Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

The Glorious Corner

G.H. HARDING

LISA MARIE — At an appearance at last week’s Golden Globes at The Beverly Hilton, she didn’t look good at all. She seemed unsteady and slurring her words in an interview with Extra’s Billy Bush. Thursday, word came down that she had suffered a cardiac arrest and she passed soon after. Tragic, tragic news.

I didn’t know her at all, but surely the pressures of growing up in the shadow of her father was disastrous. She tried singing, acting, serving as the spokesperson for Graceland, but it must have been a thankless task. Tragic for sure.
Here’s a clip of her singing, “Where No One Stands Alone,” with her father: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaRaUjzD-as
BURT & ELVIS —(Via Rock Cellar) Scheduled for a March 3 release, The Songs of Bacharach & Costello celebrates a decades-long creative partnership and friendship between Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello.

Personally curated by Costello, the collection brings together all of the published songs the pair has written since their collaborations began in 1995.

The history of their partnership is storied and quite detailed — as summed up nicely below, per a news release:

Burt Bacharach

Those who were surprised by the writers of “I’m Not Angry” and “What’s New Pussycat?” working together perhaps overlooked that Bacharach was engaging in musical collaboration for only the second time in his storied career – the first resulting in just a handful of songs musically written with Neil Diamond.

It was Costello who wrote the first musical draft of “God Give Me Strength,” communicating from Dublin to Los Angeles by fax – back in the 20th Century – and far from being offended by this presumption, Bacharach sent back an amended copy, laying out the signature intro motif for flugelhorn, adding the expansive bridge section and making all sorts of subtle but crucial amendments to the melodic and rhythmic phrasing of Costello’s first draft.

This song was a commission for the Allison Anders’ motion picture, “Grace Of My Heart,” and though both song and movie were overlooked by the Academy Awards, the song did place in the GRAMMY nominations of the following year, as Costello remarked in his book “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink”: “To have written a song like “God Give Me Strength” and simply stopped would have been ridiculous.”

So began a series of face-to-face songwriting sessions in both California and New York City.

Their working methods ranged from one writer responding to the other’s opening musical statement to Costello trying to put lyrical substance and definition to a complete Bacharach composition that did not need any such musical reply. By the end of their initial sessions, there were occasions when they were seated across the room at two pianos, writing successive bars of the new tune.

Recorded in Hollywood in 1998, the album, Painted From Memory – orchestrated by Bacharach with the exception of the title track which was arranged by the great Johnny Mandel – has gone on to capture an appreciative worldwide audience far beyond its initial release. The song “I Still Have That Other Girl” even managed to wrestle a GRAMMY away from both Celine Dion and Van Morrison – no easy task in the crowded field of the “Best Collaboration With Vocals” category of the 41st Awards.

The idea that the songs and lovelorn themes of Painted From Memory might be realized on the Broadway stage were perhaps an unlikely prospect, given that, as Costello puts it in his essay, such a show might feel, “Like Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” only with less tap-dancing.”

Nevertheless, this was the belief of dedicated Painted From Memory aficionado and television comedy mogul, Chuck Lorre, who together with Tony Award-winning writer, Steven Sater, set about threading a story through the original folio of songs, creating a tale and set of characters who demanded that Bacharach and Costello write more than a dozen additional songs.

Writing the lyrics of these new songs, Costello told us, “These reflect the stories and impulses of a group of people who are, obsessive and vain, who are betrayed and become disappointed in life but long tenderly for a happier time, who are unfaithful, dishonest, destructive and turn out to be the inventors of a dangerous past, who are guilty, haunted and romantically deluded, desperate, vengeful and even cruel.”

“In their musical form they are different kinds of dark love songs that anyone might sing if they happened to be an artist, his model, a wife, a fantasist, a lover, a philanderer or disillusioned daughter. You know, fun for all the family.”

Painted From Memory was an instant classic. Critics loved it. Bacharach’s written the soundtrack of our lives and Costello a poet. Just classic material Here’s a video of “God Give Me Strength”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrcNnIV6FV8

SHORT TAKES — With all the commotion over Matthew Perry’s book, was it a big hit, or not? Mr. Perry, who I’ve always enjoyed, seemed to be all over the place in a matter of weeks … then gone. Wonder if it was successful at all? I kind of predict the same fate for Prince Harry and his kvetch-fest. It’s made good copy for sure, but the more you heard, the more you felt sad. It’ll be all over in a matter of weeks. Not to worry …

The Menu

Watched Ralph Finnes and Anya Taylor-Joy in The Menu this weekend and all I can ask is, exactly what was it all about? A bit of White Lotus … then it ran off the rails. Very strange.

Ringo Starr; Barbara Bach; and Hilary Gerrard.

Sorry, I cannot recommend it … Hilary Gerrard, who helped Beatle-Ringo Starr navigate through some very treacherous waters after the Beatles-break up, passed last week …

Roosevelt Hotel

NYC’s famed Roosevelt Hotel, that’s been closed since pre-pandemic times, seems about ready to stage a comeback. If you haven’t been there at all, it’s one of NYC’s finest-treasures … And, Zaz The Butcher, over at Warner Brothers/Discovery has struck again with Friday’s announcement that TNT’s Snowpiercer’s final, fourth season, will not be shown. Snowpiercer was TNT’s final original-scripted series. Look for the network to be disbanded shortly. Boy, with cancellations of Batgirl; Wonder Woman; Henry Cavill as Superman; and nowSnowpierecer, David Zaslav is building quite the reputation. He might actually beat Bob Chapek’s record. Stay tuned as this is not over.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Barry Zelman; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Alex Salzman; Melissa Davis; Ernest Chapman; Mark Scheerer; Keith Girard; Mark Simone; Ken Dashow; Elvis Duran; Eric Eisner; David Geffen; Paul Cooper; Tony Mandich; Kenny Kerner; Marty Ostrow; Paul Iorio; Jim Bessman; Lee Jeske; 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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