Wednesday 30 November 2016

Sharon Stone, eat yer heart out

Happy St Andrew's Day to any Scottish (or, more likely, three-parts-Scotch) chums out there!

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Trapped no longer

RIP Colonel Abrams (25th May 1949 - 24th November 2016).

Yet another memory of the 80s gone too soon. We all loved this one:

  • Colonel was in fact his real name.
  • Early in his career he founded the band 94 East, which briefly featured Prince on guitar.
  • His 1980s hits were masterminded by legendary British producer Richard James Burgess - who launched Spandau Ballet to stardom, and who sang lead vocals on Landscape's Einstein A Go-Go.
  • Despite Trapped getting to #3 in the UK and having considerable success on the dance circuit, Mr Abrams never had a chart hit in his home country the USA.
  • Sadly, last year it was reported that he was living homeless in New York, and a crowdfunding campaign was launched to purchase his much-needed diabetes medicine.

Monday 28 November 2016

Things that you are into

The 55th birthday today of singer Patty Zomer (who? I hear you ask) gives me a perfect excuse to feature a really cheesy number on this Tacky Music Monday.

Here, to cheer us up as we face the prospect of yet another week of toil, is the lady herself with her band - none other than Holland's (ahem) finest, the Dolly Dots!

If Legs & Co and Bucks Fizz had ever had progeny, this inevitably would have been the result...

Not exactly the Spice Girls.

Have a great week, dahlings!

Sunday 27 November 2016

A Sunday evening "look"

I know just how Joan feels.

Keep me coming back for seconds

Ah, Mr Marcus Reeves. The man who Elaine Paige described as "a new Tim Rice", whose singing, costumery and musical writing has been a major source of entertainment for us at Dolores Delargo Towers for many years - notably here, here and here.

Our very first encounter with Mr Reeves' prodigious talent was our sojourn to see his musical based upon the life of the art-loving nun who became a television sensation - Postcards from God: The Sister Wendy Musical way back in 2007. And latterly, he has turned his hand to poetry, with the publication ["hot from my publisher, Prontaprint"] of his collection Sighs Ten.

And it was to the launch of the audio version of his ‘chapbook’ that Jim and I ventured into the wilds of Haggerston in Hackney on Wednesday...

Haggerston's gay pub The Glory is a venue founded by alternative drag superstar Johnny Woo, and - quite a surprise given the preponderance of "attitude-heavy" trendy bars in neighbouring Hoxton, Shoreditch and Dalston - is reasonably-priced and quite charming. The cosy upstairs bar belies the capacious downstairs club area in which Mr Reeves was to perform, and, for a mid-week event, it housed a substantial number of people in the audience (which was pleasing to note, for Marcus's sake).

Disappointingly for us camp aficionados, Mr Reeves has ditched the extravagant costumes and make-up for a "dressed-down" look. In his own words (describing his hooded top) he looked "like a pink marshmallow" as he took to the stage, to entertain us with extracts of all his repertoire - a number of favourites from Quicksilver including Mad Bad World and Black Tears (done "jazz style"), some from his EP Three Little Words, and an appearance from Sister Wendy! - as well as his poignant poems. He was met with such rapturous applause, he even did an encore (a reprise of Mistaken Identity). It was thoroughly entertaining.

For your delectation, here are just a couple of extracts an extract from Sighs Ten:

2023 UPDATE: All gone from Soundcloud and YouTube, but Marcus performing Give Me Your Hand is still available on Vimeo [but refuses to embed].

All this and more may be found on the Marcus Reeves website.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Radical fairies, the state of the gay nation, jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves, pyjamas, Edgeworth Bess and Vita Lampada

It has been a while - too long - since last I traversed the portals of the Royal Festival Hall function rooms, but last night a troupe of us (me, John-John, Paul, little Tony, Emma, Wayne et al) gathered for the last outing of "London's peerless gay literary salon" for 2016 - the ninth birthday of Polari (where does the time go? I've been a regular at this event for eight years)!

Host Paul Burston was appropriately attired in his fabulous new silk suit (from the swanky Brighton and Spitalfields tailor Gresham Blake) for the occasion, as he introduced the readers for the evening.

Opening proceedings was a genuine pioneer: founder member of the Gay Liberation Front in the UK, and stalwart of the anarchic drag troupe Bloolips (alongside our fave "Homosexual Hall of Fame"-er Miss Bette Bourne - see here, here, here and here), Mr Stuart Feather. He read a few wonderful recollections of the characters from those remarkable days of proto-revolutionary gay politics and communal living from his new memoir Blowing the Lid - Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens, and I was bewitched by it all...

There is, as is inevitable with a "limited-edition publication" such as Mr Feather's, nothing resembling an extract online, so instead here is the great man himself, with the aforementioned Ms Bourne, talking about Polari (the lingo, not the literary evening):

Next up was Mr Matthew Todd, former editor of Attitude magazine, whose insights (following Mr Feather's recollections from our cultural history) into the "state of gay society" into the here-and-now from his masterwork Straight Jacket made for some occasionally uncomfortable listening:
Culturally, homosexuality and misery have been linked so tightly by the haters over the years that they have become an offensive cliché to the point where any discussion is dismissed as prejudice. But discuss it we must.

More and more statistics reveal that LGBT people have higher levels of depression, anxiety, addiction and suicidal thoughts. The British Crime Survey 2009 showed that gay men used illicit drugs three times more than heterosexual men. It’s hardly a surprise. As therapist and author Joe Kort states so well in his book 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives, what’s wrong is not our sexuality, but our experience of growing up in a society that still does not fully accept that people can be anything other than heterosexual and cisgendered (i.e. born into the physical gender you feel you are). It is the damage done to us by growing up strapped inside a cultural straitjacket - tight-fitting, one-size restraint imposed on us at birth - that leaves no room to grow. It makes no allowances for the fact that, yes, indeed, some people are different and we deserve - and need - to be supported and loved for who we are, too.
His whole reading was serious, yet not stifling in its analysis of the problems gay people still face coping with our social-media-savvy, drug-fuelled, abs-obsessed scene. There was much nodding of heads among our audience. I sincerely hope there will be many more people out there in the hedonistic "real world" who will read and learn from this book.

The very cute (with his new cropped-hair and glasses-free change of image from last time we saw him) Mr Dean Atta took to the stage to complete our triumvirate of talent for the first half. Entertaining and charming as always, he treated us to some powerful insights into life, loss, and relationships through his marvellous poetry (from his wildly popular compilation I Am Nobody's Nigger), including this one - his answer to the frequent question "where do you come from?":

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live

I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call

I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the Union Jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase

I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions

I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead

I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks

I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself

I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers

I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.


Speaking of fabulous, after the swift fag'n'booze break, in which I had a chance to catch up with the lovely Uli from Gay's the Word bookshop, we welcomed to the mike Polari stalwart VG (Val) Lee.

Doing her best to fit in with the "Being a Man" festival-themed evening, she read a couple of "pyjama-related" extracts from her new book Mr Oliver's Object of Desire, not least our eponymous hero's encounter with the predatory "Doreen":

As ever, a crowd-pleaser. We love her...

Our headliner for the evening was the bestselling author Mr Jake Arnott, who has a new novel The Fatal Tree out early next year - "a world of 'academies' (brothels), 'bung-nippers' (pickpockets), 'buttocks' (prostitutes) with 'Covent Garden Gout' (syphilis) being chased by 'prig-nappers' (Thief-Takers), it tells the tale of the notorious prostitute and pick pocket "Edgeworth Bess", and her escapades in the seedy underworld of 18th Century London with the gangs of ne'er-do-wells who met at Mother Clapp's Molly House. Sounds complex and deliciously intriguing, Mr Arnott's literary talents always impress - and I look forward to reading more about the terrifyingly amoral "Bess" and her motley crew when the book arrives in February.

However for us, he read a piece from his last novel, the equally mysterious House of Rumour, which wove an even more extravagantly decadent tale involving the mysterious disappearance of yet another "amoral" anti-heroine called "Pirate Jenny", and the rumoured involvement of transvestite prostitute named Vita Lampada. What actually became of all of them was about to be (literally) revealed in the middle of an encounter between a slightly-too-nosey female reporter and the book's protagonist "Jack". Exhaustingly curious...

And, on that note, with the customary curtain call and the usual round of schmoozing and "Happy New Year" wishes to all the assembled literati, that was it until - gulp - 27th January 2017. On that occasion, our erudite stars will be Stella Duffy, Rosie Garland, Nathan Evans, Chris Chalmers and Ann Mann. And I can't wait!

We love Polari.

Friday 25 November 2016

I wanna know, I wanna know

Darlings, there's another weekend looming - and we have the ninth birthday of Polari gay literary salon to look forward to tonight, a dry-if-cold few days ahead, and best of all, no work!

What better way to start the party atmosphere than with a number that is guaranteed to get yer hips shaking? As I said about this very song three years ago:
It has horns, it has synthesizers, it has an opening riff so intensely catchy it was used again for another dance classic (Theme From S-Express by S-Express). It has a girl called Dickey. It has acres of tight, primary-coloured satin, afros and sparkles. It's utterly fantabulosa.
It's Rose Royce - so Thank Disco It's Friday!

Sometimes you get a thing for me and you want my company, yes, you do, baby
So I drive for miles to be where you are
I know each time I go I give a little of me away, each time, baby
Just tell me am I the fool who came to town, am I, baby

Is it love you're after
Or just a good time, tell me, baby
Is it love, love, love you're after
Or just a good time

I don't need a thrill to make me feel what I already am, pretty woman, baby
I just want something real when it all goes down, yeah, yeah
Can I believe, put my trust in this love I have found, can I, honey
Or do I have to ride the merry-go-round, do I, baby

Is it love you're after
Or just a good time, tell me, baby
Is it love, love, love you're after
Or just a good time

I wanna know, I wanna know
I've got to know, I've got to know
I wanna know, I wanna know
I've got to know, I've got to know!

But did she ever find out? That is the question...

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 24 November 2016

Thought for the Day

Apparently our American chums are giving thanks today for something-or-other...

Wednesday 23 November 2016

A cuddle by the fire, Spanish-style

Feeling a little chilly today? Here's a little something that should warm you up...

On this, the 140th anniversary of the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, here's a magnificent interpretation from his ballet El Amor Brujo ("Bewitched love") of the classic Ritual Fire Dance!

With choreography by Carlos Saura and Antonio Gades (who is also the male lead dancer, opposite the sublime Cristina Hoyos), plus the unsurpassable vocals of our great Patron Saint of Histrionics Señorita Rocio Jurado, what better way to take one's mind off Winter?

Roll on our trip to Spain in February, I say!!

Manuel de Falla y Matheu (23rd November 1876 – 14th November 1946)

Tuesday 22 November 2016

A seasonal tradition

Flooding in places that have never suffered flooding before is now an annual pre-Christmas event, it has been confirmed.

Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom told press that unprecedented flooding is now part of the wonderful pageant of British Yuletide.

She continued: “It’s nothing to do with global warming, which isn’t happening and anyway we’re withdrawing from that kind of thing with Brexit.

“No, torrents of filthy flood water invading your home are just one of those marvellously British Christmas rituals, like warm mince pies with a dollop of cream or watching 'Die Hard'.

“I just love gathering the whole family around the television watching cars get stranded and seeing soaking families gather in school gymnasiums. Gives me that warm festive feeling.”

Flood victim Steve Malley of Stalybridge said: “Christmas is one of those things that’s always evolving, always that wonderful mix of the old and the new.

“I’m just glad I’ve been able to bring joy to so many this year. We weren’t insured.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

The real story: Britain is underwater.

Monday 21 November 2016

To mark "International Men's Day" (if a little late)...

...what better than an extract from Confessions of a King's Road Cowboy by Johnny Cigarini?:
More though than his acting and his thuggery, John Bindon was famous for the size of his cock. And he would love showing it off and to everyone. He could grasp it with two large hands and still have plenty left over to swing in a circle. Dani called it, in a French accent, Le pink elicoptere. It was like a hose. His party trick in pubs was to put empty pint glasses on it, and put his penis through the handles. I believe he could do ten at one time, or something ridiculous.

I was having lunch with him in the Great American Disaster one day, when the waitress came to take our order, without lifting his haunches, he draped his cock across the table, stuck a fork in it and said, can I have this lightly grilled, darling? Yes, that was John Bindon, the thug with the giant one.

It was a bright and glorious summer day, we were outside the Chelsea Potter on the King’s Road. There was currently a government survey into the UK sex trade, being led by a very upright and proper English aristocrat named Lord Longford. Bindon saw Longford approaching on the pavement, so he whipped out his cock and started swirling it. "How would you like to put this in your report, Lord Longford?" he shouted down the King’s Road.
No wonder Princess Margaret was so keen on him...

John Dennis Arthur Bindon (4th October 1943 - 10th October 1993)

International Men's Day was on 19th November.

Hold on hon, we're gonna bunny-hug - I bought some aspirin down at United Drug

Oh my dears, it's miserable and dark out there, and the last thing I want to do is go out and to the office...

Never mind - on this Tacky Music Monday, let's instead dream of better things - such as the incomparable pairing of two of our favourite "va-va-voom" girls, Miss Liza Minelli and (today's birthday celebrant) Miss Goldie Hawn!

Many happy returns, Goldie Jeanne Hawn (born 21st November 1945)

Sunday 20 November 2016

I don't ordinarily drink with strangers; I guess I usually drink alone

I am having a bit of a "monging-about day" here at Dolores Delargo Towers, after a birthday party that went on till late on Friday, and a visit from Mother yesterday. As is my wont on a Sunday, it's non-stop Radio 2 on the airwaves - all showtunes, blasts-from-the-past, Big Band choons and easy listening.

And to match the "Sunday music" mood, here's a little something from today's birthday girl, Miss June Christy!

Something Cool, indeed.

Something cool
I'd like to order something cool
It's so warm here in town and this heat gets me down
Yes, I'd like something cool

My, it's nice to simply sit and rest awhile
You know it's a shame
I can't think of your name
I remember your smile

I don't ordinarily drink with strangers
I guess I usually drink alone
But you were so awfully nice to ask me
And I'm so terribly far from home

Like my dress I must confess it's very old
But it's simple and neat, it's just right for this heat
Save my furs for the cold
A cigarette, no I don't smoke them as a rule
But I'll have one, it might be fun with something cool

I'd bet you wouldn't imagine that I once had a house
With so many rooms you couldn't count them all
I'll bet that you couldn't imagine I had fifteen different beaus
Who would beg and beg to take me to a ball

And I know you couldn't picture me
The time I went to Paris in the fall
And who would think the man that I loved
Was quite so handsome and quite so tall

Well, it's through, it's just a memory I had
One I almost forgot since the weather's so hot
And I'm feeling so bad about a date, oh wait, I'm such a fool
He's just a guy who stopped to buy me something cool

June Christy (born Shirley Luster, 20th November 1925 – 21st June 1990)

Saturday 19 November 2016

If "Strictly Come Dancing" were more like this...

...I might watch it!

Boot Camp? It certainly is...

Yesterday, I made a comment about the "Easy Going" video that it was "possibly one of the gayest things you will experience all week". I think, with this one, I may have to revise that statement.

[Thanks again to Madam Arcati for finding this one!]

Friday 18 November 2016

The pioneer of Disco

“If disco – and the music which came after – has an angel, it is the raggedy figure of David Mancuso. If it has a birthplace, it is his club, the Loft.” - Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life.

Legendary DJs such as Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Francois Kervorkian and David Morales cited him as their greatest influence. Without Mr David Mancuso (who died on Monday) and his utopian Loft "club", the whole genre that we now know as "Disco" would have looked very different indeed. His Loft hosted one of the earliest regular "gay dance parties" in New York, at which Mr Mancuso (and his state-of-the art sound system) gave a first outing for many later-to-be-successful artists such as MFSB, Manu Dibango, Nuyorican Soul and Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band to whooping crowds of dancers, and provided a launch-pad from which the multi-coloured, multi-sexual, hedonistic NY club scene would flourish in the 1970s.

There's a whole raft of fascinating dance gems that range across the five-decade history of The Loft (everything from Ian Dury to Harold Melvin to Jah Wobble to the Three Degrees!) in the "Top 100" list compiled by a user called "The Scientist" over at RateYourMusic, and from it, this...

Possibly one of the gayest things you will experience all week - here's Easy Going and Baby I Love You:

Thank Disco it's Friday!

RIP David Mancuso (20th October 1944 – 14th November 2016).

Hope you have a suitably chiffon-clad and sparkly weekend in his honour, dear reader...

Thursday 17 November 2016

Invaluable advice for today's office...

...from Memo: How to be a Super Secretary by “renowned typist and secretary” Olga Elkouri.

To read the whole thing, visit the marvellous Dangerous Minds.

You'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Life is but a dream

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream


...the Warwick Rowers calendar 2017 is here!

The Warwick Rowers 2017 calendar raises money for the Sport Allies Charity, that leads the fight against homophobia in sport. And they are gorgeous!

Tuesday 15 November 2016

In honour of Alcohol Awareness Week...

Strings and the Mädchen

It's dark and damp, and very autumnal out there. Time for a little light musical interlude, courtesy of the faboo Soft Tempo Lounge, methinks...

I feel better already.

Music: Tina's Waltz by Nelson Riddle and 101 Strings

Monday 14 November 2016

Do you know what you started? I just came here to party

As a new week gathers, so do the clouds and the drizzle. Yuk. No "Super-Moon" for us, then...

Never mind, to cheer us up on this Tacky Music Monday, here's one of our all-time favourite performers in this particular category - Charo!

Please Don't Stop The Music? Some may disagree.

Have a good one!

Sunday 13 November 2016

Quote of the day

Dame Elton John, discussing his new exhibition of his photography collection in The Guardian:
One surprise in The Radical Eye show is the framing of the images, which is, well, a bit bling – gold and silver gilt rather than, as he puts it, “boring bloody black”. That will, I say, almost certainly annoy the purists. “Oh, they can fuck off,” he says. “All I am saying is, look at them in a different way – as magnificent works of art that should be magnificently framed.”

"A Forgotten Model" by George Platt-Lynes


The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the collection of Sir Elton John is on at Tate Modern until 7th May 2017.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Fast food ambassador

Nigel Farage will be Donald Trump’s high powered ‘go-between’ whenever the new president wants to eat some pizza.

An excited Farage was summoned to New York by Trump yesterday to be appointed as one of the billionaire’s eight ‘fast food ambassadors’.

Farage said: “It will be my job to sit down with the nearest Domino’s and talk through Donald’s approach and his priorities. They need to understand that he wants to a deal about pizza, but it has to be the right deal.

“His claim that anchovies were only fit for Mexican rapists was campaign trail rhetoric.

“He wants to work with anchovies, he wants to work with thinly sliced ham and he wants to work with black olives.

“Well, maybe not black olives. Do olives come in beige? And if not, why not?”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Friday 11 November 2016

Dancin' with my baby, drives me crazy

Ah, g'wan then! Here, to make recompense for even daring to consider Leonard Cohen (RIP) as suitable material for an end-of-week party moment - here's Legs and Co, making a feathery nonsense out of Chic's Dance Dance Dance...

Thank (properly) Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, peeps.

Dance me to the end...

This week has really dragged, and for much of it we've had to restrain ourselves from screaming at the constant, tortuous, never-ending analysis, backlash, accusation, counter-accusation and general posturing that surrounded the election of the most controversial US President in history.

However, the week is almost over, so we need at least a little moment of escapism through dance.

Who would ever have thought - as the tributes pour in to Canada's most revered miserablist song-poet, whose death was announced today - that it would possibly be Leonard Cohen who would provide us with the choon to get the party started this weekend?!

OK, OK - I can't exactly imagine what on earth Legs & Co would make of it, but here's what DJ Paul Kalkbrenner has done with Mr C's most recent single You Want It Darker to make it dance-able...

I love it - and Thank Disco re-mixers It's Friday!

RIP Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (21st September 1934 – 7th November 2016)

Thursday 10 November 2016

Billy May arranged this for me

Another day, another centenary...

One of the greatest bandleader-arrangers Mr Billy May was born one hundred years ago today!

The man worked with everyone - from Glenn Miller to Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Nat King Cole, Anita O'Day, Vic Damone, Bobby Darin, Johnny Mercer, Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Jones, Bing Crosby, Nancy Wilson, Rosemary Clooney, The Andrews Sisters, Ella Mae Morse - and Miss Keely Smith, who even credited him in the lyrics of I Can't Get Started...

...and of course, Francis Albert Sinatra, starting with Come Fly With Me:

He had great success in his arrangements of popular television themes of his day, especially the Green Hornet theme:

He even (as so many bandleaders did) turned his hand to Mambo, with such classics as Perfidia:

It would appear that some people would have loved him to run a country; and in light of recent events, he probably would have been a damn sight more popular than some recent contenders (one in particular). Yes, Michigan's II-V-I Orchestra want Billy May for President!

I agree wholeheartedly.

  • With an early break in 1938 playing trumpet for Charlie Barnet's big band, Billy kept working almost until his death seven decades later - he curated a series of "swing era" compilations for Time-Life in the late 90s.
  • It was Billy May who wrote many of the arrangements of Glenn Miller's standards, including American Patrol and Serenade In Blue.
  • Frank Sinatra wanted Billy and his band for his first albums, but when he was unavailable, took Nelson Riddle as second choice; May and Sinatra eventually worked together on six of the latter's biggest selling LPs.
Edward William "Billy" May, Jr (10th November 1916 – 22nd January 2004)

Wednesday 9 November 2016

"You can't hurt me. This is my world. And you can't ever leave."

On this date in history:
  • 1494 Family de' Medici become rulers of Florence.
  • 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte becomes dictator (1st consul) of France.
  • 1921 Partito Nazionalista Fascista formed in Italy by Mussolini.
  • 1923 Beer Hall Putsch organised by Hitler in Munich.
  • 1938 Kristallnacht begins: pogrom against Jews in Germany and Austria.
  • 1984 Wes Craven's horror film "A Nightmare on Elm Street" premieres in the US.
2016 History repeating.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

We've gone Hi-Fi here at Dolores Delargo Towers...

...courtesy of the ever-wonderful Dangerous Minds!

"He let me carry it - it's so light. Chic, too - but then, it comes from France. Dad says I can have one for Christmas. Hurry up Christmas!"


Monday 7 November 2016

It might have been in County Down

It's happened again! No sooner do I think I've "closed-off" another Tacky Music Monday, but another Scopitone fave goes and pops her clogs...

Not before she went Around the World, of course:

Around the world I've searched for you;
I travelled on when hope was gone
To keep a rendezvous.
I knew somewhere, sometime, somehow,
You'd look at me and I would see
The smile you're smiling now.

It might have been in County Down,
Or in New York, or gay Paree,
Or even London town.
No more will I go all around the world
For I have found my world in you.

RIP, the lovely Kay Starr (born Katherine Laverne Starks, born 21st July 1922, departed for Fabulon 3rd November 2016)

Lord, what a dream I had, oh whee!

Monday again.

After a fab but rather hectic weekend (planting out wallflowers on Saturday; yesterday all day filming for another promo video for LGBT History Month - see the last one), I don't feel like I have had any rest at all.

Hey ho. Back to reality, to the ever-exciting office, to the never-ending Brexit blather, and to the final death-throes of the interminable US election...

On this Tacky Music Monday, how about a little bit of the lovely Marion Montgomery to ease our woes? In her baby-doll-clad Scopitone-tinged world - it was all Just a Dream:

I dreamed I starred in pictures,
I starred on TV too
I dreamed I made so much money
I did not know what to do

But it was a dream,
Lord, what a dream I had on my mind
Oh, when I woke up this mornin',
Not a penny could I find

I dreamed I was in the White House,
Sittin' in the President's chair;
I dreamed he's shakin' my hand and sayin',
"Marian, we are glad you are here!"

But it was a dream,
Lord, what a dream I had, oh whee!
'Cause when I woke up this mornin',
There was no-one here but me

I say I dreamed Louella loved me,
And Walter Winchell too
They wrote down in their columns,
"Honey, no-one is better than you!".

But it was just a dream,
just one of those things
And when I woke up this mornin',
Their columns said, "Some lady sings"

I dreamed nobody loved me,
I dreamed nobody cared,
I dreamed that I was all alone;
Believe me, I was scared

But it was just a dream,
I am so glad you're in this world
'Cause when I woke up this mornin',
I knew I was a lucky, lucky, lucky girl
I knew I was a lucky lucky girl

Sunday 6 November 2016

In olden days...

We have a centenary to celebrate today, peeps!

King of the lightest-of-light music Mr Ray Conniff (for it is he), as I commented here eight years ago, was "known for his use of human voices in place of instruments in his recordings... [he and] his ever-changing band of squeaky-clean singers were a staple diet of the type of music aficionado who actually bought album collections from the Readers' Digest, and for whom Woolworths' MFP Classics were too racy!"


So, by way of a suitable musical interlude on this cold November morning, what better than some (more) of his - ahem - "classic" arrangements..?

That's better...

Joseph Raymond "Ray" Conniff (6th November 1916 – 12th October 2002)

Saturday 5 November 2016

It's not the way you have your hair

I have long been a fan/follower of the peerless Hair Hall of Fame blog, but one man's utterly outlandish hairstyle must rank as the most memorable of all time...

Mr Mike Score (for it is he - celebrating his 59th birthday today) and his band A Flock of Seagulls were known here in their native UK as archetypal "one-hit wonders". Eclipsed as they were by myriad hugely successful artists of that "New Romantic"/electronic era such as OMD, Human League, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Soft Cell and Ultravox, they only achieved one Top Ten hit in their entire career. However, they were embraced by America (late to the party, as usual) - alongside other British "New Wave-rs" whose domestic success was negligible such as Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol and Thomas Dolby - in the early '80s heyday of MTV and the "Second British Invasion". The band (or at least a version of it put together by Mr Post) is apparently still performing to this day.

And here is that hit - Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You):

It's not the way you look
It's not the way that you smile
Although there's something to them
It's not the way you have your hair

It's not that certain smile
It could be that with you

If I had a photograph of you
It's something to remind me
I wouldn't spend my life just wishing
It's not the make up and it's not the way that you dance

It's not the evening sky
It's more the way your eyes are laughing as they glance
Across the great divide

If I had a photograph of you
It's something to remind me

I wouldn't spend my life just wishing
It's not the things you say
it's not the things you do

It must be something more
And if I feel this way for so long

Tell me
Is it all for nothing
just don't walk out the door
If I had a photograph of you
It's something to remind me

I wouldn't spend my life just wishing

Friday 4 November 2016

If it's the last thing we ever do

In? Out? Shake it all about?

I'm heartily sick of the whole "Brexit" thing.

As we hurtle (roller-skate?) towards another weekend, there is only one - most appropriate - song we need to play to get this party started, courtesy of Gilla...

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'cause girl, there's a better life for me and you

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Thursday 3 November 2016

Brush me, Daddy-o!

Timeslip moment again...

This time around, we've been unceremoniously dumped back thirty-six years - to the dawning of my favourite decade, the Eighties...

The news in November 1980 had an eerily familiar feel, as a Democratic US Presidential candidate (this time Jimmy Carter) accused his opponent of being "a dangerous right-wing radical", yet was trounced by his Republican opponent (Ronald Reagan), and the world shuddered. Also in the news: NASA space probe Voyager I sent back high definition shots from its orbit of Saturn; the bloody civil war in El Salvador shocked the world; the IRA hunger strike in the Maze Prison was underway; two (one not fatal) attacks on women were attributed to the Yorkshire Ripper; in the ascendant were Solidarity in Poland, Michael Foot (elected Leader of the Labour Party) and Reza Pahlavi (who became Shah-in-waiting of Iran, despite that country's abolition of the title); but MG cars ceased production in the UK after 56 years. In our cinemas: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Blues Brothers and Breaker Morant. On telly: Juliet Bravo (the first series, with Anna Carteret); the launch of the long-running TV review programme Did You See...? (with Ludovic Kennedy); and Shoestring (starring Trevor Eve), in its final series.

In our Charts this week in 1980: Megababs was at #1 with Woman in Love, but Blondie's The Tide is High had just made its début and was about to topple her. Also present and correct were Status Quo, Bad Manners, Matchbox, Odyssey, David Bowie, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Ottowan - and this one!

Here [once again, but I make no excuses for playing it on Mr Goddard's birthday!] is Adam and the Ants with Dog Eat Dog:

Ah, memories.

Many happy returns, Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard, 3rd November 1954)!

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Stealing your man since 1928

Her slogan is "stealing your man since 1928".

She has a diamanté crystal-encrusted walking stick and a necklace that says"Bitch".

She is 88-year-old great-grandmother Baddie Winkle!

One can only sit back and admire her sheer chutzpah - as she delights in becoming the latest "face" of teen pop clothing brand Missguided...

An inspiration to us all.

More on "the baddest granny around" in The Telegraph.