Monday, September 02 2013 00:47

1982: The Year I Became a Rock and Roll Gangster...

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1982 was a monumental year that encompassed so many culturally-important moments, it's hard to really absorb the true weight of the year, even 31 years after the fact. It was the year that audiences would witness the debut of the greatest television show of all time when NBC first aired KNIGHT RIDER; when cinema-goers marveled at the Kenny Rogers masterpiece, SIX PACK (alongside ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, POLTERGEIST, and PORKYS); and music fans would experience the birth of FAITH NO MORE, and the release of PICTURE THIS by HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS. What I didn't realize until last night, was that 1982 was the year that I became a Rock and Roll Gangster.

After spending the day at Frankfort Fall Festival with my family, we headed back to my Mom's house so that the girls could have some playtime before we made the hour-and-a-half trek back to Rock Father HQ. Having previously asked my Mom about some pictures I was interested in for possible inclusion in future blogs, we took a quick look at a few photo albums that featured some of my adventures long before my days as The Rock Father. And there it was...

It wasn't what I was looking for, but the picture was significant. "June, 1982," the caption read. "Tune Town Graduation." There I stood, some co-conspirator behind me, in front of the Park Forest Conservatory of Music and Dance. Decked-out in a blue suit, I looked like some low-level wiseguy about to head over to Chicago Heights to shakedown some small business owners for protection money. But I wasn't even to my sixth birthday yet. Yeah, I was five...

Rock and Roll Gangster

I had successfully completed my first music class... Tune Town. I've taken Addie to various music classes already, and with Finn now at the 14-month mark, it's time to start taking her as well. I think we'll have to find a class for this Fall.

So what does a Rock and Roll Gangster do? A lot of things, but for now we'll just leave this 1977 hit from Aalon for you to listen to and enjoy...

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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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