Thursday, December 27, 2007

Coen Brothers western; Spector on Ike

From the Hollywood Reporter

Coen Brothers to Make Spaghetti Western
Filmmaking siblings Joel and Ethan Coen are set to make their goriest film ever - a Spaghetti Western featuring scenes of primitive torture methods. The brothers, whose notoriously gory new film No Country for Old Men has been tipped for Oscar glory, are desperate to make a film about the days of cowboys and Indians battling it out in the Wild West of America. But - as Joel warns - it won't be one for the faint-hearted. He says, "We've written a western with a lot of violence in it. There's scalping and hanging ... it's good. Indians torturing people with ants, cutting their eyelids off." Ethan adds, "It's a proper western, a real western, set in the 1870s. It's got a scene that no one will ever forget because of one particular chicken."

From Roger Freidman The New York Post

Music legend and murder suspect, Phil Spector, isn't trying to make friends or curry favor with old pals while he waits for a second trial. He turned up at reviled R&B legend Ike Turner's Los Angeles funeral on Friday and gave an impromptu speech that laid into both Tina Turner and Oprah Winfrey.

Spector, according to our spy in the Greater Bethany Community Church in Gardena, Calif., was among several celebrity mourners including Bonnie Raitt and Little Richard who gathered to say good-bye to the Grammy-winning musician.


"First of all, the things that were said about Ike, that were in that piece-of-trash movie they made about him were ... (applause), it was a piece-of-trash movie. I haven't seen the movie but it was told to me, and [Barney] Kessel was the world's greatest guitar player in the world and the only reason that Ike didn't play on 'River Deep, Mountain High' was because Ike was the second greatest guitar player in the world. I treasured him and everybody knew it except Ike. That's how good he was

"B.B. King told me at a party with Doc Pomus and Joe Turner and Ray Charles sitting there that Ike Turner was the only guitar player he wouldn't play behind. That's how good he was. But Ike never boasted. He came to parties with me and I'd say, 'play, play' and Ike would never play.


"Ike could play circles around Eric Clapton and Eric knew it. I had someone once ask me what's the difference between Ike Turner and Eric Clapton. I said, 'you don't know the difference between Eric Clapton and Ike Turner? That's funny, why don't you ask Eric, Eric knows.'"

"Ike made Tina the jewel she was. When I went to see Ike play at the Cinegrill in the '90s after his absurd reason for being sent to prison for no reason other than being a black man in America, there were at least, and I counted them, five Tina Turners on the stage performing that night, any one of them could have been Tina Turner."


Anonymous said...

I think Ronnie Spector might have something to say about why Phil Spector thinks that Ike Turner has been given a bad rap...leaving aside the survivors of a certain actress who made the mistake of dropping by the Spector mansion a bit back...

Anonymous said...

The Coen brothers might think twice. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, with alleged bankable stars, including the vacant-eyed, vacant-headed Brad Pitt, has netted less than $3.8 million in 14 weeks, and is a major bomb. Maybe adding torture to the western stew will give the Coens an edge, but I doubt it.

Richard Wheeler

Charles Gramlich said...

I saw you had posted on James Reasoner's blog and thought I'd drop by just to say that I very much enjoy your writing. I particularly like your westerns about "Guild," and just last week finished "Blood Game."

I just ordered a couple of your Sam McCain mysteries, but have not read those yet. I do remember a very nice suspense book you wrote called "Blood Moon."


Anonymous said...

A few words in defense of Ike Turner. I hate to agree with Mr. Spector but he's right about that piece of trash movie. I don't know what happened inside Ike & Tina's marriage. I know what Tina SAID happened (or rather, what she wrote), and there seems little doubt that Ikey was one bad MF. The whole issue of women trying to destroy their ex's careers with "Tell All" books (Scorned Mia, anyone?) should probably be saved for another time, except to note how unseemly it would seem for a man to write such a book. But let's give Ike his due, and in that department he weighs in as an all-time heavy in the evolution of American popular music. He was there in Clarksdale, Miss. playing the blues ages ago with guys like Robert Nighthawk, who TAUGHT Muddy Waters half his stuff; he was there in Sam Phillips' Sun studios in Memphis playing hard hammerin' piano for the Howlin' Wolf; by many accounts he recorded the first rock & roll record (Rocket 88); he invented and sustained Tina Turner (of Where Is She Now fame), contributing mightily to the whole R&B scene of the 60s; and he rocked hard enough to open shows for the Rolling Stones is massive arenas. That is one hell of a musical journey. In that PBS show some years back by Martin Scorse he stole the show at a Memphis blues reunion concert, so he still had his chops. Oh, and he claimed to be married 15 times. That was one hell of a man. Bad mouth him all you want, but Ike Turner's place in the pantheon of American popular music is secure. RIP, Ike. And thanks!

--Stephen Mertz

Anonymous said...

Well, if he was married 15 times, that also says something. However, I'm certainly willing to judge him by his work...unlike with Miles Davis, a similar jerk, no one (at least, no one I come across) seems to have thought (nor continues to think) Turner's non-musical behavior sets a model to emulate for Koolness's sake. And his music was pretty damned impressive.

And I assume you refer to Mia Farrow, Stephen Mertz? You can see the self-pity, self-aggrandizement, and self-absorbtion that can lead to marriage to one's all-but-adopted kid in Woody Allen's work...haven't read a Farrow book on the matter, but would be surprised to find one, under those circumstances, particularly kind in its portrait of WA.

Ray Banks said...

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, with alleged bankable stars, including the vacant-eyed, vacant-headed Brad Pitt, has netted less than $3.8 million in 14 weeks, and is a major bomb.

But it's a massive critical hit - the number of times I've seen that movie on the Best Of lists... Also, Pitt is perfect for the role, as far as I understand - he's the "superstar" outlaw, and as such he's the most vacant man in the room. Of course, I haven't seen it, but since Andrew Dominik essayed the criminal mind brilliantly with Chopper (with no small help from Eric Bana), I'm still interested. There's still life in the western, now more than ever.