I’ve done this before, but that six circles thing didn’t same to work and my memo must have failed to reach Barbra because she has failed to put into my action items into play. So, I feel duty bound to attempt to provide professional guidance to Barbra one more time! I mean, we all know that I give only the finest of advice on any matter imaginable! And, as I’ve loved the work of Barbra since I was four years old, I feel that I am of particular value in this regard. Barbra, can you hear me?
First of all, Barbra, we all know you don’t like to work. No problem! My suggestions are actually quite simple. Actually, I am recommending that you just get back to the basics! A new studio recording is really needed. However, it should not be full of lush orchestrations and perfection. No, this recording just be as follows:
Just you, a piano and a bass player. All you need do is select the songs and hire a producer other than yourself or Jay Landers — not that you both don’t do gorgeous work, but let’s have a change! I really think that Tommy LiPuma would be an ideal choice! As for the songs — select classic standards, but let the music guide you more toward jazz and emotion vs. easy listening/MOR. Set aside five days, sit down and just sing!
I would love to hear you and two competent musicians do a new re-freshed cover of “With One More Look” — and, really, you never recorded that song in full! I also think you could add a great deal of sparkle to “Wicked Little Town” from that Hedwig movie you probably heard about.
And, I still feel it would be a bit of heaven to hear your voice mingle with that of Anthony (of Anthony and the Johnsons)! He has written some lovely songs. Babs! This could be your chance to claim a whole new generation of listeners and re-appreciation of those of us who love you! And, there is still a trunk full of Harold Arlen songs just waiting for you to bring them back!
But, of course, there is the concern of your image. Barbra, I have to just say it: “Get over it!” …the 70’s are gone and so are your days of baring your ass, legs and shoulders. It isn’t cute anymore. Think simple.
This look really worked quite well — and, it sort of returns you to your biggest commercial look of the 70’s. …but, retaining the dignity of your age! And, let’s face it: both looks are thanks to wig’ing. No big deal. Just work it.
For the artwork, find a photographer with whom you’ve not yet worked and just trust him or her to capture you. I’ve a very talented friend who happens to be a kick-ass photographer! His name is Walter Briski, Jr. …Google him and see his stuff. Anyway, don’t worry with promotion — just let Sony deal with that. I think a good title for the LP would be “Simply Barbra!” …Yes, go with that!
As for film work, well just say no to some lame Little Fockers movie! Just say no! Woody Allen is said to have been trying to work with you for years. Now just might be the right time! The comic pairing of you could be great! Or, George Segal! Think ‘edgy’ but that doesn’t mean insipid bathroom humor – it means playing funny. …think THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT for the 21st Century. Play your age! And, don’t direct it. Just play a part.
…You can still keep up with your computer fun, gardening and eating.
Well, I certainly hope you were taking notes!
…things are actually starting to get better. looks like it is still a long road to go, but i’m learning to accept the pace of “healing” — and to keep what gifts of hope the ones i love offer. i wish i could write that i take comfort, but this doesn’t come easily for me. i’m used to being the one who gives, tho i hope i’ve never stopped giving all that i can.
we put in an application and deposit for a lovely apartment in san francisco. i think we will get it and we should be moving back to the city within the next two to three weeks. moving back to the city and away from the trains and general horrors we have witnessed here. however, this move presents a new sort of struggle for me.
…and, i don’t mean the struggle of having to scale down on possessions to move from 1800 square feet to 600. that is no big deal to me. the things i really value are often quite small in size but unmeasurable in worth. we can fit in 600 square feet without worry. but, the thought of actually trying to pack and move is scary. sometimes just trying to fall asleep is more challenging than swimming across an ocean. just getting from ‘point a’ to ‘point b’ is not always something i can do right now.
but, one takes in a deep bowl of air and simply tries the best one can. and, that is enough. …to just keep trying and pushing forward.
it is almost 2am.
b and bagel are fast asleep. i sit alone trying to sort through my scramble mess of thought and calm down enough to face the bed. i suddenly realize that my ‘gut’ has gotten smaller and that the ‘man tits’ are turning back to ‘man chest’ again.
i feel a great sigh of relief to notice that my body is returning to form. …a way to go, but it is coming back.
i sip my tea and a sigh of fear tries to envelop me.
as the layer of fat starts to finally evaporate i realize i am more exposed.
how odd that the feeling of healing in itself can illicit fear.
vulnerable and almost naked — i push forward back to life.
I was sitting at the window waiting for the dizziness and confusion to die down. It is so difficult to put all the woes which seem to keep me in this state of debilitation. Often I find myself thinking — for the first time in my life I finally have all the things I ever wished and dreamed of having — real love, a home and a future filled with hope and warmth. And, I have all these blessed things under the perfect sun and clear air that can only be had in San Francisco.
But, yet, here I sit rather crippled by the ghosts of the past. I limp through the struggles of therapy. As I do so I feel like I am dragging those who mean the most to me down into the mire of this misery. It is an odd and horrible space to sit.
“…bring them all the pain you’ve carried down the line
beggar standing on the corner dry your eyes
the tears you’re tasting now are only salty time.
The out of tune ravings of the crippled crow
Moving down the ladder slow
Where your friends on knee will help you…”
Donna Weiss, 1972
…Little Bagel peeking up at the dinner table…
I can’t sleep. I’ve brewed a pot of chamomile tea with honey. I’m sitting by the window, sipping the hot tea and looking out on our parking lot where just about anything can (and usually does happen), but this is a Monday morning. It is normally quiet until the trains start to run and the huge delivery trucks begin to arrive at the weighing station.
I notice two boys (well, I would guess that they were both somewhere in the confusion that is the mid-twenties) — but, the older I get the younger other people seem. But, that is a whole different topic.
Anyway, these two boys are bicycling up to just under our window. They jump off their mountain bikes and carefully lock them to one of the city street sign beneath me. They look around to be sure no one is watching them. They do not notice me as I’m above them and sitting in the dark.
They cross the driveway to the fence that separates our parking spaces from the feeder road. I begin to suspect that they are about to have some sort of dirty tryst in front of our building (well, this happens here) — but, instead they sit in a parking spot, light up a couple of joints and share drinks from a Jack Daniels bottle.
I sip my tea.
They partake of weed and liquor. They begin to laugh. Then they kiss. It was at this point they noticed me. One of them gives me the peace sign. I return it. The other offers up his joint to me and motions for me to join them. I shake my head and smile.
They finish up their pot.
I pour another cup of tea.
They sort of wobble back to the street sign, unlock their bikes and begin what appears to be a laborious peddle back on to the street. They leave their bottle. They are gone.
I begin to think I might be able to fall asleep. It is 4am.
I rinse out the tea kettle and wash the honey from my cup.
As I close the window to block the cold northern California breeze and notice that someone has already taken the bottle. It is a homeless man. He curses and throws the bottle into the street.
And, sleep comes to the weary.