EAST SIDE CELEBRATION —Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam’s new album, East Side Sessions, is a major, immediate contender for album of the year. Joyous, rhythmic, melodious … it’s just what we need right now, especially considering the state of the world.
Miller previewed the album with several upfront videos: the brilliant “I’m Falling Off Of The World,” “It’s A Miracle To Me” and the terrifically creative “The Pardners” – which is an epic spaghetti-western featuring the awesome vocals of Marilyn Castillo.
After 8 albums (including the #1 album Trippin’ –2018- ), Miller has successfully transformed the band into a marvelous working unit; definitely a premiere jazz/rock/Latin attraction for certain.
Miller, who re-imagines a classic-rock-song song with each album (he’s done it to The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me,’, Cream’s ‘I’m So Glad’, and, The Who’s brilliant ‘I Can’t Explain’) has continued on this album with The Beatles’ “I Wanna Be Your Girl,” that Ringo sang on.
Miller says: “The Beatles are like Mount Everest in this regard. You simply cannot improve on almost any of their songs. But ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ is among the most obscure Beatles songs – recorded first by The Rolling Stones, and then by The Fab Four with Ringo singing. I not only changed the feel but rewrote some of the lyrics to give it a feminine spin. Done with the greatest respect.”
Tristan Clark’s guitar work is exception; as is Alex Blade Silver’s horn work and Baden Goyo’s keyboard work.
Exceptional work all around from Miller and the band. Expect another # 1. A must-hear work for sure.
BRUCE JUICE — Cousin Brucie Morrow has announced he will be leaving SiriusXM’s 60s On 6 following his show this Saturday night.
The longtime New York area personality and station owner has hosted Wednesday and Saturday night shows for Sirius since the 2005 demise of the Oldies format on 101.1 WCBS-FM New York. The Brooklyn native began his career in Bermuda before joining 1010 WINS New York in 1959.
After a stint at 940 WINZ Miami, Morrow joined 770 WABC New York in 1961 as night jock and would stay until moving to 660 WNBC in 1974 to replace Wolfman Jack.
In 1977 he and Robert Sillerman formed Sillerman Morrow Broadcasting which acquired stations in Northeastern markets such as Middletown and Poughkeepsie NY, Northampton and Cape Cod MA and New Haven CT as well as WATL-TV Atlanta.
He would join WCBS-FM in 1982 where he would remain until its 2005 flip to Jack-FM, the tenure there would include the syndicated Cruisin’ America from 1985 until 1992 and hosting Wednesday and Saturday night shows in New York for SiriusXM.
In making his on-air announcement about his departure from SiriusXM, the 84 year-old Morrow made it clear that he is not retiring and will be back in some form, while directing listeners to follow his Facebook page.
I’ve known Bruce for decades and he’s the real deal; a broadcasting icon of the highest order.
TORPEDO FOR VITO — Former-promoter and manager Vito Bruno’s run for Senate, against incumbent State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge) as a Republican, may have hit a snag with an article in Monday’s New York Daily News, that claims during Bruno’s earlier life, which includes hosting unpermitted “outlaw” parties that raged into the morning hours at defunct and derelict sites across the city, hiring known gang members to work the soirees, along with multiple sordid claims he now refutes.
Bruno’s now running a return-to-law-and-order campaign and some claim his transformation from clubland impresario to Trump-backing conservative is highly skeptical.
“Vito Bruno doesn’t represent ‘law and order,’ he represents the exact opposite—a return to the bad old days,” said longtime Bay Ridge resident Kristen Pettit. “Only a man who believes he is above the law openly discusses how he’s broken it.”
“They’re going back 40 years to find stuff … and, you know I think they’re wasting their money on that stuff because it’s all been published,” he told the Daily News.“They keep going back to 40 years ago; I think none of us are the same as we were 40 years ago.”
In 1983, Bruno implied in an interview with the New York Times that he gave large sums of cash to cops at Christmas to turn a blind eye to his activities. In a book about actor John Belushi, journalist Bob Woodward notes that Bruno told him he “would get drugs” for the Saturday Night Live star.
Bruno, who first tried his hand at politics in 2017 with an unsuccessful bid for Brooklyn Borough President, has earned the support of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa as he claims inequality and safety are the two biggest issues facing Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
“Police have been disrespected. These are the people that are supposed to protect us. We need them,” he said.
Earlier this month, Bruno joined pro-cop demonstrators who marched through the streets of Brooklyn to show support for police at an event dubbed the Rally to Back the Blue.
Despite viral videos from the rally showing several marchers hurling insults, attacking and spitting on counter-protesters, Bruno said antifa, or anti-fascists, who he thinks have hijacked the Black Lives Matter movement, were the instigators.
Bruno continued, “It’s the culture that’s the problem. And statistics will show — and I know they’ll turn it into a racial thing, which I do not want to. I do not want to — but statistics show that households that don’t have a father, the crime and all that is through the roof,” he said.
Here’s an interesting article on Bruno from 2013: https://www.barandrestaurantexpo.com/music-entertainment/sitting-down-a-nightlife-event-guru
I was back there for sure during Bruno’s reign as a nightlife king. This columnist has been contacted for comment on the campaign and I have respectfully declined.
SHORT TAKES —CAA in Hollywood just let go in excess of 275 workers and have vacated their Century City offices (known as the Death Star). All the big movies (Christopher Nolan’s Tenet; the next James Bond) have no new release dates. Hollywood is in free fall like never before …Still nada from Macmillan’s PR-doyenne Molly Ellis. Sad …
PR-pasha David Salidor sent us this rare photo from 1994, at the launch party for Mark Bego’s I’m A Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music and Madnessbook which he wrote with Micky Dolenz. It was at NYC’s Hard Rock Cafe, when it was located on west 57th street. Salidor recalls, “It remains one of the best events I’d ever put together. The Hard Rock was thrilled as we took over the entire second floor. And, it was the first-time I’d met Micky and had no idea that I’d become his PR-man ten years down the road. The reaction from the media was terrific. Just a great time all around. A career highlight for sure” …
And, Vic Kastel’s Time Traveler out today via Island Avenue Records.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jane Blunkell; Steve Leeds; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Dave Mason; Mick Fleetwood; Jerry Milani; Tyrone Biljan; Vic Kastel; David Letterman; Bill Nieves; Suzan Blond; Victoria Lang; and, BELLA!