Tag Archives: Beatles

May Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

25 May

THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY

Lily-of-the-valley.LeMuguet.may2017

The tradition of giving lily-of-the-valley flowers on May 1 may have begun in 1560, when Sir Louis Girard presented King Charles IX with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year. The King liked it so much that he began the custom of presenting lily-of-the-valley flowers to the ladies of his court each year on May Day. Ever since then, the lily-of-the-valley has been considered a talisman, a porte-bonheur, ringing in the return of springtime happiness … They are called muguet in France, they symbolize love and affection. In fact, May 1 is a French holiday, when people offer muguet to their loved ones and neighbors in a gesture of friendship and in celebration of spring. Bonne Fête du Muguet!

GRAMMYs BACK WHERE YOU BELONG

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How great is this? Marking the first GRAMMY telecast in New York City since 2003, the 60th GRAMMY Awards will be at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28, 2018! It was announced via a very cool short film called NY Storiesdirected by Spike Lee, featuring artists telling stories at musical landmarks all over the city. As Spike calls it, “New York City of Music!”

THERE’S A NEW BLUE IN TOWN

Blue.may2017

So many blues. Can there really be a new blue? Oregon State University chemists accidentally created a new shade of blue, the first in 200 years. The color is called “YInMn blue,” after its chemical makeup of yttrium, indium and manganese oxides. It’s like cobalt blue, but a little brighter, more vibrant. This is an important find since blue plays a significant role in our lives because of its relationship to the sky and water. You can bet we’ll be seeing it real soon in new cars and on fashion runways. It’s even a new Crayola crayon replacing the recently retired Dandelion yellow.

DREAMING THE BEATLES

Beatles.may2017.cr-USE

On this 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, let’s celebrate it with the just-published book by Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield, Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World. As a Beatles fan with bookshelves filled with Beatles books – bios, song analyses, et al. – this is a welcome addition simply because it is none of that. Instead it is a collection of essays that explain why they matter to our generation and what that says about us. There is no doubt that we are a generation emotionally attached to them. Rob Sheffield construes it this way: “Being born on the same planet as the Beatles is one of the 10 best things that’s ever happened to me.” Amen to that.

SIR ROGER MOORE

RogerMoore.Moonraker.may2017

Although Moonraker may have been silly, Roger Moore’s fourth outing as James Bond mixed charm, style, and a dry humor with a deadpan delivery and wink in his eye. His Bond had a well-intentioned nature. In fact, he imbued dignity in every one of his roles … My first sighting of Sir Roger was as Simon Templar, aka The Saint. Later, he became my favorite Bond. How sad to ponder that we have lost our first James Bond actor. However, my favorite Roger Moore movie is Ffolkes, a spy thriller where he plays an unconventional and very cocky anti-terrorism expert. I may have seen it a very long time ago, but it’s an unforgettable adventure story with great acting … An animal lover, Sir Roger was opposed to fox hunting and campaigned against the use of foie gras in restaurants … He was cool. I close with a few of his own words: “I’m the fourth best James Bond” … “Of course I do my own stunts. And I also do my own lying” … “I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets. But, as that’s not going to happen, I’m quite happy I did Bond.”

A IS FOR AVOCADO

AvocadoCreamSauce.may2017-USE

Love avocados? Here’s a recipe for a great and very versatile Avocado Cream Sauce. Scoop one large ripe avocado into a food processor. Add ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream, juice from 1 lime, kosher salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and thick. You might want to add any of these: minced garlic, cilantro, basil, chili powder, jalapeño, or sriracha sauce. Mix with spaghetti as a pasta sauce, drizzle over grilled chicken or salmon, as a dip with chips or to dress a salad, with tacos, spread on a hamburger bun, and great with shrimp and sushi rolls, too! Makes everything even more delish!

DOG NEWS

DogNews.DogsOnTheTitanic1912.may2017

As long as we are marking the 20th anniversary of Titanic and Celine Dion’s smash hit My Heart Will Go On from the film, I thought I would share a story about the real Titanic. Many pets were on the ship for the journey but few survived the ship’s sinking (the dogs pictured on the deck here didn’t survive). Of the 12 dogs aboard, three dogs did survive – all three small. One Pomeranian was named Lady, bought by Margaret Hays while in Paris. She was wrapped in a blanket by Miss Hays when the order was given to evacuate. The second surviving Pomeranian was owned by Elizabeth Rothschild. The Pekinese, named Sun Yat-Sen, was owned by Myna Harper and her husband, Henry S. Harper, of the publishing firm, Harper & Row. All three boarded early lifeboats in the arms of their owners … Oh, if you hear the one about a First Officer William Murdoch’s large Newfoundland who swam between a lifeboat and the rescue ship and whose barking guided the survivors to safety? Don’t believe it – it’s chalked up to a hallucination … Then there’s this. In 1986, in the ship’s wreckage lying on the seabed, a statue of the goddess Artemis was found. She is the patron saint of animals.

END NOTE

Manchester.TicketsCollege.may2017-USE

The Manchester tragedy – my thoughts went instantly to those teenagers that were thrilled to go see their favorite artist perform in concert. How many times did I do the very same thing when I was a teenager? Countless times. Then I grew up and did the same thing for a living. Not once did I ever think I might be in danger – that there was the possibility of terrorism at suchlike events and in suchlike venues. THEY WERE ATTENDING A CONCERT. A CONCERT. ONLY ATTENDING A CONCERT…

WE CAN HELP

AlanGilbert.May2017.nyphilbalconies“Music helps to define what it means to be human, and orchestras will continue to do what we have always done: playing powerful, intriguing, uplifting, thought-provoking music.” … Bravo Maestro! Alan Gilbert will celebrate his final season as Music Director of the NY Philharmonic with the Season Finale: A Concert for Unity on June 8-10. The Orchestra will be joined by musicians from orchestras around the world playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 to celebrate the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders. Yo-Yo Ma (June 8) and Wynton Marsalis (June 9) will perform as special guest artists … The Maestro’s tenure may be over but his legacy lives on through the Alan Gilbert Fund, honoring his innovative programming and partnerships, and his fresh perspectives on classic works. He will be leading a new initiative in which musicians from around the world will come together to perform music at critical times in support of peace, development, and human rights. We can all support that.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.HarryNilsson.may2017

What’s your favorite song mentioning NY? This is mine:
Harry Nilsson‘s I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City

This song, written by Harry, was not used as the theme for the film, Midnight Cowboy. Instead they chose Harry to cover Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’. But I’ve always thought this was the one!

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

I say goodbye to all my sorrows
And by tomorrow I’ll be on my way
I guess the lord must be in New York City

I’m so tired of getting nowhere
Seein’ my prayers going unanswered
I guess the lord must be in New York City 

Well, here I am Lord, knocking at your back door
Ain’t it wonderful to be
Where I’ve always wanted to be?
For the first time I’ll breathe free here in New York City

Who rescued whom?barkleyypSo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lBuddha.TiffanyLatz.b-w“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Blue pic: YInMn Blue courtesy of Oregon State University
Dogs Aboard the Titanic pic: Courtesy of Widener University
Roger Moore pic from Moonraker: ©MGM/United Artists
New York Philharmonic pic: Michael Falco for The New York Times
Alan Gilbert quote: Charlie Rose interview
I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City: music and lyrics by Harry Edward Nilsson ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

February Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

25 Feb

FEBRUARY MADE ME SHIVER

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LIGHT SHOW

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“Shall we go, you and I while we can,
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?”

On February 10, the night sky gave us a spectacular show. A comet, eclipse, and a full moon –– a rare triple header all at the same time! It started with February’s full moon, called the snow moon; then the penumbral eclipse, when the moon, sun, and Earth align to create a subtle shadow; and ending with the pale green Comet 45P, the New Year comet, streaking the Earth. Talk about a cosmic trip!

ONE LOVE FOR MARLEY

bobmarley-feb2017

Bob Marley was born February 6, 1945 in Jamaica. Marley’s music embraced his message: unity, spirituality, and struggle. A new treasure trove of his live recordings from the 70s was found in a cardboard box in a London hotel. The 13 analog reel-to-reel master tapes document four London and Paris concerts from 1974 to 1978 and include No Woman No Cry, Exodus, and I Shot the Sheriff. Though water damaged, after being restored they are now digital and sound great. Nice way to celebrate Bob Marley’s birthday month.

WORDPLAY

crossword-feb2017

The New York Times Crossword puzzle celebrates its 75th anniversary. Crossword puzzles became a national and then a worldwide sensation in 1924 and 1925. In 1942 the NY Times started its regular run. I watched my father solve them fluidly – and English was his third language. I grew up on the puzzles edited by Will Weng and Eugene Maleska. They created the cleverest ones – their wordplay putting me to work … Solving a crossword is a comforting pastime especially during tough times, because it provides finite answers, giving us a sense of order and completion. If solving one every day makes me a crossword addict, let it be.

“I LOVE YOU MAN, PEACE AND LOVE”

ringopaul-feb2017

So tweeted Ringo to Paul and the story goes like this. Once upon a time Paul went to Ringo’s studio and recorded some new music. That is no fairy tale. It really happened. The Beatles’ rhythm section recorded together for Ringo’s upcoming album. Maybe they’ll start a band! That would be a fairy tale with a happy ending.

Here’s how Ringo describes his current songwriting process: “… I do sort of a rhythm-pattern synth track. And then I play drums and go, ‘Oh, there’s a verse. Oh, that sounds like a chorus.’ And then I call writers in and say, ‘Let’s write something to that!’”

I’M WALKIN’ HERE

midnightcowboy-feb2017-better

It’s Oscar time, a good time to think about my favorite movies. So naturally, Midnight Cowboy came to mind. It won for Best Picture in 1970, making it the first and only X-rated film to be awarded (later changed to an R rating) … This scene shows Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) and Joe Buck (Jon Voight) as they cross a New York City street. A cab jumps the light, causing Rizzo to yell my favorite movie line of all time: “I’m walkin’ here, I’m walkin’ here!” This was actually an ad lib by Hoffman who, while keeping it within the character, really did admonish the cab driver who really did jump the light … Joe and Rizzo make an odd pair but they ended up relying on one another to survive the hard streets of the gritty City. It wasn’t a pretty tale. The movie reflected the changing times and made way for the realistic and graphic movies of the 70s such as The Boys in the Band and The Godfather I and II … And if all that wasn’t enough to make it memorable, its hit song, Everybody’s Talkin’, was made indelible by the late great and much missed Harry Nilsson.

POWER OF MUSIC

grammys-feb2017

As the GRAMMYs celebrated music, Jennifer Lopez noted that this night is “about the music, the words, and the voices. How they move us, inspire us, and touch all our lives.” And she recited these words by Toni Morrison: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, and no room for fear. We do language.” Then the show went into full gear with the performing artists in all genres singing powerfully and persuasively the language of music.

BEST IN SHOW

dogshow-3newbreeds

So they didn’t win Best In Show, but these three new breeds proudly showed off their stuff at Madison Square Garden in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Top Dog was a German Shepherd named Rumor. Lest we forget the Westie (never!), Champion Lotrando “Rondo” Sunshine Celebration came in 2nd in Best In Group. There’s always next year.

WE CAN HELP

wecanhelp-fender-feb2017

The Fender Music Foundation works to make music more accessible to everyone by strengthening the state of music education. They provide instruments to music education programs across the country, including schools. 100% of each dollar donated gets instruments into school music classes, after school programs, and music therapy programs. You can help by purchasing memorabilia or by making a donation.

Soundtrack to this Issue

soundtrack-bobmarley-feb2017

Bob Marley’s One Love

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

One love, One heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (One Love)
Hear the children crying (One Heart)
Sayin’ give thanks and praise to the Lord
and I will feel all right
Sayin’ let’s get together and feel all right

 

Who rescued whom?

barkleyyp
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

TulipEars.b.hi-c
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Full moon pic: BG Boyd Photography
Dark Star lyrics: Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group
Paul and Ringo pic: Ringo Starr/Twitter/PA
Ringo’s quote: Rolling Stone, July 2016
One Love lyrics: Curtis Mayfield, Bob Markley ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Sep

SEPTEMBER REFLECTIONS

Komorebi isSunlightFilterLeaves.Sept2014.stouttraveladventure Japanese for “the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees” from Lost in Translation, a collection of words without English counterparts … NYC’s CultureAID will prepare arts organizations for another Hurricane Sandy-like emergency … A newly discovered extinct swamp animal is named Jagger’s Water Nymph because its mouth structure is “a highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips.” … San Francisco’s Spoke Art Gallery pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s Kubrick.TracieChing.Sept2014glorious films with eye-catching artworks … Metallica made the Guinness World Records as the first rock band to perform on all seven continents … To celebrate the NY Philharmonic’s Opening Night Gala, the Empire State Building again glowed red … Hakuna Matata! Broadway’s The Lion King has the most box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history … New jukebox musical, Piece of My Heart, tells the story of Bert Berns who wrote Twist and Shout, Hang On Sloopy, and oh yeah, Piece of My HeartNY Film Festival’s celebration of the wit, intelligence, and strong women characters of Joseph Mankiewicz’s films includes All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives … Opening night at the Met Opera saw the return of James Levine leading the orchestra in a spirited and updated Le Nozze di Figaro. Bravo, Maestro! … George Harrison’s The Apple Years 1968-75 box set of his first six albums, digitally remastered from analog masters. Also an all-star tribute concert George Fest benefits the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund … KeithRichards.GusBook.Sept2014Also new Beatles Mono Vinyl box set … lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Robert Plant’s 10th solo album inspired by blues, bluegrass, West African and world music, is “a kaleidoscope of sound, color, and friendship” … Introduced to music by granddad Theodore Augustus “Gus” Dupree, Keith Richards wrote Gus & Me, a children’s book with pen-and-ink illustrations by daughter Theodora … We lost Bob Crewe. You know his songs, the Four Seasons hits, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You … Also, Joe Sample, the Crusaders pianist, played funk, pop, dance, jazz, rock. “Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music. The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music?” So true … And Bruce Springsteen turns 65. Born to run and still driving, searchin’, boppin’, and making magic. Happy birthday, Boss.

CAN WE TALK?

Who JoanRivers.9.5.14.CherEltonPeeWeewere Joan Rivers’ first guests on her Late Show Starring Joan Rivers? Cher, Pee-Wee Herman, and Elton John. Cool? Very … “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” … Words to live by from a person who was always relevant, who always spoke the truth, and who was always funny. Amen.Joan+RUNDMC.Sept2014

As RUN-DMC’s agent, I booked them on the Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, where they performed Walk This Way in October 1986. And yes, Joan rapped with my guys: “Well, have you heard, I’m the first and number one, Not the best, not the worst, cause my name is Run, And I’m second cause I reckon that you want to see, An emcee like D inside the place to be, And have you heard he is third and his name is Jay.” And Joan raps: “I’m Mama Joan and I’m here to say, I got my own show and I’m here to stay!”

FUNNY + INFLUENTIAL = COSBY

“My father established our Cosby.Sept2014relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, ‘You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.’” … In Cosby: His Life and Times (Simon & Schuster, September 2014), Mark Whitaker, longtime Newsweek editor and TV news executive, reveals the man we all think we know. Still travelling to do shows more than 30 weeks each year, Bill Cosby is a celebrity without entourage who carries his own bags and says hello to everyone. Mark will make you believe that the man we invited into our homes every week, the man who made us laugh at our own foibles, this groundbreaking comedian, is the approachable man we thought he was. Thank you Mark.

WE CAN HELP

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund pSweetRelief.Sept2014rovides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Donations help pay for an artist’s medical expenses, housing, food, utilities, clothing, transportation, programs, and counseling.jmj-foundation.Sept2014

Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, RUN-DMC’s DJ, died October 30, 2002. The Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music provides funding and resources to support free public school music education programs. Donate to continue Jay’s legacy of creativity, positivity and community support.

Bruce.Magic.Sept2014

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen
From the album, Magic ©2007

C’mon, sing along:
I was driving through the misty rain
Searchin’ for a mystery train
Boppin’ through the wild blue
Tryin’ to make a connection with you

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Sun through leaves pic: Stout Travel Adventure
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World: By Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014)
Jagger’s Water Nymph quote: Journal of Paleontology (September 2014)
Kubrick pic: Tracie Ching
Robert Plant quote: from Amazon editorial review
Joe Sample quote: Los Angeles Times (1985)
RUN-DMC and Joan Rivers rap: Jam Master Jay: The Heart of Hip-Hop by David Thigpen
Cosby: His Life and Times: Simon & Schuster (September 2014)
Radio Nowhere lyrics: © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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