Tag Archives: Hearne Christopher Jr.
One of Kansas City’s most truly colorful jazz and entertainment characters ever has passed away…
Greg Halstead, the founder and former owner of Jardine’s jazz club died Sunday. The 70-something Halstead may not have set out to lord over the local jazz live music scene, but that’s exactly what he did after taking over the former George’s Cheese and Sausage Shop space in the early 1990s at 4536 Main Street.
"You know, he never liked jazz, he just did it to survive," says former Jardine’s co-owner Pat Hanrahan. "When he first opened Greg started out with a player piano. Then he talked to the original owner of The Phoenix downtown and he helped Greg start the jazz thing, and Jardine’s became the premier jazz club in town. You know, he had Angela Hagenbach on Friday nights and Ida McBeth on Saturdays."
In August of 2000 Halstead nearly gave up on jazz.
It’s that time of year again and KC Confidential is on the prowl…
We’re on the verge of unveiling a new, improved website with lots of bells and whistles, a cleaner, hipper new design and lots of improvements that many of you have been clamoring for. To that end, we’re looking for a few good writers and staffers to up the ante and take things to the next level.
Follow the money? No way…
A review of Southeastern Conference athletic departments that showed newcomer Missouri ranking in the bottom tier in both sports revenues and expenditures was hailed in yesterday’s Kansas City Star as a clarion call for MU to raise more money. That is if it intends to compete on the playing field in its new conference.
In 2011 Missouri took in and spent about $64 million on sports programs. That’s about half of what the top SEC schools raked in – $20 million less than lowly Kentucky even.
To which longtime Missouri supporter Larry Sells says: "I don’t think raising all that money means anything. If they get it, they spend it. Maybe sometime they’ll want to think of themselves as a university instead of a football stadium with a college attached."
Missouri and other schools need to get their priorities straight, Sells says.
"I don’t know that it’s so important to have a $6 million coach as opposed to a $2 million coach," he muses.
The silence is deafening…
It’s hard to imagine being in a more awkward position than the one former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski finds himself in today. Then again, worse things could happen. After all, Posnanski banked a reported $750,000 writing fee for his upcoming book about fallen Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
But what began as a picture perfect Posnanski blowjob about a beloved sports icon – something Joe clearly excells at – has taken nasty turn after nasty turn since the Penn State child abuse sex scandal broke last year.
It took an even nastier turn today with the release of a scathing report nailing Paterno for particpating – and possiblly spearheading – a coverup for convicted former right hand man Jerry Sandusky.
Somebody done somebody wrong…
Like a lame country western song, Fox Sports hung Kansas city out to dry in its coverage of last night’s All Star Game. So says local PR guy extraordinaire Will Gregory.
"Here’s the pathetic thing," Gregory says. "Every single act Fox had at the stadium were country and western singers. And not even huge names – like B level American Idol singers. So it makes everybody across the country think we’re this hick town.
You don’t have to be a die hard sports junkie to have insights or opinions on sports…
A handful of comments section naysayers ripped me last week for suggesting that some locals – notably the sports media – were over-hyping this week’s All Star baseball game in Kansas City.
"Your opinion on baseball is as relevant as mine is on quantum physics," snarled Merle Tagladucci before hammering me for supposedly not knowing that the team that won got home field advantage in the World Series.
Sorry Merle, I do know that. But that’s supposed to matter to everyday Kansas Citians again why?
Look, there’s nothing wrong with hardcore sports buffs like Merle obsessing over baseball minutia. No more than there is people who obcess about stamp or comic book collecting. It’s the human condition.
We all have our dalliences.
However people here have a habit of getting snookered into falling for broad assertions about the amazing things that will come to pass and propel the local economy if we just do this. Or get that.
These kinds of stories are never easy to tell…
However as working members of the local media there’s little doubt that people such as Kansas City Star television and radio critic Aaron Barnhart live in glass houses. Remember KSHB weather wonk Gary Lezak‘s bout with the Big C several years back?
So it is that Barnhart’s unexplained absence since late last year has been the cause of much wonder and speculation by both readers and co-workers.
With much of the speculation centering unfortunately on Barnhart’s past history with cancer.
As a little kid I faintly remember my parents having had odd-sized 78 RPM vinyl records….
I didn’t understand much about them, other than they played at a rate of 78 revolutions-per-minute on a turntable versus the standard long playing record album of the day that played at 33 RPM. When my older siblings struck teen, I learned about 45 RPM records. They were tiny by comparison, but packed a powerful punch in that they held only the very best songs. No filler.
At some point later in the 1960s do-it-yourself recorded music hit the mainstream marketplace.
They came before my time, but have you ever seen one of those old reel-to-reel tape recorders with giant spools of audio tape? They were pretty cool looking. Kinda like the old bicycles with those giant front tires on them were cool.
But like the gigundo-tired bikes, reel-to-reel tapes were unwieldy
In what feels like just a few short years (but is actually closer to a lifetime) Major League Baseball‘s gone from No. 1 on my list to not even on my list….
And I suspect I’m not alone.
If my mother hadn’t given away my baseball card collection, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here now writing this. I’d be jet skiing with Mitt Romney or wind surfing with John Kerry in Nantucket.
I was that into baseball…despite how bad the team here was. I even liked that silly mascot mule.
When the Royals got good – like pretty much everybody else – I hopped on the bandwagon. However the passion was really never the same. And after the team fell out of bed, I completed the process of moving on in life.
I’m not a theater critic, but I’m playing one today…
So let me say up front, the opening night performance of The Addams Family at Starlight Theatre didn’t knock my socks off. Just as the musical didn’t for critics and audiences on Broadway. But hey, it’s a musical, based on a television show, based on a cartoon strip.
And it’s reportedly grossed more than $60 million on Broadway and that ain’t chump change.
Since then it’s been tweaked by writers and producers for the touring edition, However in the final analysis there still just isn’t enough in the way of catchy songs, plot or script writing to overcome the sweltering outdoor heat, even though Starlight has bent over backwards to provide complimentary water, ice and misting stations.
Get me rewrite…
To be fair, the jury’s out on how good a job Joe Posnanski will do in penning fallen Penn State coach Joe Paterno‘s biography…
That said, there’s little doubt on why the ebullient former Kansas City Star sports scribe was chosen for the task. Posnanski has carved a career in breathing fervor into even the most mundane sports achievements and personalities.
He’s a great writer, if a bit euphoric and hyperbolic at times – like most of the time. So it comes as little surprise that JoePa would feel comfortable and assured he’d receive kid glove treatment at the hands of JoePo.
And what writer wouldn’t leap at the chance to get their mitts on a reported $750,000 writing fee?
Unfortunately, an anticipated, run of the mill journalistic blowjob turned into an ugly, nasty tell-all courtesy of the Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse scandal.
On your marks, get set, swelter…
Tonight’s kickoff of the Addams Family at Starlight Theatre should be a scorcher. As in a tad on the warm side. To that end, Starlight has delivered unto ticketholders some advice on how to beat the heat.
"Every guest is allowed to bring 1 sealed bottle of water into the theatre," Starlight advises. "Complimentary water stations will be placed at our North and East Guest Relations. Water misters will be placed throughout the theatre for guest convenience (and) Starlight has drinking fountains throughout the theatre."
You know it’s really hot when, "Upon request, all concession stands will provide you with a complimentary cup of ice" to theatergoers, Starlight says.
Not that it will be unbearable, adds KSHB weather wonk Gary Lezak.
Once upon a time Kansas City was a pretty sleepy city when it came to quality restaurants…
Lots of comfort food joints like Jess & Jim‘s, Stroud’s, Waid’s, Winstead’s, Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, Savoy Grill and however many restaurants whose names began with the word "Putsch’s."
No longer must locals strap on a coat and tie and head to places like the American Restaurant or Peppercorn Duck Club to enjoy an upscale, eclectic dining experience.
Far from it.
Not every show makes it big on Broadway…
Not even a number of the good one. So says Theater League main man Mark Edelman. Something about it being too expensive to "fix" things when a show gets off on the wrong foot. Which doesn’t mean things can’t be fine tuned later before the show hits the road.
Which is exactly what happened in the case with the Addam’s Family musical that opens tonight at Starlight Theatre and plays through Sunday, Edelman says.
"It wasn’t a hit on Broadway but the authors went back and tweaked a few things and the word I got is the tour is better than the show on Broadway was," Edelman says.
Including the cast…
Long time no boots to asses, what gives?
I can’t remember the last time the Kansas City Star unleashed a round of cutbacks and/or layoffs. And that’s saying something. Yeah, they’re still choking out employee furloughs – forced, unpaid vacations. – And while I hate to jinx anyone – after all, I was one of the hundreds that took a bullet a few years back – it does seem quite remarkable.
I mean, the newspaper’s obituary page is chock full of former readers on a daily basis – so it’s not like its readership ranks are growing.
So what’s the deal?
Turns out the worm has temporarily turned at 18th and Grand and ad revenues are up, up, up…
Far be it from me to lobby for you guys to become homebodies…
Get out, party, have a good time, go to a concert, movie, comedy club – anything. Why waste away at home if you don’t have to?
There are times however to pull back and not get sucker-punched by Hollywood.
And one such time is staring you in the face in the form of the new Mark Wahlberg movie Ted.
I know, I know, Jack stuck up a bunch of fingers and it’s taking names and kicking butt at the box office. But don’t get fooled, like I did yesterday.
Stick with the laffs you’ll get watching the trailer and quit while you’re ahead.
Give it up for The Pitch...
The record store rag I ran and built into an alternative newsweekly was on life support for years before Village Voice (aka New Times) unloaded it last year on some dudes in Nashville named Southcomm.
The betting money being that Southcomm would evolve the aging hippie rag into something fresher, flashier and less formulaic than it had become under its former owners. And that it would go after the upscale advertisers the Star‘s upstart weekly Ink was attracting. Advertisers that wouldn’t advertise in the Pitch at gunpoint.
To do so, the Pitch would need to start dialing more content into its all-important (revenue-producing) print paper, clean up the tacky sex ads in back and start printing on magazine stock instead of newsprint like it does in Nashville.
Well, one out of three ain’t bad – not in baseball anyway.
The heat is on and unfortunately, it’s here to stay…
So says Channel 41 weather wonk Gary Lezak. That according Lezak’s Recurring Cycle (LRC) theory.
"The thing is this," Lezak says. "The weather pattern is the same one that set up last fall, according to my LRC. The one that brought us the lowest amount of snow and the warmest March ever in Kansas City history. And it will continue until a new pattern sets up in September or October."
Lezak’s bottom line:
Close but no Tony G…
You know what they say, looks can be deceiving. Big time in the case of a Ford Mustang commercial that’s been bumping around YouTube in recent months. And comments section habitue Rick wasn’t the only one to finger former Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez – now with Atlanta – as the dude on the street twice seen ogling a new 2013 Mustang in the spot.
The chef suit attired guy with the wild ass tattoo on his right forearm is the spitting image of Tony G.
Let me say this about that…
Some of you – don’t look at me like that, you know who you are – are under the mistaken impression that because I’ve been critical of the Alamo Drafthouse‘s ridiculously harsh no texting/no talking policy, I’m down on the place.
Two-plus-two usually does make four, I’ll grant you that, but despite my liberal views, trust me, I’m neither a text-a-holic nor an in-movie yapper.
Just a realist.
That said, I’m going to share my experience at the Alamo’s bold, new downtown venture, The Mainstreet. Because on Wednesday I accompanied a party of five to the Alamo’s grand, soft opening.
And no, I didn’t get yelled at, kicked out or anything of the kind.