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G.H. HARDING

BADFINGER’S BACK — (Via Rock Cellar) On November 12, Susanna Hoffs will release a new covers album, Bright Lights — and as a preview of the new collection, the esteemed front woman of the Bangles debuted a version of “Name of the Game,” originally made famous by Badfinger.

 Accompanying Hoffs on the new version is Aimee Mann, making for a very pleasant collaboration:

“There is a beauty and poignancy to ‘Name of the Game’ which has always moved me deeply,” Hoffs told Rolling Stone of her decision to cover this song. “The song’s verse lyric deals with coping with life’s difficulties and challenges, and those feelings are reflected in the verse’s gorgeous somber melody.  But when the chorus arrives, there is an opening up, an almost exalted intensity and release, an outpouring of all of those emotions, made even more poignant, knowing that Pete Ham, the singer and songwriter of the song, suffered so deeply.”

And regarding the collaboration with Mann, who also has her own new album coming out next month:

“I have known Aimee Mann since the Eighties and count myself extremely lucky to have had the privilege of performing with her numerous times. Aimee’s voice is iconic and instantly recognizable, and I’ve long wanted to record with her. When I was setting about recording ‘Name of the Game’ (with producer Paul Bryan), Aimee’s name sprung immediately to mind. She is a good friend. It was a true honor having her join me on ‘Name of the Game.’’

Here’s the track listing for Hoffs’ Bright Lights album:

1. “Time Will Show the Wiser” – The Merry-Go-Round

2. “One of These Things First” – Nick Drake

3. “You and Your Sister” – Chris Bell

4. “Name of the Game” (feat. Aimee Mann) – Badfinger

5. “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” – Richard & Linda Thompson

6. “You Just May Be the Other” – The Monkees

7. “Him or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” – Paul Revere & The Raiders

8. “Femme Fatale” – The Velvet Underground

9. “Take Me With U” – Prince

Now, I loved the Bangles and love Aimee Mann even more, but the fact that they’ve teamed up on perhaps my favorite Badfinger song of all time, is simply amazing.

“Name of the Game” is from the group’s stellar Straight Up (1971) album and if you listen quite closely, you can even hear Beatle-George Harrison on the vocals; who produced the album with Todd Rundgren.

We won’t go into the tragic Badfinger saga as it’s really too troubling, but suffice to say, Pete Ham remains one of the best songwriters ever. He wrote “Without You,” which became a huge international hot for Harry Nilsson. Also, Badfinger had a major pop hit with “No Matter What.” Just a terrific ensemble.

I got a chance to talk to Joey Molland two years back on the 50 Years Ago tour and found him utterly delightful. Todd Rundgren was on that tour too and to witness Todd and Molland reminiscing about their days together was awe-inspiring.

Great, great song. Here’s both versions:

and 

EASY ON ADELE — (from Showbiz 411) Adele’s “Easy on Me” got a slow start on radio. When I wrote it about Friday. The top stations weren’t playing “Easy on Me” yet. In fact, it wasn’t until I said something that hourly adds started appearing on websites.

This evening, All Access Media Base reports that over 200 stations added “Easy on Me” to their playlists. There were 94 adds each on Adult Contemporary and Hot Adult Contemporary. (We used to call these Easy Listening or MOR aka Middle of the Road). There were 24 adds on another group called Triple AAA. (Those stations also added Sting’s great new single, “Rushing Water” and Elton John’s “Cold Heart” duet with Dua Lipa.)

I don’t think rock stations are playing “Easy on Me.” I’m sure they’re hoping she’s got a “Rolling in the Deep” type number on her “30” album.

But basically everyone who can is playing this record now, over and over. The single has had a minimum of 3,000 “spins” since its release on Thursday night across all these stations.

Add Adele to BTS and Lil Nas X and you have to give credit to Sony’s Rob Stringer and Ron Perry for pulling moribund Columbia Records out of a ditch. For years the company depended on Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, and Bob Dylan, not to mention Tony Bennett, to keep them going. Even Bryonce was iffy with an inconsistent release pattern. But they’ve got the top artists booming away right now. When “30” hits on November 19th, they will release confetti from their windows!

Michael Caine

SHORT TAKES — Is one of my favorite actors Michael Caine retiring? At 88 he claims he hasn’t been offered a role in two years. I remember seeing him in 1965’s Ipcress File as super-spy Harry Palmer and it was love at first sight. He was Alfie in 1966; and, Woody Allen’s go-to-guy in the director’s brilliant Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986. Trust me, we haven’t seen the last of him – he’s just too good … Freda Payne and Mark Bego get interviewed by Adam White for his stupendous West Grand Blog this week; for their upcoming book Freda Payne: A Memoir (Yorkshire Publishing). White, for those who don’t recall, was Billboard’s best-ever editor! … Just learned that Tony Orlando has a show on WABC too; along with Cousin Brucie and Cindy Adams. Orlando, a music legend for sure …

The Monkees’ farewell tour is at NYC’s Town Hall this Sunday and expected to be there are Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman; James Clash from Forbes and Ken Dashow from Q1043. Dolenz’s PR-man David Salidor told me that the press on this tour has been uniformly positive. Dolenz will go out after this as a solo act after, but what a nice tribute to have this Monkee-tour be so well received. Kudos … CBS’ FBI International has been the first new-show renewed for another season. We like NBC’s LaBrea, but so far, no renewal … Don’t know what to make of the latest The Batman trailer. Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader says his Bruce Wayne/Batman is in a somewhat confused state; not knowing who the real Bruce Wayne is. What??!! Say what you will, but the Batman-origin story is pretty well know; as are his main adversaries The Joker; The Riddler and The Penguin.

Zoe Kravitz

That said, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman seems to be the most interesting character so far. Stay tuned. Here’s the trailer:

And, David Roberts and Neil Watson, the authors of the new Nilsson book, Harry & Me!, (This Day In Music) on November 1 will be hosting an event (in London) commemorating the 50th anniversary of the great Nilsson album, Nilsson Schmilsson. They are also celebrating the release of their book; which comprises more than 280 stories and memories of the esteemed singer/songwriter. Fans are invited to join the book’s authors for what will be a day of much merriment visiting London haunts Harry frequented back in the day. The Blind Beggar pub; outside Trident Studios (where the album was recorded); his Belgravia flat and the Antelope pub are all penciled in already.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Keith Girard; Tony King; Richard Branciforte; Vic Kastel; Robert Miller; Zach Martin; Katie Bruno; Jen Ramos; Book Soup; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; DC LaRue; Maureen Van Zandt; Jackie Stander;Brad LeBeau; David Bryne; Danny Fried; Steve Walter; Jeff Smith; Donna Dolenz; Dan Mapp; 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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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.

Sebastian Stan

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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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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SANBORN RIP — I was absolutely devastated to loss another friend Monday, musician David Sanborn. Still reeling from the loss of Sam Rubin, I just could not believe the news when I heard it.

I first met David when he played with The Brecker Brothers band (brothers Michael and Randy, Will Lee, Steve Khan, Don Grolnick, Chris Parker) and we immediately hit it off and became fast-running buddies. David, who had already played with the Paul Butterfield, was on his way to super-stardom: playing with everyone from Stevie Wonder to David Bowie, with his superb sax work. When you heard his work, you immediately knew it was him. Listen to his work on Bowie’s “Young Americans.” Just stunning.


His solo work with equally as stellar. His first solo-album Taking Off was just great. His signature “Chicago Song” was sensational too. I’ll never forget his great work on Lorne Michael’s Night Music show – especially the time he paired up Eric Clapton and Robert Cray. If you’ve never seen this, take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BngAj8xV3Os

He also worked with the late-Michael Kamen (and sting) on the Lethal Weapon soundtrack with Sting. Just exemplary work.

Check out his work with the Letterman band on a show in Vegas with Sammy Davis, Jr.: Sammy Davis Jr. on Late Night With David Letterman in Las Vegas (1987)

He was a lot of fun to hang with. I’ll miss his company – no question. Tremendous loss for sure.

David Salidor and Gene Cornish Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images

SHORTS TAKES — The Rascals’ “Good Lovin'” is in Jerry Seinfeld’s Unfrosted Netflix movie. Unfortunately, the movie’s taking a heavy beating in the media. I don’t think I’ll tune in, but a great music selection for sure … The first full-trailer for Coppola’s Megalopolis has just been released. Its rather sensational. Take a look here from Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/05/14/watch-first-full-pre-cannes-teaser-trailer-for-coppolas-biggest-gamble-ever-with-astonishing-megalopolis-images

Alicia Keys announced the album for her play Hell’s Kitchen (13 TONY noms) will be out June 7. Interesting that she said album. Good for her … MTV has canceled their movie awards presentation for 2024. Low ratings the case? I’d bet on it. Also, parent-company Paramount might have a new owner or new owners. Check this out: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/05/12/mtv-cancels-movie-and-tv-awards-for-2024-skips-barbenheimer-movies-after-2023-ratings-debacle

I started watching the original Let It Be film on Disney and loved it, just as I did when I originally saw it in 1970. As I’ve said before, this original (from director Michael Lindsay-Hogg) would never have come out again if there wasn’t a demand for it. What Peter Jackson did was great, but it wasn’t what The Beatles and Apple wanted. I loved it. Check this terrific article out on it: https://www.soundandvision.com/content/making-beatles-let-it-be-and-peter-jacksons-get-back?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR2l_MOZXCWPMg2E5gNKfin7wIVgTKlmRvGWBwOHvqM4B_dphbY2bw-JcoM_aem_AXa5zighOQPj-_fICOPXlPDJP1wXUdXEx82NiZSzlevB … Happy BDay Crispin Cioe ; Jane Blunkell and Gene Cornish.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Savannah Guthrie; Carson Daly; Paul Pesco;Alicia Keys; Tony Mandich; Judy Libow; Amanda Naylor; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Len Berman; Michael Riedel; Bob Feiden; Sam Rubin; Paul Cooper; Anthony Noto; Ed Steinberg; Richard Johnson; Steve Carrel; Matt Damon; Matt Drudge; Bobby Orlando; Mark Berry; Marissa Armstrong; Heather Moore; and CHIP!

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SAM RUBIN — KTLA’s Sam Rubin passed on Friday. I first met Sam in 1986 while introducing a new artist around the LA scene, Sam immediately struck me as not only a terrific reporter, but a caring one and we immediately struck up a friendship that continued until last week. Sam was the type of guy who would ask the hard questions, but also gifted with a terrific sense of humor. If you saw him on the press-line, you’d go to him first. He wasn’t snarky; wasn’t unkind; wasn’t sneaky … just an honest-to-God good guy.

He was one of the few entertainment reports who would go onto question Mel Gibson about his off-screen antics. I always admired him for that.

I actually spoke to him earlier last week about an exciting new project and he was immediately entranced and even gave me some intriguing suggestions. Stand-up guy? No question. He will be missed greatly by not only his KTLA staff, but by the whole of Hollywood.

We’ve lost one of the good guys!

Read Roger Friedman’s take on Sam: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/05/10/rip-sam-rubin-64-legend-in-hollywood-tv-reporting-for-station-ktla

YOUNG SHELDON — I’ve been a big fan of TV’s The Big Bang Theory and when it went off (after 12 seasons), Young Sheldon appeared in its place; about the early-life of lead-character Sheldon Cooper. After 7 seasons, it’s coming to a close and I have to say that although it hasn’t generated the same sort of fervor as BBT did, it’s been just a sensational show in every way.

The cast, led by Iain Armitage (Big little Lies) has just been spot on; and last week was the penultimate episode where Sheldon’s father George (Lance Barber), suffers a heart attack and passes. It was foretold in BBT and everyone -from the cast on- knew it was coming, but it was handled so well and off-screen, that it immediately became the show’s shining moment.

Talk about the little show that could, that was Young Sheldon. Beautifully done in every way. Bravo!

SHORT TAKES — Apple TV’s Constellation has been canceled. No real surprise here as it looked great, but the story was terrifically hard to follow. Actually, we’re waiting for the channel’s Invasion to return … Cassidy Wixom (KSL.com)did a great piece on 17-year-old wunderkind Kjersti Long, who’s “Legs (Keep Dancing)” song from Vanessa Williams, hit #3 on the Billboard Dance Charts. Check it out here: https://www.ksl.com/article/51008484/meet-the-utah-teen-who-helped-write-vanessa-williams-new-single

Robert Funaro

The Soprano’s Robert Funaro was a guest on NYC’s PIX11 and talked his new projects. Check it out here: Catching up with ‘The Sopranos’ Robert Funaro (youtube.com)

David Kramer

Check out Zach Martin’s session with Director David Kramer on his Jimi Hendrix: The Documentary: https://newhdmedia.com/jimi-hendrix-medical-mysteries-wine-controversy-and-persistent-murder-theories/

Felix Cavaliere

Felix Cavaliere on WOR this morning with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. He and Gene Cornish are at SONY Hall Friday. It’ll be Gene’s 80th Bday … Happy Bday Denise Lopez … RIP Roger Corman (https://deadline.com/2024/05/roger-corman-dead-independent-filmmaker-1235912737/)

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Zach Martin; Greg Porto; Kimberly Cornell; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Asha Puthli; Jim Burgess; Glenn Friscia; Richard Johnson; David Sanborn; Paul Butterfield; Eppy; Mitch Kanner; Bruce Schindler; Anthony Pomes; Terry Jastrow; Crimshaw; Peter Abraham; Dan Zelinski; Donna Quinter; Wayne Avers; Anthony Pomes; Peter Abraham; Dan Zelinski; and Sadie!


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SAMBORA SPEAKS — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Richie Sambora has only one regret regarding his exit from Bon Jovi. The guitarist, who abruptly quit the band in 2013 to spend more time with his family, was a recent guest on The Allison Hagendorf Show. When asked what he would change about his departure from Bon Jovi if he could go back in time, Sambora was forthright.

“I probably would have left earlier,” the rocker admitted. “I might have left a couple of albums before because, I think Jon [Bon Jovi] was moving into a place where he wanted to not really be a band.”

This was not the first time the guitarist sensed Bon Jovi would rather go solo.

“When we first met, he was thriving to be a kind of a solo artist in a Bruce Springsteen way or a Rick Springfield way,” Sambora explained. “And quite frankly, it was an ultimatum for me when I just before Slippery [When Wet] [was made]. I went, ‘Come on, man. Let me in. We have to do this. We have to make this a band situation if we want to invade the planet and have people accept it.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Sambora explained his dissatisfaction with the recently-released Bon Jovi documentary Thank You, Goodnight.

“Hey, look, this obviously was [Jon’s] personal perception. And this documentary was his perception, his baby. I really had nothing to do with it,” the guitarist explained. “I disagree with a lot of stuff or whatever, but I’m not really shaken by it.”

“It could have been more of a celebration,” Sambora continued. “We could have cut that down to about two hours, because, to me, the celebration would have been the great songs that we wrote and how we sold all those millions of records and played for people. I was in the band for 32 years, which is unbelievable anyway. [That] five guys could be married for 32 years, it’s incredible. That celebration of those great songs that people really took into their lives, that’s what I believed the 40-year celebration would be myself. But, like I said, it was his baby.”

Asked what he would change about the documentary, Sambora laughed.

“Everything,” he remarked. “There’s one thing that’s not in there, and it’s everything. Like I said, to me, this is Jon’s baby.”

Interesting for sure. Again, Sambora in the doc looked haggard, confused and sort of embarrassed to even be there. Here, he essentially said the same thing. Sure, he’s clearly going through a rough patch and actually, what he says make a lot of sense. But I think it’s ironic that he’s got to say these things as a result of the doc. To be honest, he should have got out in-front of the doc and spun his story.

These days everyone has a spin-doctor.

Steve Albini

ALBINI PASSES — (via Deadline) Steve Albini a singer and guitarist best known for producing some of the most groundbreaking and influential albums of the alt-rock genre, died of a heart attack at his Chicago recording studio Electrical Audio. He was 61. Albini’s death and cause of death was confirmed by Taylor Hales of Electrical Audio.

Born July 22, 1962, in Pasadena, Albini moved to the Chicago area after high school to study journalism at Northwestern University. While there, he began writing for local punk rock ‘zines and beginning to record and engineer albums for local bands.

Stubbornly opposed to the larger music industry and its exploitation of artists, Albini formed the Chicago-based band Big Black in 1981, recording the first of several albums, an EP for the Chicago label Ruthless Records, a label he co-managed. That band last until 1987.

From 1987 to 1988, Albini sang and played guitar for Rapeman, named after a Japanese comic book. The short-lived band broke up after one album, two singles and an EP. Albini later expressed remorse over the band name, calling it “a flippant choice,” “unconscionable” and “indefensible.”

Albini formed Shellac in 1992, a band that continues to this day.

While a longstanding and active musician, Albani’s name is most closely associated with producing, or what he preferred to call engineering. In a 2018 interview, Albini estimated that he had engineered several thousand records, mostly by underground rock musicians. Albini’s more well-known collaborations were with Pixies, The Breeders, the Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (as Page and Plant), Fred Schneider, The Stooges, Manic Street Preachers, Jarvis Cocker, the Fleshtones, The Membranes, Cheap Trick, Motorpsycho, Veruca Salt, and The Auteurs.

But in the history of rock, Albini’s name will forever be linked to Nirvana. In 1993, the band led by Kurt Cobain, who had been impressed with Albini’s production of the Pixie album Surfer Rosa and The Breeders’ Pod, hired Albini in 1993 for work on its third album In Utero.

The six-day recording went more smoothly than the perpetually-restless Cobain had anticipated, though the front man initially expressed dissatisfaction with the album and even considered re-recording it. Albini refused to re-record. The band brought in R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to remix some of the songs, with Albini later saying the finished album didn’t “sound all that much” like the record he had produced.

Accounts over the years vary about exactly how much difference can be heard in the two versions, but regardless of the inside-baseball controversy, In Utero would become a generational touchstone. Released on September 21, 1993, the album was a major commercial and critical success, featuring a roster of songs that would become among Nirvana’s best and most popular: “Serve the Servants,” “Scentless Apprentice,” “Dumb,” “Pennyroyal Tea,” and the massive hits “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies.”

SHORT TAKES — Check out Carol Ruth Weber’s  excellent interview with Felix Cavaliere in Medium:https://carolruthweber.medium.com/felix-cavaliere-relays-rascal-energy-voicing-joy-peace-8afd25a108fc

Maggie Q

Maggie Q joining the cast of the Renee Ballard sequel to Bosh: Legacy and John Malkovich and Paul Walter Hauser have been added to the cast of Marvel’s Fantastic Four to be helmed by Matt Shakman (WandaVision)  …

Fantastic Four

PR-pasha David Salidor at The Smith in NOMAD …RIP Dennis Thompson … Happy Bday Ken Dashow!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jeff Smith; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; David Kramer; Vinny Rich; Jim Bessman; Michael Starr; Richard Johnson; Tate Taylor; Peter Abraham; Jack Cunningham; Marsha Stern; Obi Steinman; Gene Cornish; Roger Friedman; Steve Leeds; Paul Cooper; Len Berman; Chuck Scarborough; Amanda Naylor; Bruce Haring; Roy Trakin; Harrison Jordan; and ZIGGY!

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