AFTER WOODSTOCK: TRUE STORY OF A BELGIAN MOVIE
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
EYE OF THE TIBER --- When Elliot Tiber’s Taking Woodstock came out in 2007, his true and often wildly ribald story of how the famed 1969 Woodstock festival literally landed in the backyard of his parents’ rundown shambles of a Catskills motel rocked and shocked readers everywhere -- including, of all people, two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee, who went on to make a terrific movie adapted from the book.
Sure, the film was toned down a bit from Tiber's fiercely absurdest and proudly gay source material, but Lee's vision of Tiber's story made for a stunning picture -- from the actors, including comedy-improv legend Eugene Levy's spot-on performance as the great farmer Max Yasgur and the remarkable Liev Schrieber as a former-Marine transvestite in his second Woodstock-themed films to date (the first being the Dustin Hoffman-produced 1999 drama A Walk on the Moon), to the terrific original soundtrack from Danny Elfman alongside great late 60’s songs from Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Jefferson Airplane; Blind Faith; The Doors; and (as crucial background music during the film's legendary "acid trip" sequence), the deep track of Love's "The Red Telephone" playing on the 8-track player (!!!) in a trippin' VW van.
Though the movie was strictly art-house as opposed to big box-office upon its release in late August 1999, it continues to win over devotees young and old each year since its release (as has Tiber's memoir itself).
Tiber followed his first memoir published (via Square One) with a "prequel" memoir of sorts called Palm Trees on the Hudson. And next month will see the release of a brand-new book from Tiber entitled After Woodstock: The True Story of a Belgian Movie, an Israeli Wedding, and a Manhattan Breakdown.
This new book's subtitle alone guarantees that Tiber has more than his fair share of other stories to share "after" Woodstock (and Ang Lee's enthusiastic Foreword in the new book all but assures everyone that Tiber's newest might just be his most important and heartfelt work by a long shot).
I got to know Tiber, one of the more unpredictable geniuses in our midst over the past years, fairly well as Taking Woodstock exploded on to the scene back in '07. All indications (judging from the great pre-pub reviews and excellent word of mouth on the new book) are that Tiber, who turns 80 years young on April 15, proves the remarkable exception to F. Scott Fitzgerald's last-century musing that there are no second acts in American life.
FASHION FREAK --- For the second time in two weeks, a co-host is exiting the E! snark show. Kathy Griffin announced via Twitter last evening that she is exiting Fashion Police after just seven episodes. “I discovered that my style does not fit with the creative direction of the show and now it’s time to move on,” the outspoken comedian wrote.
The replacement rumor mill, shifting into high gear, had already coughed up such names as Khloe Kardashian, NeNe Leakes and Naya Rivera when Kelly Osbourne left last month, but E! is keeping mum about the slot thus far.
“We can confirm that Kathy Griffin is leaving E!’s Fashion Police,” an E! said today. “We wish her all the best and are grateful for her time on the show, as well as the many laughs that she gave us all. Fashion Police will return, as scheduled, on Monday, March 30 at 9 pm with our talented Co-Hosts Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski and Executive Producer Melissa Rivers.”
Osbourne walked away from her co-hosting perch of five years on February 27. Her departure followed her outrage at comments made by fellow FP-er Giulana Rancic’s about the dreadlocks Zendaya Coleman was sporting at the Oscars last month. Rancic later apologized or her remarks, which Osbourne seemed to accept, but she left soon afterward anyway. With Osbourne and now Griffin gone, the ratings-struggling FP is down to just the duo of Rancic and Goreski.
So much drama … seems more in tune with The View. I predict FP will be gone girl … in a flash.
BLURRED FOR SURE --- Much has been made and said of this past Tuesday’s trial, when a federal jury in Los Angeles concluded that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the performer and primary songwriter-producer of the 2013 pop hit “Blurred Lines,” committed copyright infringement by using elements of the 1977 Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up” in their composition without proper credit.
The jury awarded Mr. Gaye’s family approximately $7.3 million, a combination of profits from the song and damages. That’s an attention-getting amount of money, but the verdict itself is far more damning.
The two had said that they wanted to capture the vibe of Gaye’s song.
And, can you really copyright notes?
PR-pasha David Salidor said, “Williams said that it sets a bad precedent for the music industry ... and, I’m inclined to agree. Labels will be more hesitant to release music that sounds like something already out … and, that’s a bad thing. Writers will second guess themselves and I know first-hand, that’s always a dicey proposition.”
Williams said during the trial, “The two songs are like silk and rayon. Two completely different fabrics with the same feel. If this verdict is upheld, the creator of rayon better prepare for the infringement claims from the owner of silk.”
He continued, "It is also troublesome that the jury was not permitted to learn that the Gaye’s consulted with at least two prominent musicologists who declined to give an opinion that the songs were substantially similar before finding musicologist Judith Finell to provide the opinion they needed."
There also appears to be much information that the jury never heard. All in all, a mess.
To me, the songs, while sharing a similar vibe … do NOT sound alike.
I predict a swift settlement for the Gaye’s , as if another trail looms, the result could be a largely reduced amount.
CLOSING NOTES --- Jimmy Greenspoon, the keyboardist for rock band Three Dog Night, has died. He was 67. Greenspoon's agent, Chris Burke, said he died Wednesday of cancer at his home in North Potomac, Maryland, surrounded by his family.
The keyboardist joined the rock band in 1968 and had been working with them until last October, when he took a medical leave of absence to pursue treatment for metastatic melanoma.
"He was like a brother to me," Three Dog Night co-founder and vocalist Danny Hutton said in a statement. "I knew him since he was just a teenager, and he was my oldest friend in the band. Also, Jimmy was a critical part of our early history, bringing a sound to the band that helped develop our style; he left an indelible mark."
The group is best known for its 1960’s and 1970’s hits "Joy to the World," ''Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" and "Black and White."
"I will be forever shattered by his death," band co-founder and vocalist Cory Wells said. "Jimmy cared so much about excellence in the music and always made sure we had what we needed on stage and in the recording studio. I was amazed by his photographic memory, his love for music."
Author Mark Bego, who wrote the 1991 book One Is The Loneliest Number, said: “Jimmy Greenspoon was one of the most upbeat, talented, energetic, and positive thinking people I have ever met. I had the rare privilege of writing his autobiography with him. Along the way, we became close friends. He came to New York City in the late 1980’s, and together we plotted to tell his wild roller coaster ride to the top of the rock world, his descent into the depths of drug abuse, and his dramatic stint with rehabilitation. We hit it off immediately, and we plotted to write what we thought was the ultimate rock & roll autobiography” ...
NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman is leaving the network after the brouhaha over her Ebola-escapade. Guess newly re-installed Andrew Lack is indeed cleaning house ... and, I think that's a good thing. Wonder where the Brian Williams imbroglio stands now? ...
We'll talk about the new Madonna album (Rebel Heart) next time; but, from what I've heard from it ... I am really loving it. Especially “Ghosttown,”which will be the next single from the album ...
Spring break has arrived ... be back in 10 days ...
Photo Courtesy Of: Elliot Tiber/Calvin Ki