The Glorious Corner: Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’, Trouble With ‘The X-Files”, Golden Globe Winners and More

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G.H. Harding 

WOLFF PACK — All last week it seemed as though we were subjected to author Michael Wolff tub-thumping his Fire And Fury book. His book, as he said on NBC’s Meet The Press yesterday, is not on the Trump presidency, but rather the perception of Trump’s presidency by the people closest to him. Statements like these give Wolff a most slippery reputation. I have a small history with Wolff: When he was writing for New York Magazine, I had a client many years back, a music promo executive, who Wolff wanted to meet and interview. One long interview turned into a rollicking series of phone calls and follow up interviews which made me question his every move … as well as mine, for that matter. I actually thought at times that Wolff’s ultimate intent was to engage this promo exec in some capacity for some mystery project. I don’t recall that ever happening, but the interview finally did appear and was received most positively, but I’ll never forget the energy and exactness it took to pull it off at all. Wolff was not forthcoming at all in what he wanted, rather, a series of haphazard queries which at times confused my client. I didn’t appreciate that, but I have to assume that Wolff, as did I, got what we all wanted.

When Wolff is asked a question, he pauses for a moment and then seems as defensive as possible and then will give you the answer you want, even if it’s not 100% accurate. It’s almost as he’s just formulated it in that brief pause. He’s written for almost every major publication around, but he’s moved around surprising fast. One day Vanity Fair, the next Hollywood Reporter. Slick and slippery are the key words here. Buyer beware!

X TROUBLES — I was tremendously excited over the return of Fox’s X Files last week, but what exactly was that? Mulder in a white Mustang during two relentless driving sequences; forced voice-overs that tried to seem Shakespearean, but did not; the entire last season being a dream … I don’t know, I didn’t get it at all. Creator Chris Carter wrote it and alas, the many naysayers signaling his end, might just be true. I actually watched the premiere show again over the weekend to see if I missed anything or if I felt differently … I did not. As I’ve previously said, I’ve started watching the early episodes of the show and have been mightily impressed. The X Files was a moment in time; terrific scripts and engaging acting by newcomers David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Now, they both seem to be going through the paces and Duchovny in particular, looks old and tired; although I did like the beard, but the Mulder of today has become sluggish. When was there ever a car chase in an X Files show? No, just too many continuity problems with the return. I’ll watch the remaining nine, which insiders say are much more in-line with the classic episodes, but I think that these ten episodes will wrap the show up … for good. Terribly disappointed.

MADAME OPRAH AT THE GLOBES — I though last night’s Golden Globes was a pretty good show. I didn’t care for Seth Myer’s monologue at all, but my favorites: HBO’s Big Little Lies; Nicole Kidman; Francis McDormand; Allison Janney; Sam Rockwell; and The Shape of Water were big winners. I thought Rockwell, who first dazzled me in 2002’s Confession of a Dangerous Mind (directed by George Clooney) delivered a superb performance; as was Water and Big little Lies, which was just a standout for last year. In fact, probably the best thing on TV last year. The show was better than usual, but the standout moment was Oprah Winfrey’s speech, she was award the Cecil B. DeMille award, as she pretty much gave her nominating speech for being the next President. Her Steadman was quoted this morning as saying “she would absolutely do it.”  Well, we had Reagan, now Trump … Oprah would be spot-on. Also, a footnote: During the show, we had the first commercial for the Jesus Christ Superstar project, which will air on NBC at Easter, with the Sarah Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, with John Legend as Jesus and Alice Cooper as King Herod. Needless to say, that will be some show. Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1970 rock musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyrics by Tim Rice. Because it is sung through and has no spoken dialogue, it lends itself to concert treatment. Also, it has long been speculated that the entire second act of the play …. Is the first act backwards, because the duo had run out of material. True or not, it has become urban legend.

SHORT TAKES— Terrific interview with Ian McDonald and Ted Zurkowski of Honey West in the current Improper. Keith Girard did a superb piece. The band is at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room on Thursday, January 25. The best new band of last year. Read it here: http://www.theimproper.com/music/15736/british-rock-legend-ian-mcdonald-sweetens-pot-honey-west/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Theimpropercommusic+%28Music+News+%26+Gossip%29  … Went to an excellent restaurant this week, in Corona, Queens, of all places: Parkside. Devastating good. Right up there with Frank’s and Don Pepe’s … So sorry to hear of the passing of Ray Thomas from The Moody Blues; finally just in for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We asked PR-pasha David Salidor about Thomas’ passing, as the Moody Blues were his first job in the music biz: “I worked with them when they recorded for London Records, on their Threshold imprint. Ray was just a total delight, as was the whole group. I recall many spirited discussions with Ray. He played that terrific flute and imbued all their songs with joyousness. I still see Justin Hayward and we often reminisce about those days. A moment in time for sure. The group, who called themselves the Muddy Boots, were just terrific to work with and Ray, just a delight.” … Rex Reed, in The Observer, wrote just a pristine column on the stars we’ve lost this year. Check it out: http://observer.com/2018/01/obituaries-by-rex-reed-the-artists-who-died-in-2017/

NAMES IN THE NEWS —  Jim Burgess; Robert Funaro; Armen Garo;  Mark Alpert; Steve Leeds; Scott Shannon; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Randy Alexander; Race Taylor; Nicole Nirvana; Shep Pettibone; Carol Miller; Jim Kerr; Heather Moore; Brad Balfour; Mark Bego; Tony Noto; and, CFS.

Till next time…

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