Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Darlene Love Got Her Career Back

Every Christmas we get to hear that wonderful tune by Darlene Love 'Christmas Baby Please Come Home' over-produced by crazy Phil Spector and included on his obscure 60s Holiday Album that was re-released to great reception around 1981.

That same year my friend Jay Lamey and someone he knew decided they wanted to track down Ms. Love and see if she would do a nightclub gig, one night, that would be professionally videotaped. It became my job to talk her into it, she had been reluctant to do it having been screwed over so many times. Jay knew I was a smooth talker and professional in my manner as opposed to their musician friends so he suggested Darlene call me. I was working in a 3 person shop, typesetter, artist (me), and secretary. I knew Darlene was going to ring me that day, I just hoped she wouldn't while the secretary was out to lunch. Of course she did. I had to explain why, if I'm such a successful music producer as Jay built me up to be, was I answering the phone.

We had a nice conversation, she was a bit leery but ultimately agreed to do it. She expressed a strong desire that this would lead to something, she was sick of touring as a backup singer for Dionne Warwick, I got the feeling she didn't like Warwick at all. I'd heard she had been working as a maid but I don't know that for a fact.

The night came, it was a club somewhere around Santa Monica or Venice, we were sitting at round tables near the stage, she was phenomenal. We were cheering when she broke into 'He's a Rebel.' This may have been her first performance since the 1960s. And it was all captured on film. Not long after she started to see her star rise again, more local club gigs like The Roxy, starring on Broadway, the Lethal Weapon movies, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I never did know what happened to the video of that night. You're welcome Darlene Love for the career save...

This clip is from a few years later - Darlene is wearing the same jacket I wore to a party yesterday. From Black Salad on Melrose.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Book About the Superstars of Classic Pro Wrestling

John Hitchcock's big book of grappling superstars is now available - just in time for Christmas. For folks who loved classic wrestling as presented and telecast on the east coast with the superstars that made the sport great. Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Dusty Rhodes, Johnny Valentine, Killer Buddy, Rip Hawk, so many more.

Tons of pictures...  Sample it here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Co-Creator of the Rudolph TV Special Has Died

He made magic with fragile paper puppets, creating one of the most enduring Christmas traditions of all time. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer co-creator Arthur Rankin, Jr. has died at age 89. The Hollywood Reporter obit.

Here's the behind the scenes story of the making of the Rudolph TV special, much of it will surprise you! It's written by Rick Goldschmidt the leading Rankin/Bass expert.

Torture & Murder of the East Coast Rave King

Six months ago I began my investigation into the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of Ed LeBrun, the leading east coast rave producer in the 1990s. I decided to take as long as necessary to uncover what the facts were, as much as anyone can for an event that happened 15 years ago this summer. It's something I wanted very much to get right, there were so many misconceptions out there.

I didn't take a great deal of pleasure in telling this story, nothing 'Feel Good' about it - no winners here. I had extensive correspondence with Zachary Grimes who is in the middle of a 30 year sentence for the crime and spoke with people who were close to Ed. This is a two-part feature to be continued next week.

I didn't know Ed personally but an awful lot of my friends did, I hope I did him justice without sugar coating anything.

Read the story here...