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PCR #180. (Vol. 4, No. 36) This edition is for the week of September 1--7, 2003.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! TICKETMASTER must be destroyed, Rolling Stone catches up to the PCR and another film legend passes. Shall we begin?

Florida's Gardens Up Front and Personal -- Part One
by Will Moriaty
"Dickie Roberts"
by Mike Smith
Sci-Fi Hunks and Babes (or is Salma Hayek the Frank Frazetta girl?)
 by Vinnie Blesi
"Filthy" official premiere reviewed!
 by Ashley Lauren
"Hollywood,Horrorwood" (Pillars), Part 2
 by John Lewis
Gay World.....One Shots....Movie News....Things I Didn't Know But Maybe I Should Have
 by Brandon Jones
Answering My Critics
 by Matt Drinnenberg
You Never Give Me Your Money....Welcome To The 21st Century (RS's Top 10 Guitarists)....Passing On
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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To be honest, I've never really understood the service TICKETMASTER provides. OK, you can call them and get tickets to a show, but then they nail you with an outrageous "service" charge. Hell, they don't even have to do anything special. Several months ago I mentioned here that my son, Phillip, and I had gone to see comedian Dave Chapelle in concert. Tickets were advertised at $24.00 I think. We got to the box office and asked for (2) tickets. "$58.00 please." WHAT?? Shouldn't that be $48.00? "There is a $5.00 service charge on each ticket." I took a deep breath and tried to explain to the ticket lady, "Um, ma'am, I'm AT THE BOXOFFICE, PAYING CASH. The only service you are providing is by sliding the tickets through the little window to me." Needless to say, she didn't understand the logic. I even tried for several days afterwards to call the owners of the venue and find out what service I must have missed out on. Despite several messages left I never heard back from them. But, I digress. Now, in what has to be the most blatant attempt to screw over the public, TICKETMASTER is toying with the idea of auctioning off the best seats for concerts. In other words, those of us who get up early or stand in line for hours (I've done it) to get the good seats will just be wasting our time. If you want to sit in the first two rows, let the good people at TICKETMASTER know how much you're willing to spend. A spokesperson for TICKETMASTER says that this will be a positive way to stop ticket scalpers. GABBA WHA?! Incidentally, TICKETMASTER has not announced whether they would keep the auction booty or give it to the artist. Greedy bastards. The most I've EVER paid for a concert ticket was a face value of $125.00 (if you can guess who I saw you'll win a prize). I'll be damned if I'm going to "bid" to see anyone from the front row!

Almost 3 YEARS AGO, those of us at the PCR took it upon ourselves to crown the 10 Greatest Guitar Players of all time. OK, we ended up with 20. Now, once again riding our coat tails, Rolling Stone magazine has followed suit. What is more surprising then the axe men who made the top 10 are the ones who didn't. The list, presented as usual, in reverse order:

10. Keith Richards
9. Jimmy Page
8. Ry Cooder
7. Stevie Ray Vaughn
6. Chuck Berry
5. Robert Johnson
4. Eric Clapton
3. B.B. King
2. Duane Allman
1. Jimi Hendrix
Not a bad list. Now, here are the surprises:

50. Pete Townsend. #50!!!???
70. Eddie Van Halen. At least Eddie beat out Joni Mitchell.......by 2 spots! Nolan, your comments PLEASE!

I echo your sentiments as to some shocking placements and attribute it to a little history revisionism mixed with some politics. There is NO WAY Eddie Van Halen deserves to be at number 70 unless it's not hip to think of him as guitar hero any more due to his ugly battles with Hagar, Roth, alcohol, and cancer. Well, also his last few albums kinda blew. Older readers will remember Eddie was #1 IN THE WORLD in EVERY magazine poll taken from around 1980 through the early '90s.
Pete Townsend deserves higher than 50, BUT remember he is regarded more highly as a songwriter than as a guitar virtuoso. That said, his acoustic rendition of "Won't Get Fooled Again" must be heard to be believed. Still, if Keith Richards can crack the top ten...?
Jimi Hendrix was #1 in the the '70s, unseated for a while by Edward Van Halen in the '80s and slowly regained his crown. Hard to beat a legend.
Ry Cooder, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Duane Allman are fairly late additions to this sort of list, and B.B. King, while a terrific bluesman, is not what I would call top-ten-who-ever-lived material. Robert Johnson and Chuck Berry absolutely changed the world with limited palettes and stacked odds, so they're fine where they are.
Nolan's adjusted list would drop King, Allman, and Richards and promote Jeff Beck (was he even on there?), Johnny Winter, and Eddie Van Halen to the top ten.
Terence told me later that Randy Rhoads ranked lower than Ike Turner(!!!), but both were in the bottom half, even under Joni Mitchell I think. As I recall there was no mention of Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Stanley Clarke, Ronnie Montrose or dozens of others very influential to yours truly.
I am unimpressed with Rolling Stone and its list. ---Nolan

Very sad to hear this weekend about the passing of Charles Bronson. Mr. Bronson died Saturday at the age of 81 from complications due to pneumonia. He had been hospitalized for the last month. Born Charles Buchinski on November 3, 1921, Bronson was the 11th of 15 children. His father worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines and the family lived in a shack. Poor by even those standards, the children often wore hand me down clothes. Bronson may have began his tough guy image when, at the age of 6, he was embarrassed to wear his sisters dress to school. He began working in the coal mines after high school, making $1.00 for every ton loaded. In 1943, he was drafted into the Army. After the service, he joined the Pasadena Playhouse. He wasn't as concerned about acting as an art, but was very impressed with the money film stars made. His first film role came in the Cary Grant comedy, "You're In the Navy Now." His best known early role was as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor, in "House of Wax." Worried that his last name might draw unwanted notice during the McCarthy era, Charles Buchinski became Charles Bronson in 1954. Legend has it that he took his last name from the Bronson Gate, which sat at the end of Bronson Ave on the Paramount lot. In 1958, he starred in the film "Machine Gun Kelly," which proved to be a huge hit in Europe. Like Clint Eastwood, Bronson first became a star across the Atlantic before America took notice. Finally, at the age of 53, Bronson hit the big time with "Death Wish." The story of a man who takes the law into his own hands when his wife and daughter are brutally attacked, the film struck the right tone with audiences who were getting tired of urban crime. Other noted films include "The Magnificent Seven," "The Great Escape," "The Dirty Dozen," "The Valachi Papers," "The Mechanic," (one of my favorites) "Mr. Majestyk" and "Breakout." He earned well deserved praise for his portrayal of an Israeli general in the television film, "Raid On Entebbe." In 1972, he shared the Golden Globe award as Favorite Male Star with Sean Connery. Married three times, most notably to actress Jill Ireland, his costar in many of his later films, he had six children. With Mr. Bronson's passing, only Robert Vaughn survives of the "Magnificent Seven."

Well, that's it for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2003 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 ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.