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Five Drummers Who Switched to Guitar

1. Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) 2. Keith Strickland (B-52’s) 3. J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) 4. Patrick Wilson (Weezer) 5. Don Henley (Eagles) (I’m thinking of people who started out principally behind the drum kit and then moved up front with a guitar, not somebody like Lenny Kravitz, who’s been a multinstrumentalist pretty much from day […]

posted 9 August 2013 in Tasty Bits. 4 comments

Happy Birthday, MTV!

32 years ago today, everyone who worked at MTV got into a yellow school bus and went across the river to New Jersey to watch the launch of a new 24-hour music channel. Why New Jersey? The network wasn’t on Manhattan cable yet. If you want to read more about the launch, the earliest videos, […]

posted 1 August 2013 in Buy My Stuff, Tasty Bits. no comments yet

July 13, 1985

As part of my research for VJ, I rewatched Live Aid (or more precisely, the DVD box of it). A few aspects of the show that seemed notable twenty-eight years down the road: 1. The wittiest song selection of the day was Elvis Costello with his cover of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” […]

posted 13 July 2013 in Tasty Bits. 5 comments

Top Five Bands That Split the Job of Lead Singer and Lyricist

(Most of the time, anyway.) 1. The Who 2. Depeche Mode 3. Rush 4. Oasis 5. Abba Who else?

posted 1 July 2013 in Tasty Bits. 6 comments

It’s a Nice Day for a Red Wedding

This post about Game of Thrones is spoiler-free, except for the way this sentence alludes to the fact that HBO aired an episode about the “Red Wedding” last night. It seemed like an opportune time for me to pull out an excerpt from a conversation I had in 2012 with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. […]

posted 3 June 2013 in Tasty Bits, Unpublished. 1 comment


Last week, I had what I believe was the highest-traffic day ever here on Rule Forty Two, from people checking out this page in the “Secret Rock Knowledge” section, about how Eminem and Dr. Dre originally met. Somebody linked to it on Reddit, and over 40,000 people swung by to take a look. And that […]

posted 31 May 2013 in Archives, Tasty Bits. no comments yet

People Really Win on MTV

I am somewhere between ecstatic and doing backflips: VJ has officially hit The New York Times best seller list. It’s #25 on the extended hardcover nonfiction list, #15 on the ebook nonfiction list, and #25 on the extended combined print and ebook nonfiction list. The point being: this is awesome news, and since I’ve been […]

posted 22 May 2013 in News, Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Henry Bromell Q&A

Henry Bromell died on March 18, at the age of 65. About six months earlier, I had a long conversation with him; most of it never saw print, due to the exigencies of magazine journalism, but he was a fascinating man. Bromell wrote for many TV shows, including Homicide, Northern Exposure, Rubicon, and most recently, […]

posted 21 May 2013 in Tasty Bits, Unpublished. no comments yet

Single-Disc White Album Roundup

I traded tweets earlier today with a very cool graphic artist, Craig Robinson, author of the excellent and witty baseball infographic collection Flip Flop Fly Ball. The spur: he recently compiled his own single-disc version of the Beatles’ White Album, which reminded me of the time I did my version. We’re not the only ones, […]

posted 19 February 2013 in Archives, Links, Tasty Bits. 1 comment

Top Five Songs With Outmoded Lyrical Telecommunications References

1. BeyoncĂ©, “Crazy in Love” (“Got me hoping you’ll page me right now”) 2. R.E.M., “Star 69” (“I know you called, I know you hung up my line”) 3. The Kinks, “Party Line” (“Wish I had a more direct connection”) 4. The Mekons, “Authority” (“Fax me in the morning”) 5. Blondie, “Hanging on the Telephone” […]

posted 1 October 2012 in Tasty Bits. 2 comments