The Glorious Corner
THE OLD MAN ROARS — Clint Eastwood once told Broadway’s Donnie Kehr on his birthday; don’t let the old man in. That moment roared through my mind watching the first three episodes of Jeff Bridges’ long-delayed The Old Man – based on the 2017 book by Thomas Perry.
Bridges is ex-CIA operative Dan Chase whose been living off the grid for three decades after a possible go-wrong deal in Afghanistan. Someone at the CIA wants to finally bring him in … for reasons yet to be revealed. And, the person who he seemingly dealt with in the CIA, John Lithgow (Harold Harper) is the one charged with doing it.
Bridges is just outstanding delivering just the right amount of grit and pathos. At first, he discovers that certain things are indeed a lot harder to pull off three decades later. Yet, he is a force of nature and during an intricately filmed fight scene in the debut episode, Bridges shows he’s still got what it takes.
In episode two some clues are dropped about his activities in Afghanistan and he meets Amy Brenneman, playing a role like she did in Heat. Also in episode two is Joel Grey, of all people and is is simply astonishingly good as some no-named operative who Lithgow goes to see first, before checking in at the CIA. Grey gives Lithgow a number of an assassin and both agree to quickly dispose of Chase might indeed be the best plan of all.
The action moves at a snails pace; in Episode 3, Bridges is hardly in it. Most of the episode is with Lithgow and his staff, growing somewhat suspicious for his conflicted actions.
Bridges is just a terrific actor; from Starman to Crazy Heart, True Grit, The Big Lebowski and The Fisher King, he is miraculous to watch.
A must see epic for sure.
STILLS SOLD — *(Via Billboard) Those who came of age in the 1960’s and 1970’s know that rock pioneer Stephen Stills helped define the sound of the Woodstock generation. What they may not know is the depth and breadth of his 58-year musical career. A new, multifaceted partnership with Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group assets management firm aims to burnish that legacy with the 77-year-old singer-songwriter’s current fans and attract new ones by getting his songs and albums on the playlists of the streaming set.
The deal includes IAG’s purchase of a controlling interest in Stills’ intellectual property, including his music publishing catalog of 1,000-plus songs from his stints in Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY); Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN); Manassas; The Rides and The Stills-Young Band, as well as his solo career. Among the classics the deal covers are “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Southern Cross” and “Love the One You’re With.” Additionally, IAG has acquired Stills’ recorded-music assets from his solo work, his interests in the aforementioned groups and an interest in Stills’ band trademarks, as well as his name, image and likeness.
Stills joins an elite roster of acts at IAG, which Azoff co-founded in January 2020: The Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt, Nat “King” Cole and Stills’ former bandmate David Crosby.
Sitting with Stills in the spacious, tree-lined backyard of the artist’s Hollywood Hills home, Azoff says that not only have Stills’ musical contributions left an indelible imprint on American culture, they’ve had “a huge personal impact on me” — as have all of IAG’s roster: California artists Azoff “grew up loving, and people that I worked with and became friends with.” Even Cole — a pioneer of Los Angeles’ Central Avenue jazz scene before he became a Capitol Records signature artist — qualifies as such, though Azoff says, “I didn’t know him.”
Azoff and Stills’ friendship spans over 50 years. They met when Azoff, now 74, was a young upstart at Geffen-Roberts, the Sunset Boulevard management company run by David Geffen and Elliot Roberts, who handled, among other acts, CSN.
“I was the young kid in the office, and Stephen was the big rock star roaming the halls,” Azoff recalls. Their relationship deepened when he was put in charge of booking Stills’ first arena tour as a solo artist in 1975.
Stills says he doesn’t remember that initial meeting, but he certainly remembers as they booked the 1975 tour that Geffen told him to meet with Chicago promoter Frank Fried to describe the tour so they could figure out how much to charge. “In those days, the guarantees were ten grand, 15 grand, 20 grand,” Azoff jumps in. “So, the first show I booked was in Chicago at the Chicago Stadium and it was Triangle Productions/Frank Fried Presents. I charged him $50,000 and he paid it after having this meeting [with Stills]. That’s why David wanted him to talk to him, because he was the guy we figured we could get to pay the most.”
The pair laugh as they fall into an easy rapport, trading stories from those days: Stills recalling Geffen telling CSN&Y “don’t go to that stupid thing in the farmyard,” meaning Woodstock, in what turned out to be their second gig together in 1969, or the multiple splits and reconciliations CSN and CSN&Y endured. “They taught the Eagles how to break up,” Azoff jokes, referencing the band he has managed for decades. “The Eagles, all they wanted to do was be better than us. And they did so in every category, particularly business. Nobody ever got inside the Eagles circle,” Stills says. “We were prey to every grifter on Sunset Boulevard.”
The trusting, collaborative relationship that Stills and Azoff built over the decades—they remained friends even when they were no longer working together– was a determining factor when Stills decided to sell his catalog. Other buyers were interested, but “I waited for an Irving, someone that I knew and knew would cherish it,” he says. “I got another contract from another company, and it was jail.”
Azoff adds, “He actually got offered more money [elsewhere]. This is about a partnership and growing it forward.”
Stills, who has seven children, says the time was also right to plan for the future: “I got to these advanced years, and I decided I would circumvent the estate fight.”
“You look at [the Petty girls] and some of that,” Azoff says, referring to the infighting between Tom Petty’s wife and his two daughters following his death. “But in our case, what we’re trying to help is for the proper estate planning, but also growing it.”
Stills owned his compositions aside from a handful of Buffalo Springfield songs (like the protest classic — and the band’s only hit — “For What It’s Worth”) that will revert to him at the end of this year. With the IAG move, he has shifted administration of his catalog from Wixen Music Publishing to Universal Music Publishing Group and his music rights management from BMI to Azoff’s Global Music Rights. And while Warner Music Group owns the masters to CSN and CSNY releases, the bands’ members own their unreleased music, and Stills owns the master recordings of a significant amount of his unreleased solo material.
Asked what he wants out of his partnership with IAG, Stills replies: “A profit.” He’s half-kidding, but Azoff is dead serious when he talks about promoting and marketing Stills’ work better. “Nobody has focused on him for years and years,” he says. “Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Manassas; and Stephen Stills — I mean, he has had more than five careers.”
Stills and IAG are already teeing up projects that will appeal to longtime fans and expose new generations to his music. First is a previously unreleased live album captured from two shows at California’s Berkeley Community Theater in 1971 to support Stills’ sophomore solo album, Stephen Stills 2.
“We were deep-diving in my vault and we discovered this thing,” says Stills. “We thought, ‘This is sloppy but great.’ I couldn’t hit those notes with a cattle prod these days.” The release is expected later this year on a label yet to be named. (Stills hints that the vault is “full of tapes” still to be explored.) Also planned: an expanded 50th-anniversary version of Manassas’ self-titled 1972 double album, a lineup that featured former Byrds member Chris Hillman, former Flying Burrito Brothers member Al Perkins and Dallas Taylor, studio drummer for Young and CSN.
Azoff adds that people are also “circling” potential CSN and CSNY film projects. While Graham Nash and Neil Young have both fallen out with Crosby, Stills says he remains on good terms with all three. When Azoff asks him how long it has been since he has spoken to Crosby, Stills replies, “Not that long. Same with Graham. And Neil, I can get on the phone any time. Neil’s my son’s godfather.” He adds, “they’re great guys and we had a great career as long as we didn’t spend too much time in close proximity.”
There is also potential for a documentary on Stills, who was one of rock’s most compelling and tempestuous artists of the ’60’s, ’70’s and ’80’s. “Stephen, separate from the band, is a story that has to be told,” Azoff says. And what stories there are: At the 1969 Big Sur Festival in California, Stills was famously captured on film trading punches with a heckler in the crowd. He is the only member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to be inducted twice in one night, he unsuccessfully auditioned for The Monkees, and Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton played on his debut solo album. He’s playing bass on Clapton’s “Let It Rain,” guitar on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and percussion on the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing.” In addition to his rock success, his blues supergroup with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Rides, took two albums to the top of Billboard’s Blues Albums chart.
That so much of his backstory remains widely unknown was “all part of a carefully devised plan,” Stills says with a smirk. “We’re going to change that,” says Azoff.Stills has for me always remained a vibrant and creative force. His early work is just amazing. Manassas for me remains a classic album even all these years later (especially the track “Witching Hour” available on the Manassas Pieces album) and his work with The Rides is just amazing. “Don”t Want Lies” is one of his best works ever; “Dark Star” a close second.
Rhino in 2013 put out a great Stills-classics album entitled Carry On. It was, for a Stills fan like me, absolutely needed. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Carry-Stephen-Stills/dp/B00AWQEKIK/ref=sr_1_14?crid=HW7FCLOX4AJ9&keywords=stephen+stills&qid=1656272202&s=music&sprefix=stephen+stills+%2Cpopular%2C47&sr=1-14
He may not have the spark hat he did in the 70’s and 80’s, but who does? An icon for sure.
SHORT TAKES — One of L.A.’s classic restaurant was Nicky Blair’s on the Sunset Strip. In its day it was a spot to be seen and this story about Frank Sinatra speaks volumes: A black waiter accidentally spilled a tray of glasses on the floor. Nikki Blair, the restaurant owner, fired the man on the spot for having disturbed Mr. Sinatra. Frank, however, had other ideas. He called Blair over to the poker table, grabbed him by the shirt and asked Blair, “Nikki, how much is one of those glasses worth?” “About 5 dollars,” replied Blair. Sinatra then told the waiter to break every glass he could find in the kitchen. After several hundred glasses were broken, Sinatra motioned one of his bodyguards to give him (Sinatra) a thick roll of $100 bills. Frank then handed the roll to Blair and gave the now terrified restaurateur some chilling advice: “Nikki, this guy can now break as many glasses as he wants for the rest of his life. And every time I come here, I want to see that he’s still working for you. Is that clear?” …
I watched new teen-heartthrob Conan Grey on NBC’s Today Friday perform and he had some trouble hitting most of the notes. The crowd, mostly female swooned at his every move. More astonishing was the fact that during the interview, he gave some offbeat answers and actually seemed to have a problem properly responding. All I can say is that if this is the new taste of the month, I suggest his fans go back and re-visit music from Kate Bush; Steely Dan; Bob Dylan; Bruce Springsteen and many other-so-called legacy acts. I was, really shocked …
Jann Wenner’s memoir is due in September (Like A Rolling Stone). If he’s forthcoming, this could well be the music book of the year. Face it, in its earliest incarnation Rolling Stone was the formative voice of a generation. Can’t wait for this one … Does Nonstop To Cairo still exist? Email me here if you hear
We’ve heard that teen-prodigy Kjertsi Long beginning work on another album. Her debut album (Stronger Than You Think I Am), released in 2019, was a stone-cold gem. The album was on Van Dean’s BroadwayRecords. Stray tuned … And, both The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney performed in the U.K. this past weekend and Micky Dolenz arrives there on July 7. Seems the U.K. is the place to be.NAMES IN THE NEWS — Brad Balfour; Steve Walter; Roger Friedman; Lush Ice; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Vinny Rich; Peter Abraham; Bob Merlis; Len Berman; Matt Lauer; Alan Rothstein; Anne Leighton; Rich Dart; Anthony Mason; Peter Robertson; and, SADIE!
SO LONG, FAREWELL — I’ve been a TV-guy for decades; from Mary Tyler Moore; MASH; The X-Files and Seinfeld on down; I’ve seen great shows fall low with just terribly written finales, but the final-Ted Lasso episode this week was nothing short of brilliant. The acting, the writing, the joie de vivre off the charts.
Joie de vivre literally translates into the joy of living and the three seasons of Ted Lasso were all just sensational in every way. Sure, there were some standout episodes (Beard After Hours), but Jason Sudeikis and gang were always just wonderful. Some pundits said that this third season ran off the rails a bit, but this last episode neatly tied them all up. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning the brilliant music that accompanied each and every episode; from The Monkees’ “Sometime In The Morning” to the new Ed Sheeran record which debuted in this last episode. Just so neatly done.
I’ll tell you what I really liked from the get-go was the fact that this episode began after Ted clearly told Rebecca he was going home in the last episode. The fact that they didn’t show it, made it a lot easier to digest. Hannah Waddingham is a star and she had her moment with Ted, in the seats, asking him one more time to stay.
She’s going to be as huge star, so get ready to see a lot more of her.
Brett Goldstein too (Roy Kent) was just tremendous. He’s huge already!
Roy Kent became the new coach of AFC Richmond with Nate as an able assistant. Ted Crimm (James Lance) finished his book originally titled The Lasso Way, but Ted after reading it and loving it, wanted a new title. Hence, The Richmond Way.
Just a great episode; a tad longer at 76-minutes, but richly written and acted. I am going to miss this show tremendously.
Utterly brilliant in every way.
MILLI VANILLI — (Via Deadline) A feature doc about controversial pop group Milli Vanilli has been picked up by Paramount +.
The eponymous doc, which tells the story of the duo who were forced to return their Grammy Award for Best New Artist after it was revealed that they didn’t sing on any of their records, is premiering at the Tribeca Festival.
The streamer will launch the doc in the U.S. as well as in Canada, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Produced by MRC and MTV Entertainment Studios, Milli Vanilli tells the story of Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, who became fast friends during their youth in Germany. With Rob coming from a broken home and Fabrice having left an abusive household, they shared a similar upbringing, as well as a future goal: to become famous superstars. In a few short years, their dreams came true. Their first album went platinum six times in 1989, and their hit Girl You Know It’s True sold over 30 million singles worldwide. Rob and Fab became the world’s most popular pop duo in 1990. However, their ascension to success came with a devastating price that ultimately led to their infamous undoing.
“For over 30 years, the story of Milli Vanilli – in particular Rob and Fab – has been reduced to sensational headlines,” said director Luke Korem. “With this documentary, we pull back the curtain on pop music. Featuring interviews with the real singers, record executives, the producer mastermind behind the deception and exclusive interviews with Rob and Fab, we unveil the truth of this complex, exciting and dramatic story. I’m thrilled that Paramount+ shares our vision and will bring this film to audiences around the world.”
“Finally – the true story of Milli Vanilli has been told,” added Fabrice Morvan. “I’m thankful Luke Korem and his team went to the lengths that they did. The journey I returned to during the filming of this documentary didn’t leave any stone unturned. At last I can close this chapter in peace… Get ready to take a walk in our steel-toe boots.”
SHORT TAKES — Nomad’s Flatiron Building looks to be turned into a residential house. Not a bad idea at all. Great address (175 Fifth) and a great location … Brian Lowry, who used to cover TV for Variety, now is at CNN. Great writer and he did a fantastic book on The X-Files years back. Congrats …
Donnie Kehr at Steve Walter’s CuttingRoom Sunday performing his Beautiful Strange album live … As you can well imagine, the reviews for Succession’s finale were just tremendous; both pro and con for certain, The Washington Post ran an interesting piece on the show as well; from a more medical-point of view. I loved it; take a look: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/05/30/succession-wealth-family-life-psychologists/ …
Daryl Easlea: a brilliant writer from the U.K. has a book coming out on Slade entitled Whatever Happened To Slade?Remember them?
Here’s the cover … To close this year’s Tribeca Festival, there will be a special 30th anniversary screening of the film, A Bronx Tale, Saturday, June 17. After the film, Robert DeNiro (who directed the movie), Jane Rosenthal, and Chazz Palminteri will participate in a live conversation with David Remmick, editor of the New Yorker. Definitely one of the major highlights of this year’s fete … (Via Showbiz 411):
Billy Joel is wrapping it up. The Piano Man will end his record-breaking run at Madison Square Garden in July 2024. It will be his 150th monthly show. The whole run has been an incredible success, allowing Billy to stay mostly close to him and bring all his fans to him. At times, he’s strayed to other cities and countries, but every month like clockwork he’s been at the Garden playing his hits to very happy fans. The sold out residency began back in 2014, believe it or not. Billy has outlasted dozens of Broadway shows, some mayors, governors, presidents, etc. The run has been a phenomenon and a stunning success. Joel will turn 75 next May, so that plus the magic 150 number and it all makes sense … Happy Bday Melani Rogers; Ronnie Wood; and David Keeps.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Daryl Easlea; Tony King; David Geffen; Ed Rosenblatt; Glenn Friscia; Jim Burgess; Kent Denmark; Mikael Wood; Lester Bangs; Anne Leighton; Vince Aletti; Fred Goodman; Mark Bego; Mike Greenblatt; Ken Dashow; Jane Rosenthal; Robert DeNiro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Markos Papadatos; and ZIGGY!
FAMILY’S A BITCH-THE END OF SUCCESSION — Sunday’s finale of Succession (HBO) was a mixed bag. I’ll be honest: At first I thought the finale was totally underwhelming, but after some additional thought and reading some other excellent reviews, I’ve come to the point where I now believe it was, pure and simple, how it had to end.
None more so than Joss Stone on “I Put A Spell On You.” What a voice. I’m amazed she’s not bigger; very Janis Joplin.
Also, Gary Clark delivered a blistering, amazing performance on Stevie Wonder’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.” No question that he’s the next guitar-wizard. Here they both are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvO2_noxaXQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO2BLAXveVo …
I watched all 9 seasons of the CW’s The Flash and the first 5 were pretty terrific. The remaining ones got poorer and poorer as the original cast disappeared one by one. Grant Gustin, The Flash, was there the whole time, but their finale last week was terribly confusing – save for a song by Tony Award winner Jesse L. Martin (for Rent) – a key member of the original cast. The last two seasons had a myriad of costumed villains, some from the comic, some not, but just wildly messed up. The CW was sold to Nexstar last year and big changes are in their future. Sad … and, CNN is reporting that Universal Music is close to snapping up the rights to the Queen-catalog for $1 billion-plus. Good for them.
Disney had it previously, but Queen’s music is more popular than ever before. It’s a real shame Freddie is not her to share in it. If you wondered the record for the biggest previously was for Bruce Springsteen’s catalog at $500 million.
The Mayor of Motivation interviews Ramon Hervey, Manager & Publicist to the Famous
Ramon Hervey has earned global recognition as a highly regarded entertainment manager, brand consultant & publicist who has represented Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, the Bee Gees, Muhammad Ali, Caitlyn Jenner, Quincy Jones, Vanessa Williams, The Commodores with Lionel Richie, the Jacksons with Michael Jackson and a whole lot more A Listers. He is the author of the book…The Fame Game: An Insider’s Playbook for Earning Your 15 minutes.
After having invested 4 decades in playing the fame game, Ramon and I sat down to talk on The Motivation Show podcast.
Ramon, why do you call fame a “game” and why did you choose that word for your book title? “Fame is unpredictable, just as are the results in a game. Everyone has failures. You hope to win, but it is not guaranteed. Only .0065% of over 7 billion people in the world are famous. There are a lot of successful people in the world that never become famous. Fame and success don’t come with a warranty.”
What does Ramon feel about luck playing a role in success and fame? “I think there is a certain amount of luck in what I do. A lot of it is timing. Timing is a form of luck.” One example Ramon gives is when Starbucks started to introduce music in it’s cafes. The first one was Ray Charles, who died shortly thereafter, which skyrocketed sales of his music. That sales surge is what Ramon attributed to luck.
The pursuit of fame…is it mostly a positive goal? “Most people don’t know what fame is til they already become famous. A lot of stars change their mind about what they thought fame was going to be. A lot of people don’t like all the baggage that comes with being famous. The lack of privacy. In my time on the planet, it has definitely changed dramatically over the past ten years.” Ramon points to Social Media and it’s impact on more people having an opportunity to become famous in different ways than were available previously.
Why did Richard Pryor, at the height of his fame, attempt suicide & what was the famous incident which almost killed him that he later confessed to as a suicide attempt? “I managed all of Richard’s missteps. He was probably the #1 black entertainer in the world at that time. It’s not my fame. It’s their fame. I think Richard always felt guilty about his fame. He didn’t think he could live up to the level of fame that he achieved. That created an albatross around his neck. It made him rely on more substances to sedate him and calm himself. He reached the point that he did not want to become that person anymore. For the longest time he said that he didn’t (try to commit suicide), he said it was an accident. Richard always found a way to market his vulnerability. All of his comedy focused on all of his missteps. He had shot all four tires on his Mercedes and told his wife during a fight that you are not going to leave in that car. He put that into his comedy. He did it the exact opposite way of what we would advise which would be to put the incidences behind you. I don’t know anyone else that was as successful as him in marketing all of the things he did wrong.”
When asking Ramon about what type of confident personality one has to have to become famous he says, “I do believe you have to have a big ego and a certain amount of self confidence to be successful. Every famous person I met took a different path to get it and they all loss some level of fame at some point.”
Can you give us an example of someone you managed very well? “I am very proud of my relationship with Bette Midler. She helped to blossom my career. I was never her manager, but I was her publicist. I did work in a management capacity…she didn’t have a manager. I have a great appreciation and fondness for her. Also, working with my ex-wife Vanessa Williams on her crisis management. I did not know her at the time she was embroiled in the Miss America controversy. She resigned here title and I am glad she did. We got married and had three kids together and I managed her career. It took ten years for her to get her life back after she resigned from the Miss America pageant where she was just called Vanessa Williams without alluding to any prior controversy.”
In discussing his earlier years, Ramon shares two musical giants that helped shape his career. “In my book, I try to enlighten people about the trajectory of my own fame. My first client I got to work with was Paul McCartney. My initial task was to put together a press kit. That shaped my next 4 or 5 years when I got an opportunity to work with Quincy Jones who is the first client I brought to Rogers & Cowan who I was working with at the time. He was someone I treasured to be in his presence because he had so many great stories and so much great insight.”
Ramon muses in his book about fame, that the more you get, the harder it is to manage. I asked him if there are any other examples like that. “Probably the worst case scenario was Rick James. He had a very troubled childhood. For him, fame meant he put himself above people. He created a lot of bad blood. The way that he treated people. A lot of people did not want him to win. He always had a great fan base, but I think his fame was toxic for him. He self-destructed. He was obsessed with fame and all the hoopla and perks. He loved being the king of everything. He was very demanding. He did not know how to manage his fame.”
In closing, I ask Ramon, what he is most proud of. “I am proud of my reputation. I have never been sued. I’ve always approached business with a great deal of integrity. I’ve always worked really hard. I’ve always tried to be honest with my clients. Authentic and transparent. I think that is much better than being a yes man.”
So when I think of fame, I think of getting the best table in the best restaurants. I think about people idolizing me. I also think about people interrupting my conversation and my meal for photos and autographs. Do I really want that…or do I just want a nice, quiet, peaceful meal. Hmmm…some food for thought. How about you? Do you want to be part of the Fame Game?
You can listen to Eli’s podcast The Motivation Show on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3NVmTDAvGbzooN8TCW7tuN. To contact Eli or to have him speak at your event, email email@example.com.
LASSO’S MOM CITY — I believe that the best ever episode of Ted Lasso was dropped this week, entitled Mom City. It started off innocently enough with Ted leaving for work and walking right past his mother! He realized it and turned back to her. Turns out she had been in London for a week and was just now seeing Ted.
Also, Harry Nilsson’s “Puppy Song” was a key musical moment in the EP. Harry, we love you!
SHORT TAKES — The #1 iTunes song currently is Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do with It.” Much deserved … Producer Joel Diamond used to live at 220 Central Park South in NYC. His building was torn down and re-built. It is now part of what they call Billionaire’s Road. WSJ-reporter Katherine Clarke’s new book is about just that.. Via Random House, Billionaire’s Row is out on June 13 …
We dropped the name of new Latino-artist Sasha Prendes last time; we just saw a teaser clip for her new video “Shake This.” Check it out here: https://www.sashaprendes.com/video … Micky Dolenz headlined at this week’s Abbey Road On The River and delivered his usual high-octane performance.
He leaves for England this week for the James Burton & Friends/One Night Only event June 4 at London’s Palladium … Terry Jastrow interviewed by Brad Balfour for his podcast this week …
ENDQUOTE: Via Deadline: The View’s Whoopi Goldberg Claims ‘American Idol’ Led To The Downfall of Society. Ouch! Check it out here: https://deadline.com/2023/05/the-view-cohost-whoopi-goldberg-claims-american-idol-led-to-downfall-society-1235380500/ … Happy Bday Buddy Blanch and Bobby Shaw!
TINA TURNER — Talk about a voice of a generation … my generation for sure. I think one of the first records I ever listened too was one from Ike & Tina Turner and Tina immediately caught my ear and eye. 1973’s “Nutbush City Limits” and later “Proud Mary.” Tina was simply dazzling. She passed Wednesday in Switzerland after a lengthy illness and surviving a stroke.
12 Grammys; 3 Grammy Hall of Fame awards; a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; the first Black artist and the first female to be on the cover of Rolling Stone; and, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. And she had her biggest hit when she was in her 40’s. Tina was a ground-breaker in every sense of the word.
From “Nutbush City Limits” to her stunning album, Private Dancer, she was a fierce innovator.
Author Mark Bego who did two tomes on Tina said: “The passing of rock legend Tina Turner is truly tragic. She was an amazing force of nature as a singer, performer, actress, and international inspiration. Having started out with ex-husband Ike Turner, as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the 1960’s, Tina broke free from an abusive marriage with Ike, and became a solo legend on her own. I was privileged to tell her story in the books Tina Turner: Break Every Rule in 2003, and a German language update in 2009 called Tina Turner: Die Biografie. Her story, her legend, and her timeless music will live on.”
For those in the know: British-singer John Miles (“Slow Down”) toured with Tina in 1987. I knew Miles … great, great talent. Here she is with WOR’s Tom Cuddy, back when he was running WPLJ.
SIMON OF THE TIMES — (Via Deadline) Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, who at 81 has just released his 15th studio album, titled Seven Psalms, has revealed a recent hearing loss in his left ear and says the condition has left him doubting he’ll tour again.
In an interview with UK’s The Times, Simon said the hearing loss struck while he was writing the new album. “Quite suddenly, I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it,” he told the publication. “So everything became more difficult.”
The Graceland singer said he was more frustrated and annoyed than angered by the hearing loss “because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself.” The condition, however, has not improved, and he now has doubts that he’ll perform live again, a decision reinforced by both a 2020 bout with Covid and his lack of enthusiasm for singing some of his old songs.
“The songs of mine that I don’t want to sing live, I don’t sing them,” he told The Times. “Sometimes there are songs that I like and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the f*ck are you doing, Paul?’ Quite often that would come during ‘You Can Call Me Al.’ I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You’re like a Paul Simon cover band. You should get off the road, go home.’”
Simon, who lives on a large Texas ranch with wife Edie Brickell, reflected on the recent losses of Gordon Lightfoot and Jeff Beck, noting, “It’s just the age we’re at…My generation’s time is up.”
SHORT TAKES — Brutal review of HBO’s The Idol in Roger Friedman’s always prescient Showbiz 411. Friedman goes to great length to say that the machinations of the music business are not accurately portrayed in the show at all. Truth be told: They’ve never been accurately portrayed. To me, the closest they even came was in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant Vinyl. Euphoria’s Sam Levinson is the force behind this one and I didn’t have any desire to watch it. After reading Roger’s take on it, I probably never will. Check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/05/22/cannes-hbo-unveils-the-idol-starring-the-weeknd-abel-tesfaye-and-lily-rose-depp-in-vulgar-gross-outsiders-take-on-pop-life…
Q1043 in NYC giving away DVDs of the recent Neil Bogart-inspired movie Spinning Gold. Sadly, when Justin Timberlake stepped away from portraying Bogart, this movie was DOA. It came out with nary a whisper, terrible reviews and was literally over in three days. I knew Bogart and this could have been a great, great movie. Sad for sure
We wondered about Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam (seen here with Eppy from My Father’s Place and PR-pasha David Salidor) and emailed him? No response so far. We’ll keep you posted … NBC just announced that The Blacklist finale will air -two hours- on Thursday, July 13. Suffice to say, it was a sensational show …
Happy BDay to Bob Dylan; Mike Myers; Cillian Murphy; and Frank Oz.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tony King; Mark Bego; Michael Leon; Adriana Kaegi; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mark Knopfler; Daryl Easlea; Russ Titleman; Donnie Kehr; Cori Gardner; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Jeff Smith; Vinnie Zuffante; Marion Curtis; Angela Tarantino; Michael Fuchs; Sasha Prendes; and ZIGGY!
My View: Clint Holmes Is In Town!
Golden Moments – Grand Weekend at Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
Theatre News: Doubt: A Parable, Here Lies Love, Prayer for the French Republic, Eisenhower and Hell’s Kitchen
Romantic and Meaningful Love Quotes For Her To Help Win Her Heart
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
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Monty Python’s Spamalot Finds its Grail Hilariously at the Stratford Festival 2023
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