On This Date: Michael Hutchence died

Michael Hutchence

It was on this date in 1997 Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS died in a Sydney hotel room.  I’m assuming everyone knows the lurid story behind it all.  It seems like such a waste.  Creativity and crazy seem to go hand in hand, that fine line between lucidness and madness.

When it happened , it was one of those “I remember where I was when I heard the news” moments for me.  I was house/dog sitting, had just walked in to check on the dog and flicked on the radio.  That’s where I used to get a lot of my music news, back in those days, radio.  No Twitter or Facebook.  Just dial up AOL.

I remember being very sad.  INXS was a big favorite of mine, and I never got to see them live.  Plus let’s face it, he was hot.

I thought it was in poor taste when the rest of the band signed on to do the  2005 television show “Rock Star” to search for a new singer.  My two cents-change the name of your band out of respect.  Talking to you too Journey.  ((Stepping off soap box now))

There’s rumors of a movie coming out based on a bio written by his mother and sister, but so far no release date has been set.

INXS “Shine Like it Does” Melbourne 1985

Elton John Biopic in the works


The idea of an Elton John biopic has been around for a while now, but it sounds like the stars are aligning and casting will get started soon.

That’s probably one of the hardest tasks in making a movie about Sir Elton, who is worthy to play the artist?

According to Under The Gun Review, the film, currently titled ‘Rocketman”, is being developed right now by director Michael Gracey and executive producer Elton John.

The work is being described as “a biographical musical fantasy that weaves together the life of Sir Elton John and his music. “

A front runner in the casting is a relatively unknown Tom Hardy, who played Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Good Bar Scene With Elton Sequence


Dave Grohl pops up everywhere!

Imagine you are checking out your local cover band, ready to kick back and enjoy some familiar tunes and Dave Grohl pops onstage!

Dave Grohl, performed a version of Queen and David Bowie‘s ‘Under Pressure’ with the celebrated California cover band Chevy Metal.

Their performance was part of a celebration for the California city of Costa Mesa’s 60th anniversary. According to UltimateClassicRock.com, Chevy Metal played covers of Van Halen’s ‘Panama,’ the Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You,’ the Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ and the Vapors’ ‘Turning Japanese’

Mountain Work

Coming soon, cuts from my gig at the now defunct  103.7 The Mountain in Seattle. 

Country Cruise

Recent work-my first gig in country-which I NEVER thought would happen. Never say never kids- Susan Cruise 2012

A lifetime ago: Dianna Cruise on Kiss 98.5 Buffalo

I recently purchased a little contraption that will convert cassette tapes to MP3’s. Back in the day, all air checks were made on tape. If none of this makes sense to you no worries, someday it will all be explained, ha ha. Dianna Cruise on Kiss 98.5

Musical Memory Spark-Jimi Hendrix

I read on Twitter  that it was on this day in 1967 that Jimi Hendrix began recording “Purple Haze’ in London.

Boy, that gave me a “Musical Memory Spark.”

Have you had one of those?  A “Musical Memory Spark” as I like to call it, happens when you are reading about an artist or hearing a song you haven’t heard in a long time and suddenly you’re transported back to that moment when you FIRST heard it..or it really started to resonate with you.

A good memory hopefully…sparked by music.  Another example-last week I heard the news that Gerry Rafferty had died, and I was transported back to those days cranking out the “Baker Street” 45 on my old K-mart turntable.

Hence-“Musical Memory Spark” I really should trademark that.

The first time I really heard Jimi Hendrix and connected with his music was at a retreat for catechism class. As a recovering catholic-I went through the whole rigmarole of confirmation, I think it was 6th or 7th grade.

Anyways, I’m out in the boonies somewhere for this weekend of catholic teachings.  But I got an education of another sort, a musical awaking if you will…. something that has never left me.  The memory of a good jam and the first time I heard it.  I can smell the campfire, hear the bugs buzzing, and feel the rusting swing chains gripped tightly in my hands.

I had snuck out with some kid for a smoke, started swinging on the swings and someone brought out their jam box loaded with Jimi.  (And Rainbow too, I went through a whole Ritchie Blackmore phase for a while, that’s another tale)

Jimi Hendrix just blew my mind.  I hadn’t heard him much before that.  I knew who he was, and as a Prince fan, I knew that his “Purpleness” got some of his vibe from Jimi.   I could see why, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I live in his hometown now and I often flashback to that fateful night when there’s a blurb on the news somewhere about him.

I just realized my mother would not be happy if she found out THAT’s all I got out of the church retreat, ha ha.

Thanks to History By Day, who I follow on Twitter @historyday for the seed for today’s post.  Sometimes, that’s all it takes, you just have to take the time to make it grow. 🙂

With death comes life

A great old friend of mine, (and by old, I mean I’ve known her a long time)  e-mailed me  the news that Gerry Rafferty died.

And though perhaps he’s not a household name as much anymore,  it got me thinking, about life and death and how it’s all too short.r.

Gerry Rafferty was a musician back in the olden days of albums, 45’s and AM radio that played music.

The single “Baker Street” was one of the first 45’s this little girl had. And I listened to it over and over again.

I was looking for my copy of the 45, to post a picture of it, but it is either somewhere else, or I pitched it during an “I’m so cool and punk” phase, in which I threw out a bunch of stuff I shouldn’t have.

It turns out, “Baker Street” isn’t as square as I thought it was. MTV says “Baker Street” “features one of the most legendary saxophone solos in music history and has since been covered by everyone from Waylon Jennings to the Foo Fighters.”


R.I.P Mr. Rafferty


Monday music-what songs take you back?

Everyone has ‘em…whether you’re into music big time or only a causal listener. The Songs That Take You Back. You know what I mean, the tunes that transport you to “back in the day”, suddenly remind you of a past place in such a vivid way that if you close your eyes and turn up the volume, you’re almost there.

The first dance in junior high, the first album you bought, the first band you saw in concert, the first kiss, The one song you played over and over again until someone in your household told you to knock it off.

We all have ‘em, and we forget. I have songs that remind me of my elementary days, my high school days, my radio days, when I lived in Ohio, when I lived in New Jersey, etc etc. Half the time, I forget they’re around, as they lie dormant in the back of my full of useless information head.

The other day I actually found myself driving and horror of horrors in a bit of traffic jam. I did what people do when stuck in a non-moving vehicle…fiddle with the radio. And lo and behold, I forgot for a moment I was stuck in Seattle somewhere, and instead was transformed to the Bonaventure Rolling Rink, full of popcorn, frozen cherry coke and dreams while jammin’ with my friends. All while on roller skates.

The song? “ Best of My Love” by The Emotions. I had the 45 and as I cranked the volume way past 11, I could see the Columbia label in my head. I did a little seat dance, (arms and head only, as I was still in a car), sang the lyrics as loud as I could and as the traffic began to move, hardly noticed people were looking at me like I was crazy.

What song takes you back?



Hughes, Hughes, Anyone…John Hughes?

I was tired of being “Home Alone”, so I decided to take a “Vacation”. I stopped at the “Breakfast Club” first which was so “Pretty in Pink” with “Sixteen Candles” at the counter. I ran into to “Ferris Beuller” who was acting all “Mr. Mom” when he told me “Curly Sue”…“She’s Having a Baby”, which seemed like a bit of “Weird Science” but I extended my congratulations as “ Uncle Buck” walked by and told me I’d have to take “Train, Planes and Automobiles” to get to my destination, which really made me feel “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

John Hughes, Director, Writer, Producer and by all accounts all around good guy left us yesterday. His movies were the background to my generation and his passing has made me ponder my mortally a little bit, and the fact that I’m getting older a lot. It’s been a heck of a summer for our icon’s.

John Hughes made the movies that made me feel good at the end, no matter how implausible.

John Candy, Molly Ringwald, Michael Keaton, and The Red Wing Shirt wearing guy from “Ferris Beuller”…All favorite actors portraying great characters that have never left my subconscious.

Speaking of the jersey guy…I just read that John Hughes was born in a Detroit suburb…duh…I could never figure out why a Chicago boy would be sportin’ a Wing’s shirt.

My university lumped together Radio, TV and Film as “Telecommunications” so I have a bit of a film major. I studied a huge variety of “films” and “cinema” (those words sound fancier than “movie” don’t they?) I viewed the very first films in America like “Birth of a Nation” and Russian and French flicks, and through it all I learned to develop an appreciation of “film as art.”

I wrote a term paper on the “Auteur Theory” ( A paper created on a typewriter, and no copy exists which bums me out)

The “Auteur Theory” in a nutshell is this: It means “author” in French and is generally associated with the French new wave. Essentially it means that films created by a director all contain his/her ideas and visions, like a personal stamp. I had stated, that directors like John Ford, Billy Wilder, Hitchcock, etc etc were true auteur’s despite the fact that they weren’t French. There’s a certain essence to certain directors’ movies that resonate throughout all of them. It’s a “Stephen Spielberg” movie, it’s a “Michael Mann” etc etc. You get the picture.

I won’t go into it much more than that, but to say that in retrospect, John Hughes is a true auteur as well.

I’m sure many scoff at that notion. He’s never been recognized by the Academy, yet he put his mark on a slew of movies that have never been erased from the collective hearts of those of us, for better or for worse, grew up in that much maligned 80’s era.

Sure, some of his movies and characters are far-fetched and improbable, and sometimes very “cheese on cheese” (The end of Sixteen Candles…,the sister and principle character in “Ferris Bueller” etc etc.) But I personally LOVE cheese and John Hughes’ movies are slices of hope, happiness and entertainment all wrapped up in a sassy bow for enjoyment over and over again.

The music, the dancing, the sappy moments. They take you away for a minute, if only a minute. Because at the end of the day, isn’t escapism why we watch a movie anyways?