Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Monday, 29 June 2020

It's OK, apparently


Our Tower Lilies ("On Stage") in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers always open for Pride...

I do love short weeks - I am off again today, as I had booked a long weekend for what would have been "Gay Xmas". I might normally have been pottering in the garden and basking in the sunshine, but unfortunately we have 35-mile-an-hour gales battering everything at the moment, so basically all I am doing is picking up pieces of broken fuchsia and trying to stabilise things with canes, for fear we might lose any more blooms.

Hey ho.

It is, as always, however, a Tacky Music Monday - so lets chivvy things along with another bizarre and obscure act from our beloved Netherlands [we still don't know if we're going to get there for our usual August pilgrimage, but it seems unlikely]. Make sure you learn all the moves, dear reader...


I'm definitely eyeing up one of those pink flared jumpsuits.

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Lest we forget


“We insist on gathering in plain sight every year because for 2,000 years we were told to be invisible. This is the 50th calendar year in which we’ve walked the walk in London. We who were there in 1971 and 1972 walk now on behalf of our contemporaries who are too unwell, locked-down or far away, to join us. Many have already gone to LGBT+ heaven. And we walk in honour of the young who are fighting in every country around the world. We think of LGBTs in Hong Kong, Poland, Chechnya, Brazil and Indonesia, who seek the dignities that ought not be denied to anyone.” - Andrew Lumsden, GLF founder member.
Veterans of the original Gay Liberation Front, led by our hero Peter Tatchell, marched the Gay Pride route to mark 50 years of gay rights marches in the UK yesterday. I only wish I had known about it in advance; I would have gone along to support them.

Peter Tatchell Foundation

Saturday, 27 June 2020

It's Gay Xmas...



...and I still can't decide which "look" to go for!

Yes, I know the whole bloody shebang is cancelled, but a girl can dream. It's probably just as well we're not all congregating in the centre of town, dressed to the nines (pandemic or no pandemic), as after a week of searing temperatures, it's pissing down out there.

Our gang is congregating much more safely and comfortably via Zoom this evening, so to get us in the mood, a few of our anthems to remind us of what we're missing, methinks.

It's traditional:


It's - erm...


It's a classic:


HAPPY GAY PRIDE!!

Enjoy - whatever you do and however you do it...

Friday, 26 June 2020

But that's the way that I was born to be



Darlings! Reasons to be cheerful:
  • It's Gay Xmas Eve! - even if we have no Pride march nor parties to go to, other than via Zoom.
  • It's payday - even if the prospect of a return to shopping in Primark at the moment still seems weird, and somehow slightly scary...
  • We have the ultimate, most magisterial gay icon and Patron Saint here at Dolores Delargo Towers, Dame Shirley Bassey to lead us into the celebrations - as only she knows how [even if her audience in this clip doesn't]!
All the more reason to Thank Disco It's Gay Pride Friday!


Funny how a lonely day can make a person say:
What good is my life?
Funny how a breaking heart can make me start to say:
What good is my life?
Funny how I often seem to think I'll never find a dream
In my life
Till I look around and see, this great big world is part of me
And my life
This is my life
Today, tomorrow, love will come and find me
But that's the way that I was born to be
This is me
This is me

This is my life
And I don't give a damn for lost emotions
I've such a lot of love I've got to give
Let me live
Let me live

Sometime when I feel afraid, I think of what a mess I've made
Of my life
Crying over my mistakes, forgetting all the breaks I've had
In my life
I was put on earth to be, a part of this great world is me
And my life
Guess I'll just add up the score, and count the things I'm grateful for
In my life
This is my life
Today, tomorrow, love will come and find me
But that's the way that I was born to be
This is me
This is me

This is my life
And I don't give a damn for lost emotions
I've such a lot of love I've got to give
Let me live
Let me live

This is my life
This is my life
This is my life!


Amen to that.

Have a faboo sparkling weekend, dear reader!

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Getting Down With Ye Whippersnappers


Ye Olde Medieval Rave

According to The Guardian, a new phenomenon is sweeping the interwebs, thanks to some very cool kids - "Bardcore"!

This witty epithet was applied to the trend, after one clever bastard out there decided to take a "melody by a popular Beat combo, M'Lud" a dance choon and see how it would sound on Medieval instruments. I didn't even know the original of this, but the result is rather impressive:


One proper musician even used real instruments rather than a synthesiser on his reinterpretation of (another song I'd never heard before) a heavy metal hit:


Stepping into more familiar territory, however, I was rather taken by this one...


Verily, a merrie gaudeamus!

So, who's going to be the first to whop their lute out and have a go..?

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Not the 'Healing Field'


A man with tickets for this year’s Glastonbury has been brought to his knees by an incredible, overwhelming wave of relief.

Tom Booker of Manchester glanced at the calendar, realised he should have been setting off for the festival tomorrow and was staggered by the sheer joy of not having to.

He said: “If not for the pandemic, I’d be in a tent tomorrow night. And every night until next Tuesday. Surrounded by dickheads and caked in my own filth. And now I’m not.

“Who was on this year? Kendrick Lamar, I’d have had to watch that. And Taylor Swift, even though by Sunday night all I’d really want to be doing is sitting in my car, imagining I’m in traffic, leaving.

“God, the drugs I’d have to take. The surprising art-house cabaret I’d have had to stumble upon. The pleasure I’d have had to feign. All gone.

“Instead I get to stay at home, sit in the sun in my own garden, urinate in my own clean porcelain toilet, pour myself cold drinks from my own fridge and not have to watch sunrise from anywhere, least of all the 'Healing Field'.

“Watch it on the telly? Bollocks I will.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

[The BBC's going overboard this weekend with something called "The Glastonbury Experience". I expect that means people will be encouraged to sit in their gardens, stoned, listening to muffled speakers half a mile away, eating nasty vegan dishes and shitting in a bush.]

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Earworms, again...


Gawd only knows what's going on here, but I could sit and watch it all day

SUNSHINE!!!

The weather out there is glorious - it's predicted to hit 30C tomorrow - and I'm trapped indoors [except for frequent fag breaks, of course] dealing with dull council business. Oh, for a decent Lottery win....

Never mind, eh? I'm in the mood for some music - so how about a soupçon of choons that have caught my ear of late?

First up, a little number that I picked not because the singer is trans [pertinent in this countdown week to Gay/LGBT Pride], and certainly not because of her vocal - ahem - talents, but because... it made me smile [and lord knows, we need a bit of that!]:


Next - a REAL treat! It's the new single from everyone's favourite campsters, Erasure!


Here's a band who sound remarkably like Talking Heads, with a naughtily-titled song (a position with which some of us may be familiar)...


...more sunshine and happiness, courtesy of Mr Sparro and the oddest selection of "safety gays" in the business:


...and, finally - "take it to the mutha-fucking dance floor!"


Enjoy - and as ever, let me know what you think, dear reader.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Now you can leave*


Gay icons!

Here we go again - week fourteen, and counting. As per usual in the UK, the weekend wasn't the best of weather (on Saturday it was grey and showery; yesterday was warm but not consistently sunny), but during this week, while I am trapped in the front room, it's forecast to be blazing sunshine and up to 30C! Sigh. At least it's a short week pour moi as I booked a long weekend either side of what would have been Gay Pride, so I get a chance of at least one day of sunbathing before next weekend turns to shit again...

Hey ho. To cheer, us up, here's yet another "treat" from our beloved España to shake the cobwebs out and get us - ahem - raring to go for work.

Not so much a Tacky Music Monday but a bit of a mind-fuck...


Dusty must have been thrilled.

Have a good week, dear reader!

[* Ahora te puedes marchar = "Now you can leave" in Spanish.]

Sunday, 21 June 2020

At first I was afraid, I was petrified


A selection of six of our Fuchsia collection on display here at Dolores Delargo Towers

After a beautiful - if patchy - day in the garden, it has dawned upon me that at this point in the year I would normally commence a countdown to the pinnacle of our "season", the extravaganza that is Gay Pride (aka "Gay Xmas"). However, like everything else in our lives, it's not happening this year. Sob, sob!

Never mind, let's pretend, shall we?

To start the ball rolling - in the hands of our "house band" the faboo Postmodern Jukebox, the "mother of all gay anthems" takes a whole new aspect...


Go on now, go. Walk out the door
Just turn around now 'cause you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?

Oh, no, not I
I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I'll survive
I will survive, hey, hey


Still a song for our times, methinks.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Some people call it a one night stand, but we can call it paradise







Not only are the celebrations [after a fashion - it's not a particularly sunny day out there] afoot for Mid-Summer [peculiarly enough it's not actually Midsummer's Day, a date designated by the church, but the Mid-Summer solstice, but I digress...], but it's also the birthday today of another mixed bag of notables - including Olympia Dukakis, Errol Flynn, Nicole Kidman, Wendy Craig, Brian Wilson, Stephen Frears, Jacques Offenbach, John Goodman, Lillian Hellman, Martin Landau, Anne Murray, Mickie Most and Dolores "LaLa" Brooks of The Crystals, and...

...the lovely John Taylor of Duran Duran - who is (gulp) 60 years old!

I had such a massive crush on him when I was in my teens - I can almost smell the used tissues from here...

Apparently Mr Taylor has had a bit of a bad year, having spent some time in recovery after catching COVID-19, so we wish him the very best of health - while we wallow in one of the Durannies' most summery hits, featuring a shirtless Mr Taylor at his cutest:


You saw me standing by the wall
Corner of the main street
And the lights are flashing on your window sill
All alone ain't much fun
So you're looking for the thrill
And you know just what it takes and where to go

Don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after
No, don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after

Feel the breeze deep on the inside
Look you down into your well
If you can, you'll see the world in all his fire
Take a chance
Like all dreamers can't find another way
You don't have to dream it all, just live a day

Don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after
No, don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after

Pretty looking road
Try to hold the rising floods that fill my skin
Don't ask me why I'll keep my promise
Melt the ice
And you wanted to dance so I asked you to dance
But fear is in your soul
Some people call it a one night stand
But we can call it paradise

Don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after
No, don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after


Many happy returns, Nigel John Taylor (born 20th June 1960)

Friday, 19 June 2020

Come on and...

Click to embiggen

Thank gawd, another tiresome week of working out of our living-room is drawing tortuously to its close, and for that I am very glad.

It is Midsummer this weekend, so we'd better make the most of it - the nights start drawing in again next week! Fingers crossed, after a rather wet couple of days, we see enough sunshine to enjoy it...

To get ourselves into the party spirit, we are well overdue another visit to the fabulous stack-heeled, flared-trousered, big-haired, big-collared, big everything-ed world of the Soul Train dance line; so let's join the queue - and Thank Disco It's Friday!


You heard the ladies - DANCE!

Have a good weekend, dear reader.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away





And so, farewell then Dame Vera Lynn, aged 103 - the last living embodiment of that "Wartime Spirit" that binds this plucky nation together in times of crisis.

Indeed, her "anthem" became somewhat of a morale-booster throughout this current coronavirus lockdown...


If there's not a state funeral, there'll be Hell to pay!

RIP, Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (née Welch; 20th March 1917 – 18th June 2020)

See my tribute to Dame Vera on the occasion of her 100th

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

A bag of crap or a baked turd?


What unnecessary shite are you getting from the shops?
With shops open again, it’s time for a zombie-like stagger through them for stuff you don’t want that won’t make you happy. Like these:

Gardening bollocks
A vague memory of planning to grow turnips in early lockdown sees you buy 12 plant pots. You probably won’t ever use them but indulge your wildest fantasies. If you want to be an ostentatious Tony Montana-style high roller, get some secateurs as well.

A huge bag of crap from Sports Direct
Only a loser leaves the perma-sale favourite with one item. Don’t overlook Sports Direct’s many questionable bargains: running kit to watch Sky Sports in, Lonsdale eau de toilette, and it is impossible to have too many miniature Manchester United footballs.

A baked turd from Greggs
Straight-from-frozen bakery Greggs has taken on near-mythical status in British culture. Get yourself down there and buy a pork and cheese rhomboid or whatever. Think of wet cardboard as you choke it down.

Fast f**king fashion
Is your life incomplete without a pair of knitted trainers or a DKNY parka? It’s definitely worth risking being infected with a deadly virus for these precious items. Some may even be limited edition, which means nothing.

Vastly overpriced Apple bullshit
You’re using your precious Apple whatever constantly, so give it a treat. A mouse for £99? AirPods? An Apple Pencil? Rumour has it the soulless megacorp will soon be selling clock radios for £1,499 but in fairness the battery life is excellent.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Los hombres se preguntan ¿para quien sera?



Week Thirteen (unlucky for some) of working from home begins - and I'm here until September so better get used to it!

The weather is lovely out there again - sob, sob, since I am stuck at this desk - so, to cheer us on on this Tacky Music Monday, let's pay a little visit to sunny Spain [I wish!] again, in the company of the not-gay-at-all Señorita Miguel Bosé, wiggling his tush and "flirting" with the lay-deez...


¡Ten una buena semana, amigos!

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Once I was a schleppa





Gosh! "National treasure", star of telly, radio and the stage (in his "alter-ego" of Lily Savage, primarily), Mr Paul O'Grady is 65 years old today.

We were only listening to his (currently in "best of" repeats format, since he is "shielding" in isolation during the coronavirus) Radio 2 show this evening. Coincidentally enough, the subject of this episode was Cilla Black, for the clip I have selected by way of a tribute today is an old, old favourite - in which "Our Lil" appears alongside said Cilla and fellow "treasure", Barbara Windsor...


Happy birthday, chook!

Paul O'Grady MBE (born Paul James Grady, 14th June 1955)

More Mr O'Grady/Miss Savage here, here and particularly here

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Oooh get her! Whoops - I've got your number ducky!



It's HM The Queen's Official Birthday today!

Lucky her, getting two bites of the birthday cherry... I imagine she's a bit pissed off, mind you. Not only will she be missing her favourite Royal Ascot races next week, but her ceremonial Trooping of the Colour was also cancelled for only the second time since she came to the throne - to be replaced by a socially-distanced parade at Windsor Castle instead.

I hope it went something like this...

Friday, 12 June 2020

Don't fight the feeling, give yourself a chance



Another (particularly fractious) week drags inevitably to a close - and it's time to start thinking about letting our hair down [in my case up and out - I'm starting to look like Doc Brown in Back to the Future]!

Who better to get the glitterball rolling than the marvellous KC and the Sunshine Band?

Thank Disco It's Friday!


Have a good weekend, dear reader.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Great Scott!





Another day, another centenary - and another "Diva discovery"!

Miss Hazel Scott (for it is she) was a remarkable pioneer, it seems - a child prodigy at the piano, she was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music at the age of just eight; in her teens she played with the Count Basie Orchestra; by the 1940s she was earning more than $1 million [in today's money] a year and starring in otherwise all-white Hollywood musicals; and in 1950 she became the first black American to host her own TV show. Phew!

So why is she so forgotten? A lifelong civil rights campaigner (she refused to play segregated venues, and battled Hollywood over its portrayal of black people), unfortunately she became embroiled in the "McCarthy Witch-hunts" - which effectively destroyed her career, as it did to several prominent stars - and managed to get away from the flak by moving to France; only returning to the USA once the Civil Rights Act was enacted in the late '60s. She never recovered the prominence she had in her younger days, appearing in cabaret venues and occasionally on daytime TV.

Despite her importance, given current events, I can find absolutely no news coverage nor any mention of this momentous milestone out there on the interwebs. Which is a pity. Perhaps the BLM movement is too busy trying to pull down statues than to take a moment to commemorate [and maybe campaign for a statue to her?] the achievements of such an important woman in the history of the race equality struggle...

For our little celebration of a great lady, here's one of her remarkable screen performances:


Hazel Dorothy Scott (11th June 1920 – 2nd October 1981)

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Dia de Portugal

It's Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas (Portugal Day)!

Have some Petiscos...


Cristiano Ronaldo


João Félix


Shawn Mendes

Seja bem-vindo.

Inarguably uncool


Do you no longer have to impress people with your taste in music because you’re middle-aged and inarguably uncool? Here are some banging genres to enjoy without shame:

Soft rock
No teenager could ever let their peers, especially of the opposite sex, know they listened to Foreigner. But now you’ve lost your virginity and in fact have kids, so crank up Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone and pretend your people carrier is an F-14 Tomcat.

Theme tunes
Theme tunes are music for people who like being reminded of watching telly. But now you don’t care, fill your boots with The Equalizer, Black Beauty, Blake’s 7, Miami Vice and, if you have no shame at all, Howard’s Way, The A-Team and Are You Being Served?

The Worst of Rave
Isn’t it sort of cool to listen to dance music and prove you were once a pill-popping rebel? Not if it’s Urban Hype’s A Trip to Trumpton or similar Deep Heat favourites. All together now: ‘There’s a guy in the place with a bittersweet face and he goes by the name of Ebenezer Goode…’

Abba
The Swedish supergroup merit their own genre due to their prolific output of well-crafted cheesy pop-disco. Now you are old and without embarrassment, weep as you sing along to The Winner Takes It All.

80s crap
Glory of Love by Peter Cetera, You’re The Voice by John Farnham and to really push the tastelessness envelope, Butlins stalwart Shakin’ Stevens. Turn up the computer speakers and brazenly tell your kids you are ‘rocking out to Shaky’. You earn the money so they can fuck off.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Sounds familiar, anyone..?

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Todo me parece bonito



Like buses, you wait and wait and several come along all at once...

Following the loss of Steve Priest of Sweet, not only has Bonnie Pointer jumped her final Jump [not that she actually sang on that record, but hey ho] and gone to the great showbiz party in the sky, but today we hear sad news of the death of a less familiar name (at least to those outside Spain or Dolores Delargo Towers), Señor Pau Donés.

Who, I hear you ask?

Only the singer of one of our favourite Spanish pop hits of all time, that's who!


We love that song...

Qué en paz descansa, Pau Donés Cirera (11th October 1966 – 9th June 2020)

Monday, 8 June 2020

Rat-tat-tat a-door, bearing a rose



Today (scarily) marks the 80th birthday of Nancy Sinatra and the 60th of Mick Hucknall (of Simply Red). Time's a terrible thing.

However it is also a Tacky Music Monday, and as it would also have been the birthday of someone far more worthy of featuring by way of a pick-me-up at the start of - gulp - week twelve of lockdown...

...here is (in my opinion) Mr Robert Preston's finest cinematic moment - from one of our house fave films here at Dolores Delargo Towers, Victor, Victoria:


Have a good week. "You bitches!"

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Tom Jones, Tom Jones





Back in the early 1960s, a certain Thomas John Woodward of Pontypridd "up the Rhondda" left the drudgery of life as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman by day and rough "Teddy Boy" by night, singing in workmen's clubs in the Valleys with a local band Tommy Scott and the Senators, to become the purveyor of the biggest power-ballads in town - with top-selling hits on both sides of the Atlantic - in a remarkably short space of time indeed, thanks to tireless marketing by his manager Gordon Mills and the songwriting genius of Les Reed.

It helped of course, that Tom had, and still has, one of the most remarkable voices in the business. Superstars from Sinatra to his occasional chum Elvis heaped praise upon him. He sold out shows in Vegas, sang the title song for the Bond movie Thunderball, had his own television show that was top of the ratings in both the UK and in the US, and everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Cher to Aretha to Dusty to Stevie Wonder to Mama Cass lined up to duet with him.

His lavish lifestyle hit the headlines almost as much as his career did - although he remained married to Linda for 56 years until her death in 2016, he was regularly "caught with his pants down" in a string of affairs (one of which bore a son, whose parentage Tom denied for decades). As a tax exile in Los Angeles in the 1970s, in a mansion previously owned by Dean Martin, his luxurious party lifestyle was the envy of millions in bankrupt, strike-hit Britain. Nevertheless, Tom Jones was "one of ours" and rightly became a bit of "national treasure". Nowadays he is as revered as ever, living back in London, still selling shed-loads of records, star of Royal celebrations and the festival circuit, and on prime-time telly as (on-off) judge on The Voice. Oh, and of course he was knighted by Her Maj in 2005...

We love him as much as the rest of Great Britain does, of course, and raise a glass on his 80th birthday to one of the best male singers this country has ever produced! [And to his incredible performing trousers as well...]







Many happy returns, Sir Tom Jones OBE (born Thomas John Woodward, 7th June 1940)


Footnote:

The reason we always refer to the great man in duplicate (as per the title of this very post) is due to this faboo tribute (of course)...


"I've never thrown my knickers at you." But many girls did...

Saturday, 6 June 2020

We just haven’t got a clue WHAT to do!





It seems bizarre that I only mentioned the Sweet in my post about Suzi Quatro's 70th on Wednesday, and on Thursday came the sad news that the band's bassist and showman Steve Priest has left for Fabulon, glitter platform boots and all.

According to Alex Petridis in The Guardian:
Almost every [Glam Rock] band had a member whose lot it was to take the excesses of their look one step further – Slade’s self-styled “super-yob” Dave Hill; Mud’s Rob Davies, visibly uncomfortable in his dangly earrings and chiffon – but Steve Priest entered into the role with astonishing gusto. He slathered himself in so much slap that, in Priest’s telling, Bowie himself felt impelled to intervene backstage at Top of the Pops – “He said, ‘You know you really are putting much too much makeup on?’” – and camped up his performances with a cartoonish relentlessness...

...Priest’s onstage persona impacted not just on the way the Sweet looked but on how they sounded. Songwriters Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn and producer Phil Wainman packed their singles with special effects – air-raid sirens, explosions, timpani, stamping feet, fans chanting “We want Sweet!” – but the most striking were Priest’s hysterical vocal interjections. The most famous is his cry of: “We just haven’t got a clue WHAT to do!” on Block Buster, which he invariably delivered to camera with a pout and one finger querulously placed against his chin.
From the moment, at 9 years old, I first set eyes on these glittering creatures on Top of The Pops, and particularly Steve Priest in his eyeliner and lipstick, I was smitten. Was it merely because he was "funny", or maybe all that campery awoke something latent in a little budding gayer in Wales like moi?

Who knows, but I certainly have loved Sweet - archetypal Glam-era "dockers in drag" or not - ever since.

Here are three reasons why...




RIP, Stephen Norman Priest (23rd February 1948 – 4th June 2020).

Yet another piece of my childhood, gone.