Friday, October 30, 2009

David Hull is on the road with Joe Perry

We've written extensively in the past few years about the rock 'n' roll star resurgence of Seventies hometown hero David Hull as he's filled in for the ailing bass player Tom Hamilton on various Aeorsmith tours. Now that injuries and other maladies have led to an Aerosmith hiatus, guitarist Joe Perry has resurrected his Joe Perry Project. David Hull was the bassist with the the Project the first time around in 1979.

See the tour schedule here.

Golf event honors Danny Gans

A week after what would have been Danny Gans' 53rd birthday, the philanthropy and charitable work of the late Las Vegas superstar will be live on and be celebrated over three days with a golf clinic, pro-am tournament poker tournament and silent auction.

The Danny Gans Partee for Kids benefits First Tee of Southern Nevada and the Danny Gans Junior Golf Academy, organizations that help kids throuh golf. The tradition was begun fifteen years ago by Danny Gans and this year's event will be a memorial in his honor.

Strip headliner Rita Rudner will host.

Schedule of Events
Saturday, October 31st
2:00pm- 500pm
Wildhorse Golf Club
Danny Gans' Partee Fore Kids Jr. Clinic

Sunday, November 1st
3:00pm - 6:00pm
The Mirage Hotel and Casino
Celebrity Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament

Monday, November 2nd
DragonRidge Country Club
Celebrity Pro-Am Registration and Breakfast
Shotgun Start

Danny Gans' Partee
(at conclusion of play)
Dinner Award Ceremony - Silent Auction

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No Steve Friess show for Danny Gans birthday

Las Vegas superstar Danny Gans' birthday went unmentioned in Las Vegas over the weekend. The musicial impressionist who died May 1st from an overdose of Dilaudid would have been 53 years old. Gans' spirit did hang over the city on Saturday, October 25th. As we'd reported, the coauthor of Gans' autobiography conducted his first official book signing at a Las Vegas shopping mall, and tickets went on sale for Garth Brooks' stand at Gans' theatre at the Wynn on the Strip.

The birthday was not noted or celebrated by Las Vegas blogger, New York Times stringer, Gay Vegas author and comp queen Steve Friess, who had used Michael Jackson's first post-mortem birthday as the excuse to produce the “Michael Jackson’s Untimely Death Was The Best Thing That Could Ever Have Happened to Michael Jackson’s Music Show” at the Palms.

Friess, whose website features a misleading photo of him hoisting female sex star Holly Madison in a Honeymoon-in-Vegas pose, later published a tortured explanation of his conflict of interest-- he was covering the Jackson death investigation for The Times. His producing partner and star of the show was fired from the Strip prodution of Jersey Boys.

Gans' life, philanthropy and memory was celebrated at a charity road race earlier this month.

We are still waiting for our copy of the Gans book, The Voice in My Head from Amazon.com, which is posting a three-to-five-week delay in orders. The book is published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which consequently laid low on Gans death coverage.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Could breast implants have saved Billie Holiday?

True, they may be a pair of Spaldeens glued to a fishstick, but a couple of fake new breasts seem to have helped Amy Winehouse find her way back, if unsteadily, from what seemed to be certain destruction...

John Cleese! Seventy today!

An eventful year for comedy genius John Cleese (right) has gotten even more lively as he turns seventy years old today. Cleese is also marking the fortieth anniversary of Monty Python's Flying Circus, featured in a monster documentary package, performing his solo show "divorce tour" and awaiting the release of The Seventh Python, the Neil Innes biopic from our pals at Frozen Pictures, in which he plays a starring role.

We are particularly glad he did not follow through on his recent Twitter suggestion:

Happy birthday to John Cleese-- and bookmark his Cleeseblog!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day Two: LA Times website now displays several photos of an accurately middle-aged Roman Polanski for feature on his rape of a 13-year-old girl

It took a day, but as a result of our insistence, editors at the Los Angeles Times have presented an accurate visual presentation of Roman Polanski in its website promotion of a feature story that recounts the sordid, explicit details of his 13-year-old rape victim's grand jury testimony.

Tabloid Baby was the first to direct readers to the girl's graphic grand jury testimony, on the day Polanski was arrested in Switzerland, 32 years after he fled the United States to escape sentencing. Close to a month later, the LA Times ran the story on its website and as a front page come-on in its Weekend print edition, and featured a photo of a baby-faced Polanski, a dozen years younger than he was when he admittedly anally raped the child. The photo selection and juxtaposition did make it appear as if the age difference between predator and victim was not so great (it was 30 years), and subtly lessen the impact of Polanski's crime. The paper replaced the misleading photo late yesterday, after our staff reached out to the reporter.



This morning, the website has gone overboard, with several photos of an adult Polanski-- and without the additional photo of the smiling young victim.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Update: LA Times website replaces photo of youthful Roman Polanski in promotion of article about his rape of 13-year-old girl when he was 43

Although Polanski was 43 when he was arrested for the anal rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977, the paper's website used a detail of a photo of the fresh-faced 32-year-old Polanski with Jill St. John at the New York premiere of Bunny Lake is Missing in 1965.

The site added insult to the girl's injury when it juxtaposed the young Polanski with a photo of the smiling victim.

Why the paper chose to promote a front-page Sunday feature about a 43-year-old's rape of a 13-year-old with a shot that makes the admitted perpetrator seem like "a kid" was also a mystery to the article's writer, who emailed us to say:

"Not sure exactly. Good point though. The one they had up earlier was when he was 43, as will be the one in the paper."

Sometime after our exchange, the Times website switched to a photo taken in October 1979, after Polanski had fled sentencing for the sex assault:

In a photo gallery added to the online feature, it's revealed that the repalcement headshot is a detail of Polanski with 18-year-old Nastassja Kinski, star of his film Tess (in his autobiography, Polanski admitted engaging in intercourse with Kinski when she was 15):

The Sunday print preview edition of the Times features a large version of this photo from the 1977 legal proceedings:

Why did the LA Times choose a photo of a young, boyish Roman Polanski for its late and lurid feature on his child rape case?

Los Angeles Times photo

The day Roman Polanski was picked up in Switzerland on a fugitive warrant issued in 1978 after his guilty plea in a child rape case, we led our readers immediately to transcripts of the 13-year-old victim's testimony about her ordeal with the 43-year-old celebrity director that included drugging her with Champagne and Quaaludes, oral copulation and anal sodomization.

So it's interesting that this morning, close to a month after Polanski's September 27th arrest and weeks after the expected Hollywood brouhaha of support has died down in wake of the stark details of the young girl's words, that the Los Angeles Times chooses to run a lurid recreation of the testimony under the guise of it being somehow "lost in the spectacle."

What's more interesting is the Times website editors' apparent decision to lesson the blow to Polanski and his high-profile Hollywood supporters by using a photo of the criminal apparently taken when he was in his baby-faced early twenties, before he let his hair grow out int he style of the day-- a stylistic move the took at least a decade before he, at age 43, admittedly preyed upon a 13-year-old child.

It appears to be a subtle and subliminal flourish. In the Los Angeles Times photo chosen to represent today's extended story, Polanski looks like a boy. When he ran away, he was a man.

Roman Polanski 1977-1978

Friday, October 23, 2009


Pachalafaka, pachalafaka
they whisper it all over Turkey
pachalafaka, pachalafaka
it sounds so romantic and perky
oh I know that phrase
will make me thrill always
for it reminds me of you, my sweet
just the mention of
that tender word of love
gives my heart a jerkish Turkish beat

I won't say c'est bon
or l'amour toujours
for they can't express what I'm feeling
even maresydoats or
other foreign quotes
don't seem to be quite so appealing
but pachalafaka! pachalafaka!
takes me back with you to passionate desert scenes
and it's there we'll stay
till the very day
we find out what pachalafaka means
we find out what pachalafaka means!

What starts with 'f' and ends with 'u-c-k'?

For a kid growing up in the Sixties, Soupy Sales was a daily bad influence, a kiddie show host who offered an afternoon class in anarchy, rebelliousness and wild, grown-up comedy that, like the music of Vic Mizzy, had a lasting effect. Soupy actually was suspended-- jailed, we thought-- for instructing us mail him those dirty green pieces of paper with the pictures of the men we'd find in out parents' wallets and purses. His daily Soupy Sez nuggets of wisdom did tell us that it's always greener in the other guy's wallet, and we still know the lyrics to Pachalafaka, but someone's got to tell us if he really did, as we've always remembered, teach us this joke:

"What word starts with an 'f' and ends with a 'u-c-k'?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Somebody save Lindsay Lohan

With all his media interactions, eagerness and ability to get into the headlines with a soundbite or a quote, Tabloid Baby pal Michael Lohan has found himself in the position of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. His real concern over the health of his daughter Lindsay is being written off as the latest outburst of a publicity whore, when in fact Michael Lohan is right, the worries are real, young Lindsay's obsession with Marilyn Monroe is a lot more dangerous she and her people would have us think, and if her father isn't allowed to, someone should before she joins her friends Heath Ledger and Adam Goldstein.

Put it this way: This is the face of a 23-year-old.

This week... and 2004

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hudsons and pals recall Laurel Canyon days

Brett and Mark Hudson are captured in the spotlight on LA's Laurel Canyon and its importance to musical culture over the past fifty years. The classic photo of two-thirds of The Hudson Brothers with their producer Bernie Taupin, his songwriting partner Elton John-- and friends-- is one of many highlights in A big heavy new photo-filled book called Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and Music of Laurel Canyon, which takes the Laurel Canyon saga before and beyond the Byrds to Zappa to CSN heyday that's been written up in recent years. The photo was taken at Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco club on the Sunset Strip during The Hudson Brothers' Seventies prime, and also showed up in the Rodney doco, The Mayor of The Sunset Strip.

We're just digging into the new book by Harvey Kubernik and all the pictures we've never seen (Like the one above, We know the shot of David Crosby, Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton in Mama Cass's yard, but not the wider angle showing Micky Dolenz filming the scene).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Green Acres forever

Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.

...The chores.
...The stores.
...Fresh air.
...Times Square

You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.

"Green Acres" by Vic Mizzy

He wrote the greatest TV themes of all time

Vic Mizzy has died at home in Bel Air at 93. Amid the glut of celebrity and pop culture deaths in 2009, we've of late been relegating notable passings to our Death of The Day section at the right of the page, but Vic Mizzy deserves special mention.

He wrote the theme songs to Green Acres and The Addams Family.

The LA Times:

"Then came an offbeat assignment: 'The Addams Family,' the 1964-66 TV series based on Charles Addams' macabre magazine cartoons and starring John Astin as Gomez Addams and Carolyn Jones as his wife, Morticia. For his theme song, Mizzy played a harpsichord, which gives the theme its unique flavor. And because the production company, Filmways, refused to pay for singers, Mizzy sang it himself and overdubbed it three times. The song, memorably punctuated by finger-snapping, begins with: 'They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky: the Addams family.'

"In the 1996 book 'TV's Biggest Hits: The Story of Television Themes From Dragnet to Friends,' author Jon Burlingame writes that Mizzy's 'musical conception was so specific that he became deeply involved with the filming of the main-title sequence, which involved all seven actors snapping their fingers in carefully timed rhythm to Mizzy's music.'

"For Mizzy, who owned the publishing rights to The Addams Family theme, it was an easy payday.

"'I sat down; I went "buh-buh-buh-bump [snap-snap], buh-buh-buh-bump," he recalled in a 2008 interview on CBS' Sunday Morning show. 'That's why I'm living in Bel-Air: Two finger snaps and you live in Bel-Air.'

"The season after The Addams Family made its debut, Mizzy composed the title song for Green Acres, the 1965-71 rural comedy starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor.

"For Green Acres, Burlingame observed in his book, Mizzy 'again conceived the title song as intertwined with the visuals' of the show's title sequence and telling the story of wealthy Oliver and Lisa Douglas moving from New York to a farm in the country."

Both tunes are brilliant work of hipster pop, still memorable and singable today, and as influential to and ingrained in a generation as any rock'n'roll of the Sixties.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Disneyland has its first black princess

Disneyland has its first black princess.

Posters are up and products are on sale at the park, promoting the animated feature, The Princess and The Frog, and the character Princess Tiana.

Tiana will be the ninth of Disney princess characters, which have rung up $3 billion in retail sales since 1999. Disney introduced the Middle Eastern Jasmine, its first non-white animated heroine in 1992's Aladdin: a Middle Eastern character named Jasmine. Three years later an American Indian princess appeared in Pocahontas.

The Broadway musical-style film is set in New Orleans uring rhe Jazz Age. It opens in New York and Los Angeles November 25th and goes into wide release December 11th. Disneyland opened in 1955. The Walt Disney Company announced it had begun work on an animated featuring its first black princess on March 12, 2007. Barack Obama had announced his candidacy for President on February 10th.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lenny Bruce memorabilia up for bid

Rare Lenny Bruce memorabilia will be going up for auction October 28th at the Laugh Factory on The Sunset Strip.

More than 25 items from the late, legendary comedian's estate will be sold by his daughter Kitty Bruce to benefit Lenny's House, a non-profit recovery house for women healing from drug and alcohol addictions, named in Bruce's memory. The items include Bruce family photos, personal letters, a typewriter from his early years, his bedroom set and one of his trademark trench coats, which he became famous for being arrested in.

The auction will follow an all-star benefit show featuring Richard Lewis, Paul Mooney, (Cloud 9 star) Rick Overton, Paul Provenza and Bobby Slayton. It begins Wednesday, October 28th at 10 pm.

The event takes place one year to the day after The Laugh Factory was the stage for the second public performance of Eric Cohen's play, The New 30, produced by our pals at Frozen Pictures.

Bruce was found dead of a drug overdose on August 3rd, 1966, in the bathroom of his home on North Hollywood Boulevard, a two-minute drive from the Laugh Factory.

The Essential Lenny Bruce, a collection of Bruce material, has been named as one of Tabloid Baby's most influential books.

Find auction details at the Lenny Bruce website. For reservations, call The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood at 323.656.1336.

Lenny's House is overseen by The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation a 501C3 organization.