‘The Lords of Flatbush’ Turns 45

‘The Lords of Flatbush’ Turns 45

The Lords of Flatbush. It’s the movie that gave Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler their first starring roles on the big screen. The little indie film was set in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and had the two portraying greaser toughs, akin to the characters they would become best known, Rocky and Fonzie respectively.

Over at Ultimate Classic Rock – which has started dipping into film and pop culture – I detailed how the movie came together, why Richard Gere got tossed from the cast and how the Lords influenced the actors as they moved forward in their soon-to-be very successful careers.

Go read it!

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Why the Exile of Kate Smith is the Ultimate in Duplicity

Why the Exile of Kate Smith is the Ultimate in Duplicity

[Note: Typically I link my writings directly to the publication to read. This week over at The Daily Times, I covered the Kate Smith saga, but since there is a paywall, have included the piece in its entirety below for non-subscribers as I think it raises some important points.]

The eradication of Kate Smith and her revered version of “God Bless America” by the New York Yankees and Flyers – the latter who went so far as to cloak a team-dedicated statue of the singer in black before moving the structure – is the very essence of hypocrisy.

No matter which side you are on, it has to be acknowledged there is a serious double standard in place, one that is convenient for multicultural inclusiveness on one hand, yet utterly ignorant on the other. Because, if Kate Smith is going to be banned, then a long, hard look needs to be taken at The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses – just to name a few.

Continue reading “Why the Exile of Kate Smith is the Ultimate in Duplicity”

A Few Record Store Day 2019 Endorsements

A Few Record Store Day 2019 Endorsements

There are few things I enjoy more than the Record Store Day events throughout the year. For the main, big one in April, I try to make it up to Portland, Maine. That’s where Bull Moose records is based, where the head Chris Brown co-founded the vinyl holiday 12 years ago.  Over at The Daily Times, I came up with a baker’s dozen of things to pick up out of the 400 plus titles released this year.

Yeah, it’s become a bit corporate in recent years, but I still love RSD. Heading out now for the second round in Portland. Here’s some early items sent out via my Instagram, and here are a few I picked up earlier this morning.

The Death of Kurt Cobain: 25 Years Later

The Death of Kurt Cobain: 25 Years Later

Today marks 25 years since the death of Kurt Cobain. The Nirvana frontman took his life in the greenhouse above the garage in his Seattle home on April 5, 1994. Over at The Daily Times, I looked back on the weeks leading up to his untimely passing, what happened when the news hit the wires and the immediate effect it had on both Cobain and Nirvana’s legacy.

Here’s a performance of “Drain You” from France exactly two months before the eve of Cobain’s death:

Mötley Crüe Movie ‘The Dirt’ Lands on Netflix

Mötley Crüe Movie ‘The Dirt’ Lands on Netflix

The Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt premiered on Netflix one week ago, and I’ve been busy doing multiple instances of coverage for it. First up is a review of the film I did. Is it worth checking out? How is the acting? Is it a possible Oscar dark horse (spoiler: it’s not)? How much was left out? All those questions are answered in the Vanyaland piece.

Speaking of what was left out, there’s quite a bit – including the last 20 years or so of the band’s existence.  Literally a dozen spouses, a pair of sex tapes, official bandmembers and much, much more are missing. Over at Ultimate Classic Rock, I look at 10 people and events left out of the flick.

Finally, it’s nothing new for a film to be panned by critics but beloved by mainstream audiences. One week since The Dirt hit Netflix, there’s quite the disparity between the two groups if you look at Rotten Tomatoes.  I explored the split for The Daily Times, looking at the criticisms and praise from each side.

Here’s the official trailer for The Dirt:

Sex Scandals Involving Children Mean Different Things for Different Artists

Sex Scandals Involving Children Mean Different Things for Different Artists

The new documentaries focusing on the accusations levied against both Michael Jackson and R. Kelly over the years have raised questions once again about how the music of an artist who has allegedly committed sexual abuse against children should be handled. Some radio stations have stopped playing songs by both, but streams and music sales are telling something very different about the public’s perception. When one hit wonder Gary Glitter was facing similar charges several years ago, the reaction on both sides was much different – is that because he didn’t have a catalog of material as beloved as Jackson and Kelly?

I did a piece for The Daily Times which touched on the subject.

Live Review: James Bay Returns to Boston

Live Review: James Bay Returns to Boston

Following the unexpected cancellation of his fall 2018 North American tour, James Bay is back at it with a bunch of rescheduled dates. Last night was Boston, and my review is up over at Vanyaland.

Check it out here.

Also, it’s worth revisiting what drew me to Bay in the first place, back when he killed it on SNL in 2018 with “Pink Lemonade”: