Friday, 24 March 2023

I just can't be confined, oh, looking back in time

Calm down, dear!

Hoorah! The weekend's almost here.

My sister, History Boy and I are headed off tomorrow to visit The Mother in Portsmouth (bastard train strikes having prevented us from doing so last weekend for Mothers' Day, or indeed, her opportunity to come to London). The weather looks grim, but I'm certain we'll make the most of it.

We need a little boost to get us in the appropriate party mood - and who better to provide it than the Detroit Spinners? Get your best powder blue flared-and-huge-collared suits out of the back of the wardrobe, dear reader, practice those synchronised click-and-spin moves - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, folks!

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Ain't nobody does it better


That powerhouse of talent, the incredible Miss Chaka Khan is 70 years old today!


  • She was born Yvette Marie Stevens, but claims she was given her name "Chaka" when she was 13 by a West African mystic of her bohemian parents' acquaintance.
  • Not to be left out, her sister re-christened herself Taka Boom.
  • Her father's second wife joined the notorious Black Panthers.
  • In a career spanning seven decades, Miss Khan (either solo or with her band Rufus) has sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide.
  • She got her big break thanks to Tina Turner, who wanted Chaka to join her "Ikettes"; she turned down the offer, but the attention got her and Rufus noticed.
  • The Robert Palmer smash Addicted to Love was originally a duet with Miss Khan, but the producers removed her vocals.

How very dare they - when her vocals are as brilliant as this..?!

Many happy returns, Chaka Khan!

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Dance and drink and screw

It's the centenary today of the birth of Marcel Marceau, the 80th birthday of George Benson, the 75th of Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the 60th [gulp!] of Susanne Sulley of the Human League [and of The Beatles debut album Please Please Me], and the 50th of soulstress Beverley Knight, as well as the birthdays of Stephen Sondheim, Roger Whittaker, Chico Marx, Reese Witherspoon, Wilfrid Brambell, Stephanie Mills, Foo Foo Lammar, Leslie Thomas, Fanny Ardant, Karl Malden and Nicholas Monsarrat...

...and that of William Shatner...

...and last but not least our own, our very own, Star Trek's Number One Fan, Inexplicable DeVice!

I just had to repost this "face swap" again...

Just because - let's celebrate with a brilliant montage video featuring everyone's favourite "Captain" and his unbeatable tribute to BritPop, shall we?

Happy Birthday, Mr IDV!

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Nobody had done any prep, nobody wanted to be there and it was close to being entirely unproductive

Attendees at a business meeting have confirmed all the actual decisions were made in the final fifteen seconds before everyone stood up to leave.

The meeting, titled ‘Q2 Budget Review’, began at 10am and the initial two hours were wasted getting drinks, watching an uninformative PowerPoint, and sharing gossip about anyone not in attendance.

Marketing head Carolyn Ryan said: “It was a traditional business meeting in that nobody had done any prep, nobody wanted to be there and it was close to being entirely unproductive.

“We lost fifteen minutes early on because we’d changed rooms and Nathan had missed the email, then Lindsey had to go and get two more chairs, then I needed coffee but there weren’t any mugs in the kitchen so I had to go down to the fifth floor.

“When I got back Richard was halfway through a story about his mum being ill so we couldn’t just move on to the actual topic of the meeting without being heartless bastards. Katie did a PowerPoint that had fuck all to do with anything, then we had biscuits.

“Suddenly it was lunchtime, there were people banging on the doors for their meeting, and so we agreed we’ll go for a 7.5 per cent budget increase weighted toward last year’s results and review in April in line with the strategy statement. Then got our mugs and left.

“It was so productive that Damien’s booked in a follow-up next week.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Now you have an insight, dear reader, into a typical day in my office...

Monday, 20 March 2023

The obvious reason is because of the season

Monday again...

As another weekend fades [one of mixed fortunes - a lot of rain, but we still managed to get some plants pruned and some new acqusitions potted-on], there may be another week of dreariness to come in the office but at least from today on the days start getting longer - and on this Tacky Music Monday, our Patron Saint of Bugle Beads Mitzi Gaynor (and chums Wayne Rogers and Roy Clark) knows a song about that! [Although you will need to turn the volume up...]

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Mama's Day!

On this Mothering Sunday, I thought nothing less than a triple-bill of tributes would do!

Of course, here at Dolores Delargo Towers, we do like our tributes to come with a twist...

Have a great day, all you mothers out there!

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Tell me now, how does it feel?

Happy 40th Birthday! New Order's Blue Monday first arrived in the charts on this weekend in March 1983:

  • It reached #12 on 23rd April.
  • Having not left the Top 100 all year, it re-entered the Top 40 on 17th September.
  • It hit its highest chart position - #9 - on 15th October.
  • However, it was actually a remix by none other than Quincy Jones that gave the song its highest chart place (#3) five years later, in May 1988.

An all-time classic, way back in 2009 I decided to post a "recipe" of the "ingredients" that contributed to its composition, based upon a Sky Arts documentary at the time - and lo and behold, Alex Petridis in The Guardian has done the same. Some of the ingredients he used were the same as mine, but there are some interesting differences...

Both he and I acknowledged that this slice of Italo disco brilliance (which Bernard Sumner has always cited as one of his favourite songs) was a key element:

It's undeniable that Giorgio Moroder's groundbreaking collaboration with Donna Summer was a big influence on the band, but I chose the obvious number...

...whereas Mr Petridis suggested this album track:

It's undeniable that this one had to be in the mix, and our lists coincided again:

Although, inevitably, a soupçon of Kraftwerk had to be there, the "flavours" diverged - as Alex chose this:

Whereas I specified one that was a tad more familiar:

There was one more piece in the Guardian article that came as a bit of a "left-fielder", however. Apparently Peter Hook claimed the sparse riffs of Blue Monday were inspired by the twanging lead guitar in Ennio Morricone's score for For a Few Dollars More!

Whatever the ingredients, the resulting "dish" is delicious, indeed:

New Order official website


The official lyric video...