Thursday, October 26, 2017



So R.I.P Fats Domino.

With his death the world has lost another rock and roll legend, although for someone nicknamed Fats who spent a good part of his life playing in smoky clubs and bars, he did well to live until 89.

  The roly-poly piano pounder's  mantra was "play the blues and drink the booze." And he did.
  My big regret is that I never saw him perform, although I saw his compatriots, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry several times.

   Unlike them, he kept a low profile, living all his life in the quarter of New Orleans where he was born.

  John Lennon once said that without Fats Domino there wouldn't have been the Beatles because the first song he learned to play was Fats's "Ain't That a Shame."

  It could be said that Fats Domino pioneered rock and roll because in 1949 he recorded The Fat Man, a pounding rock-blues song with the lyrics:

They call me the Fat Man
'Cause I weigh 200 pounds
All the girls they love me
'Cause I know my way around.
Fats Domino's place in rock and roll history is secure and many of his songs, such as Blueberry Hill, Walkin' to New Orleans, I'm Walkin' and  Be My Guest are all-time classics.

 But what is not so widely known is that as well as acting in films such as Shake Rattle and Roll and Jamboree, he provided part or all of 104 film soundtracks.

Fats Domino was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Of the original 13 pioneers, only three remain: Don Everly of The Everly Brothers, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.  

 The world of rock and blues is a lesser place without the Fat Man.

Instagram: @beachscribe 

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Rita Hayworth and Harry Cohn
  The floodgates of sexual harassment accusations opened wide when Ashley Judd told of her experience with Harvey Weinstein. Scores more actresses followed her lead and other executives, such as director James Toback, Weinstein's brother Bob, Amazon boss Ron Price and the late Michael Winner found themselves in the frame as well, with many more names to come.
  Weinstein and other sexual predators of today are following in the footsteps of the old time film moguls who founded and ran the studios. Film historian Neal Gabler describes them as "vulgarians, men without taste or temperance, shouters who ruled by fear, heathens who demanded women trade their sexual favours for the moguls' professional ones."
  Darryl Zanuck, he says, ordered female contract players into his office for afternoon liaisons; Louis B. Mayer pursued starlets; Jack Warner was a compulsive womanizer who would ask directors about prospective actresses: "Would you fuck her?"

  Columbia Pictures boss Harry Cohn viewed starlets as sexual commodities and according to the Hollywood Reporter no one had to fend off more unwanted advances from him than Rita Hayworth, whom he discovered in 1936 and groomed for Hollywood.
  As she became a major star, in movies such as 1944's Cover Girl and 1946's Gilda while fulfilling G.I. fantasies overseas as a pinup girl, Cohn relentlessly demanded that she sleep with him, bugged her dressing rooms and imposed financial penalties on her for insubordination because she did not comply with his wishes. 
   "In front of people Harry Cohn would say, 'I never put a hand on her,'" Hayworth told the New York Times in 1970. "Of course he hadn't---as if I'd let him!"

  She died in Manhattan in 1987 aged 68 and Cohn succumbed to a heart attack at 66 in 1958. His well-attended funeral led Red Skelton to note: "It proves what Harry always said: 'Give the public want they want and they'll come out for it.'"

Instagram:  @beachscribe

Friday, October 6, 2017


  It was exactly 55 years ago that Ursula Andress memorably emerged from the sea wearing a white bikini as Honeychile Ryder in the first ever James Bond film.
  Now 81, she remarks: "The bikini made me into a success."
 The anniversary of Dr. No coincides with the opening of the London Film Festival which is screening 242 feature films from 67 different countries.  
  The festival is bookended with films from two British directors, opening with a gala screening of Andy Serkis's directorial debut Breathe and closing with Martin McDonough's outrageous Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
  It also coincides with another anniversary---the decriminalisation of homosexuality 50 years ago  which the festival is celebrating with a powerful LGBT lineup including Battle of the Sexes, Call Me By Your Name and A Fantastic Woman. 
Nicole Kidman: at the festival
  A Zambian witch-doctor comedy, a serial-killer thriller set in Jersey and a drama about Jehovah’s Witnesses directed by a former member of the church are among the many British films sharing the spotlight with Hollywood A listers including Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Nicole Kidman and Colin  Farrell.

Instagram: @Beachscribe


  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...