Today is the anniversary of The Simpsons first appearance on television.
On April 19, 1987, “Goodnight” was aired on The Tracey Ullman Show.
Happy Birthday, Simpsons!
what the fuck
I had joined George and Alan Pariser, and we were just sitting there, kind of staring off in space - just lounging around downstairs, not really saying or doing anything. Nothing was planned for the evening, and we were all tired from out individual day’s activities, but you could tell that we hadn’t totally given up on the night. Amplifiers and electronic equipment dominated the living room as both George and Jackie [Lomax] were occupying the house and were working on a myriad of things related to Jackie’s debut album on Apple.
[…] Suddenly the doorbell broke the silence, and because it was his house, George voluntarily and methodically got up to answer the door. It was Jack Casady from Jefferson Airplane with his bass in hand. He and George had become acquainted along the way, and through mutual relationships between his Artist Relations Department at RCA and Capitol’s Artist Relations Department, Jack had found out where we had placed George for his stay. Jack didn’t have a phone number for this house, so he just decided to stop by. After a brief exchange of greetings, Jack joined us on the couches, and because he was tired from traveling, it wasn’t long before he also drifted out of our non-conversation into the previous quiet.
Fifteen minutes had barely elapsed when the doorbell rang again, and this time it was Eric Clapton, in the very last days of Cream, with travel guitar in hand. Same scenario-hellos-light couch conversation-tiredness sets in-it gets quiet again. Twenty minutes later the doorbell rang once more, and it was Donovan! Now, I have been around a lot of stars, but this was a little different than my normal evening-at-home-on-the-couch routine. Enter Donovan - same format from door to couch except Donovan’s guitar was acoustic. Once seated, it took him about ten minutes to attain the level of laid-back stupor we all seemed to have gathered together to enjoy that evening. No doorbell this time, but a few minutes later Jackie sauntered downstairs to join us on the now celebrity-ridden couch. Because he had been on the same whirlwind schedule that day as the rest of us, he immediately went from the hellos into the semi-silence du jour.
Rock stars are like hyperactive children in a way, and they can only sit and be quiet for so long. George finally reached behind the couch and pulled his guitar over his head and on to his lap. He then started quietly noodling on something he was working on, and as attentions and volume increased, he in essence gave us all a nice little twenty-minute performance. As he was winding down, Casady plugged in his bass, gently joined in, and then took over center stage (couch) as George faded back into the impromptu audience. Without hesitation or invitation, Jackie eventually joined in a few minutes later and took over from Jack. This thing was now becoming a full-fledged guitar pull.*
Clapton plugged in and worked his way into Jackie’s set, and soon he was flying solo. At first it had all been very laid-back, but now it was starting to heat up. Pariser and I were sitting right in the middle of this on the couch, and we quietly melted into the fabric and prayed that this thing wouldn’t go away. The last act that night was definitely the headliner. Donovan politely took over and absolutely blew everyone away. His vibrant voice soared softly in that intimate setting; the songs he sang and the unique Celtic-folk-jazz-style on the guitar were beautiful beyond description. In the lighthearted portion of his set, he introduced us to part of an unfinished work - a song entitled “I Love Me Pants.” He wound down his portion, easing us back into the state that George had “pulled” us out of with a soft Scottish ballad. Mr. Leitch then quietly set his guitar aside, and we returned to our thoughts. It ended as it began. No one said anything before, during, or after this little flurry of musical genius. The thing that was interesting about this event, and I think it was brought about by the friendships between the people in the room, was how each person communicated his roots that night through his music. No one played what he was known for but instead shared what was natural to them - an inside thing that few people ever get to see. Entertainers are not known as great communicators when things get down to a one-on-one level, but I think each of these friendships grew deeper that night as they shared themselves through their music and got to know a little more about each other. It was pretty and it was poignant, but most of all, it was personal.
*Nashville, Tennessee, is famous for its guitar pulls. Here is how it works. Several artists, pickers, and/or songwriters will get together in a circle and start passing the guitar around. It usually starts out simple and low-keyed with each person playing a current work in progress or new song he’s just written. When he finishes the song, the person next to him “pulls” the guitar out of his hand and plays his current fave. This may sound blandly uninteresting and maybe not too exciting, but something always happens during a “pull.” Given the artistic makeup and competitive nature of people in the entertainment business, something deep down inside each person in the “pull” makes him want to outdo the person before him. These gatherings eventually take on a life of their own, and by the time you go around the circle a couple of times, you are witnessing Carnegie Hall/Grammy Award caliber performances! All the stops are eventually pulled out and everyone’s best material begins pouring forth.
A Japanese warplane Second World War lies wrecked in shallow water off Guam in a photograph which won Tony Cherbas second in the Topside category. (via)
Charles Dance fanboying about Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith
Queens of Awesome
Dolls have given us an unrealistic image of women.
For example, I found out Russian women do not contain smaller Russian women inside them.