My Father’s Chair

It was 1984. I worked in a video store in Northfield, New Jersey.

I was back from California. I failed as a musician in Los Angeles. The angel that rose up in Philly in 1979 as a singer, then a guitarist in Wildwood was cast asunder. It was over. I was back in Wildwood. The place I left in 1982 that I never wanted to return to I sadly came home to. I was back living in my parents house. The first of many failures in my short life. Like Icarus who flew too high, my wings melted and I fell back to the Earth.

Making the transition to being back at home with my parents was brutal. I remember at first I was welcome, but in time my father was filled with disdain for me. Why hadn’t I ever written a letter to my mother while I was away? I don’t know. Maybe I was too busy having the time of my life for a few years without any of you. I learned about life, and how to cook and look after myself. All the while struggling with severe anxiety and depression.

My father got me a job in a video store. It was one of his accounts at the bank. He knew the principals of Home Video Centers in Northfield and Vineland. It wasn’t a little mom and pop video store that used to exist back in the ’80s. It was a massive store, with 500 titles on VHS and Beta and all of the other things you needed to have your own home movie experience. (Does anybody remember rear projection big-screen TVs? What an abortion of an idea that was.)

I was hired as a salesman. I remember when I got my first business cards. It felt good. But I used the name Chaz, and my father didn’t like that. I should have my proper name on my cards. Now it feels like my father might have been part Asian based on the amount of shame in my life growing up. (No offense to the Asian culture, but it is a patriarchal society, and honor and respect are paramount. Hence, much of their porn, like Germany is all about shame and humiliation) But I digress…

I liked the job and the people I worked with and for. We were all a bunch of young guys and girls working in relatively new retail industry. We had a massive rental business but also sold VCRs, TVs, and video cameras. When I think about it now, the technology was so heavy and clunky back then. Massive machines that weighed a ton. Video cameras that almost seemed absurd, because of all of the gear you had to carry just to make a video of your family at some outing. When I think of all of the set up my father did a decade before all of that when I was a kid to shoot home movies on 8mm, super 8, and eventually 16mm, it boggles my mind.

Now it’s all in our phones. Not much bigger than a deck of cards in our pocket. You can do all of that and better now. Better technology but the content hasn’t really changed. You can just stream it now.

I remembered I saved up for my own VCR. I wanted to take movies home from work and watch them for free. I loved the movies. My father taught me about film as a young lad. He even dabbled in making his own creative films for  a while when I was a kid. I’ll tell those stories in a future post.

I loved movies and having grown up in an age where you could only watch what was on TV at a specific time or go to a movie theater. So home video was king to me. Now I could take a movie home and watch it when I wanted.

So I purchased a used, refurbished Sanyo Betamax top-loader VCR from my company for about $300 which was a fortune back then. Maybe it was $250 but who knows? But I thought it was cheap for what I got. I didn’t care. I was so happy to bring it home and attach it to my little 13 inch Sony TV in my bedroom and watch all the movies I was dying to see as a kid. They were all mine now! I had the keys to the kingdom.

There were two formats back then. Beta and VHS. Sony invented both formats. But Beta was the better format. Better picture and sound. They kept the superior format for themselves and sold it to who they wanted, mostly other Asian electronics companies. Sanyo, NEC, etc. They sold the VHS format off to I think RCA or Sylvania. I actually have no idea. But what happened was, more companies made the VHS systems. VHS machines were more accessible to the general public and the inferior system actually won as the victor of what people watched movies on. Beta died. It was sad to see the superior format lose to the inferior format. But there is simply strength in numbers. Those sort of statistics hold up today. If you have enough money and guys, you can crush your competitor. I’m sure Sony didn’t really care because they probably made all of their money back on patents. (And now look at them!)

Anyway, my dad would ask me about some of the films we had at the store. (video rentals) He would ask if we had specific films and wondered if I could maybe bring them home and we could watch them together.

I leaped at this idea because for most of my life with my father things were strained. Here was an opportunity for us to hang out on neutral ground, and do something together that we both loved.

I don’t remember what the first film was that I brought home. Maybe 3 Days of the Condor, Straw Dogs, or Kelly’s Heroes. My dad would give me a list and I would let him know what was on tape. He would always pick them because he had a history of films in his head that surpassed my brief life. He would pick these amazing films that I would never have known about without him even thought of.  I worked in the store with 500 titles but there were so many great films now on tape that had been silent for years. Videotape brought them all back to life. It was an exciting time. The humble beginnings of all access, all the time, that we enjoy today.

Let me tell you what it was like.

I would come home from work at the video store with a film. He had already set up the night we were going to watch it.

Now let me give you the lay of the land here.

We had this giant house at the shore. My dad had this cool space that was upstairs in the front of the house. This was his man cave long before man caves were a thing. This space worked for him because he could have his own little world in there.

This is a guy who worked his whole life to build a life for his family. He worked in a bank as a manager, had four kids; three daughters and one son. His wife never worked and was a full-time homemaker. Yea, things were different back in the ’50s, 60’s and 70’s. But the man needed his space and he built the shore house to create his own little private space there. In our old house in Philly, the basement was his space.

He loved Christmas so much he would have his own tree up there in the apartment. Yes… he would buy two really good Frazier Fir trees and one would be the family Christmas tree downstairs and he would have his own tree up in his little lair. He even ran a string of mini lights down the hallway. So basically upstairs was always Christmas in our house. Not weird, just his happy thing.

So, I would come home and we’d set up our night. I would set up a little TV snack table next to his television. I would carry my VCR from my bedroom and wire it up to his TV.

Let me describe my dad’s cave. He had a living room. a bedroom with an attached bathroom and a kitchen with ocean views. Amazing space. He even had a Franklin stove in the corner of the living room. I always wondered why he had that, and then one time the power went off during a storm and he tossed some wood in that thing and it heated the whole second floor of the house. Genius.

So, we’ve got everything set up, and I would sit at his kitchen table and chat with him while he cooked a special dinner for the two of us. I would drink a beer and so would he. Normally we both liked light crisp lagers or pilsners. He would give me a little fresh bread to munch on but not too much because you never want to eat too much before dinner because you never want to spoil your appetite!

The windows would be open and the fragrance from the sea would waft in. The air is just so fresh and cool by the sea. I love living in the city but there is nothing like it.

He would get ahead of fresh lettuce and cut it up. Simple. That was the salad. just lettuce. He would mix and make his own Russian dressing. Thousand Island? Is that ketchup and mayo?  Whatever it was… it was delish. I was with my dad having a beer and noshing on french bread and for once… he wasn’t mad at me.

He had bought two fresh Delmonico steaks. Bone-in. Apparently, if the bone is in, the meat is sweeter and more savory, because the marrow in the bone lends itself to the flavor. There is nothing in the world like an amazing steak. My daughter is vegan and I respect that, but there is nothing on Earth like men ripping into grilled steak and devouring the fired flesh of those who would devour us if we weren’t such killers. Hell-bent on being number one on the food chain to the point where we kill so much we are no longer in the food chain… but again, I digress…

He would have these inch and a half thick delicious steaks. He would put them in the broiler in his oven and cook them there. I know before he put them in he did something with some secret seasoning that includes garlic and some other potions not revealed to me. While the steaks were cooking, and it didn’t take long, I would go quiet. I don’t like anyone talking to me when I’m cooking, so I knew my father needed silence to make his food art for us.

Halfway through, he would slide out the tray, and reach for two shots of Remy Martin cognac he had sitting on the counter. He would douse both steaks with a flash of brandy, and they would both ignite in flames as he pushed them back into the broiler. He told me that this would sear in the juices and glaze the outside or something. (It worked!)

I always wanted this part to go on longer than it ever did. I liked sitting peacefully in my father’s kitchen just chatting with him. We talked about everything. Work, life, music, films, girls, everything. Whatever was going on in the moment we would cover. But as some of you know, when it comes to steak, your window for chatter before dinner is always fleeting.

We would sit at his table and eat the steaks and the little brown bowls of salad. He said that we shouldn’t have a potato because he wanted the focus of the meal to be on the meat. He was completely right. They were some of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. They were cooked to perfection, and I loved every bite. He always served an amazing cabernet with every meal. But more than that, my father and I were sharing one of the oldest rituals in history.

We’d put on some cool classical dinner music. My dad was a master of classical music and opera. He owned so much of that and loved it so much. I think he heard his own passion, pain, and triumph in that music.

A father and son breaking bread together. Like in times of old, the father sharing the day’s kill with his only son. He would tell me stories that were only for me. Tales that were only for men. Things and deeds that my sisters or my mother could never hear.

I felt so close to him then.

After dinner, we would retire to the living room. I would fire up the Sanyo top loader and the film would begin. I’d make whatever adjustments were necessary so that the film would play properly, and off we’d go. (Does anybody remember tracking?)

For the next two hours, we’d disappear together into the film. A world we could both control. Two completely different guys that somehow got thrown together in this life, and we got along. We found our thing.

He had a really nice padded wooden rocking chair in the room. He liked to sit in a hard chair as he called it because it felt better on his back. So, I got to sit in his comfy rocking chair to watch the movie with him. I loved it!

There were times we’d both feel so much emotion that we’d both tear up a little bit during a movie. Terms of Endearment worked on both of our hearts! There were times he would reach over and grab my hand as we both felt the pain of the characters in the film. It meant so much to me that I was this connected to my father at this moment. Brought together by a film we both loved. I know whatever was happening on the screen was a feeling we had both felt in our own lives.  Even though we were sometimes worlds apart, we connected in that moment.

After the wine, we would dabble in a bit of the cognac, and he would offer me a bit of bittersweet chocolate from Rauhauser’s Candies in Ocean City. It was the best damn candy in the world. The butter cremes were like kissing the face of God.

I remember during Straw Dogs one night I thought the snifter of cognac would burst in my hand from the suspense. My dad could really pick the films that rocked!

My father said that those were some of his fondest memories of me. He said for a brief time when I was between women in my life we spent some wonderful, simple times together.

I think maybe at some point my dad realized I was really different than him. I was more like his wife and her side of the family. I know I disappointed my father so many times. I’ll never know what it was like for him to grow up in the world he was born into. A world he never made, or could control. I can’t imagine the grinding frustration of his life with so much responsibility, all in the name of maybe finding peace of mind. That, and trying to build a family the only way he knew how from the ashes of his own fractured childhood.

 

At the end of his life, I convinced him to let me set up a Netflix account for him. There were so many films I wanted to share with him. After some reservations, he finally let me. We had a few years there where he let me to pick all of the movies and shows for him to watch.

So I guess it went full circle.

I’m grateful for all of our conversations about all of those great movies.

I think my dad found peace of mind eventually when he settled things with my mom and they both got along.  But I know once she was gone he lost some of himself.

I’ve been thinking about him lately and felt compelled to write this.

I like it when my dad occasionally taps on the window of my mind and asks me to let him in. He’s always welcome.

 

Thanks for letting me sit in your chair, Dad.

 

 

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Tales of Rock: Why April 24th Matters in Rock History

It’s April 24th and here are some reasons why this day matters in classic rock history:

In 1969, Paul McCartney publicly denied rumors that he was dead.

In 1996, Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo made an announcement that singer Scott Weiland was in drug rehab and unable to perform at their upcoming shows.

In 1992, David Bowie married supermodel Iman at a ceremony in Switzerland.

In 2000, Limp Bizkit announced the details of their 24-date Back to Basics tour which would include a set from rappers Cypress Hill.

In 1976, Paul McCartney had his fifth number one album after The Beatles when Wings’s Wings at the Speed of Sound topped the chart.

In 1990, Roger Waters’s road crew found an unexploded World War II bomb while constructing the set for The Wall concert in Germany.

In 1976, Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York apartment and watched Saturday Night Live. During the show, SNL producer Lorne Michaels made an offer asking The Beatles to come to the studio and play three songs live. The pair considered taking a cab to the studio but decided they were too tired. It was the final time they were together.

And in 2003, four fans sued Creed claiming singer Scott Stapp was so “intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song” at a recent show in Chicago.

And that’s what happened today in rock history.

 

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Willie Nelson Hosting ‘Come and Toke It’ Variety Show on 4/20

Please, God, let Snoop Dogg participate in this.

The world’s other most-famous musical weed enthusiast, Willie Nelson, will be hosting a variety show Monday in honor of 4/20.

“Come and Toke It” is being presented by Nelson and Luck Reunion.

“This 4/20 at 4:20 PM CT we’re bringing together artists, chefs, comedians, educators and more for 4 hours and 20 minutes of cannabis-centric entertainment hosted by Willie Nelson himself — all from the comfort of quarantine,” the description reads on a YouTube video promoting the event.

The 4/20 date is one in which all things marijuana are celebrated.

According to Luck Reunion’s site, “In honor of Luck’s landlord and the unofficial patron saint of weed, Luck and Willie’s Reserve are also joining forces to launch the #comeandtokeit #passleft challenge: perhaps the world’s only chance to knock smoking with Willie Nelson off their bucket list.”

“Whether you partake or not, this is your chance to live the dream,” a posting on the site stated. “Luck will be asking fans to post a video of themselves passing (whatever toking material of their choice) to the left with the hashtags #ComeandTokeIt #PassLeft. Select videos will be featured during the Come And Toke It broadcast before Willie takes the last hit on air.”

The 86-year-old musician has been a proponent of marijuana for decades, though in December he told CNN affiliate KSAT in San Antonio, Texas, that he had stopped smoking because of health issues.

 

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Too Hot to Handle Trailer: Netflix’s New Reality Experiment Blindsides 10 Sex-Crazed Singles With a ‘Naughty Twist’

It’s hard to put a price on self-control, but $100,000 is a decent place to start. That’s the cash prize up for grabs on Netflix’s upcoming reality dating experiment Too Hot to Handle, whose eight-episode first season drops on Friday, April 17.

Here’s the skinny: Ten smokin’ hot singles from all across the globe come together in paradise for what they think is going to be the sexiest summer of their lives — only to discover that money is deducted from the group’s final pot for every sexual encounter that goes down. Yes, that includes kissing.

Naturally, the whole shebang is hosted by an Alexa-like machine named Lana, who throws just as many wrenches into the game as the cheeky, unsuspecting players.

With one week until the show’s premiere, Netflix has released the first official trailer, which offers a glimpse at the action — though we use that term very loosely. (Remember the rules!) As you’ll see, some of the contestants are committed to keeping it zipped, while others’ loose lips threaten to sink everyone’s ship.

 Will you be tuning in?

 

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Scarlett Johansson reveals ‘there’s a certain loneliness to being a single parent’

Scarlett Johansson has revealed that she felt lonely and in isolation after her harrowing divorce in an upcoming Netflix original Marriage Story.

Johansson who plays the character of Nicole, a once-famous actress who is soul-searching for a new identity after divorce with her husband, a renowned theatre director in New York.

The Avengers starlet said she feels a personal connect with this character as she herself went through a painful divorce while shooting for the film.

“I’ve felt in the past – there’s such a loneliness to being a single parent,” said Johansson.

She added, “Obviously, it’s a lot of many different things at once, but there can be a loneliness and this constant feeling of doubt, that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and you don’t have anyone else to bounce it off of.”

Parenting solo brings a specific kind of isolation, she noted. “You’re also spending a lot of time alone with a child, without the company of another adult, which is hard for long periods of time. You maybe have doubts about your life: How did I get here? It’s not all the time … but those moments creep in, and they creep in at weird times.”

Meanwhile, Johansson will be tying the knot with Colin Jost in a dream wedding soon.

 

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Death in Paradise: Why did Sara Martins leave Death in Paradise?

DEATH IN PARADISE has been on our screens for almost 9 years and throughout the show’s history many cast members have come and gone. But why exactly did Sara Martins leave Death in Paradise? Here’s everything you need to know about why Martins left the BBC series.

Death in Paradise season nine is coming to BBC One in early 2020. Sara Martins was part of the show’s original cast, starring in the crime drama from 2011 until 2015. Martins is a French-Portuguese actress and is best known for her roles in French television and film.

Why did Sara Martins leave Death in Paradise?

Sara Martins starred in Death in Paradise as DS Camille Bordey.

Martins played the role of DS Camille Bordey from 2011 until 2015.She first appeared in episode one of Death in Paradise in 2011 and was last seen in season four, episode four.

Bordey was an undercover investigator who, at first, did not get on with new Detective Inspector Richard Poole (played by Ben Miller).

Sara Martins starred in Death in Paradise as DS Camille Bordey.

Sara Martins starred in Death in Paradise as DS Camille Bordey. (Image: GETTY)

As time went on, Poole and Martins got closer and even verged on having a romantic relationship.

Sadly, Poole was killed off in season three and DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) replaced him.

Goodman had expressed romantic feelings for Martins’ character but nothing happened between them until Camille announced the was moving to a new job in Paris.

As she left the island of Saint Marie, she kissed Goodman goodbye.

Camilla was written out of the show by securing a new undercover job in Paris.

Speaking about the decision to leave Death in Paradise, Martins told What’s On TV?: “I’ve loved everything about the show but the only way to grow in life is to take risks, even if it means losing something you love or leaving a place that’s comfortable.

“You should always go forward and take new challenges.“

However, Martins did not rule out returning to Death in Paradise.

She said: “We wanted to make the best exit, and they didn’t want to kill me off, there was no reason to. And who knows? There’s always the possibility I can come back.

Sara Martins is a French-Portugese actress

Sara Martins is a French-Portugese actress (Image: GETTY)

Who is Sara Martins?

Sara Martins is a French-Portuguese actress from Faro, Portugal

She is best known for appearances in French television and film.

Martins made her debut acting role in the French series Police District.

Since then she has starred in the French films, Tell No One, Beyond the Ocean, Paris Je t’aime, Summer Hours and Little White Lies.

Death in Paradise was her debut role on British television.

Since leaving Death in Paradise in 2015, Martins has gone on to star in the NBC series American Odyssey as Serena and The law of Alexandre.

Martins has also appeared in Captain Marleau and Father Brown.

 

Sara Martins starred in Death in Paradise from 2011 until 2015

Sara Martins starred in Death in Paradise from 2011 until 2015 (Image: GETTY)

When is Death in Paradise season 9 out?

The BBC has not confirmed an official release date for the new series of Death in Paradise.

The previous eight seasons have premiered in January, apart from season one which arrived on screens in October 2011, so season nine is expected to arrive in early 2020.

Filming for season nine is currently underway on the French-Carribean island of Guadaloupe.

Death in Paradise fans will be pleased to know that the BBC renewed Death in Paradise for two seasons last year, meaning fans can expect season nine in 2020 and season 10 in 2021.

Express.co.uk will update this article when more information is available.

Death in Paradise season 9 is currently in production.

 
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Tales of Rock – 5 Respected Musicians Who Were Actually Terrible People

Some musicians just have a freakish amount of talent. Most of us learn at a young age that we are not those people. The realization probably came as soon as you were old enough to read social cues and you tried showing off your amazing talents to anyone except your pet. (Daisy is a very good dog, but maybe not a very good judge of musical ability.) Those who do have that freakish amount of talent are the singer-songwriters, the people who can play any instrument they pick up, the ones who get lost in the music of their own making whether they’re in the studio or on stage. There’s something almost magical about listening to a true musical genius, and they’ve definitely earned our respect. But it’s easy to forget that behind all that music is a very ordinary person, and sometimes, that ordinary person is a terrible human being.

1. Johnny Cash’s troubles with women

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

There’s a lot of dark stuff in Johnny Cash’s life, but let’s talk about just how horrible he was to women. Vivian Cash’s book I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny was a heartbreaking tell-all detailing how she continued loving her husband even through the drugs and the affair with his more famous second partner, June Carter Cash. It was Vivian who gave him four daughters, raised them, and who stuck with him through the worst of the arrests and the accidental forest fires (via USA Today), but Johnny gave all the credit to June.

Behind closed doors, June Carter didn’t actually have it any easier, in spite of the storybook romance performed in the public eye. Biographer Robert Hilburn (via Esquire) says he was stunned when he found out Cash had cheated on her when she was pregnant with son John Carter. There were more than a few women, but the one that had to hurt the most was June’s own sister, Anita. John Carter has also gone on record talking about his parents’ less-than-perfect marriage, and has said (via Reuters) his mother’s drug addictions and descent into paranoia came from a near-constant fear he was cheating yet again. That fear spread to their son, who grew up well aware that his family could fall apart at any time because his father couldn’t stay faithful.

2. Chuck Berry’s icky past

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Chuck Berry was a legend who helped shape rock and roll, and when he died in 2017, The New Yorker described him as “a proud and difficult man” who “was also a genius.” He also once punched Keith Richards in the mouth for touching his guitar while they were getting together to organize Berry’s 60th birthday party. That’s the attitude that got him into all kinds of trouble, and Berry even had a name for those incidents: his “naughties.”

It started when, as a teenager, he did three years in a reform school for stealing cars and a bit of armed robbery. Fast-forward to 1962, when Berry was 36 years old. He was tossed in the clink for violating the Mann Act, a law that prohibits taking a woman across state lines with “immoral” intentions. Oh, and the girl was 14. He served 20 months of the three years he was originally sentenced to (via NPR), getting out because they appealed after the judge made racist comments.

Let’s not forget about the 1989 accusations, either. That’s when law enforcement raided his property and found a few weapons, some pot, and videotapes of women in what they thought was the privacy of bathrooms and changing rooms of his properties. The official suit, says Riverfront Times, accused him of filming women in compromising positions for “entertainment and gratification.” Berry’s camp eventually settled, but that seriously tarnishes any legacy.

3. Lead Belly’s penchant for violence

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Lead Belly died in 1949, and if you don’t remember him, you should at least be glad groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival and artists like Bob Dylan didn’t forget him. Even George Harrison once said, “No Lead Belly, no Beatles.” You know the songs he recorded, too — like “The Midnight Special” and “Goodnight Irene” (via The Telegraph).

Huddie Ledbetter was born in 1888, and he picked up the name Lead Belly in prison. He did several stretches in jail, starting with 30 days on a chain gang in 1915 for getting in a particularly violent fight. Two years later he was arrested again, this time for killing his cousin’s husband and nearly killing another. He was pardoned in 1925 but went back in jail in 1930, this time for stabbing and what Black History Now says was “assault with intent to murder.” It was during this stint he was discovered by a pair of musicologists who were recording songs for the Smithsonian, and Lead Belly recorded hundreds for them. The rest of his life was a combination of performing at venues of all sizes across the country, and more time in jail. There was another stabbing incident in 1939, assault in 1940 … you get the picture. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease only months before he died from it, and he left behind an incredible legacy. And some dead people.

4. Elvis’s underage flings

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

It’s impossible to describe the effect Elvis had on music history, so let’s get right to the dirt. He was 21 when he became ridiculously famous with the success of “Heartbreak Hotel,” and after that, all bets were off when it came to how far he was going to go. Along with the fame and fortune came the admiration of countless women, but according to biographer Joel Williamson (via Broadly), there was a particular type of woman Elvis liked: the really, really young ones.

The right age to be an Elvis girl was 14, and when the 22-year-old megastar went on those early tours he took along a little group of 14-year-olds. Williamson says he was a huge fan of tickling and wrestling, along with everything else short of actual intercourse. Future wife Priscilla was 14 when they met (he was 24), and just what went on behind closed doors is debated. What’s not debated is that he lost interest in her after Lisa Marie was born, and went on to court another 14-year-old named Reeca Smith.

There was a bit of violence in Elvis, too. Years later, he was engaged to a 21-year-old who claimed he once pulled out a gun and put a bullet in the headboard of the bed she was sleeping in, saying it was “an attention getter.” The Guardian says in between those major relationships there were a ton of others, many with underage girls who preferably had tiny, tiny feet.

5. Frank Sinatra’s destructive temper

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Frank Sinatra was iconic on stage, but there was a lot of shady stuff that happened off-stage. Let’s talk about one part of that: his temper. According to The Telegraph, it was so bad that one of his wives once described him as a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde character, and there’s a whole list of physical altercations he was involved in. First, the ones where someone got seriously hurt.

He punched a reporter in 1948, eventually settling the assault and battery charges filed against him. He was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel when he threw a phone at a random businessman who was also there, and cracked the man’s skull. He nearly killed his then-wife Ava Gardner by throwing a champagne bottle at her so hard it cracked the bathroom sink.

Sinatra destroyed an insane amount of stuff, too, usually in fits of rage. He took a knife to a Norman Rockwell painting and shredded it, threw a malfunctioning TV out a window at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and smashed a car radio when The Doors’ “Light My Fire” came on. GQ says some of the stuff that met an untimely end under his boot was pretty priceless, too, like the Ming vase he destroyed at a Hong Kong hotel after someone missed a lighting cue. That’s what happens when you get too used to having things your way.

 

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Tales of Rock – Right Said Fred Turned Out … Kind Of Awesome?

Thanks to any movie or TV show that has ever had a makeover scene, Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” will never die.

Even Taylor Swift sampled it. That song alone could have kept sibling duo Fred and Richard Fairbrass in fishnet shirts for decades to come, but they weren’t done. The host of the BBC’s Gaytime TV (yep) in the ’90s, Richard has long been a prominent member of the UK LGBT scene, but something happened in 2007 that convinced him he needed to become a political powerhouse. Shortly after announcing his intention to run for mayor of London, he set out for Moscow to attend a gay rights march, where he was brutally assaulted by counter-protesters. Far from being discouraged, Fairbrass went right home and marched some more.

Right Said Fred reached the height of political disco (which they almost certainly invented) when it was reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had downloaded some of their songs from iTunes. They responded with a full-on diss track against Assad, brazenly singing that he was “too awful for this earth,” and a war criminal who should be tried for his offenses.

It turned out the one thing they weren’t too sexy for was justice.

 

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Celebrity Sightings: Vanessa Hudgens – Part 7

I absolutely adore Vanessa Hudgens. She is a great actress who has stupendous legs.

 

Discography

Concert tours

Headlining
Opening act

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2006 Imagen Foundation Awards Best Actress – Television High School Musical Nominated [145]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Chemistry (shared with Zac Efron) High School Musical Won [146]
Choice TV Breakout Star High School Musical Nominated [146]
2007 Choice Music: Breakout Artist – Female N/A Won [147]
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries, or Special (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress High School Musical Nominated [148]
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice Hottie N/A Won [149]
2009 Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress High School Musical 3: Senior Year Won [150]
MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Female Performance High School Musical 3: Senior Year Nominated [151]
Best Kiss (shared with Zac Efron) High School Musical 3: Senior Year Nominated [151]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Music/Dance High School Musical 3: Senior Year Nominated [152]
Choice Movie: Liplock (shared with Zac Efron) High School Musical 3: Senior Year Nominated [152]
Choice Hottie N/A Nominated [152]
2010 ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow N/A Won [153]
Australian Kids’ Choice Awards Cutest Couple High School Musical 3: Senior Year Won [154]
2011 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Movie Star Under 25 N/A Nominated [155]
Teen Choice Awards Red Carpet Fashion Icon – Female N/A Nominated [156]
Choice Movie: Liplock (shared with Alex Pettyfer) Beastly Nominated [156]
2012 Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Nominated [157]
2013 Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Nominated [158]
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent (shared with Ashley BensonRachel Korine & Selena Gomez) Spring Breakers Nominated [159]
2014 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (shared with Ashley Benson & James Franco) Spring Breakers Nominated [160]
Young Hollywood Awards Trendsetter Award N/A Won [161]
[162]
2017 Teen Choice Awards “See Her” Award N/A Won [163]

 

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Celebrity Sightings: Vanessa Hudgens – Part 6

I absolutely adore Vanessa Hudgens. She is a great actress who has stupendous legs.

 

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Thirteen Noel
2004 Thunderbirds Tin-Tin Kyrano
2008 High School Musical 3: Senior Year Gabriella Montez
2009 Bandslam Sa5m
2009 The Ultimate Idol[135] Herself Documentary
2011 Beastly Lindy Taylor
2011 Sucker Punch Blondie
2012 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Kailani Laguatan
2012 Spring Breakers Candy
2013 Choose You[136] Ex-girlfriend Short film
2013 The Frozen Ground Cindy Paulson
2013 Machete Kills Cereza Desdemona
2013 Gimme Shelter Agnes “Apple” Bailey
2015 Freaks of Nature Lorelei
2018 Dog Days Tara
2018 The Princess Switch Margaret Delacourt, Duchess of Montenaro
Stacy De Novo
2018 Second Act Zoe
2019 Polar Camille In production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Still Standing Tiffany Episode: “Still Rocking”
2002 Robbery Homicide Division Nicole Episode: “Had”
2003 The Brothers García Lindsay Episode: “New Tunes”
2005 Quintuplets Carmen Episode: “The Coconut Kapow”
2006 Drake & Josh Rebecca Episode: “Little Sibling”
2006 High School Musical Gabriella Montez Television film
2006 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Corrie 4 episodes (season 2)
2007 High School Musical 2 Gabriella Montez Television film
2009 Robot Chicken Lara Lor-Van / Butterbear /
Erin Esurance (voice)
Episode: “Especially the Animal Keith Crofford”
2012 Punk’d Herself Episode: “Lucy Hale”
2013 Inner Circle Herself Documentary
2016 High School Musical: 10th Anniversary Herself Special
2016 Grease: Live Betty Rizzo Special
2017 Powerless Emily Locke Lead role
2017 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Herself Episode: “Vanessa Hudgens”
2017 Drop the Mic Herself Episode: “Vanessa Hudgens vs. Michael Bennett”
2017–present So You Think You Can Dance Judge Since season 14
2018 Drunk History Joan of Arc Episode: “The Middle Ages”
2019 Rent: Live Maureen Johnson Special

Producer

Year Title Notes
2015 #15SecondScare[137] Executive producer; Web-series

Stage

Year Title Role Venue(s)
1998 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical Cindy-Lou Who Various locations[138][139][140][141]
1998 The King and I Unknown
1999 Damn Yankees
1999 The Wizard of Oz Dorothy Gale
2000 Cinderella Cinderella
2000 The Little Mermaid Ariel
2001 Charlotte’s Web Fern Arable
2001 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Unknown
2002 A Christmas Carol
2002 Carousel
2003 Evita
2003 The Music Man
2010 Rent Mimi Marquez Hollywood Bowl[142]
2012 The 24 Hour Plays Vanessa Broadway[143]
2015 Gigi Gigi Kennedy Center / Broadway
2018 In the Heights Vanessa Kennedy Center[144]

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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