Imagine…No John Lennon – Dec. 8, 1980

December 8, 1980, thirty years ago today, I was watching the New England Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins 16-13 on ABC’s Monday Night Football. In 1980, there was no bigger weekly event on TV than MNF, boasting its seminal announcing team of journalist/commentator Howard Cosell (at the same time the most loved and most hated man on television) with NFL Hall of Famers Frank Gifford and “Dandy” Don Meredith. I had just moved from the living room to the bedroom to watch the end of the game, when I heard Howard’s pitched voice:

John Lennon, dead at age 40. I was stunned. You have to remember, the Beatles defined a generation of music lovers from the mid-60’s through the early 70’s, and even beyond if you consider each band member’s post-breakup solo acts. For many of us, John was THE Beatle. The intellectual one, the one who courted and relished in controversy. The working class hero. The one whose personal invitation to Paul McCartney to join him in the Liverpool based band The Quarrymen led to the Beatle’s creation, and the one for whom the band’s demise was ultimately blamed. And, along with Paul, 1/2 of the most successful song writing tandem in history.

We all thought “All you need is love,” and “Give peace a chance,” were great lyrics but when John sang them you knew he was a true believer.

Girls loved Paul, but guys loved — and wanted to be as cool as   — John.

TwitReview™: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

TwitReview™:Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – A dancing tour de force, with great displays of grace & athletic ability. Ballet, ballroom & more.

Putting down roots? Google to buy 2.9 MM sq ft NYC building

Putting down roots? #Google to buy 2.9 MM sq ft NYC bldg 111 8th Ave where they lease 550K sq ft for $2Bln $GOOG http://ow.ly/30dC4

TwitReview™: La Bete w/ Mark Rylance

TwitReview™: Saw La Bete w/ Mark Rylance; David Hyde Pierce; & Joanna Lumley on #broadway. A wordsmith’s delight, performed in rhyming couplets.

My New York: Live Tweeting: The 2009 Tony Awards

Neil Patrick HarrisThe 2009 American Theater Wing Tony Awards were issued Sunday, June 7. Neil Patrick Harris was a great host, and his closing number was legen…. (wait for it)….dary! Below are my Tweets while viewing the event (in reverse chronological order, of course):

  • Love Neil Patrick Harris! Saw him on Broadway in “Assassins” and “Cabaret” and hear he was great in the LA prod of “Rent”- kudos! Sunday, 07 June 2009, 11:05 pm
  • No surprise, Billy Elliot” takes Best Musical Sunday, 07 June 2009, 11:00 pm
  • With five leads from “Jersey Boys”, I guess you can call this number “The Big Valli’s” Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:54 pm
  • “The BIllys” win best actor! Add their ages together and they’re only 33! Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:51 pm
  • For me, Alice Ripley truly did give the best performance this year in “Next to Normal” Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:47 pm
  • YES! Hair! Well deserved! Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:39 pm
  • Well, no hat or boa now — red hair, though. Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:34 pm
  • At “Hair” I sang and danced onstage at the finale with the the actress in the hat and red boa (Megan Reinking) Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:33 pm
  • I am in a Tony pool where the tiebreaker is the length of Jerry Herman’s speech 🙂 Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:31 pm
  • RT KarenWaldkirch – Based on the commercials, the Tony TV audience is chronically ill. Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:22 pm
  • Best Play winner “God of Carnage” has gotten the best reviews for a play in 20 years. Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:20 pm
  • “Norman Conquests” three separate full plays — some on different nights, and at other times back-to-back-to-back Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:18 pm
  • Lest you forget for a moment that the Tony awards are staged to make money for producers, I give you Legally Blonde Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:16 pm Read more of this post

TwitReviews: Broadway

Father Duffy SquareSaw lots of shows off and on #Broadway in last 6 mos. With Tony Award noms pending I took the time to post my TwitReviews® on each. Below are the tweets, in reverse chronological order

  • TwitReview: ‘Next to Normal‘ Bi-polar Musical? It works! Alice Ripley & show Tony nom bound. Great cast, no dead weight (heh)
  • TwitReview: ‘Hair‘ Must see! Best musical on Broadway Unknown stars shine. Had front row (not for the modest!) Danced onstage during finale
  • TwitReview: ‘Rock of Ages‘ Forget plot, enjoy the performances. Love 80’s tunes, love this show. Jarvis shines, Maroulis not bad.
  • TwitReview: ‘Blithe Spirit‘ Lansbury iconic, up close stage makeup scary. Everett OK. Ebersole good. Not full price worthy TKTS OK
  • TwitReview: ‘All My Sons‘ Best drama this year. Powerful performances Lithgow amazing, Katie Holmes surprisingly good
  • TwitReview: ‘Pal Joey‘ OK in a Roundabout sort of way. ‘Joey’ not strong enough. Should’ve been called “Gal Pals of Joey”
  • TwitReview: ‘Equus‘ Powerful, dated production. Radcliffe fine in all aspects. Griffiths weary. Unsung star: Anna Camp

Live Tweeting Jeff Zucker

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker

I attended this morning’s keynote interview with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit NYC. Zucker was interviewed by BusinessWeek magazine’s Executive Editor Ellen Pollock. I “live-tweeted” the interview and below is a compilation of those messages in reverse chronological order.

Two points before the tweets:
1) Full disclosure: I work for BusinessWeek on the digital side and therefore McGraw-Hill;
2) You can find many more tweets regarding the M-H Media Summit NYC by searching Twitter on this hash tag: #MS09

    10:00am: Zucker: future with GE; NBCU has benefited greatly as part of GE esp. acquisitions. I hope we’re there for a long time-think we will.
    9: 58am: Zucker: we believe in ubiquitous distribution. We want our content available everywhere. But don’t steal and econ model not yet there.
    9:55am: Zucker: Hulu well ahead of plan financially and will become a significant contributor to NBCU.
    9:50am: Zucker: This is show business. It was easier to be in the show when the business was better
    9:49am: Zucker: Leno move is part of that change in thinking. It keeps Leno and Conan. We don’t expect Jay to matched scripted show rating.
    9:48 am: Zucker: We need to be honest about the change happening in broadcasting. NBC had it rough but that allowed us to change our thinking.
    9:47am: Zucker: NBC news is more dominant than it has ever been. The viewer votes every day.
    9:45am: Zucker: On MSNBC viewership remains incredibly strong with key target demos outperforming CNN. Looking for one more key program.
    9:42am: Zucker: In a difficult economy the key is to out-perform the market. NBCU sells advertising across networks by target audience.
    9:40am: Zucker: We are first and foremost a cable network company (NBC Universal). USA is one of top 5 networks.
    9:35am: Zucker: Cramer was correct on two areas: Fed had to drop rates or more co’s would die; convert to cash if you’ll need it w/in 5 years
    9:32am: Jeff Zucker: Jon Stewart incredibly unfair to CNBC and to business media in general. Everyone wants a scapegoat but blaming CNBC is absurd.
    9:25am: Fox: no one has a crystal ball but insightful business information is vital.
    9:23am: Keith Fox BW pres opening the meeting
    9:19am: Waiting for the. Jeff Zucker keynote interview to start.
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