February 2, 2007 friday
February 2nd, 2007

This Tuesday Feb 6th is the LA Premiere of Flock of Dodos at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood! I will be on stage afterwards with the filmmaker Randy Olsen and the Amazing Muffy Moose, the mom of the filmmaker, who steals the movie. Tickets still available!

Birthdays: Tallyrand, Charlie Halas a co-founder of the NFL, James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifitz, Abba Eban, Farrah Fawcett, Garth Brooks, Christie Brinkley, Tommy Smothers, Stan Getz, James Dickey, Liz Smith, Elaine Stritch, Brent Spiner, Shakira

Happy Groundhog Day. This morning if Paxatawney Phil sees his shadow it means 6 more weeks of winter.

In ancient Rome it was the day for the lesser Eleusinian Mysteries. Part of the ceremony was you were given a bowl of wine with certain herbs in it. After drinking it you saw the gods. In 1946 Dr Albert Hoffman experimenting to find the nature of these herbs isolated LSD.

1910- D.W. Griffith's' In Old California', sometimes called the first Hollywood film.

1922- the novel "Ulysses" is published. James Joyce had finished the book months earlier but delayed publishing until his birthday, when it would be 2/2/22, which he considered lucky.

1922-Twenty one year old Walt Disney founds Newman's Laff-O-Grams in Kansas City.

1957- Elizabeth Taylor married producer Mike Todd. Todd was killed in a plane crash a year later. Taylor has said Todd was the only one of her many husbands she ever truly loved.

1961- In a little Greenwich Village nightclub called the Blue Angel a young stand up comic got his first debut. His name was Woody Allen

1963- In England singer Helen Schapiro was on tour. On the lower end of her program card was a new band called the Beatles.

1966- Woody Allen married Lousie Lasser.

1979- Lead singer for the punk band Sid Vicious found dead of a drug overdose. The 21 year old was awaiting trial for the stabbing death of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
1985- O.J. Simpson married Nicole Brown Simpson.

2006-The Cartoon Riots. A Danish newspaper printed a political cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with his turban shaped like a bomb. This so offended the Moslem world that rioting broke out in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and European capitols. Grenades were thrown at Danish embassies and Danish nationals made to flee.

Today Mark Mayerson turned me on to a new website called Ad Verbatims. It invites commerical professionals to send in some of the stupider notes or critiques that they've received from clients. Very funny and chillingly familiar to any of you who've ever had to deal with client notes. For anyone whose ever heard " I don't know what I want, but I don't want that!" Here's an example:

#383- "It needs to EXPLODE off the page! It needs FIREWORKS and COLOR! LOTS of colors! And exclamation points! Be creative. I could have done what you sent me on my own computer. The 14pt type is so small. I mean, you guys are the experts..."

The site boasts that recently ADWeek Magazine listed it among the TEN GREATEST OFFICE TIMEWASTERS on the web.



February 1st, 2007 thurs.
February 1st, 2007

Birthdays: Victor Herbert, Langston Hughes, Renata Tebaldi, Clark Gable, John Ford, George Pal, Terry Jones, Jim Thorpe, Sherman Helmsley, Lisa Marie Presley, Garrett Morris, Boris Yeltsin, Pauly Shore, Sherilyn Fenn

Welcome to February from Februarius, named for Februus, a Sabine god of the underworld called the Purifier. There's another theory that this month is named for Febis, the Latin for fever, this being a time in the Roman climate when fevers were most common.

1887- California land Developer Harvey Wilcox takes out a county deed for a new ranch he calls 'Hollywoodland' after the name of an estate his wife admired back in Connecticut. It gave its name to the new Los Angeles town- Hollywood.

1893- In New Jersey Thomas Edison and his engineer W. K. Dickson build the FIRST MOTION PICTURE STUDIO in New Jersey. It was covered with black tar paper and nicknamed"The Black Mariah" because that was the nickname of police paddy wagons that it resembled. When Edison invited cartoonist James Stuart Blackton to film his lightning sketches in the Black Mariah, it also became the first Animation Camera Settup.
It's debatable how much of the inventing effort was more Dickson than Edison. Edison was only marginally interested in the movies. He was more concerned with the problem of how to extract New Jersey iron ore from rocks using electromagnets. Dickson worked himself into the hospital to make the studio work, resenting Edison’s apathy. Finally he started experimenting on his own. When Edison found out, he fired him.

1915-The Fox Film Company formed (Later Twentieth Century Fox).

1964- Indiana Governor Matthew Walsh declares that the Rock & Roll song “Louie-Louie” by the Kingsmen was pornographic and should be banned. The FCC investigated and their conclusion was that the “lyrics are unintelligible at any speed”. The song remained a major hit. In the 1980’s several schools in Northern Cal held Louie-Louie Marathons-96 straight hours of Louie-Louie played by Punk bands, polka bands, string quartets, folk trios and marching bands. Whoah whoah, Me gotta go-yo,yo yo yo.

1990- Siegfried & Roy open their exclusive show at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. They and their white tigers have performed for Hollywood stars, presidents and Pope John Paul II. One Vegas columnist notes: “When Elvis performed in Vegas there were some empty seats. But there are nothing but full houses when Siegfreid & Roy perform.” The act was finally ended by Roy’s being wounded by a tiger in 2003.

2004- At a Superbowl live halftime show pop star Justin Timberlake pulled the bra cup off of singer Janet Jackson exposing her right breast with a starburst stud on it . Named “the Wardrobe Malfunction”, the incident sent America into another one of its periodic paroxysms of Puritan outrage, that the rest of the world finds so amusing.

January 31, 2007 weds
January 31st, 2007

Birthdays: Zane Grey,Franz Schubert, Tokugawa Ieyasu the Shogun, Sir John Profumo, Phillip Glass, Johnny Rotten, Ernie Banks, Norman Mailer, Nolan Ryan, Susanne Pleshette, Minnie Driver, Anthony LaPaglia, Tallulah Bankhead, Justin Timberlake is 26

Today is the Feast day of St. John Bosco, patron saint of Catholic Schools (AAARRGH!)

Happy National Dress up in a Gorilla Suit Day. First advocated by Don Martin, cartoonist for MAD Magazine.

1839- Englishman William Fox Talbot says Frenchman Louis Daguerre is full of pate' when he announces he had invented photography (1/7/39). Talbot declares HE invented it first. Actually a Belgian priest experimenting with capturing light on chemically treated glass or paper as early as 1817, Thomas Wedgewood in 1770 and Louis Niepce, with whom both Daguerre and Talbot were familiar. While the principles of capturing a shadow had been known for some time, no one had worked out how to fix the image so earlier attempts faded away in a few hours. Niepce' work predates both Talbot and Daguerre by about 10 years and constitute the earliest "photographic" images still extant. But Talbot and Daguerre are considered the fathers of Photography, provided you like history English or a’ Francais.

1925- Scotch brand invisible tape introduced by the 3-M Company.

1935- The Green Hornet premiered on radio.

1954- Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM Radio, driven to despair by constant lawsuits with RCA Corporation over his patents, jumped to his death out of a hotel window. He first put on his hat, overcoat and gloves because he didn't want to be cold...(?) Armstrong loved heights and used to climb hundreds of feet in the air to meditate on top of his radio antennas. By 1977 his family won all the lawsuits. Today, most radio, television and air traffic communications are by FM band.

1968- The Seattle city council concluded that there was no legal means to curb hippies hanging out in the downtown U- District.

1978- Polish director Roman Polanski fled the U.S. for exile after being charged for having sex with a thirteen year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s house.

1989- LaToya Jackson posed nude for Playboy.

January 30, 2007 tues.
January 30th, 2007

Birthdays: Historian Barbara Tuchman, Gene Hackman, Phil Collins, Walt “Moose” Dropo, Olaf Palme, Vanessa Redgrave, Dick Martin, Louis S. Rukeyser, Dorothy Malone, John Ireland, Christian Bale, VP Dick Cheney

1931- Hollywood Premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Later at a dance at the Biltmore Hotel writer Herman Mankewicz (Citizen Kane, Duck Soup) got into a drunken fistfight with producer David O. Selznick (Gone With the Wind, Rebecca). You’ll never eat turtle-soup in this town again!

1933- HI-YO SILVER!! The Lone Ranger debuts on Radio. The Masked man was invented by the WXYZ station owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker with absolutely no experience of cowboys or Indians. They just wanted a hero like Zorro with a strict moral code. He was later voiced by actor William Conrad who did the Rocky & Bullwinkle narration and the tv series Cannon.

1934- Artist Salvador Dali married Gala.

1946- The first US dimes with Franklin Roosevelt on the head were issued.

1956- Elvis Presley recorded Blue Suede Shoes.

1960- STRAVINSKY SPEAKS OUT. For years after the making of Fantasia, critics had pondered Igor Stravinsky's cryptic reaction to Disney's portrayal of his "Rite of Spring".
Disney p.r. said he was "speechless with admiration!" In a Saturday Review article of this date Stravinsky said Stokowski's editing of his music was 'execrable' and the visuals "an unresisting imbecility". His opinion still didn't stop him from selling the studio film rights to several other of his pieces including "The Firebird' in 1942. He needed the cash.

1961-H-B's the Yogi Bear Show.

1964-Writers John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion married. Dunne's uncle was the Jesuit priest whose 1947 analysis of corruption and the Hollywood union jurisdiction battles won him a one-way ticket to a mission in Death Valley.

1969- The rock band the Beatles last public appearance as a group. They tried to do a free concert in the London streets but were banned by police for fear of congestion and noise complaints. So they withdrew to a rooftop above their recording studio and played anyway. John Lennon ended the concert by saying: ‘Thank you very much on behalf of the band and myself and I hope we passed the audition.”