Chris Licht/CNN


The reason Zaslav changed the name to Max from HBO Max is because he wants all the credit if it succeeds, and if it doesn’t…he’s been paid more than $247 million since 2018: Quick, name the previous head of Discovery, never mind the top exec at a movie studio. You can’t. They’re not the titans they once were. So when they’re gone, they live the life of kings, they’re almost all male, and who cares if anybody knows their name, they’re a permanent member of the U.S. elite, always flying private, living behind gates, vacationing at not only hotels, but locations you’ve never heard of. As for those still with their knickers in a twist about what I said about the outsized press fascination with “Succession”:

“The data found that ‘Succession’ was covered six times more than any other show analyzed, but saw the second lowest average readership of that coverage.”

“Media’s ‘Succession’ obsession”:

Read this Axios article, it won’t even take you a minute. It’s got charts and everything. I know, it doesn’t feel right, but feel is what got us into this mess. The data doesn’t lie.

Then again, it can be manipulated.

Cable news… One can argue whether it’s even news anymore. But Zaslav and Malone, distanced from reality, the former knowing power, the latter knowing how to never pay taxes, decided we needed a news outlet in the middle, that was not perceived as biased, you know, facts only so that most of America will be happy watching it.

But this theorized middle doesn’t exist.

Perry Bacon, Jr. wrote a great piece about this in the “Washington Post”:

“CNN’s Chris Licht showed the problem with anti-woke centrism”:

That’s a free link, check it out.

“Licht and Elon Musk, who has expressed similar sentiments, control two hugely important media platforms. Their views matter. That they have become consumed by this anti-wokeism has meant that great journalists were fired at CNN for being too anti-Trump and that Twitter’s verification system was disabled it seemed because Musk felt it gave too much prominence to left-wing people.”

The old white guys in power see their power being eroded, that’s the reason they’re so anti-woke.

Then again, the meaning of woke has been twisted, and most people have no idea what it means anyway. And just like Antifa, woke extremists…are miniscule in number, nowhere near the number of white nationalists, but the right has fought back and Zaslav and Malone therefore want to shift CNN to a theoretical middle. This is like saying the Nuggets are better than the Knicks, so in contests the Knicks should be spotted twenty points. But that’s not how the game works. Then again, we’ve got Trump losing by millions of votes and saying he won. And even though Fox News paid nearly a billion dollars as a result of fanning the flames of this false narrative, those who believed it still do.

There is no middle, it’s us vs. them. Those in the middle… Are almost always trying to protect their assets. They’re people who made money and want to keep it, don’t want their taxes raised. Or are fearful of a left wing extremism that barely exists. But if you say something long enough, the public believes it. Like the abrasiveness and incompetence of Kamala Harris. In truth, Harris is nearly a cipher, as most VPs are. She’s had very little to do and we don’t know what she does. But the right has lambasted and defined her, and the left…is silent.

Then again, it’s hard to win by playing it safe. Want to be scared, read this analysis of Biden’s frailties from the front page of the “New York Times”:

“Inside the Complicated Reality of Being America’s Oldest President – President Biden is asking voters to keep him in the White House until age 86, renewing attention to an issue that polls show troubles most Americans.”: (This too is a free link.)

“Like many his age, Mr. Biden repeats phrases and retells the same hoary, often fact-challenged stories again and again.”

My mother started repeating herself in her eighties. Many people do. I speak to a lot of octogenarians… You’d be surprised how many have lost a step, even musicians in their seventies. Of course I know sharp eightysomethings, but do I want to make this bet, when Biden is already showing signs of age? Of course not, most people don’t. But the same people who are convinced that “Succession” was great and the most popular show on TV will e-mail me and tell me to STFU and just vote for Biden, what he’s done is great and he can beat Trump, since he did it before. Past is prologue, but the contest doesn’t always play out the same way. Back to sports analogies, how often does one team beat the other four straight in the finals? It happens, but it’s a minority of the time.

But one can’t even talk about a Biden replacement, the inept Democratic brass has kept everybody on the sidelines as the mass of candidates fight for attention on the right, Trump in the news every day. You think this is a winning strategy? As for Biden taking the stage with Trump… Eegads, one misstep and… And speaking of missteps, how much is Biden going to deteriorate in the next eighteen months? One faux pas will kill his chances, believe me.

But I guess I’m too woke. Anybody to the left of you who doesn’t agree with you is considered woke. We’ve got to reset the balance. We’ve got to go back to an era in history when politics wasn’t such a blood sport. But that was eons ago, before many voters were even born.

And speaking of faux pas, Chris Licht would probably still have his job if it weren’t for the CNN town hall with Trump. Yes, one event put the knife in him. And he didn’t even realize the tragedy until long after the Thrilla in New Hampsha was over, that’s how out of touch and delusional he was. And still is.

Yes, one of the first things he did was to move his office downstairs from the bullpen, unlike his predecessor Jeff Zucker who was in on the action. It’d be like the lead singer living in a different town and never showing up in the studio when the rest of the band was there. How long would that group stay together?

And the reason CNN hosted Trump was for ratings. It’s all about the Benjamins, always. A lot of people would tune in and CNN would be back in the game. Completely overlooking the content of said town hall.

It’s like Zaslav removing content from HBO Max, er Max, to make the numbers work. It’d be like going into Bloomingdale’s or Walmart and seeing a third of the merchandise gone. Maybe it wasn’t merchandise you bought, but someone did, otherwise it wouldn’t appear. So the store gets smaller and… This is how Eddie Lampert put Sears out of business, self-dealing all the while. He stayed rich, the employees of the retailer? They’re with the workers from Toys “R” Us, out on the street. And god forbid they hit rock bottom. To get assistance they’ve got to work, talk about a conundrum.

Jamelle Bouie wrote a great column on this:

“The Republican Obsession With ‘Work Requirements’ Is Telling”:

That’s another free link, but you won’t read the article, you don’t have time, you know the truth anyway.

But you don’t. The bottom line is work requirements just reduce enrollment. People stop applying for assistance. Meanwhile, the cost of policing work oftentimes exceeds the financial benefit.

Doesn’t feel right, but that’s the truth.

Which begs the question, what else don’t you know?

Then again, you’ve got a life, most probably didn’t get this far in this screed, they don’t want to read about politics, More Music! But you should be paying attention, because in truth the ticket brokers are trying to pass bills that supposedly benefit the public but actually hurts people, to protect the brokers’ business. And Live Nation is on the right side of this. But don’t we hate Live Nation? But you’d rather complain ignorantly why you can’t get a good ticket at a low price. When in truth the acts are in control of pricing and Ticketmaster is paid to take the heat. Once again, what feels right is not.

So CNN comes up with this cockamamie theory that by driving down a theoretical middle it will be triumphant. Isn’t this what killed broadcast television? Turns out the masses want more edge, and more nuggets of truth. A news outlet with no edge that fits the agenda of fat cat Republicans like John Malone… Yes, these media outlets are owned by white men, not only fattening their wallets, look at the insane Gannett situation, but furthering their agendas.

But the problem is with the failing “New York Times.” Which is not failing, but burgeoning, and the owners of the paper have a fraction of the cash of those purchasing media outlets to have their voices heard. News is not about making money, it’s about power, plain and simple. That’s why you become a writer. That’s why you become an artist. And once you lose that vision you’re neither a writer nor an artist. Once the money comes first. The chart manipulations, the trumpeting of sold out shows, that becomes the message, not the underlying music. Believe me, the truth can stand by itself. But everybody is convinced this isn’t the case, they want an edge.

And the public is sitting by the wayside, scratching its head.

As soon as CNN announced its new “centrist” policy, viewers left. Go to the website, it’s trying to catch your eye, like Fox, it’s not focused first and foremost on the news, that’s not good enough.

And this full scale discrimination against the talent. That’s who people see on TV! And enough with the lauding of Kaitlin Collins. She started at the “Daily Caller,” Tucker Carlson’s outlet, and she has a long history of Republicanism. Do Zaslav and Licht think the public doesn’t know this? That everybody watching cable news is ignorant and uninformed? If I want my news from this kind of person, I’ll go to Fox and get the real thing. As for something more honest and down to earth, I’ll watch Rachel Maddow, who went to Stanford and got a Rhodes scholarship and went to Oxford as opposed to the beautiful young graduate of the University of Alabama. But wait, isn’t that discriminatory? Of course it is! But we’re talking about those who actually watch cable news, and there’s a good chance you do not, very few do. You may hate Maddow, but her acolytes love her, because she evidences intelligence, sets the day’s news in the context of history, she explains it all. That’s a star, not a pretty face.

But Zaslav and Licht believe news is show business. Then why is the CNN reporter with the most gravitas, the most respect, Christine Amanpour? She might evidence less showbiz than any other person on cable news, but viewers don’t care, Amanpour stands for incisiveness, for truth. She had the balls to testify as to Licht’s mistake with the Trump town hall. That turned the screw. Licht didn’t see it coming. I mean if you work for the organization, you’re loyal. Organization first, right?

This is the problem across the board in America. How dare you complain about your job at Amazon, Starbucks or Apple. Why would you form a union for more? And why are these executives fighting unions? Primarily to keep their stock price up. But really, they don’t want to cede an iota of control, they want to continue to be the boss.

And if you are the boss, you keep your head down, out of the news. What was Chris Licht thinking by allowing an “Atlantic” reporter to follow him around. I’ll argue quite strongly that the book “The Operator” put a dent in David Geffen’s image and power. He already didn’t have enough? He wanted even more?

These people are myopic and money-hungry. These people who position themselves as seers frequently know less than the person on the street, because it’s been a long time since they’ve been on the street, if they ever were.

And they want respect amongst their peers. That’s what the private jet is all about, it’s a dick thing. It’s rarefied air, it’s a club, and you’re not in it. Entertainers, who make their living being in the public eye? That’s a different thing. You put your rented mansion on “Cribs” and move down the line, the public too stupid to understand what is really going on.

And at the end of the day entertainment is always about the money. Whereas with art…the truth comes first.

Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” has many covers, you can check them out here: But in truth, Cohen’s version was never a hit, never close, not even in the league of the Top Forty. But that hit written just a few years ago was never covered and is already forgotten, but the truth in Cohen’s song…

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows”

Everybody knows the redo of CNN wasn’t about truth, but an effort to appease those on the right. But somehow, Licht and Zaslav thought their machinations were unviewable.

And Licht’s main goal was to satisfy Zaslav. Forget his team, forget what was actually on the screen, if it made money… This loyalty is the scourge of modern business, talk about me-too. And the news has no side, doesn’t come with money, it just is. You can’t adjust it, you can just report it. And hasn’t there been enough analysis of false equivalencies? Some things don’t have another side, there is not another opinion. Gravity exists. Why try and tell us otherwise.

But ultimately this is a big win for the press. We haven’t seen the press evidence this power in media since “New York Times” reporter David Carr took down Sam Zell’s adventure in the news, having purchased the Tribune Company, handing power over the news to radio guys. That’s never going to work, never has. Remember newsman Andy Lack being brought into Sony Music? His masterstroke? The rootkit and the ensuing fiasco. By bringing in outsiders you show no respect to the people who’ve been doing the work for decades. News is a professional business. Just because you’ve got a theory, an opinion, that does not mean you can run it.

Kinda like Licht.

I mean look at the reputation of “The Atlantic.” Laurene Powell Jobs pouring in all that money. Do you think it was about making a ton of money? Of course not, it was about truth. Anybody who reads the “Atlantic” knows this. And with the right story, it doesn’t matter how big the outlet is, especially in the internet age, it spreads.

Chris Licht will go back to entertainment. Zaslav will hand the reins off to others until he too loses his job. Man, look at his record, talk about destroying value.

What are these guys thinking?

They’re not. These are not doctors, even engineers. These businesses are run by personalities, bullies, who believe their crap doesn’t stink.

But it does.

And everybody knows.


From: Kevin Cronin
Subject: Re: Sugar Babe (Live at Berkeley 1971)

Yo Bob,

Stephen Stills is my musical hero. Supremely gifted on acoustic and electric, genius songwriter, (I wrote one with him, so I witnessed it in real time), and that voice. I had the honor and pleasure of singing a live duet with Stephen on “Almost Cut My Hair” shortly after David Crosby’s passing …a career/life highlight for me. And Stephen is more at peace now than at any other time our paths have crossed. Good on you for singing Stephen’s praises here. When I release my little memoir, Stephen’s praises will be sung once again, in long form, from the rooftop of my soul, and deservedly so. … kc


From: TS Bitterman
Subject: Re: Sugar Babe (Live at Berkeley 1971)

Hi Bob,

Crew guy here 

I became a bigger fan of Stephen Stills after working for him.

“Never meet your heroes”…

hmmph, then pick better heroes

Cheers, TS


From: Fay Morgan Hine
Subject: Tina article

was a great read/tribute, fab … Roop produced better be good to me as you probably know … grammy winner 1985 … he was proud of that.
bests fay hine


From: Paul Ill
Subject: RE: Tina Turner

Long ago and far away at the beginning of this century, Guy Chambers flew the great drummer Brian McLeod, exemplary guitarist Eric Schermerhorn and me first class to London on Capitol Records’ dime. Our calling was to record four songs with Tina Turner at his studio in Primrose Hill. Tina and Guy had written the  tunes with the singer from Train. The label put us up at the Ritz Carlton. Those were the days, man…

Upon arrival, Guy told us, “Come to the studio tomorrow. We will track the four tunes to Tina’s guide vocal. She’s still here in London. She will come to the studio the day after and have a listen. We’ll see what happens from there.” 
Day two, the four of us were in audio Heaven, tracking to Tina’s guide vocal. It was amazing… After a really good day in the studio Guy said, “Stick close tomorrow, who knows what’s going to happen…”

Day three I was having lunch in Primrose Hill with an amicable ex girlfriend when my phone rang. Those were the flip phone days. Guy said, “Come by the studio.” Five minutes over to Guy’s studio, I walked in the front lounge and there’s Tina Turner with her impeccable husband. The room was vibrant with her presence. It was like that of an Ascended Master’s. She greeted me, saying “Hello,” to which I replied, “Lifetime debt of gratitude, Miss Turner, for your music and your artistry, She replied, “Well thank you. Guy is in his control room.”

I went through the door, Guy said with a smile,  “Stay in here. Tina likes the vibe so much, she wants to track the four songs live with us. Brian and Eric will be here any minute.” Richard Flack,  Guy’s brilliant engineer was placing a packing blanket out in the main room of the studio for Tina to stand on while she sang. That way should could move and groove with no extraneous noise.

We did the three passes of the four songs, Tina in the room with us, singing live, as if she were at Wembley or Yankee Stadium. Absolute heaven. For all intents and purposes, one of the best, if not the best musical day of my life. The masters remain unreleased, presumably safe, but sadly unheard, languishing gems, collecting dust in the Capitol vaults.

A few years later Guy let me know that Tina had come to LA by herself without a bodyguard or a personal assistant to pack up her musical director’s condo in West Hollywood. Sadly, he had passed away. As Guy explained it to me, Tina’s actions were part of her Buddhist practice. Tina Turner – impeccable and every way. Simply the Best.

Peace and Love,
Paul ILL


From: Jean Sievers
Subject: Re: Tina Turner

Brian Wilson LOVED Tina Turner more than anyone… well more than most he ever spoke about.. . She was a unique talent.. Brian never saw gender or color he only saw TALENT, vibes… and he hears it all.  He observes.. and he always talked about Tina Turner. 

For the almost 3 decades I’ve worked with him her name has always been present in one way or another.

As a producer, songwriter and vocalist he loved and respected “River Deep Mountain High” .. of course .. Always watching what Phil Spector was putting out he was blown away by that track and talked about it often. But Tina and Ike’s cover of the brilliant John Fogerty..  Creedence Clearwater song “Proud Mary” was a song he was in awe of.. Its still a reoccurrence in his playlist.  To this day he still wants to do another version of it. 

He loved Tina.. her voice, her energy and her spirit.. She was a survivor of abuse just like he was.. Having someone who was supposed to love them.. tell then they were pieces of shit.. unworthy.. Gosh can you imagine? Then succeeding to the point they did…

One of the last times we were on tour in New York he went to see TINA: The Tina Turner Musical.. He LOVED it!! Was Blown away by it. 

When I saw him a few weeks ago.. We talked about him going to see some theater and he asked to go see that show again.. 

Well now he will see it again as a tribute to a woman, artist and colleague that he so admired and respected.

RIP Tina Turner..Brian Wilson will always love you.


From: Chuck Woodford
Subject: Re: Succession Finale

Hey Bob,

You reference to Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma’s “Ella Baila Sola.” really hit home with me as i recently DJ’d a ‘Kick Off The Summer Party’ Memorial Day weekend at a local country club here in Denver. Over the course of an hour this is just a small sampling of the requests I received, primarily from 7-17 year olds.

Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma-Ella Baila Sola.
Morgan Wallen-Last Night
Bebe Rexha-I ‘m Good
Aqua-Barbie Girl
Johnny Cash-Ring of Fire
Quinn XCII-Another Day in Paradise
Miley Cyrus-Party in the USA
Ozzy-Crazy Train
Jack Black (from Super Mario Bros)-Peaches
Shakira-Waka Waka
Weezer-Buddy Holly
Alan Walker-Faded
Abba-Dancing Queen
Pinkfong-Baby Shark
Taylor Swift-Paris/Anti Hero
Lil Dickie-Earth
Alice Cooper-School’s Out

Great Caesar’s Ghost, you wanna talk about eclectic!! We oldsters might want to think that our kids are just slaves to pop music but TikTok and Youtube are completely upending the delivery system for our kids when it comes to every form of entertainment, especially music.

As someone who works in radio, I appreciate how finite my career is going to be. Ask anyone under the age of 40 how relevant radio or corporate curation is to them and you’ll get blank stares. Ask the same demo if they even have a radio in their home! Hell, I don’t even have a functioning radio in my home and I’ve been in this industry for almost 35 years.

We oldsters can continue to clutch furiously onto the ways of the past but to denigrate and ignore the impact of social media and word of mouth is to bury your head in the sand.

I have two teenage boys and I’m constantly amazed at the diversity of artists they want to share with me. “Dad, you gotta hear this” has quickly become my new favorite phrase in my house.

Be well and Go Nuggets!!

Chuck Woodford


Hi Bob,
Just saw your article about Apple using Dreamer in the VisionPro Ad.  I really appreciate it and you made a lot of great points. This is a Roger Hodgson song he wrote before Supertramp.  He brought his demo to the band so they could learn it.  Wanted you to know that the Dreamer version Apple used is actually from two different rerecordings from Roger Hodgson.  Apple put together parts from Roger’s orchestra and band performances and did a really great job. 
Could you please post links to his versions of his song and let your readers know that this song is performed by Roger Hodgson?   It’s not with the band Supertramp. 
YouTube Links below

Also, I noted that your Spotify and iTunes links go to a Supertramp version of Dreamer.  Here are links to Roger Hodgson’s Dreamer on Spotify and iTunes. 


Thanks for your support of artists all these years.
My best,
Linda Tyler
Harmonic Management


From: Kevin Cronin
Subject: Re: Stolen Moments

Hey Bob,

Okay, “Stolen Moments”, this is my first listen, and I like it a lot. Very Tom Petty…same chords in both verse and chorus. The whole song is one simple chord pattern, just like “Free Falling”. In 1976, I brought my “Time For Me To Fly” into the studio for consideration, and a famous producer, (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty), turned it down. His reason: it only had three chords. I knew that was the lamest reasoning ever, but I was the new guy in the band so I sucked it up.

It’s easier to write songs with a ton of chords. Try writing one with only three. Lucinda and Tom know how. Okay now Joni Mitchell is singing about how she wishes she had a river so she could sail away…beauty.

I was listening to Chris Stapleton Radio on Spotify yesterday. I had to stop my workout four times in a row to check my phone and see the song/artists I was hearing. I have no idea if these are new or older songs, and I don’t give a shit. Good songs are good songs. They never get old …once they are good, they are always good!

1. Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire”
2. Cody Johnson, “Nuthin’ on You”
3. Luke Grimes, I missed the title, but the line: “I’m a falling star without a midnight sky” stuck with me. And the song was great
4. Brandi Carlisle, “Most of All” … this song stops me in my tracks no matter what I’m doing.

Good songs do that. They put your life on pause for three and a half minutes, maybe even longer. You have been echoing my thoughts a lot lately. Looking forward to the podcast … kc


Apple VisionPro ad:




“I said dreamer, you’re nothing but a dreamer
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!”

Well, yes. With the Apple VisionPro.

If you watched today’s presentation you weren’t quite sure whether it was one giant step for mankind or a Saturday Night Live skit. I mean the people smiling wearing ski goggles…

Then again, it’s like “Minority Report” come alive, but better. Funny when engineers can come up with a better future than the creators, who have a completely clean slate.

In any event, you’ll hear a lot about the VisionPro in the coming months. Will you buy one?


Then again…

We have very few signifiers of cool anymore. And if you’ve got an Apple VisionPro…for a while there, you’re going to be unique, with a status item on your head. Or will you just look like a geek?

There is no denying the VisionPro is cool. And using your hands as a mouse, clicking your fingers instead of tapping or clicking. To be able to see your entire computer, with a huge canvas/screen, in space. Amazing.

And movies… Gonna be better than any theatre. And the floor will be a lot cleaner.

But will we be further isolated? Never to encounter each other in real life?

Well, the conundrum is as a result of the internet I know and interact with many more people than I did before. And you might deny this, but you do too. Do I reach out and touch them? No, but with Zoom and other software it’s a good facsimile.

Speaking of facsimile, that’s where the VisionPro will shine, with pornography. That’s a breakthrough app, makes people buy the hardware just to experience the software. You used to have to go to the theatre to experience what became known as XXX, now you’ve got a cornucopia of clips right in front of your very eyes, on demand, and you never have to pay a dime.

So expect some amazing sex apps for the VisionPro. Which will drive adoption. But what we’re really in search of is the killer app, and it’s not there yet. But it just might come.

The Apple Watch didn’t blow up until it was used for health.

What broke the personal computer wide the first time was word processing, and then the spreadsheet. Lotus 1-2-3 was the Tesla of its day, and Mitch Kapor was Elon Musk, albeit much more down to earth.

And then came the internet. People who pooh-poohed computers from day one suddenly went out and bought one, they needed to play online. The mission was driven by AOL, another company that’s faded in the rearview mirror. Unlike Apple, which gets more and more powerful. Now it’s a bank? With a better interest rate than all the name brand banks?

But what it really comes down to is R&D. To dominate in the future, to even play in the future, you’ve got to spend prodigiously, which many CEOs and boards refuse to do, busy buying back stock to try and prop up the share price, so the execs can get huge bonuses.

But if you put that money into R&D, and you’ve got vision…

This is what was lost in the music business, vision. You don’t want to hold people in the past, you want to get ahead of them, and lead them into the future.

But speaking of the past…

At some point today, Apple itself will post the ad for the VisionPro. And you’ll be stunned to find out the accompanying music is nearly fifty years old, but fits perfectly. It’s “Dreamer,” from the truly legendary Supertramp album “Crime of the Century.”

What a sync! The question is, does “Dreamer” become the new “Running Up That Hill” or “Bohemian Rhapsody,” both of which were jetted into the stratosphere with syncs, the former “Stranger Things,” the latter “Wayne’s World.” “Running Up That Hill” was completely dormant, never a hit to begin with. And as big as Queen is today, without that sync, they’d be a fraction as large. Believe me, everybody was not listening to and talking about Queen prior to “Wayne’s World.” You might hear “We Are the Champions” at a sporting event, but you didn’t read umpteen analyses of it, it wasn’t the most streamed song from the twentieth century…

So now it’s Supertramp’s turn.

Well, probably not. But there’s been a bounce for every track that’s been involved in Apple advertising. But most of them were new. As far as using a classic…

In case you don’t know, “Crime of the Century” is not only one of the best albums of the twentieth century, it’s one of the best sounding. Listen to it in hi-res, even better in the original Mobile Fidelity half-speed mastered version from the seventies. That’s the record I used to test stereo equipment, and I’m not the only one.

But unlike today, “Crime of the Century” was not a pure dash for cash, it was about our educational system, our society, how you’re forced to conform, to your detriment. Be yourself, let your freak flag fly! That was the message of the sixties, put forth by our musical artists. Today it’s just narcissism on parade. Me, me, me! 24/7. Money trumps art. We seem to talk about ticket prices more than the music. I mean what’s the value of a classic concert? Priceless! If prices are high, that’s because people want to go, but no one can seem to wrap their head around that. As if an Apple product should be cheap because everybody wants it.

And everybody didn’t want “Crime of the Century.” It wasn’t until 1979 and “Breakfast in America” that Supertramp had a Top Ten hit with “The Logical Song.” “Give a Little Bit” from 1977’s “Even in the Quietest Moments” went to number 15 in the U.S. and number 8 in Canada, but around the world…it was number 29 in the U.K., the band’s home.

And before “Even in the Quietest Moments” came “Crisis? What Crisis?,” which wasn’t quite as good as “Crime of the Century,” nor as commercially successful. Not that “Crime of the Century” was so successful. You occasionally heard the magical “Bloody Well Right” on FM radio, but that was about it. “Crime of the Century” was for a club of people who listened at home, they didn’t need no machine to tell them what to listen to, they found it themselves, and were dedicated to it.

And Supertramp’s long gone. Rodger Hodgson, of the high voice, writer and singer of “Dreamer” left the band one album after the peak of “Breakfast in America.” The subsequent Supertramp albums had a fraction of the success of what had come before and as for Hodgson… He had one played song, “Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy),” and then he essentially disappeared.

Kinda like Kate Bush, kinda like Queen, but even worse. Supertramp is not top of mind, but when you hear “Dreamer” in the VisionPro ad…

Used to be hits were made on the radio. Blockbusters. But today you can have a number one record on Top Forty and the majority of America has never even heard it. Streaming rules. But even the Spotify Top 50 doesn’t reach everybody. If you want to reach the masses, you’ve got to have a sync.

Usually with a streaming show. A hit streaming show. Just getting in some TV show might get you a fee, but it won’t boost your career. But if you’re in a series that penetrates the culture… Yes, don’t listen to the bozos telling you music is as good and powerful as ever, that’s complete hogwash. If that was so, new tracks would penetrate the public consciousness, but they don’t. They’re all niche products. Even though the music business hates to hear this. But a hit streaming TV show? It often cuts across demos, both in age and wealth. You don’t need to hear a record, you can live without that experience. But if you hear about a streaming program from enough people you have to tune in, to be a part of the conversation if nothing else. You can live quite happily without knowing a single track by the Weeknd, and you won’t feel left out either. Same deal with Taylor Swift. But Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat spins Morgan Wallen’s “Somebody’s Problem” in the locker room. Because it resonates. Most of today’s music doesn’t resonate, it doesn’t have that kind of message, most acts are boasting, issuing platitudes or defensive…it’s hard to relate to that.

Not that I want to say Wallen’s tracks are ubiquitous either. But they’re closer to what Queen was selling than most of the hit parade. We’re looking for that which we can identify with, because after all we’re human.

Humanity, what a concept. That’s the essence of life. It’s not hardware, but software. It’s not the computer, but what you use it for.

“Dreamer” stands alone. As do “Running Up That Hill” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They don’t need the sync to complete them. But when used with the visual image…

This is a new paradigm. This will keep the classics alive. That’s why they call it “classic rock.” This rock of yore contains something that today’s music does not. If nothing else, more people know it! And when newbies are exposed to it, they resonate.

Will the public resonate with “Dreamer”?

I wouldn’t bet on it being ubiquitous, but more classic rock tracks will be. And this success won’t be driven by radio or Spotify, but syncs.

Today everybody’s depressed, pessimistic, not optimistic. Oh, don’t talk to me about putting on a false attitude, convincing yourself you’re a winner, I’m talking about your essence, the vibe around you… That’s what the sixties were about. Sure, there were riots in the street, but everybody was thinking about possibilities, what they could become. They weren’t playing it safe, they were going for the gusto. And people listened to and were inspired by the music, it helped foment change.

Today we depend on Apple for that. And looking at the VisionPro, all you can say is…

“Far out, what a day, a year, a life it is!”


Amazon Prime:

I was trying to figure out what was wrong with this series. Whether it was me or whether it was possibly not that good. And I didn’t want to ask Felice her opinion, because I thought she wasn’t into it, and that once she expressed her thoughts that would be it, we’d shut it down, move on, for she has veto power. And especially when you’re unsure about something yourself, you’re easily influenced by another’s opinion.

But I wanted to keep watching it.

I’d never heard of the show, but Jake sent me an article from the “Globe and Mail” entitled “The 10 best international police series you need to stream right now,” and I researched each one and wrote down those that appealed to me. You can read the article here:

And I’m always interested in foreign recommendations, because they take effort, you have to search. And the first series listed was “Happy Valley,” which is one of my absolute favorites, the third season is being dribbled out in the U.S. now. What a horrible viewing experience. There are only six episodes, why can’t we binge them? It’s hard to remember the details from week to week, never mind having to fast-forward through the commercials, which upends your train of thought.

So looking at the list, I decided to start with shows on services we already had subscriptions to, which brought me to Prime’s “Informer.”

The concept is not difficult. It’s about a police informer. But it starts with one plot line and then jumps to another and you wonder how this fits in with what the show started with and you know they’ll get back to it, but it takes a while.

And I can’t say you get the complete feel from one episode.

But the second episode was better. And by the third…

And I’m thinking about it. What was wrong with the show…

And then it came to me, all the characters were UNLIKABLE! There was no one to root for. This doesn’t bother me, but I know it drives others wild. As if there’s a saint in every situation, whereas usually everybody is chiaroscuro, even yourself. And nitty-gritty reality…it’s kind of like that old Jack Nicholson movie, people can’t handle the truth, can’t handle characters being complicated, making bad choices, crossing the line sometimes, so they stay away, they want something they can watch that doesn’t stick with them.

Not that “Informer” will really stick with you, but you’ll get caught up in it. It’s visceral.

But it’s not “Happy Valley.” Or “The Bureau.” Or “Spiral.” Not the best cop show you’ve ever seen.

But it’s realistic. But having said that, there are just a couple of plot points where they seem to skip over the obvious, when another character would notice some behavior and does not.

But having said that…

Paddy Considine is the star. And he is, a bona fide star. But you just can’t like him. There’s something about him that you just can’t warm up to. And you think it’s a character flaw and then you think it’s his job and…

His costar is Bel Powley, who looks strange and acts strange. She’s present, but she’s of the other. You know, you work with people like this, they never joke around, never talk about their personal life, you end up being suspicious of them.

And then there’s Jessica Raine as Considine’s wife, beautiful but duped? She knows something is off, but she’s not quite sure what it is.

And then there’s Rachel Tucker as the barmaid Sharon… Just because someone lives in the hinterlands, that does not mean they’re unintelligent. But the further you get into the hinterlands, the smaller the community, the more people run on their emotions, both positive and negative. So Sharon seems real. And it’s rare to see a fortysomething woman portrayed accurately on the screen. Who is attractive, but looks her age, and is more than two-dimensional.

The informer himself, Nabhaan Rizwan… He’s not a criminal yet he’s not a choirboy either. And he might not have clean hands, but neither do the police.

And underneath all this is the possibility of a terrorist plot.

And then you think about all the plots that are averted by the government, all the behind-the-scenes efforts to avoid tragedy and…we only seem to care about the tragedies themselves, when it’s much harder to squelch them.

So you end up being riveted by “Informer.” It’s gripping. It’s not quite the real world, at least not the real world of most people, but the people in it are surprisingly real. Like I said, they’re not black or white, but somewhere in between.

So I’ve been watching “Informer” and wondering whether I should recommend it. Not believing it’s a slam dunk, not at first anyway.

But as it unfolded I became more and more focused, involved, sensitive to the characters’ actions. Especially a world depicted where money isn’t everything. Not everybody can become a billionaire, you know. Or maybe you don’t.

“Informer” is darker than “Happy Valley.” And you can love Sarah Lancashire, but you can’t love anybody in “Informer.” You’re rooting for Ms. Lancashire as Sgt. Catherine Cawood, whereas you’re not sure who some of the main characters in “Informer” really are. People you’d want to have a beer with, or people you’d want to run away from.

And in truth, our entire culture is based on partying. Yup, you want to become a billionaire for the perks. Drugs and alcohol are cool and…

I’m not saying that the world doesn’t run on sex, because it does, but there are some people who are completely dedicated to their jobs, and that’s enough. It used to be that way for most of us, before income inequality. Now the poor want lower taxes because they want to pay less when they become billionaires and many are so poorly educated they can’t do anything other than manual labor, which pays poorly in today’s economy, so all they’ve got is the pursuit of getting blitzed and having “fun.”

And in America everybody takes a victory lap. Deserved or not. Remember Sully? He was just doing his job, but he became a national hero, and I don’t want to take anything away from his feat, but there are people keeping this world together every day who get no props. Worse than that, they’re seen as losers. How does that lead to cohesiveness, how does that lead to a society.

“Informer” is only six episodes. But they are an hour long. But it’s not a huge commitment. I’d watch three before you make a judgment, then again you have to get that far.

There’s something about this show that reaches me. In a way most cop shows do not. I guess it’s the business of law enforcement as opposed to clear heroes and villains. Getting the job done as opposed to reaching for glory.

I recommend it.