Rock-Star Journalist Lisa Robinson Has Lived in Her Apartment for 45 Years

Lisa Robinson is one of the most famous and well respected music journalists ever. It’s wonderful reading this article about her life and collections. She personifies a true New Yorker, my favorite kind of person. Your apt is your storage locker. You are too busy living life to care about turning your abode into a design showroom. She lived a life of euphoria. Music can do that for you.

The Archive: Lisa Robinson in front of her very-analog interview archive. Photo: Annie Schlechter

I mean, you have to understand,” Lisa Robinson tells me. “I was on the road from the ’70s all the way through the ’90s. It’s like I wasn’t domestic. I didn’t have time; I didn’t care!”

She and her late husband, Richard, a radio host turned music producer turned magician, rented this two-bedroom on the Upper East Side in 1976, and it has stayed pretty much the same ever since. “We painted. We did the floors. We moved in, period,” she says. The couple had one of those always-on-the-go, all-access-pass New York lives together, with late nights, limos, and private jets, which is clear reading her memoir, There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll.One Great StoryThe one story you shouldn’t miss, selected by New York editors

Robinson grew up on the Upper West Side, where “we always had music in the house,” she recalls. Her “left-wing-leaning parents” weren’t interested in pop culture, but that only made her like it more. Her family’s one television in the parental bedroom, she says, “was treated like a forbidden fruit.”null

“My mother played the piano and studied sacred Hebrew music and co-founded the Hebrew Arts School for Music and Dance, but they also had a lot of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, and I would listen to jazz on a transistor radio under the covers at night, and I would think, There’s a sexy world out there.

And she made it her mission to find it. While she was still a student at Bronx Science, she’d sneak down to the Village, where she saw Thelonious Monk at the Five Spot and Anita O’Day and Stan Getz at the Village Vanguard. She saw Little Richard and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre.

The Office: The second bedroom is where the Robinsons’ record albums are stored. During COVID, it has doubled as the studio for her Sirius radio show. Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Library: The round table was found in the ’90s in Woodstock, where the couple rented a house. The bookshelves came with them from their previous apartment. On the left is a portrait of Lisa’s parents; on the right, she is pictured with Jay-Z.Photo: Annie Schlechter

After graduating from Syracuse University, she worked as a substitute teacher for first-graders in Harlem. Then, in 1969, she met Richard Robinson, who worked the graveyard shift at WNEW-FM and had a syndicated music column. Lisa would work a few days a week for him after her teaching job, until he asked her to come work full time, which she did. Three months later, Lisa moved into his fifth-floor walk-up on Second Avenue and 74th Street, and they married. That was also the year she started her writing career, taking over his column in the British music weekly Disc and Music Echo. “I told him I didn’t know how to write a column,” Robinson says. “He said, ‘If you can talk, you can write.’ ”null

Her nights, when she and Richard were not out at CBGB, eventually became a round of going on tour with rock bands — Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones — and writing for publications including Creem and New Musical Express.Richard moved from his job at Buddah Records to RCA, where he helped sign David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Kinks. In 1973, an apartment became available in her parents’ building — right across the hall. She wasn’t sure that part was a good idea, but it was just $150 a month. It became a hangout pad for rock-and-roll writers and musicians who would enjoy Chinese takeout on Richard’s expense account. Three years later, deciding they wanted a building with a doorman to accept all the packages, tickets, and albums delivered day and night, they found this Upper East Side two-bedroom. She wrote a column in the New York Post back when everyone had to read the paper or risk being uninformed, then was hired as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair in 1999. Her SiriusXM radio show, Call Me With Lisa Robinson, starts this month.

The Library: The landline telephone (left) that Lisa has had since she moved in in 1976. “I just don’t ever remember another phone,” she says. In a co… more

Her book Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls, which came out last year, documents Robinson’s interviews and friendships with female legends of the music industry, from Joni Mitchell to Beyoncé. Although she keeps an office across the street, this is usually where she does her writing, longhand. When asked about the stack of pink legal pads in the library, Robinson credits her obsession with Jacqueline Susann and her book Valley of the Dolls. “I heard she wrote on pink legal pads, and I just thought that sounds so glamorous. I don’t want yellow legal pads; my father was a lawyer — I saw yellow legal pads my whole life. I thought, I want something different!

The Robinsons turned the dining room into their library. Along one of its walls are the cassette recordings of her interviews with every famous rock-and-roll musician you can think of. The room that had been Richard’s office before he passed away in 2018 is still lined with their collection of thousands of vinyl record albums.

Both of the apartment’s TVs are on all the time. One is in the kitchen, in case Robinson should cook something, and the other is in the bedroom, usually with the sound off and tuned to basketball games or “crazy forensic shows.” And movies: “I mean,” she says, “I think I’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada 50 times.”null

The Couch: The sofa, which faces the fireplace, was once owned by Calvin Klein’s daughter, Marci, who gave it to a mutual friend, who then passed it on to Robinson. She sent it to the upholsterer, and there it sat, un-sat-upon, for years, until she found the right fabric, a playing-card print at Scalamandré, to match Richard’s love of magic tricks. Robinson has never found the time to hang her photography collection. Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Fireplace: “Those doll heads I brought back from London in the ’70s when I saw them in a store window and I went crazy. I would collect things: I would take ashtrays from hotels; I would take matches from places. I collected menus, and, yes, I stole an ice bucket from a room at the Savoy.” Photo: Annie Schlechter

A view from entrance hall into the kitchen and the library/archive. Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Kitchen: A relic of the mid-’70s, right down to the dishwasher on wheels (not pictured), which attaches to the sink by a hose. Photo: Annie Schlechter

Happy Holi To You And Your Family!

Photos by Eliot Hess

We traveled to India 10 years ago with Ruth, Howard and Steve Greenberg just in time for Holi. It is the festival of colors. It’s that time of year again when people smear powered colors on each other to celebrate Spring and to forgive mistakes of the past and start anew. It sounds good to me.

Look What We Missed

Several Indian families who live in my former NYC apartment building, played Holi last night on the roof garden. My girlfriend Marilyn Scher shared the photos with us. This is what we call a New York experience Indian style.

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Variety Breaking News

Just in case you don’t subscribe to Variety

Mar 27, 2021 11:00am PT

Woody Allen Interview From CBS News’ ‘Sunday Morning’ Will Debut on Paramount Plus

Woody AllenUntitled Woody Allen project on
Kristin Callahan/Ace/Shutterstoc

Filmmaker Woody Allen, whose career has been marred by sexual abuse allegations made in 1992 by his daughter, Dylan Farrow, has granted a rare interview that will be streamed on Paramount Plus as part of a broader “CBS Sunday Morning” package.

CBS News says the interview, recorded in July of last year, represents Allen’s first in-depth television interview in nearly three decades. Lee Cowan, a national correspondent and substitute anchor for “Sunday Morning,” who conducted the interview, will anchor the special, titled “The Woody Allen Interview,” which will be available on Paramount Plus starting March 28. The program will also include an interview with Dylan Farrow conducted by Gayle King in 2018 and a new segment from Erin Moriarty that examines what happens when artists are accused of morally questionable acts.null

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“Lee Cowan sat down with Woody Allen in July 2020 following the release of his memoir for what would be Allen’s first significant television interview in nearly three decades. The interview, which occurred last summer during an active news cycle, is being presented now given the renewed interest in the controversy surrounding the filmmaker,:” CBS News said in a statement. “The exclusive for Paramount Plus offers the ability to explore Allen, his career, and the allegations in context and with the depth that this story demands.”

CBS News did not offer details on the subjects Allen addressed in the interview, or provide information on any of his responses. Allen, 85, has long denied his daughter’s claims. He has never been charged with a crime by a court.

But the allegations against him have followed him for years. They have risen anew with the debut of a four-part documentary series, “Allen v. Farrow,” that launched earlier this year on WarnerMedia’s HBO. In that series, Dylan Farrow speaks on camera for the first time about her experiences. The series includes home movies from Allen’s former partner, Mia Farrow, that include Dylan at age 7 describing what Allen allegedly did to her. Audio recordings Mia Farrow made of phone conversations with Allen are also presented. Allen is married to Soon-Yi Previn, an older daughter of his former partner.

Allen did not take part in that project, and he is not likely to address it in the interview, which took place more than half a year ago. The interview with Allen was conducted several months after Hachette Book Group said it would not publish an Allen autobiography, “Apropos of Nothing,” in which he denies Dylan Farrow’s allegations and discusses the sadness he feels over his estrangement from his daughter. The book was brought to market by Arcade Publishing. The interview was also recorded as the country grappled with the coronavirus pandemic and a national protest over the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police, two events that likely occupied CBS News executives and news production resources at the time.

The decision to present the program via the recently launched streaming service may raise eyebrows. The special at present seems unlikely to be broadcast on the traditional CBS network, due to its length, subject matter and the desire to show the interview with the accompanying segments.

ViacomCBS has made news a core offering of Paramount Plus, using the phrase “Breaking News” in the new service’s marketing slogan. The live-streaming news service CBSN, which offers a live feed as well as feeds from CBS owned stations, is part of Paramount Plus. So too is “60 Minutes Plus,” an offshoot of the venerable CBS News Sunday magazine show that features a new set of correspondents who can present segments that go as long as 20 to 30 minutes.

“Sunday Morning” has been on the air since 1979. Originally conceived as the TV equivalent of a Sunday-morning newspaper, the program has become part of a weekend ritual for many of its viewers. Aside from the occasional special or anniversary program, however, “Sunday Morning” has not regularly extended itself to other properties (it was in 2018 at the center of a ticketed theater event that put anchor Jane Pauley in front of a live audience). The Paramount Plus debut hints at other formats that may be under consideration at ViacomCBS for some of its best-known news properties.






The White House’s Virtual Passover Celebration

In case you missed it, be sure to watch the first ever celebration of its kind. After a year like we had, this is a joyous gift.

Virtual Passover Celebration with Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff.

For some reason YouTube is having a wee bit problem with the broadcast. After you click on the link, go to 20:55 on the time counter in order to access the beginning of the video. See below for a photo of where it starts.


My girlfriend Debbie asked me to comment on the Miami Beach Spring Breakers.


Thank you SZS

The devil whispered to me, “I’m coming for you.” I whispered back, “Bring pizza.”

Me: (sobbing my heart out, eyes were swollen, nose red)…I can’t see you anymore. I am not going to let you hurt me like this again!

Trainer: It was a sit up. You did one sit up.


Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.


It’s weird being the same age as old people.


When I was a kid I wanted to be older…this is not what I expected.


Life is like a helicopter. I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.


Chocolate is God’s way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby.


It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult.


Marriage Counselor: Your wife says you never buy her flowers. Is that true?

Him: To be honest, I never knew she sold flowers.


Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked. So remember…Don’t sing!


My wife asked me to take her to one of those restaurants where they make the food right in front of you. So I took her to Subway and that’s how the fight started.


During the middle ages they celebrated the end of the plague with wine and orgies. Does anyone know if there is anything planned when this one ends?


I don’t think the therapist is supposed to say “wow,” that many times in your first session but here we are…

If 2020 was a math word-problem: If you’re going down a river at 2 MPH and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to re-shingle your roof?


I see people about my age mountain climbing; I feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.


We can all agree that in 2015 not a single person got the answer correct to, ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?


So if a cow doesn’t produce milk, it a milk dud or an udder failure?


If you can’t think of a word say “I forgot the English word for it.” That way people will think you’re bilingual instead of losing your memory.


I’m at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.


Coronacoaster noun: the ups and downs of a pandemic. One day you’re loving your bubble, doing work outs, baking banana bread and going for long walks and the next you’re crying, drinking gin for breakfast and missing people you don’t even like.


I’m at that age where my mind still thinks I’m 29, my humor suggests I’m 12, while my body mostly keeps asking if I’m sure I’m not dead yet.


Don’t be worried about your smartphone or TV spying on you. Your vacuum cleaner has been collecting dirt on you for years.


I’m getting tired of being part of a major historical event.


I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.


How many of us have looked around our family reunion and thought “Well aren’t we just two clowns short of a circus?”


At what point can we just start using 2020 as profanity? As in: “That’s a load of 2020.” or “What in the 2020.” or “abso-2020-lutely.”


You don’t realize how old you are until you sit on the floor and then try to get back up.


We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Two Chicago Stories, Both True

Another story from Michael Sommer. Thank you


Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed ‘Easy Eddie.’ He was Capone’s lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well.

For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.

Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son; he couldn’t pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al ‘Scarface’ Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity.

To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street .. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay.

Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read: ‘The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.’


World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.

There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes.

Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.

Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man. So, the next time you find yourself at O’Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch’s memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It’s located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O’Hare was ‘Easy Eddie’s’ son.