Aretha Franklin – ChatterQuote April 2014

Aretha Franklin – ChatterQuote April 2014

“I’m a Big Woman. I Need Big Hair.”

Image from Wikipedia: Trade Ad for “Baby, I Love You” Billboard Magazine, page 9 - July 15, 1967

What better than an Aries to say, “I’m a big woman, I need big hair.” Anatomically Aries rules the head, which also means hair, hats, wigs, and so forth, but they are also extremely “headstrong” personalities, and The Queen of Soul certainly fits that description. Aretha Louise Franklin, an Aries, was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. She began her illustrious career as a child, singing gospel at her father’s church. In 1960, at the age of 18 she initially signed with Columbia Records, but it wasn’t until she moved to Atlantic Records in 1967 that her career really took off. And by the end of the decade she had already earned herself the title, The Queen of Soul.

In 1979 she moved from Atlantic to Arista Records, which led to her cameo role in The Blues Brothers movie. Some of her most successful hits were “Think,” (You Make Me Feel) Like a Woman,” and “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” (yes, that’s the one our President was unable to spell correctly a few months back. I mean, I know we all make mistakes, but seriously…?) In 1987 Aretha was the First Female Performer ever – as in ever – to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Let’s consider for a moment that single-handed game-changing achievement … and how well it ties in to the pioneering spirit of the Aries. It’s no Accident that Aretha Franklin paved the way for many more black female artists who came after her. She was also inducted in to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

iTunes screen grab showing just a few of Aretha Franklin's albums...

To date, our Aries Aretha has won a total of 18 Grammys (and counting) and is one of the Best-Selling Female Recording Artists of all time – as in all time – having sold over 75 Million Records worldwide. She recorded 88 Charted Singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 Entries and 21 Number One R&B Singles, becoming the Most Charted Female Artist in the chart’s history. Seriously? Then, as if that wasn’t enough, on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “100 Greatest Singers Of All Time” list, Aretha placed – go on, take a guess – yes, she took Number One. No big surprise there, not only because of her undeniable talent and track record, but Aries literally is the sign that says, “I am – I am the first sign – I am the first one – I am number one.”

Yousuf Karsh – ChatterQuote January 2014

Yousuf Karsh:

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”

Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian-Canadian portrait photographer and an “early” Capricorn, born in Mardin, a city in the Ottoman Empire (known today as Turkey) on December 23, 1908 and who died in Boston, Massachusetts on July 13, 2002, aged 93!  Karsh grew up during the Armenian Genocide witnessing the massacre of his relatives and watching his sister die of starvation. How incredible is it to think that such an incredible master of his craft was able to emerge from such horrendous beginnings? But thanks to his parents, he was sent to live with his uncle George Nakash, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada when he was sixteen years old. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Self Portrait 1952 © Yousuf Karsh

You may recall my friend Julie Grahame manages the estate of Yousuf Karsh, and has most graciously allowed me to use several of his iconic portraits in previous newsletters. This time however, we get to feature the photographer himself, and show you one of his self-portraits! I chose this one because the frame of the glass negative plate suggests a more subtle sense of “Structure.”

Julie also reminded me that The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC is currently showing “Yousuf Karsh: American Portraits,” which tells the history of America through individuals who have shaped its culture, and runs until April 27, 2014. If you live in the area and haven’t already done so, or you plan on visiting in the next few months, be sure to check it out this “must-see” exhibition!

Karsh attributes not only the time spent with his uncle to his passion for photography and subsequent success, but also to the years spent apprenticing Armenian photographer John H. Garo in Boston, (additional thanks go to Uncle Nakash who arranged the apprenticeship!)  I highly recommend that you read Karsh’s own accounts of his life and career on his website, where on the home page it simply but rightfully states: “Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) is one of the masters of 20th century photography. His body of work includes portraits of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment.  His extraordinary and unique portfolio presents the viewer with an intimate and compassionate view of humanity.

Interestingly, compassion is not exactly the first word one associates with the sign of Capricorn, but because his birthday was so close to the end of Sagittarius, and after witnessing such atrocities as a young child, we can better comprehend where that trait comes from. As I’ve mentioned before, Capricorns are the builders, not only of “buildings” but also of “legacies” – and that is what Yousuf Karsh did.

As well as checking out Karsh’s personal stories, be sure to also view the video clips and the photo gallery of his own life on the website. In the video clip from 60 Minutes with Morley Safer in 1977, on being a hero worshipper, not a debunker, Karsh conveniently tells us he has a “constructive approach” – how very Capricorn is that?

David Hockney – ChatterQuote July 2013

David Hockney:

A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.

David Hockney Photo: UK Telegraph © HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

David Hockney is a British Painter, Draughtsman, Printmaker, Photographer and Stage Designer – a Cancer, who was born on July 9, 1937 in Bradford, England, the fourth of five children. Now in his mid seventies, he currently splits his time between his homes in Kensington, London and Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire. Plus, he also maintains two additional residences in California.

What’s interesting about the quote I have chosen from him for this month (whether he knew it or not) is that he was directly referencing an historical event that took place during the sign of Cancer on July 14, 1789, which was the Storming of the Bastille and what is now known and celebrated as Bastille Day, and which also happens to have been my mum’s birthday.

The Bastille itself was a fortress-like prison in Paris, France, and this event marked the end of the “absolute monarchy” and became a symbol for the French Revolution and subsequent First Republic. During the French Revolution, the “Guillotine” was the execution device of choice, in particular during the Reign of Terror once the Monarchy had been overthrown. Executions back then were public, and I remember learning about the old French women, nick-named “Tricoteuses” who would sit at the foot of the Guillotine knitting away as the heads rolled, one after the other… And although one generally associates the Guillotine with that period of French history, use of this device continued and surprisingly, the last person to be executed by Guillotine in France was in 1977, which wasn’t actually that long ago…

My David Hockney Books!

I remember going to see the David Hockney retrospective some years ago now (I still have the book!). The exhibition started out in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1988, from there it came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York, and in 1989 it was at the Tate Gallery in London. It was one of those rare occasions when I actually decided to spend the extra money and rent the audio headset so that I could walk through the exhibition whilst listening to David Hockney himself commentating on his own paintings. It was well worth it, and hearing that lovely accent warmed my heart! I particularly loved his California swimming pools, inspired by his first visit to the West Coast, and where he subsequently lived on and off for 30 years. As an English person who also grew up in that cold, gray, rainy climate, I so identified with Hockney’s excitement at seeing all of those palm trees and sparkling swimming pools in sunny California. To many ex-pats, this alone is pure heaven and why many of them moved out there! But back to David, who as a Cancer, the Crab, and the first of the three Water signs also identified with those swimming pools in a totally natural way, whether he realized it, or not.

David Hockney was a major contributor to the “Pop Art” movement. One of my favorites of his series were his collages, being a bit of a “collager” myself… There’s something very satisfying about seeing a whole bunch of small images that subsequently come together to create one new larger image – a bit like where the sum of something is greater than its parts… Another of Hockney’s skills was that of Stage Designer, most notably for the opera, including The Rake’s Progress at the 1975 Glyndebourne Festival in England, Parade for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City in 1981, Turandot at the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1991, and in 1992 Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Royal Opera House in London (and that’s just a “taste!”)

Check out this profile on David Hockney in the Arts section of TheTelegraph.co.uk by filmmaker Bruno Wollheim and his documentary for the BBC entitled “A Bigger Picture.”

Bob Monkhouse – ChatterQuote June 2013

Bob Monkhouse:

When I said I was going to become a comedian, they all laughed. Well, they’re not laughing now, are they?
Growing old is compulsory – growing up is optional.

Bob Monkhouse 1928-2003

You may (or may not) have noticed that my quotes for the last several months have all come from funny people – which is ironic really since now we have arrived at the sign of Gemini, who is truly the jokester of the zodiac! So I would be remiss if I did not continue the trend and bring you a quote (actually two since Gemini is a “dual” sign represented by the symbol of the “twins”) from yet another funny person! Last year I chose Joan Rivers (who turns 80 this month!), so this time I decided to go with a British Comedian I grew up with, Robert Alan “Bob” Monkhouse, OBE (Order of the British Empire), a Gemini, born June 1, 1928 in Beckenham, Kent, England, and who died on December 29, 2003 aged 75 in Eggington, Bedfordshire, England.

An entertainer, comedy actor and writer, Bob Monkhouse was perhaps best known as a television presenter and game show host for most notably The Golden Shot, in which his infamous catchphrase was, “Bernie… the bolt!” I grew up watching this show. So the contestants had to aim a crossbow at an apple, which contained an exploding target. In the first round however, the crossbow was operated by a blindfolded cameraman, who had to aim and fire at the target using only the instructions given him by the contestant. [Left, left, up a bit… down a bit… fire!] And in later rounds, the contestants got to fire the crossbow themselves – something like that, anyway! Other shows he hosted that you may have heard of included Celebrity Squares (UK version of Hollywood Squares), Family Fortunes (UK version of Family Feud), Bob’s Your Uncle, Opportunity Knocks and Wipeout UK.

A lesser-known but quite delicious tidbit about Bob Monkhouse is that his grandfather was a prosperous Methodist businessman who co-founded a company called Monk & Glass, which made, of all things, custard powder and jelly! I mean all good comedians need custard pies, don’t they, so how perfect that he was a comedian who came from a family that already made the custard! And, last I checked, custard is what color? Yep, custard is Yellow, the color of Gemini! Notice I chose two (!) quotes for him – the first quote reflects the comedian in him, while the second reveals the “Peter Pan” syndrome – a Gemini never wants to grow up!

When I was doing my research, I found the BBC Obituary, so I thought I would share some of it with you [along with my own commentary!] especially since it demonstrates just how much of a Gemini he truly was:

“Bob Monkhouse’s critics called him bumptious, smooth and smarmy but, for more than 40 years, he was one of the most popular and assured performers on British television… …He began selling cartoons and jokes in his teens [already a natural jokester] and at Dulwich College public school he met another comedy hopeful, Denis Goodwin. They teamed up to write material for comedians including Max Miller and Arthur Askey.

Monkhouse was also writing and drawing strips for children’s comics such as The Beano [home of characters Denis the Menace, Roger the Dodger and Minnie the Minx, amongst others… FYI – the comic was first published in 1938 and is still going strong today] and The Dandy [we certainly grew up with both of these comics in England but I never knew that Bob Monkhouse was a contributor!] and, after leaving school, set himself up in business as the editor of his own publication. [Knock, knock, Gemini’s are literally the “newspapers” of the zodiac!] He commissioned artists and writers for his comic, paying them by postal order, and did all the production and distribution work himself. [I rest my case!]

His days as a publisher ended when he was called up for service in the Royal Air Force [notice he was in the “Air” Force, and he was an Air Sign!] and he returned to civilian life to earn a living as a radio gag writer and stand-up comedian. [Back to being a jokester again.] He appeared in revue with Benny Hill [you’ve all heard of him] in the late 1940s and later broke into television, writing and appearing with his old partner, Denis Goodwin, who [tragically] committed suicide in 1975.

Bob Monkhouse’s own life was [also] darkened by tragedy. At the age of 20, he was disowned by his parents after marrying his first wife, Elizabeth. His mother turned up at the wedding in mourning black. He never resolved his differences with his father and only spoke to his mother in the months before her death. And in 2001 his 46-year-old son Simon died from a heroin overdose in a Thai guesthouse. He and his father had not spoken for 13 years. His other son, Gary, who had cerebral palsy from birth, died in 1992 aged 40. [Now who knew all of that very sad stuff was going on under the smooth facade?]

He was awarded the OBE in 1993. Always in his element playing to small, intimate, audiences rather than at large venues, Bob Monkhouse enjoyed improvising and was quite often near-the-knuckle…” [Check out the size of his hands in his photo!]

Excerpt from the BBC Obituary Monday, December 29th, 2003

Ben Elton – ChatterQuote May 2013

Ben Elton:

People who get through life dependent on other people’s possessions are always the first to lecture you on how little possessions count.

Ben Elton © Ian Bradshaw

This month’s quote comes from one of my absolute favorites, British author, comedian and playwright, actor and director Ben Elton, a Taurus, born May 3, 1959 in Catford, London, England. He was considered the leader of the alternative comedy movement in the 80’s and wrote for the cult series Black Adder and The Young Ones that spawned such notables as Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (House). Known for his left-wing political satire, Ben went on to write more than a dozen of what I think are some of the funniest and most cleverly entertaining books, each one funnier and more pertinent than the last. I have all of them (except the most recent – but that won’t last long!).  Although Ben is primarily known for his “humor” I picked this particular quote from him because whether he realized it or not, he was speaking the language of Taurus at the time. Taurus is the sign associated with possessions, of all kinds, so much so, they treat people like possessions as well. Hmmmmm….

Ben is so smart at taking a specific social commentary, often way before its time, and then writing a very credible account of what might just happen in the near future. He addresses such topics as global warming and conservation, along with the public’s obsession with reality shows and pop idol contests. In Chart Throb (his satire of X Factor/American Idol) Prince Charles is persuaded by the palace to compete in the show to “up” his sagging ratings and sings something like “Jerusalem” as his audition piece! Even funnier still, is that his fellow contestants are convinced he’s a lookalike and not the real Prince at all! The contestants are initially divided by the Chart Throb staff into Mingers, Blingers, Clingers & Singers based on their audition tapes, and then the judges are hilariously reminiscent of mega mogul Simon Cowell, along with a Sharon-Osborne-like character, who in this case happens to be a transsexual…

One of his early books Gridlock (in fact it was his 2nd book published in 1991 following his 1st book Stark in 1989), suggested a time when there would be so much traffic in central London, there was total gridlock… and some years on after he had written the book, back in the real world in 2003, there literally was so much traffic in central London the city started discouraging you from driving there by creating a “congestion charge!” Aside from the social commentary on the topic of gridlock, the book contains another interesting human thread and observation as to how we treat people who are in wheelchairs. By placing the 2 main characters in wheelchairs, he adds in yet another layer of both humor and sadness to the mix.

Here’s an ironic excerpt from the book itself: New York will always seem more real than anything Britain has to offer. It is strange that, although the majority of British people have never seen a skate-boarding body-popper, an exploding fire-hydrant, or anybody dunk a doughnut, these things seem infinitely more immediate and happening images than that jar of Horlicks which has stood in the cupboard for 40 years. Ben Elton, Gridlock, 1991

Charlie Chaplin & Spike Milligan – ChatterQuote April 2013

Charlie Chaplin

A day without laughter is a day wasted!

Charlie Chaplin c. 1920

The 1st of this month’s quotes comes from the famous British comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, or rather Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, an Aries born April 16th, 1889 in London, England, and who died on Christmas day, December 25th, 1977 at the age of 88 in Vevey, Switzerland. Chaplin rose to fame in the “silent movie” era, which seems a bit odd for an Aries, since silence isn’t exactly one of their strong suits! Instead, Charlie Chaplin displayed the pioneering spirit of an Aries, just look at the path he carved out in the film industry for all those to follow after him? That’s what an Aries does – they inspire everyone around them, and then move on to the next project, often leaving others to complete what they have started! They are very passionate people.

Chaplin’s childhood was not an easy one, so he needed to be a tough Aries to survive. He was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine – just think about that for a moment, especially those of you with young kids – can you imagine sending your child to the workhouse in this day and age? Well, maybe some of you can, but my point is that he had to overcome many tough obstacles from a very early age in order to reach the success that he was able to.

He also began performing at a young age, most likely as an escape from the real world he was living in, touring music halls and then later as a stage actor and comedian. But then Chaplin was signed by the famous Fred Karno (besides discovering Charlie Chaplin, Fred Karno was also credited with inventing the original custard-pie-in-the-face gag!), whose company then took him to America at the age of 19. Once in the US, Chaplin was scouted by the motion picture industry and made his 1st appearance in 1914 with Keystone Studios. From there, he developed his famous “tramp” character, which like a true Aries, always wore that hat, and by 1918, he was one of the most famous men in the world!

Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator

In 1919 Chaplin co-founded United Artists giving him complete control over his films. Many movies (and several marriages) later, including such classics as The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights & Modern Times, his interest in the politics of the time was shown by his satire of Adolf Hitler (also an Aries!) in the 1940 film The Great Dictator. This however, led to an unfortunate decline in his popularity along with accusations of his being a communist. Ultimately he was forced to leave the US and settled in Switzerland until he died.

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Spike Milligan

I’m not afraid of dying I just don’t want to be there when it happens!

Spike Milligan

I also wanted to give you a 2nd quote this month, from comedian, musician, poet & writer Spike Milligan, an Aries, also born on April 16th (same day as Charlie Chaplin, check that out!) but in 1918 and not in England. Terence Alan Patrick Seán “Spike” Milligan, KBE (Knight, or Order of the British Empire) was born in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, British India, to English and Irish parents (guess which one was which?), but spent most of his adult working life in the UK, where he died on February 27th, 2002, in Rye, East Sussex.

My dad was a big fan and we grew up listening to Spike Milligan, creator of the brilliant comedy Goon Show, which he performed on BBC Radio along with fellow comedians Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers (who, coincidentally were both Virgos, both born on September 8th just 4 years apart – how weird is that?) The Goon Show was both crazy and creative, with lots of whacky sound effects, as well as abundantly silly humor. Once again, we have an Aries pioneer, and down the road, comedy groups such as Monty Python with their newly absurd brand of humor were certainly and majorly influenced by Spike and his fellow Goons.

Spike also wrote many books, and ironically enough, much like Charlie Chaplin, he too had a thing about fellow Aries Adolf Hitler, and one of Spike’s better-known and auto-biographical books was entitled Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, based on when he served in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. Seriously, I’m not making this stuff up! It’s no big surprise that Spike, as an Aries, ruled by the Planet and War-God Mars, was not only an army brat, but also ended up serving in the military himself! Notice how many hats he wore as well, including several of the ones on this blog where I found the one above.

Charlie Chaplin & Spike Milligan – ChatterQuote April 2013

Charlie Chaplin

A day without laughter is a day wasted!

Charlie Chaplin c. 1920

The 1st of this month’s quotes comes from the famous British comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, or rather Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, an Aries born April 16th, 1889 in London, England, and who died on Christmas day, December 25th, 1977 at the age of 88 in Vevey, Switzerland. Chaplin rose to fame in the “silent movie” era, which seems a bit odd for an Aries, since silence isn’t exactly one of their strong suits! Instead, Charlie Chaplin displayed the pioneering spirit of an Aries, just look at the path he carved out in the film industry for all those to follow after him? That’s what an Aries does – they inspire everyone around them, and then move on to the next project, often leaving others to complete what they have started! They are very passionate people.

Chaplin’s childhood was not an easy one, so he needed to be a tough Aries to survive. He was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine – just think about that for a moment, especially those of you with young kids – can you imagine sending your child to the workhouse in this day and age? Well, maybe some of you can, but my point is that he had to overcome many tough obstacles from a very early age in order to reach the success that he was able to.

He also began performing at a young age, most likely as an escape from the real world he was living in, touring music halls and then later as a stage actor and comedian. But then Chaplin was signed by the famous Fred Karno (besides discovering Charlie Chaplin, Fred Karno was also credited with inventing the original custard-pie-in-the-face gag!), whose company then took him to America at the age of 19. Once in the US, Chaplin was scouted by the motion picture industry and made his 1st appearance in 1914 with Keystone Studios. From there, he developed his famous “tramp” character, which like a true Aries, always wore that hat, and by 1918, he was one of the most famous men in the world!

Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator

In 1919 Chaplin co-founded United Artists giving him complete control over his films. Many movies (and several marriages) later, including such classics as The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights & Modern Times, his interest in the politics of the time was shown by his satire of Adolf Hitler (also an Aries!) in the 1940 film The Great Dictator. This however, led to an unfortunate decline in his popularity along with accusations of his being a communist. Ultimately he was forced to leave the US and settled in Switzerland until he died.

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Spike Milligan

I’m not afraid of dying I just don’t want to be there when it happens!

Spike Milligan

I also wanted to give you a 2nd quote this month, from comedian, musician, poet & writer Spike Milligan, an Aries, also born on April 16th (same day as Charlie Chaplin, check that out!) but in 1918 and not in England. Terence Alan Patrick Seán “Spike” Milligan, KBE (Knight, or Order of the British Empire) was born in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, British India, to English and Irish parents (guess which one was which?), but spent most of his adult working life in the UK, where he died on February 27th, 2002, in Rye, East Sussex.

My dad was a big fan and we grew up listening to Spike Milligan, creator of the brilliant comedy Goon Show, which he performed on BBC Radio along with fellow comedians Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers (who, coincidentally were both Virgos, both born on September 8th just 4 years apart – how weird is that?) The Goon Show was both crazy and creative, with lots of whacky sound effects, as well as abundantly silly humor. Once again, we have an Aries pioneer, and down the road, comedy groups such as Monty Python with their newly absurd brand of humor were certainly and majorly influenced by Spike and his fellow Goons.

Spike also wrote many books, and ironically enough, much like Charlie Chaplin, he too had a thing about fellow Aries Adolf Hitler, and one of Spike’s better-known and auto-biographical books was entitled Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, based on when he served in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. Seriously, I’m not making this stuff up! It’s no big surprise that Spike, as an Aries, ruled by the Planet and War-God Mars, was not only an army brat, but also ended up serving in the military himself! Notice how many hats he wore as well, including several of the ones on this blog where I found the one above.

Jack Lemmon – ChatterQuote February 2013

It’s hard enough to write a good drama, it’s much harder to write a good comedy, and it’s hardest of all to write a drama with comedy. Which is what life is.
Jack Lemmon  Abe Frajndlich

This month’s quote comes from a much-loved American actor Jack Lemmon, an Aquarius born on February 8th, 1925 in Newton, MA, and who died June 27th, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA. One of his best and perhaps most iconic roles was in Some Like it Hot with Marilyn MonroeTony Curtis. They pretty much set the stage for the later “drag” roles of Dustin Hoffman’s “Tootsie” and Robin Williams’ “Mrs. Doubtfire.” But back to Jack and some of his other classic movies, such as The ApartmentDays of Wine and RosesThe Great Race, and The Odd Couple followed by Grumpy Old Men, both with Walter Matthau.

A big “thank you” also goes to photographer Abe Frajndlich for kindly allowing me to use his wonderful “lemony” portrait of Jack Lemmon! Abe also asked if he could share his story about taking this particular portrait of Jack Lemmon, and naturally I was delighted to do so:

“I had the distinct honor and great pleasure to meet and photograph the actor Jack Lemmon on January 15th, 1996 for an assignment for the Weekly Magazine of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a well-known German daily newspaper.  Jack Lemmon was about to get a lifetime achievement award from the Berlin Film Festival.

Before any of my shoots I would try to do my homework, and before flying to L.A. watched a number of Jack Lemmon movies at home with my then three and half year old son, Lucas. Of course we saw Some Like it Hot together and Lucas had an immediate crush on Sugar, the character played by Marilyn Monroe, and then without my son, The Apartment, Mister Roberts, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Great Race and a few others. When I got to Los Angeles and had to shoot in an all white studio in Hollywood, I brought my own props, including a bag of beautiful lemons, figuring, “why not?”

Jack drove himself to the shoot in a stunning Rolls Royce Silver Cloud convertible, and was running almost a half hour late, and when he got there the first thing he said was, “Can you please park this thing for me, since if I don’t find a bathroom immediately, pee will start gushing out of my ears.” “Of course, Mr. Lemmon.” But I was nervous moving that very expensive set of wheels into the cramped parking space behind the rental studio.

After a half hour in the bathroom where he had put on his own makeup, he comes out and starts to shake hands all around with my assistants and others in adjoining studios and introducing himself, and wanting to know who each of them were. Then as we start the shoot, and he asks what I have in mind, I tell him about my film research and the fact that in Mister Roberts there is that wonderful scene where his character is looking appraisingly with binoculars down on a deck of a smaller boat filled with bikini clad girls, and that I had brought lemons and maybe he could use them as binoculars.

He turns to me and says, “In the 55 years that I have been an actor and been photographed endlessly, no one has ever brought lemons to a shoot. Please do whatever you like.”

This image turned into the cover of the article in the FAZ Magazin (German spelling not a typo) and of my book, Portraits, published in 1999 by Prestel Publishing.”

To see more of Abe’s fantastic work, be sure to visit his website!

Churchill & Eisenstaedt – ChatterQuote December 2012

So for this month, I am giving you two different quotes from two different Sagittarians. The first is from a very famous British Politician, best known for his leadership during the Second World War, Sir Winston Churchill – a Sagittarius, born into an aristocratic family as the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, on November 30th, 1874, and who died in London on January 24th, 1965 at 90 years old. His funeral was the largest state funeral in world history with representatives from 112 nations in attendance. Churchill was a noted statesman and orator, two roles perfectly suited for a Sagittarius because Sagittarius is the sign who speaks to God, and then tells the people what to do, and that’s what he did. Many thanks to Julie Grahame for allowing to use this iconic photograph of Winston Churchill from the Yousuf Karsh archive taken in 1941 after his speech to the Canadian Parliament – splendid!

Winston Churchill, 1941 © Yousuf Karsh

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

Thanks to Julie Grahame for allowing us to use this wonderful image of Sir Winston Churchill from the Yousuf Karsh Archive!

And then I also found a wonderful and succinct quote from photographer and photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt, our second Sagittarius born December 6th, 1898 in Tczew, West Prussia, and who died on August 24th, 1995 aged 96 years old in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He was fascinated by photography from an early age and was given his first Eastman Kodak Folding Camera when he was 14 years old. One of his most famous photographs was of an American sailor kissing a young woman in Times Square on August 14th, 1945 on “Victory Over Japan Day.”

"VJ Day, The Kiss" New York City 1945 Alfred Eisenstaedt © Time Inc.

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter!

Churchill & Eisenstaedt – ChatterQuote December 2012

So for this month, I am giving you two different quotes from two different Sagittarians. The first is from a very famous British Politician, best known for his leadership during the Second World War, Sir Winston Churchill – a Sagittarius, born into an aristocratic family as the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, on November 30th, 1874, and who died in London on January 24th, 1965 at 90 years old. His funeral was the largest state funeral in world history with representatives from 112 nations in attendance. Churchill was a noted statesman and orator, two roles perfectly suited for a Sagittarius because Sagittarius is the sign who speaks to God, and then tells the people what to do, and that’s what he did. Many thanks to Julie Grahame for allowing to use this iconic photograph of Winston Churchill from the Yousuf Karsh archive taken in 1941 after his speech to the Canadian Parliament – splendid!

Winston Churchill, 1941 © Yousuf Karsh

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

Thanks to Julie Grahame for allowing us to use this wonderful image of Sir Winston Churchill from the Yousuf Karsh Archive!

And then I also found a wonderful and succinct quote from photographer and photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt, our second Sagittarius born December 6th, 1898 in Tczew, West Prussia, and who died on August 24th, 1995 aged 96 years old in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He was fascinated by photography from an early age and was given his first Eastman Kodak Folding Camera when he was 14 years old. One of his most famous photographs was of an American sailor kissing a young woman in Times Square on August 14th, 1945 on “Victory Over Japan Day.”

"VJ Day, The Kiss" New York City 1945 Alfred Eisenstaedt © Time Inc.

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter!