Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed. PCR banner: OH MY GOD....WHAT'S HAPPENED????
Number 83 (Vol 2, No. 43).  This edition is for the week of October 22--28, 2001.
Week 2 of Halloween at The Haunted PCR!
Looking worse for the wear...and loving it.

IT'S BEEN SADLY QUIET around here this Halloween season. I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering what the country has gone through up to now. The idea of things getting back to normal, going back to work, picking up the pieces, moving forward, and getting on with life....well, turns out it's easier said than done.

The media at large, TV and radio, and the newspapers, heck even web-meister cheerleaders such as myself, have given it our best shot to bring smiles back to a traumatized nation. Oh, there has been progress. But it's been slower, and more unpredictable than...er...predicted. It will probably be a rather somber Thanksgiving/Christmas season, too, I gather. OK, enough of that...

PCR contributors and long-time friends Terence Nuzum and Drew Reiber went to see David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" and Johnny Dep's Jack-the-Ripper vehicle "From Hell" this past weekend. And I must say, the 2 flicks got rave reviews. I spoke with Terence recently, and he heartily recommends both films, although he cautions that "Mulholland Drive", like other Lynch projects, is not for the squeamishly impatient (my term for it). Terence and Drew debated the meaning of certain scenes for some time afterwards. "From Hell" turned out to be an authentic-feeling piece. Both films can boast good performances and outstanding direction. I tried to talk Terence into writing a full-fledged review, but, apparently, he had his fill writing "Ghostworld" (PCR #80).
SMALLVILLE.  Sigh. Well, another generation is taking a crack at the "behind the scenes" of Superman as a boy. Anyone else besides me remember that Superboy series from the '80s? It wasn't all that bad, good performers, but it got lost in syndication hell, besides, the mid-stream recasting of the lead part and the writing was kinda lame.
   The new series, "Smallville" (WB, Tuesday nights), does not attempt to recreate the past. Indeed it is set very much in the present. (So, no, he can't grow up to be Dean Cain or something. All other continuities are being ignored, too, as is predictable.) With the Fall TV season being incredibly disrupted, it's hard to follow where all the debuts are happening, so, due to some confusion, I missed most of the first half of the season-opener of Smallville, but I got enough of the gist to see it bears more of a resemblance to "Dawson's Creek" or a scaled-down, tamer "Boston Public", than to ANY of the previous TV incarnations of Superman/boy.
   Tom Wellig plays our hero, with John Schneider and Annette O'Toole playing Supes' parents (Annette O'Toole was Lana Lang from the movies...hahaha, it's SO insider, you know?). Apparently, the "accident" tha brought Kal-El/Clark to earth is responsible for all manner of strange things happening in/to Smallville. It's hinted that latent mutant powers, if they are present anywhere, will manifest here due to the...I'm not sure...Kryptonite radiation, or something. Lex Luthor's baldness is blamed on it, for openers.
   Clark does not wear glasses in this series, as he's not actually Superboy/man YET. While he's aware of his developing super-powers, he's not made his public move--he's pretty normally trying to get through high school (altho, it was amusing how his powers were used in the episode I saw). His parents (Schneider and O'Toole) are much younger than they were ever portrayed before.
   All in all, not too bad...it's not playing so much for insider fans as it seems to be grabbing the most attention for its attractive lead players. "Smallville" seems at a glance pretty well-written and performed. It's not the Superboy I knew, but then, it doesn't have to be to work.
DARK ANGEL season premiere.  I had a little better luck tracking and viewing this opener. As long-time readers are aware, I'm a BIG fan of this show and was looking forward to the understandably-delayed season premiere. For the most part, I was not disappointed.
   Logan (Micheal Weatherly) still believes Max (lead star Jessica Alba) is dead, but his "Eyes Only" subversive radical network must go forward. Max is NOT dead, but a prisoner of Manticore, the biogenetics lab that spawned her. She plays along, but plans her escape simultaneously. Along the way, she makes friends with a half-dog/half-human, a genetic failure from Manticore's "dungeon". (I think this bit is a mistake--the dog/man comes off WAY too "beauty and the beast" a la the old Linda Hamilton series. The performance is a bit comical, even tho it's not trying to be.) However, some ideas in other areas are daring; one bit that turns out nervously shocking/funny is the "recruits" being ordered to have sex with each other to procreate.....since Max destroyed the cloning lab, and everything, last season, this is how it has to be done. (LOL! All I have to say is WHERE DO I SIGN UP?)
   Lydecker (the amazing John Savage) again shows up to reclaim his own from Renfro (Nana Visitor). Turncoats are everywhere and you can't trust anyone. A possible ally is the new cast member, Alec, a fellow Manticore soldier, whose allegiances are, however, still suspect. Eventually, Max appears to Logan only to discover that Manticore implanted a deadly virus in her that prohibits the two star-crossed lovers from touching.
   A special extra "kick" for fans of the show is that the two lead stars, Alba and Weatherly, are romantically linked in real life (lucky devils), and while the two can't touch onscreen anymore...offscreen will be quite a different story.
   Like last year, this series gets a big RECOMMENDED from me.

I am in time to wish make-up maestro Corey Castellano a happy birthday: the mirthful one turns (gulp) 38 October 27th (and he will be home for that...yay!). Lisa Zubek of "Lisa's Lambast" turns 36 this month sometime, but I lost the date, sorry. (Her daughter, Autumn, also has a birthday this month and I think she turns (double-gulp) 19!.)

A recovering nation notwithstanding, I am a little disappointed in the PCR readership at large this season for the lack of response to the annual Top Ten Horror Movies of All Time challenge; of course, I realize folks are a little distracted to be much in the mood for it. Pity. Will Moriaty, however, has sent his faves (see below) and one of our other writers has threatened to send a list (LOL!). For anyone still interested, this is not a "contest", merely a screaming match, and there's still time to send in a list and be counted in this issue or next week's. I'm repeating our original choices, followed by Will's list, below.

Terence Nuzum  (as published in PCR #30)

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
2. Nosferatu (1922)
3. The Old Dark House (1932)
4. Carnival of Souls (1962)
5. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)
6. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)
7. Suspira (1972)
8. Halloween (1978)
9. Deep Red (1975) (UPDATED 10-25-01 from "Phantasm")
10. Vampyre (1932)

Nolan Canova  (as published in PCR #30)

1. The Exorcist
2. The Silence of the Lambs
3. Alien
4. Psycho
5. Night/Dawn of the Living Dead
6. John Carpenter's "The Thing"
7. Andy Warhol's "Frankenstein"
8. The Evil Dead
9. The Brain That Wouldn't Die
10. The Cyclops

Michael A. Smith  (as published in PCR #30 LetterCol)

1. Jaws
2. Carrie
3. The Exorcist
4. Alien
5. Arachnaphobia
6. Halloween
7. Silence of the Lambs
8. Suspira
9. Tales From the Crypt
10. Curse of the Living Corpse

Matt Drinnenberg  (as published in PCR #31)

1. Frankenstein (1931)
2. John Carpenter's "The Thing"
3. The Evil Dead
4. Dracula Has Risen From The Grave
5. The Shining
6. Nosferatu
7. Alien
8. An American Werewolf in London
9. Scanners
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street

Brandon Herring  (as published in PCR #31 LetterCol)

1. Halloween
2. the Exorcist
3. The Blair Witch Project
4. The Shining
5. Night/Dawn of the Living Dead
6. Hellraiser
7. The Evil Dead series
8. Deep Red
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
10. The Haunting (1963)

1. "Carnival of Souls":
Although not a slasher-movie, or even a frightening movie, I found this 1962 film to be deeply disturbing from a psychological viewpoint. It truly had me questioning life and mortality more than any movie before or after it. The black-and-white filming of this marvel only added to that effect. The sunset scenes over the Salt Lake City casino, the haunting pipe organ music, and the ghouls make this a memorable horror work of art.
2. "The Mask": This 3-D movie from 1961 is a truly frightening delve into a psychotropic world. it was an hallucinogenic work of artistry before the public even knew what the term meant. I would never want to watch this movie in an altered state!
3. "The Night of the Living Dead": 1968. Isn't interesting how my three favorite horror movies are all black-and-white? This one is no exception. Low-budget as it was, what an incredible evocative feel this fright-flick has!

4. "The Exorcist":
This 1973 color classic should scare the geewillikers outta ennybody! I knew friends in the armed services who saw this movie and refused to look in their rear-view mirrors on their way back to base from the theaters out of fear of seeing Ragan's eyes glaring at them.

5. "Ghost Story":
This 1981 movie truly gave me chill bumps at age 46. Great to play on a VCR at a desolate retreat in the Tennessee mountains.
6. "The Night Walker": 1964. One of William Castle's last and best horror flicks, this featured Haydon Rourke ("I Dream of Jeannie") as a woman's dead husband who would appear to her in her dreams.

7. "The Lost Boys":
I love the period-piece nuance of this 1987 vampire romp out along the California coast. Kieffer Sutherland and his vampire gang are dressed more like failed auditioners for Prince and the Revolution than anything even remotely resembling the pomp and class of Bela Lugosi's Dracula (but frankly, no vampire strikes more fear into my heart than the original black-and-white "Nosferatu"). The musical queuing is reminiscent of "Miami Vice", and even the old comic-book store of the '80's figures prominently as being a vampire resistance headquarters.

As a child, William Castle movies used to scare me half to death. As an adult, I see them as a fun, kitchsy 1950's nostalgia trip more than any legitimate attempt to terrify with any semblance of even mediocre scripting or choreography. Nevertheless, I become a child each time I see these flicks, and rest assured that the smell of popcorn fills the air, and a Coca-Cola is waiting for me upon each viewing!
8. "The Tingler" (1959)
9. "House on Haunted Hill" (1958)
10. "Thirteen Ghosts" (1960)

La Floridiana--Will at haunted houseThe conclusion:
Part 4 of a 4-part series
This issue: Ghosts and Hauntings
...in the watery expanse known as the Florida Everglades. If one has had the good fortune to visit this natural treasure, it often has evoked in them images more akin to a flooded version of the Great Plains rather than a tree-covered jungle. The daytime view is from horizon to horizon, and on a clear night, the starfield leaves one absolutely breathless. The nighttime sounds of the 'Glades inhabitants can be deafening due to the countless frogs, alligators and insects that make this primal place their home. If you are truly lucky, you may hear the lonely howl of a Florida Panther. It is truly unbelievable that no more than twenty to thirty miles west of the glitzy art deco motels of Miami Beach, a world as desolate and natural as this coexists.

When Bob Marquis went frog-gigging in his airboat through the 'Glades back on the night of December 29, 1972, nothing could prepare him for the horrific tragedy that he would soon witness. At approximately 11:40 P.M., when Marquis was about ten miles north of US 41 (Tamiami Trail), he noticed the lights of aircraft flying very low to the horizon. Although aircraft lights are common out in the 'Glades, due to the landing and departure patterns in and out of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale's airports, this looked somehow different. The plane disappeared below the horizon-when Marquis looked up again he saw a brilliant red/orange explosion fill the sky-it only lasted several seconds. Marquis gunned his airboat in the general direction of the explosion. All he had to guide him was an 8-volt frogging lamp. Once he reached one of the few Glades landmarks, Levee 67A, he cut the airboat's engines-that's when he heard a chilling chorus of hysterical screams of people coming from out of the primal blackness of the 'Glades.

What Happened?
Eastern Airlines Lockheed L-1011, Ship #301
left Tampa for New York Kennedy Airport on the morning of December 29, 1972. At the controls were veteran officers Bob Loft (pilot), Albert Stockstill (first officer) and Don Repo (flight engineer). They were to complete that aircraft's circuit back to its home base in Miami that same evening. On approach to Miami International Airport at 11:30 P.M., the first officer noticed that the landing gear indicator light for the nose wheel did not activate along the other two gear lights. This indicated that the nose gear may have been stuck and not disengaged. The deadly result was that the failure was not in the wheel, but in a $12.00 cockpit gear indicator light bulb. The officers were so busy trying to remedy the nose gear situation that they failed to notice that their plane was slowly descending. At 11:42 P.M., with 163 passengers and 13 crewmembers, Eastern Airlines Flight 401 plowed into the Everglades at a 28-degree angle at a speed of over 200 miles per hour. It would result in the death of 96 passengers and all three officers.

The Haunting Aftermath
From January 1973 until June 1974, mysterious and frightening apparitions of the crew killed in the December 29th 1972 Eastern Airlines flight appeared numerous times, primarily in Eastern Airlines L-1011's and most commonly in ship #318. Passengers, mechanics, stewardesses, crew officers, food caterers and baggage handlers witnessed the ghostly appearances of the dead Eastern crewmen. The first prelude to this high strangeness came to stewardesses who were in the galley of ship #318 preparing meals for passengers. The stewardesses complained of a freezing cold feeling in the galley, although on-board thermostats showed normal temperatures. They also felt an incredibly strong presence of being watched, so much so that several fled the below-cabin compartment in absolute terror. Things started getting stranger yet-while once again in the galley of ship #318, a stewardess saw a luminous mist about the size of a grapefruit appear next to a wall-the mist grew to about the size of a basketball and transfigured itself into the shape of a man's face wearing glasses-that of dead flight engineer Don Repo! One other flight attendant and a flight engineer also witnessed this.

    No Matter Where You Go, There They Are!   More people may well have witnessed the Flight 401 ghost-sightings than any other such phenomenon. Here is an encapsulated summary of these events:
  • Ship #318, Newark to Miami--Stewardess does a count of passengers. Sees a man in an Eastern pilot's uniform seated who would not acknowledge her. When the flight's captain checked out the stewardess' concern, he approached the man. Upon recognition of the man, he exclaimed "Oh my God that's Bob Loft!" The apparition then immediately disappeared in front of all present.
  • JFK to Miami--Vice-President of Eastern Airlines enters first class cabin before other passengers. Sees only one other person in the first class area that is dressed as an Eastern pilot. He drops over to say hello and then recognizes the pilot to be Bob Loft. As the Vice President recoils in terror, Loft vanishes again.
  • JFK to Miami--Loft seen again by two stewardesses and one flight captain, they talked to him and he disappeared.
  • JFK to Miami--Stewardess pulls back compartment door to overhead bin and found herself staring directly into Captain Loft's face in the compartment.
  • Miami--Stewardess open's compartment door in galley, very clearly saw the face of flight engineer Don Repo staring back.
  • Marriot food caterers would not continue to serve ship #318 while in New York as several saw a flight engineer standing in the galley disappear before their eyes. Flight delayed over an hour as a result.
  • Ship #318 from New York on approach to Miami International over the Everglades--A male voice comes over the PA to announce seat belt and no-smoking precaution-no one in the plane's crew made the announcement and the PA was not in use at that time.
  • Ship #318, Atlanta to Miami--Flight engineer hears loud knocking coming from the compartment below the cockpit-Checks out the disturbance with a flashlight and sees nothing unusual. Turns back to his station and sees Don Repo's face.
  • Newark--the pilot of a flight from San Juan has direct encounter with Don Repo-Repo states "There will never be another crash of an L-1011, we will not allow it". Repo then disappears.
  • Ship #318, New York to Miami--A woman passenger is sitting next to a sick looking man in an Eastern Airlines flight engineer's uniform. When asking if he was all right, he vanished in front of the lady as well as several other passengers. Once on the ground an Eastern representative showed the nearly hysterical lady photos of Eastern officers. She pointed to Repo's photo.
  • Ship #318 on summertime lease to Trans World Airlines--Flight engineer in jump seat, who crew assumes is deadheading with them, vanishes before their eyes.
  • Ship #318, New York to Mexico City--Face of Repo appears in the glass window of a microwave oven in the galley below. Two stewardesses and the flight's second officer hear a voice from the image say "Watch out for fire on this airplane". The plane landed without incident. Wnen it continued on to Acapulco, however, a minor fire in engine #3 required it's shut down.

I remember the night 401 crashed in Miami. I was watching "Shock Theater" on Big 13 when anchor Paul Hoffman broke in and reported the early details of the disaster. I was both relieved and sickened. Relieved in that I had a stepbrother who was a commercial pilot based in Miami who flew Boeing 727's instead of L-1011's. Sickened because to those of us with a love of aviation, any such crash is like the death of a loved one.

Last Respects
The Lockheed L-1011 was one of the finest commercial aircraft's ever built. It was technologically years ahead of its time. Repo's ghost was almost right-the plane had a sterling safety record with the exception of a Delta flight that crashed on approach to Dallas in August 1985 due to windshears. The aircraft itself was exonerated as the NTSB placed the blame on the pilot for operating in unsafe conditions. And sadly, the L-1011 became a ghost of sorts this past August as Delta Air Lines, the last major carrier to use this magnificent machine, retired it from passenger service.

Lastly, Eastern Airlines became its own ghost with its sad demise in 1991. Don't bother looking for references of these strange hauntings in the federally mandated flight log journal for ship #318 though-entire flight logs that mentioned the 401 visitations between January 1973 and June 1974 were determined by officers and stewardesses who witnessed them to have been mysteriously removed from the journal.

NEXT WEEK: Florida's Tacky Tourist Attractions, Part 1!!  La Floridiana takes to the highways and byways of the Sunshine State in search of legendary tourist attractions, past and present. Sadly, many of these bastions of (often mom-and-pop) roadside hucksterism no longer exist. First up: the still-existing CORAL CASTLE, and an examination of its enigmatic creator, Ed Leedskalnin.

The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum



Sawney Bean
Sawney Bean
Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes" follows the story of a typical American family who run afoul of a family of cannibals. Craven's film was trying to show how a nice, whitebread family, when put in a survival situation, could become as savage and an untamed cannibal of the hill family.

Cravens' film takes a seemingly absurd idea of a cannibal family shut up in the hills who prey on passerbys. A seemingly absurd idea. But true, and actually, the truth is far more grisly than the fiction.

The case in point starts with the purveyor of the following atrocities, Sawney Bean in 14th-century England.

Sawney Bean was born in the countryside farm community of East Lothian. He was taught by his father the farm trade, but before long got fed up and left home to live in the desert part of the country. Somehow he found a woman as deviant as himself and made his home in a cave by the sea-side shore of Galloway. There they lived for 25 years without leaving to the city or any town. They eventually begot children who begot grandchildren...all of incest. This "family" was brought up without any notion of the outside world or society, right and wrong, and civilization as most knew it. They were base degenerates, humans cut down to their most savage state. They robbed any passerby. And any passerby they robbed, they killed. Many people dissapeared but the Sawney Bean family were never suspected as no one even knew they existed. The provocation behind these attacks was mostly for food. You see the Beans had become cannibals. They would eat the carcass, mainly, and then pickle or throw away the rest into the sea, which from there would wash up on some shore. It was not long before the King figured out these were murders not by animals but by people.

Eventually, lawmen and spies were sent into the hills but none returned. The few who did return came back empty-handed with no clue as to who had done the killings. Many suspects were hung, but to no avail--the murders continued. The law and spies tried and tried and yet they could not find these savage's lair. The cave they lived in was so close to the ocean that they never considered looking in it.

Their reign of terror finally ended when a man and his wife were returning from a town fair. The couple was attacked by the savages, the man managed to escape but not before he witnessed the slaughter of his wife. The female Beans attacked the woman, slashing her throat and drinking her blood with gusto, as if it was wine. When they were done, they ripped open her belly and ripped out her entrails. 20 or 30 others returning from the fair were stopped by the man and told the horrifying tale.

The Beans, meanwhile, were making their way toward the woods to their den. Unable to carry the wife's carcass for the duration they dropped it. The company and the man came across the body, showing all that the man's tale was true. They returned to the town magistrate who shortly after passed the grisly news to the King.

The king, anxious to put an end to these savage murders that plauged the land for so long, immediatley set out himself with 400 of his best men, the guide being the man who witnessed his wife's murder. They set upon searching the hills by the shore, but found nothing. The bloodhound that they had taken with them suddenly enetered the sea cave, barking frantically. The dogs stopped barking and that's when they realized that something must be in the cave.

With torches the men entered the cave. Inside they found legs, arms, thighs, hands, and feet of men, women, and yes, children! Hung in rows, drying like beef. The rest of the parts were in pickle. They also found hordes of gold and jewelry taken from the various victims over the years.

The Beans were all seized (they consisted of Sawney, his wife, eight sons, six daughters, eight-teen grandsons, and four-teen granddaughters, all begot from incest) and killed. The men were dismembered and let bleed to death. The woman and children were forced to watch and then promptly burned.

All in all, the Sawney Bean clan murdered and ate over a thousand people.


Go ye not by Gallowa' Come bide a while, my frein I'll tell ye o' the dangers there - Beware o' Sawney Bean.

There's nae body kens that he bides there For his face is seldom seen But tae meet his eye is tae meet your fate At the hands o' Sawney Bean.

For Sawney he has taen a wife And he's hungry bairns tae wean And he's raised them up on the flesh o' men In the cave o' Sawney Bean.

And Sawney has been well endowed Wi daughters young and lean And they a hae taen their faither's seed In the cave o' Sawney Bean.

An Sawney's sons are young an strong And their blades are sharp and keen Tae spill the blood o travellers Wha meet wi Sawney Bean.

So if you ride frae there tae here Be ye wary in between Lest they catch your horse and spill your blood In the cave o' Sawney Bean

They'll hing ye ap an cut yer throat An they'll pick yer carcass clean An they'll yase yer banes tae quiet the weans In the cave o' Sawney Bean.

But fear ye not, oor Captain rides On an errand o' the Queen And he carries the writ of fire and sword For the head o' Sawney Bean.

They've hung them high in Edinburgh toon An likewise a' their kin An the wind blaws cauld on a' their banes An tae hell they a' hae gaen.

Here are some other horror movies that were based on, or inspired by, true-life incidents:

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE -- loosley based on an account of voodoo from a non-fiction book on Haiti.

M -- based on the real-life child-killer, Peter Kurten, of Dusseldorf, Germany.

RASPUTIN-THE MAD MONK -- Umm...do I really have to explain this one, you all can't be that dull can you? Nolan? Drew? Mike? Right.

That's all for now--check below this column for a very important announcement.

Terence Nuzum   Viddywell Productions

Tirade Tombstone

There, thank God, it's done with. Gone. Poof! I, for one, am happy, so nobody else better bitch to me, because guess what? I can't respond--my Tirade is dead, get it? It's committed suicide. It's over with. Seriously, I just don't have fun with the Tirade anymore; I find it silly and pretentious. I don't feel personally that it has a place among some of the better columns here, so for Halloween I decided to kill it.

Don't get me wrong, I will still write in, but they will be Enlightments. Now that I have moved to a higher plane, I leave the PCR to better columns like "La Floridiana", "Mike's Rant" and that shameless Marvel Publicity brown-nosing column, "Wake Up and Smell the Comics". I refuse to be the novelty on this site. I refuse to be the Sex Pistols to everybody else's Pink Floyd. Sorry. I just refuse to put it on or fake it anymore as I have started to do in the last few. I will never regret anything, regarding art, more than that. So, if I do, in fact, have any fans who read my column, I'm sure they would understand that it's better to blow out the candle than to let it burn down to the wick.

Anyway, I'm sure Deadguy is smiling right now. Here's to you Deadguy...I guess I owe you something. Besides, you're gonna need a laugh after you see I was right about Jason X.

To hell with it all,
Terence Nuzum

   Folks, just to reiterate to avoid possible confusion, Terence does intend to continue writing The Enlightenment series, as he said in his "obit". As far as terminating the Tirades, I tried to talk him out of it because I enjoy them myself, but his mind is made up.
   To newer readers, "Deadguy" is Mike "Deadguy" Scott, author of the "Deadguy's Dementia" column who is on extended hiatus due to personal problems. Earlier this year, the internal-'zine fueds of Terence vs Deadguy took on a life of their own and have since passed into PCR "legend".  Look 'em up in the Archives, they're still a hoot to read.---Nolan.

Matt's Railby Matt Drinnenberg
Greetings everyone.

Thanks to Nolan for conveying my manic issues as they pertain to slavery (i.e., work) (Re: my comments in "Mike's Rant" last issue. This is Matt's first opportunity to respond to his own top albums challenge, posted several issues ago, and we're glad he's here. You're certainly welcome, Matt.---N). Things are ever-changing in Mattville on a personal level, but can't report anything yet. May have some news soon, though! Stay tuned, same Matt-Time, same Matt-Channel.

Guess I'll just dive right in and catch up with everybody in Pop Culture Land with.......

1. Boston -- My brother came home from the record store and said, " You have to come hear this, these guys are great". As was usually the case, he was correct. Just an endless barrage of greatness...it was all down hill from here (sans "Man I'll Never Be").
2. Van Halen -- Only a handful of times in my life did I hear a song and immediately head to the store to buy it. "You Really Got Me" was the song, this was the album. From "Runnin' with the Devil" to "Ice Cream Man", the best Rock and Roll has to offer.
3. Bruce Springsteen - Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ -- Mike, I'm proud of you!!!! And you put it rather succinctly.
4. John Lennon - Imagine -- Always the McCartneyite, I didn't truly get into Lennon's solo efforts until around the summer of 1980, you know the rest. Imaginitive and brilliant!
5. Paul McCartney -- This album is a collection of what I feel McCartney is best at, love songs. And as we now know, just the beginning.
6. Steve Martin - Let's Get Small -- Youngsters could never possibly understand just how ingenious this guy was. Timeless comedy. Highlight: "Mind if I smoke?" "No, mind if I fart?"
7. Natalie Merchant - Tigerlily -- Absolutely one of the greatest efforts ever put forth by a solo artist. Bought it for my wife, keep it in my car!! You really should check this out if you haven't.
8. Don McLean - American Pie -- This song is more than iconic, but this entire album is often overlooked for its blues/folk essence. One of our finer musical treasures!
9. Eagles -- Their brilliance could be seen early on. Their leanings at the time were more country-rock and, in essence, really pushed it into the mainstream. "Take It Easy" is EASILY one of the greatest songs that have ever been recorded.
10. Blade - The University Tapes -- Yes, the true debut of Blade at University. I still listen to it from time to time and shake my head in amazement. You know what guys? We ROCKED!!!!!!!!!! Copies available...for gas money. (Inside joke)
(To newer readers who are, no doubt, scratching their heads over this last one, it bears repeating that "Blade" was our rock band in the '80s. "University" refers to University Square Mall, where we played before a packed house of Rocky Horror fans. Historical and fun. I shake my head when I hear those tapes too...sigh.---Nolan.)

This was one of the more difficult lists to put together. There are several more-than-excellent albums, such as Ted Nugent, Billy Joel, and Nolan's favorite, Garth Brooks (HA!---N), but something had to give. You really do need to check out TigerLily!!!

As you may recall, Mike and I are engaged in a Fantasy Football Challenge. As of this weekend, I have the total points lead 971 to 848, meaning that, for at least one more week, I am the Jedi master and Mike is my lowly android servant who doesn't deserve screen billing. Just kidding.......NOT!!

Well, gotta roll, and I hope everyone has a safe, successful, and happy Halloween.
God Bless,

Mike's Rant

Hello gang! A few notes this week. Shall we begin?

Happy Birthday indeed to old pal Corey Castellano! Along with Matt and Scott Gilbert, it was Corey's couch that I spent many a night on during my "troubled" teens. Speaking of Corey (what a segue), make sure to see "Thirteen Ghosts" this weekend, if only to see the trailer for the upcoming film, "Eight-Legged Freaks," formerly billed as "Arach Attack." Corey was the main make-up guy on this, so I'm sure I'll see plenty of yucky spiders!
   "From Hell" sure was named properly! As much as I enjoyed the period setting and Robbie Coltrane, I was mostly disappointed with this film. My two major drawbacks: Heather Graham as the ONLY hooker in London with a full set of pearly white teeth and the borrowing of a plot line from ANOTHER Ripper-minded film to fill out the end of this one. And Johnny Depp had me scratching my head every time he said the word, "froat," as in "I believe he cut her froat." Maybe I expected too much. However, as I like to say, at least I didn't pay to see it!
   Rumor has it that the first trailer for "Star Wars: Episode Two---Attack of the Clones" will be on "Monsters, Inc." on November 2nd. I hope it's much better then the current trailer for "Rollerball." Pee Yew! Hey, Chris Klein, call your agent! Then fire the fucker!

Years ago (like, say, 34) a woman on my block passed away. Like the impressionable 7-year-old I was, I allowed the older daughter of the woman who watched me to talk me into soliciting money door-to-door from our neighbor's to buy flowers to send to the dead woman's family. Of course, like kids often do, we kept the money and went to the nearest store. My father, upon arriving home that evening, questioned me as to why I was playing with new Hot Wheels on the front porch. Quickly disbelieving the "I found them" excuse, I spilled my guts. My punishment: I had to first return the toys to the store and tell the store manager what I had done. Then, he marched me around the neighborhood to EVERY home I had gotten money from and made me do the same. Did I learn my lesson? You betcha! This week, a judge in McMinnville, Tennessee sentenced a man who solicited money for victims of the September 11th attacks to wear a sign detailing his crime. Brandon McClure, age 20, was given the choice of 30 days in jail or spending two Saturdays on a stage in a mall wearing a sign that reads "I stole from the victims of the World Trade Center." A 13 year old boy who was with McClure claiming to solicit money fro the Red Cross was given the same punishment.

Well, that's it for this week. Let me join Matt in wishing everyone a SUCCESSFUL Halloween (guess that means hope you get all the candy you like............and no rocks). Next week it's our choices for the 10 Best Television Shows of all time.    ...Boo!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2001 by Matt Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2001 by William Moriaty    "The Enlightenment" is ©2001 by Terence Nuzum    All contents this page are ©2001 by Nolan B. Canova.

Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of  Nolan B. Canova, ©2001