From: Dan Millen

Subject: Re: Ticketmaster Swift Snafu

Date: November 17, 2022 at 2:37:01 PM PST

Great time to load up on LYV stock!

I call it the TM hate trade.

Every time some kerfuffle happens with LYV and ticketmaster people dump the stock, it drops $5-10 and I grab some more, it always creeps back up, and I sell it when they report blowout quarters.

LYV could not exist without Ticketmaster, at least not with the spending that they are known for as far as talent guarantees.

Ticketmaster IS the profit center.

In their latest quarter some basic math:  5.87% net margins.   Including TM.

Without ticketmaster that margin would be significantly negative, leading to a wholesale reevaluation of their business model.

Great for indies but not so great for touring artists.


From: Robert Merlis

Subject: Felice’s rule

Date: October 21, 2022 at 12:48:40 PM PDT

Amen to her “no Tesla” edict.  Why reward a self-aggrandizing twerp with you money even if his product has merit?  We don’t, as a rule, knowingly buy anything that has to do with the Koch Brothers (  Same goes for Uline shipping materials (the family behind this company makes the Koch Brothers seem left-leaning:  Not saying it has any impact but why spend your own money to stoke the fires that could consume you?

Another point about Tesla and apologies to any and all of my friends who own and drive them: Tesla drivers have supplanted BMW drivers as the douchiest, most entitled on the road.  Not a scientific survey but it’s axiomatic that when you’re in a crosswalk and a car enters ignoring the pedestrian’s right of way, it’ll mostly likely be a Tesla.  Besides, Tesla fit and finish/quality control/panel fit is typically worse than that found on competing vehicles.

I could go on but will stop here.

Bob Merlis


From: Tim Hanseroth

Subject: Re: The Grammy Nominations

Date: November 15, 2022 at 3:23:29 PM PST

The Grammys can seem ridiculous when you have no skin in the game, but theres no such thing as a small or minor award for an anrtist. All awards are important.  I think one could even argue that the smaller the award, the more important it is. 

It triggered me a few years ago and again today when you said no one cares about the smaller category awards except those nominated and their families. Our peers and community are watching. For a queer female fronted band in a straight sausage fest of an industry the doors opened by the small category nominations and trophies have been unimaginable. Not in the hardware, but in real life compensation like securing good festival slots and better guarantees. Things that propel a career forward outside of awards. They are small steppingstones to much greater heights. 

Small awards matter

Tim H


From: Daniel Stein

Subject: Re: More Grammys/TikTok

Date: November 15, 2022 at 8:29:01 PM PST

I once heard a music marketing lecturer open his talk with the joke ‘Where’s the best place to hide a body? Second page of google…’

It’s easier to find the nominations list on the NYT and the WAPO than the Grammy website. And I’m taking as a member of the academy who watches out for these things! 

I guess I’m going to go read about the the fries now. Food indeed took over (with the big held of Shep Gordon’s vision and wisdom as we know…).



From: Craig Anderton

Subject: Re: The John Waite Documentary

Date: October 24, 2022 at 8:29:46 PM PDT

Some people get a glimpse of serious fame, don’t like what they see, and do a u-turn. My turning point was returning to my home in the countryside, and finding several people camped out on my doorstep. They weren’t nut cases, they were friendly. But at that moment I realized fame had unintended consequences against which very few people had immunity. Playing music was why I was doing this. Fame, which led to making money, was a fringe benefit with a significant cost.

In retrospect, do I wish I could have been an international superstar? No. It’s a trap. Somehow, I saw that at the time. The irony is that I’ve made far more money from music after deciding making money wasn’t the priority 🙂

Maybe the dream is over for some…but maybe they just had the wrong dream. I live, eat, and sleep music. Play and record almost every day. Have the kind of “gentle fame” that gets me invited to do seminars and workshops, compose soundtracks for videos, and master/mix music for musicians I respect.

Bought myself a beautiful black Tele for my birthday. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.



From: Dave Conklin

Subject: Re: Revolver Super Deluxe

Date: October 26, 2022 at 8:54:57 PM PDT

They didn’t include a Blu-ray Disc with the hi res mixes. Who’s going to spend the money for a bunch of… CDs? I’m sure the packaging is nice, but the physical release is pointless when it comes down to the sound. Neil Young pulled the same s..t with Archives Vol 2, which was even more surprising (I guess he’s trying to steer people towards NYA subscriptions).

Pink Floyd released Animals as a $25 blu ray audio disc this year.

Why do I mention this?

Atmos on streaming is b.s. unless you’ve got Apple Music with an Apple TV connected to a home theater setup. Why Amazon hasn’t activated the Atmos/360 tracks on their fire tv devices (the same ones that put thru 24/192 on the Amazon Music App!) probably has something to do with what one of your readers mentioned – that their engineers don’t care. (Please grill Steve Boom on this s..t.) Hearing the surround mixes in actual discrete channel surround is incredible. Is it true to the artists original intention? Probably not. But is it an interesting alternative? Absolutely.  Revelatory in some cases. I played the Giles Martin mix of Abbey Road on blu ray, Paul came out of the center channel singing Golden Slumbers so clearly, with such presence, it was like he was in the room directly in front of me. I teared up.

All of The Beatles previous Super Deluxe releases (Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper, White Album, Let It Be) included the blu ray disc.  What they’re charging for CDs in 2022 is, as you said, a cash grab.


From: Reed Turner

Subject: Re: Zach Bryan At The Wiltern

Date: October 25, 2022 at 1:30:40 PM PDT

Hi Bob,

Reed Turner here, I’m Charles Wesley Godwin’s manager and a follower of your newsletter and podcast.

Glad you were able to catch the show. Zach and his team are wonderful people with a strong vision, and he’s leading a movement in country music reminiscent of Laurel Canyon, Nashville ’72, or Seattle in the 90’s. We were thrilled when he asked Charles to sing on his song “Jamie” from the Summertime Blues EP and being part of the American Heartbreak Tour has been nothing short of fantastic.

Thank you for the kind words about Charles’ music. We’re very proud of the work he’s put in to carve out a space for himself in the evolving landscape of country and he has a big year ahead of him. Sorry that you weren’t able to catch more of his set this time. If you’re interested in attending a show in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to have you.

Reed Turner

True Grit Management


From: Katy Cooper

Subject: Zach Bryan

Hi Bob,

Loved your write up on the Wiltern show! Huge fan of Zach with zero affiliation.

However I wish you had pointed that it wasn’t “offenders” in the pit it was a woman in distress who had passed out and he was thoughtful enough to pause and call for help. It would have also been worth noting how many times he thanked the audience for being there, he truly shows how humble, genuine and happy he was to be playing for all the fans.

Glad you enjoyed it after all!! It was a stellar evening.



From: Fred Goldring

Subject: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Date: November 7, 2022 at 7:44:18 AM PST

Hey Bob –

Back in the Spring of 1983 when I was just starting out as the youngest lawyer at Allen Grubman’s firm, I of course got to do all of the “fun” work.  One day early on, Allen called me into his office and said, “I need you to do something for me and it will probably be the last time I ever ask you to do this as long as you work here – go to the law library”!” After a hearty laugh, Allen explained that he had just had lunch with Ahmet and he wanted me to go meet a young lawyer (she might have actually still been in law school) who was interning for Ahmet named Suzan Evans at a law library where the two of us were tasked with researching non-profit corporations and then filing the papers to form something called The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. which we did in April 1983.  Suzan was later named the first Executive Director of the Foundation which turned out to be a long and very cool gig for her.

Usually the handful of us young associates at the Grubman firm weren’t invited  by the partners to the cool industry functions, but in this case maybe because I had been involved with the formation (or more likely because Allen had bought two tables and had to fill them:) we were all invited to attend the first Inductions ceremonies at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel with a guest.  I invited a girl I had just started to date to the 2nd Induction Ceremony (literally for our second date) because I wanted to impress her.  I guess I must have because she went out with me again on a third date where I took her to my friend Joel Peresman’s 30th birthday party at his apartment (and ironically Joel later took over for Suzan as RRHoF Exec Director). I’ve been married to that girl Gale for 34 years now.

Those early events were incredible because the artists inducted were the best of the best and there were no tapings or recordings for anyone else to see later, no cell phone cameras, no internet; you were either there or you weren’t. The impromptu jam sessions at the end were legendary. I still remember standing next to George Harrison who was wearing a tux, open collared shirt and black and white checked Vans slip-on sneakers. It was like when I went to the first days of the TED Conference in the mid-90’s where you couldn’t even find the words to describe what you had seen and experienced and the people who didn’t attend had zero access or context even when you did try to explain it. Sadly, there’s something lost when you see so many folks today constantly videotaping or taking photos of an event they are at and not just “being there”, taking it all in and being in the moment. Sounds like you had that kind of experience so I’m happy for you and jealous that I wasn’t (but you did a fantastic job of describing your experience so we all got to live it vicariously so thanks for that:)


Fred G


From: John Gorman

Subject: More Than A Feeling

Date: October 27, 2022 at 1:44:23 PM PDT



When I was the Operations Manager of WMMS, I talked to Steve Popovich regularly.  Steve was from Cleveland, knew where the bodies were buried, and was somebody I could turn to for a truthful Cleveland history answer.   Pops always sent me cassettes and tapes of artists he wanted sign and artists he had signed and wasn’t sure what to do with.  In turn, I gave him the WMMS listen line (a feed of our broadcast on the phone) and asked for his critique.  My version of “How we doin’.”


Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes was one such example on an audition tape he sent me..  It was a copy of Southside Johnny’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Fever,” a unreleased at that time song that Springsteen historian Ed Sciaky from WYSP/Philadelphia sent to us – and were playing in heavy rotation in expectation of the release of Bruce’s “Born to Run” album.   We played it. Our audience took to it immediately.   


We set up an on-air battle with our morning talent, Jeff Kinzbach, who preferred the Southside version of “The Fever” and Kid Leo, on afternoon drive, who preferred the Boss’.   It was the kind of good clean cross-promotional fun that got us the big ratings.   When Southside’s album was released – everyone was already aware of the band, and it was in the top ten in regional sales in its first release week.  If it sold as well in the rest of the country as well as it did in Greater Cleveland, Johnny would have awarded a platinum album.   But that is how Steve Popovich worked in Cleveland. It was a breakout market in the fifties and sixties – and Pops felt we could do it again. And we did.


In one of Pop’s calls, he said to me, “You’re from Boston, right?  I want to send you a tape of this band from where you come from, I want the label to sign.  They (meaning the label) have some reluctance to it – but I think it’s great, man.”  Pops added that it was a one-man-band – but that the artist (Tom Scholtz) was putting together a band – and the vocalist on the demo (Brad Delp) agreed to be part of it.   Friends in the business I knew from Boston were telling me in advance about Scholtz – as a tall lanky loner kid who they called a rock and roll scientist (because he worked at Polaroid during the day) that was “conjuring up some interesting music.”  The tape Pops sent was the result.


Pops sent it overnight and I listened.   It was Tom Scholz’s demo tape for Boston.  It blew me away. I called everyone into my office to hear it.  My staff felt the same way.  I had to think in radio terms.  It was the content we needed on-the-air for our fledging album rock format.  The demo was slightly different from the first album.  “More than A Feeling” was over 7 minutes long – with a flaming guitar solo at the end of the song.  “Hitch A Ride” was “San Francisco Day” with slightly different lyrics.  It also had a track that wasn’t on the first album, but closed their second album, Don’t Look Back, “A Man I’ll Never Be.”


I called Pops raving about the tape.  He thanked me for listening and thanked me even more for loving it.  I told him it was what album rock needed to reach a mass audience. I felt “More than A Feeling” was a future rock and roll anthem.  He stopped me there, “I like that one, too, for the single, man.  But I want the kid (Scholtz) to get rid of that guitar solo – end it with the song. Have ‘em wanting more.  He can do that extended stuff when he gets his band together and plays out live.” He also wanted them to change “San Francisco Day.”  He liked the song, hated the title.  “The band is called Boston and they have a song called “San Francisco Day?”  I want him to change it.”  When the album was released, the song remained the same but the lyrics were different and it became the hooky “Hitch A Ride” track.


I asked him more about the band and he said, “Did you ever hear of a guy named Paul Ahern, he’s their manager.”   I told him I knew Ahern well when I lived in Boston.  He was a star at Warner-Reprise.  He got Reprise to add the “A Horse with No Name”  track (and put it out as a single) on the debut America album the same way Buffalo Springfield got “For What It’s Worth” on their debut album.  Ahern was already a legend.  He had golden ears, and he knew how to promote and to whom.


Months later the Boston album was released –we were ready for it. We already had the slots and rotations ready.  “More than A Feeling” was the lead track – but we also rotated most of the tracks in packet – and for weeks you couldn’t go two hours without hearing “More Than A Feeling” and other tracks from the album.  We played it day ahead of its official radio release so we could call it a “world premiere exclusive.”  It shot to number one immediately.


Cleveland was one of the early dates on their first tour and played one of the legendary “WMMS Monday Nights Out” at the Agora.  Tickets sold out immediately.  Paul Ahern allowed us to run the show live – a gamble because it was one of their early live shows and they were still trying to replicate the album sound live – but the show was a winner – and a few months later a half a dozen bootlegs of the show were on the market.  I believe that was the only live show they did on that tour.


The first Boston album remains one of my all-time favorites for many reasons including its content.   As far as I’m concerned, that Boston album got our stations ratings.  No one ever punched the button to another station when a Boston track was playing.    And that’s probably true to this day if anyone is still listening to terrestrial radio.




G-Man (John Gorman)


From: Mike Lawson

Subject: Re: Musk

Date: November 5, 2022 at 2:37:28 PM PDT

I was in the market for an Electric Vehicle last spring. I am tired of giving record profits to oil companies gouging consumers with no consequences. I shopped for a Tesla. 

Then came the announcement about Twitter and letting Trump back in. 

It was a hard no after that. That was a bridge too far. January 6th and the s..t that man and his cult have done to democracy is real, and I can’t set that aside with my wallet.

I bought a Chevy Bolt EUV LT. I adore it. It’s stylish, roomy, super fast, has wireless Apple CarPlay, gets a max range of about 335 miles on a charge. GM installed an outlet for free (that would have cost $900). I bought it just before the end of May. The rebate was $500, and a week later they raised it to $6300! GM sent me a check for $5800! 

MPG equivalent is about 122 compared to my 2020 Prius Prime Plugin at 95mpg and I traded in for top dollar.

I “was” Elon’s target audience. I’m just one guy so it won’t hurt him. But previous customers are your best future customer prospects. I was on my third Prius and if Toyota had an EV last spring I would have been tempted. 

I have friends who have Teslas from the long long ago before time when Musk wasn’t showing disdain for the buying public who actually like EVs.

They hate driving them now because of the stink Musk has attached to the brand and everything else he is touching. I have fielded many questions about my Chevy Bolt EUV from Tesla owners, including strangers chatting at charging stations. 

I have never met a hard core right winger in Tennessee who drives an EV let alone a Tesla, who think they are some sign of emasculation or something. They complain about gas prices while driving giant trucks that cost as much as a Tesla and hundreds a month to fuel.

I am very happy with my Chevy Bolt EUV. The price, the product, and I’m ready to look at the new lineup coming next year for my wife. 

I’m also very happy that Musk showed me who he was before I bought one, because I believed him.


From: harry stinson

Subject: Re: Musk

Date: November 5, 2022 at 3:08:10 PM PDT

Count me in as another Tesla owner who loves the car, but will now look with more interest at the options from other (even traditional) manufacturers, given Musk’s recent ‘performance’.

How ironic that a man whose (on paper) wealth was based on the optics of being a modern thinking genius …. and now has regressed into the role of a narcissistic redneck.


From: John Allen

Subject: Re: Musk

Date: November 5, 2022 at 7:56:31 PM PDT


We just received our Model 3 in May and I too cannot stop talking about how much I love the car but I will never buy another Tesla. It seems to me the “bros” from the right would never purchase a Tesla or an EV ever yet those are the people he is trying to apeal to… like you said BAD Business – and that is all the way around. Bad for his 44 Billion for Twitter and bad for Tesla. We, his customers I think by and large do not want hate speech and anti-semitism to take over Twitter. HUGE mistake… we are now looking at RIVIAN EVs…

Bye Elon. Bye Tesla.




From: John Brodey

Subject: Re: Musk

Date: November 6, 2022 at 8:48:47 AM PST

Good one!  The truly smart guys know when they don’t know something.  Musk is also nuts.  That’s where ego and power lead to the fall.  We’ve seen it many times before.  These days no one person can dictate the terms of the game despite their air of infallibility.

We are selling the Tesla (which has a lousy ride and chintzy interior) and buying a Lucid.  Screw Elon


From: Thomas Sladek

Subject: Re: A Side Of Fries

Date: November 17, 2022 at 5:29:03 AM PST

Thanks for reminding me of Kuhn’s in Fairfield.  I worked at the A&P just down the hill from there as a high school / college student, and made the mistake of eating one of their chili dogs during my lunch break.  That chili was so spicy, I don’t think my colon has ever fully recovered.

Tom Sladek

Westport, CT


From: Rick Ciferno

Subject: Re: A Side Of Fries

Date: November 17, 2022 at 3:52:02 AM PST

I do not know how people end up emailing you on certain topics, but, I’ll try. There is no doubt the best fries at a restaurant, bar none, were those made at the world famous Hot Dog Shoppe in Warren, Ohio. These fries were made from the potatoes grown proprietor’s  farm in Ohio. They were fresh and fried in the basket by teenagers, including me, who worked there. Choosing wether to smother them  in vinegar or homemade chili was EXTREMELY difficult.

Rick Ciferno


From: Michael Alex

Subject: Re: A Side Of Fries

Date: November 17, 2022 at 12:46:45 AM PST

I can confirm Jimmy Wachtel’s fish market fries under the subway tracks!   We would go there during lunch break in grade school.


From: Ralph Torres

Subject: Re: A Side Of Fries

Date: November 16, 2022 at 10:27:41 PM PST

Nobody is hip to getting “well done” krinkles at Del Taco? Now you know. Fast, ubiquitous (in So Cal) and cheap.

– Ralph from Riverside


From: Funkright

Subject: Re: A Side Of Fries

Date: November 16, 2022 at 7:05:45 PM PST

Double fried French fries in Amsterdam. Best. In. The. World.

The 7 Best Places For Fries In Amsterdam


From: Dan Navarro

Subject: Re: A Side Of Fries

My dad was owner of a Foster’s Freeze when I was growing up, 1957-1975. Think Dairy Queen, in California only. So I learned this s..t first hand. 

Krinkle Kut (or “crinkle cut”) fries provide more surface area, therefore a crispier exterior texture while still allowing a tender interior. Steak fries do the same, but only with a much bigger fry. Regular fries get crispy throughout when they are crisp on the outside. So, for some, the krinkle fry is best of both worlds. The also sag a little less than regular fries.

Until about 1965, we made our own fries by first putting potatoes in a powered drum with an abrasive spinning disc inside, to automatically peel them, then we put them lengthwise into a device that, when a lever was pulled, forced the potatoes out one end and cut the potatoes into French fry strips. That was my job from the age of 10. Really good, really fresh, really time consuming. So we eventually went frozen crinkle, and that was all she wrote.

Fries are a matter of taste, so I favor Fatburger, where you can get both skinny fries and fat fries. And I do. Best, freshest, burger in town too.



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