It has been a decade since the Beatles last hummed harmonies together and, despite Kurt Waldheim’s plea for a reunion concert to aid the boat people, Paul McCartney is firmly convinced that it is just not going to happen. “We all talked together, but the Beatles will not be getting together again,” McCartney told a gathering at a reception honoring his latest entries into the Guinness Book of World Records. McCartney, who neither reads nor writes a note of music, will go into the 1980 issue of the book as the “best-selling composer” of all time, the man with the most gold discs and the world’s most successful recording artist. Next year, the 37-year-old father of two begins work on a film called Band on the Run, based on an idea he had about a successful rock star who runs away from the high-pressure music scene and hides out with a band of unknowns. The story of escape is one that appeals to him. “I drive along the lanes in my Rolls and I pass some old bloke out walking his dog and I wonder, which of us has got it right?”
For a kid whose mother landed him his first job as a hairdresser at the age of 14, Vidal Sassoon hasn’t done badly. “She literally dragged me in there,” recalls the 52-year-old selfstyled barber. “I absolutely hated it.” By taking scissors into his own hands (and elocution lessons to erase his Cockney accent), Sassoon made a fortune working from the neck up. His current interests are less heady stuff, and last year he and his wife, Beverly Adams, wrote a best-selling book called A Cal-
endar of Beauty and Health which aimed at keeping the body beautiful, as
well as the mane. One thing yet to enter his marketing picture is blue jeans. Those $40 “Sassoon” jeans in the stores are actually the namesake of American rag-trader Morris Sasson. “It’s a ripoff,” says Vidal, whose newest pair of personal jeans is McKeen’s.
When George Orwell looked into the future, he saw it as 1984, but for Karen Lawrence that year is already “old hat,” which explains why her “New Wave-melodic-rock” group decided to call itself 1994. Though Lawrence, 24, has been in the music business half her life, she is probably best known for Prisoner, a song she wrote with John Desautels. It ended up as the theme for Jon Peters’, 1978 ESP-murder movie, Eyes of Laura Mars, and later Peters’ girl-friend Barbra Streisand managed to sell 350,000 copies of her version. Recently Lawrence had a rare chance to perform Prisoner herself at a Winnipeg club called Disco Inferno. “It’s a great place,” enthuses “disco sucks” advocate Lawrence. “They burn disco records and kids bring disco records with them to smash up in public.” Though Pope John Paul II may have played to larger crowds than Fleetwood Mac or The Bee Gees, his record album, Sacrosong Festival, may be a disaster in Canada and the U.S. The faithful are hardly turning out in droves to buy J2P2’s German-produced record. As one store owner in Chicago (where the Pope played to more than one million followers) puts it, “The Pope laid an egg.”
Traditional country and western superstar George Jones has been consistently selling weepie-twang records since the mid-’50s, as a solo act and with his former wife, Tammy Wynette. Seems a few of Jones’s friends thought he might be getting into a rut, and the result is My Very Special Guests, in which the hard drinkin’ 47year-old sets to dueting with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and James Taylor. The most unusual coupling, however, is on a country-pop rendition of Stranger in the House, which Jones belts out with New Waver Elvis Costello. Apparently the bespectacled Costello has always been a big Jones fan, and when he heard about the album he flew all the way from London to Nashville to sing with his idol.
When the Muppets go for culture, they go straight to the top. Last season they paired a pig with Rudolf Nureyev in Swine Lake and this season it is soprano Beverly Sills’s turn to share the stage with a porcine superstar. In mid-November, Sills, 50, joins Miss Piggy, 4, at the Muppetopolitan Opera for an aria or two from Pigoletto, a porkedup version of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. The Canadian topper to the Muppets’ season should be Anne Murray’s guest appearance later this winter. And why shouldn’t Murray and Miss Piggy duet on a new song—Snowpigl
It has been 10 years since Sally Kellerman’s revealing shower in Robert Altman’s film M*A *S*H, and it has taken the 42-year-old actress all of that time to overcome the nickname “Hot Lips.” In fact, Kellerman dropped out of sight for four years after M*A*S*H and took a fling at being a jazz singer. “It was a little gutsy and a little stupid,” she says about the four years she spent on the road with a busload of musicians. Though Kellerman still sings, most of a her vocalizing is now confined to the shower stall and her energy has been « concentrated on completing five feature -films that will be released within the g next year. Certainly filming Head On i with Stephen Lack in Toronto this fall hasn’t been relaxing. Kellerman has had to learn fencing, golf and boxing for her role as a child psychiatrist who plays psychotic games in the name of romance.
For globe-hopping journalist Peter Kent, 36, last week’s job jump from the CBC to NBC was more of an alphabetical move than a change of duty. “It’ll be a case of changed ’magnitudes,” says Kent, who will stay on in Johannesburg, South Africa, for NBC—“bigger budgets, bigger audiences and a bigger network with fewer thoughts about spending money on coverage when it should be spent.” An award-winning newsman who has covered just about every battlefront of the past decade from Northern Ireland to Cambodia, Kent’s major worry now is linguistic. “I’ll have to learn to repronounce. Zee instead of zed—and careful with out and about.”
Toronto’s Festival of Festivals had glitter; the World Film Festival in Montreal had sophistication; the Banff film festival had the Rockies; but only Ottawa’s World’s Worst Film Festival has midgets. The Terror of Tiny Town, a 1938 spectacle which is the first, and with luck the last, all-midget musical western, scrunched down for its Canadian premiere at the unlikely festival held during Halloween week. “Their acting ability is exceeded only by their height,” pronounced the festival’s special guest, Harry Medved, 18, who wrote The Fifty Worst Films of All Time and its soon-to-be-released sequel, The Golden Turkey Awards. Also featured at the festival: They Saved Hitler's Brain (in a mason jar), Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Zombies (in “hallucinogenic hypnovision”), The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (beefsteaks stalk Boston, L.A. and San Diego) and the Ray Milland/Rosey Grier classic The Thing With Two Heads (a white bigot’s head is transplanted onto a black man’s body). One of the organizers, Michael Bate, 34, says the festival may be restaged in Toronto or Montreal this winter, with the same slogan: “For every Citizen Kane, there’s a Thing With Two Heads.”
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.