Category Archives: All Posts

Separating Truth from Fiction

The 2012 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film went to “A Separation,” and rightly so. This Iranian movie about the collision of the lives of two families, and within the families, is outstanding. We watched it on a Netflix Blu-ray rental, but for now it’s available on YouTube. The drama is compelling and universal, but in the second half it’s obvious that the Iranian legal system is not at all like America’s.

Joltin’ Joe under the weather

Joe Sinnott, Jim Steranko, Mark Sinnott

Joe Sinnott, Jim Steranko, Mark Sinnott

Joe Sinnott hasn’t been feeling well lately, and he even pressed his son Mark into service finishing the inking job on the latest Sunday installment of the Spider-Man syndicated comic strip for Stan Lee. Although Joe checked out fine on Monday he’s suddenly come down with a case of pneumonia and he’ll be at a hospital for a couple of days. Mark’s wife Belinda says that Joe should be okay, dehydration is his biggest problem, and I’m looking forward to hearing that he’s home again and resting and back as his drawing table.

More BBC on Sunday

‘Been enjoying a very funny series on BBC Radio 4 from a few years ago, called 1966 and All That. I was happily surprised to hear Eleanor Bron, best known in the U.S. as Ahme in the Beatles movie “HELP!”

And speaking of BBC Radio 4, Brian Sibley has announced on his Facebook page that he’s been given the go-ahead for another series.

After a year-long negotiation, I have just signed a contract with the BBC to adapt T H White’s THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING as six 1-hour dramas for BBC Radio 4 this coming autumn! :-)

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING was the source material for Walt Disney’s THE SWORD IN THE STONE and Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s CAMELOT.

NBC Airheads Beat the Meatles

I am in the middle — 57% to be exact, according to my Kindle Keyboard — of reading the first volume of Mark Lewisohn’s exhaustive and outstanding biography, “Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years.” Lewisohn is a Beatles insider, but he does not waver from revealing all of the unflattering, sometimes ugly, nitty-gritty details of their upbringings and struggles to succeed. He refutes numerous Beatles legends, including the true origin of the haircut, which it turns out was not an Astrid creation, and it’s obvious that Ringo replacing Pete Best was inevitable, long before it actually happened.

CBS is giving full coverage to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arriving in America. In a way the anniversary belongs to CBS, because of the Ed Sullivan Show of course, but the fact is that NBC News beat out CBS by a matter of a few days in TV coverage of Beatlemania in England. As always, Bruce Spizer is the authoritative source for American Beatles-related facts.

NBC was the first American television network to run a story on the Beatles. The network’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report” ran a four-minute story on Monday, November 18, 1963, at 6:53 p.m., with Edwin Newman doing the voice-over of film of the group and its fans. This was followed by CBS-TV’s five-minute story, which first ran on the “CBS Morning News with Mike Wallace” on November 22, 1963. The story was rebroadcast on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” on December 10, 1963. There is no record of ABC ever running a story of the Beatles until 1964. The concert footage used by the networks was taken at the group’s November 16, 1963, performance at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens. The significance of these television broadcasts is detailed on pages 60-61 and 82-83 of “The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America.”

If not for the assassination of JFK, it seems likely that the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” would have carried Alexander Kendrick’s rather condescending report from the London bureau. Only the audio remains of the NBC report from November 18, 1963.

This is the full Kendrick report from CBS. The interview by Josh Darsa caught the Beatles in a subdued and contemplative mood, which makes Kendrick’s attitude seem all the more ridiculous.

So the reason for the title of this post is an interview with Mark Lewisohn on MSNBC’s “The Cycle.” I can’t stand this silly bunch of hyperactive bubble-brained hosts, but Lewisohn is worth hearing.