Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Sheriff of Reality

The Sheriff of Reality - By Pittsburgh Paul Meyers

I am
the Sheriff of Reality

So watch out
Bad Guys

For I am

I'll step upon
Your Shadow
and walk upon
your Dreams
until you think
you're carrying
the world upon
your shoulders

Thus spoke
The Sheriff of Reality

Wither I come
and wither I go
no one knows
Not even I

Thus spoke
The Sheriff of Reality

Cold Steel
pressed upon
your back

Give me the Goods
And I don't mean
The Money

Thus spoke
The Sheriff of Reality

Thundering I come
and Thundering I go
and the world
will never
be the same

Thus spoke
The Sheriff of Reality

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2009 Burlington County Amphitheater Concerts

2009 Burlington County Amphitheater Summer Concert Season
Pioneer Boulevard off Woodlane Road, adjacent to Library (609) 265-5068

4 - July - Saturday - Tom Sadge

10 - July - Friday - Zydeco-A-Go-Go

11 - July - Saturday - The Brockington Ensemble

17 - July - Friday - BCC 88.9 Night w/ Kyle McGill

18 - July - Saturday - The Reference Point Band

24 - July - Friday - The Bronx Wanderers

25 - July - Saturday - Sugar Ray's Down-Home Blues w/ Andy Aaron & the Mean Machine

31 - July - Friday - Randy Becker

1 - Aug - Saturday - Wind Symphony of Southern New Jersey

2 - Aug - Sunday - The Lightyears

7 - Aug - Friday - Steve Green & the Elevators

8 - Aug - Saturday - Seven Nations

14 - Aug - Friday - Friends

15 - Aug - Saturday - The '70s Soul Jam w/ Jean Reed

21 - Aug - Friday - The Whiskey Girls

22 - Aug - Saturday - Kid's Night at the Amphitheater

28 - Aug - Friday - Todd's Porch

29 - Aug - Saturday - Gene Tirpak's '60's thru '70's "Throwback" Band

4 - Sept - Friday - Anton Del Forno & Friend

5 - Sept - Saturday - Crawdaddies

12 - Sept - Saturday (3pm) Services Latinos Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Flashback 1979 - Alexanders

From Atlantic City Sun newspaper (September 28, 1979)

Rockin' in the Pines

By William E. Kelly

The quiet hamlet near Mirror Lake is known as Browns Mills "in the Pines," but today it is better known as the rock music capitol of South Jersey.

Alexander's Sunset Inn has put Browns Mills on the map as the area's only showcase of traveling rock bands.

Some years ago, the old Sunset Inn was refurbished and renamed Alexander's. The large dance hall was closed off from the side bar by a sliding wall. With the wall closed, Alexander's has the appearance of a typical small, local tavern, complete with electronic games, pool table and a small stage for go-go dancers.

The dancers were the club's biggest attraction as they gyrated before lonely soldiers on leave from nearby Fort Dix.

Then, last January, owner Butch Lupinetti let Steve Benson produce a few shows in the huge back room dance hall. The sliding doors were folded back, another bar opened, and a traveling rock show performed on stage. It was such a success that they are now doing it as regularly as a couple a nights a week. The acts that perform aren't local talents but rather top recording acts.

The popular acts from the Tower Theater and the Bijou Cafe in Philadelphia were persuaded to come to Browns Mills for a one night stand at Alexander's - just far enough outside Philadelphia not to bother the Electric Factory concert promoters, yet close enough to attract the 18 - 20 year olds who are not old enough to drink legally at home, but are old enough to drive to Browns Mills.

Alexanders and Browns Mills became Philadelphia household names when Steve Benson and Lee Stulman placed radio ads on the popular FM rock stations that beckoned you to go out of your way to see and hear a great show. The ads gave directions from Philadelphia: take the Ben Franklin Bridge to Rt. 38 east to Pemberton, then Rt. 530 past Burlington County College to Browns Mills. If you got lost you were instructed to call 893-6174. Browns Mills is only 40 miles from center city Philadelphia and 60 miles from Atlantic City.

By sunset, the large parking lot is full of cars, most with out-of-state plates - Pennsylvania, Delaware and even New York.

It's not the club, but the music that packs them in. The bands that play Alexander's are top recording acts usually out on the road promoting a new album. The cover charge is typical for a concert, with tickets available from Ticketron, and a dollar more at the door.

Last summer Johnny Winter, Steve Forbert, George Thoroughgood and the Delaware Destroyers, the Average White Band, James Cotton Blues Band, John Lee Hooker and Jorma Kaukonen all made their first South Jersey appearance. Those who follow Jorma's entourage to New York say that his three-hour Alexander show, which he did solo, was by far the best performance of the tour. But the best act last summer had to be by the late Lowell George.

Last June 26, two days before he died of a heart attack, the former leader of Little Feat put on one of his last concerts at Alexander's. Although he was popular for the album, "Feat Don't Fail Me Now," and the song, "Dixie Chicken," Lowell George was more respected by his peers. After he died, the largest benefit since Bangladesh took place at the LA Forum, with Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Ricki Lee Jones and the rest of the California rock fraternity. Lowell was more influential than popular. His Alexander's concert was a classic.

The lineup of shows for this fall is even better. Edgar Winter and the Nighthawks were at Alexander's on September 21, followed the next night by the Greatful Dead ofshoot, the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Steve Forbert did a one-night engagement on September 26. Tonight, the Philadelphia area's own Nan Mancini and Johnny's Dance Band take the stage.

The big name attractions slated for the fall include Hall and Oats on Saturday, October 13, and Arlo Gunthrie on Sunday, November 11.

Alexander's is not really that hard to find from Atlantic City. To get to Browns Mills take the White Horse Pike to Rt. 206 towards Trenton. From 206 take Rt. 38 east to Pemberton and Rt. 530 to Alexander's. And remember, if you get lost, call Steve at 893-6174 and ask for directions.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Michael Tearson

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Michael Tearson, who does a terrific show on Friday nights on the local Burlington College radio station, used to be a DJ at WMMR, where AOR - Album Oriented Rock was first introduced by Dave Herman(?) in the mid-60s.

I met Michael through Bill Vitka, the News Director at MMR when it was the Number 1 radio station in the country, as well as Philadelphia. I worked with Vitka on a number of stories - the biggest being the use of prisoners for testing of drugs by the Army and University of Penn professors, including Dr. Kligman, who tested dioxin.

I sat next to Michael at Vitka's wedding and got Michael to be the Master of Ceremonies at the 75th anniversary of the Flanders on the Ocean City boardwalk, when the late Robert Hazard, the Original Comets and Mike Pedicin, Sr. also performed.

When I was sitting with Tierson at Vitka's wedding, I was surprised to learn that he is a frustrated actor who wanted to be a character actor in movies and TV, with Harry Morgan (MASH) being his Hollywood idol.

His shows on BBC - the Pulse of Burlington County - always have a theme and are always great, full of nostalgia and great tunes.

Vitka moved to California where I hooked up with him in San Francisco when I was on the road with Brian in the late 70s, and then again in New York City where Bill is still working as an announcer/reporter with CBS Radio News.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ed forms Ed Gillespie Strategies


Beltway experience validates the increasing importance of strategic comms.

Ed Gillespie June 01, 2009

After leaving the White House as counselor to President George W. Bush at the end of his term this past January, many were surprised I didn't return to lobbying, but instead opened a new strategic planning and communications firm. Given the rapid changes in public affairs, they shouldn't have been.

Lobbying remains a vital means of conveying information to a target audience of policy-makers. However, other ways of shaping the broader environment in which policy decisions are made have mushroomed and gained in both importance and influence.

I've lobbied and been lobbied. I have advocated policies and participated in the policy-making process at various levels of Congress, as well as at the White House. As such, I understand what has an impact from all perspectives.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, my old boss, has a saying that on the floor of the House of Representatives, “Votes beat money every time.” Helping to shape the public perceptions surrounding an issue has a much greater impact than individual lobbying and endless fundraisers.

The strongest impact of smart communications and public affairs is not so much in how policies are shaped, but what policies end up being considered at all. In Washington, the urgent drives out the important. Making sure policy-makers understand why action on a certain issue is urgent – or why it's not – falls under the purview of broader public affairs.

Any lobbyist worth his or her retainer can explain why a member of Congress should vote a certain way, or why a cabinet secretary should adopt a certain position. The greater challenge is not about explaining why, but why now.

Elevating “why” to “why now” involves a broad array of tools, including grassroots organization, Internet mobilization, and more. In an era when people instinctively reach for their Blackberrys upon first waking up, it involves texting, Tweeting, and e-mailing.

In my last year in the White House, public pressure over high gas prices spurred action by both the President and the Democratic Congress to allow offshore US drilling for the first time in three decades. There was genuine outcry for more domestic energy, but there was also a coordinated public affairs effort that helped policy-makers understand not only why lifting the longtime offshore drilling ban made sense, but why now.

Throughout 25 years in politics, government, and business, I've always enjoyed strategic communications most. And it's never been more important than now.

Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President George W. Bush, recently founded Ed Gillespie Strategies. He was RNC chair from 2003-2004 and a principal at Quinn Gillespie and Associates from 2000-2007.


There Goes Ed

Even discounting his tall stature, it's not difficult to spot President Bush's former counselor, Ed Gillespie, on the touristy streets of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington. He's one of the few pedestrians who dresses in a dark suit every day.

Mr. Gillespie, a one-time chairman of the Republican National Committee, recently crossed the Potomac to launch Ed Gillespie Strategies on Prince Street, having previously partnered at one of K Street's more prominent lobby shops, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, with former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn.

Mr. Gillespie has made it clear his lobbying days are over. He's now concentrating on strategic planning, communications and, of course, politics, including helping to run the campaign of Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell.

Ed Gillespie Strategies

The arches that formed the foundations for Ancient Rome’s buildings, bridges and aqueducts relied on a single keystone. The wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch is the central, cohesive source of support and stability. Without a well crafted and properly set keystone, the entire structure would crumble.

The keystone is at the center of the graphic for Ed Gillespie Strategies because a well conceived strategy is the central, cohesive element of any successful effort to achieve an important objective. If the strategy is not well conceived, the effort will likely fail.

A well conceived strategy is the centerpiece for the personnel decisions, project assignments and tactics necessary to win in the marketplace of ideas. The number of people who have the experience, vision and insight necessary to craft an overarching strategy--who can craft a keystone for success-- is limited.

Ed Gillespie is widely recognized as one of those people.

Strategic Planning

CEOs, trade association heads, and coalition members know where they want to be, and where they are now. It’s not always clear how to get from one to the other, however.

Having the right strategic plan is critical to success. Ed Gillespie has mapped winning strategies for candidates for the U.S. House, Senate and governorships, CEOs seeking shareholder approval of controversial mergers, and the President of the United States in battles with congress. He knows the right questions to ask and the right advice to give to develop an effective strategy.

Message Development and Communications Strategy

Identifying target audiences, crafting a communications calendar, plotting the right mix and timing of various tactics, knowing when to be proactive versus reactive, gauging the optimal blend of traditional, new and paid media are all important elements of an effective communications strategy.

In 25 years in politics, government and business, Ed Gillespie has emerged as one of the premier communications strategists in America. He knows what it takes to effectively convey information and image in today’s cluttered and constantly churning media environment.

A fundamental element of effective communications is smart message development. This requires a unique ability to compellingly describe ideas, analyze demographic data, weigh focus group feedback and take into account competing audiences (i.e., financial markets, consumers, regulators) and synthesize a wide array of factors into a simple message. Ed Gillespie is famous for his ability to coin a phrase, label an issue and capture public sentiment.

Reputation and Crisis Management

In today’s economic and media environments upstanding individuals, outstanding companies and important industries can suddenly find themselves at risk of reputational damage.

The ability to react quickly without panicking and to respond forcefully yet thoughtfully can mean the difference between saving a reputation and losing it.

From the collapse of the financial markets, to handling congressional investigations, to issues involving sensitive diplomatic and national security implications, Ed Gillespie has counseled numerous high-profile people and companies through a wide variety of media, legal and congressional firestorms.

Hearing and Interview Preparation

Honing opening statements, anticipating hard-to-guess questions, shaping responses and coaching demeanor are skills developed through years of experience. Ed Gillespie has advised committee chairs what questions they should ask at hearings, and advised witnesses what questions to expect and how to best answer them.

Perhaps Gillespie’s best known role in preparing a witness for congressional hearings was in 2005, when President Bush asked him to lead the confirmation efforts for Chief Justice John Roberts. “A little bit like coaching Michael Jordan on his jump shot,” Gillespie said at the time.

When it comes to high-stakes press interviews, few have prepared at the level Ed Gillespie has. Network news shows, one-on-one interviews, major magazine profiles and even microphone-in-the-face ambushes are all experiences he has guided people through.
And unlike most other consultants, Ed Gillespie brings the unique perspective of someone who has actually been in the hot seat himself, appearing on major network news programs, participating in debates and testifying before congress.

Coalition Organization and Management

When an issue arises that affects a diverse group of companies and industries, organizing them into a unified entity that can speak with one voice and work in a coordinated fashion toward a common objective takes experience and gravitas.

In two decades of public and private sector work, Ed Gillespie has successfully organized and managed coalitions focused on policies ranging from excise taxes to encryption reform to energy regulation. He has the management ability it takes to create the infrastructure, run the meetings, coordinate strong personalities, circulate information and implement agreed upon strategy and tactics.