Misfire
Huey Lewis was my first rock star idol. He was Han Solo with a harmonica and some badass shades. His album Sports (1983) came out when I was 8 years old. It was a gargantuan hit, having sold more than 7 million copies in the US alone. Though it contains many hits, its most durable track is "Walking on a Thin Line".
Sports was his third album under the name Huey Lewis, but his strange career actually began in the early ’70s when his pub rock band Clover was discovered by Nick Lowe and signed to the Phonogram label owned by John “Mutt” Lang (who also produced two of their albums). After those underperformed, Huey left the band for other pursuits, which included a stint as the harmonica player in Thin Lizzy (playing on their 1978 live album Live and Dangerous). The rest of Clover became Elvis Costello’s backing band on his debut My Aim Is True (1977).
Huey went on to perform in my very first rock concert experience. It was the North Dakota State Fair in Minot. It must’ve been 1984. It was an intensely anticipated moment in my young life. I could not believe I was going to get to see my idol. Juice Newton was the opener. I thought she was pretty cool. By the time Huey took the stage I was very sleepy on those bleachers. I ended up falling asleep just after the sun set. I remember a little bit of it, but mostly recall feeling a distinct sense of anti-climactic ennui, followed by Irish Catholic shame in missing out on something special, in not being able to rise to a great moment.
To this day I get sleepy at great concerts.

Huey Lewis was my first rock star idol. He was Han Solo with a harmonica and some badass shades. His album Sports (1983) came out when I was 8 years old. It was a gargantuan hit, having sold more than 7 million copies in the US alone. Though it contains many hits, its most durable track is "Walking on a Thin Line".

Sports was his third album under the name Huey Lewis, but his strange career actually began in the early ’70s when his pub rock band Clover was discovered by Nick Lowe and signed to the Phonogram label owned by John “Mutt” Lang (who also produced two of their albums). After those underperformed, Huey left the band for other pursuits, which included a stint as the harmonica player in Thin Lizzy (playing on their 1978 live album Live and Dangerous). The rest of Clover became Elvis Costello’s backing band on his debut My Aim Is True (1977).

Huey went on to perform in my very first rock concert experience. It was the North Dakota State Fair in Minot. It must’ve been 1984. It was an intensely anticipated moment in my young life. I could not believe I was going to get to see my idol. Juice Newton was the opener. I thought she was pretty cool. By the time Huey took the stage I was very sleepy on those bleachers. I ended up falling asleep just after the sun set. I remember a little bit of it, but mostly recall feeling a distinct sense of anti-climactic ennui, followed by Irish Catholic shame in missing out on something special, in not being able to rise to a great moment.

To this day I get sleepy at great concerts.

Harrison Ford, my grandfather’s toupee, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, Mark Hamill.
(image via reflectionofme)

Harrison Ford, my grandfather’s toupee, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, Mark Hamill.

(image via reflectionofme)

Annie Hall contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture, and in winning the award in 1977 it edged out Star Wars, an outcome unthinkable today. The victory marked the beginning of Woody Allen’s career as an important filmmaker (his earlier work was funny but slight) and it signaled the end of the 1970s golden age of American movies. With Star Wars, the age of the blockbuster was upon us, and movies this quirky and idiosyncratic would find themselves shouldered aside by Hollywood’s greed for mega-hits. Annie Hall grossed about $40 million—less than any other modern best picture winner, and less than the budgets of many of them.
— Rober Ebert
(image via fuckyeahmovieposters)

Annie Hall contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture, and in winning the award in 1977 it edged out Star Wars, an outcome unthinkable today. The victory marked the beginning of Woody Allen’s career as an important filmmaker (his earlier work was funny but slight) and it signaled the end of the 1970s golden age of American movies. With Star Wars, the age of the blockbuster was upon us, and movies this quirky and idiosyncratic would find themselves shouldered aside by Hollywood’s greed for mega-hits. Annie Hall grossed about $40 million—less than any other modern best picture winner, and less than the budgets of many of them.

Rober Ebert

(image via fuckyeahmovieposters)

Irvin Kershner, 1923-2010.
Kershner directed Empire Strikes Back and The Eyes of Laura Mars.
(image via wenri)

Irvin Kershner, 1923-2010.

Kershner directed Empire Strikes Back and The Eyes of Laura Mars.

(image via wenri)

(Source: pauseforacoffee)

Thank GOD I didn’t see this as a kid. Woulda been worse than my post-Big Foot and Santa mythbust depression.
(image via twheat : www.vanityfair.com)

Thank GOD I didn’t see this as a kid. Woulda been worse than my post-Big Foot and Santa mythbust depression.

(image via twheat : www.vanityfair.com)

Gordon Lightfoot’s ribbon of darkness

Long before Gordon Lightfoot was a Canadian folk legend, he was a legend in my father’s white Riviera convertible. It was the early ’80s and that’s the only place he existed in my small world, but it was a place where music dominated. It was a place where my small world felt huge. Of the dozens of cassettes my father had in his otherwise spotless car, Gord’s Gold stood out in a special way to me. As a perennial passenger (though in hindsight I’d like to say that I was the GTO-in-training), there was ample time to sit and stare at all the cassettes trying to make sense of the music we were cruising to; trying to connect whatever dots I possibly could with the strange and intoxicating sounds coming out of the speakers; mythologizing without even knowing it; superimposing and fusing the seemingly disparate visual fundamentals of color, shape, texture and my ever-evolving sense of beauty with the audio dimension in which I was immersed. He had a name that could have easily placed him in a position of high rank in the Star Wars universe and — looking a great deal like my father (perm-and-all) — had an especially-rugged handsomeness that appealed to this particularly Indiana Jones-obsessed youth.

And the songs sounded like a day with Dad.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of college. As a DJ at WIUS here in Bloomington, I had the pleasure of having up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith on my radio show. I’d fallen in love with his debut and was lucky enough to hustle him onto my show when he passed through town opening for John Hiatt (at what was then called Mars). We chatted awkwardly (as two shy souls are prone to do) for about 15 minutes before he started to play some songs with his acoustic guitar and a voice which came from another time. Among the songs was Lightfoot’s "Ribbon of Darkness", originally released on his ‘66 debut Lightfoot! and then re-packaged in ‘75 as the opening track on Gord’s Gold.

  Ribbon of darkness over me  /  Since my true love walked out the door
  Tears I never had before  /  Ribbon of Darkness over me

I taped that radio program. Though I haven’t listened to it since the day it was taped, I think about digging out that cassette three or four times a year, negotiating my humility for a chance to once again hear Ron’s performance of that song to an audience of one. It remains one of my favorite folk songs of all time. A universal tune that is so well-written as to allow the singer performing it to wear it like a costume, to fill it with his own particularities, to take the universal and give it a sense of time & place.

  Oh how I wish your heart could see  /  How mine just aches and breaks all day
  Come on home and take away  /  This ribbon of darkness over me