Monday, 20 August 2018

Is this a dream, am I here, where are you?

The weekend may once again have flown by, it may indeed be the dreaded start of another week in the benighted office - but it also happens to be the centenary today of the one-and-only Miss Jacqueline Susann, the author who almost single-handedly invented (and certainly popularised - she remains one of the world's biggest selling authors, ever) the genre of trashy, glossy, salacious and camp-as-tits "popular fiction" that covers all the subjects that readers really want to read about - sex and drugs and glamorous, doomed people living jet-set lifestyles beyond the reach of ordinary folk.

Obviously, I have featured the grande dame before - read my post on the occasion of her 90th [yes! this blog has been going a long time...].

Perhaps Miss Susann's most famous work is (of course) Valley of the Dolls, the theme tune for which was a big hit for none other than Miss Dionne Warwick - and, by way of a celebration on this Tacky Music Monday, here she is singing it.

But, wait! I hear you cry. That Bacharach and David number is wistful, mournful and sedate - what part of the regular "Monday pick-me-up music" criteria does this satisfy?

You wait till you see the second number in this clip [or skip to the 4:05 mark]...

Jacqueline Susann (20th August 1918 – 21st September 1974)

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Musique dans le Jardin

A view up my back passage

Having a bit of a chill-out day today, mainly in the (sunny) extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, after the fun and frolics of yesterday's "gathering of the clans" in Regent's Park - our annual "birthday picnic" [a little late celebration of mine, my sister's and Houseboy Alex's birthdays] - at which copious quantities of alcohol and odd food combinations were consumed, and we laughed, sang and entertained ourselves until we were thrown out at dusk (re-convening at the nearest Wetherspoons, of course, to continue the party).

In keeping with the prevailing mood, here is a little slice of electro-tinged [sampling Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Enola Gay throughout] loveliness, courtesy of the Thievery Corporation, replete with its very strange video...


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Not on the menu at our picnic today...

[Our gang at Regent's Park - altogether a much more genteel affair. Ha ha.]

Friday, 17 August 2018

Darlin', you hold the power

The world mourns her loss.

Ending this long, tiring first week back in work after my fortnight's break, the death of Aretha Franklin could well have put a damper on the party mood somewhat, were it not for the Queen of Soul's musical legacy - just a few moments listening to that voice, and the world's woes just slip away...

To welcome the weekend in our traditional manner, it is indeed to that voice I turn to get us in a bit of a party mood. In true Aretha style, just when everyone had written her off as a semi-retired diva, back she bounced in 1998 (with a little help from an artist I never rated previously, nor since, Lauren Hill) with a number that (although largely overlooked today) really pushed all the right buttons. I loved this...

Listen dear
I realize that you've been hurt
Deeply, because I've been there
But regardless to who, what, why, when, and where
We are all precious in his sight
And a rose still and always will be a rose

Doo doo doo doo doo doo mmm
Dooby dooby doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo mmm

There was a rose I knew, I met her once or twice before
She was a pretty sweet thing, not the least bit insecure
Then you came with your slick game and played with her youth
Ashamed of the way you lied, played with the truth, hey, hey

Mmm, she never knew what hit her
Steal her honey, then forget her
Now the rose is scorned
She wears her thorns tryin' to forget about you

'Cause a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you're still a flower
He can't leave you and then take you
Make you and then break you
Darlin', you hold the power

Now believe me when I tell you that I've been hurt myself
When he tells you that he loves you and sees nobody else
And now you're so tough tryin' to wear tight clothes and things
Tossin' and flossin', tryin' to fill the void heartbreak brings

When she faces the mirror, yeah
She's cryin', you can't hear her
Now the rose is scorned
She wears her thorns tryin' to forget about you

'Cause a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you're still a flower
He can't lead you and then take you
Make you and then break you
Baby, girl, you hold the power

See a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you're still a flower
He can't lead you and then take you
Make you and then break you
Darlin', you hold the power

Let your life be in the sunshine
Not the darkness of your sorrow
You may see your all today
When you know it'll come tomorrow

Tough to be, but life ain't over
Just because your man is gone
Girl, love yourself enough to know
That without him your life goes on
Without him your life goes on
Without him your life goes on

'Cause a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you're still a flower
He can't lead you and then take you
Make you and then break you
Baby, girl, you hold the power

See a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you're still a flower
He can't lead you and then take you
Make you and then break you

Excellent - and, with the assistance of some very clever knob-twiddlers, it became a staple floor-filler in the clubs, too!

Have a good weekend, peeps - and Thank Disco Aretha It's Friday!

RIP Aretha Louise Franklin (25th March 1942 – 16th August 2018)

Thursday, 16 August 2018

The undisputed Queen of Fuckin' Everything

Our Patron Saint Queen Madge has crossed that milestone so dreaded by many an artist famed for their looks and image - for the former Miss Ciccone blows out sixty candles on her cake today!

The lady herself, however, doesn't really seem to give a shit. She is, and remains, the most successful female music artist in history, and she certainly has never bowed to the opinions of others. [A true Leo!]

Indeed, many pretenders to her throne have come and gone in the four decades since that effervescent, be-ribboned, diminutive figure first leapt onto our screens (in an episode of The Tube with Jools Holland and the late Paula Yates) in January 1984...

...but whether "the virgin":

..."the cool club kid":

..."the controversialist":

..."the style-setter":

..."the slut":

..."the icon":

..."the witch":

..."the pop-satirist":

..."the workout video instructress":

..."the gay earth-mother":

...or "the goddess":

...Our Glorious Leader did it first, did it better, and will continue to rule all that she surveys!

Many happy returns, Madonna Louise Ciccone (born 16th August 1958)!


A little birthday message from "Cher" - "Whooooooo?!!":

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Them that's got shall have

And so, farewell, then, jazz legend and actress Miss Morgana King [whose death was only announced today, five months after her passing]...

...and her magnificent 'do!

Here she/it is in action on US variety show The Hollywood Palace:

...and here she is again, in some very estimable vocal company indeed!

RIP Morgana King (born Maria Grazia Morgana Messina, 4th June 1930 – 22nd March 2018)

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

You gotta wrap your fuzzy with a big red bow

It's the Feast of Our Lady of Sleazy New York Disco, otherwise referred to as Miss Ana Matronic's birthday! All hail.

Most famous, of course, as the frontwoman of one of our all-time fave bands here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the Scissor Sisters, it is quite sad that (just in time for her birthday party), her erstwhile partner-in-crime the gorgeous Jake Shears has confirmed that the Sisters' "hiaitus" [which has been going on for six years] is more-or-less a permanent break-up, after all. I'm wearing a black armband as we speak, sweetie...

Never mind, by way of a tribute to the great lady (and the sexy man) - here are the Sisters at their very best. It's my life's anthem.

All together, now!

When you're walkin' down the street
And the man tries to get your business
And the people that you meet
Want to open you up like Christmas
You gotta wrap your fuzzy with a big red bow
Ain't no sum bitch gonna treat me like a ho
I'm a classy honey kissy huggy lovey dovey ghetto princess

Cause you're filthy oooh, and I'm gorgeous
Cause you're filthy oooh, and I'm gorgeous
You're disgusting oooh, and you're nasty
And you can grab me oooh, cause you're nasty

When you're runnin' from a trick
And you trip on a hit of acid
You gotta work for the man
But your biggest moneymakers' flaccid
You gotta keep your shit together
With your feet on the ground
There ain't no one gonna listen
If you haven't made a sound
You're an acid junkie college flunky dirty puppy daddy bastard

Cause you're filthy oooh, and I'm gorgeous
Cause you're filthy oooh, and I'm gorgeous
You're disgusting oooh, and you're nasty
And you can grab me oooh, cause you're nasty

Cause you're filthy, oooh, and I'm gorgeous
Cause you're filthy, oooh, and I'm gorgeous
You're disgusting, oooh, and you're nasty
And you can grab me, oooh, cause you're nasty

Remarkably, given my utter adoration of that track since I first heard it way back in 2004 - unless my blog search facility or, indeed, I have gone completely tits-up, I don't believe I have ever featured it on this blog before!

To redress the balance somewhat, how about a mash-up of Scissor Sisters' magnum opus with an all-time classic from the Rocky Horror Picture Show...?

Oh, yessssss!

Monday, 13 August 2018

When you can feel light and gay, then you'll be lovely as a holiday

Oh gawd.

Time to shake off all the fun and the frolics of the past fortnight, and head back to the benighted environs of the office...


At the delightful Rick Skye Liza Live! show on Friday, he (of course) touched upon Miss Minnelli's eternal debt/tribute to the one-and-only Kay Thompson. So what better way to cheer us all up on this Tacky Music Monday than with another of the Grande Dame's utterly sublime routines (here tutoring the gamine Audrey Hepburn) from Funny Face..?

On how to be lovely
(On how to be lovely)
You got to be happy
(You got to be happy)
When you can feel
light and gay
Then you'll be lovely
as a holiday.

On how to be charming
(On how to be charming)
You got to be merry
(You got to be merry)
If only to weave a spell
And you'll be lovely
As a carousel too.

I (I know you can) show how.
It's (it's all in the) know-how.
And (and once you know) oh how
The world looks good to you
As it should to you.

On how to be lovely
(On how to be lovely)
You got to be jolly
(You got to be jolly)
When you can be fancy-free
And flash a smile that
Folks come flocking to see.

You'll be as lovely
As can be.

Not just at the moment. Give me few more mugs of coffee...

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Lydia, oh Lydia

My last day of "freedom", and, disappointingly, the weather has stubbornly remained grey and grizzly - despite forecasts to the contrary.

Hey ho, let's escape somewhere gorgeous in the company of impossibly glamorous (but typically for so many '60s continental films, downright miserable) people; courtesy of the ever-wonderful Soft Tempo Lounge...

Ah, that's better.

[Music Ancora Un Po by Lydia MacDonald
Film: La Notte (1961)]

Saturday, 11 August 2018

"Lady Peaceful", "Lady Happy"

For my birthday treat yesterday, a little coterie from our "gang" (Me, Madam Arcati, Crog, Hils, John-John, Jim and Paul) went along to our fave cabaret venue [described by our star turn as "the most fabulous of London's tube stations"] Crazy Coqs at Café Zedel - to see the triumphant return of an old "friend", the fantabulosa Rick Skye as "Slice O'Minnelli"!

As he helpfully reminded us when we met up after the show, it has been eight years since he last performed in the UK but, my word, he's lost none of the Bazazz for which we love him so!
Displaying Minnelli’s physical and vocal mannerisms along with a smashing voice, Skye has created an outrageous show, tracing Minnelli’s legendary career. This is an evening of new writing, comedy, characterisation and musical performance. - Musical Theatre Review
Adding to the repertoire of (fondly) piss-taking routines and numbers we loved at previous Slice O'Minnelli shows - see here - such as My Wheelie Chair, Don't Tell Mama and Too Quiet, Love, Rick worked into this new revue a brilliant "mash-up" of Kander and Ebb [or "Scrambled and Egg", as he put it] style music with Liza's famous (notorious?) cover of Beyonce's Single Ladies from Sex and the City II, Liza's famous collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys Losing My Mind, and a selection of Liza songs sung "straight" from a range of her shows/films, including Say Yes! from Liza With A Z, My Own Best Friend from Chicago, And The World Goes 'Round and the eponymous theme from New York, New York, and (of course) this one from Cabaret...

An absolute blinder of a show! I do hope [as Mr Skye hinted] that this is not the last time we see the best "Liza" in town in London!

Friday, 10 August 2018

Birthday Princess

Born on this day (among many others): Henri Nestlé (who marketed the world's first milk chocolate), composer Alexander Glazunov, Miss Norma Shearer [“What do you expect? She sleeps with the boss.” - Joan Crawford], the "Queen of Technicolor" Rhonda Fleming (still with us; she blows out 95 candles today), (former Mr Debbie Reynolds then Mr Elizabeth Taylor) Eddie Fisher, Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (former Lord Justice and auntie of Nigel Havers), the fantabulosa and much-missed Miss Kate O'Mara, the equally fab Miss Ronnie Spector (75 today), sex god Antonio Banderas...

...and ME!!

As of midnight tonight, I will officially be nearer 60 than 50... Gulp. To "celebrate" this fact, here's something rather appropriate from the charts this week in 1979:

Thank Disco It's my birthday Friday!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Flattery, indeed

Today is National Women's Day in South Africa.

One of that country's most famous exports (despite her having actually been born in Mumbai) was the late, great Juliet Prowse.

So let's use that excuse to cheer ourselves up, as we mourn the demise of the Great British Heatwave of 2018 (it's been pissing down today, and the temperatures are more or less back to normal for this time of year), with a clip of the great lady herself, dancing with the eternally sexy Sal Mineo!

Any spurious and convoluted excuse to feature gyrating sexy young totty? Moi?

Of course.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

While you were away...

We had a fabulous five days in Amsterdam, and we are still recovering after the hectic Gay Pride partying - but what did we miss while we were away?

Not a lot, truth be told.

It's no great surprise - since we experienced extremely hot and sweaty temperatures in the 'Dam - that the rest of Europe has also been experiencing continuing heatwave conditions, not least the overheating rivers of Switzerland, pugs getting heatstroke, bananas ripening in Nottingham, and a shortage of fans across the UK; we also missed Boris Johnson's much-criticised opinion on burkas and the furore it has caused among the liberal elite; we (of course) ignored the latest ranting Tw*tter tirades of Trump against China and Iran; and we missed the announcement of the the death of stalwart of 80s-90s children's TV in the UK Barry Chuckle [I always found the Chuckle Brothers disturbingly creepy, but hey ho].

We missed the 118th anniversary of the birth of HM The Queen Mother, what would have been the 90th birthday of Andy Warhol, and the 80th birthday of national treasure Sir Terry Wogan; as well as the birthdays of some living legends, such as the last of the crooners Tony Bennett (92), Dame Barbara Windsor (81), our Patron Saint of Copla Andaluza Isabel Pantoja (62) and Geri Halliwell (now Horner, 46)...

...and speaking of La Pantoja:

As the Dutch might say, Lekker!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Pak alles wat je kan!

Hanging out with Cher outside Amstel 54 (formerly known as the Amstel Taveerne)

Darlings! We're back from the delights of the beautiful city of Amsterdam - a little tired, but basking in the memories of a most fantastic holiday indeed: Gay Pride on the canal, FEBO, street parties, sleaze, fizzy lager, oompah music, gorgeous-and-very-very-tall totty galore, Van Dobbens broodje, genever shots, ticker-tape-confetti cannons, wonky buildings, more fizzy lager, sing-a-longs-in-a-language-we-don't-understand, and everything...

...and speaking of sing-a-longs, I always delight in bringing back a little something for your listening pleasure - so, from this visit, this incredibly catchy number from (the rather cute) Andre Hazes Jr. is absolutely the perfect thing; it's a song that went down a storm at every party event we stumbled into!

Leef! Alsof het je laatste dag is
Leef! Alsof de morgen niet bestaat
Leef! Alsof het nooit echt af is
Leef! Pak alles wat je kan...

En ga-a-a-a, a-a-a-a
Pak alles wat je kan
En ga-a-a-a, a-a-a-a
Pak alles wat je kan!

Which translates as:

Live! As if it is your last day
Live! As if the morning doesn't exist
Live! As if it's never really over
Live! Grab everything you can...

And g-o-o-o-o, o-o-o-o
Grab everything you can
And g-o-o-o-o, o-o-o-o
Grab everything you can!

...which just about sums our long weekend up, really, dear reader!

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Mijn Mokums paradijs

By the time you read this, dear reader, we will be heading off to the joys of our favourite city (after London, of course), Amsterdam for their fantabulosa Gay Pride!

All together now...

Geef mij maar Amsterdam
Dat is mooier dan Parijs
Geef mij maar Amsterdam
Mijn Mokums paradijs

See you next week, dear chums!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Queen's Balls

On the eve of our trip to Amsterdam, the countdown continues - with a really weird one!

I stumbled across this completely by accident last night, and, in a moment of madness just had to share it with you, dear reader...

There are no words. In Dutch, or otherwise.