- I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org). As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton. I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times. I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me? My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored. Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Muhammed Ali was larger than life. I can think of no other athlete, no other celebrity, no other entertainer in my lifetime whose stature transcended sports, fame, or pop culture with the precise impact of Ali's rope-a-dope style and sheer, self-assured accomplishment. Only Elvis could compare--but even the King couldn't quite match the Champ. Ali was just a boxer like Steinbeck was just a writer, like The Beatles were just a rock group, like Martin Luther King, Jr. was just a reverend. Muhammed Ali was still flesh and blood, flawed like each of us, but also so much more; his bluster and bravado were given weight by the strength of his convictions, the solidity of his soul, the bedrock of his character, and--above all else--his courage and activism on behalf of a broader understanding of the cause he and his friend Superman always fought for: truth, justice, and the American way. Ali's notoriety, his fame, was substantive in ways a Kardashian will never comprehend, and which our current celebrity obsessions will never, ever equal. Muhammed Ali was simply what he said he was: Muhammed Ali was The Greatest. He still is.