So, this morning I'm on my way to Mark Janas' apartment so we can work on some songs. I get into the subway and run right into primo uber mega talented Ritt Henn, a singer, songwriter, bass player I knew back in Los Angeles. I told him I had just, the night before, seen a video of Devin Richards show from last week, and how much I loved the song he wrote, which they sang together, a sensitive little ditty called, "Change Sucks."
He had a CD in his pocket and had the wrapper off and was signing it for me before another word was spoken. I was very excited, but when he tried to give it to me as a gift, I said, "No way. I don't take free music from songwriters. Name a price."
He said, "Mmm. Okay. How about 10 bucks."
I looked in my wallet and found seven. "How about seven?"
I pulled out my video camera and we were doing shtick when we discovered that the train wasn't exactly acting right.
See, we had gotten on the Downtown Local 1 from 103rd street, planning to get off at Christopher Street where he had a rehearsal for a new show and I was working with Mark. The Local takes a little longer, but we thought, "Well, at least it will get us there even if we were cutting it close."
At 14th street, for some ungodly reason, the train decided it needed to go Express. So there we were, both almost late for our dates, when the train starts to slow down... and... speeds up again.
Past three more stations until it finally stops at Chambers Street, which might as well have been Brooklyn.
Ritt carries this HUGE, heavy upright bass. So, now we're racing through the crowded subway station, up and down two flights of stairs, to get across the track to find the Uptown Local so we can get back to -- no, not Christopher Street since it was still running Express -- but to 14th Street where we were both running down the street, him carrying that bass which is taller than he is (and he's tall), and me carrying two heavy bags and, of course, video taping the whole experience.
Finally, covered in sweat, we part ways, glad to have had a little adventure together. I wished him well in his new gig and rushed to Mark's where I grabbed the tallest glass of cold water I could find and then fell onto his couch.
When the history of "The Big Voice: God or Merman? is written, there will be one moment that will shine, for us, above all. And it happ...
Hal Block, the increasingly irritating panelist on "What's My Line?" was fired last night after the show. Well, back in 1953. ...
Charles Nelson Reilly with the Laguna Playhouse cast of The Last Session. R. to L.: Joel Traywick, Bob Stillman, Michele Mais, Charles Nels...