Tuesday, June 30, 2015


  Well, well. It seems that five years after leaving the governor of California's office Arnold Schwarzenegger still has political ambitions. And this time, he tells me, he'd like to be President!

  One small problem is that he wasn't born in the U.S. so that's out of the question. But it doesn't stop him deriding the "crazy stuff" coming from the jumble of candidates vying for the Republican nomination.

  "If I had been born here it would give me great pleasure to jump into that race," he tells me when we talk in a suite at the Four Seasons hotel where he is promoting his new movie Terminator: Genysis.

. "I think I could make the same impact I did during my race as Governor, getting through the crowd very quickly and emerging with sound statements and sound visions instead of the crazy stuff that you hear out there now," he says.

   The 67-year-old bodybuilder, actor and former Governor, who describes himself as being in the centre rather than on the right of the Republican party, reveals: "I have to say that I fell in love with policy and politics and sometimes even today I miss it, especially when I see all of this field of candidates jumping into the race.

   "The Republican party always has a large tent and I don't have to always agree with them but there are some issues that are very important to me, so I will always be a loyal Republican."
   Four years after the sex scandal that ended his marriage and threatened his career and his credibility he has bounced back, more ebullient and happier than ever.

   "I am absolutely delighted with my life," he beamed when we talked in a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.  "We all fall at one time or another and this was a major fall. I had to get up again because only losers stay down and winners get up."

   Divorced from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, he is currently dating Heather Milligan, a physical therapist almost 30 years his junior. "It's terrific, she's a wonderful woman," he says. 

Monday, June 22, 2015


Brian Wilson on stage at the Greek with his family
           A weekend with two birthdays, both featuring music, noise and lots of love.
           Brian Wilson, the creative force behind the Beach Boys, celebrated his 73rd birthday by rocking the Greek Theatre for nearly two hours at a sell-out concert full of musical surprises. Backed by a nine-piece band plus fellow founder Beach Boy member Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, he let rip with a set of old Beach Boy numbers along with some songs from the Smile and Pet Sounds albums and his new album, No Pier Pressure. 
           Several of his children and grandchildren joined h on the stage, wheeling on an oversized cake while a bunch of balloons floated at the back of the stage, sent by John Cusack, who portrays him in the movie Love and Mercy.
Sailing at Stubbsy's party
  The night before in Santa Monica, local disc jockey Stubbsy (left) arrived in a Rolls-Royce for a raucous celebration of his 60th birthday at Ye Olde King's Head pub. Stubby's mother and two brothers had flown in from England for the party which was packed with friends and revellers.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Alex Roe is not yet widely known but it's a safe bet the young British actor soon will be when The Fifth Wave, the movie in which he stars, is released. I hope he hits it big because he's a nice lad and apart from us both being from the same part of the world we have something else in common too.

When I chatted with him it transpired that he, like me and The Fifth Wave producer Graham King, is a lifelong supporter of Chelsea Football Club and is predicting another Premier championship next season.  "And a few more seasons after that too, I'm betting," he says. . 

   He was delighted I had a Chelsea F.C. magazine with me I could share with him

 The 25-year-old was born in Westminster and made his film debut as a possessed child in 2000's The Calling.

 In The Fifth Wave he plays Evan Walker, an alien who comes to the rescue of co-star Chloe Grace Moretz's Cassie, a girl trying to survive in a world devastated by an alien invasion that has knocked humankind  back tot he Stone Age.

  If that doesn't raise his profile enough, he has just been cast as the male lead in the third installment of Paramount's horror franchise Rings. 

Friday, June 5, 2015


Having grown up in cold, rainy England to the Beach Boys' songs of endless summers and surfin' safaris I was fascinated to see the new movie Love And Mercy about Brian Wilson, the creative genius who composed the songs and, later, created the ground-breaking albums Pet Sounds and Smile.
 Paul Dano plays Wilson in the 1960s when he tries to move the band toward a more experimental sound and poetic lyrics and John Cusack portrays him in the 80s when, after a nervous breakdown and heavily medicated, he lives under the control of therapist Eugene Landy.
  When I talked to Brian, now 72, the morning after the movie's premiere, he told me: "It brought back memories.A lot of memories. Good and bad."
  Ironically Brian was not a surfer, despite inventing "surf music." 
  "I never learned how to surf because I was always afraid to try," he says. "But my brother Dennis was a surfer and he told me that surfing was a popular pastime and why didn't I write some songs about it? So Mike Love and I wrote Surfin'."
   Brian has seen Love and Mercy three times and thoroughly approves. His favourite scenes, he says are those in the studio when he's creating Pet Sounds with a group of talented session musicians. "It brought back wonderful memories of working with great musicians," he says.
  During our chat he played occasional riffs on the piano, including a few bars of God Only Knows which, he says, was the most difficult song he has ever composed.
   Brian is going on tour this summer following the release of his new album No Pier Pressure.
   "It's more fun and more exciting and not like it was with the Beach Boys," he says. "This is more like being on my own with my band members.We started touring in 1998 and we're still touring."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Had a surprise note the other day from someone I consider to be one of the best lounge singers and entertainers I have heard for a long time.
  Her name is Susan Rodriguez and  we met while she was performing on the Silver Seas cruise ship Silver Whisper during a Caribbean cruise.
  A radio and TV star in the Philippines, she has an amazingly wide repertoire--it would be difficult to name a song she and her excellent keyboard accompanist Enrico don't know--- and her wide range and warm delivery make her a round-the-world favourite with cruise ship passengers.
   When we met she and Enrico were on the tail end of a world cruise which took them from Los Angeles to South Africa, the Caribbean and then on to Southampton via New York and Montreal. 
  Still on the Silver Whisper, they are now on their way around Scandinavia before returning to Southampton, sailing on to Belfast and Dublin, then to Montreal, New York, the Eastern Seaboard and back to the Caribbean. She won't get home until November.
  It is an itinerary to make a world traveller's mouth water. But Susan doesn't have a lot of time to explore ashore.
   "When we're not working, Enrico and I are rehearsing," she says.
  I hope to one day meet up with Susan and Enrico again---preferably on a world cruise.  


  It's always a pleasure seeing Nicole Kidman, whom I first met 21 years ago on Batman Forever. A lot of water under the bridge si...