Todd McGovern

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.

TOM JONES: KNICKER MAGNET

If you grew up in America in the 1960s and 70s, it seemed like every time you turned on the TV, there was Tom Jones – the Welsh Elvis. Whether it was the Dean Martin Comedy Hour, The Bob Hope Special or the Sunday evening Ed Sullivan Show, there was Jones, one of the day’s biggest pop stars, belting out the songs. Slightly cheesy, sure, but there was no denying the power of his voice.
Todd McGovern

Todd McGovern

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