Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Ryan Idol: Still The Perfect Gentleman

A picture of a good-looking man, and this time not linked to a blog or subject referring to a middle-aged lunatic. Though there could be a tiny link--the last time we met it was on Eurostar, in the days before the name became synonymous with pullution. But enough of that...
Chi-Chi La Rue and I were born on the very same day, and that's how I got to meet Ryan--and Joey, who I guess would be described, along with Barbara and Amalia, as one of the great platonic loves of my life. Currently, Ryan--or Michael, as we all know him--is going through a tough patch. A very tough patch. Again, a woman of questionable sensibilities is involved. Indeed, morons have written that he and I have one thing in common, and I'm not talking appendage--morons, as an excuse for being the pieces of dung that they really are, claim that we don't like women. This is not true. It's just that all the lunatics and idiots who have caused us pain happen to be female. Moralists who almost always have something to hide themselves, and who camouflage their faults by latching on to hopeless causes and making life a misery for their betters--the premise being that anyone, be they porn-stars, criminals, murderers, thieves or fiends, will still always be better than these hideous matrons. But enough of that...
In Ryan's case, I would suspect that prejudice and homophobia have raised their ugly heads. Okay, so he got a little mad and hit his girlfriend over the head with a toilet seat. Big deal. Most toilet seats are made of plastic these days--not the heavy woodens one of yesteryear. And from what I gather she may have asked for it because she wasn't always nice to him--an alleged hubby-beater who probably got no beter than she deserved. She must have, because the case was in and out more times than Zsa Zsa Gabor's husbands. Then homophobia struck. Michael was gay, and therefore a monster. In fact, he was straight and gay-for-pay. There's a subtle difference.
Someone will murder a child--I'm talking USA, not the dippy never-ending-saga I was one involved with--and get a few years. Lord Longford wanted to get Myra out. And this judge now hands Michael a twelve-year sentence? Is he insane or what? There's an appeal. In fact, we've been appealing--yes, yours truly IS involved--for over a year now since a judge said Michael MIGHT get a couple of years, and will continue to do so until he gets out. But twelve years?
Here's a message to the judge who listens to the appeal. FORGET what Michael did for a living--his last job was in a Broadway play, in any case. Look at his FACE and try not to imagine what he is doing with his cock, and treat him like a HUMAN BEING instead of something dredged up from the sewers. Then, and only then, will YOU be regarded as a huan being. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012


She was the Queen of the French Music-Hall.
Twenty years ago I published a biography of her, and was stunned when it entered the American best-sellers list as I assumed they would have forgotten about the woman who created the song.'My Man', immortalised by Fanny Brice and and then by Barbra Streisand. Madonna even optioned the book, albeit briefly, because she wanted to film her life story. Now, I've been commissioned to write a play based on the book--concentrating not on her infamous relationship with Maurice Chevalier, but with another. The play is already under way--I completed a first draft in 2000 after being asked to transcribe--not translate--several of her songs into English. There were great problems at the time, though, because Georges Guétary was still alive and had asked for me to remove his character as, he said, I had not portrayed him in a favourable light. Well, Spiros as he's called, is very central to the action so he stayed put. Another of the central characters, the celebrated mannequin, Manouche, celebrates her centenary next year. We visited her several times in Paris and she once cooked us the most unforgetable breakfast--the one that ended up being shoved in a plastic bag in Jeanne's handbag while she was not looking--and when she was shown the draft, she complained that I had not made her vulgar enough!

A kiss can be a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point. That's basic spelling that every woman ought to know. -- Mistinguett Luckily there are happy, ordinary people in the world who earn an honest living and love their wives and children. All the rest is vanity. -- Mistinguett

There have been greater comediennes, greater singers, greater dancers--but all in a single package, there has been only one Mistinguett. Complete shows were built around her, she would carry an entire revue on her lovely shoulders, the spirit of the whole evening. Truly, there is no one like her now--and if another great personality like hers should come along, she would be a star exploding across the sky. -- Maurice Chevalier


I am pleased to report that there IS a biography of Mistinguett readily available in English: "The Mistinguett Legend" by David Bret, published by St. Martin's Press in 1990. My local public library has a copy of it.

The best source for viewing more photos of our lady is "The Moulin Rouge" by Jacques Pessis and Jacques Crepineau, a coffee table size volume also published by St. Martin's Press (1989). This exceptional book could have been subtitled "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Moulin Rogue." There are many, many pictures of Mistinguett, as well as poster and sheet music cover illustrations

There is also an autobiography, "Mistinguett by Mistinguett --Queen of the Paris Night," an English traanslation of which was published in Great Britain, in 1954, by Elak Books. As with any autobiography, you may expect to find some discrepancies in the facts as presented in the lady's own version of her life. This book is not easy to find, but is worth the search, if only for the many photographs not found elsewhere.

Another volume worth checking out is "Showgirls" by Andrea Stuart, published by Jonathan Cape, London, in 1996. I'm not sure if it is available outside of Great Britain, but our gal appears on the cover and has a chapter devoted to her, along with a couple of nice photos I've not seen elsewhere.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Montserrat Caballé: Get Well Soon

She's a dear, tremendous lady and we go back a long way. She wrote the introductions to two of my books: Freddie Mercury, and Maria Callas. We laughed and cried together about Freddie--his wicked jokes, Montsy's dry sense of humour. We chewed the fat over Callas--Jeanne had called her 'ten ton', a quaint Yorkshire term for arrogant. And we wept over Wunderlich--I think she had a soft spot for him when they worked together. Montsy's in hospital right now recovering from a stroke. Only last year she was touring, at 78 and still in fine fettle. Our thoughts are with young Montsy, Carlos and Isabel at this dreadfully anxious time--but most especially with Montsy herself. Get well, sweetheart. Freddie isn't ready for you yet. xxx

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Only Admiration For The Brave

Andy was a remarkable person, an inspiration to us all. Courageous until the end--he kept on working, his health deteriorating and in great pain, until a few days before he died. We really did think that he had got over the worst. Even at the zenith of his illness, only through intense observation could you see how ill he was and he never lost any weight, which is why we thought he'd beaten that terrible disease. Watching him again over these past few weeks has inspired me no end, and given me courage too.  Sleep peacefully, big boy!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Who Is Joey Jenkinson?

Time to end the speculation--seeing as everyone seems to know the answer already!
Joey Jenkinson is my lover.
He's 6 foot 2 inches tall, 38-years-old, built like the archetypal brick toilet, and he's all mine.
I support him, he protects me. My wife approves.
I have the cash, he has the fists--along with other very interesting attributes.
Any more questions from the frustrated, dried-up old prunes?

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Sun Newspaper: Showing Its Ignorance Once More

Yet again offering proof that this ghastly publication should relocate to Chernobyl, comes a feature on Page 6 of today's rag.
'Flood Rescue For Gay Dads'.
Written for no other reason than prejudice, and of course whichever manure heap penned it remains anonymous--effectively a 'troll', which is what THEY call someone who writes offensive material without leaving their name. They're dads, you vile lump of nothingness. What they do or don't do with their cocks is immaterial!
So, the next time they write some nonsensical story about the sublimely non-talented Cheryl Cole, to redress the balance will they call her a 'straight non-talented person'--and the next time they mention Prince William and Princess Kate (the real one, not the one with the face like a bag of spanners soaked in vinegar) will they be described as 'the straight royal couple'?
Methinks not!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

George Formby: The Play

The stageplay, along with the monologue, 'Our Annie's Funeral'. The play centres on George's relationships with his copiously vulgar mother, Eliza, and his domineering wife, Beryl. I admired Beryl tremendously. She was feisty and tough--had to be in a man's world, as show business was in their day. George was given an OBE, but they should have given Beryl one too for her stance against apartheid which got them kicked out of South Africa when she fronted up to Daniel Malin, the Nick Griffin of his day. There's also an appearance by busty chanteuse, Yana.
The monologue event actually happened. In our families, there was often more hilarity to be found at funerals than at weddings--whenever someone got married, there was usually a fight!

Friday, 5 October 2012

NBC Television: David Bret On Elizabeth Taylor & Lindsay Lohan

David Bret, speaking to an audience of 30 million

Lindsay vs. Liz: Can Playing Taylor Bring Lohan Back?

Lindsay Lohan says she can relate to Elizabeth Taylor and hopes playing the legendary actress will aid in her campaign for a career comeback.

By Colin Bertram
| Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 | Updated 8:34 PM EDT
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Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler stars as one of Hollywood's most iconic, turbulent, talented and passionate couples, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Premieres on Lifetime in November.

Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler stars as one of Hollywood's most iconic, turbulent, talented and passionate couples, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Premieres on Lifetime in November.
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"Pretty much Elizabeth Taylor reincarnated.”
That's what Grant Bowler, star of the Lifetime biopic “Liz & Dick," says about Lindsay Lohan, who plays opposite him as the raven-haired child star turned vixen turned diva turn HIV activist.
In the same sneak-peek trailer in which Bowler gushes, Lohan agrees that she and Taylor do indeed have a lot in common.
“I personally understand Liz because you’re living your life for everyone to see, and that people are growing with you,” she says. “You get to a point where you become numb to it and you live your life the way that you feel you need to live it.”
It's an interesting idea, and Lohan is currently at a crossroads that Taylor successfully navigated: moving from ingenue star to respected adult actress. But taking all the much-trumpeted similarities into account, can the "Mean Girls" star actually transition into the legend who won best actress Academy Awards for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Butterfield 8"?
Some things are obvious. For starters both actresses achieved fame as a child star, with Taylor first appearing onscreen at the age of 9 in “There’s One Born Every Minute” and becoming an international celebrity at the tender age of 12 thanks to a starring role in “National Velvet.” Lohan spent a year on the TV soap “Another World” when she was 10 before making her big screen debut in Disney’s 1998 remake of “The Parent Trap.”
Both also had questionable relationships with the media.
“It was the start of the exploitation of celebrity,” says Bowler in the promotional trailer. During one scene, Lohan-as-Taylor screams at the gathered paparazzi: “Do you have your pictures? Can’t you leave us alone?” For all her complaints, it was widely reported Taylor often tipped off the paparazzi to her whereabouts.
And of course Lohan has had her share of unfavorable media coverage. Just in the past few weeks: the troubled star has been constant tabloid fodder thanks to multiple run-ins with the law in New York (Hit and Run!, Assault!) and health scares (Asthma Attack!).
Then there are the battles with substance abuse.
Certainly not as publicized as Lohan’s struggles with alcohol and drugs, Taylor battled her own demons, including abuse of booze and prescription medication – the latter stemming from pain management due to a broken back early in her career and ongoing illnesses throughout her later life. "Im a survivor - a living example of what people can go through and survive," Taylor is quoted as saying in the London Telegraph.

Lohan’s struggles often appeared to arise from adolescent partying. "It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs," the then 20-year-old actress said in a 2007 statement, adding "I very much want to be healthy and gain control of my life and career and have asked for medical help in doing so. I am taking these steps to improve my life.”
But biographer David Bret, author of “Elizabeth Taylor – The Lady, The Lover, The Legend – 1932-2011,” says that Taylor had something of an epiphany about all this later in life -- something only time will tell for Lohan.
“There were two Elizabeth Taylors,” explains Bret. “The first was the greedy, selfish, arrogant one. There was that side to her and then all of a sudden it changed. I think it really started with her friend Rock Hudson, when he became ill and died [from AIDS]. She changed overnight and became this really, really caring person. For once others were in the spotlight, not her. She raised so much money for AIDS charities. That’s when I started calling her Saint Elizabeth.”
Taylor began her humanitarian work in the 1980s when the specter of HIV and AIDS loomed large over the Hollywood community. In 1985 she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and also founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1993. One of the first celebrities to publicly acknowledge and work to heighten awareness about the disease, Taylor helped raise more than $270 million for the cause during her lifetime.
It’s that version of Taylor that Lohan (who has done scattered charitable work, including a 2009 documentary on sex trafficking in India) can claim no comparison to. And what ultimately may be the biggest hurdle to overcome in the eye of a public who have already written her off thanks to the constant media coverage of her legal scrapes and personal troubles.
"Liz & Dick" will air on the Lifetime network on Nov. 25 at 9 p.m. ET
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Posted Oct 4, 2012
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