I had a great time last weekend attending my niece Cassie's wedding and I'll recount the adventures next week. Did I mention we went canoeing and it tipped over? (cough, cough)
VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN
This year's nominees were announced for possible induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The nominees (and my vote) are:
ABBA (yes), Donna Summer (no), Genesis (yes), KISS (yes), LL Cool J (no), Red Hot Chilli Peppers (yes), Darlene Love (yes), Jimmy Cliff (yes), Laura Nyro (no), The Chantels (no), the Hollies (borderline yes) and the Stooges (yes).
Once again, what is the definition of "rock and roll" anymore? My vote is centered more on music quality, originality and influence.
SORRY TO HEAR
I was saddened this week to learn that longtime baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell has been diagnosed with inoperable bile duct cancer. Harwell, the long time voice of the Detroit Tigers, was a familiar voice to kids of my generation when he would do the weekly national game over the radio. He was also the first radio voice of the Baltimore Orioles and I found it fitting that, with the Tigers in town, he called the last game the two teams played in Memorial Stadium.
SORRY YOUR MOM WAS A DRUNK (OR WAS SHE)?
You may remember the tragic auto accident this past July in which a woman, driving the wrong way on a highway, struck another vehicle head on, killing not only herself but seven other people. Shortly after the crash the authorities revealed that the woman, Diane Schuler, not only had a blood alcohol level more then twice the legal limit but also showed high levels of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. Her husband disputed these claims, as he was with her for at least 18 hours before the two went on their seperate ways that day. Only an hour had passed between their parting and the accident. He stated his wife didn't drink any alcohol in the time before she left and didn't smoke pot. Now, after trashing this woman's reputation, the authorities have decided not to pursue any charges against her. They still have not revealed any testing that would show if she was high or drink, no have they provided any evidence showing where she may have gotten the alcohol or pot. Guess we'll just have to take their words for it.
Talk about holding a grudge. Last week, during his induction into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, Michael Jordan made sure he got his shots in on those he felt had slighted him, starting with the high school coach who cut him from the varsity team. "I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude." Let it go, Mike.
MY FAVORITE FILMS, PART II. THE YEAR WAS 1979...
Starring: Treat Williams, John Savage and Beverly D'Angelo
Directed by: Milos Foreman
FIRST SEEN: University Cinema, Tampa, Florida
FAVORITE SCENE: Berger and friends interrupt Sheila's party
FAVORITE LINE: "Well, I wouldn't kick Mick Jagger out of my bed but, no, I'm not a homosexual."
1980 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Picture - Musical/Comedy
1980 Golden Globe Award nomination for New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture - Male (Treat Williams) Lost to Rick Schroeder in "The Champ"
Some films just stick with you. If you only see it once or a hundred times, they become a part of your past, a memory to cherish. To me, "Hair" is one of those films. Maybe it was one of those movies that the whole "gang" saw as a whole. Maybe it was the music. Whatever it was, it remains one of my favorite filmed musicals.
The story of a young man on his way to Vietnam and the group of "hippies" he meets while in New York City, "Hair" featured an almost unknown cast of talented performers, led by Treat Williams. I had seen Williams a few years earlier in the film of the Broadway comedy "The Ritz," where he played a detective with a very high voice. Needless to say, his performance here blew me, and the rest of our group, away. It was truly that Hollywood rarity, a star making performance. And Williams isn't the only one who shines. John Savage, coming off "The Deer Hunter," accomplishes his role musically as well. Other newcomers include Beverly D'Angelo, Donnie Dacus, Miles Chapin, Ellen Foley, Nell Carter and Michael Jeter. While the film was a positive for Dacus that summer, his musical ambitions were slowed down quite quickly after the film opened. That past winter Dacus had been picked to replace Terry Kath as lead quitarist of the band "Chicago" after Kath had accidentally shot himself. Dacus, with long blonde hair and good looks was a far cry in appearance from fan favorite Kath and his guitar playing was excellent. However, he was replacing a fan favorite and no matter what he tried he didn't seem able to convince the faithful that he was ready to assume such a position in the band and Dacus was gone shortly after the Christmas 79 tour ended. Chapin continues to appear in episodic television while Foley, Carter and Jeter had great success on Broadway. Sadly, both Carter and Jeter have passed on. Director Foreman, who won an Oscar for directing "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," would go on to win a 2nd directing Oscar for "Amadeus." His other films include "Ragtime" and "Man on the Moon."
I know this was supposed to be a double feature week but I'm wiped out from coughing. Next week we'll stay in 1979 and double up "Time After Time" with the Sylvester Stallone opus "Paradise Alley."
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.