The news of Ronnie Spector’s death hit less than 24 hours ago, and tributes have already arrived by everyone from Brian Wilson to Darlene Love and Steve Van Zandt. “I loved her voice so much,” Wilson said in a statement, “and she was a very special person and a dear friend. This just breaks my heart. Ronnie’s music and spirit will live forever.”
Discounting a brief attempt to resurrect the act in the mid-Seventies, Spector’s group the Ronettes ended in 1967. She continued to perform their classics on solo tours during the past five decades, but in 2007 she finally had the chance to stand on the same stage as her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley when the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
It was a long-overdue honor that Phil Spector reportedly worked to prevent when he was a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee, but he was on trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson at the time, and no longer had any ability to stop it.
Keith Richards delivered their induction speech. He started by looking back to a 1964 English tour that the Rolling Stones embarked on with the Ronettes. Watching them rehearse before the shows kicked off was his first opportunity to hear the trio sing live. “I got a command performance all to myself,” he said. “I realized that despite Jack Nitzsche’s beautiful arrangements, they could sing all the way right through a Wall of Sound. They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right there and then, and they touch it still.”
Ronnie Spector spoke first. “We waited so long,” she said. “I mean, we really waited long. We went through lots of ups and downs. … I never thought I’d get here, but here I am. I am blown away.” She then delivered a lengthy, gracious speech where she thanked her two bandmates, Cher, Jack Nitzsche, Murray the K, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, George Harrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Iovine, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Steve Van Zandt, Joey Ramone, Patti Smith, Eddie Money, Keith Richards, and several others.
Estelle Bennett had a very difficult life following the dissolution of the Ronettes due to severe mental-health issues. She didn’t perform with her group that night, but she did deliver brief remarks following her sister’s speech. “I would just like to say thank you very much for giving us this award,” she said. “Thank you. I’m Estelle of the Ronettes. Thank you.” (Bennett died in 2009.)
Nedra Talley became a born-again Christian after the Ronettes ended and moved away from secular music, but she remained very proud of the group’s accomplishments. “I thank God that I’m here tonight,” she said. “And that we, as the Ronettes, are being acknowledged for what we gave. But I didn’t have any idea what we were giving. I was very, very young and I didn’t know that we were setting styles for girls. I thank every fan that kept us in their hearts and in their minds for all these years. Thank you for playing the music to your children and to your children’s children.”
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bandleader Paul Shaffer reveres the Ronettes like few other groups, and he assembled an enormous band to recreate Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound production for their performance that night down to the smallest details. Here’s the grand finale of “Be My Baby.” It was a spectacular way to wrap up the saga of the Ronettes.
If you’ll read the names that Ronnie thanked in her speech, you’ll notice that she skipped over Phil Spector for very understandable reasons. Not only was he her abusive ex-husband, he also spent decades taking as much credit for the success of the group as he possibly could, and doing everything in his power to deny her royalties. This was a night that was about the Ronettes, not him.
But after the performance, Paul Shaffer rushed to the microphone. “It gives me a lot of pleasure to read this note,” he gushed. “‘I’m extremely happy for the Ronettes. From the days of 1963 at Gold Star Studios, I wish them all the happiness and good fortune the world has to offer.’ And it’s signed ‘Phil Spector,’ ladies and gentlemen.” He walked away from the podium to very light applause. The camera doesn’t pan to Ronnie, Estelle or Nedra, but it’s a safe bet that they weren’t clapping.
Saba will present Few Good Things: The Short Film on Monday, January 31st and Tuesday, February 1st in support of his highly anticipated Few Good Things album, which will be released on February 4th. The international premiere will be broadcast live on Moment House, a premium social live media platform, and will be followed by a discussion between Saba and film director C.T. Robert, led by Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins.
Saba’s moment will air on Moment House on Monday, January 31st and Tuesday, February 1st and will be broadcast across North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the United Kingdom, Europe, and Africa. Please consult the table below for live stream dates and timings by territory, as well as other information on Moment House’s website.
“The concept of ‘Few Good Things’ is the realization of self after a search for exterior fulfillment,” said Saba. “It is the satisfaction and completeness you gain by simply living a life that is yours. Few is a small number, but few is not lonely. In the face of all adversity, a few good things is recognizing and accepting blessings. Few is to count them, one by one – an empty glass is full of air, an empty bank is full of lessons., and an empty heart is full of memories. Few good things is to grow comfortable with the empty, and despite that, finding your fullness.”
Film director C.T. Robert adds, “As a storyteller, I’ve always been drawn to stories that attempt to identify what makes us who we are. The ones that ask questions like: ‘What does having everything you need really look like?’ ‘Is it sitting at a dinner table with your loved ones?’ ‘Is it waking up next to the woman you love?’ ‘Is it having cherished memories for all of those you care for, those still in the physical and those who passed on?’”
Elvis Costello and the Imposters took to the stage on Friday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbertto give a rousing performance of “Farewell, OK,” the lead track from the group’s latest album, The Boy Named If.
The song tells the story of a relationship gone off the rails, with one party wondering how things might have gone differently. “Ran my hand in the rhythm along the ballroom wall,” Costello sings. “Felt the rumble of the bass through the entrance hall/ And the door flung open to a mascara cry/ I can’t shake the sound of ‘How could you or why?’”
“Like a lot of good rock and roll songs this began with a drummer down in a basement and a singer howling outside the backdoor,” Costello said in a statement about the track. “It’s a blurred gaze, a drink too much, an accidental punch and a kiss goodnight all in the tumult of a dancehall.”
The My Aim is True rocker also surprised the audience with a rendition of his classic hit, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding.” The song, which appeared on Costello’s 1979 LP Armed Forces, was originally written by English singer-songwriter Nick Lowe.
The Boy Named If dropped earlier this month. In an interview about the album for Rolling Stone’s Last Word column, Costello shared what still attracts him to writing rock music after nearly five decades in the business.
“I don’t like much rock music. I like rock & roll,” the 67-year-old said. “I think if you lose the roll part, a lot of the fun goes out of it.”
Costello is set to hit the road this summer in support of The Boy Named If with a short UK tour. Most information about the shows can be found on Costello’s website.
Per TMZ, the former governor of California was driving his SUV in Los Angeles when he allegedly collided with a red Prius around 5 p.m. The outlet published photos of Schwarzenegger, 74, on the scene of a crash.
A spokesperson for the LAPD told E! News that officers responded to a four-vehicle crash on Sunset Blvd, after one vehicle “landed” on top of another. One woman was taken by ambulance to the hospital with “minor abrasions,” per the spokesperson, who added that her injuries are not life threatening.
Police did not confirm the identities of the people involved in the accident.
The actor’s rep told NBC News, “His main concern is for the woman from the other vehicle.”
E! News reached out to Schwarzenegger’s rep for comment but has not heard back. Per TMZ, Schwarzenegger is OK.
The Terminator star shares four children (Katherine, Patrick, Christopher and Christina) with ex Maria Shriver and son JosephBaena with his former housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena.