rock and rollRock and Roll, Murder, Hair and Woodstock

It will be a bittersweet Colin Lively Show this week. Colin will be taking a walk down Memory Lane as his guest on this week’s show takes him down his. Colin Lively, a country boy, was growing up in the shadow the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. Donald Riggio, a city boy, was growing up in the Bronx in the shadow of the Throg’s Neck Bridge. A typical Sunday morning for Colin was having biscuits, red eye gravy, and grits..then off to the Rainelle Methodist Church, and lunch with the proper folk at the Pioneer Hotel. A typical Sunday morning for Donald was  having a bagel, with a schmear, and maybe sneaking in an egg cream before heading off to Saint Helena’s Catholic Church, and then Nonni Riggio’s house for spaghetti and gravy(which is what the older generation of Italians called tomato sauce).. Two lives of young men, dreaming and dreaming big. Who could possibly make comparisons of these two totally different young lives being lived? BUT ……  (aha moment) …TELEVISION.

The environments may have been totally different, but the impact of the technology of right there in the living rooms of all American homes, rich or poor,was scorching imprints into our psyches . Then there was that night. No, not that night . THE NIGHT!!!!….The event that changed the world.Sunday, September 9th , 1956. The Ed Sullivan Show. And paved the way for extraordinary music. In the time it takes to blink an eye, the youth of America was totally changed. Fashion changed. Sexy changed. Music changed. Dance changed.

Soon, Colin was old enough to move out of the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains, Donald was old enough to move out of the shadow of the Throg’s Neck. It was time to Live That Dream. In itself, sounds like an old TV show. Colin may not have known what he wanted, exactly, but hedonism was quite natural. But, Donald wanted to have a band of his own. Maybe like another Italian guy from the Bronx, Dion DeMucci and his Belmonts. Dion was from the Bronx and he was BIG!! really BIG too…

But the luminous skies overhead weren’t to be blue very long. A greater , darker shadow was moving in . A shadow looming so large, that not even Elvis,the Beatles, or Dion, or even our beloved President could control. The world had just gone from an innocent, safe place to be to being a very scary and heavy place. Vietnam. Life. Love.Marriage. Paycheck. Mortgage. BABIES!!! … Divorce. Alimony. Ulcers. New marriage. Two mortgages. No paycheck . BABIES!!!…geeze… who can dream big under  these conditions!!

Yes, the 60s were a tough 10 years for young adults. But would I exchange them ? NO WAY!!!.. War Protestors..Long Hair.. Woodstock..the Kennedys.. Marilyn Monroe..The Supremes.. Man on the Moon.. Women’s Rights.. Race Riots..  YOKO, oh no!!..  and the music…the amazing amazing music. The music that defines a time that is no more. Real voices. Real music. Real words. That conveyed messages. Subliminal. Direct. Refined. Urgent.

No, Donald Riggio, did not end up with his own band. He is not compared to Dion. But, has Dion written a novel that takes us back to the most amazing decade that has ever been? I don’t think so!! SEVEN INCH VINYL.

Seven-Inch Vinyl is Donald Riggio’s dream come true in the form of an amazing fiction novel. It is something of a history book. The characters are familiar. So familiar that I found myself trying to guess which real life people the people who live in Donald’s imagination and now in mine. That seems like Elvis. Yes, Elvis because there’s the manager, Cap Stewart..hmm. CAUGHTCHA…Colonel Parker!!

There’s the record company called Chanticleer Records where stars are made, and unmade.

There’s the Sex…The Drugs…The Rock and Roll….The Sex….The Murders…….yes, in between the music is MURDER!!!!

Amazing plot development makes me love this book.. Never one dull page..It is truly a “Rock and Roll” murder mystery novel, with a twist, and maybe even a boogaloo.. and Donald Riggio, if you can bear with his Bronx accent, is one amazing guest for this week’s Colin Lively Show.

Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (from Good Reads):

vinylIn 1953, the entire world waited for an explosion. The United States and The Soviet Union both possessed a weapon that could blow the planet to bits. But when the explosion finally did come, it wasn’t from an Atom Bomb blast-but from the birth of rock and roll music. Seven-Inch Vinyl chronicles the evolution of rock and roll between the years 1953-1969. An interesting array of fictional characters takes the reader on a remarkable journey from the rural landscapes of Kentucky where Rhythm and Blues is on the rise to the juke joints of Memphis as R&B meets country to create the Rockabilly sound. From there travel north to the bustling metropolitan cities of Cleveland and New York where the vocal harmonies from singing groups seems to occupy every street corner.

The British Invasion of performers in the mid-sixties threatens the very life of the American music scene. But bolstered by the founding of Motown, and the emerging folk scene from Greenwich Village to Haight-Ashbury, a rock and roll revival rejuvenates past careers and re-kindles the popularity of its early days. Told against a backdrop of racism, political unrest, war and assassination, the narrative blends actual historic events with music history to demonstrate how rock and roll changed the lives of generations of young men and women to forge the course of the nation and the world

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