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COMEDY SHOWS

2fpgI'm doing a big comedy show at PARX with Joe Conklin as the Master of Ceremonies on Wed. March 4th... Then...

I'm at the Kennett Flash on Sat. April 18th in Kennett Square. PA.  Go to http://kennettflash.org  to make your reservations.

TWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS

Starring Joe Conklin & Big Daddy Graham, plus Spins Nitely at Phoenixville's Colonial Theatre on March 28th. Click here for tix...

 

BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

throwdown thursIf you are a music lover and you haven't been listening to BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely, then check it out!

Every THURSDAY at 8 PM. Watch and listen live at http://wildfireradio.com/big-daddy-graham. By the way, all you have to do is click on that wildfire blue line and the most current show will AUTOMATICALLY begin to play,  Just give it a moment

This week on BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN? TEN BEST DYLAN SONGS with special guest Dave Rogers!

Check out last weeks THE TEN BEST SONGS FROM SEATTLE. BTW, you'll be able to call in to the podcast when you watch or listen live and I encourage you to do so. Don't miss!


avagrahamhoursm

 

Check out Ava's podcast THE AVA GRAHAM HOUR on Wildfire Radio live every Thursday at 530 PM.  It's really funny and of course being a podcast you can listen to it anytime you want.  Just click here to check it out

 

 

 

Check out Spin Nitely's incredible version of "Creep."

Click here to hear Spins singing "She's Getting Stoned Again.”

And now here’s Spins & Big Daddy singing Lowell George's "Willin'."

Click here to hear Joe Conklin completely nailing Elvis Costello's "Allison" with Spins Nitely on guitar
and some harmony help from the boys of Wildfireradio.

Check out the hilarious Sudsy (as B52 Fred Schneider) take on the Stones "Happy" with Spins on guitar.


Click here to hear Wednesday night's Snack of the Night Segment that everyone is talking about...

TRIVIA AND QUIZZO...

tunes logoWEDNESDAY ~ Champps in KOP from 6 PM to 8:30.

AVA QUIZZO

My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite every every Monday at 7:30pm at ROCCO'S in Wilmington!   And now at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly! That's a busy schedule!

 


THE TWENTY GREATEST MUSIC CONCERTS I'VE EVER SEEN

OMG, I have seen so many concerts.  Here's what I'm doing.  I go through my IPod in iPod alphabetical order.  When I see a recording artist that I've seen live, I will post that artist.  Remember, this is just the nomination process.  If you see "****" in front of the concert, then that is one I am nominating.  When I can,  I will post the year and venue that I saw that show.  But don't write me and say "BDG, the Knuckleheads NEVER played the Spectrum" or anything like that because I'll admit my memory isn't always sharp..  There will be artists that I have seen in concert MANY times, but if they are getting nominated, I will pick just ONE show.  Here's what we have so far...
If anyone has a ticket stub to any of the concerts that have been listed so far, scan them and email them to me, and I'll post them...

AC/DC...

Seen them many times, most notable at the Specrum around '90 where I got backstage but never got to meet them.

AL GREEN...

Valley Forge Music Fair.  Never saw women go so mad.

AL STEWART...

Main Point. Year of the Cat tour.

ALAN PRICE...

Bijou Cafe. Touring behind "Between Today and Yesterday" with a band so large they had to sit offstage.

**** ALICE COOPER...

Spectrum.  The "Killer" tour.  Would pay major bucks to relive that one.

ARETHA FRANKLIN...

Greatest female soul singer ever and I've seen her many times. Usually fantastic, but the last time I saw her she was just awful.

ARGENT...

Saw them open up for somebody at the Spectrum.

ARTHUR BROWN...

Actually opened for him at the Trump Plaza on one of those live Morning Zoo shows (where he was backed by the Flaming Caucasions) and he was completely out of his mind.

THE ASSOCIATION...

VFMF. I have no idea who was in the band, except I know that Terry Kirkman wasn't.  Terry wrote "Cherish" and I got to hang with him for an entire day in LA.

AVERAGE WHITE BAND...

Spectrum. I believe opening for the Beach Boys.

B52'S...

Club Artemis. With about 20 people.

BAD COMPANY...

Spectrum around '76.   Paul Rodgers...  What an underrated singer.

**** THE BAND...

Academy of Music '69.  They were touring in support of their second album entitled "The Band" (one of my favorite albums of all time) and just being in there was so damn exciting.

BARB JUNGR...

Metropolitan Room in NYC... One woman Dylan show~excellent!

BARBRA STRIESAND...

Wells Fargo Center: 2009? Was still in amazing voice...

BEACH BOYS...

Wildwood Beach '91... So cool to see them in the sand!

BEASTIE BOYS...

Spectrum... '95?  First rap show ever.  In the round.  A lot of fun.

BEN FOLDS FIVE...

TLA... Somewhere around '97.  Played two grand piano's at once.  Great live act.

BETTE MIDLER...

Bijou...  '72?  Barry Manilow (not that I give a shit) was her piano player and Melissa Manchester was one of her backup singers.  I saw her many times with my Mother who loved her.  Because she's so schticky she goes underrated as a singer.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY...

Miami.  Super Bowl 33.  Elway's last game and through Craig Shoemaker I got invited to a party at the SCARFACE house!  Yes, the house with the elevator that Michelle Pfeiffer comes down. They had a big tent set up outside and Voodoo Daddy was the band.  There were amazing women and I stood in line to get some ice cream behind Sammy Sosa.  Here's where the story gets really nuts.  I was there with Mike Goldberg, a friend of Craig's,  who wrote COOL RUNNINGS who is also from Philly.  I see Pete Ciarrocchi from Chickie & Pete's and I introduce him to Mike and the two of them look at each other aghast because they were childhood buddies who hadn't seen each other in years.  It was a terrific reunion for them both.  Now the story gets totally weird.  I am writing this on October 7th and I went to IMDB to make sure that Mike hasn't written something even cooler than RUNNINGS and it turns out Mike Goldberg passed away 5 days ago on the 2nd from cancer.  So sad.  A very nice guy he was.  R.I. P.

BILLY JOEL...

Wells Fargo (or whatever they were calling it then.)... 2000?  He was with Elton John.  I have never been a big Joel fan, but they were free tickets,  and I really enjoyed the show.

BILLY PAUL...

VFMF. '80? Opening for Gladys Knight & the Pips.  My Mother loved Knight and we saw her a couple times together.  Paul had two backup singers who's hair got stuck together!

BLACK CROWES...

At an outdoor stage outside Super Bowl XXXIII.  I was right up front and right before Jerry Glanville introduced them, he turned to the band and said "What's your name again?" and the Crowes drummer muttered "fucking asshole."  What a great American band.

BLACK SABBATH...

July 9th, 1972... Wildwood Convention Hall... with Black Oak Arkansas supporting. The second loudest show I was ever at. WCH was a terrific venue.

BLONDIE...

Walnut Street Theatre. November 78...  I saw Blondie many times.  Most of the time by accident.  (With Squeeze, Rockpile)  They were not a great live band, but I didn't know that yet when I saw them this night.  Harry was so sexy and PARALLEL LINES had just been released, so there was a real buzz in the air.  This was the only show I ever saw at this classic venue and as far as I know thee has never been another show there.  Guess who opened?  BABY GRAND, with Eric & Robby who ended up becoming the Hooters.

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS...

VFMF... Sometime in the late 70's.  There weren't many original members, but Clayton-Thomas was singing.

BLUE OYSTER CULT...

Spectrum around 78.  Nothing memorable.

BLUES BROTHERS...

bluesbros 4-2-2011Mann Music Center,  Summer of '80.  My seats were horrible, but the great Steve Cropper was leading that awesome band and Belushi was doing his cartwheel thing and it's cool to say I saw them!  Pretty sure this was the only time they ever came to Philly.

**** BOB DYLAN...

1974...  Spectrum with the original BAND lineup.  An afternoon show.  They used to have those.  My older brother raised me on Dylan from the time I was 9 years old.  He was (and is) one of my true musical heroes and I will never forget that concert.  I was also a huge fan of THE BAND,  so seeing both was ridiculous.  However, I was so swept up in the emotion of it all that I didn't notice that Dylan is an awful live act who doesn't give a flying fuck if you are even out there or not.  It took me about 3 more times to understand this and I eventually stopped seeing him after a show at the Tower with G.E. Smith a million years ago.

**** BOB MARLEY...

Tower April 23rd, 1976... Wow!  It was my first ever reggae show and I was just blown away.  So exciting!

BOBBY RYDELL...

I think it was Resorts.   About 5 years ago  I opened up for him.  Nice guy and was still in terrific voice.

BOBBY SHERMAN...

Philadelphia Convention Hall    I was about 14, 15 and I would sell popcorn in the stands and I did so for Sherman.  I remember he divided all the teenage girls into sections to see who could scream louder and even at that age I thought that was hokey.  Then years later I saw Green Day do the same thing.

BONNIE RAITT...

Main Point... Dec. 11th, 1973... Saw her a couple more times, but seeing her that night when she was so young and at the beginning of her career is a great memory.

BOOKER T & THE MGs...

Resorts... Somewhere in the late 80's early 90's... The one time I saw them was so strange.  It was a Tuesday show at 5 PM.  Huh?  The room was half empty and the people who were there didn't give a shit about them.  Backstage I got to talk to the legendary Steve Cropper for about a half hour.  When I asked him who he loved backing up there most (and Steve has backed up everybody) he replied without hesitation, John Belushi.

BOZ SCAGGS...

Tower Theatre... Late '76...  He was touring behind the just released SILK DEGREES.  Awesome show!

BRENDA LEE...

Bloomsburg State Fair... '81? The state fair was in my sister's backyard and I went with her and to see that big voice come out of that tiny woman was cool.

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA...

EFC... Late '98 or early '99... Larry Magid, who saw my wife and I in the back of the room, escorted us into the sound booth which hung over the stage and that was a really cool vantage point to watch this exciting show with the Orchestra.

**** BRIAN WILSON...

Tower Theatre... '89? '90?  I have been a Beach Boy fan as long as I have been alive.  The first 45 I ever bought with my own money was "I Get Around."  But as often as I had seen the Boys, this was the first time I was getting a chance to see Brian.  With all his illnesses, I was expected the worse and the show was magnificent.  Just to be in the same room was enough for me.

**** BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN...

Spectrum... September 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 & 18, 1984... All 6 shows.  Factoring in longevity, the two greatest front men in the history of rock are Jagger and Bruce. I have seen him in too many different venues to list starting with the Main Point in April 4th, 1973 and ending with the Mohecan Sun in Connecticut on May 17th, 2014. The "Born In The USA" shows of '84 were the pinnacle for me. Not that he wasn't awesome all the way up to that last date at the Mohican Sun. Or I wouldn't keep going again and again and again.

THE BUCKINGHAMS...

Scottish Rite Auditorium...  2008?   Collingswood NJ. If you ever get a chance to go to this amazing venue, go for it.

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO...

Revival (at least that's what I think it was called then)1990? It's now National Mechanics on 3rd St. Great show.

BUDDY MILES...

Spectrum... 1972.  Not sure if I had seen lead singing drummer before.

CANNED HEAT...

Electric Factory... March 1969. Awesome band live.

****CAPTAIN BEEFHART...

Bijou Cafe... Nov. 22 1978. Actually he was there two nights and I went to both.  The last time he was truly great.  He was touring behind "Shiny Beast" and his band was amazing, trombone player and all.  He also did all the right selections from "Clear Spot" one of my favorite albums of all-time.  Wish I was walking into that basement club right now to experience it all again. 

CARELNE CARTER...

Bijou... '79?  The daughter of June Carter and her first husband (not Johnny Cash), Carlene was hot at the time due to her marriage to Nick Lowe.  As a matter of fact, her backing band that night was Graham Parker's band, The Rumour.

CARLY SIMON...

Borgata Event Center... Nov. 25th, 2005    Carly has spent most her life not touring because of stage fright, but you would not have known it that night.  At 60, she looked sexy as hell and was in terrific voice.  Good show.

CAROLE KING & CAT STEVENS...

Academy Of Music... '72?   How weird is it that Cat follows Carole in iPod alphabetical order and that I saw them both together that night?

**** CHAMBERS BROTHERS...

Spectrum... Dec. 5th 1970. One of the great live acts ever.  I saw them countless times at many different venues, but how do you top this show when they shared the bill with the Kinks and Spirit?

CHARLIE GRACIE...

Moore's Inlet... Counts Paul McCartney and Van Morrison as a few of his biggest fans and I  saw many, many sets at this classic long gone North Wildwood club.

CHEAP TRICK...

Current EFC... 2000?     What a great American band.

**** CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY...

Electric Factory... February 7, 1969. That's what they were called then and what I wouldn't pay to be walking through those doors right now. They were electric and so innovative. I saw them many, many times while Terry Kath was still alive.

CHIEFTAINS...

Valley Forge Music Fair... 90?   So much fun and not one electric instrument.

CHRISTINA  AGUILERA... 

Wachovia... April 3rd 2007. This chick's voice is the real deal.  Great show with a half empty house.

CHUBBY CHECKER...

Cooper River, Camden... '93? I was the opening act. Outdoor show. Beautiful night. Never talked to Chubby, but I knew his bassist and sax player.

CHUCK BERRY...

VFMF... 3/21/75. Awful show with a pickup band that he probably never met till he walked out on stage.   No one knew how to end the show.

****THE CLASH...

Penn Ice Skating Rink... Sept. 25th 1982. Yeah, you're reading this right.  An ice skating rink!  Penn used to have shows there.  This was the Clash in all their glory.  So freakin' loud your ears bled.  An amazing energy life force.  Will never forget it.

THE COASTERS...

Kutztown University  '89?  Opened up for them at a big musical festival with a lot of other oldies acts.  Carl Gardner was the only original member in the band at the time.

COLDPLAY...

April 2008... Wachovia Center... Terrific show.

COMMANDER CODY & THE LOST PLANET AIRMEN...

January 15th, 1972... Spectrum... On the same bill with the Alice Cooper and the Chambers Brothers.  What an eclectic bill!

THE COMMITTMENTS...

March 2005?    Keswick Theatre... I opened up for them.  The only original cast member from my favorite movie EVER about music was their bass player.  A little disappointing.

COUNT BASIE...

Resorts, AC... August 1979... Opened up for Tony Bennett and then stayed out there to back Tony up. I was just getting into this bag.  Wish I had this one back so I could appreciate it more.

CROSBY STILLS NASH & YOUNG...

Spectrum... June 19th 1970... Never a big fan of CS&N.  Only went for Neil and he did not disappoint.

THE CURE...

Spectrum... July 10, 1996... Very stiff.  Disappointing live.

****DAN HICKS & HIS HOT LICKS...

Irvine Auditorium... 1971? What a great venue!  Do they still have concerts there?  Great show with  Martin Mull opening.  Loved both acts and still play their music.

****DARLENE LOVE...

Joe's Pub, NY... 2005? I've seen her many times, but this was the first and Joe's Pub is such a fantastic small venue that seats about 250.  She was doing a Christmas show but she mixed in great tunes like "River Deep Mountain High with an dynamite band."

DAVE MASON...

Tower... June 14, 1972... I was only a mild Dave Mason fan but the excitement was in the air over this cool new venue.

****DAVID BOWIE...

Spectrum... July 18, 19 & 21, 1983... The serious Moonlight tour.  It opened up on Monday and that was the show I had tickets for.  The show so blew me away that I managed to go to two more shows even though I have no idea how I could have come up with the scratch.   I only didn't go on Wednesday because my comedy career had begun and I was booked that night.  That's how huge he was.  Four straight Spectrum nights.

DAVID BROMBERG...

Main Point... May 19th 1973... Eclectic artist and brilliant guitar player,  Lives in Wilmington DE now making violins.

DAVID JOHANSEN...

Paradise... Boston... Fall 1978... I can't tell you how great this show was.  I thought he was on his way towards rock stardom then the weird, sometimes cool, career he ended up having.

DAVID SANBORN...

Keswick Theatre... 2005? One of the great sax players alive (Check out Bowie's "Somebody Up There Likes Me").  I was his opening act and I really wanted to meet him, but he was nowhere to be found. Turned out he was 10 feet away from me asleep on a couch and was awoken just two minutes before he had to go on stage. Got to hang with him a bit after his set.

DEAD BOYS...

Grendel's Lair... Late 70's?  Who knows? It was the single loudest show I HAVE EVER SEEN and my brain has still not recovered.

DEAN MARTIN...

MGM Grand, Las Vegas... August 26th, 1980... Funniest thing ever. He comes out, pretty much goofs off for 30 minutes, sings an abbreviated half-assed version of "Everybody Loves Somebody" and says good night.  The audience just kind of looked at each other figuring he was kidding and no one moves.  Meanwhile, Martin doesn't leave the stage but goes to the rear and sits down with his piano player on his bench and silently talks to him.  After about 30 seconds of this, he turns, see's the crowd still sitting there and walks back up to his mic and goes "What are all you doing sitting there?  I said the show's over.  Go.  Go gamble or whatever you do."  And slowly everyone began to leave.  Many high-roller types had barely had even been seated to begin with.  Outside the showroom people were asking for their money back.  It was a riot.  But you know what?  I am such a huge fan that if I wasn't going to see a great show, it was cool I was there for this bizarre moment because it gives me a cooler story to tell.

THE DELLS...

Robin Hood Dell... Summer of 69? They were part of an oldies review.  A bunch of us were shooting hoops when a basketball coach showed up at Finnegan Playground and said "anyone wanna go to a show?"  We figured "what the hell" and jumped in his car.  Cool venue,  I was a big fan of the Dells.  Still am.

****DEVO...

Tower... Dec. 30 1978... I was a huge fan and it was a terrific, creative, wild show in front of a crazed sold out crowd.  I would love to see this one again.

DIXIE CHICKS...

Spectrum... Oct. 14th 2000... No one paid any attention to opener Willie Nelson which was rude, but Natalie Maines has an amazing voice.  Only went because of my daughters and was impressed.

DONNA SUMMER...

Shubert Theatre (Now the Merriam)... Feb. 1977...   My Mother was a huge fan.  I am also.  Not exactly of the "disco" genre, but she had a killer voice.  Don't ask me how, but somehow I  got front row seats and Summer actually made conversation with my Mom from onstage. Too cool.

****THE DOORS...

The Arena... Sept. 19th, 1969... The now gone Arena was at 45th & Market and held about 6000.  There were two shows and I went to them both.  Morrison was a lunatic for one show and for the other never budged an inch.  The shadow of Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo added to the exciting tension that was in the house.

DR JOHN...

Grendel's Lair... April 1986... All by himself on the piano. 

DRIFTERS...

Kutztown University...  '89?  Same show as the Coasters.  I don't think they had an original member, but those songs sure are great.

DROPKICK MURPHYS...

Underground Arts... Dec.10th, 2012... I love any venue that's in a basement and the Murphy's killed it in a special invite only show that Morganti got me into.

****EAGLES...

yes stubSpectrum... Aug.15th 1972... The Eagles were just starting out and YES were at the peak of the powers.  Yes was the primary reason I went, but the Eagles managed to win the crowd over.  JOJO GUNNE was formed by ex-members of one of my favorite bands ever, Spirit.  One of those members, Jay Ferguson, went on to compose the theme song to THE OFFICE.

EDDIE BRUCE...

Prince Music Theatre... Feb. 11th, 2009... Eddie's a Philly boy who has performed with the Philly Pops who put together this tremendous tribute show to Tony Bennett.   If you ever get the chance to see it, don't miss.  Great voice.

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA...

Wildwood Convention Hall... July 8th, 1973... They were were promoting their second "Roll Over Beethoven" LP (and their first since Jeff Lynne took over the band) and they were hungry to crack America.  At one point a friend of mine flipped his jeff cap to Lynne and not only did he wear it the rest of the show, he left still wearing it and my bud never got it back.  I am a major Jeff Lynne fan and saw them many times after this night.

****ELTON JOHN...

Original Electric Factory... Sept. 11th 1970... His first show ever in Philly and he just blew the roof off the joint.  I thought I was gonna see this sensitive singer-songwriter and he turned out to be Jerry Lee Lewis.  And he was the opening act!  Anyone remember for who?  I know, but I just wanna see if you do.

****ELVIS COSTELLO...

Tower... Jan. 29th 1981... I've seen him a million times including his first one at the Tower when he was still the "angry young man."  But for this one, he was in a great mood, did a terrific diversified set,  Squeeze (at their height) was the opening act,  and not only was I in the first row, I was living in a town called Millbourne at the time, and I walked there.  One of the truly great artists of our time.

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER...

Wildwood Convention Hall... August 4th, 1971... I liked the band at the time and it was packed, but their live show was over-indulgent to say the least. Talented guys, though.

EMINEM...

House of Blues, Atlantic City... July 9th, 2005... Big fan, but strange show.  I was standing to the side where I could clearly see him furiously arguing offstage with what looked like a sound guy, and he was in a lousy mood all night.  And the show wasn't advertised, so it was not full of Eminem fans, but half-full of high rollers who didn't give a shit.

ERIC BURDON...

Dennis Flyer Theatre, Blackwood NJ... March 23, 2007... With Tommy Conwell.   At 65,  Burden (one of the great rock/blues singers ever) could still growl and belt and hit all the famous notes and Tommy is one of the best guitarists to come out of Philly ever.

ETTA JAMES...

Trump Taj Mahal, AC... Summer 2006? Opened up for her and sad to say, she had seen her better days.

EVERLY BROTHERS...

VFMF... Summer of '94? With Carl Perkins.  Damn good show.  Legends both.

FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS...

Bijou Cafe... May 7th, 1981... With the awesome Kim Wilson on vocals and Jimmie Vaughn (Stevie Ray's bro) on guitar.  Fantastic night.

****FAIRPORT CONVENTION...

Irvine Auditorium... January '72... With Lindisfarne who I was a huge fan of as I was of Fairport at that time.  Magical night

 

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RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 2/15

Here's my latest article from South Jersey Magazine...

THE RIGHT TO LAUGH

Bear with me as you read this column.  I’m not used to writing anything this heavy, but the tragic murders that occurred in Paris really hit home.  I’ve been making my living as a standup comic for thirty-five years.  Add in that I’ve been doing four hours of talk radio a day at 94WIP for almost 20 years and that’s a ton of jokes and satirical comments.

What is it about religion that riles people up so?  My live standup show virtually makes no religious comments at all anymore and either do I on the air. 
However, that wasn’t always the case.  In fact, I wonder if I would still have a vibrant career today if it wasn’t for one song that put me on the map over 30 years ago.

I was performing at the Comedy Factory Outlet in downtown Philly.  I had a piano player back then (Andy Trackman from South Jersey) and I used to perform a song that my brother and I wrote called “Nuns.”


“Where do they come from?  Where do they go?
What are their real names?   I bet you don’t know.
They’ve been around for millions of years
They were the one thing that dinosaurs feared.
NUNS!  Stronger than you and me
NUNS!  Looking for someone to beat
I hope it’s not you, I hope it’s not me
NUNS!”

There was a lot more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it.  The song was inspired by my Catholic grade school upbringing and the years of beatings I took at the hands of the Sisters.  As funny as the audiences found the song, there was also a ring of painful truth to it that connected with a metro area that’s so Catholic.

John DeBella of WMMR’s Morning Zoo hosted shows at the Outlet on Friday night and he loved the song and the reaction it got from the crowd and said to me, “you record that and I’ll play it.”

Well, I did record it.  And he did play it.  Day after day for months.   It became a local hit.  I put it out on a vinyl 45 (if anyone remembers them).  It eventually landed on an album and sold 19,000 copies.  You can still buy it today on CD.    Then Clark DeLeon, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, did a major piece on the song and all hell broke loose.  A picture ran with the article of a nun threatening me with a yardstick.  (It was my Mother, by the way)

DeLeon got enough angry letters about it that a few weeks later he wrote a follow up on the original story discussing the reaction.  Then all the area talk shows started calling me to appear.  I had never been a guest on a talk show before.  AM Philly, a TV show on Channel 6, had me on with a nun.  I was young and just starting out and I just rolled with it.

Dr Donn The weird thing is that “Nuns” was about as controversial as I was ever going to get.  Oh, I have jokes with some edge to it today, but nothing any writer or talk show host will build an article or show segment around.  I’m not Bill Maher.  (And I like Bill Maher)  All I did with “Nuns” was “write what you know” which is the oldest trick in the book.

 There’s no doubt it was “Nuns” that kick started it all for me.  Yeah, it’s a funny song.  I’m proud of it.  I think it was well recorded for someone who had never produced a record before.  However, it was the uproar that it caused amongst some religious types who did not see the humor in the song at all that actually made my comedic bones.

But at no one point did anyone shoot at me with an assault rifle.  No one attacked me as I left a nightclub and walked down some lonely street by myself at 2AM.  What in blazes has happened?

Some people are just so easily offended these days.  I know that makes me sound like some old fogie, but how many times have you heard someone say that “All In The Family” would never make it to the air today?  So it’s just not my opinion. 

I never understand why anyone wants to label themselves as “Democrats”: or “Republicans.”  I have different opinions on all matters.  Some listeners may label one of my viewpoints as “liberal” or “conservative,” but I don’t.  My opinions are just that.  My opinion.  I am white.  I am half Irish and half Lithuanian.  Every now and then I make some stupid, grandiose statement on the air regarding some hot topic and after I make it, I remind my listeners that the comment doesn’t represent the viewpoint of all half-Irish, half Lithuanian people.  Where would I get off thinking I have that kind of authority?  To speak in behalf of anybody?  It’s infuriating when I hear people do that.  Who appointed them?

Look, I have very close friends, including my daughter, who go to church or Temple every week.  I myself do not, but if they get some sort of peace and comfort out of it, great.  We certainly need more calm and gentle people in this world.

However, sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if there was no organized religion at all.  I’m no numbers cruncher, but I have certainly have heard historians much smarter than me state that organized religion is responsible for more deaths on this planet than anything else.

I wonder if these same friends of mine, who I respect, would get the same solace if they just quietly prayed in their homes.  I certainly pray.  I’m all for prayer.

I’m just sick of turning on the news and seeing innocent people slaughtered in the name of religion.  It’s depressing enough that some crackhead may break into your car or mug you, but I at least sort of get that.  It’s about money.  It certainly doesn’t make it right.  But someone killing someone because of their religious beliefs?  Or worse yet, killing someone because you don’t like their religious beliefs?   It’s getting where I don’t wanna turn on the news at all.

All this anger also rears it’s ugly head in smaller and more personal ways.  On the air I make comments about the news of the day.  It’s mostly sports,  but when news the likes of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson breaks, the conversation crosses over into life issues.  When I say something that someone takes offense to, I get bombarded with mean tweets and emails and Facebook comments.  They don’t bother me.  I actually enjoy them and often I learn that I was wrong in what I said and that eventually makes me a better person, right? 

But if I make any comment on religion at all, even if it’s a 100% positive one, someone always twists it and somehow gets offended.   Then it gets really weird.  They won’t just write me.  They’ll call the station and get my bosses name and write them also.  How is that “religious?”  The end result?  I never mention religion at all on stage or on the air anymore.  I just don’t need the hassle. 

surfboardBut think about that for a moment.  If that’s how I thought back in the beginning of my career, I never would have wrote “Nuns” at all.  And people to this day still come up to me and smile recollecting that song.  And what’s wrong with that?

Even worse, however, is killing someone because they were attempting to make someone laugh, which basically is what Charlie Hebdo was doing.  I grew up on Mad Magazine.  I wrote a tribute in this very magazine to the awesome Joan Rivers when she died and she skewered everything that breathed and we certainly adored her, didn’t we.?  Geez, Louise, what is going on? 

Look.  I’m just a big doofus in a bowling shirt.   I’m not speaking for anyone but myself, but relax!  Joe Conklin and Josh Innes, at the station that I myself work at, constantly rip me by doing impressions of me and I’m friends with both of these dudes.  I get it.  All they’re trying to do is make you laugh.

 I myself am not an insult comic, but I certainly laugh at Don Rickles, The Onion, Howard Stern, Lisa Lamponelli,  to name just a few who work in that vein.  I also love Jerry Seinfeld and Brian Regan who do not.  Vive la diff’erence.

People have the right to make fun of your weight, your race, your sexual preference, your favorite team, and yes, even your religion.  You have the right to not like it.  You have the right to speak out on your behalf.  But, duh, you do not have the right to kill someone over it.  I’m just a regular Joe Schmo.  I’m don’t have the answer to anything.  So whenever I don’t know how to end a thought, I invariably turn to something my Mother would say to me. And in this case?  It’s  “take a chill pill.”

Thanks, Mom.

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/05

Here's my latest article from South Jersey Magazine...

One Of Our Own!

carmen_gerald_2015I’ve known Sicklerville native Gerald Webb for over twenty years.  I first met him when he was the DJ at the long gone Shark Club in Vineland.  I had just finished a comedy show there and there was a really cool song now rocking the room.  I was not familiar with the cut.  So, as I often do, I wandered over to the booth and asked the DJ what the song was.  Thus started a two-decade friendship that is still going strong today. (The song was “Loser” by Beck by the way)

So imagine the thrill I got when two decades later I turned on the movie “On Angel’s Wings” on my tube and Gerald’s name was the fourth actor listed in the opening credits! And it wasn’t like he was in a flick with a bunch of unknowns.  Robin Givens headed up a pretty decent well-known cast.  Not only was Gerald terrific as “Pastor Johnson,” it was his most screen time to date and he scores Ms. Givens at the end of the movie!  (I realize that’s two exclamation points in one paragraph, but sue me.)

I can imagine what you’re thinking.  South Jersey has delivered us Bruce Willis and Ali Lauter.  They’re big time stars.  Why should I get all excited over an actor that I have never heard of just because he’s from South Jersey?  Because his story is so cool and I guarantee many of you reading this would love to be in his shows after your hear it.

Gerald was born in raised in Sicklerville, a product of Winslow Township #3 Elementary and Paul VI and Edgewood the 6th (now Edgewood Winslow High).  He ran track and played on the basketball teams, but when his mMother, ‘Mommy’” Webb, and his Dad, Bill, bought him a reel to reel with a tinny microphone, Gerald found his true calling.  “I just loved talking in that mic and recording stuff.  Pretending I was a DJ or delivering the news.  I had read a book about Walter Cronkite and loved Alex Trebek,  and in my gut I knew that whatever I was going to do with my life it was going to be with a microphone.“

After buying his first record at the Berlin Farmer’s Market (where else?), Gerald’s life forever changed.  That record was “The Breaks“ by Kurtis Blow.  Rap and Hip-Hop were exploding and Gerald not only was the kid with the music taste that was always a step ahead, the beat also led to him becoming a break dancer.  “It attracted attention and it was a ticket to hanging with the cool people” laughs Gerald.

College “wasn’t challenging enough” and he drops out.  He works as a movie usher at the Atco Multiplex till he saves up enough money to get the proper equipment to turn his true passion into a business., “Partytime,” a company that supplies DJ’s for weddings, parties of all sorts, and nightclubs.  “It wasn’t really supposed to be a company.  I was just looking for work for myself (his first DJ job was at a club called Shannons the Stern Light Inn in Atco), but I got an account with Shannon’s Catering, a multi-room catering hall in Atcolub  that turned into a chain, and when they asked me if I could supply DJ’s for the other locations, I lied and said “sure.”

wd40This proved to be so successful that “Partytime” needed an office and that’s where one of his Dad’s old TV repair shops came in handy.  Gerald picked up on his Dad’s electronic tinkering and invented a method where one could “scratch” a compact disc which was not being done at the time.  When he entered  a DJ competition in Atlantic City this new method of “scratching” so impressed one of the judges that it led to a five year deal with Pioneer.  (Though, ironically, he lost the contest)  This deal with Pioneer leads to Gerald touring the country representing the electronic giant at trade shows.  All this and he’s only 24.

On one of these road shows, Adam Gerald meets Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC fame.  Jaym takes a liking to Gerald and his talents and takes him under his wing.  We’re talking about a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here.  They get so tight that when Jaym  gets involved in a TV pilot he brings Gerald on to the set.  One thing leads to another and Gerald ends up with a sizable part in the pilot even though he has never acted before.  The show never airs, but the seed of the acting bug takes hold.  Tragically, Jam Master Jay is murdered in the autumn of 2002.  “A day doesn’t go by where I don’t think about him” mourns Gerald.

 Gerald lands a gig spinning at the Susquehanna Center (or whatever it was called then) in Camden  providing the music for the pre-concert and after party for Sammy Hagar.  Here we go again as Hagar so takes such a liking to Gerald’s talents he takes him on tour with him.  You gotta love this story!

A yearThree months later the tour comes to a close and dumps Gerald in Los Angeles.  “I felt like I had taken the whole DJ thing as far as I wanted to take it.  I had won thea North American DJ Association Night Club DJ of the Year award and, Seriously, I had just gone on a world tour with a rock star.  Seriously, hHow much better was it going to get?  I remembered how much fun I had acting and I figured, what the heck I’m already out here.”
As with everything else he has done, he goes into it full-tilt studying with the absolute best and soon he’s landing small parts in a lot of B Horror films and police TV shows.  “I was often the second cop who showed up at the door standing behind the other cop asking the questions.”

But the parts kept getting bigger and slowly but surely he started getting more lines in more well-known TV shows.  How well known?  How about “True Blood” “Law and Order” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to name a few.

He’s appeared on the big and small screens with Burt ReynoldsMalcolm McDowell, Danny DeVito, Anna Paquin, Ving Rhames, Shannon Elizabeth, Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, Jamie KennedySean Astin, Tara Reid, Dennis Haysbert, among many others.  Now while no one would confuse Carmen Electra with a great thespian, you wouldn’t mind working with her, would you guys?

Gerald is a regular caller into my 94WIP radio show.  He misses Philly and bleeds Eagle green.  He was a Sixer season ticket holder during the Allen Iverson years.  In fact, his seats were directly behind A.I’s Mom, Ann.  “Half the time I couldn’t see the game because she wouldn’t sit down and was always waving some giant sign.  I actually had to ask the Sixers to move my seats” laughs Gerald.

I always ask Gerald on the air to tell us what show he’s appearing in next and I DVR the show when I get home.  When “On Angels Wings” aired and saw how terrific of an actor he had become I could have just bust I was so proud.  I love when one of our own is on display.  (Follow him on Twitter @Geraldwebb and you will always know what show he’s going to be in next)

Now Gerald is branching out.  He’s the executive responsible for casting  the Syfy network’s phenom helped cast the cable phenomena  “Sharknado” franchise and produced and starred in the horror film “A House Is Not A Home.” Which has won a bunch of film festival and indie awards.    He has formed his own production company, Deinstitutionalized Films, so who knows where he’s headed next? 

From Sicklerville to Hollywood, my man, and one of our very own, Gerald Webb!

 

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/01

kingston-wells-bb cover smHere are just a few of my holiday album covers on display.  I change them from time to time and by the way I am always looking for more.  That's Darlene Love's autograph to my wife on the cover of the Phil Spector Christmas record. (click on each photo for larger image)

smith-mathis elvis cover sm  spector cover sm  lee-rawls cover smgleason cover smradio city cover sm

 

 

 


HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...

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