Thursday, November 08, 2007


I hate to name drop… but pull up a chair. Last night, I stood two feet from a Beatle and shook hands, and chatted with, a Beatle widow. I thank you.

I went with Julia (as her Plus One – just like the good old days) to see a screening of The Beatles film, Help! It’s the new, all singing all new color, new sound, hi def version of the best Beatle film that was first released in 1965. Ringo Starr introduced the movie and George’s widow, Olivia, who was absolutely charming and delightful, agreed with me that their son, Dani, is George’s spitting image.

There was a host of other celebs there and I met them all (in no particular order of importance): Jeff Lyn, Dave Stewart, Victoria Tennant (the first Mrs. Steve Martin) and Sally Kellerman who played Hotlips in the movie version of M.A.S.H. Julia knows her from when they both sang at Oh What A Pair a few years back and stayed in contact. Sally came to my birthday party that year. It was a big thrill to have her, Tracey Ullman, Julia, Billie Myers and a number of other great singers who you’ve never heard of, sing me happy birthday. I think we have it on tape somewhere but I’ve noticed we never replay any family event we tape so I’m not sure why we bother. Julia has actually lost the tape of Colin and my wedding.

Sally was thrilled to see Julia and invited us to her show at Genghis Cohen next Tuesday (Nov 13th) where she will be signing one of Julia’s songs.

Julia and I had a great time. Highlight for me was Julia being convinced that the Titanic director James Cameron was there but I couldn’t see him. She said: “Over there talking to the man with the green tie.” It was Cameron Crowe, who directed Almost Famous. Her brain has gone since she had a baby.

It was a thrill for her that so many people knew who she is. Brian and Rusty, who play with Paul McCartney and anyone else who can afford them, admired Julia’s chiffon blouse. Brian said it was a “whisper” of a shirt. But he’s not gay. I’ve seen him with a gorgeous girl at events before. He also said he was very familiar with Julia’s music which quite made Julia’s night.

One lady stopped Julia in the street to admire her coat and they whiled away several minutes waiting for the lights to change, discussing its exquisite embroidery. The kind lady clearly felt she had to pay me a compliment and said I looked “nice” as well. It reminded me of the time Julia and I went into Betsy Jackson on Main Street and the sales assistant gushed over the outfit Julia was wearing from that year’s collection. Feeling she ought to say something complimentary to me, she thought for a moment and the best she could come up with was: “and you look very comfortable.”

A bit about Help! The songs were/are great. The sound was great. And it was wonderful seeing The Beatles at their peak looking so young and, well, still alive. We must never forget that there are only two of those precious icons left. The screening was switched at the last minute from Paramount Studios in support of The Writers Guild who are (is?) on strike and The Samuel Goldwyn Theatre didn’t have the facility to show it in Hi Def but the color was definitely enhanced so the DVD makes a worthy addition to any Beatles fan’s collection. And it’s quite funny. In places.

Keeping with the music theme, Julia has a new album coming out on November 17th on Nova Tunes, a new web record shop that’s being launched on the same day. It’s an album of original jazz songs that she has written and it is AMAZING! Really. No one, I repeat, NO ONE, has written jazz songs this good since Cole Porter. She has a week to come up with the running order and decide on a title. The dilemma is that there is one cover on the album (isn’t it quaint that I still call them albums?) of the Michael McDonald song I Keep Forgetting with, wait for it, the great man himself singing backing vocals. It is incredible but is more smooth jazz and not really in keeping with the other songs so should it go at the beginning, as it’s so show stopping, or at the end because it’s not really the same vibe as the other songs which are spectacular in their own way?

This dilemma is keeping Julia awake at night. The good news is that some great shots came out of the photo shoot for the CD cover but days have been spent mulling over them. It took me 30 seconds to select the best four.

I’ll let you know what it’s going to be called as soon as the decision has been made. My choice is China Blue, after one of the tracks. We’ll see.

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