About Me

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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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Looking Back: My Daughter And THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO


This past Sunday, my wife Brenda and I brought our daughter Meghan back to Ithaca for the start of her senor year in college. In some ways, the transition has gotten easier, but it can still be difficult to let go.

Three years ago, Meghan joined me on This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio for the first annual Meghan & Carl Show. Meghan had co-hosted the show before; she'd co-hosted with me, with Dana, and even once with Brenda. But this was the first time that it was part of saying goodbye, and I was a big ol' puddle of feels by show's end. We have done three more of these since then, the most recent on August 14th (as detailed here, and available for download here). Today, we look back at what I called The Last Assembly, from August 18th, 2013, as Meghan prepared to leave Syracuse and begin her new journey.

"Music is the heartbeat of the universe."
--Meghan Jean Cafarelli

My daughter Meghan was born on June 12th, 1995.  You might expect me to call that the happiest day of my life, but it was, of course, merely the beginning.  The happiest days came after, an 18-plus year blur of dizzying emotion, a kaleidoscope of vivid, living color, and the happiest, most fulfilling time that my wife Brenda and I could ever have imagined.

On Meghan's 18th birthday, I wrote:  "How in the world could 18 years have flown away so quickly? Has it really been that long since this beautiful baby girl first entered our lives, introducing us to a joy we never knew we were missing? We remember every moment with clarity, from day trips to every children's farm in Central New York to dance recitals where the air conditioning didn't work quite right; from reading Sesame Street and Barney books together, to reading (and digging) each of the Harry Potter books, always together, as a family; from vacations to staycations, school and work days, sick days when our worries felt like they'd overwhelm our fragile hearts, better days when it seemed like nothing could stop us, or even slow us down. Swimming. Ice skating. Music. TV. Leaving the movie theater early because Shrek was "mean." Band concerts. Wicked live on stage in London. Friends. Family. A love we wouldn't trade for any thing at any time. The boundless, giddy thrill of being the proudest parents God has ever blessed. As college beckons and an empty nest looms, this wonderful young woman who used to be our baby girl...will ALWAYS be our baby girl, and more. We love you Meghan."

College begins next week.  A love of music runs deep within our family, so this seemed a good time for Meghan to co-host This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio one last time before she matriculates her way outta here.  Though our tastes differ (just as my tastes differ from those of my Dixieland-loving Mom), it is always a delight to share time and music with my daughter.  Some hearts just get lucky some time.  My heart has been lucky ALL of the time.  This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like for The Last Assembly on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

(And, as always, many thanks to Dana for indulging us with this gimmick.  He'll call all of the shots next week, as TIRnRR presents THE MANY MOODS OF DANA BONN.  Be there or be missing.)

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.

TIRnRR # 687:  The Meghan & Carl Show 8/18/13

HALESTORM:  "Rock Show" (Atlantic, The Strange Case Of...)
JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS:  "Light Of Day" (Blackheart, Fit To Be Tied)
CARRIE UNDERWOOD:  "One Way Ticket" (Arista, Blown Away)
EYTAN MIRSKY:  "This Year's Gonna Be Our Year" (M-Squared, Year Of The Mouse)
TAYLOR SWIFT:  "Long Live" (Big Machine, Speak Now)
THE KINKS:  "Waterloo Sunset" (Essential, Something Else)
THE BAND PERRY:  "Forever Mine, Nevermind" (Republic Nashville, Pioneer)
EELS:  "Eyes Down" (Disney, VA:  Holes OST)
FLORENCE & THE MACHINE:  "Dog Days Are Over" (Universal Republic, Lungs)
TEGAN & SARA:  "Walking With A Ghost" (Sire, So Jealous)
CARRIE UNDERWOOD:  "Blown Away" (Arista, Blown Away)
R.E.M.:  "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (IRS, Eponymous)
IMAGINE DRAGONS:  "Radioactive" (Interscope, Night Visions)
GUADALCANAL DIARY:  "Litany (Life Goes One)" (Elektra, 2 x 4)
CARRIE UNDERWOOD:  "The Night Before (Life Goes On)" (Arista, Some Hearts)
PLAY:  "Us Against The World" (Columbia, Play)
DEVICE:  "Vilify" (Warner Brothers, Device)
THE POWERPUFF GIRLS:  "Love Makes The World Go 'Round" (unreleased)
THE BAND PERRY:  "Done" (Republic Nashville, Pioneer)
THE RAMONES:  "I Don't Want To Grow Up" (Radioactive, Adios Amigos!)
THREE DAYS GRACE:  "Time That Remains" (RCA, Transit Of Venus)
MIRANDA LAMBERT:  "Kerosene" (Sony, Kerosene)
BLAKE SHELTON:  "Austin" (Warner Brothers, Blake Shelton)
BIG STAR:  "The Ballad Of El Goodo" (Ardent, # 1 Record/Radio City)
FLORENCE & THE MACHINE:  "What The Water Gave Me [demo]" (Universal Republic, Lungs)
THE ROLLING STONES:  "Ruby Tuesday" (Abkco, Between The Buttons)
CARRIE UNDERWOOD:  "Whenever You Remember" (Arista, Some Hearts)
MR. ENCRYPTO:  "The Last Time [a cappella]" (unreleased mix)
IMAGINE DRAGONS:  "It's Time" (Interscope, Night Visions)
THE ZOMBIES:  "This Will Be Our Year" (Big Beat, Zombie Heaven)
THE CAST OF WICKED:  "One Short Day" (Decca, Wicked Original Cast Recording)
GREEN DAY:  "Welcome To Paradise" (Reprise, Dookie)
THREE DAYS GRACE:  "Operate" (RCA, Transit Of Venus)
GENERATION X:  "Your Generation" (Chrysalis, Perfect Hits)
HALESTORM:  "Here's To Us" (iTunes)
THE FOUR TOPS:  "Reach Out I'll Be There" (Motown, The Ultimate Collection)
STEPHANIE BENTLEY:  "I Will Survive" (Disney, VA:  Holes OST)
SLY & THE FAMILY STONE:  "Everybody Is A Star" (Sony, Greatest Hits)
HALESTORM:  "Mz Hyde" (Atlantic, The Strange Case Of...)
THE HOLLIES:  "On A Carousel" (EMI, Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years)
KELLY CLARKSON: "People Like Us" (RCA, Greatest Hits, Chapter 1)
BILLY J. KRAMER & THE DAKOTAS:  "I'll Be On My Way" (EMI, The Definitive Collection)
EVANESCENCE:  "Call Me When You're Sober" (Wind-Up, The Open Door)
THE BEATLES:  "Thank You Girl" (Apple, Past Masters)
FOSTER THE PEOPLE:  "Miss You" (Columbia, Torches)
THE KINKS:  "The Last Assembly" (Velvel, Schoolboys In Disgrace)
THE CAST OF WICKED:  "For Good" (Decca, Wicked Original Cast Recording)
Meghan, I know that I've been changed for the better.  And because I knew you, I have been changed for good.  As we near the end of this last assembly, I hope you'll remember these few important things:

Never drive faster than the car in front of you.

You would do well in Slytherin, or Gryffindor, or any place you choose.

And, above all else, remember this:

THE FLASHCUBES:  "Do Anything You Wanna Do" (Northside, Brilliant)
MAYNARD FERGUSON:  "Birdland" (Sony, The Essential Maynard Ferguson)