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Showing posts from September, 2011

I grew old with REM

The Beatles broke up in 1971, we sat in the back seat without seat belts, and Ma was driving my dad’s 1969 faint yellow Chevy Nova on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington. The news broke that the band was calling it quits. Why?
Yesterday by habit, I checked Twitter and saw the NPR release after REM’s…calling it quits. I had to tell Ali and I dreaded it. It’s been a tough week, on Monday the doctors found a near fatal blood clot in her lung. She’s doing fine, had therapy today. On Tuesday night she told me this week sucked and yesterday, Wednesday, her favorite band breaks up.
The first time I saw REM was back in 1983 on MTV’s 120 minutes, the song was Radio Free Europe. It was a black and white and a rare appearance from Reverend Finster made the video mythical. In Rolling Stone there was a small piece on them, the fact they came from the same town as the B-52’s Athens GA. I walked more than ten miles to buy the IRS album, Murmur and their music changed my life. The lyrics, whatever …

Review of Henry Rollins Smile, You're Traveling

Smile, You’re Traveling by Henry Rollins was the third installment in his Black Coffee Blues, which included Black Coffee Blues and Do I come Here Often? I feel this book was the strongest in the trio. It begins with the ending of a Rollins Band tour and Henry making plans to visit Kenya - since he has thousands of frequent flyer miles. The boldness of travelling alone is inspiring in itself, but the fact Rollins captures his intense moods, the cities, the various people, is well documented. The book captured my attention. It is one I could not put down. What’s disturbing is his realization the band is finished. The audiences are not coming out to see the band, and it’s not just in the States, but in Japan as well. Japan? In Eastern Europe he packs them in. You can read the transition and the anger growing and blowing out as the tour winds up. He is a conflict of interests. One sentence he seems not to care the crowd is minimal and the other he is hurling back beer cans a…