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Billy Joel Historic Announcement

Twitter can be fun. Billy Joel is set to make a "historic announcement" next week. We speculate wildly: — Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) November 26, 2013 Brenda & Eddie: back together RT @RollingStone Billy Joel is set to make a "historic announcement" next week. — rob sheffield (@robsheff) November 26, 2013 Sgt O'Leary trading […]

posted 27 November 2013 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment

R.I.P. River Phoenix

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of River Phoenix’s death. I’ve known this day was coming for many months, ever since I started working on writing Last Night at the Viper Room last year, and yet today I find myself surprised and saddened all over again. I just wanted to take a quiet moment out of […]

posted 31 October 2013 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment

Five Unexpected Things at a Public Enemy Show

Public Enemy are my favorite rap act of the past 25 years, but somehow I had never seen them live until this past weekend, when I was lucky enough to catch their set at the Riot Fest in Chicago (my photo, from stage right, is Flavor Flav on the left and Chuck D on the […]

posted 18 September 2013 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Sullivan Street Across from the Medical Center

Consider Billy Joel’s antimaterialistic #17 single “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” specifically Sergeant O’Leary, who is trading in his Chevy for a Cadillac-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack: And if he can’t drive with a broken back / At least he can polish the fenders Let’s leave aside the question of how Sergeant O’Leary is walking the beat or working as […]

posted 26 August 2013 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

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