Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Totty of the Day









Novak Djokovic.

Expert at ball play, apparently.

Wimbledon Fortnight is underway...

Monday, 29 June 2015

A new kind of swing



Phew, it's a scorcher... Summer is here with a vengeance it seems, and I am taking full advantage of the glorious weather in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers [I'm off an extra day - mainly to recover from the excesses of Saturday's Gay Pride.]

To celebrate the sunshine on this Tacky Music Monday, what better than tomorrow's birthday girl Miss Lena Horne and her Brazilian Boogie?



Have a good week, folks!

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (30th June 1917 – 9th May 2010)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The biggest one I ever saw



It's official! Yesterday was the biggest Gay Pride in London yet, and it remains the largest one-day event in the capital...





"Our Gang" did us proud, adhering to our own theme - chosen by a vote every year when we gather at September's Proms in the Park (to see out "The Season"); giving us a full nine months to shop and prepare - of "white, feathers and diamonds".



We started the day with bacon butties and champagne at our friend Sal's pub before gathering our skirts and heading to our usual "spot" near Selfridges to watch the parade before choosing our moment to join in.



White is a difficult theme to manage. It is an unforgiving hue for anyone "of a certain age" and carrying any kind of additional weight as a consequence. However, I think we looked rather spectacular, if I say so myself. [Even if we were particularly grey with filth from London's streets by the end of it...]



Seemingly half the world was there - even after we joined (at least an hour in), apparently the paraders went on for ages afterwards, and the West End was absolutely packed to the gunnels with party animals. There were more than 250 organised groups taking part in the parade itself; we merely "gate-crashed" it. We celebrated with drag queens, Muslims, Sikhs, Goths, trans men and women, older gays, Scouts, firemen, the Armed Forces, church-goers, gay boxers, footballers, singers, swimmers, lady-boys, masters and slaves, Muscle Marys, pretty "chickens", bankers, policemen and everything else under the rainbow...



...and even Royalty!



It was a stupendous day.



As always.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Step this way it's time for us to play



It's today...

Happy Gay Pride!!!

...so Bring On The Men (as always)!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Nobody cares how you wear your hair, darling!



Despite the fact the internet has been down (again) since 10pm last night here at Dolores Delargo Towers (and I have been off all day, so doubly frustrating - couldn't even go on the interwebs from my desk in the office, as I usually do as a way of alleviating the boredom) we are in an especially chipper mood.

It's not any old weekend looming - it's Gay Xmas Eve!

Tomorrow, we will once more be joining the glittering throng for London's Gay Pride parade, so that means dressing in our finery (I have been working on mine for months now...) and starting the day with a champagne breakfast at around 10.30am - gulp.

There's even more good news for our chums across the pond to make the festivities even more celebratory - for today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry - an historic victory for gay rights activists, indeed!

As is our wont as any weekend looms, there has to be a suitable song to get us in the party mood - and what better than Disco Tex and his Sex-o-Lettes with the immortal command to Get Dancin'?



To quote the "ad-libs" on the full-length version by - surely the campest vocalist of his, if not every generation - Sir Monti Rock III:

America needs you!
We need you to go dance!
We need you to get together, and boogie woogie woogie woogie!
RADAR LOVE IS HERE! THE STAR OF STARS!
THIS IS YOUR NIGHT! THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

No matter how pretty you are,
Nobody cares how you wear your hair, darling!
Just keep doing it!
Do it, baby

You can't think of all the wrong
All the wrong of the world.
You can't think of all the bad things you do.
You just get out.
Get dancing!


And you can't say fairer than that. Happy Pride Eve, everyone - and, of course, Thank Disco It's Friday!!!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

A refreshing treat for Pride?



I can't be the only one who thought it on reading the news today, surely..?
The sperm of all 18-year-olds should be frozen for use in later life, a UK bioethicist has argued.

Dr Kevin Smith, from Abertay University in Dundee, says sperm-banking on the NHS should "become the norm".
Read the whole article on the BBC

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Love on an island surrounded by sea



Continuing our countdown to Gay Xmas (Gay Pride) this Saturday, a fabulous piece of news has lent new impetus to gay rights campaigners in Australia, where equality legislation continues to be stalled by its politicians. From the News.com website:
Pitcairn Island, the world’s smallest nation, has passed a law allowing same-sex marriage after it received unanimous support from the local council.

Pitcairn’s deputy governer Kevin Lynch said the change was suggested by British authorities after England, Wales and Scotland legalised gay marrige last year.

The island is a British Overseas Territory that was settled in 1790.

The amended law now states that “marriage means the union of two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

But curiously, seventh-generation resident Meralda Warren said there were no gay couples wanting to marry.

“It’s not Pitcairn Islanders that were pushing for it,” she said. “But it’s like anything else in the world. It’s happening everywhere else, so why not?”

And “why not?” are the exact words being uttered by Australia’s same-sex marriage advocates left scratching their heads as to how the country is still sitting on its hands while momentum grows around the world.
Come on, Oz!

Here's an appropriate song to celebrate "plucky little Pitcairn" in its momentous decision - Tight Fit and Fantasy Island...



People like me, can always believe in
Love on an island surrounded by sea

We had a dream, of love never liven
But I know that love can't live in a dream

Fantasy Island, you know we have a dream but
True love, holding us together
Star shine, Fantasy Island
You know I wish that we could stay like this forever
Fantasy Island, you know we have a dream but
True love, holding us together
Star shine, Fantasy Island
You know I wish that we could stay like this forever


Camp as tits, dear.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Holy Moses, our hearts are screaming



Another timeslip moment, methinks! And it's an appropriate one for our little countdown to Gay Pride 2015 on Saturday...

For we've landed in June 1991, when, after a hiatus since my first time in 1985 - having recently ditched a very unpleasant five-year relationship (and spent those years without having been anywhere, at all, let alone to anything as "gay" as "Pride"; it's a long story) - I gathered my skirts and trolled off to London with some chums for what I recall as being a very modest, yet hugely entertaining, Pride parade (from Embankment to Kennington Park) and festival (with loads of covert "in-shrubbery action")...

It's the year that Serena McKellen was invited for tea with then-PM John Major to talk about gay rights, and was knighted; there was a lesbian kiss on LA Law; Freddie Mercury died; The Lost Language of Cranes, My Own Private Idaho and Thelma & Louise were on the big screen; and, this very week twenty-four years ago, the mighty duo Erasure were "gaying-up" the upper echelons of the UK charts with the wonderful Chorus:



Go ahead with your dreaming
For what it's worth
Or you'll be stricken bound
Kicking up dirt
For when it's dark
You never know what the night it may bring

Go ahead with your scheming
And shop at home
You'll find treasure
While cooking up bones
But the knife is sharp
You'd better watch that you don't cut your hands

And they covered up the sun
Until the birds had flown away
And the fishes in the sea
Had gone to sleep

Go ahead with your dreaming
For what it's worth
Or you'll be stricken bound
Kicking up dirt
For when it's dark
You never know what the night it may bring

Go ahead with your scheming
And shop at home
You'll find treasure
While cooking up bones
But the knife is sharp
You'd better watch that you don't cut your hands

And they covered up the sun
Until the birds had flown away
And the fishes in the sea
Had gone to sleep

Holy Moses, our hearts are screaming
Souls are lifting only dreaming
We'll be waiting some are praying
For a time when no one's cheating

The sunlight rising over the horizon
Just a distant memory the dawn chorus
Birds singing bells ringing
In our hearts in our minds

And they covered up the sun
Until the birds had flown away
And the fishes in the sea
Had gone to sleep


Ah, memories...

Erasure offical website

Monday, 22 June 2015

'Cause it hangs them up to see someone like you



Another weekend goes by so quickly, and we're now (having passed the mid-summer milestone) on the slow decline... not least because another week in the office starts here. Hey ho! - for me it's a slightly shorter one as, with the festivities of our "Gay Xmas" aka Gay Pride in London to look forward on Saturday, I have Friday off to finalise arrangements...

Kicking off on this Tacky Music Monday our countdown to The Big Day, who better to raise our spirits than "MegaBabs" herself? Here is Miss Barbra Streisand ("and Other Musical Instruments") with a suitably camp medley of Sing A Song and that seminal "gay anthem" Make Your Own Kind Of Music:



Nobody can tell ya
There's only one song worth singin'
They may try and sell ya
'Cause it hangs them up
To see someone like you

But you've gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along

You're gonna be nowhere,
The loneliest kind of lonely
It may be rough goin'
Just to do your thing's
The hardest thing to do

But you've gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along

So if you cannot take my hand
And if you must be goin'
I will understand

You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along


Have a good week, chums!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Where the white jasmine blends with the rose


Calendula and Ostospermum in the gardens at Dolores Delargo Towers

MID-Summer already? It hardly feels like it has started yet...

What better way to celebrate the longest day of the year [it's all downhill from here, folks!] than with not one, but two magnificent voices - Dame Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne - on Lakmé's The Flower Duet? Sigh.



Under the dense canopy
Where the white jasmine
Blends with the rose
On the flowering bank
Laughing at the morning
Come, let us drift down together
Let us gently glide along
With the enchanting flow
Of the fleeing current
On the rippling surface
With a lazy hand
Let us reach the shore
Where the source sleeps
And the bird sings
Under the dense canopy
Under the white jasmine
Let us drift down together


A joy.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Finishing touches



I have been working on the finishing touches to next week's Gay Pride outfit - and there's never enough diamanté to go round...

Anyhow, the job will be completed this weekend - of that I am determined!

And here's an appropriate Sondheim number, sung by the lovely Mandy Patinkin, to help me along in my task:



Finishing the hat,
How you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world
From a window
While you finish the hat.


Indeed.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Finland's greatest..?



Ah, technology.

Far be it for me to declare myself as any kind of "technophobe" (I can process data using the most complicated of databases, get to grips with the most esoteric of electronic gizmos, and work magic with online "solutions" that others find impossible to cope with) yet - as just today, the gnomes at Blogger/Google appear to have republished every one of my blogs since the end of May at the same time into the "Reading List" (that greets us whenever we first log in here), and I sigh at yet another "glitch", and I stare uncomprehending at the glazed breeze-block that passes for my "smart" phone (surely the biggest misnomer in history for something that does everything except process phone calls properly) - I cannot but feel joy at the prospect of the imminent revival of the Nokia brand into the mobile phone market...

Please! Let us return to the days when one could slip one's phone into a jeans pocket and comfortably move around without feeling like some medical device were attached to one's body. The days when phone calls and text messages were the only distractions - not F***book, Tw*tter, "Insta-groan" or the rest - with which people disrupted otherwise civilised conversations in public places; when chargers did not need to be carried around all the time; a time when the benighted "selfie" was something one did with a camera, and then only on holiday, and only when there was no convenient stranger around to embarrassedly ask to "capture that moment"...

I agree with Hannah Jane Parkinson, writing in The Guardian - "classic" Nokias were probably the greatest phones of all time.

And here's the magnificent Pete Shelley with an appropriate song - Telephone Operator:



Telephone operator
You're my aural stimulator
Telephone operator
Ne c'est pas la raison d'etre


Words to live by.

Fire birds



It's not very often you hear the words "Boogie" and "Stravinsky" in the same breath...

As this long, stuffy week drags to a close (the air conditioning in my office inevitably breaks down at the merest glimpse of the sun), and we look forward to celebrating Midsummer this weekend, it is indeed time to get boogie-ing!

Here's a very weird one (thanks once again to the joys of trawling the interwebs) to get our adrenalin going as we plan our parties - The Salsoul Orchestra and Magic Bird Of Fire (loosely based upon the great musical revolutionary's Firebird Suite).

We shall be practising these moves...



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Bella!



It's the birthday today of one of our Patron Saints, Signorina Raffaella Carrà - and it's not even a Tacky Music Monday!

Never mind, even Thursdays need cheering up. Here is the magnificent lady herself - complete with kinky leather-matador-kitted safety gays - and her Super Rumbas Medley...



Bella, bella, Raffaella!

Raffaella Maria Roberta Pelloni (aka Raffaella Carrà, born 18th June 1943)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Do do that Voodoo that you do so well



"Cocktail Lounge is the first step to their ruin..."

I do so agree - and here's the magnificent Les Baxter and Voodoo Dream to prove it!



Now that's what Clare Teal on her Radio 2 show on Sunday nights would call "a trip to the dark side"...

Fabulous.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

You got some nerve, and baby that'll never do



Timeslip moment again...

Turfing up in this week fifteen years ago, our wormhole has placed us in a musical landscape dominated by the likes of S Club 7 and Britney Spears, with the bastard children of of BritPop (Travis, Muse) on the ascendant, and godawful Hip Hop (Dr Dre and Eminem) assaulting our ears. There was, however, a lot of decent dance stuff still around, not least chart-topper Sonique, Mousse T, Fragma... and this!

An undisputed favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers, here's the wonderful Madison Avenue and Don't Call Me Baby!



Enjoy...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Did she die in vain?



"Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain? Brave Hungarian peasant girl who forced King John to sign the pledge at Runnymede and close the boozers at half past ten! Is all this to be forgotten?" - Tony Hancock, getting it all wrong.

It is the 800th birthday today of Magna Carta, the document that significantly altered the power-balance between monarch and subjects in King John's Merrie England, and in doing so steered our country slowly but surely away from feudalism and towards democracy.

Its influence throughout history - from republicans to revolutionaries, many across the centuries (and across the world) have cited it - is legendary.

And the chaps at Horrible Histories know a song about that!



HM The Queen is attending a glittering regatta and ceremony to mark the occasion at historic Runnymede today. Pageants, glitter and gold - the monarch's life is not so bad for all that!...

Feline frolics



Once again, a grey and damp weekend has given over to a warm and sultry forecast for the week ahead - while we can merely look out on it from the office and drool. How unfair is that?

Hey ho, never mind.

Who cares what the weather is like on a Tacky Music Monday, when we have the exotic talents of Mlle Liliane Montevecchi to behold..?



Purrr-lease!

Have a good one...

Sunday, 14 June 2015

First there are kisses, then there are sighs



Many happy returns to a true original, a living embodiment of "gender-bending" long before it became somewhat fashionable - Mr Boy George!

Much has been written about the great Mr O'Dowd, his triumphs and adversity, his vocal genius and troubled relationships (not least here!), so let us, on this grey Sunday, celebrate the Boy at his very best - here's The Crying Game...



George Alan O'Dowd (aka Boy George, born 14th June 1961)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Arise...





..."Sir" Kevin Spacey! [Well, actually a KBE - an honorary title because he's American, but we won't quibble...]

In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015, Mr Spacey, outgoing artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre, was among another glittering array of awardees, including Sir Lenny Henry, Sir Karl Jenkins and Sir Van Morrison.

Commanders of the British Empire (CBE) include Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paddington Bear author Michael Bond and Rugby player Jonnny Wilkinson. Awarded Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) were, among others, Michael Ball, Patti Boulaye, Martin Clunes, Lesley Manville, Steven Moffat and Eddie Redmayne.

Gongs-away! And here is Mr Spacey himself to sing for us in celebration:



If you're wonderin' what I'm askin' in return, dear
You'll be glad to know that my demands are small
Say it's me that you'll adore
Yeah, it's me that you'll adore for now and evermore
That's all!


Queen's Birthday Honours

Friday, 12 June 2015

Electric!



Even the weatherman on Radio 4 just said it - "typical British summer; two fine days and a thunderstorm". Just in time for the weekend, that is the prediction for today. Typical...

Never mind, it is the weekend, hail and thunder or not - and we simply must start the celebration in a suitably upbeat manner. Let's ease our passage towards 5 o'clock this evening in the company of the marvellous Archie Bell and the Drells!

With a peculiar video featuring the ethereal vision of Pan's People dancing in the sky, here's Soul City Walk:



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, whatever the weather.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Pop-tart-tastic-ness



There has been another shockingly long gap between my posts showcasing the "newer music" that has caught my ear. For that, I apologise (as if anyone is champing at the bit - I wish I had that many fans...)

Enough of the bullshit, on with the show.

Fist up, inevitably, are a couple of stalwarts. Madonna's Ghosttown is a remarkably beautiful song - her voice hasn't sounded better in years, in my opinion. The video, too, is excellent. She is the renowned mistress of promotion. So why was this not a smash hit? It never even reached inside the Top 100 in the UK...



"Our Willy" - Will Young - is another brilliant artist who has never really managed to recapture the brief, heady days of his initial success, despite releasing several utterly fabulous singles in recent years. He is a trillion times better than such current world-beating dross as Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran! I was chuffed to bits when his latest album 85 Percent [read a fab interview in The Guardian with Will about the album] overtook both those whiners to hit the top of the charts a couple of weeks ago - and from it, here is the brilliant Like a River:



Speaking of comebacks, whoever thought these two would ever dare show their faces again? All "grown up" now, the former-irritating-yoof-chanters Daphne And Celeste have made a surprise return (in a collaboration with a hipster art-pop weirdo by the name of Max Tundra) - and it is surprisingly good! Here's You And I Alone:



A discovery of the faboo Henry (again) at Barbarella's Galaxy (he who scours the underbelly of (mainly) European pop, so you don't have to), here's a lady by the name of Therese and her ever-so-camp Missing Disco. Love this!



Our favourite houseboys Kazaky are in demand (not only by my lustful groin), it seems - they've teamed up with top Ukrainian band The Hardkiss on this rather magnificent number, Strange Moves:



Speaking of team-ups, house fave Welsh wannabee-pop-sensation Bright Light Bright Light has as a very special guest on his new single Good Luck... none other than the diva-goddess herself, Miss Ana Matronic!



Another familiar artist with a new choon out is the complete oddball Garek - with a sleazy'n'kinky video, to boot! Here's My Animal:



Those sexy harmonising gay students from Oxford Out of the Blue have released another saucy promo for one of their fundraising efforts (remember Hips Don't Lie last year?). [To donate to their cause, Helen & Douglas House hospice, visit their website]. This time around, they've decided to wiggle their tushes to Lady Marmalade. "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" Yes please...



Another underrated fave artist here at Dolores Delargo Towers is the lovely Miss Roisin Murphy (she of the original extraordinary dressing-up ideas that gradually, bit-by-bit, were subsumed - like Grace Jones before her - by the Mother Monster GaGa who claimed them as her own invention). After her brief experimentation with the wonders of Italian torch songs, she's back in her own little world again with the utterly sublime Exploitation:



And finally...Thank Heavens! Uriel Yekutiel is back - continuing his sterling work in adding a load of much-needed camp to the benighted Middle East, he's popped up in yet another promo for Tel Aviv nightspot ARISA, "performing" Sarit Hadad's Circus:



As ever, enjoy! And let me know what you think...

Dropping like flies...

 
 

Within the space of 24 hours, we waved a fond goodbye to James Last (see my tribute), Dracula himself Christopher Lee, the founding mother of all TV chefs Marguerite Patten, and Ron "Fagin" Moody.

There must be something in the water.

RIP, all.

Obituaries:

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

There's nothing can change me



A cursory glance at today's birthday celebrants reveals a bizarrely eclectic bunch, including Prince Philip, Terence Rattigan, Barry Morse, Al Dubin (who wrote Tiptoe Through The Tulips), June Haver, Saul Bellow, Maxi Priest, Hattie McDaniel from Gone With The Wind, Lionel Jeffries, Frederick Loewe, João Gilberto, Elizabeth Hurley (who's 50) and Howlin' Wolf. Eclectic, indeed.

However (predictably) there is one star whose birthday we love to celebrate - Miss Judy Garland...

...but she Don't Care!



They say I'm crazy
Got no sense
But I don't care
They may or may not mean offence
But I don't care
You see, I'm sort of independent
I am my own superintendent
And my star is on the ascendant
That's why I don't care

I don't care, I don't care
What they may think of me
I'm happy-go-lucky, they say that I'm plucky
Contented and carefree
I don't care I don't care
If I do get a mean and stony stare
If I'm not successful
It won't be distressful
Cause I don't care

A girl should know her etiquette
Alas, alack
Propriety demands we walk a narrow track
When fellas used to blink at me
I'd freeze 'em and they'd shrink at me
But now when fellas wink at me
I wink at them right back!

I don't care I don't care
If people frown on me
Perhaps it's the lone way
But I go my own way
That's my philosophy
I don't care I don't care
If he's clerk or just a millionaire
There's no doubt about it,
I'll sing and I'll shout it
Cause I don't care

Oh, I don't care, I don't care
When it comes to happiness,
I want my share
Don't try to rearrange me
There's nothing can change me
'cause I don't care!


"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." - Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm, 10th June 1922 – 22nd June 1969)

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Wps! Beth ceiliog i fyny...*


A charity has pledged to investigate after including a typo on a new road sign honouring Dame Shirley Bassey.

Dame Shirley unveiled the sign on Saturday, marking the official renaming of the main road running past the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.

The new name was given as a means of paying tribute to the diva’s work as a patron of the charity.

But the Welsh translation of Dame Shirley Bassey Way was given as “Ffordd Y Fonsig Shirley Bassey”.

The Welsh word for “dame” is “y fonesig”.

Dame Shirley did not seem to notice the typo, wiping away a tear as she declared: “It means everything to me.

“It’s my home town and to be honoured like this is on a par with when the Queen gave me that title.”
"Wps" indeed.

As ever, the Dame (however you spell it!) has the last word(s)...

'S Wonderful/Nobody Does It Like Me:


Read more on the story

*The blog heading says "Oops! What a cock-up!" in Welsh.

Monday, 8 June 2015

I have always thought that it's a crime



Another weekend of sunny loveliness is over - how will we cope with the prospect of another five days of tedium in the airless confines of the office?

On this Tacky Music Monday, by concentrating on the tremendous tangerine-poplin-wrapped package of yesterday's birthday boy (he's 75, you know...) Sir Tom Jones, of course!

We Can Work It Out, apparently. Yes, sir!



Sir Thomas Jones Woodward, OBE (aka Tom Jones, born 7th June 1940)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Escapade



It's a sunny Sunday, just right for sipping a cool drink in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers (wearing our "Space Age" silver metallic pyjamas, of course!).

Alternatively, we could go on a "Sunny Escapade", courtesy of the marvellous Soft Tempo Lounge...



Either way, enjoy!

[Music: Sunny Escapade by the Polish Radio Orchestra]

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Harping on



"And tears are heard within the harp I touch." - Petrarch

Sometimes, just sometimes, even I am gob-smacked by a new discovery on the interwebs.

Imagine my joy to learn today was the birthday of someone dubbed the "Liberace of the Harp". And so I went searching...

Lloyd Lindroth (for it was he) - as well as sewing on his own sequins, evidently - specialised in twinkling harp versions of traditional Country songs. 'Cos heaven knows, no-one else was doing it!

Here he is performing two Tennessee State Songs in his own inimitable way:



It's certainly different.

Facts about Mr Lindroth:
  • He owned four harps, wore a $7,000 harp-shaped ring, had a huge rock in his back yard that resembled a harp and owned a lamp with a harp-shaped base.
  • He invented an electronic amplification system called "The Voice of The Harp", so he could be heard above a 100 piece orchestra.
  • Actually originating in Seattle, when he came to Nashville he was told to "look glitzy" for his appearances there. [He evidently took this advice to heart, and amassed more than forty outlandish rhinestoned-and-beaded-and-tasseled costumes.]
  • He performed five times in the White House for President Eisenhower.
  • His harp-playing was featured on the soundtrack of the television mini-series "Roots".
  • As well as various television appearances and one-off concerts, he had a long residency six nights a week at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, appearing on a spectacular set complete with dancing fountains and laser beams.
Fancy.

Lloyd Lindroth (6th June 1931 - 9th June 1994)

Friday, 5 June 2015

Thought for the Weekend


[Kate Bush at Hammersmith Apollo and Jean Paul Gaultier's exhibition From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk - just two of the many events we missed last year.]
Average Londoners are excitedly looking forward to missing a host of cultural events in the capital.

With the weekend almost here, residents are consulting events listings to choose the concerts, exhibitions and plays that they will not be attending.

Stephen Malley of Kilburn said: “In London you really feel that the world is someone else’s oyster. Where else in the world could I miss Rihanna playing ten nights in a row?

“Whether it’s an A-list star on stage in the West End I can’t get tickets for, a Michelin-starred restaurant laughing contemptuously at my attempt to make a reservation or a nightclub with guest list admittance only, London has it all.”


But long-time residents admit that they have become blasé about the city’s attractions.

Risk assessor Emma Bradford said: “I feel like I’ve not done pretty much everything there is to not do in London.

“The highlight has to be missing the Olympics in 2012. That was a real once in a lifetime non-experience.

“Still, I could never live anywhere like Birmingham. All those grubby little theatrical experiences within my financial reach. Vile.”
So true, it hurts.

The Daily Mash.

Of course.

It's all right all right all right all right



The weekend beckons. It is warm and muggy, but it looks like being glorious weather over the next couple of days.

Summer could be here at last...

Here's something suitably uplifting to get us in a party mood - let's whip on a flouncy pink satin jumpsuit and join Gonzalez; they Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet!



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Quiet Star



The marvellously moody Miss Morgana King (described by my other half Madam Arcati as "an American Cleo Laine") celebrates her 85th birthday today.

Jazz singer extraordinaire (as well as actress, most famously in The Godfather), Miss King is rightly celebrated in (formerly?) smoky nightspots in New York and Chicago for her interpretations of the work of luminaries like Jimmy Van Heusen, her tributes to Blues giants like Billie Holiday, and her masterful covers of classics such as A Taste Of Honey, My Funny Valentine, and this - Corcovado:



Many happy returns, Maria Grazia Morgana Messina (aka Morgana King, born 4th June 1930)

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Sports news



The Football season is (finally) over...



...and Cristiano Ronaldo's clothes have fallen off!

Good news all round.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Pop goes the pleasure



And so it came to pass - RIP our beloved POPPERS!

The Government has declared war on our little bit of fun. As these extracts from a marvellous article by barrister Matthew Scott (writing in, of all papers, The Daily "Torygraph") concur, poppers are not the only thing:
I had rather naively thought that a central part of Conservative philosophy was that, unless there is strong evidence of harm that can be prevented or alleviated by Government action, it's usually best to let people live their lives without interference from the state.

Theresa May's Home Office thinks rather differently. It proudly announced last month that since 2010 it has banned more than 500 new drugs, as though this were an end and a self-evident good in itself.

Well, we now know it was not an end, it was a beginning... In its Psychoactive Substances Bill, the second reading of which is to take place in the House of Lords next week, it has made proposals to ban all “psychoactive substances” apart from a few defined exceptions... whatever the wisdom of the goal, the Government seems to have decided that banning 500 substances is not enough. It must ban almost everything that gives pleasure.

And what a ban. Of all the many idiotic, ill thought out and pointless laws ever passed, this would be the one of the silliest...it is the definition of “psychoactive” which, rightly, has attracted the most comment.

Quote: "a substance produces a psychoactive effect in a person if, by stimulating or depressing the person's central nervous system, it affects the person's mental functioning or emotional state."

Any substance which gives pleasure, of course, “affects a person's emotional state.” The starting point of the Bill is that giving pleasure is sufficient justification for prohibition...

...Amyl nitrite and its chemical relatives, for example. In the form of “poppers” they are widely used, especially by gay men, to enhance sexual pleasure. They are not controlled drugs at present, largely because nobody has ever made a convincing case that they are particularly dangerous. Now they are to be banned not because of the harm they do, but because one of their pleasant effects is to produce euphoria and dis-inhibition – they “affect your emotional state” – so they are caught by Section 3 [of the Bill]...

Did you know that tea was a “psychoactive substance”? Well under this new law it will be, and you will be allowed to drink it only as a special exemption from the normal rule... It has even been suggested by the one of the country's best known legal bloggers, David Allen Green, that the delight produced by the scent of flowers could be enough to engage the provisions of the Bill, and what's more he is right. What stronger emotional response is there than that produced by the beautiful scent of roses delivered to the woman you love? Sorry, that very emotional response is enough to engage Section 3, and if you happen to hand them to her outside a school, or worse still arrange for someone under the age of 18 to deliver them, the Court is obliged by Section 6 to treat those facts as “aggravating features” for the purpose of sentencing. And don't think you could avoid the law by giving her perfume instead of flowers: the esters and oils in perfume are designed to seduce, which is of course an emotional response...

...the Home Office thinking is revealing. Instead of banning things because there is evidence that they will do harm Theresa May now wants to ban things because they cause pleasure.

The Bill is a textbook example of bad legislation, It is unnecessary, incomprehensible, largely unenforceable, and, by encouraging professional criminals into a new area of business it is likely to prove entirely counter-productive.
Horrendous.