Monthly Archives: June 2010

Back In The Saddle (or office chair in this case)

Lynnrockets would like to thank all of you once again for your sympathy and kind words of support during my recent time of loss. Loving words go a long way towards healing a wounded soul. I never would have guessed when I started this blog a little over a year ago that I would attract very many readers, let alone the sizable group of wonderful folks that have become not only an important part of this little community, but who also now hold a very dear spot in my heart. I will continue to hold you close and hopefully repay my debt to all of you with a few cogent comments and a lot of laughs.

I have decided to return to the blogosphere more quickly than I had originally anticipated. Please bear with me (or bare with me if you don’t like wearing clothes) during the next few weeks if I wax philosophically or seem a bit maudlin. My intention is not to bore you or seem overly dramatic about my recent losses, but rather it is to help me work through a most difficult time while simultaneously revealing a bit more about myself to you terrific folks. Please indulge me for a while.

As most of you have probably already figured out, I am a 40-something person that is a product of Irish parents. I live in the smallest town in Massachusetts which just happens to be located on an island (more accurately known as a “tombolo”) just about ten miles northeast of Boston with a wonderful view of the Beantown skyline. I am one of only two children (I have the best older sister in the world), married (to my very best friend) with no children and one great two year old dog (my second best friend). I attended public elementary schools and junior high school, a Catholic parochial high school, a Small Ivy college and a Boston law school. Since childhood I have played and have a passion for hockey (“ice hockey” to you warm climate dwellers). I am a fan of the Boston Bruins (NHL), the Boston Red Sox (MLB) and the Boston Celtics (NBA). Neverthelss, my favorite franchise of all has always been the Green Bay Packers (NFL). I am a lifelong liberal Democrat. If this were a dating site, this is the point where I would say something like “I enjoy long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners”.

The most important influences in my life were my loving parents, my great aunt Gertrude, Bobby Orr and Jack Kennedy in that order. The most important people in my life are my spouse, my sister and her husband, my one nephew and his wife and my grandnephew. In my opinion, a better family could not be had. I will remind them of that every day for the rest of my life. I would advise all of you to do the same with your loved ones because we can never predict when we will lose them.

My mom and dad met as schoolchildren in the 1930’s and were inseparable thereafter. They were childhood sweethearts. They were married in 1949 and for the next 61 years they spent less than a handful of nights apart. My mom became ill about 6 years ago and her condition deteriorated quickly to the point where at first she was housebound and then bed-ridden. My dad promised her that he would do everything possible to prevent her from hospitalization or nursing home care as she loved her home. He kept his promise. With the help of visiting nurses, health aides and family, my father spent every single one of those days with his wife. He single-handedly got my mother out of bed every morning, fed her breakfast, washed her, dressed her, took her to the bathroom and cleaned her before putting her to bed at night. As ill as my mother was, my father was the picture of health. He often told my sister and I that he only wished he could gift some of his health to my mom.

In February of this year my mom passed away in her sleep at home. All of my family experienced the pain of sorrow but none so much as my dad. Outwardly he was the strong man that everyone knew but he now suffered from a malady that had nothing to do with the human body. He made all the right gestures such as continuing to work and since he was no longer called upon to be my mom’s constant care-giving companion, he even began to socialize outside the home with family and friends much more frequently. We moved in with him to keep him company and the last five months allowed me to rekindle the love and comaraderie that I had shared with my best pal during all those years I lived with him as a child. We were true buddies.

At about six or seven o’clock each evening he would sit down to watch The Golden Girls reruns on tv. I do not recall him ever watching that show when it was originally aired but he told me that my mom loved to watch it, so now he would do the same. It grew on him and me too. It became a ritual for the two of us and I must admit it was a great show. It seemed that every couple of nights he would ask me, “How many times was that Rue McClanahan married?” I never had the answer for him until early this month. I remember saying, Hey dad, Rue McClanahan was married six times.” He said, “How do you know?” and I answered that she had died that morning and I read the obituary. (side note: Bostonians refer to the obituaries as “The Irish Sports Page”).

My dad and my two dogs also became fast friends during the last five months. At first I thought they annoyed him with their exuberant greetings after work and a steady supply of barking at everything. After not too long however, I spied him petting their behinds while watching tv and feeding them those prohibited table scraps. My sister, who worked with my dad every day in the family business, even told me that he would often say to customers, “You’ll never guess what my dog did today!” This too however was short lived as my eldest dog, a Dalmatian named McKenzie, passed away at the ripe old dog age of fifteen in April. We were all crushed at another loss. I did what I could to save that pooch, even going so far as to have her euthanized on Good Friday in the hope that there would be a miracle and she would rise again three days later on Easter Sunday. Alas, such was not the case.

My dad, my spouse and my other dog, Marley the two year old Weimaraner carried on. My dad, who loved and anticipated the warm summer sun had all the yard furniture arranged out on the upper patio by late March (remember, this is Boston and it still tends to snow sometimes in March). He simply could not wait to get out there and sun bathe. The Irish octogenarian boasted a tan that my spouse and I felt would be a sure ticket to skin cancer on a younger person. My dad however, was a unique man. He was never sick and was only hospitalized once in his life back in the seventies for knee surgery. Recently we believed that he suffered from at least one torn rotator cuff and possible knee ligament damage from all the wear and tear of carrying my mother for so long. We were wrong. It only proved to be a mild case of arthritis. He was a virtual Superman.

Well, Fathers’ Day rolled along a few weeks ago and we had a special day. Not only was my entire extended family at the old homestead for a cook out, but my spouse’s parents, siblings and children were also all in attendance. It was a glorious day. My father was at his best being the proud host. He joked, hugged, kissed and cajoled everyone. He was truly holding court. One of my brothers-in-law commented that he looked like a movie star with his tanned upper torso, sunglasses and full long wavy mane of pure white hair. The day lasted well into the evening before the last guest left. I remember my father (always one with a joke) telling one to the last guest as he departed.

After all the guests had left, my dad sat with us and the dog on the couch and thanked us for a wonderful day. He said he was tired and going to bed. He told us he loved us. He kissed us, petted Marley, went to his room and left us to be with my mother forevermore. Until I meet him again, I will miss him every day that I live.

I love you dad.

Anyone interested in that last joke?

Well, there was this old timer (let’s call him Jack) that went to his doctor for the annual check up. The doctor said, “Well Jack, everything looks pretty good. You’re a fit and healthy 80 year old. What do you have to say for yourself?” Jack responded by inquiring if the doctor could test his sperm count. The doctor exclaimed that he was puzzled as to why an 80 year old would care about his sperm count but Jack told him that he was just curious and if it were in good standing, he would feel even better about himself. The doctor acquiesced, handed Jack a specimen bottle and instructed him to return in the morning with the specimen.

The next morning Jack returned to the doctor’s office. The doctor asked if he had the sperm specimen. A dejected Jack said, “No”. Jack explained that when he left the office the day before, he went straight to his room to provide the specimen. He said, “I sat on my bed and tried for half an hour with my right hand, but nothing. I then tried for half an hour with my left hand, but nothing. Next I tried with both hands for about twenty minutes before I was exhausted and fell asleep without success.”

Jack explained, “When I awoke the next morning I tried again first with my right hand then my left hand and then with both hands and still no results. My wife, God bless her, saw my frustration and said she would help. She tried with her right hand, but nothing. She tried with her left hand, but nothing. She tried with both hands, but nothing. Finally, she even removed her dentures, put it in her mouth and tried for ten minutes, but she still could not get the cap off of that damn specimen bottle!”

Who knows, maybe there is a book to be written about my lovable quirky family!

Taking A Breather

I thank all of you for visiting my blog over the last year, but Blast-Off will be taking a little break. You regular readers know that I suffered the loss of my mother in February. Bad luck has struck again as my father passed away from a broken heart on Father’s Day. At this point I need to mend and refocus. It is a bit difficult for me to make a funny point or compose a parody right now. To lose both parents in four months is an emotional wound that must take some time to heal. For those of you that stick around and check back time and again, I promise to return in the not to distant future with some hopefully substantive posts. Until then, I wish you all the best. Keep up the good fight for what we believe in.

Signing off,


Tuesday Night Music Byte

David naughton in An American Werewolf In London

Our 1970’s “one hit wonders” week continues.

David Walsh Naughton (born February 13, 1951) is an American actor and singer, perhaps best known for starring in the 1981 horror film An American Werewolf in London as David Kessler.

Naughton was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Rosemary (née Walsh) and Joseph Naughton, both of whom were teachers and have Irish heritage. Naughton attended the University of Pennsylvania.

Naughton first became widely known as a result of his singing and dancing appearances in Dr Pepper TV commercials. He starred in the sitcom Makin’ It and hit the Billboard Top Ten in 1979 with the show’s theme song, also titled “Makin’ It”. He also appeared in the television series My Sister Sam and also in episodes of MacGyver, Melrose Place, Murder, She Wrote, JAG and Seinfeld. He is the brother of accomplished theater and film actor James Naughton.

Please enjoy David Naughton performing “Makin’ It” in this 1979 television appearance.

Monday Night Music Byte

The Boomtown Rats

Our 1970’s “one hit wonders” week continues. The Boomtown Rats were an Irish rock band that scored a series of UK hits between 1977 and 1980 and were led by vocalist Bob Geldof.

All six members were originally from Dún Laoghaire, Ireland. Formed under the name “The Nightlife Thugs,” the group agreed on the name change to the “Boomtown Rats” after a gang that Geldof read about in Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, Bound for Glory. They became a notable band, but one whose accomplishments were overshadowed by the charity work of frontman Bob Geldof, a former journalist with the NME magazine.

The group moved to London in October 1976, and became associated with the punk rock movement. Signing a recording contract with Ensign Records, they released their debut single, “Looking After No.1”, in August 1977. It was the first of nine straight singles to make the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album, The Boomtown Rats, was released in September 1977, on Ensign in the UK and on Mercury Records in the United States, and featured another single, “Mary of the 4th Form”. As music journalist, Martin C. Strong noted, “Geldof’s moody charisma helped to give the band a distinct identity”.

The Rats’ second album, A Tonic for the Troops, appeared in June 1978 in the UK. It featured three hit singles, “Like Clockwork”, “She’s So Modern” and “Rat Trap”. A Tonic for the Troops was released in the U.S. on Columbia in February 1979, with two tracks from The Boomtown Rats substituted for tracks on the UK version. Mutt Lange produced “Rat Trap”, which became the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK, and the first of any description by an Irish band to top the official chart used by the BBC. (The Bachelors had topped the Record Retailer chart in 1964 with “Diane”, but only reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart). In addition, “Rat Trap” was also the first new wave song to claim the number one spot.

In 1979, “I Don’t Like Mondays”, was released. This was written in response to a school shooting in California by Brenda Ann Spencer, and also reached #1 in the UK. It was a worldwide hit, with the glaring exception being the United States. Fears of lawsuits and charges of bad taste kept radio stations there from playing the record. The unofficial boycott was frontpage news in Variety Magazine, the only time the Boomtown Rats earned such prominent coverage. However, it was included in The Fine Art of Surfacing, the band’s third album, and subsequently became the band’s only U.S. Billboard Hot 100 entry. The album also contained “Diamond Smiles” and their next Top 10 hit in the UK, “Someone’s Looking at You”. Geldof and Fingers became the visual and musical focus of the group: Geldof with his articulate, caustic wit – which made him the delight of television talk show presenters and the bitter enemy of music journalists – and Fingers with the striped pyjamas he wore onstage.

Please enjoy this video clip of the Boomtown Rats performing their hit “I Don’t Like Mondays” in 1981 at The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball.

Nikki, Just Choose To Blunder

Nikki Haley: counting on shampooers.

Hear them bones a rattlin’? Well you should because the skeletons just keep on falling out of Nikki Haley’s closet. Haley is in a runoff primary election tomorrow to be the Republican Gubernatorial candidate in North Carolina. She hopes to succeed Mark Sanford in the role of Governor. Sanford, in fact, supports Haley and that may not be the only thing they have in common.

You might recall that Sanford went awol on his state last year. His staff concocted a story that the contemplative Governor was out hiking the Appalachian Trail to clear his head. In reality however, Sanford was in Argentina secretly carrying on a long term affair with his mistress and billing taxpayers for the travel. The onetime G.O.P. Presidential hopeful’s career came to a screeching halt.

Well, lo and behold, before Nikki Haley has even qualified for the general election, it has been alleged that she has had extra-marital affairs with not one, but two different men. First, conservative blogger Will Folks came clean with the affair in an attempt to ease the blow (so to speak) on Haley if the tryst was made public by an opponent. Haley quickly denied the affair and attacked Folks’ credibility, but that only incited folks to release numerous emails between him and Haley and her campaign aides which described late night off duty meetings between the two. Next, lobbyist Larry Marchant emerged and said this:

I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki Haley,” Marchant explains in an interview with WCBD in Charleston. “We had gone to dinner, I had some drinks, and things happened and that was it. It was one time and one time only… I spent the night with Ms. Haley and we had sexual relations, we had sex.

Haley once again denied any illicit activity with Marchant who was a campaign aide for one of Haley’s Republican gubernatorial rivals. Indeed, Nikki Haley doubled down on her innocence by vowing to quit the Governor’s office if she is elected and it is then proven that she had an affair. It remains to be seen if she will keep her word.

Last week two new controversies involving Haley emerged. First, her religion was called into question by a staff member of her runoff opponent, Republican Gresham Barrett. Phillip Bowers, co-chairman of Barrett’s campaign, circulated an e-mail Friday afternoon suggesting Haley has lied about her religion. “There are lots of contradictions to her story. It’s not my place to question her faith, but I do question her honesty. If anyone finds the truth, please let me know,” said Bowers, in an email. It would appear that the opposition is attempting to subtly use her religious background to try to alienate the Indian-American candidate born with the name “Nimrata Randhawa” from conservative voters. This is not an unusual tactic of Republicans who seem to always try to characterize the opponents as one of “the others”. It is refreshing however, to see that in this instance, they are using that tactic on one of their own.

The second Haley controversy of the week came when an engineering executive who hired Nikki Haley for consulting work while she served in the South Carolina legislature said last Friday that Haley’s political and business connections helped his company get ahead. While serving as a state representative in 2007 and 2008, Haley was hired (and paid $ 2,000.00) as a consultant by Robert Ferrell, the southeast region business development manager for Wilbur Smith Associates. “I knew her to be a connected person who had access to a lot of folks and information, and in my business, that sort of information is critical to get ahead,” Ferrell told CNN. “If she would hear about things that were going on, primarily county-type stuff, or developers who were getting ready to do stuff, she would give us a heads up, and we would see where it went.”

Wow, nothing like a little “pay for play” to go along with extra-marital affairs and a religious controversy. These Republicans sure know how to spice up an election. Then again, the controversies should have been expected. After all, they surfaced only after Haley received an endorsement from Sarah Palin and everyone knows that everything Palin touches turns to manure. The funny thing about all these controversies is that they shadow what should really be in the spotlight. Nikki Haley’s lack of legislative experience. During her entire time as a state representative, Haley has only authored one bill that has been voted into law. That bill? It exempted beauty parlor workers that only shampoo hair from the requirement of obtaining a cosmetologist license. Heady stuff.

Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourself with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s topical song parody.

Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number song link:


(sung to the Steely Dan song “Nikki, Don’t Lose That Number”)

There’s no believin’ what you say
Looks like your little wild time has just begun
I guess you kind of snared yourself, yet you still run
But your campaign now falls apart

Nikki, just choose to blunder
Though you wanna blame somebody else
We saw those email letters, screwed yourself
Nikki, just choose to blunder
Your election is now blown
Exposed by all those email letters
You’ve wrecked your home

You and that Palin clown, are just the same
You both go out trolling down Tea Bag Row
Attempting to hide your sick games, they should know
That you both have a blackened hearts

Nikki, just choose to blunder
So they will elect somebody else
You know those email letters, screwed yourself
Nikki, just choose to blunder
Your mistakes are all your own
Exposed by all those email letters
Election’s blown


South Carolinians must be blind
Keep electing the cheating kind
That state is just a world apart

Nikki, it is no wonder
That they should elect somebody else
They deserve someone better than yourself
Nikki, you must be dumber
Than a Sarah Palin clone
We will all be a whole lot better
When you’re sent home.

Nikki, just choose to blunder (Nikki, just chose to blunder)
Nikki, just choose to blunder

Sunday Night Music Byte

Skylark circa 1973

We are continuing our presentation of 1970’s “one hit wonders” but we are going to mellow it out a bit for tonight. Skylark is a former Canadian pop/rock band active from 1971-1973 and based in the Pacific Northwest. The band formed from one of Ronnie Hawkins’ backup groups and signed with Capitol Records, releasing a self-titled album in 1972 which spawned three singles. The group, whose alumni include renowned composer/arranger David Foster, disbanded after the lukewarm reception of their second album, 2, and its members achieved mixed success in other projects.

Their biggest single, “Wildflower”, was a 1972 number one hit in Canada, then peaking at #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart the following spring, and selling over a million copies. It was written by guitarist Doug Edwards and Dave Richardson, who was a Victoria police officer at the time. “Wildflower” is an early example of the power ballad, featuring a strong, emotional lead vocal, a blend of electric guitar, strings and harp, distinctive “slow dance” percussion, and almost-gospel background vocals. It has since been covered by Johnny Mathis, The New Birth, The O’Jays, Kenny Rogers, Aaron Neville, Gary Morris, Color Me Badd, Phil Perry, Lisa Fischer, Hong Kong superstar Sandy Lam, and sampled by Tupac Shakur and Jamie Foxx.

Please enjoy Skylark performing “Wildfire” on this 1973 television appearance.

Sunday Morning Coffee (or Tea) – 42

Just a few newsworthy events and comments thereon that have been making their way through the political universe this past week. Please chuckle a bit before enjoying Fathers’ Day.

BREAKING NEWS: This week’s edition of “The Other Crazy Carolina” features North Carolina mountain man, Tim Peeler who claims to have encountered Bigfoot. Rather than describe the situation, let’s just go straight to the video, shall we…

THIS JUST IN: This week’s edition of “Republicans Living In A World Of Fiction” features Pat Buchanan. He not only defends “Brain Fartin'” Joe Barton’s apology to BP for having to cough up $20 Billion for an oil spill victims’ escrow fund, but likens Attorney General Eric Holder to the fictional Godfather enforcer Luca Brasi making “a deal they couldn’t refuse”. This is just the latest example of Republicans like Dick Cheney so often defending torture in the event of a 24 like ticking time bomb. What’s next, will Sarah Palin compare Barack Obama to the “Smoke Monster” from Lost?

BREAKING NEWS: Oops! We spoke too soon. This week’s second edition of “Republicans Living In A World Of Fiction” features conservative pundit Ann “The Man” Coulter. While appearing as a guest on the Fox network’s The O’Reilly Factor, the Coulter guy began comparing liberals to children who supposedly think that President Obama is either the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Keep trying Coulter but you’ll never out-crazy Beck, Palin and Bachmann.

THIS JUST IN: This week’s edition of “Republicans Doing The Flip Flop” features California Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. You might remember that during the primary, Whitman supported a no amnesty and zero tolerance posture towards illegal immigration in an effort to grab the conservative vote. However, now that she has secured the Republican spot, she must cater to the vast number of California Hispanics. Hence, she has released a campaign ad in which she portrays herself as “the Republican who opposed the Arizona (racist immigrant) law”. Nice try Meg. We are sure you will be embraced by the Spanish speaking community.

BREAKING NEWS: This week’s edition of “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” features Sarah Palin the former ex-quitting half-term Governor of Alaska. After months of requests from reporters, California State University, Stanislaus (rhymes with Santa Claus) on Friday agreed to allow members of the media to attend a fundraiser next week Palin. The unusually secretive reality tv host and fence builder will now be on public display for the world to ridicule. Just wondering, but will they be serving word salad at the event?

THIS JUST IN: This week’s edition of “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” features Florida’s Republican Gubernatorial candidate Marco “Polo” Rubio. You might recall that Rubio has been basing his campaign on fiscal conservatism and he repeatedly criticizes the Obama administration for spending money that it does not have. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to election day. Rubio is reportedly facing foreclosure on a Tallahassee home that he stopped making mortgage payments on last February. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Maybe Charlie Crist will rent him a room.

BREAKING NEWS: TPM/Muckraker gives us ” The 7 Dumbest Things BP Has Said About The Spill – – So Far.”

  1. “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”
  2. “everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest.”
  3. BP CEO Tony Hayward says, “Y’know, I’d like my life back,”
  4. BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told the Financial Times on May 25 — his first newspaper interview since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion — that his company still has a future in the U.S. because BP is “big and important.”
  5. “The oil is on the surface,” Hayward said. “There aren’t any plumes.”
  6. BP COO Doug Suttles told the Associated Press on June 8 that the oil leak should slow to “a relative trickle” soon.
  7. “I care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care, but that is not the case at BP. We care about the small people.”

THIS JUST IN: This week’s edition of “Tepid Tea” features Mark Williams. The conservative radio talk show host and prominent Tea Party activist is giving up his role as the chairman of the Tea Party Express. It seems that even this bigoted jack-ass can read the tea leaves and see that the Tea-Baggers are on the way out. The Tea Party will be remembered as a flash in the pan.

Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s song parody which features the whole bunch of conservatives.

California Dreamin’ song link:


(sung to the Mamas & The Papas song “California Dreamin’”)

All their shirts are brown
(All their shirts are brown)
And their hair is grey
(And their hair is grey)
Listen to them talk
(Listen to them talk)
As they loudly pray
(As they loudly pray)
Scandal is their norm
(Scandal is their norm)
They have one every day
(They have one every day)
Conservative dreamin’
(Conservative dreamin’)
And politics of hate

Members of John Birch
Some won’t admit they’re gay
But when they get down on their knees
(Get down on their knees)
That’s when they like to play
(When they like to play)
These slimy creatures should be told
(Creatures should be told)
Membership’s gone away
(Members gone away)
Conservative dreamin’
(Conservative dreamin’)
Has led them all astray

(musical interlude)

Glenn Beck is a clown
(Glenn Beck is a clown)
What does Limbaugh weigh?
(What does Limbaugh weigh?)
Palin cannot talk
(Palin cannot talk)
She’s no Tina Fey
(She’s no Tina Fey)
Somebody should tell her
(Somebody should tell her)
To just go away
(To just go away)
Conservative dreamin’
(Conservative dreamin’)
Has become so cliché
(Conservative dreamin’)
Has lost all its cache´
(Conservative dreamin’)
Drives voters all away

Saturday Night Music Byte

Pacific Gas & Electric circa 1970

Our 1970’s “one hit wonders” week continues. Pacific Gas & Electric were an American blues rock band in the late 1960s and early 1970s, led by singer Charlie Allen. Their biggest hit was “Are You Ready?”

The band was formed in Los Angeles in 1967, by guitarist Tom Marshall, bassist Brent Block, second guitarist Glenn Schwartz (previously of The James Gang) and drummer Charlie Allen, who had previously played in the band Bluesberry Jam. When it became clear that Allen was the best singer in the new group, he became the front man, and Frank Cook, previously of Canned Heat, came into the band on drums. Originally known as the Pacific Gas and Electric Blues Band, they shortened their name when they signed to Kent Records, releasing the album Get It On in early 1968. The record was not a success, but following the band’s performance at the Miami Pop Festival in May 1968 they were signed by Columbia Records.

Their first album for Columbia, Pacific Gas and Electric, was issued in 1969, but they achieved greater success with their next album, Are You Ready in 1970. The title track reached # 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the album was recorded, Cook was injured in a car accident and was replaced on drums by Ron Woods, Cook staying on as manager. Marshall and Schwartz left, and were replaced by Frank Petricca (bass) and Ken Utterback (guitar}, with Brent Block moving to rhythm guitar before leaving later in 1970. Unusually for the time, the band contained both black and white musicians, which led to rioting and gunfire on one occasion when the band, who toured widely, performed in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 1971, the band changed their name to PG&E, following pressure from the utility company of the same name. The band also expanded, Allen, Woods, Petricca and Utterback being joined by Jerry Aiello (keyboards), Stanley Abernathy (trumpet), Alfred Galagos and Virgil Gonsalves (saxophones), and Joe Lala (percussion). They recorded the album PG&E, and also appeared in and provided music for the Otto Preminger film Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon starring Liza Minnelli. The band then split up. A final album using the name, Pacific Gas & Electric Starring Charlie Allen, was recorded by Allen with studio musicians and released on the Dunhill label in 1973.

Tom Marshall later suffered deteriorating health and personal circumstances, being homeless since the 1980’s.Frank Petricca became a commodity broker. Charlie Allen died in 1990, aged 48.

Please enjoy this great rendition of Pacific Gas and Electric performing “Get Ready” in 1970.

Fools Rush In

Rush Limbaugh, the Oxy-Moron.

Remember when all those conservative pundits like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh got their panties all in a bunch whenever anyone in the media even dared to utter the name of one of Sarah Palin’s children? It did not even matter to those right-wingers if the subject was actually relevant to the political discourse (such as when the unwed teen daughter of “abstinence only” preaching Sarah Palin became pregnant). In their opinion any reference to the child of a politician was off limits. Case closed.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the University of Good Manners. The right wing pundits forgot to live by their own lesson plan. First it was Glenn Beck that violated his own rule. Last month on his radio show, Beck mimicked the voice of one of President Obama’s young daughters asking her father why he hates white people. He then went on to ridicule and question her education. Not only was Beck’s comment abhorrent, but it was also misplaced in that Obama’s children take their studies quite seriously and almost never miss classes as opposed to the Palin children who tend to quit school before graduation and/or miss classes regularly to attend their mother’s events.

Now, just this week we have Rush Limbaugh exhibiting the same malicious behavior. Rather than my explaining his conduct to you, let’s just watch and listen to the uneducated, philandering drug addict in action…

Please click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with the song parody.

Puff The Magic Dragon song link:


(sung to the Peter, Paul and Mary song “Puff The Magic Dragon”)

Rush the tragic maggot lives by the sea
Was born in 1951 in a state called Missouri
Limbaugh’s education went down in a flush
He made it two semesters and his family kept it hush, oh

Rush the tragic maggot had an injury
It was a pilonidal cyst in a place he could not see
Rush the magic maggot petitioned his country
Then they deemed him too unfit for the military

Therefore he did not travel off to the Ho Chi Minh Trail
Limbaugh the rabid chickenhawk was deemed to be too frail
So he became a disc jockey and pursued his fame
Alas he was a failure as his music taste was lame, oh

Rush the tragic maggot found ABC
And began his talk radio stint shilling for the G.O.P.
Rush the tragic maggot tried football on Monday
But when he showed his racist trait they canned his ass hastily

The maggot talks forever and his voice sure annoys
Calls his listeners “ditto heads” while he’s making noise
Rush thinks that he matters and is gen’rally adored
Poor Rush does not realize he’s like a mouse that roars

The mike that he speaks into bigger, than his brain
His brain-dead thoughtless audience is his gravy train
“Operation Chaos” failed in a big way
Despite all Rush’s efforts the Dems won running away, oh

Rush the tragic maggot lives happily
He doctor shops his days away and frequents pharmacies
Rush the tragic maggot loves his Oxy-C
And when he’s feeling a bit down, there’s the blue pill known as “V”

Friday Night Music Byte

Focus circa 1973

1970’s “one hit wonders” week continues. Focus is a Dutch rock band. It was founded by classically trained organist/flautist Thijs van Leer in 1969, and is most famous for the songs “Hocus Pocus” and “Sylvia”. The band have found renewed fame due to the use of Hocus Pocus as the theme for the Nike 2010 World Cup commercial, Write the Future.

At the release of their first album In and Out of Focus (1970), Focus comprised keyboardist and flautist Thijs van Leer, guitarist Jan Akkerman, bassist Martin Dresden, and drummer Hans Cleuver. The album was little noticed outside the Netherlands, where a small but avid fan base developed. Akkerman left the group to form another band with bassist Cyril Havermans and Pierre van der Linden, a drummer he had previously performed with in Johnny and the Cellar Rockers, The Hunters, and Brainbox. When Cleuver and Dresden left Focus shortly after, Van Leer joined Akkerman, Van der Linden, and Havermans as the new lineup of Focus.

In 1971, the group released Moving Waves, which brought the band international acclaim and a hit on both sides of the Atlantic with the radio edit of the rock rondo “Hocus Pocus”. This rock classic consists of Akkerman’s guitar chord sequence used as a recurring theme, with quirky and energetic interludes that include alto flute riffs, accordion, guitar, and drum solos, whistling, nonsensical vocals, falsetto singing, and yodeling. This album established Thijs van Leer and Akkerman as composers who could appeal to progressive-rock album listeners (a large audience in the early 1970s) and radio single buyers.

Please enjoy Focus playing their hit “Hocus Pocus” on this 1975 television appearance.