Sunday 31 January 2021

Boxed up

Another mis-matched slew of famous birthdays today, including Tallulah Bankhead, Franz Schubert, Philip Glass, (former) Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Derek Jarman, Harry Wayne Casey ("KC" of the Sunshine Band, who is 70 years old), Norman Mailer, Eddie Cantor, Portia de Rossi ("Mrs Ellen DeGeneres"), Bobby Hackett, John Lydon, Lloyd Cole (who is 60), Mario Lanza, Sir Christopher Chataway, Minnie Driver and of course centenerian and Patron Saint, the sadly missed Carol Channing...

...and the uber-cute Mr Justin Trousersnake Timberlake blows out 40 candles on his cake, to boot!


Although it is traditional to give the birthday boy something - and I can think of one or two things that I'd like to - here's a little something we'd all like from him:

Many happy returns, Justin Randall Timberlake (born 31st January 1981)

Saturday 30 January 2021

Today is gonna be the day they're gonna throw it back to you

With the dreadful wet weather that has greeted the first day of my two-week break, I thought it might be a good moment to visit some of the jollier newer music that has caught my ear of late (although, as is my wont, this selection is all a bit "retro-sounding") - the first such "Pick of the Pops" of 2021, indeed...

First to the bat is a group whose creativity has brightened our lives since they made their "comeback" in 2017 after a few years away from the spotlight - this time in a collaboration with the "Queen of the Red Carpet" himself, Mr Billy Porter!

Another welcome returnee to our airwaves is the faboo Felix da Housecat:

Another somewhat bizarre collaboration, between masters of cool electro and the master of Britpop, works brilliantly:

Here's a fab discovery I recently stumbled upon - with their outrageous get-up and "Dead Or Alive"-esque sound styling, I love 'em:

Saving the best till last, however - here's a magnificent mashup that my dear sister alerted me to just yesterday! [Apparently Jimmy Somerville himself has said he loved this...]

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

Friday 29 January 2021

I feel so extraordinary, something's got a hold on me

Whoo-hoo! Another tortuous week is grinding to its inevitable denouement, and - despite the fact that COVID has fucked-up any plans we might have had for our traditional pilgrimage to Spain at this time of year - I will officially clock off this evening and not have to deal with any more of this shit for two whole weeks!

I feel relief is in sight... and, as it was the 60th birthday this week of the lovely Gillian Gilbert, one of the creative geniuses behind the band, I think a bit of New Order is in order [geddit?].

Thank Disco It's Friday!!

I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold on me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A sudden sense of liberty
I don't care 'cause I'm not there
And I don't care if I'm here tomorrow
Again and again I've taken too much
Of the things that cost you too much
I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun...

When I was a very small boy,
Very small boys talked to me
Now that we've grown up together
They're afraid of what they see
That's the price that we all pay
Our valued destiny comes to nothing
I can't tell you where we're going
I guess there was just no way of knowing
I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun...

I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold on me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A sudden sense of liberty
The chances are we've gone too far
You took my time and you took my money
Now I fear you've left me standing
In a world that's so demanding
I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun...

Have a great weekend, dear reader! We plan to have a great fortnight...

Thursday 28 January 2021

Totally stoned

A rather substantial timeslip moment today, dear reader - we've hurtled back into the mists of time half a century!

We're actually twice as far away in time from 1971 than that year was itself from World War II, so it's no wonder everything seems so unfamiliar. In January five decades ago, Britain was in its last throes of using the old pounds, shillings and pence currency system (decimalisation arrived in February) and "ready-reckoners" were in the newspapers and given away in shops everywhere [there was even a series of TV programmes] in an effort to get people to understand the new money and the price of their shopping. Strikes, immigration, terrorism, unemployment, the Cold War and the EEC were predominant throughout the year, but then so were prog rock, space flights, colour telly, Mike Yarwood, hot pants, The Generation Game, new motorways (including the infamous "Spaghetti Junction"), Upstairs, Downstairs, the Morris Marina, Dastardly and Muttley, T. Rex and the Blue Peter time capsule.

In the news headlines in January '71: the Ibrox football stadium disaster in Glasgow killed 66 men and boys, the Divorce Reform Act came into force and introduced "no-fault" divorce for the first time, Post Office workers went on strike, Egypt's Aswan High Dam officially opened, the so-called "Angry Brigade" of left-wing terrorists bombed the Secretary of State for Employment's home, infamous dictator Idi Amin came to power after a coup in Uganda, and the Open University was born. In our cinemas: Lust for a Vampire; Murphy's War; There's a Girl in My Soup. On telly: Oh Brother!, The Last of the Mohicans and Softly, Softly - Task Force; and Valerie Barlow was electrocuted by a faulty hairdryer in Coronation Street.

And in our charts all those years ago? To the nation's great relief, George Harrison and My Sweet Lord had booted Clive Dunn's Grandad off the top slot at last, and also present and correct were The Mixtures (Pushbike Song), The Kinks, Jackson 5, Dave Edmunds, the aforementioned T. Rex, Judy Collins, The Equals and Neil Diamond. However, just arrived outside the Top 10 was a number that was - although it never managed to unseat Mr Harrison - soon to dominate the scene for weeks to come...

Now I wanna tell you of a great love
Oh, it will light up
It will surely light up
The world
If you'll just believe

Stoned love
(Stoned love)
Stoned love
Oh, yeah

A love for each other will bring fighting to an end
Forgiving one another, time after time, doubt creeps in
But like the sun lights up the sky with a message from above
Oh, yeah, I find no other greater symbol of this love

Yeah, don't you hear the wind blowin'?
Stoned love, oh, yeah
I tell you, I ain't got no other
Stoned love, oh, yeah

Life is so short, put the present time at hand
Oh, yeah, and if you're young at heart, rise up and take your stand
And to the man on whose shoulder the world must depend
I pray for peace and love, amen

Can't you feel it?
Stoned love
I tell you, I ain't got no other
Stoned love, oh, yeah

If a war 'tween our nations passed, oh, yeah
Will the love 'tween our brothers and sisters last?
On and on and on and on and

Mm, mm, mm
Stoned love, yeah
I tell you, I ain't got no other

It's not a song about drugs! Honest, officer...

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Everybody wants to shine at the Rock, the Rock...

Sad news reaches us today. The lovely Charlotte Cornwell - who, despite being a Shakespearean actress with myriad stage and screen appearances to her credit (including The Krays, The West Wing, Casualty, Dressing for Breakfast, Silent Witness and much more besides), will forever be associated with her role as the put-upon "Anna" in Rock Follies in the '70s - has died.

I absolutely adored Rock Follies and its sequel Rock Follies of '77, and I was not alone - it was one of the most successful television spectaculars of its day. Charting the trials and tribulations of a trio of singers and their attempts at commercial success, its visual style, all-original music and compelling female-led storylines pre-empted the future rise of pop videos, MTV and even "Girl Power". So, without further ado, let's indulge in some of my fave numbers from the show...


  • Miss Cornwell was the younger half-sister of John Le Carré, who based the main female character in his novel The Little Drummer Girl on her.
  • She had a relationship with fellow actor Kenneth Cranham, with whom she had a daughter, Nancy.
  • In 1985 she won a libel action against the journalist Nina Myskow and The Sunday People for describing her as unattractive, middle-aged and whose "bum is too big".
  • She had long friendships with Sir Ian McKellen, opposite whom she starred on stage several times, and Tim Curry, her co-star in Rock Follies of '77

RIP, Charlotte Cornwell (26th April 1949 - 16 January 2021)

Monday 25 January 2021

Get yer neeps and tatties oot!

My kind of meat pudding

It's Burns' Night - the day when our brethren [or not if "Wee Jimmy Krankie" Sturgeon gets her way] north of the border hold parties to celebrate the great poet by eating bags of offal and sinking "the amber nectar". Not too many parties this year, methinks.

Never mind, eh? It's a far more familiar tradition round these parts - Tacky Music Monday! And here's Scotland's finest, Lulu (and her safety gays), with a bewildering number to lift our mood at this murky start to another dreary week...

"Sláinte Mhath!"

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 24 January 2021

I'm a rebel just for kicks, now

Oo-er - had a couple of inches up my back passage this morning! Snow, that is. The extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers bear a passing resemblance to Narnia at the moment, but I have no doubt before too long it'll look more like a swamp as it all turns to slush...

To take the chill out of the situation, here's a lovely summery number from our "house band":

Perfect "Sunday Music".

[For the original, see this post from 2018]

Saturday 23 January 2021

Old, lingering farts

Missing your local bar during lockdown? Here are five ways to recreate the uniquely unpleasant atmosphere of your beloved watering hole at home.

Paint the ceiling a horrible yellow colour
Despite the fact that no one has been allowed to smoke in them for years, many pub ceilings still bear the nicotine stains of several decades of happy smokers. Recreate this at home by dissolving several chicken Oxo cubes in a tin of white emulsion and slapping it on.

Make the carpet sticky
The sticky trudge across the carpet for another pint is an integral part of the British pub experience. If you have young children, your floor coverings are likely heading towards total adhesion already. Allow them to make their own peanut butter and jam sandwiches for optimum stickiness.

Create a naggingly unpleasant smell
Struggling to remember the aroma of your favourite local? It smells of old, lingering farts, like all pubs have since the smoking ban. To recreate this at home, have a pot of cabbage on a continuous rolling boil whilst occasionally wafting a jar of pickled eggs around.

Never clean your toilet
No pub experience is complete without an unpleasant trip to the toilet. Make your bathroom into a nasty hell hole by pissing copiously all over the floor and scrawling obscene graffiti on the walls, then add one small urinal cake to the loo in a very token effort at hygiene.

Become a pub bore
Every pub has some tedious old duffer perpetually sat at the end of the bar who loves droning on about things like Brexit and potholes. As the pub’s sole customer, this is your role now. Luckily you are also the landlord, so you can kick yourself out when you get too pissed and start shouting about immigrants.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Pubs? I vaguely remember them...

Friday 22 January 2021

Feel for me baby

Born this day: another odd assortment, including sex god Michael Hutchence, Sam Cooke, D. W. Griffith, Sir John Hurt, "Galloping Gourmet" Graham Kerr, Stan Collymore, Francis Wheen, John Donne, Rosa Ponselle, Sir Alf Ramsey, Bill Bixby, Sergei Eisenstein, Sir Walter Raleigh, Linda Blair, Piper Laurie, George Balanchine, Lord Byron, Malcolm McLaren...

...and Roachford! Who? I hear you ask.

Well, he may have been a bit of a "one-hit wonder" both here in the UK and in 'Merka - but what a hit!

Thank Disco Cuddly Toys It's Friday!

Andrew Roachford MBE (born 22nd January 1965)

Have a good weekend, folks!

Thursday 21 January 2021

Let's Danzón

The sun's getting higher in the sky, and sunset is later and later every day. My mother has had her COVID jab, and now my sister (who is in a "clinically vulnerable" category) has received her appointment. The orange twat has left the building. There's more cause for optimism than we've felt in weeks.

A good excuse to play something classy, cheerful and sunny - and to dance a little habanera! Here's the very cute Gustavo Dudamel and his youths to play for us...

Ah, that's better...

Wednesday 20 January 2021

A million love songs later, and here I am

Probably one of the most prolific hit songwriters of recent generations, the genius (and "national treasure") that is Gary Barlow blows out fifty candles on his cake today! Gulp.

Inevitably "the one in the background" in the teenybop magazine photos of Take That, pushed aside by his prettier compatriots Robbie, Mark and Jason, he was of course the creative genius behind many of their biggest hits including Back for Good, Pray, Everything Changes, Shine, Never Forget, Patience, These Days, Why Can't I Wake Up With You and Babe (as well as myriad songs for his solo career and those of his bandmates, and for the likes of Donny Osmond, Reba McEntire, Blue, John Barrowman, Atomic Kitten and Agnetha Fältskog). Phew...

Here's a couple of his best:

...followed by a little trip down memory lane, to when the boys were all so much younger and prettier [weren't we all in 1992?]:

Many happy returns, Gary Barlow OBE (born 20th January 1971)

And, yes. I still would.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Monday 18 January 2021

Just to say "Hello there" and "Howdy-doo"

Today is allegedly "Blue Monday", the "most depressing day of the year". It's all piffle, of course - the term was created in 2005 by a British travel company as a cynical way to tempt people to book their holidays.

Here at Dolores Delargo Towers, we prefer Tacky Music Monday! And, thanks to Madam Arcati's recent trawl of the entire back-catalogue of this most - ahem - classy girl group, I have just the thing to sweep away the blues.

Here's Frankfurt's finest, Arabesque..!

Very popular in Japan, by all accounts.

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 17 January 2021

They say you're as old as you feel...

It's "Betty White Day" again!

Our favourite role model and Patron Saint blows out [if she has the puff] 99 candles on her cake today.

Remarkably, she has chalked up 82 years on screen, and remains the holder in the Guinness Book of Records of the title “Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female)” in the world!

Let's hand over to the lady herself for some words of wisdom...

All hail, Betty Marion White Ludden (born 17th January 1922)!

Saturday 16 January 2021

How was I supposed to know our love would grow?

"Big dick spammer" be damned!

On with the show... It's a mini-timeslip moment again!

We've been Cast Away [geddit?!] two decades back in time - to January 2001. In the news that month: the age of consent in the UK was finally equalised for gay and straight men to 16, the killers of eight-year-old Victoria Climbié (her great-aunt and partner) were sentenced to life imprisonment, George W. Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States, an earthquake in Gujarat killed between 13,805 and 20,023 people, Tony Blair's closest ally and "spin-doctor" Peter Mandelson resigned amid a scandal about a fast-tracked passport application for a billionaire Labour donor, and Philippine President Joseph Estrada was overthrown and replaced by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In our cinemas: Meet the Parents; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Sexy Beast. On telly: I Love the '80s, Phoenix Nights, Judge John Deed, and ITV's News at Ten returned after a two year hiatus.

...all that, and a small, unassuming, rather geeky website launched that was destined to change the way the world got its information forevermore - Happy Birthday Wikipedia!

But what was in our charts on this auspicious occasion? "Big Bum" J-Lo had crashed straight into the #1 slot with Love Don't Cost a Thing, and also present and correct were Steps, Fragma, Feeder, Texas, Santos [nope, me neither] and the loathsome Eminem. However, the song that the delightful Señorita Lopez had unceremoniously knocked off the top was this fantabulosa dance classic, by far the best song in the charts at that moment:

How terrifying is it to think that song is twenty years old?! How can that be possible?

Cause I've got the cure for all of my blues

I think this was his profile picture [or maybe not] - anyone recognise him?

Having awoken today to find that my blog had been invaded by dozens of fake comments from some spambot masquerading as a "Kelvin Steve", bragging about how some fucking voodoo "doctor" somehow made his cock grow to eleven inches, I've spent fifteen minutes of my life that I won't get back blocking them all - and have had to switch on comment moderation (sorry, peeps).

However, this tiresome exercise immediately brought this song to mind - so here's to you, "big boy"...

Acapella, 1; Spammer, 0.

Friday 15 January 2021

How many times?

Thank heavens for that. Another particularly dull and gloomy week is petering to its welcome close - and it's "party" time again...

Let's squeeze ourselves into our magnificent gold lurex batwing frocks, stick on the most preposterous nails, whip up the dry ice, hone our overacting dance moves in the company of the late, great Sharon Redd - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, dear reader...

Thursday 14 January 2021

Retour aux années quatre-vingt!

Among another miscellany of fellow celebrants, including Cecil Beaton, "professional weirdo" Faye Dunaway (who is 80), Richard Briers, Bebe Daniels, Warren Mitchell, Steven Soderbergh, Jack Jones, Sir Trevor Nunn, Pierre Loti, Emily Watson, Billie Jo Spears, Yukio Mishima, Nina Ricci, Mark Antony, Dave Grohl and - erm - LL Cool J, it's the 65th birthday today of Étienne Daho, one of France's most popular (and coolest) singers of recent years - he was even immortalised by Pierre et Gilles (with a parrot), as above!

By way of celebration, let's let the man himself whisk us away to his heyday (and mine), the 1980s...

Reminder to self: must dig out that pirate shirt, sixteen-pleat two-tone pegged trousers and pixie boots...

Bonne anniversaire, Étienne Daho (born 14th January 1956)

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you

It's gloomy, wet and miserable out there. What we really need is a lovely little easy listening music interlude...

With a perfect combination of one of our favourite house bands, Debussy, sunshine, the Von Trapp singers, The Mamas & The Papas and - ahem - a tortoise, I think this will do nicely!

Oh, that's better.

Roll on summer...

Tuesday 12 January 2021

When you've gotta go...

Now wash your hands!

Monday 11 January 2021

Little Donkey*

After a cold and frosty weekend, and with the prospect of a new week of unbridled joy of work about to unfold before us, dear reader, I think on this Tacky Music Monday we deserve a virtual visit to warmer climes.

This particular mind-fuck of a video, however, might well change our minds on that score...

Mere words do not suffice - although it has woken me up with a jolt!

Have a good week, folks...

[*Borriquito = "little Donkey in Spanish]

Sunday 10 January 2021

Totty of the Day

Sunday lunch, sorted.

Sal Mineo (10th January 1939 - 12th February 1976)

[Read an interview with Sal Mineo's "widower" Coutrney Burr on Matthew Rettenmund's "Boy Culture" site]

Saturday 9 January 2021

Enough to turn your stomach

Longing for the simpler days of bell-bottom trousers, disco and good Star Wars films? Remind yourself how bad things actually were in the 70s with these godforsaken meals.

Things in aspic
The culinary equivalent of freezing Han Solo in carbonite. For a whole decade people pushed the boundaries of good taste to the limits by sealing salads, eggs and entire fish in a jelly made of meat. It’s our public duty to make sure we never repeat this dark chapter of our history.

Ham and banana hollandaise
Even in the throes of bizarre food cravings, a pregnant woman would never dream of something as deranged as bananas wrapped in boiled ham and glazed with mustard and cream. We like to convince ourselves that we’re a developed society, but the invention of this dish should serve as a reminder of how uncivilised we really are.

Fish trying to look fun
Decorating a dead fish with broccoli florets and slices of cucumber doesn’t transform it into a cheerful character that deserves its own Disney film. Also deserving a mention is the 70s trend of thinking it’s a good idea to turn fish into a mousse. Serve fish in unrecognisable breaded finger form or don’t bother.

Spam cupcakes
There’s a reason you don’t see amateur bakers whip up cupcakes made of canned pork on Bake Off and that’s because the name alone is enough to turn your stomach. Prue and Paul would be vomiting beneath a gingham-checked table cloth before they’d finished the first mouthful.

Anything with prawns
Prawns are the biggest culinary casualty of the 70s. Putting some shrimps in a fancy glass and covering them with tomato sauce and mayonnaise is an undeniably classy idea, but everyone overdid it and now it can only be consumed with a large side serving of irony.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Yum yum.