Tuesday, October 18, 2016


86. "House of Pain" by Faster Pussycat

At the height of glam metal in the mid to late Eighties Faster Pussycat had their heyday among the long hair bands. The very early nineties, if your remember, glam rock dominated  the music scene too before Nirvana took all those bands down. But this song, released in 1990 and in contrast to the excess and cheap thrills usually expressed in glam rock, is a personal story about a boy neglected by his father and the anguish that comes with all that. The lines "I didn't write these pages and my scripts been rearranged" are particularly heart wrenching. The song also made the use of a harmonica en vogue for about two seconds.

Monday, September 19, 2016


88. Shai's "Comforter"
Shai was a four man R+B soul band in the early nineties. Their biggest hit was "If I Ever Fall In Love". Cats use to blast that while driving in their convertibles or jeeps to show women their soft side. However, their next hit "Comforter" which was released in January 1994 is the precedence of an R+B classic in the heyday of R+B. The tune has a soft, lade back flow in describing yearning for a damsel in distress that makes you yonder for the youthful  halcyon days where unrequited love was your biggest worry. The band never reached the same success as they did in the early nineties but these songs take us back.

Friday, September 16, 2016

90 Things We Miss About The Early Nineties

90. Knowing How To Use A Map

Before there was Google Maps APP which could direct you where ever you want to go with an available smart phone, there was GPS system gadgets that were bought as a separate device (I still have mine). Before those, you would type your current location and desired location on a site called Mapquest.com and print out the directions. But, before even that, when the World Wide Web was only accessible to businesses and computer nerds, people would actually use maps to find their destinations. Crazy thought, right!. Well after some 20+ years, the talent of map reading is lost. Moreover, people rarely need to ask directions from other humans anymore illustrating, yet another, lost need for human interaction that technology created.

Friday, August 26, 2016


           In Rock n Roll folklore there is a story of how the band Bon Jovi was practicing in a studio before they became big. In that same studio at one time, Bruce Springsteen, over heard them and his advise to them was more or less to keep their day job. Well as fate of irony or a lesson of success is the best payback would note, Bon Jovi went on to rival the Boss' success in the mid to late 1980's and they are still going strong today. Take that!
            For another less known Payback With Success story in music is the tale of the great music producer and drummer of one of the most successful bands of the 1990's, Butch Vig.
            Vig's musical journey began at the University of Wisconsin, in the late 70's, where he met other band members of which would make up the super group Garbage. Vig joined a medley of garage bands at that time through the early eighties. In 1984, he and Steve Marker (the guitarist and keyboardist from Garbage) founded Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin.
             At the turn to the early nineties, Vig produced what will go down as the landmark album that launched the grunge revolution. With Nirvana's Nevermind, Vig became a solidified, prominent producer. He produced other alternative mainstays like Gish and Siamese Dream for the Smashing Pumpkins.
             Later, with Marker and Duke Erikson, Vig formed an all male band, for which he sang vocals. But in the same Boss Dis To Bon Jovi kind of way, someone who heard them play commented that their music "sounds like garbage". And, thus, the name of the band was discovered.
             In another ironic dis kind of twist, the woman who would eventually front his band and help Garbage become a mainstay band of the 90's did not know who Vig was when the band decided to find a female vocal in 1994. Band members took an interested in Shirley Manson when they saw her singing for Angelfish's "Suffocate Me" on Mtv's 120 Minutes. The bands manager tracked down Manson from the request of Vig. She was then told to check the credits of Nirvana's Nevermind.
            Manson eventually met the band members and the rest is rubbish history.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Here is the link to our first short movie, taking place in the early nineties and made with a zero budget. https://youtu.be/1a3nDLDqjlk

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


In theaters now is a movie called "September of Shiraz" starring Selma Hayak and Adrien Brody and directed by Wayne Blair, based on a novel by Dalia Sofer. It is based on a true story. The movie gives a telling tale of a wealthy Jewish family caught in the crossfires of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979. From someone whose parents survived that ordeal, I have to say that the movie is an accurate story of the events that took place at that time in that area. It also does great job of giving thoughtful points of view from both sides of the revolution: in this case a wealthy Jewish family that benefited from the Shahs regime versus the revolutionaries who struggled from the same regime. Great conversations take place between the matriarch of the wealthy family, Farnaz who is played by Selma Hayak and her housekeeper, Habibeh played by Shohreh Aghdashloo, regarding the hierarchy and their placement into social classes that they both belong to. Also great conversations exists between Isaac, the wealthy Jewish business man played by Adrien Brody and his guard keeper, Mohsen played by Alon Aboutboul, about the reversals of their power and fates since the revolution has taken place, while Isaac is jailed. Thus, the movie sheds lots of light to the social class struggles at the time and establishes a dialogue for both points of view of what in this author's opinion may go down as one of the biggest seminal events in history. Good acting and good historical cinematography also make this film a winner.
This movie serves memory as a movie released in 1991 about an American woman and her daughter being caught in Iran recently after the revolution, "Not Without My Daughter". Just like that movie, "Septembers" is undergoing some backlash for representing Iranians (especially supporters of the revolution) as barbaric savages and for reiterating how the American media has portrayed Iranians for over 36 years through this time. This is also being expressed through reviews of the movie.
For instance, Godfrey Chesire, a movie reviewer on Roger Ebert.com, gave the movie a laughable 1/2 a star out of 4. Now that is an absurd rating for a movie with this caliber. This negligible value of this rating should spark enough notoriety to have people pay to view the film. But in his review, Chesire notes that the movie "doesn’t lay a glove on the era’s historical complexities". Well in response, I respectfully disagree and also note on the fact that features are not documentaries. If "Septembers" was a historical documentary then it would be scorned if it did not present more of the complexities that involved the Iranian Revolution. But it is not. "Septembers" is a film presenting one family's struggle in this revolution. Chesire further writes "the film (scripted by Hanna Weg) relies on the same old simplistic images and reductive assumptions that have characterized most U.S. media coverage for the last 37 years". First, political biases of an individual should not lay creed to the cinematic value of a movie. For instance, someone with religious faith can still find notable art praise for an atheistic song like "Blasphemous Rumors" by Depeche Mode. Chesire goes on to write "The only sliver of context we’re given is a brief TV news report which indicates that the Islamists who led the revolution are now consolidating their power, “shariah law” has been imposed and many of those who supported the revolution, including students and “socialists” (meaning communists: the Tudeh party), are being dealt with harshly". Again, I respectfully disagree and I would like to remind Chesire that sometimes movies DO represent history as it was. During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, innocent people were executed and imprisoned because of their political stances prior to the revolution. Bodies were hung on busy streets for people to see. And from the first hand experience of my family, people's possessions and assets were wrongfully taken.
Yet, again, Chesire writes "That myopic view, no doubt, is the same lens through which elites usually view their political displacement: they did nothing wrong, of course, but were entirely spotless victims of ungrateful lower-class miscreants motivated by greed for what wasn’t theirs". Now this is to the point of contradiction to moments of the movie when Isaac realizes and admits that he was guilty by turning a blind eye to the plight of the poor in his country. All of this leads me to ask this question to Chesire: Were we watching the same movie?

Monday, June 20, 2016


As Cleveland celebrates the city's first sports championship in 52 years and the Cavaliers first ever title, we look back to the Cleveland Cavalier team of the 1991-2 season. They were a gutty team made up of hard working seasoned veterans like Larry Nance, Mark Price, Craig Ehlo, John "Hot Rod" Williams (may he rest in peace) and Brad Daugherty. Oh, and the team also included a sleek three pointer shooter named Steve Kerr. That team did not win a championship but the won the hearts of many with their grind and effort. After a 55 win solid regular season, they easily beat The New Jersey Nets in the first round playoff series. They then faced the favored Boston Celtics in what came to be Larry Bird's last season. While the bigs of the team, John Williams and Brad Daugherty, were maligned as being "soft" because of their finesse and fundamental play rather than their strength, they man handled the great Celtics of the Eighties in the last game of a seven game series to play in their first ever Conference Finals. In that series they met the Chicago Bulls, who were in the beginning of their dynasty in the 90's. While no one expected a big contest for the Bulls, this Cavs actually tied the series at 2-2 before losing to them in 6. Despite this, the players on this team will always be known for their grittiness, perseverance, and heart. #CAVS #CLEVELAND #CLEVELANDCAVS #BELIEVELAND

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

O.J is healthy

Check this out. This is a fitness video that O.J Simpson appeared on months before Nichole Simpson Brown and Ron Goldman were murdered. During his murder trial, the defense made a claim that a 46 year old (at that time)O.J Simpson, suffering from arthritis, could not be strong enough to fend off a young healthy Ron Goldman. However, Marsha Clark, the leading prosecutor, pointed out that Simpson made this exercise video titled "O.J. Simpson Minimum Maintenance: Fitness For Men", just months before.

#OJ #OJSIMPSON #trialofcentury


Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Eric Dickerson was actually an LA Raider in 1992 when he was traded to them from the Indianapolis Colts. He spent one season there before being traded to the Atlanta Falcons.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Many have criticized Cam Newton for the manner in which he addressed the media after the Carolina Panthers lost the Superbowl this Sunday. Newton came off as a sore loser because he didn't hold himself in a gracious manner while answering questions to reporters and he walked off the podium abruptly in what seemed like a distressed mood. The quarterback further confounded things two days later when he told reporters that he is not apologetic for his behavior after the game and that he is reluctant with the fact that he is a sore loser because who ever is not a sore loser is just merely a loser. This especially rubbed some people the wrong way because Cam Newton was very celebratory during the year when he scored touchdowns and his team did well (this happened a lot as there were many things to celebrate when the team boasted a 17-1 record before Sunday's loss). They pointed that Newton called attention to himself when he scored touchdowns by doing his Superman pose and "dabbing" and taking selfies with team mates on the sidelines. But, when things took a sour turn, he was not willing to handle himself the "right way", and further, was not willing to apologize. Well, I have one thing to say to that.... so what!

Personally, I enjoyed the Superbowl. I am not a Denver Broncos fan nor a Carolina Panther hater. But, I enjoyed that a simple life lesson, in that humble pie can taste bitter, was presented on a sports stage when the great Denver defense pretty much shut down Cam Newton. I also enjoyed the fact that on old timer like Peyton Manning can have one last great victory over a new star in league while he is on the brink of his own football mortality. But that is it! It is a just some simple personal life lessons, simple personal values and preferences played over a game from athletes whom I never met and who should not be influencing my life. I do not know Cam Newton or Peyton Manning or, anyone for than matter, who was playing last Sunday. Thus, other than story lines given to a sports fan such as myself, this is a little sort of fairy tale that is engaged in my head and is what I make of this four hour span of entertainment. But, the press and basically America has concentrated so much focus and energy on this Cam Newton issue. So much, that one should think that we are wasting time, brain cells, and, most importantly, life on this matter.

Cam Newton celebrates too much when scoring touchdowns and he calls attention to himself excessively when things are going good. He then does not take defeat graciously and acts like a sore loser . Ok, and? Why is this almost as important as the second coming of Christ? Cam Newton is not a criminal. He is, who he is and that is fine. But, some may say, he is the face of the Carolina Panthers and soon to be the face of the NFL. Again, I say this with more clout... SO WHAT? The Panthers are a football team and the NFL is a football league. More or less, professional athletes are entertainers. Why do we have to hold them to such a morality measuring stick and a professionalism measuring stick that is off the charts? If Cam Newton and other athletes do good things for the community, that is great. But as sports figures why should the media want them to be portrayed as pristine individuals who everyone should emulate? Once again, athletes are entertainers. Though, they indirectly may influence people, their decisions are not direct life affecting decisions for the community. The decisions of law makers, teachers, and doctors, to name a few, are. Ok, but others would contend that athletes are a great influence to kids and that they become role models to them. And now as I am fuming, I have to remind everyone that parents should be role models to their children and parents should teach their children that athletes and celebrates take a center stage for the world to watch and are not role models. Again, I stress the sentiments of Charles Barkley in 1993 when he said " I am an athlete, I am not a role model"! Please media and world take note again after 23 years.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


This year Mattel is introducing Barbie dolls with multiple physiques. This is to improve self image persona for young girls. But still the best selling Barbie doll of all time is the "Totally Hair Barbie" which was introduced in 1992. The doll which features early nineties styled hair all the down to her toes has sold a total of 10 million units.


Thursday, January 21, 2016


And it happened on the night of November 18, 1993. The biggest band at the time, Nirvana, with the biggest front man, Kurt Cobain, finally played their MTV acoustic concert. You see, the "Unplugged" concerts that MTV started in 1989 were becoming a big phenomenon in the early nineties as artists played instruments to a small crowd that were not electrically amplified. This formula fit especially well in a time when rock artists were "dressing down" and the music was described as more substantial versus the stage and flamboyant exuberance of arena and glam rock. Now the music was stripped down to the essentials. And what better band to play at such an outing and for it to be broadcast, then the leaders of Grunge?
Well, something interesting happened in their paramount performance that night. Aside from performing with members of the band The Meatpuppets, Nirvana decided to play a cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World"! What? The one group that you can blame for tearing down and abolishing Glam Rock with all its Eighties excesses were singing a song by the father of Glam Rock?
Yes, and this is attributed to the diversity and innovation of the great artist, David Bowie. Many times, Bowie reinvented himself and he was a master of knowing to not overdo any one of the personas he would undertake. His Ziggy Stardust alter ego made him a rock icon. But he only allowed that to last one year. Thus, it is no surprise that one of the covers of his songs was included essentially in staple Grunge album that went on become certified 5 time platinum.


#Nirvana #DavidBowie #unplugged

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Congratulations Los Angeles! You have your NFL team back. But once the novelty of all this wears off and if the team is not a winner, then what? For this answer, we have to look back at the years, yes you guessed it, 1990 to 1994. This was, as you can say, the worst of times for Los Angeles Rams organization. I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer and no two things are ever the same, but if the new Los Angeles Rams are not a winner, then the empathy of the LA fans toward the early nineties LA Rams might rear it's ugly head again. Let's have a little history review.
The Los Angeles Rams were a successful organization. They began their legacy in LA in 1946 after moving from Cleveland Ohio. That same year, they became the first NFL organization to draft an African American with Kenny Washington. Historically the team brought us prominent names in football lore such as "Crazy Legs" Elroy Hirsh, Norm Van Brocklin, and, of course, the "Fearsome Foursome". In modern times, they never won a Superbowl. But they went to the Superbowl in 1980, under the direction of Vince Ferragamo, and lost to the Pittsburg Steelers in the Steelers last Superbowl win of their 70's dynasty. In the Eighties, the team was for the most part a perennial playoff contender but never made it to the big dance, with the great Eric Dickerson and Jackie Slater. At the end of the decade, the team playing in Anaheim seemed destined for a magical ride. The blockbuster trade for Eric Dickerson that brought a herd of young talent seemed promising and under their strong armed quarterback, Jim Everret, the Rams beat the New York Giants in dramatic fashion to make it to the NFC championship game in the beginning of 1990. However, the team found themselves playing with another team coming off the tell end of their dynasty in the Eighties, the San Francisco 49ers. In that game, the Rams actually had a 3-0 lead and were on their way to what seemed to be an apparent easy touchdown to make the score 10-0. Willie "Flipper" Anderson, their speedy receiver, was wide open downfield and Jim Everret found him and launched a ball his way. As Anderson was waiting for the ball to land in his hands, the fingers of a streaking Ronnie Lott, who wasn't in the TV frame a fraction of a second before, came and knocked the ball away. And with that the Rams chance of reaching the Superbowl was completely nullified. The 49ers went on to destroy the Rams 30-3 and would go on to win their fourth championship in the decade. The game culminated with the "Phantom Sack", where Everret was so rattled in the pocket throughout the game that at one point he collapsed to the ground even though no 49er defenders touched him. And that play was a seminal moment that would introduce the Rams struggle for the next five years in Los Angeles.
There record from 1990 to 1994 was 23-57. Stadium attendance dwindled and some of the fans that attended the games started wearing the infamous brown paper bags over their faces. Ownership blamed a lackluster stadium and poor fan support. Further decline happened as the Rams eventually started trading and releasing their prominent players, such as Everret, Henry Ellard, and Kevin Green. They become the butt of jokes on shows like "Married With Children". As a die hard Ram, I remember the situation being particularly bad. The home games were blacked out on local stations, thus I had to attend local food bars which had satellites to watch the games. But even in the home local food bars, I had to beg the patrons to put the Rams game on. The highlights in that period were few and far in between but included these memories:
In 1990, the Rams went on to beat the 10-0 San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park
In 1991, they beat the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, in the second game of the season
In 1993, their hard running rookie running back, Jerome Bettis, rushed for 1,429 yards
In 1994, they beat the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs with Joe Montana as the Chiefs quarterback
So with all this, many questions remain. Will the fan base turn their backs on the organization if they lose with empty seats in the stadiums and empathy toward the club? Will ownership provide talent for a winning team so that wont happen? Will the fan base be divided by a second team in LA? Will ownership want to relocate the team again in some 20 years? The answers will be revealed soon. Let's just hope, the future is not dictated by the past.


Thursday, January 7, 2016


As the entertainment industry focuses on the early days of the hip hop scene from the late eighties and the early nineties (ie. "Straight Outta Compton", "Dope", and The new VH 1 movie "The Breaks"), many are dissing the so called "clean rappers" of the era such as MC Hammer and Will Smith (aka Fresh Prince). It has become a running joke that these rappers from that time played to the hands of mainstream America and didn't represent the true happenings of the inner city and urban culture and, thus, were not substantial artists. Well, from the opinion of this writer, so what? Music is suppose to invoke a full range of emotions, from joy and happiness to stress and misery. MC Hammer's style and dance moves were the biggest wave in 1990. His music was positive and he was probably the biggest artist to bring rap to the mainstream. The hip hop artist that came after should pay homage to him for paving the way for their careers rather that poking fun. And so what if he didn't sing about drugs, murder, and sex? Further, how does extreme misogyny and violence substantiate credibility and make one "legit"? So entertainment and music industry please take note. Some of us like rap that does not promote violence and that make us feel good and dance. Long live Curtis Blow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


It was 1994 and it did not even happen on the sports field. Jim Rome had a talk show called Talk2 on ESPN 2 and the featured guest was Jim Everett, the former LA Ram and current New Orleans Saints quarterback. Rome kept taunting Everett by calling him "Chris" in reference to his relegating play in the past few years. After a couple of references, Everett warned Rome not to call him Chris again or else some physical confrontation would ensue. Jim Rome then did what he was told not to do and then this happened on live TV. AMAZING! Everret went on to have some more productive years with the Saints and a one year stint with the San Diego Chargers. He now has a successful asset management company. Jim Rome is still a sports talk show host on CBS Sports Radio.