Springsteen Pt. 1 - Freehold Days

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born on Sept. 23, 1949. He was the first of three children (he had two younger sisters) to be born to Douglas and Adele Springsteen. Although he came into the world in a hospital in Long Branch, New Jersey, Springsteen grew up in Freehold, a small town of under 10,000 residents located in Monmouth County, about 15 miles west of the New Jersey shore and the coastal town of Asbury Park.

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"The Hard Stuff" - Wayne Kramer

The classic cover photo of Wayne Kramer blasting out a guitar solo as a member of the MC5 might give one the impression that his new memoir, The Hard Stuff, is an in-depth account of the legendary Detroit band. Although the MC5 understandably looms large, Kramer’s book is much more than just the story of the rise and fall of Michigan’s most notorious band.

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Big Man's Bash 2018

Clarence Clemons may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. The Big Man, who passed away on June 18, 2011, at the age of 69, was the most significant member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. This was made abundantly clear in Springsteen’s book, Born To Run, where an entire chapter was devoted to Clemons. Their friendship is also celebrated during each performance of Springsteen on Broadway when a nightly cheer for Clemons rocks the rafters at the Walter Kerr Theatre as Springsteen talks about his late bandmate and performs an acoustic version of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”, the song that immortalized the Big Man’s importance to the E Street Band.

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Mystery of the Flying Wedge

by Alina Simone with Gary Johnson

Alina Simone’s Madonnaland, was selected by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the Top Ten Music Books of 2016. It was also the very best Michigan rock and roll book of that year as it examined fame and its aftermath through the stories of its three main subjects: Madonna the most successful female recording artist in history; Question Mark and the Mysterians, a Mexican-American band known around the world for their # 1 hit “96 Tears”; and the Flying Wedge, a here-to-fore unknown band, that recorded one of the Michigan’s most mysterious and collectible 45s in 1972.

Simone’s account of the reluctance of Madonna’s hometown, Bay City, Michigan, to appropriately recognize one of the world’s most famous women and the reasons behind it is fascinating. The same goes for the city’s continued acceptance of a little-known song with racially insensitive lyrics as its official anthem rather than the chart-topping hit that was both written and recorded in Bay City in 1966.

But according to the reviewer in the New York Times, the highlight of Madonnaland was the final chapter which documented the author’s doggedness in pursuing the unusual story of one of Michigan rock and roll’s most curious recordings. Because of her persistence and ability to track down leads, Simone was finally able to get a handle on the four-decade-long mystery of the Flying Wedge; and her detective work would help lead to the rerelease of the band's rare single in 2017.

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Best Albums Of 2017: Two Views

For the 9th consecutive year, two music loving septuagenarians set out to prove that “you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll” by sharing what they consider to be the greatest albums of 2017.

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"5,000 Ways" Revisits Detroit's Glory Days

Although I confess that I wasn’t born in Detroit and I haven’t read many books about the city, I find it hard to believe that there could be a more beautiful and interesting publication on the market than 5,000 Ways You Know You’re From Detroit by Chris Edwards and Elaine Weeks. Subtitled Recollections & Images From The Baby Boomer Years, the 480-page coffee table book focuses on a 50-year period from roughly 1930 to 1980 when Detroit was thriving as one of the nation’s most important cities.

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Fats Domino: 25 Favorite Recordings

Antoine “Fats” Domino was one of my early rock and roll heroes. During my younger years in the 50's and early 60's, I purchased mostly singles. My record collection was dominated by the 78s and 45s of my favorite artists of the rock and roll’s first decade: Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly along with the Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ricky Nelson, the Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, and, of course, Fats Domino.

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