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November 28, 2021 12:18 pm

CBS Sunday Morning,

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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November 28, 2021 12:18 pm

On this week's "CBS Sunday Morning" with host Jane Pauley: the FDA's recent approval of a new drug, Aduhelm, to clear the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain is potentially good news for the six million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. But the approval process for Aduhelm has stirred controversy. Correspondent Susan Spencer talks with experts about the clinical benefits of this new class of drugs; and with early-onset Alzheimer's patients, including a former neurologist who enrolled in an early trial of Aduhelm. As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to wane, prices are up, because supply and demand are in an historically out-of-whack phase. Correspondent David Pogue illustrates the economic pressures that are affecting the prices of everything from oil to consumer goods. Pat Benatar was a singer from Long Island, inspired by Liza Minnelli and coated in spandex; he was a guitarist from Cleveland. Together they are one of rock's most enduring couples, who have sold 36 million albums, recorded 15 Top 40 hits, and won four consecutive Grammys. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo talk with correspondent Jim Axelrod about their creative partnership, their 40-year-marriage, and their latest collaboration: the upcoming stage musical, "Invincible," a reimagining of "Romeo & Juliet" featuring their iconic rock songs. Finally, In 2020 Patti LuPone, star of the new Broadway revival of "Company," spoke with musical theater legend Stephen Sondheimto discuss his craft, his favorite character, and his college acting career. With the passing of Sondheim on Friday, November 26 at age 91, we offer their conversation – and her appreciation of Sondheim's artistry.

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I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. It happened at almost warp speed. A vaccine to protect against COVID developed in under a year. Compare that to the progress, a lack of it, in treating Alzheimer's disease. Where until recently no new medications were introduced in nearly two decades.

Still, when a new drug was approved for treatment by the FDA this summer, many charged a rush to judgment. Susan Spencer looks at the hopes and fears driving Alzheimer's research. Just 54 years old and suddenly struggling at work, Joe Monmonie received a medical diagnosis that would change his life forever. Had Alzheimer's ever crossed your mind? No.

I just kept thinking it was just a normal part of just getting older. But is there a new hope for people like Joe? The future of Alzheimer's treatment ahead on Sunday morning. Pat Benatar is one of the pioneering women in rock and roll history and as Jim Axelrod learned four decades later, she's still rocking out. Pat Benatar's path to rock superstardom didn't come easy and she didn't walk it alone. With her every step of the way, her husband, Neil Giraldo. And this was a partnership.

It was from day one. Somebody said, I don't understand why his name has to be up on the marquee too. I said, because every song that you love and listen to was created by him. A love story worthy of a Pat Benatar song coming up on Sunday morning. This morning, we'll of course offer an ovation of our own and remember a Broadway legend, composer lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who died Friday at the age of 91.

Mo Rocca has an appreciation. Stop worrying where you're going. Move on. In a career spanning more than six decades, Stephen Sondheim never stopped pushing forward, along the way reshaping the American musical. It's the difference between wanting to be good and wanting to be a star.

I didn't write to be a star. The words and music of Stephen Sondheim plus his conversation with Patti LuPone later on Sunday morning. David Pogue unravels the monetary mysteries driving prices to record heights. Ben Mankiewicz is in conversation with Cagney and Lacey's Sharon Glass.

Kelefa Sanneh tunes into the strange world of HBO's hit How To with John Wilson, plus Steve Hartman and more on this Sunday morning for the 28th of November, 2021. And we'll be right back. Some 50 million people around the world are living with Alzheimer's disease.

There are a few treatments, but no cure. Now, as Susan Spencer tells us, a new medication is offering hope. And courting controversy. Not long ago, Joe Monmonie was a hard charging market research exec, wowing audiences at conferences all over the world. You like this job? Oh, I love the job. You're good at this job?

I'd like to think I did a good job at it, yes. But gradually, he felt that the job he'd mastered was somehow mastering him. There was one situation that really stands out. We were on a call going through a number of topics, and I had a hard time following the conversation and connecting the points, and that had never, ever happened to me before. And that's when I knew something wasn't right, because it was now affecting my ability to do my job. So, in 2017, Joe saw a neurologist whose diagnosis stunned him, early-onset Alzheimer's. He was 54. What did the neurologist tell you the outlook was? She actually said, you know, Joe, in the next three to five years, you're going to start to experience some declines, and then you're likely not going to recognize your family in five to seven years. And that I had a life expectancy of around 10 years. And what was your reaction when you heard this? Shock.

Just a month later, he retired from the job he loved. Today, he makes the most of family time at home in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Who are these guys? So, these are my two sons.

That's Alexander on the left and my older son, Nico, on the right. But he is haunted by what lies ahead. I've had friends say, oh, you've caught it early. Hopefully, they can help you, you know, you'll get better. And people don't realize that with Alzheimer's, you know, there is no cure. It can be a fatal disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. The key is it's a progressive loss of brain function. And an astounding six million Americans suffer from it, says Dr. Daniel Gibbs, a neurologist in Portland, Oregon, for nearly 25 years. As a physician, what was the most difficult aspect of treating Alzheimer's patients?

I just felt so hopeless. And it was hard for me to give any hope to the patients because we all are in the same hope to the patients because we all knew what was in store. The cause of Alzheimer's disease, broadly speaking, is really a challenge still today.

A challenge that so far has evaded answers. But Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago, is nonetheless optimistic. We have hope on the horizon. And that hope is that there are new treatments not only available today, but hopefully in the near future. One approach goes after the abnormal deposits of protein found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. They're called amyloid plaques, and they may show up decades before symptoms do. So it's possible that in the future we'll be treating it before it's even symptomatic? That is really the goal, to be able to stop this disease in its tracks, to stop it at the biological time point when proteins are starting to accumulate in the brain that ultimately will lead to those memory and behavior changes that today we know of as dementia. That's the thinking behind Agihelm, the first new FDA-approved Alzheimer's drug in almost two decades. Why are new medications for this disease so few and far between?

Well, it's not for want of trying. It's a very complicated disease is the short answer. The excitement over Agihelm stemmed from its proven ability to clear those protein formations, the amyloid plaques. Would you take this drug if offered? If I was eligible and if I had the insurance coverage, I would absolutely take the drug. My challenge is the price tag. Because I cannot afford the $56,000 price tag. Fifty-six thousand dollars. And for now, insurance coverage is no guarantee, though drugmaker Biogen says it does offer programs to help patients assess eligibility for financial assistance.

Initially, it's hard because... But beyond the staggering cost is a more urgent concern. Does Agihelm really do anything to stop symptoms? So the new drug that the FDA approved in June targets amyloid plaques very effectively. Unfortunately, the drug doesn't seem to have any clear effect on the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Aaron Kesselheim is professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He was on the FDA advisory panel on Agihelm until he quit in protest when the agency gave the drug a green light.

A move he calls probably the worst drug approval decision in recent U.S. history. But how can you say definitively that it doesn't work any more than the FDA could say definitively that it does? You can't say definitively that it doesn't work.

You can't say definitively that it does work either. And in that circumstance, you need to do some more testing of the drug. The system in our country is that in order for a drug to be approved by the FDA, it has to show substantial evidence that the drug actually does work. And in this case, there isn't good evidence that the drug works. But the FDA made Agihelm available while studies continue, citing the unmet needs for patients facing this fatal disease and concluding it is reasonably likely that reduction in amyloid plaque will result in meaningful clinical benefit.

The boys are going to love the fact that... Reasonably likely sounds pretty good to patients like Joe Monmany. It's a major, major breakthrough that has taken us from drugs that only deal with the symptoms to a drug that now can deal with one of the root causes of the disease. Possibly.

Possibly. Describe for me the pressure from patients and their families to find a cure. There is pressure. The experience that we have with Alzheimer's disease, most of us, is when a relative or an acquaintance is in the nursing home and dwindling away, doesn't recognize anybody. And it's just a terribly frightening thing to think, that's my future. And it is devastating. A devastating future Dr. Gibbs now sees through a very different lens. You're no longer practicing medicine, correct?

That's right. And why is that? Well, because I have Alzheimer's. And even though I'm still in the mild cognitive impairment stage of it, I stopped practicing neurology. Do you think that being an expert in this field, does that at this point make it harder or easier for you to deal with it?

I mean, I know what to expect, but I also know what I need to do to hold off the bad stuff at the end as long as possible. Dr. Gibbs enrolled in an early trial of Adjohilm, which landed him in the ICU. He is one of a small number of patients who suffered serious side effects. My severe reaction doesn't affect my opinion on the FDA's approval.

It doesn't? No, because they're rare. And I fully recovered. He says he is still optimistic about this class of drugs. And as for Joe Monmoni, I've really come to realize how precious time is, so I'm much more focused on how I spend my time and who I spend it with. Over there, do you see all of them? Yeah. He says he'd consider any new medication, controversy, or not.

If you don't take chances, nothing good happens. Yeah, it was really pretty cool. We've been hearing about it nonstop. Prices on just about everything going up. David Pogue has our crash course on inflation. You might have noticed there's something crazy going on with the prices of everything. Restaurant prices are up 5% over a year ago. Cars, furniture, meat, fish, and eggs up 10% to 12%.

Used cars up 24%. And gasoline. Gasoline is about 50% more expensive than it was a year ago.

And heating oil has the same problem. It could be an expensive winter. At the heart of all of this is one of the fundamentals of economics, supply and demand. When there's a lot of supply and not much demand, the prices go down. But when there's very limited supply and a lot of demand, the prices go way up. The question is, why now? Why now?

Meghan? It's just eating into people's buying power. So that has real implications on every American.

Economist Meghan Green is a senior fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School and chief economist at the Kroll Institute. What did the pandemic do to supply? So when we shut down the whole economy, that automatically caused disruptions in parts of a really complex global supply chain. We're seeing huge backlogs in terms of containers waiting in ports and ships waiting offshore. And that's partly because of labor.

So we can't find truckers or longshoremen in order to get all of these goods off of ships into ports and onto shelves. All right, so what about demand? As we reopen the economy, there's just been this surge in demand as people go out to buy stuff.

On top of that, you have the Christmas holiday season coming. The spike in gas prices is a different problem. Oil companies who lost money during the Great Lockdown are now limiting how much oil they produce. If you're old enough, you might remember the big inflationary cycle of the 70s and early 80s. Mortgage rates at 18 percent.

But Meghan Green thinks that this cycle won't be like that one. I actually think what we're facing right now is pretty different. In the 70s, we had really high inflation and really low growth. It's called stagflation.

But during the lockdown, many companies made themselves more productive by investing in automation and other improvements. So if we have productivity growth, it doesn't necessarily result in higher prices. Does the fact that our government has poured trillions of dollars of cash into the economy play a part in all this? So what the government has already done certainly has fed the flames of inflation a bit.

And it was sort of designed to do that. Don't forget the stimulus was offered in order to get the economy going and jump started after it had been put in a deep freeze. And what about the trillions of dollars yet to come as part of the new infrastructure spending bill?

And there I'm a lot less worried. The fiscal stimulus measures on the table are all due to be deployed over the next 10 years. A lot of it is aimed at infrastructure spending. And because we don't have many good shovel-ready projects ready to go, infrastructure spending ends up being kind of back-ended.

All right, Megan, so the big question, when will this end? What I think unfortunately we need to see is both demand to wane and also this backlog in the supply chain to be alleviated. And so I think that we'll probably really see inflation abate in early 2023. So there is your crash course in the inflationary cycle of 2021 and 2022 and 2023. The pandemic triggered a shortage of almost everything and the recovery triggered an increase in demand for almost everything. Things will not get back to normal until supply and demand even out again.

Isn't it rich? It's Sunday morning on CBS and here again is Jane Pauley. It happened this past week. On Friday, we learned of the passing of Stephen Sondheim, a legendary songwriter who reshaped the Broadway musical. Mo Rocca Begins Our Appreciation. Stephen Sondheim forced the American musical to grow up. And he showed me things, many beautiful things that I hadn't thought to explore. Leading audiences to places they've never been before. And he made me feel excited, well, excited and scared.

To become like Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods, confronted with the new, sometimes scary, always exciting. Sondheim was just 26 when he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, a then shockingly dark look at gang life in New York City. The very next year, he wrote the lyrics for Gypsy about the mother of all stage mothers, an antihero for the ages. He could have made a very fine living sticking to words, but he wanted to write the words and music. And so began a string of creative, if only rarely commercial triumphs with subject matter well outside the confines of Boy Meets Girl.

Follies, featuring aging showgirls set in a decaying theater, was about faded dreams. The Pulitzer Prize winning Sunday in the Park with George, about the painter George Seurat obsessively working, watching the rest of the world from a window. Sondheim himself was raised primarily by a mother he described as a social climber and whom he resented. But as a boy, he met the great lyricist Oscar Hammerstein of Rodgers and Hammerstein. The relationship would set him on his course. I attach myself to Oscar in the sense that I wanted to be what he was.

Now, you know, I've often said that if he'd been an archaeologist, I would have been an archaeologist. Instead, Sondheim became a kind of anthropologist, a master observer of human behavior, a man who never had children and yet wrote the classic Children Will Listen. To write his 1970 breakthrough hit Company, a musical about marriage, Sondheim, a gay man who until that point was unattached, invited his friend Mary Rodgers over one evening to tell him about married life.

He took out a yellow legal pad and after two hours, he said he had most of the score. Including a personal favorite of mine, Sorry, Grateful. You're always sorry, you're always grateful. No doubt about it, no one did ambivalence better than Sondheim. Just one reason some of the greatest actors of the last half century are only grateful to have sung his words and music. And who better to pick up this tribute than Patti LuPone, starring in the current revival of Company, and who last year spoke with Stephen Sondheim for us. I've known Stephen Sondheim for 40 years and I've had the privilege of appearing in six of his musicals. So last year, just before Steve's 90th birthday and what was supposed to be the opening of a groundbreaking production of Company, we sat down for a one-on-one. Are you ready for these questions?

I'm not allowed to move my head, so I'm going to have to answer it like this. Hi, Patti, it's awfully good to see you. You look great. How's Matt? How's the kid? How's everything? Everything's great, Steve. Oh, that's wonderful. That's wonderful. We laughed and chatted about our love of movies.

My education is Hollywood movies. You and me both. Exactly.

We better not get onto that because we will never stop. And Steve answered some rapid-fire questions. How about Dawn or Dusk? That's a nice one. I guess I like Dusk better. Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla. Coffee or tea? Tea. Velvet or silk? Both of them give me the creeps.

Okay, no more of those. Both Steve and I were excited for the premiere of Company with a fresh perspective. Instead of Bobby with a Y, it would be Bobby with an I-E. What's happening in the audience is it's an extraordinary experience, not just because it's gender-bent or it has nothing to do with it being gender-bent. It's because Company is back on Broadway.

Here's to the ladies who lunch. Everybody laugh. Today, Steve's work has transcended Broadway.

His musicals are now films. Into the woods, it's time to go. I hate to leave, I have to go.

Into the woods, it's time and so I must begin my journey. His songs make appearances everywhere. Nothing can harm you. Not while I'm around. And after a lifetime of accolades, nine Tonys, eight Grammy Awards and an Oscar, it's easy to forget Steve wasn't always a critic's darling, as he told Charles Osgood back in 1995. I mean, an awful lot of people have gone historically to musicals to forget their troubles, come on, get happy. I'm not interested in that. I'm not interested in making people unhappy, but I'm not interested in not looking at life because I don't know why I want to write it otherwise.

Perhaps this next part of our conversation sheds light on why. I was surprised, Steve, I have to tell you. You don't have to tell me anything. Well, I have to tell you this. We have common ground and I didn't know that you were an actor.

Oh, you mean on TV with Estelle Parsons? Give it here. Maybe we can set it to music. Huh, I'll just play some chords.

I'll see if I know any. I wasn't talking about the TV musical June Moon. I was talking about Steve's acting career at Williams College. Do you remember this review? Sondheim is an actor who knows how to use his whole body dramatically.

His gestures, movements and even the angles of his body anticipated, participated in and completed the vocal presentation of the character. You made that up. You have better reviews than I do.

I've never heard that in my life. That is a review. I'm not done. His hands were never idle or awkward, but beautifully expressive at all times. He was acting every minute. He was on the stage and acting very well. Oh, this is not June Moon.

This is something else. No, this is college. Oh, no, I was good in college. So they always cast me, every play they did, if there was a very neurotic, self-destructive, gloomy, get Sondheim, you know. I played every misfit, but there was one part I always wanted to play, which was Danny in Night Must Fall. It was about serial killer, which is a play I had loved since I first read it when I was 12 years old. And once I played that part, I retired. He might have retired from acting, but acting seems to have informed all of Steve's musicals. The fact that you were an actor for me, Steve, makes so much more sense when, so much more sense when, oh, I could cry, whoops.

Yeah, no, go cry. Just, no, but the fact that the songs that you write are so actable. Somebody lets me come through, I'll always be there as frightened as you do. When I'm singing your stuff, it's so complex. And it's, which way do I go?

Which way do I go? I hate it when people ask me this question, but I'm going to ask you, do you have a favorite character that you've written? Character? Ah, well, you see, I don't write the characters. The book writers write the characters. I explore the characters.

Book writers like Arthur Lawrence, who wrote Gypsy with music by Julie Stein and lyrics by Steve. As far as a character goes, I'd certainly pick Madame Rose. I just think, you know, she's just so much larger than life at the same time she's life. That's really hard to do.

And I really like her and I really want to hit her. And it's just, she's so alive. When Broadway celebrated Steve's 90th birthday with a concert in April of 2020, I performed one of my favorites. Good times and bum times.

Steve's seen them all and we will be forever grateful. Steve, you are, you know, it's... Stop it, stop it, stop. You know how I'm feeling.

Yep, I do. It's okay. You know, I have to say thank you. I have to say thank you for me and I have to say thank you for all of us.

Thank you. No, I mean it, this is not planned. This is just coming out of me because it just is, I can't. You said it, you said it, you said it by not saying it. You said it, you said it. Thank you, thank you.

That makes me feel, makes me feel very good. This is The Takeout with Major Garrett. This week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest midterm money men, list for me the two Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire. Not Georgia. Well, Georgia's right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise.

In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie Hassan. For more from this week's conversation, follow The Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Cagney and Lacey was a hit TV police drama for CBS back in the 1980s and helped make Sharon Glass a star. But it turns out that life for glass off the screen had plenty of drama too. She's talking with our men in Hollywood, Ben Mankiewicz. I've been surrounded by movies all my life, and I dream that someday I could do that. Raised in an upper-class LA neighborhood, Sharon Glass grew up surrounded by the allure of Hollywood.

But I used to go out there at night and they had Klieg lights going across the sky in those days. And her grandfather, Neil McCarthy, was a powerful entertainment lawyer. Howard Hughes' attorney, and Cecil B. DeMills, and Louis B. Mayers, and... Did he want his granddaughter to go into the movie industry? He said, you stay out of it. It's a filthy business.

Glass ignored grandpa's advice, though she started late. At 26, a talent scout from Universal Studios happened to see her in a small play, and it led to a seven-year contract as an actor for waitress money. How much were you making in that first contract?

$186 a week. Big time. Somebody said, you don't want to sign a contract. At Universal, nobody will ever hear from you again. I said, nobody's heard of me now. It all changed in the early 1980s. On Cagney and Lacey, Glass earned two Best Actor semis playing Detective Chris Cagney to Tyne Daley's Mary Beth Lacey, who won four. What the hell are we talking about here?

What we're talking about here is that our butts are on the line every time we go out that door. Now 78, Sharon Glass examines those highs and some terrifying lows in a new memoir, Apparently There Were Complaints, published by Simon & Schuster, a Viacom CBS company. Glass is typically candid in print, including some PG-rated kissing and telling, like the time the studio set her up for one night out with a relatively unknown director named Steven Spielberg. He didn't kiss me. He didn't? No. One date? One date.

It was set up. We were assigned to each other for the evening, but we never spoke. But on the show Queer as Folk, Glass did kiss guest star Rosie O'Donnell. Love you.

You too. It's the first time I'd ever kissed a woman, and here it is on screen. And Rosie sends me flowers, sends me a dozen roses saying, you're a good kisser. From there, a friendship grew, and years later, there was this one moment with Rosie. One night, I was building such intense feelings for her.

I really was coming to love her. And I think I got confused at dinner. I said, Ro, do you think, I mean, I'm married, she's married. And she said, oh, Glassie, no. I said, really? She said, you're so straight.

And she laughed at me. And then there's Barney, her husband. Is Barney a good kisser?

Yes. What am I going to say? Sharon, he's right there. Barney Rosenzweig was also the boss, the executive producer of Cagney and Lacey. Turbine control! I'm telling you, you ain't there.

Please! Looks like you were right, Mr. Mankiewicz. Sure. It was not about two cops who happened to be women. It was two women who happened to be cops.

We talked to Glass and Rosenzweig at a legendary Hollywood restaurant, Musso and Frank. She's been coming since she was a baby. And it's where she met Barney for the first time. It was here that I offered her the job, and she didn't take it. So it didn't go well. I thought it was arrogant. And we spent the whole month.

Yes. Spending the whole month telling me how hard I'd have to work if I took this job. Excuse me, I know hard work.

Glass had already turned the role down twice, and she was set to say no again. And I didn't want to pack a rod. You know, I just didn't want to be carrying around the hardware. And I just had other dreams. What did I know? Could you say I didn't want to pack a rod again? Because it really is going to be the most thrilling moment of my week. Really?

I just didn't want to pack a rod. Yep, yep, yep, there it is. Cagney and Lacey became a hit, and Glass and Rosenzweig fell in love. And it was Rosenzweig who made a bold decision for a TV show in the 80s. Glass's character would confront her demons.

My name is Christine. I am an alcoholic. It was an eerily prescient television moment, because roughly a year later, life imitated art for Sharon Glass. Did you think that Sharon was an alcoholic? No, I did not. So that was not part of your thinking at all?

No, no, no. I have trouble believing she's an alcoholic today. She never drank at home, so she was a social drinker.

But with blackouts. As she got older and older, the booze got worse and worse. Glass spent seven weeks in rehab, stayed sober for 15 years. When she started drinking again, one doctor gave her a grave warning. Well, he said, I want to say something to you. He said, if you ever have enough to drink again, don't call me because I don't do suicide. How long have you been sober?

I think seven, almost eight years. Do you miss it? I miss the martini, yeah. Every day. Glass writes that being happy has always been my goal. So here's a happy ending. Sharon Glass and Barney Rosenzweig survived tough times and have been married 30 years. And the pandemic has brought a couple of old friends even closer. There's hardly a morning that goes by that Diane Daly doesn't call my wife. In fact, I'm having dinner with her at Louisa and Frank's next week. We're off to a wedding with our Steve Hartman.

Troy and Katie Hudson of Denver, Colorado say their wedding was going just as they planned until the reception when a member of the wedding party stole the show. Wasn't something that we were necessarily prepared emotionally to hear. He's just like, I'm doing what I want to do. Here we go. And he's passionate. He's also nine. I wasn't planning on making a speech for her, Katie, but I did it. I let it out and I can't pause it. In a minute, what Katie's little brother had to say.

But first, what led him to this moment? She's just the best sister I can ask for. No one can compare.

You try one of these. Gus is actually Katie's half brother. They're separated by nearly two decades, yet close as conjoined. Which is why when Katie got engaged, Gus says his feelings got complicated. I was worried that she would not spend as much time with me as she used to. So it was really stressful in that way because I didn't want to lose her. Fortunately, Gus says there's just something about a wedding ceremony.

It's just like, kind of like magic. And most of my worries about them just kind of went away. Which brings us back to the reception. And I am so happy that you guys got married today. And I know I might seem a little sad up here, but these are tears of joy. Katie, I love you so much and I'm so happy you gave me a brother-in-law. As the holidays approach and far-off relatives begin to trickle in, Gus says his story should be a reminder to you to never let the word extended cloud the word family.

Don't let that separate you, because you deep down love them and they deep down love you. Toastworthy advice. Oh my God! It's Sunday morning on CBS and here again is Jane Hawley. Grammy Award winner Pat Benatar is best known for her rock anthems like, Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Love is a Battlefield. Jim Axelrod talks with Benatar and partner Neil Geraldo for the record. It only takes a couple of bars to see and hear that Pat Benatar and her husband get to us. Neil Geraldo indeed belong together. Married nearly 40 years, they are among rock's most enduring couples, if not at the very top of the list. Collaborating with somebody for four years is a lot.

40? That's insane. Well, basically insane.

Only if you define insane as selling 36 million albums, winning four consecutive Grammys and recording 15 top 40 hits. From Heartbreaker to Treat Me Right, to Love is a Battlefield. Is it possible to articulate what is at the root of this successful collaboration? We're connected in so many ways and all of them combined together.

Your parents, your lovers, your husband and wife, your grandparents, your musicians, your writers, I mean, it's so much. The daughter of blue collar Long Island, she almost never had the chance to hit us with her best shot, choosing young love over her gifted voice. My boyfriend that I met when I was 16 years old got drafted. And I thought he was going to go to Vietnam and die. And so like an idiot, I got married and he didn't die.

And I became a bank teller. And there the story might have ended had some friends not dragged her to a concert. Yes, one of the greatest voices in rock history was born at Eliza Minnelli's show. My fabulous gay friends said, let's go see Eliza Minnelli at the Richfield Coliseum. It was packed. Stage lights came up. She started singing. I'm going, I could do that.

I could do that. The next day I quit my job and I started looking for gigs. I'd never done anything like that in my whole life. I quit. Literally no Eliza Minnelli, no Pat Benatar? Yeah.

It's just the fact that I saw somebody doing what I really in my heart really wanted to do. Within a few years, she was divorced and in New York City booking any club she could. Then came Halloween 1977.

We are coming into a new situation. And her costume taken from the B movie Cat Women of the Moon. Spandex and her career would never be the same. I had all this big eyeliner on. I had this little short thing with these black ties, these little short boots and a ray gun. So I had been doing fine, having gigs and all that kind of stuff. But I sang in costume that night. It was a whole other experience.

And I remember standing there thinking to myself, hmm, what's happening here? What was happening was her first record deal in 1978, which is how she met a 22-year-old guitarist from Cleveland. All I was looking for was a great singer. I just wanted to find that so I could write songs, produce, make records, make great records.

I didn't want to be a solo artist. I wanted what Robert Plant and Jimmy Page had together, or Keith and Mick. I wanted that back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. She was looking for you. It was crazy.

Correct. And I was looking for her. And as soon as I got there, I go, you need to sing. We got to sing in a different key.

This has got to go up. There's another part of your voice you're not getting. We did Heartbreaker first. And the minute we did it, we knew. I was like, that's it. I knew it.

I wasn't looking back. They'd follow up Heartbreaker with three top 10 hits in the next five years. That girl looks just like Pat Benatar.

There are three girls here at Richmond who have cultivated the Pat Benatar look. And her tough cooking persona would speak to a generation, an icon of female empowerment who decades before Me Too, didn't take any crap from any DJ who held the power of playing her songs. The minute I'd walk in there, he'd say, why don't you sit right here?

And we'll see if we can get that record playing. In the beginning, I mean, I was still kind of timid. And then I finally started to realize, wait, I have an opportunity here. If I change this for myself, it will start the ripple effect. I had power now. So that changed everything. Almost instantly, Pat and Neil had realized their connection went far deeper than musical collaborators.

Then there's this sort of winning life's lottery component. The chemical thing was ridiculous. By 1982, they had married, formalizing their two against the world posture in dealing with the music business. I didn't start this by myself. He and I did this together from day one. It seems like it's important to almost set the record straight.

This was a partnership. Somebody said, I don't understand why his name has to be up on the marquee too. I said, because every song that you love and listen to was created by him. So that kind of pushback, they say, explains one of the great mysteries of the rock universe that given her influence, impact and number of hits. How can Pat Benatar not be in the rock and roll hall of fame?

She's not. Does it bother you at this point that you're not in the rock and roll hall of fame? Nope. Listen, when you win things, it's really fun. But the point is, does this validate, not validate what we've done? No, it would be nice to have it for our children, for the fans, everything else. Do I need someone to acknowledge? No.

That sounds disarmingly healthy. Oh, the truth again. Life's not fair.

What are you going to do? Besides, they have better things to focus on. Two grown daughters and two grandchildren who live near their home outside Los Angeles. Neel started three cord bourbon, a company that earmarks some of its sales to help struggling musicians. And they may have just found the perfect next chapter for their rock and roll love story, using their songs as the foundation for a musical. They've always called us Romeo and Juliet rock and roll because they tried to split us up so early on. A modern version of Romeo and Juliet they hope to bring to Broadway next year. The balcony scene is we live for love.

It's gorgeous. It's like it was written for that. What else would Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo call it, but invincible with the musical? It's just the whole point of the story is that the differences between us make us stronger, not weaker. That's the point of the story and that true love exists. Romeo and Juliet or Neil and Pat?

Both. How to with John Wilson. Isn't your typical television show. Then again, as California discovered, John Wilson is no ordinary television host. Hey, New York.

There are countless opportunities to make small talk in a big city. Day after day, the host of HBO's How To with John Wilson roams New York City filming thousands of moments to put in his show. Let's see what the NYPD throws out. Now, come on, you must have hours and hours of dumpster footage.

Every dumpster tells a story. Considering the network's vivid cast of characters, Omar Little and it's either play or get played. Tyrion Lannister, Carrie Bradshaw.

Hello, lover. John Wilson knows he's an unlikely star. He says he was as surprised as anyone when his own unassuming persona caught on.

I was at a restaurant right after the show premiered and someone asked me if anyone had ever told me that I look like John Wilson, which was really strange to me because they assumed that I knew who that was. At first, his idea was a tough sell. At one network, they were like, I don't get it. You know, you're the host, but we don't see you.

They felt like this was going to waste is what you're saying. Yeah, but you know, I always thought that I would be the least interesting part. He doesn't sound like a typical TV announcer. Someone told me that they wish that my voice was two octaves lower. That's a weird wish for someone else to have. Yeah, but it stuck with me. Wilson features people on the street, captured in unguarded moments.

Somebody always invites that one friend that nobody wants there. He sees his show as a kind of nature documentary, like the BBC's Planet Earth. A nice way to begin is by leaving your apartment and trying to find someone. The mouse lemurs have been hibernating. It's time to get busy. You're the David Attenborough telling viewers what they're seeing?

I think that might be insulting to David Attenborough. Wilson's approach is a bit more do it yourself. Get all dolled up to go out.

And then you call a friend to make plans for dinner. He paints his own title cards on newspaper. HBO doesn't have people who can make signs. I'm sure I could have had a title budget if I wanted one, but I'm more interested in the actual, the title as an art object in a way. Well, it's also like a warning for viewers or an alert that this show is literally homemade. Yeah, it's a warning.

Are you using a special paint called Whiteout? Yeah, so this is really the, this is the only thing that HBO bought for the titles was they supplied me with a few bottles of Whiteout. I have to buy my own newspaper. John Wilson grew up on New York's Long Island. Okay, good afternoon.

Here we are at the second day of Camp Wilson. Using the family video camera, he turned his average teenage life into what he called the Johnny Show. Hey John, what's up? Hello. I made a movie every single day growing up. You know, it was just so fun to be able to make your friends laugh. He always had an eye for the obscure and the rejected.

And sometimes he's the one who's rejected. Alright guys, unless you guys have a permit, you gotta move along. But what, like where does like the private space like begin and where does the public space end? Well, the private space starts once you cross those lines.

His method is simple. Just keep filming. You feel a little safer when you're holding that camera. Filming is the one thing I don't regret. I regret so many other things that I do, but I never regret filming something.

Hi, it's Sean Wilson. I'm here, another internet video tutorial. Ten years ago, he began posting how-to videos online, like how to clean a cast iron pan. And it was basically like a portrait of a friend of mine who didn't clean up after himself.

And I just continued to make things in that style because tutorials are a really elastic kind of format. In 2015, he tagged along during the making of a David Byrne documentary called Contemporary Color. Because they had an extra spot in the van. Wilson called his film Temporary Color. It could have been called How to Get a Film Distributed. I don't even think David had approved me to be there. But then after I made the movie, he saw it and he liked it so much that he put it on the DVD. And that was really nice. So do you have strong thoughts about scaffolding?

No, not at the moment. Soon, HBO took interest in his how-to videos. The tragedy is that you never really learn how to do the thing that I'm telling you how to do. But you kind of learn something about yourself, hopefully, in the process.

Most of us don't speak up when we're dissatisfied. And then things just begin to accumulate until you can't really imagine an alternative. How To with John Wilson premiered in October 2020 to enthusiastic reviews.

His second season just began. Is there something therapeutic about making this show? Yeah, you know, I think the show deals with a lot of personal issues of mine that I hope other people can relate to. Every single episode is kind of this therapy. Very public therapy for you. Yeah, I don't go to actual therapy.

So everything in the show is very unprocessed. There's something I really like about that. It kind of helps me cope with the world in a way. And I hope it helps other people cope too. You don't always realize you're in the middle of history until it's over. He's 35 now and John Wilson has gone from posting pseudo-instructional videos online to learning an unexpected lesson himself.

How to become a TV star. Yeah, it's a real Cinderella story. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Hi, podcast peeps. It's me, Drew Barrymore.

Oh my goodness. I want to tell you about our new show. It's the Drew's News Podcast. And in each episode, me and a weekly guest are going to cover all the quirky, fun, inspiring and informative stories that exist out in the world because, well, I need it.

And maybe you do too. From the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and we're not able to do in daytime television. So watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-29 10:47:05 / 2023-01-29 11:06:19 / 19

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