Tag Archives: Elton John

Tell Me What You See

This has been an odd day. Nothing bad happened, at least not yet. It just started out on the wrong foot, leading to a day of missteps. I woke up, tried to contact Julio to see if he and Stine wanted bagels. No answer. I called Stine instead and she said no, they were going out. That was no problem.

I went to the bagel shop where there is never a line anymore. It used to be there would be a line out of the store onto the sidewalk, but hasn’t been like that in a few months.

I asked Jeff, someone who’s been working there for ages, a week or so ago if it’s been slow and he mentioned that I had just missed a rush. I didn’t believe that since there is hardly anyone in there when I’m there. Denial or just putting forth the company line?

I’m convinced they don’t like me in the Bagel store. One guy in particular doesn’t like me, I can tell. When I moved back to Hoboken almost 7 years ago, I started getting my bagels on Washington Street. A few weeks later I saw this particular guy on the street with his kids and as I passed I said hello. He gave me the stink eye in return. I figured with the hundreds of people he sees each week I was lost in the shuffle.

After that I saw him again and once again said hello and once again I get the stink eye. One time I gave my order at the counter, something like 3 sesame, and 2 poppy bagels. He gave me 3 and 3. I mentioned that it wasn’t what I ordered and he got all uppity. So ever since then it’s quite frosty between us.

I do try to support small businesses, but in Hoboken, the small business owners don’t make it easy and show very little gratitude. Next to the register is a container for tips. Knowing that some of the staff have families to support I sometimes leave my change in the container. Sometimes I get thanked, and other times like today with me and Frosty the bagel counter person I get nothing.

I think next time I go in I will wait for Frosty to be waiting on another customer. And if I hear Jeff say to a new customer, ‘You know those bagels will make you thirsty, you sure you don’t want something to drink with that?’ I’ll go postal.

That basically set the tone for the day. I went out once after that and it just seemed so weird that I decided not to go out again until tomorrow. But I did go out, hoping to run into the Chinese dude who usually sells bootleg DVD’s at the barber shop at 4:00PM on Saturday afternoons.

I didn’t see him and I wasn’t going to go hang out in a barber shop if I wasn’t getting a haircut. I was hoping to get a $5.00 DVD of Slumdog Millionaire. Oh well. The only Academy Awards movies that I’ve seen are Milk and The Visitor, and Wall-E.

Maybe I’ll do a live blog during the awards tomorrow, or rather write about it as it happens and post afterwards. That seems more likely since I don’t think I’m equipped for live blogging.

Last night I caught up on what I had DVR’d. Spectacle with Elvis Costello. 1st up had guests She and Him, Jenny Lewis and Jacob Dylan. All very good and enjoyable and that Jacob Dylan sure is cute, and he sounds like Bruce Springsteen I think. Imagine growing up being Bob Dylan’s kid, how strange that must be.

I have a newfound love for Jenny Lewis, though Juan has been hyping her up to me for a while now. And She and Him, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward were good enough to make me think about getting their record.

Then I watched what I guess is the season finale for Spectacle, this time hosted by Elton John who interviewed Diana Krall and had her husband, Elvis Costello come out opening with a song and singing with Diana and Elton at the end.

Geez, I swear Diana Krall is like so many women that I know, at least in the way she talks and her mannerisms. I enjoyed her, but sometimes it was like watching my niece Corinne on TV. If only Corinne played piano. She was very entertaining, Diana Krall and I think she’d be worth checking out as well.

After that I watched the 11:30 Simpsons who had Stephen Sondheim on, writing a song for Krusty the clown. And Bart was in therapy and really getting a lot out of it, even though 5 sessions were mandatory as punishment for a school prank.

I almost stayed up to watch Conan O’Brien’s last Late Night show but since I was recording it I figured I would watch it today. Which I did do, watch it today. Unfortunately it ran long and as Conan was summing up his 16 years hosting the show it got cut off.

So I watched that on NBC.com, and posted it on my Facebook page, as well as Conan releasing Abe Vigoda back into the wild, since ‘Pa’ said he wouldn’t be able to take him to Los Angeles where he will host the Tonight Show.

Though I didn’t watch Conan that often since it was on past my bedtime, I will miss him. But I should be able to catch some of the Tonight Show with Conan . I’m 6’2” and wear a size 12, Conan is 6’4” and probably wears a larger shoe, and I can only hope Jimmy Fallon could fill those shoes.

Cindy Tells Me

It’s brutally cold out. No, really, it is. Last night it started to drop, the temperature that is. I watched Into the Wild last night.

It was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsch, Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook with William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden as the parents. It was very good and a few times I had to rewind it and watch due to being distracted.

I like Emile Hirsch, he was quite good as Cleve Jones in Gus Van Sant’s film, Milk. It has a sad ending though. A few characters in the movie seem to know where Chris/Alexander (played by Emile Hirsch) is going to end up.

Those were quite touching scenes, especially with Hal Holbrook. It’s recommended if you feel like being bummed out, which I try not to be. I wasn’t expecting a laugh riot though, I sort of knew what I was getting myself into.

Though if I didn’t already see Milk, I probably wouldn’t have made it a point to see Into the Wild.

After that I watched the last hour of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on VH1 Classics. Not my favorite Bowie period but he certainly put on a show. I know my brother Frank saw him at Radio City on that tour, and so did Chaz and William Charas as well as my friend Jet.

I know 3 out of 4 left that concert changed beings. For me, David Bowie was way too outré for my simple tastes then. Elton John was the one for me. More accessible, more pop.

On Keith Olbermann is a recap of the year, mainly about Obama. It is Olbermann, so it’s the election basically. I’m still upset with the Rick Warren choice, but that’s merely a bump in the road. A mistake no doubt, and a mistake he wouldn’t have made, or at least change but that ain’t gonna happen.

So he’s not the Superman I had on my t-shirt. I still have hope for him and our country. And like the great Bayard Rustin said, “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” And Bill and I conveyed dignity upon ourselves on Saturday night.

Listening to Obama’s speeches, he is still inspiring. A much better choice than John McCain, that’s for sure.

This morning I woke up late. Too cold to get out of bed. I knew I was going to be late as I puttered about the apartment.

I dressed in layers, which meant a suit and tie with vest. And thermal underwear. I had some rubber soled shoes all ready to go and when I tightened the laces they broke. So I had to find another pair, which weren’t as warm as I had hoped.

My little piggies were freezing when I got to the office at 9:00. No one was in yet, the cold making everyone late.

No bonus this year, no holiday luncheon and that’s fine by me. I’m glad to still have a job.

Still chilly in the apartment right now but it’s getting warmer so I’m not complaining. It would be good if Bill were here, he emits body heat.

I thought I was going to meet Ann Boyles at McSwells tonight, but now it seems like I’ll head out to Glen Ridge, maybe on Friday if that’s alright with them. Ann is supposed to be around until Sunday so that might work out just fine.

Now I have to say hello to Ann Louise Boyles Paterson for bhikkhu and Harpy.

It’s a burden, such a burden, oh what a burden, to be so relied on… That was by Brian Eno.

Since You’ve Been Gone

A blasé Saturday and that’s fine by me. Stayed up last night watching Elvis Costello interviewing Elton John. It was quite good. Elton discussing Leon Russell, Laura Nyro and David Ackles and how much of an influence they were on him.

Some footage of each artist, each clip less than a minute though. Elton is so pudgy now. He looked comfortable with it, so good for him. Elvis opened the show singing Border Song with Allen Toussaint who may be his musical director.

They did release an album a while ago, singing songs about Hurricane Katrina. They also sand Working in a Coalmine, which is a Toussaint song. Elton sang a good portion of Burn Down the Mission, which was a favorite Elton song for me a number of years ago. It was worth watching.

After that I went to sleep waking up around 9:00 this morning. Pretty cold, temperatures in the low 30’s. Bill in Stuyvesant Town, we talked on the phone. I got the papers and some foodstuffs then started the laundry after breakfast.

Watched the Office and 30 Rock, recorded on Thursday night. Very very funny. 30 Rock was the funnier of the two.

Stopped by the Hoboken library to pick up a book I ordered a few weeks ago and forgot all about it. Turned out to be Frontman by Richard Barone. I was embarrassed and promptly put it in my bag.

I don’t know what made me order it in the first place, I think it was an online article from Popdose, an email I get daily. It was from an interview with Richard Barone and how great he is blah blah blah.

I used to think that, but as time went on I changed my feelings and now think Jim Mastro is great and Richard Barone, not so much. He’s genuinely nice that Jim, as are Rob and Frank. With Barone it seems like it’s phony.

Never got around to buying the Bongo’s Drums Along the Hudson on CD though I did take it out of the library and now it’s an mp3.

Decided to head into the city to visit Farfetched. Before that I went to Virgin and bought the latest Mojo and Uncut magazines. Big sale on cd’s. Guess they’ll be liquidating soon since the Virgin Mega-stores will be shuttered in the next year I think.

People roaming around but not really buying anything. That’s the case at Farfetched as well. No one has much money for anything this year during the holiday season and of course there is the worry about whether or not they will have jobs come Monday or the week after that or the week after that and so on.

It was good to see Harpy and Lois behind the counter. It seems pretty much definite that I won’t be working there this season. I’m pretty sure I would have heard something by now. But it’s cool.

I have a day job and this is Susan and Lois and Harpy’s main source of income. I’m not greedy.

Walked through Manhattan having a Padron and headed to the Path train. That’s about it.

The Vatican will NOT support a UN resolution to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. I’m so glad I have nothing to do with those ‘men’ in fancy dresses and hats anymore. Somethings are just too gay, even for me.

What did YOU do today?

Have Mercy on the Criminal

It’s Thursday again and it’s a bit drizzly outside right now. I only say that since I tied up the newspapers and left them at the curb and that’s when I noticed the drizzle. Last night, a quiet night again. No raucous nights anymore. All very quiet and I’m fine with that.

Spoke with Bill on the phone last night and I think I bummed him out somewhat. Either I did or he’s coming down with a cold. I prefer the cold, not for health reasons but rather to ease my mind and free it of guilt. It’s a cold. I know this since I am presently on the phone with him. Runny nose, scratchy throat are his symptoms.

I restored the factory settings on the iPod, effectively wiping out 7000 tracks. Been reloading the iPod and I am up to over 5000 tracks. This is the point when I look for a favorite song while walking around then I realize that it hasn’t been reloaded. That will probably happen a few weeks from now.

Also the tedious anal retentive part where I restore an album like XTC’s Drums and Wires to the original vinyl track listing rather than the revised listing on the cd. Yes, I am that anal when it comes to music.

Have to make sure all of Grace Jones is there and most but not all of the 6 disc Beatles Anthology. I also collect all the downloads of let’s say, the Police, maybe 8 tracks which I re-edit and re-label as C.O.P.S. instead of the different titles from the albums they were originally on.

I recorded the Elvis Costello talk show on Sundance Channel called Spectacles. His first guest for the whole show was Elton John. Elton was responsible for me getting into Elvis Costello 30 effin years ago.

I remember (more anal retentiveness) listening to WPIX FM and they announced that Elton had received an award in the UK naming him the Artist of the Year. Elton supposedly refused the award since it was in one of his ‘retirement’ years and announced the award should go to Elvis Costello who to me was that guy who looked like the child of Buddy Holly and Woody Allen.

Elton has great taste in music though and also inadvertently turned me onto Massive Attack. I haven’t watched the show yet so who knows what the hell they talked about.

I did win a pass online to see a taping with Elvis and Rufus Wainwright. 20 years ago I would have been there, but it was at the Apollo Theater and it was scheduled 3 hours after I left work and finding something to do for a few hours paled when I thought about just going home, so I didn’t go. No regrets though.

I woke up earlier than I have the past few days and was out the door just as Matt Lauer started running his mouth. As I turned the corner onto 6th Street I noticed I left my wallet at home so I had to climb 4 flights of stairs for it so I probably missed Casey Chasm.

Bus ride was uneventful and once again I was disdainful of the other riders. As I was crossing Eighth Avenue in the city I had to walk with my fellow commuters into oncoming traffic since a flat bed truck had blocked the pedestrian walkway.

It was reassuring to see 2 traffic cops having a nice little chat while a few dozen people faced impending vehicular homicide. It was more of the same, some really dumb people always in my way.

I did run an errand and wound up meeting up with Vinny of Wanker Banker days as well as Dave G and Renee who still work there. Some catching up, who’s where, who’s looking, who’s about to lose their job. It was all good though.

Walked with Dave G as he was on a hunt for smoothies. It was good catching up with good people like that. Seems long ago that I worked with them though it was less than two years.

Walked across town, enjoying a cigar and got on a bus where I was joined by Casey Chasm. More catching up. It was good to see him. He’s a good egg man and I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.

His Wife, Refused

Well I took today off from work, yet every now and then I’m checking email and voicemail. I gave them enough notice, that I was taking today off and I haven’t heard from everyone so I’m hoping no news is good news. That’s the work front. Here in Hoboken today, it’s bright and sunny with a cool breeze every now and then. I’ve been puttering around the apartment, getting things ready to sell.

I just came up from the basement where I found that Julio was right. He mentioned previously that a lot of my things are ruined from water and the damp. As I was going through some boxes I’ve noticed notebooks with my writings faded or washed away or covered in black mold. Records, books, photographs all ruined. I’m disappointed and regretful but there’s nothing I could do about it now.

Books that were autographed by Andy Warhol have now wound up in the garbage can as well as a book autographed by Brian Eno. It was the price I paid, living on the top floor of a five story walk up and when I moved in that rainy weekend 6 years ago, I moved enough things up those stairs along with Bill, William and Chaz, and was so exhausted that I started leaving things in the basement, not taking into consideration that nature would have it’s way.

And nature sure did have it’s way. I hadn’t seen these books or records in years and figured they might have been up here somewhere, but they weren’t. So it’s Hello Bin from David Bowie books, Beatle books, Warhol autographs, all gone forever. Disappointed in it all, not crying though. It’s my own fault. Procrastinate for 6 years and something was bound to happen.

Let this be a lesson to you. Or me.

In any event I’m still putting out some decent items tomorrow and if they don’t sell, well I don’t think I’ll be lugging those up to the fifth floor. Either they make it to the curb, or placed in the basement, this time not on the floor though. At least I know I’ve met Andy Warhol and Brian Eno so the books, while they would have been nice to keep, are just material things and easily discarded. I would have more than likely tried to sell them on eBay somewhere down the line.

They should make it to the trash tonight instead. The Metal Box PiL collectible is now rusted and warped, and Chris Stamey stares at me from the garbage can with his cold, dead eyes. I called up Julio and asked if he had any heavy duty garbage bags. He asked why and I told him that he was right about my things being ruined. He of course, maintained the ‘I told you so’ stance, asking what did I expect after leaving my shit down there for 6 years?

I told him I had hope. He asked if I was an atheist, and if so what the hell was I doing ‘hoping’, equating a belief in hope with a belief in a deity. Whats done is done. I saw Stine and Alexander outside and had a nice little chat. No pictures today. Maybe tomorrow. All I can do is laugh about the destroyed books and records as I have no one to blame but myself.

Last night Bill and I watched an entertaining biography on Elton John: Me, Myself and I. It was pretty funny and well done. I showed Bill my Elton John scrapbook from the 1970’s, which contained the ticket stub for my first concert. Madison Square Garden, Elton John August 12, 1976 $9.50. I don’t know why I have this 30 year old scrapbook. I was definitely into Elton John, that’s for sure.

I bet that Chaz has several scrapbooks about T Rex from his youth, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he is constantly updating it.

Showtime tomorrow! Have to put up some signs for the gate sale later.


It’s Holy Week on the 4:30 Movie. The Robe, King of Kings, Demetrius and the Gladiators. Thats’ what used to be on back in the day. Channel 7 would show the religious movies whereas Channel 4 would show Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and Ghidra the Three Headed Monster, which starred Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra. Sometimes afterwards my friends and I would wonder aloud, ‘who would win, Jesus or Godzilla?’

We all agreed that Rodan would flap his wings and Mothra would spray silk to create a cocoon which both Godzilla and Rodan would eventually get out of, but Jesus would more than likely get trapped and killed by a giant sized caterpillar. Who knows? It was all about resurrection wasn’t it? Jeffrey Hunter was a good Jesus, but Robert Powell was the handsomest Jesus by far. He also played the father in Ken Russell’s Tommy, but he wasn’t so handsome due to the scar on his face, shot down in World War 2. I loved Tommy when it came out.

Actually defied the Catholic Church, or rather the Pastor of St. Francis de Sales church who came out during a sermon suggesting that parents forbid their children from seeing the movie due to the scene with Eric Clapton singing Eyesight to the Blind in a ceremony surrounded by Marilyn Monroe acolytes. The priest saw Marilyn as a substitute for Mary, Jesus’ mom. Brother Frank and his then girlfriend, now wife saw it and didn’t see any harm in me seeing it.

Of course the only reason I wanted to see it was for Elton John, playing the Pinball Wizard. I remember seeing it with my brother Brian and a friend of his, They were more than likely in an altered state, I rode back trying to will myself into being deaf, dumb and blind. It didn’t happen, well according to some, one out of three actually ‘took’. I was dumb after all. I watched the movie a while ago on cable and I really don’t like it as much as I used to. In fact I don’t like it at all. It really is a crap movie even with Elton John in it. It was more of a ‘what were they drinking’ rather than ‘what were they thinking’ situation.

I remember growing up, my brother Brian arguing with Kathy Plauchino that the band was called Tommy The Who. Brian insisted they were only The Who. I saw the Who live in 1979, my third rock concert. The first was Elton John in 1976, then Peter Frampton in 1977 then the Who. I couldn’t say I was happy to be there since I had gotten into a big fight with Brian who threatened to ‘out’ me to my family, calling me a pervert for having Honcho and Mandate magazines under my bed, instead of Penthouse and Playboy like under Brian’s bed.

It was a bucket of cold water in my face, causing me to hyperventilate. My brother Frank, late as ever eventually showed up to drive into the city, but I wasn’t into it at all. I really wasn’t into it and I think it showed. Frank ran into some friends at the show. They were going to a place called CBGB’s to see some new band called AC/DC. He wasn’t up for it and I certainly wasn’t either. I wasn’t even sure if I would be welcomed at home, if Brian had gone ahead with his devious plan to ruin my life. He hadn’t and I had a few more years in the closet, much to my relief.

Philadelphia Freedom

Well it’s getting better, waking up on time that is. I went to bed a little bit earlier than the night before and I was able to wake up on time this morning, no hustle, no stress and a decent seat on a not too crowded bus which is always a good way to start the day. I even took a chance and changed the radio station that I wake up to, from WCBS FM to WRXP FM. Not a big deal for most, but for me it’s risky. If I wake up to the wrong song oh the day is basically shot to hell.

Well not really but it can put a damper on my usual chipper and rosy outlook on life. It was formerly WPIX back in the day. From 1978 to 1980 it was a commercial punk rock/new wave station and it was a lifeline for a record buying hound like myself back then. All the other stations were all about Led Zeppelin and Boston to name but a few, whereas WPIX would play Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Devo, Talking Heads, The Clash and a whole lot of other things that wouldn’t be played on non college stations. Live concerts featuring the Specials or XTC at different clubs around Manhattan were featured as well.

But it didn’t last too long above ground though, much like punk rock and new wave. The format changed and it wasn’t for the better. It was probably the last radio station that I listened to regularly, and by regularly I mean everyday. So I went to sleep listening to Train In Vain by the Clash, waking up to Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello at 6:00 this morning. No 1967 Buick Skylark in the driveway to warm up, I take the bus now.

On my way to the bus this morning, I played Philadelphia Freedom, definitely one of my top ten desert island discs. Then one of the headphones that Julio and Stine got me for the holidays crapped out. That sucked. I had no working headphones after that, and Julio spent quite a sum of money for the headphones. Luckily they were still under warranty and after speaking with Tara in customer service I got a return authorization number and sent it back to Irvine, CA to be replaced. I still have the pair of headphones I bought a week before I got those so it’s not the end of the world.

Last night, watched TV! I know, how different. Get this, I watched Law and Order, both Criminal Investigation and the regular one. Both good, both with very downbeat endings with the good guys losing. I guess they can’t win them all. That Vincent D’Onofrio is really a compelling actor, though anyone who saw Full Metal Jacket twenty years ago could tell you the same, and then there is that Homicide: Life on the Street Episode where he played a man who fell between the subway platform and the train. Painful, poignant and haunting. I forgot all about Homicide until I looked up on Wikipedia to see how to spell D’Onofrio correctly.

And Mitt Willard Romney dropped out of the race, which makes one less lying psychopath aiming for the White House. Still got the two psychopaths in there now, until next January.