Category Archives: Celebrities

The Inspiring Story of One Music Pioneer

Twenty three years ago (1988), a saxophone player from Seattle got his big break with an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Mind you, these were the days long before YouTube, Facebook, or American Idol.  Johnny’s show was THE place to be seen, just as The Ed Sullivan Show had been before Johnny.  Ironically, it was a saxophone performance on The Ed Sullivan Show that inspired Kenneth Gorelick (now Kenny G) to take up the saxophone when he was 10 years old.  When Kenny’s big day with Johnny arrived in 1988, the genre of contemporary jazz, later known as smooth jazz, was only in its infancy.  It was generally accepted that purely instrumental artists could not find mainstream success, but Kenny, a pioneer and visionary, believed in himself and his music.  Before the curtain went up, he was told that his two songs had been cut to just one.  Production staff told him to drop the instrumental song and go with the one that had vocals.  Kenny thought otherwise.  Instead, he played Songbird, an instrumental and now his all-time #1 hit song.  Seventy five million albums later, he is the most popular instrumental artist of all time.  Nice call, Kenny.

One Lance Armstrong Fan Painfully Comes to Grips

Lance Armstrong finishing 3rd in Sète, taking ...

2002 Tour de France (Image via Wikipedia)

Like many, I have followed Lance Armstrong since he won his first Tour de France title in 1999.  His story was just too compelling–once on the brink of death from rampant cancer, recovered, stronger than ever, beating the best in the world in arguably the most grueling physical endurance test known to man.  Each year he won another Tour de France, the legend of Lance got even richer and more superhuman.  His accomplishments off the bike, namely the establishment of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the LIVESTRONG brand to support the fight against cancer, have made him a role model for people from all walks of life.  Now, as in the past, Lance’s critics seek to expose him as a fraud, and the federal government is investigating him.  Unfortunately, for those like me who hate to consider it, the case is building against him.  Was it all a lie?  No.  He really did almost die from cancer.  He really did beat the best in the world 7 years in a row.  He really did help the fight against cancer.  They cannot take any of that away from him.  Was he using performance enhancing drugs, along with the other front-runners?  Maybe.

Like Him or Leave Him, Olbermann Always Authentic

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Image via Wikipedia

From the first time I saw him as a local sportscaster in the mid-80’s in southern California, I knew he was his own person–confident, funny, witty, intelligent, and, most of all, authentic.  Whereas many in the media have their plain vanilla camera personas, separate and distinct from their personal lives, Keith Olbermann is just Keith Olbermann.  Sure, the same qualities that some of us love about him do get him in trouble with his bosses at times.  If you read his Wikipedia biography (, you will see that his story isn’t one that speaks to long, happy relationships with employers, or even his former live-in girlfriend.  Still, whether your politics lean left, lean right, or stand straight up, most would agree that we need more smart people in the media who stand for authenticity and are not afraid to challenge authority.  Even for those convinced he is too Liberal, there is much to gain from listening to his well-reasoned perspectives, rather than the all-too-frequent baseless arguments and propaganda found elsewhere.  If politics are not your thing, then take in his boyish love of baseball and neat cloud formations over NYC, as he reports regularly on Twitter (follow him @KeithOlbermann).

One More Reason NOT to Like Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow live at the Xcel Energy Center i...

Image via Wikipedia

OK, so most people already have enough reasons to dislike Barry Manilow, but his music reminds me of my childhood, which I occasionally wish to remember with a song or two.  For these rare occasions, I created a Barry Manilow station on my Pandora iPhone app.  Barry’s bio on Pandora revealed one of his dirty little secrets.  You have all heard these lyrics…

I write the songs that make the whole world sing.
I write the songs of love and special things.
I write the songs that make the young girls cry.
I write the songs, I write the songs.

I am calling you out right here and now, Barry.  YOU DIDN’T WRITE THE DAMN SONG!  It was written by Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!  So, in respect of Bruce, I hereby request that you sing the following lyrics FROM NOW ON…

I write SOME OTHER songs that make the whole world sing.
I write SOME OTHER songs of love and special things.
I write SOME OTHER songs that make the young girls cry.
I write SOME OTHER songs, I write SOME OTHER songs.

Nice ring to it!  Catchy, like “Copacabana”!

5 Amazing Secrets About the Royal Wedding

Changing the guard - Buckingham Palace

Image by Gabriel Villena via Flickr

Everybody loves secrets.  This affinity is ingrained in all of us, and it is has a strong genetic component tied to the days when we roamed the earth in loin cloths, hunted for dinner, and rubbed sticks together to make fire.  Those who knew secrets were favored by natural selection (you know, the Darwinian theory of evolution), because nobody wanted to kill the person with the secrets.  Secrets die with the caveman, and then the fun of running around blabbing the secrets dies, too.  Have you ever tried to get a secret out of a corpse?  Doesn’t work too well.  This is also the reason why robbers often shoot the person behind the counter.  It is impossible to report a crime or turn somebody in when you cannot speak, breath, or even pump blood through your body.  By this point, you are all wondering when you are going to get to the 5 secrets about the royal wedding.  Well, consider yourself bamboozled, just this once, and only in the best of spirits.  You see, I am new to this whole blogging thing, and I am desperately in need of readers.  Read a post or two, and spread the word!

Fodder Fodder Everywhere! CONTRIBUTE!

What started out as an experiment–me blogging random musings on life at the urging of family, friends, and others–has turned out to be fun.  The posts are short, and they take me just a few minutes each to crank out.  The bigger challenge is choosing the best topics for the posts.  Sure, there is plenty of fodder out there to last a lifetime, but the best raw material comes from readers.  Just ask Scott Adams, the comic strip writer behind Dilbert, a strip that pokes fun at the business world.  His readers have kept him going everyday for years.  I am looking for topics that inspire us to think about the strange, ridiculous, wacky, frustrating, humorous, or wondrous aspects of everyday life.  Whereas rubbing shoulders with a celebrity might be considered a brush with fame, consider this your opportunity to have a brush with obscurity–some guy who nobody knows and probably never will.  In exchange for your contributions, I will give you a SHOUT OUT when I use the topic you submit so that everybody reading this blog will know you (first name and city/state only).  Please provide your city/state with your submissions, and thanks in advance!

Ideas may be submitted directly to me at

Is this my calling?

I sure as hell hope so!  Like a lot of people, I have spent my life pursuing happiness and fulfillment in places near and far.  We have all heard a similar expression, “Find something you love to do, and BLAH BLAH BLAH.”  OK, so “BLAH” isn’t exactly how it goes, but the point is that we just need to find what we love, and the rest will take care of itself.  Well, I love to write, and I have heard friends, family, and colleagues tell me for years that I should blog.  OK, I am blogging!  THIS IS MY BLOG, OH LORD!  NOW SHOW ME THE WAY!  Maybe I am expecting too much too soon.  Anyway, I hope you will tune in regularly (or better yet, subscribe over on the right bar!), as the marketer in me thinks that you will help to make my dreams come true.