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Roger Steffens, Reggae Encyclopedist and “Family Acid” Photographer

Roger Steffens, Reggae Encyclopedist and “Family Acid” Photographer
If you know anything about the world of reggae music, you know the name, Roger Steffens, the  man who began the first radio broadcast of the “Reggae Beat” on KCRW (along with Hank Holmes) on Oct. 7, 1979. It was the only reggae show in Los Angeles at the time, and it went on to set annual fundraising records for the radio station, LA’s local NPR affiliate, still going strong. Eventually “Reggae Beat” was syndicated to 130 stations worldwide. Steffens first guest on the show was Bob Marley, and Steffens spent two weeks on the road with Marley in 1979 on the original...
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Finding My New Voice in the Windy City

Finding My New Voice in the Windy City
Ok, so I’m climbing another old creaky, wooden staircase, up into the unknown. Up into my future. It’s the summer of 1970 and I’m in the Windy City of Chicago. In “Old Town”, the refurbished, creative hub of the city on the near north side, where the Second City comedy troupe of Paul Sills and Alan Arkin fame will soon become home to the next comic crew of John Belushi, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray. Where tourists can bring their suburban kids to have hand-made, miniature glass-blown animals delicately crafted for them by pretty girls with perfect smiles and steady...
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gino cumeezi, outlaw clown & provocateur

gino cumeezi, outlaw clown & provocateur
as many of you may, or may not know, i used to be a clown. “gino cumeezi”. that was my name. great grandson of the infamous and toothless “gums” cumeezi. a cross between charlie chaplin, jack kerouac, and grand central station. i like to think of gino as a subversive public fool. a comic outlaw. a provocateur to the max. truly one of new yawk’s “finest”. in fact, gino ran for mayor of new york city in 1977. against the recently deceased (february, 2013), one and only mayor of new yawk, ed koch. “put a real clown in gracie mansion.”  that was gino’s campaign slogan. he finished...
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act three?

act three?
“act 3”, you know, of a play? it follows its 2 predecessors: act one, which brilliantly sets up what’s at stake for the protagonist. followed by act two, in which the play develops with tension & suspense as it builds in “rising” action, when finally, you have, “act 3”, the climax and resolution of the play. if it’s a good/happy ending, the play is called a comedy; if it’s a not so good, bummer of an ending, the play is called a tragedy. in either case, act 3, the “falling” action and… the end of the play. now being a college theater professor for the last 26 years, i...
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mountains and ocean and hollywood sign… and yet?

mountains and ocean and hollywood sign…  and yet?
   look to the right, exactly 90 degrees from the terraced hillside back deck of lucretia gardens, and there are — the san gabriel mountains — gently looming over the hazy glendale flats. turn 180 degrees back to the left and there’s — the glassy silver rim of the pacific ocean, dividing the big sky of another multi-colored california sunset from the slightly high-rise sprawl of snarky century city and the equally-hazy flats of LA’s toney west side. turn back another 90 degrees to the right, and there, straight ahead, is the white dome of the griffith observatory, the shrubby...
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