In Memoriam 2017: Sports & Other Pop Culture


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Since I’m a Massachusetts-based writer and unrepentant Boston sports fan, I’m dedicating this final “In Memoriam” post to two legends in their respective sports. The Red Sox’ Bobby Doerr was MLB’s oldest living player when he died in November at age 99. Doerr was a Hall of Fame second baseman, 9 time All-Star, and one of the best hitters and fielders at his position. Hockey Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt played 16 years with the Boston Bruins, eight of them on the feared “Kraut Line” alongside Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer. Schmidt also coached the Bruins from 1954-66, and passed away in January at 98.

Boston Celtic Fab Melo

Perhaps the saddest loss in Boston sports was former Boston Celtic first round pick Fab Melo, who died at the tender age of 26 from a heart attack in his native Brazil. Quincy, MA native Sam Mele (98) roamed right field…

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In Memoriam 2017: Music


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The world of rock’n’roll lost two of its architects in 2017, giants who can never be replaced. Chuck Berry (90) was rock’s poet laureate, a smooth showman who chronicled the life and times of 50’s teens with songs like “Johnny B. Goode”, “School Days”, “You Never Can Tell”, and the anthem “Rock and Roll Music”. New Orleans pianist Fats Domino (89) contributed his barrelhouse, let-the-good-times-roll sound on hits like “Blueberry Hill”, “Blue Monday”, “I’m Walkin'”, and “Ain’t That a Shame”. Music will not see the likes of these two originals again, and Cracked Rear Viewer respectfully dedicates this post to their memories.

Gregg Allman & Tom Petty

Rock music suffered another one-two blow when Gregg Allman (69), who helped usher in the Southern Rock style with The Allman Brothers Band, passed away in May. Five months later, superstar Tom Petty died at age 66, taking his beautifully jangling guitar sounds…

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In Memoriam 2017: Film & Television


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Classic movie lovers suffered a huge loss when long-time TCM host Robert Osbourne passed away at age 84. Robert’s extensive film knowledge and warm personality were always a welcome presence in my home, as I’m sure it was in movie lover’s across the country. Cracked Rear Viewer respectfully dedicates this post to the memory of the gone-but-never-to-be-forgotten Robert Osbourne.

Jerry Lewis, 1977

Old movie buffs (some say weirdos!) like myself also mourned the loss of many of our favorite stars in 2017. First and foremost there was comedian/actor/writer/director… you name it, Jerry Lewis did it! From his early days clowning with partner Dean Martin to his final dramatic role in 2016’s MAX ROSE, Lewis was a show business legend in every respect. Beautiful Anne Jeffreys (94) starred at RKO with everyone from Frank Sinatra (STEP LIVELY) to Bela Lugosi (ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY ), and also made her mark in television…

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Song of the Day: I Am the Highway (by Audioslave)


Chris Cornell passed away on May 17, 2017 and the world is that much more empty with his passing.

He was 52 and joins the others Gods of Rock in the afterlife.

R.I.P. Chris Cornell.

I Am the Highway

Pearls and swine bereft of me
Long and weary my road has been
I was lost in the cities
Alone in the hills
No sorrow or pity for leaving I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

Friends and liars don’t wait for me
‘Cause I’ll get on all by myself
I put millions of miles
Under my heels
And still too close to you
I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky
I am not your blowing wind
I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon
I am the night, night

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky
I am not your blowing wind
I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon
I am the night, night
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Scenes I Love: Alien


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We found out tonight that the great Sir John Hurt passed away at the age of 77.

For some their memory of him was in the role of the Elephant Man. For the younger set it might be as Hellboy’s adopted father Professor Broom. Some might even remember him as Chancellor Sutler from V for Vendetta. They were all great roles, but my very first memory of him is from a film that helped shaped my love for horror and sci-fi. It was a film that was influenced the impressionable mind of a pre-teen.

This film is and will always be Ridley Scott’s haunted house in space sci-fi horror film, Alien.

Sir John Hurt as the doomed crew-member Kane would make such an impact in my impressionable mind as a child not when he first appears on-screen, but when the titular creature makes it’s first appearance in what I can only describe as an explosive birthing scene.

Rest In Peace good sir.

Song of the Day: I’ve Gotta Be Me (by Sammy Davis, Jr.)


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Today is the date that will forever become a date of remembrance for me and my family.

My father, Fernando Sandoc, passed away after losing his battle with cancer. He’s been a huge influence in my taste in music. I remember listening to him when I was younger singing songs by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin to The Beatles, Tom Jones, The Temptations right up to The Eagles and Elvis Presley. His was an eclectic taste in music, but one that I didn’t appreciate at a young age.

Yet, as I grew older I began to listening to the very same bands and singers and really become fans of them as well. It was one of many ways he and I bonded throughout the years. This was especially true as I grew into adulthood.

One song which always stood out for me was of the Sammy Davis, Jr. song “Ive Gotta Be Me”.

I remember him singing this song with as much enthusiasm and vigor as Sammy himself. It became a sort of anthem (in addition to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” which was another favorite of his and mine) as if he tried to live his life just how the lyrics spelled them out. I can’t say whether he succeeded or not, but he definitely lived his life “his way” and remained to being true to himself.

He and those he called his closest friends were lived to be their very own Rat Pack.

So, I shall be forever grateful for having such a loving, understanding father and a great friend and mentor who will remain eternal as I take up the mantle he has finally set down to rest.

I’ve Gotta Be Me

Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream

Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far-away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won’t settle down, won’t settle for less
As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I’ve gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I’ve gotta be me

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me