In Memoriam: René Auberjonois (1940-2019)


René Auberjonois passed away today at the age of 79, If you picked a decade between the 70’s and today, people would remember him for different things. In the 70’s, Auberjonois played the weasely Clayton Endicott III on Benson, starring Robert Guillaume, and his character was often the butt of many jokes. He also played a role in the 70’s remake of King Kong, along with The Eyes of Laura Mars, directed by John Guillermin. In the late eighties, he voiced the Chef in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, who tried to cook poor Sebastian.

The 90’s and 2000’s may be where Auberjonois had the most impact. There are a number of memorials pouring in from Star Trek fans. Many Star Trek fans knew him as Odo, the shape shifting Security Officer on board Deep Space Nine. Odo was one of the coolest characters in Star Trek lore, in my opinion, even better than the Borg. Odo’s serious nature and gruff style was a departure from the roles I was used to seeing him in.  Auberjonois never failed to keep a little humor going thoughout.

In 2004, Auberjonois joined David Kelley’s Boston Legal with fellow Star Trek star, William Shatner. As Paul Lewiston, his character acted as the straight man among the madness at Crane, Poole and Schmidt. He had some great appearances on the show for 5 seasons, in particular an arc that had him dealing with a drug addicted daughter.

He’ll be missed.

Song of the Day: That’s My Job (by Conway Twitty)


I know that generally speaking, Song of the Day isn’t a category that I post in, but I hope you’ll all indulge me this once.

A lot of people these days might recognize Conway Twitty from various cutaway gags in the TV show Family Guy, but for me, it goes back to my childhood.  Watching Hee-Haw with my dad, riding in the car with my dad, waking up in the morning to dad playing Conway and other old country western music stars while he exercised before work.  While my musical tastes would always skew more towards rock and alternative, I will always link music like Conway’s to my dad.

This past Friday, I lost my dad, Donald Boucher, after several long years fighting cancer.  Like any father and son, we had our disagreements, but we always knew that we loved each other.  I moved halfway across the country away from my parents, so I’d make sure that every Sunday I’d call him, even if I had spoken to him on Saturday, so today especially felt extra hollow since I knew he wouldn’t be there to pick up the phone anymore.

This song especially gives words to my feelings better than I feel I’m capable, so I’ll let Conway take it from here.  I know that wherever dad is now, he’ll get to be listening to Conway, Hank Williams Sr, Jim Reeves, and all the others that he loved listening to while I was growing up.  I’ll miss you dad.

That’s My Job

I woke up cryin’ late at night – when I was very young
I had dreamed my father – had passed away and gone
My world revolved around him – I couldn’t lie there anymore
So I made my way down the mirrored hall and tapped upon his door.

And I said, “Daddy, I’m so afraid!
How would I go on, with you gone that way?
Don’t wanna cry anymore
So may I stay with you?”

And he said,
“That’s my job, that’s what I do
Everything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

Later we barely got along – this teenage boy and he
Most of the fights it seems – were over different dreams
We each held for me …
He wanted knowledge and learning – I wanted to fly out west
“Said I could make it out there – if I just had the fare
I got half, will you loan me the rest?”

And I said, “Daddy, I’m so afraid
There’s no guarantee in the plans I’ve made
And if I should fail, who will pay my way back home?”

And he said,
“That’s my job, that’s what I do
Ev’rything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

Every person carves his spot – and fills the hole with life
And I pray someday I might – light as bright as he.

Woke up early one bright fall day – read the tragic news
After all my travels, I settled down – within a mile or two
I make my livin’ with words and rhymes – and all the tragedies
Should go into my head and out instead – as bits of poetry.

But I say, “Daddy I’m so afraid
How will I go on – with you gone this way
How can I come up – with a song to say, “I love you.”

“That’s my job, that’s what I do
Ev’rything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

“Ev’rything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

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

R.I.P. Richard Matheson


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News hit the internet today that legendary author Richard Matheson passed away at the age of 87.

Matheson has been instrumental and influential in horror and dark fantasy pop culture of the 60 or so years. Stephen King and George A. Romero, undoubtedly two of the most recognizable masters of horror of their generation, has called Matheson a major influence in their work. Where would the zombie genre of today be without Matheson’s groundbreaking vampire novel, I Am Legend, which gave Romero the idea to make his Night of the Living Dead. It is also this very same vampire novel whose influence could be seen throughout King’s own classic vampire tale with Salem’s Lot. Even King’s own foray into a zombie novel, Cell, would be dedicated to Matheson.

Yet, Matheson’s influence wouldn’t just be felt in the literary world. He would pen some of the best Twilight Zone episodes and would also provide Roger Corman with screenplay adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories and novellas. He would also provide Hollywood with screenplays based on his own stories that would become classic horror and dark fantasy films in their own right.

There’s no way to quantify just how many people Richard Matheson has touched and influenced with his work, but one would be hard pressed not to find someone who hasn’t come across something that had Matheson’s fingerprint whether it was one of his stories, films based on his works or a tv episode that he didn’t have a hand in writing. Then there’s those who have seen or read something that had been influenced by his work.

Today the world has lost of the giant’s in his field of work. Yet, as his best known work says as it’s ending, Matheson will survive far longer than he had lived: HE IS LEGEND.

On a personal note, I count Matheson as one of the biggest influences in my life. Everything he has done or touched have had a hand in showing me the power of the written word. Much of what I watch and read has been influenced by his work. Where would horror and dark fantasy be without him to set the path for future writers and filmmakers. Whether they care to admit it or not they, just like myself, owe Richard Matheson a debt of gratitude for work in the field.

A giant of a man has passed into legend and it’s now up to us, his admirers and fans, to continue on his work of providing the world with quality genre entertainment.