Archives for posts with tag: Celeb

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“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.”

From Chelsea Hotel #2, song by LEONARD COHEN

Over the years, Leonard Cohen has expressed regret about naming Janis Joplin as the inspiration for “Chelsea Hotel #2,” a song from his 1974 album New Skin for the Old Ceremony. (Read the lyrics here.) Others believe Janis — who died in 1970 — wouldn’t have minded, since she spoke openly of her encounters with Jim Morrison and Leonard Cohen. Apparently she met Cohen in the elevator at the Chelsea Hotel while  looking for Kris Kristofferson. When Cohen learned of her mission, he told her: “I’m Kris Kristofferson,” though he was sure she knew that the author of “Me and Bobby McGee” was a lot taller.

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Lois Smith made her film debut in East of Eden, based on the John Steinbeck novel, where she shared the screen with James Dean — or more aptly, he shared his sizzling screen presence with her. Warner Brothers released the movie in April 1955, about six months before Dean’s death in a car crash.

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Now, 57 years later, Lois Smith is starring in Heartless, the Sam Shepard-penned drama that opened in New York earlier this week, where she plays Mable, a woman who is partially paralyzed because she fell out of a tree while watching East of Eden on a drive-in movie screen. Somehow, this begs the expression “fearful symmetry.” (A nod to William Blake.)

Break a leg, Lois. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that. Have a great run, Lois. No, let me rephrase that. Enjoy the fearful symmetry of your full-circle experience, Lois.

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“Girl with Balloon” by Banksy

Find out more about street artist Banksy in the 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. Lots of interesting info in this New York Times article.

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“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel

you were famous, your heart was a legend.

You told me again you preferred handsome men

but for me you would make an exception.”

From Chelsea Hotel #2, song by LEONARD COHEN

THOUGHTS: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has expressed regret about naming Janis Joplin as the inspiration for “Chelsea Hotel #2,” a song from his 1974 album New Skin for the Old Ceremony. (Read the lyrics here.) Others believe Janis — who died in 1970 — wouldn’t have minded, since she spoke openly of her encounters with Jim Morrison and Leonard Cohen. Apparently she met Cohen in the elevator at the Chelsea Hotel while  looking for Kris Kristofferson. When Cohen learned of her mission, he told her: “I’m Kris Kristofferson,” though he was sure she knew that the author of “Me and Bobby McGee” was a lot taller.

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“I never met another man I’d rather be. And even if that’s a delusion, it’s a lucky one.”

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

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I have always been a Kurt Vonnegut fan — he was one of the first writers I really, truly, completely loved. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the first thing I did was run out and buy a new copy of Slaughterhouse-Five, then go home and read it from cover to cover without moving from my spot.

For whatever reason — and there were many — this was my response to the horror. I wanted to see how a great artist had dealt with horror (in his case, his presence at the firebombing of Dresden during WWII) and how he had been able to express what had happened.

And then, a miracle. I learned that Kurt Vonnegut would be in Chicago (where I then lived) to give a lecture at the public library (he was in town to accept a literary award) just a few weeks later.

Yes, I was in the same room with Kurt Vonnegut — and he was as wonderful, witty, and warm as you’d imagine. Of course, people in the audience asked what he felt about what had happened on September 11th. I don’t remember exactly what he said. I was overwhelmed with emotion at the time — and could only think of what he’d written in Slaughterhouse-Five:So it goes.”

Thank you, Kurt. Thank you. Thank you. For me, “So it goes” is not a call to complacence, it is a call to live noble lives, despite it all. We will try to follow your fine example. God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut.

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As we remember Patricia Neal, who passed away on this day in 2010, I’d like to mention that Neal is included in Great American Catholic Eulogies, a wonderful, uplifting book that celebrates the lives of many renowned Americans. Writers and artists featured in the volume include: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Andy Warhol, and Andre Dubus. Award-winning journalist Carol DeChant selected and introduced the eulogies and celebrated author Thomas Lynch wrote the foreword. Find out more about Great American Catholic Eulogies here.

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On this day in 1969, Iain Macmillan shot the photo that would become the cover of Abbey Road, the Beatles‘ 11th (and last) studio album. Abbey Road was first album ever to omit the artist and title from the cover — a photographer’s dream: the cover consisted of the photo, the whole photo, and nothing but the photo. Macmillan had just 10 minutes to shoot the photograph — standing on a step ladder while a policeman stopped traffic.

Besides John, barefoot Paul, George, and Ringo, the photo included two notable features. The first was the white VW beetle on the left with license plate number LMW 281F. After Abbey Road’s September 1969 release, the car’s license plate was repeatedly stolen by souvenir seekers. The second notable feature was Paul Cole, the man standing in the mid-right-hand portion of the photo — an American tourist who had no idea he’d ended up in the shot until the album came out.

I know what I’ll be listening to today!

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This Grey Goose Frame Shop window display featuring Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still reminded me of Patricia Neal, who starred in the 1951 movie. Today marks the two-year anniversary of Patricia Neal’s passing. I shot the photo through my passenger window while at a stoplight on LaBrea Avenue.

During a phone interview shortly before her death, Neal recalled working on the film and her admiration for director Robert Wise, even though he chided her for laughing during her rehearsals when saying the famous line: “Klaatu barada nikto.” Neal assured Wise she would deliver the line with solemnity during her performance — and managed to pull it off (though she burst out laughing as soon as the director called “cut”). What a great actress! What a great movie!

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Today marks two years since the passing of Patricia Neal, an Oscar-winning actress I was fortunate to interview  about some of her Hollywood leading men (including Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan). The phone interview occurred just a few months before Neal’s death from lung cancer, but she was warm, witty, and wonderful — and I had no idea she was ill at the time. I feel honored to have been the last person to interview this amazing artist, a true original who will live forever in her brilliant work.

I thought of Patricia Neal yesterday when I drove past the Grey Goose Frame Shop on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, where the windows included a display featuring images and figures from The Day the Earth Stood Still, the 1951 film in which Neal starred early in her career.  We had a good laugh over her dialogue in the movie (“Klaatu barada nikto”), which she told me she had trouble saying with a straight face. We will always miss you, Patricia!