Rest in peace, Bill Rieflin: Ministry, “Work For Love (1983)”

Word circulated late last night that drummer Bill Rieflin lost his battle with cancer at the age of only 59. The discography of Rieflin's work reads like a "who's who" of industrial rock. Rieflin played either in studio, on tour, or both with a wide variety of bands. A quick scan of the list shows … Continue reading Rest in peace, Bill Rieflin: Ministry, “Work For Love (1983)”

Rest in peace, Marie Fredriksson: Roxette, “The Look” (1989)

(Above: If you didn't have this LP, someone that you know did.) Word is circulating this morning that Gun-Marie Fredriksson passed away yesterday at the age of only 61. Fredriksson had been battling a brain tumor. She, along with Per Gessle, were the forward faces of a band that you couldn't get away from hearing … Continue reading Rest in peace, Marie Fredriksson: Roxette, “The Look” (1989)

New this week in ’69: October 25

(Above: a magazine that eludes my collection.) October 25, 1969 Earlier in the week "Beat Generation" fixture Jack Kerouac is laid to rest in Lowell, Massachusetts. Kerouac died in the early morning hours of the 21st as the result of longtime alcohol abuse. Years later the band 10,000 Maniacs will sing to him and self-aware … Continue reading New this week in ’69: October 25

Grand Rapids charts: The WZZM-FM Hot 40, October 22, 1971

(Above: It's a cool layout with a clumsy slogan.) I don't believe we've ever done an FM playlist on the blog, so let's fix that today. I just happen to have, in a pile of surveys I file under "research" in my office, the playlist from WZZM-FM in Grand Rapids, Michigan from October 22, 1971. … Continue reading Grand Rapids charts: The WZZM-FM Hot 40, October 22, 1971

Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek: The Cars, “Since You’re Gone”

(Above: "How does he walk on the pool?" we asked, dumbfounded.) The news of the death of Cars frontman Ric Ocasek came as a bit of a surprise yesterday. I was perhaps more surprised by the fact that he was 75. That would have made him about 34 when the band hit it big initially, … Continue reading Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek: The Cars, “Since You’re Gone”

Who Did It First? The Easybeats, “Good Times” (1968)

(Above: Add this to your list of all-time "side one, track ones.") Very early in my college radio career - like on my first show - I had a habit of keeping some songs close by so as to sneak them in if time allowed. They fell under "personal preference;" the show was mostly for … Continue reading Who Did It First? The Easybeats, “Good Times” (1968)

Rest in peace, Mark Hollis: Talk Talk, “Life Is What You Make It” (1986)

Word circulated today that Mark Hollis, the leader of UK group Talk Talk, passed away at the age of 64. The band hit the music scene in 1981 but first saw chart success the following year with their eponymous first release. "Talk Talk" failed to chart in the US the first time around, but a … Continue reading Rest in peace, Mark Hollis: Talk Talk, “Life Is What You Make It” (1986)

School’s out for winter: The Billboard Hot 100 for December 15, 1984 (and what we probably listened to instead)

(Above: I was clearly enjoying my junior year of high school and in no hurry to go on break.) Friday, December 14, 1984 was the last day of school before the Christmas break began. If I remember correctly, we got out early from school that day, and a bunch of us went to Dave-we-called-Fritz's house, … Continue reading School’s out for winter: The Billboard Hot 100 for December 15, 1984 (and what we probably listened to instead)

Video killed the radio star: “Network Video Hour,” Lewis University Television Network, November 6, 1988

(Above: I may have a similar shirt, but that hair ain't comin' back.) In the two years I spent as an undergrad at Lewis University from 1987-1989 before setting out on my own to try and start a radio career, I probably spent more time in the radio station than anywhere else, including classrooms. One … Continue reading Video killed the radio star: “Network Video Hour,” Lewis University Television Network, November 6, 1988

What’s in a name? Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers” (2008)

(Above: Map of most popular girls' names by state forty years ago.) I was having some fun on my radio show last week. (I should mention: there is now a weekly radio show.  It's called "Rock School with Len," and it airs Thursdays at 10am Eastern on WCKS Radio, the student station at Grand Valley … Continue reading What’s in a name? Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers” (2008)