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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.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Flashback: Things I Knew In High School/What I Learned In College

Writer Mark Bialczak wrote this in The Syracuse Post Standard in 2008:

Call it a cross-generation time share.
Syracuse radio host Carl Cafarelli decided to go to another side of the dinner table for a one-night replacement for co-host Dana Bonn for this Sunday's 9 p.m. to midnight installment for their show This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio on http://westcottradio.org.
His daughter, 12-year-old Meghan Jean, will inject her pop favorites into papa's long-standing rock-punk play list.
Should make for an interesting three-hour experiment.
Meghan has come back to co-host TIRnRR many times since then, usually with Dana, and even once with her Mom, Brenda. Since Meghan graduated from high school in 2013, she and I have made a point of doing a show together every August, right before she goes off to school at Ithaca College. Our August 2013 show, which occurred right before the start of her freshman year, was an emotional roller coaster I billed as The Last Assembly, saying goodbye to my suddenly-grown little girl as she prepared to embrace academia. Neither of us made it through that one with dry eyes and steady voice.
For each of our end-of-summer shows in the succeeding years, I've chosen a theme for my selections. In 2014, I only played music I loved when I was 19. In 2016, in a salute to Meghan's growing concert-goin' resume, I played music by acts that I had seen live. In May of 2017, she will graduate from IC (with honors, I note proudly); we don't yet know what her next step will be. All we know is that we love her, and that there will always be music to celebrate.
For our August collaboration in 2015, I decided to go with a theme of "What I Learned In College," playing only acts that I discovered while pursuing my degree from 1977 to 1980. That theme seemed like it needed a prologue; so, the week before that, I played "Things I Knew In High School," mixing my teen fave raves with Dana's selections for the evening. The playlists from both of those shows appear below. (My selections are listed in bold to highlight my themes in each show.)
Fortune has graced me with treasures beyond compare. I'm a writer. I'm a DJ. I married the love of my life. And I'm Meghan's Dad. I have it pretty good, don't I?
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Each week on THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl, our format's pretty set:  I play a great record, then Dana plays a great record, and we keep doing that until we've once again successfully slapped together The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet.  We're consistent. For this week's show, all of the great records I played fell into the category of THINGS I KNEW IN HIGH SCHOOL, tracks that meant a lot to me while I was a student at North Syracuse Central High School from 1973 to 1976; I even threw in a couple of eighth-grade faves as a bonus.  
As a teen, I listened to at least as much '60s music as '70s music, so my selections this week reflected both:  THE KINKS (far and away my biggest musical discovery in high school), BOZ SCAGGS, THE SWEET, FLEETWOOD MAC, THE YARDBIRDS, DAVID BOWIE, THE MONKEES, NICK LOWE, STYX, THE RUBINOOS (a sublime pop group that was also my gateway band to punk and new wave), BADFINGER, THE RASPBERRIES, BUDDY HOLLY (a 45 I played every day before school in eighth grade), SLADE, SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES, KISS (my first concert, in 1976), SUZI QUATRO (my # 1 rock 'n' roll crush), LINDA RONSTADT, THE BEATLES, GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR, ELTON JOHN, THE RUBETTES, THE ANIMALS, THE BAY CITY ROLLERS, ALICE COOPER, and the main title theme from STAR WARS, a film that opened the month I graduated.

Dana, in turn, knew exactly what to play to balance my memories:  NEW MUSIC from RAY PAUL, more BEATLES and BOWIE, THE CURE, THE FACES, SHONEN KNIFE, NIRVANA, SIMPLE MINDS, ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS, HINDU LOVE GODS, LOVE, COTTON MATHER, ANY TROUBLE, SUGAR, THE MIGHTY LEMON DROPS, THE JAM, BRIGITTE BARDOT, THE PRETENDERS, CYNDI LAUPER, XTC, THE BEACH BOYS, THE ZOMBIES, and THE GO-BETWEENS.  Mix 'em all together.  Put 'em on the radio.  The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet?  Obviously.

NEXT WEEK:  my daughter Meghan returns to TIRnRR for the annual MEGHAN & CARL SHOW, where she'll play a bunch of stuff she likes, and I'll move my selections to THINGS I LEARNED IN COLLEGE; Dana, of course, will be there to admire/ridicule all of our choices.  IN TWO WEEKS:  on August 23rd, we welcome the members of THE TREND to the studio!  IN THREE WEEKS:  on August 30th, the return of one of our most popular gimmicks, the annual edition of DANA'S FUNKY SOUL PIT!  And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

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 # 788:  8/9/15

THE RAMONES:  "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
THE KINKS:  "All Day And All Of The Night" (Essential, Kinks)
THE BEATLES:  "I Feel Fine" (Apple, 1962-1966)
BOZ SCAGGS:  "Lido Shuffle" (Columbia, Silk Degrees)
THE CURE:  "Just Like Heaven" (Fiction, Galore)
THE SWEET:  "Fox On The Run" (Capitol, The Best Of Sweet)
THE FACES:  "Maggie May [live]" (Warner Brothers, Five Guys Walk Into A Bar...)
FLEETWOOD MAC:  "Go Your Own Way" (Warner Brothers, Rumours)
SHONEN KNIFE:  "On Top Of The World" (A & M, VA:  If I Were A Carpenter)
THE YARDBIRDS:  "Heart Full Of Soul" (Rhino, Ultimate!)
NIRVANA:  "The Man Who Sold The World" (Geffen, MTV Unplugged In New York)
DAVID BOWIE:  "Changes" (Virgin, Best Of Bowie)
SIMPLE MINDS:  "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (Virgin, Glittering Prize)
THE MONKEES:  "Love Is Only Sleeping" (Rhino, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones. Ltd.)
RAY PAUL:  "In My World" (Pop Geek Heaven, VA:  International Pop Overthrow Volume 18)
NICK LOWE:  "So It Goes" (Yep Roc, Jesus Of Cool)
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS:  "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding" (Rykodisc, Armed Forces)
STYX:  "Lorelei" (A & M, Equinox)
HINDU LOVE GODS:  "Raspberry Beret" (Rhino, WARREN ZEVON:  Genius)
THE RUBINOOS:  "I Think We're Alone Now" (Castle, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Rubinoos)
LOVE:  "My Little Red Book" (Rhino, Love Story)
BADFINGER:  "Baby Blue" (Apple, Straight Up)
COTTON MATHER:  "My Before And After" (Copper, Kontiki)
THE RASPBERRIES:  "I Wanna Be With You" (RPM, Power Pop Volume One)
ANY TROUBLE:  "Playing Bogart" (Stiff, Where Are All The Nice Girls?)
BUDDY HOLLY:  "Peggy Sue" (MCA, The Buddy Holly Collection)
SUGAR:  "Gee Angel" (Rykodisc, single)
SLADE:  "Gudbuy T' Jane" (Polydor, Greatest Hits)
THE MIGHTY LEMON DROPS:  "Inside Out" (Cherry Red, Roller Coaster)
SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES:  "The Tears Of A Clown" (Motown, VA:  Hitsville USA)
THE JAM:  "In The Midnight Hour" (Polydor, Direction Reaction Creation)
KISS:  "Calling Dr. Love" (Mercury, Rock And Roll Over)
BRIGITTE BARDOT:  "Ca Pourrait Changer" (DRG, The Best Of Bardot)
SUZI QUATRO:  "I May Be Too Young" (Razor & Tie, The Wild One)
THE PRETENDERS:  "Stop Your Sobbing" (Sire, The Singles)
LINDA RONSTADT:  "When Will I Be Loved" (Asylum, Greatest Hits)
CYNDI LAUPER:  "She Bop" (Epic, She's So Unusual)
THE BEATLES:  "Getting Better" (Apple, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
THE BEATLES:  "Nowhere Man" (Apple, Yellow Submarine Songtrack)
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR:  "Hotel Chambermaid" (Spectrum, The Very Best Of Graham Parker & the Rumour)
XTC:  "Senses Working Overtime" (Caroline, The Compact XTC)
ELTON JOHN:  "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" (MCA, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
DAVID BOWIE:  "Hang On To Yourself" (Virgin, Bowie At The Beeb)
THE RUBETTES:  "Sugar Baby Love" (Castle, VA:  Blockbuster!)
THE BEACH BOYS:  "I Can Hear Music" (Capitol, Friends & 20/20)
THE ANIMALS:  "It's My Life" (BR Music, The Story Of The Animals)
THE ZOMBIES:  "I Love You" (Big Beat, Zombie Heaven)
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS:  "Rock And Roll Love Letter" (Arista, The Definitive Collection)
THE BEATLES:  "It's Only Love" (Apple, Anthology 2)
ALICE COOPER:  "School's Out" (Rhino, Mascara & Monsters)
THE GO-BETWEENS:  "Bye Bye Pride" (Beggars Banquet, Bellavista Terrace)
JOHN WILLIAMS:  "Main Title Theme/Rebel Blockade Runner" (Sony, Star Wars IV:  A New Hope OST)

Each August, right before my daughter Meghan returns to college, Dana indulges us for our annual MEGHAN & CARL SHOW, as she and I once again match wits and music collections in a three-hour free-for-all.  Any time I get to spend with Meghan is A-OK by me, and time spent sharing music is even better (our disparate musical tastes notwithstanding).  For this year's edition, I went with a theme of WHAT I LEARNED IN COLLEGE, playing only artists that I first got into while I was an undergrad from 1977 to 1980.  As always, three hours flew by way too fast.  As Meghan prepares for her junior year in college, time seems to always go by way too fast.

I come from a family of music-lovers.  My dad courted my mother with song lyrics, my brothers love country music, my sister hipped me to The Kinks, and my mom still loves her Dixieland, her swing, and her Antonio Carlos Jobim.  This weekend, we had a big family get-together to celebrate Mom's upcoming 90th birthday.  As my iPod served up a soundtrack of Sinatra, Pete Fountain, Bunny Berrigan, et al., I looked at the faces of all the family and friends who'd traveled from near and far to be part of our party, and I felt so blessed, so damned lucky.  From my parents to my siblings, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents and cousins, my in-laws (or outlaws, as my sister-in-law Patty says), my nieces and nephews, and my own beloved wife and daughter, I have been fortunate enough to live in a family that I love.  Sure, you have to love your family, I guess, but you don't have to like them.  But I DO like 'em all, each and every one of them.  I like them a lot.  This weekend, a bunch of us got together to revel in the joy of each other's company, to toast both those who were there and those who could not be, and to further cherish the memory of those who have gone.  And Sunday night, my daughter Meghan and I got together to play some records on the radio.  Love, family, and music--life doesn't get any better than that.  

NEXT WEEK:  we're joined in the studio by members of THE TREND!  IN TWO WEEKS:  on August 30th, it's time once again for DANA'S FUNKY SOUL PIT!  And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

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 # 789:  8/16/15

THE RAMONES:  "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
WALK THE MOON:  "Shut Up And Dance" (RCA, Talking Is Hard)
THE FAST:  "Kids Just Wanna Dance '77" (Bullseye, The Best Of The Fast:  1976-1984)
FALL OUT BOY:  "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" (Island, Infinity On High)
WILLIE ALEXANDER & THE BOOM BOOM BAND:  "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (MCA, Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band)
THE FRAY:  "Love Don't Die" (Epic, Helios)
THE SEX PISTOLS:  "God Save The Queen" (Virgin, Kiss This)
KARMIN:  "Acapella" (Epic, Pulses)
TIM CURRY:  "I Do The Rock" (A & M, Fearless)
ALICE IN CHAINS:  "Stone" (Capitol, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here)
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS:  "I Need To Know" (MCA, Greatest Hits)
IMAGINE DRAGONS:  "I'm So Sorry" (Interscope, Smoke + Mirrors)
THE NEW YORK DOLLS:  "Personality Crisis" (Mercury, New York Dolls)
EVANESCENCE:  "Bring Me To Life" (Bicycle, Fallen)
TELEVISION:  "Elevation" (Elektra, Marquee Moon)
CAST OF WICKED:  "Defying Gravity" (Decca, Wicked Original Cast Recording)
THE RUTLES:  "Ouch!" (Rhino, The Rutles)
COLDPLAY:  "Viva La Vida" (Parlophone, Viva La Vida)
THE ADVERTS:  "Gary Gilmore's Eyes [single]" (The Devils Own Jukebox, Crossing The Red Sea)
SEETHER:  "Words As Weapons" (Bicycle, Words As Weapons)
CHEAP TRICK:  "Surrender" (Epic, Heaven Tonight)
EVANESCENCE:  "Going Under" (Bicycle, Fallen)
CAST OF THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW:  "The Time Warp" (Ode, The Rocky Horror Picture Show OST)
LINDSEY STIRLING [featuring LZZY HALE]:  "Shatter Me" (Lindseystomp, Shatter Me)
RADIO BIRDMAN:  "Aloha Steve & Danno" (Sub Pop, The Essential Radio Birdman [1974-1978])
SAINT ASONIA:  "Better Place" (RCA, Saint Asonia)
THE NERVES:  "Hanging On The Telephone" (Alive, One Way Ticket)
IMAGINE DRAGONS:  "Shots" (Interscope, Smoke + Mirrors)
THE MOTORS:  "Dancing The Night Away" (Rhino, VA:  DIY:  Teenage Kicks)
RISE AGAINST:  "Savior" (Interscope, Appeal To Reason)
THE RECORDS:  "Starry Eyes" (Virgin, Smashes, Crashes & Near-Misses)
SUGARLAND:  "It Happens" (Mercury, Love On The Inside)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "Cherry Bomb" (Hip-0, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE STORY SO FAR:  "Four Years" (Pure Noise, Under Soil And Dirt)
THE DAMNED:  "New Rose" (Sanctuary, Smash It Up)
THE SHANGRI-LAS:  "Leader Of The Pack" (Mercury, The Best Of The Shangri-Las)
JOE JACKSON:  "Is She Really Going Out With Him" (A & M, Steppin' Out)
BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY:  "Piece Of My Heart" (Columbia, Cheap Thrills)
THE FLASHCUBES:  "Wait Till Next Week" (Northside, Bright Lights)
CARRIE UNDERWOOD:  "Before He Cheats" (Arista, Some Hearts)
BLONDIE:  "X-Offender" (Chrysalis, Blondie)
HALESTORM:  "Love Bites (And So Do I)" (Atlantic, The Strange Case Of...)
THE RAMONES:  "Blitzkrieg Bop" (Rhino, Ramones)
THREE DAYS GRACE:  "Chalk Outline" (RCA, Transit Of Venus)
EDDIE & THE HOT RODS:  "Do Anything You Wanna Do" (Captain Oi, The Singles Collection)
LINDSEY STIRLING:  "Heist" (Lindseystomp, Shatter Me)