Here is part two of all my Madonna MDNA Yankee Stadium shots from her first night there. More from other shows/cities to follow in the near future.
9 posts from October 2012
Here is the first of two galleries of photos I snapped at Madonna's first Yankee Stadium MDNA show in September. One more is on the way, followed this week (hopefully) by galleries of images I took at her Atlantic City and L.A. shows.
This first night at Yankee Stadium is probably the weakest, with softer photos (I was further away); but still well worth a look if you're into Madonna. If not, skip this post.
A gallery of then-and-now
The celebrity clusterfucks are coming fast 'n' furious now, with Chiller Theatre going down in Parsippany just weeks after my most recent Hollywood Show experience.
As THS is about to do, Chiller just moved to a new venue, from the Parsippany Hilton to the Parsippany Sheraton. Unlike with that brought by President Obama, I'm not sure this is change I can believe in.
The new venue looks like a castle, but the space inside was more cramped than ever and as hot as some of the careers inside were cold. As my friend Brian pointed out, Joan Collins, 79, began to melt the moment she arrived, even after discarding the fur-lined coat. Taryn Manning, 33, stripped down to what looked like a body stocking. I'm not sure, but I think a few of the celebrity guests may have wound the evening down in body bags.
My first mistake was banking on Andrew McCarthy, 49. Considering all of his Brat Pack movies hinged on Molly Ringwald (or someone else when she wasn't available) deciding between Andrew McCarthy and a more reasonable choice, I should have learned from that. Instead, I parked in his long but do-able line at around 5:30PM, thinking I could get him out of the way before venturing into the far longer line next door for Samantha Fox, 46, or what I assumed would be a nightmarish wait for Lee Majors, 73.
Let me tell ya, Joan Collins—who came from England—arrived before Andrew. Penny Marshall, 69—who came back from the grave (and looks healthy and happy now, BTW)—arrived before Andrew. Andrew showed up just past 6:30PM, a full 90 minutes after the pre-show and 30 minutes after the main show opened.
But did I rip him a new one? Of course not. He was as charming off screen as on, and is still sporting voluminous hair. No baseball caps for him! (I'm talking to you, Tom Wopat, 61, and Jeremy London, 39...we don't care if you're thinning, we just wanna see your whole head for photos.) Andrew was hawking his new book, which I didn't get, instead taking a nice still. I told him I'd see him around my neighborhood, but he has apparently already pre-emptively moved. "I don't miss that Food Emporium," he noted.
As a kid, I discovered a '60s and '70s book series called Whatever Became Of...? by Richard Lamparski. If you've never read them, they each contain about 100 interviews with celebrities of yesteryear, meaning 20 to 50 years prior to their publication. As such, they work as introductions (if you've never heard of Virginia Field or Randolph Scott), reminiscences (if you have) and also, I would argue, as a treatise on the gay man as pop cultural voyeur.
The books sprang from a radio show, and created for Lamparski a long, illustrious career as a connoisseur of has-beens—all of whom could be proud not to have been never-weres.
Lamparski's were seminal books in my life, and influential to the point that I recently found myself asking, "Whatever became of...Richard Lamparski?"
After some Internet sleuthing, I found he was alive and living in Santa Barbara, where I was able to call him for a fascinating if lengthy (you were warned!) chat the day before his eightieth birthday about his early life, his unforgettable books and his adventures as a fame tourist...
Above, see then-and-now shots of most of the following stars!
All good things must come to an end, and I'm not only referring to the lives of some of The Hollywood Show's older participants—I'm talking about the show's longtime association with the Burbank Marriott Airport, the hotel that's hosted the festivities for a number of years. After the show this past weekend, it moves closer to LAX, which had plenty of fans, vendors and stars bitching and moaning.
I'm also referring to my companionship with my previously inexhaustible Chexy, my right-hand man. He announced he was finally fed up with these events, so while I was able to crash with him a few nights I couldn't rely on him to play personal photographer for me.
Luckily, I nabbed my autograph-seeking cohorts Bran and Rich and we made a day of it.
We started out in line for the biggest star there, comedy genius Jonathan Winters, 86. While I held our place in line, the guys used the bathroom and chatted up the Landers Sisters, who I wanted to get, too. I texted them to get their asses back over to me.
After suffering a fall earlier in the year, he'd canceled a previous Hollywood Show. I had a photo of him with Phyllis Diller that she signed for me shortly before her death, so I presented that to Jonathan for his autograph. He was touched when I told him Phyllis had inquired about his health during our last visit, then he launched into a (non-serious) tirade about how Bob Hope wasn't funny and couldn't tell a joke to save his life. Winters is in a wheelchair now and very soft-spoken, but managed a big smile for our photo.
This was my biggest show for having unusual photos that the stars went ape over; I had to pause while no fewer than four of them had the photos scanned for their archives.
Next up was a trip to the Landers Sisters' table. I started with Audrey, 56, asking her what it had been like to compete on The $25,000 Pyramid, an obsession of mine. She told me, "I was pretty smart—back then!" and said it was the most stressful thing she's ever done because she always felt the pressure to win for the contestants. She said she was glad she did it but that she wouldn't want to do the new version.
Did a photo with her in her funky, green-sequined party dress, then got Judy, 53, to join us in making a Matthew sandwich on Landers.
Both were bubbly and sweet but did seem to have a slight reserve about them, like they understood the oddball nature of the event. Judy had her bombshell daughter Kristy, 20, with her, a gorgeous girl who attracted the attention of Nickelodeon TV star Drake Bell, 26.
I reminded Drake that he knows me from my stint as a teen-mag editor and he was superfriendly and did a nice shot with Brian, who likes these kiddie shows more than kiddies do. I warned Drake to double-check Kristy's age and he immediately said, "Already thought of that. She's 20."
Right across the way was True Blood's Sam Trammell, 43, and while I have never watched the show, he was too cute to pass up. I had a pretty unflattering but pretty shirtless photo of him with a surfboard that my friends insisted was too horrible to show. I made Brian promise not to call attention to it, but I of course was later referred to as "my friend who brought you that horrible picture of you."
Sam cringed as he looked at his imperfect (but still, to me, unattainable!) bod. But a classy pro, he gamely signed it and couldn't have been nicer.
Here is the final Comic Con Hotties gallery. Well worth a look, with some shirtlessness and some Wolverine hotness, too. As usual, keep me posted as to whether the load times work for ya.
Future photo features should be in my new gallery system, which we've improved so that it will load faster. This one is malfunctioning, so here are the images one after another. If you get a chance, test other galleries at sites like JustJared.com and let me know if they seem to work well compared to my galleries. Until then, here are some of the sexiest Comic Con guys yet...