I am big in Brazil. Well, I was for about a day or so after Folha De São Paulo, the biggest paper in the biggest city in the Americas, published a piece about Strange Days on Jan. 28. You can also view the online version here, if you want to run it through Google Translate.
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Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles was nominated in the nonfiction book category of the L.A. Press Club’s 7th annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. The finalist list is here.
Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is now on sale. Click HERE to buy the physical and Kindle versions on Amazon.
Strange Days features behind-the-scenes recollections, juicy gossip and incisive interviews with music icons such as David Bowie, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Mike Love, Gene Simmons, Isaac Hayes, Ice-T, Roger Taylor of Queen, Read more
David Bowie ventured to the Australian outback in 1983 to shoot the video for his biggest hit single, Let’s Dance, much to my astonishment as a 14-year-old schoolboy living a mere 1,800 miles away in New Zealand. “Holy shit! The Thin White Duke is next door!”
And what a great clip it is (Bowie co-directed with David Mallett), using the plight of Australia’s Aborigines as a metaphor for anyone caught up in the urban grind. Or something like that. It instantly became my life’s ambition to visit the pub where a glowing Bowie boldly serenaded the disdainful, beer-swilling locals.
Thirty years later, I finally made it to Carinda (population: 180) in November 2013, driving 170 miles each way from the closest city, Dubbo, which itself is about 240 miles west of Sydney. Read more
To date the only fresh corpse I’ve seen in real life, appropriately for my job as a showbiz reporter, belonged to a celebrity: Ray Charles.
I attended his colorful send-off in June 2004, and walked past his open casket on my way out as the sound system played his new version of Over The Rainbow, a duet with Johnny Mathis. Sporting his trademark sunglasses and a dark suit, Ray looked better than he had six weeks earlier. Read more
Covering awards shows like the Grammys and Oscars made me grumpy. They allow rich and famous people to become even more rich and famous, and I was part of the problem.
I understand some of the psychology behind stars making a big deal out of getting cheap tchotchkes, corporate “attaboys.” They overcame huge odds to achieve their fleeting fame, after all. But they’re also millionaires with fancy cars, big homes and jet-setting lifestyles. Isn’t that reward enough? Read more