IF: guitar

I remember everything!
I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday.
I was barely 17 and I once killed a boy with a fender guitar.
I don’t remember if it was a Telecaster or a Stratocaster, but I do remember
That it had a heart of chrome and a voice like a horny angel.
I don’t remember if it was a Telecaster or a Stratocaster, but I do remember
That it wasn’t at all easy.
It required the perfect combination of the right power chords
and the precise angle
From which to strike.
The guitar bled for about a week afterwards and the blood was
Dark and rich like wild berries.
The blood of the guitar was Chuck Berry red!
The guitar bled for about a week afterwards and it rung out beautifully,
And I was able to play notes that I had never even heard before.
So I took my guitar and I smashed it against the wall!!
I smashed it against the floor!!
I smashed it against the body of a varsity cheerleader!!
I smashed it against the hood of a car
I smashed it against a 1981 Harley Davidson…
The Harley howled in pain, the guitar howled in heat!
I ran up the stairs to my parents bedroom
Mommy and Daddy were sleeping in the moonlight
Slowly I opened the door creeping in the shadows right up to the foot of the bed
I raised my guitar high above my head and
Just as I was about to bring the guitar crashing down upon the center of the bed
My father woke up screaming:
“Stop! Wait a minute! Stop it,boy!
what do you think you’re doing???
That’s no way to treat an expensive musical instrument!”
And I said “God damn it, Daddy!!! You know I love you…..

Love and Death and An American Guitar by Jim Steinman



DCS: jerry van dyke

me and my shadow

Despite a surprisingly successful career, Jerry Van Dyke spent most of it in the shadow of his older brother Dick. His talents were often compared to Dick’s successes. Granted, Jerry made some questionable career choices, but he was an in-demand, working actor for the better part of six decades.

A budding stand-up comedian in his native Danville, Illinois, Jerry made a memorable splash in a first season episode of his brother’s sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, playing, of all things, Dick Van Dyke’s brother. He went to make three more appearances on the show.

A guest appearance on The Andy Griffith Show led to an offer to replace the departed Don Knotts (who signed a five-film contract with Universal Pictures) as Mayberry’s deputy sheriff. He declined that offer, as well as one to star in the title role on Sherwood Schwartz’s new sitcom Gilligan’s Island. Jerry, instead, chose to star in the short-lived, often derided My Mother, The Car. The inane show, which lasted a single season, featured Jerry as a family man whose late mother is reincarnated as a 1928 Porter automobile. After My Mother, The Car was canceled, Jerry joined the cast of Accidental Family, another show that was canceled after 16 episodes.

Jerry was a frequent guest on popular sitcoms, including appearances on single episodes of Gomer Pyle, USMC, Good Morning World, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and even his brother’s new series The New Dick Van Dyke Show. He took a regular role on Headmaster in 1970, a new Andy Griffith project, but the series was canceled after only season.

He kept busy with live appearances in nightclubs throughout the United States, until 1989, when he took the supporting role of befuddled “Luther Van Dam” on the sitcom Coach. The series, which ran for a whopping nine seasons, earned Jerry four Emmy nominations. Jerry continued to land recurring roles on popular series like Charles in Charge, Yes Dear, My Name is Earl, Raising Hope and The Middle. He was the commercial spokesperson for Hardee’s Hamburgers and Big Lots discount stores.

Jerry was married twice. His first marriage lasted nearly 20 years and produced three children, including actress Kelly Jean Van Dyke. Kelly, who performed in pornographic films under the name “Nancee Kelly,” was married to actor Jack Nance, a favorite of director David Lynch and best known for the title role of Eraserhead. Kelly, a longtime drug abuser, hanged herself in 1991.

Jerry was involved in a serious car accident in 2016 and had been in declining health as a result. He passed away at his Arkansas ranch in January 2018 at the age of 86.



IF: the letter a

Yes, I would just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back, like Independence Day, with Jesus. June 6, like the movie. Big mother ship and all, I'll be back, I'll be back.

In the one-year span, between November 1989 and November 1990, Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute, murdered seven men by shooting them at point-blank range with a .22 caliber handgun. She claimed that each killing was performed in self-defense. She was captured and brought to trial, subsequently sentenced to death.

In her final interview before her execution, Aileen’s last words were: “Thanks a lot, society, for railroading my ass.”



DCS: carolyn craig


Just out of her teens, aspiring actress Carolyn Craig landed small roles in a variety of TV shows, including a few Westerns and popular anthology series. Moving to the big screen, she was cast as “Lacey Lynnton,” Elizabeth Taylor‘s sister, in 1956’s Giant, James Dean‘s final film. She followed that role with the female lead in 1957’s Portland Exposé, a tale of union struggles, and Apache Territory with costar Rory Calhoun in 1958. In 1959, she was part of the ensemble cast led by Vincent Price in William Castle‘s House on Haunted Hill.

She made the jump back to television with roles in many series – both comedy and drama – throughout the 50s and 60s, including Perry Mason, General Hospital, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, My Three Sons and the Westerns Laramie and  The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. Her final role was a guest shot on the spy series T.H.E. Cat starring Robert Loggia in 1967.

In 1970, Carolyn died from a self-inflicted gunshot. She was 36 years old.



DCS: rose marie


Rose Marie did it all. One of the few survivors from vaudeville, she began her career delighting audiences as a three-year-old songstress. Rose Marie made her mark in film, radio, records, theater, night clubs and television, over a career that spanned nine decades. Nine!

Enjoying a career in short films, where she appeared alongside W. C. Fields, Rose Marie also starred on her own radio show in the 30s. She released recordings on Vitaphone Records, accompanied by famed bandleader Fletcher Henderson. She broke into nightclubs with the help of mobsters Al Capone and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. She performed at the grand opening of Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1946.

On television, she is best remembered for her role as “Sally Rogers,” the comedy writer who was always on the lookout for a husband, on The Dick Van Dyke Show. She later costarred on The Doris Day Show as “Myrna,” the title character’s office pal. Rose Marie was a frequent panelist on Hollywood Squares. She also had guest roles dozens of TV series including My Three Sons, two episodes of The Monkees and a recurring role in S.W.A.T. In 1966, she starred with Dick Van Dyke Show alum Morey Amsterdam in a seriously silly, but seriously funny film called Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title, that also featured Dick Van Dyke Show costar Richard Deacon.

For nearly a decade, Rose Marie toured in the musical revue 4 Girls 4 with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O’Connell, and Margaret Whiting.

Most recently, Rose Marie was the subject of a career retrospective documentary called Wait for Your Laugh, that she was promoting when she passed away in December 2017 at the age of 94.




DCS: larry fine


Joseph and Fanny Feinberg owned a jewelry and watch repair shop in Philadelphia. One day, their young son, Larry, reached for a bottle of acid that was used to test the gold content of jewelry. Larry mistook the liquid for a drink and raised the bottle to his mouth. Joseph panicked and knocked the bottle from his son’s hand. The acid, however, spilled on Larry’s arm, burning the skin and causing extensive muscle damage.

In order to strengthen the muscles in Larry’s damaged arm, he took up the violin. The more he practiced, the stronger his arm became and the more proficient he grew on the instrument. His parentS considered enrolling their young phenom in a European music conservatory, but the outbreak of World War I halted those plans. Larry also attempted boxing to gain strength in his arm and toyed with making it his profession. Larry’s father would have no parts of it, forbidding his son to fight in public.

Pursuing a career in music, Larry Feinberg, now using the stage name “Fine,” worked as a violinist and master of ceremonies in vaudeville. It was at Chicago’s Rainbo Gardens that Larry met Shemp Howard and Ted Healy. Healy signed Larry up to appear with Shemp and Shemp’s brother Moe in a revue called A Night in Venice. The group, calling themselves “Ted Healy and The Racketeers,” toured through the late 1920s until they headed to California to film Soup to Nuts in 1930. Ted split from Larry and the Howard brothers. Shemp left to pursue a solo career. Moe’s younger brother Jerry, using the name “Curly” joined the act. The rest, as they say, is history.

As the “middle Stooge,” Larry appeared in 206 short subjects for Columbia Pictures. In a few films, the Three stooges are shown playing the violin. Larry is the only one who is actually playing.

A lifelong partier, Larry was a terrible money handler. He never owned a home until much later in life, opting to live in hotels on both coasts. He gambled and gambled poorly. He gave money away to those in need, sometimes more than he could afford. In the late 1950s, when Columbia stopped filming Three Stooges shorts, Larry was nearly forced into bankruptcy.

Larry moved into the Motion Picture Country House, a retirement community for actors in Woodland Hills, California, where he entertained the other residents from the confines of his wheelchair. He passed away in 1975, after several strokes, at the age of 72.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

happy something or other

My annual Christmas music compilation is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD at ge.tt for a limited time.

This year, it’s a whopping 81 minutes worth of Christmas cacophony that’s sure to ruin your holiday celebration within seconds. You get twenty-seven eclectic Christmas selections plus a custom full-color cover with track listings – all for you and all for FREE! (That’s right! FREE!)

(Please contact me if you have trouble with the download.)