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Monthly Archives: July 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Mister D: My condolences to U2 and Bono for what was done to their song, but it’s hilarious.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
YO! MTV’s 25 From the original VJs to freaky Jesse Camp, from the early ‘Real World’ shows to ‘TRL,’ our music critic’s 25 reasons why MTV matters. Even if you can’t find any music videos anymore. By LESLIE GRAY STREETER Palm Beach Post Music Writer Sunday, July 30, 2006 Twenty-five years ago, the Buggles catchily and prophetically heralded the advent of a quirky little cable channel featuring nothing but music. Whether video killed the radio star is up for debate, but the art form, and MTV, certainly changed the way that radio star looked and performed when it debuted Aug. 1, 1981. Indeed, I’ve always credited Music Television with the eradication of funny-looking pop stars, much like televised presidential debates made politicians want to be prettier. Alas, MTV is not the same proudly scruffy upstart of a quarter-century ago â€” for one thing, it hardly plays videos anymore (they’ve been largely shuttled to sister channels MTV2 or VH1). And several of its original shows are more concerned with the shenanigans of the young and the hooking up than with music. Still, I come not to dump on MTV but to praise it for its unmistakable place in American pop culture, and for the reasons that I have, and still do, want my MTV. 1. The five original VJs: Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and the late J.J. Jackson were an intriguing collection of actors, veteran DJs and one cute-as-a-button lass with nearly no on-camera experience. Together, they were a fun, accessible (read: not model-perfect) conduit into the brave new world of MTV. I miss them. 2. ‘Remote Control’: Nothing with production values like this 1987-1990 show would ever get on the air now, but MTV’s first game show took place in a fake basement with a Bob Eubanks-obsessed host (Ken Ober), a goofy sidekick (Colin Quinn) and leather recliners that pulled contestants through a wall when eliminated. Its brilliance was in its cheesiness. 3. The first three seasons of ‘The Real World’: Back before the show became a clearinghouse of nearly indistinguishable college types (Drunk Girl, Drunker Guy, Well-Adjusted Girl With No Airtime), The Real World was an often shocking, often touching, social experiment about strangers who stopped being polite and started being real. And not just when they were hooking up with each other. 4. ‘Total Request Live’: Sort of a new-fangled American Bandstand, the show counts down the day’s most requested videos, features a glut of celebrity appearances (Tom Cruise, Will Smith, a cuckoo-bananas Mariah Carey in Daisy Dukes and an ice cream cart) and a mess of screaming children. Democracy, MTV style. 5. ‘Pimp My Ride’: Not a music show, but MTV’s weirdly sweet answer to the home redecoration show is hosted by a rapper (Xzibit), always features a bumpin’ sound system, and has solidly subversive sensibilities (Let’s take your pitiful junker and make it better by making it tacky!) Yay! 6. Pedro Zamora: The presence of the openly gay Real World San Francisco housemate opened a national dialogue about HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and handling your life and impending death with dignity. The Real World would later lose Dignity’s phone number and never tell her where the set was. 7. MTV Christmas videos: In the early days, the MTV staff would make goofy holiday videos basically waving at the camera and watching a rock star sing a Yuletide tune on the set. The best â€” Billy Squier’s Christmas is a Time to Say I Love You. 8. ‘Making The Band’: From O-Town to the current Danity Kane, the hopeful musical starlings confront competition, rejection and, in the case of Da Band’s Babs, the tragedy of not having your fake hair delivered to you. 9. The Live-Aid broadcast, 1985: The complete opposite of the misguided Live 8 broadcast last year, where the ninny VJs cut into once-in-a-life-time performances (Hello? Pink Floyd?), Live-Aid was a daylong international marathon of musical styles, personalities and compassion. Plus: Phil Collins on two continents? Score! 10. “Wubba Wubba Wubba”: We don’t know what the heck Downtown Julie Brown was talking about. But it seemed clever at the time. 11. ‘Next!’: Train-wreck TV at its finest, young hotties diss and date for not much cash and the prize of making out with someone almost as self-absorbed as themselves. Yet . . . I can not turn away! 12. Jesse Camp: Speaking of train wrecks, the bizarrely incoherent winner of the first I Wanna Be A VJ contest was proof that sometimes the weirdest stuff is the kind you don’t have to make up. 13. The discovery of Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Electra and Bill Bellamy: The first two were MTV game-show hostesses, the latter a VJ. None have set the world on fire creatively, but the fact that they continue to work proves the power of the network to launch stars. 14. ‘Yo! MTV Raps’: The network’s acknowledgement that hip-hop did exist, after years of shockingly lily-white programming. Ed Lover, we salute you.
15. The first ‘Video Music Awards,’ 1984: Can you imagine a time when MTV would let two stars in their 30s (Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd) host its premier event? Wouldn’t happen now. But it was cool then. ...
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Bette Midler Co-Writer, Friend, Carole Bayer Sager, Signs To Exclusive Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group
Mister D: Some of the songs Bette co-wrote with Ms. Sager, that you might recognize, are “You’re Moving Out Today,” “Steal Away Again,” “Blueberry Pie.” For other songs Bette has written, please Click Here. Bette also covered a song Ms. Sager wrote with Carole King entitled, “My One True Friend,” the theme from the Meryl Streep film, “One True Thing.” A little bit of trivia…Bette’s husband, Martin, directed the video. Carole put out 3 albums/CD’s, but the one everyone should check out is her first one: Click Here One of my all time favorites. Universal Music Publishing Group Signs Legendary Songwriters Hall of Fame, Academy Award, GRAMMY, Golden Globe, Tony Award Winning Composer Carole Bayer Sager to an Exclusive, Worldwide Administration Agreement, Tuesday July 25, 8:00 am ET LOS ANGELES, July 25 /PRNewswire/ — Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) announced today the signing of legendary, Academy Award winning composer, Carole Bayer Sager, to an exclusive, worldwide administration agreement. Sager was previously signed to Warner Chappell. Carole Bayer Sager has enjoyed one of the longest hit streaks in contemporary pop, with her chart success spanning across several decades. Carole Bayer Sager’s lyrics can be found in scores of the most popular and successful songs for more than 25 years. From the universal lyrics of the Grammy winning, “That’s What Friends Are For,” the personal message of “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” the fun Academy Awarding-winning, “Arthur’s Theme,” to the emotional message of “On My Own” and the spiritual message of the Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated song “The Prayer,” Carole’s lyrics have become part of the American vocabulary and her songs have become standards. Honors for her work include an Academy Award (seven nominations), A Grammy (nine nominations), two Golden Globe Awards (seven nominations), A Tony award (2 nominations), an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Houston Foundation, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. David Renzer, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group said of the signing, “Carole Bayer Sager is one of the true modern legends of the songwriting community. We at UMPG are deeply honored to have entered into this new deal and are already enjoying working closely with Carole as she continues to write more amazing songs and future hits.” Born in New York City, Carole began writing poems as a child and began songwriting while still a student at the High School of Music and Art. In 1966, still in her teens, Carole co-wrote her first No.1 hit, “A Groovy Kind of Love,” for the English group The Mindbenders, popularizing a new word in the process. This song which Phil Collins reintroduced to listeners 23 years later, again climbed to No. 1, this time becoming the most performed radio hit of 1990. Neil Diamond also included it on his 1993 album, “Up On The Roof.” “That’s What Friends Are For” recorded by Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight, co-written with Burt Bacharach, Carole’s former writing partner/husband, was the No. 1 song of 1986 and won the Grammy Award for “Song of the Year.” Carole and Burt donated their publishing moneys from the song to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The song has continued to heighten awareness of this critical disease as well as raising over two million dollars for research and care. That same year, “On My Own,” (recorded by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald) was not only a Grammy nominee, but also the No. 1 song on three different Billboard chart lists simultaneously. There had never been a time when two songwriter-producers topped two lists with two different No. 1 songs in the same year. Carole and Burt shattered that mark and more. “That’s What Friends Are For,” and “On My Own” topped three lists. Ten years later in 1996 “On My Own” topped the country charts when Reba McEntire with Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and Linda Davis re-recorded it and received a Grammy nomination for best Country Collaborations With Vocals. Bayer Sager has always credited Carole King with having a major impact on her career and was thrilled to have recently worked with her. King performed “Anyone At All,” co-written with King for the Nora Ephrom film “You’ve Got Mail.” The three also collaborated on “My One True Friend” performed by Bette Midler for Universal’s film “One True Thing” with Meryl Streep. Most importantly to Bayer Sager, she has gotten the opportunity to co-write along with King for King’s long-awaited forthcoming LP. Her collaborations with Marvin Hamlisch resulted in two Oscar nominations, “Looking Through The Eyes Of Love” from “Ice Castles” and “Nobody Does It Better” from “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Lyrics which Carole co-wrote with Hamlisch and Neil Simon can be heard in the Tony Award winning musical, “They’re Playing Our Song.” She also wrote songs for Bob Fosses’ Broadway musicals, “All That Jazz” and “Dancin.” Her creative songwriting collaborations in 1994 and 1995 earned her back to back Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for “Look What Love Has Done” from the feature film, “Junior and “The Day I Fall In Love” from the film “Beethoven.” Two of her songs were nominated for Grammy’s in 1996 — “When You Love Someone” recorded by James Ingram and Anita Baker and previously mentioned, “On My Own.” Other Bayer Sager collaborators have included Albert Hammond, Bette Midler, James Ingram, Neil Diamond, Dave Stewart, The M&M Girls, Rodney Jerkins and The Corrs’ latest LP, Talk Around Corners, which has sold over four million copies. Most recently, Carole’s efforts have resulted in an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli’s duet of “The Prayer” co-written with David Foster for the Warner Bros. Motion picture, “The Quest For Camelot.” “The Prayer” duet with Andrea Bocelli is featured on Celine Dion’s new Sony LP, These are Special Times and was performed by them on Celine’s CBS holiday TV special, the 41st Annual Grammy Awards and the 67th Annual Academy Awards. Carole’s songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Barbara Streisand, The Doobie Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Robert Flack, Peabo Bryson, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Carly Simon, Leo Sayer, Dionne Warwick, Phil Collins and even Carole herself. Her first album, “Carole Bayer Sager,” spawned a No. 1 international single “You’re Moving Out Today” and was a platinum LP in England, Germany, Japan and Australia. Two more albums followed with another hit single, “Stronger Than Before” from the Burt Bacharach produced album, “Sometimes Late At Night.” About Universal Music Publishing Group With 47 offices in 41 countries worldwide, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is part of the Universal Music Group and one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations. Owning or administering more than 1 million copyrights, UMPG’s writers and catalogs include: U2, Elton John, 50 Cent, Dave Grohl, Prince, Diana Krall, Ludacris, Godsmack, Ice Cube, Vanessa Carlton, Mary J. Blige, The Corrs, Eve, Musiq, Jill Scott, Brian McKnight, No Doubt, Blink-182, 3 Doors Down, Beastie Boys, Anastacia, Fatboy Slim, DMX, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Paul Simon, the catalog of Henry Mancini, among many others. For more information, visit: www.umusicpub.com.
As Karaoke Takes Over China, The Ministry of Culture Wants to Censor What You Can Belt Out In Public!- Please No Celine Dion Impersonators!
Morning File: The siren’s call of karaoke Tuesday, July 25, 2006 By Peter Leo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Matt Freed, Post-Gazette Karaoke in China: I did it Mao’s way Censors in China, who have to be the most overworked people in the world, are turning their attention to the nation’s wildly popular karaoke parlors. The Ministry of Culture wants to prevent “unhealthy” songs from being belted out in public, the state-run Beijing News reported last week. It didn’t specify which songs, but The Los Angeles Times pointed out that a “Top 10 Unclean Song Contest” held by Heaven and Earth People magazine (real title) provides clues. Two sizzling examples: “Boat Tracker’s Love,” which flaunts such racy lines as, “I can’t wait for the sun to set so you can kiss me as much as you want to,” and “Office,” with this steamy example of erotic lyricism: “We spend a lot of nights together as you cheat on your husband by telling him you’re working overtime.” The search for meaning Karaoke is a Japanese word translated variously as “drunken humiliation,” “tone deaf” or “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Actually, it means “empty orchestra,” and for those of you who are out of it, it’s a recorded song with no vocals that allows you to grab a mic and be Sinatra or Cher with professional accompaniment. Lyrics are displayed on a video, sometimes with color changes synchronized with the music. If you have on-demand cable TV, you can try karaoke in the privacy of your own home, thus extending your musical reach beyond the shower. How it all began Karaoke started in Japan in 1971 when the light bulb went off for Daisuke Inoue. He was a musically limited drummer with a rare gift for playing for tone-deaf customers, helping them sing along with slow tempos and simplified tunes. One day a regular asked him to make an instrumental tape for use on a company excursion. Soon after, Daisuke bundled together small amplifiers and car stereos, music tapes, a microphone and coin box. The result was the world’s first karaoke machine. In 2004 he was awarded the tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobel Peace Prize for inventing karaoke, “thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.” That was a come-down from being named one of Time magazine’s 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century — along with Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Mao Zedong. Singing inside the box Karaoke spread rapidly to other parts of the world, arriving on our shores in the 1980s. The usual venue is a bar, which affords the opportunity to make a fool of yourself before strangers. But in the mid-80s, the Japanese pioneered box or private-room karaoke — venues where you can rent your own space, so you can embarrass yourself before 20 or fewer people you know. A big karaoke-box building in Tokyo was featured in the movie “Lost in Translation.” Banned in San Mateo Since karaoke boxes are closed-door facilities, they’ve been objects of concern as potential havens for dirty doings and wild teen behavior. Authorities in Asia are increasingly scrutinizing karaoke, not just for sexy songs but also for illegal drugs and prostitution. Two years ago, after private-room karaoke arrived in California, San Mateo banned it because of alcohol violations, prostitution and shootings. But city officials in the Silicon Valley town changed their tune after complaints that the ban was insensitive to a popular Asian cultural institution in a county where one in four residents is of Asian descent. The town stipulated that the rooms include windows, bright lighting and doors that do not lock. Regrets he’s had a few In May, Englishman Michael Kelly, 30, was about to take the mic at a social club in Newcastle upon Tyne when the police roared in and hauled him off. A pre-emptive strike on a lousy singer? Not exactly. Kelly was on the lam after a jail escape, but the pull of karaoke night was just too strong, The Sun (England) reported. One member of the audience joked: “We wish the police had arrested some of the other singers because they were so bad.” Kelly’s choice of song: Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Everyone’s a critic More evidence from England that karaoke can be dangerous: Stephen Chatterley, 50, was gearing up for an evening of crooning at the Plough in Ormskirk one recent night when a man took exception to his opening number, a rendition of Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything.” So he dragged poor Stephen outside and knocked him unconscious. “I was singing and he just started taking the mic,” Mr. Chatterley said. “The next thing I remember is Southport hospital.” He was treated for cuts and bruises. “I’ve got a thick neck so when he kicked me in the head it wasn’t as bad as it might have been,” he told The Liverpool Daily Echo. “What harm was I doing? Even if I was a bad singer, I cannot believe anyone would leave me for dead in an alleyway.” Sock it to me Last year the Opinion Research Corp. conducted a national poll to determine the most popular karaoke songs. Among the winners: Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”, Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” and Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.” No. 1: Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” The most overdone karaoke songs From AustinSings.com, “The Central Texas Karaoke Connection!” “American Pie,” Don McLean. People hate it when you take a classic and butcher it. It’s way too long for karaoke. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen. It took Freddie Mercury months to perfect this. And you want to try it in one night? “Crazy,” Patsy Cline. Great song. Folks have just heard it so much. “The Dance,” Garth Brooks. Only one man should be allowed to sing this. “Delta Dawn,” Tanya Tucker. Why do you torture us? “I Got You Babe,” Sonny & Cher. Hasn’t this song been done to death? “My Ding-a-Ling,” Chuck Berry. Chuck wrote many great songs. This isn’t one of them. “The Rose,” Bette Midler. No explanation needed. The siren song of karaoke Scott C. on MontrealMirror.com: “I think it’s fair to say that most of us have sung in the shower at one point or another, completely oblivious to the fact that the neighbors were howling with laughter. Karaoke is not so different. You get up on stage without an ounce of talent, feeling quite naked except for your microphone, and belt out a heartfelt interpretation of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” You would hear all the catcalls and snickering, but you’re too busy trying to nail the emotional nuance of the song. The fact that you can’t sing at all is just as important as it is inconsequential. That’s the beauty of karaoke. “Even with all the fluff and cheese usually associated with karaoke culture, it is a phenomenon that has the ability to dissolve the inhibitions of the worst singer and make them a star, even if it’s only for a moment. Pick up the mic, you’ll see what I mean.”
Monday, July 24, 2006
indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Aaron Russo, director of “America: Freedom to Fascism” by Jonny Leahan (July 24, 2006) Director Aaron Russo’s doc “America: Freedom to Fascism” takes on the IRS, the Federal Reserve and other organizations that the film claims “have abridged the freedoms of Americans via money creation, voter fraud, the national identity card (which becomes law in May, 2008).” Through interviews, the film connects the dots on an alleged systematic erosion of civil liberties in America. Russo is probably best known for serving as producer fore the 1979 film, “The Rose,” directed by Mark Rydell and starring Bette Midler. In this short correspondence with iW, Russo touches on a “rumor” that eventually prompted him to make this film. Cinema Libre will open the doc in limited release beginning Friday, July 28th. Where did you grow up and where do you currently live? 63 years-old. Making movies, was a manager [and was born in] Brooklyn, New York. I grew up on Long Island in Lawrence [and now live in] Los Angeles and Las Vegas. What were the circumstances that lead you to become a filmmaker? I wanted to build a career for Bette Midler and get her into movies. What other creative outlets have you explored? I was Bette Midler’s manager. I was running a nightclub and managed people and put on big shows. Did you go to film school? No. I learned filmmaking by making “The Rose.” The critical part of filmmaking is the ability to develop screenplays. It is ultimately all about the screenplay. Learning how to develop material is critical… weaving together character, story so they make sense. Where did the initial idea for your film come from? From me. For years I heard there was no law that requires Americans to pay income tax. I thought it was an interesting rumor and where there is smoke there’s fire. I wanted to find out for certain since I’ve been hearing about it for so long and I knew the IRS would not answer the question.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in either developing the project or making and securing distribution for the movie? ...
Friday, July 21, 2006
Show: Late Night with Conan O’Brien Episode: 2006/02/02 Network: (NBC) NBC Television Network Date: Tuesday – August 1, 2006 Time: 12:35/11:35c AM Duration: 1:00 Originally aired: 2006/02/02 Bette Midler, David Gregory (NBC News’ Chief White House Correspondent), musical guest Bette Midler.
Mister D: A friend of mine, Gina “G-Gurl” sent this inspirational story to me this morning, so I decided to post it. Of course, most of you know, I never answer or pass along stuff like this. However, since I thought it applied to ME…well, then it’s important! 🙂 On the serious side, I do like the message. It applies to everyone of every age with a dream. If you don’t have one, look deep inside yourself..the dream is there. The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze. “Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked. She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…” “No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. “I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.” As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.” She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be. When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE. “Good friends are like stars………You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.”
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
USA Today Hollywood’s A-List delivers for New York Democrat Posted 7/19/2006 8:18 PM ET WASHINGTON (AP) â€” If Hollywood has a Da Vinci Code, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has cracked it. Top stars such as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson donated to the New York senator in recent months, generating the kind of cash usually associated with a major box office opening â€” or a potential presidential bid in 2008. Clinton, who doesn’t face much of a challenge in her re-election, received $4,200 from The Da Vinci Code star Hanks, the Academy Award-winning actor, and his wife, Rita Wilson. The itemized donations were made public Wednesday, with the paperwork for April through June more than 4,000 pages. In that period, Clinton raised almost $5.7 million, bringing her total for her re-election effort to $43 million to date. She had more than $22 million cash on hand. That’s more than Owen Wilson’s new film You, Me, and Dupree made in its opening weekend. Wilson gave Clinton $2,100. Another contributor was Chris Rock, one of many comedians who made bawdy jokes at the Clintons’ expense after the investigation into Bill Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Rock gave the senator $2,100. Singer Bette Midler gave the maximum allowed by law, $4,200, as did actor James Caan. Other donors included Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples, who gave $2,000, and director Rob Reiner, who gave $3,200. Billy Crystal donated $4,000, and Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger gave $2,100. The senator’s star-studded donor list even included some famous sports names. Baseball’s home run king Hank Aaron donated $300, New York Knicks assistant coach Herb Williams gave $1,000 and retired New York Rangers goaltender Mike Richter gave $4,200, as did Richter’s wife. So what did Clinton spend her millions on? In this election cycle, the senator has spent more than $21.7 million even though she has yet to run a single television ad. Her two woefully underfunded would-be GOP opponents have spent more time trashing each other. Clinton has spent millions on direct mailings to prospective donors. In the most recent three-month period, she spent more than $200,000 on postage alone. The campaign paid nearly $650,000 to a company that handles direct mail business. The records also provided a tantalizing clue for would-be Clinton sleuths that she’s serious about a White House run: two bills for unidentified campaign worker travel at the Hampton Inn in Des Moines, the state with the first caucus in the presidential nomination process. One bill for $182.25, was dated April 17; a second, for $145.77, was dated April 26. Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said the receipts were nothing more than a clerical error, and that the amounts reflected hotel bills for trips to Albany, N.Y., and Austin, Texas. He said the paperwork would be corrected.
Mister D: These are just previews…to see the full length videos, I believe you will have to log in here first…I will try to get the full length version up soon: www.veoh.com And this is fun – Dolly and Smokey Robinson singing “I Know You By Heart.” Supposedly Dolly recorded it first and then later Bette recorded it for “Beaches.”
Monday, July 17, 2006
Rocky Mountain News Band of brothers By Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News July 17, 2006 When Neil Young played his new album, Living With War, for his former band mates in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, they were floored. Its Iraq-inspired songs ranged from heartfelt tributes to veterans to a flat-out call for the president’s impeachment. “He called me and (David) Crosby to a hotel he was staying at in Los Angeles. We got in his car and went driving through the canyons blasting the record,” Graham Nash says. “The first thing that I thought was that it was incredibly brave. The second thing I thought is, he has touched a nerve here. There are a lot of people who want to say what he’s saying and don’t have the ability to do it, which he does as a popular figure in this silly business of ours. I think a lot of people want to say what Neil is saying, but none more than me and David and Stephen (Stills). So we wanted to come and help him say this, and we’re doing it with bells on.” In a way, it put Young in a hard spot. The CSNY summer tour had long been planned when Young suddenly put out Living With War in a recording frenzy a couple of months ago. A solo tour would make more sense, but they had a better idea: CSNY is not only doing its classic material but much of the new Young album as well. “I think that Neil was very smart. He could have gone out with a band and done this on his own, but I think he realized that the four of us singing this is bigger, frankly,” Nash says from his hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, before a show there. CSNY’s tour starts its three-night stand at Red Rocks tonight. So that no one feels cheated, the band is playing extra-long sets, with most shows clocking in at three hours and 20 minutes. “We wanted to provide a balance, too. We didn’t wanna just be there as four raving madmen against this administration,” he says. “People come to see us because they fell in love to CSNY music. We didn’t want to make it just about how (screwed up) things appear to be in certain respects.” Songs like Living With War sound entirely different with the trademark CSNY harmonies. “We have to make it our own, don’t we?” Nash says. “It’s us. We’re human beings. We’re reacting to our environment. We’re reacting to the news around us. We’re reacting to what’s going on and here we are.” Audiences are reacting as well, snapping up tickets for the tour. The first two nights at Red Rocks are sold out, but at press time a few seats remained for Thursday’s final show.”It can only be the music. Look at us! We’re not Brad Pitt here. It must be the music. As a performer and a composer, that’s the best thing for me, that the music will long outlive the other silly stuff that people write about us,” Nash says. The tour was plotted in part because of Young’s health scare last year with a brain aneurysm. Any touring is grueling, but with CSNY he has three other frontmen to help carry the load. “There was a little of that,” Nash says. “The overwhelming thing is wanting to play the music and talk to the people and provide a different point of view to the people. We do have a right to speak our minds, and we owe it as patriotic Americans to speak our minds.” Throughout their careers, all four members have written songs reflecting what’s going on in society, be it Crosby’s Long Time Coming, Stills’ For What It’s Worth, Nash’s Chicago or far too many Young songs to count, including the epic Ohio. Thirty-six years ago, CSNY were able to put out Ohio, about the Kent State killings, without being vilified. More recently, artists have been quickly dismissed or attacked when they speak up. “That’s because . . . they’ve gotten much more clever at stabilizing the status quo. They don’t want to rock any boats. They don’t want people to know. They don’t want people up in arms. They don’t want people expressing their opinions,” Nash says. “They just want them to be sheep and just lie down and shut up and let good old Mommy President give you a little blankie and a glass of warm milk and tell you everything is fine. But that’s not the reality.” The CSNY tour isn’t the only high-profile gig Nash has had of late. He and Crosby sang on Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s solo album and played a number of shows with him. “I’ve known Gilmour for 20 years, I think,” Nash says. “Gilmour and Bette Midler one night helped me put plumbing in. The most expensive plumbing team in history.” Gilmour popped in at a Royal Festival Hall show a couple of years back. “He came backstage and said: ‘OK, two things. One, I’m stealing your drummer. And secondly, I have this song that I kind of hear you and David singing on. What do you think?’ We had a day off the next day, so we went to the studio, we put our voices on this beautiful song called On an Island. ” It was just that simple. “We’re doing what we always did,” Nash says. “We’re following our muse. We’re following whatever energy it was that brought us to this point.” Mark Brown is the popular music critic. Copyright 2006, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.