John Liam Policastro

  • Remembering the Rat, the Famously Violent Boston Punk Club That's Now a Luxury Hotel Suite

    How can a hotel room capture the essence of Boston's legendary shithole? And why would anyone want to?

  • Led Zeppelin's Road Manager Is Still a Badass

    Richard Cole wasn't even 20 in 1965, when he became manager of the Who—but he's most famous for managing Led Zeppelin at the peak of their rock-god insanity. Now nearing 70 and still full of manic energy, Cole agreed to sit down with us for a quick...

  • When Irish Guys Are Smiling

    South Boston's legendarily divisive St. Patrick's Day Parade was marched amid considerable rancor between gay-veterans groups and parade organizers. But the parade went on Sunday, and I chatted with a few shamrock-festooned revelers about what St...

  • The Good News About Boston's Horrible Week in Sports

    If you are a die-hard Boston sports fan, chances are you're relieved this week is over. The heartbreak started on Sunday with the announcement that Doc Rivers, head coach for the Boston Celtics, was leaving for the Los Angeles Clippers. It only got...

  • Snitch on Snitch on Snitch - What to Expect from the Whitey Bulger Trial

    This week, the racketeering and murder trial for infamous Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger finally began, roughly 18 years behind schedule. Bulger fled Boston based on a tip from a childhood friend that the Feds were finally coming after him. And...

  • Where Were You When the Bombs Went Off?

    To get a sense of how the city was dealing with Monday’s terrorist attack, I walked Boston’s streets the day after the Marathon bombing and talked to people about where they were when the attack went down and whether or not they feel safe in their city...

  • Aren't You Tired of Old Musicians Asking for Money on Kickstarter?

    Kickstarter has funded all kinds of worthy and interesting and innovative projects. But old musicians re-collecting on their past fame seems to me a loathsome and un-DIY usage of the crowd-funded model.

  • South Boston Is Too Ugly for Reality TV

    Fifteen years after Ben Affleck and Matt Damon perfected their Boston accents in their breakthrough, 'Good Will Hunting,' the Adidas track-suit-wearing, R-dropping broods of South Boston remain ripe objects of fascination.

  • The Passing of a Magnificent Wind

    In not-really-that-surprising news, this week the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered Fung Wah Bus, the notorious progenitor of low-cost interstate bus services, off the road. This news hit me especially hard. Not only because I...

  • Among the Football Fans of Cardiff City

    Few cities exemplify football's tradition of white-knuckled fury better than the Welsh capital Cardiff, where I recently spent a night awash in White Storm malt cider with Valium-veined supporters of the infamous Cardiff City Football Club.

  • The Slayer Christmas Sweater Is a Disgrace

    Sure, you can make the argument that the Three Wise Men following a star through the desert in search of a Baby King to give him resin is kind of the Christian religion’s "Seasons In The Abyss" video. But I simply cannot reconcile the inherent...

  • No One Was Sober at a Monday Afternoon Outdoor Aerosmith Show

    Earlier this week, quintessential roofer-rock band Aerosmith gave a free concert in Boston in front of the apartment building where the band first lived and jammed in together. Home Depots across New England must have been severely understaffed.