Thursday, December 27, 2012



Best Kennedy Center Honors ever. The David Letterman portion of the show was very funny but I loved the tribute to Led Zeppelin. I think Robert Plant was crying. Heart was awesome as well as all the other musicians that participated. Jack Black was the perfect choice to get it all started.   
I couldn't agree more ... start to finish, this show was a winner.   Dustin Hoffman has always been one of my favorite actors ... that little 20 minute spiel made me want to watch at least 20 of his movies again! I grew up loving this guy! What a career ... "The Graduate" ... "Midnight Cowboy" ... "Kramer Vs. Kramer" ... "Rain Man" ... "Tootsie" ... films that I liked that nobody else did like "Hero", "Hook" and "Straw Dogs" ... other emotional fare like "Marathon Man" and "All The President's Men" ... missteps like "Ishtar" and "Dick Tracy" ... "Meet The Fockers" ... what a GRAND career this man has had.  
And even the less-interesting tributes to Buddy Guy and Natalia Makarova were tolerable. 
The Letterman bit was GREAT ... he truly looked moved and humble ... and there is no question that he forever changed the look of late night television.  Everyone who has come along since has been molded in his image.
But the musical tribute to Led Zeppelin was out of this world, moving the band to tears and cheers. (I've never seen ANY honoree paid such a glowing, powerful ... and rockin'(!) tribute before.) 
Heart (who has ALWAYS ranked Led Zeppelin as their inspiration, performing many fitting tributes and cover versions of their material over the years) have never sounded better ... what a truly inspired, mammoth send-off that was. And as emotional as that had to have been for Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones watching this whole thing play out (The Foo Fighters, Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz also did exceptional tribute performances), you just KNOW there had to be a part of these guys that wanted to climb back up on that stage with Jason Bonham and sing and play along. 
No, they didn't perform ... but it wouldn't at all surprise me to see them stage one more special event, just to say "thanks"!!! (kk)    

Johnny Carson has already been forgotten ...
But Led Zeppelin is FOREVER!
In other words, what kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where the President is black and the national anthem is "Stairway To Heaven"?
The highlight of tonight's show was Tina Fey's introduction of David Letterman. I love Jack Black, but his enthusiasm didn't make up for a substandard speech. We needed Wayne and Garth. Two stoners whose lives are not complete without Led Zeppelin IV.
And then came the piece de resistance. We knew they'd end with "Stairway." But there's no more perfect fit than Heart. Ann Wilson made her bones singing Zeppelin covers. And her "Battle Of Evermore" is just about as good as the original. So, what is usually substandard, the musical tribute, which had us all trepidatious, turned out to be a triumph.
Yo-Yo Ma was singing along. Bonnie Raitt had her hands in the air!
And did you catch the Prez singing along to "Whole Lotta Love"?
Our true rock and roll heroes are ... our true rock and roll heroes. 

You can't change "Good Times Bad Times." "The Rain Song" sounds the same as it did when you dropped the needle on "Houses Of The Holy" back in '73.
Music is the most powerful medium on Earth.
And Led Zeppelin has more power than anybody. 

Bob Lefsetz    

Not much surfin' goin' on in New York City in the '60's (although with all the winter storms being forecast for the east coast again right now, I suppose skiing may not be out of the question!)   

In 1965 songwriters Vinnie Poncia and Pete Anders got together, called themselves The Trade Winds, and released a Top 40 Hit called "New York's A Lonely Town" ... which I can only imagine it would be ... if you're the only surfer boy in town!    

Cashing in on the craze taken to the max by The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean (who were joined by The Sunrays and several other "imitators" by the mid-'60's), Poncia and Anders put together the perfect surfing groove for this tune ... threw in catch phrases like "my Woodies outside" ... added some high-end falsetto ... and crafted a great pseudo-surf tune for the ages.    

Except radio has all but forgotten about it!  

Anders and Poncia honed their craft by peddling songs "Brill Building style" in the early '60's. They were later taken under the wing of Phil Spector ... and then the legendary songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller, who ultimately signed the duo to Red Bird Records and released their biggest hit.   

I found a great tribute website for these two artists:
DIDJAKNOW?: Poncia and Anders ALSO recorded as The Innocence, hitting the charts with "There's Got To Be A Word" (#33, 1967) and a remake of the novelty hit "Mairzy Doats". In 1968 they supplied the backing vocals for the 1910 Fruitgum Company hit "1,2,3 Red Light" and, in the '70's and '80's, Vinnie Poncia produced hit albums for Ringo Starr and Melissa Manchester!