IRREGULAR

first published in The Monarch Review

It is a great deal of pressure to be a regular. Maybe more than it’s worth. 

It is nice to be recognized though. To stroll into familiar environs and be greeted by your first name with a plucky alliterative adjective in front (Pistol Pete, Fast Freddie, Rockin’ Ricky), your last name with a cute add-on (Hey, Jones-y, how’s it going? Murph-man what’s up? Cohen-y-boy, que pasa dude?), your school (the Yalie’s arrived, the Terrapin is in the house, oh-oh here comes Miami Man), your job (You ever have to fire that thing? How goes the plumbing biz? Free anyone from Death Row lately?). Read more →

THE DOUR OF MUSIC

first published in the Be First Media Group

I went to a Jackson concert one Friday night last month in an old Loew’s movie house so grand they named it the Kings Theater when it opened on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue in 1929 less than two months before the epic stock market crash. Abandoned in 1977 while the city teetered on the verge of collapse, and taken over by that same city six years later for non-payment of taxes, it reopened earlier this year with all the shine and restored art deco that 95 million new American dollars and rehabilitation talent can bring. Read more →

CLASSIC APOLOGIES

first published in the Sacramento News

Oh no, here they come, the apologies to my 24 year-old son, just what you’ve been waiting for.

I know what you’re expecting. Sorry I wasn’t much better than my own father, probably worse. Sorry I didn’t warn you that my generation’s sending so many jobs and bombs overseas would make it harder for you to find work. Sorry about telling you not to act foolish; who knew there was so much money in it?!

Let’s save those for another day. This is all about the music. Read more →

M(ighty) G(ood)

first published in the Colorado Springs

I’m not really sure when and where the initial connection between a red convertible and a life of opulence or excitement, or both, came about for me. Seems like Adam West may have driven one in the old Batman television series, but I wouldn’t swear to it, and James Coburn’s Our Man Flint and all spies like him either had one or seemed to have one. Even in the black and whites of the forties, fifties and sixties, you knew that the gray was red and you didn’t need to know if it wasn’t. But in real time, the connection became unnecessary when I arrived at Cornell in the early seventies and noticed how the university was wheeling out a red British MG Midget at halftime in a determined but fruitless effort to get that fiftieth fan into his seat at varsity basketball games. Read more →