Weekly Wilson - Blog of Author Connie C. Wilson

Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books—-her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Category: Music Page 2 of 13

Howard Shore Is Honored at 51st Chicago International Film Festival on October 18th

On October 18, 2015, Howard Shore celebrated his 69th birthday inside the AMC Theater in Chicago, Illinois, listening to a studio audience of fans sing an off-key version of Happy Birthday To You. Shore was being given an award at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, and the Canadian composer (Shore was born in Toronto, Canada)—winner of 3 Oscars, 3 Golden Globe awards and 4 Grammies—shared many stories of his collaborations with such great directors as Martin Scorsese (5 films) and David Cronenberg (all but one of Cronenberg’s films). [*See the Filmography at the end of the article.]

As Shore told it, he had admired David Cronenberg’s dark films from the age of 14, but didn’t get up the courage to ask if he could do the music for one of Cronenberg’s horror films until the age of 28 in 1978, after completing his training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, (where he is now on the board.)

Howard Shore waves to the audience singing "Happy Birthday" to him on October 18th.

Howard Shore waves to the audience singing “Happy Birthday” to him on October 18th.

Shore described how he selected a clarinet housed in a shoebox as his first musical instrument at the age of 8, saying, “The clarinet seemed pretty hip for a 10-year-old.” He began writing musical harmony with a pencil (which he said he still does today) and training in harmony and counterpoint from an early age, thanks to an early teacher Morris Weinstein, and the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), a government institution, welcomed him and gave him an early start. Shore says the government tested the hearing of all young children. When his hearing was found to be excellent, they encouraged him to become a musician. He reminisced, “I was a kid in a room with a tape recorder listening to a lot of good music.” Shore acknowledged that his life has been one of capitalizing on opportunities that came his way as they came his way.

Howard Shore in Chicago.

Howard Shore in Chicago.

A chance meeting at summer camp with another future prominent Canadian, Lorne Michaels, creator of “Saturday Night Live,” would lead Shore to do summer camp productions of plays like “West Side Story” as well as a show called The Fast Show with Michaels, and, ultimately, to perform onstage with the original “Saturday Night Live” greats gathered from such diverse cities as Detroit (Gilda Radner), Los Angeles’ Groundlings troupe, and Chicago’s own Second City. Shore would do 103 live episodes of “Saturday Night Live” between 1975 and 1980, even appearing as a beekeeper in a Belushi skit. He gave John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd their nickname “The Blues Brothers.”

In the Q&A following the showing of clips from his many film triumphs, Shore spoke about his illustrious career.

Q1: Was collaboration stimulating for you, or was it just a means to an end?
A1: I was used to writing and acting with other people. Working in film is really working in the theater, but you’re till the lonely kid in the room. It sort of combined everything I liked.

Q2: How did you end up on “Saturday Night Live”?
A2: I met Lorne Michaels in summer camp in Canada. We used to do summer camp productions and we did some collaborating at the CBC. Then, a few of us ended up in New York City putting on this show. I didn’t give up my home in Canada, at first. I don’t think I really thought I could make a living at this or at putting music in film, or that “Saturday Night Live” would last, but I was always interested in working with strings and orchestras. I think I worked for 10 years before it occurred to me that I might be able to make a living at this. In 1986, after I had done “After Hours,” “Big” and “The Fly,” Scorsese knew Cronenberg and, from word-of-mouth, I got the job of doing the music for “The Aviator,” which was set when silent films were giving way to sound. There was a certain sound then. I was doing concerts of “Lord of the Rings” with a symphony in Belgium and that West German sound was good for “The Aviator,” which used percussion and castanets—the castanets because of the Hispanic influence in Los Angeles. Marty was using Bach, also.

FilmFestival2015 049Q3: Working with Scorsese was another big collaboration of your life. How was that?
A3: Marty doesn’t like to watch his films with temporary music inserted, as some directors do, or any music inserted that doesn’t belong. David Cronenberg is very similar. What Marty does that I love is that he collects sounds, from a jukebox playing in a scene, etc. I’ll collect them and slowly build from that material. For “Hugo,” a couple of sounds per month were collected. I’ve never seen a director do that as well as Scorsese. But Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”) works completely differently. Marty doesn’t want to give anything away with the music, but Peter wants to reveal and have it out front in his films.

Q4: Tell us about your music for “The Silence of the Lambs”?
A4: In “Silence of the Lambs” the music moves in very claustrophobically. Spooky sounds near the end. Heavy breathing when Clarice is in the basement in the dark. Muted somber tones. Jonathan Demme directed that film and he said to me, “Suppose we take the point-of-view of Clarice?” You could have written the music for Hannibal Lecter, but the score wasn’t created that way. Early nineties opera was really influencing me at the time—Verdi, Puccini. Now you see a lot of films being done this way. I did it in 1986 for “The Fly,” but I had difficulty with the producers—never with Cronenberg—but when the movie was a hit, the producers were going, “Oh, right.” Up until “The Fly” I hadn’t really had full London Philharmonic type sound access. All of that later developed into “The Fellowship of the Ring” music. I used to set up all of my recordings the way the New York Metropolitan did, splitting the violinists, the cellos over here, bass over there. Most movies at that time weren’t being done that way. This score was interesting, because depending on how the orchestra was playing that day, I’d adjust. It even led to things like the film “Crash” and the techniques in that 1995 film sort of led to surround sound.
Film music is a perspective. You could take any scene and do it 7 or 8 different ways. David Cronenberg wants his music to be more ambiguous. He doesn’t want to tell the audience anything up front, but Peter Jackson wants it the opposite with everything in the center. He wants clarity.

Q5: Tell us about your work for the movie “Seven.”
A5: With the movie “Seven,” directed by David Fincher—who is a great director— I was going with electronics, ocean sounds, underwater things, whereas the music in “Silence of the Lambs” always sounds a little unsettling and disturbing.

Q6: What about your score for the Johnny Depp movie “Ed Wood,” directed by Tim Burton?
A6: That was set in a great period for music—the late fifties . Jazz. Cuban music. Mancini scores. They were all coming in. It was a very rich period for music and the theramin instrument was being used. It’s the only instrument that you don’t touch. It was created as a classical instrument. Working with Tim Burton was a great project, a lot of fun. You couldn’t really do anything wrong in his world.

Q7: What about Cronenberg’s “Crash”?
A7: I did “M Butterfly” right before “Crash” with 2 harps…actually 3 harps: left, center and right. I added 6 electric guitars, so it became sort of a live ensemble. Then, I added 3 woodwinds and then metal percussionists, playing into the idea of machines and their fetishistic relationships to people. (“Crash” was David Cronenberg’s 1995 film.) It produces a sound that’s hypnotic and dangerously inviting.

Q8: How was collaborating with Scorsese on “Hugo,” for which you received your 4th Oscar nomination?
A8: Collaborating with Marty again felt the same. This was Scorsese’s first 3D picture and the films of Michael Powell influenced his approach. Powell is widely regarded as a British filmmaker who should perhaps be considered up there with Hitchcock, but his controversial 1960 film “Peeping Tom” made it nearly impossible for him to work again. His career went off the rails, but he was married to Thelma Schoonover, Scorsese’s long-time film editor, from May 15 of 1984 until his death in February of 1990, so there was that influence in “Hugo.” The entire movie is really a love affair: a movie about making movies.

Q9: What about “Lord of the Rings?” How much music did those films require? How long did those scores take?
A9: “The Fellowship of the Rings” project was like scoring 4 films. The extended version would be 5. It is eleven and one-half hours of original scoring for film and it took me 4 years writing the music. It was a great project and came to me with great timing. It had a lot of good strokes for me. It all came together for me, as a composer. I was trying to put Peter Jackson’s images into music. [*Note: Since 2004, Shore has toured the world conducting local orchestras in performances of his new symphonic arrangement of his highly acclaimed “Lord of the Rings” scores, a new work entitled “The Lord of the Rings: Symphony in Six Movements.”]

Filmography:

“I Miss You. Hugs and Kisses” (1978)
“The Brood” (1979)
“Scanners” (1981)
“Videodrome” (1983)
“Nothing Lasts Forever” (1984)
“After Hours” (1985)
“Fire with Fire” (1986)
“The Fly” (1986)
“Nadine” (1987)
“Moving” (1988)
“Big” (1988)
“Dead Ringers” (1988)
“She-Devil” (1989)
“An Innocent Man” (1989)
“Signs of Life” (1989)
“The Local Stigmatic” (1990)
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
“A Kiss Before Dying” (1991)
“Naked Lunch” (1991)
“Prelude to a Kiss” (1992)
“Single White Female” (1992)
“Sliver” (1993)
“Guilty as Sin” (1993)
“M. Butterfly” (1993)
“Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
“Philadelphia” (1993)
“The Client” (1994)
“Nobody’s Fool” (1994)
“Moonlight and Valentino” (1994)
“Seven” (1995)
“Before and After” (1996)
“Crash” (1996)
“The Truth About Cats and Dogs” (1996)
“That Thing You Do!” (1996)
“Striptease” (1996)
“The Game” (1997)
“Cop Land” (1997)
“Gloria” (1999)
“eXistenZ” (1999)
“Analyze This” (1999)
“Dogma” (1999)
“High Fidelity” (2000)
“The Cell” (2000)
“The Yards” (2000)
“The Score” (2001)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)
“Gangs of New York” (2002)
“Panic Room” (2002)
“Spider” (2002)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
“The Aviator” (2004)
“A History of Violence” (2005)
“The Departed” (2006)
“Soul of the Ultimate Nation” (2007)
“The Last Mimzy” (2007)
“Eastern Promises” (2007)
“Doubt” (2008)
“The Betrayal” (2008)
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (2010)
“Edge of Darkness” (2010)
“A Dangerous Method” (2011)
“Hugo” (2011)
“Cosmopolis” (2012)
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012)
“Jimmy P” (2013)
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (2013)
“Gynasiearbetet: En Introduktion” (2015)

New Documentary “Amy” is Heart-Wrenching and Oscar-Worthy

Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

HowevAmy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.
Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.
Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

HowAmy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

The entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the documentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close friend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.

After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

However, when she was “offAmy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at age 27. She died 17 years after another famous self-destructive singer,Kurt Cobain, died at the same age, causing some to dub this coincidence “the 27 Club.”

In the documentary “Amy,” directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal Music, home video footage and still photographs, together with interviews of those closest to the singer, combine to produce a compelling and oh-so-sad Oscar-worthy look behind the headlines. The film debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and is truly tragic and touching, with interviews and film of nearly all the important people in the singer’s short life..

The singer’s own song lyrices (projected onscreen) and her own interview statements provide us with a murky picture of what may have led to her early death. She described herself as a “happy” child until the age of nine, when her parents separated. Her mother, Janis, was not a disciplinarian (“I wasn’t strong enough to say to her: Stop.”) and her father, Mitch, whom she idolized, was not around to say “no,” having run off with another woman.

Amy’s behavior at age nine when her parents separated seemed to be a classic case of “acting out.” Anything she thought would displease or shock her parents and other adults, she did, whether it was tattoos, piercings, her style of dress or her eventual fatal infatuation with drugs and alcohol.

She came by her love for jazz legitimately, as many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians. Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer, who encouraged her to listen to the jazz greats. Amy credits her Nan Cynthia (her father’s mother) as being the strongest woman she ever knew. Her death in 2006, when Amy was 23, is shown as hitting Amy hard at a time when there were other problems in her life.

In one interview (Garry Mulholland of “The Observor”) Amy, when asked about fame, replied, “I don’t think I could handle it. I think I’d go mad.” Indeed, there were some suggestions that she might have been manic depressive and it is well-established that she suffered from bulimia. She was prescribed the anti-depressnat Seroxat after her father moved in with his girlfriend and Amy only saw Mitch Winehouse on weekends.

From that time forward, Amy was a “Wild Child” and often in various degrees of trouble. Although it is not mentioned in the documentary, there were several charges of assault leveled against her at different times, and she even admitted to sometimes hitting her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.Amyhe entrance of Blake Fielder-Civil into her life seems to have been one of the worst pairings of two troubled people in history. It almost echoes the Sid Vicious (“The Sex Pistols”) murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The murder, in this case, was much more insidious, as Fielder-Civil introduced her to the worst of drugs and played fast-and-loose with her emotions, eventually deciding, while imprisoned, to divorce his wife.

Fielder-Civil seemed to have really gotten his hooks into Winehouse, emotionally. Then, he broke up with her to return to a previous girlfriend. Her distress at his departure is seen and felt in her song “Back to Black.” “Now my destructive side has gorwn a mile wide,” Amy sang in one song of the period.

Fielder-Civil reveals to the camera that, at the age of 9, the same age Amy was when her father left, he had attempted suicide. He also admitted to introducing Amy to both heroin and crack cocaine. Amy, herself, is quoted this way: “I write songs because I’m fucked up in the head.”

In the docu

mentary, the relationship of Amy with her father, who is a bit too eager to springboard his own entrepreneurial efforts on his daughter’s success, comes through as a large part of her problem. The men in her life, especially Fielding-Civil, were the final nail(s) in her coffin. One lover, with whom she lived briefly in 2006, Alex Claire, sold his story to the tabloids (as Fielding-Civil did after they were divorced). Amy was betrayed by most in her life but sang, “But to walk away I have no capacity.” She also is heard saying, “I will continue to love you unconditionally until the day my heart fails and I fall down dead.”

Her final “Duets” partner, Tony Bennett, felt that Amy knew she was going to die young and also gave her huge props as a true Jazz singer. They are shown in the studio recording together, and it is obvious that the young girl is nervous at performing with one of her idols. Her record of hits (5 2008 Grammy Awards for “Back to Black” and many, many other British awards) marked her as one of the most influential songwriters of her generation.

A change of managers also appears to have been a change for the worse. Her original manager, Nick Shymensky, became a close fht

tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbI–2ATHc4riend, starting out with her when he was only 19 and she was 16. She left him to go with Metropolis Music promoter Raye Cosbert, who put her on the road when she was ill and over-booked her for performances when she would, sometimes intentionally, sabotage her performance.

My daughter saw her during one such appearance onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago and said Amy was “a mess.” It was about the same time that she journeyed to Serbia to appear in front of 50,000 screaming fans but, when called to the stage, refused to sing. We learn in the documentary that she had been carried to a limousine while unconscious from one of her typical late nights of partying and put on a private plane, waking up to find herself on the way to perform in Serbia, when she did not want to go

When asked about the onerous nature of fame, she said, “If I really thought I ws famous, I’d go and top myself, because it’s scary. It’s very scary.” She also says, at one point near the documentary’s end, that she would happily trade her singing talent for the anonymity of being able to walk down the street without being hassled by fans.


After her Nan (Cynthia) died on May 5, 2006, when Amy was 23, things seemed to spiral downward for Amy. She had a seizure on 8/24/2007 in Camden and medical personnel said, “Her body can’t keep up with this. If she has another seizure, she’ll die.” Amy was told to swear off drugs, which she attempted to do.

However, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”


“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”
ever, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

However, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

However, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”
er, when she was “off” drugs, she drank heavily and, in fact, it was alcohol poisoning that ultimately killed her. She started doing crack cocaine in June of 2007 with Fielding-Civil. In November of 2007, Blake Fielder-Civil was arrested for drug use and assault charges and sentenced to time in H.M. Prison in Pentonville, London. This also caused the diva much emotional stress and she told her manager, “Love is in some ways killing me, Raye Raye.” (“Love is a losing game, and now the final flame.”)

Her bodyguard said, “This is someone who wants to disappear.” Amy began to unravel in public. She couldn’t escape fame. As her bodyguard said, “She needed someone to say no. She just needed support.”

“I cheated myself, like I knew I would,
I told you—I’m trouble—you know that I’m no good.”

Ultimately, as Amy predicted, “My odds are stacked. I go to black.”

Lollapalooza in Chicago, 2015

While in Chicago to take delivery of 2 new couches,  I attempted to enjoy Paul McCartney “live” from Grant Park, about a block away. It should have worked (it has, in the past), but, instead of live streaming Sir Paul, Gary Clark, Jr.’s set was shown and the Twitter-verse burst out with protests that a talent like Paul McCartney was allowed to be upstaged by someone nobody knew and very few cared about. (The big performer on Friday, July 31, 2015, was McCartney)

On Saturday (today), there was a face-off between Sam Smith on the stage farthest from me and Metallica on the Samsung Galaxy Stage closest to me. At least both were streamed “live” as promised by www.RedBulltv.com.

If you like Florence and the Machine, she plays on Sunday night at 9 p.m. (until 10 p.m.) to close out the festival. At 3 p.m. “Moon Taxi” from Nashville will play, friends of the daughter.

Absolutely perfect evening weather, so far, although a bit hot during the day.

Rolling Stones: Indianapolis Speedway, July 4th, 2015

RS2The daughter and I did a Road Trip for my Birthday Month: Indianapolis, Indiana, for the Rolling Stones Zip Code Tour. In addition, her friend (Jesse Keys) got us VIP passes up front and met us (at our Uber car) with a golf cart, saving me a 5-mile walk after my July 1s leg surgery (squamous cell cancer).

Mick1
It was a TREMENDOUS show: 3 full hours. 50,000 cheering fans. Here are a few pictures.

Keith&Ron
Thanks, Stacey!

KeithCrowd020

Glen Campbell Documentary on Alzheimer’s Hits Home

My father had Alzheimer’s disease. He knew he was losing his memory as early as his 65th birthday, and he took me aside to tell me that he was divesting of all trusts where he was the trustee and trying to “get out from under” all obligations, because he was losing his memory.

When I tried to pooh pooh his concerns, telling him that all older adults lose a step or two in terms of memory, he was insistent that this was more serious. “I can feel it inside my head, Con. I know it’s more than that.”

Not long after, he went to the post office in the family auto, went inside to get his mail and walked home, leaving his car running in the street outside, keys still in it. The postmaster called our house and said, “Uh…John. Your car is outside. You left it running and it ran out of gas. Maybe you can come get it?”

I remember when I drove my mother and my father to the Mayo Clinic to the emergency room, because my father’s colon cancer was getting worse and he had no pain pills nor any medication for sleeping through the night. He was getting up in the night and falling and he broke his ribs, a painful (and unnecessary) injury

When we got to the Mayo Clinic, I was told to drive my ailing father directly to the emergency room, which I did. The scenes with Glen Campbell being asked, “Who’s the president, Glen?” “What day is it, Glen?” and other such mundane questions, instantly took me back.

Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease. Ultimately, the patient no longer has the ability to understand things that are said to him or here. Language ability can become profoundly impaired. Patients can forget family members and not recognize them. Somehow, that musical skill if it’s activate can help the brain globally if it is activated in Glen Campbell’s case.
Documentary:
They’re giving Glen Campbell Arracept which is causing him to become horny, apparently. (My dad was given Arracept, and that was 1986.)
His wife says: Depending on how you look at it, perhaps there’s an “up” side to Alzheimers (she says he is after her 4x a day after they double his Arracept.)
(I remember that my dad took Arracept. He said it made him feel “fuzzy.” He didn’t like the feeling at all. He also tried to “joke” his way out of questions which he couldn’t answer, like, “Who was our first President, John?”
Statistic mentioned: 115 million Alzheimers patients around the globe.
Last year, $140 billion was spent on Alzheimers in the U.S.
$600 billion will be needed by the time all baby boomers retire. The (D) Senator from Massachusetts is championing the governmental effort to get more funds for Alzheimers research.
May 12, 2012, Campbell played at the Library of Congress. Bill Clinton is talking about his knowledge of Glen Campbell as being from Delight, Arkansas, which is near Hope, where Clinton grew up. Clinton urged more dollars for bio-medical research. “This tour of his may be more of his enduring legacy than all the music he made.”
The film shows him playing the Hollywood Bowl and Boston and the Ryman in Nashville.
Words of one song his daughter sings:
“Daddy don’t you worry: I’ll do the remembering.”
Cal, Shannon and Ashley are the 3 children he had with Wife #4.
“This was a man with a mind like a steel trap and he couldn’t remember my name,” says his longtime bus driver.
 Bruce Springsteen talks about his grandfather dying of it.
Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers lost his father at 70 from Alzheimers.
Brad Paisley’s grandmother and great grandmother both had it.
Kathy Mattea (musician) said her mother regressed and thought she was a young girl again.
Glen’s wife, Kim:  “I don’t want to see him stop being an individual. I don’t want to see him degenerating. I don’t want to see Glen in that condition. I think it’s better to die from something else.”
Brad Paisley would like someone to “find that gene and turn it off before I’m 70,” (he’s now 40) as he has a high probability of inheriting the gene.
Glen’s long-term memory is great, but his short-term memory is what is degenerating. He remembers things from way back, as did my own dear departed father.
Kelli Campbell is another daughter (old) and Debby Campbell-Cloyd is another (older). They look to be at least in their forties or fifties.
There is a scene where Glen has something wrong with his teeth. He won’t go to the dentist and is belligerent about it. “I’m telling you, Man.” He is acting very loud and belligerent about something stuck in his teeth and is using a large knife to try to pick it out.
Campbell is shown in bed before a show he is to do at Carnegie Hall. He looks absolutely exhausted (Concert #113).
The Art Institute of Chicago had him come perform. He had a really hard time performing anything at that dinner.
His wife, Kim: “This is not a fun illness. It’s a challenging illness to deal with every moment of their lives. He can’t find the bathroom in his own house.”
His wife says, “Every day is a challenge for me.” She describes it as “intensely sad. Generally, he clings to me. I’m his safety blanket. He wants me around all the time.” (This was like my mother and my dad).
They (patients) become paranoid and begin to think that people are stealing from them. Glen becomes convinced that his best friend is stealing his golf clubs. (My dad became convinced that he was being held prisoner against his will, Also, some become delusional and see things, which my dad also did, although he was on heavy-duty pain medication for colon cancer, so the pink snakes he saw on the baseboard of his bedroom might have been from pain medication.
(Nov., 2012): After Chicago, the frequency of bad shows began to increase. They wanted to go out on a high note. “We’ve reached a point where he’s not capable of doing it.”
His wife: “That tour was crazy when he was offstage because he didn’t want to stay in the hotel room. He went around the hotel pressing everybody’s doorbells because he thought they were elevator buttons.”
 By the time they got to Napa (the last show) they knew they had to stop the tour (it was Show #151). His son said, “It’s too bad he doesn’t  even know it’s his last show ever.”
His daughter (Ashley) testified before Congress to try to get more funds for Alzheimers’ research and more-or-less broke down while testifying.
This was a good documentary, but it hit very close to home, for me, as I watched Glen Campbell try to joke his way through questions he can’t answer.
James Keach, Stacey Keach’s brother, directed the documentary and Jane Seymour, his wife, is listed as a producer. Three of Campbell’s children (2 boys and his daughter) back him up onstage and mention of Campbell’s prominence as a member of the famous “Wrecking Crew” that played on records by almost all big groups (including the Beach Boys) is mentioned. Having just seen the Wrecking Crew represented in the film “Love & Mercy” about Brian Wilson, it was an interesting and important documentary that makes you hope you have Tony Bennett’s genes and not Glen Campbell’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bette Midler Plays United Center on June 18, 2015

Bette Midler peered out at the crowd of all ages and said, “It’s nice to see so many of my fans are still able to drive at night.” I laughed out loud. Bette and I are contemporaries, and there is much truth in her meant-to-be-funny remark. Later, when she said that a new Apple Watch was “the first step on the road to douche-baggery,” I laughed loudly again from my seat in the rafters, as my son had just received his watch in the mail that day (a prize from his work, PSI Metals of Germany, for creative thinking on a “brainstorming” competition.) Bette sported a short pink number with lots of sparkly bits at the hem, neck and sleeves for the opening numbers and went through a few costume changes, but nothing like Cher, for example. Her final outfit onstage was a red, glittery sequined number that was quite form-fitting, and the 69-year-old looked good in it. (She said, “Don’t I look good?” as the concert opened.) Bette worked in all the favorites I wanted to hear the most, especially “Wind Beneath My Wings” (from “Beaches”) and “From A Distance.” Her encore number, with 8 musicians backing her on trombone, saxophone, cornet, percussion, etc., a la Bruno Mars’ band, was “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.” If I had any criticism of the night, it would be that Bette didn’t resurrect “Delores Del Lago, the Toast of Chicago,” except in some flashback photos, which I will post if I can. If you see a seam down the middle, that is because these were images flashed on the large screen backing Bette. The two side screens did not seem very large, another minus if you were as far away as it was possible to get and up high. (Thank heavens for my 30 zoom). From here, I’m going to try to post photos, which may or may not work out, for me, but where there’s life, there’s hope, and you’re getting this from someone diagnosed with (borderline) diabetes and cancer (squamous skin) in one week, so I’m hoping.

 

Ben Folds Performs with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra on June 6th, 2015

Ben Folds (formerly of the Ben Folds Five) performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra on June 6th at the Chicago Theater.

As he has done since an enthused audience member shouted out, “Rock this bitch!”, Folds composed an original composition with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra members.

We were in the 7th row, almost exactly where this video was shot, and it is truly amazing to watch creativity in action.

Here is the film:

Razzleberries Christmas Cats Appearance on Dec. 6, 2014

Holiday Appearances for The Christmas Cats

2014 “I Heart Radio” Show in Las Vegas on Sept. 19, 2014

“Coldplay” performing at IHeartRadio Show 2014 in Vegas on 9/19.

 

The I Heart Radio show in Las Vegas on September 19 (Friday) was a star-studded affair, the fourth such gathering of the most popular artists performing today. Lorde, for instance, (whom I did not get to hear) was scheduled to perform, as was “One Direction.” For months, the airwaves have described the show as “sold out.”

I attended the very first I Heart Radio show in Vegas, and soon learned that my version of “sold out” and the radio station’s idea of “sold out” are two different things. There were plenty of empty seats at that first concert, as the venue at the MGM Grand is a huge arena not unlike our local civic center and seemingly as large, inside, as the United Center in Chicago.

Therefore, when I knew we were going to be in Vegas for other reasons, I asked the concierge at Mandalay Bay to see if she could secure a ticket and—guess what? “They just released some more seats.” Nevermind that the seats were high up in the nosebleed section: for $150 I got to hear/see Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Ariana Grande, Motley Crue, Usher, Alesia Keys and some local D.J. named Steve Aoki. I learned that other younger performers, many of them rap artists like “Lil’ Wayne” were performing in a field opposite the Luxor the next day (Saturday), outside. Therefore, I opted for the  six-hour concert taking place inside and, aside from nearly falling down the stairs two times (I was about 8 rows from the top) when the concrete stairs gave way to less sturdy ones, it was a great show. Certainly it was far more topical and current than acts like Donnie and Marie, who were performing elsewhere in town.

 

I took my trusty 16 zoom camera and captured some shots which I will share with you here, and I attempted to upload video footage, although my first attempts to mount it here have been a bust.  We’re back in the Midwest now, but the 50th Chicago Film Festival commences soon, so stay tuned for more interesting posts, as I have the ability to see documentaries from around the world and feature length films, as well. Additionally, Oliver Stone, Liv Ullman, Michael Moore and Kathleen Turner are just a few of the big names expected to grace the Festival this anniversary year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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