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BAIL TALES (PART TWO): GETTING PAID

2022-09-06T23:53:51+00:00September 4th, 2022|Uncategorized|

The Legsville Bail Bondswoman, Raquel Vasquez, tells the hard lessons she’s learned in Part Two of Bail Tales: Getting Paid! "First, I learned quickly that the cops and sheriffs were contentious, but that was a known fact. My clients' adversities and dramas were much more complicated than expected. You’d think rappers who pulled up in Maybachs would have cash dusted with cocaine particles, but that wasn't the case. And not all my clients had celebrity status. Some of my clients were just hard-working white boys from the San Fernando Valley who happened to have a heroin addiction."

DAVID BYRNE’S: “THEATER OF THE MIND” REVIEWED BY ZACK KOPP

2022-09-04T20:04:13+00:00September 4th, 2022|Uncategorized|

I went to a preview of David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar’s Theater of the Mind, inspired by both historical and current neurological lab research, in a warehouse in Northeast Denver last night. Official shows begin next week, but a friend of mine got me a ticket, and what follows is my review of the experience. No doubt there are things I’ve forgotten to mention, like the Scottish interlude of traffic changes so gradual they go unnoticed until the guide hits rewind, the whole production having been designed to illustrate the unreliability of the senses we go by, but not many.

THE WORST ALBUM TITLES OF ALL TIME

2022-08-24T18:40:12+00:00August 22nd, 2022|Music|

Volume one (of many) ©2022 By Chris Zappa As an artist, it must be stressful coming up with album titles. It’s a bit like naming a baby, if that baby’s name was a determining factor in its commercial success or lack thereof. More often than not, artists strive for interesting names, names that make you think, inspiring one to wonder what’s the story behind the title. Oftentimes however, throughout the history of modern music there have been plenty of instances where the band or artist clearly phoned it in, choosing a name so odd — in many cases, so dumb or gross — that no matter how great the songs contained therein may be, there’s no redeeming it. In no particular order, here are a few particularly stinky stinkers that really stink.

INTRODUCING LIZ HAND AND A PREVIEW OF HER WORK

2022-08-22T23:58:41+00:00August 22nd, 2022|Essays|

Liz Hand is one of my favorite contemporary writers, as well as being a friend. As her website (elizabethhand.com) tells it; “Her work has received multiple Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy and Nebula Award, among other honors, and several of her books have been New York Times and Washington Post Notable books.” My favorite books of Liz’s are her critically acclaimed novels featuring her fictional character, Cass Neary, a bisexual, alcoholic, speed freak, who published an acclaimed photo book in the 1970’s, but has faded into obscurity, supporting herself by authenticating photos for weirdo collectors around the world. This is where the fun begins-- as inevitably someone gets murdered-- and instead of wanting to solve the crime, Cass wants to get the fuck out of town!

DUNCAN HANNAH’S TOP 10

2022-08-17T18:11:53+00:00August 17th, 2022|TV & Film|

Duncan Hannah is a New York City–based artist whose paintings have been featured in over seventy solo exhibitions around the world since his debut in 1980. His work has been collected by both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Mick Jagger. Hannah has occasionally acted, and his filmography includes Amos Poe’s Unmade Beds (1976), Jennifer Montgomery’s Art for Teachers of Children (1995), and Michael Bilandic’s Hellaware (2013). Originally Published at The Criterion Collection | ©2016 By The Criterion Collection

BAIL TALES: MEN’S CENTRAL JAIL

2022-08-14T18:19:17+00:00August 13th, 2022|Essays, True Crime|

I’m not going to lie, it was exciting for me to go to Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. I’m not sure if it’s the “high power” inmates or just nervous energy. You see, in LA ex-cons are everywhere and they’re not embarrassed to tell you about it. Having been in Men’s Central Jail can earn you a pack of sycophants for the rest of your life. So yes, I’ll admit, on my first visit to MCJ I was genuinely giddy. I was there to interview a defendant in custody. I needed to feel him out and determine whether he was worth the risk of posting his bond. All my rookie enthusiasm changed very quickly.

THE MYSTERY OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN TOOK TO HER GRAVE

2022-08-13T01:56:37+00:00August 11th, 2022|Essays|

We mourn the death of Olivia Newton-John. She was a pleasant singer and actress, an icon to a certain generation of fans who grew up with her, most after she made the transition from British-born Aussie country singer to pop star, the little girls wanting to be her, young boys wanting to be with her – and even more boys wanting to be her. Now that she’s gone, after a long and valiant battle with cancer, Olivia Newton-John is receiving well-deserved honors, but she has left this plane with a mystery that dangles and clouds her legacy. It’s a mystery partially of her own making, a question left unanswered: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PATRICK MCDERMOTT?

THE NOD MONASTERY: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW JIM MORRISON REALLY MET NICO

2022-08-06T20:40:11+00:00August 4th, 2022|Music|

We’ve all seen that horribly facile Oliver Stone film, “The Doors” and we still watch it anyway, even though it sucks– thus is the power of Jim Morrison. He still captures our inner belligerent souls. And Val Kilmer looked and imagined Morrison they way we believed him to be. If only Val had a script to work with. One thing that really bothered me was the scene in the movie, when Jim Morrison meets Nico and she says, “Hi, want to fuck?” Or something equally ridiculous. Nico wasn’t that vulgar, uncouth or stupid. But now for millions of kids, Nico is thought of as a moronic floozy instead of the serious artist that she was. I’m getting sick of bio-pics that get it all wrong and re-write the facts, which happen to be even more fascinating than the tripe we are fed on the screen. Which brings me to “The Nod Monastery,” my corrective of what really happened the night Jim Morrison met Nico, and I think you’ll agree it’s a lot more passionate and dramatic than anything Oliver Stone could dream up.

STERLING SPEAKS! STERLING MORRISON’S LAST INTERVIEW WITH LEGS MCNEIL, 1995

2022-07-31T21:38:18+00:00July 31st, 2022|Uncategorized|

©1995 and 2022 By Legs McNeil [Originally published on pleasekillme.com] Sterling Morrison (1942-1995) was the guitarist for the Velvet Underground, appearing on all four studio albums that the band made. He left the band in 1971 and moved to Texas to finish graduate school, became both a tugboat captain and a college professor. Legs McNeil interviewed him in New York in early 1995. At the time, Morrison was undergoing chemotherapy. Sadly, he did not live long enough to witness the answer to his very first comment in this interview. He died on August 30, 1995. The Velvet Underground were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the following year.

PUSHING PUNK

2022-07-29T16:55:58+00:00July 29th, 2022|Music|

The book is squalid, evocative and often very, very funny — full of contradictory versions of the same story, all of which have some grain of truth — and that’s how real life is; his version, his version and the truth, which is still compromised

EXCLUSIVE! THE LOST INTERVIEW: AL MARTINO & THE FIGHT TO PLAY JOHNNY FONTANE IN THE GODFATHER

2022-07-17T02:54:54+00:00July 16th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Al Martino played crooner (and wedding singer) Johnny Fontane. It was a role that Frank Sinatra tried to rub out. Frank believed the character in Mario Puzo’s novel was based on him, but it was a role Martino knew was his. A popular Italian-American balladeer in the early 1950s, he’d been forced to move to Great Britain after he defied the mobsters who’d bought his management contract. Martino returned to America and fought his way back onto the charts and success in the 1960s.

HOWIE PYRO – PATRON SAINT OF WEIRD

2022-07-16T15:16:28+00:00July 16th, 2022|Music|

I wanted to share a eulogy I wrote for my dear, dear friend Howie Pyro. We said goodbye to him today at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. There will be an NYC memorial for him July 20th and a big celebration of his life concert July 23rd at The Bowery Ballroom With D Generation , Brian Fallon , HR , Theo Kogan from The Lunachicks and many more…

MUTE METAL NEWSBOYS:
 RUNAWAYS AT THE RACK

2022-07-16T15:17:45+00:00July 8th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Like mute metal newsboys on a corner, newspaper racks are the slot machines of journalism. You put your money in and take your chances that there’s news you want to peruse. Slot machines, and piggy banks. When you own a newspaper with racks you have little cash stashes all over town. Run short in the video store because the girls forgot to bring back the DVD for a week … Take some change out of the rack out front. I pay for lots of things in quarters.

ORAL HISTORY OF THE MONTH – CALL ME: HERB ALPERT & THE REMAKING OF CHRIS MONTEZ

2022-07-16T15:20:36+00:00June 26th, 2022|Music|

(Or: How a Jewish Mariachi Trumpeter Turned a Chicano Rock ‘n’ Roller into an Easy Listening Pop Crooner) | Born in Los Angeles, a high school classmate and friend of Brian Wilson, rock ’n’ roll tenor and devotee of Ritchie Valens, teenage Mexican-American Ezekiel Christopher Montañez got a name change to Chris Montez and at nineteen had a Top Ten record in 1962 with Let’s Dance. Meanwhile, in another part of L.A., A Jewish singer, songwriter, and trumpeter named Herb Alpert formed a record label called A&M, and inspired by a group of mariachis at a bullfight in Tijuana, recorded a song called The Lonely Bull. The single hit the charts alongside Let’s Dance in the fall of 1962, and also made the Top Ten.

RAY DAVIES NEVER WANTED TO BE A SINGER

2022-07-16T15:20:05+00:00June 23rd, 2022|Music|

In 2009, Ray Davies toured America to promote The Kinks Choral Collection, which featured new studio recordings of some of Davies’ finest songs backed by the Crouch End Festival Chorus. He performed with the chorus at Town Hall in New York in November. Six of the songs from the classic, underrated Kinks’ album Village Green Preservation Society were included in Davies’ “choral collection.” On the forty-ninth anniversary of the release of Village Green Preservation Society, we present the following exclusive interview with Davies, conducted on Nov. 11, 2009 by Legs McNeil and Stacey Asip, in which Davies talked about his family, his working class roots and the early days of being a Kink. This version is condensed from a much longer interview.

DUNCAN HANNAH: THE CARY GRANT OF PUNK ROCK (AUGUST 21, 1952 — JUNE 11, 2022)

2022-06-17T14:14:11+00:00June 17th, 2022|Essays|

Dunc had it all; the charm, the clothes, the looks, the brains, the talent, and more importantly, he was not an asshole. He didn’t need an entourage, he enjoyed going to see his friend’s work, and he enjoyed explaining why he liked something or did not like it. He was extremely accessible and his take on “the work” was inspiring. And his manner was classy, in an unpretentious way; more Mid-West down home. And his smile was infectious.

GENE KRUPA: THE ORIGINAL PUNK DRUMMER

2022-06-07T04:39:15+00:00June 7th, 2022|Music|

Gene Krupa is easily one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, elevating the role of the jazz drummer from sideman to soloist to superstar. His energetic playing on Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” remains a standard-bearer 80+ years later, and The Drum Battle he recorded with Buddy Rich in 1952 is as dizzying today as it was upon release. But Krupa’s towering influence has not been confined to jazz and swing drummers. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that he was a major inspiration for some of punk rock’s most important timekeepers, including Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Rat Scabies of the Damned, and Lucky Lehrer of Circle Jerks.

JONATHAN RICHMAN: IN LOVE WITH THE MODERN WORLD

2022-06-03T15:41:59+00:00June 3rd, 2022|Music|

Ernie Brooks is a very likable fellow who was raised in New York and Connecticut by intellectual, liberal parents, which explains why he became a civil rights activist down South during the violent “Freedom Summer” of the early 1960s. Ernie’s a Harvard graduate who studied English literature, poetry, and rock 'n' roll, along with his college roommate Jerry Harrison, who later became the keyboard player for the Talking Heads. A chance encounter with Jonathan Richman led to a wild ride as one of the founding members of the legendary Modern Lovers, perhaps the greatest alt-rock, pre-punk, indie band that no one has ever seen.

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! REMEMBERING ARTURO VEGA

2022-06-02T15:31:30+00:00May 24th, 2022|Music|

Arturo Vega was the most optimistic, jubilant and fun pal anyone could wish for. If it wasn’t for Artie, Joey Ramone and I would’ve starved to death in those early days. He used to give us each a buck fifty so we could each buy a quart of beer and a pack of cigarettes. Joey smoked Winstons; I smoked Marlboros, at 75 cents a pack.

CANDY: DON’T MESS WITH THE REAL BORED HOUSEWIVES OF TEXAS

2022-05-19T16:42:32+00:00May 19th, 2022|TV & Film|

When you think of an axe murderer what vision comes to mind? I bet it isn’t a frail, Christian mother wearing oversized glasses and a tight perm. This is why Hulu’s series, Candy, intrigues us so much. Based on the true story of Candy Montgomery (played by Jessica Biel), a suburban mom from Wylie, Texas who killed her lover’s wife by hitting her 41 times with an axe. Shockingly, Candy got away with it claiming self-defense.

SUNDAY! ONE NIGHT ONLY! THE MAN WHO KILLED JERRY LEWIS

2022-05-19T01:43:47+00:00May 18th, 2022|Comedy, Essays|

Bobcat Goldthwait comes out and introduces the clips that Jerry brought, and the clips are running. There's the famous dance down the stairs from Cinderfella. There’s him doing the incredibly famous boardroom bit from The Errand Boy. And I'm watching Jerry look at himself. He was seventy-six, overweight and nobody knows who he is anymore, and he's looking at the twenty-six-year-old version of himself when he was super-famous. And I see Jerry look out at the half-full crowd, and then Jerry fell to the ground. And I think he’s dead.

ERIC CLAPTON IS A FIRST CLASS, GRADE A ASSHOLE!

2022-05-18T13:19:40+00:00May 18th, 2022|Essays, Music|

This article was originally published by Chris Zappa on Medium in 2021 under the title, “I Just Can’t Even With Eric Clapton Anymore.” Chris has graciously given Legsville permission to republish it, and I encourage other music lovers to read Chris’ work on Medium as well as sign up for Zappagram, the mother of all music newsletters, which he runs on Substack.

AMBER HEARD BODY LANGUAGE

2022-05-15T15:45:01+00:00May 15th, 2022|Essays, True Crime|

©2022 By Lillian Glass – Director/ Producer, Body Language Expert, Communication Expert | "First of all, she is once again copying Johnny's style as she too is wearing a vest under a blazer just like Johnny is wearing and has been wearing throughout the trial."

WHEN THE BEATLES MET ELVIS

2022-05-12T19:35:43+00:00May 12th, 2022|Music|

In one of his many interviews, John Lennon called it the most exciting day of his life. I rather doubt it, but then I grew up with the Elvis that was making movies like “Clambake” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” so I was never impressed. Like Lennon, I loved Elvis’ early Sun Records stuff and believed Presley went to hell when he joined the army. Still, I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall the night the Beatles finally met Elvis. I hope you enjoy this!

THE MET GALA-RAMA

2022-06-02T15:53:27+00:00May 5th, 2022|Fashion|

Watching this was like watching someone herding cats. Live streaming this is not the way to go as there are a boat load of security trying to steer the attendees around the red carpet. In addition there are what can only be referred to as “Dress Wranglers” moving overdone, ridiculous trains around after every turn and step. | ©2022 by Suzy Dooley

THE BALLAD OF CYNTHIA PLASTER CASTER

2022-04-30T18:03:22+00:00April 30th, 2022|Essays, Music|

Cynthia was truly an original thinker and a meticulous goofy artist who took the job of casting rock stars’ erect “rigs” extremely seriously while never losing her sense of humor about the job at hand. Join me now as we listen to Cynthia Plaster Caster’s story….

PUNK RETURNS!

2022-04-29T17:01:16+00:00April 29th, 2022|Fashion, Music|

So Punk, what are you going to wear? I’m already thinking about Fall 2022. I have just seen my first glimpse of tourist winter white flesh revealed. I witnessed for a mere nano second the stretch marks and imperfections, back fat and butt cracks! I’m ready to see the coats back on and the sins of our unhealthy diets swathed and draped in almost anything.

APRIL 29-30, 1992: LET THE L.A. RIOTS BEGIN

2022-04-30T15:55:21+00:00April 29th, 2022|Essays|

On April 29, 1992, jurors in Simi Valley, California acquitted five Los Angeles police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Los Angeles citizens responded to the news with a display of widespread civil disobedience and destruction that became known as the Los Angeles Riots. The evening the violence began, Burt Kearns, a producer of the syndicated nightly tabloid magazine series, Hard Copy, was sharing a pizza with correspondent Rafael Abramovitz at Santopietro’s restaurant. Thirty years later, the following is adapted from his memoir, Tabloid Baby.

MAKING THE WILDEST SHOW IN LAS VEGAS PART I: SAM

2022-04-29T13:34:15+00:00April 27th, 2022|Music|

Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Sam Butera revolutionized Las Vegas, the lounge scene and 20th century popular music when they launched their spectacular act in December 1954 at the Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The story of their success has never been told in full, and never accurately – until now. Based on long-hidden interviews with the principals and extensive research, Burt Kearns reveals how all the parts fell into place, long before that historic debut. In Part One, we meet the man who answered the call of The Wildest, the key player without whom this success story would never have happened.

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