Monday, 18 June 2018

Ma che vacanza é







Another day, another wartime baby... Yesterday we celebrated the 75th birthday of one "Queen of Sequins", Barry Manilow. Today it is the turn of another; as to our amazement we discover that none other than Our Patron Saint of Dramatic-Head-Flicking Signorina Raffaella Carrà has hit the same milestone!



Raffaella Carrà is 75?!! Fuck.

On this Tacky Music Monday, let us celebrate the divine madness of the great lady. She was simply born to occupy our traditionally OTT start-the-week spot - fabulous costumes, frenetic choreography, safety gays and all - so here's a double-bill for your delectation...



Buon compleanno, tesoro!

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

Sunday, 17 June 2018

High up where the stallion meets the sun







"Here's proof that if you live long enough, anything is possible."

"I never wanted to be a performer, that was not one of my goals. I wanted to be a musician and that was that."

"My hair was slicked down with a parting. But that was before I discovered the blow-dryer. Now I'm fabulous."

"I think my music is like anchovies - some people like it, some people get nauseous."

"My goal was always to be involved in music that would outlive me. And maybe that's actually happening."


Many, many happy returns [and best wishes for a full recovery from his recent illness] to Mr Barry Manilow, who is 75 years old today!

The man who became most famous for his sequinned jump-suits and coiffured hair, the ultimate "Mr Showbiz" of his generation also happens to be a trained pianist and composer, and wrote some of the most enduring pop standards of the late 20th century, including Mandy, Can't Smile Without You, Bermuda Triangle, Looks Like We Made It, Copacabana, I Made It Through the Rain, and this one...


Spirit move me
Every time I"m near you
Whirling like a cyclone in my mind

Sweet Melissa,
Angel of my life time
Answer to all answers I can find

Baby I love you come, come
Come into my arms
Let me know the wonder of all of you
Baby I want you,
Now, now, now and hold on fast
Could this be the magic at last?

Lady take me
High upon a hillside
High up where the stallion meets the sun
I could love you
Build my world around you
Never leave you till my life is done

Baby I love you come, come
Come into my arms
Let me know the wonder of all of you
And baby I want you
Now, now, oh now, oh now and hold on fast
Could this be the magic at last?


A classic, to be sure...

Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus, 17th June 1943)

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Just because...



...the magnificent Fuchsia Bella Rosella - with its 4-inch blooms, the biggest of all cultivars - is looking so utterly splendid in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, I thought I'd revisit a house fave song from a few years ago...

Let us wallow in the madness of the utterly fantabulosa Hi Fashion!


I don't care if you don't like my hair
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give a damn if you don't like my tan
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give two hoots if you don't like my boots
Because I know they're amazing
And I don't give a shit if you don't like my tits
Because I know they're amazing

Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.

I don't give a crap if you don't like my hat
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give a poops if you don't like my hoops
Because I know they're amazing
I don't care if you're in my underwear
Because it all feels amazing
And I don't give a fuck if you think I suck
Because I know I'm amazing

Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.

I don't give a hurl if you say you like girls
Because I know that you're gayzing
And I don't give a bung if you say that you're hung
Because you're probably praising
And I don't give a fart if you say that you're smart
Because you're boring and lazing
And I don't like dicks 'cause I like chicks
And you know that's amazing

Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing


And it is.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Uh huh, I like it, Uh huh, I like it


Purr, Baby, purr!

Waves of relief are washing over us, as we hurtle once more towards another weekend - and, unlikely as it seems for the UK, another sunny one...

So let us don our most golden satin flares, as much lurex and sequins as we can lay our hands on, crimp our hair till it screams, grab a passing dancing safety gay - and boogie along with Belle Epoque! Thank Disco It's Friday!


Have a glittering one, dear reader...

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Enough of the nonsense



I don't know what they're like in other places across the globe, but betting shops over here have a reputation for being the last home of the lost, the odd, and the somewhat shifty "older bloke" - a type that would hardly be likely to be concerned with the well-being of us gayers.

However, top scores go to one of the biggest gambling chains on the High Street, Paddy Power, who - recognising the loathsome homophobic record of Putin's Russia, host of the Football World Cup which starts today - have launched an awareness campaign of unprecedented candour. For a betting shop...


According to its spokesman:
"Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.

"Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity.

"As a result, we’ve stepped in to help. When Russia 'Put-in' a goal, we’ll Put-in £10,000 to Attitude magazine’s Foundation, who will use the funds to make football more LGBT+ inclusive. I cannot wait to see the LGBT+ community get behind the Russians – or the Russians’ baffled reaction."
Indeed.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Thought for the Day



Indeed.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The buzz of buying shit


We get it, you like Primark, says New Look
New Look is to refocus on selling shit clothing dirt-cheap because that is apparently what Britain wants.

The high street retailer admitted its current lines had not caught on with customers because they were priced in double figures and capable of surviving three washes.

New Look CEO Carolyn Ryan said: “The clothes we sell are fairly crap already, obviously. We’re not Zara. But the market has shown that they are not crap enough.

“From now on it’s £6 hoodies that unravel on contact with air, black tops that fade to a washed-out grey on the way home, and jeans that come pre-distressed simply because they’re so shoddily made.

“From now on you can leave with a bulging bag of New Look clothes and not worry about wearing any of them, because that’s not what you care about anyway is it? You just want the buzz of buying shit.

“Plus this makes it easier for the teenage girls behind the counter to direct their utter, crushing contempt for you. Which is their main job.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

The "real" story.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Seems as though I'll ever be blue



It's bloody Monday again.

Groan.

Hey ho. Yesterday would have been the birthday of one of our greatest Patron Saints, Miss Judy Garland - so let's cheer ourselves up on this Tacky Music Monday with a rather faboo song'n'dance number, with Our Jude escorted up and down a fairytale staircase by a whole plethora of safety gays, some lovely dancers in chiffon, a parade of ladies in (very) big hats, with choreography by Busby Berkeley, and a song by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein III. How much more camp do you want it??!!


Have a good week peeps. I won't.

Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm, 10th June 1922 – 22nd June 1969)

Sunday, 10 June 2018

How life should be...



...well, maybe not with furniture quite like this:


Cocktail, anyone?

[Music: Franco De Gemini - Sulla Riviera]

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Arise...





...Dame Professor Mary Beard, historian,TV presenter, latter-day "national treasure" and all-round British eccentric. We love her no-nonsense style of presenting the "insider details" from history in a clear-headed and un-patronising manner; we also admire the fact she appears to be fairly fearless in a variety of circumstances - when she gets abused on Tw*tter she chooses to talk to her abusers rather than enter into a war with them, and she even went on an "Election Blind Date" with that other (now recently deceased) eccentric, Peter Stringfellow!

Further congratulations today go to all the other recipients, including (among 1,057 names on HM The Queen's Birthday Honours List) Companion of Honour Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; the aforementioned (over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp) Dame Emma Thompson; Sir Kenny Dalgleish, Sir Simon Schama; Commanders of the Order of the British Empire Bamber Gascoigne, Tom Hardy, Ken Follett, Kate Adie and Jeanette Winterson; Officers of the Order of the British Empire (our Patron Saint) Fenella Fielding, Monty Don, Lucy Worsley, Keira Knightley, Debbie Wiseman and Brian Cosgrove; and Members of the Order of the British Empire Ms Dynamite and Gary Wilmot.

My Damehood was obviously lost in the post. Again.

Read the full Birthday Honours list

Today is also notable as a celebration of one thing we hold dear, for it is indeed World Gin Day!

And here's a suitably-named artiste with whom I think we should raise a toast...


Cheers!

Friday, 8 June 2018

Farewell to the leopardskin



And so, farewell then, Mr Peter Stringfellow - that most flamboyant of entrepreneurs; the King of the Clubs (he ran music venues in his native Sheffield and Leeds from the early 60s - booking acts that included Rod Stewart, The Beatles and The Stones - before relocating to London to found his Soho "gentlemen's clubs" empire), his relentless talent for self-promotion made him a fortune, as well as carving himself a niche among Britain's long, long list of "famous eccentrics". His refusal to update his trademark mullet 'do, the gold and the bling, the velvet and the leopardskin, the occasional whiff of scandal, his numerous relationships with "dolly-birds" - he was as familiar a face in the tabloids as many genuine "stars". More often than not he was photographed with them, anyway!

Among his many lesser-known ventures was his launch of regular gay nights (on a mega-scale) at his flagship venue, The Hippodrome on Leicester Square, and his founding of a record company. Combining the two things quite neatly, his biggest signing was none other than the eternal gay icon Miss Dusty Springfield. Although she only recorded one song for Hippodrome Records - a slow number (albeit written by Donna Summer) called Sometimes like Butterflies - she did appear live at the club, to the joy of her mainly gay audience:


To round off in an appropriate vein, here's another Dusty number that is somewhat more fitting for our traditional end-of-week sign-off (as well as The Hippodrome dance-floor) - so why not hairspray yourself into oblivion, get your hands in the air, and Thank Disco It's Friday - with Baby Blue!


RIP Peter James Stringfellow (17th October 1940 – 7th June 2018)

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Meet me in another world, space and joy



Lordy - sixty years ago today, the much-missed Prince Rogers Nelson was born!

The archetypal flamboyant icon of mid-80s to mid-90s pop [alongside Queen Madge, of course], he evolved from the shadow of his idol Rick James into the mega-successful, adored superstar whose death was so widely mourned across the globe. He was not merely a performer, singer and musician, however; he was a brilliant songwriter, too.

And, by way of a tribute to his genius, here are several examples of how his compositions became massive hits for other people:

First up, the one that always makes me cry...


...lightening the mood somewhat, a clutch of much more uplifting choons...



...the classic - here featuring an artist who shares a birthday with The Purple One, Sir Tom Jones (Tom Jones)...


...and finally, the man himself:


RIP Prince (7th June 1958 – 21st April 2016)

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Tell me what you see


Gorgeous Aquilegia in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

It's the birthday today of the former Mrs Paul Weller, a singer who deserved a much bigger and better career than she had - Miss Dee C Lee.

Here is her only major hit - but what a song!


Many happy returns, Dee C. Lee (born Diane Catherine Sealy, 6th June 1961)

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?


Even with loads of lurex and glitter, 1973 still looked bleak.

Timeslip moment again...

The papers today are full of reminiscences about the tumultuous end of the 1960s (this being the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Senator Bobby Kennedy).

However we, dear reader, have been unceremoniously catapulted by our trusty TARDIS to a mere five years later, in 1973 - a continuing Cold War world; the year of Watergate, the final end of the Vietnam War, the escalation of the Arab–Israeli conflict, the "Three-Day Week" (with its associated power cuts), civil unrest in the US and France, and of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

In the news forty-five years ago this month: a plane crash at the Paris Air Show destroyed 15 houses, killed all six people on board and eight more on the ground (three of them children) and severely injured sixty people; Princess Anne became engaged to Captain Mark Phillips; the Greek military junta abolished the country's monarchy; President Richard Nixon began a series of talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev; the IRA killed six people and injured 33 others with two car-bombs in Coleraine in Northern Ireland; and in the ascendant were Donald Wetzel (inventor of the ATM/cashpoint machine) and The Rocky Horror Show (which premièred at the Royal Court Theatre in London), but we bade a sad farewell to the legendary Nancy Mitford. In our cinemas: Live and Let Die; Travels With My Aunt and That'll Be the Day. On telly: the ground-breaking series The Ascent of Man presented by Professor Jacob Bronowski; Esther Rantzen's That's Life; and children's sports programme We Are the Champions.

And in the UK Charts this week in June 1973? A bit of a Glam-rock kick, it would appear, with Wizzard at the top slot, Suzi Quatro and Sweet in the running, and Gary Glitter slithering his way down the listings; there were a raft of classics including Albatross by Fleetwood Mac, Perry Como's And I Love You So, Stevie Wonder's You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel and Lou Reed's Walk On the Wild Side; and also in attendance were Nazareth, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Medicine Head and The Partridge Family. And then there was this one - which I remember as clear as day: as a nine-year-old in junior school, on a residential field trip up the Brecon Beacons in the typical Welsh drizzle-that-passes-for-summer, singing along to the infectious sound of 10CC...


I went to a party at the local county jail
All the cons were dancing and the band began to wail
But the guys were indiscreet
They were brawling in the street
At the local dance at the local county jail

Well the band were playing
And the booze began to flow
But the sound came over on the police car radio
Down at Precinct 49
Having a tear-gas of a time
Sergeant Baker got a call from the governor of the county jail

Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets
Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets

I love to hear those convicts squeal
It's a shame these slugs ain't real
But we can't have dancin' at the local county jail

Sergeant Baker and his men made a bee-line for the jail
And for miles around
You could hear the sirens wail
There's a rumour goin' round death row
That a fuse is gonna blow
At the local hop at the local county jail

Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?

Sergeant Baker started talkin'
With a bullhorn in his hand
He was cool, he was clear
He was always in command
He said "Blood will flow;
Here Padre
Padre you talk to your boys..."
"Trust in me -
God will come to set you free"

Well we don't understand
Why you called in the National Guard
When Uncle Sam is the one
Who belongs in the exercise yard
We all got balls and brains
But some's got balls and chains
At the local dance at the local county jail

Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets
Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets

Is it really such a crime
For a guy to spend his time
At the local dance at the local county jail
At the local dance at the local county jail

Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?


Timeless!

[Note of interest: A rumour spread around in their heyday that they named themselves 10cc because the term represents the amount of semen in an average male ejaculation (or a little bit more). This is apparently an urban myth; their name was chosen by their then manager Jonathan King arising from a dream he had about a band that became successful with that name.]

Monday, 4 June 2018

Mierda



Groan. It's here.

My alarm has awoken me at an ungodly hour (the sort of hour I feel I should be just coming home from a club), and I have to steel myself for the horrors that await in the office. There will inevitably be tons of work left over that no-one has touched, and we still have this shitty "reorganisation" going on, which means at some stage I will once more be facing an interview to save my own job.

And the fucking lottery numbers haven't come up. Again.

Hey ho - let's venture back to Spain (if only!) for a little smattering of 60s yé-yé nonsense on this Tacky Music Monday...

...here's the completely fruit-loop Silvana Velasco and her gays de seguridad!


She's faboo, but: ¡Me cago en todo lo que se menea!

Sunday, 3 June 2018

The ideal


Our Dryopteris fern is other-worldly.

Ho hum. Back to work tomorrow, peeps, after a fortnight of indulgence - a glorious holiday in Spain, and a week developing the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Tony Bennett sums it up, methinks...


Oh, the good life, full of fun
Seems to be the ideal
Mm, the good life lets you hide
All the sadness you feel


Sigh.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Play for me, Gypsy!


We'd love to grow one of these in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Another day - and a lovely hot and sunny one! - in the garden.

I'm spending more time outside at the moment than actually in the flat, which is no bad thing - it's just the Gypsy in my soul.

Speaking of which, how about a triple-bill of utterly fabulous Gypsy Jazz to add to this merry mood..?




Perfect.

Friday, 1 June 2018

It don't matter


The splendid Hesperis matronalis in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers

I have been making the most of the fact that the rain has held off for the past few days, spending most of my daylight hours [for me on holiday, that usually means - ahem - from 11am] in the garden. Yesterday, I was so pooped with potting and sorting that I - heaven forfend! - didn't even post a blog.

How remiss of me. To make up for that - and to mark the end of another week in our traditional manner (albeit with a Spanish twist, of course) - let's revel in the delights of Señorita Thalia (paying due deference to house faves Fangoria, whose song this originally was) - and Thank Disco It's Friday!!


Have a good one, dear reader!

[ NB A Quien Le Importa means "It doesn't matter" in Spanish]