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Comic Totie Fields vs. KISS’ Gene Simmons: Her Wit was Mightier Than His Tongue

Comic Totie Fields vs. KISS’ Gene Simmons: Her Wit was Mightier Than His Tongue

Television

Which leads me back to the great Totie Fields. Perhaps her greatest moment was the time she made mincemeat of Kiss’ Gene Simmons on the Mike Douglas show in 1974. Only during that era could you even have two disparate entities like Totie Fields and Gene Simmons inhabiting the same stage; they were simply from two totally different planets, she from the Catskills and he from Mars. Or were they?

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Faith Newman on Teddy Pendergrass and her Philly Soul Roots

Faith Newman on Teddy Pendergrass and her Philly Soul Roots

Music

In 1981, at fifteen, I got my first job at a Philly record store called “The Listening Booth.” I flirted with the kinda slimy guy with the coke pinky who worked in the stereo department so he would play the in-store music that I liked. Of course that included Teddy and Rick and Marvin and Prince and my all time heroine, Teena Marie, the one person who made me feel that it was okay to be who I was and respect what I loved. I was asked to leave after I asked stereo guy to play Vaughn Mason’s Jammin’ My Big Guitar in the store. It was Christmas season and it didn’t go over too well with management.

The <i>Stargayzing</i> Collection of Things I Collect

The Stargayzing Collection of Things I Collect

Munk's Junk (Everything Else)

One of my oldest collections began before I was ten years old, when I bought my first two Pyramid books about film—about Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart.  Published in the 1970s, the layout these books was perfect for a kid, as they simply presented a survey of the actor’s film work chronologically eschewing almost everything personal.  Some of them were written by future film experts like Leonard Maltin. They are a great example of a collection that has little monetary value but means the world to me, as it represents the seeds of passion for my future film studies.

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