Doubtless the superannuated raisin you see before you fills you with a sense of wonder and a grave respect for both the lost majesty and, yes, the abominations of the ancient world. But you may also wonder if you, too, can achieve such an age and, to do so, what compromises must you make, what obstacles must you overcome, and what tomes must you study to unlock this terrifying state of grace and elegance I embody every goddamn day. Continue reading
Paul McCartney, one of the world’s finest bass players, played on second base at Dodger Stadium 50 years ago tonight, in what would be the Beatles’ penultimate concert (I don’t count that thing on the roof, as John Lennon himself called it an “audition”). It was the second-to-last show of a 14-city tour in a year that saw fewer ticket sales due to Lennon’s “Bigger than Jesus” remark that March, and the trip that would make the band give up touring altogether.
But there were four other groups on the bill that night in the shiny, 4-year-old stadium, leased to the Beatles while the Dodgers were away in San Francisco, and each has a fascinating story. Continue reading
Because “All That Jaws” is a rock opera for the people, it tries to stay apolitical. But this election is simply too important to ignore a problem until it swims up and bites us on the ass. Head over to “All That Jaws” for its studied and thoughtful endorsement of Mayor Larry Vaughn.
They were all drinking a lot of apricot brandy that night, so maybe Quint can be forgiven, but the Captain of the Orca claimed to have been on the doomed U.S.S. Indianapolis when it was attacked by a Japanese sub, sending nearly 1200 men into the water to be menaced by sharks. The date he gave was June 29, 1945.
He was off by a month. Today, July 30, marks the anniversary of the wreck of the Indianapolis, steaming to the Philippines from Guam after delivering Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The bomb delivery mission was so secret, Quint says (and he’s right), that “no distress signal had been sent.” So after dropping off Little Boy on the 40 sq. mi. Marianas island of Tinian, the Indianapolis and her crew of 1196 turned right around, stopped at Guam, and on its way to join the U.S.S. Idaho in the Leyte Gulf to mount the planned invasion of Japan, it was torpedoed. About 900 men were eaten by sharks in a literal bloodbath that lasted four days.
There is no such “Indianapolis Speech” in Peter Benchley’s novel, but a team of writers and rewriters, not the least of whom was Robert Shaw himself—a produced playwright— gave the movie’s Quint a reason to hate sharks, and to “never put on a lifejacket again.”
The true and tragic story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis is told in the book “In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors,” which proves that the sad story of the ship did not end that summer of 1945. I highly recommend it as a piece of WWII history and a sad tale of adventure and politics.
Not only that, but you can now share this informative and toe-tapping video of “Show Me the Way To Indianapolis” from “All That Jaws.”
There are so many legally-actionable instances of a poorly-affected Massachusetts accent in movies (Robin Williams’ bad Massachusetts accent in “Good Will Hunting” won him an Oscar) that it is only vaguely satisfying that one of the first, Ted Grossman’s Estuary Victim in “Jaws,” resulted in the character’s death.
See how the shark prepared the body for viewing on All That Jaws.
Estuary Victim died on Independence Day—definitely not the “best July 4 we ever had.”