Saturday Odds & Sods: Stage Fright

Two Comedians by Edward Hopper.

I’m  a slacker publisher. I have not formally welcomed Shapiro and Cassandra to the First Draft family. I’ve known both of them for years and they still speak to me. They’re clearly tolerant types.  Thanks for bringing your life experiences and insights to our humble blog. There’s only one rule:

It’s still cold as hell in Louisiana but our infrastructure has held up better than that of Texas, which is a much wealthier state. It helps to have a competent governor as opposed to one who lies on Fox News. Cue Lou Costello impression:

When I searched for the phrase HEY ABBOTT, I kept seeing images of wingnutty former Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He’s much scarier than the Mummy Bud and Lou met but not quite as scary as Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Even scarier is the thought of Ted Cruz on the beach in Cancun as his constituents freeze their asses off. Are you in a narcissism contest with Pennywise, dude? Tommy T will have more on Teddy Boy on Monday. Stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written by Robbie Robertson for The Band’s 1970 album of the same name. It was inspired by Robbie’s own issues with stage fright. FYI, a 50th anniversary remixed and reordered version of that album was released last week. It’s a dramatic sonic improvement on the original. It also features an insanely great 1971 live show from the Royal Albert Hall in London. 4 stars all the way, baby.

We have two versions of Stage Fright for your listening pleasure: the studio remix and a live version from The Last Waltz.

I didn’t know until recently that there’s an instrumental of the same title. These dudes composed it.

In addition to stage fright, I’m contemplating mummy’s right now. I guess it’s time to meet the Son Of The Mummy:

None of that Brendan Fraser shit for me, dude. It’s Karloff and Lee all the way.

Now that I’ve exhausted my mummy jokes, let’s wrap our first act up and jump to the break.

I lied about being Mummy-ied out:

We begin our second act in earnest with a story about a real-life detective who has inspired fictional detectives.

True LA Detective: Los Angeles Magazine is one of the best local rags in the country. I learned a lot from an article by Miles Corwin about Rick Jackson who has advised some of the best crime fiction writers from the City of Angels among them James Elroy, Joseph Wambaugh, and Michael Connelly.

Now that we’ve read about detectives, let’s watch some:

Let’s leave the world of neo-noir crime fiction and visit the world of sports in the bad old days of segregation.

Shame Of The Picayune: In 1956, Bill Keefe was the sports editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He was a highly regarded writer, but he had a blind spot. Like many of his contemporaries, Keefe was a raging racist of the Old South variety. He got into a public slagging match with Jackie Robinson about race. Jackie was the winner.

Slate’s Josh Levin has the details. He also spoke to Keefe’s daughter who does not share her father’s views.

The last word of the segment goes to Count Basie:

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Count Basie?

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I cannot believe I haven’t done Tricky Dick before. Other actors have played him but the two below are perhaps the best known: Anthony Hopkins and Frank Langella.

Langella’s movie Frost/Nixon was much better than Oliver Stone’s biopic. I actually fell asleep during the latter. Odd because I usually feel bludgeoned by Stone’s movies. The dream scenes were a bit much. Who wants to experience Tricky Dick’s fantasy life?

The last word of the segment goes to Frank Zappa. I bet you can guess who the song is about:

Movie List: This was supposed to be last week’s list but then Christopher Plummer died. I somehow doubt Helena would mind. She strikes me as unflappable even when playing a flapper. The list includes two teevee projects, but they’re easily among the best things she has ever done. Her Princess Margaret was to die for.

My Top Ten Favorite Helena Bonham Carter Movies:

  1.  Howards End
  2.  The Crown
  3.  Big Fish
  4.  A Dark-Adapted Eye
  5.  Novocaine
  6.  A Room With A View
  7.  Where Angels Fear To Tread
  8.  Sweeney Todd
  9.  The Wings Of The Dove
  10.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

This song was an unlikely candidate for Odds & Sods because I’d never heard it before. It rocks nicely.

Feeling numb? Let’s move on.

Saturday GIF Horse: It’s still fucking cold. Cold weather conjures up images of Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush.

Didn’t your mama teach you not to play with your food, Charlie?

Let’s see what Michael Imperioli and Steve Schrippa are up to.

Talking Sopranos Moment: The fictional wise guys asked David Chase to write some COVID era dialogue for Sopranos characters. The results are pretty darn good.

It’s time to rev up the Wayback Machine:

Random Weekly Benign Earworm: Windy is an insidiously catchy song. It’s wintry and everyone knows it’s Windy.

I hope y’all don’t feel guilty by association after that tune. My eyes are indeed feeling a bit stormy so…

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: I never had a quadrophonic stereo system, but my friend Don Brown did. He was big on gimmickry. He was also the guy who got an MG Midget so he wouldn’t have to drive all his friends around. That’s why I called it the Tightmobile.

The album was one of the biggest hits of 1971 and still holds up beautifully some fifty years later.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to The Band with the poster from  the original release of Stage Fright.