LIES FINALES – HBO’s spot-on Big Little Lies ended its seven-episode run last night with just a terrific finale. I really think this show, after a number of near misses on the cablenet (Vinyl, The Leftovers) has been a standout series. Based on the book by Liane Moriarty, the shows followed the lives of four women of Monterrey, California. Reese Withspon and Nicole Kidman delivered award-wining performances, as the main story figured on the mystery of Jane’s (Shailene Woodley) son Ziggy’s father. Of course, it turned out that Perry, the abusive husband of Claire (Kidman), was it and he finally confronted all of the women and the end of the episode titled You Can Get What You Need. Interestingly enough, the woman who intervened and finally pushed Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) to this death (even though at the end, they all claimed he slipped) was Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz), the wife of Madeline’s former husband. Got that? Yes, this last episode suffered a bit from what I’m going to call final-episode-mayhem, but it all worked very well. Just a standout show from start to finish; and, the direction from Jean-Marc Vallee was superlative. He, of course, directed Dallas Buyer’s Club. When the Emmy’s creep back up … look for the Lies-women to score big. Strong, strong work.
MORE JONES —Linda tragically lost her battle with cancer in April 2016, aged 75. And Sir Tom Jones has revealed therapy and his family helped him cope with the loss of his wife of 59 years. The Welsh singer, 76, was urged to visit a therapist by his son Mark after struggling to get out of bed following the death of childhood sweetheart Linda.
In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, he said: ‘She [the counselor] said to me, “You have got to carry on. If you don’t, you will die’. I thought of my family, my son, my daughter and my grandchildren – all of that.”
He added: “When my wife passed away, God bless her, I didn’t know whether I would make it. There were days when I felt I couldn’t get up. You don’t want to get out of bed to start with.”
Sir Tom, who is appearing in the Voice UK as a coach of Welsh duo Into The Ark, said the program had helped his recovery.
He told the newspaper: “Time off would be death for me. The only time I’ll take off is when I die. I don’t take long periods of time off. I’m happier when I’m singing than not.”
Last year the music legend admitted his ‘heart stopped’ when he learned the devastating news that his partner of six decades had just ‘a week’ to live.
The “It’s Not Unusual” hitmaker explained he immediately canceled the Asian leg of his world tour after discovering she was seriously ill.
Sir Tom said at the time: “We knew each other since we were kids. It was fast, she had cancer. I got the call that it was terminal, my heart stopped. I flew back to Los Angeles, and she had a week left.”
And talking about how he has been keeping busy since her passing, he explained: “I have to be strong. First of all, I love singing. I mean, I get out of bed and I sing. I can’t help it. Linda wanted me to keep singing, she said not to stop. She was a strong woman.”
HERE’S PAUL — After 33 years as David Letterman’s music maestro and sidekick, Paul Shaffer has returned to what he does best of all … making music. On his new album, via Rhino, called Paul Shaffer & The world’s Most Dangerous Band, Paul has delivers 12 wondrous tracks, backed by his Letterman-band, featuring guest vocalists on most of the tracks. Our fave is “Why Can’t We Live Together” featuring vocals by Darius Rucker, and “Sorrow” featuring Jenny Lewis. The 67-year old musical wizard is a shrewd, shrewd musician and his roots show throughout on this album. Look at the musician’s he’s played with over the years – not to mention his work on The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining men.” That song written by Paul Jabara Shaffer in 1979 was recorded by The Weather Girls in 1982. The song had been offered to Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Cher, and Barbra Streisand before being accepted by
Martha Wash and Izora Armstead of The Weather Girls, with their version becoming an international hit, selling over 6 million copies worldwide. We also loved the track “Happy Street,” on the new album,” featuring an inspired lead-vocal (sport of spoken) delivered by none other than Bill Murray, and “I Don’t Need No Doctor” featuring Valerie Simpson and Felicia Collins. Shaffer projects a late-night, dark cool-ness with this album and we loved it from start to finish. We also have to give due to the liner notes, written by Hollywood-scribe Mitch Glazer; just perfect. I have to also add that when I listened to the album, I was reminded of the great album Fresh Fruit In Foreign Places, by Kid Creole & The Coconuts. Not odd then, that the executive producer of Paul’s album is none-other-than industry scion Seymour Stein; who signed Kid to his label all those years ago. Discerning, captivating … so far this year, this is the must-have album to have.
SHORT TAKES — Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice are working on an animated version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The announcement was made during CinemaCon 2017 last Tuesday. The production will also feature new songs written by Lloyd Webber and Rice, who conceived the original musical in the late 1960’s. The basis is the “coat of many colors” story in the Bible’s the Book of Genesis from the Bible. After the success of their 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, Lloyd Webber and Rice expanded Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat into a full musical, which was performed on Broadway for the first time in 1982. John’s Rocket Pictures is producing the film in association with Weber’s Really Useful Group. Rocket is currently producing the animated feature Sherlock Gnomes for Paramount …This Friday, Journey will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and against all odds, former frontman Steve Perry will be there with his former bandmates as they receive the honor, according to keyboardist Jonathan Cain. The news came last week as Cain accidentally let the news slip during an interview with the Dayton Daily News, sharing that his only reason to be excited for Journey’s long awaited induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was the opportunity to catch up with Steve after two decades apart: “The ceremony is the first time we’re going to get to see Steve Perry in a long time,” said Cain. “So that’ll be fun.” As for the highly anticipated live performance, don’t get your hopes up regarding Steve possibly reprising his role as ‘The Voice’ of Journey, even for a night: Cain warned that as far as he and his bandmates know, Perry is ‘just going to accept the award and then skedaddle’ and unless something changes between now and April 7th, promises that current frontman Arnel Pineda will ‘represent very well, like he always does.’
Till next time… Please leave your comments.