Union Row

THIS IS HUGE! An epic, historic game-changer for Memphis, one requiring all the stars to align for a project of this magnitude to even be considered. According to The Daily Memphian

Supporters believe Union Row, the massive, $950-million office, retail and residential project in downtown Memphis’s blighted east edge will be a catalyst for enormous additional investment.

“That’s a Cinderella story,” Mark Billingsley said in December after he and fellow Shelby County Commissioners voted to pump $100 million into the project.

Developers contend Union Row will create 4,300 jobs and generate $16 million in annual property, sales and hotel taxes. If all phases are completed, the project will be among the largest, if not the largest “mixed-use’’ real estate development in Memphis history.

The project will be built in stages. Phase One, with a construction price tag of about $512 million, represents about half of the overall $950-million venture.

Developers spent $25 million this year — much of it with cash — snatching up an array of parcels where Phase One will rise: Collectively, a 10.8-acre site roughly bounded by Union on the north, Danny Thomas on the east, Beale on the south and Fourth on the west.

Developer J. Kevin Adams believes Union Row will reshape downtown.

“This is the gateway to our downtown,’’ he told a gathering in April at East Memphis’ Crescent Club. “And it’s been blighted for a long time.’’

The site is in decay. Vacant or overgrown lots surrounded by razor wire line the streets amid bits of broken glass. Now out-of-place businesses have agreed to move, including auto repair shop Powerhouse Motors and Lit Restaurant Supply, housed in a repurposed car dealership first opened in 1935.

Demolition is set to begin in October or late fall.

Full article here.

Hornsey Road?

A new stage show produced by Beatle expert Mark Lewisohn sheds some light on a story we thought we knew. From The Guardian

They’ve wrapped up the recording of Abbey Road, which would turn out to be their last studio album, and are awaiting its release in two weeks’ time. Ringo Starr is in hospital, undergoing tests for an intestinal complaint. In his absence, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison convene at Apple’s HQ in Savile Row. John has brought a portable tape recorder. He puts it on the table, switches it on and says: “Ringo – you can’t be here, but this is so you can hear what we’re discussing.”

What they talk about is the plan to make another album – and perhaps a single for release in time for Christmas, a commercial strategy going back to the earliest days of Beatlemania. “It’s a revelation,” Lewisohn says. “The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they’re discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn’t. Doesn’t that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?”

Full article here, including a link to tour dates for a show I would kill to see.

Fame…

A new documentary about Bowie called “Finding Fame” is out on Showtime. Mrs. Droogie and I stumbled on it the other night. I’m a big David Bowie fan, so I’m a bit biased, but I loved it.  A lot of what’s covered in this happened before my time and when I was just a wee Droog, so it’s nice to hear the story of how he became popular. Dude was ahead of his time for sure. Check out the trailer here…

Some of his really early songs were crap, and then he somehow pulled Space Oddity out of nowhere.

Get Stuckmannized

I recently discovered this guy on YouTube. His movie reviews are excellent!

In fact, I can’t argue with a single thing he says in this review of The Phantom Menace. See what you think …

How William Gibson’s Long-Lost Alien 3 Script Became 2019’s Most Intriguing Audio Drama

I’m intrigued enough that I will be making a purchase very shortly. From The Verge

Audible Studios’ new audio drama Alien III by William Gibson offers one of those alternate paths for the Alien series. Gibson, the author of Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive, has his own vision of what happened after Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, and Newt nuked LV-426 from orbit in Aliens. What was once a discarded draft has, in the hands of writer and director Dirk Maggs, become a fleshed-out audio production featuring Aliens stars Michael Biehn (as Hicks, the Marine who showed Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley how to fire a high-powered gun in Aliens) and Lance Henriksen (as Bishop, the “artificial person” who changes Ripley’s mind about working with synthetic life forms). Close your eyes, and it’s like slipping into an alternate universe in which this is the third Alien film, rather than the one we know.

You can pick it up here.

Bowie Demos…

David Bowie’s single take demos he made with John Hutchinson in an attempt to get a record deal with Mercury were released recently. These are stripped down versions, and they’re great. Here they are compiled into 1 video on the You Tube. Happy Weekend ya basterds!!!

First American Honda Restoration

The Honda N600, serial number 1000001. This is the first of 50 Hondas initially sent to the US in 1967 to see if they’d sell.

SPOILERS: They did.

This year marks our 60th anniversary in America. To commemorate this milestone, we’re looking back at the restoration of our very first car imported to the U.S. Watch Tim Mings bring Serial One back to mint condition before it went on to live in the American Honda Museum forever.

Falling In Love Again, What Am I To Do?

Never wanted to, I can’t help it. I mentioned this one to Renfield the other day, but I feel like it’s worth a post. Behold, the Seiko SLA033J1, a gorgeous reissue limited to 2,500 pieces. (The bastards.) It’s always a bad sign when the company’s own website won’t tell you how much the damn thing costs. But I did a little research, and this watch will set you back about $4,000.00. (EDIT: $4,250.00, to be exact.)

Introduced in 1965, Seiko’s innovative diver’s watch has been chosen by divers and adventurers globally. Seiko’s diving watch has become a global standard as a result over 50 years of innovation. The 1970 launch model, which boasts strong popularity in its history, will be reinstated. It is resurrected by modern state-of-the-art technology and design interpretation.

For comparison, here’s the original, the Seiko 6105-8110 …

And as worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now

Movement
Caliber Number
8L35

Movement Type
Automatic with manual winding capacity

Accuracy
+15 to -10 seconds per day

Duration
Approx. 50 hours

Exterior
Case Material
Stainless steel (super hard coating) with stainless steel bezel

Glass Material
Dual-curved sapphire

Glass Coating
Anti-reflective coating on inner surface

LumiBrite
Lumibrite on hands and indexs

Band Material
Silicone

Other Details
Water Resistance
200m / 660ft diver’s

Magnetic Reluctance
Equipped

Case Size
Thickness: 13 ㎜
Diameter: 45 ㎜
Length: 49.7 ㎜
Other specifications
Screw case back
Screw-down crown
Serial number engraved on the case back
Unidirectional rotating bezel

Other Features
26 jewels
Date display
Stop second hand function