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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 NewsThe Syracuse New Times, Big Stir magazine, and AHOY Comics.  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.

Friday, September 15, 2017

THE EVERLASTING FIRST: Quick Takes For O [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 '90s, a coworker named Bob Ketcham was hooked on the first Oasis album, Definitely Maybe, and he shared his enthusiasm with me. Or maybe it was the second album, (What's The Story) Morning Glory? I don't remember, because Oasis just left me cold at the time. My friend Chuck Higbie in Key West also tried to recruit me into the Oasis Army, but I was a resister, I was. The Flashcubes opened a late '90s live show with an ace cover of Oasis' "Rock And Roll Star," and that was a bit of all right, awright. One evening in 2002, my daughter and I were watching Top Of The Pops on BBC America, and I fell in helpless thrall to the then-new Oasis single "The Hindu Times." I didn't even mind when Oasis themselves turned up on a subsequent TOTP, and were introduced as "The greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world!" Nonetheless, my favorite Oasis-related track is "Birth Of An Accidental Hipster," the fab song co-written by Noel Gallagher of Oasis with The Jam's Paul Weller for The Monkees' 2016 album Good Times!


One of the drawbacks of growing up as a suburban white kid is that I didn't develop any real taste for soul music until I was in my twenties. As an adolescent and teen in the '70s, I liked some of the soul I heard on WOLF-AM and WNDR-AM, but "The Tears Of A Clown" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles was the only soul tune that could rival Badfinger for control of my personal mental radio station. But I heard these other songs by The Isley Brothers and The Four Tops and The Stylistics  and The Temptations, and I wasn't exactly opposed to 'em, either. "Back Stabbers" in 1972 was the first time I remember hearing The O'Jays, and it was fine. "Love Train" in '73 was even better, and 1974's "For The Love Of Money" better still. My rejection of disco music in the mid-to-late '70s fooled me into ignoring The O'Jays' "Use Ta Be My Girl" in '78, even though the song wasn't even remotely disco. In the Spring of 1979, the guys who lived in the other room in my sophomore year college dorm suite had The O'Jays' Live In London album; they liked to play that one a lot, and I developed a greater appreciation for The O'Jays via the live "Wildflower" on that album. 


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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. 

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