Monday, October 30, 2006

Video! Red Auerbach's last interview

Our pals at Frozen Pictures have made this video avaialble-- a clip from the last interview with basketball great Red Auerbach, who died over the weekend at 89.

Burt Kearns and Brett Hudson interviewed Red in his home in Washington DC a few months ago, for the feature documentary, Basketball Man.

The complete interview will be featured as an extra on the Basketball Man DVD, due out in February.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Red Auerbach's last interview

Red Auerbach, who built the Boston Celtics into one of the greatest dynasties in sports, presiding over 16 National Basketball Association championship teams as a coach, general manager and club president, died yesterday in Washington D.C. He was 89.

Burt Kearns and Brett Hudson of Frozen Pictures recently conducted Red’s last interview for the documentary feature, Basketball Man. "It was hot, it was humid, it was Washington D.C. at the peak of a steamy summer," Kearns recalls. "Red was in his study, surrounded by memorabilia and memories of a great life and monumental career. He sat in a big stuffed chair near the window. He'd just completed his latest dialysis session. In fact, the machine was next to him as we did the interview. You had to look hard to see Red Auerbach in the man sittting there. And it was all the more poignant because of the portraits and photos that covered the walls, showing the vigorous, bouyant Red we all know, clutching that cigar.

"There were long delays with the crew setting up. But we finally got started. I asked to Red about his boyhood, why he wanted to coach, and he began to speak. Red Auerbach was on the mark. He was there all right, quick and with authority. He was insightful, he still had the fire and left no doubt that winning was what mattered in any sport. I felt a little bad doing it, but I handed him a basketball and asked him what came to mind when he held it. He ran his fingers across the ball and said, 'Put it in the hole.'

"Red and his family were very gracious that day. We'd kept him sitting, waiting in that hot room with no air conditioning for an hour. When the interview was over, he held up the TV remote that was velcroed to the arm of the chair and he said, 'I've been doing interviews for sixty years. And you guys are Number One.' I looked at the cameraman. Wow. We smiled with pride, but before we could reply, Red finished the sentence:

"'The slowest fucking crew I've ever worked with!'"

Basketball Man, which tells the story of the life and legacy of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball, is set to be released on DVD in February.

Some quotations from Red's interview:

"Basketball is like a war. You develop the offense how to score how to drive how to pick off, all those offensive skills, then the defense goes to work and figures out ways to stop you and that’s what’s been the history of basketball.

"If you keep score, you play to win. I don’t care what it is. That’s always been my theory. I can't stand these guys who cant wait to shake hands at the end. In the old days, we lost, we got outa there. We didn’t congratulate them."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

David Hull & Aerosmith: Tom Hamilton checks in

We've been keeping track of David Hull, the local rock star of the Tabloid Baby teen years, who's made a surprise fifty-something resurgence as bass player on Aerosmith's latest tour.

David is filling in for his old pal Tom Hamilton, the Aerosmith favorite who's being treated for throat cancer.

This week, a poignant message from Tom appeared on Aerosmith's official Aeroforceone fan forum.

24-Oct-06 Tom checks in

Hey, just wanted to say hi and tell everybody what's up in my world. I'm getting better steadily but kind of slowly. I've been finished with the radiation treatment for a couple of months. I was hoping to be close to being out on the road with the band by now but it's still too soon. The radiation burns the hell out of your mouth and throat and the healing process can take a while. Whenever I talk to someone who hasn't spoken to me in a while they say I sound completely better. My voice was kind of screwed up for a time. People who haven't seen me in a while they say I look normal (for me). I'm getting close and I'm chomping at the bit but the real decisions are up to the doctors and the healing process.

I went into a room by myself recently and listened to the new Greatest Hits album. I turned the lights down and the volume up and just sat back and let it roll over me. After a couple of songs went by I went into a state where I felt really close to the band and really far away at the same time. In my head I was connected and isolated all at once. Another part of me was in the time period of each song with movies of those times playing in my head. I don't really sit down and listen to our albums that way very often and it had a lot of emotion for me. I have to say the emotion was good and a little sad but mostly good.

A lot of people have sent me cards and stuff. As a matter of fact, way more than I would have expected. I can't say how much I appreciate it. There are times when I have to really lean against my support system and it helps to have it coming in from all directions.

Have I gotten too corny yet? I really hate excessive corniness but its hard to talk about these things without some sneaking in. What I mostly want to say is thanks.

See you soon,


My God! Has political discourse sunk so low???!!!

(And are we the reason?) This arrived in the Tabloid Baby email box this afternoon:


(Double-click the pic for the full effect)

SVU "Hassenback" murder was no coincidence

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who started out as a Survivor: Australian Outback cutie and wound up as the dim conservative prig and now Rosie O'Donnell's whipping girl on The View, got herself in the news this week by going after Law & Order: SVU because the show named a raped and murdered character "Elizabeth Hassenback."

Little Lizzie said the stunt was "socially irresponsible and gruesomely suggestive, "disrespected" her and put her "at risk," and called SVU executive producer Neal Baer to complain. She said that before Baer hung up on her, he claimed that any similarity between Elizabeth Hassenback and Elisabeth Hasselbeck was purely a coincidence.

Coincidence? Our source at SVU says there's no way it's a coincidence.

"That's like having a character named 'President Bushed.' They definitely knew what they were doing," he or she told Tabloid Baby last night. "Law & Order is scrupulous about making sure they don't use anyone's name as a character-- especially not someone who's famous. Whenever we use a name on the show, we have people who check. If there are even five people in New York with the same name, they don't use the name. To use a celebrity's name like that? It's a joke."

So why would they do it? "Dick Wolf is the 'law & order' guy around here. But Neil Baer and all his writers are liberals. She's a conservative. Why not have her raped and murdered? Real funny.

"Neal Baer hates unscripted television, and he probably doesn't like the woman because she became a star on Survivor. He's also a liberal medical doctor and I bet she's against stem cell research. "

Well, it went on from there.

Most people we spoke to think Lizzie has a point. But leave it to a right wing crackpot to blow the sympathy vote. We're more concerned that Elizabeth threatened to retaliate in the most chilling manner, telling Baer she wouldn't allow SVU actors on The View (leading him to say "Goodbye, lady," and hang up), and then threatening a Law & Order boycott on the air.

Her producers ought to throw her off the show for saying that.

What do you think?

Monday, October 23, 2006

At least Katie kept that guy who looks like k.d. lang

Women Scarcer On Evening News

B&C Contributing Editor Andrew Tyndall analyzed the first six weeks of Katie Couric’s tenure atop the CBS Evening News and found that woman have gotten fewer assignments.

When former Today host Katie Couric arrived at the anchor chair of the CBS Evening News just six weeks ago, much was made of the fact that she—unlike Barbara Walters, Connie Chung and Elizabeth Vargas before her—was the first solo female nightly-news anchor. But that has not translated to a more female-centric Evening News, at least on the correspondent side.

In fact, since Couric’s arrival, women have received 40% fewer assignments than they did under her predecessor, Bob Schieffer. Men, meanwhile, have seen no cutback in their workload...

We called it back in April in an item entitled "The Morning After: Bye Bye, News Babes." We knew then that Katie's arrival would banish the younger, brighter competition. And when the producers threw most of Katie's debut show to former swimsuit model Lara Logan, the deal was sealed.

Look at the photos below and guess the one who has a regular spot on the Katie show:

Aerosmith turns David Hull into a rock star again

I was in Hartford for show #2 this tour. and David Hull's bass playing was great but he looked a little uncomfortable. By the time I saw them in Toronto… he loosened up and looked at "home" up there with the boys...still kicking ass on bass. I miss Tom... but David was the right replacement.


That's how it was with me, too! I was at the opening show in Columbus and David stayed in one spot out of the way, but when I saw them at Alpine and Indy, he had loosened up and was more comfortable and was having fun with it and moved around. Tom isn't replaceable in my eyes, but David is doing a great job of filling in for him during his illness/recovery.

The Still Crazy-style resurrection of David Hull, the local rock star from Tabloid Baby’s teenage years, has been well-documented on this site in past weeks. The bass player with a long association with the boys in Aerosmith was called out of obscurity last month to fill in for ailing bassman Tom Hamilton on the band’s latest tour.

Dave’s tenure onstage was supposed to end sometime this month. But it seems the group’s prediction of Tom’s recovery from throat cancer may have been overly optimistic. November’s on the way and David Hull is still slinging the bass, and growing back into the the rock star swagger he carried as a young man.

Photos of David Hull onstage in the early shows showed the musician who once defined rock’n’roll attitude star to appear reticent and respectful, hanging back in dress and demeanor. But all these weeks on the road, chilling the crowd with the opening riffs to Sweet Emotion, and playing what he loves best along with pros his own age and at his own level, has stripped away the years, loosened him up, and made him a loveable member of this gang of ageing bad boys.

One barometer of his success is how the protective Aerosmith fans are responding. We’d espect the Tom Hamilton fans to have their switchblades out, but comments from the Aeroforceone fan forum indicate otherwise:

All I have to say is David I'm glad you are filling in for TOM. I know your filling big shoes right now, but let me be the one to say you kicked ass last night, and I'm sure Tom thanks his lucky stars to have someone like you fill in for him till he returns. Aerofans can be the hardest critics at times, but I don't think anyone can complain about you stepping up to the plate for Tom.

I had a great time in Nashville watching the show, and you were right there with the whole thing. Thanks for being a shining light for Tom right now, and may God be with you always.


The fact that we haven't heard anything but positive things about David says a lot... seeing that there are not too many threads on the guy is a shame but it also shows he's fitting in so well people forget he's even there!


All I can say is that David did a very good job on Sweet Emotion. I would liked to have seen Tom do it but David nailed it! We miss Tom But during the healing, David is doing a stand up job for him,and I'm glad that Steven, and the Boy's make David a part of this very special group.


I didn't think I would like David Hull and my mind was already made up against him but you guys are right. He's doing an awesome job and although we all miss Tom, David seems like an excellent choice and the next best thing.

When I met Tom in Boston on June 1st, he was talking to David although at the time I had no idea who he was. I was just wishing Tom would finish talking to this floppy haired guy so he could pay a little attention to me. Had I known what was going on with him at the time, I might have been a little less selfish...


Davids doing a GREAT JOB!!! Aerosmith thanks for making a great choice putting David in Toms place... Tom...get well soon!! We miss your sweet face!


As much as I miss Tom and would really love to see him back on the stage, I think David Hull is doing an awesome job filling in... and having fun doing it.

On the down side, Tom Hamilton’s condition may mean the end of his long run with Aerosmith. No one’s candid at times like this.

But David Hull’s rock ’n’ roll renaissance has been the story of the season, even more exciting than the ups and downs and ins and outs of Rock Star Supernova, starring Aerosmith’s tour mate, Tommy Lee. New dates have been added that take the tour into December.

Stay tuned here for the latest on both.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tabloid Baby reveals TV secrets at TVgasm

Editor's note: Some of the Tabloid Baby staff have been busy the past week or so, providing material for our pals over at TVgasm.com (and if you think it's hard getting comments when you're from "Tabloid Baby," try saying you represent "TVgasm"). What follows is an example of what we're doing in a different field:

The shocking secret
behind Disney's
TV success

Rich Ross, the president of Disney Channel Worldwide, may be the most powerful television executive in the world when it comes to molding the minds of young viewers. But he has a secret that every parent-- and every kid-- should know.

The New York Times reveals it at the end of a glowing tribute to the executive in Sunday's Arts & Leisure section.

Ross heads 62 Disney channels and their offshoots, and according to the Times, "probably has more influence than anyone else on the television that young children and adolescents are watching these days-- not just in this country, but also in many of the 100 other nations that now carry Disney Channel programming... His shows aren't just big children's shows. They're among the biggest shows, period. In fact, Disney Channel is responsible for all but two of the 30 highest-rated television movies, specials and shows on cable television in 2005-6 among viewers ages 6 to 14, according to Nielsen Media Research..."

So how does he do it?

The Times points put that Ross didn't create or conceive of any of the shows like High School Musical, Lizzie McGuire or Hannah Montana. His genius is in coordinating "different parts of the Disney machine, from radio stations to Disney-branded magazines to Web sites, and his uncanny connection to young people's sensibilities."

The Times saves Ross' secret for the tail end of the story. And it's not that he's a gay male, in a childless relationship with his "partner of nearly 20 years." The paper does tell us that, but the outing is no surprise, this being Disney and the NY Times. It's the words that follow-- the explanation for how this childless gay Hollywood male is able to gauge the interests of kids worldwide: For the past decade, he's been getting all his ideas approved by a little kid!

"She is Alexis Teixeira, age 11, of Connecticut, who is the daughter of his law school roommate," the Times reveals. "Mr. Ross has been soliciting Alexis's opinion since she was 4, when he asked her to critique Bear in the Big Blue House... Most recently he sent her a version of Cheetah Girls 2 in Spanish with English subtitles. Their discussions take place by e-mail, sometimes daily..."

"I always tell him the truth," Alexis tells the Times. "I've never told him I didn't like something. I might have given him advice on how something wasn't perfect."

Now wait a minute! We're pretty sure we've already seen that Disney movie. But if we haven't, Rich Ross oughta get the scriptwriters busy now: A middle-aged executive suddenly has his finger on the pulse of young America, and no one understands how he's doing it. No one knows he's just a beard, relaying the words of an 11 year old girl! But then comes the big surprise meeting. He's on the spot... and she's stuck in class, taking an English test...

There's more TVcentric material like that. Visit TVgasm.com to check it out.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The truth behind the McCartney accusations?

No, we don’t believe pothead skinflint Paul McCartney was the drunken abuser Heather Mills claims he was. He’d beat her? He’s a billionaire. He could pay someone for that. He’d deny the gal the chance to breastfeed (unless it was a vegan thing)? Just remember Linda. He didn’t even to ask her to shave her legs. We can see him denying Heather the golden bedpan. Who’d want her pissing up the bed? He’s a billionaire. He could pay someone to do that.

Our friends over at the scandalous, essential Popbitch have come up with a good reason for Heather’s firebomb. It seems that Heather is desperate as her chance at hopping away with Macca’s millions might be slipping away. And it’s not simply that McCartney’s legal team has been playing hardball with the one-legged lottery winner since they re-leaked all those naked photos that Heather posed for in her leggy youth.

Popbitch reports that Heather’s lawyers “had suggested to Heather that they weren't sure she should be entitled to anything from Sir Paul as she had misrepresented herself at the time of the wedding by not revealing she had, in effect, been a prostitute.” (The British tabloids dredged up allegations this summer that Heather had been a high-end call girl for clients including Adnan Khashoggi and Arab princes.)

Now that we've covered that, let’s get another look at those great Heather Mills nudie, S&M’y sex photos hereherehereherehere and here!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Basketball Man preview party hits the web

That Las Vegas premiere party for Frozen Pictures' Oscar-buzz documentary feature, Basketball Man, is showing up in bits and pieces all over the Internet. Check out a report on the festivities here, featuring comedy star Tommy Davidson and narrated by tabloid television legend and current top-flight announcer Doug Bruckner.

(For greater resolution, click here to see it in two sections.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Engelbert makes the list of best live albums ever

No music collection is complete without the live albums seen below. For years, the list has remained stable, but now, unexpectedly, from out of nowhere, another monster live set enters the pantheon of the greatest live music albums ever recorded.

Totally Amazing is a 22-track collection recorded somewhere out there on the Indian casino and Vegas showroom circuit, and it’s a powerhouse performance by a man who represents the best of a vanishing breed: the singer who stands alone in a tuxedo before a big swinging band, armed only with a microphone, charisma and a voice that brings down the house.

That man is Engelbert Humperdinck.

Engelbert has never gotten the respect he deserves. With his romantic, string-washed backing and schmaltzy country western repertoire, the sideburned Casanova was always an also-ran to his to Sixties stablemate Tom Jones. But life in Vegas, high-roller showrooms and a thousand theatres-in-the-round as an Elvis standard-bearer has honed his voice and act into something magnificent. Backed by a powerhouse band that includes an uncredited sax player who gives Sam Butera a run for his money, Engelbert rolls out the hits, standards and entertaining curveballs with a self-deprecating humour and saloon singer command before an enthusiastic crowd that based on the singalongs (and he does the singalongs better than Do Ho in his prime) is made up entirely of women!

They don’t make albums like this anymore, not since the 1960s and 1970s, when Humpy was in his prime. Now, at age 70, marking his fortieth year in the business, Engelbert has created a modern classic, with a pristine sound, taking the listener inside the showroom experience that culminates with a very distinct version of My Way.

This is the sound of Elvis Presley if he'd taken care of himself. This is Tom Jones if he grew up. This is what Robbie Williams should strive for. And on the back cover photo, Engelbert is almost indistinguishable from Gene Simmons.

Totally Amazing is totally amazing! It’s up there with Sinatra at The Sands, Sammy Davis Jr. at The Cocoanut Grove as one of the best live albums ever recorded! No kidding!

The live list:

Wayne Newton In Person!... Sinatra at The Sands... Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas... Sammy Davis, Jr. at The Cocoanut Grove... Elvis: The Alternate Aloha Concert... Don Ho Live at The Polynesian Palace... Allen Sherman, the Boston Pops & Arthur Fiedler: Peter & The Commissar... Oasis: Familiar To Millions... Merle Haggard: Okie from Muskogee, Recorded Live in Muskogee, Oklahoma...Slim Dusty Live at Wagga Wagga... Louis Prima, Keely Smith & Sam Butera: The Capitol Sessions... Donny Hathaway Live... Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison... The Allman Brothers Live at The Fillmore East... Darin at The Copa... and introducing... Engelbert Humperdinck: Totally Amazing!

That's Tabloid Baby's list. Did we leave anyone out?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Stern takes another step back toward free radio

Howard Stern has taken another step toward returning to free radio. Ha. Ha. Now don’t take this wrong way. We love Howard Stern. His radio show made our mornings in Los Angeles traffic and culture palatable for fifteen years. His rise to national prominence is covered in the book Tabloid Baby. A Stern story that Tabloid Baby’s author wrote for Hard Copy is featured in Howard’s book, Miss America. But we do resent him for leaving millions of loyal fans high-and-dry when he left radio and took the big money to do a private pay show for Sirius Satellite so he could say swear words and talk about his bowel movements without censorship.

But we know what we’re talking about when we say that Howard will soon return to free radio, and at least start to syndicate portions of his satellite show—because although Howard may have all the money he needs, he has become irrelevant. When he dropped off free radio, he died. No one remembers Babbabooey or Robin or Fred, and no one cares about Artie Lange or Howard’s skinny model girlfriend. Howard Stern is last year. He’s history. He doesn’t exist.

Which is why Howard is looking to find an audience again, why he is letting everyone watch the TV version of his show for a penny, and why, in that spirit, he's letting everyone hear his pay show for free on October 25 and 26-- as the Reuters news service puts it so poetically: ”Ten months after leaving the commercial airwaves for subscription-based Sirius Satellite Radio, shock jock Howard Stern is out to attract a broad new online audience with his first-ever free Internet broadcast.”

The countdown is on. Howard will be back soon.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Newton-John muddles McDermott mystery

Two weeks ago, she said they'd broken up. Now she's carrying a torch? Time to get the story straight...

October 15, 2006 - OLIVIA Newton-John still carries a torch for her boyfriend Patrick McDermott, who vanished 15 months ago in what cops believe may have been a staged disappearance to dodge a court showdown with his ex-wife over child support. "It's still Patrick," Newton-John wistfully told Page Six when we asked if she's dating again. "There's still no news and we just don't know what happened." The '70s pop queen - who battled breast cancer after a string of hits including "Physical" and the movie "Grease" - has just launched the "Olivia" line of women's health and wellness products.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Outrage at Disneyland Paris!

Employees of Disneyland Paris disgrace the Disney name in a horrific defilement of the Disneyland tradition (a French voiceover announces "Disneyland backstage, it's hot!"). This shocking video can only be compared to the images from Abu Ghraib or the sight of Madonna on that crucifix. Is it anti-Americanism or simply a reflection of the breakdown of European morals? In either case, the Disney people need to take a careful look at their Euro outpost.

Zelig 2006: Our Man Elli at the NYC crash scene

It seems like an exiled New Yorker can’t return to Manhattan without stepping into a big newsworthy ruckus. Last time the Tabloid Baby stopped back for a drink with Steve Dunleavy at Langan’s, we wound up stranded at LaGuardia for hours on the liquid terror scare day.

And so it goes for Our man Elli in Israel, who’s arrived in the States a bit early for his lecture tour (dates are still open-- contact us here).

With Elli, it’s the same story:




Breaking news.

A major, history-making event.

And because it’s his home turf, The Yankees.

Elli emails:

…i went to the scene of the plane crash this morning, and did a phoner with my station. which means that i'll always remember cory lidle as a yankee who got me a day's pay. stood talking with magee hickey, who looks great after all these years.

Check in here for more dispatches from Our Man Elli, on the road across America...