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PCR #244. (Vol. 5, No. 48) This edition is for the week of November 22--28, 2004.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Best wishes to all on our day of Thanksgiving. Shall we begin?

Will's Miami Madness, Part 1
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
"National Treasure"  by Nolan B. Canova
Creature Feature Database Update....I’ve got “Vertigo”....Marc Almond recovering....Remake Raimi....Gina Vivinetto - New Wave ally
 by Andy Lalino
Ron, The NFL Thanks You And So Do I....How To Dismantle The Music Industry....Travel Survey Results Are In....Gayest Moments In Music
 by Brandon Jones
A Diamond In The Rough
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Happy Turkey Day....Radio Shack and Sandwich Mary....Passing On....And So It Begins....Happy Birthday....Meet The Beatles, Part 44
 by Mike Smith
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Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of family and being thankful for the joys in your life. Each year I give thanks that I was surrounded by so many loving families growing up. I know that without the support of Matt's, Corey's, Scott Gilbert's and Ben Gregory's folks, as well as my former in laws and my own parents later in life, that my life would have headed in an all together different and unpleasant direction years ago. I give thanks each day that my son is healthy and headed down the right path. And, as always, thanks to Nolan for giving me a place to share my thoughts each week. May God bless you all and keep you and yours healthy and happy.

Sorry to hear about the incident at the local Radio Shack. Strangely, the first thing that shocked me about the story was that Gateway Mall was still open! While typing this, I opened a bag of pretzel sticks. Upon pouring them into a bowl, I couldn't help but notice that two of the sticks on top formed a cross. I have since put Saran Wrap over the bowl and will be offering it up on Ebay this weekend under the headline "PRETZEL CROSS." Please bid early and often. Don't forget, you also get the bowl and the rest of the pretzels!

This week we lost three very different, but influential, members of the music community:
Russell Jones, best known as ODB and one of the founders of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, died suddenly this past Saturday. Though a cause of death has not been given, he had complained about chest pains and shortness of breath earlier in the day. He was 35. Along with ODB, which stood for Ol' Dirty Bastard, Jones was also referred to as Big Baby Jesus, Dirt McGirt and Osiris. Erratic behavior in the 90's, including taking the stage at the Grammy's to protest the group's loss, led him to both rehab and prison. Released from prison after almost 3 years in 2003, he signed with Roc-a-fella Records and was working on his comeback CD at the time of his death.
Terry Melcher, one of the leaders of the California sound era of the 1960's died Friday after a long fight with cancer. He was 62. Melcher, the son of Doris Day, was known for his talents as not only a producer, but as a songwriter and performer as well. He made his first mark in 1963 with such songs as "Hey Little Cobra" and "Summer Means Fun." In 1965, he produced The Byrds' hit "Mr. Tambourine Man.' He later worked as a producer for Paul Revere and The Raiders, turning out such hits as "Kicks" and "Just Like Me." While serving as a staff producer for Columbia Records, Melcher was introduced to a musician friend of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Unimpressed with Wilson's friend, Melcher declined to sign him. That friend was Charles Manson. In 1969, Manson orchestrated the deaths of actress Sharon Tate and five others in a house previously rented by Melcher. Though investigated, police officials could never prove that Melcher was the intended victim.
Cy Coleman, composer of such Broadway musicals as "Sweet Charity" and "City of Angels" died this past week at the age of 75. Cause of death was listed as heart failure. A former jazz musician, Coleman also wrote hits for such performers as Nat "King" Cole and Frank Sinatra. Among his hit songs: "Witchcraft," "Hey, Look Me Over" and "The Best Is Yet To Come."

I can't tell you how many elderly people I used to hear say that they wanted to live to see the Boston Red Sox win a World Series. And, since they hadn't won one in 86 years, no telling how long they might have had to wait. This past week, longtime Red Sox fan and recognized "oldest man in the world" Fred Hale, Sr died in his sleep at the age of 113. He would have been 114 on December 1. As they like to say, at least he died happy!

Happy # 63 to retired British Postal Employee Pete Best. As a young man, Best served as a drummer in a little band in his native Liverpool until being replaced by Richard Starkey, who recently published a book of postcards he received over the years in the mail. No word on whether Best delivered any of the cards, though John Lennon always denied sending the one that read, "Your drumming sucks. I hope you die!" Isn't it nice how I tied the whole "mailman/postcard" thing together? I thought so. And this leads us to:

November 25, 1969 - Early this morning, John Lennon had his chauffeur return his MBE Medal to the Queen. Lennon did this to draw media attention for the recent peace crusade he and Yoko Ono had begun. His plan worked, as he met with no less then 25 different press reporters as well as doing interviews for the BBC and Radio-4 Well, that's all for now. Have a safe and happy Holiday. Save me a drumstick. 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.