“Strange Days” in Brazil’s biggest newspaper

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.
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“Strange Days” nominated for journalism award

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. And you can always buy it here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com

PopMatters loves “Strange Days” (And So Can You!)

Many thanks to Raymond Lee and PopMatters for this boffo review. Read it HERE.

And buy Strange Days HERE.

“Strange Days” in schools

That’s me! The best depiction ever, my Scott Weiland fantasy fulfilled. I enjoyed visiting La Salle High School in Pasadena to talk about Strange Days and my own private high school horrors. Special thanks to Delia Swanner (and the anonymous poster artist).

That’s me! The best depiction ever, my Scott Weiland fantasy fulfilled. I enjoyed visiting La Salle High School in Pasadena to talk about Strange Days and my own private high school horrors. Special thanks to Delia Swanner (and the anonymous poster artist).

Strange Days • Now on sale

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

The outback pub in David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” video

David Bowie ventured to the Australian outback in 1983 to shoot the video for his biggest hit single, Let’s Dance, much to my astonishment as a 14-year-old schoolboy living a mere 1,800 miles away in New Zealand. “Holy shit! The Thin White Duke is next door!”

And what a great clip it is (Bowie co-directed with David Mallett), using the plight of Australia’s Aborigines as a metaphor for anyone caught up in the urban grind. Or something like that. It instantly became my life’s ambition to visit the pub where a glowing Bowie boldly serenaded the disdainful, beer-swilling locals.

Thirty years later, I finally made it to Carinda (population: 180) in November 2013, driving 170 miles each way from the closest city, Dubbo, which itself is about 240 miles west of Sydney. Read more

The Beatles in New Zealand, 1964

John Lennon boards a Viscount aircraft for a domestic flight at Wellington Airport, June 23, 1964. The capital's airport did not have jet bridges for domestic flights until the late-'80s, so you were invariably guaranteed a soggy boarding

John Lennon boards a Viscount aircraft for a domestic flight at Wellington Airport, June 23, 1964. The capital’s airport did not have jet bridges for domestic flights until the late-’80s, so you were invariably guaranteed a soggy boarding

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The Rolling Stones in New Zealand, 1965 + 1966

I came across these photos at the National Library of New Zealand. For more about the Rolling Stones and me, click here.

The Rolling Stones in New Zealand

Mick Jagger is grabbed by a fan at the Wellington Town Hall on Feb. 28, 1966. Bill Wyman carries on playing. Brian Jones, celebrating his 24th birthday is in the background.

According to Bill Wyman’s memoir, Stone Alone, “The concert was predictably hysterical … One girl jumped from the rear balcony to throw her arms around Mick, who kept on singing as they tried to drag her away; the girl, still clinging to him, pulled him with her for several yards.” The Stones’ overall impression of New Zealand: “a bit quiet” (nothing has changed). But at least Bill got to take three girls to bed with him after this show

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Ray Charles

Ray Charles

To date the only fresh corpse I’ve seen in real life, appropriately for my job as a showbiz reporter, belonged to a celebrity: Ray Charles.

I attended his colorful send-off in June 2004, and walked past his open casket on my way out as the sound system played his new version of Over The Rainbow, a duet with Johnny Mathis. Sporting his trademark sunglasses and a dark suit, Ray looked better than he had six weeks earlier. Read more

Awards shows – please kill me!

Awards Shows

Covering awards shows like the Grammys and Oscars made me grumpy. They allow rich and famous people to become even more rich and famous, and I was part of the problem.

I understand some of the psychology behind stars making a big deal out of getting cheap tchotchkes, corporate “attaboys.” They overcame huge odds to achieve their fleeting fame, after all. But they’re also millionaires with fancy cars, big homes and jet-setting lifestyles. Isn’t that reward enough? Read more