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I post a weekly diary of historical notes, arts & science items, foreign news (often receiving little notice in the US) and whimsical pieces from the outside world that I often feature in "Cheers & Jeers".

OK, you've been warned - here is this week's tomfoolery material that I posted.

CHEERS to Bill and Michael in PWM, commonmass (along with Geoffrey the Cat) plus our Wyoming-based friend Irish Patti and ...... well, each of you at Cheers and Jeers. Have a fabulous weekend.

ART NOTES - the exhibition Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Art is at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh through September 14th.

ODDS & ENDS PROGRAMMING NOTE - am travelling this weekend, hence this has been posted early. Some candidates for "Who Lost the Week?!?!" may thus be missing: if so ........... just write 'em in.

THURSDAY's CHILD is Pippa the Cat - a rescue kitteh whom an English couple are convinced can detect when their diabetic daughter Mia is about to suffer a hypoglycemic episode (which could lead to a coma).

SPORTING NOTES - the 2014 championship match for all of the European professional soccer leagues will - for the second year in-a-row - match two teams from the same country. Even more: it will match cross-town rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid (although they will have to travel to Lisbon, Portugal for the match).

It will take place a week from Saturday (over the Memorial Day weekend) and will be shown on free TV (the Fox broadcast channel, where you see NFL games) with kick-off at 2:45 PM Eastern (11:45 AM Pacific).

IN THIS PHOTO is the Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue and a contestant on Italy's version of "The Voice" .... Sister Cristina Scuccia - yes, a nun who lives in a convent in Milan - who has wowed audiences with her version of Alicia Keys' "No One", Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Hero" by Mariah Carey.

HAIL and FAREWELL to the noted disk jockey Dave Diamond - who begged Elektra Records on-air to release the Doors song Light My Fire as a single - who has died at the age of 77.

FRIDAY's CHILD is Suika the Cat - who vanished three years ago during Japan’s 2011 tsunami ... yet was reunited with his family when spotted in a forest ... with his name and phone number on his collar.

GOOD LUCK to the South Carolina representative B.R. Skelton, who sponsored a bill updating that state's law (regarding sex education) to include instruction on the use of contraception .... and amazingly, he is a Republican.

BRAIN TEASER - try this Quiz of the Week's News from the BBC.

SEPARATED at BIRTH - which has been recommended by numerous people: 'Harry Potter' villain Draco Malfoy and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).


......and finally, for a song of the week ............... when one reviews the "Rock Stars Who Died Too Young" file: one of them would be the 25 year-old guitarist Tommy Bolin whose drug overdose ended a career that was had already achieved much. Not simply in rock music: he had roots in blues, jazz and funk, and had recorded albums with not only name bands, but also several noted solo releases. Thirty years on, as the All-Music Guide's Greg Prato wonders .... "What could he have been?"

Born in Sioux City, Iowa in 1951, Bolin began playing as a 13 year-old, and in 1967 was expelled from school for .... refusing to cut his hair. He later moved to Boulder, Colorado and formed a band whose name was later changed to Zephyr - whose debut album as well as Going Back to Colorado (from 1969-1971) are truly worth checking yet.

Featuring a Joplin-esque singer named Candy Givens - the band not only covered blues-rock in-and-out, but offered new interpretations on jazz classics such as St. James Infirmary and from modern jazz: Pharaoh Sanders' The Creator Has a Master Plan epic. Although they were (ultimately) not successful other than as a regional group: Bolin's ability was garnering rave reviews (including that of Jimmy Page, as Zephyr was an opening act for Led Zeppelin at that time).

Intrigued by the burgeoning jazz-rock-fusion (of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Weather Report, etc.) of the early 70's: a twenty year-old Bolin founded such a band celled Energy in 1971. They never released an album at the time (although some surfaced years later).

Yet this led to Tommy Bolin's breakthrough: as a sideman on the 1973 Spectrum album. The first solo album by the explosive Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Billy Cobham is among the best jazz-rock albums of all time. Just listen to Tommy's playing on Quadrant Four and Red Baron - and you'll see why it was an inspiration for rock veterans like Jeff Beck, who explored that world with albums such as "Wired" and "Blow by Blow".

In 1973 Bolin was the answer to the needs of the James Gang - who had not recovered from the loss of Joe Walsh, and whose replacement Dominic Troiano had left. While Bolin's work did not help return James Gang to its former glory in the charts, the two albums he participated on received excellent reviews.

He left the band in late 1974 and relocated to Los Angeles, seeking a role as a session guitarist. No trouble finding work: he performed with Alphonse Mouzon, Carmine Appice and the Canadian band Moxy.

He began recording his first solo album Teaser in 1974, which showed not only his wide-ranging taste in songs (rock to jazz to ballads) but also a flair for songwriting and even singing, which he had never delved into in the past.

Before it was released, the phone rang again: as Deep Purple had seen the loss of founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in late 1974, singer David Coverdale recalled Bolin's work on Billy Cobham's Spectrum and Bolin eventually auditioned for (and won) a spot in the band. He began touring with them, and was on the 1975 Come Taste the Band recording. But by this time, Bolin's heroin habit was beginning to escalate, and the band broke-up after a farewell tour in 1976.

Tommy Bolin resumed session work and released a successful second solo album Private Eyes that was issued on CBS. He toured throughout the remainder of 1976, and opened a show for Jeff Beck on December 3rd, 1976, posing for a photo with Jeff after the show.

The next day, Tommy Bolin was dead from a heroin overdose.

Although his recordings alone are an important legacy, his brother Johnnie has done a great deal to preserve his memory. The drummer for Black Oak Arkansas since 1985: Johnnie has organized annual Tommy Bolin tribute concerts and manages the catalog of his brother's discography, including a compilation album that is quite comprehensive.

In addition, the specialty Dean Guitars company has a Tommy Bolin signature model and in 2008 the biography Touched by Magic chronicled his life. Guitar enthusiasts will probably be influenced by Tommy Bolin for years to come.

Of all of his work: I'm still drawn to his work (at age eighteen) on the eponymous first Zephyr album: Cross the River shows the band at its heaviest (and more introspective) and shows Candy Givens' vocal range: sometimes subtle, other times ... well, not very subtle. And below you can listen to it.

From far, far, far...'cross the river
A man's voice calls out to me
I can't hear what he's saying,
Why won't he let me be?
I beg him to release me
Oh, but he will not set me free

I saw him right through the madness
But he walked right into my life
For he walked across the river, and
His smile tells me that he's kind
I don't love him, not right now
But I think it's going to work out fine.

Originally posted to DKOMA on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks.


(Abbreviated version) Who Lost the Week?!?!

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| 61 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The self-proclaimed Patriots who tried to (9+ / 0-)

    get ten to thirty million of like mind to DC to dispose of the president got my vote.  

    "We're gonna shut it down," they boasted, days ahead of their drawing roughly enough people for a softball game.  

    They won't, but it would be great if on the return home they were to listen to the First Lady's address to graduating seniors in Topeka, Kansas.  Michelle Obama spoke of the nation's troubled and violent Past and conferred warm wishes and encouragement to the young people in her audience for their collective, more inclusive Futures.

    What a contrast between her remarks and their good ears versus the nitwits and anger-heads who tried to overthrow her husband.  The young people who heard the First Lady had by far the better weekend.

    - - - - -

    Does Trey Gowdy look like a vampire, or what?!

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:17:50 AM PDT

  •  It took a while to decide... (9+ / 0-)

    ... but I finally decided on the militia group that gathered in DC.  "Millions" expected vs the tens who showed up..., well, it just proves that while there are a bunch of stupid people in the US, there may not be as many as it seems to be going by the attention they get in Moronic Media.

    From the realms of fiction to fact.  I've seen episodes of Grey's Anatomy talk about the 3-D printers, and they're doing good things for our canine companions, so that's not fiction:
    3-D Printers Help Grow New Jaws For Dogs At UC Davis
    Video at link is nearly 5 minutes long; I don't know how to copy-embed it to DK.  This (below) video is about another success story of bone regrowth done at UC Davis.  

    [As a person with advanced degenerative arthritis who had a triple lumbar fusion in 2000, which meant I had to have three cadaver vertebrae & three fake discs put in my spine which is now held together with two titanium rods, and who has had one knee replaced with a titanium fake knee and needs the other one done, too, this is really exciting news for the future.  I'm old, so I don't think this sort of thing would be ready for human testing in time to work on me, but I sincerely hope all the kinks are worked out in time to do many beneficial things for people and more animals in the future.]

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Donald Sterling - racist moocher (8+ / 0-)

    I chose Sterling for tax fraud, besides being a racist, misogynist scumbag.

    California law requires the death of a homeowner to be reported to the county assessor — a step that triggers a reassessment of the property at market value and typically a property tax increase.
    In 2013, the property tax for Sterling's boyhood home was $603.66; the tax for the property listed in his mother's name was $1,545.11. Based on their current market value, the combined annual taxes would be at least $13,000.
    It appears that Sterling has several properties in California that are under the names of Donald Sterling's paternal grandmother who died in 1966 and his mother, who died in the 80s.
    Sterling allegedly failed to notify the county assessor of the deaths resulting in lower tax rates.

    Divorce, Death and Donald Sterling

    Cute story about Sister Cristina Scuccia.

    Thank you, Ed!

  •  Call me cranky (4+ / 0-)

    but I think the hoopla about Sister Cristina is because she's a nun. If she wasn't, people would probably not rate her singing that highly.

    I voted for the blankety blank Turkish mining company: over 300 people dead.

  •  I Never Tire of Seeing How Absent 30 Million Tea (7+ / 0-)

    Partiers can be when 1 billionaire won't cut checks to the media and bus lines.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:20:36 AM PDT

  •  The Gowdy/Malfoy resemblance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, Ed Tracey

    is weirdly chilling.  (So the "pureblood" Malfoys DO have muggle relatives after all!)

    The obvious loser picks were the "American Spring" crackpots and the negligent mine owners.  But I had to go with the Sandy Hook creep because what he did was just so freakin' cold.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:57:01 PM PDT

  •  Karl Rove's insinuations about former (3+ / 0-)

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seem to be a new low for him, at least in terms of being clumsy, blatant and undeniable.

    Since many of these losers of the week are basically flash in the pan famous or infamous for fifteen seconds, it might be unfair to the other candidates to give "the architect" any extra credit for having under-performed versus what we expect of him.

    Still, the teacher who stole from the students and all the rest have created or helped to create far less damage to our country and the world.

    Like Rush Limbaugh, Rove is much more useful for our side than his own, now.

    If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:29:07 PM PDT

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