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.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Boppin' Near One Thousand (Nearly A Quarter Million Strong)



At the current rate of daily posting, Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) # 1000 will appear on August 1st, unless I screw up and miss a day, or do more than one post in a single day. Either of those could happen, but for now go ahead and pencil in 8/1/18 for your dream date with my 1000th blog post. Gifts are encouraged.

We're also nearing the quarter-million view mark, a figure that looks only slightly more impressive than it is. I know it's not a big number by any real-world measure, but I'm proud to have drawn those clicks in a crowded internet. I don't know how much longer I can continue to post every day, but I do know that if I start skipping a day or two, it would only be a matter of time before the blog turned into dust. A writer writes. If this blog fades, then I'm no longer a writer. So, I think I'll keep on keepin' on for at least a little bit longer.

I have a subject in mind for the thousandth post, which should take the form of another exciting installment of The Greatest Record Ever Made. Although it will nominally be about a pop song, it will touch on darkness and depression, and the need to ask for help when help is needed. And no, it's not a Beatles song. It's a piece I've wanted to write for a very long time, and I hope that I'm equal to the task.

Meanwhile, here's a snapshot of my other ongoing series on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do):




The Everlasting First. Man, it sure has taken me a long time to make it through the alphabet. This was originally intended to be an A-Z reminiscence of my first exposures to various musical acts and comic-book superheroes, debuting in August of 2016 with a combined post of A is for Aquaman and Artful Dodger. I subsequently decided to split the music and comics subjects into separate posts, but put the series on hiatus following P is for Gene Pitney last fall. I resumed on June 12th with P is for The Powerpuff Girls, and have since settled Q with tales of my crush on Suzi Quatro and an unexpectedly somber look back at Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch following my aunt's funeral this week. The two Quick Takes editions for Q will appear shortly, and the rest of the alphabet currently looks to be The Red Tornado, either The Romantics or Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Sex Pistols, Spider-Man (or The Shadow), Tarzan, The Temptations, Underdog, The Undertones, Vampirella, The Velvet Underground, The Who, Wonder Woman, The X-Men, XTC, The Yardbirds, Yellowjacket, The Zombies, and Zorro. The series will continue thereafter, but free from A-Z requirements. The Animals and The Lone Ranger are likely subjects at that time.



He Buys Every Rock 'n' Roll Book On The Magazine Stands. This series of looks back at my history of readin' rock 'n' roll magazine like Circus and Rolling Stone, Phonograph Record Magazine, and Bomp! got a terrific response, but my short attention span saw something shiny before I got around to writing Part 4. It will resume with "The Snark And The Fury: Creem And The Dream."



100-Page FAKES! Now these are popular, a bunch of mid '70s DC Comics titles expanded into imaginary 100-Page Super Spectaculars. I only have a few more fresh titles in mind, but I'll also be returning for more issues of titles already featured here (Adventure Comics, All-Star ComicsThe Brave And The Bold, Detective Comics, and The Shadow, maybe Justice, Inc., The Sandman, Rima The Jungle Girl, and The Phantom).



All-Time Top 25. Stay tuned for annotated listings of my 25 favorite tracks by The Kinks, by The Hollies, by The Rolling Stones, and perhaps even The Bay City Rollers. I am as God made me.



The Greatest Record Ever Made. If one series can be said to define this silly little blog, it would have to be The Greatest Record Ever Made. An infinite number of fantastic record can be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. I find the process of writing these enormously rewarding, and they tend to get decent reactions. In addition to the above-mentioned Boppin' # 1000, there are always a number of GREMs at some stage of development in the ol' Boppin' pipeline.



The Other Side Of The Hit (B-Side Appreciation). This has already debuted privately, with a post about John Lennon & Yoko Ono distributed to my paid subscribers. That post will be available publicly in August. I have a Joan Jett & the Blackhearts B-side in my mind for the next installment.



Rescued From The Budget Bin!, Groove Gratitude (A Gift Of Music), Second Hand Sound, The Best Of Everything, and Love At First Spin. All of my various LP appreciation series are almost certain to return, with tales of Nuggets, The Real Kids, Otis Redding, Fools Face, KISS, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, The Flamin' Groovies, The Raspberries, The Turtles, yadda und yadda. I may supplement these with a new variation of The Best Of Everything, imagining best-of retrospectives that don't yet exist.



Comic Book Retroview. Next up: a discussion of my first Batman comic book...which actually wasn't really a comic book at all. I'm also still thinking about writing a piece about DC Special.



Singers, Superheroes, And Songs On The Radio. I began this series with a massive nine-part memoir about reading comic books and listening to rockin' pop music while trying to grow up in the '60s. Later, I jumped ahead to the '80s for a long and occasionally harrowing chronicle of trying to be an adult, failing, and somehow freelancing for Goldmine magazine as my life seemed to be falling apart. Both of these are among the best things I've ever written. The prospect of writing an extended piece about my life in the '70s has been intimidating. This one simmers on the back burner for now, but ya never know when the mood (ring) will strike me.

As always, expect more in the form of Fake THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Playlist, Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade, and Virtual Ticket Stub Gallery. If you enjoy some of what you see here on Boppin', please consider becoming a patron of the blog for a mere $2 a month. A post a day. I may not be quite done with that just yet.



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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.