Archive for the ‘Rock ‘n Roll’ Category

“More from Moore”

September 18, 2014


It was a great morning.

Denny’s was wall to wall with more views presented than a Yosemite bus tour for the September monthly meeting of the Oakhurst Democratic Club when Art Moore came to town.

Art is hoping to replace Tom McClintock as our Fourth District Congressional Representative and none too soon.

So there we had Republican candidate Moore facing not only a wild, generally progressive band of vocal Democrats, but also an energized, extra conservative group from the Central Valley Tea Party led by my friend, John Pero, upon whom Art called for the first question when Q & A time arrived. There were a number of folks somewhere in between, but everyone got to chime in while Major Moore was present and following his departure, when we spent some time discussing the six statewide propositions we’ll be voting on November 4th. Know what these are? That’s why we have our meetings.

Art was well received and quite candid about his commitment to individual liberty, limited government and personal responsibility. He also spoke extensively about enforcing our immigration laws and better managing our borders. Moore, a combat-hardened veteran and Bronze Star recipient, discussed the necessity of handling ISIS and other threats to our collective security with conviction and determination, but spent much of his time stressing the imperative need to join together politically regardless of party affiliation in addressing critical needs above and beyond national defense, such as not taking Yosemite National Park hostage in an effort to punish oppositional perspectives.

So Art has pledged to try working with Democrats. Shocking. This particular commitment would seem to be the source of enormous concern on the part of Mr. McClintock’s reelection team.

Matt Reed, President of Sacramento State College Republicans, works for the campaign and has successfully attempted to infiltrate and video record Moore’s appearances before “suspect organizations” such as Democrats, provoking unpleasant confrontations in the process.

On August 7th, Reed set up a tripod and video camera toward this end at an Amador Progressive Women’s Lunch, occupying space at the front table for this purpose without permission. On August 21st, Mr. Reed snuck in a back door and assembled his gear without consent for a gathering of Sun City Lincoln Hills Democrats, instigating a subsequent parking lot confrontation in the process. Wisely, he avoided Oakhurst.

Amador County is looking like a tough place for Dems. In January, The Amador Democratic Club had to change locations for a showing of Robert Reich’s excellent film, “Inequality for All,” when their office were broken into and most of the club’s electronic equipment was stolen.


In February, Mr. Reed spoke at this year’s Amador County Republican Club Lincoln Dinner with Congressman McClintock.

But the Amador Progressive Women should be pleased to note that one issue
dramatically separating Moore from McClintock deals with their positions on the Violence Against Women Act. McClintock has passionately voted against the measure three separate times. Major Moore unequivocally states for the record, “This Act elevates the issue and provides resources to fight for victims. My opponent was wrong to oppose it and I would have voted differently.” Moore adds, “ Tom McClintock’s legacy in politics is not to fight for others, but only to feather his own nest while feeding at the public trough.”

This brings to mind an astounding announcement by Madera County Sheriff John Anderson at our September meeting. Sheriff Anderson, about to leave office after seventeen years of outstanding service to the community, publicly observed that his personal efforts to obtain assistance and/or intervention from Congressman McClintock in the ongoing disputes over Chukchansi tribal control have been in vain. Moreover, Sheriff Anderson reports that McClintock has never even displayed the professional courtesy of returning any of his calls. I suggest this revelation by one of our county’s most respected and trusted public servants says it all.

For this column, I need write no more.

“Beatles! — Fifty Years Ago!”

September 4, 2014

This Saturday, September 6th, 2014 marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of The Beatles playing Olympia Stadium in Detroit.

PC--Beatles Ticket

This historic occasion afforded WTAC with an opportunity to “crash” a Beatles Press Conference backstage following the afternoon performance and conduct an exclusive interview with all four Beatles.

beatles copy

The event was described by Peter Cavanaugh in his book, “Local DJ.”

Thanks to Jim Baade of Townsquare Media in Flint, the following wild audio discovery has just emerged from the archives of WKNR in Detroit in time for our celebration!

After our WTAC interview, a number of other media folks from Detroit were allowed to join us, primarily consisting of newspaper and TV reporters and a gentleman from WKNR who also talked his way in, “Keener” being Detroit’s #1 Top Forty Station at the time.

In this 16:59 MP3, You will hear Peter Cavanaugh questioning the Beatles at 7:21 about what British bands they liked besides themselves and at 10:05 asking for a comparison between American and British radio at the time. At 9:29, that’s WTAC Program Director Bob Dell with a sports question.

Buddy Holly was right.



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

Lenny and “The Lottery”

July 5, 2013


It has been judged a “chilling tale of conformity gone mad.”

“The Lottery” was first published by The New Yorker magazine in June of 1948 and is today regarded as one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature — dazzlingly brilliant in its relentless darkness.

In an annual rite of spring, a rural community chooses — by random drawing — a sacrificial victim, who is then stoned to death by one and all to insure a bountiful harvest.

Written by Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” is a study in collective mentality, an evolutionary adaptation that provides a mechanism for common consensus, but also offers an ever present possibility of group sanctioned, morally reprehensible behavior.

An extreme example in modern times is easily witnessed by brief reflection at the ultimate horrors unleashed under Hitler’s Third Reich.

Discernable resonance might be cited in mindless generational adherence to traditionally cherished, but demonstrably antiquated notions such as belief in an utterly flat world from which we might sail straight off the edge without due caution. It’s been far less than a thousand years since our relatively ancient species set that matter straight.

An even milder, but similarly concerning development in recent days has been the stunning cultural castigation of Paula Deen, a stoning I feel is both unwarranted and unfair.

66 year-old Paula Deen is an American celebrity chef and Emmy Award winning television personality with whom I had been completely unfamiliar until she admitted using the “N-Word” during questioning in a legal deposition and now the you-know-what has hit the you-know-where. Mind you, Ms. Deen didn’t use the “N-Word” on her TV show or in her cookbooks or yell it at someone in public, especially at an “N”. She merely admitted that she had allowed that word to pass her lips at some point in life. Her exact testimony under oath was, “Yes, of course. But that’s just not a word that we use. I don’t — I don’t know. As time has gone on things have changed since the 60’s in the south.”

Since this display of sincere candor exploded on the front page of the National Enquirer last month, Paula Deen has been brutally ostracized by the American press — her integrity bashed, her endorsements crashed, her reputation thoroughly trashed.

She has been effectively fired by The Food Network, Walmart, Target, QVC, Home Depot, J.C.Penney, Sears, K-Mart and Ballantine Books in an outrageous example of wimpy, smarmy, patronizing, knee-jerk, lemming-like response to potential accusations of marginally offensive racial insensitivity or something vaguely akin.

What’s wrong with us?

I find myself in complete agreement with former President Jimmy Carter who courageously states, “I think Paula Deen has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting the use of the word in the distant past. She’s apologized profusely and should be forgiven.”

I’ll go one step further. I think we should all use the “N-Word” as often and as loud as we can till it’s all worn out and we can throw it away forever.

Here’s Dusty Hoffman quoting Lenny Bruce as directed by Bob Fosse back in ‘72:

“l’ll pass with seven niggers, six spics, five Micks, four kikes,
three guineas and one Wop. You almost punched me out, didn’t ya?”

“l was trying to make a point — that it’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.”

“lf President Kennedy would just go on television and say
“l’d like to introduce you to all the niggers in my cabinet.”
And if he’d just say ”nigger, nigger” to every nigger he saw,
Boogie, boogie, boogie, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger,”
till it didn’t mean anything any more —

Then you’d never be able to make a black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger in school.”

Repeated for emphasis — “It’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.”

    Lenny Bruce was a high wire act. A gentle genius.

    When Michael Richards of “Seinfeld” fame tried to use Bruce’s classic monologue on the ” N-Word” in 2010, he failed miserably. It’s one of those stream-of-consciousness ramblings one has to repeat perfectly, word for word, beat for beat, or not try at all. Richards is not a real racist – just a poor performer. He tried some Lenny lines, blew his balance and killed his career in less than two minutes time.

    “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you” (Traditional Children’s Chant) (Timeless)

    One more thing about Lenny Bruce:

    “Dirty Lenny died so we could all be free”

    Steve Earle — FCC Song (2005)

    Niggerly yours,

    Peter “The Mick” Cavanaugh

“Uncle Elmer Rides Again!”

June 21, 2013


My little brother and I sat quieter than mice on cotton.

Several times each year, my widowed mother would book us on New York Central’s mighty “Empire State Express” from Syracuse through the Mohawk Valley to Albany, where we would spend a few days visiting my grandfather, William’s, three aging sisters in their expansive second floor flat on Grandview Terrace overlooking the Hudson River.

There was Aunt Bumps and Aunt Ellie, married to their respective husbands for over fifty years, and Aunt Belle, who hadn’t been married for even fifty minutes to anyone at all. Belle, my feisty eighty-two year-old favorite, had been engaged to a handsome young Irish policeman named Steve when he dropped dead of a heart attack in the middle of Albany’s 1897 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. At least once a month after Sunday church, Aunt Belle would take a trolley car to Saint Agnes Cemetery with a picnic lunch to bring Steve up to date. She never took another lover.

Aunt Bumps was married to Uncle Jack, while Aunt Ellie’s husband was my Uncle Elmer, a taciturn, solemn Baptist who never spoke a word he could avoid, but always furtively slipped me a quarter for ice cream — quite a score back then.

The five had moved in together during The Great Depression and never found reason to drift apart. The secret of their remarkably amiable coexistence was faithful adherence to certain points of protocol established over time to insure group tranquility while honoring specific individual priorities.

Uncle Elmer’s supreme moment of unchallenged control occurred three times weekly at 7:30 PM when everyone would take his or her place in a favorite living room spot, all household lighting would be extinguished without exception and thirty minutes of unbroken family silence would begin as the opening strains of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” filled the air and the sonorous voice of announcer Fred Foy solemnly intoned, ” Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!

It was a holy moment. Elmer would take a mighty hit from his ancient briar pipe and rock deeply back with eyes tightly closed – lost in supreme contentment.

With tens of millions listening over the ABC Radio Network, “The Lone Ranger” was broadcast live from the studios of Detroit’s WXYZ, 1270 on your AM dial starting on January 31, 1933. Partners George W. Trendle and H. Allen Campbell owned the program, as well as “The Green Hornet” and “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” which also originated in the Motor City.

Trendle was notoriously cheap, choosing to use “The William Tell Overture” and other classical pieces as background music in his productions since they weren’t subject to copyright payments.

Fran Striker, who wrote virtually all of the “Lone Ranger” scripts, received nothing other than a minimal salary for his efforts through the years and was once briefly fired when he asked Trendle for a three dollar per episode raise.

As radio historian Jack French noted in his 1999 essay on Trendle entitled, “The Miser of Motown”, “The strength and popularity of WXYZ and its syndicated network programming became a gold mine for Trendle and his banker cronies. But the talented cast, crew and production staffs of these shows always got short-changed. Many of the high-handed practices Trendle perfected would not have been successful in any era other than The Depression, where any job was eagerly sought by desperate Americans.”

Perhaps that’s why Striker, in formally composing a list of essential Lone Ranger characteristics for writing assistants, included these exact words: “The Lone Ranger believes that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.”

Trendle and Campbell eventually used part of their “Lone Ranger Money” to put a new radio station on the air a few miles north of Detroit in Flint, using their “Trendle and Campbell” initials for the call letters of W-T-A-C. I joined WTAC in 1964 as a local DJ and ran into many of the “WXYZ old-timers” during my Michigan years, including “The Lone Ranger” himself, Brace Beemer. That role came to be played by Clayton Moore in the subsequent TV series and is now inherited by Armie Hammer in the new movie opening next Wednesday, July 3rd, at the Met Cinemas.

With Johnny Depp as Tonto, this new “Lone Ranger” promises to be THE summer movie of 2013 and, judging from the trailer, looks like another Disney masterpiece. I’ll be there for the first showing, saving an empty seat right next to me.

For Uncle Elmer.

“Hi-Yo, Silver! And away!”

“Blurred Lines”

June 6, 2013


Peter and Eileen Cavanaugh with all four daughters and eleven grandchildren together for the first time in six years. At William Pyron’s Graduation Weekend. Cincinnati, Ohio. May 31, 2013

Megan Richardson was so mad she could spit.

The source of her anger was Scott Sloan and his unabashed enthusiasm for “naked young girls.”

Scott is the midday host on 50,000 watt powerhouse WLW — throughout the years Cincinnati’s most listened-to radio station.

I was in Cincinnati last weekend for our grandson, William’s, High School graduation.

William, an Eagle Scout, is headed for Ohio University in the fall where he has entered an ROTC program in preparation for extended military service following college. When he rose with other similarly pledged classmates during formal commencement ceremonies to indicate his commitment, I was filled with pride. It wasn’t that long ago I carried him on my shoulders as he laughed and pulled my hair.

Joining daughter Colleen and son-in-law Lindsey Pyron (William’s Mom & Dad) — with us in Cincinnati for William’s happy occasion were our three other daughters — Laurie from Nashville, Candace of Detroit and Susan from right here in Oakhurst — all of the preceding accompanied by their own families. It was the first time in six years all of us were together. Eleven grandchildren aside, I was the only non-Republican in the bunch. Spirited political discussion is never excluded from our conversations, but we truly love each other. The joy of reunion always takes unchallenged precedence over all else whenever and wherever we meet.

WLW is owned by Clear Channel, a media giant offering extraordinary conservative programming, including syndication rights to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others of that ilk. In fact, WLW’s primary coverage area, a combination of Southern Ohio, Eastern Indiana and Northern Kentucky counties, is about as conservative an area as you’d ever hope to find this side of Ho Chi Mihn City. That’s why Scott Sloan’s live interview with Megan Richardson of the “International Womens’ Council” struck me as hugely entertaining and spectacularly unique. It also illustrated a particularly pertinent point. Against every principled position — an opposite usually exists. For genuinely sharp focus on any subject, we are decidely dulled without debate. In the search for truth, black and white sometime join and merge to gray. Clarity often waits only behind blurred lines.

And it was “Blurred Lines” that was driving Megan Richardson nuttier than a pound of pecans on Scott Sloan’s WLW show.

“Blurred Lines”is an R&B/Hip-Hop smash here and overseas. Robin Thicke (Alan’s kid) is the recording artist, accompanied by American rapper T.I. and singer/producer Pharrell. It is #1 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and the Netherlands and listed among the Top Ten in Belgium, Denmark, France, Portugal, Switzerland and here in The States. But in Megan’s view it’s not the song that’s wrong — it’s that “disgusting video.”

In the visual presentation we see Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell casually standing around appearing almost oblivious to topless models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M’Bengue and Ell Evans prancing about in wild, provocative frolic — almost ignored by the targets of their seduction. You almost get the impression the guys would rather be at a ballpark. Since the topless part of the piece and certain suspect gestures violate YouTube’s terms of service, they keep taking it down, then someone puts it back up. Make no mistake. This is for mature viewers only. Ask your teen.

Richardson’s talking points were the usual “we’re all going to hell in a hand basket” rap, mixed with outrage at Sloan’s insistence that she’s completely missing the fact that “Blurred Lines” graphically presents an excellent “learning opportunity” to teach his own daughter about reactionary rhetoric, exploitive sex and media manipulation. While I initially suspected Scott was brilliantly baiting Megan, I eventually came to conclude he was honestly being truthful in his general assessment and summary dismissal of Ms. Richardson’s novice naivite.

My own perspective is that both the song and video are pretty cool, though admittedly hotter than your average bare.

The “Blurred Lines” video was produced and directed by Diane Martel.

Watching kids go hungry is obscene.

As is ignorance, intolerance, stupidity and war.

Not bouncy breasts.

Hey! Hey! Hey!


Scott Sloan WLW Interview —

“An Unofficial, Informal Toledo Radio Reunion”

May 14, 2013

5 TO 7 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013

Peter C. Cavanaugh, now prominently featured in Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will be joined by other past and present Toledo radio broadcasters in an “Informal Toledo Radio Reunion” at Manhattan’s Restaurant & Bar Downtown.


No Cover

Cash Bar

Listeners Encouraged to Attend

Press Release
May 14, 2013

Informal Toledo Radio Reunion


Peter C. Cavanaugh, now prominently showcased in Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will be joined by other past and present Toledo radio broadcasters in an “Informal Toledo Radio Reunion” at Manhattan’s Restaurant & Bar Downtown on Tuesday, May 28th, from 5 till 7 PM.

Mr. Cavanaugh was Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Reams Broadcasting from 1983 through 1992, a period of time which witnessed WIOT-FM become the highest-rated Rock Station in America and, with sister facility WCWA, produce dozens of Toledo “River Rallies” in Promenade Park featuring top national attractions. In the same decade, hundreds of thousands were drawn to annual Fourth of July and Labor Day Fireworks presented by Reams Broadcasting simulcast live and synchronized to music and lasers on the banks of the Maumee.

Cavanaugh, now a private broadcast consultant and writer for McClatchy Newspapers, lives with his wife, Eileen, in Oakhurst, California at the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. This “Reunion” at Manhattan’s marks his first visit back to Toledo in a dozen years.

“We’re calling this an “informal radio reunion” and that’s exactly what’s planned”, reports Cavanaugh. He continues, ” You are enthusiastically invited if you have ever worked for — or listened to — any Toledo radio station — ever. All you have to do is show up! “

UPDATE — 5/29/13

“Rejoice, Dear Hearts!” — Part Two

March 18, 2013

Father Phil Keane, SS. (1941 – 2012)

With time flying by at laser velocity even faster than Superman’s iconic speeding bullet, it’s amazing to recall that our “For Your Consideration” column is now well into its fourth year as a regular weekly feature.

Initiated through the efforts of Lynn Jacobsson in late Autumn ’09, colleague Alan Cheah and I have enjoyed sharing a hopefully more progressive perspective on national and local politics than that so generously offered by other regular Star contributors such as Dr. Bill and Junior Froelich.

There are even times when we are accidently more prescient than usual, such as in the newspaper’s February 21st issue. In an offering entitled, “Rejoice, Dear Hearts.” I devoted significant space to a discussion of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, a Jesuit institution.

The whole thrust was stressing the importance of critical thinking as encouraged by a Jesuit philosophy exposing students to comparative schools of reflective thought without fear of concurrent contamination. One learns to avoid confusing knowledge with belief or firm facts with fanciful fiction. My specific point of focus was the brilliant early ’60’s comedy of a gentleman named Dave Gardner, who reminded me very much of “a Jesuit” in his awesome ability to seemingly reflect on almost everything at once.

Little did I know that within a few short weeks Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina would be chosen to head the Roman Catholic Church, naming himself Pope Francis the First. In the process, our New Holiness also becomes the first Pope ever hailing from the Americas and, of even greater significance, the first Jesuit to reign supreme over a billion plus faithful souls around the world.

Make no mistake. There’s much more happening here than meets the uninformed eye. Don’t look for immediate, obvious, rapid change. Do expect extraordinary thought, rigid reorganization, steel discipline and exemplary dedication to social justice and economic equity.

Less welcomed by many will be initial adherence to traditional male organizational dominance and most matters concerning S-E-X. This wild and dangerous area includes negative outlooks on homosexuality, promiscuity, birth control, abortion, masturbation, all sensitive body parts, and fond memories of innocently discovering puberty — or any extended conduct –mental or physical — relating to all of the preceding.

So I submit Francis the First will be sexually and constrictively conservative, while socially and positively progressive. You know what? I’ll take that for openers.

Late last year, I lost an old friend.

Father Philip Keane, S.S. had attended school with me for six years at Cathedral Academy in Syracuse. When we graduated in ’59, I headed for Le Moyne as Phil began his studies for the priesthood, eventually becoming Proctor at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and obtaining global renown as a major Catholic Theologian.

In 1977, the Paulist Press published a masterwork by Father Keane entitled, “Sexual Morality.” Among other brilliantly reasoned positions was Phil’s argument that “homosexual conduct cannot be understood as absolutely immoral.” In May of 1984, the Vatican’s Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ordered the book banned by officially lifting its imprimatur, believing Father Phil was promoting an “intrinsic evil.

This is the same Joseph Ratzinger who despises Rock & Roll music for being “an expression of elemental passions,” referencing “Heavy Metal” as “an instrument of The Devil”, and hates Harry Potter for being guilty of “subtle seductions which act imperceptibly and deeply, dissolving Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly.” Yep. The same former member of Hitler Youth who — in 1990 — defended the Church’s Inquisition driven condemnation of Galileo in 1633 as being “rational and just.” Galileo’s mortal sin, of course, was to insist that the earth moves around the sun.

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. A few weeks ago, Benedict became the Sarah Palin of Pontiffs, quitting before his job was done.

Phil Keane would have made a fine Jesuit.

I remember Father Phil’s final words to the class after celebrating Mass at our 50th High School Reunion in 2009.

“I’ll pray for you for all Eternity.”

To which I responded at the time in my heart and now in print — “Rejoice, Dear Hearts!”

Perhaps there’s hope in this new Pope.

“Still Stoned!”

December 21, 2012


I had a dream last night. I was piloting a plane. And all the passengers were drunk and insane. Lost all the treasure in an overseas war. It just goes to show you don’t get what you pay for!”

The Rolling Stones — “Doom & Gloom” — December 2012

The world is still here.

So are death, taxes and The Rolling Stones.

Shortly after Eileen and I moved to Des Moines upon my appointment as Program Director of KSO Radio in 1964, a group of young investors brought a new English band into town who were heralded as a bunch of “dirty Beatles”, sporting not only “long hair”, but “street clothing”, an “insolent attitude”, “coarse language” and “rude behavior”. I found the first two allegations to be true, but the last three were nothing more than flamboyant record company press agent drivel.

Their first American release, an explosive remake of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, had not been a smash hit, but had brought them to the public eye. Standing before the microphone in only a partially-filled auditorium with easily less than several hundred in attendance, it was clear the boys were very much on the ascent given the unusually enthusiastic welcome accorded by the crowd following my words of introduction.

“Ladies and Gentleman. The Rolling Stones!!”

I found the Stones to be thoroughly engaging, although genuinely exhausted. They were disappointed in the turnout, but pleased to be playing in “The States” and were convincingly confident that better things lay ahead. They were looking forward to again spending some recording time in Chicago on their tour and were particularly excited about a return visit to Chess Records in the Windy City where Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and other Black Icons had put it in the grooves.

Judging from the title of their first million-seller which was to come out of the Chess sessions, Mick and company certainly found playing within such sacred studio walls the source of inspired “Satisfaction”.

Shortly thereafter, our two year old daughter Laurie stopped repeatedly going “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” like the Beatles and started imitating Mick Jagger’s “Come-On!” which sounded more like “Ka-Mow!” Her Irish grandmother asked me if she had been “exposed to Negroes”. Of course, with her father blasting every cut off “Aftermath” at top volume on the family “Stereo Hi-Fi” from dawn till dusk, she had — and in a particularly important way.

The Rolling Stones’ early successes and later global triumphs brought final international recognition to the primitive urban blues typified by their heroes at Chess Records, especially African-American artists such as Muddy Waters, writer of “Rollin’ Stone”, for which the band is named.

While early Rock & Roll represented an explosive fusion of “Country & Western” and “Rhythm and Blues”, both basic music forms purely American in origin; it was the English who engaged in an amazing resynthesis — elevating “black music” to a position of cultural preeminence in the world of white Rock. It was The Rolling Stones who effectively did this first and, to many and to this day, do it best.

And it’s The Rolling Stones I still find myself listening to these days on my morning walks up Stagecoach, now on an iPod cranked to 11, finding continuing inspiration from a band celebrating their Fiftieth Anniversary this very month.

Their newest lyrics are as ancient as their old — eternal, primal hope springing forth — utterly irrepressible even in the worst of horrid circumstance.

National debt? Fiscal cliff? War weapons on civilian streets?

“All I hear is doom and gloom. All is darkness in my room.
Through the night — your face I see.
Baby, come on!
Baby, won’t you dance with me?”

“”Michael and Me and Mc Can’t Talk”

October 19, 2012

Peter Cavanaugh and Michael Moore (1982). WWCK-FM Had Just Become The Highest-Rated Rock Station in America.

Your boss knows best.

Vote as you’re told.

That’s the implicit command 45,000 employees of Georgia Pacific received in the mail last week from their employer — Koch Industries — owned by the Koch brothers.

A generally unrecognized aspect of the Supreme Court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision defining corporations as “persons” and money as “free speech” is that it also overturned previous Federal Election Commission laws prohibiting employers from expressing “electoral opinions” directly to their workers.

Florida billionaire David Siegel has informed his 7,000 employees of Westgate Resorts that an Obama victory would likely lead to layoffs at his company.

ASG Software Solutions CEO Arthur Allen has specifically warned employees that an Obama second term might well cost them their jobs.

Mitt Romney even told a group of self-described small business owners; “I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections.”

The November 6th elections are shaping up as the most important in our lifetime, establishing a governmental framework for generations to come in a political configuration either boldly moving forward into the future or ripping us backward toward a time before Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and other enlightened benefits that eventually emerged in the wake of the 19th Amendment granting universal suffrage in 1920 — giving women the right to vote. But have they had control of their bodies long enough?

It’s happening all over the place. Big money is moving in for the kill. And the most infamous freedom killers of all are the Koch brothers.

Yet — even as a front page Fresno Bee headline earlier this month alarmingly proclaimed, “Super rich Kochs aim to save America”, the Democratic Club of Oakhurst had completed arrangements to offer “Koch Brothers Exposed” as a key attraction in their “Pre-Election Bringing Home the TRUTH Rally” at 7:30 PM this Saturday, October 27th, at the Oakhurst Met Cinemas. “Koch Brothers Exposed” is a full-length, 55 minute documentary, wildly heralded as timely, true and terrific.

I’ve asked an old friend to join us.

Academy Award Winning Film Director Michael Moore wrote and produced “Fahrenheit 9/11”, the highest grossing motion picture documentary of all time with over two hundred million dollars in worldwide receipts. It was 2004 winner of the Palme d’Or — the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. Other film projects include “Roger & Me” (1989), “Canadian Bacon” (1995), “Bowling for Columbine” (2002), “Sicko” (2007) and “Capitalism: A Love Story” (2009.) Michael has also gained notoriety as a writer, “Stupid White Men” (2001) and “Dude: Where’s My Country?” (2003) and as a television producer/performer with “TV Nation” (1994-1995) and “The Awful Truth” (1999).

But he was just Mike Moore when the Richfield Township Board of Supervisors tried to put us both out of business in the mid-70’s. I was running outdoor rock concerts attended by Mr. Moore and his friends from Davison High at a place called “Sherwood Forest.” Mike had established “The Davison Hotline” as a call center for troubled teens. Township authorities told our local paper I was “The Pied Piper of Satan” promoting “rock music from hell” and claimed Mike was obviously a “major trouble maker” dealing with such forbidden, un-American topics as birth control, mental health and drug counseling. Joined together by a common foe, I put Mike on the radio with “Radio Free Flint” and — we’ve never looked back.

As fate would have it, Mike’s sister, Anne Moore, lives in Grass Valley. Her Congressman since 2008 has been Tom McClintock, running in the new Fourth California Congressional District that now includes Oakhurst. When I mentioned our “Pre-Election Bringing Home The TRUTH Rally” to Mike, he said he’d love to take part and share a few thoughts about the national scene, but, even more critically, discuss his endorsement of Jack Uppal and how this decision relates to ever increasing domination of the rich over the rest — oligarchy at its best.

This subjugation of Constitutional intent is dramatically witnessed by McClintock’s own words in the Stockton Journal on October 9th when, in excusing himself from debating candidate Uppal, he bluntly stated, “I’d be happy to debate Jack in a neutral forum the moment he takes the race seriously. But he is not. He hasn’t raised enough money to be competitive in a county supervisor’s race let alone in a Congressional race.”

Sitting on almost a million dollars in his campaign fund against less than forty thousand in his opponent’s, McClintock’s fear of debate is further verified by his refusal to appear with Uppal at The Queen’s Inn on October 10th, although invited to do so by our non-partisan Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce. McClintock’s campaign also haughtily turned down an offer from The League of Women Voters, finding this female organization much too “ Democratic.”

Michael Moore will be linked live from his home in Northern Michigan to fully explore the relationship between Congressman McClintock and big bucks — then take any and all questions from those in attendance.

So, it’s “Koch Brothers Exposed” and “Radio Free Oakhurst with Michael Moore” this Saturday at 7:30 PM at The Met Cinema. Free admission. The general public is enthusiastically encouraged to attend. Bring Republican friends.

I’m Peter Cavanaugh and I approve this message.