blast Off!"....which didn't really offer up any new originals of note. It's practically all covers, ranging from Sun rockabilly-filtered-through-blue-eyed-soul ("Billy Lee Riley's "Flying Saucers Rock & Rock", to Sam & Dave ("Ain't That A Lot of Love"), to Howlin' Wolf ("Wang Dang Doodle") - essentially a tribute (and not a particularly heavy one) to Memphis music. Instrumentally, they were never exactly the Stax/Volt revue....although Alex could sing the contents of a local phone book & it would probably still sound great. I understand Mr. Chilton has been pretty much sober for the past 12-13 years. At a book signing party in Wash, DC several years ago, for Robert Gordon's "It Came From Memphis", Gordon showed some old video footage of the Boxtops, with an extremely drunk (or stoned) AC fronting them....an absolute shambles! In his post-Boxtops and post-Big Star days, I saw him several times live, and he'd usually pass out midway thru his sets. Per Robert G. that night, Alex went thru rehab of some sort, and was thru heavy duty partying for good.....so thankfully, we still have him! (Although I understand Katrina was a close call...)
  17. Tony - To answer your question. yes, I think both of those guys deserved Oscar nominations, but so a lot of other actors. Pierce B., I think, is handicapped by the Academy identifying him too closely with James Bond and similar action flicks. Jones is somewhat of a Hollywood rebel, sometimes being nasty to the press. I recall reading about him turning over a table at a press conference a couple of years ago, when a couple of reporters kept asking him about being Al Gore's college roommate. He's been slighted in the Oscar nomination department several times. For example, I thought he was great in "Cobb"....yet I don't think he was nominated. I think most of his nominations have been as Supporting Actor.
  18. I'd say it was maybe 15 minutes too long (about 2 hours in length). The thing about Oscar nominations in acting, especially for 2005, is that there were a lot of excellent portrayals, with just 2-3 really, really standing out - Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Straithan and Terrence Howard all did exceptional jobs, IMO. Joaquin Phoenix and Heath L., I'd rank just behind them. Both Pierce Brosnan and T.L. Jones, IMO, were in this category, and, had either been nominated for Best Actor, I wouldn't complain.
  19. While we're doing movie reviews, I just saw "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada", directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. A VERY impressive directorial debut, reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah (complete with a bit of gore, black humor involving a corpse, and dragging like Hell in places). Tommy Lee turns in his usual excellent acting job....too bad the low budget nature of this flick (plus the fact it wasn't released until Feb. in most cities) prevented any potential Oscar action. P.S. Watch for an emaciated Levon Helm as a grizzly old blind man.
  20. It's about time they got out and plugged the new (somewhat disappointing) CD.....I guess Alex C. got sidetracked somewhat with Hurricane Katrina, living in New Orleans... BadfingerBarb - Do you know where they'll be playing in Memphis on 5/5? The last time I saw them was at Randall's Island, NYC, in August '04, at Little Steven's Underground Garage Fest (just a 4 song set).
  21. Cozmik - While I greatly sympathize with you, it's best not to take this thread too seriously....my guess is the same folks who are espousing a "My country and my President - right or wrong" now, took a different view of Wild Bill Clinton's transgressions in the 90's....but I could be wrong. This is coming from one who's voted in 9 Presidential elections - 5 times for the Democrat and 4 for the Republican (the difference being a coin toss in a voting booth one election, when both candidates disgusted me)...as opposed to being either a backwoods hillbilly trogglodyte (Dems' view of Republicans) or a bleeding heart abortionist who encourages gay marriages (Republicans' view of Democrats).
  22. "Big Star, Badfinger, Flamin' Groovies..." - Careful there....you're getting into "elitist" musical territory, as far as Mr. Cartmill's concerned...
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