Always chatty Sammy Hagar made some observations about his first appearance ever in Wayzata on Saturday during James J. Hill Days. "Rich people live here," the well-heeled rocker said, alluding to the large homes and big-boat marina he'd spotted. "We just left Oklahoma. There was no beach party there." As he and his all-star band (featuring Michael Anthony of Van Halen and Jason Bonham whose dad John was in Led Zeppelin) tore through Van Halen, Zeppelin and Hagar hits, the singer pointed out that he was wearing white pants even though it was after Labor Day. They were "big boy pants," the King of Cabo Wabo noted, not his usual shorts. Opening act Don Felder also wore white pants and a white shirt as he revisited the repertoire of the Eagles, the band that fired him. At least the singer/guitarist looked like he was having more fun reprising Eagles tunes than stone-faced Don Henley did when he performed at the State Fair a few weeks ago.
Marlon James, Minnesota's literary superstar behind the prizewinning novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings," conducted a three-hour interview with Brad Pitt for the cover story in Sunday's New York Times Style magazine. During the interview in Pitt's Beverly Hills office, the two seemed to be developing a bromance around shared interests, including admiration for Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and the late rock singer Joe Strummer of the Clash. Wrote James: "There's a casual intimacy to the few hours we've spent together, shooting the breeze with a rapport so easy that I keep turning the recorder back on after I assume the interview is over."
'CCO vs. OKC
The list of broadcasting giants who almost worked in the Twin Cities is impressive: David Letterman. Walter Cronkite. Jimmy Kimmel. Add Bob Dotson. For 40 years, he filed emotionally packed features — some tear-jerking, others hilarious — for the "Today" show. He was the closest thing NBC has ever had to Charles Kuralt. Turns out he was almost one of us. Dotson, who retired last month, revealed the tidbit last weekend in his keynote speech at a "2016 Ignite Your Passion Workshop." Dotson said he was weighing job offers from WCCO-TV and a station in Oklahoma City in the late 1960s, hoping to do documentary-form stories. WCCO brass said they didn't have the time or interest. So, during his seven-year run in Oklahoma, Dotson picked up a national Emmy, a rarity at the time for someone working in a local market. After NBC scooped him up in 1975, Dotson went on to win every major TV award out there.
We're accustomed to being on "best" lists. But "coolest"? That's a weird, wonderful whammy. Kudos, then to Sound Unseen, the Twin Cities' films-on-music jamboree, set for Nov. 10-13. The program was just named "One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World." In Moviemaker Magazine's advisory "about having the best time at a festival imaginable," it placed right alongside the fabled Telluride, Havana and San Francisco film galas. "There's an audience for these kinds of movies," said Jim Brunzell III, the director and lead programmer. "With the Twin Cities being such a great music hub, it's made all the sense in the world to stick with this festival through hard times until a moment like this."
The high-end Bosendorfer piano that became the centerpiece of Crooner's Dunsmore Room in Fridley has left the building. Owner Steven C is using his piano to record elsewhere. Meanwhile, Joey DeFrancesco's mighty Hammond B-3 organ will reside in the Dunsmore on Monday and Tuesday, and then a 9-foot Steinway will be unveiled there in October. Dunsmore artistic director Andrew Walesch traveled to Indianapolis and other cities searching for the perfect piano before finding this one at the Steinway factory in Queens, N.Y.
Find more coverage of the arts all week at our pop culture blog startribune.com/artcetera and follow us on Twitter @entertain_mn.