Five Things: Wednesday, November 20th

In Bob News This Week
Watch this. Most. Jawdropping. Music Video. Ever. The world of US TV skewered with humour, with shades of Bob and Larry Charles’ dystopian nightmare Masked & Anonymous hidden in the glossy surface (watch those news channels again and look at the ticker tape lines–BANKS STILL DEALING IN IMAGINARY MONEY, for instance). A triumph of technology and imagination, it’s also very funny. Love the Kanye West quote. Hats off to Vania Heymann, who had the idea.


In other news, Hugh and I wander over to Bond Street for the press view of Bob’s Iron Range welded metal work at the Halycon Gallery. Hugh is disappointed that rough and rusted metal has been so highly varnished that it looks like cookware rather than sculpture.

BobCarDownstairs are Bob’s huge re-Photoshopped magazine covers (very strange, and not very good) and his Gangster Doors, vintage car doors riddle with gunshots. At this point, I confess I felt like Mr Jones.

Oh, George! You Card!
Tom Junod, in US Esquire: “Being Clooney, he does not only write to Brad Pitt, however. He also writes as Brad Pitt. A few years ago he even had some stationery made up with Brad Pitt’s letterhead. Then he found a book about acting and accents and sent it to Meryl Streep, with an accompanying note. It said, “Dear Meryl, this book really helped me with my accent for Troy. I hope it helps you too.” He signed it “Brad Pitt.” Then he sent another letter to Don Cheadle on “Pitt’s” stationery. As long as Cheadle has been acting, he has dreamt of playing Miles Davis. So the letter informed Cheadle that Pitt’s production company had acquired the rights to Davis’s life story. The letter said that Pitt wanted him to star in it.

As Charlie Parker.

Now That’s What I Call A Career
Mike O’Neill obituary by his daughter Jess, The Guardian
My father, Mike O’Neill, a piano player and songwriter who enjoyed his heyday in the 1960s, has died of cancer aged 75. Born in Lowton, Lancashire (now in Greater Manchester), the oldest of four brothers, he grew up in the 40s causing havoc as a child. He later took a job in the steelworks, but decided to teach himself the piano instead, eventually hitching his way to London, where he threw himself into the music business. After playing with Colin Hicks and the Cabin Boys, he fronted the instrumental group Nero and the Gladiators who performed in togas and had hits with rocked-up versions of “Entry of the Gladiators” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. After leaving the band he went on to play with the Ivy League and the John Barry Seven and was a founding member of Heads, Hands and Feet with Tony Colton and Chas Hodges (of Chas and Dave fame). A prolific session musician, Mike played with the Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dusty Springfield, Shirley Bassey, Deep Purple and Chuck Berry. He even jammed with Jimi Hendrix, who reportedly thought about taking Mike on as his pianist. Mike also played on Donovan’s album A Gift from a Flower to a Garden, toured with Joe Cocker and even gave Dire Straits their name. Mike’s childhood friend Clive Powell arrived in London and joined him in his flat in Old Compton Street, Soho, where he introduced him to jazz and the 2i’s coffee bar. Powell then began to perform under the name Georgie Fame and recorded some of Mike’s songs. In the 70s, Mike drifted into theatre and was musical director with the 7:84 theatre company, where he met his wife, the actor Rachel Bell, whom he married in 1979, and worked with the playwright John McGrath. He later went on to work as a doorman at the Royal College of Art, becoming great mates with Eduardo Paolozzi – who swapped sculptures and prints with him in return for back copies of National Geographic, which Mike lovingly rescued from many a London charity shop. He loved to paint and draw and was the kindest, most generous and good-hearted man you could ever hope to meet.

Triptych From Marrakech
Drummers in the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Always go to the barbers with the painting of Liberace on the door for a shave. I understand this list of chefs and restauranteurs, but was puzzled by the inclusion of Ray Charlz.
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