I’m a terrible person to take on vacation.
You might want to lounge on the beach, or go shopping or eating. I just want to visit celebrity graves and miscellaneous death sites. Fortunately my wife is a good sport about it, but when I recently had the opportunity to take a solo road trip around England (where the beaches, the shopping and the food are lousy anyway), I went into unabashed overdrive.
Here are some of my haunts, mostly in the rock ‘n’ roll genre since that is what England always does best.
Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren—Highgate Cemetery, London
It all started for George Harrison at No. 12 Arnold Grove in Liverpool, in 1943. He lived here until the age of 5 with his parents and three older siblings.
(Click here to buy the “Satisfaction” 12-inch vinyl reissue.)
Back in 1985 when I was in my last year at boarding school and filled with the usual teen anxieties, one of my greatest fears was that the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” would pass without appropriate recognition. So I wrote to my local DJ to ask, among many other things, if the station planned to commemorate the milestone. Read more
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne in Los Angeles, February 2015
Most days I wake up about 10 a.m., and it soon dawns on me that I have nothing to do until bedtime. Such are the perils of enforced early retirement. But I was mildly busy in recent months interviewing Ozzy Osbourne at his home on Feb. 4, and then Gene Simmons on the phone on April 8. Read more
Lally Stott would have been 70 in 2015. “Who’s Lally Stott?” you ask. Harold “Lally” Stott was an English singer/songwriter whose best-known creation vied with “Maggie May,” “My Sweet Lord” and “Brown Sugar” as one of the biggest songs of 1971.
I am big in Brazil. Well, I was for about a day or so after Folha De São Paulo, the biggest paper in the biggest city in the Americas, published a piece about Strange Days on Jan. 28. You can also view the online version here, if you want to run it through Google Translate.
Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles was nominated in the nonfiction book category of the L.A. Press Club’s 7th annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. The finalist list is here. UPDATE: We didn’t win, shockingly. Oh well. There’s always the Nobel.
Many thanks to Raymond Lee and PopMatters for this boffo review. Read it HERE.
And buy Strange Days HERE.
Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is now on sale. Click HERE to buy the physical and Kindle versions on Amazon.
Strange Days features behind-the-scenes recollections, juicy gossip and incisive interviews with music icons such as David Bowie, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Mike Love, Gene Simmons, Isaac Hayes, Ice-T, Roger Taylor of Queen, Read more