Category Archives: Commentary

Muhammad Ali’s Controversial Comments On Racial Diversity

Muhammad Ali Explains Why Races Should Not Mix

If you have been watching Ken Burns excellent documentary about Muhammad Ali on PBS, you can only wonder how Muhammad Ali’s views on everything would be taken today.  Ali was always unabashedly honest expressing his opinions. Ali said and did things that always created controversy. Continue reading

Never Before Seen Photos Of 9/11 & The World Trade Center Devastation

Never Before Seen Photographs Around The World Trade Center After The 9/11 Attacks

It was one week after the September 11 attacks. America and New York City was still in a state of disbelief. There was fear and grief. There was apprehension, And there were heroes. People who ventured into ground zero endangering their own lives for search and rescue. Continue reading

Fox, The Players & MLB Has Ruined The All-Star Game

A Once Exciting Annual Contest Has Become Pathetically Bad

Photo below: 1968 All-Star Game Hank Aaron Swipes 2nd Base In A Competitive Game
Photo George Honeycutt Houston Chronicle

National League’s Hank Aaron (44) steals second base in sixth inning. Rod Carew takes throw with umpire Mel Steiner on top of play in All-Star game. July 9, 1968 Photo :George Honeycutt Houston Chronicle

While reluctantly watching this year’s baseball All-Star Game there was a pre-game tribute to Hank Aaron who passed away January 22, 2021. This may have been the high point of the evening as the Fox broadcast and the game itself was lacking in any drama or competitiveness.

Where’s The Drama?

The All-Star Game has become a love-fest between the players and interleague play has ruined what was once a fierce rivalry between the American and National Leagues. In the 1950 All-Star Game in Chicago, Ted Williams fractured his left elbow making a leaping, off-the-wall catch on a Ralph Kiner smash in the 1st inning. Williams remained in the game, and put the American League ahead, 3 – 2, in the fifth inning with an RBI single. Ted Williams said he was never the same after fracturing his elbow. Williams, like many players went all out playing in the All-Star Game, which is an exhibition game with no meaning in the standings. The AL and NL teams used to badly want to beat the opposition in the annual showdown.

Not anymore. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising 1904 – These Companies Have Bitten The Dust

Part II – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904 – Companies That Are Extinct

Underwood began production of typewriters in 1895. Up until 1959 when they were acquired by Olivetti, Underwood sold millions of typewriters. They made their last typewriter in the 1980s.

As we continue our look at advertising from the October 1904 issue of The Century Magazine we turn our gaze to the ads of companies that are no longer in business. Some names will be familiar to you, many others will not. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising 1904 – These Companies Are Still Around 117 Years Later

Part I – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904

Companies That Have Survived

Whitman's chocolate ad 1904

Whitman’s chocolate as it was advertised in 1904. The company was started in Philadelphia in 1842 by Stephen Whitman. In 1877 he began to box chocolates. Russell Stover Candies is the current owner.

While browsing through The Century Magazine issue for October 1904 I couldn’t help but notice the advertisements.

While a great many of the firms are out of business, a surprising number are still around today. For part one we will look at the ads of the companies that are still here in 2021. They’ve survived different owners, mergers and changing public tastes. It’s interesting to see how these enduring products once portrayed themselves with strong images or many words or a combination of the two.

Let’s have a look.

We may not have servants drawing baths for us now, but you can still buy a bar of Pears’ Soap and give yourself a bath. Founded in 1807, the worldwide company is now run by Unilever. Continue reading

Visiting The Doors Lead Singer Jim Morrison & How He Died 50 Years Ago

The 50th Anniversary Of Jim Morrison Really Being Dead

or

People Are Paying Their Respects To A Coffin “Loaded With Sand”

The Truth About The Death Of Jim Morrison & A Visit To Mr. Mojo Risin’

Pére Lachaise Cemetery photo: Stuffnobodycaresabout.com

“Is there really a body in there?” is usually not one of the questions you ask yourself when visiting a grave. But this is no ordinary grave. Continue reading

Question – What Did $675 Buy You At Yankee Stadium In 1984?

Answer – A Field Box Seat Ticket To All 81 Yankee Home Games

In 2021, Two Field Level Tickets For Just One Game Costs More

Digging around my closet I came up with this memento. It’s the 1984 Yankees home schedule.

It should come as no surprise that the ticket prices 37 years ago were very fair especially compared to today.

Yankee ticket prices 1984At $675 per seat you could buy a field, main, mezzanine or upper box seat for the entire season.

Crazy Modern Prices

Checking the Yankee schedule of 2021, a single field level ticket to an upcoming Yankees – White Sox game costs $388.35 including Ticketmaster fees. Continue reading

1980s Rock Videos Not Featuring The Band, But A Hot Girl

Good Song! But Who Is That Girl?

Five 1980s Rock Videos Where The Band Is Not The Star

Whitesnake definitely owes a large portion of their late 1980s popularity to Tawny Kitaen, the actress model who suddenly passed away on May 7, 2021 at the age of 59.  Tawny Kitaen was the real star in the videos for Here I Go Again; Still of The Night and  Is This Love. Kitaen later married lead singer David Coverdale. The constant playing of these videos on MTV no doubt greatly contributed to helping the band eventually sell 15 million copies (8 million plus in the United States) of the 1987 eponymously titled Whitesnake album. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the previous seven Whitesnake albums sold a total of less than two million units combined before Tawny Kitaen’s addition to Whitesnake’s arsenal of sales tactics.

Not that Tawny Kitaen started a trend, but bands have always known that a good song can be made into a VERY popular song by featuring sexy women in their videos.

Here are five cases where the band is not the primary focus of the video, but a very attractive woman is.

Ric Ocasek -Something To Grab For (1982)

Ric Ocasek of The Cars released seven solo albums over his career which had modest sales. His first solo LP 1982’s Beatitude was the most successful, hitting number 28 on the Billboard charts. Starring in Something To Grab For is future 1983 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Marianne Gravatte (b. 1959). Gravatte, a stunningly beautiful woman, was also featured in Ratt’s Lay It Down.

April Wine – Rock Myself To Sleep (1985)

Continue reading

If The Strand Bookstore is Not Doomed, Then What’s Going On?

The Legendary Strand Bookstore Sure Looks Like It Will Soon Be Out Of Business

The Writing Is Not On The Wall, But On The Shelves

Outside Strand Bookstore April 2021

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was playing over the sound system at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway and 12th Street this week. It’s a classical composition heightened with drama and a dirge-like quality. And unfortunately it suits the current state of Strand.

The atmosphere of Strand now resembles a morgue. It’s a shell of what it has been to generations of New Yorkers.

A Store In Trouble

While the pandemic has put thousands of retail shops down for the count permanently, the 94-year-old Strand has tenaciously hung in there. Labor disputes at the store have been featured in the news and an appeal to buyers to support the Strand made International news headlines in the autumn.

But from what I’ve seen, it appears that saving the Strand will be difficult. Continue reading

5 Bands With Songs That Sound Like Led Zeppelin

Hey Is That Led Zeppelin?

Bands That Can Sound A Lot Like Led Zeppelin

Maybe this article should be titled “bands that sound like Robert Plant” as it is Plant’s unique vocals that are being channeled.

Plant himself has never been a big fan of others trying to sound like Led Zeppelin. Plant called Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page’s 1993 pairing with Whitesnake / Deep Purple lead singer David Coverdale – David Cover Version.

If you heard any of the following songs without knowing who it was, you might think it’s Led Zeppelin.

Unsurprisingly the lead singers of these bands can do pretty good cover versions of Zeppelin. We’ll have two samples from each band – one original composition and one Zeppelin cover if they have ever covered the mighty Zep.

Great White

To me, Jack Russell of Great White naturally sounds more like Robert Plant than any other professional singer.

This song Save Your Love is from the 1987 album Once Bitten.

This 2011 live version of Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On is spot on vocally even if the rest of the band doesn’t capture the Zeppelin magic. Russell’s intonations on certain lyrics like “I’m much o-bli-ged, such a plea-sant stay,” sound exactly like Plant. A great cover.

Zebra

The next band is a label-mate of Led Zeppelin. Continue reading