We have a new entry in the Stupid Band Name Sweepstakes: Alvvays. This Canadian group pronounces it “Always.” Why won’t they pronounce the vees? If they did, they’d sound like my maternal grandmother, Bella, who grew up in Austria, was a refugee in Italy after World War I, and arrived in New York City as a teenager. Bella lived to be 93, or possibly 94 – her older sister, Paulie, claimed that Bella was a year older, which made my grandma furious! She won that argument only when Paulie passed away.

Bella never lost her sense of fun. She engaged in titanic poker battles with her pals, Charlotte, Sylvia, and Bubbles, usually at a nickel per hand. We grandchildren raked in the winnings. One of her biggest scores came when Charlotte and Sylvia each had two pairs but Bella was holding “tree kveens.”

My first encounter with music criticism, and my lifelong disdain for the music of the masses, came courtesy of Bella. She was baby-sitting me on a Sunday night when we had a battle over Lawrence Welk (“Velk”) vs. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Guess which side I was on. Disney had probably lined up another exciting adventure of Spin and Marty whereas Mr. Welk had certainly fired up his champagne bubble machine. Bella won – I was only 6 – and even in my bedroom with the door closed I was tortured by Lawrence Welk and his parade of antiseptically scrubbed young people singing “My Old Kentucky Home” and other hits of the 1840s.

Bella is gone but this blog rocks on – now rocking our fifth year! Thanks for reading along and not sending me to my room.

My most popular post
I wrote this one in 2012 and it’s still drawing visitors. I don’t even have that job anymore!

Chicago (Sins of the ’70s Week)

Deep Purple (Sins of the ’70s Week)

Fleetwood Mac (Sins of the ’70s Week)

Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green edition (Sins of the ’70s Week)

Grand Funk Railroad (Sins of the ’70s Week)

Jefferson Starship

Rare Earth

Sir Mix-a-Lot

The Supremes

The Prince Project
The Prince Project begins

First Prince album

The Prince Project falls and it can’t get up

“Tomorrow Never Knows”

Spring break

Summer time, and the livin’ is easy

The great outdoors

At home with Mom and Dad

Football, God help us

Gardening from A to Z


I vanquish technology yet again

It’s the end of 2014!




The reign of Cleo, Part I

The reign of Cleo, Part II

Time travel

Random Pick of the Day
Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On (1971)
It begins with “What’s Going On” and ends with “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler),” two of the greatest songs of the 1970s. Excuse me, two of the greatest songs.

Random Pan of the Day
Dire Straits, On Every Street (1991)
“Calling Elvis” awakens old glories. Alas, the rest of the album sends them back to bed.


  1. seasidedave says:

    The cool thing about “The Lawrence Welk Show” and his gay band of entertainers (I watched it sitting on my grandmother’s lap) is that subsequent evidence has pointed out that it was probably rife with gung-ho potheads dressed up as “Middle America,” making them the Best cover band Ever!!

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      Hahahaha!! You’re probably right. Welk had to suppress a gang of subversives. Maybe they were subliminally projecting anti-war messages while singing yet another salute to Gershwin?

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