Born Reggie Dwight in 1947, his early years were not exactly sunshine and roses. His parents, Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) don’t have an easy relationship. The ruptures in their marriage extend to the relationship with their son. Stanley is cold and demanding. Sheila is slightly more maternal, but I wouldn’t describe her as the ideal mother. The only person who genuinely loves and supports the future rock star is his grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones).
As a young man, Reggie starts to build a career as a musician. That career becomes a reality when he meets Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). But as often happens, success gets to Elton’s head. While his career thrives, so does his relationship with John Reid (Richard Madden). Adding to all of this is his growing addiction to alcohol and drugs.
This movie is interesting, especially in the sub-genre of music biopics. The narrative can be described as musical-like, with the songs driving the narrative. Instead of lip syncing to pre-recorded songs sung by the real life Elton John, Egerton does his own singing and is surprisingly good.
What strikes me is that the narrative underneath the music is the story of a man who is fighting lifelong demons of mental health and self esteem. His story, regardless of one’s sexuality, is a reminder that one can overcome one’s demons and live a full life.
Getting your big break in the entertainment industry requires luck, hard work and being in the right place at the right time. Or, perhaps auditioning on television for millions of viewers.
Last night, Songland premiered on NBC. The premise of the show is as follows: four unknown songwriters audition with their songs in front of three respected producers/songwriters and one guest musician or band who will record the winning song. Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally are the producers/songwriters who provide guidance to the hopefuls. The guest musician last night was John Legend.
After three of the four songs are chosen, the producers will work on the song with the song writers. After the song has been refined, the song writers will then perform the updated song. One song and one songwriter is chosen as the winner.
I really like this show. Unlike other competition reality show where the focus is getting into the entertainment industry, Songland feels authentic. As a viewer I was genuinely rooting for the contestants and on the edge of my seat for the entire episode.
Impeaching a President or any politician is serious business. It requires unassailable proof that the accused has committed a crime. The problem in the US these days is that the answer to the question of if we should impeach you know who depends on who asks the question.
This morning, Randy Rainbow released his new video, “JUST IMPEACH HIM – Randy Rainbow Song Parody“.
I have to admit that I cannot identify the original song or the artist. That being said, this is the first Randy Rainbow song that I do not unilaterally agree with. Though I laughed (as I do with his previous songs), I have to admit that this song made me think.
While I agree that the actions of you know who are morally and politically questionable, impeachment should only occur when the evidence cannot be questioned or denied. The problem from my perspective is that this evidence either does not exist or is only known to certain people who are keeping it from the voting public.
Either way, until this evidence is made public, I cannot and will stand behind impeaching you know who.
Towards the end of the episode, Sandler paid tribute to his late friend and colleague, Chris Farley.
The song was as beautiful and sentimental as it was heart-wrenching.
Farley was more than a comedic genius and the comedy heir to the late John Belushi. He had a heart of gold and a honest desire to make people laugh. There was a joy to his performances that radiated from the stage to the audience.
My favorite Chris Farley sketch is Matt Foley: Van Down By The River.
RIP Chris, thanks for the laugh and thank you Adam for the memories.
Politics has a way of dividing us. Music and humor has a way or bringing us together.
Just a few hours ago, Randy Rainbow released his latest video, entitled “BARR! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody“.
Based on the opening song from Beauty and the Beast, “Belle“, the video highlights that the current Attorney General, William Barr, is not doing his job. His job is to serve and protect the American people, not serve and protect the President. Like many of those in the administration, Mr. Barr’s priorities are completely lopsided. They have forgotten who hired and who continues to pay them.
If I have to be honest, I’ve been a bit depressed due to my current job situation. This video made me laugh and if only for a few minutes, put a smile on my face.
Mental health disorders have a way of isolating those who suffer. Logically, they know that they have a solid support system of family, friends and partners/spouses. But mental illness and depression specifically says otherwise. It makes that person feel alone, that everyone around them is lying. The only thing that is honest is their depression.
Recently, the rock band Disturbed released their latest song and accompanying video, “A Time To Fight“.
The thing that strikes me about this song and the video is that it negates the idea that those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses suffer are alone. There are millions of us who wake up everyday with this weight on our emotional shoulders.
Knowing that we are not alone, that there are many out there who suffer from this disease is important not just for those who live with mental illness, but for those who love them. That knowledge, from my perspective, is the most important aspect of not just treatment, but living a full life.
Behind every successful musician is a human being who did everything they could to see their dreams become reality. Along the way, there are predictably a few bumps and bruises.
Behind the Music premiered in 1997 on VH1. For the last 22 years, it has been one of the staples of the network’s schedule.
Each episode focuses on the lives and careers of a specific band or artist. Each artist or band is followed as they grow up, struggle to make it as a performer, become successful and try to maintain that career while dealing with the everyday stuff that we all deal with.
I really like Behind the Music. In terms of the biography format,it doesn’t feel forced or glossed over. Each artist has the opportunity to tell their own story in a way that it unique and personal to them.
The best sensor we have is our body. When it tells us to slow down, we should listen to it. If we ignore it, we do so at our peril.
When it comes to mental illness, ignoring the signals that we need help is more than detrimental. It could be life threatening. Last week, Britney Spears checked into a mental health facility following her father’s health scare.
I admire her for getting help and not being afraid to publicly admitting that she needs to take time to take care of herself. The hardest thing that one can do when suffering from mental illness is to ask for help. It’s easy to pretend that your OK and try to go about your business. It’s harder to take a step back and say that you need to talk to someone.
I hope that her actions inspire others who suffer from mental illness to seek treatment. The more we speak of mental illness, the less it becomes a stigma and that will finally lead to an open conversation about this debilitating and deadly disease.
They say that education is the great equalizer. Regardless of background, family income or location, education sets up a child for future success. The problem is that this idea sounds nice, but it’s not reality. The reality in the United States that education, like many aspects of this country, is unequal.
Betsy DeVos is not helping the situation.
Randy Rainbow released his new video today, entitled “CRUELLA DEVOS – Randy Rainbow Song Parody“.
Based on the song “Cruella De Vil” from the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians (1961), this video easily falls within the top five of Randy Rainbow videos. Like her boss, Mrs. DeVos, is ill-equipped, inexperienced and just the wrong person for the role she was given. But then again, that is nothing new for this current Presidential administration.
Depending on where you standing politically, the release of the Mueller Report is either a victory or a disappointment.
Earlier today, Randy Rainbow released his latest video entitled “THE MUELLER BLUES – Randy Rainbow Song Parody”.
Though I cannot identify the song that the parody is based on, I still love this video. I love that he addresses, as only he can, the feelings and reactions of both camps. From my perspective, it is just additional evidence that while you know who is not completely responsible for the political and social divisions in this country, he is a symptom of them.
Americans are better when we stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow citizens. The problem is that instead of instead of finding common ground and a way to respect our differences, we are fighting with each other. If we cannot figure out how to get along, I fear that the America that we all know and love will become something different entirely.