Been a while, but here I am again, spewing forth in arenas where I don't belong. I'm finally actually in the process of writing the autobiography that I've been threatening to release for years. And let me tell you something: it's not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The recollection part is no prob, but to actually formulate complete sentences is asking quite a lot from this old geezer. Fortunately, when my brain has wrung itself dry, my compadre, Jeff Tamarkin, will be there to coax the last of my grey cells into submission. The autobiography, to be called "The Voice of the Turtles" will drop in August of 2012 from Backbeat Books, a Hal Leonard Company. That's right. I've sold out. I'm corporate too.
So, what's on my iPod this summer as the Happy Together tour prepares to hit the road and I'm strapped for amusement?
A quick glance reveals, among other recent additions, Born This Way, the third Lady Gaga record. Gotta say that it feels like more of an homage to the Material Girl then an original piece of art, as were her first and sophomore efforts. I love Stephanie at her best, which in my mind, is when the Lady sits at the piano to perform acoustic versions of her monster rockers. Poker Face and Paparazzi become chilling ballads and you don't need to be wearing a gyroscope on your head to appreciate the talent.
Hey look, it's my buddy and keyboard player extraordinaire Greg Hawkes, and he's just released a new album with his original band, the Cars. I guess if you haven't been Born This Way, you can follow Ric Ocasek's lead and, at least, Move Like This. Kudos, Ric. This album could have been recorded in 1981-its that good. Try NOT moving your feet to this. I dare ya.
I miss Ben Orr. But what you get is still brilliance.
After laughing my ass off to Incredibad, the first CD from the award-winning The Lonely Planet, aka Andy Samberg and his college buddies, now all writers on Saturday Night Live, I was among the faithful awaiting a second turn at bat. Now comes Turtleneck and Chain, and it's amazing. Put the kids to bed before you play either the CD or the DVD that accompanies it. And prepare to hold your sides. The quality you've come to expect from this generation's Merry Pranksters give hope for the return of humor to music. Ah Frank, how we miss ya'.
But we will be working with Dweezil this summer at his music camp in the Catskills, so the circle, indeed, will be unbroken.
I finally had to go out and buy a copy of Jeff Beck-Performing This Week.
I've seen it a million times on VH-1 and even PBS. Yet no matter how often it comes on, if I'm surfing by, I wind up leaving it right there. Recorded in London in 2007 at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, it's got guest shots from Clapton and Joss Stone too, as if Beck needed any help. He's staggering. As is the fantastic Ms. Tal Wilkenfeld, the only bass player I've ever wanted to take home to Mother. Even if you're not a jazz fan or a guitar aficionado, you'll thank me forever if you order this instead of waiting for Palladium to air it. Again.
We went to see TV's Craig Ferguson do his standup here at Seattle's Moore Theater. The acoustics there suck, but Craigy Ferg was hilarious as always.
Bought his DVD, A Wee Bit O' Revolution. And his old Scottish TV series called The Dirt Detective, where Craig, without a robot sidekick, walks us through Celtic ruins. Good stuff.
These Late Night TV shows are far better than the scripted stuff that the networks ram down our throats during Prime Time. I'm talking Jimmy Fallon here, whose show runs opposite Ferguson's on another stupid network. Just great. When you've got Steve Higgins and the entire SNL team working for you and you've grown up at 30 Rock worshipping Johnny and honing your craft, you had better be one multi-talented dude. Jimmy is that guy. You know it too. The minute you see him. Jimmy's the only guy out there that can carry the Carson torch into the next decade. Dave still has it too. With a few more ticks and stammers, Letterman feels like your creepy cousin sometimes- you love the guy, but you just can't remember why. Still, an evening with Dave feels like coming home. Thank God for DVRs.
I don't do Kimmel unless it's after a game or an awards show.
And I can't do Leno.
He knows why.
I find myself watching a lot of reality tv of late. Maybe I'm gay. I really love Andy Cohen and the insane crew at Bravo. I love all of the neurotic Housewives, whether from Orange County, Atlanta, Jersey, Beverly Hills or New York. A sick obsession and a guilty pleasure, I know.
But hey, I also watch Dirty Jobs, so I'm still muy macho, no?
American Idol sucked this year.
But I watched it. Go Casey!
Liked The Voice.
Read the fantastic Keef book-Life, by Keith Richards. Terrific. Man, I hope my little tome is one eighth as cool as that book. Of course, my life is about one eighth as interesting, so...
Barbara Sinatra, Frank's widow, released a new book this month. I know! A must own!
Just great that Lady Blue Eyes still remembers new things lo, these many years later. Perhaps blue brain cells don't burn out like my old grey ones.
Another contender for best summer book has got to be Tina Fey's Bossypants. An amazing and funny, funny life.
I read a brilliant first novel. Of course it was brilliant, it was written by the comic genius Albert Brooks. It's called 2030 , and as you've no doubt guessed, it's a work of possible futures,sic-fi, if you will, but with as much heart as his renowned Defending Your Life. I won't reveal more. It would spoil it. Enjoy this one for yourselves.
Listen to the second Fleet Foxes CD...at least up until the New Age Enya shit kicks in.
Maybe you should just listen to the first one again.
Everything's in reruns on TV except for Doctor Who, and that's alright with me.
Oprah, Larry King, Regis and the old guard have departed for greener pastures.
Robert R. McCammon returns to his horror roots with the long-anticipated Five, and I can't wait.
Congrats to daughter Alex for having the balls to move to Manhattan, on her day job at Space Salon in Soho and her nights with the United Citizens Brigade. WTG, girl.
Our tour starts in Westbury, one of my favorite theaters. Hope to see everybody I know at some point this season. Please stop in and say hello and follow me on Facebook for news and tour updates.
Talk to you soon.