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PCR #181. (Vol. 4, No. 37) This edition is for the week of September 8--14, 2003.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang. News, notes, my mom's birthday, 9/11 two years later, my favorite '60s albums and a genuine musical original passes on. Shall we begin?

Florida's Gardens Up Front and Personal -- Part Two
by Will Moriaty
"Matchstick Men"
by Mike Smith
Update on Sci-Fi Hunks and Babes....Whoops, It's Whoopi!....Happy Family
 by Vinnie Blesi
Notable Passings and Child Stars
 by Ashley Lauren
Freddy vs Jason....Monsturd....JLA/ Avengers #1....the last "Pillars"?
 by John Lewis
Not Yet....Save Me A Spot In The Dandelion Patch....Monkey See, Monkey Do....Cutting Out The Middle Man....Happy Birthday....Top 10 '60s Albums....Send Lawyers, Guns And Money
 by Mike Smith
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In answer to Andy Lalino's question in the letter column, reference Exorcist 4: No, it hasn't been released yet. In fact, it is currently going some reshooting so the release date is currently up in the air.

Pleased as punch to report that Berkeley Breathed (rhymes with method) will be bringing back Opus the Penguin in a new comic strip beginning November 23. The strip, titled OPUS, naturally, will reintroduce the popular character from Bloom County.

Once again, parents who didn't pay enough attention to their children are blaming others. This time, the parents of two boys who thought it would be cool to shoot at a moving car are suing the creators of the video game "Grand Theft Auto," claiming that playing the game caused the boys to do what they did. Reminds me of the time I used to dodge in and out of traffic after spending hours in the arcade playing "Frogger!"

Beating parents to the punch, the Wham-O company is suing Paramount Pictures due to a scene in the film, "Dickie Roberts." In the film, children trying to teach Dickie how to be a kid introduce him to the popular slip and slide. However, before they can water it down, Dickie hurls himself down the plastic strip, giving himself quite the lawn burn. Wham-O obviously thinks that stupid kids will do this, thereby ensuring their parents will file frivolous lawsuits.

OK, I admit that the PCR is almost four years old and I've never done this before. However, I've never written my piece on September 10th before! So I would like to take this time to wish my mother, Rose, a very happy birthday.

9/11 plus 2
Well, it's been two years since the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania were scarred by the cowardly acts of terrorists and we are no closer to catching the responsible people now then we were the day after the attacks. Recent news reports tell us that our intelligence sources have narrowed down to a 40 square mile area the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. Wow! 40 square miles! Why, that's almost like saying he's on the bottom of the ocean somewhere. I'm sure we'll be seeing him captured any day now. Oops, sorry. I forgot that sarcasm doesn't translate well in the written form. Meanwhile, President Bush is asking for more money the government can't spare to help rebuild a country that doesn't want us there in the first place. Just think, in 2005 he and his dad can fight over who gets the "1 TRM R" vanity license plate.

An excellent Top 10 challenge. My choices:

RUBBER SOUL - The Beatles (1965) Lennon and McCartney were beginning to come into their own as song writers. Record company big wigs demand lyric change, turning "Knowing She Would" into "Norwegian Wood." Signature song: "In My Life," which I have instructed to be played at my funeral.
REVOLVER - The Beatles (1966) Finished before embarking on their last tour. Signature song: "Here, There and Everywhere."
SGT PEPPER - The Beatles (1967) OK, I admit I'm Beatles-heavy here. But look at this list. These albums came out within three years of each other. That's unheard of today. Hell, it took BOSTON 16 years between album #2 and #3. There will NEVER be an output of incredible music in such a short time again. Signature song: "A Day In The Life."
PET SOUNDS - The Beach Boys (1966) Brian Wilson sat down and wrote from his soul and the results were incredible. Signature song: "Wouldn't It Be Nice?"
THE DOORS - The Doors (1967) If those who worship at the altar of Cobain would step back and take a listen, they would learn that Kirk was just another Jim Morrison wanna be. Whether he died in a bathtub or is living in Arizona selling artifacts, nothing can take away from the legend of the LIzard King. Signature song: "The End."
HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED - Bob Dylan (1965) In my opinion, Dylan was finally understanding the power of his words. Signature song: "Like A Rolling Stone."
BEGGAR'S BANQUET - The Rolling Stones (1968) "Sympathy For The Devil." Nuff said.
HEADQUARTERS - The Monkees (1967) The pre-fab four stood up to the critics and played their own music. Signature songs: "Shades of Gray" and old HATS standard "You Just May Be The One."
MY CUP RUNNETH OVER/WELCOME TO MY WORLD - Ed Ames/Dean Martin (1967) My mom was a huge fan of both of these singers, not to mention Jerry Vale. She would play these over and over in the house and I must admit, they grew on me. Signature songs: "My Cup Runneth Over"/"Chapel in the Moonlight".
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER - Simon and Garfunkle. OK, it was released in January, 1970 but it was recorded in the '60s! Paul McCartney has said that the title song is what inspired him to write "Let It Be." Paul and Artie announced this week that they are reuniting to tour this year. Woo hoo! Signature song: "Bridge Over Troubled Water," a classic.....Clay Aiken's version not withstanding.

Warren Zevon, who's quirky songs will continue to entertain, died in his sleep Sunday at the age of 56. Zevon, a life long smoker, had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last September and said he was only given a few months to live. He swore to dedicate that time to his two grandchildren and the completion of the album he was working on. He also remarked that "the thing I want is to last through the winter so I don't miss the new James Bond movie. The album, entitled "The Wind," was released in August. One of the highlights is Zevon's cover of the Bob Dylan classic, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." Born in Chicago, Zevon released his first album, "Wanted: Dead or Alive" in 1969. Though not a hit, it did catch the attention of Linda Ronstadt, and he wrote many songs for her in the 1970's, including "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" and "Hasten Down the Wind." In 1978, he released his third album, "Excitable Boy," which included the hit "Werewolves In London." Zevon had a huge celebrity following, including Hunter S. Thompson, Gov. Jesse Ventura and David Letterman, who spent much of this past Monday's show reminiscing about Zevon.

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.