Monday, December 30, 2002

The Un-Illustrated "MAD"

© EC Publications
We have a wonderful 16-year-old sweetheart living with us. One of her few failings is her inability to hold or read a book, so all reading material must be read to her. We have enrolled her in our state's Talking Library program. We have been provided with a slow-speed 4-track cassette player and tapes. Often, we receive magazines on tape, usually once a month. For some reason, this month one of the magazines was MAD.

So I sat and thought, "How does a comic book like MAD translate to the spoken word?" Well, for starters, the really bizarre stuff is left out. This includes, oddly enough, most of the works of Sergio Aragones. His marginal cartoons and a fullsize feature were left out of the recorded version, as well as "Spy Vs. Spy".

Some of the rest of the stuff translates quite nicely to spoken word, such as Dick DeBartolo's satire of "Signs" and a narrative detailing what Martha Stewart might be writing into her datebook these days. Even Al Jaffee's Fold-In is described in its folded state and a Duck Edwing punchline is described in detail. However, some of the newer humor by MAD's cadre of young turk writers puts me off my feed, and there's a Frank Jacobs "All Purpose Do It Yourself..." deal (you fill in each of a number of blanks with items from a pre-defined list) that doesn't go over. Letters page consisted mostly of an identifier of roughly 100 artists and writers whose pictures appeared in a previous issue marking MAD's 50th anniversary.

She seemed to like it, laughing appropriately in spots, but fell asleep near the end. (I'm sure that MAD would love to hear about that one!)

Now, all I need to satisfy my curiosity on such matters: how do they do Playboy for books-on-tape?

Friday, December 27, 2002

Why Dave Frishberg Rocks

One of my favorite singer/songwriters is a guy most of you have heard, but never heard of. You've seen his name on my Schoolhouse Rock pages, as author of such songs as "I'm Just A Bill", "Hardware", "Number Cruncher", "Dollars And Sense", "$7.50 Once A Week" and "Walking On Wall Street", the latter two of which he sung.

But Dave Frishberg is more than just those songs. He has an entire catalogue of quirky songs with names like "My Attorney, Bernie", "Blizzard Of Lies" (a tune inspired by wife Samantha who collected lots of "yeah, right" type epithets like "The check is in the mail", "Your secret's safe with me", "I am not a crook", etc.), and some songs that have actually become standards like "Do You Miss New York" and "Let's Eat Home" (both recorded by Rosemary Clooney, a fervent promoter of Frishberg's work who also covered "Sweet Kentucky Ham"). He's collaborated with the likes of Bob Dorough (a Schoolhouse Rock colleague on a tune called "I'm Hip") and Alan Broadbent ("Marilyn Monroe").

But Frishberg is probably best known for a song whose lyrics entirely consist of the names of baseball players - "Van Lingle Mungo", named for a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants from 1931-1945. Frishberg noted that growing up in pre-Twins Minnesota, baseball players were nothing more than names in newspaper boxscores.

This page documents one baseball card collector's quest to obtain one card from each of the players mentioned in the song "Van Lingle Mungo". Some of the more prolific players mentioned in the song include Johnny Mize, Roy Campanella and Early Wynn; the obscure, rare ones who only played a few years and don't have many cards include Pinky May, Augie Bergamo, and a player who shares his name with one of my nephews, Danny Gardella. Frishberg followed up "Van Lingle Mungo" with a slightly similar, but more coherent tune called "Dodger Blue" which was premiered at a Dodgers old-timers day game.

Frishberg is like another of my jazz favorites, the beautiful and talented Diana Krall, in that they both have voices that you wouldn't associate with a singer. Frishberg has a very nasal, pinched tone. But their delivery is first rate and their piano playing is impeccable. Catch Frishberg if he ever shows up in your area (he does a great live show), and go find his CD's on Amazon, CD Now, or eBay.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Merry Christmas

Happy December 24th, everyone. At this Holiday season, when my brain goes into neutral for a few weeks before I must return to the classroom, I will tell you that after a number of years with HostCentric, it is finally time to change web hosting providers. I have not yet chosen a new provider, but hope to do so by the end of the year. HostCentric is a good company, but I feel as a legacy customer from an acquired operation, I got a little lost in the shuffle and was allowed to flounder for too long under an outdated web hosting package.

So www.davemackey.com will soon be parked elsewhere. There may be further changes to the site, so stay tuned. None of the URL's are expected to change, so the only things you see will be cosmetic and philosophical changes.

Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

How To Get Me To Delete Your E-Mail (Revised And Updated)

  • Subject line of merely "Hi" or "Hello" - this ain't Jerry Maguire. You won't have ME at Hello.
  • Advertise printer cartridges or the X-10 camera
  • Anything having to do with being single - I am married, thank you
  • I like my "equipment" the size it is, thank you
  • That damn Wealth Builder guy!
  • Mini RC Racers
  • Anything with a vague attachment
  • A funny website
  • You're the first player

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Grambling-Southern Rivalry On NBC

In much the same way that the Daytona 500 is just another NASCAR race, the annual football game between two of America's Historically Black Colleges, Grambling State and Southern University, is just another football game... that happens to have a wild halftime show wrapped around it, featuring both schools' marching bands. (It's officially known as the 29th Annual State Farm Bayou Classic.)

The bands' primary showcase has actually become the Friday evening performances (with a Greek stepping show added) in the New Orleans Superdome. The Grambling Marching Tigers and the Southern Human Jukebox are arguably the two best college marching bands in America, bar none. Combining the traditional marching band stylings with equal does of soul, funk and even hip-hop, both schools arduously prepare and drill to put on the best show they can. This is not to say that the halftime show during the actual Saturday game takes a back seat. The formation to watch for at this game every year is Southern's band spelling out the game's halftime score on the field. No matter the score, the drill is always perfect and I've never seen them flub it up. The weekend also features a Saturday evening concert, a Friday afternoon job fair, and a fan fest that runs all day Saturday.

The game this year is expected to be a one-sided affair, with Grambling (10-1) winning all but their first game this season and Southern eking out a 5-6 record. With Eddie Robinson's retirement some years ago, Grambling's program is now under the helm of former Tiger QB Doug Williams, who went on to a successful NFL career that saw him earn Super Bowl MVP honors.

The game - and those bands - will air Saturday, November 30 beginning at 2:00 p.m. on NBC.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

That Other Dave Mackey

How do you like this? I've got competition!

I have found out there is a davemackey.net, and it's not me. It's another guy named Dave Mackey, from the great Midwest. He registered the domain name on March 17, 2001, but hasn't put anything up on his page just yet.

Listen To This!

This is the first album from the Brass Tacks, "Live & Kickin'". Please visit the Music Page for all pertinent details.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Joe Dante Doesn't Read My Website

From a print interview with "Looney Tunes: Back In Action" director Joe Dante:
Most of the humor in the original Looney Tunes cartoons was for adults; it's only in recent years that cartoon characters were juvenilized. My 10-year-old niece can watch one of Tex Avery's Bugs cartoons from 1943 and still laugh.
I'm laughing too, because Dante is blissfully unaware that by 1943, Avery had been shipped out of Termite Terrace and was over in Culver City making cartoons for M-G-M.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Disney Wants To Monopolize Your Kids' Entertainment Options

This LA Times article notes that the current #1 song on Radio Disney is a sprightly little tune called "I Can't Wait", by that well known songstress, Hillary Duff.

What? Who?

Turns out that Hillary Duff is the actress that plays Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel TV show aimed toward adolescent teens. And it also turns out that no other radio stations in the country are playing this song, only the 56 Radio Disney stations nationwide.

What gave me a real laugh in the article is that the director of programming for Radio Disney says, "Now, it's Hilary Duff that kids want to hear. It doesn't matter that she's signed to Disney. We don't need to disclose it."

That's where you're wrong, lady. On two counts.

1. Kids don't want to hear Hillary Duff. If kids wanted to hear Hillary Duff, every other radio PD and MD in the country would have run with this record. Nobody bit.

2. It does matter that she's signed to Disney. Radio Disney plays what it wants to force on its young, impressionable listeners, and it is always product that the company itself can profit from in other ways. If you watch enough of the Disney Channel on television, you will find the same attitude there - its marketing strategies almost always exclude entertainment options from other companies (i.e. Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Universal, etc.) Try watching their "Movie Surfers" interstitials for info on the upcoming Harry Potter movie. Since it is not a Disney product, it does not exist in the Disney empire. This is dangerous and is possibly in violation of anti-trust statutes.

I have never allowed Radio Disney to be on my car stereo, because they have in the past censored or re-recorded versions of hit songs to "sanitize" them for the young audience. Now I have even more ammunition to say no.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

An Angel Of A Man

Best shot of the post-World Series festivities: not the shot of manager Dusty Baker carrying his crying child out of the dugout, but a glimpse of the man who was the soul of the Angels for many years, former owner, the late Gene Autry.

Who says a cowboy's work is never done?

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Website Updates

I am attempting to update some of the files in the Bus Gallery but am having a good deal of trouble with Comcast's proprietary publisher. Hopefully we can get these issues resolved soon.

10/24/2002) We have reuploaded a lot of the Bus Gallery files to include serial number information for a lot of the buses, plus to just plain fix some of the pictures. There have been problems with Front Page and my graphics program not agreeing on whether file names for pictures should be in ALL CAPS or no caps. This is causing some of the pictures to show up with the little red X's. Everything has been fixed.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

New SNL Book Gives The Band Short Shrift

For possibly the first time ever, I was in absentia for a Saturday Night Live season premiere. Therefore, there will be no updates to the SNL Band pages until next week. I have been told there is a new image of the band in the main titles, and we usually update that as well as going through and changing the hard date references as far as certain musicians' longevity.

BTW, I did purchase Tom Shales' and James Andrew Miller's "Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live" (Little, Brown & Company; $25.95 list). Had I read the caveat early in the acknowledgements regarding the decision to concentrate on the comedy element of the show and leave reportage of the music of the show, house and otherwise, to others, then I probably would have waited for paperback. Which is a shame because the book nicely fills in the gaps since the last major treatise on the show's behind-the-scenes history was published back in 1985, giving us coverage of such show landmarks as the ascent of Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman, the Andrew Dice Clay and Sinead O'Connor incidents, and the tragic deaths of Gilda Radner, Hartman and Chris Farley.

The only music department employees to speak on the record are the show's inaugural music director, Howard Shore (who has more of an influence on what kind of show SNL was conceived as than some may think), and musician-turned-actor Paul Shaffer. Shore had some revealing thoughts on the types of musicians that populated the early SNL band, and we learn that the band actually scored some coke on air during a commercial break once, but that's about it. Cheryl Hardwick is mentioned only sporadically, and then mostly in the context of being Mrs. Michael O'Donoghue, although Victoria Jackson remembers her input on the "I Am Not A Bimbo" song. Shore and Dan Aykroyd also speak on the formation of the Blues Brothers Band with most of the musicians being procured through Tom Malone.

A major work, to be sure, but if the band and the music is your thing, skip it.

Friday, October 04, 2002

"From New York, The Greatest City In The World..."

 
Tonight's "Late Show With David Letterman" Top Ten, postponed from last night, will feature ten high school principals. Two of them are from the Toms River school district - Maureen Madden, from High School East, and John Coleman, from High School North. You can see the results above.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

He Is Outta There!

Don't let the door hit your butt on the way out, Valentine.

Can't wait for the 2003 season!

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

$15,633,171

Warner Bros. should be sticking HIM up for the balance!

Monday, September 23, 2002

Happy Birthday John

Happy birthday to the man whose face beams with pride near the bottom of the right sidebar out the driver's side window of his 1996 Corvette, my brother John Mackey.

The Corvette Challenge pages, webmastered by Edgar Perez, detail John's involvement with a Corvette race series held at intervals throughout the year at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. Known to drag race fans as E-Town, Raceway Park is one of the top drag tracks in the country. If you've got a Vette and can cough up the modest entry fee, come out and race with John and his friends. (Be sure to show up on the right day, however, or you might find yourself tyring to outpace, f'rinstance, Angelle Savoie, the fastest woman on two wheels in the world!)

Saturday, September 21, 2002

ATTENTION NEWSMEDIA

Please stop overplaying newstape of such "caught on tape" news stories as the mother beating up on her kid and the baseball coach being assaulted by fans. Replaying more than a few times renders their newsworthiness into ratings-grabbing sensationalism. Please stop. That means you, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and ESPN's family of channels.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Great Radio Talkers

Here's one to start some debate at the dinner table. A radio industry trade paper listed the top 25 radio talk hosts of all time. Their list:

1. Rush Limbaugh
2. Howard Stern
3. Don Imus
4. Larry King
5. Sally Jessy Raphael
6. Bruce Williams
7. Laura Schlessinger
8. Barry Gray
9. Barry Farber
10. Joy Browne
11. Michael Jackson
12. Art Bell
13. Ronn Owens
14. Jerry Williams
15. Neil Rogers
16. Bob Grant
17. Long John Nebel
18. David Brudnoy
19. Arthur Godfrey
20. Bill Ballance
21. Neal Boortz
22. J.P. McCarthy
23. Jean Shepherd
24. Gene Burns
25. G. Gordon Liddy

Granted, comparing a Howard Stern to the likes of Barry Gray and Long John Nebel - radio talkers from a generation long departed - is apples and oranges. The real shock is why Dr. Laura, sex-obsessed sensationalist, is so high on the list, and Jean Shepherd, humorist and storyteller, is so low.

And where's Brad Crandall?

Well, at least some personal faves made the list, like Don Imus (whom I first listened to as a kid in the 70's despite the well-meaning resistance of my mother) and Barry Gray. And aforementioned Long John Nebel, who was actually said to invent the radio call-in format, and, from what I always heard, may have developed one of the first delay devices by moving a playback head on a tape machine way ahead of the record head - the birth of the Seven Second Delay! The website Radio Free New York has a page full of Long John Nebel/Candy Jones prank phone calls in RealAudio from WMCA's days as a talk station, before they reverted to a Christian format.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Eddie Murphy Update

Eddie Murphy is still in the hole to the tune of $15,683,242, finishing on the box office chart just ahead of a reissue of "The Producers". Thought you'd like to know....

Sunday, September 15, 2002

CURSE YOU VILE MOUSE!

Today I am the Mouse Terminator! I was running the work vac around the basement and there he was, the little bastard I've heard scrabbling around the ceiling tiles above and to the right of my desk. Instinctively, I sucked up Mr. Mouse and ran the shop vac out to the street. The critter was already dead, so we held a brief service before setting him adrift in the depths of the Robo-Can.

Boy, are my Sundays exciting.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

WNEW Gets One Right For A Change

When last we left WNEW, the FM talk station had fired its potty mouth PM Drive team and sent its AM Drive jock talker packing. They have now begun to rebuild by making a logical move. Infinity Broadcasting owns both WNEW and WFAN, so why not co-brand the WNEW morning show as a WFAN show, particularly since WFAN doesn't have sports in the morning (opting instead for Don Imus). They have brought in Richard Neer to host this show, and there are several reasons why this works.

  • Neer is a throwback to WNEW-FM's classic rock days
  • Neer has been with WFAN for 14 years
  • Neer is a very intelligent and informed sports talk host and now hosts pre- and post-game shows for New York Giants football games
Good move, WNEW!

Friday, September 13, 2002

Royal Crown Revue - Kings Of Swing!


Friday the 13th is as good a time as any to plug an album that, four years after its release and maybe three years after the "swing craze" of 1997-1998 died down, still occupies space in the various CD players in my house. The Contender is from Royal Crown Revue, one of the groups that sort of bubbled under the radar of more renown groups such as the Brian Setzer Orchestra and The Cherry Poppin' Daddies (remember "Zoot Suit Riot"?) Featuring the vocals of Eddie Nichols and a group of solid instrumentalists - guitarist James Achor, bassist Veikko Lepisto, drummer Danny Glass, saxes Mando Dorame and Bill Ungerman, and trumpeter Scott Steen. The level of musicanship on this album is unmatched. In fact, RCR's subsequent release, "Walk On Fire", was a major disappointment. So I keep going back to this album.

The songs are top notch. The title track, "The Contender" opens the album with a burst of energy. There's a remake of "Zip Gun Bop", yet another cover of "Stormy Weather" (a tune which RCR revisited several times), the ponderous "Port Au Prince (Travels With Bettie Page)", the stunning "Everyone Knows You're Crazy", and the whimsical "Friday The 13th", which brings us back around to the reason I'm talking about this in the first place.
Black cats, they don't bother me,
I smile in bad company
I'm cool as the day is long

© 1998 Sharp Eleven Music/Zip Gun Music/Black Bozo Music
Find this album. Buy it. Play it. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Lionel Hampton Dead

I have a picture hanging in my office which I'll scan and post on my music page later (see left). I see this picture every day and it helps in those rare cases when I need of a reminder of why I've made music a big part of my life. It's a picture taken of me and Lionel Hampton, circa 1980, after a performance at Brick Memorial High School that will go down as one of the most unforgettable performances I ever saw. Hampton must have been in his 70's at that time, and there was no stopping this man even at that age. He led a swinging big band and he was everything I had read and seen about the man - the big smile, the joy of making music, his kinetic stage manner, and the way he played those vibes. As a neophyte musician who had been struggling with trying to play swinging music, it was a revelation to see and hear it done live. Hamp was a very gregarious performer, even at that age....

...fast forward to the year 2000. At Atlantic City's annual music festival, Hampton and his combo perform a free outdoor concert at Brighton Park, the courtyard which is surrounded by the Bally's, Claridge and Sands casinos. Hampton is clearly hobbled by age. No longer playing standing, and not playing very much. Maybe a note here or there, or maybe three or four at a time if we were lucky. His wheelchair awaited at the edge of the stage, and he needed a lot of help getting places. But just being there was probably a huge accomplishment for Hampton, who in his lifetime had enough accomplishments for three or four men, including being a part of one of the first racially-integrated music ensembles ever, the Benny Goodman Quartet (which also included another African-American, Teddy Wilson, on piano, besides the Caucasian Goodman on clarinet and Gene Krupa on drums), leading his own big band after 1940, authoring the symphonic composition "King David Suite", touring the world as an ambassador of music, and becoming the recipient of many awards and accolades, culminating in the National Medal Of The Arts bestowed by President Clinton (himself a musician) in 1997. And suddenly it didn't seem quite so intrusive that we were witness to this man's weaknesses in his latter years.

Lionel Hampton died at 6:15 a.m. this morning, not three hours ago as I write this. (Officially, his age at death was listed at 94, but there have been reports that he was as old as 100.) His influence on the world, present company included, will never be forgotten.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Schoolhouse Rock!

I cannot go out of my way enough to recommend the new Schoolhouse Rock DVD just released by Walt Disney Home Video. You get all the Schoolhouse Rock ever done on two disks with bonus goodies. I haven't checked out the bonus stuff yet because I haven't gotten through all of Disk 1 yet, which has the 46 original shorts (minus the Weather Show and the three Scooter Computer segments, which somehow are on Disk 2). For about $20 street price (I paid $19.99 at Boscov's because I was in there buying yet another VCR) you cannot go wrong.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

More Money To Eddie Murphy's Deficit

We add another couple of hundred thousand dollars to the Eddie Murphy Relief Fund... and now, the total deficit stands at $16,183,428 sirignanos. I don't see this movie ("The Adventures Of Pluto Nash") making any more than, say, $4.5 million total, making this a box office bomb of "Ishtar" proportions.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Bloodbath At WNEW

Fire up the turntables for the fall book?

WNEW is continuing to have fallout from the problems with Opie and Anthony (see story below). In the wake of the allegedly obscene broadcasts that caused O&A, their producer, the station's general manager and program director all to lose their jobs, word came today that morning man Scott Ferrall has been handed his walking papers and told to go do sports elsewhere. (Ferrall previously did hockey play-by-play for the Pittsburgh Penguins and a syndicated show called "Ferrall On The Bench".) The midday talkers, Ron and Fez, have moved their live show to afternoon drive and offer reruns in their old midday time slot. NEW brings other talk shows in off the bird like Tom Leykis. But this is a station that is clearly in maintenance mode, rather than trying to build a team.

The rumor mill is now beginning to churn. In ten days, the fall 2002 ratings book begins. Could WNEW be eyeing a return back to the classic rock that made the station's name in the 1970's and 1980's? One can only hope.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Good Bye, Opie And Anthony

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you... Opie and Anthony.



At least these two guys won't insult the morals of radio listeners as their namesakes have. As a radio guy from way back, it really depresses me that some of these guys like Opie and Anthony and the Greaseman fritter away whatever talent they have in order to broadcast from the sewer. The final straw for O&A, as you know, was their broadcast of a play-by-play of a couple having sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral, one of the world's most sacred places and one of the most beautiful churches in the world. Infinity Broadcasting initially suspended the boys, then yesterday announced that their show was cancelled and Opie and Anthony were out of a job.

Hopefully, the rest of the radio industry will get the message about this sort of radio "entertainment" and band together to ensure that Opie and Anthony no longer have the opportunity to defecate all over the medium that once brought us Fibber McGee & Molly, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and Bob Hope.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

THANKS A 30,000

Hey, I just noticed we made our 30,000th page view this week. And it only took six years. Thank you all.

Presenting the Eddie Murphy Scoreboard

It will show how much more money the film "The Adventures Of Pluto Nash" has to make before his overinflated $20,000,000 salary can be paid off. The current tote board is....

$17,817,100


And, of course, since the movie made about $2.1 million this weekend, that means that Murphy's chit will be roughly paid off in about 132 years. Of course, there is roughly another $80,000,000 of the production to be paid off. Perhaps it can be booked into that same theatre in Borneo or wherever that's been running "Me Tarzan You Jane" continuously since 1932. Or perhaps WB can siphon off some of those "Harry Potter" dollars later this year.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

WHERE'S MY CELL PHONE?

If anyone in the vicinity of the Lido Diner in Springfield, NJ found a cell phone anytime after 11 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, please contact me via e-mail. There is a nice reward for the return of my cell phone. It is very likely the cell phone fell out of the car somewhere between the Brass Tacks gig on Wednesday night at Echo Lake Park and there. (The phone has been disabled so don't try using it.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Site Updates

We have an updated Brass Tacks schedule (including information on tonight's performance at Echo Lake Park in Northern NJ - come on out!) on the Music page and in the Animation area, information on the new Schoolhouse Rock DVD being released in two weeks.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Counting The Days

24 days until the start of school. My vacation will end sort of early, because the week before school starts, I have all sorts of orientation meetings, in spite of the fact that I've been teaching in these schools (three of them) since last February. I am really anxious to start this school year. It's exciting to start fresh with a semi-new, semi-familiar group of kids. I got advance class lists so I pretty much know who I've got coming back.

My compatriots in the Band department are starting Band Camp tomorrow. So on the first day of school, the band kids will already have had a head start, where with Orchestra, Day One is the first day of school. I anticipate starting rehearsals that Friday, with a couple of days of getting acquainted lectures including my expectations for smooth running rehearsals and assignment of instruments. There WILL be a Blog on the Orchestra pages, so look for up to date messages there. I hope to have the Orchestra pages up no later than the first day of school.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Martha's Going Down!

Now that one of the higher-ups at Imclone has been indicted on charges of bank fraud and obstruction of justice, I can almost smell the sweet aroma of cold steel handcuffs encircling Martha Stewart's wrists.

And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Eew! Anna Nicole Smith!

I am now firmly convinced that if you put anything on TV that even smacks of bizarre, people will flock to it. We just learned here that E's sorry debacle of reality TV, "The Anna Nicole Show", was the highest rated program of the week, even beating the ubiquitous WWE Wrestling and Spongebob.

28 days to the start of school, kids....

Monday, August 05, 2002

Chick Hearn, LA Laker Voice, Dead

Chick Hearn died at 6:30 p.m. PDT tonight. (See item below)

Dylan Returns To Newport

That's Bob Dylan on the right, at this past weekend's Newport Folk Festival. The man playing the bass is former SNL Band bass player Tony Garnier, who I once ran into at an animation art show looking over some Tom & Jerry original art. Dylan showed up at Newport this year for the first time since he "plugged in" in 1965 and was booed mercilessly (but was very warmly received this year, in stark contrast).

Chick Hearn Is Checking Out

I grew up on the wrong coast to be able to fully appreciate Chick Hearn's gifts as a basketball play by play announcer, but I am no less aggrieved that he now lies in a hospital in Los Angeles, near death. His condition has worsened this morning since a Friday fall that led to a couple of emergency brain surgeries that didn't do quite enough to stave off further injury. Hearn is on life support and comatose. I can't think of any other announcers in basketball who were so identified with their hometown team - maybe Johnny Most of the Boston Celtics, he of the famous "Havlichek stole the ball!" call, or even Marv Albert with the New York Knicks, however diluted his national duties made him when NBC and TNT had the NBA national games (moving to ESPN and ABC this season).

Clearly, the Maker has called him, and we pray that Hearn leaves this earth in peace and without further pain for his appointment.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

"Millionaire" Dreams

Well, in case you haven't read my posts to alt.tv.game-shows, I will reveal to you that I scored quite well on the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" audition test. I don't know exactly how many of the 30 questions I answered correctly before the expiration of the 12-minute time limit, but I got in. Robair, unfortunately, didn't score as well on the quiz. So I am now a solo player. A post card, a phone call, a limo ride to NYC, and 15 questions are all that stands between me and $1,000,000. I think I'm up to the challenge.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

"Millionaire" Sees Double

Since the show began a little more than three years ago, I have tried many fruitless times to become a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." With the primetime show now history, the show is actively soliciting contestants for its new daytime syndicated version, which will be hosted by Meredith Vieira. I am going to be trying out with my brother Robair in tow for the Twins Week competition. Of course, if either one of us tanks, the other can go on and become a single player. The auditions are tomorrow at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York. The show is also hitting the road with a bus tour (I hope this show actually has a Real Bus, not a motorhome like "Jeopardy!"'s so-called "Brain Bus") which will end in New York for yet another round of auditions in September.

Actually, trying out for the syndicated version seems to be more advantageous. The show has abolished the Fastest Finger (which is actually called Fastest Finger First in the show's country of origin) qualifying round, meaning that anyone who makes the show will actually get on. (Because Fastest Finger is gone, there's no need for the FF-like Phone Game.) Plus there are going to be more shows because this Millionaire will be on five days a week. The show will tape in the afternoon several days a week to accomodate Meredith Vieira's commitment to host "The View" live from 11am-12pm most mornings. (Either "Millionaire" or "View" will need a new director, since it seems impossible for Mark Gentile to do both in the same day. Directing a TV show is tough work, and I can't imagine Gentile being able to go from one to the other at the drop of a hat.)

One of the last things I told my mother when she still had all her faculties before she passed away was that I was someday going to conquer the 15 questions and take home the million. Hopefully, with the Twins Edition, Robair and I can put our estimable brains together and walk away with the prize. We will keep you posted.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Mr. Mackey Will Return

It took a bit longer than I expected, but the Toms River Regional Board Of Education has finally approved my employment for next school year. I will be returning to teach the orchestra classes in all three high schools for the new school year, beginning on Wednesday, September 4. Our concerts this year will be January 30, 2003 and May 29, 2003, both Thursday nights. Keep practicing, kids... the Mack is back!

Friday, July 19, 2002

Site Update

We are embarking on a major redesign of the NJ Transit Bus page. We are feverishly converting pages and hope to have our new look (no pun intended) on the streets this weekend.

I Didn't Get The Hook Up!

Gee, I was in Seaside Heights yesterday, and unbeknownst to me, JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT was at the MTV Beach House. How spectacularly uninformed I was! (kicking self)

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Yousuf Karsh dead

The man who took this picture of Chuck Jones (which was last seen on this blog to honor the memory of Jones after his February 22 death), as well as many other great photos, has died. Yousuf Karsh, 93, found many great celebrities and statesmen on the other side of his camera lens. His home base of Ottawa permitted him access to many great world leaders. He is perhaps most famous for a picture he took of Winston Churchill while Prime Minister in the 1940's.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Late-night talk show joke waiting to be told

An elderly couple asks for their money back at the movie theater, because they went to go see "Road To Perdition" and were disappointed that Hope and Crosby weren't in it.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Need A Ghost?

Check out this website... www.phantasmechanics.com. An old friend from my BIX days, Doug Ferguson, has obviously been doing quite a bit in the black arts since I lost touch with him and his lovely wife Barbara about a decade ago. His site is about creating "dark rides", haunted mansions, ghosts and other apparations designed to throw some good-old-fashioned scare entertainment into you. Mr. Ferguson is also an audio engineer of some note. Go visit and tell 'em Dave sent you.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Gambling At Home Is A Gamble

I now notice television spots running on some cable channels for online casinos. I am wondering why these ads refuse to address the risk of casino gambling, or even include the customary taglines that most legitimate casino ads use such as "Bet with your head, not over it" and "Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER." Back when I had links to casino sites on my web page, I made sure to use these tag lines myself, because I do recognize that gambling is a problem for some people. The ads I see on TV for these online casinos quite frankly do not and really play up the prospects of winning without warning of the odds and risk.

Now, back in the days of more steady employment for us both, my wife and I would visit Atlantic City at least once per month. However, even then, we would never think of using an Internet casino.

Never mind the rather gray legalities surrounding these sites, which all operate outside the U.S. legal jurisdiction. I think there's something rather empty and impersonal about gambling at home using your own computer rather than traveling and making an event out of it (even though I live about an hour from AC, we made it an event every time we went). Between rounds of blackjack or video poker, what is more enticing: visiting the buffet and enjoying hot food that someone else is making, or running to the cupboard for a half-eaten bag of Lay's? Entertainment: would you rather go to the showroom to see someone like Danny Gans, or have a rerun of "The Andy Griffith Show" on TV Land playing in the background as you deplete your credit cards?

Tweaks

A few minor tweaks this morning to the NJT Roster pages, because of the discovered existence of 8200-series MCI D4500 coaches.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Search Engine Jive

It seemed like a good idea for a laugh. I went to a search engine peek page to see what sort of stupid questions people would ask, but I now realize that the fix is in. It appears to me that marketing companies trying to push their products are deliberately popping questions into such search engines to ensure a result that is favorable for their product. The last straw was the last question I ever expected to find in an Internet search engine: "Where can I find the magazine People?" Hello? People Magazine, for better or worse, is sold at practically every place magazines are sold in this Hemisphere. If you have to ask a search engine that kind of question, you're stupider than the question. So it has to be a corporate marketing plant designed to drive traffic into People Magazine's web site and look at their stupid ads. Boo.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Rosemary Clooney Dead

Talk about mixed emotions. I am sitting in my living room at 1:30 in the morning, watching what appears to be a broadcast of Brian Setzer's live set from Tokyo taped earlier this year on my local public television station - apparently, not to be interrupted by pledge breaks - when I pick up the computer and stumble across the news that Rosemary Clooney has passed on from complications from cancer at the age of 74.

Rosie had an interesting career, though her exploits in recent years have come mostly on the coattails of the success of her handsome acting nephew, George. (George's dad is Rosemary's brother, Nick Clooney, a veteran Cincinnati TV personality who was most recently an on-air host for AMC before that channel got totally screwed up with young-turk hosts and ads. The elder Clooney also hosted "The Money Maze". But I digress.) We vividly remember Rosie's turn as a confused homeless woman wandering into the E.R. from time to time and bumping heads with Dr. Doug Ross (George's character) and the other denizens of the E.R. But it was ultimately the music that she'll be remembered for, starting with the William Saroyan-Ross Bagdasarian composition "Come on-a My House" and weaving through a succession of less heralded works. I heard a mid-90's Rosie on the radio not long ago interpreting the Dave Frishberg tune "Let's Eat Home" and she still sounded marvelous. Bye, Rosie.

Saturday, June 29, 2002

New Home For IRPinball

IRPinball lives on at www.irpinball.com, for the time being. Its host, hippie.net is no more. The new site isn't going to be as content rich as previous, unfortunately. IRPinball has also come under attack by the lawyers, specifically with reference to machines manufactured by Gottlieb which are still under trademark/copyright - even though the company doesn't even exist any more.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

And Another Thing...

If I walk by that damn sports jersey kiosk and see another jersey with a fake looking "JETER 2" on the back, I am going to rip it off the rack, tear it into a billion little thread shreds, make the clerk eat every single one of them, and maybe think about paying for it after all of that.

Hear me now, all you idiots in the sports clothing business.

YANKEE UNIFORMS DO NOT HAVE NAMES ON THE BACK. NEVER HAVE, NEVER WILL. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

And as Don West used to say on Shop At Home, "That's just the way I feel."

Monday, June 24, 2002

More NJT Roadeo Pix

We've added the other two showbuses from the NJT Roadeo, thanks to a suggestion from an employee of Big Tree Garage in Nutley. So your 1922 is now up on the web as well as the two MCI's, the 7666 and 7788. Look for em at the NJT page. Yes, putting only one of em up wasn't the fair thing to do. Congrats, BTW, to all of this year's Roadeo winners (whoever you are... I had to leave before the winners were announced!)

Saturday, June 22, 2002

NJT Bus Roadeo Reports Forthcoming

Later today or tonight we will have a selection of pictures for you from today's NJ Transit Bus Roadeo. Howell Garage has traditionally been an exclusively MCI facility (with a Nova Bus tucked away in the corner for some reason, and a Flxible still hanging around), but now, the facility is being more and more populated by the new 45-foot D4500 buses from the 7400 series. We have pix and serials of some of em. (BTW other web sites have been noting these buses as D4501's. I looked at the builder's plates. All the ones I saw are D4500's.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

More Web Stupidity

The morons who invented the pop-up ad now have a new tactic: moving ads. The ads move so fast you cannot get to the X to close the box in time. However, if you right-click on the IE entry corresponding to the ad and select Close very quickly, you can keep the ad's exposure to a minimum. Me, I have gotten very good at not looking directly at the ads.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Tomorrow's Search Engine Today!

For years, Altavista functioned as my home page because I always liked the search engine. However, the preponderance of pop up ads on Altavista has forced a switch. I now park my browser at Yahoo! because there are no popups or other annoyances. However, for searches I have recently taken to using Google. Just a peek into how I browse, for the two of you who care.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Name That Toon

Personal to the two ladies asking in tandem about the Bugs Bunny cartoon with the horse in the airplane: it was "Super Rabbit". I cannot send you the return e-mail with this information.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Why No Ads?

I'm beginning to think that not only is the Internet not going to be the cash cow with which anyone can get rich, but I am also starting to believe that Internet advertising is more an intrusion and an annoyance than an asset to build a business, and may even steer people away from the intended result.

I was surfing a nationally-known sports information web site and was interrupted by the forgettable image of Mr. Peanut giding across the screen in a sailboat. With no way possible of turning it off. For the first time ever on the Internet, I felt trapped.

You can bet I'll probably be scarfing down store-brand peanuts after this episode, in much the same way you probably won't find me booking a trip through Orbitz or installing an X10 webcam or clicking on one of the multitude of fake looking Windows dialogue boxes masquerading as ads, designed to ensnare the less savvy among us.

But do you know what the clincher was? The relentless promotion of the movie "Death To Smoochy" on the zap2it.com website. In the hands of more capable filmmakers, I would have embraced the film's theme, which was basically a major rag on Barney.

The fact that "Death To Smoochy" went down as one of Hollywood's biggest bombs - not even grossing into eight figures - justified to me that web advertising has little if no value. And I sat through all these ads for what?

That's why, kids, you'll never see ads on this site, or any others I have involvement with. It is worth to me the price of paying for web space to not have to put you through a series of pop-ups that interrupt the real reason you come to this site - for the content.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Mackey's Packing



Our family name seems to have lent itself to a look. The new FX police drama "The Shield" features as one of its main characters rogue cop Vic Mackey, as played by Michael Chiklis. For the role, Chiklis, who previously played portly pasty types like "Commish" Tony Scali, John Belushi and Curly Howard, has buffed himself up and has shaved his balding head. The look is quite striking, especially with those dark glasses Mackey likes to wear. It looks kind of like a Bruce Willis thing, especially with the shaved head, but I think Chiklis takes it to the next level and makes it - dare I say it? - very Mackey indeed!

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

45rpm Adapter Inventor Dies, Actually Related To Dave

It's the sort of thing you wouldn't have thought someone would have to invent, but the inventor of the plastic 45 rpm record spindle insert passed away this weekend. Thomas Hutchison, 83, of Oakhurst, NJ (but originally from Scotland), invented the device in the 1950's at the request of the RCA Victor company, and over 20 million of the little yellow doodads were sold each year in the heyday of vinyl records. They enabled you to play 45 rpm records, which had larger spindle holes, on a turntable equipped only with the tiny spindle for 33 rpm records. And they had little plastic nubs on them so that they could stack and turn together on a turntable.

Mr. Hutchison is actually family. He is survived by my first cousin, his wife Linda O'Shea Hutchison. When I called to offer my condolences, she told me some interesting stories, including the time Spin Magazine came to Oakhurst to interview him for an article (they used the insert design as a logo), and the recent remanufacture of the inserts - molded in black this time - to be given away as concert souvenirs by The Black Crowes.

Monday, April 29, 2002

Y107 No More, Again

Once again, the plug is being pulled on Y107 in New Jersey. The owners of the four-station group that calls itself WYNY, simulcasting a country music format on their joint frequency of 107.1, will reportedly adopt a Spanish language format on Cinco de Mayo. I doubt the station will retain its name, as the letter Y in Spanish is the word "and" which is a rather silly radio station name - And 107?

The Long Branch affiliate, WWZY, was known as Y107 during the mid-80's as first a hit music station, then a rocker, until owner Mammoth Broadcasting sold out to the K&K Broadcasting LP and pulled the plug in the wee hours of January 20, 1989. The new owner fired the entire staff (including the proprietor of this web site), changed the calls from WMJY to WZVU and adopted a lite format and the name "Seaview 107". K&K later sold the station (as well as its sister station in Erie, PA), which then went to an oldies format using jocks like Big Joe Henry.

The actual WYNY station is licensed to Briarcliff Manor, NY, and the use of the calls goes back to the 70's when NBC had the station at the 97.1 frequency.

Friday, April 26, 2002

HEY FOLKS...

I've been receiving an awful lot of e-mails with attachments from people I don't know. If I don't know you and you attempt to send me an attachment, your e-mail will be immediately deleted. I must strictly enforce this policy due to the number of viruses and trojans circulating through e-mail. Thank you for your understanding of this policy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Dave's Booc Klub

When Oprah comes off her high horse and decides to have a Book Club again - or when The Today Show starts theirs - they would be remiss in not at least considering Niagara Falls All Over Again. The second novel from Elizabeth McCracken has been out for some time, and Ms. McCracken has been sweeping up awards left and right for her work. I champion Ms. McCracken's work not because her brother (Harry, just named Managing Editor of PC World magazine) was in my wedding party. It's because she is one of the best new authors worth reading.

Friday, April 05, 2002

Happy Birthday, "Biography"

Fifteen years ago tomorrow, the A&E Network premiered the first episode of a resurrected "Biography" series, having previously seen success running the old Mike Wallace-narrated black and white films of the 1950's. Since then, over 900 new "Biography" series have aired and the series has become A&E's signature. A&E is to be applauded to have contributed so much to this country's knowledge of famous and infamous people over the last 15 years.

Cablevision Vs. YES

Here is a news story about the dispute between Cablevision and the new cable TV outlet for the New York Yankees, the YES network. Although I am no longer an active participant in the cable TV industry, I find this to be an interesting battle. Most of the other cable companies, including my former employer Comcast (of which I am still a customer), have cut a deal with Cablevision to air the Yankees games. As it stands, most New Yorkers who are still hanging on to Cablevision are going to see their first Yankees game tomorrow afternoon, when the home opener is aired on the new broadcast outlet for the Yankees, WCBS-TV. (Channel 2 will have about 30 games; the CBS affil was chosen perhaps because its sister station, WCBS-AM, was granted the rights to broadcast the Yankees on radio.)

Leo Hindery, the industry vet who is running the YES Network, is to be applauded for not kowtowing to Cablevision, which apparently wants YES on a premium tier, while the business plan has always been for basic-cable coverage.

Friday, March 29, 2002

On The Road Again...

I will be on vacation from 3/29/2002 to 4/3/2002, so I will not be answering e-mail from that time.

Monday, March 25, 2002

Howard Shore Wins Oscar!

There will be a more permanent notice on the SNL Band page soon, but congratulations to Howard Shore on his first of what could be many Academy Awards for Best Musical Score for "The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring". John Williams, himself nominated for two awards, applauded Shore from his orchestra pit position last night in the best show of class I've seen at the Oscars in quite some time - apart from Sidney Poitier's appearance earlier that evening, accepting an honorary Oscar for making it possible for other black actors to break through and become successful - and maybe win Oscars themselves like Denzel Washington and Halle Berry did later that evening. One of the better Oscar shows, but at a little over four hours, fifteen minutes, its 12:45 am finishing time is a little too late for someone who's gotta face a homeroom class at 7:20 am that morning. Maybe ABC can do something about that.

(Yeah, as soon as they fix the World Series so it doesn't end at 1 in the morning.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

What's Lenny Pickett Up To?

Long time no update. I got this e-mail from Lenny Pickett about a project he's doing.

Hi Everyone, Come hear us play!
Lenny Pickett Quintet
"...a rhythmically subversive kaleidoscopic pathway for funky and eccentric saxophone improvisations."

Thursday March 21st at Midnight
@Tonic 107 Norfolk St. (between Delancey & Rivington)

Katreese Barnes - Keyboards
Marlon Browden - Drums
James Genus - Bass
Miles Okazaki - Guitar
Lenny Pickett - Tenor Saxophone

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

WTF?

What if the worlds collided and the about-to-be-divorced Brian Setzer wound up with the about-to-divorce Roseanne?

Hey Conan! This would be good for your next "If They Mated" extravaganza!

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Don't Try This At Home

I think the following passage from TV Party's tribute to the late early TV comic Pinky Lee bears repeating (emphasis mine):
In August of 1955, NBC agreed to tone down the gratuitous crudeness of 'The Pinky Lee Show' and 'Howdy Doody' by limiting the destruction of property, bad grammar, squirting seltzer water, throwing things, name-calling and other antisocial behavior that would be forbidden in people's homes but was gleefully exhibited by the network's kid show hosts on a daily basis. "Playing a trombone with a mouth full of watermelon is more messy than funny" was one comment from NBC about the changes.

The next time I have watermelon, I am going to try that. I'll use the large bore horn because it's easier to spit the seeds out.

Sarah Hughes Update

See below for an update to my little story yesterday about Sarah Hughes. How fitting her first endorsement (if you can call it that, this seems more like an honor) is for the "Breakfast Of Champions."

Monday, February 25, 2002

Sarah Hughes, America's Skating Sweetheart

There's been too much death and disappointment on this blog lately. So today I want to talk about someone who has brightened this nation's spirits since, oh, about 11 p.m. on Thursday night.

That's right. Sarah Hughes. The third-stringer on the three-woman U.S. figure skating team. The youngest of the US competitors.

The young lady who proved everyone wrong. The girl who proved that anything is possible, if all the cards fall right.

At approximately 11:00 p.m. Thursday I arrived home from band practice to see the top skaters. When I arrived home, Sarah was first to go on, the fourth-place skater, with the top three at the time - Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, and Sasha Cohen - yet to skate. Resplendent in a new lavender skating dress, Sarah Hughes took the ice. She first landed an easy double axel and then proceeded to land four triples in the first minute and a half of her routine, including a triple-triple. No problems. All the jumps were landed beautifully. Sarah seemed to feed off the crowd's reaction and continued towards a close-to-perfect program. The TV commentators, Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic, couldn't find any fault. Neither could the judges, but you had to figure they were giving Sarah lower marks to make room for the others should their programs, God forbid, be better than Sarah Hughes' masterpiece.

The top three ladies' programs were not up to what Hughes had accomplished, with Kwan and Cohen falling and Slutskaya's only slightly better, and by dint of the way placement is dictated by the rules of judging (yes, they do still exist, in spite of the Sale-Pelletier debacle of the week earlier), a higher placement in one category by one judge (from Finland) gave the thinnest of edges to Sarah Hughes.

And it did not stop there. At the Champions' Exhibition the following evening, Sarah (dressed in a beautiful black sequined pants outfit with elbow-length gloves) wowed the crowd with two routines, the first of which showed the 16-year-old skater showing insouciance and flirtatiousness belying her years as she did another flawless performance to the tune of "Bye Bye Blackbird". The second special performance (with Hughes back in the now-famous dress she won the Gold in) included a recorded introduction by Hughes declaring herself a New Yorker affected greatly by the events of September 11, 2001.

If you didn't absolutely fall for Sarah during these past two nights, you have no heart at all.

The 16-year-old from Long Island has suddenly become the Olympic Sweetheart. And as they like to say on one of the pro skating tours, "Winning is just the beginning". In spite of her having no agent at this time, expect to see Sarah making the rounds of the talk circuit (with her first stop possibly being the New York-based Rosie O'Donnell show, since Rosie is also from L.I.), getting some nice endorsement deals [update: her first is Wheaties, she unveiled the box with her image on it in Salt Lake City on Monday --D.M.], and skating in as many exhibitions as her school schedule will permit. There will be a parade at a future date [now confirmed for Sunday, March 3 starting at 11:00 am --D.M.] through her home town of Great Neck. What is so nice about Sarah is she is still devoted to her friends and family, and manages the time for a social life outside skating.

It could not have happened to a nicer person. And the real kicker is I could have told you all this before the Olympics even began. I said to my wife, "You know that Sarah Hughes is going to win the Gold Medal. Forget about Michelle's destiny. Youth will be served."

Congrats, Sarah... we will be watching you in the future.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Hela Young Dies, Lottery Hostess in NJ



A while ago we were noting the absence of NJ Lottery television hostess Hela Young, speculating on one of the other hosts being groomed as her eventual replacement. During tonight's 7:56 p.m. drawing, one of the other hosts, Renai Ellison, had the sad duty of announcing that Ms. Young passed away today after what was termed "a long illness".

I have been trying to track down some more information, but Hela was the lottery's TV hostess for almost 25 years before having to cede her position sometime last fall. To the end, Hela performed her duties with glamor and aplomb. She will be missed by anyone who ever put a dollar on the Pick-3.

PSCT Update

We made a minor change to a picture file on the Public Service bus site. A bus now in repose at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine was misidentified.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

CHUCK JONES 1912-2002

The passing yesterday of Chuck Jones, age 89, of congestive heart failure, has lit up animation message boards all around the Internet. Jones was the next-to-last suriving Warner Bros. director of the classic era. (Only Norm McCabe, now in his early 90s, remains.)

Jones started as a cel washer at the Ub Iwerks studio, then gravitated to the Warner Bros. studio in the mid-1930's. Starting as an animator on the picture "The Miller's Daughter", his first shot at the director's chair eluded him in 1937 when, after a joint sojourn making two Porky Pig subcontract jobs with Ub Iwerks, Bob Clampett was promoted to director over Jones. Eventually, with the departures of Friz Freleng and Frank Tashlin the next year, Jones did receive his director appointment and began making slow, cute, Silly Symphony-esque pictures, mostly featuring his first creation, Sniffles, a gentle-natured little mouse.

But in the 1940's, Jones had an epiphany. He found that by using a newer, quicker style of animation, he could put humor across in his cartoons, and Jones started making some very funny pictures. "The Dover Boys" was one such early masterwork. By the middle of the decade, Jones found his style and even began recasting Sniffles as a more humorous character. He created a format for the studio's biggest star, Bugs Bunny, in which he and Daffy Duck engaged in three spirited battles against hunter Elmer Fudd. He also developed characters no other director would touch, following the lead of Friz Freleng's "exclusive" characters... these were Pepe LePew and the Road Runner and Coyote.

It was in the 1950's that Jones truly hit pay dirt with a string of extremely creative cartoons. "One Froggy Evening" was perhaps the most talked-about one-shot cartoon ever made, with its parable of the frog who will only sing for the man who unearths him. Then Jones produced "What's Opera, Doc?" setting the Bugs vs. Elmer battle to the music of Wagner on elaborate sets by the great art designer Maurice Noble.

When WB shut its doors in 1963, Jones moved to MGM and made a series of Tom And Jerry cartoons (while lesser hands pretty much trashed the Road Runner), and an Oscar-winning adaptation of Norton Juster's "The Dot And The Line". Jones also produced half-hour TV specials including the much beloved "How The Grinch Stole Christmas".

Jones got his chance with the WB characters again in the 70's through a series of TV specials (the first of which was "Bugs And Daffy's Carnival Of The Animals", adapting the music of Camille Saint-Saens) and a theatrical feature ("The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie"), and pretty much acted as WB's elder statesman for the rest of his life, producing the odd cartoon project with the Looney Tunes gang as recently as the late 1990's as well as marketing a line of original art prints, for sale through authorized dealers as well as his Chuck Jones Showroom in Newport Beach, CA. At the time of his death he was supervising a new series of animations for the Internet.

Jones authored several books including his autobiography, "Chuck Amuck" (1990), and its sequel, "Chuck Reducks" (1996). Jones was married twice, first in 1935 to Dorothy Webster, who died in 1978, and Marian Dern. He leaves a brother, Richard Jones, one daughter, Linda Jones Clough, three grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.

Friday, February 22, 2002

CHUCK JONES DEAD

Sad news for anyone who has ever laughed at the adventures of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, etc. Chuck Jones, perhaps the most creative and literate mind in the world of animation, passed away at about 3 p.m. PST today, at the age of 89. More to follow.

Dave Found A Job!

Sometime today, information about my new gig on the Music Page. I am excited about this newest opportunity yet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Bus Gallery Now On Comcast Account

The Bus Gallery has been moved to my Comcast Hi-Speed Internet account. We are freeing up some space on the main davemackey.com servers for many more NJ Transit pictures.

Coach USA Update

On the Coach USA page, we have corrected the files we added back in December. You haven't seen these files yet due to a little quirk in Front Page that kept them from being published properly. Take a look at Arrow Line 26396, Leisure Line 2004, and Short Line 70958.

We are also opening an annex for file overspill in the Mackey Family of websites. You won't be able to access this site directly, but if you see some weird file names, that will be why. This will eventually affect my sites and Robair's.

Monday, February 18, 2002

Title Cards from Larry T

Go to the WB Animation section and see more new title cards, this time thanks to Larry Tremblay. You gotta like a guy who gives you all the weird titles you don't see on TV any more like "Uncle Tom's Bungalow".

Eleanor Mackey

May 5, 1923-February 18, 2000

Friday, February 08, 2002

New Title Cards

John Lund has given us about 45 new title cards for the WB Title Card gallery. A main page shout out to him!

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Site Updates

Hi all! We have done some minor hyperlink fixing to some pages that have been sitting a little stagnant. A few little glitches on the NJT pages, but we've gotten them fixed by now.

Incidentally, those of you who have and use my work telephone number, please do not call me at that number after February 8. I will no longer be working in the Comcast Eatontown office.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

More Updates

Back from another weekend in Atlantic City. We will have some new buses on the NJT and Coach USA pages forthwith.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

"We're All Your Vehicle, Baby!"

"Vehicle", by Jim Peterik and the Ides Of March, was a great song... back in 1970. What makes GM think they can adopt it as an ad jingle for its ENTIRE LINE of cars? This kind of song abuse rankles, but it seems to be especially obnoxious when every other ad on your local TV station uses the same song as soundtrack. Give me back my oldies, GM.

Friday, January 11, 2002

Find Dave And Nancy's Grave

Well, we don't know how we're going to get there, but we know where we're eventually headed. We have just purchased our final resting place. We will repose at the Whiting Memorial Park, level E, in a double sleeper.

As I said to the cemetery manager, "Well, we're now set for afterlife."

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Geocities Website Notice

It's come to my attention that I still have remnants of the Animation site at Geocities. Please be advised that these pages are not being actively updated and are to be considered web garbage. Only trust pages from the www.davemackey.com domain for freshness. Oh, and happy new year!