Fresh Air meets The Beatles!

On today’s Fresh Air Terry Gross interviewed Kevin Howlett, the guy who spent years tracking down recordings of The Beatles’ performances at the BBC in order to produce the “On Air — Live at the BBC Volume 2″ album back in 2013. Many of them had to be acquired from fans who’d recorded them off their radios; astonishingly, the BBC kept no master tapes of live performances by artists in their studios at the time.

I’ve got the album. It’s super. Here’s a cut which appeared on the “Please Please Me” album in the UK and on the Vee-Jay album “Introducing…the Beatles” in the US.

Ain’t gonna happen, but it would be funny

Our new Governor is scheduled to give the State of the State address this morning at 10:00AM. He’s been in office since December 1, about seven weeks. I submit that seven weeks is hardly enough time to get one’s head around everything an entity as large as the state’s government is doing. Here’s my imaginary address if I’d only been in office that long.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The State of our State is as yet undiscernible. From what I can tell so far, my predecessor left a dreadful mess behind, but my team and I are cleaning up the rubbish as fast as we can. When I have a better handle on it I’ll get back to you. I expect that will be in July once the fiscal year has ended.

Thank you. I’m going out for lunch. I’ll be back in office after 1:00PM, working on the major issues which face our state.


How the West Was Won

I wandered through a used book/cd/dvd store this afternoon and found a copy of MGM’s 1963 epic How the West Was Won. This was one of the last movies with huge casts of big stars. It included Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Eli Wallach, John Wayne, and Richard Widmark. To top it off it’s narrated by Spencer Tracy. It also had four directors — John Ford directed one storyline, Henry Hathaway directed three, and George Marshall directed one. A fourth, Richard Thorpe, directed the transitional sequences.


It’s a long film at 162 minutes, but it was beautifully shot and had some very memorable scenes in it. The gunfight on the train at the end of the film is a sequence I still remember, and I haven’t seen the movie in 25 years.

For five bucks, this was a good buy.

Losing audience share, perhaps?

Have any of you other NPR listeners noticed that Morning Edition has suddenly gotten a bucketload of mentions while other programs are on? During All Things Considered each of the last few days there’s been a promo spot for Morning Edition (“Tomorrow on Morning Edition there’ll be…”).

I’m wondering if the show has been losing share and that’s why they’re promoting it so heavily. I guess the only way to know is wait for new numbers to be published in Current. It’s interesting, though. I imagine they initially lost a fair number of listeners when NPR fired Bob Edwards from the show in 2004, but I suspect many of those came back out of habit. We’ll see.

Exercises in stupidity, Idaho divison

“It is a mistake to ever overestimate the ignorance of the Idaho Legislature,” he said.

That was Frank Lundberg, a herpetologist in Idaho, upon the failure of the legislature to pass a bill recognizing the Idaho giant salamander as the state’s official amphibian.

Why did the critter lose out on this honor? Because ten paranoid and idiotic Republican committee members worried that if it was so designated then the Federal Environmental Protection Agency might put it on the Endangered Species list.

An Idaho attorney general’s opinion advised lawmakers that approving the salamander as a state symbol wouldn’t do anything in the way of encouraging federal protections. But lawmakers remained wary.

“My whole concern is potential federal overreach,” said Rep. Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls. “In north Idaho we have the water litigation going. I just am in fear that something could be impacted if it became an endangered species.”

Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, co-sponsored Hickman’s bill and pointed out that designating a state symbol had nothing to do with endangered species.

“We addressed that,” Ward-Engelking said. “We got an opinion from the attorney general – it was very clear. I spoke with him personally. He said no way, no how was a state symbol going to impact that whatsoever.”

You know what’s terrifying? State legislators, no matter how stupid, often get elected to the US House of Representatives. Can you imagine Mr. Cheatham in that body?

via The Maddow Blog