Teddy Pendergrass: Never to Be Forgotten (Validation #3)

January 14, 2010…

Yesterday the music world sadly lost one of its all-time greats, R&B singing legend Teddy Pendergrass, at the age of 59, after a long battle with colon cancer.

As a member of the 1970s hit singing group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, where he started off as their drummer, before stepping up to the mike, and then on his own in the late 70s and 80s, Pendergrass tore up the charts with his church-inflected, gruff baritone voice. He had the fire of a Pentecostal preacher, even when singing tender bedroom-love songs. The man could sing the phonebook and spin aural gold from it. He had the type of voice that could be soothing and gentle one minute, and then exude raw, fiery passion the next.

The five-time Grammy-nominated Philadelphia native enjoyed many classic hits, such as the immortal “The Love I Lost,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Wake Up Everybody,” “Love TKO,” “The Whole Town’s Laughing at Me” and “Close the Door,” among others. The world may never know how many babies were conceived with these songs as the musical accompaniment.

Sadly, Pendergrass was involved in a 1982 car accident at the height of his career, that left him paralyzed from the waist down, but he still continued recording for many years to come. His days as a matinee idol sex symbol, were over though. But he never succumbed to self-pity, and saw himself as a role model to other people with spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, his singing voice was robbed of some of its natural power.

It’s a shame that he has been somewhat forgotten these days, due to the fact that he had not recorded anything new in many years. It’s also a shame that it sometimes takes someone dying to make the world truly realize what they meant to us. Now is the time for Pendergrass to be rediscovered by a whole new generation of music fans. He is clearly someone whose music will stand the test of time, and he should never be forgotten. The man was a true legend. May he forever rest in peace. And may the world continue conceiving babies to his immortal songs. That ability was the greatest gift he gave to us.


Goodbye, Chris Dodd (Screed #29)

January 14, 2010…

We are happy to see that CT Democratic senator Chris Dodd has recently decided not to run for re-election in 2010. This man has clearly been in office far too long. Between the “sweetheart” Countrywide Financial loan he received, as well as the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, Irish Cottage and A.I.G. bailout controversies that he has been involved in, this man can no longer be trusted in office. His actions have been despicable, along with his explanations declaring his innocence. Dodd is guilty beyond belief and should be impeached. We’ll take his retirement though, if that’s all we can get.

We are also very disappointed in President Obama’s decision to support Dodd a couple of months ago. He should be ashamed of himself for defending this sleazeball. Dodd should have been left to twist in the wind. He sealed his own fate, and must realize that the people of CT have finally had enough of his dirty deeds. The end can’t come fast enough for his exit.

Goodbye Chris Dodd – don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Screwing Over Leno and Conan (Screed #28)

January 13, 2010…

We have been following this whole NBC talk show quagmire that has been brewing over the past week or so, and have to weigh in with our own opinion on it. We feel that it is ridiculous for anyone to be blaming Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien at all for the mess that has transpired. The only blame should fall at the feet of Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC. He has taken a once-proud network and reduced them to a laughing stock. He basically forced Jay Leno off The Tonight Show when he clearly wasn’t ready to give up the job, to make room for Conan O’Brien to take over. When Leno revealed that he really wasn’t ready to retire, Zucker suggested moving Leno to 10PM with a brand new show, which was clearly not a good time for a talk show to be airing, being that it would be up against dramas on other networks. It was a very risky gamble and has proven mostly disastrous, being that affiliates of NBC are losing a lot of money because of the poor ratings of The Jay Leno Show.

In the meantime, Conan has taken over The Tonight Show, but his ratings have not been that good, as well, losing every night to David Letterman. Part of this is because of the poor ratings from Leno’s show.

Now, regardless of what you think of Leno’s new show, or Conan’s version of The Tonight Show, the failures of either program are not entirely due to their hosts, but simply to the ridiculous situation NBC has created. It’s turned into one of the worst debacles in television history, and now they are trying desperately to fix their mistake. And that desperation act is what is making this whole situation that much worse.

They have told Leno that he can return to his 11:35PM slot, but his show would only be a half hour long (what can you really do in a mere half hour?), and The Tonight Show would be moved back to 12:05AM. Naturally, Conan is understandably not happy with this arrangement, and wants off of The Tonight Show altogether, to perhaps go over to Fox, who has shown interest in him. Leno, who initially agreed to being moved back to 11:35, is now upset with NBC, as well, because they have put him in a bad situation, by making him look like he is trying to screw Conan over, so that he will leave, and he can get his old gig back. It makes him look like he somehow deliberately orchestrated some coup, which is clearly not the case. He is also now threatening to leave the network, feeling that NBC did not honor their contract with him. Newcomer Jimmy Fallon is also getting screwed, by being asked to gladly suffer this debacle in having his show be moved back an extra half hour.

We have also heard that NBC may cancel Conan immediately because they fear he will continue to bash the network in his monologue. And Leno has also been taking his own potshots at NBC. Obviously, the truth hurts, and they would rather see Leno and Conan be painted as the bad guys, rather than themselves. How typical!

So there are clearly no winners in this situation, perhaps except for David Letterman, who is now #1 in the ratings. And, somehow, Jeff Zucker has gotten an extension on his contract, even though he has ruined the careers of two comedians, possibly ruined the name of The Tonight Show, and has made NBC look like total schmucks, not to mention Jay Leno. This is just another case of incompetence getting rewarded.

We’re not sure what will happen to The Tonight Show, The Jay Leno Show, or whether Leno or Conan will stay with NBC. We believe they should both look elsewhere, as NBC is not to be trusted to honor their contracts with either man.

NBC are the only villains in this story, and they learned the hard way that they should have simply left everything alone five years ago when they came up with this whole idea. Now, they want to throw two men under a bus. Only one man should be thrown under that bus, and that’s the man at the top.