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Opening Arguments

But he had nothing to do with 'Cop Rock'

Let's mourn the passing of Salvatore Lombino, a writer whose influence on American popular culture is far greater than most people realize. Under the pen name Evan Hunter, he wrote quite a few novels, including "Blackboard Jungle," which became the 1955 movie of the same name. That's the film that featured the song "Rock Around the Clock," which had been released earlier but not done too well. It took off after being on the movie soundtrack, and the rest, as they say, is rock 'n' roll history. I'm more familiar with his work as Ed McBain, having read most of the 50-some 87th Precinct police proedurals, genesis of TV shows such as "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue." On the down side, he is said to have helped Alred Hitchcock with the screenplay for "The Birds," the master-of-suspense director's most infuriating movie. Where did the birds come from? Why did they start attacking people? Why did they stop? I need closure!