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Thursday, November 29, 2007


Practice, or know Chan Chandler.

Chan hired me to assist him in stage managing a tribute to Leiber and Stoller at Carnegie on Monday. My job was to wrangle the talent, ushering them from their dressing rooms to the stage.

The event was hosted by Rob Reiner, who was an unbelievably great guy, a total mensch, and featured the New York Pops conducted by Barry Levitt (except where noted) accompanying:

Christine Kwak, violin, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch
Chuck Cooper, vocals
Eugene Flemming, vocals
Ty Stephens, vocals
Donald Fagen, piano, vocals, conducted by Jon Herington, guitar
Corky Hale, piano, vocals,
Ben E. King, vocals,
Natalie Cole, vocals, conducted by Gail Deadrick
Chuck Jackson, vocals
Brenda Braxton, vocals
Rob Reiner, vocals, accompanied by Mike Stoller, piano
Sally Kellerman, vocals, conducted by Chris Caswell
Tricia Tahara, vocals
Nino Tempo, saxophone
B.J. Crosby, vocals
Victor Trent Cook, vocals

Everyone was great, but B.J. Crosby was truly amazing.

Backstage was as entertaining if not more so, with Freddy Roman and Rob Reiner cutting up. I was truly knocked out by how gracious everybody was. Legends like Donald Fagen, and Ben E. King just hanging out, enjoying the night and chatting about music.

I cannot begin to describe how much of a true gentleman Ben E. King is. The man is simply a kind and gentle soul with loads of talent and zero ego. Sally Kellerman was equally gracious, and still sexy as hell.

There's always an exception, and I'm here to tell you that everything they say about Natalie Cole is true. Sure she's a hell of a performer, but she's a cunt. Yep, I said it. Bitch doesn't quite sum it up. Nobody likes her, except maybe her crack dealer.

The highlight of my day was standing next to Donald Fagen at the piano rehearsing his back up singers. The man is a genius. A bit weird, but nice, and uber talented.

I enjoyed chatting with Rob Reiner, dropping Spinal Tap references when I could.

There was a moment when I was standing next to Rob Reiner, Marvin Hamlisch and Mike Stoller as they discussed the decline of the LP in the age of downloads. Mr. Reiner said he wants to hear the entire Doobie Brothers record in the order they intended. Mr. Hamlisch said that the priorities got messed up. I said that I agreed with Mr. Hamlisch.


Yeah, I know, it was weird, but it seems I have more in common with the old guard than the new.

I think I need to bring back the mohawk.........

Bring it!

Great post, sounds like a great night.

I have never heard anything good about Ms. Cole.
Chan is SO the man! What a grerat gig to get. How many of us will ever get to drop Spinal Tap references to Marty DeBergie himself.

You should have asked D. Fagen on behalf of Chris and I "Why can't you write better vocal melodies?" Just kidding, I'd have like to met him myself.

You know how I feel about the LP decline and can only add that Jermaine Dupre let Bob Lefsetz have it about this issue this week too. Will people ever learn? No.
Sounds cool!
There are loads of great vocal melodies in the Steely Dan catalog.

I forgot to mention that I got stage time as well. They didn't have a blond in a gown to deliver the awards to the podium. I got the job, and I must say I looked damn cool in my suit. Men's Warehouse is the shit.
we need a photo of you in that suit giving the award

that's over the top

almost as good as your letterman story
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