The Tuesday Twelve: Music Artists That Should Have Retired Tuesday, Nov 30 2010 

Brett Favre, man. This guy, once a storied “future Hall of Famer,” is now a cautionary tale of pathos and hubris. An individual less self aware could not be found outside of the Montag/Pratt household. Why play into your golden years? Why undo all the good memories of your prime play? Why not take the advice of Jerry Seinfeld and quit when on top?

But this isn’t about the crybaby quarterback. I know a bit about baseball and the 1984 Olympics, but other than that my sports knowledge is stereotypically girly. So take the Favre tale as a metaphor for a topic on which I have a better base of knowledge and a definite opinion — the world of music.

For every Favre or Steve Carlton or Michael Jordan that plays pro sports a little too long, there is a once-iconic rock and roller who loses luster by merely BEING SUCCESSFUL for too damn long. The whole Stones/Beatles debate is a tale for another time, but suffice to say the four lads from Liverpool are in PART “fab” because their time was so fleeting. 1970, they start to enter their 30s, and they’re done. No more new Beatles music. Nothing to kill the sweet taste left in everyone’s proverbial mouths by Abbey Road and SPLHCB.

Then there are Mick and Keith, still strutting around arenas and charging $300 a head despite the fact that all albums in “recent” years (i.e., since 1983) have been non-events at best and lambasted at worst. And in addition to the Stones, there are 11 other artists (and certainly more) that should have quit while they (or he/she) were/was ahead. (more…)

The Tuesday Twelve: Hot and Hairless Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

I used to work for a blog called megasizzle.com, but unfortunately my blogging partner and I quickly lost interest.  Even more unfortunately, the blog was pulled out of cyberspace unceremoniously before I could archive it. I kept a column there called “The Tuesday Twelve,” which was just a silly list of whatever was on my mind that particular week. Since those lists are nowhere to be found, maybe I’ll try and create some of them here.

Today’s list is not a rerun. I recently finished Open by Andre Agassi.  I’ve always been a fan since mono kept me inside watching Wimbledon in 1992 while my family was out hiking and white-water rafting in the Smoky Mountains (I was actually okay with the break). This book took my appreciation to new levels.  While I know it wasn’t actually Andre sitting alone with a laptop pouring out his deepest secrets and desires (he had writing “help” from The Tender Bar’s JR Moehringer), he opted to narrate said secrets.  He opted to be, as the title implies, completely open.

One anecdote that is equal parts hysterical and tragic is one particular tennis tournament where Andre was less worried about losing than he was about his fans and the press finding out he was losing his hair.  For years, his trademark mane hadn’t been his at all … the devil-may-care rebel had been wearing a synthetic piece. As is obvious by his current appearance, Agassi eventually got over it and adopted an equally if not more attractive shaved-head look. So in honor of his decision against vanity, here’s the first Tuesday Twelve – Twelve guys who are notably attractive despite being follicly challenged.  Where’s Vin Diesel, you ask? Not a fan. Who needs him.

12. Anthony Edwards.

Anthony Edwards

He played a likable nerd, a tragedy-stricken fighter pilot (spoiler alert!), a tragedy-stricken ER doc, and for one brief shining moment, one of the In Cold Blood killers. He’s beginning to emerge from a slow period these days and here’s hoping he still has nice bone structure.

11.Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson

Who knew cute, aw-shucks little Woody Boyd would grow up to be a multiple Oscar nominee and an environmental spokesperson, allthewhile maintaining a set of kick-ass guns? Me. Okay, maybe not me. My heart was always for Norm.

10. Joey Lawrence

Joey Lawrence

Whoa!  Okay, so he looked better with hair. And he’s really almost TOO bald – no five o’clock shadow potential there, buddy?  But I’d rather look at a bald Joey than a coiffed Ian Ziering any day.  Am I right, people?

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BOP ’til You Drop Thursday, Mar 11 2010 

Teen Beat

Rob's so dreamy! A-Ha, meanwhile, is magical.

Haim frenzy continued in the office throughout Thursday, and in memoriam, a challenge that continued throughout the work day was … what true “80s heartthrobs” are left and living large? Who can a gal my age look to with a sense of peace and hope in the wake of such tragedy? Swayze. MJ. Haim. Even Andrew Koenig, while a minor player in pop culture, was a loss to all children of the 80s. Show me that smile again.

Names flew about like wildfire … Rob Lowe, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Jason Bateman, Johnny Depp. Leo.

But as the afternoon wore on, we realized we needed to set boundaries, both for what constitutes modern-day “success” and what it meant to be a real “80s heartthrob.”

First, the heartthrob.  This was defined as “having appeared prominently on the cover of 16, Bop, The Big Bopper, Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Dynamite, or an equivalent.  “Respectable” mags, such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, or People don’t count.

Second, the 80s.  Said cover appearance had to happen between 1980-1989.  This rules out Mark Wahlberg (who didn’t launch on the scene until 1991).

Third, the “successful.”  If an actor, he must have been in the regular cast of a TV show during the last five years OR a big-screen (i.e., not straight-to-video) movie in the last three years.  Yes, this seems arbitrary. It is trickier for musicians, because while they may not have released new material of late, their legacy might stand.  For this, I feel I’ll know it when I see it.  Example.  Tommy Page and Tevin Campbell?  Not so successful.  Donnie Wahlberg?  Arguably successful, considering he still gets acting projects AND his “band” had a sell-out tour in 2009.

So before I begin my list and my commentary on the players, my few readers out there, are there any stipulations you might suggest to separate the Neil Patrick Harris from the James Spader, the Jon Bon Jovi from the Joey Lawrence?

Eggert Addendum Thursday, Mar 11 2010 

Larry King, ever the competent and sensitive journalist, spent 40 minutes on The Haimster last night, including time with distraught but stoic Feldman (hair: circa 1986) and Nicole Eggert.  Nicole looked … unlike herself.  Or unlike any human being I’ve ever seen.

This girl, once a fresh-freshed natural beauty, was the envy of most girls born between 1972 and 1979.  She got to hang out with the Coreys, was engaged to Haim, spent time with Scott Baio (and, more importantly, with Willie Ames), and was ogled for years in her red lifeguard suit.  What’s not to love?

That time saving lives on the beach wrecked havoc on the poor girl’s skin.  Now she’s barely recognizable as herself, and indistinguishable from, say, a Real Housewife (small or large “R” and “H”), a Malibu real-estate agent, or Jenny McCarthy if she hadn’t been rescued by Jim Carrey.

It’s a sad day for children of the 80s indeed.  I just need to go look at Rob Lowe and Demi Moore for a while to remember that great things are still possible.

Nicole Eggert

Sigh...

The Loss of a Lost Boy Wednesday, Mar 10 2010 

The pop-culture corner of the world was blowing up about 8:30 ET this morning as news spread about the loss of Corey Ian Haim, who will now forever be known by a description like: “troubled/tormented child star of such 80s classics as The Lost Boys and Lucas.”  Drug overdose?  Probably, although only “normal” prescription bottles were found on the scene. His time to go?  Maybe.  Upsetting to me, personally?  More than it should have been.

I’d like to preface this with the perhaps unnecessary acknowledgment that there is tragedy and there is tragedy.  I have been through enough of it in my life (including two nuclear family members lost in sudden accidents in their early 20s) to recognize the serious shit from the blips.  Not to say that Corey’s own family and friends aren’t wrought with the kind of grief I’ve experienced, but I am also not equating the loss of one of my teen idols with anything “real” in my life or anyone else’s.  I feel the need to point this out, by the way, less than 24 hours after Paige Miles couldn’t hold it together on Idol last night during a performance of “Smile.” When asked why she was so emotional, Paige responded with some garbled response about being a huge Michael Jackson fan.  Oh, dear.  So … moving on.

Here is part of the tragedy … Haim was a GOOD actor. His subtle and affecting performance in “Lucas” is indelible and should have launched one hell of a career. As it was, after a long slog downhill following the iconic Lost Boys and relatively entertaining License to Drive, he ultimately wound up on the tormented path of River Phoenix instead of the healing path of Robert Downey Jr. or Drew Barrymore.

And here’s another … much like Michael Jackson, this fool was starting to get his shit together, or so one thought. He’d lost tons of weight, seemed relatively healthy, and was even back on the big screen. I’ve seen this particularly cruel dichotomy in my real life as well. Can it be true that it is brightest before the dark?  Less than two years ago, Corey took out a full-page ad in Variety (above), essentially announcing to the Hollywood world that he was ready for new projects. Oh, how I dreamed of such a career resurgence! Yes, for every Alec Baldwin who has come roaring back to the mainstream there are hundreds of Gary Buseys (and Gary Colemans, for that matter).  But it would have taken one scrappy and visionary director (and a solid script) to reboot Haim.  Think Travolta in Pulp Fiction.  Think Rourke in The Wrestler. Hell … think Anthony Michael Hall in The Dead Zone. I literally thought about this potential comeback no less than once a week (while I’m on the subject, can we get a great project for Alicia Silverstone?  xoxo).  And now, Haim’s Oscar-winning role will exist only in my fan fiction (Ed. Note: I do not write, nor condone, fan fiction).

I think what really hit me hard in the gut was the idea that this is the first of my modest handful of childhood crushes that is no longer with us. I never did get to meet Corey, and now I never will.  Simon Le Bon, George Michael, Joe(y) McIntyre … stay healthy!  At one particularly low point, maybe five years ago, Corey was selling locks of his hair as well as his newly extracted teeth on eBay for a pittance. My friend ELOP and I exclaimed that he should have been selling one-on-one coffee dates for 500 bucks … 750 for one that includes hug. We probably both would have paid, much to our husbands’ chagrin.

His passing is a reminder of my own mortality, as they say.  Days from now, I may think about that sweet boy at the beginning of his career, discussing his facination with locusts, and will likely find myself in the throes of an existential crisis.

I hope you are at peace, my ever-favorite of “The Two Coreys.”

“You can’t ever make me quit, EVER!” — Lucas, 1986

R.I.P. Wednesday, Mar 10 2010 

We’ve lost Corey Haim.  To his decades-long  drug addiction, a battle which he ultimately lost.

Anyone who has known me at any point since about 1987 knows this is a crushing blow for me.  More later.

Corey Haim

Day that Was … plagued by bad news on the aging celebrity front Tuesday, Jan 19 2010 

Conan still appears f*cked.  Rich and f*cked, but nonetheless.  Until FOX comes along (one hopes!)  NBC, I hope you are satisfied with yourself.  Even Emmy-queen Mariska Hargitay is annoyed with you.

Tiger is reportedly pulling a Duchovny and entering sex rehab.  Wow, how the mighty have fallen.  At least Dave has Californication to blame.

Pacey … I’m sorry, Peter Bishop … I mean, Joshua Jackson, continues to steal the hearts of millions with his sweet and seemingly sincere nature.  Diane Kruger has a fatwa on her head somewhere.

Jeff “Kinicki” Conway took a serious tumble and fears for his life.  Worse news?  Dr. Drew continues to “treat” him.  Worst news?  Jeff appears to still be with that codependent, marginally vampiric nightmare of a train wreck, Vikki.

And 2010 isn’t starting off great as far as the celebrity death toll is concerned.  Dennis Hopper, star of Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, Speed, and more (ahem … Super Mario Bros.) is battling late-stage prostate cancer.  And to ensure quality time with his children, he is divorcing his fifth wife.  Wait – what?

Idol is back tonight with auditions from Chicago.  Didn’t watch the Lambert-Allen-fest last year, but have to tune back in now that it’s Simon’s swan song.  So far from the first two nights, I’m digging Maddy (sweet 16-year old with the special-needs brothers), Jermaine (church-singing lad who cares for his sick Mom)  and Justin (Mormon cancer survivor).

xoxo,

Lucy Glib