Saturday, 31 August 2019

He's gotta be larger than life



We're off to our friend John-John's today, to finally get to see Avengers:Endgame (apparently just released on streaming services, M'Lud)!

I know it's terribly obvious, but there is really only one thing I can play for the occasion...


Indeed.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Bongos are back!



Blessed relief is in sight - as the weekend slowly hoves into view... [Conundrum: why do four-day weeks after a Bank Holiday always feel like the longest?!]

...and to our delight here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the artist known as HiFi Sean (former lead singer of the short-lived 90s "hippie revivalists" the Soup Dragons) has turned his hand to reviving an altogether more favourable genre - a concept described by the hipsters of what passes for a "music press" these days as "Nu-Disco".

On hearing this, his latest single, I thoroughly approve of such a revival:


When was the last time you heard bongos on a dance choon? Faboo...

Thank (Nu-or-any-kind-of) Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, dear reader.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

I'll always remember; oh, what a night



Sharing a birthday with such luminaries as Ingrid Bergman, María Dolores Pradera, Wilhelm Pachelbel (he of the "Canon"), early gay rights activist Edward Carpenter, Eddi Reader, Elliott Gould, Dickie Attenborough, James Hunt, Lenny Henry, Charles Gray and Michael Jackson, Miss Dinah Washington would have been 95 years old today.

All hail!

[Look who's playing "continuity announcer"!]


...oh, and, of course, this:


We. Adore. HER.

Dinah Washington (born Ruth Lee Jones, 29th August 1924 – 14th December 1963)

More Dinah

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Diversity?


A recruitment company is using the only nice person in their office as an example of a minority.

The firm took on Stephen Malley after he failed to tell any bullshit stories in his interview and refused to be loud and obnoxious in a pub on his probationary night out.

Managing director Roy Hobbs said: “Stephen comes from a different background to the rest of us, and that’s great.

“We’re committed to being a diverse company, and part of that is understanding how non-traditional recruiters can benefit the business – and how we can help them grow into their role of being a twat.

“I’m the first to admit I’m struggling with the way he gives people honest advice and follows up emails in a genuine way, but I’m not afraid to explore other cultures.

“I feel like we’ve got so much to learn from Stephen and we’re looking forward to the future with him on the team, talking bollocks like the rest of us.”


Malley said: “It’s so horrible I handed in my notice today. I hope this doesn’t mean they’ll run me over in an Audi.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Thunder in the orchestra



Groan. The beautiful weather is still with us, and where are we? Yes! Sat behind tinted glass under malfunctioning air conditioning again...

Hey ho - let's cheer the situation up with two hunky Croatians whacking away at their fingerboards:


Nevjerojatan!*

We love them.

[*="Fabulous" in Croatian.]

Monday, 26 August 2019

Everything drives me irresistibly to you just as before


"The Beast" - our enormous Begonia × tuberhybrida “Sangria”

It's been another remarkable - and record breaking - hot and sunny Bank Holiday, and once again every moment of it has been spent on the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers - lifting and repotting a few plants that were congesting their neighbours, and generally tweaking round the edges, feeding and watering. Oh, and sitting with a cider enjoying the sunshine, of course!

I haven't forgotten it is still a Tacky Music Monday, however - so let's enjoy a little jolly from Canada's own yé-yé girl (turned politician's wife, as I noted before) and today's birthday girl, Mlle Chantal Renaud!


C'est fabuleux!

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Call me in Miami





You know you're getting old when...

...you find out that the DJ (at the legendary Sound Factory in NY), early member of the The House of Xtravaganza and seminal producer/remixer of the likes of Queen Madge, Prince, "Wibbler Whitney", Janet Jackson, MC Hammer, Paula Abdul, Cher, and even Pet Shop Boys, Junior Vasquez is 70 years old!

By way of a tribute to one of the biggest contributors to the development and evolution of house, dance and pop music through the 80s, 90s and beyond, let's start with a clutch of his "vogue-y" numbers (the first two recorded under the pseudonym Ellis D)...



...and this, my fave:


...before we hit the one that was not only his greatest commercial success, but also sealed the final demise of his friendship and relationship with Our Glorious Leader:


Junior Vasquez (born Donald Gregory Mattern, 24th August 1949)

Saturday, 24 August 2019

If you want what's forbidden, baby that's what I got



The Greek rustic fertility god and a protector of gardens, fruit plants, livestock and male genitals, Priapus is marked by his oversized, permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism. He became a popular figure in Roman erotic art and Latin literature... his sacrificial animal was the ass (but agricultural offerings such as fruit, flowers, vegetables and fish were also very common).

At the end of a lovely hot and sticky day (mainly in the garden), I think we should make an offering - and who better to deliver it than the much-missed Pete Burns?


Indeed.

Friday, 23 August 2019

I got the boys to make the noise



The end of what has felt like the longest week of my life is in sight - and we have a three-day break to look forward to, including a visit by the Mother to Dolores Delargo Towers. It's predicted to be a hot one, too, so plenty of opportunity to give the extensive gardens some much-needed TLC after the neglect it's had, with the double-whammy of being disrupted by the presence of scaffolding and us being away. It's probably also the last real chance to get some rays on our skin...

I think we're in need of a celebration - and, in the hands of a "mash-up master", an unusual one. Thank - erm - Disco(?) It's Friday!


Who'd have thought Heavy Metal could sound so jolly?

Have a good one, dear reader.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

L'amours horizontales



As is to be expected after having been away from the grind for a fortnight, this bloody week is dragging. However, the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend (which helpfully for once coincides with pay day) is predicted to be sunny and warm, so at least there's something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, let us once again wallow in the cavortings of impossibly glamorous people in exotic locations (in the case of the swinging lady in the accompanying video, the locations are mostly horizontal; tsk, tsk) - courtesy of the genius people over at Soft Tempo Lounge:


Ah, that's better.

[Music: Hammond Bossa by Silvano D'Auria; Film: She Killed in Ecstasy (1971)]

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Twelve years before Stonewall...


I cannot tell you what it does to me to hear "pre-Stonewall". And even in our literature, even in the art, "pre-Stonewall", "post-Stonewall". I wrote three books pre-Stonewall and a dozen more post-Stonewall. There’s no demarcation. Gay history is centuries and centuries from the Romans to the Greeks to Oscar Wilde to all kinds of outrages. And those seem to be put back and "pre-Stonewall" is passive. "Post-Stonewall" is brave and dignified. I actually have heard things like that. I’ve talked, I’ve lectured and I’ve been invited all the way from Harvard to USC. And I talk about what it was like, what we had to survive.

Look, "pre-Stonewall" produced Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Oscar Wilde, and I could go on. "Post-Stonewall" produced Bret Easton Ellis, who jumps out of the closet only now and then and then rushes back in, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where we’re reduced to clowns for straight people. ...It embarrasses me, it embarrasses me very much because that’s what people expect a gay man to do, to be very precious, and that’s not what we are. A good solid queen I will protect forever, they are heroes.
- author John Rechy, interviewed for LA Mag
A fascinating story emerged on the BBC website this morning - the unearthing of a set of photographs of what appears to be a "gay wedding" from 1957, a time when homosexuality was illegal on both sides of the Atlantic and persecution, bullying and discrimination were not merely rife, but state-sanctioned. Apparently, the photos languished in the archives of a photographic processing store in Philadelphia due to the refusal of a member of staff to process them - and when researchers came across their existence they embarked upon a quest to find any trace of the subjects of the photos (presumably with a view of reuniting them with the by-now-in-their-eighties couple) - visit the Our One Story website for more.

The story has only now hit the media over here because, of course, being in America, there are plans to make a "reality TV" show out of the quest. Groan. Do people not do documentaries anymore?!

Regardless, the very fact that such a ground-breaking ceremony took place at all in such a repressive era, and that photographic evidence of it survived, is indeed testimony to Mr Rechy's wise words above - there was a whole gay world, filled with rebels and non-conformists, long before the first handbag was thrown fifty years ago in downtown New York...

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

I got it from my Daddy



Ooh! Haven't done of these posts in ages...

...how about a little selection of some of the "newer" tracks we have stumbled upon of late here at Dolores Delargo Towers?

First up, a subversive Russian band with a remarkable back catalogue of songs with titles such as Dead Unicorn , Big Dick and Everyday I’m Drinking, and then - this one! Love it...


How to follow that? With a song with lyrics such as this, of course:

I could not believe it, could not believe my eyes
The thing that I saw down there, down between your thighs
I can see it over, and over again
Rover at dollar, holy broke the skin
If I turn it over, would you make it work
When you plug it in, will you dig the dirt?



Lightening the tone somewhat, some very odd French people:


Something usually to be avoided at all costs - the crabs...


And finally... something that completely defies all description:


Phew!

As ever, dear reader - let me know your thoughts...

Monday, 19 August 2019

It's tragic



Oh, hell. Two weeks' worth of unabashed hedonism - basically doing what we please, with a superb weekend in Amsterdam in the middle of it - have come to a crashing end, with the inevitable realisation that our numbers yet again did not come up on the lottery, and that somehow the bills still have to be paid...

...so, to take the bitterness out of the return to work this morning [apart from the promise that the scaffolding that currently surrounds Dolores Delargo Towers will indeed be coming down today], let us return once more to the crazy world of Dutch pop - and, on this Tacky Music Monday, they don't come much tackier than the chesty "singer" and plastic surgery fanatic Cornelia Jacoba (Connie) Witteman, better known in the Netherlands as Vanessa!


Without a discernible shred of emotion, she (with her veiligheid homos) sings:

I look at you and see
A special kind of magic
But you don't know it's me, I'm out here on my own
It's tragic

You see emotion hiding in my face, now you're gone, aha
You disappear without a trace, now you're gone, aha

Ladidi
Ladida
Wanna be
Where you are

Ladida
Ladidi
I want you
Here with me
I do, you know I do

I got a certain kind of feeling
Every time I look at you
If I don't get to you the way you get to me
I don't know what I'm gonna do

I just can't stand to see you walk away, now you're gone, oh no
And when you I don't know what to say, now you're gone, oh no

Ladidi
Ladida
Wanna be
Where you are

Ladida
Ladidi
I want you
Here with me
I do, you know I do


Gawd - how I wish I were back in Amsterdam! Or anywhere.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Piracy or lunacy?



After all the excitement (and copious quantities of booze) of our "pirate-themed indoor picnic" yesterday - yes, our "gang" is that mad - at Our Sal's pub, we're having a quieter last-day-of-freedom to conclude two weeks away from the joys of work.

To continue the theme from yesterday, how about a few Gay Pirates to brighten our day?


Aaaar!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

A word from our sponsors



Exercise, indeed.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Danse car au bout de la nuit, ton règne finit



Although we're still on holiday, this is the end of another week - and some traditions do have to be adhered to. It may also be Our Glorious Leader Madonna's birthday today, but it's to another diva extraordinaire to whom we turn for today's spangly entertainment.

To get us in the mood for all the partying the forthcoming weekend will bring [ours will be a picnic-that-is-not-a-picnic; due to the predicted maelstrom tomorrow, our annual picnic is going to take place... in Our Sal's pub The Shaston Arms instead!], how about a little something from the later career of the famed "queen of yé-yé", Mlle Sylvie Vartan [who celebrated her 75th birthday yesterday] and her safety gays..?


Merci disco c'est vendredi!

[If the video above doesn't work, visit the Ina.fr site]

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Grachten, student totty, Drag Bingo, Naked Joe and a wervelstorm



We're back in circulation, dear reader, after a fantabulosa four-night break in Amsterdam with Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex (topped and tailed by our stay at their palatial residence Braintree Manor). It's somewhat disappointing (although we are not in the least surprised) that the bloody scaffolding is not yet down at Dolores Delargo Towers - but we are relieved nonetheless that the extensive gardens (apart from a couple of climbers blown over by the wind) appear not to have suffered too badly in our absence.

Speaking of absences, what did we miss while we were away..?

...Not a helluva lot, it would seem: Brexit, Brexit and more bloody Brexit; Trump's attempts to condemn white supremacists after two mass shootings in the US were met with accusations of hypocrisy; Nigel Farage laid into Meghan, Harry and the Queen Mum; anti-China protests continued in Hong Kong; and Xmas cards went on sale in Staffordshire! Far more exciting was the TORNADO that struck Amsterdam while we were there [we were nowhere near it, and didn't even hear about it till the last day]:


We missed celebrating the 110th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Hitchcock, the centenary of the maestro of Jazz Sir George Shearing, and that of Dino De Laurentiis (legendary producer of such movie classics as Barbarella, King Kong (1976 version), Dune and Blue Velvet, among many others; in collaboration with the likes of Federico Fellini, John Huston, Ingmar Bergman, Luchino Visconti, Ridley Scott and Michael Winner), the 96th birthday of Rhonda Fleming (star of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - a true Hollywood survivor), what would have been the 80th birthday of the lovely and much-missed Kate O'Mara, and the 60th of Rosanna Arquette. Yesterday was also the 45th of the peerless Ana Matronic, former Scissor Sister, so I have a perfect excuse to play this (again) - one of the lady's finest moments...


And we did indeed "have a Kiki"! Endless FEBO and Van Dobbens, more gassy beer than I ever want to drink again in my life (till next year, of course!), sitting outside bars in the Red Light District watching the world (stoners, tourists, tall totty, bicycles, more stoners...) go by, wandering the grachts, and repeat.

One unexpected joy was the fact that the old town was slightly overrun by a host of beautiful "Bel Ami" looky-likeys, all in white shirts (fabulous when wet) and ties. It was something to do with the universities' fraternity "hazing" weekend, apparently. Whatever it was all about, it made for some very good ogling opportunities indeed!



We paid homage to "absent friends" at the Homomonument, and to the venerable Cafe 't Mandje; we enjoyed the typically Dutch cabaret at the ever-jolly Cafe Montmartre [we've been going there for years], had a few good evenings in the Queen's Head, and explored the dark corners of the Cuckoo's Nest - and had a hoot at the drag bingo hosted by "Dame Dora Royale" at another of our fave venues, Spijker Bar...



...ably assisted by our barman Naked Joe!



And finally, although we listened to a variety of different types of Dutch music in a variety of bars - from traditional schlager/levenslied to pop and dance - it is to a song that we brought back last year that we return once again to sum up the holiday [it's still hugely popular everywhere in the 'Dam].

All together, now!


Is it good to be back? Nee.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Gelukkig



By the time you see this, dear reader, we will almost be landing in our favourite city in the world (bar London), Amsterdam for a much-needed mini-break for my birthday on Saturday!

There is only one song left to play, really...


"Normal" service will be resumed in about a week.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Het regent mannen



Yesterday was somewhat disrupted, not only by the seemingly constant presence of the builder doing our gutters, but - particularly in the evening, and latterly, overnight - by the rain. Bearing in mind that the gutters and the downpipes are not currently connected, this is somewhat noisy...

Hey ho.

Good news - we're off to Braintree Manor to stay with the boys this afternoon, and we fly tomorrow at gawd-knows-why-so-early-but-it's-cheap-time tomorrow morning from Stansted - to Amsterdam!

We're ready for any kind of weather, in the company of the lovely cast of the bizarre Ja Zuster, Nee Zuster, a Dutch musical movie we've been raving about for years:


[...and if you want to see more of the delightful male lead parading around in his tighty-whiteys - here you go!]

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The tastiest



I mention it practically every time we return from Amsterdam [most notably here], but among its many, many, many joys, the city has perhaps the most inventive of all "fast-food" outlets anywhere - and our fave way of eating when we're there - the FEBO!

A couple of Euros in the slot, and you have immediately-satisfying kroketten, frikandellen, hamburgers or kaassoufflé to go - and there's a counter to order fries with mayonnaise or (best of all) peanut (satay) sauce!

I'm salivating as we speak...

To celebrate this great Dutch institution, and continuing our countdown to the 'Dam this Thursday, here are some lads who look like they've scoffed a frikandellen or several!


The lyrics roughly translate as:

Rather too fat in the coffin
Than missing another party
It doesn't matter, you don't have to carry it yourself!


Words of wisdom there, methinks.

Facts about FEBO:
  • It was founded in 1941 as a bakery named "Maison FeBo" after Ferdinand Bolstraat in Amsterdam.
  • In the chain there are now more than 60 shops across the Netherlands, and 22 of those are in Amsterdam.
  • The FEBO motto is De Lekkerste, or "the tastiest".
  • Both the cheese pancakes (kaassoufflé) and the peanut sauce are adapted from the street foods of Indonesia, for many years a Dutch colony.
  • Kroketten (croquettes) were ostensibly an import from France, where they were a delicacy at least as far back as Louis XIV, but probably originated in Jewish cuisine.
  • Frikandellen, on the other hand, though widely disputed in origin, appear to have been invented as recently as 1958 - when the first skinless minced-meat sausage was placed into deep fat to sizzle itself into becoming Holland's #1 snack food...

Monday, 5 August 2019

Everytime I hear this song


The Netherlands is renowned as the land of great art and great taste.

It's Monday, but I don't give a shit for a change - instead, let's start the countdown to our annual pilgrimage to Amsterdam in the most befitting possible way.

As it is a Tacky Music Monday, this can only mean one thing - another outing for that fantabulosa Dutch super-camp "supergroup" De Toppers! And, with a medley of such sing-a-long "classics" as (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, Living Next Door to Alice, Mississipi, Una Paloma Blanca and Hey Baby (Uhh, Ahh), how could we resist them?!


One day, we will get to go to one of these stadium-filling extravaganzas! One day...

Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Algerian rose



As you will know, dear reader, nothing thrills us here at Dolores Delargo Towers quite as much as the discovery of a new Diva!

Adored everywhere in the Middle East, from her father's homeland Algeria to her mother's in Lebanon, and in her own adopted country Egypt, the mononymous artiste Warda (for it is she) started her career singing patriotic Algerian songs in the lead-up to its war of independence, and from there she scaled the dizzy heights to be lauded as one of the greatest interpreters of Arabic-language songs ever. When she died, she was given a state funeral with honours and buried in Algieria's El Alia Cemetery, which is reserved for national heroes.

Of course, in our world, it's not just for her vocal talents nor for the songs that she is so captivating - it's all about the frocks, the hair, the sparkles and the drama - enjoy!



رائع (rayie)! [="fabulous" in Arabic]

Warda Al-Jazairia (nee Fatouki; 22nd July 1939 – 17th May 2012)

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Most efficacious in every case


We can only imagine what the scaffolders looked like.

Tenuous link, #654 in a series...

We have scaffolding up all round the house at the moment, blocking out the light; and this means our garden is currently crammed even more full than usual with pots, shelves and bits and bobs we had to move to accommodate it. There's just about enough space for one of us at a time to sit on the bench. Sigh.

So...

...I couldn't resist playing something from a most appropriately-named band:


All together, now!

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of the human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Mr. Freers had sticky out ears
And it made him awful shy
And so they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's learning how to fly

Robert Tony was known to be bony
He would never eat his meals
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now they move him round on wheels

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the pink
The saviour of the human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Old Ebenezer thought he was Julius Caesar
And so they put him in a home
Where they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's emperor of Rome

Johnny Hammer had a terrible st-st-st-st-stammer
He could hardly s-s-say a word
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now he's seen, but never heard

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Aunty Milly ran willy-nilly
When her legs they did recede
So they rubbed on medicinal compound
Now they call her Milly Pede

Jennifer Eccles had terrible freckles
And the boys all called her names
But they gave her medicinal compound
Now she joins in all the games

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Lily the Pink, she turned to drink
She filled up with paraffin inside
And despite her medicinal compound
Sadly pickled Lily died

Up to heaven her soul ascended
All the church bells they did ring
She took with her medicinal compound
Hark the herald angels sing

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case


I loved that song when I was a little boy.

Friday, 2 August 2019

We'll find a four leaf clover



Just one more day...

Yes, dear reader, this is my last visit to the office for seventeen days - we have a fortnight off (at the same time for a change), and on Thursday we jet off to the lascivious pleasures of Amsterdam for a long weekend!

The weather's mild, and even though I'm expecting to get home this evening to find the house covered in scaffolding (the landlady's having our leaky guttering done at last), hopefully we'll still be able to enjoy the bits of the garden that aren't like a building site (we've spent days moving the pots and planters from the passage outside the back door into ever-decreasing spaces among the rest of the plants), so all's well.

Meanwhile, speaking of all things Dutch - how about this funky little number, fronted by a giraffe and a tiny lady, that was the biggest-selling hit in the Netherlands in 1980?

Get yer groove on - and Bedankt Disco Het is vrijdag!!


Mooie!

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Dit-dit-dit-dah-dah-dah no more



Oh dear. Another day, another "in memoriam". The multi-talented Barrington Pheloung is the latest great virtuoso to traverse the rainbow bridge to Fabulon.

Who? I hear you ask...

Anyone in the UK will instantly recognise to whom I refer, just from the first few bars of this, his most famous work:


Facts about Mr Pheloung:
  • Born in Manly, a beach suburb of Sydney, Australia, he moved to London to study music, eventually studying composition with John Lambert and guitar under John Williams and Julian Bream at the Royal College of Music.
  • He was the composer for the dance extravaganza on the opening night of the Millennium Dome.
  • Famously, the distinctive "dit-dit-dit-dah-dah-dahs" in that theme actually do spell out the letters M.O.R.S.E. in, unsurprisingly, Morse Code.
  • His other film and TV scores include Hilary and Jackie, Nostradamus, Portrait of a Marriage, Dalziel and Pascoe and Truly, Madly, Deeply.

RIP, Barrington Somers Pheloung (10th May 1954 – 31st July 2019)

Inspector Morse appreciation at DenOfGeek.