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Showing posts from January, 2007


I've been listening to this bootleg of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers recorded last year and I started wondering, when Tom Petty get so wimpy? I don't mind his lovely acoustic numbers that he's recorded (so many of) in the past decade. Hey, "Free Fallin'" worked, so why not continue with that magic. But, come on, TP, your show is a freakin' yawn fest. Sadly, I attribute this to one factor: Stan Lynch. Without the founding member of the band pounding away in the rhythm section, the band feels lifeless. Don't me wrong; I think Steve Ferrone is a hell of a drummer. I've always loved the stuff he did with Average White Band and Clapton, but the guy is too polished for the Heartbreakers I came to love. The thing about Lynch is that he seemed to approach every show as if he were playing the songs for the first time, still trying to figure out where to place the fills. It had a rough quality to it that made Petty's music so appealing. With Ly
It's been a long couple of months, working through a lot of emotional crap. December is always a tough month for us. It was in December that Jake was diagnosed and that month carries a sad anniversary each year. It's not that I want to be moody or weepy. Quite the contrary. I love the Christmas holidays and would love to be happy for 30 consecutive days. It just isn't so. The only thing that gets me through those times is the love and affection of my wife and children. No matter how many tears fall (and believe me, I cried a lot between December and just a couple of weeks ago), a simple hug from Sophie or Jake or that morning kiss as I leave the house for work is enough to boost my spirits. For the new year, I hope to write much more on this blog. I began with such confidence last year, and then quickly lost my spark. I believe some of that had to do with the script I have been struggling with since last June. I am accustomed to working through my first drafts at

My Girl

Sophie's birthday was last week and I recalled this piece I wrote several years back when we were still living in North Hollywood (before Jake was born). Julie, Sophie and I used to go to the Burbank mall where she would ride the merry go round. She loved it. This piece kind of describes what happened the night Sophie was born. Some people might say we've had some rough luck with childbirth. I'd say we've been blessed. Aloha Each time the merry-go-round passes by, playing its cheery melodies, tears well up in my eyes. My beautiful daughter is laughing and waving at me, so full of life. It’s December and we’re shopping at the mall and I know I’m supposed to be full of holiday cheer, but I can’t help but reflect on what might have been. We almost lost her. In the night Sophie was born, after our family had left the hospital and Julie and I were getting ready to try and sleep, I happened to look down in her cradle and notice she was having difficulty breathing. Ea

War Movie suggestions

With Clint Eastwood's double punch of "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" garnering praise this winter, I thought I'd offer up three alternate war movies for anyone interested. I saw "Flags of Our Fathers" and wasn't blown away. It was trying to do too many things structurally and I felt that Mr. Eastwood just didn't pull it off this time. That said, Adam Beach, portraying Ira Hayes, was astounding. If he doesn't receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in this years's Oscar race, it will be a great shame. Anyway, here are three other war (related) films: Stanley Kubrick's WW I feature, "Paths of Glory" (1959), may be one of the most powerful antiwar movies ever. In it, three soldiers are made an example when they refuse to continue with an impossible attack. They are brought up on charges of treason and Kirk Douglas must defend their lives. Not only was it marvelously acted (one of Mr. Dou

Songs of the week 1.10.07

Like many Clevelanders my age, I was introduced to the sounds of earl rock and roll via the Sunday morning radio show on WMMS that ran for years.  Soon after WMJI became Magic 105 and exclusively played "oldies", that radio show stopped. But while it lasted, it gave me a weekly history lesson in the birth of rock and roll (ironically, after church).  While I was supposed to be finding salvation and awakening my spiritual side through Christ and his teachings, I was instead becoming a disciple of guitars, bass and drums.  A servant of soul music. Those Sunday mornings from years ago made introduced me to the early music of the Beatles, Kinks, Donovan, Dave Clark 5, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry.  Coupled with my adoration of "Animal House" (which made me a fan of Sam Cooke) and "The Blues Brothers" (which inspired me to look into the music of Ray Charles, Aretha and my favorite, Otis Redding), I came to appreciate the music from those early y