Monday, 16 July 2018

Toot Toot



Monday, Monday - how I hate you; interrupting my sunny reveries with that soul-destroying thing called work...

Hey, ho. I have discovered that today would have been [she died in January this year; I can only assume I missed the sad news in the tumult of moving home] the birthday of that "Big Soul Mama", Miss Denise LaSalle!

In her long and lauded career - she gained the crown of "Queen of the Blues" when Koko Taylor died - Miss LaSalle won numerous reputable awards and accolades for her performances, and for the songs she wrote and produced for others.

Yet here in the UK, in the middle of the 1980s, she scored her one and only hit - with this, highly appropriate for a Tacky Music Monday, choon...


Referring to the cartoon at the top of this post - once it's in your head, it takes some shaking to get it out again!

I know I'll be humming this all day.

Have a good week, peeps!

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Mi hai sicuramente preso in giro, proprio dall'inizio


A summer visitor - a Hummingbird Hawk Moth on the beautiful Phlox in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers

We love our new home. We love our garden. We love our parties and get-togethers. But, all that aside, there is little we love more here at Dolores Delargo Towers than to stumble across a new Diva!

And, thanks the the eternal meanderings of Madam Arcati across the interwebs, we have another.



Milva (for it is she) - nick-named La Rossa (Italian for "The Redhead") by her adoring public - has had a career spanning seven decades, as an internationally-renowned singer and actress, collaborating with the likes of Ennio Morricone, Mikis Theodorakis and Francis Lai.

She has gained a reputation not only in her native Italy but also in Germany and France for her specialism in chanson, tango, and "songs of the outsider" - including the music of Brecht and Weill, such as this one...


Cento di questi giorni, Signorina Maria Ilva Biolcati (aka Milva, born 17th July 1939)!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Once I get my sights on you



The BBC Proms season is fantastic and varied - and, as featured over at my Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp blog, includes Proms dedicated to Bernstein (including West Side Story and On The Town), Bach’s six Brandeburg Concertos and the WW1 centenary; the eight-week programme includes works by (among others) Debussy, Gershwin, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Dvořák, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Holst, Handel, Glinka, Grieg, Strauss, Ravel, Brahms, Wagner, Mendelssohn, Allegri, Verdi, Prokofiev, Elgar, Liszt, Sibelius, Mozart, Berlioz, Barber, Britten and Bruckner (and even Youssou N'dour) - and that's just scratching the surface!

Our little gang's focus, as ever, is slightly less highbrow. Not that we are averse to any or all of the composers above - and there is still a chance that we may (or may not) get to some of the classical extravaganzas on offer. However, Proms in the Park is the party to beat all parties, and, as always, we have our tickets!

Closing the Summer Season quite neatly, the 40,000-strong celebration-cum-festival [it has been described as "Glastonbury, but with more hip replacements"] has become an integral part of our own events calendar. Alongside Eurovision, New Year's Eve, our birthday picnic and Gay Pride, it is one of the big events we look forward to the most during the year - and we have seen quite an array of talent, such as Kylie Minogue, Bryan Ferry, Barry Manilow, ABC, Frankie Valli, Dame Kiri ti Kanawa, Steps, Neil Sedaka, Tony Hadley, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, Bryn Terfel, Will Young, John Barrowman, Katherine Jenkins, Sharleen Spiteri and Texas, Jose Carreras, Dame Edna Everage, Rick Astley, Ray Davies, Leslie Garrett, All Saints, Earth Wind and Fire, Rufus Wainwright, Bjorn Again and (ahem) Rolf Harris... Whew.

This year, Auntie Beeb has once more pulled out all the stops - the headliners, hosted by Michael Ball, include Matt Goss from Bros, Lisa Stansfield, Joseph Calleja, Josh Groban and...

...Gladys Knight!

I hope she does this one:


...and I hope she brings her Pips! We love Our Glad, but - all my life, all I ever wanted was to be a Pip.

BBC Proms

Friday, 13 July 2018

You're so totally deluded


Black cats bring good luck, don't they?

I like weekends... The sun continues to shine across the UK (and temperatures look likely to soar again by Sunday); Trump is buggering off to Scotland, where one hopes he will shut his orange gob for a while while playing golf; there'll be sweaty hunks in tight shorts grunting away in South West London today as Rafel Nadal plays Novak Djokovich in the Wimbledon tennis semi-final; and the BBC Proms Season opens tonight (more of that later, no doubt). Life is good.

However, the superstitious among us are quaking - they need Basement Jaxx [who, to my eternal shame, I discover I have never featured on this blog before] to sort them out with a bit of Good Luck!


Thank Disco it's Friday (the Thirteenth, again)!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Meanwhile, in other news...



From The Guardian:
Shridhar Chillal, whose 66-year-old nails were the length of a London bus, has passed them on to a New York museum...

...The 82-year-old has been growing the nails on his left hand since he was 14, having been inspired to do so after a teacher told him off when he accidentally broke a very long nail the teacher had grown. The teacher told Chillal that he wouldn’t understand the kind of care it took not to break a long nail unless he did it himself. Chilal certainly took that to heart: when last measured, his nails had a combined length of 29ft 10.1in...


Ewww.

The last word on this particular subject, however, goes to this shy, retiring "lady"...


"If you're not wearing nails, you're not doing drag!"

Apparently.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

And I say, "Hey, hey, hey, hey!"


Gratuitous picture of footballers in their scanties

Ignoring the defeat of the England football team rather neatly [there will be little escape from the endless analysis and commentary for a few days to come, of that I am certain], our trusty TARDIS has landed us once again in the middle of 1993: the year of "Back to Basics", Bill Clinton, the Maastricht Treaty, IRA bombings in Warrington and in Bishopsgate in the City of London, Jordan Chandler (the boy paid off by Michael Jackson after accusations of molestation), the Stephen Lawrence murder, the Waco siege, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, the murder of toddler James Bulger, and the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland; the births of Ariana Grande, the state of Eritrea, UKIP, and most of the founder-members of One Direction; and the deaths of Vincent Price, Rudolf Nureyev, Ruby Keeler, Les Dawson, Audrey Hepburn, and Czechoslovakia...

In the news in July a quarter of a century ago: John Demjanjuk ("Ivan the Terrible") was acquitted of all charges relating to his accusation of murders in the Nazi death camp at Sobibor (he was later convicted after new evidence emerged), an earthquake and resulting tsunami killed 230 in Hokkaido in Japan, John Major's government was almost defeated by "Maastricht Rebels" but survived the challenge, the security agency MI5 "went public" for the first time with a booklet that explained its role and activities, and the Iraq disarmament crisis continued (UN weapons inspectors continually found themselves blocked, and President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters); in the ascendant were Microsoft (whose Windows NT 3.1 system was released), trade union UNISON (a merger of the National and Local Government Officers Association (NALGO), the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) and the Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE)), and scientist Faiza Al-Kharafi of Kuwait (the very first woman to hold the presidency of a university in the Middle East); but we bade a fond farewell to Fred Gwynne, aka Herman Munster. In our cinemas: Jurassic Park, Benny & Joon, Super Mario Bros. On telly: Rugrats, the Michael Ball Show and the final episode of Eldorado [the ill-fated soap set around ex-pats in Spain that I adored!].

And what was gracing our charts in the UK this week in July 1993? At #1 was Take That's sexiest moment Pray. Contending their hold were artists including Gabrielle, Haddaway, Chaka Demus & Pliers, M People, UB40, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson and (ahem) Gloria Gaynor. However, this (possibly appropriate for today) number from a group of one-hit-wonders [they spent two weeks at #2 at the end of July, then nothing else] made its debut - the faboo 4 Non Blondes!


Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill
Of hope for a destination
I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood
Of man for whatever that means

And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs,
"What's going on?!"

And I say, "Hey, hey, hey, hey!"
I said, "Hey, what's going on?"
And I say, "Hey, hey, hey, hey!"
I said, "Hey, what's going on?"

And I try, oh, my God, do I try
I try all the time
In this institution
And I pray, oh, my God, do I pray
I pray every single day
For revolution

And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs,
"What's going on?!"

And I say, "Hey, hey, hey, hey!"
I said, "Hey, what's going on?"
And I say, "Hey, hey, hey, hey!"
I said, "Hey, what's going on?"

Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill
Of hope for a destination


Twenty-five years? That's scary.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Pulling the Tab


“He had a face that was so handsome that it didn’t look real. He could have been a composite man created by God … or the devil!” - George Abbott, director of the musical Damn Yankees.
How sad. One of the sexiest stars to come out [excuse the phrase - he eventually did; but not until he published his memoirs in 2005] of the Henry Willson stable in the 50s [alongside the likes of Rock Hudson, Rory Calhoun, Troy Donahue and Robert Wagner], the lovely Tab Hunter has died, a few days short of his 87th birthday.

After the flurry of "dreamboat" roles that made his name, his star declined until the 1980s - when a certain John Waters secured him a role starring opposite none other than Divine in Polyester. After that, his "camp cult icon" status was assured... His aforementioned autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential [its title itself a reference to the Hollywood gossip-rag that attempted to expose his sexuality at the height of his career; a libel lawsuit later, he survived the scandal - all the while maintaining a real-life relationship with Antony Perkins] was even made into a film in its own right by his own long-term partner (and director of Tab's other Divine collaboration, Lust in the Dust) Allan Glaser.


By all accounts a genuinely lovely man, he will be missed for all that - but by heavens, he truly was gorgeous!











RIP Tab Hunter (born Arthur Gelien, 11th July 1931 - 9th July 2018).

Read my previous blog about Tab Hunter.