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G.H. Harding

SHALES PASSES — I’d have a hard time coming up with a list of writers I consistently follow (Rex Reed; Matt Rousch; Dominic Patten; Brian Lowry; and Michael Musto being among my initial choices), but one of them, for decades, has been the TV-critic Tom Shales, who passed last week. His work was often very critical, but sharp as a whip and often hilarious. His mainstay was the Washington Post, though he worked for several news organizations.

Tom Shales

Per WaPo: “A recurring target for Mr. Shales was Kathie Lee Gifford, the perma-smile co-host with Regis Philbin on the syndicated morning show “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.” He regarded her as like a pebble in his shoe, annoyed by relentless peppiness, boundless self-adoration and cloying sentimentality. Mr. Shales took particular glee in bashing Gifford’s Christmas specials during the 1990’s.”

“That ghastly Gifford grin, ear to ear and back again, seems steeped in self-esteem and almost blinding in its showbiz phoniness,” he wrote in a review of “Kathie Lee: Home for Christmas,” which included her two “mercilessly exploited” children and her husband, retired football great Frank Gifford. He compared the special to Soviet torture techniques and directed his sympathy toward her offspring. “Imagine the therapists’ bills those kids will tally up in the years ahead,” he wrote

WaPo continues: “Mr. Shales pretended, with a playful wink, that he was restrained in his harshest reviews.”

I met him several times and he was as funny and acerbic as his writing. RIP Tom. Check out the complete WaPo article here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/other/tom-shales-pulitzer-winning-tv-critic-of-fine-tuned-wit-dies-at-79/ar-AA1mV64C

Van Dean

SHORT TAKES Broadway Records is now Center Stage Records. Don’t know the reason for the change but there it is. Broadway released some great albums in their day: From Micky Dolenz’s A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock & Roll to Kjersti Long’s Stronger Than You Think I Am and the TONY-winning Broadway cast album, from The Color Purple. Van Dean will helm the new entity, as he did with Broadway

Mark Bego

Mark Bego was at The Second Saturday Records & CD Show in Wayne, New Jersey with Dan Zelinski … Watched a slew of Sopranos-episodes on HBO saluting their 25th anniversary and they all held up beautifully. James Gandolfini was spot-on. Just perfect. Loved them all. Face it, that show set the stage for the rise of anti-hero. Next up was Don Draper in Mad Men … Last weekend was 50 years ago that Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” was #1. Amazing, is all I can add … Apple TV+’s Monarch ended their first season with just a stellar episode (Axis Mundi). This 10-episode show was just dazzling and if you have not checked it out, you should. Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt were both exceptional. Again, one of the best on the streaming channels … Just checked out Micky Dolenz’s voluminous book, I’m Told I Had A Good Time and was just knocked out. From his days on Circus Boy to meeting Hendrix and Nicholson, its just a stellar piece of work. Kudos to him and editor Andrew Sandoval …

Micky Dolenz Flexi Cover

Speaking of Dolenz: just announced, a special one-night only at LA’s The Troubadour, Micky Dolenz: Songs and Stories. Friday, April 5 …

The Troubadour

I just watched Saltburn. Will someone tell me what this movie was about. Every year the Academy has one oddball choice – remember Parasite? This one is just utterly nutso. The final scene when the main character dances nude about to “Murder On The Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, is just, well, crazy. I can’t even give this mess a star. Sorry … The forthcoming Linda Ronstadt biopic will be directed by none-other than David O. Russell. Now, that’s a major coup. Silver Linings Playbook; Three Kings; The Fighter; and American Hustle were all his hits. This will be a major, major undertaking for certain … Billy Crudup just won a Critic’s Choice Award for The Morning Show. Congrats. It was long overdue as his work on the Apple TV+ show was just stellar. Bravo … HBO’s True Detective: Night Country premiered Sunday and was just stellar. After two rather lackluster installments (Season 2 and 3) this latest edition fits right in with the series debut with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. Living-legend Jodie Foster (in one of her best roles ever) and boxer-turned-actor Kali Reis are just superb together. Former partners and still nursing grudges against the other, they decide to pool their efforts in a case that harks back to an earlier one they both worked on. Mexican-director Issa Lopez creates a stunning look for the show set in Alaska. Only 6-episodes, but am loving it so far … RIP Joyce Randolf.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Barry Fisch; Peter Shendell; Mitch Kanner; Bruce Schindler; Tony Taylor; Erica Bliss; Lush Ice; Adam White; Roman Kozak; Radcliffe Joe; John Sippel; Irv Lichtman; Marty Ostrow; Joe Bonadonna; Sharon White; Pam Goud; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Andy Greene; Mark Simone; Maria Milito; Robert Funaro; Doug Weston; 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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G.H. Harding

OJ DOA — Perhaps the Drudge Report (yes, the Drudge Report) had the most fitting headline: Cancer Murders OJ.

Yesterday’s news came as a huge surprise at 11:00 AM. For me, firstly, I couldn’t quite believe it was almost 30 years since that trial. When the verdict came in, I was at The Conservatory restaurant in the long-gone, much missed Mayflower Hotel. It was packed and when the verdict was announced there was a minute or two of dead-silence, then gasps. One of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t a huge sports fan -never have been- but I knew a lot about OJ. Face it, he was an icon And when the murders happened; the Bronco-chase; and trial … it was just extraordinary. His rise and fall was an amazing tale. It was also a major story for all the entertainment outlets. Journalists essentially moved to LA for the 9-month trial. It was, to my mind, the first trial of its kind.

CNN showed some of the reactions from then: then audience reaction at the Oprah Winfrey show was a mixed bag. Some cheered as Winfrey stood stone-faced. The reaction of OJ’s lawyers were interesting too; Robert Khardashian looked shell-shocked, while Cochran and Robert Shapiro  hugged OJ.

As Wolf Bltizer just said: these are moments one will never forget.

We think we know what happened … but now, we’ll never know for sure. An american tragedy for sure.

YES Photo by Gottlieb Bros

YES’ PURPLE — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Deep Purple and Yes will team up for a North American summer tour.

The trek begins on Aug. 14 in Hollywood, Florida, and concludes on Sept. 8 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Deep Purple is in the midst of their 1 More Time tour and simultaneously celebrating 50 years of “Smoke on the Water” (52 years now, to be exact). The band recently released a super deluxe edition of its landmark album Machine Head, which includes classics such as “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin’.”

Yes, meanwhile, will deliver a career-spanning set comprising material through their latest album, 2023’s Mirror to the Sky. The prog legends are also releasing an expanded anniversary box set of their 1994 album Talk next month.

52 years of “Smoke On The Water.” A classic if there ever was one. Every time I hear it on the radio, I start singing along. Talk about staying power! I saw Yes years ago and it was quite the show; with Chris Squire too.

There are a slew of legacy artists out for the summer and deservedly so. They may not generate the ink of a Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez, but their impact is still there.

Hubert Laws

SHORT TAKES — CTI Records. Remember them? It was producer Creed Taylor’s boutique label which released some of the most dynamic and interesting jazz-records in the 70’s and 80’s (SONY owns them now). From Airto to Milt Jackson; Deodato; Bob James; Jim Hall and Hubert Laws, the music was just terrific. Originally distributed by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records, they went independent and continued with some of the best jazz recordings ever. Even before you listened to the music, all the albums had a deluxe-cover; with some startling images. Check this piece out about their album covers from Medium: https://medium.com/@slishpogodi/cti-records-the-best-album-covers-cdac2e16c534 … 50 years of People Magazine. Rumors spread last year that the weekly was on its last legs.

Mia Farrow

Their first issue was in 1974 with Mia Farrow on the cover …

David Kramer

Director David Kramer won for ‘Best Documentary’ at last week’s NYFF event for his Jimi Hendrix: The Documentary. Congratulations

Coopstock

Coopstock is this weekend in Mesa, Arizona. Guests include Micky Dolenz; REO’s Kevin Cronin; Orianthi; Patrick Warburton; and of course, Alice Cooper himself … Hard to believe that director Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover, did the first Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix. It was just startling in every way and now the follow-up is about to come out with Phoenix and Lady Gaga; introduced as Harley Quinn. One trade already termed it a jukebox musical. Stylish for sure it looks just sensational and is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in quite some time. Here’s it is: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/joker-2-trailer-joaquin-phoenix-lady-gaga-1235957692/
… Here’s the trailer of Disney+’s Beach Boys doc.  Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Rspu3Xoi4 …  And, this week’s New York Magazine cover heralds the history of NYC through its restaurants. I was ready to see Tortilla Flats; La Cote Basque; Schraffts; Mortimers; Trader Vic’s; and Fontana Di Trevi. Turns out, it’s memories from people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who worked at The Coffee Shop and Keith McNally, who shucked oysters at One Fifth. Honestly, I expected a bit more depth. Great idea; lousy execution.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Toni Basil; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mitch Dolan; Barry Nolan; Robert Lamm; Jacqueline Boyd; Wayne Avers; Tyorne Biljan; Michelle Toscas; Fred Zarr; Abbe Rosenfeld; Shep Pettibone; Tony Darrow; Robert Funaro; Angel Mastrogiorgio; Ellen Smith; Howard Bloom; Jane Berk; Jack Cunningham; and CHIP.

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G.H. Harding

RINGO’S COUNTRY — (Via Forbes) Ringo Starr had a very busy 2023. He released a new EP, toured, and even reunited with Paul McCartney to produce one last Beatles single, “Now and Then.” One might assume that after so much activity, the 83-year-old might take some time off, but according to the musician himself, he’s still hard at work–and trying something new.

In a video he posted to X (formerly Twitter), Starr shared some very exciting news for his fans. It seems that he’s back in the studio working on new music. That would be enough to tantalize his still-massive following, but the kind of music he’s making is what caught the attention of many.

Starr shared in his video that he was “gonna do a country EP, but as things are unfolding, it’s probably going to be like a real CD—ten tracks.” He then laughed a bit to himself, adding, “Can you believe it? I haven’t done one of them in a long time.”

The beloved drummer last released a full-length album of original material in 2019 when What’s My Name arrived. That set was a minor commercial success, peaking at No. 99 in his home country of the U.K. and No. 127 in the U.S., where he remains very popular to this day.

Since his last album, Starr has been on a streak, releasing a number of EPs, or shorter collections. In the five years since What’s My Name, the drummer has dropped four EPs, as well as a number of singles, live collections, and more. He most recently returned with Rewind Forward, which even saw him collaborating with McCartney again.

For the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a timetable for when fans may get to hear Starr’s take on country. While he may be working on the material, there’s no telling what exactly it will sound like or when he’ll decide to release something.

In addition to a country collection, Starr also detailed yet another project he’s working on. The former Beatle and songwriter and producer Linda Perry have collaborated on another EP, titled Crooked Boy. That set seems to be his focus at the moment, and it will likely be released before any country tunes. About his friend and producer, Starr commented, “She wrote the songs for me. She produced them. She’s a beauty, so musical,” and said that she “has a great vibe.”

Jackie Chan

CHAN ALERT — (Via Deadline) Jackie Chan has reassured fans that he is in good health after a picture of him with gray hair and a beard sparked concerns for his well-being.

The Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Tuxedo star turned 70 over the weekend and marked the occasion with a post on Instagram in which he addressed health fears.

“Not so long ago, a lot of friends saw some recent photos of me on the internet, and they were all concerned about my health,” Chan said.

“I want to take this opportunity to let everyone know, don’t worry! It’s just a character appearance for my latest movie. The character requires me to have white hair, white beard and look old.”

The viral photos were from an event where Chan was on stage with a microphone. He was wearing glasses and clutching papers.

Last November, Chan was cast in a new Karate Kid movie. He will play Mr. Han, the kung fu master who helped Jaden Smith fend off bullies in Sony’s 2010 Karate Kid remake.

In his Instagram message, the Hong Kong actor said he has cherished every moment of his 62 years in the entertainment industry. “All I can say is: I love making movies and I love you all,” Chan said.

SHORT TAKES — Last week were several top-secret screenings for the new Francis Ford Coppola movie Megalopolis. Per an article in yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter, many attendees found it impossible to position. I haven’t seen it, but how can you deny the director’s importance? That said, I knew one person who went to one of the screenings and he has yet to render an opinion on it. Check out the Reporter piece: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/megalopolis-francis-ford-coppola-challenges-distribution-1235867556/

Benson Boone

Just caught Benson Boone on Tuesday’s Today Show, performing his song “Beautiful Things.” The 21-year-old reminded me of Tony Manero (Saturday Night Fever) during the short interview with Savannah, Hoda and Carson, but the song was pretty good. He gained prominence through his work on Tik Tok and Dan Reynolds’s acknowledgement – from Imagine Dragons. Check him out here: https://www.bensonboone.com/

Micky Dolenz at the Troubadour

Here’s one more great shot of Micky Dolenz’s from his triumphant show at LA’s Troubadour

People of a certain age will well recall John Hughes’ 1985 masterpiece The Breakfast Club. Certain things age well … others don’t. Check out Molly Ringwald’s take on that movie now from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2024/04/molly-ringwald-the-breakfast-club-elements-havent-aged-well-judd-nelson-character-1235877597/comment-page-2/#comments  … Anybody out there remember Lou O’Neill at the NewYork Post back in the day? …

Savannah Sellers

Can’t see to find Chloe Melas on Today anymore. Sad, but she clearly not the right move.; their Savannah Sellers is a much, much better fit …

Watched the Gershwin Awards honoring Elton John and Bernie Taupin on PBS. Brandi Carlisle performing “Madman Across The Water” is just amazing. Great show. Congratulations … More Sly Stallone news. All I can say is, I am NOT surprised: https://deadline.com/2024/04/tulsa-king-casting-director-quits-sylvester-stallone-accused-criticizing-background-actors-1235878860/ … Here’s the trailer for the biopic on Amy Winehouse from Focus Features. Looks pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYzIOBwyhIU  … Happy Bday Robin Platzer!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Terry Jastrow; Dina Pitenis; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Roy Trakin; Len Berman; Felix Cavaliere; Jane Blunkell; Pete Bennett; May Pang; Ken Dashow; Craig Newman; Jeffrey Sherman; Stu Fine; Mitch Kanner; Eppy; Al Steckler; Dan Richter; Tony King; Derek Taylor; Tyrone Bijan; Michelle Toscas; and ZIGGY!

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Micky Dolenz and band onstage (photo by Tyrone Biljan)

G.H. Harding

DOLENZ AT THE TROUBADOUR — Doug Weston’s Troubadour club in LA is a most storied venue. Back in the day, that was the club to be at and to play at on Santa Monica Blvd. Elton John’s US debut occurred at the club in 1970 when he was a mere 23. Other acts such as Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, Poco, Neil Young, James Taylor, Eagles, Neil Diamond, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, Tom Waits and so many more appeared at the club.

Troubadour (photo by Alison Martino)

Somehow The Monkees never played the club (though Micky Dolenz was in the audience for Elton’s debut back then). They hung out there and Mike Nesmith actually played there under the name of Mike Blessing during his Monkee-auditions.

That all changed Friday night when Micky Dolenz and his 6-piece band with his sister Coco, performed there. It was sold-out (a benefit for Make-A-Wish) and it was indeed history in the making.

The evening began with Dolenz’s sister Coco (it was her birthday) doing a short set with the band. Dolenz entered the stage and began with “That Was Then, This Is Now” and “Last Train To Clarksville.” Dolenz peppered the show with many personal reminiscences and his crack-band shined; especially guitarist Wayne Avers, drummer Rich Dart and bassist John Billings. Dolenz’s voice remains as strong as ever; it’s been said that his is a cross between Freddie Mercury and Roy Orbison, which is a spot-on description.

Dolenz and crew then did “Good Morning, Good Morning” and “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which was preceded by Dolenz’s memories about his time with The Beatles. “Johnny B. Goode” (his Monkees-audition song) and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” followed with the crowd singing along.

Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and Elton’s “Your Song” followed, again peppered with Dolenz’s poignant memories.

Make no mistake, The Monkees had just terrific material to work with; songwriters like Neil Diamond, Harry Nilsson, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Neil Sedaka, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, but the synthesis of the four of them was pure magic. Dolenz is carrying on that spirit in fine fashion.

Dolenz and band encored with “Gimme Some Lovin’,”No Time” and “I’m A Believer.”

Just a terrific show from start to finish. Bravo!

Seen in the SRO crowd, Alison Martino; Goldmine’s Ken Sharp and Tone Scott; Breakfast with The Beatles’ Chris Carter; Craig Newman from Paladin Artists; Art Rutter; Michelle Grant; Jane Blunkell; Micky’s daughter Ami Dolenz; and Roy Trakin from Variety.

Mario Van Peebles

HOLLY-DAY IS HERE  — (Via Variety) Mario Van Peebles has been tapped to direct “That’ll Be the Day,” the story of how Buddy Holly and other musicians of the late 50’s helped give birth to rock ‘n’ roll and influence the wider societal and cultural landscape, including the civil rights movement.

Music has been central to much of Van Peebles’ work, from his 1991 gangster movie “New Jack City” to his work on “Wu-Tang: An American Saga,” which he co-executive produced for Hulu. Van Peebles is currently writing a musical stage tribute to his father Melvin Van Peebles, to be performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center later this year.

“America’s tumultuous cultural melting pot has produced transcendent musical talent, including Buddy Holly, who was our first bad ass rock ’n’ roll nerd,” Van Peebles said in a statement.

His 2003 docudrama “Baadasssss!” pays homage to his father’s groundbreaking film “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.” His latest film, “Outlaw Posse” – a Western starring Edward James Olmos, Whoopi Goldberg, Cedric the Entertainer and John Caroll Lynch – which Van Peebles wrote, directed and starred in – is out now in theaters.

The screenplay was written by Patrick Shanahan and Matthew Benjamin, with additional material written by Van Peebles. The script is based on a story by French and Stephen Easley, general counsel to the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

Mario has certainly established himself as a creative force, but still, this seems an odd choice. But so was Taylor Hackford for Ray and that was a masterpiece.

SHORT TAKES — Woody Allen says in Graydon Carter’s Airmail: “The whole business has changed, and not in an appealing way. All the romance of film-making is gone.” Sad if his next film Coup de Chance, his 50th feature, is his last. Mired in personal tribulations, Allen was indeed canceled. Me, I wasn’t there and still haven’t made up my mind. But, boy, what a filmmaker. Sad news for sure …

Steve Kmetko

Remember Steve Kmetko? One of the first major entertainment journalists. He was on E and Entertainment Tonight and then unceremoniously dropped. On a podcast (Still Here Hollywood) with Amy Yasbeck, he reveals all. I knew Steve and his canceling was not done the right way at all. Check it out here: https://podtail.com/en/podcast/still-here-hollywood/ … And, Colin Farrell’s new Apple TV+ show

Sugar

Sugar is a visual delight. The logline begins with “an enigmatic detective” Hey, aren’t they all? It’s a bit of Chinatown and Mad Men. Light on story, but a heavenly look.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Wayne Avers; Tyrone Bijan; Jane Blunkell; Tone Scott; Chris Carter; Barry Fisch; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Jules Asner; Amanda Naylor; Michael DesBarres; Jacqueline Boyd; Jim Kerr; Maria Milito; Dan Zelinski; Eppy; Ken Kohl; Kent and Laura Denmark; Mitchell Coleman; Lush Ice; Barry Schiff; Tony King; Jodi Ritzen; and ZIGGY!

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G.H. Harding

JIM GORDON — Jim Gordon was a name that appeared on numerous album covers, liner notes and media in the 70’s and 80’s. He was in Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, as well a George Harrison’s triumphant All Things Must Pass masterpiece and a member of Eric Clapton’s Derek and the Dominoes.

I think his story, at least what he went to prison for, has been documented enough where I won’t go into it again as it was so tragic. He was the ‘drummer’ to go to back in the day.

He appears on records by the Everly Brothers; Ike & Tina Turner; Chad & Jeremy; The Monkees; Beau Brummel; Beach Boys; Bobby Darin; Tiny Tim; Delaney & Bonnie; Traffic; Nilsson; Donovan; The Byrds; Seals & Crofts; Albert Hammond; Dave Mason; Leon Russell; Joe Cocker; B.B. King; Helen Reddy; Steely Dan; Jackson Browne; Minnie Riperton; Mike Post; The Carpenters; Burton Cummings; Maria Muldaur; and dozens more.

Producers Lenny Waronker and Russ Titleman knew his presence only in the studio would turn a mediocre track into something special; he turned a session with them and Gordon Lightfoot into what would become “Sundown,” a monster hit for the artist.

Writer Joel Selvin, who I was not at all familiar with, does a thorough job in detailing Gordon’s life, his records and personal life. Who knew he had a torrid affair with Mama Cass Elliot? Certainly, the incident with Rita Coolidge has been well documented and it again appears here.

Back in those days, medical diagnoses were few and far between and research was just beginning into areas like dementia and delusional hierarchy. Gordon clearly had problems, but the help necessary really hadn’t yet been created. Its a sad story for sure, especially after ready his musical exploits, which were just superb.

This book comes on the heels of the Joe Cocker biography (With a Lot of Help from His Friends) from writer Mark Bego and ties in ever so nicely with it.

QUAKE IN NYC — Friday’s news was all about the 4.8 quake in NYC. Having lived and worked in LA, I’ve sadly become all too used to them. To be honest, it felt like a over-sized truck rumbling by in my neighborhood. Still, caution should be the word to use. After shocks are a reality too.

SHORT TAKES — Patti Boyd sold the original painting that went onto be the cover for the Layla album (titled La Jeune Fille au Bouquet and created by Emile Theodore Frandsen in the mid 50’s) for $2.5 million? Amazing. Its a great cover, but, $2.5 million? Wonder who the buyer who … Not to be snarky, but all this chatter about Monday’s Solar Eclipse, reminds me of Y2K. Remember that? It all seems a bit excessive …

Apple TV’s Constellationwas one hell of a ride. I can’t say I understood it all, but the craftsman that went into it was truly spectacular. I guess the message of the show was that you can go up into space, but when you come back, things can be much, much different. Can one exist in two different worlds was another message too.Apple’s Invasion fared much, much better in my book as such I think Constellation won’t be back for a round-two. Compelling yes, but way confusing … And, RIP John Sinclair. Iggy Pop says that Bowie “Wrote Panic In Detroit” about him. Superb track, still to this day. Give a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM3fCUmSheY … With the relative failure of J’Lo’s new album, her forthcoming tour has been re-tooled as a greatest hits one. Check out Deadline’s story: https://deadline.com/2024/04/jlo-rebrands-this-is-me-now-into-a-greatest-hits-tour-1235875649/And, Roger Friedman (in his brilliant Showbiz 411) said that with JLo’s failure and Justin Timberlake’s new album having gone stone-cold after a matter of weeks, a new era of quality music might just be on the horizon. Things change for sure. Check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/04/04/the-awful-truth-justin-timberlake-now-an-adult-artist-new-album-is-a-dud-with-just-130000-copies-sold

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Lee Jeske; Chuck Pulin; Andy Skurow; Steve Leeds; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Shannon Goode; Richard Johnson; Ian Mohr; David Kramer; Dan Zelinski; Vanilla Coke; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; William Schill; Jeffrey Sherman; Jane Blunkell; Barry Fisch; Felix Cavaliere; Jerry Lembo; Dan Zelinski; and SADIE!

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G.H. Harding

DALTRY OUT —(Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Roger Daltry, has addressed his mortality, weeks after his 80th birthday.

The rocker, who hit the milestone on March 1, gave a long self-examination to U.K.’s The Times while explaining his decision to step down as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) charity concerts.

“I have to be realistic. I’m on my way out,” the legendary singer wrote. “The average life expectancy is 83 and with a bit of luck I’ll make that, but we need someone else to drive things.”

Roger Daltrey further detailed the nervousness he felt before recent shows, admitting concerns “about how many words” he had to remember. “We haven’t done anything for seven months and this winter’s been brutal,” the rocker noted. “I’ve been in hibernation. For the whole of January, I lost my voice completely. ”I live like a monk and if I went on tour for a week I’d be fit as a butcher’s dog again,”

Daltrey continued, “but tonight, for the first time in my career, I think, ‘Blimey, this is hard. ‘The rocker, who hit the milestone on March 1, gave a long self-examination to U.K.’ The Times while explaining his decision to step down as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) charity concerts. “I have to be realistic. I’m on my way out,” the legendary singer wrote. “The average life expectancy is 83 and with a bit of luck I’ll make that, but we need someone else to drive things.

Despite his trepidation, the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concerts were once again hailed as a triumph. The highlight was an  all-star rendition of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” featuring Daltrey alongside Robert Planet and Eddie Vedder. This marked the 24th and final year that Daltrey will serve as the event’s curator.

Daltrey will be hitting the road for a short run of intimate concerts in June. The singer will perform classic songs by the Who, as well as solo material, along with special question-and-answer sessions.

Meanwhile, Daltrey’s Who bandmate, Pete Townshend, has suggested the famed rockers could reconvene for one last trek.

“It feels to me like there’s one thing the Who can do,” Townshend explained to The New York Times, “and that’s a final tour where we play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die.

Pete Townshend and David Salidor

PR-pasha David Salidor who first caught The Who in 1967 at Long Island’s Lido Beach Club says: “Daltry and Townshend and the entire group for that matter, changed my life and left an indelible mark on pop culture. I’ve seen them dozens of times over the years and even had the chance to reminiscence with Townshend at a Rockers On Broadway event a few years back; they’re timeless and brilliant. I mean, Tommy still stands as just a remarkable piece of work.”

Mark Ronson

RONSON’S WINEHOUSE —(Via Deadline) Mark Ronson was Amy Winehouse’s producer and collaborator who helped her reach great creative and commercial heights with her biggest songs.

But the Dail Mail reports that the role of Oscar winner Ronson has been cut from forthcoming biopic about the London singer. The movie is named after Winehouse’s second award-winning album and classic track, Back to Black, which Ronson produced.

It reports that Canadian actor Jeff Tunke filmed scenes in character as Ronson, but the scenes have been cut from the final edit, and Tunke’s name removed from the movie’s credits on IMDB.

The Mail quotes the biopic’s producers who explained: “The character of Mark Ronson has never appeared on screen in the film, so it would not have been possible to ‘cut all the scenes’ involving Mark Ronson as they do not exist.”

Ronson worked with Winehouse during her most productive time, collaborating on tracks Back to Black and Rehab. He later collaborated with Bruno Mars on global hit Uptown Funk, won an Oscar for his song Shallow from A Star is Born and composed the Barbie soundtrack.

He is reported to have previously helped creators of the biopic, taking the team around his studio where he worked with Winehouse, and recounting their time together.

The biopic stars Industry actress Marisa Abela as Winehouse, who died aged 27 in 2011, with Jack O’Connell as Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil and Eddie Marsan as her influential father Mitch. Sam Taylor-Johnson directs. The movie is scheduled for release on April 12.

Back To Black was in my opinion, a landmark album and if this is indeed true … I don’t get it. Truth be told, there are just soooo many docs out, I don’t know when you’d have time to watch them all; but this one I am looking very much forward to. I hear a Broadway-production is next!

SHORT TAKES — Andy Skurow, at Universal for 29 years, has left. Talented, knowledgeable, he’ll land in a great place for sure …

Felicity Hoffman

Felicity Hoffman, her career stalled for a bit because of that awful college admission scandal, has just signed on for Criminal Minds: Evolution – which will be streamed on Paramount +. She’ll essay the husband of the series late character Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin). Boy, everybody’s streaming – next up is Fox Nation … We came across the name Brett Winterble the other day. Where has he been? MIA for sure …

Rick Wakeman

Mark Strickland (late of All Access) sent this story on Rick Wakeman. Just stunning. A must-read: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-stranger-than-fiction-secret-history-of-prog-rock-icon-rick-wakeman?fbclid=IwAR2cnjEcC-zAlM0nF4t88PMDPzCllpVZUdXvFIUajQJOGKTPQkOoTft4XP8_aem_AeYJSaLoXik3rTFG8RsXZrUpg5n9RwMAJZv2CqADNTYtcnEvKNJSFwdcvhtkSStZzdw_hV6XcCgH8JldooIhzERp

News shot around Hollyweird Monday that director Sam Raimi would be mounting a fourth Spider-Man movie with none other than Tobey Maquire; they were together in the initial Spidey-movie back in 2002. Could it happen? Of course … Interesting article in this week’s Gothamist on why Broadway ticket prices are so high: https://gothamist.com/arts-entertainment/why-are-broadway-tickets-so-expensive-right-now-its-not-just-inflation?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=nypr-email&utm_campaign=Newsletter+-+Early+Addition+-+20240402&utm_term=what+Broadway%26amp;%23×27;s+41+theaters+are+charging+these+days&utm_id=319266&sfmc_id=53866143&utm_content=202442&nypr_member=Unknown

David Kramer’s doc on Jimi Hendrix doc premiered Monday to raves at the NIFF Film Festival in Nyac. Zach Martin’s NEW HD gave it a rave: https://newhdmedia.com/david-kramers-epic-journey-into-hendrixs-legacy-lights-up-niff2024/ … Happy Bday David Granoff and Peter Abraham.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Ariel Grace; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Bruce Haring; Kent Kotal; Wayne Avers; Tom Goodman; Mark Bego; Freda Payne; Martha Reeves; Beth Wernick; Jim Kerr; Ken Dashow; Maria Milito; Judd Bernard; Paul Cooper; Tony Mandich; Perry Cooper; Rhonda Shore; Gary Gershoff; Dina Pitenis; Steve Leeds; Judy Libow; Heather Moore; Keith Girard; Richard Johnson; and SADIE!

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