Friday, October 10, 2014

Father Knows Nothing

I have a favor to ask of readers of my old "Father Knows Nothing" column. I'd like to feature a few "reader comments" on the website we're creating for the "Father Knows Nothing" book, which comes out at the end of November. You've sent me some wonderful notes over these last ten years, but I don't want to use anything you haven't given me permission to use. favor is this: Would you mind sending me a comment or blurb with your opinion of "Father Knows Nothing" to my e-mail ( I'll use as many as I can. I really appreciate your help and your support over the years. I'm very proud of how the book turned out--I think it's the best thing I've ever written. Thanks in advance for your help!

Q & A with Steve Dahl

The Tribune talked to Steve about his upcoming gig.

My next Illinois Entertainer article will be about Bruce Wolf...his former on-air partner and new WLS colleague. It comes out on November 1st; a few days before Steve's first show.

Lawsuits of the Rich and Famous

Incredibly effective smackdown of someone entirely deserving of it...

Katy Perry To Perform at Super Bowl

What is the one demo that strictly doesn't care about the Super Bowl? Girls under 12.

Katy Perry can deliver that audience.

Now literally everyone who can see will be watching.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

The 2015 nominees are (in alphabetical order): The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Green Day, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, N.W.A., Nine Inch Nails, Lou Reed, The Smiths, The Spinners, Sting, Stevie Ray Vaughan, War and Bill Withers. Please note that Sting and Lou Reed are already enshrined in the Rock Hall as members of a group -- Sting with The Police and Reed for his work with the Velvet Underground. Others, like Chic, Butterfield and N.W.A. have been nominated multiple times in the past without yet gaining entrance.

The Foundation's nominating committee selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year. Starting in 2012, the Rock Hall opened up Nominee voting to fans around the world. The Top Five Nominees, as voted by the fans count for one ballot entry, which is weighted the same as individual ballot entries submitted by members of the international voting body. Fan voting is open until December 9. The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland's Public Hall on April 18, 2015.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

John Lennon

Happy 74th birthday, John.

This is my favorite solo John Lennon song...

Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this little gem from 45 years ago today...

October 9, 1969…The BBC's "Top of the Pops" program refused to play the UK's #1 hit for the first time. The song, Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus," was considered to be one of the first "orgasm records," one of the first to feature heavy female breathing and moaning.

If you haven't heard the song, it's below. Unlike most of the "banned" records of it's day, this one actually lives up to what it's accused of being. You really don't need to understand French to understand what's going on in this record.

As the Rupert Turns

Michael Wolff seems to be an unpleasant sort of guy. I've watched him being interviewed many times, and he really comes off as unlikeable. However, he is also the ultimate authority on Rupert Murdoch (who is even more unlikeable). Whenever he writes about Rupert (and he's written a great book and many excellent articles), I read it. He knows the subject matter better than any other writer on the planet. He knows them all personally--and has spent quite a bit of time with them. Today he has a great piece in the Hollywood Reporter about Rupert's family drama (succession plans). It's a must-read for my fellow Rupert-ologists. (Photo: Rupert Murdoch)

Rupert bought (his daughter) Elisabeth's company, Shine Group, for $673 million in a 2011 sweetheart deal to lure her back into the fold; after she offered more grief than fealty, he later decided to spin it off. Equally brutal, there is nothing but satisfaction for Murdoch in his daughter's decision, revealed via British media Oct. 4, to divorce Matthew Freud — great-grandson of Sigmund — the most famous PR man, fixer and influence peddler in Britain, a man whose ambition and drive seem uniquely compatible with Rupert's. Perhaps that is the reason Freud, 50, might be the person Murdoch, 83, dislikes most on Earth. (A flush and pulsing at the temples take over Murdoch's face when he talks about Freud.) As happens so often for Murdoch, family matters intersect with business interests, and as happens equally often for his children, the way they choose to live their lives invariably becomes part of his company's internal drama.

Media CEO Pay Chart

When you read about these guys cutting jobs at their various outlets (#8 on the list just cut 300 jobs at CNN, for instance), consider how many people could be employed by cutting their obscene salaries even a little bit. This chart comes from Variety. The numbers are in millions...per year.

Jay Leno is Coming Back

From the Hollywood Reporter...

Jay Leno is lining up his first regular television hosting gig since leaving The Tonight Show in February, and he's staying in the NBCUniversal family. Leno is close to a deal to host a new show for cable network CNBC, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The show will focus on Leno's longtime love of cars and will air in primetime, not late night.

NBC Wanted to Hire Jon Stewart to Host Meet the Press

Conservative heads would have exploded. From New York magazine...

Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks. One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually “anything" to bring him over. "They were ready to back the Brink's truck up," the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart's agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

That's some out-of-the-box thinking there. I personally think he would have done a great job, but he made the right call. That Washington cesspool would have sucked the life out of him.

Documentary Viewer Can’t Wait To Find Out Which 4 Lads From Liverpool Changed Music Forever

Thanks to SG for sending this to me, from the Onion. Pretty clever...

Yearning with breathless anticipation to learn more about the hugely influential band, documentary viewer Jeremy Rosen told reporters Wednesday that he could not wait to find out which four lads from Liverpool had changed the face of music forever. “Wow, apparently all of these guys rose from humble beginnings in England to take the sixties by storm,” said Rosen, as black-and-white photographs of the Liverpool Cavern Club and Mathew Street appeared on the screen while the documentary’s narrator revealed that few would suspect a quartet of English schoolboys with Rickenbackers would come to define an era. “Even though they started out as just some teenagers with mop tops, it sounds like they actually went on to reach dizzying heights of fame and commercial success. Man, I wish they’d just hurry up and tell me their names.” At press time, an intrigued Rosen reportedly leaned in closer to his television as Ed Sullivan prepared to introduce the unknown foursome.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

God Only Knows

This is fantastic. I've always loved the song, but the cast of stars involved in this is amazing.

Lunar Eclipse

A very dark and not so great shot of the lunar eclipse, taken with my iPhone. My son woke me up around 5:45 to see it.

Comcast Calls Customer's Employer And Gets Him Fired

I've heard lots of stories about Comcast and how evil they can be (which is why we dropped them years ago and will never return). You may remember the story a few months ago of the poor sap who was simply trying to cancel, and was badgered by the customer service rep. At the time, Comcast said it was a rogue employee.

This story is worse by a million times.

If it's true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, Comcast was embroiled in another dispute with a customer (which sounds completely consistent with the kinds of stories I've heard about what it's like to deal with them when there is a billing problem). Instead of fixing it, they made it worse. Then, when the customer (an accountant) presented them with a spreadsheet of why they were overbilling him and charging him for things he can't use, doesn't use, or doesn't want, they called his employer (an accounting firm they also did business with) and had him fired.

You have to read the entire thing at the link above. If corporations are people too, this one is really has all of their eggs in the "there is no afterlife" basket.

Steve Dahl Back on WLS?

This is truly shocking news. Steve has been telling everyone that he had no intention of ever returning to terrestrial radio, but last night Robert Feder dropped this bombshell...

Six years after he signed off from over-the-air radio, Chicago broadcast legend Steve Dahl is about to make a comeback on WLS AM 890, sources said. An announcement could come this week that Dahl, 59, will join the Cumulus Media news/talk station as afternoon personality, replacing Roe Conn and Richard Roeper from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday though Friday. If all goes as planned, Dahl would start in early November.

Will he do political talk on WLS? If he starts in early November, I suppose, that could mean after the election--so maybe the WLS listeners won't mind if he's not political all the time.

LATE UPDATE: Steve confirms the news to Robert Feder. He will air between Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. Roe and Roeper are definitely goners. They've already been removed from the station website.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Stopmotion Sideways Running

Visually interesting at the very least...

Twin Peaks to Return

I absolutely loved Twin Peaks when it first came out. I remember going over to Bob Stroud's condo to watch the series finale. Half the staff of the Loop was there, and we were all enthralled.

Twenty five years later, I can't remember the name of a single character (except the log lady). I do, however, remember why I loved it.

It was profoundly weird. And creepy.

Welcome back Twin Peaks.

Clooney Drones

How common has the use of drones become?

In Touch magazine used them to spy on George Clooney's wedding.

If you think that Iran getting drone technology is a scary proposition...just wait until TMZ scores a few. It's all over, Bieber.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The E is for Ebooks


Pretty funny SNL digital short...

Civil Forfeiture

The John Oliver show on HBO has very quietly become one of the best shows on televsion. Every episode they feature one big story and do 10-15 minutes on one topic. This week it's about Civil Forfeiture, something I didn't even know about. It's the sort of in-depth analysis you simply don't see anywhere on television...and it's done with a great sense of humor. I'm impressed.

RIP Paul Revere

One of the most underrated bands in the 1960s. In his book, John Landecker called them (their early stuff) his all-time favorites behind the Rolling Stones. From today's RAMP newsletter...

Paul Revere, the namesake and leader of 1960s' band Paul Revere & The Raiders, died Saturday, Oct. 4 at his home in Garden Valley, ID after a battle with cancer. He was 76. Revere, who was born Paul Revere Dick, fashioned the look of the band from his "Paul Revere" persona, sporting what became their trademark flamboyant colonial wardrobe and matching tri-corner hats. The group took off in 1963 with a cover of "Louie, Louie" before releasing their own hits like "Kicks," "Hungry," "Good Thing," and their biggest hit, 1971's "Indian Reservation." Paul Revere and the Raiders went on to spend 1966-67 as the house band for the Dick Clark-created variety show Where The Action Is, and even appeared as themselves in the awesomely campy 1960's Batman TV series.

Here's that Batman appearance. They were the house band for Penguin's campaign for Mayor...

This one is my favorite Paul Revere song. By the way, Paul's the one on the keyboards. The lead singer is Mark Lindsay.

RIP Kevin Metheny

I wasn't a big fan of his radio moves, especially when he was working at WGN, but it's always sad when someone dies this young. Kevin Metheny was only 60 years old.

Unfortunately for him, he will always be remembered as "Pig Virus" from his days as Howard Stern's boss.

Warming Up the Publicity Machine

We're getting to the final stages. The book comes out in seven weeks...