9.30.2010

HANDSOME ACTOR TONY CURTIS RIP LOVED HIM!

The Very Handsome Tony Curtis aka Bernie Schwartz

CBS/AP) Tony Curtis, the Bronx tailor's son who became a 1950s movie heartthrob and then a respected actor with such films as "Sweet Smell of Success," "The Defiant Ones" and "Some Like It Hot," has died. He was 85.

The actor died at 9:25 p.m. MDT Wednesday at his Las Vegas area home of a cardiac arrest, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said Thursday.

As CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports, Hollywood runs on good looks and charisma; Curtis had both in abundance, and he'd be the first to tell you.



Tony and Jack Lemmon RIP

"I knew there was something… I won't say special, about me, but something different that cut me out from all the other guys," he said years ago in an interview.

That something different led him through a career as a big-screen heartthrob, a comedy talent, a dramatic actor and an Oscar nominee, says Whitaker.

After a series of frivolous movies that exploited his handsome physique and appealing personality, Curtis moved to more substantial roles, starting in 1957 in the harrowing show business tale "Sweet Smell of Success."

My personal favorite Tony Curtis Film Houdini!


In 1958, "The Defiant Ones" brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist escaped convict handcuffed to a black escapee, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he donned women's clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot." Tony once said kissing Marilyn Monroe was like kissing Hitler. Not a MM fan LOL.

Tony and first wife Janet Lee
n 1958, "The Defiant Ones" brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist escaped convict handcuffed to a black escapee, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he donned women's clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot."


His first wife was actress Janet Leigh of "Psycho" fame; they had two daughters Jamie Lee and Kelly. He also had a son Nicholas who died from drugs which really threw Tony into a huge depression due to his own use of drugs which the kids all knew.


In later years, he returned to film and television as a character actor after battling drug and alcohol abuse. His brash optimism returned, and he allowed his once-shiny black hair to turn silver. He also became a painter whose canvasses sold for as much as $20,000.


Curtis stated on the television series Shrink Rap that he had a brief relationship with Marilyn Monroe in 1949 which had to end due to their different work commitments. He also details their brief relationship in his memoir, American Prince. Curtis was also married to: * Leslie Allen (April 20, 1968 – 1982); divorced, two sons * Andria Savio (1983 – 1992); B movie actress (e.g. 1983's Stryker) * Lisa Deutsch (February 28, 1993 – 1994); divorced * Jill Vandenberg Curtis (November 6, 1998 – September 29, 2010; his death)

RIP Tony we loved you!

THE VIBRATORS DETROIT SHOW WAS FANTASTIC!

Art Godoy Kimmer and Steve Godoy ( I love these guys!)

Well folks I finally got to meet both Godoy brothers at the same time! My readers know them as the handsome pro skateboard legends, famed Guinness Book of Record holding tattoo artists and radical punk rockers. A MATCHED SET!

They have a historic life story and the evolution is a very interesting story which you can read more HERE

I began working with Steve and Art on their blogs and social networking and grew to love them both. such a talented set of twin brothers! Last spring Steve Godoy came to Detroit to play The Corktown Tavern and we went down to see him and of course his drumming blew me away. Read my post on that show HERE

The VIBRATORS!

So fast forward to last month when Steve and Art called to let me know that ART was coming to Detroit and was also playing the Corktown! Been there twice in my life and both had Godoys involved! We'd seen Steve blow the crowd away and now we were on our way down I94 to see Art blowus away on Bass. These boys do not do anything half way trust me... So the Hatter and I were excited to see the Legendary Vibrators with Art Godoy on bass.

Knox Lead guitar and vocals

With a career lasting thirty-three years, vocalist/guitarist IAN "KNOX" CARNOCHAN, bassist PAT COLLIER, guitarist JOHN ELLIS and drummer EDDIE originally formed the VIBRATORS in February 1976, and their first gig was supporting THE STRANGLERS at Hornsey Art College in North London.

They supported THE SEX PISTOLS at the 100 CLUB and were one of the bands playing at the now legendary 100 CLUB PUNK ROCK FESTIVAL, where as well as doing their own set they supported guitar hero CHRIS SPEDDING. CHRIS recommended the band to his then record company, RAK. The band's debut single "WE VIBRATE" came out in November (one of the first punk singles) and was followed two weeks later by CHRIS SPEDDING'S "POGO DANCING" single with the VIBRATORS as the band on that. See more on the Vibrators Website



The Godoys band The Last of the Bad Men are an international punk rock super group, the brain child of pro-skaters/tattoo artists Art and Steve Godoy. Coming fresh off the heels of their previous band, The Exploding F**k Dolls, the Godoy brothers recruited punk rock soldiers from around the world to found The Last of the Badmen

Despite numerous line-up changes, The Vibrators are still touring to this date as a three-piece, Carnochan and "Eddie" being the only original members with Art Godoy very ably filling in on Bass.



9.26.2010

KIMMER'S FAVORITE JOHN WAYNE MOVIES!


John Wayne and favorite Leading lady Maureen O'Hara


This is my favorite of all of John Wayne's films.

Sean Thornton has returned from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past. Sean's eye is caught by Mary Kate Danaher, a beautiful but poor maiden, and younger sister of ill-tempered "Red" Will Danaher. The riotous relationship that forms between Sean and Mary Kate, punctuated by Will's pugnacious attempts to keep them apart, form the main plot, with Sean's past as the dark undercurrent. Written by Steve Fenwick 


MCLINTOCK!
Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne in McLintock This rollicking western comedy is my favorite. Though the sexism in it is somewhat dated. The actors are all so good and all so funny! The cast included John's son Patrick and a young beautiful Stephanie Powers. I have this on my DVR and play it weekly as it cheers me so. Cattle baron George Washington McLintock fights his wife, his daughter, and political land-grabbers, finally "taming" them all in this Western comedy with Taming of the Shrew overtones. Written by Jim Beaver   

RIO BRAVO
My second favorite features Dean Martin Walter Brennan and Rick Nelson (so cute) but deadly with a gun! Here they hole up in a jail with a bad guy and figure out how to save the town. The sheriff of a small town in southwest Texas must keep custody of a murderer whose brother, a powerful rancher, is trying to help him escape. 

After a friend is killed trying to muster support for him, he and his deputies - a disgraced drunk and a cantankerous old cripple - must find a way to hold out against the rancher's hired guns until the marshal arrives. In the meantime, matters are complicated by the presence of a young gunslinger - and a mysterious beauty who just came in on the last stagecoach. Written by scgary66 John Wayne and OMG Angie Dickinson! Who could resist her?
 
 
IN HARM'S WAY
John Wayne and Patricia Neal were a hot pair! The story opens on the night of December 6, 1941, at a dance in the Officers' Club at Pearl Harbor. We are at first introduced to Lieutenant (j.g.) William 'Mac' McConnel (Tom Tryon) and his wife Beverly (Paula Prentiss), who can't help but notice a visibly inebriated Liz Eddington (Barbara Bouchet) dancing with an Army Air Corps major (Hugh O'Brian) - spiting her husband who is at sea on gunnery practice.  

When the band launches into an upbeat swing tune, Liz engages in an exotic dance that for better or for worse draws the attention of every person in the club. Mac finally asks the band to make an end and play something else, which is heeded to Liz's disappointment. Her lover escorts her from the premises and takes her to spend the rest of the night on a beach near the base. Read full story with spoilers HERE Oh what an exciting film! I highly recommend Kirk Douglas' performance as the stand out!

EL DORADO
John Wayne and Robert Mitchum The way to make a good movie, according to El Dorado director Howard Hawks, is to have a couple of good parts and not to annoy anyone. Exercising this restraint was what guided Hawks' career, and it's most visible in El Dorado, a virtual remake of his hit Rio Bravo. 

This time, it's Robert Mitchum instead of Dean Martin, and James Caan in for Ricky Nelson. But rather than mimic the pout and snarl of Nelson's Rio Bravo teen rebel, Caan is so insolent, he refuses to even play it cool.It is almost identical to Rio Bravo but James Caan really added a new element to this film. Quite difference between Robert Mitchum and Dean Martin too. Still I love this film James Caan John Wayne Robert Fuller 



COMING TO DETROIT! THE GODOY TWINS TUESDAY!


Steve and Art Godoy!

I am so excited to go see Art Godoy play bass guitar with The Vibrators show this Tuesday night at the Corktown Tavern! Oddly enough, I had never been to the Corktown until Steve Godoy came out last spring with the Bermondsey Joyriders.

Stanley T. Madhatter and I only had 2 days notice before the show, so I didn't have enough time to promote the show. We went out and had a blast at the wild club and then took the band on an early morning tour of Detroit landmarks.


Steve in action!

Steve called me while he and Art were riding in the car to Pomona to let me know that Art was coming to Detroit! When I saw Steve drumming I almost fainted! No joke! I made sure I got the sticks autographed that he used! Any hoo, turns out that Art and The Vibrators are going to be at CORKTOWN so 2 times in my life I will be at Corktown to see one of the Godoys play! Too bad for me though that I can't run off with an autographed guitar!!! Dammit!


My Steve Godoy sticks


Art and Steve are legendary Pro skateboarders see Bart Saric's video


OMG aren't they hunky??? All my girlfriends are fans! LOL One of my anti-tattoo friends watched this video and forgot all about their tattoos hee hee hee. She's a Godoy fan now! When I saw Steve play he had a shirt on then in a blink it was gone.....Snap!



I asked a friend who has seen them both play, what was Art's playing like? He told me that Art plays guitar just like Steve drums! OMG. You can't miss this show folks! I am going to be right in front and now I know what to shoot and where to stand. If I don't faint flat out!

While chatting on the phone I was telling the guys all the fun stuff we could take the band to see around DEEtroit and Steve (not one to be left out!) Decided to hop a plane and come out too!! So this time I will get photos of RK and both Twins!! I can't wait these guys are so much fun, talented and hunky to boot! Who knows... maybe Steve will sit in on a song or two? We can only hope for that!

The Vibrators are a fantastic band and we are dying to meet them and listen to their fantastic show! All my friends are coming out! The Motor City Rah Rahs with their gang and pom poms will be there, so I am hoping to see my readers there too!

Tuesday September 28 The Corktown Tavern On Michigan Ave right by the old Tiger Stadium!


The Corktown Tavern Directions

Read more:

The Vibrators in Detroit
Steve Godoy and The Bermondsey Joyriders
Skinned Alive Film by Bart Saric featuring the Godoys
Godoys photo shoot at Heather Harris' Studio

9.25.2010

THE LIPIZZANER STALLIONS VS RETRO KIMMER!

 
The Grand Lipazanner Stallions

For Ivan:

As most of my friends know... I was a touring show manager in the 80's. I traveled all around the US putting up and tearing down many many shows. One aspect of being a show manager is getting a great security team to protect the merchandise in the show over night as well as the day time. This story happened when one of my security guards no showed on move-in night.


The old Civic Center from the front we were under it!

We booked a show every year in the old Lansing Civic Center in Lansing Michigan. My show was in the basement. It was a horrible room to do as there were poles about every 10 feet! Try driving a van to unload into that! NO WAY... everyone had to hand cart their items down the skinny ramp. It was a huge pain to move in all day on a Thursday.


That night my security never showed up. That meant one of my workers and I both were to stay OVERNIGHT in this show. Well we had TVs, Lazy Boy chairs and roller blades too! So we skated around and watched TV. Then around 3am we were so exhausted, we tried to sleep.We turned off the TV's and most of the lights. It should have been very silent in there...


Then we discovered that upstairs in the main center were the Grand Lipazzaner Stallions!!!! So we snuck up the back stairs to peak at the HUGE horses. Their guard DID show up! He let us take a quick look. Gorgeous things these Stallions but know what???

THEY NEVER STOP DANCING!!!

So we went back downstairs and the sound of those giant beasts dancing on wooden floors above us prevented one second of sleep. It was like Chinese Water Torture! The rhythmic beat of those hooves were deafening. The echoing of the hall's tall ceiling made it even WORSE!



Funny enough to be a skit on an I Love Lucy show but it was really happening to us. OY

The next night my guards did show up but with them were 2 Sony walk man's to drown out the horses. Take a look at the gorgeous Dancing Lipazanner's below: And be glad, very glad you never have to spend the night with THEM!!!

The "World Famous" LIPIZZANER STALLIONS.


The Lipizzaner Stallions have recently completed their 40th Anniversary Tour. In 1970, Producer Gary Lashinsky created a new family arena attraction, starring: The "World Famous" LIPIZZANER STALLIONS

Many horses and riders were brought from Europe to perform in this unique family oriented arena attraction. Over the years, twenty-three million people throughout North and South America, Great Britain, Europe, Australia and Hawaii have seen this internationally acclaimed spectacle. (WE GOT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH THEM HAHAHAH)

All new music, choreography and routines have been incorporated in this anniversary edition with a major emphasis on the historical background and foundation of the Lipizzaner breed, from its original breeding and use as a horse of war to a horse of nobility and aristocracy to a living form of equestrian art.




The show emulates the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, in its presentation of Lipizzans, and maintains a traditional as well as entertaining performance similar in many ways to what you would see at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

Also included in the performance is a segment called the "Airs Above the Ground." These are the spectacular leaps and maneuvers, once used by riders in saddle to protect and defend themselves on the battlefield, which are now preserved as an equestrian work of art. When you see the Lipizzans perform, it is like stepping back four hundred years and viewing one of the greatest equine ballets in history. (Did we mention they have their own tap horse shoes??)


The Lipizzan is a rare and unique breed; its history and culture is known worldwide. The Walt Disney movie The Miracle of the White Stallions, depicting General George S. Patton saving them at the end of World War II from certain extinction, created an even greater world-wide interest in the Lipizzaner breed. Had it not been for Patton, there would be no Lipizzans today.



Although the Lipizzans star in this presentation, the ancestral forefather of the Lipizzan, the Spanish Andalusian, is featured in a high school presentation with special wardrobe themed to traditional Spanish music.



Not only is the Andalusian shown in saddle, but also in a unique presentation where the rider performs all the maneuvers of the Grand Prix Olympic level dressage on the longline, while walking behind the horse and guiding him through his paces.

The next year we were the opening show for the brand new Lansing Center.. No more basements except for the Nashville Municipal Auditorium which will make for another funny show story!

As far as the Lipazzaners vs Retro: Kimmer... The HORSES WON..

9.24.2010

THE QUATRO SISTERS DETROIT’S RETRO ROCK ICONS!



Today was an exciting one for me as I met Patti Quatro! First online and then by phone as she in way down south in Texas! Patti has some very exciting news for all of us Quatro fans here in Detroit and internationally as well. They played on the bill with all the best bands in retro history! The Quatro Sisters *Patti Quatro *Arlene Quatro *Suzi Quatro *Nancy Quatro


The Pleasure Seekers! photo Motorcity Music Archives


Bio from Wiki: The Pleasure Seekers founded by Patti, had their first record out in 1964, when Suzi Quatro and her sister Patti Quatro were 14 and 16 years old, respectively, on the Hideout label. Both sides of their first single – "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" flip side was "What a Way to Die" – have some prominence; the former is included on Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 6, while the latter was featured in the cult film Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls.

Both songs are included on the compilation album Friday at the Hideout, which offers a retrospective of Hideout Records, and charted regionally for the band. In 1967, they were the earliest all girl rock group to be signed to a major label, Mercury Records. They released a second single, "Light of Love" flip side "Good Kind of Hurt", with both singles charting. The group matured into a dynamic show band and, using Detroit as home base, toured the U.S.


Their show featured an entire Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour revue, as well as a Motown revue, and everything in between, as well as featuring one of the earliest known psychedelic light shows for their act. A friend of the band invented the light box for the band.

Gaining momentum, in 1969, the band morphed into Cradle, changing direction musically in writing heavier original material, and touring through the U.S. Arlene was now manager, and sister Nancy had joined as vocalist, bass player and percussionist. Cradle was a 3 piece band and occasionally keyboards were added which Suzi and Nancy took turns.


The group toured vigorously, playing concerts and pop festivals throughout the U.S. with the legends of the day, ending with a tour of Viet Nam. In 1971, Suzi was signed by Mickie Most, leaving for England, and solo fame with her male group, as Suzi Quatro.

Patti continued on with sister Nancy in Cradle, then joined brother Mike's MQ Jam Band, co-producing and recording an album, Look Deeply Into the Mirror. Soon after, in 1974, she joined Fanny, recording Rock and Roll Survivors album, and releasing two singles, "I've Had It", and "Butter Boy", which reached #29 nationally.

Patti left Fanny in 1975, and continued on pursuing studio work on several albums, musical side projects through many years, and modeling. Patti at present runs Cradle Rocks Publishing with sister Nancy, and is involved in restoring the original, never released catalogue of The Pleasure Seekers and Cradle music. Suzi exploded in Europe first, then worldwide, enjoying an enormous and long lasting recording and concert career, selling over 55 million, and still active as a touring and recording artist. She also branched out as a TV actress, stage actress, radio D.J., and author. Nancy turned to music management, forming N. Glass Management, and managing Overscene. Arlene left the business, becoming involved in environment issues, after authoring a book on health.


The Quatro sisters have reunited for special TV and concert projects through the years, reminiscent of the early The Pleasure Seekers days. Newly remastered music from Cradle is NOW AVAILABLE HERE and The Pleasure Seekers is scheduled to be released any minute.

The Pleasure Seekers Discography: Singles: "What A Way To Die" / "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" (Hideout) 1966 "Light Of Love" / "Good Kind of Hurt" (Mercury) 1967 Album: "Best Of The Hideouts" (Hideout) 1966 Funny in the 80's I worked in this same arena every year in November. Even the Rolling Stones played the Cinti Gardens. Lucky for me they remodeled the yucky dressing room into a gorgeous apartment which I got to use right after Mick and the boys moved on!

Patti and Nancy performing at a Detroit Festival 1969

The Quatro sisters were innovators on top of rock and roll long before it was cool to have an all girl band. Not only a group composed of retro- fab gorgeous girls but dammit they could play and sing too! Like many future rock bands the Quatros were mesmerized by their first Beatles concert they saw. Patti told me that was the point when they decided they wanted to have their own band! Know one told them it was an all boys club.

They just simply took their stiletto heeled boots and kicked those damn doors down for the many girl bands to follow. We won't name names but I did hear an actress playing Joan Jett in the Runaways film talk about how totally cool Suzi Quatro looked....

Cradle's Teaser

CRADLE "THE HISTORY"....NOW AVAILABLE HERE Live the experience of the 60's and 70's....the Quatro sister's, earliest of the female rockers, rocked the exploding Detroit scene with their brand of sheer, raw, driving energy.

These young teenagers dared to go where women had not gone before, fighting for their right to rock in a male dominated world. The Quatro sisters started at local teen club the "Hideout". Soon, the band had a regional hit on their hands, playing pop festivals and concert halls...

The Quatros on Myspace
Cradle on Facebook
QuatroRock on Reverbnation
Cradle on CDBaby
Patti on Myspace

EDDIE FISHER DIES AT 82


LOS ANGELES – Pop singer Eddie Fisher, whose clear voice brought him a devoted following of teenage girls in the early 1950s before marriage scandals overshadowed his fame, has died at age 82.

He passed away Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery, his daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher (daughter of Connie Stevens) of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press.

The onetime teen idol said he's finally shaken a 37-year addiction to drugs and alcohol. He credits his companion of three years, Betty Lin, who persuaded him to seek help, which he got at the Betty Ford Clinic.


Fisher - who tried to quit several times before, but failed - said he's been clean for 18 months. "That's the longest I've been sober since I got out of the Army in 1953," he said. "Really, I'm lucky to be alive, and lucky to have a fresh outlook on life." This was 19 years ago. That's why I am shocked he made it to 82. What an understatement considering the damage he inflicted on his families. What a rat. Sorry sorry to speak ill of the dead, but really what good did he do anyone but himself?

"Late last evening the world lost a true America icon," Fisher's family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece. "One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch." (???)

 
 

9.21.2010

DETROIT 187: FIRST EPISODE TONIGHT ON ABC!



We can't wait for a new gritty cop show! As a huge fan of Hill St. Blues, Early episodes of NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, and OZ, I once again have a reason to watch TV on Tuesday nights! The cast are some of my favorite actors.


Det. Fitch (Michael Imperioli) (Sopranos) (Goodfellas)


Sgt. Longford (James McDaniel) NYPD BLUE


Det. Stone (D.J. Cotrona)Law & Order: SVU


Det. Washington (Jon Michael Hill)


Det. Sanchez (Natalie Martinez)

STEVE MARRIOTT: KILLED BY A CIGARETTE, DRUGS, OR THE MOB?


Today out of nowhere Steve Marriott's life came into my mind. I wondered whatever happened to Steve. The official story is that Steve died from smoke inhalation in a huge fire at his large home in England. It was also rumored that he had ingested a lot of valium and alcohol on the plane returning from a US tour in 1991. Quite possible as I know how much I hate flying and have had other rockers tell me that they take various sleeping pills and alcohol to endure long overseas flights.



Steve's Bio: Stephen Peter Marriott was born at East Ham Hospital in London. At the age of twelve, he appeared as the Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart's "Oliver!" In 1965, he founded The Small Faces (so called because they were all under five foot four) with Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Jimmy Winston, although the latter was soon replaced by Ian McLagan.

 They became one of the leading bands of the late sixties, with twelve hit singles, including "All or Nothing" which reached Number One in August 1966, and the classic album "Ogden's Nut  Gone Flake".


Humble Pie In March 1969, Marriott left to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley. They continued until March 1975, with Dave Clempson replacing Frampton in 1971, and toured America twenty-two times. Marriott's later projects met with limited success, including an attempt to reform the Small Faces without Ronnie Lane.

On April 20th. 1991, he returned from a tour of the States to his house in Arkesden, near Saffron Walden in Essex, having taken a huge amount of alcohol and valium to overcome his fear of flying. The inquest was unable to determine whether he had been smoking in bed, or whether he had upset a candle, by the light of which he used to read before going to sleep, but the court heard that the fire had been so great that the smoke had filled the High Street of Arkesden, and that he had taken enough drugs and alcohol to kill him even if the house had not caught fire At least that is the "official story"


Steve Marriott Humble Pie 1973 Steve Marriott is the voice you hear on one of my most very favorite retro songs Itchycoo Park by The Small Faces. His voice was soft, clear and with a definite psychedelic edge. After the demise of The Small Faces Steve began Humble Pie. It was shocking to me at the time to realize the soft voice of Itchycoo Park was singing 30 Days in the Hole and I Don't Need No Doctor.


After reading many articles on Steve's career it came as no surprise to learn that he was nearly penniless and received almost no royalties from his music. This sadly is a similar story that I hear from lots of musicians from the retro era. Business vs creativity. Many artists left their business details to unscrupulous "managers". They trusted the wrong people or abused too many substances to notice they were being robbed by the very people that were trusted to care for them. Truly tragic, as a artist (oil painter) once told me, "The artist always gets screwed..."



I found this article which seems a bit far fetched... but I love a good mob conspiracy story! The mob did it! The mafia murdered Steve Marriott? Read this article below and see what you think.

The Steve Marriott Saga: How the Mob, Peter Frampton and Daddy Osbourne Snuffed Out The Small Faces and Humble Pie By Don Jacobson The other day I was listening to a great old album on WREK-FM, one of our better non-commercial, student-run stations, from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. 
 
The program was Stonehenge, WREK's weekly "deep tracks" classic rock show, and the album was Humble Pie's first effort, 1969's "As Safe As Yesterday Is."  It was so good, it got me wondering, why didn't Steve Marriott ever become the ultra-special hyperstar he should have been? What happened to him in the years between Humble Pie's break-up in 1975 and his premature, accidental death in a 1991 house fire? 

In my resulting research, there was a non-surprise: Marriott was totally besotted by cocaine and booze, which eventually led to an induced mental illness. But there was also something else that I wasn't aware of. In the long, ignoble history of musicians being ripped off by unscrupulous, power-mad managers, Marriott had to take the cake.

He never realized any kind of financial gain from his fabulous output of talent. Sandwiched around one visionary but unsuccessful handler (the Rolling Stones' Andrew Loog Oldham) were two other, uh, less-than-saintly guys, including Sharon Osbourne's daddy.


Then, after Steve formed Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, he hooked up with Dee Anthony, one of the most important and powerful American rock managers. Anthony was indeed successful in getting the band a contract with A&M Records, and was the one who encouraged them to go the hard boogie, arena-rock route, a sound that turned them into one of the best live bands around and eventually yielded the hit "Thirty Days In The Hole." (Anthony later used the same formula for Frampton and his Comes Alive! album.) 

But, like a broken record, millions of dollars of royalties disappeared. Marriott, who was so poor he had been reduced to stealing food, thought Anthony had diverted the considerable Humble Pie royalties to push a now-solo Frampton, and demanded that Anthony tell him where the money was.

John Gotti Big Paul Castellano

At that point, Marriott was taken into a meeting that included John Gotti, Paul Castellano and other members of the Gambino crime family, at least according to Marriott's official biography, All Too Beautiful. That ended his impertinent money questions.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/RetroKimmercom/171044865989?ref=hl

9.20.2010

TRUE STORY BEHIND "CHICAGO'S" LADY KILLERS

                                             Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma and Renee Zellweger as Roxie

One of my recent favorite films is CHICAGO starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger as the two Chicago lady killers Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart. Never did get to see the stage play but I really loved the film.

Bebe Neuwirth won the Tony for the stage musical but I knew the second Catherine Zeta Jones came on screen that she'd win the Oscar. She was unbelievably stunning as Velma Kelly. As I searched for photos of the real Velma and Roxie, I was stunned at how unattractive they were. Hollywood and Broadway have certainly painted a much more lovely image of the girls.

Dear readers we hit the 200,000 reader mark today! THANK YOU ALL! Thanks to my terrific friend Jeff for suggesting I read a book review called Lady Trouble: Chicago was once full of killer broads... Great read and prompted tonight's back story...


Belva Gaertner (September 14, 1884 - May 14, 1965) was a stylish, 38-year-old cabaret singer who had been divorced twice by the end of 1923.

On March 11, 1924, Belva Gaertner, a thrice-divorced cabaret singer who used the professional name Belle Brown, shot and killed her lover Walter Law (a married used car salesman with one child). Law was found sprawled out dead in the front seat of Belva's car, a bottle of gin and a gun with three shots fired lying beside him. Belva, found at her apartment, with blood-soaked clothes on the floor, confessed that she was drunk, was driving with Law, but couldn't remember what happened.


All evidence clearly pointed to the singer herself as the shooter: She was found, drunk, with Law's blood on her body and the gun in her possession. Her legal team reshaped the facts to craft a defense.

Belva had drunk so much gin she didn't have a clue what happened. Belva's case went to trial the month after Beulah's. On the 6th of June, 1924, an all-male jury also set her free.

Belva was arrested for the murder of Law in Chicago on March 12, 1924, and admitted drinking with Law at various bars and jazz houses, saying she carried a gun for fear of robbers. One of Law's co-workers testified that Law had confided that Gaertner was a possessive lover who had threatened him with a knife when he tried to leave her, and that Law believed she would kill him one day.


Gaertner told Maurine Dallas Watkins: (Maurine was prettier than the killer girls!) "No woman can love a man enough to kill him. They aren't worth it, because there are always plenty more. Walter was just a kid - 29 and I'm 38. Why should I have worried whether he loved me or whether he left me? Gin and guns - either one is bad enough, but together they get you in a dickens of a mess, don't they?" Gaertner was defended by William Scott Stewart. Gaertner's defense was that Law might have killed himself; she was acquitted in June 1924.

Gaertner was born Belva Brown and married a man named Overbeck. In 1917, she married William Gaertner, who was 31 years her elder, in Crown Point, Indiana. Five months later, William Gaertner successfully sued to have the marriage annulled, claiming that Belva's divorce to Overbeck hadn't been finalized. They were married a second time, but by the time Belva was accused of murdering Law, they were separated.

In 1925, following her acquittal, she remarried Gaertner, a wealthy industrialist. In 1926, William Gaertner filed for divorce, claiming she was abusive and an alcoholic. On July 5, Gaertner claimed his wife threatened to murder him after he found her with another man. She attended the 1927 opening of the play Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. The play has since been adapted into a 1927 silent film, 1975 stage musical, and 2002 movie musical (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture)
.

Velma Kelly, the 1975 musical character inspired by her, won Bebe Neuwirth the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for its acclaimed 1996 revival; it also won Catherine Zeta-Jones the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 2002 film based on it. THE REAL ROXIE HART

Beulah Annan (so innocent eh?)

Beulah Annan, a glamorous Chicago flapper, was married to Albert Annan, a garage mechanic. An unfaithful wife, Beulah (called Roxie Hart in Watkins' play) shot her lover, Harry Kalstedt, in the spring of 1924.


After fatally firing the gun, Beulah played a recording of "Hula Lou" on her Victrola phonograph as poor Harry died in a pool of blood. He had made the fatal mistake of telling Annan he was leaving her. Beulah drank steadily after she shot Harry. She called her husband to say she had foiled a burglary and killed a man to protect her honor.

By the time the police arrived, Beulah was drunk. Albert (called Amos Hart in the play) initially backed his wife's story. But too much illegal liquor loosened Beulah's lips and she confessed to the crime. In jail the night of the murder, Beulah met Belva Gaertner (called Velma Kelley in the play). By April 6th, the two women posed together for press photos. Soon after Kalstedt's murder, Beulah said she was pregnant.

Wisely, the prosecutor tried to delay the trial. But Beulah's press-savvy lawyer, W.W. O'Brien, objected. He knew his client was better off going to trial while she was expecting a baby. The Tribune's headline read: Beulah Annan Awaits Stork, Murder Trial    
 

O'Brien, however, needed more than good press to win his case. He had to come up with a winning defense theme. What better way to get his client off than by claiming: We both reached for the gun...  Read More... The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers who Inspired Chicago

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DETROIT MORE THAN JUST RUINS...



There’s been lots of news lately about the rapidly declining quality of life in Detroit, a once-booming industrial city that is now almost completely abandoned.

DETROIT'S BEAUTIFUL HORRIBLE DECLINE SLIDESHOW

Detroit Ruins Tour


9/8/10: Artists and historians explore and photograph Detroit's abandoned buildings in hopes of protecting them from the wrecking ball.

Detroit Pix
has a lot of cool images and stories

9.18.2010

JIMI HENDRIX MURDER CONSPIRACY?


 "Jimi" Hendrix 11-27, 1942 died 9-18, 1970

Today is the 40th anniversary of the untimely death of rock legend Jimi Hendrix. Even after 40 years rumors continue as to the true story of how Jimi died. I still remember hearing about Jimi's death on the radio back in 1970. Jimi definitely was the most unique rock star/guitar player of all time. I found this story and thought I would share an excerpt of it today. Was it an overdose or murder by a disgruntled agent?

From Woodstock Story

On August 26th, 1970, Jimi Hendrix celebrated the official opening of his Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan’s West Village. It would be the last time he ever set foot in his beloved recording sanctuary; he died three weeks later in London on this day (9-18-70) at age 27 after ingesting a powerful dose of the sedative Vesperax.

Jimi Hendrix is an icon in the hard rock music vein. To this day almost 40 years after his death, he is seen as one of the most influential rock guitarists in rock history. His showmanship as well as his technical prowess remains unmatched, and despite a mere five albums, his music is a staple in the world of rock and roll.

Hendrix died on September 18, 1970 - slightly a year following his legendary performance at the Woodstock music festival, and the circumstances surrounding his death are still speculated upon. After a couple of days missing, Hendrix was found dead at the flat of his girlfriend Monika Dannemann. The autopsy revealed large quantities of red wine in his stomach along with his lungs. The official cause of death was recorded as inhalation of vomit and barbiturate intoxication.


The recorded facts paint a vague portrait of Hendrix's death, and the events surrounding the incident leave a lot of questions unanswered. Did Jimi Hendrix simply fall victim to the excessive lifestyle in which many other musicians have met their doom, or is there more to his death than meets the eye?

On the morning of his death, his girlfriend claimed to have woken up to find Hendrix sleeping normally and proceeded to go out for cigarettes. Upon return her story states that she found that Hendrix had gotten sick and was having trouble breathing. She called Eric Burdon of the Animals who they had partied with the night before; he demanded that she call an ambulance. Dannemann claims that the ambulance arrived at about 11:30 a.m. and that she rode with Hendrix on the way to the hospital where he suffocated en route.

The recollection of the ambulance attendants are a direct contradiction of Dannemann's story and claim that the apartment was empty except for Hendrix lying dead on the bed. After an unsuccessful attempt at revival, they pronounced him dead. The autopsy failed to conclude the time of death, but it was evident that Hendrix had been dead for some time before the paramedics arrived.

Eric Burdon initially claimed that Hendrix's death was a suicide, but the facts also contradict this notion. Despite Hendrix's increasingly erratic behavior and the dark circumstances present in his life, close friends claim that he was relatively happy at the time. Hendrix was found with nine Vesperax sleeping pills in his system which are said to contribute to his death.

He was a chronic insomniac who was resistant to the effects of barbiturates and would not have felt such disastrous effects from nine pills. He was also found with a pack of 42 Vesperax in his pocket which would rule out suicide. If Hendrix was intent on self-termination, it is assumed that he would have taken all of the Vesperax. Full Story HERE

Hotel's Hendrix shrine marks 40 years since death
RIP JIMI

DETROIT MOBSTERS: THE PURPLE GANG


The Detroit River, representing the border between Ontario, Canada and the United States, is one of the busiest waterways in the world, with freighters bringing iron ore from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the bustling automobile factories of the Motor City.


Timber barges from northern Michigan and Wisconsin pass through the narrow waterway which separates Windsor, Canada and Detroit, Michigan en route to Lake Erie and the East Coast and hordes of recreational boaters and weekend fishermen use the river for their pleasure.


In the winter, traffic on the narrow flow (less than a mile across in some places) comes to a halt as the river freezes over.

During Prohibition, rum runners and bootleggers used the frozen river as an easy way to get booze from Canada into the United States. From Detroit liquor went to Chicago (where Capone sold it under his "Log Cabin" label), St. Louis, and points west.

The Frog Pond circa 1990's

It was a well-known fact that if you were bringing a load of hooch across the Detroit River that you had better show up armed to the teeth. Because in the 1920s, Detroit belonged to the Purple Gang, a group of killers and thugs as vicious and bloodthirsty as any racketeer in New York or Chicago.


Above: In August of 1937, Purple Gang member Harry Millman’s LaSalle Coupe was blown to bits. The blast killed a valet (who had been sent for the coupe) outside the 1040 Club in Detroit, a favorite Purple Gang watering hole. photo: The Detroit News

The car was "the most completely equipped burgular’s automobile we have ever seen," stated a Michigan State Police officer at the time. It had a 3/4 inch bullet-proof glass the Gang would have their car serviced at what is now Bilicke’s on Austin Avenue.

Workers there would wonder why the glass was so thick, a metal flap in the back window that could be pulled down to deflect bullets from the rear, metal shields on other car parts including the tires, holes to position firing guns, removable doors and seats so a large safe could be inserted. A two-wheeled hand cart was also stored inside, used for transporting the safe.

Articles found in the car included nitroglycerine, dynamite and electric caps, drill punches, a sledge hammer, chisels, tongs, rubber wire, soap, bank bags, screw drivers, other burglar’s tools, a .38 Colt army revolver, a .38 automatic pistol, a .45 army revolver and one regular one, a Winchester .30 rifle, a Marland 30-30 rifle, a 12-gauge Winchester pump-gun, and a Remington gauge sawed-off shotgun, along with a bag of ammunition, and guns fully loaded. The gangsters had the car wired so that wires ran from the car to the safe which was blown up with nitroglycerine.



The Purples ran the rackets in Detroit for much of the 1920s and early 30s until the Syndicate boys from back east moved in and wrested control from a gang that had seen its numbers decimated by infighting and prosecution.
How They Operated

The Purple Gang was loosely organized, and instead of concentrating on a single racket, the individual members of the gang were generally for hire, going wherever the price was highest. As a result, they were often overextended. They were also careless in selecting jobs, slipshod in carrying out the work, and indiscreet in whom they double-crossed. This negligence in the end contributed to their disappearance.

For several years, however, the Purples managed the prosperous business of supplying Canadian whisky--Old Log Cabin--to the Capone organization in Chicago.

Despite its relatively high price, this brand could be sold easily because of its well-known quality. It was the hijacking of a shipment of Purple Gang Old Log Cabin whisky by the Bugs Moran gang of Chicago that led to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre of seven Moran gangsters in 1929.

Although their major source of income was bootlegging whisky, the Purples branched out into other fields in order to earn additional money. They hijacked prizefight films and forced movie theaters to show them for a high fee; they defrauded insurance companies by staging fake accidents; they kidnapped people; and they accepted contracts for killing the enemies of various hoods who did not want to do the job themselves.


The Downfall


Because they were flamboyant and well-known in the city's night spots, and because many of them liked to dress well, be seen in public, and live in fine houses, a romantic aura surrounded the Purples that distinguished them from other gangs in Detroit. The gang was destroyed from two directions: The police moved against them when gang members left behind too much evidence of their crimes, and a rival Sicilian gang, tired of competing with the Purples, decided to eliminate them.

One by one, the Purples were murdered until most of them were either dead or afraid to remain in the Detroit area. So stealthy was the Sicilian move that neither the Purples nor the public realized what was going on.

In July 1929 four members of the Purple Gang--Eddie Fletcher, Harry Sutton, Abe Axler, and Irving Milberg--were sentenced to 22 months in Leavenworth Penitentiary for conspiracy to violate the prohibition laws. In 1930 Morris Raider was sentenced to 12-to-15 years in Jackson State Prison for shooting a boy he suspected of spying on members of the gang who were cutting whisky.

And in 1931 Ray Bernstein, Irving Milberg, and Harry Keywell were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment for the ambush-slaying of three members of a rival gang.

Remaining leaders of the Purple Gang were systematically and mysteriously executed. In July 1929 Irving Shapiro was taken for a ride and slain. In November 1933 the bodies of Abe Axler and Eddie Fletcher were found in a car on an isolated country road. Each man had been shot numerous times in the face from close range. The murder of Harry Millman in November 1937 signaled the end of the Purple Gang in organized crime in Detroit.

On the senator who stood up to the Purple Gang - and lost..
The gangland slaying of Michigan Senator Warren G. Hooper was such shocking news in 1945 that it swept war headlines from the front pages of newspapers across the Midwest. Decades later, his brutal death is still something of a mystery.

Senator Hooper, elected from Albion, had made the courageous decision to testify in a probe of rampant government corruption, a legacy of Prohibition. His was to be the critical evidence in the investigation. He was slain before he got the chance.

Warren Hooper was ambushed on his way home from the capitol in Lansing to his home near Albion. That a public servant could be taken out so brutally and blatantly by a gang of thugs seemed like something born of the nineteenth century wild west and was a tremendous shock at the time.

One of the very best parts of being a blogger is the readers who write in and provide me with more information! Warren (W. K. Berger) sent me his link to the novel he wrote called THE PURPLES. Read an excerpt HERE What a fun website! I read every word on that site.
The Purples Book cover
I love The Purples book trailer and can't wait to order this book!
You have to go see this website! I of course, adore mobsters and Detroit, well here they are together! Good Old Detroit Buy The Purples from my Amazon Store
More info on The Purple Gang

https://www.facebook.com/pages/RetroKimmercom/171044865989?ref=hl
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