About Me

My photo

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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Boppin' Little Place (Where All The Lights Are Bright)

Batman walked into the nightclub, where he was greeted with cheery waves by The Beatles. They had all met before, during a shared adventure with Cleopatra Jones and the crew of the starship Enterprise, the details of which remain classified, top-secret. They exchanged pleasantries, and the Caped Crusader moved to his table, where his date was already waiting. Ursula Andress was smiling, radiant, as she kissed Batman on the cheek, and introduced him to her friends, Muhammed Ali and Ginger Grant. The Dark Knight and the Champ shook hands, expressing mutual admiration, and surprise that their paths had never crossed before.

On the dance floor, Batman saw his young ward Robin frugging with Suzi Quatro, beautiful in her black leather. As the DJ segued from James Brown to The Kinks, the dancers changed partners, Robin now bouncing with P.P. Arnold and Suzi with Zorro (though not before Suzi gave Robin a soul kiss so deep it made the Boy Wonder blush). The co-hosts of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio were dancing nearby with their dates (Carl with his lovely wife Brenda, Dana with Neko Case), and clearly having a righteous blast and a half.

As Batman scanned the large crowd in this vast bistro, he either already knew or at least recognized nearly everyone there: The MonkeesWonder Woman, Dusty Springfield, Brigitte Bardot and 007, Maxwell Smart and Aretha Franklin, Marlo Thomas and Captain AmericaGroucho Marx and Modesty BlaiseJosie & the Pussycats, Smokey Robinson, April Dancer, Joey Ramone (dancing with Amy Rigby), Bettie Page and Jonny QuestOtis Redding and Emma Peel, Grace Slick and Tony Stark, Vampirella with Blade and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sammy Davis Jr.Shaft, The Lone Ranger, the jungle queen Sheena, Bruce Lee, Rob and Laura Petrie, Lois Lane, Sam SpadePeggy Lipton, Tina Turner, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bobby ShermanHoney West, and Elvis. Batman spied his foe The Riddler at one large table, but the puzzling plunderer posed no threat this night, as he sat trading barbs with Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Dorothy ParkerRobin Williams, Sarah Silverman, and Spider-Man. A door opened, and in streamed KISS, Christie LovePatsy Cline, Princess Leia, John Glenn, Barbi Benton, Billy Jack, Frankie and Annette, Tony and Maria, Elvira and Sad Sack. Through another door walked Sheriff Andy TaylorVeronica MarsHank Aaron. Space GhostZelda Fitzgerald. Miles Davis and BarbarellaThe ImpossiblesJudy JetsonThe SupremesThe Go-Go'sTarzanDick TracySuperflyJamie Sommers. Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn ChambersThe Four TopsAlice CooperThe Banana SplitsWilt Chamberlain. Cap'n Crunch. The place was full. Yet there was still always plenty of room for more, more, more. (The Carrie Nations were just here a minute ago, but they left arm-in-arm with Rowan & Martin.) Hey look, it's The Bay City Rollers, and Samantha Stevens!

DJ Riff Randell concluded her set with a double shot of The Flashcubes, and the evening's first performers took the stage. Prince and Janis Joplin shared a mic, as the band--Keith Richards, Buck Owens, SatchmoJenny Woo, Susan Cowsill, Toots Hibbert, Lionel Hampton, Jughead Jones, and a confident Brian Wilson, backed by The Memphis Horns and The Shangri-Las--began to play. Jimi Hendrix couldn't resist jumping on stage, grabbing Keef's guitar, and trading licks with Prince on a rampaging medley of The Isley Brothers' "Fight The Power" and The Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen." Batman showed Ursula how to do the Batusi; Ursula showed Batman a thing or two, as well. The mood was festive. The camaraderie was genuine. The joint was alive, as it always was.

The nightclub was located in Gotham City. It was in London. It was in Moscow, Havana, Syracuse, Tokyo, Topeka, Casablanca, Twin Peaks, Bedford Falls, Atlantis, Montreal, Rio, New Delhi, Fawcett City, San Francisco, Metropolis, Atlanta, Mexico City, Malaga, Malibu, Mayberry, Stars Hollow, Calais, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Riverdale, Shangri-La, and the East Village, at the corner of Bowery and Bleecker. Like Johnny Cash, like Chickenman, it was everywhere. It was open all day and all of the night, kitchen and bar, serving menu items from Carrols Hamburgers and Mighty Taco through the finest international cuisine, and back again to Kellogg's Danish-Go-Rounds and Summit candy bars. It was open for Loana one million years B.C., for Buck Rogers in the 25th century, and everywhere and everywhen else, all at the same time. The bartenders, whether a grizzled vet like Nick, a soda and shake expert like Pop Tate, or a pretty young thing like Diane Chambers, could serve up a martini, a sassy bottle of Wink, a chok'lit malt, a flaming rum punch, or a frosty glass of Goebel's on tap. As music played, the faster did we dance.  

And that's where Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) celebrates its first anniversary today.

Once again, I thank everyone who checks in with me every day, and I thank those who check in once or twice when I write about some shared Fave Rave. Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) began at a moment in time when planet Earth was blue and there was nothing I could do. But there was something I could do, however humble the effect. I wrote 182,527 words of new material during this blog's first year (and one day), and there is much, much more yet to come. But for now, I'll meet you at the nightclub. You know the way. Just close your eyes, and you're already there.

C'mon--I'll introduce you to Ursula and the gang.

You can support this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon: Fund me, baby!