Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow visited the Late Show With David Letterman this week in New York City. Rachel's show is one of our favorites and she has the most talented producers in the business, including Andrew Dallos. 



Edgey Pires With Delila Paz And Brad Wilk

Delila Paz, Edgey Pires, Brad Wilk of The Last Internationale visit the Late Show With David Letterman today in New York City.

Sunday, August 24, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING

Colin Firth

WICKED BLOOD --- Varèse Sarabande Records has released the Wicked Blood – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack as part of their Limited Edition series. The soundtrack features an original score composed by Elia Cmiral (Splinter, Atlas Shrugged).

“Wicked Blood is my third collaboration with director Mark Young,” said Cmiral. “Mark is very sensitive for music, puts a great deal of importance on the score and has always a clear vision what he needs from music for his movie. The movie is set in an unspecified location of the American South so it was naturally I was looking for inspiration and ideas there. Mark and I we felt we want a strong emotional and contemporary score with southern flavors but without imitating the local music styles."

Born in Czechoslovakia, Cmiral attended USC's Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program. Soon after graduating, Cmiral scored his first American feature, Apartment Zero, starring Colin Firth. Over the next decade, he continued building a reputation for himself in Sweden and in America. His musical style combines contemporary electronics with modern orchestra, joining cutting edge technology and production with evocative and haunting melodic themes. Elia scored the first season of Don Johnson's TV series Nash Bridges. In 1998, he scored his first studio feature, John Frankenheimer's suspense thriller Ronin, which earned him the Movieline Young Hollywood Award for Best Soundtrack of 1998.

To date, Elia has written nearly forty scores for independent films, TV and major studios including Stigmata, Wrong Turn, Journey To The End Of The Night, and the Pulse trilogy.

“The poetic opening title (on Wicked) felt as an emotional key to the score and it contains two important themes I used throughout the whole score. The music for the string quartet opens the movie and also closes it in the end. It feels very right to close the circle of the whole movie with the same music.”

MICKY'S MAIL --- Monkee-Micky Dolenz was featured in Saturday’s Daily Mail in their My Haven section, which features celebrities at home. Here’s the link.

Via author Mark Bego, who wrote the 1993 book I’m A Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music and Madness with Dolenz: “What a great article about Monkees iconic star Micky Dolenz. One forgets how influential the music of The Monkees still is and continues to be. Last night I was watching the recent remake of the film Straw Dogs. In the very beginning of the film, its two stars are seen in a convertible sports car singing to a song on the radio. The song they we're singing to? Micky Dolenz's unmistakable voice on the song 'Goin' Down!' And it still sounds amazing after all these years.”

Bego's tome with Glen Campbell-daughter Debby is out, finally, on September 25. Whew!

GENESIS LIVE … AGAIN --- When Genesis released Genesis: 1970-1975, its third boxed set of studio albums, last fall, keyboardist Tony Banks told that "The next logical thing to do would be something with the live albums. We have a few of those, and we have quite a bit of stuff in the vaults that could be added to flesh things out a bit."

That will happen on Sept. 29, when Rhino releases Genesis Live 1973-2007, a 10-disc set featuring five of the group's six official live albums -- it will include a spot for last year's Live Over Europe album from the 2007 reunion tour -- along with a wealth of unreleased material. Included in the latter will be Live at the Rainbow 1973, an oft-bootlegged nine-song collection (portions of which have been previously released) recorded during October of that year in London after the release of Selling England By the Pound (still one the group’s best-ever efforts).

The 1973 release Genesis Live will be bolstered by five tracks from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour recorded in January of 1975 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Seconds Out from 1977 will remain intact, while the version of 1982's Three Sides Live in the box will feature the live tracks from the U. K. edition of the album -- "One For the Vine," "Fountain of Salmacis" and a medley of "It" and "Watcher of the Skies" -- rather than the studio songs that were part of the U. S. package. The box also reconciles the two versions of The Way We Walk, which had been sub-titled The Shorts (1992) and The Long (1993), and combines them in the original concert sequence.

Delving into the backlog of live recordings may also hasten the release of individual shows via Genesis' web site, something the group promised when it launched the portal several years back.

"We still talk about that," Banks acknowledged. "We will get to it. I don't know when, but I promise you we'll do it. We've pulled tapes from all sorts of areas, and we've got board mixes from quite an early era, so that will be quite fun for some people." Rutherford added that, "There's some quite nice things there, I think. It just requires energies from someone to pull it all together and put it all out in a way that makes some sort of sense."

As someone who worked with the group, right after Peter Gabriel exited (as well as with Charisma Records’ late-great Tony Sratton-Smith who first released the group on his label), all these re-issues are nice and certainly historical … but, how about some new recordings? I can appreciate living off past work more than anyone, but the real deal would indeed be something new. I'd love to see Phil Collins come out of Civil War-land and get back to the skins?

It could happen – several weeks back Collins himself said it might be nice to do something new … and, could we even get Gabriel to appear? Who knows?

CLOSING NOTES --- Here we go again. After the huge Genesis announcement last Friday, which turned out to be nothing more than a new career retrospective three-CD set, we are being teased about a mega announcement by Prince set for tomorrows Good Morning America. A life-long fan, I caught him two years back at NYC's Madison Square Garden (performing in the round no less) and it was one of the best live shows I'd ever seen. Live, there's certainly no match other than perhaps Bruce Springsteen, but his recording career has suffered since the 80's. Here's hoping for a true mega-moment. Bets are on a release date for the long-in-coming Plectrum Electrum album but, who knows. Maybe he'll go the Genesis route and announce a new greatest hits collection .... or, that he's adopting a new name. Stay tuned ...

SIGHTINGS --- Mamie Gummer (Streep) at a Yoga People in Brooklyn Heights; Writer Marc Eliot at Palm West in NYC; PR-kingpin David Salidor celebrating his 60th at the Nomad restaurant on lower-Broadway.

Friday, August 22, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Weird Al Yankovic

PARDO PASSES --- Don Pardo, whose voice was heard on game shows, soap operas, news shows, Saturday Night Live and a famous recording by Weird Al Yankovic, has died at age 96.

No details of his death were available.

Dominick George Pardo was born on Feb. 22, 1918, in Westfield, Massachusetts. He began his career in the late 1930’s at a small Rhode Island radio station. He began his career with NBC in 1944 at a radio station affiliated with the network.

He moved to television in the 1950’s as announcer on game shows such as Concentration, Judge For Yourself, Choose Up Sides, Charge Account, Wheel of Fortune, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Winner Take All, The Price Is Right, Remember This Date and the original Jeopardy! with host Art Fleming.

He joined SNL in 1975 and participated in some sketches, including a song with Frank Zappa called "I'm the Slime."

According to, he was given a lifetime contract from NBC.

During the run of The Price Is Right with host Bill Cullen, he made occasional on-air appearances. And, in a 1998 interview, he talked about being one of the first to announce the assassination of President Kennedy on the air.

In 1984, he had the main role as the announcer on the Weird Al Yankovic song “I Lost On Jeopardy!,” a parody of a Greg Kihn tune. The song debuted on the Billboard charts on June 30, 1984 and peaked at #81 in a three-week stint on the charts.

He introduced the contestants, but his speech to Yankovic later in the song that parodied the many prize announcements he made on Jeopardy! through the years was hilarious. “That's right Al, you lost. And let me tell you what you didn't win: a 20-volume set volume of the Encyclopedia International, a case of Turtle Wax, and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat. But that's not all, you also made yourself look like a jerk in front of millions of people. You brought shame and disgrace to your family name for generations to come. You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game. You're a complete loser!”

In recent years, he had roles in Radio Days and The Simpsons. He has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame and later the Television Academy Hall of Fame, one of the few announcers to be so honored.

He is irreplaceable. Al Roker has said that when he first heard Pardo say his name on the late-great Live At Five, it sent chills down his spine.

The loss to SNL is huge as his voice literally launched each show and his introductions were indeed a highlight. I met him once years back at an SNL taping and he couldn't have been more gracious. Huge loss for sure. RIP Don.

SEGER RETURNS --- Bob Seger has sold an astonishing 43.5 million albums in the U.S. placing him in the top 40 artists of all time. He will release a new album Ride Out, only his second studio album since 1995.

Seger took ten years off from the business to spend time with his wife and two young children, returning in 2006 with Face the Promise. Since then, he has only toured sporadically.

However, on what's left of album-oriented radio these days, you hear at least two of his songs daily.

Seger said "I feel really good about this record. This album touches on how I think a lot of us feel about finding our place in a more complicated world – from how we appreciate things as simple and pure as love, to navigating through the corruption and violence that permeates the news. It sums up a lot of feelings I have about a variety of subjects."

The album's first single, John Hiatt's “Detroit Made,” was released to radio last weekend. He's been performing the song in his concerts this summer along with his own composition, "All the Roads," and a cover of Woody Guthrie's (via Billy Bragg and Wilco) "California Stars."

U2 UPDATE --- U2 fans may get their hands on a new album before the ball drops on New Year's Eve, possibly as early as next month. Reports circulated a few months ago that U2 were delaying the album until 2015 so they would have enough time to work on material with producer Paul Epworth (Adele), but a spokesperson for the band has told Rolling Stone that the timing is inaccurate: "We've always said an album is expected this year."

The news is consistent with reports in the Irish media that the album is coming out within the next few months, and Universal Music Venezuela and Universal Music Colombia briefly posted tweets saying the album was coming out in September.

Whatever the near future holds, U2 seem to be hard at work. The French newspaper Nice-Matin reported that the group shot a new video in Nice, France, the other week, and the Irish Times quotes a source saying there will be a single in September, an album in September or October and a tour announced in December, with dates beginning in April of next year. "It is believed," says the article, via U2 fan site, that "the band will release it with little of the fanfare usually associated with a new U2 album."

Earlier this year, U2 attempted to launch a new album with great fanfare, debuting their new single "Invisible" during a Super Bowl commercial and allowing fans to download it for free on iTunes. They also played the song on the roof of Rockefeller Center during the first Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

The song charted around the world, but it wasn't a huge smash and weeks later, word began to spread that the album was pushed back yet again.

U2 have been working on a follow-up to 2009's commercially disappointing (yet, creatively brilliant) No Line on the Horizon for about five years. They originally planned on releasing material from the No Line sessions on a disc called Songs of Ascent, but that plan was ultimately scrapped.

The band has since recorded with producers Danger Mouse,, David Guetta, RedOne, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. When the new album is released, it will be the longest they've worked on a single LP.

Earlier this year, U2 spoke with Rolling Stone's David Fricke about the new album. "We really want the songs to be right," said The Edge. "That's the only reason why we're not on tour – because we're so good at starting, not so good at finishing. That's always the way it's been."

Taylor Swift

CLOSING NOTES --- We're still loving the new Taylor Swift song ("Shake It Off"), but that video is indeed inspired by Debbie Gibson’s “We Could be Together,” as PR-pasha David Salidor posited the other day. BTW: Gibson will indeed be on the East Coast for the October 23 Long Island Music Hall of Fame awards. She’s being inducted at Brian Doyle's Paramount Theatre in Huntington …

September 24th is the premiere of the play Comedy Is Hard with Micky Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt headlining at The Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut.

SIGHTINGS: GMA's Robin Roberts and Dan Abrams at the Nomad Hotel in midtown for a closed-door event ... WOR's Tom Cuddy in Tribeca ... PR-man Randy Alexander leaving the downtown headquarters of Premiere radio with Mike McCann with Jade Starling ...

Thursday, August 21, 2014



Empire State Building Made From Toilet Paper Tubes

In the shadows of the Empire State Building - (one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and ranked third tallest in the U.S.) - the construction of an Empire State Building replica built from toilet paper tubes will took center stage in New York City today.

The construction of this 30-foot art structure pays homage to the 17 billion toilet paper tubes that are thrown away every year in the U.S., which is enough to fill the real Empire State Building twice! Americans can take small steps to make the world a little greener, like choosing innovative products, like Scott Naturals Tube-Free that eliminates the cardboard tube that has been the central fixture of rolled toilet paper for more than 100 years. A downsized version of the structure will be donated to the Children's Museum of Manhattan and the base features artwork from the museum's Junior Staff Internship program.

Home and design expert & TV personality Carter Oosterhouse will be on hand to help unveil this replica and share easy steps consumers can take to make the world a little greener. Oosterhouse is currently the host of the new show "Rowhouse Showdown, and has appeared on "Trading Spaces," and a number of national TV talk shows. He works to provide green-building solutions and design alternatives that conserve energy and reduce environmental waste. He encourages consumers to toss the tube, install tankless water heaters (which saves energy & money) and use compact fluorescent bulbs (which use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 10-25 times longer).


· Chicago throws away over 155 million toilet paper tubes per year. 

· Philadelphia throws away over 88 million toilet paper tubes per year.

· Charlotte throws away over 40 million toilet paper tubes per year. 

· Detroit throws away over 38 million toilet paper tubes per year. 

· Boston throws away over 37 million toilet paper tubes per year. 



Story By: James Edstrom

Friendly St Nicks Alliance Neighbors

No one ask and post on my boards or do stories on their complaints about racism against African Americans and Hispanics. Do not ask me to do stories supporting your cause anymore.

St Nicks Tenant
For years I do stories fighting racism and when I tell all my African American and Hispanic friends that I am being harassed, threatened by the Hispanic and African Americans in St. Nicks Alliance building I moved into in Williamsburg, they act like I am nuts. Since day one, the first hours we moved in here we were robbed, threatened, called white trash and everything else in the book. I complain to the landlord who is mostly African American And Hispanic and they do nothing. My kid was jumped in the lobby, they tried to smash their way into our apartment and nothing. They opened our ground floor apartment stole our blinds, threw drinks into our apartment and nothing. They are outside out windows yelling white trash, faggots and nothing. Since Sat a African American woman from this building has been yelling MOVE WHITE BOYS outside our windows. St Nicks Alliance does nothing. A Hispanic guy from this building has been outside our windows trying to get people to sign a petition to get us out. We hear him at all hours, we have to get rid of these white people.

We call the police and meet with the police, they think racism does not exist against whites. We post on our facebook pages this weekend about this woman yelling move white boys move and not one comment from my African American and Hispanic friends I have known for years. Not one ounce of support from people I have supported for years. This African American woman who I have known for 2 years now, Barbara, who insists on yelling and screaming move white boys outside our window, I confronted. I got to know her name when I moved here, Barbara, but she calls us white boys. Imagine if I called her Black Woman. Imagine, I would be called a racist pig.

Security reports from St Nicks Alliance's own security guards for two years now, writes report after report.  I am told by St Nicks Alliance that's not good enough, I need to wait for them to repair the camera system so they have hard evidence. They repair the cameras after a year and a half and now they have proof, they do nothing.

Hundreds of e mails to St Nick's Alliance Michael Rochford, Joseph K. Robles, Frank Lang, Hayde Cordero and Ivette Alerte provide no results. I contact politicians who contact Michael Rochford, and for over a year now he promises to fix the problems. Tells me when security cameras are fixed, they will take action. The cameras are in and they do nothing. 

Moving here has been a nightmare. All we wanted was to be was part of the community. We did not care if you were Black, White, Hispanic, Red, Yellow or Blue. All I wanted was to provide a home for the Homeless kid I took in 7 years ago. He never had a loving home and a room of his own. He is now terrified to even go outside, he stays in for months at a time. 

Racism goes both ways, but no one will admit it. My begging for help go unanswered. I go to events in NYC and tell my African and Hispanic friends what is going on here, they look at me like I am nuts, and say they hope things get better. One of my famous celebrity friends arrange breakfast with a famous civil rights activist and nothing. He's the first to yell bloody murder when African Americans and Hispanics rights are violated, but when I ask for help, show him photos and documentation, nothing. Do not ask me to support and march with you again.

St. Nicks Alliance signs a agreement to give us a application for another apartment in Oct 2013, there are several empty. Months go by and I keep asking for the application and get no answers. In Jan or Feb Michelle Sainsbury from St Nicks Alliance comes here with her sad face telling us she does not know why they have not provided us with a application. Meanwhile African Americans and Hispanics move into the empty apartments. I get a application In Feb and told there are no empty units and I will have to go on a waiting list behind 100 people. St Nicks rarely rents to white people. I got in the side door as a sublet. I guess we are their token white boys. 

I also got a hold of a e-mail between employees of St Nicks Alliance dated in Nov 2013, a few weeks after they signed the agreement to give us applications for a new unit. In it they state they will not give us another unit. They lied and lied. They never intended to live up to their agreement.

I am so sick of the abuse and I am sick of their racism. I am going to let the courts decide.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Ricky Camilleri And Pierce Brosnan

Actor Pierce Brosnan appeared on HuffPost Live today and shared a few funny anecdotes with host Ricky Camilleri -- first, Brosnan revealed the role he was deemed 'too handsome' to play; and also told about the time a fan used him to get close to "Halle Berry's ass." 

Brosnan: "This young lad looked at me, shook my hand, and he just looked at his hand and said, 'This is the closest I'll ever get to Halle Berry's ass...

I had no qualms about it. I just thought it was a very funny line."

View thew clip HERE.

On Being 'Too Handsome' for a Role:

Brosnan: "I remember reading 'Angela's Ashes,' and I really wanted to play the part in 'Angela's Ashes,' being an Irishman. I called [author] Frank McCourt up to throw my hat in the ring, and he said, 'Nope. Too handsome. Too handsome.' You're either too short, you're too tall. You're too this, you're too that.

Again, it goes back to the judgement factor. You have to be comfortable in your own skin, and wear it lightly and just get on with the job. Be good to people, be kind to people, show up, read the lines, hit the mark and go home."

Photo Courtesy of: HuffPost


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Britney Spears

The Intimate Britney Spears will launch September 9th at an exclusive event in New York City, with an appearance by Britney, and will be available for sale at in the United States and Canada.

Britney Spears is one of the most provocative artists to enter the music scene in the last two decades, reaching icon status for some of the most seductive performances in history, blazing a trail for modern day female empowerment. A frontrunner in entertainment selling nearly 100 million records worldwide, Spears is bringing her vision of luxurious sleepwear to life with playful pieces for every woman to feel beautiful. After selling out world tours and entertaining fans night after night, Spears continues her message of confidence and poise with ten romantic lines with The Intimate.

Monday, August 18, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Elliot Tiber

WOODSTOCK AT 45 --- Forty-five years ago this summer on August 15, 1969, Elliot Tiber found his own life's freedom just as the late folk singer Richie Havens sang his improvised song "Freedom" from the stage at the Woodstock Festival.

As writer of the acclaimed book Taking Woodstock (made by two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee into a major motion picture released five years ago in the summer of 2009) and its prequel Palm Trees on the Hudson, Tiber has had much to share with audiences about all the amazing things that happened to him both before and during that weird and wild and wonderful time in August 1969 that gave birth to Woodstock Nation.


In terms of what happened to Elliot after Woodstock, that question will soon be answered in detail with the forthcoming publication of Tiber's third and final memoir titled After Woodstock: The True Story of a Belgian Movie, an Israeli Wedding, and a Manhattan Breakdown.

As his upcoming book's subtitle indicates, Tiber’s years after that legendary 1969 concert took him to various places around the globe with the comfort and support of the late Belgian film/theater director and actor Andre Ernotte. The story of their loving relationship, spanning nearly 30 years of incredible highs and lows (especially the first years of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s and early 1990’s), just goes to show how cherished and magical a gift one's freedom in life truly can be.

With both the one-year anniversary of Richie Havens' passing this past April 22 (Earth Day), and the 45th anniversary this summer of the original 1969 Woodstock Arts & Music Festival (Aug. 15 - 18), Tiber remains as one of the few who were actually there.

Recognized as a true gay-rights pioneer by The New York Times, Tiber's life story will soon stand as an outspoken and serio-comic-trilogy of three separate books once his newest and final memoir, After Woodstock, is published by next month.

Reflecting for a moment on the music of the three-day festival; it’s interesting to note which bands have actually remained to this day; with Santana (who performed on Saturday) and The Who (Saturday as well and had the longest set) certainly topping the list. Much missed acts include Janis Joplin; John B. Sebastian; Canned Heat; and, Jimi Hendrix (who closed the show).

Looking at the performers list, it’s hard to believe Blood, Sweat & Tears, Ten Years After (Alvin Lee) and, Sha-Na-Na performed as well.

In many ways, Woodstock certainly paved the way for the live-events of today; including Lollapalooza, Coachchella and even SXSW.

If you haven't seen the Ang Lee –movie, you should, as it pretty well encapsulates the feelings and music of those halcyon days. I got to know Tiber when the first book came out and he’s the real deal; the movie version subtly changed certain parts of the book (less of Tiber’s personal transformation, more on the event) but, the filmmaker did an outstanding job. The movie wasn't the huge hit that everyone was counting on, but remains a vivid and accurate document of those days. I recommend it very highly.

Class Act Gene Simmons

KISS OFF --- Gene Simmons of Kiss is in damage control after making obscene comments about depression in an interview and has canceled his Twitter account after backlash from the statement.

In an interview with published on July 31 Simmons said, "I don't get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: ‘The world is a harsh place.’ My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear fuck all about ‘the world as a harsh place.’ She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.’ Fuck you, then kill yourself."

He added, "I always call them on their bluff. I'm the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump.’ Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd."

The comments have outraged people all over the world, especially following the news of the death of Robin Williams.

Mike Fitzpatrick, Content Director of Australia's Triple M, has pulled Kiss from the network’s national play list. In a statement Fitzpatrick said, "Gene Simmons’ recent comments are misguided and insensitive. Depression and Suicide are not topics he should be using to further his notoriety or sell records. His desperation to use mental health issues to find relevancy in a modern age is sickening. I can only put it down to a brain fade on his part. The Triple M Network can't and won't be playing or supporting this dickhead’s music. I put the challenge out to other stations across Australia and North America to also drop any of this nudnik’s songs until such time as he reconsiders his thoughtless and insensitive position."

Simmons has removed his Twitter account and posted the following statement at the official Kiss website:

“I want to make this statement about my views on depression for the record and to clarify my prior remarks.

To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression. I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments. I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.

I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. Fully, you will know that and I do not intend to defend myself here and now, by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with. Rather, I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand remarks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise.”

JAMES EDSTROM'S EDITORS NOTE: Since I do not write this Column, I had to add a little note. I met Gene Simmons several years ago with cover girl Cyndi Guyer at restaurant Laga Lu in New York City. As I sat down with them, I never met a more nice human being than Gene Simmons. The guy is a class act all the way. I can only say whatever the quote was, we all say things in the heat of the moment that we wish we never said. I can not tell you how many TV interviews I have done and after I think why did I say that. Interviews are tough and sometimes you happen to say the wrong thing. 

I suffer from depression and money problems just like anyone else. I am trying to raise a abused homeless kid who I took off the streets of Times Square. I do without so he will have. It is not easy. So depression hits me from time to time and it is crippling. I worry every day about getting my kid the things he needs and the love he never had. 

But one thing I know is, I am a very good judge of character and Gene Simmons is a good and honorable man. Enough said!

LENNOX RETURNS --- Vinyl lovers will get to hear Annie Lennox's new album first, which is fitting for an album she calls Nostalgia.

Nostalgia, which Blue Note/Capitol will release Sept. 30 on vinyl and Oct. 21 in other formats, features the former Eurythmics singer's take on such classics as “Georgia on My Mind,” “Summertime” and “You Belong to Me.”

As Lennox approached the songs, penned by the likes of Hoagy Carmichael, Billie Holiday, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington, she tells Billboard, "I was just curious, I thought, 'I wonder what my voice would be like. Would these songs suit my voice?'

"It was like a little challenge. I just sort of got to know them, became friends with them really and had a great deal of joy in the process."

Lennox, 59, previewed the Mike Stevens-produced album last Tuesday at Los Angeles' Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

In 1995, Lennox released an album of modern covers, Medusa. Her most recent album was a 2010 holiday set titled A Christmas Cornucopia.

CLOSING NOTES --- Don Was took home an Emmy on Saturday night at the Creative Arts Awards. The show, held one week before the formal Emmy telecast, presents the awards for all categories that will not be part of the main show.

Was won for Music Direction for the CBS special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, a special that aired on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and including performances of Fab Four songs by classic and contemporary artists.

Was, born Don Fagenson, formed the group Was (Not Was) in 1979 with childhood friend David Weiss. They hit their commercial peak in 1987 and 1988 with the album What Up, Dog? and the number 7 hit Walk the Dinosaur. They also had a number of Club hits including the number 1 Club song “Spy in the House of Love.”

Don went on to be a highly in demand producer and band leader for the likes of Bonnie Raitt (Nick of Time), the B-52's (Cosmic Thing), Bob Dylan (Under the Red Sky), the Rolling Stones (Voodoo Lounge), Hootie & the Blowfish and many others ...

Also, big winners at the fete were Jimmy Fallon; HBO’s True Detective; Saturday Night Live; Game of Thrones; and Harry Shearer, finally for his voice-over work on The Simpsons. The big show is set for this Sunday …

From Deadline: “David Gregory didn't get to say, ‘So long’, to Meet the Press viewers yesterday — his bosses at NBC News gave him the heave-ho Thursday, effective immediately, after two decades at the division, because his Sunday Beltway show was not doing as well in the ratings as competitors at ABC and CBS. Minutes after Gregory tweeted that he was out, NBC News announced that he would be replaced by Chuck Todd in September.

“As you may be aware, David Gregory’s final show as moderator of Meet the Press was last Sunday,” Gregory fill-in Andrea Mitchell announced near the close of the broadcast, sounding like she was launching into an In Memoriam segment. We expected to see dates flash on screen.

“Meet the Press makes a lot of history, and a great deal of it was with David at the helm since he started in December, 2008,” Mitchell continued, as NBC’s tone-deaf handling of the situation unfolded to the show’s viewers.

Clips of news-making interviews followed, including the one in 2012 where Gregory got Vice President Joe Biden to publicly embrace gay marriage, making headlines everywhere and leading the way for President Obama to endorse same-sex marriage days later. In thanks for which, on Thursday, NBC News hustled Gregory out the door so as to not have him around this sleepy mid-August morning. This after dragging its feet for weeks, while dismissing press reports that Gregory was on the outs as ludicrous and insulting.

“Before taking the Meet the Press chair, David had a stellar eight years covering presidential politics at the White House for NBC News,” Mitchell continued to prattle.

“In 20 years with NBC News, David has done it all — the OJ Simpson trial, Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, Today show guest-hosting and, when the cameras weren't rolling, dead-on imitations of everyone from the President of the United States to Tom Brokaw. Through all the years, David has been true to the traditions of this program and NBC News,” she said of the man who was bounced out the door three days earlier like an argumentative drunk.

“On Thursday, David tweeted,” Mitchell noted, then read his classy tweets, which had ended with: “to the viewers, I say ‘thank you’.” Which Gregory was not allowed to say on NBC. Good thing Mitchell was around to say it for him.”

Pundits have said the 4 million that NBC paid him will ease the tension; me, I think it was just rude.

Saturday, August 16, 2014



Between his platinum records, his dance moves, and his stewardship of talent on “The Voice,” the entertainer called Usher is the whole package. And, oh yeah, he has those eight-pack abs. The story is featured on the cover of the September 2014 issue of Cigar Aficionado, on newsstands August 26th.

On former protégé Justin Bieber, who has run into trouble lately: “We’re all God’s children. I can only imagine. I mean, it’s a crazy journey at any age. Who knows what would have happened to me or if I’d even be having this conversation from this perspective.”

On his famous 8-pack abs: “I was always athletic and, you know, everyone wants something they’re known for. But I was 5-foot-8. It wasn’t going to be basketball or football. So it was my abs.”

On coaching Josh Kaufman, the winner of NBC’s “The Voice:” “I get bragging rights as the one who won, after six seasons of it ping-ponging back and forth between Adam and Blake.”

On “Yeah,” his multimillion selling song from his 2004 album, “Confessions:” “It was not an automatic hit, at least to me, which is funny considering how massive it turned out to be. When I first got the song, it came from a producer who always gave everybody the same sound. The demo he gave me sounded like the same thing he was giving to everybody else. So I asked him if he could redo it—and when he did, it sounded like something that would be a hit record.”

Friday, August 15, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Katie Holmes

MARVEL UNIVERSE --- Wednesday night, Barlcays Center in Brooklyn, was the opening night and VIP-launch party for the stage presentation of Marvel Universe; which featured for the first time ever … members of The Avengers meeting Spider Man and the X-Men. Marvel sold off the rights to X-Men and Spidey years ago, so a movie paring (which sounds like a interesting idea ... I think) is not possible; or, at least until the boatloads of cash stop coming in.

At the VIP pre-party, actress Katie Holmes was spotted with cancer kids from the Sunrise Day Camp in Wyandanch, NY.

Nastia Liukin

Donnie Kehr
Also there were Jersey Boys actor Donnie Kehr (working on a top secret-super-duper project); Russian-gymnast Nastia Liukin; actress Irina Pantaev; Miss Teen USA, K. Lee Grah; Miss US, Nia Sanchez; Kehr’s pr-mouthpiece David Salidor; A. J. Calloway from Extra; Simone Boyce from Fox and Lori Levine and Alexa Susser, from Flying Television who coordinated the star-studded event. The live presentation was kind of campy, certainly catering to the dozens of kids at the premiere show. There were nods to the Marvel-canon of films, including an actor doing a pretty spot-on imitation Tony Stark aka Robert Downey, Jr.The dialogue is certainly not Shakespeare, but hit all the right grace notes. The biggest ovations were saved for (not surprisingly) Iron Man, Captain America and The Hulk. Plaudits to the Kenneth Feld-team who delivered a stage show with something for everyone. Good clean fun for sure.

It runs to this weekend here in Brooklyn, then starts a major coast-to-coast tour.

Jay Leno

GLEN WILL BE --- I’ll Be Me, directed and produced by James Keach (producer of Walk The Line) and produced by Trevor Albert (Groundhog Day), will open in theaters in New York on October 24, followed by a national release to 50 cities. This powerful portrait of the life and career of great American music icon Glen Campbell will reveal to the viewer the world of the singular talent who created hits like Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman, Southern Nights and Gentle on My Mind.

Winner of the Grammy for Lifetime Achievement and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Glen was the first country music star to cross over to the pop charts, opening a new realm of opportunity for generations of country musicians.

In 2011, when Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he joined forces with his family to fight the biggest battle of his life. Glen and his wife, Kim, made history by going public with the diagnosis – the first time a major American celebrity would share this experience with the world. The Campbell family then embarked on a short Goodbye Tour, but the three-week engagement turned into an emotional and triumphant 151-show nationwide tour de force. This epic human drama about the undying bond between Glen and Kim, and their unwavering caring for each other, chronicles a story of love, resilience and the power of song.

I’ll Be Me features those who know and love Glen, including Bruce Springsteen, Bill Clinton, The Edge, Paul McCartney, Jay Leno, Vince Gill, Jimmy Webb, Blake Shelton, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Steve Martin, Chad Smith and Taylor Swift among many others. Rare vintage footage and extraordinary new performances of Glen’s hits immerse this moving cinematic account in the overwhelming talent of this humble family man.

This should be epic!

BATMAN ASSAULT --- La-La Land Records will release the soundtrack for Batman: Assault On Arkham composed by Robert J. Kral (Superman: Doomsday, Duck Dodgers) on CD August 26, 2014. This limited edition CD (1500 units) will contain 4 exclusive tracks not available elsewhere.

“Batman: Assault On Arkham marks a departure from what we normally do from a music standpoint,” said director Jay Olivia. “We usually do the operatic epic music that we've all become accustomed to in the live action and animated comic book films for the last twenty five years…. James Tucker, my producer, was very supportive of the idea of doing a more contemporary take on the superhero music and when Rob sent us his first pass of the score, we were tremendously pleased.”

Batman: Assault On Arkham is a direct-to-video animated superhero that is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The film is based on the universe of the Arkham video game franchise, and is a direct sequel to Batman: Arkham Originals.

In the universe of Arkham, the government teams up a group of super villains with the code name Suicide Squad and forces them to break into Arkham Asylum to bring back top secret information the Riddler has stolen, and Batman soon becomes involved. Things go from bad to worse when one of the Squad (Harley Quinn) frees the Joker, who has the means to not only blow up the asylum, but most of Gotham City as well.

“In terms of influence, for this movie most of the approach I knew would be different, with influences coming from Guy Ritchie movies or even Ocean’s 11 in places,” explains Kral. “Jay and I definitely wanted some funk grooves. We wanted the flavor of setting up the story to feel like a heist movie but set in the Batman world.”

James Earl Jones

CLOSING NOTES --- I can't say where I was, but in the space of a half hour, I saw Nathan Lane, Jerry Zaks, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, James Earl Jones, Mark Linn-Baker, and Donnie Kehr. Wow! And, not a paparazzo in sight either …

Micky Dolenz is the subject of The Daily Mail’s My Haven (personalities at home and at work) piece out next week. Dolenz is shown at his home in L. A. and at work with daughter Georgia in his fine-furniture endeavor, Dolenz & Daughters ( Micky's in Chicago this weekend for Mark Lapidos' Beatlefest ...

I'm telling you, if Maroon 5's new single "Maps" was released back in early-June, it most certainly would have been the record of the summer. Just a superbly written and produced song. A record to be proud of up and down. I love it...

I've been a big fan of CBS' Under The Dome series since it premiered last summer. Based on the Stephen King-book (he even scripted the second season premiere), it was good clean fun, but in the last several weeks, the scripts have gotten tighter, the acting has gone off-the-charts, and just this week, it ended with a Coldplay song ("Midnight" from their current brilliant album Ghost Stories) as another mystery unraveled. Amazing ...

Happened to walk by Radio City Music Hall yesterday when they announced their annual Christmas show, with 15 Rockettes dressed as toy soldiers and Santa Claus on hand. With performances beginning on November 7, guess the summer is just about over ...


Vivid Yankee Fan

Many NY Yankee fans have been depressed by the poor play of the NY Yankees this season.

"Things aren't going so well for the team, and so many of their fans have the blues," explained Vivid Cabaret NYC Girl Monique. "The girls and I thought that a good way to cheer up Yankee fans was to hold a party and a pep rally on our famous Roof Top Smoking Lounge and Garden."

"We led the fans in cheers and did our best to make sure everyone knew that all is not lost, the Yankees can still make the playoffs if they just played a little harder," purred Vivid Cabaret Girl Heidi.

"It was a fun party. The Vivid Cabaret girls wore Yankee jerseys and sometimes less, haha," cooed Vivid Cabaret NYC Girl Justine.

Vivid Cabaret NYC is the hot new three story club in midtown Manhattan famous for having the city's tallest stripper pole, and the first of its kind "VIP Ultra Lounge." It's already a favorite spot for pro athletes from all the major sports who like to "make it rain" on the club's gorgeous dancers. It is the sister club of the world famous Rick's Cabaret NYC, located just four blocks away.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Randy Travis

TRAVIS BACK --- The new album from country music icon, Randy Travis, Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am is available for download on iTunes starting today. While getting ready for the official release set for next Tuesday, August 19th on Warner Bros, records, fans can get the collection of covers online a week early and also take a look at a series of concept videos created in anticipation of the release. The album had exclusively streamed in its entirety on Rolling Stone Country as well.

Throughout his celebrated career, Travis and his music have been a major influence to other country artists, while on Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am, Travis pays homage to some of the songs and artists that were instrumental in crafting his musical career.

Says Travis, “We had such a great time putting together Influence Vol. 1, but there were still so many musical heroes of yesteryear that I learned from and wanted to honor. We had no choice but to release a second volume. The Influence that the older, great ones had on me, and the Influence that I may, somehow, have on the ones that come along after me, is God’s way of allowing us to pay it forward. It is my prayer answered—and, His will done—it is what makes me, the man I am."

TRUST GREGG --- Lakeshore Records will release the Trust Me – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on August 26, 2014. The album features original music by Mark Kilian (Pitch Perfect TSOTSI).

“Director Clark Gregg and editor Kathryn Himoff and I spent much time conceptualizing and molding what the tone of the score should be,” explained Kilian. “The movie presented a fine line between nourish darkness and cleverly written comedy that feels sharp and real, especially for Hollywood folks.”

To achieve this Kilian described, “I assembled a collection of struck ethnic idiophones like gamelan, glass marimba, bass marimba, metal buzz balafon, hapi drum and glock and started recording moods and patterns on which I could build further. To invoke a noir attitude I used trumpet (both muted and open) and string bass and then filled in as was needed with strings and some manipulated guitar soundscape work.”

South African born Mark Kilian has had a successful and eclectic film-scoring career since moving to Los Angeles in 1994. He is most known for his ethnic-flavored scores like the Oscar winning TSOTSI, Traitot, Rendition, and Bless Me, Ultima.

His TV work includes HBO’s 41, ABC’s Killer Women and Daybreak. He has also written music for many TV commercials including Apple, Toyota, Budweiser and American Express. He has 3 albums out under the name The Gravy Street, which have received airplay in Los Angeles.

Clark Gregg leads an all-star cast in the sharp comedy Trust Me, as Howard Holloway, a down-on-his luck agent for child actors and truly one the last good guys left in Hollywood. After discovering a 13-year-old acting prodigy (newcomer Saxon Sharbino), he is poised to close the deal of a lifetime which would catapult his tween client and, at long last, himself, into the big time. With the support of his gorgeous new neighbor (Amanda Peet), he must wrangle the actress' volatile, overprotective father (Paul Sparks), dodge a scheming producer (Felicity Huffman), and outwit his uber-slick nemesis. As he arrives on the brink of the Hollywood dream that's eluded him for a lifetime, he begins to sense that his innocent young starlet may not be quite what she seems. Also featured, are: Allison Janney, William H. Macy, and Molly Shannon.

REAL MUSIC, REALLY GOOD --- From Roger Friedman’s always prescient Showbiz 411: “What year is it? After a summer of disposable music, the real guys have grabbed hold of the top 3 on the album charts. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have their first number 1 album ever with Hypnotic Eye– 126K copies sold. Eric Clapton’s tribute to JJ Cale is number 2, with 58.5K copies. And the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy– all hits from the early 70’s called Amazing Mixtape, Vol. 1 is number 3 with 57,000 copies. No, none of these numbers are high, but they're the best of the week. And it’s all real musicianship, nothing faked. Download ‘em, stream ‘em, whatever.”

Maybe … just maybe, the younger generation is finally discovering real music. No disrespect to One Direction, Ariana Grande, or Iggy Azalea or other such new hit wonders, but, real music is … really good!

CLOSING NOTES --- I am still utterly gutted by the news of Robin Williams’ passing. Whatever the reasons why, I hope he is finally at peace. I think Meryl Streep may have come up with the best tribute to him: It’s hard to imagine an unstoppable force, stopped. What a unique gift he had. Rest easy Robin. Your gifts will resonate for years…

And Lauren Bacall, who was a star since first being discovered on a cover of Harper’s Bazaar at 18, passed yesterday. I don't think anyone who ever saw her in Key Largo, will ever forget her mesmerizing presence. Feisty, outspoken … she was one of a kind…

Smokey Robinson’s new duets album Smokey & Friends premieres today exclusively via First Play on iTunes Radio. The album will be available to stream in its entirety today through August 18.

Smokey & Friends features Robinson alongside old friends like James Taylor, Sir Elton John, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Sheryl Crow, as well as with some of today's hottest new artists including John Legend, John Mayer, Miguel, Aloe Blacc, JC Chasez, CeeLo, Ledisi and Jessie J.

Check it out HERE