Aerosmith's Steven Tyler is 65 today. I no longer know whether we're supposed to be surprised or not at this point.
Philip Milton Roth is 80 today. Something something Newark, something something Jews, something something sex, something something misogyny, something something postmodernism and questions of identity, something something Nobel Prize?, something something alleged retirement. That should about do it.
Composer Mike Stoller, who with partner Jerry Lieber co-wrote and co-produced so many of the songs that are at the foundation of rock and roll that we would be here all day if we started talking about them, turns 80 today. One of his compositions is above, and below is one of his productions. Both of these songs never fail to bring a smile to my face, if for different reasons.
Happy birthday to Mr. Edmond Montague Grant . If you are a certain age this song will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. (I will be kind enough not to remind you of the theme song to Romancing the Stone, which is probably buried deep in there somewhere as well).
Luigi Alfredo Giovanni Sacco was born on this day in 1943. As Lou Christie, he is best known for the song above, which, in the scheme of things, is a pretty solid song to be best known for. There's an eerie timelessness to it.
Jazz person Ethan Iverson, member of the Bad Plus and one of the most interesting performers to be tickling the ivories these days (hahaha, kidding, I hate the phrase "tickling the ivories," it sounds like molestation and I probably should have issued a trigger warning in case any pianos happen to be reading this), turns 40 today. He also has a blog, which is actually really enjoyable to read even though it is a blog.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is 65, and, like it or not, you almost certainly know some of his music, even if it's just that Argentina song. I am not ashamed to say that I still enjoy me some Jesus Christ Superstar, so whatever, haters, happy birthday to him. 65 seems a little young, frankly, but I guess anyone who is still involved with musical theater is this day and age is going to seem like a relic from the distant past.
The man born Sylvester Stewart turns 70 today. Check out some of the clips from when he co-hosted "The Mike Douglas Show" for a semi-amazing look back at what America was at a certain point in time.
James Vernon Taylor turns 65 today. There are a bunch of obvious jokes to be made, but they won't be by me. It kind of seems like the older I get, the more tolerable James Taylor becomes. Which may be the idea. I'm not running out to buy a Greatest Hits or anything, but I won't make exaggerated gagging expressions anymore every time I come across "Fire and Rain," which is still surprisingly frequently when you consider that the song is from like the first Nixon administration and there are fewer and fewer places than ever that play the radio these days, and yet wherever there are, Fire and Fucking [...]
The British writer Geoff Nicholson turns 60 today. If you have never read Hunters and Gatherers, go right now and add it to your library. You will spend the rest of the day secure in the knowledge that you've got something terribly delightful waiting for you to read, which is so often not the case these days. It's Monday, so take what you can get.
David Geffen, whose massive success in the entertainment industry changed the face of culture and proved to the world that gay Jews could be just as devious, underhanded and effective as their heterosexual co-religionists, turns 70 today. Also this.
Saxophone legend Maceo Parker turns 70 today. To celebrate, here's a nearly 10 minute version of "Cold Sweat." If you've got a little more time, you might enjoy this.
Actor David Thewlis turns 50 today. If you have somehow never seen Naked I envy you the overwhelming sensation of "wow" you are about to experience as you rush to address this glaring deficiency in your viewing history.
What unites Michael Caine and Quincy Jones? Apart from the possibility that they were both involved in the same movie in one capacity or another, which is a pretty good bet given that they have each had a hand in about a thousand films, they both turn 80 today. Also, Quincy Jones' middle name is Delight, which I don't think I ever knew before but now will never forget. Michael Caine, who was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, should change his middle name to Delight, both because it would cement the bond and also because Michael Delight Caine sounds awesome. Anyway, best wishes to both, etc.
Happy birthday to Elaine Paige, who is apparently known as the First Lady of British Musical Theatre. I buy it. She was in EVERYTHING in the 80s. In fact, tell me that you knew who she was in the 80s and I've got a pretty good bead on what kind of person you were then. Anyway, here she is with Barbara Dickson from the version of Chess they put together in advance of the show. And if you're in the mood, [...]
The legendary Antoine "Fats" Domino turns 85 today and I don't even know where to start. The man is so influential that his influence is almost invisible, woven as it is into the fabric of almost all popular music. Do yourself a favor and pick up something like this; it is music that will make you smile, and, really, what else in your life is there right now that makes you smile? Nothing. There are a couple more tracks below, although the paucity of performance videos available on YouTube is a bit disappointing.
Kristy Marlana Wallace turns 60 today. Here you will find The Cramps performing "Tear It Up" in Amsterdam nearly a quarter of a century ago, but should you be in the mood for something else there are certainly options. Happy birthday, Poison Ivy.
Do kids read Judy Blume today? Or is it all vampires and British wizards and whatever? I don't know, but for most of the people born roughly around the time that I was and for at least few years after she was an indispensable guide to the horror and dread that awaited us once our bodies changed. She was also a lot more than that; I'm not sure there's been enough acknowledgment of just how funny a writer she is. I would wager that more people in their 30s and 40s today owe at least a part of their sense of humor to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and [...]