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.