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DIVA NEWS ARCHIVE -- NOVEMBER 2004


November 24, 2004

The Fabulous Freddie Mercury circa 1976WE MISS YOU FREDDIE MERCURY! -- Arigon's Rock N' Roll Hero passed into the spirit world thirteen years ago. Larger than life, Freddie was the charismatic front man for the rock group Queen.

Everyone here at Starrwatcher Online is a Queen fan.

Most folks these days think of "Bohemian Rhapsody" as that song that Mike Myers, Dana Carvey and crew head-banged to in "Wayne's World" while driving in their vintage Pacer. However, he was a big influence on Arigon and her music. "Freddie was always quoted as saying he lived life to the full -- and to never do anything in half-measures. One of my favorite quotes of his was told to my pal Jacky Gunn. 'Whatever you do, do it with style!' What a character!" smiled Arigon. "I've always wondered what it was like for him, living in two worlds. Did you know his family was from India and were members of a deeply religious sect called the Parsees? I swear -- he could have been an Indian guy! AAAY!," enthused Arigon. There is an awesome tribute from fellow bandmember Brian May on his website today. Check it out a BrianMay.Com and look on Brian's Soapbox.

Arigon isn't the ONLY artist inspired by Queen. You can count The Foo Fighters, The Darkness and Harry Connick, Jr. as die-hard Queen fans. Here's what Garth Brooks was quoted as saying about Queen in an article in LIFE Magazine:

Though he doesn't recall how old he was, Brooks says he had his first musical epiphany when he heard George Jones sing a James Taylor song. At 16, he got a banjo for his birthday and had a second musical revelation when he went to see the rock band Queen in Oklahoma City.

Queen Fan Club Magazine"My ears are still ringin' from that concert," he says. "I was standin' on my seat when Brian May started playing this guitar solo. Then this light moves in on him, and suddenly this fan kicks on, and his hair's blowing everywhere, and he's leanin' into the wind, and the light is burning him, and he's burning the light. And I stood up, with my fist high in the air, and I screamed so loud I could feel the veins in my neck. And I was feeling: 'Bring me anything in this world that hasn't been done by mankind, I want to take a crack at it right this second!' And I was thinking, one day I'm going to feel this feeling -- only it's gonna be me up there on that stage."

After that, "I used to turn up Queen, get out the guitar and scream. But it was country I wanted to play."

Astounding Science Fiction, Oct. 1953As many of you know, Arigon is an artist/cartoonist and was fortunate enough to be able to do a cartoon of the band for the cover of one of their fan club magazines. [That's a photo of the cover up there!] Jacky Gunn was able to get the artwork autographed by Freddie Mercury and it remains a treasured item.

"I'm such a geek that I even scoured Science Fiction bookstores to find a copy of 'Astounding Science Fiction' -- which featured cover art by Frank Kelly Freas. He based the artwork for Queen's LP News Of The World on this vintage cover." Asked if she had a favorite Queen track, she naturally mentioned Brian May's song "White Man" from Queen's "A Day At The Races." "That was one of the few songs from my youth that made me feel proud. It doesn't get much better than your favorite rock band singing about your heritage," said Arigon. "My favorite Freddie Mercury tracks are 'Love Of My Life,' 'Nevermore' and 'Somebody To Love.' If you ask me tomorrow I might pick other songs," she laughed.

If you have never heard the music of Queen or haven't seen them live you have a couple of brand-spanking new options to check them out. The classic concert "Live Aid" has just been released on DVD and features a show stopping performance from Queen. Concert organizer Bob Geldof said that "Queen stole the show." When you see Freddie Mercury lead Wembley Stadium in a sing-along then hear "Radio GaGa" and "We Are The Champions," we're pretty sure you'll second that emotion. You can also check out Queen On Fire At The Bowl which was taped before an audience of thousands at England's Milton Keynes Bowl.

Thank you, Freddie Mercury for being 100% YOU and never compromising! What a legacy he left for the music business.


November 23, 2004

Arigon with The MomadaysTHE POWERFUL THEATER EXPERIENCE THAT IS NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY!

Arigon wows the crowd as Tzba in Rhiana Yazzie's "Asdzani Shash: The Woman Who Turned Into A Bear" onstage at the Wells Fargo Theater!

It was a star-studded night on Friday, November 12th at the Autry National Center. The opening night of the annual Native Voices Play Festival brought out some of the most distinguished folks in Indian country, including Dr. N. Scott Momaday, Cherokee Principal Chief Chad Smith and Richard West of the National Museum of the American Indian.

The theater was also filled with family and friends who witnessed the powerful performances of Delanna Studi, Carlos Moreno, Uzziel Martinez , Michael Wise, Harrison Lowe and Jane Cazabat. The play was directed by Ken Martines and mixed a traditional Navajo story with the contemporary tale of a young woman's trials and travails working in a government-funded long term care facility. The Play Festival also included "Stone Heart: Everyone Loves A Journey West" by Diane Glancy and James Luhan's "Kino & Teresa." Many of Arigon's friends and former cast mates were in all of the productions. "I love seeing Indian people taking the stage and doing their thing. The new works were really exciting," said Arigon. Arigon's agent Kristene Wallis was in the house for her performance -- and her family drove up from San Diego. "I'm so grateful to Native Voices for giving me a chance to perform. Every time I meet another Indian performer, I encourage them to participate in a Native Voices production. This time, I was able to lure my Creek friend Jane Cazabat onstage -- and she did a great job. She kept teasing me that she was doing everything in her power to steal my part." Could this be the Native version of "All About Eve" we've been waiting for? AAAY! One must have item now available at the Autry's Gift shop -- a beautiful t-shirt featuring Arigon's artwork for "Kino & Teresa!"


NEW MUSIC!

Now playing on our Exclusive Tracks page is "Please Do Not Touch The Indians," which was recorded especially for the syndicated program "Earthsongs." Gregg McVicar taped an extensive interview with Arigon during the Grassroots Radio Conference, plus three songs. We've added "Please Do Not Touch The Indians," because if you haven't seen Arigon live lately, you haven't heard this hilarious track. Take a listen using the link from the Audio/Lyrics page and let us know what YOU think!


DIVA DOINGS

For those of you following Arigon's doings -- she is pretty much "house-bound" until the television filming season is over. "Did you know there is an actor's curse? The minute you book a trip out of town, your phone will ring with job offers or auditions," smiled Arigon. She just completed her first round of classes with the world-famous Groundlings Comedy School -- and will be doing a couple of private gigs this month before heading out to Phoenix for the show at the Heard Museum on December 26. She will be an "artist-in-residence" during the upcoming Project HOOP Conference at UCLA and will be part of the Tribal Law & Policy Conference in Palm Springs. "I'll probably pop up a few other places. I can't remember the last time I've spent so much time in Los Angeles and actually enjoyed it! AAAAY!," she laughed. Arigon continues to work hard on finishing the script for her one-woman show, "The Red Road." Plus -- we hear there are plans afoot to film a music video of "The Red Road" which was just completed at Mad Dog Studios (with Dwight Yoakam/Lucinda Williams/Jim Lauderdale collaborator Dusty Wakeman on the mixing board) in Hollywood. Hoo-boy, that will sure be a "goot" one, ennit?


November 1, 2004

Mackenzi Johnson, Gay Wahpecome and ArigonTHE FUN NEVER ENDS IN DIVA-VILLE!

Arigon will be the MC at the American Indian Cultural Center Benefit Dinner in San Diego next week...among other things!

"Be careful what you ask for -- you might get it," grinned Arigon. She's been busy on the music and acting fronts. So busy in fact, that her schedules are colliding and causing trouble. [That's Arigon with Mackenzi Johnson and Gay Wahpecome -- thanks for the photo, Shirley Hernandez!]

We regret to have to inform folks that might have been planning to come to the Muscogee Creek Meeting this weekend to hear Arigon sing are going to be mighty disappointed. Arigon is beginning rehearsal for the Native Voices at the Autry "Continent of Stories" play festival on Saturday and will sadly miss the event. "I'm so bummed out," she said. "I was looking forward to meeting all my friends and Chief A.D. Ellis, who's coming all the way from Oklahoma to address members of the Creek Nation who live in California. I hope we can do a make-up date for folks."

If you're in the San Diego area, you can also catch Arigon as the hostess with the mostess for the benefit dinner put on by the Indian Human Resource Center on Wednesday, November 10th. The big ticket ($125 per person or $1,000 for a table of eight) goes towards renovation of a facility in Balboa Park to house the American Indian Cultural Center. "The folks at IHRC have always been supportive of my music and career, so it's nice to be able to help them put on a cool evening of Indian entertainment," she said. The American Indian Dance Theater will be making an appearance, as well as many of the big-wigs in San Diego. If you can afford the ticket and have the time -- it's worth checking out Arigon's MC act.


THANK YOU, CUZIN' DAVE

Hey, a big shout out to Cuzin' Dave Wilson who's been spinning various tracks from BACKFLIP on his "When The Roses Bloom Again" radio show in Cleveland, OH. He is also responsible for taking that cool photo of Arigon onstage at the Bluebird Café that's on the front page right now. WRUW 91.1 FM rocks -- and we encourage y'all to check out Cuzin' Dave's show.


Gary & Arigon...and that baseball gloveTHE COUGAR BUNCH IS AT IT AGAIN

Diva fan and friend Mary Sue Gulzow through a big ol' curve this way recently. Mary Sue, as many of you know, is Gary Bennett's sister who lives in Washington. Most of y'all remember who Gary is, right? The guy who sings on "Mountain Windsong!" -- AAAY! Actually, he's a big star in his own right, having received several Grammy nominations, awards and what not when he was singing with BR549.

Gary had been taking a break from the music business -- but he is coming back with some new music. Mary Sue, great lady that she is, recommended your friends here at Starrwatcher Online to help Gary create a website. If you're interested in checking out our work, you can point your browser to www.garybennettmusic.com and read all the latest doings in Nashville.

Did you know that Gary has been a musical guest on "The Grand Ole Opry," "Late Night With David Letterman," "Good Morning America," "Austin City Limits" and "The Conan O'Brien Show?" It's true! We are all looking forward to his new CD project, which should be available next year.


DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT "HAND OF GRANDFATHER" ON XM SATELLITE RADIO

For those of you who are a jump ahead of the crowd, you probably already have an XM Satellite Radio AND know about the fabulous radio program featuring a fine selection of traditional and contemporary Native music. It's called "Hand of Grandfather" and it's only on XM Satellite Radio. You can find the show on Fine Tuning, Channel 76. Get yourself an XM Radio and tune in on Mondays at 1:00 AM EST and Fridays at 10:00 PM EST. Get this -- XM Satellite Radio is 100% Commercial free and has CD quality sound. Arlie Kendall has been spinning Arigon Starr tracks since the show started. Be sure to check out the awesome Hand of Grandfather website, too. Arlie has assembled an amazing list of links to all of the Native Artists she features on the program! Good, good stuff!


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