Friday, March 18, 2016

"...If It Happened Today...And Kim K. Was The Hostess....We'd All Still Be Standing There..."

Frank Sinatra, Jr. passed away this week.

First, for those under the age of, say, 35 who are saying "uh, like, wow, I thought he died a long time ago...that dude must have been, like, a hundred years old", allow me the privilege of setting you straight.

That was Frank Sinatra.

It was his son, Frank, Jr. who died.

And, no, Frank, Jr. wasn't like, a hundred years old, he was only 72.

Yes, I hear you.

"72? Wow, that's old, too."

I understand why you feel that way.

Trust me when I tell you that when you hit 71, you won't feel that way anymore.

At first, I was tempted to begin here with something glib and self serving (since that seems to be the way we're doing things now, at least if you want to be a front runner for a presidential nomination) and say something like "we've had a death in the family."

But, the truth is I'm not in any way, shape, form or strain of DNA related to the Sinatra family.

What is true, though, is that I have a history with them.

One dear surrogate father in my life, who we also lost much too soon, was Billy Strange. Although the name doesn't ring a bell, unless you're a dedicated pop music trivia geek, you have certainly heard his work, if only randomly, no matter what age you are.

A world class arranger and guitarist, Billy's work was instrumental (no pun intended) on a whole lotta the great pop records of the 1960's, everything from The Beach Boys "Fun, Fun, Fun" to his unique and what turned out to be iconic idea for a way to grab listener's attention from the get go when Nancy Sinatra recorded the original version of her big 60's hit, "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'".

A simple, but catchy, little guitar lick.

In the mid 90's as the result of my association with Billy and his association with Nancy,  I had the Trivial Pursuit-ish privilege of having one of my songs recorded by Nancy, herself, for an album entitled "One More Time".

Okay. So it wasn't Eleanor Rigby.

But it was Nancy Sinatra, okay?

Nancy's dad actually recorded a song of mine, as well, in the years before his passing in 1998, but you'll just have to take my word for that one because it's one of those "never released but somewhere in the vaults" recordings that are common in the biz.

Hey, why would I lie? I'm not running for anything.

As far as Frank, Jr. was concerned, I had no musical connection with him but did, in fact, meet him in  1994, as he traveled around the country doing industry meet and greets to hype his dad's album "Duets II", a collection of songs sung with other vocal celebs, actually, the sequel album to an earlier collection very cleverly titled....

...can you guess?


The second collection featured such "partners" with Frank as Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Buffett, Gladys Knight and Nashville country pop-ster Lorrie Morgan (who we'll get back to momentito)

Frank, Jr. even did a duet with da dad on the unofficial Chicago anthem, "My Kind Of Town".

The junket gathering took place in a relatively small conference room of an upscale downtown Nashville hotel, the kind of room that, once supplied with a wet bar and a nice spread, allowed for only forty or fifty of the local movers and shakers to stand and chat and drink and nosh and wait for the obligatory always five minutes too long speeches followed by the obligatory working of the room and shaking of the hands.

In those days, I was supplementing my staggering broadcasting income with a management gig with Tower Records, one of the, then, nation's largest and most powerful music retailers.

Ergo, my plus 2's and I were sufficiently able to move and shake to qualify for entry, as well as a drink and a nosh.

And the obligatory always five minutes too long speeches followed by the obligatory working of the room and shaking of the hands.

Frank, Jr. didn't arrive until Schmoozapalooza  was well underway. I remember thinking at the time that there was no shortage of pretentiousness from the get go, since we knew, for a fact, that Jr. was, in fact, actually staying in that very hotel.

I mean, I totally get the concept of "making an entrance", but, the amount of time between the opening of the wet bar and the arrival of the heir to the Chairman would have had you thinking that he was flying in from Burma.

Now, more commonly known as Myanmar.

All these twenty years later, I don't remember his actual arrival and I don't remember anything at all of what the three or four various and sundry pre-Frank speakers offered up in their always five minutes too longs.

What I do remember is Frank, Jr. living up to every comical stereotype that I had ever had of a second generation Rat Packer who was alive and well, standing right in front of us, in the year 1994, but in attitude, appearance and, did I mention attitude, was like a delightful character plopped into our midst by Rod Serling from straight out off the Vegas Strip, circa 1961.


He was wearing a dark suit with a metal gray tie, the suit made of that fabric that was both undoubtedly no less than three grand per and right up to but not overly shining in that way that makes you just know that it would have been considered classy and tasteful for clothes horses like Tony Soprano.

In one hand, an ever present cocktail (and I never heard him say so,  but I'd be willing to bet my Nancy royalties that he referred to it as a "highball"), in the other hand, the ever present cigarette, smoke wisping just enough to complete the look without offending the tightly packed crowd of movers and shakers.

The smoker who stopped a long time ago in me couldn't help but feel just a twinge of irony mixed with poignancy at my memory of that cigarette, given the news that he died of a massive heart attack.

But, the coup de grace?

The moment that we were all waiting for even though we had, at the time, no idea of just how much we all waiting for it?

The speech, baby.

Standing behind the small, hotel furnished tabletop podium, underneath those ceiling track lights that always walk a fine line between providing quasi mood/criminal interrogation lighting  and keeping your French Fries good and hot, Frank, Jr. was, with whiskey and Winston in hand, the stuff that Saturday Night Live writers live for.

And he hadn't even spoken a word.

That's when things got classy.

And stayed classy, my friends.

The speech itself was the usual assortment of "happy to be here", "thanks for being here", "wonderful to be in Nashville", "wonderful to talk about this great new album" kind of thing.

With a couple of very special splashes of unique.

First, the words "wonderful", "great", "stupendous", basically any and all adjectives that might be synonymous in that context were almost without exception replaced by a word I've always suspected might have long ago been officially trademarked by the Sinatra men


Pronounced, though, in that special Sinatra way that only a Sinatra could pronounce it.


And as there can be no pancakes without syurp, no Abbott without Costello, no Kanye without narcissism on a galactic scale, there can be no "mahhvuluss" without, "ladies and gentlemen".

So, everything, album, city, gathering, even the wet bar and the nice spread were, surely, and repeatedly...

"...mahhvuluss, ladies and gentlemen, mahhvuluss..."

Oh, one more thing in that list.

Lorrie Morgan's boobs.

And not that the rest of the assembled movers and shakers, not to mention anyone who had ever come into any kind of contact with her hadn't noticed that Ms. Morgan was a healthy, fair to say, bosomy woman, not on a Dolly scale but certainly in the category that made cleavage seem like a slightly inadequate word.

But Frank, Jr. looked, acted and most obviously Vegas Strip circa 1961 spoke about, and to, those breasts as though they were part of the mammary equivalent of Larry, his brother Daryl and his other brother Daryl.

I'll give you a sec to figure that one out.

".....and I'm very proud of the mahhveulous artists we were able to have join us on this project," Jr. regaled the assembled in his best ring-a-ding rhetoric, "but none quite so talented and lovely as the mahhvuluss and vahlupchewus Ms. Lorrie Morgan, ladies and gentlemen....(cue the slight, courteously offered applause)...that's right, let's hear it for the vahlupchewus Ms. Morgan."

Junior's smile was the broadest and most sparkling that money could buy, his left hand set the highball down to wrap the entire arm around his mahhvulous and vahlupchewus co-hostess and his twinkling, dancing eyes twinkled and danced...

...and never for a single second looked away from either Daryl or Daryl.

The plus 2's and I, along with a couple of close business friends, several of them females, were, and are, no prudes or virgins in the ways of the world.

And each and every one of us would qualify to appear in any future issue of Homes and Garden's "Glass Houses of the Movers and Shakers".

But even we found ourselves alternately giggling and grimacing as we commiserated quietly to each other something along the lines of "uh, he knows we can see and hear him, right?"

Then again, the drinks were good and the spread was nice.

And, all in all, we all had a mahhvuluss time.

I've read, in recent days, more than one essay written by people who either knew, or knew well of, Frank, Jr.

And for the most part, they paint a picture of a guy who really wasn't very happy in his life.

I imagine that growing up in the shadow of an entertainment icon is no easy road.

And having to live up to the legend was surely made, at least subliminally, more difficult by being not only the son of the icon, but carrying both the blessing and burden of his name, as well.

Like I said, I never really knew the man.

Just met him the one time.

At a nice party with a wet bar and a nice spread.

Along with my friends, Lorrie Morgan.

And Daryl.

And Daryl.

All in all...a mahhvuluss memory, ladies and gentlemen...


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"...So, What Will He Be Wearing Besides The Leather Jacket and the Fedora?....Depends..."

Clinton sweeps, Trump rolls on, Kasich wins one, Rubio drops out.

Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio,  Illinois all have their say.

Yeah, whatever.

Let's talk the really big news.

Indiana, baby.

Harrison Ford is set to crack his whip one more time. Disney has announced that he and Steven Spielberg will be teaming up once again for a fifth installment of Indiana Jones.

The studio said in a statement, "Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can't wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019. It's rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn't be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven."

The release date has been set for July 19th, 2019.

Rumors of an Indiana Jones reboot have been popping up for years with various actors rumored to be filling Harrison's shoes including Chris Pratt. Spielberg addressed the rumors back in December saying, "It's certainly not my intention to ever have another actor step into his shoes in the way there have been many actors that have played Spider-Man or Batman. There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones and that's Harrison Ford."

The last Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
, was released in 2008.

Before the lampooning begins, and you just had to know that the lampooning would begin, I'm going on record as saying that I've been an Indy supporter since day one a long time ago.

A very, very, very long time ago.

Well, okay, the lampooning just sort of happens automatically.

But, I sincerely am a Dr. Jones fan, though, and by way of proof, check it out. An admitted film buff (and yes, I know that term seems a little to the nerd side of geek, but, trust me, it's the only way that this carb loving boy is ever gonna find a way to describe himself using the word buff), I can validate my claim to Indiana Jones appreciation by testifying, truthfully, that Raiders of the Lost Ark is the only movie that I have ever, in my entire life, enjoyed enough to pay to see twice in an actual movie theater.

Twice. When Raiders first came out.

A long time ago.

A very, very, very long time ago.

That said, it's impossible to avoid, if not actually jumping on the bandwagon, for fear of breaking a hip, at least tailgating right behind the bandwagon of affectionate, but very age-ist, posts, tweets, comments and catcalls that greeted the news that 73 year old Harrison Ford will, once again, portray the daring, daunting Indy-pendant action hero.

And, just so we're accurate on the years thing, he's be closer to 75 by the time they start filming this thing.

I'll fess up right up front and admit that this here brain automatically set on "satire and/or snark" immediately kicked into third gear in the quest to pun the hell out of potential titles for this new Indy adventure.

New, and of course, at the same time, old.

Very, very, very old.

But, even I, of the quick wit and ever vigilant smart assness couldn't match the speed with which Facebook and Twitter and Instagram (and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver) came alive with suggestions for an appropriate title.

"Indiana Jones and....Wait!....What Was I Saying?"

"Indiana Jones and The Elevating Stair Chair."

"Indiana Jones and The Cruel March of Time"

"Indiana Jones and The Search for Depends."

"Indiana Jones and the Goddamn Kids On The Lawn"\

and, of course, at least one good allusion to the adventure that started them all...

"Raiders of the Lost Memory".

For me, though, the award, at least for now, goes to a more subtle, yet delightfully applicable, suggestion.

"Indiana Jones and the Perpetually Blinking Left Turn Signal"

Trust me, kids. By the time you hit, say, 60, that one is going to have you laughing until you're in danger of breaking a hip.

Okay. All in good fun.

Those of us who love Indiana Jones and who not don't want to, but cant, see anybody but Harrison Ford play the part are both excited...and taking on faith that Spielberg will come up with something that mercifully wipes out all memories of the Crystal Skull.

And it's not an exaggeration to say that, literally, millions of fans are looking forward to a brand new adventure with an old favorite.

Ah. You thought I was going to add "very, very, very old favorite" didn't you?

Well, at some point, the jokes do start to wear a little thin.

In fact, it's more accurate to say, that at some point, the jokes start to get old.

Very, very, very old.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"...Amidst The Body Shaming And The Slut Shaming...There's Just Good Old Fashioned 'Shame On You'..."

Jerry Seinfeld nailed this a long time ago.

Kim Kardashian's recent naked picture tweets have pushed female stars to take sides. Several celebrities used International Women's Day on Tuesday (March 8th) to defend her from slut-shamers including Bette Midler and Chloƫ Grace Moretz who tweeted about her the day before.

Bella Thorne injected herself into the beef between Kim and Chloƫ writing, "I think every woman should be allowed to make their own choices with their OWN bodies soo...and it's not our place to tell them what they can and can't do with their body ..#internationalwomensday"

Abigail Breslin also joined Team Kim writing, "Slut shaming isn't chill ever. Anybody who tries to say how a woman chooses to display their OWN body is wrong, is severely misinformed and misguided."

Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard tweeted, "Girls being nude publicly isn't new: but isn't it nice when they can be the subject of the image, & the portrayer too?"

Gone Girl actress Emily Ratajkowski seemed to address Piers Morgan's comments about Kim writing, "Love when a man comments on a woman’s decision to post a nude photo. Her body, her career. Sexist bulls**t."

Bette also took some time to respond to Kim calling her a "fake friend" by writing, "I never tried to fake friend you. Looks like anyone can take a selfie but not everyone can take a joke..."

Miley Cyrus took to Instagram to call out all the women who are weighing in on Kim's pics by sharing a picture of the star's butt Kimoji and writing, "Dear women, you ALL are acting tacky AF! Why don't we overly (myself included) fortunate women come together and try to create and bring jobs to other women in desperate need of them so they can support not only THEMSELVES but their families! #happyinternationalwomensday. Can we all put the c***iness aside for one f***ing day and love / celebrate one another! PS no matter how hard you (or myself) work NEVER will I feel I am worthy of the comfort I live in. Because so many others while I tuck myself in at night are laying their head on the pavement, dreaming of all the things we take for granted every day. Much love to all my women!!!!"

Whatever the underlying value of all this sisterly support may, or may not be, I'm personally looking forward to the moment in Miley's maturity when her inner self esteem ratchets up to the point where she no longer feels the need to add c*** as an adjective, verb, adverb or noun.

She's getting there. But still got a long, f***ing way to go.

Meanwhile, from the Rhodes Scholar side of town, the Empress of all Things Selfie, herself, weighed in.

And, no, that's not body shaming. It's a perfectly acceptable description of one's contribution to a conversation.

So, shut the f*** up.

Sorry, Miley moment.

Kim Kardashian penned an essay on her site entitled "Happy International Women's Day" where she addressed the celebs who bashed her for posting nude pics. She wrote, "In all seriousness, I never understand why people get so bothered by what other people choose to do with their lives. I don't do drugs, I hardly drink, I've never committed a crime—and yet I'm a bad role model for being proud of my body?"

She continued, "I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world."

She also shouted out her husband Kanye, who she says is "so accepting and supportive and who has given me newfound confidence in myself." She also added that she wants her daughter North West to "be proud of who she is. I want her to be comfortable in her body.  I don't want her to grow up in a world where she is made to feel less-than for embracing everything it means to be a woman."

She ended her essay with, "It's 2016. The body-shaming and slut-shaming—it's like, enough is enough. I will not live my life dictated by the issues you have with my sexuality. You be you and let me be me. I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy."


Now, he said, as the plot thickened, we have Sharon Osborne "givin' that girl some skin" support.

And, of course, now, Bette who has taken the nude up a notch with her mock-bitchy backhand.

Well, fun is fun and who amongst us can't enjoy a guffaw or two in these troubling, boy, we sure could use some guffaws times in which we find ourselves.

But let's get back to Kim and her decision to stand up for women by stripping away the....well, actually, just stripping away.


For what seems like the kabillionth time.

And, with all due respect ("....and Mr. Dennit, I said with all due respect...") here's the problem that I have with Kim's kause and, frankly, Kim's whole kollection of komedy kapers.

Respectfully submitted in the form of an open letter.

Dear Kim...

Can I call you Kim? I feel like I know you. Scratch that. I've seen you completely naked a kabillion times so, surely, calling you by your first name won't stretch the parameters of proper too much.

Or at all.

You don't know me from Adam and although my work does put my name in various and sundry "public" places from time to time, I'm pretty sure you haven't come across it. Chances are good that you simply never have the occasion to wander over into my world.

Or the world that everyone except you and your family/entourage inhabit.

But I don't want to go off topic and start talking about both the bubble in which you live and the bubble which, in your case, is almost always followed by the word "head".

Let me just put it to you directly.

You're out of your league when it comes to advocacy.

Wait. That was the wrong thing to say.

You are way, way, way out of your league when it comes to advocacy.

Because while the cause that you profess to represent is noble enough, your motives for representing it are mendacious.

I was going to call your motives disingenuous but that word means "not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does" and I'm convinced that it's literally impossible for you to know less than you do.

As far as mendacious goes, by the way, put down the Vanity Fair for five minutes and pick up a Thesauraus.

Here's the naked truth.

You are not a talent, you are not an artist, you are not accomplished, you are not a prodigy or proficient.

You are, in fairness, a purveyor and a peddler (actually, that was a trick two fer, those words mean the same thing...again, princess, Thesaurus...) marketing a product that has been, by anyone's reasonable definition, phenomenally successful.

Again, in fairness, though, credit for that has to go to your mother. Because we, all of us, every ding damn one of us, know that while you and your sisters might be "sellin' it, honey", it was your mother who sold you and your sisters to every ding damn one of us in the first place.

And while this latest aureola adventure of yours might get you some "atta, girls" from some of the show biz sistahood and, of course, the millions of young girl between the ages of 8 and 14 who think that you and Larry and Curly are the hippest of the hippest, the rest of the population, and more importantly, the young women older than 15 who have a brain in their head recognize what you're doing and who you are for exactly what they are.

Yet another moment in a long history of moments where the spotlight fades from you just long enough to cause sufficient panic on your part to compel you to brighten that light with yet another smartphone scream of "see my titties???".

Don't get me wrong. I'm a healthy American male, gray haired years of living notwithstanding, and I'm totally down with naked, both as a concept and as a sensory delight.

But your nudity is offensive.

Not for what it shows.

But for what you're doing with it.

Flashing your naked body to a global audience and trying to rationalize, justify and/or legitimize it with a faux Norma Rae malarkey about empowerment.

You want to know what people think empowerment looks like?

Put that Vanity Fair back down again, princess, and pick up an encyclopedia.

Read about, say, Rosa Parks.

That's empowerment, baby.

And all she did was sit down.

Fully clothed.

Your nudity is offensive because you're not really using it to further a cause.

You're using the cause as an excuse to post yet another naked picture of yourself.

Because that's what you do.

Get naked.

Take pictures.

Not a talent, not an art, not an accomplishment.

Just an embarrassment.

And an insult to those who really need to feel unashamed and empowered.

Jerry Seinfeld nailed it a long time ago.

There's good naked...and there's bad naked.

And you and your pathetic need to be noticed?

Bad naked, Kimmy.

Bad naked.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

".....John, Paul, George, Ringo...and George..."

George Martin is dead at the age of 90.

Discovering his passing upon opening eyes and Facebook first thing this AM, I immediately experienced two things.

First, an almost instinctive temptation to be clever, disguised as poignant, by sharing the headline in some lyrical way.

"I read the news today, oh, boy..."

"All things must pass..."

"And in the end..."

Like that.

Second, realizing that offering some words in praise of this man who was a very important part of the 1960's was going to require, in the year 2016, some answers to questions bound to be asked by those in the population under the age of say, 50.

The first, and most likely, question being, of course....


To the first, let's just leave it at the examples I shared of ways that I could have been clever had I chosen to go the clever way (although there is a case to be made that opting to not be clever about it by sharing the ways in which I would be clever about it was, it turns out, somewhat clever).

As to the second, here's a garden variety bio I cut and pasted from Pulse of Radio, one of many garden variety broadcasting show prep websites.

George Martin, who was the man most people considered the true "fifth" Beatle was a staff producer at EMI Records and head of the label's Parlophone imprint, signed the Beatles in 1962 and served as their producer for the duration of their career -- along with overseeing such modern-era projects as The Beatles Anthology and -- with son Giles Martin -- the music to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show, The Beatles LOVE. His knack for orchestration served the Beatles in such timeless recordings as "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "A Day In The Life," and "Let It Be" -- with Martin himself supplying piano on such legendary tracks as "In My Life," "Lovely Rita," "Good Day Sunshine," and "Rocky Raccoon," among many others.

Martin also produced numerous comedy and novelty records. His first hit for Parlophone in 1952 with the Peter Ustinov single "Mock Mozart" – a record reluctantly released by EMI but successful after all.  Later that decade Martin worked with Peter Sellers on two very popular comedy LPs. One was released on 10" format and called "The Best Of Sellers", the second released in 1957 being called "Songs for Swinging Sellers" (a spoof on Frank Sinatra's LP "Songs for Swinging Lovers"). 

His production of British comic Spike Milligan and his Goonies albums are considered classics of the genre'.

In later years, Martin started AIR Studios and over the course of his career produced key recordings by America, Jeff Beck, Cilla Black, Cheap Trick, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Carly Simon, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Kenny Rogers, Neil Sedaka, Jimmy Webb, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Meat Loaf, Celine Dion, and Kate Bush.

In 1997, Martin produced Elton John’s remake of "Candle In The Wind" as a tribute to Princess Diana, which went on to become the second-biggest selling single of all time.

In the early-1980's Martin produced a trio of Paul McCartney albums -- Tug Of War, Pipes Of Peace, and Give My Regards To Broadstreet, marking his first production work since his 1973 teamup with McCartney for Wings' theme to the 007 James Bond film, Live And Let Die. He continued to occasionally orchestrate the odd McCartney track.

The accolades and tributes for a man of Martin's sonic contributions will come sure and steady for the next couple of news cycles, a refreshing, welcome, high class time out from the noise of the low class clown car of American politics roaring around the track.

The best, and most appropriate, in my humble o, of that praise coming from the four who became fab thanks to George Martin bringing them to our radios and our record stores and our world in 1964.

Starting with John Lennon.

“We did a lot of learning together. He had a very great musical knowledge and background, so he could translate for us and suggest a lot of things; which he did. And he’d come up with amazing technical things, like slowing down the piano, playing it slow and putting it on. . . . and things like that. Where who’d be saying: ‘Well can we, we wanna go ‘ooh’ and ‘eee-eee’ and he’d say (imitates Martin), ‘Look chaps, I thought of this this afternoon. Last evening I was talking to . . . .’ - whoever he was talking to - ‘. . . and I came up with this.’ Y’know, and we’d say, ‘Oh, great!’ But he’d also come up with things like, ‘Well, have you heard an oboe?’ -- ‘’Oh, which one’s that?’ -- ‘It’s this one.’”

 And Paul McCartney, talking about the aforementioned timeless orchestration George Martin brought to the iconic pop music ballad, "Yesterday".

“It was basically studio musicians that George Martin would book. ‘Cause George was the one who knew the classical field -- we didn’t have a clue at all. George was always very good; he always got the best people.”

Ringo, of course, sent peace and lover and best wishes to the family and, surely, not without a fond and affectionate remembrance of his own unusual beginnings with the producer, a story that Martin, himself, was never reluctant to tell on himself.

"I didn't even know the guy was coming. I'd had this fellow, Pete Best, and I didn't. . . I thought we could do better and I booked a good session drummer (Andy White) to replace him, and then the boys turn up with a fellow called 'Ringo Starr.' And they say, 'He's our new drummer.' And I said, 'No, no he's not. I booked this fellow. We're paying good money for this chap. I'll let your fellow in later on, but I want to be sure of this track.'"

And George Harrison, who, as the pop history books will tell, was the subject of the last work George Martin's did before retiring, crafting the soundtrack for Beatles' 2006 Cirque du Soleil LOVE production and soundtrack. He composed his final score for hire to accompany George Harrison's 1968 demo for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," which was officially released in 1996 on The Beatles Anthology 3 collection.

"The song itself, on the Anthology is a demo and then someone had the idea of asking me to write a score of this demo. And this was a bit of a shock for me, because I never thought I'd be writing a score for George long after he died. And also with (his wife) Olivia listening to it, I had to write something that she would like, as well as something the show would like. And anyway, we did it, she came to the session and I could see by the look on her face she approved it, so that was okay, and everyone seemed to think that it worked very well ["It was fairly emotional going back on all the stuff I'd done so long ago. But of course, I had Giles with me -- my son -- who's got a great pair of ears, and his help on this was absolutely vital, I think, because first thing his did was to transfer everything that was on tape to hard disc, to preserve it, because these tapes, some of these tapes were very fragile, and now, I mean, they're over 40-years-old."

And those songs that George Martin was speaking of are now, at this writing, on the day after his passing, over 50 years old.

And yet.... some what now seems a little poetically ironic coincidence, a friend and I were having a conversation about the current state of pop music, in particular, a meme that has floated to the surface a time or two in recent months on social media.

In the course of that conversation, I mentioned, as I've shared both in print and on air more than once, that the subjectivity of the art of music and/or one's personal tastes acknowledged and notwithstanding, that it was a pretty safe bet that come, say, fifty years from now, the amount of attention, even awareness, let alone the amount of listening to, and, even, purchasing of today's popular music will be minimal, at best. Meanwhile, the recorded work of The Beatles, if no other of George Martin's recording studio proteges, will continue to be discovered and enjoyed by each new generation.

Put more bluntly....

2066....industry sources report overwhelming demand and skyrocketing sales for the newly released "Nicki Minaj Anthology."

Uh, no. Not so much.

The music of The Beatles?

Still just as popular and beloved as it was a hundred years ago, in 1966.

Oh... and the poetic irony of the conversation that I referred to a few moments ago?

My friend and I just had that conversation....yesterday.

Somehow, you just had to know that I wasn't going to be able to completely resist the clever thing.

But, also, somehow, I can't help but think that a man with the extraordinary talent, wit and remarkable style of the marvelous maestro who produced Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, not to mention four cheeky lads from Liverpool, would fully appreciate the clever.

Thank you, Sir George Martin. I have listened to every Beatle recording you gave us for fifty plus years now...and...

In my life....I've loved them all.