Music

 

Arts assignments for various publications give me an opportunity to write about music and dance, from Elton John and concerts at the Hollywood Bowl to ballroom dancing and Fred Astaire. This former dance performer (known to cut loose on the dance floor) and choreographer loves to write about what moves us through music.


Music: Scott Bennett

Published in The North Shore Weekend and posted Winter 2013

This is an artist’s cautionary tale, though it is not a story without success and rewards. The artist is one of the North Shore’s greatest rock musicians, who was recently interviewed in Los Angeles, and he’s created songs and performed with rock’s legends: the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Elton John—and he did so after modest beginnings in a rented house near Mallinckrodt College on Wilmette’s Ridge Road. His name is Scott Bennett.


Interview: Composer Trevor Rabin on Yes, Soundtracks and Jacaranda

Exclusive posted June 2, 2012

As a child in Africa, Trevor Rabin taught himself to play guitar. As a teenager, he became a South African pop idol and he went on to write “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” and most of 90125, the seminal album on which it appears, for the rock group Yes. Rabin, husband, father and creator of a new solo album, Jacaranda, came to America and scored more than 35 movies. He recently talked with me about his work, his family and his native country.


Dean Pitchford on Footloose, Fame and Hollywood

Posted October 12, 2004, Box Office Mojo

Sitting in a cafe on Sunset Boulevard, Pitchford, who created Footloose, gets to talking easily about Hollywood. His route to success was circuitous according to today’s standards, by way of Broadway, but it shows that life can be like a musical.


Interview: Alexandre Desplat on The King’s Speech

Exclusive posted January 20, 2011

Composer Alexandre Desplat recently spoke with me from Paris about his new score for The King’s Speech. He has scored some of Hollywood’s best motion pictures, including Casanova, The Upside of Anger, The Queen, The Painted Veil, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. We talked about them all during our interview.


Interview: Robert Osborne on Liza Minnelli

Posted December 9, 2010

The incomparable singer and actress Liza Minnelli, winner of the Oscar®, Emmy®, Grammy®, and four Tony Awards®, sits down with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host Robert Osborne in one of his best interviews yet for a new Private Screenings special, scheduled to premiere Saturday, Dec. 11, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). They discuss the lives and careers of Minnelli’s legendary parents, Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli.


Interview: Alan Menken on Disney’s Tangled

Posted November 13, 2010

Alan Menken is, as his official biography states, among the Walt Disney Studio’s most prolific composers. The New Rochelle, New York native co-wrote Aladdin’s romantic “A Whole New World,” Pocahontas’s sweeping “Colors of the Wind,” and dozens of memorable songs for Disney’s animated classics The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Menken recently talked to me about his work for Disney’s new animated picture, Tangled, based on the children’s story of Rapunzel.


Joe Jackson: One More Good Time with Joe Jackson Band

Published August 2003 in the Los Angeles Daily News.

It’s been 25 years since Joe Jackson and his Band broke through pop music with the wry lyrics and simple arrangement of “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” Having played their last show together in Holland just before Christmas, 1980, the Joe Jackson Band recorded a new album, (Volume 4), earlier this year, and launched a pub tour in England around the same time.


Kenny Loggins at The Greek

Unpublished review of a 2003 Los Angeles concert.

Having settled into a groove that he didn’t let go, Kenny Loggins put on a show at the Greek Theatre which was a vigorous display of musical ability. Before finishing with a couple of encores, the songwriter/musician/singer entertained the crowd with an impressive presentation of jazz, pop, rock, a hint of country, and a lot of rhythm.


Neil Diamond Shines in Red, White and Blue

This 2001 concert review was published in the Los Angeles Daily News.

Pop legend Neil Diamond staged a triumphant return to LA’s Great Western Forum—where Diamond holds the house record with 25 sold-out concerts—filling the packed hall with a mix of hits, early songs and memorable performances.


Olivia Newton-John Newton-John honestly loves her work

1999 article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Daily News, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and South Jersey Publications.

Pop singer Olivia Newton-John, whose hits have included “Let Me Be There,” songs from Grease, Physical and a string of New Wave hits in the 1980s, is at peace with her present stature. As she prepares for Saturday’s performance, Newton-John says she’s at just the right moment of her career.


Stevie Nicks winds up latest tour in L.A.

Published on October 11, 2001, in the Los Angeles Daily News.

Stevie Nicks, among the world’s most enduring female rock stars, took the stage at the Universal Amphitheatre Tuesday night, announced her relief to be home in L.A., and promised the packed crowd a couple of hours of good times as respite from a troubled world. The Fleetwood Mac singer did not disappoint.


Ballroom Dance Champion Struts His Stuff

Published in May 23, 2000 edition of the Advocate.

Italian ballroom champion Luka Fanni struts his stuff in the spectacular stage show Burn the Floor, the $10 million ballroom dance extravaganza that plucks its 44-member ensemble from the top ranks of international ballroom dancers.


Clint Black Focuses On Music, Not Concept, In New Sound

Published in October 27, 1999 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

When former Houston honkytonker Clint Black takes the stage at the Tower Theater on Friday, there won’t be any alter egos, high concepts or major musical changes on display. The 37-year-old country singer plans to let his work – particularly his new D’lectrified – speak for itself.

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