Story By: G.H. Harding

James McCartney

THE SON ALSO RISES --- No question, the show of the week was James McCartney at The Cutting Room. James, the son of Paul and Linda, had embarked on a solo tour that brought him to NYC. Monday night, he was the musical guest on David Letterman, and performed “Wisteria” from his new album entitled Me; and, tracks from his earlier albums, Available Light and Close At Hand. As with his performance at The Cutting Room the next night; he brings his delightful, delicate voice to his music, which has been clearly and meticulously written and performed. Honestly, to me, he sounds more like Al Stewart (“Year Of the Cat”) than papa-Paul. 

Face it; to be a sibling of a superstar can't be easy; Dylan’s son Jacob, after his great song “One Head Light” more or less faded from the scene. James is competent for sure; and, maybe even a bit too polished … but, I enjoyed him. His cover of Neil Young’s Old Man was terrific. The pack room at the club listened intently to every word … and, every note he played.

It was nice to be back at the club too; their original spot on 24th street in NYC was the scene of many a memorable concert. This new location is huge; with better dressing rooms, the same caliber sound system; an upstairs; and, terrific art scattered throughout the club. Owner Steve Walter, has clearly put his heart and soul into the development of this club. His touch in on everything. Seen in the crowd this night were Billy Amendola (Modern Drummer magazine); Susan Hathaway; PR-gadfly David Salidor; Carol Strauss-Klenfner; photographer Derek Storm; and, Ida Langsam. Great night.

Emma Stone

BALDWIN CROWED --- Alec Baldwin has signed on for the new movie from director/writer extraordinaire Cameron Crowe. According to producer Scott Rudin, the cast in addition to Baldwin, will be Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Danny McBride. Baldwin, currently drawing raves in the new Woody Allen movie Blue Jasmine (which so far is duplicating the success of his Midnight In Paris movie) is a wild-card for sure; but, an audience favorite. 

Crowe, the visionary director of such brilliant movies as Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, started out as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Baldwin: personally, I loved him in the great movie Departed … not so much in those current, cheesy Capital One commercials. Currently untitled, look for it in 2014.

BEE GEES --- Love them or hate them … everyone knows a Bee Gees song. Their earliest songs (“I Started A Joke”) were brilliant; lush harmonies and intricate, creative arrangements and productions; no one really had heard anything like that. They were a slam dunk even back then. One day in their studio, their new producer Arif Mardin, asked Barry Gibb is he could sing an octave higher. Thus, history was made and the resulting performances, from their brilliant Main Course album to their legendary songs for the movie Saturday Night Fever … made the brothers Gibb immediate superstars and multi-millionaires. 

Yet, for all the success they enjoyed, there were dark problems behind the facade. The two beta brothers Robin and Maurice, rallied against the domineering style of alpha-brother Barry. In his new book (Bee Gees/Biography), author David N. Meyer, chronicles their rise, from abject-poverty, to the high-life in Miami. One quick fact I found totally interesting; when they arrived in Miami, they bought an old warehouse/rehearsal space from none other than Henry Stone, then fronting his TK Records, which became one of leading dance labels in the country, and made it into their own recording studio, re-christened Middle Ear studios. 

Robin, who has since passed, as well as brother Maurice too, wonders at one point if all their problems were due to the amazing degree of success they achieved. Interesting point for sure. Barry, the last Gibb Brother standing, ends with a solo performance in Florida; well received, but missing his brothers on stage. All sad … and, all true. Great read for sure.