Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ice Cream, anyone?



It's Tuesday, the long weekend has flown by (as always when you haven't won the Lottery!), and I need cheering up.

Today's little discovery may well be an absolute heap of bo***cks of a "song", but my dears! The video is divine....

Monday, 30 August 2010

Rollin', rollin'...



It may be a blustery Bank Holiday, but any Monday is Tacky Music Monday - especially when we are "treated" to none other than Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) doing Tina Turner impressions... Amazing isn't the word! Enjoy!



It's all part of her Rock'n'Roll Fantasy, apparently.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

A smorgasbord of 80s talent returns!



It's as if the 90s and the noughties never happened - we have excellent new music releases this month from Donna Summer, Kim Wilde, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Andy Bell! A feast of nostalgia...Enjoy!

Donna Summer - To Paris With Love:


Kim Wilde - Lights Down Low:


OMD - If You Want It:


Andy Bell - Non-Stop:

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue


One of our fabled "*0s album cover" recreations

I thought I'd share a few of the tracks we played at our fab party at Dolores Delargo Towers last night (an eclectic mix, some might say)...

Something old (Kylie):



Something new (Ysa Ferrer):



Something borrowed (Hurts):



Something blue (Diva Avari):



And we love them all!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Celebrate!

Having had no internet TV or phone for 24 hours since the demon gnomes of Virgin Media cocked up good and proper (restored this evening - hoorah!), we are in the middle of our party and couldn't resist posting this...

Friday, 27 August 2010

Not for Church Folk



Thank heavens, a long Bank Holiday weekend is almost upon us! The weather is not predicted to be too bad either - good for our (second) housewarming party.

To round off the recurring theme of decadence that has woven its way into this week's blogs here at Dolores Delargo Towers, who better than the magnificent potty-mouthed Soul diva Miss Millie Jackson? Thank Disco it's Friday!



With albums with titles such as Feelin' Bitchy, E.S.P. (Extra Sexual Persuasion) and Not for Church Folk, she carved herself a singular niche as one helluva sassy lady! Famously slagged off by a critic for swearing too much on stage (her audiences loved it!), Miss Jackson came up with this elegant response...



Millie Jackson website

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Logan's run?



Staying (more or less) on the recurrent theme of decadence this week, I feel it is time to celebrate one of our very own home-grown flamboyant purveyors of that genre, Mr Andrew Logan.

The man who was the creative influence on Derek Jarman, whose studios were the early home of Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols, and creator of the hugely decadent Alternative Miss World, is also an accomplished artist in his own right.

Mr Logan has exhibited his sculptures and jewellery all over the world including in Saint Petersburg in Russia, in Beverly Hills and San Dieqo, in Oxford, in the V&A and in his own museum on the Welsh borders (the very first to a living artist), and even in Heathrow Airport!

Let us celebrate this true British eccentric genius with a little insight into "Loganland"...



And here is some (fuzzy) footage of the Alternative Miss World 2009 event:



Andrew Logan website

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Madame Royale, indeed

Just another quiet evening at home here at Dolores Delargo Towers...



Shaken, not stirred



"I admit I'm being paid well, but it's no more than I deserve. After all, I've been screwed more times than a hooker."

Happy 80th birthday today to Scotland's greatest export, Sir Thomas Sean Connery!

The original (and some may argue, the best) James Bond, Mr Connery in fact began his career as a bodybuilder and model, before being talent-spotted for the movies.



Right from the start, his tough Edinburgh upbringing became the talk of the gossip columns, not least for the occasion when he knocked out the gangster boyfriend of one of his early co-stars Lana Turner, and his womanising (and views on women in general) were controversial.

Nevertheless, it seems that many women (and queens) of my acquaintance would gladly fall at the great man's feet given half a chance. The sexiness of Sean Connery has somewhat eluded me personally, I have to admit - but if I were Natalie Wood in this clip from his first starring role in the film Darby O'Gill and the Little People and I had stumbled across him in the woods, I think I would have done more than listen to him sing...

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Some do the deed with many tears, and some without a sigh



It is (I believe) the ultimate aspiration of the residents of Dolores Delargo Towers II to achieve true decadence - a state of mind in which, ultimately, nothing matters except gratification. First, of course, we have to win the Lottery or achieve some other means to afford that luxury!

However, if we can't achieve it just yet, let us instead indulge in the never-to-be-repeated experience of Rainer Werner Fassbinder vs Jean Genet vs Jeanne Moreau vs Brad Davis, in a wonderful clip from that incredibly decadent movie Querelle.

This film caused a sensation on its release way back in this week in 1982, for its overtly gay content as much as anything else.

In an era when my own closet doors were only just creaking open, oh! how I wanted to be in touch with this homoerotic high-camp Technicolour world...



For the more literary amongst you - yes, that strange ditty Mme Moreau sings is indeed an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol...

All about Querelle on IMDB

Monday, 23 August 2010

The plastic Jackson



It's raining, it's back to work time, and we are all in need of cheering up.

On this Tacky Music Monday, I am overjoyed to bring you this (unintentionally) hilarious clip of the supremely talented [cough!] LaToya Jackson making a "live" appearance on some dreadfully tacky Spanish TV show. How appropriate! It makes you wonder why this woman has never, ever had a chart hit... Enjoy!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

New York, this is your last chance!


"My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York in December, 1941. I've always felt responsible for World War II. The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food. I had a bad puberty; it lasted 17 years. I'm a high school graduate. I went to art school. My entrance exam was on a book of matches. I decided to move out of the house when I was 24; my mother still refers to this as the time I ran away from home. Eventually I ran to Minneapolis, where it's cold, and I figured I'd keep better. Now I'm back in Manhattan. New York, this is your last chance!"
Who'd have thought it? Rhoda is seventy!

Many happy returns to actress Valerie Harper, who cheered up the masses in the 1970s as Rhoda, her wise-cracking spin-off from the Mary Tyler Moore Show, ably supported by the wonderful Julie Kavner (famous now as the voice of Marge Simpson) who played sister Brenda, and household favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers Nancy Walker as the mother.

As with so many American comedies, it does not bear a repeat viewing these days as the "laughter track" just becomes an absolute irritant (it was fine when I was a kid, as was Taxi, Happy Days and Mork & Mindy, all of them unwatchable now if ever they are repeated).

Despite a few cameo roles on TV (in such shows as Melrose Place and Sex in the City), Miss Harper tends to concentrate mainly on the stage these days, most notably her recent Tony award-nominated role portraying Tallulah Bankhead in a one-woman show, which only closed this year. Happy birthday to a true trooper!



Valerie Harper om Wikipedia

Saturday, 21 August 2010

The face of an angel...



We went to Celine & Nite Wreckage album launch last night. Well I say launch, more of a melée, really - it was held in the tiny Alaska Studios next to Pleasuredrome sauna in Waterloo, and it was so hot we might as well have been in that salubrious venue!

John-John and I met up with Ange and another fan Drew at Waterloo Station, dressed up for canapés and cocktails, not quite knowing what to expect. The venue itself is like Pan's Labyrinth (but with dishwasher and speakers), but there was copious quantities of free champers available, so that was OK.

We spotted a few faded 80s celebs, including Steve Strange, Philip Sallon, Martin Rushent and Tim and Mo (aka Tik and Tok), and spoke to a (very nervous) Celine before the show took off.



Packed into a dungeon-like performance space - with loads of spotty yoofs who obviously just come along to see any old band, regardless - Celine gave a tonsil-wrenching performance of fab numbers from the album Evolution? Revolution!

Among the numbers we spotted the new single Popabawa and one of my faves Take Your Money and Run - which everyone agrees sounds like an Ian Dury song. We were blown away! Unfortunately we needed oxygen as well as music, so we headed off fairly quickly to the nearest pub for a refresher, before dispersing (after congratulating Dave on the set).

An interesting evening, and one I am very glad to have gone to.

Here's a clip of Celine & Nite Wreckage on stage in Germany:



And here is a song that I couldn't get out of my head after seeing Tik and Tok in the flesh again after thirty years - their performance as part of the wonderful (and rumoured to be re-forming) Shock!



Celine and Nite Wreckage

Friday, 20 August 2010

I haven't stopped dancing yet



It's the weekend at last, and I am looking forward to attending the launch of the lovely Celine's new album tonight. We heard a couple of the tracks live at Polari last year, and several are available here - Celine & Nite Wreckage

Meanwhile, here at Dolores Delargo Towers we always celebrate the end of the week on an up-beat note - Thank Disco It's Friday!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

"I'm not overweight. I'm just nine inches too short."



Yesterday would have been the 90th birthday of the wonderful Shelley Winters.

Although we will forever have an image embedded in our hearts of the larger lady actress (and chat show guest), and her iconic role as the brave former swimmer who dies rescuing people in The Poseidon Adventure, Miss Winters was much much more than that. Her long movie career began in the 1940s, when she was mainly cast as the moll or the victim admittedly, but her acting talents shone through and she received her first Oscar nomination for A Place in the Sun in 1951.

Miss Winters secured many notable lead roles in her fifty-year career alongside such luminaries as James Stewart, Robert Mitchum, Michael Caine, James Mason and Ronald Coleman, had affairs with William Holden, Sean Connery, Burt Lancaster and Marlon Brando, and won Oscars for her performance in The Diary of Anne Frank and A Patch Of Blue. Never afraid of self-mockery, she also did her fair share of daft B-movie parts, and in later life she tap-danced in Stepping Out and even appeared as Roseanne's grandmother!

And here's a rare thing - she sang, too!



Shelley Winters on IBDB

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A man that smells like cocoa butter and cash



Sheer divine decadence! It's the new one by the Scissor Sisters! I'd do Jake, any which way...



Dancing on the speakers
Are you peeking with the tweakers
Bigots and breeders on the scene
And love don't last forever
Sso get your shit together
Open arms are never worth the scene

Oh oh oh
Oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh

I don't need a doctor
Just a simple look or garter
To slide to my side sociably
No don't go commitment
When I receive a shipment
Oh I need express delivery

Any which way, any which way,
You better take me, any which way you can
Any which way, any which way,
You better take me, any which way you can

You don't need reservations
No identification
To give me your relations
Sting me like a bee!

Oh I want you to funk me
Your battleship has sunk me
Dip me and you dunk me
Set my body free

Any which way, any which way,
You better take me, any which way you can
Any which way, any which way,
You better take me, any which way you can

You know baby
When I was taking my pantyhose out of their egg this evening
I thought I'm going to find that man
With the right shade of bottle tan,
A man that smells like cocoa butter and cash.

Take my anyway you like it
In front of the fireplace
In front of your yacht
In front of my parents.
I don't give a damn baby
Just take me!

Any which way, any which way,
You better take me, any which way you can
Any which way, any which way,
You better take me, any which way you can

Aan De Amsterdamse Grachten



We had a fantastic time in Amsterdam on the weekend!

This is not just any old city, you know! It is a place I have paid due homage to for twenty years, and for very good reason,. The most relaxing and chilled-out place on the planet (with or withouth the herbals - which I don't do anymore, not wanting to waste an entire three night stay!), this visit paid us back in spades...

We may have missed Amsterdam Pride (which was apparently a complete washout, weather-wise), but we managed to catch the Hartjesdag festival in the Zeedijk, the oldest area of the city. "Hearts Day" is an annual restoration of an ancient carnival from the early days of Dutch independence, where men dressed as women and women dressed as men for some reason lost in the mists of time. Banned under the Nazis needless to say, it was revived a few years back and is now fully celebrated with style by the local gay scene...



We had bearded nuns and a whole gamut of demi-drag-clad tall people (Amsterdam being the home of giants, the sight of fully-grown blokes in heels, big wigs and moustaches is quite scary), and, best of all - opera singers regaling the audience from upstairs pub windows! A remarkable and unforgettable experience, indeed.



On the Sunday we found ourselves down the Zeedijk again, but this time to sample the delights of Europe's oldest gay bar, Cafe 't Mandje (read my blog last year for a potted history of this wonderful place). Imagine our delight to have found ourselves in the middle of a genuine, old-fashioned Amsterdam sing-a-long afternoon (complete with songbooks - pointless really, as they are mostly in Dutch).



But my word, did we sing!



We rounded off the most perfect Sunday in our favourite gay bar Cafe Rouge, with its wall-to-wall tacky music policy. In all it was so much fun, and over all too soon! We ate all Dutch food, spent lots of time absorbing the atmosphere of the grachten (canals) - and we only had two thunderstorms, the rest of the time being sunny and warm. I can't wait to get back again (shame to wait a year for it!).

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Oh, dear - Madge isn't happy to be 52

Oh dear, indeed...



"Madonna celebrated her 52nd birthday with a sombre party that guests say was more "like a wake" than a showbiz bash," according to the Stuff gossip website...

I wouldn't have minded an invite!



Many (belated) happy returns to our glorious leader!

Monday, 16 August 2010

"Sing me, sing me a chanson. That is the only thing I want!"



We may have only just got our feet back on British soil, after a fantastic weekend in Amsterdam (more on that later no doubt), but I still need to pay due regard to the fact that (for another hour at least) it remains Tacky Music Monday!

And so, it is with great joy that I bring back for your delectation another of those wonderful products of 1970s Dutch pop music, the delightful (and superbly talented, you must agree) Luv!!!

Casanova:


You're the Greatest Lover:


Luv

Friday, 13 August 2010

He's a very nice Prince...



We went to see the marvellous production of Sondheim's Into The Woods at the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park tonight!

Okay, it rained a bit while we were having our picnic before the show. Okay, the seats were a bit damp, and the wind was whipping around us... But the sun shone for the performance - and it was a magnificently enjoyable evening, indeed!

No time for a proper review, unfortunately (suffice to say it was utterly brilliant), and videos of the show so far, but at least we can indulge in the rehearsals...





Normal service will be resumed when we get back from Amsterdam on Monday evening!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Geef mij maar Amsterdam



As we look out on the grey and grizzly weather that greets us this Thursday, wondering exactly how good or bad our trip to the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park is likely to be this evening if it is raining, there is one shining light that keeps us going - our trip to Amsterdam tomorrow!

Why not take a little trip around that beautiful city, in the company of musical legends Johnny Jordaan and Manke Nelis?! Enjoy...

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Oliebollen, anyone?



So the countdown for our annual Amsterdam pilgrimage continues apace - and (having extensively covered some of the traditional music of that lovely city last year) I thought I'd treat us to a little Dutch totty!

Laydeez and gentlemen, please put your hands (or fingers) together for the lovely Jan Smit...



PS Oliebollen ("oily balls") are a traditional Dutch bar snack, by the way...

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Older, and wiser?



I often "do" famous birthdays here at Dolores Delargo Towers. However, alongside the likes of Norma Shearer, Rosanna Arquette and Ronnie Spector, there is another birthday today - MEEEEEEE!

Oh, and the lovely Antonio Banderas, of course - a good enough prezzie for any gay boy, I'd say! Fancy blowing THAT candle...



José Antonio Domínguez Banderas (born 10 August 1960)

Monday, 9 August 2010

I must say, I am amazed...



RIP the beauteous actress Patricia Neal - one-time wife of Roald Dahl and grandmother of Sophie, star of The Day the Earth Stood Still and Hud. She turned down the role of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate and played the original mother in the pilot for The Waltons, had an affair with Gary Cooper and remarkably survived a massive aneurysm (and that rather sensitive episode from her life was played out by Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde in The Patricia Neal Story).



In the annals of history, there are many reasons to celebrate Miss Neal - not least for her role in Breakfast at Tiffany's, in which she played the inimitable Emily Eustace Failenson. And her famous line ("I am a very stylish girl") in that particular film was forever immortalised by Dimitri from Paris in this song - one of our enduring favourites here at Dolores Delargo Towers!



Patricia Neal - a career in clips - article from The Guardian

Patricia Neal on IMDB

Luf will keep us togezzer



After a whirlwind weekend - a fabulous trip to Brighton Pride and a day of putting up light fittings and doing stuff for the house - all of a sudden it's Groundhog Day.

Still, it is after all a Tacky Music Monday, so let us return to the celebrated Queen of tackiness, Charo, to cheer us all up!

All together now...



Captain and Tennille must be cringing.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

"Move on to a perfect stranger. You talk I walk, wanna feel the danger."



We had a fabulous time at Brighton Pride yesterday - the first I have been to in more than a decade, and by far the busiest party in a park I have been to since the heyday of Pride parties on Clapham Common! Madame Acarti was working, but John-John and I travelled down together (on an accessible community transport bus laid on by Islington Council, which made us feel like we should have been licking windows or something). I joked that they had neglected to put the silver shoe on the roof (a la Priscilla), but it got us to Preston Park in plenty of time to wander down London Road and get a good spot to watch the parade, and to meet up with the Madame's niece and nephew Jen and Stu.

The parade itself (although small in comparison to London) was nonetheless a jolly affair - lots of cute council-house-trash totty about, and a mixed crowd of queens, dykes and local families lining the route - in fact it had the atmosphere of a village carnival or fete rather than a political statement... But it was only once the floats and marchers had actually gone past that you realised the scale of the thing, as masses of people crowded the narrow streets heading for the park.

Preston Park is by no means a small venue to host an event of this kind, and the organisers had stated they anticipated 250 to 300,000 people to turn up. In my estimation, at least double that number were there, so it was rather difficult to get around. But get around it we did, taking in all the events on offer, and, despite the inevitable difficulty with phone reception we managed to meet up with Russ, Joe, Paul and Jim, as well as bumping into loads of people from London including Ginger Dave - although we completely failed to meet up with Tony and Grumpy.

It is indeed a very special festival, with a huge dance tent, enormous cabaret tent, wimmin's space, kids' space, loads of food outlets and bars, and a full-size funfair. We had the time of our lives, and still managed to grab a few last drinks in Kemp Town before heading back by train, then ended up at The Stag in Victoria for last knockings!

Having got in at 5am it is unsurprising that I had a bit of a late start today, waking up as Alistair called around for dinner. However, I feel I must post for your delectation the song that was everywhere in Brighton - the next single from Princess Kylie - Get Outta My Way...



A fab day.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Over land, across the seas, we come together in unity...



Today I am off to drizzly Brighton for Pride! It is ten years since I last went (it rained that day too) and I am excited!

Courtesy of the lovely Henry from MySpace I am reminded of this (highly appropriate) song...

Friday, 6 August 2010

"I'm a drama queen, if that's your thing, maybe?"



Many happy returns today to everyone's favourite Spice Girl - the only one of that po-faced lot who appeared to have a sense of humour and a personality - our very own Miss Geri Halliwell!

I love this song - Happy Friday!

Eskimo Disco



It's Friday! It's Brighton Pride tomorrow!

Here are two of my favourite things to celebrate - Pingu and dancing... Thank Disco It's Friday!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

'Cause I am your lady

Remember that spiky-haired warbler Jennifer Rush? She of the unmistakable opening lines to one of the 80s greatest power ballads Power of Love?

The whispers in the morning
Of lovers sleeping tight
Are rolling by like thunder now
As I look in your eyes

I hold on to your body
And feel each move you make
Your voice is warm and tender
A love that I could not forsake

'Cause I am your lady
And you are my man
Whenever you reach for me
I'll do all that I can...

Well she is back - and with a completely new head!



Looking remarkably like some ghastly offspring of Pete Burns and Donatella Versace, Miss Rush has nonetheless come up with a superbly catchy comeback single, Echoes of Love - enjoy!



Jennifer Rush website

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

If they made me a Queen...



Decribed as "the first of the blue-eyed soul singers", today would have been the 70th birthday of one Timi Yuro, the vocal belter who had a string of hits Stateside before (like so many others) her star began to wane in the wake of the Beatles invasion.

Unsurprisingly, with hits such as Hurt!, Permanently Lonely, What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You) and The Love of a Boy, Miss Yuro was given an obituary on her premature death in 2004 by none other than that other "blue-eyed soul" afficionado Morrissey - who described her as his favourite singer!

Here she is with a rather more camp little number for your delectation...



The Official Timi Yuro Association

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A true impresario RIP



Mitch Miller, the bandleader who popularized the sing-along-with-your-TV form of entertainment and launched the careers of Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney has died at age 99.

All together, now!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Any Which Way?

Indeed...

Afternoon delight



We had a marvellous picnic in Regent's Park yesterday to celebrate (albeit slightly prematurely) my and my sister's birthdays. Good friends, occasional sunshine, loads of food, loads of booze, and the music of the fantabulosa Lilian Boutté...

Bandstand

Bliss!





LilianBoutté on MySpace

She certainly can can can



On this Tacky Music Monday, I am hungover after our long and drunken picnic, and there is only one cure!

Laydeez 'n' gentlemen, Miss Abbe Lane and The Tom Hansen Dancers... Enjoy!



Whew.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

"People I employ have the impertinence to call me Myrna Loy"



Always one of my favourite actresses, today would have been the 105th birthday of the marvellous and beautiful Myrna Loy...

Supremely versatile, in her long career from the 20s to the 80s Miss Loy put her considerable talents to a variety of cameo and starring roles on the silver screen, including vamp, villainess, gypsy, moll and chorus girl - playing alongside such huge stars as Rudolph Valentino, Boris Karloff, Ramon Navarro and Clark Gable - before becoming best known as "Hollywood's Perfect Wife" [sic] for her role as Nora in the long running Thin Man movies alongside William Powell.

These were wildly popular throughout the 1940s, and Miss Loy built upon their success with a string of movie and TV appearances with the likes of Cary Grant, Olivia DeHavilland, Robert Mitchum and even in all-star vehicles such as Airport 1975. I love her!

Here, she camps it up for one of the Fu Manchu movies:



Here's the trailer for her screen-stealing role in The Best Years Of Our Lives - for which many people thought she should have at least been nominated for an Oscar:



And here's a short selection of witty scenes from The Thin Man films:



In the end she never received an Oscar nomination for any of her movies, but two years before she died, Miss Loy was awarded the 1991 Academy Honorary Award "for her career achievement". RIP, a great lady.

Myrna Loy on IMDB