Archive for the tag 'rock music'

The Fab Four -- John, Paul, George and Ringo -- arrive in America at JFK. Source: Wikipedia

The Fab Four — John, Paul, George and Ringo — arrive in America at JFK. Source: Wikipedia

BETWEEN THE LINES: This past Sunday night, February 9, marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” A record 73 million Americans — more than a third of the U.S. population and considerably higher than the first Super Bowl TV audience three years later — tuned in. Some were habitual viewers of the popular weekly variety show. A sizable segment, no doubt, watched just to see what the fuss about four British lads was. But many viewers, largely pre-teen and teenage girls, were a legion of keyed up devotees, aware of the ruckus since the Liverpool quartet’s contagious pop songs became Top 40 radio staples in the weeks before their groundbreaking, two-set performance.

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Entrance to the Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the National Constitution Center.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Numerous artists and performers have been honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. None of them, however, or any performer for that matter, has ever had the distinction of having an extensive exhibit at the National Constitution Center (NCC).

After almost three years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, when it was heralded as a “must see” for his fans, “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen” debuted last winter at the Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where it ended a nearly seven month run earlier this month.

A Springsteen fan a decade before he achieved superstardom, I intended to see the exhibit that featured scores of artifacts and memorabilia from the New Jersey rocker’s four decade career, but I never made the trip to Cleveland. My regret was assuaged when it was announced, about a year ago, that at the Constitution Center would host the exhibit. I finally saw it last month, accompanied by one of my oldest friends — in longevity and years — in my inaugural visit to the center.

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Yours truly, backstage with Mick in Atlantic City, NJ, December 1989. Photo courtesy of Neil Friedman

BETWEEN THE LINES: This past July 12 marked the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ first performance. I became a fan within a few years, but didn’t see them live until 27 years later.

On August 31, 1989, in Philadelphia, I saw the first of 115 concerts.

I had not become an obsessed fan; rather an employee — a tour press representative — of the band for four months across the U.S. and Canada and another four months the following spring and summer in Europe. It was exciting, demanding 24/7 work, but it was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I’ve been a journalist and editor for more than 20 years, including almost a year at Sheepshead Bites. I’ve also had a 12-year entertainment public relations career, which included stints at Radio City Music Hall, Showtime and with marquee celebrities, but they were nothing like — or as exhausting — as my job with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman.

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Photo by Arthur Borko

We can’t believe it, but it turns out neighborhood staple and music mecca Zig Zag Records has zigged and zagged for the last time!

Forgotten New York author Kevin Walsh informed us via Facebook that he heard rumors Zig Zag Records (2301 Avenue U) shuttered for good. After a bit of searching around, we stumbled onto Zig Zag’s Facebook profile, where they announced on December 15 that after 35 years, the business was kaput.

Zig Zag had a remarkable run, and far outlived many other independent music stores in New York City. We believe it was the last vinyl merchant in all of Southern Brooklyn.

The store focused on classic rock, but in the 1980s became a major outpost for heavy metal fanatics. It established ties with legendary Bensonhurst venue L’amour, “The Rock Capital of Brooklyn”, who set up in-store appearances for many of their acts, including Motorhead, Twisted Sister, Metallica (before anyone knew who they were), Girlschool, The Rods, Venom, Zebra, Nuclear Assault, Raven, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate and Iron Maiden.

Rest in peace, Zig Zag Records. You will be missed.

Black Book Magazine published a profile honoring two iconic television hosts you probably have never heard of, and definitely didn’t know were from Sheepshead Bay. Scott Lewis and Gary Winter of The Scott and Gary Show spent the early 80s producing a cult music and comedy show for public access television. They never made a penny, but they helped generate the buzz behind names like The Beastie Boys, Butthole Surfers (whose lead singer was so acid-rittled he interviewed a mole on his leg), R. Stevie Moore, Shockabilly, and the Clintons. The Scott and Gary Show is to be inducted to NYU’s Fales Collection as an example of downtown and East Village art in the sixties and seventies. And they still toy with the idea of reviving the show.

Here’s a clip of the show featuring some really young Beastie Boys (Mike D. introduces himself as Michael), playing what turns out to be one of their last hardcore sets before becoming the hip-hop fusion sensation we all know.

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ladder 156 firetruck

(Photo courtesy of

There will be a party cruise leaving Pier 2 in Sheepshead Bay this Saturday, October 3, 2009, to benefit New York City Firefighter Richie Manetta and his family.There will be a DJ affiliated with the Golden Sunshine catamaran operators onboard providing music, as well as the live bands Underwhelmed with Mike Russo and The Square Rooters. Even if you can’t make it to the party cruise (tickets are selling out fast), you can still get raffle tickets. Each one costs $100, but you have an excellent chance of winning. Contact anyone at the numbers listed below for information about the cruise, raffle tickets, or to make a donation.

Here are the details from the 911 Families website.

Engine 276/Ladder 156 “The  Highway” Present
A Cruise for Richie
Saturday October 3, 2009
Boarding 6:00pm; boat leaves at 7:00pm sharp
Brooklyn, NY
Richie Manetta, age 44, is a 13-year veteran of the New York City Fire
Department. He is a beloved member of  “The Highway” Engine 276/
Ladder 156/Battalion 33 and also rotated  through E-224, E-8 and L-2.
Richie spent many days working at the World Trade Center site.

In September 2008, Richie was  diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer
which has yet to be properly  diagnosed. Richie is now in a fight for his life.
His firehouse is putting  together a fundraiser and reaching out to the entire
FDNY brotherhood and their  friends to help relieve the financial burden that
he and his family are dealing  with.

Join them and board the Golden Sunshine charter  boat at the corner of
Bedford and Emmons Avenues in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn.

Tickets are $100.00 per person.  Reserve your spot as soon as you can,
for seating is limited. Any donations would be gratefully accepted. All
proceeds will go directly to Richie and his wife Maria and their two-year-old
son Christian.

Please make your check payable  to: Ladder156 Manetta Fund.
Please send your contribution to:
Ladder 156 Manetta Fund
1635  East 14th Street
Brooklyn NY 11229

There will be 3 raffles to be  drawn on the night of the cruise.

RAFFLE 1: Win a blue 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. 350, 4 speed,
mag wheels, V8

RAFFLE 2: Win a gold 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88. All original, V8 automatic
power steering and brakes

RAFFLE 3: A chance to win $10,000.

Only 200 tickets will be sold for  each car, and 400 tickets will be sold
for the $10,000 raffle.

For additional information, contact Kevin Lunny at 646-338-2951,
Mike Cassidy at 917-363-1405, or Brian Williams at 347-234-2915.