Thirty-Five Years Ago
SAM: WE’RE THROUGH, you airhead. Jack is meeting me this Friday at City College to see “That Scoundrel Scapin.” Eileen.
ANGEL, SORRY we couldn’t finish the voyage, but rock and roll is calling me. I must go on tour once again. Punky.
— CLASSIFIEDS, July 29, 1976
Thirty Years Ago
Even the most persnickety of pop music sleuths would develop brain knots trying to pinpoint the exact time and place, or even the reasons that the musical form known as “progressive” or “art” rock passed away. As epitomized by such groups as Genesis; Yes; Gentle Giant; Emerson, Lake and Palmer; and others, progressive rock (not to be confused with what FM radio stations call progressive rock, i.e. anything from Pablo Cruise to Billy Joel) was characterized by a somewhat snobbish adherence to the rules of Good Taste.
— READER’S GUIDE TO THE MUSIC SCENE, July 30, 1981
Twenty-Five Years Ago
“Hold it a minute,” says a censorious voice in the back of your skull, “I presumed you outgrew all this nonsense of relating to cartoons.” Then you discover that this week the seventeenth annual San Diego Comicon (comic convention) takes place within a ten-minute drive from your apartment, and not only Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the guys who created all those Marvel comic books you loved as a kid, will be there but so will Reader cartoonists Rick Geary, Matt Groening, and Lynda Barry.
— EVENTS: “COMIC BOOK BASH,” Orlando Ramirez, July 31, 1986
Twenty Years Ago
Groups like the Four Freshmen, Four Lads, Four Aces, and Crewcuts were aggressively “square,” to use the reigning pejorative of the day. They were asexual, sung from the waist up, and would never leave home without their white buck shoes and bow ties. They always acted as if the world were a much better place than it is. And they were so well-behaved, so squeaky clean, so bright and shiny, they scared me half to death. Needless to say, I practically had to be dragged by the hair to the Old Globe Theatre to see Forever Plaid. I mean, “Papa Loves Mambo” and “Three Coins in the Fountain” just aren’t my cup of Darjeeling.
— THEATER REVIEW: “HOMOGENIZED, SQUARE, SHINY AND TERRIFIC,” Jeff Smith, August 1, 1991
Fifteen Years Ago
When I say, “Hi. This is Abe Opincar from the San Diego Reader,” network publicity people react with a boredom and disinterest so profound I can hear their eyes glaze over. They often misunderstand my name and call me Dave or Gabe. (Although last week a network publicity person, from whom I was trying to extract information about his employer’s “exciting new fall lineup,” called me Abob. I tried several times to correct him — “That’s Abe, sir. Not Abob. My name is Abe.” But he didn’t seem to care much. I let it ride.) I therefore associate television with crushing humiliation.
I also hate television because I have to read about television, and the only thing worse than watching television is reading about it.
— AS SEEN ON TV: “FILTHY HATE TV,” Abe Opincar, August 1, 1996
Ten Years Ago
Please have a private word with the men in your audience who seem to feel free to sit with their knees widely spread on all sorts of public seating. I have noticed this while seated next to men on planes, buses, trains, and in theaters. It is especially problematic in two-person seating arrangements where some guy has one of his knees halfway into the middle of my space. Someone told me that the problem is anatomical, but I think it is just unconscious arrogance.
— ASK AUNT TRUDY, July 26, 2001
Five Years Ago
A black female adult entered the Burger King restaurant, brandished a handgun, and demanded cash. The victim complied with the armed suspect’s demands, turning over about $3,000 in cash. The same assistant manager was working Saturday, July 1, 2006, when the same Burger King was robbed of $3.700 by the same suspect.
— IT’S A CRIME: “ARMED ROBBERY/PAROLE VIOLATION,” Michael Hemmingson, July 27, 2006