Posted by Rob Eshman
Last night at the tail end of a huge Jewish Federation banquet, at least 2/3 of the 1300 guests had left the cavernous Barker Hanger venue, the night was winding down, and it looked like nothing in the world would bring the dwindling crowd back to life.
Then Federation President Jay Sanderson took the mike and called the band Train onto stage.
And then, as the Man says, there was light.
Lead singer Pat Monhan started in on “Soul Sister,” and those who were left leapt to their feet and raced to the stage. The band ripped through all the hits, Soul Sister, “Marry Me,” “Drops of Jupiter,” “Calling All Angels,” and it was like music magic. Old Jews, young Jews, non-Jews, people who were fans (like me), people who wouldn’t know Train from Paul Anka, they turned into a frenzied tribe. It wasn’t clear Monahan knew where he was or who he was singing to—he thanked “the Jewish society”—but the man knows his craft. He bounces around the stage skinny as Jagger but a lot less threatening/druggy/wizened, and then jumped down into the crowd and posed for pictures as he sang, and just WORKED it.
Why is this a Howard Stern blog post? Because Train credits Howard with sticking by them when their carerre tanked, with constantly promoting them, with SAVING them. Howard has done deep, moving interviews with Pat, who I came to feel I knew through the show. Howard certainly turned a world of fans, like me, onto Train.
I iPhoned a bit of the finale, just so you can get a taste of how great the moment was.
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May 10, 2011 | 12:58 pm
Posted by Rob Eshman
Tonight I’m moderating a discussion between Rabbi Mark Borovitz and Noel Biederman, the founder of the web site AshleyMadison.com. I first heard Biederman on the Howard Stern Show. Howard’s incisive interviews with him exposed all the genius and complexities behind the man and his site, which facilitates adulterous affairs online. When I read a Bloomberg News story describing how AshleyMadison.com is a runaway internet sensation, I suggested to our Singles blogger, Ilana Angel, that she weigh in on the subject. Biederman is Jewish, and I was fascinated about how he handles moral criticism of his enterprise. Ilana’s fiery blog posts caught the attention of Biederman himself, the two began an e-mail debate, they met, fell in love…. No. That last part didn’t happen. Biederman is happily married. Ilana even had the chutzpah to interview his wife. The interviews evolved into a suggestion that The Jewish Journal arrange a dialogue among Ilana, a rabbi and Biederman here in LA. That dialogue is taking place tonight with Rabbi Markl Borovitz, Biederman, and me, as the moderator. A major media outlet is filming it for a documentary on adultery.
And, needless to say, in my opening remarks, I’ll have to thank the man who inspired it all, Howard Stern.