What's Up Chuck
Gold for Blues, Moving up in the World, Generational Milestone, What Secret?
Thursday, November 15, 2001
GOLD FOR BLUES...Congratulations to SHANE DWIGHT, who took top honors at last Sunday''s Monterey Bay Blues Festival Battle of the Bands and captured a mainstage slot on the Saturday afternoon show at next year''s blues festival. Dwight''s been doing gigs around the Monterey Bay area for the last couple years, making appearances in Santa Cruz, Moss Landing and at Ocean Thunder in Monterey. He released his first CD, Boogie King, just a couple months ago.
RED BEANS & RICE, a regular offering at Sly McFly''s and at special events around the county, took second place, with THE BLUESEXCITERS, from the Sacramento area, taking third-place honors.
MOVING UP IN THE WORLD...Speaking of blues bands (and their managers): longtime music supporter and promoter STEVE VAGNINI (who has been a big part of Red Beans & Rice''s success) is taking the next step in his evolution. Those who know Vagnini only as a promoter for Sly McFly''s and Blue Fin Billiards might be surprised to know that he has a day job; Vagnini has worked in the Monterey County Assessor''s office for 14 years. Now, he''s ready to move up in the world.
Vagnini will officially announce his candidacy for Monterey County Assessor Thursday, Nov. 15, at noon at the Monterey County Courthouse. Vagnini is vying with Spencer Eric Bailey and Jeffery E. Walbeck to take over from JOSEPH PITTA--who is retiring after 30- some years in the assessor''s office.
It''s way too early to make book on the March 2002 election but as of press time, Vagnini might have an early edge: The music promoter cum politician says that he will receive Pitta''s personal endorsement.
GENERATIONAL MILESTONE...It''s not as if Baby Boomers ever really believed they were immortal. God knows we''ve had proof enough of our own mortality as we watched countless idols take off into the great unknown. But KEN KESEY''s death last Saturday is different.
Over the decades, we watched as members of the tribe succumbed to airplane and automobile crashes, drug overdoses, murders, and any number of other things we could chalk up to hard living. Yeah, some of us died young... but that''s kind of what we expected. Maybe it''s even what we wished for; The Who certainly spoke for a portion of our generation when they sang "Hope I die before I get old..."
Yeah, it''s true, Kesey was a little too old to technically qualify as a boomer. But his exploits with drugs and the Merry Pranksters are so ingrained into the legends of the ''60s that he''s an honorary member--or at least a big brother to the crowd. So Kesey''s death on Saturday, at age 66, from liver cancer seems too prosaic, a pointed reminder that the generation that thought it would remain forever young is getting very gray.
WHAT SECRET?...And while boomers are feeling nostalgic about Kesey, they might also mourn the passing of a certain form of secrecy. Many and many a year ago, a lot of young men were titillated by the glimpse of women''s undergarments--whether it was being worn on a real person or found in one of those cheesy Frederick''s of Hollywood catalogs, where most of the lingerie was worn by illustrated women with enormous endowments. Part of the excitement in viewing these things came from a sense of seeing something that was hidden. Even though one might see bathing suits that were more revealing, lingerie drew its potency from its secrecy. Obviously, a lot''s changed since then.
Thursday night''s >"VICTORIA''S SECRET FASHION SHOW" drives a stake through the heart of another old-fashioned outlook. The cats will run freely from their bags as this lingerie revolution is televised.