Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Si! Si! Si! Fab Forever conquer Mexico

No, that's not the Beatles with a lucky fan-- that's the Fab Forever, the greatest Beatles tribute band in the world, with a lucky fan in Mexico City, after recovering from their tragic engagement at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas to represent the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority in a goodwill promotional tour South of the Border. The Fabs played to sold-out crowds in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City beforfe heading back to the States.

The tour marks a comeback for the group, which was forced to cut short its full-on stage show at the Riviera Hotel & Casino after a car crash injured John Lennon's wife and daughter. But as you see in the photo above, the replacement is a spitting image of the intellectual Beatle, with chops that match his predecessor's. Las Vegas officials and hotel reps on the South of the Border tour were very impressed with the Fab's performance and a high-profile Vegas comeback is all but certain..

"The tour was terrific," says Fab Forever manager and legendary tribute impresario Jerry Peluso ("The Brian Epstein of the Tribute World"). "It was Besame Mucho all the way! Mexican audiences are loco for the Beatles-- In Mexico City, there's even a radiopstation that dedicates two hours a day to their music. To paraphrase A Hard Day's Night: 'We'll be back."

Peluso was mum on the future for the group's future, so we'll ask:

Which hotel will be smart enough to offer a new Vegas showcase for the Fab Forever?

They're that good.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What, us worry? Satire lives!

We were at the airport this weekend, and on a wall of glossy magazines, this cover stood out.

MAD is back.

We're like others our age. MAD was the magazine of our youth, the one that shaped our comic sensibilities and anti-authoritarianism. We're always on the lookout for those old paperback compilations from the first twenty five years or so, and The Mad Bathroom Companion, a massive loaf of a compilation from 2004 ("The Mother Load" edition, which combines all three in the series-- the original, "Number Two" and "Turd in A Series"-- under one hardcover), is a favorite in the Tabloid Baby office. Recent spotchecks at the newsstand have confirmed that the old mag has new life-- and holds its own against Viz.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

TMZ prepares for mainstream TV debut

The corporate gossip site TMZ.com will soon be turned into a daily syndicated magazine series. As they prepare for the mainstream, we've suggested they clean up their often sordid act. A check of today's TMZ posts shows they're taking our advice:


Friday, January 26, 2007

Top Chef's main course, served raw

As Bravo’s Top Chef heads into its second season finale with a bitter showdown between its two top antagonists, we must salute its tasty model host, whom we were prepared to dislike, just as we were prepared to ignore this show until we surfed by-- and stopped.

And returned.

Good show. Good host.

We'd written about Padma Lakshmi on another website shortly before the season‘s premiere. We knew she was a model and Bollywood actress who’d written a cookbook, flaunted a hideous scar on her right arm, and happened to be Salman Rushdie’s trophy wife! In an interview with the LA Times, she seemed to exhibit the sort of up-herself haughtiness one would expect from a pretty young British empire climber who’d latched onto a respected old author.

"I hate reality TV, I have to tell you," the latest reality TV discovery told the LA Times back int he fall. "I think a lot of it brings out the worst common denominator of the human spirit."

She promised that her season of Top Chef would be "a very high-caliber, high-brow food show. "I didn't want it to turn into some kind of schlocky reality piece of fluff that I would feel embarrassed about."

Well, no reason to be embarrassed at all!

In the end, Top Chef is schlocky reality fluff at its finest! And while we mentioned that with all her talking, Padma “sounds like the next TV superstar,” she’s proven to be an ingratiating presence, sampling dishes, describing tastes and wandering into the test kitchen in a low-key, down-to-earth manner that makes Heidi Klum look like a stiff.

We found a site that has an even grander tribute to Padma’s assets (and titsets) here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"Osama bin Idol" plays Sudan for Ramadan

When you get right down to it, the best singer on American Idol last night was Sean Michel of Bryant, Arkansas-- the bearded guy who admitted that he looks like a cross between Fidel Castro and Osama bin Laden.

Think he'll get some "American backlash"?

According to YouTube and Sean's MySpace page ("sean michel - pronounced mee-SHEHL"), the video above shows Sean "playing Forgiven Much at Abood's Park in Khartoum, Sudan as a part of Ramadan Festivities in 2005."

Hey! No "American Taliban" jokes!

It appears that the guy who sang a snappy version of Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down" for his audition (we think he looks more like Woody Allen in Bananas) is a Christian-- judging from his lengthy MySpace bio, which says in part:

"The songs of Seanmichel are not meant for a market or genre. They are simply an attempt to find meaning through music in the same place the music we love first found its meaning: the Gospel. Their music presents the listener with equal parts reality and Truth, driven by deep emotion and conviction. These songs are meant to attack the evils in this world, while also inspiring hope, simultaneously piercing the heart and uplifting the spirit..."

Yeah, but will he lose the beard in Hollywood?

Beware of imitators

Look what we ran into: a website called "TabloidBaby.net."

Apparently it has something to do with a female rock band:

"We're looking for musicians and performers to help us make this Tabloid Baby thing happen: If you dig our early skinny sound and have somethin to offer, puhleeze let us know. Particularly, we're needing electrified, synthesized, modified punk riot Grrrl type singers."

We've emailed them to find out who they are and what's up.

We'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, accept no substitutions...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

'Virgin' show looks like mockumentary sequel

Wow, a reality show in which ten schmoes get a shot at losing their virginity on camera. To a "celebrity"! Sounds like a wild idea-- and already the casting call is spreading around the Internet, thanks to a high-profile corporate tabloid site that moonlights as a porn promoter. But a closer look at Virgin Territory suggests the winner may not be the only one getting screwed...

The ads today are pretty funny. With an idea he describes as "Big Brother meets The Howard Stern Show," pornmeister Kevin Blatt maps out a parody of the reality format that's up there with the best of Fox Television.

Ten "medically certified" (how they hell are they going to prove that?) male virgins will be locked lock in a house in LA's pornful San Fernando Valley. They'll be "monitored" to make sure no one has any sexual contact-- "even with themselves," and a "celebrity host" will preside over competitions and tests that result each week with the lowest-scoring virgin being Prematurely Ejected. "America" will vote via a 900 number to decide between the final two. On the last episode, "surprise celebrity takes the winner to the Lose-it Lounge, where video cameras will record the action to be shown on the Web and on TV (Fox again?).

Blatt is best known for marketing the Paris Hilton sex tape, and today, TMZ, the sleazy AOL website that's being spun into a syndicated TV magazine, is hyping the new sex show and teasing that Jenna Jameson or Paris Hilton might be involved.

But notice the poster's mention that Blatt "originated" American Cannibal.

Last year saw the release of a documentary called American Cannibal: The Road To Reality that told the supposedly true story of Blatt's attempt to produce a reality TV series in which contestants are placed on a desert island, starved and encouraged to eat each other. He develops the idea after passing on an idea called... Virgin Terrritory, wherein a guy gets to lose it to a porn star.

Many believe the Cannibal documentary was actually a staged , Blair Witchian "mockumentary."

So is this one for real? Or are the casting call, and the billboards set to go up in LA and NYC, the first steps in the making of a sequel?

Hey, at least let's hope the "celebrity" isn't Andy Dick.

Was E. Howard Hunt one of JFK's killers?

On the day George Bush is set to deliver his State of the Union address, E. Howard Hunt dies in Florida at 88.

Hunt is best known for helping organize the Watergate break-in, leading to the greatest scandal in American political history and the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency (whose moviegoing connections can be seen in the Frozen Pictures documentary, All The Presidents’ Movies, which actually might really be coming out on DVD one of these days).

The Watergate conspirator (he didn’t show up for the actual break-in) had a storied past, as World War II soldier, CIA officer, organizer of a Guatemalan coup, the botched Bay of Pigs invasion, and the office of the psychiatrist treating Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

But most important, and still unproven, is his connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Hunt was allegedly one of the “tramps” who was arrested that day in the train yards adjacent to Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Tramps who, as photographed, didn't fit the bill with their new shoes and collars that weren't frayed. And the photographs that allegedly prove it are still being debated. Hunt is said to be the third man in line. Some say the father of actor Woody Harrelson, serving a life sentence for murdering a judge in Texas, is allegedly the man in front of him. And leading the pack: another Watergate figure, Frank Sturgis.

''I was in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 22, 1963,'' Hunt wrote in a letter to Time magazine, in December 1975, while he was incarcerated at Eglin Air Force Base's prison camp. ''It is a physical law that an object can occupy only one space at one time.''

And we believe him. Don't we?

Below, the JFK Tramp in 1963, E. Howard Hunt in 1973:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Now these guys know how to write a lede

"HEATHER Mills will pocket around £1,000 an hour for her four-year marriage to Sir Paul McCartney in a hush-hush divorce deal— that's about the same rate she charged as a hooker."

(See more of Heather here, here and here.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bush Baby & Fat Jon: Reality TV's latest idols

The two Seattle wannabe pop stars who were shortchanged by genetics and then ridiculed by American Idol, are embarking on a now-standard journey into that bizarre new realm of post-reality show fame and exploitation.

And while Kenneth Briggs and Jonathan Jayne lift off into the unknown, Fox Television is taking a strong stand against Rosie O'Donnell and others who've claim the Idol judges were meaner than ever to those poor boys and others this time around. "I think it's part of what makes American Idol American Idol," Peter Liguori, Fox entertainment president, told television writers at the summit in Pasadena today. And he added--presumably with a straight face-- that folks have told him the show's been "toned down."

Tuesday and Wednesday's shows, which featured auditions in Minneapolis and Seattle, pulled in about 37 million viewers. Simon Cowell got the heaviest criticism for making fun of the saucer-eyed and stunted Kenneth, and the slow, portly Jonathan.

Simon told Kenneth: ''You look a little odd... you look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle, with those massive eyes. What are they called? A bush baby." And when rotund 20-year-old Jonathan followed, Simon asked him if he'd borrowed Randy Jackson's pants. The New York Times pointed out the next morning that "an online biography from a private school in Seattle where Mr. Jayne graduated in 2004 notes that his hobbies include participating in the Special Olympics." It's also been revealed that Jonathan is autistic to boot--and lost his job as a grocery store for skipping work for the Idol audition! Oops.

But no worries. For Bush Baby & Fat Jon, the fun's just begun.

The morning after his Idol appearance, Jonathan was interviewed on The BJ Shea Morning Experience (home of "Hot topics, hot shots, hot bitches" and the "H-Hole Army") on Seattle's KISW-FM. Jonathan was scheduled to return to sing on the radio Friday morning, but he was hijacked, along with Kenneth, by the producers of Jimmy Kimmel Live for an appearance in LA last night. At the end of the interview, Kimmel invited Kenneth and Jonathan to the Bob Hope Classic celebrity golf tournament (taking place now in Palm Springs) to interview celebrities for him.

That promises another Kimmel appearance next week, which means that Kenneth will probably again be a no-show on the BJ radio show back home, where he's now set to perform Monday morning, and "the Morning Experience staff intends to help him find a new job."

Welcome to show biz, h-holes...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Art Buchwald's life without a net

Art Buchwald has died after somehow surviving for close to a year without functioning kidneys. The syndicated humour columnist won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982, and is best known for poking fun and barbs at the Washington D.C. power elite. But folks in the Industry remember him best for exposing Hollywood's "creative accounting" when he successfully sued Paramount Pictures, claiming that a two-page treatment he sold the studio in 1983 ("King for a Day") was the basis for Eddie Murphy's hit film Coming to America.

When Buchwald insisted the studio owed him a piece of the "net profit," Paramount claimed it owed him nothing, because the movie lost money-- even though it made more than $100 million at the box office. Everyone laughed, Buchwald won, Paramount appealed, everything was settled out of court and every writer, producer and production assistant learned to never ask for a piece of the "net."

But Art Buchwald has an even greater, more lasting connection to cinema. He wrote the English language dialogue in the great Jacques Tati film, Play Time. (It's the film from 1967, in which Tati's Monsieur Hulot roams around the modern maze of Paris with a group of hapless American tourists.) Buchwald's distinctive voice can be heard on the soundtrack, as well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

With TV ahead, TMZ needs to get out of the toilet

With word that the corporate tabloid scandal website TMZ is about to be turned into a syndicated television magazine show (replacing Geraldo At Large, which unceremoniously replaced the revived A Current Affair), it’s time for Harvey Levin and the boys at the AOL/Time-Warner subsidiary to clean up their act.

And we’re not talking about sending kids with home video cameras to stand outside restaurants taunting celebrities, its fawning over Matthew McConaughey’s “heinie,” or its exploitation of the exposed crotches of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and other young women. That stuff will be ironed out as the site is tuned into a graphics-happy, fast-moving fluff vessel like its secret TV parent, Extra.

What TMZ has got to stop doing is acting as pimp and salesman for companies selling disgusting “celebrity” sex tapes. Whether someone is getting a kickback or the TMZ journos really think the subject is news, the kinky raunch and reworded press releases are very off-putting, especially when the headline is as heavy-handed as the one they ran today:

Paris' BFF's Sex Tape -- It's a Pisser

We first noticed the TMZ-underground porn connection in September, when the site began running a series of “previews” for a scatological sex video featuring former child actor Dustin Diamond of the show Saved By The Bell. TMZ giddily named the tape “Saved By The Smell,” and giggled that it featured an act of coprophilia known as a “Dirty Sanchez.”

Now, TMZ promoting and helping sell a tape that defiles and degrades another young woman— this time with urine.

As proud syndication salesmen rush about the NATPE convention in Las Vegas, selling the TMZ show to stations around the country, the TMZ site is repeating a story that's been floating around for weeks now-- a rumoured sex video featuring the brother of the pop singer Brandy and a celebutard of little consequence named Kim Kardashian. Kim is the daughter of the late Robert Kardashian, OJ Simpson’s friend and idolizer, who scurried away from police with Simpson’s Louis Vuitton luggage the morning after the Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman murders.

In this alleged video, Kim reportedly is the recipient of a “golden shower” of urine. As with the “Screech Sex Tape,” TMZ and, by extension, its corporate conglomerate parents and their shareholders, are helping promote this sleazy sex tape-- offering a link to the company that’s allegedly offered $2 million dollars for the video. TMZ quotes a "source who has seen the tape" about its contents, and trumpets its come-on with the headline:

Paris' BFF's Sex Tape -- It's a Pisser

Sorry guys, this may get a laugh around the office, later on at the bar on the Boulevard, or even late night on a specialty digital channel
-- but it comes from a cynical, decadent and sheltered view that isn't shared by the majority of Americans outside your three-mile zone-- and it ain’t gonna fly on nationally-syndicated television, not even when you hide behind the pretty plastic "anchors" who'll front the show.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dead man & old maids enliven Golden Globes

Sacha Baron Cohen almost stole the show with yet another accent-- this time his own. Clint Eastwood came in a close third, shoveling food into his mouth like an addled retiree at a free buffet during the Warren Beatty tribute.

Then there was Forest Whitaker.

But the real showstopper at last night's Golden Globe Awards (get your winners here) came during a commercial break, when a dead person was exhumed and re-animated (we've already heard the Warren Beatty jokes). It was Orville Redenbacher, the popcorn pitchman who died of a heart attack in his whirlpool bathtub back in September 1995, making history by hawking his wares from beyond the grave.

Sure, dead people have been used in commercials. But officially, last night's debut was "the first time a digital representation of a deceased individual appeared that could be made to say and do anything."

Unfortunate what the zombie Redenbacher said, though. In its quest for warm and fuzzy nostalgia, the spot had him revive a term for unpopped kernels that had been excised from the original Redenbacher ads decades ago because of its unsavory political incorrectness:

Old maids.

Get it? Even in this age of TV crassness, watch for that line to disappear from the spot in the coming weeks.

The commercial, which showed the creepy dead man hobbling through a party of yung'uns, was created by the ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky out of Miami. The combination of three digitally-merged actors--voice, face and body-- was slightly clumsy and made him look like a Dawn of the Dead extra. You'd expect the young popcorn partygoers to run from the room screaming because dead grandpa was walking around, seemingly running on juice from someone's mp3 player.

However, Orville's real grandson and live popcorn pitchman, Gary Redenbacher, gave a thumbs up. He said: "Grandpa would go for it. He was a cutting-edge guy. This is a way to honor his legacy."

(Fun fact: The original Dawn of the Dead is on Tabloid Baby's list of the Top 50 movies of all time)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Won't a talk show deal finally kill Artie Lange?

There's been talk this past week that Howard Stern's (remember him?) slovenly satellite radio sidekick Artie Lange has signed "a major deal with Fox Television" to star in his own late-night talk show (possibly to replace TalkShow with Spike Feresten. The latest conjecture is whether Lange will leave his spot on the Sirius pay-show or be held to the final four years of his contract.

But the more obvious question is why anyone would sign the self-destructive Artie-- the comedian voted most likely to wind up as the next Chris Farley-- for such a strenuous task in his condition. Don't they read the Artie Lange Death Watch web sites?

If the Fox execs don't watch the web (or CSI: Miami, they could ask for a tape of Artie's recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (or Late Night with Conan O'Brien). Promoting his sorry Beer League DVD, the comic appeared disheveled and morbidly obese, about twice the size as when he appeared last summer to promote the theatrical release. Artie has said he gained the weight after quitting heroin (he's shown in his heroin days at right).

And just this past summer, as we chronicled his slide to demise, he told the LA Times: "I am a guy who has struggled with every kind of addiction. I love gambling, and it has gotten me into trouble before. I love drugs and booze. The drugs finally had to go, but the booze is still very much in play. And you know I love broads. I am definitely not someone who is embarrassed to get a hooker or two."

Poor Artie. Despite the acclaim for his comedy, the sad comic is best known for his excess, his inconsistency and absences on the Stern show from the time it was a free, influential radio program, and his often-inebriated concert performances. His last contract with Fox Television, as an original cast member on MADtv, ended when drug and alcohol abuse led to his firing.

An Artie Lange talk show promises to be Fox's biggest late night train wreck since Chevy Chase--though definitely more entertaining. Maybe they should consider a reality show.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shawn Hornbeck's tabloid timeline

When the police can't help, the families turn to tabloid television. From America’s Most Wanted to James van Praagh to today's cable news babblers (look what Geraldo at Large missed out on), this timeline from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gives a hint of the desperation behind the disappearance of an 11-year-old. The golden earring is black-- and accompanied by a lip piercing. Now scan four and a half years and try not to use your imagination. The story will unfold in all its mundane horror soon enough.

Shawn Hornbeck Timeline

Oct. 6:
Shawn Hornbeck leaves his Richwoods home in Washington County around 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 to visit a friend. He was last seen around 4 p.m. on his green mountain bike near Hwy. 47 and A. Richwoods is about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Oct. 10: The FBI and Missouri Highway Patrol are called in.

Nov. 2: America’s Most Wanted runs a feature on Shawn.

Nov. 6: A pair of bloody gloves is found near where Shawn disappeared, but are later determined not to be tied to Shawn’s disappearance. Authorities follow a lead searching an area where a tipster says Shawn’s bicycle might be found.

Nov. 8: It is reported that a lake is drained of nearly 4 million gallons. The only thing found is an old pickup truck which is not tied to Shawn’s case.

Nov. 9: Shawn’s dad, Craig Akers, says old wells, cisterns and mine shafts in Washington County are being searched.

Nov. 12: Shawn’s parents picket the Sheriff’s office, frustrated over a lack of progress on Shawn’s case. Washington County Sheriff states that he called the Major Case Squad but that Washington County was outside the Major Case Squad’s jurisdiction.

Nov. 14: Washington County Sheriff Gary Yount pulls the lead detective Doug Hollinsworth off the case and replaces him with two others. Shawn’s parents tape a segment of Beyond with James Van Praagh.

Dec. 15: It is reported that friends and relatives of Shawn are starting are forming the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation to provide assistance in missing children cases.

Jan. 3:
The Shawn Hornbeck Foundation and Project Safe Child hold a benefit dance and offer free digital fingerprinting for children.

Jan. 13: ADVO direct mail cards of “Have You Seen Me?” cards are distributed in the St. Louis area. An ADVO spokesman says 70 million cards with Shawn on it will be distributed nationwide.

Oct. 6: Shawn’s parents plant a red maple tree at the Richwoods Lion’s Club and hold a candlelight vigil on the anniversary of his disappearance.

Jan. 9:
The Shawn Hornbeck Foundation and Project Safe Child hold a benefit dance and offer free digital fingerprinting for children.

Feb. 16: Shawn’s parents announce they will soon rescind the $75,000 reward for information leading to Shawn’s disappearance. Shawn’s mom, Pam Akers, state there might be people looking to see amount of reward money keep increasing. More than 50 tips come in after the announcement.



Jan. 12:
Shawn found in a Kirkwood apartment, along with Ben Ownby, 13, who had gone missing five days earlier.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Is Lily latest victim of Munsters Curse?

Wasn't Lily Munster already resting in peace? Yvonne De Carlo, who played Lily in one of the greatest sitcoms in television history, has died at age 84 at the Motion Picture & Television facility in suburban Los Angeles. She allegedly succumbed to natural causes, but considering that her death comes less than a year after that of a costar, talk of a Munsters Curse is already spreading.

Consider this: Less than a year ago, Al Lewis, who played Lily's father, "Grandpa," died on February 6, 2006. He was either 83 or 95-- although his character was at least 400 years old and had been married several times. (All his wives are dead, though he kept in touch with them.)

Fred Gwynne, who played Herman Munster, died in 1993. He was 66. His attempts to escape the Herman Munster persona in his latest years are chrinicaled in a sidespiltting fashion in Chapter 3 of the book, Tabloid Baby.

Butch Patrick, check your pulse.

(The Munsters, which aired for two years in the 1960s, is a classic sitcom about a family of horror movie monsters who had no idea they were different fron their neighbors. NBC features Munsters episodes in its new Dotcomedy.com broadband site.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

'Basketball Man' in Big Five

Frozen Pictures' new documentary feature, Basketball Man, is a Top 5 DVD pick by the high-quality, high-end men’s magazine, Avery Cardoza’s Player. The magazine selects five DVDs in its January/February issue. And Basketball Man is the only brand-new feature in the group.

Along with the films Snakes on A Plane and Crank, and the TV compilations Extras: The Complete First Season and Baywatch: Season Three, is the documentary feature, Basketball Man: The Greatest Sports Story Never Told, standing tall:
“With basketball season and gravity-defying dunks in full force, few people take a moment to think where it all came from. This documentary tells the story of Dr. James Naismith, the man who invented basketball in 1891. It features segments with stars past and present, including Michael Jordan and Steve Nash, as well as Naismith’s grandson, Ian, who travels the country with the 13 original rules in a golden briefcase, teaching people about the sportsmanship his grandfather so strongly advocated.”
Player, the brainchild of multimillion-selling author, publisher and gaming authority Avery Cardoza--the Hugh Hefner of the gaming lifestyle. It's a classy, sophisticated mag that bills itself as the one “that brings it all together for the educated, upscale man who craves the good life and is acquiring the means to achieve it… a real guy’s guide to celebrities, fashion, cars, technology + good drinks, good smokes and good times.”

Along with FHM, the Player issue with Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia on the cover is only the latest pop culture authority to recognize Basketball Man as a major release.

The Basketball Man DVD will be released on February 20th.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rock Star Update: David Hull plays Chan's Chinese

In the last chapter of one of the coolest stories of 2006--David Hull’s middle-aged rock star rejuvenation ended as bassist for Aerosmith, ended a few weeks ago, after a four-month odyssey to the top of the rock 'n' roll world.

Dave had been on tour with the band since September, filling in for his old pal Tom Hamilton, who's recovering from treatments for throat cancer.

When the tour ended, the other guys in Aerosmith headed off to elite rock star holiday vacation spots. But Dave, the local rock star of our youth went back to work in the clubs he's been rocking for decades, playing a December 29th gig at Chan’s Chinese Restaurant in Woonsocket, Rhode Island with local blues mainstays, The James Montgomery Band.

Now we've found a review of the show-- and an interview with Dave from the scene.

From Yarmarge.com:

Chinese restaurant venue?
We love playing Chan's. It's so different from any of the other places we play...it reminds me of a 1930's club or a speakeasy. There's always a great crowd and a great vibe at Chan's.

Is it hard to go back to small clubs after playing big arenas with AEROSMITH?
Not at all. I'm playing with amazing musicians in intimate settings. I love this gig.

Favorite AERO songs you like to play?
Toys, Back In the Saddle, and Draw The Line.

As for the review:
It was so freakin loud, I thought my head was going to split open. Too loud? NAY BRO! James Montgomery turned it up so we could feeeel that funky thang! So how loud is he? He rattled the rock in my (egg)roll! HOW loud? He deep-fried the fortune right outta my cookie! HOW LOUD?? He blasted the scorpion outta my bowl!! The set list was smokin'! When they jammed Lovin' Cup, the whole room got hot while James blew harp and lead guitarist George McCann shredded the riffs! For a second there, I thought McCann was gonna set the place on fire!! Jeeeeezus...that man can cook, sho' 'nuff! Marty Richards, formerly of The Peter Wolf Band, wailed on his drums so hard I was half-expecting him to stand up and and kick his kit off the stage. It was torture staying in my seat but if I jumped up on our table like I wanted to, I woulda been shuckin' and jivin' with Marge, myself and I! Might have raised more than a few eyebrows, if you know what I'm sayin'. Get the cd Bring It On Home and see fer yerself. And while you're looking around James' site, check his tour schedule and get yerself to a show. I'll be there, without a doubt!”
A tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to Yarmarge.com! We'll be keeping up with this story, and will keep you up to date on David Hull's probable return to Aerosmith in '07.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

"It's Officer ESTRADA! Not ESTEVEZ, you #$%*!!"

This is what happens when Hollywood invades real-life America with reality TV cameras: Former celebrity and TV cop Erik Estrada, now a real-life Muncie, Indiana police reserve officer for the new CBS show Armed & Famous, cursing out a bespectacled, middle-aged stabbing victim because they guy referred to him as "Emilio Estevez."

Yes, the CBS quasi-celebrities-as-cops show keeps looking better every day. First there was the story that they're paying money to criminals and other arrestees to get permission to use their images. Then there's the teaser clip (above) showing Erik Estrada and other morons getting themselves tasered (keep a close eye on his crotch as he's zapped) for television. And now, Wednesday night's incident in which Officer Estrada got into an "expletive-laced shouting match" with a man on a stretcher.

Estrada was being filmed, about to remove handcuffs from a local activist named Randall R. Sims, who'd been stabbed in the leg during an domestic dispute. Simms, whose local claim to fame is having gotten a street named after nonviolence advocate Dr. Martin Luther King, first addressed the 57-year-old former TV ChiP as "Estevez," then said he didn't want to appear on the show.

Everything exploded and the swearing started after Sims accused Estevez--er, Estrada--of having been in Muncie only two days--and knowing nothing about Dr. King (odd, since the real Estevez has recently emerged from obscurity directing the film, Bobby, which is about events surrounding Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, and concludes with Kennedy's speech after King's killing).

In true mature, detached cop fashion, Estrada told Sims he'd been in town for six weeks, not two days-- and said he grew up in Spanish Harlem -- a tough nabe mentioned in King's landmark 1967 speech calling for an end to the Vietnam War. Then the swearing started.

The incident's on film. The producer says there's a "slight chance" they'd show the incident with the man's face blurred. But we're sure the checkbook is being waved under Mr. Sims' nose as we write. The show's other "celeb" cops are La Toya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, "Wee Man" Acuña and Trish Stratus. The premiere's set for Wednesday. And despite earlier denials, they will carry guns. Hey, this series might turn out to be as funny as the COPS episode of My Name Is Earl!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Geraldo finally euthanized

The only surprise is that it's taken this long: Twentieth Television's Geraldo at Large has been canceled at last.

The show’s staff got word today that production will shut down in a matter of weeks, and that the show will disappear at the end of January.

We got the scoop that the show was going away a little prematurely-- back in August, when word was that sagging ratings would have the show pulled by September. But Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News and the Fox Television stations, hung in, if only because of pride. Ailes had slammed the series onto the air in November 2005, after taking over the stations leadership from Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan, and immediately killing the newly-revived A Current Affair. The tabloid series had competed with, and in some cases beaten Ailes' Fox News team on major stories, while Geraldo had a fat Fox News contract and was relegated to weekends.

At Large drew on the Fox News resources as it threw the shticky Geraldo into an arena that had passed him by. The show became most notable for its brutal, ugly and nasty promos, whose preoccupation with rapists, molesters and perverts stuck out when scheduled amid family programming.

Sadly, this is another show closing and a third consecutive strike for television stalwart Arthel Neville, who was brought on board At Large after stepping into Affair when her previous showcase, Good Day Live, was canceled.

Geraldo’s return to weekends at the Fox News Channel opens a slot for Warner Bros.' magazine based on TMZ, the tabloid celebutard and crime-driven website fronted by flamboyant personality Harvey Levin, which got much mileage out of breaking the Mel Gibson anti-Semitism story, but whose bread and butter is sending out kids with cameras to harass celebrities, and again may find itself being too hard-edged for the real mainstream.