Blues 101: Now for Some Morning Maniac Music

Live rock music has always been considered night music. But what if a 10 o’clock start meant 10 a.m., not 10 p.m?

Well, that was exactly the unusual situation that Kim Simmonds, one of Britain’s most heralded blues guitarists and the founder of the band Savoy Brown, found himself in recently in the Atlantic Ocean as the day’s opening performer on the Rock Legends IV Cruise., which offered live music from 10 a.m. until 1 or 2 a.m. each day of the 4-day trip.

“Tonight … Oh man I mean this morning we’re going to try to wake you up,” Simmonds told the crowd, which was collectively yawning and stretching before him in front of the 11th deck outdoor stage. “If you had seen me at 8 a.m. in the coffee shop, you would have been pretty scared. Looking at me drinking my coffee you would have thought, ‘Can this guy really play?'”

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Music Making Memories: Michelle by the Beatles


In 1965 I was 13 years old. My Dad operated several dry cleaning plants in South Jersey and sometimes I would ride with him as he went to check on the various operations.

On this particular day we were in Bridgeton, our New Jersey hometown. We stopped for lunch at an eatery called Mr. Bill’s. Now Mr. Bill’s was like many small town eateries before the takeover of fast-food franchises – a small, somewhat dark place with a few booths and a long counter located on a main downtown street.

My Dad was always a counter person (I think it was so he could chat more with the waitresses, cooks, and everyone in the restaurant) and so we were sitting there. My Dad had been born in Texas and always favored southern food when he could get it. One of Capt. Bill’s specialities was french fries with gravy. So both my Dad and I ordered a plate.

As were eating, “Michelle” by the Beatles came on the jukebox. I had heard the song before, but for some inexplicable reason this playing found its way into the recesses of my mind and permanently lodged itself there.

It wasn’t as if anything momentous was happening. I can’t recall a thing that was said. It was just a boy and his Dad in a local restaurant eating french fries in brown gravy with some southern hot sauce mixed in.

Now more than five decades later, my Dad, Capt. Bill’s and the Beatles are long gone. I’m older now than my Dad was then. But wherever I am when I hear “Michelle” (which, ironically is one of my least favorite Beatles’ songs), I’m actually at two places at once.

Of course, I’m where I am. But I’m also back in Bridgeton, just a 13-year-old boy in a small town eatery sharing french fires and gravy with his Dad.


Greg Allman Helps My Wife Have a Great 65th at Sea

Judy Lynn Snyder and I were married in a steady wintry downpour on Jan. 27, 1973 in my mother’s South Jersey Church, with Judy in a white dress and me in a close (but much cheaper) version of the 3-piece cream suit Mick Jagger wore when he married Bianca the previous year.

By the time of our marriage, I had been playing organ (1st a Farfisa, then a Vox Continental) in rock and soul bands since early 1966,  when both Judy and I were 10th graders in high school. (An aside here: When I was selected to be in the house band of Philly Classic Rock radio station WGMK nearly 40 years later, Judy was asked if she was excited. Here is her verbatim response: “No … I heard Dave in 1966. He isn’t any better, just louder”).

After playing fire halls, pool parties, school dances, proms, shopping centers, teenage hangouts, bars and clubs that weren’t concerned about employing underage musicians, and finally summers at the Jersey shore including shows at the famed Steel Pier in Atlantic City. By 1973 I was in my 3rd group – one of the area’s 1st 70s jam bands named Frog Ocean Road. (Another aside here: Our 16-year-old drummer then was Jerry Gaskill, who is now the drummer for King’s X, a 3-piece band that opened Woodstock ’94 and continues to make new music and tour the world) …….

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When It Comes to Music Concerts Today, It’s a Family Affair

When rock poet laureate Bob Dylan 1st came up with his classic protest song “The Times, They Are a-Changin,” in the early 1960s, he was writing about an America that was deeply divided and defined by issues of war, racism, and an immense generation gap.

Take the music industry, which Dylan has been a part of now for 50 years. His music is no longer the sole province of the hip, socially-aware set. It’s everywhere. You can walk down any busy street in America and hear people from 9 to 90 humming a Dylan tune. In fact, in what Dylan himself would have once thought was a complete sellout, his songs have been used in recent days to sell everything from ladies’ underwear to Greek yogurt. Currently, Dylan himself is in heavy videoplay debating language, creativity, and change with IBM computer Watson. 

This music for all ages was definitely not in vogue when Dylan songs 1st hit the AM radio airways and record stores (remember those record stores, stocked and stacked with turntable-playable 45s and LPs). Music was a measure of the generation gap …

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Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Hi. I’m Dave Price and welcome to my writers page – Write On with Dave Price.

I hope you like what you find here. I also hope you will visit the 4  blogs I created, curate, write for, and publish. They are:

For 3 Nonfiction Books I’m Working On

  • Senior Moments (w/Older Today Dave) – Ideas and tips about actively aging so your later years can be can be productive, meaningful, and fulfilling.
  • Sprinkling Stardust: A Grandpop Speaks – My thoughts on growing old, grandparenting, and some of the important issues facing all of us, no matter what our age.
  • Talking ‘Bout My Generation – The people, places, things, and ideas of interest to Baby Boomers and those who wish they were.
  • Rock of Agers – A look back at the music and artists from rock and roll’s 2nd Decade (1964-1973) and those who are still carrying on that sound today.

Other Writing Sites

  • Sixty and Me – I’m a featured contributor to this online magazine which reaches about 250.000 women worldwide.

I’m planning on having fun on this journalistic journey and I’ll hope you’ll join me. I’d really like to hear from you. You can make a comment on the Contact page of this web site. You can leave a comment after any post on this page. You can also leave comments on any of my blog posts or the related social media sites I manage.

I do have one request. My artist wife Judy, who edits all my work, contends that I’m self-centered, insensitive, juvenile, careless, and verbose in both my talking and my writing. After reading my stuff, even if you agree, please don’t let her know. She doesn’t need any more validation for her views.

Have Story, Will Write

Me as cub reporterWhen I first started as a reporter in newspapers in 1974, my job was relatively simple.

 I was assigned a story and had to write it on my Underwood manual typewriter. Editors read the story, made changes, decided where it was to go in the paper, and sent it to a copy reader for proofing.

It was then transported to the composing room, where it was set into type, read by another proofreader comparing the original copy to the new text, and given to layout guys who pasted it in its proper place on its proper page.

Finally, my story, along with all the others in that day’s paper on page plates, was sent to the back shop, where it would roll off giant printing presses, ready for the circulation department to get it to readers. Meanwhile, salesmen in the advertising department were selling ads so that the publisher would have enough money to pay my salary.

Today, as a freelance writer, my job is much more complex. I (most often) find the stories. I write the stories. I pre-edit the stories; Judy post-edits them. I lay them out and then publish them on my computer. Now all of that I don’t mind. In fact, it’s actually fun when I stop procrastinating and finally get around to doing it.

But then I must be my own circulation department, finding readers for my stories, and my own advertising department, trying to figure out how to get at least some of my articles placed in publications that will pay me so my writing can help pay our bills.

It’s this part of the freelance business that bothers me. I’m much more writer than salesman.

But I am sales savvy enough to know that you should have a slogan (preferably a catchy one) for your business. Here’s mine – Have Story, Will Write. It’s at the top of my business card.

Now, like so many things in this writing business, my slogan is something borrowed, revised, and then used in a new context.

It is takeoff of the title of the western TV show “Have Gun, Will Travel”, which aired from 1957 until 1963. Here is the IMDB plot summary for that show: Professional gunfighter Paladin was a West Point graduate who, after the Civil War, settled into San Francisco’s Hotel Carlton were he awaited responses to his business card: over the picture of a chess knight “Have Gun, Will Travel … Wire Paladin, San Francisco.”

So what does my slogan “Have Story, Will Write” mean for you? 

Well, if you are an editor or publisher of a publication that has a story you would like written, I would like to be that writer. And if you don’t happen to be a publisher, but have a great story that needs to be written, I want to be the guy that does that. If neither is the case, you can follow me and my writings online. Writers always need readers. Lots of readers.

Unlike the Richard Boone character Paladin in “Have Gun Will Travel,” as a freelance writer for hire, I don’t carry a gun strapped low to my thigh. But I do have a pen, and a bunch of notebooks, and an Apple laptop. You know what they say: “The pen is mightier than the sword.

And my pen, like Paladin’s gun, is yours if you need it.

Nouns, Verbs and Me: A Personal History

Good writers write with verbs, but they write about nouns.

Nouns, as you might recall from Mrs. Slabbersmith’s 4th grade class (or Sister Slabbersmith, if you went to Catholic school), are any person, place, thing, or idea in a sentence.

Well, speaking of nouns and we just were, here is an organized recounting of some of the important people, places, things, and ideas in my life, a personal inventory that I hope may give you added insight into me and my writings. Or even better, convince you to hire me to write a story or 2.

A word of warning, however. My Dad was born in Texas and claimed the status of a Texan for all the 65 years of his life, even though he eventually lived in 2 other states. As a Texan, he could tell a long tale that, while invariably entertaining, didn’t always adhere to a strict standard of 100 percent accuracy.

It’s a trait that was genetically and experientially passed on to me. But in this recounting, as I do with all my writing, I promise to always tell the truth. Except when I embellish, exaggerate, prevaricate, or outright lie for the sake of a better story.

For as Dick Beecroft, the 70+-year-old reporter who sat at the desk behind me at my 1st newspaper job used to say “A good newsman writes from facts, but a great writer never lets the facts get in the way of a good story”.

So, without further fanfare,  here is my self-composed accounting of some of the high points of me, my work, and my life.

Personal Life & Family History 

  1. I was born in Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania on March 26, 1952, the only child of Alvin Owen and Mary Louise Ivins Price.
  2. I was raised and lived for the 1st 59 years of my life in Upper Deerfield Township, a rural/suburban community adjacent to Bridgeton, NJ and the home of the once-thriving frozen food empire of C. F. Seabrook.
  3. In my childhood, Bridgeton was a bustling, one-factory town of 20,000. But when the Owens-Illinois glass plant,  once the largest glass manufacturing site in the world, closed in the 70s, the city began an economic downslide from which it has never really recovered.
  4. Even though no one who meets me ever believes it, I really did attend Bridgeton Christian School from Kindergarten until 6th grade.
  5. I went to Seabrook School for 7th and 8th grade. This is where I met Judy Lynn Snyder, whom I will be mentioning later. I also lived for a time on 4th Street in Seabrook Village, where my family was the only family on our block that spoke English, for the true melting pot community was home to many Japanese Americans who had been forced in west coast relocation camps during World War II, as well as war-displaced European families from such places as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, and Communist Russia.
  6. Because my father and mother operated a large dry cleaning plant in nearby Salem, I spent most of my Saturdays and Summers in that predominantly black city, where I honed my meager skills in baseball, basketball, and playground football. While I never became the great athlete I hoped to be as a youngster, I did help establish the career of Lydell Mitchell, an All-American running back from Penn State University who went on to star for the Baltimore Colts in the NFL. If Lydell were to tell the tale honestly, he developed much of his ability by running around, over, and sometimes even under me in the constant pickup football games we played in the Fall. Lydell also hit a baseball off me in the Summer of 1962 that NASA scientists are still tracking as it makes its way across the Universe.
  7. In 1969, I graduated with 679 other seniors from Bridgeton High School where I still hold 2 records: (1) most times sent to the principal’s office for violating my school newspaper pass without being suspended and (2) the only sports editor of the Echo, the school student newspaper, ever threatened not once, but twice with long-term suspension for actions undertaken as part of my journalistic duties (A) Writing the headline “Girls Lust After Upper Berths” for a tennis story and (B) improperly touching my short-skirt wearing girlfriend of the time under a long table at the local radio station while both of us were participating in an on-air radio news show.
  8. In the Fall of that year, I started Villanova University, where I would be a graduate in the Wildcat Class of ’73. I entered college intending to become a lawyer, but left instead with a BA in English, a life-long mentor in English Department Chairman Dr. Robert Wilkinson, and memories that I wouldn’t trade for a seat on the Supreme Court.
  9. In January of 1973, I married the aforementioned Judy Lynn Snyder at my Mother’s church on a dark, rainy winter night, which was brightened considerably by the candles at our service and the smiles of our family and friends. And what a service it was: Some of my friends spent time in the bathroom smoking illegal substances; others were passing around bottles of Boone’s Farm in brown paper bags; and still others were lasciviously eyeing Judy’s attractive Trenton State roommates, their love ardor fueled not by the Holy Spirit of the Methodist faith, but by spirits of a much more worldly nature.
  10. Judy and I survived that raucous night, and 6 months later, our only child Michael Keith Price was born. It was, quite simply, the best product our union, which is now in its 44th year, ever produced
  11. After years as a perpetual student, Michael obtained a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland. He married Shannon Sullivan from Boston, a Duke graduate and Maryland Master’s of Economics recipient. That union eventually produced the 2 greatest gifts Judy and I have ever received – our granddaughter Audrey and her 17-month-younger brother, Owen, who is named after my father. 
  12. After stays at the University of Nevada Reno (where Audrey was born) and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (where Owen entered the world), Michael and Shannon moved to Atlanta, where Michael taught he Fall Semester at the Andrew Young Policy Center at Georgia State University and the Spring Semester at the University of Chicago. In March of 2017, Michael was named a full professor at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) where he continues to split his time between that campus and the University of Chicago.

Me and the World of Work

  1. My1st job was helping out at my parents’ cleaning plants. I hated it. But I did learn a valuable lesson – my Dad worked way too hard and I decided I never wanted to own my own business. I would always be satisfied to let someone else hand me a paycheck. 
  2. In high school, I discovered what I thought was the greatest way to make money ever invented – playing keyboard in a rock and roll band.
  3. In college, I continued to play in bands. I also came up with a 2nd way to get some extra spending money. I would write short papers for my friends who asked me to. It was my 1st paid job as a writer. After my sophomore year, when I wasn’t attending classes or playing music in East Coast bars or clubs, I substitute taught in my old high school. 
  4. After graduating Villanova in 1973 and then taking 2 extra education classes and a semester-long student teaching experience at what was then Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), I sought English teaching work anywhere in South Jersey. In the spring of 1974, I received a callback for an interview for an English position at Woodstown High School. It’s been more than 4 decades and I’m still waiting for their answer, so I guess I have to assume they are not going to hire me. 
  5. In the summer of ’74, tired of Judy rightfully pointing out every hour on the hour that it was next to impossible to raise a family on the meager money from my part-time liquor store clerking and band playing, I should – no make that must – find a full-time job. Angered, I threw a pillow at her and stormed out of the house, only to realize that Judy had the only car and the only set of keys. Undaunted, I set out on foot to find full-time employment. I don’t remember everywhere I went in the city of Bridgeton that day, but I do remember stopping in a hardware store and a small grocery establishment. Finally, I ended up at the Bridgeton Evening News. Since the paper had by then been printed, the Managing Editor Joe Garwood kindly agreed to grant me a few minutes. He asked me 3 questions: (1) Do you have any experience? (2) Do you have a journalism degree? (3) Can you type. Since my answer was no to all 3, I was immediately given the job. No, of course, I wasn’t. Garwood patiently explained to me that while he liked to hire locally, I really had nothing to offer. I left and headed back home. That night, shortly after 7 p.m, Garwood called and said a reporter had just suffered a stroke and he would hire me on a trial basis for a 2-week probationary period, paying me $80 a week. At the end of that successful trial, I was given a permanent reporting position and a $20-a-week raise.
  6. With that as a beginning, I spent more than 10 years in newspapers. I worked as a police reporter, then an investigative reporter for the Evening News. I was hired by The Press of Atlantic City, where I served at different times as a political reporter, a features writer, and finally Bureau Chief of the Press’ Cumberland County Bureau. I spent a year with The Philadelphia Bulletin covering South Jersey. After Joe Garwood’s successor left the Evening News, I returned as managing editor. At the time of my hiring, I was the youngest managing editor of a daily newspaper in the state of New Jersey.
  7. Now, while at 1st glance, that managing editor post might seem impressive, my family life, after more than a decade of the crazy style and long hours of 70s/80s journalism, was falling apart. Plus, I had years ago developed an addiction to both drugs and alcohol, a condition that while not affecting my rise in journalism, was playing havoc with my role as a husband and father. I resigned my position as managing editor and entered the Seabrook House Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center. After a 34-day stay there, I emerged with no job, but equipped with the skills to keep sober in my recovery. As I type this, I still recall the last day of a drink or smoking, snorting, or swallowing a drug. It was the October Friday prior to Columbus Day. And it was 1984. 
  8. With my contacts in the Bridgeton School system, I relatively quickly obtained a job as a teacher/career counselor for adults in the adult High School program there. After a few months, I interviewed for and obtained a similar position working for high schools in 3 South Jersey counties. During this time, I was again writing, but my focus was on creating proposals and seeking grants for educational programs, including the one that would keep me and my office funded. 
  9. Since every 6 months my job was in funding jeopardy, when offered an English teaching position at my old Bridgeton high school, I took it. For the next 20 years, I taught English to all types of students in all types of programs. I placed my writing skills on hold, but put my proofreading, editing, revising, and, most of all, my writing guidance skills in high overdrive by working with my students and their writing
  10. After 20 years in that role, I was offered and took a position as Language Arts Instructional Coach/Academic Curriculum and Program Designer with the Talent Development Program out of Johns Hopkins University. Since Bridgeton was a model Talent Development High School, I was able to keep my Bridgeton base, but was also able to work with schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York City. One of my duties in that position was to create awareness for all that was going, so I resumed my active writing career by creating a series of educational blogs and articles.
  11. After 5 years with Talent Development, I had put in 25 years with the state of New Jersey Education system and was eligible for retirement. In 2011, I retired as an educator and my wife retired as the manager of an art gallery and custom frame shop. We decided to move to Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, just 3 Metro stops from Washington DC and all that city has to offer. I didn’t expert to work again, but former colleagues of mine from Johns Hopkins who had left the university and formed an educational consulting company of their own, asked me to join them. I declined a full-time position, but did agree to be an independent, part-time consultant. For the next 4 years, I worked in the DC school system, helping teachers, counselors and administrators of highly at-risk students with management, instructional, and curricular issues. For a brief time, I also shuttled back and forth from National Airport to Syracuse, NY, helping the district there set up special programs for their ask-risk students.
  12. In February of 2017, after residing for 14 months in Atlanta, Georgia to spend time with our grandchildren,  we returned to Crystal City. I began establishing a writing/speaking/consulting/tour guiding practice, which I opened in September. So there it is. That’s my personal story, and as they say, I’m sticking to it. And all of it is true. Except, of course, for the parts I made up.