GABBA GABBA HEY
I had just submitted last week's Rant when news of the death of Johnny Ramone hit. Sadly, I've had the unfortunate duty of reporting on the passing of Joey and Dee Dee as well. One quick note: The original drummer, Tommy Ramone, is still among us, as is his replacement, Marky.
I second Matt's best wishes to the great Rodney Dangerfield. Though comatose, Dangerfield has been visited by a virtual Who's Who of comedians, many of whom he gave their start, including Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams.
Love the piece this week on comedian Jackie Mason (i.,e., Hugo Morley's "Slice of Life", frontpage. --N) Though I've never seen Mason live on stage, I have met him while walking down the street a couple times when I visited New York City. Each time we met his first question to me was what I did for a living. I've been told by others who have met him that he has done that with them as well. My understanding is that Ed Sullivan thought that Mason had given him "the finger" after his appearance on Sullivan's show and had him banned. Maybe it was Mason's initials that did him in as Sullivan also banned Jim Morrison after the Doors front man refused to change the line "girl we couldn't get much higher" in the song "Light My Fire." Pretty amazing. I'm trying to picture the Lizard King in "Caddyshack 2."
OK, am I the only one stunned by the fact that Yusaf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, isn't allowed in America? This guy has been a Muslim for 25 years and has traveled back and forth, including 2 months ago, since then. Come on already! Do you really think the man who wrote "Peace Train" is supporting terrorists? And yet, that surly Gordon Lightfoot is free to go wherever he pleases.
Very sad to report the passing of Russ Meyer, whose idea of merging huge-breasted women with motion pictures made a horny young moviegoer like me very happy! Mr. Meyer, whose name was practically synonymous with "sexploitation" cinema, died Saturday at his home in Hollywood Hills; he was 82. Cause of death was reported as complications from pneumonia. A combat photographer in World War II, Meyer began his career in Hollywood and found fame with his 1959 filmmaking debut "The Immortal Mr. Teas," which introduced the world to Meyer's brand of cinema. In the early 1960s, such films as "Vixen" and "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" earned him wide spread recognition. In fact, it was the latter film's success that attracted the interest of 20th Century Fox, which signed him to helm the 1970 major studio release "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," which was written by film critic Roger Ebert. With the on coming popularity of such hard core films as "Deep Throat" and "Beyond the Green Door," Meyer's films began to slip in popularity. His last feature was 1979's "Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens."
MEET THE BEATLES - PART 35
September 19 1966 - John begins work on the Richard Lester film, "How I Won the War." He will spend the next 2 months on location in Spain, spending his time away from the camera writing songs including "Strawberry Fields Forever." When filming finishes on November 6, he will leave for London. Two days later he will meet Yoko Ono for the first time.
Well, all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.