The Glorious Corner: Stephen Bishop, NYC’s PlayStation Theater, Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” Musical and More

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Stephen Bishop
(Photo): Jeff Smith-ReflectionsNY

By G. H. Harding

THE BISH RETURNS — Stephen Bishop returned to Steve Walter’s Cutting Room last night as sort of an unofficial release event for his new BMG Album We’ll Talk About It Later In The Car. The event was also a Q&A hosted by Guitar World Magazine and Backstory Events, who filmed it as well with a dazzling series of cameras. Journalist Brad Tolinski conducted the almost 60-minute interview with a definitely wired Bishop, who had started the day very early with an interview with Premier Radio’s Mike McCann.

The interview covered everything from his new album, to his fascination with Yip Harburg, who scored The Wizard of Oz, including “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Bishop also talked about his process, which relied heavily on making every song interesting.

For the writer of such hits as “On and On” and “Save It For A Rainy Day” it was an interesting look behind the curtain. He also discussed his role in the mover Animal House, courtesy of his friend, director John Landis. He also mentioned the much-missed Andrew Gold; a close friend.

He also admitted at one point it was hard before he made it (he started at around age 13) and how it still is now.

Bish then did an abbreviated set (including the brilliant Jimmy Webb song “Someone Else”),  of songs from the new album and then he did “Separate Lives,” recorded by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin (1985 from the movie White Nights)   which instantly proved what a terrific artist he is.

I’ve loved Bishop for years, especially that brilliant first album Careless. He’s nothing short of an exemplary artist.

Seen at the event, were: Sirius’ Steve Leeds; photographer Jeff Smith; Premiere Radio’s Mike McCann; PR-pasha David Salidor and producer Russ Titleman.

PlayStation Theater

SHORT TAKES — Greenland for sale? The news cannot be believed … Times Square venue PlayStation Theater — previously known as Best Buy Theater and Nokia Theater — will be closing for good at the very end of 2019. The venue’s final shows will be a four-night run from The Disco Biscuits, who are playing 12/27, 12/28, 12/30 and New Year’s Eve. “A New Year. A new beginning  … Variety had more info on the closure: The theater, which is located two stories beneath the skyscraper that houses Viacom and MTV’s headquarters, is closing because its existing lease is up, but its location — in the middle of the always-crowded Times Square and the Theater District — and slightly awkward design meant it was never one of the city’s most popular venues; concertgoers must ride down two long escalators to reach the theater. In a press release, AEG and Bowery Presents also confirm, “The decision to close the venue comes at the conclusion of the existing lease agreement for the space at 1515 Broadway.” Peace out, PlayStation Theater … Meatloaf showed at last night’s production of Bat Out Of Hell at NYC’s City Center. The play runs through September 8 and we loved the New York Times review of the play, with the headline of: Bat Out of Hell, Paradise by the LED Light … Guitarist Randy Bachman (Guess Who; Bachman Turner Overdrive) at Sony Hall on August 28 … and Project Grand Slam’s Robert Miller was actually at Woodstock and in the current AARP Magazine, with Carlos Santana on the cover, contains a Woodstock-memory from Miller: “I was an 18-year-old musician the summer of Woodstock, playing electric bass in the show band at the Olympic Hotel in Fallsburg, New York, about a 20-minute ride from the festival site. A few days before the concert, I drove to the site on a beautiful summer day and watched as they were building the stage. The setting was magnificent: a huge, slightly downward-sloping open field in a lovely area of the Catskill Mountains. I bought a concert ticket (I think for $3.50). My friends and I drove to the site at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. We knew all the back roads and were able to park within about a quarter-mile of the site. Tickets were unnecessary, as it had become a free, open festival. When we arrived, Joe had just taken the stage. I’ll never forget his rendition of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” He totally rearranged that song and made it his own, and to me it was the musical highlight of the festival.”

Carlos Santana
Robert Miller/Project Grand Slam

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steve Walter; Susan Hathaway; Jeff Smith; Mark Bego; Rebecca Pollack; Sarah Clarke; Harvey Levin; Gary Graff; Steve Khan; Eppy; Tony King; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; and, CHIP.

Yip Harburg

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