Yet another Sly & the Family Stone reunion at Coachella. Sly freaks out once again. Ben Greenman watches on the web and reports:
Sly thwarted plans to start the first song and addressed the crowd instead, telling them that he was kidnapped and that he has a lawsuit pending against his former manager Jerry Goldstein, who “stole so much money at the same time I made so much money that I didn’t know I was being stolen from.” He explained that for the last year he has been living in motels, but that now he can buy new shoes. He showed his shoes. To say that he seemed high was an understatement.
One of the all time great rock journalists attempts to decipher one of the all time great (and all time grumpiest) rock singers. Greil Marcus on Van Morrison, reviewed here:
It’s along that rope that Marcus finds his own footing. His writing excels when a balance is achieved between an extroverted, pleasing style and method and an introverted rumination on moral and existential ideas which are at the core of what Marcus has to say, even if they may sometimes be harder to decipher. In the second half of When That Rough God Goes Riding, beginning with the third section titled “A Belief in the Blues As a Kind of Curse One Puts on Oneself”, you can sense the author digging in, building on the reportage and taking bigger risks, rooting around the messier parts of Van Morrison’s career and asking difficult questions. What can words do? How does a man float along in mediocrity and find his way back? What is the difference between performing and simply putting on an act?
(yeah, I bolded some bits above, I liked them that much)
From music to TV, the original cast of sitcom Bosom Buddies reunited for the TV Land award show. Everyone showed up including Tom Hanks (but sadly, not Wendi Jo Sperber, who died 5 years ago). If you’ve never seen the show, Hanks and Peter Scolari play two best friends who come to New York to work for an ad agency and find the only apartment they can afford is in a women-only hotel, so they dress in drag so that they can stay there for two years. The show was much better than the description.
Still, being in drag was a bit of a drag for Hanks and Scolari. ”We hated it,” said Scolari. Piped in Hanks: “We would tell the writers, ‘Aren’t we strong enough as clever guys with our banter? Isn’t that enough?’ And then there would be the next episode and we’d have to dress up.”
In a completely different vein, Ken Auletta details the whole Steve Jobs vs. Jeff Bezos thing in an extended piece in The New Yorker. Who would have guessed that Bezos was so devious?
A close associate of Bezos puts it more starkly: “What Amazon really wanted to do was make the price of e-books so low that people would no longer buy hardcover books. Then the next shoe to drop would be to cut publishers out and go right to authors.” Last year, according to several literary agents, a senior Amazon executive asked for suggestions about whom Amazon might hire as an acquisitions editor. Its Encore program has begun to publish books by self-published authors whose work attracts good reviews on Amazon.com. And in January it offered authors who sold electronic rights directly to Amazon a royalty of seventy per cent, provided they agreed to prices of between $2.99 and $9.99. The offer, one irate publisher said, was meant “to pit authors against publishers.”