A potpourri of interesting tidbits

I have some bits and pieces lying around that, individually, wouldn’t have make a proper post so I’ve decided to gather them all together and drop them here. That’s how The Beatles recorded the medley at the end of Abbey Road. They merged several half-baked songs together and created a masterpiece.

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Speaking of The Beatles…Carnegie Hall has a wonderful museum with some fun relics and artifacts on permanent display. Here’s a program from February 12th, 1964 when The Beatles played their first U.S. date. This was just three days after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, a broadcast that was viewed by over 74 million people and one that changed the course of popular culture. It’s signed by all four Beatles! Can you imagine what this would fetch on today’s market?!


Apparently, The Beatles weren’t THAT well known, because there’s a typo. They got McCartney’s name WRONG.


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I bought a new winter coat this season. It’s a good thing because the city has been bitterly cold over the past several days with more on the way. It’s long. Almost to my knees. The other day I ate something that didn’t agree with me and it gave me terrible wind. It was wafting up through the coat and exiting at the neck. I was riding on the subway and almost passed out. Awful.

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When I was a kid, Norman Rockwell was not cool. His flag-waving Americana was viewed as antiseptic and lacking soul. That was then. Today, his stuff sells for millions. Steven Spielberg is a collector, which makes perfect sense, if you think about it. Here’s an atypical and striking work by Rockwell that recently sold at Christie’s.

rockwell1The Thing to Do With Life is Live It! (Outrigger Canoe)
Estimate: $800,000 – $1,200,000. Sold for $1,625,000

This painting was commissioned by Pan Am Airlines in 1955 as a travel poster. Here’s a detail. Note the company logo on the bags and happy, well-fed tourists.

rockwell2I don’t think he captured the water spray. It looks like–I don’t know–paint. But just look at the way the sun is hitting their arms. Nice work, Norman.rockwell3

I’m reluctant to admit this because it sounds idiotic but this image strikes me as the quintessential, mid-1950’s Republican fantasy. Soft, middle-aged, wealthy, white people are served by island savages. Everyone knew their place in this ring-a-ding, rob roy, on the rocks era. They miss it. It’s what they’re trying to turn the clocks back to. It’ll never work.

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Last weekend when I took the daughters gallery-hopping, we were walking up 10th Avenue and 12-Year Old stopped dead in her tracks looked down and said, “Guys! Look at this!”


Someone painted this portrait onto the sidewalk. Don’t you love that!? It looks like it was dribbled off the tip of a paint brush. I think he captured something here and the reason it’s so striking is because it’s on concrete. No artist accreditation anywhere. Created because he had to. Because it would have killed him not to. And I love the impermanence of it. Four months from now it won’t be there anymore. It’ll have been scuffed onto the bottom of shoes or scraped away under the blade of a snow shovel.