Blondie stars Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have added their names to the long list of celebrities paying tribute to the late Lou Reed, who died on Sunday (27Oct13) at the age of 71. The punk icons have recalled magical moments with the former Velvet Underground frontman in statements released on Monday (28Oct13).
Harry remembers, "The first time I saw the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed it was in the 1960s at a place on the Lower East Side (of New York) called The Balloon Farm. That day I became a lifelong devotee of the iconoclastic sound and style of Lou and the Velvets.
"I'm so sad that he's gone but his hypnotic voice telling a story of a Perfect Day, or the devil let loose in White Light/White Heat will live forever."
Her bandmate Stein adds, "I had many encounters with Lou over the years and he was always charming and polite. I just never ran into his infamous dark side... Lou was one of a handful of originals. I don't think that the conditions that created him will again even be approximated, let alone duplicated."
And Stein recalls a really amazing night when his band was asked to open for the Velvet Underground: "When I was 17 years old in 1967, my friends and I were fascinated by the Velvets' first amazing album. A close friend of mine worked for (Andy) Warhol. One night he arrived at my house in Brooklyn and told my friends and I that the band who was supposed to open for the Velvets in NYC had cancelled and would we like to replace them.
"We got on the subway with our guitars and went to a venue on the Upper West Side, called the Gymnasium. Maureen Tucker let us use her drums; turn them right side up even and we used the Velvets' amps. We played our little blues rock set and at the end someone came over and said, 'Oh, Andy thought you were terrific'.
" There were maybe 30 people there. The Velvets came on and were just powerful. They used the echo-y acoustics of the place to their advantage. This was a moment that shaped my musical life and I tell the story frequently."
Other tributes have poured in since the news of Reed's death broke, including notes, statements and tweets from the likes of his friend and VU bandmate John Cale, The Who, the Pixies, Patrick Carney, Morrissey, Ryan Adams, Nikki Sixx, Steven Tyler and Cyndi Lauper, among others.
And Talking Heads frontman David Byrne offered up his thoughts on Monday in a statement that reads: "No surprise I was a big fan, and his music, with and without the Velvets, was a big influence on myself and Talking Heads. He came to see us at CBGB (in New York) numerous times, and I remember three of us going to visit him at his Upper East Side apartment after one of our very early gigs there.
"I kept in touch with Lou over the years. We'd run into one another at concerts or at various NY cultural events and benefits... More recently I'd see Lou and (wife) Laurie (Anderson) socially - we'd join mutual friends for dinner sometimes and at concerts. He and Laurie never stopped checking out emerging artists, bands and all sorts of performances.
"His work and that of the Velvets was a big reason I moved to NY and I don't think I'm alone there. We wanted to be in a city that nurtured and fed that kind of talent."
Paris Hilton named most fascinating person of the year
Paris Hilton's declaration that she doesn't sit around all day saying "That's hot" has apparently scored her points with Barbara Walters, who named the hotel heiress the most intriguing person of the year, The Associated Press reports. Walters, whose Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2004 airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC, chats with the socialite about her illustrious catch phrase as well as the infamous sex tape Hilton made with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon. "I was in love with him and people, I think, do that sometimes. I never thought that it would get out and that I'd be hurt like that," Hilton tells Walters. "It was (very painful). I thought it was the end. I thought, I was so embarrassed for all my teenage fans and my younger fans. I thought it was over." Hilton also reveals she reads books, the most recent one being Maneater, a novel about an uninhibited L.A. woman's search for a man. On Walters "most fascinating people" list, Hilton, who just wrapped the third season of her Fox reality series The Simple Life, beat out filmmaker Michael Moore, Jeopardy! whiz Ken Jennings and Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.
Chong returns with fresh crop of pot jokes
Comedian Tommy Chong, who spent nine months in jail for conspiring to sell bongs on the Internet, premieres The Marijuana-Logues at New York's Actors Playhouse on Tuesday with his former collaborator Cheech Marin, AP reports. Chong, 66, gained notoriety for the Cheech & Chong characters he created with partner Marin in films such as Up in Smoke and Still Smokin'. He told AP radio he still hasn't recovered from breaking up his act with Marin. "I never really got over it. There was always an emptiness in my heart," he said. "I had a 60th birthday and Cheech came to it. And it was the first time we'd seen each other in years, and he said, "I think of you every day.'"
Michael Moore embraces Hollywood
Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore denied Monday Hollywood had hurt John Kerry's presidential bid, citing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former President Ronald Reagan as examples. "America loves Hollywood. America loves the people in the movies and on TV. And the thing that the Republicans have already figured out is that America likes to vote for Hollywood," Moore told reporters before addressing the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on the impact of filmmaking on politics. "And I think we need to turn to Hollywood, because who wouldn't vote for Tom Hanks or Paul Newman or Robert Redford or Oprah?" Moore added President Bush won because he "had a more compelling story to tell and the Democrats didn't," the AP reports.
Motley Crue reunites
Motley Crue, the heavy metal band that dominated the rock scene in1980s with hits including "Dr. Feelgood," "Kickstart My Heart" and "Girls Girls Girls," announced Monday they are reuniting for a world tour beginning next year. Reuters reports the first leg of the tour will begin Feb. 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. "For as much as it's like 'Wow! This is like the ultimate rollercoaster ride in life' it was kinda nice to get off that for a little while. But I'm jonesin' for the thrill now," vocalist Nikki Sixx told Reuters.
Ferguson may take over Late Late Show
Comedian/actor Craig Ferguson, former co-star of The Drew Carey Show, is in talks to replace Craig Kilborn as the host of the CBS' The Late Late Show, sources told Reuters. When Kilborn exited in August after five years of hosting the show to focus on writing and producing different television projects, more than 20 guest hosts appeared on the show until early last month. The network whittled the field of candidates to four: Ferguson, Damien Fahey, D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black. CBS declined comment Monday, Reuters reports.
Charges against Givens dismissed
A Miami court dismissed the case against actress Robin Givens, who was ticketed for hitting an elderly lady and running over her leg, because the officers who were present did not witness the accident and could not testify to the cause of the accident, AP reports. Givens, best known for starring in the TV comedy Head of the Class, struck Maria Antonia Alcover as she was about to step onto the sidewalk after crossing a busy Miami street Jan. 28, police said, with the back wheel of Givens' Mercedes-Benz SUV running over Alcover's right leg. The actress was ticketed for failing to use due care with a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Alcover has filed a civil suit against Givens in the case, and trial is set to begin Jan. 3.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.
We're declaring this Fox Week here at Channel Surfer. We make this declaration based on the fact that the network has more mentions (four) this week than it's had all year. And, in a twist, none of its highlighted programming involves driving a motorcycle head-on into a train or a staging marriage between strangers.
Almost forgotten within the clutter of reality based programming offered by Fox ("and by "reality based," we mean "stupid"), is the fact that the network also offers two of the most intelligent half-hour comedies on network TV -- "The Simpsons" and "Malcolm in the Middle." Strangely enough, these series also happen to be Fox's two highest-rated shows. Hmmm …
"The Simpsons" (8 p.m. EST/PST, tonight) changed network comedy for the better more than a decade ago and carried the fledgling Fox on its back for years. It's not as fresh as it once was, but the truth is, it's an amazing accomplishment that, after 12 years, it's still any good at all. Remember how bad "M*A*S*H" got toward the end? "The Simpsons" is still funny, and, occasionally, even inspired. Tonight is another "flash forward" episode that sees Lisa become president of the United States while Bart becomes her own personal Billy Carter.
Usually a comedy has to be on basic cable to be as smart and funny as "Malcolm in the Middle" (8:30 p.m. EST/PST, tonight). (Of course, if Fox's overall ratings get much lower, it'll qualify for basic-cable status.) In any case, in this all new "Malcolm," hurricane mom (Jane Kaczmarek) loses her job. Take cover.
From the network (E!) that brought you digitized cube things over naked women's breasts comes "Best Actress" (9 p.m. EST/PST, tonight). Considering the source, "Best Actress" is a very nice surprise. It's a satire on the lives of Hollywood starlets during awards season. There's still plenty of the sex-'n'-scandal stuff we've come to expect from E!, but "Best Actress" doesn't forget that it's supposed to be clever and funny, too. And it is.
Also tonight, VH-1 offers a double shot of Elton John. First up is a brand new episode of the venerable documentary series "Behind the Music" (9 p.m. EST/PST), reliving 30 years of Elton's music, his, uh, flamboyance, the prerequisite drug addictions and most importantly his giant, wacky sunglasses. This is followed by "Elton John's Road to El Dorado" (10 p.m. EST/PST), featuring performances of new music from the upcoming DreamWorks animated film, and some old classics, from the Venetian Room in San Francisco.
ABC follows up last week's "Satan's School for Girls," with "A Tale of Two Bunnies" (8 p.m. EST/PST, Monday). And the tradition of quality continues. The best thing about this look inside the world of two 1960s-era Playboy Bunnies (newcomers Marina Black and Julie Condra) is that it really brings out what a nice job E! has done in parodying sleaziness with its own new movie (see above).
Another strong mid-season replacement pops up on Fox (making you wonder, "What was the deal with the beginning of the season?"), when "Titus" debuts at 8:30 p.m. EST/PST, Monday. Comedian Christopher Titus is very believable in the role of himself, as he turns his autobiographical one-man show "Norman Rockwell Is Bleeding" into a sitcom. Stacy Keach co-stars as his father -- the early influence and driving force behind his life-long struggle to find the comedy amid the dysfunction.
In its continuing effort to not be perceived as a subsidiary to the World Wrestling Federation, UPN offers "The Beat" (9 p.m. EST/PST, Tuesday). Produced by Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson ("Homicide"), "The Beat" offers "Homicide"-like story lines but with younger, sexier cops at its center. Also, in an attempt to separate itself from the pack, it introduces a new way to annoy the audience -- instead of a camera that just shakes a lot (like in "NYPD Blue"), "The Beat" camera switches back and forth between standard film and video (like "COPS").
For fans of "Behind the Music" or "E! True Hollywood Story"-style documentaries, check out TV Land's "Inside TV Land," (10 p.m. EST/PST, Tuesday). Nick's spin-off network serves up the dirt on some of the most beloved staples of American pop culture. This week's episode takes a look at "The Andy Griffith Show." Remember when Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue died of a heroin overdose and came back to life in the ambulance? The "Andy Griffith" thing probably won't be quite like that.
And, as the celebration of Fox Week continues, it's time to look at the American Comedy Awards (8 p.m. EST/PST, Thursday). This is one awards show where you would think the presenters and recipients might have something entertaining (and/or funny) to say. The show was taped last month, and word is that Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Martin Short and many more actually managed to do just that.
And finally, ABC serves up another grand experiment in reality based television with MTV Productions' "Making the Band" (9 p.m. EST/PST, Friday). If you're looking for something different and innovative, this might work for you. Combining the voyeuristic soap opera effect of MTV's "The Real World" with the screaming-teen factor of its hit countdown show "Total Request Live" (not to mention a generous helping of "The Monkees"), this show smells like it's going to pull in an audience. The plot? We follow the lives of 25 young, singin' and dancin' guys as they vie for just five spots in a brand-new boy band. It sounds annoying, sure, but that's what we thought about "The Real World" just before we started taping the episodes and trading them with our friends.
Happy Fox Week, everybody! Drive safely, and don't forget to celebrate with someone you love!