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The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

PLANTED — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Anything the Beastie Boys can do, Robert Plant can do better. That was more or less Plant’s thought process in 1988 when he was putting together the pieces of “Tall Cool One.”

Two years earlier, Beastie Boys sampled three Led Zeppelin songs on their debut album, Licensed to Ill: “When the Levee Breaks,” “The Ocean” and “Custard Pie.” Plant took those same three songs, plus guitar parts from “Black Dog,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Dazed and Confused,” and incorporated them into “Tall Cool One,” which appeared on his fourth solo album, Now and Zen.

“I just didn’t think the samples that had been used on other people’s records had been EQ’ed properly,” he said in an interview at the time. “So I figured if you get the CD and you actually do EQ them — and stick them in an AMS [digital delay unit] and just tune them up a bit, or down a bit, to give them even more sharpness, or more effect and intensity — then if I can’t do it, I’m fucked if I know anybody who can.”

Plant wasn’t shy about naming the group he thought didn’t properly EQ the samples and saw room for improvement. “I thought the bit of ‘The Ocean’ on ‘She’s Crafty’ could have been a bit more sparkly,” he said. “But you know, you’re leaving it in the hands of amateurs, really, so that’s what you get. It wasn’t supposed to be high-tech.”

“Tall Cool One” was composed by Plant with Phil Johnstone, a young songwriter who had sent Plant’s office some tapes of his work. “He’d put the word out that he wanted to hear some new music because he thought that everything coming out on record at the time was just average. I think he listened to about 500 tapes,” Johnstone explained in 1988. “And he and I, once we got together, carried on listening because we couldn’t resist the thought that in there somewhere might be the greatest song ever written.

“But there wasn’t, so he decided we’d write them ourselves.”

Plant was at a point where he didn’t want to be a “rock singer” anymore, he said in an episode of his Digging Deep podcast. Instead, he’d pursue something between the lines, something more “camp rock” – “somewhere between Iggy Pop and maybe Talking Heads.”

He and Johnstone hit it off right away, writing “Tall Cool One” within an afternoon. “It was bang!” Plant told Rolling Stone at the time. “The guy had been a Zeppelin fan, and I suddenly remembered that, yeah, so had I.”

Plant may not have loved how the Beastie Boys’ samples sounded, but he did like the concept. “I thought ‘Well, that’s a good idea,'” he said in 2020. “You can’t get a better drum sound. You know, if you think about the drums on ‘When the Levee Breaks.’ … So, why not use it again, and again and again and again and again?” Using the samples was no trouble either: Plant was still signed to Atlantic Records, the same label that distributed all of Led Zeppelin’s albums. “There was no point in suing me because I was already on their label anyway,” he explained.

He dug even deeper into his past, inviting Jimmy Page to perform on the song. At that point, only a bit of the guitar riff from “Whole Lotta Love” had been added, which Plant said Page didn’t even recognize at first.

“He thought it was just something we’d written in. Then he played the solo on it, and we put all the Zeppelin-record bits on at the end. We played it for him, and I wish I’d had a camera to catch the expression on his face,” Plant told Rolling Stone. “Like ‘What is he doing, and why is this essential for him? Is he taking the piss out of it?’ I’m not taking the piss. I’m showing that his riffs are the mightiest the world has ever heard.”

Page was certainly perplexed. “I didn’t realize how serious he was at that point,” Page told The Brian Times in 1988. “I thought it was tongue-in-cheek, I didn’t think it was quite so desperate. Then I was amazed when I saw what he’d done with it, putting the samples on the end. It’s funny that he seems to need me that badly.”Plant seemed to recognize that asking Page to come in and play on a song full of Led Zeppelin riffs was a bold move. “To get Jimmy to come into my world, rather than me go into his, and to bring his bits and pieces, it’s quite traumatic in a way,” he said in 1988. “Because we were so close at one time, absolutely musically inseparable. And now we’re miles apart, to ask him to step in and join me.”

Released in March 1988, the single reached No. 25 on the Hot 100, while topping the mainstream rock charts. An accompanying music video which got heavy rotation on MTV found Plant “going into character” in a sleeveless leather jacket surrounded by his leather-clad band.

“Tall Cool One” allowed Plant to feel more comfortable confronting his past work in the studio, he later explained. “It inspired me to start thinking about doing Zeppelin stuff onstage,” he said, “which got me through that kind of sanctimonious ‘don’t touch the tabernacle’ crap. It’s not out the window.”

Plant was asked in 2020 if the “tall cool one” was supposed to be him: “Well, it was, earlier on, but I don’t know if there’s been any shrinkage,” he joked. “But yeah, I can be if I try. Just might have to work me hair in a bit more.”

Here’s the video:

I was never a huge Led Zeppelin fan, but Plant’s solo work, this track and “Big Log” really knocked me out and his current work with Alison Krauss just extraordinary. Here’s “High and Lonesome” with Krauss – just a brilliant, brilliant track:
TRUMPED — It was bound to happen, but after all the stunts he’s pulled, to be brought down by porn-star Stormy Daniels? Justice may be blind,  but it’s also confusing at times.

Tony Shalhoub attends the 30th annual Producers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, CA, USA. Photo by Lionel Hahn/Abaca/Sipa USA (Newscom TagID: sipaphotosnine011677.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

SHORT TAKES — I love Tony Shalhoub. He is awesome in Amazon’s Mrs. Maisel, but look for him in a Monk-reboot and he’s just joined the cast of ABC’s The Company You Keep. Bravo Tony! … Spinning Gold, the story of Neil Bogart and Casablanca Records opened Friday.

Neil Bogart

Here’s the first line of the review posted on the Roger Ebertsite: The problem with “Spinning Gold” is not that it’s a bad movie so much as a boring one about a true story. For anyone with even a vague knowledge of its subject—the meteoric rise and jaw-dropping fall of Casablanca Records and founder Neil Bogart during the 1970’s—the idea that a tale dealing with such levels of creative, financial, and personal excess here could be dull seems almost impossible. But “Spinning Gold” somehow manages to pull off that dubious task, audaciously crossing “The Greatest Showma” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” and ending up with a dramatically inert and historically dubious mess. It’s “Gotti” with a slightly better soundtrack. Here’s the full review:

Larry Harris/And Party Every Day

The late-Larry Harris, the main man at Casablanca during it’s heyday (next to Neil of course) wrote a great, great book called And Party Every Day which is a joyous and accurate read … Roger Friedman (Showbiz 411) posted a response from the original lead singer of the Village People Victor Willis: … Terrific finale for ABC’s and Tom McCarthy’s Alaska Daily and a great end-tease for a possibly second season.

Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank was just tremendous in this. Must see TV at it’s best …

Micky Dolenz

Micky Dolenz – whose Micky Dolenz Celebrates The Monkees tour kicked off Saturday in Orlando – performed two SRO shows at last week’s Flower Power Cruise.  Peter Asher introduced him at both shows.  Several life-long fans said these shows were among his best ever. And, we hear opening night in Florida was a smash as well. More details next time … I don’t know what to make of the just-completed Gwyneth Paltrow trial, where she was acquitted, but I just read that the man suing her apparently had the whole incident recorded on a go-pro camera … then lost it. His lawyers argued that he was still on the slopes. Definitely on those slopes … And RIP Ryuichi Sakamoto and Happy Bday to Peter Abraham from SONY Hall and the Blue Note.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Mark Bego; Tony Seidel; Kent Denmark; Greg D’Alessandro; Brad Balfour; Magda Katz; Angela Tarantino; Robert Funaro; Cillian Murphy; Brad LeBeau; Brad Balfour; Charlie Crespo; Roman Kozak; Nille Adams; Marsha Stern; Randy Jones; Anna Torv; Fringe; Len Berman; Joshua Jackson; Tony King; Charles Rosenay; and ZIGGY!

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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Avengers Tower Sets Meet And Greet With Signing



C. B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, and The LEGO Group Senior Graphic Designer Mark Tranter will be at the Fifth Ave LEGO Store this Friday, December 1st from 5pm-6pm signing the Avengers Tower set—the most iconic building in the Avengers Universe, with 5,201 pieces and an all-star cast of 31 figures.

The Avengers Tower, formerly known as Stark Tower, was a high-rise building complex located in Manhattan. Constructed by Tony Stark, the tower was powered by an Arc Reactor that made it capable of running itself for over a year. The top ten floors housed the research and development initiatives.

Following the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stark Tower became the main headquarters of the Avengers. However, after the Ultron Offensive, Stark refurbished a Stark Industries warehouse upstate into the Avengers Compound to use as their primary base while Avengers Tower was repurposed for Stark Industries’ use. In the aftermath of the Avengers Civil War, Stark sold the tower and moved all of its equipment to the Avengers Compound.

By 2024, the tower, under its new ownership, had gone through extensive construction and renovation.

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God Comes Back To Times Square



On Monday, November 27,  the 2023 global Light the World Giving Machines campaign showed Christ’s light and love. Three machines were unwrapped in Times Square.

The theme for these machines is “Let Your Light Shine,” words the Savior of the world spoke to His followers. Giving Machines provide a unique path to spread His light — in your community or in a faraway country. Instead of buying something for yourself, your purchase is a donation for someone in need.

As we start the process of hoping there will be greater light in the world, we invite all to light the world,” said Elder David Buckner, an Area Seventy. “Today we start that as a process of hope and promise and joy that the world so desperately needs.”

Giving Machines, now in their seventh year, offer a unique way to serve and care for others. Instead of buying something for yourself, your purchase is a donation for someone in need. Across machines in all locations are a combined 1,200 different items requested by carefully screened and reputable local, national and international nonprofit organizations. These include meals, groceries, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education, bedding, hygiene kits, job and career training, crops and livestock (such as chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, sheep and beehives). Patrons can type in 777 to purchase one of everything in a machine.

The Giving Machines are open for business and have move to their permanent Manhattan holiday location: The Church of Our Savior at 59 Park Ave. (at 38th Street). They will be available through January 1, 2024. In total, Giving Machines are available in 60 additional locations in seven countries.

Besides the machines, 15 digital displays will be in Times Square featuring Christmas messages from the Church of Jesus Christ. These messages will include the birth of Jesus Christ and gratitude for local interfaith leaders and charities who are working with the Church to help those in need.

The nine participating national and global nonprofits are:

  • African Girls Hope Foundation
  • American Red Cross
  • Care
  • Church World Service
  • iDE (International Development Enterprise)
  • Lifting Hands International
  • Mentors International
  • WaterAid

The Church and UNICEF have collaborated on various projects to help children and mothers around the world. The American Red Cross of Greater New York, mission is to alleviate human suffering during times of disasters and emergencies. They provides 40% of the blood supply in the U.S. CARE has projects in over 111 countries and reaches more than 170 million people annually. The Church World Service, said her organization is focus on immigration legal fees, offer menstrual health products to help women and more.

In total, more than 250 local, national and global nonprofits are participating this year — more than all previous years combined.

It is time to bring light to what is admittedly a very dark world.

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The Broadway Green Alliance Is Turning 15



This fall, the Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) celebrates its 15th year as an industry-wide initiative that educates, motivates, and inspires the entire theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices on Broadway and beyond. To mark this milestone, the BGA will host a free celebratory “bike-powered” concert and birthday bash on Monday, October 23rd in the New Amsterdam Room at the New Amsterdam Theatre (214 W 42nd Street) which will be streamed live on Stars in the House.

The in-person event begins at 5:00pm ET with limited tickets available, and the live-stream concert begins at 6:30pm ET on the Stars in the House YouTube channel at

Broadway performers and hosts joining the event include Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley (Stars in the House), Tony Award Nominee Kerry Butler (Beetlejuice), Tony Award Nominee Anika Larsen (Almost Famous), Tony Award Nominee Kenita R. Miller (For Colored Girls…), Tony Award Nominee Adam Pascal (Rent), Mara Davi (A Chorus Line), Jenn Gambatese (Mrs. Doubtfire), Jackie Hoffman (Xanadu), James T. Lane (Chicago), Patti Murin (Frozen), Rachel Webb (& Juliet), and more to be announced.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Gutenberg! The Musical! Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells



On October 12th, Gutenberg! The Musical! opened on Broadway. Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells the original stars of The Book of Mormon are back together again, in a new musical from the guys who wrote Beetlejuice and the guy who directed Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge. It’s the story of two best pals named Bud and Doug who put on a show together because they just love each other so damn much. It’s art imitating life imitating art!

Look for T2C’s review Wednesday.

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Theatre News: Gutenberg! The Musical!, Spamalot, Madwomen Of The West and Hadestown



Last night, three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane made a surprise cameo in the role of ‘The Producer’ opposite Tony Award nominees Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells at the star-studded Broadway opening night of Gutenberg! The Musical! at the James Earl Jones Theatre (138 West 48th Street).

Lane, wearing the show’s signature mustard yellow trucker cap emblazoned with the word ‘Producer,’ took the stage and said, “I’m a famous Broadway producer. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. The name is Bialystock…. Max Bialystock,” a nod to Lane’s Tony winning role in the Mel Brooks’ musical The Producers. Lane also exclaimed, “This show is fantastic. I had the same feeling when I saw Cats!”

Lane is the latest star to join Gutenberg! in the role of ‘The Producer.’ During previews Gad and Rannells have also been joined by Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Groff, JJ Abrams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nikki M. James, F. Murray Abraham, Annaleigh Ashford, and Leslie Odom Jr.

Gutenberg! The Musical! is playing a strictly limited engagement at the Jones Theatre through Sunday, January 28, 2024 only.

Full Principal Cast photo by Matthew Murphy

Pictures were released for the first look at Spamalot. As previously announced, Spamalot features

Christopher Fitzgerald photo by Matthew Murphy

Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Waitress) as Patsy

James Monroe Iglehart photo by Matthew Murphy

Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton) as King Arthur

Taran Killam photo by Matthew Murphy

Taran Killam (“Saturday Night Live”) as Lancelot

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer photo by Matthew Murphy

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Beetlejuice) as The Lady of the Lake,

Ethan Slater photo by Matthew Murphy

Tony Award nominee Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical) as The Historian/Prince Herbert

Jimmy Smagula photo by Matthew Murphy

Jimmy Smagula (Billy Elliot) as Sir Bedevere

Michael Urie photo by Matthew Murphy

Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie (“Shrinking,” Torch Song) as Sir Robin

Nik Walker photo by Matthew Murphy

and Nik Walker (Hamilton) as Sir Galahad with David Josefsberg, Graham Stevens, Daniel Beeman, Maria Briggs, Gabriella Enriquez, Michael Fatica, Denis Lambert, Shina Ann Morris, Kaylee Olson, Kristin Piro, Drew Redington, Tyler Roberts, Anju Cloud, Darrell T. Joe, Lily Kaufmann, and Charlie Sutton. Iglehart, Kritzer, Smagula, Urie and Walker will be reprising their roles from the record-breaking sold-out run at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Brooke Adams

Brooke Adams will join Caroline Aaron, Marilu Henner, and Melanie Mayron, under the direction of Thomas Caruso. Ms Adams replaces the previously announced JoBeth Williams who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. Performances will begin Saturday November 11th at Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues). Opening Night is set for Monday December 11th. This limited Off-Broadway engagement will continue through Monday January 1st.

Marilu Henner

Performances will be Saturday at 2pm & 7pm, Sunday at 2pm, and Monday at 7pm. Actors Temple Theatre, located at 339 West 47th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues), is housed in the historical Actors Temple Synagogue in the heart of New York’s Times Square Theatre District. This theatre has been the home of the long-running production of Black Angels Over Tuskegee, which  played for almost ten years year Off-Broadway, as well as Cowboy, Sistas, Soul Doctor, Zero Hour, Rain Pryor’s Fried Chicken and Latkes,  It’s Just Sex, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, Goldstein, The J.A.P. Show: Jewish-American Princesses of Comedy  and  Paul Mecurio’s Permission To Speak.   Tickets, which are now on sale, range from $39.50 to $119 and are available for purchase online at, by phone at 212/239-6200, or visit the Actors Temple Theater box office (open one hour prior to showtime). Service fees will apply for online or phone orders


Jordan Fisher

Jordan Fisher will join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown as ‘Orpheus’ on Monday, November 20, 2023. Best known for his roles in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Teen Beach Movie franchises as well as his Broadway turns in Sweeney Todd, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hamilton, Fisher succeeds original cast member Reeve Carney. Carney will play his final performance as ‘Orpheus’ on Sunday, November 19. Carney began playing ‘Orpheus’ in 2017 at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre before transferring with the production to London’s West End and Broadway in 2018 and 2019.

“Reeve helped define both stories at the center of this show — the cosmic love story of a young man who changes the laws of the space time continuum to save his lover, and the political story of a ‘poor boy’ who gets angry enough to question ‘the king,’” said director Rachel Chavkin. “His extraordinary musicianship as guitarist and singer was an endless source of inspiration to both Anaïs and I in the creation of the show, and his elegant leadership as an actor and company member, both onstage and off, will be deeply missed.”

“My gratitude goes out to Anäis Mitchell and all who have touched this show with their divine intention,” said Reeve Carney. “To my fellow cast mates, who have been with me in the trenches, giving of themselves freely and unceasingly, on and off the stage. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And to our incredible audiences here at The Walter Kerr Theater… It has been an honor bringing this story to life for you all night after night over these many years.”

Hadestown currently stars Tony Award winner Lillias White as Hermes, Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice, Betty Who as Persephone, and Phillip Boykin as Hades. They are joined by Amelia Cormack, Lindsey Hailes, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihumoa, Alex Puette and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo, and Tanner Ray Wilson.

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