Good News, Bad News and No News


Good News:  Mike is busy revising marketing training materials for a major Thousand Oaks-based bio-tech firm.

Bad News:  No blog post this week.

No News:  You figure it out (Hint: Don’t over-think it!).

Next week, I promise you the absurdly twisted tale of how an English test kept me from attending a seminal event in Hippie Culture (honest!).

Meanwhile, let me cast aside the mantle of jester for a moment (and only a moment, I promise) and mention 2 mitzvahs  that I suggest you consider:

  1. Ritchie Hayward, the incredible drummer in Little Feat, needs a liver transplant.*  Yeah, I know, your liver is otherwise occupied — that ain’t where I’m going with this.  Here’s some info about a fund raiser to help Richie with his overwhelming medical expenses.
  2. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has a category of inductees known as “sidemen.”  Incredibly, the late, and truly great, keyboard genius Nicky Hopkins has not yet been inducted.  For those of you who know who Nicky was, this must certainly be baffling.  For those of you who don’t  recognize the name Nicky Hopkins, let me give you a brief (and totally inadequate) summary of this man’s resume — I assure you, you know his work.  He played keyboard (generally piano) with the following groups:
  • The Kinks
  • The Who
  • The Beatles (piano break on Revolution)
  • The Rolling Stones (from We Love You through Angie — listen to his amazing piano part on the studio version of Sympathy for the Devil or watch him play it on The Rolling Stones Rock’n’Roll Circus DVD)
  • Jefferson Airplane (he played on the Volunteers album and with the band at Woodstock)
  • The Jeff Beck Group
  • Quicksilver Messenger Service

Please sign this on-line petition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation:

Yeah, I know, there’s poverty, war, pollution, etc. — who gives a shit about some rock musicians?  Well, I do!  And, if you have been enjoying my blog, I suspect that you might too. 

So… what can we learn from this?

  • Mike needs to earn a living like the rest of you.
  • Keith Richards may be indestructible, but some rock musicians do get sick (poor Nicky Hopkins had Crohn’s disease his whole life… trust me, you don’t want to know).

Do what you can do.


* A shout out to Michelle (Basil) McFee, who alerted me to Ritchie Hayward’s situation.  Michelle, sadly no stranger to serious medical problems, is a great soul and will be appearing in a “60s Flashback” blog post later this year!


3 Responses to “Good News, Bad News and No News”

  1. 1 ted

    … and sad news for the Hall of Fame – “Vaya Con Dios” to Les Paul

  2. Hi Michael,
    I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but we were neighbors in Ross and worked together one summer at the Marin Art and garden Center. I was probably around 14 and you’re two or three years older than I. Anyway, I mentioned that I played a little harmonica and we talked about folk music. You got me to buy a Marine Band (I had a Hohner Echo Harp that my great uncle had given me), guided me towards listening to the right people, like Paul Butterfield, John Sebastion, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band (Mel Lyman, who turned out to be my biggest harp influence, and my smallest personal influence), Sonny Boy Williamson and, I believe, showed me things on the harp. As well, you were one of the only Democrats around in our very Republican town. My parents were pretty conservative. So I’m writing to let you know you had a very large and positive influence on me. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say you changed my life by a little generous, easy-going attention. I’ve wanted to let you know for many years but didn’t have your address. A couple of days ago I asked my high school friend Patricia Garcia if she knew you and she said her friend Michelle McFee just happened to have mentioned you recently.

    I’m a stringed instrument repairman and musician. I’ve done that most of my adult life, playing lots of genera of music, several instruments. I trace a lot of this to that summer hanging out a bit with you. I live in Winters, CA. So here it is, a much-delayed thank you.

    Keith Cary

    • Hi Keith… yes, of course I remember you. We were members of a very small group… kids who lived on Upper Road West in the 60s (Sue Vanderhoff, where are you now?). I tell people that I’m glad I grew up in Ross, because I could never afford to live there as an adult!

      As far as being an influence on you… well, I loved music then and still continue to feel passionate about it. If, while killing time during those Art & Garden Center luncheons and fashion show, I helped you to discover your own love of music… you’re quite welcome!

      I still play guitar (Taylor acoustic and Rickenbacker 12-string), but not as much (or as well) as I’d like. Blogging is my latest avocation… and I do write about music from time to time.

      Great to hear from you!


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