Thursday, 31 January 2013

Till I come marching home



Gone to Fabulon - Patty Andrews, last of the Sisters, has died aged 94.



RIP.

Patti Andrews obituary in the Guardian

Guapos del día



To add a little spice to our continuing countdown to Spain, on this penultimate working day before we venture to the sunshine here's some lovely boys dancing to Melody y Los Vivancos El Baile de los Gorilas.

And why not?



I doubt we'll see anything like this - or in fact anything less than two decades older than these delightful guapos - but we live in hope.

We got elegance



And so, the season of Patron Saints' birthdays continues. Today it is the turn of showbiz living legend Carol Channing to blow out the (92!) candles.

We adore the woman so much! As an early present for his birthday this year (we're in Spain for the actual date), I even bought Madam Arcati a copy of a West End theatre programme signed by Miss Channing ("...with Her 10 Stout-Hearted Men").



By way of a tribute, here Miss Channing is teamed up with one of her favourite collaborators the unstoppable Miss Pearl Bailey, in their Broadway show:



When she finally leaves us (as dear Miss Bailey already has), there will never be another...

Carol Channing

A documentary of her life Carol Channing: Larger Than Life is now available on DVD. [Hint. Hint.]

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Como si fuera esta noche



A countdown to our holiday in Spain would be incomplete without the incomparable Sara Montiel...



A girl after our own hearts!

Sara Montiel official website

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Panda Bond-age, toilet sex, mysticism, Maud Adams and homemade porn







Oh, how we look forward to "London's peerless gay literary salon" Polari! Last night John-John, little Tony, Paul, Ange and I joined regulars Val Lee (as "Patsy Stone"), the lovely John McCullough, (a very hungover) Alex Hopkins, Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris [to whom I am eternally indebted for many of the photos on this page, see her website], DJ Connell, Toby Tobes, Stuart Wakefield, Peter Daniels and many more in a packed house for the first event of 2013, and what a corker our master of ceremonies Paul Burston had assembled yet again.





Dressed as half-James Bond and half-Panda(!!), Mr B took to the stage in jubilant mood - he has several bits of good news to announce about Polari later in the year apparently - to welcome our largely sex-themed readers for the evening.



Opening the show was dirty-story-writer Eric Karl Anderson (author of the award-winning Enough and editor of the sadly-demised Chroma Gay Journal). His tale of a married man's secretive liaisons with men at a beachside "cottage" (that's "tea-room" to the Yanks) - and in particular the horny encounter with a rent boy who styled himself on James Dean - was at once familiar to many of us in the audience, and also rather engaging. We have had the pleasure of Mr Anderson before (oo-er) at a previous Polari Porn Night way back in July 2009, and we were extremely pleased to see him again. He is such a great writer.



Miss Suzi Feay is a familiar and long-serving supporter of Polari, and latterly has turned her writing talents away from the world of journalism to her own fiction. And what fab stuff it is, too! Choosing a bit of a filthy one to suite the emerging trend of the evening, Suzi read part of her tale of the intertwining (on occasion physically, on the loo) relationships of a bizarre family gathering - fading 60s nude model matriarch, errant and shifltess son, his long-suffering girlfiend and her own teenage son. Suffice to say, although Miss Feay's works remain stubbornly unpublished even on the web, when you do get to read them in print the phrase "Never trust a man with icy spunk" will remain with you forever!





Concluding the tryptych in the first half was the enigmatic artist, performer and writer Qasim Riza Shaheen. How does one adequately sum him up? Difficult, sometimes impenetrably so, his interwoven memoirs and mystical fantasy scenarios left us pleasantly soothed and slightly dazed at the same time. Charming stuff, but as he admits, he usually "hides" behind a performance persona, and he felt somewhat exposed being himself. I guess that in order to get the full impact, one needs the costumes and artistry to complete the wheel...



With the audience settled after the fag break, while stroking his pussy menacingly Mr Burston gave a warm welcome to an unexpected and very entertaining reader indeed, as onto the stage came the fabulous Welsh poet, comedian and all-round filth-meister Mel Jones (her own show is called "Friggers of Speech" up the road from us in Crouch End, and she signed a copy of her book for our Paul with the words "Lick my labs"!).



She performed not only her crowning glory Mmmm - a poem that won her top prize in a fiendish pub challenge to write on the theme of bestiality, using only words that begin with "M" - she also read us these two:

You’re Sexy
I don’t try to keep up with the ladies
As they wax, colour, peel and curl
I don’t bother much with the feminine
Or the guff about being a girl
It seems such a waste of resources
All that suffering’s a terrible pity
Especially when you consider the thought
That, generally, men ain’t that picky
They like to suggest that they’d only
Consider a model or WAG
When actually there’s not a woman alive
That some bloke or other won’t shag
It’s a blatantly sexist assertion
But that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong
All that alpha male crap masks the obvious fact
That we’ve had the power all along
They’re desperate to stop women twigging
They’d fuck a frog if it stopped hopping
You don’t have to try to entice a straight guy
You’re sexy just doing the shopping
You’re sexy because you’re a woman
With, or without, teeth or hair
You’re the unconquered peak of the mountain
You’re sexy – because you are there
You’re sexy from every perspective
Each crevice and fold a delight
You’re sexy with scars, you’d be sexy with SARS
Men don’t put up much of a fight
So girls, ditch the worry and torment
Buy some cake and the next dress size up
You could be ninety-three, 30 stone, reek of pee
I guarantee – you’d get a fuck


Porn
I don't like Californian porn,
That bland, soulless performance
Where all the girls are perfect tens
And the cocks are all enormous

And no one ever drops a fart
Or laughs, or has a breather
And everybody comes on time
(Which doesn't happen either)

It's not that I don't like a wank
Unless I'm ill or sad
And if a porno gets me off
I don't think that's so bad

But I prefer the amateur
It's much more masturbatory
And knocks the spots off money-shots
False tits and other fakery

My problem with that Hollywood stuff's
Not just that it's appalling
In pandering to cruel stereotypes -
It's all so fucking boring

Let's see some real people, please
With their joyous imperfections
Their bold patches and wobbly bits
And minor skin infections

Let's turn to porn that's made with love
For fun, and freely shared
With every kind of body you could think of
If you dared

Let's celebrate each size and shape
In a porno jamboree
Let's watch a paraplegic romp
With a horny amputee

The more we break from Hollywood fake
The more its power diminishes
And shouldn't we be waging war
On fascist body images?

So let's hear it for homemade porn
The quirky and erratic
It's not got everybody's vote
But it's fucking democratic!


A difficult act to follow, for sure.



Rising to that challenge - and satisfying the "Bond" segment rather than the "smut" theme, Mr Mark O'Connell read for us some extracts from his well-reviewed Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan - described by one critic as "a love-letter to James Bond, Duran Duran title songs and bolting down your tea quick enough to watch Roger Moore falling out of a plane without a parachute" - which apparently has a foreword by Mark Gatiss and an addendum by Maud Adams (from Octopussy).

The story revolves around our hero's tranference of childish interest in the likes of Star Wars and superheroes in the 80s to a lifelong obsession with all things James Bond. Beautifully written, Mr O'Connell captures the parallel weird feelings of puberty as experienced by an emerging gay teen, and the thrill of finding out that your granddad once chauffeured Cubby Brocolli around!

Superb. We loved it, as always - the readers, the buzz, the view from the top of the Royal Festival Hall... and the gossip.



I'm quite upset at the fact I will likely miss next month's outing - it clashes with a one-off event at the quirky and wondrous Petrie Museum of Egyptology for LGBT History Month [more about that soon] featuring the legend that is Bette Bourne! It's like the old adage about London buses - you wait ages for a first-class intelligent gay-themed evening's entertainment, and then two come along, all at once.

The next Polari is on Tuesday 26th February, and features Clare Summerskill, Gerry Potter, John McCullough, Marion Husband and Beatrice Hitchman.

Holiday wear



Continuing our countdown to our jaunt to Spain this weekend, I just wanted to share the type of outfit we will undoubtedly be wearing...



The singer is Carmen Sevilla, another of those classic long-lost divas we love to discover. She was one of the most popular stars of Spanish film in the 50s, and is apparently alive and until recently had her own TV series, although rumour has it that she retired due to the onset of Alzheimers. How sad.

Monday, 28 January 2013

New classy publication



From the Daily Mash. Who else?

Ponerte yo el sombrero



Another weekend is over too soon; but for a change I am not in such a foul mood, as we continue the ever-shortening countdown to our well overdue holiday in Spain. Just five more days of drudgery and we'll be celebrating!

So, on this last Tacky Music Monday before we disappear to the sun, here for your delectation is something that genuinely, 100%, sums up tackiness in all its glory - it's Spain's answer to Scooch (crossed with "The Only Way Is Essex", perhaps), the tremendously talented La Fiesta with La Canción del Velero:



I have absolutely no further information on this combo. I am sure you are distraught.

Have a great week, dear reader!

[Thanks to Madam Arcati for this one!]

Sunday, 27 January 2013

La más grande



Continuing our countdown to Spain here at Dolores Delargo Towers, I think we are well overdue a healthy dose of Hispanic diva-ness!

Fulfilling that need with a camp magnificence unequalled by any of her compatriots, here's the utterly splendid, the late and dearly-missed Rocio Jurado.

Every performance she did had more histrionics than any performer this side of Dame Shirley Bassey, and it is unsurprising that she is worshipped by the gays of Spain...

Como las alas al viento:


Such is the adulation Spain has for her, where we are staying in Benalmadena even has an Avenida named in honour of Señorita Jurado. We curtsey every time we see the sign. [Camp, us..?]

María del Rocío Trinidad Mohedano Jurado (18th September 1946 – 1st June 2006)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

All that's missing is the sea







It's another fabulous at 50 birthday today - none other than "the quiet one" in Wham!, Mr Andrew Ridgeley...

In my opinion, he was undoubtedly "the pretty one" of the boys, too - Mr Kyriacos Panayiotou always struggled deperately to disguise his fat Greek genes to the point of shaving his chest; a lot - whereas Mr Ridgeley just pouted. At me.





To celebrate this scary milestone, and in keeping with my continuing countdown to our holiday this time next week, here are the Wham! boys wearing very little clothing, basking in the excesses of Club Tropicana...

What more do you need?



[Just one more week...]

Andrew Ridgeley - The Better Half of Wham! site

Friday, 25 January 2013

Haggis and showgirls


Miss Reader and Mr Burns

For any of my Scottish chums out there, and in recognition of the fact that it is Burns Night (as far as I can see, any excuse to drink whisky and eat haggis to brighten the gloomy days of January), here's our eternal fave Miss Eddi Reader and her take on the great poet's My Love is Like a Red Red Rose:



However, just in case anyone suspects I'm getting too sentimental in my old age, it is this song (among her solo work) for which I love Eddi Reader the most, and is much more in keeping with my usual diet of campery.

One of the original gay anthems (Mr Gene Pitney knew exactly what he meant to convey with this song when he made it his own - and it was the final song he performed at his final show, at Cardiff's St. David's Hall in April 2006, before his death), Miss Reader and her showgirls take it to a higher camp level altogether - it's A Town Without Pity, and it's a bit of an anthem here at Dolores Delargo Towers:



When you're young and so in love as we
And bewildered by the world we see
Why do people hurt us so
Only those in love would know
What a town without pity can do

If we stop to gaze upon a star
People talk about how bad we are
Ours is not an easy age
We're like tigers in a cage
What a town without pity can do

The young have problems, many problems
We need an understanding heart
Why don't they help us, try and help us
Before this clay and granite planet falls apart

Take these eager lips and hold me fast
I'm afraid this kind of joy can't last
How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

No, it isn't very pretty what a town without pity can do


Eddi Reader official website

My blog on Miss Reader's birthday last year

Chica-chica-bum-cheek



It's the end of a horrible week, yet... it's pay day(!), it's warming up (although with rain forecast), we have friends popping in tomorrow night for a few bevvies for an early celebration of Madame Arcati's birthday, and - we're in Spain a week tomorrow!

Just one more week...

Typically, I always love to have a countdown to exciting events, and that especially means holidays! So let us begin with one of España's finest gay-not-gay entertainers, the (once) gorgeous Señor Miguel Bosé - who has (unsurprisingly) featured here before - and the disco-tastic Shoot Me in the Back from 1979. [He apparently admits to being bisexual (ha ha)...]



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Miguel Bosé is so amazingly popular in Spain he has produced not one, but two albums of his hits, re-recorded in duets with estimable international superstars such as Shakira, Ricky Martin, Fangoria, Ivete Sangalo, Michael Stipe from R.E.M. and even Penelope Cruz.

Miguel Bosé on Wikipedia

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Domestic harmony



As we continue to wait - for pay day, for our holiday, for the ludicrousness of the Fashion Weeks to start again, for Cher's new video, for the pound to rally against the Euro, for the snow to finally melt, It's time for the interlude...



(music by Francy Boland Orchestra - Claudia)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The original razzle-dazzler



It's "diva season"! Over at the Museum of Camp, we celebrate the 85th birthday of the iconic Jeanne Moreau. Here, more to our razzle dazzle nature, we celebrate the 80th birthday of another, far different diva - Miss Chita Rivera!

Needless to say, we celebrate her often, so without further ado...

...here she is in the estimable company of Miss Gwen Verdon to perform two numbers from her ground-breaking show Chicago - All That Jazz and Nowadays:


...and here she is, spectacularly solo in the uber-camp title number from another classic she made her own, Kiss of the Spiderwoman:


We adore her.

Chita Rivera official website

Thought for the day



We have to wait till Friday for payday.



This has been the longest wait of my life...

Puppini Sisters official site

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I realise now nothing is new



Another timeslip moment...

Is it really thirty years since the little band of sisters known as The Belle Stars brightened up the chart with their breezy brand of pop? Theirs was not the longest-lasting of pop careers, admittedly, but it is good to hear them again.

Here's Jennie, Sarah-Jane, Stella, Lesley, Judy, Miranda and Clare with the rather fab Sign of the Times:



As I lie here thinking of you
I realize that nothing is new
Lying in my bed thinking of you
I realize nothing is new
You say you love me but want success
I say you're lying, nothing has changed

This is the sign of the times
Piece of more to come
This is the sign of the times
Time to be alone
This is the sign of the times
Piece of more to come
This is the sign of the times
Time to be alone

We're strong in bed
You're weak in love
You give me nothing
More than a shove
I walk alone now thinking of you
I realise now nothing is new

This is the sign of the times
Piece of more to come
This is the sign of the times
Time to be alone
This is the sign of the times (The sign of the times)
Piece of more to come
This is the sign of the times
Time to be alone

Why do we go on with this useless love-affair?
When it seems to me that you don't really care
I realize now nothing is new
Time to live my life without you, without you, without you
I sit alone now wondering about you
I'm living my life, what do you do?
You say you want me but need success
I want your love boy, want nothing less

This is the sign of the times (The sign of the times)
Piece of more to come
This is the sign of the times
Time to be alone
This is the sign of the times (The sign of the times)
Piece of more to come
This is the sign of the times
Time to be alone


Belle Stars on Wikipedia

Monday, 21 January 2013

A little vulgarity is a thoroughly good thing



"I do not lurk. I ponce about, cause trouble, bring light and happiness to the world and generally behave with impeccable (if misplaced) self-assurance."

"Success has gone to my stomach".

"Grumbling should never be well-mannered or under control. It should be full-blooded. It should be rampant."

"If you want art, don't mess about with movies. Buy a Picasso."

"A little vulgarity is a thoroughly good thing."


RIP Michael Winner, film director, bon viveur, food critic (30th October 1935 - 21st January 2013)

Charo's friend is a cow



It's cold, it's snowing, it's miserable. We managed to get to and from Brighton to see Madame Arcati's family despite every obstacle being put in our path on Saturday. Now begins another epic battle, as we try and rouse something resembling enthusiasm to leave the warmth and comfort of home for yet another week in work...

Never mind, at least we have a well-deserved week's holiday in Spain to look forward to - and there are only another two weeks to go!

With that joyful thought in mind, and to brighten up our lives on this Tacky Music Monday, here's the ever-wonderful Charo (who celebrated her 62nd birthday last week) and her plea to her homeland to Dance, Don't Bullfight!:



Charo apparently adopted little Manolo, but has had to give him up, as her neighbours complained.

Charo official website

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Don't stop like the hands of time



We celebrated the first of this year's fabulous at 50 birthdays yesterday [I only use that phrase because it will be my turn in August. Gulp.] - Miss Caron Wheeler, the silky-smooth-voiced lead singer of one of the essential parts of any 80s record collection, Soul II Soul.

It's almost a double celebration as this time next week Miss Wheeler's Soul II Soul-mate (geddit?) Jazzie B also reaches his half century...

Time methinks for a timeslip moment, as we hurtle back twenty-four years for this all-time classic - Keep On Movin':



Ah, memories...

Caron Wheeler is reportedly back in the recording studio with Jazzie B recording tracks for a new Soul II Soul album.

Soul II Soul official website

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow, Pauline Fowler and go-go girls



John-John, Hils, Crog, JB and I braved the snow yesterday to cross London for a tour of the soon-to-be-closed BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane. It was an absorbing (and emotional, given the wealth of memories associated with this unique building) journey through the corridors, studios and dressing rooms that will very soon be stripped out as the property becomes a new hotel complex.

We saw an amazing cornucopia of memorabilia, as you might expect...


Pauline Fowler's housecoat

Of course, the day did not end there, as John-John and I ended up at the "Elephant's Graveyard" (The City of Quebec) till the wee small hours. Needless to say I am not my shining best this morning, as Madam Arcati and I prepare to make another precipitous journey through the blizzards to visit his family in Brighton today.

We need some cheesy lounge music to wend us on our way, methinks.

Staccato - The Eliminators:


Visit Uncle Jerry's Pad for more lounge classics.

Friday, 18 January 2013

I'm gonna burst your bubble, the fun has just begun



Yesterday was not just Betty White Day; it was also the 86th anniversary of the birth of yet another of our cherished Patron Saints (it's certainly the month for them!) - Miss Eartha Kitt...

Her repertoire - inevitably playing the vamp - veered from cabaret to Broadway to chanson, and, eventually (thanks once again to the penchant of 80s British electro-Hi-NRG groups to team up with gay icons) to dance music.

To round off this chilly and miserable week, here's a shining example of the latter, as Miss Kitt teams up with with the Bronski Beat boys on the fantabulosa Cha Cha Heels:



I'm all dressed up and ready to fall in love.
Are you ready heels? Start stomping!

Here I am looking for crime I'm looking for some action
What I have a million times will give you satisfaction
So don't you mess around with me you won't know what to do
'Cause I'll put on my cha cha heels and walk all over you.

Gimme gimme cha cha heels.
All I want is cha cha heels
Gimme gimme cha cha heels
If I don't get my cha cha heels
I'll walk all over you.

Dressed up just for trouble to do what must be done
I'm gonna burst your bubble, the fun has just begun
So don't you mess around with me you won't know what to do
'Cause I'll put on my cha cha heels and walk all over you.

Gimme gimme cha cha heels.
All I want is cha cha heels
Gimme gimme cha cha heels
If I don't get my cha cha heels
I'll walk all over you.

I'm all dressed up and ready to fall in love!
I'm all dressed up. Gimme Gimme Gimme!

Going back to Boise I'm itching for a fight
I'm looking for a lover who loves my dynamite
So don't you mess around with me you won't know what to do
'Cause I'll put on my cha cha heels and walk all over you.


If that doesn't lift your spirits, there is no hope. Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good weekend...

Eartha Kitt is (once more) our newest "exhibit" in the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp.

Even more Eartha.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Pick-up line of the day

I rock your world with my cheesecake











It's another Betty White Day!

The oldest swinger of them all is 91 today. Bow down before her magnificence...



Betty White (born 17th January 1922)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Come on and hear, come on and hear



It's Ethel Merman's birthday, bitches!

One of our absolute top Patron Saints here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the fabulous Miss Zimmerman could belt out the telephone directory and it would still have more class and panache than any number of what sadly pass for "singers" these days...

To celebrate her 105th anniversary, I have found a real treat. With an added bonus at the end - courtesy of another of our icons Miss Bea Lillie - here Ethel tackles the songs of old Dixie. With her on side, I dare say the southern States might have won the American Civil War!

A Ragtime Melody - Alexander's Ragtime Band, Sweet Georgia Brown, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, After You've Gone, Way Down Yonder In New Orleans:



Inevitably, I have blogged about her many times over the years...

Ethel Merman (16th January 1908 - 15th February 1984)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nipper is dead?



Yet another High Street institution is going to the wall...

Unlike Jessops camera stores, or JJB Sports, Comet Electrical, cheap clothes shop Peacock's and the like that have all gone recently - but more in the vein of the death of "Good Old Woolies" (Woolworths) - HMV music stores are deeply imbued with fond memories. Where else (when we had money) could we envelop ourselves in an entire concert-hall-sized room full of our kind of "easy listening" CDs, or while away several hours just browsing through the exotic and the unknown music of all the continents of the world?

Amazon and the inevitable iTunes may have displaced this sensual experience in the eyes (and ears) of a majority of music buyers, but I cannot believe that there could be a substitute for just walking past a shelf, spotting a familiar photo, and shrieking "it's on CD - at last!" when a cherished old vinyl album appears in silver plastic form for the first time!

Call me a Luddite if you like, but I like to handle my music in physical format. The loss of HMV is not just the "march of progress", it is another significant part of my life's pleasures that will be annihilated forever, and I don't like that.

HMV goes into administration

His Master's Voice (HMV) on Wikipedia

Till you come home once more





Today marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of the very beautiful "Dear Old Ivor" Novello, one of the most talented stars of the 20th century - actor, composer, singer, dramatist, and "matinee idol", he could do no wrong in the eyes of the establishment, despite his outrageous gay lifestyle and frequent high-ranking conquests (that allegedly included Winston Churchill!)

This prestigious anniversary gives me a perfect excuse to feature our most beloved interpreters of his music, the dearly missed Hinge and Bracket. Who else?

First, their rousing take on "The Elopement" from Perchance to Dream:



And here, the "Dear Ladies" crack up with the emotion of Mr Novello's classic We'll Gather Lilacs:



We'll never see their like again.

My previous blog about Ivor Novello

Ivor Novello (15th January 1893 - 6th March 1951)

My previous blog about Hinge and Bracket

Hinge and Bracket official website

Monday, 14 January 2013

A real tomato



Oh, Mondays. How we love them. How we love the office.

Hey ho, I'm with the marvellous Miss Virginia O'Brien on this Tacky Music Monday - Bring on those Wonderful Men, and let's forget about work!



All this yap-yap-yap
About glorifying dames
Leaves me like a cold potato
I'd much rather be
With a handsome he
Like Van Johnson who's a real tomato

For a date with Fred MacMurray
You can bet your life I'd hurry
And a guy like Mischa Auer
Has me completely in his power

In fact most any man I've seen
Is the only man for me

Bring on those wonderful men
Bring me an elegant guy
A soldier or sailor
A Gable or Taylor
A short or a tall one
I just wanna call one
My own, private wonderful he

Bring what you can to me
Bring me a guy to pin up
Bring me a prince on a horse
A dark or a light one
I just want to sight one
Who'll call me his missis
And give with the kisses
I'm afraid I've a terrible yen
For those wonderful M-E-N

Amor, Amor
There must be someone for me
But what's he waiting for?
No hope, no soap
If he don't appear
I fear I'm at the end of my rope

Oh, bring on a male who ain't frail
Bring on a man from a cave
Someone to relax with
And pay income tax with
And though he's from hunger
I'm not getting younger
And I'd like to get on with my plan
To glorify the American man

I know the men are few
But what's a gal to do?
I'll get a man before I'm through
Hey, you in the third row:
Bring on those wonderful men!


Ziegfeld Follies on IMDB