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March 24, 2016

LINDA CHORNEY: Music, Passion and her film, ‘The Opening Act’ A Review bY Calvin Schwartz 3-24-16 | Grammy

Filed under: November 2009 — Tags: , , , , — earthood @ 11:04 am

LINDA CHORNEY: Music, Passion and her film, ‘The Opening Act’  A Review  bY Calvin Schwartz  3-24-16




Linda Chorney

Linda Chorney


The refreshing documentary, The Opening Act, shoots from the hip. There is never a lull or lapse.  Linda asked me in a Sally Field childlike enthusiasm and innocence, “You really liked it?”  Chorney, although secure with her musical ability, was not so sure if she had any business being in the film business. After viewing The Opening Act, she does.  I answered, “Yes, it was a purist form of frenetic Linda.” “What’s frenetic?” she asked. “Frenetic Linda means frenzied but in a good way. You are non-stop energy and spontaneity.” She creates a special microscope of a film dedicated to creative people like herself. Her energy coming to life in the film is purposefully, obviously for the armies of future musicians coming up; they should all see this film. She explains, “This is about independent musicians. You are not alone. It’s to show the ‘non-musician’ world how much time, money, pulling favors and groveling goes into the process and hopefully acts as a cheap therapy session for musicians.”



Linda on an Asian tour

Linda on an Asian tour

Variety & Linda & the Grammy's

Variety & Linda & the Grammy‘s


Since I watched the film a day before we talked, I was replete with emotional recall. I told Linda, “The film gives the audience a great picture of what life is like in the music business. It isn’t all Adele. It’s not really just about you.”

She dug my description, and continued, “Yeah, a lot of people were expecting this film to be about my story – ya know, the Grammy thing. That’s coming later, in a feature film with a bigger budget. But I thought this message was important and timely, as the music business has drastically shifted, causing musicians to be paid fractions of pennies, rather than dollars for their recordings.”



with Linda Chorney after an interview a few years ago

with Linda Chorney after an interview a few years ago

on the set of Opening Act

on the set of Opening Act


Linda Chorney is a muse of sorts; a force inspiring thought and creativity.  I know firsthand.

It seemed like old times; sitting down and chatting with her for this interview. It seems like only yesterday when Scott Fadynich, her husband, invited me to hear her sing at Olde Freehold Day. That was August, 2011. Scott saw my posts on Facebook and thought I was a quirky writer/blogger, so he reached out. He is always promoting Linda. It was also my second month as a journalist. A few months later, I did my very first journalistic interview with Linda in Sea Bright, overlooking a river with Jersey seagulls flying overhead. Perhaps the birds were harbingers. Linda’s interview that day helped to launch my new career. And now, five years later, there’s a full circle here.  And no treatise or interview with Linda should proceed without mentioning the fact she made history for being the first Independent artist to be nominated for Best Americana Album Grammy; after playing in bars for 30 years.

I told Linda right from the start of our interview that I wanted not only to share my adjectives about ‘The Opening Act,’ but it was quintessential to my thought process to highlight the unexpurgated Linda with my readers. Yes, I suppose a bit out of the ‘Private Parts’ school; people always want to hear what she has to say. I’d gladly go down the quirky question brick road. But taking a page from her book; I’m going to digress, egress, progress and jump into her movie and glittering, unique personality that radiates from Arizona to Jersey.


Linda at book release party

Linda at book release party

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Linda Chorney arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Singer Linda Chorney arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


The film moved basically frenetically. (There’s that word again) Honesty was mirrored in a roller coaster of her emotions; you felt her depression worrying about weight gain or the long hard road for the film’s financial success. The fact she wore no make-up in many shots was a special effect in itself. She wanted it to be natural and real as possible. “I did everything including the editing. I had to cut out 37 minutes.  It was a challenge. I didn’t want it to be boring. I shot most of it myself, asides to the camera, “selfie-style”. I hoped there was a certain charm to that.”

There was. The film is charming; a perfect adjective to describe Linda’s labor of love. She also did the sound, color correction; and, of course, the music. She actually calls herself “Jackass of all Trades.”

I asked about the title of the film, The Opening Act. “The original title was actually ‘Why Bother?’  In this new millennium of streaming, hardly anyone buys albums anymore. Musicians are losing money recording these days, hence, at some point they have to ask themselves, well, at least I do, over and over again while bashing my head against the wall – why bother?” She reached out to her cousin Robin Russin, a successful screenplay writer and filmmaker in Hollywood, who also helped edit her book, “Who the F**K is Linda Chorney”, and asked him to screen the film before she released it. Expecting him to “rip her a new ahole”, she was pleasantly surprised when he called her with a rave review. There was just one thing; the title. “It has a negative connotation, and I found the film to quite frankly be inspiring. How about calling it “The Opening Act?”





after reviewing a music gig along the Jersey shore

after reviewing a music gig along the Jersey shore

at Sea Bright Pizza

at Sea Bright Pizza

While watching the film, you feel like you are right there in the passenger seat, as she recruits friends, family, and strangers to do a new wacky music video. In typical Linda panache, this wonderful song (full of messages, but in diversionary Chorney style) is called ‘The Cantina’ which describes inane Arizona laws where you can carry a gun but can’t drink a beer in public risking arrest. Her ‘embraceable you’ personality and spontaneity invites a local mariachi band, Mariachi Sol Azteca, to partake in the insanity. They are very entertaining.

You will come to appreciate her fortitude by working in 102-degree heat and many sleepless nights, as she creates. She is a perfectionist. And although you will laugh through her winging it style and journey, you may also shed a tear.

I am a movie snob; totally appreciate the art of making a movie. Movies helped change my life. I’ve walked out of movies that didn’t meet my expectations or wasted my time. So in critiquing movies, I must call it as I see it no matter what. There is my need of walking away from a film with knowledge and intestinal lining feelings; emotion. I remember the scene of her waiting to hear if she’d be opening for the Beach Boys. It was weeks. She was down and said, “People have important things to do and you’re not one of them, so get over it.” This sustained her. For me a riveting quote. Linda Chorney made a good film.



from the film, local mariachi band, Mariachi Sol Azteca

from the film, local mariachi band, Mariachi Sol Azteca

on the set of Opening Act

on the set of Opening Act


Not to give away the plot, but she did open for the Beach Boys. I asked how it felt.  She chuckled first, “It was awesome although I don’t know if Mike Love knew he was standing on top of my Mom’s ashes.” Her mother’s death was that recent. A typical Linda thing to do. “My mother was a HUGE influence on my music. Everybody’s parents; all they want for their kids is happiness and success. I’m sure parents of musicians, who supporting their kids learning an instrument, or any of the arts, will relate to the film.”

I told her it was quirky question time. “Be Linda.”  Q1 – What makes you cry? “Mostly tears of joy for beautiful things. Nature. When I see real family love. Friggin’ strangers in an airport greeting each other with hugs – like grandparents hugging their grandchildren. Waterworks. Then there are the sad ones; sometimes when I drove home from my gigs in smoky bars. I’d think why am I here?  When am I going to get my break? Then I did or so I thought. The backlash from the Grammy nomination made me shed a tear. Then I look at problems in the world. I make fun of myself. “Oh, poor Linda got nominated for a Grammy, wah wah. Shut the fuck up! Your life is good.”



Linda's Book

Linda’s Book



Q2 – Is there a philosophy by which you live? She was quick to answer, “Keep it real.”  Q3 – Is there a best time in your life? “When I am creating.” Q4 – Is there a worst time? “When I am standing still, not creating.” Linda is often awake at night. “Everything keeps me up. My brain.” Q5 – Strongest childhood memory?  “Piano Lessons, listening to great music and dancing with my family, lots of Beatles, being bribed through quiet contests in the car, and rewarded with Chinese food every Sunday…I always lost.” Q6 – I wondered if there was a big misconception about her. “My honesty is misconstrued for being blunt or rude.” Q7 – fill in the blank. “Before I leave this earth, I won’t be satisfied until I _____________.” Also a quick response, “Make the movie about my book.” (She is currently working on the screenplay, and might do a little shooting while on the Jersey Shore in April.)

Of course I asked about her fondest memory of the Jersey Shore. I knew her answer. I’ve been there with her and Scott a few times. “Sea Bright Pizza!” She continues, “And that will be the first thing I eat when I get back for the film fest. Wanna meet us for a slice of eggplant?”

There are interviews and interviews. I’ve done my share. Musically speaking of course, my time spent with Linda Chorney for this interview was rare, precious and beautiful. I can’t wait for Saturday, April 9th for the premiere of “The Opening Act” at the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival at the Salt Theater at noon.  She will do a little talk, a little singing and Q&A. Yes, it seems like old times having her and Scott back by the Atlantic Ocean making music and sharing passions.

Film, Festival Tickets are available at


“Opening Act” Movie Trailer:


Linda Chorney website:


Calvin Schwartz  website:

Facebook:  Cal Schwartz    and  Calvin Schwartz-Cerebral Writer

July 2, 2013

A Blog on Linda Chorney, Grammy Nominee and Author and Friend July 2nd 2013

Filed under: November 2009 — Tags: , , , — earthood @ 11:38 am

A Blog on Linda Chorney, Grammy Nominee and Author and Friend   July 2nd 2013





reading Linda Chorney book

reading Linda Chorney book



As my world turns and I’m being taken down all kinds of asphalt city roads and country trails along side babbling brooks, it becomes increasingly more difficult to squirrel myself away and tend to this blog which for three years has fueled my imagination and excitement in creating a different kind of voice. A few hundred thousand people a year have visited this blog. I’ll keep trucking here, not as frequently as I’d like. But here I am, a few days before one of my favorite all American holidays, the Fourth of July; I remember past Fourths and  joyous American pursuits of barbecues, fireworks, kindred spirits and our awareness of history; our love of freedom and independence.  Last July, I visited a pre-Revolutionary War cemetery here in Monmouth County. Most of the grave markers were dated before July, 1776. I won’t go into detail at this time  (unless several of you reach out to me) how we recorded a voice from a grave (EVP) or how it rained on us without a cloud in the sky but what moved me the most was my observation that most people interred there never knew America was born. I was saddened; still am.  But back to the Fourth of July and Independence.

I met Linda Chorney nearly two years at Olde Freehold Day when she sang a few songs; our friendship was born. And all through these two dozen months of friendship, I did notice one particular shining quality (among her many) which stood out; a fierce rugged spirited independence; refreshing and admirable. Always sticking to her guns and beliefs. So it is fitting and proper now that  I share some thoughts about independent Linda and a recently published book documenting her emotional journey to the Grammy awards as a nominee.  The book is titled, “Who the F–k is Linda Chorney.” Enjoy the read. Pick up a copy. It’s like a credit card commercial, priceless.



Linda Chorney singing at a film shoot

Linda Chorney singing at a film shoot


with Linda Chorney in front of a magnetized refrigerator

with Linda Chorney in front of a magnetized refrigerator

One more thought. I’ve started a gig  for a new magazine, ‘New Jersey, A Shore Thing.’  Please check out the on line link and my article about singer Christine Martucci.


Just so you know, I just pinched my left arm. I do that often enough when I go through periods of disbelief.  “Hey Mah, look where I am? Writing about Linda  Chorney, a Grammy nominee, singer extraordinaire, and refreshingly honest writer.”  Actually, these past two years, since I met Linda and Scott, it has been a series of arm pinching (I sometimes switch arms just in case.) After all, I’d think much of the time, how can little tall old me really be involved in her lofty music world?

Cut to July, 2011. I love looking back on origins and how people drift into one another’s lives and make differences. Scott found me on Facebook; we became friends; I was a successful blogger. Linda was about to begin a blog. Then Linda was doing a gig at Old Freehold Day (August 2011) so I was invited.  That would be my very first event as a music journalist. It was my first week on the job for a local monthly paper. Life is indeed strange and haunting. After Linda sang, I heard Nick Clemons; first time seeing him too and look how far we’ve come in two years to be close friends also.


Linda Chorney singing National Anthem at Fenway Park (vc Yankees)_

Linda Chorney singing National Anthem at Fenway Park (vs Yankees)


The Book

The Book


My first impressions of Linda were “wow.”  Her personality, stage presence, professionalism, lyrics and wondrous voice radiated. I use these words by careful design; a reason for everything. Afterwards, Scott asked if I’d like to meet her.  “But of course.” We shook hands and I bought her CD, ‘Emotional Jukebox.’   As I was walking away, she yelled, ‘How about a cup of tea one day.’ Another pinch. I knew about being those 250,000 miles away from the moon and now music and this great singer invited me for tea.

A few days later on the balcony at her condo in Sea Bright overlooking the Shrewsbury River, we had our green tea and talked about the world. As her words got caught up in my auditory canal and were processed, I realized what energy, individuality and brashness I had encountered. She said it like it was and how refreshing. I felt like Mikey, that cereal kid on a box. “He likes Linda.” So a rare, precious and beautiful enduring friendship was born.

And with friendship there is loyalty which at this stage of my life, I’ve come to understand is a gift. Linda, Scott and I went on to do an interview for a Monmouth paper. At that time, green tea became boutique bagels from Western Monmouth County, cream cheese with vegetables and water. I was privileged to see the early process in the quest for the Grammy. Another pinch. My new friend was in pursuit of a Grammy; beyond my comprehension. I was learning so much about this new music world I was tiptoeing into. Having listened to’ Emotional Jukebox’ enough times already, I knew it was the perfect fit; she’s that good and has been  doing her music for 30 years all over the world; indeed the paying dues stuff.

More loyalty. A short time later I got Linda to do a special video for Hooplaha because she had just been nominated for a Grammy as an Indie and 51 year old singer. Hooplaha looks for feel good stories. Linda was the poster girl for feel good. The video made it to Hooplaha’s site. Later we did a holiday dinner together with Linda, Scott, grandpa and Rufus and family; her warmth, gentility, depth and humanity emanate just as her sensitivity. By the way, these observations were made by assembled family also. Linda is special.

Speaking of sensitivity, a perfect segue. The Grammy nominations are out and the fire storm of positivity and negativity hit the music world. Linda endures and thrives but not an easy journey. And it is the trials and tribulations and media which shadow box with Linda’s sensitivity and sense of fair play. The journey and her endurance, reaction and experience through the whole process is documented meticulously in the birth of her book; a gift to all of us who care about the complexities and exigencies of the music world.

I’m certainly not the New York Times or Kirkus Reviews but here I am about to say a few words about ‘Who the F—k is Linda Chorney.’  Riveting is a good word to begin with. Anyone with molecular attachments to our American music world is going to be riveted; therefore that means a must read.  Music companies, industry insiders and some journalists are not necessarily nice. I never knew the extent until Linda excited my optic nerve with her home grown writing style.  Often when reading, I stopped, closed my eyes and Linda was in the room with me carefully narrating in diary form her anguish and adventures taking her to the Grammy award ceremony. “She’s so funny, “I thought about her imaginative often silly usage of names of some of the adversaries; a gentle word. I’ll leave Linda for the colorful alternatives. I think I shall never see anything quite like a tree or look at the business side of the music world the same ever again.  Shame on them.

Linda lit my fire and brought me to think that it seems like old times; it’s the 1950’s and the word payola made headlines as the traditional music establishment was reacting against newcomers. Linda is an Indie and damn proud; same as a newcomer. Deja-vu just lassoed me.  Good gosh, nothing has changed. Linda has exposed this not nice industry and media friends of it. Bravo to a courageous and talented musician. And I loved her dirty words utilization and commentary; purist Chorney colorful.  She was talking to me. She reminded me of John Dean (a hero) with her powers of perfect recollection. And  I love pictures and she used them; another evoker of my smiling all throughout the read.

I love hip shooting. I just shot from there. Linda’s ‘Who  the F—k is Linda Chorney,’ is a must read with or without music proclivities. She’s tough and honest and warm and funny; the essence of memorable literature and her book is even a great beach read, under an umbrella or boardwalk. I loved it.


I LOVE LOVE synchronicity and the magic of the universe. So I decide to write my blog about Linda Chorney this very day. Streams of consciousness. And now moments ago, as they shut down Coney Island for fear the Astro-Tower is swaying in the gentle Atlantic Ocean breeze, I realize once again the planets have aligned. I just found out by sheer coincidence that Linda’s book has just been released on Amazon Kindle for the 4th of July!  So here’s a link.

And to Amazon –

If you don’t have a kindle, here is the link to purchase the book.

And if you want to save postage, and you are actually in Asbury Park, you can purchase the book at Carla Gizzi, a funky boutique in Asbury Park Convention Hall.

And I really love this; me being the movie guy and always aspiring to be an extra in a movie; hint, hint. Linda Chorney is in pursuit of making the book into a  movie at this very moment in Hollywood.

And to end this Linda Chorney blog segment  patriotically, check out why Linda was deservedly nominated for that Grammy with her new song and video,“ Martin”     about the beautiful little 8 year old boy taken from us at the Boston Marathon.




It’s still a few days away from the Fourth. I finished my blog about Linda Chorney. I’m sitting here staring into space, looking at a picture of my mother, hanging on the wall behind my computer screen. I’m drifting all over the place; back to Newark, NJ, to places haunted and spiritual, to parks with trees and gigantic sand boxes, to apartment buildings with protruding air conditioners, to memories of trucks hawking Dugan cupcakes, to a Jane Parker industrial bakery, to an old girlfriend in 1967 who told me she was having an affair with a married dentist, to a friend Jonas who just passed away. Sometimes I wonder why I drift all over the place. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not a lesser condition of superior autobiographical memory. Is it a gift or memorex?  I’ve got miles to go and many articles to write.  Wishing all a Happy Healthy Holiday.  Peace Out.









July 15, 2012

Matecumbe Key and Global Warming. I STILL Hate the NCAA (Penn State Horror). Simple Gifts: Family, Jersey Shore Music, Universe Spiritual Connections, No Calorie No Salt Salad Dressing. Asbury Park. July 15, 2012










Global Warming

me in hurricane earl at the jersey shore




It’s my blog and I can say anything. I’m alerting the media (you all) that I’m in one of those moods, anything goes; my streams of consciousness are alive and well; so fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy blog but it’s by careful absurd design.







Global Warming

one of my heroes. Jim Valvano






Suddenly its summer and I remember what Vince Lombardi said: what’s important in life; your family, your religion and the Green Bay Packers. Another hero, Jim Valvano substituted Rutgers for the Green Bay Packers; he coached freshman basketball at Rutgers when he was in his early twenties. I miss Jim Valvano; his energy, humor and quest for excellence.







Global Warming

key largo movie poster. the movie saved my life

Global Warming

dream house matecumbe key



I love the word absurd. And I wonder who wrote the book of love and why the American Olympic Team is wearing uniforms made in China. There’s an old sewing group near me. A few dozen people; they’d love to make uniforms and for nothing and they’re retired. Even my 102 year old friend Emily Cook (she liked President Herbert Hoover) would help with the knitting of uniforms.









Global Warming

bogart and bacall in a scene from key largo. words can’t express the impact on my life




At President Obama’s inauguration, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, they played two songs; one of them was Simple Gifts which I’ve been listening to regularly for decades; both the instrumental(Aaron Copland) and song by Judy Collins. I was pleased when I heard the song played at the inaugural; was I this great visionary with music and relevancy? Simple gifts is also part of the title of this blog because when you reach that graying autumnal stage in life, you realize that life is not forever yet there are things so simple yet unappreciated that you wish you had.





Global Warming

global warming is doing this.





But first, carry me back to Matecumbe Key in the Florida Keys. Truth is; I just love the sound of Matecumbe Key. It haunts and pulls me soulfully to get there one day and for no particular reason other than to walk into a general store to ask the proprietor if I’m really in Matecumbe Key. Maybe buy bottled water made out of plant base and not BPA. My Matecumbe days began in 1973 when I saw the movie Key Largo with Bogart and Bacall for the first time. Much too involved to explain now, but that movie rescued and set me on a different life’s path.






Global Warming

Global Warming. all the posters in all the world won’t make a diffference. goodbye miami and new orleans




Strangely, in the past few weeks, I’ve been pulled by different parties to begin writing a memoir. When I do that, I’ll talk about the life saving qualities of that tech noir movie I saw in the summer of 73. In the movie, you hear mentioned several times about characters going to Matecumbe Key. I want my Maypo and Matecumbe Key and to walk barefoot on white sand. Maybe I could find a hammock between two aging palms and swing aimlessly for a few hours. I don’t drink much but perhaps a Jagermeister in a gentle breeze swinging on the hammock. The azure seas surround me in Matecumbe; I realize the good fortune of being in one of the most laid back places on our good earth; the Florida Keys.





Global Warming

jerry sandusky: penn state let this very bad man do very bad things for the money that football brings. shame on ncaa for doing nothing.

Global Warming

hey ncaa. the refs fixed this game. shame on ncaa





Actually, back around 1997 or thereabouts, I packed up my troubles spontaneously and went down to the Florida Keys for the first time. This whole adventure was simply gifted for me to put my bare toes on the dock in Key Largo where Bogart and Bacall stood in the movie Key Largo and absorb their energy. Strange as it may sound that’s exactly what I did and the only reason behind my long trip from New Jersey. I am quirky and haunted by universal energies which I don’t understand. I loved Islamorada and Key Largo and resolved to return to spend time in Matecumbe Key. But I worry.



Global Warming

still backstage at john eddie concert at stone pony in asbury park





I worry about global warming. Hundreds of scientists now have found evidence that global warming is really accelerating; sea levels are rising, as are greenhouse gases and the melting of glaciers. I think all the string and relativity theory in the world won’t be able to help us and therefore precious Matecumbe Key will sink into the sea and become a warped speed memory.



Global Warming

backstage watching southside johnny at stone pony



Global warming is causing some of our wild weather and the last 12 months have been the hottest ever on mother earth. I lucked out this past winter because I’m smart like Fredo(Michael’s brother) and I bet on a warm winter and no snow; I didn’t buy a snow blower (my source of snow removal, my prodigal son moved out a year ago) and it never snowed an inch. Hooray for global warming. Perhaps one day here in Western Monmouth county, I’ll have beach front property. I’ll make a fortune when it’s time to sell; of course the window of ocean rising will last a few weeks. But there’s always a buyer.





Global Warming

at wonder bar asbury park with mario casella (slim chance and the gamblers)






The trend towards a rapidly warming planet is accelerating. Last year was the second smallest area of ice (polar) on record. Glaciers continue to shrink. Greenland’s glaciers are melting 30 times faster than 10 years ago. By the year 2050, sea level will rise another 12 inches and goodbye Miami and New Orleans and my dream of a hammock swing on Matecumbe Key. And this was the first time ever that these scientific studies officially said global warming is due to man.



Global Warming

. with my dear friend 102 year old emily cook who could’ve knit some uniforms for our olymmpic team

Global Warming

john eddie with ralph notaro at stone pony asbury park


Optimism or denial; Have we reached the tipping point yet where we can slow or reverse the global warming trend? Maybe not this year or next but the scales will tip, the Yankees will win another World Series and maybe they’ll find that cigarettes are actually good for you.

Back in March 2011, I watched a basketball game between Rutgers and St. Johns at the Big East tournament in Madison Square Garden. I’ve blogged for the past year on and off about the game being obviously fixed by the referees so St. John’s could win. I’ve been watching basketball for five decades and you know when referees fail to call six egregious fouls and then walk off the court with almost two seconds left in the game; more than enough time for Rutgers to make a three point shot.





Global Warming

linda chorney at stone pony singing 19th nervous breakdown. she rocked.

Global Warming

hanging with marta and andra at stone pony after marc ribler & friends tribute to rolling stones.



I said it then and now: the NCAA hierarchy is archaic, perhaps even evil and seemingly interested more in keeping their high paying jobs. The system sucks. I hate them for not eliminating or punishing those referees. So now we have the Penn State  scandal with their football program that is a huge scar on our national image and conscience and won’t go away until way after Matecumbe Key sinks into the ocean. Imagine the highest levels of the Penn State University administration, athletic director and coach Paterno all covering up the abuse and rape of young boys by Jerry Sandusky for many years; all to protect the image and money making ability of Penn State football. So let’s see what the NCAA does. What should be done is banishing their football program for many years and keeping them out of bowl play for a long time. It’s called crime and punishment and justice. But let’s see what corruption and money will ultimately do to the evil NCAA decision making process. Hah!  And I’m off now to Monmouth Racetrack. I feel wise and insightful.



Global Warming

asbury park spontaneous boardwalk. the community drummers. pure magic people.



Now to Simple Gifts and serious thought; as I’ve aged, matured and looked through looking glasses and ponds of water (often I ponder why water is transparent), I’ve reached heightened awareness how wonderful it could be to have a family and people around you that genuinely care; people whom you share genes with. Down with mendacity and Big Daddy. Yes having a real family with siblings and cousins is a simple gift and I wish upon a star and before I head to the happy hunting ground that there was a family structure in my life. Sometimes I smell under my arms like Flounder did in the movie Animal House just before walking into Delta fraternity house to a rush party. Is it me or Memorex? And I just decided, I’ve said enough. Go read my future memoir to fully understand the depth of my family sadness. Could I make a comedy out of it all? Another Divine Comedy?  I wonder.


Global Warming

marc ribler and friends at mc cloones asbury park

Global Warming

marc ribler and friends at stone pony. 50 licks. 50th anniversary of rolling stones.


But Jersey Shore music is another simple gift that I’ve embraced and realized. Asbury Park is a magical place of music, ocean, memories and culture. Often I can spend several days and nights a week exploring the boards of walking Asbury Park, sampling its plethora of food and music. Tuesday nights at McCloone’s for Marc Ribler and Friends in concert; we’re talking three or four hours of amazing music. I sit in the back and look out at the ocean and nearby Asbury Convention Hall, bathed in surreal lights and memories of Springsteen and I physically pinch myself. “Look Mah, where I am!”

Last Wednesday night, I was at the iconic Stone Pony for dozens of singers and Marc Ribler for a retrospective of the Rolling Stones. A week before, I was backstage  at the Stone Pony for John Eddie and Southside  Johnny and the Asbury Jukes thanks to my friend and Grammy nominee Linda Chorney. Last night I was in Belmar watching accomplished singer Danny White and soon in Long Branch with Gary US Bonds in concert. Tomorrow night I’m in Brick at River Rock for one of my favorite bands, Slim Chance and the Gamblers. When they sing Harbor Heart, I melt into the real Jersey Shore. It’s a never ending story of atoms, molecules, gravitational pulls and music unlike most spots on this globally warming earth; Jersey music is a simple gift that I’m forever grateful for. Thanks to my son Neil for lighting my fire.


Global Warming

southside johnny at stone pony with marc ribler. tribute to rolling stones.




Being connected to the Universe is another simple gift that I am forever grateful for. When I meditate each day, I make sure the universe is thanked for the simple gifts of connection. These connections are elaborate and much too complex to even being to contemplate here and now. Yesterday, these abilities were recognized and I’ve been invited by higher ups to explore this simple gift. I’ll keep you posted.





Global Warming

singer danny white mentoring a young band in belmar (jersey shore)





And finally the simple gift of a tasty salad dressing with no calories or salt. Mostly a dream since I subsist on mainly vegetables and some poultry.  When recently exploring a boutique supermarket and near the bin of mostly green bananas, I found a dressing that was real low in calories and salt. I don’t understand. I expect hidden ingredients of carcinogenic flavoring devices to hide out until some  research arm at the turn of the next century says the ingredients are bad for you; but so far so good. Being a flexitarian (no red meat) I need excess lettuce and some chicken. So hooray for better living through chemistry and this Marie person’s dressing. I’ll keep you posted to see if I’ve lost several inches of height. I know New Jersey is going to lose several hundred feet of shore line once global warming closes in. I just realized the simple gift of Asbury Park and its music will have to move miles inland one day. And what will become of me and my small family?






PLEASE CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE OF ARLAN FEILES AND HIS NEW  CD. “Weeds Kill the Wild Flowers” Arlan is a wondrous singer and lyricist. I keep listening and drifting all over my life and his words.            


Global Warming

Global Warming


NOW HERE THIS:   a bit of an advertisement.  BUT there’s a very unusual upbeat funny precious 2 minute video involving 102 year old Emily Cook who talks about the life briefly and then invites me back to her room. Not to be missed especially the last 23 seconds.   PLEASE  check it out and share it.

emily cook video she’s 102 years old.


HooplaHa Videos and Article LINKS  Global Warming

Feinstein: Female Pilot:

Judy Feinstein pilot:



Ida Gonzalez: A Mother’s Journey to Light:


Common Sense Approach to Common Sense:



Meryl Streep and Me:

A Real College Pep Band Video (yes 85 seconds):

rutgers pep band video

Also a very worthwhile cause to read up on:

Butterfly Circle of Friends.




Facebook:  Cal Schwartz

Twitter:  Earthood



book trailer. hey its 65 seconds long

Vichy Water Book Trailer:    Global Warming

Vichy Water book trailer 65 seconds long




If on Facebook check out this NJ Discover site:


OR   www.njdiscover.comGlobal Warming



Global Warming












LINKS TO VIDEOS.  Please Watch.

1.   ZOMBIE WALK   October 22, 2011

Zombie Walk Asbury Park



Nov 11, 2011   Veterans Day at NJ Vietnam War Memorial


Nov 19, 2011













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