4 decades later, Hamilton band rockin’ record deals in 3 countries

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

            Band members of The Brotherhood included, from left, Donny Hoskins on drums; Jeff Hanson guitar and vocals; John Hurd on Hammond organ, electric piano and vocals; MJ Coe on flute, guitar and vocals; and Bill Fairbanks on bass guitar piano and vocals. The 1972 album, “Stavia,” is being re-released.
Band members of The Brotherhood included, from left, Donny Hoskins on drums; Jeff Hanson guitar and vocals; John Hurd on Hammond organ, electric piano and vocals; MJ Coe on flute, guitar and vocals; and Bill Fairbanks on bass guitar piano and vocals. The 1972 album, “Stavia,” is being re-released.

It’s been 45 years since a Hamilton band called The Brotherhood performed together at Taft High School, but the group now has record deals on two continents.

An earlier version of the band, The Revised Brotherhood, also has a deal with a German company for a single released in 1971 called “Tragedy.” Both the album, called “Stavia,” and the single have cult followings worldwide.

The number 45 must be their lucky number, because last year — 45 years after the Revised Brotherhood issued a 45-rpm single called “Tragedy,” they reached a deal with a German label to reissue it. In an unexpected quirk, the band called The Revised Brotherhood actually existed before The Brotherhood.

RELATED: Hamilton band’s 1971 record gets new life —in Germany

Recently, “We were contacted by a small record label in Spain, saying that they wanted to reissue Stavia,” said John Hurd, 64, lead singer of both groups and a Badin High School graduate. The label, Guerssen Records, wrote him, with an opening sentence of, “I guess you know your album was bootlegged in France?”

“I already knew that,” Hurd said with a laugh.

Hurd insisted that the deal, for the production of 500 copies of Stavia, be non-exclusive, in case another label also wanted to make a deal. It’s a good thing he did, because Shake It Records in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, which is a record store and a label, also plans to reissue 500 copies of the album, probably in early 2018.

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Hurd visited Shake It, asking if they would be willing to sell copies of his 45, and the man told him, “I’ve been looking for you for a long time, couldn’t find you.” Hurd said the man told him, “I want to make you an offer to re-release your album, Stavia. That’s a great album.”

Darren Blase, a co-owner of Shake It, said Stavia “has always been this fascinating record, because there’s sound like Blood, Sweat and Tears, and there’s parts that sound like Neil Young, and then there’s this organ and flute,” Blase said. “It’s just an odd record for this part of the country, and it’s always been this pretty mysterious record.”

Band members of The Brotherhood included Donny Hoskins on drums; Jeff Hanson guitar and vocals; Hurd on Hammond organ, electric piano and vocals; MJ Coe on flute,guitar and vocals; and Bill Fairbanks on bass guitar piano and vocals.

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“You know, you ask around, and nobody really knows about it, said Blase, who calls Stavia a southern Ohio “Holy Grail record that I’ve always been wanting to find more about, and I found out that John worked with one of my employees’ lives at Miami University.”

Here’s how Blase describes Stavia: “It’s not a psych(edelic) record, it’s not a rock record, it’s not a soul record. It inherits this kind of odd space, and there’s not a lot of records that sound like that. And I’m a big fan of Rite Records, a company down here that put it out. And there’s people down here that just collect Rite stuff. “

Stavia will be part of a Shake It reissue series called Reissues from Ohio.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Hurd said. “It was one of the best days of my life, as far as being a musician, being in a store, surrounded by all these famous people’s records, and then this guy, knowing who I was, and then offering me a record deal.”

“It was like, ‘Huh? Really?’” said Hurd. He also was impressed with the technical abilities to remaster the recordings.

In 1998, ‘The Simpsons’ predicted Disney would buy Fox

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 7:18 AM

Fun Facts about the Simpsons.

Doh! Another prediction comes true on the long-running “The Simpsons” animated sitcom.

>> Read more trending news

In 1998, the sitcom predicted that The Walt Disney Company would buy 21st Century Fox. In other episodes, the show also has forecasted the presidency of Donald Trump and a Super Bowl halftime show featuring Lady Gaga. NBC News reported. 

Here’s a rundown:

Disney buys 21st Century Fox

This prediction came from the episode “When You Dish Upon a Star,” from the fifth episode of Season 10, NBC News reported. In this 1998 show, Homer Simpson pitches a script to Hollywood producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. In one scene, a sign outside a studio lot reads “20th Century Fox, A Division of Walt Disney Co.”

Donald Trump as president 

In “Bart to the Future” from Season 11, Episode 17 in 2000, Lisa Simpson is the new president of the United States. Her task is to dig the country out of a financial mess created by her predecessor , Donald Trump. 

Lady Gaga lands in the Super Bowl

In 2012, "Lisa Goes Gaga" appeared in Episode 22 of Season 23.. Lady Gaga visits the Simpsons’ hometown of Springfield and performs in concert. She descends to the stage from a helicopter in a harness. And that’s what she did this past Feb. 5 at Super Bowl LI at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

After Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, the show featured a flashback to its 2000 prediction, The Huffington Post reported. In the opening credits, Bart Simpson is shown writing on a chalkboard the phrase “Being right sucks.”

Walt Disney presents: ‘Avatar,’ ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Alien’ and ‘Rocky Horror’

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 5:36 PM

Michael Buckner/Getty Images
(Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

As of Thursday morning, the Walt Disney Co. is set to own a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion deal. With this merger, the number of major studios in Hollywood will go from six to five, and the combined Disney and Fox assets would have a 39% theatrical market share, according to Variety

>> Read more trending news 

The deal, which some have said will raise red flags among antitrust officials, is still awaiting regulatory approval, which could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, according to Variety.

This deal is sort of the opposite of the Paramount Case of 1948, when RKO Pictures shuttered, divorcing movie theaters from the ownership of the studios that created the films those theaters were screening

A merger is a wish your boardroom makes, and all that. 

(In other news, the FCC is expected to repeal net neutrality Thursday, so...more great news for big corporations.)

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Most of the chatter around this deal has centered around two things: one is that Disney is becoming a monopoly. Disney already owns Pixar, Marvel and The Studio Formerly Known As Lucasfilm. Disney’s acquiring of Fox isn’t just another merger deal — it’s one of the biggest deals to go down in Hollywood history.

The other talking point is that, well, hey, now that Disney owns Fox properties, that means that a majority of the Marvel properties are now in Disney’s hands. 

This means — as many have pointed out on Twitter — that the X-Men can now theoretically be in “Avengers: Infinity War” and other Marvel films. Ditto Deadpool and the Fantastic Four.

>> Related: Pixar celebrates Day of the Dead, family ties with captivating ‘Coco’

But there’s some other properties that Disney has now acquired that don’t really fit the House of Mouse’s squeaky clean image. Read on to see some of what might be coming to a theater near you under a new Disney banner. 

Comic books

  • X-Men
  • Deadpool
  • Fantastic Four
  • Legion
  • “Kingsman”

All of the above films and characters are either super violent or not very Disney-like, something that “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds pointed out on Twitter last week.

The other fun thing to think about here: What if Disney made an Avengers film with Captain America and the Fantastic Four? Chris Evans plays Captain America and also played The Human Torch in Fox’s 2005 bid to make that live-action franchise happen. (If you really want to check out something special, peep this unreleased “Fantastic Four” that Fox made back in 1994 solely to keep the rights to the franchise.)

>> Related: How comic book movies are making comic books worse

Action franchises

  • “Alien”
  • “Avatar”
  • “Die Hard”
  • “Independence Day”
  • “Planet of the Apes”
  • “Predator”

Ho, ho, ho. Now I have a lot of R-rated franchises. Does this mean we’re going to see a “Yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon!” PG-13-ification of some of film’s most enduring action franchises? 

>> Related: ‘The Holiday' is a better Christmas movie than 'Love Actually' and here's why

But, on another note, Disney now owns the “Avatar” franchise, which is reported to have four planned sequels. The first film, released in 2009, brought in almost $3 BILLION worldwide.

Kid’s franchises

  • “Alvin and the Chipmunks”
  • “Doctor Doolittle”
  • “Goosebumps”
  • “Home Alone”
  • “Ice Age”
  • “Night at the Museum”
  • “Rio”

All of these franchises are at least three films in, with the exception of “Goosebumps.” Expect more from the House of Mouse in the coming years.

Straight-up weird properties to now think of as ‘Disney’ properties

  • “Cocoon”
  • “M*A*S*H” (Robert Altman film and the Fox TV series)
  • “The Omen” franchise
  • “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
  • “Romancing the Stone”
  • “The Sound of Music”
  • “X-Files” franchise

All that needs to be said:

Read more here.

The History of Disney

Tavis Smiley accuses PBS of ‘biased and sloppy’ investigation, denies any misconduct

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 8:06 PM

Who Is Tavis Smiley?

Former PBS host Tavis Smiley is fighting back against sexual misconduct allegations, accusing PBS of a conducting a “biased and sloppy” investigation. 

>> Read more trending news 

The network suspended the “Tavis Smiley” show on Wednesday after former staffers accused the interviewer of inappropriate behavior.

According to Variety, the longtime PBS host had sexual relationships with many employees and was accused of “creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment” in the workplace. Some of the employees who accused the “Dancing with the Stars” alum were reportedly afraid to come forward sooner over fear of losing their job.

“PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” the network announced in a statement.

“PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”

>> Related: PBS suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ show amid sexual misconduct investigation

Not only did Smiley deny the allegations, he said PBS didn’t even tell what the accusations were or who made them. 

“I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth. To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years,” his statement said, in part. “Never. Ever. Never.”

Smiley said that after he threatened to file a lawsuit, the network agreed to hear his side of the story.

“If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us. The PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff, and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources. Their mind was made up. Almost immediately following the meeting, this story broke in Varietyas an ‘exclusive.’ Indeed, I learned more about these allegations reading the Variety story than the PBS investigator shared with me, the accused, in our 3 hour face to face meeting,” the statement continued.

>> Related: Lindsey Vonn opens up about backlash after her Trump-Olympics comments

Smiley stated that “PBS overreacted and conducted a biased and sloppy investigation, which led to a rush to judgement.”

Read his entire statement here.


Waynesville cafe wants to add wine, upscale liquor bar

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:39 AM

            Jeremy Green and Megan Buckle at the counter of Kee-Mo-Sabe Espresso & Gelato in Cobblestone Village in Waynesville.
Jeremy Green and Megan Buckle at the counter of Kee-Mo-Sabe Espresso & Gelato in Cobblestone Village in Waynesville.

A café and coffee shop on Main Street in Waynesville has applied for a liquor license that would enable customers to also drink wine, beer or spirits until 2:30 a.m.

The license, key to plans to add a wine bar with “high shelf liquor” to the business, is the latest change planned at the Cobblestone Village since Jeremy Green bought it in June.

MORE: Waynesville moving forward with $26 M community development

Green, who grew up in Springboro, has already added Kee-Mo-Sabe Espresso & Gelato, to the space for gift and interiors shops and an eclectic American café at 10 N. Main St.

“One of my childhood dreams was to open a coffee shop. So I did,” Green said.

The Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce and CH Interior Designs, the business of the prior owners, Rick and Brenda Weber, are also located in the mall comprising Cobblestone Village.

MORE: Village, chamber settle Ohio Sauerkraut Festival dispute

A consultant hired by Green is helping him gather signatures and clear other hurdles leading to a May election on the liquor option.

Green said the decision to begin serving alcoholic beverages was primarily in response to his survey of residents on what the community needed, rather than following the trend taken by other coffee shops, including Starbucks.

MORE: Latest Waynesville News

“I’m trying to appease the community more than I am a trend,” he said.

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At 7:30 p.m. today, Alexis Gomez, the Wright State graduate and American Idol finalist from Centerville, returns for an acoustic performance.

MORE: New coffee shop opens in downtown Dayton

More special events are planned, particularly if the liquor license is approved by precinct voters, Green said. then look for a grand opening in July.