On July 17 RoboCop celebrated its 30th anniversary. While some think of RoboCop as just another 80s action film, they are wrong. It’s more than that. RoboCop is a commentary on society, a forerunner of cultural and technological changes; and it’s a superbly-written, well-acted movie about what it means to be human. It also features one of the greatest orchestral theme songs in cinematic history, as well as a fabulous score. Rather than trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator, the film’s screenwriters, director and producer chose to make a piece of art that’s still as relevant and poignant today as it was in 1987.
Almost every day last year I walked by this photo. It hung in the window of the old location of Liberty Resources on Market Street, here in Philadelphia. Liberty Resources, Inc. is a not-for-profit, consumer-controlled organization that advocates and promotes independent living for all persons with disabilities. As a Center for Independent Living, it advocates with disabled people, individually and collectively to ensure their civil rights and equal access to all aspects of life in the community. This photo always caught my attention when I’d walk by it, probably because of the joy on the man’s face in the wheelchair and his infectious smile. I’d stop and stare at it numerous times when I’d walk by, wondering what the story was behind the photo. Last week I decided to find out.
Five years ago I started this blog because of a desire to write a novel, and I wanted to make sure more people bought it than just my parents. So, I figured this blog would be a great way to increase brand awareness – with the brand being me! So far, it’s been more than I ever could have expected. Not only have I written about books, authors and literature, I’ve interviewed nearly 50 celebrities, including numerous #1 New York Times best-sellers, as well as Tony, Grammy and/or Emmy award-winning musicians and actors. This blog has enabled me to meet Bruce Springsteen, James Patterson, Neal Schon, Dionne Warwick, John Oates, and countless other legends in the arts and entertainment world. Along the way, I’ve reached more than 700,000 people and had my content published in Reader’s Digest, Classic Rock Magazine, ABC News, and on the cover of The Aquarian Weekly, among other media outlets. Connecting with so many of my idols, as well as my readers, has been a thrilling experience that I look forward to continuing for many years to come. And I haven’t given up on that novel. Perhaps, that’s what I’ll be celebrating five years from now.
I love animals so when I heard that a puppy, Buttercup, was found on the side of a road by a Balanced Buddies ResQ volunteer after suffering a head injury from a car, I knew I had to help. This adorable dog has been fighting for her life over the past 24 hours, and she’s making great progress. However, medical care for these kinds of injuries doesn’t come cheap, which is why I and 23 other people, so far, have donated money to help Buttercup recover from this terrible tragedy. If you’ve ever had a pet or simply love animals like I do, please read about Buttercup’s situation here and consider donating whatever you can afford to help her. Thank you.
The Dives is a fantastic new, young rock band that recently released its first EP: Everybody’s Talkin’. This album features four great songs, overflowing with pop-rock hooks and riffs that will quickly get stuck in your head. The harmonies are excellent, and the musicianship is top-tier. If you like rock or pop music, you have to pick up a copy of this EP. It’s that good! Speaking of The Dives, I recently interviewed two of the band’s members, lead singer Evan Stanley and bassist Sergio Ortega.
Yesterday I watched a fantastic film: Hired Gun. This feature-length documentary has been screened to both critic and audience acclaim at SXSW Festival, Glastonbury Festival, MIFF, Calgary International, and Noise Pop. There was also a special one-night screening of the movie in theaters across the country on June 29. It introduces music fans to some of the world’s unsung heroes of the music industry through exclusive interviews and performances. These artists have played with a variety of music legends, including KISS, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Billy Joel, P!NK, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Bon Jovi, and many more.
I recently read The Powerful Little Real Estate Book: Tips & Strategies for Accumulating Wealth by Dave Watts. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for this slim book about real estate investing. My biggest problem with it is the poor formatting. I spotted 10 or more formatting errors, where words are placed next to each other with no space in between them. This makes for a very distracting reading experience and it causes the reader to wonder if an editor was even hired to review this book before it was published.
Thomas B. Sawyer has led an extraordinary life. With a name like Tom Sawyer, how could he not?! From illustrating comic strips to being the head writer of Murder, She Wrote, Tom’s autobiography, The Adventures of the Real Tom Sawyer, is a delightful memoir that takes the reader through all of the interesting moments in Tom’s life. Punctuated with humor and wit, reading this book felt like I was having a cup of coffee with Tom while he told me fascinating stories about his impressive career. If you’re a lover of writing, film, TV, or simply entertainment, Tom’s autobiography is absolutely worth reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I believe you will too.
Anthony Heald is a wonderful actor who is currently starring in Gypsy at The Arden Theatre through June 25. He was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about his impressive and diverse career, as well as his first foray into Philadelphia theater.