Showing posts from February, 2012

Hey, Hey, He Was a Monkee!

He was, as heartthrobs go, portable.

Davy Jones was adorable and could fit in your pocket, it seemed. He was the pipsqueak of the Monkees, the tiniest of the singers/actors who captivated young women of the late-1960s thru the mid-1970s.

He was part of the British Invasion but in a decidedly American way. The Monkees, save for Jones, was made up of Americans: Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork. They had an American producer (Don Kirshner at first) and their shtick was concocted by Americans (Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider).

Rafelson and Schneider, who were each steeped with television experience, wanted to make a quirky TV show about a rock and roll band. They didn't, initially, intend for that band to actually become a rock band.

But that's exactly what the Monkees did; they were every bit of a rock band as the others they shared spots with on the Billboard 100.

The lead singer was Jones, with his very British mop head---and very Beatles-like at the time.

Jones quickly beca…

Li-Lo, the Homebody?

Only time will tell if Lindsay Lohan will continue down the road of the straight and narrow.

That's how it works with the addict, the abuser, the dependent. There's no other way to evaluate the progress than to sit back and wait.

Lohan, maybe the oldest 25-year-old in Hollywood history, went on the "Today" show and told host Matt Lauer that she's clean and sober and a "homebody."

The fast life and the drugs and alcohol don't appeal to her anymore, she told Lauer.

The interview will air Thursday morning, but MSNBC previewed it via

"That's not my thing anymore," Lohan said. "I went out, actually, a few months ago with a friend. And I was so uncomfortable. Not because I felt tempted, just because it was just the same thing that it always was before. And it just wasn't fun for me. I've become more of a homebody. And I like that."

Lohan is 25 and who knows what else she can do right now to make money, ot…

Blue Bananas, Anyone?

Let me pose a question for you, survey style.

Should I ask bananas to change their color from yellow to blue? Because I like blue so much better, and I think they'd be prettier that way.

Vote now: yes or no, and why.

What, you say? That's a ridiculous question? What do you mean, bananas can't change color? Really? No matter how hard I try, and no matter how many of you agree with me?

Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (D-Canton) is the latest to scratch for his 15 minutes, in the ongoing saga of Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano, aka The Little Italian General.

It's Irish on Italian crime, just like the old days in the Bowery.

McNamara sent an e-mail out to thousands of his constituents in western Wayne County, posing this to them (verbatim): "Government cannot endure without some form of trust among the elected officials and by the taxpayers who voted for them. A vote may be forced upon the Wayne County Commission to ask County Executive Robert Ficano to resig…

Not-So-Sloppy Seconds

As much as I would have liked to have seen Eddie Murphy do a turn, there's something wonderfully comfortable about having Billy Crystal to fall back on.

I'm referring to the Academy Awards, which take place this Sunday. Crystal, the actor/comedian/director, will host, as he's done so many times before.

But Billy wasn't the first choice this time.

The Academy wanted to go with Murphy as a first-time host, but not long after inking him, the show's producer, Brett Ratner---a chum of Eddie's who was instrumental in getting him the Oscar gig---quit, and a day after that, so did Murphy.

I was totally on board with the notion of Murphy escorting us through the sometimes interminable broadcast, but like I said---Crystal isn't a bad second choice.

Oh, how many funny moments Crystal has given us as Oscar host---some of them occurring in the show's opening montage.

Crystal, with the best co-star he's ever had not named Jack Palance

But one that sticks out is when the…

I Got It, You Take It

It's often used in the world of sports, the notion of "doesn't anybody want to win this thing?"

Typically, scribes and observers will say that about a baseball pennant race or some other competition in which the players or teams involved appear to be more insistent on losing and screwing up than actually winning.

The Michigan GOP Primary is nearing, and the two front-runners are stumbling over themselves to crow how they would NOT have authorized a bailout of the Big 3 automakers if they were president.

This on the heels of news that GM just announced a 2011 profit of $7.6 billion. Profit sharing checks are upwards of $7,000 for giddy GM employees.

Yet here are Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum sweeping into the state, trying to out shout the other about how against the bailout they still are.

It's a rather strange strategy, to say the least.

Usually politicos are wont to crow their "I told you so" stance. It's a tried and true method of making yourself look …


In the wake of the news of Whitney Houston's death, you've heard a lot of folks say that we've lost "the voice."

It's true, that Houston, the pop superstar who died at age 48 on Saturday, was an immense talent; certainly the best female voice of her generation. I know I'll get some argument there, but I don't care. The woman could belt it out, and her rendition of the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl was as perfect as that song can be sung.

But I squirm a little when "the voice" is discussed as being hushed now in her death, because have we really had Whitney Houston's true voice in recent years?

And by recent years, I mean about ten.

It's not as if Houston was singing like it was the late-1980s and early-1990s, right?

Far from it.

I saw a clip of Houston a couple years ago, trying to deliver us those pipes, and to me that was the real tragedy---not what happened Saturday in the Beverly Hills Hilton.

Houston's physical form died o…

A New Day Dawning?

The barn door is being shut at the Wayne County offices---and before all the horses are out.

I've been critical of what's been happening at the County under The Little Italian General, Bob Ficano---but then again, who in their right mind hasn't been?

Who in their right mind wouldn't be disgusted by the largesse and hubris that has been flaunted at 500 Griswold, as the administration initially responded with nose thumbing at taxpayers?

Who wouldn't have been disgusted at the quality of "food" that county seniors were being served as Meals on Wheels looked to cut costs, while cronyism and inflated paychecks for do-nothing appointments ran rampant?

Who wouldn't have cast a cross eye at Ficano and his toadies while they asked for union concessions on one hand and greased the palms of other less deserving hands at the same time?

So I wasn't the Lone Ranger in my disgust, and having worked for the County Commission in 2010, the impropriety hit even closer to…

Heeeeeeere's 30 Years!

The first guest was Bill Murray. That much I know.

Unlike Johnny Carson, David Letterman hasn't ever made too much of anniversaries. Letterman's "Late Night" show doesn't, anymore, do any prime-time specials, as Carson would do every October to celebrate another year on the air with "Tonight."

So it flew under the radar, big time---the 30th anniversary of Letterman on late night television, which was celebrated, in a very low-key style, last night.

That's right---30 years.

As a point of reference, that's even longer than Carson did "Tonight" (debuted October 1, 1962 and last show was May 22, 1992).

Hard to believe, eh?

Letterman's first foray into hosting a talk show came in the mornings on NBC, and didn't last very long. At all. But he was one of the lucky ones who got another shot, taking his quirky act to late night, where it played much better.

Murray was Letterman's very first guest in February 1982, and he would fre…