Stuck In The Car I can’t quite get a fix on what saddened me most, learning Ronnie Wood has lung cancer or listening to Mick Jagger’s new single. Last Sunday morning dodging traffic through Los Angeles in a BMW i3, I became fascinated with 88.1 KJazz. What a fabulous treat: Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr., Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Ray Charles and of course, Frank Sinatra, who the host referred to as “the boss,” not in any way, shape or form meaning, Bruce Springsteen.
Somehow historic architecture in Pasadena, even whizzing by towering palms bordering Santa Anita Park turned surreal; the past popped out of its time capsule. Magnificent estates built in the late forties, fifties and sixties came alive as I visualized each singer entering their classic, high-gloss automobile, leaving to record our favorite standards somewhere around Tinseltown.
One of, if not, the top four star hotels we’ve recently holed up in was an hour further south, crashing at Irvine, California’s AC Hotel. A European brand cropping up everywhere: San Francisco to Boston. Spanish hotelier, Antonio Catalan, designed sleek rooms for Marriott utilizing tasteful faux oak plank floors, perfect touch sensitive lighting, luxurious linens on dreamy beds, soothing monochromatic milk chocolate tones, a soundproof wall of glass, plush bathroom, toiletries, robes, and smart TV, at an unbelievable pleasing rate. I should also mention with due praise the AC Hotel staff; Intercontinental should take a few tips.
Which reminds me concerning improvement with years, Boz Scaggs certainly has; his rendition of the American standards are indeed worth checking out. Unlike, Eagles founding member, Glenn Frey, who failed miserably singing the standards; Rod Stewart’s take proved differently. It’s next to impossible aging gracefully living an authentic life in rock ‘n’ roll; even Patti Smith is pushing it. I often wish The Rolling Stones went their permanent separate ways leaving Villa Nellcote, finishing up Exile on Main St. Surely there are contrasts between old-school singers and rock ‘n’ roll superstars; Sinatra and company wouldn’t bend over like Iggy Pop, last of a dying breed, handing over tunes to Madison Avenue advertisers.