Something for The Weekend



Picture quality isn’t that great but this is a real treat otherwise. The Style Council “performing” their first single in a crappy Dutch hotel room with the lovely Tracie Young. Nice to see Paul Weller not being a grumpy git too.

Something for the Weekend



My wife looks a bit like Pat Benatar. Dresses like her to take the kids to school too.

This must be one of the most “Eighties” videos ever made. 

Our Winnie


I found out the other day that Jacqueline Bisset’s real first name is Winifred.

Winifred!

Does this woman look like a Winifred to you?

Download: You Don’t Know My Name (Reggae Remix) – Alicia Keys (mp3)

I can’t remember where I got this track from but it’s terrific. I loved the Kanye-produced original and  it’s even sweeter in reggae style, like old-timey Lovers Rock.

Something for the Weekend



Far as I know this is the only clip from Bobbie Gentry’s 1960s BBCTV show on YouTube which is a real shame as it’s wonderful. I hope there’s more sitting in the Beeb vaults waiting to be reissued (please!) but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been wiped knowing their past history with other old shows.

It’s all great but don’t miss her duet with Donovan at the 11:00 mark.

Holy Hormones, Batman!


I’m not entirely sure who was the very first woman I saw on TV as a boy that made my dormant hormones go Boing! and realize that girls were actually rather interesting creatures. Previously I’ve identified that first crush as possibly being Raquel Welch, or even Bobbie Gentry, but it could very well have been Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.

The Batman TV show was already catnip to a young boy anyway with its bright cartoon sensibility and KAPOW! fight scenes, then they threw this cute girl in a skintight purple outfit into the mix (they already had Julie Newmar as Catwoman, add her to the list too) and I thought it was about the greatest thing on television.

40+ years later and I have a daughter who loves watching the same show to see Batgirl beating up bad guys. Anyone with a daughter can tell you the power of strong female role models to fight against the malevolent evil that is Barbie and Disney princesses, so I’m very grateful to her Batgirl for several reasons. Craig died yesterday at the age of 78, she’ll be fondly remembered.

Download: Hero Takes A Fall – The Bangles (mp3)

Something for the Weekend



Been listening to the new Róisín Murphy album all week so I thought I’d jump in my time machine and go back 20 years (blimey) to her very first record which is still terrifically sexy and goofy.

We play this a lot in the car and the kids sing along to it, thankfully they have no idea what ‘I dreamt that the bogeyman went down on Mr. Spock” means.

Something for the Weekend



Haven’t had anything from the lovely Clare and the boys in a while. This is from their final album Bite where they tried to sound more grown-up and sophisticated with wonderful results. Despite being easily their best album it sold less than the previous two and the band broke up. Such a shame, but I suppose it’s better to go out on a high note.

Where Have You Gone, Bobbie G?


I just finished reading Ode To Billie Joe by Tara Murtha, a new release in the 33 1/3 series of books. Straying from the template of most other titles in the series, it isn’t devoted to an in-depth analysis of Bobbie Gentry’s debut album but is instead an investigative biography of the reclusive singer who made her last album in 1971 and completely vanished from the public eye in the early 80s.

Murtha has done a lot of digging in archives and spoken to people who worked with her, but with such a big hole at the center of the story — Gentry herself — it has a Rashomon-like quality with people offering conflicting stories and opinions about the singer which only makes her more mysterious by the end. The only thing that seems clear is Gentry was something of a feminist pioneer: writing and producing her own records, and negotiating her own business deals (very successfully), at a time when it was almost unheard of for a woman artist to do so.

It’s a terrific book full of fascinating trivia (I could do without knowing Gentry was a fan of Ayn Rand though) but sadly it can’t answer the really big question: Why did the driven, ambitious, and creative woman capable of writing beautiful songs like this just…quit. As Murtha says in the book, “Only one person knows, and she isn’t talking.”

Download: Courtyard – Bobbie Gentry (mp3)

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com

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