Thursday, April 30, 2020

Ex Marks the Spot

Tonight’s guest star on “Maude”: the irrepressible Carole Cook as Walter’s ex wife, Marta. Haven’t thought of her since her cigarette ash nearly destroyed breakfast in “16 Candles” ... “I’ll just open the doughnuts ... voila! Breakfast is served!"

As my friend Matt reminds us, she's 96 and made headlines a year or so ago for trashing Trump. Just had her NYC cabaret debut at at 94 -- read HERE!

Thursday Ad Watch

I've looked high and low but I haven't been able to find this Mack Weldon underwear ad that popped up on my phone. It was so hot, in fact, that I'm beginning to think I imagined THE WHOLE THING

Song of the Day: 'I Promised Myself' by Nick Kamen

Although if I'm not going to buy this I'm not sure who is -- Greg, Dishy and Taffy are the only CD holdouts I know -- it's nice to see that Nick Kamen is getting the box-set treatment for his short but memorable recording career. Fans of the '80s will remember Kamen first came to prominence in a sexy Levi's commercial ('Laundrette") before focusing on a singing career. His 1987 debut arrived with a bang thanks to the help of Madonna, who with Stephen Bray wrote his debut single, "Each Time You Break My Heart." More memorable singles followed, including "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever," "Nobody Else," "‘Tell Me," "Bring Me Your Love," "Oh How Happy" and, perhaps best of all, "I Promised Myself," which was a huge hit all over Europe and later covered by Dead or Alive, the A*Teens and Basshunter.

Watch HERE.

The six-disc Cherry Hill collection features remastered versions of his four LPs -- “Nick Kamen,” “Us,” “Move Until We Fly” and “Whatever, Whenever”; extended remixes of many singles, including several making their debut on CD; 20 previously unreleased mixes; and best of all, two previously unreleased songs, "So Sad" a cover of the Everly Brothers classic; and "Right on Track," originally a million-selling ‘80s hit for The Breakfast Club.

It looks and sounds fantastic. My only quibble would be that according to an insider, there's a lot of other unreleased material in the vaults. Might have been nice to include some of that, although the two new tracks are much appreciated. Full details HERE.

Page 1 Roundup (04/30)

Hot Cat of the Day: Can't you take a hint?

Morning Wood

Postcard From Tuckahoe

Having a blast rewatching the complete run of "Maude" as a fully formed person. (Damian bought me the Shout! Factory box set.) Last night was notable for two reasons: First Maude had a run-in with one of her subordinates at the real-estate office she manages -- played by one Herb Edelman, aka Stanley Zbornak. And then later, Robert Mandan -- aka Chester Tate on "Soap" -- popped up as Mrs. Findlay's snooty gay friend! (The episode was particularly hilarious until it missed the mark at the end trying to show that “even liberal Maude” has her deep-seated prejudices, only she really hadn’t done anything wrong.)

So far in the first two and a half seasons, Maude has had an abortion. Vivian has had a facelift. Maude has had a facelift. Walter all but had an affair. Walter's drinking spiraled out of control. Walter gave Maude a black eye. Walter became sober. And Maude couldn't stop talking about how the young girl she had staying at the house was from "the ghetto." 

I'd say it's hard to believe that my parents actually let me watch this back in the 1970s, only then I remember they really weren't paying much attention to anything my brothers and I did ... it was the '70s!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Did the ‘Voices Carry' Hunk Die of AIDS 29 Years Ago?

A friend just informed me that the sexy guy who played the disapproving boyfriend in the classic 'Til Tuesday video "Voices Carry" died back in 1991 at just 33. Although every New Wave homo secretly wished they had someone who looked like him telling them how to dress and act, I'm not sure any of us knew the first thing about him. Turns out his name was Cully Holland -- born Kevin Joseph Gallery, which is actually a better stage name -- and he was born on Oct. 22 , 1957, in San Francisco. His was one of six children, five boys and one girl. His parents were named Daniel and Sally. 

According to People Pill, the handsome young man was once an all-state high-school football player who went on to study accounting at the University of Washington in Seattle. While a student, he reportedly stumbled into the world of acting and modeling -- gee, I wonder how! -- and decided to drop out of college with a year remaining and move to New York to pursue a career in show business. He started off performing on stage. In 1982, he played the main role of Denver in Matt Creeger's gay comedy/drama "Naked Highway." The play was directed by Tim Kincaid (credited under his screen name Joe Gage). He also appeared on the soap "The Edge of Night," as well as in the off-off-Broadway show "And Not the Lark" at Studio R. Next he appeared as Edmund in Agatha Christie's "A Murder Is Announced" at the AATC Theatre. 

Then in 1985, he landed what would become his most (in)famous role, as punklite rocker Aimee Mann's hot-but-controlling Yuppie boyfriend in the epic video for 'Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry," which turned him into an overnight MTV celebrity. 

At some point after the video he must have headed west. The Los Angeles Times in early 1988 reviewed a play called “Vera Baxter” at a small theater in Santa Monica that featured Holland. The production was a revival of a 1977 French play by Marguerite Duras. Holland played one of the titular character’s lovers (natch).

Later that year he starred in his first feature film, the erotic Italian drama "Dirty Love” (“Amore Sporco"), in which Jeff Stryker (billed as Chuck Peyton) had a bit part. (If that set could talk!)

Cully was last seen as Marine Vince Costello in Ulli Lommel's 1989 action film "Warbirds." (He's also credited as being in the November 1989 "Cleveland Indian" episode of the NBC television series "Hardball," but not everyone is convinced his footage didn't wind up on the cutting-room floor.)

But it's what I learned next that really intrigued me. Although it's known that Cully died on June 29, 1991, the cause has apparently never been confirmed by his family -- yet People Pill definitively lists it as AIDS.

In 2018 while reviewing Sky Ferreira's cover of "Voices Carry," James St. James of the WoW Report reminisced about knowing Cully “back in the day,” writing that "he was dating a very good friend of mine at the time -- a MALE friend, dun dun dun -- and so I knew him raaaaather well. I used to torture him with that line reading ‘Why can’t you for ONCE do something for me?'"

I reached out to James last night to see if he knew what had claimed Cully's life and this is what he told me:
I knew him pretty well -- '85 and '86 mostly --  I knew he was positive but after we lost track of each other I don’t know how he died. I’ve heard both AIDS and suicide -- often in those days they went hand in hand -- when you got to a certain point you checked out. So maybe that’s what happened... ? He certainly was handsome though ...
TV Party reports that on a Facebook fan page of sorts devoted to Cully, a couple of people who claim to have been friends with the actor at one time weigh in on him.

One of them writes:
I met Cully in Evansville, Indiana, around the time “Voices Carry” was being released. Cully was dating a man named Perry. Cully and Perry visited my home a few times and we all did attend parties together. Cully was a beautiful man and very kind friend. I moved to Cincinnati [in the] late 80's and did not keep up with Cully or Perry. Sorry to hear of his passing. A truly talented man.
I contacted the poster and he told me that Perry was a waiter in a private club in Evansville who met Cully in New York City. He said Cully would visit Indiana regularly to see his beau.

Beyond that, the Cully Holland/Facebook account doesn't say much more. (It's set up as if it's Cully himself, but I think it might do better if it were converted to a fan page.)

Sitting here researching this man's tragic death has left me wistful, reliving the days when so many young men were cut down in their primes as we battle another global pandemic. If anyone knows more about the late actor, I would love to hear from you. I don't know if there's a way to search the AIDS Memorial Instagram account. But I am curious to know if any of his old friends or family members have ever written him up.

As my tipster friend (above) said to me: Belated RIP.

Wrestle Wednesday

There's so much going on in this scene you just need to watch it FOR YOURSELF.

Song of the Day: 'We're All In This Together Now' by Rosanne Cash and John Paul White

Billboard reports that Rosanne Cash and John Paul White, formerly of the Civil Wars, have joined together on the new single “We’re All in This Together Now.” All proceeds from the song will benefit Nashville-based Music Health Alliance

It seems the song was just waiting for the right time to be released. “John Paul and I have been friends for years, and early on we awkwardly tossed the idea of writing a song together, but we never got around to it,” Cash says in a statement. “The last few years have been tough. I wanted to find some little corner of community, some instinct toward unity. It was hard to find, so I figured I’d have to write it. Last year, I wrote these lyrics and sent them to John Paul. He wrote this gorgeous melody very quickly. I was so moved. But the song didn’t fit on my last record, and it didn’t fit on his last record, so it sat there waiting for just the right moment. Which is now.” While the gentle ballad wasn’t written during the coronavirus pandemic, the video reflects our current situation while we shelter-in-place and deal with the effects of Covid-19. The clip shares footage from around the world -- from hospitals to food banks -- of people helping others through these troubling times.

Music Health Alliance, which provides assistance to members of the music community, has been added as a partner in the Spotify Covid-19 Music Relief Project. Spotify is matching donations made to select charities, up to a collective total of $10 million. MHA’s relief resources include financial assistance for groceries, medications, health insurance premiums and doctor visits, navigating the loss of health insurance and filing unemployment.

Page 1 Roundup (04/29)

Ass Wednesday: Muscle Edition

Should you wear a mask while exercising outdoors?

Hot Cat of the Day: Cutest bag boy ever!

Morning Wood

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash's First Wife, Gets the Last Word in 'My Darling Vivian'

Can't rave enough about "My Darling Vivian," Matt Riddlehoover and Dustin Tittle's documentary about the other Mrs. Johnny Cash -- the drop-dead gorgeous one. Vivian Liberto was a deeply insecure 17-year-old from a strict Catholic family when she met and fell in love with Johnny Cash. Their romance lasted just three weeks before the Air Force deployed the 19-year-old future music legend to Germany for a three-year tour. After thousands of love letters, he returned to her native San Antonio where they married and became parents to the first two of their four daughters in less than two years. Johnny's career -- and dependence on drugs -- took off shortly thereafter, and things were never the same. Whether you're a Man in Black fan or not, you'll be moved by this raw but ultimately sympathetic look at a woman who was ill-equipped for what life -- and love -- brought her way.

And anyone from a large family -- I'm the adult child of an alcoholic with two older brothers and a younger sister -- will get a kick out of hearing how everyone has their own version of family history and, in a sense, the truth. Eldest daughter Rosanne comes off as the consummate cynic (the oldest is always the know-it-all -- and wait'll you hear what she has to say about stepdad Dick Distin!) while second child Kathy is the rye, sardonic, HILARIOUS one. Third in line, Cindy, strikes me as having been most hurt by the divorce, while baby Tara (the family sweetheart?) had a completely different experience as she never really knew her parents when they were truly together.

Vivian, who craved privacy above all else yet resented being erased from history, probably would not have been able to watch this warts-and-all examination of her life. (There's a scene involving her former son-in-law Rodney Crowell that was one of several that reduced me to tears.) But she no doubt would have appreciated that the record was finally set straight that it was she -- not Johnny's "savior" replacement bride -- who persevered and raised four beautiful daughters all but by herself.

The film was slated to premiere at South by Southwest, but because of the coronavirus crisis, it is showing on Amazon Prime for a limited time now.

Variety agrees, calling "My Darling Vivian" an exceptional documentary that separates fact from myth while telling the story of Johnny Cash’s first wife. Read HERE.


It's probably worth mentioning that director Matt Riddlehoover and producer Dustin Tittle are married, and that Dustin is the son of Kathy Cash. :-)

Tennis Tuesday

Kinda now, kinda wow -- Charlie!

Song of the Day: 'No One' by the Psychedelic Furs

Wow, first "Don't Believe" and now this? If my beloved Psychedelic Furs keep it up, their first album in nearly three decades is going to be a good one.

Info HERE.

Page 1 Roundup (04/28)

Hot Cat of the Day: No. I'm doing the petting here.