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Should I continue this blog???  
07:37am 09/23/2011
 
 
Stu Segal
Seems to me the activity on Live Journal has diminished dramatically in the last 2 1/2 years. 

I'm considering just shutting down this blog, and staying on Facebook.  Is there anyone out there still following this journal?
 
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America enters the Dark Ages.  
10:16am 07/09/2011
 
 
Stu Segal

It is very hard to adequately describe the impact and implications of the final space shuttle launch, given the true context  -  America has no launch vehicle or program to replace the shuttle, and therefore is now relegated to “hitchhiker” status, along with all the other countries that don’t have the resources, or the vision, to understand the importance of space exploration.

I’ll never forget how angry my parents were when, in 1961 at 11 years old, I cut the front cover off the Time Magazine and taped it up in my bedroom.  My parents were yelling at me “How can you have a Russian on your wall, they’re Communists, oh my G-d!”  -  and they took it down!  Hey, all I knew was, this guy, Yuri Gegarin, actually went into space.  Left the earth’s atmosphere.  Went where there was no gravity.  The first person in history to ever actually look at our planet.

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Well JFK took it seriously, “Now is the time...for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth.”  Gee, “may hold the key to our future”  -  think he got it?

Not two weeks after Gegarin’s flight, and let me just mention, the USA didn’t really have a way to launch an astronaut at that time without incinerating him, Kennedy said “First I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon...”  The moon, the frakkin moon  -  we couldn’t even achieve escape velocity with an astronaut, but one of the few people on the planet with the vision to understand the importance of space exploration was our President!

And we, as a nation, followed Kennedy’s vision for nearly 5 decades.  Why?  Because deep down, in our gut, we all knew it was right  -  even the politicians were smart enough to not kill the space program.  They understood that, even in a world filled with hate and violence, wars and famines, filled with extremists who envied and hated America - - - no matter what else was going on, when we launched a rocket with a space capsule, or a shuttle, or carried modules to the space station, or deployed the Hubble, the eyes of the world were on us.  Through 5 decades America led, and the world followed.  But that’s just the political side.

I never really considered the impact the space program had on my life, on all our lives, until my friend Ray, a brilliant engineer, educated me.  Most of the technology we enjoy today, and this is not an exaggeration, came from the space program  -  from the computer you use every day, to the modules that control both the engine and electronics in your car, to the appliances in your kitchen.  How about the electronics that run all the leading edge medical devices that allow life extending diagnoses?  The dirt cheap electronics  -  ipods, cellphones, TVs  -  that we all take for granted?  Do you really think that people spent millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions, to shrink the room-sized Univac computer down to desk size so you could live on Facebook?  Or do you think it’s more likely that development was essential to handle the onboard calculations that were required in a space capsule, calculations that simply couldn’t be done quickly enough using calculators, pencil and paper, either in the capsule or at mission control?  Need I go on?

So on Friday when our last space shuttle was launched for its’ final flight I had a deep feeling of emptiness, despair and defeat.  Similar to how I felt a few years ago when the last blast furnace in Bethlehem, Pa, the last blast furnace in the USA, the last facility in our country that could make steel, was laid silent for the first time in over a hundred and fifty years . . . and America’s ability to make steel was gone, ended, possibly forever.

The government says the shuttle program has ended but there’s a new launch vehicle on the way - - but they’re not really highlighting that the new vehicle is at least 7 years away.  And something 7 years away, in the world of Washington politics, really doesn’t exist, does it?

So we have entered the Dark Ages. 

You may think I’m being too dramatic, you may think I’m over-stating  -  I am not.  Let me give you a few more of Kennedy’s words - “Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolution, the first waves of modern invention and the first wave of nuclear power. And this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be part of it - we mean to lead it.”  Here was a man who understood the need for America to lead the world into space, a man who was willing and able to lead America, a man with a vision so strong we followed it for a half century.

Weak leadership with a flawed vision of America’s future has now relegated us to the role of follower.  There’s talk of the Chinese yuan displacing the dollar as the world currency.  Whisperings of the US becoming part of the European Union.  Looks like we’ve decided to take a back seat to others in defense of freedom in repressive nations.  And we have clearly sent the message America no longer has the prowess to explore space, as we reach the official decision to hitch rides from the Russians and the Japanese (which, ps, won’t be “free” rides).

I remember the words of Ronald Reagan from his Shining City Upon A Hill speech, “We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so.  The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia.”  Ronny, I hate to tell you, but we have now abdicated that leadership . . . and there is no other country with the resources and the conscience to take up the baton.  The world is in trouble.

These are the implications of the final shuttle mission.  It’s not the final mission, it’s the stepping away from the forefront, the abdication of leadership, the loss of vision that the end of the space program represents.  It is a very, very big deal - - - but it is lost somewhere in the buzz about Casey Anthony and the arguments between Dems and Republicans.  If something doesn’t change I’m afraid someday we’ll look back and fondly remember when America launched shuttles, forged steel, built cars and TVs . . . and we’ll also fondly remember that far distant shining city on the hill.

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Spam on Live Journal?  
03:00pm 02/12/2011
 
 
Stu Segal
It seems I recently started receiving Spam comments on some of my old posts.  Nonsense comments that seem to be directed at older posts.  A few a week.

Is everyone getting these?
 
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Faster, faster, faster????  
10:40pm 12/28/2010
 
 
Stu Segal
When I was a kid, there seemed to always be someone breaking some speed record.  Mickey Thompson breaking the wheel-driven record over 400mph, Craig Breedlove in his jet-powered Spirit of America, Donald Campbell in his Bluebird.

The ultimate of course was the X-15.  It went faster than anything - in 1967 it flew at Mach 6.7, that's 4,519 mph (7,273 kph)!  And nothing on land, sea or air has ever gone faster.  (Excluding, of course, rocket launches).

X-15

A simple question 44 yrs after X-15 hit Mach 6.7  -  why have we stopped trying to go faster, faster, faster?

 

 
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They say the Dems are going to lose this fall. I don’t think so.  
06:29pm 09/25/2010
 
 
Stu Segal

And let me tell you why.

About 20 years ago there began what turned into an irreversible polarization between Dems and Republicans.  While there has always been diversity of thought and platforms, there was, prior, some ability to compromise.

That ability to compromise evaporated during the Clinton Presidency, and has never been regained.

So how did Obama get elected?  The Republicans did not vote for him, the Democrats did - - - and a very lot of people who traditionally do not vote were so moved by Obama that they actually got off their lazy asses and exercised that right that some of us think is so valuable.

Here in 2010 the polarization has not subsided, in fact it may have gotten worse.  Can Obama turn out the masses of people he did in ’08? - - I don’t think so.  While he still has legions of staunch supporters, there are tons of folks who never voted before, voted in ’08, and are now thoroughly disgusted and disappointed that Washington remains the same den of thieves as always . . . and I doubt that the now tarnished silver-tongued orator will move them again.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Tea Party.  Yes, they could win a few seats  -  but these are seats that would be won by Republicans otherwise, so these will have no net effect on the election.  As a matter of fact, there’s a great risk that where the Tea Party has traction, they’ll split the conservative vote, and their presence will actually be the catalyst for the Dems to pick up some seats.  (Let’s be realistic about 3rd parties.  In my lifetime they have never been anything but “spoilers”.  If you look further back, one of our most popular Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, couldn’t win re-election running as a 3rd party candidate - - and if Teddy couldn’t do it . . . .)

So who’s going to vote in this election?  I believe we will be right back to that original base of voters we had before ’08 (OK, there may be a few more) - - that original, polarized base of voters.  Roughly half Dems, half Republicans, and a few others. 

I think we’ll see the same kind of midterm election we’ve seen in the past  -  with a few seats going one way or the other.  Perhaps a few more going to the Republicans  -  but a sweep that will change the balance of power?  I don’t think so.

 
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Hugo Awards breakfast at Dragon*Con  
07:06pm 09/15/2010
 
 
Stu Segal

Many of you know the Hugo Awards Ceremony took place in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, September 5 at the World Science Fiction Convention.  (If you don’t know, the Hugos are like the “Oscars” in the world of science fiction and fantasy).

For the first time in over a decade, Stephen and I were not attending the Hugo Ceremony and were, instead, going to be at Dragon*Con, the largest annual science fiction and fantasy convention held annually in the USA.  Dragon*Con occurs each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, draws between 35,000 and 40,000 fans  It takes over downtown Atlanta for 4 days - there are costumes, parties, sessions, stars, etc. in mega-doses.

Coincidentally the Hugo Awards Ceremony was happening in Melbourne right in the middle of Dragon*Con weekend.  And we realized a number of the 2010 Hugo Award nominees were going to be at Dragon*Con:

Unfortunately, the 8PM kickoff time for the Hugo Award Ceremony was at (groan) 6AM Atlanta time.  So we decided to all, or at least almost all, have breakfast together, with whatever fans felt like dragging themselves out of bed at 6AM, and listen to the results come in live.

I made a phone call to longtime fan and convention-runner Laurie Mann, explained to her what we wanted to do, and Laurie got the ball rolling.  She put me in touch with Vincent Docherty, and at the same time I got in touch with Cheryl Morgan, who brought Kevin Standlee on board - - and from points all around the globe these folks figured out how to provide real time information and materials so the Hugo Nominees sitting at breakfast in Atlanta could be as up to date as the folks sitting in the Main Plenary Hall in Melbourne.  Simultaneously, Eugie Foster started promoting the Live Hugo Awards Breakfast at Dragon*Con.

When 6AM arrived Steve and I showed up at the Kafe Kobenhaven at the Hyatt Regency, and there were already 10 or 12 people waiting for us!!  And there was already a problem  -  the restaurant didn’t know we were coming and people were starting to freak out.  (Truth is, when I talked to the hotel, and they started making a big deal about us showing up with 20-30 people, I made the conscious decision not to make a reservation.  It’s a huge restaurant, with a buffet breakfast, so I decided we would just show up, treat the restaurant manager real nice and take real good care of the wait staff).  So when we arrived, I pulled aside the manager, had the conversation, and in about 5 minutes the restaurant had given us our own corner, had pulled tables together for us, and piping hot coffee was being consumed.

By this time Lou, Kate, Eugie, Farah, John, Mike and Steve had all arrived – some with significant others, some with fans or friends, and Mary Robinette Kowal from SFWA, and some fans who joined us for breakfast.

Eugie, Stephen, Mary and two others set up laptops  -  as the ceremony commenced we fired up the amazing Mark Slater-produced 7½ minute video that was being shown at the same time on the big screens in Melbourne.  It was riveting!  Then all started to follow various Tweet Streams and videos  -  -  primarily though the streams from Cheryl Morgan and Kevin Standlee.

Hugo Breakfast

Then the awards presentation began  -  at this point Mary took over, announcing the nominees of each category . . and subsequently announced the winner.  As the Ceremony proceeded John Picacio announced some of the nominees, as did Lou Anders and Mike Resnick.  And as it got quiet between nominations and the nominees were biting their nails or chewing their bacon, Mike shared stories about some of the other nominees, and about Hugo Nominees and Ceremonies of the past.

Hugo Breakfast

Every time a winner was announced, even though with one exception those winners were not at our breakfast, there was a rousing round of applause.  With the exception of one first-time nominee, the rest had all been nominated in the past, two were past winners, and all expressed the honor they felt being 2010 nominees.  The high point came of course when Clarkesworld Magazine won the Hugo for Best Magazine!  Our Tweeter in Melbourne, Cheryl Morgan, was one of the named nominees and accepted the award; Kate Bake, podcast director and the voice of Clarkesworld was with us at breakfast and was completely floored when the win was announced.  We all couldn’t have been happier for her.

Hugo Breakfast

All in all the Hugo Breakfast was a great success  -  due in large part to the efforts of Vincent Docherty, Cheryl Morgan, Kevin Standlee, Eugie Foster and Laurie Mann. 

While there will not be a Dragon*Con / Hugo scheduling conflict in 2011, I certainly hope that the standard set this year, which allowed fans around the world to know the results instantly, will be maintained for future years  -  actually, I hope it is taken one step further with a professional level of live video being streamed over the internet.  After all, what better way to showcase and celebrate the importance and the glamour of the Hugo Awards Ceremony than to show the world?

 
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Stroll With The Stars - DAILY SCHEDULE  
11:37am 08/18/2010
 
 
Stu Segal
Come on out and join us for a pleasant morning stroll.  Some very interesting Authors, Artists and Editors have agreed to lead the Strolls, and will be strolling along at the right pace to have a good conversation.

This way you can go to the Con, do all the stuff you normally do, but also get out in the fresh air for a healthy stroll and some good conversation. (And let me stress, we mean "stroll" - def: a leisurely walk. This will not be a heart-pounding aerobic activity, it will be a stroll).  A leisurely mile - which will take a little more than a half hour but less than an hour.

FRIDAY - 9AM
  • Practice Lap - Join me for a gentle stroll around downtown to get the "lay of the land".  No promises, but - some of our Saturday, Sunday and Monday "Stars" may join us.
SATURDAY - 9am
  • KATE BAKER - Podcast Director for multiple Hugo nominated Clarkesworld Magazine
  • DEANNA HOAK - World Fantasy Award nominated copy editor
  • FARAH MENDLESOHN - Hugo Award winning co-author of "The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction"
  • JAMES PALMER - writer, editor and author who has written for Strange Horizons, RevolutionSF, and the Internet Review of Science Fiction
  • STEPHEN H. SEGAL - Hugo Award winning editor of "Weird Tales"
SUNDAY - 9am - PYR BOOKS STROLL
  • LOU ANDERS - 4-time Hugo Award nominated editorial director of Pyr Books
  • JAMES ENGE - Author of "Morlock the Maker" series
  • LAURA ANNE GILMAN - Author of the "Cosa Nostradamus" and the critically-acclaimed "The Vinehart War" trilogy
  • CLAY & SUSAN GRIFFITH - Authors of "Vampire Empire - The Greyfriar"
  • ERIN HOFFMAN - Author of the upcoming "Sword of Fire and Sea"
  • ARI MARMELL - Novelist, gamer, author of the upcoming Pyr Books "The Goblin Corps" and "Household G-ds"
  • ANDREW P. MAYER - Game designer, and author of the upcoming "Society of Steam"
  • FARAH MENDLESOHN - Hugo Award winning co-author of "The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction"
  • JOHN PICACIO - World Fantasy Award winning illustrator
  • JON SPRUNK - Author of "Shadow's Son"
  • SAM SYKES - Author of "Tome of the Undergates"
MONDAY - 9AM
  • LAURA ANNE GILMAN - Author of the "Cosa Nostradamus" and the critically-acclaimed "The Vinehart War" trilogy
  • DEANNA HOAK - World Fantasy Award nominated copy editor
  • FARAH MENDLESOHN - Hugo Award winning co-author of "The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction"
  • ANDREW P. MAYER - Game designer, and author of the upcoming "Society of Steam"
  • STEPHEN H. SEGAL - Hugo Award winning editor of "Weird Tales"
No need to sign up, just show up - 9AM each morning, on the sidewalk in front of the main (Peachtree Street) entrance of the Hyatt Regency at 9AM; returning each morning before before 10AM. 

RSVP over at our Facebook Page, or just show up at 9AM.
__________________________________________________________

And if you don't mind getting up early, join us Sunday morning for breakfast, to listen to the results live from the Hugo Awards Ceremony in Melbourne, Australia.  Details at Live Hugo Awards Results Breakfast Facebook Page.
 
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Live Hugo Awards Results Breakfast  
11:46pm 08/08/2010
 
 
Stu Segal
A number of this years' Hugo Award nominees will be at Dragon*Con.

Join them at the Kafe Köbenhavn to listen to the results come in live! Direct from the Hugo Ceremony in Melbourne, Australia!

Join LOU ANDERS (4 time Hugo Nominated editor), KATE BAKER (podcast director for the twice nominated Clarkesworld), EUGIE FOSTER (Nebula Winner, and current Hugo nominee), MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL (Campbell Award winner), FARAH MENDLESOHN (Hugo winner, and current nominee), JOHN PICACIO (Winner of the World Fantasy, Chesley and Int'l Horror Guild Awards and 6-time Hugo nominee) and STEPHEN H. SEGAL (Hugo winner, and current nominee) as this years' winners are announced.

The Kafe Köbenhavn has both a buffet and an a la carte menu (you are responsible for your own breakfast).

We'll be there from 6AM (which is when the 8PM ceremony begins in Australia) until 9AM. Pull up a table next to us as we root for Lou, Kate, Farah, John and Steve!

EVERYONE IS INVITED.  RSVP over at out Facebook Page.

ps - No promises, but - there's an outside chance that nightowls MIKE RESNICK and ROBERT J. SAWYER may also join us - and a very very outside chance that seriously jetlagged CHERIE PRIEST may show up.
 
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Stroll With The Stars, at Dragon*Con  
09:49am 08/03/2010
 
 
Stu Segal
Come out for a gentle morning stroll and meet great authors, artists and editors.  Some of your favorite Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award and John W. Campbell winners and nominees.  EVERYONE IS INVITED!

This way you can go to the Con, do all the stuff you normally do, but also get out in the fresh air for a healthy stroll and some good conversation. (And let me stress, we mean "stroll" - def: a leisurely walk. This will not be a heart-pounding aerobic activity, it ...will be a stroll). A leisurely mile - which will take a little more than a half hour but less than an hour.

Some very interesting Authors, Artists and Editors have agreed to lead the Strolls, and will be strolling along at the right pace to have a good conversation.

!THE ACTUAL DAILY SCHEDULE WILL BE POSTED SHORTLY!

So far, hosting the Strolls will be:
  • LOU ANDERS - 4-time Hugo Award nominated editorial director of Pyr Books
  • KATE BAKER - Podcast Director for multiple Hugo nominated Clarkesworld Magazine
  • JAMES ENGE - Author of "Morlock the Maker" series
  • CLAY & SUSAN GRIFFITH - Authors of "Vampire Empire - The Greyfriar"
  • DEANNA HOAK - World Fantasy Award nominated copy editor
  • ERIN HOFFMAN - Author of the upcoming "Sword of Fire and Sea"
  • MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL - John W. Campbell Award winning author
  • ARI MARMELL - Novelist, gamer, author of the upcoming Pyr Books "The Goblin Corps" and "Household G-ds"
  • ANDREW P. MAYER - Game designer, and author of the upcoming "Society of Steam"
  • FARAH MENDLESOHN - Hugo Award winning co-author of "The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction"
  • JAMES PALMER - writer, editor and author who has written for Strange Horizons, RevolutionSF, and the Internet Review of Science Fiction
  • JOHN PICACIO - World Fantasy Award winning illustrator
  • STEPHEN H. SEGAL - Hugo Award winning editor of "Weird Tales"
  • JON SPRUNK - Author of "Shadow's Son"
  • SAM SYKES - Author of "Tome of the Undergates"
We are going to meet each morning, Sat-Mon, on the sidewalk in front of the main (Peachtree Street) entrance of the Hyatt Regency at 9AM; returning each morning before before 10AM.

NOTE: You don't need to "sign up" for this event, just show up.  You may want to check out and RSVP over at out Facebook Page.
 
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Ringo Starr, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer in Concert  
01:46pm 07/10/2010
 
 
Stu Segal

Last week we saw Ringo Starr & his All Starr Band at a small (1,800 seat) theater in New Jersey.  Ringo has toured every couple years with his All Starr Band; in his words "everybody on stage is a star in their own right."  The band plays together throughout the concert, with each of the members doing some of their own hits in between the Ringo songs.  The members of the Band have changed with each tour, though there have been a few performers, like Edgar Winter, who have been included on a number of tours.

The short review is this
  -  Ringo Starr is a very amiable guy who obviously likes to interact with the audience, and the audience seems to love him.  He performs his own songs well, and he does justice to the Beatles numbers he performs  -  he’s a pleasure to watch.  The All Star Band, notably Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer, are incredible musicians.  Edgar Winter remains one of the most amazing musical performers ever, and Rick Derringer (with who I was unfamiliar before this concert) is among the great rock guitarists.  If you’re looking for 2 hours of solid entertainment, then don’t miss Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band if they come your way  -  after all, how often do you get to see a genuine Beatle, and considering Ringo was turning 70 the day after we saw him, how long do you think you’ll get that chance?

And the detailed review . . . .

And first let me say, I have always been a Beatles fan.  I was in 8th grade when they hit our shores and, like all my friends, I grew Beatle hair, got Beatle boots and bellbottoms (but somehow the girls weren’t running screaming after me and my friends like they were after Paul and John).  So I was a Beatle fan, but not necessarily a Ringo fan.

My impression of Ringo was always that he seemed to be along for the “John & Paul Ride”.  He sat back there and banged his drums while John & Paul wrote and sang all the songs.  He clowned around with reporters during interviews.  Many years later, in 2003 when the nine-part Beatles Anthology Documentary was released, I learned that my impression of Ringo had been wrong all along.  Paul’s comments revealed what an essential part of the band Ringo had been, how what was missing in the early years was a superior drummer, how much the Beatles wanted Ringo, a gifted drummer with an established reputation, to join them.  (George Harrison’s comments revealed how difficult it was for himself, and presumably Ringo, to flourish artistically while the John & Paul collaboration was going on.)


Ringo . . .

To say I was a little surprised when Ringo came onstage is an understatement.  The crowd (including me) jumped to their feet for the longest, loudest, standing ovation I have ever witnessed – and he hadn’t even played one number!  I guess Beatlemania endures all these years later.

He opened with “It Don’t Come Easy”, standing at the front of the stage with a mike, and it was readily apparent that he actually could sing these numbers live, and was having a good time doing it.  It was a little strange seeing Ringo as the frontman for the band – but he performed about half his numbers that way, and the other half from behind his drum kit.


He did a great job with the “Ringo songs” – “It Don’t Come Easy”, “Act Naturally”, “Photograph” and some songs off his recent album “Y Not” which were, incidentally, very good.  But as you can imagine, the audience just went nuts when he did Beatle songs  -  “Yellow Submarine”, “I Wanna Be Your Man”, etc.  He finished the concert with a medley of “A Little Help From My Friends” which morphed into “Give Peace A Chance”.


Ringo was thoroughly entertaining and engaging.  He looks good, seems to be in great shape, and was having a fun time himself.  I really enjoyed his parts of the concert (much more than I thought I would).


Edgar Winter . . .

Whoa.  This guy’s the real deal.  At the Harley factory in Milwaukee they say “If you cut him, he bleeds black & orange” to describe a person who's a Harley guy through and through . . . and I’m pretty sure if you cut Edgar Winter, he would bleed notes and chords.

I saw him open for the Allman Brothers 40 years ago, and he literally stole the show.  And he hasn’t lost anything.


He played keyboards, synthesizer and sax for Ringo and all the others, and did an amazing job.
  He performed two of his own numbers, Free Ride and Frankenstein, but those alone were worth the price of admission.  Maybe you’ve never seen him perform Frankenstein  -  -  he plays the synthesizer, then jumps on the sax, and the drums  - - he’s all over the stage like a man on fire playing instruments as well as the best you’ve ever heard.  And his ability to play synthesizer and keyboards live is unmatched by anyone.

I came away feeling like I did 40 years ago – thinking I had seen the most talented musical performer alive.  Or at least the most talented musical performer I’ve ever seen.


Rick Derringer . . .

OK, I’ll admit I didn’t know who he was, at least by name.  He was the lead singer and guitarist for The McCoys, who did “Hang On Sloopy” back in the day, then he went on to a solo career which included hits like “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”.

He did a great job with his hits, but what got me was . . . . I’ve seen a lot of people over the years play hard rock guitar, and many many who try to play like Jimi Hendrix, but somehow they always sound like they’re “trying” to play like Hendrix.  Well, this is another guy who’s the real deal . . . if you closed your eyes during his guitar solos you would have sworn you were listening to Hendrix.


Wally Palmar . . .

I was also unfamiliar with him . . . he was the lead singer for the 80’s group The Romantics.  He did a great job on guitar throughout the concert, and has the kind of likable personality that lets him get the crowd going.  He had the crowd on it’s feet and singing to The Romantics big hit “What I Like About You”.

Gary Wright . . .

He wrote and sang “Dream Weaver” in 1976.  And he told us this interesting story of how he was in India with George Harrison (yeah sure, exactly how many people were with the Beatles in India??!! – but since Ringo was sitting there listening, I think we can assume it’s true), and how he and George were studying with some maharishi, or bhagwan, or yogi, and in his notes about the topic wrote the words, “dream weaver”, which led to . . .

Anyway, he did a great job performing the song (which was clearly enhanced by the participation of Edgar Winter, who was able to perform all the sort of psychedelic keyboard stuff flawlessly).  He also played keyboards throughout the concert, but was obscured from view behind speakers, and was even more obscured by the presence of Winter on keyboards and synthesizer.


Richard Page . . .

Also unfamiliar with him . . . he was the lead vocalist for the late 80’s group Mr. Mister, whose big hits were “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie”.  Page did a great job on guitar, and on his songs . . . but his songs seemed a little out of context in such a high energy upbeat setlist.

Greg Bissonette . . .

Professional drummer.  Mirrors everything Ringo does on drums, except when Ringo is at the front of the stage singing into the mike, which is of course why Bissonette is there.

The crowd . . . 
It was a good crowd, who loved Ringo, and also loved Edgar.  Interestingly, the crowd was older than you would see at a McCartney concert, where you always seem to see little kids – there were no little kids here.  (Maybe because it was a small theater and pricey?).  This is not to say it was all old farts like me – Rashmika was, coincidentally, born the very month the Beatles released their first top twenty hit, “Love Me Do”, and she was still a little kid when the Beatles broke up, and she was clapping and singing Yellow Submarine along with Ringo! 

One of the most entertaining concerts I’ve ever been to and I will absolutely see the All Starr Band again if they ever come back this way.

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tags: music
 
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