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G.H. HARDING

DELSENER ANNOUNCES-— (via Pollstar) Live Nation NYC Chairman Ron Delsener, one of the godfathers among concert promoters in the modern live entertainment industry, is retiring after more than six decades in the nation’s biggest and most important market.

“It’s been a great honor to have played a role in bringing music’s biggest stars to stages across New York,” Delsener said in making the announcement.

“Ron helped bring concerts to New York for 50+ years and supported countless artists along the way. We wish him all the best in his next chapter,” Live Nation said in a statement.

Delsener, who turns 86 this year, began his legendary career by promoting The Beatles’ first outdoor concert at Forest Hills stadium in Queens, NY, in 1964. The preeminent New York concert promoter, Delsener worked on thousands of shows for legendary artists including the Beatles, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, and countless others.

He was the first promoter to bring concerts to Central Park in the 1960’s, when he revolutionized the industry by promoting shows in the park, including Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix, and made them accessible to mass audiences by pricing tickets at $1.50.

Over the years, Delsener promoted shows at landmark venues including Sting at the Metropolitan Opera House and Neil Young at Carnegie Hall in 1983. He was also the force of nature behind the restoration of the nearly 14,000-capacity amphitheater in Wantaugh, N.Y., now known as Northwell Health at the Jones Beach Theater.

In 2018, he was feted by NYC’s City Parks Foundation with a gala dinner and concert at SummerStage in honor of many years bringing music to Central Park and beyond, where he was serenaded by the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Idina Menzel, David Sanborn and Paul Shaffer, and regaled by comedian Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci.

Delsener retires after a colorful career that includes promoting shows with the biggest names of the rock ‘n’ roll – or any – era, including Elton John, Queen, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, The Who and many, many more – virtually everybody who was anybody from the mid-1960’s on played shows promoted by Ron Delsener, either on his own, as a partner in Delsener / Slater Enterprises, SFX Entertainment and its successors including Live Nation.

Delsener partnered with the late Mitch Slater, who had been booking shows at Madison Square Garden, in 1988 to launch Delsener / Slater Enterprises. By that time, Delsener was promoting concerts throughout New York and New Jersey. The powerhouse promotion company dominated the Northeast back when promoters operated in unofficial territories, which changed when SFX Entertainment and Robert Sillerman began rolling up promoters, including Delsener / Slater.

“We went after every act that we could,” Delsener told Pollstar after Slater died in July, 2020. “We went after Red Hot Chili Peppers, and couldn’t get the act. We offered them $100,000 – a lot of money back then. We got them, and they were on Lollapalooza the next year. We talked to each other every day. We started to get friendly with Sal Bonafede who was with Neil Diamond. We wanted Neil, and Mitch called Sal, and we get the whole tour.  Howard Rose was one of our best guys. We got a lot of Elton John tours. Chicago, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Huey Lewis, Mott The Hoople, Queen, all of these older bands.”

They decided to sell the company to SFX for $20 million in 1996 and remained with the successor companies with Delsener at the helm of its New York office, until his retirement.

I’ve known Ron for what seems likes ages. His offices on East 67th street was a great spot to mingle with the major gunslingers of the moment and his sister Harriet was a blast. Delsener was a raconteur of mega-proportions; dapper and urbane. I’d see him virtually everywhere, be it the late-great JP’s or Maxwell’s Plum  on First Avenue in NYC or Trax on the West Side. He’s now based in East Hampton.

The thing with Ron that set him apart from every other person in the biz is that he told you the truth. If a certain act wasn’t for him, he’d tell you upfront. Believe me, in the entertainment industry, that’s quite a rare trait to have.

I haven’t seen him for quite some time and I miss that. One in a million, that’s Ron.

SHORT TAKES — Are there too many music docs coming out? That’s always the first sign that things have gotten out of hand. Announced this week are docs on Lizzo; Johnny Cash; and Louis Armstrong on their way …

Hilary Swank

Watched the new Alaska Daily with Hilary Swank and totally loved it. Swank plays an award-winning journalist who publishes a story and then her key source disappears. Somewhat disgraced and officially-sidelined, she’s pursued by a former editor now running a paper in Alaska. She takes the post and find herself immersed in a story about the disappearance of many indigenous people there. The show is written by Tom McCarthy whose Spotlight in 2015 back was an enormous hit movie starring Michael Keaton. The writing, as it was in the movie, is just exquisite. Swank is a tremendous actress and though her range is somewhat limited, she shines in ever scene. Jeff Perry, Harvey from Nash Bridges, as the beleaguered editor who lures her to Alaska is great too. My only complaint is that the narrative reminded me almost too much of Spotlight but is that a bad thing? Best new show of thru season in my book …

November 11 id the release date for the new Bruce Springsteen album of soul-covers entitled Only The Strong Survive. He just released a second single “Nightshift” that was originally done by The Commodores-right after Lionel Richie left the group. Standout for sure. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsTKEQzLkmw … Big Micky Dolenz news coming this week. Stay tuned …

Congrats to CBS FM’s Scott Shannon who is honored by the NAB this week with their New York Impact Award. Inside Radio asked Z100’s Elvis Duran why Shannon deserved the award. Here’s his answer: “Because he’s Scott Shannon. He opened so many doors for so many of us. Without Scott, we’d all be in prison – or dead.” Known him for years; a steady arrow for sure . Here’s the full interview: https://www.insideradio.com/free/exclusive-radio-icons-scott-shannon-and-elvis-duran-talk-z100-morning-drive-and-taking-risks/article_01750496-49f7-11ed-8a72-970f73c8780a.html

David Salidor; Sam Behr; and Donnie Kehr (photo by Nina Wurtzel)

One more photo from the Rockers On Broadway: SHE ROCKS event. PR-man David Salidor; the wonderful Sam Behr; and Donnie Kehr. The photo is by  the wondrous Nina Wurtzel … Happy Bday Markos Papdatos.

CHASE CLOSED — Last week as I sat down to write some checks, I noticed that a fraudulent check had been written against my account and there was a sizable amount of money missing. It was repaired accordingly the very next day, the money returned along with an unexplained $14,000. Turns out the $14,000 was an error on their part. Cecil, Trevor and Mike corrected me at my branch.

Turns out this type of fraud happens virtually every day. I had ordered some new checks several months back (three times in fact) and apparently on those mailings had been intercepted.

I’ve been a Chase customer going all the way back to when they purchased Chemical. I commend them for their swift efforts and point out to everyone, be cautious there days. Very cautious.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Carol Ruth Weber; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Evan Levy; Keith Girard; Patti Steele’ Race Taylor; Ken Dashow; Zach Martin; Ken Kotal; Jane Blunkell; Barry Fisch; Coco Dolenz; Andrew Sandoval; Jason Elzy; Steve Walter; Wayne Avers; 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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A JON BON SURPRISE — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Jon Bon Jovi played a surprise five-song set in Nashville on Friday, June 7.

The intimate performance celebrated the grand opening of JBJ’s, the new rooftop bar and restaurant owned by Jon Bon Jovi. It also came on the day Bon Jovi released their sixteenth studio album, Forever.

The show was notable considering the lingering uncertainty surrounding Jon Bon Jovi’s voice. The singer underwent vocal surgery in 2022 and has been enduring a long road to recovery ever since. The frontman recently confirmed he’ll be unable to tour in support of his new album, noting that he’s “more than capable of singing again,” but that “two and a half hours a night, four nights a week” would not be possible.

The frontman’s voice appeared pitchy but strong during the Nashville club set. Bon Jovi showcased plenty of his trademark energy during the gig, dancing on the small stage and engaging fans to sing along with him.

The performance opened with “Blood on Blood,” the stirring album cut from Bon Jovi’s classic 1988 LP New Jersey. According to Ssetlist.fm, this marked the first time “Blood on Blood” has been performed in concert since 2019.

Later, the singer addressed his absence from performing.

“It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been up on a stage with some people in the house,” Bon Jovi declared midway through the set. “Too long, too long. Yeah, it feels good. I hope it sounds good, because it feels good.”

Bon Jovi also acknowledged Nashville’s importance in his band’s history, noting that they’d spent “so much time” writing and recording in the town. “I always jokingly say, Nashville, this is my people.”

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil. Jelly Roll and Big Kenny from Big and Rich were among the celebrities on hand for Bon Jovi’s club gig. Other highlights on the night included a rousing rendition of “You Give Love a Bad Name” and the lead single from Forever, “Legendary.”

See the complete set list below, along with video of the entire performance.

Bon Jovi, 6/7/24, JBJ’s, Nashville, Set List

1.  “Blood on Blood”
2. “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
3. “You Give Love a Bad Name”
4. “Born to Be My Baby”
5. “Legendary”

Jon’s been very, very visible of late. From his Hulu-four-part show to stints on everything from Kelly Clarkson to Jimmy Kimmel and it seems to me he’s been a tad overexposed. Sure, he’s got a new album to sell as well as the cable-series, but his logline seems to be over whether he can tour … or not.  And, apparently, he can’t.

Honestly, that’s gotten bigger play than his rumored feud with Richie Sambora. I know Jon and he’s smart as a fox. He and his PR-person, which I believe is Brad Cafarelli, have done a stellar job.

This Nashville-appearance was after he may the ‘I can’t tour’ announcement, so what gives?

I’d love to know who he played with in Nashville. Was it some of the Bon Jovi-band or just some Nashville-players? Maybe we should ask Brad.

George Harrison

GO GEORGE — We loved this story from Far Out Magazine about George Harrison and Phil Collins:

The seed for his prank on the Genesis drummer began back in 1970 when Collins was a teenage session musician who grew up in absolute awe of everything Beatles related.

At the time, Collins was in his former band Flaming Youth and wouldn’t audition to join Genesis until later on in the same year.

“Our manager got a call from Ringo Starr’s chauffeur, who said they needed a percussionist, and he suggested me,” said Phil.

“So I went down to Abbey Road, and Harrison was there and Ringo and Billy Preston and Klaus Voormann and Phil Spector, and we started routing the song.”

George was recording his debut solo album, All Things Must Pass.

“No one told me what to play, and every time they started the song, Phil Spector would say, ‘Let’s hear guitar and drums,’ or ‘Let’s hear bass and drums.’ I’m not a conga player, so my hands are starting to bleed. And I’m cadging cigarettes off Ringo – I don’t even smoke, I just felt nervous. Anyway, after about two hours of this, Phil Spector says, ‘Okay congas, you play this time.’ And I’d had my mic off, so everybody laughed, but my hands were shot.”

“After that they all disappeared – someone said they were watching TV or something – and I was told I could go. A few months later, I buy the album from my local record shop, look at the sleeve notes, and I’m not there. And I’m thinking, ‘There must be some mistake!’ But it’s a different version of the song, and I’m not on it.”

Once Collins would become a world-famous star in his own right, he and George were back in contact.

“Cut to years later,” Collins added. “I bought [former Formula 1 driver] Jackie Stewart’s house. Harrison was a friend of Jackie’s, and Jackie told me George was remixing All Things Must Pass.

“He said, ‘You were on it, weren’t you?’ And I said, ‘Well I was there.’ Two days later a tape’s delivered from George Harrison with a note saying: ‘Could this be you? Suddenly the congas come in – too loud and just awful. At the end of the tape you hear George Harrison saying, ‘Hey, Phil, can we try another without the conga player?’

“So now I know, they didn’t go off to watch TV, they went somewhere and said, ‘Get rid of him,’ cos I was playing so badly. Then Jackie rings and says, ‘I’ve got someone here to speak to you,’ and puts George on and he says, ‘Did you get the tape?’ and I said, ‘I now realise I was fired by a Beatle.’ He says, ‘Don’t worry, it was a piss-take. I got Ray Cooper to play really badly, and we dubbed it on. Thought you’d like it!’ I said, ‘You f**king bastard!’”, Collins then reminisced in hindsight, “It was lovely, wasn’t it?”

Yes, George went out of his way to pay a whole band to spend a day in the studio with him just so he could pull a joke on Phil Collins.

The Killers

SHORT TAKES — Our spy at the weekend’s Governor’s Ball said The Killers were spectacular. They played “Mr. Brightside” and “Andy, You’re A Star” (first time in seven years). One of my favorite bands, ever! Great to hear this …

Dick Van Dyke

Congrats to Dick Van Dyke at 98 winning an Emmy for his stint on Days of Our Lives. Bravo! …

This Thursday at the Landis Theatre in Vineland, New Jersey, is a special screening of The Zombie Wedding. Based on the hit interactive play (which premiered in 2015). The first-ever wedding between a Human Bride and a Zombie Groom; starring Heather Matarazzzo; Kevin Chamberlin; Vincent Pastore and Micky Dolenz.

Details to follow from producer Robert Dragotta … Watched Michael Mann’s Ferrari over the weekend and just loved it. Adam Driver; Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley were just extraordinary. Not your typical Mann-pic either. A must-see for sure …

And also caught Netflix’s Hitman with Glen Powell-the man-of-the-moment in film. He’s great, sort of a George Clooney-in the making. Directed by Richard Linklater – a surprise. Kind of a silly premise, but he carries it admirably and does his love-interest, the sultry Adria Arjona – who makes a rather memorable debut.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jane Blunkell; Dan Zelinski; Jane Berk; Howard Bloom; Peter Lubin; Stu Taub; Roy Trakin; David Adelson; Michael Nice; Joel Diamond; Mark Bego; Jimmy Fallon; Julie Gurovitsch; Vince Napolitano; Obi Steinman; Peter Abraham; David Sanborn; Craig Zisk; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Brad Balfour; Jill Christiansen; Anni Bella; Lush Ice; Markos Papadatos; and Bella.

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TRAINOR’S TODAY — She first hit the airwaves a decade ago with “All About That Bass” and has managed to remain a headliner since. A new album Timeless dropped Friday and though she was pretty great on the Today Show; she’s certainly not in the same atmosphere as Beyonce or Cardi B or Janelle Monae. Why? Her performance on Today was without a band; with backing tracks; and six dancers. Corny? Perhaps.

Her whole allure seems to be somewhere on the Peggy Lee-spectrum, which if memory serves, was cute, but a tad boring.

As to her backing tracks, veteran PR-man David Salidor (who has worked with everyone from Madonna to Debbie Gibson) says, “It’s ironic, because if an artist used backing tracks in the 80’s, it was widely criticized and looked down upon. I think the audiences today don’t really care and it’s a shame because there’s a real artistry in having a band, Sadly, these audiences are missing that and they don’t even know it. I bet if they knew what they were missing, they’d demand it.

MORE BEACH BOYS — No doubt about it, this Disney doc has ignited opinions both pro and con.

The Brian Wilson-fans said since Brian couldn’t really be interviewed, the opinions were somewhat one sided, while fans of The Beach Boys loved it. Variety’s Roy Trakin perhaps said it best: Survivors get to tell the story. This is more hagiography and tribute than biopic but the music saves it. Beach Boys 101. Nothing new to see here. But it did look good in IMAX.

The last hour was quickly wrapping up all the pieces – perhaps a tad too quickly. Love’ s suit against Brian claimed to be about the publishing rights, which father-Murray sold years ago for peanuts, figuring they’d never be worth anything.

Dennis Wilson

“Kokomo” which was a big hit isn’t spoken about at all, instead used as a closing theme. and, Dennis’ death hardly mentioned. Pacific Ocean Blue not mentioned either.

As with most of these docs .. they leave you wanting more … and I did with this one.

Benny Harrison

SHORT TAKES — What ever chapped to Benny Harrison’s Back To Front series. This was to be a show featuring the backing musicians and studios that go into making a show. Great idea but apparently Harrison couldn’t find the right producers. There’s another show very similar out right (featuring The Power Station studio now owned by Berklee) now and that probably didn’t help … Eminem and Jellyroll dueted on “Sing For The Moment” for this week’s Detroit-concert. celebrating the re-opening of Michigan Central Station. They sounded great together. Also, there Diana Ross; Melissa Etheridge and Jack White …

New Eels album out- titled Eels Time ... Carol Klenfner was married to industry magnet Michael Klenfner. Here’s what she’s up to now: https://w42st.com/post/carol-klenfner-west-side-story-ping-pong/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR2qx06-OGVRqdQ-Uq_5Vban37FBUlmbINGjXI45lSRt2yDropCNpBIg9lU_aem_AUwj8G9hZ961orkpaRbod2lsomw3aHTWWS6h7ymamZxSKBXHozIvFkracqZg2NLQ4eHi-c_jC7H7zc6Pl1u0kRaL

Cheap Trick/John Lennon

Did you ever take a look at the John Lennon video with Cheap Trick doing his “I’m Losing You?” It was producer Jack Douglas’ idea. Brilliant if you ask me. Take a look: https://www.loudersound.com/features/cheap-trick-rick-nielsen-john-lennon-double-fantasy

… Great Neil Finn tale of how he joined Fleetwood Mac in Mojo:https://www.mojo4music.com/articles/stories/neil-finn-on-joining-fleetwood-mac/HBO/MAXjust canceled Toyko Vice after 2 seasons. I loved it … Happy Bday London Records’ John Boulos!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Ed Steinberg; Vinny Rich; Adrian Niles; Anni Bella; Nicole Nirvana; Lucy Woodward; Robert Miller; Alan Rothstein; Kneecap; Tony King; Jane Ayer; Pete Gidion; Ray Free; Ron Alexenburg; Herbie Rosen; Juggy Gayles; Jerry Lembo; Wayne Rosso; Tone Scott; Dan Zelinski; and ZIGGY!

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BEACH BOYS DISNEY DOC —I’m not a huge fan of these music-docs that now seem to come up inmultiples every week. Sure, Bohemian Rhapsody was good, although many of the facts were fudged a tad, but most of these others reconstitute old photos and recordings and talk about how it was back then.

The Hulu-Bon Jovi one was good as I was sort of on the inside there, but in reality, it could have been two-parts, not 4.

Phil Spector

This one is pretty good; if only for the music and the glimpses of Phil Spector – who was idolized by Brian Wilson when he first heard his productions. Face it, Brian Wilson’s genius has always been in the studio. Dennis predominantly liked pop and his first solo opus Pacific Ocean Blue remains a classic decades after its release in 1977.

Murray Wilson, the father, is benevolently trashed by Mike Love and Al Jardine. I didn’t know him, but the stories are horrendous. David Marks says that Murray would go onstage and lower his amp. After Murray left, Marks would go over and turn it back to where it was.

Still, having worked with kids and their parents, I know it ain’t easy. In fact, it never is.

They touch on Brian’s mental-health issues (and how he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1964) and how once he stopped touring (and Glen Campbell replaced him), brother Carl took control of the band. Brian stayed ensconced in the studio prepping for when his brothers came off touring.

Pet Sounds came next; then “Good Vibrations” followed and then Brian’s collaborations with Van Dyke Parks.

The song “Surf’s Up” remains my favorite Brian Wilson work. It’s a pretty above average doc although the appearance by Janelle Monae, Lindsey Buckingham (who looked terribly unhealthy), Ryan Tedder and Don Was (nee Fagenson) were odd choices too.

Definitely worth a look.

GOT TO GO DISCO — Watched Part One of the BBC’s Disco/Soundtrack of a Revolution, on PBS and while it was pretty good, they ignored the record companies and producers for the most part that really made the whole scene happen. I know as I was there for a lot of it.

Producer Tom Moulton is interviewed throughout, but DJ Nicky Siano was sort of the narrator. David DePino, from Paradise Garage, was there too, but he never really mentioned the club, or Larry Levan for that matter. I mean, where were Neil Bogart and Ray Caviano and Billy Smith? Also, most of the club owners (or, promoters) are not present either. Michael Fesco, Tony Martino or John Addison would have added an accuracy which is mush-missed.

Vince Aletti

Vince Aletti was there and spoke quite wonderfully about the whole movement. He was writing for Rolling Stone and the Village Voice back then and was always a reliable source.

Having lived through it, the show missed a whole lot! Let’s see what the rest looks like. Stay tuned.

SHORT TAKES — Wednesday’s Today Show celebrated 30 years on the Plaza. Hard to believe. For me, the memorable concerts include Ricky Martin, Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Sting, Santana and Earth, Wind and Fire, who started it all. Scant coverage of Katie, Bryant and sadly, nothing of Matt, but there was a whisper-view of Willard Scott. Congrats … I sort of knew Alec Baldwin would do a reality show; I just didn’t know it’d be this soon. Check out Deadline’s take on it: https://deadline.com/2024/06/alec-baldwin-tlc-reality-series-1235958651/

Tony Bramwell

I never knew Apple Records’ Tony Bramwell. I knew who he was, but never met the man. He passed last week – one of the last Beatles-insiders, and I read this tribute to him which was quite wonderful. Check it out: https://webgrafikk.com/blog/news/goodbye-tony-bramwell/… Governor Hochul halted the Congestion Pricing in NYC due to start shortly; for now. Good move. Not to be overly political, but it will impact many. Personally, I was never for it … New Alien-sequel trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzY2r2JXsDM

… Adam Levine back on  NBC’s The Voice. Season 27! … Happy Bday Ed Steinberg!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Anni Bella; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Vinny Rich; William Schill; Anthony Noto; Tom Jones; Harvey Schmidt; Greg Porto; Dan Joseph; Sharon White; Matt Drudge; Roger Friedman; Bill Altman; Norah Jones; Michael Musto; Mark Bego; Randy Alexander; Lee Jeske; and CHIP!

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BULLETPROOF HACKS — Any reader of this column on a regular basis knows we’ve been trumpeting HBO’s Hacks as the show of the year. The writing is just so top-shelf and the industry takeaways are just so brilliant. In fact, I dare say that the entertainment business hasn’t been this thoroughly trashed since Entourage and the antics of Jeremy Piven as uber-agent Ari Gold.

Entourage

That said, their third season-finale (“Bulletproof”) was good, but it ended not exactly the way I wanted it too. Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) finally got her late-night dream-talk show but wouldn’t put Ava in the position of head-writer; owing to the political fallout it would cause.

In the show’s final scene, Ava showed up and essentially blackmailed Deborah into giving her the spot; as she knew Deborah had a late-night rendezvous with the head of the network.  Now, everyone got what they wanted, but an adversarial positioned was immediately set up between Ava and Deborah. Truth be told, the late-night rendezvous probably had nothing to do with it … as it’s usually all business with the network-suits. Or, I could be totally wrong! Go figure. They do call it Hollyweird for a reason.

It turned out that Deborah had lied to Ava; as she could bring anyone she wanted onto her team. And, plaudits for TV-veteran Hal Linden essaying TV-director Biff Cliff in the episode.

No doubt it will all work out for the best, but I still think it’s a bit dodgy all around; but make no mistake. this season ended with them as rivals … not friends.

Blondie

CHAPMAN’S BLONDIE — (Via Deadline) Previously unseen photos and video footage from a career that took in studio sessions with Blondie, The Knack, The Sweet and Suzi Quatro will illustrate Simply The Best: The Mike Chapman Story, a documentary about the eponymous songwriter and producer.

As well as co-writing The Best, the Tina Turner anthem that informs the doc’s title, Chapman has worked with a plethora of star names. He produced several Blondie albums including Parallel Lines. The band’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein will appear in the film and serve as executive producers.

Jason Bick will direct and produce. Mark Myers’ LA-based Citizen Skull and Michael Murphy’s Rockabill Media are also attached as producers.

“After several years of putting this together I am looking forward to getting it out there,” Chapman said. “It’s a story of how music changed and shaped me as I fought my way through decades of ups and downs. The directors and producers share that vision, and I am thrilled to be working with them.”

Chapman wrote 50 top-ten hits for the likes of The Sweet and Suzi Quatro with then songwriting partner Nicky Chinn. As that partnership unraveled, Australian-born Chapman relocated from the UK to the U.S. There he found success as a producer with several Blondie albums including Parallel Lines, which broke the band in the U.S., and hits including My Sharona by The Knack. The doc of his life will take in the highs as well as the lows, which included drug addiction and mental health issues.

“Through his songwriting and production prowess he shaped the lives of so many artists who have had a vast cultural impact,” said producer-director Bick. “Knowing this, the fact that he can walk down the street unrecognized and go un-thanked is a travesty. This project will address that and ensure his considerable and enduring contribution to music is finally fully understood by the wider public.”

Producer Rockabill Media is the label run by Michael Murphy, a longtime senior exec at Beyond and who left the distributor last year. A former Director of Programs at Irish broadcaster TV3, Murphy has a pedigree with music docs having run worked on projects about iconic bands including The Boomtown Rats and Nick Cave’s band The Birthday Party.

SHORT TAKES — Rumors abound that David Lynch will announce this week Twin Peaks-Season 4. Check this out from Collider: David Lynch Just Dropped a Huge Announcement … Icon Rupert Murdoch, at 93, married his fifth wife! God bless him! …

Kim Kardashian

I don’t usually watch Jimmy Kimmel, as I find him just too slick, but I tuned into to watch his interview with Kim Kardashian talking about her Skims-products and they talked how one “bra” product that comes with “nipples.” Hers as it turns out! I switched channels at that point …

Jay O. Sanders

SIGHTINGS: Law & Orders’ Jay O. Sanders at Uncle Vanya at Lincoln Center

John & Yoko

People of a certain age will well recall John & Yoko appearing (at the long-gone Americana Hotel) at a Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, Here’s a great piece on it from Best Classic Bands:When John Lennon and Yoko Ono Helped Jerry Lewis – Best Classic Bands

Beatles with Billy Preston

Finished watching the original Get Back/Beatles film. My first time since it came out in 1970. It was as impressive as when I first watched it and I noticed this time how much Billy Preston -on the rooftop sequences- brought. Interestingly, he wasn’t shown onscreen all that much, but he delivered. Much missed for sure. Loved it … Tuned in Netflix’s 6-episode Eric with Benedict Cumberbatch. Curiously interesting and disturbing for sure. It reminds me of HBO’s The Night Of, with John Turturro, which was great. Cumberbatch is always a treat …  Wing-nut, industry critic Bob Lefsetz went absolutely batshit on JLo canceling her tour. Sure, he’s right, but to compare her lying to Donald Trump lying … I don’t know. Give it a read: https://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2024/06/03/j-lo-cancels/  …RIP Tony Bramwell.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Annie Bella; Jerry Orbach; David Kramer; Kjersti Long; Plastic EP; Mark Bego; Mary Wilson; Doug Breitbart; Cara Lewis; Norby Walters; Savannah Guthrie; Dan Joseph; David Steel; Deb Caponetta; Zach Martin; Kent Kotal; Anthony Noto; Robert Funaro; Hubert Laws; Randy Klein; Joe Giaco; Kenny Kerner; Greg Brodsky; Richard Johnson; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Len Berman; Chris Boneau; Robert Dragotta; and ZIGGY!

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ELTON’S METALLICA MOMENT —(Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Elton John provided inspiration as James Hetfield continued writing sessions for Metallica’s next album. They performed John’s “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding” during the  March ceremonies where he and longtime co-composer Bernie Taupin received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Hetfield came away “challenged” – and inspired.

Metallica then took a break, only getting together for a few loose jams, before preparations began for ongoing European dates in support of 2023’s ’72 Seasons.

“The time off has been pretty fantastic but, at the same time, I missed playing with the guys,” Hetfield tells  The Metallica Report podcast. “And I let them know, ‘Man, I miss jamming with you guys!'”

Hetfield spent much of this downtime working on new songs while hidden away in a makeshift basement studio. John’s signature medley from the 1973 multi-platinum double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road stuck with him. “The Elton John thing was so fantastic – had a blast there,” Hetfield adds. “Elton, what a beautiful soul.”

It may have been a vacation, but Hetfield continued “playing guitar pretty much every day. I have to. It’s like breathing,” Hetfield confirms. “Whether it’s an escape from life or whatever it is, I love my little music room basement. I’ve got a computer, a few guitars and a little rig set up. It is my soul-nourishing place, to go in there and just play and write. Not so much practicing; it’s just writing.”

As for the songs, “I get inspired [by] all kinds of different music, listening to it. Even the Elton John thing, hanging out with Elton and Bernie Taupin challenged me. Watching [the 2019 John biopic] Rocketman and seeing how they wrote – Elton is such a visionary in the way that Bernie sets a set of lyrics, a poem, in front of him and he sees the music just appearing, which is bizarre to me. I’m more of the old  Tony Iommi way, where, ‘Here is the riff, and we build around the riff,’ you know?”

I wasn’t a Metallica fan, but when I heard their inventive and terrific “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” I was immediately hooked.

John & Yoko

SHORT TAKES — Great story in Clive Young’s Mix on 496 Broome Street in NYC, that John & Yoko owned and where The Committee for John & Yoko was headquartered as well as Yoko’s tarot-card reader John Greene – who lived there for decades there rent free. I know as I worked for the Committee when I was in college. Here’s the story: https://www.mixonline.com/news/john-lennon-yoko-ono-home-recording-studio-hits-the-market?utm_term=2B400D4A-A644-43F4-980A-3A38D94AC1E6&utm_medium=email&utm_content=6E5F5624-3022-44F4-BD6E-852EE8165A39&utm_source=SmartBrief

George Clooney/Brad Pitt

The new George Clooney/Brad Pitt movie Wolfs is due next month. Here’s the rather long trailer. Interestingly enough, the whole plot seems to unravel in the trailer. Weird? That usually means the movie’s a turkey. Take a peek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hRQyb5cCA8 … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor at Smith at Lincoln Center en route to Uncle Vanya

Orfeh and Andy Karl

Broadway’s Andy Karl and Orfeh separating? Wow Karl pulled a fast one. Read Page Six: https://pagesix.com/2024/05/27/entertainment/broadway-star-andy-karl-swanning-about-nyc-with-new-woman-after-ending-marriage-with-orfeh-weeks-ago/

This week’s Hacks is their third-season finale. What a fabulous show. Brilliant writing and acting. We love it and it just scored a renewal for Season 4 … Micky Dolenz’s The Zombie Wedding premieres in Vineland, New Jersey on Thursday, June 13. Dolenz cameos as DJ Cricket

Richard Dreyfuss

Both Robert DeNiro and Richard Dreyfuss had what some might call media-outbursts in the past week. I wonder if this is to be a new trend amongst the glitterati? Stay tuned.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — David Adelson; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Alison Martino; Jim Bessman; Joe Lynch; David Krumholtz; Vinny Rich; Robert Funaro; Donnie Kehr; Doug Breitbart; Harrison Jordan; David Browne; Evan Levy; Mark Simone; Dan Zelinski; James Edstrom; Barry Fisch; Ken Melamed; John Billings; Craig Newman; and Sadie!

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