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Doobie Do

Rock’s Doobie Brothers had no trouble at all selling out their recent concert at the Seattle Coliseum, but actually getting themselves in the stage door was a little harder. The six Doobies’ 15 bodyguards looked on helplessly as some 400 shrieking fans mobbed their sex symbol, Michael McDonald, and tried to depants him. Meanwhile guitarist Patrick Simmons was managing to get his two-foot-long hair caught in the limousine door. The bodyguards finally freed Simmons and carried him aloft into the Coliseum. He quipped later: “I’ve got nothing against groupies, but I prefer them one at a time.”

Skirting the Issue

Historian Barbara (A Distant Mirror) Tuchman, in Washington for her induction as the first woman member of the National Academy of Science and Letters, told dignitaries at a luncheon that being a woman scholar has its perils and then illustrated with a snippet of social history. Heading for New York’s Frick Collection to do some reading for Mirror one snowy day, Tuchman forgot that Helen Clay Frick, the still-living daughter of Henry Clay Frick, had laid down an ironclad rule that ladies doing research at the library had to wear skirts. Tuchman, in pants and long socks against the storm, was offered a red skirt by a forearmed guard. “Unable to imagine myself in a red skirt, brown checkered slacks and socks,” Tuchman related, “I walked eight blocks in the snowstorm to buy a pair of pantyhose. Then I put them on with the red skirt and went about my business.” Holding up her 677-page best-seller, she said: “So you see, quite a lot has gone into the production of this tome.”

Off Easy Street

Martin Charnin, who made a bundle on Annie as originator, lyricist and director, is a victim of the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately syndrome. When the musical I Remember Mama, starring Liv Ullmann, opens on Broadway later this month, Charnin will get credit for the lyrics, but not for directing. He was replaced by Cy Feuer five weeks ago. Breaking the news to friends, Charnin wired: “To make a long and ugly story short, there is no longer a fjord in my future.”

Her Place

At a Women in Communications awards luncheon in Denver, CBS White House correspondent Lesley Stahl reminisced about one of her big assignments. As the first female regional anchor in CBS’ election night coverage in 1974, the nervous Lesley took an advance peek at the set. “They were still painting,” she recalls, “but the desks had already been assigned. The names had been put on in black paint: Cronkite, Mudd, Rather and mine—Female.”

Prince Charming

Freak rock veteran Frank Zappa is angry that B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League has complained to the FCC about the Jewish Princess cut on his now top-40 Sheik Yer Bouti (pronounced shake yer booty) album. “Preposterous,” the non-Jewish Zappa calls the protest. “Are they moving forward world peace by complaining about the song?” He maintains that the lyrics (a printable sample: “I want a nasty little Jewish Princess/with long phony nails and a hairdo that rinses”) are not antiprincess. “It just says that I want one,” he smirks. Though the former chief Mother of Invention now calls himself a folk musician, he concedes: “I wouldn’t say this song is the linear descendant of John Henry.”


•Bun Richardson, a Houston heart pacemaker salesman who looks so much like Burt Reynolds that he has had a second career as an ersatz Reynolds in Vegas, says he doesn’t know if his wife has noticed the resemblance. “Golly,” he says, “when you’ve been married for 22 years, you don’t really look at each other unless there’s an argument going on.”

•Columnist Maxine Cheshire, now in her 25th year of writing for the Washington Post, laid one on the Carter White House. “We have never had an Administration that has had more trouble with women, drugs and booze,” she declared on the Donahue show. “They are the biggest group of womanizers and losers.”