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September 12, 2018:

DIONNE AND BURT AND HAL

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, has there ever been a pop singer/composer relationship that comes anywhere near Miss Dionne Warwick and Mr. Burt Bacharach and Mr. Hal David. When you begin at the beginning and go straight through all those incredible albums, most of which have nice remasterings on CD, you cannot help but marvel at the magic they made and in the early days with three-track tape.  The Bacharach sound is amazing – the mixes are amazing – as I type this I’m listening to I Say a Little Prayer (which I’ve been doing a lot this week to no avail but hopefully avail will come soon), and it’s just perfect.  So many hits, one after another, but even the songs that weren’t hits are amazing.  It’s breathtaking and I’ve just been sitting here like so much fish, very emotional, listening to all this brilliance.  I can’t choose favorites, of course, buy Walk on By is still fresh and great all these decades later, same with You’ll Never Get to Heaven, Reach Out for Me, Are You There (With Another Girl), which is one of my all-time favorite tracks, Alfie, A House is Not a Home, Wishin’ and Hopin’, Here I Am, In Between the Heartaches, Window Wishing (another all-time favorite), and on and on, a virtual soundtrack of those crazy years.  That voice on those songs – a marriage made in heaven.  Sit down sometime and listen to one song after another – it’s good for the heart and good for the soul.  And you will hear just how much Mr. Bacharach shaped the sound of pop music and how many imitators he’s had from the very beginning, none his equal, no matter how hard they tried and believe me they tried.  Oh, have I gone off on a tangent?  I think so, but you know what – after the day from absolute HELL I needed just this kind of magic.  Thanks Dionne, thanks Burt, thanks Hal.

Yesterday, as noted, was the day from HELL.  It was the day from HELL from the minute I got up after almost eight hours of sleep, and it kept on keeping on, one thing after another and after a few hours I’d quite enough, thank you very much.  Finally, I had said as loudly as I could that the day from HELL could just go to HELL and back and I wanted no more of it.  The evening wasn’t too bad after that.  I banish HELL to HELL and don’t come back.

I had a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich and a few onion rings for my main meal o’ the day – that was good and I managed to kill almost two hours at the restaurant. There were no packages or mail to pick up, so home I came.  I did some work on the computer, chose a couple of songs, set another cast member, so just one or two gals left to choose, depending on one gal who’s thinking about doing it.  Hopefully by the end of the day today I’ll have it all done.  I do have lots of fun ideas for songs, though.  At some point there was simply nothing else to do but sit on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I decided to watch the Warner Archive DVD of The Prize, a motion picture starring Paul Newman, Elke Sommer, Edward G. Robinson, Diane Baker, Leo G. Carroll, Kevin McCarthy and others.  I first saw The Prize at a sneak preview in Hollywood.  The audience reaction was great until the very end when, in the scene where they give shocks to Edward G. to revive him, the reaction turned pretty much derisive.  It still got a nice hand.  I was thrilled to see another film with a script by Ernest Lehman, who’d written my beloved North By Northwest, even if he was basically ripping himself off from that screenplay – the dialogue was witty, there were some huge laughs, the score by Jerry Goldsmith was great, Elke was lovable and beautiful, and it all moved along at a steady clip.  When the film opened I went back five or six times.

Then I didn’t see it for many, many years, until its laserdisc release, I believe. I watched and wondered what had happened to that fun, witty movie I’d seen, where the thrills went – yes, some of it was still okay, especially the Goldsmith score, but I found Paul Newman to be pretty bad and Ms. Sommer merely okay.  Mr. Robinson and Miss Baker fared best.  Then I watched it on this same DVD when it came out and overlooked its faults and enjoyed it.  And that was basically my reaction last night – in fact, I enjoyed it very much until it got to the resuscitating Eddie G. scene – that’s just a killer awful scene. I also always enjoy Leo G. Carroll – he was so droll and such a great actor.  The transfer is okay, and one hopes that the Archive will get around to sprucing it up for Blu-ray one of these fine days.

After that, I felt kind of nauseous so I had a Pecid and listened to Ms. Warwick, which was calming.

Today I am praying it’s not another day from HELL.  Thankfully it’s a fairly busy day, with a noon o’clock meeting, then something to eat, then hopefully picking up mail and at least one important envelope, banking, then directly to auditions, which could last four hours, although with LA actors’ habit of just not showing up, it could also last ten minutes.  I’m sure we’ll go out after to discuss and perhaps finalize the rest of the cast.

The rest of the week is surviving, meetings, meals, and I don’t know what all else.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, pray it’s not another day from HELL, have a meeting, eat, hopefully pick up packages and an important envelope, bank, and then have auditions. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, with the beautiful sound of Dionne and Burt and Hal still in my ears.

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