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“Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s” (fall 2018)“Ad Astra: 20 Years of Newspaper Ads For Sci-fi & Fantasy Films” (fall 2019)“Ad Nauseam Newsprint Nightmares from the 1990s & 2000s” (fall 2019)“Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1970s and 1980s”(fall 2021)
Author: Michael Gingold
Publisher: 1984 Publishing
Growing up in the 1970s and ‘80s, author/collector Michael Gingold became obsessed with horror movies and other genre films. This love led him to become a Fangoria writer and then its editor for nearly 30 years, as well as a Rue Morgue" contributor. He made that magazine the leading chronicle of all things horror/supernatural and more covering film, television and books for decades.
Before all that, he took his scissors to local newspapers, collecting countless ads for these movies. Gingold first began reproducing newspaper ads for ‘80s horror films in the pages of his Xerox fanzine Scareaphanalia, which he wrote and self-published for nearly a decade. While still in college, he began contributing capsule reviews to the annual book Movies on TV and Videocassette, and later did the same for The Blockbuster Video Guide. He also wrote full-length reviews for CineBooks’ annual The Motion Picture Guide, many of which now appear at the TV Guide on-line movie database.
So, when the 50-something hooked out with Matthew Chojnacki from 1984 Publishing, a genre book publisher, they organized a museum-worth of these ads as a visual history and graphic narrative of every kind of horror film, flick and movie.
Now, hundreds of pages of film ads from the last four decades (since the ’70s), these ads are spread throughout various editions. And the latest also includes a new foreword by legendary director Joe Dante.
First came Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s, which has more than 600 ads packed in the updated version. Rare alternate ad art for film franchises such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, Jaws, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Exorcist can be found in there. This book revels in oddities including Invasion of the Blood Farmers, The Incredible Torture Show, Psycho from Texas, Dracula Blows His Cool, Zombie Island Massacre and many more.
This year-by-year deep dive into the Gingold archive led to Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1970s and 1980s, which was issued with more than 450 ads. Within these pages is the art for such films as Gremlins, The Blob remake, and many horror franchises. Gingold then compiled Ad Nauseam Newsprint Nightmares from the 1990s & 2000s out of his collection of newsprint notices from those decades.
There are more than 500 striking ads for the big-budget gothics of the early and mid-'90s (Bram Stoker's Dracula, Interview with the Vampire), the slasher-film revival (“Scream,” I Know What You Did Last Summer, Halloween: H20), gruesome franchises (Saw, Final Destination), remakes (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, The Ring), found-footage films (The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity) and so on. This volume also includes unforgettable critic quotes of the time, fascinating facts about the films' releases, and insightful commentary.
Besides horror films, Gingold also collected newspaper advertisements for the science fiction and fantasy releases that stoked his passion as a genre fan. So he developed Ad Astra: 20 Years of Newspaper Ads for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films, another year-by-year look at the movies that shaped many childhoods in the '80s and '90s.
Inside this 270-page book, images for films such as Star Trek to Starship Troopers, The Dark Crystal to Dark City, Blade Runner are all here. There’s alternate artwork for such favorite films, where you can learn the fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of their marketing campaigns, and read the most entertaining and unexpected quotes from reviewers at the time.
In addition to 1984 Publishing’s Ad Nauseam and Ad Astra books, Gingold has authored The FrightFest Guide to Monster Movies (FAB Press) and Shark Movie Mania (Rue Morgue). He’s also contributed to Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (Spectacular Optical). Beside books, his screenplays include Shadow: Dead Riot for Fever Dreams, Leeches! for Rapid Heart Pictures and the upcoming Damnation for director Dante Tomaselli. He has served on juries for festivals including Montreal’s Fantasia, The Boston Underground Film Festival and the Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival.
Gingold recently answered questions by email as to his passion that he now shares with the fan world.
Q: How long have you been collecting?
MG: I began collecting the ads in 1979, which was a fortunate year to start, since both horror and science fiction were booming in the wake of Halloween and Star Wars. 1979 was the year of Alien, Dawn of the Dead, The Amityville Horror, Phantasm and a lot more, and at that point, horror films that might have previously played only in drive-ins and 42nd Street grind houses started getting wider releases in the New York area, making their way into suburban theaters It was an exciting time to be a young horror fan, even if it was a little while before I could actually start seeing the movies in theaters! I kept collecting the ads right up through the mid-2010s, when newspaper advertising for movies pretty much died out.
Q: How do you store it?
MG: I kept the ads in file folders and large manila envelopes, carefully noting on them what titles were inside. Storing them that way took up a lot less room than keeping them in scrapbooks! Also, putting the ads in scrapbooks would have meant taping or gluing them, which might have led to damage if I took them out later. Maybe I somehow knew I'd be putting them to greater use someday!
Q: When did you realize you had a world-class collection?
MG: I guess it was around the late 1990s, with the rise of the Internet and people starting to run ads from their collections online. I realized I had compiled the ads for pretty much every horror film that got theatrical release -- at least, in the New York area -- for the past two decades, and started thinking a book might be a cool idea. And the title of that book was obvious--that came to me right away. I just kept on collecting, hoping I could find a taker for the book someday.
Q: How did you organize it?
MG: My publisher Matthew Chojnacki and I decided we should organize the book chronologically, year by year, so readers could see the progression of both the genre and the way it was advertised over the years. With the addition of Ad Nauseam II, and now with the expanded version of the first book, you can see how horror and its promotion evolved over a 40-year period.
Q: What are your favorites?
MG: There are so many that it's hard to pick a favorite, but I do especially like a couple of reissue ads from the '80s that had a humorous spin to them. In 1981, The Blob and Son of Blob were rereleased on a double bill, not long after "Who Shot J.R.?" mania had swept the country. Since Larry Hagman, who played J.R. on Dallas, directed Son of Blob, it was described in that ad as "The Movie J.R. Shot"! Then there's a midnight-show ad for Night of The Living Dead paired with "A different kind of violence" — Three Stooges shorts!
Q: What films were great but had bad ads?
MG: Evil Dead II is a good example; the image of a skull with eyes is a really generic and half-hearted way to sell one of the great over-the-top horror movies of all time.
Q: What films were bad but had great ads?
MG: Too many to count! That's part of the history of horror-film advertising. Movies where the ads promised more and/or better stuff than the films themselves delivered. And then there were some that were outright lies. One notorious example is Screamers, where the ad proclaimed, "Be Warned: You will actually see a man turned inside-out." Well, be warned: You won't!
Q: What ones are you looking for?
MG: These days, as part of my work writing and creating video featurettes about classic genre movies, I sometimes seek out horror-movie ads from outside the New York area, using on-line archives. Since I grew up and went to college in and around New York City, that's where the ads in the books came from, but frequently, especially in the '70s and '80s, movies would be released with different titles and campaigns in various cities across the U.S., and some films wouldn't play in New York at all.
One case in point: an interview I did with Gary Sherman about his involvement in John Huston's Phobia recently ran in Delirium magazine, and I was able to find an ad for what I believe was its only U.S. theatrical play, in Kansas City. There's another movie for which I'm writing liner notes for an upcoming Blu-ray — can't reveal what it is at the moment—where the ads were different in practically every city where it was released.
Q: Where do you hope this collection will go to be archived?
MG: At this point, I don't have plans to exhibit the ads any further; the books are so well-designed and packaged that they're kind of the ultimate showcase for them. I did make a tentative attempt to get a gallery show tied to the first publication of “Ad Nauseam,” but it never came together. What I have been hoping all along is that other collectors might come up with enough ads to put together books on comedy movies, or action movies. There were a lot of great ads in those genres too. So far it hasn't happened, but I'm still hoping.
Since life is about second chances, sometimes a “re-do” kicks off without one even realizing it at first. Once Linda Marks' family responsibilities were resolved and lightened, she seized the opportunity to re-launch her artistic career. After years of raising her son and caring for her mom, the 60-something re-emerged in 2013 with a lot to say through her songwriting. She released 10 studio albums with award-winning sound engineer, pianist and composer Doug Hammer of DreamWorld Productions.
Marks’ style integrates elements of jazz with contemporary folk and pop, affecting the ear while soothing the soul. Her poignant originals and fresh arrangements of favorite covers are delivered in an intimate, heart-to-heart style. Over the past eight years, she’s played in most of Boston’s major venues including Scullers Jazz Club, Club Passim, The Burren, City Winery and Club Café.
Then came the pandemic which transformed the world, making the term “home” more central for most of us. Sheltering at home. Working at home. Studying at home. Finding peace, but also moments of isolation. Curating recipes for cooking. Appreciating our pets.
Explained Marks, “Home has become an anchor for many of us during this COVID-19 time. For me, working at home gave more time for songwriting as I was moved or impacted by what was happening in our country (the Capitol Riots, the killing of George Floyd, and political polarization while facing a public health issue).
“All of these factors and experiences informed my new album and the songs that comprise it. The title track was inspired by sheltering at home in a pandemic world, and reflecting on what home is, has been, and can be. I reflected on how pandemic life was impacting our relationships, our children’s experience of childhood and our older citizens. I experienced the seasons more intimately through walks outside every day, which are safer than going to the gym daily, as I had done for all of my adult life pre-pandemic. These daily walks through all seasons during this pandemic made me profoundly aware of the way light, life and growth cycle around. My experience of the daily changes of the natural world inspired ‘Shadows On The Ground,’ set in late fall in New England.
“In August 2020, I was lucky enough to meet my partner Rob. To keep safe during a pandemic, we talked every night for three months before meeting. We wanted to make sure a substantive enough connection was there before risking meeting in person during a pandemic. An advantage of this kind of getting to know someone is you can really talk about anything and everything. The song “In The Distance” came from words Rob had written about himself leading us to connect. One could say he gets a co-write on the lyrics!
“When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, we lost not only an extraordinary woman, but also a partner from an extraordinary marriage. This song, 'Marty And Ruth,' includes some actual words written or spoken by the two of them, celebrating their true partnership. Inspirational and rare.
During the COVID-19 turn down, her weekly “Songs From the Heart, Meditations For the Heart” livestream attracted a global following. She was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” in Boston magazine and in the Boston Globe. She’s also co-founded of the artist-alliance group Women In Music Gathering (#WIMG), and has written songs to benefit community causes. Her song, “Light Up the Love” — an anthem for the global Light Up the Love movement — was voted the #1 song of Summer 2020 on Independent Share, Cygnus Radio.
Marks had produced 10 albums with Hammer and an 11th, “Home” which was released on Thanksgiving Day, 2021. That specific date, when most of us were spending time with loved ones at home, was a fitting time for the album to drop digitally. It was specially chosen for Marks’ 11th studio album, dropped in the 11th month of the year. What’s more, Thanksgiving Day was the 25th of the month, which was also Linda’s birthday.
As part of her new start, “Home” was mastered by Grammy-winning sound engineer Glenn Barratt. Marks’ arrangements came to life on ”Home” through a fine team of musicians: EJ Oullette on violin, guitar, bass and mandolin; Steve Latanision on pedal steel and banjo, Mark Bishop Evans on guitar and vocal harmony, Valerie Thompson on cello, Alice Hasen on violin, Jackie Damsky on violin, Andy Daigle on banjo, Judy Daigle on mandolin, Dave Birkin on saxophone, Bo Winiker on flugelhorn, Craig Akin on bass and Joe Sabourin on guitar.
Two songs really took advantage of such an ensemble. “During a rare dinner conversation with a friend who loves dancing, my own love of dancing, something I have not done in far too long, surfaced. As I reflected on how much fun it would be to actually partner with someone who shared my love of dance, the seeds of this song, ‘Dance Me Home,’ were born. Sadly, pandemic living has not allowed me to find ways to tap back into my love of dancing.
“Jazzin” is a fun uptempo Latin jazzy tune that came to me one morning. It uses vocalese from the Jazz tradition instead of lyrics and is designed to uplift the spirit. I loved arranging it with saxophone, flugelhorn, guitar and bass to complement my vocals and piano.”
The album closes with Be The Light, which has been called “an anthem for humanity,” inspired by Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem. As Marks noted, "Gorman invited us to not only see the light, but to be the light. I have always envisioned a large group of people of all ages and backgrounds singing this song together as a way of building bridges across what divides us and bringing our unique gifts to the world. This inspirational song has been called a "hymn for humanity.”
On January 1, a special CD version of the “Home” album was released for the global Folk DJ community. You can listen to “Home” on all platforms. Her 2022 album (“Every Day Legends”) is now in production.
This release and many others reflect the impact the Covid 19 pandemic has had on many musicians and creative people in general. So Marks' efforts prompted this Q&A as a way to understand how she coped.
Q: When did you first decide to go public with your music?
LM: I wrote my 8th grade graduation song and led my class in singing it at graduation. I performed in college both as a singer-songwriter and co-founded Yale's third women's a cappella singing group. I performed as a singer-songwriter in the ’80s and released my first album, a tape! Between the late ‘80s and 2010, I performed here and there but mostly operated in the undertow of life, not as an artist. I formally committed to re-engage in professional music in early 2010. Since then, and after my mother’s passing in early 2014, I’ve focused lots of energy on my music and released 10 albums.
Q: What are your favorite bands?
LM: I love soooo many kinds of music, that in some ways, I love my music song by song. When I choose covers, I choose them song by song, whether it be "Something That We Do" by Clint Black, which presents a very real and healthy vision of love and relationship. OR "Give Me Wings," made popular by Michael Johnson, which gives a beautiful vision of a man supporting his wife. Among the other selections I’ve included are "Heart Of The Matter" by Don Henley, "I Need You To Survive" by Hezekiah Walker and "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Brad Cooper. The song by Mike Greenly and Grant Maloy Smith, "I See You", is among them.
As a child growing up, I admired Carole King. (People always mention that I’m like her as a woman singer-songwriter and piano player with wavy/curly blonde hair.) Also catching my attention were Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Burt Bacharach, Herb Alpert and Harry Belafonte.
Add Broadway musicals to this list of influences. From "Pippin” I’ve covered "Corner Of the Sky"). From "A Chorus Line” I chose "What I Did For Love”. And from “Godspell” I’ve been covering "Day By Day" since my teen years. I also love East Bay Soul, Walter Beasley, The Rippingtons, Brandi Carlisle and more. The list could go on and on.
Q: And your choice of musical styles in general?
LM: Descriptions of my musical styles have taken into account the fact that beyond music I’m also a body psychotherapist. People have observed that I have a healer’s heart and am a body psychotherapist.
I do my utmost — it’s my mission — to weave together carefully crafted arrangements that transform pain into gold, ideally soothing the ears while touching the soul. I do my best to deliver spiritually uplifting messages that integrate elements of jazz, gospel, Americana, contemporary folk and a taste of Broadway as a full genre buffet.
My most fundamental style is "from the heart to the heart” so almost any genre can find its way into my songwriting.
Q: Do you have a pitch for yourself as a therapist?
LM: I invite people to listen to their bodies and follow their hearts. The body is so full of wisdom if only we learn how to translate what get called "symptoms" into communication and information we need to understand. Most all somatic feelings have emotional material just under the surface: a heavy heart may be connected to sadness, a lump in the throat might have something we are afraid to say, a headache might be what is weighing on our thoughts and feelings. And most all emotions can be felt in the body: sadness with a heaviness in the heart, or tears forming in the eyes, anger with a tight jaw or clenched fists, fear as a knot in the stomach of shallow breathing. Learning to work through emotional issues at a body level helps us gain insight and heal. Emotional safety is a key building block for this work.
Sadly, emotional unsafety is the norm in our culture. When we feel emotionally unsafe, most any symptom that can send us to a medical doctor or psychotherapist can appear, from headaches, to stomachaches and digestive issues, to elevated heart rate to anxiety and depression. As we learn to experience emotional safety in an emotionally embodied way, we tend to feel more of a sense of well-being and peace.
My work is very helpful for people who have a trauma history. It’s also very helpful for couple therapy (learning to truly speak and listen from the heart), exploring meaning and purpose in work and life, living with a sense of vision, and improving the quality of all our relationships -- with ourselves and others.
Q: Many of the songs were written by you except for one. How did you discover “I See You”?
LM: I was fortunate enough to take a master class with Grant Maloy Smith. At the end of the class, he did a concert and played “I See You.” I fell in love with the song immediately. I loved its message and the fact that it will be part of an anti-ageism campaign sponsored by Masterpiece Living, focused on healthy longevity. I decided I wanted to arrange and record it. It touched my heart. [Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsV-9BHd1bE to experience her version.]
During the pandemic, I have thought a lot about children and older people. Having fallen in love with Grant Maloy Smith and Mike Greenly’s song about our older citizens, I found myself imagining an older person sitting down with a younger person and sharing the wisdom of their life’s experience. And so came this song — “Wisdom Words.”
Q: What keeps you plugging away?
LM: Music was my first language as a child. I didn’t talk until I was three but gravitated towards pianos even as a toddler. Even then, I intuitively knew how to sound out songs and play them. Sadly, my father didn’t value my innate passion and discouraged me from getting the piano I yearned for. No surprise: my first word was “piano!”
My mother put me in an experimental recorder program for three-year-olds at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. Although the staff told my parents that I was gifted and talented, my father proceeded to create a mantra that haunted me most of my life: “music is a waste of a good mind.” He shamed my passion for music, but the pull towards it remained inside me. I saved my own money till I was 11 to buy a guitar. When I was 13, I was finally able to buy my own piano. From the moment the piano arrived, I began passionately playing when nobody was home. It was on our unheated, three season porch so, in the winter, my fingers froze.
I chose to major in Music at Yale where I focused on songwriting and co-founded Yale’s third women’s a cappella singing group as a 17-year-old freshman. I moved into my first round of being a professional musician after college and through grad school but my father’s voice still haunted me.
One could say I fell into the undertow of life -- having to work, raise my now 25-year-old son as a single mom and care for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Music remained farther away than I wanted it to be. In the last years of my mother’s life, I started creeping back towards music. But being in the middle of an intergenerational sandwich, kept taking me away.
When Mother died in 2014, I made a commitment to let myself fully pursue my deepest lifelong passion. That’s now my Round Two of being a professional musician. Released 1/1/22, “Home” is my 11th studio album and my 10th since 2014. The music flows abundantly.
Q: Times have changed since your first career phase. Do you do much with social media?
LM: As a musician I do whatever I can with social media. It’s how we stay relevant, especially during a pandemic when live music is riskier and more scarce. I’ve been doing a weekly livestream series on Facebook since March 2020. I’m now past 90 episodes and climbing.
My photos, YouTube videos, live streams, news about upcoming projects, including others’ opinions and liking others’ posts are all key activities on social media platforms. I’m also a LadyLake Music artist. The label’s founder. Cindy D’Adamo, promotes my music on all media platforms too.
During this December, noted deejay Tony Smith would have celebrated his latest birthday. Unfortunately, lung cancer took his life earlier in 2021. Though the Sirius XM radio host and veteran dance song spin-ster — who worked at such legendary clubs as Xenon — is gone, I had an opportunity to be at an event which honored him.
More than 40 years ago, during disco’s heyday, we had known each other and had re-connected a few years ago. Thanks to his husband Mike, I attended the recent Legends of Vinyl™ DJ & Artists Hall of Fame annual award ceremony.
As a perpetual outlier, I have long identified with music that reflected my outsider nature: punk, new wave, hardcore on the rock side of things; funk, blues and jazz on the Urban side of it all.
Somewhere in the middle of this was disco, dance music — in all its permutations such as drum & bass, EDM, etc. — and deejaying. Back in 1983, I learned about mixers, Technics 1200 Mk2 turntables and the joys of playing live. From then on, I started doing gigs, first at private parties and then, regularly in clubs. Probably my most significant gig was being the Friday/Saturday night China Club turntablist. I also played a hell of a lot of parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs.
While I loved cutting-edge music, most of it you couldn’t dance to — unless you were tripping and then it didn’t matter anyhow. Okay, there was moshing and pogo-ing to punk. But from the blues, rockabilly and bluegrass on, music that came from the streets meant it was for dancing — or at least could be. First it was R&B, then rock, soul, funk and ultimately, disco. But of all those genres, disco was all about dancing brought by a deejay to an audience in a club. And by the late ’60s and early ’70s, it became a worldwide phenomenon.
I deejayed for 13 years until I was burned out and decided that because of problematic club owners and the wretched conditions they offered, I couldn’t take it anymore. Unfortunately for me, I chose to stop just as digital equipment was coming in. That change eliminated the need to move heavy boxes of records and big equipment. Bad timing but C’est la vie.
I never became a great deejay but the work brought me into another arena and closer to actually making and performing music. I thought I would turn to remixing and started doing it, but got sucked back into writing. Then I launched a music magazine which led me into a new phase of my life.
Recently I got a chance to be immersed in a world I’d left behind. Once again, I appreciated the joys of getting people up to dance and of seamlessly segueing music based on the beat and texture.
At this year’s annual ceremony, honorees included Mark S. Berry, Sal Abbatiello, DJ Richie Rich (recipient of the Legacy Award), Lisa Nocella-Pacino (recipient of the Golden Circle Award), and the recipients of the 2021 Icon awards, the first lady of Salsoul Carol Williams as well as the incomparable Smith.
Musical artists such as Pattie Brooks, Pamala Stanley, Phil Hurtt, Cyre, Unlimited Touch and all of them performed with dance tracks. DJ Jeff Yahney and DJ Jimmy C provided the tunes for the late night dance session.
The entire event was produced by Luis Mario O. Rizzo who had founded the Legends of Vinyl™ LLC Organization and the L.O.V. DJ/Artists Hall of Fame years ago. Now he’s working on a book to capture his memories and the special people he’s met along the years. He expects it to be published next year as “My Life, My Music, My Love” by Luis Mario Orellana Rizzo. So this offered a great occasion for Rizzo to enthuse on his love of this music and its impact on his life and the world as well.
Q: What made you decide to do these awards?
LMOR: About 20 years ago, I thought about giving thanks to my peers in one very special way, creating a Hall of Fame for DJs. This was a dream for me. It became much more than that as I presented the idea to my friends. Immediately it became something amazing because there were so many individuals who had never received the recognition that I believed was necessary, and that no one had ever thought of providing for many reasons.
One of the requirements of legendary attainment is remaining committed, consistent and passionate about turning dreams into reality. I had that commitment for L.O.V.
And now, over 12 years later, we’re the only organization fully engaged and responsible for keeping the musical legacies of our industry in the forefront and alive. I take pride in having created this magnificent entity and am confident that it will continue for years to come.
Q: Who selects the awardees and how are they chosen?
LMOR: When I created the Hall of Fame for the industry in general, I put together a Board of Directors who are part of the industry. They can select/nominate those who are deserving of the acknowledgement for their contributions to our industry.
I have no involvement in these choices. That’s because I, as the founder and CEO, must remain neutral while allowing my Board to make these very difficult choices.
Each year we update some of the Board membership to provide an opportunity to others with fresh ideas. Even more importantly, I need a proactive Board to keep the organization alive and moving forward. It’s my responsibility to keep Legends of Vinyl™ relevant and interesting to the world. We are the Legacy keepers, doing our best to leave our history intact so that future generations can learn from our success and or mistakes.
The Board of Directors are from each city we’ll visit and bring the awards event to. These individuals all have incredible personal histories. They themselves know the “who’s who” in the business, from DJs to Recording Artists. They spend months studying each bio and then vote in a democratic process to finally send me a list of awardees. Only then, as executive producer of Legends of Vinyl, do I begin production of the whole event.
Q: What is your role in picking the award-winners who appear each year?
LMOR: I’m the last to review the honorees as I give primary responsibility to my Board of Directors. They are usually right on target!
Q: What about the Icon awards in particular?
LMOR: The Icon award was created to celebrate those who are multifaceted in our industry. They stand out for obvious reasons.
Q: And as to this year’s Legends of Vinyl Awards?LMOR: There was no 2020 celebration and as time passed so did a lot of our legends. 2021’s celebration proved that although time took away some of us, time also left a lot of us here to make this year’s gala awards event an unforgettable evening of honoring those with us along with, unfortunately, a longer than usual “In Memoriam” segment. We attendees all saw many peers and friends in person after such a long period of time. A feeling of victory over the pandemic won out, with hope and gratitude for the legends who are still here.
I began to move forward to include artists of the ‘80s freestyle. We don’t want time to further pass them by as has happened over the past two years. The inclusion of Phil Hurtt, music achiever since the ‘70s and younger artist Cyre, was seen as the beginning of going into the future with a full recognition of ongoing music history.
Q: You honored DJ Tony Smith, in particular, to whom you recently gave a posthumous Icon of Music Award.
LMOR: As far back as I remember, Tony was a creative and generous peer to everyone he came in contact with. An impressive quality about Tony was that he would talk with you as if he had known you forever without the “ego” that was so predominant and still is in our industry. I considered Tony to be a purist to the fullest extent of the word. Friends like Tony are very few. I’ll always remember those precious moments when we saw each other and interacted.
Q: What made Tony an Iconic Legend in music history?
LMOR: Icons are people who break barriers because their voice/image and talent is so captivating. I believe an icon is someone who uses their talent to introduce a new concept into their field, all while knowing how to display their image and music to the public. This describes Tony perfectly! He’s widely acknowledged to have been a major factor in the historic rise of Disco, for example.
Q: What prompted your passion for music?
LMOR: I believe it’s a natural passion that I was born with. I feel blessed to have inherited a natural love and understanding of music in general. In my home there was always music of all genres. Growing up, my ear was always tuned to old and current melodies, compositions and songs.
Q: What were your favorite clubs?
LMOR: In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s I can recall The Electric Circus, The Haven and The Sanctuary as the home of my favorite schooling. They created a valuable source of interest for me. That is how I became a DJ and part of the generation of pioneers during the inception of the Dance Music Culture.
Q: And what was your favorite song?
LMOR: Too many to mention. It wouldn’t be fair to just pick one song. I have a library of so many genres of music in my head that only a few in the world can understand.
Q: Favorite group?
LMOR: Growing up in the ‘50s listening to a vast range of music from both my parents and family, I will also restrain myself from choosing just one favorite group.
Q: Okay. But how about your favorite deejay?
LMOR: Francis Grasso who was my mentor and friend. He created the movement through which we, the DJs/Vinyl Spinners, came to present our talent to our audiences. They reacted on the dance floors to evenings of non-stop seamless change from one song to another, with music and dance flowing continuously for hours on end. Francis took charge of the dance floor to drive people to ecstasy night after night!
Q: Do you still have your vinyl collection? How many records do you still have?
LMOR: I started collecting vinyl as a child in the way that most kids collected toys. When I immigrated to the United States, years later I went back to my homeland for a visit and I brought back those records. After returning to the States, I started to collect vinyl prior to becoming a DJ. Then, as a DJ my collection became a lifestyle.
To this day I can proudly say that I still have my personal vinyl favorites to the last days of vinyl production. I have about 25,000 records of 78 RPM, 45 RPM, LPs & 12”. They’re approximately 75% Promotional Copies from Motown, Doo-Wop, Standards, Rock n’ Roll, Opera, Classical, Show Musicals, Jazz, Latin, Reggae, etc.!
Q: Have you ever used digital equipment?
LMOR: As a consistent performer, I had to adapt to the changes around me. It was not my preference to do that, because technology presented itself as cold and indifferent compared to the feeling of listening and playing analog on Vinyl! But I was naturally curious. And in order to continue to be relevant to my profession, I had to adapt to a new era. To this day, I can confidently play Vinyl to Digital without missing a beat and Loving It!
Q: How did you get your first gig?
LMOR: Non-paying in the late ‘60s doing house parties, then as a paid professional DJ it all started in 1970.
Q: I lean towards deejay but which term do you prefer — deejay or DJ?
LMOR: I’m fortunate to have grown from a DJ to a Producer. That being said, I use DJ.
I have many “firsts” in my career. I have traveled both nationally and internationally, representing myself at first. Now I represent the company which maintains the legacies of all those legendary pioneer DJ’s. They include those who have and have not been recognized by their peers. These achievers include artists, sound & lighting engineers, club promoters, producers, etc. I call the program Legends of Vinyl™ with the goal of helping their legacies to live on into perpetuity.
Artists Hall of FameLink: https://www.legendsofvinyl.com/artist-hall-of-fame
Pioneer DJsLink: https://www.legendsofvinyl.com/hall-of-fame-pioneers
Eight albums in, multi-talented musician/actress Patricia Vonne is back with a new recording. This time it’s her holiday celebration, “My Favorite Holiday" (on her label Bandolera Records). This award-notable filmmaker and two-time SXSW best female vocalist winner released the full album on November 19th, building an audience with its many music videos which can be seen on YouTube.
Vonne’s ode to this special time of the year features 10 original songs and one cover. Joining her in an all-star cast are Rubén Blades, David Grissom, Alex Ruiz, Rosie Flores, Stephen Ferrone on drums (Tom Petty) and Carmine Rojas on bass (David Bowie).
For the San Antonio native, Christmas meant gathering with her parents and nine siblings (including hit film director Robert Rodriguez). Recalls the statuesque performer, “As children, we would perform ‘Haul Out the Holly’ and other Christmas favorites with big candy canes and perform for our family and friends. Another family favorite was the singing of ‘Carol of the Bells,’ which I included on this album to invite the world into our family through music. My sisters recorded from four different cities in three states. I am thrilled to share their voices and this song with the world.”
The album opener, “Santa’s On His Way,” is a pop-flavored kick-off featuring lush piano and orchestral arrangements by Scott Plunkett of Chris Isaak’s band. Originally intended as a one-off single, Vonne says it inspired the full-length album project with producer Rick Del Castillo at the helm. The title track displays Vonne celebrating her inner Brenda Lee with an ebullient pop arrangement featuring Johnny Reno blowing red-hot saxophone. Powered by drummer Thommy Price (Billy Idol, Joan Jett), the ferocious rocker “Old Man Santa!” reveals Vonne’s rocker roots:
“Old man Santa’s cruisin’ down the hill
Used to drive a Chevy now he rides a Coupe de Ville…
Bag full of goodies, guitar on his back.”
The smoky rockabilly number “Santa’s On A Rampage,” features Vonne’s San Antonio sister-in-arms, Rosie Flores (one third of Texicana Mamas with Vonne and Stephanie Urbina Jones) and longtime Chris Isaak sidekick Rowland Salley on bass.
As to less upbeat realities that are also part of the seasonal package, “Alone On Christmas Day” — co-written by Austin ace guitar-slinger David Grissom — envisions the holiday among the homeless. Inspired by Vonne’s own volunteer work with the homeless, the song has what she calls “a Tom Petty feel,” enhanced by Petty’s drummer Stephen Ferrone and David Bowie bassist Carmine Rojas.
Born Patricia Vonne Rodriguez, the 50-something celebrates her Hispanic heritage by adding a bilingual vocal and musical flavor to “My Favorite Holiday” with a song like “Nochebuena.” Co-writers Del Castillo and Alex Ruiz touch upon the divine, the miracle of God and salvation. “Las Posadas” is inspired by Joseph and Mary’s night journey to Bethlehem, and the classic Spanish passion play it inspired. On the track, Vonne is joined by salsa and Latin jazz giant Rubén Blades and the pair put a cumbia spin on the ancient tale. “Cumbia Navidad” is an ebullient, multi-lingual celebration of a San Antonio Christmas. Vonne wrote it to perform at her beloved Holiday River Parade which features floats carrying scores of entertainers (including, in 2019, Vonne herself).
Vonne has always felt doubly blessed because her birthday falls six days before Christmas, and she wants to share that spirit with listeners. With “My Favorite Holiday,” San Antonio’s native daughter brings a gift to the Alamo City and the world.
Q: How do you craft a Christmas song? Where do you begin?
Patricia Vonne Rodriguez: On my Christmas album I started with titles and chose themes like the spanish song "Nochebuena” (Christmas Eve.) "My Favorite Holiday” was inspired by Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top”. "Las Posadas” is a popular theme that has many renditions and I wrote my own inviting Ruben Blades as a duet. (Las Posadas is a passion play of the Nativity Journey)
I wove elements from the film “It's A Wonderful Life” into the first track, “Santa’s On His Way,” mentioning “Bailey Park” and “every time you hear a bell ring an angel gets his wings. And on “Alone On Christmas Day” I chose to write about those that don’t have a family to go home to. That song was based on an incredible community in Austin that helps mitigate homelessness and it’s called Community First Village. I volunteered there and brought the idea to David Grissom to write the song with me. I then reached out to Stephen Ferrone (Tom Petty’s drummer for 20 years) and Carmine Rojas (David Bowie’s bass player) and they generously came on board for this great cause.
Q: What determined which musicians played on what songs?
PVR: I had just met Tommy Price in my hometown of San Antonio when I actually had the two last perfect songs for him to play. He’s a legendary ferocious drummer and his style and muscle totally matched the barn-burning energy of “Old Man Santa" and "Santa’s On A Rampage.”
I chose Stephen Ferrone for “Alone on Christmas Day” because David Grissom and I wrote it with a Tom Petty feel. I had met both Ferrone and Carmine Rojas at the Legendary China Club in NYC when I was an 18-year-old coat check girl. So getting them together on a special song is truly a gift to the world. ‘
For “Las Posadas” which is a nativity story celebrated all over Latin America and beyond, Rubén Blades was the perfect choice to sing with me. He surprised me by contributing lyrics in the solo and singing my name. I melted to the floor and wept.
Q: Is there anything special a Christmas song must have?
PVR: Spirit, and a catchy melody would be very cool to get you in the mood. Q: What are your favorite holiday songs?
I absolutely love “Santa Bring My Baby Back” to me because of its ebullience and joy. “With my baby far away, what good is mistletoe “ makes me dance and sing along.
I adore Washington Square Park because it reminds me of those in the service that can’t be home for Christmas. It really is a touching song because not everyone has families to go home to and this song brings this sentiment home.
I love “We Need a Little Christmas “ by Jerry Herman because we used to sing it as a family when I was little. That led us to sing “ Carol of the Bells” with my sisters as a tradition which is why I am thrilled it is on the album for the world to share.
I also love “ Washington Square Park” by Chris Isaak and The Ronettes’ “Sleigh Ride.”
Q: Who are your inspirations in music and life?
PVR: My parents inspire me every day. My dad was a door-to-door salesman for 39 years and my mom worked the night shift as a nurse in order to be home when we got home from school. They sacrificed everything for us.
Musically, everyone from The Stray Cats, Johnny Reno and the Sax Maniacs, Tom Petty, Cruzados, Lone Justice, Pat Benatar, and Rubén Blades!
Q: Recently the legendary Mexican music star Vicente Fernandez died. Do you want to comment on that?
PVR: He was “El Rey de Canción de Mariachi!” He was the music and voice of Mexico that will never be forgotten. He was Elvis, Sinatra and Tony Bennett rolled into one. He will be sorely missed.
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