Category Archives: rock & roll

WTF: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020

p01hhmbk

So, here are the folks who will be enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2020:

  • Depeche Mode
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Whitney Houston
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • T. Rex

UnknownI’ve argued for the The Doobie Brothers in the past — so, right on! Go, Doobie Brothers! And I love Nine Inch Nails (for inspiring Johnny Cash alone), the Notorious B.I.G. (a seminal hip-hop godfather) and T. Tex (so much love for Marc Bolan’s groovy, grungy, proto-New Wave guitar sound) “Get It On”, etc., though he had only a few giant Top-40 hits.

But Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode? Really? Rock & Roll?

Did Whitney Houston — as prodigious a vocal instrument as she possessed — record a single rock and roll track? Did she chart a single rock & roll single? Did she ever rock?

How in the hell is Whitney Houston a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

Let’s put it this way. Is Ella Fitzgerald in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Ella won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums — but she was a jazz singer — not a rock & roll singer. She’s not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Soulful, bluesy, risk-taking jazz singer Billie Holiday is in the Hall as a bold and fearless, raw and soulful early influence — but slick, pop-oriented Whitney Houston hardly qualifies. Especially when more deserving rockers have been, once again, overlooked.

There is a national shame and outrage that I must address here and now…

Tommy+James++The+Shondells+732311_356x237Why — oh why? — aren’t Tommy James & The Shondells in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

I’m a Cleveland boy, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a shining jewel on my hometown lakefront — but that only makes such an injustice a more personal matter.

2014-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-ceremony-1024Tommy James & The Shondells have been waiting since 1991 to get a call from the Hall. For 23 years, they’ve had to endure the enshrinement of acts like Abba, Kiss and Whitney in an institution supposedly devoted to rock and roll – while the band that gave garage bands worldwide rock classics like “Mony Mony” and “Hanky Panky” is continually and criminally passed over.

Tommy James GERHow can it be that overproduced purveyors of techno pop-rock (Depeche Mode) and pure, chart-topping pop (Whitney Houston) win out over the inspired 60’s rockers who put “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Crimson and Clover” down on vinyl?

At the 2014 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Rage Against the Machine’s lead guitarist Tom Morello – a man whose shredding virtuosity and politics I admire – made a convincing case for why Kiss had a rightful place in the Rock Hall. But while Kiss may have blazed a trail for visual and musical bombast and pyro in arena rock – their sound and fury signify nothing like the string of hits that Tommy James and his band delivered in the late 1960s.

tommy-james-and-the-shondells-on-the-ed-sullivan-showBesides their two #1 hit single in the U.S. – “Hanky Panky” in ’66 and “Crimson and Clover” in ’69 — Tommy James & The Shondells charted twelve other Top 40 hits, including five in the top ten. Remember a platter entitled “Crystal Blue Persuasion”?

How about 14 Top 40 hits during the greatest period in rock and roll radio history? All while competing with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival, James Brown, Sly & The Family Stone – and those Motown artists cranking out classics in Hitsville, USA.

All of those great rockers are in the Hall of Fame — so, why not Tommy James & The Shondells?

114774938And I don’t want to hear that Tommy James was “bubblegum”. Please. When was the last time you listened to “Mony Mony” or “Draggin the Line”? Guitars. Groove. Harmony. Drive. Horns. Hooks. Lots and lots of classic rock and roll hooks.

Tommy James & The Shondells should go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fames very next class or the whole institution is a sham.

TommyJames2Honor Tommy James while the man is still alive and well and rocking.

I can wait no longer.

I’m just going to enshrine Tommy James & The Shondells here and now.

In fact…

I’m announcing The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021 must include Tommy James & The Shondells — Eligible since 1991. And now about…

The Monkees — Eligible since 1991

The-Monkees-the-monkees-29786398-886-960Not even gonna argue about this.

The Monkees should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hell, The Beatles respected The Monkees – so why should anyone else deny their undeniable greatness?

Morons who I have little patience for say The Monkees were a fabricated band – “The Pre-Fab Four” — surrounded by studio musicians. I know for a fact that The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas, and others in the Hall of Fame were backed by the very same group of studio cats: the Wrecking Crew. So, what? I said I wasn’t gonna argue.

websbest060113_fullsize_story1At their peak in ‘67, The Monkees outsold The Beatles and Rolling Stones combined. 12 Top-40 hits, three #1 hits — and a TV show that brought melodic, witty, well-written and beautifully sung rock and roll music (and surprisingly subversive comedy) into homes across America.

The-Monkees-the-monkees-2846004-603-546I won’t even mention the songs by name. You know them. You sing them. You’ll probably hear one on the radio today.

“Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” “Daydream Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”. That’s just five.

And now I’m really not gonna argue any more.

The Rock N Roll Trio — Eligible since 1981

115163945Johnny Burnette and the Rock & Roll Trio were the best damn rockabilly band that ever thumped a standup bass, whacked out the backbeat on a snare, and sang like drunken wildcats.

“Rock Billy Boogie”, “Rock Therapy”, “Train Kept A-Rollin”, “Honey Hush”, “Tear It Up” – Johnny Burnette and the Rock & Roll Trio served up fundamental, elemental, essential rock and roll.

20131210092007-burnette_jJohnny Burnette and the Rock & Roll Trio featured no frills, no gimmicks, no costumes, and no pyrotechnics — other than the fire they produced by their passionate playing.

Sorry, Depeche Mode, this is rock and roll with real, gritty, driving heart and soul. I don’t give a damn what hits they had or where they charted. When I need rock therapy — they give it to me.

They should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Beauty, History, Music, Politics, rock & roll, Uncategorized

THE PRACTICAL THEATRE PRESENTS A “BIG HOLIDAY BAG O’ FUN!”

Bag O' Fun

1980 L to R: Jane Muller, Herb Metzler, John Goodrich, Dave Silberger, Paul Barrosse & Brad Hall

In the summer of 1980, The Practical Theatre opened it’s first improvisational comedy revue — “Bag O’ Fun”— at The Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston.

Now, four decades later, The PTC returns to Evanston for a concert celebration of classic Practical comedy – featuring grown-up laughs, great live music – anda well-stocked bar!

Tickets available at: Studio5 website. Or via Direct Ticket link,

New Poster #6Playing their third holiday run at Studio5 in three years, writer-performers Victoria Zielinski, Paul Barrosse and Dana Olsen anchor a “Big Holiday Bag O’ Fun”– with music by jazz maestro Steve Rashid and his Studio5 All-Stars.

Saturday Night Live veteran Gary Kroeger and Evanston’s own Rockin’ Ronny Crawford set the beat for a bright young supporting cast: recording artist Eva B. Ross, Giggle Break’s Daniel Rashid, VEEP writer and stand-up comic Emilia Barrosse — and newcomer Reilly Anspaugh!

Big Holiday Bag O’ Fun” combines classic Practical Theatre comedy sketches, newsworthy satire, and music better than you can imagine — with Don Stiernberg on every stringed instrument known to man, and Rockin’ Ronny Crawford on all things percussion.

Come and party before the show, sipping cocktails and anticipating the fun in the warmth and comfort of the North Shore’s most intimate performance venue — located at Dempster & Dodge in Evanston.Shows run December 28-31.

There’s a cash bar for all shows. Doors open for cocktails at 7:30. Showtime is 8:00. Except, that is, for New Year’s. The New Year’s Eve show starts at 9:00.

It’s gonna be a Big Holiday Bag O’ Fun”.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation, Music, Politics, rock & roll, Uncategorized

Eva B’s “Playlist For The Apocalypse”

70941885_3110773952326344_7004111346375589888_oHey, New Music Lovers!

It’ll soon be time to celebrate the release of Eva B. Ross’ debut EP, Playlist For The Apocalypse.

The party is happening at Corridor, 122 Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park — featuring a live set by Eva and her fabulous band, a Pop-up art gallery, drinks, and special guests.

Doors open at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here.

For those wishing to MapQuest it, Corridor is located at 122 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

See all you groovy, tasteful and musically sophisticated folks there!

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Beauty, Music, rock & roll, Uncategorized

Eva B. Ross sings “Pet Names”

The latest music video offering from my youngest daughter — and groovy singer-songwriter — Eva B. Ross. Directed and edited by Daniel Rashid.

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Beauty, Music, rock & roll, Uncategorized

Three Sisters Make June Jump!

Banner 2Sisters BannerFollowers of this blog will surely pardon me for taking just a moment to kvell.

My three talented daughters – Maura, Emilia and Eva — each have a big gig coming up this June. And provided you have enough free time and transportation resources, I recommend you make the trifecta.

All of these gigs are just five minutes from anywhere by rocket car.

avatars-000546751557-2hua3w-t500x500First off, there’s Eva B. Ross’ gig at Steve and Bea Rashid’s fabulous Studio5 cabaret in Evanston, Illinois (just north of Chicago) on June 15th. She’ll be mixing jazz standards and her own songs, backed by Steve Rashid on keys, Robert Rashid on drums and Grant Milliken on vibes.

For tickets, go to the Studio5 website.

While in the Chicago area, Eva will also play a set of original tunes at Hungry City on June 14th.

At the same time, Eva’s older sister Emilia Barrosse is playing a gig in Carlsbad, California – yeah, Carlsbad.

52ec6720-6750-11e9-a0f1-cbe0c91e00d0-rimg-w501-h640-gmirEmilia is a standup comedian and TV comedy writer who, along with her partner Julie Roland (a Navy helicopter pilot and a magician who performs at The Magic Castle), launched a popular standup comedy event series called Just Tryna Make Friends.

The next Just Tryna Make Friends event is Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM. It’s a PROM SEASON party.

Attendees are encouraged to shine their dancing shoes and pick out their favorite tuxes and dresses for this prom-themed comedy extravaganza, complete with a live DJ spinning the best prom playlist of 2010, reliably-spiked punch — and absolutely no chaperones.

Tickets are first come first served, so get yours now. Carlsbad is lovely this time of year.

cropAt the end of the month Eva and Emilia’s older sister Maura Murphy-Barrosse will be bringing her soulful, bluesy, rocking band, Ms. Maura & The Misters to The Mint in Hollywood on Sunday, June 30 at 7:00 PM.

maxresdefaultMs. Maura & The Misters plays Maura’s original songs and thoroughly groovy arrangements of some classic tunes – all designed to get you out of your seat and onto the dance floor!

The Mint is located at 1136 W 6th St. in Los Angeles.

Click here for tix.

So, there you go! Your entertainment itinerary for June 2019 is a done deal. Maura, Emilia and Eva will get your summer off to a fabulous, fun start.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Beauty, Comedy, Music, rock & roll, Uncategorized

The Midnight Bike Ride of Eva B. Ross

In her latest music video, Eva B. Ross takes a bluesy bicycle ride through a classic summer night in the West Valley.

“Nick’s House” is written and sung by Eva B. Ross. Produced by Justin Neibank & Steve Rashid. Check all of Eva’s songs out on Spotify.

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Beauty, Music, rock & roll, Uncategorized

Celebrate with Ms. Maura at Vitello’s

f33906293c2544e5b3519fcb0c118a7dMs. MauraGreat live music and fine Italian food – on the same night, in the same place!1497390160-Upstairs-Vitellos-tickets

This will be the coolest, hippest, tastiest gig my daughter Maura has put together yet.

Please join us on the evening of Thursday, January 10th, Upstairs At Vitello’s Supper Club, for Ms. Maura & The Mister’s Record Release ShowGet your tickets by clicking here.

Maura PosterMaura and her band are celebrating the release of their very first EP – which will be provided free to attendees!

Enjoy a full evening of Maura’s trademark Rockin’ Vintage Indie Soul while dining on the fine Italian menu of the famed Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City. The full menu is available while enjoying the performance.

The elegant showroom is located just above the restaurant.

Bring your friends and make a night of it!

Doors open at 6:30 pm. The show starts at 7:3o.

Tickets are $20

VIP Tickets are $30

There’s a $10 ticket increase on the day of show – so get your tickets now!

vitellos-italian-restaurant-38Some more details:The full dinner menu is available for purchase as soon as doors open. Your ticket purchase is the only reservation you need. A minimum of two items is required per person. Valet parking is available with validation for $6. There’s metered street parking as well. (Be sure to read the signs. Parking is not permitted on Woodbridge St. after 9pm nightly.)

Upstairs At Vitello’s

4349 Tujunga Ave

Studio City, CA, 91604

http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Beauty, Music, rock & roll, Uncategorized