50 Years of Sgt. Pepper: An Example and a Warning

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As I stood in Best Buy this past Friday to purchase the new 50th anniversary cut of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, I asked myself, “How many times have I bought this album in the last 50 years? I question my sanity.” As a lifelong Beatles historian, expert, and self-described archivist it is really no surprise – and far from mad hat. As a long time personal guru once told me, “one’s life can serve to be either an example or a warning.” During my life as an entrepreneur, musician, husband, and father – the Beatles have always served me as both, and the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band more than any other.

From its release five decades ago, Sgt. Pepper still has implications that resonate widely, influencing more creative minds than anyone can possibly comprehend. What is forgotten however is the initial impact it had on the world when it was first released. Moreover, it is far too easy today to look back on 1967 and casually conclude that its mythical status in Western culture was a fait accompli. This could not be further from the truth, and doing so jeopardizes the timeless and invaluable lessons of its creation. It was an album that The Beatles didn’t have to produce, but as artists in constant search for creative growth were metaphysically compelled to create. In doing so, I now remember June 1st, 1967 as well as any day that has since passed. A day that proved to be a lifelong cornerstone influence in my creative process – and it all began with a kind warning…

By Philip A. DiCostanzo Entertainment & Arts Contributor

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In The Ascent: A Never Before Published Paul Mitchell Interview (Part II)

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Enjoy part II of TGNR‘s hitherto unpublished interview with famed hairstylist and hair product magnate, the late Paul Mitchell. An interview conducted in October of 1981, Philip A. DiCostanzo and Sara Ann Kizer spoke with Mr. Mitchell on a wide range of topics, bringing forth the undeniable incisive nature of one of the legendary catalysts of the modern beauty industry.

If you have not yet read part I, please click here before proceeding.

By Philip Anthony DiCostanzo & Sara Ann Kizer

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In The Ascent: A Never Before Published Paul Mitchell Interview (Part I)

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On October 20th, 1981, I and fellow stylist Sara Ann Kizer, traveled to Queens, New York, and interviewed the world renowned hairstylist and product magnate, the late Paul Mitchell. We spoke with him after a hair show for licensed hair dressers where the star stylist holds court, cutting hair while revealing new approaches, techniques, and products. This was Paul Mitchell’s comeback following a five-year hiatus in Hawaii, far away from the madness of the beauty industry. 

Before returning to hair, Mr. Mitchell became business partners with John Paul DeJorgia. Together, using modest means, they co-founded a small hair care product line specifically designed to be used and sold by hairdressers. Called Paul Mitchell Systems, it debuted in 1980.

Sara and I sat down with Mr. Mitchell for a 90 minute interview, discussing everything from surfing, to hair, and Rock and Roll. Consummately intelligent, open, funny, and deftly observant, nobody knew at that time his business’s best was yet to come.

By Philip Anthony DiCostanzo & Sara Ann Kizer

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Sassoon To Fictional Sleuth: A Peter Green Interview

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Hairdresser and Mystery Author, Peter Green Image Credit: Peter Green, “Things Have A Habit.”

Just about everyone I know is transitioning into something. Some are morphing into their lifelong dream, others contemplating a life in retirement, while a vast majority are struggling with jobs facing extinction – wondering how they are going to survive. I am a guy who would rather write about his life lessons than have to relive them. My motto is simply, “As the world turns on its axis, change is happening, and it might work out best to swim parallel to shore.” In short, transition is not necessarily an all volunteer army. While scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I was intrigued to discover a gentleman who had worked directly with Vidal Sassoon during the height of “Sassoon-mania” in the 1960’s, and following a successful career as a Sassoon trained hair cutter transitioned into a mystery writer. Anybody who knows anything about the Vidal Sassoon hair cutting dynasty is aware of the intensive training, discipline, and commitment to education that is required to fulfill that coveted slot. Many that worked with Vidal later moved on to create their own techniques, salons, schools, product lines, and even – films. Even the late Paul Mitchell was a member of the Sassoon team as they conquered America. So, when I read that Peter Green was giving a talk in Connecticut on a Friday evening – I thought this could be worth the hour drive time.  

By Philip Anthony DiCostanzo Guest Contributor

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With A Little Help From My Friends

 

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Filmmaker David Sporn. (Image Credit: David Sporn)

For today’s special Tuesday edition of Sunday Brunch, TGNR interviews musician, Beatles historian, and co-founder of the ensemble SUNS OF WALRUS: Celebrating All Things Beatle And British, Philip A. DiCostanzo. Philip shares his experience playing the benefit concert on November 21st, 2015 held in honor of the late Don, Ledell, and Katherine Mulvaney, as well as his late wife, Maureen DiCostanzo. Philip also tells the very special story about an incredible and unexpected gift of film, as TGNR debuts filmmaker David Sporn’s concert film of that unforgettable evening.

By Paul K .DiCostanzo Managing Editor

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