Sunday 30 April 2023

Like a beat up, worn out toy

Happy (gulp) 70th birthday today to Merril Osmond [or is it Princess Beatrice; you never saw them in the same room...]!

I used to be a massive Osmonds fan when I was a kid, and in fact, Donny was my first crush - but it was Merrill who was the actual talent behind the group, as both lead singer on most of their songs, and writer of many of their biggest hits.

This wasn't one of them, but it does serve to demonstrate what a (much-overlooked) talented group of lads they really were!

Love it!

Saturday 29 April 2023

Terpsichorean powers

It is apparently International Dance Day today - and who better to lead the celebrations than the peerless Miss Eleanor Powell?!

Oh, and Fred Astaire, of course.

Miss Powell wins.

Friday 28 April 2023

I'm tired of laughing and I'm tired of crying

Another day, another household name gone - this time, it's the turn of the self-described "talk show host and ringmaster of civilisation's end", the notorious Mr Jerry Springer.

I never watched his maelstrom of a show, of course, but we did warm to him somewhat when we saw his appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? - during which we discovered that not only was he born in London (in Highgate tube station, to be accurate, which was being used as an air raid shelter at the time), but that his family were Jewish refugees who fled the Nazis, and we saw his anguish at finding out the fate of those who they had to leave behind.

So salacious, however, were all the "trailer-trash" fights and the sordid insights into the bizarre lives of the guests who were central to his show, it (and he) became the subject of an opera. And, from it, one of my absolute all-time favourite anthems!

Thank Disco Jerry Springer It's Friday!

I don't give a fuck no more
If people think I am a whore
I just wanna dance
Oh, I just wanna dance

Things are going bad for me
I am feeling sad for me
So I just wanna dance
Oh, I just wanna dance

I'm tired of laughing and I'm tired of crying,
I'm tired of failing and I'm tired of all this trying,
I wanna do some living
Cause I've done enough dying
I just wanna dance
I just wanna fucking dance!

Nothing more for me to say
It's time for me to run away
Walking through the door
I don't need this anymore.

And now my life is come with me
Finally, I'm breaking free
It's all I've waited for
I've never felt so sure.

I'm tried of laughing
Tired of lying
I'm tired of failing
And I'm tired of all this crying
I wanna do some living
Cos I've done enough dying
And I just wanna dance

Whoa! I'm tired of waiting
Tired of hoping
And I'm tired of losing
I'm tired of being broken
I've got to do some living
Cos I've had enough of dying
And I just wanna dance
I just wanna fucking dance!


Have a great (May Day Bank Holiday) weekend, dear reader!

Wednesday 26 April 2023

The standards have fallen, my value has dropped

It's bizarre. As the headlines are full of the supposed "wonders" technology is bringing - deadly-sounding self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) software being used to fake interviews with tragically brain-injured sportsmen and to allow lazy-and-thick-as-shit students to have their theses written for them, "deepfake" videos and photography, and so on - the gnomes at Google can't even make Blogger run properly without breaking something-or-other!

Over the past few days, I have suddenly stopped receiving notifications via email that anyone has posted a new comment on either of my blogs. So apologies, dear reader, if there is an apparent time-lag in my replies; I have to manually go to the dashboard to find out of there's anything new to respond to... Sigh.

Onwards and upwards, eh?

In the optimistic hope that another icon doesn't pop their clogs today, it's time for a celebration of the living.

Yesterday [alongside fellow celebrants including Ella Fitzgerald, Björn Ulvaeus, Johan Cruyff, Oliver Cromwell, Renée Zellweger, Al Pacino, Walter de la Mare, Jerry Leiber and Andy Bell of Erasure], it was the 80th birthday of the simply faboo Tony Christie!

Despite having huge success with such classics as Avenues & Alleyways, I Did What I Did for Maria and (of course) Is This The Way to Amarillo, there is one song that to me surpasses them all! It remains an eternal favourite of mine, and the celebration of this milestone gives me another excuse to play it:

[Oh, how I sang that song at the top of my voice when I was being made redundant from my last job - "A halfwit in a leotard stands on my stage!", indeed.]

Today [together with the likes of the legendary Giorgio Moroder, Carol Burnett (who is 90), Ma Rainey, Duane Eddy, Roger Taylor of Duran Duran, Channing Tatum, Douglas Sirk, Susannah Harker, Jack Douglas and - erm - Melania Trump], it's the birthday of another house fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers - Miss Caro Emerald, who happens to have sung another of my personal anthems:


Tuesday 25 April 2023

Wild about Harry

They're dropping like flies at the moment...

Paul O'Grady, Murray Melvin, Dame Mary Quant, Barry Humphries, Len Goodman...

...and now that hunky young Calypso maestro (whose debut album was the first to sell millions across the globe), actor and showman extraordinaire, pioneer of the Civil Rights movement, and legend in his own lifetime, Mr Harry Belafonte has departed for his Island in the Sun for the final time, aged 98.


  • He was mentored by Paul Robeson, and was a friend and confidante (and financial supporter) of Martin Luther King.
  • Appearing on Petula Clark's US television show, their arms touched in a loving way, which caused uproar from one of the show's bigoted sponsors - but "Our Pet" stood her ground, the show went out uncut, and Harry's career was given a massive boost.
  • He launched the careers Stateside of Miriam Makeeba, Nana Mouskouri and even Bob Dylan (who was Harry's harmonica player).
  • It was he who set the ball rolling for an American answer to Bob Geldof and Midge Ure's "Band Aid", gathering a wealth of talent on board for the fundraising single We Are the World in 1985.

RIP, Harry Belafonte (born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr, 1st March 1927 – 25th April 2023)

Soullessly manufactured happiness

A song that used AI to clone the voices of Drake and The Weeknd has been removed from Spotify. But which existing tracks already sound like generic shite made by robots?

I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas
From the background ‘strings’ to Fergie’s vocoder harmonies, every single element of this song sounds highly synthesised, and not in a good 80s way. The lyrics are so bland it’s like being aurally lobotomised, and it’s impossible to believe Black Eyed Peas or producer David Guetta have experienced any feeling in their lives that wasn’t ‘meh’.

Stand By Me, Oasis
If you fed all of the most plodding, derivative indie songs of the 90s into an AI songwriting machine, it would quickly spew out Stand By Me. It’s Oasis’ most boring song, and that’s saying something: so tedious, dreary and un-rock’n’roll that it’s now the soundtrack for a building society advert.

Happy, Pharrell Williams
‘Because I’m happeeeeeeee’ trills Pharrell over a catchy tune that initially feels like it could lift your spirits. Unfortunately, after approximately 30 seconds you realise it’s a soullessly manufactured happiness that sounds like it was clinically assembled on a production line by robot slaves in a bleak, dystopian future.

How You Remind Me, Nickelback
‘I want a rock song,’ you command the AI, ‘that sounds like every rock song ever written, mushed together and extruded as a musical poo.’ And this is what you get. It could almost be by Nirvana, it could almost be by Metallica, and yet it’s more monotonous and drab than either of those bands could manage even at their worst.

TiK ToK, Ke$ha
Looking for a feather-light piece of nonsense about a Valley Girl getting pissed, all washed over with so much autotune that it may as well be sung by a computer? Have a listen to TiK ToK, if you can get past the inanely ‘different’ stylisation. Despite the theoretically edgy subject matter, it’s utterly sanitised and sounds more like it was written by an algorithm fed with thousands of hours of PG American teen movies, rather than a human.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 24 April 2023

Reggae woman, what is wrong with you?

Gosh. How we love Mondays...

Heavens! As we adjust to that fact that another weekend has just whizzed by and the bloody alarm's gone off again - on this Tacky Music Monday it appears that the mighty Cher has wandered into a gay sauna and decided to sing and dance some reggae numbers with the boys..!

Bizarre - but somehow entrancing...

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 23 April 2023

I can buy myself flowers

The beautiful combination of Narcissus (Daffodil) “Starlight Sensation” and Tulip “Paul Scherer” is a joy.

We're off for a slap-up Sunday roast with Madam Arcati's Big Sister (who was in London yesterday to go and see ABBA: Voyage). Just as well we have an "indoor distraction", really, as that rain forecast for the weekend looks set to come in earnest today, so there'd be no gardening done...

I think we should treat ourselves to a little "Sunday Music", courtesy of the ever-wonderful Postmodern Jukebox, here making even Miley Cyrus sound listenable!

Love 'em.

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox - appearing at a venue near you...


Happy St George's Day, my English chums!

[click to embiggen]

Saturday 22 April 2023

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I was pleasantly surprised that despite the dire forecast, it was mostly bright and warm enough to spend a productive day in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, washing more skanky pots, emptying others of dead plants, and potting-on the burgeoning new ones. The only thing that marred it was the sad news of the death of the faboo Barry Humphries/Dame Edna Everage.

Comme d'habitude, it was Radio 2 all day - and here are a couple of stand-out tracks they played!

From Rylan's show, an 80s classic that I have always loved, but (to my chagrin) have never featured here before...

...and from Liza Tarbuck, one that's completely new to me (yet is actually from 2017), Confidence Man - Boyfriend:

Spring's a lovely (if busy) time of year!

Friday 21 April 2023

Oo-oo-oo, clap your hands, clap your hands

We're at the long, slow decline of a long, slow week - and it's time to start planning that party!

What better to get us in the mood than the unavowed masters of their craft Chic with an all-time classic?

Thank Disco It's Friday, indeed!

Gulp. That song is 45 years old this month...


Bye, bye, Dominic Raab. A complete cunt to work for, obviously, but a rare beast, indeed - a leading politician I'd drop to my knees for:

Thursday 20 April 2023

Flying the Flags

We're only a few weeks away from the biggest event this country has seen in decades!

No, not the Coronation - the Eurovision Song Contest (being held in Liverpool)!!

For no particular reason other than I want to, here are just fifteen of my personal favourites from the world's largest, shinest and campest music festival (now in its 67th year)...

The Eurovision Song Contest final will be held on 13th May 2023.

I can't wait!

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Teach me what to do

And so, farewell then, Caroline Vincinette LoTempio. Who? I hear you ask...

Better known as April Stevens, she found fame in the 1950s and 60s for duets with her brother Nino Tempo on such standards as Deep Purple.

Here at Dolores Delargo Towers, however, it is for this suggestive little number [here in a video with footage from the post-apocalyptic TV series To The Lake, in which it was featured] that we love her the most!

Teach me Tiger how to kiss you
Show me Tiger how to kiss you

Take my lips, they belong to you
But teach me first, teach me what to do
Touch me Tiger when I'm close to you
Help me Tiger, I don't know what to do
I know that you could love me too
But show me first, show me what to do

This is the first love that I have ever known
What must I do to make you my very own?
Teach me Tiger how to tease you
Tiger, Tiger I wanna squeeze you
All of my love I will give to you
But teach me Tiger or I'll teach you


Tuesday 18 April 2023

In the shops, on the telly, on our very crisps

The UK is standing petrified, transfixed by an onrushing tidal wave of Coronation bullshit which will soon drown us all.

The entire country is staring aghast at a mounting influx of bollocks about an event which will affect none of our lives in any material way but will be all any of us are allowed to discuss or think about for weeks to come.

Donna Sheridan of Lancaster said: “It’s already begun. In the shops, on the telly, on our very crisps. So far it’s only ankle-deep. But the deluge is coming.

“Soon our homes will be awash with Coronation shite. EastEnders will have a special episode. This Morning will discuss little else. You’ll be sipping Coronation tea out of a Coronation mug with Coronation biscuits on the side.

“Your workplace will be alive with it. Schools will be obsessed. Bunting will appear. The street party, or the failure to organise a street party, will be the subject of outraged battles on every neighbourhood Facebook group.

“We will be castigated for not exactly replicating the joy and excitement of a 1953 event which septuagenarians dimly remember from when they were children. We will be compelled to feign joy at a man who is already King being named King.

“Each and every one of us will soon be submerged in forced patriotism. It’s coming. It is too late to hide.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 17 April 2023

Where is the Man?

Sigh. Back to the office again.

After a busy yet rewarding eleven day break, I am once again unprepared for that bloody alarm going off!

Hey ho. It would have been the 90th birthday of the effervescent Jayne Mansfield this week - so what better way to provide a wake-up call on this Tacky Music Monday than the "First Lady of Va-va-voom" herself, singing in German?!


Jayne Mansfield (19th April 1933 - 29th June 1967)

Sunday 16 April 2023

It is nothing to do with the wine

And so, on the last day of freedom before the work week begins again, we continue the slog to get the garden in some sort of order.

My back is aching already from yesterday after washing pots, window boxes and planters [and there's still dozens yet to do]. and taking every leaf off the poor old Cordyline that had its crown killed by frost [in readiness to decapitate it, seal the wound and hope for new growth], and those off the ferns, and re-potting a few plants that were groaning out of their pots, and sweeping up the detritus of dead snails and muck, and severing sycamore seedlings [which are everywhere!], and, and, and...

A gardener's job is never ending.

Time for some appropriate "Sunday Music", methinks.

Sharing the day (as she does) with Dame Joan Bakewell (who is 90!), Charlie Chaplin, Peter Ustinov, Spike Milligan, Henry Mancini, Gerry Rafferty, Ellen Barkin, Bobby Vinton, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Guy Burgess, Kingsley Amis, Vince Hill, Robert Stigwood, John Harvey-Jones, Claire Foy and - erm - "Little" Jimmy Osmond (who's 60), it would have been our late, great Patron Saint Dusty Springfield's birthday today!

And here she is, with my most favourite song of hers:

Dusty Springfield OBE (born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, 16th April 1939 – 2nd March 1999)

Saturday 15 April 2023

A triumvirate of Divas

It was the centenary of the birth of the too, too faboo Miss Ann Miller on 12th April...

...and the 90th anniversaries of both "La Superba" Señorita Montserrat Caballé (also on 12th)...

...and the lovely Elizabeth Montgomery today!

Every one of them sady missed.

Friday 14 April 2023

There's nothin' to it, just say you wanna do it

I spent the whole day yesterday - dodging storm-force winds and showers - gathering dozens of discarded pots from all four corners of the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, divesting them of slugs and snails [the top of the garden is like the snail equivalent of the Somme at the moment with so many squished molluscs] and washing them ready for use. There's loads more to do of course, but looking at the dismal forecast for today I think it's unlikely I'll get much more done out there, so most likely a shopping day is afoot.

I'm more than well aware that being on leave means there is no particular difference between the end of a week as opposed to any other day, but celebratory traditions are traditions after all... let's get our funk in motion and the party started in the estimable company of one of the founding fathers of the genre, in his most massively-collared sequinned jacket and flares, with a troupe of over-excited safety gays'n'gals - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 13 April 2023

Wednesday 12 April 2023

The Spring collection

It's been a hectic few days!

On Saturday, a smattering of "Our Gang" gathered for the first time in ages at The Perseverance pub off Great Ormond Street for another "Film Club" evening, then on Easter Sunday Madam Arcati and I took Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex to Kew Gardens (a first for Steve, and Alex hadn't been since he was a little kid) to see it in its Spring magnificence!

No sooner did we get back home, but I was off with them back to Braintree - and spent a happy (if miserably wet and windy) couple of days touring the numerous garden centres and nurseries up and down the county. I came back last night on National Express (in total it took four hours from being dropped off at the airport to getting home!), laden with a haul of twenty-seven new plants - 22 of them fuchsias! Phew.

How about a little selection of newer music that has caught my ear of late, to ease the aches and pains..?

Let's start out a bit classy, shall we, with a first-time collaboration between two favourite vocalists here at Dolores Delargo Towers:

Time to crank it up a little, with this jolly little number:

Miss Ware says "it's time to shake it 'til the pearls fall", and who are we to argue?

Could this one sound more Eighties if it tried?

Dame Sophie of the Ellis-Bextors' recent single from her new album Hana is a joy:

Speaking of joy, this is one I've brought back with me from Braintree, where we certainly did whoop with joy when we discovered it!

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

Sunday 9 April 2023


Back on Tuesday, dear reader...

Saturday 8 April 2023

The courtesan struck gold

Considering sleeping with a married man whose wife doesn’t understand him? Girlfriends warning you it won’t work out? Look who’s Queen now, bitches.

On the surface, it was a classic case. He’s all like ‘My marriage is a sham’ and ‘We haven’t been intimate in years’ and ‘We’re only together for the children and the future of the hereditary monarchy’.

I read about them in the women’s magazines – Tatler, The Nanny and Debrett’s. He might claim they’re sleeping in separate Georgian mansions and then suddenly she’s pregnant with an heir.

But what can I say? I looked into those blue eyes and I trusted him. I believed that this man, this future King, didn’t just want to be in and out of me all day like a tampon but for us to be together.

From that day I vowed to destabilise his marriage, whether by tapping the phones at Kensington Palace or tipping off the press about her stalking that art dealer. Even better, we did it together.

It wasn’t easy when she started flinging shit in public, and the kids have never warmed to me, but my whispers of ‘That younger one’s a right diva, just like her’ paid off and he’s practically disinherited now.

We married, we cycled through a number of titles that his domineering mother and the resentful public were willing to accept, and next month he’s crowned at Westminster Abbey and I’ll be there as Queen. Not Queen Consort. Not King’s Concubine. Queen.

So ladies, if you’ve identified a married man of sufficient status naive enough to be pussystruck, ignore the warnings and have that affair. It worked for me.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Thursday 6 April 2023

To make me runaway


Oh, thank heavens - I've knocked-off from work for Easter, and will not be touching the damned laptop nor setting foot in the office for the next eleven days. Yay!!

I think it's (prematurely) time to get the weekend party mood started - and Thank Disco It's Friday Thursday!

Have a great break, dear reader!

Wednesday 5 April 2023

What is this I'm feeling?

Could an orange maniac finally be facing justice?

It's the middle of a short week, and I am going to spend the day closing down shit and preparing my handover for my well-earned extended Easter break [I'm off all next week], as I have loads of meetings tomorrow.

The weather's been quite fab, there's a "gathering of the clans Film Club" on Saturday, and much plant shopping (particularly fuchsias) to look forward to when I bugger off to Essex with Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex afterwards. Just two more days to go!

Meanwhile, it happens to be [the peculiar-looking] Pharrell Williams' 50th birthday today, so how about a little midweek joy?

We've come too far
To give up who we are
So let's raise the bar
And our cups to the stars


Tuesday 4 April 2023

Film Night

Tonight's classic movie is the Joe Orton [who would have been 90 years old in January, a milestone, much to my chagrin, I neglected to feature] adaptation Entertaining Mr Sloane from 1964, starring Beryl Reid, Harry Andrews and the very lovely Peter McEnery!

Worth a watch, don't you agree?!

[More Joe Orton here and by clicking the label below.]

Monday 3 April 2023

Any way the wind blows in

Bastard Monday again!

Another weekend gone at the speed of light - but at least this will be a short week, with the Easter weekend (and a whole week's annual leave thereafter) on its way. It's also "Doris Day Day" today, and that's always worth celebrating!

She may share a birthday with a panoply of "names" such as Marlon Brando, Jennifer Paterson, "Gentleman Jack" Anne Lister, Alec Baldwin, A. C. Grayling, Leslie Howard, Mistinguett, Eddie Murphy, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Goodall, Dooley Wilson, Tony Benn, Marsha Mason, Miguel Bosé, Nigel Farage, Helmut Kohl, Tony Orlando, Leona Lewis and the very lovely Matthew Goode, but there is only one Doris Day!

On This Tacky Music Monday, here's a couple of rather less-than-familiar songs of hers...

Doris Day (born Doris Mary Kappelhoff, 3rd April 1922 – 13th May 2019)

Have a good week, dear reader.