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G.H. HARDING

MORE DANCING? — (Via Deadline) Filmmaker Jonathan Levine has been set to direct the buzzed-about sequel to beloved 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, which Lionsgate is launching for next week’s Cannes market.

In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Levine discussed the hot market package and revealed details about the film’s creative direction.

In the sequel, Jennifer Grey will reprise her iconic role of Frances “Baby” Houseman as she returns to Kellerman’s in the 1990’s. Like the original, the sequel will be a coming-of-age romance centered on the experience of a young woman at the summer camp, but Baby’s own journey will intertwine with this to create a multi-layered narrative.

Levine has co-written the sequel, also titled Dirty Dancing, with Elizabeth Chomko. Casting conversations are underway — the team has a shortlist of names to play the lead — and the film is expected to go into production later this year for release in 2024. The cast is expected to be a combination of newcomers and name actors.

Grey might not be the only face from the original to return, Levine told us. “We are about to talk to people and are exploring that,” the 50/50 director said.

“The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board,” he added. “She is an invaluable collaborator. We’re going to try to involve as many people from the original as is appropriate. We want to be respectful in every way.”

That involves having a conversation with Patrick Swayze’s estate, Levine said. “Johnny is a part of Baby’s journey in the story.”

He told us: “This film exists in a dialogue with the original. We want to introduce this story to a whole new generation. That said, Johnny’s absence looms large over the story, so it’s a coming-of-age story but also a coming-of-age for Baby’s character in a way.”

The movie’s music will range from songs from the original movie — “Hungry Eyes” is among the songs set to return — to 90’s hip-hop. Levine also name-checked Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair as artists whose songs potentially could feature.

“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favorite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel,” said Levine. “Through co-writing it, I fell in love with the characters (new and old), the world of 1990’s Catskills New York, and the music, which will range from songs from the original movie to 90’s hip-hop. I can’t wait to collaborate with Jennifer to bring this beautiful story of summer and romance and dancing to a generation of new fans. And to the longtime ones, I promise we will not ruin your childhood. We will tackle the assignment with sophistication, ambition and, above all, love.”

A key story element in the 1960’s-set original is Penny’s abortion, which came before the Roe v Wade legislation. In our chat, Levine recognized the controversy sparked by the recent leak of a document suggesting the Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. But it’s not clear whether the subject will feature in the new movie.

Dirty Dancing is the best-selling library title in Lionsgate’s history. The 1987 original starring Grey and Swayze was a global box office smash and has amassed an ardent fanbase the world over.

Commenting on the appointment of Levine to direct, Erin Westerman, Lionsgate’s President of Production, said: “Dirty Dancing is more than a movie – it’s a cultural touchstone that continues to be a rite of passage. As we approach the next chapter, we knew we had to honor the depth, the relevance, and the heat of the original. We’ve been lucky to have Jennifer as our guide and are thrilled to have Jonathan by her side at the helm, because everything he makes is textured and romantic – he always gives us goosebumps.”

This is without a doubt one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in quite some time. To even attempt to re-create the genius of the original film is an impossible task. The original movie, which I’ve watched over and over, was just so good –from Jerry Orbac h to Patrick Swayze and Jack Weston- that to even consider it, is a huge mistake.

One online-poster said, “When I think of the Catskills, I think of hip hop. This movie will sweep the Razzies.”

Another poster said: “Let’s not forget the original film was from the long-missed Vestron, who was one of the greatest successes of the independent film and video scene of the 1990’s before it fell apart! They had one heck of a video label of acquired titles, and their own films – they burned brightly before it burned out.”

Also, legendary producer Jimmy Ienner was involved in the brilliant soundtrack as EP and ultimately put together one of the strongest soundtrack albums ever, with the likes of The Ronettes; Eric Carmen; Merry Clayton;and a track by Swayze, “She’s Like The wind” that was actually one of the gems of the album. The major hit was “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.

(Via Wikipedia) It was released on July 18, 1987, by RCA Records and went on to sell 32 million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling albums of all time. In the United States, the album spent 18 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and has been certified 11-times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. With shipments of at least 3.25 million copies, it is the all-time best-selling album in Germany.

Again, a bad, bad idea.

CENTRAL CHIC — (via Deadline) Have you heard about the new dance craze? That was the first line to the 1978 disco hit “Le Freak” by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, who performed with a large cast as Chic. Disco died soon after, but now it’s rising from the grave in a new immersive attraction debuting in New York City’s Central Park this summer.

Nile Rodgers

The DiscOasis, as it’s called, is billed as “an immersive, musical, and theatrical roller disco experience.” It will bow at Central Park’s historic and iconic Wollman Rink  on June 16 through October 1. The best news is Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Nile Rodgers will preside as “Groovemaster” and music curator for the project.

The overall event is produced by Constellation Immersive in partnership with Live Nation, The DiscOasis offers daytime open skate sessions and nighttime immersive experiences.

The experience bowed in Los Angeles last year, but now returns to what many consider the birthplace of disco.

Rodgers certainly knows how get the party started. In addition to Chic, he’s worked with and produced Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Daft Punk, Duran Duran, Lady Gaga and more.

A cast of skate performers will bring The DiscOasis to life each evening with live performances, and beyond the rink, the DiscOasis will feature, a dance floor, local DJs performing, cafe, games, installations, photo booths, and more. A portion of the proceed will benefit the “We Are Family Foundation,” which supports cultural diversity and youths.

Randy Klein

SHORT TAKES — Check out Jazzheads’ Randy Klein interviewed in Keith Girard’s New York Independent: Randy Klein Molds Jazzheads in the Image of 2 Classic Music Labels (thenyindependent.com)

HBO’s Westworld Season 4 returns next month after a two-year break. Here’s the trailer with Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORLHTNhEqIM … (Via 42 Street) Never one to shy away from the spotlight, the aptly-named Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips opening at 1500 Broadway (near W44th Street and 7th Ave) is Ramsay’s third location for the franchise, which also boasts outposts in the equally tourist-friendly cities of Orlando and Las Vegas. The space takes over the previous 16,000 sq ft home of Sephora (which moved up Broadway in 2019). Ramsay said of his latest venture: “Fish & Chips is a really important dish to me, not only is it quintessentially British but it was part of my upbringing. I’ve found a way to elevate that classic dish, dress it up and really modernize the experience. I’ve had 3 stars in Chelsea for over 2 decades, 2 stars in France, restaurants around the globe – but my mum is most proud of the chippy.” His latest eatery aims to elevate the ever-popular UK cod dish with shrimp, chicken, and lobster options as well as his own signature cocktail, aioli, curry & mango, and tartar sauces for dipping. In another slightly-Americanized nod to the Brits, Biscoff and Sticky Toffee shakes are available to-go.  Ramsay — who has been awarded 16 Michelin stars since the opening of his first solo restaurant in 1998 — currently owns a wide portfolio of eateries worldwide, ranging from steakhouse to classic French to pub-style tavern. Trained under French chef Jean-Claude Breton, he first gained notoriety in 1999 after appearing on British kitchen documentary Boiling Point, which led to a series of Ramsay-headlined television programs — including the infamous Hell’s Kitchen. Ramsay’s proclivity to frequently berate contestants in a creative variety of horrifying insults has earned him equal parts infamy and recognition, though he’s since displayed a softer side on MasterChef Junior, in which he guides preternaturally talented children through a rigorous cooking competition. Ramsay was optimistic about the brand’s success in New York, saying in an uncharacteristically profanity-free statement to AMNY: “I love the vibrance, the energy of Times Square and the convergence of locals and visitors from around the world. There’s just no place like it!” Added Norman Abdallah, CEO of Gordon Ramsay North America: “We are eager to expand Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips to New York City and Times Square. The restaurant holds strong ties to Chef Ramsay’s childhood and initial love for cooking, and we can’t wait to share that with New York.”  Grab a pint and pass the $%*&* vinegar! … Check out a terrific interview by Jim Ryan with Micky Dolenz in Forbes. com – here it is: Micky Dolenz On Legacy Of The Monkees And Favorite Live Concert Moments (forbes.com)

Dave Mason

HAPPY BDAY Tom Silverman , Dave  Mason and Renji Philip!

 NAMES IN THE NEWS — Ron Fleeger; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; William Schill; Tessa Niles; Mark Bego; Freda Payne; Kent & Laura Denmark; Roger Chasteen; Robert Stigwood; Herb Rosen; Howard Rosen; Jodi Ritzen; Billy Crystal; Heather Moore; Ron Onesti; and CHIP!

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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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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DANIELS THE MAN IN FULL – Tom Wolfe’s A Man In Full was first published on November 12, 1998 and portrayed its lead character Charlie Crocker as a man whose real estate empire begins to crumble.

David E. Kelly

The title-card credits, in each episode (there are 6), crumble as well; which is a great, though subtle, stylistic touch.

The brilliant David E. Kelly (Big Little Lies; Picket Fences; Doogie Howser; Chicago Hope; The Practice) adapted Wolf’s book rather brilliantly. Kelly has emerged as the #1 TV-scribe to be able to capture the original essence of what he’s adapting while portraying a seamless transition. 
Also in the cast are Diane Lane, Lucy Liu, Bill Camp and William Jackson Harper, and its two directors are Regina King and veteran TV helmer Thomas Schlamme.
If you’re a Wolf-fan, you know that his stories and characters are a tad over the top; witness Bonfire of the Vanities. Daniels, whose been on a roll of late, is utterly brilliant as is Lane and Camp. Lucy Liu is typically brilliant too.
I loved it. On Netflix, definitely check this one out.
SHORT TAKES — NBC’s Law & Order Organized Crime  may have been banished to the streaming channel Peacock, but on last week’s episode there was a scene between Chris Meloni and guest-star Stephan Lang, that was just sensational.

Stephen Lang and Chris Meloni

Truth be told, this 4th season of the show has been its best. Sure there’s been 7 different showrunners and much tension on the set, but in these  crazy days of linear TV, it still takes time for a show to jell. There are people that think they’ve moved the show to Peacock to get more subscribers, but there’s also a bunch of people who have posted they will not get it. Me? I think it’s a bad decision. Stay tuned …

Graham Nash

Graham Nash and Judy Collins to tour later this year …

Edward Norton

Speaking of linear TV, actor-Edward Norton said on a recent interview that his three kids have never once come to him and said, I have to been home Thursday at 8:00 PM for a TV-show. Linear TV is dead …

Katrina Law

Monday night’s NCIS season-finale, ended with a big bang and for a show that’s been on as long as this one (21 seasons) kudos for pulling off something like this. Katrina Law’s character (Jessica Knight) was offered a new position across the country and though it looked like she’d say no, she said yes. A great performance on the show from her and Gary Cole too. Pretty stunning for sure … Takeaway from Tuesday’s Stormy Daniels testimony on the Trump-fiasco: You can talk about the sausage, but not how its made! ...  Let The Canary Sing: the Cyndi Lauper documentary is coming to Paramount+ and premiers on June 4th … Felix Cavaliere speaks to Carol Ruth Weber from Medium today and is on WOR Monday with Len Berman and Michael Riedel … Happy Bday Lindsay Rice and Rich Dart!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Terry Jastrow; Anthony Pomes; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Marsha Stern; Dina Pitenis; Barry Zellman;; Lush Ice; Jane Blunkell; Bruce Grakal; Josh Charles; Jimmy Fallon; Coco Dolenz; Gabe Pressman; Chuck Scarborough; Len Berman; and ZIGGY!

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