Michael Heaton wrote for the Cleveland Plain Dealer for over 30 years. His articles and stories brought entertainment, knowledge and enjoyment for his many readers who followed his column. Sadly, in September of this year, Michael Heaton passed away leaving a void to those who loved him.
Roxanne Fontana and I first worked on an interview together in 2012 when her book “American Girl” was published. She shared her story of growing up in Brooklyn, New York and winding her way through music adventures that had her crossing paths with Tom Petty among other notables. We recently arranged an email interview as she now lives in London. She recently released a new CD titled, PHANTASMAGORGY. During our “Q and A”, she describes in full detail the origin of the project while discovering more about herself along the way. The tracks speak for themselves – a thinking compilation about when we question life and what is going on in our world. One of the contributors on the CD is Barbara Jones Marion. She is the daughter of the late Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones.
Chris LeGrand has always been told he resembles Mick Jagger. It was something he took in stride but never took seriously until one day it sounded like a good idea to portray Mick Jagger. The story, the concept, and the band Satisfaction/The International Rolling Stones Show have evolved from Chris’s creativity to keep the Stones’ music on the road and deliver an authentic show to fans around the world. Chris LeGrand’s portrayal of Mick Jagger is spot on with the look, the sound, and the moves!
Loretta Swit has an extensive list of stage and television work that has spanned over fifty years but of course many will recognize her as the iconic Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan from the hit television show, M*A*S*H.
Dirty Honey will be performing at the House of Blues in Cleveland on Friday, September 16 as part of their California Dreamin’ Tour. Lead singer Marc LaBelle shares some insight on the band’s influence, originality, and what music fans can look forward to experiencing.
Architects of Destruction is a nine-track arrangement of hauntingly beautiful compositions put together by accomplished classical pianist, Kelle Rhoads. Kelle is a music instructor at the Musonia School of Music (Los Angeles). He is the older brother to the late guitar-legend, Randy Rhoads.
Angie Marchese admits that she has one of the coolest jobs and many would agree. She has worked at Graceland for 33 years. Her first job at Graceland was as a tour guide when she was a teenager and she loved it so much, she never left. Angie recently took some time to discuss her role at Graceland, the legacy of Elvis Presley, and why overseeing 1.5 MILLION artifacts is not only important but also fun.
The following is an interview with singer-songwriter-musician Jude Roberts. He reflects on his formative years and being privileged to work on a project of great historical significance and emotional impact. Jude spent time getting to know Holocaust survivor Tommy Wald. What evolved was a uniquely special relationship and a beautiful song written about his wife, Suzanne.
The Zombies were part of the 1960s British Invasion, when bands from England swept America with their music, appearance, and presence. The Zombies hit the charts with “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” and “Time of the Season,” a signature anthem for the sixties as well as a transcending voice for each new generation. The Zombies were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. The Zombies will be performing at The Kent Stage (Kent, OH) on June 28. Tickets are going fast! Lead singer and original member Colin Blunstone took some time from his busy schedule to chat by phone from his home in England.
Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child (Sterling Publishing Co., 2021), written by brothers Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik, is a unique read as we are given an insight into Jimi Hendrix as a person rather than as the rock star persona that other books usually portray. This book is a refreshing account of memories given by recording engineers, record producers, photographers, fellow musicians, friends, and fans who shed new light on a young man who left the physical realm at age 27.
Many of us will remember sitting with our families to watch The Waltons each week during the 1970s and repeating the catch phrase “Good night, John-Boy” which was a television staple. Michael Learned played Olivia Walton on the television series. The show is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Michael’s career has spanned into stage productions on Broadway and Daytime television. She is a four-time Emmy Winner, People’s Choice Award recipient and a multiple Golden Globes nominee.
On April 24, Stephane Wrembel and his band will be performing at the Bop Stop in Cleveland. There will be a show at 6:00 pm and again at 8:00 pm. This will be a show you do not want to miss. His brilliant compositions and special tribute to the work of legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt will make for an ideal and enjoyable evening.
Terry Wolfinger has been drawing, sketching, painting and creating unique pieces of artwork that have caught the attention of prominent figures in the entertainment industry. His talent and experience cover a variety of genres that enable him to explore different avenues for engaging audiences.
My Ticket to Ride, How I Ran Away to England to Meet The Beatles and Got Rock and Roll Banned in Cleveland. An Interview with author Janice Mitchell.
The Chi-Lites were a R & B group that gave us powerful and memorable hits such as “Oh Girl”, “Have You Seen Her”, “Give It Away”, “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” and “Stoned Out of My Mind”. Marshall Thompson has been the driving force for The Chi-Lites for over sixty years.
Doug Mummert took a bit of a scenic route to his current position as Chairperson for NATAS. He represents the Phoenix area which is also inclusive of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter. However, NATAS covers television, broadcasting and journalism around the country.
Teen magazines have been around for more than fifty years. As each generation changes, matures, and evolves, so do their favorite teen idols. Reading teen magazines was as though we were in touch with a trusted friend who gave us a window (a backstage pass if you will) to get a glimpse of what our “faves” were doing when they weren’t filming a movie or performing onstage. Tiger Beat magazine kept our finger on the pulse of those great memories!
David’s recent book, “That’s How Strong My Love Is: From Rock n Roll to James Dean” (Steuben Press, 2021), details the story of where he started and where he is now. The book covers David’s life from 1960 through 2015. The stories and photos are a mixture of fortunate and unfortunate events, as life dictates. Readers will appreciate the humble beginnings as he gets his footing to create the life he desires. Stories include his friendships with Andy Warhol and with Hollywood actor Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan). The photos included are an assortment of scattered ephemera capturing events, places, and memories.
Cleveland author, Deanna Adams will celebrate and co-host an event at the Beachland Ballroom on Sunday, August 29 from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. (Doors opening at 12:30 pm). This event is paired with her book, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues (Kent State University Press, 2020). Originally planned for the spring of 2020 but then cancelled due to the pandemic, Deanna is happy to finally get the event scheduled and move forward with an exciting afternoon.
Rich Little is an iconic entertainer whose celebrity and politician impersonations have been a hilarious comic relief for over 50 years. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Rich is a spry 82-year-old who is back to entertaining the masses at The Tropicana in Las Vegas. He will soon embark on a brief stop in New York City where he will play the role of former President Richard Nixon in a month-long production called, “Trial on the Potomac, The Impeachment of Richard Nixon.”
On Friday, August 13, the band STYX will be performing at Centennial Terrace in Toledo. Lawrence Gowan, lead singer and keyboardist took some time for an interview while the band was on the road to their next performance.
Randy Rhoads, often referred to as a “Guitar God,” was a member of the band Quiet Riot and later toured with Ozzy Osbourne. His guitar work on the songs “Mr. Crowley” and “Crazy Train” with Osbourne made them unforgettable rock anthems. Tragically, Randy passed away in a plane crash at the age of 25 in 1982. On October 30, 2021, Randy Rhoads will be posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Musical Excellence Award. The inductions this year will be held in Cleveland, Ohio. His brother Kelle and sister Kathy will be accepting the award on Randy’s behalf.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Hillman, has enjoyed a music career spanning over 50 years. Beginning in folk music and bluegrass with the tables turning in the 60s counte-rculture era when he became the bass player for The Byrds then returned to country-rock roots with The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons. Later, he would form the Desert Rose Band and continue with the country and bluegrass sound. His recently published memoir, Time Between, My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother and Beyond, (BMG Books, 2020) takes the reader on a journey from his childhood through the twists and turns of his life and musical career. Suffering the tragic loss of his father, earning his high school diploma and relocating to Los Angeles with his mother and sister, Chris lived through many rough days but always seemed to have music as his outlet and friend.
Sterling Mire has been working on manifesting positive events and circumstances in her life since she was a child. She seemed to have an inner-knowing that there was something more “out there” that helps to bring our goals and dreams to fruition.
Danny Zelisko’s career as a concert promoter has spanned 47 years with an abundance of stories and experiences in between. One thing he has learned when working with famous rock stars and celebrities is that they are people just like us with the difference being their incredible talent that fans pay money to see.
She is most remembered as the mean-spirited brat Nellie Oleson on the TV show, Little House on the Prairie. Alison Arngrim is involved with many projects and has become creative in the midst of the pandemic, to keep working and to keep fans interested.
During the 70s, there were many popular bands with signature hits that many fans remember. Firefall is one of those bands whose hits include “You Are The Woman”, “Just Remember I Love You,” and “Strange Way”. The band has remained in the public eye over a span of 45 years. Their latest CD titled, COMET, was released on December 11. Original band member Jock Bartley took some time to discuss the history of Firefall and current projects in the midst of the pandemic.
Jenny Boyd was part of the swingin’ 60s crowd when the era was hot with sounds and melodies of defining music, culture and fashion. She knew Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) from their days at school as teenagers and later married him. She had a modeling career that she left to pursue a more meaningful path. Her older sister is Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison and later to Eric Clapton. Jenny’s recent memoir, “Jennifer Juniper” (Urbane Publications, Great Britain, 2020) takes the reader on a journey from her childhood in Kenya, Africa, to working with individuals who have struggled with addiction and, in between, a rock and roll life that did not always glimmer brightly.
In two short seasons of their television series (1966-1968), The Monkees became a household name and recorded many memorable hits, Daydream Believer, Steppin’ Stone, Last Train to Clarksville, I’m A Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday, Valleri, Mary Mary and more! Original member, Micky Dolenz took a moment to remember those days as well updating us on current projects while under the pandemic.
Richie Furay was an original member of 60s band Buffalo Springfield. One of their signature songs, “For What It’s Worth,” certainly resonates today as much as it did during the counter culture era. During the early 70s, Richie formed a band called Poco. As one listens to “A Good Feelin’ to Know,” we hear their country rock sound and wish for more.
Cleveland author, Deanna Adams discusses her latest book, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues (Arcadia Publishing, 2020) The foreword is written by Cleveland rock photographer, Janet Macoska whose incredible images are sprinkled throughout the book among other talented contributors. Music fans have poured into Cleveland over the last several decades to attend concerts at memorable venues. Some structures are no longer standing, some have been upgraded and there are brand new ones to explore. For any music fan seeking to relive memories or simply enjoy the beautiful photos and historical snips of information will want to add this book to their collection.
Cleveland area musician, Mark Buchwald is a Multi-Instrumentalist, DJ, Producer, Composer, Engineer & 2014 Winner of “Best Drummer”. His DJ name is “Policy” and under this name has released his first full-length album “ECHO CHAMBERS” due to be released on May 30, 2020. The full-length LP features 10 tracks of alternative and EDM music featuring talented international female vocalists. Mark takes some time to explain the new project and his career path which lead him to creating Policy and the new album.
Burt Ward who played sidekick Robin in the 1960s TV Show, Batman (1966 – 1968) recently took some time to share some memories and current projects.
There will soon be a comprehensive documentary about the late Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones. Brian started the band during the early 60s and contributed to shaping their sound and influence. While his band-mates are going to embark on another tour this summer, over 50 years after his passing, we cannot forget or overlook the life of Brian Jones and the mark he left on the 60s era, as well as on The Rolling Stones. Film director Danny Garcia has released other rock documentaries, such as STIV No Compromise, No Regrets about the life of Stiv Bators (The Dead Boys), Looking for Johnny, The Legend of Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) and The Rise and Fall of The Clash. He takes some time from his busy schedule to share a Q and A with the North Coast Voice about his latest project.
80’s artist, Howard Jones will be at the Kent Stage on Tuesday, March 10th. He will be performing fan favorites as well as new material from his most recent album, Transform. Howard’s first single, “New Song”, was released in September 1983. It reached the Top 30 in the US and the Top 5 in the UK. His other well-known hits during the 80’s were, “No One Is To Blame”, “Things Can Only Get Better”, “What Is Love”, (not to be confused with late 90s Night at the Roxbury theme) and many more!
Tommy James & The Shondells have been a popular band with many hits including “Crimson & Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Mony Mony,” “Hanky Panky,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Draggin’ The Line,” and many more. Tommy takes some time to discuss his career, current projects, and his longevity in the music business. He will be performing at The Marion Palace Theatre on Friday, February 14, 2020 in Marion, OH.
The Rascals were a well-known and well-loved rock band during the 60s with their signature hits such as Good Lovin, A Beautiful Morning, People Got to Be Free, How Can I Be Sure, I’ve Been Lonely Too Long, Groovin’ and many more. Original member, Gene Cornish discusses his recent autobiography, Good Lovin’ My Life as a Rascal (Gene Cornish with Stephen Miller) (S and G Publishing, 2019). Foreword written by Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals.