Showing posts with label MARK BEGO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MARK BEGO. Show all posts

Thursday, October 29, 2009




Mark Bego

Judging by the hordes of people waiting in line for over six hours in Tucson to get the first glimpse of Michael Jackson's posthumous big screen concert film debut, he has achieved a lifelong dream, and now has a hit movie to his credit. "This Is It," with its international two-weeks-only big screen run, has accomplished what "The Wiz" failed to do three decades ago. As the world's first non-concert concert film, "This Is It" also accomplishes--as a rehearsal documentary--what many big budget rock & roll do not. With the universal impression of "What a great concert experience would have made," viewing "The King of Pop" take his Cracker Jack cast and crew through grueling sound checks and repetitive run-through's, makes for the musical movie event of the year, if not the decade, or of all time. Although it is bittersweet to watch, knowing the Jackson is no longer with us, what this film does do is to bring us a very alive, and a very focused thriller of a portrayal. At one point in the film, Jackson looks at the camera and says, "I want to bring love back in the world." In his hour and a half final film, he does just that. Celebrity "comebacks" are tricky business. Elvis Presley died a bloated, drugged out mess. Judy Garland walked through her final concerts in the '60s in a daze. And Whitney Houston has struggled with a now-ruined voice to attempt her own. What makes "This Is It" so special, is that it shows a thin but animated Michael Jackson at the top of his game. His voice is still there, his image is intact, and he is seen as a strong and in-shape 50-year-old. He does not look like he is in the final weeks of his life at all. Cobbled together from several rehearsals, musical numbers are accomplished with split screens and lots of "jump cutting" of film of Jacko in "street clothes." Well, for Michael, street clothes include a silver lame jacket and bright orange jeans, so he manages to deliver the flash that we have come to know him for. It is as if the past 16 years of tabloid headlines are being eclipsed by his sheer talent and musical magic. Highlights from "This Is It" include the filming of a new 3-D interpretation of "Thriller," pyrotechnics run-through's, and a "green screen" filming of "Smooth Criminal" that finds Michael catching Rita Hayworth's strip-tease flung glove from the '40s film "Gilda," and being chased by machine-gun wielding Humphrey Bogart. Michael Jackson spent his career longing to be a classic film star, and now in death, his goal has ironically been realized.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Mark Bego

Who says authors don’t like doing in-stores? One of our favorite authors Mark Bego, just held the very first in-store signing for his newest release Elton John: The Bitch Is Back at The Barnes & Noble store in The Foothills Mall in Tucson, Arizona where he is currently based. According to one B&N manager, “We sold out entire initial order and we’ve just re-ordered. Always a positive sign!”The Elton-tome is Bego’s release #52, and comes only weeks before One Minute Before Midnight (#53), a dynamic memoir of Ruth Mueller, whose travails include escaping Nazi Germany within days of the beginning of World War II. Mueller came to America, started her own company, and in ’80s she sold it for millions. Says Bego, “I have known Ruth for 30 years, and I have always found the stories of her life to be absolutely fascinating. She escaped Nazi Germany in 1939, came to America, and became a successful businesswoman in Manhattan. Her story is the account of an incredible life, and at the age of 92 she is still an energetic dynamo!” Also, the U.K. version of The Bitch is Back is due to be released (via JR Books under the title The Elton John Story), joining the already-out German language version (via Hannibal Books of Austria as Elton John: Die Story). Hannibal is also releasing two new Bego-books in October: Tina Turner: Die Biografie (#54) in time for the singer’s 70th birthday, and Whitney Houston: Die Biografie (#55). While everyone else is proclaiming that business is slow, the prolific Bego has four new books out in time for the Christmas 2009 season. The bitch IS back…and so is Bego!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Mark Bego

Best-selling author MARK BEGO has four rock & roll biographies being released in October 2009 ... all over the world. First on the list is "Elton John: The Bitch Is Back" in America, from Phoenix Books. Then in England, JR Books is releasing their own version of the book entitled "The Elton John Story." In Europe, Hannibal Publishers is releasing the German language books by Bego: "Tina Turner: Die Biografie" and his brand-new "Whitney Houston: Die Biografie." Mark's book on Elton was initially released in June in the German language version of the Elton John book, which is 200 pages longer than the American or British versions of the book. One German publication Manner magazine, called the author 'The Count of Star Bios!" According to Bego, “This is my most exciting year ever, and my biography of Elton--in all of its versions--is my biggest international book in years, since my success with my Michael Jackson books in 1984.” Bego's Jackson book spent six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Bego also has the Lamar Fike biography, "A Uncommon Journey," ready to go, as well as his own biography called "Paperback Writer." Bego arrives in New York City in October.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Mark Bego

As news of Michael Jackson's death circulated, Mark Bego, is in shock. Bego met Jackson in the '70s and '80s, and penned the biggest-selling Jackson biography written: 1984's "Michael!" That same year, Bego traveled along with The Jackson's sold-out "Victory Tour," attended 30 consecutive shows as a rock journalist, and penned the million-selling book, "On the Road With Michael!"According to Bego, "The book 'Michael!' was released in February of 1984 when Jackson caught his hair on fire shooting the controversial Pepsi commercial, and I ended up selling three million copies of my book, in seven different editions. Overnight, I was acknowledged as a Jackson expert." Bego's "Michael!" was an international success (including American, British, Portuguese, Japanese, Croatian, French, and Spanish editions). In the United States "Michael!" spent six weeks in the Top Ten on "The New York Times" best-seller list.Says Bego, "Michael was obsessed with his public image. He worked overtime to shape it, and did everything he could to make himself as unique to the public eye as possible. Even with all of the bizarre behavior, plastic surgery, press-release marriages, and ever-morphing 'look,' there is only one central thing that will be remembered about Michael Jackson, and that is his phenomenal talent. No one could sing and dance the way he could. He was a distinctive and unifying performer, whose creativity and artistry will never be forgotten."

Monday, January 12, 2009


David Salidor With Mark Bego,Robert Funaro And Chris Gilman

When I think back over my many, many memories at Steve Walter's Cutting Room on 24th street, I immediately recall all the great acts I've seen there and all the events I've had there (more on that in a minute), and, the always-terrific hospitality and the great people he's always had working there (thank you SUSAN HATHAWAY; PETER ABRAHAM; HOWARD MARK; PR-co-hort CLAIRE O'CONNOR -who I first met decades ago with the legendary LIMELIGHT-icon MAX SABRIN-; and, club-manager JACKIE!), but more than that, and, it's a bit surprising, I think what I enjoyed most there were my musical conversations with him. You know, he went to Boston's Berklee School of Music, and the passion for the music has always remained for him. During my college years, I worked at the legendary Long Island-music club MY FATHER'S PLACE ... and, no, it wasn't my Father's before you ask yourself. I saw first hand, acts like HALL & OATES, DAVE MASON, THE BRECKER BROTHERS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, BOZ SCAGGS, TOWER OF POWER, and, CHICK COREA, at the early developmental portions of their careers. I worked there because I enjoyed the music and loved seeing these bands for the first time; I got to see first- hand what it took and who really had it .. and, who didn't! I recognized that quality immediately with Steve when we had our very first conversation. I'm tempted to say, having known most of the so-called legendary music-impresarios in NY, Steve's been more responsible for creatively booking the club and keeping alive the musical legacy of great acts appearing in NY live, than mostly anyone else I know. The music industry owes him a great debt. Truth be told, he always reminded me of Ron Delsener, who in his heyday was a force of nature; booking the best bands out there and then, continuing to nurture them. And, not that I'm saying Mr. Delsener is no longer in his prime ... but, it's somewhat of a different playing field for him these days... actually, for us all! Hey, I've seen Delsener there many, many times ... and, love the guy! As a PR-person I've utilized the venue many, many times: several book release events for celebrity-biographer MARK BEGO (one which actually drew out WPLJ's legendary TOM CUDDY, DJ-RACE TAYLOR, Supreme-MARY WILSON and, LAMAR FIKE, from The Memphis Mafia); I was there when DEBORAH GIBSON sang with JORDAN KNIGHT (then-and-now a New Kid On The Block); many RONNIE SPECTOR shows; legendary-60's performer MELANIE, who actually rocked the place and was as good as when I first worked with almost 25 years ago; was front and center with MICKY DOLENZ for the recording of a live performance of DONAVAN ... with THE BAND'S GARTH HUDSON, PAUL SHAFFER and WILL LEE in the band; a release party for SONIC Underground's LUCKY 13 package; was there for NEIL and PEGGI YOUNG ... which was an awesome performance; FOX NEWS-scribe-ROGER FRIEDMAN's birthday which was a delight; also there for jazz man JOHN TROPEA and songwriter JIMMY WEBB ... who puts on a one-man show that he started at The Bottom Line; a surprise birthday party for Times Square Gossip's JAMES EDSTROM, several birthday-events for co-owner CHRIS NOTH, the book release party for ELLIOT TIBER' S TAKING WOODSTOCK ... soon to be a major motion picture directed by ANG LEE; many birthday-parties for MAY PANG and Steve (who share the same birthday); a terrific BROADWAY CARES EVENT with DONNIE KEHR, SANDY HICKS, TOM VIOLA, Micky Dolenz ... and, actress JOYCE DeWITT, AL STEWART doing his "Year Of The Cat", and DJ-KEN DASHOW walking in, looking around and uttering 'all the music geeks are here'; a launch party for KEITH GIRARD's terrific, and, to be honest, I had considered for some of our current clients, CHRISTINE VASKAS and LARRY STEVENS. The club will be missed ... mostly, I think, as a place where you could go and hear some fabulous music and get away from the day-to-day craziness in this business. I was there last night for a Jimmy Webb-show and there was a distinct, palpable air of bittersweet-ness in the room. Even when Steve introduced Webb, you could hear a tinge of sadness in his voice. The room will be back ... of that I am very sure. But, the missing time will be hard to swallow. THE CUTTING ROOM became an inspiration in the city and moreso for the dwindling music industry. There may be other clubs, other venues out there, but there will NEVER be anything like this. If you missed it, and, really how could you ... it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and one that I know I am all the richer for!
Editors Note: We love this club. Steve Walter is a class act. The club should re-open in a new location by the summer if everything goes well. The closing party is Tuesday night. This is just another story of a greedy landlord who raised the rent so high, no one can afford to stay in business. And in this economy, this is one dumb landlord. The place will stay vacant for years.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Tony Noto With Betrice From Surrrotica And Robert Bernard

TONY NOTO's Murray Hill Wines at 34th and Third went to the dogs today, with a small reception for a new product called GOOD BOY CABERNET ... from Les Compagnons Wines. Each bottle sold, and there were at least 25 or so moved, a percentage is donated to two of NY's premiere Animal Charities ... THE TOBY PROJECT and SAVE ANIMALS IN VETERINARY EMERGENCY. The former, rescues strays and attempts to find them proper homes, while the latter deals with all emergencies that our four-footed-friends can come into contact with. Noto, a dog owner himself, jumped at the opportunity to bring some much need visibility to these two charities. Celebrity-writer MARK BEGO (whose newest opus MACHO MAN is out next week via Greenwood Press) and ROBERT BERNARD, the producer and creator of Surrotica also attended the fete. Bego is in town for the PBA Widows and Orphans luncheon at Bridegwater's at South Street Seaport and a stint on WOR's JOEY REYNOLDS SHOW. Bego was a guest on the PRICE IS RIGHT on CBS last week (meeting with host DREW CAREY) and is currently finishing his project for next year, on ELTON JOHN. "It's a Herculean project," said Bego. Surrotica will formally bow in the New Year as it is putting together a vigorous schedule of activity ... more to follow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Randy Jones With James Edstrom

David Salidor With Susan Hathaway And Mark Bego

Justin Campbell With Randy Jones, Robin Byrd and Vincent Vilela

Celebrity-author MARK BEGO held a small, intimate celebration last night for his birthday at Steve Walter's Cutting Room in New york City. Bego, whose next release (his 51st) is MACHO MAN (Greenwood Publishing), written in tandem with the Village People's original cowboy RANDY JONES. Jones was on hand, accepting early congratulations for the book's release, which will be out in December. Greenwood's own pub-czar DANIEL HARMON was also on hand, as were writer BEN WIDDICCOME (now writing for the Star); cable-TV phenom ROBIN BYRD; Bego's pr-man pasha DAVID SALIDOR; agent JIM FITZGERALD; Pipeline's Mgmt.'s DAVE MARKEN; VH1's DANA BOVE; photographer ROBERT MILAZZO; author ISOBELLA JADE; art-king DEREK STORM; CHRIS GILMAN, late of the Palm West; writer ANNE E. RASO; the Memphis Mafia's E. DAVID STANLEY; Soprano star ROBERT FUNARO; KEITH GIRARD from The Improper; and, JONATHAN MOOREHEAD and JEANNINE HANNUM. As always, Walter and his staff, Jackie the manager and Susan Hathaway were terrific! Bego's next project is a bio on ELTON JOHN that will be released next year, JR Books in London and Michael Viner's Phoenix Books here. Also showing up to help party was Buzz Foto star photographer Justin Campbell and TMZ reporter cutie Vincent Vilela. Also on tap for the Tucson-resident Bego is LAMAR FIKE's AN UNCOMMON JOURNEY ON ELVIS PRSLEY BOULEVARD.

Baby Chic With Derek Storm, Randy Jones And Robin Byrd

Cutting Rooms Steve Walter And Randy Jones

Chris Gilman And Sopranos Star Robert Funaro

Randy Jones With Mark Bego And Angel Gonzalez

Photos By: James Edstrom

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Macho Mark Bego

Celebrity-author MARK BEGO, who wrote the forthcoming MACHO MAN(Greenwood) with Randy Jones, says, "The book is actually an in-depth look at the sex lives and careers of such gay-icons as ROCK HUDSON, OSCAR WILDE, and, FRIDA KAHLO, as opposed to a straight Village People-bio .. that book is still to be written! MACHO MAN however, is a pop-culture almanac at the gay-movement." Slated for a release later this year, Bego continues, "It was a challenge to leave out certain aspects of everyone's sex lives ... but, it came out really quite well and is sure to engage a healthy dialogue." Bego, who has LAMAR FIKE's bio (AN UNCOMMON JOURNEY: ON ELVIS PERSLEY BOULEVARD) and, screenplay (ONE OF THE BOYS-57-60), all set to go later this year as well, is in negotiations for an un-authorized on a major, major star ... from England. "This could be the crowning jewel in my career ... and, can't say anything until everything is locked up."

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Chef Fabian with General Manager Chris Gilman and Mark Bego

Celeb-author MARK BEGO flew into the Big Apple for a whirlwind visit. First, a batch of meetings via his new tome on ELVIS PRESLEY ('ON ELVIS PRESLEY BOULEVARD: 'AN UNCOMMON JOURNEY') that Bego has co-written with LAMAR FIKE, one of Elvis' trusted Memphis Mafia. "Lamar worked, lived, and, partied with the King. He knows ALL the stories. It's been a great project, and I think we've come up with a great book. Its chock full of new information on Presley and some great, great stories. We're looking for the spring to have this one out." His other project is the book MACHO MAN (Greenwood), which is Bego's take, with RANDY JONES of The Village People, on the burgeoning gay-movement in the 70s after Stonewall. "We really researched in depth the how's and whys of all these events. We've also looked at the differences then, musically, fashion-wise, among other things ... and the results. We interviewed a number of seminal figures of the movement for the book and our results are really quite timely and terrific. Its a bit of a different project for me, but, I'm extremely happy with the way its come out. That will be Fall of next year." Last night we dined with Bego and P.R. Pasha David Salidor at Palm West, a favorite of ours around these parts, and regaled General Manager CHRIS GILMAN with his tales of ELVIS and MR. JONES. Bego, who's already done 2 book releases parties at the eatery, claims the 50th street hotspot among his favorites. At one point Bego and Gilman invaded the kitchen and for a moment thought he be pressed into service. Today, he attends the annual PBA Christmas event for the families of the membership down at Bridgewater's at the South Street Seaport. No doubt about it, it IS the Glamorous Life!
Photo By: James Edstrom

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Celebrity-writer MARK BEGO, currently working on a new book on ELVIS PRESLEY, with one of the 'Memphis Mafia'- LAMAR FIKE (called ON ELVIS PRESLEY BOULEVARD: AN UNCOMMON JOURNEY) had Thanksgiving in Malibu and five hours later grabbed his manuscript, notes, and laptop and fled the area, as the wildfires fueled by the Santa Ana winds engulfed the area... fires which ended up destroying the home next to his, musician Flea's home."It was one of the scariest things I've ever encountered. One minute we're eating, washing the dishes, and then grabbing what we could and leaving. It's a tragic footnote to a great day." Bego's home was ultimately spared.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Lamar Fike and Mark Bego

Celebrity-author MARK BEGO is uncovering all sorts of never-before-revealed tidbits about ELVIS PRESLEY, in the forthcoming ON ELVIS PRESLEY BOULEVARD; LAMAR FIKE: AN UNCOMMON JOURNEY, the tome he is writing with LAMAR FIKE; he of the infamous Memphis Mafia. Fike lived, worked, played, and partied with the King. He was there for the highs and the lows of life with The King. Among the books saucy revelations: "When Lamar first moved into Graceland with Elvis, he actually slept in the same bed with The King. According to Lamar, "He would have nightmares, and he would sleepwalk, so I slept with him ... so he didn't walk out of the second floor window. I had to turn on the lights to get him out of his sleepwalking phase." While there are all sorts of rumors about Elvis meeting and having an affair with Marilyn Monroe, in reality, it was Lamar who met her. Says Fike, "She invited Elvis over to a party at the studio, but he sent me over to send his apologies. Instead of Elvis ever meeting her, it was just me. I spent a half an hour talking to her. She was just mesmerizing to talk to. She would look you right in the eyes."
*In 1971, when Elvis had been absent on the record scene for years, it was Lamar who found him his last million-selling hit, "Kentucky Rain." Lamar went onto run Elvis' publishing company for years.

*Lamar was with Elvis at a party at Nat King Cole's house in 1957, where Rock Hudson was a guest. Lamar told Elvis that Rock was gay, and Elvis didn't believe him. At the party, Lamar watched as Rock started up a conversation with Elvis and they sat down on the sofa together. Amidst their conversation, Rock put his hand on Elvis' leg, and Presley jumped up like the sofa was on fire.
He walked over to Lamar and said, "You know what? You were right - Rock is Gay!"

*Lamar went to Hollywood to stay with Elvis in 1957 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The following day Elvis told him that they were going to go over to the movie studio. The next thing Lamar knew, he was on the set of "Jailhouse Rock," and he was a character in the film. Lamar is seen in several scenes as part of Elvis' group of friends in the final cut of the picture.

*One night, late, after some serious partying, Elvis and Lamar were sitting alone, and Elvis asked Lamar how he saw him as an old man. Lamar, pausing for a moment, looked at him and said "I don't." Prophetic words indeed. The book will be out early next year.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Famed Mark Bego

We just finished talking to Celebrity-author MARK BEGO, whose 50th title BILLY JOEL: THE BIOGRAPHY has just gone back for its second printing, is now working on a new book on ELVIS PRESLEY, to be titled ELVIS PRESLEY BOULEVARD. Written with the help of LAMAR FIKE, one of The King's most trusted aides, the book has already touched off a formidable bidding war within the publishing world, as sources see this as a potentially not only a hit book, but a movie property as well ... perhaps the next WALK THE LINE-movie, say some insiders.
Says Bego, "No one was closer to Elvis than Lamar Fike. he met Presley in 1956, and lived with the family at Graceland. He was with Elvis for over 20 years until the end, and he knows where all the skeletons are buried. This will be both a controversial and red-hot title." Meanwhile, Bego is also finishing off MACHO MAN, the true behind-the-scenes story of RANDY JONES, the original 'cowboy' from The Village People.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Famed Writer Mark Bego With Deborah Gibson

80s-music icon DEBORAH GIBSON wowed the SRO-crowd at Manhattan's Culture Club last night, with a performance that included all of her hits, as well as a new track entitled "Famous" that had the crowd totally in sync with her. 'Interestingly enough, Gibson's "Electric Youth" drew the most applause and had the crowd singing along. Talk about your iconic-80s-song! The song is the name of a play, based on Gibson's music, that is opening in Masy at The Starlight Theatre in Orlando. She performs this Monday night at BROADWAY FOR MEDICINE, alongside BETTY BUCKLEY, JOHN McDANIEL (Rosie O'Donnell show); MALCOLM GETS; ANDREA McARDLE; HUGH PANARO (Lestat); and, LISA VROMAN (Phantom Of The Opera). Celebrity-author MARK BEGO, who's new bio BILLY JOEL: THE BIOGRAPHY (Thunder's Mouth Press) is out in June, and who wrote Gibson's biography BETWEEN THE LINES, attended the show.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Writing Legend Mark Bego

Celebrity biographer MARK BEGO, who's written about the likes of MICHAEL JACKSON; MADONNA: CHER; BETTE MIDLER; MICKY DOLENZ; DEBORAH GIBSON; LEONARDO DiCAPRIO; BARRY MANILOW; and, BONNIE RAITT, has his latest offering (his 50th title) coming out in next month, on singer/songwriter BILLY JOEL,: THE BIOGRAPHY (Thunder's Mouth Press).

Included among his revelations about the Long Island-born singer, are:
** Many of Billy's fans don't know his family history, and the story of his paternal grandfather in 1930s Germany. This is the first book to fully explore that aspect of Billy's family tree, and it tells of how his grandfather had to flee the country after losing his prosperous company. Knowing that Joel's family had a very prosperous background, is insightful in fully understanding Billy's own monetary affairs. He has been plagued with periods of bad business deals, and periods of extreme wealth.
** This book is the first book that draws upon firsthand quotes from Billy Joel's three most important musicians. Guitar player Russell Javors, drummer Liberty DeVitto, and saxophone player Richie Cannata all gave exclusive interviews for 'Billy Joel, The Biography.' Their views of Joel and his business practices highly vary from reverence to resentment.
** Billy has provided several generations with musical anthems that are beloved the world over. However popular with concert going fans, radio stations, and record buyers, Billy was almost universally hated by critics throughout his career. This book fully examines his long-running feud with the press, and how he used to retaliate. ** What was the inspiration behind his biggest hits like "New York State of Mind," "Piano Man," and "Uptown Girl?" How much does Billy Joel's personal life get channeled into his music? Much of it comes from his love affairs, his marriages, his fatherhood, and even his strong passion for boating. This book examines the stories behind the music.
** 'Billy Joel: The Biography' contains over 30 rare and never-before-seen photographs. Acclaimed artist Mark Kostabi has done a portrait of Billy Joel, which has been painted exclusively for the book.

Bego and Thunder's Mouth, will officially celebrate the book's release with a event at NYC's Cutting Room.

The Soon To Be Hit Book