Articles, Blog Posts, Podcasts, Webcasts, Lectures, Presentations, Talks , and Tours

Author: Dave Price (Page 1 of 22)

I am a former journalist and educator who now operates a DC-based writing/speaking/podcasting/tour guiding practice. Talking ' Bout My Generation focuses on subjects of interest and/or importance to Baby Boomers with an emphasis on music, lifestyle, pop culture, activism, and successful aging.

Andy Warhol: Flash and Shadows

This article 1st appeared in The Prices Do DC – 12.03.2011

Pop artist Andy Warhol exhibited a life-long interest in news and news makers, a fascination that was reflected in much of his art over 3 decades. Whether it was small black and white pictures of news boxes or giant Warholian replicas of actual tabloid headlines, the daily news often served both as source and inspiration for the New-York based artist.

Today, we headed to the National Gallery of Art to view the exhibit Warhol: Headlines. Work there ranged from one of his first large prints of news tabloid material “A Boy for Meg” (1961) to his last 1980s TV shows for MTV Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes of Fame.

To me, the most captivating piece was a large work entitled “News Flash.” which transposed enlarged actual news flashes from those historic 3 November days in Dallas in 1963 when President John Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, who, in turn, was gunned down by Jack Ruby as a stunned audience watched on national TV with screen shot prints of Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, in the colorful Warhol style.

It was the news and the handling of the same that moved Warhol to create the piece more than paying any tribute to the slain president. “I was thrilled having Kennedy as president. He was handsome, young, smart – but it doesn’t bother me much that he is dead.” Warhol once said. “What bothers me was the way television and radio was programming everybody to feel so sad. It seemed like no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get away from the thing.”

Ironically, in 1968, Warhol had his own brush with assassination and Kennedy death.  Hanger-on Valerie Solonas asttacked Warhol, firing point blank at him with a pistol. Coming back from the edge of death in the hospital Warhol said “I heard a television going somewhere and the words ‘Kennedy’ and ‘assassin’ and ‘shot’ over and over again. Robert Kennedy had been shot, but what was so weird was that I had no understanding that this was a second Kennedy assassination. I just thought that maybe after you die, they rerun things for you, like President Kennedy’s assassination.”

To complete our DC day with Warhol we crossed the National Mall to the Hirshhorn Gallery of Modern Art to take in the companion show Andy Warhol Shadows, which features a pattern of  a 100 large canvases with streaks and trails created by painting with a mop.

When Warhol himself hung that exhibit in New York in 1979 he said, “Someone asked me if I thought they were art and I said no. You see the opening party has disco and I guess that makes them disco decor.”

“The show will not be liked like all the others. The reviews will be bad – my reviews always are. But the review of the party will be terrific,” Warhol concluded.

Tales, Tips, and Traveling Tips
Both Warhol exhibits are temporary and will be gone from DC by mid January. However, if you have an interest in Warhol, his works, pop art, or the 60s, you can always visit the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the city of his birth. We’ve been there and the trip is worth it.

The Best of Sports: It’s Just a Click Away

This post 1st appeared in The Prices Do DC – 12.10.2011

He’s been called “the Mozart of sports photographers.” His photos made the front cover of more than 170 issues of Sports Illustrated. His shot of Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) standing in triumph over a fallen Sonny Liston is considered the greatest sports photo of the 20th Century.

Neil Leifer, whose photos make up the visually arresting Photo Finish: The Sports Photography of Neils Leifer now on display at the Newseum, described his 5 decades as a premier picture taker during today’s latest edition of the interactive museum’s Inside Media program.

During his hour-long presentation, moderated by long-time journalist Shelby Coffee, the amiable Leifer detailed his belief that his amazing success is a combination of skill, determination, preparation, and perhaps most of all, some incredible luck.

As a teenager, Leifer said he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to combine his passion for sports with his love of photography. “Besides, I knew it would let me have the best seat in the house which I never would have been able to afford,” Leifer said.

In 1958, pluck and ingenuity propelled Leifer toward his desired career. He would arrive early at Yankee Stadium for New York Giants football games and volunteer to wheel in disabled veterans. “There were 50 or 60 veterans and only 6 or 7 people to push the wheelchairs. Once we got them in, we could watch the game,” Leifer said. He explained that he would bring hot coffee to shivering police officers who would “look the other way” while Leifer would pull his cheap camera out from under his coat and shoot some pictures from the bench or the end zone. It was this arrangment that allowed him to capture his first great shot: Johnny Unitas scoring the winning touchdown in what is still called the greatest professional football game ever played. “I learned that day that 75 percent of great sports photography is luck and the rest is getting the shot,” Leifer explained.

Leifer readily admits that boxing is his favorite sport, with the incomparable Ali his favorite subject of all-time. Leifer captured Ali in more than 70 different photo sessions, some staged and some acted out on canvas. “Ali was God’s gift to every journalist and photographer. He made everything you did that much better,” he said.

Not surprisingly, Leifer calls Ali that greatest athlete he ever photographed. Numbers 2 and 3 aren’t as obvious, however. He lists triple-crown winner Secretariat as second. In 3rd place, he claims it is American Olympic skater Eric Heiden. “He raced in all 5 speed skating races, won all 5, and set 4 records,” Leifer said. “I think that may be the most incredible sports performance of all-time.”

And what, after the millions of photos he has taken, is his favorite? Leifer says that answer is easy – it is the 1966 picture of Ali walking back to his corner in the Houston Astrodome after kocking out his challenger. “That picture … there isn’t a thing I would change,” Leifer said. “It’s the only one of my pictures I have hanging in my house.”

While Leifer is most known for his collection of sports shots, he has scored with some non-sports pictures, too. One of his favorite photos came after he convinced Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to light his cigar and then have a shot of both of them smoking away.  Leifer captured a Time magazine cover with his shot of Pope John Paul. And then there is the rare  picture of a hat-wearing President John Kennedy at the opening day of the 1961 baseball season at Washington’s Griffith Stadium. Leifer explained how he captured that picture. As was then custom, Kennedy,  as president was called upon to throw out the first pitch. “Let’s just say he had a lousy delivery.  I knew I didn’t have a picture there,” Leifer said. So, for the next 8 innings, he sat with his back to the game, waiting for a worthwhile shot of JFK. “I was hoping he would eat a hot dog and get some mustard on his chin, but he wasn’t really doing anything,” Leifer said. Suddenly, it became colder and Kennedy did something he never did – he placed a hat on his head. Then, Leifer was once again the recipient of great luck. A high foul ball headed toward the Presidential box, Kennedy turned, Leifer clicked, and another award-winning photo was captured. “I always say this is the picture of the Kennedy administration leaning left. Caroline Kennedy once told me that (picture) was the only time she had ever seen her Dad with a hat on,” Leifer said.

During the audience question-and-answer session, Leiffer was asked if there were any shots he regretted not capturing.  “Of course,” he responded. “You’re paid not to miss, but you do. Sometimes it comes down to being in the right seat. There’s skill involved, but as I say, there’s a lot of luck, too.”

Coffee said Leifer is an extreme rarity in the sports world, a non-athlete who is considered as famous as the subjects he is covering. “I’ve been with Neil at an event and it’s sort of like being backstage with Bono at a U2 concert.  John McEnroe comes to Neil’s table to greet him,” Coffee explained. 

Up Next at Talking ‘ Bout My Generation – October, 2021

Smithsonian Associates Presents:

“We’re Not Going To Take It!”: A Century of Marches, Protests, and Rallies in the Nation’s Capital

In-person National Mall walking tour guided by Dave Price, creator and operator of the DC-based Talking ‘ Bout My Generation: The Baby Boomer Experience

  • Oct 1 – 8 to 10 am
  • Oct 5 – 10 am to noon
  • Oct 17 – 4 to 6 pm

For complete tour details, click here for the Smithsonian Associates website.a

Welcome to Talking ‘Bout My Generation: The Baby Boomer Experience (1946 to Today)

Hey there. My name is Dave Price. Or as I sometimes bill myself here at Talking ‘Bout My Generation … Older Today Dave … and I’d like to tell you a little about our DC-based program.

As you probably guessed from the full title, Talking ‘Bout My Generation deals with things interesting or important to Baby Boomers, the large generation born between 1946 (the 1st year after World War II) to 1964 (the year the Beatles arrived in America).

Since I arrived on the planet in 1952, I have been around to personally witness all but 6 years of the continuing Baby Boom era. When I retired from the 9-to-5 work world in 2016, I decided to use the skills I had developed in my 12 years in journalism, 20 years in high school English teaching, and 9 years as an educational consultant to create and operate Talking ‘Bout My Generation (and yes, I did steal the title from the 1965 Who single).

During our 1st 3 years, our projects included the writing and publishing of my book Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles, and a Youth Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation. (And yes, I did steal the title from the Beatles 1969 single – I’m sure you see a pattern developing here). I also guided Baby-Boom-themed tours at the former Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue and delivered a series of interactive lecture presentations at the Smithsonian and other DC venues.

However, the arrival of the Pandemic forced us to shelve all our projects. But that break did allow time to redesign and revamp our operation for its September, 2021 return.

I hope you will check out what our Talking ‘Bout My Generation has to offer by reading my book, subscribing to our blogs, listening to our podcasts, viewing our webcasts, attending our presentations, or joining us for one of the tours we design and guide.

This website is designed for you to discover what we offer. The website is divided into 3 parts. The 1st (located above) will highlight upcoming programs. The second (of which this post is a part) will detail what we offer. The 3rd, and by far the longest section, will showcase our best articles, podcasts, and webcasts dealing with the history, music, pop culture, and lifestyle of the Baby Boom Generation.

And, finally, if you do like what we’re offering, please subscribe to the email link above so you can get regular updates on what’s new at Talking ‘Bout My Generation: The Baby Boomer Experience.

All She’s Still Saying Is Give Peace a Chance

This article 1st appeared in The Price’s Do DC – 02.18.2014

This month we’ve seen a new British Invasion of media about the Beatles almost the same as that which also exploded when John, Paul. George, and Ringo first set foot in American in February of 1964. We had the Grammy tribute concert celebrating the Beatles’ historic first performance 50 years ago on the Ed Sullivan Show. Then, of course, there was the re-creation of the band’s 35-minute, 12-song, first American concert right here in DC.

Well, in the event you are in the DC area and you aren’t yet Beatled out, you can head to the Hirshhorn Museum to check out art work by one of the most important non-Beatle players in the Beatles’ story – Yoko Ono.

In 1969, one year before the Beatles broke up (at the time, and even today, there are fans who blame Ono for the dissolution of the Fab Four), John Lennon married Yoko and the pair remained united in their art and music until Lennon was tragically gunned down in 1980 outside the couple’s apartment in New York City.

Ono’s work is included in the exhibition Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950. The exhibit features creations from artists influenced by the fear and uncertainty caused by the threat of imminent annihilation posed during the immediate decades following World War II and the anxiety that still resides in our contemporary world today.

Ono appeared at the museum to discuss her work, and naturally, she spoke much of her relationship with John and how they influenced each other.

“I didn’t wish for it, but I met John and my whole life changed,” Ono said. During much of their time, both in music and art, the couple delivered a blistering critique of the social conditions of the 60s and 70s.

“People would ask – ‘what is she doing here’ and I would say trying to make it a peaceful world,” Ono told the crowd of art and Beatles lovers.

“With John’s assassination, I know the pain that people go through,” she said. “But we can survive all this together. I know we can if we use our brains. We all have brains. They think they can control us but we can change the hate to love and the war to peace. We just need a clear, logical head to know what is going on.”

“We think ‘I shouldn’t do this’ – but if all of us stand up it will be very difficult to beat us. They (the oppressors) will be very lonely. They won’t even have servants,” she added.

“Not too many people choose to be activists. Well, John and I were activists. Today people ask me – ‘Yoko, are we going to have doomsday (which is a recurring motif in the Damage Control exhibit)?’ I say, well it is up to us. If we are all so dumb, we will,” Ono said.

Now 81 years old and having spent more than 30 years without John, Ono acknowledges that she has changed. For one thing, she focuses much more on her Japanese past and her ancestors. “I thought I was escaping that and being a rebel. But today, I know family history is important.”

“There are so many beautiful things now. Whenever I get depressed, I take a look at the sky. It is so beautiful,” she concluded.

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