Sooner Or Later: Madonna and Stephen Sondheim

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When the news broke on Friday, November 26, that the legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim had died aged 91, the world’s theatrical community went into mourning. That evening, fans lined up outside Marie’s Crisis Café, a piano bar in Greenwich Village, to sing and grieve together. On Sunday, crowds gathered for a tribute performance in Times Square, and in London’s West End, theatre lights were dimmed. Continue reading

Charles ‘Jerry’ Juroe’s Year With Marilyn

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Jerry Juroe with Marilyn at the Savoy Hotel, July 1956

Legendary movie publicist Charles ‘Jerry’ Juroe has died aged 98, Variety reports.

He was born in San Francisco, and as a child, attended an unforgettable North Beach baseball game with his father. “At that time its star player was probably better known because of his elder brother, Vince, who played in the minor league,” Juroe wrote in his 2018 memoir. “When a little boy meets a baseball player (even a sandlot level one), he is impressed only by his size and the aura of his uniform; but all my adult life I recalled with pride and awe meeting Joe DiMaggio at the very start of his storied career. To think that one day I would work in London, England, for a woman he married is a ‘bridge too far’ in anyone’s life of amazing coincidences.” Continue reading

Donald Zec: Marilyn’s Man at ‘The Mirror’

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Donald Zec, the British journalist who covered show-business for the Daily Mirror over four decades, has died at the grand old age of 102. Continue reading

SOLEDAD #6: Lana’s ‘Violet,’ Nouchka Van Brakel, and More

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Issue 6 of SOLEDAD Arts Journal – out now via Amazon for just £3.13 in the UK, or $3.78 across the pond – is also the 20th volume from Nostalgia Kinky Publications, including predecessor ART DECADES (and I’m proud to have appeared in all but five.) This issue is peppered with lyrics from French singer-songwriter Véronique Sanson.

The cover story is an exclusive interview with Dutch filmmaker Nouchka Van Brakel, in conjunction with a new triple-boxset on Blu-Ray from Cult Epics. Editor Jeremy Richey has also spoken with film historian Samm Deigan about his new book, The Legacy of World War II in European Arthouse Cinema. Marcelline Block interviews author Sam Nortey Jr., who shares an extract from his novel, Thumbwars. Marcelline also contributes a scrapbook history of feminist artist and scholar, Jenny H. Batlay. There’s poetry from Marcelline and Ruth LaSure, and Emily Clare Bryant meets Sunmates, a synth-pop band from Lexington, Kentucky.

And finally, I’ve written a 24-page essay on Lana Del Rey’s debut poetry book/spoken-word album, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. I hope you’ll enjoy delving into this fascinating project as much as I did.

‘I Told You I Was Trouble’: Amy Winehouse, 10 Years Gone

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This photo, taken by Roger Sargent, shows Amy Winehouse on Brighton Beach in July 2004, before that night’s show at Concorde 2. She was 20 years old, promoting her debut album, Frank, and wowing the locals. When she returned two years later, her ‘Rehab’ single was a runaway hit and her second album, Back to Black, would become one of the 21st century’s essential records. Continue reading