Monday, June 10, 2013

THE VIEW FROM HOME: Taking in the View with Borough Gypsy NOMI RUIZ


Taking in the View with Borough Gypsy NOMI RUIZ
By Lori Zimmer
Photography by Jonathan Grassi
Summer 2013

I’m wandering around Times Square, killing time by counting how many guys ask me if I want tickets to a comedy show. Normally it’s an area I tend to avoid, but tonight Miss Nomi Ruiz is to play a private set at the Liberty Ballroom, which the Times Square Art Alliance has been so kind to invite me too. But just as I passed the third crusty Elmo-costumed person, an urgent email comes through: sudden venue change! For a second I panic–this type of thing could be the death of a tiny show. But as I pass into the new location (BB Kings), it’s as if nothing was amiss. It’s already standing room only of waiting Nomi fans, and when she hits the stage it’s as if the chaos of finding a last minute change had never happened.

The stage is set with a floral-heavy still life of seemingly personal effects from Ruiz, meshed with sporadic colorful lasers and sexy video portraits of the singer–a perfectly intimate tableau made harmonious with Ruiz’s sultry low croons, looking impossible in a long white dress with a leg slit past her navel.

Ruiz, who came up singing in Hercules and Love Affair and Jessica Six, may also be known as the poster girl for the transgendered community, but her talent far outweighs the label, and gives her total mass appeal. She’s just released her new album, Borough Gypsy, a super-personal sexy set inspired by her life growing up in Sunset Park.

The album coincides with a dreamy video portrait of Ruiz, which is as sensually decadent as Marilyn Minters’ candy colored Green Pink Caviar. ForBorough Gypsy, Ruiz hasn’t just written jams for us to sway or dance to, but has taken her role as an artist very seriously–giving us a glimpse of her personal life, woven into every piece of the album. The support of her family is evident–her grandmother even invited us to use her Sunset Park apartment as the backdrop for our PMc Mag photoshoot.

Borough Gypsy feels more complete, a more nourishing experience than just a poppy dance album. Prior to the release of the album, Ruiz completed a residency at Clocktower Gallery, creating an installation that translated the album into a visual experience, coupled with previews of the tracks. Nomi Ruiz is an artist that transcends art, music, and sexuality–while still sticking to her roots as a (very breathtaking) Brooklyn girl.

Lori Zimmer: Your new album, Borough Gypsy, just launched on May 14. Is it more personal than your past albums?

Nomi Ruiz: Definitely. Some of these songs I began writing when I was a teenager such as “Before The Words.” They were all created at a time when I was really vulnerable and in the middle of many huge life transitions.

LZ: When you’re writing for your solo work, like in the uber-personal Borough Gypsy, is your process any different from when you’d write for Jessica Six or Hercules and Love Affair?

NR: All of the songs on Borough Gypsy I wrote alone in a room. I was very isolated and it was when I began writing with a guitar as well so I felt a much closer connection to the content. Writing alone allowed me to express some extremely personal emotions. I always write from a very personal place, but with Jessica 6 I had to be more poetic and used metaphor because I was often times afraid to be so honest in front of the musicians while we were writing. Borough Gypsy is definitely my most raw project.

See read the full interview, please click here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

THE OUTLIER Deviating from the Mean with Actress PAULEY PERRETTE


Deviating from the Mean with Actress PAULEY PERRETTE

By Jonathan Metzelaar
Spring 2013
(As seen in PMc Magazine, May 2013)   

The fact that I knew who Pauley Perrette was despite never having watched the show NCIS is a testament to just how popular and, consequently, how recognizable a figure she’s become. According to her Q Score, which is used to measure the popularity of celebrities, television shows, and brands, Perrette is the most popular actress on American primetime television. This is in large part due to the cult-like following that has developed around the character she plays on NCIS, Abby Sciuto. The appeal of Abby is manifold, but a lot of it surely has to do with the fact that, in a television landscape that is sorely lacking layered, interesting characters, Abbey is an outlier.

In analytics, an outlier is defined as, “that which appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs.” In other words, it’s something that stands out among the others because it’s different. It’s a term that Abby Sciuto would be familiar with, given her forensics background. But it’s also an apt description of the character Perrette is portraying through Abby. Every television crime drama has its own iteration of the forensic scientist. But all too often they seem to have been pushed through the same mold. Perrette broke new ground with Abby though, who’s a young, brilliant, female forensic scientist that loves tattoos, choker necklaces, loud music, and decorating her lab with dolls and stuffed animals. She’s a nice splash of color in a generally drab genre of television, and it’s in no small part because the woman playing her is as eccentric and interesting as she is. Pauley Perrette brings life to Abby in a way that’s hard to imagine anybody else even coming close to replicating, and fortunately I was able to talk a bit with her about both the fascinating character she is, and the fascinating character that she plays.

Jonathan Metzelaar: Your character on NCIS, Abby Sciuto, is considered one of the most well-liked characters on television. What do you think it is about this character that is so identifiable? How much of Abby are the writers responsible for, and how much of her is a reflection of your own personality?

Pauley Perrette: Abby is one of those iconic TV characters that comes along every once in a while. By combining her role as a genius scientist with an alternative style, a genuine sense of self, and a great sense of humor–along with the fact that she has such a huge heart–she has become one of the most unique television characters ever.  Abby is adored by people of all ages all around the world.
She was an amazing character from the first time I read her in a script 11 years ago, and over the course of 230 episodes the writers, the wardrobe department, and myself have added even more flavor to this eccentric little being.
JM: Are there any ways in which you, as Pauley Perrette, ever feel confined by Abby Sciuto? Do you ever feel any pressure to live up to this big public persona that’s been created of you, whether in terms of your personality or your style?

PP: Abby is way more awesome than me. She’s very well put-together, very focused, and very neat–all characteristics I personally do not embody.  I have to remind people that I am not actually Abby; I’m just an actor with an awesome job. I am a huge Abby fan though. I love her. But I’m not her.

JM: You’ve got a tremendous following of passionate fans. In fact, during my interview with your friends Darren and Matthew over at Donna Bell’s Bake Shop, a group of your fans came in looking for you, and said they traveled all the way from Arkansas. Have you ever had any crazy encounters with a fan or group of fans? On the flip side, were there any particularly endearing moments you’ve shared with your fans?

PP: NCIS fans are the best. Abby fans are very passionate. Because Abby is such a big hugger, I often have fans just come throw their arms around me. One of the best things is getting my fans involved in the causes and charities that I support. They sponsor me for AIDS walks, we collect money to buy kevlar vests for police and military dogs–all kinds of things. My favorite fan is a young boy who saves his allowance all year then sends it to the animal rescue I work with.

JM: Speaking of Donna Bell’s, was cooking a big part of your life growing up? How has the experience of lending your mother’s name and likeness to the bake shop been for you so far? Do you offer any input to the guys with regard to future menu items or anything like that?

PP: My mom was always cooking and baking. She, my sister, and I were always baking and decorating cakes. It is wonderful having such an amazing homage to her in Donna Bell’s Bake Shop.
Ironically, I don’t eat sugar or white flour, so Matthew [co-owner of Donna Bell's] makes me awesome whole-wheat and fresh berry muffins. Yum!

JM: You’re probably best known for your acting, but you’re also a writer and a musician. Do any of these passions take precedent over each other, or do you enjoy them all equally? Have any of these artistic endeavors ever directly inspired one of the others, and if so, when?

PP: I love my job, and it’s super important to me that I do a great job at it every time I hit set. My job as Abby is my priority; they pay me for that. But my other little piece of heaven is in the music studio. It’s my happy place. I love writing and recording music. I’m not interested in performing live, just getting music out there.

JM: You’re featured on DMC’s song, “Attention Please.” How did that collaboration come about? Do you have any plans to collaborate on any other musical projects, or any plans to release any of your solo work?

PP: My awesome drummer Veronica Bellino wrote that DMC song, and they had this great idea for our collaboration. I adore DMC, and I love the track. We had a blast.
My new record is almost finished. I am so excited about people hearing it. I’m just trying to figure out how I want to distribute it and get it out there. I can’t wait.
JM: Do you have any projects coming up that you’d like people to know about?

PP: Just continuing to work with over 30 charities and non-profits. I’m also planning on getting this record out, as well as finishing my documentary, Citizen Lane, which is about the life of legendary civil rights attorney Mark Lane.
Pauley Perrette is an actress, best known for her role as Abby Sciuto on the crime drama NCIS. She was also featured in Dawson’s Creek, 24, and the film Almost Famous, among other projects.

NCIS Official Website
Donna Bell’s Bake Shop Official Website

Written and Edited by Jonathan Metzelaar
Photography by Patrick McMullan, Andreas Branch, David Crotty, Brian Lindensmith and Joe Schildhorn
Design by Lulu Vottero


Page 1/Cover:

Pauley Perrette, HEART TRUTH RED DRESS 2010 Collection, NY Public Library, NYC, February 11, 2010, Photography by Patrick McMullan for

Page 2:
a. Pauley Perrette, 12th Annual Golden Heart Awards, Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, Ca, May 7, 2012, Photography by Andreas Branch for
b. Pauley Perrette, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT EMMY After Party Vibiana, Los Angeles, Ca, August 29, 2010, Photography by David Crotty for
c. Pauley Perrette, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES celebrates the 2013 GENESIS AWARDS BENEFIT GALA, The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA, March 23, 2013, Photography by David Crotty for
d. Pauley Perrette, HEART TRUTH RED DRESS 2010 Collection, NY Public Library, NYC, February 11, 2010, Photography by Joe Schildhorn for
e.  Pauley Perrette, The 2011 ET Emmy Awards After Party, Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, September 18, 2011, Photography by Brian Lindensmith for
f. Pauley Perrette, The Paley Center For Media’s PaleyFest 2013 Honoring THE BIG BANG THEORY, Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, CA, March 13, 2013, Photography by Andreas Branch for
g.  Pauley Perrette, LA Zoo Elephants of Asia Under the Stars, Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, Ca, December 15, 2010, Photography by David Crotty for

Page 3:
Pauley Perrette, HEART TRUTH RED DRESS 2010 Collection, NY Public Library, NYC, February 11, 2010, Photography by Patrick McMullan for

Page 4:
Patrick McMullan and Pauley Perrette, Bryan Rabin Birthday Party, Chateau Marmont, LA, March 5, 2005, Photography by Patrick McMullan for
Page 5:
Pauley Perrette, Club USA, New York City, 1990/91, Photography by Patrick McMullan for
Pauley Perrette, HEART TRUTH RED DRESS 2010 Collection, NY Public Library, NYC, February 11, 2010, Photography by Joe Schildhorn for

PUSHING THE MEDIUM My Own Private Dialogue with Director GUS VAN SANT


My Own Private Dialogue with Director GUS VAN SANT
By Tyler Malone
Spring 2013
(As seen in PMc Magazine, May 2013)  

Great artists are often those who push their respective mediums into new directions, questioning, through technique and tropology, that which came before. They needn’t necessarily invent whole new ways of thinking about or experiencing art, but it is important that they slightly fray the edges of the tapestry that makes up the “canon” of their artistic discipline.

When I spoke with director Gus Van Sant, I was pleased to learn that this concept of pushing the boundaries of cinema was an idea that was on his mind. Whether he makes big Hollywood movies or small indie films, Van Sant as artist is always interested in the “art” of cinema.

While Van Sant certainly has some stylistic idiosyncrasies which the discerning viewer can pick up on from film to film, the uninitiated might find it surprising to realize that the same guy who made My Own Private Idaho went on to make Finding Forrester, and that the guy who made Milk had made Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

His resume is long and impressive: Drugstore Cowboy was his early critical success, Good Will Hunting his biggest from a commercial standpoint, but later it was the small film Elephant which won him the coveted Palme d’Or (the top prize at Cannes).
Some of Gus Van Sant’s films, admittedly, work better than others–some are praised, some are not–but most critics can agree that his films are always interesting, the work of a true auteur. For someone with such a varied career, I was surprised to discover the endearing fact that Van Sant claims he loves all his films equally–though he has no pretense that they’ll last forever. Celluloid isn’t stone, and digital files even less so.

Tyler Malone: Ever since I visited Thomas Jefferson’s grave at Monticello a number of years ago, and the glaring omission in his epitaph was pointed out to me, I’ve been intrigued by what great people and great artists want to be remembered for. [Jefferson doesn't mention his presidency, nor any accomplishment he achieved during it, on his gravestone--just that he authored the Declaration of Independence and the Statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia as well as that he founded the University of Virginia.] Do you have a film or a few films that you really want to be remembered for? Ones you personally think stand above the rest regardless of whether or not they’re the ones that get the most critical or popular acclaim?

Gus Van Sant: I like all of them, so I don’t really have any things that I want to stand out. I always figure that the things that remain, if they are like tombstones, will be things like car keys, or ripped shirts, probably not films of mine. Maybe a few frames of one of them, but judging by what we have left over from the past, most of it is made of stone, so film probably will not last.

TM: You’ve made big Hollywood films and small independent films, and continue to kind of vacillate between the two worlds. Do you prefer one or the other? And what do you think is the benefit of being able to move between the two?

GVS: Some of them are made in collaboration with others, which are the Hollywood ones, then the other ones are coming from me alone, and those are the smaller less Hollywood ones. I haven’t yet made a really big Hollywood film on purpose, but that’s what I’d like to do next if I can.

TM: In addition to being a filmmaker, you’re also an accomplished painter. How does your painting influence your filmmaking? And vice versa?

GVS: I guess it relates in a visual way. I have in the past taken images from the paintings, like the barn crash in My Own Private Idaho is from a painting, or floating images in Drugstore Cowboy are also from paintings. But there isn’t too much of a relationship, at least that I know of…

TM: I know you’re friends with Harmony Korine, and he’s the one who got you interested in Alan Clarke’s Elephant, which I’ve read had an influence on your Palme d’Or winning film of the same name. I’d be curious to hear what your thoughts are on Korine’s newest film Spring Breakers

GVS: Yes, Harmony had told me about when he saw Elephant and said it was his favorite film. And Harmony was supposed to write the script to my film, which was only called Elephant because Colin Calendar of HBO who produced the film, who had previously worked at BBC, referred to Alan Clarke’s film as a work that commented on Northern Ireland violence right during the time when it was at its height in 1989. He said he couldn’t do “Columbine” (he meant making a direct dramatic unfolding of the Columbine events) but he could do “Elephant” (by which I think he meant a more universal comment on high school violence). I actually didn’t see Alan Clarke’s Elephant until later, after we had made our film. I was influenced by the long tracking shots because of Bela Tarr, a Hungarian filmmaker, who himself may have been influenced by Alan Clarke’s filmmaking, so the greatest influence was just the title. I used the title because Colin would refer to our film as Elephant, and so I asked Danny Boyle, a producer of Elephant, if he though it would be okay. But there have been a few red-faced Brits who feel I ripped off Alan Clarke. Harmony never made a script and I wrote it later after a few years of procrastination.
As far as Spring Breakers goes, I have seen it, and I thought it was a pretty nice cautionary tale…

TM: Another 2013 film that I wanted to ask you about is the much-talked about Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis collaboration, The Canyons, starring Lindsey Lohan, which you’re also an actor in. Tell me a bit about your role, and about how that opportunity came about. Have you seen a cut of the film? Any thoughts on the production?

GVS: I haven’t seen The Canyons yet. I played a psychiatrist in it, and I knew the producer, and he and Bret Easton Ellis asked me to play the role.

TM: You’re well-known for great casting decisions, for picking the perfect person for the right role, whether they are big name movie stars, lesser-known actors, or even untrained high school students. Is there an actor or actress you’ve been dying to work with but haven’t yet because you just haven’t found the right role for them? Or for some other reason you’ve just never been able to collaborate with them?

GVS: Not so far. I would ideally like to cast unknowns, but it’s not what I’ve been doing, I use a lot of well-known actors, but the ideal to me is an unknown actor.

TM: Speaking of perfect casting, your use of River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho still is one of those phenomenal choices that comes to mind. What a great film and what a great performance! This Halloween will mark the 20th anniversary of his passing. Do you have any thoughts on River Phoenix looking back two decades past?

GVS: Yes, he was great, and he is very missed. He was the one person that in my life, it just seemed impossible that he would stop being, like JFK.

TM: On Milk and on Restless, I read that, inspired by Terrence Malick, you did a lot of silent takes. You even released a “silent” version of Restless on the DVD stitched from those silent takes. Is that something you now do with all your films or does it just depend on the story you’re telling whether or not you would film silent takes of each scene?

GVS: It is a way to have material where there is no dialogue, sometimes the scenes don’t need dialogue–and if the script has a lot of dialogue, you do some takes without, just to have some choices later on.

TM: As a filmmaker who oscillates between directing your own material and directing others’ scripts, what draws you to a script and makes you decide that it is the next film you should make? And also, what makes you decide you want to write for a specific project as opposed to having someone else write it?

GVS: It’s mostly an artistic inspiration, not something that you could explain, other than an irrational compelling reason to propel yourself into a particular project for reasons you can’t quite understand to yourself. I can write some things, but I can also be limited as a writer, so I sometimes want other people to write for me.

TM: I know Milk was in the works for years before it finally came to fruition. Is there any other project you’ve always wanted to make work, but that has still always continued to elude you?
GVS: There are a few projects that have never been made, some are just thoughts. There was one recently that just came back into being, and it’s always interesting when an old idea becomes fresh again..

TM: In an interview with Bruce LaBruce a while back, you were talking about your interest in challenging the narrative techniques of film, and you said: “Otherwise I might as well be directing Superman or X-Men. Either go for the money or actually try to question the medium.” Could you ever see yourself making a superhero film? Couldn’t you “try to question the medium” in the context of a bigger Hollywood production (which I think you’ve certainly done, but obviously not in a superhero film, or a big tentpole style franchise film)?

GVS: Yes, I think that you can do big projects that are pushing the medium in new ways, that would be the ultimate. It’s just that the audience has to be able to, in some ways, catch up to you. Otherwise, you can lose them quite easily. When you go a little too far, there is trouble, which is what some artists are pushing for, and sometimes what I’m pushing for. Yes, I could do a big film and would like to.

TM: I always love the THR Oscar Roundtables, and in the directors’ roundtable this year, you quoted Dennis Hopper saying that something harder than making a movie is not making a movie. You went on to talk about those odd moments between making movies, where you’re happy to be done with a film, and yet you’re happy to get to your next project. I feel like I’m potentially interviewing you at an interesting time in that context. Are you between projects right now or are you already on to your next project? If so, what stage are you at and can you talk about it? We’d love to know what you’re doing next…

GVS: Not sure what is next, but yes, Dennis [Hopper] was probably saying that it is nice to be working on something, to be able to direct your energy someplace, to ward off boredom.

Gus Van Sant is an Academy Award nominated and Palme d’Or winning director. He has made such iconic films as Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Elephant, and Milk.

Gus van Sant on IMDb

Written and Edited by Tyler Malone

Photography by Patrick McMullan, Andreas Branch, David Crotty & Nicholas Hunt for

Design by Marie Havens


Page 1/Cover:

Gus Van Sant, SUPRA Footwear Presents the SPRING BREAKERS LA Premiere and After Party, Arclight Cinemas and Emerson Theatre, Hollywood, CA, March 14, 2013, Photography by David Crotty for Patrick

Page 2:

Ryan McGinley & Gus Van Sant, The Cinema Society with Dior Homme & GQ host the after party for “Restless,” Electric Room at Dream Downtown, NYC, September 14, 2011, Photography by Nicholas Hunt for Patrick

Page 3:

Gus van Sant, Greg Gorman, & John Waters, Ed Ruscha PSYCHO SPAGHETTI WESTERNS Opening, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, February 24, 2011, Photography by Patrick McMullan for Patrick

Page 4:

Juliette Lewis, Gus Van Sant, & Kyra Sedgwick, Sally Singer and Jacob Brown host the T: The New York Times Style Magazine pre Golden Globes Party, Garden’s of Taxco, West Hollywood, CA, January 13, 2011, Photography by Andreas Branch for

Page 5:

Gus Van Sant & Ron Howard, GAGOSIAN GALLERY Opening of GUS VAN SANT and JAMES FRANCO’S: Unfinished, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, February 25, 2011, Photography by Clint Spaudling for

Page 6:

Gus Van Sant & Usher, THE CINEMA SOCIETY with DIOR Homme & GQ host a screening of “Restless,” Landmark Sunshine Theater, NYC, September 14, 2011, Photography by Nicholas Hunt for

Friday, November 16, 2012

TODAY IN PMc HISTORY: November 16, 2009

Elton John, At An Enduring Vision 8th Annual NY Benefit for Elton John AIDS Foundation, Cipriani Wall St, NYC, November 16, 2009, Photography by Chance Yeh for

TOP TEN: ANTHONY VOLPE & TYLER MALONE’S FAVORITE BOND THEMES - Dueling Lists of Favorite Bond Songs from Two Amateur Bond Enthusiasts


Dueling Lists of Favorite Bond Songs from Two Amateur Bond Enthusiasts

By Anthony Volpe and Tyler Malone
Fall 2012
(As seen in PMc Magazine, November 2012)   

“Bond, James Bond” has now been a character on the silver screen for 50 years. 23 films into the longest running Hollywood franchise–one that started in 1962 with Dr. No–and the character is still going strong. In fact, Skyfall, the newest Bond film, is probably the best the franchise has given us in decades. (You can read my review of it here.) Earlier in PMc Magazine‘s Fall Issue, I had my friend Anthony Volpe–the most knowledgeable guy that I personally know regarding the Bond cinematic universe–create a top ten list of his favorite Bond films. Soonafter, I proposed to him that we should make dueling best Bond theme lists, and he obliged.

Not only is Skyfall likely to join the ranks of best Bond films, but I predict Adele’s throwback theme song will also be remembered rather favorably. It could have certainly made my list here. It just felt too soon though to officially rate it against the others. Some of the same songs appear on both our lists, and some are unique to each, but we’ve got plenty to say about all of ‘em. So here, without further ado, are mine and Anthony’s favorite Bond theme songs from the first 22 films.

Anthony’s #10:
The Man with the Golden Gun
[from The Man with the Golden Gun
Lulu’s brassy ode to the film’s villain is a brew of psychedelica, freak-out funk, blaring trumpets, stray guitars, xylophones and gongs. Throw in a dash of the Far East for extra flavor. It’s a mess (much like the film itself), but an enjoyable mess.

Tyler’s #10:
Die Another Day
[from Die Another Day
Possibly the most maligned of the Bond title themes, Madonna’s odd little intrusion into the Bond cinematic universe is a sputtering tribute to a vintage Bond mantra. It certainly doesn’t harken back to the classic Shirley Bassey theme songs, but then again neither did Duran Duran’s Bond theme (which has sometimes been touted as one of the best tracks from the 23 Bond films, and which Anthony will list a little further on down). There are plenty of songs that could have taken this tenth spot–Bond has inspired more than ten great songs to be sure–but something made me want to let Madge into the top. Maybe I should have “Sigmund Freud analyze this”? Most likely I just wanted to buck conventional wisdom, and start the list off with a bang. But, despite the flack I know I’m courting with this choice, I stand by this eccentric electro-orchestral (auto-)tune and its accompanying title sequence (the only Bond title sequence to ever actually further the plot of the film).

Anthony’s #9:
We Have All the Time in the World
Louis Armstrong
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)]
Satchmo sings this Bacharach-esque wedding song (Hal David wrote the lyrics) for the star-crossed Bond and Tracy. Armstrong’s weathered and froggy voice contrasts playfully against the wistful melody. It also gives the song an unintended sadness on account of the film’s tragic ending.

Tyler’s #9:
Tina Turner
[from GoldenEye
In contrast to the “Un-Bond-ness” of the Madonna’s “Die Another Day,” when Tina Turner sang her Pierce Brosnan era Bond theme a few years earlier, she sure as hell Shirley Bassey-ed the shit out of it. Of course, that’s not at all surprising since she’s Tina motherfucking Turner and oozes sassy soul from every pore. The return to a soul-infused vocal with big, brassy instrumentation as its musical foundation was a great choice that started Brosnan’s four-film run on a high note (one it would never hit again in terms of either song quality or film quality).

Anthony’s #8:
For Your Eyes Only
Sheena Easton
[from For Your Eyes Only (1981)]

Bill Conti’s (Rocky, Karate Kid) yearning Oscar-nominated love theme was tailor made for Bond in the feathered hair era. Sheena Easton sings it onscreen during the film’s title sequence; the only time this has ever been done in a Bond movie.

Tyler’s #8:
We Have All the Time in the World
Louis Armstrong
[from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)]

Rarely in Bond films do you get a “love theme,” but in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service we get just that because love plays a big role in the film: it’s here alone that we see Bond getting married. With Armstrong’s muppety vocals, this tender little love ditty feels like it could have as easily appeared on Sesame Street as in a Bond film–and yet, his oddly beautiful voice also gives the song a sort of knowing wistfulness. Which is fitting since the lyric’s hopefulness is sadly in vain: a settled-down Bond can’t last long, and so the irony of the title is that James and Tracy Bond would not have all the time in the world; they tragically had barely any time at all.

Anthony’s #7:
Live and Let Die
Paul McCartney & Wings
[from Live and Let Die (1973)]

Macca’s frenzied, fever dream of a song (the first Bond song to be nominated for an Oscar) is perfect for this oddball film. One only wonders if in some alternative universe there is a John and Yoko version instead of the Paul and Linda classic. Many would shudder at the thought but I’d be curious to hear it. Speaking of alternative universes, listen to the Guns N’ Roses version at your own peril.

Tyler’s #7:
Nobody Does It Better
Carly Simon
[from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)]

Thom Yorke has claimed that this is “the sexiest song that was ever written,” and thus Radiohead has covered it in concert a number of times. Though I don’t know if I’d agree with Thom that it is the sexiest song ever written–I have heard any number of Prince songs as sexy as this or sexier–it is likely the sexiest of Bond themes. It doesn’t need to fill the lyric with double entendre (as “Diamonds Are Forever” explicitly did) to exude its natural sexiness. The Radiohead live versions have now overshadowed Carly’s original for me, due to Thom Yorke’s ghostly vocals, or else this would probably be higher on my list, but the Carly version is still phenomenal, even if it feels a bit more showtune-y than Bond-theme-y.

Anthony’s #6:
You Only Live Twice
Nancy Sinatra
[from You Only Live Twice (1967)]
Definitive of Bond’s “die another day” philosophy, Nancy Sinatra’s siren song, with its Eastern tinged guitars and weeping strings, has an eerie beauty to it. The song itself has “lived” more than twice in the form of various covers and samples, and was most recently featured on the season 5 finale of AMC’s Mad Men.

Tyler’s #6:
Live and Let Die
Paul McCartney & Wings
[from Live and Let Die (1973)]

Just three years after the break-up of the biggest band of all-time, one of the members of the Beatles wrote and sang this epic rock powerballad of a Bond theme–now that’s a pretty big get. And yet when Bond producer Harry Saltzman first heard the song demo, he famously said to George Martin, “Very nice record. Like the score. Now tell me, who do you think we should get to sing it? What do you think of Thelma Houston?” To which George Martin could only reply: “Well, she’s very good, but I don’t see that it’s necessary when you’ve got Paul McCartney!” Though the more funky soul version sung by B. J. Arnau in the middle of Live and Let Die is quite good as well, nothing can touch the Wings version (no matter how hard Guns N’ Roses or anyone else might try).

Anthony’s #5:
A View to a Kill
Duran Duran
[from A View to a Kill (1985)]

The only Bond song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, “A View to a Kill” captures Duran Duran in all their schmaltzy 80s glory. This epic and boisterous song deserved a better film and it remains one of AVTAK’s few highlights besides Christopher Walken’s deranged villainous turn.

Tyler’s #5:
From Russia with Love
Matt Munro
[from From Russia with Love (1963)]

Before James Bond title themes were a thing, before that was part and parcel with the Bond cinematic universe, Matt Munro sang the first real Bond theme with vocals, and knocked it out of the park. Though it wasn’t over the opening title credits of From Russia with Love, it did start the trend of having a song in each Bond film that took its lyrics from the film title. Shirley Bassey would go on in the next film, Goldfinger, to really solidify the Bond title theme as an artform, but it’s Matt Munro who deserves some credit for singing the first great Bond vocal. Though oft-overlooked, I think Munro’s lovely pop crooning really stands the test of time.

Anthony’s #4:
Nobody Does It Better
Carly Simon
[from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)]

Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line, The Way We Were) threw a little Broadway into this Oscar-nominated paean to 007’s prowess and Carly Simon helped sing it to #2 on the charts. After hearing this song again I’m convinced that the mystery man behind Simon’s previous hit “You’re So Vain” could very well be Bond. I don’t care what Warren Beatty says.

Tyler’s #4:
Diamonds Are Forever
Shirley Bassey
[from Diamonds Are Forever (1971)]

If one were to create the ultimate Bond film by stitching together requisite parts from the 23 films in the franchise, the title song of this imaginary “ultimate Bond film” would have to be sung by Shirley Bassey. She was the first singer to have her song played over the opening title sequence in a Bond film; she is the only vocalist to have performed three Bond themes; and because of these two things she pretty much embodies any Platonic ideal of what a quintessential Bond theme should sound like. This tune received a second life through Kanye West’s sampling of it in his hit song “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” and though Kanye may put the sample to good use, nothing compares with the original, where the lyrics are so blatantly about sex that it’s hard to even label them sexual innuendo. “Write it as though she’s thinking about a penis,” composer John Barry told lyricist Don Black; and Black certainly did: “Hold one up and then caress it, touch it, stroke it, and undress it.” Yowza!

Anthony’s #3:
Shirley Bassey
[from Goldfinger (1964)]

Shirley Bassey, the First Lady of Bond themes (she did three in total), sung the first hit Bond song for
the first hit Bond film. Bassey’s voice, if weaponized, could kill millions with its awesome power…I think I just came up with the plot for the next Bond film.

Tyler’s #3:
You Only Live Twice
Nancy Sinatra
[from You Only Live Twice (1967)]

Perhaps the reason why Adele was such a perfect choice to sing the new Bond film Skyfall‘s theme song is because she is our modern version of Nancy Sinatra, and the real Nancy Sinatra sang one of the most universally acclaimed of Bond tunes. This oft covered and sampled song remains a perfect example of what Bond themes can be at their best: both an interpretation of the movie’s thematic interests and an independent piece of pop art in their own right. As my buddy Anthony said, “You Only Live Twice” has already had more than two “lives,” and I’d guess it will continue to have many more because it simply is one of the best tunes that Bond has given us.

Anthony’s #2:
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
The John Barry Orchestra
[from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)]

The late, great John Barry’s music is synonymous with Bond. He scored 11 Bond films in all (From Russia With Love to The Living Daylights), and the music for songs #10, 9, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1 on this list was all written, arranged and performed by him and his orchestra (co-written in the case of #5.) Barry’s pulsing and urgent instrumental theme for OHMSS is one of his finest moments. And it makes for great running music. Try it sometime.

Tyler’s #2:
Shirley Bassey
[from Goldfinger (1964)]

This song is the first theme with vocals to be played during a Bond title sequence, and because of this or in spite of it, “Goldfinger” remains, for me, the gold standard against which all Bond title themes are compared. Shirley Bassey’s vocals are absolute perfection, but it took effort to get them that way. After singing it and singing it and not quite hitting and elongating that final note to the producers’ satisfaction, she ultimately decided to unhook her bra, which she felt had been constricting her, and then she sang her heart out (with boobies out). Interesting side note: the first person to hear this song after John Barry wrote it? John Barry’s roommate, some unknown actor named Michael Caine.
Anthony’s #1:
Diamonds Are Forever
Shirley Bassey
[from Diamonds Are Forever (1971)]
Over the top doesn’t even begin to describe Shirley Bassey’s delivery of the song’s innuendo-laced lyrics. Diamonds Are Forever proved to be a harbinger of the campier direction the Bond films were to take. The film’s Vegas setting (1970s Vegas, mind you) certainly fuels the song’s devilish decadence. Considering that double entendres make up a large part of Bond’s vocabulary it’s only fitting that Bassey’s sparkly and sexy theme be number one.

Tyler’s #1:
James Bone Theme
The John Barry Orchestra
Dr. No (1962)]
How could the number one spot go to any other song? James Bond’s theme is probably the only thing as famous and recognizable as the popular character himself. With that nasally surf-guitar riff that launched a thousand spy themes and the swinging horns that moderate the tension between the moody danger of the song and its rapturous bounciness, this is not just a great Bond song, but one of the most iconic instrumental film compositions in cinematic history. ‘Nuff said.

Anthony Volpe is a writer, student of history, and amateur Bond musicologist.
Tyler Malone writes for various publications, runs Reading Markson Reading, and is working on a forthcoming novel. He is the Editorial Director of PMc Magazine. He lives and works in New York City.

Tyler’s Skyfall Film Review
Official Site: Skyfall
IMDb: Skyfall

Written, Compiled and Edited by Anthony Volpe & Tyler Malone
Photography Courtesy of Eon Productions
Design by Jillian Mercado

Photography Courtesy of Eon Productions

SUMMERS LOVE: A Conversation with Musician ANDY SUMMERS, One-Third of the Band THE POLICE


A Conversation with Musician ANDY SUMMERS, One-Third of the Band THE POLICE
By Chiara Spagnoli
Fall 2012
(As seen in PMc Magazine, November 2012)   

Andy Summers, the English guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, is an artistic of eclectic talent. Not only was he the guitarist for the rock band The Police, and thus a pioneer of several sonic innovations in rock music, but he also established himself in the world of photography.

The popular and successful songs “Can’t Stand Losing You,” “Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” “Every Breath You Take,” become worldwide hits for The Police, and while the band was loved by fans the world over, critics also took to their new brand of rock, with the band winning multiple Grammys, including two for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with “Regatta de Blanc” and “Behind My Camel.”

It’s remarkably inspiring to retrace the history of this outstanding life, listening to Andy Summers unveil his artistic path, where music blends in with photography as his pop career leads to the mentorship of young talents.

Chiara Spagnoli: How was it to hold a guitar in your hands for the first time?
Andy Summers: I was given a guitar by my uncle when I was about 12 and a half years old and it was an instant symbiosis: I would never put it down. I think my fate was sealed by that gift. I used to play the piano before, but the guitar was my thing.

CS: You started playing gigs when you were just a teenager, what do you remember of those times?
AS: I grew up in a town called Bournemouth, in England, and I was in a band, there were little groups. I played ten hours a day. But it was great for me, I found myself to be very fortunate to have found out at that age that music was the road forward for me. We eventually would go to London with my band and be in shows for weeks. I completely lived a life of music.

CS: Was joining The Police that moment that gave a twist to your career?
AS: Not in an obvious way, because I joined The Police when it was a sort of fake punk band, on the instinct of something I felt and I also wanted to be in a trio. But there was no future, there was no money, there was no record company. I joined a band that was going nowhere. But then something started to happen: when we came to the US on a tour of the East Coast people got very excited and that was gratifying and authenticating. Those three weeks really put us together as a band.

CS: What happened?
AS: We did this three week tour with literally no money but we had eight songs that we would stretch out in a jam and we would play for an hour and a half: it was very good for us as a band. We went back to England and we were offered to go off on a tour with the comedy rock band called the Albertans. For a 21 day college tour they offered us a pitiful sum to join them as a support act. The first night we went to Bath University and we got on at 7:30pm in a place that was jam-packed with punk kids. We were on stage and the place went in complete pandemonium, there were screaming girls and when we came off the stage the crowd was clear utter riot. The poor Albertans were standing to one side with white faces wondering what had happened. So somehow we started getting known outside of London, and from then on, it got more intense, with sobbing girls and chaos everywhere we played. That is when we knew we had to keep going on.

CS: When did you figure the time was ripe to continue playing solo?
AS: Well, as I truly am a musician, my musical life depends on more than being in a pop band. I’ve been a serious musician before, I’ve been to the college of American studies of music, I was fully pledged. I absolutely would have carried on as a musician. After The Police, I started making records on my own pretty quickly.

CS: Through your music career you experimented with different kind of sound effects, like Echoplex?
AS: Yes, it was a sonic landscape sort of thing, particularly in The Police. Echoplex was one of the signature sounds of the band. I started to use this device which gave me repeat rhythms with beautiful spacey echos and from there I started to add more things until I had a sort of sonic pallet. So during the course of a two hour show I could change the sound of the guitar from song to song and do different things with the technology that was available then. I didn’t know then, but I was starting to innovate with some of these sounds.

CS: You’re also established in the world of photography, how did that come about?
AS: Well, at the beginning I was so absorbed with music that I didn’t take to photography with the same sort of devotion. But it was in the early days in New York, maybe the second time we came here, I had the money by then so I could get a really good camera and I went out with a photographer to the B&H store and bought the icons with upper lenses, and decided to do it seriously. I started to take pictures all the time, carrying my camera everywhere with a bag of film. I became completely obsessed with photography too. I was able to talk to a lot of photographers. Hence, I basically photographed all The Police from day one: I was photo-reporting the band right from the inside.

CS: How did the documentary Can’t Stand Losing You, based on your life, come about?
AS: The documentary grew organically. I had written my autobiography and I also had done a book of photographs. At the same time I saw a film called The Kid Stays in the Picture by Brett Morgan, who is one of the producers of the documentary, and was going to be the director. I was so impressed with the film of the still photographs, animated with a new technology, and the voiceover, I decided to contact him. And as destiny turned out I met somebody in Los Angeles who knew Brett and put me in touch with him. So I literally contacted him by email and eventually sent him the autobiography and he was blown away by it. So we got together and started working on the film. Then other producers got involved, and the film got financed very quickly, I was pretty amazed.

CS: Music, photography, film…any other artistic field you’d like to explore?
Architecture, I’m joking. Music has always been my prime interest and of course I love to do photography. Right now I’m excited about a new rock band I put together with a really brilliant singer from L.A. named Rob Giles. The band is called Circa Zero, and we are just about finished with the album. We’re aiming to put that out right after Christmas and start bringing it out into the world.

Andy Summers is an English musician and photography, famous for being one-third of the band The Police.

Andy Summers – Official Site
Can’t Stand Losing You – IMDb

Written by Chiara Spagnoli
Edited by Tyler Malone
Photography and Design by Marie Havens for



Andy Summers, DOC NYC Presents the World Film Premiere of CANT STAND LOSING YOU Featuring The POLICE Guitarist, ANDY SUMMERS, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, NYC, November 9, 2012, Photography by Marie Havens for



A Spotlite on RADIOMAN
By Chiara Spagnoli
Fall 2012
(As seen in PMc Magazine, November 2012)  

Radioman, born Craig Castaldo, has had an extraordinary life: a spin on the classic rags-to-riches story, he started out in the streets of New York as a homeless lost soul and became the darling of filmmakers.

Tom Hanks and Joel Schumacher defined him as a landmark of New York City along with the Statue of Liberty and the Empire Stare Building. Johnny Depp wonders if he’s an alien from a distant planet or an eccentric billionaire, or both. Helen Mirren, George Clooney, Meryl Streep have known him for decades, and Robin Williams is flabbergasted by Radioman’s friendship with Scorsese: “He calls him Marty, I can’t call him that!” This extraordinary and amusing troll is the contemporary superhero of the silver screen, with cameos in countless films.

Chiara Spagnoli: You have acted in over 200 movies, how does it feel to have an entire film retracing your life?
Radioman: Miserable–no, I’m joking–it’s very bizarre and awe-inspiring to have anybody really care and think that my life is so interesting. It’s all about me, I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. People like it, they seem to adore it. I was in England, and Scotland, and they loved it, I never expected to get that kind of reception.

CS: How do you feel about being the lucky charm of filmmakers?
R: The movies that I’m in do well in theaters. and also when they’re released on DVDs, they tend to make money. Most of the films I’ve been in have been successful and in some of them I was just background. I think I may be some kind of a catalyst and make it happen for them.

CS: How did you start going on film sets? Do you remember your first one?
R: My first movie was with Bruce Willis in The Bonfire of the Vanities. I yelled at him in a high-pitched voice: “Bruce Willis your movie looks like an animation, it looks like a cartooooon, you don’t know how to act!” And I didn’t know what this guy was about, he had a bag with a bottle in it, and I thought he was a drunk, like I was at the time. I asked him if he wanted a beer and he told me he was an actor and that was a prop. Bruce said to me, “I’m just playing a part, but I’ll tell you what: when I finish the shoot I’ll have a beer with you!” So we had beers together and started talking.

CS: At the time you were homeless?
R: Yeah, I lived in the streets, in parks, down in the subway tunnels, on track 17 next to the men’s room at a low level of the Long Island Rail Road. A lot of homeless guys were there, at that time we were known as ‘bums,’ there was no word to define ‘homeless’ yet. You were either a bum or a derelict or somebody on the street nobody cared about.

CS: You also had a very rough time in a psychiatric institution, what do you recall about that experience?
R: I was there for two months or so. I was internalized for addiction even though I never did drugs or strange substances, it was just beer. One day I was on the set of a movie called City Hall and I didn’t realize there was a holiday. Al Pacino wasn’t there–he starred in the movie with John Cusack, Al played the mayor of the city of New York–and I said to everyone “Hey, I know Al Pacino, I know all these actors, and I’m friends with them all, they know who I am!”

They thought I was a nut and pushed me away. I spoke back to a cop who handcuffed me and gave orders to take me to Bellevue. Someone from the crew tried to say, “he really does know all these people,” but they took me away anyway. They kept me there, strapped me to a chair, brought me to the 24th floor of the observation room, and gave me some kind of drugs to try to mellow me out. I was screaming and yelling, saying: “I don’t belong here, I should be where they’re making movies.”

CS: How is it that you manage to find out the locations and schedules of the shootings?
R: Sometimes it was word of mouth. I would just ride around with my bike, and I would see the schedule signs of different permits, and I would put two and two together. Or I would ask one of the attendants about what was going on. They would tell me the call time, so sometimes I found out what was going on that way. I used to drive around a lot, day and night, I basically never used to go back home, I spent my time dwelling.

CS: Where does your passion for films come from?
R: My mother used to like to watch the old movies with Myrna Loy and Olivia de Havilland, Gone with the Wind and all these different films. My father would go for John Wayne and Ronald Coleman and stuff like that, Lawrence Olivier too. He also liked westerns and all the Italians, the old films on channel 9 with the subtitles, with Anna Magnani and all the old Italian actors.

CS: Why did you choose the radio as your symbol and why do you carry it around with you?
R: I always wanted to be a radio announcer, besides wanting to be a movie actor. I loved the movies, I used to watch them on television with my parents, but I always liked music, rock n’ roll. Before I was Radioman, I was known as Aqualung. I loved to show off, I always did it in school. I wanted to be the center of attention, and I didn’t really realize it, I was just being me. That’s the reason I have the radio around my neck, and because when I used to hold it in my hand, they tried to steal it–this way no one can take it away from me.

CS: Do you feel you’ve pursued your dream?
R: Yes, the dream just came to me 20 or 30 years later. I’ve been doing this for a long time. and I never expected it to be like this, have fame and recognition from people. I’m loving it. People love the documentary on Radioman, but to me it’s nothing, it’s my life.

Radioman has been in countless films throughout the years, and now there is a documentary about his life.

Radioman – IMDb

Written by Chiara Spagnoli
Edited by Tyler Malone
Photography by Jimi Celeste for Patrick
Design by Marie Havens


Radioman, FOCUS FEATURES Presents a New York Special Screening of TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, Landmark Theater Sunshine Cinema, New York, November 30, 2011, Photography by Jimi Celeste for Patrick