Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Don't they have snow days anymore?

Random thoughts while waiting for those 12-14 inches of snow to materialize in the greater Milwaukee area...

In the old newspaper days we called these "notes columns." Once a week you would dump out the leftover contents in your reporter's notebook, organize a few thoughts (if you had time), write a crafty "lede" or "top" and you were done.

I'm sure you know, but that was Ringo's kid Zak Starkey behind the drum kit during The Who's Super Bowl performance. I wonder if he paused to consider that 46 years earlier his old man was playing a pretty big gig himself: It was the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. They sang "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." ...

Not all the good ones die (real) young: Having mentioned the anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson, we'd be remiss in ignoring Bill Haley, who blazed a pretty fine trail of rock 'n' roll himself. He died on this date in 1981 at age 55. ...

Have you heard anything by James Maddock? Here's a songwriter worth catching up on, and his newish album Sunrise on Avenue C would be a very good entry point. Maddock pretty much disappeared after his band Wood released Songs from Stamford Hill, a critically lauded debut in 2000. Ten years between albums? What's up with that? ...

And speaking of disappearing acts, I was wondering the other day about Eastmountainsouth. Can you blend harmony any better than Kat Maslich and Peter Adams do on songs like that Stephen Foster chestnut "Hard Times"? ...

Quick, find some candles: Carole King, whose Tapestry album remains one of the favorite pop albums of its era, turns 68 today. Other birthdays on February 9 include songwriter Barry Mann (71), "Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp Bomp)," drummer Brian Bennett (70) of the Shadows, and singer Barbara Lewis (66) who melted boys hearts with "Baby I'm Yours" in 1965. ...

And what became of Travis Tritt, who turns 47 with hardly a mention that he was the Super Bowl halftime headliner back in 1993. Goodness how times change. One day you're living in Marietta, Georgia, just down the road from a country star, and 18 years later you're next door neighbors with U.S. Olympic speedskating hopeful Trevor Marsicano. Go get 'em, buddy!

This is fun, but I really have to get Jessi to the airport and there isn't a snowplow in sight. That's her above, enjoying a frigid moment at Atwater Park overlooking Lake Michigan. Click on the image for the true "lake effect." Can't you almost feel it? Brrrrrrrrrr...


  1. Yeah, they do have snow days. Been holed up since Friday here in Warshington DC. Snow sucks.

    I did not realize that was Ringo's son, although I didn't think it was Kenny Jones (Faces alum). I hope Kenny ain't dead.

  2. That notes column was so good, i expected you to end it with "Selah."

  3. the village of shorewood has their chamber of commerce shot of the decade -- what a joyous photo!

  4. The Who have been over the hill for a long time, and sorry to say, I didn't see their Super Bowl performance over here in Vietnam.

    Truth is, there are several other-the-hill gangs I would rather watch anytime than current flavor of the month. That includes The Who. Saw them in Tampa 8-9 years ago when there were still three original members living. Townshend's flying hands on his red guitar were a revelation.

    Saw Zak a few years earlier playing with Plant and Page of Led Zeppelin. He played a mean lead drums on "Rock and Roll." That concert ranks with AC/DC for doing the most damage to my hearing.

    Candles you say? Recently digitized my old vinyl of Melanie singing "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)". Great, passionate hippie singing.