Sunday, December 31, 2023

Tonight On THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO's 25th Anniversary Show!

What's that? You have plans? Oh. Well. CANCEL THEM!! Your auld lang syne can't match our good ol' time as Dana & Carl celebrate THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO's 25th ANNIVERSARY! We have some songs to play, and we have some things to say. From THE RAMONES through THE BEATLES, with all sortsa champagne-poppin' in between, TIRnRR starts its 26th new year on the air TONIGHT. Leave the noisemakers in the drawer. We'll supply all the noise you need. Sunday night, 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FMstreaming on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. The weekend stops HERE!

Friday, December 29, 2023

DC COMICS BEFORE THE CRISIS: Heroes Of Earth-One AND Earth-Two, Part 2 of 3

Today we have the second of three parts looking back on DC Comics before the multiverse-ending Crisis On Infinite Earths, recalling Earth-Two heroes with identical Earth-One counterparts in the Silver and Bronze Ages. You can catch up with Part 1, and follow along now as we continue with some more heroes of two worlds.


In the '70s, DC billed itself as "The Line Of Super-Stars." Air Wave (alias Larry Jordan) was never a super-star, not in any incarnation. During the Golden Age, Air Wave was a backup strip in Detective Comics, and I doubt he ever appeared on a single comic book cover in the '40s.

Flash forward to 1981, when Wikipedia sez a backup story in DC Comics Presents # 40 told us that Air Wave had been killed in action, replaced briefly by his wife Helen, who avenged his death (and promptly retired from caped crusading). 

Because shared surnames are never a coincidence in comic books--I think it's a law or something--we later learned that Larry Jordan was related to Hal Jordan, Earth-One's Green Lantern. Larry and Helen's son Harold Jordan became a new Air Wave, appearing in a new series of backups in Action Comics. Young Harold backed up Superman in Action, just as his father had backed up Batman in Detective.

The family connection to Hal Jordan/Green Lantern establishes Air Wave as an Earth-One character. Air Wave never had any contact with other characters during the Golden Age, so we wouldn't necessarily have to presume there ever was an Earth-Two Air Wave.

Or we wouldn't have had to make that presumption until the '80s, when the All-Star Squadron series--which was clearly and specifically set on Earth-Two--included the original Air Wave among its sprawling roster.


In a reversal of our usual understanding of which characters inhabited which Earth, the distaff Dynamic Duo of the original Batwoman and Batgirl would have been considered Earth-One characters. Kathy Kane and her niece Betty Kane were effectively banished from Batman's adventures when editor Julius Schwartz instituted Batman's New Look in 1964, but they were part of Gotham City continuity contemporary to the debut of the Justice League, and they eventually returned in Bronze Age stories in Detective Comics and Teen Titans

(And I actively despised Detective Comics # 485, the issue where Batwoman was killed off. I still despise it.)

Batwoman and this original, pre-Barbara Gordon Batgirl could have been solely Earth-One characters, but they were eventually referenced in an Earth-Two context, in a couple of early '80s issues of The Brave And The Bold written by Alan BrennertB&B isn't always a reliable resource for continuity, but that's mostly because editor Murray Boltinoff and regular writer Bob Haney thought the very idea of such continuity was too cumbersome and unnecessary. These two Brennert issues (# 182 and 197) are canon in my view.


With Blackhawk and his intrepid squad, we have a set of characters who--like Aquaman, Batman and Robin, Green Arrow, Superman, and Wonder Woman--remained in print from the Golden Age into the Silver Age. Blackhawk's exploits were originally published by Quality Comics in the '40s and '50s, and continued thereafter when Quality exited the comics biz and DC bought out a number of Quality properties. 

The Blackhawks didn't interact much with the rest of the DC Universe in the '60s, but the few connections that did occur suggested they were inhabitants of Earth-One. The connection was made definite in Justice League Of America # 144 in 1977, which flashes back to a previously-untold adventure from the 1950s, and shows us the Blackhawks alongside the Earth-One heroes who would form the Justice League.

(We'll be coming back to that issue of JLA a few more times before we're done here.)

Given that Blackhawk wasn't published by DC in the '40s, there isn't necessarily any reason to tie that intrepid squadron to events on Earth-Two. In 1973, Justice League Of America # 107 revealed that there had been a (presumably identical) version of the Blackhawks on a newly-revealed Earth designated Earth-X. Earth-X was the home of other Quality characters--Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Uncle Sam--as well as Blackhawk. 1980s issues of All-Star Squadron established that these Earth-X heroes had all originated on Earth-Two.


A new version of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's 1940s kid gang the Newsboy Legion was introduced when Kirby took over Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen in 1970. I absolutely loved Kirby's run on this book at the time, and I may love it even more now.

This new Newsboy Legion debuted in JO # 133--Kirby's first issue on the title--were the sons of the originals and went by the same names: Big Words, Gabby, Scrapper, and Tommy, plus new addition Flippa Dippa. The fathers also appeared in Kirby's run, as did a new version of the first group's costumed protector the Guardian, a clone of the slain original from the '40s.

During the Golden Age, the adventures of the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion were published in Star-Spangled Comics. They also appeared in a Boy Commando story in Detective Comics # 76, a story which also included Sandman from Earth-Two's Justice Society of AmericaAll-Star Squadron subsequently reinforced the Newsboy Legion's status as residents of Earth-Two, with identical counterparts on Earth-One.


Simon and Kirby were also the principal auteurs of the Golden Age Manhunter, whose '40s adventures appeared in (of course) Adventure Comics. Simon and Kirby were also responsible for Sandman (and Sandy the Golden Boy) in Adventure; both strips predate Simon and Kirby's involvement, though the pre-S & K Manhunter was non-costumed and shared only a name with our more familiar Manhunter. After the initial S & K Manhunter strip in Adventure Comics # 73 introduced the character (secretly big game hunter Rick Nelson), the civilian name was changed to the pre-S & K Paul Kirk in all later appearances. Rick Nelson presumably abandoned crimefighting, and went to a garden party to reminisce with his old friends.

Manhunter appeared with Sandman and Sandy on the cover of Adventure Comics # 78. Maybe we shouldn't necessarily consider a comic book cover as an indication of canon, but once again the '80s All-Star Squadron definitively placed the Golden Age Manhunter on Earth-Two.

As for Manhunter's Earth-One bona fides, a brilliant 1970s Detective Comics backup strip by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson starred Manhunter, Paul Kirk, revived and enhanced but still the same guy who kicked ass back in the '40s. In his farewell in Detective Comics # 443, Manhunter teamed with the book's star character, the Earth-One Batman. A clone of Paul Kirk later appeared in The Secret Society Of Super-Villains.


Like Blackhawk, Plastic Man is a character that DC acquired from Quality Comics. Unlike Blackhawk, DC didn't get around to using Plas until 1966, and the Silver Age Plastic Man was eventually revealed to be the son of Eel O'Brien, the Golden Age Plastic Man. This Silver Age Son of Plas was never really mentioned outside of his book's ten-issue run. (This run was my introduction to Plastic Man, and I talk about that history here.)

The '60s Plastic Man pretty much lived in a pliable world of his own, though he did team with Batman in a 1968 issue of The Brave And The Bold (# 76). All of Plas' subsequent B & B guest spots used the Eel O'Brien original (or at least Bob Haney's interpretation of him).

Unlike Batwoman and the original Batgirl's appearances in The Brave And The Bold, we generally disregard (or at the very least regard with an asterisk) the continuity ramifications of whatever paces and paths Bob Haney and Murray Boltinoff ran for DC characters in B & B. These stories deliberately existed outside of continuity, indifferent to the larger DC Universe. Plastic Man's Brave And Bold c.v. does not establish Plas on Earth-One or Earth-Two, or anywhere other than the world of The Brave And The Bold. We call it Earth-B, for Boltinoff. B & B seeing you!

The only pre-Crisis evidence of Plastic Man on Earth-One is the same evidence we have for Blackhawk: Justice League Of America # 144. The Earth-Two Plastic Man is also proven the same way we prove the Earth-Two Blackhawk: a deceased Earth-X hero in JLA # 107, revealed to have originated on Earth-Two in All-Star Squadron.

(We should also mention Plastic Man's very first DC Comics appearance, albeit an appearance by proxy. In 1966's House Of Mystery # 160, Robby Reed used his Dial H For HERO device to turn into "Plastic Man--that famous crime-fighting hero of years ago!" Reed later appeared again in Plastic Man's Bronze Age series in the '70s. I don't know if Reed ever crossed over with any other Earth-One [or Earth-Two] heroes pre-Crisis.)


The Golden Age Robotman was Robert Crane, a scientist mortally wounded but saved by having his brain placed in a new mechanical body. The Silver Age Robotman was Cliff Steele, a race car driver mortally wounded but saved by having his brain placed in a new mechanical body (and then becoming a founding member of the Doom Patrol). In each case, super-powered hijinks ensued. Similar origins notwithstanding, the two Robotmen were most definitely not the same character. 

The Robert Crane Robotman survived as a back-up feature into the 1950s, and I recall reading the occasional Robotman reprint when I was a kid in the '60s and early '70s. Ol' Robotman kinda kept to himself in the '40s and '50s, so we only have (once again!) Justice League Of America # 144 to place him on Earth-One, and All-Star Squadron (again and again) to tie him to Earth-Two.

We still have five more heroes to address. We'll get to them in Part 3, along with three characters who moved from Earth-Two to Earth-One.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider a visit to CC's Tip Jar

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

If it's true that one book leads to another, my next book will be The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). Stay tuned. Your turn is coming.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, streaming at SPARK stream and on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. Recent shows are archived at Westcott Radio. You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Thursday, December 28, 2023

DC COMICS BEFORE THE CRISIS: Heroes Of Earth-One AND Earth-Two, Part 1 of 3

Let's talk about DC Comics' multiverse, as it existed in the Silver and Bronze Age. For those who came in late, we'll need to explain what we're talking about.

Throughout the 1960s and '70s into the early '80s, DC Comics continuity occupied a sprawling multiverse. Adventures contained within most of the ongoing superhero titles were said to take place on Earth-One, home of the mighty Justice League of America. At the same time, an alternate universe included Earth-Two, a world protected by the Justice Society of America. The Earth-Two heroes were (mostly) older, having begun their crusading in the '30s and '40s. 

The Earth-One/Earth-Two concept allowed DC to bring back discarded Golden Age characters whose names had been used to create brand-new heroes: The Flash, Green Lantern, the Atom, and Hawkman. Each of these Earth-One figures was a character distinct from his World War II-era predecessor; the Hawkmen shared a look and a civilian name (Carter Hall), but were otherwise different, and the others differed even more sharply from their earlier models.

(Why bother creating an alternate world for all these Golden Age heroes, rather than having them as legacy characters who'd retired before the new generation came along? Well! The very first appearance of the Silver Age Flash in 1956 established that new hero Barry Allen had been a big fan of original Flash Jay Garrick; as a kid, Allen loved reading the comic-book exploits of this [ahem] FICTIONAL superhero. Later, to revive Garrick and his Justice Society compatriots, writer Gardner Fox used the multiverse, with an explanation that comic books published on Earth-One chronicled actual events that took place on Earth-Two. Convoluted? I was able to understand and follow it while I was still in elementary school.)

Earth-One/Earth-Two crossovers became common occurrences, most notably in the annual summertime meetings of the Justice League and Justice Society. The scene ended in the mid '80s, wiped away by the continuity-cleanin' maxi-series Crisis On Infinite Earths. The multiverse has since been revived, but we're dealing today only with the multiverse as it existed before the Crisis.

Preamble completed! For those who came in late.

The Justice League, of course, included these new versions of the Flash and Green Lantern, and later added the new versions of the Atom and Hawkman. The JLA's charter membership also included J'onn J'onzz; the manhunter from Mars had no Earth-Two counterpart. 

The JLA's founding members also included Aquaman, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, with Green Arrow the first new member added after the team's debut. Unlike Flash, Lantern, Atom, and Hawkman, these five characters had remained in continuous publication since the Golden Age. There was no need (nor desire) to create Silver Age versions.

And, even though Batman and Superman had appeared with the JSA twice in the '40s (cameos in All-Star Comics # 7, full participation in All-Star Comics # 36), one suspects DC editorial wasn't really interested in establishing alternate-Earth incarnations of their two top heroes. No such qualms applied to Wonder Woman; the Earth-Two WW appeared in the JSA's first Silver Age revival in The Flash # 137. Neither Green Arrow nor Aquaman had ever been in the Justice Society--GA had been a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory (who never interacted with the JSA during the Golden Age), and Aquaman kept entirely to his own adventures--so neither of those uncaped crusaders required specific recognition of an Earth-Two twin at the time.

By the early '70s, all but Aquaman had their Earth-Two counterparts addressed in issues of Justice League Of America. Four years after her 1963 appearance in The Flash # 137, Wonder Woman took part in the 1967 JLA/JSA crossover; the '67 team-up also made references to the Earth-Two Batman (who is described as "in semi-retirement"), as the JSA inducted the now-adult Earth-Two Robin into full membership. (Prior to that, the first direct reference to an Earth-Two Batman was in 1966, in an imaginary story in Detective Comics # 347.) The Supermen of two Earths battled each other in the 1969 crossover, and the 1972 meeting revived the Seven Soldiers of Victory, including Earth-Two's Green Arrow.

(As far as I can recall, the existence of an Earth-Two Aquaman was never formally brought up in the '60s or '70s. The Golden Age Aquaman was finally acknowledged in All-Star Squadron in the '80s, just as Crisis On Infinite Earths rendered the point moot.)

Whew! That takes care of the JLA and JSA. Who's left?

We'll have a look at that in Part 2.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider a visit to CC's Tip Jar

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

If it's true that one book leads to another, my next book will be The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). Stay tuned. Your turn is coming.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, streaming at SPARK stream and on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. Recent shows are archived at Westcott Radio. You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO: 25 Years Ago Tonight


This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1 aired 25 years ago tonight, on December 27th, 1998. Today, Dana and I are joining forces in the studio to record TIRnRR # 1214, aka our 25th Anniversary Show.

We did our shows live until March of 2020. As the world closed, we began prerecording our weekly shows from separate locations. Tonight will be the first time since March 15th of 2020 that we've recorded a show together in real time.

The ol' CD case is locked and loaded. Hey-ho, let's go. You can hear the result on New Year's Eve. Let's see if this radio gimmick is like ridin' a bike.

This is rock 'n' roll radio. Stay tuned for more rock 'n' roll.

Photo by Brenda Nuremberg-Cafarelli

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, streaming at SPARK stream, and on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. Recent shows are archived at Westcott Radio

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

10 SONGS: Boxing Day Edition

10 Songs is a weekly list of ten songs that happen to be on my mind at the moment. The lists are usually dominated by songs played on the previous Sunday night's edition of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. The idea was inspired by Don Valentine of the essential blog I Don't Hear A Single.

This week's edition of 10 Songs draws exclusively from the playlist for This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1213: The 25th Annual THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Christmas Show. This show is available as a podcast.

THE GRIP WEEDS: Santa Make Me Good

For this 2023 holiday season, the jolly souls at the mighty Jem Records label have executed the mitzvah of reissuing the Grip Weeds' fabulous 2011 album Under The Influence Of Christmas. Tracks from this record have been frequent fixtures on our TIRnRR Christmas shows since the dawn of ever, dating back even before the original album's release. We're delighted to see it return to retail--where it belongs!--with the extra added jingle that three of its tracks have been remixed especially for this big 'n' bright world of Christmas Future.

One of those remixed tracks is "Santa Make Me Good," with guest lead vocals from none other than Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Kicks! CHRISTMAS kicks! Following our traditional welcoming song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by John and Yoko, the Ghost of Christmas Cool decreed this nice, naughty gem absolutely hadda open our program of The 25th Annual THIS IS ROCK 'N ' ROLL RADIO Christmas Show.  

JUSTINE'S BLACK THREADS: Angels We Have Heard On High

We lost some heroes in 2023, and we lost some friends. The late Justine Covault was both, and a TIRnRR Fave Rave as a performer with Justine and the Unclean and as a proud ambassador of the rockin' pop cause, particularly with her own label Red On Red Records. Justine will be missed for a very, very long time. 

Angels we have heard on high. We've heard some angels right here with us, as well.

THE GEMS: Love For Christmas

Such a pretty song, and it's far more obscure than it should be. The Gems were a girl group in the '60s, recording for Chess Records, and Discogs informs us that the Gems also served as backing vocal group for other Chess artists. I would be very open to buying a CD compilation of the Gems' work, especially if the rest of their material is even half as sublime as "Love For Christmas." 

This single was released in 1964, and its assorted assembled Gems presumably include one then-unknown Minnie Riperton, who was a member of the group. If Riperton is on this track, it's a lovely footnote to her career; if she ain't, this is still one fantastic record to love for Christmas.

MAPLE MARS: Christmastime In The City

Our only new holiday track this year, but it's a good one: a split digital single from the merry and bright Big Stir Records, featuring a new Maple Mars song called "Christmastime In The City" coupled with that group's Rick Hromadka covering the Carpenters' "Merry Christmas Darling." Let those silver bells clang 'n' call at will. It's Christmastime in the city.

THE MONKEES: House Of Broken Gingerbread

I like the Monkees' 2018 album Christmas Party, but I've never quite been able to fully embrace its charms. Weird but true: I resent the fact that the Monkees' final studio album was a Christmas record instead of, y'know, a real album. I love Christmas music when I'm in the mood for it, and I love the Monkees year-round. After the out-and-out triumph of the Monkees' 2016 album Good Times!, I would have very much preferred one more...yeah, one more real Monkees album.

I can't justify my apparent Grinchiness in this matter, but nor will I deny it. And what the hell, I was the Grinch in our 1968 third grade production of the play based on the Dr. Seuss book; maybe I've retained a bit of my role's curmudgeonly demeanor, even if my heart did grow three sizes that day.

On the annual TIRnRR Christmas shows, we usually--almost always--play "Riu Chiu," a 16th century Spanish classical folk song that the Monkees--Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork--performed a cappella on their TV show in 1967. I was working at a record store at the time of resurgent Monkeemania in 1986, and kids who'd seen reruns of the TV series on MTV came in looking for the Monkees' "Riu Chiu." Alas, it had never been released to retail.

An alternate version of "Riu Chiu" (without Davy Jones, with producer Chip Douglas) appeared in 1990 on the rarities/previously-unreleased CD collection Missing Links Volume Two. The original TV performance has since been released as well (on an expanded version of the Monkees' Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.), and it was also included on the Target-exclusive edition of Christmas Party.

This year, we gave "Riu Chiu" some well-deserved time off, and we went instead to the Christmas Party track "House Of Broken Gingerbread." Written by novelist Michael Chabon and the late, great Adam Schlesinger (who produced Good Times! and most of Christmas Party), the song is told from the POV of a child whose parents have divorced. It's not exactly a happy holiday song, but Micky's commanding vocal and winning way with a Fa-la-la-la-lalala-la nonetheless manage to make spirits bright.

I  wish the Monkees had made one more non-seasonal album after Good Times! That wish ended with the deaths of Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, and I am emphatically not interested in Micky adding new parts to unreleased recordings by Peter, Michael, and/or Davy. So Christmas Party must stand as the Monkees' final studio album.

And even a Grinch can concede its value.

IRENE PEÑA: Will You Turn Up (For Christmas)

What better way to set those visions of sugarplums dancin' in our heads than the sound of America's Sweetheart Irene Peña? NO better way! This bouncy number comes to us courtesy of the fab 'n' festive compilation Big Stir Singles: The Yuletide Wave, a star of wonder that also pointed this year's TIRnRR holiday spectacular toward tunes from the Brothers Steve, Dolph Chaney, Blake Jones and the Trike Shop, and Kimberly Rew and Lee Cave-Berry. Turn up for turnin' up! This ain't no silent night, people. Rest ye later, merry gentlekids. We got sweet treats to enjoy.

THE RAMONES: Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

The Greatest Record Ever Made!

THE IDEA: It's About That Time

It's about that time we gather 'round the Christmas tree
Staring at the packages
Wonder which one's for me
Outside the streets are painted white
Windows aglow with colored lights
On the TV It's A Wonderful Life

"It's About That Time" by the Idea (aka Phil Angotti and the Idea) is my all-time favorite Christmas track, my all-time favorite Christmas song. No qualifier applies. It's not just my favorite power pop Christmas song, or my favorite rock 'n' roll Christmas song, or my favorite pop Christmas song, or my favorite secular Christmas song; it's my FAVORITE Christmas song. It never fails to make me feel good. It puts me in the spirit whether I wanna be in the spirit or not. It is joy and delight in audio form. Play it. Sing along with it. It's about that time.


It is a built-in characteristic of our annual Christmas shows that we have way, way more holiday music we wanna play than we have airtime to play them. This year, tracks by Graham Parker (with Nona Hendryx), the Smithereens, Darlene Love, the Flirtations, the Decibels, and King Elvis I actually made the playlist prior to some necessary trimming, and a bunch of other almosts (including Dean Landew's "Holiday Bash," Rotary Connection's "Christmas Love," and Michael Mitsch's "Christmas Crystals") were on deck, waiting for a spot. A three-hour slot fills up quickly. 

Dana and I each had a preferred track for our final individual selection of the season. Mine was, of course, the Idea's "It's About That Time." Dana's was "2000 Miles" by the Pretenders. We played them back to back to end the show's main part, the giddy anticipation of "It's About That Time" transitioning into the longing ache of "2000 Miles." 

That's the mix of emotion this season offers us. There are things we want that we can't have, things well beyond the realm of material goods. If we're lucky, we're able to balance the lack of what we can't attain with something that we can.

I wrote this at Christmas three years ago. It may bear repeating:

Father Christmas sighed.

He was a saint, but he was in many ways still as human as any of us. It had been such a long, difficult year. He could feel the pain of so, so many, of the children and the grown-up children alike, all over this world of wonder. Pain. Fear. Despair. The chilling gray of uncertainty. He knew the magic of hope. He embraced the redemptive power of faith. And yet he understood that even the belief in something better might not be enough to cast sufficient light into the darkness.

He also knew that the magic--of hope, of faith, of belief, of light itself--was often the only resource one could summon. The magic could fuel courage, and be fueled by courage in turn. The magic could draw strength from love, and fortify love with strength. 

It wasn't about the toys. It was never really about the toys. It was always about striving to be better, kinder, to be good rather than evil, nice rather than naughty. He still believed. He would always believe. 

That ache in his shoulder, that heaviness in his chest--did he suffer those mundane ailments a century ago? Did he feel them last year? He couldn't remember, and he decided it didn't matter anyway. He had a job to do. 

Father Christmas rose from his chair. He wiped away the stray tear that stung his eye, and he hoisted his sack over his back. The damned thing got heavier every year. But he stood, determined and resolute. He was a symbol; he knew his importance and he knew his limitations. He didn't have Playstations, nor playthings of any kind. No His and Hers sports cars, no Beatles records, not even a fruitcake. The material gifts would be given and received outside of his provenance. His sack was filled with the magic itself: the wishes, the dreams, the prayers for brighter days, and the will to make days brighter to the best of our mortal ability.

As he boarded his sleigh, Father Christmas thought back once again to the words of Robert Frost, the words he recalled every year as he began his miracle trek around the globe: 

"I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."

He would not fail. His belief would see him through. 

And us? Music will help see us through. On Dasher, on Dancer. Especially Dancer. 2000 miles. Better pull up a playlist and hit the road.

GEORGE HARRISON: Ding Dong, Ding Dong

A new year awaits. Tomorrow, December 27th, is This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio's 25th anniversary, and Dana and I will be recording a celebratory show to air on New Year's Eve. In the mean time, we ring out the old and ring out the new with George Harrison

Once again: Happy Holidays from Dana and Carl.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider a visit to CC's Tip Jar

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

If it's true that one book leads to another, my next book will be The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). Stay tuned. Your turn is coming.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, streaming at SPARK stream and on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. Recent shows are archived at Westcott Radio. You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl