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, April 11, 2017

THE EVERLASTING FIRST: Quick Takes For M [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.


Mad Monster Party was a simply fabulous late '80s all-female SoCal group, a combo that included Gwynne Kahn and Bambi Conway, both of whom had previously been members of The Pandoras. The group will be the subject of a near-future edition of Love At First Spin, so I guess it's safe to say that I loved Mad Monster Party as soon as I heard 'em. But I never even heard of them until more than twenty years after the fact. In 2010, I decided I wanted to feature The Pandoras on an episode of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, and started research in hope of snagging an illicit digital file of the group's unreleased Come Inside album from somewhere within that vast series of tubes we call the internet. A now-defunct site called (I think) Forest Dweller or somesuch had Come Inside, as well as a bunch of other Pandoras-related goodies, and that's where I first learned of Mad Monster Party. The group's unreleased album from the late '80s floored me; as much I love The Pandoras, I immediately loved Mad Monster Party even more. Figuring what the hell, we featured Mad Monster Party on TIRnRR the week after we featured The Pandoras. Subsequent communications with Gwynne (aka Nipper Seaturtle) and the group's drummer Jody Ritacco secured permission for us to use Mad Monster Party's "Can't Stop Loving You" on our 2013 compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 3, and that remains Mad Monster Party's only CD appearance to date. Happily, the group's all-too-brief recorded legacy is now available for legal download at CD Baby, and you'd best believe I bought that the week it was put up. This is amazing stuff, and it deserves a much wider audience.


Legendary rock writer Gary Sperrazza! told me about Springfield, Missouri's phenomenal pop combo The Morells on one of the many occasions I chatted with him in Buffalo in the '80s. Nonetheless, I didn't hear any of their music until much, much later, when their debut album Shake And Push was reissued on CD by the ESD label in the '90s. Even then, I didn't come to The Morells until after I'd fallen for The Skeletons, a related band that included The Morells' Lou Whitney and D. Clinton Thompson. I loved The Skeletons, so worship of The Morells came naturally. I interviewed Lou Whitney for Discoveries and/or Goldmine (long story) in 1997, and I reprised that piece (along with my 2014 obituary of Whitney) here.


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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.