Friday, April 2, 2010

Slumgullion #9

Watch out for those Daleks, mister. Photo of Eccleston as Lennon from Blogtor Who blog.

Number 9 - - - number 9 - - - number 9. It’s Slumgullion Number Nine, and so it’s only fitting to open with a bit on John Lennon.

When I first read on Blogtor Who that Christopher Eccleston, the actor who did such a grand job of bringing Doctor Who back to life, will be portraying Beatle John in the new Lennon Naked film due to air on England’s BBC Four later this year, I just couldn’t picture it. David Tennant, Eccleston’s successor on Doctor Who would make a good young Lennon. But Eccleston? Blogtor Who and now several other Internet sites have clips from Naked Lennon, and Eccleston seems quite believable in the role. Wonder if we’ll get a chance to see the movie here in the states.

The critically acclaimed Mary-Arrchie Theatre in Chicago will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2011, and has just launched a fundraising campaign that will hopefully keep this cutting edge group around for at least another 25 years. Patrons are being asked to take on the role of angels via donations. $50 to $100 equals a Bronze Angel, while $1,000 or more equals a Guardian Angel. There are also Silver, Gold, and Platinum Angel options in between. Mary-Arrchie’s ultimate goal is to reach $60K, but it will settle for $25K to celebrate its 25th year. For more information on the fundraiser, as well as the upcoming performance of Kirk Lynn’s experimental play, Cherrywood, check out the Mary-Arrchie website.

Fans of 1960s English music should be pleased with the arrival of a new DVD series called British Invasion from Reelin’ In The Years Productions. The San Diego company has its own Facebook Fan page, where it announces, “The first four artists are: The Small Faces, Hermans’s Hermits, Gerry And The Pacemakers, and Dusty Springfield.” The documentaries include vintage footage, interviews, and “cool extras too.” They’re available on Amazon and can be purchased individually or as a boxed set. Hopefully, British Invasion will spotlight more U.K. acts in the near future.

The April 15th edition of Rolling Stone offers a backstage look at the recent 2010 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Ceremony, including that odd incident involving a mic during The Hollies’ performance. According to the magazine, Terry Sylvester, who had been with the band from 1969 to 1981, was miffed about not being invited to join Graham Nash and Allan Clarke in the rehearsals for the performance. Shortly after “Long Cool Woman” started, with Train’s Pat Monahan doing the lead vocals and Little Steven Van Zandt playing lead guitar, Sylvester ambled onstage and gestured for Monahan to give him the mic. Monahan complied, and Sylvester sang a few lines before Clarke took the mic away and gave it back to Monahan.

I’m going to wimp out and come down squarely in the middle of this, but first, here’s a tip of the hat to Monahan. He not only did a great job on the vocals, he was a good sport. I can kind of see the logic of concentrating on lifelong friends Nash and Clarke, who co-founded The Hollies, but I also think Sylvester should have been included. I met him at a Fest For Beatles Fans show in Chicago a few years back, and he’s an outgoing, friendly guy. I did a phone interview with Nash over a year ago, and also found him to be very down-to-earth. I’ve never spoken with Clarke, but I’m sure I’d find him affable, and he’s more than welcome to contact me.

Meanwhile, Sylvester must still be in The RRHOF s good graces, because he’s scheduled to perform with Gene Chandler, Sheila E., Mark Farner, and Tommy James and the Shondells at the organization’s It’s Only Rock and Roll Annual Benefit Concert in Cleveland on May 15th.

P.S.: Viewers may have noticed Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong, who had introduced The Stooges for their RRHOF induction, singing along with “Carrie Anne” as he sat in the audience. Rolling Stone reports that Armstrong later approached Nash at an afterparty at the Waldorf Hotel’s Bull and Bear Bar, and told him, “Thank you for songs that will last an eternity.”

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