Well, dear readers, we are ready, willing, and able to do our Backstage at Kritzerland interview show tonight at 5:00 PDT/8:00 EDT on Facebook and YouTube Live. And do be with us if you can – the shows are ever so much fun if you’re with us as the air and I do love reading all your comments after we finish. Here are the direct links to make it oh so simple to find us – and if you haven’t, for whatever wacky reason, subscribed to our YouTube channel, you should.
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/KritzerlandUpstairsatVitellos
Otherwise, I’m sitting here like so much fish, happy that the weather has turned cool (although I’m told it may be hot again by the end of the week – hope that doesn’t turn out to be true, truly). I’m going through more music in iTunes, having finished the Strauss box, looking for more things to nuke. Something is so weird with this computer, though. I’d nuked enough to get me back to having about 170 gigs free. When I looked last night, that was down to 130 again, and yet I haven’t really uploaded anything. I played each of the Strauss CDs without actually putting them in iTunes. Very frustrating to have things be erratic. We prefer when they’re ratic rather than erratic, don’t you? And I’ve been spending some time looking through my wonderful collection of art books. I began collecting the big, oversized art books right around 1970, especially from Abrams. I got the Norman Rockwell book when it came out and much later, I got the leather-bound presentation copy of that book, signed by Rockwell and numbered. Of course, I have the huge Edward Hopper book, and the huge Reginald Marsh book. All of those first editions go for decent money now. Back in the 1990s, when I bought a Raphael Soyer painting, I got the big Soyer book, which is wonderful. In 1971, the cast of Start at the Top gave me The World of Salvador Dali by Robert Deschamps. That first printing is rare, but the book has been reprinted a gazillion times, but the first printing is the best of them due to the quality of the printing and binding. Sadly, I don’t have that copy anymore, but I got another at some point. The one they gave me was signed by the entire cast – I always have hoped it would show up one fine day, but that’s never happened. I have the two-volume set of Margaret and Walter Keane books, which are great fun, and a few smaller books. I get huge enjoyment from looking through these books – I love paintings and I think I love them so much because it’s an art that I have zero aptitude for, and so I find them both astonishing and very moving. And I weep for the paintings I had to sell to pay for the idiotic lawsuit my former partners at a certain label put me through – a lawsuit they knew they could not win, but which was begun to cause me as much harm as possible and then, of course, when push came to shove, they opted to walk away.
I try not to look back or think about it or what those things would be worth now, it’s just too irritating. I owned four original Saturday Evening Post covers, including two classics – one J.C. Leyendecker and one by John Clymer. These days, Leyendecker Post covers go for 150K and more. The Clymer cover would certainly fetch more than 100K today. I had multiple Liberty Magazine cover paintings by Leslie Thrasher, multiple Collier’s cover paintings by any number of greats, I had two original Earl Moran pin-up paintings and so much more, including paperback book cover paintings by Robert Maguire and Robert McGinnis and many others. I can’t imagine how many paintings I actually had back then, but I was earning a lot of money at Varese Sarabande, I was single with few obligations, and I was living in a rent-controlled apartment. And all of it, or most of it, had to go to pay my attorney. And eventually, to fully pay him after the walk away, I had to sell my house. That’s what those people did, and I hope and pray that every day karma pays them a visit because no one should be able to do that to anyone. Well, enough of all that – I love art and artists and am grateful I still have some wonderful pieces, including a great Soyer painting, the Thurber New Yorker cartoon from 1938, the Astrud Gilberto cover painting for her album Windy, a wonderful pin-up painting by Zoe Mozert, and a few others. I also have stacks of stuff in the garage that I really need to go through, some framed, some not. Oh, how I wish I still had the Leyendecker and Clymer – those were the biggest heartbreaks.
Yesterday wasn’t such a bad day. I only got five hours of sleep, but that didn’t really bother me, as I was so caught up. I was up at eight because I remembered I had to get some Bounce for she of the Evil Eye, so I drove to Gelson’s and got that and since it was so early, the venal eBay and Amazon sellers hadn’t decimated the Diet Coke supply, so I got a couple of twelve-packs and a Caesar salad with chicken for the later meal. I left about nine-twenty and went to Jerry’s Deli and had matzoh brei and fruit. I killed almost two hours there, then drove to the mail place and thankfully mail had already arrived, and I picked up the one package there was. Then I came home, listened to music, and got some very good work done at the piano. I’m making some headway on one of the ideas, so that’s fun. Inch by inch or Headway and the not-so-angry Inch. I listened to the rest of the Strauss box and then finally sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Sweet Smell of Success, starring Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner, and lots of other terrific actors. It’s really a breathtaking and astonishing movie, with a pace like nobody’s business, and dialogue by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman that sizzles and crackles and is filled with quotable lines, the best being, “Match me, Sidney.” It’s a vicious movie with two unpleasant leading characters, but it just works, and I love it dearly. The photography of James Wong Howe is amazing – what a time capsule of Times Square this is and how sad is it that there is not a single one of those movie palaces and plain old movie theaters on Broadway left. Think about that – not ONE left. There were two or three on every block and they look stunning in this film. The direction is genius – Alexander MacKendrick – and the acting is absolutely fantastic, as is the score by Elmer Bernstein, one of his greats. The transfer is mostly great, too, but there are a few shots that veer towards being out of focus – not opticals so I’m not sure what’s at play. This Criterion disc has some really nice extras, too.
After that, I relaxed and listened to music for the purposes of nuking. I found a few things right away. Nice to hear but nothing I need to have in there – I can always upload again if I need to hear anything I’ve nuked.
Today, I’ll be up by noon at the latest, probably before, and then I’ll relax, then shave and shower, and then we do Backstage at Kritzerland at 5:00/8:00 at the links above. Do join us, won’t you? I’ll eat after the show.
This coming week will all be finalizing stuff for the November Kritzerland show. I’m almost finished with casting the group number, and I have two guests for sure and am hoping for a third – just playing the waiting game.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by noon at the latest, relax, shave and shower, do Backstage at Kritzerland, eat, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, always happy to talk about art for the love of art.