Quick Hits: July 3

First of all, a personal note: June was kind of a crazy month – a vacation, a virus, helping my parents with a move, and a (requested) schedule change at work. I only posted seven times in June, less than my minimum goal of two posts per week. I intended to post pieces for Pride and Father’s Day, and wasn’t able to complete them (but at least they’re partially done for next year). I haven’t made writing a priority and I’m jonesing a bit. I’m planning some fun content for the next few days, to take advantage of the long holiday weekend, so stay tuned.

  • On this day in 1971, Pamela Courson found Jim Morrison’s body in the bathtub of their Paris apartment; Morrison was 27 years old at the time of his death. His cause of death was officially listed as heart failure, but French law didn’t require an autopsy so none was done (the popular consensus is heroin overdose). Morrison died two years to the day after Brian Jones’ death, prompting the earliest mentions of the so-called “27 Club” (by the way, Courson died three years later, of a heroin overdose, at the age of 27). Of course, there are some conspiracy theorists who believe Morrison faked his own death; you can find “proof” on the internet, but I’m certainly not going to click on any of those links.
  • My Cold Case binge continues; I’m now into season three. Some season two episodes I particularly loved: “Creatures of the Night”, featuring snippets of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a guest spot by Barry Bostwick; “Best Friends”, with a star turn by an absurdly young Tessa Thompson (in her first television role); and “Ravaged”, which guest stars a heartbreaking Meredith Salenger as an alcoholic who’s hit rock bottom (viewer warning, there are some very upsetting scenes involving animal abuse in that last episode, and make sure to have some tissues handy).
  • I stumbled across this gem on YouTube:
  • YouTube also helpfully offered this one up this morning. If you need proof of why Ann Wilson is the greatest rock vocalist of all time, here you go. For context, this appearance was in 2014, when Wilson was 64 years old. DAMN.
  • Back to the Future opened on this day in 1985. BTTF was THE movie of 1985, earning almost $400 million on a $19 million budget, $4 million of which was the cost of reshooting original Marty McFly Eric Stoltz’s scenes with first choice Michael J. Fox after director Robert Zemeckis decided Stoltz wasn’t right for the part (I love Eric Stoltz, but Zemeckis was right). The film was wildly entertaining: humor, action, skateboard chase scenes, an insanely likable lead actor, weird and wonderful supporting performances by Christopher Lloyd and Crispin Glover, an iconic score by Alan Silvestri, a Delorean time machine and an ending tailor-made for a franchise. BTTF received four Oscar nominations and won for Best Sound Effects Editing; it should have been nominated for Best Picture too – it’s as good a movie as anything released that year.
  • The White Stripes’ White Blood Cells was released on this day in 2001. Now I’m moving on because I feel really fucking old.
  • Happy Birthday, Betty Buckley! I grew up watching Buckley as Abby, stepmom to the Bradford kids on Eight is Enough, and she has appeared in such films as Carrie, Tender Mercies, Frantic and Wyatt Earp, but Buckley is primarily known as a theater actress. She made her stage debut in 1969, in the original Broadway production of 1776. She originated the role of Grizabella in Cats, for which she won the Tony for featured actress in a musical, and has appeared in shows like The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Triumph of Love. She is a rancher and a teacher and an activist, and I highly recommend following her on Twitter.
  • Laura Branigan was born on this day in 1952. One of the most successful pop artists of the 80s, Branigan had a wholesome image, a powerful voice and a catalog of pop gems like “Solitaire”, “Self Control” and the platinum-selling “Gloria”. Branigan died unexpectedly in August of 2004, from an undiagnosed brain aneurysm.
  • I mentioned on Twitter recently that I am loving the Jean Smart renaissance we’re living in. I recently watched season 2 of Fargo, followed by her astonishing turn in Mare of Easttown, for which she’s certain to be nominated for every major award. I haven’t watched Hacks yet, but I hear it’s wonderful. Anyway, Jean Smart should be in all the things. Here’s an article from Entertainment Weekly about the likelihood of a dual-nominated Smart winning at least one award (spoiler: the odds are about 50/50).

https://ew.com/awards/emmys/jean-smart-emmys-2021-predictions-awardist/

  • You better believe I’ll be watching No Sudden Move this weekend.

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