Thursday, 31 January 2013

Read The Orange Label!

To the batty old fruit-cake who keeps coming here, and who keeps Tweeting me at three in the morning to blow her trumpet about her own books (the 'beautiful' one banned by lawyers, the 'scholarly' one, nicked copyright) and keeps reminding me how rubbish my 'fiction' books are--don't read the bloody things!
And to the batty old fruit-cake who moans around the clock (don't even dead people sleep?) about how shocked she is by the content of my Blogs--don't read the bloody things!

And to the batty old fruit-cake who chose not to be at her father's death-bed, and who refused the call of her dying estranged husband, because her obsession must come first.
I would never read anything you've every written, or want to look at your sour, multi-pierced mush!
So don't insult me, the way Nature has insulted you, by reading and looking at what I do!
This Blog has an ADULT button, which you push at your own peril!

Damia: 35 Years Today


It's thirty-five years today since Damia left us.
Before Piaf came along, she was the most famous singer in France--some believe in Europe.
She introduced the dance known as the 'apache' and was one of the first to perform Cole Porter's 'Night & Day'. Two of her songs, 'Sombre dimanche' and 'Je suis dans la deche' were banned by the stuffy BBC--the first because it was about suicide, or so they thought--if you listen carefully you'll see that she's saying what MAY happen if her lover doesn't come back. The second, about a woman about to fling herself in the canal when she's mistaken for a prostitute--which leads to a new career!
Damia also sang 'Tu ne sais pas aimer', which in France has been adopted as the theme song of AIDS sufferers.
I met Damia twice, at her place in Montmartre--the picture at the top is how she looked at eighty. She was a fabulous woman with lots of stories to tell. Valentino, eighteen and not yet known by that name, stumbled into her club and the two became friends. She taught him the 'apache'. Later, she sang a song in his memory, 'Je sens en moi'.  There's a picture of him with his lover André Daven outside her apartment in my new book. Damia also knew Piaf, who gave her three songs. It was wonderful, hearing her Valentino and Piaf stories. She sent wreaths to the funerals of both.
There's never going to be anyone of Damia's calibre in France. Never. She hated microphones, and never used one in her entire career. She told me she owed her deep, powerful voice to her daily intake of strong French cigarettes. Her swansong, when she was almost seventy, was singing 'Les croix' on Piaf's 'This Is Your Life'.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Ian Brady: Britain's Most Evil Man

This thing has haunted me for years. Winnie Johnson contacted me, and after this dear lady died I received 150,000 messages of sympathy on my group. For almost half a century she suffered a martyrdom, not knowing what these monsters had done with her little boy. In my opinion, they should have made him speak, and then put him down like a rabid dog. I hope that when his time comes, he lingers in agony--and I cannot think of one decent human being in this country who would disagree with me.


Moors Murderer Ian Brady 'moves closer to dying in prison after legal breakthrough'

  • Killer of five wants to stop any doctor resuscitating him should he collapse
  • His advocate Jackie Powell says he may sue if his death wish is not followed
  • 'If he's unconscious my instructions are he must be allowed to die,' she said
  • Government could still stop his legally-binding request
  • Brady has been starving himself for 13 years - but doctors force-feed him
By Martin Robinson


Monday, 28 January 2013

Morrissey: Get Well Soon

Morrissey has been hospitalised with a bleeding ulcer, and I am one of just thousands I should imagine who wish him a speedy recovery.
Moz is what true England used to be all about when we were growing up--before outsiders began stripping away our identity. Like myself, he's the product of immigrants, like myself he bemoans the state this country is in today.
Moz is one of a handful of people who taught me that it's best to always say what you're thinking, instead of keeping it to yourself. You call a spade a spade, and be done with it. You take shit from absolutely no one. I learned that lesson a long time ago.
I remember him saying back in the Eighties, very publicly, that he would marry whoever bumped off our then much-hated prime minister, whether that person was male or female. He was castigated by the very people who shared exactly the same view. He said of his first biographer, Johnny Rogan, that he hoped he would die in a smash on the M6--and when he found out that Rogan didn't drive, he said a hotel fire would suffice. On the other hand, he said he wanted to dust down little old me and stand me on his mantelpiece! I see no wrong in expressing such an opinion--he's not making any threats, just expressing what he wishes for. I see no wrong, either, in wishing people dead if they're causing me pain--doesn't mean I want to bump them off personally, it just means that from my point of view, they'd be better off dead and I'd be that much happier knowing they won't bother me any more. They're certainly thinking the same thing about me. Moz even criticised Princess Diana, who I was very fond of--he read in the paper of a lady who once lived near him: she had killed herself because the government had cut her benefits and she couldn't afford to pay her heating bill, while in the same paper it announced that Diana had just spent £600 on a dress she would only wear once. His dislikes the royal family intensely. I don't, but I never criticise him because he's entitled to his opinion.
And of course, Moz is a musical icon and has been for thirty years. I cannot think of many English singer-songwriters possessed of the same calibre. This morning, one paper compares him with Valentino--the idolatry, and the bleeding ulcers. Good comparison, I guess. When I was working on my two Morrissey books, I came across some very nice people, but there were also a few lunatics--one had tried to kill himself when The Smiths split, and another pulled a knife on me while a third was arrested in the theatre, also with a knife in her handbag. So, like me, Moz has had his fair share of loonies.
So, get well, Morrissey--we need you to keep entertaining us with your beautiful songs and biting words of wisdom!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Rudolph Valentino: Lovers, Friends & Foes

The new biography of Rudolph Valentino.
I opted to publish this one myself--to stop all the lunatics from
pestering my publisher!
First Edition
26 January 2013
see more >
Rudolph Valentino: Lovers, Friends & Foes Featuring Valentino's Affairs A Two-Act Play                            

Clark Gable & Judy Lewis: It's All In The Ears

An elderly Clark Gable fan just brought it to my attention that Judy Lewis, the illegitimate daughter of Clark Gable and Loretta Young, got a tad upset when she read my biography, 'Clark Gable: Tormented Star', where I said--courtesy of what I had read in several Joan Crawford biographies and in at least six other sources--that Rhett Butler took a rump-hump from silents star Billy Haines in the washroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Ms Lewis wrote to me--at least I believed she had, until this morning when I fished out the email and did a forensics check. I won't say who wrote that email, but it wasn't her! Then I received another letter--Debbie Carbunkle-Pie, or something like that. Quote, Ms Lewis was upset because I had never known Gable, whereas she had known him well. Ahem, I think not. It was a pariah in those days to be born on the wrong side of the blanket, and Gable never acknowledged her during his lifetime--she never found out he was her father until he had been dead five years.
But, when I received a second email from 'Ms Lewis', calling me a bastard--well, I responded. This was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle.
And yes, to the dear old lady who five years on still seems a little peeved, I did say that Ms Lewis was inconsiderate to curl up her toes on the anniversary of Joey Stefano and Freddie Mercury. But it was also my father's birthday--and he was a real bastard!
And now, to quote the elderly lady again, who I fear may not quite be in possession of her marbles, Ms Lewis's family are thinking of suing me--for saying that Gable did not acknowledge her.
Good luck with that one!
If only these people with so much money to waste would donate it to be used in saving lives, instead of making their own look progressively more stupid...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Celebrity Big Brother: The Best Man Won!

The best man won!
Warm, intensely charismatic, witty, cute, fearless, sensitive.
A truly beautiful person, inside and out.

But for Heidi & Speidi to come second--an affront to decent, well-loved people.
After all the vile things they said about our people behind their backs, I would have paid good money to watch someone smack that arrogant, fuzzy-faced loudmouth in the kisser, and was truly disappointed that nobody did at the wrap party!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Are Heidi & SpencerThe Worst BB Contestants Of All Time

They could not have been blessed with a more appropriate name--Pratt.
They are in my opinion without any doubt the most puerile, shameless, vicious and cruel act to have ever schlepped up on British television. Imagine ten Evelyn Zumayas, ten Hala Pickfords, six Bernard Mannings and a couple of Peter Sutcliffes guesting on The Jeremy Kyle Show, with Mary Whitehouse as the stand-in host, and you have an idea what I mean.  I'm only sorry that their backstabbing to the cameras was not played to the other contestants--then again, there would have been a riot. Razor almost got there--man of my heart that he is! They are even more hated in America than they are here--yet people keep voting for them!
I guess the public keep them in because secretly they're hoping for an all-out brawl. I for one would find it very difficult keeping my mouth shut--I'd certainly have to sit on my hands--every time that smug git puts on one of his smirks. His is a face that truly welcomes being pushed very deep into a cow-pat. And that VOICE of hers! Jeepers creepers, that woman has a whine which would send Will & Grace's Karent stomping towards the hills--save that Karen was lovely, whereas Mrs Pratt should Heidi somewhere and not come back. And now they're trying to be nice--after demanding bodyguards when they leave the house...
But, back to their parents. They may not know what Heidi & Spencer are getting up to over here or how despised they are--but at least they'll hear the boos thousands of miles away when they descend that staircase on Friday!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Michael Winner

We were with the same publisher, and I admired Michael Winner a lot. Often when he was about to go into the office some staff would make themselves scarce because they didn't consider him altogether nice. This is because he was a man of my own heart--didn't let people shit all over him, said what he thought and when he wanted to say it. He championed me once against an arch homophobe--and how! Britain needs great characters, now that it's no longer authentically British, and Michael Winner was a star.

RIP, Michael



Michael Winner: Film Director Dies Aged 77

Film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner has died at the age of 77.
Winner, who had been ill for some time, died on Monday at his London home in Kensington, where he was being nursed by his wife Geraldine.
Paying tribute to her husband Mrs Winner, a former dancer who he married two years ago, said in a statement: "Michael was a wonderful man, brilliant, funny and generous.
"A light has gone out in my life."
Winner made more than 30 films, including the blockbuster Death Wish series.
In a film career which spanned more than 50 years, he worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum and Faye Dunaway.
He later reinvented himself as a restaurant critic, writing about food in his typically flamboyant style in his Winner's Dinners column for The Sunday Times.
Sky's Lucy Cotter said: "His first film was Shoot To Kill in 1960. The turning point in his career came in 1972 when he directed Marlon Brando in The Nightcomers.
"But it was really Death Wish which starred Charles Bronson which was seen as his most famous work, and at the time was incredibly shocking.
"People around the country will also know him for being a food critic.
"He wrote for The Sunday Times. He had a column, Winner's Dinners, for about 20 years.
"He was very humourous, very cantankerous. I think the people whose restaurants he came into would have in some ways dreaded him coming in because he did not hold back in those columns.
"He had been ill for a while, but people will be quite surprised to hear this sad news."
Winner, whose appearance in adverts for motor insurance coined the catchphrase "Calm down dear, it's only a commercial", also founded and funded the Police Memorial Trust following the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984.
More than 50 officers have been honoured by the trust at sites across the country.
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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Long Live Clark Gable!

Entertainment :: Books

Clark Gable - Tormented Star

by Steve Weinstein
EDGE Editor-In-Chief
Thursday Nov 27
Clark Gable was the man’s man. The superstar known simply as "the king" ruled Hollywood from the mid-1930s until the mid-1950s. Although his bed hopping never became as legendary as Errol Flynn’s (the popular World War II catchphrase "in like Flynn" came from his famous trial for statutory rape of an underaged--but eager--girl), Gable was as prolific in the sack as he was in front of the camera.
He pays lip service to Gable’s huge film output, but it’s the latter aspect of his life that really interests author David Bret. The title of his biography, Clark Gable: Tormented Genius, now in paperback, shows his hand. Gable wasn’t a relatively simple he-man, like, say John Wayne. Nor was he a well-adjusted guy from the Midwest blessed with good looks like Ronald Regan.
No, his Gable is tortured by self-doubt about his talent and his manhood. Bret traces this back to his father, an oil wildcatter-turned-roughneck who insisted his son follow equally "manly" pursuits and never cottoned to his artistic aspirations--even when his son made enough money to support his old man.
According to Bret, Gable turned for solace--and, not infrequently, at least at the beginning of his career--money to men. The rumors about Gable having been gay-for-pay at the beginning of his career have persisted through the years during and long after his death.
Warren Harris, who wrote a far more conventional biography in 2002, barely touches on the rumors. But for Bret, they’re a key to his personality. Or, at any rate, they’re something that appears to fascinate Bret to the point of mania.
The emphasis on all of the same-sex carrying on in Hollywood is a never-ending source of interest to the author. I don’t know what Bret’s sexual orientation (or, should we say, self-identification?), nor do I much care. He acknowledges his wife in his frontispiece.
But then, early on, in a comment on one of Gable’s early screen appearances, he comes out with this howler: "In extreme close-ups he is almost feminine in composition, like that of a modern day Bel Ami gay porn star, almost too beautiful to be true."
Now I couldn’t care two figs about Bret’s sexuality or what he does in private or would like to, because it shouldn’t make any difference to the subject at hand. But I cannot, will not, understand how anyone but an aficionado of male porn could be so knowledgeable about the aesthetics of the Bel Ami productions.
Bret seems to have an ax to grind here. He seems to resent that Gable got away with his gay exploits. Over and over again, he hammers away at "incidents" that threatened to "expose" Gable’s gay life.
After the suicide of fellow Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer conract star Ross Alexander, reportedly because of blackmail from a hustler, Bret reports Gable as being ushered into studio head Louis B. Mayer’s office and threatened that "There but for the grace of God go you!"
Mayer’s continual hanging of the Damoclean sword of outing over Gable’s head (as if any studio head would ever do that in those days) is one of the book’s’ main threads. Harris writes about Gable’s dislike of Mayer, and Mayer’s distrust of Gable. But he nowhere attributes Mayer’s power over Gable as anything but monetary.
Typical of Bret’s posturing is this passage exploring Gable’s personality. He calls him "the archetypal repressed bisexual, the hallmarks of which were clearly evident in his early years: his marriages to strong, significantly older women frequently of Sapphic orientation. Like Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott and a host of other ’he men,’ he would quite unnecessarily overplay the machismo and take immense pains to conceal a feminine side that if brought to the fore would have made him a great actor instead of an inordinately good one."
If you parse that, it reveals how dumb the thoughts behind it are. Cary Grant never underplayed his soft side. In "I Was a Male War Bride," he famously dresses in a negligee and prances around screaming "I’ve gone gay!" (the first time the word used that way in films, incidentally). Even Rock Hudson had some subversive fun playing with his true sexuality, when he acted like a "sissy" in some of the Doris Day sex romps. And since when are male bisexuals attracted only to older women?
Bret’s obsession with gayness extends to nearly every film and endeavor Gable was involved in. About "Red Dust," a sexy little film he made with his frequent bedmate Jean Harlow (probably the great love of his life after Carole Lombard and Joan Crawford): "Every male associated with the film was a screaming queen!"
The above also points to one of Bret’s other annoying ticks. He uses exclamation points! All the time! Everywhere! Usually for no reason! The book is also riddled with grammatical errors and typos.
Most of the factual errors are just stupid and could have been corrected with a tiny bit of research. To take one minor example: He calls Aunt Pittypat in "Gone with the Wind" Melanie’s (and hence, her brother Charles’) mother. Nope, she was her aunt, which is why everyone, including Scarlett, calls her "Aunt" Pittypat. As Charles’ widow, that would have made her her mother-in-law.
That’s pretty minor compared to some of the howlers that litter this tome. More serious is accusing director Ernst Lubitsch of being a Nazi spy. According to Bret, FBI agents (called in at the instigation of Carole Lombard, no less) "discovered he was part of a Nazi espionage ring, was arrested and interned." A neat trick, since Lubitsch was German-Jewish. This is not only weird, but insulting.
He also has Mayer trying to bed young Judy Garland. He even has Scarlett, in that incredible fadeout that ends the first part of "Gone With the Wind," declaim "If I have to lie, cheadle, cheat or kill, I’ll never be hungry again." Well, as long as she doesn’t have to cheat, I guess.
OK, one more. Sorry, but I can’t resist and anyway, this one’s a howler. He says of Gable co-star Carroll Baker, Baker "who a few years earlier had shocked Middle America with her portroyal of the mentally retarded sex kitten in ’Lolita.’" Lolita wasn’t retarded. She was played by Sue Lyon. And the film went into production years after the film Baker did with Gable.
Bret throws out that Gable was virulently anti-Semitic, as well as having a disgust for Asians (although he acknowledges that he was harbored no such prejudice toward blacks). Harris never mentions that, but even if it were true, it would require some back-up.
That’s the problem. Bret’s dealing with people who are long gone and can’t defend themselves. His long secret history of Gable’s male sex comes from his sharing bed quarters with an actor while he was learning his craft as part of a tumbledown troupe in the Pacific Northwest. But there’s no indication they even fooled around, and dirt-poor actors sharing a room or a bed is hardly unusual.
The other "proofs" are an offhand comment Billy Haines apparently made to Joan Crawford and perhaps some others that he had Gable in the men’s room of a Beverly Hills hotel. Haines, who was an out-gay actor and then decorator, may or may not have said it. But Bret never entertains the idea that maybe, just maybe, Haines was guilty of bragging rights for the one of the most desirable men in the world. Such things are known to happen.
The third leg in this shaky chair is Gable’s ongoing friendship with journalist Ben Maddox. The two palled around for several years and took trips together. It never seems to occur to Bret that Maddox may have had other sides to him than his work and sex life and may actually have enjoyed some of those "manly" pursuits like hunting, fishing and camping without the late-night campfire circle jerk.
There are some interesting tidbits in here. And when Bret gets away from the gay crap long enough, he does fill out the Gable legend with some salient observations. He notes that, given Gable’s serial adultery, his marriage to Lombard probably wouldn’t have survived even if she hadn’t died in a plane crash. And he’s more honest about Gable’s wartime service than Harris, even if he does kite his very real flights into enemy territory.
He also clarifies Gable’s remarks about George Cukor, the original director of "Gone with the Wind." Gable apparently really did call him "that damned faggot"--and often. But never on the set. Harris ignores this whole aspect of the imbroglio between the two men.
But then, just as soon as you read something insightful, along comes a passage about how Gable was insulted that Irene Dunne christened a Naval vessel named after Lombard--when in fact, men never christen ships, only women, as per longstanding tradition.
That’s not nearly as bad as all of the leering passages worthy of Confidential, the sleazy 1950s magazine Bret disdains, such a notation that, if you freeze frame the scene where Gable, as Fletcher Christian, frolics in Tahiti with Franchot Tone in "Mutiny on the Bounty," you can get a glimpse of Tone’s private parts sticking through his sarong.
Such passages made me want to take a shower after reading this ridiculous excuse for a biography.

by David Bret
EDGE Editor-in-Chief Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early ’80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Valentino: That Bay Reporter Feature

Issue: Vol. 43 / No. 3 / 17 January 2013
by Seth Hemmelgarn
10 Jan 2013
San Francisco users of the gay hookup site Grindr have named District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener as their “local ...
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Legendary star's gay life


New biography of Latin lover Rudolph Valentino

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Few important silent screen stars are remembered by the general public. Most that are (Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Lillian Gish, Buster Keaton, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford) had success in talkies. A major exception is Rudolph Valentino, who died before the advent of sound. His last name remains synonymous with romantic Latin lover. David Bret's anecdotal but generally accurate biography Valentino (Carroll & Graf, $25.95) captures the tension that being homosexual caused this object of unprecedented female sexual fantasies.
Rodolpho Alfonso Raffaelo Pierre Filibert di Valentina d'Antonguolla (1895-1926) was born in a provincial Italian town to a modest middle-class family. After studying agriculture, he sailed to New York in 1914. He worked as a Tango dancer, gigolo (sleeping with both sexes) and occasional movie extra. He toured in theatrical revues, one of which brought him to Hollywood. Despite appearing in 17 films, usually in small roles, male studio executives didn't consider him leading-man material. MGM writer June Mathis felt differently, and insisted he play Julio Desnoyers in Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (1920) from Spanish author Vicente Blasco Ibanez's best-selling novel. She expanded his part, and he became a star.
Over the next five years, he made 13 pictures, most huge hits. These included The Sheik (21), which inspired the popular song, "I'm the Sheik of Araby," Blood and Sand, Beyond the Rocks with Swanson (22), Cobra, The Eagle (25), and Son of the Sheik (26). Straight men disliked him intensely. An infamous Chicago Tribune editorial, "Pink Powder Puffs," decried his effeminacy and unhealthy influence on young American males. Among the criticisms was his popularizing "slave bracelets," predecessors of ID bracelets. Valentino, an experienced pugilist, challenged the anonymous author to a boxing match as a test of his masculinity. The invitation went unanswered.
Brett, author of sensationalist biographies of Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Freddie Mercury, Maria Callas, Elvis Presley, and Maurice Chevalier, goes into considerable detail about Valentino's sexual experiences, likely lovers, and physical attributes. Brett claims that after his first homosexual encounter, Valentino told friends, "It didn't hurt that much," and accepted his orientation. Starting in 1921, he writes, Valentino frequented Los Angeles' notorious Torch Club, where gay men met for sex. One night, a homely movie mogul ordered Valentino to get "on your knees, pretty boy." Brett adds that among his partners was young Gary Cooper. Valentino was buffed, handsome and, Brett reminds readers on what seems like every third page, exceptionally well-endowed. Ramon Novarro, whose popularity as a silent-screen Latin lover was second only to Valentino's and who had an affair with him, reportedly owned a 10-inch sterling-silver dildo modeled on the Italian's penis— a souvenir of their romance.
Many of Brett's assertions are impossible to prove, and while he provides a bibliography, there are no source notes. Some of his statements are well-documented — the affair with Novarro, for example. The Cooper anecdote is unlikely — most sources don't have the handsome future star in Hollywood until 1924. (Cooper briefly roomed with and befriended gay aspiring actor Andy Lawlor, but was primarily heterosexual, alas.)
Brett is better analyzing Valentino's complex relationship with women, including his wives, actress Jean Acker, and Natacha Rambova, born Winifred Shaughnessy and step-daughter of cosmetics tycoon Richard Hudnutt. Both were lesbians. The marriage to Acker was unconsummated. Rambova was a member of legendary theatrical and early movie star Nazimova's Sapphic circle. She was a talented designer, sometime actress, and domineering personality. Whether she was ever physically intimate with Valentino is uncertain. Her influence on his career was harmful — she insisted he portray sexually androgynous men while wearing costumes she designed that revealed his well-proportioned body. Studio executives and directors detested her, and finally, she and Valentino separated acrimoniously.
Valentino smoked and drank heavily, ate rich foods, caroused, and seldom rested. He developed a perforated ulcer, and died in Manhattan following surgery to repair it. Brett astutely compares the unprecedented hysteria and media circus that his death triggered to that which followed Princess Diana's demise.
Thousands of female fans lined railroad tracks to watch the casket as it headed to Hollywood. A few women and one male, a hotel bellboy who had a one-night-stand with the actor, committed suicide. Actress Pola Negri claimed she and Valentino were to have been married. She made a well-publicized trip to New York to accompany the body west. Swanson, who loathed him, lamented his passing. In Hollywood, many of his lovers, including Andre Daven, whom Valentino called "the love of his life," Paul Ivano, and Novarro, escorted the casket to its grave. Chaplin was a pallbearer.
He earned record sums, but spent lavishly and died deeply in debt. On May 6, 1930, on what would have been his 35th birthday, the mysterious "Woman in Black" first appeared at his tomb, carrying flowers, a ritual that lasted for decades. Despite Brett's claims to the contrary, Valentino the actor seems very rooted in his time and place. His nostril-flaring, bug-eyed approach to passion induces giggles from modern audiences. It's unlikely his career would have survived talkies.
He was, in most respects, an ordinary man of exceptional beauty who couldn't reconcile an artistic nature to the demands of unimaginable fame that forced him to deny his true self. Like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, his early death assured immortality. It's a splendid irony that when straight men are hailed as "Valentinos," the reference is to a gay superstar.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


[Pictured: The Valentino Art Deco Dildo, copyright Roger Normand]
Had a very interesting chat with a young police officer today who, shall we say, is looking into the rantings of Bob (Barmy Old Bugger) who in her new capacity as Hollywood's answer to Rosa Klebb (the resemblance is quite remarkable) has taken it upon her self to make a few films about me and post them on youtube. The only people who watch these are friends of myself. This is why comments are disabled, to stop people from taking the piss.

She is by far the most cruel, heartless, insensitive, vindictive, vituperative, nasty, prejudiced, reprehensible, hateful, vocally grinding, annoying,  pathetic, puerile, mysogynistic, self-praising, manipulating, cringeworthy,  horrible cyber bully that it has ever been my misfortune to stumble upon.
Initially the boys in blue, who have been aware of this old nut-case for a while, suggested that I try not to draw attention to her 'work', which currently stands at around 400 screenshots, the writing of which has taken up far more of her time than any book she might not get published. In fact, attention must be drawn to Bob just to show you how positively box-of-frogs crackers she really is. Her real name is Evelyn Zumaya and she purports to being a writer, though you will never find anything by her in any bookstore, and the one book she published last year (the only praise it received came from herself) was quickly zapped because it contained a very detailed analysis of her claims that we were trying to bump her off. Not true--her reputation has long since been assigned to the tomb, courtesy of herself. She claims that it is about to be republished, with a title very similar to my own. We welcome this--it will be interesting to read the press reviews, though of course there will be none because she has been media blacklisted. However, we are very caring souls. Should we ever see her sitting on a little three-legged stool outside Tesco crooning 'Kashmiri Song', we will drop a coin into her tin. In the meantime, if you want to read her book, all you have to do is google around and you can get it for free as a PDF. It's quite good, some say--for propping up that wonky table leg.
And yes, the copper and I did have a cuppa--though someone had nicked all the KitKats!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Ramon Novarro & That Name!

Ramon Novarro--that't the hunk in the vest and shorts, depicted here in his characterisic role of riding pillion. He features heavily in my new work on Rudolph Valentino, Valentino's Affairs, which goes off to the printers tomorrow.
He was born José-Ramon Samaniegos, in Mexico, and made some pretty spiffing films--notably Ben Hur, which I find much better than the one featuring arch-homophobe Charlton Heston--and Mata Hari, which saw him partnered with Garbo. Sadly, many remember him for the way he died--murdered by a pair of hustlers when he was 69 years old.
There is also, thankfully, a joyous anecdote regarding José-Ramon. According to the legend, when he was a young buck earning his crust as an extra and artists' model--those uncensored pictures of him from this period are quite stunning: Ramon was a big lad, if you get my drift--he was 'spotted' by a producer who took him home to enjoy one of José-Ramon's 'Mexican specials'.
Now, this is where legend become reality and truth. In 1933, the great French dancer Minstinguett had a very passionate affair with an Austrian adagio dancer called Frederic Rey--who subsequently left her for José-Ramon, who had in his possession an Art Deco replica of Valentino's cock. I actually saw this in Paris--Rudy was a big lad, too. And of course, Rudy and José-Ramon once famously 'made love like tigers until dawn'. Anyhow, my godfather was one of Mistinguett's dancers, and he also enjoyed José-Ramon's delights--it was Roger who showed me pictures of José-Ramon in the buff, and who also arranged for me to see the Valentino What-Not. Roger was the godson of Jacques Hébertot--more of this will appear in the new Valentino work. And it was Hébertot, courtesy of José-Ramon and Minstinguett themselves--who never met but told EXACTLY the same story--that I learned how José-Ramon had come about his famous monicker:
'When Ingram met him after [The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse] he was posing nude for art students in Los Angeles, and didn't take much persuading to bounce onto the casting couch. Ramon told Frédé how Ingram had taken a lingering look at his beautifully hirsute buttocks and commented how much they reminded him of his favourite haunt, the Novarro Valley. That's how he got his name--because his arse looked like a tourist attraction!'

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Heidi & Spencer: Worst Big Brother Housemates Of All Time?

Never in the whole history of 'Big Brother' have I witnessed a pair quite so obnoxious as professional reality stars Heidi and Spencer. More disgusting than the stuff they had tipped over Ryan's head, more vile than what ended up in the bottom of Rylan Clark's sick-bucket.
I adore Rylan. He's witty, he's camp, he's intelligent, he's cute, and he takes NO nonsence from these mouth-almighty buffoons from across the Pond. If I was Dylan or Claire and Spencer had said those things about me, I would have decked him. I do suspect that someone will before the series is out, which would be a terrible shame because these two pieces of snot are not worth being evicted for. Not one person there has been spared their bile, AND they're reputed to have been paid $500,000 to appear in the show AND to have married each other three times in five years.
Fingers crossed, over the next few days will play the nice people (which is all of them) tapes of what Spencer & Heidi have said. I really want to watch these to squirm. They remind me of another vile American pair--well, three if you include Charles Manson!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Petula Clark

I am absolutely astonished, and I owe the lady a big, BIG apology!
A few months ago, feelings were running high in parts of Italy when they were about to re-open the enquiry into Luigi Tenco's death. I, along with around 250,000 others who campaigned for this, have never believed that Tenco killed himself. The sideboard incident, for instance.
Pet Clark had recently received some stick--not least of all from me--for her poor interpretations of Tenco and another Italian icon, Sergio Endrigo. Then she went on Patrick Sebastien's French television show and murdered 'Downtown', receiving so many complaints that the next time she sang it, she mimed to the 1965 recording!
I guess we all have our off-days. Not so long ago, Pet turned eighty, and I joked last week that if you really wanted to punish your enemies, get them to watch her on Jools Holland on New Year's Eve. We watched her, and she was AMAAAAAAAAAzing! Her voice is strong, her charisma is still very much in evidence. Close up, she does look like a little old lady. BUT, she was ten times better than anyone else on the show: Bobby Womack, who sounded like he was honking up twenty pints of Guinness into a rusty tin bucket. And who had the brilliant idea of bringing back Adam Ant from the dead? As for that blonde-haired woman with the key-legs, and the Scandinavian clowns dressed in Marx Brothers suits--I would rather not go there!
Pet Clark has a new album out soon. Hypocrite that I am, I am going to buy it. Okay, so I'll let you into a little secret--I already have many of the others. It was just the Tenco and Endrigo thing. This lady has more talent in her little finger than most of the others have in their plastic bodies.