Thursday, May 04, 2006


Thanks to the folks who submitted ideas for my "Top Ten" list. I'll take all I can get. So when you think of more, make a comment.

By the way, I once read that Letterman has 12 writers for his list. Each day that they tape a show, the writers get the name of the list that morning. Each one has to come up with his own list of ten within a few hours. Then, Letterman sits down with the list of 120 and makes his picks.

- - - - -

This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees should have included The Cars instead of Blondie. And that's a fact.

- - - - -

Two recently-seen bumper stickers:

"Save the Whales -- Collect the Whole Set!"

"God Bless John Wayne"

- - - - -

Michele and I are thinking about a trip that would take us to Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Las Vegas. If you've recently gone to any or all, I'd appreciate hearing from you.


Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Hey, Frank -

The only one of those places I've ever been is Carlsbad Caverns - several times over the years, starting when I was a kid after we moved to Abernathy, and think it's one of the most amazing places I've ever been and a wonder everyone should experience.

I'll give you this accolade about it. One summer we drove about a third of the way across the country with the kids and went all kinds of places and after it was all over they all 3 voted that Carlsbad Caverns was by far their favorite stop and part of the trip.

You MUST go out to the Caverns at sunset to see the bats fly out and you must be prepared for sore leg muscles the second and third day after walking down into the the cavern (you used to walk down and back out, too, but I'm not so sure they do that any more, although it was a really neat experience - now I think everyone takes the elevator back up).

We went there on my senior trip in high school on charter buses in about a 24 hour period (not "completely" overnight unless you count most of the night back on the bus as "overnight") and one of the guys - needing to show how really "cool" he was, wore sunglasses all the way through!!

I don't know if they still do it or not, but they used to stop at this huge dome (I can't remember the name) where everyone sat down (they do let you rest along the way) and they turned all of the lights out and everyone sang "Amazing Grace." Talk about black!! And talk about a moving experience to sing that song sitting here in the deepness and the dark.

My mom and dad have been to Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas (when they were in Tucson) and enjoyed all of them.

However, as far as Las Vegas - Tom used to go all the time on business trips with the company that owned the newspaper then and he hated it! Said that unless you gambled (he didn't and doesn't) or had a lot of money (for all the shows) it was a total waste of time, in his opinion.

When gambling first came to this area - the Mississippi Gulf Coast - he took me one night to the very first casino to open because I'd never been to one. We stayed about 20 minutes, I lost the $20 he gave me and when we left I said to him - "Well - it's good news and bad news. The bad news is that I lost your $20. The good news is that I'm not a gambler and could care less if I ever go to one again."

We did go to some later along the way to different Blues performers and such, but both of us came to utterly hate them all (which I kept saying I was going to blog about, but haven't yet) for a lot of reasons, including the fact that gambling has seriously and invasively touched both our lives both professionally and personally and we've come to loathe them.

But if you've never been and have some money, I'm sure Las Vegas is a sight to see. As are Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon. Hope you get to go and have a great time. Would all be great to blog about afterward, that's for sure!

Steve Duer said...

Cars over Blondie? You gotta be kiddin. I could have dealt with them going in with D. Harry and bunch but not instead of.

Steve Duer said...

Cars over Blondie? You gotta be kiddin. I could have dealt with them going in with D. Harry and bunch but not instead of.

Frank Bellizzi said...


This is reminding me a little of that debate at Cope's blog over Beatles vs. U2. I guess what it comes down to is, Which band had the big impact on you? All that aside, and speaking objectively, The Cars were 10 times better than Blondie ever thought about being. Oh, and the Cardinals are better than the Braves too.

Matt Elliott said...

My two cents as a long-time fan of both Blondie AND The Cars --

The Cars were a great 80's band and their best hits were some of the most fun music of the decade -- "Good Times Roll," "My Best Friend's Girl," "Shake It Up," and "You Might Think", in particular. Elliot Easton was one of my guitar idols of the time, and I mourned Benjamin Orr's death.

But I've gotta give Blondie the advantage based on their willingness to stretch the boundaries of pop music at the time. They integrated rap ("Rapture"), disco ("Heart of Glass") and reggae ("The Tide is High") as well as playing some great straightforward pop/rock. While I love The Cars, it feels very stuck in the 80's when I hear it. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...) But songs like "One Way or Another or "Call Me" (minus the synthesizer solo) could have been recorded anytime and been hits.

They both pale in comparison to Elvis Costello, of course, which is why he got in long before either of them. But that's another argument...


The great thing about arguing about music, is that because it's strictly a matter of opinion and taste, we can all be exactly right!

Frank Bellizzi said...

Matt n Steve. Right.

When I first heard the list, I thought, "Blondie?!" Then I started remembering that variety and mix, etc., and I thought, "Oh, alright." It's just that the first Cars album was a ninth-grade epiphany for me and my friends.

Btw, it looks like Blondie and The Cars will be touring together this summer. . . .

Also, I think most people don't realize how many of the lead vocals on Cars tunes were sung by Ben. For some reason, my buds and I always thought it was all Ocasik, until we saw them.

Micah Brinkley said...


We've been to Carlsbad Caverns, Las Vegas and Hoover Dam and all three are excellent choices.

It's been years since we have been to Carlsbad. We were actually there on the day the world was predicted to come to an end.

Las Vegas and Hoover Dam have been much more recent.

Las Vegas has chamged its image a lot. It is much more family-friendly. You must see the water show at the Bellagio, ride the roller coaster at New York, New York, see Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, see CIRQUE DU SOLEIL at MGM Grand and, most importantly, see Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace. You might also want to go for the thrill rides atop the Stratosphere and walk through the Conservatory and the Gallery of Fine Arts at the Bellagio.

Hoover Dam is also a great trip. It's a long drive, but the view over the side of the dam is breathtaking. The dam has gotten very commercial over the years. On my first trip, it was just the dam. Now, they have parking garages, gift shops, a restaurant, etc.

You won't go wrong with any of these picks for a vacation.

Glad to hear that everything is well with you.

Micah Brinkley