EDITOR’S NOTE: Full disclosure – in case you didn’t know, both Mike Dow and Deb Neuman write columns on a freelance basis to The Maine Edge. However, we still think it’s cool that they have their own radio show together. If you are a DJ with a new radio show, we’d love to write a story about you too. Drop us a line (seriously!).
BANGOR – Hearts were broken when “The Mike and Mike Show” ended, but we were assured that the shows would go on in their respective studios and they are. Mike Elliot joined Kat Walls on The Bear, and Mike Dow headed up the stations for Big 104 FM. He is now being joined by Deb Neuman in the mornings for one big morning show. Mike Dow gave us the skinny on what listeners can expect.
Over the next several months, expect to see some familiar names returning to the “New Releases” section of your favorite music outlet.
Jan. 8 will mark the release of “SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD” – the eighth studio album from Dropkick Murphys and their second with producer Ted Hutt. The band’s Ken Casey calls the record “catchy, fun and as sing-song as can be.”
When Maine Edge assignment editor Katy England asked me to submit a favorite column from the past year, I didn’t need to think about it for very long.
Putting together my cover story featuring George Hale (June 20, 2012, click here to read part one) was an extraordinarily fun but somewhat difficult experience. The first draft was nearly three times the length of the story I ultimately submitted.
As Roger Sterling on “Mad Men,” AMC’s chronicle of the inner workings of a high-pressure New York City ad agency, John Slattery plays a hilariously sly heart attack-prone, heavy smoking and drinking womanizer. But in real life, he is nothing like Sterling, right? “I’d like to think so, but there’s probably a lot of me in that character,” Slattery says. “Half the things he does would land you in jail right now. It’s a lot of fun to play.”
Slattery plays an altogether different character in his latest film, “In Our Nature,” in theatres Dec. 7. The movie centers around two couples. Slattery is Gil, the estranged father of Seth. Father and son unexpectedly come together with their respective girlfriends for a weekend at the family cabin. “When dad and his son see each other, they immediately want to leave, but the two women persuade them to stay,” Slattery told me.
BANGOR – After 15 years of filling the airwaves with witty banter, laughs, good will, and the occasional interesting radio moment, Kiss 94.5’s morning team Mike and Mike aired their last show as a team on Friday, Oct. 18. (They swear the show ending has nothing to do with the list of Zumba Johns that was released recently.)
I was able to sit in on one of their shows during the final week as they reminisced about good times, good people and a great experience that was 15 years of “The Mike and Mike Show.” We can’t possibly fit it all in one small space, but you can go to our website and listen to the interview.
The end of an era
Making fun of celebrity foibles is certainly an enjoyable pastime; it is what has made this space one of the more popular ones in our publication since its inception. Gentle (or not-so-gentle) mockery of the misdeeds of the rich and famous oftentimes makes for great entertainment.
However, sometimes an opportunity arises where we can celebrate the celebrities among us rather than debase them. This is one of those times. It was recently announced that The Mike and Mike Show, a longtime staple of area morning radio, is bringing its 15 year run to an end.
Blue Hill resident remembers 20 years with America’s original sweetheart
BLUE HILL - One day in early 1988, music producer Terry Melcher (The Byrds, The Beach Boys) walked through the door of his mother Doris Day’s home in Carmel, California accompanied by John Phillips, formerly of The Mamas & the Papas. Phillips had a song running through his mind and was desperate to put the tune on tape before he forgot it.
Melcher called for his mother’s assistant, an Englishman named Sydney Wood. “Woody, do you have a cassette recorder in your room?” he asked. “Yes, come on up,” Wood replied. Melcher and Phillips headed up the stairs with an acoustic guitar and sat on Wood’s bed while they worked out the song’s basic structure. There were no lyrics yet, but the melody and chords were there.
Melcher later played the tape for The Beach Boys, who wanted to record the song immediately. “Kokomo” was released in July and hit #1 in November giving The Beach Boys the distinction of being the act with the longest span between #1 records (22 years). For Sydney Wood, seeing a Grammy-nominated song come to life in his bedroom was just another day at Doris’s place.
“Excuse me, but where were you all when piracy started to decimate the music industry? Why didn't you take a stand against that? Those free records felt good, huh?” - Duff McKagan, former Guns N’ Roses bassist in a January 2012 blog post for Seattle Weekly on proposed PIPA/SOPA anti-piracy legislation. Plans to draft the bill were postponed following widespread opposition claiming threats to free speech and innovation.
At the time SOPA and PIPA were being discussed and protested, the U.S. Justice Department shut down file-hosting/sharing site MegaUpload, just over a year after nailing peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire. Despite government intervention, internet piracy is alive and thriving as hundreds, if not thousands of similar sites remain active. According to 2011 research from NPD Group, about 9 percent of internet users admit to regularly utilizing the services of peer-to-peer sites (networks of connected computers capable of sharing designated files including the illegal download of copyrighted material), down from 14 percent in 2007.
For this Maine Edge “secrets” column, I interviewed an active illegal downloader who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. Ryan (not his real name) is 27 and works for a delivery company in the Bangor area.
From the opening chords of “Kiss Her and Make it Right” on “True,” their first album in 18 years, you’re drawn into the wonderful world of managed chaos that is the Willie Wisely Trio – a fierce foursome that are as comfortable cooking grooves wrapped in pure melody as they are tapping into an area they call “no time” music or “rocks and logs” – music without a beat. Pure Pop for Wow People.
Formed in the late '80s with Wisely on guitar and vocals, James Voss on upright and electric bass, Peter Anderson on drums and Greg Wold on trombone, each member of the Minneapolis-based band arrived with a different influence.
Classic rock, jazz, pop, gospel and punk to comedy and theatrics – The Trio stirred it up while traveling the country in a rust-colored van playing roughly 400 shows in five years. Word of mouth helped build an adoring fan base who relished the fact that no two Trio experiences were alike. Shows by The Willie Wisely Trio were equal parts raucous, hilarious, tender and dangerous, and at this moment, there is probably someone, somewhere, telling a story about one of those shows with the capper, “Man, ya shoulda been there.”
Brian 'Head' Welch is back with new band, Love and Death
In 2005, after 15 years and more than 30 million albums sold, Korn, one of the most popular metal bands in the world, was about to sign a new deal with Virgin Records worth $25 million. Their lead guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch, says he was living his dream, but inside, he was dying.
Welch says he started drinking on weekends when he was 15, and once Korn was firmly established, alcohol became a daily escape from the band’s punishing tour schedule. After Korn signed to Epic Records in 1994, hard drugs entered Brian’s life, leading to an all-consuming addiction to crystal meth that took his family (his wife was addicted as well; Brian later gained custody of his daughter, Jennea) and nearly cost him his life.
Welch says he used methamphetamines every day for two years before finally staggering to a hotel and checking in for a body, mind and soul rehab with Jesus. There, he sat and prayed for hours. “I said, 'God, I’m weak. I’m going to die if I keep this up,'” Welch told me. “'Please be strong for me. Be real. Send people to help me. Get me out of this.'
“What I found was that God is real and all I had to do was ask Christ to help me,” Welch said. “When I did that, everything bad that I didn’t want fell out of my life.” Welch says he ran from Korn in February, 2005 and began a walk with Jesus that is even stronger today. His 2007 memoir “Save Me From Myself” (also the title of his 2008 debut solo album) became a New York Times bestseller and led to two further books.
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