Rockin

Max McLean’s Acclaimed Portrayal of C.S. Lewis Onstage is Brilliant

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Last week my wife and I took a trip into New York City to see award-winning actor Max McLean‘s acclaimed portrayal of author C.S. Lewis. The play is called The Most Reluctant Convert and it is truly brilliant. Everything from the set decorations to the acting shouted out artistic perfection.

One aspect of Lewis’s life covered was his sense of longing for something almost intangible, something seemingly just over the horizon. A sense that somewhere there is something better than the life in which we all seem to be locked.

For C.S. Lewis this longing was fulfilled in Christianity.

The play chronicles C.S. Lewis’s journey from determined atheist to Christian. Max McLean is ever faithful to Lewis’s voice. He is witty, thoughtful and intellectually graceful. I absolutely recommend this play to anyone who can manage to see it. Here’s a brief look:

For many, becoming a Christian is a journey. And I’m no different, really. But how each of us sees the world around us after we choose Christianity is an amazing testament.

I am a total media geek and I have no problem confessing that fact.

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Discover Music, No Mattered When You Were Born and Grew Up

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You can like 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s music. You can like the entirety of the new millennium. But I’m telling you, no matter when you were born, and, especially if you like the older rock and roll, there is still great music being recorded today. You just have to search it out and discover music. And I’m gonna help you out.

I was born at the tail end of the 1940’s and began seriously listening to music around mid-1957. So, I have pretty much grown up in the “Age of Rock and Roll.”

In high school when everyone was listening to The Beatles, I was into the Rolling Stones, The Animals, and, mainly, The Yardbirds. Have you kids even heard of them? The Yardbirds are an English rock band formed in London in 1963 that had a string of hits during the mid-1960s, including “For Your Love,” “Heart Full of Soul,” “Shapes of Things” and “Over Under Sideways Down.”

Yet it went much further than this for me. I wanted to know who it was these guys [these bands] were listening to and by whom they were being influenced.

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My Career Started 49 Years Ago at a Turntable on a Nuclear Missile Cruiser in Vietnam

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I’m feeling very nostalgic this spring. After all, it was 49 years ago that I sat down in a radio station studio for the very first time. Believe it or not, I began my career as an armed services DJ in Vietnam.

My first show was done on the USS Long Beach, a nuclear guided missile cruiser which had its own radio station. It was the summer of ’68 and we were off the coast of Vietnam. I placed the record on the turntable and out came the sounds of “The Supernatural” by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers featuring Peter Green on lead guitar.

Although in Nam at the time, it was also a time of musical learning. One of the other disc jockeys was a marine who turned me on to such songs as “Song For My Father” by Horace Silver and “Forest Flower” by Charles Lloyd. I, in turn, played jazz pieces for him from the album Mann Made by Manfred Mann such as “The Abominable Snowman.”

KCGN radio, part of the armed forces network in Vietnam, fed my love of what was at the time called deep cuts.

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music festivals

2017 Music Festival Season Kickstarted in Austin, Texas

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Recently thousands of music lovers converged on Austin, Texas for the prestigious South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). The SXSW is the largest and perhaps the most influential global music industry event of the year. In fact, some 72,000 people and artists attended the event in 2016 and the festival grows every year. If you missed it this year, don’t lose heart. There’s lots of live music to be heard throughout the country this music festival season.

Living close to New York City I have become somewhat spoiled as to where I choose to attend concerts. The last really big show that I attended was a number of years ago to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at Madison Square Garden. Although it was an amazing performance I don’t think that I’ll ever go back to an arena show again. The ticket prices are totally out of control and there is no sense of intimacy in such a large place. I prefer to see a band in a club setting where I can really observe the band up close and personal, and feel the vibe of the crowd around me.

A festival event on the other hand is a different animal all together.

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As We Say Goodbye to Bill Paxton, We are Ever Mindful of Our Many Blessings

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Let me take a moment here and wax a bit philosophical. It seems that on a fairly regular basis lately I get notification of another death of a member of the arts community. Actor Bill Paxton died February 25 at the age of 61. The films in which he appeared include The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, and Titanic. He was a great actor and he will be missed.

Now I realize that death is a natural part of the life cycle but I am now at the point of my life where quite a number of these reports are concerning guys, generally speaking, of course, who are close to my age. I hope and trust that I have a good number of years to go before I shed this mortal coil but it has made me very grateful of the time that I  have now.

This Spring, actually late April or early May, I honestly forget the exact date, will mark the 49th anniversary of my very first radio show.

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