News Encores: Illnesses, Festivals, Memoirs

Robin GibbHello out there,

Several days back I had made mention of Bee Gee Robin Gibb’s hospitalization for cancer.  Well, he’s again in hospital, this time with pneumonia.  Sadly, this means he was not present when his maiden classical composition, ‘The Titanic Requiem’, was performed in London yesterday.

The Requiem is a radical departure for one of the pioneers of the strobe-lighted Disco Era, brought to a climax with Saturday Night Fever (featuring some music written and sung by Robin Gibb and his brothers).  Gibb and his son Robin-John composed the classical work as a hundredth anniversary memorial to the Titanic’s disastrous voyage.  Robin-John revealed that “a lot of this requiem was written in the hospital bedrooms with my father because, of course, he was diagnosed when we were in the middle of composing.”

Once again, Lyrster wishes Robin Gibb a speedy recovery.

Also several days back I had blogged about the SXSW music festival in Texas.  Now, the news is about the Lollapalooza festival. Though we have four months to go before the Lollapalooza paloozes Chicago, it makes the news for two reasons.  First, it has snared The Red Hot Chili Peppers as one of its banner names, to go along with Black Sabbath plus indy bands from as far away as Malaysia and Chile.  Second, all early bird tickets and discounted souvenir passes have already been snapped up!  Only regular-price tickets remain.  Better get ’em before they too are gone!

Only yesterday I had written about Cyndi Lauper’s forthcoming memoir.  In today’s news the memoir-writer is renowned jazz pianist Herbie Hancock.  Though his book is not due until 2014, Hancock’s status as a fusion jazz crossover hitmaker who is now a UNESCO ambassador ensures that the mere announcement of his memoir is news.  The publisher, Viking Press, announced that it “will reveal intimate details.”  Somehow I don’t think it will be quite so ‘revealing’ and quite as ‘intimate’ as Cyndi’s memoir!

BTW, Hancock’s famous tune ‘Watermelon Man’ was made into a hit by Mongo Santamaria, whose version is the most famous.  But perhaps the finest band rendition is by Xavier Cugat!  An exciting, thrilling version, replete with sexy screams and moans, it’s on a 1960s Mercury-Wing LP.  Not to be missed.

Ta ta,

Shane