Thursday, August 14, 2008

Interview du Jour • Harry Blackstone Jr. • Click here

Audio Interview with Harry Blackstone, Jr.

In this 1985 interview, Don Swaim talks with the award-winning magician, Harry Blackstone, Jr. about his first experience on stage at the age of six months, and the relationship between his father and Houdini. Blackstone is the co-author of There’s One Born Every Minute, My Life As A Magician and The Blackstone Book Of Magic and Illusion.


Cigar & Cards, originally uploaded by tfrank8176.

Have you ever heard of someone becoming nauseous from smoking a cigar. This would sometimes happen when I would smoke Cuban cigars. Never knew why that would occur . Every morning in Cincinnati, I would drop Max & Hope off at Montessori, getting me to work an hour before opening the doors of my store, "Carew Tower Magic Shop". I would spend that hour every day with my ass parked in one of the overstuffed leather couches at Strauss Tobacconist at 4th & Walnut. I would enjoy a fine morning smoke before work, shuffle cards and chat with the colorful cast of daily characters. Lenore, manager of this 100 year old cigar store was my friend and treated me exceptionally as a customer. One day I asked her about why one may become nauseous. She told me that the nicotine can sometimes mess with your blood sugar. Ever since then when that happens I would have a Pepsi and almost immediately feel better.

This just happened to me outside in the 92 degree heat, smoking a cigar down to the nub with a toothpick. Felt a little woozy when I stood up. Went to the fridge for a Pepsi, but passed it up, (Haven't had one in weeks); grabbed a plum knowing that it will turn to sugar, ate it and felt better.

Back at the Bowl • Paolo Nutini, Solomon Burke & Etta James!!

Chinese food at 4PM at Bamboo Village with Polly, then on home for a serious pre concert chill down, relax and watch the afternoon disappear. Nice thing about where we live, so close to the Hollywood Bowl. We've been doing a park and ride deal near Universal. Nothing but stacked parking at the venue, can make it a real pain in the ass to get out. Ran into a friend of Kirsten's, a fellow named Steve, he's a focus puller on Greys Anatomy. We chatted him up and found out that they shoot in an old studio in Los Feliz. Same place they shoot General Hospital. Love this town.

We got to the Bowl as the show was starting, picked up a couple of seat cushions and made out way to or seats. The opening act was Paolo Nutini , a fresh new face from the other side of the pond. Got to say he delivered an impressive set. With interesting vocal styling and a variety of musical influences, I dug it. Here's taste of what he does.

The Hollywood Bowl is outfitted with one of those giant turntable in the stage. Makes changing acts a piece of cake, The stage rotated and now filling the stage is Solomon Burke and large ensemble. He sits in a giant gold and red throne wearing a black sparkly suit. A big man, with a big voice, he put on a great show. A big fan of gospel, soul, blues and R&B, I just loved what he was dishing out. I first became aware of him a few months ago when he sat in with Widespread Panic at the Orpheum. Enjoy this clip of an old school showman. He has 21 kids, 86 grand kids and 20 great grand children.

Solomon kept saying this was his last song, then he would do another 3 songs, this went on and he milked the crowd. It was great. They finally had to just rotate the stage with the band still playing. There was a 20 minute intermission, then the time that we had all been waiting for Miss Etta James!! There were several times during her performance that I thought about my mom. She would have liked this concert. Somewhat familiar with her legacy of work, I was in no way prepared for her performing style. Go figure, she turns out to be this granny foul minded little nympho! Far out. She grabbed her crotch more times than than Madonna & Michel Jackson combined. At one point simulating fellatio with the mic. She took the audience on a wonderful journey. Dig the clip, her biggest hit (nestled in the middle of her set a REAL CROWD PLEASER)

The best part of the evening was sharing it with the woman I love. We made out in our seats like high school kids in heat. It was a perfect evening under the stars. Booze, music and my baby. My arm around her shoulder and my cheek against hers. My entire heart filled with love. Ummmmmmmmmmm

tiffeyes, originally uploaded by ikswolwap.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer Nights

Summer flying by. Pushing mid August and frankly, peak season is a big disappointment. Plenty of people, but my numbers are down by almost 50% from last year. Lots of things going on in the world that effect the economy. . . or maybe. . . I just suck. Feel like the rest of the country, working harder for less.

C'est la vie. Take it as it comes, go with the flow and enjoy life as much as one is capable of doing (that's actually my strong suit).

Spending a fair amount time at the gym. Most days starting and ending there. I like that it's so close to home and work. Haven't been loosing that much weight (6 lbs in a month), but I've lost 2 inches off my waistline, so I can tell something positive is happening. Fitting into a bunch of clothes I retired a couple of years ago.

Turning fat into muscle and trying to eat right, sounds like a plan to me.

Wasn't on the CityWalk street performing schedule last weekend, so I blew off Saturday and Sunday and spent some good time with Polly. Saturday we relaxed at home, watching movies and catching up on some kissing we missed earlier in the week. Polly prepared a wonderful sea bass dinner on a bed of spinach Sat. night.

Sunday afternoon we drove through the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains to Malibu where we spent a few hours in Paridise Cove. It was nice laying out on the beach with my girl. The temperature was perfect (in the upper 70's with a nice ocean breeze).

Tonight we'll be going to the Hollywood Bowl to see Etta James! Were both excited to her performance. Should be a great time.