Monday, 10 May 2021

We'll put all other things aside

Here we are again, dear reader...

No sooner had I slung the work laptop in the cupboard where it belongs, than I'm hauling it wearily back out again onto the desk for another five days of joy, or so it seems.

Never mind, eh? on this Tacky Music Monday we have another of those very clever video-editing-geeks to thank for this remarkable mash-up (featuring, among many, many others today's birthday boy Fred Astaire) - just the thing to lift the spirits:

Excited is not the word for a Monday. Have a good week, chums...

Sunday, 9 May 2021

It's wonderful; good luck my baby


It's Bluebell time! [click to embiggen]

What a relief - after unseasonably cold weather all through April and into May, and following the horrid storms yesterday, last night we had the first relatively warm overnight temperatures of the year (14C or 57F; what it should be in May)! Now we can think about planting out all the annuals and climbers that are currently turning the kitchen into some kind of "David Attenborough Life of Plants" jungle nightmare...

To accompany our pottering in the warm smatterings of sunshine, how about a visit [we wish!] to Spain for a bit of "Sunday music" [sung in Italian, confusingly] with one of the sexiest videos I've seen in a long time..?

I have just one thing to say: Chips! Chips!

Somebody hose me down, please...

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Totty of the Season - with undergrowth!


Tyrone Power (5th May 1914 – 15th November 1958)


Channing Tatum (born 26th April 1980)


Ricky Nelson (8th May 1040 - 31st December 1985)


George Clooney (who was 60 on 6th May)


Gary Cooper (7th May 1901 – 13th May 1961)


David Beckham (born 2nd May 1975)


Bobby Vee (30th April 1943 – 24th October 2016)

...and, finally...


David Frederick Attenborough (born 8th May 1926)


Yes, indeed, Sir David Attenborough, veteran of myriad brilliant nature programes, erstwhile Director of BBC 2 and national treasure (and cute as fuck when he was young) celebrates his 95th birthday today!

All Hail.

Here are a few of my favourite clips from a variety of his programmes over the decades. Fuck knows what we'll do when he's gone...

Fab.

Friday, 7 May 2021

I think I feel, I feel much better

I often cogitate on which is worse - a dull, boring week or a frenetically busy week (which this one has been). Regardless, it will soon be over...

With another weekend looming, and the prospect of almost-normal-for-May temperatures on the horizon (if not blazing sunshine yet), let's get into the groove for a party!

What better way to get us in the mood than with a bit of a "shakedown"?

...and, for your aural pleasure, dear reader, a rather "Moroder-esque" remix, to boot:

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great one, peeps...

Thursday, 6 May 2021

A little voice inside me cries


Gosh. Very sad news - the utterly gorgeous Nick Kamen, the model whose looks caught the eye of  fashionistas, magazine photographers, the tabloids and Our Glorious Leader Madonna alike, has died, aged just 59, after "a long illness".

If for nothing else, THIS was his moment of glory - possibly the first time an entire nation was captivated by a man stripping to his nick-nacks during primetime TV...

He had a modicum of chart success subsequently, mainly thanks to the largesse of the aforementioned Queen Madge. She did, after all, gift him this "leftover" song from her True Blue sessions - and she even sang backing vocals!

A sad loss to "totty-dom".

RIP, Nick Kamen (born Ivor Neville Kamen, 15th April 1962 – 4th May 2021)

As Matt Lucas said today: "If you didn't have a crush on Nick Kamen in the 80s, you probably weren't there."

Indeed.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

You'll never be in doubt, that's what it's all about

French fashion model turned New Romantic chanteuse Ronny, acolyte of Steve Strange, was a striking figure even among the most stylish of the "Blitz Kids". Then, as quickly as she arrived, she disappeared from view. So who was this mysterious woman who captivated me so, and where did she go?

I have been doing some research...

According to Discogs:

Club entrepreneur Rusty Egan met Ronny in the Paris club Privelege and co-produced with Midge Ure her first releases. Vangelis, Georg Kajanus and Peter Godwin also produced for her.
Quoted in an article in Electronics & Music Maker magazine in July 1982 (as transcribed by Mu:Zines magazines archive), she said:

"I was in Paris dancing and modelling, but getting fed up with the whole thing and decided just to stop everything and go into something else - I wanted to explore my voice and link this with the use of electronic music. Apart from Jean-Michel Jarre in France, I could hear this music coming from England. I wasn't attracted to the current French disco sounds and later signed over here with Polydor as a solo artist...

...I like to think of a song as a little movie in itself. It's very hard to put across in three or four minutes what you want to express. Often people never hear the lyrics clearly or get the atmosphere behind it - they just hear something to dance to and move to. I would like to go further than that."

Warren Cann of Ultravox and Visage, in an interview for the now-demised Electrogarden site [retrieved via The Wayback Machine on Archive.org]:
"We were friends for years and I never did know her last name, it honestly never occurred to me to ask her. She was an unfathomably gorgeous French woman who'd once been a "Bluebell" dancer in Paris at Le Lido. She gave up modelling to come to London to make it as a singer.

I met her backstage at one of our gigs when Midge, who'd been producing some tracks for her, introduced us. Ronny wasn't a "pop" artist so much as a pop chanteuse, a torch singer. Her voice, while not virtuosic in the conventional sense, was utterly compelling and expressive. She could read a phone book and you'd swoon. She made Sade sound like Tweety.

Hans Zimmer and I did some gigs for her and she appears briefly on the Helden album "Spies." Chalk it up to bad luck, bad timing, or the vagaries of the music business, but it just never worked out for her and, after a number of years getting nowhere, she gave up music and moved back to France."

According to a thread post in an Ultravox discussion forum by Graeme Oxby, erstwhile manager of Howard Devoto's band Magazine and collaborator with Steve Strange on various attempts to revive Visage as an entity:

"Steve Strange bumped into Ronny years later and she was working behind the make-up counter of a department store in Paris. I think Steve bought some eye shadow but don't quote me lol!"
Unsurprisingly, the maestro Rusty Egan is still in touch with the lady, according to this comment he made on a post on The Wave of Things blog - and (unlike Mr Cann above) refers to her by her full name in his social media posts...

...Miss Ronny Vuniconnu - one of the true "Shapers of the 80s" - we salute you!

Both those numbers are indeed superb - as is her wildly camp duet with Steve Strange on Lady is a Tramp, as featured here in 2019 - but, way back around this time forty years ago, it was this (her debut) song that absolutely bowled me over! The moment I heard it [probably played by someone like John Peel or Annie Nightingale on Radio 1], I had to rush out to Woolworths to buy the single, and played it absolutely to death on my radiogram...

If you want me to stay
I'll be around someday
To be available for you to see
But I'm about to go
And baby then you'll know
For me to stay here
I've got to be me

You'll never be in doubt
That's what it's all about
You can't take me for granted and smile
I can't believe I'm gone
Forget pushing me back home
I promised I'll be gone for a while

And when you see me again
I bet that you have been
The kind of person
That you really are now

I got to get things straight
How could I ever be late
When you're my woman takin' up my time
How could I ever allow
I guess I wondered how
I get romantic with you just for fun

I'll be good
Although I wish I could
But you'll still gonna be my No.1

[French lyrics]

If you want me to stay
I'll be around someday
To be available for you to see
But I'm about to go
And baby then you'll know
For me to stay here
I've got to be me

You'll never be in doubt
That's what it's all about
You can't take me for granted and smile
I can't believe I'm gone
Forget pushing me back home
But I promise I'll be back in a while

Memories, memories... I was seventeen.

Sigh.

[click any photo to embiggen]

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Kiss, kiss, kiss will make this earth quake

Oh, sod it! Here we go again. After an eventful three-day weekend - my second COVID jab, actually meeting up with our dear friends The Essex Boys in person, and a torrential storm to finish - it's back to the damned laptop again...

Never mind, eh? Here's a - ahem - cheery little number from fifteen years ago to ease our way back into the grind:

At least it's a short week, dear reader.

Monday, 3 May 2021

When you want to see some...more!

Today's disparate collection of birthdays may include Bing Crosby, Sandi Toksvig, Mary Astor, Frankie Valli, James Brown, Mary Hopkin, Dave Ball of Soft Cell, Dodie Smith, Betty Comden, Sir Henry Cooper, Christopher Cross, Ben Elton, and - erm - Napoleon XIV (of They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! fame)...

...but it's the lovely "Fizz-er" Jay Aston, who blows out 60 candles on her cake today* tomorrow, we're celebrating!

How very appropriate - for when such a milestone, a Bank Holiday Tacky Music Monday and the Eurovision Song Contest (less than three weeks away) collide, what else can we do but play this one...again?!

Have a good week, dear reader...

[* corrected thanks to the eagle-eyed Mr DeVice...]

Sunday, 2 May 2021

A flamingo drinking from a cocktail glass


It's definitely not the weather for this sort of malarkey!

As we continue to wait for the Spring weather to actually begin - it's lovely when the sun is out, admittedly, but there are massive black clouds and sprinklings of rain that keep ruining the enjoyment, and it's far too cold at night for our liking - here's a little light music interlude...

How about a cover of a typical Tom Waits "growly misery-ballad", as interpreted by South Korea's foremost jazz vocalist Youn Sun Nah? That'll do nicely.

Edna Million in a drop dead suit
Dutch Pink on a downtown train
Two dollar pistol but the gun won't shoot
I'm in the corner on the pouring rain
16 men on a dead man's chest
And I've been drinking from a broken cup
2 pairs of pants and a mohair vest
I'm full of bourbon, I can't stand up

Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone

Schiffer broke a bottle on Morgan's head
And I've been stepping on the devil's tail
Across the stripes of a full moon's head
Through the bars of a Cuban jail
Bloody fingers on a purple knife
A flamingo drinking from a cocktail glass
I'm on the lawn with someone else's wife
Come admire the view from up on top of the mast

Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone

I said, hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
House is on fire, your children are alone

Yellow sheets in a Hong Kong bed
Stazybo horn and a Slingerland ride
To the carnival is what she said
A hundred dollars makes it dark inside

Edna Million in a drop dead suit
Dutch Pink on a downtown train
Two dollar pistol but the gun won't shoot
I'm in the corner on the pouring rain

Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone

Did someone mention Bourbon? Don't mind if I do...

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Perhaps it is quite fashionable; it hasn't gone out of style

"Hip hip hooray, the first of May - outdoor sex begins today!"

Or so the saying goes, anyway.

The nearest I got to a prick today was my second COVID jab...

An appropriate Public Service Announcement:

Have you noticed that people are still having sex?
All the denouncement had absolutely no effect
Parents and counsellors constantly scorn them
But people are still having sex and nothing seems to stop them

Do you realize that people are still having sex?
They've been told not to, perhaps they are perplexed
When you see them holding hands, they are making future plans
To engage in the activity; do you understand me?

People are still having sex
Lust keeps on lurking
Nothing makes them stop;
This AIDS thing's not working

People are still having sex;
It's been going on for quite a while
Perhaps it is quite fashionable
It hasn't gone out of style

It's a fact that people are still having sex;
It's rather obvious, it's just what one expects
The evidence is all around that everyone in every town
Has had it at one time or another in their life

At this very moment, people are still having sex
In a downtown condo or a street in the projects
Even though you can't see them, or hear their breathing sounds
Someone in this world is having sex right now

People are still having sex
People are still having sex
People are still having sex
People are still having sex

Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex...