Joe Henry likes to tell people he was in the army with my husband, Steve. It makes me smile to think about it, although I know the true meaning behind the inside joke and it isn’t entirely funny. Joe is impossible to capture with words, although I’m sure he could figure it out, damn him. Being charming and the kindest soul you could ever meet just isn’t good enough. He must also beguile us with his luminous, indelible, and (wait for it) toothsome way with words and music. Watch out when he puts the two together. It’s trouble. In the best possible way.

Joe was on both of the record labels I ever worked for–first on Coyote, which was a subsidiary of Twin/Tone.  Steve and I went to see Joe play with The Jayhawks at Under the Street in Durham in 1990.  For anyone who ever saw a show at Under the Street, you can close your mouth now.  Through several odd twists of fate (although, aren’t all twists of fate odd?), Joe ended up on Mammoth Records soon after and that was where I landed as well.  I’d like to take some credit, but I was just one of the many people on the sidelines yelling, “Yay!”.  Over the years, Joe has written and performed some of my favorite music in the whole world.  He even graciously performed some of it at Amity United Methodist Church on October 7, 1995, the day Steve and I were married.  In a day filled with highlights, that was near the top, and I’d like to think better than being in the army.

Joe Henry

Rochester Adams High School, Rochester, MI, Class of 1978, Currently: I am a singer and songwriter; a recording artist and -when the moon is full- a producer. I am also a poet and essayist (is that a word?) when ideas present themselves in ways that don’t suggest I might send them into the air somehow. I am currently co-writing a book with my brother on Richard Pryor and the way he changed the cultural landscape. We have also written a screeplay based on RP’s life which (touch wood) harry belafonte is going to produce for the screen. And though it has been decades since I have done so, I would some days still cut grass for money.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Well, there is much music that I loved in high school that will immediately take me back to that era, if I am to hear it in the right moment: Loudon Wainwright’s first album, Jackson’s Browne’s “late for the sky,” are two examples; but the most potent would be music that hung in the ether of that particular time, and to which i have had precious little reason to ever return. See: Boz Scagg’s “Lido.”

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I had the near-psychadelic poster of Bob Dylan by Milton Glaser that came inside the first greatest hits album. I flew that flag for years the way some people do posters of Che Guevara -and for many of the same reasons.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Bear in mind that i considered myself (foolishly, i now see) some sort of purist in my high school years: i obsessed over Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, Rev. gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt –as well as songwriters whom i believed to be touched and singular, like Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, and John Prine. I had also discovered jazz, and was deeply devoted to Thelonious Monk. I wanted music with the blood barely contained in its veins; thus I had a hair-trigger where smooth, popular bands were concerned. I seem to recall everyone digging the Bee Gees (circa “saturday night fever”), and to me they sounded like a 7-up commercial…”The Un-cola”. And I didn’t want anything “Un.”

Best show or concert you saw in high school: I saw my first live shows -and several in quick succession- at the Old Royal Oak Music Theatre, in that suburb of Detroit, the fall of 1976. (I couldn’t even drive yet.) After having spent years in my bedroom with my head under the lid of an old mono record player –like i was a mechanic and it was ’49 mercury- the spector of seeing people i admired walk out as flesh and blood beings and deliver songs into the air…well, it was almost too heady to bear. That october I saw Tom Waits and Randy Newman back-to-back on a Friday and Saturday night, respectively –the former wildly theatric in full beatnik mode; the latter, alone at a piano– and i was so electrified it left me twitching for days after. I am not sure it is possible, all things considered, to ever again see live music that could hit me with the same velocity. Given my tender age (15) and my aspirations for the future, seeing Tom and Randy the same weekend was like happening upon the burning bush in the wilderness. And it was singing.

Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: Without hesitation: “Loving You” by Minnie Ripperton.

I’ve known Glenn Boothe for a long time.  He was music director at WXYC when I started my college radio promo job at Twin/Tone in Minneapolis and we all know that was a bajillion years ago.  Glenn and I used to hang out at music conventions and were asked on many occasions if we were brother and sister.  Never mind that his last name has an “e” and my maiden name does not.  After a while, we got sick of it, and started telling people that we were ex-husband and wife, but were still friends.  Never mind that we were both twenty at the time.  I suppose people get married and divorced by twenty.  I could tell some funny stories about Glenn, like the one about his top restaurant choice in Chapel Hill in 1990, but that would be sort of embarrassing.  Let’s just say this restaurant had the best fried dairy product appetizer in town, is no longer there, and was across from The Siena Hotel.

But I digress…Glenn’s RNRHS entry is completely awesome–the story about his crafting of his own Top 25 chart is simply genius on many levels.  I laughed out loud (yes, I LOL’d) at his criteria for the list and his great attention to detail, although it did not surprise me knowing Glenn’s never-ending love of music.  But, Glenn.  Dude.  Why not just buy another notebook?  You could have kept that puppy going for a long time.

Glenn Boothe

Morehead High School, Eden, NC, Class of 1985, Currently: Owner, Local 506 – Music venue in Chapel Hill, NC

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: I have to go with Adam and the Ants. Even though the band itself had broken up by my freshmen year, I was so obsessed with Adam Ant that it lasted through my senior year…and most of my high school friends would associate me with Adam. The thing is, when I got turned on to them in ninth grade, there was really no one my age in my hometown that knew about them. So I was talking about this band that I was fanatical about and no one really knew what I was talking about. It really wasn’t until my sophomore year that people started getting MTV, and that was right around when Adam put out his first solo album, Friend of Foe.

By the time of graduation my entire bedroom was covered with Adam-related posters, some from the more risqué Strip album era (which I’m sure had my parents second-guessing my sexuality.) There is a great photo that someone posted on Facebook of my high school Science Club – the photos were taken in the winter, so most people are wearing coats…except me, I’m sporting an Adam Ant t-shirt that I wore specifically for photo day! (I just looked and now can’t find the photo online…dang.)

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: So my favorite piece of music memorabilia from high school is not something I bought but something I created. Math was always my favorite subject in high school so once I got obsessed with music, it didn’t take me long to combine my love of the two. In turn, inspired by Billboard magazine, in early 1982 I started keeping a chart of my own favorite songs. Yes, a chart where each week I ranked my 25 favorite songs!!

And being the numbers nerd that I am, I also kept separate statistics about the chart. For example, The Cars “Since You’re Gone” spent the most time at Number One and the only song to debut at Number One was “All Over Town” by April Wine (that song blew me away on first listen needless to say!)

The chart also had strict guidelines; for a song to qualify, I had to actually hear it on the radio. This ruled out me adding every song off an album by my favorite bands; however, luckily for me, the album rock station in Winston-Salem, WKZL, started a Sunday night show called New Generation that was inspired by what college radio was playing at the time (as I couldn’t actually hear any college radio stations on a regular basis.) In addition to introducing me to new chart-worthy acts like REM and U2, New Generation also impacted the chart by playing album tracks from bands I was already listening to (I actually remember being particular excited when I finally heard Duran Duran’s ‘Hold Back the Rain’ on New Generation so that it finally qualified for the chart!) In retrospect, this chart clearly reflects my tastes shifting from more mainstream acts (“Superfreak” was the first number one) to the so-called ‘college rock’ acts of the time.

My weekly chart finally came to an end in 1983, not because I outgrew it but because I finally filled up the notebook I was using! And now, what’s funny, thirty years later, I’m still kind of obsessed with charts and do a year-end music chart (inspired by the Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll.)

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: This one is difficult because I’m way more open-minded now about music than I was in high school. Back then, I primarily liked punk, new wave and the aforementioned ‘college rock’ so didn’t appreciate much that was very popular. My first concert was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and even though I can now say it was awesome, not long after, when Joan Jett got much bigger, I painted a ‘no’ symbol (the circle with a slash) on the t-shirt I bought at the show (and had worn proudly before.) I’m just now realizing this wasn’t much different than Johnny Rotten writing “I Hate” on a Pink Floyd shirt but that wasn’t the inspiration, I just happened to come across a can of red paint.

But I digress, back to the question. I have to say, the bigger bands that everyone in Eden seemed to like that I didn’t at the time included Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Hank Williams, Jr but I can now appreciate those (or love in the case of Zeppelin.) I think what I hated more at the time was when my friends started liking ‘my’ music. Sure, I was happy that acts like Adam Ant or Duran Duran were getting more fans, but it still seemed personal. I remember feeling disappointed when I got a ride from a friend in high school and she was listening to The Clash album ‘Combat Rock’ – I bought that album the week it came out and this was a year later after ‘Rock The Casbah’ had been a hit. The Shareef wasn’t the only one that didn’t like it…

Best show or concert you saw in high school: This one’s easy – U2 at Kenan Stadium in 1983. First date of the War tour. It was only my second concert and is still my favorite concert of all-time. And I’m not the only one – most people I’ve met since who were in attendance agree it was a magical experience (and I’m amazed how many people I now know who were there.) I can still visualize The Edge sitting at the piano with his guitar playing both instruments during ‘New Years Day.’

The funny thing is U2 weren’t even the headliner – Todd Rundgren had to follow them playing solo! There were also two openers, one of which was, amazingly enough, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five. I didn’t get rap music at all at the time (nor did most of the crowd unfortunately,) so kind of bummed I didn’t appreciate them as much as I enjoyed the timeless new wave of The Producers!?!?

Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: I wish I had an answer to this…but I wasn’t kissing many girls because of my music obsession…and when I did have the chance, playing DJ was the last thing on my mind. I did date a girl most of my senior year and I tried to turn her on to the music I liked but, in retrospect, she did a better job turning me onto her music. She was into hip-hop and I distinctly recall hearing The Beastie Boys “She’s On It” at her house and realizing this rap music I absolutely hated at the time wasn’t so bad when you added guitars.

Not long after, I remember making a tape of Run-DMC’s Raising Hell with only the songs with guitar. That tape didn’t include the guitar-less lead track “Peter Piper” which I now consider one of the baddest rap songs of all-time – and not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good!

I’m doing the happy dance over today’s installment of RNRHS, featuring honest-to-goodness American music legend, Peter Case.  Many children of the ’80s, myself included, love his band, The Plimsouls, and associate them with a very memorable time in our lives.  “A Million Miles Away” is the touchstone, nostalgia wrapped up in an endlessly listenable package.  Hell, the title for my book comes from the lyrics.  The thing is though, The Plimsouls were only the tip of the proverbial iceberg and Case’s solo career has proven to be most enduring, earning him accolades and a legion of die-hard fans. He has had three Grammy nods over the years, his songs are continually revived by other artists (a three-disc set was recorded in tribute to him) and featured in films and TV (most recently, on True Blood). Over two decades, he’s recorded ten solo albums and his most recent release, “Wig”, is not to be missed.   You can find out even more about Mr. Case, including worldwide tour dates, at  A million thanks to Peter for being so generous with his time and memories!

Peter Case

Hamburg High School, Hamburg , NY, dropped out of the class of ’72 after 9th grade, Currently: writing songs and singing them, touring the world

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: I listen to Bob Dylan, Cecil Taylor, the Beatles, Captain Beefheart, The Stones

Favorite piece of music memorabilia in high school: my band Pig Nation played at the school dance, there was a riot, the local paper printed an editorial: ‘Where Were The Chaperones?’ They gave out our addresses too.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I loved the first Led Zep LP, and nobody knew what it was. My girlfriend said she liked Bobby Goldsboro, so I broke up with her.

Best high school make-out song: I didn’t particularly mind what song was playing.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: When I was 16 I ran off from home and saw Lightnin’ Hopkins play in Boston, early 1971.

This week’s RNRHS is from Regina Joskow, one of my oldest (as in we’ve been friends for a long time) and dearest friends. Regina was one of the amazing women that I looked up to when I got my first music biz job and she was similarly in love with Soul Asylum, so we had much over which to bond. On top of that, her birthday is the day after mine, so we are astrologically in synch. I had to send Regina a note yesterday afternoon while I was trolling the internet for photos of Todd Rundgren–I never realized exactly how hot Todd Rundgren was in his day.  I mean, if you’re into that whole scrawny rock god thing, and yes, Regina and I have been known to be into that.

Regina Joskow

Bronx, NY, Currently: Independent Publicist

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: My twin obsessions were the Ramones and Todd Rundgren. I spent every cent I made at my after-school job at Weber’s Bake Shop on records, concert tickets and magazines so I could indulge my crazy fandom.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I had a huge poster of the Rolling Stones on the wall over my bed. My father used to call Mick Jagger “the man from the planet of the apes,” which I thought was hilarious. I actually covered every square inch of my walls (at least what I could reach) with pictures I cut out of Creem Magazine, Trouser Press and Rock Scene. It was a little over the top, but I thought it was the coolest. I had a t-shirt from the Johnny Blitz benefit at CBGB in 1978 that I was particularly fond of. Johnny was the drummer of the Dead Boys, who was injured in a knife fight, and because he had no money and no insurance, a bunch of bands put together a benefit to raise money for his hospital bills. The benefit took place over three nights and I was lucky enough to attend one of them. I still have the remains of that t-shirt, though I’m shocked that I ever had the chutzpah to wear something that’s essentially the size of a handkerchief as a top (of course, I customized it and cut off the bottom, the sleeves and the neck band).

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: There were a few: Boston, Kansas, and Styx come to mind. I hated all of these with a burning passion. I’ve come around to appreciating the first Boston album, but the mere thought of Styx and Kansas is enough to give me hives.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: I had the dumb luck of being best friends with a girl whose sister worked at CBGB, so she got us into a bunch of shows that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise — and even if I had known about them, there was no way I would have been able to get in to any of them. Television made a huge impression on me, as did Patti Smith, who’s still one of my musical heroes. I have very vivid memories of seeing Television open for Peter Gabriel at the Capitol Theater, and of Gabriel’s fans throwing things at the stage and yelling for Television to get off. It was really quite traumatic at the time. I think the most memorable arena show was the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden for the “Some Girls” tour. I also remember what a trip it was to see the Clash open for the Who at Shea Stadium: David Johansen was on first, and the stands were almost empty. By the time the Clash came on, the stadium was full, but most people had no interest in the Clash, and kept chanting for the Who. This was after Keith Moon’s passing, and I had little interest in seeing the Who with Kenney Jones. If my friend Maria hadn’t insisted that we stay, I would have bailed.

Best high school make-out song (optional!): I honestly don’t remember.

Today’s RNRHS comes from indie rock music biz legend, Lori Blumenthal.  Yes, Lori, I’m going to call you a legend and you can’t get out of it, even though you no longer work in music.  Sorry.  When I got my first music business job at Twin/Tone Records, Lori worked at I.R.S. Records and was one of the women that I really looked up to because she was so incredibly well-respected by everybody.  I mean, everybody.  Lori also happened to be really good friends with a guy named Steve Balcom, who is now my husband, and I remember worrying that Lori might not like me and that it might somehow influence Steve’s opinion of me.  I had a ginormous crush on him and he didn’t know it and well…my worrying was for nothing because it all worked out in the end.  Lori has some very cool NY music memories, so please, read on.

Lori Blumenthal

West Hempstead High School, West Hempstead NY, Class of 1980 (Go Rams!  not really, nobody cared, they were all way too busy smoking pot), Currently: a long suffering bookstore employee in the era of the death of the printed word…previous life as a music business executive in the era of the death of the music business.  I know how to pick ’em.

Band/or song that reminds you the most of high school: The cool thing about my high school life was that I was really into the Who and the Stones so I could be friends with the classic rock stoner kids, but punk was really starting to break through, and we were discovering the Clash and the Ramones and Elvis Costello.  That way we could feel superior to everyone else, like we knew a huge secret and nobody else was in on it. And we did, kind of.  History smiles sweetly on us, the kids who liked punk in 1980.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia from high school: See above.  I had a Boston T-shirt because I saw them at Madision Square Garden and a Jackson Browne baseball shirt, but then I had a Ramones shirt and all kinds of new wave accoutrements, like a satin pink tie that I wore with my punk shirts. We went to the CITY on the weekends, and hung out on St Marks Place.  We were convinced we were cooler than everyone else that just stayed on Long Island.

Band you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I always hated the Grateful Dead.  They were huge and maybe because I never got stoned or took drugs I never got it.  I still can’t stand any band that is even vaguely influenced by the Grateful Dead.  And of course half of my boyfriends and my ex-husband were Deadheads.  Serves me right.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: We saw some great concerts.  We were so lucky to be so close to NYC.  We saw the Runaways open up for Cheap Trick (ed’s note: WOW), we saw the Ramones several times during high school. I think Blondie opened one of their shows.  I saw Van Halen on their first record.

The Optional Question:  Best high school make-out song? I had braces through my senior year.  No making out for me, not till college and of course then it was all about REM.

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