"IT IS actually very, very soul destroying," says NewsBeast's editor Tina Brown to Bloomberg TV's question about the business-side fixation with numbers and demos over quality content and editorial integrity.
MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! Even though some fans are loudly complaining about the ticket prices for the coming Rolling Stones tour, "50 Years and Counting," you can bet that in the end fans will sell their families into servitude to afford the privilege.
Joining the tour will be Mick Taylor, who became a Stone after the 1969 death of founding member Brian Jones. Taylor left the group in the mid-'70s, replaced by Ron Wood, who is still a Stone. Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and, but of course, Mick Jagger are all aboard.
There are rumors that the Stones original bass player Bill Wyman will join in for a few shows. (It's tidbits like this that encourage fans to shell out the big bucks to see "the world's greatest rock and roll band.")
The "boys" will perform at 18 venues, beginning next month at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Keith Richards, 69, reportedly suffers from arthritis, but can rock the socks off anybody half his age. As for the eternal front man, Mick, also 69, he still looks remarkably fit, and roams the stage, leaping and gyrating just like it was 1963 again. (Jagger runs and works out with weights to keep himself concert-ready.)
The last time I saw Jagger perform, he was doing something on his own. It was a small venue, but he was electrifying. The select audience, primarily made up of much younger people, was agog.
None of the Stones, certainly not Mr. Jagger, have become quiet, laid-back singers of standards -- just a mike and a spotlight -- so why all the hate and derision for Madonna, who continues to do her thing, just the way she wants to? And she's only 54. Ah, the old double standard; it's alive and well. (Madonna's "MDNA" tour was the most successful of 2012. She must be doing something right.)
JULIAN LENNON, the first son of the late John Lennon, is back in business, after quite a few years away from music. (He has had a fine career as a photographer and philanthropist.) On April 8 he released a new single, "Someday" to coincide with his 50th birthday. Steven Tyler also performs on the record. "Someday" is the debut song from Julian's album "Everything Changes." You can find the "Someday" video on YouTube.
WE TOLD you some time back that the Pasadena Playhouse production of Randy Johnson's "One Night with Janis Joplin" received rave reviews and terrific business. Now, the show has become the highest-grossing event the Playhouse has ever presented, and has been extended for two weeks. Mary Bridget Davies, who portrays Janis, continues to astonish West Coast audiences. It can only be a matter of time before Broadway joins the chorus of bravos.
When I was asked to read aloud playwright David Mamet's tribute to the late Gore Vidal, I felt so honored. I have always adored this guy's way with drama and the stage and I think "Glengarry Glen Ross," with its profane use of language, is a virtuoso play, almost like a Mozart piece of perfection.
Now I read in Ad Age that the Pulitzer Prize-winning Mamet is going to do an advertisement for Aero Film. Asked why, he responds: "Well, I like to work. And also when I was very young, there was this woman. I thought she was a homeless woman. Turns out she was like a witch or an angel. And she prophesied that I would have a nice wife and many kids. But then one day Aero Film would come to me and, just like Mr. Bonasera in 'The Godfather,' demand a service in return -- which is to shoot a whole bunch of commercials."
Mamet goes on "...your question (do you see advertising as art), put differently, is, am I a big fat w---e? And the answer is, I'll be damned if I know."
I WAS trying to encourage people to sign on to the U.S. Postal Service for a stamp for the late governor of Texas, Ann Richards. The way to join is printed here: https://www.change.org/petitions/citizens-stamp-advisory-committee-create-a-commemorative-postage-stamp-honoring-ann-richards.
But you can sign on to this idea much easier by simply Googling "Ann Richards Stamp."
ENDTHOUGHT: Saw an item the other day that reported Marilyn Monroe's brasserie from "Some Like It Hot" sold for nearly $30,000, at Julian's Auction House in Beverly Hills. I asked my old friend and Monroe expert Denis Ferrara about this. He said: "Her bra? If anybody has ever seen "Some Like It Hot," you know she didn't wear a bra, and naturally not a girdle. By the time filming ended, she was about four months pregnant and showing." (She would miscarry shortly after.) Denis continued: "In her last three completed films, 'Hot,' 'Let's Make Love' and 'The Misfits,' she has clearly thrown her bra away. Lots of 'movement' in those movies. I wasn't there, but if she wore a bra, it had to be made of tissue paper and string."
And such is the stuff of film history.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)