Still To Come: What I did on Sunday

Sunday was June 21st, the summer solstice.  The city of Chiayi, Taiwan (in the southern half of Taiwan) is exactly on the 23rd parallel, or the Tropic of Skin Cancer as I call it.  I took the High Speed Rail south on Sunday to take photos of objects on the solstice at noon.

I also went because there was an annular solar eclipse on the same day at 4:00pm.  I haven’t had time to finish dealing with the photos, but intend to finish tomorrow evening.  The last two weeks have been hectic.

As mentioned in another post, this Thursday (June 25th) is Dragon Boat Festival.  Most of the boat races in Taiwan have been cancelled or postponed, but a few are still going ahead because of their locations.  Friday is not officially a day off, but the government had businesses and schools open last Saturday (June 20th) to create a four day weekend.  There’s also the Canada Day events on Saturday and the World Pride event in Taipei on Sunday.

I would rather work the extra day before an extended holiday than make it up after; I had to work nine days out of ten before the long weekend.  If we had made it up after, we would be working eleven days out of twelve.  Working the make up day before feels like you earned the day off.  Making it up after feels like you’re repaying a debt, with interest.

Blackguards Guard: Why does Derek Chauvin need a “whites only” detail?

The murderer Chauvin gets an all-white detail for his protection.  Or did he ask for and get all white guards so he doesn’t have to see any Black men?

Only White Officers Reportedly Allowed to Guard Ex-Cop Accused of Killing George Floyd

By Daniel Politi

June 21, 2020

Eight Minnesota corrections officers filed a discrimination lawsuit claiming they were forbidden from guarding—or even being on the same floor as—Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who has been charged with killing George Floyd, because they are not white. When Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, was brought to the Ramsey County jail on May 29, all minority officers were ordered to go to a separate floor. A supervisor told them that they would be a potential “liability” around Chauvin because of their race, according to the discrimination charges that were filed with the state’s Department of Human Rights and reviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

All the guards who were told to leave the fifth floor where Chauvin was going to be housed were people of color, and they were replaced with white officers, Bonnie Smith, the attorney representing the eight corrections officers, said. That decision “humiliated and debased” the affected officers, Smith said, noting that decisions on work should be “based on performance and behavior” rather than race.

There’s is a clear and racist implication being made: “Black jail guards wouldn’t be impartial and might pose a threat to a white criminal!”

Meanwhile, Black prisoners are regularly subjected to whites only guards.  And if they asked for Black only guards, they would likely be punished.

Shown For What He Is: The racist is an ex-cop

Did you hear about a 55 year old in England, a white male named Bryn Male who beaten up at a Black Lives Matter protest, and saved by one of the protesters?  He originally said he went there to “protect a statue”.  Or did he behave like a football hooligan (and went there with a group of Milwall football fans), hurling racist epithets and trying to incite fights with Black Lives Matter protesters?  He started it, they finished it?

It turns out that he is an ex-cop.  A racist ex-cop, now there’s a shock.  I’ll bet he was chanting “Oi!” as he went.

Man rescued by UK Black Lives Matter protester is ex-police officer

Ben Quinn

Thu 18 Jun 2020

The counter-protester carried to safety by a Black Lives Matter protester last weekend is a former officer at British Transport Police, the force has confirmed.

Bryn Male, who has yet to speak publicly about the events of the weekend that led to Patrick Hutchinson being hailed as a hero, worked in the London area for British Transport Police and was latterly a detective constable.

He retired from the force in September 2014, a spokesperson said.

Male, 55, has been identified as the man pictured clutching his bloodied head as he was carried over the shoulder of Hutchinson, a personal trainer in London.

A delivery driver living in Basingstoke, Hampshire, Male was among football supporters who had travelled to London on the day when BLM protests were due to take place. He is described as a Millwall FC fan on the website of a local village club where he volunteers.

A fellow member of the club said Male was “a patriotic Brit, England through and through”. He told the Daily Mail he had travelled to London to protect monuments after seeing graffiti.

I love the irony of it, a racist saved by the people he hates and went to confront with violence.  Just like the cop in the Louisville protected by BLM protesters, it proves who are the decent people and who are the violent criminals.

 

Why Did They Wait?: More companies are removing racist symbols

A few weeks ago, a racist caricature was removed from the “land o lakes” butter brand.  Predictably, the only people bothered were white people complaining about “tradition” or falsely claiming “this is respectful representation!”

The Quaker Oats company is finally removing the Aunt Jemima caricature from their syrup bottles, admitting that it’s a racist “minstrel” stereotype.  On the same day, the Mars corporation and Conagra have announced they will end use of “Uncle Ben” and “Mrs. Butterworth” on their respective rice and syrup products.  But it shouldn’t have taken a hundred years and public pressure to stop doing it.

Now if only sports teams would get rid of their racist caricatures.  If billion dollar food companies can do it, why can’t billion dollar NFL and MLB teams?

Dead And Buried: Prince George’s Sandblast

I used to live in a small city in Canada called Prince George, a place I have no desire to ever visit again, never mind reside.  I’d rather pay for my friends still there to travel and visit me than go there myself. (Hi, Kimmy.)

Prince George has the 19th worst crime rate in Canada, and the two nearest large towns, Quesnel (120km away) and Williams Lake (240km away) have the 5th and 9th worst crime rates (dis)respectively.  Three other towns in northern BC are also in the twenty worst.  Their proximity likely makes crimes connected, with the United Nations street gang and Renegades motorcycle gang dominating the area and forcing other street and motorcycle gangs out.  (It’s called the UN because of its many ethnicities – white, First Nation, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc.)

That city is also the origin point of the Highway of Tears where at least a hundred First Nations women have been murdered over the past forty years.  There are three convicted serial killers in prison, possibly more, and the RCMP accused of many physical and sexual abuses themselves. (The RCMP claim less than forty murders, showing how little they care for the victims or First Nations people.)

Did I ever tell you I used to work as a security guard in that city?  Confrontations with the gangs and violent abusive men were regular occurrences.  There has only ever been one security company in the city.  At least three security guards (that I know of) were murdered on the job, one I knew personally who was stabbed and killed at a motel I used to patrol. I only did that job because it allowed me to attend college (work nights and study on the job, attend classes in the day).

The worst were men intent on Intimate Partner Violence against women escaping them, staying at motels.  Gangs are known quantities, identifiable and predictable.  Random individual men aren’t.  It’s a hunting area, so legally owned long guns were common, even before illegal handguns were acquired by gangs.

I wasn’t planning to write about the city, I was looking up news stories, facts and other things (what a dreary place to live) to remind myself of why I don’t want to go back there.  Then amongst the videos listed on youtube, a story about Sandblast appeared (seen below).

Sandblast was a “ski race” that took place every August from 1971 to 2003 when it was finally banned.  Just north of the city by the Nechako River is a steep hill called the Cutbanks.  Someone had the idiotic idea of holding a race there, down a 150 metre slope of sand and gravel.  It was popular over the decades and people travelled long distances to participate, including skiing filmmaker Warren Miller.  Amazingly, no one was ever killed or suffered permanent injury, but the last straw was a crash in 2003 so bad that insurance companies refused to cover the event ever again, leading to a permnanent ban.  The crash appeared on the shock TV show, “Destroyed In Seconds”.

The video below speaks wistfully about the event, though I wouldn’t.  I only attended two as a spectator, and that was enough to put off any ideas of doing it.  I miss skiing, but suicide was never my thing.  British Columbia has many ski resorts (some several thousand metres high) so there were plenty of willing victims for Sandblast over the years and lots of used equipment.

Hachette Buried: The TERF’s book got trashed

JK must be Scowling.  Staff at the Hachette Book Group are refusing to work on the TERF’s new pile of tripe because of her recent hate speech.  Publishing company staff aren’t easily replaced, so this one will make a dent.

Staff at J.K. Rowling’s publisher won’t work on her new book after her anti-trans rants

By Daniel Villarreal Tuesday, June 16, 2020  

The staff at the Hatchette Book Group publishing company are reportedly rebelling against working on J.K. Rowling’s new children’s book, The Ickabog, because of her continued transphobic screeds.

[. . .]

“Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book,” said one source. “They said they were opposed to her comments and wanted to show support for the trans lobby.”

Another said, “It was a handful of staff, and they are entitled to their views…. But this is a children’s fairy tale. It is not the end of the world. They will all be having chats with their managers.”

This tells me they haven’t read it yet.  They’re objecting to her past hate and ignorance online, not the newest hate and ignorance told through allegory in a book.

Will Anybody Watch? : A last minute pride event for 2020

COVID-19 has necessitated cancellation of pride events worldwide.  Normally, Taiwan holds its pride parade in October (*) but due to cancellations elsewhere, there will purportedly be a pride event in Taipei on Sunday, June 28th.  This is the first I’ve heard of it.  It’s not mentioned in any local groups, so I’m not holding my breath or making concrete plans at the moment.

Taiwan Will Host The World’s Only Gay Pride During Pride Month 2020!

This year marks 50 years since the first Gay Pride march in Chicago 1970, and there should be a celebratory vibe everywhere in the world.

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing, Pride events across the world have been canceled or delayed, and we have lost the opportunity for a worldwide tribute to our heroes and to march globally for unity and pride.

However, all is not lost!

Taiwan is fortunate to have been one of the very few countries in the world that never needed a lockdown, and has not had a single local case in over 2 months.

To celebrate that fact and to honor our global gay family, in league with the Taiwan Gay Sport Association (TGSMA), they will host the world’s only Gay Pride during Pride Month 2020, on June 28th, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, at Liberty Square at the CKS Memorial Hall, with the theme of “Taiwan Pride March for the World!”

They will provide Pride Flags and signs on which you can write the place you are marching for, which could be where you grew up, a city you hold close to your heart, or where your loved ones are – it’s your march, and your choice!

They will also give away “Made in Taiwan” rainbow masks, to show support and raise awareness. Taiwan is ready to march for the world!

I’m sure people are asking “Why Sunday, not Saturday?” but there are two good reasons.  First, Taiwan is UTC+8, so if this is broadcast worldwide, North and South America can watch on Saturday evening, Europe and Africa on tape delay Sunday. (**) Second, the local Canada Day events are set for June 27th (***).  Thousands go out annually for this event, and the conflict would thin out both crowds. (****)

I plan to go and observe, not participate other than carrying a Black Trans Lives Matter sign.  I’m not too enthused after the Los Angeles Pride’s recent betrayal of Black Lives Matter, and the complete absence of many. . .individuals from the local BLM event last Saturday.  It didn’t surprise me which LGBTQIA weren’t there, given their words and actions in the past.

I don’t know how other LGBTQIA people feel, but I refuse to wear or carry the six colour rainbow flag.  Most “pride” events mimic the worst of second wave feminism, too focused on cisgender able-bodied white people to the exclusion of anyone who isn’t.  Black Lives Matter groups get it, and they are speaking up for and defending Black Transgender and Non-Binary people.  Why can’t these mostly-white run groups and events?

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

One thing I am enthused for that’s upcoming: The Taipei Scream Music Festival on July 4.  Eight local bands will be performing over eight hours.  Qori of All My Boyfriendz is a friend of mine.  Skaraoke is the headlining act.   Bunnlysium and The Flat Fives (not the US band of a similar name) are two other acts I want to see.

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

(* Once again in 2020, the pride disorganizers idiotically scheduled it for October 31st, the same day as all the Hallowe’en parties.  They can’t grasp that they’re splitting the crowds.  Pride parties don’t rate compared to Hallowe’en parties.)

(** 2020! Taiwan finally gets to export culture internationally with baseball and parades, like Japan’s anime and South Korea’s hanliu culture.)

(*** Canada Day is another event that I go and observe, not participate, because of who runs it.)

(**** June 25-28 is a four day weekend.  June 25th is Dragon Boat Festival, and a few races will go ahead because their location allows social distancing, while most are canceled.  June 26th is not a holiday, but schools and businesses will be open on June 20th to make up for it.  I always prefer makeup days before, it feels like you earned it.  Makeup days after a holiday feel like you’re repaying a debt – with interest, because you’re working eleven out of twelve days in a row.  Working the 20th means we work nine out of ten days, then get the holiday.

 

Black Lives Matter: Picture’s from today’s rally

I said rally and not protest because it was more supportive of people in other countries, not about problems with police here.  There were 10-12 different speakers and presenters over a roughly two hour event, and a nine minute long silence at one point.  It wasn’t overwhelmingly loud, but the crowd was several hundred strong.  It was also noticeable and predictable which foreigners weren’t there.

My facebook page post about it is public, so you should be able to view all the pictures without being logged in.  There are about three dozen photos, easier to leave there than hog bandwidth here.  As the tag says, “my lousy photography” because my phone’s camera isn’t the best.

Presentations were in many forms: singers, discussions of politics, the victims of police violence, their own experiences (two said they came from St. Louis).  They also made sure to mention all different people – cisgender, Transgender, Non-Binary, Disabled, and others.

Unlike a lot of protests, rallies and parades, all the BLM events I have heard or read of online were inclusive or didn’t mention specific groups.  BLM has had a noticeable focus on inclusivity, not exclusion as other events and groups have done.  What the Los Angeles LGBT group did to Black Lives Matter was shameful.

There was one suprising moment halfway through.  One of the speakers gave a planned announcement in support of Hong Kong and against the criminal “extradition law”, and an attendee attempted to climb on stage.  I don’t know the full details, so no comment or speculation.

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

There are a lot of schools that discriminate in hiring foreigners to teach.  It’s sadly all too common in various Asian countries.  “Native speaker only” is usually code for white, and some job ads placed by recruiters illegally specify appearance (the school and the recruiter blaming each other, neither taking responsibility).  I previously worked for an employer who refused to hire a British woman with a Master’s Degree in Education solely because she was of Indian descent.  She was better qualified than anyone I’ve ever worked with.

If there are any instances of Black foreigners being targeted by police in Taiwan, I haven’t yet heard of any, though I may simply not have been told.  The ex-pats I do know (friends or casual acquaintances) have never reported any.
Below is just one of the pics.  It was reduced, hence why it looks terrible.  The originals are on the facebook post, untouched other than facebook processing them.

There was also a beach clean up event on Saturday which was planned and advertised two months ago.  I don’t know how many foreigners missed today’s event to go there, but I do know certain . . . individuals (because I can’t make myself call them people) would never have attended today’s event, even if there was nothing to do today.

 

Deliberately Chosen: Trump loves anniversaries as much as Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda was big on anniversaries, and preferred to carry out new terrorist attacks on the dates of prior attacks.  The 2004 Madrid Train Bombing (March 11) and the 2005 London Bombing (July 7) immediately come to mind.

It seems Cheetolini and his collection of criminals prefer to do the same things.  Except in their case, the terrorism is the intentional and direct provocation of of Black people by referencing prior terrorist acts perpetrated by white people.

Moving the “rally” from the June 19th to the 20th matters little.  The statement of intent was made: “we want it to happen again after the election”.

Trump delays Tulsa rally that had been planned for Juneteenth

June 13, 2020

By Phil Helsel

President Donald Trump on Friday night tweeted that he is rescheduling a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally that was to take place on Juneteenth, which is the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.

Trump wrote that the rally would be moved a day, to June 20. Juneteenth is June 19.

[. . .]

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the decision to hold a rally there on June 19 “is disrespectful to the lives and community that was lost during the Tulsa race riot.”

A second planned “rally” for the rabble has been planned for August 27th, in Jacksonville, Florida.  “Axe Handle Saturday” happened sixty years ago, the kook klux klowns and others perpetrating unprovoked violence and corrupt cops supporting them by arresting those who helped the victims.  It sounds a lot like today.

Florida Historical Society: Ax Handle Saturday

Date in History: 27 Aug 1960

1960 – Ax Handle Saturday in Jacksonville occurred on this date. Black Sit-ins began two weeks earlier when students asked to be served at the segregated lunch counter at Woolworths, Morrison’s Cafeteria and other eateries in the city. They were denied service and kicked, spit at and addressed with racial slurs. This came to a head on “Ax Handle Saturday” when a group of 200 middle aged and older white men (allegedly some were also members of the Ku Klux Klan) gathered in Hemming Park armed with baseball bats and ax handles. They attacked the protesters conducting the sit-ins. The violence spread, and the white mob started attacking all African-Americans in sight. The “Boomerangs” (a black street gang) attempted to protect the demonstrators. Police, who had not intervened when the protesters were attacked, now became involved, arresting members of the Boomerangs and other black residents who attempted to stop the beatings. The events were reported on in Life Magazine and newspapers in Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami and New York. Reporters from the Jacksonville Times-Union and the Jacksonville Journal were not allowed to cover the events.

Doing this twice isn’t an accident nor is it tone deafness.  This is a deliberate dog whistle.

There is another anniversary I would like to see Cheetolini re-enact: the imprisonment of DC Stephenson (grand wizard of the kook klux klowns) in 1925.  His arrest, conviction and imprisonment led to the downfall of the kook klux klowns, a level of power they would never achieve again.  Cheeto deserves the same fate and punishment.

Waste Not, Want Not: Both sides of the border (patrol)

Who says Canadian politicians and cops can’t be as corrupt and self-serving as those in the US?

The US’s gestapo…sorry, “customs and border protection” were alloted US$112 million to buy food and medicine for immigrants held in the concentration camps.  So what did they do with it?  Buy toys and leave people to starve, of course.

I strongly predict the only consequences will be sideways career moves.

Customs and Border Protection used money meant for food and medicine on dirt bikes and ATVs, says GAO

June 12, 2020, 5:06 AM CST

By Adiel Kaplan

Customs and Border Protection spent parts of a $112 million emergency fund meant to buy food, medicine and other items for migrants on all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and boats, according to a Government Accountability Office report published Thursday.

“Congress provided this additional funding for the primary purpose of improving conditions for migrants at the border and ensuring migrants were receiving adequate healthcare after the deaths of multiple children in custody,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement. “Instead of helping migrants and improving conditions on the ground, CBP then broke the law by spending this taxpayer money on things that were not authorized — such as ATVs, dirt bikes, and computer systems.”

On the other side of the border in Canada’s buybull belt, Alberta’s “united conservative party” (UCP, a merger of Progressive Conservatives and the racist Wildrose Party) has allowed similar corruption and misuse of public funds by cops.  Only this time, the cops have permission.

The money was intended for victims of crime (e.g. survivors of Intimate Partner Violence) to obtain resources.  Instead, the money is now being used to arm violent cops.

UCP proposal to use part of victims fund for policing and prosecution is a conflict, critics say

Meghan Grant · CBC News · Posted: Jun 08, 2020

Alberta’s UCP government is taking money away from victims to fund policing initiatives in the province, a move opponents of the proposed legislation changes have called unethical and a “ploy.”

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer proposed changes to the Victims of Crime Act and Fund that would allow the government to dip into money meant to support those affected by crime.

[. . .]

Money for the fund comes from provincial fine surcharges imposed following convictions with an objective to help crime victims through financial relief and support programs.

Aside from the Rudd’s concerns, defence lawyer Deborah Hatch says there are also ethical concerns surrounding the proposed changes to the legislation.

“It is a conflict. It seems to create a financial incentive — or at least the appearance that there is a financial benefit to the prosecution and to the police — to make sure that cases end in convictions,” says Hatch.

I always knew Alberta’s rightwing politicians were cut from the same cloth as the US’s republicans: garbage bags.

The Voters Spoke: It’s time to go, Guo

In 2018, Han Guo-yu (“Korea Fish”) of the Kuomintang (KMT) prty won the mayoral race in Kaohsiung.  The south has traditionally been the KMT’s stronghold, their presidential candidates from there.  After Terry Guo (owner of Foxconn) was forced to withdraw from the federal election for January 2020, Han became the KMT’s golden boy for those who want reunification with China.

In early 2019, Tsai Ing-wen (“vegetable English”) looked like a final year president, ready to lose gracefully.  Then Hong Kong happened, and attitudes changed.  What looked like an easy return to power for the KMT became an uphill slog.  Worse yet, Han’s campaign was plagued by his own and his party’s blunders (e.g. openly referencing the 921 earthquake).  Tsai ended up winning the election handily (56% in a three way race), and her currently approval rating is in the 70-75% range, a reflection of how the government has handled COVID-19 and the economy.

Along the way, Han forgot to do something very important: his job.  In his year long campaign for the presidency, he largely neglected his duties as mayor of Kaohsiung.  Residents were so upset that a recall campaign began.  (There were also claims of corruption and incompetence by his office, but I don’t have the full details.)

The recall vote happened on Saturday night, June 6th.  For the recall to succeed, as least 25% of registered voters (575,000) would have to cast a recall ballot.  Nearly a million votes were submitted.  Han was elected with 890,000 votes in 2018, in a two way battle.  Over 939,000 voters on Saturday chose to get rid of him, the highest ever recall turnout in Taiwan.  Only 25,000 supported him.

Breaking News: KMT mayor of Taiwan’s Kaohsiung loses recall vote

A total of 42 percent, far more than the required minimum 25 percent of eligible voters (574,996 people), showed up to cast a valid ballot, and the final number of votes agreeing with the recall motion exceeded the number of those opposed by 939,090 to 25,051, CNA reported. Never before has such a high elected government official been targeted by a recall vote.

In November 2018, Han received about 890,000 votes to make him mayor, fewer than the number of votes kicking him out of office Saturday. The complete turnaround in public support followed his failure to turn grandiose promises into real achievements, reports said. Several of his projects, including a Ferris wheel and a United States-backed amusement park, never materialized.

More below the fold.

[Read more…]

Black Lives Matter: And what people here are doing about it

Black Lives Matter has spread to many countries around the world, opposition to racist statues (e.g. a slaver in England, the butcher Leopold in Belgium), peaceful protests everywhere and hostile government responses in some of them (e.g. Australia).

Taiwan now has its own Black Lives Matter movement begun last week, organized by several ex-pats from the US and other countries.  It’s amazing how much people can accomplish with no money and little time.  There was a Black Lives Matter event on Saturday night, though regrettably I couldn’t attend because of my back.  There is another larger public demonstration planned for next Saturday which I intend to attend.

These meetings and demonstrations have a new impetus because of recent events in Taiwan.  In early May, a dance troupe inexplicably did a “performance” in blackface.  And did it a second time after already knowing it was inappropriate.  More below the fold.

[Read more…]

Music Notes: Songs for Donald Trump’s birthday

Previously I’ve compared Cheetolini (Donald Trump) to Nikita Khrushchev, hoping for a bloodless coup within the US government.  Thus far, no such luck.  But he’s sounding more and more like a Tin Pot Dictator Tin Foil Hat Dictator like Ceausescu, demanding the public fawn over and praise him on his upcoming 74th birthday.

Trump Campaign’s Plea For Video Messages To Celebrate President’s Birthday Backfires

Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign put out a call on Twitter Thursday for people to film and send in videos wishing the president a happy 74th birthday, which is on June 14.

“We want to make this year President Trump’s BEST BIRTHDAY EVER,” read Trump’s campaign website, which provided a form for people to fill out and upload clips. The campaign promised to show Trump “the first 500 responses TONIGHT.”

[. . .]

my birthday is also June 14 and i invite you to send your selfie videos of you furious and screaming in your SUV to me instead

I doubt we’ll such much of that.  Pitchforks and (non-tiki) torches are more likely.

But I’ll be nice and dedicate a song to him: Trooper’s “General Hand Grenade“, recorded in 1975, back when Cheetolini was all of 29 years old (corrected).

[Read more…]

Music Notes: Birth and death notices

First this so it’s buried below more important posts to follow.

It’s been a busy week in musical notices. June 3rd marked the seventieth birthdays of two significant women in popular music.  The same day in 1950, 400km apart.

Deniece Williams is an R&B singer with four grammies and multiple #1 hits. Williams’s two biggest hits were “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late”, a 1978 duet with Johnny Mathis, and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” in 1984.

Suzi Quatro is credited as the first woman musician (not just singer) to lead a successful mainstream rock band.  1973’s Can The Can” was her first hit, while “Stumblin’ In(a duet with Chris Norman of Smokie) was her only US hit.  She sold 50 million records worldwide, but is a one hit wonder in her own country (outside of Michigan)Quatro is more famous in the US for her appearances as Leather Tuscadero on “Happy Days”.  A documentary on Quatro’s career will be released on July 1st.

Now for the sad notes….

Rupert Hine (born September 21, 1947) died of undisclosed causes on June 5th, age 72.  Hine was one of the best and most high profile record producers of the 1980s and 1990s, his work crossing many categories and many best selling albums and artists: Tina Turner, The Fixx, Rush, Stevie Nicks, Saga, Chris de Burgh, Howard Jones, Suzanne Vega, etc.   Some might describe Hine’s production as “sterile”, but his work aged well unlike a lot of 1980s producers.  His sound was clean, instruments are distinct, and he used few or no dated effects (e.g. cheap synthesizers, gated drums).

Steve Priest (February 23, 1948) of The Sweet died on June 4th of undisclosed causes.  He was the group’s bass player and sang on some songs like “Ballroom Blitz“, eventually taking over singing duties after Brian Connolly left the band. Other favourites of mine include “Action” and “Fox On The Run“.