Here I go channeling the old Larry King USA TODAY column format again:
1. Buck Dharma, ace guitarist of Blue Oyster Cult (which I saw for the first time at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills Friday night), doesn't look like a typical rock star. Instead, he looks a bit like Barry Gordon (the nebbishy child/adult actor who was president of the Screen Actors Guild for a time in the past decade) crossed with Kevin Spacey.
2. Rhino will be reissuing three albums by the great Warren Zevon today: STAND IN THE FIRE (one of the best live albums I've ever heard), THE ENVOY and Zevon's biggest seller EXCITABLE BOY (with the hit "Werewolves of London").
3. Sony Music was to have reissued Leonard Cohen's first three albums today, but they've been pushed back until April 24th--the same date that the Sly and the Family Stone Epic Records catalog will be reissued in remastered versioins.
4. Say what you will about Heather Mills' personal behavior (and most likely I'll agree), but she's doing a good job as a ballroom dancer on the Disney/ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS. Heather's reinvention campaign continues today with an appearance on GOOD MORNING AMERICA.
5. Sony/MGM are now squeezing more $$$ out of their video library by repackaging certain titles as reasonably-priced 2-disc DVD double features. Examples include CAPOTE/IN COLD BLOOD, FARGO/RAIN MAN and PLATOON/WINDTALKERS. For the most part, it looks like the commentaries/extras are being kept (one exception being WINDTALKERS, which looks to be the same bare-bones theatrical version currently for sale in supermarkets).
6. So it looks like the 2007/2008 presidential election will be the template for decades to come. This year consists of frantic money raising/waiting for early front-runners to burn out (Al Gore and Jeb Bush certainly doing the latter). Next year, the primaries are merely a formality crunched into a much shorter time period. Democracy can now be defined as who's able to raise the biggest nine-figure warchest--NOT who's the most qualified candidate.
7. Just how over-the-top will Nancy Grace be when the Phil Spector trial finally begins?
8. If Norman Lear tried to pitch a sitcom in the vein of his envelope-shredding 70s work at Disney/ABC (which just ran ads last night for a bland-appearing laugher about thirtyish yuppies having babies), do you think the young execs would take Lear's ever-present hat off and hit him over the head with it (a la Alan "Skipper" Hale's schtick with Bob "Gilligan" Denver)?
9. Speaking of Lear, MARY HARTMAN MARY HARTMAN (the legendary soap opera parody which made a short-lived star of Louise Lasser in the late 70s) is to appear on DVD this week. As a teen, I only got to see the show when I was in other cities due to the timidity of network affiliates in Wichita Falls, Texas and Lawton, Oklahoma (I grew up in the region then--and now--known as Texoma). Hopefully, a DVD compilation of the hilarious talk-show spinoff FERNWOOD 2NIGHT (which I did see in the summer of 1977), with Martin Mull and Fred Willard, will follow.