Showing posts with label SCOTT SHANNON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SCOTT SHANNON. Show all posts

Thursday, June 25, 2015



Story By:: G. H. HARDING
Hugh Dancy

HANNIBAL SILENCED? --- Word came down Monday night that NBC has canceled Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s juicer-than-you-can-believe take on the whole Hannibal Lecter/Thomas Harris mystique. NBC said that the ratings weren’t rising enough, which I can understand. What I can’t understand, though, is would NBC would cancel such a brilliant show. Everything about this series was top-notch, from the brilliant acting of Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy; the inspired camera and cinematographer work; and especially the writing.

From the moment this news of cancellation was announced, there has been immediate interest from other broadcast platforms (including the increasingly ubiquitous Amazon, which has the rights to the first two series.

Believe me, I wondered what kind of storyline would actually make its way to NBC network TV based around a series like this. Since its debut, though, it has proven itself a first-rate production at every turn.

Series creator Fuller is one strange cat. His earlier series, Pushing Daisies, and even a whacked-out take on the ‘60s hit sitcom The Munsters were amazing efforts. At first, he claimed that NBC’s Hannibal had run its course. Soon afterward, however, he was soliciting interest from other possible suitors, all the while claiming that his take on a possible Season Four for the show would be his best yet. Then, last night, NBC revealed that it would take the show to this year’s Comic-Con next month . . . for one final meal, so to speak. Now something like this rarely happens. Why would a network want to promote, for one last time, a show it has just axed? I predict that NBC will reverse its decision . . . at Comic Con. Stay tuned, as this tale seems to be far from over.

NEVERMIND --- In our gushing over the new season of HBO‘s True Detective on Monday, we neglected to mention the disturbing yet brilliant title song chosen for the show this year by T Bone Burnett: Leonard Cohen’s 2014 track “Nevermind.” This is a show that places great emphasis on its opening titles; maybe as important as those early James Bond title sequences, created by Maurice Binder. The mood of that show is immediately introspective, atmospheric, and perfectly suited to the material of the show. And this is not the first time that the music of Leonard Cohen has been used to set a mood for something that you watch: for example, the late great maverick film director Robert Altman used Cohen’s music all throughout his brilliant 1971 picture McCabe & Mrs. Miller . . . and Cohen’s music again was used to startling effect by the always-stirring director Oliver Stone in the opening sequence of 1994’s mega-violent satire of media—Natural Born Killers.

I’m not sure what led Burnett to choose this as the new opening music for the new season, but this one’s a charmer - take a listen

Dick Van Patten

DICK VAN PATTEN --- We were very sad to learn yesterday that veteran actor Dick Van Patten—a professional actor since the age of seven, but known best for his role as the loving TV dad Tom Bradford on ABC’s Eight Is Enough—has passed away at age 86 from complications due to diabetes. Perhaps the best that can be said about this great and beloved actor was shared by Anthony Pomes, VP of marketing at Square One Publishers, who worked as an editor with Mr. Van Patten on a TV trivia book back in 2007 but who then stayed in touch and became friends with the man. His comments, shared with Nancy Berk at Parade, can be seen in the article link below. Being that I also came to know Mr. Van Patten starting back in the ‘80s, I can say that showbiz lost one of its sweetest stars – we do well to remember him as one of the greats.

Roger Daltrey

THE WHO AT SHEA --- Next week, Eagle Rock Entertainment will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Who with the first-ever release of Live at Shea Stadium 1982. This is the first official release of the entire show, and features restored footage and newly-mixed sound.

The Who that performed that show in 1982(Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and—in place of original drummer Keith Moon, who died in 1978—Kenney Jones, who was previously the drummer for the Small Faces) delivered both classic tracks and songs that were rarely performed live: “Pinball Wizard,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “My Generation,” “Substitute,” “Who Are You,” “I Can’t Explain,” “See Me, Feel Me,” “Baba O’Riley,” and many more. The tour promoted the 1982 album It’s Hard, and so the set list was comprised of several tracks from that album, some of which the band would only play live on that tour. (It has become almost fashionable to consign It’s Hard into the dust heap of bad rock record history, but there are in fact several strong songs with lyrics that reveal much of Townshend’s struggle with the reality of getting older but also smarter – to get a taste of what can be found on that album, click the link below to hear the album’s final track, “Cry If You Want” (one of the hardest rockers on the album, with a rageful yet tasty guitar solo from Pete in the outro of the song’s slow fade):

The Who’s 1982 North American tour was the last to feature Kenney Jones on drums, and the band did not tour again until 1989. This concert film features the show from the second of their two nights at New York’s Shea Stadium, and was filmed on October 13th 1982.

2015 is a year of even higher profile than usual for this legendary band, with their 50th Anniversary European/North American tour taking place this summer. Live at Shea Stadium 1982 shows exactly what this legendary British rock band’s reputation has been built on all this time.

My first rock ‘n roll show was The Who in 1967 at Long Island‘s Lido Beach Club. At that show, drummer Keith Moon bashed his multi-drum Premier set with Day-Glo drumsticks and a young Daltrey and Townshend, anchored by Entwistle (a.k.a, “The Ox” as a nickname) literally overpowered the crowd . . . myself included. I had never seen anything like it.

Click here to view a performance of“Love Reign O’er Me” from the 1982 Shea show: 

Scott Shannon With Micky Dolenz And Patty Steele

CLOSING NOTES – Micky Dolenz with scribe Roger Friedman at Del Frisco’s last night; earlier in the day, he visited with CBS- FM‘s Scott Shannon and Patty Steele . . .

Have you heard the new Rod Stewart single “Love Is?” It’s brilliant. A total throwback to Rod‘s earlier music . . . a welcome change, after all the many orchestra-laden records of Tin Pan Alley standards that he has been releasing over the last nine years or so. The new single sounds like “Maggie May.” The new album from Stewart comes out next month on Capitol Records . . . looking forward to receiving a press copy of the album so I can share my thoughts on it with you.

The James Horner story is so sad on so many levels. What a talented individual; face it, his music for Titanic was spot-on brilliant. What a terrible loss . . .

Friday, August 29, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING

Scott Shannon

SHANNON ROCKS --- Congratulations to Scott Shannon and his WCBS-FM Morning Team (including producer Louis Pulice) ... they just hit #1 in New York City! It's Scott's first time at #1 since 1988 when he had the top-rated show with Z100, according to the New York Daily News, who did a feature on him last week.

However one quote from Scott had a few Forgotten Hits (Kent Kotal's brilliant music sheet) readers shouting traitor! During the course of the interview, Shannon said "The station has done the right thing by moving its music forward into the 70's, 80's and 90's,” which turned off a few readers (and, I'm sure, some CBS loyal listeners as well.)

I should point out, that the rest of his quote went on to say "Personally, I miss 60's music, but I can play that for myself." And he does ... every day ... on his True Oldies Channel. I suppose the perfect mix would be to feature only music from the 50's, 60's and 70's on True Oldies to pacify the die-hard oldies music fans (as well as Scott's own personal taste in music) ... and then concentrate on the 70's, 80's and 90's for his CBS-FM audience (and go for the ratings!) It's hard to argue with what's working ... and having the #1 rated show in New York City tells me (like it or not!) it's working.

Last Saturday Shannon went to a friend's wedding in Cleveland. Scott was told that he has a plaque in the DJ section of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He's never actually seen it and this was a perfect opportunity to check it out.

It was there --- but --- they still have him working at WPLJ. They have to update the information about his move to WCBS. Lucky he checked it out! Now they can correct his radio history.

And, one more Shannon-item:

Scott tells the story about the time that Eric Carmen (The Raspberries) invited him to be in his new music video. (This was back during Scott's VJ Days at VH-1). Once all the details were worked out and Scott realized the logistics of sorting all this out in order to make the video shoot, he politely bowed out saying that it just didn't make sense for him to do it.

Carmen (not so) graciously accepted Shannon's decision and cast someone else (radio personality Kid Leo) as the DJ in the clip. But watch closely at the end of the video ... where you'll find a giant Scott Shannon poster that is soon the target of several darts being throw at it during the fade out of the song by Leo! (Paybacks are a bitch!)

GROUPIES --- Vivid Entertainment has released Phil Varone Groupies: The Music From Behind online on this week and online and in stores across the country on Sept. 9. The movie is the first of four installments in Varone’s new Groupies series, with each being shot in a different city.

Rock star (former Skid Row and current Saigon Kick drummer) and now porn director/performer Varone takes viewers backstage at concerts and inside hotel rooms to see how groupie sex sizzles. As a veteran rock drummer Varone estimates that he’s bedded over 3,000 women, and says he’s nowhere near stopping.

Being a rock star is one of men’s most popular fantasies, according to Varone. “Let’s face it, the three reasons why guys dream of being rock stars is for fame, fortune and women. The questions I get asked most often are, How many girls have you had? How do you get girls? Is it easy to get laid? Can you tell us some stories? Phil Varone Groupies: The Music From Behind answers all these questions and curiosities. It also introduces some very hot girls and visits places never before seen except by rock stars.”

Varone is still active with his band Saigon Kick and shot interiors for the movie when they were on tour recently at Cheetah (formerly The Button South) in Hallandale Beach, Fla. “I remember that stop very well,” he recalls. “I hooked up with a real stripper and then shot what unfolded.”

Varone’s first book Un-Philtered: Real Life On and Off the Rock n’ Roll Tour Bus, is available through and through his website, It includes details on some of his most erotic adventures. Fans can follow him on Twitter @ThePhilVarone.

JOAN RIVERS --- Joan Rivers is resting comfortably in a medically induced coma just hours after she performed a typically acerbic show in Manhattan and joked about her own death.

The 81-year-old comic was rushed from an Upper East Side clinic to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition on Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a routine medical procedure.

A picture of health only the day before, Rivers accepted a bouquet of flowers from a fan as she finished her stand-up performance at around 9.30pm on Wednesday.

The entertainment legend even posed for pictures with a fan on the way out of the Laurie Beechman Theatre, only to suffer respiratory failure less than twelve hours later during surgery on her throat.

Her daughter, Melissa, dashed from L. A. to New York and arrived at the hospital at around 8pm and was ushered to the 11th floor luxury room in which her mother is now said by doctors to be in a stable condition.

She released a statement thanking everyone for their messages of support and gave a brief update on her mother's condition.

'I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother,' she said in a statement.

'She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.'

CLOSING NOTES --- Jim Peterik, from the Ides Of March, celebrates the release of his book Through The Eye Of The Tiger, at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room on Tuesday, September 13. He'll perform after the reception. Can't wait for this one …

A week after signing off as EP of The Rachel Maddow Show, Bill Wolff has been announced as the new executive producer of ABC’s re-booted The View.

The show also made other behind-the-scenes changes including the addition of another TV news veteran, Brian Balthazar as co-executive producer.

Balthazar, an MSNBC alum like Wolff, joins from AOL where he was head of programming. He’s also been in the talk show trenches working many years at the Today show. He launched the fourth hour of Today with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, which has become a ratings juggernaut. He was also director of programming at HGTV … and, he’s a great guy! Congrats Brian! ...

As summer shows like Under The Dome and Halle Berry in Extant wind down, I must say I've been enjoying both. Dome has ebbed and flowed since that stellar episode several weeks back ending with a Coldplay song; Extant has essentially turned into another sci-fi who-done-it, but her performance has been stellar ...

SIGHTINGS – Comic-Colin Quinn in front of 250 West 57th Street in NYC; Debbie Gibson, Holly Robinson Peete and Lisa Rinna in L. A. Gibson turns 43 on Sunday; Micky Dolenz and his band tomorrow night at The Wolf Den at The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

Photo Courtesy Of: Scott Shannon

Wednesday, August 06, 2014



Story By: G.H. Harding
Tony Danza

James Caan
TONY’S BACK --- Jason Robert Brown and Andrew Bergman’s fizzy musical adaptation of the 1992 comedy Honeymoon In Vegas (Nicholas Cage, James Caan, Sarah Jessica Parker) is slated to fill the Broadway vacancy left by the shuttering After Midnight. The new show, starring Tony Danza in the film role created by Caan, has now set its dates: It will begin performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 18, with an official opening date of January 15 (though it’s questionable whether New York’s daily critics will wait nearly two months to review a show they already praised to the skies in its first outing last year at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse). Brown’s sharp, jaunty score gives him another chance at Broadway gold following this past season’s The Bridges Of Madison County, which failed to ignite at the box office but brought him Tony Awards for best score and orchestrations.

Danza stars as a smooth (think Frank Sinatra) Rat Pack-style card sharp who falls for a woman (Bryn O’Malley) who resembles his late wife. He wins a night with her after a rigged high-stakes poker game with her naive fiance (Rob McClure, best known on Broadway for the rave reviews he got as the Little Tramp in Chaplin: The Musical). The musical, like the movie, includes a hilarious bit in which a platoon of Elvis impersonators descends on the Strip.

Danza’s smooth and silky and the role fits him like a glove. We didn't get to see The Paper Mill presentation, but the reviews were glorious.

Can't wait for this one on November 18.

FROZEN AGAIN --- Jennifer Lee, who wrote, and co-directed Frozen with Chris Buck, has chosen her next project, for Disney, A Wrinkle in Time.

Lee will write the big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s book for the Mouse House in which children travel through time and visit strange worlds in order to find their missing scientist father.

Published in 1962, Wrinkle in Time was one of Lee’s favorite novels as a child, and she impressed Disney executives with her take on the project, which emphasizes a strong female-driven narrative and creatively approaches the science fiction and world-building elements of the book.

While Lee adapts Wrinkle, she will continue in her role as part of Walt Disney Animation’s story brain trust and remain active in projects in development at the division that scored with Frozen — its biggest hit ever at the box office with nearly $1.3 billion — and has Big Hero 6, based on a Marvel property, out November 7.

Wrinkle is the first book in L’Engle’s Time Quartet series that also includes A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (love those titles!).

Lee, also co-wrote Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph.

FOREIGNER RE-VISITED --- Rhino Records and Foreigner have announced a new all-encompassing collection of the band's studio albums released between 1977 and 1991. The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums comes on seven CDs and will be available on October 14.

Along with all of the hits from the original albums (featuring the vintage Lou Gramm/Mick Jones lineup), the new set also includes all of the bonus tracks from the band's 2002 deluxe editions including the demo of “Feels Like The First Time,” a live version of “Hot Blooded,” and a "nearly unplugged" version of “Waiting For A Girl Like You” (my personal favorite).

Foreigner’s legacy in the rock world is certainly secure; but, their behind-the-scenes drama is positively compelling. Gramm’s biography (2013’s Juke Box Hero) is a must read. (Side note: the forthcoming bio from Ides of March’s Jim Peterik, I bet will be as revealing).

Since leaving Atlantic Records, Foreigner has released studio sets for Arista (Mr. Moonlight, 1994), Rhino (Can't Slow Down, 2009) and Ais (Acoustique, 2011).

Meryl Streep

CLOSING NOTES --- Sony Classical announces the release of the original motion picture score album of The Giver. Composed by two-time Academy award-nominee Marco Beltrami, the score for The Giver is available digitally on August 12 and on CD on September 16. Based on Lois Lowry's award-winning and best selling novel, the highly anticipated film features an outstanding cast including Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan and Taylor Swift. The Giver will be released in theaters nationwide on August 15 ...

Gene Cornish With Micky Dolenz And Scott Shannon

SHANNON POWER-- From CBS FM's Scott Shannon's anniversary last week; here's a shot of Gene Cornish from The Rascals; Micky Dolenz; with Shannon. Great fun ... By the way, Cornish says The Rascals will again re-group next year ...

Jersey Boy's Donnie Kehr will be front-and-center at next week’s Super Hero Training Camp at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s premiere night for the forthcoming Marvel Universe show there. Details and pics to follow ...

SIGHTINGS --- Rocker John Fogerty walking the streets of the West Village; Donnie Kehr at Chris Gilman's Yerba Buena Perry; and, Dominick DiPietrantonio at Johnny Rocket's at Roosevelt Field and not getting asked to leave!

Friday, July 25, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Neil Patrick Harris

HARRIS SIZZLES IN HEDWIG --- Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch is just astonishing. We saw it Wednesday and I'm tempted to say it was one of the best things I've ever seen on Broadway.

Harris, who won a Tony this year for this performance, is a triple-threat for sure. I even remember him as Doogie Howser, M.D. on TV, and his work in the just-ended How I Met Your Mother was superb. He’s been in Glee, Rent, hosted the Tony Awards, and has appeared in such movies as the forthcoming Gone Girl and A Million Ways To Die in the West.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band fronted by an East German transgender singer. The text is by John Cameron Mitchell, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Trask. The musical premiered in 1998 and has been performed throughout the world in hundreds of stage productions.

We first saw it around that time in Lower Manhattan and knew it was something totally unique. There are heavy-elements of Bowie, Lou Reed and Queen, but it stood alone and was a major, transformed work for sure.

The story draws on Mitchell's life as the son of a U. S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin. The character of Hedwig was originally inspired by a German divorced U. S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter and moonlighted as a prostitute at her Junction City, Kansas, trailer park home.

The music is steeped in the androgynous 1970’s glam rock era of Bowie (who co-produced the Los Angeles production of the show), as well as the work of John Lennon and early punk godfathers Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.

The musical opened Off-Broadway in 1998, and won a Village Voice Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The Off-Broadway production ran for two years, and was remounted with various casts by the original creative team in Boston, Los Angeles and London.

Lena Hall, in the role of Yitzhak, also won a Tony for her performance. She was terrific as well. The music, especially “Sugar Daddy” (a real showstopper), “Hedwig’s Lament” and “Wicked Little Town” sound better and stronger than ever.

The concept is just brilliant (and, true), and this production just electric. The experience was like that of seeing rent for the first time. Fresh, new, intoxicating … in a good way.

Director Michael Mayer’s best work … ever!

Harris, onstage for almost every minute, is stunningly good. For me, the performance of the year … eye-opening and exceptional.

Matthew McConaughey

COMIC-CON NOLAN & McCONAUGHEY ---  Comic-Con fans were reeling on Thursday afternoon as Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey made their first-ever appearances at the San Diego fan confab, answering questions and offering a new trailer for their Interstellar movie to SRO crowd.

“Thought it would be a fun thing to come down and see what all the fuss is about,” Nolan told the roaring audience.

Interstellar has largely been veiled in secrecy, but Paramount was looking to give fans what they want, putting footage front and center. The studio also showed footage from Hot Tub Time Machine 2, found footage pic Project Almanac, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out of Water, which will be a combo of animation and CG live-action.

The director of Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy explained that the driving force of the upcoming sci-fi drama was going to space.

“To be an astronaut was the highest ambition,” he said. “The idea to keep exploring space farther and farther… it (fell) off greatly. We are in a period of incredible technological change, (but it’s about) what’s in your pocket, your living room. I like the idea that we are on the cusp of a brand new era and we are traveling outwards more.”

According to McConaughey, it all began in Nolan’s living room: three hours, nothing about a movie, just Nolan and the Oscar-winning actor.

“I was like, what the hell was that about,” the actor quipped. “A week later, the script came out, I read it and I liked it quite a lot and I was in.”

So what is the film about?

Said the True Detective star, “Cooper is a pilot, an engineer, and a widowed pilot of two children where civilization is just sustaining. There’s food, clean water, but they don't need any explorers, no new bright ideas. Then something happens and the dream of being a pilot again knocks on his door.” The chance becomes the greatest mission he’s ever taken on.

Nolan explained that the spaceship, its interiors and exteriors were designed to be as “realistic as possible for the actors.” That meant actual views out the windows, for example.

Paramount also chose to show extended footage and an additional trailer, roughly six to eight minutes in total, showing shots of Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine in character.

RONSTADT @ WHITE HOUSE --- Linda Ronstadt has been selected to receive the National Medal of Arts Monday at the White House.

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award in the U.S. given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government. Next Monday's ceremony will be hosted by President Obama with Michele Obama in attendance and will be streamed live at 3:00 PM via

Ronstadt was selected "for her one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music. Drawing from a broad range of influences, Ms. Ronstadt defied expectations to conquer American radio waves and help pave the way for generations of women artists."

Linda will reportedly make the trip to Washington, a rarity these days since her announcement last year that she is suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Ronstadt did not attend her recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also being honored is Albert Maysles who, with his brother David, documented the infamous Rolling Stones 1969 show at Altamont in the documentary Gimme Shelter.

Scott Shannon

CLOSING NOTES --- Monkee-Micky Dolenz confirmed for CBS FM’s Scott Shannon 101-show Anniversary next Friday (8/1) at the City Winery. Also present will be Mark Rivera …

Billy Joel has been selected to receive the sixth Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress.

The Gershwin Prize For Popular Song "celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding." The recipient is chosen by the Librarian of Congress based upon recommendations from a board made up of scholars, producers, performers, music critics, songwriters and music specialists.

James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, said "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."

Joel issued his own statement, saying "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career and the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."

SIGHTINGS: PR Pasha David Salidor at the Palm in East Hampton ... Producer Brian Grazer at walking and talking on NY's Central Park South ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Story By:G. H. HARDING
Will Ferrell

MANIMAL MANIA – Sony Pictures and Will Ferrell have set their sights on Manimal, the feature based on the cult 1980’s TV show about a man who fights crime using his ability to morph into animals. Ferrell, and his partners will produce along with original series co-creator Glen A. Larson, and Key & Peele EPs Jay Martel and Ian Roberts already have been tapped to write.

The original 1983 series starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a dashing and wealthy man raised in Africa who was also master of the secrets that divide man from animal. It was canceled after eight episodes, only to live on in the hearts of a devoted cult fandom. Sony Pictures Animation’s live-action/animation hybrid will reinvent that concept as an action-comedy with heavy visual effects and animated elements.

“I think its right down our alley, it’s what we do,” said McKay. “It’s tongue-in-cheek and has an action component, but overall it’s a comedy.” The hunt is on for the right director.

“Like The Catcher In The Rye or The Sound And The Fury, Manimal has always been one of those elusive projects every producer dreams of taking to the silver screen,” continues McKay. “I know the movie will be funny and entertaining, but will it be the first film to win a Pulitzer? We’ll just have to see.”

TV super-producer Larson created popular series Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and Magnum, P.I.

Speaking of Knight Rider … whatever happened to Harvey Weinstein’s big-screen re-make? As fun as Manimal sounds, it just makes me realize yet again, that what’s coming out on-screen just ain’t making it. This summer’s down significantly and aren’t there just too many comic-book big-screen adaptations?

Check out this clip from the TV show:

HERE’S HERCULES --- Sony Classical is releasing the original motion picture soundtrack of Hercules, composed by World Soundtrack Award nominee Fernando Velázquez. Directed by Brett Ratner, the film stars Dwayne Johnson in the title role alongside Ian McShane, John Hurt and Rufus Sewell. The soundtrack will be available digitally on July 22 and on CD August 5.

Velázquez is a Spanish-born orchestral music, television and film composer, as well as an accomplished cello player who has played in various orchestras. In 2010 he was selected to create symphonic works for the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. Velázquez composed the award-winning soundtracks for The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and Guillermo del Toro’s The Orphanage for which he was nominated for The World Soundtrack Award. His other credits include M. Night Shayamalan’s The Devil, Guillermo del Toro’s Mama, BackWoods starring Gary Oldman and Savage Grace starring Julianne Moore.

“I really tried to address the strength and nobility of Hercules in the movie,” says Velázquez on the score, which was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. “The music tries to capture this kindness along with the great strength. It sounds modern and yet it feels classical as it is completely symphonic, even when incorporating electronics and all kind of ‘modern’ drums.” In tracks such as “Pirates’ Camp,” “Bessi-Battle” and “Centaurs,” Velázquez conjures up stirring feelings of combat and excitement. In “Hercules” and “The Statue Falls,” he finds a heroic vein. Stunningly good.

AVICII RISING --- Avicii is adding a rock flavor to his next album with guest appearances from Jon Bon Jovi, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Chris Martin of Coldplay.

The Billie Joe Armstrong song has been titled No Pleasing A Woman.

Other guests expected for the record are Serj Tankian of System Of A Down, Wyclef Jean and Matisyahu.

“It’s going to be a lot more song-oriented. True (his 2013 album) was an attempt at that, getting electronic music in a song format,” said Avicii.

In all, Avicii says he has about 70 songs to shortlist for the next record. The album is still a work in progress and is yet to be titled or given a release date. Needless to say, his song “Wake Me Up” was a massive worldwide hit and properly introduced him to audiences everywhere.

CLOSING NOTES --- I saw those white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday morning as I jogged along and wondered if it was a movie stunt. Turns out it wasn't and Bill Bratton and his troops are stunned, calling it Flag Gate. As of this writing, it’s still being investigated. Scary … right?

Joel Grey at Bar Pitti in Lower Manhattan; Micky Dolenz hanging with Alice Cooper backstage at The Hollywood Bowl Monday night; Tony Danza at Nick & Toni’s on the NY’s Upper Westside …

Watched that Sam Smith spot on Letterman again, with him performing “Stay With Me.” I'm moved to say it was one of the year’s best performances so far. Just amazing. We're getting the CD and will have a full-review shortly …

Hedwig tonight and Atlantic Records will be happy to hear, we'll purchase the cast CD there …

ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill is slated to undergo surgery to remove two kidney stones this week, necessitating a delay in the start of the group’s US summer tour. The kidney stones were discovered in the course of a routine physical examination where Hill’s doctor advised him that they should immediately be removed, lest they cause more serious problems down the line.

CBS FM's Scott Shannon's celebrates his 101th show (their frequency on the FM dial) next Friday with a live remote from NYC's City Winery. They'll be a bunch of famous names stopping by. Btw: Shannon did a great interview the other day on Fox TV with Ernie Anastos. Details to follow on his simulcast; we'll be there...

Friday, March 28, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING

Great Ratings For Scott Shannon NYC Return

GABRIEL BACK TO FRONT --- On Wednesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m., Fathom Events, More2Screen, Eagle Rock Entertainment and Real World will take U.S. moviegoers on a VIP experience for an exclusive concert event, Peter Gabriel: Back to Front. Pre-recorded in October 2013 at London’s O2, the show celebrates one of the most pioneering and innovative artists of modern times, who will be honored with an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this April. Directed by BAFTA winning director Hamish Hamilton, Peter Gabriel: Back to Front reunites Gabriel’s original touring ban (including David Rhodes, Tony Levin and David Sancious) from 1986 to mark the 25th anniversary of the landmark album So (released in 1986). The concert includes hits like, “Solsbury Hill,” “Digging in the Dirt,” “Sledgehammer,” “Mercy Street” and “Don't Give Up.” Gabriel continues to be at the vanguard of the audio-visual experience by using the latest technology and a 5.1 surround sound mix to deliver a one-of-a-kind cinema event.

Tickets for Peter Gabriel: Back to Front are available at participating theater box offices and online at The event will be presented in more than 400 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events web site.

“It has been wonderful working with Hamish Hamilton again and his very talented team. I feel they have really caught what was unique about the Back to Front tour, both visually and emotionally. My own sound crew has also done a brilliant job,” said Gabriel.

Back to Front offers a visual and narrative feast that brings the viewer to the heart of the concert experience. The show opens with a stark insight into the song-writing process with Gabriel, house lights on, trying to find the lyrical companions to a beautiful piano melody. Who else would start a concert with a song they've not yet finished? The creative journey is explored throughout the film and culminates with a celebratory run through of the album So, what Gabriel calls his ‘pop star moment.’ Previously unreleased and re-imagined songs sit effortlessly beside classic hits to reflect Gabriel’s status as a multi-dimensional artist.

The album So, was indeed a pivotal moment for Gabriel as his massive, global hit “Sledgehammer” came from the album, as did ”Red Rain,” “Mercy Street,” “Don’t Give Up” with Kate Bush, and “Big Time,” which would follow as the next single from the album. It was an amazing time for Gabriel; commercial success the likes of which which would be hard, even impossible, to repeat. “Sledgehammer” was aided by a brilliant video directed by Stephen R. Johnson and featured stop-motion claymation techniques. It swept the MTV video music awards in 1987 and is consistently cited as one of the best music videos ever.

I had occasion this week to review some of Gabriel’s early work with his band Genesis (Selling England By The Pound/1973) and found it just fascinating; certainly foreshadowing the path that he would take. Young, lean, dressed up in outrageous costumes, he was absolutely stunning. An artist of exceptional range and talent, every time I've seen him in concert, it was a standalone moment. Gabriel is, just exceptional.

YO MARCUS --- Marcus Goldhaber debuts at NYC’s Blue Note on April 12 in which he will preview songs from his new album, A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening. The show will benefit Samaritans, the suicide prevention charity he is supporting with his sister, Michelle, when they run together in the Boston Marathon. Marcus, who’s been training for the marathon for months, is honoring the memory of his best friend, who took his own life a year ago.

Also, he is prepping his Come Home America tour, springing from a song he wrote and recorded to honor our troops at home and abroad. He released the song on Veterans Day and is currently planning a concert tour, partnering in his efforts with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the USO.

And, Marcus recently joined Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks (Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire) on stage in NYC as a guest vocalist - here’s a video clip of this memorable moment:

OCULUS RISING --- Varèse Sarabande Records will release the Oculus Original Motion Picture Soundtrack available digitally on April 8, 2014 and on CD April 15, 2014. The film, directed by Mike Flanagan, features an original score by The Newton Brothers, Taylor and Andy.

“Oculus will freak you out and take you on an emotional roller coaster. Even our score--lullabies, distorted broken glass, a children's choir,” said Newton brother Taylor.

“An interesting part of the scoring process was paying attention to the moments where there needed to be a void of score. Specific scenes of the movie depend on you being taken by surprise surrounded by moments of chaos,” explained Andy. “The trick was to musically land the plane gently so you feel a sense of natural calm and then to hit with textures and sounds that are jarring and discomforting.”

Film and TV-composers The Newton Brothers have been making music since they were kids. Both raised on opera, radio, concerts and movies, The Newton Brothers find influence from greats such as Puccini, Debussy, Elmer Bernstein, Kraftwerk, NIN, The Beatles, Bernard Herrmann, Hall & Oates and Erich Korngold.

Their credits include Wayne Kramer’s dark comedy Pawn Shop Chronicles (starring Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Elijah Wood and Brendan Fraser) and Tony Kaye's acclaimed dramatic feature Detachment (starring Adrien Brody, Lucy Liu, Christina Hendricks, and James Caan). The Newton Brothers have scored and written songs for feature films such as Setup (directed by Mike Gunther), Revolution (directed by Rodrigo Garcia), and The Mothman Prophecies (directed by Mark Pellington). This past year, they had three films at the Toronto International Film Festival: Life Of Crime, Proxy, and Oculus. Currently the brothers are working on Somnia which they are co-scoring with Danny Elfman.

CLOSING NOTES --- The numbers are in for the first weeks of Scott Shannon’s CBS-FM drive-time morning show … and, they are huge. Congrats Scott …

We've been catching up on the last few episodes of NBC’s The Blacklist with James Spader. Just terrific shows. The plots are intricate, well-written and beautifully performed. We predict Spader will clean up at the next Emmy Awards show. There’s no one better on TV right now …

We just finished the terrific excerpt in Vanity Fair of R. J. Wagner’s new tome, You Must Remember This: Life and Style in Hollywood’s Golden Age (Penguin). The latest book from the 84-year old actor is just splendid. Recalling a time in Hollywood that will never, ever be repeated, the more we read, the more we loved it. I'm awaiting the book in full. Good, good read. Highly recommended …

Elton John

Our good friend Tony King in the U. K. is sending is the new re-issue of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ("Harmony", "All The Girls Love Alice"). In retrospect, one of EJ’s best efforts ever. We'll have a full review next week …

Meanwhile via Kent Kotal’s Forgotten Hits, have you heard who's touring as the new lead vocalist of Blood, Sweat and Tears?

Call it idol gossip if you like, but American Idol runner-up Bo Bice (who did that great version of The Ides Of March’s "Vehicle" on the show the year he lost to Carrie Underwood) is now serving that honor ... so this, too, may be a show you'd like to see when it hits your area. (Check out this video clip of Bice performing the hit “And When I Die” ... he's cleaned-up nicely, hasn't he?!?! And he sounds pretty damn good, too!!!) 

What have we been listening to? Zucchero’s La Sesion Cubana. Just terrific. Produced by Don Was; we cannot stop listening to the tracks “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” and “Love Is All Around.” So far, the album of the year.

 Shannon Photo Courtesy Of CBS/Scott Shannon

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

Friday, February 07, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING

Scott Shannon With John Mayer

Shannon Say It Ain’t So --- After many successful years together with Todd Pettengill hosting Scott & Todd in the Morning on WPLJ/New York, Scott Shannon announced on the air this morning that he is retiring from WPLJ after 22 years at the station.

Pettengill will continue as the host of The Todd Show during the same 6 AM-10 AM time slot.

“Of course I’ll miss being a part of the morning show here on PLJ and I might even pop back in from time to time and try to get Todd to play a Rascals song or two,” Shannon said.

"Scott and I had an amazing run and I'll miss our mornings together and cherish the memories we made. I'm also very excited about the opportunity ahead with a very talented group of people that I know our listeners are going to love," Pettengill said.

Shannon, who I’ve known for years and is unquestionably the real deal in every way, is just a force of nature. His talents, intelligence and encyclopedia-knowledge of music is just off the charts. Plus, a nicer person, you’d never meet.

WPLJ has been going through their own internal battles for quite some time now; losing key personnel like Tom Cuddy and Teresa Angela; shifting owners to Cap Cities and now, Cumulus; and, really dismantling some great concepts like live shows from the late-great China Club. And, their ratings have gone south … way south. If you’ve followed the station over the years, as I have, it’s so very sad. The new doctrine has been cut-back everything ... salaries and personnel.

Shannon created the successful Tru Oldies Channel so he won't want for lack of work, but it’s another unfortunate win for commerce over art. Back in the day, Shannon worked for Neil Bogart’s visionary Casablanca Records. His exploits are somewhat detailed in the great book about the label, And Party Every Day from Larry Harris. The book is perhaps the best ever document of a record company during the halcyon 80's.

New York has lost a tremendous voice; and I trust he'll be back on the airwaves as soon as he can. A major, major loss for us.

Scott just emailed me … he’s not retiring … just movin’ on! Super Shannon Lives!

Giancarlo Stefanutto With Mark Bego

BEGO du JOUR --- As his book, Life With My Father Glen Campbell (Omnibus), prepares for release next month, celebrity-author Mark Bego has begun a new venture: an online site called Cook Like A Rock Star. As Bego says, “Although the life stories of all of my book subjects are vastly different, they're also several things that they have in common: great music, and their love of great food that is exciting and delicious. In this website I intend on sharing some of my favorite recipes, and the personal recipes of some of your favorite “rock star” celebrities.”

So far, Bego has included recipes from such stars as Boz Scaggs, Michelle Phillips, Angela Bowie, Jimmy Greenspoon, and, Mary Wilson.

The goal, adds the author, is to eventually launch a formal book with even more recipes. Last week, Bego showed up at Tucson restaurant La Mia Toscana and cooked with the owner and chef, Giancarlo Stefanutto.

TA-TA 2 ½ MINUTE TRAILERS? --- Hollywood studios are resisting the National Association of Theatre Owners’ January 27th call for movie trailers to be shortened from the current standard of 2 ½ minutes to just two minutes each. It might not seem like a big deal, but with upwards of 5 or 6 trailers shown before the main feature, that could add up to at least a savings of 3 minutes or more.

I don't even know if I like the long trailers as they seem to give away all the plot points in advance. I've heard people say, that since the trailer sucks … I won't be going to see the movie. Wow!

CLOSING NOTES --- As any true-blue Marvel-comics denizen knows, The Vision, the terrific A. I.-creation from The Avengers, is one of the best characters ever from that hallowed-comic book company. It was just announced that the character will appear in Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron, with none other than actor Paul Bettany portraying him. Ultron actually created The Vision in the comic-backstory; so his appearance was only a matter of time. Bettany has been the voice of Jarvis, Tony Stark’s robot-voiced butler in all the Iron Man movies. He’s was also great in The Da Vinci Code and Beautiful Mind; and, he’s married to Jennifer Connolly …

Talk about shifts: People’s Larry Hackett is out … Jess Cagle is in. Hackett was a hack; not very approachable at all. Cagle, from Entertainment Weekly, is far, far better. Good luck Jess …

Rhino Records has officially come aboard as sponsors of next month’s Monkees-convention. Rumors abound that they’re coming with surprising news. Stay tuned. We’ll be there and have all the news …

Watched Jay Leno’s last show last night and he was surprisingly heartfelt. 22 years … a good run for sure. My prediction: he’ll be on Letterman very, very soon. Next week in fact …

We’ve been remiss in not mentioning the passing of Pete Seeger. From “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” to “If I Had a Hammer,” Seeger was the voice of the big issues of life. He sang a message of peace, civil justice and social equality. President Obama said of Seeger, “He believed deeply in the power of song.” His voice should never be forgotten …

 Photos Courtesy of: David Salidor PR