Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ramones curse claims another life

Linda Stein was married to Seymour Stein, who signed the Ramones to Sire Records. Linda managed the band with Danny Fields. Linda and Seymour divorced. The New York Times reports "The Steins eventually grew apart, and divorced in the late 1970s. A Vanity Fair profile of Ms. Stein later quoted her ex-husband as saying: 'Our marriage for me was like eight years on a roller coaster, and not always strapped in'... Despite the divorce, the Steins stayed in touch. 'They fight and then they make up,' Mr. Fields said. 'It’s like they’re married, but they’re living separate lives.'”

Linda (above, next to Joey Ramone) "went on to become known as a real estate agent to the stars." She "was found bludgeoned to death Tuesday night in her apartment at 965 Fifth Avenue... shortly before 10:30 p.m. by her daughter Mandy and a friend.. Ms. Stein’s body was found face down in the living room in a pool of blood, the police said. She was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood, which was pulled over her head. Investigators at first believed the bleeding could have resulted from a fall, but when the hood was pulled back, a severe skull injury was exposed. Yesterday, the medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide."

Joey died of lymphoma in 2001. Dee Dee OD'd in 2002. Johnny died in 2004. Pal Legs McNeil's followup to Please Kill me didn't sell all that well. CBGBs closed in 2006. Producer Phil Spector went on trial for murder this year. CBGBs owner Hilly Krystal died in August. Etc. Curse?

Dr. Ruehl weighs in on celebrity death trio

They Die in Threes! Yes, they do, those celebrities. And now, our learned contributor, Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D., nuclear physicist, expert on all, the man behind "Ask Dr. Ruehl"-- and a bigtime TV and movie actor, to boot-- weighs in on the latest trifecta of doom that was set into motion by the passing of Porter Wagoner and continued by the untimely death of Robert Goulet:

While I am, of course, enraptured by bizarre coincidences, I have always maintained skepticism regarding
the concept of famous deaths
occurring in 3s.

1st, how famous does a person have to be to qualify?

2nd, what is the time range for the deaths occurring in trios... 1 day, 2 days... or perhaps a week?

But I would like to nominate a possible candidate to complete the trio that includes Robert Goulet and Porter Wagoner, namely, TV's Chef Tell, who also just died. His obit is below.

May the Power of the Cosmos be with You!

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Friedman Paul Erhardt, a German-born cook known as "Chef Tell" who was one of America's pioneering television chefs, has died. He was 63. Erhardt died Friday of heart failure at his home in Upper Black Eddy, about 25 miles east of Allentown, his family said. Erhardt's jolly personality, thick German accent and wit made him a fixture on TV shows such as "Regis and Kathie Lee" and comedy skits on "Saturday Night Live." He was also said to be the inspiration for the Swedish chef on "The Muppet Show"...

Sex tape royal: "I'm innocent (and not gay)!"

The British Royal who was allegedly the target of gay sex tape blackmailers says he's innocent! The royal denies he performed a sex act on a male aide (turns out it was only talked about on tape by a coke-spooning assistant) and told cops he's willing to testify in court.


A courtroom appearance would most likely out the victim as Viscount Linley, AKA David Linley, son of the late Princess Margaret, whose identity is protected by the British legal system, but whom we told you about on Monday-- and whose name British writer Nicholas Davies blurted on Fox News.

In Their Face

Oddly, Davies has not been taken to task by anyone that we know of for revealing the name via phonecall from his home in Surrey, England-- or for his obvious double entendre in calling the alleged blackmailers' plot "a con trick which exploded in their face."

On the royal down-low? Linley with his sis, mum... and wifey:

They Die in Threes: Overnight singing star results

Singer Robert Goulet became a hit with American TV viewers with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Singer Evelyn Knight was a versatile singer with pop and country hits who appeared many times on The Ed Sullivan Show. Singer Porter Wagoner's television variety show was The Ed Sullivan Show of country music.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wagoner... now Goulet... Who will be the third?

We let it slide with Joey Bishop, Theresa Brewer and Deborah Kerr, and more recently with Peg Bracken, Judy Mazel and G.A. Renner, but they really do Die in Threes. And interesting, the New York Times obit headlines Bob Goulet as an "actor." The LA Times calls him a "singer."

"He was The Image of the Country Music Star"

The death of country music legend Porter Wagoner may not have registered to our big city pals, but a good part of America lost an old and welcome friend when the music star and TV standby passed away on Sunday. Our pal Lewis Bailey of Bailey Mountain, Georgia-- well-known as Tabloid Baby's eyes on the South, the best news cameraman in the USA and a leading expert on country western music-- knew the man and his music, and along with the photo of Porter and the Bailey bunch above, sends us these thoughts on the loss:

When I hear the name Porter Wagoner, I tend to get the same feeling as walking into my home and smelling turnip greens and corn bread baking in the oven. My mind goes back to my childhood listening to a Hallicrafters AM radio crackle in our barn.

As I got older, a TV show on the weekend is added to that memory. Porter has always been with me. He was always comforting and entertaining.

I thought Porter invented rhinestone suits. For us real country folks, he was what success and stardom looked like. In the early 60's, he was The Image of The Country Music Star. As an adult today, I realize that Porter was doing everything he could to entertain his audience. He did all this because he loved his audience. He sang with all his heart. And I guess Porter thought that was not enough, so he framed himself with beautiful women and Nudie suits.

My family and I were around him several times, and he treated us like special folks. We were only fans. But he treated us like found family. No one was a rank stranger to Porter.

Porter, Dolly is not the only one who will always love you.
Porter Wagoner's funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Wagoner will be buried in Nashville's Woodlawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Alive Hospice in Nashville or the Opry Trust Fund.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is David Linley the sex-blackmail Royal?

The name of yet another third-string louche British royal is being bandied as the victim of sex-and-drug-video blackmail. Though we'd put early money on the colorful Freddie Windsor, son of the racist Princess Michael of Kent, we've now been handed the name David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley-- aka "David Linley." No, not David Lindley, the former Jackson Browne sideman, but the furniture maker, son of the late Princess Margaret.

Scotland Yard will not name the victim, but it's said that (the married) Linley's name was on the envelope from which an aide spooned cocaine on camera, and the one from whom the aide boasted of having received a sex act. The latest word adds credence to suspicion that this being Britain, sodomy was most likely involved; and this being Britain, if the act didn't involve a satsuma, cat 'o' ninetails, ladies knickers or a paddle, the Royal was probably getting or giving a blowjob.

This photo is on the homepage of Linley's website.

But is it the front door... or back door? Sorry.

FUN FACT: According to his company website, "LINLEY has become known for its imaginative use of wood." We bet.

Exclusive: Was Yankees' signing of two Israel Baseball League stars just a publicity stunt?

While the Red Sox put a quick and definitive end to 2007 for Major League Baseball, aftershocks from the premiere season of the Israel Baseball League continue to rumble, with the latest rumblings regarding the big announcement last week that two IBL standouts have been signed by the New York Yankees.

People who know a lot more about baseball than we do are grousing that the signings of Eladio Rodriguez and Jason Rees are just a stunt to generate some positive publicity and attract investors to a league whose first season's foibles were laid out in a controversial and now legendary article by Our Man Elli in Israel, that was first published here.

Even disinterested wags with no bones to pick are scratching their heads. Fantasy league center RotoWorld reports that Modi’in Miracle catcher Eladio Rodriguez and Aussie Jason Rees of the pennant-winning Bet Shemesh Blue Sox were signed “to minor league contracts… They were playing against competition that might have equated to Rookie ball in the U.S., and it's highly unlikely that either player will ever see time in the majors with the Yankees.”

"Unlikely that either player will ever see time in the majors?" Then why would the Yankees sign them? And with all those 22-year-olds running around, why Rodriguez, who, at the advanced age of 28, already had a shot on the Red Sox farm? One theory is that the East Coast Old Boys’ Network wants to prop up IBL founder Larry Baras of Boston, as he looks for new IBL funding at a time he faces renewed criticism in wake of Elli Wohlgelernter’s exposé .

Interesting, some say, that no other major league team found any other IBL players worth signing for their minor league systems, just as it’s interesting that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is on the IBL advisory board, along with his wife Sue, daughter Wendy, and:

* Randy Levine, the New York Yankees president (known most recently for his aiding and abetting in the screwing of Yankees manager Joe Torre);

* Marty Appel (greatest moment, right), the Yankees’ former public relations director, executive producer of Yankees game telecasts, overall Yankees booster— and perpetuator of the Nixonesque smear–the-messenger campaign against Our Man Elli-- portraying him to other media professionals as a “disgruntled job seeker” (we call them “freelance journalists,” shmucko), yet refuting none of what Elli wrote);

* Marvin Goldklang, a minority owner of the New York Yankees and principal owner of four Minor League teams; and

* Dr. Stuart J. Hershon, the IBL's chief medical adviser-- and Yankees team physician.

One source goes as far as to tell us, “The signing of the two Israel Baseball League players last week is a scam, done solely to save the ass of the founder, by bringing him good publicity at a time when he’s in deep debt caused by ineptness, if not outright malfeasance; as well as save face for Levine himself.

“The Yankees are so smart that they sign not one, but two players from a mostly semi-pro league? Including a 28-year-old? And all 29 other teams are idiots who can't judge talent? Feh!”

We won’t go that far. And neither will Our Man Elli.

We asked him to follow up on this latest scuttlebutt, he’s not biting. “Everything I wrote was based on facts. Where are the facts now? This is all rumour. And there are enough sports journalists out there who can chase down rumours if they’re interested.”

We’d like to see professional baseball flourish in Israel. We’d also like to see players be paid for their work, and for fans to get their shekel’s worth. But mostly, we agree with Our Man Elli, and would like to see some mainstream sports journalists get off their fat asses and do some of the work themselves, rather than just plagiarize Our Man Elli, like that Greenberg putz.

Kim Kardashian's giant ass promotes TV series

Kim Kardashian is on the "bottom" tier of celebutard fame, known because her father was OJ Simpson's pal and bag-carrier, because her mother married former Olympian, Village People movie star and one-time rumoured sex change candidate Bruce Jenner, because she was a friend of Paris Hilton during the wonky-eyed heiress's most contagious days, because she made and marketed, with the help of corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com, a sex tape with Brandy's equally unknown brother, whose early promotion featured the promise of "water sports," and because her ass seemed to grow in direct correlation to the amount of ink spilled about her inexplicable rise to attention. Now she's got a reality TV series and the usual accompanying Playboy spread. The photos are featured here (on an unauthorized tribute site), but don't tell them we sent you.

So who's the Royal & what's on the sex tape?

Two men are in custody in London for allegedly trying to blackmail a member of the British royal family over a “sex and drugs” video. But what’s on the tape-- and which royal family member (or royal family member's member) is involved?

Here’s what we know so far, according to the London papers:

* The alleged blackmail victim is supposedly not a senior member of the royal family. The reports don’t say whether the royal is male or female.

* The recordings are said to have been made by mobile phone and hidden recorders in a flat in South West London, close to Buckingham Palace, in a residential area.

* The video allegedly shows the royal's aide spreading cocaine on a table and cutting it into lines using a Harrods gold charge card. The aide makes allegations of a sex act that took place with the royal. Then he asks for "more cocaine."

* One of the alleged blackmailers is “a university-educated businessman and socialite who is said to be a well-known figure on the London club scene" and “who lives with his mother in Chelsea.”

* Suspect Ian Strachan claims he has met Princes Wiliam and Harry on two occasions. He also claims to know Princess Anne's "down to Earth" daughter Zara Phillips and Freddie Windsor (the playboy son of racist Princess Michael of Kent, above and left).

* Strachan's attorney claims there is no sex tape. "There is no tape in existence. What there is in existence are tapes both audio and visual of an assistant to a member of the royal family boasting of how he received a sex act from this royal family member. Whether that act took place I do not know.”

* In 2003, Prince Charles was embroiled in a gay sex scandal after a former palace servant who’d worked for Charles for 11 years said he winteness a sexual incident involving Prince Charles and a former male royal aide. He says he recorded what he saw on an audiotape and gave the tape to Princess Diana. Charles issued a statement denying all.

Initial suspicion led to one of the young party boy princes or their Da, but with that "no senior member" caveat (and William and Harry aparently are "senior," we'll go out on a limb and guess it's Freddie.

He was more than a pompadour & a Nudie suit

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Another exclusive lost photo from the $10 million bat mitzvah bash that war profiteer David Brooks allegedly bankrolled with embezzled funds. The man whose company allegedly manufactured defective body armour for our troops in Iraq now faces life in prison for fraud and embezzlement, but at least he'll have his memories of the night he was Mister Groyser Tzuleyger.

And later that evening, he was really in the pink:

Wonder if the pimp suit was bulletproof?
photos © Tabloidbaby.com

MITZVAHEXCLUSIVE: Heartbreaker for rock fans

The new documentary about Tom Petty is called Runnin' Down A Dream, but as these exclusive photos attest, the old school rebel rock 'n' roller can't run from the fact that he "hosted" the $10 million bat mitzvah thrown by indicted war profiteer David Brooks.

performance photos © Tabloidbaby.com

EXCLUSIVE: Yes, Kenny G really was the strolling horn player at the $10 million mitzvahpalooza!

The kids got to see 50 Cent, but Kenny G-- he was for the aunts and uncles! The world's top-selling instrumentalist tootled at the $10 million bat mitzvah bash David Brooks threw for his little girl at the Rainbow Room two years ago.
photo © Tabloidbaby.com

Tabloid Baby exclusive on Good Morning America

ABC's Good Morning America gave Tabloid Baby a mainstream national audience this morning when it used our exclusive photos of the $10 million rock star-studded (let's see Don Henley pontificate about this one on the new Eagles tour) bat mitzvah party two years ago that led to an indictment for war profiteer David Brooks.

So what if it's the weekend show? Our colleagues in "mainstream" news may turn up their noses at the term "tabloid," but when it comes to getting a scoop or photos to illustrate a news package, you might be surprised how quickly such pretensions are dropped-- just as you'd be surprised at how many tabloid babies have grown up to be top network news producers and suits.

As for us, we just got a chuckle out of seeing the words "Tabloid Baby" in the corner of the screen throughout a network news report. We also think it's cute that a network news package about a shameful bat mitzvah was fronted by a reporter named "JuJu."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dr. Ruehl's Halloween hat trick

Another reminder from Tabloid Baby pal and contributor Dr. Franklin Ruehl: He plays a "church ghost" on the extra-spooky pre-Halloween episode of Ghost Whisperer, seen in most places at 8 pm on CBS. And lucky Los Angelenos can add to that treat, catching a prime time doubleheader of Dr. Ruehl's classic public access chat show (he does most of the chatting), Mysteries from Beyond The Other Dominion, immediately following his network guest-starring role (without his trademark glasses!).

At 9 pm on Time Warner's Channel 25, he promises a special episode that also serves as the pilot for his proposed "The Amazing World of Western Fact & Fiction," followed by the answer to the timeless question, "Has The Speed of Light Been Surpassed?" at 10 pm on Channel 98. May the Power of the Cosmos be with you! Yes! Yes!

War profiteer faces prison for Mitzvahpalooza

The former CEO of the leading supplier of body armor to U.S. soldiers in Iraq has been charged with looting the company to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included a $10 million bat mitzvah for his daughter. You remember the "mitzvahpalooza"-- that's the private party that featured performances by sellout superstars including Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, 50 Cent, Ciara, Tom Petty, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith and (strolling near the buffet, searching for the brown note) Kenny G-- "private," that is, until Tabloid Baby made it public when we ran exclusive and timeless photos of the event two years ago.

Now the real-life Daddy Warbucks may pay big time for the Rainbow Room rockfest. Long Islander David Brooks faces 21 counts, including securities fraud, insider trading, tax evasion and obstruction of justice. He could go to jail for life. And these rock 'n' roll and hip hop stars must go through life knowing these pictures are in their closets.

performance photos © Tabloidbaby.com

Readers' pix: The well-rounded bookshelf

A tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to Lewis Bailey, our eyes on the South, for keeping up with his reading. Send along your bookshelf photos here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Zol zayn mit mazel! Tackle football comes to Israel for the first time-- and Our Man Elli is in the stands!

The FieldTurf Israel Football League took to the field for its first preseason game just hours ago, as the Big Blue hosted Mike's Place of Tel Aviv at the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem. The four-team league brings professional tackle football to Israel for the first time-- and wouldn't you know it, sitting in the stands and taking it all in was Elli Wohlgelernter, the esteemed sports journalist known in these parts as Our Man Elli in Israel, whose investigative article of the first season of the Israel Baseball League is still causing repercussions that are strong enough to have overshadowed yesterday the signing of two IBL players to the New York Yankees.

A bit of free advice: "Make sure to have plenty of ice, remember the fans-- and pay the players!"

Dr. Ruehl appears on Ghost Whisperer

Tabloid Baby pal and contributor Dr. Franklin Ruehl continues his meteoric rise to mainstream film and television acting prominence with an appearance tomorrow night on Ghost Whisperer, the hit CBS drama starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Fresh from the premiere of his new movie, Nothing But The Truth, in which he plays a bigshot Hollywood producer, the man who has been a legend in public access broadcasting, a corpse on Sunset Tan and a beatnik on Mad Men, fills us in on his next network showcase:
I will be appearing as a church ghost in this Friday's episode of "Ghost Whisperer" entitled, "The Weight of What Was," on CBS at 8 PM (October 26, 2007) .

Specifically, I will be 1 of a number of church congregants who was burned to death by afrenzied mob driven mad by bread contaminated with ergot back in 1840, being seen in the following scenes (barring being left on the cutting-room floor):

* Flashback scene entering church carrying metal cups;

* Screaming as the church is burned to the ground;

* Hideous ghost peering out of a window (this scene was shown briefly in the previews last Friday);

* Ghost scene at barred window of church door with my fingers wrapped around the bars (for this scene, I immediately clenched the bars when the director mentioned that he wanted 3 congregants at the door window-when he said he wanted only tall congregants, I stood on my tiptoes throughout the scene as I am only 5'8");

* Ghost at back of church terrified of an evil demon.


* On the 1st day of shooting, where the churchgoers were filmed before the fire, lasted from 3 PM to 8 PM at Universal. The director then selected 5 of us to portray burned ghosts (I was amazingly chosen, perhaps because I had angled myself toward the front, anticipating his announcement).

* We underwent heavy blackened makeup and donned clothes that had actually been burned for realism.

* We remained there until 6 AM (since this was a SAG production, this entailed time-and-half for hours 9-12, dinner time not counted, and double time for the remaining time. We did not quite reach "golden time," which begins after 16 hours, equivalent to $130 per hour. There were, however, 6 meal penalties, worth another $67.

* I was also there for a regular 8-hour day of shooting for some additional scenes.

* I will hardly be recognizable due to the makeup and the fact that I could not wear my glasses as they are not of the period.

* I was surprised to learn that everyone calls star Jennifer Love Hewitt simply "Love." Indeed, her chair, which I accidentally sat in briefly until chased away, is embossed on the back with the name "LOVE."

* Because of my fascination with the paranormal, this is my favorite TV program. I especially appreciate the scenes where Melinda (Love) is acting as intermediary between the living and the dead. Indeed, these scenes should be expanded in each episode because of their powerful emotional content!

May the Power of the Cosmos be with You!

Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D.

Maria, we hardly knew ye

Our former neighbor and colleague Maria Shriver took a quite a stand for journalism when she announced that she won't return to TV news because of media coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death. "It was then that I knew that the TV news business had changed and so had I," she said. "I called NBC News and told them I'm not coming back." Ha! Maria was hired on a network level in the first place because she was a "Kennedy," back in the day when TV news suits thuoght it a feather in the cap to have hired a Kennedy of any stripe (see Tabloid Baby-- take our word). We'd say she might have thought of throwing in the towel in wake of the media coverage of the death of her cousin David, her uncle Teddy's involvement of her cousin William Kennedy Smith's rape case, Willie's trial, the death of her cousin John-John, the boozing decline of her auntie Joan, cousin Pat's drug foibles, or in the days before her bodybuilder husband's election as governor, the coverage of his heavy-handed ass-grabbing and infidelities. Real brave that she waited til her 52nd birthday, when young Ben Silverman and Jeff Zucker are surely gagging for her return.