Feels So Good

One of my biggest regrets is not taking up an instrument. Actually, that’s not entirely true. In the fourth grade, after a musician came to our classroom to show and demonstrate our instrument options, I decided on the flute. (I should have chosen the drums or clarinet.) While I’ve always maintained that I chose the …

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Home Sick

Hotel, motel … I bet plenty of y’all know what comes next. Back to that in a moment. In second grade I had a crush on the nurse, so I pretended to be sick. My teacher sent me to the office; the nurse sent me home — for two days! In third grade I stayed …

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Firsts

Of all the memories people recall, childhood “firsts” have to rank near the top: first day of school, first time riding a bike, first crush, first kiss, first dance. More on that in a second. Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence, there was something that I both loved and …

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Bye George

Wham! Just like that, 2016 takes another. George Michael is gone. I’m old enough to remember when Ridgeley and Michaels were still identified as Wham! UK. In fact, I recall walking past Musicland on the first floor in the Eastridge Mall in San Jose with my dad and pointing to a display showcasing their hit …

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Prince Rogers Nelson

I don’t think I’ve been touched by reading posts and seeing photos as much as I have today. It’s been an unusual and remarkable day of empathy. The amount of people Prince touched is unquestionable. Like most folk, I knew his music before I knew his name. Above and beyond any other form of entertainment …

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1982

A few weeks before Christmas in 1982 I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life — either buy Lionel Richie’s self-titled debut album, or Michael Jackson’s sophomore album, Thriller. I already owned Jackson’s debut album, Off The Wall, which produced a bunch of hits — including the post-disco anthems “Rock …

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Turn Down For What!

Last week it was Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen”; today it was Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage.” Who knows what tomorrow will bring? The beauty of songs is their unique ability to remind us of people and places that in some cases are deeply hidden in our memory banks. I love that about music! The Whispers’ “Rock Steady,” …

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The Wiz

Last night, NBC presented The Wiz Live! It billed it as “The Live Event of the Year!” Was it a success?“A wiz of a ‘Wiz’ it was.” -USA Today “NBC’s trip to Oz is a colorful triumph.” -The Hollywood Reporter “A Hot Mess Saved By Brains, Heart, and Courage.” -The Daily Beast Over all, critics — …

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“Can’t you see?”

There are SO many songs that make me think of my wife: Luther’s “If This World Were Mine”; Teddy Pendergrass’s “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration” — which I actually used on one of our first dates to try to seduce her (LOL!), — and, of course, a bunch of songs by my favorite romantic …

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El Rey

When the Beatles landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport in 1964, the frenzy was just getting started. I cannot fully fathom the immense impact of the British Invasion. But one doesn’t have to be a student of history to recognize the effects of Beatlemania. It even drove fans–who once admired The King–to hold …

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