The mayor of Times Square interviews John Lennon’s mistress May Pang

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The mayor of Times Square interviews John Lennon’s mistress May Pang

GH Harding

HERE’S BECA — (from Rolling Stone) Becca Bramlett grew up around John Lennon and George Harrison, but nothing could have prepared her for joining Fleetwood Mac in 1994, during one of the rockiest periods in the band’s history .

In the summer of 1994, Fleetwood Mac hit the road without Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham or Christine McVie. In place of the three singers, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie put Traffic’s Dave Mason, rockabilly singer Billy Brunet and Becca Bramlett – the 26-year-old daughter of late sixties/early seventies rock icons Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett.

“We ended up with a bunch of talented people playing good music, but they weren’t supposed to be touring like Fleetwood Mac,” wrote Mick Fleetwood in his 2014 memoir Play On. We were a completely different band, just with the original drummer and bassist and our original name.”

Fleetwood Mac’s incarnation of Bekka Bramlett released one album, 1995’s Time, before disbanding the following year to make way for a lucrative Hells Freezes Over-style reunion album and a tour by the classic Rumors line-up. This period of the band may seem like little more than a footnote to some rock fans, but it was a pivotal period for Bramlett, and she looks back on it with no regrets.

“I knew it was my job to bring Stevie back,” she tells Rolling Stone from her home in Nashville. “I wasn’t an idiot. I also knew it was a dangerous job when I took it. I knew I was facing tomatoes. But I didn’t want to wear a top hat. I didn’t want to spin. I wanted to be me. I even dyed my hair brown so people in the cheap seats would know Stevie wouldn’t be here. I didn’t want anyone to be discouraged or disappointed.”

Joining Fleetwood Mac at 26 would be a shock to most singers’ systems, but Bramlett has lived in close proximity to rock stars her entire life. When she was very young, her parents toured and recorded with George Harrison, Eric Clapton and many other A-list rock stars, gaining fame as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. These artists also spent a lot of time at her Hollywood Hills mansion.

Bramlett didn’t realize all of this was unusual until she got on the school bus one morning, clutching a Disney princess lunch box. “This other little girl had a Beatles lunchbox,” she says. “I told her, ‘I know him.’ It’s on our couch right now. I pointed to George Harrison. “I know him too.” I pointed at John. She started hitting me as she thought I was lying. I was petrified and confused. I thought they were just dad’s friends who had an accent.

When she was just four years old, her father hired Becca and her sister Suzanne to sing background vocals on his song “California Rain”. “My mom had to get duct tape to hold the headphones on my head since I was so little,” she says. “I used to hate the way it sounded and now I love it so much. It’s so cute.”

It was around this time that her parents separated and she went to live with her father and grandmother. “It was weird because most mothers were having the babies back then,” she says. “But my parents were alcoholics. My grandmother never even smoked cigarettes or said swear words. She took us to church every Sunday, Wednesday and Monday. We were in safe hands with our grandmother. I think both my parents believed that.

Delaney and Bonnie struggled to find solo success in the seventies and dealt with serious substance abuse issues, but Becca inherited their talent and knew from a young age that she would dedicate her life to music. “For a short while I thought I was going to be a lawyer, but I thought I was going to be a singing lawyer,” she says. “I wanted to be a jockey then as I love horses but I thought I would be a singing jockey. Music is just what I’m good at.”

As a teenager with a fake ID in the early eighties, Bramlett spent many nights checking out bands on the Sunset Strip. “I remember standing on the side of the stage when Guns N’ Roses played,” she says. “When I saw him up close, I was like, ‘This is why you never try heroin.’ But then I’d go into the audience and say, ‘This is why you join a rock and roll band!’

Interestingly, I found the Fleetwood Mac album Time to be very, very enjoyable – not only for the new Mac members, but also for Dave Mason’s brooding ‘I Wonder Why’, Christine McVie’s perfect ‘Nights in Estoril’ and the song “These Strange Days” which features Mick Fleetwood’s first vocal.

It certainly wasn’t the hit of Rumors or even Tusk, but reflected the band’s change; which was pretty good in my book.

Billy Burnett and Dave Mason replaced Buckingham, leading to the oft-spoken comment: it took 2 guitarists to replace Lindsay.

Great work by Andy Green.

INHERITANCE — (via Deadline) The Roy’s are back with a vengeance. The Season 4 premiere of Succession drew an audience of 2.3 million Sunday across HBO Max and linear TV, a new high for same-day viewers. The Sunday night total was up 62% from the season 3 premiere’s 1.4 million in October 2021. At the time, it marked the best premiere night performance of any HBO original series since HBO Max launched in May 2020. Sunday ratings were also up about 33% from the 1.7 million in the Season 3 finale. Season 3 averaged about 7.2 million viewers per episode, according to HBO. HBO also says that all previous back-to-back seasons saw a 4x increase in viewership in the week leading up to the Season 4 premiere compared to the week before.

The Roy family saga begins with the impending sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård). The prospect of the seismic sale provokes existential angst and family division among the Roys: patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan) Ruck). . A Roy-style power struggle will hopefully ensue as the family contemplates a future in which their cultural and political clout is threatened.

Succession has 13 Emmys, including wins for Outstanding Drama Series for Season 2 and Season 3, the latter premiering in 2021.

We mentioned earlier that most of the advance reviews said the writing was the star of the premiere episode, and I definitely agree. Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote it and delivered a simply stellar job. The episode opened with a grumpy Brian Cox on his birthday and it took a few minutes to develop into the powerhouse it became, but it was very, very enjoyable.

Sure, some of the dialogue and plot is reminiscent of earlier episodes, but it’s so good you hardly noticed. And the finale with Shiv and Tom home alone and pondering their future was just wonderful and reeked of the incredible emotion that the show almost always evokes. A class act all around.

SHORT SHOT — of London guard gave the new series to Kiefer Sutherland Rabbit hole pretty stellar review. I love Keifer and I love Charles Dance. Newcomer Metta Goulding also received a rave. See it here: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2023/mar/27/tv-review-rabbit-hole Ant-Man and Creed III star jonathan majors has a major issue. On Saturday night, he was arrested for assaulting his alleged girlfriend in a taxi traveling from a bar in Brooklyn to New York. An ad he did for the army has now been taken down. Manhattan newspapers told his story, and one poster read: Innocent or not; the damage is already done. Sad for sure. He portrays Kahn in the next few a miracle-movies, so we’ll see what happens. I wonder what bar in Brooklyn he was at? There are certainly some rough…

Donnie Kehr’s great new album Beautifully strange it’s now on CD…

Jennifer Coolidge

Diversity confirmed this week that the locale of the next white lotus, by Mike White, will be Thailand. Now if only we could have Jennifer Coolidge back… Congratulations to New York Independenteditor Keith F. Girard for his second novel—

The Curse of Northam Bay by Keith F. Girard

just released: The Curse of Northam Bay … PR Pasha David Salidor was interviewed by Charles Rosenai for Monkee Mania Radio… To Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer opened on July 21 and is really 3 hours.

Cillian Murphy

It stars Cillian Murphy and the trailer looks pretty amazing. Check it out here:


Happy Bliss to Steven Tyler and Diana (Miss) Ross!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Alex Salzman; Jeff Smith; Dino Danelli; Bill Amendola; Maria Milito; Steve Walter; Melissa Davis; Anthony Noto; Deb Caponeta; Christine Nagy; Jim Farber; Kent Denmark; Jane Eyre; Toby Mamis; Howard Bloom; Brad Lebo; and WHITE!

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