James Bond and ‘Spectre’: the ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ for Oscar

Hey James Bond fans, Daniel Craig fans and Sam Smith fans, I don’t know where the Hamptons connection is but Sony just sent me this video of how “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre” is “meant to be heard.”

The song, with music and lyrics by Sam Smith & Jimmy Napes, has been nominated for an Academy Award, plus a Critics’ Choice award and it was the Golden Globe Winner this year. It’s also the first Bond theme song in history to reach number one on the UK singles charts in the first week of release. Oh, wait, there’s the Hamptons connection. Sir Paul McCartney has written a Bond ditty in his day. I can’t believe “Live and Let Die” didn’t already accomplish this mean feat. Hmmm.


For those who are interested, here are the Top 10 Bond theme songs, according to Billboard, circa 2012. The list is pre-Adele and “Skyfall.” Too many deadlines today for me do any more research.

#10 “Diamonds Are Forever” by Shirley Basseyfrom the Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever”

#9 “You Only Live Twice” by Nancy Sinatrafrom the Bond film “You Only Live Twice”

#8 “All Time High” by Rita Coolidge , from the Bond film “Octopussy”

#7  “Thunderball” by Tom Jonesfrom the Bond film “Thunderball”

#6 “Die Another Day” by Madonna (another East Ender), from the Bond film “Die Another Day”

#5  “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey, from the Bond film “Goldfinger”

#4 “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Eastonfrom the Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”

#3 “Live And Let Die” by Paul McCartney & Wingsfrom the Bond film “Live And Let Die”

#2  “Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simonfrom the Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”

#1 “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duranfrom the Bond film “A View To A Kill”

Let’s end with our favorite local Beatle. I love this song!

007 Live and Let Die Opening Title Sequence – Paul …





Two Delicious New Books

As a foodie, writer and pop culture aficionado,  I’m always interested in a good book about tasty subjects. Two such that completely satisfy are “Elaine’s: The Rise of One of New York’s Most Legendary Restaurants from Those Who Were There” by Amy Phillips Penn and “At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends” by Mary McCartney.


The first is chock-full of stories about the legendary Elaine Kaufman, owner of her eponymous eatery/writer hangout in Manhattan. Elaine’s was the first New York restaurant that I knew by name (thanks to Billy Joel and Page 6) even when I was a girl back in Indiana. I visited the famous watering hole the first chance I got once I hit the big city.

In her fantastic book, Ms. Penn includes lots of dish by and about East Enders and those who have spent time in our villages and hamlets. Pick up a copy and nosh on some great stories including: Truman Capote, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Billy Joel, Jackson Pollock, Alec Baldwin, Marty Bregman, George Plimpton, Woody Allen, Nora Ephron, Keith Hernandez, Bob Drury, Richard Johnson, etc. There’s even a sweet smiling photo of Warner Leroy and Elaine, courtesy our friend, the fabulous Bridget Leroy, and an introduction by the great gossip columnist Liz Smith.


In her book, Ms. McCartney, whose famous father is Sir Paul, has written a great down-home guide to putting together meatless fare for special gatherings. Intrigued by the cover, I picked up the book while out shopping without ever noting the author’s name. Already interested, as I casually scanned through the food photos and recipes, I landed on a picture of the one-and-only Amagansett-based Beatle and knew I had to have it. I’m making the Zucchini and Leek Fritters and Herb and Cheese Soufflé either tonight or this weekend at the latest.

Hope you like these two yummy books as much as I do.



John Lennon: Remembering a Legend


Many of you already know that today is the anniversary of the day that Beatle superstar John Lennon was shot and killed 35 years ago outside his home at The Dakota in New York City. What you might not know is that the person directly responsible for the world’s most important supergroup also had connections right here in the Hamptons.

Of course he was one of the dozens of icons who stopped by and stayed awhile at Andy Warhol’s Eothen in Montauk back in the day. And the memory of the man who was subject of Amagansett resident Susan Wood’s “Right On! The Lennon Years, Photographs by Susan Wood 1968 – 1978” this past summer also lives on here in the minds of so many residents who were close friends and family members. Two who quickly come to mind are fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, who lives in Amagansett, and widow Yoko Ono, who is a frequent visitor at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton.

This past summer, my love and I were fortunate enough to take a trip across the pond so I thought I’d share a few photos. While in Liverpool, we hit up a bunch of Beatles sites, including Penny Lane, the reconstructed Cavern Club (where the Beatles played quite a bit in early days) and also the childhood home of Lennon and the gates to Strawberry Fields. Did you know that the inspiration for that song was actually from a home for unwed girls? Tis true, according to our “Magical Mystery Tour” guide.

Long live Lennon, in our hearts and through his songs.


Hamptons To Represent at the Grammys on Sunday



The 57th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast this Sunday, starting at 5 p.m., live from the Staples Center in LA. Once again, our East End will be well represented during the show.

Amagansett’s Paul McCartney will perform “FourFiveSeconds” with Rihanna and last summer’s North Sea visiting renter Kanye West. I applaud Sir Paul for keeping it current but personally I much prefer his earlier work with those lesser-known (ha) lads from across the pond.

Water Mill’s Madonna will sing “Living for Love,” which is from her latest, “Rebel Heart.” I like her older stuff better too. Perhaps I am getting too old for the Grammys? My first sign was that I can’t stay up late enough to watch the entire broadcast; the second was that I don’t know who at least half the nominees are. Oy.

Bridgehampton summerer Beyonce, who is nominated for Album of the Year and a few other significant awards, will join Common and Legend for a rendition of the gospel song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Another sign that I’m becoming a real fuddy-duddy — I’m offended by anything associated with “50 Shades of Grey” and do not like the “Crazy in Love” remake they keep playing with the trailer on TV. Perhaps I should take my Geritol now, as apparently I’m getting feisty.

Amagansett’s Chris Martin, whose Coldplay is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Vocal Album, is also scheduled to perform. He’s tall. And nice. And “Yellow” is one of my favorite love songs. See, I’m not a complete curmudgeon.

Taylor Swift, who apparently just spent a girls’ weekend here, is nominated for a number of awards. She is not scheduled to perform but will present Best New Artist award.

Wishing good fortune on Barry Manilow, who once sat in front of me (WITH Lorna Luft–I was in HEAVEN!!)  at a Bay Street Theater production of “Big Maybelle,” as he is up for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Also to Dianne Reeves, a super lady who I interviewed back in the day to advance her concert at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, who is nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Hamptons Hot Picks: First Weekend in December


‘Tis the season for getting our groove on!

This weekend marks the start of the holiday parties for many, but there are also several other terrific events on the calendar. There are a few really good film screenings happening out here, interesting talks, a great wreath making workshop, AND (swoon!) an intimate conversation about Stuart Sutcliffe, aka “the Fifth Beatle.” Wonder if Sir Paul will show up to that one?

* The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will screen “Four American Composers: John Cage “ on Friday, December 5, at 6 p.m. The excerpt from Peter Greenaway’s documentary project will be introduced by composer Carter Burwell. Laura Kuhn will lead a discussion afterword. www.parrishart.org

* The Sag Harbor Whaling Museum is hosting its first-ever Holiday Cocktail Party & Fundraiser at the Museum on Saturday, December 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. Reserve tickets at http://holidaycocktailparty.splashthat.com * East Hampton Library will screen “Stuart Sutcliffe the Lost Beatle” on Saturday, December 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. The film will be followed with a Q&A with Pauline Sutcliffe, sister of Stuart, and Diane Vitale. www.easthamptonlibrary.org

* Guild Hall in East Hampton will offer a free Gallery Talk with Chief Curator Christina Strassfield on Saturday, December 6, at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 6 at 3 p.m. On Sunday. there will be “Table Talk with Carmen Adriana: How to Give a Great Toast at Any Gathering” from 11 a.m. to 12:39 p.m. www.guildhall.org

* The Southampton Historical Museums and Research Center will host its “Hearthside Cheer” benefit at the Captain Albert Rogers Mansion in Southampton on Saturday, December 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. RSVP (631) 283-2494

* LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton is hosting a Wreath Making workshop on Saturday, December 6, from 10 a.m. to noon with Florence Rewinski. Reservations only. Call Joanne Sohn at 329-3568 to participate. http://www.longhouse.org

* c/o The Maidstone in East Hampton will host its annual tree lighting on Sunday, December 7, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will feature festive activities such as live holiday music from East Hampton High School choir, visits with Santa, cookie decorating, holiday refreshments and more, including a Toys for Tots drive drop-off and non-perishable food drive. 324-5006.

Paul McCartney: Still On the Mend from Virus

Paul McCartney is recovering from an unknown virus.

Paul McCartney is recovering from an unknown virus.

Sending positive thoughts to Sir Paul McCartney of Amagansett, who just announced that he has rescheduled more tour dates.
Recovering from a virus he contracted in May, the former Beatle and rock-and-roll icon has pushed back his June concert dates in the U.S. to October. Last month, he postponed several dates in Japan and South Korea. The type of virus has not been reported. * I wonder (see * below) if he’s fallen victim to Lyme like so many other East Enders? The tick-borne disease, which is not a virus, affects the central nervous system and causes flu-like symptoms. It is reaching epidemic proportions here in the Hamptons. Whatever it is, here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
The next scheduled concert McCartney’s “Out There” tour will be in Albany on July 5. Here are the remaining stops, as of today:
7/5 Albany, NY – Times Union Center
7/7 Pittsburgh, PA – Consol Energy Center
7/9 Chicago, IL – United Center
7/12 Fargo, ND – Fargodome
7/14 Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
7/16 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
8/2 Minneapolis, MN – Target Field
8/5 Missoula, MT – Washington-Grizzly Stadium
8/7 Salt Lake City, UT – EnergySolutions Arena
8/10 Los Angeles, CA – Dodger Stadium
8/12 Phoenix, AZ – US Airways Center
8/14 San Francisco, CA – Candlestick Park
10/2 Lubbock, TX – United Spirit Arena
10/11 New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
10/13 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
10/15 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
10/16 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
10/25 Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
10/28 Louisville, KY – Yum! Center
In other McCartney news, the new book “Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s” by Tom Doyle has hit the shelves. It’s about the musician’s dark days after the breakup of the Beatles. Not sure if it’s authorized or not–the rock journalist did interview him several times though–but the blurbs make it look awfully scandalous. Hmmm.

* My question about Lyme is merely that–my question. It is not reporting, but merely supposition. Again, Lyme Disease is NOT a virus, though it is frequently misdiagnosed as one due to the flu-like symptoms it induces. Also, again, there have been NO reports at this time about what virus Paul McCartney has contracted.

The Beatles: 50 Years Later

The Beatles: 50 Years Later

Read this article about the Beatles even if you have vowed to never, ever read another one. It’s by my brilliant writer at the Press, Michelle Trauring, and she did a hell of a job with it.
Plus, there are tons of locals mentioned here. Joe Delia, Christina Strassfield, Steven Gaines, Joe Lauro, Shaye Weaver, Carol Ellis, Tracy Boyd, Jim Turner, Caroline Doctorow and Alec Baldwin.
Hope ya’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did.