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The Glorious Corner

The Glorious Corner

G.H. HARDING

LACOB MEMORIAL — Saturday afternoon saw the memorial for Marc Lacob, from The Cutting Room. I didn’t know Marc all that well, but met him at The Cutting Room time and time again and found him to be an exceptionally affable fellow. Big and brusque, Steve Walter, who gave quite a compelling opening speech, suggested he was the unofficial, official security guy for the room.

Walter said that when Diana Ross was leaving the club and needed a cab, Marc went out and did it. Walter began by saying that he used to see Marc across the street from the club on 32nd street when they were prepping the new location. For us old timers, the club used to be located at 19 West 24th, and now its on 32nd street.

Steve said they struck up a dialogue and found that they shared two things in common – good food and good music. One of Steve’s favorite spots was the long-gone and much-missed Elaine’s, but he said that Marc loved hot dogs, potato latkes, the Moody Blues and Barney Greengrass.

Marc put out his own CD is 2008 titled Living In A Dream, and it was pretty exceptional. I caught several of his shows and he was simply terrific.

Seen at the event were: Billy Amendola; Q1043’s Maria Milito; PR-pasha David Salidor, whose first job ironically was working with The Moody Blues at London Records..

If you met Marc by chance, he probably seemed a little tough; but like most tough guys, they had a heart of gold. RIP Marc!

Woody Allen’s Zero Gravity

WOOD MAN’S GRAVITY — From our intrepid collaborator Anthony Pomes – a review of Woody Allen’s new book, Zero Gravity : During an interview with scientist and “Origins” podcast host Lawrence Krauss in January 2021, Woody Allen said that he thinks of himself more as a writer than a filmmaker. His talent at putting words to paper remains his most undeniable gift—one that is on display, albeit a little inconsistently, in his newly released fifth book of short stories titled Zero Gravity.

As ever, this now-86-year-old man from the boroughs of New York can bring forth a deft turn of phrase so precise yet economical in its comic absurdity that it causes his reader—this reader, at least—to laugh out loud. Humor, of course, can be subjective—and a near-encyclopedic knowledge of Allen’s work throughout the years leads one to the inescapable conclusion that the man has come to repeat himself as much in his films as in his fiction. It is both a help, and a hindrance, to read Daphne Merkin’s Foreword about Allen’s writing before diving into the stories—Merkin does much to legitimize Allen’s standing as a zippy prose stylist of significant note and elan, but her framework may also bias readers towards seeing more merit in the writing than Allen himself might ever deign to assign to what he does.The highlights here—including an especially inspired piece entitled “Money Can Buy Happiness—As If,” which wrings a smattering of faux-melodramatics from the Monopoly board game—come mostly from short-form “casual” pieces already published in The New Yorker over the past fifteen years or so.

As for the smattering of what has been newly written and here published for the first time, the longer-form “Growing Up in Manhattan” brings to thought much of what Allen described as his own early years in his recently published memoir Apropos of Nothing. More than anything else in this story—much of which reads either as straight autobiography to the initiated, or as plot fragments reconstituted from his 2003 film Anything Else—the prevailing mood is one of deep and impregnable melancholy.

And this from a man who imagined a cadre of aliens (in his 1980 film Stardust Memories) who advised his movie-role surrogate Sandy Bates to help humanity by telling “funnier jokes.” For a collection named Zero Gravity, it is a little dispiriting for readers’ flights of fancy to be sullied by such lamentable falls back to earth. Therein lies the lesson, perhaps.

Julee Cruise

JULEE CRUISE RIP — (via Variety) Julee Cruise, whose gorgeous collaborations with David Lynch elevated projects such as “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks,” has died at 65 years old. Her husband, Edward Grinnant, revealed the news on a B-52’s Facebook page, as first reported by The Guardian. Cruise was an occasional touring member of the band, acting as Cindy Wilson’s stand-in on stretches from 1992 to 1999.

Twin Peaks

“For those of you who go back I thought you might want to know that I said goodbye to my wife, Julee Cruise, today,” he wrote. “She left this realm on her own terms. No regrets. She is at peace. Having had such a varied music career she often said that the time she spent as a B filling in for Cindy while she was having a family was the happiest time of her performing life. She will be forever grateful to them. When she first stepped up to the mic with Fred and Kate she said it was like joining the Beatles. She will love them always and never forget their travels together around the world. I played her Roam during her transition. Now she will roam forever. Rest In Peace, my love, and love to you all.”

Lynch posted a video statement on YouTube on Friday: “I just found out that the great Julee Cruise passed away,” he said, amid long pauses. “Very sad news. So it might be a good time to appreciate all the good music she made, and remember her as being a great musician, great singer and great human being. Julee Cruise!

Cruise was best known for her collaborative work with Lynch. Her biggest hit was “Falling,” with music by “Twin Peaks” composer Angelo Badalamenti and lyrics by Lynch. An instrumental version of the song would become the indelible opening theme of “Peaks.” She also appeared on the show several times as a singer at the bar, and her music was included on the show and the soundtrack.

While Cruise’s name wasn’t as ubiquitous as the show’s central figure, Laura Palmer, her voice and enigmatic character on the show lent an eerie musical through line to the beloved series.

As a recording artist, Cruise released four albums between 1989 and 2011. Her debut, “Floating Into the Night,” included “Falling,” which reached No. 11 on the U.S. Modern Rock chart in 1990.

That same year, Cruise performed the song on “Saturday Night Live,” filling in for Sinéad O’Connor, who backed out last minute in protest of the night’s guest host, Andrew Dice Clay.

Cruise returned to “Twin Peaks” in 2017 for the long-awaited third season of the series, which aired on Showtime (the original two seasons were on ABC). Her appearance included a performance of the song “The World Spins.”

The following year, she released an EP titled “Three Demos,” which features the original demo versions of her best-known work, “Falling,” “Floating” and “The World Spins.”

Cruise’s unique vocal stylings attracted a host of collaborators over the years, including DJ Dmitry and the bands Hybrid and Delerium. She can also be heard on Handsome Boy Modeling School’s song “Class System,” which was produced by Prince Paul and features Pharrell Williams.

This one certainly hurt. An unabashed fan of the show –and Lynch- Cruise’s music was just so tied to the show. To be honest, I can’t think of another artist who could have brought to the show what she did. Her music will live on forever as will Twin Peaks. Huge loss!

The Trial of George W. Bush 

The Most Controversial Political Novel in America — As we veer into Watergate flashback mode this summer—with a number of nationally televised House committee hearings planned in judgment of the January 6, 2021 insurrection attack on the U.S. Capitol—there’s a new book out about President George W. Bush’s Iraq War of 2003–2011 that’s every bit as fascinating and sensational as anything now taking place in post-Trump America.

And chances are you haven’t heard much of anything about it—yet.

Published last year in the midst of the COVID pandemic, The Trial Of George W. Bush (Square One) stands alone as what many across the industry are calling the most controversial political novel in America. This audacious debut novel from seven-time Emmy winning producer/director Terry Jastrow sets off with the 43rd President of the United States being kidnapped off a Scotland golf course and taken to the International Criminal Court located in The Hague, Netherlands to be tried for war crimes in Iraq. What follows is a tightly plotted and compelling court drama, informed throughout by Jastrow’s exhaustive research of everything from before, during, and after this ignominious chapter in American history.In recent weeks, Jastrow’s work of fiction has meshed with the realm of fact as the world saw President Bush make a telling error in a speech as—in reference to Vladimir Putin—he said that “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq — I mean, of Ukraine.” The fact that he then quickly admitted “Iraq, too” adds an extra layer of icing to this “Freudian slip” cake that makes Jastrow’s novel even more enticing of a summer read.So far, though, the novel has been all but shunned by our mainstream media. Is there something in Jastrow’s novel that stands as too much of a threat to the status quo? Is there some unspoken reason that our taste-makers want to keep this book in the shadows, shielded from the hoi polloi? From what we hear, Jastrow’s novel may be the perfect property to turn into the next big limited series on American politics—much in keeping with the recent Watergate era Starz series Gaslit featuring Julia Roberts as Martha Mitchell and Sean Penn as her lawyer husband, and Nixon crony, John Mitchell.

In fact, Terry Jastrow’s audiobook production of The Trial Of George W. Bush is narrated by actor and master President Bush impersonator Jim Meskimen, who now has a sturdy supporting alongside Roberts and Penn in Gaslit. Jastrow was even sighted in NYC recently, where he accompanied his wife and Oscar-nominated actor Anne Archer during the first days of the Tribeca Festival. Who knows—maybe some forward-thinking producer is already looking to develop a series based on this novel to come out by next year, which will be the twentieth anniversary of Bush’s Iraq War?

Time will tell, but I think plenty more will be made of Jastrow and his novel as we head from summer into fall. For now, the book is available everywhere in paperback, or eBook or audio—do yourself a favor, and definitely check it out.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Susan Hathaway; Beth Wernick; Marion Perkins; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon; Randy Alexander; Carmine Appice; Mike Read; Tony King; Ray Caviano; Richie Kaczor; Glenn Friscia; Jim Burgess; Bobby Shaw; Brad LeBeau; Nancy Jeffries; Thomas Silverman; Chris Blackwell; Jackie Wilson; Kent Kotal; Brian Chin; and, ZIGGY!

Celebrity

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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