Flashback: “Right Back Where We Started From” by Maxine Nightingale

In recognition of the passing of Art Bell (who used this song as bumper music a lot), here’s Maxine’s biggest hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts in 1975.

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Lost Art

artbell

Art Bell died on Friday the 13th. In a way, fitting.

As one person put it on Twitter, of course, Art Bell would pass away on Friday the 13th. But it did happen, with a mournful George Noory breaking the news on Coast to Coast AM late on Friday evening on the very show Mr. Bell used to host.

I’ve never met or spoken to Art, but his impact on radio in the era I worked in the business was profound. I’m pretty sure that Art was briefly on North America One, a satellite sister entity of the Sun Radio Network, in either the late summer or early fall of 1991 – though my recollection of that is a bit fuzzy here in 2018.  When I worked for Valentine Communications producing Radio Free America in 1995 out of WBDN in the Feather Sound area of Clearwater, Art’s show was on the station, airing at 1:00 in the morning through to 6:00. I’d often run errands when my radio shift ended at midnight, and I’d catch the starts of Art’s shows driving around in my car.

WFLA, the big talk station in the Tampa Bay area, eventually picked his shows up locally. I heard him again in 1996 on a Greyhound bus heading out to stay in Las Vegas for a few weeks, then got hooked hearing him out in Sin City listening to his shows on 720 KDWN. I’m living in Florida again in 1998, driving up with my mother to North Carolina one overnight with Mom getting spooked out listening to the “Sounds Of Hell” recording Art frequently played in that era. Memo to future self: don’t scare your mother when you’re driving a car.

In the last two decades or so, he was on and off the air numerous times. He’d sign a new deal with someone, then find the deal wasn’t up to snuff and leave just as quickly as he returned. As many of us in the profession, my guess was he wasn’t too fond of the consolidation the radio business has gone through since the FCC laws changed in 1996, trying satellite radio, then online radio with what became his last sortie in the business.

My sincerest condolences to Art’s family on their loss this past day.

 

 

Hawking

Hawking

The world lost one of its most brilliant minds with the passing of physicist Stephen Hawking.

One of the things he warned us about in his waning time on Earth was his fear that the planet was heading for changes that would end humanity’s time on it within the next 200 years. If so, that’ll happen long after my trip into existence comes to an end – unless they find a way to extend everyone’s lives significantly by the time I check out.

Is there such a thing as global warming, or is it some sort of scam? I’ve always been of the belief that in life when there are two outcomes that aren’t conclusively true – the answer is somewhere in the middle. How much or how little the answer is in that “middle” is open to interpretation. I guess I’m saying global warming may exist but could be exaggerated for political purposes.

My introduction to Hawking came probably the same way many of you were introduced to him: watching him play a holographic image of himself in a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. He was one of those people who refused to let his physical limitations be the limit of what he can do, and that’s something I think we can all learn from as we face the obstacles of our lives.

Flashback: “Dreams” by The Cranberries

A wave of sadness hit me on early Monday afternoon when I learned about the passing of Dolores O’Riordan in London. I can’t say it was because I was the biggest Cranberries fan, but because I learned in the past few years that Dolores was born the same exact day I was: September 6, 1971. She was what I call my celebrity birth date doppelganger.

If you don’t think you’ve heard this song before, you probably have. I remember hearing it on commercials promoting travels to Ireland in the mid-1990’s, and the song has made appearances in scores of TV shows and movies since. This particular song peaked just south of the top 40 in 1994, while “Linger” was their biggest hit in the US earlier in the year.

Ireland has lost one of its signature musical voices, but the recordings will endure for a much longer time. Godspeed, Dolores.

Sutherland Springs

It happened again. This time it was a church east of San Antonio. Once again, it was some demented coward taking out as many people as he could find. Once again, the toll of death was alarmingly high.

I guess you can tell I’m getting tired of all of this. But how do you stop someone highly motivated to kill from doing so if the killer is smart about his or her plans?

The left will say it’s the guns, the right will say the opposite. Neither side will compromise, so the stalemate will go on. Then someone else will die needlessly, and the cycle repeats itself, as it now has dozens and dozens of times.

This is our world. This is our time. This is what happens, I guess. All I know is that this isn’t right.

Manhattan, And Some Deeper Thinking

We began October of 2017 with a vile attack on concertgoers in Las Vegas. Yesterday, we ended the month with the first terrorist attack using a vehicle as a weapon in the United States. As of this morning (11/1/2017), eight people were killed, several more were injured after the attack on the Lower East Side of Manhattan by a jihadist who rented a Home Depot truck went onto a bike path and started ramming that truck into as many people as this one person could find.

Can I clarify that tweet I made this morning a little bit?

My belief in God is both logical and empirical. Someone or some being had to create our species who was brilliant enough to allow us these ways to communicate with each other, so it makes sense that this person is a God by definition.  I see no evidence that contradicts the concept that if you lived a good life, you go to a good place. Likewise, if you harm people, you don’t go to such a good place. I won’t know of the existence of what we call Heaven and Hell until I die, so the belief that exists is good enough for me until there’s some serious proof to the contrary.

That being said, I don’t know what the fascination is with killing people in the misguided belief that a higher being wants those who don’t believe in a certain God to die or otherwise harmed. It is also nonsensical to me that such a killer would be rewarded with a certain double-digit number of virgins in the hereafter upon commuting such a deed. Why would someone want to procreate in Heaven or Hell when your creation, or your “circle of life” to use a more recent euphemism, has already been completed? It just doesn’t make sense to my logic.

We shouldn’t be harming each other like this. I just wish it’d stop. A wall won’t bring this to an end. A better understanding of each other might.