Saturday, February 28, 2015

What is Wrong With Muslims?

The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim 
The Beltway Snipers were Muslims 
The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim 
The underwear Bomber was a Muslim 

The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims 

The Bafi Nightclub Bombers were Muslims 

The London Subway Bombers were Muslims 

The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims 

The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims 

The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims 

The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims 

The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims 

The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims 

The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Musiims 

The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims 

The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims 

The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims 

The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims 

The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims 

The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims 

The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims 

The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims 

The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims 

The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims'
The Charlie Hebdo Murderers were Muslims
Think of it: 

Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem
Christians living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Hindus = No Problem

Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
Muslims living with Christians = Problem
Muslims living with Jews = Problem
Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
Muslims living with Baha'is = Problem
Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
Muslims living with Atheists = Problem

**********SO THIS LEAD TO *****************
They’re not happy in Gaza 
They're not happy in Egypt
They're not happy in Libya
They're not happy in Morocco
They're not happy in Iran
They're not happy in Iraq
They're not happy in Yemen
They're not happy in Afghanistan
They're not happy in Pakistan
They're not happy in Syria
They're not happy in Lebanon
They're not happy in Nigeria
They're not happy in Kenya

They're not happy in Sudan

******** So, where are they happy? **********
They're happy in Australia
They're happy in England
They're happy in Belgium
They're happy in France
They're happy in Italy
They're happy in Germany
They're happy in Sweden
They're happy in the USA & Canada
They're happy in Norway & India
They're happy in almost every country that is not Islamic! And who do they 
blame? Not Islam... Not their leadership... Not themselves... THEY BLAME
THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!! And they want to change the countries
they're happy in, to be like the countries they came from where they 
were unhappy and finally they will be get hammered


Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy passed away yesterday, February 27, 2015. He was an actor, poet, photographer and he sang.

Nimoy appeared on many TV shows that I watched while growing up. I first saw him as a young man on Perry Mason, where he appeared in the role of a villainous murderer. 

I watched him play an Indian in an episode of Rawhide. 

His first major role was on the wonderful TV drama, Mission Impossible. He joined the cast in the third season as a magician named The Great Paris. 

This show was popular in the midst of the Cold War. The heroes were US spies given missions to outwit the Soviets by freeing a captive or setting up an important person to fail.

Then of course Nimoy became Mr. Spock, the Vulcan with the pointy ears on the first episodes of Star Trek. And he sure breathed life into that character, making him his own.

He came up with the Vulcan Salute,  "Live long and prosper", from the Jewish priestly blessing.

He had a great career after Star Trek the TV series, in many of the Star Trek movies.

In 1978, Nimoy played Dr. David Kibner in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also did occasional work as a voice actor in animated feature films, including the character of Galvatron in The Transformers: The Movie in 1986. 

From 1982 to 1987 Nimoy hosted a children's educational show Standby: Lights, Camera, Action on Nickelodeon. Nimoy was featured as the voice-over narrator for the CBS paranormal series Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories in 1991.

In 1991, Nimoy teamed up with Robert B. Radnitz to produce a movie for TNT about a pro bono publico lawsuit brought by public interest attorney William John Cox on behalf of Mel Mermelstein, an Auschwitz survivor, against a group of organizations engaged in Holocaust denial. Nimoy also played the Mermelstein role and believes: "If every project brought me the same sense of fulfillment that Never Forget did, I would truly be in paradise." After all, Nimoy was Jewish.

Nimoy lent his voice as narrator to the 1994 IMAX documentary film, Destiny in Space, showcasing film-footage of space from nine Space Shuttle missions over four years time.

In 1994, Nimoy performed as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The Pagemaster. In 1998, he had a leading role as Mustapha Mond in the made-for-television production of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Together with John de Lancie, another ex-actor from the Star Trek series, Nimoy created Alien Voices, an audio-production venture that specializes in audio dramatizations. Among the works jointly narrated by the pair are The Time Machine, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Lost World, The Invisible Man and The First Men in the Moon, as well as several television specials for the Sci-Fi Channel. In an interview published on the official Star Trek website.

From 1994 until 1997, Nimoy narrated the Ancient Mysteries series on A&E including "The Sacred Water of Lourdes" and "Secrets of the Romanovs".

He also appeared in advertising in the United Kingdom for the computer company Time Computers in the late 1990s.

In 1997, Nimoy played the prophet Samuel, alongside Nathaniel Parker, in The Bible Collection movie David.

He had a central role in Brave New World, a 1998 TV-movie version of Aldous Huxley's novel where he played a character reminiscent of Spock in his philosophical balancing of unpredictable human qualities with the need for control. Nimoy also appeared in several popular television series—including Futurama and The Simpsons—as both himself and Spock.

Nimoy's interest in photography began in childhood; until his death in 2015, he owned a camera that he rebuilt at the age of 13. His photography studies at UCLA occurred after Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, when Nimoy seriously considered changing careers. His work has been exhibited at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Nimoy authored two volumes of autobiography. The first was called I Am Not Spock (1975) and was controversial, as many fans incorrectly assumed that Nimoy was distancing himself from the Spock character. In the book, Nimoy conducts dialogues between himself and Spock.

However in 1995 a second volume appeared called I Am Spock. Found Nimoy realizing that he finally reconciled that his years of portraying the Spock character had led to a much greater identification between the fictional character and himself.

Nimoy had much input into how Spock would act in certain situations, and conversely, Nimoy's contemplation of how Spock acted gave him cause to think about things in a way that he never would have thought if he had not portrayed the character. 

As such, in this autobiography Nimoy maintains that in some meaningful sense he has merged with Spock while at the same time maintaining the distance between fact and fiction

He had many other projects and skills as a director, music producer, singer and he was a private pilot. He revealed that as a younger man he was an alcoholic. He even tried to help his friend William Shatner, by counseling Shatner’s alcoholic wife. 

When I was younger I had the pleasure of being in a chorus directed by Dr. Elmer Thomas of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Thomas also directed the May Festival Chorus in Cincinnati.. Dr. Thomas always reminded me of Leonard Nimoy.

In February 2014, Nimoy revealed that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition he attributed to a smoking habit he had given up approximately 30 years prior. 

On February 19, 2015, Nimoy was taken to UCLA Medical Center for chest pain and had been in and out of hospitals for the "past several months." Nimoy died on February 27, 2015 at the age of 83 in his Bel Air home from complications of COPD. 

 A few days before his death, Nimoy shared some of his poetry on social media website Twitter:
 "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Moving Down The Road

I am concluding a chapter in my life. I have resigned from Time Warner Cable, where I have worked for the past 18 months.

Time Warner is a great company with great products. They really have an emphasis on selling their services. However, I am not a salesman.

I wish all those at the facility where I worked my best wishes. When the acquisition is finalized, I sincerely hope all who are working there will maintain their positions.

However after much prayer I have determined that it is time for me to move on to a different career.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Jersey Boys - Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

I grew up listening to those harmony bands from the 1960’s; the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons. Both bands were from different coasts and both had a very different sound.

The Four Seasons are from Belleville New Jersey, which is a small town just 15 minutes north of Newark. These guys grew up listening to and being influenced by doo-wop groups.

If you’ve seen Jersey Boys then you know their story. But what has fascinated me since I was 11 or 12 years old was their sound. Frankie Valli is actually a baritone, but with his falsetto voice his range covered four octaves.

And if you've studied music history you may understand falsetto is nothing new. It has been used for centuries in baroque, classical and romantic music; these being historical periods of music. Counter tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of the female contralto or mezzo-soprano voice types. Voice teachers often speak of your “head voice” when they mean falsetto.

The Four Season’s got their start as The Four Lovers by playing local clubs around their home town. At the time the group was lead by Tommy DeVito, who played guitar and sang tenor. Hank Majewski played rhythm guitar and Frank Cattone played accordion. Billy Thompson handled the drums and Nick DeVito played bass. Frankie Valli sang lead. He did this under different aliases, including Frankie Tyler, Frankie Valley, Frankie Valle and several other names.

This group continued playing local clubs from 1956 to 1958. When Nick DeVito was unavailable, Nick Massi was employed as the bass player. When Massi was unavailable Charles Calello played bass.

By 1959 the group hooked up with an up and coming songwriter named Bob Guadio. Anazingly at age 15 Guadio had scored a hit record with a song called “Who Wears Short-Shorts.” There is no doubt in my mind that without Guadio’s incredible gift of songwriting, there would probably have been no Four Seasons.

The Four Lovers first commercial release was My Mother’s Eyes. However they did not have a popular song until 1956 when their song called You’re the Apple of My Eye the made #62 on the Billboard Top 100.

In 1959 the group began working with record producer Bob Crewe. He had produced “Short Shorts” with a group of studio musicians. Credit on the record was given as The Royal Teens. To take the act on the road, a band was put together which featured Guadio playing guitar. The Four Lovers shared a stage with The Royal Teens and it was at this time Guadio was introduced to what eventually would become The Four Seasons.

The following year Frankie Valli and Bob Guadio made a pact that they would have a partnership, which they did this through a handshake. Guadio would write the songs and Valli being the voice.

It was this same year the band was fired from a gig at The Four Season’s bowling alley, but left with a new name. The Four Seasons were made up of Tommy DeVito, who was the guitar player and tenor voice for all of the group’s history up until around 1970 when the core group split up. Nick Massi played bass and sang the bass parts. When he quit the group, Joe Long took over the bass duties. Bob Guadio was the organ player and sang baritone and tenor. Former Four Lover bass player, Charles Calello who is a very accomplished musician, was hired as the group’s vocal arranger.

The Seasons first single was called Bermuda. The flip side was a song called Spanish Lace. It did not chart.

But Guadio persistently wrote songs and eventually came up with Sherry. Bob Crewe immediately liked it and recorded the song under his own Topix label. Then members of the group went about soliciting labels to release the record. Valli got in touch with the West Coast sales manager for Vee-Jay Records who pushed Sherry.

Up until this time Vee-Jay only sold records made by Black artists. By signing The Four Seasons, this became Vee-Jays first White act. Sherry was release nationally in 1962 and went to #1 on the Billboard Top 100. Audiences did not know who the Four Seasons were and had not a clue if they were a Black or White group, but they sure like the song.

Crewe and Guadio were on a roll and followed up with Big Girls Don’t Cry, which became their second #1 hit and then Walk Like A Man, which scored their third #1. Each recording sold over a million units. They followed these up with Candy Girl and Ain’t That a Shame.

During the years 1962 through 1964 only the Beach Boys matched the Four Seasons in sales in the United States. In 1962 The Four Seasons were invited to perform Big Girls Don’t Cry on American Bandstand.

Unfortunately Vee Jay could not fulfill all the orders for records due to the company’s financial situation. During this same time period, Vee Jay had inked a contract with EMI to become the American distributor of Beatles songs. They only produced one Beatles recording.

The Seasons were in a dilemma and filed a lawsuit against the label. In 1965 per terms of the settlement, the Four Seasons were obliged to do one more album which they did as a live LP, although it is doubtful that it was actually a live performance.

Vee-Jay eventually filed bankruptcy and the Four Seasons were able to reclaim their catalog. By this time they had signed with the Philips label.

Beatlemania and the British Invasion did not seem to diminish the popularity of the Four Seasons, Although the song Dawn (Go Away) was kept out of the #1 spot on the Hot 100 by several Beatles singles.

By 1965, Nick Massi decided he had enough of traveling and performing and left the group. He was briefly replaced by Charles Calello, the group’s arranger, who stepped in for a while to play bass and sing the bass parts.

Shortly after this left-handed bass player Joe Long was permanently hired and stayed on through 1975.

From 1965 through 1967 the Four Seasons scored quite a few more hits, including Rag Doll, Ronnie, Let’s Hang On!, Working My Way Back To You, Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘bout Me), a beautiful rendition of I Got You Under My Skin, Tell It To The Rain, C’mon Marianne, Silence Is Golden and Will You Love Me Tomorrow. And then there was Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, which has its own story.

Valli says this was at a time when the group was working on an album that had six Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs and six Bob Dylan songs. Valli was fooling around in the studio doing an impression of a famous Black singer, Rose Murphy singing Bob’s song Don’t Think Twice. Rose Murphy was famous for the song I Can’t Give You Anything but Love. The Seasons played it for an Atlantic City disc jockey and he begged them to give him that song. He said he’d run it as a contest to see if anyone could guess who was singing it. So the recording was now getting air play.

When Philips, their record label found out about it they were angry. This was at the same time the Four Seasons had Rag Doll out and it was #3 on the charts. Another Four Seasons song would kill it. So it was decided the songs credit would be given to a group called “The Wonder Who.” The single came in an interesting connect-the-dot wrapper, which was suppose to answer the question; who were The Wonder Who. About this time there also was an instrumental attributed to The Valli Boys.

In 1969 popular music veered away from harmony bands and concentrated more toward the beginnings of Hard Rock. Hendrix was popular. The Beatles style had changed. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Pet Sounds, two concept albums had been released. Lyrics were becoming more socially conscious.

Guadio partnered with Greenwich Village Folk Rock songwriter Jake Holmes and The Four Seasons release a concept album called The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. The songs dealt with war, racial tensions and other problems of the day. The albums cover was designed to resemble a newspaper.

It was a failure to all but staunch Four Season’s fans. The Season’s loved it. But their record company wanted them to just be pop artists. This was the last of the Philips recordings.

In 1973 Tommy DeVito was bought out due to debts that he ran up. Massi had already left.

Guadio stayed true to his word and kept writing hit songs, but he decided he had enough of life as a traveling musician.

Frankie put together replacement players/vocalists and was now billed as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

Also Valli had an actual big band backing him up. String parts were done live with synthesizers. John Stefan was the band’s trumpet player and arranged the horn parts.

This was a new start for Valli and gave him a new image. Many of the new solo songs were void of the falsetto voice. It was Frankie Valli’s new beginning.

Frankie Valli’s first solo hit was Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You. This was followed up with Swearin’ To God and then 1975’s My Eye’s Adored You.

Their only Motown Record
The Four Seasons needed a new label and signed with Motown on the MoWest label. Nothing really surfaced from this relationship. One album was recorded, but the single that was planned was not promoted. The group was to do a second LP, but in never came to fruition. By 1974 The Four Seasons and Motown parted ways.

The group attempted to purchase the catalog of recordings they had done with Motown, but the asking price was too steep.

Due to great foresight Valli came up with $4,000 and purchased the rights to My Eyes Adored You. This song became a number one hit for him in 1975.

My Eyes Adored You is a very interesting song. It was written by songwriter Kenny Nolan under the title Blue Eyes In Georgia. “Blue Eyes in Georgia, They're the only eyes I've ever loved” became “My eyes adored you, though I never laid a hand on you” with the help of Bob Crewe. It went from a love song about a girl, to a remembrance of puppy love. It touched the hearts of many that experienced similar feelings and that is what makes a song a hit. The song included a nod to New Jersey, where Frankie grew up; "Walking home everyday over Bargegat Bridge and Bay."

DeVito and Valli
Valli was now committed to his solo career. And he worked like a dog. He had given his word he would pay off the million dollar debt that DeVito had run up against the band. Because Valli was earning money legitimately he had to pay tax on those million dollars. So he had to earn at least two million dollars. He did a lot of work in Supper Clubs around the country. This is where I saw him in 1975 at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate Kentucky.

John Paiva (guitar), Don Ciccone (bass), Lee Shapiro (keyboards), and Gerry Polci (drums)
Valli put together a core of players. Gerry Polci was the drummer and singer. In fact Gerry sang some of the lead parts. This helped Frankie Valli since he was having problems with his hearing that were later alleviated by surgery. Polci was also married to one of Frankie’s daughters.

Don Ciccone was a guitarist in a band called The Critturs. The Critturs had a hit with John Sebastian’s song Younger Girl and another called Mister Dieingly Sad. Ciccone joined the Four Seasons. Joe Long maintained his position as bass player through 1975.

Music had now entered the Disco Era and Valli and the Four Seasons jumped right in with Who Loves You. Polci, Ciccone and Long did the background vocals with Valli on the verse.

Judy Parker & Bob Guadio
Next Guadio and his new wife Judy Parker wrote December, 1963. The original song was written by Guadio under the title December 5th, 1933 and was about the repeal of prohibition. The song was shelved as Guadio was not really thrilled with the lyrics. Parker and Guadio rewrote the lyrics about a young mans first sexual encounter and the song rocketed off.

Gerry Polci did the lead vocals and falsetto vocals, Ciccone did the other falsetto vocals (I felt the rush like a rolling ball of thunder...) and Valli did the verse (Oh I got a funny feeling when she called me in the room...).

It was first released in 1975. And then again in 1988 due to the DJ Dance Mix craze, it was re-released as a Mix-version in the UK and Europe and then in the USA in 1993. In 2000 French rapper Yannick used it again in his version called Ces soirees-la (These Evenings). It became #1 in France and was later used in the opening act of the stage version of Jersey Boys.

At some point Barry Gibb of the Bee Gee’s called Frankie Valli and said that he had written a song and I think you would be great performing it. It is going to be featured in a movie called Grease. Valli said his manager at the time was Allan Carr. Carr was partners in the movie with Robert Stigwood. Carr asked Valli if he wanted to be in the movie or sing the title song. Valli really loved the song. He called up arranger Don Costa and got him involved. In 1978 Grease became one of the biggest hit records that Valli ever had in his career. It was also re-released as a dance-mix version.

Robby Robinson
Valli has continued to tour throughout the world. His musical director for 35 years has been Robby Robinson. Robinson plays keyboard and chooses the core band members/vocalists. Generally horn players are contracted in each city in which the group plays.

Robby Robinson has also worked up some updated arrangements and endings for some of The Four Seasons hit songs.

In 2005 the Broadway Musical Jersey Boys opened. This was based on the life of The Four Seasons from a book written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elise. Music is attributed to Bob Guadio and lyrics to Bob Crewe. It was Guadio who hired Brickman and Elise to put together a discography musical. Brickman suggested creating the show based on the band’s history of going from rags to riches.

Brickman interviewed each of the original band members to get their take on the band’s story. But it was DeVito who actually said, “Don't listen to those guys. I'll tell you what really happened.” This became the shows first line.

Gyp DeCarlo
The producers were also contacted by the family of Gyp DeCarlo, a mob boss, to ensure that he would be portrayed respectfully (or else!).

The 2007-2008 year of the Broadway production coincided with the writer’s strike. The Writers Guild of America, both East and West which is comprised of 12,000 writers not to mention labor unions went on strike. The effect on Broadway was staggering.

Only 8 shows remained available to the public, due to the sympathy strike by stage hands union.

To keep interest up in the show, Frankie Valli began singing with the actors portraying the Jersey Boys. Not only is the show still going strong on Broadway and in many cities, but a movie has been adapted from the stage play.

Valli must have like the concept of having the “Jersey Boys” singing harmony behind him because since 2012 he has appeared with this format in his concerts. Perhaps it is easier and more economical to hire four singers than it is to hire guitarists, bassists, keyboard players and drummers that double as singers.

Frankie is 80 years old and is still doing about four concerts a month and sounding as great as ever. Check your local paper, because he may be coming to a city near you.