Welcome to Talking ‘Bout My Generation’s The Price’s Write Compilation Page

Hello there. I’m Dave Price and I am the chief writer and also operator of the writing/speaking/podcasting/video webcasting/tour guiding Talking ‘Bout My Generation practice in Washington, DC. Before that, I was a journalist (10 years) and an educator and educational consultant (29 years). At the project, we focus on 3 subjects:the history, culture, and lifestyle of the Baby Boomer generation

At this Website: Here you will find my writing from 2011 to today that in some way relates to Baby Boomers or their concerns.

As a Book Author: The first book in my 3-book series (and my first book ever) 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 was published in November of 2019. Come Together is currently available at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, DC. It can be purchased here through the Politics and Prose website. It is also available in a Kindle edition. Click here to purchase the book for Kindle for Amazon.

As a Blogger: I curate and publish 2 blogs – Garage Rock Redux – Revisiting the best frat rock, girl group rock, surf rock, British Invasion and proto-punk songs of 1960 -1969 and Has Your Soul Been Psychedelicized? Exploring the singles, album tracks and LPs that made up the acid/art rock sounds of the late 60s and 70s

As Podcaster/Webcaster: I am a featured weekly recurring guest on of the Facebook/YouTube/Periscope/Twitch political talk program Divided We Stand

As a Tour Guide: I led First Amendment tours at the Newseum from 2017 until the museum closed in 2019. Currently, all my tours for 2020 have been postponed due to restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

Sting, Paul Simon Sing Late into the Evening

This article 1st appeared in The Prices Do DC — March 13, 2014

When you think of a partner for Paul Simon, you probably see Art Garfunkel. You probably don’t consider Sting. But tonight at the Verizon Center, Simon teamed with Sting to perform more than 25 songs that they had made individually part of the rock and roll discography.

After the duo played a 3-song opening – “Brand New Day,” “Boy in the Bubble,” and “Fields of Gold,” Simon addressed the sold-out crowd.

“Welcome DC to this experiment we have been conducting,” he said. “Two bands, changing the set list up. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned to have sex for days. (a reference to Sting’s claims for Tantric benefits). And it’s all because of that man.”

“You’ve changed too, right,” he added, turning to Sting.

“Not really,” Sting said with a laugh.

Then for the next 2-and-a-half hours, the duo alternated playing heir hits. The 14 other performers from the 2 groups shuttled in and out depending on the tune. There were so many combinations that you would have needed an advanced math degree to keep track of them all.

For Sting fans, there were both his solo hits and the songs made famous with his old band, The Police. Here’s a sample – “Englishman in New York,” “Driven to Tears,” “Fragile,” “Message in a Bottle,” and “Roxanne,” To me, the high point of the Sting portion was a magnificent “Hounds of Winter.”

For Simon fans, there were solo hits and songs he had popularized with his long-time partner Art Garfunkel. Those included “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Graceland,” “The Boxer,” “Me and Julio (Down by the School Yard), “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” and Simon’s high point “Call Me Al.”

Throughout the night, as they switched from on-stage to off-stage, Sting and Simon talked about their new musical touring union.

Sting was particularly poignant as he described how much Simon’s music has meant to him. He said that some songs always remind people of a certain time and place in their lives. He then proceeded to talk about when he and his Police bandmates first came to America.

“We were touring all over America. Staying in shitty motels and and playing to empty clubs,” he said. “And this song speaks to much of that.” He then broke into a solo performance of Simon’s classic of “America.”

The duo performed a 3-song encore with all 14 band members. It started with a gospel-tinged “Bridge of Troubled Waters. That was followed by an exhilarating “Every Breath You Take.” After the last notes of the 3rd song, an extended jammy version of “Late in the Evening,” the 14 backing band members headed backstage.

Simon and Sting, each with an acoustic guitar in hand, approached the front of stage. “Rock and roll began with a couple of voices, a couple of guitars, and a mike,” Simon said. “I think that’s the way we’ll finish tonight.” He and Sting then offered a beautifully harmonious rendition of the Everly Brothers “When Will I Be Loved.”

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow …

This article 1st appeared in The Prices Do DC 4.19.2014

For Russell Mitchell and Richie Nocella, who too soon were taken to be a part of the greater Cosmos, and to Steve Ferrera and Dr. Robert Wilkinson, who are still here. And a special shout-out to William Shakespeare, John Updike, and all my South Jersey high school students without whom this story could not be told.

Have I ever told you about the time I performed the “Tomorrow” soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth live on the stage of the Folger Shakespeare Library? No? Well, that’s because up until last Sunday, I hadn’t done any such performance.

But now I can tell you the tale (and, no, you smart-assed Shakespearean scholars – it’s not a tale told by an idiot).

I performed the monologue as part of a day-long celebration at the world-renowned DC Shakespeare institution to honor what would have been William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.

And, as you can see here, I even have visual proof, that, in the words of Macbeth himself, “I have done the deed.”

But my involvement with the “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy actually begins more than 4 decades ago, which of course chronologically makes for a whole lot more than just 3 tomorrows.

In 1970, I was a 2nd-semester freshman at Villanova University. My English class was taught by Dr. Robert Wilkinson (who, unbeknownst to me at the time, would become a life-long mentor ). In the class were 2 of my best friends, Steve Ferrara, my Boston-speaking roommate, and Richie Nocella from South Philly. Richie, Steve, and I had all been randomly assigned to Dr. Wilkinson’s Freshmen Comp and Lit Class (a bit of fortunate fate that would change all of our lives) the 1st semester and had chosen him for our Spring Semester English course.

In our next class, we would be examining the John Updike short story “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth.” Obviously, Updike used the beginning of the Macbeth soliloquy for his title. So Dr. Wilkinson had assigned me to memorize the 74-word word soliloquy and deliver it to the class to start our exploration.

Piece of cake, I thought. And it would have been too, if it hadn’t been for the fact that my recitation happened to occur on what turned out to be the first beautiful warm day of a Main Line spring. So somehow Richie and Steve, now joined by the fourth member of our freshmen quartet, Russell Mitchell, decided to celebrate the arrival of warm weather by grabbing some quarts of beer and some smoking material and head to a small stream near our Havertown apartment.

Now, in my defense, I probably didn’t fully realize what Steve was suggesting. To this day, Steve speaks funny. You know the type – Pahk yer cah in the bek yahd. (I mean, come on, there are r’s in those words).

But no matter what the reason, I found myself partaking in the merriment and soon I was – what is the phrase I am searching for here – oh yes, stoned and completely wasted. However, I was confident that I could still deliver my soliloquy since at the time I was a keyboardist in a rock band and had performed numerous times under the influence of chemicals that made members of the audience appear to be things like crazy-colored, melting dragons spewing giant bubbles.

We arrived at class. Richie, Steve, and Russell positioned themselves in strategic places where they could best annoy me. Dr. Wilkinson summoned and I headed to the front of the room, where I proceeded to deliver the soliloquy in flawless fashion despite the best attempts of my trio of friends to distract me. But Dr. Wilkinson – did I mention he is one of the most brilliant men I have ever encountered – must have sensed something was awry. He asked me to repeat my performance. And this time, the outcome was decidedly different. I swear I thought I was beginning by repeating “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,” but instead it came out something like “Tomershthis, ang Teropoly um tomomsie.” And it went downhill from there. Anyway, we all had a good laugh, I graduated Villanova with a BA in English, and we moved on with our lives.

After a decade as a reporter, I switched careers and became a high school English teacher. I found myself teaching Macbeth in my British lit class. And so, as I had been asked to do so many years before by Dr. Wilkinson, I had each of my Honors and Academic students memorize the “Tomorrow …” soliloquy and deliver it to the class. To make it more memorable, I tried to pair up performance with interest. A member of the baseball team could recite it standing at home plate. Members of the drama club could say it on stage.  Classroom sweethearts could deliver it together. To this day, many of my students can still recite the soliloquy by memory when I see them. Of course, they then spoil the moment by pointing out that that is the only thing they remember from my class and exactly when did my hair turn gray.

Three years ago, I retired from teaching and instructional coaching and we moved to DC. But then I was asked by a friend to join him in educational consulting. Now I find myself splitting time between high schools in DC and Syracuse, working with teachers who teach in Twilight programs designed for students who are in danger of dropping out.

Last month, I was delivering an impromptu presentation to the teachers and students in Luke C. Moore High School in DC and, in the middle of the delivery, I used the “Tomorrow” soliloquy. While I was speaking the lines, I observed 2 teachers reciting them along with me. After the presentation, I discovered that one, an English teacher, had memorized the passage when he was a high school senior in Asia. The other, a math teacher, had been required to master the soliloquy when he was a 16-year-old student in Nigeria.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, that presentation served as a good rehearsal for my Sunday work on the Folger stage which you can view by clicking here.)

So that concludes my Tomorrow tale for now. I swear it all true except for the parts I made up. But does the story, as I always used to ask my students, contain any morals, messages, or meanings?

I think there are quite a few takeaways from combining Shakespeare’s original soliloquy with my several encounters with it over the decades. They include:

  1. Macbeth says the future “creeps” in a “petty pace.” He is wrong. The future doesn’t creep. One day you are delivering a Shakespeare soliloquy in your freshmen college class. In what seems like a brief passage of time (but is actually 4 decades) you find yourself delivering that same soliloquy on a stage.
  2. Macbeth calls life “a walking shadow” that after death is “heard no more.” Sorry, Macbeth, wrong again. Life is not a shadow, but substance. And memories allow our life stories to resonate through times that come long after we are gone.
  3. While it’s true that moments of our lives are “full of sound and fury,” they do not “signify nothing.” Our friends, our experiences, our memories all give meaning, not nothingness, to our lives.
  4. And perhaps most importantly, if 3 or more of your friends ever ask you to celebrate the warmth and beauty of a first warm Spring day, be safe, but take a chance.  For whether you are an idiot or genius, there really is no telling how your tale will turn out.

We Can’t Know What We Don’t Know

Claude Nadir in the role I knew him – Dunbar educator
Nadir as “Philosopher King” rap MC

This article 1st appeared in The Prices Do DC 4.16.2014

We often think we know people, but many times we don’t know them as well as we think we do. Case in point – my relationship with my fellow educator Claude Nadir.

I met Nadir 3 years ago when I began consulting at Dunbar High School. Dunbar was once the preeminent black high school in America, but, like its urban counterparts around the country, it has fallen on hard times. Only 18 percent of its students read on grade level. That number is even lower for math.

At the time I met him, Nadir was a media specialist. But it quickly became apparent he was much more – he was a mover, a shaper, a problem solver. For the next 3 years, we worked on several projects together. As you might expect, we also came to share our frustration with the chaos and counter-intuitiveness that comes with urban education, especially in a district as troubled as DC. But Nadir, an indefatigable worker, never gave up his belief that the school, with innovation and hard work, could be turned around. He had expressed that optimism in the state-of-the-art web site and the special radio spots he had designed for Dunbar.

When I last saw Nadir , he was making corrections to his plan for the state testing that was going on in the school. He was still at Dunbar, even though it was nearly 6 p.m. and the students had been gone for 2-and-a-half hours. Ever the perfectionist, Nadir was erasing some mistakes he had made and was once again revising the revisions of the revisions he had already made.

We joked. We exchanged a few pleasantries. We said goodbye.  I left for a Twilight school program at another school. Nadir stayed to finish his work.

On Monday, I received a shocking text from one of my fellow consultants. He had learned that Nadir, only 34, had died. The text didn’t contain any details, so I rushed to the internet to see what I could find.

Googling his name, I discovered that Nadir indeed had died. But I also found out that there was so much about Claude – just one of the many names he was known as – that I had never known.

A piece from the ArtsDesk section of the Washington City Paper described Akil Nadir as a “Philosopher King, the straight-ahead MC known for his battle rhymes and sophisticated bravado” who had “influenced the course of D.C. hip-hop” and produced “grown man rap music.”

It also said that Nadir was known to his family and friends as Claude Lumpkin. In his local rap career, he had variously performed as Cool Cee Brown and in a duo known as Dirty Water.

City Paper writer Marcus J. Moore reported that Nadir had first navigated local hip-hop as a teenager in the mid-1990s, when MCs were confined to small clubs on U Street because Chuck Brown and go-go then ruled the District.

Moore quoted local artist DJ RBI on Nadir and his rap rep. “He dealt with a lot of issues grown men could relate to,” DJ RBI said. “Certain guys come along and remind you of how great the culture of rhyming and making music can be. He was somebody people really paid attention to.”

Well, not everyone paid attention to Nadir’s music. I didn’t. I didn’t even know it existed. But exploring Nadir’s life on line further, I did find the frank, funny Claude I knew.

On his blog, Nadir had this to say about the controversial issue of standardized testing:

I was telling you yesterday about how we just wrapped up the 2011 standardized tests at work. And I thought later that you all might want to know what I think about standardized tests.

I think they suck.

And maybe you didn’t want to know what I think. I told you anyway because I know what’s best for you.

They suck because they’re dumb. The kids don’t take them seriously because in DC they don’t count for anything. In New York City, you can’t graduate from high school unless you pass their big standardized test. Same thing in Texas. In DC, however, because we’re all so damned smart, we’ve invested millions of dollars into a testing system that the students are supposed to take seriously because …because … because… if they don’t do well, all the teachers they hate will lose their jobs.

Brilliant!

But I guess I can’t really complain about standardized tests and how inadequate they are in the business of measuring student achievement until someone comes up with a better idea. And since we can’t crack open their skulls, as much as we may want to, and see what’s going on in there, tests will have to do.

Still, like one of my students said on the first day of testing, “I don’t see why we gotta take this stupid- ass test anyway. A nigga ain’t gone know what a nigga don’t know.”


Well, Claude Lumpkin Akil Nadir, that doesn’t apply only to young black men. It applies to 62-year-old white men, too. I’m sorry I never got to know about your musical life. I know I would have liked it. And I also know that if you put even a portion of your amazing effort and immense heart into your rapping that I watched you put into your educating, it would have definitely been the opposite of stupid-ass. So goodbye, Philosopher King. It was good to know you, even if I didn’t know as well as I could have.

A Rooftop Celebration for DC’s Own Marvin Gaye on What Would Have Been His 75th Birthday

This article 1st appeared in The Price’s Do DC – 4.2.2014

For the 7th year in a row on his birth date, DC fans of Washington native soul singer Marvin Gaye packed the rooftop bar of the restaurant off U Street that bears his name to celebrate his legacy by listening to his music and hearing words from some of those who knew him well.

Gaye was born in DC on April 2, 1939 and attended Cardozo High School before finding fame as one of the giant stars of Motown. He was tragically shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984. Had he lived, today would have been his 75th birthday.

In a fitting tribute, all the proceeds from the benefit bash at Marvin’s went to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a charity chosen by the Gaye family.

Throughout the late afternoon and evening, musicians and singers from all over the DC-area performed hits made famous by Gaye. Those performers included Gaye’s musical director Gordon “Guitar” Banks and members of his old band the Marquees.

After a particularly stirring version of Gaye’s “Makes Me Want to Holler” by Maimouna Youssef and John Bibb, Cecil Jenkins, who described himself “as the last protege of Marvin Gaye” took the microphone.

“I think it is a wonderful thing you are doing by embracing Marvin Gaye and what he stood for,” Jenkins, who was Gaye’s lead dancer said. “Thank you DC for remembering Marvin.”

As did a handful of the others in the crowd who knew or worked with Marvin, Jenkins shared a few memories of the man he called his surrogate father.

“You remember the dance the rock?” he asked “Michael Jackson made it famous, but you should have seen Marvin do the rock.”

Unfortunately, a gun fired by Gaye’s own father 30 years ago made certain that no one would ever see that  again.

Superheroes, Success, Kids, and Comic Books

This article 1st appeared in The Prices Do DC 04.24.2014

Even superheroes don’t always succeed. Last weekend, organizers of Awesome Con issued a call for costumed crusaders to head to the Capitol Reflecting Pool in front of the Capitol Building to join together to break the Guinness World Record for the largest group of people dressed as comic book characters ever assembled in one place at one time.

The record was 1,531, set earlier in China. But the challenge failed as only 237 costumed comic fans showed up. Or did it? Did the good guys really lose?

Maybe not. At least if you look through the eyes of 2 young fans who trekked from Virginia to take in the attempt. Matt Zimmerman, 11, and his 10-year-old friend Kyle Scott. They didn’t care  about records. They just wanted to see superheroes up close. And they did. A total of 231 in all.

Matt’s favorite comic book legend is Spiderman. For Scott, it’s Rocket Raccoon. So what did they think of the event?

“Having a lot of people dressed up seemed funny, so we wanted to come,” Zimmerman said. So after seeing enough Spidermen in all shapes, sizes, and ages to play a football game, what did Zimmerman think?

“I’ll dress up next year,” he said.

And then there was the case of 52-year-old Harry Faulkner (“just like the novelist,” he will tell you). Faulkner could be spotted astride the pedi-cab he drives, hoping to entice a fare. He was dressed as Superman.

Faulkner said he initially thought about coming to the event as The Flash, but rejected that idea.”Pedi-cabs aren’t that fast,” he said.  “It’s more about strength than it is about speed.”

When last seen, Faulkner was pedaling his way down Pennsylvania Avenue, transporting a costumed family to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where the actual comic book convention was being held.

And then there was Green Lantern (for the sake of full disclosure, my favorite comic book superhero of all-time.) Of course, the Green Lantern has to have a secret identity. In this case, when he wasn’t on active In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night, No Evil Shall Escape My Sight. Let Those Who Worship Evil’s Might, Beware My Power – Green Lantern’s Light mode, he was Joe Sutliff, a comic book creator from nearby Virginia.

So, like me, Green Lantern was obviously Sutliff’s favorite character, right? Well, actually no. Sutliff was exhibiting at Awesome Con and only decided to enter the record-attempt event at the last minute. He found a Green Lantern t-shirt at Target and fashioned the rest of his costume from things he had at home.

Like most avid comic enthusiasts, Sutliff discovered his passion at an early age. For him, it was the Superman he found at age 7. “I had an older cousin who was a collector and he dropped a pile on me and that was the end of it,” he said.

The fact that Sutliff would be spending 3 days with about 20,000 other comic book devotees spoke to his enthusiasm. “My mother will be turning in her grave, but I’m going to be at Awesome Con on Easter instead of church,” he said.

And in his guise as Green Lantern, Sutliff had an important message he wanted to impart. Pointing to the circle of rope that encased all the superheroes,  he said, “All the people outside the rope might be laughing, but all the people inside the rope believe in truth and justice and fighting evil. And wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone believed in that.”