The Glorious Corner
GABRIEL’S GOLD — I first met Peter Gabriel eons ago at a Prince’s Trust event in London. He was sitting with the actress Rosanna Arquette, and I just formed an immediate connection with him. I was with another client, but we just clicked and ended up talking for several hours. I’ve followed his music before and certainly after and he latest album, I believe his first in 21 years, i/owill be out shortly and he’s been releasing tracks one by one – believe it not, whenever there’s been a full moon.
CHURCH AND STATE — Sunday’s penultimate episode of Succession was as brutal and emotional as ever. The three siblings, joined by their mother at Logan’s funeral, were awash in emotion, but not enough to dissuade them from further business angling. Roman ultimately broke down while he was delivering an eulogy and ended the show wandering aimlessly in a protest taking place. Logan’s brother Ewan, essayed by James Crowell, delivered a blistering indictment of Logan … on point for sure. And, Cromwell knocked it out of the park for sure.
Kendall and Shiv pursued their own affairs and it was clear by the episode’s end, that both brothers knew, she was siding with Lukas Matsson. Tom was barely in the episode at all and even missed Roy’s funeral; although he claimed to be the last one with Logan when he died.
The episode was written be creator Jesse Armstrong and was as powerful as ever, Truly a great show and one that I will miss. Get ready for next week 90-minute finale. It should be nothing short of stunning.
GUESS WHO DON’T SUE — What major 80’s blue-eyed soul singer was about to pact with a English-based label for his new album, when at the last minute he (and his manager) changed their mind and released it themselves on their own label?
The album is 3 weeks old with nary a review nor any major airplay.
Anyone can release their own album these days; but, the key is the support staff and street team … much needed these days with social media. I remember back in the day when a major ad agency took a two-page ad out themselves: the first page said, this is what happens when you don’t advertise. The second page: totally blank.
It does take a village indeed!
SHORT TAKES — The long-talked about Dave Mason autobiography, Only You And I Know, will now be out on November 14. It was originally supposed to be out this week. I wonder what caused the delay? Maybe he remembered more stories about The Moke or Teddy Slatus? …
David Zaslav (Zaz The Butcher) was met with boos and angry chants from students after taking the stage at Boston University on Sunday to accept his honorary degree and give the 2023 commencement speech. Those cries began as early as the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO’s introduction by BU President Robert A. Brown during the 150th commencement exercises at Nickerson Field. As Brown spoke to Zaslav’s “passion for documenting and sharing the human story on a global scale,” the chants and booing immediately picked up, followed by what would become a constant ebb and flow of calls throughout his 20-minute speech. A plane even flew by with a banner proclaiming Pay Your Writers. Face it, this guy’s a joke for sure …
Micky Dolenz’s solo show in Davenport, Iowa this weekend, apparently was off the charts. Our spy reports that SRO-crowd was terrifically energetic; especially on a terrific version of The Beatles’ “Get Back.” Thanks to Jane Blunkell for the attached shot. Dolenz is at Abbey Road On The River this week and Louisville Public Media did a nice interview with him. Check it out here: https://www.lpm.org/music/2023-05-22/shines-catchup-with-micky-dolenz-of-the-monkees … I caught the Bob Clearmountain interview on Inside Power Station on NYC Life Channel this weekend and it was pretty good. Stephen Webber, Director of BerkleeNYC was not the best interviewer I’ve ever seen, but he held up. To tell you the truth, I’d never heard of this channel or show, but frankly, it was pretty well done.
The Power Station, for those that don’t know, was one of the premiere studios in NYC before going through a series of management changes and now Berklee School of Music owns it. As the interview with Clearmountain abruptly ended, they showed a video and interview from a current student there; so it’s as much a promo move from Berklee as anything else. I wonder what actual artists were interviewed for the show. I’d love to see Springsteen interviewed or even Duran Duran. These behind-the-scenes docs are gaining prominence for sure. Latino-artist Thalia announced one last week and there’s a slew coming. Stay tuned …
And, the new Indiana Jones movie debuted at Cannes last week and received not the best reviews and much chatter was about its director James Mangold and whether he was a good choice. I’ll see it for sure as I’m a fan of the series, but Sunday I caught the tail-end of Ford vs. Ferrari, which I loved the first time I saw it and loved it again. I had forgotten that Mangold directed that one too and to me, did just a brilliant job. Bravo! … Happy Bday Bernie Taupin!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Tony King; Rob Dickins; Daryl Easlea; Glenn Gretlund; Ian Lee; Mikael Wood; Robert Evans; Roger Friedman; Angela Tarantino; Robert Funarto; Michael Fuchs; Brian Cox; Kit Lambert; Chris Stamp; Decca Records; Lifehouse; Benny Harrison; and CHIP!
MORNING GLORY — (Via Deadline) Jennifer Aniston is teasing the new season of The Morning Show ahead of its Apple TV+ premiere this fall.
The Friends alum plays a morning show anchor named Alex Levy on the Jay Carson-created drama and is opening up about what to expect in Season 3.
“It’s a good, juicy one,” Aniston told People. “Everybody’s getting in trouble. Everybody has a secret. And everyone’s just walking the line. It’s a lot more sensual this year.”
Aniston shares the screen with Reese Witherspoon and they both executive produce the series. With Season 3 not even airing yet, the stars have already secured a fourth season When the show returns this fall to the streamer, it’ll pick up right after Season 2 ended and as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the fictional network UBA.
While making an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this year, Aniston teased the new season of The Morning Show and talked about Jon Hamm joining the show.
“Everybody has a secret. We’re revealing a lot of secrets. There’s definitely romance,” Aniston said. “Mr. Jon Hamm is a big one. We were very excited to get him. Isn’t he the nicest guy? He’s this very handsome leading man and then he’s got this funny and… it’s just so fabulous.”
The cast of the show also includes Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Néstor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Nicole Beharie, and many more. Steve Carell was also part of the show in its two first seasons.
Season 1 of the show was just sensational with Steve Carrel turning in a great performance. Season 2 was rather awful and because of that I was surprised it was even renewed at all. Aniston and Witherspoon are fantastic; terrific chemistry, but the real stars, at least for me, are Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass. Somehow, Crudup’s character was not given the same attention in Season 2 and that was a huge mistake IMO.
I’m a big Jon Hamm fan as well, so, I’m ready. Bring it on.
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz performed “I’m A Believer,” “Randy Scouse Git” and “Daydream Believer” at last weekend’s James Burton and Friends in London at the Palladium. Also there: Brian May; Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter; Ronnie Wood; and Albert Lee. Here’s Wood and Dolenz …
Broadway’s Donnie Kehr delivered a superb show Sunday night at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room in NYC. He performed his current album Beautiful Strange in its entirety. With a top-notch band, it was just sensational. Seen there were: Cori Gardner; Benny Harrison; the China Club’s Danny Fried with daughter Gabriella and Lou Christie. Kehr’s pr-man David Salidor was also on hand. Kehr and his band even performed “Running Back” which was a hit 35 years ago when Kehr was in a rock-ensemble called Urgent. Stellar night …
Jann Klose was at Philadelphia’s Sellersville Theater a week back and Annie Haslam (Renaissance) was on for several songs. His new album Surrender is out and just an excellent work … The long-awaited movie The Flash is out next week and the first reviews are in and they’re sensational. Even Deadline’s moribund Pete Hammond, whose reviews are usually a snore-and-a-bore loved it. He event cited Michael Keaton’s return as Batman as brilliant. Check it out here: https://deadline.com/2023/06/the-flash-review-ezra-miller-michael-keaton-in-brilliant-return-batman-1235409735/ …
I hear there’s a new Project Grand Slam album out? One of Robert Miller’s former PR-persons (and there have been many) tipped us off about it. Congrats Mr. Miller … HBO, in their infinite wisdom, just cancelled Perry Mason after two seasons. Sad, but not surprising as it was a terrific show that had not only great writing, but great acting. Matthew Rhys and Juliet Rylance were sensational. Their second season was definitely harder to get through than their debut season, but still well written and performed. Sad … NBC’s Carson Daly just previewed what Spotify believes could be the songs of the summer. Taylor Swift; Jack Harlow; Rema with Selena Gomez were all picks; the only thing is, they all sounded the same … CNN’s Chris Licht – supposedly the savior to the network’s failing fortunes was fired Wednesday by David Zaslav after a disastrous article in The Atlantic. From our spies at CNN, this was no surprise and a most welcomed development. Zaz The Butcher should bring Jeff Zucker back …
Comic-legend Pat Cooper passed yesterday. Anthony Pomes from Square One Publishing said: “Pat was a mighty American comedy legend. He was brash, brave, and fearlessly original in his presentation of all his life’s truths. We (Square One) feel honored to have published his memoir. Having accompanied Pat to several shows and such for PR and to sell his book, I came to see the pussycat behind the scowly owl front. If he yelled at you, that meant that he LIKED you. Godspeed, Mr. Caputo – you were a great one” … And, RIP George Winston and Astrud Gilberto.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Tony Sachs; Barry Fisch; Eppy; Peter Shendell; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Lush Ice; Joe Cocker; Kent Denmark; Kim Garner; Elizabeth Warner; Andrew Sandoval; Jason Elzy; Irving Azoff; Anthony Pomes; Anthony Noto; Robert Funaro; Joel Diamond; Vinny Rich; Benny Harrison; The Smith; Sasha Prendes; and ZIGGY!
MAISEL ENDS — In a season of major, major finales, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel ended with just a stunningly good episode that tied up most of the loose ends from previous seasons and gave us a final, tragic look at Lenny Bruce as played by Luke Kirby.
Bruce was an acquired taste for sure. I well remember the fist time I heard him, I couldn’t quite believe it. Kirby had him down pat; so much in this final episode, as Bruce was beleaguered with legal troubles and his drug addiction was nearing an end. It ultimately killed him and his act back then essentially consisted of him reading from his lawsuits. It wasn’t funny at all, but sad and tragic.
CYNTHIA WEILL RIP — Cynthia Weill, who wrote with husband Barry Mann and Phil Spector “You Lost The Lovin’ Feeling” for the Righteous Bothers in 1964, has passed. She also wrote “Shades Of Gray” for The Monkees’ Headquartersalbum in 1967. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9ZxRjItD1o
SHORT TAKES — Criminal Intent revival? Vincent D’Onofrio has been bantering about on twitter. Great idea. It was always one of my favorites. Note to Dick Wolff : Chris Noth should return … Here’s Micky Dolenz with Queen’s Brain May on rehearsal day for the James Burton event in the U.K. … Terrific report from Roger Friedman in his Showbiz 411 column about the Queen-catalog. He’s absolutely on point -as always – check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/06/02/queen-1-billion-catalog-deal-very-possible-says-expert-freddie-mercurys-heirs-like-mary-austin-and-band-members-could-become-very-very-rich…
In 1995, Cher did a version of of Marc Cohn’s brilliant “Walking In Memphis” for Warners. It was included on an album called It’s A Man’s World and was right before her huge hit “Believe.” Take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOJTKpzqk6M
SO LONG, FAREWELL — I’ve been a TV-guy for decades; from Mary Tyler Moore; MASH; The X-Files and Seinfeld on down; I’ve seen great shows fall low with just terribly written finales, but the final-Ted Lasso episode this week was nothing short of brilliant. The acting, the writing, the joie de vivre off the charts.
Joie de vivre literally translates into the joy of living and the three seasons of Ted Lasso were all just sensational in every way. Sure, there were some standout episodes (Beard After Hours), but Jason Sudeikis and gang were always just wonderful. Some pundits said that this third season ran off the rails a bit, but this last episode neatly tied them all up. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning the brilliant music that accompanied each and every episode; from The Monkees’ “Sometime In The Morning” to the new Ed Sheeran record which debuted in this last episode. Just so neatly done.
I’ll tell you what I really liked from the get-go was the fact that this episode began after Ted clearly told Rebecca he was going home in the last episode. The fact that they didn’t show it, made it a lot easier to digest. Hannah Waddingham is a star and she had her moment with Ted, in the seats, asking him one more time to stay.
She’s going to be as huge star, so get ready to see a lot more of her.
Brett Goldstein too (Roy Kent) was just tremendous. He’s huge already!
Roy Kent became the new coach of AFC Richmond with Nate as an able assistant. Ted Crimm (James Lance) finished his book originally titled The Lasso Way, but Ted after reading it and loving it, wanted a new title. Hence, The Richmond Way.
Just a great episode; a tad longer at 76-minutes, but richly written and acted. I am going to miss this show tremendously.
Utterly brilliant in every way.
MILLI VANILLI — (Via Deadline) A feature doc about controversial pop group Milli Vanilli has been picked up by Paramount +.
The eponymous doc, which tells the story of the duo who were forced to return their Grammy Award for Best New Artist after it was revealed that they didn’t sing on any of their records, is premiering at the Tribeca Festival.
The streamer will launch the doc in the U.S. as well as in Canada, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Produced by MRC and MTV Entertainment Studios, Milli Vanilli tells the story of Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, who became fast friends during their youth in Germany. With Rob coming from a broken home and Fabrice having left an abusive household, they shared a similar upbringing, as well as a future goal: to become famous superstars. In a few short years, their dreams came true. Their first album went platinum six times in 1989, and their hit Girl You Know It’s True sold over 30 million singles worldwide. Rob and Fab became the world’s most popular pop duo in 1990. However, their ascension to success came with a devastating price that ultimately led to their infamous undoing.
“For over 30 years, the story of Milli Vanilli – in particular Rob and Fab – has been reduced to sensational headlines,” said director Luke Korem. “With this documentary, we pull back the curtain on pop music. Featuring interviews with the real singers, record executives, the producer mastermind behind the deception and exclusive interviews with Rob and Fab, we unveil the truth of this complex, exciting and dramatic story. I’m thrilled that Paramount+ shares our vision and will bring this film to audiences around the world.”
“Finally – the true story of Milli Vanilli has been told,” added Fabrice Morvan. “I’m thankful Luke Korem and his team went to the lengths that they did. The journey I returned to during the filming of this documentary didn’t leave any stone unturned. At last I can close this chapter in peace… Get ready to take a walk in our steel-toe boots.”
SHORT TAKES — Nomad’s Flatiron Building looks to be turned into a residential house. Not a bad idea at all. Great address (175 Fifth) and a great location … Brian Lowry, who used to cover TV for Variety, now is at CNN. Great writer and he did a fantastic book on The X-Files years back. Congrats …
Donnie Kehr at Steve Walter’s CuttingRoom Sunday performing his Beautiful Strange album live … As you can well imagine, the reviews for Succession’s finale were just tremendous; both pro and con for certain, The Washington Post ran an interesting piece on the show as well; from a more medical-point of view. I loved it; take a look: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/05/30/succession-wealth-family-life-psychologists/ …
Daryl Easlea: a brilliant writer from the U.K. has a book coming out on Slade entitled Whatever Happened To Slade?Remember them?
Here’s the cover … To close this year’s Tribeca Festival, there will be a special 30th anniversary screening of the film, A Bronx Tale, Saturday, June 17. After the film, Robert DeNiro (who directed the movie), Jane Rosenthal, and Chazz Palminteri will participate in a live conversation with David Remmick, editor of the New Yorker. Definitely one of the major highlights of this year’s fete … (Via Showbiz 411):
Billy Joel is wrapping it up. The Piano Man will end his record-breaking run at Madison Square Garden in July 2024. It will be his 150th monthly show. The whole run has been an incredible success, allowing Billy to stay mostly close to him and bring all his fans to him. At times, he’s strayed to other cities and countries, but every month like clockwork he’s been at the Garden playing his hits to very happy fans. The sold out residency began back in 2014, believe it or not. Billy has outlasted dozens of Broadway shows, some mayors, governors, presidents, etc. The run has been a phenomenon and a stunning success. Joel will turn 75 next May, so that plus the magic 150 number and it all makes sense … Happy Bday Melani Rogers; Ronnie Wood; and David Keeps.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Daryl Easlea; Tony King; David Geffen; Ed Rosenblatt; Glenn Friscia; Jim Burgess; Kent Denmark; Mikael Wood; Lester Bangs; Anne Leighton; Vince Aletti; Fred Goodman; Mark Bego; Mike Greenblatt; Ken Dashow; Jane Rosenthal; Robert DeNiro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Markos Papadatos; and ZIGGY!
FAMILY’S A BITCH-THE END OF SUCCESSION — Sunday’s finale of Succession (HBO) was a mixed bag. I’ll be honest: At first I thought the finale was totally underwhelming, but after some additional thought and reading some other excellent reviews, I’ve come to the point where I now believe it was, pure and simple, how it had to end.
None more so than Joss Stone on “I Put A Spell On You.” What a voice. I’m amazed she’s not bigger; very Janis Joplin.
Also, Gary Clark delivered a blistering, amazing performance on Stevie Wonder’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.” No question that he’s the next guitar-wizard. Here they both are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvO2_noxaXQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO2BLAXveVo …
I watched all 9 seasons of the CW’s The Flash and the first 5 were pretty terrific. The remaining ones got poorer and poorer as the original cast disappeared one by one. Grant Gustin, The Flash, was there the whole time, but their finale last week was terribly confusing – save for a song by Tony Award winner Jesse L. Martin (for Rent) – a key member of the original cast. The last two seasons had a myriad of costumed villains, some from the comic, some not, but just wildly messed up. The CW was sold to Nexstar last year and big changes are in their future. Sad … and, CNN is reporting that Universal Music is close to snapping up the rights to the Queen-catalog for $1 billion-plus. Good for them.
Disney had it previously, but Queen’s music is more popular than ever before. It’s a real shame Freddie is not her to share in it. If you wondered the record for the biggest previously was for Bruce Springsteen’s catalog at $500 million.
The Mayor of Motivation interviews Ramon Hervey, Manager & Publicist to the Famous
Ramon Hervey has earned global recognition as a highly regarded entertainment manager, brand consultant & publicist who has represented Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, the Bee Gees, Muhammad Ali, Caitlyn Jenner, Quincy Jones, Vanessa Williams, The Commodores with Lionel Richie, the Jacksons with Michael Jackson and a whole lot more A Listers. He is the author of the book…The Fame Game: An Insider’s Playbook for Earning Your 15 minutes.
After having invested 4 decades in playing the fame game, Ramon and I sat down to talk on The Motivation Show podcast.
Ramon, why do you call fame a “game” and why did you choose that word for your book title? “Fame is unpredictable, just as are the results in a game. Everyone has failures. You hope to win, but it is not guaranteed. Only .0065% of over 7 billion people in the world are famous. There are a lot of successful people in the world that never become famous. Fame and success don’t come with a warranty.”
What does Ramon feel about luck playing a role in success and fame? “I think there is a certain amount of luck in what I do. A lot of it is timing. Timing is a form of luck.” One example Ramon gives is when Starbucks started to introduce music in it’s cafes. The first one was Ray Charles, who died shortly thereafter, which skyrocketed sales of his music. That sales surge is what Ramon attributed to luck.
The pursuit of fame…is it mostly a positive goal? “Most people don’t know what fame is til they already become famous. A lot of stars change their mind about what they thought fame was going to be. A lot of people don’t like all the baggage that comes with being famous. The lack of privacy. In my time on the planet, it has definitely changed dramatically over the past ten years.” Ramon points to Social Media and it’s impact on more people having an opportunity to become famous in different ways than were available previously.
Why did Richard Pryor, at the height of his fame, attempt suicide & what was the famous incident which almost killed him that he later confessed to as a suicide attempt? “I managed all of Richard’s missteps. He was probably the #1 black entertainer in the world at that time. It’s not my fame. It’s their fame. I think Richard always felt guilty about his fame. He didn’t think he could live up to the level of fame that he achieved. That created an albatross around his neck. It made him rely on more substances to sedate him and calm himself. He reached the point that he did not want to become that person anymore. For the longest time he said that he didn’t (try to commit suicide), he said it was an accident. Richard always found a way to market his vulnerability. All of his comedy focused on all of his missteps. He had shot all four tires on his Mercedes and told his wife during a fight that you are not going to leave in that car. He put that into his comedy. He did it the exact opposite way of what we would advise which would be to put the incidences behind you. I don’t know anyone else that was as successful as him in marketing all of the things he did wrong.”
When asking Ramon about what type of confident personality one has to have to become famous he says, “I do believe you have to have a big ego and a certain amount of self confidence to be successful. Every famous person I met took a different path to get it and they all loss some level of fame at some point.”
Can you give us an example of someone you managed very well? “I am very proud of my relationship with Bette Midler. She helped to blossom my career. I was never her manager, but I was her publicist. I did work in a management capacity…she didn’t have a manager. I have a great appreciation and fondness for her. Also, working with my ex-wife Vanessa Williams on her crisis management. I did not know her at the time she was embroiled in the Miss America controversy. She resigned here title and I am glad she did. We got married and had three kids together and I managed her career. It took ten years for her to get her life back after she resigned from the Miss America pageant where she was just called Vanessa Williams without alluding to any prior controversy.”
In discussing his earlier years, Ramon shares two musical giants that helped shape his career. “In my book, I try to enlighten people about the trajectory of my own fame. My first client I got to work with was Paul McCartney. My initial task was to put together a press kit. That shaped my next 4 or 5 years when I got an opportunity to work with Quincy Jones who is the first client I brought to Rogers & Cowan who I was working with at the time. He was someone I treasured to be in his presence because he had so many great stories and so much great insight.”
Ramon muses in his book about fame, that the more you get, the harder it is to manage. I asked him if there are any other examples like that. “Probably the worst case scenario was Rick James. He had a very troubled childhood. For him, fame meant he put himself above people. He created a lot of bad blood. The way that he treated people. A lot of people did not want him to win. He always had a great fan base, but I think his fame was toxic for him. He self-destructed. He was obsessed with fame and all the hoopla and perks. He loved being the king of everything. He was very demanding. He did not know how to manage his fame.”
In closing, I ask Ramon, what he is most proud of. “I am proud of my reputation. I have never been sued. I’ve always approached business with a great deal of integrity. I’ve always worked really hard. I’ve always tried to be honest with my clients. Authentic and transparent. I think that is much better than being a yes man.”
So when I think of fame, I think of getting the best table in the best restaurants. I think about people idolizing me. I also think about people interrupting my conversation and my meal for photos and autographs. Do I really want that…or do I just want a nice, quiet, peaceful meal. Hmmm…some food for thought. How about you? Do you want to be part of the Fame Game?
You can listen to Eli’s podcast The Motivation Show on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3NVmTDAvGbzooN8TCW7tuN. To contact Eli or to have him speak at your event, email email@example.com.
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