Serving The Best Life

By Dave Price

Two men died yesterday. 

One had houses all over the world, consorted with the famous and powerful, claimed to be as rich as a king, and even possessed his own island.

The other lived with his mother because when he was young he promised to take care of her.

One was white; the other black and Japanese.

One was a sick, sordid user and abuser; the other a giver and an empowerer. 

One was clearly a demon and a destroyer of young women, whose acts and name will long bring vile curses to the lips of virtually all who learn about him; the other was clearly a kind, compassionate, decent down-to-earth benefactor, whose sole purpose was to take teenagers in their oft-confusing years of adolescence and help mold them into young men their families and communities could be proud of.

One’s name was Jeffrey Epstein. The other was James Breech, known to all simply as Breech.

James Breech and his mother at age 92.

Today, the internet will be filled with articles and analysis of the horrid exploits and suspicious death of Epstein. But here I would like to pass on a few words about Breech, who was one of the truly great coaches and teachers I ever had the honor of meeting. 

Breech was many things to many people. But to me, he was the greatest 2nd father my sole son Michael Price could ever have had.

There are so many stories I could recount about Jim Breech. But the one I will offer took place in our kitchen of our North Park Drive home. It was the summer of Michael’s 8th grade year. He had made the Senior League baseball all-stars as a 14-year-old. That summer Breech had also been giving Michael tennis lessons. Jim stopped by to tell Michael he had entered him in his first tennis tournament. I told Michael that he would have to make a decision — he would be entering high school that Fall and since baseball and tennis were both spring sports, he should make his decision which he wanted to play now. I was sure he would choose baseball. But Michael opted for tennis. And that seemingly-then-small decision, as Robert Frost wrote in his classic poem “The Road Not Taken” definitely “made all the difference”.

During his teenage years, Michael spent more of his waking time with Breech than he did with me. Breech imparted much tennis to Michael, but much more importantly, he imparted much knowledge about the only subject that really matters – how to live life in the best way possible.

Obviously, today I see much of me in a Michael. But I also see much of Breech in my son. Fortunately, I had a few chances to tell Breech how much I appreciated his second fathership over the years. 

Like so many others who knew him, I am saddened today for Jim’s earthly passing. But I know he will live eternally in the marvelous memories he created. For me … for Michael … for my grandchildren, Audrey and Owen, both of whom are taking up tennis. 

And I’m sure Michael will pass on to them the most important lesson James Breech ever taught him — what happens on a tennis court matters for a few moments, but how you handle yourself on the court of life is what really counts. 

In our lives, we get many chances to make choices — baseball or tennis … to strive for that which seems important or for that which truly is … whether to be an Epstein or a Breech. 

Now I might not know all that is true, but I do know this — given such a choice, refuse to follow the path set down by Epstein. Always, always, always choose to be a Breech, for that is the best of all roads to travel.

Tarantino Tackles Westerns, 1969, and a Manson Family Redo in His New Film

Last night, I went to see the new Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood. As someone who once watched westerns, turned 17 in 1969, and remember vividly the Helter Skelter times of Charles Manson and his murdering family, I enjoyed the movie. It marks Leonard DiCaprio’s best performance and Brad Pitt was stellar as his stunt buddy sidekick. And how could I not like a film that featured Damian Lewis (of Homeland) as my favorite actor Steve McQueen and a reworked scene from one of my top 10 films of all-time The Great Escape, which starred McQueen.

The movie soundtrack is packed with stellar songs from the late ’60s. According to Mary Ramos, Quentin Tarantino’s longtime music supervisor, the process for selecting songs for one of his films starts in a record store—which happens to be in his Hollywood home. What Ramos describes as Tarantino’s “record room” looks like a vinyl boutique, with LPs separated into bins labeled by genres like soul and soundtracks. “In the past, when we’ve started preparation,” she says, “he invites me over and I madly scribble as he’s talking a mile a minute and pausing to put the needle down on records. Everything starts in his record room.”

The major difference with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was the time frame. For his poetic-license retelling of the intersection of Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, the Charles Manson posse, and fictional actors played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Tarantino didn’t want any of the music heard in the film to go beyond one year (1969, when the film is set). Although they were approached by several name acts to record covers or – in the case of Lana Del Rey – offer up their own material, Tarantino stuck with his time-capsule idea. “Nothing later than 1969, some things from before,” Ramos says. “He was a bit more anachronistic with this. He wanted to stay very specific to the period.”

The Hollywood soundtrack features plenty of classic-rock types (the Rolling Stone, Bob Seger, Neil Diamond), but we asked Ramos to dig into some of the deeper-cut moments in the film. To continue reading this article, which first appeared in Rolling Stone, click here.

Tarantino’s latest movie, set in 1969 Los Angeles, mixes fictitious characters with actual celebrities, TV series, films and landmarks of the era, as it tells the story of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), an invented TV star, and his equally made-up stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).

In Tarantino’s alternate reality, Rick lives in Benedict Canyon on Cielo Drive, next door to Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), a real-life ingénue who was eight and a half months pregnant and wed to the Polish director Roman Polanski when she was brutally murdered along with other houseguests by members of the cult led by Charles Manson. 

Here’s a glossary to sort out the real references from the fake ones.

(Warning: Major spoilers ahead!)

The Manson-adjacent movie has resurfaced the story of a man who has fascinated and horrified America since he and his “family’s” murder spree in 1969. Here’s what to read from a New York Times list if you want to learn more about Manson and his crimes.

David Crosby: Remember My Name

Last Monday night, Washington Post movie critic Anne Hornaday joined me for my presentation at the Smithsonian where we discussed the impact the 1970 documentary on Woodstock had on the legacy of the most-famous mud and myth rock festival of the 1960s.

Hornaday was a huge music fan (especially of the Who) before she became a film critic, which may partially explain why her reviews of music documentaries are so insightful. Of course, the main reason for her success is that Anne is a great analyzer and a powerfully descriptive writer no matter what type of film she is reviewing.

Tonight, I saw the new film David Crosby: Remember My Name and here is Anne’s review to help you better understand the film if you should decide to see it.

By Ann Hornaday

Washington Post Movie critic

Rating:     (3 stars)

“David Crosby: Remember My Name” was one of the breakout hits at Sundance this year, and understandably so: In this film, the pioneering folk-rock musician — who will turn 78 in a couple of weeks — emerges less as a lion in winter than a tiger in full attack mode, as often as not against himself.

Haloed by a nimbus of cottony white hair, still sporting the walrus mustache he made chic in the 1960s, Crosby presents a reflective, irascible, observant and irresistibly candid figure in a documentary that ostensibly chronicles one of his many comeback tours but becomes something far more introspective. “Remember My Name” joins a cohort of nostalgic music movies that have glutted theaters this summer, and it spares few musical pleasure points: When Crosby reminisces about forming the Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, those glorious harmonies burst forth with the same exhilarating abandon baby boomers thrilled to when they heard them for the first time.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Welcome to Talking ‘Bout My Generation

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I’m Dave Price and I operate a writing/speaking/tour guiding practice in Washington, DC. Before that, I was a journalist (10 years) and an educator and educational consultant (34 years).

I am focusing on 3 subjects:

  • the Baby Boomer generation
  • classic rock and
  • issues of Boomer aging, especially as they affect men

As a Book Author: I am awaiting publication (now set for late October) of my first book in my 3-book series on classic rock entitled Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles and a Young Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation.

As a Freelance Writer: I am a senior contributor to the digital hub Booming Encore

As a Speaker: I design and deliver talks, interactive presentations, and programs for the Smithsonian Museums in DC. Here are my upcoming programs.

As a Tour Guide: I lead First Amendment tours at the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

At my Website: Talking ‘Bout My Generation contains my writings, my photos, and articles of interest from others dealing with the Baby Boom generation (those of us born between 1946 and 1964), classic rock (music from the ’50s/’60s/’70s) and issues that are affecting us Boomers as we age.

Three other places online you can find my writing are at my blog Write On with Dave Price and on my writer’s sites at Booming Encore, where I still contribute regularly, and at Sixty and Me, where I was a former contributor.

Here is a link to an online version of what academics call a CV and most of us call a resume. You can find out more there about who I am and what I have done there. Thanks for checking out my writer/speaker/tour guiding page. I hope you find things here to interest you and keep you coming back.

From my musical years playing in some of the loudest, least legendary bands in the Philadelphia/ South Jersey Shore area.