The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Concept Album (really)

I come up with A LOT of ideas; some good, some (most) are bad, but I have learned to use my internal editor to stop me from talking too much about it so I have less to explain when I don't actually do it. The only thing that I talked freely about long before it was done was Surviving Retail because I knew it would happen, eventually.

Which brings me to the concept album. I haven't recorded it, but do have almost all the songs written, which is the time consuming part for me. The concept is: a songwriter is writing his regular songs about music and women. The songs are upbeat, in stark contrast to the lyrics which betray a deep depression. This is where it gets a little more....Right around this time, fusion power is developed to the point where every home has it's own reactor that's powered by running on trash (like the Delorean in Back To The Future). It is quickly found out that the reactors can easily be converted to fusion bombs. Every home has a potential WMD and the paranoia that springs up in society as a result starts creeping in to the songs on the album. The songwriter (let's call him Your Pal) looks at the world around him and sees how everyone is just as miserable- if not more so- than he is. This is where he decides to try to destroy the world. Between hints in his album and numerology on the cover, he tries to get his listeners to set off their bombs after he detonates his at his home record release party after plays the last song. He dies of course, but he doesn't see himself as a mass murderer; he's more of an opportunist. He knows that people, driven mad by the power they have in their home appliances, will do what he has done. By coordinating other people to do it,he will cement his place in history. If there's anyone left to write it, that is. But by default, it's the most historically significant pop album of all time; how many people did Sgt. Pepper's kill?

This concept came together after I noticed that all of the songs I was writing had to do with various kinds of heartbreak and the end of the world. One of the songs, "She's Got The Bomb," got turned into a story that I'm currently writing about the aftermath of these explosions, since Your Pal isn't nearly as popular as he thinks he is.

Possible titles:

Without You I'm Something

Earth Don't Suit You

We've Got The Bomb

Update: I've decided to call it Ragna-Pop.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My First Untimely Death

Late Summer- Early Fall 1989

I was 19, just starting college when I ran into my ex-girlfriend's best friend. This ex and I had kind of a bad break-up, so I wasn't sure if her friend would want to talk to me. I was not prepared for what happened; upon seeing me, she stopped walking, shocked at the very sight of me.
"Pete, I thought you were dead!"

Because I am so very quick on the uptake, I immediately responded with a, "No!"

It turns out that someone from my past had told her that I had drowned at the beach a month before. It was Tommy, my former next store neighbor that I punched once; which was one of my least proud day, I even wrote a post about it. I was at the Indian River Inlet beach, like he said, but I wasn't (that) drunk and I certainly didn't drown. Since it had supposedly happened a month before she found out, she didn't check the news to see if it was true; she even almost called my parents.

I had no idea why Tommy would have said something like that, unless his sense of revenge has a shelf life of more than 5 years. I had even seen him at a party where I met the ex a few months prior, but I thought that he didn't recognize me. I had a lot more hair then than I had 7 years prior- or now for that matter. Most of the kids at the party were my age- 19- and Tommy was very conspicuous being the youngest person there- about 14. It seemed like his brattiness had flowered into delinquency, drinking and smoking pot with the older kids, who were visibly freaked about a 14 year-old grabbing their joint. If he knew who I was, he didn't say so.

Which brings my back to my death. We talked about it, and we decided that her friend should tell her I was still alive. As fun as it would have been to do, I couldn't in good conscience call her and go:
"This is Pete calling....FROM THE GRAVE!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Last Iraq War Anniversary Blog! (Hopefully)

I go through my day thinking of things to post here some time big, fat, glowing topics just drift right on by; the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. After reading the book Fiasco, about the planning of the Iraq war, my roommate-who works in politics- said that his organization put more planning into political campaigns than the Bush Administration did for this war. He wasn't exaggerating.

I've been wrong about so very much in my life, but my mind has never been swayed that the Iraq War was a bad idea. But I'm just a person, what I know about Iraq is what I've taken the time to learn. So when President Bush first said that Saddam Husein was going to have to atone for his role in 9/11, I thought, who said Iraq had anything to do with it? Did he just make that up?

Of course, as through most of the Presidency, we were suppose to take their word for it with a administration-wide game of "Do as I say, not as I do." A lot of us on the more liberal side of things had our patriotism challenged when we balked about war with Iraq, but a lot of us wanted exactly what President Bush said HE wanted: to punish those responsible for 9/11. We were also cursed with memories good enough to remember all of the promises that have been broken in the meantime.

Saddam had WMDs, you know who else does? Us. We sold them to Iraq as a matter of fact. WMDs are great if you want to sit the big boy's table of international diplomacy (which is the reason Saddam loved the idea that people thought he had them), but they are a bad strategic move to actually use. Even if a rogue group got a nuke or nerve gas that they used in any part of the world that they MAY have gotten from Iraq, Baghdad would most likely be blinked out of existence by our own WMDs.

Saddam was an evil guy, without a doubt, but this world is full of evil guys in power. Imposing our foreign policy on this part of the world reminds me of a rich friend I had in High School; whenever I'd have some financial limitation that he didn't, he say,"Can't you ask your parents for the money?" No, I couldn't, and not just because of pride. It wasn't as simple as he saw it.

The simplistic approach of the Bush Administration's "They hate us for our freedom, so we'll force it down their throats" does not take into account the deep ethnic divisions and the economic inequities between them. A basic rule of human behavior is they have to take care of themselves before they can devote time to worry about their freedom. Many Iraqis are happy that Saddam's gone but are now refugees or have dead and disfigured relatives and the lucky ones who might have dodged such peril regularly go without power and water. I wonder how much we as Americans would value our freedom if we didn't have a clean place to take a shit for 5 years.

Another thing that I knew that the War would affect adversely was good old-fashioned political discourse. I had a political discussion with someone on the Washington Metro who was in support of the war because of Saddam's WMDs. We disagreed, but were respectful of each other's opinions and shook hands when he got to his stop. I told him, "The saddest thing about this, is this might be the last civil political discussion either one of us will hear for a long time." I was more right than I could have imagined.

But who could could have foreseen a screw-up this huge? It's not like this couldn't have gone better, like we didn't have people who had the experience to help us avoid this, but were fired for their honesty. The egos of the President and Vice-President won't allow them to admit openly that they've done anything wrong, regardless of all the bleeding, exploding evidence to the contrary; a conceit that even their most ardent supporters can no longer share.

I wish I could have seen where we'd be in Iraq now. I would have loved to ask the people who supported it at the beginning if they still would if they knew for a fact that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and had no WMD program whatsoever. After refusing to believe either or both (Hell, I believed they had WMDs) I believe they'd say that they wouldn't. Well they didn't and don't after six years where the government worked pretty hard to find even the barest tread of real evidence. But our reasons for fighting morphed enough to satisfy most people to believe we're still doing the right thing.

9/11, WMDs, to establish democracy, to fight terrorists? I'm not one of these people who believes that war is never an answer, just not when we're not sure what the question is.

Eatz,Pwns and L3av3s

When I actually went to college, my English professor refused to recognize contractions (you know, can't instead of can not) as proper English. His reasoning was that contractions were born out of improper use of language that became so common that now it's widely accepted. Although I was pissed off at him when he marked my accidental contractions with red ink, I now recognize his way of thinking.

Correct grammar and spelling are incredibly important to me, but it doesn't mean I'm any good at it, though. Thank God I'm living in the age of word processing, though it is disheartening to mangle a word so thoroughly that spell-check either suggests words that are not even remotely close, if there are any suggestions at all (like when I misspelled "thoroughly" writing this sentence, in fact). There are many grammar things that the computer cannot help you with that I've tried to pick up through my writing; if you read my blog posts in chronological order, you can almost pick up exactly where I discovered the semi-colon. I still have so much to learn.

Which brings us to our current age of intentional misspelling. The granddaddy of all this is, of course, Z in the place of S. Boyz, Girlz, it all drives me fuck nutty. For a short time it seemed like "i" for "y" ("Boi") would surpass its popularity, but the "z" still holds strong.

Using numbers in lieu of letter(3 instead of E, ect) has the benefit of being both stupid and confusing, thankfully it doesn't seem to be catching on; it might be because it's easier to just use the real letters when you're chatting online or texting. Which brings me to..

The contractions of texting -l8r,LOL and the like- which blends elements of all of these linguistic peeves and may prove longer lasting for the same reason that regular contractions have; they make life easier. Each spared keystroke puts the eventual case of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome that much further away. It creates a kind of technological snobbery with it's own lexicon that seems hopelessly obtuse to a budding curmudgeon like myself.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"The Speech"

Being very isolated in general, I am not connected into the ongoing reaction to Barack Obama's speech on Race yesterday. I have read a lot of the first reactions with a sense of shame and anger and not any sort of cohesive way to express this. Until I saw Jon Stewart.

Obama's speech was to observers transcendent, historic,cloying, honest and political suicide; sometimes by the same person. But it shouldn't have to be. As Jon said, he spoke about race like we were adults and it's obvious a lot of us can't handle that.

Just taking in the speech before the reactions, I could not get over how amazing it was for him to say what we, as a nation, needed to hear about this most touchy of subjects, damn the political consequences. But the reactions made me realize how right he truly was.

When I worked at the toy store, at the surrounding neighborhood everyday I saw an almost casual kind of multi-culturalism; kids of every color from around the world playing together. But did that mean there was no racism? Uh, no. We as human beings cannot control our prejudice, but we can know that these impulses are wrong and still be ashamed of them.

The kind of racism that displayed itself there was of the reverse kind; where you do something racist while trying too hard not to be racist. I'll explain:
Once a lady didn't want to leave her bag in the store, but she made sure to let my black co-worker know that it wasn't because she thought she was going to steal it. It's the by-product of these politically correct times; in an attempt to prove that everyone's the same, we've forgotten that were actually all different, we just shouldn't be judged by these differences and we shouldn't forget that they exist.

Ignorance is when your smart enough but you just haven't learned enough to know better. It's hard to remedy anything if you don't acknowledge it exists or won't honestly talk about it. What specifically am I talking about, Race, Culture? That nagging cough? What am I NOT talking about?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Your Pal's Cinematic Cliches

Roger Ebert has had a long-time collection of movie cliches called his Movie Glossary. He augments his observations with ones submitted by readers and I've got a few for him; I've checked but I don't think he's covered these yet.


Romantic Comedy has quite a few cliches that often make it possible to know the exact plot just by seeing the trailer.

1.The asshole boyfriend.

If one of of the participants in the budding romcom romance is in a relationship, the boy/girl (more likely boy)friend will be so objectionable, you have no idea what they saw in them to begin with. (Wedding Crashers, The Wedding Singer, ect.)

2. The Helper.

The protagonist has a helper to get (or regain) the heart of his beloved, a member of the opposite sex that is just as cute, much more interesting, and much more in love with him than the original object of his affection. (Some Kind Of Wonderful, Better Off Dead, ect.)

3. The Consolation Prize.

After the couple in the Romcom make their final coupling or after the final break-up, someone is left alone. Suddenly, their eyes meet a new love, so you know they're going to be OK. (Pretty In Pink) Sometimes this new love looks exactly like that person (Better Off Dead, Wayne's World 2)

When ever they show the binocular perspective on a movie, it's always the two images side by side, when we look through them in real life, it's just a single stereoscopic image(countless films).

Whenever someone REALLY needs to see something when they're using binoculars or a telescope, they use their naked eyes to see it instead of continuing to see it more magnified. (Stakeout, Men At Work, Body Double ect.)

I'm pretty sure my friend Ed brought this to my attention but every single to-go coffee cup in New York City seems to be made by the same company. (blue and white with writing on the side)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Videos

This is an honest-to-God Australian commercial for feminine hygiene products.

Mallrats of Justice- NSFW

You've gotta admire this guy's commitment - Watch more free videos

One Word: Yikes!

You've either seen it, or need to: Kinetic Sculpture

Friday, March 14, 2008

Your Pal Answers Anything!

Earlier this week, I asked my readers to ask me any question about anything (as long as it wasn't about math) and I would answer it. I got a grand total of two questions. I won't protect the identity of the askers because they posted openly on my Myspace, I hope they don't mind.

Liam asks: "Where do babies come from?"

Excellent Question! No one knows for sure where babies come from; I suppose it boils down to your perspective:
If you're the first-time mother of a newborn, your baby came straight from Heaven on a fluffy cloud of dreams. The child will spend much of the next 18 years contradicting this belief.

If you're a childless man being kept awake by a sleeping baby on a plane then babies come from fate to remind them to ask about that vasectomy the next time they go to the doctor.

I think they come from the vagina, but don't quote me.

Jerry asks: "How do you do it?"

Excellent question! No one knows for sure how I do it; I suppose it boils down to perspective:

If you're my Mom, the answer is, "Do what?"

If you're an ex-girlfriend, the answer is, "With as little effort as possible!"

Putting aside anything resembling objectivity, I'll say that I use my natural charisma, boyish good looks and attention to what makes humanity tick to bore you as efficiently as possible.

The blog for my book: Surviving Retail

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eliot Spitzer and The Eighth Circle of Hell

In Dante's Divine Comedy corrupt politicians and hypocrites reside in the penultimate circle of Hell, up to their necks in boiling tar for all eternity. The punishment on this mortal plain in this time is significantly less severe, although the embarrassment is almost as bad.

There's a concept that I touch upon in the last chapter of my book called "Trickle-Down Bullshit". Trickle-Down Economics couldn't work because people like to hold onto their money, but they're more than happy to pass bullshit down. People not only do things privately that they decry publicly, but -in many of the recent cases- actively work against people just like them; Spizer was brought down by the very legal mechinations that he pioneered to prosecute white-collar crime and Mark Foley was one of the most vocal congressional opponents of internet sexual predators.

I'm glad Spitzer resigned, flat out. Not because prostitution is wrong, I personally think it should be legal and, unlike the "legalize it" post I did Friday, I don't (and won't) have any personal experience to color my opinion on the subject. Not because he betrayed his wife; some couples may be tolerant of such things, but the look on her face at the press conference suggests otherwise.

No, he should have resigned because he's a hypocrite and hypocrisy up high leads to hypocrisy trickling down below. I realize that politicians and integrity go together like healthy and bacon, but the modern day political machine runs on getting worked up over issues that gets quickly forgotten when it's politically advantageous. Military service is an easy example: one of the reasons Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush were more suited to be Commander-in-Chief than Bill Clinton because they served in the military. Suddenly, when the person that isn't their guy has more military service- Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain- then they get "swift boated". With McCain this is especially heinous, the man could have been released after 6 months, but refused to use his father's considerable political power to be released any earlier than the POWs captured before him and spent an extra 5 years in the "Hanoi Hilton".

Lest you think I'm not an equal opportunity slammer, check out this speech from Bill Clinton from when John Kerry ran for president:

In fact it's kinda good that Spitzer is a Democrat, it's gives us of the more liberal persuasion a chance to walk it like we talk it. What would it make us if we didn't?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ask Your Pal Anything!

I've had a bit of a writer's block lately; not for writing, but for blog subjects. So if you want to ask a question in ANY subject: advice, history, science, opinion, politics, ANYTHING (Actually, not math, but anything else), write me at and I will answer them in a way that'll be either insightful, informative or funny or any combination of the three. I will keep your identity secret, just keep in mind that- like Miss Cleo's phone psychics of yore- any answers are for entertainment purposes only.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday Videos

A history of modern warfare told through food.

This seem like a SNL skit (and a rather tasteless one at that), but this is a honest to God sitcom.

A brief history of the sitcom.

The Hilarious Reggie Watts. absolutely NSFW

If the internet was real and had a party. This is been popular, but if you haven't seen it, it's a hoot.

Friday, March 07, 2008

One More Reason To Love The Wire

The best TV drama series ever, The Wire is showing it's last episode on Sunday. This just my opinion, but it's shared by many. It portrays a world I could never know, unless I get lost driving in Baltimore, but it still strikes a solid emotional chord. The unofficial theme of the show is "everything matters" and illustrates that point with unforgettable characters put into untenable situations exacerbated by the very systems constructed to prevent it. The show is so dense, when they started showing it on BET I wondered how they could hack 12 minutes out of it for commercials. The answer was to make it an hour and a half.

Each season expands the focus on a new element of systematic dysfunction. When I started watching, it was the beginning of last season when it was on how the education system has failed and how "No Child Left Behind" has just made it worse. This season it's been the press and from how TV critics have responded to it, it might be a little too on the nose for their comfort. The implication is that we assume as outsiders that the priority of the educational system is education, the justice system's is justice, and the press is to report the truth, but they'll prove you wrong.

The writers of The Wire had spent many years chronicling these real life failures before crafting them into the spiderweb of lives that make up the show. I've never seen an episode that wasn't excellent, but there have been plenty that have broken my heart.

Which brings me, finally, to my point. The writers of the show have written an excellent editorial for Time Magazine. If we've learned anything about ourselves is that we need to be honest with ourselves. Demonizing drug users doesn't move anything forward, it just hurts us as a society.

The War on Drugs is one of those thinks that we fight because of morality instead of practicality. As long as we try to fight it we can feel like we've done "the right thing" regardless of the fallout. And what is said fallout? 1 out of every 100 people in jail? We should be ashamed of ourselves, how much more obvious can it be that something needs to be done. And no, building more prisons is not the answer.

Legalizing drugs won't solve all the problems associated with them, in fact it'll probably create new ones. But it will move things forward. It'll clear out much of the violent crime associated with it being illegal. It'll be a pretty big strike in the War on Terror, since a lot the Taliban's funding are generated by the booming poppy trade. The medicinal applications for illegal drugs can finally be used; besides marijuana, both LSD and MDMA were making inroads as miracle drug to treat mental illness before becoming illegal.

The problem is that the scare tactics, like "Reefer Madness", still resonates with people who don't know anything about drugs. But anyone who knows ANYONE who has ever smoked pot knows that there is no kind of weed that makes you wild-eyed and crazy and hasn't been because no one's looking for it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Frustrations-Alphabetically or in order of importance

I haven't been posting very regularly, I've been pimping the Surviving Retail Blog pretty heavy. I disconnected myself from my life to finish writing it and have not been able to reconnect since. There's part of me that would love to lay it all on the line and be bluntly honest about how I've been feeling the past, oh, year and a half but I don't think the consequences are worth it.

The creator of the funky and surreal Howard The Duck comic book died a little while ago. I liked it OK (don't confuse this with the historically awful movie), but the real impact it had on my life was that I've often adopted Howard's slogan- "Trapped in a world that he never made"- as my own. I am constantly being reminded of this fact when things happen like spending millions of dollars to make my favorite breakfast cereal crunchier in milk. Or when they release Meet The Spartans, The Hottie and The Nottie, Bar Starz and Superhero Movie, but release The Onion Movie direct to DVD. NSFW.

You know what I realized is not as easy as it might seem? EVERYTHING!

My ex-roommate Ed and I talked about the Democratic field of candidates when they were first emerging and we said the great thing about it was there was a black candidate and a female candidate where race and gender was secondary to their ideas and appeal. That was until people actually started voting, then the choice seemed to be whether you were more sexist or racist, not who you actually wanted to be President. It reminds me of the complaint that promiscuous men are called "studs" while promiscuous women are called "sluts". But in my experience, men are only called studs ironically and slut is much more of a gender-neutral insult. There might be people that think this way, but I don't know any of them personally.

When I first learned of the concept of "Intelligent Design", I thought that it was basically an acknowledgment that evolution and natural selection exist, but working through the divine. I thought, great, people are finally putting aside the ridiculous notion that the universe is a few thousand years old. But what it actually is backdoor creationism. Which brings me to Ben Stein's movie Expelled:

I will see this movie at some point, but he misses a couple of inconvenient truths in this trailer. He talks about the scientific community ostracizing people putting forth theories on Intelligent Design, but there's a good reason for this: it doesn't hold up to the scientific method, and that is kinda important to scientists. Saying "God did it" without being able to put it through the scientific method or prove it tangibly is flat out not how science works. I recognize that I could be overlooking some more scientific evidence that the movie features, but I'm going by the trailer.

Stein talks about the belief that life started, as he says, "Mud animated by lightning" like it's so much more ridiculous than God creating everything in seven days. If these scientists want to find a venue for their alternate theories of life without having to prove it scientifically there are tons of venues and groups that I'm sure would love to give them a voice, like Ben Stein for example. The problem is when ANYONE hears something that seems dumb to them, they don't take it very seriously, facts or not.

The story of creation was written in a time when we thought that the universe revolved around us literally instead of figuratively like we do now. It would have been impossible for people to handle the theory of evolution back then, look at how we're talking about it now! It's interesting that Stein says that Intelligent Design wouldn't have seemed so crazy in Galileo's time. You know whose idea's seemed crazy back then? Galileo's! Then he wasn't "The Father of Modern Science", he was an oppressed teaching the heretical idea that the Earth went around the Sun.
update: Darwin was also called crazy in his day, I forgot to mention. He kept his theory of natural selection secret from almost everyone for many years because it went so far beyond conventional (read :creationist) thinking.

These latter-day oppressed scientists may be vindicated by the same history that will vindicate George W. Bush, but I wouldn't put any money down on it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Days of Fortified Wine and Malt Liquor

The late teens and early twenties are when you make your more "adult" type mistakes. It's your first experience with the kind of freedom that marks the rest of your life. But you also still have a lot of residual immaturity and poor impulse control of childhood, couple that with the complete inability to recognize those things and that's a recipe for disaster.

My mom told me recently, "In your early twenties, I was afraid you had a drinking problem."
I said, "Nah, I was just in my early twenties."
I was a bit more inexperienced by the time I had turned 20 than most people I knew. I had gotten puke-encrusted drunk when I was 16 and I actually heeded my day after promise to NEVER DRINK AGAIN! For a year or so. In that time all my friends got a lot better at it, but I caught up eventually.

This led to questionable decision, like drinking fortified wine; Sisco to be exact. I only drank it a few times, but those were the times when I did the things that I wouldn't take responsibility for (until I discovered Gin and Tonics). Once I bought some at a 7-11 and the guy behind me said, "Sisco? That stuff made me quit drinking." If someone said that to me now, I would probably get something else. But then:"All Right!"
Two hours later, I was trying to unhook a friend's front-hook bra with my teeth- with her consent- 20 feet from the front door at a bar that I had expected my girlfriend show up at any second.

Malt Liquor was a much more gentle mistress. Sometimes I still will drink a Mickey's to revisit my misty watercolor memories, but it vividly illustrates how much more sophisticated my palette now. Mickey's was one of the only malt liquors that didn't have some sort of "wink, wink" marketing. Colt 45 had Billy Dee-of course- but a lot of their names had parody built right in: Crazy Horse, King Cobra, Power Cylinder, Hurricane and Haffenreffer (you even say it, you sound drunk). Eventually they went too far with the menthol flavored ones, but I still gave it a try. One word review:Yikes!

It got a lot easier to buy this stuff after I turned 21 and not just because of the legality of it. I could never talk any of the people that bought beer for me to be seen buying King Cobra (my all-time favorite).

Sometimes, even now, I'll pick up a forty because it was a good ration size for staying out of trouble and it's a fantastic conversation piece. Once, at a pool party, my friend Jay and I got 40's and somebody said, "Wow, 40's!"
I said, "Yep, we're not messin' around."
A few minutes later, someone else said, "You guys aren't messin' around!"
I said, "Glad to see the word's getting out."

Awesome Parody (NSFW)

Update: I went to to store right after posting this and found a 40 of KING F'N COBRA! I bought it and it went down smooth. Or as smooth as it ever did.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

One Hit Wonders Who Have Had More Than One Hit

Stardom is a funny thing, especially in the music business. Who know what catches millions of sets of ears to make a song a hit? And why is it than some people can only do it once? History is another thing, as time goes on things get remembered differently, regardless of the facts to the contrary. One of the definitions of "One Hit Wonder" is an artist who have only one hit on the Billboard top 40. This definition ends up classifying such accomplished artists as Jimi Hendrix ("All Along The Watchtower" #20) and Janis Joplin ("Me and Bobby McGee"#1) as one hit wonders. The perception of some of the most notorious one-hit wonders does not always jive with the facts.

1. Vanilla Ice- "The" Hit:"Ice Ice Baby"
I don't blame people for forgetting the amplified abortion that was "Play That Funky Music", but that doesn't change the fact that it hit #4 before he slid his way into obscurity. He got sued for sampling without crediting the song of the same name; but money aside, I'm surprised any one would want to take credit for it.

2. A Taste of Honey- "The" Hit: "Boogie Oogie Oogie"
Before it became known as the "kiss of death award", the Best New Artist Grammy was something that people took very seriously. So when A Taste Of Honey won it in 1979 over The Cars and Elvis Costello, people went nuts. But before they went gently into that obscure night they had another hit in 1981 with "Sukiyaki", that is mostly remembered by people my age is it's quoting in Doug E. Fresh's "La Di Da Di"-"It's all because of you, I'm feeling sad and blue.." Besides, if you look at the list of best new artists winnershere, you'll wonder why they were EVER taken seriously.

3. The Romantics- "The" Hit: "What I Like About You"
Its appearance in EVERY FUCKING COMMERCIAL notwithtanding, that song was actually not a hit. Two songs they released 3 years later were bigger hits with one, "Talking In Your Sleep", hitting #2. But the song was so popular that they named a 1990 greatest hits collection after it.

4. Richie Valens- "The" Hit: "La Bamba"
This was actually the B-side of his biggest hit, "Donna", eventually making it into the top 30. Valens learned the spanish lyrics phonetically, like most of the people that heard it when it became a hit in the 80's, since Richie didn't speak much Spanish.

There are more but I'm tired.