The Glorious Corner
MICHAEL LANG RIP — (via Square One Publishers/Anthony Pomes) In a year that has already brought the passings of legendary actress Betty White, film director Peter Bogdanovich, trailblazing actor Sidney Poitier, and beloved Full House TV star and comedian Bob Saget, we now also sadly note the passing of Woodstock co-creator and promoter extraordinaire Michael Lang. As reported by the Associated Press, Mr. Lang passed away at age 77 this past weekend from non-Hodkin’s lymphoma at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Our author Elliot Tiber (who passed away in August 2016 at age 81) remained ever thankful to Lang for having agreed to set up the 1969 Woodstock Arts & Music Festival headquarters at Tiber’s El Monaco hotel when Tiber was able to provide the legal permit necessary to stage the festival in the town of Bethel, New York. This wild and hilarious Summer of ’69 story is told in Tiber’s memoir Taking Woodstock, which was made into the acclaimed feature film from director Ang Lee co-starring the great Jonathan Groff as the equally great Lang. Upon Tiber’s passing in 2016, Lang was considerate enough to provide The New York Times with the following quote in remembrance:”Elliot was part of the magic of Woodstock. Without his phone call bringing me to Bethel, Woodstock might never have happened, and for that I am eternally grateful.” On news of Lang’s passing, we wanted to return the cosmic favor by providing here what Elliot wrote about Mike on the Dedication page of his memoir:”Michael, you gave me an entire new life and opened up a world filled with dreams and self-esteem. You have my lifelong heartfelt thanks.” —Elliot TiberThings being as ceaselessly crummy as they have been these past days, we thought it would be nice to remind folks here of the good energy between these two guys from Brooklyn, New York. Rest In Peace, Michael Lang . . . I never went to Woodstock, I came pretty darn close (but Project Grand Slam’s Robert Miller actually did), but the memories, music and personalities live on. For people of a certain age, Woodstock was a lightning rod for certain. There’ll never anything like it again. RIP Michael Lang.
SHORT TAKES — Producer/musician James Mtume passed last week. A stellar career for sure. I met him and appreciated everything he worked on, which included Miles Davis; Robert Flack; Donny Hathaway and Stephanie Mills. Read Roger Friedman’s (Showbiz 411) brilliant take on a master-musician: https://www.showbiz411.com/2022/01/09/james-mtume-rb-legend-played-with-miles-davis-wrote-hits-for-roberta-flack-donny-hathaway-stephanie-mills … I was never all that familiar with the work of Bob Saget, but boy, when I watched him and heard him on with on Howard Stern, he was downright hilarious and engaging. Full House I sort of missed. But boy what a shock. Sad for sure …
Guitarist extraordinaire Sean Harkness will be performing at Birdland on Sunday, March 20 …
That Felix Cavaliere/Micky Dolenz date at the new NY-Palladium, which will kick-off their tour, has now been re-scheduled for Friday, June 3 … Grey’s Anatomy just renewed for season 19 with Ellen Pompeo still at the helm. Never watched it, but the constant behind the scenes drama has been fast and furious. If and when the real deal is written about, it should be cataclysmic … Still have your CDs. Check out this article from Wired: https://www.wired.com/story/you-should-listen-to-cds/?fbclid=IwAR1uzuECjcTvFtRsXUkQBOX0i2vNL0sstNymr1J8i4oj-yApJx4stgd7MUE&mbid=social_facebook&mbid=social_twitter&utm_brand=wired&utm_brand=wired&utm …
New music from Claudia Hayden on Valentine’s Day, February 14, “Turn Me Up” featuring Jacob Webb, via Next Paradigm Music. Stay tuned for much more on Ms. Hayden … Aubrey Plaza will join Michael Imperioli and (Season One scene-stealer) Jennifer Coolidge in the Second Season of HBO’s White Lotus … And talk about a casting coup, Sharon Stone will join the Second Season of Kaley Cuoco’s The Flight Attendant on HBO Max. Great, great call for sure.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Keith Girard; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Joel Denver; Bill Wardlow; Roman Kozak; Bob Grossweiner; Mark Scheerer; Dave Glew; Mark Schulman; Dina Pitenis; Doug Morris; Bruce Carbone; Bill Murray; Richard Johnson; Lush Ice; Robert Funaro; James King; Alan Rothstein; Dan Fortune; and CHIP!
Carmine Appice and David Salidor
SIXX APPICE –— (Via Ultimate Clsssic Rock) Nikki Sixx spoke out against Carmine Appice’s claim that guitarist Mick Mars had been in dispute with his bandmates in the run-up to his retirement from Motley Crue. Mars’ departure was announced on the completion of their 2022 Stadium Tour, with John 5 named as his replacement soon afterwards. The official reason given was that Mars’ longterm illness had finally caught up with him – but in a recent interview, former Ozzy Osbourne and Vanilla Fudge drummer Appice suggested otherwise.
“[Mars] told me, ‘When I was on the Stadium Tour, I was not happy,’” Appice told Ultimate Guitar. “Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. … The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with Motley Crue… Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.”
Appice added that Mars “would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere,” and continued: “He said, ‘Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.’ They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. … [T]here were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done.” When Mars was told about Crue’s World Tour with Def Leppard, Appice claimed, the guitarist told his colleagues: “You can do it. I’m not going out with you for this.”
Earlier this week Sixx appeared to refer indirectly to Appice’s comments, tweeting: “Love how people talk FOR us without talking TO us. This is why the media has lost credibility. Obviously by printing BS they make money off of advertising and we’re not into that clickbait game. When the truth comes out it will be FROM us.”
But he was more direct during a Twitter Q&A session last night. “A washed up drummer trying to speak for us? And bottom feeder media running with it to make money off of lies? Welcome to the sad new world of LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME,” the bassist wrote.
He more or less repeated the same answer when asked: “Is what Carmine Appice said true?” Sixx replied: “A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us.” He later commented: “It’s a funny money game.”
Crue will continue on the road through much of the year. Asked if 5’s status in the group was secure, Sixx stated: “Of course. He’s our guitar player. We have big plans.
Seems like there’s really a rumble in the metal-jungle. First off, I love these names … but, the name ‘Carmine Appice’ actually sounds pretty normal.
The metal world is a rough one for sure with fanzines named Blabbermouth; Louder Sound; Metal Edge; Metal Anarchy; Chaoszine; and Metal Injection. Remember, look before you leap!
SHORT TAKES — Growing up, every Sunday night was family-dinner night at the steak-eatery The Longhorn in Rockville Center, Long Island. Sure it was a long-time ago, but the memory survives (as does the memory of our favorite waiter Tomas). Did you know that Micky Dolenz’s father George, owner and operated a restaurant in the heart of the Sunset Strip called The Marquis? The always regal-Alison Martino did a terrific piece on it, check it out here: https://martinostimemachine.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-marquis-restaurant-once-located-on.html?m=1&mibextid=uc01c0&fbclid=IwAR3wCiU_sgRmpjqWGpda_mEHthrj7OS1UfLOVkvYdbfVP_d5Iz0fO-KZbUw
JIM GORDON RIP — If you’re a music fan, you know the name Jim Gordon well. Brilliant musician, part of the Wrecking Crew; Mad Dogs & Englishmen; Delaney & Bonnie; Derek & The Dominoes; Eric Clapton; George Harrison … dead at 77. I’m not going to go into the trouble he had, you can read it below in Variety’s terrific story, but suffice to say, he was an amazing musicianDid he do things that he shouldn’t have? Of course … as we all have. He had a most troubled road and hopefully is now at peace. His music will however, live on. Sad, sad story for sure.
Celebrity-scribe Mark Bego, who is working on a bio of Joe Cocker (for Yorkshire Publishing) had this to say: “Gordon brought a very professional edge to Joe Cocker and his still-gestating Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour. Gordon was one of three drummers on stage for that outrageous tour. Having been a member of The Wrecking Crew, Gordon, despite some head-scratching antics, helped give the rough-and-tumble troupe a much-needed degree of professionalism. However, Gordon began displaying a violent nature on that tour when he hauled off and punched Rita Coolidge in the face, one night after the show.”
Bego’s Cocker bio is provisionally set for release during the holidays.
GOTHAM — Gotham: The Fall and Rise of New York is an exciting exploration of New York City’s history and the legacy of its six mayors from 1966-2013. At the turn of a new century, learn how New York went from a failing city with over 2,200 murders, 93,000 violent robberies and over 500,000 annual felonies only to rise-up as America’s Greatest City.
Featuring twenty-six interviews, archival footage and re-enactments, Gotham puts viewers in the middle of the action exploring how a city turn-around happens.
New York City became what it is today through the blood, sweat, hard work, innovation, and creativity of a handful of heroes who were willing to challenge the status quo. Learn what they did and why it matters.
“We want the audience to get a historical sense of what was going on in New York during this tumultuous time,” said writer, director, and producer Matthew Taylor. “Through the courageous leadership and determination of many, the city was able to turn-around a common perception regarding crime in the area, which can serve as a blueprint on how to revitalize our great cities today.”
Featuring candid interviews with former NYC mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, and former NYPD commissioners Ray Kelly and William “Bill” Bratton, the film also features interviews with more than one dozen important figures who helped resurrect the city. Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45EXpx2JDz8&t=2s
REVIVAL69 — (Via Deadline) Shout! Studios has acquired North American rights to the music documentary Revival69: The Concert That Rocked The World, about a historic happening that’s been called “the second most important event in rock & roll history.”
Ron Chapman directed the film, which held its U.S. premiere this week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, playing in the festival’s 24 Beats Per Second section. The documentary tells “the remarkable, behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds,” according to a description of the film. “Young, scrappy concert promoter John Brower puts his life on the line (literally) to turn his failing Toronto Rock n Roll Revival into a one-day event… The festival united rock legends like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Gene Vincent, with The Doors, who were the biggest band in the world. But it was the 11th hour arrival of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium.”
The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.
“With its improbable backstory, incredible line-up and indelible D.A. Pennebaker footage, Ron’s wonderful film joins an elite group of unforgettable music documentaries that tell a great story while preserving a seminal moment in pop culture history, Shout has deep roots in the music business, so this was a very happy deal to do.” read a statement from the company.
The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.
The second most important event in rock and roll history? Dunno about that, Bangladesh and Live AID sort of stand out a bit more. That said, interestingly enough, the packaging of the film in its box, looks a lot like Harrison’s show, so maybe its more of an intended subliminal message. In any event, it solidified Lennon’s full departure from The Beatles and his performance was extraordinary as usual. Definitely an integral part of rock history.
Here’s the trailer:
SHORT TAKES — Here’s the trailer for the forthcoming doc on Little Richard entitled I Am Everything. Looks fantastic.
Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 reported that the Friar’s Club on 55th street in NYC is officially closed for now. https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/03/16/sad-obit-the-friars-club-is-padlocked-shut-closed-after-years-of-mismanagement-and-malfeasance-comes-end-of-era Sad. I spent many marvelous nights there as well as having numerous meals there – I always said they had the best chopped salad in town. 21’s gone; Tortilla Flats; Lucky Strike; China Grill … 3 of the 4 Palms, all gone now. New York’s a changed place now for certain … Great post by producer/manager John Luongo on the resurgence of vinyl. Check it out and BTW, he’s absolutely right: https://www.johnluongomusic.com/post/a-vinyl-countdown …
And, the long-awaited David Johansen movie, Personality Crisis is here (executive produced by Martin Scorsese). Check out the trailer: https://deadline.com/2023/03/david-johansen-personality-crisis-trailer-streaming-premiere-date-showtime-1235301450/
… RIP Lance Reddick from Fringe and Bosch … HAPPY BDAY Steve Garrin and Donna Dolenz!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Scarlett Rae; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Cynthia Ronzoni; Kim Garner; Steve Ross; Ahmet Ertegun; Andrew Sandoval; Terry Jastrow; Harrison Jordan; Bob Small; Kent and Laura Denmark; Jim Kerr; Liz Rosenberg; Ken Dashow; Joe Banadonna; Eppy; Wayne Avers; Jay Fagen; and CHIP.
BOWIE REMEMBERS — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) David Bowie was in the mood to try something different as the early 80’s unfolded. He’d been listening to R&B and blues records while on vacation in the South Pacific from the likes of James Brown and Albert King, and that ended up forging his next musical path.
“I asked myself, ‘Why have I chosen this music?'” Bowie later mused. “It was very non-uptight music, and it comes from a sense of pleasure and happiness. There is enthusiasm and optimism on those recordings.”
In other words, something a world away from the Berlin Trilogy. Then he met Chic legend Nile Rodgers at a New York nightclub. They hit it off, and Bowie shared a few of his demos, including a folky number that would become the title track for his next LP.
Unfortunately, Rodgers was unimpressed. “I come from dance music,” he remembered telling Bowie. “You can’t call that thing you just played ‘Let’s Dance.'”
Engineer Bob Clearmountain and Rodgers went to work, basically making everything bigger: bigger drums, a bigger vocal, bigger chords, more delay. Bowie was with them, step for step. “I really wanted that same positive optimistic rock ‘n’ roll, big-band sound that was very impressionistic for me back when,” Bowie told Rolling Stone. “It’s got a hard cut – it sears through.”
Rodgers also shared an insider’s trick from his hit-making era with Chic. “For me, as a Black artist, it was very difficult for me to get hits because we had fewer radio stations to expose our music,” Rodgers told Yahoo. “So to get attention, a technique of mine was I always started my songs with the chorus: ‘Ahhh, freak out!’ and ‘We are family!’ – and then, of course, there’s ‘Let’s Dance.'”
So much of this was old hat for Rodgers but entirely new for Bowie. “When David gave me this award – for the ARChive of Contemporary Music – he said, ‘To my friend, Nile Rodgers: the only man who could make me start a song with a chorus,'” Rodgers added.
At the same time, however, Rodgers described himself as “persona non grata, when no one would work with me because of ‘disco sucks'” – so, in a way, “Let’s Dance” was a new start for both of them. “This guy, who was considered one of the great, innovative rockers, picked a disco guy who nobody wanted to work with to collaborate with,” Rodgers told Yahoo. “And we wound up making the biggest record of his career.”
It was Bowie’s idea to bring in a then-unknown named Stevie Ray Vaughan whom he’d tripped over at a recent Montreux Jazz Festival. He felt the Texas guitarist could “become midwife” to a new sound that kept a “European sensibility but owed its impact to the blues.”
The result was Bowie’s biggest hit, as “Let’s Dance” topped the singles charts in the U.S. and U.K. Bowie and Rodgers completed the album in just 17 days, and it went on to become Bowie’s first platinum seller.
Vaughan leveraged Let’s Dance to find a much wider audience. “Prior to that, when we made Let’s Dance, he was still working as a delivery guy or something,” Rodgers said in 2012. “He wasn’t even a full-time musician yet.” For Bowie, however, “Let’s Dance” and its parent album became handcuffs.
I’ve listened to him talk about it, and it really was uncomfortable for him – because it put him in a world that even he had never experienced before,” Rodgers told Yahoo. “And I get it: You go from being a very eclectic, avant-garde artist that people had tons of respect for, where you’re speaking to people on a higher level and – I don’t mean to sound elitist, but the appreciation of David Bowie’s music prior to Let’s Dance presupposes a certain amount of sophistication on behalf of the listener. He was very, very on the cutting edge.”
“Let’s Dance” was many things – new wave, post-disco, rock, dance, funk – but it was most certainly not cutting edge. “I tried passionately hard in the first part of the 80’s to fit in, and I had my first overground success,” Bowie later told Interview magazine. “I was suddenly no longer ‘the world’s biggest cult artist’ in popular music.”
His new label wanted another hit, and Bowie dutifully tried. But 1984’s Tonight and 1987’s Never Let Me Down didn’t have the same energy or sense of discovery.
“I went mainstream in a major way with the song ‘Let’s Dance,'” Bowie noted. “I pandered to that in my next few albums, and what I found I had done was put a box around myself. It was very hard for people to see me as anything other than the person in the suit who did ‘Let’s Dance’ – and it was driving me mad because it took all my passion for experimenting away.”
He discarded it all, starting over with a new band of collaborators Bowie called Tin Machine. “He said to me at one session in the early ’90s that he needed to get back to his essence,” late-era collaborator Mike Garson later remembered. “‘Let’s Dance’ was such a big hit, it threw him and he lost his center. For an artist like David, that was very disturbing.”
Bowie had become “something I never wanted to be,” he admitted in Bowie on Bowie. “I had started appealing to people who bought Phil Collins albums.”
Personally, I loved the Let’s Dance album. Having gotten to know Rodgers, I thought it was a really interesting pairing and the fact that Bowie returned to work with him down the road, showed he did too.
Let’s Dance was released in 1983 and Rodger’s work with Madonna (Like A Virgin) was in 1984. Face it, the Chic-man was on a roll. Rodgers to this day remains one of music’s prime innovators. No question.
Here’s the official “Let’s Dance” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbD_kBJc_gI
LISTING THE BEATLES — Most people have a favorite Beatles song. In fact, most people grew up having a favorite Beatle.
Favorites are a big part of the just-released book, The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists, which is very different from the hundreds of Beatles titles that have come out before. It contains 64 Top 10 Lists of favorite songs, albums, films, appearances, and a whole lot of memories and insights from music legends, actors, athletes, authors, disc jockeys, and many friends and relatives of The Beatles…including two former Beatles.
The book’s author, Charles F. Rosenay is best known to Beatles fans for all his promotional efforts and productions over the past four decades. Since 1978, he has presented Beatles conventions and festivals across the U.S., including events in his home state of Connecticut and as far away as Tokyo, Japan. Along with musical productions, for almost 20 years he was the editor and publisher of the world-famous magazine on The Beatles called Good Day Sunshine.
Since 1983, he has organized and hosted the “Magical Mystery Tour,” an annual Beatles Fans Tour in association with Cavern City Tours, that brings travelers to Liverpool and London during Beatleweek on the ultimate fan experience. Charles has the honor of being one of the few non-musicians in the Cavern Hall of Fame, and he has been recognized and cited by the Mayor of Liverpool on numerous occasions.
For as long as he can remember, Charles has been asked to write a book on The Beatles, or on his adventures through the years as a Beatles aficionado, expert, collector, archivist, and promoter. Having edited or contributed to countless Beatles books in the past, and after issuing two non-Beatles volumes, Charles has finally released his own Beatles book that is unlike any other out there.
After years of contacting celebrities, as well as notables who were closely connected to The Beatles’ history, here is a treasury for pop-culture enthusiasts, music lovers, collectors, and fans of the greatest rock and roll band in history. Officially titled Celebrities, Actors, Authors, Mods & Rockers: The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists, the long-awaited book has been released by Kiwi Publishing in softcover.
Charles called on many of his long-time friends in The Beatles universe to be part of this special book. Included in this unique collection are such people as original Beatles drummer Pete Best; John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, who contributed the Foreword; Beatles friend and author Tony Bramwell; radio personality “Cousin” Brucie; Angie McCartney, who was married to Paul’s Dad; Paul’s half-sister Ruth McCartney; two members of The Quarrymen, the band that later became The Beatles; four members of Badfinger/The Iveys; journalists-turned-authors Larry Kane and Ivor Davis, each of whom accompanied The Beatles on their U.S. tours; Mark Hudson; who was Ringo’s producer; R&B singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry, who opened for The Beatles on tour; Paul McCartney & Wings’ guitarist Laurence Juber: Ringo’s touring drummer Gregg Bissonette; Brute Force, who recorded on The Beatles’ Apple label; singer Frank Ifield, who was a label-mate of The Beatles on Vee-Jay Records; Chas Newby, who was actually The Beatles first left-handed bassist; and Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry, a friend and supporter of The Beatles from the beginning, who wrote the book’s Afterword.
According to Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman; billionaire David Geffen got married . Congrats David! …
On a promo-visit for Apple TV’s Ted Lasso, Jason Sudeikis was asked what his go-to music was and he replied “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe and “Into The Mystic” from Van Morrison. Great choices … We just watched the third-season debut of the show entitled Smells Like Mean Spirit and it was great as it opened with a scene of Lasso and his son (Henry) saying goodbye. They covered a lot of material from the first two seasons and set up what should be a thrilling -and possibly last- season … RIP Manhattan-born Bobby Caldwell at 71 (https://variety.com/2023/music/news/bobby-caldwell-dead-what-you-wont-do-for-love-1235555106/
and, via the BBC: Vinyl record sales outperformed CDs in the US for the first time since 1987, according to a new report. Just over 41 million vinyl records were sold in 2022. Only 33 million CDs were sold, amounting to $483m. It was the 16th consecutive year of growth for record sales, about 71% of physical format revenues. Recorded music revenue in the US grew for the seventh consecutive year. So much for people saying that CDs and vinyl don’t sell anymore. Wake up people! … Happy BDay Tony King, Phil Lesh and Billy Crystal!NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tate Donovan; Greg Geller; Jane Berk; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Wayne Avers; Dan Mapp; Plastic EP; Julie Gurivitsch; Vinny Napolitano; Emily Bitt; Melissa Davis; Andy Fuhrman; Bruce Haring; Divaland; Jane Blunkell; Jacqueline Boyd; William Schill; Keith Girard; Mark Alpert; Chris Norris; A.D. Amorosi; Peter Bart; Jeff Smith; Kevin Mazur; Pablo Guzman; and BELLA!
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