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September 30, 2020:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, can someone please explain to me how this can be the last day of September when I could swear that I just asked for someone to explain to me how this can be the last day of August?  This month flew by, like a gazelle eating 1000 calories a day.  And tomorrow will be a new month, one I like to call October, and it is my fervent hope and prayer that October will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.  In the meantime, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to the last of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, which will be followed by BK’s Passion, if I can only find it.  Otherwise, I heard that Helen Reddy passed away.  I’d heard she was not doing well, suffering from dementia, living at the Motion Picture Home.  I last saw her at one of those signing shows I used to do.  We had a nice chat and reminisced about the album we did together and she signed her new book to me. I think she’d finally come around to just how good it was.

I’d met her prior to that.  We were doing a Burt Bacharach album with Broadway folks and somehow we got her to do That’s What Friends are For to close the album.  She came in, knocked it out in two takes and that was that.  Right after we’d made the deal with Petula Clark to do her solo album, we concurrently made a deal with Helen to do one, too.  So, back in 1996, I had the enviable job of producing solo albums back-to-back from two of the most iconic female pop singers of all time.  Heady stuff, really.  I spent more time hearing the stuff Petula was working on, for whatever reason, but did attend a couple of work sessions with Helen.  I think she was a combo platter of wary and dismissive as regards me, but we got used to each other and it all went very smoothly.  She did like Vini Cirilli, my engineer.  In the end, though, it was always about the music and we did have a lot of fun in the booth between takes.  I will in all honestly say that I was closer to Petula – we just bonded like crazy and really liked each other so much and that’s continued on through the years.  But Helen’s album came out splendidly and sold very well.  She sounded amazing, as always, and the song selection was good.  And I will say that Helen was the RANDIEST person I’ve ever been around.  I mean RANDY, more randy than The Randy Vicar.  Even Vini could not believe how RANDY this woman was.  I can’t remember if I printed the randiest thing she announced to the room one day with relish – I’ll have to check Album Produced by to find out.  Anyway, RIP, Helen Reddy – she, like Petula, comes from a generation of pop singers who were all unique – no one sounded like Petula and no one sounded like Helen – they were both superb interpreters of song.  We won’t see their like again because there’s no room in this sorry musical world for their kind of voices.

Yesterday was a weird day all around.  I was so overtired, that I was in bed by two-thirty and could not fall asleep, just tossing and turning, part of the problem being that I think I slept in a funny position the night before and my neck was sore and that was causing my back to be sore.  So, I tossed and turned and then turned and tossed.  I probably got an hour of sleep in there somewhere.  I finally got up at five-thirty, played on the computer, then got back in bed at six-thirty and finally fell asleep and was out until two.  So, I think that’s somehow eight hours.

Once up, I did the usual things in the usual ways, chose some more songs, wrote the interview questions for all of our LA core cast, which took a while, then I had one rotisserie chicken breast for food, and I got a half-pint of chicken pasta salad to have later for a snack.  The breast probably wasn’t over 300 calories, so that was good, and the most the pasta salad would have been is four or five hundred, so that was all good.  The breast was very flavorful, and I ate it with gusto and verve, not necessarily in that order.  Grant Geissman stopped by for a short visit.  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I revisited a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Run Lola Run.  I saw it when it came out and thought it was very good – fresh, unique, and stylish, with a fun concept and nice ending.  Twenty-two years on, everyone forgets they LOVED it and opine that it’s no good.  Well, it’s still good – it’s just been ripped off repeatedly.  It’s like Psycho – nowadays, the kiddies think it’s highly overrated, while I think the kiddies are highly overrated.  This old transfer could use some freshening up, but still looks fine.  It’s one of the fastest-paced seventy-five-minute movies ever.

After that, I ate the chicken pasta salad, then did a Rite Aid run for more Claritin-D and a few other needed items.  Astonishingly, they had one twelve-pack of Caffeine Free Diet Coke, so I grabbed that pronto.

Once home, I listened to the rest of St. Matthew Passion and just really enjoyed all three hours and forty minutes of it.  Great sound, great performances, and great conducting – who could ask for anything more?  From there, I decided to move on to Villa-Lobos – at some point I’d nuked a lot of stuff but wanted to hear the complete Choros and Bachianas, so I found the box set of all of them and re-uploaded to iTunes and am just enjoying it so much.  I also found the box set of his symphonies.  I won’t upload those; I’ll just listen to them all again for the sheer enjoyment of it.  The rest you know.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll eat (tuna sandwiches, I’m thinking), I’ll hopefully pick up packages and an important envelope, I’ll choose more songs and get them to singers, and then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same, with much Kritzerland show stuff to do, and other projects to keep chipping away at, especially the new idea I have, which I’d love to bring to fruition before the end of the year.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, eat, hopefully pick up packages and an important envelope, choose more songs and get them to singers, and then watch, listen, and relax.  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, wishing love and light to Miss Helen Reddy.

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