My Life With Star Wars

If Star Wars had never existed, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.A bold statement? Perhaps, but the more I think about it, the more truth comes to light. The first version of this essay had me starting from before 1977 and moving forward with my life. I didn’t figure...

Favorite Songs by Year

Over at SamePageCast, co-hosts Craig and Megan took a look at the 1970s and selected one song per year to be on their desert island jukebox. I had so much much with that decade that I kept going, all the way up to last year. I threw in 1968 and 1969 so this list...

Happy Writer’s New Year’s Day

Four years ago today, 1 May, I made the decision to start writing again. I had the germ of a story—a man wearing a fedora who was likely a private detective, knocking on a door and being answered by bullets. That idea became WADING INTO WAR: A BENJAMIN WADE MYSTERY,...

Thoughts on Pods and Sods Chicago SamePageCast Episode

I may know Craig Smith because of KISS, but today, it’s about Chicago. Craig Smith is a music connoisseur. The podcast he runs with Eric Miller, Pods and Sods, talk music, often down to the granular level. When Craig teams up with his girlfriend, Megan Stemm-Wade,...

Music Review: Stone of Sisyphus by Chicago (1993, 2008)

When the seven guys formed the band that became Chicago, they had a mandate: create a sound that was a rock band with horns. And they did. Brilliantly. The first five years of their recorded output, Chicago walked the tightrope between longer pieces and radio-friendly...

Music Review: Hot Streets by Chicago (1978)

Now what? That must have been the thoughts of the members of the band Chicago after fellow founding member Terry Kath’s untimely death in January 1978. The previous year, they had released their eleventh album and conducted yet another successful tour. Their last...

Music Review: Chicago XI (1977)

If you really stop and think about it, listening to Chicago XI can be difficult. You see, the album was released in September 1977. Four months later, Terry Kath, original guitarist and the soul of Chicago, died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. Chicago...

Music Review: Chicago Transit Authority (1969)

First albums can be tricky and they usually come in one of two forms: fully-formed or the first step to something else. Take Bruce Springsteen, one of my favorite rockers. While his first two records (Greetings from Asbury Park and The Wild, the Innocent, and the E...

70s Trek: The Podcast That Makes Me Smile

They had me at the title: “70s Trek.”  I listened to the first episode, then promptly downloaded all episodes up to that point (29 at the time). I binge-listened to all of them in a week’s time, loving every minute of each episode. I was born...

The Pulp Jungle by Frank Gruber

(This is the February 2017 edition of Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club. For the other reviews, click the link at the bottom.) When I read Frank Gruber’s retelling of his days as a struggling then successful pulp fiction writer from the 1930s, I realized something...