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, December 27, 2016

THE EVERLASTING FIRST: Quick Takes For J [music edition]

Continuing a look back at my first exposure to a number of rock 'n' roll acts and superheroes (or other denizens of print or periodical publication), some of which were passing fancies, and some of which I went on to kinda like. They say you never forget your first time; that may be true, but it's the subsequent visits--the second time, the fourth time, the twentieth time, the hundredth time--that define our relationships with the things we cherish. Ultimately, the first meeting is less important than what comes after that. But every love story still needs to begin with that first kiss.


In the mid-'60s, "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" was a song that everyone on my block knew, like it was a part of the landscape. I remember playing on my neighbor Steve's swing set one day, and my friend Willie singing (in a falsetto) I'm the little old lady from Pasadena! Close enough, Willie. I don't remember any of Jan & Dean's other hits contemporaneously--knowledge of "Surf City," "Dead Man's Curve," and even Jan & Dean Meet Batman would come much, much later--and I didn't hear them singing "From All Over The World" until I caught The T.A.M.I. Show on a cable broadcast outta Canada in the mid-to-late '70s. Jan & Dean have never been nominated for induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.


I knew "Somebody To Love," which was a big hit on the radio in 1967. I saw the Airplane lip-sync the song on American Bandstand. I may have made disparaging remarks about the length of the hair on those boys--I was an unenlightened 7-year-old--and I may have fallen in love with this vision of loveliness called Grace Slick. In the pages of Marvel's Not Brand Echh humor comic book, I giggled at the comments of a window-washer (who looked suspiciously like Ringo Starr) hailing the arrival of Stuporman by exclaiming, "Look! Up in the sky! It's a gooney bird! It's a Jefferson Airplane!" As a young teen in the '70s, I would fall hard for "White Rabbit," and borrowed my brother Rob's copy of the Surrealistic Pillow LP for further enlightenment. Never developed a taste for the Starship, though.


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Our new compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin' pop, starring Pop Co-OpRay PaulCirce Link & Christian NesmithVegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie FlowersThe SlapbacksP. HuxIrene PeñaMichael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave MerrittThe RubinoosStepford KnivesThe Grip WeedsPopdudesRonnie DarkThe Flashcubes,Chris von SneidernThe Bottle Kids1.4.5.The SmithereensPaul Collins' BeatThe Hit SquadThe RulersThe Legal MattersMaura & the Bright LightsLisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here.