Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Chris Richardson

"Midnight Cowboy"
Zeroto180

“Midnight Cowboy” — Sleep Aid

Today Zero to 180 turns eight. Several months ago, I received a surprise phone call from writer, Steve Rosen, who informed me that he was putting together a feature article for Cincinnati Magazine that uses my “Cincinnati in Song” piece as a launching point.. Furthermore, for this piece, I was

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"Mrs. Fletcher"
Zeroto180

“Mrs. Fletcher”: New TV Theme?

Zero to 180 turns seven today, which means another opportunity to muddy the waters with the musical equivalent of home movies — it’s okay if you want to sit this one out. Last December 12th’s dubious dub-inspired “Mrs. Fletcher” (you might recall) was a late-year release that got buried in

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"Mrs. Fletcher"
Zeroto180

“Mrs. Fletcher”: Pop Dub II

For the sixth year in a row – on its December 12th anniversary date – Zero to 180 has once again made the dubious and (it needs to be said) rather contemptible decision to post one of its own homemade recordings, under the laughable supposition that the “composition” in question is somehow deserving of

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Smitten by the “Break-In” Record

I must have been about 9 or 10 when I first became aware of the “break-in” record, in which the man-on-the-street dishes up pop hit sound bites in response to each and every one of the news reporter’s questions.  I remember hearing “Watergrate” and “Mr. Jaws” on Cincinnati’s pop juggernaut,

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“Wonderball”: Musically Reborn!

Do you remember playing a “hot potato” game as a young child called “The Wonderball” in which a ball is passed from person to person, while a rhyming passage is recited aloud, and you try to avoid being the last to hold it?  More importantly, do you recall a melody

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Early 90s Pop Dub (Plus Sax)

Post-Fern (and pre-Zero to 180), Chris Richardson would pursue a teaching degree at (pre-“The”) Ohio State University, while enjoying the process of multi-track recording on a roommate’s Fostex 4-track “mini studio.”  Future Fern manager and musician-in-training, Tom Newbold, would attend the same university and once arrange for a group of

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"Every"
Zeroto180

6/9 Chords, Maj 7ths, and Tritones

With the departure of founding members, Michael Andrew Frank & Keith Bortz, and the arrival of the two Ricks — Mosher & Haller — plus new drummer, Bob Mitchell, who was (get this) from a different high school, The Max had evolved into The Ferns.by 1983, most historians would agree,

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Maximum Schlock & Roll

Drummer Keith Bortz of The Max – formerly Max and the Bluegills – was instrumental (so to speak) in getting permission to stage a concert in the group’s high school auditorium on a Friday afternoon in April, 1981.  Students were gouged at the door — one-dollar admission!  Cannot recall whether

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"I Think I Love You"
Zeroto180

Early 80s Cincinnati Power Ballad

If it’s true that Aerosmith invented the “power ballad” in 1973 with their prom-rock classic, “Dream On,” then let history take note that Cincinnati teen rockers – Max & the Bluegills – would enter a sound studio 8 years later to record their own aching power ballad about unrequited love’s

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