It’s the time of year when we look back over the past. I’ve taken the longer view: my “life and times” are stuffed into this new book, The Zeitgeist Beat. It’s an immodest tale about how I figured out what to do for a living and wound up among amazing people, places and things...embedded with … Continue reading The Zeitgeist Beat!
Odds and Sods – Brian Wilson, Biggie Smalls, Bob Dylan, Tupac, Snoop, Rodman, Will Smith
• These are a few of my favorite things. . . that happened while interviewing celebs • Notorious B.I.G. almost ruined an interview with his eyes closed • The guy from Fountains of Wayne versus the guy from Wayne, N.J. Brian Wilson Brian Wilson was still under the spell of a weird therapist, Eugene Landy, … Continue reading Odds and Sods – Brian Wilson, Biggie Smalls, Bob Dylan, Tupac, Snoop, Rodman, Will Smith
More Divas – Beyoncè, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Spice Girls
• Call me "the Fourth Child" or "the Sixth Spice" • With Mandy Moore, bowling for column lines • More teen spirit than one man can take I mingled with Destiny’s Child at a Grammy Awards show or an MTV Video Music Awards show in the late ‘90s. I understand the young woman to my … Continue reading More Divas – Beyoncè, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Spice Girls
In the 1990’s, when I was covering entertainment news for CNN’s Showbiz Today, I was sent to Toronto, where the Stones were in rehearsal for their Bridges to Babylon tour. They had taken over an old Masonic temple with a rehearsal space the size of a large basketball court, offices, a mess hall, and interview … Continue reading
RSNN: The Rolling Stones News Network
• ABC’s Reporter on the Road.....doesn’t go on forever • Mick and Keith to the rescue. They keep me from going on the dole, mate • All the news that’s fit to print – or say – about the Steel Wheels tour As the Eighties drew to a close, so did my days as ABC … Continue reading RSNN: The Rolling Stones News Network
• WHA? As a PA announcer in the World Hockey Association, my safety was in question • D’oh! The Stanley Cup-clinching overtime goal this reporter missed • All the news that fits: covering college hockey for the NY Times People who have trouble ice skating sometimes say, “My ankles are weak.” Circa 1956 Mine weren’t, … Continue reading Hockey News
• I got mugged by the Hanson brothers from “Slapshot” • Hung out with Gretzky, Messier, Huddy and Lowe at their Edmonton bar • Scored on an assist from Rod Gilbert. Honest Any reporter worth their salt gets amped up covering the stories that bring them in contact with some of their personal favorite subjects. … Continue reading Hockey Celebrities
• The ultimate sports fantasy camp: you play in a televised game against the '74 and ’75 Stanley Cup champions. • What would you pay to spend a weekend treated like an NHL player? But wait – there’s more! • See how Dave “Full House” Coulier, Cameron “Beverly Hills 90102” Bancroft and I combined for … Continue reading Celebrity Hockey
I’ve Seen All Good People • Tom Hanks, Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, U2
Okay, I dished some dirt in a recent post, The Bad Actors. But really, people, isn’t tossing bouquets a better use of a blog than throwing shade? Here are some of what I thought were the good guys. Respect.
The Wimbledon Press Pass Caper and Other Stories
The Wimbledon Press Pass Caper and Other Stories, in which gates are crashed, wristwatches are smuggled and Richard Burton expires.
Late for the Grenada Invasion (Pt. 1)
“Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came.” – ‘60s anti-war slogan. 1983: “Suppose They Invaded an Island and Let Nobody Cover It.” The first of a two-part tale of reporting the Grenada invasion.
Flown But Not Forgotten
• 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
Almost Famous in Toronto
• 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
Elvis had the Flu
• 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
Missing a Role Model
• 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
Do You Believe?
• Can you believe it was 40 years ago? • Revisit The Miracle on Ice this week • Here’s a complimentary Miracle Media Guide I often claim I can turn anyone into a hockey fan by taking them to a college or pro game, sitting them in the right place – where they can see, … Continue reading Do You Believe?
Thanks, Caption Obvious
• Like caption contests? So did ABC PR in the Eighties • Marketing Mark with Mild Snark • Try this at home! In every newsroom I ran, I would post random news photos or headlines of an odd nature and invite my fellow radio colleagues to contribute funny captions. So I was pleased and surprised … Continue reading Thanks, Caption Obvious
Rock On Radio
• From Christian Rock to Porn Rock . . . whatever that is. • Radio News: Little podcasts sent wirelessly to your AM-FM device. • Ozzy Osbourne, Blackie Lawless, Stryper, Public Enemy, Kool Moe Dee and Yoko Ono One thing I liked a lot about my broadcast career was that I spent a lot of … Continue reading Rock On Radio
Back in the USSR
• Fresh new evidence shows the Billy Joel trip was no Russia hoax. • Good Morning America introduces a new – and “special” – correspondent • Some really awful music, through some really awful transmissions When I wrote about The Piano, Man, in Russia last year, the blog post was mostly words and photos; just … Continue reading Back in the USSR
More Q and A
• Interviewing myself again? (I'm an easy “get”) • The first time I did a Q & A with myself, I was rattled by the tough line of questioning. • I’ll try to do better this time. The following has been edited for clarity and brevity. Mark, was there ever a story that you’ve completely … Continue reading More Q and A
Shadow and Light: Marty Scorsese
• The Irishman and the Dalai Lama – the director’s dualism • Talking peace and love with the guy who brought us Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino • In 1997, Hollywood and China were engaged in a moral trade war If you’ve seen Martin Scorsese’s latest, The Irishman, you know he’s still at the … Continue reading Shadow and Light: Marty Scorsese
Badgering a Beatle
• Was I too hard on George Harrison in a 1987 Good Morning America interview? • He didn’t have to invite Paul McCartney onto Cloud Nine . . but I had to ask about it • Watch him give me the stink-eye I’ve told the stories of my Beatles encounters already, but I recently unearthed … Continue reading Badgering a Beatle
Marilyn Chambers and the Eye of the Tiger
X-rated movie stars weren’t always paid hush money. Sometimes they had to be interviewed by me to promote their careers. How that may or may not have advanced mine.
Why, You’re Welcome, Ms. Chambers, Mr. Rodgers
• Miss Manners was no stranger to Marilyn and Paul • You’ve heard about it – now you can hear it. The naked radio interview, last aired in 1981 • For some reason, my posts about Marilyn Chambers get a lot of clicks It occurred to me today that, as far as I can recall, … Continue reading Why, You’re Welcome, Ms. Chambers, Mr. Rodgers
One of my first assignments as Reporter on the Road for ABC Radio News found me in Beirut, Lebanon, which was embroiled in civil war in 1983. As I was tasked to “go anywhere anything of interest to young people” was happening, it was pointed out by my editors that US Marines were, of course, young people and a contingent of them had been sent to Beirut to try to enforce a tenuous peace among warring factions. I was to visit and report on what their experience was like.
Wide World of War…and Resort Living (Pt.2)
The Barbados-Grenada Shuttle. That time I was a daily commuter to a war zone. You’ve heard of “embedded” reporters? We were *uninvited* reporters. Second of two parts, here.
A couple of months after Live Aid and We Are the World, an opportunity arose to see firsthand what some of the money raised by the benefit concert and charity song was actually doing for the people afflicted by the drought and famine in Africa.
The Things I Carried
• Listen up you whippersnappers! When I was your age, I had to haul around a lot of crap • There was heavy lifting in radio news • Where was the digital age when I needed it? One of the reasons I started blogging about my broadcasting career was because my three nephews, all "digital … Continue reading The Things I Carried
If a plane carrying Harry Belafonte and me disappeared in a Western Darfur sandstorm, only one of us would make the headline. How that no-brainer was arrived at.
Eric Clapton, Ronnie Lane and a Texas Ambush
Can a reporter be compelled to testify in a Houston courtroom? Can he be jailed for conspiracy to go skinny-dipping in Austin? The answers may be found - or not - here.