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  • Bruce Springsteen

    Brice Springsteen in 1975.

    A long time ago, a musical Mecca existed in Roslyn on Long Island, called My Father’s Place. The club had everyone from Hall & Oates and Dave Mason to Andrew Gold and Hot Tuna. It quickly became the place to play on the East Coast.

    Bruce Springsteen, of all people, basically debuted there. Though many will always associate “The Boss” with New Jersey, My Father’s Place that really helped him break out.

    The club was so monumental back in the ’70s that labels would arrange showcases and literally transport dozens of hungry (and thirsty!) journalists out there.

    It’s hard to imagine that happening now, especially now that things such as artist development and even A&R executives have become things of the past.

    Back then, the record labels actually worked hand-in-hand with their artists in building their stage shows and developing sensible touring opportunities.

    My Father's Place regulars David Salidor and Andrew Gold.

    Michael “Eppy” Epstein was the reigning overlord of everything at that club; he didn’t own it, but he ran it terrifically.

    His attention to detail was superb; he even arranged simulcast concerts from the club to the reigning progressive radio station out there at the time, WLIR-FM.

    To be honest, having spent much of my college youth there, the only thing that came close to duplicating the club’s sensibility was The Bottom Line (now closed!) and Steve Walter’s Cutting Room (about to stage a major re-opening this season).

    “Eppy” and Steve Rosenfield are about to release a book in October that will cover most of the monumental moments that took place at MFP all those years back.

    Interestingly, Rosenfield was one of several photographers who always seemed to be on the scene (Ebet Roberts and Gary Gershoff being two others fondly remembered). He was the one who captured a visual chronicle of so many subjects at the club, and so the bulk of photographs in the book will be his.

    Eppy will be honored at an October event at Oheka Castle by The Long Island Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There’s no definitive title for the book yet, but I can certainly think of a few. Call me, guys! We’ll be there in October and will bring back all the details at that time.

    George Clooney Shows a New Dimension in ‘The American’

    Caught George Clooney’s “The American” and loved it.

    He did a movie some years back with director/producer Steven Soderbergh called ‘Solaris” (remake of the art house 1972 Russian film sci-fi classic, for those now in the know, like you!) and I remember thinking, ‘Hey, this is the brooding, introspective Clooney.’

    Well, it’s the same thing here. Existentialism at its best! Lavishly directed by photographer-turned-director Anton Corbijn, the film looks sensational.

    Alongside Clooney, of course, the visuals are without a doubt the star of the show, at least in the beginning.

    The film, however, then morphs into a cat-and-mouse game between Clooney and some unnamed assailants.

    There’s not much dialogue and Clooney is the only American in the film.

    Paolo Bonacelli as Father Benedetto shares some of the same secrets as Clooney and is terrific, as is Violante Palcido as Clara. All in all, I loved it.

    Is Drew Barrymore America’s Most Under-Rated Actress?

    We also caught Drew Barrymore’s “Going the Distance.” It didn’t do as well as ‘The American’ film, but we enjoyed it a lot.

    A friend of mine said that he felt Barrymore was America’s most underrated actress; we agree.

    Though I didn’t see “Whip It,” the Roller Derby movie that co-starred Juno’s Ellen Page was also Barrymore’s directorial debut.

    This one has the underdog appeal of last year’s “The Hangover.”

    She’s terrific as “Erin,” who meets the love of her life as she is ready to depart Manhattan.

    Ex-flame Justin Long is the guy and they chemistry together that is downright infectious.

    Also outstanding is Jason Sudeikis from SNL, while newcomer comedian Charlie Day almost steals the show. This fellow is the Zach Galifianakis of this film, and he’s nothing short of tremendous.

    Short Takes

    Daniel Radcliffe, post-Harry Potter, is set to star in a Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Believe it or not, “Mad Men’s” Robert Morse appeared in the 1967 film of this play, which opened first in Oct. 1961, ran for 1,417 performances and won seven Tony Awards.

    * * *

    After a years-in-the-making, actress Amy Adams looks set to star in the role of legendary rock songstress Janis Joplin. Lili Taylor, Renee Zellweger, Pink; and Zooey Deschanel have all vied for the role at one time or another. Director Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) is set to direct.

    * * *

    As much as I am looking forward to seeing the Wall Street sequel Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, the so-called Facebook movie “The Social Network’ looks positively compelling. Considering today’s 24/7 cyberscene worldwide, this film will be interesting to say the least.

    Names In The News:

    Amy W, Eva Mueller, Lee Jeske, Julian Sundby, Steve Walter, Eppy, Steve Rosenfield, Clay Cole, John Luongo, Kurt Loder, Wayne Avers, Rutledge Taylor, Deborah Gibson, Chris ‘Yerba’ Gilman, Anthony Pomes.