LETTERMAN’S RETURN — Friday night I watched David Letterman’s Netflix return, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” – the premier show with President Obama. It was terrific! I was impressed with everything about the show. Here’s some point-by-point observations: Letterman (still bearded as I bet some serious money he would be) still comes out before the actual show, sans jacket, and banters with the audience; the stage just has two chairs; no band, though Paul Shaffer did contribute a pretty terrific piano-intro; the tone, though light at first, soon took a serious turn and pretty much stayed that way; Dave’s still got it. As for Obama: I really do miss him. Compared to what we have now, he seems like a Jedi-warrior. In fact, they both do. No question about it: must see TV. Letterman hasn’t lost an iota of magic. Next up is George Clooney.
DOLENZ ON AS WE GO ALONG — The Monkees’ 1968 track from their movie Head, “As We Go Along,” is included in the forthcoming soundtrack to the movie Lady Bird. Here’s Micky Dolenz’s take on it: “It’s a distinct honor to have “As We Go Along,” a deep cut from the soundtrack of the Monkee movie, Head, appear on the soundtrack to the award winning Lady Bird; a tremendous film from Greta Gerwig, whose work I’ve always enjoyed. The track, which we recorded in 1968, with Ry Cooder and Neil Young, was always one of my favorites and I frequently perform it in concert. One of Carole King and Toni Stern’s best without a doubt.”
THIS X FILES — This second installment in their 10-show season, This, was pretty good. Written and directed by X Files-stalwart Glen Morgan; the script and story stayed pretty much within the X Files canon. After last week’s episode, which culminated in CSM’s admission that he impregnated Scully with science; and that he is the father, not Mulder, almost anything would have been better. This episode, almost whimsical compared to the previous one, had some great twists and well as callbacks to the classic X Files shows. I think there’s no question that these 10 shows will be it for the show. Hey, it was a classic … and, still is.
SONS SHINE — Devon Allman and Duane Betts have confirmed the first wave of their 2018 world tour dates. The list includes appearances across the U.S. from January to July, and the sons of Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts committed to revealing more shows “every two weeks.”
“It’s been a tough year,” Allman said in an interview with Live For Music in November. “I lost my mom and my dad within four and a half months of each other, so I canceled a whole year of touring except for a couple of dates here and there in the late fall. I’ve been using the time to rally around my family and write new music. I started a whole new six-piece band and I’m writing that record that I’m going to record in the next month or two. I went out and did some promo for my dad’s final record – at the end of the day, I felt bad he wasn’t here to promote it, so I went and did some appearances for that. It’s been a year of taking stock of things and healing.”
He said of his connection with Betts: “I mean, Duane and I have known each other since ’89, because we were kids on tour with The Allman Brothers. Now, in our adult life, we end up at the same festivals or run into each other in England. As these relationships get deeper, you start realizing you don’t have all the time in the world. I mean, we aren’t 20, but we aren’t 60 either—we’re right in the middle.”
“We always talked about doing something together, so I said we needed to pull the trigger. I thought it would make people happy to see an Allman and a Betts onstage together making music. We had talked about it over the last five years pretty intensely, but the timing had to be right… This year, a couple offers came my way, and I immediately thought of Duane. We hung out and we said, ‘Let’s just go do the whole world.’ I just thought it was a really good idea and the timing was right – and, sure enough, so do venues, festivals, and promoters. It’s going to be a really great year.”
Tickets for the confirmed shows are available via Allman’s website.
SHORT TAKES — Back in the news: disgraced Governor Elliot Spitzer aka Client #9. Supposedly he started an incident with a diner in a restaurant. Shades of Anthony Weiner for sure … Sam Rockwell shone like a diamond on this week’s Saturday Night Live. The opening with Bill Murray as Steve Bannon and Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff was just brilliant. In all, not the best writing I’ve ever seen, but pretty good. B+ for sure … After saying that there’d never, ever be an Expendables 4, Sly Stallone this weekend teased the media with the fourth installment a definite possibility. Stay tuned … Looks who’s going to join Keifer Sutherland in ABC’s Designated Survivor: Michael J. Fox. That show, which has gone through more showrunners and writers than any other in recent history, is due back next month … Brilliant article on Rex Reed (who still resides in The Dakota in NYC) in the New York Times. Check it out here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/style/who-is-rex-reed.html … Author Mark Bego (with Supreme-Mary Wilson) will bring his Eat Like A Rock Star book to in-stores in California: The Barnes & Nobles at The Grove and in Santa Monica next month …After the accusations against actor Jame Franco, our colleague Roger Friedman reports that his movie (The Disaster Artist) has dropped 29%. Also, Master of None’s Aziz Ansari was apparently caught up in some sort of charge as well, over the weekend. Says actor Liam Nesson, “It’s a bit of a witchhunt …. isn’ it?”
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Roger Friedman; Shep Pettibone; Mark Kamins; Scott Blackwell; Sharon White; Pam Goud; Victor Kastel; Bob Hartz; Simone Lazar; Mike Greenly; Steve Leeds; Jim Burgess; Alan Martino; Michael Brody; Tony King; and, CFS.