Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Chanukah!

Chanukah, or The Festival of Lights, is about to begin tomorrow night. The eight day holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after it was destroyed by the Maccabean revolt in the 2nd century. Chanukah is observed by lighting the candles on a Menorah - one candle each day, over an eight day period (the smallest candle is used to light the other eight).
Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Be My Baby by Ronnie Spector with Vince Waldron

Last night I finished "Be My Baby: How I survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, or My Life as a Fabulous Ronette" by Ronnie Spector, with Vince Waldron. I spotted it at a small bookstore last week, and being a huge fan of the Ronettes, I grabbed it immediately. I have always loved Ronnie's one-of-a-kind voice, and was curious about her life, and, I have to admit, Phil Spector's, too.

Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett was born in Spanish Harlem on August 10, 1943. Ronnie loved singing as a child, and soon formed an all-girl group, The Ronettes, with her sister, Estelle, and cousin, Nedra Talley. The Ronettes were quickly scooped up by legendary music producer, Phil Spector, who was famous for creating the distinctive, "Wall of Sound," a layering technique, producing a rich and complex sound. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

The gorgeous Ronnie and boy genius, Phil, fell madly in love, and eventually married. The couple moved into a California mansion and adopted two young boys. Unfortunately, the fairy tale had a twisted ending (as so many fairytales do!), with Ronnie fleeing the confines of their mansion in her bare feet, with no money or possessions, never to return.

However, being the survivor that she is, Ronnie ultimately triumphed over many of the familiar hazards of a rock and roll life. She got by with a little help from her friends, including John Lennon, George Harrison, Cher, Billy Joel, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Money, and Joey Ramone, but to name a few. (Cher wrote the book's forward, and the introduction is written by Bill Joel.)

Ms. Spector calls herself, "Rock and Roll's Bad Girl," but she's actually a "good girl"; a loving wife and mother, devoted daughter, and supportive sister. She's loyal to a fault, innocently sweet, and refreshingly candid about her missteps, many of them life-altering. (The updated edition includes new material, revealing Ronnie's take on Phil Spector's bizzare arrest and ultimate conviction of second degree murder.)
I loved this intimate rock and roll memoir. "Be My Baby" is as tempestuous as the sixties themselves. Follow Ronnie on her blog or website, or Twitter.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sun, I Bid You Adieu!

As we set our clocks back to Standard Time this weekend, I can't help but wonder if it's a good thing.

Yes, we get to finally reclaim that extra hour of blessed sleep of which we were robbed in the spring, but to "Fall Back" also signifies that the dark days of winter are peeking around the corner. I don't know about you, but I think there's something almost eerie about driving to work in a jet black sky, and then driving home in the inky night. I can go a whole day without even seeing the sun - very surreal.
On the other hand, an extra hour in the day is a gift; the gift of more time to sleep; the gift of more time to read; the gift of more time to spend with my beloved Cocker Spaniel, Symon, and, of course, the gift of more time to write.

And so, for better or worse, until the second Sunday in March, 2011, when Daylight Savings returns; sun, I bid you adieu!

What will you do with an extra hour in the day?