PCR's past banners
Now in our fifth calendar year!

PCR #211. (Vol. 5, No. 15) This edition is for the week of April 5--11.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang. Baseball is back! Shall we begin?

"The Whole Ten Yards"
 by Mike Smith
My Afternoon With Forry Ackerman
 by Andy Lalino
Tampa Toy and Comic Con
 by Brandon Jones
Introductory Column
 by Vin Blesi
Play Ball!...A Part of History?....No Lawyers Allowed....Yikes....Passing On....Looney Lucas....They Write The Songs....Ice Cube Can Play The Thing....Meet The Beatkles, Part 12
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

Woo Hoo! The national past time is back. I'll be in heaven until the end of October! Go O's!

Speaking of baseball, it was 30 years ago tonight, April 8, that Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. I bring this up because this past week my father sent me a box of childhood photos and scrap books. Showing how naive I was as a kid, and wanting to prove for all time that I had witnessed the event, inside one scrap book I found the following written on a piece of paper in green marker: At approximately 9:10 p.m. (EST) I saw Hank Aaron hit 715. On April 8, 1974 on N.B.C. Monday Night Game of the Week. He hit it off of Al Downing of the L.A. Dodgers. In the N.B.C. booth were Curt Gowdy, Tony Kubek and Joe Garigiola. (signed) Michael Anthony Smith. Isn't it funny how, 30 years ago, I had no perception of the future?

One of the greatest musical events I had the privilege of witnessing was 1985's LIVE-AID concert. With bands performing alternately in Philadelphia and London, the 8 hour event featured the greatest bands of that era and before. Bands like the Who and Led Zeppelin reunited for the show. Mick Jagger and David Bowie did a special version of "Dancin' In The Street" for the event. It was aired as a one time only event and all of the artists agreed to waive any royalties for the performance of their music. I taped the show off of MTV, having my girlfriend at the time stop by my apartment and change tapes in the VCR. Now, 20 years later, a DVD set of the show is about to be released. There are so many highlights of the day that stick out in my mind. One of my favorite memories was QUEEN on stage in England, performing the song "Radio Ga Ga." What amazed me was the way Freddy Mercury held the audience, leading them in a series of arm movements that made my head spin. The man sure knew how to work the crowd. Just off the top of my head, besides the above named performers, the show included Paul McCartney, Madonna, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, Rick Springfield, Phil Collins (who perfomed in both London and, after jumping on the Concorde, Philly, where he drummed for Led Zeppelin), Keith Richards and Bob Dylan. And probably 20 more groups and performers. A definite example of the power of music.

This past week in Kansas City there was a rash of robberies in which someone would sneak into the employee area of a business and steal from the employee pocketbooks. One local 17-year-old had her wallet taken while she worked at a local shoe store. When interviewed, she said that by the time she noticed her wallet missing and called the credit card company, over $1500 had been charged on it. The first thing that popped into my head: how in the hell does a 17-year-old get a credit card with that kind of credit limit????

Very sad to report the passing of one of Buddy Holly's early bandmates, Niki Sullivan. Sullivan, a boyhood friend of Holly's in Lubbock, Texas, passed away in his sleep at his home near Kansas City. He was 66. He was part of the group when they recorded "That'll Be The Day" and "Maybe, Baby." If you've ever seen the Ed Sullivan show footage of Holly, Sullivan is the OTHER guitarist wearing glasses. He left the band in 1957 when it was decided the group didn't need two guitarists.

One day after the Internet Movie Data Base released a listing of the DVD extras that will be included in the "Star Wars: Special Edition" set, a Lucasfilm spokeman denied any such extras are planned. I have no idea what that means!

Congratulations to Al Green, Don McLean, Daryl Hall and John Oates, who will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this summer. Also inducted, the famed Motown writing team of Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield.

"Barbershop" director Tim Story has signed on to direct the feature film version of the popular Marvel Comics team, "The Fantastic Four." Casting has yet to begin, though the film has a start date of this August.

April 6, 1965. After a much deserved vacation, the boys begin filming their second film, " Eight Arms To Hold You," which will be released under the title "HELP." Rumor has it that, when told they needed a theme song for the film, John Lennon wrote "Help" in 10 minutes.

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

"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 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 ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.