- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held their annual induction ceremony this past weekend. During Duran Duran’s acceptance speech, they read a letter from guitarist Andy Taylor, who left the band for good in 2006 but was expected to appear at the induction. In the letter, Taylor revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer back in 2018 and a recent setback left him unable to attend the ceremony. The ceremony – which also honored Pat Benatar, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, and Carly Simon – will stream on HBO Max on Saturday, November 19.
- On November 10, 1940, Walt Disney began serving as a secret informant for the FBI. His job was to report on the activities of actors and other film artists suspected of political subversion (AKA “commies”). Disney held this role until his death in 1966, but his involvement with the FBI only became public knowledge due to a 1993 Freedom of Information Act request.
- Sesame Street premiered on this day in 1969. A benchmark in children’s television programming, Sesame Street is both entertaining and educational. It also introduced the world to Jim Henson and the Muppets. It is estimated that as many as 90 million American adults watched Sesame Street as children.
- One of my favorite film composers, Ennio Morricone, was born on this day in 1928. Morricone composed the music for more than 400 films and television series and received six Oscar nominations for Best Original Score, finally winning his last time up to bat (for 2015’s The Hateful Eight). Among Morricone’s most iconic scores: The Mission, Days of Heaven, The Thing, Once Upon a Time in the West, Cinema Paradiso, The Untouchables, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Morricone died in 2020 at the age of 91.
- British lyricist Tim Rice was born on November 10, 1944. Best known for his collaborations with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rice is responsible for some of Broadway’s most iconic shows (The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita, just to name a few). He has worked with Elton John multiple times, including “Legal Boys” from John’s 1982 album Jump Up!, the songs for 1994’s The Lion King (the pair won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and were also nominated for “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”), and Broadway’s Aida. Rice also wrote the lyrics for “All Time High” by Rita Coolidge – the theme song for the thirteenth Bond film, Octopussy – AND Chess, the concept album-turned-musical written by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus that spawned the unlikely hit single “One Night in Bangkok” in 1985. Happy birthday, Sir Tim!
- Greg Lake would have turned 75 today. Co-founder of seminal prog-rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Lake also had a successful solo career and toured with such heavyweights as Ringo Starr and The Who. Lake learned to play guitar at the age of twelve and wrote “Lucky Man” – which would eventually become ELP’s first single in 1970 – that same year. Lake died of cancer in 2016.
- “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars) was released on this day in 2014. The single went to #1 in nineteen countries, including the U.S., where it spent fourteen weeks in the top spot. When I think of “Uptown Funk”, I think of this brilliantly edited video:
- Amazon’s The English, starring Emily Blunt, debuts this Friday.
- Netflix has released the full trailer for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and I am 100% here for this movie. Glass Onion will play in theaters for one week in November before hitting the streamer on December 23.
- Season three of Amazon’s Jack Ryan will also arrive in time for Christmas (December 21).
- Showtime’s George & Tammy, which explores the stormy marriage of two of country music’s all-time greats, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, will premiere on December 4. Starring the incomparable Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, George & Tammy will be directed by The Road and Lawless helmer John Hillcoat.
On a personal note, I apologize that it’s been so long since my last post. I’m still job hunting and it’s not going very well. It hasn’t left me much time for writing, and it’s been nearly impossible for me to concentrate. I’ve worked on a couple things but couldn’t create anything publish-worthy. But I missed writing, and I missed all of you! Thank you all for your support and patience while I work through my personal shit.
XOXO – Julie