Author Archives: Alan Cross

Update on Nickelback’s Detroit Problem

November 7th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

One of the most hallowed games of the NFL season is the traditional Thanksgiving Thursday date in Detroit. This spot on the schedule is sacred with a history that goes back to 1934.

This year, the Lions contracted Nickelback to perform at halftime.  Nickelback, who have a new album out that week, accepted.  A chance to perform before a nationwide TV audience hours before Black Friday? A no-brainer.

But then the good citizens of Detroit got all in a lather.  

"Detroit has a rich musical history!  Motown!  Iggy!  White Stripes!  Nugent!  Why would you get this CANADIAN band to perform?  And Nickelback?  Seriously?"

James Van Doren Dies at 72. The Punk World Should Mourn.

November 7th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

James who?  Let's start at the beginning.

In 1966, James Van Doren, his brother and two friends started the Van Doren Rubber Company in Anaheim, California.  Their product was rubber-soled shoes.

A couple of years later, they released a shoe with a super-grippy sole with the aim of selling it to boaters.  The secret sauce in the design was a special compound combined with a special tread:  diamond shapes with six star-shaped forms around the ball of the foot.  

Some sailers boaters bought the shoes but the biggest market was unexpected.  Southern California was being overrun by kids riding a new thing called a "skateboard."  The shoes fit the needs of skaters perfectly.


The Wife Says: I Need a Wife

November 6th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

What I need is a "Carmen."

That was the name of the young woman on the tour with William Shatner. I finally met the entourage last Thursday night for the show at Massey Hall. I’d heard the stories but it was amazing to see everything in person.

Shatner gives everybody their money’s worth, whether in the cheap seats or the VIP section after the show. Where does he get his energy? I got sleepy watching and he’s about twice my age.

His wife, Elizabeth? Gorgeous. Perfect hair that didn’t need primping and she’s got that accessorizing gene that somehow I missed.

Inquiry to the Annual Christmas Shopping Question

November 6th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

"Can I get any of your radio shows on CD?  Or is there somewhere I can download them?"

Man, if I had a buck for every time I've been asked that question.

The answer is "Sadly, no.  There are far too many copyright issues involved with the music to make that possible.  Sorry."


The Shatner Tour Diary: Day…Whatever (Toronto and Montreal)

November 6th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Picture by Sara CollatonThe Shat is not like you and me.  

After the final show of the western swing of the How Time Flies tour in Winnipeg on October 25, William Shatner flew to Wichita, Kansas, aboard a private jet provided by Bombardier, where he was scheduled to speak in front of a group of Bombardier employees assembled for a safety convention.  

That was Wednesday.  He was just getting started.

The Recommendation Project Part 17: Songs to Have Sex To

November 5th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you check here, you'll find a The Wife Says column about how Nickelback is the biggest musical turn-off as far as sex goes.  

Bottom line is that if you ever hope to have sex with someone other than yourself, never, ever admit that you like Nickelback.

Fine.  But what songs are acceptable for boinking?  We could be doing a big public service here, people.

Here are the rules for The Recommendation Project:

The Wife Says: Chris and Madonna?

November 5th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The Star has a story about why Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna are no longer BFFs. (Yeah, I know. But I can’t spend all my free time toggling back and forth between T.S. Eliot and The Economist.)

Gwyennie and Madge were best buds back in the day. They practiced their mid-Atlantic posh accents, mean-girled lesser cellulite-ridden mortals with their macrobiotic diets and vomited side by side after doing a million crunches. They were tight.

And then, nothing. The paparazzi sightings in matching gym wear were over. Nobody knew what happened.

The Scar Tissue Rift

November 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you’re a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, maybe you’ve read singer Anthony Kiedis’ biography Scar Tissue, which came out in 2004.  

It’s a pretty crazy book, detailing some pretty crazy behavior.  What you may not know is that the book created some serious friction inside the Red Hot Chili Peppers, especially with Flea, a guy Anthony has known since high school.  

Apparently, some unspoken promises of keeping certain things secret were, uh, violated.  That included the time that Anthony slept with Flea’s sister.

And the World’s Most Valuable Album Cover Art Is…

November 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

In the Olden Days, album cover artwork was a big deal.  Artists has a 12 x 12 canvas on which to create something marvelous.  Gatefold sleeves offered exponentially more space.

Then along came the compact disc, reducing the workspace to just 5 x 5.  Sure, you can do things with the booklet, but it just wasn't the same.

MP3s?  Forget it.  Despite efforts to include artwork with downloads and through various tagging, album artwork will never be what it once was.

But there will forever be a place in rock history for these works. And an interesting collector's market has emerged.

Detroit Lions Fans to Nickelback: “You Suck!”

November 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Few things in America are as cherished as Thanksgiving football. It's one of the NFL's best weekends, especially for Detroit, where they always host a game on that Thursday. It's a tradition that goes back to 1934.

However, things are not well in the Motor City, despite the Lions being off to their best start in decades. The problem is the band signed to perform the halftime show.


Fans have launched a petition demanding that Nickelback be replaced.

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