The Joshua Tree: 30 Years Later
Mar28

The Joshua Tree: 30 Years Later

I’ve been teaching the Glass Castle for years (phenomenal book, by the way), and every time I get to the Joshua tree part, I naturally think about The Joshua Tree, the game-changing U2 album that celebrated its 30th anniversary in March 2017. But only recently– as in right now, as I type this– have I realized how the Joshua tree from Glass Castle mirrors The Joshua Tree, the U2 album. In her memoir The Glass Castle, author...

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First Concert Reflections: Bon Jovi 1986
Feb06

First Concert Reflections: Bon Jovi 1986

As I write this, I am looking at an orange, tattered, thirty-year-old slip of paper: the ticket stub to my first concert. First Concert Reflections: Bon Jovi 1986   The barely legible words on the ticket tell the tale. The date: December 27, 1986. The place: The Centrum in Worcester, MA. The price: $12.50. (No kidding!!) And the act? Bon Jovi!   I became a Bon Jovi fan by osmosis. In 1986, I was driven to school by my friend...

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‘Tis the Season to Be Jovi: The Bon Jovi Christmas Experience
Dec20

‘Tis the Season to Be Jovi: The Bon Jovi Christmas Experience

Thirty years ago, in 1986, Bon Jovi officially made the jump to hyperspace with its album Slippery When Wet. The thing is, though, Slippery When Wet wasn’t Bon Jovi’s first album; it was its third. The band’s self-titled first album was released two years earlier, in January 1984. And even THAT album wasn’t the first professional recording for lead singer Jon Bon Jovi.  That distinction belongs to the song “R2D2, We Wish You a Merry...

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8 Lessons Howard Jones’ ‘No One is to Blame’ Teaches about the Writing Process
Nov21

8 Lessons Howard Jones’ ‘No One is to Blame’ Teaches about the Writing Process

Turns out, Howard Jones was wrong:  there is someone to blame, and his name is Billy Ocean. At the very least, we can sort of blame Billy Ocean for the fact that Howard Jones never had a number one hit: “No One is to Blame,” Howard’s highest charting hit in the U.S., peaked at #4 during the week of July 5, 1986– the same week that Billy’s “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” reigned at #1. (For the record: that week, Simply...

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Everybody Have Fun Tonight: Thirty Songs from the Fall of 1986
Oct13

Everybody Have Fun Tonight: Thirty Songs from the Fall of 1986

Brace yourself: Slippery When Wet is thirty years old. That’s right: the album that shot Bon Jovi into the superstar stratosphere– thanks in part to the number one hits “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name”– was released three decades ago, in 1986. Back then, the guy who drove me to high school played his Slippery When Wet tape pretty much on continuous loop every morning....

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