This is the true story of how one man's perserverance led to the capture of an infamous musical criminal. In the mid- to late-seventies, England Dan was one-half of the notorious pop group, England Dan and John Ford Coley. Following the signing of the international treaty outlawing bad seventies pop, England Dan fled to Paraguay, where he lived a reclusive life under an assumed name and where he might still be living had he not brazenly decided to reinvent himself as a country musician. Outfitting himself in a cowboy hat and synthetic orange hue invented by Nazi scientists, England Dan returned to the U.S. as "Dan Seals". This is where Stan Plotnick enters the picture. In the late 1990s Stan attended a Tanya Tucker concert in New Smyfington, Rhode Island. Stan is not really a country music fan, infinitely preferring Dave Brubeck, but he has harbored a lifelong crush on the singer of "Delta Dawn." Tanya's opening act? Dan Seals. From the very beginning of Seals' set, Plotnick, a "survivor" of that death camp known as seventies' rock, felt uneasy, nauseous even. Could it be the nachos he purchased at the concessions stand? No, something about this unknown singer raised the hair on Plotnick's neck. Abandoning his nachos and pushing himself to the very lip of the stage, Plotnick peered intently into Seals' eyes. Seals, noticing Plotnick's gaze, looked away, and even moved backwards into the shadows of the stage lights. But it was too late. Plotnick, raising a shaking finger at Seals, shouted, "It's him! It's England Dan! The Angel of Death! This creature I would recognize anywhere!" He expected the show to stop, and police to grab the monster Seals. Instead he, Stan Plotnick, was hustled from the venue by a couple of burly bouncers. Most men would have given up. But not Stan Plotnick, who lost several members of his family to the England Dan and John Ford Coley "Nights Are Forever" LP, and who still wakes up in the night shrieking, the nightmarish strains of "I Really Want to See You Tonight" ringing in his head. Stan contacted attorney Neil Gray of the Justice Department's Musical War Criminals Division. At first Gray was incredulous. But Plotnick wore him down, and MWCD launched an investigation. Two long years later, the man who calls himself "Dan Seals" was charged with crimes against humanity following a concert at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium. And thanks to Stan Plotnick, England Dan is awaiting extradition to the Hague, where he will be tried.
What the Hell Is This?? What's Mel Tillis doing holding a glass of wine? And what's with the faux wine cellar setting? Are the vino and the "authentic" ornamental lantern attempts by Mel and the Statesiders to add a whiff of sophistication to their whisky and beer sound? Has Mel gone Vichy on us? No, the album title is here to remind us, Mel has not. If Mel is holding what appears to be a glass of the finest cold duck, it is only to remind himself that it's time to go stomp some fuckin' grapes, towards whom Mel harbors nothing but rage, enmity, and malice. Stomp 'em good, Ray. Stomp them grapes to death.
Luther Bonbons: The evangelical treat! Our man in Berlin, Wi11iam 13, sent us this story about how Germany's Lutheran Church is trying to remind decadent trick-or-treaters of the religious holiday Reformation Day by tossing these little protestant flavor bombs into their satanic halloween sacks. Luther Bonbons: orthodox protestant hard candy on the outside, but with a nutty antisemitic center! Mmmmmm.... Zealoty good!
We were on this flight. One minute we were sitting there and suddenly everything got very bright and everybody's hair stood on end and this very old woman with her very long white hair standing straight up on her head and vibrating Medusalike popped up and shrieked, "I hear Jose Feliciano singing in the trees!" Then she fell straight back down into her seat, dead. It was very creepy, like death had come to gather this woman up in the form of a bolt of electricity accompanied by the singing of a blind lounge act. Afterwards, while the air hostess was busy covering the dead woman with a hospitality blanket she had to literally pry from the fingers of the woman in 15B the guy sitting beside us whispered, "I heard it too. Jose Feliciano singing in the trees." We said, "What makes you say he was 'singing in the trees'? What trees?" "The trees we're going to hit about 10 minutes from now. Those trees." Man, talk about your mindfucks. Even now, years later, we want to kill that guy. Because we didn't hit any damn trees during the emergency landing. They were more like big shrubs, really. And the NTSB didn't find Jose Feliciano anywere near those shrubs. He was in a supper club in San Juan that night. They did find a pair of black sunglasses, though, and I would love to ask the guy if in his vision of Jose Feliciano singing in the trees he happened to notice whether Jose was wearing sunglasses or not. But the guy died during the landing, a freak heart attack. We'd also like to be able to ask him what Jose was singing. That's an important detail and we can't believe we didn't ask the guy at the time. Was Jose singing "Felice Navidad"? That's probably what he was singing. It's his signature song, after all.