Del Rivers News Letter ("Stuff" I Am Working On Currently) - 2001-2002:
The year 2001 (a "space odyssey"), really came together (Not totally for the country - but for myself at least!). I am in training as an "Account Manager" for my employer - The Rochester Trade Exchange - which has two relative clients (Joyce & Mark Helmer of ABC Cleaning, & Ed Vielc -CPA), and some friends (like Tom Kohn of The Bop Shop, and Paul & Peggy formally of "Personal Effects"- 4D Advertising). I helped to assemble this year's Trade Show, which was a blast. (I finally found a job that I probably could retire from if it all goes well!).
Of course, most of you know about my feature in "City" newspaper - which raised a few eyebrows and rolled a few eyes! The article was written by an old acquaintance - Th. Metzger - a fiction novelist and part of computer guru Stan Merrell's new music group - The Badenovs. (He also wrote an interesting book about the history of the Electric Chair). Because of the interview article, "Del's Corner" on the "Whole Lotta Shakin'" radio program gained more listeners and I have something to promote myself with. My website will soon be revamped with better graphics and information with help from Cbaz Lockwood, who now resides in Baltimore, Md with wife Jeanine.
My CD recording - "Del Rivers & Friends" (Laughing At Man's Intelligence) - received a great review in Freetime Magazine. Also the new full-band recording of "McFadden's Parachute" features 'Stop Pushin' Me' (a better recorded version than my CD). Some tracks that received airplay in Rochester (& Syracuse) include 'Stop Pushin' Me', 'Just A Little Bit Of You', 'Only Half Of What Could've Been', 'She Walks Like A Robot', and the N.R.B.Q. cover - 'It Comes To Me Naturally'. It's only natural that Mike Murray of"W.L.S." would choose to play 'Custard Rice Pudding' — the only comical track done as a joke. (Congrats to Mike and Linda on their new marriage, by the way!...I surprised them with my singing 'It Comes To Me Naturally' and a little bit of'Louie, Louie' with The Hi-Risers at the reception! The Hi-Risers also have a new CD on Spinout Records). A CD single of 'She Walks Like A Robot' (featuring guest vocals by Susan Steklof) and 'It Conies To Me Naturally'- Is slowly coming out; with two salvaged cassette tracks ('Just This Once' -a Crickets cover and the B-Side to 'Second In Line' - 'Hideaway' - an original track; and/or two other tracks - 'Secret Agent Man' or 'Girl Watcher' - an Okaysions cover). Comic book artists -Todd Webb & Ken Wheaton - will be doing the artwork. The last two demos were too "rough" to include on the main CD - but they were fun memories for me at least during the '80's & early '90's.
Also - because of the City article, I've returned to occasional open mike nights during summer for both comedy & music. I've been coming up with ideas (good & bad) at Six Pockets open mike w/Dan Liberto on Tuesday nights for comedy; and various places for music practice (with real musicians or just singing practice w/Debbie Randyn's Karaoke). I'm waiting to work with McFadden's Parachute (Barren Brennessel) on garage originals; Brett Lowden on rockabilly stuff (we may record a few cool covers like 'Shakin' All Over' and/or some Joe Meek tunes); It's My Party/Meddling Kids (Bill Ebert) on pop/rock-type songs; and with Luther of The BBB's on some power-pop ideas. Still, the music stuff has been pretty slow lately — so I tried a little comedy stuff. I've written a few new song ideas, with the best being a take-off on a Marc Bolan / T-Rex style and a Joey Ramone tribute sun);. Not much on tape yet. A comedy project is still under consideration with help from other stand-up comics. Still working on written Ideas and trying to figure-out what's best.
My comic book friends Chris Yambar / Ken Whcaton / George Brodcrick (& sometimes Mike Churchill) are working on a comic book based on the Mexican icon of wrestling - El Santo! He was a wrestler for 40 years and appeared in hundreds of Mexican B-Movies. Santo's son now bears his father's legacy. Being into music, I turned these guys on to Los Straitjackets; and Southern Culture on the Skids - who's theme song for Santo - they'll play at every comic book convention! Put 'El Santo' in your search engine and you'll realize how big this comic book may become...(especially if it gets translated into Spanish!). I received editing credit on associate Todd Webb's comic - Robot Frank- which also received great reviews in 'Maxim' magazine & 'Entertainment Weekly'. Another comic book in the works is for Barbara Eden's "I Dream of Jeannie". As of this writing, I'll be heading to another Comic Book /Pop-Culture convention in Ohio (featuring Kung Fu's David Carradine). At the Novl convention, we met the likes of Adam West from Batman; Walter Kocnig (Checkov from Star Trek), and Ron Palillo - Horshack from Welcome Back, Hotter (who accidentally knocked Into my friend Ken at a bar!).
Friends Cousin Al (Voldman) with Darren Brennessel (McFadden) as 'Cousin Al and The New Generation' have released their first surfin' music CD entitled "Wave Wolf". It's cool for Halloween or a summer scene. Another band worth checking out are 'The Meddling Kids' which share members with 'It's My Party', and have a cool Cheap Trick-style sound. I saw a few concerts this year including the great B.B. King with John Hiatt - but I missed Johnny Rivers & The Guess Who in Syracuse. Friend John Mills got to meet Johnny in person! I also met In person "John Sebastian" who played at the Lilac Festival in an indoor location due to rain. Friend John Borrelli was there getting his albums signed (I also know the other John Borrelli from band "No Boundaries"). Spilling-over from last year was the revitalized Chesterfield Kings who hosted a great Rock'n'Roll movie along with Mark Lindsey of The Raiders - that just came out on video (I met and briefly picked his brain. He's as much into Garage music as he Is into Native American music). Andy Babiuk of The Kings wrote a great book about The Beatles too & had a book signing. The Rockabilly scene is still happening on & off with Croonin' Kurt, Bobby Henrie, Frantic Flattop Frank DeBlaise, and our new fnvorites — Krypton 88 - who just keep getting better. Friend Sonny Boy moved to Alaska or somewhere again. The Bootleggers came out with some tunes that should gain attention with good promo. There is also that impeccable Girl Group "It's My Party"; Rattletrap w/Bob Janneck & Mark Gifford; (we missed-out on an Insiders reunion this year; but Walt O'Brien played a great East End Fest w/Inside-Out); great new stuff from The Irthlings, The Grinders, The RatKings with Chuck Irving, blues from Joe & Chris Beard; and (sadly) a last showing for The Colorblind James (I hope they continue along with Rita Coulter's voice). The Riviera Playboys (Del's Electric Cowboys) arc in the midst of a comeback with the drummer from The Movlees - Ryan Kemp. My CD producer - George Schnell - is working on some new Royals compilation. Of course - there's about 50 other bands (and comedians) I'd like to mention that Rochester would be proud of.
On personal notes -1 had a fine week with my sister's family (Don & Bon Miguel) from California with her three kids. I also bought an old van, which I'm in the process of fixing -up. I had a fine get-(tpgether with old roommate Jim Havalack, his son Gabe, and Shaunn Day — we went go-kart racing (which I've never done before and now I'm hooked!). Saw some cool movies with Randy "Porcupine" Christadaro - the redux version of "Apocalypse Now" and others. I had a pleasant social date with Susan Steklof (who sang on "Robot") - as I saw my boss's (Ralph Meranto) play project (Leopold & Locb) at the J.C.C. Another play that I caught was 'Little Miss Firecracker' featuring Darren Brennessel's new wife - Dawn - and actor 'Franco' who was in both plays. Darren had a nice housewarming party which had a few local actors and other talented people there. I ran into my friend Herbie J. Pilato at a book signing for a third reprint of "Bewitched Forever" - a great T.V. botk about the show and the actors he interviewed - like Elizabeth Montgomery. Another cool book by a local author is Richard Dolan's "UFO's & The National Security" Vol. 1 about UFO's & the Government from the 1940's to the 1970's (factual reports from the FOIA act). Ex-roommate Jon firmed is doing great in Los Angeles with his comedy projects, as are Eric Haessler & Mark Cooper with their radio programs. As usual, forgive me if I forgot to mention somebody!
If you read my last web site message - I was thinking about doing some more cool and creative things (like another cable-access show or another CD or comic book project or something). I still have passion to do many things, but I kind of "go with the flow" and sometimes stuff works, and other times it doesn't. The September 11th disaster threw everyone off and we're all recovering. I hope everyone has faith in me to do well even if it takes a long time to get there. (I don't mean to live vicariously through others all the time!) I'm permanently involved with this local-end of "Pop-Culture", and I'm doing my best to make sense of it and to do what I can to affect others in a positive light. I love to Dream and have Fun times. Have a great Holiday and a wild New Year - Jim/Del.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: I just met David Carradine (of Rung Fu) briefly; saw football great Terry Bradshaw at a company charity function doing a motivational speech; and Sonny Geraci of The Outsiders ("Time Won't Let Me") at a police charity function on the day of George Harrison's passing (He sang The Beatles' "That Boy" and talked about being on Capitol records). I also would like to mention that friend & Rochester music archivist George Greven is with a Ramones tribute group known as "Road To Ruin"; and former "My Girl Bill" & "Beat Busters" members formed a new group known as "Intrigue". Intrigue recorded a tribute song for the Sept. llth tragedy.
Created on ... November 09, 2004