The Wimbledon Press Pass Caper and Other Stories, in which gates are crashed, wristwatches are smuggled and Richard Burton expires.
George Clooney heard me on the radio when he was in high school. Years later, he puked behind my back.
• Charlie Watts' side hustle . . .and true love. I've got lots of pictures of me and various Rolling Stones. Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Bill. Not a single one of me and Charlie. The drummer was seldom involved - and reluctant when arm-twisted - in the massive pre-tour hype machine which cranked up every time … Continue reading Flown But Not Forgotten
• You can’t always get the story you want • Clapton, Jackson and Orbison: off-limits • Once, twice, three times a loser One of the best rock shows ever filmed was underway and I couldn’t talk my way past the bouncers at the stage door. I had tried, since landing in L.A., to get a … Continue reading Thwarted
I think it's worth noting that in 1980, what we called the counterculture had only been around for about 15 years. So breaking into a Monday Night Football game with the news of the murder of John Lennon was actually a debatable decision. Hear Howard Cosell lose the off-air debate to "Dandy Don" Meredith, and … Continue reading Monday Night Football, Dec. 8, 1980
• Idle googling turns up not one but two Natalie Merchant profiles • Idle gossip about her and Michael Stipe had to be addressed, I guess • An unplanned blog post. Surprise! The ROTR will return to hibernation. In a spasm of boredom the other day, I googled my name and up came a YouTube … Continue reading These Are Days – 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant, Michael Stipe, Cat Stevens and Salman Rushdie
• Uriah Heep, John Belushi, the exploding lunch trick and Jesse Helms across ‘Americaland’ • A relic from another era: a petrified noon newscast • A private company launching a rocket into space? Never happen! Way, way down at the dusty bottom of that milk crate was the last cassette. Krapp’s Last Tape? No, just … Continue reading Rock it, WMET News!
• It was the first year with a Rap category and a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal one, too • So, how did that go? • The struggle for Grammy relevance was real . . and still is Evil Duke: Put them in the iron maiden. Ted: Iron Maiden? Bill & Ted: Excellent! [air guitar] Evil Duke: … Continue reading How Bogus Were the ’89 Grammys?
• Cramming thousands of kids together on a Florida beach used to be a good idea • “Where the Boys Are” in 1989 • Rick Nielsen is blasé about half-naked ragers In a post-Covid world, one imagines, an annual ritual such as spring break on America’s beaches will be revived safely . . . if … Continue reading Superspreader: Spring Break
• Hear, hear! . . how dull things were - already - 40 years ago • The pandemic’s silver lining: shrunken presidential nominating pageants • In 1980, everybody must have gotten stoned Summertime, every four years. The speeches, the balloon drops, the protests. The boredom. National presidential nominating conventions can’t die soon enough. I could … Continue reading R.I.P. Conventions
• Talking hockey over dinner with Kate Hudson • I ❤️ Toronto • Watching hockey in enemy territory I’ve spent time in five of Canada’s big cities. Toronto is my favorite (although I’ve yet to visit Vancouver). My first visit was to attend a game in the first Canada Cup series in 1976. Maple Leaf … Continue reading Almost Famous in Toronto
Newly-found negatives from a positive summer concert site "More Park photographs, Mom!" Canned Heat, Edgar Winter, John McLaughlin The story of how I spent my summer vacation in 1972 can be seen here, in "The Park -- ‘Weekend Woodstocks’ in NW Ohio Cornfield." And, a couple more photos in "I Shutter to Think." I was … Continue reading Barefoot in the Park
• From Woodstock to the Waldorf, I’ve been in Carlos' fan club • His Hall of Fame Induction • Tea time in the lobby By the time I got to Woodstock in August of 1969, all I knew about Santana was a nugget picked up in some alternative music paper: the band was managed by … Continue reading Oye Cómo Va, Carlos?
• Lyle Lovett and the Reverend Al went down old town road decades ago • Wasn’t hard to get Green to sing in a Grammy interview • Funny how time slips away This post is “dedicated” to Bob Mugge for making a film that boosted my appreciation of the soul legend Al Green. My longtime … Continue reading Country According to Al Green
• A documentary that takes me back 49 years • When protest was patriotic . . even then • Sounds like an ESPN 30 for 30: US vs. John Lennon During the height of the Covid 19 lockdown, when every night brought a new adventure in streaming entertainment, I came across a documentary released in … Continue reading Ten for Two
• Austin’s annual music festival makes for a pretty routine CNN piece • The biggest name to interview there was Matthew Sweet. But that’s the point * At least I survived another visit to Texas without being hauled into court Me & Texas just haven’t always gotten along. There was that time a sneaky prosecutor … Continue reading SXSW
• Not an ideal time to interview an idol of mine • Under the spell of a quack, Brian Wilson visits CNN • This piece was no fun . . fun . . fun It’s most unfortunate for me that the two times I was in the close presence of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, … Continue reading A Beach Boy’s Life
• That's my Dad • He was a major influence • Drummed a lot into me They've been going in and out of style But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.So may I introduce to youThe act you've known for all these years,Arthur Scheerer's Iowa College Band. Outstanding in his field, my Dad I was … Continue reading An Iowa State Update
• I snapped. Had a near-meltdown at the Grammy Awards * Outtakes: How radio reporters make sausage, revealed • YANC explained I don’t often lose my temper and yell. I’ll get mad, alright. But sarcasm and passive-aggressive remarks under my breath are my more likely relief valves. Only one girlfriend and my ex-wife figured out … Continue reading I Am NOT Touching Your Tape Recorder!!
• I was a lefty shot on a right-winger’s squad • Caught on a live mic: one pissed-off teammate • I doubt we played a conservative style of hockey Lou Dobbs is an anchor on the Fox Business Channel, and – as I write this – a staunch defender of, apologist for, and unofficial advisor … Continue reading Playing Hockey for Lou Dobbs
• Now it can be shown: Art Garfunkel bails on an interview • He opened up to the NY Times, then shut down at CNN • I didn’t set out to ruin his day I wrote about Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon’s erstwhile partner, a year ago January in a piece about unpleasant experiences I had … Continue reading Assignment: Garfunkel
• A transcendental television moment with the Eagles' Don Henley • The difficulty of making a green new deal with a determined developer. • Sour grapes about no Concord stand-up I can’t possibly complain about a career that took me around the world, let me meet and talk to fascinating people and rewarded me handsomely. … Continue reading Not On Walden Pond
• How the May 4th, 1970 events changed my life and shaped my career • If you're not part of the solution . . • Overcoming shyness with the trial-by-fire method On a chilly day in early May, 50 years ago, I either got a phone call at my off-campus house - or heard on … Continue reading The Kent State Effect
• Why she found Grammy world friendlier than Oscar land. • The Prince of Tides junket revisited. Can you spot the error? • Shooting her “through the grease.” I lumped Barbra Streisand into a category of diva, along with Beyoncè, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, and the Spice Girls in a blog … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Barbra
• But a 1994 interview went forward anyway • Brutal Youth, boxed sets and bootlegs • You’ve heard the story, now see the video In a blog post here last year, I told the story of what a trouper Elvis Costello was when he showed up for an interview with a temperature over 100 and … Continue reading Elvis had the Flu
• What if I’d become a photographer? • In college, the shutter bug bit me • The professor who set me straight “Mr. Scheerer has done it again,” said the professor. “His idea is worthy. His execution leaves something to be desired.” It was the spring of 1969, in a J-school classroom at Bowling Green … Continue reading I Shutter to Think
• The Siege (1998) presaged 9/11. • One of its writers has a new novel due out that predicts a pandemic and quarantine • How life imitates art . . and can make prophets out of artists The Siege was a box office bomb, if you’ll pardon the expression. But -- as one of its … Continue reading New York Locked Down
• No, not this blog. My career, pretty much • How it sputtered, as journalism atrophied and news organizations crumbled beneath me • Few photos here . . I wasn’t around some of these places long enough The first media outlet to shut down and leave me (and other newsies) out of work was Air … Continue reading It’s a Wrap
• Danny Schechter, the News Dissector • In 1973, I wanted to work for him. In 1997, I focused CNN on him • In 2020, I miss him I was driving a cab in Boston in 1973, after my first taste of doing radio news in Toledo, Ohio, ended abruptly. I listened to WBCN-FM, as … Continue reading Missing a Role Model
• Two months of soap opera in a ‘90s Manhattan courtroom • A thicket of therapists weighed in on the most intimate details of the tabloid couple • A wacky trial gave way to a Waco siege I don’t know if Woody Allen molested his 7-year-old daughter. You’d think I might have some idea. I … Continue reading Throwing the Book at Woody Allen