Archive for the ‘AC/DC’ Category


September 26, 2013

“Sexist and Infuriating”

Letters to the Editor for 9/19/13 edition of the Sierra Star

Dear Editor,

Mr. Cavanaugh’s column in the Sep. 3, Sierra Star, “Astute politician,” managed to greatly offend members of the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business. Women in Business is a group of area businesswomen, meeting once a month to network, learn, support and mentor in the business community. We are a diverse group of women. Although we are not a political group, the women encompass a broad spectrum of interests, passions and political opinions.

Women in Business did not, as Mr. Cavanaugh states, “co-sponsor” the recent Economic Development Committee luncheon at which Congressman McClintock was the speaker. He was invited to speak by the chamber on issues relevant to the local economy. We merely held our monthly luncheon at the event. We felt it was a good opportunity to communicate with other business people and to hear the Congressman’s remarks.

As informed citizens should do, we listened and learned in a respectful manner. Our presence at this luncheon certainly did not indicate our support of any or all of the Congressman’s positions. That was not the intent of the luncheon in the first place.

Did Mr. Cavanaugh’s presence indicate he was in agreement with the speaker? That seems to be your logic, Mr. Cavanaugh.

Why Women in Business was singled out (both Rotary clubs were also in attendance) is beyond us. Your assertion that we would place “politics above gender” is sexist, infuriating and unsubstantiated by any facts. Your remarks were misguided and undeserved. We believe a public apology is in order.

Karen V. White, Amy Hogan, co-chairs, Women in Business

Published in expurgated form in the Sierra Star 9/26/13

“Bedtime Manners”

I am happy to respond to Ms. White’s and Ms. Hogan’s request for substantiation of my assertion in the 9/3/13 Sierra Star that characterized sponsorship by “Women in Business” of Congressman McClintock’s recent Oakhurst appearance at the Country Club as having placed “politics above gender.”

As the father of four women and grandfather of four more, I feel it important to herein include without edit the rest of that observation as stated in my column: “–placing politics above gender in their support of McClintock, who refused to vote for the “Equal Pay for Women Act” and the “Violence Against Women Act”, while being completely supportive of the anti-gay “Defense of Marriage Act.”

As far as Ms. White’s and Ms. Hogan’s obvious attempt at now scurrying away to distance themselves from McClintock’s politics — for which he is not asked to apologize — and their expressed chagrin as to why “Women in Business” were “singled out”, I would wish to place into evidence a full-color flyer urging attendance issued by the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce on August 21st with only “Women in Business” listed in large, bannered, headlined font and no other organization similarly featured or even mentioned.

WIB Final

Referencing the verb “co-sponsored”, I offer the following definition of “sponsor” from the Cambridge American-English Dictionary: “Sponsor – To support a person, organization, or activity by giving money, encouragement, or other help.”

And at the risk of again being labeled “sexist”, I can only suggest Ms. White and Ms. Hogan exercise a bit more caution the next time they jump in bed with an activity — political or otherwise.

Peter Cavanaugh

AC/DC Reflections

July 31, 2009



“AC/DC’s first American exposure was through the Michigan radio station AM 600 WTAC in 1977. The station’s manager, Peter C. Cavanaugh, booked the band to play at Flint’s Capitol Theater. The band opened with their popular song “Live Wire” and closed with “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”

My Space Book Cover

From–“Local DJ”—Pages 258 to 261

The only truly outstanding and personally rewarding musical
moment of 1977 came December 5 at the Capitol Theater
in Flint. It was my last “Peter C. Rock ‘n Roll Presentation.”
I had become very enamored with a new band just before I
left the airwaves. Ron Counts, representing Atlantic Records,
knew my taste in music, and had brought me an advance copy
of their first release. Going nuts, I programmed almost every
cut, especially one that sounded as though the lead-guitar had
been replaced by a bagpipe. I told Ron that it was the best new
product I had heard in years. The music was clean and raw;
direct and basic. WTAC was the first station to play the band
in America, and the album had sold more copies in Michigan
han anywhere else in the country as a consequence. When the
group announced their first U.S. tour, I called Joe Windsor.
Although I had agreed to abandon any future personal promotional
efforts as part of my ascension to the new highly-paid
and well-compensated General Manager’s position, I had to bring
this group to Flint. I told Joe that I would do it as a benefit
performance, with all proceeds going to Michael Moore’s
Davison Hotline. Joe asked me to promise it was a one-time
request. I did so without remorse. This was how I wanted to
end it.

AC/DC were picked up at the airport in Flint
early in the evening. No sooner had they all piled in my car,
than someone fired-up something in the back-seat.
“You want a hit, Mate?”
Sure. Why not?
It was a Winston.
These were boys from Australia. To them, an American cigarette
was something to be shared. I took a “‘it,” and passed it back.
A major snowstorm had moved into the area earlier in the
day, and it took 45 minutes to reach the downtown area— at
least double normal travel time. Roads were becoming blocked
by snow and attendance had been limited by conditions to less
than five hundred. The group was still virtually unknown. Who
cared? I knew the night would be historic.
Following the opening act which featured Rob Tyner of the old MC5,  there was a brief intermission for equipment change, then I killed every light in
the theater. Everything was jet-black. The theater was utterly
dark and ominously promising.
It started with a single, pounding, thundering bass note;
droning in constant repetition. Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-

The screaming lead-guitar came in out of nowhere. It was
“Live Wire.” Four spotlights instantly flooded the stage, all focused
on and following a remarkably-strange, rapidly-moving,
seemingly-possessed apparition. He wore knickers. He was
dressed as a proper English schoolboy with necktie and knapsack.
His head bounced as though about to become disengaged.
He ran back and forth in circles around the other players, the
intensity building and volume rising with every stroke of the
guitar. He was barely out of his teens. His name was Angus
Young. His high voltage band had been christened in reference
to alternating and direct electrical currents, both common in
familiar housing “Down Under.” It seemed a nice name. AC/
DC had come to Flint.
They played for over 90 minutes. The audience wouldn’t
let them leave.  AC/DC’s final encore was the “bagpipe” song, the bagpipe being a guitar effect obtained through processing. Bon Scott belted-out the title.
“It’s a Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock ‘n Roll!!”
I paid them a $1000 in cash. They wanted to try some
“Arby’s Roast Beef,” so we stopped at the nearest location, still
open despite horrible weather. They bought packs of cigarettes
by the dozen and emptied-out several brands from a machine.
They loved the Arby’s sandwiches, both for food and as projectiles.
Since we were the only patrons and had tipped heavily,
there was no hassle. I dropped them off at their hotel and extended
sincere thanks. My last concert had been among the
very best. They were equally appreciative. Their U.S. appearance
had gone well. They had enough American cigarettes for
weeks to come, no matter what

A few months later, the boys were back in town. I traveled
to a Detroit suburb and caught AC/DC opening for Ireland’s
Thin Lizzy at the Royal Oak Music Theater. The Aussies were
most excellent, but I noticed marked sound mix peculiarities
near the middle of their scheduled set. Things were becoming
unbalanced, first upon my ears and then before all eyes. Out of
nowhere, several security guards rushed onto the stage and attempted
to conclude the performance. It was all fiercely fast.
Suddenly, the music discordantly ceased. One uniformed enforcer
made the tragic mistake of grabbing Bon Scott’s arm. A
violent head-butt sent the uninvited transgressor flying backward,
then down and out. Chaos reigned. More police poured
out on the stage. The group formed an immediate protective
circle, rapidly expanding as AC/DC proceeded to kick superserious
ass. Even several members of Thin Lizzy joined the fray
in unrestrained Rock ‘n Roll reinforcement, advancing upon
the uninvited intruders from behind. Feet flashed. Fists flew.
Foreheads filled faces.
A phalanx of record company and management personnel
somehow introduced themselves into the midst of the melee
and separated participants, much to the relief of those few authority
figures still unmarred. Confusion was abound. It was
clear the group had no idea what had triggered so unpleasant
an incident. The band members had reacted with instinct, not
intent. It turned out to be a noise thing.
Neighbors near the theater had been complaining. The City
of Royal Oak had passed a local ordinance proclaiming any
sound level over 100 decibels as noise, and therefore a nuisance.
An official “Decibel Deputy” had arrived on the scene
and, standing next to the AC/DC sound board at the very back
of the building, had clocked the lads in at 125 and climbing.
Their sound man, responding to a tap on the shoulder and barely
hearing the word “loud” screamed into his ear, joyously responded;
“Ahhhh, yeah, man. And we’re just startin’ to cook!”
There was a firm punch for attention delivered on the audio
technician’s back. The “Decibel Deputy” was dropped with a
heel to the heart. Three security police dragged the offender off
the monitor platform and, assisted by several others, effected
arrest. This is where the sound mix got screwy. They ordered
the performance to stop. That’s when the stage went wild. The
crowd was now in total uproar. Miraculously, calm heads prevailed.
Charges forgotten, technician unfettered and sound restored,
the group returned to their set.
I sent a formal telegram to the group the following day
apologizing for all the “dainty little ears” they had encountered
in our fair Michigan. They responded with a note expressing
appreciation for my support. The “Battle of Royal Oak” had
ended with encores.

DC Mail,jpeg

Dr. Katherine

June 9, 2009

Author and "Dr. Katherine"--2007

Author and "Dr. Katherine"--2007

“Doctor Katherine”

Peter Cavanaugh


I had never undergone a Caesarean Section and was filled with fear.

This was also Dr. Katherine’s debut performing the procedure, yet she applied herself to the task with a certain quiet dignity and a superb degree of reassuring self-confidence.

Measuring my blood pressure, heart-rate and pulse beat with polished professionalism, she whispered, scalpel firmly in hand, that she was about to make a “little cut”, but I wouldn’t ”really feel a thing.”

I didn’t.

Then she quickly moved with dexterous charm, finally wrapping our newborn with tender care, placing him softly in my arms with gentle admonition to be “very careful”, since he was “all brand new.”

Everything had taken place in less than a minute.

The terror continued unrestrained.

How could a phone remain so utterly unrung?

My loving wife Eileen had given birth to four daughters, each one more beautiful than the other three. It had all seemed quite automatic. Paternal concern had focused on fulfilling established responsibilities of the ‘60’s era, essentially limited to timely transport.

Laurie was our first.

Doctor Katherine was Laurie’s first.

When Katherine had been born three years earlier at Toledo Hospital, I hadn’t slept, not eaten, nor taken serious drink for near three solid days. For an Irishman given to a taste for “the Holy Water”, this last denial definitively marked a power state of soul-shattering suspense. I recall sad bemusement reflecting upon the word “unbearable”, since it was daughter Laurie giving birth, rather than her hapless, hopeless, helpless father; he who could not “push”, “shove” or “breathe deeply” in hastening the advent of life’s most wondrous miracle.

Laurie had prepared Doctor Katherine for this new event with thoughtful care and persuasive conviction. A baby brother, Katherine’s first sibling, would be delivered in the same manner as had she. There would be no problems and should be no unfounded concerns. Daddy and Mommy would drive to the hospital. Grandparents Poppa and Bitsy would wait at home with Katherine for the good news to arrive in no time at all.

Katherine had her very own “Doctor’s Kit”, rather like the one Mommy’s actual Doctor would use. With her tiny tools, Katherine patiently plied and perfected her practice on Poppa. All told, I was happily delivered of eighteen separate children well before lunch

Having spent thirty odd years, literally and figuratively, in Rock ‘n Roll Radio, I had been amazed when Mick Jagger became a grandfather. He seemed far, far too young for such a terribly old thing. A few years later, I found myself taking no small measure of solace that “Mick had gone first.”, reminding myself that having a grandchild no longer conjured forth images of wizened, white-bearded ancients sporting plaid flannel shirts and baggy-bottomed trousers with two eyes toward Heaven and one foot in the grave, their “rocking” pathetically confined to chairs.

Our oldest daughter again delivering a child? Why, I had only weeks past walked her to school for introduction to kindergarten, becoming a heartbroken father when there was tearful insistence on entering the building alone. It couldn’t be more than hours since Laurie had spoken at her graduation from Carman High School in Flint; minutes since she obtained her Masters Degree in Psychology at Bowling Green, and wasn’t it merely a blink ago I proudly walked her down the aisle to marry Paul in Perrysburg?

Just as bodies falling in space increase velocity at exactly thirty-two feet per second, I have become convinced that time itself accelerates with similar immutability as our minds travel through the years.

Laurie had been hospitalized in heavy labor for several days prior to Katherine’s eventual, somewhat tardy emergence. Now, both moment and method had been happily determined well in advance.


The phone?

Mommy had been scheduled for an early morning procedure.

It was now 3:15 in the afternoon.


We surely would have heard if there were any complications. Paul is certainly an extraordinarily responsible young man and I didn’t want to call the hospital and intrude with my own selfish misery, but maybe I could pretend to be someone else making inquiry, say a next door neighbor named ,“Harry.” “Harry Phillips.” That’s good. No. Never. A man wouldn’t call.

Harriet Phillips? Perfect! I would talk in a high-pitch without sounding too much like Hillary Clinton – sort of like that “leprechaun voice” I used on radio commercials for Saint Patrick’s Day, but without the fake Irish accent.



Maybe I can—-


We had determined it proper that Doctor Katherine, Herself, take the call.

“Hello!” Daddy! She did? He does? Here’s Poppa!”

Weighing ten pounds and seven ounces with a length of twenty-two inches, Cooper Thome had been delivered with maximum ease and minimal discomfort. Husband Paul had remained stationed in the recovery room before calling, wishing to remain constantly close and consoling, waiting for restful sleep to enfold before taking even the briefest absence from Laurie’s side. He knew we would understand. We did. And were grateful.

But it will be hard for Paul to remember this when it’s Doctor Katherine’s turn.