It was April 5, 1994. I had just gotten home from high school, and was playing a video game while listening to late great New York alt-rock and new wave station WDRE when the deejay broke in to say a body had been found in Kurt Cobain’s home. As the story unfolded, I quickly shut off the video game and turned MTV on. Within minutes, Kurt Loder came on with a special report to break the news of the Nirvana frontman’s suicide. Loder — the voice of my generation in many ways — remained on the air with industry pros discussing Cobain’s legacy and the importance of his music. It eased some of the pain of the artist’s death by simply listening and watching the coverage. We need that today, and we’re not getting it. MTV used to make music news, cover it, and sometimes break it. It hasn’t done that for decades, and it doesn’t seem like they will ever again. Continue reading
He was among the best catchers in Major League Baseball history. He became a star in Montreal, and his single during the 1986 World Series as a New York Met fueled one of the biggest comebacks of all time. He was an 11-time All Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner. But, for me, Hall of Famer Gary Carter will always be the man that took the time out to respond to my Bar Mitzvah invitation. Continue reading
So much talent. RIP.
Friday marks my late best friend Stephen Spruck’s birthday. To honor him – I’ve embedded some of his favorite songs from back in the day. Love you brother.
Met him. Interviewed him. A career highlight. Rest in peace to the best wrestling personality of my childhood…and ever.
I became a pro-wrestling fan thanks to Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies R Good Enough” music video, which featured various World Wrestling Federation superstars making hilarious cameo appearances. Drawn in by the quirkiness of it all, I quickly became a fan of the WWF (now WWE) men in tights. I couldn’t wait to see what Bobby “The Brain” Heenan or “Rowdy” Roddy Piper would say or what opponent (and turnbuckle) George “The Animal” Steele would devour next. Right from the get-go, however, two stars resonated most with me. Obviously, no child of the 1980s could live his life without idolizing Hulk Hogan. I was no different – a true Hulkamaniac who even tried making a few protein shakes. But “the Hulkster” wasn’t my only idol. Randy “Macho Man” Savage sucked me in with his wrestling style, unpredictable behavior, and even more impressive mic skills (the lovely Miss Elizabeth didn’t hurt either. Before long, I had his T-shirt, a 7-Eleven “Big Gulp” with his caricature on it, and even tried snapping into a Slim Jim no matter how gross they tasted.
I interviewed Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger at the Independent Spirit Awards this year. While my interview sucks (in my opinion), I found both men down-to-earth and entirely passionate about their important work on “Restrepo.” Hetherington was killed today in Libya. His words in this interview ring so true. We are at war. RIP.
Well, that makes it two years in a row. Last year, FX chucked Damages, the striking Glenn Close suspense drama that was well received but never scored big in the ratings… at least that series will re-launch on the Dish Network. Unfortunately, the network’s Lights Out — a series in similar standing as that legal thriller (great show, crap ratings) suffered the same fate today and I highly doubt anyone will save it from extinction.
Lights Out seems to be a victim of the sport of boxing itself. Interest isn’t what it used to be when guys like Foreman or Tyson were around, and clearly that hurt the series. Unlike The Fighter, which could spark interest from its Hollywood heavyweight cast, the series could only stand on solid performances and good writing. The rock of the show was Holt McCallany whose deeply felt performance as local hero Patrick “Lights” Leary shouldn’t be ignored Emmy time. He played Leary as a flawed icon who, five years after retirement, was still trying to find himself out of the squared circle. While he never lost the passion to fight competitively, he became more or less at peace with his decision to hang up his gloves and devote time to his wife, three daughters and his dad/trainer (Stacy Keach). That is, until the IRS came knocking. In debt thanks to his bonehead brother Johnny (Pablo Schreiber in one of the most unlikable performances of the year), the boxer has to go back into the ring to fight off debt.
All of this, of course, came much to the chagrin of his wife Theresa (Catherine McCormack), who convinced him to quit in the first place. The show was a lot more than the description I provided above. Each episode packed some excitement and pathos for a sport that let’s face it no one arguably has cared about since Tyson took a bite out of Holyfield’s lobe. Had Lights Out come out in the 1990s or even early 2000s, I think it would’ve faired better.
Sadly, the show never found an audience. FX chose not to stick with it because its ratings were just dismal, but I wished they gave it more time to find an audience. The series could’ve gotten its sea legs with a DVD release or drawn more interest if a higher profile star joined the cast in season two. But it’s not to be. This feels like The Riches, another FX series, all over again. That Eddie Izzard/Minnie Driver gypsy drama was so damn good, but was never really given a chance either. The series and its star deserve better.
Step it up, HBO or TNT stat.
Hashtag “#savelightsout” on Twitter today and join my group to save the show.
He was an icon of sorts…with a catchphrase (“What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”)..his diminuative height brought on by issues with his kidneys….and most of all,a troubled former child star. Gary Coleman still managed to stay in part of pop culture society & remain part of the mainstream no matter what. He was part of the many misfits who ran for Governor of California; popped up in the occassional music video (Kid Rock’s “Cowboy” being my personal favorite)..showed up on “Divorce Court”…and of course who can forget his turn as the disgruntled security guard who found himself in deep trouble after an altercation with a fan got real ugly real fast. Regardless of how many times he was in the spotlight for legal matters over the later portion of his life; Gary still always managed to be a spot in Generation X’s lives and hearts. We’ll miss you, Arnold Jackson.
I always felt like he had better film roles in him. Sucks. He’ll be long remembered be it “Ghost,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Roadhouse,” “Donnie Darko,” and “Point Break.”
John Hughes’ movies were such a big part of my childhood. It’s so sad that he died so young. His movies epitomized the 1980s… each film had laughs, quirks, and a lot of heart. I still consider “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as one of my top three favorites of all time. Sad day in Hollywood.
An early career highlight… great man, great interview, great writer. He’ll be missed.
By Molly Cameron
This historic Tuesday I was lucky enough to be in Washington, D.C. with my parents and cousin to witness President Barack Obama’s inauguration firsthand. Although the “witnessing” was by way of Jumbotron screens and through a sea of nearly two million people, it was an amazing experience. Here’s how the nearly 12 hours of cold history-making moments broke down: Continue reading