Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day one hundred and six ... The warm-up.

We spent the day on Monday mostly indoors.

Breakfast on the deck was nice.

I had the smoked salmon saffron Mornay, which was pretty much eggs Benny with lox, accompanied by tea and juice and a cookie. It was about the price of the most expensive dinner entree in the second most expensive restaurant in NoHo.

Some of us have a mantra on this trip: Papa Fox has deep pockets. The recording industry may be going to hell in a hand basket, but the film biz is alive and strong, and very, very wealthy.

Then we had band rehearsal while Inside Edition set up to do a spot. This was followed by a full chorus rehearsal for the two TV shows and the Wilshire gig.

I barely had time before dinner to jump in the pool, hot tub, and enjoy my newest, most favorite thing in the world: cucumber water. Yes, they have a "locker room" with a sauna, hot tub, and showers. But they also have a perpetually full pitcher of ice water with cucumber slices and lemon wedges squeezed in it. Simply sublime. Oh, and I almost forgot about the facecloths in ice water with lemon slices. I never did see any lockers. Large Greek men, but no lockers

Dinner at a place called Kay and Daves where we saw the Sox beat the Indians. Go Sox! They served mediocre Mexican food, but you know what makes mediocre Mexican food better? An unlimited supply of it. It gets better as you fill up, and before you know it it's time for banana flouetas and warm pecan brownies. Comidas gratis es muy bueno!

Walked back to the hotel and fell immediately asleep. Woke at 8. Showered and put on my freshly shined shoes, which I had left in a linen bag on the door handle. I think I'll do it again tonight. Gotta get out those dings from kicking the tires of all those Bentleys.

Had poached eggs on Polaine bread with wild mushroom cream sauce and asparagus. A fruit plate on the side was nice. John Laprade, our lighting tech/production designer got the Double lemon brioche french toast, while Steve opted for the "American" breakfast.
I won't tell you how grotesquely expensive this morning meal cost. That would be tacky. I'll just repeat my mantra: Papa Fox has deep pockets. Very generous, very deep pockets.

Steve and I took a walk to this Mormon temple which Steve thinks is on an Eagles record cover. We gingerly stepped inside to one of the freakiest scenes ever. A man about 65 or so in an all white suit with a perma-grin on his face. He took one look at me and Steve and I could almost see him licking his lips. Fresh fish, ready for the confessional, or whatever the Mormons do to people in gigantic stone temples. Steve told him we were "just havin' a look see" and he slowly nodded his head and repeated, "a look see, yes." We made an about face and waved at the two ladies to our right who did not break the smile they had on as we entered.

Back at the hotel, I shaved cautiously and gathered my stuff before heading downstairs to the van which was waiting to take the band to NBC. We had a nice ride with the driver pointing out spots of interest. He pointed out the Laugh Factory where Michael "Kramer" Richards had his meltdown. Our driver, a black man, said if he wanted to really apologize he should have done it there on "Chocolate Sundays" when it would make a bigger and more meaningful impression. Yes. I think so, too.

Showed up at the Ellen set at around 1:30 and were shown our stage area. There were props all over including two gigantic pizza props which made for this picture.

This is Jim, our bass player. Please don't tease him about how tiny he is. All that matters is if he can play. Which he can.
When he's not fiddling with his camera.

We set up in the "no problem" corner as the stage manager called it, and had a bit of a soundcheck.
Spent some quality time in the green room noshing on candy and nuts and Red Bull.

And then the folks who were actually important showed up.
And they had a couple of rooms ready for them.
In the pic below, check out the cue card facing the camera. It tells the host that today's guests are Ugly Betty's, America Ferarra, The Young at Heart Chorus, and Leo Wyatt. Leo recently rescued three people from the airplane which flew into the top floor of his house. Only in America.

Oh and they did two shows this particular day. The first one featured the one and only Suzanne Sommers. I got a few pictures taken with her that will have to wait until Jeff DeRose, Diane's hubby, sends me the files. He has a real camera. It's too big to fit in his back pocket. I promise to share as soon as I can.

Ellen came out and hugged everyone after the Chorus had a sound check. Here she is with smart-alec, Steve Martin. My apologies for the out of focus but I thought a flash would have been tacky. Still do. I gave her a hug and tried to kiss her cheek but she leaned in too far and I therefore got to give her a gentle kiss on the neck. She, like yours truly, has very soft skin.

Dora, Lenny, and Jean Hatch spent some time on the couch and then we played. First off was "I Feel Good" into "Hey Ya." Then "Yes We Can" and finally a rousing "I Want to be Sedated." They all sounded good and the crowd (who had just come from a movie theater screening of Young At Heart) loved every minute of it.

We signed the very thick guest book. I thought it'd be nice to share some pictures of other guest's parting words.

Here's Anthony Hopkins.

Ryan Seacrest's fortune cookie, anyone? Perhaps the kids might get a kick out of Hannah Montana's, Miley Cyrus.

I'm going to get a kick out of sleeping in this bed in about 15 minutes.

I think I recall something about another show we have to do, or something.

Thanks for reading.


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