Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me. It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Mostly cloudy skies in the morning giving way to mostly sunny skies in the afternoon. No chance of precipitation. High of 72 "A"
SUNDAY: Slight chance of rain in the morning diminishing towards late afternoon. More sun as the day progresses. High of 76. "A"
Normally here would be my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog. But she’s been very busy planning Kyla’s big birthday bash set for this Sunday. So I step in. That’s right. Me. I’ve done it before. Does pure chaos await? Mass destruction? A major departure from the tone of Jennifer’s blog?
Fasten yourself in, let’s go and let’s see.
I've actually been here.
Next Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo.
Hope you enjoy this musical repeat from last year!
Riots broke out in Baltimore this week.
Many compared the Baltimore disturbances to what happened in many spots in America in 1968.
Tumultuous times, indeed. But an incredibly creative period as well with wide-ranging music styles.
Consider the path taken by Tommy James and the Shondells. In just 2-3 years they went from bubble gum to psychedelic rock.
“First of all, I was becoming a Christian at that time, and we never thought a thing about it. We never thought that doing something semi-religious was any big deal. We didn't think of it as being politically incorrect or anything like that. We just did what felt right. I wrote 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' with Eddie Gray and Mike Vale. Eddie came up with the little guitar riff, and Mike and I did the lyrics. And it just felt very right as a sort of semi-religious poetic song, but it turned out to be one of the hardest records I've ever made.
“We went in and had a set of drums, we had guitars, we had keyboards, and by the end, we just realized we had totally overproduced the record. It just was not 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' anymore. It was a nice track, but wasn't right. So we had to produce the record, and then we had to un-produce the record. And one by one we just started pulling the instruments out, until we ended up with a conga drum, a bongo, a tambourine, a flamenco guitar, and a very light-sounding bass. We took out the drums completely. We took out all the keyboards except one, which was a Hammond. And basically ended up with about four instruments on it. And suddenly it became 'Crystal Blue Persuasion,' the song that we had written. It has kind of an effervescent sound about it, a lot of atmospherics that just weren't there when it had all those instruments on it. Suddenly when you emptied out the record it sounded like 'Crystal Blue' again. It had that light airy sound, which it needed to be right. And it took us about 6 weeks to do all that. It really was a very intricate un-production, pulling all the things out. Actually, it was tougher than putting them in because you didn't want to mess up the record, but you wanted to empty it out. So it came out and went #1 for us.
"Of course, everybody thinks if they don't understand what you're talking about it must be about drugs. But it wasn't. We were going through a real interesting time back then, and a very wonderful time. Everybody in the band, by the way, became Christian. And we're very proud of it. And 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' was sort of our way of saying that in a kind of pop record way."
Tommy James turned 76 this week and is still waiting for the call that he and his band have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.