Monday, July 26, 2010

ARTHUR - he does what he pleases!

I was just on set of Arthur.  They're re-making that 1981 Dudley Moore flick about a rich playboy, this time around starring another brit, Russell Brand.  Which got me thinking - what the hell is old Dudley Moore up to?  Then I discovered, he's dead!

Russell Brand is way sexier.  And alive.  And funnier, IMO.  The script is going to end up mostly his improv.  We were in a jail scene together, and they told us to show up as a jail "character".  So I arrived with cowboy boots and short jean cut-offs and told wardrobe I'd been soliciting all night!  

Between each take they sprayed us down with OIL and water.  We were supposed to be sweaty?  They did it so much and so often, I kept telling the makeup lady I was in jail, not a sauna! We're in there with Russell Brand and he's in one of those muscled-out Batman costumes with that paunchy latin deadpan comedian who's in everything (Luis Guzman) as Robin.

Do you love the liquor artillery belt?  Russell Brand was actually sniffing a water bottle filled with yellowish liquid between the takes.  I thought it was PISS he was huffing, and was kind of let down when someone asked him what it was and he said, "Cognac, or whiskey -- whatever I can get." 

He must be an addict, and good for him for having such self control because the way he relished each inhale, he really needed it, and I get that a sniff will do ya good.  When I was starving myself on that ridiculous Beyonce master cleanse fast, I would sniff at a food cart and somehow it sufficed. 
Eating my pal Kohl.  
Russell was really very cool, and made the set a joy to be on.  His character even sprung us all out of jail.  Even Tina Turner.  Everytime she walked by, I couldn't help singing "You better be good to me!" 

I'll never forget the theme song from that 80's film.  Arthur he does what he pleases/deep in his heart he's just, he's just a boy!  Do you remember that Christopher Cross number?

As a kid growing up in Oregon, we went to "choir" class at CF Tigard Elementary school and our teacher, Mr. Fay, made us sing that song.  The chorus:

"When you get lost between the moon and New York City, 
the best that you can do...the best that you can fall in love!" 

Now even as a kid thinking that was really vapid attempt at poetic license: Between the moon and New York City?  Really?  Mr. lyricist really thought he was channeling Keats when he came up with that one.  But what really killed our whole fourth grade class was that last line.  "The best that you can do is fall in love."  We couldn't ever finish the song because we all busted up laughing.  

Mr. Fay took this really bad.  I remember distinctly thinking he was over-reacting, when he would say, face screwed up and near tears, "One day...ONE DAY you kids will want to fall in love.  One day you will understand there is nothing funny about love!"  Which was, of course, the funniest thing we'd ever heard. 

The next year, when we were in fifth grade, Mr. Fay taught us that Neil Diamond song "Heartlight" from the movie ET:

Turn on your heartlight, in the middle of a young boys dream... 

Now if the idea of getting lost between the moon and new york city was dumb, can you just imagine how we felt singing about a "Heartlight"? We changed the lyric to "Fartlight" and killed ourselves with laughter. Mr. Fay was beside himself.  Shortly after this, our class was informed Mr. Fay had suddenly quit CF Tigard Elementary - after suffering a "nervous breakdown" that we were partly responsible for.

Today I imagine Mr. Fay lounging in a velvet bathrobe, downing (certainly not sniffing!) a piss-colored liquid, until he arrives somewhere between the moon and new york city, and, heartlight on his sleeve, muttering melancholic: I'll bet those kids understand now about love...


Tony said...

Hey Jesse -

Fourth and fifth grade boys are constitutionally incorrigible.
Your story about your choir teacher brought back fond memories of how at that age some devilish buddies of mine and I terrorized and drove off at least a half-dozen Sunday school teachers until they found a retired Army major to take over the class. He kept us in line, but somehow Sunday School wasn't as much fun anymore.
Funny how tempting it is to upset the apple carts of the overly religious, even after 4th grade...

Anonymous said...

Thought you might like some background of those
lyrics that I actually heard from Peter Allen himself:
"Caught between the moon and New York City..." is a lyric line taken from an unpublished song that Peter
wrote with Carol Bayer Sager. When she collaborated on THE BEST THAT YOU CAN DO with Marvin Hamlisch
and Christopher Cross, she asked Peter if she could use that lyric line. He said yes in exchange for being added
to the song as the fourth writer credit. That got him the Oscar! Plus royalties! He always said he came up with
that lyric while on a plane that continued to circle JFK for an hour before landing late due to air traffic.
As he looked out his window he could see a brilliant full moon and the city below...he was "caught between..."
What wins you an Oscar can be really a fluke...or a fuck!
Best regards...

The Blackout Blog said...

between the moon and New York City

The whole time I've been reading that blog, I had no idea where the title was from! Guess it was before my time!
(I really love using that phrase.)