December 26, 2004 |
According to Lenny Kaye, the three great pop crooners of the early 1930s constitute a trinity. Bing Crosby, the affable domesticator of every idiom from light jazz to Hawaiian music, plays the universal dad. Randy, rambunctious Rudy Vallee enacts the misbehaving son. And, by default, Russ Columbo (1908-1934), the least known, the handsomest, the most vocally gifted and soulful, assumes the role of Holy Ghost.
October 31, 2004 |
With a six-CD career overview recently released and a museum retrospective of his television work about to begin, it is a season for Lenny Bruce, arguably the most important comic of his generation -- not necessarily the funniest, though he was certainly funny, and certainly not the most political, but the one whose influence has been most widely felt, the one who made it possible (for better or worse) for a comic to say whatever was on his mind, in whatever words he wanted.
October 17, 2004
I was moved by Mark Swed's tribute to Leonard Bernstein ("Lenny, the Indispensable," Oct. 10). Swed revealed his own heart, embracing the faults of the great conductor by recognizing their profound impact on Bernstein's character and art. Quite frankly, I expected Swed to despise Bernstein's conducting and his music as too emotional, too flamboyant, too dramatic, just too much!
October 10, 2004 |
"He drank a lot," Ned Rorem says of Leonard Bernstein in a new 11-part radio documentary that has begun airing weekly around the country and starts tonight at 7 on KMZT-FM. "I remember he even drank for breakfast. That impressed me." Bernstein's drinking impressed me as well. Except when he was on the podium, Bernstein, in my memory, nearly always had a glass of Scotch in hand.
September 26, 2004 |
Lenny BRUCE could be almost anything you wanted. A martyr for the 1st Amendment. An innovator who revolutionized comedy the way Elvis revolutionized pop music. A symbol of rebellion. A vulgarian hipster who set comedy on its path toward the gutter. Any of those perceptions can be drawn from the facts of his turbulent life and the recordings of his stand-up comedy from the late 1950s and early '60s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2004 |
Former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra bought Corona City Councilman Darrell Talbert some new palm trees shortly before city officials rezoned the athlete's property for a luxury gas station, then he hired the councilman after it was approved, according to a recently filed lawsuit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2004 |
Howard Solomon, 75, a former New York City nightclub owner who fought obscenity charges after comedian Lenny Bruce appeared at his Greenwich Village nightspot, died of a heart attack June 3 in Crestline, Calif. Bruce was arrested at Solomon's Cafe au Go Go club April 3, 1964. Vice officers had recorded Bruce performing at the club earlier in the week. Solomon and his wife, Elly Solomon, also were arrested; he was charged with allowing an obscene act to perform in his club.
December 29, 2003
Re " 'Obscene' Comic Bruce Gets a Pardon," Dec. 24: With New York Gov. George Pataki's posthumous pardon, Lenny Bruce once again is being victimized by political hypocrisy. As someone who briefly knew Bruce and has been guided by Bruce's opposition to sham in all forms, I agree with Bruce attorney Martin Garbus that "Lenny would be astonished" that the pardon was implicitly linked with justification of the Bush policy of preemptive war. If Pataki had wanted to be truly courageous and principled, he would have pardoned instead all nonviolent drug offenders now languishing in his state's prisons.