Sunday, 27 October 2013

Lou Reed: An Eclectic Performer


A truly gifted performer has left us, taking a part of our youths with him. Lou Reed was sent before his time. He grabbed life by throat, and kept his grip until today. "Transformer" blew me away. That cover picture of the rent-boy with the baby's arm and cocked cap. "Satellite of Love" and "Perfect Day". All things considered, Lou had a good innings--he would have said this himself. 
RIP, great man!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Elizabeth Taylor: Audio Book


So far as I know this is my very first audio book, certaintly in the English laanguage. Like one or two others, it received some rather nasty "reviews" by nasty "customers" on Amazon--the ones I liked the most were the ones written before the book was even printed, as happened with Garbo. I'm pleased with them, though, because the general opinion--certainly shared by Random House, who were not disgruntled when Liz bumped my "stablemate" (horrendous thought) "the grieving mother" off the front pages of a couple of Canadian and Australian newspapers. This one reached the Top Ten here in the UK, the Top Thirty n America, and Number One in China and Poland. I'm intrigued as to who will be reading the audio book. I hope it's not one of those TOWIE people!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Vicky Pryce: Wentworth's Finest?

No picture. Thinking about her and seeing her on Breakfast TV brought a little bit of sick into the back of my mouth. Think of the Valentino woman in a black wig, and you have a good idea what her mush looks like.
I am entitled to my opinion, therefore it's not libellous to say that I find her arrogant and self-centered, and an all-round misery-guts.
She's committed a crime and been sent to the slammer for it.
Today she says she had a good night's sleep when they took her in.
She's written a book claiming that she wants to help other women prisoners.
I agree that she should not have been sent to jail. This country's tax-payers fork out enough money to keep these sort of people housed and fed.
She was no danger to the community. They should have given her six months scrubbing out the toilets in the London Underground.
And who has published her book?
No one other than Mr Bucolic himself--Iain Dale of Biteback, who's not my favourite person in the world.
If you remember, Mr Dale gave me rather a nasty tongue-lashing when he thought I'd been arrested for assault--but only after informing me that his company would stand by me and give me a good character witness. Talk about more faces than the Town Hall clock!
I hadn't assaulted anyone--Mr Dale knew that.
Oh, and a few weeks ago Mr Dale was hauled in--for assault.
They didn't ask me to give him a character reference, otherwise they would really have arrested me.
And he was given an official police caution...

I wonder who will play the Jewish nymphomaniac neighbour in the remake?

Britain Likes Smutty Blackpool Humour!

 


I guess that all of us in England--certainly the ones from my generation raised in the Sixties--have had a Nancy Sphinctergritzel in our lives!
 
Think back to those famous smutty postcards we used to spend so much time reading when we went to the seaside--but which we were sometimes scared of sending in case Aunty Molly hit the roof! "No, nurse, I said prick his boil!" exclaims the doctor after the busty nurse has poured the kettle all over the screaming patient!
 
She was a mucky old bugger, Our Nancy. She did all the wrong things in life, everybody hated her, but no one ever dared tell her to face what they were telling each other. Everyone threatened to give her a piece of their mind when she came around for tea--and the minute she walked through the door, taking in the whole room with one ferret's glance, they were all over her like a rash.
 
I'm surprised how Nancy has taken off. In some ways as "Our Annie's Funeral" did, a few years ago. It's a short-ish story--just 15,000 words with some quite nice pictures (never being one to blow my own trumpet, I can boast about the pictures because they're not mine) but folks appear to like it.
 
Therefore it's to be part of a trilogy, with the prequel coming next--followed by the story of Nancy's most infamous marriage (there were six more--she put it about and wasn't called "Old Iron Insides" for nothing) to Lord Cecil Wilde, one of the nicest chaps around during the last century. God knows what he saw in Nancy!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Greta Garbo:


FORMAT:
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-8495-4251-7
  • ISBN 10: 1849542511
  • Price: $29.95 / $32.99 CAN
  • Status: Active
  • Carton Qty: 10

Greta Garbo

Divine Star
David Bret
A revealing new biography of Hollywood's most enigmatic star using previously unsourced material.

Though there have been numerous biographies of Greta Garbo, this is the first to fully investigate the two so-called missing periods in the life of this most mysterious and enigmatic of all the Hollywood stars. The first, during the late 1920s, when Garbo disappeared completely for several months, forcing the studio to employ a lookalike, was almost certainly to conceal a pregnancy. The second occurred during World War II, when Garbo was employed by British intelligence to track down Nazi sympathizers. In Greta Garbo: Divine Star, David Bret has acquired a large amount of previously unsourced material along with anecdotes from friends and colleagues of the star which have never before been published. For the first time, he paints a complete portrait of her childhood and youth in Sweden. Bret has also sourced copies of all Garbo's films—with the exception The Divine Woman, of which no print survives, including the silent—before scenes were trimmed or cut.
David Bret is one of Britain's leading showbusiness biographers. His many, highly successful, biographies include those of Edith Piaf, Doris Day, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Errol Flynn, and Mario Lanza.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Everybody And Their Mother Will Be Singing Piaf


Wherever you look this month, someone will be singing Piaf.
Most of them badly!
Marlene sang her, as did Milva. They sang her as themselves, and did not imitate.
My friends Chantal and Monique sing her songs extremely well, also as themselves. They also sing other songs extremely well--as themselves!
But elsewhere, what monstrosities!

Patricia Kaas: otherwise known as Madame Cheese. Don't get me wrong, when she sings her own songs she is inordinately good, but as soon as she latches on to Piaf, it's a very loud plop down the chute! Her video of "Avec ce soleil" is not just bad--it is gross! This is a moving song about the youth of today (well, of 1954 when Piaf first sang it). In Madame Fromage's incapable hands, it appears to be about anything but. Do we really need to see her push so much food into her mouth until it all comes back out out again, all over the table? Do we need to see a close up of her camel's toes and she pulls on her panties? As for her other songs, they are even worse.

Mireille Mathieu I'm not sure about--in fact, I'll go against the grain and say that he new album is excellent. Her "Exodus" is sublime. But why have we had to wait so long for a new album, and why did the new album have to be seemingly to take advantage of the Piaf anniversary? The Germans have been getting some great albums for years!

Lastly, Mademoiselle Escargot, aka Jil Aigrot. The most over-rated singer in the French language since the Belgian sensation, Brigitte Blé, whose karaoke nights and tuneless warblings were enjoyed by tens of people who usually went to the toilet when she walked on stage. Jili Aigrot takes on the Blé Mantle by having people say that she is Piaf reincarnated. SHE IS NOT!!!!!!

I listened to Mlle Escargot howling "La Foule", and it was far from pleasant. Her "claim to fame" is that she sang some of the soundtrack for "La Vie En Rose" as it was called here, "La Mome" in France. Her voice is awful. She sounds like Georgette Plana singing under water. She COPIES Piaf's movements, which I find insulting. This was okay in the Pam Gems play, but not on a variety stage. Sing Piaf by all means, Mlle Escargot, but do NOT impersonate her rheumatism and pain. She suffered during her life--do not make her suffer in death. Of course, Jil Aigrot COULD improve her performances.

She could hang up her little black frock.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

More Disrespectful Reporting From The Sun Newspaper, This Time Concerning Jimmy Hill


What a delightful, kind individual The Sun's Chloe Mayer is.

"JIMMY ALZ FIGHT! screams her headline in yesterday's rag, followed by the sub-heading, "Dementia-hit pundit, 85, in nursing home." You then go on to say that he is renowned for his long chin. Were you born ignorant, or have you inherited this from your similarly-challenged colleagues? 

The term is ALZHEIMER'S, you disrespectful, illiterate goon. Many of us, myself included, have lost loved ones to this terrible disease, and do not need some snooty little arse-wipe like you to treat it like a joke. I could insult you further, but would guess that Mother Nature has already done this. 

Edith Piaf: 50 Years On


On 11 October it will be 50 years since Edith Piaf left us. Times passes so quickly. 
She was without any doubt, in my opinion, the greatest singer who ever lived, certainly the greatest French singer there has ever been.
We had quite a few mutual friends, though I was only very young when she died, and I've collected together 17 interviews I conducted with these:

Elizabeth Welch
Louis Dupont, the father of her child
Damia, France's greatest singer before Piaf
Fernand Lumbroso, her first manager
Michel Emer, who wrote some of her most famous songs
Manouche, the gangster's moll
Marlene Dietrich
Irene Bevan, Gracie Fields' stepdaughter
Dorothy Squires
Peggy Lee
Barbara, France's greatest singer after Piaf
Catherine Jan
Roger Normand
Charles Dumont
Claude Sounac
Simone Margantin, her nurse
Jacqueline Danno