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COMEDY SHOWS!

I’m with Spins Nitely and special guest Scott Friedman at the Brigantine Elks Lodge on Saturday night November 29. Call 609.703.9505 for tix...


BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

throwdown thursIf you are a music lover and you haven't been listening to BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely, then check it out!

NEW TIME! Every THURSDAY at 8 PM. Watch and listen live at http://wildfireradio.com/big-daddy-graham. By the way, all you have to do is click on that wildfire blue line and the most current show will AUTOMATICALLY begin to play,  Just give it a moment

This week? TEN BEST BANDS WITH SIBLINGS! Plus a ton of discussion and extra goodies.  (Of course it's a podcast so you can listen to any of the previous shows at anytime).   

PLEASE check out last weeks guitar show with Mental Poison's Marcus Darpino.  A classic.  BTW, you'll be able to call in to the podcast when you watch or listen live and I encourage you to do so. Don't miss!

Check out Spin Nitely's incredible version of "Creep."

Click here to hear Spins singing "She's Getting Stoned Again.”

And now here’s Spins & Big Daddy singing Lowell George's "Willin'."

Click here to hear Joe Conklin completely nailing Elvis Costello's "Allison" with Spins Nitely on guitar
and some harmony help from the boys of Wildfireradio.

Check out the hilarious Sudsy (as B52 Fred Schneider) take on the Stones "Happy" with Spins on guitar.


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Special thanks to my man Clothing Scott for designing this shirt and hoodie!  Here's how you can contact him if you need any similar work done.

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THE TWENTY GREATEST MUSIC CONCERTS I'VE EVER SEEN

OMG, I have seen so many concerts.  Here's what I'm doing.  I go through my IPod in iPod alphabetical order.  When I see a recording artist that I've seen live, I will post that artist.  Remember, this is just the nomination process.  If you see "****" in front of the concert, then that is one I am nominating.  When I can,  I will post the year and venue that I saw that show.  But don't write me and say "BDG, the Knuckleheads NEVER played the Spectrum" or anything like that because I'll admit my memory isn't always sharp..  There will be artists that I have seen in concert MANY times, but if they are getting nominated, I will pick just ONE show.  Here's what we have so far...
 

AC/DC...

Seen them many times, most notable at the Specrum around '90 where I got backstage but never got to meet them.

AL GREEN...

Valley Forge Music Fair.  Never saw women go so mad.

AL STEWART...

Main Point. Year of the Cat tour.

ALAN PRICE...

Bijou Cafe. Touring behind "Between Today and Yesterday" with a band so large they had to sit offstage.

**** ALICE COOPER...

Spectrum.  The "Killer" tour.  Would pay major bucks to relive that one.

ARETHA FRANKLIN...

Greatest female soul singer ever and I've seen her many times. Usually fantastic, but the last time I saw her she was just awful.

ARGENT...

Saw them open up for somebody at the Spectrum.

ARTHUR BROWN...

Actually opened for him at the Trump Plaza on one of those live Morning Zoo shows (where he was backed by the Flaming Caucasions) and he was completely out of his mind.

THE ASSOCIATION...

VFMF. I have no idea who was in the band, except I know that Terry Kirkman wasn't.  Terry wrote "Cherish" and I got to hang with him for an entire day in LA.

AVERAGE WHITE BAND...

Spectrum. I believe opening for the Beach Boys.

B52'S...

Club Artemis. With about 20 people.

BAD COMPANY...

Spectrum around '76.   Paul Rodgers...  What an underrated singer.

**** THE BAND...

Academy of Music '69.  They were touring in support of their second album entitled "The Band" (one of my favorite albums of all time) and just being in there was so damn exciting.

BARB JUNGR...

Metropolitan Room in NYC... One woman Dylan show~excellent!

BARBRA STRIESAND...

Wells Fargo Center: 2009? Was still in amazing voice...

BEACH BOYS...

Wildwood Beach '91... So cool to see them in the sand!

BEASTIE BOYS...

Spectrum... '95?  First rap show ever.  In the round.  A lot of fun.

BEN FOLDS FIVE...

TLA... Somewhere around '97.  Played two grand piano's at once.  Great live act.

BETTE MIDLER...

Bijou...  '72?  Barry Manilow (not that I give a shit) was her piano player and Melissa Manchester was one of her backup singers.  I saw her many times with my Mother who loved her.  Because she's so schticky she goes underrated as a singer.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY...

Miami.  Super Bowl 33.  Elway's last game and through Craig Shoemaker I got invited to a party at the SCARFACE house!  Yes, the house with the elevator that Michelle Pfeiffer comes down. They had a big tent set up outside and Voodoo Daddy was the band.  There were amazing women and I stood in line to get some ice cream behind Sammy Sosa.  Here's where the story gets really nuts.  I was there with Mike Goldberg, a friend of Craig's,  who wrote COOL RUNNINGS who is also from Philly.  I see Pete Ciarrocchi from Chickie & Pete's and I introduce him to Mike and the two of them look at each other aghast because they were childhood buddies who hadn't seen each other in years.  It was a terrific reunion for them both.  Now the story gets totally weird.  I am writing this on October 7th and I went to IMDB to make sure that Mike hasn't written something even cooler than RUNNINGS and it turns out Mike Goldberg passed away 5 days ago on the 2nd from cancer.  So sad.  A very nice guy he was.  R.I. P.

BILLY JOEL...

Wells Fargo (or whatever they were calling it then.)... 2000?  He was with Elton John.  I have never been a big Joel fan, but they were free tickets,  and I really enjoyed the show.

BILLY PAUL...

VFMF. '80? Opening for Gladys Knight & the Pips.  My Mother loved Knight and we saw her a couple times together.  Paul had two backup singers who's hair got stuck together!

BLACK CROWES...

At an outdoor stage outside Super Bowl XXXIII.  I was right up front and right before Jerry Glanville introduced them, he turned to the band and said "What's your name again?" and the Crowes drummer muttered "fucking asshole."  What a great American band.

BLACK SABBATH...

July 9th, 1972... Wildwood Convention Hall... with Black Oak Arkansas supporting. The second loudest show I was ever at. WCH was a terrific venue.

BLONDIE...

Walnut Street Theatre. November 78...  I saw Blondie many times.  Most of the time by accident.  (With Squeeze, Rockpile)  They were not a great live band, but I didn't know that yet when I saw them this night.  Harry was so sexy and PARALLEL LINES had just been released, so there was a real buzz in the air.  This was the only show I ever saw at this classic venue and as far as I know thee has never been another show there.  Guess who opened?  BABY GRAND, with Eric & Robby who ended up becoming the Hooters.

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS...

VFMF... Sometime in the late 70's.  There weren't many original members, but Clayton-Thomas was singing.

BLUE OYSTER CULT...

Spectrum around 78.  Nothing memorable.

BLUES BROTHERS...

Mann Music Center,  Summer of '80.  My seats were horrible, but the great Steve Cropper was leading that awesome band and Belushi was doing his cartwheel thing and it's cool to say I saw them!  Pretty sure this was the only time they ever came to Philly.

**** BOB DYLAN...

1974...  Spectrum with the original BAND lineup.  An afternoon show.  They used to have those.  My older brother raised me on Dylan from the time I was 9 years old.  He was (and is) one of my true musical heroes and I will never forget that concert.  I was also a huge fan of THE BAND,  so seeing both was ridiculous.  However, I was so swept up in the emotion of it all that I didn't notice that Dylan is an awful live act who doesn't give a flying fuck if you are even out there or not.  It took me about 3 more times to understand this and I eventually stopped seeing him after a show at the Tower with G.E. Smith a million years ago.

**** BOB MARLEY...

Tower April 23rd, 1976... Wow!  It was my first ever reggae show and I was just blown away.  So exciting!

BOBBY RYDELL...

I think it was Resorts.   About 5 years ago  I opened up for him.  Nice guy and was still in terrific voice.

BOBBY SHERMAN...

Philadelphia Convention Hall    I was about 14, 15 and I would sell popcorn in the stands and I did so for Sherman.  I remember he divided all the teenage girls into sections to see who could scream louder and even at that age I thought that was hokey.  Then years later I saw Green Day do the same thing.

BONNIE RAITT...

Main Point... Dec. 11th, 1973... Saw her a couple more times, but seeing her that night when she was so young and at the beginning of her career is a great memory.

BOOKER T & THE MGs...

Resorts... Somewhere in the late 80's early 90's... The one time I saw them was so strange.  It was a Tuesday show at 5 PM.  Huh?  The room was half empty and the people who were there didn't give a shit about them.  Backstage I got to talk to the legendary Steve Cropper for about a half hour.  When I asked him who he loved backing up there most (and Steve has backed up everybody) he replied without hesitation, John Belushi.

BOZ SCAGGS...

Tower Theatre... Late '76...  He was touring behind the just released SILK DEGREES.  Awesome show!

BRENDA LEE...

Bloomsburg State Fair... '81? The state fair was in my sister's backyard and I went with her and to see that big voice come out of that tiny woman was cool.

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA...

EFC... Late '98 or early '99... Larry Magid, who saw my wife and I in the back of the room, escorted us into the sound booth which hung over the stage and that was a really cool vantage point to watch this exciting show with the Orchestra.

**** BRIAN WILSON...

Tower Theatre... '89? '90?  I have been a Beach Boy fan as long as I have been alive.  The first 45 I ever bought with my own money was "I Get Around."  But as often as I had seen the Boys, this was the first time I was getting a chance to see Brian.  With all his illnesses, I was expected the worse and the show was magnificent.  Just to be in the same room was enough for me.

**** BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN...

Spectrum... September 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 & 18, 1984... All 6 shows.  Factoring in longevity, the two greatest front men in the history of rock are Jagger and Bruce. I have seen him in too many different venues to list starting with the Main Point in April 4th, 1973 and ending with the Mohecan Sun in Connecticut on May 17th, 2014. The "Born In The USA" shows of '84 were the pinnacle for me. Not that he wasn't awesome all the way up to that last date at the Mohican Sun. Or I wouldn't keep going again and again and again.

THE BUCKINGHAMS...

Scottish Rite Auditorium...  2008?   Collingswood NJ. If you ever get a chance to go to this amazing venue, go for it.

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO...

Revival (at least that's what I think it was called then)1990? It's now National Mechanics on 3rd St. Great show.

BUDDY MILES...

Spectrum... 1972.  Not sure if I had seen lead singing drummer before.

CANNED HEAT...

Electric Factory... March 1969. Awesome band live.

****CAPTAIN BEEFHART...

Bijou Cafe... Nov. 22 1978. Actually he was there two nights and I went to both.  The last time he was truly great.  He was touring behind "Shiny Beast" and his band was amazing, trombone player and all.  He also did all the right selections from "Clear Spot" one of my favorite albums of all-time.  Wish I was walking into that basement club right now to experience it all again. 

 

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tunes logoDP+smHEY! CHECK OUT MY TRIVIA AND QUIZZO TIMES!

SPECIAL QUIZZO! THIS FRIDAY NIGHT AT DIAMOND BEACH / CREST TAVERN AT 8:30!

TUESDAY ~ Hey!  Join Big Daddy for Trivia night every Tuesday night at 7:30 PM at The Casino at Delaware Park, exit 4B off I95.

WEDNESDAY ~ Champps in KOP from 6 PM to 8:30.

EAGLES & NFL FOOTBALL

EVERY Birds game at PJ Whelihans in Blue Bell!

AVA QUIZZO

My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite every every Monday at 7:30pm at ROCCO'S in Wilmington!   And now at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly!.    That's a busy schedule!

 


RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 11/11

Here's the November issue of South Jersey Magazine...

Big Words: Thanks, Doc!

The tone of this article will surprise some. It’ll even infuriate others. But I want to spend this Thanksgiving article thanking doctors. That’s right. Thanking doctors. How often do you hear that?

I know we love to complain about them. How they keep us waiting long past the scheduled time, then after sitting for more than an hour in the main waiting room with seven kids coughing all over you, the door will open and the nurse will exclaim “Mr. Graham? The doctor is ready to see you now.” No, he’s not! They are only ready to sit you in the “other room”— the one with the blue cot and that thin piece of white paper on it.

You could arrive at an emergency room bleeding from head to toe, your right arm somewhere out on Route 70, and the first thing the admitting clerk will say to you is “Insurance card, please.” Are you then allowed to reply, “I’m sorry, my card was in my right stinkin’ hand!”

Truth be told, it’s all that paperwork crap that angers us the most about the medical scene to begin with. It’s not actually the doctors themselves. The endless automated voice menus when you’re trying to make an appointment. “Push 17 if you are calling drunk from a payphone.” The prescription that was not called in or the fact that it’s not on your co-pay. The electronic referral that’s gone missing. How about the dental assistant who will ask you how your kids are doing when there’s an erector set inside your mouth?

Here’s one I love. “Describe your pain today on a scale from one to 10?” How about, “It really %$#% hurts.” How’s that for a number? And what’s up with getting weighed all the time?! I never want to be weighed. (It used to puzzle me why Tony Soprano was constantly weighing himself. Check it out the next time you watch an old Sopranos episode and he’s in a doctor’s office. It never seemed to stop him from eating! He got bigger with every season.)

I know they are highly trained and well paid. And geez, could you even begin to do what they do? I’ve had three back surgeries; and now I’m delighted to say that my back has been terrific for four and a half years and although I’m not going to be running any marathons soon, I now easily walk around Sea Isle City bouncing from bar to bar. (OK, I guess “stumbling” might be more like it.)

But here’s my point. On a cold, rainy Tuesday afternoon in November of 1989, I walked into Dr. Greg Herman’s office and told him that there was a severe pain running down my leg and that my left foot was falling asleep if I walked into a mall. Any kind of big store, really.

Now here I am, a 6-3, 235-pound dude standing in his office, dripping wet, and somehow he has to figure out what is causing all of this. And I think we take all of that for granted. Geez, it’s difficult enough describing the pain you’re in. So imagine how exhausting it is when you’re a doctor listening to us?

“I hear a ringing in my ears when I come to a red light.” “When I reach up with my left hand to grab a plate out of the pantry I get a weird twinge in my left big toe.” “I think there’s something wrong with my earlobe.” “Hey, my friend wants me to ask you about this blue pill, Doc. Mind you, it’s not for me.”

I worked in a music store one Christmas and I used to get a kick out of the grandmas and uncles who would come in and say, “I’m looking for a song for my little Biffy and it goes like this.” And then they would hum or actually sing a tune and I would have to figure out what song they were describing. (It would always turn out to be “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath.) Impossible!

Doctors and dentists go through the same thing, only the stakes are so much higher, even life threatening. It would have been survivable if I would have given mommy Adele instead of Lily Allen, but the wrong diagnosis from a doctor? The pressure to be right is enormous.

I have been seeing Dr. Greg Herman in Woodbury for almost 20 years and he must roll his eyes when I start whatever pain rap I am attempting to relay. But he has gotten the job done for me for years and before you say “Well, you’re a radio personality, of course he’s going to treat you with kid gloves.” Well, that would be wrong because I wasn’t even on the air at all when I started seeing him and he treated me the same back then as he does today—like he does all his patients, with courtesy and respect.

And I would like to say the same about my dentist. When my radiation and chemo ended when I had throat cancer a few years ago, the real trouble arose after I was in remission. (By the way, my chemo involved me sitting in a recliner, with a remote and a TV, while I got filled up full of drugs. Heck, I’ve been doing that at home for fun for years).

The 33 radiation treatments I had destroyed some saliva gland or something, and my teeth started falling out. My dentist, Dr. Craig Donn of Cherry Hill, worked miracles, putting my teeth back in and keeping them straight; and today, my smile looks better than ever. And there’s nothing I can’t eat. It took him two years to do this and the entire time he was working on me he was openly admitting to me that “I hope this is gonna work” because he had no idea how much damage the after effects of the radiation were going to continue to affect me. And somehow he did it.

Then there was Dr. David Cognetti at Jefferson, who kept me alive to begin with. Every time I see him I say “Doc, if it wasn’t for you I might not have been around to see my daughter Keely get married. Then again, if it wasn’t for you, I would not have been around to pay for my daughter’s wedding.”

Listen, I’m the guy who has trouble screwing in a light bulb, so I have no idea how they do what they do. I know we like to complain about ObamaCare and the insurance and drug companies. I know there’s a handful of countries that have this health care thing down better than we do.

But not by much. Every time I look up in the sky and I see a helicopter medevac’ing some poor soul to the hospital, I thank my lucky stars that we live in a country that can get that done.

So I thought I would take this November Thanksgiving column to wish all the doctors and dentists out there a Happy Thanksgiving and please, continue to be there for us!

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 10/11

Here's the October issue of South Jersey Magazine...

LAUGHTER GETS IT’S DUE

hawaii 2014 smAs a standup comic of 30 years, I actually have something positive to say about the passing of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers.  Just allow me to set it up. 

I have been saying on my 94 WIP talk show for years that Joan Rivers is “the funniest woman who ever lived.”   While Catherine O’Hara, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner, Phyllis Diller, Nora Ephron, Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer (among many others) are extremely talented and hilarious, no one broke me up as long or as consistently.  No female was born to wear that crown like Joan.  It just fit her perfectly.

I’ve been seeing her perform for decades.  On March 8th of this year my wife and I took my daughter Ava and her friend Nikki to see her at the Borgata because I figured that she was 80 and that, well, you know.  (It turned out to be her last show on that stage)

And she was amazing.  As a standup who has performed on that very stage many times myself, I was now in the audience marveling at her energy level and alarming quick wit.  I mean she worked it!  At 80! I had never seen my daughter laugh so hard. 

It was the first time I had ever seen an 80 year old performer.  Don Rickles and Tony Bennett, I saw in concert many times, but not since they had turned 80.  She was just magnificent and I’m so happy I got to give her a proper goodbye.  The one goodbye she cherished.  Laughter.

I also consider Rivers, and I’m dead serious when I say this, to be one of the most inspirational women this country has ever produced.  She not only was a major female pioneer breaking into an almost completely male field, she didn’t do it the safe way either.  She was working and doing well, but when she went after the biggest star in Hollywood and starting telling Elizabeth Taylor fat jokes, well, the rest was history.  Joan, what a pair you had!

Now look, I know everyone thought she looked like a mannequin on steroids at the end of her life, but I thought she was inspiring to women on that level also.  Here was an 81 year old woman who refused to walk out the door without the boa’s, the jewelry, her hair looking perfect, the leopard jackets and god knows what else.  She was shouting out to the world, “yeah, I’m 81, but I’m going out fighting.”  Is there a husband reading this who wouldn’t want is wife to have that attitude?

Not to mention that when her husband committed suicide, I read that he left her almost thirty million dollars in debt. $30 million!  So she reinvented herself through QVC and not only ended up paying off that debt but when she died her estate was worth a hundred and fifty million dollars.  Now that’s a lot of inspiration!

Here’s my favorite Joan Rivers bit.  Keep in mind this was long before her husband passed. She was sitting in the chair next to Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.”

CARSON   Joan, you’ve been in show business for a long time now.  If there was one Hollywood leading man that you could spend the night with, who would that be?

RIVERS    Anyone?  Hmmm.  You mean besides my husband, right?

CARSON  Of course besides your husband.

RIVERS.    Anybody.

Robin Williams?  He was a brilliant actor and believe it or not I leaned more to his dramatic work than I did than his comedic. The first film performance of his that blew me away was “Moscow on the Hudson.”  The loneliness he captured of a Russian defector trying to make it in America was startling to me.  I remember saying to myself, “geez, I knew he was hilarious,  but I didn’t know he had this range.”   “Awakenings”  “Good Will Hunting”  “World’s Greatest Dad” “One Hour Photo” were just a few of his other flicks that moved me.  Not to mention I know you all have your favorite funny movie performances also.  (“Aladdin” and “Good Morning Vietnam” being my particular favorites.)

However, the title that Robin arguably owns is The Greatest Talk Show Guest of All Time.”  That’s where he truly excelled.  I have been recording the late night shows on my VCR (Remember those?  I was one of the 18% who actually knew how to use the “timer”) and later TIVO and DVR for decades and I never fast-forwarded through a Williams appearance.  You could throw Steve Martin, Mel and Albert Brooks (no relation), Will Ferrell, and Bill Murray into the discussion, but Robin comes out on top for me.

Those above-mentioned names were always creative and side splitting, but (and I have no problem with this) their bits were usually planned ahead and scripted.  Robin?  You absolutely never knew what he was going to spring on the host and audience or, for that matter, who he was even going to be.   A perfect personality to discuss in the October issue being that he was a one-man Halloween party.

I met him once.  It’s 1988 and I’m sitting in a restaurant called “The Greenery” in Wilmington, Delaware.  It’s about 11:15 on a Saturday night.  There’s a comedy club above the restaurant called the Comedy Cabaret.  The Saturday night dinner crowd has emptied and I’m hanging with the bartender when in walks Robin.  He’s in town filming “Dead Poets Society.”

He’s with the woman who was a nanny to his son at the time that he ended up marrying later.  Since I’m practically the only soul on the first floor he walks up to me and in a vey calm and low voice asks me if I know where the comedy club is.  I jokingly reply, “I hope so.  I’m closing the show.”   He smiles and I take them through the kitchen and up these rickety stairs into the service bar.  He’s seems much shorter than the 5’7” that he’s listed at and looks a lot like Bono from U2. 

Now the middle act has just gone on and anyone who has even been in a service bar knows how insane they are.  It’s just servers screaming out orders and barkeeps filling them as quickly, so no one even notices him.  I ask him if he wants anything to drink and I get him two cokes myself from the soda gun.  He’s peeking though the service bar doorway watching the very funny Chris Coccia.  The whole time I’m thinking if he goes on before me and I have to go on after him, I’m gonna die a thousand deaths.

But after ten minutes, he turns and says to me that something has come up and he has to go.  I take him back down the same kitchen steps and out into the Wilmington night he goes.  The audience never even knew he was there.  On one hand I’m relieved, on the other it would have been tremendously exciting to see him work on a show I was on regardless of how small potatoes I would have come off as going on stage after Robin Stinkin’ Willliams!. 

Why did he leave?  I believe he did not know what time the show was starting and on a whim just decided to find the club.  After he arrived I suspect his internal comedy club body clock went into effect and he realized that he was going to have to wait about an hour till Chris and I wrapped up.  He had a generous reputation of never going on till the show was over because he didn’t want to show anyone up.  He was very aware of the uproar his appearance would cause and was actually kind to his fellow comics.  How cool is that?

Both Joan and Robin’s death affected me tremendously.  So let’s revisit the first sentence of this column and how am I getting something positive out of their passing?  The incredible attention that their deaths attention garnered moved me.  Robin made the cover of Time and Joan dominated the TV airwaves for days.  But beyond that, folks like you and I could not stop talking about it.  My wife actually cried over Joan’s death as did many over Robin.  The public was genuinely moved.  Why?

Because the nuttier this world gets the more we rely on people to make us laugh.  Humor still comes in at #1 on every Cosmopolitan magazine poll when women are asked what trait do women look for in a man the most.  It’s always been #1 and hopefully always will be.  We crave laughter like our bodies need oxygen.  We just might die without it.  It was rightous and just that their deaths were discussed as much as any politician or world leader.  Or whomever.  You get my drift.  They were properly and deservingly honored the way they should have been.

So here’s to Joan and Robin and your Uncle Irving and your best friend Tiny and that funny teacher you had in school or the hilarious nurse that cracked you up when you were at your worst.  Thank you for giving us the greatest gift of all.  Laughter.

By the way, did you hear the one about this guy who walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder?

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 9/14

It's ironic that this was the article I wrote for The September issue of South Jersey magazine since some people have commented that the NFL doesn't care about the female demographic. Here it is...

Big Words: From Heels to Helmets

Although I have worked for Sportsradio 94WIP for 17 years now, I have resisted using this column as a sports forum. In the back of my mind, I always worried I would lose a lot of my female readers who aren’t as passionate about sports as men are. But I don’t think that’s as true as it once was, particularly when you’re talking about football. This is the September issue and last year I wrote my “going back to school” article, which makes sense. But, to be honest, when I think of September, it’s football that comes to mind first.

In the same way that pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater, Fla., means spring is on its way, the start of football signals that fall is here.

On that same note, the notion that baseball is our national pastime is long gone. It’s officially football. For decades, nothing could score higher ratings than the final episode of MASH. If you would look at the 10 highest rated shows of all time, it would be MASH followed by nine Super Bowls. Now the last three Super Bowls have beaten it. And a lot of that has to do with the growing amount of women who love the sport.

I don’t have to look any further than my own living room for proof. My wife loves her Eagles. Only a pair of front-row Bruce Springsteen tickets would pry her away from her big screen when the Birds are on.

Armen Ccadillac HhummerOne of my favorite questions when I host trivia nights is, “What once-a-year television event gets the most female viewers?” Most people will yell out the Oscars and some even cling to Miss America, but the correct answer is the Super Bowl.

Now I realize that a lot of that answer has to do with the parties that surround that day. Some men will claim that the women are only interested in the halftime show. But I disagree. When this year’s Super Bowl reaches the fourth quarter (if it’s a close game), take a look around your living room, or the sports bar you may be at. You’ll see a lot of women watching just as intensely as the men.

And it’s not like the World Series or the Stanley Cup didn’t have their chance. They’ve actually been around longer than the Super Bowl. So why didn’t they turn into “the big event?” I simply believe that women like football more.

I started asking around, and women offered various answers to why they liked football more. More action. Every game means something. It’s faster. It’s the only sport where a man as fat as my husband can play. These were just a few of the things women told me regarding their growing interest in the sport.

Maybe it’s simply that more women have grown up watching great football. South Jersey has had some tremendous high school football programs—like Cherokee, Washington Township, Holy Cross, Timber Creek, Williamstown, Florence, Shawnee and West Deptford, to name just a few. Not to mention Rowan University’s football program, which has contended for many a championship. The love between South Jersey women and football begins early. I know a tremendous percentage of Eagles fans come from South Jersey. Just take a look at the Walt Whitman Bridge on game day.

Another interesting fact: Today, 20 percent of fantasy football players are women. And that number grows by leaps and bounds every year. Geez, if you had told me two decades ago that I’d be using the word “fantasy” and “women” in a story about football, you would have won yourself a bottle of MD 20/20 from Roger Wilco.

There was a time, hence the immense popularity of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, when cheerleading was the main connection between football and women, but those days are long over. (Not that I exactly turn the channel when they appear.)

surfboardHere’s another oddity. There are many baseball songs such as John Fogerty’s Centerfield and tunes with baseball references like Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, but virtually none about football. You have to go way back to 1969 to find a hit record about football.

“Backfield in motion, baby
I’m gonna have to penalize you
Backfield in motion,
You know that’s against the rules”


Those lyrics are from an old song recorded by Mel and Tim, Mississippi’s answer to Memphis’s Sam and Dave. It was titled Backfield In Motion and those lyrics are actually referring to Mel’s (or maybe Tim’s) girlfriend’s derriere, but it’s as close to a song about football as I can get. As lame and old school as that gets, the only hit record ever about football connects the sport to women.

What I’m saying is the days of women losing their husbands on Sunday afternoons are pretty much over. They’re in front of the big screen TV’s right alongside them. I used to judge Eagles tailgate parties for WIP, and you know what? The best parties were the ones with the most women at them.

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 9/2

Here's the latest article of the Sea Isle Times

MY HIGHLIGHTS FORM THE SUMMER OF 2014!

1. SILVER LINING
        What’s that silver lining expression that I never get right?  Well, it applies here.  In our last issue, I wrote about the death of a great friend of Sea Isle, Rick Steffa.  This column is usually light in tone and I want to thank this paper for printing it and not changing one word.  And a big shout out to the hundreds of people who approached me since it’s release to tell me how much they wish they would have known Rick.  I know it made me, Rick’s family, and everyone who knew Rick, very happy and that’s cool.

2. THE OCEAN       The ocean this summer was tremendous.   First, let me explain that I have a lifelong love affair going on with the surf.  I’m the dufus who remains on the beach when the rain starts to spit while families start moving enough gear to handle a moon landing.    OK, I admit, that there are days when that light rain turns into a downpour and I’m drenched when I get back to my house.  But who cares about getting soaked when you’re in your bathing suit?  And leaving out two stinkin’ days this summer when the water was legitimately cold, from Memorial Day weekend on the ocean temps were warm and the waves were very powerful and on a couple days pretty high.  As you already know I’m the Greatest Bodysurfer in the World, so I guess Comcast’s John Clark knew that was a lost cause, so on August 10th he came down to 35th St. (being he’s a “T.I.” guy, that must have been hard on him coming down to the ghetto) and challenged me to a Boogie Board match.  We were out there riding the best waves of the summer for hours and I have to admit he whupped my butt.  But c’mon!  He’s like 6’9” or something, and at least twenty years younger, and I have witnesses that say they saw him greasing up his board with Quaker State Motor Oil, which is clearly against the International Rules of Boogie Boarding.  And the results have not come in from his drug test yet!
3.QUIZZO    I host a quizzo night every Monday at the Pour House and this year we had a particularly fun bunch come out.  Angelo Cataldi (who was thrown out for cheating), the great comics Dom Irerra, Joe Conklin and his annoying brother-in-law John,  Sixers P.A. announcer and WMMR jock Matt Cord, Brian Startare from Wildfire Radio, Lou Dog, weatherman John Bolaris with some chick from Russia, former Phil Tommy Greene along with Phillies Director of Fun & Games, John Brazer, Mike LeCompt, and Paul Kurtz from KYW were among the many who played this summer.  I love hosting this night because old friends and new always know where they can find me on a Monday night during the summer.  And a special shout out to the record crowd the “Two Funny Philly Guys Show” drew at the Deauville.

4. JD SALINGER     He’s my favorite writer.  I collect copies of “Catcher In The Rye.”  Twenty-one copies and counting.  All with a different cover.  Some in foreign languages which is strange since I can barely read English.  For some bizarre reason I took my blue SEA ISLE hoodie up to Jamaican Me Crazy and had “JD SALINGER” pressed in big white letters on the back of the jacket.  And then all hell broke loose.  Everywhere I went people wanted to know why JD Salinger’s name was on the back of my sweatshirt.  And I had no satisfactory reason to give them.  I would say “he’s my favorite writer” and this would never appear to be the answer anyone wanted.  “Ok, and he’s on the back of this hoodie and why?” they would say.  “Because I put it there” I would say and not in any mean way.   “Hmmm” the puzzled person would mumble walking away.  Now I’m doing it with other shirts and jackets that I own.  I just put DR. RICHARD KIMBLE (in honor of the first TV drama I remember getting hooked on as a kid)  on the back of a Yuengling hoodie I got at an appearance..  However, I was glad that Salinger apparently hasn’t been forgotten and the day before the deadline for this article I checked the “classic” section of Dalrymple’s books and they had all four copies of every book Salinger has ever written.  How cool is that?  Rock on, Dalrymples!

Dr Donn5. FILE UNDER YOU NEVER KNOW     My wife loves “The Glenside Pub” sandwich at McGowans.  I rode my bike over to pick it up and while I was waiting I noticed a signed color photo of former Phil Johnny Callison.  It was inscribed “To John & Angela, Good Luck, Johnny Callison.   Now Johnny was my favorite Phillie from back in the day and I ended up doing the last interview with Mr. Callison before he passed away.    I asked Angie “where did this come from?” and she informed me that her husband John had a nephew named Tim was married to Johnny’s daughter, Laurie.  Now that in itself is a “small world” kind of thing, but that was just the beginning.  The owner, John, said “wait a minute” and disappeared into a back room and came out with a framed black and white photo.  It was Johnny stepping on home plate after hitting a game winning home run in the ’64 All-Star game.  In that signed photo are five Baseball Hall of Famers.  Roberto Clemente, Red Schoendienst, Walter Alston, Juan Marichal, and WILLIE MAYS!  Every picture tells a story, eh?

6. MIKE’S CRAB BALLS    Mid-July.  I dropped my last crab ball of approximately two dozen on the ground.  I looked around and noticed nobody saw it happen.  So I picked it up, smothered it in tartar sauce,  and woofed it down and I’m telling you it’s the single greatest crab ball I ever ate.

7. STEVE SILICATO  I first heard Steve sing at the “Sea Isle’s Got Talent” show.  (Which I judged again this year.  So much talent and heart!)  The show is usually made up of kids and teenagers with an occasional oldhead mixed in.  Steve is, I’m guessing, is in his forties, early fifties and he sings in the Sinatra, Tony Bennett style.  He has a tremendous voice.  I mean this cat can sing.  He then started singing around the island at spots like the Commodore Club.  He knows how to work a crowd too.  He’s very good.  But I would always get on his case because he sings with pre-recorded backing tracks.  I get it, that’s what many clubs down here use, particularly at the Happy Hours.  “I want to hear you sing with a band” I would tell him.  Then one afternoon I bump into him during a Juliano Brothers break at the Springfield.  Now in case there’s one poor soul reading this who are not familiar with the Juliano Brothers, they are a REAL BAND.  Three brothers who play guitar, bass, and drums who do all their own singing.  Imagine.  It’s so refreshing.  They are mega-talented and I swear on a stack of Playboys there’s not a song they can’t play.  During their break Steve tells me he’s gonna sing with them next set.  So I stick around.  Then a disaster hits.  This dynamic chick by the name Susan Viesti gets up and just destroys the house with an full blast version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”  I mean she tears the packed room apart!  She’s barely off the stage when Greg Juliano introduces Steve Silicato.  Now look, I once had to follow Rodney Dangerfield AT DANGERFIELDS and I’m standing at the bar saying to myself  “Uh, Steve, this is a really bad idea.”  Wait a song or two or even a set and then come on.  You don’t want to try to follow her.  The room was still buzzing.  But the band hit the intro of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Of You” and out comes Steve and in thirty seconds he had the crowd in the palm of his hands.  I was sincerely, legitimately blown away by his grace and calmness in an extremely tough situation.  Go catch him, he’s a lot of fun.  And big-time props to the Juliano brothers.  Who else can transition from AC/DC to Frankie Valli in the matter of seconds.  What a fun afternoon.  We are so blessed in this town with the level of musicianship.  It’s like living in Key West, only for most of us, only an hour and a half or so away.

8. THE WOMAN IN THE BLACK BIKINI    July 26th.  A date, that for me and my fellow loser dudes of 35th St., will burn in our memory forever.  We were all at the beach on a gorgeous late afternoon and our wives decided to go to the LaCosta Deck Happy Hour.  Out of sheer laziness the husbands just continued to sit on the beach when it happened.  The most stunning woman OF ALL TIME walked by us in a black bikini talking on her cell.  She was in her thirties and I’m telling you someone should have a picture of six middle aged men with their jaws dropped.  We never saw her again.  We’ll never know her name.  BUT THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE SUMMER OF 2014 A SUMMER WE’LL NEVER FORGET.


HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...

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