TOP TEN COVER SONGS, REVISITED
I confess after a rather uneventful week for yours truly (with some notable exceptions I'll get to in a sec), I wasn't quite sure what to lead off with in this week's PCR homepage section. Then, PCR's teen titan Bobby Tyler, having just returned home from a trip to Arizona, dropped by 7-Eleven to inform me his latest column, Musical Musings, would feature his all-time favorite cover songs, featuring the YouTube videos in which they currently appear.
SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS Chris Munger Sept 3, 26 yrs Scott Gilbert, Sept 12, 48 yrs Mike Smith, Sept 16, 49 yrs John Miller, Sept 18, 26 yrs John Hooper, Sept 27, 49 yrs
Long-time readers may remember we were quite the trendsetters for Top 10 lists in the early years of PCR. Once we ran through everything once, though, the Top 10 challenges kinda faded out (only Top 10 Horror Movies ran more than once -- and currently, only ED Tucker's "Scariest Moments" list is still active, but I digress...). I did tell Bobby we did a Top Ten Cover Songs of All Time issue waaaaaaay back in PCR #117 (2002), but it might be high-time for a revisit. I know my original list can use some...er...adjustment!
To be fair, eagle-eyed readers may observe Bobby's list numbers only nine. This is due to the fact it was written spontaneously without regard to any numbering system or end goal "list". I ran the "Top 10" idea by him post-facto and he seemed jazzed at the idea.
In fact, while I was laboring over this edition of this homepage, Bobby started The Top Ten Album Openers on the Message Board!
THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS OUT OF CONTROL
It started with the revelation that the guy who held me up at gunpoint a couple months ago lived with his brother roughly a mile from here.
Over this past weekend, a major fire broke out Saturday morning at a small strip mall next to a Home Depot right up the road from me. A suspected arson, I investigated by literally riding my bike up to the crime scene, it was that close.
But the kicker was Sunday night around dinner time. Terence had come over to pick me up to go to Nina O's, but we had a small errand to run first, so he arrived early, about 6:30pm. We noticed quite a commotion a few blocks north involving several police cars, but time was of the essence (my brother was expecting us to discuss some film projects), so we couldn't investigate right away. Closer to 7:00pm is when we were able to drive directly by the scene and noticed the TANK parked just around a corner! Actually an "Armored Personnel Vehicle" I don't believe I've ever seen one of those things up close, let alone that close!
Believe it or not, that affair started over a dispute involving a $6 cab fare!! The suspect was informed by the cab driver that his toll was six dollars and some change. The suspect, a 22-year-old male, only had two dollars and some change available and said he'd go into the house to ask his dad for the balance. After waiting several minutes, the cab driver went to the door and asked about the delay. He found a large gun pointed at his face, the 22-year-old threatening him off the property. As the cabby dialed 911, the kid's reaction was to head him off and call 911 first and -- get this -- inform them that if any cops show up, he's going to kill them all! Kid's got a way with words, eh? He's in his new home now.
I have never seen it like this. Out of control, man.
(Editor's Note: Art Brown was the last editor of PCR's experimental "Flash Fantastic" series that ran several years ago. I've known Art for over thirty years, consider him among Tampa's fanboy royalty, and this topic marks his first homepage guest op-ed. -- Nolan)
It feels like the quiet stillness or dead calm after a strong storm. No electricity or phones and we have no way to communicate and learn what comes next. We have heard that Disney has acquired Marvel.
The newspapers seem to concentrate on the film and merchandising rights and nothing is said about the comics. Those of us who have read Marvel Comics for decades care less about the former "hot properties" and some of us may still care about the comics. Now I am not necessarily in that category. I haven't read or followed much of the product that Marvel has put out of late. If a casual observer familiar with the characters or a curiosity-seeker were to look at the titles, they certainly would not recognize the "Avengers" or many other characters and book content. They would be confused by the number of Spider-Mans and Fantastic Fours and not know the difference between an "Ultimate" version and whatever else. I have found unreadable the recent Marvel titles I have tried. I have enjoyed somewhat the current Millar/Hitch Fantastic Four issues.. even though they look like the "Ultimate" series already done. That is enough to confuse anyone trying to reintroduce themselves to the characters.
But all this is nothing new to comics people. I have heard fanboys gush about how Bendis and other writers have excited the line. All I see is the word "dark" everywhere and the characters changed, lost and forgotten. No good and evil anymore...just "dark".
Now I am NOT a typical "old fogie" resistant to change. DC has done some positive changes and updates but they seem to be heading down that dark road (See Green Lantern titles.. which hopefully will change when movie comes out) I would welcome some major editorial changes and a positive change of direction to Marvel Comics...the current editors need to change...maybe writers, too. But who knows what Disney will do. Cancel multiple versions and titles of key characters? Worse...sanitize and make generic versions of key characters that will only appear in merchandising and films and forget the rest of the characters, the mythos, the titles?
As I began to say, the newspapers so far have only reported non-comic news: concerns about how the Marvel characters will be used by Disney competitor Universal in theme parks, and the further news that FOX will continue to plan on a Fantastic Four reboot movie and have the property for about 9 more years. (Yes, I said "reboot"...already!)
So...we shall watch and wait. The comics media will no doubt begin to report the changes and we can only be patient and hope. Ah, a new merchandising slogan -- "Marvel Comics: A New Hope"