Films, tunes and a tome in Faithfull flock’s future

MULTIMEDIA SPLASH returns of ’60s stars are becoming rather frequent — Tina Turner, Pete Townshend — but few rival the planned 1994 hit parade of Marianne Faithfull.

She will be seen soon in Sara Driver’s film “When Pigs Fly.” Lensing started July 1 on the Frontier Prods. documentary “Strange Weather: The Marianne Faithfull Story.” Recording of her next album for Island started in mid-July. And Little, Brown and Co. has signed Faithfull to pen her life story for an April release.

Filming for “Strange Weather” began in Denver at a concert presentation of Kurt Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins,” featuring Faithfull. Director and screenwriter Yoram Eshkol-Rokach will film Faithfull during trips to Dublin and London, interview her famous friends and catch her recording an album with producer Angelo Badalamenti of “Twin Peaks” fame. “Strange Weather” producer Daniel Einfeld figures the $ 800,000 film will be released early next year.

Einfeld, who has produced “My Life’s in Turnaround” and musicvideos, says the film “is a no-holds-barred piece. The director is a longtime avid fan and he has a close relationship with her. She trusts very few people … but she’s free and open with Yoram. She’s very blunt.”

Island Records publicity director John Vlautin said Faithfull’s album is skedded for February. Faithful’s publicist, Ellen Smith, said it would be followed by an extensive world tour. She said the album will feature Faithfull’s words and Badalamenti’s music.

Faithfull, 46, had her biggest hits in 1964 and ’65 with the Rolling Stones tune “As Tears Go By” and “Come and Stay With Me.” She gained her notoriety, however, as Mick Jagger’s companion and for drug busts, an overdose and several emotional and physical breakdowns.

In 1980, she returned to the charts with “Broken English” and has since released four critically acclaimed albums for Island: “Dangerous Acquaintances, “”Strange Weather,””A Child’s Adventure” and 1990’s live disc “Blazing Away.”

LEONARD BERNSTEIN’S epochal Young People’s Concerts are finally coming to homevideo after a 20-year struggle to obtain the rights. The release date, after many delays, is set for Wednesday, which would have been the late composer/conductor’s 75th birthday.

However, the release of 25 of the series’ 53 programs is going out through an unusual consortium. While Sony Classical is manufacturing the VHS-only tapes, the Smithsonian Institution will distribute them exclusively to the public on a subscription basis via its mailing list. Meanwhile, the Leonard Bernstein Society will be the exclusive marketing agent for the tapes to libraries, educational and performing arts organizations.

As a result, these long-awaited programs will not be available in the usual retail outlets. This was a decision made by Sony as a way to test different methods of distribution, said David Thomas, Bernstein’s son-in-law and VP of the Bernstein Society.

“Our intention, though, is that in time, it will become available through retail channels as well,” he added. “It’s linked to whether our direct response expectations are met.”

The Young People’s Concerts — which first aired on CBS in 1958 — made a household word out of Bernstein, whose penetrating knowledge of music, coupled with his charisma and media savvy, turned countless viewers of all ages into classical music fans. The kinescopes and videotapes of the programs have been resting in a climate-controlled Manhattan vault since the last program aired March 26, 1972.

According to Thomas, the lengthy negotiations were a nightmare of settling differences between the owners of the rights — CBS, Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic — as well as tracking down every camera shot or reference. They had to get a release from Igor Stravinsky’s estate if Stravinsky was shown onscreen; if Bernstein played a Beatles tune as a demonstration, the rights had to be obtained. In addition, the members of the Philharmonic of that era — union personnel all — or their heirs had to be contacted.

For more information on the programs, contact the Leonard Bernstein Society, 25 CentralPark West, Suite 1Y, New York, N.Y., 10023.

L.A. SEEN: The official 1993 Lowrider Unity Tour, sponsored by Lowrider magazine, took place recently at the Sports Arena and was a total hoot. In addition to gold, metal-flake El Dorados which literally spewed fountains of Tequila on tap, vintage cruisers lowered almost to the street and ultra-customized, pinstripe pickups with hot tubs in the back, the show featured a plethora of musical entertainment.

On the bill were longtime Eastside favorites Tierra, as well as hip-hoppers MC Blvd., Tommy Gunn, Too Down, Rodney O. & Joe Cooley and Rocky Padilla. It was off to the parking lot to witness the “Car-Hop,” a demonstration of high-tech hydraulics, with oodles of 1962-1966 Impalas jumping up and down frantically. The show’s headliner was Stacy Q., who got impressive response from the crowd. …

Geffen artists the Posies recently played the Whisky, coincidentally on a night that Geffen artists Guns N’ Roses had taken over Sunset Strip from the Whisky to the Roxy, blocking the street for filming of a video. The Posies, who were particularly hot that night, made a couple of polite jokes about the situation, and went about their business of whipping the audience into a frenzy. One of the most enthusiastic supporters was Juliana Hatfield. Also spotted were members of Flop (just signed to Sony), L.A. combo the Spent Poets, Stacy Slater of Talent House, promoter Roggie Baer and Donita Sparks of L7.

WHISKY BIZ: A lot of buzzin’ in the business about a recent twofer at the Whisky. Sub-Pop’s Sebadoh and their Massachusetts mates Tsunami headlined a soldout house, with locals Further as the opener. The bill of fare was the standard shoe-gazing variation on post-punk folkiness, but the real question of the night was which major label was going to scoop Sebadoh off the Sub-Pop roster. In attendance were Mark Geiger and Rick Rubin of Def American, Mark Williams of Virgin and Debbie Southwood-Smith of Chrysalis.

All for naught, apparently. According to Southwood-Smith, “Sebadoh isn’t even entertaining bids right now, even though they are one of the hottest acts in the underground.”

With one album left to do for Sub-Pop, the group is biding its time, much to the chagrin of the assembled A&R crew.

“They won’t even talk about it, they’ve got that underground attitude of ‘screw the majors’ now,” Southwood-Smith said. Given the nature of the volatile and fickle Amer-indie underground, perhaps their opinions will be radically different next year. The band had no comment.

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