A ‘Glee’-full version of The Who’s ‘Tommy’?
Those are the famous lyrics from the 1969 rock opera, “Tommy,” sprung from the fertile minds, voices and musicianship of Pete Townsend, Roger Daltrey and the late Keith Moon.Now we hear that “Glee” producer Ryan Murphy plans a lavish remake of “Tommy” for the hit Fox show that has lost a little of its heat recently. The “Tommy” episode, if it happens, will no doubt run longer than the usual hour. It’s hard to imagine something as epic as “Tommy,” cut down.
Roger Daltrey, who can still look awfully good in skin-tight denim, and Pete Townsend are expected to make appearances.
P.S. Don’t be disappointed if the “Glee” version of “Tommy” is not as lurid as Ken Russell’s infamous, excessive 1975 big-screen effort. (That one featured Jack Nicholson, Tina Turner as “The Acid Queen,” Elton John as “The Pinball Wizard,” Mr. Daltrey as Tommy and Ann-Margret as his mother.)
Ann-Margret received an Oscar nomination for her efforts, not the least of which was being bathed in gallons of baked beans and liquefied chocolate. I don’t see anybody on “Glee” going quite that far for their art.
MICHAEL’S media cafe was really swinging at lunch this week with David Patrick Columbia looking everyone over for his New York Social Diary, which offers some of the best content on the Internet.
And, even I was there, sitting with the “mayor” of Michael’s — Joe Armstrong — who knows everybody and everything. For the first time I noted that the cowboy boot vase on Joe’s table is autographed by Willie Nelson, Fats Domino, Jimmy Buffett and Elton John. There was another signature I wondered about and it turned out to be that of our fellow Texan, Laura Bush, who at one point in time drifted past Joe’s table and happened to have a pen out and gave it her “John Hancock.”
Joe and I were with Don Carleton who collects writer’s works and memorabilia for the University of Texas at Austin’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. He is collecting mine as we speak. Don is a documentary filmmaker of note and he also oversaw and helped write the life story of his longtime friend, the late Walter Cronkite. Recently, he brought out “Conversations” with the CBS News legend and says he misses the old guy terribly. He was off to dinner that same night with Jane and Morley “60 Minutes” Safer, whose papers he is also collecting. He already has those of Bill Moyers and Dominick Dunne.
Everybody seems to be handing over their accumulations to the University of Texas, either to the Briscoe or to the Harry Ransom Center for literature, videos and photographs. Robert De Niro has given them all of his movies and archives because he saw that these great organizations are such careful caretakers. The University of Texas also houses the works of Gloria Swanson and George M. Cohan, as well as Norman Mailer, plus Woodward and Bernstein.