After reading the story about the Michigan woman who awoke from a five year semi-coma with the first words out of her mouth being "I want to go to a Bob Seger concert" my first reaction was really? Of all the things to utter after that long time and of all the artists to pick: Bob Seger? But such was the choice for 79 year old Evie Branan of Flint, Michigan who had already seen the Michigan born Seger in concert and was already a diehard fan. But still even she wondered why of all the things to say after five years of silence that those would be her first words. "Why would I say that?" she laughed. "Maybe my last thoughts were Bob Seger before I had my stroke," she told Michigan Live who reported the story yesterday about Branan abruptly awaking from her five-year semi-coma back in May 2011 and how this week (tomorrow Thursday April 11th) she will finally have her wish granted when she goes to see Seger in concert at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Not only that but she also got an invitation to the private after party and will be riding to and from the event in a rented limo thanks to the generosity of an administrator at Willowbrook Manor, the long term care unit, where she lives and where many folks see her recovery as "a miracle." Below are the videos for live concert versions of a couple of Bob Seger's many hits they he will likely perform at tomorrow's show: "Still The Same" and "Hollywood Nights" - both from his 1978 album Stranger in Town.
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Born on this day: February 25, 1943 - The Beatles' lead guitarist, humanitarian, and philanthropist George Harrison (born at 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool, UK). Happy Birthday to this rock music icon on what would have been his 70th Birthday. We love and miss you, George.
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (LOVE Version)
On this day in music history: February 25, 1963 - Vee Jay Records in Chicago, IL will release "Please Please Me" by The Beatles in the US. Issued with the catalog number VJ 498, it is their first American release. It will be licensed to the label after EMI Records owned Capitol Records refuses to release it, telling producer George Martin and manager Brian Epstein that the band "won't mean anything over here." The record will fare no better on Vee Jay initially, which is such a low priority that the initial pressings of the 45 misspell their name as "The Beattles." The original release of the single will sell just over 7,300 copies, mostly in the Chicago area where it receives airplay on WLS. Today those copies sell for over $3,500 in near mint condition.
To be a star in Hollywood all you really need is a Sharpie pen. And since fame and stardom don't always come a-knockin' on your door, sometimes you just gotta go out there and make it happen yourself -- take control of your own destiny, or stardom, so to speak. This you can do armed with a Sharpie, plus a willingness to commit a minor crime, followed by a quick walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame until you stumble upon one of the blank stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street.
There, spread over a combined 18 blocks, sit approximately two and a half thousand five-pointed terrazzo & brass stars brightly embedded in the Hollywood sidewalk, spaced at every six feet. Many of these stars are blank waiting to be officially filled in with the name of some accomplished entertainment figure, typically a movie, TV, or music person. Sometimes these blank stars get unofficially filled in. That is exactly what "Boris P" with his "M" in a circle symbol recently did on Vine in the block just below Hollywood Blvd, where he got busy with his Sharpie pen -- instantly bypassing the typical hard uphill slog to stardom. And with an estimated ten million visitors annually coming to LA specifically to see The Walk, according to a report by NPO/Plog Research, odds are that "Boris P" is a hell of a lot more well known now than he was before he bought that 99 cent Sharpie.
Administrated by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the Hollywood Historic Trust, The Hollywood Walk of Fame very recently celebrated its 50th anniversary which I missed by a few days. Held on Sunday, July 25th, the occasion was celebrated with a day-long festival with tours of iconic Hollywood theaters and studios, as well as live music, performances, movie screenings and various other activities including the induction of the late great Louis Prima onto The Walk. I passed his shiny new star -- not too far from Boris P's star.
Fortunately, the interviews are vastly different, due to my professional and honed skill as a journalist devoted to hard-hitting storytelling and dedication to factual analysis, and the other interviewer, Miss Ess, who prefers a more “whimsical” and, shall we say, lying-er approach to writing.
You can read this other "interview" by clicking on this link right here.
Due to his tight schedule of touring and promoting the new album, To The Breathing World, Neal was under the weather and frequently distracted during the following interview, which resulted in many of his answers being garbled and unintelligible. (Confidentially, I think alcohol may have been a contributing factor to this. That’ll teach me to get drunk before an interview!) I therefore had to rely on memory and occasional paraphrasing in transcribing the following Q & A. Even so, I was able to capture the spirit of our conversation, from Neal's obsession with "crushing" to the revelation of his suicidal fantasies. Read on…
Neal Morgan before the plastic surgery
How did you pick up playing the drums? What is it that drew you to them so strongly - so much so that any other attempts to follow other dreams were crushed?