February 29, 2008

I’m normally not much of a TV watcher when there’s no baseball season to occupy my early night-time viewing, but this winter I’ve come across a show I consider my own little guilty pleasure and reward for my long work days, and that’s “Happy Hour” on – believe it or not – the FOX Business Channel. Now anyone who knows me well enough is well aware I know as much about finances and economics as your average 3-year old, but I have to admit I enjoy the show immensely and have made it my own little must-see viewing habit.

So what is “Happy Hour” like? In reviewing the show’s inaugural week last October, Market Watch’s Jon Friedman had this to say about the show:

Welcome to “Happy Hour,” a new breed of news show, where a younger version of “Regis and Kelly” meets “Cheers” with the breeziness of “Entourage.”

The closest thing I’ve seen to it on TV, in terms of combining a fast pace with conversations and information, has been ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and “Cold Pizza” as well as Fox’s own “The Best Damned Sports Show Period.” These shows all have the same kind of freewheeling, informative style. (Interestingly, CNBC, FBN’s main rival, seemed to pluck parts of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” for its popular morning show “Squawk Box,” and now FBN is showing an ESPN influence, too.)

The idea, as Friedman quotes FOX’s senior VP of operations, Brian Jones, as saying, came to him while he was – surprise! – sitting at a bar having cocktails:

I noticed a lot of (business) conversations happen at a golf course or over drinks at a bar,” said Brian Jones, Fox’s senior vice president of operations, who conceived the idea for the show while he was sitting in an Upper West Side bar.

When Jones and Kevin Magee, Fox News’s executive vice president, couldn’t find a suitable venue in the Wall Street district, their colleague Valerie Alexander suggested the Bull and Bear [a bar at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel]. “They already had a ticker,” Jones said with a laugh, noting that Fox doesn’t pay a fee to its host.

The show is a central part of FBN’s daunting game plan: to make financial news fun for Main Street. Instead of reciting dry numbers in earnings reports, “Happy Hour” is more likely to explain what the news means to shareholders and the general public.

I think the show succeeds at doing exactly that. As much entertainment as it is informative (there are lots of interviews with Wall Street types and corporate big-wigs), the pace remains breezy and light throughout, making it a perfect option for people like me who don’t mind being informed as long as we don’t have to think a lot about things after a long, hard day at work. And a lot of the credit has to go to the FOX head honchos who paired up the delightful team of Cody Willard and Rebecca Gomez. I’ll admit, I’m a Cody Willard fan, and Gomez is, well, how you say, very easy on the eyes.

And the great thing is, here in AZ it starts at 9 PM, so that, even after the baseball season arrives I’ll still be able to enjoy “Happy Hour”.

If you haven’t seen it yet, consider it a Great White Shank pick to click.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comments Off on It’s Happy Hour!
February 28, 2008

So here I am, reading and enjoying greatly Vincent Ferrer Blehl’s “Pilgrim Journey”, his study of John Henry Newman‘s life and religious formation from his childhood, through his years at Oxford and his involement in the Oxford Movement, and up to to his ultimate conversion from Anglican to Roman Catholic at the age of 44.

As I’ve been reading it, it occurs to me just how much and how little the Anglican Church has changed in the time since. As to the former, much of what many know as the Anglican “worship style” – covering everything and anything from liturgy, vestments, church architecture and decoration, Anglican religious orders, etc. can be attributed to the embrace of many practices now associated with the term “high church” (or Catholic) practices influenced by the Oxford Movement’s popularity; to me, this is a definite improvement over what must have been the overwhelmingly dreary and gloomy Calvinistic practices left over from the battles of the 16th century and the English Reformation.

As to the latter, you still have many of the same concerns inside the Church’s power structure over polity and doctrine, never mind Anglicanism’s place in Christendom. And those, of course, whose own individual journeys with Christ are affected in one way or the other by the winds of change fanning those inherent tensions. In that regard, I admit to seeing more than a little of my own experiences with the Episcopal Church’s power structure in both Newman’s own journey and others associated with the Tractarians (another name for those involved in the Movement), illustrating that, at its very core, not much has changed, or likely will change, in the Church in that regard over time. The Church’s power structure – priests and bishops – never did, and still don’t understand, and at times actively resist, those who don’t appear to fit a particular mode, or are called or moved to challenge in their own ways “the way things are done”.

Blehl’s book contains more than its share of instances where otherwise fully-qualified people who are either refused ordination to the Church or professorships at Oxford because they either dare to challenge trhe status quo, or associate with or write in support of those who do likewise. And it’s interesting to see where many of those who were persecuted to some extent eventually found themselves – many ended up leaving the Church of England for Rome, others lost their faith and their belief in Christianity outright, others simply disappear from the pages of history.

My sense from all this is that it doesn’t really matter in the end what you end up doing or where you end up doing it, as long as you leave enough room open in your heart and mind for new possibilities brought about through God’s Divine inspiration. The journey may not always be pleasant along this road, but I have my doubts as to whether it was ever or is supposed to be easy to begin with. Like the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:41 | Comments Off on The Hard Road Taken
February 27, 2008

It all began with a phone call one Sunday afternoon last summer. My brother Mark, who had shown little prior interest in re-visiting the years spent playing together in our mid-’70s band, called Top Priority, asked if I had any pictures of us playing together. His two sons (my nephews) Matt and Mike have their own band, and evidently they wanted to see how their old man cut his chops in the rock and roll thing. Well it just so happened that I did, but just sending him the pictures seemed to me to be a little dry, so I made a document that not only had the pictures I had, but featured a little band history that his boys might appreciate.

We ended up having a long conversation about those days and laughed our asses off for a hour just recalling some of those times, the good and the not-so-good. And from that we got the crazy idea to try and look up the other two members of the band and see if they were alive and what they were up to. A look through the phone book and a search of the Internet helped locate our keyboard player, Jerry “Keys” Palma, and I’m sure my call to his law office one morning from clear out of the blue caught him completely by surprise. But we had a wonderful conversation that ultimately led to a reunion over dinner several weeks later.

A few days after that, a call on a Saturday morning from our guitar player, Ken “The Cat” McDougal, caught me totally by surprise and I was glad to hear he was alive and well, living in Jacksonville, FL, and doing well heading up his own photography business.

Ordinarily, in most cases, that would be the end of that, right? But in this case it wasn’t. Evidently, the various communications between the band members caught the attention of one Victor N. Cugini, former CFO of Kittyhawk Productions, the legal and marketing front for everything that was Top Priority back in those days. Even though Mr. Cugini still owed me $2.76, “Keys” $5.12, Mark $0.76 and The Cat a whopping $3.49 after skipping to The Netherlands following the band’s break-up, I was nevertheless willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and authorized him to pen the “official” biography of the band, which he intended to call “The Band That Never Changed Rock: The Definitive History of Top Priority”. His appearance on C-SPAN’s “Booknotes” program, recounted here, received such widespread publicity that Mr. Cugini was prodded into contributing the highly-acclaimed five-part series on the band’s evolution and history, further whetting the appetite of America for more information about Top Priority.

One of the consequences of this series, as well as a later post remembering an old Tewksbury landmark from my youth, resulted in a reunion with Bob Noftle, an old high-school friend of mine. What a joy it has been to not only share a wonderful lunch with him last December reminiscing about the “good old days”, but a rekindled friendship that (if he doesn’t mind me speaking for him) has been a blessing to us both. During a long flight back to Phoenix the next day, looking back over the year that was just hours away from being over, I couldn’t help but marvel at how fate and the Internet had brought back into my life friends who I otherwise would never, ever have heard from ever again. Technology indeed has its blessings as well as its curses!

Then, the other day, a new comment posted by “BeatleTracks” appeared under one of Victor Cugini’s Top Priority-related posts. A couple of days and a few probing comments later, yet another reunion had taken place – this time with Ken Sandler, my best friend from junior high school, who not only taught me how to play bass (on the lower strings of a cheap acoustic guitar rigged with a pick-up for amplification, no less), but introduced me to playing in a band (a four-man garage outfit called “The Instamatic Vibration” – still a great name, if you ask me). Back in the early ’70s, Ken and I were very tight, and I learned a lot about music from him. I would ride my bicycle down to his house after school, and we would listen to music (a lot of Top 40, Glen Campbell and Creedence Clearwater Revival, I recall). I still remember him recording himself plugged into a reel-to-reel tape player in order to create a distorted “fuzz” sound, which we both thought was the balls. My brother Mark and I had originally hoped to have Ken front the band that ultimately became known as Top Priority, but life somehow intervened and Ken ended up playing the Pete Best role in what later became the phenomenon known as Top Priority. Music remained a central part of his life, however, and it gives me great pleasure to know he is now a member of an acclaimed Beatles tribute band called “Beatle Tracks”.

(Ed. note: I have to admit to being surprised at Ken involving himself with a Beatles tribute band – where he really belongs is fronting a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band, because no one – and I mean no one – could replicate John Fogerty’s swamp-bayou blues licks like Ken could.)

If there is any one reward that has come from my time blogging here at Goodboys Nation weblog, it is to have it be the vehicle that has brought me back in contact with friends I loved and enjoyed hanging around with during my school and band years so many years ago; to be reunited with them after all this time is an incredible blessing. In some ways, it has brought my own life full circle; in others, it is simply remarkable how everyone has, in their own ways, hung in there with life long enough through times both good and bad, to a point where we can all be reacquainted in various ways once again.

Like my old (and new) friend Bob Noftle says, another chicken has come home to roost, and I have to admit, it’s all pretty cool.

Filed in: Top Priority - News! by The Great White Shank at 01:57 | Comment (1)
February 25, 2008

hillary While I think it’s way too early for people to be proclaiming Hillary Clinton’s once-inevitable acension to the Democratic nomination dead, she is clearly in troubled waters. More than that, she has found herself in the unenviable position of not being able to effectively counter Barack Obama in traditional political ways – if she tries the high road via the earnest, well-meaning, “policy wonk/issues” route, Obama has already proven he can out-wonk her and be just as articulate about it; if takes the low road and goes on the attack, as she did on Saturday, she sounds shrill (frankly, bitchy), thus revealing her general “unlikeability” problem.

In the end, if indeed her campaign does go down in flames, it will boil down to two general factors, one she could little to overcome, and one horribly self-inflicted, whether by her, her campaign, or both.

In the first case, Kirk Caraway in Sunday’s Nevada Appeal, more than anything, points to what I have been saying all along – that Hillary Clinton’s Barack Obama problem hints at an even greater hurdle she would face come the general election – the fact that, at the very core, she remains, after all this time and all this campaigning, virtually unelectable:

Forty-seven percent. That is the hurdle that has stood in front of Hillary Clinton since the day she announced her intention to run for president.

Forty-seven percent is the portion of Americans who have a negative opinion of Clinton, and getting them to change their minds is extremely difficult.

Not that she hasn’t tried. Her campaign began with an effort to “reintroduce herself to the American people,” and her claims that she was the most famous person Americans didn’t know.

How did that work out?

Overcoming that 47 percent is not an insurmountable task. George W. Bush won both his presidential elections with 48 percent of voters casting their ballots for his opponents.

But going into a race knowing that she had 47 percent of the people against her meant that Clinton had to run a perfect campaign. There was no room for any slippage of support, any gaffes that might push more voters to oppose her.

And for a while, it looked like she was doing just that.

Early in this contest, she was positioned as the front-runner, always on message and riding high above the rest of the field. She was the New England Patriots of presidential candidates.

But then along came Barack Obama. More of a movement than a campaign, Obama created a real challenge to Clinton. And when they lined up to battle for the top prize, the vaunted Clinton Machine fell apart.

As I’ve pointed out previously in this very spot, Hillary’s main problem is that, frankly, people – especially men – don’t like her, and, given the chance in a quiet dark ballot box, would go out of their way to vote against her. And it has nothing to do with her as a woman; rather, it has everything to do with her smarmy, “I’m smarter than you and I know it and am not afraid to show it” persona. Consider other females of the political arena – Margaret Thatcher, the tough-as-nails former British Prime Minister, Elizabeth Dole, Laura Bush, or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – these are equally educated, smart, and (in their own ways) strong female politicians who have in their own genetic make-up a likeability factor that Hillary simply can’t, and never will, be able to match.

As for the second point, about that horrible, self-inflicted wound her campaign inflicted upon itself, may I point to this New York Times piece, which alludes to something else I’ve been saying all along: if I were running the Clinton campaign, I would have told husband Bill to take a nice long vacation in Tahiti:

Over take-out meals and late-night drinks, some regrets and recriminations have set in, and top aides have begun to face up to the campaign’s possible end after the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4. Engaging in hindsight, several advisers have now concluded that they were not smart to use former President Bill Clinton as much as they did, that “his presence, aura and legacy caused national fatigue with the Clintons,” in the words of one senior adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to assess the campaign candidly.

Without question, all that bringing him aboard – and, even worse, putting him front and center – did was to: 1) diminish her in the minds of her seemingly-unshakeable gender base as a strong, independent female candidate capable of standing on her own two feet, 2) remind voters of what the “Clinton fatigue” of the late ’90s was all about, and 3) reveal her to be a rather poor imitation of the charismatic “rock star” politician her husband (like him or not) was in Democratic circles.

In hindsight, I can only shake my head in wonder at what her campaign must have been thinking. You have a (supposedly) strong, intelligent female candidate with the already formidable support of many baby-boomer and older women, and how do you showcase her talents? By dragging out her obnoxious and philandering husband in front of every camera and reporter and allow him to run his mouth off at both ends? All this ended up doing was cause many women to question just how “independent” and “strong” Hillary Clinton was, both as a woman and as a presidential candidate, and make voters in general question who, in fact, would actually be running the White House were she to be elected.

The result has been an absolute disaster for the Hillary! candidacy. People like Susan Estrich can hypothesize all they want that, deep down, the rejection of Hillary! is the rejection of her as a woman, but I would counter that her campaign’s strategy has never allowed her to run as a woman, but rather – and more omniously to many voters – as a Clinton (i.e., the “Billary” candidacy).

And that has been the difference.

Want a time-tested recipe for political disaster? Combine one part unlikeability factor with one part inherent weakness on display; that, my friends (as John McCain is wont to say), is the crux of the biscuit and a formula in politics for a one-way ticket to Palookaville. Which is why, if Hillary Clinton is going to salvage her sinking campaign, she’s going to have to pull off the political equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

And frankly, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:42 | Comments Off on Hillary’s Two Problems
February 24, 2008

“Desolation is a file, and the endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.” — St. John of the Cross

The Lenten feast for the senses I wrote about last week continued today (Saturday) at St. Anne Catholic Church, but it occurred to me during today’s Mass that what I find most comforting and reassuring about the Roman Catholic way of doing things, as opposed to the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, and yes, even Episcopal liturgical and worship practices I have experienced in the past is how the Mass brings together into one tight bundle the history of the Church in all the right ways.

Let me explain. Oh, but before I do, notice that in the list above I didn’t include either Orthodox Catholic or traditional Anglican forms of worship – for the elements that I am about to write about can be found to various and marvelous extents in those churches as well.

The calendar of the Church Year says that it is Lent. And Lent is supposed to be all about contrition, self-examination, penance and fasting, and, above all else, reverence and humility in the face of God’s inestimable love in Christ’s death upon the Cross for our sins. How that is conveyed in the various forms of Christian worship vary, of course, and far be it from me to proclaim judgment on what denomination does it best – after all, everyone has their own preferences and likes and dislikes.

For me, however, it’s all about the theology, and in today’s Mass, where you have a sermon that (at least in my mind) boldly illustrates the various thirsts we all have in life, both horizontally (i.e., worldly desires) and vertically (spiritual desires) by recalling writings by one of the premier Doctors of the Church (St. Augustine), prayers that invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Trinity, and the Saints of the Church, and liturgical prayers steeped in our waywardness and desperate need for God’s mercy and forgiveness, that’s doing Lent right. Top it off with announcements that include, among other things, prayer and outreach groups that are either affiliated with religious orders (the Carmelites) or invoke various saints (St. Preregrine, St. Maria Goretti, etc.), and I’m all over it.

You see, unlike today’s Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Church of England, and so many “mainline” Protestant denominations – and yes, consider this a definite tweak of disapproval! – in Roman and Orthodox Catholicism, and traditional Anglicanism the Church’s history, theological teachings, and traditions actually mean something. Because the former have discarded (enthusaiastically, in some cases) the foundational tenents of Christianity as laid down in the Gospels and by various saints and doctors of the Church in favor of post-modern thought, a de-emphasis on the doctrine of sin, and, above all things, worship at the altar of that dreaded triumvirate of Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Tolerance, is it any wonder these churches are FUBAR?

This is not to say that Roman Catholicism is not without its own issues – I’ve often said that in its various excesses of power and corruption over the years that is it is “great theology practiced badly”. But in the end, great theology still trumps lazy and arrogant intellectualism as practiced by the oh-so-“progressive” forces currently leading the churches mentioned immediately above over the cliff.

And in this holy season of Lent, where we are called upon to look at ourselves and upon our own spiritual deformities, to practice a faith that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, yet comfort us in the knowledge that the whole Communion of Saints and those who have gone before us in the faith and love of the Lord are there for us, to be prayed to for guidance that leads us towards that new life in Christ that can quench any thirst, well that’s religion done right.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:17 | Comments Off on Religion Done Right
February 23, 2008

OK, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Surviving Grady weblog is one of my first stops each day in my spin around the blogsphere. Irreverent, strange, laugh-out-loud funny – SG is all these things and more. This post from the other day is one of the absolute best they’ve ever done. I just wonder where the heck these guys (who have jobs and families, BTW) find the time to come up with this stuff.

Another of my favorite blogs is Captains Quarters. I guess you might call it center-right politically, but Captain Ed also posts a lot of interesting stuff about pop culture and other items of interest as well – like this post from yesterday about the late, great Jack Benny. There are very few comedians that could ever match Benny’s sense of timing and deprecating humor. I remember a clip from Benny’s show in the mid-’60s with the Beach Boys where he and Bob Hope play a couple of “hip” surfers – absolutely hysterical and quite interesting watching these two comedic geniuses play off one another.

And finally, there is Power Line weblog. Similar to Captains Quarters – they often echo one another in both content and opinion – Power Line is also one of my must-stops on my daily Internet rounds. Scott Johnson’s post yesterday in celebration of George Washington’s birthday is an absolute must-read – especially for those who risk taking for granted Washington’s indispensible role in both the founding of our country and the establishment of the Presidency. It is a shame that a whole generation of our country’s youth will grow up knowing absolutely nothing about Washington and the critical role he played in our country’s establishment. There was a reason we used to celebrate Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays separately, and it is to our great loss they’ve all been rolled into that pathetic excuse for a holiday called “President’s Day”.

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:28 | Comments Off on Three Great Blogs, Three Great Posts
February 22, 2008

This article the other day got me thinking about the great sandwiches of my life. Of course, there are sandwiches and then there are subs, but do subs actually qualify as sandwiches?? I, for one, believe they do.

Of course, if they did, then one of my top favorites would have to be none other than the ubiquitous veal cutlet sub on toasted roll, available virtually anywhere in New England, preferably from the local [name of town] House of Pizza. Remember, you can’t get a veal cutlet sub (or, I would argue, any decent sub sandwich for that matter) out here in Arizona, so any veal cutlet sub I can get my hands on while visiting the homies is enough to satisfy this man’s palate.

And of course you have the equally-ubiquitous Italian cold-cuts sub made any way you like.

And the D’Angelos chain in New England makes one heck of a cheeseburger sub, especially when it’s topped with tomatoes, onions, and pickles.

When it comes to favorites, however, one I recall especially fondly was that Shrimp Po’ Boy I ate at a wonderful lunch with my blogger friend Rob last year. Shrimp, lettuce, onion, and a roumelade sauce on a roll. A handful as well as a delightful mouthful, made all the more perfect with one or two Abita Amber drafts. Yum.

But if there is a heaven for long-departed favorite sandwiches, my vote hands-down would be for the “Harvey’s Special”, once available a long time ago at a place called Mel & Murray’s Delicatessen. They used to be housed in this little corner of the Burlington (MA) Mall way back in the early-to-mid ’70s, then vacated that spot for a restaurant of their own just down the street where they prospered for a few years before folding (I think) sometime in the late ’80s. The “Harvey’s Special” started with a pre-made, slightly-chilled combination of layered black pastrami, swiss cheese, and diced onion which was then fried on the grill until black and crispy around the edges, then topped with a slice of tomato and laid oh-so-casually on a bulkie roll. Man, there was nothing like it! And with a half-sour pickle and a side of potato salad? Man, that was what I called livin’!

Of course, none of these sandwiches makes for your ultimate health-food choice, but then I would argue that sandwiches (and/or subs) by their very nature are not supposed to be health food. Leave that for the garden-grazing, calorie-counting salad lovers out there. I mean. how many people wake up in the morning and say, man, I CAN’T WAIT for lunch and that salad! Sure, Elvis might have been done in partly by his penchant for fried peanut-butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches, but you don’t have to make a habit of eating these kinds of things every day – like my good-old Anglican heritage stands for – everything in moderation.

…Which means that by its very nature a good sandwich is something to both look forward to and savor.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:20 | Comments (4)
February 21, 2008

Sorry for the website being down the last day or so. There’s nothing like having your hosting company upgrading software to let you how many people visit your site on their daily cruises around the Internet every day.

The Great White Shank apologizes for any undue angst this unfortunate occurrence might have caused. 🙂

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:55 | Comments Off on We’re Back!
February 19, 2008

elvis I’m totally into it like a big rat.

There’s always been a part of me that loved the the old Southern gospel quartet sound, and I always wished I could sing bass like J.D. Sumner (of “The Stamps”, one of Elvis’ favorite backup quartets fame). Of course, if you really knew The Great White Shank, that should only make sense, as I’m convinced that, were there ever such a thing as reincarnation (which, of course, is a question best left to the Shirley MacLaine, get-in-touch-with-my-inner-child, tofu-eating New Age crowd), I’d swear my prior life was spent in the Deep South, where I’ve always felt a kinship and at home whenever I have traveled there.

So what is the attraction of Southern gospel music for a die-hard Anglo-Catholic? I don’t know, I like the fact that in these quartets the blend was everything; it was all about precision, execution, and the fact that there was no place to hide – you HAD to be a damned fine singer. And, of course the fact that Southern gospel was a huge influence on early rock & roll. But more than anything else, I love the passion, the joy, and the humility of it all, I guess. And listening to The King pour his heart and soul into this music – a form he obviously loved singing – is a joy to listen to. And that’s the difference from so much of the so-called music spelled C-R-A-P of today – this form of music is a healing, life-giving force.

Is some of it hokey? Maybe so, but it’s hard not to listen to the performances and not feel a sense of love for God, humility, faith, trust, and quiet joy – all things, I think, the world could use a little more of if you ask me.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:06 | Comments Off on The Gospel According To Elvis
February 18, 2008

Top Priority 2007
Greetings, Top Priority fans! I wanted to let you all know that there has been a recent up-tick in the number of requests for the book almost all of America has been waiting for: “The Band That Never Changed Rock: The Definitive History of Top Priority”.

Originally, this book, to be published by Kittyhawk Productions‘ own publishing arm, Permanent Press, was due for release in late 2007, but unforeseen delays caused by all sorts of things – you know, the need for further interviews with the band members, trips to the supermarket, increased solar activity, etc. – have delayed its expected release (not to mention the official launch of the Top Priority website) until the spring of 2008. Patience is the key word here, rabid fans!

Now, a word about those pesky Top Priority reunion tour rumors. I recently spoke with a spokesperson for Ken “The Cat” McDougal at the latter’s Florida winter compound and here is The Cat’s quote, verbatim (my boldings):

[Laughing] “No, no, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, dude. The boys and I are busy in our own life pursuits. Sure, it’s not like Beatles thing where, you know, a reunion is totally impossible due to the passages of life, but my guess is, unless a promoter and sponsor wants to drop some serious dinero into our laps, there’s not much incentive for it to happen, right?”

And this quote from drummer Mark Richard:

“They can offer me a million dollars, but you’ll NEVER catch me appearing on “The View”.

…And, finally, this official telegram received just yesterday from the Laguna Beach, CA office of Kittyhawk Productions:

FEBRUARY 17, 2007: There is no truth to the rumors of Doug, Mark, “Keys”, and “The Cat” re-forming for a reunion tour to promote their upcoming CD Top Priority: Anthology 1974-76 or Mr. Cugini’s book “The Band That Never Changed Rock – The Definitive History of Top Priority”. STOP.

The boys are quite occupied with their various life pursuits and focusing all of their time and effort on reducing their own personal carbon footprints as a way to combat the debilitating effects of global warming, as well as doing their parts to promote global harmony and world peace.” STOP.

The boys are flattered, however, by the unexpectedly enthusiastic response to the upcoming CD and book, and hope their legions of fans will be content to satisfy themselves until those releases by taking the “Top Priority Tragical History Tour” – a 2-hour, fun-filled tour of various sites and locales around the Merrimack Valley (MA) associated with the band. These tours are personally conducted by Mark and available by reservation only for $22.78 plus tax through your local Kittyhawk Productions branch office. STOP.

The boys wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2008. STOP.

So that’s it, then. Keep a watch in these spaces for the latest on everything Top Priority-related and be sure to keep an eye out for the impending release of Top Priority’s first CD single, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” b/w “Saturday Night (recorded live at the Billerica Masonic Temple)”, available via the Kittyhawk Productions website.


(For those who are wondering, the picture above shows band members Mark Richard (drums), Doug Richard (bass, vocals), Jerry “Keys” Palma (keyboard, guitar, vocals), and Ken “The Cat” McDougal (guitar, vocals). Photo courtesy of The Cat and True Focus Photography)


Jai Guru Dev.

Filed in: Top Priority - News! by vcugini at 01:50 | Comment (1)


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