Todd McGovern

John_Lurie_by_Jill_Goodwin

A SAD AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE. MY CONVERSATION WITH JOHN LURIE!

By Todd McGovern - No one epitomized the melding of music and art that took place in downtown Manhattan of the 1970s and early 1980s more than John Lurie. He didn’t so much burst onto the scene as help create the scene itself. To this day, John Lurie escapes categorization – Lurie is a self-taught musician, painter, actor, director and storyteller....

PROTO-PUNK PIONEER: AN INTERVIEW WITH RADIO BIRDMAN’S DENIZ TEK

by Todd McGovern - Power and high-energy are two of the more accurate descriptors of Radio Birdman and the music of Tek’s childhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “It was an amazing place to grow up. Talk about being spoiled! It’s 1968 – 1969, you know. I’m only sixteen-years-old and I can’t go to bars, but I could see all this great music in the parks. Free concerts every Sunday afternoon in the summer with great local bands like the MC5 and the Stooges....

AN INTRODUCTION TO CHARLES NELSON REILLY

by Todd McGovern - A performer who broke into the entertainment business with an uncredited role in Elia Kazan’s 1957 film, A Face In The Crowd, Charles Nelson Reilly got his big break (along with fellow comic genius, Paul Lynde) in the 1961 production of Bye Bye, Birdie. In 1964, he was in the original cast of “Hello Dolly,” alongside Carol Channing. But the Charles Nelson Reilly we know and love was from the game show, “Match Game” from 1973-1982....

“SAY YOU LOVE SATAN!” The Strange Case of Ricky Kasso

The Strange Case of Ricky Kasso - by Todd McGovern - Ricky Kasso was his name and performing Satanic rituals in the woods was his game. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and Google his name and that same image will be staring back at you from your computer screen. Spurred by a drug deal gone bad, Kasso and a two of his reprobate cohorts (Jimmy Troiano and Albert Quinones) lured high school classmate Gary Lauwers to a wooded area in Northport, Long Island. High on PCP, Kasso bites Lauwers in the neck, then stabs him in the chest. Over the course of three hours, Lauwers is tortured and commanded to say, “I love you, Satan.” When he responds by saying, “I love my mother,” Kasso ups the torture ante, ultimately killing Lauwers....

The Weather Underground, Guinness World Records and the Real Legacy of Altamont

A Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker Sam Green - by Todd McGovern - Who can forget those stories? Roy Sullivan was a park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. In his 35 years on the job, he was struck by lighting seven times, surviving them all. Known as the “Human Lightning Rod,” he died in 1983 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The reason? Unrequited love....
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HEY LOSERS! A CHILDREN’S BOOK STARRING DONALD TRUMP!

Whatever your political leanings, we can all agree that these are strange days in America. The line between reality and reality TV has been erased and the idea of “President Donald Trump” has gone from an amusing joke to a frighteningly real possibility. The more people he insults, the more popular he gets. How do you wrap your head around that? For author Laura M. Mac Donald, the answer was easy: write a children’s book! In The Very Strange Day, she portrays Mr. Trump as the wall-building, immigrant bashing bully that he is. Ms. MacDonald, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, emigrated to New York City in 2000. She is now a recently naturalized citizen and will vote in her first election in November. If Trump wins, she looks forward to being audited....
Todd McGovern

Todd McGovern

Todd McGovern is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY.