Ivan Meets G.I. Joe

In 1980, the Clash released a song called “Ivan Meets G.I. Joe” on their stunning Sandinista album. At the time, U.S. – Soviet relations were at a low point. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan and the U.S. was sending arms to Afghan fighters, particularly Stinger surface to air missiles that fell many Soviet helicopters … More Ivan Meets G.I. Joe

Songwriters: 1960s

Until Buddy Holly and then The Beach Boys, Beatles, Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan, performers were less likely to write their own material. Songwriting was lucrative, but in those days, publishers and producers generally got the lion’s share of the profits as artists tended to lose control of their songs through poor publishing and management … More Songwriters: 1960s

Bite Me

No, don’t. Just the very thought of a shark encounter is terrifying. I have friends that are scuba divers and surfers, who explore waters around the world. I say, no thank you. Sharks and other creatures can have the oceans. Parasailing or kayaking, nope. The only way I’d consider going out in the water would … More Bite Me

My Checkered Past

Adrift, waiting to be rescued Tone deaf, new to this game Blessed, with morally flexible Immune, to well-earned shame — Meandering, a slinky snake of character Miles from shore, king of the black sea One, the only critical number The day, begins and ends with me — The devil, lights on my shoulder Debating, which … More My Checkered Past

Merle Haggard

Last week, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated the life of Merle Haggard. Merle was never a “Nashville guy,” he did not like the cookie-cutter way Nashville made their music and preferred the rougher, Bakersfield outlier sound. Still, Merle was a country music icon and an influence on many country music entertainers. In Bakersfield, California on … More Merle Haggard