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TAMRA WILSON is the author of Dining With Robert Redford, a story collection, and the co-editor of IDOL TALK, a new collection of women writers on Teen Idols.  A list of forthcoming readings and events featuring Tamra and IDOL TALK follows this blog post, which is reprinted from with permission from the author.  Rock on, IDOL TALK!

Idol Talk sheds light on pop star crushes by Tamra Wilson

Out now from McFarlandBooks

Ladies, if you’re like me, you had a teen idol. Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that any of us “mature adults” once dreamed of meeting Elvis, dancing with Paul McCartney or breathing the same air as Bobby Sherman.

My idol (surprise!) was Peter Noone, Herman of Herman’s Hermits, the group that gave us such ear worms as “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” and “I’m Into Something Good.”   The Hermits’ bouncy, upbeat tunes had MGM Records whistling all the way to the bank. Herman and the lads outsold the Beatles in 1965. All said, Herman’s Hermits scored 10 Top Tens, 20 Top Twenties as one of the top three bands of the British Invasion with more than 60 million records sold worldwide.

Tammy and her idol, Peter Noone (aka, Herman of Herman’s Hermits)

In the fall of 1968, when I entered high school, Peter had the audacity to get married. There was no warning, just an announcement of the nuptials from London. I gave Herman’s Hermits the heave ho, though I kept the albums and posters. After all, you never know when you might need such stuff.

“When” came in 2013, the evening Herman’s Hermits came to J. E. Broyhill Civic Center. After the band rocked the house, I got in line and had Peter sign several of those old albums, which he politely did as I stood by like a giddy 13-year-old.

Later, I emailed my writer friend, Elizabeth Searle, telling her that it really was possible to become a teen-ager again. She understood because we have this thing about celebrities. I’d already written a book, Dining with Robert Redford, and she had penned the script for Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. (more…)

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Coming in July from McFarland Books!  Check this page for updates & more…

“IDOL TALK: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives.”

NOW AVAILABLE from McFarland & Company:

What began as a fun email exchange between writers Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson has become the first-ever collection of essays about teen idols by some of America’s most fabulous female writers including Ann Hood, Marianne Leone, Leslea Newman, Hank Phillippi Ryan, BA Shapiro, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Susan Straight, Dolen Perkins Valdez, Stephanie Powell Watts, Oprah Book choice Breena Clarke and more.  

Foreword by Peter Noone, Herman of Herman’s Hermits.  BREAKING NEWS on PETER NOONE: Peter’s new song with Red Button — OOH, GIRL — has hit the charts in the UK!

IDOL TALK will invite readers to a Ya-Ya Sisterhood-type pajama party as authors share “true confessions” of their own celebrity obsessions. Included are deeply personal musings about such stars as Elvis, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Davy Jones as well as some nontraditional idols including Bobby Orr, Baryshnikov, Humphrey Bogart and Raymond Burr and more.

IDOL TALK will bring back memories, stir up new thoughts and trigger frank talk about many a woman’s “first love,” her teen idol.

Watch our IDOL TALK page here on the blog for more.   And See: McFarland Books 

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Avenatti is a Hottie: And Other Reasons to Love the Guy Who Just Might Save America

Er, does anyone else think that ‘Stormy Daniels’ attorney is smoking hot?  Michael Avenatti, Esq. has Trump and co. on the run.




~If Avenatti ever gets the two-hour interrogation he wants with Trump himself, nothing will be left but the orange hair.

Even the New York Times thinks Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), may be the one to bring down the Donald.  If so, she had an able assist from her telegenic ace Attorney.

Reasons enough to love the guy.  But I can think of a few more:

1. Avenatti is a Hottie.

Ol’ Blue Eyes has nothing on this blue-eyed Italian Stallion, whose law office motto is ‘Basta!’

2. Avenatti trumps Trumpsters  

Avenatti regularly outsmarts– and out-shouts– Team Trump.  Even Fake News purveyors acknowledge the guy is a ‘real lawyer.’


3. Trump can’t fire him

as Avenatti himself has pointed out–  one of M. Avenatti’s many quotable quotes. 

4. Anenatti spices up MSNBC

My diet of MSNBC comfort food is spicier these days thanks to frequent guest Avenatti.  Joy Reid wants him to be her personal attorney and so do I!

5. Avenatti just may save America

This dude races cars and he is heading toward Donald Trump at about 120 mph.

Avenatti likes to point out that Al Capone was not brought down for murder but for tax evasion.  Could it be that Avenatti and Stormy have found the route to bringing an end, at last, to Trump’s reign of corruption, terror and unsigned NDAs?


(photos: GoogleImages, msnbc.com, cnn.com, SI.com)


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‘Tonya & Nancy’ rock opera songs rocked a packed house on Feb. 13th at 54Below in NYC.  The concert event starring Ashley Spencer and Lauren Worsham is forthcoming as a concert CD from Broadway Records in a few months.  New productions of the rock opera are also in the works; check for updates at www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Meanwhile, enjoy photos from the big night in the big city by Robert Pushkar.

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***ABC showed a brief clip from TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA during its Tonya Harding special on JAN 11, 2018– The upcoming concert was featured in BroadwayWorld and more-

What better way to celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics than with songs from from the rock opera Tonya and Nancy? Based on the Tonya Harding/ Nancy Kerrigan Olympic skating scandal, Elizabeth Searle’s and Michael Teoli’s rock opera has drawn national and international media coverage, playing in Boston, Chicago and LA as well as enjoying a sold-out run at NYMF. Tony-nominated Broadway star Lauren Worsham (A Genleman’s Guide To Love and Murder) headlines as Nancy, alongside Ashley Spencer (Rock of Ages, Grease) as Tonya. Onstage, Tonya’s and Nancy’s ‘Mom’ (embodied by one powerhouse actress) will MC- and occasionally referee— as Tonya, Nancy and knee-attack conspirator ‘Gillooly’ belt out songs including Tonya’s “Watch Your Back” and Nancy’s aria, “Why Me?” Critics on both coasts have hailed this show as “brilliant.” Let the games begin.
Who could forget the biggest Olympic ice skating controversy of all time? This critically acclaimed musical from Elizabeth Searle and Michael Teoli takes on that epic scandal with a blend of dark comedy and surprising depth. Protect your knees!
Jack Smart, Backstage

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DeWitt Henry was the founding editor of Ploughshares. He’s published a novel, two memoirs, a story collection, and several anthologies. He is a Professor Emeritus at Emerson College and serves as a contributing editor to both Woven Tale Press and Solstice magazines. Plume Editions will publish a collection of his lyrical essays next year. For details see www.dewitthenry.com .



Sure, sure, we’ve got the star personalities of Kerr and Grant for starters (both English, both elegantly mannered, with a distancing wit perfectly poised with whole-hearted passion: Grant here will play the same charm he played in, say, Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief or in Bringing Up Baby with Katherine Hepburn; Kerr will play her repressed yet passionate King and I self).

Now for situation. We want the tension of adultery, of socially forbidden love, but a 1950’s mass audience will not celebrate adultery. We will tease the idea, to be sure, by using the word “affair” in the title. But let’s try this set up: both characters are engaged to publicly known rich fiances, while both themselves are relatively hardscrable and incompetent to earn a living (let’s make them both talented, but shy artists, she as a singer, he as a painter). We won’t press the matter, but both are freeloaders, planning to marry for money, social status, and security. The conflict, then, is that they fall in love, partly thanks to their ability to see through each other; two charmers charm each other; but if they indulge their love on ship board, like adulterous lovers, they will be witnessed and judged by society and lose their rich fiances and marital prospects. Let’s have them choose to pursue their true natures, not impetuously, but passionately. They will separate for six months, break with their fiances, and work hard as artists to separately earn a living. In other words, they give each other the purpose and confidence to fulfill their individual natures. Then they are to meet, compare notes, and marry. But, let’s see, what larger, O’Henry-ish obstacle can we contrive? Got it! How about if just as She is going to meet Him and is “looking up,” She is hit by a car, so He is left with the idea that she has decided against their marrying and has broken her promise. Yeah, yeah, the story can get away with this; cheap shot, yeah, but we’re not talking witty reparte anymore, we’re talking Love in the Hands of Fate (or perhaps an Angry God). (more…)

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Hanging out on the Virtual Verandah with Memphis Earlene and the gang, recuperating from Labor Day festivities, which involved Single Malt Scotch. Now I’m drinking penance–unsweetened cranberry juice. In a gesture of patriotism, Memphis Earlene has renounced White Russians and come back home to Southern Comfort and Coca Cola. She remains a beacon of clarity […]

via Boomer Geezer Blues — Memphis Earlene

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