song of the day – “Give Peace A Chance” | PLASTIC ONO BAND | 1969 / 1981.

There’s one thing I consistently wish for every Christmas, and that’s peace.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  John Lennon was one of those people.  In the Spring of 1969, during of the Vietnam War, in a hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote a song that became this huge anthem for the anti-war movement here in America during the 1970s.  That song is “Give Peace A Chance.”

The recording session took place at that Montreal hotel on June 1, 1969, and featured many journalists and celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Petula Clark, and Tom Smothers of The Smothers Brothers even played acoustic guitar with John Lennon on “Give Peace A Chance.”

give peace recording

From the recording of “Give Peace A Chance,” June 1, 1969, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

It was released a month later, and became the first solo single released by a Beatle (the band was still together at that point), though it was credited to the Plastic Ono Band, and not directly John Lennon.  The song was a huge success, reaching No. 1 in The Netherlands, and the Top 10 in a least a handful of other countries, including the U.K., where it reached No. 2.  It peaked at No. 14 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 here in America in early September 1969.

give peace single

Following the tragic death of John Lennon on December 8, 1980, “Give Peace A Chance” (along with many other of his songs) re-entered the U.K. singles chart, and in 1981, peaked at No. 33. 

Over the years, the song has been covered by the likes of U2, Hot Chocolate, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, Aerosmith, and even by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as a tribute (and testament) to John Lennon and his message to “Give Peace A Chance.”


In 1991, Yoko Ono and her son with John, Sean Ono Lennon, along with Lenny Kravitz, spearheaded a new version of the song in response to (what eventually became) the Gulf War.  This version recruited many artists from all over the music landscape, including Cyndi Lauper, Peter Gabriel, Ofra Haza, Adam Ant, Terence Trent D’Arby, Dave Stewart, Bruce Hornsby, Little Richard, LL Cool J, Michael McDonald, Wendy & Lisa, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Little Steven Van Zandt, Don Was, Iggy Pop, MC Hammer, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Randy Newman, and members of the Zappa family, including Dweezil and Moon Unit.

cyndi ll sean lenny

From L to R: Cyndi Lauper, LL Cool J, Sean Ono Lennon and Lenny Kravitz giving peace a chance in 1991.

Sometimes it’s hard to find peace, especially this time of year.  Right now, the so-called “leader” of America is responsible for a partial government shutdown because he didn’t get funding for an unnecessary border wall between the United States and Mexico.  Millions of Americans (including many government workers) are affected by this partial shutdown this holiday season, something they had nothing to do with.  Will they have peace this holiday season?  One can hope.

Back in November 1989, people were tired of the long-standing Berlin Wall separating East and West Berlin (and Germany as a whole), and the fall of the Berlin Wall began.  Within two years, the Wall was removed, save for sections serving as a memorial.  East Germany and West Germany became one Germany.  That was almost three decades ago.  So, what’s happening here in America?  Why can’t Mr. Trump take his DeLorean and go back in time to see why it’s wrong to build up walls, and why people don’t want them?

berlin wall

The beginning of the fall of the Berlin Wall, November 1989.

Much like Germany back in the 80s, the United States of America is not so united these days, sadly.  The country is split in two, like there’s a wall between it.  When you build walls, whether it’s between countries or within yourself, there’s no room for peace.  When you build walls around you, you shut everyone else out.  Mr. Trump’s vision is limited because there is a wall in front of it. 

I think John Lennon, who so loved this country, would have been deeply disappointed about today’s America.  But, I also think he would have done everything he could to give peace that chance it so deserves.  And I know he would have loved the fact that his 49-year-old anthem for peace is still cherished by millions around the globe today. 

My annual Christmas wish for peace for everyone will continue to be my wish. Happy Xmas everyone…


beautiful bed peace hair peace john lennon and yoko ono in bed


song of the day – “What’s Going On” | CYNDI LAUPER | 1987.


On June 15, 2014, Casey Kasem, host of the longtime countdown program, AMERICAN TOP 40, passed away at the age of 82.  From my first blog post (and prolly some more inbetween then and now), I explained how, in 1979, I was a geeky, lanky and somewhat lost 12-year-old living in Central Maine, had a few friends and not a lot of interest in much of anything, but at some point early that year, I discovered AMERICAN TOP 40, and was glued to it every weekend.  Not only could I hear the 40 biggest songs in the country every week, but also Casey’s cool trivia and facts about the songs and the artists, a trait I treasure to this day.  For me, the show was No. 1 with a bullet.  And still is (thanks to the re-airing of broadcasts of AT40 on iHeart Radio).american-top-40-casey-kasem

In honor of my radio hero, Casey Kasem, for the entire month of June (and now through July), I will be highlighting a song each day (some days will have two songs!) that peaked in the Top 40 of the BILLBOARD Hot 100 (including five (real) one-hit wonders of the 80s), and with every blog post, just like on AMERICAN TOP 40, the hits will get bigger with each post.  On June 1, 2017, I featured a song that peaked at No. 40.  Sometime here in July, I’ll feature a “song of the day” that went all the way to No. 1. 

As Casey used to say on AT40, “And on we go!”

rod n cyndi

On Friday, July 14, 2017, I will be seeing my favorite recording artist, the incomparable Cyndi Lauper, perform here in Maine, and it’ll be my fourth time seeing her perform (for the time I got to interview her and meet her in July 2002,  I didn’t actually get to see her perform due to a transportation snafu, which would have been the first time I would have seen Cyndi perform).  She will be performing on the same bill as Rod Stewart, who, to my knowledge (the brain’s a bit fuzzy on this) is someone I have not seen perform live before.  I can’t wait.

true colors world tourAnd, if my fuzzy brain is again correct, I believe this is the first time Cyndi has performed in the Pine Tree State since her TRUE COLORS world tour brought her to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine in December 1986 (sadly, I was sick and couldn’t go; I would have been there in a heartbeat).  I tried to get Cyndi to come back earlier than now (I mentioned it to her in my 2002 interview with her), but she’s been busy and then some.  Still, it’ll be wonderful to see her perform again, and it’ll be my third time since 2013.  My goal is to see her every year she’s performing from here on out.

Since Cyndi will be opening for Rod Stewart on this short tour, I’m betting her gorgeous cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” (from the TRUE COLORS album) won’t be on the setlist.  But a hopelessly devoted Cyndi Lauper fan can hope, right?

“What’s Going On” was one of nearly 70 songs that reached No. 12 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 between 1979 and 1989, and covers were a theme, apparently, for the No. 12 position.  There were also No. 12 covers by Daryl Hall & John Oates (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”), The Fat Boys & The Beach Boys (“Wipeout”), Carole King (“One Fine Day,” a song she actually wrote, but was a hit three times before her version charted), Van Halen (“Oh Pretty Woman”), The Nylons (“Kiss Him Goodbye”), David Lee Roth (“Just A Gigolo / I Ain’t Got Nobody”), Anne Murray (“Daydream Believer”), plus one parody (“Eat It” by “Weird Al” Yankovic, parodying Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”), and two medleys (though not covers) by The Beach Boys and The Beatles (I think you can thank Stars On 45’s 1981 No. 1 hit, “Medley” – which WERE covers – for that).

marvin what's going on

Released as the third single from Cyndi’s wonderful 1986 album, TRUE COLORS, “What’s Going On” was a cover of the No. 2 Marvin Gaye hit from 1971, written during the heart of the Vietnam War.  Its personal and poignant lyrics (which could have been written today) resonated with the people of a generation, and it’s been hailed as one of the greatest songs of all-time.  In 1995, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame included it in its list of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock, and in 2010, ROLLING STONE ranked it at No. 4 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Cyndi’s spirited version of “What’s Going On” entered the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in mid-March 1987 as the “Hot Shot Debut” of that week, coming in at No. 63.  The second single released from TRUE COLORS, the No. 3 hit “Change Of Heart” (with The Bangles on backing vocals), was just ahead of it at No. 58.

true colors

“What’s Going On” blasted into the Top 40 the following week, winning the airplay award for that week.  It won the sales award on the Hot 100 two weeks later, and looked like another Top 10 hit for Cyndi.  But, for whatever reason, the sales and the airplay slowed, and “What’s Going On” spent a week at its peak position of No. 12 in early May 1987, and was gone from the Hot 100 by mid-June.

what's going on title


From the “What’s Going On” video.

Around the globe, “What’s Going On” also reached the Top 40 in Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and two excellent dance remixes by Shep Pettibone helped land the 12” single of “What’s Going On” at No. 17 on BILLBOARD’s Dance chart.  The energetic and passionate video for “What’s Going On” was also nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography In A Video.

Cyndi’s done a ton of incredible covers during her career, covering many genres, starting with her stint in Blue Angel to covers on SHE’S SO UNUSUAL to last year’s extraordinary Country covers album, DETOUR, and her songs, especially 1984’s “Time After Time,” have been covered many, many times.  But her cover of “What’s Going On” has always stood out to me, despite what it did or did not do on the Pop charts.      

Today, when I listen to Cyndi’s version of “What’s Going On,” I see the same thing Marvin Gaye saw when he co-wrote the song all those years ago – war, police brutality, injustice, and an aching lack of peace.  All of that shit is still happening today, but now includes events such as attacks on night clubs and concerts, attacking and killing people who just want to be free, and free to have a good time and be who they are.  What’s going on?! 

I wouldn’t even want to research how many people have been shot by police in the last several years (that didn’t need to be) and the cops got away with it.  Prince hit upon this in his brilliant 2015 song, “Baltimore,” talking about the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray (“If there ain’t no justice, then there ain’t no peace!”).  (All six officers involved in the Freddie Gray death – including one Sergeant and one Lieutenant – were acquitted and all charges dropped.)  What’s going on?!


The cover art for the 2015 benefit concert Prince put on in Baltimore.

I try to maintain a sense of it all, but most times I can’t.  We have the elected “leader” in Washington, D.C., trying to get answers out of Russia over the 2016 election and trying to have North Korea not launch any nuclear missiles, which is all fine and good (I don’t want a World War III), except for the fact that more than half of the country didn’t vote for this man, and who don’t believe in him.  #MyFakePresident would rather ban beloved Maine author Stephen King from tweeting to him than to be presidential.  What’s going on?!

Well, for now, when I can, I take comfort in things that make me happy and help me forget (albeit temporarily) that there’s all this other unnecessary bullshit going on in the world, like going to the ocean, seeing a movie, spending time with awesome people (you know who you are), and seeing a concert, which I will do when I see the lovely Cyndi Lauper (and Rod Stewart) on Friday, July 14, 2017 here in Maine.  I’d take you all there if I could.

You have to do everything in your power to do the things that make you happy and make you feel at peace – not just with everything in the world, but mostly with yourself – as much as you possibly can, to forget everything else going on, at the very least for a little while. 

And, if for some reason, you don’t think you can get to that point (or at least try to) where you do things – even little things that don’t cost much money or time – that make you happy or make you feel at peace, what’s going on?

peace love understanding 80s

Peace, Love, Understanding, 80s.  Works for me!  How about you?

“You see, war is not the answer / For only love can conquer hate / You know we’ve got to find a way / To bring some lovin’ here today…”

what's going on

Blue Monday.

For years, during and away from STUCK IN THE 80s, I’ve been raving about and enjoying the music from Manchester and Greater Manchester, England, including but not limited to New Order, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Buzzcocks, Happy Mondays, James, The Chameleons, The Fall, When In Rome, as well as Lisa Stansfield, Swing Out Sister, The Bee Gees, The Hollies and Simply Red.  Even this past weekend, Hope and I were taking about New Order’s incredible 1983 hit, “Blue Monday,” and how amazing it must have been to have heard this in the club at the time of its release! 

blue monday

The cool floppy disk-like cover art for New Order’s “Blue Monday.”

Well, this past Monday, May 22, 2017, was indeed a Blue Monday, but not the cool, danceable New Order-kind of Monday.  By now, I’m sure everyone has heard about the tragic bombing in Manchester immediately following a concert by American Pop star, Ariana Grande.  The bombing happened at Manchester’s largest venue, the Manchester Arena (which has a capacity of 21,000 people). 

dark empire state

The Empire State Building in NYC, paying tribute to the victims of the Manchester attack by going dark.

As people were filing out of the venue, many of whom were stopping at the merch table on their way out, a 22-year-old man and British citizen (and of Libyan descent) took his own life and the lives of 22 others by detonating a bomb inside the venue.  At least 120 others were injured from the blast (with nearly half of those folks having to be hospitalized).

France Britain Concert Blast

The Eiffel Tower in Paris also went dark, paying tribute to the victims of the Manchester attack.

Among those 22 people who died that night were Georgiana Callander, an 18-year-old superfan of Ariana Grande; Kelly Brewster, a 32-year-old fan who covered her niece from the explosion; Alison Howe and Lisa Lees, two friends (and moms) who weren’t even at the concert and were just waiting for their daughters to come out after the show; and Saffie Rose Roussos, an eight-year-old girl who was prolly attending her first concert ever and had her whole life ahead of her and then some.  Students and teachers at the school she attended (about 40 miles north of Manchester), held a moment of silence for Saffie, and then sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” (the popular GLEE version) in her honor.

saffie rose

Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, the youngest victim of the Manchester attack.

burj khalifa manchester

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest structure in the world, showing their support for the U.K. and the victims of the Manchester attack.

Many nations around the globe expressed their sorrow regarding the Manchester attack, and their solidarity and their prayers.  Donald Trump called ISIS (who made an unconfirmed claim of responsibility for the attack) “evil losers.”

While my response might have been a bit more eloquent than Mr. Trump, I will agree that ISIS is evil, and yes, they are losers.  All over the globe, ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has caused much havoc and taken far too many lives under a mask of religious violence, but when it’s all said and done, they really just don’t give a shit about anything except maybe their beloved Prophet Muhammad.  As a lifelong Catholic (practicing, non-practicing and recovering), I can’t imagine the Apostle of God would be down with all this.  Just sayin’.

Please know what you just read was not said to demean Muslims or Muhammad; my beef is with ISIS.

Here’s another reason why the collective of ISIS are a bunch of losers, or in my book, rank somewhere next to ticks and cockroaches as having no meaning or need for existence on this Earth: ISIS thinks that, with every venue they blow up, it’s going to stop people from returning to see concerts.  They are so fucking mistaken.  I’m in mourning for the loss of people I didn’t even know from this Manchester attack, and the one in Paris in late 2015.  Many folks around the globe are in mourning too.  But, you can’t let ISIS win. 

It’s alright to fear.  It’s alright to be scared.  I’m scared more often than I’d like to admit for whatever reason, but for the sake of it being alright to be scared, I’m admitting it here.  Of course, I’d never want something to happen to anyone I love (family, friends, radio listeners, kind blog readers) because of ISIS.  Moreover, though, I’d never want anyone I love to give up something they love or love doing because these misguided, coward ISIS motherfuckers have their own agenda and don’t want you to do anything you love.  It’s alright to be scared.  It’s alright to fear.  But, just because they don’t give a shit about their own lives or the lives of others in this world, you can’t let it stop you from doing something you love, with someone you love.  So, don’t let it…

Sending many thoughts and prayers, and peace and love, to everyone in Manchester, England, and beyond, after a very Blue Monday…

#ManchesterUnited #ManchesterAttack #WeStandWithManchester

manchester united

song of the day – “President Gas” | THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS | 1982.

It’s January 20, 2017 – Inauguration Day here in the U.S. – and just hours away now from the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States – Donald J. Trump. 

I know friends and family members who voted for Trump, looking for change in American politics and a change for America from a non (or not yet) politician, but I just can’t wrap my arms around the whole thing – any of it.  I want to have faith and believe that everything will be alright, and that he’ll even surprise me and things will be better than I ever expected, but I’m not there.  I can’t even refer to him as President Trump.  I just can’t do it. 

There’s too much at risk, too much at stake, too many things to be concerned about, most of all the future of my family and friends.  Maybe I’m overreacting, maybe I should just give him a chance, but I’m not there.  In the months leading up to the election and since, I’ve also been concerned for free speech, community radio, the LBGTQ community, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, those with insurance losing insurance (though I don’t think people should be penalized for not having it or not wanting it or needing it), an alliance with Russia and potential war with whoever for whatever.


In Prince’s brilliant 2015 song, “Baltimore,” mostly about the wrongful death of the 25-year-old Black American man, Freddie Gray, Prince sings, “Peace is more than the absence of war,” a quote I believe was lovingly paraphrased from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of justice, of law, of order – in short, of government.”

It was a change in government and a new president (the 40th U.S. President, inaugurated in 1981, and one of Donald Trump’s heroes, Ronald Reagan) that inspired today’s “song of the day” – “President Gas” by The Psychedelic Furs. 


The original U.K. cover of FOREVER NOW.

“President Gas” was the opening song off of the P-Furs third studio album, FOREVER NOW (produced by Todd Rundgren).  The album was recorded in 1982, and released in September of that year.  It was certified Gold here in America.

Written specifically with Ronald Reagan in mind (“He comes in from the left sometimes / He comes in from the right / It’s so heavily advertised that he wants you and I / It’s a real cowboy set, electric company / Every day is happy days / It’s hell without the sin…”), “President Gas” compliments its smart lyrics with the ballsy use of a cello (courtesy of Ann Sheldon) in a New Wave song.


When Columbia Records changed the cover art for the U.S. release of FOREVER NOW (seen here), Richard Butler apparently burst into tears from disappointment.

Interesting how it’s been nearly 35 years after the song’s release, and people are thinking about this song again (because of Donald Trump), almost, if not, exactly in the way The Furs wrote the song about Ronald Reagan. 

I had read somewhere on an Interweb chat board about “President Gas” that The Furs’ Richard Butler was “pointing out that everyone who gets to the top in a political system is going to be someone whose only value is his ability to get to the top.  Reagan was horrible, but whoever replaced him in 1984 would be horrible too.” 


This was reminiscent (in a way) of this past Presidential election here in America, with two (mostly) unpopular candidates in a very ugly campaign.  Hillary Clinton wasn’t my first choice, but I voted for Hillary because (1) I didn’t want Trump in there, and (2) I believed she would take this country in a smart, wonderful direction.  More than half of the country thought that too, as she won the popular vote.  But, for the second time in five elections, the popular vote was not, well, popular enough…

I’m wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ that everything will be alright for everyone I care about and the country I love during the next four years, and that history (in this case, “President Gas”) doesn’t repeat itself…

“Don’t cry, don’t do anything / No lies, back in the government / No tears, party time is here again / President Gas is up for president…”


this is not america.

I feel numb.  No, I’m not quoting the 1993 U2 song “Numb,” although the lyric is the same.  I am still feeling numb about the end result of the 2016 presidential election here in America.  On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – Election Day here in the U.S. – I used the white noise of the election coverage to help me sleep.  It was early in the election, and many of the states’ results hadn’t come in.  And, for about six hours, I slept pretty well.  Then, at about 2:45am Eastern time, I woke up to Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, speaking.  And right below was the heartbreaking caption, “Clinton Calls Trump To Concede Election.”  After about six hours of kick-ass sleep, I woke up to a fucking nightmare.


Then Donald Trump came out and spoke to everyone about the victory, and congratulated Hillary Clinton and her family on a “very, very hard-fought campaign” and how “we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service for our country.  I mean that very sincerely.”  And, at that moment, Donald Trump did sound sincere, the most even remotely sincere I’ve ever heard him sound throughout this whole show.  It was all bullshit, and reminded me of what an old girlfriend once said to me many years ago about an old boyfriend of hers, and how he was “sincere about his insincerities.”  If you can understand that sentiment, then you’re smarter than I am.

hillary-2016I was perusing through Facebook the night of the election, to see how everyone was feeling, and the momentum for Hillary Clinton to win the Presidency was evident.  My dear friend Shawn in NYC wrote, “Eight years ago I was sitting on the couch watching the election results come in holding my then one-month old son.  Tonight my eight-year-old son is sitting next to me watching the election results come in.  I don’t care what your political leanings are.  My son was born into a world where an African-American man was and a woman might become president of the United States.  I think that’s f*cking awesome.”

I’ve been a longtime Democrat, and I can honestly say that Hillary was not my first choice as President this time around, though she was in 2008.  But there was no way on God’s Green Earth I would even consider voting for Donald Trump.  I can also honestly say that, with the barrage of hate Donald Trump was spewing throughout the entire campaign – against Hillary and President Bill Clinton, against women, against the LBGTQ community, against President Obama, against minorities and even against people in his own party – I didn’t think he had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected. 

Just hours after waking up to the nightmare of Donald Trump winning the electoral vote, I had to head to work, where one work neighbor didn’t even like Trump but voted for him because she didn’t want Hillary in there, and another work neighbor who was crying that afternoon because Trump won and she was scared.  Broke my heart.  And it doesn’t stop there.  I have friends, many friends spanning the country who are crying and upset and worried about losing their heath insurance, fearing for what’s going to happen to their gay friends and the lives they’ve made with their partners and spouses, and the status and safety of people who call America their home but wasn’t always their home.  I have all of those concerns too. 

After the election results, in a Facebook post, my friend Shawn brilliantly said, “I think a lot of people who voted for Trump are going to realize (hopefully sooner than later) that they’ve been sold a bill of goods.  Hillary will not be locked up; there will be no wall between the US and Mexico; Muslims will not be deported; there is going to be no mass influx of jobs; no one is going to be a millionaire as a result of his presidency because Trump either can’t or never had any intention of delivering on any of these things, and when that happens things are going to get very ugly because there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle now. 

“Remember a few years after the Iraq War started and dead soldiers started coming home by the hundreds?  All of sudden those very same people who were all for invading Iraq suddenly got buyer’s remorse.  I have a feeling that many of those same folks voted for Donald today.  Trump was the hand grenade they lobbed at Washington hoping to ‘shake things up.’  Unfortunately, that grenade’s a dud.”

For the second time in five elections, the (incredibly outdated) Electoral College votes have outweighed the popular vote, OR (if you prefer), for the second time in five elections, the candidate people have voted for the most is NOT the candidate that got elected…

That Wednesday morning, I told my dear and incredibly talented friend, Hope, that I was having a hard time concentrating and getting through the day.  She said some really kind things that I needed to hear that day (we’re both card-carrying members of the Mutual Appreciation Society). 

You know, I’ve never really considered myself as a fighter, and contrary to what I’m writing here in this blog post, I try to be as apolitical as I can, but Hope said to me, “You’re a fighter now, as much as you deny being political.  We all fight in our own way.  You finally realize that you matter.  And now that you know you can be on your path, fight the good fight in your way and be true to you.  PS it helps if you get an awesome song in your head.  Whenever your coworkers gloat about America’s ‘victory’ [they thankfully didn’t], just start mentally singing ‘Fight The Power.’  Or similar.”

And, for the rest of the day, I did think about select “Fight” songs in addition to the Public Enemy gem, including “(You’ve Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” by those awesome Beastie Boys,  Ben Folds’ “Still Fighting It,” “Come Out Fighting” by Easterhouse, “Fighting Spirit” by Madonna (a bonus track from her brilliant 2005 album, CONFESSIONS ON A DANCE FLOOR), and Pat Benatar’s “Fight It Out” (from her 1982 album, GET NERVOUS).  Actually had that one on my mind a lot that day.  (“You gotta fight it out with your heart / You got to fight it, though it tears you apart / You got to fight it out, my friend / You got to do it for yourself / You got to say when…”)


Honey, we’re already there…

About the post-election “fight,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (who remains on my short list to run for President) said, “You can either lie down, you can whimper, you can pull up in a ball, you can decide to move to Canada, or you can stand your ground and fight back.”  That’s damn right.

this-is-not-americaOne of the things that bothered me most about Trump’s victory speech and beyond was the sudden call for unity by Donald Trump, when over the course of the past year and a half, he disparaged several groups of people.  How can you suddenly have people unite after something like that?!  To quote the title of the haunting and surprise 1985 David Bowie / Pat Metheny Top 40 hit, “This is NOT America.  The States are no longer United.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the country so divided politically as it is right now.  I get it, President Obama and other leaders around the globe and here want to make peace and have a smooth transition between Presidents.  But, I’m here to tell you, it’s something else.  And it’s not going to be smooth for half of this country. 

And this sentiment was expressed greatly on Facebook the day after the election.  That Wednesday, Hope posted, “I’ve been reading posts this morning from people I know who voted for Trump.  ‘Let’s put differences aside.  Let’s stop harassing each other for having different political views.  Let’s all be Americans together.’  Fuck that.”

Can I get an Amen?


My friend Shawn in NYC added, “I am so tired of hearing this morning from people who have done nothing but divide for the past 8 years talk about the divisiveness in America and how it is time to come together and heal and unite.  Fuck that shit.”

Can I get another Amen?


I’m not sure why, but I waited until today to watch Hillary Clinton’s moving concession speech from Wednesday, November 9th.  One of my other co-workers is really taking this election result hard, and he recommended I watch the speech.  So, maybe I wanted to wait to share this post with you until after I watched a gracious Hillary Clinton be Presidential, even if the Electoral College said otherwise.

Here are parts of the speech I wanted to share and incorporate into this blog post:

“I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too.  And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort.  This is painful, and it will be for a long time.  But I want you to remember this.

“Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election.  It was about the country we love and about building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.  We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.  But I still believe in America, and I always will.  And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.  Donald Trump is going to be our president.  We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.

“We don’t just respect that.  We cherish it.  It also enshrines other things: the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression.  We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

“Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time.  So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear.  Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet.

“And breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.  We spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone.

“For people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.  For everyone…


“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.  It is, it is worth it.  And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives…

“I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.

“Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together.  And you should never, ever regret fighting for that.  You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap, if we do not lost heart.  My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do…”

Last night on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (11.12.2016), Kate McKinnon, who did a tremendous job impersonating Hillary Clinton during the Presidential campaign, sang (as Hillary Clinton) an incredible version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at the beginning of the show.  Afterwards, she said, “I’m not giving up.  And neither should you.”  That’s Goddamn right.


Apart from the comments by my dear friends Hope (thank you!) and Shawn (thank you!), by Kate McKinnon of SNL and from Secretary Clinton’s speech, these thoughts are all my own.  I am friends with many folks who voted for Donald Trump, and I am friends with many (like me) who voted for Hillary Clinton.  I put up a simple post about the election on Facebook at 3:25 that Wednesday morning, and I didn’t expect the response(s) I got.  I even had a couple of longtime friends battling it out with each other well after I hid the post from my timeline.  I don’t like to see my friends going at each other about anything, let alone politics.  Politics are not worth losing a friend over.  Just sayin’. 

In an ongoing effort by many online to break the Internet with love, the next several posts will be dedicated to some songs from 1979 through 1989 that are universally loved to this day.  So far, I’ve got songs by Cyndi Lauper, The Knack, Simple Minds, The Clash and David Bowie on the list.  If you know of an 80s song that you believe is universally loved still, you let me know.  I’ll add it to the ever-growing list, with my thanks.

And though I’m wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ that everything will turn out alright, for right now, I just can’t see it, and for right now, I’m still feeling numb.  But, I’m not giving up.  And neither should you…

I’m your Benevolent 80s Overlord, Ron Raymond, Jr., and I approved this blog post…