It was 2 a.m. and Stevie Wonder wanted a Leslie in Studio B. The only problem was that the Leslie he wanted was in the anteroom of Studio C. A Leslie is a specialized speaker cabinet invented for use with a Hammond organ but in the 1970s it was popular to run other sounds through the rotating speaker cones in order to get a swirling stereo effect. For example, Joe Walsh used it a lot with guitar and that April night of 1975, Stevie’s engineer Gary O. (a legend in his own right) needed to run some background vocals through it during a mix. I was Gary’s assistant engineer so the chore of getting that effect was mine. Dutifully traipsing…

entered on 04/19/16 at 09:11 AM | read more »


Have you been feeling a little Grumpy lately? Do you wish you could fall asleep and be Sleepy all night long? And during the day, are your eyes itchy; are you Sneezy? You can’t take it anymore so you just want to be Happy. Though you’re caving into the dark side of drugs and you’re Bashful to admit it, you head to the Doc. A few pills later, even though you’re still Sneezy and Grumpy, you’re even more Sleepy and now you feel Dopey.

That’s right. You’ve fallen under the spell of hay fever and spring allergies. Is there a way out of the maze of sneezes and itchy eyes, coughs and wheezes without becoming Dopey?

Well, honey is a…

entered on 04/12/16 at 02:03 PM | read more »

Sick Building Syndrome

Several years ago, when the local powers decided to avail themselves of the phenomenon of “trickle-up economics,” — you know, where political and corporate fat cats reap the rewards of public tax dollars, — the vaunted Orpheum Theatre was placed on the sacrificial altar. Though it had served as an acclaimed proscenium for 75 years, paid so-called experts proclaimed that the acoustics of the theatre were inadequate. This was in direct conflict with the very words Stephen Stills uttered to me sometime earlier after a rehearsal for a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert in the room.

“Damn,” he said. “This room sounds incredible.” Stephen has been around the block and knows a thing or two about sonics. I knew he…

entered on 04/05/16 at 01:13 PM | read more »

Casting the Iron Guru

For decades they called him “The Iron Guru.” For a few cherished years in the 1980s, I simply called him “Vince.” A new book by Karl Coyne, appropriately titled Vince’s Secret Locker, is the most ambitious and thorough compilation of what made the late Vince Gironda one of, if not the most influential and significant bodybuilding experts in history. Gironda trained thousands in his Studio City, Calif. gym across six decades, but millions of followers could never experience the inner workings of Vince’s genius — until now. Coyne’s book takes the reader inside that small gym on Ventura Boulevard and taps into the training secrets, nutritional wisdom, philosophy and charisma that made Vince’s Gym a bodybuilding mecca. Make no mistake,…

entered on 03/29/16 at 09:39 AM | read more »

Health Expo 2016

Health fairs, expos and conventions are a dime-a-dozen these days. Corner drugstores, corporate call centers, college campuses, even church basements pull out a few tables, invite a few doctors with blood pressure cuffs, fancy glucose testing schemes and free pens sponsored by drug companies and set out to tell the public what to do and who to see after you get sick. So what makes the Omaha Health Expo different as it presents its ninth annual event, this year at Baxter Arena on April 9 and 10?

“Well, to start with,” informs show producer Bob Mancuso of Mid-America Expositions, “It’s the premier event of its kind in the region offering information and education, products and demonstrations with a particular emphasis…

entered on 03/22/16 at 10:00 AM | read more »

Green Grass for Real

The ugly, deadly trucks of TruGreen have already started their parade through the streets. The killing season has begun for many. Kill those weeds. Kill those bugs. Kill everything that lives except that genetically modified green swath of Kentucky Bluegrass that seems to be the necessity of everyone from homeowners to hospitals, businesses to bumbling bureaucrats who budget poison sprays for our boulevards and right-of-ways.

Last spring, the fog of poison gas was so heavy in Dodge Park that we often turned our vehicle around and left the minute we got within detection distance. I confirmed by phone with the park ranger on duty that the poison spraying would continue for a few weeks. The pall of toxic fumes waft…

entered on 03/15/16 at 10:44 AM | read more »

Clean Green

Yes, it’s time for spring cleaning. Behavioral scientists say that it’s natural for humans to want to organize and clean things up at springtime. Look around and you see Mother Nature doing the same thing. Spring is a time of purging the detritus of December and making room for the rebirth of the season of growth. Birds are sprucing up nests. Squirrels are dumping the trash out of their wintertime hidey-holes. Soon the thunderstorms of April will wash away the logjams and dead leaves from the past. So if you feel impelled to grab a mop, some cleaning supplies and get to work around the apartment or house, you’re in good company.

But while you’re in the midst of getting…

entered on 03/08/16 at 09:07 AM | read more »

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Bud Rising

When Terence "Bud" Crawford defends his WBO lightweight title June 28 at the CenturyLink Center, he'll fight for himself, his tight-knit family and a...

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Bo Pelini behaved as if he had coached his last game at Nebraska, based on his sideline and post-game decorum, or lack thereof. That was the...

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Attention to detail

If not for Sam Burtch, the most dramatic play of this Nebraska football season might never have happened.

If not for Burtch, Ron Kellogg III...

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Planet Power: Nov. 21 - 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s be nice to each other and cultivate warm thoughts. You are what you think…


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Planet Power: Nov. 14 - 20, 2013

This issue marks my 17th year here at The “READER.” Thanks to John, Eric, my beloved Carrie, et al., for all your help, encouragement and...

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Planet Power: November 7 - 13, 2013

The new Aquarian-Age astrology is/will be ruled by the planet Uranus (yeah, I’ve heard that joke before). Traditional astrology, prior to the...

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Planet Power: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2013

Happy Halloween! Let your subconscious desires flow as the twilight fades into the black of the night of the year. Don’t fear the night. You have...

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