NEW YORK CITY GETS READY FOR DAVID LETTERMAN EXIT
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
LETTERMAN’S EXIT --- This Wednesday will be David Letterman‘s final show. Let me just say that his past two weeks of shows have been nothing short of phenomenal . . . amazing, to be sure. With guests like Tom Waits, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Bill Clinton, Adam Sandler, Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Ray Romano, a frail-looking Don Rickles (though funny as ever), and just a sterling moment and deep-hearted performance from Norm MacDonald. Suffice to say that Dave’s exit is going to be an immense moment in TV lore.
Nothing against the Jimmys, but Dave had the gravitas and grace to do it all. His last two musical guests will be Bob Dylan tomorrow and Eddie Vedder with his still-going-strong group Pearl Jam on Wednesday. Dave’s final guest will be the man who has always been his first: Bill Murray. I am going to miss Letterman big-time.
That’s right, folks: We’re losing Mad Men and Letterman in one fell swoop.
PITCH ON --- The Barden Bellas are back . . . and back with a vengeance. Pitch Perfect 2 is officially the biggest movie-musical opening ever, making more in its debut weekend than the first movie earned in its entire theatrical run. Debuting to an estimated $70.3 million, Pitch Perfect 2 has surpassed High School Musical 3 to become the biggest movie-musical opening of all time. That’s well above the first Pitch Perfect’s entire theatrical total of $65 million. This isn't unheard of (Mike Meyers’ The Spy Who Shagged Me also opened to more than the first Austin Powers film made during its entire theatrical run), but it’s still pretty rare—and it’s a testament to just how popular Pitch Perfect has become since the first one left theaters.
Pitch Perfect 2 wasn't the only big opening this weekend. Mad Max: Fury Road debuted in second place. This R-rated, post-apocalyptic tale has earned rave reviews. And while it wasn't expected to break any box-office records, it still brought in a solid $44.4 million.
WOODSTOCK TIME --- I had thought that the acclaimed new memoir from Elliot Tiber, After Woodstock, was going to be all I heard about this summer in reference to the great 1969 Woodstock concert. But while I was dialing through my TV stations yesterday, I came upon an infomercial for Time/Life‘s new release, The Woodstock Collection: a 10-CD set, featuring the songs from the Woodstock festival including classics from Santana, Canned Heat, and The Youngbloods among many others.
The commercial asks the listener if, at just 74 cents a song, the viewers can live without it. It was hosted by Tommy James (and filmed on-location at the sprawling Museum at Bethel Woods, now in its seventh year of operation and built on the sacred “Yasgur’s Farm” land where the 1969 concert took place). In the spot, James admits freely that he was invited to play Woodstock but passed as he was vacationing in Hawaii. Whether or not one should truly take that at face value, it was still an amazing spot!
TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS --- George Clooney’s new movie, Tomorrowland (the one movie I was greatly anticipating this summer), has gotten its first two reviews—and both just slammed the picture, calling the Brad Bird-directed epic forced and not all that entertaining. I'll still see it, but these reviews were definitely not expected. After Clooney’s lackluster Monuments Men movie, this can’t be welcome news by any means.
CLOSING NOTES --- “I am extremely excited to have the re-launch of RFC Records with the release of Lenny Fontana featuring D Train—'Raise Your Hands.’ The reaction from the DJs has been great and it feels real good to be working with Lenny on this project and the iconic recording artist James ‘D Train’ Williams.” This from RFC ‘s Ray Caviano who, in the 1980s, launched RFC Records in tandem with Warner Brothers to much acclaim. Caviano was given six million dollars from Warners back then to start, literally, the first major-label dance label. They brought out terrific records from the likes of Gino Soccio, Change (featuring the late Luther Vandross), and Janice McClain. It ran for years, and then fell by the wayside. Good to have him back . . .
We really wanted to review and talk to the legendary Boz Scaggs (for his new album, A Fool to Care), but his PR rep—Kurt Nishimura at 825 Records—never followed through with us. We did a major interview with Boz last time, but guess we weren't all that important this time around. Same thing with Ringo’s PR person, Elizabeth Freund. Wonder if the artists themselves know we were definitely dissed. Sad, as the artists pay for everything . . .
Monkees vocalist Micky Dolenz returns Thursday to LATTC (Los Angeles Trade and Technical College) in Los Angeles, where he studied Architecture for a while right before The Monkees‘ TV show audition happened and everything changed for him. Says Dolenz, “My parents wanted me to have something to fall back on . . . just in case.” Fortunately for all of us, that never happened . . .
Our final post on Mad Men will be up on Wednesday. Still letting all of it sink in . . .