Saturday, June 27, 2009
If American Idol fans have been following the Adam Lambert/ Hi Fi Recordings cat fight - the latest "just in" - won't send 'em into a tailspin.
Yeah, it's all just a lot of - they said, she said - eh?
In a nutshell, it was announced last week - after the single "Want" was released on iTunes - that Hi Fi would press a full-fledged album later this summer from a bulk of musical musings Lambert apparently conjured up in a recording studio with little ado over the past two or three years.
Understandably, Lambert has a legitimate reason to be upset, if what he asserts is true.
"Last Friday I was surprised to find out that songs I recorded in 2005 were being released."
"Since then I discovered the entire track listing revealed online today."
"I was shocked to learn that songwriting demos of songs that I co-wrote and recorded over the past few years may be released in an album. Like a rough draft that a writer does before finishing a book, I did not intend my work on these demos to be heard by the public.
"I was unaware that anyone intended to release these recordings until I heard about it in the press and I'm very disappointed by this entire situation."
If you can't trust your handlers, then might as well pack it in, kiddo.
Those kind of woes obviously led to Michael Jackson's early demise if the truth be known.
Will Adam have to cut Hi Fi loose?
Maybe not, but the two need to confer, and get their creative differences squared away.
It's a messy kind of train wreck spilling out all over the music industry landscape in living color.
In an effort to effect damage control - and prevent their meal ticket from jumping ship - Hi Fi released their own version of the tawdry tale.
"As we've already outlined, releasing this music was always the plan. That plan was changed by 19 Recordings after Adam won America over with his extraordinary talent."
"It's a shame that his management/record company choose to disavow their client's work and discredit him as a songwriter.
"As an independent company whose role it is to help put this out, we at Hi Fi think this is an absolute slap in the face to Wilshire Records."
"That small indie music company, run by an experienced music producer, Malcolm Welsford, thrives on finding, nurturing and championing new talent, and now they find themselves at a tremendous potential loss."
"Adam's songwriting partner, Monte Pittman, now finds himself at a tremendous potential loss. Via the press, in the words of the musician they dedicated so much time and money to, they are being told that their work with Adam should never see the light of day."
Or, be given half-the-chance to take a stab at the unpredictable pop charts.
In a kissy-face effort to salvage the ship before it goes down, a Hi Fi rep rebounded a tad in the eyes of Adam - no doubt - when he ended his press release with a statement rife with glowing tributes about Adam's musical gifts.
To save their necks? No doubt.
"We apologize for what has become a tiresome tit for tat, particularly on a day that we mourn the loss of a truly original, game-changing entertainer, but unfortunately, each statement released in Adam's name contains a different story."
"We remain steadfast in our assertion that we seek only to share the music Adam wrote, according to plan, so his fans know the depth of his talent and see that he will be handsomely rewarded for his work."
But, here comes the kicker!
On the heels of the mud-slinging, Hi Fi noted for the record one stickler which may back someone into a corner they can't squeeze out of.
Not even with a king-size jar of KY.
Yeah, someone may get fu**ed - um - in the end.
After all, record execs are now alleging that they have a bona fide recording contract with Adam, which was signed on Feb. 12 (2008).
Holy American Idol, Batman!
In fact, it was because of that little piece of binding legal "tender", that the CD track - "Want" - got the "green light" to be released through iTunes a scant few days ago.
Well, 'ya know what they say: the proof is in the pudding.
Someone may have to fess up pronto to save face - and more importantly - avoid litigation.
In the final analysis, I lean on Adam's side when it comes to a course of action.
Any true artist who is a professional would balk at the idea of cutting a CD that wasn't up-to-snuff - especially in view of the stunning turn-of-events which occurred in recent weeks on American Idol - which has turned Adam Lambert into a household "brand" name, for starters.
Nor is it to the advantage of Hi Fi to release recordings of their top dog which are demo-grade - and quite possibly - below professional recording standards.
Adam and Hi Fi need only tweak and rearrange the material on the demos in order to strike a potential mother lode, in my estimation, as I noted in a blog post earlier this week.
After all, an artist's early recordings - coming on the heels of International success - are often deemed the most valuable to collectors, connoisseurs, and music-lovers in general.
Haven't the dueling partners ever heard of the phrase musical roots?
Into the studio, girls!
Got insomnia like some reclusive rock star pining for the glory days?
Then get your butt over to the New Beverly Cinema at the witching hour (midnight) to catch a screening of the hit! classic film! starring PRINCE!
Friday, June 26, 2009
American Idol...No. 1 TV Entertainment show teams up with No. 1 Blog! The Tattler is all a-twitter...
Well, although I was too old (their opinion, not mine) to audition - and in spite of the fact I practised for weeks to break my stage fright on ego-stroking Karaoke nights - I have now found a way to slip my formidable warbling talents before the likes of Simon Cowell at American Idol.
Yup, the tweet came down from the Heavens like golden manna, the other morning.
American Idol is now following MOI on Twitter.
Do you suppose my sleeping buddy Adam Lambert (kidding!) put in a good word with Simon between the silky bed sheets (wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall in that scenario) or was it just the fickle finger of fate following God's precious pop-idol cookie-cutter plan?
No matter, not unlike wacky Lucy (who schemed ad nauseam to break into elusive show business under the watchful eye of Ricky's thick - um - Cuban accent) I've hatched a clever plan to connive my way onto American Idol - and ultimately - bring down the house!
Right, the men-in-blue chasing me around a packed house of Hollywood hopefuls with middle America watching from the sidelines in their armchairs at home, should be good for a hearty guffaw or two!
All kidding aside, I am truly flattered that the glitterati at top-rated Idol have deemed me worthy of a click or two, as I report on the dazzling Entertainment landscape here on the West Coast, around this great country, and beyond.
Of course, I am a fan of Idol, so it is a painless responsibility.
Moreover, it should be noted that I have even given the No. 1 Entertainment Show a glowing review or two in the past, so it is no skin off my back to be sure dudes!
Just last year I penned a post on "Idol Gives Back", which was well-received here and a-broad, according to globe-trotting socialite pal Dame Edna.
There's nothing like a bit of philanthropy to uplift a dude's heart.
Meanwhile, if there are special promos, events (oh-so-chic high-society soirees?) that I should be duly informed about and invited to (hint! hint!) do - um - belt it out, eh?
Finally, a few parting words from a wise old musical Saint, worth paying heed to!
"If music be the food of life, then eat on."
Uh, did I get that quote right?
Kenny Loggins was now following me according to a twitter tweet!
What a good sport.
You see, because of a round-about turn-of-events last week, I ended up penning a post about rumors that the handsome musician may have had a nip and a tuck here 'n there in recent days.
It all started off innocently enough.
A contact of mine at Universal Music Group e-mailed me a promo about Kenny's new CD.
The brief upbeat communication provided me with a link so that I could take a gander at the trailer released to bolster the promo.
In response, I dashed off a post, so that fans of Loggins could check it out.
A day later, when I cruised back to the link site (Amazon.com) to verify pertinent information, I spied a comment in the dialogue box below which surprised me.
A reader snidely remarked that Kenny was obviously having trouble performing his single because of "alleged" plastic surgery which was purportedly restricting his facial muscles when warbling for the camera.
I fired back a comment, and noted that when I first screened the video, there didn't appear to be anything particularly unusual (or slightly out-of-whack) about the image appearing on the screen.
Upon closer scrutiny, when I surfed back to the site - however - I have to admit the texture of Kenny's skin was a bit raw-looking and taut around the edges of his facial features, if you get my gist.
"Maybe he downed a couple of drinks before the shoot," I teased.
Or, went a tad overboard with a skin peel?
Well, that got the rumor mills rollin', so-to-speak.
In fact, when I checked the blog stats at the WordPress site the following morning, I was elated to discover that the post reporting the skinny on Kenny nabbed an astounding number of unique hits overnight!
Meanwhile, the comments kept coming, too.
One fan quipped that Kenny was looking a lot like that other Kenny - ah - what's his name?
I laughed out loud.
My comment back?
Which Kenny Rogers?
The first one (pre-surgery) or the second one?
In spite of the unflattering quips, Kenny (Loggins) - who obviously caught wind of the post - signed up to follow me on Twitter in the wake of waves of titillating gossip that started surfing up on blog shores around the Internet.
So, tit-for-tat - and with a Chesire grin on my own (untouched) chinny chin chin - I started to follow the easy-going popular musician on the musical landscape (and elsewhere).
Suppose by next week, we'll be thick as thieves, doing duets around the country.
Welcome aboard, Kenny.
Victor Borge said it best:
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
This morning's papers were awash with news about Michael Jackson in the wake of his unexpected death yesterday afternoon at the UCLA Medical facility in Westwood (CA).
Many of the insightful detailed reports echoed each other.
There were eye-witness accounts of mourning fans, thoughts on what amounts to a colossal loss to the creative end of the music industry, reports on weepy candle-light vigils, and up-close and personal interviews with contemporaries who sang the Pop Icon's praises now that he has departed from this mortal coil and passed into spirit.
From where I stood, however, the overwhelming news event smacked more of a celebration of Michael's life & music.
A "wake", if you like.
Indeed, in a mass turn-out in front of the UCLA Medical facility late yesterday afternoon and early into the evening, fans demonstrated their love for a performer who was many things to many different people.
Yes, Jackson was a musical genius, an original given to unexplained excesses, a talented artist prone to self-destruct at any moment, you name it.
Once the news swept out from the inner recesses of the UCLA medical facility that doctors were desperately trying to work their magic to restore life to a frail shell of a human being that was fast expiring - fans descended on the well-manicured courtyard outside the hospital - and began their vigil.
But, what I beheld before me was not a teary-eyed assembly of mourners, grief-stricken beyond comprehension - but rather - a joyous throng of devoted fans who chose to celebrate his life and music the best way they fathomed they could.
The spirited music-lovers mimicked his style (many turned out with gloved hand, signature Fedora-style hat, outfitted in eye-catching outerwear festooned with sequins that glittered like stardust in the mid-afternoon sun), as they sang out the catchy - at times tricky - arrangement of notes and words of a dozen or so of his memorable hits.
Occasionally, emotions took hold - at which point a handful of high-spirited fans - broke into a contagious dance that continued on into dusk.
When the familiar strains of "Thriller" hit the air, the mood shifted gear and the fans went into a wild frenzy.
Young tots, hip teens - even older snazzily-dressed Jackson fans - let loose and danced individually and in pairs (even trios, at times) - inside a "magic circle" like moths drawn to a flame.
At one point, a beaming Afro-American male spied my own lithe bod gyrating to the unique beat of the mega hit from yesteryear and was inclined to give me a nudge.
"Go on, man. Get in there. It's your turn."
Hesitant, but willing nonetheless (dancing is my first love), I stepped into the glare of the spotlight at the heart of the hypnotic beat of the pop hit and danced up a storm.
A roar went up from the crowd.
"That was the beauty of it," I thought to myself.
This "wake" was all inclusive.
At this point, for me anyway, the lines blurred somewhat.
One moment, I was logging the "historical event" from a reporter's point of view for posterity; in the next, I was swept up, across a great divide.
All the walls came tumbling down as I relaxed into the warm and fuzzy moment.
The world shifted.
I was transformed from an unbiased commentator on the sidelines into a bona fide fan capable of appreciating the remarkable compositions of a uniquely gifted musician who had just passed into spirit before his time.
Even still, Michael Jackson's rich legacy of sound - pure in it's creative genius - shall march on.
Such was the potent power of the Prince of Pop's musical gifts.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
By late afternoon, once the shocking news of Michael Jackson's death streaked across the Internet - and beyond into local businesses and the cozy homes of devoted fans - the skies here in picturesque Westwood were black with helicopters buzzing the frenzied masses below.
Meanwhile, on land routes that normally accessed the state-of-the-art UCLA hospital with ease, were now cordoned off for the most part as University security hand-directed the traffic flow in a bold-faced effort to avoid a potentially dangerous gridlock.
Two dozen or so media outlets were inclined to screech to an abrupt halt in their vehicles and park along the median strip haphazardly - at which point - they bolted up to the front doors of the medical facility where the Pop Icon passed into spirit a few scant hours ago.
It was an impromptu media blitz, if ever there was one, and was reminiscent of the debacle that followed in the wake of Elvis' death decades ago.
Fans held brightly-colored signs etched with loving tributes - and on occasion - broke into a hypnotic chant.
"Michael! Michael! Michael."
Did they half expect their Crown Prince to rise up from the dead - and "moon walk" once last time - before taking a final bow forever?
One fan turned up the sound on his CD Player - and within minutes - bodies were writhing to the strains of the "Man in the Mirror".
My own included.
Catchy little ditty, that!
Did the emboldened hordes descend on Michael's final resting place because the image of the man - though distorted and misguided at times - still inspired them to recognize the power of song?
All of the media heavyweights were in attendance, too.
(MTV, CNN, NBC).
Each news team waited patiently (albeit a bit frustrated with the cards they had been dealt) for the doors of the temporary press room to swing open wide so they could surge forward - animals that they are - and stake a claim at a News Conference guaranteed to satisfy not only their audiences but the curious madding crowd to boot.
One reporter next to me in line shrugged.
"What can the doctors or Police Officials tell us that we don't already know?"
She answered her own question in a cynical tone of voice.
"Time of death. Who he is survived by. Yada Yada Yada."
On the contrary, I pointed out.
In this instant case, enquiring minds were probably pining for all the juicy tidbits.
Was the death accidental?
"No way," one reporter snapped back incredulous at the thought.
Was the unexpected death brought on by natural causes, his own hand, or due to drugs?
Also, there were nagging questions surrounding the hour of death.
Allegedly, Jackson died at approximately 1:21 pm this afternoon.
But, for some inexplicable reason, the legendary POP star was not pronounced dead until about two hours later at approximately 3:23 pm.
I was sitting at a computer terminal when MSNBC flashed a news alert to that effect.
Expect the unexpected.
And, a lot of drama, Hollywood-style!
Michael Jackson...Dead! Collapsed at home & was not breathing! Helicoptered to UCLA medical center...
Suddenly, a helicopter buzzed overhead and made a beeline for the UCLA medical center, just down-a-ways a tad.
Excited students and members of the faculty gazed skyward as whispers filtered about the campus that inside Michael Jackson was struggling for his life.
According to a Los Angeles Times news-bite on the Internet minutes ago, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Steve Ruda reported to the newspaper that Jackson was not breathing when paramedics arrived at his home so CPR was performed on the unconscious Pop Star.
Meanwhile, over at TMZ.com, Harvey Levin's team speculated that Mr. Jackson suffered cardiac arrest.
A family spokesperson noted that Mrs. Jackson is en route to the medical facility to be at her son's side.
Updates to follow hourly as details of Jackson's medical condition and prognosis filter in.
UPDATE: 3:23 pm (Thursday June 25th)
MSNBC has just reported that Michael Jackson has been pronounced dead at the age of 50!
UCLA State-of-the-Art Medical Center
Adam Lambert...Fox TV (Chicago) reports that the American Idol darling laments to fans: "Don't Buy my album"...
In a brief news flash all-a-twitter, Adam Lambert & fans (followers) provided a link to a Fox News outlet in Chicago that issued the following release about high noon today:
"Adam Lambert: "Don't By My Album"
Updated: Thursday, 25 Jun 2009, 1:12 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 25 Jun 2009, 1:12 PM CDT
Yesterday, on the heels of the release of the "WANT" iTunes single, a press notice tipped off fans about the next ambitious offering - "On with the Show" - a sizzling album to debut on the unpredictable (!) musical horizon in the near future.
But, after TMZ stepped into the fray last evening and posted a memo questioning the origins of the material (did the tunes spring up from the Diva's creative well?), fans (and the charismatic songbird) have remained tight-lipped.
We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!
Well, not so fast!
Just maybe, the mysterious turn-of-events merit a bit of surreptitious investigation by the master sleuth, moi!
News at 11!
Meanwhile, the trussed up Pop Icon prepares for the July 5th kick-off of the much-anticipated American Idol tour.
Front row seats, center, Dudes!
Thomas Carlyle (Wordsworth) opined:
"Who is there that, in logical words, can express the effect music has on us?"
"A kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the infinite and lets us gaze into that."
On the other hand, Simon, I agree with your two cohorts & their sentiments pictured above.
Silence is golden!
Today, the world mourns the loss of a fine talent.
Farrah Fawcett, age 62, passed to spirit after a long battle with a rare cancer early this morning.
Known for her gorgeous mane of lustrous hair, a smile a mile wide, and a slight hint of vulnerability, the former Charlie Angel's epitomized an era that was bold and brassy and often pushed the limits of jiggle TV, of which she was a formidable part in the 70's.
Just the other day, when I spied the infamous poster of Farrah in a window at "Baby Jane" memorabilia shop in West Hollywood, the image floated up memories of teenage boys - their hearts all-a-flutter over an "it" girl poster that packed a passionate wallop - and a fan base that was the envy of any aspiring (or established) star in Tinseltown.
Even still, it was tough getting some respect.
Although Ms. Fawcett was often written off as as a piece of fluff by power-brokers who could make or break a career in Hollywood's ever-elusive dream factory, the perky blond with the infectious personality remained undaunted and hung in there.
Undoubtedly, it was the charismatic beauty's stellar performance in the thought-provoking drama - "Burning Bed" - that triggered a remarkable turning point in her career.
And, there was no looking back, after that.
Ferrah Leni Fawcett was born in Corpus Christi, Tex., on Feb. 2, 1947.
While attending University in that great state, she got the acting bug, and consequently moved to the West Coast to carve a career out for herself in the thriving film & television industry.
Farrah's first money-making assignments arrived in the form of lucrative commercial spots - which not only thrust the fresh-faced beauty into the glare of the spotlight which gobbled her up - but rustled up enough cash to keep the wolves away from her front door.
Producer Aaron Spelling's eye for for talent catapulted Farrah into superstardom when he cast her in a plum break-out role as one of Charlie's Angels in the tongue-and-cheek hit detective show (which scored big with audiences around the country back in the 70's).
But, it was her personal life that garnered the most attention, especially after she tied the knot with actor Lee Majors - another American Icon - who snagged the limelight briefly when he stepped into the indestructible shoes of the - "Six Million Dollar Man" - and scored big in ratings heaven for the network.
A second marriage to former soap star Ryan O'Neil, was explosive, to say the least.
The on-again off-again romance continued right up to the final hour when it was announced just a couple of days ago that the former lovers would take their vows at the altar once again in the near future.
Unfortunately, fate intervened when Ms. Fawcett succumbed to a mysterious illness that not only cut her down in what some would say was the prime of life, but resulted in a heated debate and controversy over privacy rights issues.
Angered at the tabloid press for disclosing her life-threatening illness to the public (she would have preferred - instead - to face the final curtain with a modicum of dignity and grace) Farrah was forced to take matters into her own hands.
With the kind assistance of long-time friend, Alana Stewart, Ms. Fawcett thumbed her nose at the ambulance-chasers and cruel gossip mongers - and proceeded to document the events with signature style - by virtue of an insightful thought-provoking documentary she helmed.
It was an extraordinary move on her part.
But, as the saying goes, extraordinary events often require extraordinary measures.
Farrah Fawcett is survived by a loving tight-knit family - father James - and one son, Redmond James Fawcett O’Neal.
Handsome couple cut a fine swath
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Simply titled "Want" (a loaded label, nonetheless) the spanking-new Adam Lambert tune - released on iTunes overnight - is sure to be a splashy hit.
Well, with Idol fans who worship the rainbow clouds he dances on, without doubt!
The little ditty - sure to top the charts overnight (just betcha) - was lifted from an album tentatively titled - "On with the Show" - to be released later in the year @ Hi-Fi recordings.
Since a co-credit goes to Wilshire Records - are fans to assume that the pop gems were pressed in a local studio in the Beverly Hills corridor - or Hollywood proper perchance?
According to Adam Lambert & fans (twitter followers) the music was compiled over the past two to three years at the peak of a productive creative & business partnership with astute mentor Malcolm Welsford who recognized his gift "moons" ago.
In spite of the fact the song stylings aren't fresh out of the gate - with a judicious bit of tweaking and arranging - maybe they'll land a sizzling hot spot on the charts as the lazy days of summer unfold here on the West Coast and buffed bodes drift to surf parties in Malibu in souped up jalopies.
Try for a chart-stopper, Adam, that will reflect the golden hype, hoopla, and hysteria of your dazzling performance on the American Idol show just a scant few weeks ago.
Then, your musical persona will be etched in the hearts and the minds of Americans for years to come, circa 2009 for sure!
Is Lambert incognito Sixties Disco Queen?
When the news flash reported that Paris Hilton was the victim of a jewellery theft a few weeks ago, many felt little sorrow for the pretty young heiress.
"She can afford it," a handful of cynics stated matter-of-fact without batting an eyelash.
Others quipped the obvious.
"She probably has insurance to cover the loss."
Even still, it is a hurtful experience to be a "victim" of a crime like that.
In this instant case, the heist may have been an inside job, for example.
Imagine that, friends and confidants - employees perhaps - at-the-ready to rip her off.
That's when a thief's rationale comes into play.
"She's careless with her possessions. Flits about. Flaunts her wealth and makes a vulgar display of it while the less fortunate are starving in the world. She deserves it."
Nonetheless, even the filthy rich occasionally have a possession or two that has sentimental value that it hurts to lose on such a nasty unpredictable occasion.
Frankly, I empathized with her.
Last year, employees at Kitsilano Storage in Vancouver (B.C.) seized an opportunity to steal a number of my personal possessions - antiques, personal papers, and clothing - for example.
Although my Buddhist teachings taught me not to "cling" to possessions and to rid myself of burning desires to obtain inanimate objects of monetary value, the theft stung because a couple of the items were of great personal value to me.
My father's violin, for instance, with a hand-painted portrait of his girlfriend (a pretty babe he dated before he met my Mother) was priceless to me.
And, certainly cannot be replaced by any stretch of the imagination.
Personal notes from screen legends Mary Martin & Elizabeth Taylor - which I cherished for years - were lifted also.
Vanished into thin air!
A whole series of paintings I framed in anticipation of a one-man exhibition were also stolen.
Sadly, few of the original pieces were signed or properly identified, so it is doubtful they'll ever be returned to me.
Bottom line, it shocks the sensibilities that employees at Kitsilano Storage (York Street location) would have the audacity to break the trust I placed in them by virtue of our client/business relationship - and ultimately - heartlessly make off with the few possessions in the world that I worked hard to accumulate over the years.
It's in God's hands now as I attempt to heal.
In closing, I part with a few insightful thoughts from Balthazar Gerbier, who once opined:
"Too many stairs and back doors make thieves and whores."
My camera caught this cozy couple at the Dykes on Bikes after-party. "I fell in llove with her when I heard her voice on the telephone," the heavyset partner gushed. Both are enthused about the DYKOTOY website and upcoming book publication on "gender benders". Check it out. Captured on HD Video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
A few years ago, when I was pounding the pavement as an actor, I crossed paths with photographer Michael Maron who was eeking out a living shooting head shots.
In addition to the shutter-bugging, Michael also provided a make-up session prior to the shoot, to ensure the photographs turned out slick and professional-looking.
I was a fashion journalist reporting on various aspects of the industry during that time frame, which was of particular interest to Michael, for good reason. (Southam News)
The clever snake-oil-salesman just hit on the idea to publish a book of "before" and "after" shots of his clientele to underscore the importance of a good make-over in the overall scheme of things.
One night at dinner in a trendy cafe in picturesque Silver Lake, Maron noted off-the-cuff that if there was any material I thought might complement his publication, that I should send it along.
I gave the matter some thought over the next few days, then proceeded to pen several tips on how to dress according to "body type", which factored well into Maron's project.
With little ado, I fired off the material, by certified mail.
In bold print - on the first page of the submission - I noted that use of material would require a credit to the author, Julian Ayrs.
Almost a year later, Michael informed me casually on the telephone one day that the labor of love was published and in bookstores around the country.
Michael didn't offer me a copy in spite of the fact I provided material for the publication.
So, I dashed off to a retail outlet, and inquired about the make-over book.
Shortly after I located the slick-looking coffee-table offering, I began to flip between the covers in search of my contribution.
I was flattered when I came across a whole chapter devoted to the subject matter I painfully complied and graciously submitted to be included in the novelty publication.
However, I was flabbergasted (and disheartened) to discover minutes later, that I had not been credited for my contribution.
I scoured the glossy pages up-and-down - even digested a glowing introduction written by Maron's good buddy, Carol Burnett - but no mention of moi!
In fact, I was not even mentioned in the opening leaves of the tome, where Michael elected to single out and give thanks to family, friends, and business associates he deemed worthy of a nod.
Not one whisper of me - or my contribution to "Make-Over Magic" - nada!
So, I fired off a letter to the Publisher and brought the matter to his attention.
Was it an oversight, per chance?
Shortly after that ballsy move, the telephone rang off the hook one day as I puttered about.
When I plucked up the receiver, Michael's voice was crackling on the end of the line.
"I can't believe you contacted my publisher," he fumed in disbelief.
Well, he used my material without giving credit as promised, so what else was I to do?
"Michael if you were passing off material as your own, the publisher should be aware of it."
He grunted on the other end of the phone - obviously infuriated - then hung up.
I was advised later that I would receive a credit in the 2nd Edition of the book.
So, when it hit the shelves, I scurried down to the bookstore to gloat over my credit.
Not so fast, Julian!
Once again, no credit was cited for the material where it appeared in the publication.
Instead, Michael chose to publish my name in a long list of contributors he gave thanks to on page one or two of the popular make-over book.
In the final analysis, I suspect that Michael was unwilling (and too embarrassed) to admit that he didn't write key material (at the heart of the book) which he previously - by virtue of lack of admission - was passing off as his own.
What a rotten son-of-a-bit**, eh?
Frankly, I take the position today that if Michael Maron has any ethical standards at all - even one ounce of integrity or morality, for that matter - that he'll consider coughing up a percentage of the profits culled to this date.
After all, my hefty material contributed to the book's success.
Fair is fair, right?
Something tells me it will be a cold day in he** before that ever happens, though.
Well, 'ya live and 'ya learn, eh?
By the way, I re-titled the book.
Michael Maron's rip-off Make-Over Magic!
Yesterday morning I was trundling down the oh-so-trendy Melrose (yes, of "Melrose Avenue" fame) when I spied a film crew setting up just shy of the Urth Cafe.
I've expended many-an-hour on location over the years in my capacity as an actor, so I am generally pretty jaded when it comes to the fascinating realm of movie-making on the streets of Hollywood.
However, when a bystander noted that scenes were being shot for Entourage (a fave cable show about the ins-'n-outs of the film biz) I was inclined to stop and take an up-close gander.
Within seconds of whipping out my HD Video camera, a Sheriff with a stick up his butt, lumbered over and informed me that if I wasn't a member of the crew I was required to stand on the other side of the street.
Shortly after I flipped open the screen of my snazzy camera with all the bells and whistles, and I began to pan in close to capture two actors alighting from an old Lincoln Continental, old jowly-face was throwing his weight around again (which was considerable).
"I told 'ya they were shooting. You're too close to the shot."
I corrected the dim-wit.
"No, you instructed me to cross over to this side of the street."
It wasn't my fault the street stretched for miles each way - and likewise - that he failed to specify where to exactly perch.
And the city of West Hollywood pays this loser a salary?
After a brief chat with another lout on the force, the grunt shuffled back over, and persisted with his harassment.
"You can take still photos, but no video. That would be copyright infringement."
Boy, did this officer have sh** for brains, or what?
You see, as fate would have it, I studied law.
And, one of my courses focused on copyright infringement, in particular.
I was inclined to enlighten him about his ignorance, but keenly aware that if I made a fuss , he might try to find some excuse to cite me, seize my video footage, whatever.
You know how they abuse the color of authority, after all!
So, I played along.
"Sure, whatever you say Officer."
I half-turned at this point to avoid laughing in his ugly face.
What an idiot!
Residents of the neighborhood, tourists - even a curiosity seekers - were certainly within their rights to videotape events ongoing in the busy public street!
Notwithstanding, it should have been obvious to any moron with an IQ of about 2, that no one can copyright a street!
Old lard a** was spending too much time at the doughnut shop when he should have been pouring over the law books instead.
For his sake, I sure hope his di** is bigger than his brain!
Bottom line, he's doesn't know his butt from a pothole in the ground.
Rainbow Sheriff's out-of-touch with reality!
As I strolled down the strip munching on pizza, I spied a gentleman with 3 parrots in tow. Right off-the-bat one of his beautifully-plummaged feathered friends tried to fly over and get a closer gander at me. "She likes men," Howard Kaminsky ("The Bird Dude") laughed. By the way, when I asked how you could tell a female apart from a male bird, he informed me that only a DNA test could verify the sexual identity of one of God's most intriguing creatures. And, the fact that the squawky character made a bee-line for moi! HD Video captured by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
When night falls on the Walk of Fame, the magic begins! A myriad of talented performers trip-the-light-fantastic and entertain the madding crowds pouring in this tourist season from around the Globe. HD Video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
This section of a mural featuring James Cagney stands out particularly among the other celebrities featured. Life-size and eye-catching, Tourists stumbling across it are inclined to snap away and take photos for posterity. HD Video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Superman wows tourists on Walk of Fame. Man of Steel a hero that strolls the Boulevard with an eye-out for Villains. Lois Lane, where are U? HD Video captured by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Well, the other shoe dropped at SAG this week.
For me, it was the last straw.
Starting today, I'll be urging actors and performers under the Guild's jurisdiction to jump ship, and set the ceremonial barge adrift.
Over the years, as a full-fledged member, I've put up with a lot of nonsense from staffers and Union reps at the Screen Actors Guild.
The party is over as far as I am concerned.
Of course, the attitude was always thick over there on Wilshire Boulevard.
The suits thought their sh** didn't stink, alright.
And, the individuals hired (and elected) to do the bidding for Guild Members, were not only slow in delivering once they stood at the plate, but downright rude and insulting to the membership when they encountered any criticism back.
Just this past year - during the toughest contract negotiations with the Producers to date - the truth rang out loud and clear.
Screen Actors Guild reps were only interested in saving their own butts and at any cost.
Unfortunately, that selfish (misguided) approach split the Guild in two - and ultimately - resulted in a total loss of faith in the SAG, the negotiating teams, and the powers-that-be (the executive leadership & paid employees hired to run day-to-day affairs).
Thumbing your nose at a producer, or a powerful movie studio, is generally not a good idea in
Nor does it bode well to mistreat and/or ignore the wishes of a Guild Membership.
For example, this past week it came to my attention that a member - who mailed in a dues payment for $50.00 - was ousted from the Guild because of an oversight over a paltry $8.00 shortfall.
The mind-boggling disgusting scenario went down something like this.
The member mailed in a check for $50.00 to ensure membership was not suspended for failure to pay the required fees due every six months.
Approximately one month later, SAG returned the lone check (in spite of the fact it was good) uncashed with a note informing the startled actor that because there was a shortfall of eight dollars (he should have written a check in the sum of $58.00 to meet the current obligation), the Guild proceeded to cancel membership without further notice.
This is a example of the kind of dim-witted, mean-spirited - unjust - guild action that goes down at the Screen Actors daily with nary a concern about the livelihood of the member in question - or even their feelings - for that matter.
If there was a mere shortfall of eight lousy bucks, surely there were sufficient grounds to overlook the shortfall, apply the payment, and allow the member to remain in good stead.
If that was not the case, as a matter of form, shouldn't a staff member have contacted the individual about the problem, so the balance could be paid without the necessity of such severe (outrageous) action on the part of the Guild?
Isn't that what professionalism is all about?
In view of the fact the individual in question was a member in good standing for twenty years, it shocks the sensibilities to learn that SAG would act in such a barbaric disgusting fashion!
At a time when the economy is bad (and actors are out of work due to budget restraints, a slow down in production, and run-a-way filming out-of-state) surely the Guild should be trying to show a little compassion (and mercy) on its unemployed members who are struggling to eat and keep a roof over their heads.
In recent months, SAG lowered the boom on SAG actors who chose to go on "honorary withdrawal" from the Guild, as well.
In spite of the fact a member may have done so due to financial hardship, or pressing family commitments, SAG now requires that an actor face a sort-of "inquisition" (to ensure their leave of absence was innocent and devoid of any political motivation) before membership will be reinstated after a"court" finding that establishes merit to the petition.
SAG is supposed to be a union representing its membership, not a Nazi concentration camp where actors must tow the line, or face a "holocaust".
For the aforementioned reasons, I have decided not to support SAG any longer in their contract negotiations, stand behind their efforts to unionize all productions here and/or across the country, or bother to take it upon myself to enlighten actors about the benefits of a "Union" house.
In fact, I plan to recommend productions go non-union - or better yet - urge actors to start organizing a new Union for performers that will ultimately (i) care about the well-being of the worker (ii) have compassion on a performer's plight when times get financially tough (iii) endeavour to represent the best interests of Union Members and not just the prurient interests of paid employees, managers, and the self-serving contracted Executive Branch.
For those of you who toiled away in a stuffy office last week - and missed all the hoopla over the cruise that Ellen whipped together at the twitter site for Ellen Fans the end of last week - I am inclined to report on a handful of the delicious details.
It all started when Ellen quipped in a tweet that she was longing to flutter off on a fun-filled weekend jaunt to parts unknown for a bit of catchy two-stepping (according to shock jock Howard Stern - she's a fab dancer - 'ya know?) - and just maybe - a round or two of poker (last man standing).
Any suggestions, she queried her dedicated fans.
Within seconds, a handful of excited Ellen Fans (moi included) chirped up.
Suddenly, Ellen was fast-tracking a tantalizing itinerary for a "Twitter Escape", a handful of Ellen Fans were invited to tag along on in August (2009).
A whaling trip - with a night of poker tossed in for good measure - was difficult to resist.
In fact, so much so, that within twenty-four hours the novelty cruise was sold out!
I expect that other talk-show hosts will jump on the bandwagon in the lazy days of summer ahead, eh?
No doubt, Letterman ("top ten" sea tricks cruise) and Jerry Springer ( "pillow fight" tease charter) will be rustling up pleasurable people perker-uppers with a nod to Ellen for leading the merry way.
Oprah (not to be outdone by upstarts) will obviously coral her best bud - the Prez - to helm her ritzy good-ship lollipop.
Undoubtedly, she'll also book a multitude of snake-oil salesmen to pitch unproven alternative medicines on deck, once the luxury liner heads out to sea.
Nothing like a captive audience, eh?
My bets are on Ellen's magical mystery tour.
How could the current "it" girl possibly go wrong?
A cluster fu**
The Daily Planet
Collection of Poems
Rock star impersonators are a big draw on the Walk of Fame (Hollywood). Superstar Jimmy Hendrix is impersonated by street musician nightly on the strip. HD Video capture by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Take a stroll down the Walk of Fame in Hollyyweird any balmy evening right now and it becomes evident: Tourist season is in full swing. Movie characters such as Darth Vader (pictured here) are delighting fans with their antics on the strip. HD Video captured by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
My camera caught this cozy couple at the Dykes on Bikes after-party. "I fell in llove with her when I heard her voice on the telephone," the heavyset partner gushed. Both are enthused about the DYKOTOY website and upcoming book publication on "gender benders". Check it out. Captured on HD Video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
If you're trekking out on a Tour Bus to catch the sights of Tinseltown - the Walk of Fame in particular - stop in to the Hollywood Wax Museum. There is quite an assortment of characters and movie starts to get up-close and personal with. HD Video capture by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Say, that was quite a blurb in the Los Angeles Times weekend edition featuring our little darling, Ellen DeGeneres.
The fashion stylist propped up our perky talk-show host in a chic black designer suit which suited the fair-haired "simply ageless" beauty to a "T".
I was particularly drawn to the elegant four-button flourish at the cuff; subtle & elegant, if you ask me!
Ellen, keep up with the horsey fashion set and you'll land on my Best Dressed List for women at the end of the year.
DeGeneres is flogging a skin care product for Covergirl & Olay.
The line is touting Olay Regenerist - a serum - which the manufacturer boldly asserts conjures up flawless skin that appears ageless even to the keen eye of the most discerning high-society matron.
"The make-up that simply won't age you," they gush.
"Unlike high-end department store brands that 'settle' in lines and wrinkles causing the individual to appear older instead."
Of course, moisturizers will plump up the skin and lessen the appearance of lines.
That's a no brainer!
Exfoliating creams, on the other hand, will slough off dead cells - and hence - increase blood flow to the skin surface and create a healthy-looking glow that will turn heads.
But, the truth of the matter is, no skin cream (or make-up) can reverse the aging process or turn back the clock of time once the damage has set in.
For clear blemish-free skin with a minimum of wrinkles - hydration, diet, and exercise - are key regimens to follow.
Drink at least six to eight (eight ounce glasses) of water daily.
Eat a nutritious diet which consists of fruit, grains, and vegetables.
Avoid smoking tobacco and imbibing alcohol if you desire skin that radiates with vitality.
If you follow these tips, you'll be able to cheat the effects of aging, without doubt.
But, nothing lasts forever.
Not even the mortal coil that God blessed us with.
Ever-popular Tattoo parlours are flourishing along the Boulevard now that tourist season is revving up in Tinseltown. Here, a patient dude waits for the artistry to wrap up as I capture the momentous event on HD Video. The Tattler.
Two gal pals threw open the doors of Yogurt Stop a few scant weeks ago and have already succeeded in rustling up a trendy dessert hot spot featuring delicious mouth-watering flavors and toppings. And, a clientele that positively sizzles at Sunset and on 'til dawn.
Guests don't have to stand in a pesky line.
Just grab a cup, pump your own from the spiggot, and then saunter over to a side counter where fresh fruit and fanciful sweet toppings invite the creative to decorate their own one-of-a-kind yogurt delight.
Catchy upbeat music and a lot of eye-candy (hot men! sexy bodacious babes) are sure to keep the Yogurt spot ringing up the busy cash register for years to come!
HD Video captured by Julian Ayrs @ The Tattler.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Although the after-party was primarily a lesbian gender-bender affair (lipstick lesbos and diesel dykes) a handful of pretty toy-boys party-heartied, too! Captured on HD Video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Gay Pride 2009 was a blast! The Dykes on Bikes after-party in WeHo was pretty warm and fuzzy, too. Bodacious babes danced the night away and revved up a few hearts along the way. HD Video captured by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
After the Dykes on Bikes roared down the strip Friday night, party-hearty babes drifted down to the after-party and got down 'n dirty - dancing, smooching - you name it. A bevy of pretty young things. Sorry, Dudes, not AC-DC. Captured on HD Video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Now that summer is underway come July 4th weekend, the freaks - tourists - and lookie-loos are out in full force on Hollywood Boulevard. Imagine my surprise when I caught the Children of God singing out and trying to save souls? Amen. Captured on HD video by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.
Well, now that July 4th is around the corner, Tourists are flooding into Tinseltown to catch the memorabilia on the strip. A big attraction? Kermit the Frog's star. For the kiddies, anyway. HD Video capture by Julian Ayrs @ the Tattler.