Summer 2016, Hit Woman is also an AMAZON.com 5-STAR Book
65 reader reviews — and 62 say “5 stars!”
December 11: FLASH! iTunes edition becomes available today.
The iTunes iBook version for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone and Mac is now being offered at Apple’s iTunes store, https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hit-woman/id766963759?mt=11
Hit Woman is available in Hard Cover, paperback, and ebook formats at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo.com and many other online bookstores
…Even in the fluorescent-lit, ugly gray surroundings, Elton looked fabulous in a sparkling all-white Versace three-piece suit. He got right down to business.
“I’ve checked you out and heard nothing but good things, so you can go ahead and produce the tracks. Where do you want to do them?”
I told him I would record them here in New York with my favorite people. He said fine, but wanted to overdub his piano track and vocals in Boston on the day before he started shooting. Our daytime session would fit nicely into his schedule. Of course I agreed.
All the while we had been talking, we’d also been walking closer and closer to the stage. He kept gesturing for me to follow him.
“If you have to reach me in Boston, call the hotel and ask for ‘Yves Ho’.” He did spell it out for me, with a smile.
I stopped dead at the edge of the darkened stage as the band started the intro to “Benny and the Jets,” but he kept talking and waving me forward. I had to hear what he was saying so I moved right out onto the stage floor in the dark. I looked up.
The crowd was roaring and there were thousands upon thousands of lighters being held up high and swung back and forth. My knees buckled. Laughing at the panic in my face, he waved good- bye and said something like, “It’s going to be fun working together!” With that, he spun on his heels and, timing it perfectly to the last four beats of the intro, strode over to the piano bench, sat and
hit the first chord with full force.
The lights slammed on. I fled.
SCHLITZ BEER was the single most difficult name to record in jingles. With one group of singers, it was “Shitz Beer;” with the other, it came out “Slitz Beer.”
Damned either way.
…My fondest memory of this period came at Christmas time. Somehow, who knows how, my father talked Gimbel’s into allowing him to hawk his Zoomerangs on their toy floors during the holiday rush. As anyone who has ever seen Miracle on 34th Street knows, Gimbel’s was the other huge department store in Herald Square. Macy’s was on 34th, Gimbel’s on 33rd. This was a true coup for a lone pitchman from the suburbs.
You should have seen him in action! My mother and we kids would travel into the City and ride the clickety-clackety wooden escalators all the way up to his floor to watch in awe. There would be my father, Zoomerang in hand, dressed nattily in slacks (he loved Dax slacks), shirt, tie and plaid sports coat, nimbly dancing around in the middle of a big circle of onlookers. He would be demonstrating all the tricks with the whole spiel: the rapid-fire patter and banter that went along with the sell. The crowds would be mesmerized, and when the show was over, they‘d buy and buy.
Day after day, well into the evening for at least three or four weeks straight, my father would be there: tireless, full of energy and loving every moment. Not once when we came to watch the show did he ever acknowledge our presence — never introduced us to his audience. We were just part of the masses. To have done so would have made him too ordinary, too plebian. We never spoke of it…
IT WAS 120 DEGREES AND pitch black as we drove from the Grand Canyon over the high bare mountains toward Las Vegas. Our 1949 ‘woodie’ — the Chevrolet station wagon with no air conditioning — was only bearable when we kept the windows mostly closed. Putting your hand outside was like sticking it into a blast furnace. The absolute darkness of the highway coupled with the intense heat frightened my parents. Their fear spread to my sister, brother and me. We were uncharacteristically quiet. My mother fed us a steady stream of ice chips from the cooler. She and my father sucked on them, too.
We crested the last hill and suddenly there it was, a distant glowing bowl of light in the vast expanse. To us, it could have been an enormous flying saucer landed in the middle of nowhere…
“A GIG ON THE CIRCLE LINE”
I THOUGHT MY NEW CAREER was over as the boat tipped sideways and threatened to sink in the Hudson River. The usually taciturn 75-year-old Scottish captain of the Circle Line boat had just screamed at me, “In fifty years on this river, I’ve never had a man overboard! What is the matter with you people?”…