Tuesday, 28 March 2017

And you say I dress too well









There has been a slew of "significant" birthdays of late - not least the fact that, had he lived, the gorgeous Mr Billy MacKenzie would have been 60 years old yesterday.

I loved him. With his cheekbones-to-die-for, his unique almost-operatic vocals, and the fact that his band The Associates was so utterly cool - emerging as they did in the midst of a cascade of "edgy" post-Punk electronic music in '79/'80 alongside the likes of The Cure, Simple Minds and Joy Division (and of course my fave Gary Numan) - he was the epitome of everything that era represented for me.

I first heard The Associates on the legendary John Peel show on Radio 1 back in 1981. They'd already garnered a flurry of "music meejah" interest, having launched their career with a cheeky cover of Bowie's Boys Keep Swinging mere weeks after The Think White Duke released the original; but it was White Car in Germany that did it for me:




When, however, it became obvious that the cameras found Billy as appealing as I did, he and the band were rocketed to pop stardom, with a succession of hits:

Club Country:

Those First Impressions:

[See also my recent Burns Night post.]

But it was for this song, his and the band's finest hour, that everyone remembers Mr MacKenzie. I still (try to) sing along to it whenever it's on the radio. Just that ecstatic piano intro is enough to send shivers down my spine...

It is, of course, Party Fears Two:


I'll have a shower and then phone my brother up
Within the hour I'll smash another cup
Please don't start saying that or I'll start believing you
If I start believing you I'll know that this party fears two

And, what if this party fears two
The alcohol loves you while turning you blue
View it from here from closer to near
Awake me

Don't turn around I won't have to look at you
And what's not found is all that I see in you
My manners are failing me I'm left feeling ugly
And you say it's wonderful to live with I never will

So what if this party fears two
The alcohol loves you while turning you blue
View it from here from closer to near
Awake me

I'm standing still and you say I dress too well
Still standing still I might but it's hard to tell
Even a slight remark makes nonsense and turns to shark
Have I done something wrong
What wrongs the wrong that's always in wrong

I'll have a shower
And then phone my brother up
Within the hour
I'll smash another cup...


Billy suffered all his life with depression, and - twenty years ago this year - the world awoke to horrible news that he had taken his own life.

RIP William MacArthur "Billy" MacKenzie (27th March 1957 – 22nd January 1997)

Monday, 27 March 2017

That's where it is





Groan. Monday again.

After a lovely sunny weekend, as we try and shake ourselves into consciousness to get back to work, at least we have the Queen of Soul - whose 75th birthday it was on the weekend - to lift our spirits... On this Tacky Music Monday, here she is, shimmying along with the faboo backing singers Darlene Love and The Blossoms, on It's In His Kiss:


Aretha Louise Franklin (born 25th March 1942)

Have a great week, peeps!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Muscle man


Viola Morpho in the window-box here at Dolores Delargo Towers

Having spent a lovely day yesterday with Mother [it is Mother's Day in the UK], it was the turn of the garden to get some TLC today - I've moved our huge clump of Montbretia Lucifer, (finally) planted some of the herbaceous plants that have been languishing in pots awaiting attention, emptied a few more pots of dead stuff, and continued the task of digging out and preparing the biggest planters ready to plant up for summer; and together we managed to get two fence panels covered with new netting for the climbers. Whew!



Knackered as I am, I still find time to pay due deference to today's birthday girl "The Boss" Miss Ross - and here's an appropriate song for the aches and pains I feel at the mo; it's Muscles:


Many happy returns, Diane Ernestine Earle Ross (born 26th March 1944)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

There is nothing like a Dame!















"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex, they should draw the line at goats."

"Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours."

"The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star."

"I think performers are all show-offs anyway, especially musicians. Unless you show off, you're not going to get noticed... I could never go onstage in denims."

"I am the most well-known homosexual in the world."

“Live for each second without hesitation”


One of the biggest-selling artists in the world, ever, Dame Elton Hercules John is seventy years old today!

All hail.

There is really only one song that is appropriate for this milestone occasion, I suppose...


You know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah


Many happy returns, dear Queen...

Friday, 24 March 2017

Such a tender fantasy



Thank heavens for that. We've reached another weekend - and we have today's birthday girl Miss Stephanie Mills (who is 60 years old!) to get us in the party mood!

With a panoply of bare-chested "safety gays" and glittery-swimsuit-clad bimbo dancers, a hairdo (don't?) that is evidently some kind of tribute to a 1980s footballer - and coping manfully with being rudely interrupted by "Mr Rex Smith and Miss Marilyn McCoo" - here's the lady herself and her greatest hit.

She Never Knew Love Like This Before. Apparently.

Thank Disco It's Friday!


I never knew love like this before;
Now I'm lonely never more,
Since you came into my life...

You are my love light, this I know,
And I'll never let you go;
You're my all, you're part of me...

Once I was lost, and now I'm found,
Then you turned my world around;
When I need, I call your name...

'Cause I never knew love like this before;
Opened my eyes,
'Cause I never knew love like this before;
What a surprise,
'Cause I never knew love like this before...

This feeling's so deep inside of me,
Such a tender fantasy;
You're the one I'm living for...

You are my sunlight and my rain,
And time could never change
What we share forever more...

Ooh, hoo... I never knew love like this before;
Now I'm lonely never more,
Since you came into my life...

'Cause I never knew love like this before;
Opened my eyes,
'Cause I never knew love like this before;
What a surprise,
'Cause I never knew love like this before...


Stephanie Dorthea Mills (born 22nd March 1957)

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thoughts for the Day




London Pride has been handed down to us,
London Pride is a flower that's free.
London Pride means our own dear town to us,
And our pride it forever will be.
Grey city,
Stubbornly implanted,
Taken so for granted
For a thousand years.
Stay, city,
Smokily enchanted,
Cradle of our memories,
Of our hopes and fears.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Senseless



RIP