goings on: The Rolling Stones, The Cranberries, Lionel Shriver

Remember The Cranberries, the Irish rock band from the 1990s? They’re coming to France to play one single concert in a fabulous venue: the antique Roman theatre in the southern town of Orange.  I loved The Cranberries. The idea of sitting under the stars on a hot summer’s night (the night of Sunday August 13th) listening to Dolores O’Riordan singing sounds tempting indeed.

But I’ll be in The Netherlands in August, visiting the cities of Delft, The Hague and Antwerp.


Roman theater built in the 1st century, Orange (Vaucluse) France 


The Rolling Stones – 19 October 2017 at the U Arena in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris.

Lionel Shriver introducing her new book, The Mandibles, at Shakespeare and Company bookshop – Monday May 22, 2017 at 7 pm.

Shriver’s timely new novel about American decline. A frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse into the decline that may await the United States all too soon, from the pen of perhaps the most consistently perceptive and topical author of our times.

I’ll leave you with Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries singing Ode To My Family, a beautiful video filled with lovely Irish folk, young and old.

Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A

Perfect timing! Weeks before my June jaunt to London, I learn that a major Pink Floyd exhibition is being staged at London’s Victoria and Albert, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. It’s the talk of the town: in London, here in Paris and elsewhere.

Experience a spectacular and unparalleled audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day.

Remember their Dark Side of the Moon album? Memories of lying on my bed, Friday night stoned, a 1970s teenager listening to this album on my record player, over and over. I just read that Dark Side stayed on the U.S. billboard chart for a record 15 years!! After Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Saturday Night Fever, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, it remains the fourth best-selling album of all time.

dark side of the moon

And their 1977 Animals album with the iconic cover of a pig floating over Battersea Power Station? The haunting sound of those dogs barking on the Dogs track overlaid with that explosive guitar solar was, in 1970s parlance, funkadelic.


Below is the V&A website where you can buy your tickets online. Below that is, interestingly, an article in today’s Guardian newspaper on what has become of the Battersea Power Station (a 9 billion pound urban renewal project).




the Louxor cinema house in Paris

Surfing the net looking for a movie theater in which to watch Raoul Peck’s “Je ne suis pas votre nègre” (I Am Not Your Negro), released tomorrow in France, I stumbled across the refurbished LOUXOR.

luxor two

Built in 1921, it was transformed into a nightclub in 1983 – first a Caribbean nightclub and then the largest gay club in the city – before closing permanently in 1988. For twenty-two years the place was abandoned and left for ruin.  And then the City of Paris purchased it in 2003. It was entirely renovated and re-opened in 2013. Today it has three gorgeous screening rooms.


Anthony Rauchen photo, theater 1


Anthony Rauchen photo, theater 3


Anthony Rauchen photo, theater 2

I can’t wait to go to the LOUXOR to see this new film.

President Macron

66.10 per cent of the French electorate kicked Marine Le Pen and her National Front party in the teeth and voted Macron. Bravo. This means that the French weren’t dumb enough to choose the Trump route, like too many Americans did.

Marine, daughter of neo-fascist, xenophobe thug, Jean Le Pen, and racist xenophone yourself … you had your pitiful 15 minutes of fame. Now, dégage et va te faire foutre !!! (beat it and fuck off). Coz we don’t like having you around.

As for Emmanuel Macron who created his political party, En Marche, from his own initials … you’re our Prez now.

Don’t let us down, Monsieur le Président.

macron prez

Jane Fonda, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman and friends, Malibu, 1965

While surfing YouTube a year ago, I stumbled across these home movies taken by Roddy McDowell. As a film buff, I’m a fan of many of the stars shown here (look at Jane Fonda at 27, she was gawgeous!) There’s no sound, but you realize you don’t need sound. There’s no glitz or artifice, and yet the natural glamour that exudes from these beautiful people is thrilling. Back in the 1960s, Malibu was not an enclave of multi-million dollar homes and gated communities, but rather beach shacks, simplicity, and natural living. No internet, no cell phones, no paparazzi, no Botox, no selfies.

As a teen I idolized Paul Newman. I’ve seen every single one of his films. Here he is looking like Adonis. And there’s the young Natalie Wood. These folks weren’t called movie stars for nothing!

The mighty Kirk, Lauren Bacall, etc.