MO OSTIN — Imagine working for a place that you actually liked and looked forward to going to each day. That was company line I always heard during the Warner Brothers Records Mo Ostin-regime. Mo passed last week at 95 and though I never met the man, his track record is just legendary.
From championing Prince through his WB-years to signing Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, Randy Newman; Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, R.E.M., Neil Young, Tower of Power,the Traveling Wilburys and so many more, Ostin has left an indelible a mark on the music business. He may not have gotten the headlines of Clive Davis, but he was perhaps the most gifted of them all. Clive’s best creation of all was Clive Davis; Mo’s was Warner Brothers Records.
BATGIRL SHAKEN & STIRRED — The news that really rocked the entertainment world this week was the newly christened Warner Brothers Discovery shuttering the totally completed Batgirl movie (starring In The Heights’ Leslie Grace). Yes, you read that right; the movie is done (with a reported 90 million dollar -budget), editing is ongoing, and it will not come out.
Of course, at the end of the day, one must ask: Is this just a publicity stunt angling to generate more heat for the movie? And, if it was just so-so, why not just screen it on HBO Max. The new head of WBD David Zaslav -from Discovery– seems to be enduring his own Bob Chapek moment – Chapek being the new head of Disney.
He had a profile on singer Amanda Shires that was just sensational. I was not all the familiar with her but looked her up afterwards. Kind of like country-goth? Is that even a term? I was surprised during the interview when she teared up and took 2 heavy puffs from her 2 vapes. That was something I hadn’t seen on a morning news show before. Again, Mason is just a sensational interviewer … On my way to Sony Hall last week, I saw that the Paramount Hotel is now closed. Great spot. Stayed there often when they first opened. I loved everything about the hotel and especially that each of its three elevators were bathed in a different color. Coming in later after a show, that was a most welcomed touch. We also learned today that the Hudson Hotel on 58th has closed as well. This was also a great, great spot with a tremendous reception area and two sumptuous bars. Sad they’re both gone, but as my midtown friends keep reminding me, midtown is totally different now … ZE Records’ Michael Zilkha’s book on the much-missed Cristina is now available. Can’t wait to see it. Not available for the public, but as a tribute edition … Can you believe that MTV turned 41 last week? Names like Rick Krim, John Sykes, Steve Leeds and The Buggles come to mind. The Buggles’ “Radio Killed The Radio Star” was the first video played and it certainly sounded the clarion call of what was to come. As one of the former VJs Mark Goodman recalled, “There was no script, we were riding by the seat of our pants.” Yet somehow it all worked and names like Martha Quinn; Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, J.J. Jackson and Goodman became our news friends. Sometimes the videos made sense, but mostly they never did. Even Daryl Hall in a recent interview said, “most of the time they had absolutely nothing to do with the song.” Yet, we watched and a good video made all the difference. Suddenly we were watching the video more than listening to the song.