Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Davy Jones Dead At 66

Just yesterday my friends and I were engaged in a conversation about David Cassidy, which lead to talking about Bobby Sherman and his TV sidekick Wes Stern.  Today we learn that another singing idol of ours, Davy Jones has died of a heart attack in Florida.


 Davy was the Brit. He sang Daydream Believer and Valerie. He also sang On The Day We Fall In Love (There'll be birds singin' everywhere And the wind will be blowin' through your hair), but we won't hold that against him.  He made Marcia Brady a very happy girl.  He got a kiss "on the flip side" and sang at her dance.  I saw Davy in a performance of The Real Live Brady Bunch at the Village Gate. They reenacted that episode (I think Jane Lynch played Carol Brady).

Davy had a groovy way of moving and shuffling his feet while playing the tambourine or maracas. I remember him in his cap on the black and white backing of the Monkees first album.  The one where they listed their birth dates, places of birth and height. Davy was the small one.  I saw the band on their first reunion tour.

I was five years old when the Monkees TV show debuted.  I still listen to them today and they hold a very special musical place in my heart.  When I was in first grade I had to go to the hospital for emergency ear surgery.  The nurse wanted lights out and shut the TV off, but the mother of the girl next to me said they have to watch the Monkees and the TV was left on.  I did have to watch the Monkees!   Just out of college as an audience member of David Letterman's show, my friend Kerri and I were chosen to compete for a date with Peter Tork.  Our faces appeared in hearts before the show opening.  A grandmotherly type woman won and had pizza in the green room with Peter.  We got the Monkees greatest hits album. 

Davy and the Monkees will always be ingrained in my music DNA.  Thanks Davy.

Mike Nesmith on Facebook:  David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us.  I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.

Peter Tork:  It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones.   His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. My deepest sympathy to Jessica and the rest of his family.  Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy.

Mickey Dolenz:  Can't believe it...Still in shock...had bad dreams all night long. My love and prayers go out to Davy's girls and family right now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Don Draper As Hugh Hefner

Mad Men comes back to life on March 25th, the start of the 5th season.  Does anyone even remember what happened in season 4?  I'm really digging into my memory bank to pull something out.

The show's creator Matthew Weiner has said he hopes to give viewers a reward for sticking with the show.

The new poster has gotten plenty of attention.  Weiner in describing the poster said it is “a nonverbal representation of where my head is at and where the show will be.  By the end of the season, I guarantee you’ll know what it is about.”

Don is looking in a store window. His image is part of the scene.  He is part of this scene.  From the looks of the male mannequin my prediction is:  by the end of Season 5, Don becomes Hugh Hefner.  Of note, the Playboy TV series that debuted last year was short lived.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kenny Rogers Caught In A Joe Vs The Volcano Audit

Kenny Rogers has sued Capitol Records for failing to pay him his owed royalties. TechDirt has a piece on the ordeal.

Rogers originally performed an audit, which took more than a year to get going with Capitol. On many levels he found royalties that weren't paid, some put into a "suspended file", over-charges for a music video, etc. When his negotiations to get paid, went nowhere (in the middle of the ordeal, he found out that people he was working had left the label) and he felt he was being led down a black hole, he sued the label.

He was also questioning where all the money the label received in the settlement suits with companies such as Napster, Kazaa, AudioGalaxy and Grokster went. That money was suppose to be shared with the artists. No one would let him in on where the money was stashed.

The sad thing about this whole process is that Rogers is probably doling out tons of money to accountants and lawyers to get him what should be rightfully his. Unfortunately this "accounting" has been going on since the beginning of the legacy labels. Transparency has never been part of their business practices. I'm in the Gambler's corner. I hope this one pays off.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Kid is Gone

It's not like it wasn't expected. He had a brain tumor, but that doesn't make it any less sad.

Gary Carter passed away this afternoon. His daughter shared the news on the family website. He will always be known as The Kid to us Mets fans. His upbeat attitude was a counterpoint to the bad boy image that saddled the '86 Mets.

I remember hearing Gary say there is no way I am making the last out of this game. The game he was referring to was Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. His hit kept the team alive and allowed them to win it on that more than frequently played error by Bill Buckner. His enthusiasm should have been bottled and sold.

We will miss the Hall of Fame Kid.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dory Previn, Composer of The Songs From Valley of the Dolls Dies

Dory Previn, who is best known to me for co-writing the songs for the movie Valley of the Dolls passed away at age 86. She will forever be attached to her ex-husband Andre, although he, like Frank Sinatra left his wife for Mia Farrow.

(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls and the movie were big hits in 1967. It's one of my top ten movies of all time. The theme song's lyrics and music greatly portrayed the melancholy, confusion, disgust and yearning for a different life that the main character Ann Welles goes through in the course of the story. The phrasing and unfinished thoughts were a very different take from most pop songs at that time.

Gotta get off, gonna get
Have to get off from this ride
Gotta get hold, gonna get
Need to get hold of my pride

I'm not sure if the song was written that way, or it's the way Dionne Warwick performed it. Judy Garland was originally cast in the film and I think expected to sing the song. Dory has said that the lyrics were inspired by her own struggles with pills.

The highlight of the songs has to be Come Live With Me which is sung by Tony Scotti, who later went on to found Scotti Bros Records. Here is the second performance of the song during the movie which is a duet with Patty Duke. It takes place in a sanitarium and brings the Tony Polar character to life.

John Williams who composed the score for the movie has a interesting post on his site about the music.

Dory Previn went on to release several solo albums, which included her intense lyrics as on the song Beware Of Young Girls. It was written about Mia Farrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Whitney Was Barely Cold When Sony Raised Price of The Ultimate Collection

This post on Hypebot reported that the wholesale price of Whitney Houston's The Ultimate Collection was increased by Sony in the early morning hours on Sunday. The record company argues that it was incorrectly priced and therefore they were just correcting an error.

Even if that's the case, the timing is bad and it seems like it's really in poor taste. If they can't break new acts, they raise the prices on the acts who gave their lives strengthening the record company.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Remaining Beach Boys at the Grammys

Just added: The Beach Boys are performing at the Grammys. The lineup includes surviving members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston. They are scheduled to perform with Foster the People and Maroon 5. Does this make me want to watch the Grammys?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Congratulations Giants!

I don't think my palms have sweat that much since game 6 of the 1986 World Series.


Madonna Halftime = Boring Performance

Kudos to the staging. That was amazing.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Peace Love And Soul

Don Cornelius apparently he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I remember watching Soul Train on Saturday mornings. Don created and hosted the show. It was a sort of ritual to watch Soul Train and American Bandstand. I think musicians lip synched on both shows and got minimal amount of time to speak. There were always people dancing.

Do you remember the SNL skit Samurai Hitman? There are two cabbages which represent Don Cornelius (red cabbage) and Don Kirshner (green cabbage). Samurai John Belushi is being hired to kill them both at a Benihana Restaurant downtown. He demonstrates on the cabbages.