I write about Weird Al Yankovic and how his career began with a song about a car!
“Weird Al Yankovic, the curly haired, accordion-playing hit maker of songs like “Amish Paradise” has sold more comedy records than any other artist in history — and his success all began with a song about a car…” Read the whole thing HERE!
I wrote a short history of the car cupholder for the Toronto Star!
“What was the key element of safety when you were a child?” he said. “It was that your mother fed you, and there was warm liquid. That’s why cupholders are absolutely crucial.” Read the whole thing HERE!
I write about Transformers and the people who collect them for the Toronto Star!
“Brian Flinn and his fiancée are looking to buy a new house, and like most house hunters, they have some very specific wants and needs. Top of the list? A space for Brian’s collection of Tranformers toys. “We need a basement or a separate building something to house all these,” he said. “She doesn’t collect them, but she’s very supportive. When you find somebody like that you don’t want to let them go. I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t think I’ll find somebody that goes, ‘Oh, yes, I love Transformers. I love your passion…’” Read the whole thing HERE!
I write about the Ford Motor Company’s first customer for the Toronto Star.
“More than a century ago, half the cars on American roads were made by the Ford Motor Company, but the success of the automobile giant is owed to one man, a German-born dentist based in Chicago.
“Ford’s famous quote “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently,” was birthed out of experience. The Ford Motor Company would go on to become one of the world’s largest and wealthiest companies, but, in 1903, the industrialist had a legacy of two failed companies and one bankruptcy…” Read the whole thing HERE!
I wrote about the history of auto advertising for the Toronto Star!
“Advertising works. A well-crafted advert sparks the imagination and makes the promise of a better life. To work effectively you must, as Don Draper, the fictional, but most famous, ad man of all time, said, ‘Make it simple, but significant.’”
“Whether the slogan is the punchy Pontiac, “We’re Driving Excitement!” tagline or the funny and frugal Volkswagen boast, “Relieves Gas Pains,” an effective ad catches your eye and sells an easily understood message and it has been that way since the beginning of auto advertising…” Read the whole thing HERE!
Three-quarters of a century after it’s release, Richard writes about the enduring appeal of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” its romantic literary vision of the United States and the transformative liberty of the motor vehicle for the Toronto Star.
“‘On the Road’ is a love letter to America,” said Doug Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and the authorized biographer for Kerouac…” Read the whole thing HERE!
Richard writes about the future of drive-thru restaurants in today’s Toronto Star.
“People in their cars are so lazy, that they don’t want to get out of their cars to eat,” said Jessie G. Kirby in 1921. He was the co-owner of Kirby’s Pig Stand in Dallas, Texas, which became the first drive-thru restaurant to open in the United States.
Six years after making his proclamation, Kirby’s was an undisputed success, serving more than 5,000 chicken-fried steak and pork sandwiches, onion rings, milkshakes and slabs of Texas toast every night… Read the whole thing HERE!
Richard goes behind the scenes to ask picture car co-ordinators how they “cast” cars for the movies.
“The work of a car co-ordinators doesn’t stop when the vehicle is delivered to the set. They often work with the movie’s special effects department to rig the cars for specialized shots. “If we are going to throw a car in the river, we have to completely detox it,” said Magee. “Take all the oils out, drain all the fluids. There are different things we must do for different shots. If we’re going to burn it, we have to take all the plastics out…” Read the whole thing HERE!