Showing posts with label DS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DS. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Courteney Cox

Matthew Perry
NO MORE FRIENDS --- Unfortunately, the cast of Friends will not be there for you anymore — Courteney Cox put a blunt end to any dreams of a possible reunion in the near future, telling David Letterman on The Late Show Monday night, "It's not gonna happen." In classic Monica form, Cox said she's been trying to get the cast back together for a dinner, but in the 10 years since the hit show ended, she still hasn't been able to get everyone together. "I can get the girls to come, maybe Matthew Perry. Matt LeBlanc canceled last time, right at the last minute. [David] Schwimmer lives here [New York City], so it's just not going to happen." Even a possible movie seems out of the question; with Cox pointing out that the entire show was shot in the characters' apartments, insinuating no one wants to see a 90-minute episode of that. Letterman did, however, suggest the protracted, potentially lucrative process of someone writing a Friends novel and then selling the movie rights to get the reunion rolling. "And then we will be done," replied a bemused, if not somewhat exasperated, Cox.

Last year, the show's creator Marta Kauffman shut down similar rumors of a Friends reunion special or movie, saying, "Friends was about that time in your life when your friends are your family and once you have a family, there's no need anymore."

Considering the amount of retro-shows that have been re-booted of late –think Ironside which lasted 3 episodes- methinks this to be a very, very good move.

MYERS SHADOW --- On her current single, the raging, unapologetic “Desire,” Meg Myers “juggles the pretty and the ugly perfectly,” as Stereogum noted, adding that with her “fierce-then-vulnerable voice, you have something that is as sweet as it is unsettling.” The Nashville-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter has consistently worked that dichotomy in her music, exploring the tension between dark and light, sweet and sour, and sex and death in her cathartic songwriting. Her richly powerful voice, which can slide on a dime from a feathery trill to an anguished howl, is the perfect instrument with which to express her brooding, fiercely raw lyrics about craving what’s just out of reach. The words are bolstered by the layered guitar-synth soundscapes she creates with her collaborator and producer Dr. Rosen Rosen.

Released in April 2013, Myers’ debut EP Daughter In The Choir gave listeners their first taste of such ferocious anthems as “Monster,” earning her rave reviews and comparisons to female iconoclasts like Fiona Apple, Sinéad O’Connor, and Alanis Morissette, though Myers cites Tracy Chapman, Joan Osborne, and Heart’s Ann Wilson as inspirations, along with Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Trent Reznor. The Nine Inch Nails frontman’s influence is evident on “Desire.”

Myers lets her pop instincts temper the dark quality of her songs, thanks to help from Rosen, a prominent re mixer who’s worked on tracks by Britney Spears, M.I.A., La Roux, and Lady Gaga among others.

Myers is the latest femme-vocalist to galvanize the L. A.-scene; along with Lana Del Rey. When I was West Coast-based two weeks back, I heard her music everywhere. Check this one out – it’s stunningly excellent.

MADDENING MEN --- Mad Men Sunday night, episode 2 of their final season, was a rather befuddling and formulaic episode until the last ten minutes. Don is confronted by his daughter Sally, suddenly and unexpectedly. She had gone by his office only to find him not there. She ends up at his apartment and he finds out she stopped by the office and finally confronts her in the car. Little by little Sally’s defenses break down; especially in a scene where they have dinner. Amazingly, this scene reminded me of the very, last Sopranos scene … in a diner. Creator Matthew Weiner, who was heavily involved in that late, great HBO show as well, continues to write, well like a modern-day Shakespeare. The ice finally broken, Don delivers Sally home, and as she gets out of the car, she wishes him a Happy Valentine’s Day (which it was) and says I love you. As many have noted: very interesting that the one person Don can now be fully honest with, is his daughter. Landmark scene for sure. BTW: The episode was titled A Day’s Work.

Aretha Franklin

CLOSING NOTES --- Aretha Live at the Fillmore West includes special contributions from Ray Charles and Billy Preston. A classic live performance by Aretha Franklin is out this week on CD via Pairing one of the rock era's legendary voices with one of its iconic venues, Aretha Live at Fillmore West recaptures the magic of May 7th, 1971. Opening with "Respect," and rolling through her version of Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With," Ben E. King's "Don't Play that Song" and closing with Diana Ross' "Reach Out and Touch," Aretha is backed by an all-star band featuring Billy Preston on keyboards.

The surprises include her infusing soul on Bread's gentle ballad "Make it With You" and her piano putting a distinctive spin on The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." There's even a special guest -- Ray Charles joins her for "Spirit in the Dark." …

Producer Giorgio Moroder just did a special remix for Coldplay’s new single “Midnight.” Utterly brilliant as all his work has been.

Moroder helped invent disco in the 70's with Donna Summer (“I Feel Love,” “Love to Love You Baby”) and created the synth soundbed for various 80’s film soundtracks. After disappearing from pop culture for two decades, he came roaring back into the spotlight with a starring role on Daft Punk’s multi Grammy-winning; international hit album release Random Access Memories.

Ghost Stories, Coldplay's sixth album, will be released worldwide on May 19. It's their first since Mylo Xyloto in 2011.

Last week, the British band announced they would play six “intimate” shows in a trek that visits Germany, the U.S., France, Japan and the U. K. The itinerary as it stands will start April 25 at E-Werk in Cologne, then moves to N.Y., L.A., Paris, Tokyo and London.

PR-man David Salidor who helped create the New Music Seminar back in 1984(which was revived several years back after a dormant period) is about to announce a new event for later this year that will involve all facets of today’s entertainment business. Says Salidor, “When we started the New Music Seminar back in 1984, there was no SXSW, no Coachella … this new event will tie all these ends together, including publishing; touring; management. My 30-years in the PR-Management business, as well as with the Seminar, have given me a unique perspective. Stay tuned.” 

 Photos By: RD/Kabik/Dziekan/Walter McBride/WM Photography/Retna

Friday, April 18, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Clint Eastwood

JERSEY BOYS GOLD --- Warner Brothers put up the latest clip last from Clint Eastwood’s coming bigscreen version of jukebox musical Jersey Boys last night and it's rather sensational. If you loved the play (music by Bob Gaudio; lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice), and millions have, you saw Eastwood’s faithful recreation with notable moments from Christopher Walken (as Angelo 'Gyp' DeCarlo) and Donnie Kehr reprising his gold-plated infamous role as Norm Waxman (The loan shark that loans Tommy DeVito money as he slides into trouble).

It is presented in a documentary-style format that dramatizes the formation; success; and eventual break-up of the 1960's rock 'n roll group The Four Seasons. The musical is structured as four "seasons" each narrated by a different member of the band who gives his own perspective on its history and music.

Songs include "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Sherry", "December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)", "My Eyes Adored You", "Stay", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", "Working My Way Back to You" and "Rag Doll,” among others. The title refers to the fact that the members of The Four Seasons are from New Jersey.

The musical opened on Broadway in 2005 and has since had two North American National Tours and productions in London's West End, Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne and other Australian cities, Singapore, South Africa, The Netherlands and elsewhere.

Jersey Boys won four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

The show premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse at University of California, San Diego, in an out-of-town tryout on October 5, 2004 and ran through January 16, 2005.

Christian Hoff, David Norona, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer essayed the group. At the end of the tryout, Norona, who originated the role of Valli, had to be replaced because his voice blew out. John Lloyd Young, who had originally auditioned for the role of Tommy DeVito, got the part.

The musical began previews on Broadway on October 4, 2005 and officially opened on November 6, 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre. The cast starred John Lloyd Young as Valli, Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi and Donnie Kehr.

The Broadway production had 38 previews and is still running. It reached its 3487th performance on April 9, 2014, making it the 13th longest-running show on Broadway.

Kehr was at The Borgata in Atlantic City last weekend watching Frankie Valli perform, when Valli acknowledged him in the audience.

Kehr said in The Improper “I started the Jersey Boys journey in 2004 when the director, Des McAnuff, called me and said he had something for me. The next thing I know I'm in a room a few days later singing for the legendary Frankie Valli.”  Here’s the link to the clip.

CAMPBELL’S GRACE --- Glen Campbell has been moved into an Alzheimer’s disease care facility, according to multiple sources.

The singer’s battle with Alzheimer’s has sparked an outpouring of support and sympathy from fans since he and his wife Kim went public with his diagnosis in 2011. They explained their decision as being motivated by his wish to continue performing as long as possible, and said he didn't want audiences speculating about what might be the cause of his occasional forgetfulness of song lyrics, confusion and repetition of between-song banter.

The source did suggest the move could be temporary, and said, “I’m not sure what the permanent plan is for him yet. We will know more next week.”

The Arkansas native, who worked as a session guitarist in Hollywood recording studios and performed with the Beach Boys (and, the infamous Wrecking Crew) before becoming a star in his own right, launched a formal farewell tour in 2012. But last spring he canceled performances as his condition deteriorated and he was unable to travel for shows in Australia and New Zealand.

Before that, however, he played a final L. A. concert at the Hollywood Bowl, where L. A. Times pop music critic Randall Roberts said he performed with “Effortless grace, and had he not announced in 2011 that he was living with Alzheimer’s disease, few in the crowd would have been the wiser. In fact, he was sharper and more precise during this gig than he was last year at Club Nokia, where he kicked off the Farewell Tour.”

Campbell and his wife sold their Malibu home at the end of 2012. He released two well-received albums recorded as he was beginning to experience the symptoms of Alzheimer’s: Ghost in the Canvas in 2011 and See You There, consisting of new versions of many of his signature songs mostly recorded during the Ghost sessions, in 2013.

Adam Lambert

LAMBERT DISH --- Adam Lambert's third studio album is currently being worked on by pop super-producer Max Martin, and a handful of ace songwriters, in Sweden.

Martin, who has headed pop smashes from Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber and countless other mainstream superstars, co-produced two songs for Lambert's 2009 debut album For Your Entertainment, including the hit single "Whataya Want From Me." Martin did not contribute to Lambert's sophomore album Trespassing, which debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart in 2012, but the American Idol finalist is linking back up with Martin for the follow-up.

"[Martin] just brought in a load of people that he trusts that make good music, and is just seeing what happens," U.K. singer-songwriter Joe Janiak, who recently co-wrote Ellie Goulding's Divergent soundtrack single "Beating Heart," told Billboard.

Janiak, a London native, was called to come out to Sweden early last week and work with a collection of song experts that was organized by Martin. "He's got a company which really focuses on getting the best young writers and getting them all together in one place, so that they can have a hotbed of creativity and spin ideas off of each other," Janiak adds of Martin.

CLOSING NOTES --- According to IPA’s Steve Woolf, this weekend’s Fan X2014 (Salt Lake Comic Con) show in Salt Lake City will host some 10,000 people. A fan’s delight for sure …

Live From Daryl's House, the acclaimed music interview and performance show hosted by Daryl Hall, has been renewed for another season by Viacom for their Paladia network and via Daryl's original site where the show originated in 2007.

Production is expected to start in the fall at a performance space in Pawling, NY called Daryl's House, a venue that Hall purchased especially for the series. Previous episodes of the series were actually shot in two 1700's homes that Hall had transported from Connecticut to Millerton, NY - and, congratulations to Hall and partner John Oates on their induction at last week's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Long overdue if you ask me ...

One last hit from L. A., King's Road Cafe at 8361 Beverly Blvd. Great spot.

Friday, April 04, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
David Letterman

BYE, BYE DAVE --- Yep, he announced it last night, right before bringing guest Johnny Depp on, he’s retiring next year; after a 22-year run at CBS – and more than 30 years as a host. For my money, and I’m a Johnny Carson-fan from way back … Letterman’s been just stupendous. While Leno was mostly corny (although I did love his last show), Letterman’s humor was always of the caliber where you had to think for just a second.

Clearly, he always had the best writers; the best band around; and, really catered to the new and upcoming acts … from the newest comic in town, to the next band on the edge of national recognition. He’s had so many acts on the shows, but bands like The National and My Morning Jacket, so benefited from exposure on the show. He was also never one to shy away from some of the older acts in town like Don Rickles and Regis Philbin. It was a class act all the way.

As the always brilliant Brian Lowry said in Variety yesterday, “With all the pressure to attract younger demos, CBS had the incentive to consider options for a hand-off. Yet Letterman is rightfully the most admired creative talent late night has ever produced — and certainly the most influential in terms of other comics. Whatever might be gained ratings-wise in hastening Letterman’s departure, in other words, simply wouldn't have been worth the grief or ill will.”

“Now Letterman can take what amounts to a protracted victory lap (he left the exact date vague, based on a transcript of the show), to be followed by perhaps the most interesting question about the intensely private comic’s plans: Will Letterman emulate Carson one more time by walking into the sunset, hanging up his spurs and essentially disappearing from public life, or will he continue to perform in the way, say, Bob Hope did?”

No question this is a generational shift in late-night TV. The pundits are already figuring out who may replace him. Stay tuned.

My take: he’s out … he’s given enough. We were lucky to have had him at all.

KERR REIGNS SUPREME --- Radio-gadfly Jim Kerr is celebrating 40 years of being on-air in New York City. His show, The Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show, airs weekdays from 5-9 a.m. on Clear Channel’s Q104.3, New York’s Classic Rock.

At age 21 Kerr began his radio career as the morning show host at WPLJ New York; a position he held for 15 years. His radio career includes morning shifts at WPIX, WYNY, WXMV, WQCD and Y107. Kerr has interviewed the biggest names in rock including Robert Plant, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Brian May, Mick Jagger and countless others.

His interview with Elton John last week was just brilliant.

Kerr is a member of the board of directors of the AFTRA Foundation and in 2013 was elected vice president of the New York Local of Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He is an active member of the community, serving on the board of directors for Heartshare Human Services, and he is a seven-time host of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Radiothon. In addition, the mayor of New York City and governors of both New York and New Jersey have honored him for raising millions of dollars for civic and charitable groups.

I've known the Detroit-native for years, through his numerous NY-moments and was re-acquainted with him when he MC’d Micky Dolenz’s BB King’s show two years back. He also MC’d a Dolenz-presentation at NY’s Planet Hollywood when the Monkee-man gave the fabled emporium a signed original script from the TV show. He’s a class act all the way: an encyclopedic-knowledge of all things music and a valued source in the industry.

HOLE IN ONE --- In an interview with the Quietus, Courtney Love has said that the classic line-up of her band Hole have begun rehearsing again. "I started playing with Patty and Melissa and Eric, just to see how that was," Love told the website. "We already played like three or four times in the last week."

Hole became famous as part of the grunge movement of the 90’s, with Love as front woman. The mordant, confessional and melodic songs of their 1991 debut and hit 1994 album Live Through This expanded into hard and glossy glam-rock on 1998's Celebrity Skin, which made the top 10 in the US and garnered four Grammy nominations.

After the band disbanded in 2002, bassist Melissa Auf der Mar released a solo album and toured with the Smashing Pumpkins, guitarist Eric Erlandson formed a band with actor Vincent Gallo and drummer Patty Schemel made a documentary about her life, Hit So Hard. Love, meanwhile, re-formed the band with new members in 2009, but in 2012, after a brief reunion of the original line-up for a two-song live set, she declared "Hole is dead."

Love is also best remembered for her relationship with Kurt Cobain, and this week announced plans to oversee a stage musical based around his work, with the blessing of their daughter Frances Bean. Next week, she'll appear at Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Ohio, meeting band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselić for the first time in 20 years. In May she plans to tour the UK and release a new single, “Wedding Day.”

CLOSING NOTES---- L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti didn't waste any time, after Letterman's announcement, in getting a letter out to CBS president Les Moonves, in urging him to re-locate The Late Show to L. A. Aside from showing somewhat poor manners, even for a mayor, it's not a bad idea, what with Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers here in N. Y.

"As a longtime fan, I was saddened to hear of David Letterman's retirement," Garcetti said in a letter to Moonves on Thursday after the comedian told a Late Show audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan that he would retire next year.

"But as Mayor of Los Angeles, I am excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS' next late night show to our city -- the entertainment capital of the world," Garcetti added.

The mayor and other film industry supporters are still smarting from NBC's decision to move The Tonight Show this year from Burbank back to New York after more than four decades in Southern California, a move that cost more than 150 jobs locally and symbolized the region's vulnerability to runaway production. NBC took advantage of tax breaks offered by New York state to lure more film and TV production ...

The Sting/Paul Simon show is not over. Simon is set join Sting at the annual Rainforest Foundation concert– this is the 25th anniversary– set for April 17th at Carnegie Hall. The show will also feature James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, opera great Renee Fleming, hornmeister Chris Botti, and Ivy Levan. She recently joined Sting on Late Night with David Letterman for a wild version of the Beatles “Drive My Car.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Maria Menounos

Adios Maria --- Maria Menounos is leaving her post as Extra co-host after two years.

"Maria was 100 percent not fired," an inside source told us. "The truth is, she decided months ago on her own to explore other options, as she knew her contract was coming up for renewal. She made this decision on her own."

Among her other options, the television personality recently debuted her new Oxygen realty series, Chasing Maria Menounos, which focuses on her life living with both her longtime boyfriend, Keven Undergaro, and her Greek parents.

Contrary to rumors the 35-year-old was clashing with Extra co-host Mario Lopez, Menounos is said to be making the move on her own accord.

"There is no bad energy," the source continued. "Maria has so much going on with her reality show, and she's happy that she has so many options to explore right now."

Menounos runs her own production company with Undergaro called Underman/Omegagirl. She also recently produced the film comedy film Serial Buddies. She was also a contestant on the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars partnering with Derek Hough. The couple was eliminated, ending up in 4th place.

Menounos is a more than affable personality, however her enthusiasm (not to mention a rather haranguing laugh) wears thin, quite quickly. Her rise in the TV-entertainment/news format reminds me of Nancy O’Dell, who rose to national success with another magazine-type show Access Hollywood, then suddenly jumped ship one day to its chief rival Entertainment Tonight, besting no less than Mary Hart who was the first host of the show (cue John Tesh-music). In fact, ET was the first show of this kind.

These shows do serve a purpose, but their day in the sun may have come.

Adam Lambert

QUEEN LAMBERT --- Initial response to Queen and Adam Lambert's upcoming North American tour has been so strong, the band has added five additional dates.

Three new cities — Boston; East Rutherford, N.J.; and Atlantic City — will get shows on the group's first North American tour in eight years. Second dates have been added for Uncasville, Conn., and Toronto. The tour will now end July 28 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

Tickets for the newly added dates will go on sale this Saturday at 9 a.m. local time via Live Nation.

Queen announced the tour with the former American Idol runner-up as front man on March 6. The 24-date tour will begin June 19 at Chicago's United Center.

ALLMAN BROTHERS BROKEN --- The Allman Brothers continue to make news and it’s not about their music.

They've been forced to postpone the last four dates of their annual Beacon Theater run while singer Gregg Allman recovers from bronchitis.

Already, the 66-year-old star had to sit out two Beacon shows on Friday and Saturday due to the illness. Susan Tedeschi, wife of guitarist Derek Trucks, stood in for Allman during some numbers.

All this comes on top of the announcement early this year that the band will lose both its lead guitarists — Trucks and Warren Haynes — at the end of 2014. Allman has told various outlets that the band will stop touring altogether at the end of the year, the band’s 45th in action.

If true, it will make this Beacon run of 14 dates the final installment of a residency at the venue the band has maintained most every March for the last 22 years.

The postponed shows in this run were meant to take place March 25, 26, 28 and 29.

Allman, who has been in good voice and health of late, has had health issues in the past, leading to a liver transplant in 2010.

All this on top of the horrendous accident that took place several weeks back during the filming of Allman’s Midnight Rider movie (a stunt woman was hit and killed by a train); based on his biography My Cross To Bear. William Hurt stars as Allman. If this movie gets made, it should be rather dazzling.

Gwyneth Paltrow

CLOSING NOTES --- It was announced last night, after 10 years, that Coldplay’s Chris Martin was separating from his wife Gwyneth Paltrow. Say what you will, but this relationship was mired in controversy since day one. From what I've seen, it’s near impossible to live under the microscope, but we certainly wish them both well. They together released a statement calling the separation a Conscious Uncoupling. Two kids, ten years … they certainly tried …

Nilsson's "Everyone's Talking" is spot-on as the theme for the new Lipton tea commercials. Surrounded by The Muppets ... it's a 60's-vision come true in the worlds of Manhattan. Watch for it ...

I had occasion to sit with the legendary-photographer Henry Diltz at the Monkees-fest. What an insightful personality who's been rooted in musical history for decades. He showed me a photograph of himself with Stephen Stills and Micky Dolenz from the 60's. Amazing .... thanks Henry ...

We love Shakira … always have. We are particularly enjoying her Target commercials too. We remember when we first heard of her years back, when PR-maven Ronni Kairey was repping her. She’s re-energized The Voice to even great heights …

The trailers for the new Johnny Depp movie Transcendence looks great. We'll see a preview in a week and let you know …

Tuesday, March 18, 2014



Story By: G.H. Harding

Micky Dolenz

MONKEE FEST 2014 --- Say what you about nostalgia, but, it has never been bigger. At the invitation of Monkee-Micky Dolenz’s pr-mouthpiece David Salidor, I ventured out to Monkee Convention 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, this past weekend.

The first Monkee-convention last year was such a success, that creators Jodi Blau Ritzen and Phyllis Paganucci, then decided to do it again this year, but with major participation from Monkee-Michael Nesmith, who was absent last year. The Hilton Meadowlands was the location and as I entered one day before, one could immediately sense the palpable energy in the air. We attended a brief pre-production meeting with Dolenz and his aide Chris Kiszka. Salidor had several interviews for Dolenz to accomplish while at the festival; perhaps none more important than ABC News Radio which has an audience of 77 million worldwide. Jersey’s News 12 also appeared during the event. Dolenz had also spoken to Scott Shannon (now at CBS FM); Cousin Brucie on Sirius/XM; and Premiere Radio Network, prior to this event even beginning. In fact, a terrific article on Dolenz appeared this very day in the Asbury Park Press.

One factor that simply energized everyone was the fact that the families of both Dolenz and Nesmith would be attending as well … even Dolenz’s daughters had their own Q&A session which was turned out to be a major highlight. I met them all, Emily, Charlotte, Ami, and Georgia and found them each to be terrifically talented in their various endeavors. 

Georgia started, with Micky, the fine furniture-design company Dolenz and Daughters ( which has succeeded beyond both their wildest dreams since its inception last year. 

Friday started early with an autograph/photo shoot with Dolenz and Nesmith. I can’t think of another band (heritage or not) that has consistently had so many devoted fans. Young and old (and there were literally dozens and kids!), they came prepared with great questions and often a staggering degree of insight in the group’s wide catalog. Sandwiched in between were Q&A sessions with Nesmith and writer Bobby Hart (Boyce and Hart), who served up so many hits for the foursome.

Dolenz was a special guest at a concert by the Van Halen-tribute band Romeo Delight. He performed several Monkee-numbers (“Last Train To Clarksville,” “Stepping Stone” and “I‘m A Believer”) and said afterwards it was a kick to hear them in a more-meta-ish vein. Funny for sure, but, truth be told, they sounded terrific.

Saturday’s major highlight was the induction of the band into the America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame. Snubbed by Jann Wenner’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it was left to this foundation, led by the very capable Terry Hazlett, to get this done. Said Hazlett, “The Monkees topped the 2014 hall of fame public balloting.” It was during the acceptance, when Dolenz asked if the other guys wanted to do a tour (Peter Tork had just arrived for the ceremony as well) and with the other two quickly agreeing, formally announced the group would be back on the road in a few months. Dates are still being worked out, but an opening in New Jersey is a very definite rumor.

After that was announced, Salidor’s phone stated buzzing with inquiries from all the major media outlets. As of this writing, there’s no firm itinerary set but, we will announce it as soon as we can.

The reminder of Saturday was additional photo ops for the SRO crowd. A Dolenz Q&A later in the day was just dynamite (handled by Micky and Rhino’s Andrew Sandoval). Micky performed a song with his sister Coco, who was also in attendance. A Nesmith concert in the evening was just sensational as well. Nesmith, very, very reticent in person, is just outstanding on stage.

We also spotted at the show: Dolenz-band members Dave Alexander and his fantastic wife Jen and Rich Dart. Also seen; May Pang; Butch Patrick from The Musters with aide Jacqueline Boyd; comic-actor Larry Storch (F Troop); Utopia's Tyrone Biljian; and, staffers Brit Brashear and Tony Vela.

It was a great event. I'm back in a week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari

HELLO ALICE --- Eagle Rock Entertainment, in association with Banger Films, are proud to announce the world premiere of Super Duper Alice Cooper at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, where it will screen as part of their Spotlight section. Taking us through his life and career, ALICE presents his story in the first ever “doc opera” film - a dizzying blend of documentary archive footage, animation, and rock opera.

Super Duper Alice Cooper is the twisted tale of a teenage Dr. Jekyll whose rock n’ roll Mr. Hyde almost kills him. It is the story of Vincent Furnier, a preacher’s son who struck fear into the hearts of parents as Alice Cooper, the ultimate rock star of the bizarre. From the advent of Alice as front man for a group of Phoenix freaks in the 60’s to the hazy decadence of celebrity in the 70’s to his triumphant comeback as 80’s glam metal godfather, we will watch as Alice and Vincent battle for each other's souls. Alice’s story is told not only by the man himself, but through exclusive interviews with members of the original Alice Cooper band, Elton John, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, and Dee Snider, from Twisted Sister.

Super Duper Alice Cooper is the creation of Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn at Banger Films, producers of Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009 SXSW Audience Choice Winner) and Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010 Grammy-nominated and Tribeca Audience Choice Winner), and much-lauded filmmaker Reginald Harkema, winner of the TIFF Special Jury Prize for his film Monkey Warfare.

The 13th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival takes place from April 16 to April 27 at locations around New York City.

NIGHT TRIPPING --- Truly original, definitely iconic, the legendary Dr. John is to be honored with a Special Tribute in New Orleans on May 3. Titled The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac & His Music will include performances by Gregg Allman, Ryan Bingham, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Chief Monk Boudreaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Chuck Leavell, Mavis Staples, and, Alan Toussaint.

Don Was, will be musical director for the evening, said "Dr. John transcends genres with a truly distinctive sound that embodies the rich musical heritage of New Orleans and has tremendously influenced the course of music history."

Dr. John (aka Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr.) is expected to take the stage with many of the performers over the course of the evening. Additional special guests will be announced in the future. We loved the good doctor’s last album of original music, Ice Age. A stone-cold classic for sure.

SUGAR ANYONE --- Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari, the Grammy-nominated Italian blues-rock singer, and one of Europe’s best-selling artists, will release his latest album, La Sesión Cubana, on February 18th via Manhattan Records. Known as a musical wanderer, Zucchero achieves a long-held dream of recording in Cuba with the best native musicians in Havana, and exploring the roots of American music along the way.

“My music comes from blues, from soul, and from gospel,” Zucchero says. “This project is a trip from New Orleans to Cuba via Mexicali. Latin, Cuban, and Tex-Mex sounds and rhythms melt together dancing. Hasta l’asta siempre.”

Produced by Zucchero and Don Was, La Sesión Cubana features seven brand-new songs, as well as six newly arranged versions of Zucchero’s European hits: “Baila,” “Un Kilo,” “Così Celeste,” “Cuba Libre,” ”Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime,” and “L’Urlo.” The new recordings consist “Guantanamera (Guajira),” original compositions “Love Is All Around” and “Sabor a ti,” and the covers “Never Is a Moment,” “Nena,” “Pana” (a duet with Spanish singer Bebe), and “Ave Maria No Morro” — a duet with Brazilian star Djavan. Each song was recorded virtually live in the studio to ensure the thrill of improvisation.

In addition to the studio album, Manhattan is releasing a deluxe CD/DVD version with the La Sesión Cubana studio CD with a two hour Live in Havana DVD. A one hour version of The Live in Havana concert program will be featured in March, 2014 by Public Television stations as part of their pledge programs. The program is being presented by WLIW.

“Zucchero called and said that he wanted to go to Havana and record new versions of his songs with ‘Cuban rhythms and Tex-Mex guitars,’" says Don Was. “I had no idea what he was talking about but it sounded like high adventure. After recording two other albums with him over the last decade [2006’s Fly and 2010’s Chocabeck], I'd learned that Zu is a magnificent and visionary artist and that his instincts are golden. So we headed to Havana on blind faith and, sure enough, his unique brand of Popular Italian Soul Music blended seamlessly with the incredible band of Cuban All-Stars who'd gathered in the studio to cut tracks with us. In the end, great music always transcends cultural boundaries and the record turned out brilliantly. Zu's cover of Malo's hit, “Nena,” is one of my favorites. I've loaded it into my alarm clock because it makes me wake up feeling good every morning.”

CLOSING NOTES --- Without question one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in years is HBO’s True Detective, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Oscar-winner McConaughey is having some kind of year. As good as he was in Dallas Buyer’s Club, he’s sensational here; the best thing I’ve ever seen him in. Harrelson is great too, certainly the best thing he’s been in too. The thing with this 8-episode series is writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) vision of focus. Pizzolatto wrote all the episodes, preferring to keep his voice intact throughout and the music by T. Bone Burnett is utterly riveting. The finale just aired and so many people watched it online, that the HBO site crashed. We'll discuss this more, but just spot-on sensational. Watcvh for this one to win every single award for Emmy-season …

How about Robert Redford in the new Captain America: The winter Solider film? He looks superb as some sort of super-spy. With Michael Douglas signing on for the forthcoming Ant Man movie, I guess Hollywood’s elder-class has decided that these comic-books movies do work. Speaking of elder-class, Warren Beatty’s long-gestating movie on Howard Hughes is finally in forward motion. Signed so far is: Lily Collins (yep, Phil’s daughter) and Martin Sheen. Also rumored is Jack Nicholson. so far ... so good ...

Just picked up a copy of the music industry's bible Billboard; which we haven't seen for some ages. A thorough re-working with Roy Trakin at the helm; it looked like a cross between the Hollywood Reporter (their sister issue) and Vanity Fair. I loved it ...

Photo Courtesy Of: 42 West PR

Friday, March 07, 2014



Story By: G.H. Harding

Adam Lambert

SIMON & STING --- When Paul Simon announced last year he was touring with Sting, anticipation ran exceptionally high; as both Simon and Sting are artists of the highest caliber. Last night’s final show at NYC’s Madison Square Garden was spot-on excellent in almost every way.

The two sauntered onstage with both their respective bands in tow (almost 17 musicians onstage!) and began the show with Sting’s “Brand New Day” and Simon’s “Boy in the Bubble.” Simon welcomed the audience to their little experiment. At first, there are so many musicians onstage that’s it’s all a bit hard to take in; but, soon you settle in and it all makes sense. Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion” and a brilliant-performance of Simon’s classic “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” followed. Simon’s sax player did a brilliant solo mid-song; it was good, but made me remember the late-Michael Becker’s vivid original take which was nothing short of brilliant.

Also exceptionally good was Simon’s “Graceland,” which filled me with as much joy as it did when I first heard the song years ago; a metaphor for so many things, it’s just a brilliant, brilliant song in every way.

Simon’s band, as well as Sting’s, was augmented by some brass and a great violin, that although brilliantly interwoven, was at times almost overpowering at times. Sting’s drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta, was just exceptionally good. He was so good, he almost made me miss Simon’s usual drummer Steve Gadd … out now with Eric Clapton.

Sting’s “Fragile” followed with Simon singing along and the effect was almost transcendent. Other highlights included Simon’s terrific “Hearts and Bones,” a terrific cover of “Mystery Train” and “You Can Call Me Al,” which had the audience on their feet. Sting also delivered a great version of “Roxanne.” Always a crowd favorite and a great song for sure.

The encores, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Every Breathe You Take” and the Everly Brothers' “When Will I Be Loved,” with just the two of them on acoustic guitars, was utterly brilliant. Simon said in the intro, “that’s how music started, a voice and a guitar.” In fact, it was the showstopper of the night. A great master class show; certainly the best so far this year. This is one show that I hope there's a DVD from .. it's that good!

LAMBERT JOINS QUEEN --- As expected, Queen and Adam Lambert have announced a North American summer tour that will take the legendary rock band and the young-gun singer on a 19-date trek starting June 19 in Chicago.

Joining Lambert will be original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor.

After the Windy City, Queen and Lambert will hit towns across Canada and the United States at arenas in Toronto, Los Angeles, Detroit and New York, before wrapping up July 20 in Washington, DC.

On July 5 and 6, the band will return to Las Vegas, where they "stole the show" at last year's iHeartRadio Music Festival. They first performed together in May 2009 on an episode of American Idol (Lambert was runner-up on the show's eight season). They also rocked the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards along with several dates in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and London.

Queen is one of the quintessential rock bands of all time. They've influenced bands for years to come," Lambert said Thursday morning during an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America.

In a press release announcing the tour, May hinted that this could be the last time North America will see Queen live on this scale, saying "Let's rock those beautiful arenas JUST ONE MORE TIME!" Lambert called the tour "beautifully surreal" and vowed to honor the memory of original frontman Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.

"He's a personal hero of mine, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band," he said.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 14.

CLOSING NOTES --- First, Paul Simon and Sting … now comes the summer tour of Santana and Rod Stewart. I predict we’ll see more packages like this as the summer comes. Great pairing …

Heritage-artist Dave Mason’s new album, Future’s Past sounds just great. Besides re-working some of his classics tracks, like “World In Changes” and “As Sad And Deep As You.” New songs like “That’s Freedom” and “How Do I Get To Heaven” sound like instant-classics too. With a Graham Nash-painting as its cover, I can't wait to hear this one. Lacking a major label, the best place to get this one is from Mason’s own website.

I've been reading Paul Myers Todd Rudgren bio A Wizard A True Star(Todd Rundgren In The Studio) and, just loving it. I was born near Todd in Philadelphia and have always been a fan of the Runt; from “I Saw The Light,” to “Just One Victory,” “We Gotta Get You A Woman” and many of his productions from Grand Funk Railroad, to Meatloaf to Patti Smith and the British band XTC. It’s not a gossip-book, but a very revealing look into the man and his many exploits. To be honest, I have loved from day one, Hall & Oates’ War Babies album, that first came out in 1974 and a project that Todd produced … the notes about that project are brilliant. The book from the U. K.’s Jawbone Books is just exceptional. If you're a Todd-fan, this is a must-read …

Saw Beck on last week's SNL with Jim Parsons as host. The two tracks he performed ("Blue Moon" and "Wave") from his new Bon Iver-inspired album Morning Phase, were terrific; but, he voice was so filtered on both, it was almost out of this world. He almost sounded like an alien. Wonder if the whole album sounds like that. Most confusing ...

Congrats to former Hits-scribe (not to mention the late-great (Soho Weekly News) Roy Trakin as he joins the Hollywood Reporter. I've known Roy for years and the Reporter is lucky to have him. As Roy told me the other day, "there is indeed a third-act." Mazel tov ...

Speaking of writers ... where is Michael Musto? I miss his thoughts terribly ...

Mark Bego's long-overdue book with Glen Campbell-daughter Debby, gets a new release date .... September 11 ...

Monday, March 03, 2014



Story By: G.H. Harding
Kevin Spacey

OSCARS 86 --- After last year’s somewhat-mess-of-a-show with host Seth MacFarlane, the producers (Craig Zadan and Neil Meron) were determined more than ever to play it safe and that’s exactly what they got in the form of host Ellen DeGeneres, who was funny for sure, but somewhat laid back. Face it, when she hosted for the first time back in 2007, everyone loved her and though she wasn't as funny as, say Johnny Carson or even Bob Hope, she was an inspired and workable choice.

Her dressing up as a fairy godmother after Pink performed “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” worked fine and actually having pizza delivered during the show was simply fall down funny; with names like Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford chomping at the bit. 

For insiders, her asking for pizza-money from Hollywood-bigwig Harvey Weinstein in particular was funny. Damn. To wit: Harvey probably could have anted up with a bit more than he did! A dapper-looking Kevin Spacey was funny when he slipped Ellen some extra green, saying this is for you!

The show itself contained few surprises, but in the amazingly beautiful Dolby Theatre, the show moved fairly swiftly with many of the usual suspects winning: Jared Leto; Matthew McConaughey; the top prize going to 12 Years A Slave; Cate Blanchett, Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity; and, Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” were all just standout.

Bill Murray throwing out an acknowledgement to the late Harold Ramis during his presentation was terrifically sweet. I actually just watched the original Ghostbusters yesterday and couldn't believe how well it held up and how sturdy Ramis’ contributions were. Cate Blanchett’s pitch regarding the box-office viability of movies starring women was terrific; as was McConaughey’s acceptance speech.

For the most part, the stars were helpfully willing to play along – posing for a tweeted selfie, for example, which briefly crashed Twitter – but those kinds of gags are both slim and a hit-miss proposition. I guess in a way, Twitter was formally christened last night as Hollywood's new PR-tool.

For me, I really liked Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as hosts; even, Whoopi was great. But, of course, no one ever did it better than Carson.

SHANNON ON CBS FM --- Funny thing about radio history; it goes by before you know it. Scott Shannon returned in fine fashion today to the tri-state radio airwaves - now on WCBS FM, and he sounded like he didn't miss a beat; although he explained to his listeners, he was still getting his feet wet there. 

Opening with an evocative radio narrative where the listener heard snippets from Murray The K, the great Dan Ingram, his own run on the Morning Zoo and even a brief memory of his outstanding 23-run with Todd Pettengill on WPLJ … and, then, to the strains of Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” … Super Shannon was back. 

In an era of programmed-music and voices, Shannon’s a most treasured treat for sure. We think the world of him. Funniest moment: when Monkee-Micky Dolenz called in at 9:45 AM and asked Scott how he happened to get his old time slot! Hilarious. Scott … it’s like you never left!

MIDNIGHT RIDER --- Unclaimed Freight Productions, who is making the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, has temporarily shut down production in light of last week’s tragic accident and the police investigation.

The production was filming on a bridge in Jessup, GA when a train suddenly appeared. The crew attempted to clear the bridge but was not able to get a mattress, being used in a train sequence, off in time. Second camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed by the train and a number of crew members were injured by flying debris.

Since the incident, it has come to light that the production may have not had permission to shoot on the bridge even though they claimed they had information on when two scheduled trains were scheduled to pass. If it is found that they did not have permission or were elegant, members of the crew could face criminal prosecution including homicide charges.

Authorities are now reviewing the footage from the scene to try and determine what occurred.

There is no word on when production on Midnight Rider will resume.

Unclaimed Freight Productions made the film CBGB and are currently working on Caribou Records, the story of James William Guercio's Colorado recording studios where artists like Elton John, Billy Joel and Chicago made some of their greatest albums. 

CLOSING NOTES --- Tonight’s Linda Lovelace event at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room should be great; some promised surprises too … 

I watched the Oscar’s at PR-pasha’s David Salidor’s home with a gaggle of industry guests and he noted how many of the winners thanked their PR-teams. Salidor explains, "These days, you need those PR-people more than ever" …

Jodi Ritzen announced over the weekend, that Monkee-Peter Tork will indeed appear at her Monkee Convention 2014, next week in New Jersey … 

Author-Mark Bego hosts a birthday party for The Supremes' Mary Wilson tonight in Beverly Hills. Expected guests include Freda Payne ("Band Of Gold") and Natalie Cole. Also on hand will be Debby Campbell, whose new book (Life With My Father Glen Campbell) was co-written by Bego ... 

Thursday, February 27, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING

Scott Shannon

SHANNON’S BACK --- That didn’t take long! Industry tip sheet All Access was the first to uncover a page hidden on the WCBS-FM website that revealed the mystery of where longtime WPLJ/New York morning co-host SCOTT SHANNON would end up. Now it's official.

Access reported last night that he's moving downtown a bit to do wake ups from 6AM -10AM EST at CBS Classic Hits WCBS-FM, effective Monday, March 3rd.

According to the press release found on the site, "Scott Shannon In The Morning will also feature Mr. G (Irv Gikofsky) providing weather reports and Joe Nolan with all the traffic information for morning commuters.

"Not often does a legendary morning drive personality become available with the experience of waking up New Yorkers for more than 25 years," said CBS VP/Market Mgr. Don Bouloukos. "CBS-FM is a heritage station and the perfect place for Hall Of Famer Scott Shannon. We are thrilled to welcome Scott and his award-winning personality to CBS-FM and our family."

The station's local weekday lineup continues with Dan Taylor in midday's (10AM-3PM), Broadway Bill Lee from 3PM-7PM, Brooklyn's own Joe Causi from 7PM-12PM and Dave Stewart from 12AM-6AM. CBS-FM, consistently one of New York's most popular radio stations, is available on-air at 101.1FM, online at and through the app for a variety of mobile devices.

Shannon's Hall Of Fame radio career has spanned in excess of four decades with more than 25 of those spent doing mornings in New York. He is credited with developing the Morning Zoo format which he brought to WHTZ in the early '80s, and helped make the station #1. His next stop in New York was WPLJ where he co-hosted the Scott and Todd in the morning program. Shannon spent 22 years at the station, helping reshape adult morning radio, and enjoying ratings success throughout the years.

JOHNNY & TARA --- NBC’s not done yet with the It Couple of the Sochi Olympics coverage — announcing yesterday that Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski — will join the company’s syndicated show Access Hollywood on the red carpet at Sunday’s Oscars to report on the fashion. The duo got high marks for their ice-skating commentary for the networks of NBC at the Winter Games, but the two — and especially Weir — were Must See TV for their outfits.

“I am honored and so excited to be a part of the team for Access Hollywood’s Oscar coverage,” Weir said. “There is no time that L. A. shines brighter than during the Oscars, and I hope to bring my own special brand of sparkle to the broadcast. I am so privileged to work with my great friend, Tara Lipinski and together we hope to entertain America’s pants off.”

Access Hollywood's exec producer Rob Silverstein predicted “No show will have more fun with Oscar style” than this one.

Weir and Lipinski told NBC’s Today during the Olympics that they came to Sochi with four suitcases apiece, describing the cases as being the same size as Ford Focuses and Audi S4s. They contained, among other things, 22 pair of shoes, 25 blazers, six pair of leather pants, 10 pounds of jewelry and four fur coats.

I smell a new reality show here … don't you?

HERE’S ENGELBERT --- Engelbert Humperdinck’s duets album Engelbert Calling has been scheduled for a March 17 release in the U. K.

The legendary Humperdinck has been working with some of the biggest names on the planet: Elton John, Gene Simmons of Kiss, Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Olivia Newton-John are just some of the superstars that will appear with Engelbert on the album.

With Elton he duets on John’s “Something About The Way You Look Tonight ,” Dylan’s “Make You feel My love” with Willie Nelson; and, “The Hungry Years” with Neil Sedaka – one of my favorite songs from Sedaka ever!

Scott Dorsey, Engelbert’s son and manager, drove the Engelbert Calling project. After contacting some of the biggest names on the planet, Scott was so overwhelmed by the reaction from the stars that the album became a double album.

Engelbert’s son and daughter Bradley and Louise Dorsey will also appear on the record singing with their dad.

There are no current plans for a U.S. release.

CLOSING NOTES --- I do think CNN will bring back the King … Larry King. With the Piers Morgan showing ending sometime next month, I'd expect to see the suspender-man return. It'd be a good thing too. King was quoted as saying “Piers’ interviews always involved Piers … mine, involved the guest.” Good point … and, so true …

Funny that Scott Shannon’s new time-slot (and, new station) used to be Micky Dolenz’s old time-slot, when he hosted the Micky In The Morning show on CBS-FM several years back. Wonder if he'll call in and wish Scott well? …

We've been remiss in not mentioning Fox’s Almost Human series, starring Karl Urban (Star Trek and Dredd) and Michael Ealy. The show is from the same outfit that produced Fringe (also on Fox) for its terrific run. The show is in the future where police officers are partnered with robots. It started out slow; but, in the last several episodes, has grown in sophistication with brilliant writing and acting. This week’s show, “Beholder,” was simply sensational, with the writing and acting up to Fringe’s highest standards. In fact, for true-Fringe fans, the episode reminded me more than once of Fringe’s 2010 “White Tulip” episode with Peter Weller. It definitely deserves one more season; it’s just revving up now …

Looking forward to tonight's FLATT event at the National Arts Club in Lower Manhattan; featuring DJ Questlove and goodbye motel.

 Photo Courtesy Of: Scott Shannon/CBS