July 2010November 2010 


4 posts from September 2010

Sep 25 2010
The Movie-Magic Club Comments (12)

  Z copyThe spell-binding Magic Club was the result of a late-breaking script change


It was 24 hours of Desperately Seeking Susan for me this week, meeting Madonna on Wednesday for the celebration of her and Lola's Material Girl line and then meeting a surprisingly large contingent of the cast and crew of that '80s classic the following night when the Film Society of Lincoln Center hosted a 25th-anniversary screening.

IMG_8149 Me with Seidelman, Blum, Arquette & Quinn

Tickets to the event and after-party had been hard to come by, and it's no wonder—on top of some members of the press, the 268-seat theater must have had at least 25 people who'd worked on the movie, plus all their guests.

Left to right, top to bottom: Susan Seidelman's intro; Rosanna Arquette's bond with—and Mark Blum's raunchy screen-test with—Madonna; rushing the film out in case Madonna was a "flash-in-the-pan"; and funny casting stories...

 Read More

Sep 23 2010
Haven't We Met? Comments (28)


My first memory of really being into Madonna would be from around September 1983. I was driving home from playing Dungeons & Dragons at my cousin's in Swartz Creek, listening to Top 40 radio at full blast, and rocking (more like popping) out to Shannon's "Let the Music Play" when "Holiday" came on. My reaction to it was immediate—this was like aural sex, a true popgasm.

 1 IMG_8122

Exactly 27 years later, my dream to meet Madonna finally materialized last night at, of all places, Macy's.

1Four great chicks: Liz, Nadia (her assistant), Lola & Madonna

Admittedly, the desire to meet an idol is fraught with risk. No less a personage than former recording star and current recording exec Tommy Page has cautioned me about doing such a thing (I told him I'd been a member of his fan club 'cuz I thought he was cute but meeting him was lovely so why not push it?). And it's also a shallow, silly kind of goal in life—or would be, if it were my only one. But nonetheless, it has been a goal and it's now in my rearview and I'm happy to say it went off without a hitch.

 Read More

Sep 08 2010
This Was The Night Comments (26)

DVD PlayerScreenSnapz001I used Sam Fox to come out as gay...she later came out as gay!

300x245_samanthafox After 23 years and more than a few disappointments, I now possess a rather good video record of my first time on stage—lip-synching and performing BROADLY to Samantha Fox's "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" at Flushing High School's 1987 "Mock Rock"!

Samantha Fox cover for Touch MeThis was the look I was aping

I was not an outgoing type, so doing this was a watershed moment for me as a person and as a (then-closeted) gay kid.

The original S-s-s-s-samantha, S-s-s-s-samantha Fox!

I'd given up on ever seeing a video, but Lori, a kind classmate, happened to comment my Facebook that she had a copy. She happily sent me her Beta (!) original and I had it transferred today and...voila!

Video and my critique after the jump...

 Read More

Sep 02 2010
Will I See You Again?: Platinum Blondie In the Flesh Comments (12)


Videos here...

I thought of my older cousin as the epitome of cool, so when he casually informed me in the late '70s that Blondie was cool, I accepted it as a fact. Over time, my cousin stopped seeming cool to me. Blondie never did. If anything, Blondie seemed to get cooler. They were absolutely arctic to me by the time they'd broken up and Debbie Harry was on her second solo LP Rockbird, enough so that the chill kept until their eventual reunion in 1999—and it's been permafrost ever since.

Large.c388yhlzzcxyAn eternally cool moment

Given their penchant for drugs, fraternization, jealousy and feuds, Blondie's the last '70s band that should still be alive, together (give or take) and touring in 2010, but that makes each time I see them all the more miraculous.


That said, I've been a lousy fan; I've seen Debbie and/or Blondie perform quite a few times, but not every single time. This tour, I debated whether I'd go (I'd last seen their Parallel Lines 25th anniversary show), but was lured in at the last minute by a unique offer to pay too much money in order to have some alone-time with the band.


Not counting spotting her in Chelsea with her dog, I'd met Debbie Harry three times. First, I jumped her after a performance of the play Crave in the Village (2000). I was fat, she was exhausted, but it's a great pic (of a pic):

PhotoI did not give her the flowers (2000)

Next, I stood in line forever to meet Blondie momentarily at a J&R Music World signing of The Curse of Blondie (2003). Finally, I was one of a handful of people allowed to sit and watch Blondie's AOL Sessions taping to plug The Curse of Blondie (2004; the subject of my first-ever blog post). But the prospect of a private audience with Debbie, Chris Stein and Clem Burke was too tempting...the fact that there were gold and platinum levels made it even more irresistible. At the risk of sounding like a "Maria...you oughtta see her" Antoinette, I must have the best if there is any way to have it.


My platinum package promised me a lot...I wondered how much it would actually deliver almost immediately after charging it:


I was told an on-site coordinator named Paris would meet me at the venue to facilitate. Nothing good has ever come from working with anyone named Paris, right? I picked up my ticket early and saw that Blondie's site recommended arriving by 6:45 for the meet-and-greet. This was not good—with doors opening at 7 for a show starting at 8, how would there ever be time for me to have front-of-line entry, part of the package? Well...there wasn't.

IMG_3182 I arrived just after 6 and was told to meet my contact not in Red Square but "in the alley." In truth, the alley is a really nice area beside the Nokia filled with tourists that's 20 degrees cooler than the 95-degree outside world, but it sounded so ominous I had to laugh. I turned the corner to find all of two other VIPs penned in by the stage door, a young guy who fell for the band after seeing them on the American Music Awards in 1999 (and later interviewed Chris for Origivation) and a guy in his forties from England who remembered them from their hit "Denis" in 1978 but only really became enamored of them "over the past year or 18 months." (He'd flown from the UK specifically for this show and for the meeting, his first time on a plane in 21 years.)

IMG_7847She had as much fun as the audience (note the Material Girl line outfit—credit to Angel for this)

"Is your heart racing?" he asked me. I hoped I didn't look as nervous as I was, but in reality I was more nervous about the details than the actual encounter in the same way I'm always freaked out about boarding my plane with no hitches yet never think twice that we'll crash.

ZShady lady opening the show

 Read More