Sunday, 31 March 2019

One magic moment





Once again, Mothering Sunday (Mothers' Day over here in the UK) is upon us. Quite appropriate, really, that today's birthday girl is the "Great Earth Mother" of The Partridge Family, Miss Shirley Jones, who is 85 years old today!

Here is the lady herself, in her absolute prime, with a faboo version of a Gershwin classic...


Many happy returns, Shirley Mae Jones (born 31st March 1934).

Saturday, 30 March 2019

I now detect an alien vibration here



Bloody Hell!

The original "post-punk professional weirdo" Miss Lene Lovich, icon of Goths and outsiders everywhere, is seventy years old...

Gulp.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge [four decades, in fact] since this classic hit our charts:


Many happy returns, Lene Lovich (born Lili-Marlene Premilovich, 30th March 1949)

Friday, 29 March 2019

It's a neverending promise of a holy grail



And so, on the day we were supposed to be leaving the bloody EU once-and-for all, the debacle just carries on, and on, and on...
TV show Blue Peter has asked children to make a basic Brexit plan and send them in, with the best ones going to Parliament to be voted on.

Presenter Lindsey Russell demonstrated how to draw a Brexit deal with felt tips, or make one from washing-up liquid bottles, kitchen foil and double-sided sticky tape.

She said: “The best Brexit plans will be sent straight to the world-famous House of Commons, right next to Big Ben, where people called ‘MPs’ will put them through a series of ‘indicative votes’.

“If your plan’s good enough it could go all the way to becoming law and shaping our relationship with our neighbours for decades to come.

“You’ll be invited on the show to meet Speaker of the House John Bercow and you’ll get a very rare ‘I Had a Plan for Brexit’ Blue Peter badge.

“Sorry, this competition is not open to viewers in Northern Ireland at the DUP’s request.”


Nine-year-old Nathan Muir said: “My dad helped me with it but the Irish backstop kept falling out. We just sent it in anyway. They won’t notice.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Still, there's always a party to look forward to on the weekend... Let's start as we mean to go on, in the company of Mr Moroder and Miss Minogue - and Thank Disco It's Friday!


When the lights start flashing
It could open up your eyes
And the highest mountain
Is the one that you have climbed

(Yeah?!)
I could look for love, to skies in blue
I could look for love, to get over you
I could look for love, for a deeper kiss
Nothing ever felt, as good as this

Staring in your eyes, I see the sunrise
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
No deeper feeling, this is the real thing
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh)
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh)
There's nowhere else but right here, right now

It's a neverending
Promise of a holy grail
But this place I'm in, it feels so real
Gotta sit back and exhale

(Yeah?!)
I could look for love, to skies in blue
I could look for love, to get over you
I could look for love, for a deeper kiss
Nothing ever felt, as good as this

Staring in your eyes, I see the sunrise
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
No deeper feeling, this is the real thing
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh)
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh)
There's nowhere else but right here, right now

Cause the way you hold me tonight
Makes it feel like there's nowhere else I'd rather be
Than right here, right now, tonight
Yeah, right here, right now, tonight

(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh)
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh)
There's nowhere else but right here, right now
(Ooooohhh-oooh-ooh...)


Have fun, whatever you get up to this weekend, dear chums...

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Boop-oop-i-doop!



Timeslip moment time again...

The USS Enterprise-D has deposited us a quarter of a century ago, in the nexus of 1994 - the year of the Channel Tunnel, Nelson Mandela and the final end of apartheid, Edwina Currie's support of the lowering of the age of consent for homosexual relationships to 16 which was rejected and followed by the passing of an amendment which made it 18, Fred and Rose West and the "House of Horrors" murders, the sinking of the MS Estonia in the Baltic Sea with 852 deaths, Prince Charles' confession on TV of adultery with Camilla (and Diana wearing that iconic "little black dress" on the same day), the Britpop "war" between Oasis and Blur, Newt Gingrich, Pulp Fiction, the arrest of OJ Simpson for murder, the Sony Playstation, genocide in Rwanda, Wet Wet Wet's Love Is All Around being at #1 for 15 weeks, Serial Mom, civil war in Yemen, "Life is like a box of chocolates", and the Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley freakshow wedding; the births of Tom Daley, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Friends, Yahoo, AOL and Amazon; and the deaths of Jackie Onassis, Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Burt Lancaster, Fanny Cradock, Cesar Romero, Telly Savalas, Labour leader John Smith, Henry Mancini, John Curry, Kurt Cobain, Cab Calloway, Ayrton Senna and Doris Speed.

In the headlines in late March twenty-five years ago? The first women were ordained as priests in the Church of England, the grim discoveries continued of the numerous victims of the Wests at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, the IRA launched three successive mortar attacks on Heathrow Airport, at the 66th Academy Awards Schindler's List won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, and that famous photo of the "Loch Ness Monster" from 1934 was finally exposed as a fake; in the ascendant was Silvio Berlusconi (whose right-wing coalition won the Italian general election), but we waved a sad farewell to actor-turned-wildlife-conservationist Bill Travers (of Born Free fame). In our cinemas: What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, Philadelphia and Sister Act 2. On telly: Play Your Cards Right with Bruce Forsyth, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, and the final appearance of "Ivy Tilsley" in Corrie.

And in our charts: Ace Of Base, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Salt'n'Pepa with En Vogue, Reel 2 Reel, D:Ream, Bon Jovi, Blur and Degrees of Motion were all present and correct, but there was only one winner...

...at the Number 1 slot was this pseudo-1920s number:


Loved it!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

More lost without you, and so it goes




Janelle, whoooo?!



"I am not a special person. I am a regular person who does special things."

"There's a category for me. I like to be referred to as a good singer of good songs in good taste."

"As soon as I hear an arrangement, I get ideas, kind of like blowing a horn. I guess I never sing a tune the same way twice..."

"There are notes between notes, you know."

"I dig Doris Day!"


It's Consecutive Diva Season again, folks - Scott Walker's death rather overshadowed the fact it would have been Queen Aretha's 77th on Monday, yesterday we had Miss Ross a-blowing out 75 candles, and today (as well as being the 120th anniversary of the birth of Miss Gloria Swanson) would have been "Sassy" Sarah Vaughan's 95th birthday!

To celebrate, here is "The Divine One" herself, with her inimitable version of a cabaret standard...


We adore her.

Sarah Lois Vaughan (27th March 1924 – 3rd April 1990)

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ooh, little girl please don't wait for me



As previously mentioned over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp, it is the seventy-fifth anniversary today of the birth of the one-and-only Miss Diana Ross!

Confirming just why Miss Ross is [as if any question could be raised to the contrary] a gay icon - here's the lady herself, doing what she does best:


Facts about Diana Ross:
  • With Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown, she was a member of "The Primettes" when they auditioned for Motown; Berry Gordy agreed to sign them as long as they agreed to change the band's name to The Supremes.
  • In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared her the most successful female music artist in history, having had more hits than any female artist in the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist.
  • She was born Diane but due to an admin error, her name became Diana.
  • She was nominated twelve times for a Grammy without ever winning, but received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • The $20 million deal she signed when she left Motown for RCA in 1981 was, at the time, the most lucrative deal known in the history of music.
  • She received an Oscar nomination for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues in 1972.
  • During filming for her other star-vehicle film Mahogany, not only was the original director Tony Richardson sacked and replaced by Berry Gordy, but Miss Ross argued so much with Gordy that she quit prematurely, leaving his secretary to act as her body double; the film was not a success.
Many happy returns, Miss Diana!

Monday, 25 March 2019

Cute in a stupid ass way


"He was enigmatic, mysterious and with some of his latter recordings, to me, infuriating. An absolute musical genius, existential and intellectual and a star right from the days of the Walker Brothers. So many of his songs will go round in my head forever. And that voice! We lost Bowie now we’ve lost him. There is surely a crack in the Universe. Thank you Scott." - Marc Almond
Sad news. That most influential of pop stylists, the singer-songwriter Scott Walker is dead.

Cited as a major source of inspiration on their own work by such luminaries as David Bowie, Julian Cope, Soft Cell, Billy MacKenzie, Brian Eno, Goldfrapp, Neil Hannon, Jarvis Cocker, Radiohead, Damon Albarn and David Sylvian, his lush deep baritone vocals, paired with a taste for the unusual in his musical projects, made him a cult favourite long after the glitter of pop stardom (mainly with The Walker Brothers) had faded.

Here, also paying tribute, is one of our own cult divas:


But here is the man himself, with my fave among his solo songs:


And if one day I should become
A singer with a Spanish bum
Who sings for women of great virtue
I'd sing to them with a guitar
I borrowed from a coffee bar
Well, what you don't know doesn't hurt you
My name would be Antonio
And all my bridges I would burn
And when I gave them some they'd know
I'd expect something in return
I'd have to get drunk every night
And talk about virility
With some old grandmother
That might be decked out like a Christmas tree
And though pink elephants I'd see
Though I'd be drunk as I could be
Still I would sing my song to me
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

And if I joined the social whirl
Became procurer of young girls
Then I would have my own bordellos
My record would be number one
And I'd sell records by the ton
All sung by many other fellows
My name would then be handsome Jack
And I'd sell boats of opium
Whisky that came from Twickenham
Authentic queers
And phony virgins
If I had banks on every finger
A finger in every country
And every country ruled by me
I'd still know where I'd want to be
Locked up inside my opium den
Surrounded by some china men
I'd sing the song that I sang then
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

Now, tell me, wouldn't it be nice
That if one day in paradise
I'd sing for all the ladies up there
And they would sing along with me
And we be so happy there to be
Cos' down below is really nowhere
My name would then be Junipher
Then I would know where I was going
And then I would become all knowing
My beard so very long and flowing
If I became deaf, dumb and blind
(was: If I could play deaf, dumb and blind)
Because I pitied all mankind
And broke my heart to make things right
I know that every single night
When my angelic work was through
The angels and the Devil too
Would sing my childhood song to me
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way


RIP, Scott Walker (born Noel Scott Engel, 9th January 1943 – 25th March 2019)

Your nearest exits are here, here and here


We went to see Captain Marvel on the weekend. It looked nothing like this.

Another faboo weekend, over too quickly. Sigh.

Only Scopitone can save us now! On this Tacky Music Monday, let's have a bit of Teddy, his teeth, and his performing stewardesses...


Have a good week, peeps.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

As Mother Nature proudly spreads her new green carpet



Finally, it would appear that Spring has arrived! The sunshine and balmy temperatures have perked the plants up no end, and everything is either sprouting or blooming as we speak. Yesterday I spent a few hours helping our friend John-John in potting-up some new plants he'd bought for his back yard; and today I spent all day in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, tackling some of our large salvias - we now have three S. patens "Deep Blue" and two S. ulignosa; and in previous weeks we also divided our big yellow dahlia into two, and our phlox into three, so the garden will be even more of a jungle this summer than it was last year...

...and, to top it all, our Cymbidium orchid (as pictured above) has fourteen beautiful flowers on an impressive 4ft spike - and it's only the second time it has bloomed in its life!

All this floral goodness deserves an appropriate bit of "Sunday music" to celebrate, and what better than this Spring medley by the impeccable Dame Julie and the man they described as the "greatest living entertainer in the world"?


Medley includes: I Love You, Spring Is Here, Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, April In Paris, It Happens Every Spring, It Might As Well Be Spring.

Lovely.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

It's Mommie's birthday today...



...have a slice!

And by way of a tribute...


Joan Crawford (born Lucille Fay LeSueur, 23rd March 1904 – 10th May 1977)

Friday, 22 March 2019

On a ride through paradise



Phew - another week is drawing to its close, and we need to get into the mood for a party!

On the great George Benson's 76th birthday, what better excuse do we have but to play his legendary and uber-cool floor-filler? But first, a word from our strippers:


Not exactly the image Mr Benson and his producer Mr Quincy Jones wanted to cultivate, I would suggest.

Here's the original (and far superior) version - Thank Disco It's Friday!


Whenever dark has fallen
You know the spirit of the party
Starts to come alive
Until the day is dawning
You can throw out all your blues
And hit the city lights
'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

You need the evening action
A place to dine, a glass of wine
A little late romance
It's a chain reaction
You'll see the people of the world
Coming out to dance
'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

So come on out tonight
And we'll lead the others
On a ride through paradise
And if you feel all right
Then we can be lovers
'Cause I see that starlight
Look in your eyes
Don't you know we can fly
Just gimme the night
Gimme the night

'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the night
Gimme the night

So come on out tonight
And we'll lead the others
On a ride through paradise
And if you feel all right
Then we can be lovers
'Cause I see that starlight
Look in your eyes
Don't you know we can fly

And if we stay together
We'll feel the rhythm of the evening
Taking us up high
Never mind the weather
We'll be dancing in the street
Until the morning light
'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere

So gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
Gimme the night
So, gimme the night


Indeed.

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Many happy returns, George Benson (born 22nd March 1943)

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Gastropubenteritis


Adults have been enviously eyeing the straightforward and tasty children’s menu in a London gastropub, it has emerged.

The grown-up menu at the Hoop and Wheelmaker pub in Hampstead includes unappealing items such as buttered kale casserole, plus simply incomprehensible ones like ‘lamb minarets’.

By contrast, the children’s menu contains classic dishes such as fish fingers, chips and beans, beef burger, chips and beans, and sausages, chips and beans.

Adult Tom Booker said: “That’s proper, actual food. But apparently it’s only available to the under-12s and I have to pay £15 for a cauliflower steak. I mean, fuck off with that.

“Also my kids ordered in 30 seconds, whereas I had to pretend I understood the pretentious menu. What are ‘hand-roasted tomatoes’ anyway?”


Fellow customer Donna Sheridan said: “I had to have a manky sourdough ciabatta while my children were tucking into burgers and potato waffles. It’s so unfair I almost had a tantrum.

“My friend Helen had the cunning idea of ordering two kiddy-sized portions of fish fingers, chips and peas, but the bastards are wise to that and they took the children’s menus away.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

You can almost hear time slipping away



Timeslip moment again...

We've been teleported down to the Spring of 1985: the year of Live Aid, Ronald Reagan, riots in Birmingham, Brixton and the Broadwater Farm estate, the Sinclair C5, the hole in the ozone layer, Back to the Future, the SDP–Liberal Alliance, Boris Becker, the final appearance by Roger Moore as James Bond, Miami Vice, Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta, Garry Kasparov, the hijack of the Achille Lauro, the Heysel Stadium disaster, Super Mario Bros., and the Japan Airlines Flight 123 crash which killed 520 people; the births of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lewis Hamilton, Leona Lewis, Keira Knightley, the Commodore Amiga, Bruno Mars, Lana Del Rey and Windows 1.0.; and the deaths of Rock Hudson, Louise Brooks, Noele Gordon, Orson Welles, Phil Silvers, Dian Fossey, Wilfrid Brambell, Ricky Nelson, Yul Brynner and Laura Ashley.

In the headlines in March thirty-four years ago: Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR, the Miners' Strike finally ended after a year of strife, Mohamed Al-Fayed bought Harrods, a blood test for AIDS was developed to screen blood donations in the USA, the Algarrobo earthquake devastated parts of Chile, US journalist Terry Anderson became the latest hostage taken by Hezbollah in Beirut (he remained in captivity till 1991), and football hooligans caused extensive damage and 81 injured in a rampage in Luton. In our cinemas: Dance With a Stranger, The Breakfast Club and A Passage to India. On telly: the first-ever Comic Relief telethon, the last-ever episode of Play School, James Burke's The Day the Universe Changed, and the new BBC soap EastEnders.

And in our charts this week in 1985? The faboo reign of Dead of Alive's You Spin Me Round unceremoniously ended with a drop from the top to #6, and in its wake - with the possible exception of Madonna's Material World and, at the other end of the scale, Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson's uber-camp opus - the rest of the Top Ten was (ahem) unchallenging, to say the least. Phil Collins and Philip Bailey were at #1, and Miss Alison Moyet, Paul Young, Jermaine Jackson, Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy, David Cassidy and the Commodores were all proudly proclaiming their right to occupy the playlists in supermarkets, airport bars, and the night-time airwaves of Magic FM FOREVER.

And also - fortuitously, since it is the 60th birthday today of one half of the band's line-up Richard Drummie - there was (and probably ever will be) Go West...


Inside everyone hides one desire
Outside no one would know
Danger close to edge of the knife
Safer not to let go
And while we miss chances
You can almost hear time slipping away

We close our eyes, we never lose a game
Imagination never lets us take the blame
We close our eyes to see the final frame
We close our eyes to time slipping away

No show, Wednesday girl waits with the wine
She knows just what to say
While no one listens
You can almost hear time slipping away

We close our eyes, we never lose a game
Imagination never lets us take the blame
We close our eyes to see the final frame
We close our eyes and

We can talk to strangers
We are burning with the spark
And we can walk on water
We are tigers in the dark
We are burning

We close our eyes

Heroes never give into the night
He knows how far he can run
And as he surrenders
You can almost hear time slipping away

We close our eyes, we never lose a game
Imagination never lets us take the blame
We close our eyes to see the final frame
We close our eyes

We close our eyes, we never lose a game
Imagination never lets us take the blame
We close our eyes to see the final frame
We close our eyes

We close our eyes, we walk on water
Lets us take the blame
We are burning
Talk to strangers


I can hear you humming away, dear reader, even now.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Dick lover



Just when I thought this bloody #adecadeago meme-thingy had expired on this here blog - the sad news of the death of "surf" guitarist Dick Dale has brought back out of the woodwork a post I did way back in May 2009, on the occasion of the "twangly one"'s 72nd birthday...
Dick? That's an interesting name...



Happy birthday to Dick Dale, 72 today. Who? I hear you ask...

This legendary Lebanese/Polish guitar maestro was hugely influential in the early 1960s. His skill was to merge the musical influences of his exotic background with the sound of the electric guitar to create a whole new style, which became more widely known as "surf music".

Being largely outshone by imitators such as the Beach Boys, Dick probably would have been consigned to the dustbin of history had it not been for one of his biggest fans, a certain Mr Tarantino...
But this is my own personal favourite of his:

...and it still is.

RIP Dick Dale (born Richard Anthony Mansour, 4th May 1937 - 16th March 2019)

Monday, 18 March 2019

Baby look at me and tell me what you see



Heavens! "Coco" from Fame is 60 years old!

As we crawl from our beds out into the daylight, blinking and complaining, on this Tacky Music Monday let's lift the mood somewhat with one of the lady's most extraordinary performances, ever...


That cheered me up!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Many happy returns, Irene Cara (born Irene Cara Escalera, 18th March 1959)

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Unforgettable in every way





One hundred years ago, a man with one of the most beautiful, instantly-recognisable voices in history was born.

Nathaniel Adams Coles was a bit of a child prodigy - he learned how to play the church organ at 4 years old, and was taking piano lessons at twelve. When he was fifteen, Cole dropped out of high school to pursue a music career, eventually achieving a modicum of success with the King Cole Trio. However, it was this song that first made his name, becoming a huge radio hit for him way back in 1940:


The hits just kept coming from then on, including these:





He broke new ground by being not only the first black person to have his own radio show in the 1940s, but also (ten years later) the first African-American-hosted television show. However, the deeply-embedded racism of American society was never far away. His TV show was eventually cancelled due to the reluctance of companies to sponsor it [to which Nat responded: "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark."]; this was on top of the experience he had when he moved to the the exclusive Los Angeles neighbourhood of Hancock Park in 1948 - he and his wife Maria faced daily harassment, which culminated in someone burning the word "Nigger" into their lawn and poisoning the family dog. Eventually (after criticism from the NAACP for playing to segregated audiences, and after he himself had been subject to an assault on stage), Nat became a prominent spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement.



His musical legacy is huge - he sold 50 million records in a career that spanned from 1940 to his death in 1965, and beyond (his daughter Natalie's posthumous duets with her dad being most lauded) - but this is probably my favourite...


Perfect "Sunday Music"...

Nat King Cole (born Nathaniel Adams Coles, 17th March 1919 – 15th February 1965)

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Into trouble and into paradise



Today I've been trying to sort stuff in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers - emptying and washing the bigger pots, replanting and moving stuff on, and laying down layers of grit on the tops of some of our planters to stop the bastard squrrels and foxes from digging them up - all the while battling the 40-mile-an-hour winds of "Storm Gareth" [oh, how childish it is that the Met Office feels the need to give storms a name these days].

Once the weather really got bad, I was indoors listening to Radio 2, and...

...Rylan Clark played this on his show!

Looking back through this very blog, I find I have never featured it before - so here is the sublime "Steps comeback single" from a couple of years ago...

I absolutely adore it!


What you can't see can't hurt you they say
But I've been blind too many times before
Never see it coming your way
Shadows and secrets hide
Give me the bright lights of the dance floor
To shine inside this broken heart of mine
The way you move I'm forgetting all the ghosts in my mind
Just say your mine and stay by my side
Don't say you're leaving
Don't turn out the lights
I scream I scream I scream

Don't let the the darkness come and hold me
I need someone cause I can't be lonely tonight
Come on baby come and take me in your arms
I'll never be scared of the dark
And when the shadows creep up on me
If I shiver keep your body close to mine
Come on baby come and take me in your arms
I'll never be scared of the dark

I'm the kind who's always falling
Into trouble and into paradise
I don't love by half I'm all in I wanna be yours
Just say you're mine and stay by my side
Don't say you're leaving
Don't turn out the lights
I scream I scream I scream

Don't let the the darkness come and hold me
I need someone cause I can't be lonely tonight
Come on baby come and take me in your arms
I'll never be scared of the dark
And when the shadows creep up on me
If I shiver keep your body close to mine
Come on baby come and take me in your arms
I'll never be scared of the dark
Never be scared of the dark
Never be scared of the dark
Come on baby come and take me in your arms
I'll never be scared of the dark


Hope you've got that dance routine rehearsed now...

Steps official website

Friday, 15 March 2019

Ooh I'm giving it all tonight



Another long, busy, soul-destroying week in the office drags its way slowly to a close, and we need to gather our skirts to celebrate the weekend to come in an appropriate fashion.

This Sunday being Paddy's Day - the day when for some strange reason, people across the globe think that somehow a small damp island off the coast of Great Britain [a source of huge problems for us, even now; but that's another story] is the "land of their fathers", and get together to drink "Black Gold" (aka Guinness) and generally act like idiots - I thought I'd combine the two celebrations with one of the early 1980s' most remarkably enduring (and mega-popular to this day) Disco hits.

It is, of course, by those good-Irish-Catholic-girls-gone-"bad", The Nolans - and everyone can sing along to every single word of it...


Thank Disco It's Friday!

Myth-busting facts about Paddy's Day "traditions":
  • Porter or stout is a drink invented in London around the 1720s (possibly earlier); Arthur Guinness only started marketing his brand of the drink in Dublin in 1778.
  • Saint Patrick was Welsh.
  • There was no real link between the 5th century missionary activities of St Patrick and the Shamrock until a botanist wrote about it in 1726.
  • Scotland as whole has a higher percentage of ginger people than Ireland.
  • Many believe that the Paddy's Day celebrations in March were in fact invented as a way to lift the usual fasting restrictions of Lent and provide an excuse for a day's drinking.
  • St Patrick's Day parades began in North America in the 18th century but did not spread to Ireland until the 20th century.
Have a good craic, whatever you get up to, dear reader!

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Oh, Sweet Youth


Totty of the Day. This day, or any day.

"He had such sweet nipples!" Yes, our beloved "Tired Old Queen at the Movies" Steve Hayes is at it again - taking on Tennessee Williams's often overlooked 1957 movie adaptation Sweet Bird of Youth [starring the gorgeous Paul Newman, Miss Geraldine Page, Miss Shirley Knight, and the gruff Ed Begley] in his own indomitable way...


"Well, this much I do remember: That I like bodies...

...to be silky-smooth, hard gold."


Amen, sister!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A genuine, fourteen carat, gilded barmpot


A man who thinks his flat cap makes him resemble a stylish 1920s gangster actually resembles an elderly Yorkshireman in a gentle comedy, according to friends.

Stephen Malley claims to be only wearing the hat to keep his head warm, even though it rests lightly on top of his hair and does not cover his ears.

Friend Martin Bishop said: “Thing is, when Cillian Murphy’s in that hat, he exudes sexy menace like he’s about to smash someone’s face in on a door.

“When Stephen wears it, he looks more like a pensioner from the Dales. The curmudgeonly one played by Brian Wilde, not the nice, gentle one played by Peter Sallis.

“I’d tell him, but then he might go back to wearing the pork pie hat he thought made him look like Mark from Take That.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

And just for the sake of it...


[The "real" story]

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

No time for losers







It's darling Liza's 73rd birthday today. All hail!

As my regular reader will know, our Patron Saint of Pizzazz is among the very highest-of-the high here at Dolores Delargo Towers, especially when it comes to this particular blog (she ranks around 7th, after Kylie, Queen Madge, David Bowie, Dame Shirl, Mr Sondheim and the Pet Shop Boys by number of posts).

By way of a celebration, how about one of the most triumphant moments of Miss Minnelli's live career - when the ghost of Freddie Mercury commanded that she lead the finale to his "wake"..?


Utterly fantastic.

Many happy returns, Miss Liza May Minnelli (born 12h March 1946)!

Monday, 11 March 2019

On thin ice



How can that weekend have gone so quickly?!

Oh dear, never mind, let's think of ways to cheer ourselves up.

On this day in history: in 1983 Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean won their fourth gold medal at the World Ice Dancing Championships in Helsinki, a precursor to their "perfect score" and gold medal at the Olympics the following year.

This being a Tacky Music Monday, however, it's another routine I need to play...


Ah, that's cheered me up!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Bad-tasting things must be good for you?


How the f**k is this a ‘cake’? ask dieters
People on diets are wondering how flattened pieces of shrivelled matter can possibly be called ‘cakes’.

Joanna Kramer, from Hatfield, said: “They should be called ‘sad rice’ or ‘bio-degradable non-food discs’. I do not appreciate being deceived in this way.”

Tom Logan, from Peterborough, added: “Granted, we also have urinal cakes, cakes of soap and yellow-cake uranium. They all taste better than rice cakes.”

Nutritionist Jane Thompson explained: “Rice ‘cakes’ were placed in British supermarkets as a hoax, but an industry grew up after they were bought by the sort of people who pretend to like awful food.

“Since then, they have found a home with other people who think bad-tasting things must be good for you.

“They are not cakes.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Here's an appropriate number...

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Whatever became of Blanche Birdsong?



On my way along "London's horticultural mile" at Crews Hill today, visiting the myriad garden centres en route, I got drenched in some of the nastiest, stormiest weather imaginable. Much of their outdoor stock was blown down, and in one of them, the display hoardings were too. On my return, with meagre pickings in hand (it is a little early for the centres to be fully stocked yet - they traditionally launch the summer season around Easter), I found our greenhouse here at Dolores Delargo Towers had also been bashed around in the gales, and all the plants were off the shelves. Again.

Ho hum.

Let's calm the jangling nerves by indulging ourselves once more in the lives of glamorous people cavorting in exotic locations - courtesy of the ever-wonderful Soft Tempo Lounge, of course:


[Music: I like it by Berry Lipman and His Orchestra (vocals - Blanche Birdsong, Ulla Wiesner, Hanna Doelitsch)
Original film: La volpe dalla coda di velluto (1972)]

Friday, 8 March 2019

I Might Explode, Baby



Speaking of 1989...

...as we hurtle towards possibly the most welcome of weekends in ages [this first week back in the office after two glorious weeks away has been excruciating!], why not dip our toes into another of those all-conquering Stock-Aitken-Waterman hits that dominated that end-of-a-brilliant-decade era?

It's Miss Donna Summer's "comeback" single, after all!


What would I have to do
To get you to notice me too
Do I
Stand in line
One of a million
Admiring eyes

Walk a tightrope way up high
Write your name across the sky

I'm going crazy just to let you know
You'd be amazed how much I love you so, baby
When I get my hands on you I won't let go
This time I know it's for real

Should I write or call your home
Shout it out with a megaphone
Radio, TV news
Got to find a way
To get my message to you

To say I love you with a neon sign
Anything to make you mine

I'm going crazy just to let you know
If I wait too long for you I might explode, baby
I've been around the block enough to know
That this time I know it's for real


Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, my darlings...

Thursday, 7 March 2019

I said I can't let you go



Timeslip moment again, sweeties...

Our time machine disguised as a phone booth (no, not that one, this time) has transported us to the world of thirty years ago - 1989, the year when (it seemed) everything was on the change: revolutions swept the Eastern Bloc, signalling the end of the Soviet era and the impending fall of the Berlin Wall; apartheid in South Africa began to be dismantled; and the internet began its inexorable creep into everyone's lives; but China continued repressing free speech, culminating in the Tiananmen Square massacre. It was the year Daniel Radcliffe, GPS technology, Brie Larson and Taylor Swift were born; and Bette Davis, Salvador Dalí, Bea Lillie, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lucille Ball, Laurence Olivier, Irving Berlin and Lee Van Cleef all died.

In the headlines in March 1989: Iran broke off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses; the Purley station rail crash in London left five people dead and 94 injured; the blueprint for the World Wide Web was published by Tim Berners-Lee; the Exxon Valdez spilled 240,000 barrels of oil in Alaska after running aground; Time Warner was born out of the merger between Time Inc. and Warner Communications; two senior RUC officers negotiating cross-border security co-operation in south Armagh were ambushed and shot dead by the IRA; and there were mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Hungary. In our cinemas: Rain Man, Dangerous Liaisons and Scandal. On telly: Home and Away, EMU-TV, and the fallout from the (supposed) murder of "Dirty Den" was still preoccupying the storylines in EastEnders; meanwhile the new Sky TV satellite channels were still in their embryonic stages.

And in our charts this week three decades ago? A number of recent releases were uncharacteristically leaping up the ratings, which caused quite a shake-up - last week's "top dogs" Simple Minds fell to #6, "everyone's favourite baby-sitter" Michael Jackson went down three places to #5, and Bobby Brown was knocked out of the Top Ten altogether. Present and correct, however were Michael Ball, Bananarama (their Comic Relief collaboration with French & Saunders), Sam Brown, S-Express, Texas, Gloria Estefan and Living in a Box. But the conquering hero was...

...the very lovely Jason Donovan!


Last night you talked about leaving
I said I can't let you go
It's not just emotional feeling
I need your body and soul

You give me one good reason to leave me
I'll give you ten good reasons to stay
You're the only one I believe in
I'll be hurt, I'll be hurt if you walked away

Too many broken hearts in the world
There's too many dreams can be broken in two
Too many broken hearts in the world
So I won't give up the fight for you

The world is full of lonely people
Who never held on to love
Last night I tried to reach you
But somehow it wasn't enough

So I said, can't you wait any longer
I'll give you all that a lover should give
It ain't my pride but my love that is stronger
I'll be hurt, I'll be hurt if you walked away

Too many broken hearts in the world
There's too many dreams can be broken in two
Too many broken hearts in the world
So I won't give up the fight for you


Fab...

...but how long ago?!!

Where does the time go?

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Shades, faded (to grey?)



When asked how she would like to be remembered, she said: “Brilliant, witty, clever, beautiful, generous, sexy, wise. Well, that’s what I’d like...”



She was all of the above!

Another piece of my youth has ebbed away with the sad news that yet another iconic figure has passed too soon - the journalist and broadcaster and one of the "coolest women on the planet", Miss Magenta Devine is dead, aged only 61.





Magenta was one of those people who was just there. She was a stalwart of the Blitz Club and Billy's (birthplaces of the New Romantics) in the late '70s/early 80s, and no less a figure than one of its "founding fathers" Rusty Egan said she was "one of the first people in TV and Media who encouraged Steve Strange to pursue his vision"; her then-boyfriend was Tony James, latterly of punk-popsters Generation X (with Billy Idol), and she became the promoter for his new band Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

When both the relationship and the band split up, she was head-hunted by the estimable Janet Street-Porter in the late 80s for her new "youth broadcasting" segment on Channel 4, the utterly faboo Network 7; and, like her much more famous counterparts the late Mr Lagerfeld and Miss Wintour, she was rarely seen out of her trademark sunglasses...



It was when she (and her erstwhile - and sexy-as-fuck - co-presenter Sankha Guha) followed Miss Street-Porter over to the BBC in the early 90s, however, that she became a household name - for the Rough Guides to... series of travelogues (part of the DEF II youth programme segment on BBC2), as much as her quirky style of interviewing.

Speaking of which, here she is with the irrepressible Dame Edna:


RIP Magenta Devine (born Kim Taylor, 1957 – 6th March 2019)

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

It's a Jungle Sometimes



Foliage photos from our visit to the world heritage treasure Kew Gardens last Friday.

Not bad for South London on the first day of March..!