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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. HARDING

THOSE BOYS IN THE BAND — I remember seeing the original move The Boys In The Band in 1970; and, it was, frankly, quite shocking. Nothing like that had ever appeared on the silver screen before. Sure, it spoke to a great many people, but it was revelatory from start to finish. Mart Crowley wrote it and delivered just a terrific portrayal of gay life; a life that was whispered about, but never openly spoken about back then.

What I didn’t recall was the director of that movie, William Friedkin: one of my all-time favorite directors for sure. He followed Boys with The French Connection (1971); Cruising (1980); To Live and Die in LA (1985) and, of course, The Exorcist (1973). He also helmed 1977’s Sorcerer (which is one hell of a movie); and The Night They Raided Minsky’s.

Friedkin was a rebel; exactly what Peter Biskind’s 1998 book, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood is all about. The book follows Hollywood on the brink of the Vietnam War, when a group of young Hollywood film directors known as the “movie brats” are making their names. It begins in the 1960’s and ends in the 1980’s.

I watched Netflix’s version of Boys this weekend. This was of course, the stellar Broadway cast, from last summer with Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Boomer, Andrew Rannells, Robin de Jesus; Brian Hutchison; Tuc Watkins and Michael Benjamin Washington. I had meant to go see it on Broadway, but didn’t a chance.

The simple plot is a birthday party attended by six gay men in 1968; and, one unexpected guest. As the tension flows, they play a mischievous game that turns quite harsh. It’s a passionate, albeit melancholy look, but definitely heartfelt and quite accurate portrayal of gay life in New York City back then.

Joe Mantello (so good in Hollywood with Parsons) directed it and he did an exemplary job. He didn’t update all that much, which was perfect; as the source music and fashions from 1970 remain and actually, just watching that, made me squirm a bit. New York was a way different time back then, and the first thing that struck me, was the fact that so much of what is spoken about … is taken for granted today.

Parsons, who I’ve been a fan of for years -and, fresh off his Emmy-nominated role in Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood) is a standout … but, to me, he always is. The real surprise was Zachary Quinto as the birthday boy Harold. Funnily enough, I had just watched Quinto in Star Trek: Beyond where he plays Mr. Spock – and, quite good. So, I guess you could say it was a Quinto-weekend.

Each scene is full of passion and pathos of those times. The last scene of Parsons running aimlessly down the streets against his own demons is searing.

The movie is not a joyous lift, but rather, a note-for-note play of a bad time in our history. Just terrific, I loved it.

David Bryne

THAT BRYNE BOY —When I first met David Bryne in the terrific No Wave years in Manhattan, I just knew that this kid would prove his worth before long. He did it in fine style with The Talking Heads and their across-the-board success; he did it again with the film Stop Making Sense, directed by the late-Jonathan Demme; and, he’s done it again, with the last show I saw on Broadway, American Utopia.

If you’ve seen it, you know that it’s more than just a performance; there’s a simply sensational band, populated with artists from Brazil and Toronto; to some wonderful choreography and dazzling light effects. It ran on the great White Way until, the pandemic shut everything down, but Oscar-wining director Spike Lee shot several shows, and it premiered this past weekend on HBO.

I didn’t know if it was to be from an actual series of shows , or from a stand-alone performance, but it was from the terrific Hudson Theater and what Spike has done so well, is capture it from a number of angles-especially from the center on the stage ceiling- and it works even better. When I saw it, I was a tad too far-left, so I missed some of it. Seeing it now … it’s even more striking. With everyone dressed in matching grey suits and barefoot, it’s a scintillating shock to the senses

The perimeter of the inner stage is dressed literally in chain-mail hanging from the rafters and with the lights bouncing off of it, it’s used to maximum effect.

Sure he does the Talking Heads songs, but the newer songs reasonate with a brilliance that show Bryne is still questioning, still contemplating. None more than on a new song, written with Brian Eno, called “Everyone’s Coming To My House,” that could be a hit single if they ever played any new music on the radio anymore. It just rocks with a sinewy rhythm punctuated by terrific flourishes from the band.

A surprise choice is Janelle Monae’s “Say My Name,” performed with just percussion and calling out everyone from George Floyd, to Amadou Diallo and Trayvon Martin. Bryne doesn’t get all that political, but from his comments …. and, this and on elections, you know where he stands. Commendable for sure.

He even had set up in the lobby a booth for quick, voter registration. Kudos!

Our colleague Roger Freidman has already called this the movie of the year and after seeing it, I have to second that emotion. Bryne is asking the questions that we have all thought about … probably many times in this gawdawful year.

Yes sir, this kid Bryne is going places!

TICKS UNITE — On Sun, November 15, (4pm PT/ 7pm ET) – For the first time ever, the casts of  every iteration of Ben Edlund’s beloved superhero series The Tick will gather! All three Ticks, all four Arthurs, along with allies and enemies, join together to read never-produced episodes from The Tickvaults!

From the 2016 Amazon series: Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick), Griffin Newman (Arthur), Valorie Curry (Dot), Brendan Hines (Superian), Scott Speiser (Overkill), and Jackie Earle Haley (The Terror).

From the 2001 Fox series: Patrick Warburton (The Tick), David Burke (Arthur), and Liz Vassey (Captain Liberty).

From the 1994 animated series: Townsend Coleman (The Tick), Rob Paulsen (Arthur), Cam Clarke (Die Fledermaus), Jess Harnell (Sewer Urchin), Jim Cummings (Mr. Mental), and erstwhile-Monkee Micky Dolenz (Arthur).

They’ll all join in with creator Ben Edlund (Supernatural) and writer/producer Christopher McCulloch (The Venture Bros).

The event will be benefiting food banks in NY, LA, and across the US. Here’s the link for tickets: https://houseseats.live/product/all-the-ticks/ 

SHORT TAKES — Adele hosts this weekend’s Saturday Night Live; but, apparently is not performing. That’s sort of odd, right? Early reports say she didn’t feel she made it until she did SNL. How about at Tom Cuddy’s WPLJ event at the much-missed China Club? Now, that was a debut for sure. I was there, she was utterly brilliant and everyone there knew a new star was minted that night. Her next (new) album is expected to come out next Friday, 10/30 …

Romeo Delight

Buddy Blanch’s Romeo Delight ensemble – the world’s #1 Van Halen tribute band, will do a special Eddie Van Halen-tribute-show Sunday, November 8 at the legendary Birchmere in Alexandria, VA …

Night Magic

And, Finally am going to see Night Magic; the Studio 54-inspired installation of the Brooklyn Museum. This is my first time at event like this in months and it will be interesting to see what unfolds. Details certainly to follow.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Melissa Davis; Randy Alexander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Chuck Pulin; Lee Jeske; Mark Bego; Jay Cassell; David & Delia Jones; Bob Small; Jim Burgess; Glenn Friscia; Vito Bruno; Bobby Siegal; Bobby Shaw; Owen Epstein; and, BELLA!

G. H. Harding is a four decades insider to the entertainment world. He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production companies and several cable outlets. His anonymity is essential in bringing an unbiased view to his writings on pop culture. He is based in NYC.

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

KNIVES OUT AGAIN — (Via Deadline) The next installment in the Knives Out series has its title. Writer/director Rian Johnson announced on social media this morning that the film will be called Wake Up Dead Man. It was also confirmed that the film would come out sometime in 2025 and that production would be under way soon with Daniel Craig returning to star.

Johnson returns as the writer and director of the series and will also produce the pic with his partner Ram Bergman. Plot details are unknown and as of now Craig is the only talent involved.

The most recent pic, Glass Onion, bowed in 2022 with Craig returning as world famous detective Benoit Blanc. The film premiered on Netflix after the streamer made a record setting $450 million deal for the two sequels with this being the third in the series.

SHORT TAKES — The trailer for Beverley Hills Cop 4 is out. Here it is:

Harold Faltermeyer

The theme for the movie sounds like a cheap re-working of “Alex F” an electronic instrumental track by German musician Harold Faltermeyer …

The Wallows

The Wallows, who I’ve never heard of, kicked off the Today Show Summer Concert series. When interviewed, each of them said they used to watch the show before they went to school. My, I wonder how that made the hosts feel? Even Carson Daly, who’s no kid either, must have batted an eye. Interesting band. Nothing special I saw, but good luck to them …

David Krumholtz

SIGHTING: David (Numbers) Krumholtz at the Factory Bar Friday for Trivia Night … (Via Theatermania) Grammy

Stephanie Mills

Award winner Stephanie Mills will return to Broadway to play Hermes in the Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown. Her first performance will be July 2, coinciding with the start dates of Maia Reficco and Yola. Mills takes over from Jon Jon Briones, who plays his final performance June 30. Mills originated the role of Dorothy in the first Broadway production of The Wiz in 1975. Her last appearance on Broadway was for a special concert in 1989 … The Washington Post will go full AI. Check out this story: https://futurism.com/washington-post-pivot-ai

Tracker

… A short Memorial Day-vacay in East Hampton was great. Checked out Sakura and was introduced to CBS’ Tracker with Justin Hartley. Smartly done and directed by Ken Olin from Thirtysomething. Impressed for sure …

Billy Joel

The Long Island Musical Hall of Fame abruptly canceled their June 7 event, honoring Billy Joel at Tilles Center.  Performers at the event were to be Run-DMC; Debbie Gibson; and Felix Cavaliere.  Joel said a family event would prevent him from attending …

RIP producer

Al Ruddy

. He produced The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby. Check out Deadline’s obit: https://deadline.com/2024/05/al-ruddy-dead-godfather-million-dollar-baby-1235942541/

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Marsha Stern; Jane Berk; Randy Jones; James Edstrom; Chuck Scarborough; Bill Adler; Dan Zelinski; Bobby Shaw; Mike Greenly; Mark Bego; Roy Trakin; Crispin Cioe; Steve Walter; Steve Paul; Lou Reed; Foreigner; Bobby Watman; Bobby Orlando; Adriana Kaegi; Thomas Silverman; Seymour Stein; Barry and Marissa Zelman; Dan Zelinski; and ZIGGY!

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In “Back to Black,” Star Marisa Abela Turns in An Uncanny Performance as Amy Winehouse in The Sam Taylor-Johnson Biopic

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Evoking classic R&B, the late Amy Winehouse emerged as a celebrated new stars by making old music sound fresh. She possessed a deeply soulful voice which she used to sing songs of love, heartbreak, and struggles with substance abuse, as in her Top-10 hit “Rehab.” Winehouse sold 16 million copies of the LP Back to Black” and won big at the 2008 Grammy Awards, taking home Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. All that success was overshadowed by the Brit’s personal troubles, which, according to MTV News, included an arrest for drug possession — there was a viral video of the singer smoking what was reportedly crack cocaine — and an emphysema diagnosis.

Winehouse’s demons tragically got the best of her. According to The Guardian, authorities were summoned to the singer’s north London home in July 2011, where they found her dead at the scene. Winehouse was reportedly a heroin user, but a post mortem inquest pinpointed a different cause of death. According to “The Independent”, a London coroner found no drugs in her system, ruling that the singer died of alcohol poisoning following a period of three weeks of sobriety. Winehouse is believed to have consumed 416 milligrams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, well over a fatal level of 350 milligrams. She was 27 years old.

This complicated history has been fodder for articles, books, a notable documentary and now a feature film, “Back to Black”. The movie’s title is taken from the hot album of the same name. Directed by 57-year-old Sam Taylor-Johnson, her feature film debut was 2009’s “Nowhere Boy,” based on the Beatles’ singer/songwriter John Lennon’s childhood experiences.

Taylor-Johnson’s star for “Back to Black,” Marisa Abela, made her TV debut in 2020 with leads in the Sky One political thriller, “COBRA” and the BBC Two/ HBO office drama, “Industry.”  Abela appeared in the 2022 films, “She Is Love” and “Rogue Agent.” In July 2022, she joined the cast of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” (2023). Then the actress starred as Winehouse in this biopic.

This Q&A comes from an appearance made by the duo at the Museum of The Moving Image shortly before the film’s May 17th release.

T2C: This is a remarkable story and one that, in some ways, is privy to when she was alive. For each of you, what moved the dial from this is a remarkable story to this is a remarkable story that I need to tell?

Sam Taylor-Johnson:

Sam Taylor-Johnson: When Alison Owen, our producer, called me and said, “I’m looking to make the story of Amy Winehouse, which would be interesting,” I felt like I couldn’t say “Yes” quick enough. After I said so, I suddenly processed the enormity of what I was taking on. It felt like it had to be made from [Amy’s] perspective because, by living in London around the time when she was alive, I watched how her life was dissected and pulled apart in the tabloids and similarly post-death. I felt like going directly into her perspective. It was almost like allowing her to tell her own story through her words and her lyrics. It felt like a timely thing to do.

Marisa Abela

Marisa Abela: Basically, I got a call from my agent who said they’re doing it. I was about 13 when “Back to Black” came out, so I was aware of her music. I was singing the songs, but when you’re singing “Love Is A Losing Game” and you’re 13 years old, it doesn’t mean that you really understood it fully. That was my understanding of Amy [at the time]. Then, because of all of the tabloids and the images and stuff, I knew of her in that way. So, I said, “Let me think about it.” I was then in front of Sam Taylor-Johnson and Nina Gold, an amazing casting director in London. I knew they were being quite specific about who they were seeing, so I just didn’t want to make a fool of myself, essentially.

Then I started watching footage, the documentary, interviews about her life – things that really were quite telling [about] who she was as a person. There was just this thing about her and that carried me through the entire process I was watching. And there was this magnetism, this intensity, this deep well of feeling, emotions and intensity, that I was so drawn to. I felt that we’d drawn from Amy, herself. It was all there in her music. And for the people who still listened to her music often, this is for them. In the narrative around her life and death, I felt that what we’d lost really came through, but it seems like there’s a double-edged sword here.

T2C: There’s so much media and coverage, so many perspectives to sort through. Talk a bit more about your process and how you blocked out the noise and chose to privilege us with her perspective with what was there?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: It was important from the beginning to just block out the noise. There was a lot, especially when we were filming, and it became louder and louder. The louder it became, the more determined I was to just keep driving forward with it through her eyes and to uphold her. Our press are quite famous for pulling down anything that might seem to be successful in any way. It felt like those voices saying we need to protect her legacy were also the ones who pulled her apart during her lifetime. That emboldened me in a way to shut those voices out. The decision around how and what sort of film was going to be quite quickly came into place.

When I sat down with Matt Greenhalgh, who wrote the movie, I said, “If we are going through her workstyle perspective, with “Frank” and then “Back to Black,” obviously those are the keys to this film. “Back to Black” really is a love story and tells us everything within it. It became our framework. I knew that that was difficult for a lot of people who had a lot of opinions and judgments. I felt like her declaration of love and the power of that love was important to uphold in order to understand the creative journey of “Back to Black. In a way, we went into her perspective saying, she loved her father and she loved Blake: therefore, that’s our view. We still see some of the things that are highlighted in the documentary that people feel strongly about. They’re still part of our film, but they’re not seen through the lens of judgment. It was quite freeing to stay in her shoes on that journey.

T2C: This being a love story, you think immediately of romantic love. But the relationships that I was most struck by were those she had with her family. Talk a bit about choosing actors and having them light up those roles?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: With her Jewish grandmother, it was clear — during the research and hearing the stories from the family and others — that she was so much a part of the fabric of who Amy was, through Grandma Cynthia’s style and love of jazz and music. So it felt like, “Okay, this is worth going further into and strengthening that relationship.”  But when I went to Lesley [Manville] initially, she said, “Oh, I don’t know if there’s enough on the page for me.” I said, “Look at it like this is the fabric of Amy.” Once Lesley came on board, we then wrote more scenes because she was just so exceptional. We just honed in on those relationships that we felt were really important to the narrative of this story. Obviously, within — I don’t know how many minutes it was, I’ve forgotten — so much had to be dropped by the wayside. For me, as a storyteller, I have to just find my path. The Winehouses — Cynthia, Mitch, and Janis — plus husband Blake were on a path.

T2C: Talk a bit more about the music. Obviously there’s a great blueprint here. Did you have to make difficult decisions about what songs were included?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: I’ll start, but I want Marisa to take over on this because I’m talking too much. What I had quite early on was one of her playlists. On that playlist were The Specials and Minnie Riperton. It was quite a gift to have that. Amazingly, of all the things that were written that weren’t Amy’s music, we managed to have access to it. But when I started the movie, I had all the music rights from Sony and Universal. I didn’t have to have approval for anybody. I could just make the movie I wanted to make. Matt wrote very specifically for the songs, almost like it’s a musical in the sense that it belonged to the narrative structure. You couldn’t choose “Love Is a Losing Game” and switch it with “Stronger Than Me.” It really was laid out that way.

I’ll let Marisa come into this because I just want to say, when I met Marisa for the audition, she said, I remember, “What about singing? I’m not a singer.” But Marisa sang that entire movie. Every song you hear. So from the position of declaring she couldn’t sing, what you saw is very contrary to that. Okay, you can talk about that…

Marisa Abela: I think what became clear was, as I was reading the script more and more, and watching more and more footage of Amy, was that these albums are so iconic and incredible from a songwriting perspective as well as a musical one. But what was so incredible about the performances I was watching was that they were completely different every single time. If she was in a bad mood – and she was often in a really, really bad mood – you wouldn’t get half the song from her. If she was in a great mood, she was singing all over the place, amazing riffs. To certain members of the audience, this is the thing that made Amy a live performer.

What weirdly felt like the most authentic choice was to be able to use my own voice to make whatever choice came to me in the moment from a purely impulse perspective as an actor. What was inspiring me at this moment? Is it that I’m looking at Blake during “There Is No Greater Love” and I’m so overwhelmed with feeling and emotion that I want to hold on to a specific sound for longer so that he can hear me through all of those decisions? In the same way, the first time you hear her write one of her own songs with “What Is It About Men,” I wanted to be able to think about each line. How am I formulating this moment? you get to see the behind-the-scenes of the creation of a song. That’s a really beautiful thing. If we were cutting to the studio recording of “What Is It About Men,” for example, you couldn’t have that scene of Amy sitting on the bed writing it for the first time, getting mixed up with certain words.

I basically felt I needed to get as close as possible to something that sounded as recognizable as possible to one of the most recognizable voices that you would believe in. The truth is, if you listen to them side by side, I’m sure there are huge differences. But it doesn’t matter as long as you believe what she’s saying and as long as you believe what she’s feeling. That, to me, was always the most important thing as an actor, obviously. It’s the intention that matters. Process-wise, I trained very hard and also learned to play the guitar. I listened to all the people that I think she would have grown up listening to. As Sam said, we had lots of playlists of hers.

I was aware that she grew up listening to Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, Ray Charles. I just surrounded myself with that music and was singing along to it all the time. Then I was using the techniques I was learning with my singing teacher that were Amy’s tecjmoqies. We have a different face. She has a bigger jaw than me. She had a different nose to me. We use different resonances. So, it’s different. But the intention is the most important thing. I was training for two hours a day, every day, over the four months with my singing teacher.

T2C: There’s so much to dive into with its emotionality, but you touched upon something that I wanted me to talk to you about – creating these scenes like Glastonbury, the Grammys and things that we have enormous touchstones for beyond Amy’s experiences. These are media events that happen all the time. So practically recreating these scenes, which you do so successfully, can you talk more about them?

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Oh, I’d love to because I’m so proud of Glastonbury. When you see that big open-air festival, we shot it in a room not much bigger than this theater. We just had brilliantly creative teams working on this. Glastonbury for the rest of the year is just a field. So all of those stages and everything, we had to recreate and film it. I had an incredible sound crew. What we created, it took months to get that sound exactly right. Then the Ronnie Scott scene early on. That was the only time I ever saw Amy play, in a young, up-and-coming Voices of Jazz. How old was she? Probably 19 or 20. It was at Ronnie Scott’s. I used my memory of what it felt like being in the room with her to recreate how that would have felt. But yes, a lot of it, like the Grammys, we had YouTube running alongside what we were filming to try and emulate it as much as possible – like the same camera angles. Marisa’s performance, as you can see, was absolutely spot-on. Every finger movement was incredible. So it was fun. It was so fun to recreate this. And, it’s fun to watch it.

Film: Back to Black

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Cast: Marisa Abela, Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan, Juliet Cowan, Lesley Manville, Sam Buchanan, Pete Lee-Wilson, Thelma Ruby, Renee Matilda Thorpe, Ryan O’Doherty

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Items From Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse and Elvis to be Auctioned Off at Kruse GWS Auctions

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The personal Bible Elvis had on his nightstand the night he died with his favorite passages underlined, fashion worn by Taylor Swift and Amy Winehouse, and luxury items from Bibi and Eric Hilton of the famed hotel family are big draws for this May 25th megawattage event from Kruse GWS Auctions.

Before going on stage, Elvis often would read the Bible to calm his nerves and pray for a good show. The Bible, embossed with Elvis Aaron Presley in gold, comes with a handwritten letter from his cousin Patsy, who was given the book by the Elvis’ dad Vernon when they were packing up his son’s belongings at Graceland.

Five years into his illustrious career and already insanely popular, Elvis was drafted into the US Army and the auction will feature a set of the fatigues he wore, replete with his name on front and original sleeve patches. Serving from March 1958 to March 1960, the megastar was offered special treatment but declined, opting instead to be treated like a regular G.I Joe. Though a brief interruption in his music career, his military service had a huge impact on his personal life as he would meet future wife Priscilla, whose stepfather was stationed near where Elvis served in Germany.

Swifties are sure to flock to the gorgeous dresses up for auction that Taylor has been photographed wearing. One is a Sure Fire Coral Dress the pop star wore during an “Access Hollywood” interview on April 29, 2015, promoting her 1989 World Tour. Crafted by the esteemed fashion label Three Floor, the dress’s coral hue perfectly complements Taylor Swift’s radiant personality. The other is a floral peach zip dress worn backstage during her milestone Speak Now World Tour (2011-2012).

Amy Winehouse’s life was cut short but her musical legacy lives on. The auction is selling the black stretch cotton tube top and Tina Kalivas fitted peplum skirt the British singer-songwriter wore when she appeared via satellite from London on the 50th annual Grammy Awards in 2008 and the same outfit is featured in the buzzy new film “Back to Black” about Winehouse’s life. A monumental moment in her career, she won five awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night.

Amy Winehouse dress

“No one on the planet is hotter than Taylor Swift, and Amy Winehouse is having her moment with the release of the biopic “Back to Black,” says Brigitte Kruse, founder of Kruse GWS Auctions. “Plus, there’s been a scarcity of new Presley items up for auction, but Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” film has re-energized the marketplace.”

Elvis’s Diamond Ring

When it comes to memorabilia from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Kruse reigns, having previously sold hisengine-less private jet for half a million. Among the handful of women at the top of the global multi-billion dollar auction industry, she has sold an astounding $4.2 billion in assets and was the first woman auctioneer to set a Guinness World Record.

Taylor Swift backstage dress

While stationed in Germany, Elvis–looking to get away from media attention—took a two-week “secret” vacation in 1959, staying at a lakeside resort area. At a local beer garden, he signed a chair, which is available for bidding and comes with documentation and holiday photos.

Taylor Swift backstage dress

For fans of the rock star’s more flamboyant sartorial looks, there’s a custom mink and leather coat that he loved and wore and a pair of his cult classic Neostyle Nautic sunglasses with a 14k gold TCB logo worn during the filming of “Elvis on Tour.”

What would an Elvis-oriented auction be without a little bling? The sale includes a 6.00ct black star sapphire, diamond and 14K gold ring, a rather substantial diamond ring highlighted by its intricate beveled design and ornate texture, and his well-known 14K yellow gold ring, with a 1929 Indian Head $2.50 gold coin.

Perhaps more unusual though, is an Elvis-designed watch, (one of perhaps two dozen) given to his closest friends. It features a Star of David intertwined with a Christian cross and photos show him wearing one of these customized time pieces. And a treat for rat-pack fans: two pieces Elvis gifted to entertainer, friend and Vegas regular Sammy Davis Jr.,–a gold claw pendant with EP initials and a gold lion at the tip, and a 14K Yellow Gold TCB Necklace, the logo he created with former wife Priscilla. And, music fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to get one of his personal guitars, a Guild D-40 sunburst acoustic model and accompanying hard case.

Hilton Emerald Ring

Bibi and Eric Hilton—yes, they’re Paris’s great aunt and uncle—were indeed hotel royalty. Eric was the former Vice Chairman of the Hilton Hotels Corporation and as a longtime resident of Las Vegas active in a variety of local philanthropic endeavors. His wife Bibi traveled the world as a goodwill ambassadress for the hotel chain, rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of entertainment, fashion, business, and government, working alongside her husband to ensure the Hilton brand rose to the internationally iconic status it enjoys today.

Hilton Engagement Ring

Eric booked Elvis for the Vegas Hilton and he still holds the record for the longest running residency. The auction pays homage to Sin City’s main industry with Hilton’s set of limited edition solid 18K gold poker chips emblematic of the city’s illustrious gaming history. The 5 chips—in $25,000, $5,000, $1000, $500, and $100 denominations—were minted solely for the Hilton Entertainment Family Caesar’s Palace Board of Directors.

The estate’s jewelry offerings–from fun faux to fine and fab–include several truly outstanding pieces. Romantics will appreciate the lovely engagement ring that Eric Hilton gave to his soon-to-be wife Bibi. This 18K gold ring was custom made and designed by the couple, and features a brilliant use of fiery white diamonds, embellished with vivid red rubies. Another gorgeous ring crafted in 14k gold boasts a stunning 11.20ct pear cut emerald surrounded by 1.30ctw brilliant round cut fiery white diamonds.

Additionally, the sale contains several exquisite emeralds. One is a pendant crafted in 14k yellow gold and boasts a spectacular 25.72ct emerald cut emerald that exhibits a vibrant lush green color that only the finest display and is surrounded by 2.75ctw brilliant round cut diamonds. There’s also a 14k gold ring distinguished by an impressive 11.20ct pear cut emerald center.

Live bidding begins on May 25th at 7am PT at bid.gwsauctions.com. All Presley pieces come with detailed letter of provenance and the Hilton items with a letter of appreciation signed by the estate executor. Pre-bidding is also available on the website now.

Click here for link to entire catalogue of auction items with descriptions

Kruse GWS Inc. is the world-record breaking auction house specializing in Entertainment Memorabilia, Fine Jewelry, Master Timepieces, Royal Artifacts, Real Estate, Luxury Automobiles, Whiskey/Spirits, NFTs and NFT appraisals. Founder Dame Brigitte Kruse is the first auctioneer to be knighted by a Royal Family, the first female auctioneer to set a Guinness World Record and is a member of the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council. The auction house continues to be featured in world-wide press. Brigitte Kruse built the world’s first NFT marketplace with a live auction feature. The globally respected auction house has been featured around the world for sales of such notable items as Elvis Presley’s personal jet, Marilyn Monroe’s famous black dress, Marlon Brando’s historic Rolex watch, Italian Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli’s estate in Florence, Italy, and the 14th century celadon bowl owned by the last Empress of Vietnam. For more information please visit bid.gwsauctions.com.

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

TRUMPED AT CANNES — What with Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and Kevin Costner’s Horizon garnering most of the pre-Cannes ink, it turns out that The Apprentice; the so-called rise of Donald Trump, has become to must-see attraction there.

Starring Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan

and Jeremy Strong -as Roy Cohn-  its received the most attention after its screening this week. Check out this up-to-date spot from The Hollywood Reporter:


The Trump camp has threatened a lawsuit over a somewhat graphic scene between Trump and Ivana in the movie. The filmmaker Ali Abbasi has said that while the lawsuits may fly fast and furious from the Trump-camp, their success rate should be re-examined. A pretty savvy response if you ask me.

MORE TREK — (Via Deadline) Oscar winner  Holly Hunter has been tapped to star in Paramount+’s upcoming series Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Hunter will play the captain and chancellor of Starfleet Academy in the series which will begin production later this summer.

Produced by CBS Studios, the series will follow the adventures of a new class of Starfleet cadets as they come of age in one of the most legendary places in the galaxy.

Per the logline: Star Trek: Starfleet Academy introduces viewers to a young group of cadets who come together to pursue a common dream of hope and optimism. Under the watchful and demanding eyes of their instructors, they discover what it takes to become Starfleet officers as they navigate blossoming friendships, explosive rivalries, first loves and a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself.

As a Treker-from the 60’s, where the hell is the next proper Star Trek-movie with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto? They both were fantastic in my mind. Into Darkness was sensational? Weird for sure.

Michael Jackson and Ron Alexenburg

SHORT TAKES — Record-industry icon Ron Alexenburg is penning his autobiography to be called From The Warehouse To The Penthouse. Alexenburg, when he ran Epic Records, worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Meat Loaf, Boston, The Beach Boys, and Charlie Daniels. Here’s a great interview with him:

Oddly, he doesn’t mention his Infinity Records opus, where I worked with him. The opening night party for the label was at the NY Public Library in NYC. It was an awesome event …

Speaking of books, Dave Mason’s Only You Know and I Know is finally out after a massive delay. I saw a video of him opening the first box. Apparently it is only available through his website. Good luck Dave …

We haven’t seen Kevin Costner’s Horizon yet, but a report from Roger Friedman (Showbiz 411), claims Costner doesn’t even appear in the movie for the first hour. Really? …

Christopher Reeve

Great Hamptons Film Festival exclusive by Roger Friedman. Check it out: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/05/21/hot-ticket-christopher-reeve-super-man-film-to-get-early-look-hamptons-screening-before-release-at-summerdocs … And, great spot on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show on the new book from Michael McDonald with Paul Reiser (What A Fool Believes/DEY Street):

RIP Fred Roos.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Riley Keough; Edwyn Collins; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tony Seidel; Jason Cooper; Bob Krasnow; Les Schwartz; Pete Sanders; Jeremy Long; Peter Shendell; Randy Alexander; Carson Daly; Pete Best; Cory Robbins; Bill Adler; Roy Trakin; Mark Bego; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Kent and Laura Denmark; and BELLA!

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G.H. Harding

RASCALS AT SONY HALL — The Rascals long-awaited return to NYC proved to be a sensational evening of music. Their 16-song set, backed up by a terrific band -including bassist John Billings from Micky Dolenz’s band- was rocking from the start with their “Do You Feel It” and “”Beautiful Morning.” Felix Cavaliere’s vibrant vocals were just a joy. Face it, for people of a certain age, we grew up with this voice … just magical.

Micky Dolenz

Their cover of the Jackie Wilson-chestnut “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) High” set the SRO crowd afire.

Felix then brought his daughter Aria out for two selections. Clearly, she’s inherited by father’s dynamic vocal prowess. She was just terrific and a nice surprise.

Cavaliere then brought out guitarist Gene Cornish who was just wonderful. Gene has had some health issues, but his presence brought the show to a magnificent high-point.

Oddly, there was no mention of the rumored “My Hawaii” from Cavaliere with vocals from Dolly Parton. He mentioned it in a recent interview with Medium, but was mum about it on last Monday’s WOR-interview with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. I hear that the release has been held up several times. Sad … can’t wait to hear it.

The show ended with their signature classics “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “People Got To Be Free” and Good Lovin’.” The Rascals’ music is ingrained and it was a joy to hear it once again. Truth be told, it sounded better than ever!

Seated in a corner booth by the stage was none other than Bill Murray – a huge fan. Great night sensational set. Also, there were Rascals-PR man David Salidor; Dan Zelinski; Billy Amendola; Magda Katz from Times Square Chronicles; and Susan Nuzzi Russo. Thanks to SONY Hall’s Peter Abraham for his assistance.

David Sanborn

DAVID SANBORN — We don’t usually re-print tributes, but this, from David Sanborn’s wife Alice Soyer was so heartfelt.  Take a read:

Dave, my love, my warrior, my soulmate, my unique bird, my everything. I cannot believe what I’m writing right now but what I know is that you changed my life, because of you I know what true love is, I had and have it all. I have it all. Although I’m going to miss you every single minute of my life, I know that the pain you were enduring was not right, those pains are now released and you are completely free. You are and will be in every note, in every breath, in every sound that touches the soul, in every sun beam, in every cloud, in every beat of my heart. Dave you are an inspiration. Your courage to be yourself, to reveal this true voice screaming from inside, oh my love you are a true warrior, a pure artist, an extraordinary being.I will honor you every step on the way, I will represent you, us. I love you madly.

Dave forever

Don Grolnick

SHORT TAKES — First off, I left off one very important member when I referenced The Brecker Brothers last time: keyboardist-genius Don Grolnick: terrifically talented and much-missed …

George Harrison

One of the best parts of watching Let It Be(again!) was seeing John & Yoko dancing to George Harrison’s stunningly-beautiful “I Me Mine.” Awesome…  From Roger Friedman’s SHOWBIZ 411:Barbra Streisand just released a new a beautiful new single called “Love Will Survive,” for the closing credits of the upcoming series “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” It’s maybe Streisand’s best new vocal in years thanks to producers Walter Afanasieff (Mariah Carey’s classics) and Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor classics). So now I’m told Streisand has booked the producing duo for her next album of duets. Barbra has a couple of these under her belt over her six decade career. But this one sounds like a powerhouse … Great interview with Micky Dolenz in advance of his Surf Ballroom show Friday in Clear Lake, Iowa: https://littlevillagemag.com/monkee-micky-dolenz-surf-ballroom/?fbclid=IwAR2jXAYYYCJ_19ovY4yT8DU8OfdaTU-GYdYhXahF-rvYj3yERRW_K5MmgrI

Francis Ford Coppola

With this year’s Cannes  Film Festival underway, the first big movie screened was Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and it generated some of the craziest reviews I’ve ever seen.

Mostly positive. Coppola’s a genius, so you know to expect the unexpected. I think my favorite was from the UK’s Daily Telegraph which gave the movie four stars, saying, “Coppola’s latest is like Succession crossed with Batman Forever and a lava lamp… Aubrey Plaza is fantastic in this full-body sensory bath movie which follows a struggle for power among the elites of New Rome.” Me? I can’t wait to see it. The guy’s a bloody genius … 17-year-old wunderkind Kjersti Long -co writer of Vanessa Williams’ current return to music “Legs (Keep Dancing)”- heads to NYC for the Tribeca Festival in 2 weeks … And Apple TV’s Sugar -with Colin Farrell- ended its run. The first few episodes were great; very LA Confidential, but then, it turned into a sci-fi adventure. Odd? You bet. The ending left room for a second season, but I highly doubt it. Farell was great, but the topsy-turvy plot twist was brutal.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — August Darnell; Coati Mundi; Jeff Vogel; Kent Kotal; Bruce Grakal; Ringo Starr; Danny Fried; China Club; Tony King; Peter Brown; Mark Bego; Kent & Laura Denmark Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Peter Lubin; Steve Plotnicki; Profile Records; Joe Cocker; Lush Ice; Anthony Pomes; Terry Jastrow; and BELLA!

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