The Glorious Corner: Tom Hanks, “Yesterday”, “Play It Loud”, Micky Dolenz and More

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G. H. Harding

MOULIN TOM — Deadline has confirmed that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks will play the iconic Colonel Tom Parker, manager of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley movie for Warner.

The screenplay is by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.

Tom Hanks

The Dutch born Parker rose from being a carnival worker to discovering Presley and becoming the rock icon’s sole handler. Parker moved into music promotion, earning the courtesy rank of ‘Colonel’ from a grateful singer Jimmie Davis who had become governor of Louisiana. Within less than a year, Parker had Presley signed to a recording contract with RCA Victor, and turned him into a star with his first single “Heartbreak Hotel,” in addition to landing merchandising deals, TV appearances, and transforming the Tupelo, Mississippi native into a movie star of such pics as Viva Las Vegas and Jailhouse Rock. 


Parker leveraged Presley’s time in the Army after the singer was drafted in 1958, boosting his image during this time and turning a two-year absence into a big comeback with a homecoming rail-tour to Memphis.

I’m a big fan of Luhrmann’s work; the Broadway-edition of Moulin Rouge is on its way.

YESTERDAY — I’m an unabashed Richard Curtis fan. Notting Hill; Four Weddings and A Funeral; Love Actually; War Horse ; a Doctor Who episode and About Time … is there a better and more consistent hit writer anywhere? Still when Curtis’ Yesterday started with the trailers, boasting, imagine a world without The Beatles, I immediately realized I didn’t want to imagine a world without The Beatles music. Still, Curtis with director-Danny Boyle was hard ticket to pass up.

I saw it this weekend and have to say, that, despite one rather awkward scene, it’s totally enjoyable. Lead Himesh Patel, as the lead Jack Malik, is just totally spot-on and Lily James is utterly resplendent as maybe love-interest Ellie. Curtis borrows liberally from all his movie and at times I  thought I was right back in Notting Hill.Still, even familiar Curtis, is great Curtis. Face it, the guy’s a genius at set ups like this.

If you can suspend disbelief -no Beatles music – then you’ll buy the plot. Ed Sheeran, as Ed Sheeran, is surprisingly terrific and he’s in the movie for more than just one scene, Kate McKinnon, as his manager Debra is a delight, though she’s overplaying just a bit.

To me, the real surprise here is that the no Beatles music-edict, is never really resolved. You leave the movie thinking what kind of world would that actually be.

A sad one for sure.

Ultimately, the Beatle music shines and I guess that’s the takeaway. Yesterday is a fun romp, nothing substantial … just a fun ticket to ride, thinking what if?

Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson
“Play It Loud”

SHORT TAKES — We finally caught the Play It Loud exhibit at The Met and though we didn’t find anything we didn’t already know (wink … wink) we enjoyed it immensely. They showed dozens and dozens of guitars from various events (Eddie Van Halen’s vintage guitar that he did the lead on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Eric Clapton’s 1992 acoustic Martin guitar that appeared (with Clapton of course) on MTV’s much-missed Unplugged series. Slowhand’s legendary blackie-Fender Stratocaster is there to. The Met did it in conjunction with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We went on a private tour that came complete with a guide who said at first, I’m going to do my best, but I don’t know it all. I think the rest of our 8-person complement were all tourists and it was great fun indeed. Believe it or not, I bumped smack dab into Race Taylor, late of WPLJ in the massive Met-lobby. I missed Race at Tom Cuddy’s fantastic WPLJ-event at The Cutting Room, so it was great to see him. Trust me: Race is coming back to radio … shortly. One of the best for sure … Micky Dolenz’s soundcheck July 4 at Del Mar, California, was not interrupted by the earthquake out there. In fact, the sound-man told Dolenz that it was one of his best soundchecks ever. Amazing … 12-year old Kjersti Long’s debut album, on Broadway Records; Stronger Than You Think I Am, is officially out July 19. Her take on Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” is awe-inspiring … The Washington Post gave The Rolling Stones one of the best reviews I’ve ever read for their shows in Washington this weekend. Check it out: … and, SIGHTING: FMQB’s Ken Sharp at Sunday’s Micky Dolenz show at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills.

Kjersti Long
Micky Dolenz

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Larry Bryant; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Steve Walter; Mary Wilson; Mark Bego; Armando; Alison Martino; Tina Malave; Sarah Clarke; Sam Rubin; Greg Messel; Odel Lambrozza; and, CHIP.

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