- January 2015 -

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Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
January 2015

‘Round Town

Caffeinating at 4pm at Gelson’s bakery with Skip Heller and Jim Dawson, Chuck E Weiss sat in for a while.

12-4 Met Abel Gallardo, who was in the Saddle Sores, a psychobilly band I once managed, at the outdoor patio of the Cat & Fiddle. The place is set to close in two weeks, dammit.

12-7 Diane and I met Domenic Priore and a passle of his friends at the Cat & Fiddle. We stayed long and lingered.

12-10 Met Steve Kalinich at Factor’s Deli, near casa Stevie. We hardly know each other but get on like old friends. Our common thread is his close friend, my friend P.F. Sloan.

12-11 Breakfast with multi-talent Jimmy Lee Maslon at the 101 Cafe. That boite had been closed for a couple of weeks and I feared they’d fled, but it was just a remodel of the kitchen.

12-11 Had coffee with Saul Davis in Studio City to discuss a tv rock-talk show. Chatted a long darn time at the Starbucks on Ventura Blvd. - I mean “a” Starbucks on Ventura Blvd.

12-12 Coffee at Gelson’s with Dawson, Weiss. They’re gonna start charging us rent.

12-14 Cat & Fiddle again for lunch, to meet Domenic’s crew, but the couple-hour wait was a big spanner in the works.

12-14 Went with Diane at 5 pm to the Redwood to see Skip and his Hollywood Blues Destroyers, and the Roswell Sisters.
Ran into Blaster Bill Bateman there.

12-16 Chanukah Rain poured down.

12-17 Got my ‘94 SAAB back from tuneup, installation of odometer, gas gauge at Raffi’s. It’s a rolling Money Pit.

12-17 Big production meeting at the Avalon for this year’s Elvis show. It’ll be the biggest since the ‘90s at the House Of Blues. City Councilman Tom Labonge is running it with me and Ronnie Mack.

12-17 4:30 with Skip at Gelson’s, Chuck joined us.

12-17 Revisited the always hilarious and filthy Rudy Casoni Christmas show at the Steve Allen Theater. They pop up suddenly, you have to be alert. When chatting with band leader Andy Paley I saw his friend Bobcat Goldthwaite. A Xmas miracle. Why? Because I had just taken his “God Bless America” movie from the library and was stunned by the soliloquy that Goldthwaite wrote (he directed the film, too) about the diminishment of society. It feels good to tell someone personally that their work moves you.

12-23 Daughter Jessie arrives for month stay. Happy me.

12-27 Poker at neighbor Terry Maloy’s house. Friendly game, won $35. Now I’m $10 down over five games.

12-27 Thought I’d catch Skip‘s band with the Roswell Sisters at the Fairfax Farmer’s Market this Saturday night between holidays because shoppers were probably absent and a cold wind was blowing. Nope, couldn’t navigate into the parking lot, it was like Dodger Stadium before a game. Maybe they were all there to see Skip’s band.

The Hollywood Blues Destroyers

Ian McLagan

I can hardly claim special mourning rights for Ian McLagan. Everyone felt they were his best friend. It hit me hard that someone that vital - lively, sharp, clever, vivacious - would have a heart attack at 69 and die. The Ian McLagan band, led by his keyboards, magically synthesized ‘60s British feel with American/Austin country soul. The sound was unique and mesmerizing, a brilliant, life-affirming call from a past that never died. Seeing him at the Continental and the also now-gone Dog & Duck last March was a mission I’m glad I accomplished. He was a heavenly being, then and now.


Hearing music at random is so sweet. I heard an unfamiliar version of “Fat Bottom Girls” on the iPod, and went to check - it was Antigone Rising. In the aughts saw those New York gals at SXSW by accident - went to the wrong club. They were boyish, to be sure, and rocked the place. Their full album, released by Starbucks, didn’t capture them. Hope they’re still playing ... In “Come And Get It,” a 1936 movie, 1890’s harpy Frances Farmer sings the song “Aura Lee” and I’ll be darned if it isn’t “Love Me Tender.” Is nothing new under the sun? ... Dino (?) singing “Like A Rolling Stone” on a Rascals album seems weird. The words are attached with rivets to the song’s writer ... I know a musician who prefers live recordings of hits. He says a song usually is recorded soon after it’s written, but after a year musicians really ‘find’ it ... Watched a little of Hard Day’s Night again. This time the subtitles were on from a previous movie, and boy, what a revelation discovering “scouse” and such things. Just wish there wasn’t so much music. I’ve heard the songs a million times, seen the movie only seven.


In “Oklahoma,” he sings ‘the sky is as high as a elephant’s eye.” Not “an” elephant’s eye? It’s been explained that the character is not entirely literate, or that singers might ill-emphasize it to “a nelephant’s eye.” Very troubling ...
AWAD - A Word A Day - maintains that the “lion’s share” is the largest portion - and quotes a newspaper story that says 40% is the lion’s share of a market. Ridiculous. The lion’s share is as much as the lion wants. There’s you and the lion, he’s gonna share what? ...


“Tamara Drewe,” a UK movie from 2010, is available at several libraries in L.A. Very funny romantic comedy. Also picked up “The Dish,” the 2004 Australian comedy about the 1969 moon-walk ... I bought “Compromising Positions” on ebay bec I remembered it was funny. It is. 1985, VHS only ... I can’t find a library or vid store that has a dvd of “The Train,” a substantial Burt Lancaster movie. Is it tied up like “Duck Soup”? ... I was puzzled at seeing Billy Barty in ‘Gold Diggers of 1933’ recently. He played an infant in a diaper, but how old was he? I checked; he was nine. His career as a dwarf began when he was a child ... I’m sure there are good new movies, but I haven’t seen all the old ones yet.

Movie Quiz

What misleading concept is shared by both the Thin Man and Pink Panther franchises?

TV News

After the halfway point in evening network news, you are tricked into turning the sound back on during a commercial assault when the talking-head appears, promises a story, then says “coming up soon” and the ads resume. You gotta be quick with the silencer.

Locally, they drop in a 5-second shot of the “anchors” then return to the advalanche. Same trick.

I’m liberal, but to a degree

They shouldn’t have shot that man in Ferguson.

Man. 18 years old, he could vote. He was unarmed? When Albert Salvo was executed, the press didn’t cry that he was “unarmed” when he strangled those women. The Ferguson man was 6 foot 5 weighed 250 lbs. Robbed and assaulted a storekeeper - a perfect angel, may be canonized.

I’m just saying the press made it sound like he was out for a stroll and attacked by police. He was a felony suspect who attacked police and ignored orders to halt. Someone anyone would deem a menace to society.

They had cars, he wasn’t running.
Bad cops.
Bad reporting.

Locally, frightened tourists notified police of a masked guy in an evil-character costume waving a knife at the Hollywood Highland center. When cops came and told him to drop the knife - which they later learned was rubber - he, high on success - acting! - lunged at them. He was shot dead. Since tv news didn’t seize this story, he must have been white. White or black he was a fool.


11-27 Calendar hed: “Loud silence amid Crosby outcry” tops Scott Collins’ story pondering why entertainment businesses have not yet punished him pre-proof. Requires thought, about Collins ...11-30 Gary Silverman writes a review of a book all Angelenos lust for, a history of New York City bars and neighborhoods ... 12-4, I welcomed the front-page Calendar story about Pauly Shore’s latest career move. I bought a DVD of “Pauly Shore Is Dead” and enjoyed his self-abasement ... Three new Cosby accusers are given special spotlight by Richard Winton and Kate Mather for hiring attorney Gloria Allred. Why these accusers over others? Allred is famous for spotlighting herself, why respond to her overtures? ...12-10 Dice Clay got a total of a full page devoted to his ascending career. He’s OK, but there are struggling actors who need some of that attention, or that publicist ...12-14 The horrible death-by-burning murder of a teen in Mississippi is milked by sending Javier Panzar to the city the following week to attend her memorial. What good does it do us here? Well, maybe reporting that her death “has shocked many in this tight-knit community” assures us that they’re not all savages like we previously thought ... 12-17 Shan Li says that the fired American Apparel guy “has been dogged by allegations” by people like dogger Shan Li ...12-18 Stolen paintings are returned. To the public, so we can look at them? No, to the owners, whose propery is equally available to us stolen or returned. Who cares ... More ink on Sam Nazarian. Though he’s been turned down for a Vegas license, his investors are loyal. Why is this guy endlessly spotlit? We’ve all got troubles ... 12-19 Stephen Battaglio and Richard Verrier combine to conclude that “continued fallout” about Sony’s overcovered problems has “analysts wondering.” What analysts? More than one, for sure. All of them? Some? ... 12-20 I dunno who Gary Goldstein is, but writing that a play’s opening had “a snarky bubblegum vibe” tells me he’s closer to thirteen than thirty ... Is the jump-hed “Rogen-Goldberg keep a low profile” a joke when their color photo atop it outmeasures the copy block? Can’t get enough of that “Interview” ... 12-21 The city of Coachella needs water for its golf courses, and Matt Stevens opens with a delicious lede: “At brunch on a recent Thursday, Sunny Butler nibbled on an omelet and considered playing a round later that afternoon.” That would be interesting if Sunny was female and the word was actually “around.” Good lord, the drivel ...12-22 Chad Garland is sad about the closing of a Burbank bar that “claims to be America’s first karaoke bar” (good thing this wasn’t in a newspaper, it would have been fact-checked), and among its unique features was “a large replica of the Hollywood sign and statues of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.” This made the place different how? ... Josh Rottenberg or Deborah Vankin, writing that day’s Calendar story about the Sony situation, aver that “everyone from Larry Flynt to President Obama” opined about Sony’s capitulation. What is that range, please, and name ‘everyone’ between them ... 12-23 Three paintings are still missing from the art heist at the rich people’s house. The story keeps on giving, just not to us ... A white Milwaukee police officer shot a black man who was beating him with a club. Why do I know the color of each? Because Kurtis Lee and the entire news industry now identifies people racially. Progress ... 12-25 Business section: Charles Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’ programs are now being shown in France. Is this the first they’ve heard of the brand? What’s next, you can get a hamburger there?


The LATimes reported daily for weeks about the Sony hacking. Is it of interest to all Times readers, do we all bask in the warm glow of the movie industry and care about its problems? Front page, day after day, when so much else goes unreported.

The Matt Pearce 11-10 article about planes flying over Disneyland was tilted too much on Disney. Though he questions whether the issue was not customer safety but the fact that those planes towed banners for non-Disney enterprises, he stays focussed on Disney rather than the enormous problem of calmness-shattering sparkplug-driven noise-spewing flights over all outdoor venues. Sit at the Hollywood Bowl some night and try to ignore the noise of planes trailing streamers overhead. A warning shot might make them chary ...

New Yawk, New YAWK Times

11-20 Bill Carter, Graham Bowley and Lorne Manly detail the ‘unraveling’ of Cosby’s career following pile-ons like theirs. Validating this is “an emerging comedian’s” criticism, an accusation by “a well known former model” and that bastion of truth ‘social media’ ... 11-25 Joining the Cosby witch-hunt, Preacher David Carr writes a half page column “calling out” people who wrote about Cos’ in the past for not joining the public burning. Posturing pumps one’s self-esteem ... Jack Healy, getting far less ink for a killing in Ferguson that did NOT involve a white person, diminishes the victim and the reader when he leads a graph with “His death became fodder for online speculation” ... The 12-16 NYTimes small side-lit story by Serge F. Kovaleski about Bill Cosby’s wife’s defense of her husband illuminates her irrelevance by omitting the charged words “comes forward,” “speaks out” or “breaks her silence.” Those only apply to attackers.

- From the HOLD file:

Best headline ever, atop the May 16 story about rampaging tonyness in NY apartments: “What’s Next, Bouncers?”


If I was around in 1960 would I have joined sit-ins down south? Well, maybe if I had courage. Our integrated presence would have challenged a big law clearly. If I had been around in the late 60s would I have joined anti-War rallies? Wait, I was and didn’t. Beyond not having a clear viewpoint on the war - the people speaking at rallies seemed self-possessed, like performance artists - I was also uncertain of the value of bothering people. I knew I would be subject to arrest, which might have affected my career, had I gotten one.

The idea of joining a crowd to foment change is attractive to early-adults. I shiver to think about kids currently blocking things. Not grownups, who know the consequences. Standing still in the middle of an intersection with a sign saying “Peace” or “Tax The Rich” is a moment in life, not a lifestyle. Camping til they come and get you is ineffectual. And since ‘the other side’ isn’t always playing like you are, it could get you killed. 1

Blocking trains carrying troops to Viet Nam was dramatic and clear. Sitting in a circle disrupting other people’s lives because you’re generally frustrated is college-headed. As a rule, you get smart after you’ve graduated, not before.

1 In 1969, UC Berkeley bought property to erect bldgs. ‘Student leaders’ declared it a ”people’s park” and occupied it. After months of negotiation, Gov Reagan ordered the police in. Kids threw stuff at them. They responded with gunfire, killing one kid, blinding another. That the cops were being hurt when outnumbered is undeniable - righteousness evokes madness - but the Berkeley Police Dept history reports merely “one student died.” He was shot by police, are they not ashamed? More than a hundred kids were treated for injuries. I’m glad my kid, a college grad living in Berkeley, is not 18 during this new wave of protest.


I return used produce. It was a fruit assortment in a plastic cup. Too many of the cantaloupe cubes had green hard ends. “What’s the reason for the return?” asked the Gelson’s manager. “Too much rind.” It’s a high-price store, so they caved. They could see I have class ... I go to the outdoor weekly farmers market on Vine Street some Sundays, but I don’t stay long. Why on earth do they allow musicians to have amps and speakers? It’s not Van Halen, sometimes it’s a bluegrass band, but the music should be available, not inescapable ... I have no fave Chinese restaurant here, but recently realized that Thai places, which outnumber Chinese, always have Chinese dishes too ...

Killing me with kindness

Many Los Angeles drivers are polite.
But courtesy can go too far.

Late November I ventured out on a Sunday night and hit a wall of unmoving traffic. It was the Hollywood Christmas parade night and cars were filling up the city.

I dodged around and skirted to my destination 2 miles east. Return traffic was atrocious, ending finally, it seemed, in a block-line line to cross Cahuenga. Once there, I’d be home.

But I never get there. There are two lanes going west, and the one on the right is right-turn only. I was in the left. The traffic lights far ahead changed but our line didn’t move.

Many people in the right-turn lane raced to the front and lit their left-turn signal, pleading successfully to butt in line. I stood it for as long as I could, then like the fish jumping out of its bowl to freedom made a u-turn and headed back. I was free and moving, just in the wrong direction.

There’s sympathy in many Angelenos that makes them let someone who pleads with them get in line, and it screws the rule-followers.

A Na(ma)sty Roomer

There’s this singer whose mellifluous tones inspire many a yoga class. A girl I knew fucked him to further her career. (She’d made her own album.) She said he wore a govt tracking device on his ankle.

She didn’t get the record deal.

TV news.

Rain will be “up to 4 inches or more.”
In other words, anything.

The woman with a mike yaks in front of a house buried in mud by a landslide. Then, she points behind her and says “Look at this.” Up to that point we were so mesmerized by her we didn’t notice.

“Coming up after this: Breaking news.”
No, if it’s breaking now, in two minutes it will be old.


As a boy-child I had a wood-burning set. You engraved a traced image into some wood with a red-hot electrified-pen tip. Did this art form get beyond the ‘50s, or did lawsuits drive it out of business? Who were the masters of this art?

Movie Quiz Answer

Both refer to a villain in the first movie, never to be seen or heard from in subsequent ones.

- 57 -

Mark On The Move by Mark Leviton will return next month.

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