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The Glorious Corner

The Glorious Corner

(photo by Tom Cuddy)

G.H. HARDING

CHICAGO AT JONES BEACH — Due to some last minute family complications, I was unable to attend Friday’s Chicago/Brian Wilson show at Jones Beach out in Long Island. Truth be told: it was the one show I had been looking forward to since it was announced.

Tom Cuddy (Program Director of iHeart Radio’s legendary 710 WOR) introduced me to Chicago performing several years back and through numerous shows (BB King’s; Beacon Theater) they have just dazzled me continuously with a catalog to die for. I mean, I started listening to them in college with Terry Kath and in person (sans Kath, obviously) they’ve been nothing but sensational.

Robert Lamm (photo by Tom Cuddy)

I’m also a big Robert Lamm fan; from his solo album way back when (Skinny Boy) to his professionalism onstage.

Well, Tom was there and here’s some notes on the show:

Watching Chicago on stage 55 years after their debut is really a rock & roll miracle.  How many bands stay vital and relevant 5 ½ decades later?   Their passion and energy still soars for almost two hours and the horn section is as strong as ever. Three original Chicago members (Lee Loughnane, Robert Lamm and James Pankow) lead this 10 piece ensemble and they have re-invented the band by surrounding themselves with hugely gifted musicians and singers.  Since I began seeing Chicago in the 70’s, this is the overall highest caliber of musicianship that I have seen. The show spotlighted Chicago’s huge vintage catalog of hits for the entire show, with one exception.  The band performed their current Top 20 hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, “If This Is Goodbye,” featuring the lead vocals of Neil Donell and Brooklyn born Lamm.

IVANA TRUMP RIP — I did not know Ivana; I met her once at an event in the briefest of moments, but her passing certainly ended one of the most nonporous press-escapades ever. When Donald met Marla, there were competing columnists (Cindy Adams and Liz Smith) who quite literally tore Ivana’s life apart.

How can one not recall the Marla Maples-headline on the cover of the New York Post (February 16, 1990) declaring The Best Sex I Ever Had supposedly with Trump. The only thing I can compare it to was the fervor over the Keeping Up With The Kardashians – which I am still proud to say I never watched one episode of. I mean, I didn’t know Ivana, but could certainly feel the anguish she must have been going through.

Of all the articles on her passing – the best and most informative was from Roger Friedman; Showbiz 411. I refer you to that. He recalls a luncheon with Liz Smith where she asked what the Trumps were Well, she got more than she bargained for as it became a pissing contest of sorts for those doyennes of  gossip.

A sad, sad event all around for sure.

MARTIN MANIA —(Via Deadline) Ricky Martin never had “any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew,” a lawyer for the singer said Friday as his client faces allegations of domestic abuse from the younger family member in Puerto Rico.

“Unfortunately, the person who made this claim is struggling with deep mental health challenges,” Martin’s lawyer Marty Singer told Deadline today. “Ricky Martin has, of course, never been — and would never be– involved in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew,” the Hollywood heavyweight litigator added. “The idea is not only untrue, it is disgusting.”

“We all hope that this man gets the help he so urgently needs,” Singer said. “But, most of all, we look forward to this awful case being dismissed as soon as a judge gets to look at the facts.”

Martin has been confronted with a temporary restraining order in past weeks and most recently with further claims of violence and more in the fallout of a supposed seven-month intimate affair with the 21-year nephew. A hearing has been set for July 21 in Puerto Rico on the claims. If domestic abuse with a relative is the felony Martin is charged with, he could be looking at a nearly 50-year sentence if found guilty.

These latest claims from the unincorporated U.S. territory  and the lawyer’s response come as Martin, a Grammy winner and star of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, faces an explosive $3 million lawsuit from his on-again/off-again manager Rebecca Drucker over unpaid commissions.

Dangling a sword of Damocles over Martin to likely expedite matters, Drucker and her Venable LLP team additionally allege that the plaintiff saved the supposedly substance-abusing “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer from a “potentially career-ending allegation in September 2020.”

Since Drucker filed her complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court  on June 29, Martin and his Lavely & Singer attorneys have been mostly silent on that matter.

Apple TV+ has also been radio silent about Martin’s presence in its upcoming comedy series  Mrs. American Pie where he stars alongside the likes of Carol Burnett, Kristen Wiig, Josh Lucas, Allison Janney and Leslie Bibb. However, Martin was reportedly actually filming on the Abe Sylvia-penned and Tate Taylor-helmed series today in LA.

Earlier this month when the successful application for a TRO against CAA-repped Martin was approved by a Puerto Rican judge, the singer’s camp lambasted the claims of domestic abuse as “completely false and fabricated.” The petition for the restraining order was made under the island’s Law 54, also known as the Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention Act.

When I read this, I couldn’t even believe that someone made these claims. Suffice to say, the former-manager is behind this. Just has to be. I don’t know Martin, but his image has been squeaky-clean up till now and this shameless attempt to shake him down is really absurd. I do not know him,  and do not know the facts … but this is rather unbelievable. After reading Ken Auletta’s book on Harvey Weinstein (Hollywood Ending) I know once again anything is possible … but this?

SHORT TAKES — The B52’s profile on yesterday CBS Sunday Morning was simply sensational. I well remember a tour they did with Kid Credible & The Coconuts way back in the day and I got to know Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson a bit. They were, just hilarious; smart, informative and saw things quite clearly. They were a great band and with their songs like “Roam” and of course “Rock Lobster,” they became huge stars for sure …

Adrian Niles

In going through some recordings we came across the name Adrian Niles, who was managed for a time by PR-man David Salidor. Niles’ music was just excellent; what we now call Americana. His was a healthy mix of The Black Keys and Robbie Robertson. Salidor even managed to get two of his songs of FX’s Justified; and the songs even appeared on a music compilation from the series. Great artist for sure. A real find … We hear Doug Morris, who worked with Ahmet Ertegun and his Atlantic Records for years, is writing his memoirs. Doug started out with Big Tree Records (in 1971) and was involved in the success of Lobo’s “Me and You and A  Dog Names Boo.” Remember that one? … Happy Bday Rob Shuter and congrats to Ben and Jen!NAMES IN THE NEWS — Anne Archer; Keith Girard; Richard Johnson; Freda Payne; Michael Goetz; Roger Friedman;  Adrian Niles; Teo Bellows; David Sanborn; Will Lee; Steve Miller; Andrew Friedman; Cornelis Craane; Chuck Pulin; Steve Plotnicki; Doug Morris; Steve Leeds; Michael Lembo; 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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