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Monkee Business: Troubling behind-the-scenes shenanigans of 2012 tour revealed
06.25.2013
08:50 pm

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Music
Pop Culture
Television

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My own Monkee-mania has been detailed on this blog several times. (I listened to Instant Replay all weekend). Eric Lefcowitz’s Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band (which I reviewed here) has been revised and expanded in light of the events of the past year or so. Penn Jillette wrote a forward for the new edition.

Lefcowitz emailed me about the juicy details of the new book:

When I released Monkee Business back in 2010 I was pretty sure the Monkees were kaput and therefore what I wrote would stand as their last will and testament. But seemingly as soon as it came out, Davy agreed to reunite with Micky and Peter and my book was instantly passé.

What happened after that—not just Davy’s death which, of course, was cataclysmic but all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans—convinced me I had to go back and add a new ending.

The shenanigans include a lot of crazy stuff about Davy’s stormy May/December romance with a telenovela star half his age and his insistence that she become part of the act. You can imagine how that went down. But amazingly the 2012 tour was a resounding success. Even Rolling Stone began showing the Monkees some love.

And then it all came to a screeching halt. The tour was canceled and nobody’s talking. It’s all very mysterious and it gets even stranger. Michael Nesmith, the notoriously reluctant warrior of the bunch, agrees to perform with Micky and Peter for a one-off tribute show dedicated to their classic album Headquarters. Davy, however, has no intention of performing.

Then Davy dies and suddenly the tribute show becomes a tribute tour dedicated to Davy’s memory. History is quickly rewritten. And that’s not all. Nesmith announces he’s almost gone blind (which at least partially explains his desire to tour).

And then there’s the group’s shockingly durable influence. They become a hip name drop. Their songs appear on Breaking Bad and Mad Men. What the fuck is happening? After nearly fifty years of ridicule the Monkees are suddenly considered visionary pop stars who leveraged the cross-platform potential of media, music and marketing.

So I’ve gone back and documented the madness. And now I’ve got it covered. Plus Penn Jillette wrote a very cool foreword and the new cover is bitchin’. What’s not to love? But knowing my luck Peter will reveal some NSA secrets or Nesmith will release his long-awaited K-pop record and I’ll have to do it all over again.

My copy of the revised Monkee Business hasn’t arrived yet, but from the sound of things, quite a few rocks were turned over for some of the darker revelations hinted at above. I understand this is pretty juicy stuff for Monkees fans.

Below, Eric Lefcowitz explains why the Monkees should be—at long last—inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘It’s the New Zoo Revue comin’ right at you!’: Opening credits of long forgotten kids shows, part 2
06.25.2013
02:29 pm

Topics:
Television

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New Zoo Revue was more my younger sister’s “show” than it was my own, but since it was always on in the mornings when we were getting ready for school, I’ve seen it probably hundreds of times.

I thought that “Charlie” the bookish owl was pretty cool and I related to him. And can we talk about Emmy Jo? Good god was she hot! Hot in that Elizabeth Banks kinda way, but much more innocent-seeming, even in those micro mini-skirts she sometimes wore. She was a six year old’s idea of a sex symbol back then (or at least my idea at that age).

In real life, “Emmy Jo” (Emily Pedon), has been married to her co-star “Doug” (Momary, the show’s creator) for over 40 years.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Banana Splits: Great opening credits of long forgotten kid’s shows, first in a series

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The question he really seems to want to ask of Billy Idol: ‘Aren’t you just a prat?’
06.22.2013
08:15 pm

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Punk
Television

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It’s more than a little obvious from this 1985 clip from The Old Grey Whistle Test that interviewer Andy Kershaw hasn’t got much time for Billy Idol.

Kershaw refers to the “Sneer of the Year” as “show business” and wonders what the 12-year-old Idol would have thought of his current musical output. At moments Kershaw seems desperate to ask Idol straight up “Aren’t you just a prat?”

Kershaw’s contempt is barely concealed, but Idol takes it all in good grace. I must admit I have always been surprised that the bargain bin star of British punk pock became so successful in the States during the 1980s. It is perhaps a small reflection of what the country was like under Ronald Reagan’s leadership. Or cocaine. (At approx the 7:35 mark Idol talks about how drug dealers named narcotics after him in New York.)
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Andy Kershaw: The Rolling Stone’s Guide to painting & Decorating

H/T Carl Richard Aylott and Francis Wheen

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Elton John on ‘The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special,’ 1977
06.22.2013
07:40 pm

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Music
Television

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You see, there was once a time when my childhood ambition was solely focused on becoming the comic turn in a double-act. My inspiration was, of course, the hugely popular British TV comedy duo, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. I saw myself more of an Eric, than an Ernie—though one couldn’t work without the other. I watched their shows, their films, read their biography, bought their vinyl and learnt-by-heart the sketches contained therein.

The comedy duo’s original writers were Dick Hills and Sid Green, who claimed they could devise a Morecambe and Wise script in the time it took them to pass each other on opposite sides of a London Underground escalator. Hills and Green’s best known skit is probably “Boom-Oo-Yata-ta-ta,” which still holds-up today. Moving from Independent TV to the BBC saw Morecambe and Wise eventually change writers.

In 1969, they were joined by Eddie Braben, who created the defining Morecambe and Wise Show. Of course, the repertoire and roles were already there, but Braben brought a surreal element to their traditional Music Hall comedy that made Morecambe and Wise the favorite comics of the nation, obtaining viewing figures of around 20-million per show, and a record 27.5 million for their Christmas Show in 1977.

Braben also introduced a series of running gags that started with guest Peter Cushing, who claimed he had not been paid for his last performance; the keen harmonica player Arthur Tolcher who was never allowed to play (“Not now, Arthur”); the regular mini-drama, Ernie’s “the play what I wrote,” which featured such stars as Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave, Frank Finlay, Edward Woodward, Frankie Vaughan, Diana Rigg, and even Elton John.

I liked Elton John, and the star-crossed mix of Morecambe and Wise, together with “Hercules” was “must see.” Elton had already appeared on the ‘76 Xmas show, and there was much speculation of his return. The skit was okay—a running gag in which he was given the run-around before finally performing his song “Shine On Through” to Morecambe & Wise in drag (as two cleaners), at the very end of the show.

The song was a taster for Elton’s twelfth studio album, A Single Man, which is amongst the most under-appreciated of his recordings. This may, in part, have been because the album marked a break from writing partner Bernie Taupin, who was working with Alice Cooper, and a change of his regular backing band. It was also the first time he collaborated with lyricist Gary Osbourne. However, the album again proved Elton’s genius for crafting word and music together into a beautiful song.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the album, and it is certainly worth time re-evaluating A Single Man.

Below, the whole of Elton’s appearance on The Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special, 1977. The song starts at 5:52.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Banana Splits: Great opening credits of long forgotten kid’s shows, first in a series
06.20.2013
05:53 pm

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Music
Television

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A friend of mine once remarked that he’d “never date a woman who didn’t know all the words to ‘The Tra-La-La Song.’”

We were both in our mid-twenties at the time.

I went as “Bingo” for Halloween when I was three or four.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bogus ‘Russian’ tampon ad is not subtle
06.20.2013
10:45 am

Topics:
Advertising
Television

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Russian advertising isn’t subtle. (Or, so we’re supposed to think…)

Watching this alleged commercial for tampons, made me recall how under Communism, the nation’s industrial output was not measured by individual items produced, but by weight. The larger the tonneage, the mightier and more successful the Soviet State. Unfortunately, this led to the production of heavier and heavier items, until items became impractical. For example, chandeliers were manufactured by Commie factories that were so heavy that they could no longer be mounted onto ceilings without bringing them down.

This is the kind of thought processes at work here.

Update: Well, whaddya know? this is NOT a ‘Russian tampon ad’—no matter how it’s been labeled by the uploaders on YouTube, Live Leak and alike. No. This is a clip from the film Movie 43, which has been described, in some quarters, as the worst film ever made, though there a handful of others disagree.

Well, now, you have to admire this as a piece of good Capitalist PR for a flop movie. Still doesn’t make me want to see it though.
 

 
H/T Live Leak

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Stop shopping in Sarah Palin’s ‘turd supermarket’
06.18.2013
09:35 am

Topics:
Idiocracy
Kooks
Politics
Stupid or Evil?
Television

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The stupider that you act, the more the media will pay attention to you. This immutable law of media is proven daily by the likes of the Kardashian family, The Situation, Snooki and… Sarah Palin. All of them are masters at appealing to idiots. Fellow idiots relate to them. Dum-Dums think they’re “cool.” They are icons of idiocy and they are handsomely remunerated for their trademarked brands of frivolity and foolishness.

Palin co-hosted Fox and Friends yesterday, and just like Miss Utah over the weekend, in her own inimitable way she managed to chip away just a lil’ teensy bit at America’s collective IQ. Even if you weren’t watching.

Last night on The Daily Show, fill-in host John Oliver suggested that we all start ignoring the snowbilly grifter and give ourselves a national “brain enema.”
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Sarah Palin Parking Lot

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Iggy Pop takes a trip around New York’s Lower East Side
06.17.2013
07:08 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Environment
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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Iggy Pop takes a stroll around New York’s Lower East-Side, in May1993.

As Iggy explains it: he likes living in New York because he is a ‘high-strung, suggestible person,’ and the city gives him a structure in which he can operate. Los Angeles, on the other hand, made him crazy because there was no center.

Iggy highlights some his favorite things to Dutch film-maker Bram Van Splunteren, as he gives a guided tour of the neighborhood. The graffiti, the people, the vibrancy, the food, the street signs, the artists and his personal belief that no one will tell you to shut-up for making any noise—which means Iggy can make as much noise as he likes.

It’s a fun trip, and closes with Iggy talking about Rap, Ice-T, why cops made him fearful and angry, and why he listens to Bob Dylan.
 

 
Portrait of Iggy Pop by Karen Bones.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
David Lynch: A Must-See interview on ‘Scene By Scene’ from 1999
06.14.2013
10:54 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
Television
Thinkers

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Photo by Chris Saunders
 
David Lynch doesn’t like giving interviews. He has to be coaxed by interviewer Mark Cousins, to give answers to his questions.

Mark Cousins: David Lynch, you don’t like doing interviews, do you?

David Lynch: No I don’t.

Mark Cousins: Why are you sitting on this sofa then?

David Lynch: To do you a great favor.

Lynch certainly does a great favor here, in this fine documentary Scene By Scene, as the cult director goes on to explain his thoughts on films and film-making:

A film is its own thing. And in an ideal world, I think film should be discovered knowing nothing, and nothing should be added to it, and nothing should be subtracted from it.

The usually taciturn Lynch then opens-out about his life; his insecurities (why he once wore three ties); his ideas on the speed of rooms; why he doesn’t follow politics (‘I don’t understand the concept of two sides’); and his response to criticism in his portrayal of women:

..the problem is that somebody sees a woman in a film, and then mistakenly assumes that that is the way the person sees all women, when in actuality it’s just that particular woman within this particular story.

The interview concludes with Cousins asking Lynch about his thoughts on mortality.

Inside, we’re ageless.  And when we talk to ourselves, it’s the same person we were talking to, the same age, when we were little, and it’s the body that’s changing around that ageless center.

Recorded prior to the release of The Straight Story, this fifty-minute documentary, made by BBC Scotland, gives great insight into David Lynch and his method of film-making.

Watch it—before it’s gone!

A full transcript of the interview with David Lynch can be found here.
 

 
Via IndieWire
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Into the smoke-filled parlor of a lady in the canyon: An enchanting interview with Joni Mitchell
06.12.2013
07:20 am

Topics:
Music
Television

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Wonderful interview with Joni Mitchell conducted by Jian Ghomeshi at her house in Los Angeles. Produced for Canadian radio show Q.

Joni has coined my new favorite Zen take on humanity: “People will flic their Bic at anything.”
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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