Dunce’s Corner

On June 5, openly gay ELTON JOHN performed at the wedding (the fourth) of 59-year-old virulently homophobic lunatic radio talk show host RUSH LIMBAUGH to 33-year-old Kathryn Rogers (reportedly a direct descendant of John Adams, second President of the United States) for a fee People magazine reported as being $1 million (strange-two years ago Reuters reported John's fee for wedding is $2 million. Why the discount for Limbaugh?). Dame Elton follows another dubious character, BEYONCE, into the hypocrite’s Hall of Shame. The auto-tuned diva distinguished herself—if that’s the right term—by taking a cool million from Hannibal Khadafy, the brutal, woman-beating son of terrorist backing Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy. We thought we had retired The Dunce’s Corner, but this outrage cannot go unpunished.

Dennis Hopper

Prostate cancer claimed Dennis Hopper’s life on May 29, but his is a career that will live in the movies he made and certainly in the legendary tales of excess and madness rampant in his biography. But for all that, Hopper was dedicated to his craft, a student of film and of acting, a distinguished alum of The Actor’s Studio who took his art seriously—maybe too seriously during those years he was in no condition to make sound judgments, but seriously nonetheless. But what a legacy he left. In this issue, we look back on one of his many larger-than-life moments, in bringing Easy Rider to the big screen. This excerpt from PETER BISKIN’s definitive study of Hollywood in the ‘70s, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How The Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘n’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (Simon & Schuster, 1998) tells of the whole wild ride, which ends with Hopper’s estranged wife (the first of his five marriages), Brooke Hayward, explaining how she refused to take any of Hopper’s cut from Easy Rider in the divorce settlement “because I didn’t want him coming after me with a shotgun, and shooting me.” Read on, friends.

Lena Horne

Much has been written in praise of Lena Horne since her death at age 92 on May 9, and a straight obit at this point seems pointless. However, we came up with a couple of other angles to offer a perspective on Ms. Horne’s life and art as a matter of filling gaps in all the published tributes. In one we look at the obscure origins of her career-making song, “Stormy Weather,” first recorded by ETHEL WATERS and, in effect, handed off by Waters to the young Ms. Horne after the former heard the latter imitating her in a Cotton Club dressing room. This piece also includes a video of Ms. Horne talking about her family and her early struggles in and out of the Cotton Club. For another take, see Allison Salerno’s piece in The Gospel Set.

Recent Issues

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Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
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