Peter Tork, bassist, banjoist, and keyboardist extraordinaire for The Monkees, died today. He was 77. On the TV show, Peter was often portrayed as something as a simpleton — certainly silly, at any rate. In real life, though whimsical, Peter was a serious musician, whose chops earned him respect not only in folk, prog rock,…… Continue reading For Pete’s Sake: Peter Tork, 1942-2019
Stan Lee died on November 12. He was 95, and had been active in comic books for more than 75 years. During his unmatched tenure in the industry, Lee helped turn Timely Comics, a small family-run business, into massively mighty Marvel Comics, arguably the biggest and most powerful publisher of comics and associated tie-in media…… Continue reading The Man Who Made True Believers of Us All
The pieces all fell into place very quickly over the past five days. For some time now, my wife Robyn and I have been delving into the history of my family since they emigrated from Sicily. We’ve learned quite a bit over the last year and a half, and even recently gave a presentation on…… Continue reading FOUND: Domenico Berenato, 1837-1921
I love this time of year. The crisp air, the turning leaves, the excuse to wear an overcoat… and the legions of scary movies. Chief among these, for me, are the Universal Monster movies of the ’30s and ’40s. Once upon a yesterday – nine years now, actually – I wrote a five-part series about…… Continue reading All Hail the Men of the Mess! Pt. 1
I learned today that Tony Ruggerio died this past Friday. He was 40. Tony and I grew up together, and, like many childhood friendships, grew apart over the years. After we graduated high school, I occasionally ran into him at Rowan, and we actually had a class together (along with Kim Clements — now Duffy…… Continue reading See You on the Other Side, Tony
Seventeen years ago. Bob Craig and I were sitting in a pub at London Heathrow. We were on a five-hour layover coming back from Poland, where we had attended the wedding of Christopher and Aga Schleyer. At first we thought they were showing a movie. Then we saw it was CNN. We thought it was…… Continue reading Some Idle Tuesday…
Finally! After a two-year absence, I’m pleased to announce that I will once again be travelling to Maryland as a guest at Shore Leave Convention, now in its 40th year. I’ll be arriving Friday evening with the rest of the riffraff, and you’ll probably see me and my wife R3wandering around until Meet the Pros…… Continue reading Shore Leave, Here I Come!