LITTLE DITTY ‘BOUT JACK & DIANE: Holding On To Sixteen Forty Years Later
Forty years ago, one of the big hits of the day during my senior year of high school was, for better or worse, “Jack & Diane” by John Cougar (the Mellencamp moniker was still a few years away). It was a ubiquitous soundtrack playing everywhere on any given day — outside at my school’s parking lot, cranking from cars and boom boxes, and emanating across the football field.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Sno-Cone Songs, Sherbert Pants, and other Fashion Faux Pas of the ’80s Stones
Funny how back at the dawn of the ’80s, the punks, goth kids, and New Wavers thought the Stones were dinosaurs lumbering from a prehistoric age, lumbering toward the conclusion of their two-decade run after having outlasted everyone else from the black-and-white TV generation. Little did any of us know that unlike the T. Rex — they even outlasted him — the beasts of burden weren’t even at the halfway mark.
HEART OF THE STONES: In Praise of Charlie Watts, June 2, 1941-August 24, 2021
“Charlie’s good tonight in’nit he?” — Mick Jagger, Madison Square Garden, 1969. Charlie Watts’s drum kit was a pitch-perfect reflection of the man who sat behind it for The Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years: modest yet essential. Charlie famously eschewed rock drum solos as frivolous, show-offy expressions of ego. A lifelong jazz devotee and […]
Smashing Mirrors & Smashed Guitars: Pete Townshend, Purveyor Of Power Chords, Turns Seventy Five
The sentiment of my original story still holds. Happy 75th Birthday, Mr. Townshend, and many more. So glad you didn’t die before you got old. You had so much more to say and do. And in turn, over the years you’ve certainly inspired me (and many others) to listen to, live through, and reflect upon, […]
THE DAZIES: From Blue Skies To Grey (And Back Again)
One of the things I miss most about Boston is the music and the people who make it. Over the span of nearly two decades spent as a music critic and columnist writing about the plethora of sounds emanating from the city, I never stopped being excited about discovering bands and musicians I hadn’t heard […]
OPENING DAY PAGES OF THE PAST: Off The Wall, and Baseball Jonesing In The Season Of Quarantine
Pining for an Opening Day and a season that (so far) is not to be calls for truly drastic measures. With the COVID-19 virus waylaying any sense of normalcy or structure to our lives, including the simple, life-affirming act of watching the game of baseball, I’ve settled on the next best thing to keep the […]
FROM SCUD MOUNTAINS TO CHAPPAQUIDICK SKYLINES: The Geography Of Joe Pernice + Hick Rock With The Lonesome Bros
“I hate my life,” Joe Pernice confides with a strange, almost carnal tenderness. “Don’t be alarmed if someday soon you hear I’ve gone away.” Before the song’s over, he’ll change the “if” to “when”, and as the tune dissolves into the distance, Pernice sounds more certain than ever.
PHAIR WEATHER FRIEND: Hanging Out In Guyville 25+ Years Later
It’s been a life-altering twenty five-plus years since we were all twenty five (or thereabouts), an age when most of us don’t have much of a clue about how life-altering the next twenty five years are going to be.
PICTURES AT ELEVEN: Drawing Dad Close Amid The Lines Of A Life
Leafing through one of my decades-old sketchbooks while unpacking from our exciting but exhausting move from Boston to Philadelphia last summer, I flipped through, with casual curiosity, the sturdy paper stock pages of pencil drawings, mostly of superheroes and baseball players and my dank cabin at my first (and only) sleep-away camp. As I turned […]