Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Reads

Years of anti-government poison by the GOP (while at the same time wanting to serve in the same government it despises) naturally resulted in the Donald Trump phenomenon.

Obituary: Anti-war activist and later California politician Tom Hayden, 76 (!), has passed away. He died from stroke complications. He had suffered a stroke last year.

Hayden was one of the "Chicago 7" tried for conspiracy and incitement at the infamous Democratic National Convention in 1968, but he was acquitted. He later served in the California legislature for some 20 years.

Along the way he married--and divorced--actress Jane Fonda.

In 1960, while a student at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, he was involved in the formation of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), then dedicated to desegregating the South.

In 1968, he helped organize anti-war demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that turned violent and resulted in the notorious Chicago 7 trial. It began as the Chicago 8 trial, but one defendant, Bobby Seale, was denied the lawyer of his choice, was bound and gagged by the judge and ultimately received a separate trial.

Another obituary: Singer Bobby Vee, 73, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

I saw him in person probably 10 or 12 years ago in Reno.

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, as Robert Velline, Vee's big break came on the heels of a tragedy: he was hired at 15 to fill a concert bill in Moorhead, Minnesota, for what had been intended to be the next show on the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour after the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Following the exposure he received from that performance, Vee recorded a single, Suzie Baby, that did well in the upper Midwest and landed him a contract with Liberty Records. Vee reached the top ten in 1960 with "Rubber Ball" and "Devil or Angel," and 1961 saw him notch a number one hit with "Take Good Care of My Baby" and a number two hit with "Run to Him."

Vee continued to release hits through the 1960s, more than three dozen in the top 100 in total, including "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," "Come Back When You Grow Up" and "Charms."

I wrote about Vee here:

In about 15 minutes, I am heading back down to the Hilton to see yet another moldy oldie, Bobby Vee, who has a group consisting of himself, two sons, and a couple of sidemen.

He's only 62 years old, younger than most on the oldies circuit.

Update: I just returned. At one point of the show, he brought out several beach balls (for the song "Rubber Ball") for the audience to bounce around. People were supposed to return them, but it's unlikely Vee will ever see all but one of those balls again, for people didn't have any goddamned sense to return them.

Of course Vee can afford to buy more of them, but it's the principle of the thing.

If I had had something for him to sign, I could have had his autograph, but unfortunately I didn't.

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