Wednesday, 27 July 2016

I'm washing my clothes, but the stain still grows


This is how we used to dress. And, occasionally, still do.

Timeslip moment again... So, with not just my birthday, but my dear sister's fiftieth looming, our trusty TARDIS has deposited us back thirty-five years (gulp!) to the middle of that glorious youthful summer when I had just left school, and everything was new - and mainly all about dressing up...

In the news this week in 1981: more than 700 million people watched the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral; Princess Anne's two-month-old daughter was christened Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips; the UK was reeling in the wake of a succession of riots across the country, notably the mayhem in Toxteth in Liverpool, Moss Side in Manchester and Brixton in London; IRA "hunger-strike" deaths were being used as a propaganda weapon in the continued stand-off between the government and terrorists in Northern Ireland; there was controversy over the apartheid-embargo-breaking South African rugby tour in New Zealand; in the ascendant were Microsoft (which purchased DOS for $50,000 - and the rest is history!), the Humber Bridge (recently opened by HM the Queen) and British Telecom (born out of an official split from the Royal Mail), but the unfortunate President of the Gambia Dawda Jawara was deposed in a coup while a guest at the Royal Wedding.

In our cinemas were For Your Eyes Only, Excalibur and Raiders of the Lost Ark. On telly: Ken Barlow married Deirdre Langton on Coronation Street (just two days before the Royal Wedding), kids' music show Razzmatazz launched the career of a young Lisa Stansfield, and You're Only Young Twice (starring "house faves" here at Dolores Delargo Towers Peggy Mount, Pat Coombs and Lally Bowers) was in its last series.

In our charts, heading the pack were The Specials with (a song that neatly summed up that riot-hit summer) Ghost Town, and following in their wake a rather eclectic mish-mash including Stars on 45, Bad Manners, Imagination, Motorhead, Abba, Stevie Wonder and Kate Bush. But, heading inexorably up the charts was one of those songs that really captured my mood - all flounce, pose and preening, here's Spandau Ballet and their barn-stormer, Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)!



I checked the time, it was almost time
A curious smell, an intangible crime
I'm washing my clothes, but the stain still grows
Cover your eyes, the stain still shows

I feel the gaze against my skin
I feel the gaze against my skin
I know this feeling is a lie
I know this feeling is a lie

There's a guilt within my mind
There's a guilt within my mind
I know this feeling is a lie
I know this feeling is a lie

I don't need this pressure on
I don't need this pressure on
I don't need this pressure on

I don't need this pressure on
I don't need this pressure on
I don't need this pressure on

Oh I should question not ignore
Oh I should question not ignore
Songs are always buried deep
Songs are always buried deep

There's a lion in my arms
There is a motion in my arm
Oh I should question not ignore
I should believe and not ignore

I don't need this pressure on
I don't need this pressure on
I don't need this pressure on

Ah, happy memories of Hils and I "pointy dancing" to that one...

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Inch by inch, mile by mile...


Caption competition: What happens next?

Dutch men are the tallest in the world, with an average height of 5ft 11.9 inches, according to reports.

In the immortal words of Mae West (well, almost): "Never mind the six feet. Let's talk about the 11.9 inches!"

We're in Amsterdam next week. We really must do some - ahem - scientific analysis...

Monday, 25 July 2016

A committee should be organised to honour me



And so, farewell, a superstar. Responsible for myriad songs beloved of us theatrical types light-in-our-loafers, including I Could Have Danced All Night, Getting To Know You, I Feel Pretty, Wouldn't It Be Loverly, Hello Young Lovers and Somewhere, she, remarkably, only ever appeared on screen in one movie - The Sound of Music. As a nun.

The lady is (or rather was as news of her death was announced today), of course, the magnificent Marni Nixon - the behind-the-scenes vocal artiste who dubbed for Deborah Kerr in The King and I, for Natalie Wood (much to her consternation when she found out) in West Side Story and for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

Facts:
  • Miss Nixon (unsurprisingly) was operatically trained, and made her solo debut singing “Carmina Burana” at the Hollywood Bowl in 1947; she returned to classical recordings in the 1980s, winning a Grammy.
  • Her talent for variety led her to be on stage as a frequent guest and side-kick for Liberace and Victor Borge, as well as many stage and television roles.
  • Although she fought for the credit, her name did not appear on the original multi-million selling soundtrack for West Side Story so she did not get the portion of the royalties she would have otherwise; apparently Leonard Bernstein eventually gave up 0.25 percent of his own earnings from the soundtrack to her.
  • In addition to all the famous "leading ladies" above, she also dubbed Marilyn Monroe's high notes in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
  • Her son was the late, great singer-songwriter Andrew Gold.

Here's a fine example of Marni's talents, on that camp classic I Feel Pretty:



RIP Marni Nixon (born Margaret Nixon McEathron, 22nd February 1930 – 24th July 2016)

Fascinating. Rhythm.



Gosh. Former Miss World contestant, singer and actress - eternally remembered for her role as the original Wonder Woman - the lovely Lynda Carter blew out 65 candles on her cake yesterday!

On this Tacky Music Monday - and after a fab weekend, hosting a visit from our Mother, and making the most of the beautiful sunshine in the garden, lord knows we need some cheering up to compensate for the prospect of returning to the stuffy old office - let us celebrate the lady's glittering talents...

This sequence has feathers, safety gays (in space costumes and wigs!), dry ice, a cod-disco beat, lots of silver and glitter... in fact - EVERYTHING, darlings! It's her 30s Movies Medley:



Campness abounds! Have a good week, peeps.

Many happy returns, Lynda Carter (born Linda Jean Córdova Carter, 24th July 1951)

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Float like a feather in a beautiful world


Heralds of summer, "Black-Eyed Susan" (Thunbergia) in the gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers

On such a warm and muggy day, what better experience would there be than to be sat sipping wine in a park somewhere, listening to some jazzy reinterpretations of classic pop numbers from the bandstand?

Courtesy of the rather wonderful Postmodern Jukebox, that fantasy can come a little closer...

Here's just three of their brilliant arrangements:

Creep (Radiohead) featuring Haley Reinhart:



Hey Ya! (Outkast) featuring Sara Niemietz:



Lovefool (Cardigans) featuring Haley Reinhart:



I love, love, love these!

More - much more - is available at Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox site.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Jump up bubble up, what's in store?





Happy 70th birthday today to Mr Andy McKay, the saxophonist and oboist whose sublime talents contributed to the huge success of "the coolest band on the planet" Roxy Music.

By way of a little tribute - and also just because... Here is the classic song that he co-wrote for the group (it was going to be an instrumental "filler" track until Mr Ferry wrote the words for it), and one of their most magnificent - it's Love is the Drug:



T'ain't no big thing
To wait for the bell to ring
T'ain't no big thing
The toll of the bell
Aggravated, spare for days

I troll downtown the red light place
Jump up bubble up, what's in store?
Love is the drug and I need to score
Showing out, showing out, hit and run
Boy meets girl where the beat goes on
Stitched up tight, can't shake free
Love is the drug, got a hook on me

Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I'm thinking of
Oh oh can't you see
Love is the drug for me
Late that night I park my car
Stake my place in the singles bar
Face to face, toe to toe
Heart to heart as we hit the floor
Lumber up, limbo down

The locked embrace, the stumble round
I say go, she say yes
Dim the lights, you can guess the rest
Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I'm thinking of
Oh oh can't you see
Love is the drug, got a hook in me
Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I'm thinking of
Oh oh can't you see
Love is the drug for me


Utterly brilliant. Roxy Music and summer sunshine go together so well, do they not?

Andrew "Andy" Mackay (born 23rd July 1946)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Givin' you more of what you're funkin' for


Just another "Dress-Down Friday" at the office

We have a dual celebration today - it's not just the end of another week, with a sunny weekend (again?) ahead - but it is also the 75th birthday today of (possibly) the last surviving "Godfather of Funk", the wonderfully eccentric Mr George Clinton!

What better way to start the celebrations than (once again) in the company of the divine Legs & Co - who else but these ladies would choose to pay tribute to the great man and his classic One Nation Under A Groove by gyrating around in panties and GI uniforms..?

Thank Funkadelic Disco It's Friday!



So, wide can't get around it
So, low you can't get under it
(So, low you can't get under it)
So, high you can't get over it
(So, high you can't get over it)

Da-yee do do do do do do
This is a chance, this is a chance
Dance your way out of your constrictions
(Tell sugah)
Here's a chance to dance our way out of our constrictions
Gonna be freakin', up and down
Hang up alley way with the groove our
Only guide we shall all be moved

Ready or not here we come
Gettin' down on the one which we believe in
One nation under a groove, gettin' down just for the funk
(Can I get it on my good foot)
Gettin' down just for the funk of it
(Good God)

'Bout time I got down one time
One nation and we're on the move
Nothin' can stop us now
(Aye aye aye aye aye)
Feet don't fail me now

Give you more of what you're funkin' for
Feet don't fail me now

Do you promise to funk?
The whole funk, nothin' but the funk

Ready or not here we come
Gettin' down on the one which we believe in
Here's my chance to dance my way
Out of my constrictions
(Do do dee oh doo)
(Do do dee oh doo)
(You can dance away)

Feet don't fail me now
(Ha ha)
Here's a chance to dance
Our way out of our constrictions
Gonna be groovin' up and down
Hang up alley way
The groove our only guide

We shall all be moved
Feet don't fail me now
(Ha ha)
Givin' you more of what you're funkin' for
Feet don't fail me now
Here's my chance to dance my way
Out of my constrictions
Givin' you more of what you're funkin' for


“The great George Clinton is the father of this funk mothership" said Prince.

Indeed, say I.