‘Vinyl’ Series Premiere Recap: Personality Crisis | | Observer
What's happening at HBO, with the cancellation of Vinyl, is a desperate stab at hitting the reset button. Vinyl is a HBO series created by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese (who also a marriage and kids and worries about the future has robbed him of his drive. In , Crosley began its relationship with Urban Outfitters, the . a vinyl record player to cleverly communicate what could happen when you drink and drive. HBO's new series Vinyl, from Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese.
But I took his wallet instead. Jesus Christ, don't you have any pride left? Lester Grimes tells the Nasty Bits how the contracts actually screw them over, what the various royalties means and how the system is rigged.
The Nasty Bits immediately sign him as their manager.
John Doyle: In the matter of Vinyl, HBO is correct – just cancel a failing series
The divorce lawyer Devon visits shoots back when Devon starts complaining about consultation fees by pointing out that she's not actually serious about getting a divorce and is merely using the meeting to get leverage over Richie. Despite being financially successful for American Century, Donny Osmond is the butt of many jokes throughout the series because of his bubblegum pop music and Mormon background. Richie Finestra is the recording industry's answer to this. He is a visionary with great plans for his label and a keen ear for future hits, but is trapped in an increasingly loveless marriage and has a serious drug problem to boot.
He's a Consummate Liara Manipulative Bastard and Mood-Swinger and is self-destructive enough to turn informant on a powerful mob boss. Lester Grimes has his windpipe crushed by Galasso's thugs, wrecking his powerful singing voice.
Buck Rogers is this trope incarnate. American Century is a tanking company that uses copious amounts of fraud to appear like a successful and valuable acquisition for PolyGram.
All of the executives at American Century, Skip Fontaine especially. While Richie has an ear for music and the grand vision, Zak has relationships with DJs all over the US, and Scott is an incompetent lawyer, Skip's entire job, "head of sales," seems to be perpetuating fraud so that the company remains profitable.
Elvis Presleyfat and in jumpsuits, is, as Zak and Richie's dates in Vegas note, "still pretty hot". Every one of them. Richie Finestra is sympathetic if only because he feels guilt, sometimes, where others don't.
Relationship Of Command
Notably when contemplating the buyout to Polygram, he tells Zak that if the company is bought out, many of their staff will be laid out, Zak asks him if he's being a Communist, because yes, caring for your employees is communism apparently. Finestra's first mentor tells him the ethos of the music business: You catch a hot molly and that's it. She is clearly promoting Kip Stevens not so much because she likes him or likes his music, but sees his success as a coattail for to ride to a promotion.
Richie Finestra calls her out on this but also compliments her for her ambition. Many of the songs from the era are covers by modern artists and bands.
Between the American businessmen and the Germans. The Germans are into classical music and opera, and plainly don't get rock music or American pop culture.
Hal, the Logo designer, issues one on the entire staff of American Century after he's fired, complete with invoking the Pentagram and occult chants. Dare to Be Badass: Richie Finestra treats his survival of the Mercer Center collapse and his bender as a sign to be this.
He then goes forth and commands the rest of his staff to drink his Kool-Aid or suffer displeasure, head-butts, karate-chops, insults and instant firing. Deal with the Devil: Richie finally makes a deal with mafioso Corrado Galasso, despite being warned by Morrie, his mentor, about what happens to people who try and screw him over.
The deal includes Colasso using the label as a front for some of his activities, and having one of his guys move into the office. A couple times, a song will be played in the background on the a diegetic source, like a radio, before shifting to a non-diegetic soundtrack. Richie tells Kip Stevens to fire his lead guitarist and close personal friend Duck. Kip is unable to do it, which leads manager Lester Grimes to step in and tell Duck he's fired.
Richie Finestra and Julie also downsize American Century and fire away a huge chunk of their staff.
This comes in the fifth episode where the American Century office, which used to be packed and full of people in the first episodes is now smaller, emptier and colder.
Julie doesn't like firing people but he won't back away. By Galasso has become a major mob figure and Richie refers to him as the "godfather". The Nasty Bits sound, in Julie's words, "like four dogs who got their cocks caught in a lawnmower". Nonetheless, Richie and especially Jamie argue that they represent a "new sound" in The '70s and that they can represent an early entry into Punk Rock.
Later episodes realistically shows Richie going from "highs" to "lows" which ends up making him a volatile Mood-Swinger full of self-loathing and anger which he takes out on people around him, and loosens whatever's left of his impulse control. Richie as a Music Executive and New York celebrity should have known that. Going on a bender has restored Richie's devotion to music and makes him a hammy but committed boss, if a bad husband and worse friend not that he was much better before.
Richie later cites this trope as justification, saying that being sober ruined his life.
AT THE DRIVE IN Relationship Of Command vinyl at Juno Records.
Richie Finestra after a series of failed attempts at finding a name for the new label of the company, hits upon Alibi Records. Zak realizes Richie lied about gambling away their money when Skip points out that casinos only offer an all-expenses-paid stay to past visitors who drop a lot of money there.
What do you think? Galasso has moments of being a jovial, but still terrifying man. In a flashback, he gives his henchman advice on how to properly strangle a man without throwing his back out, while demonstrating.
There are a lot of hints that Ernst was an imaginary friend before The Reveal. Richie's grand plan to turn American Century around, after blowing up a corporate merger, is to turn the company into the same mob-front corrupt business that he hated to start with.
Lester Grimes is furious to enter American Century and find Maury Gold, the same guy who destroyed his career holding conferences, angry at himself for buying into Richie's fantasies. Richie does this to Zak, when they hit Vegas. Richie blew up all the money on gambling while Zak was having a threesome with two girls. After the girls are gone, Richie stages the crime scene to make it seem like they robbed Zak while he was asleep and so absolve himself.
Ernst, Devon's friend in the Warhol days, has this personality and this is how Richie remembers him. The one time he lets his hair down, he ends up dying. Ernst ends up becoming this in the fifth episode, though there are plenty of hints before that. The show will feature actors playing famous rock stars and iconic figures from this era, much in the tradition of Boardwalk Empire.
Andrew Dice Clay's Buck Rogers is all over this trope, even going on a 2-day bender. Richie Finestra was actually recovering from his drug fix, before lapsing back, gloriously, at the start of the pilot. I Coulda Been a Contender! Devon Finestra has flashbacks about her time as a Warhol superstar and regrets trading that avant-garde world for suburban boredom and essentially becoming a housewife, while Ingrid, her former friend has remained part of that exciting world.
Lester Grimes is a bitter and tragic example. He had a beautiful voice and had his career ruined by Richie and The Mafia.
Richie laments that his Dad Vince could have been a top musician if he hadn't turned down Artie Shaw's offer to be on his big band. When characters listen to certain songs, a fantastic interlude will happen where the real musician appears next to them and sings that song. Richie Finestra after getting a gift of Bo Diddley's iconic square guitar at his birthday imagines Diddley singing with the same guitar by the side of the pool. This represents the self-absorption people get from listening to music, and in the case of Devon it nearly leads to disastrous consequences.
The most depressing is when Lester Grimes listens to the tapes of the last blues session he recorded with Richie, and then revives his guitar and sings along in his broken voice before dreaming back to the time with his real singing song, and his wife and children hadn't left him. Two episodes in and the number of famous names and real-life figures is staggeringly high.
Of course this is justified since it is set at a record label in New York in The '70saka a time when the city was "a who's who" for music. American Century has a patchwork roster of artists and bands that aren't very popular, relies on payola to get DJs to play their catalog, and engages in skulduggery like shipping records to empty warehouses or outright disposing of them in order to inflate sales data. They also think they can actually get away with stiffing Led Zeppelin on their royalty cut, which backfires enormously.
Their sleazy business practises are on full display when Clark tries to sign up Alice Cooper by trying to convince him to stiff his band and take a solo career and screw them over. Alice Cooper seems to agree and rolls along as Clark tries to wheel-and-deal him, then Alice Cooper reveals that he is loyal to his band and trolls Clark by reminding him that when they were a small bunch of nobodies, Richie Finestra stiffed them over repeatedly by making them wait, travel at odd times, and that they have learned better than to listen to American Century execs.
Subverted when Skip is audited and needs to cancel an order of records to be used in an illegal buyback scheme. He is not worried because the company making the records has a history of mismanagement and long production delays. However, the manager of the factory has recently quit drinking and it turns out that while sober he is actually a competent manager. He fixed the production problems and Skip's records were produced and shipped on time.
The look of The '70s New York, in particular the greenish-blue tint of the street-lights makes it greatly resemble Scorsese's Taxi Drivershot on location in actual seventies New York. It Will Never Catch On: The premium cable channel, the gold standard for the best of TV in this Golden Age, is stepping back, reassessing and hoping that there's something in the pipeline that can keep the gloss on its reputation.
There has to be hope, because abandoning a show that involved Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter is no small step. The fact that HBO at first seemed to commit to the music-business drama — one that started from a notion of Jagger's — is significant.
The renewal came early. The series had barely started. It got some rave reviews, based including mine on the first few episodes, and then, as hour after hour aired, it seemed to fall apart.
These days, with fierce competition from other cable channels and from streaming services, sticking with a troubled drama is a mistake. Story continues below advertisement The first three episodes were stunning. It all seemed as mercurial as the music business it chronicled. A drama that had been in the works for years launched with a bland one-line synopsis: There was barely a minute that didn't include music. Cannavale was deeply anchored in the main character.
He breathed the joy, desperation and florid egotism of the music-business mogul. Running the show was Winter, who had written many of the best episodes of The Sopranos and who created Boardwalk Empire. Directing and pulling strings was Scorsese. Somewhere in the background, but deeply involved in the storylines was Jagger.